Day 3 of JihyunKimWeek and the prompt was ring!
I really just got lazy and rushed it iM SORRY
(Also I just noticed I got the hands wrong but just ignore that)
Day 3 of JihyunKimWeek and the prompt was ring!
I really just got lazy and rushed it iM SORRY
(Also I just noticed I got the hands wrong but just ignore that)
Jaehee: I’m sorry, the children were squabbling.
Jumin: We weren’t squabbling!
V: We’re not children!
Mystic messenger sketches :'D
Too lazy to clean them dkfjeje uwu
Jumin: I need a minute of your time.
V: I’ll give you two because you scare me.
This is based on the last request I got, the one where Mc is a Kidol, I just had to write a One Shot for Zenny! I hope you enjoy! Please tell me!
RFA with a Mc who is a Kidol
,,Was that really the hacker and not a Sasaeng?’’ you whimpered when the both of you finally arrived at his home. The scent of Zen’s place hit you as soon as you entered his apartment, making you feel safe.
You actually hated your own heart for racing like that, since after all, you just met him for the second time in your life. At least, you thought that he was never present at any KBS Festival or any program you have been to as a world wide known KPop idol. ,,No, this was the hacker for sure. Besides, my fans still don’t know you so why should they attack you?’’ he asked you. Out of the blue, you actually told him the truth. ,,Why your fans? I mean my sasaeng fans’’ you told him, using your fingers for the word ,,fans’’ since these people weren’t really nice to you in the past. ,,Oh,’’ you gasped, after you realized that you actually never told him about your real identity.
Actually, you decided to hide it from everyone since Seven apparently didn’t tell anyone who you really were. You also didn’t want Zen to feel weird due to the hardship he was going through at the time. ,,AH!’’ he gasped when he heard your words, stepping back and looking at you from your head to your toes, up and down. ,,You!’’ he said again. Now his hand was over his mouth. He couldn’t believe that you were actually standing in his living room. ,,Yep, it’s me!’’ you smiled and decided to take off your shoes, knowing that you surprised Zen. You actually feared that he would think differently of you, although this wasn’t the case. He was happy someone like him, even though you were a pro in his eyes. ,,You recently came back from your world tour with your members, right?’’ he asked you, totally interested. You nodded. ,,It was amazing! Especially because in Europe they did completely different stuff and they were so much louder! Korean fans tend to stay calm, but the others! They yell and scream for you and it’s so refreshing. It’s hard to interact with them, but it also feels so good!’’ you laughed. ,,Sorry, I shouldn’t say this,’’ you mumbled, apologetically. But Zen quickly calmed you down. ,,It’s okay! I like being prepared because one day, after I finally debut, I will meet my fans too! I will finally be on Netflix and I will be able to sign their shirts too…’’ he smiled, looking totally in love with his dream. You placed your hand on his shoulder and nodded ,,For sure you will, Zen,’’ you smiled.
,,Actually, what are you trying to reach? I have to be honest, I didn’t quite understand,’’ you confessed. ,,Everything! I want to be an actor and act with Lee MinHo, or-’’ ,,Oh, but Lee MinHo is a really serious actor!’’ you laughed and smiled apologetic. ,,I acted in a minor role a long time ago, in my pre-debut in his drama Boys Over Flowers,’’ you told him and made him smile. ,,Maybe you can tell him about me,’’ Zen joked and you nodded. Almost immediately, you took a selfie with him and before he could even stop you, you already sent it to Lee MinHo, sending a voice message directly afterwards.
,,Oppa! Hello! How are you? Actually, I am sitting next to a good friend of mine. I would like you to meet him. When do you have time? I still owe you a coffee!’’ you said and closed your phone, to Zen’s surprise. The both of you talked the whole night. You told him about your agency and the more you told him about how well you were treated there, the more he wanted to come to your agency. ,,I mean, why not? I can ask my manager what he can do,’’ you smiled and were already about to take out your phone when Zen, this time, made it in time to stop you. ,,I have a contract with my agency. I can’t leave so easily,’’ Zen said.
You got up.
,,There’s always a solution. Besides, what are they currently doing to help you with Echo Girl? Nothing. The RFA, especially Jumin, is working for you. You deserve something better, Hyun. My agency can give you better marketing and can help you do whatever you want.
Do you want to sing and have an album? Approved! Do you want to take part in a musical? Approved! Do you want to act in a movie? Hell, approved! You could act tomorrow with Lee MinHo if you would like!’’ you told him. ,,It’s not that easy, Mc,’’ he mumbled and got up to go to the fridge where his hand automatically took out a can of beer. ,,Drinking won’t help you get famous, you know,’’ you hissed, being a bit mean. Zen looked over to you, but decided not to respond to your comment. ,,I appreciate your help, really, but…’’ You stopped him and instead went to his room, simply stepping in, leaving him behind.
Zen sighed and instead opened his phone. In the chatroom, he was asked if he wasn’t nervous over the fact you were in his room. He denied everything, but so much was going through his head at that moment. Did he put away everything? Did he already open the window? What were you doing in there? Just when you opened the door again, Zen left the chatroom and smiled at you. ,,Sorry if I was being mean to you, but I-’’ ,,Sorry, my manager and the CEO of my agency will come in… twenty minutes. Can we buy some soju and snacks? I will tidy up and - take your contract. My manager will check it for you, I will make you leave your agency. I know, I seem like a toxic little girl who is being annoying at the moment but Zen, I have seen way too many agencies like yours. They are just using you. I will make you achieve your dream, I swear,’’ You didn’t lie. That evening, the CEO of Sublime Artist Agency came to meet him.
She was so nice and actually knew all his roles. ,,I'm sorry if she somehow offended you,’’ your manager said and bowed to Zen, bowing your head too. ,,I will make sure to teach her better, YAH! You are the face of the group, not a princess!’’ your manager nagged at you, making Zen feel… happy. This was already feeling like a loving family. The four of you talked about a lot about what Zen expected, what he wanted to do, and what the agency could give him. ,,Yes, going now would be against the contract, but I think we can make this work. I see a lot of potential into you,’’ your manger nodded and smiled to you. ,,You did good work for once, Miss Princess!’’ your manager teased you. After the whole mess with Echo Girl was cleaned up and the RFA Party was held with grand success, Zen didn’t hear anything from you for almost a week, despite him being at your agency a few more times. ,,She is preparing hard for her comeback,’’ your manager smiled. You actually were working harder than ever, now that he joined too. Two years later, Zen was finally free from his agency and could finally do things he always wanted to do.
Thanks to you, he became famous. Your fans began to support him too and one of his dreams came true. ,,I'm so happy that you're the second lead,’’ you gasped when you looked through the documents of the upcoming drama he would begin to shoot in a few days. ,,Is that why Lee MinHo acts in that Movie too?’’ Zen asked you. ,,I mean, I don’t want the female lead to kiss you!’’ you whined and looked up to him, your head resting on his lap. Zen began to chuckle, but was grateful to you, knowing that without you this wouldn’t have even been possible. ,,Let’s go and make the best OST!’’ you said as you suddenly jumped up cheerfully. ,,Let’s make you a Star!’’
18.06.2021// 23.53 MEST
Mystic Messenger react to Y/N wiping their kiss off
Guide- Red letters is you
Yoosung: kissed you on the cheek, but you wiped it off 'is my lips too wet?' he kissed you again and you wiped it off. He's shook, stays quiet "Y/N why did you wiped it off?" "what is?" "my kiss" "...", he'll kiss you again just to make sure. You wiped it off. Oh boy, now you gotta sweet talk to him, it's your fault for wiping his kiss off.
707: you wiped his kiss off on the cheek. Will stare at you and will gasp dramatically "Y/N? What's the reason~?" "nothing. i just feel like it" will give you BISH I- face. Will run to his room "HEY! Sae~Young~ it's a just a joke!" "HMP!"... you're sitting alone in the couch watching Netflix while a pillow got thrown in your face "YOU'LL BE SLEEPING IN THE COUCH AND NO HB!"
Zen: smooches you on the cheek~you wiped it off. Will stare at you unbelievably 'is my lips crusty? Too wet? Do they not like it?'. "Babe~ what's wrong?" "hmm? Nothing. Why?" "why did you wiped my kiss off?" "... Nothing?" "......" honestly you try to hold back your laughter. He's expression was too priceless.
Jumin Han: will kiss you tenderly on the cheeks. Sike! You wiped it off! Will kiss you again, you wiped it off again. "You want to kiss me...?" Will be quite, will point his cheek for you to kiss. Gosh his reaction was too cute!
Jaehee Kang: you wiped off the kiss. Will get confused and starts to think "hon? Is there something wrong?" "no?" "then why did you wiped my kiss off?" will chuckle and think it's a joke and peck you on the lips while smiling. Will realized you're serious, but honestly. You try not to melt.
V/Jihyun Kim: will kiss and wipe off. Will get confused like Jaehee, will kiss you again on the cheek but you wiped it off 'does she want a kiss on the lips and not cheek? Or is my lips just wet or dry' will touch his lips to make sure if it's too wet or just dry. "do you want a kiss on the lips?"
Saeran Choi: to be honest. You hesitate to do the challenge/joke to him because he's a little sensitive. He got on the couch and kissed you on the cheek, but you wiped it off. He'll be shocked " umm... Babe?" "Y-yeah?" "um... It's just a joke... Hehe" will be relieved and cuddle with you.
It's 11:51pm now... I had to sleep i have modules tomorrow. (;´༎ຶٹ༎ຶ`)
Btw. I hope you guys have a beautiful and wonderful day! 😊💖
Jumin: You know, anyone but me would punch you right in the head.
V: Which is why you're my best friend!
It’s Pride Month. That means that you’re due some Pride Icons. Have some fun with these, guys.
And then, you make the most foolish mistake you could have possibly made. You drew your eyes up from the floor of the club right to Jumin's face — And to no one's surprise, he was staring right back at you.
Somewhere in the back of your brain, it registers that V has continued to talk to you, but you blissfully ignore it. You're currently occupied in your exploration of Jumin's dark irises, now with the added advantage of being only a few feet away.
WARNINGS: Course language, sexual themes, implied alcohol consumption, (not so subtle) flirting, discussion of trauma (not specific)
── ･ ｡ﾟ☆: *.☽ .* :☆ﾟ. ── ･ ｡ﾟ☆: *.☽ .* :☆ﾟ. ── ･ ｡ﾟ☆: *.☽ .* :☆ﾟ. ──
You gulp back several more mouthfuls of water and inform your colleague that you will be out as soon as you go to the washroom. Both Zen and her cast a forlorn glance your way. Can you not do a slightly better job at hiding how you’re feeling?, you scold yourself as you avoid their eyes. Your colleague quietly exits the room. Zen’s eyes will not leave your face alone and his stare is starting to feel stifling. You are already having great difficulty returning your breathing and heart rate to a normal pace.
With the deepest sigh you can possibly muster, you push yourself up off of your vanity stool and make your way towards the hallway.
"____," you hear Zen behind you. 'Please...be careful around him."
How can I be, Zen? When he tore me to shreds in a matter of minutes. You leave your dressing room without another word.
Getting yourself out of your bodysuit proves much more challenging with trembling fingers. After several failed attempts, you manage to loosen the bodice enough to slide the suit past your hips, leaving you exposed in the bathroom stall. Fuck, how am I going to get through this?
You looked at yourself in the mirror. You were right — you were blushing, a faint cherry hue apparent on the apples of your cheeks. That flush has lingered on your skin for well over a half an hour at this point. Something must be wrong with me. A man has never, ever, elicited this kind of a reaction before. I must be coming down with something. That is the only reasonable explanation, you try and fail to convince yourself.
You linger in the washroom for as long as you can. You have tapped the side of your head several times to bring up the clock on your implant technology. You know that if you wait too long the server, or worse, V, will come looking for you. You needed to get yourself together and get out there. You turned on the bathroom sink, letting the cool water run over the backs of your hands, extinguishing the remaining flames that burn across their surface. Gently, you pat the excess water onto your face with your palms and fingertips. You hope that it will quell some of the remaining heat scorching across your skin, the ashy remnants from his smouldering stare. With a final deep breath, you exit the bathroom, proceeding to the floor and the VIP guests who are anticipating your arrival.
As you approach, you both feel and see Jumin's head turn in your direction, as if he sensed your presence the second you left the staff hallway. Fireworks launch in your heart, your stomach does flip-flops, and your brain screams in anticipation of seeing him close up — of hearing his voice for the first time. You realize very quickly that you are, in fact, not sick. You are just…excited. Thrilled to be so close to him again. And in turn, that anticipation is also making you extremely nervous. Your insides continue their performance despite your protestations. In order to maintain some semblance of control, you cast your eyes downward as you close the remaining distance between yourself and the men waiting for you.
"____, over here!" V shouts over the speakers. He looks happy to see you. I wish I could return the sentiment.
You approach, avoiding any and all eye contact with Jumin. You didn't need to crumple into a heap in front of your boss, thank you very much.
"That was an amazing performance, as always. Though... I couldn't help but notice that you got stuck up there for a moment," V says, as he casts a slight smirk to his friend on his left. Shit, he definitely noticed then.
"Yeah," you admit, rubbing the back of your neck sheepishly. "I didn't stretch properly beforehand, so I ended up with a bit of a leg cramp. I froze up waiting for it to pass." That is a pretty shitty lie.
"Mmm hmm," V hums, evident that he, yet again, saw right through that flimsy cover-up. "I'm just glad you were able to continue with the number. Are you feeling any better now?"
"Not really," you admit honestly. "I'm actually feeling a bit feverish."
And then, you make the most foolish mistake you could have possibly made. You draw your eyes up from the floor of the club right to Jumin's face — And to no one's surprise, he was staring right back at you.
Somewhere in the back of your brain, it registers that V has continued to talk to you, but you blissfully ignore it. You're currently occupied in your exploration of Jumin's dark irises, now with the added advantage of being only a few feet away.
He's even more gorgeous up close. Now that he's standing, you realize that he is very tall and lean, but he still has a lot of muscle definition, evident by the way his dress shift protests as his bicep flexes, raising this arm. He's wearing black slacks and black leather dress shoes to pair with his dress shirt and vest you noticed on stage. You were right about his hair colour. Since the red neon lights have switched to a softer turquoise, you can see that his hair is black with blue undertones that shimmer as he runs his fingers through it. You follow the movement of his hand, entranced, until it falls past his sharp jawline, not yet ready to move your eyes from his face.
He is devouring you in much the same way that you are him. He already did a once over your body as you approached, eyes downcast to avoid his gaze. However, now that he can see you up close, he wants to commit every detail of your beautiful face to memory. He knows that he's staring, but he can't help it. From the second he saw you, he has been enchanted.
He stares into your eyes again, memorizing their shape and colour. He follows the slope of your nose down to your lips, your stunning, delicious-looking lips. He notes the faint red hue spread across your cheeks as his gaze traces the slant of your jaw. You look ethereal. He is convinced you are an angel. He, too, follows the movement of your hand as it grasps a strand of hair by your face, twirling the soft curl around your index finger. His eyes move to scan the length of your neck, but their trajectory is stopped abruptly when you bite your lip. He wishes his teeth could be the ones sinking into that flesh instead.
The sound of V's voice calling your name in alarm brings you back into the conscious realm. "____, are you okay?" he asks, waving his hand in front of your eyes. Your eyes finally leave Jumin's face and return to V's, which is currently painted in concern.
"Oh, gosh. Uh- Y-Yes. I'm so sorry. I guess I'm pretty out of it still," you reply. Jumin notes that the red hue on your cheeks had darkened again. Adorable.
"That's okay, ____. I was just asking if you will be okay to perform your second number tonight."
"Yes, I think so. I've been drinking some water and that definitely helped. I might need a bit of a longer break, if that's okay?"
"Of course it's okay. Your health is my top priority, always. Take whatever time you need. We have enough staff to look after the floor tonight," he says with sincerity. He's so wonderful, far too caring to be a businessman.
"Thank you, V. I really appreciate that."
"I'm glad," he smiles softly. "I should introduce you two finally. ____, this is Jumin Han, executive director of C & R. We've been good friends for a long time."
You glance over to Jumin's face. You feel little embers dancing across your cheeks again, the blazing heat returning quickly as your gazes lock.
"Hello, Mr. Han. It's a pleasure to meet you," you offer softly and he feels like his heart is going to burst from his chest. "I actually know a little bit about you already. I'm good friends with Zen."
His heart thrums angrily now, rage replacing joy. Of course, you're good friends with Zen. Who knows what ridiculous lies he has told you about me.
"Jumin, ____ has worked at Magenta for many years now. She is one of our best dancers, and we really cherish her here. I'm sure I have mentioned ____ a few times. And of course, Zen talks about her relatively frequently," V explains.
"I remembered your name, it just took me a moment to place it," he replies, eyes turning back to you. "Please, ____. You can call me Jumin — There is no need for formalities. It is a pleasure to meet you as well. Both V and Zen have spoken very highly of you," he says, smiling softly, his eyes yet to drop from yours.
His voice is so sultry — so deep. How is absolutely everything about him so enticing? The sound of his voice forming your name has fanned the embers into full-blown flames and your face once again feels like it's melting from your skull. You try to take a deep breath without making it too obvious to the men across from you. Though, you know that nothing you can do will help you cool down. Not while his eyes continue scorching your flesh.
"W-well, I'm glad to finally put a face to the name," you stumble out, forcefully drawing your eyes away from him again.
"The feeling is mutual. I really enjoyed your performance. I would love to come again sometime."
You are sure your face is now in a gooey mess on the floor.
"Haha," V chuckles. "Jumin, I have asked you for years to come to my club and now that you actually have, you plan to come back to meet the first pretty person you see? You're something else, my friend."
"Well, not necessarily. I would be happy to get to know ____ in any capacity, including outside of the context Magenta."
You imagine that the gooey mess of your face is now bubbling, boiling as it seeps into the floor's tiles, your features now an indistinguishable molten mess.
"Hmm, in that case, maybe ____ will finally accept mine and Zen's offer to join the RFA," V states, softly stroking his chin in thought. "Both of us have asked on several occasions over the years, but we've always been shot down. We have needed someone else for a long time."
V's voice trails off towards the end and somehow you know he must be thinking of Rika. You wonder how much they are all hurting to not know the whereabouts of someone they cherish. A pain I can sympathize with.
"I think that is a great idea." No, Jumin. It is not a great idea!
"Well, ____, what do you think?" V asks.
"Uh, w-well. Hmm, yes." What!?! “I MEAN!" voice far too loud. "I'll think about it! I'll think about it!" You stammer, trying to correct yourself. But it was too late.
"Oh amazing! I'll have to message Seven to get you connected to the messenger. I'm sure everyone else will be so happy to finally meet you!"
"Oh, but, V, wait-" you try, but one of the other members of the VIP section taps on V's shoulder, leaning in to say something in his ear.
"I'm so sorry ____, but a friend needs my help with something at the bar. I'll have to leave you two alone," V says as his friend whisks him away. You swear you see him wink as he leaves.
"____," Jumin softly calls your name, his eyes meeting yours once again. "I am not sure why you have been hesitant in the past to join the RFA, but I promise you will not regret it. Our organization is very close and we look out for each other. I am confident Zen has told you many things about me — mostly bad I assume," he says, scoffing lightly. "But, I am sure he has also conveyed the positive qualities of everyone else is."
He has. Zen definitely has. Not to mention you're fairly confident those gorgeous ashen irises could convince you to do most anything at this point.
But, you still hesitate. The walls you have built over so many years are so solid at this point it would take substantial effort on your part to being to dismantle them to let others inside. Your friendship with Zen has only become what it is now after years of effort on his part to crack you open. He still has not seen the darkest parts of you — the parts you are still terrified to dust off — the memories buried far enough in your subconscious that they only surface in your loneliest moments.
As if he can read your mind, Jumin then says, even softer, "You know, it is not so bad to have people on your side in this world." He smiles, in a way that you would picture someone smiling at a frightened kitten. It makes your insides twist. Why is he being so sweet to me?
"I-I'll think about it. I can't make any promises though," you reply, offering a cautious smile back at him.
"Of course, please do take your time. I am sure it is not a decision to be made lightly."
"Uhm, anyway. I need to be getting back to the bar. I'm sure they could use the extra set of hands."
"Oh, my apologies for keeping you," he bows his head gently. "I hope we have the opportunity to talk again soon. I will be leaving shortly."
"Why?" disappointment evident in your tone. "You won't be staying for the rest of the show tonight?"
"As much as I would like to —" he replies, something dark, lustful, creeping in his eyes as he scans your body again, "unfortunately, I have business to attend to."
"O-oh, uh, okay. Well, I hope you can come again some other time," you blurt out, hoping he'll miss the lingering desire in those words. However, when you look at him again, it's obvious he did not.
The lust that had been lingering fully clouds those beautiful eyes, swirling enticingly, turning them almost obsidian in hue. "Oh, trust me, I intend to." With that, he takes your hand in his, your gazes still entwined. Electricity quickly replaces the blood in your veins at his touch. Your brain is now fully malfunctioning at having him so close, fingertips gently grazing your skin.
His voice drops to a simmering whisper. "Now that I know what to expect, I would be a remiss to deprive myself again."
Likewise, you do not miss the desire laced in those words as you try to lean into his touch as far as your body will allow. His other hand comes up and ghosts over your shoulder, not quite making contact. Your body is screaming, nerves sparking, begging for his fingertips to grasp more of your flesh. But the darkness clears again, and he drops both hands quickly, releasing your hand as well as he clears his throat.
"I should let you get back now. Please do consider joining the RFA. I have a feeling you will make a great addition," he says, far too casually for how you were mutually trying to consume each other moments earlier.
"I-it was nice to meet you, Mr. Han. I promise I will think about the offer to join the RFA."
"The pleasure was all mine, ____. I hope we meet again soon."
As you turn to return to your dressing room, you feel his stare linger on your back. You dare not look back at him because you fear your body may, against all wishes of your logical brain, run to his waiting hands.
You bump into V again briefly. He is quite busy with his friends in the VIP section, so he doesn't really say much. He apologizes again for leaving you and Jumin so abruptly, but hopes you had a good time chatting together. I'm not sure trying to eat each other alive due to unbridled sexual tension is my definition of a good time, but sure, V…
The remainder of the night is relatively uneventful, given the excitement — and nerves — Jumin brought in his wake. Now, with his grey eyes no longer tracking your every move, it feels like business as usual. You haven't had a chance to fill Zen in about your encounter with his most despised comrade, but you know you will have the opportunity to later when you catch your usual post-shift late night dinner together.
He also says that he had contacted Seven and to anticipate a message from him soon.
Sure enough, less than 20 minutes later, your implant technology pinged you with a message notification. The sender was unknown and the message only contained an invite link to "RFA Messenger". You steel your resolve to not click on it until you have spoken with Zen and have really thought this decision over.
You still do not know much about the RFA, or what kind of commitment you would be making by agreeing to join their private messenger. However, you can't help but wonder what it might be like to get to know other people — to have people you can message and chat with. To finally, just maybe, not be alone after so many years.
You wrap up your closing tasks and head quickly to your dressing room to change again. You've grabbed an oversized, fluffy knit sweater, a pair of jeans, and ankle high black rubber boots. It's still pretty cool and damp, so you want to make sure you're warm. You and Zen usually walk around after grabbing some snacks from whatever convenience store is close wherever Zen manages to find parking. You throw your coat over your shoulders haphazardly, but quickly straighten it out. The hovercycle makes for a very chilly and windy trip.
"Hi, beautiful. You ready?" Zen asks as he peeps his head into your dressing room, extending a helmet in your direction.
"Yes, let's get outta here."
It is times like this when you are grateful for implant technology. Normally, the wind would be too loud in your ears to have a conversation. However, the tech lets you convert thoughts to text messages. You and Zen are able to chat without saying anything at all.
Zen comments quickly on how you seemed much more confident during your second performance. You mention that you both pulled quite a bit in tips tonight. Then both of you then turned on some music and the two of you had a sing-along dance-along session — well, dance in the sense that you awkwardly wiggle behind Zen, still securely latched around his back. You both laugh as your hair, collectively, whips around, thwacking the face shields of your helmets. As much as you know that Zen's hair is very soft, you imagine a straight shot to the face by a 60 km/h wind would still hurt quite a bit. You loved these moments with Zen. You cherished them. Everything felt so peaceful. Happy. You felt happy.
He eyed a parking space relatively close to your apartment and snagged it quickly. The two of you got off to run over to the convenience store across the street. You are going to pick up your usual: spicy beef triangle kimbap and cheap beer. With your targets acquired and in hand, you make your way to the walking path that leads along the river.
Zen grasps your hand, case of horrible beer in the other, and drags you along the quiet star shine glimmering streets. You cackle, loving every second of his silly insistence for you to "just move faster already". What did I ever do to deserve a best friend like this?
Almost a minute ahead of schedule due to your half-walk, half-jog travelling technique, you arrive at your favourite spot to sit and gaze at the night sky: the bicycle and hoverbike bridge that connects the river's edges. You let your legs dangle over the edge between the gaps in the guard rail and Zen mirrors your position on your right. You hear the sound of a beer can cracking, followed quickly by another, and then a cool can is being slid into your palm.
"Cheers on another successful night, my babe!" Zen shouts into the very early morning air. Your beer cans clack together, eliciting a brief tinny noise that echoes in the space around your ears.
You're ravenous, so you immediately set your beer down in favour of ripping into one of your triangle kimbaps. You moan appreciatively when you take your first bite, and Zen blushes beside you. Oops.
"So…," Zen starts, and a sinking feeling emerges in the pit of your stomach. "How did your first time meeting Mr. Trust Fund Kid go?" His tone is as neutral as he can make it, but you can tell he is slightly on edge. He won't look at you.
I'm not really sure how I can say, "I am extremely, at minimum, sexually attracted to Jumin, a man who you actively despise" without it sounding exactly like that.
"Zen, I'm sure you're really not going to like what I'm about to say," you start as you hear him take a sharp breath. He holds it, anticipating whatever you are going to say next. "I can't say that I'm interested, per se. I don't really know him. But there was definitely...a connection. I have never had that kind of reaction to anyone. Ever."
Zen sighs deeply beside you. You knew he wasn't going to like it, but you were not about to lie to your best friend. You don't want to. Besides, even if you tried, he would have seen through it anyway.
"Ugh, I knew you were going to say that, but I was still kinda hoping that you were going to be repulsed by him once you saw him up close," he chuckles. "I get it, ____. Even I can admit he's attractive. You can't control how you feel." Though he is trying to sound okay with it, you can hear the disappointment in his voice.
"Thanks for understanding, Zenny."
"That doesn't mean I like it though. I want to lecture you about staying away from him — About keeping your guard up with him. There are a lot of things about Jumin that I don't like...that I despise .... But, I also know that I am very biased. Our personalities just don't click. But, I think you two are actually quite similar in some ways. I just tolerate you more because you're cute," he says, sticking his tongue out at you as you giggle, swatting his arm.
"You are an adult though, and I know you can take care of yourself. I'll always be here though, you know that."
"Zen, I promise I will be careful. I'm not even saying anything is going to happen between the two of us. I don't know if he felt what I did — if he really wants to get to know me further. I just can't deny the fact that I felt something because of him that I have never felt before."
"Trust me, ____. He's interested too."
"...What? How would you know that?"
"I helped the servers with the tables a few times over the night. I actually waved at you at one point, but you were far too busy staring at Jumin," he casts a side glance at you, watching your reaction. You know your cheeks have instantly flushed.
"As much as you were ogling him, he was doing the exact same to you. I have also never seen him react like that to someone before, and we've known each other for a pretty long time — Longer than I've known you."
"Oh…" The right words to express how you're feeling are escaping you. You're sure you felt a mutual attraction between the two of you, but to have it confirmed by someone else, someone who knows you both — it adds another layer of complexity onto the very complicated emotions you're already trying to process.
"Yeah," Zen comments, the same flat, emotionally-devoid tone making another appearance.
You sit in an uncomfortable silence for a few moments. You don't want Zen to be upset. Obviously, you have no control over how he feels, but you worry that he might be overreacting a bit. You don't even have a way of contacting Jumin right now, unless…
"Zen, I have something else to tell you."
"What?" His tone sharp. The beer can he's holding creasing slightly under the anger radiating through his fingertips.
"Uh...well...V brought up that both you and him have asked me to join the RFA...and Jumin thought it would be a good idea. Seven, or I assume it's Seven, sent me an invite to join the RFA messenger a few hours ago."
"What?! Are you serious?!"
"Uh...yes? Wait, why are you so upset? I-I thought you wanted me to join the RFA?"
"Of course I did! I do still! But when I was asking you to! What?! Now you want to join because Jumin thinks it's a good idea?!" He spits his name like it is something foul. The rage is palpable and it lingers in the air between you.
"Zen… my lovely Zen. Can you take a breath? Please calm down. So that I can explain?" you plead, hoping your use of his favourite nickname will soothe him. It does, thankfully. Even though you can't quite see his face, you see his shoulders relax. The tension present just moments ago releasing. He's taking deep breaths too, evident by the deeper rising and falling of his chest.
"Can I continue?"
"Yes, I'm sorry babe. I shouldn't have raised my voice like that."
"I get it." She really doesn't though. "Thank you for the apology. I hope that if I explain that you'll be able to understand where I'm coming from. Zen, I haven't made any final decisions yet. I really wanted to talk with you first. I am still thinking about it, okay?"
"Okay." Not okay. Not okay at all. I want to tell her how I really feel.
"I'm not considering joining just because Jumin will be there or because he thinks it's a good idea," you say, knowing that is a partial lie. You are very interested in getting to know Jumin more, and will likely seize any opportunity to do so. "But — something he said made me consider it more than the times you and V have asked."
"What did he say?"
" 'It is not so bad to have people on your side in this world'..." You start to feel tears threaten at the edges of your eyes, stinging the back of your throat. "I have you Zen, and you are so important to me. But, to be honest, you are my only friend. Otherwise, I have been alone for a very long time."
Zen turns his body now to look at you. He looks...broken, almost as if he's mimicking your tiny little heart shattering inside your chest.
"Please — don't l-look at me like t-that," you choke out, trying and failing to contain the tear that's now sliding down your right cheek.
Zen's hand immediately reaches to console you, his thumb catching the fallen tear. He smiles, so softly as he runs his hand through your hair before drawing it back to his side. "I won't look until you tell me it's okay. I promise." He swiftly turns his body away from you now. Gosh, you love him — And he wish you knew that he loves you too.
You sit quietly for a few more moments, taking deep breaths to get your emotions under control. You can still hear the cracks in your voice when you speak again, but it's marginally better.
"I know I haven't told you a lot about my past...and I'm not sure I'm ready to — yet. But, what I can say is that the way I have dealt with my trauma is the reason why I don't have friends — why I don't really have anyone…" you sigh again, frustrated with yourself. Why did I let myself become like this?
"I have been thinking that maybe it's time to change that. I need to start working on healing myself properly and addressing the things that happened to me," you sigh. "Not just burying everything and shutting people out. I think the best first step for me is by starting to make friends — I don't even really know how to make friends. You did all the work with us," you laugh, and you hear him echo you, his laughter lifting the weight from your chest.
"Your friends seem really great — I know I don't really know them, but from the bits and pieces you have told me over the years, I have a feeling I would like them. They seem like good people. And I trust your choices in the people you keep around. I know you have been through your own stuff too."
You let the silence linger in the air for a few more moments. You're trying to give both of you space to process everything that was just said. After a minute or two, you turn back to Zen. "You can look at me now."
He swings around a bit too fast, sloshing the beer in its can wildly. You giggle and his whole face lights up. "I missed your face. Please don't ever ask me to not look at you again," he pouts, his bottom lip jutting out dramatically.
"You better watch that lip. Someone might bite it," you say as you snap your teeth at him playfully.
"Why don't you come over here and try then," he replies darkly, lust laced in those words. He makes grabbing motions at you, but you shove his shoulder. "Knock it off, you monster. This is an emotional conversation," you tease.
"You started it," he retorts, sticking out his tongue at you. "Fine, fine. But, just so you know, you can bite my lips anytime." You fully anticipate the wink that soon follows, and you belly laugh at him.
"You're the best," you say earnestly. "I know," he replies, puffing out his chest, swollen with pride.
Without a second thought, you lean in to press a chaste kiss to his cheek. For a moment, Zen's mouth gapes like a fish out of water. You're not one to initiate physical affection, so you're sure he's probably in a state of shock. Once he returns to reality, he shuts his mouth firmly as it morphs into a warm smile, both his cheeks turning bright red. You think they are almost the same colour as his beautiful irises.
"Oh, Zen! I'm so sorry, I should've-" you began, but he cuts you off swiftly by grabbing your hand and pressing a sweet kiss to the back of it.
He looks at you from under his lashes, holding your gaze. "Please don't apologize... I liked it."
Now it's your face's turn to flush. He's just- I just- he means the world to me. And with the way he is looking at you, you think he might just feel the same.
"Well, it's your choice babe," tension breaking. "But, you know I wouldn't have asked you to join if I didn't think you would fit in."
"Thanks Zenny. I appreciate it."
As if person on the other end of the message has watched your entire conversation, another ping rattles in your brain as your implant technology notifies you of something new in your inbox. The sender is unknown again, and just like last time, the only content in the message is a link to join the RFA messenger. You laugh.
"What?" Zen asks, clearly confused.
"I just got another message about the RFA Messenger. The timing was slightly creepy… It almost feels like Seven is watching," you chuckle, rubbing the back of your arm briefly to quell the goosebumps that appeared. There is no way Seven could know what you were just talking about...right?
Across the city in a bunker hidden from the rest of the world, a mop of vermilion hair nearly stands on end as Seven leaps back from his wall of computers. Shit, I made that too obvious... If only she knew that I am watching. Always. And I want her to join the RFA more than anything.
── ･ ｡ﾟ☆: *.☽ .* :☆ﾟ. ── ･ ｡ﾟ☆: *.☽ .* :☆ﾟ. ── ･ ｡ﾟ☆: *.☽ .* :☆ﾟ. ──
ZEN IS NOT JEALOUS. (jk, he is very jealous).
And here comes the other main man!!!! SEVEN OH SEVEN OH SEVENY!!!! ❤️✨ Just being a creep in the background no big deal.
Next chapter is pretty much done, just making some edits. Smut will be coming very very soon (pinky promise 😉).
CHAPTER SUMMARY: If only you had known how different tonight was going to be. As the song hits its first chorus, you make contact with the centre pole. You grasp it with both hands, making your first dip of the evening, throwing your head back and arching your back enticingly, your hair briefly combing through the glitter on the stage's floor. As you snap upright, you make direct eye contact with the person sitting directly next to V, a face you didn't recognize. This is the man he had been waiting for. His piercing grey eyes are glued to yours. As soon as your eyes connect, it feels as if you have lost all bodily control, stupefied. You're effectively rendered immobile, but your entire body is on fire. It's as if his eyes have taken you hostage, locking you in his imprisoning gaze. If you're being honest, you're not looking for a way to escape.
WARNINGS: course language, sexual themes, mention of alcohol
PREVIOUS CHAPTER NEXT CHAPTER ── ･ ｡ﾟ☆: *.☽ .* :☆ﾟ. ── ･ ｡ﾟ☆: *.☽ .* :☆ﾟ. ── ･ ｡ﾟ☆: *.☽ .* :☆ﾟ. ── You and Zen get to work on preparing the seemingly never-ending list of drink orders for the VIP section. At V's recommendation, many of them have ordered Mint Eyes. Zen comments how grateful he is, because it is much easier to make the same drink in a big batch compared to several different drinks at once.
The Mint Eye has never been appealing to you. Once at a staff party years ago, you had a little sip from a colleague. It was far too sweet, and you could hardly taste the alcohol in it. You have always thought drinks like that are dangerous. It is much easier to accidentally go over your limit when the alcohol is more disguised.
For Magenta though, the fact that Mint Eyes are so easy to drink is probably a good thing. It is one of the more expensive drinks on the menu, and patrons tend to order many in a night. A single person drinking Mint Eyes for an evening could easily turn a $150 profit for Magenta. You assume this is why V and the majority of the bartending staff push them so heavily.
The drink itself is stunning. It's made with vodka, blue curacao, melon liqueur, and lime juice, mixed in just the right amounts to give the drink a beautiful minty glow. It's garnished with a surprisingly intricate candy, shaped and decorated to look like an eye, dropped in the bottom of the spherical glass. When it dissolves in the drink, it reveals a shimmery liquid silver that swirls beautifully around the bottom of the glass, like a mini Milky Way. If it weren't so revoltingly sweet, you would order them more frequently just to enjoy their appearance.
V orders these candies himself because they're apparently very hard to come by. The company that makes them chooses to enter into contracts with a very limited number of bars and clubs and they only make deals with those in their inner circle. Your club is, by far, their biggest client. You cannot even begin to estimate how many of those candies you go through on a weekly basis.
With all of the running around you have been doing, your legs were starting to get extremely hot and unbearably sticky. This damn latex suit. It seemed that every time you made it back over to the bar, another member of the VIP section was flagging you down to make another order. You were moving much more than you expected to, and the transparent latex that encapsulated your legs was significantly hindering your movement. Thankfully, you were able to take a moment to remove your leg pieces and stash them behind the bar.
Against your previous assumptions, the group has actually been very respectful of you and Zen. No one had snapped their fingers at you, or made crude gestures as you walked by. They thanked you each time you brought another round of drinks, and they have been tipping Zen well. You're really glad their behaviour has surprised you. With how kind and gentle V usually is, it would have been disappointing if his companions were all assholes.
You can't help but notice V consistently checking over his shoulder at the entrance and around the club. He must be waiting for someone else, and this anticipated guest's imminent arrival must be either very exciting or very nerve-wracking (potentially both) for V. You have never seen him act like this before. You idly wonder who it could be as you head to the bar to grab your last round of drinks.
"It's about that time, eh?", Zen asks, tapping the side of his head you assume to check the time using his implant technology.
"Yep. With this last round, I'm going to let the group know that someone else will be taking care of them, so I can head back to my dressing room to get ready."
"Are you excited?", he asks, but you think he already knows the answer. He just wants to see you reply.
You direct a loving glance toward the stage. It's waiting for me. You swing your head back to Zen, a twinkle in your eyes and a smile blessing your face.
"Yes," you sigh, exhaling adoration towards the stage. "I can't wait."
"You know I'll be watching you, babe." he winks, letting that last word linger a little too long on those beautiful lips. You had the sudden urge to kiss it off, but thought better of it. Probably not a smart move to kiss your best friend at work during the middle of your shift.
You turn your back to him a bit too fast to be casual and you hear him giggle behind you at your antics. He laughs even harder as you scoop the tray of drinks off the bar with too much enthusiasm, causing the drinks resting on it to sway in irritation. "Oops," you mumble under your breath, spinning on your heel with a bit more caution, making your way over to the VIP section for the last time before you leave the floor. You cast a glance back only to find Zen holding his stomach, keeled over. You feel impossibly light taking your last few steps to reach the group.
"Everyone, this will be the last round I can serve," you state as you hear a few of them huff in disappointment, "I apologize, but I have to go prepare for the next number."
"Oh, so we'll get to see that beauty up there. What a treat," one of the men glowers at you. Ah, there is the casual objectification I had been looking for. You control the urge to roll your eyes.
"____ is actually our most talented dancer," V pipes up after glancing at you. He seems to have noticed your discomfort at his friend's comment. "She is extremely popular for good reason. Her performances are always amazing."
You can't help but blush a bit at his comment, chest swelling with pride. It felt really genuine, and the warm smile V flashes you afterwards makes your heart do silly little things. He's so cute, you think. Too cute for my own good.
"Well, I'm looking forward to it!" another person pipes up, flashing you a kind smile. Much less creepy, thank you.
"Thank you everyone. I hope I don't disappoint."
"Break a leg, ____!" V shouts as you turn towards the staff hallway entrance. You feel your cheeks warm again, just slightly, as you practically skip to your dressing room, casting a happy wave back in his direction. You make a quick pit stop behind the bar, grasping Zen's shoulder in a quick embrace as you snag your previously shed leg pieces. You blow him a kiss as you wind the corner of the staff hallway.
Your body is positively tingling. You had to remind yourself to slow down after almost tripping over your vanity stool. You scrubbed a bit too hard at your face to remove the bubblegum pink makeup still lacquered on it. I'm gonna regret that later…But, you were having a hard time caring.
The look for this number is very classically sexy: velvet, leather, and a lot of red. You've already started to work on a black cat eyeliner and bold red lip. You pulled off your blonde wig to reveal your natural hair. The curlers that you put in under the wig worked well, as your hair now cascades around your face in loose waves. The outfit itself is much easier to move in because for this number you're going to be on the pole. It's a one piece bodysuit in red velvet that laces up the back. The boots are a dark red leather that hit mid-thigh.
As the clock ticks forward, you are finding it exceptionally difficult to sit still and finish your makeup. Every time you are away from the stage it feels like an eternity. If you were physically able, you would spend every second of your existence up there, dancing and twirling around the pole, basking in admiration. It is one of the few times you feel safe and in control.
You quickly finish up your makeup, fluff up your hair, and throw on your outfit. You practically prance into the hallway to meet the other dancers backstage, excitement wracking your weary bones. There is an exhilarating energy as you join them, sparks flying around the space backstage, igniting your collective soul. You inhale deeply — the oxygen coursing through your veins is intoxicating. You think this is your favourite feeling in the world.
For this number, there are heavy red velvet curtains that hang on the farthest corners of the stage. You and the other dancers will emerge onto the stage through a ruby beaded curtain that refracts the neon red lights that line the stage's exterior edge, bending their rays in too many directions to count. Similar to the first number, there is glitter scattered across the stage. However, this time, the glitter is much larger and it is a deep, wine red. The three poles on the stage will have a soft red spotlight on them as soon as you make contact. As the lead dancer for this number, you have the great honour of taking the pole at centre stage, immediately in front of the VIP section that you were just serving.
You hear the first few notes of the song from the speakers behind you and you are shaken from your reverie. After a quick side glance at the dancers to your left and right, you exit backstage and step through the beaded curtain. You release the breath you held as you are finally reunited with your one true love. As the beaded curtain sweeps your sides, you secretly wish the stage is just as happy to see you.
The second your vision adjusts to the glaring neon red, you begin to make out some of the previously blurry shapes on the floor. The bar is too far away for you to see it clearly, but you trust that Zen's eyes have found your form and are watching you intently. The faces of the patrons in the VIP sections lining the bar are clear. However, you don't take note of anyone's face specifically. You never do. In your many years of dancing, you have mastered the art of making them feel like your eyes are only for them without actually paying much attention at all. You cast seductive glances as you bite your lip and run your hands over your body, pulling them in (opening their wallets). But in actuality, you don't even make eye contact the vast majority of the time. You are not here for them.
If only you had known how different tonight was going to be.
As the song hits its first chorus, you make contact with the centre pole. You grasp it with both hands, making your first dip of the evening, throwing your head back and arching your back enticingly, your hair briefly combing through the glitter on the stage’s floor. As you snap upright, you make direct eye contact with the person sitting directly next to V, a face you didn’t recognize.
This is the man he had been waiting for.
His piercing grey eyes are glued to yours. As soon as your eyes connect, it feels as if you have lost all bodily control, stupefied. You're effectively rendered immobile, but your entire body is on fire. It's as if his eyes have taken you hostage, locking you in his imprisoning gaze. If you're being honest, you're not looking for a way to escape.
As much as you are lost in the depths of his irises, he equally seems to be drowning in yours, his body also frozen in place. He briefly breaks eye contact to look you up and down, running his thumb across his bottom lip as he does so. You're fairly confident your insides are now boiling, desire coursing heavily in your veins.
You quickly return the favour, glancing over as much of his form as his seated position will allow you to. He's dressed in business casual, like the remainder of his friends in the VIP section. His off-white dress shirt is decorated with vertical grey stripes, slightly lighter than the shade of his gorgeous eyes. He's wearing a dark grey vest over top, and it hugs his firm chest in a way that makes you question your sanity. His hair is raven black, and you can tell by the way it is illuminated in the neon red lights, that it likely has a blue undertone, creating an almost purple hue across each strand, strewn perfectly messy to frame his beautiful face.
He has a glass of red wine in his left hand (classy), and that sinful right hand thumb is still occupying space on his bottom lip as he stares back at you. His features are sharp, yet elegant. You think he might just give Zen a run for his money. Your body has never reacted to Zen like it has to this man, however. He's captivating in a way that you have never experienced before.
You have to move. People are staring. You scold yourself as you glance slightly to your mystery man's side at V's confused expression. His eyes are blinking rapidly between the two of you and you swear you see a stream of question marks flow from his ears.
You're horrified. In all of the years that you've danced at Magenta, you have never reacted to someone watching your performance like this. Slowly but surely, your body begins to respond to the signals you're sending it and your performance resumes. However, his eyes persist in their goal to ravage you, tear you apart. Focus, you shout at yourself. You have to stay focused.
You continue twirling around the pole, taking brief breaks to look at the patrons that have converged around the stage. You try to convince yourself not to look at the VIP table where you know his eyes are waiting for you, but you do. You look at him every time you attempt to engage the people that have gathered against the edge of the stage closest to you. He is staring at you like he intends to eat you alive. You're not confident that you have seen him blink, almost as if he doesn't want to miss a second of you.
The pole calls out your name as the song inches closer to its crescendo, briefly pulling your attention back. You grasp it tightly as you launch yourself into the air. Suddenly, you're flying. The world below you ceases to exist. The grey eyes that have been haunting you vanish into the abyss. You're alone as your invisible wings carry you in circles around the cool metal beneath your palms. You breathe deeply, relishing the chill that runs down your spine from the adrenaline that surges through your body.
Much to your dismay, after only a few moments the searing sensation of his eyes travelling the expanse of your exposed skin returns. Wings clipped, you crash back down to earth as the devil sitting in front of you sinks his claws in further. You slowly slide down the pole, feet now planted firmly on the stage again. For the first time in your entire life, you begged the song to end so you could flee, feeling more exposed than you have in your entire life.
Sure enough, the speakers fade out and the song concludes. You usually linger a bit longer to capitalize on any lingering bills strewn about the floor. But not this time. You put a hand to your chest as you quickly scurry off, retreating to the coverage of darkness. The grey eyes follow you the entire way, only shifting their attention once your gorgeous form is no longer visible, secluded by the shroud of the red curtains.
Back in your dressing room, you take several minutes to catch your breath. Your chest feels impossibly heavy and the air you are desperately gasping doesn't seem to fill your lungs. Your skin is hot to the touch and your heart feels trapped in a blaze. You flag one of the other dancers and politely ask her to grab you some ice water. She looks at you concernedly, but quickly runs to the bar to get what you asked for.
After a few minutes, you hear a tentative knock on your door. "_____? Are you still in there?"
You would recognize that voice anywhere. Zen.
"Yes, babe. I'm here. Come in."
He enters, carrying a jug of ice water and a glass. He looks scared and you realize it must have been obvious you were thrown off during your performance.
"Babe, fuck...are you okay? I have never seen you freeze like that before. I could tell immediately that something was up."
"Oh, uh… Yes, I'm fine honestly."
Zen looks at you pensively, clearly not believing a word. "Okay, well have some water. I brought lots, and it should be really cold."
"Thank you, Zenny."
The two of you sit in an uncomfortable silence for a few minutes as you sip the water he brought you. You feel your body starting to cool, but your face still feels like it's on fire. You wonder absentmindedly if you're blushing.
"So...are you going to tell me what actually happened now, or…," he presses again, hoping this time you'll give him the truth. One of the bad things of having a friend like Zen is that he sees right through your bullshit. Well, here goes nothing.
You sigh deeply. "Fine...okay, I'll tell you. Since I can't seem to keep anything from you anyway," you inhale, breath bated. "I got...uh, distracted..."
"By someone on the floor?! That's not like you at all." And you agree. It really isn't.
"I know," chest heaving painfully.
"By who?" he asks.
"I don't know. A guy in V's VIP section. Someone who wasn't there before when I was serving. V seemed to be waiting for him to arrive."
"What did he look like?" he inquires. His tone has dropped a bit, which you thought was a bit strange. You can't place the emotion in his voice.
"He has black hair and grey eyes," you say. "Really handsome," added as a whisper under your breath.
"Fuck…" Zen sighs. "Are you serious?"
"What? What's wrong?"
"That's Jumin. Jumin Han."
What. WHAT? That Jumin? THEE Jumin!? As in "Executive Director of C & R… Cat-obsessed… Mr. Trust Fund Kid?! Jumin Han?!"
"Yes, that Jumin," Zen replies, watching as your calculating expression morphs to realization as you register the name.
"Yeah, oh shit is right."
Zen and Jumin know each other through an organization they mutually belong to called Rika’s Fundraising Association. Founded by a woman named Rika (obviously), their mandate is to do good things for people in need. The association invited people from various sectors of the economy to a party, where they would auction off goods and ask for donations for whatever charity Rika had decided on. V, your boss, and Rika used to be romantically involved. Everyone in the RFA knows Rika in some capacity, and they were all connected to each other because of her. However, Rika went missing almost 3 years ago and has not been heard from since.
Zen has not mentioned the RFA in a while. They have not hosted any charity event since Rika's disappearance. However, you know that the members stay connected through a messenger application they share. Zen does talk to you about the individual members, but since the organization has remained inactive, these instances have been few and far between.
His closest friend in the group is Yoosung. You know he is a college student who really loves video games. The remainder of the group is composed of V, who assumed its leadership after Rika disappeared; Jumin and his assistant, Jaehee; and Seven, who you know very little about. It appears the RFA as a whole does not know a lot about him. The few times Zen has mentioned him, he's said he's a redhead with a strange sense of humour, but that's about it.
But you know Jumin. Oh goodness, do you know Jumin. Zen hates Jumin. Just the mention of his name can spiral Zen into a fiery rage. Jumin became a corporate executive by birth of one of the world's largest corporations. "He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth," Zen always said, his voice echoing in your head. Zen has described Jumin as cold, emotionless, and calculative to the point of being rude and dismissive.
Obviously, you only have Zen's opinion of Jumin to go on, but you can't say that his description leaves you with butterflies. The intense attraction that you felt towards Jumin on stage now sits like a rock at the bottom of your stomach, amplifying the crushing sensation across your chest. You suddenly feel nauseous.
"Oh...shit," you repeat, touching your lips to make sure that they are still attached to your face.
"____, I don't think I need to say it, but I will anyway… Jumin should be avoided at all costs. I just don't really think he is a good guy."
"I know, Zenny. I know." But I can't ignore the way he made me feel.. just by simply looking at me.
You take several more sips of your water in silence. After almost fifteen minutes, one of the servers knocks and pops her head in, stating that the V and his guests are looking for you.
── ･ ｡ﾟ☆: *.☽ .* :☆ﾟ. ── ･ ｡ﾟ☆: *.☽ .* :☆ﾟ. ── ･ ｡ﾟ☆: *.☽ .* :☆ﾟ. ── NOTES UH, HI MR. HAN... *sweats profusely* 🥵🥵🥵 There is another vision board for this chapter! It captures what I imagine for the outfit and overall vibe of this performance. All playlists and vision boards can be found HERE!
SERIES NAVIGATION CHAPTER SUMMARY: Over the row of occupied tables leading up to the bar, you spot your one and only friend. The most precious being on this earth. Your eyes glimmer and your heart thuds in your chest. "Zenny!" you holler, hustling as fast as your latex suit will allow so you can get to where he is behind the bar. He flashes you a jaw-droppingly gorgeous smile and then chuckles when you stumble over your heels as you waddle to reach him. "I didn't know you were scheduled for tonight! How is my favourite bartender?", you chirp, swooshing your hips and batting your pink-tipped eyelashes at him, a weak attempt at flirting. He laughs again. You get lost in his pectorals as they flex deliciously under his shirt. "_____, babe. All men are wolves, remember? You better be careful around me too, silly." The roguish wink he sends your way makes you melt at the knees. It is absolutely illegal that a man that shares space with you can be that handsome and charming. WARNINGS: coarse language (swearing), sexual themes, CMC constantly flirting with Zen (as we all would honestly) NEXT CHAPTER PREVIOUS CHAPTER ── ･ ｡ﾟ☆: *.☽ .* :☆ﾟ. ── ･ ｡ﾟ☆: *.☽ .* :☆ﾟ. ── ･ ｡ﾟ☆: *.☽ .* :☆ﾟ. ── The first number this evening is not one of your favourites. Luckily, you don't need to be on stage for it, thanks to Ray. You just need to dress in an outfit that matches the dancers who are performing.
You have to admit, the makeup and costume for this number are a lot of fun. Bubblegum pink is all over your face. Your lips are glossy to the point of looking plastic. Your eyes are lined with a shiny liner that makes your irises pop, and the tips of your lashes are a matching pink. You have on a large, fluffy blonde wig that makes your head look twice its actual size. You don’t really look real, which you suppose is the point.
You stride over to your clothing rack and pull your bubblegum pink latex suit and matching elbow-length gloves. This suit is a bit uncomfortable and does not allow for a ton of movement. However, this number does not require any extravagant dancing, so the latex suit has never hindered a performance.
It is tricky to get into. If you are even slightly damp or sweaty, the latex sticks to your skin like glue. After a quick pat down with a towel to absorb any remaining post-rain moisture from your skin, you slide the suit up. You love how it hugs your form, accentuating all of your favourite parts.
Suited up and ready to go, you emerge from your dressing room and step confidently onto the floor. There are quite a few patrons here already. As you walk around, you hear many of them chatting about their days, the terrible weather, the most recent scandal at work. It feels slightly too normal given they are sitting in a place that is a small step down from a strip club. You find it charming. Endearing almost, how silly other living beings can be.
All manner of folk gather at Magenta. The club is immensely popular, especially amongst the rich and "elites" of your society, who often tote that it's so much classier than other clubs. You think that logic is hilarious...they are still here to gawk over almost naked dancers. But, it is all a matter of perception, you suppose.
As you navigate around the tables, you notice a group of cyborgs in one corner of the large main room. When they first started integrating into human society years ago, there were many concerns about their physical prowess over human beings... and they proved this concern to be very real. Their robotic limbs gave them a significant strength and speed advantage. There were many violent incidents at the beginning.
Quickly after the cyborg attacks began, a huge corporation's intelligence unit came up with a solution. They made implant technology ID tags mandatory. These tags are unique to each individual and when scanned by someone’s implant technology, it is readable to that user. They hold key information, like your species, your name, and your age. Government officials, authorities, and other key public figures also have their occupations identified.
In addition to the ID tags, implant technology equips weaker species with defense mechanisms. To prevent cyborg attacks, all human implant technology is equipped with electro-magnetic pulse technology. When activated, it fires a jolt that shuts down the kinetic centre in a cyborg’s central nervous system, rendering them immobile until they can be detained.
Attacks still happen. There are viruses out there that disable implant technologies. There are also microchip technologies that can infiltrate and override the implant technology's software. However, these instances are few and far between now.
Robots, on the other hand, are very docile. They are void of anything that resembles human emotions — the emotions that often lead to violent behaviours in humans or part-human species, like cyborgs, are not a concern. Robots do not feel anger or hate...love or desire. They have existed in society mainly to improve efficiency. They can complete many tasks much faster than any other species. You rarely see robots at Magenta, likely because entertainment is probably not something they can even process and understand.
You have always been accepting of other species. Quite frankly, you have only had very positive interactions with cyborgs. Nonetheless, you feel knots form in your stomach as you walk past their group. They smile warmly at you regardless, soothing your nerves slightly as you continue your way across the floor.
Over the row of occupied tables leading up to the bar, you spot your one and only friend. The most precious being on this earth. Your eyes glimmer and your heart thuds in your chest.
"Zenny!" you holler, hustling as fast as your latex suit will allow so you can get to where he is behind the bar. He flashes you a jaw-droppingly gorgeous smile and then chuckles when you stumble over your heels as you waddle to reach him.
"I didn't know you were scheduled for tonight! How is my favourite bartender?", you chirp, swooshing your hips and batting your pink-tipped eyelashes at him, a weak attempt at flirting.
He laughs again. You get lost in his pectorals as they flex deliciously under his shirt.
"_____, babe. All men are wolves, remember? You better be careful around me too, silly." The roguish wink he sends your way makes you melt at the knees. It is absolutely illegal that a man that shares space with you can be that handsome and charming.
Zen is a whole different level of otherworldly beauty. He truly does not look real. Sometimes, you find yourself poking his cheek just to feel his human flesh depress under your fingertips. His squishiness reminding you that he is, in fact, not a statue.
He’s tall with muscular shoulders that always stretch his shirts tantalizingly across his broad chest. Zen has striking silver hair that he leaves choppy in the front to frame his remarkable face. However, whenever he turns around, you are always blown away at the neat ponytail that cascades down his back, nearly reaching his perfect butt. You have thought to yourself many times that his body must have been sculpted by gods.
While Zen’s body could be put in a museum, it was his face that was truly otherworldly. It is perfectly symmetrical and balanced. Each of his features compliment each other and work cohesively to form a harmonious work of art. Museum-worthy, in all honesty.
But, most striking are his eyes. He has scarlet irises that almost simmer when you gaze into them. When you first met him, you thought they were a little bit intimidating. Now that you two have become close, you find his eyes the sexiest part of him. And that is truly saying something since his entire existence is mouth-watering.
Tonight, he's dressed in all black. On his top half, he dons a tight black long sleeve with the Magenta logo pressed just above his right pectoral. His lower half is covered by a pair of black slacks. He has on his favourite shoes, a pair of black leather oxfords. Even though this outfit is quite simple (and partially a work uniform), it compliments him perfectly.
What did you do to deserve this god amongst men as your friend?
His real name is Hyun Ryu, though he rarely uses that name. He certainly never uses it when he is working at Magenta. You have only called him Hyun twice in all the time you’ve known him. Once, the very moment after he told you his real name, just to feel your own mouth take its shape. The second, in a moment of vulnerability, as he confided in you about being abandoned by his family. His real name slipped from your lips as you wrapped him in a smothering hug. The moment required sensitivity, comfort...and for some reason “Zen” just didn’t feel like the right name to use.
You cherish him deeply. He makes you laugh every time you work together with his over-the-top flirty smirks and heated glances. He is also fiercely protective of you. Though you both know you are fully capable of protecting yourself, some of the patrons of Magenta are very powerful. If they wanted to harm you, they could — easily — and no one would bat an eye. So, he watches over you because he is aware of the danger this job poses.
There has always been a lingering sexual tension between the two of you, though neither one of you has had the courage to act on it. Zen is an inherently sexual person. Outside of Magenta, Zen models (though his true dream is to become a musical actor). He has the voice of an angel too...unfair, right? He has people fawning over him left and right, and he takes advantage of that when he wants to. You cannot judge him for that. You think you would do the same if you were as stunning and talented as he was. And for that reason, Zen always has a flirty, sensual air about him and you have almost fallen prey to this charm on several occasions.
"How is my favourite dancer?", he asks, snatching you from your daydreams of him. "Are you ready to help me manage these monsters this evening?"
"Of course, my lovely Zen," you respond, using his favourite nickname. "Let’s make lots of tip money tonight," you say as you return his wink from earlier.
Your chat had to be brief because you were already being flagged down by a group of women sitting at a table across the room. You send a sorry glance back at Zen as you walk away from him, shoulders sagging in disappointment. He winks at you again and blows you a kiss.
He’s going to be the death of me, you think to yourself, trying your best to keep yourself upright as his air kiss turns your legs to jelly.
The night is off to a great start. The patrons have been quite friendly, which always makes a shift that much easier. The VIP area, which is usually the most lucrative, but also the most challenging to manage, has been empty thus far. Thank goodness. The last thing you want is another group of obnoxious, rich businessmen that snap their fingers at you like you’re a dog.
You are grateful that you have managed to serve all of the tables before your fellow dancers take the stage. As much as you don’t care to perform in this number, it is extremely fun to watch. You hope you’ll be able to catch a good portion of the performance with Zen behind the bar.
The dancers, all dressed in bubblegum pink latex bodysuits, take their positions on stage. Hot pink cellophane streamers dangle from the ceiling, reaching for the stage, creating a shimmering curtain behind the dancers. The globe lights that line the edge of the stage have changed to a light pink from their usual turquoise colour. There is pink glitter strewn about the floor of the stage, drawing your eyes to their incredible sparkle. On your next breath, upbeat techno pop blares through the speakers as the dancers come to life in unison.
The song that plays is inherently sexual and kind of degrading (There’s just something that doesn’t sit right with the concept of comparing women to dolls), but the dancing is amusing. Watching a bunch of professional performers try to imitate the way they imagine a plastic doll would move if it suddenly came to life is comical. You think it doesn’t look sexy at all. But this number is always a huge hit. It’s likely the deeply misogynistic song lyrics that make it so. Or the skin tight latex suits…
You know Zen likes this number too. Twice since the performance began, he has dropped an entire bottle of tequila, gasping as it slips from his grasp. His reflexes are alarmingly quick though. He somehow always manages to catch it before it shatters on the floor. Even now, when you glance at him in your peripherals, his eyes are glued to the stage. He has definitely added far too much vodka needed for the cosmopolitan he’s making. You giggle when he realizes and smacks his palm to his beautiful forehead.
The dancers on stage have the rapt attention of basically everyone on the floor. Not to toot your own horn, but there is a clear reason why Magenta is the most popular club in the city. Though you are not super close with the other dancers, you acknowledge that they are incredibly talented, in addition to being jaw-droppingly stunning. They are truly captivating. Even you, as a fellow dancer who thinks this number is a bit ridiculous, have extreme difficulty peeling your eyes from the stage to continue taking drink orders.
Begrudgingly, you move back onto the floor. You have to make some money from your split in bar tips tonight. The opportunity to collect tips from dancing, a much more lucrative endeavour, is minimal this evening as you are only performing in two of the seven numbers. This is just a roll of the dice, unfortunately. You know tomorrow evening’s schedule weighs more heavily in your favour.
One of the other servers gently squeezes your shoulders as you pass her, nodding her head towards the VIP section. You glance over to see quite a large group entering, removing their coats. Unfortunately, you are too far away and it is far too dark in the club for you to make out who they might be.
"They’ve asked for you specifically," she says, pity in her voice. Well….fuck.
You cast a look in her direction as you make your way to the VIP section, pleading with her to have mercy. But she just shrugs and continues to wipe down the table she is clearing. Dread creeps its way up your spine.
You cannot really make anyone out until you are almost right next to them. Magenta keeps the lighting low so that as much focus is on the stage as possible (and so that patrons can more easily hide the evidence of their arousal from their table mates). As you approach the group, the first thing that stands out is turquoise hair that has clearly been mussed by the damp evening air.
"Oh, V....Y-you're here tonight!" Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit.
"Hi, ____ ," he smiles. "It is so nice to see you. It's been a while. I hope you don't mind that I have requested you to look after us until you need to get ready for your number."
"Of c-course not! I am very grateful to see you!" Fake. And far too obvious. He’s gonna know.
He squints at you slightly, displeasure evident in his features. Told you so. "I'm glad to hear that," he mumbles. "If you can get us started on a few drinks, that would be appreciated. We have a couple other people that will be joining us later."
"Absolutely, V." You turn to the person on your left. "What can I grab for you?"
"I highly recommend the Mint Eye. It's our signature drink," V offers.
He is the last person you wanted to see. It is not that you don't like V. He is actually very sweet. However, V is your boss. Like, the big boss. He owns Magenta. So unfortunately for you, the pressure to impress his stuck-up, wealthy friend group is on.
V is beautiful, too. One of the many perks of working at Magenta is that essentially everyone who works here is attractive. If it wasn't so obvious by the lack of windows and tacky neon lights, someone who doesn't know what Magenta is might think it is a modelling agency.
He has smooth, fluffy hair and eyes of a matching shade, so deep and aquamarine that you could swim in them. He is quite tall and lanky, but he still manages to look proportionate despite his excessively long limbs. When he stops by to check in, he is usually wearing a plain black tee, a loose grey cardigan, and black jeans with black combat boots. Tonight, however, he has on a dark grey dress shirt and black slacks with a pair of grey oxfords. You figured he probably dressed up a little to fit in with his stuck-up possy, who are all dressed in very similarly.
After making your way around to each of the patrons in the VIP section, you trudge over to the bar. Zen watches as you approach, and the sweet smile that graced his gorgeous face slowly slips away when he sees your defeated expression.
"What happened, my baby?" he asks, concern laced in his words.
You reply simply, "V.” Shoulders sagging. “V is what happened."
── ･ ｡ﾟ☆: *.☽ .* :☆ﾟ. ── ･ ｡ﾟ☆: *.☽ .* :☆ﾟ. ── ･ ｡ﾟ☆: *.☽ .* :☆ﾟ. ── NOTES Similar to last chapter, I made a vision board for what I picture for the first number! The visions boards and playlists can all be found HERE! I basically just needed an entire chapter to fawn over Zen because this handsome darling needs so so much love and he deserves it.
SERIES NAVIGATION CHAPTER SUMMARY: When you first started at Magenta, you thought you had found your kin. Most people in this industry carry their own hurt and trauma that makes it easier for you to connect with them. In the past, you allowed yourself to bask in mutual darkness together, feeling your edges gradually soften. But...just like every other good thing in your life, the friends you held dear began to disappear — one by one — leaving you on your own again. WARNINGS: Course language, sexual themes, mention of mysterious disappearances, mention of the stigmatization of sex (sex-related) work NEXT CHAPTER ── ･ ｡ﾟ☆: *.☽ .* :☆ﾟ. ── ･ ｡ﾟ☆: *.☽ .* :☆ﾟ. ── ･ ｡ﾟ☆: *.☽ .* :☆ﾟ. ── The weather is shitty. Like, really shitty. And it's not helping your already low motivation to get to work on time.
It is that damp, bone-soaking cold that comes often with early spring. The wind carries the remnants of the rain from the evening prior. It bites at your exposed skin as you clip down your apartment's exterior steps. The sun had already set ( not that a sliver of sunshine would really help anyway, you thought) and the sky that hung above you was dark and grey, threatening another downpour. You really hope it holds off just a bit longer.
You look down at your heels. The black leather already looks damp. They creak in displeasure as you walk, trying to expel the moisture from their seams. You're concerned about how they will hold up against the slick sidewalks. You were already pushing it in terms of arriving on time, so you really need to hustle. But, you realize very quickly that walking fast is perilous, your foot slipping out from under you the moment you speed up.
Despite your hatred of late April weather, you really do enjoy walking. Your walks to work are one of the few times you allow yourself to forget. To live in the moment. You tap the side of your ear twice, pulling up your music files. As you put your playlists on full blast, you immerse yourself in the galaxies that swirl behind your eyelids, twirling your body like stardust swimming amongst the constellations. For a few wonderful minutes, the reality you wish to forget disappears, leaving a beautiful dream for your eyes alone.
Your implant technology pings, alerting you of an approaching stranger. You open your eyes just in time to avoid colliding shoulders. You apologize, but they scoff, looking you up and down, mouth crooked in disgust. You pay the rude stranger no mind, eager to return to your dance among the stars. However, you continue twirling slightly more grounded in reality so as to avoid another unpleasant encounter.
When the neon turquoise sign of the dance club, illuminated and obnoxiously bright, enters your vision, your celestial dream begins to fade away. You find yourself keeping your eyes closed for just a few moments longer to cherish it. Reality seeps its way back into your conscious thoughts as you tap on the side of your ear again, effectively stopping your music.
You slip through the back door, hoping to go unnoticed before you make it to your dressing room. The hallway is illuminated by the same overwhelming turquoise colour that shines on the sign outside. Your heels clack against the eye-shaped tiles covering the floor. Ah, Magenta, my one true love.
Much to your dismay, one of your newer colleagues (you cannot remember their name, if you’re being honest) stands at the end of the hallway waving frantically in your direction.
"______! Oh my gosh, hi!" they shout, the smile plastered across their face making your stomach churn in discomfort.
"Oh hi!" you cheer back. You know it's fake...it sounds fake too, but you hope they don't pick up on it. You make haste, quickly slipping into your dressing room to prevent the exchange from progressing further.
It may seem like you hate your job, but honestly, you don't. There was a time where you absolutely loved it...everything about it. Your colleagues included.
However, as of late, you have tried to keep your distance from them. For as long as you can remember, you have shut others out. You are terrified of letting anyone get close, fearing that they may uncover the darkness you carry — pierce themselves on your jagged edges — the sharpness that keeps you safe.
When you first started at Magenta, you thought you had found your kin. Most people in this industry carry their own hurt and trauma that makes it easier for you to connect with them. In the past, you allowed yourself to bask in mutual darkness together, feeling your edges gradually soften. But...just like every other good thing in your life, the friends you held dear began to disappear — one by one — leaving you on your own again.
Some left on their own accord. They wanted to settle down… "get their life together". You have to admit, the life of a club dancer comes with a whole host of challenges. This type of work is still so heavily stigmatized. People demonize you for earning a living bringing their twisted fantasies to life. Many of your fellow dancers have come into work in tears, having lost yet another loved one to misunderstanding and judgement. That can break people down. While you understand their choice, you know it is not one you could ever make for yourself. Magenta was the one thing keeping you from falling apart.
Others, well, went missing. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon in your line of work, but it does not make it easier — Seeing your friend lighting up on stage at night, igniting the floor with their grace and beauty only for them to disappear by the time the sun crests on the horizon.
Their implant technologies are always mysteriously deactivated just before they go missing, ensuring they are next to impossible to find. It is unnerving and nauseating. Yet, it is just another aspect of your reality that you have become accustomed to. You can never bring yourself to think about what may have happened to them. You just accept that they will never return.
So, you keep your distance. Another shield to keep your fragile heart sheltered.
Still, you love to dance. It's thrilling — additive . Feeling your hips sway to the melody, your heart pounding to the beat — it is indescribable. When you are on stage, your senses are at their peak. Your lungs fill with life. Your muscles alight with energy. Everything feels intense. You feel so alive.
Not to mention you love the attention you garner when you're on stage. You know you are hot. You are super fucking hot. Mind-numbingly, out of this universe fucking hot. You are unreal, a dream… A wild, twisted, beautiful fantasy. Basking in the attention of strangers brings you a sick sense of comfort. The rapt attention from the patrons of Magenta makes you feel desired. On your most delusional days, you think it might just be a type of love. Deep down you know it isn't, but when you are at your lowest, that horrifying thought can be convincing.
You look at yourself in the vanity. You haven't been sleeping very well lately and the purple circles around the hollows of your eyes give your exhaustion away. Nothing makeup can't hide, you remind yourself. Gently, you run your fingers along the features of your face; the slope of your nose, the plumpness of your lips, the angle of your cheekbone. You really are beautiful.
Your self admiration is interrupted by a mysterious figure lurking in your peripheral vision. You spin around to the doorway, seeing a familiar face, shy smile gracing his lips, hips cocked against the open door, peering at you in the mirror.
Ray. Your manager.
His hair is bleached almost white, with his tips peachy pink. It looks soft, and it makes him appear sweet almost. He is in his usual attire today: a soft white button up with black slacks, held up by a black leather belt. He looks professional, crisp. His seafoam green irises are blown out, making him appear slightly fearful. You think it is likely because he has been caught staring at you...yet again.
"Ray...we've talked about this, right?" you huff, annoyed. "I would prefer if you just come into the room and talk to me."
"Uhm, yes. Right. I-I'm sorry," he splutters, hand coming up to rub the back of his neck. He's embarrassed, and it almost makes you feel bad for saying anything at all. "I just wanted to check in...uh...you were late again."
"I'm really sorry, Ray. The sidewalks were quite slippery today. I had to walk a bit slower than normal and I did not give myself enough time."
His soft gaze returns to your face. His stare is a bit unnerving to you. It's almost...longing? Does that make sense? But longing for what?, you wonder.
"Okay, ____. Thank you for telling me...g-glad you're safe. Uh, the first number starts in an hour, but I have you on the floor for that one. You'll be up for the second one," he says softly as he turns to exit the room. "Break a leg…" he mutters, his body fully in the hallway now. "Angel," whispers under his breath, so quietly even his own ears don't register it. You remain blissfully unaware.
You find yourself frequently thinking of Ray. He's an enigma. Like you, he keeps his distance from everyone. You suppose that maybe you're drawn to him because of the secrecy. Maybe that's the exact same reason he seems drawn to you.
Though he is quite soft-spoken and gentle with you, you know he is much more curt with the other staff of Magenta. He has always treated you differently — gently, like he is afraid of breaking you, and you have never understood why. You can't think of anything you have done in your time at Magenta that would signal that you need protecting. You're not delicate, and the thorns you display should demonstrate that. You have even snapped at him before when he's pried too far, yet his behaviour towards you never changes.
He's fascinating. Strange. Alarming.
Gazing at the clock, you startle into action. You can't spend any more time lost in thought. The hour you had remaining when Ray first entered the room has been shaved down by 15 minutes. It's a pretty small window to complete a pretty complex look for this number.
You gently brush Ray out of your thoughts as you pull out your makeup bag.
── ･ ｡ﾟ☆: *.☽ .* :☆ﾟ. ── ･ ｡ﾟ☆: *.☽ .* :☆ﾟ. ── ･ ｡ﾟ☆: *.☽ .* :☆ﾟ. ── NOTES I am a very visual person. So I have been making vision boards (or mood boards) to help me develop some of the imagery for this series! I made a vision board for what I picture for Magenta. I also listen to a series of playlists when I am writing, so I have linked those too! The visions boards and playlists can all be found HERE!
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