“You know what we should do one day?” Hyunseung pops up suddenly when you’re out the back of the dance studio having a much needed cigarette break. You shake your head expecting some outrageous answer because that’s just how the older is. Nothing he seems to say anymore shocks you…okay that’s a lie, excluding that time where Hyunseung brought up having sex in public whilst in public – sarcasm or a subtle hint at you? You’ll never know because you were too busy trying not to choke and die on your cola – roughly about 87.3% of the time you’re ready for what the dancer could throw at you.
You exhale some smoke, watching it waft away into the air before shaking your head, murmuring, “I don’t know, learn how to talk to cats or something?”
Hyunseung blinks at you, “when did you get weird?” his lips break into a smile, you laugh because he must be really rubbing off on you, you didn’t even think before you answered.
“When I started going out with you,” you retaliate.
“What did you want to tell me?” you ask before taking another drag from your cigarette. Hyunseung leans against the railing you’re leaning against too, hands in his pockets and his ankles crossed.
“Oh yeah,” you stare at him and he’s staring forward at nothing in particular, “we should run away together—“
“A-are you saying you want me to elope with you hyung?” you sputter out.
“—I mean think about it Jun, we wouldn’t have to worry about schedules and waking up early and netizens and how Doojoon takes ages in the bathroom when Yoseob’s in there too – how come he gets to shower with Yoseob but I’m not allowed to shower with you? – And we’d be able to eat anything we want, like bingsu because I really miss bingsu Jun, and pizza and milkshakes and waffles and – I’m hungry, can you buy me food?”
You don’t really know how to react to that, you don’t really know what to think or say, but there’s one thing you’re certain about – “we can’t runaway together baby.” No matter how romantic and stupid and perfect and free it sounds. You feel guilt eat at you though when the older’s eyes dim a little, sadness flickering over his vision because he knows too that it’ll remain as some far-fetched fantasy because they’re already living a dream they can’t, they won’t stray away from.
“I know,” his voice is small, defeated even, “I just want to spend more time with you, I—“
“How about I go get you some food,” you stub out the cigarette against cold metal, letting it fall to the floor as you give him a quick smile, “what would you like?” because you’d do anything to have his lips curl upwards at the corners rather than have a frown smeared across his mouth, “Pajeon? Dukbokki? Kimbap?”
Within mere seconds of you naming snacks, Hyunseung’s eyes light up and the conversation about running away is pushed back, a distant memory for now. “Surprise me,” he says and you laugh because that’s just typical. Hyunseung’ll eat anything and everything anyone will buy for him because it’s food and – dancing aside – that’s his greatest love (“it’s okay Junnie, you’re right there in second place” “good to know where I stand Seung, thanks!”).
Rolling your eyes, you take a quick peek around before leaning in to peck his cheek and he turns to catch your lips, murmuring gently, “don’t take too long okay.”
“You’ll have your food in no time hyung,” you scoff in return before pushing off the railing.
“I meant because I’ll miss you while you’re gone idiot,” Hyunseung answers and you can’t deny the smile painting over your lips as you’re walking away.
You’re sitting at a table in a restaurant nearby the dance studio; reading through the menu when the waitress comes over to take your order. Her speech falters as her eyes land on you, recognising you, and you inwardly sigh before giving her a tight-lipped smile. She asks for a quick autograph, you oblige (you’re an idol, you have an image to uphold) before reciting your order. You’re used to being recognised in public (hell you’re not even wearing a disguise, it’s inevitable someone would see you), you’re so used to it, but that doesn’t mean you like it. Fame, like everything else in the world, has its drawbacks and sometimes you wish you could just go out in public without… well, the public actually knowing.
You’d be lying if you said you’d never thought about it, running away that is. There’ve been days when you’ve been sat behind the steering wheel contemplating taking a detour to Busan or Gwangju or somewhere, anywhere far far away from the city lights of Seoul. There have been times when you let your mind wander, and it scares you how often you think about it, where you live in a world with no netizens critising your every action (he sounds like G-Dragon; he’s so arrogant it’s not like he’s even talented; he has no charisma, he’s useless in the group), no industry pressure (“Yong Junhyung-ah, redo these songs, they’re not good enough. Get them to me by next week. If it means no sleep, don’t sleep, just get them done and on my desk Monday” “yes seongsaengnim”), no late nights that blur into early morning wake up calls, no last minute dance routines for shows you don’t even watch because you don’t have the time to, because you don’t have the time for anything anymore.
You barely even have time for Hyunseung…
…And Hyunseung barely has time for you too.
In your little world where you’re not famous and there are no designer closets and money coming in from royalties or the like, where you don’t have lyrics to memorise or foreign catchphrases to grasp, you still have Hyunseung. And you like to imagine you’d still both be happy without the fame that so rudely interrupts your relationship. You like to think about how you’d share an apartment somewhere that isn’t Gangnam or anywhere south of the River Han and how you’d have a cat or, better yet two because you’d have the time for pets. You flirt with the idea of Hyunseung and you fighting over the last pizza slice as you watch the evening news together because you’re both home early from your mundane jobs that finish at normal hours, with a cat curled in each of your laps.
But you know you wouldn’t ever. You’re not one to stray away from the rules, though people seem to have this bad boy image of you, you’re not one to be rebellious. What’re you even thinking about running away for Yong Junhyung? You wouldn’t let yourself be late for school when you were young, you can’t even go one mile over the speed limit when you drive now so just stop thinking, just stop having ideas about eloping with Hyunseung because you will not go through with it.
You are not going to throw Hyunseung’s career and your career under a bus. You’ve both worked too goddamn hard to get to where you are now. You’ve stared failure in the face and been handed a second chance, when people can barely get one shot. This is what stops you from packing your things and getting the hell out of there, this is what stops you from taking that lane that’ll get you all the way to Incheon and further, this is what stops you from taking the dancer’s hand and saying ‘let’s go’, as much as you want to, you can’t and you won’t.
There’s a hand waving in front of your face, the waitress is back with a plastic bag and the bill. You snap out of your reverie as she smiles at you, taking your money and swapping it for change.
“You should take a break oppa,” she says and you blink at her, “get away for some time, take a trip somewhere maybe,” she carries on and you still continue to blink at her because really you have no words to say, “the industry isn’t going to change overnight or anything if you disappear for a couple of days,” she lifts her gaze and gives you another smile, “then again I’m not an idol, so I guess I can’t talk.”
You stumble out the restaurant afterwards, her words sticking with you as you make your way back to the studio caught somewhere between fantasy and reality.
RUNAWAY WITH ME
You’ve been staring at the ceiling of your shared bedroom with Kikwang for at least twenty minutes now. You have to get up in approximately four hours (which is rather generous and a rarity considering you’ve functioned through months where four hours is the total amount of sleep you’ve had) for a show or a performance or a signing or something. Your phone is glowing next to you because Hyunseung’s awake in the other room and he’s constantly messaging you on Kakaotalk.
MSG (FROM HYUNNIEBUNNY~):
Thank you for the food today Jun~
MSG (FROM HYUNNIEBUNNY~):
Are you okay?
You seemed a bit out of it earlier
MSG (FROM HYUNNIEBUNNY~):
How come Doojoon and Yoseob can share a bed, but you and I can’t? Aish our leader TT TT
MSG (FROM HYUNNIEBUNNY~):
MSG (FROM HYUNNIEBUNNY~):
I assume you’re asleep Jun~
Night. I love you.
You don’t reply to him though and Kikwang groans in the bed next to you to turn your backlight down before falling soundly asleep again. Instead you sit up in bed, your mind a flurry of thoughts as you play with the duvet between your fingers. You’ve been thinking of the idea ever since the waitress suggested it to you and you realise how easy it’d be, so easy, so simple in fact. All you’d have to do is pack a bag (okay, admittedly the hard part would be convincing Hyunseung to pack only one bag), pick a destination, leave a semi-threatening letter to Doojoon-hyung to pass on to their manager so that no one hunts you both down and pulls you back to the dorms by the ears (Hyunseung’s good with scathing words, he can handle that for you) and then what’s left is to get into the car and go go go.
It all seems rather appealing every time you think through it and to be honest it wouldn’t be like you’re running away. No in fact let’s not call it running away; let’s call it a much-needed impromptu vacation of sorts. You both deserve it right, so why the hell not? It’s not like you’re in the middle of any major promotions or anything, it’s not like you’re both really needed at the moment…
You’ve been living your life in the safe lane for twenty-three years now; it’s about time you did something out of the norm…and that’s when you realise it. You don’t really know how you didn’t see it before. You’ve been dating Hyunseung for two years, that’s against so many rules in the book, though it shouldn’t be, really it shouldn’t (“society should not have the right to dictate which gender you love,” you remember Hyunseung murmuring in your ear, “it shouldn’t sway people into thinking that a girl should only love a boy or a boy should only love a girl because baby I am in love with you”). You’ve been tiptoeing through your relationship together that eventually it just became normal, a part of you. But in actual fact you’ve both been living life on the brink of the edge what with sneaking kisses between costume changes, holding hands behind the backs of other people, mouthing “saranghae”s at one another behind heavy crowds on live television broadcasts.
You’ve been a rule-breaker without even knowing it Yong Junhyung.
So now there’s really no stopping you as you reach for your phone. With trembling fingers you type out a quick message and it feels like your stomach is doing flips, that your heart is exploding. You can’t shake the feeling, you don’t want to shake the feeling of overwhelming excitement coercing through your veins.
You thought you’d been living your dream for the past three years, but you seem absolutely elated at the prospects of getting as far away from it as you can. But what makes it better, so much better, what makes it totally and utterly and spectacularly worth it is that Hyunseung’ll be there with you (it was his idea in the first place) and you’ll finally get some semblance of that imaginary world you keep dreaming of.
MSG (TO HYUNNIEBUNNY~):
To hell with it
Pack your bags baby, we’re running away.
You and Hyunseung are sat in a semi-crowded café in Busan, the smell of the ocean thick in the air and the rush of the tide calming to your ears. You’re watching Hyunseung coddling two bingsus in the seat next to you whilst you sip at a cola and you can’t help but smile at him before picking up a spoon.
“No,” He moves them both away from you, protectively shielding them like he can already read your mind of your intentions.
“Yah! You have two! Just give me a bite!”
“I may love you Junhyung,” Hyunseung shoves a giant spoonful into his mouth and then points the spoon at you, “but my love for bingsu supersedes everything. Go get your own.”
You roll your eyes before letting him have a sip of your drink and then your gaze falls on the small overhead television in the corner of the room. The program playing is one you were supposed to have filmed the day you left with Hyunseung. You watch the remaining four members hopping from side to side nervously on the screen as the MCs question your whereabouts and Hyunseung stares too, his cheeks full of shaved ice, condensed milk and red bean paste
“Though we don’t know where Hyunseung and Junhyung are,” Doojoon smiles, “we hope they’re having a good time wherever they may be and we ask fans to respect them during their rather impromptu vacation.” The MCs laugh, they say Doojoon is a very gracious leader for being so composed, calm and collected.
But you know otherwise. The leader literally was in a frenzy leaving a million messages on your voicemails and a slew of texts to accompany them. And as you expected, your phone goes off and yep, it’s another message from the leader himself.
MSG (FROM DOODOOBRAIN~):
I swear if you don’t come back soon
Then say goodbye to your music recording equipment
And tell Hyunseung to bid farewell to his designer clothes
I hope you have a good day~ Ψ(｀▽´)Ψ
“YONG JUNHYUNG-AH, PACK YOUR BAGS WE’RE GOING BACK! WE HAVE TO SAVE MY CLOTHES!”