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Echolocation

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          The room was quiet when I entered. Judging from the sound inside the room, I am alone and my co-workers are not inside. Obviously, the others are busy on their jobs since it's the season of bringing great comebacks. I  walked on the area where the piano resides without any difficulty. I tried to sense my surroundings first, but all I can hear was the sound coming from the air conditioner, before finally sitting.

 

          I took a deep breath before placing my fingers on the keyboard as I tried to concentrate. Automatically, I felt the braille letters embedded on every keys even though I don't really need it anyway since I know the keys of the piano perfectly despite of my disability. I internally count up to three and turned the sound recorder on until I found myself playing the piano continuously as if my hands have  its own mind. I tried to imagine the voices of the people I love- my deceased parents, my friends, Zitao...

 

          Immediately, I smiled. The voices of my loved ones instantly boost up my mood. My fingers continued to work on its own until I was drowned in my own music. Still focused on my work, I haven't realized the person who sited beside me before complementing, "Nice music."

 

          Judging from the sound of the voice, my mouth automatically formed a smile. "Zitao." He kissed me on my cheek while snaking his arms around my neck before saying, "Sorry, I've missed you."

 

"You're too early for today." I muttered innocently, "Did you skip your work today?" He squeezed my shoulders before answering, "I know, Hunnie. I just can't help it. I miss seeing your face. And no, I didn't skip work."

 

"Hmmm... You always see my face. Like, literally." I joked. He chuckled before kissing me again, in the lips this time.

 

"Y-Yah... You know that I'm still working, right?" I whined, but he just hummed.

 

"I know, babe. Don't worry, your CEO is used to my presence. He won't mind that fact that I'm flirting with my baby during his work, hmmm?" I sighed heavily. I grabbed his face gently before tracing my hands to find his plump lips. I pressed a passionate kiss on it before resting my forehead at his and whispering, "Satisfied?"

 

"Hmmm... I want more."

 

"Shut up, Tao. I need to finish this song." Zitao just whined on my words before stealing another kiss. "Yah Huang Zitao!" My boyfriend guffawed and stole another kiss on my lips. If I could only see his reaction, he is surely smirking right now. Talk about having a naughty lover.

 

"Zitao!" Finally, he hugged me as he muttered his apology while giggling, "Sorry Hun. I just love seeing you annoyed face. You're so beautiful, I can't stop kissing you." I immediately felt my face hot and blushed. Luckily, he can't see my face right now or else he won't stop teasing me.

 

"Baby?" He whispered, his voice sending chills on my back.

 

"Hmmm?"

 

"I love you."

 

          I slowly faced Zitao before capturing quickly his lips perfectly without even trying to find it. I snuggled on his neck before muttering the words I always reserve for him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"I love you too."

Chapter Text

"Sehun, wake up."

 

          My head hurts, but the pain whacking my brain immediately subsided when a kiss was placed on my temple. The sleepiness was still stirring inside me but I managed to yawn heavily and stretched my limbs lazily. The strong grip on my waist loosened before feeling the cushion dipping lower. I shrieked when I felt my whole body being lifted, following a devious laugh resonating in my ears. I was placed on someones' lap before receiving another quick kiss on my lips.

 

"Good morning, sunshine." Zitao purred on my neck. His voice sent shivers on my back, and I winced because of the morning coldness. Zitao hugged me harder as I curl more in his arms, enveloping myself in his body heat.

 

"So cold." I muttered. "I know baby. Too early, right?" He chuckled. He arranged me on his lap properly before kissing me on the lips again.

 

"Hmmm... Let's prepare now, shall we?" He said. I whined at his statement, but I know for sure that I needed to prepare for my work right away or else I would be late.

 

"What's the time now?" I asked. He hummed for a moment before saying, "6:37 in the morning, baby. Come on, we need to get up now."

 

          My name is Oh Sehun and I'm 21 years old. I'm an orphan at an early age but the memories of my parents are still clear inside my mind. Well... More likely their voices and the memories they have given to me. I was born blind and I never had the chance to see the beauty of the world. Of course, that idea still bothers me but I am very much used to it since I can still consider myself lucky because I was born with it compared to the others who acquired it because of some certain reasons. During my time in the orphanage, the workers discovered that I have an interesting skill because I can remember the location and positions of everything on my surroundings easily as long as I am exposed on that area regularly. I discovered that my echolocation skills are quite good, and the doctors find it very fortunate because they said that this will really help me a lot. They trained me to use my skill properly, and with the help of the braille system, I almost lived like a normal person.

 

          What the heck echolocation is? Well, scientifically speaking, this is the skill commonly used by bats so that they can 'see' every night despite of the total darkness. They use echoes to locate the position of things whether it is moving or not. Bats have poor eyesight so they rely on their hearing for finding food and other things. Other animals also use this skill but the most interesting in echolocation is that humans can also acquire this just like me. When a person gets blind, their hearing sharpens. With the help of the echoes and sound waves, this will serve as the 'eyes' for the blind. With this skill, together with the braille system, blind people can still have hope and specifically, normal lives.

 

          Despite of my disability, this helped me in appreciating music. When my parents are still alive, they often let me use the piano so that my hearing will sharpen more to improve my echolocation skills. They expose me to music, thus making me love it even more. The sounds surrounding me served as my friend, my buddy, my comfort zone. In fact, I love noisy places. It makes my insides calmer.

 

"Babe? What'cha thinking?" Zitao interrupted. I chuckled before replying, "Nothing." The scent of fried tofu and eggs filled up my nostrils as I troll in his direction courtesy of the spattering sound of the oil produces. Zitao grabbed my waist as he guide me inside the kitchen.

 

"Smells good." I purred. He chuckled as the frying sound continued to reverberate inside my ears, "You smell good too."

 

"Shut up, I haven't showered yet."

 

          Obvious as it seems, but Huang Zitao is my boyfriend. He's Chinese, and living for more than a decade here in Korea. He can speak Korean fine, and he works here as a Wushu trainer. We met last four years ago inside a bus that was being held as a hostage. The bus immediately stopped, and I was on my way back to the orphanage where I was settling that time with my friend when one of the passengers declared a hostage and threatened to kill us all if we would not forcefully give our belongings. As a teenager and being blind that time, the feeling of being frightened was an understatement. I can still remember the shuffling sounds of panic that the passengers did and the whimpering sounds of Hoseok beside me. I was petrified on my sit until I felt a cold metal pressing against my neck.

 

          The man obviously demanded for my belongings. Being an orphan, I couldn't give him much since I practically have nothing inside my bag besides the things I use for school. My disability even made my system really scared because I was really panicking that time. Shaking in fear, I begged that I didn't have anything and pleaded for my life. The whimpering sounds made by Hoseok beside me didn't even help the situation at all. It was really terrifying. I was internally praying, and thought about my parents. The man harshly pulled my hair as the tears finally escaped from my eyes. The intensity of my shivering state worsen, and Hoseok was really sobbing beside me.

 

          I was ready to die. I never anticipated pain. Emotional pain since my childhood really devastated me, much more physical pain. But I thought, if this will be the reason so I can finally be with my parents again, why not? Besides, I felt useless. I felt really lonely without them.

 

          I squirmed my eyes shut as I await for the pain to come. Ironically, I don't have to close my useless eyes since I am blind, but the involuntary movements of my system told me to do so. I continued to wait for my death, but instead I heard a screech, followed by a distressed whimper and and curse. Instantly, the feeling of cold metal pressed on my skin vanished, and a series of punching sounds, bellowing thuds, bangs and screaming passengers resonated inside the bus. The vehicle started to move again, but the progression of my emotions overwhelmed me too much, perplexing me even more than I imagined.

 

          The blaring of sounds didn't stop. I was too scared to move, and my mind was spinning heavily. I was feeling discombobulated and nauseous, until Hoseok grabbed my arms. "S-Sehun. Are you okay?! Se-Sehun! Talk to me!" At that moment, I realized I was on trance for a while because the mayhem had subsided on my surroundings. The commotion was replaced by the sounds of sirens, and I hadn't realized that the bus had stopped again.

 

"G-Get up Sehun-ah... We're safe now." He whispered comfortingly. I didn't even move an inch. The panic towering inside me still drove me beyond the limits of my fears, and the trembling of my whole body intensified. It was now the turn of my friend to go nuts, because I was having another panic attack. My tears started to fall again, turning to a whimper, a sob, then to a wail.

 

          I was literally shouting inside the bus. Hoseok tried to comfort me even more, until I hear someone saying, "H-Hey! Are you alright?" At that point, I felt like I was splashed by a bucket full of cold water. The voice was definitely not Hoseok. It was way different than my best friend's voice, and I didn't even know why or how he made me back to my senses. "H-Hey... It's okay now. We can go down now." It was like his voice absorbed all the agony and confusion inside me, draining me instantly. The last thing I remembered that time was a pair of strong hands was lifting me up until I passed out.

 

          When I woke up, the voice of sobbing Hoseok immediately welcomed me. He crashed me with such bone-crushing hug, and he instantly made my shoulder wet. "I-I thought you won't make it, S-Sehunnie... Y-Your panic attack w-was.... My god, S-Sehunnie... I-I'm so sorry..." He sobbed. I nuzzled his neck and rubbed circles on his back. "S-Shut up, H-Hoseok... It's n-not your fault." I muttered. I didn't even realize that I started to cry again. Hoseok didn't stop crying, still clutching on me like I will be lost once he pulled away. "I-I should have d-defended you... I should have p-protected you..."

 

          The hostage taker was apprehended as what the orphanage head, Mrs. Kim, had said to me when we finally calmed down. Apparently, there was a brave guy who beat up the suspect. The authorities were called quickly, and fortunately there was no injuries nor casualties. I also received multiple cryings by my fellow orphans and the head always asked me if I am finally okay or what. At that point, I felt contented. I felt the care the others had showered me, and I squirmed in guilt as I remembered I almost gave up my life just because of my panic attack. Maybe it wasn't my time already, and I still have a long life to endure. Nevertheless, I was still thankful. Despite of being safe on that moment, I realized something.

 

"Hoseokie. Who's the guy who helped us?" I questioned. I felt his hand on my shoulder, "I don't know, Hunnie. He was also brought to the police station for further questionings. Actually, he's the one who carried you out of the bus. I was really panicking that time. I'm afraid that something might happen to you... The passengers were very thankful to him..." He paused for a moment before continuing, "I don't know, Hunnie... If he didn't do that,  don't know what will happen to us... My god... I'm really sorry Hunnie..." I heard him sniffling again so I immediately pulled him closer. I hugged my best friend as he continued to cry on my arms.

 

          The news about the bravery of a guy who saved a bunch of people inside the hostage incident was televised according to Hoseok. He will be awarded by the government because of his act of heroism, and the people were even more delighted because the guy was a foreigner. Imagine that, saving people who he barely knew on a foreign land was such an act that deserved to have a recognition. Hoseok told me that the guy's name was Huang Zitao, and he was residing in Korea for a long time. The guy knew martial arts which saved us all. I was curious that time. In fact, I was really amazed by his bravery. I wondered where did he pull out the courage to do such heroic things in times of utter dangerous situations. I felt really grateful to him, to the point that I want to thank him personally for his actions.

 

          Two days after I was discharged, I overheard Mrs. Kim saying that she will be visiting the awarding ceremony of Huang Zitao. I didn't hesitate. I ask to her if I could go, and she didn't also hesitate to agree. Mrs. Kim, Hoseok and I went to the awarding ceremony of Huang Zitao. I didn't do anything on the ceremony but listen on the speeches, applause of the crowd and wait as the ceremony commences. Finally, after an hour, the program ended. I pleaded to Mrs. Kim for us to approach the guy since I really want to personally thank him. The two of them guided me somewhere, until I heard a crowd of people saying their gratitude and greetings. I overheard a familiar voice shyly replying 'you're welcome's between the crowd, and in that moment I knew it was him. 

 

"Mr. Huang?" Mrs. Kim stared. "Yes?" Unknowingly, the hairs on my back shivered as I heard that familiar comforting voice. I opened my mouth, but my voice hesitated to come out.

 

"Uhm.. Hello, sir! I'm Jung Hoseok. I'm one of the passengers during that incident." Hoseok said. "We're deeply grateful on what you've do to us. If it wasn't you... My friend here Sehun my god... Thank you sir. We will really never forget you." He finished. Being blind, my hearing is very good and I can tell that Hoseok's words are very sincere and true. I kept my head hung low, until I felt a pair of eyes looking at me. I lifted my head, still contemplating if I would talk or not, but instead Hoseok continued to talk. "Sehun genuinely wants to talk to you, Mr. Huang. He wants to talk to you." Hoseok nudged me. I stuttered few words before finally saying, "H-Hello, sir." Mr. Huang chuckled, and it made my insides go nuts. My face was hot because of embarrassment, and I can;t reckon to form more words.

 

"Hey... You're the one... You're the one I carried out of the bus. Oh... and you are also..." 'The one who almost died' I completed inside my mind. I gripped Hoseok's hand harder. I didn't understand myself. One moment I was eager to approach Mr. Huang but now I felt like throwing up thanks to the nervousness inside me.

 

"Hey it's okay... You're shivering. Are you alright?" A hand was placed on my shoulder. Under normal circumstances I should have pulled away, but the mysterious comforting aura covered me up again just by hearing and feeling his presence. 

 

"Sehun, right?" He spoke softly. I nodded sheepishly, and I heard him again laughing, "Aigooooo. Hǎo kě'ài (so cute)."

 

"Huh?" The guy laughed again before quoting, "N-Nothing, Sehun. I'm just glad you're okay now. Hey... You don't have to get shy. I'm not going to hurt you. Look to my eyes." He soothed comfortingly.

 

"Uhm.."

 

"Oh... As you can see, Mr. Huang. Sehun is blind." Mrs. Kim said. I shuffled uncomfortably. I felt Hoseok's arm wrapping on my shoulder, and I leaned on his for support.

 

"Oh....? I... I'm sorry for giving you discomfort."

 

"N-No you're not!" I blurted. Immediately I grasped my mouth. I heard the man chuckling again. "Hǎo kě'ài (so cute)." There he goes again. I almost forgot he was a foreigner the moment  we started talking with him. 

 

          Coincidentally, Zitao was also one of the passengers there. He's the one who saved us all, and also the first moment we had met. After that awkward meeting, I discovered that he was only one year older than me. I also discovered that Zitao, Hoseok and I had the same grade level but in different schools. He was also on his way home when the incident happened.

 

          The three of us became fast friends. It started when Zitao visited our school. Hoseok saw him outside the school gates, and he pulled me there. I was surprised hearing his voice, and he said that he decided to visit us since the distance between our schools are not that far. He said he was lucky that he bumped with us because he had no idea where to find us. From that moment visiting us became his habit, and the three of us became inseparable even we all graduated in high school. Hoseok applied as a trainee on a company because he wanted to be an idol someday, while Zitao served as a Wushu teacher in their training center owned by his parents. Hoseok and I were also finally released on the orphanage, and as we bid our sad goodbyes, we planned for our future.

 

          After a year, Zitao confessed his feelings for me. Of course I was shocked on that moment, and we were just resting under a tree that time when he confessed.

 

"Sehun. I love you."

 

"H-Huh?"

 

"I've liked you for a while, Sehun. In fact, the moment we met during that ceremony... I felt different towards you. At first I was vexed, but I stopped denying and accepted that I have fallen to you."

 

"B-But-"

 

"Before you bash yourself first Sehunnie, let me tell you how a great person you are. You're kindhearted Sehun, and I always admire you for that. You're so beautiful I can't even avoid staring at you sometimes. I love your passion for music especially when you play the piano. I love to hear your singing voice even it isn't perfect just like how you criticize it. I love how the way you hide your face between those messy locks you have that I always desire to brush off. I love every piece of you, I want to kiss you, I want to hug you all the time and I want to be the one who will protect you. Most of all Sehun, I love your eyes. I love its gray color, I love I love how it is unique among others who are also blind. I love how you gaze on your surroundings innocently and how your eyes met my eyes in some circumstances and-"

 

          Before he could babble anymore, I grabbed his head and I kissed him. Period. I was surprised that I captured his lips perfectly without even trying to trace it. I shyly pulled away and I was about to turn away when he pulled me and pushed me against the bark of the tree. He kissed me passionately and I shyly responded to his, grasping his neck as his hands tracing circles on my waist. I didn't realize I was sitting in his lap when we pulled away. He rested his forehead on mine, kissing me again but this time, the kiss was more gentle and loving. 

 

"God... I prepared a speech for that." He guffawed. He pecked me again, and I swear if I could only see, he was grinning like an idiot right now. Hoseok explained me how human emotions show on faces. If happiness can make the face of a person really look good, I would really like to see Zitao's face then. But his physical appearance didn't really matter for me although I am dying to see him. I always thought my appearance as a trash, and I looked nothing unique compared to others.

 

"So is this means that we're finally dating now?" He asked. I swear the hottest of my face isn't even cooling of right now, I his arms are still wrapped on my waist. I nuzzled his neck, "Babo (fool), you didn't even asked me properly."

 

"Oh... So Sehun-ah, will you be my boy-"

 

          He didn't even had the chance to finish his question. Because in that moment, were we kissing again like idiots, rhapsody higher that the skies above us.

 

"I swear Sehun, this is the umpteenth time I saw you grinning alone this morning. Are you okay, babe?" Zitao's voice interrupted my daydreaming.

 

"I'm sorry, Tao. I'm just thinking about the good things we have." I explained. I felt his arm as he enveloped it on me lovingly. He kissed my cheek and giggled, "Cheesy."

 

"Oh look who's talking right now." I teased. "Well, let's go now. Is it near 7:30 am?" I asked, "Let me see it, baby. Oh! yeah, Hunnie. It's almost 7:30. Let's go now."

 

          After a few more bickering and kissing, we finally went out of my unit. Technically, Zitao didn't live with me. He has his own flat, but he rarely comes there since he always walk me to work and at same time, fetches me every evening. He gave me my walking stick which I use for emergencies, and we rode the elevator until we arrived the ground floor. One thing that's great about my echolocation skills is that I can go to my work without even getting tripped, crashed by a vehicle or fell on an open manhole. The exposure and the familiarity of the surroundings really help me a lot, serving my tactile and hearing senses as my vision.

 

"So... Like the normal, Hunnie. I'll pick you up later." He said once we arrived on my agency.

 

"Hmmm... Yep. I'll see you later, Tao. Don't skip your sessions again! Believe me, your excuses are lame." I chastised. He just chuckled on my statement before kissing me again on the lips. "Sorry baby. You know that I really want to see your face every time, right? Do you want me to accompany you inside?" He offered.

 

"It's okay, Tao. I can handle myself. It's not like I haven't memorized yet the whole building. You can go now." Tao hummed for a moment. He cupped my face, placed a kiss on my nose, and then on my kiss before whispering, "I love you, Sehun." I felt my face heat up as I return the kiss.

 

"Hmmm... I love you too Zitao. Now go." He kissed me again for the last time before he finally bid goodbye. Once his presence disappeared, I took a deep breath as I enter the building.

 

 

 

 

 

Another good day, it is.

Chapter Text

 

          Working inside a studio can be described as stressful but at the same time, relaxing. Pretty ironic, right? Well, these two feelings are the most prominent that I feel every time I compose a song, produce a music, or by simply writing and feeling the rhythm of every lyrics I listen or write. On a regular basis, doing my job really helps to make myself calm and collected but during stressful comeback seasons where many great artists compete during music shows are the sources of making me distressed. Good music snatches new audiences, although most of our artists here in the agency are really popular. Of course, you don't want the people to be disappointed once they heard their idol's recent comeback a total failure, right?

 

          The responsibilities are tough, of course. Even a blind producer like me is so pressurized during our preparations. Composing and producing music are not jokes. It requires great effort and time so criticisms will lessen, for they are inevitable. Normally, I write and produce sad and ballad songs since these kind of songs are perfect for piano accompaniment. But since the demands and expectations of people are getting higher and higher, I started to right other genres of songs too.

 

          To be honest, this will be the first time I'm going to write a title track for the upcoming latest project of our company. Nervous? Absolutely. Although this is not my first time writing songs for big comebacks and projects, writing a title track is very risky and depressing for me since the last thing that I will be wishing is a ton of hate remarks on our artists just because their title track was written by a dumb and careless blind producer like me.

 

          Here it goes again. My self-loathe is empowering me again. I can't help but to overthink, okay? It is a mundane for me. Nevertheless, I still need to work until my bones break. Albeit the negative energies surrounding me, I constantly remind myself that this project's title song is my forte- ballad.

 

          The guard offered me a help but I politely decline. I continue to walk towards the elevator with the help of my walking stick. Judging from the atmosphere, my co-workers are already on their stations. Dance rooms are already full, packed with trainees eager to debut. Producers busy on brainstorming again. Busy day, in other words. These are the times when the whole team come early in the agency to work 24/7, determine to make a successful comeback for our idols.

 

"Sehun-aaaaaaaaah!" A voice interrupted my thoughts and immediately I felt a pair of warm arms around my neck. Oh brother, this diva will kill me again. Baekhyun rode on my back, ignoring my whines and complains. Immediately, my senses panicked, and my heartbeat hastened. Baekhyun even dared to pinch my cheeks as he continued to slaughter me with his silliness together with his obnoxious loud mouth.

 

"G-Get... O-Off M-M-Mee! I-I can't breath you moron!" I shouted. Unfortunately, the guy riding on my back didn't even bother to listen as he continued to act like a child who's excitingly having a piggyback ride.

 

"Sehun-aaaaaah! I miss you so much! Daegu was great but nothing beats seeing your favorite friend again, right?" He stated. Finally, he went down from my back. I felt his shuffling and went in front of me. He started to harass my cheeks again and I tried to swap away his hand but as expected, he didn't stop.

 

"Yah! Don't you miss my beautiful voice?! By the way, where is Tao? Did he accompany you?" If I could only glare eye-to-eye to him, I would have done it. Instead, I just patted my hurting checks and furrowed my brows, "He just left, hyung." I spatted.

 

"Ooooooooh! I should have greeted him. Let's go up now, Sehunnieee! I'll accompany you!" He said before he dragging me towards the elevator.

 

          Baekhyun had a solo fan meeting on Daegu that's why I haven't seen- or rather with him for two days. Sure, he was busy these past two days but unfortunately, he needed to come back here immediately to prepare for our special upcoming project. He sure is exhausted but he never shows it. One thing I really admire about him is his dedication on his work. He maybe a pain in the head, too noisy and too sassy for a human being to endure, but he has the perfect definition of hard work and perseverance.

 

          Hyung led me through the production room eagerly after we exited the elevator. Although his tenacious grip on my arms hurt me, I decided not chastise him. He clinged on me like an excited child, and I thought about not ruining the rhapsody he's been feeling. He enthusiastically narrated me how smoothly his fan meeting went, and how he loved his fans especially his one-on-one interactions on them. He muttered about a fan who was really cute and shy, and the rest are all his sassiness as I hummed on his story.

 

"Hey Baekkie." When we entered the room, Chanyeol's voice welcomed us on the threshold. Baekhyun's grip on my arms tightened gradually, clearly impressed on the sight of his best friend standing in front of us.

 

"Chaaaaaaanie!" My friend greeted back gleefully. The scent of Chanyeol-hyung's manly perfume and the breeze of the air conditioner welcomed my senses. Baekhyun giggled on my side as Chanyeol started to tease him. The two of them acted like children again and I can't help myself from rolling my eyes. Judging from the bubbliness of his voice, I assume he's blushing right now. Chanyeol patted my shoulders and greeted me, and at last, we managed to proceed inside the room after their shenanigans. The familiar loudness of my friends started to invade my ears, and as usual, one by one they greeted me warmly. Junmyeon-hyung offered me a coffee which I gladly accepted, while Kyungsoo-hyung asked me where my boyfriend is.

 

“Oh. He left earlier when he accompanied me here. I’m afraid he is needed early in his classes since the competition is getting nearer.” I explained. My friends just muttered their aahs and oohs before Baekhyun started to murmur again.

 

“So I’m assuming he won’t skip his students again for you hmmm?” He teased. The others start to banter me, and I couldn’t help but to laugh on their antics. Finally, Junmyeon-hyung declared that we immediately needed to go upstairs to the CEO’s room to finally discuss about the latest project. Baekhyun whined for a bit but nevertheless, the others didn't argue back and we finally left the production room to descend upwards.

 

 

 

 

 


 

"Sehun-ah. You think you can do this?"

 

          I took a deep breath. I thought deeply all about the offer of our CEO, Yifan or Kris, very well. When I told Zitao about this project we're about to do, he encouraged me with all of his heart for me to be able to accept his offer. 'Really? That's incredible, babe! What are you waiting for? Grab it! I'm sure Kris has high hopes for you and the guy is definitely not dumb. He clearly recognizes your talent, baby! I'm so proud of you!' He once told me. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I know this is gold and I really want to do this despite of my weak foundation of confidence. Music served an important role in my life and I have a huge debt for all of the sounds I hear almost every single of my life (as I mentioned many times, sorry), and I will do my best to ace this project for the sake of our company's reputation.

 

"Well, I've thought about this really seriously and I have decided to give this a chance. Considering this is a new look for the people, this is really an honor. So, I look forward working with you guys about this." I said while fumbling my fingers under the table. There was a moment of silence, and I thought they were gone until cheers and applause erupted but the one that really caught my attention was Baekhyun's annoying whoops. I can feel my blush creeping on my face as one by one they congratulate me on the choice that I've just made.

 

"I know you'll do it, Sehun. After all, my trust is all yours since the very beginning. I'm really happy to have you as one of our producers. Everyone! Let's give Sehun another round of applause!" My co-workers obeyed too cheerfully. Baekhyun didn't stop his exaggerations, while Suho-hyung clasped my shoulders and congratulated me again for the umpteenth time.

 

"This is going to be interesting, I might say." Chen-hyung stated. "If this will totally bop, I'm sure we'll have another trophy for music shows."

 

"D-Don't be so sure, hyung." I sheepishly said. "I don't even know how I will do this. I-I mean... I have now some ideas lingering inside my mind, but I'm worrying that I might fail. I-I'm so nervous."

 

"Don't worry, Sehun! I'm 100% sure that you'll make an awesome song for us." Kyungsoo reassured.

 

          After the meeting, we were instantly dismissed. The idols went to their respective schedules while Chanyeol-hyung accompanied me first to the production room before  proceeding on his own schedules. Star Music Entertainment has three idol groups, eight solo artists and one sub-unit. I don't want to brag, but all of our artists are fortunately popular and loved by majority of the crowd. Suho, Chanyeol, Baekhyun, Kyungsoo and Chen-hyung, my friends earlier, are the five out of eight soloists we have in the agency. They debuted consecutively and very active in the music industry. 

 

          I sat on the chair and wasted no time typing notes on the braillewriter. The braillewriter is like a typewriter from the early times. It is one of the devices I always use every time I need to write without any hassle. Sure, I can use the slate and stylus, but using the braillewriter is much faster. Let's see... The genre will be ballad, and I have already numerous of ideas inside my mind. I can make a story about a brokenhearted man, or a guy suffering from a lovelorn. How about a song about break-up? Lots of ideas. Let's see...

 

         After two hours, I managed to make two pages of draft. It was worth it, I think. Although my thoughts are not yet finalized, at least I have the foundation for my song. By the way, we'll be just releasing a single, not a whole extended play or a full album. We just want to test the taste of the people if this will satisfy their demands.

 

          Demands? The thought made me to shiver. Oh well, I can almost imagine Zitao if he was here with me. 'Oh come on, Hunnie. There you go again. Thinking unnecessary things.'  I'm so sorry, Tao. I just can't. I read again my draft. As I feel the holes on my paper, I begin to imagine what kind of emotion I would like to emphasize. Am I going to make this extra emotional? Painful? Sad? Frankly enough, I never felt heartbroken before. Zitao is my first boyfriend and we rarely fight. Commonly, my sad past serves as my inspiration every time I work on writing my songs.

 

          I pondered deeper. I need to write a song not only full of emotion and meaning, but also must suit on each of the singer's personalities. Chanyeol has deep but calming voice. Not to mention I might write his rap part if necessary. Baekhyun and Kyungsoo have their own styles. Their voices are full of emotion. Suho hyung has a unique voice. I think this singers formed a unique combination. This will be the first time that they would be collaborating on each other that's why they deserve to have an excellent song.

 

          After typing for another set of ideas, I decided to settle on the piano. The only thing I like about myself is every time an idea comes to my mind, it will flow continuously. Since I already have my draft, my hands are itching to play some keys. I randomly played some songs for my warm-up. When I started to play again, my train of thoughts was somehow gradually vanishing. Uh oh. This isn't good. I thought of Tao. I thought of how his voice musically resonates through my ears. I thought of how he comforts me. I thought of the moments he soothes my nightmares, my sufferings and my insecurities.

 

 

 

 

 

'Baby don't cry.'

Chapter Text

"Hey babe."

 

          After Tao had fetched me, he excitingly dragged me towards the bus stop. He mumbled about a restaurant he wanted us to try, and I didn't complain. I just leaned on his shoulder during the ride. After I guess five to ten minute of traveling, he declared that we were on the Gangseo district. The aroma of the place filled my nostrils as we entered the establishment. Tao held my hand nonchalantly, leading me to a random area. He helped me to seat and I sensed that he situated himself in front of me. The restaurant sounded like the typical ones we used to go. Tao likes to drag me into random places especially restaurants and fancy dinners. We often eat outside rather than cooking to avoid any hassle. It's not like he's not a good cook or something, he's just lazy to cook every evening. Usually, I offer to help him to prepare our dishes, but always decline, rambling the same excuse. 'Sehun-ah. I don't want you to cut yourself.' or 'Sehun-ah. No need. The oil might ruin your skin, just leave it to me.' I hate him when he does that to me. I want to help him, but he always not let me to do it.

 

"Zitao." I called and he hummed, "Where are we? Don't say we're on a fancy restaurant again. I told you, no need fanciness just for me. And by the way, I don't think there's a special occasion today."

 

"Oh baby relax. It's just a random evening for us to date. Don't you miss me?" He cooed. I want to grimace on his thought, but I can't. Somehow, his cheesiness has still a huge impact straight through my face. My face feels like going to explode. Ugh. I feel hot again. This man never fails to make me blush.

 

"Hunnie... You look like a cherry tomato! Are you alright?" He asked. I lowered my head because of embarrassment. I surely don't know what a cherry tomato exactly looks like, but Hoseok had lectured me pretty well about the characteristics of things. According to him, when a person describes you looking like a tomato or something, it means no good. You look awkward. You look ugly.

 

"I'm not!" I exclaimed. Immediately, my foolish boyfriend laughed heartily. How could he? I'm in a huge disadvantage in the situation, but look at him right now. He's mocking me.

 

"I hate you." I muttered under my breath. Zitao hummed annoyingly again through the background. I thought about another human expression. Smirk. I think he's smirking right now. Hoseok said a person usually smirks when he/she is teasing or challenging someone.

 

"Oh yeah? Baby don't say that. You hurt my feelings." He stated, altering his voice into a childish one. I want to cover my face, but I couldn't. Zitao chuckled again, bringing music through my ears. Great. I don't know now if I'm going to be annoyed or giddy because of the chills bringing his voice. He never fails to give my stomach butterflies.

 

"I'm just kidding, baby. Come on, let's order now. I'm sooo hungry."

 

          The food turned out to be great. We had a simple dinner, yet satisfying. Zitao rumbles me how his students are complaining about his strictness especially their competition is getting nearer. I retaliated him back about his constant skipping just to see me. Can you imagine that? He sometimes sneaks out of his work just to see me. I know it's so cheesy and so unbelievable but he does that. A huge part of me what to smack him off, but a tiny feeling in my heart is also screaming because of this cheesiness. I really hate when my thoughts battle internally. There's always a speck that will ruin it, making the dominant one feel awkward. Our mood changed in a speed of light when he questioned me about the song I'm currently working.

 

"So, how's the project? Have you accepted it?" I nervously fiddled in my seat. Suddenly, my mouth tasted like sandpaper.

 

"Uh... I accepted it." I answered, obviously hesitating to do it. Exaggeratedly, the table shook a bit, then I realized that Zitao stood up. "Jinjja?!" He exclaimed. Judging from the sound of his voice, he was clearly halcyon about it.

 

"I'm not kidding." I plainly said. That's when I felt warm arms wrapping on my neck. Zitao showered me with kisses while backhugging me. "Z-Zitao a-are you crazy!" I chided. He doesn't seem to care, pulling me on my feet.

 

"Yes I am! You don't know how much I'm happy for you!" He screamed. Judging from the scene we've made, we earned ourselves audience. That made me really uncomfortable, especially that I can clearly feel many pairs of eyes curiously staring in our direction.

 

"Oh, Sehunnie I'm so proud of you." He mumbled again something before finally claiming my lips. I pulled myself quickly, "Z-Zitao we're outside-"

 

"I don't care, baby. I'm really happy for you." He mumbled again before closing the space between our mouths. This guy will be the death of me, and I'm a hundred percent sure with it.

 

 

 

 

 


           I took me an hour to explain about what happened back on the agency. Tao was listening diligently as I give him the every single detail of my narration. After telling him, he answered me the most obvious thing. A long kiss on the lips.

 

"C-Can't b-breathe." I mumbled between our kisses. Tao wrapped his arms on my waist, gripping my hips possessively as he deepen our kiss. Hesitatingly, I sneaked my arms on his neck. He placed me on his lap, intensifying his grip. After we made up, he gave me another short sweet pecks before placing my poor body beside him. I feel my face heating up again, so I immediately cover my face. Zitao giggled and tried to remove my hands.

 

"You're a bastard... I thought you were listening to me!" I ranted.

 

"Oh I am, baby." He teases, "That's why I answered you, right? I was listening to you too carefully and gave you the best answer. I expressed my rhapsody between those kisses, babe. Happiness is obviously lingering within me." He pecked again my lips. Great, I didn't notice that I have removed my hands on my face. Zitao broke the mood. After his cheesiness (I don't know how many times I used that rotting word), he helped me towards the bathroom. I took a bath and he went next after me. After cleaning myself up, I went straight through my study table and took off my drafts. I read again my notes before proceeding to type again on my braillewriter.

 

Don’t hesitate anymore please
Take my heart away
Yes, the sharper it is, the better
Even the moonlight shut its eyes tonight

 

          This day is too much. I mean, not in a bad way, but it's so good and fluffy. No bad things happened, and it really ran smoothly. Zitao woke me up beautifully. My co-workers cheered and supported me out. Yifan trusted me for our latest project. And again, Zitao is so sweet and caring. It's just too good to be true.

 

If only it was a different guy and not me
If only it was a line from a comedy
I will burn all of the scars
Exchanged with your love

 

          Baby, don't cry. Those words came out of nowhere earlier. Frankly enough, Zitao hates to see me crying even the slightest reason about it. I once cut myself, trying to cook a meal in order to surprise him. Instead, he's the one who greatly took care of me. When I get nightmares, he's always there for me. He won't go to sleep until I stop crying. When I think of my parents and my past, he's also right there for me. In other words, I always depend on him. Zitao is my shadow. Zitao serves as my eyes. My world revolves around him. 'Baby, don't cry.' He always says to me. He's an angel.

 

Baby don’t cry tonight
After the darkness passes
Baby don’t cry tonight
None of this will have happened
It’s not you who will
Become short-lived
So baby don’t cry cry
Because my love will protect you

 

          I suddenly thought, what if Zitao suddenly vanishes in my life? Could I ever take it? How will I live again? After all of the things he had done for me, do I still deserve to live after all of those?

On top of the dark shadow of pain
On the threshold of farewell
Even if I cruelly fall down
Even that will be for you so I will handle it
Instead, I will give myself to you
Who doesn’t even know me
Don’t cry – instead of hot tears
Show me cold laughter baby

 

          I realized, I never made anything to repay all those debts I had with him. Basically, he saved my life the moment we've met. Up to now, he continues to serve his life just to protect me. To let me feel loved, making my life meaningful than ever.

 

Say no more (Baby) no more (don’t cry)
Please don’t hesitate
Just when I’m about to become like foam
Say no more (Baby) no more (don’t cry)
Just burn me with that knife
So I can remain as a dazzling person

 

          He will perish just because of me. What ever angle it may be, he won't hesitate to do anything just to protect me, even it will deteriorate him.

 

The moonlight fills your eyes
This night passes silently in pain

 

          I want to return all the things he have done to me, whatever it will take.

 

The early sunlight melts down
The brightness that resembles you falls down
My eyes that were once lost finally cry cry cry

 

"S-Sehun?" I felt a hand on my shoulder. I'm so indulged in my writing to the point I didn't notice him entering the room. Zitao cupped my cheeks, "Sehun-ah, What happened?! Why are you crying?!"

 

          Crying? Oh. I didn't notice it either. He wiped off my tears. That's when I felt the hot tears staining my shirt. He suddenly lifted me up and placed me on the bed.

 

"What happened, baby? Oh, come on. Tell me. Baby, don't cry." His last line made me emotional again. I burst into a batch of tears again, and he didn't hesitate to hug me. Here it goes again. I feel myself engrossed on his heat. I, the pathetic one, is helplessly leaning for warmth and touch. I'm really nothing.

 

"Oh Sehunnie, don't cry. What happened?" I tried to open my mouth but it only produced a sob. After trying to compose myself, he situated my frail body on his lap. I feel myself melting on the familiar warmth, before snuggling on his chest.

 

"I-It's nothing, really." I said as I sniffle, "I just got emotional."

 

"Emotional? What?" I snuggled closer and contemplated about telling him or not. Finally, I was defeated again by my thoughts, "I-I was writing my song... And you crossed on my mind."

 

"O-Oh? And what about it...?" I felt my mouth smiling sadly. I gripped his hands and kissed his neck. He hummed as a response.

 

"I thought about you... About how you cared for me... About all those times you always protect me... About all the moments you make me feel loved. You're always there for me, Tao."

 

"It's because I want to be with you, baby." He said soothingly. He placed a kiss on top of head, inhaling my scent. Under some circumstances I might feel embarrassed, but this time, I wasn't.

 

"No... You've done too much... I-I don't deserve all of it, Tao. I don't deserve-"

 

          I was cut off by his lips again. He kissed me eagerly, before parting back. "Don't. You. Ever. Say. That." He said with a husky voice. "You deserve to be treasured, love. You're so precious. I'm blessed to have you, Sehun. You're the reason why I live with so much ecstasy. Since you appeared on my life, everything had changed. You are my life, Sehun."

 

"But I am nothing, Zitao." I continue to disagree on his thoughts. His words serves as a phosphorescence, lighting up a possible hope in my life.

 

"You keep on pinpointing your flaws, Sehun. You know what, it even makes me love you even more."

 

"How could that be-"

 

"Because you know your imperfections, Sehun. It's so amazing, you know that? Realizing your own flaws, it makes a person more beautiful." I couldn't take it anymore. I burst again into a mess of tears. Tao kept on alleviating my emotions. He pressed so many kisses on my faces, whispering so comforting words. His grip on my body never loosened, providing me all of his heart.

 

"I want to write a song about you. You've done so much to me. I want to pour all of my emotions through my piece." Tao didn't reply immediately. Instead, he laid me down on the bed before covering me with the sheets. Not long after, he snuggled on the comforter, cuddling me.

 

"Wow, Sehun. I don't know what to say. Thank you." I hummed as a reply, too tired because of crying. I placed my head on his chest, feeling his comforting heartbeat. I traced his chest for a moment, pondering about how a person can have a pure heart. Life is just so amazing. I can't believe there's still a pure-hearted person existing in this world. He's right beside me, in the name of Huang Zitao, the man who saved me from all of my miseries and loved me with all of my flaws.

 

"I love you, Sehun. So much, forever and always." I wanted to hug him so tight so I did. I traced my fingers on his face and located for his lips. When I managed to, I pressed mine's on his, which he accepted warmingly. We shared for another kiss before I muttered, "I love you too, Tao. You're my angel."

 

 

 

 

 

          Before finally getting to a slumber, Tao kissed my temple again. "You're my whole world, Oh Sehun. I love you. Sweet dreams.

Chapter Text

          Blind people can have dreams too.

 

          I felt cold. The gust of the wind was making me shiver. Without any second thoughts,  I guess I was indeed in an unknown place. I heard voices. Hushed voices and mystifying sounds. I tried to stand up. Trudging on a random direction, I took the risk. I tried to sense and project my surroundings. The direction of the wind was suffocating, so I assume I'm wandering through an alley. I heard those voices again, but this time, they sounded familiar. I let myself touch the cold wall on my right, and I can feel that the tingling sensations on my back have been intensified.

 

          Few more steps, that's when my heart shook.

 

"Z-Zitao?" I heard my own voice. My feet went numb. I heard myself sobbing.

 

"S-Sehunnie..." Zitao. It was definitely Zitao. I tried to step forward but my feet were still petrified to the point I was shivering again, but this time, it wasn't because of the air, it was for some unknown reason. Maybe I was frightened. Maybe I was anxious.

 

"Hunnie, go." Zitao was hurt. I'm sure with it. I heard myself crying in pain again. The breeze blew again. It left a stabbing feeling in my gut.

 

"N-No Zitao... Don't leave me!"

 

"I-I love you, Sehun-ah. I love you so much... I-I'm sorry if I couldn't protect you anymore..."

 

          The Sehun in my dreams continued to cry. It was mortifying, hearing yourself wailing. My frozen feet never thawed, leaving me no choice but to listen. He cried, cried and cried until I heard sounds of siren empowering my senses.

 

          I woke up sweating so hard. Zitao, who's caging me with his strong arms, came shaking my whole body.

 

"Sehun, are you okay?! You're having your nightmares again." He said, obviously worrying. For a moment, I was so speechless. Those voices came back haunting me. What's with that dream? I trembled again. It didn't took for a while for me to cry. Tao hugged me. We stayed for that position for a while until I relaxed with his magical kisses and comforting words. If I'm not mistaken, I just cried before I sleep. Now, I'm weeping again.

 

          Zitao was dying in my dreams. That thought made me miserable, because Zitao's end is also my annihilation.

 

"You okay now?" He said. With a weak state, I managed to barely nod my head against his shoulder.

 

"I'm sorry I woke you up again." I mumbled. He started to comb my hair, kissing the top of my head, "It's nothing, baby. You were trashing and groaning. I felt really anxious. I thought you were have nightmares again. It turned out I was right."

 

"What time is it?" I whispered, "It's still midnight, baby."

 

          I hummed and clung on his neck. We ended up indulging the comforting silence. Zitao lifted my head and placed a long kiss on my lips. His slender hands went inside my shirt, leaving me breathless and in awe. When things went too far, he automatically stopped himself.

 

"What's wrong...?"

 

"I-I... I'm afraid I might do something I will regret..." He mumbled. I captured his lips again. Tao never failed to control himself. He respected me too much.

 

"I told you I don't mind making love with you. Why do you keep stopping yourself?" I said. For a few moments, I felt composed and relaxed again, but the thing is, my mind wasn't thinking straight again. I heard him sighing, "I do want to make love with you... It's just we're on the wrong timing and I don't want to hurt you."

 

"You'll never hurt me. I trust you."

 

"I know, Sehun. I know."

 

          I'm being irrational again, thanks to myself being agitated. I normally act indifferently every time I am bewildered. Believe me, my clumsiness took me into trouble many times.

 

          After that, Zitao went to the kitchen, fetching a glass of water for me. I took the glass gratefully and I was overwhelmed how much I'm thirsty with all the drama I've possessed. My dream dehydrated and drained a lot of energy within me. Zitao placed me on the bed and he immediately wrapped his protective arms on my waist. I was about to say good night to him when he placed another sweet kiss on my lips.

 

"I love you, Sehun." He brushed my locks, "Good night, baby." I want to say something to my boyfriend, but I was too tired to even mutter a whimper, much more a word. Instead, I let myself to drain, praying that at least I won't have any nightmares again for the night.

 

 

 

 

 


"I feel really bad."

 

"Huh? Why?" I heard the chair grasping through the floor. Zitao sat beside me before leaning his head on my shoulder. Today's weekend. Meaning, we both have no work but I still need to finish my song.

 

"I always say 'sweet dreams' every night." He hummed. I leaned on his head, still listening tentatively, "And...?" I muttered.

 

"I still can't ensure you a nightmare-free night. I feel really ashamed."

 

          I sighed on his statement. I stood up, grasping his hands on me. I led him to the couch and let him sit. I sat beside him, but he magnetized our bodies, putting me on his lap instead. He snuggled on my neck, and I can definitely feel his breath against me.

 

"Zitao. You don't need to feel so ashamed about it." I started, "You... you don't need to feel so sorry about it. It's not your fault why I still have nightmares." Zitao went silent for a moment. He just played the hem of my shirt before placing a kiss on my nape.

 

"I just can't endure to see you writhing in pain or in agony. That's all." He whispered, "It painfully kills me, Sehun-ah."

 

"I know, Zitao. I know."

 

          I let my body turn in front of him. I straddled his hips, wrapping my arms around his neck. As I fidget his hair, I was about to talk again when suddenly Zitao placed a kiss on my throat, particularly on my Adam's apple. At first I thought he was just being affectionate but I momentarily gasped when he started to nibble my neck.

 

"During these times," He kissed my collarbone, "Are the times I want to put you inside my pocket." His lips went across on my shoulder, "If only I could do that." His hoarse voice was making me crazy. I can't help but to whimper and to lick my lips.

 

          Zitao gently pulled my hair before he clashed our mouths together. The taste of coffee and cinnamon welcomed my gustatory senses, and to me he didn't even tasted bitter. As he pulled out, he chuckled, nuzzling my nose. I didn't realize that my face was feeling hotter again.

 

"Goodness. It's early morning. Here we go again, you, sitting on my lap. It's a very typical scene for us right? Although, I don't comply."

 

"It isn't okay, Zitao. I'm heavy." I protested.

 

"Are you kidding? You weigh nothing. I can lift you easily. I told you to eat, Sehun." Here he goes again, nagging my frame. Frankly enough, I eat just right like he wanted me to do. Zitao is very good at cooking and I often eat all his meals. Its just my metabolism despite my age still functions like when I was still a teenager. Hoseok once told me that if I was a tree, I'm surely uprooted by now. Unlike my lover, Zitao has a good built. I know I never saw his body, of course, but judging from my tactile senses, he surely have a good built. He practices martial arts particularly Wushu since he was little so surely there's no doubt about it.

 

          It's funny enough to think how the two of us are very much opposite. We're like the opposite sides of the magnet. The electron and proton. The alpha and omega. Zitao finally put my body beside him. Indistinctly, I lean on his shoulder. He was right. We are a couple who likes to cuddle every time. 

 

"How's your song, baby?" He said, kissing my head.

 

"I'm almost finished, Tao." I smiled, "I hope they'll like it."

 

"Like it? I bet they'll love it. Can I read it, Hunnie?"

 

"No." I mocked, "I want it to be a surprise. I'll let you hear it when it's finished. Deal?" Zitao whined like a kid, but after a few moments of bantering and puppy voices, I managed to coax him. Stating that patience is a virtue with a kiss on the lips, Huang Zitao ceased. My tummy started to rumble again.

 

"I'm hungry. We didn't even manage to finish our meal." I mumbled. I heard Zitao giggling beside me.

 

"What's wrong?" I questioned, "Nothing baby." He chuckled again before standing up, leaving me perplexed.

 

"Yah. Huang Zitao, answer me. Don't laugh!" He just continued to laugh. I didn't dare to stand on my position. Killing me because of curiosity, I stomped my feet like a child. Zitao laughed again, "Are you that desperate to know, Sehunnie?" he mocked.

 

"Don't tease me Huang Zitao!" I yelled. I felt my boyfriend's presence in front of me. He leaned dangerously close on my right ear.

 

"Earlier, you have just tasted my lips. Isn't that enough for you, Sehunnie?"

 

 

 

 

 

          Jerk.

Chapter Text

          I wasn't anticipating this earlier, but look what I've done. I'm already finished on my song.

 

          Because of this, I almost erupted dramatically.

 

"W-Wow."

 

"It's not much, hyung. I-I know it's lame and all but-"

 

"Are. You. Kidding. Me? This is priceless Sehun! The heck! I want to sing this already!"

 

          That's when I knew I felt overwhelmed again. The last thing I knew was I was been engulfed on a big hug by Baekhyun. "This is gold, Sehun-ah! How can you write something so deep and emotional?! I-I mean you're a great songwriter and all but god... I never knew your limits were so high like this! I love you so much Sehun!"

 

          I felt the corners of my mouth rise, "So have you presented this to the CEO?" He asked.

 

"I haven't yet, hyung. I decided that I want to show it first to the others to know your thoughts about it if its good or not."

 

"Are you kidding me?!!! For the umpteenth time Hunnie, this is soooo perfect! I always love your ballad songs but this one really got me. It will be really an honor to sing this. I know this will be a hit!"

 

          I don't know what to say anymore. It turned out it was really that great. I have never been praised like this before, and it was really flattering me uncomfortably. Kyungsoo and Suho-hyung said that they also liked the songs. Chanyeol even complimented me on how I write his part, stating that we was really speechless about it.

 

          I never anticipated this. I decided that once Kris will approve my song, I will let Zitao listen to it. After all, he's my sole inspiration.

 

          After hearing the thoughts of my friends, I decided to ask the other artists as well. They also said that the songs was so good, emphasizing its emotions and how it was really depressing and heartbreaking (Chen-hyung's description). I saw myself again overwhelmed by their comments.

 

"I don't know what to say, Sehun..." Kris once told me when I showed him my work. I was really nervous. Knowing Kris as understandable and all, I still can't help myself but to weep internally as I wait for his critique. My hands were really shaking beneath the table, and my continuous pinching on my palms didn't help either. I felt my lips really dry and cracked up, and as lick them off, seems like I felt dehydrated since the dryness never faded away.

 

          I literally flinched when Kris talked again, "This is..." Palpitation. My heart is palpitating!

 

"This is gold, Sehun. Or I say diamond! Or whatever! This... This is priceless!"

 

          Pleasing your boss is one of the best feeling you'll probably feel. But for me at that moment, I just want to feel relieved and to bring back oxygen through my system. I heard the CEO laughed heartily like he would've won on a lottery. Suddenly, he pulled me up before shaking my hands violently, "Sehun! I don't know what to say! This is really good! Our project will surely be successful! Thank you for this masterpiece, Sehun. I know that you will never disappoint me!"

 

          I melted on my seat.

 

          I was again grateful. I was able to push back all of my worries and anxiety to make my piece presentable. I was more euphoric when they really loved it. Nothing really beats hard work that was sustained by your ownself. I thought about Zitao again. His melodious voice entered my memory, automatically making my insides churn. That sweet guy. He's the main reason on my success on this piece. Once again, he shared again his own self to help me, even if he wasn't aware about it.

 

          I literally revolve around Zitao. My one and only Zitao.

 

 

 

 

 


          Four great solo artists from our company will collaborate for this project. Imagine how I am honored. The song, finally entitled 'Baby Don't Cry', will be sung by Baekhyun, Kyungsoo, Suho and Chanyeol-hyung. This will be the first time the four of them will be recording a song together, and also the first time for me to handle a pressure so big like this. After few more consultations, the company didn't waste any time discussing the whole plan allotted for the project.

 

          Producing the music is one of the hardest part when it comes to creating a soundtrack. Luckily enough, I have already an idea on how it will be sounded like to complement more the emotions of the song. Kris was dumbfounded when he found out that I was also done doing the arrangements and the music for the song. My work was immediately played on the meeting. Again, I wished that my heart wouldn't explode inside my chest. As we listen for it, the whole surroundings was really quiet and my piece was the only one that was being reverberated throughout the whole room. At times like this, I only think of Zitao since the thought of him really make me feel comfortable and secured. I tried to play behind my back his soothing voice. 'It's okay, Hunnie. Everything will be alright.' I smiled at my own stupidness.

 

          What I didn't expect again was the sound of applause after few seconds my song had ended playing. Baekhyun hugged me, while Chanyeol cheered joyously. Wait, did they like it?

 

"Can I ask how talented Sehun is?" Suho-hyung stated unbelievingly. I didn't know how many times I used the word 'overwhelmed', but it was really indeed the major emotion was feeling right now.

 

"Let me answer your question, hyung. Oh, I forgot! It's impossible to answer. He's a living thinking box." Baekhyun chuckled. The rest applauded gleefully again.

 

          It was really dramatic. I wanted to cry, and I really did. The others were flabbergasted, before panicking. Baekhyun wiped off my tears, before sassily chastising, "These are better tears of joy, Sehun!"

 

          I giggled at his childishness. The others went quiet. I took a few breaths, trying myself to get composed again. "I-I don't know what to say..." I started, but I felt like my tongue has been cut off. Oh dear I don't want to get mute too.

 

"I-I... I did not expect for this kind of reactions... I was really worried that you guys might not like my work. I had sleepless nights about it, but thanks to Zitao, I managed to defeat my fears somehow. I feel really blessed and honored. Thank you guys. Your appreciation really touched my heart." Everyone cheered again. Baekhyun gave me another bone-crushing hug, while Chanyeol-hyung clasped my shoulders affectionately.

 

"I can't want to sing your song, Sehun. We're are really honored." Kyungsoo said.

 

"O-Oh no... I'm the one who's really honored... To work with successful and popular artists like you? This is like a trip to neverland."

 

"Silly Hunnie. You should be used it, anyway. You're working in this huge company! Of course you'll get assigned to write songs with us!" Baekhyun chidded.

 

"Baekhyun is right, Sehun." Everyone went quiet went Kris talked, "And you know what? Expect even bigger projects with these guys in the near future. Very excellent work, Sehun. I was really fortunate to have a producer and songwriter with exceptional talent like you."

 

          I was about to smile again. However, Baekhyun was really indeed an annoying friend for me to have. "Oh!!! Looks like Sehunnie will feel more pressured frequently then! Can't wait to see that!" He teased.

 

"Yah! Don't be mean, Byun Baekhyun!" The artists upbraided in unison.

 

          For once, my beloved friend is right. More pressure? Uh oh... Can I even take it?

 

"Don't listen to that brat, Sehun. You'll just do fine, arasseo?" Chanyeol alleviated my thoughts before ruffling my hair.

 

"I heard that, you giant dope!"

 

          The CEO was never been excited to do the line distribution. Usually, this is only discussed between composers and producers like me, but this time, Kris is included. The partings of the lines were done smoothly, complimenting their vocal capabilities, also on how far they will convey deep emotions. Chanyeol of course had all of the rap parts, where I've really poured all of my emotions.

 

"I feel like I won't be able to pull of these lines! Seriously Sehun, where did you pull of these sorrowful words?!" Chanyeol complained as the artists were reviewing their lines. I can't even believe the progression of this project was really fast.

 

"See, Chanyeol? Sehun's words are deeper than your creepy voice." Baekhyun teased.

 

"Oh shut up, Bacon."

 

          Unfortunately, Kris has some more important things to attend that's why the meeting was adjourned. The CEO insisted that the meeting must be conducted only with his presence. I thought about how Kris wanted to make this project really perfect. He was really uptight and strict during the meeting. The artists were dismissed, and so I was, so I decided to go back to the producers' room. Kyungsoo and Suho-hyung helped me on the elevator and escorted me back.

 

          I settled on the piano. I randomly played the previous songs I've composed while thinking someone so familiar who once made my day so beautiful and blessed. How many times did he made me like this? Well, since the day we've accidentally met up to now, he is the guardian angel of my life.

 

 

 

 

 

"Hi Babe!"

          That voice. When will he stop making me giddy and lightheaded?

Chapter Text

          I was so tired of reprimanding Zitao about not abandoning his students just to sneak here on my company.

 

          It was hell annoying, but sweet at the same time.

 

          Why do I love this guy again?

 

"Hi babe." Zitao greeted, pecking my cheek. He snuggled on my shoulder for a bit before plopping comfortably beside me.

 

"Huang Zitao. How many times do I have to tell you not to sneak here during our work hours!" I scolded.

 

"Awww, baby. I just want to coo you." He whined.

 

"I'm not a baby for you to coo. Seriously?" I said, the random notes I was playing a while ago were practically forgotten.

 

"Wait. Do you mean baby as in a child or my endearment?" He asked. Sometimes I just to cringe and hit my boyfriend for his stupidity.

 

"Yah! Zitao I know it's not yet four in the afternoon! Go back to the center for Pete's sake! The parents of those kids will surely get mad if they found out that the teacher of their children always sneaks around for his boyfriend."

 

"Always sneaks around for his boyfriend? I like the sound of that." My brows furrowed on what I've heard. I smacked Zitao's arm successfully.

 

          I really don't regret spending my whole life improving my Echolocation skills.

 

"Ouch! Baby why did you do that? Now I need a kiss."

 

"What's the connection of that? I hit your arm, not your face. Now stop clinging on me like a leech. I need to work!" I lied, because technically I wasn't doing anything.

 

          Zitao was attempting to smooch my whole face when the door opened, "Whoa! Private room alert!" Chanyeol's voice welcomed my ears.

 

          Great. He just saw Zitao flirting with me. He didn't need to see that.

 

"Hi Yeol." Zitao greeted cheerfully, as if he was talking to an old friend rather on a guy who's considered to be a superstar that has a fanbase that contains millions of people.

 

"What are you doing here- Wait. I won't question you. The company practically knows you. Heck, even Mr. Wu. Visiting your boyfriend again, I guess?" He said. I knew he was now near Zitao judging from the proximity of his voice.

 

          I felt Zitao shifted on his position before draping his one arm on my shoulder, "Yeah. Shame on those fans of yours. I can easily enter here as if I'm also an idol here." He chuckled.

 

          It was true. It's a dream come true for a fan if they have the chance to enter on one of the nation's top entertainment companies.

 

"Anyway, why are you here Chanyeol-hyung?" I asked, changing the topic.

 

"Ow. I was about to compose. My schedule isn't tight today, you know. This rarely happens." He explained. Chanyeol likes composing songs in his free time. He often helps the songwriters in writing songs whether it's for his own album or to other artists.

 

"Wow. You like to spend your extra time by working too, I guess?" Zitao joked.

 

"By the way, Zitao. Your boyfriend here is sure great. I look forward on the result of our next project." He suddenly said. I tensed on my seat. Before I could interrupt, Zitao instead asked, "Huh? What do you mean?"

 

"You didn't know? I thought Sehun had already told you. His latest piece is purely daebak. The CEO was never been this happy. Usually, it takes many revisions for us just to produce a single song, but in this case, your boyfriend used his magic."

 

"W-Wait... Are you telling me that his work was immediately approved?" Zitao muttered unsurely.

 

"Uh huh. In fact, in two days we will be recording. I need to practice my deep lines, though."

 

          This hyung. It was supposed to be a surprise! Now he ruined my plan. I was tempted to smack him to like what I've done to Zitao if he wasn't an idol and my friend.

 

          Now the next thing that happened was even more embarrassing. Without even warning, my supply of oxygen was cut. Zitao was kissing me hard, and I didn't even notice that he pulled me on his lap, an undying habit of him he always do every time he wants to kiss me passionately.

 

          When we both parted, I realized my cheeks were flaring up. Zitao cupped my face and rested our foreheads together.

 

"Oh my god, baby. I'm so proud of you." Me muttered breathlessly. He kissed me again for multiple times before finally letting me go with his butterflies on the stomach-triggering chuckles.

 

"My baby Hunnie. I know you can do it!" He added, now giving me an Eskimo kiss. I tried to swat his face away. It was really embarrassing since Chanyeol was in front of me.

 

"O-Oh. You know what? I'm going to write my song on the other room. See you guys tomorrow I guess?" He awkwardly said. Poor guy. He had witnessed Zitao's overwhelming display of affection to me.

 

"Yeah, Yeol. See you tomorrow!" Zitao replied.

 

"Yah! Don't tell me you're going to barge here again tomorrow?!" I snarled.

 

"Of course, baby. I thought you know me better." He replied before claiming my mouth again.

 

          I seriously felt his smile on that kiss. Huang Zitao. You're such a jerk and an angel at the same time.

 

 

 

 

 


          Two days flew fast. I found myself seating on the recording room with Kris and the rest of the artists who will record for this day. This was it. Baby Don't Cry will be recorded and I'm so nervous but excited at the same time. I felt like this was my first song three years ago when I started to work here in this company.

 

          The feeling was different, after all.

 

          Baekhyun went first. As usual, he mastered his parts within the span of two days. His emotions were on point we only recorded his parts twice. Kyungsoo went next, and then Suho-hyung. Both of them also made excellent jobs.

 

"Okay, good job. Next, Chanyeol. Please go inside the studio."

 

          The hyungs never failed to impress me.

 

"So, I'm next huh? Wish me luck!" Chanyeol said. Hyung still doubted himself about doing his part well. Up to this moment, I still don't understand why he's hesitating and doubting his talent. He didn't have multitudinous amount of fans, a triple crown for his latest comeback and an award-winning movie for nothing.

 

          Still, he kept on reminding me how my lyrics deeply moved him. Despite of his worries, the moment he started to rap, the whole recording room turned into a prayer room.

 

          I know it's normal to be quiet on a recording room, but I'm defining it in a metaphorical way. Chanyeol was known for his stylish rap and baritone vocal range. This was his first ballad title song to perform. I know he's so good but... That was beyond his limits.

 

          After his recording, I didn't need eyes to say that Chanyeol-hyung looked really troubled and nervous. The CEO and the hyungs were quiet for a few moments.

 

"Chanyeol." Kris started, "T-That was outstanding!" He exclaimed, "Sehun, would you please play his recording?"

 

          Just to prove the CEO's comment, my jaw dropped again when we heard Chanyeol's rap. His pronunciation was good. His delivery was amazing, and most of all, his emotions... It really complemented the angelic voices of the vocalists.

 

"Wow. As expected from Yeol. You really nailed it!" Suho-hyung commented. Baekhyun added a whistle, which was very inappropriate on that moment since Chanyeol was having his good time.

 

"Huh. Showered by praises again, giant. You deserve all of them." Kyungsoo added.

 

"Nah. Don't molest me with your sweet words. I didn't do that great." Chanyeol interceded.

 

"I didn't know that you can be so humble sometimes, smurf." Baekhyun teased, "I'm starting to believe that Sehun's song really affected you."

 

          I felt myself again blushing. It really felt wonderful having a song that really affects a person's emotion, especially these guys since they are professional artists, after all. My heart was nourished again with genuine praises. I'm really thankful again.

 

          The group had a final recording. After some briefing with the boss, I didn't waste my time arranging the song. We were already finished by the song, so I guess the next step would be recording for the music video, but right now, my top priority is to completely finish the core of this project.

 

"Good work today, everyone." Kris said. The others were in rhapsody, because the flow of the recording was so smooth we didn't have any delays. The hyungs complimented each other before waving off. The four of them still have their individual activities, that's why I was left behind on the studio.

 

          I re-run the whole song. As I listen to it, I can't help myself but to think of Zitao. The lyrics that I'd made really suited the voices of the hyungs. Without them, the song's deep meaning wouldn't be conveyed right.

 

          Being blind seemed to be impossible for fixing the music in computers or whatnot. Well, I was using a special kind of technology for doing this kind. It has braille keyboard, isn't amazing? The company's effort just to make me comfortable on work was really touching.

 

          I was finalizing my work when the door opened, "Hello Sehunnie!" It was Daehyun-hyung, also one of the solo artists of the agency.

 

"Daehyun-hyung. Hello. What brings you here?"

 

"Hmmm... Not much, Hunnie. I just heard you guys have finished recording. Is that true?" He questioned.

 

"Oh, yes hyung. I think I might about to send the final copy of the song to the CEO tomorrow. Do you want to hear it?" I offered.

 

"You know I haven't read the lyrics of your piece yet but according to Chen-hyung you did really impressive."

 

"O-Oh... Not much, hyung. Come on, let's hear it."

 

          Daehyun-hyung was quiet as the song was played. After roughly four minutes, I was again nervous, "S-So. What do you think?" Hyung hummed for a moment, "Well, what can I say? Professionally, Chen-hyung was not accurate about his judgment." Ouch. This was it. I thought I really did great but I wasn't. The CEO might like it, but I can't please everyone.

 

          My mouth went dry, "O-Oh. He was really exaggerating. I think I need to adjust-"

 

"Are you crazy, Hunnie? This song isn't just excellent and dreamy and all like Chen-hyung said. This is perfect! Oh my goodness your talent is really wonderful. I smell victory when they promote this song!"

 

          Again. I was speechless. I thought he hated it, heck, he was even more exaggerating than Chen-hyung.

 

"Sehun when will you write a song for me? I never had one of your songs, though." Daehyun-hyung wondered. I pondered for a moment. It was true. I was already working for three years here yet I wasn't able to work with Daehyun-hyung yet. Most of my songs were for the groups.

 

"Well, you can always ask the CEO about it." I cracked.

 

"Hell no! I hate briefing with him he's so intimidating!" I laughed at his statement. Sure, Kris was really scary but he don't bite.

 

"Anyway, Hunnie. I'm serious. Fans will go crazy about this project. Put yourself on the shoes of a fan. Imagine four of the best solo artists in this generation will collaborate. I bet you're dying now."

 

"You talk like you're not famous as well. All of the artists here are popular." I retorted.

 

"Oh come on. I'm not that popular like them. I haven't achieved anything big like them yet." He casually said.

 

          It was uncomfortable, but I saw myself on him.

 

"Don't be so down on yourself, hyung. I promise. If I have the chance to write a song for you, I'll make sure you'll surpass them." I seriously said. I heard Daehyun-hyung laugh.

 

"My goodness Hunnie you're such a sweetheart. Don't push yourself. I know you're really hardworking and talented but I think I can't beat their fanbases. Mine itself isn't big as Kyungsoo or Suho-hyung. What more if their fanbases are combined to each other? Besides, I don't want rivalry between them. We're on the same company, after all." He said.

 

"Well, it's true... But still! I'm determined to make an astounding song for you! Maybe someday, hyung. You'll surpass Baekhyun's records!" I chimed. I know it will really cheer him up.

 

"You know what, Hunnie? I think I might start believing that your positivity is right."

 

 

 

 

 

          I thought about it. Me, positive? I guess I can still be optimistic and faithful to others, after all.

Chapter Text

          The statistics of idols emerging from the past two decades is no joke.

 

          Since the genre K-pop was introduced to the world, a lot of aspiring artists were devoted to keep such tremendous attention and dreams this kind of world had given. Sure, South Korea was more known especially in terms of music. It was spectacular.

 

          Despite of this, being an artist itself brought many tears to these dreamers. The current generation withholds approximately hundreds- or even thousands of idols and artists molding this kind of industry. This just summarized basically that there are really indeed a lot of talented people roaming around the streets, waiting just to be scouted, while some are giving their all just to past the auditions and become a trainee, a one step closer on their dreams.

 

          Trainee life isn't easy- any mother tongue can easily dictate it. Training with no chance of assurance whether you'll debut or not, gives an anxious feeling to these dreamers. Nevertheless, they still play the cards of faith, gripping tightly on their determination, trusting no one but themselves. The only weapons they have are their talents and three kinds of faith- faith in themselves, faith in the time, and faith in God.

 

          A lot of people consider debuting as a pure blessing. No doubt, debuting is really every trainee's dream, the secret ingredient that will complete the recipe. It is sure nerve-whacking to know that you'll finally debut after many years of hard work. Being a trainee is like gambling, you'll sacrifice everything just to bid the risk. You'll lose almost everything- school, time, energy, effort, etc.

 

          However, the sickening reality will welcome you right after you debut. Debuting is indeed the secret ingredient, but the world will still decide and interpret the dish you have created. It doesn't mean that once you've created a masterpiece you longing to finish without any regrets, people will accept and praise you a hundred percent. This how life works. Sadly, this is also the same pattern the music industry works.

 

          The real world starts when you debut. Investing time and effort requires on top off it, but the worst possible result is yet to welcome you on the threshold of the harsh reality.

 

          Star Music Entertainment was established two decades ago by a Chinese businessman who dreamed vast back then. He believed on the talent of the people, that's why he decided to erect the first ever music entertainment ever in South Korea. It was really ironic since the founder wasn't a Korean himself, but a foreigner.

 

          Anyway, he didn't start off his days with pure ecstasy. As how hostile business would work, it also affected the man. However, this particular man had a tremendous amount of faith. The word 'give up' wasn't on his vocabulary, anyway. With his pledge through blood, sweat and tears, he proved that faith really is powerful.

 

          After two years, Mr. hardworking produced his first ever group. Back then, music industry wasn't yet extragavant as it seems to be today. This group had succeeded, no doubt. The businessman-turned into a CEO of the first every music entertainment company, did really do well promoting his boys.

 

          Years went flying so fast the entertainment rapidly grew fast. He debuted several people who succeeded, and other agencies had been popping up too. Soon, it was the great chapter that had started for music in South Korea. K-pop became a major trend, and it was soon accepted and loved internationally, much more domestically.

 

          Seemingly great, right? However, life wasn't wove for us without any difficulties. The rampant increase of idols had obscured the industry quiet bit disturbing. The number of people desiring this kind of life is understandable, of course. It was their dreams, after all, but it turned to shockingly miserable.

 

          This dilemma had resulted these current tragedies we are facing right now. Funnily enough, the word 'underrated' among hidden gems became overrated. In other words, a sickening mundane was formed over the unfair society we've been dwelling with.

 

          The company didn't any have exemptions with this faith (now it was saddening to use the word faith as if it is a burdening word). As more and more idols were produced, the artists of Star Music had been gradually being forgotten. Soon, they became old, and a lot of male artists were needed to sign up for military provisions. Basically, this started the rollercoaster ride of the company. The fear came, and these groups and artists were either had disbanded or parted ways with their former lives. They were overshadowed by the current situation, because the music industry had turned three-sixty. As displeasing it may sounds, it became a competitive landscape in disguise rather than fulfilling the real goal of this majestic progression- sharing and promoting Korea's music and giving people happiness in the form of music.

 

          Society is cruel, but it doesn't mean I've lost faith on people.

 

          Finally, bad luck had struck its impending fatal blow. On the company's thirteenth year, the CEO passed away, leaving the agency with zero- as in zero artists left. Girls Generation had disbanded, so was the great TVXQ and even BoA herself had parted ways when the founder died. It was heartbreaking, until one man decided to play the cards as well as his father had made it on the past.

 

          Immediately, Kris Wu inherited his father's last piece of hard work. The man may have died in agony, but his son wasn't buying it. Imagine Kris being young seven years ago, when he was still twenty years old- the first ever youngest CEO in music entertainment company in history- even first than anything else. At first he was clueless and hopeless about building up again the shattered agency. He tried himself to regain its glory, but even people weren't applying as a trainee for the former glorious entertainment.

 

          Thank the heavens because his answer came few months ago when Kim Taeyeon, the former leader and main vocalist of Girl's Generation- one of the company's prestigious fruit of labor, came barreling inside Kris' lifeless office, demanding how Kris hopeless was. She then announced that she's going to sign a new contract to the company. When Kris asked why she's doing that, she replied, 'This is where I started. My group might have been disbanded a while ago, but I can't stand seeing my roots practically forgotten. Stand up, heir. We have a company to restore.'

 

          Kim Taeyeon was his savior, after all. She became a solo artist again (she was on the group and a solo artist in Star Music back then) on the company. Kris was lucky Taeyeon didn't sign on any companies or else it would be complicated. Despite of the financial struggles, Kris did his best to pursue Taeyeon's grand comeback.

 

          The result? It was overwhelming Kris was never been thankful to the gem. Despite off his lacking in terms of running the company, he had his father's blood, after all. He proved himself that Star Music Entertainment will not be deteriorated easily, and his father's efforts will not end in a speck of dust.

 

          Over the span of just a year, Taeyeon became popular and was loved by the fans again. People admired her for her genuine personality despite her band had been disbanded. She restored the old glories of K-Pop. Star Music had tons of trainees again thanks to Taeyeon's help, and the company was running again perfectly.

 

          Well, blessings really arrive especially to those people who really have faith. One year exactly after Kris became the CEO of SM Ent., he released teasers about his new risky project: He declared that the company was going to have a surprise- a part from the company's grand comeback on music industry. He announced that he'll be producing a batch of stars that will represent the company together with Taeyeon, and it will be a total surprise for the public. I guess his budget wasn't yet that good during those times because he chose to debut a couple of solo artists instead of groups but nevertheless, he did chose the best decision.

 

          One of his best decisions, by the way. He is a great CEO. Kim Junmyeon- or known as Suho (his stage name) debuted first. He was immediately showered with love and attention, and has best known for his smooth and calming voice. The best way that I can describe Suho-hyung's voice is that his voice can be considered as powerful even though he didn't hit high notes frequently. His voice is known for its full character. He was scouted by Taeyeon herself. She narrated me how that happened. She was lounging comfortably in a coffee shop on her day off, disguised well, when she was surprised how handsome the guy was on the counter, smiling so sweetly to her. She told me she had a sudden spark (not romantically, though), and managed to talk to this guy privately. She discovered that the guy was the manager of the coffee shop, despite young, he knew how to use his words. Taeyeon revealed herself, and immediately offered the manager if he was interested on being part of SM Ent. Suho-hyung was shocked of course. Taeyeon left the guy, hoping he'll appear on the audition. Suho-hyung ended up attending on the audition. Taeyeon knew that he had the qualities of being an idol, despite of barely seeing him on a uniform in a mundane coffee shop. Who would believe that Suho-hyung was only one year younger than his CEO. Well, that wasn't strange, because Taeyeon had a better awkward problem. She was one year older than her CEO.

 

          Kris' surprise to the public wasn't even on the end yet, because Suho-hyung was only the first one. Next on the line was Park Chanyeol, the ultimate heartthrob. Chanyeol's success was empowering thanks to his good looks (Baekhyun had mentioned me too many times how handsome Chanyeol is). Not only that, the guy did rapping aside from his husky vocal range that can make girls drop and men question their masculinity. Chanyeol entered as a vocalist and he never thought he would be a good rapper. Chanyeol auditioned the same time Suho-hyung came. According also to him, he was his former school's piece in the field of music. Chanyeol ended up being a successful artist, aside from being an actor and a songwriter. Talk about golden talents.

 

          After a month, my current buddy Baekhyun was next. He had a video singing 'Rising Sun' by TVXQ that went viral on the internet. Tao always watched on that video back when we were in high school. It made me a little bit jealous because he kept on praising Baekhyun's vocal which was surprisingly so good. After that, Baekhyun started to enter singing competitions until lots of entertainment companies tried to scout him. In the end, he chose SM. His sole reason was because he was the 'number one' fan of Girls Generation, well according to him. Baekhyun made the public wild with his powerful voice. He was favored and adored by many trainees, even naming him as one of the current generation's vocal angel.

 

          The fourth one to debut (obviously only a month also after Baekhyun), was Do Kyungsoo, or D.O. Kyungsoo was also known for his impressive vocal abilities. He was a former culinary student, and Kris beseeched (yes, beseech) him just to join the company because he was stubborn at first. Finally, after eight times, Kris managed to bewitch him. Other than singing, he'll also known for his acting. His roles were no joke, and he was also admired by everyone. Baekhyun and Kyungsoo's voice really complimented each other. They often compete on Variety Shows. I wish I could see them on how they deliver their performances, though. All I could do is to listen, a tiring habit for me.

 

          Last on the list, completing the five-month mystery box explosion from the company was the arrival of Kim Jongdae, or Chen as his stage name. Jongdae was a child gag actor back on the days. Hoseok liked to crack his jokes when we were young. The thing was, Kris and Taeyeon were surprised to see a former child troll in televisions applying as a trainee on the company. Kris said to him if he was pulling a prank, whereas hyung just shrugged, stating, 'I was never serious about my life. I think this is the my chance to use my hidden talent.'  Who would know that this child star can actually sing? Again, I regretted having no eyes. I wonder how he acts of televisions. His jokes were no joke, they were really funny. In the end, Chen was another spectacular singer, after all.

 

          The five of them were part of the first batch of trainees SM had after its fall. These guys were obedient and easy to train, even Taeyeon helped them. They were born with natural talents, as if they were just waiting to be scouted and boom, they'll let the stage shine (ironic word coming from a blind person, ahem). Kris' sacrifice for money was replaced easily. The five solo artists went bam. They really bopped.

 

          Back then, Kris wanted them to become a group, but he realized it wasn't necessary anymore since they can dominate the stage alone (another thing I badly want to see). In just a span of another year, the five skyrocketed the company's sales. Talk about money makers.

 

          Daehyun-hyung was next to debut. Daehyun came from a poor family in Busan, hoping for a future for himself. He debuted after a year the five started to represent the company. Daehyun has also this powerful voice like Chen's and the soothing vibes like Suho-hyung's. He made a name for himself in musical shows, because he really excell on that field. He was a potential actor too. Zitao accompanied me the last time Daehyun had a musical show. It was nerve-wracking even though I'm just listening. What more if I could view the entire performance?

 

          After two months, another rapper came from the name Zelo, or Choi Junhong in real life. He's in fact, he was the first rapper to audition and he was really young, even two years younger than me. Nevertheless, he's pretty impressive too. He's known for his LTE rap. I remembered his debut, a society-wrecking piece called 'No Title' which gained him attention and even winning third place in Show Me the Money. Chanyeol was jealous, of course. He didn't had the chance to audition on that program because his career was on currently on peak. Poor guy.

 

          Moving on, SM finally had a group. Kris really knows how to manipulate his connections. Few months after Junhong's debut, the group 'ViXX' had finally erupted. I myself personally love this group because I use to write songs for them when I was still a newbie on the company. The group was also the first group of SM that have dark concepts as its main weapon. SM artists usually deal with lighter concepts, (ranging from summer EDM tracks up to catchy songs) until ViXX came. I remembered their song Voodoo Doll, when I participated writing it. My skills in writing songs with that kind of genre was horrible back then. ViXX has six members, and their kind of styles were stunning. I really like them.

 

          Last would be Red Velvet (consisting of five members) and finally Seventeen (consisting of seven members). Both of the groups were admired by the youth, since they are relatable. Red Velvet debuted shortly three months after I joined SM while Seventeen debuted during my eleventh month. Both groups are adorable and have their own unique styles too. I enjoyed writing their songs, too.

 

          The history of SM Entertainment just proved me how the positivity and faith greatly affect a person's well-being. Mr. Wu and his son's kind of faith was undeniably amazing, proving how optimism works, even surpassing the quicksand of the reality. Kris Wu is currently only twenty-seven, but his numbers are impressive. His father must be very proud. My boss is truly the best.

 

          Star Music survived, after all, and I was lucky I was working in this company. Still, we were lucky we made these people known for their talent. A company really has a huge impact in terms of making an idol group or a soloist popular. There are still many hidden gems out there that left unappreciated. Their efforts ended up in vain, unfortunately. People molded the music industry harsh, I wish I can change this. I just wish the best for these people.

 

          SM is almost finished on the upcoming project. I wonder how will people react? I had a strange feeling filling up my gut. Although I don't want to assume, but like what Daehyun-hyung have said, this will probably be successful, like any of our projects. The four of them are really popular achieving first place in music shows aren't impossible. It's just... How about the other artists on the day their comeback stage will be held? They will be overshadowed again by popular idols. It's not that I don't want them to win, but I just feel pity for the underrated ones. In fact, I was feeling this for a while now.

 

 

 

 

 

          Either way, I can't do anything about this. This is how reality works.

Chapter Text

          Zitao has been splendid during his high school days. Back in those moments when the three of us including Hoseok were still practically glued in each other, he always gets excited every time he recalls us his past matches in wushu. Zitao was into wushu when he was young, so basically he grew up tied in martial arts. Despite of having a different school with me and my best friend, his stories never got old and rusty. He entertains us a lot.

 

          My boyfriend was the former wushu representative in his batch back then. I'm sure his heroic act during our hostage incident which made him known was an enough evidence to prove that he was excellent in performing the said martial art. Tao always won in his competitions, making his school proud. It's just ironic because he's a foreigner after all, and his competitors were always complaining because he's Chinese and it was wushu after all it will naturally manifest on him. I found the accusations ridiculous, though. Your nationality won't measure the limits of your talent. It even went to the point that someone filed a ridiculous petition to oust Zitao from the competitions since he's not a Korean and he's representing a public Korean high school.

 

          Zitao was so talented I was ashamed of myself I couldn't even witness how majestic he must have been in my eyes if I could see. Every time he wins or share his personal experiences on his hobby, all I could offer is to listen tentatively. Nothing more. Being a good guy he is, he still chose me to be his lover, one thing that I will always question.

 

          Nonetheless, he was a jack of all trades, and I always accompany him on his competitions. The roaring of the crowd and the vibration of the floor was enough for me to sense his victory. He made me and Hoseok really proud. Aside from being a wushu master, he's sweet, caring, humble, funny and very friendly. Oh. Did I also mention that Tao was also part of the performance club in his high school days?

 

          Zitao loved music as much as he loved doing wushu. This also explains why he loved listening to Baekhyun's early viral videos because he loved to sing along with that guy. The thing is, they both have the same taste in music (this makes me also jealous sometimes!). Would you believe that he actually raps? Yup, you've heard it right. My boyfriend raps, although it was sometimes annoying because he often tease me with his cheesy confessions every time he threw pick-up lines and freestyle rap on me. Anyway, being a member of the performance club, Tao also dances and sings. Hoseok had liked him really more when he discovered that Zitao also danced. I can still remember those sweet moments. Hoseok really admired Zitao's dancing especially when he mixed up his skills in wushu together with dancing. Hoseok tried to imitate my boyfriend though, which only resulted a stupid accident I never want to reminisce (I was accidentally hit by Hoseok, and by the word hit, he accidentally smacked my chin, then I lost balance, then bam. I woke up inside the infirmary. Zitao promised that day that he will never teach Hoseok to dance with the twist of wushu again).

 

          I never saw Tao dance or do wushu, but I know how good his singing abilities are. Zitao first sang to us when we insisted him to show off his skills. He sang a Chinese song in purpose just for us to be clueless about the lyrics, but little did he know that I care less about that. I was curious hearing him sing. Then again, Zitao never failed to impress me. Sure, his vocal abilities weren't that powerful or soulful like Baekhyun or Kyungsoo, but his voice was so soothing it made me weirdly comfortable. Zitao's singing skills made me more ashamed because I myself couldn't even sing that well despite of being so inclined to music that's why I never calculate rhythm and pitch of songs that I write with people around me. Singing makes me exhausted. I don't want them to hear my shameful voice.

 

          Still, Zitao always insists on making me to sing- one technique he use when he banters me. Don't make me so ashamed of myself, my love.

 

"Hey baby." Zitao pouted as he sat beside me. Why I knew he pouted, I didn't know myself. Maybe because of the tone of his voice? Okay, I hate imagining facial expressions I never had the chance to see. Hoseok really hit me hard on molding my descriptions. Zitao wrapped his arms on my neck as he lazily smooched my neck, making me tense on my position. It was already night, and by tomorrow I would pass the final copy of the song that will be used on the project. If Kris will make his final approval, then the shooting of the music video can have a shot now. Thank goodness our production calendar was being followed smoothly.

 

          I was so busy blushing I didn't even feel Zitao lifting my weight, settling me on his lap. I hate when he treats me like a sack of potato. Zitao continued to torture me with his sloppy kisses I wanted to melt in my position, "Baby you weigh nothing. I really need to expand my knowledge about cooking so I can feed you with healthy meals." He murmured on my neck, sending jolts of electricity and heat through my system.

 

"A-Are we going to talk about my weight a-again, Huang Z-Zitao?" I mumbled, instantly cursing myself for faltering my voice. I felt his smirk on my collarbone, "Hmmm? I care about your frame, baby. You're so skinny I could practically use you as a staff. You can be handy in wushu." He joked. I wanted to scoff but embarrassingly, I produced a moan. This was not happening again. Ugh.

 

"Oh no baby don't do that you're making me so excited!" He continued to titillate me, still unaware how hot my cheeks were. I manage to slump on his body, "Am I that thin?" I whispered. Zitao kissed the top of my head, "Yup, but you're beautiful as always."

 

          Being called beautiful especially when you're blind can greatly affect your well being. I always feel giddy and nervous whenever he calls me beautiful because I myself only knew the definition of the word. Again, I never witness everything because the sense of sight was never present to me. I can only feel being called beautiful as a tingling response on my tactile senses.

 

          Zitao cradled my face and pulled me just to capture my lips, "Baby, I'm so proud of you." He murmured between our heated kisses, "You're so great. I love you Hunnie." Zitao partly lifted my shirt I felt his hands flawlessly rummaging through my soft skin. I felt myself freezing on his sensitive touch as he continued to shower me with his kisses. Zitao reluctantly pulled back when I fisted his shirt because I found difficult to breathe. Tao kissed my nose and my philtrum as he rubbed circles on my back, "Hunnie-ah?" He called, "Yes?"

 

"I love you. You know that?" Again, my heart fluttered with warm feeling. His words were always redundant, but I always fall for his genuine words.

 

"I love you too, dummy. Please stop putting me on your lap, it's embarrassing." I whined, voice low. Being his usual self, Zitao chuckled and peck my forehead, "Sehunnie, you're so adorable."

 

"And you're so annoying." I retaliated.

 

"But you still love me, though." He countered. When will I win during our pointless arguments? Never.

 

"Yes, Huang Zitao. I love you. Would you please let me down? I want take a shower. I stink." I protested.

 

"Let's shower together." He proposed, which I only shrugged. Okay, don't get this wrong. Zitao and I had showered together in ages because he liked to help me cleaning. Although I can do it perfectly fine without the guy, he kept on insisting he liked to rub my back. We never did anything far besides taking a bath, okay? Zitao respected me a lot even though he has a habit of throwing unnecessary innuendos.

 

          The warm water cascaded on my skin as Zitao playfully rub me on my back. As much I hate how he treated me like a child, I didn't have the advantage to complain. I was sitting on the tub while he's showering me. Zitao suddenly tickled my waist so I retaliated back by clasping on his arm hard before pulling him towards the tub, creating a huge splash on the floor.

 

"Baby I'm still on my clothes how could you do this to me?!" He protested which I only giggled as a response. I sat comfortably on his lap before leaning on his chest, "Aigoo. You're so cute." I purred in content as I listen on his heartbeat which made me more secured on his arms. He continued to caress my side as he peppered me with his kisses on the top of my head. The situation may seem to be awkward because I'm only on my undergarments while he's fully clothed but I didn't care.

 

          Finally, Zitao said, "Okay, cutie pie. Time to finish up. Up, up up!" After bathing, Zitao carried me on the bedroom and helped me with my clothes. He kissed me on my forehead before returning to the bathroom. I laid on the bed contentedly as I tried to recall the past events on the production of the project. I found myself again doubting.

 

          Zitao took so long bathing I almost fell asleep on the covers. My eyes were already drifting when I heard the door opening, "Hey babe I have a good news!" He said. The mattress dipped and he plopped beside me while I tried to muffle a yawn, wiping the sides of my eyes.

 

"Huh? What's that?" I asked absentmindedly. Zitao put his hand on my shoulder, "Guess what, someone immediately wants to meet us." He spoke, only making me perplexed.

 

"Who's it?" I yawned. Zitao shifted closer to me, "Well, for the first in forever, Hoseok is going to have a one day break on Sunday after all of his busy schedules and he wants us to meet with him!" He cheerfully announced, which made my jaw drop.

 

 

 

 

 

          Hoseok? Oh my goodness, speaking of the devil. I'm going to meet him again.

 

 

 

 

 


          Sunday flew by so quickly. The song was finally approved last Friday and they were going to immediately shoot the music video. Kris made sure to inform me whether if ever unexpected occurrences may come which I highly doubt.

 

"Seriously, why would like Hoseok to meet us at this early?" I whined. The early breeze of autumn was cold I hugged myself so tight. Zitao woke me up very early, and I couldn't even feel my bones and my brain was also feeling lightweight. We went to the Hangang Park, the park we always hang out together when we were still in high school, to meet with Hoseok which made me really suspicious. Why would he want to meet on the park? Especially on his current state, people might recognize him which may cause a great havoc.

 

"He said that he wants to maximize the time, Hun. His next day-off will probably take forever again so that's understandable." He nonchalantly said. The wind blew harder. I cocooned myself tighter on the coat. Suddenly, Zitao enveloped me with a warm hug, "Feeling cold?" He asked, "Obviously."

 

          Thankfully, it didn't take so long for Hoseok to show up, "Oh my goodness he's here!" Zitao declared, automatically standing up on his seat. I groaned on the loss of heat. I lightly stomped my foot to locate my friend. As I felt the vibration, I realized that we was practically jogging towards us, seemed overly excited.

 

"Zitao! Sehun!" Hoseok welcomed us with a bone-crushing hug. Feeling like teenagers, we giggled in euphoria together. Hoseok even practically bounced on his heels like a child while gripping us so hard my arms burn.

 

"Oh my goodness you're here!" Zitao said, still not believing that we were reunited again, "Yah! I'm really here!" Hoseok chided, but it only came as a muffle. Judging from his tone, I think he's wearing a mask so that he can hide his identity.

 

"Hoseok you idiot! Why would you want us to meet up here?! This is crazy people might recognize you!" I reprimanded with a low tone.

 

"Sorry guys! But it's been ages since my feet had wondered here. I wanted us to spend our time like the old times that's why-"

 

"You wanted us to wander here with lots of people who know you. Great." I muttered but Zitao interrupted me, "Oh come on, Sehun! Don't be such a sap. Hoseok just wants to spend his time with us isn't that sweet?"

 

          Feeling guilty, I shifted on my place. I heard Hoseok cooing before tackling me with another hug, "Oh Hunnie you haven't change in ages!" He clasped my face with his hands, "You're still the sassy Sehun huh?" He said before the two of them bursted laughing.

 

"Can we just stroll around? I feel like I'm the laughing stock now." I complained. Zitao pulled me closer before kissing me sweetly on the cheek, "Sorry baby, let's go now!"

 

          Just like the old times, the trio of us spent our lives together as if nothing hadn't change. Hoseok and Zitao rented a bike and they raced. I was on Zitao's back I wanted to weep because I thought we might fall straight through the river because of his speed. We went fishing despite of the cold weather. Zitao had many while Hoseok dejectedly accepted his defeat again for the second time. Zitao helped me to fish, which I caught two. We picnicked on the side of the river, retelling our good old stories. Zitao showed again his dance skills slash with a touch of wushu which never went old to Hoseok. He always loved my boyfriend's acts. They often practice together on this same place, laughing and feeling so free.

 

          It was so perfect.

 

          Zitao told me how drastically Hoseok's fashion sense had changed (in a good way, of course). Despite of his disguise which he did very well by the way, he was perfectly flawless in his clothes. Zitao joked me that Hoseok looked like a person now.

 

"Yah! You're so mean!" Hoseok whined.

 

          What's with the disguise and all the hiding on Hoseok, anyway? Well, let's just say that Hoseok is really, and when I said really, Hoseok is really popular. In other words, he's also an idol now.

 

          Remember the time I said that Hoseok liked to dance? Since we were young, he was devoted in performing. Despite of my disability, he still showed his talent in front of me. Well, how would I even appreciate it? He's one of the reason why I'm even determined to sharpen my echolocation. I practiced sensing his dance moves, so I could finally appreciate his genuinity towards me. He constantly presented his dance to me which I gradually feel thanks to the vibrations, sang and rap for me.

 

          Hoseok is also a perfect example of a person who has a great sense of faith. He believed in himself, and he never gave up his dreams. After graduating high school, he was scouted on BigHit, the direct competitor company of Star Music and he debuted successfully as part of the group Bangtan Sonyeondan (BTS) last three years, the time I also became a songwriter and producer in SM.

 

          BTS is currently one of the most popular group in the country, and Zitao told me that their views in Youtube kept on increasing everyday. Their average view is about a hundred million, by the way, including them as one of the best k-pop group ever made in the history. Imagine the success they had in the span of only three years.

 

          Their group is one of our company artists' rival when it comes to music shows. I remembered the time when they won against Chanyeol, they were only up by three votes against hyung. Imagine how popular they are. 

 

          Despite of these success, Hoseok remained down-to-earth which made my heart really warm. He never abandoned his roots, even us. He really is a great friend. Nowadays his schedules are always packed we rarely have time with each other. Nevertheless, he made me really happy today.

 

          We were wandering towards a restaurant when we heard 'Dope' by BTS playing through the park, "What's happening?" I asked, although I already sensed the huge volume of people crowding nearby.

 

"Huh? I never knew Inkigayo will set their show here for today?" Hoseok wondered, "I guess it's commercial break that's why they are playing our song."

 

"Hey I think the music show's great?" Zitao said, "Hunnie, does any of SM's artist has a schedule today to perform?" He added. I took a mental count on myself, Kyungsoo was the last soloist to have a comeback and his activities ended last week. Junhong was guesting on Running Man, while Red Velvet was taping on Weekly Idol.

 

"Nope, no one. Their schedule had ended. We're currently busy for the new project." I said, BTS' song still playing loudly through the background.

 

"Oh, speaking of your new project, Hoseok-ah, Hunnie participated on that and made a bop song!" Zitao suddenly spoke, making me blush.

 

"Yah. It's not of a big deal. I always write songs." I sheepishly replied, instead I felt Hoseok's arm as he linked in together with mine, "Oh really? Who's song for?"

 

"Well, it's a secret for the public." I said, resulting Hoseok to mutter an 'aw'. Finally, Hoseok grumbled something, "Hmmm? I think boss will not go nuts if I make a surprise huh?"

 

"What do you mean?" Zitao asked. Instead, our friend-slash-idol pulled us towards the music show. The song was on it's bridge when we finally pushed ourselves on the crowd.

 

"Hoseok what do you think you're doing?! People might recognize you!" I panicked, but he just shunned my statement, "Follow me."

 

          Zitao brought us to the backstage which made me more confused. What was he thinking? Hoseok pulled us on a side, promising that he'll be back for a moment.

 

"H-Hoseok?! What are you- Oh okay, fine! Leave us here in the back stage." Zitao muttered. Few moments had past the idol came back, excitingly pulling us literally in front of the crowd.

 

"Wait here." He mumbled and he was gone. The music finally ceased, but the noise of the fans was still empowering my eardrums. I felt Zitao shifted uncomfortably in his position, "Uh... Hunnie? Do you think what I'm thinking right now?"

 

          Honestly, I was still stunned, but the next words of the MC unlocked the puzzle of my train of thoughts, "Ladies and gentlemen we have an unexpected special guest for today!" She said. Immediately, my mind processed. 'Hoseok?' The crowd went excited, curious comments flying everywhere. Zitao just hugged me by my side before whispering, "That idiot. He really is crazy."

 

"Everyone, let us welcome J-Hope of BTS with his special performance!"

 

 

 

 

 

          I died together with the crowd in that moment. Jung Hoseok, you're screwed.

Chapter Text

          In certain circumstances, some of my friends share the same attribution. I concluded that Chanyeol and Hoseok had some similarities. An example of this is spending your day off by also working.

 

          How passionate.

 

          The crowd went wilder when the music blared all over the place, dominating the Hangang Park. I felt the vibrations rocking my whole system when people started to chant my best friend's name. Zitao clutched my shoulders before whispering, "This is crazy, Hunnie. Oh well... Might as well enjoy our friend's special appearance." I never attend on any of Bangtan Sonyeondan or Hoseok's live performances. I may experience a great show as a bonus experience while spending this perfect day with Hoseok. Still, is this moment even plausible to happen? Hoseok happened to be barging on a music show that had a certain schedule to follow.

 

          Thanks to the noise, navigating Hoseok became a piece of cake. He was on the center of the stage, and as 'Cypher Part II' controlled the music show premises, I can't help myself but to join the crowd on their joy. How can't I? My best friend was literally establishing the fans as if he's the boss. Now I knew why Hoseok and his group were so popular. Performing live is one of the many challenges idols mundanely face because people like to criticize in that field. First time hearing Hoseok rapping live as an idol gave me chills. The kind of vibration that his performance was so empowering it even surpassed the cacophony of sounds in the background. It was really amazing how a single person could even control hundreds of people just because of talent and fame.

 

"Wow. I know Hoseok is really good but... Just wow." Zitao mumbled beside me, leaving him also speechless. I continued to focus on Hoseok's performance. I was amazed on how he delivered the song alone and even the interaction he's doing with fans was also great. He kept on chanting together with the huge mass of people I thought I was on his solo concert.

 

"Everyone, a round of applause again for J-Hope of BTS! Thank you for visiting us today!"

 

          As expected, his performance ended by the crowd (including a hyperactive Hoseok as well) screaming and shouting an encore. Zitao pushed me towards the backstage where we met Hoseok not a minute after the crowd's noise had subsided.

 

"Hoseok-ah! That was so superb!" Zitao squealed gleefully. Hoseok giggled like a teenager before hugging me, "Sehunnie. I'm amazing on that stage, right?"

 

"Hoseok, you brat. First of all, obviously I didn't really 'see' how you performed but judging on how I felt your presence and of course your performance, yup. You really were great back there." I grinned.

 

"Hey, Hoseok. Do you know that this is my first time seeing you live?! You were really amazing! No wonder you debuted! You really deserved it!" Zitao added.

 

"Well, the show's over now. Hoseok, if you're thinking that I have forgotten your promise about treating us dinner, then the answer is no. I'm still looking forward to it." I suddenly interrupted. The three of us laughed heartily, before finally walking away from the venue of Inkigayo.

 

          Hoseok made so far I can't even measure how happy and proud I am for him. After all, he's a member of Bangtan Sonyeondan. He is really undoubtedly talented.

 

 

 

 

 


          The next day, I was expecting the updates for the project. It turned out a bigger news was about to get revealed.

 

"Hey, Sehun." Seungho, my co-worker, greeted me when I entered the production room after a series of teasing with Zitao before he drop me off and a lot of bantering with Baekhyun on the elevator. Seungho's job centered on producing EDM and Rock music. Unlike me, he abhors writing songs but when it comes to producing music, he's a wizard on it but his laziness is always his main foe. Thanks to his talent and my benevolence on his crappy personality, Kris hasn't fired him yet. The scent of coffee welcomed my olfactory senses as I tottered towards him.

 

"Hi, Seungho, what's up?" I greeted back. Seungho snatched my cane, putting it on top of the table before helping me to seat beside him, spilling the beans, "Hey, Sehun. You're friends with J-Hope of Bangtan Sonyeondan, right?" He questioned, the name of friend automatically made me smile.

 

"Yes, why?" I asked, Seungho tapped his feet against the table before speaking, "Apparently, he made a quite commotion all over the SNS."

 

"Oh, really? What about it?" To be frank, I wasn't surprised about the news. Bangtan's actions were always heavily guarded by the SNS. I bet his surprise visit in Inkigayo yesterday was instantly uploaded in just few seconds.

 

          Seungho hummed as a response before clicking his tongue, "Well, we all know that Inkigayo is a music show, right?" He asked which I nodded.

 

"Well, look at this! It's all over Twitter and Naver. The haters are feasting." He added, making me more curious. I hovered my friend, gripping his arm tight which made him whimper, "Yah! What's wrong with you?!"

 

          I smacked his head, "You fool! You know that I can't see! How could I read those articles? Do you have braille in your phone or what?" My co-worker clasped my hands as a sign of his defeat, "Whoa! I'm not a fan of your violence, get off your presence is sucking my life force!" He said dramatically, "I'll just read the articles for you, happy now?"

 

"I thought you're not going to do that for me." I huffed.

 

J-Hope of BTS, crashes Inkigayo with his unexpected visit?

 

J-Hope Rocks the whole Hangang Park

 

BTS representative makes a wild ride in Inkigayo

 

'Wow. I didn't think that Bangtan will go too far, even crashing one's performance. They are so famwhore'

 

'Stupid party-crasher. They should ban Bangtan on their next comeback, J-Hope don't have respect on other performers.'

 

'Are you kidding me? How could you award that group as one of the role models of the youth today if they don't know how to behave on the first place.'

 

'This arrogant act only proved that Bangtan Sonyeondan is a piece of trash.'

 

'Such hypocrites and attention whore!'

  

           Seungho kept reading all of the hate comments and articles making my mind was so painful and dizzy. I felt my blood boiling in rage, how could they say such hurtful words to Hoseok?! I'm a hundred percent sure that those spiteful words were all fallacies because Hoseok just wanted to make his fans happy. He will never do such malicious things, much more tripping and hurting others' pride.

 

          Still, the other part of my rational brain insisted that Hoseok had done something wrong in his part. I must admit, Hoseok became impulsive in his part, and I think he was overwhelmed by the volume of the crowd. Hoseok loves to please people, I know that's the only reason why he did that. After all, he made everyone in the venue happy, so why all of these horrendous accusations and hurtful words were popping up like mushrooms?

 

          Oh, I forgot. This how the industry works.

 

"J-Hope you piece of trash you should know your place..." Seungho continued to read the articles. Some of the fans made effort to defend Hoseok's actions, but majority of the opinion of the press was still wrong. Screw the media. How could they make an article that is purely opinionated and subjective?! 

 

"So... There are still many but I'm guessing you don't want to hear them all." Seungho said, patting my shoulders, "Hey, don't worry. That's Bangtan Sonyeondan. They can solve this issue easily. I can't still figure it out why people are so bitter about this, especially they are involving the whole group. I love how haters think. They are sooo intelligent and logical." He sarcastically said.

 

"I should have thought about this sooner." I told to Seungho how the event was normally done from the first hour of our reunion up to the show, "Well, you are a witness itself, so I believe you. Still, J-Hope made a mistake for being impulsive but at the same time, the haters were exaggerating, well, especially..."

 

"Especially Star Music's fans."

 

          Fan wars are horrible if I could only turn back the time and let this kind of childish act have a penalty of death, I will. Aside from having sesaeng fans, fan wars serve also as pestilence on the industry, ruining their idol's image. Despite of having a very strong fanbase, BTS has the worst haters who are very envious about their success. Sadly, most of their haters come from Star Music artists' fans. For example, when BTS beat Baekhyun on his comeback with a duet with Taeyeon, the fans on the both aforementioned artists were so furious they made an detestable hashtag trend in Twitter. That was the first time Bangtan Sonyeondan had defeated an SM artist. Since then, they've become favorites on the eyes of the haters.

 

"Whoa. I'm looking forward on Twitter! I wonder what will they use to gain attention on the public again? Let's make a bet, Sehun! I think Chanyeol's fans will come up with an amazing-ouch!" Before he could mumble something irrelevant, I slapped his arm again, "That was unnecessary!" He whined.

 

"It was. You were being garrulous I wanted to puke." Seungho complained for another moment before finally coming up with sense, "Hey, Sehun. Don't worry. Everything's going to be alright. Besides, we have a bait to make our company's immature fans divert their attention from browbeating BTS."

 

"Huh? And that is?"

 

 

 

 

 

"Silly producer. Of course, your piece! The shooting was done yesterday! In fact, you and the guys have a meeting with the CEO in an hour for the finally discussions."

 

          Oh. I totally forgot about Baby Don't Cry.

Chapter Text

          It wasn't long enough before Seungho pushed me towards the elevator. I didn't have the chance to complain, because the next thing I knew, I was already ascending towards the CEO's room. I sighed heavily as I tried to digest the current dilemma my friend has to face. Controversies among idols were not new because occasionally, these things always appear, ready to taint someone's image. These kinds of unnecessary interruptions varies depending on its level of ridiculousness. Most of the time, media and bashers create such absurd scandals in small things, such as in the interviews or guestings on the television or radio programs of the artists. My friends were victims of this apathy. Baekhyun and Taeyeon were rumored to be dating last year, which was purely nonsense because the two of them are always busy in their respective schedules. Chanyeol was accused of copying styles and has no originality. Daehyun once cracked his voice while performing in Music Bank, only a bunch of hurtful comments flooded the social media after the incident. Even Red Velvet was labelled 'failed' and a mere creation of the company just to fill the absence of the disbanded group Girls' Generation.

 

          When Bangtan Sonyeondan had beaten Chanyeol, it created havoc. Fans of Chanyeol accused ARMYs (fans of BTS) bribing the M Countdown officials, causing Chanyeol's win to vanish or to be foul played by just three mere votes. When an investigation was held, it was proven that no such cheating had been done. Kyungsoo was also accused of manifesting a bad behavior, stating that he rolled his eyes while solo artist Jimin-ssi of the rival company was performing last Mnet Asian Music Awards. I definitely didn't know how it happened, but according to Jongdae, that issue never happened. Kyungsoo was just exhausted that time and he just closed his eyes, not really rolling it (I told you, haters are really creative and loves to exaggerate). The issue immediately subsided because the haters couldn't present a footage proving their accusation.

 

          It's so frustrating how these kind of issues affect these poor idols. It's a sign on how they lack privacy since they became famous. The feeling of every move you do corresponds a worrying critic from the others is very haunting, and unfortunately, many idols suffer depression from it. Daehyun had a six-month break after his incident, because he became frightened and refused to continue his remaining activities. The judgment of the others had deeply lacerated his morale, and his trust on himself had diminished. During his break, he had another controversy. Daehyun had a careless move of posting his own self while smoking in Instagram. Kris was really furious about it. It even came to the point Daehyun almost terminated his contract, but we managed to stop him, mainly thanks to Baekhyun's sassiness. That was the first time Baekhyun became dead serious. He even literally punched Daehyun on the gut just to snatch him back to reality. He underwent on a therapy to cease his fears so he can perform again back on stage. After a year of rehabilitation, he finally had his comeback in music industry. Unfortunately, because of his many issues, his fanbase had greatly decreased, although he's doing fine right now. He became well-known again because of musical plays where he spend most of his time performing there.

 

          Certain circumstances such as these are annoyingly inevitable. I'm just thankful enough that our artists never give up.

 

          I was the only one missing when I arrived in the office. The meeting officially begun not a moment after, and it concluded that next Wednesday would be the target release of the project. Almost everything was done; the music and it's recording, the music video, and the first teaser. The music video was reran during meeting (which I only listen to it, my bad). It was safe to say that the CEO, the whole board and even the artists were satisfied about the result. Baekhyun described to me how the music video looked which I was truly grateful for. Of course I had no idea how the lighting or the color scheme worked, but he narrated me well how detailed the mood and the emotion of the video was.

 

          After the meeting, I returned in my place where I helped Seungho on his project. He was currently working for Red Velvet's album, and since bubbly and electronic music are his specialties, I have high expectations on his work. However, the moment I entered our room, Seungho screamed unmanly I almost hit him with my cane.

 

"What the heck! How am I supposed to do this!"

 

"Whoa. I just attended a meeting then when I came back, you're having a mental breakdown. What just happened?" I greeted. Shuffling noises reverberated on my ears which I guessed my coworker was panicking on his own seat. Seungho harshly grabbed my shoulders, "Sehun!!! Why are they so cruel!" He shouted straight to my face which made my eyelids close, "What do you mean?!"

 

"It's the board! Also the CEO! I only checked my email earlier and I only saw that they sent me a message regarding Red Velvet's title song!" He continued to wail hysterically.

 

"They wanted to change it from a cute and bubbly to ballad! The hell?! I don't do ballad songs!" Seungho hit the table with his hands, which only made him whimper from the pain, "My draft was ruined, Sehun! This is insane! They could have said this personally to me so the effect would be lesser, but no! This is pure insanity!"

 

          I rolled my eyes, "Calm down, Seungho. I know you hate this kind of situation because it disturbs your time table, but let me help you, okay? Just this once, please stop whining. It doesn't suit you. You remind me of my boyfriend."

 

          To be honest, I was surprised. Since Red Velvet had debuted, they constantly have light and catchy songs as their title tracks. Seungho is their main producer since day one of their career, that's why their songs are really good. Some songs I have written for them are 'Be Natural', 'Automatic', and 'Wish Tree' while I helped Seungho produce 'Somethin Kinda Crazy' and 'Huff n Puff' by creating the early piano pieces of these songs. I felt a bit disappointed, because the song 'Russian Roulette' Seungho had written (yes, he didn't feel lazy for the first time!) which he really focused on these past few days would be wasted. Still, I'm going to help him, because he's my friend (I cringed... Ugh) though even if his laziness is worth dying for.

 

          Immediately, I went to Kris' room to complain and to also act as Seungho's voice. You may be thinking why I have the guts to complain to my boss (ehem, the CEO himself). Of course, I respect him as my ultimate superior and I still call him formally during presentations. Heck, I always feel nervous every time I present my works to him! But the thing is, Kris is also a close friend of mine. Behind closed doors, he's really kind and has this kind of high principle in life but overall, he's down to earth. Although he rarely shows his emotions, his heart is completely obvious.

 

          I knocked on his massive door. Good thing he wasn't busy my concern would have been pushed back. Seungho is afraid of Kris, (all of the staff are afraid of him, they always say that Kris usually frowns which is equivalent to a not-a-happy-face in a blind's perspective) that's why I have no choice but to carry off his problem.

 

"Hi Mr. Wu." I greeted. I clicked my tongue and clanged the cane on the floor. The vibration told me that the CEO was as usual sitting on his swivel chair, "Hello, Sehun. Any problem?"

 

          As professional as possible, I explained to him about Seungho's problem. As always, he was intently listening, and he never dared to interrupt me from explaining.

 

"Ah, I see. I know the sudden change is somewhat surprising because yesterday the board had recommended me about this. You know how people react. If they knew that Red Velvet will continue their style, they might find it boring thus there will be a possibility that they will neglect them. Don't worry, this concept is experimental and we would like to know how will the fans react about their sudden change. About Seungho's draft song, there's no need to trash it out. Let him keep it, we may be using it in the future."

 

"Still, you guys didn't notice him personally. Although I may be exaggerating, he was really devastated. It was the first time he wrote a title song since that is mainly my job aside from the other lyricists... So yeah." I internally winced how informal I talked to my boss. Ooops, I'm such a hypocrite! Die in shame, Sehun! I fumbled the hem of my shirt.

 

        After few awkward silence, Kris finally spoke up, "Very well. Could you please call him so I can properly apologize? I was really busy about the four's joint project I had no time but to send the news via email. You know he doesn't need to worry. The girls' comeback is not yet near. Tell him to take no pressure."

 

          What I also like about Kris is that he admits his mistakes. Listening to his subordinates is a major trait a CEO must have. It's not like I'm correcting my boss because it would be really rude and bossy, but seeing how he treats us fair is really makes our company's image good (or decent... or whatever).

 

          After our talk I quickly thanked and bowed to Kris before finally leaving. I instantly delivered the news to my coworker. At first he was really hesitant because like what I've mentioned earlier, he's afraid of the CEO but after how many times I've bludgeoned him with my cane, he gave up and reluctantly went towards the elevator.

 

          Settling back on my station was a bad idea, because Hoseok managed to invade my mind again. How was he, after all? I'm sure his company didn't take the issue easy. I'm afraid that he might suffer like what happened to Daehyun but no- my friend is mentally strong. I know he wouldn't be affected that much and he will immediately admit his mistake. Zitao told me that everything will be alright and just like any other controversies, this will also fade away like nothing had happened.

 

          Still, my brain was acting the otherwise. I couldn't stop worrying for my friend. He's an idol. A very famous idol belonged to a very famous group. I hope they will give Hoseok a chance to defend and explain himself. After all, he's a human. We always make mistakes. I tried to distract myself by playing random notes on the keyboard. I didn't know how long I've been engrossed playing but finally, my coworker arrived. He said to me that everything was fine and he was not going to throw his draft away and will keep it as a backup like what the CEO had said.

 

"See, I told you. Mr. Wu isn't that scary. He's one year younger than Taeyeon noona, for Pete's sake." I teased. Seungho huffed, "Well... He wasn't angry. But Sehun, how could you just barge in his office and complain?! You could have lost your job!"

 

"Trust me, Seungho-ssi. It won't happen."

 

          Okay, I was too overconfident! Kris still has the right to fire me even if we are friends. Afternoon went by, I didn't do that much. Seungho and I went to the trainee's studio to teach them how to read notes and use random instruments. Junhong was also there to teach rap. The younger was so cute he kept on complaining me how the other trainees were much older than him but they call him sunbae. He said that it made him embarrassed, but honored at the same time.

 

"H-Hello, producer-nim." Someone unfamiliar called my name while I was preparing the piano, "Hello, there. How can I help you?"

"Oh, Sehun. Good timing. We have here Moon Jongup, one of the newest trainees we have here. He was scouted by one of our staff on a local dance battle in Seocho district. Boy, his b-boying is great! He's here to learn how to play piano with you." He explained.

 

"Nice to meet you, Jongup-ssi. I would love to teach you how to play this instrument but, have you learned how to read notes?" I softly asked.

 

"O-Oh.. Not yet, sunbae.." I chuckled how nervous the trainee was, "Don't worry, I'll teach you."

 

          Jongup was very shy but very obedient. Although he finds it hard reading the notes, he's still pushing himself to do it. It took us many tries just for him to guess the right notes. By the time he's trying to play the chorus of BTS' 'Just One Day' (don't ask me why I chose a rival company's song), his skill was gradually improving. He told me that we has nervous when he did his audition, because he only knew how to dance. He never thought about being a singer, and he was too shy to shun away the staff who had scouted him.

 

"You're a fast learner, Jongup-ah! At first you were struggling but look at you now, you are doing great!" I applauded.

 

"O-Oh... Thank you, producer-nim! I'll work harder!" He said. I always like that famous line. I shook my head, "No, thank you, Jongup-ah."

 

"P-Producer-nim?!"

 

"Thank you for letting me to teach you. Aren't you bothered by the fact that your seonsaeng-nim is practically blind?" I asked. Jongup suddenly and violently shuffled from his sit, "N-No, producer-nim! W-Why would I? In fact, I'm honored to work with you... Besides, I'm amazed how you read the notes and play the piano as if nothing. H-How could you do that? I learned very well from you!" He said. I won't deny it, but I'm deeply touched. These trainees from our entertainment are really amazing. They really respect their sunbaes and superiors.

 

"Thank you, Jongup-ah. Your words had really genuinely touched me."

 

          Teaching a bunch of trainees on how to play piano was really exhausting. Seungho complained to me how he became active this time because normally he hated spending his energy much, which contradicted on how Junhong was. The hyper young idol even taught the trainees on their dancing. That kid was really adorable.

 

"Hyung! I just saw how the new trainee hyung danced! He was amazing I forgot my moves while dancing in front of the trainees, it was so embarrassing!" Junhong whined.

 

"Hey, kid. Don't you have a schedule today? Last thing I checked you're an idol in our company, not a dance instructor." Seungho bantered. Junhong stomped his feet like a child, "Hmmmph! You're so mean, hyung! I don't have a schedule for today! I just want to help the trainees grow!" He counter attacked.

 

"Yah. Once enemies, always enemies. Stop teasing Junhong, Seungho. You know how he hates you." I mumbled.

 

"I never learned anything from him! I only learned how to read notes thanks to Sehun-hyung!" Junhong cracked. It was hard for me not to laugh. He really did insult Seungho straight from a hot oven.

 

"Oh yeah? Because you're so stubborn. I was waiting for you to get cut but damn! The CEO even debuted you!"

 

"It's because I'm great, hyung! I didn't know why Red Velvet really like you! You're sooo lazy!"

 

"It's because he's their main producer, Junhong." I explained, only earning an 'oooh' from him. Sometimes I didn't know if Junhong is an idol or a four-year old kid who happened to be lost in our company, but his talent tells the otherwise."

 

"Still, he's lazy! Blah blah blah!"

 

 

 

 

 

          Without any hint of sarcasm and irony, I really love working in Star Music Entertainment. I really do, even if I was surrounded by childish coworkers and artists (childish but famous), I'm still okay. I'm really okay.