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These character interpretations are all my thoughts on what each character would be like, so if you don’t agree with my characterizations, that is fine. If you don’t like them, feel free to just not read.

Also, the characters Jaehee Kang, Jumin Han, Echo Girl, and Zen/Hyun Ryu belong to Cheritz Co. and I do not claim any ownership or credibility for these characters. As for Basil, the MC character in this story, she is my own character who is mainly based off of myself and some of MC’s responses in the game. Please do not use her for your own uses, I doubt you would, but please just don’t.

Before reading, please be aware that this fic will include some spoilers and mentions of possible suicide. Take precautions and make sure you’re comfortable as you read. Please be safe. <3

Finally, I hope you enjoy the fic and have fun reading!

Ever yours,
Pop! ☆〜(ゝ。∂)

Chapter Text

Jaehee’s POV

 

    The phone never stops ringing and every three seconds I hear the same thing:

 

Hi, this is A! News, calling to get the scoop on Jumin Han’s sexuality…

 

Nextra here, we’d like an interview with Mr. Jumin Han to talk about his grudge against women.

 

Ms. Kang! We’ve heard a lot about you here at VBS, would you mind a private interview regarding your boss, Mr. Jumin Han?

 

Haha, yeah, I-I’m not with any news agency but I’d like to know straight from the camel’s mouth. Ahem… Does Jumin Han is gay?!?

 

    I groan, answering them all with the same monotone reply, “Mr. Han and I currently aren’t accepting any interview offers. If you have any pressing questions for Mr. Han, or myself, please leave a message and we will get to you when, or if , we see fit. Thank you.”

    I hang up on the last caller only to get another one within seconds.

    It’s going to be a long night, isn’t it?

    The phone keeps ringing as I lean back in my desk chair, pressing my fingers to my temples and sighing. I silence the phone by picking up the receiver and laying it on its side by the phone’s base. The person on the other end chatters on and on, never stopping to notice I’m not even listening.

    It’s best not to answer these calls anyway. Just stay calm and wait until the rumor fades like all the others. Right now, there are other things to worry about…

    Like Zen’s career.

    Echo Girl’s got the media helplessly wrapped around her finger; they believe every word she says no matter how pathetic and over-victimized it sounds. She’s practically the darling of the press and the people! If we aggravate her any further, who knows what else she’ll do... Like she told Mr. Han when she visited, Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

Reputation is crucial in the acting industry, and with this alleged sexual assault? Things really don’t look too good for Zen… His only chance might be… to quit.

No, there must be another way… But how else can this be resolved?

I refocus on the present when I hear the phone ringing again. But I thought I left it on call?

I glance back at the phone to see the receiver still lying on the table, the person on the other end still hasn’t noticed I’m not listening. (... Moron. ) Only then do I realize that it’s my personal phone ringing. I fish it out of my desk drawer and see that Basil’s calling.

Basil?

I answer without any further hesitation, “Hello?”

“Hi Jaehee…” She says softly. “Are you still at work?”

I sit upright and nod, even though she can’t see me, “Yes. I’m still at work.”

“Oh…” She sounds somewhat disappointed. “Sorry for bothering you then, I know it must be busy over there since Echo Girl’s rumors.”

“It’s fine. There are so many calls that I’ve resorted to ignoring all of them. Besides, it’s best to let this rumor fizzle out on its own instead of flaring up the press with retaliation.” I tell her. “Anyways, do you need anything?”

“... I-I just wanted to talk with you. A-About Zen’s situation.” She says, probably shifting in her seat based on how much muffled noise I’m receiving.

“I see. Zen’s situation is far more difficult compared to Mr. Han’s. I’m sure you’re quite worried.” I spin my chair away from the phone on my desk, just to be sure they don’t overhear our conversation and think of it as “a new scoop”.

She sighs, “I hate seeing Zen so upset and I’m really worried. … I feel like something’s eating me alive and all I can do is sit here and take it and wait. I want so badly to go to him right now and hug him and tell him it’ll all get better.”

“We’re all very worried as well, Basil.” I say, not sure of what else to tell her. “And I’m sure we’d all go to see Zen if we could, but we have to respect his wishes. He wishes to be alone.”

“I know that…” She says, almost sounding like a pouting child. “But I… I’m worried Zen wants to be alone because he hates himself so much that… that he’ll do something…”

What if he does something reckless, Jaehee?

I frown at her disturbing idea, “I understand your concern, but—”

She speaks over me and I can hear the rising panic in her words, “ What if he’s smoking right now a-and he can’t stop? What if he’s trying to drink himself into a stupor?? Wh-What if he becomes so hopeless on his own, he plans to take his own life, Jaehee?!? I-I’m so scared that he’ll be gone before we can help him!

She’s crying hysterically into the phone, gasping and spluttering through her words, “ J-Jaehee, I don’t want to lose him! … B-But I can’t do a thing! I’m stuck here, in Rika’s apartment, and I... I can’t go to him and I… I… feel so useless!

She pauses like she’s waiting for me to answer, but I’m at a loss for words.

Does Basil truly feel this strongly toward Zen?

I-I know I haven’t known Zen for that long, hell, anyone else in the RFA is way more qualified to be there for Zen than me! B-But I… I really like him. He’s so sweet and caring, he’s lovely and determined, hard-working, talented! And I… I admire so much about him! I-If he were to give up on himself, I—! ” Basil breaks down in the middle of her sentence and I could practically hear her heart crack in two. “ I’m so worried, Jaehee! I want Zen to succeed and be happy again but what if he doesn’t come back?!?

Basil…

She’s laid her heart bare in front of me, piece by broken piece, and I don’t know what to say in order to fix it. The only person who can fix it—Zen—is exactly who’s tearing it apart.

Maybe… I was wrong about her relationship with Zen…

It’s clear that she cares deeply for him. She wouldn’t be such a wreck if she didn’t. And Basil was pretty careful when she went over to his house, unlike Echo Girl… I guess I was only trying to understand their possible relationship from my point of view, as just a fan. All Basil wants is to help him get through this. I can see that now, and I can respect that.

Now’s my chance to makeup for my pessimism and doubt from before.

“Basil, I understand you’re worried and that you care deeply for Zen.” I start out. So far so good. “But please try to stay calm for him. He needs all the encouragement he can get right now, and if he finds out that he worried you so much, he’ll be even more upset with himself.”

She’s quiet on the other end, so I continue, “Zen’s currently very emotional as well, and we, as his friends and supporters, need to be strong for him. I know it’s disconcerting to let Zen be alone at such a desperate hour, but I trust that he wouldn’t do anything too reckless.”

She sniffles, “Wh-Why? How can you be so confident he’s fine?”

Because I realize now, that he has you. ” I find myself smiling softly at these words. “You give him hope, Basil. He wouldn’t hurt himself because he knows you care for him greatly. He’ll come back when he’s ready and you need to be there for him. Ok?”

She’s silent on the other end and I worry that she passed out from crying until I hear her laugh quietly. Why in the world is she laughing?!?

“Thank you, Jaehee.” She says, clearly calmer than she was just moments before. “You’re right, we should stay calm and be positive for Zen so he can feel better soon knowing that we were waiting patiently for his return. I knew it was a good idea to call you!”

The warmth in her voice makes me blush a little, “I-I only try to speak the truth, Basil, there’s no need to thank me.”

“Even so, thank you .” She says. “If it weren’t for you, I’d still be curled up in a ball in the corner and worrying myself to death. You broke the spell of desperation I was under and returned me to my senses. You’re awesome, Jaehee, really!”

I shake my head, a guilty smile on my face as I sigh with relief, “Is there anything else, Basil?”

“Mmm... no, that’s all. Thanks again, Jaehee. Let’s talk later, ok?”

I nod despite myself, “Of course. Have a good evening.”

“You too!” Then she hangs up.

I put my phone back in my desk drawer, then take a self-indulgent victory spin in my chair, still smiling until I catch a glimpse of the office phone still on call, a horrible reminder of the true reality Zen faces.

Positivity is important to making Zen feel better… but is that enough to get his career back on track?