Jin looked out the car window as they drove through the streets, mind lost in thought as his eyes skimmed over the people roaming around. His head was pounding, the stress of the last couple of days finally catching up with him now that he had a moment of quiet.
He didn’t even know what the final straw was.
All that Jin remembered was looking down at the new contract, his manager’s offhand comment about it “saving his worth”, the feelings of fear and anger and the realisation that if he continued working under Sphere, the abuse would never stop filling him. A montage of every comment, every gruelling hour of practice, every diet, every hit, every touch running through his mind and leaving him frozen at the desk, pen in hand. The sudden urge to get out of there, the screeching of the chair, his manager yelling after him as Seokjin left the building. It had all happened so fast.
Jin had, with the help of his lawyer, written and published an official statement about why he was leaving his company, no detail overlooked. Every dirty secret, every touch, every word, everything was exposed, the abuse he’d endured for years coming to light. The media went wild. His fans were furious.
The public backlash strongly damaged Sphere’s reputation, their artists being blacklisted and their popularity dropping immensely. The media seemed more divided, some publicly bashing Jin for leaving while others were being supportive. Most tabloids started questioning why it took so long, reporters crowding around his house in search of answers. It was exhausting.
His lawyer had advised him to reach out and do an interview to explain himself, so here he was, on his way to do an interview he’d rather not have about a subject he definitely wanted to avoid.
Jin could see the crowd of reporters in front of the building before they’d arrived, sighing heavily and pulling up his mask. He waited until security had managed to break through the crowd and open his car door before he stepped out, keeping his head low and ignoring all the yells and questions thrown his way.
He was led to the 7th floor of the building, where the studio was, and was immediately placed in hair and makeup. He got a script to read over as he was getting ready, the questions and answers already written out for him. The host, a woman named Hani, approached him, smiling gently and extending her arms for a hug.
“How are you, Seokjinnie? Did the media hassle you much downstairs?”
Jin smiled, weakly. Hani was one of the few people in the media business that he liked and had a good relationship with, her kindness and care always making Jin feel welcome.
“I’m exhausted, truth be told. Let’s get this over with, shall we?”
Hani’s forehead creased in concern before her features smoothed out again and she nodded, heading towards the set. Jin followed her.
The interview went smoothly, Jin going into as little details as possible while still making it clear that staying at Sphere any longer would be more damaging to his health. Hani expertly led the conversation, straying away from the more sensitive subjects and always giving Jin the opportunity to deflect her questions.
“Have you been made aware that Sphere Entertainment wants to take you to court? They’re suing you for damaging their image and breach of contract, as well as for the right to your name as an artist.” Hani asked, and Jin felt his stomach drop. Of course they would.
“I have been made aware. My lawyer and I will face them in court as soon as the date is set.”
The look Jin gave Hani indicated that he wanted to wrap up and she did, thanking him for his time and wishing him luck in the future. Jin smiled, but his insides felt empty, as if he was nothing more than a walking corpse.
It was Jungkook’s idea to leave the apartment. The younger singer had come to visit, desperately trying to cheer his hyung up and ending up stealing all his food while the other moped and complained.
“And on top of that they won’t stop with the hearings until they own my name and everything I’ve worked for,” Jin complained, turning towards his dongsaeng who was drinking his banana milk. Jungkook met Jin’s eyes, slowly nodding his head to acknowledge the idol’s words.
“That sucks,” he said, taking another sip. “But moping around here won’t do you any good. Have you even left your house since the interview?”
Jin made a noise in protest.
“Well, no,” he began, “but the reporters are still camping in front of my house! And where would I go, anyway?”
Jungkook shrugged, finishing the rest of his banana milk and standing up to raid Jin’s fridge again.
“Not sure. But staying inside isn’t healthy for you. Sneak out the back door, the reporters won’t see you then.” Jungkook pulled out another banana milk from the fridge before he turned towards Jin, his eyes suddenly serious. “You’re going to drive yourself insane if you don’t get some human interaction.”
Jin snorted, but he knew the younger was right. Later that evening he decided that he did have to leave the house before he went insane. Now, only to conduct a plan.