You should try walking around Hongdae alone. I did that weeks ago to clear things off my head.
Isn't that dangerous? Sunbae, how bold of you...
It was rather eye-opening. You should go now.
Hanbyeol has never had a chance to walk around the busy streets of Seoul ever since their debut. He did it a lot back in Daegu, and when before he was a trainee, though. It was during the times when he felt so lost in life, but amazingly the gray paths he went walking on were better at consoling him than the words of people who claim to be concerned about him. They never understand, he believes: until now.
He had wanted to whine and rant about his worries to Jeon Jeongguk, a sunbae he's really close with, because he's technically a year older than him. He had invited his senior for lamb skewers but because of a schedule in Osaka, Hanbyeol had agreed to try walking around Hongdae alone instead for a breather.
The buzz of people around the area worries Hanbyeol. What if people recognize him? What if fans suddenly chase after him? But he realizes...
We're just a rookie group.
We just debuted.
No one cares.
I'm just a member of a rookie group.
They won't really recognize...
Hanbyeol keeps walking past chic cafes and stylish restaurants, only on his favorite red oversized hoodie, ripped jeans and black boots. He even forgot his glasses and his face mask. Somehow, he feels underdressed, but he really has no choice after leaving their dorm a minute after Jeongguk told him to go. Gyujin looked like he wanted to tell something to Hanbyeol, but the latter only saw the maknae's mouth agape before he closed the door. Hanbyeol felt like he won't be able to leave if he turns back to him.
I should text Gyuu, at least.
He fishes his phone from his hoodie's pocket and the moment he was about to tap a short message to their maknae, he hears a familiar tune. He turns to where the tune comes from and sees a swarm of people watching a small group of boys dancing to Squack.
It had to be 'Squack', of all songs. Hanbyeol couldn't quite comprehend why people would dance their embarrassment of a debut single on the streets, but he still finds it quite endearing. The 21-year old can feel his chest go warm while watching the performance, they remind him of when he was dancing to 'Sangnamja' with fresh college acquaintances along this same street in Hongdae.
Hanbyeol snaps out of his reminiscing as he feels someone go near him. He doesn't look around immediately, instead he slowly turns, hesitating.
"Are y-you... uhm... Hanbyeol? Quar'X Go Hanbyeol?"
He unconsciously forgets why he was walking, sulking around the busy streets of Hongdae, at the mention of his group's name.
"So if I am?"
What the fuck, Go Hanbyeol.
"I am a duckling! I really... really like you... so.. I..." the fan, probably a highschooler, shyly hands over her phone and a sharpie for Hanbyeol to use. "I'm sorry if I had bothered you while relaxing, but I really am not lucky with fan signing events, so I..."
"It's okay. Don't be sorry. I should be the apologetic one between us. You had to see me like this." Hanbyeol signs on the girl's phonecase, then raises the phone a bit for a selca. "Let me give you a special gift~" As the idol taps on the capture button, he leans his head down to touch the girl's, probably giving her the best fangirl moment of her life.
Hanbyeol waves good bye to the duckling and continues to walk further into the line of restaurants. He stops for a while when he feels his phone vibrate and sees Gyujin's funny face on the screen. He swipes to receive the call.
"HYUNG WHERE ARE YOU NOW"
"Hey, chill. I'm just walking around Hongdae-"
"Yeah the ducklings are mentioning and trending it on twitter-"
Oh. Yu-hyung's home...
"bUT YOU LEFT YOUR WALLET"
"You little!!! I ought to kill you for butting in, Bae Gyujin! Do you want to be inside the microwave?"
It's true. He left his damn wallet, of all things. Now what the hell would he be doing in Hongdae at this hour? His phone clock reads 12:59 already and he's got no money for a cab to at least get his ass home.
"DO I CALL THE STINKY HYUNG"
"But he's busy working back in his studio-"
For the second time in his little trip to Hongdae, Hanbyeol once again feels someone walking towards him. The steps from behind him sounded tentative, unsure. This time, Hanbyeol turns around faster than the first one today, because those footsteps, he knows them by heart.