The two of them lounged in soft rolling seats in front of YG's desk, waiting for him to arrive with the information they needed to know about their upcoming performance at Inkigayo. It's been awhile since Dara's performed live, whether it was solo or with 2ne1. She was excited for this.
Not to mention, it was with Jiyong. Usually, Hyunsuk wouldn't let them pair up much often. The coffee haired girl sighed in her seat and rested her arm on the side of the chair, propping her cheek up. That CEO..he always takes awhile to show up during personal meetings. Jiyong looked just as bored, as he slouched boredly in his head with half closed eyes.
After a few moments of silence, YG soon entered through the door with a clipboard in his hand and pencil in the other. Normally they'd have a large group meeting about this with the other helpers, but since there wasn't much to do for 'Hello', there was no need to call everyone up. After all, it seemed more of an independent activity.
"About Inkigayo." Their CEO plunged himself in his seat, adjusting his hat in place as he scanned the contents on the clipboard. "Its going to take place about a week from now, the rest of the 2ne1 and BigBang performances are all organized except for 'Hello'.." He says, fading his voice out as Jiyong and Dara exchanged looks.
"You asked this to be self-choreographed, right?" Hyunsuk looked up from the board and eyed the blonde, who now eagerly sat up from his seat and gave a nod. Dara raised an eyebrow in both shock and wonder...really. He doesn't update her enough on these things.
"Okay..although I don't think I'll need to remind you, but make sure you have everything that can grab the attention of the audience." He reminded the two, his gaze traveling from Jiyong to Dara with a questioning nod. They sat in silence for awhile before he began to speak again with a small smile visible on his face.
"Even though I've been idle from reports lately, I can see your relationship has taken on a new level."
Dara flinched a little at this. It was weird having their own CEO know about their relationship...and she wasn't sure if he was just kidding with the 5 years no-dating thing or not. He seemed okay with it, otherwise he would have done something to prevent this from the start.
"Well, what are you waiting for?" YG interrupted, waving the two of them off. "Get this done soon, we'll be checking up on you guys. And...no fooling around."
"Che." Jiyong laughed and clicked his tongue, climbing out of his head and grabbing the coffee haired girl's hand out the door.
It seems they've broken the promise already, because the second they entered the practice room, they began to talk about other things. Well, it wasn't really a kept promise in the first place, was it? With a bored looking expression on his face, Jiyong walked casually towards the nearby boombox, stopping to press the "on" button and on came their recorded version of 'Hello.' The familiar, upbeat melody washed through their minds like a serenading harmony.
"What sort of things do you have in mind so far?" Dara asked, repeating her question from before. Hopefully it would be answered successfully this time. She walked to the centre of the studio and looked herself in the mirror, checking for any kind of blemishes or bags from her lack of sleep these days. It seemed like last night was the only night she was able to close her eyes.... Her head turns towards Jiyong, who suddenly staggered himself up to her.
"I don't know." He says with a smile. Dara raised an eyebrow at this with a confused look.
"Won't it be more natural if we just wing it?" He goes on, wrapping himself around her waist, catching her off guard. She jumped a little in surprise as he placed his chin on her left shoulder and looked into the mirror. "Meanwhile..we should do something much more interesting.."
Widening her eyes abruptly, she was about to open her mouth to chastise his pervertedness but was cut off with the rest of his words.
"Ferris wheel." He said, maneuvering his head slightly to her cheek to face her. "Didn't we mention going to go see it at night?"
"Oh." Dara replied bluntly, she had to stop thinking everything he says had something to do with you know what. Her face turning slightly red as she remembered the embarrassing things she spat out the day before. After standing in silence to nothing but their song, he responded with a smirk and let go of her, pushing her playfully to the side. She responded by sitting herself on the floor in a criss crossed style.
"I have a question." She started, waiting as he slowly did the same motion in front of her.
"Why did you end up coming yesterday?"
Jiyong froze for a second at this sudden question. It was sort of obvious, if she couldn't tell already. But he knew what she was asking.
"I jumped the gun when Chaerin informed me about you." He said, causing her to go wide eyed in surprise. She's been missing out on all the information between those two lately, and this was the first time she's heard of this. After he gave her a look of confirmation, she bit her lip and fiddled with her shoelace.
"Rinnie's like that. She can get very possessive sometimes." She explained in a low voice, suddenly turning very serious. "I hope it didn't bother you too much. Please don't hate her."
"You expect me to not be bothered when I'm forced to be separated from the girl I like?" Jiyong shoots back, causing her to shut up for a second. He twitched his mouth sheepishly at his comment and turned his head to the side to avoid her gaze.
"But I guess I'm grateful that she straightened herself out a bit." He murmurs. It was sort of true though, part of this probably went to Chaerin. Although it was something that caught him off guard, because it was the first time he's ever seen the sadistic side of her. With that deceiving innocent face....who knew she had one.
He gazed at her for awhile in silence, almost like in a trance. Dara shifted her eyes uncomfortable at this as she wasn't yet used to always being stared at. Or at least, so presently and obviously like this. She twitched her nose and furrowed her eyebrows together, then stared at him back.
"What?" She asked as he suddenly creeped closer, almost in a suspicious way. Her head slightly tilted to the side as he suddenly wore a grin on his face.
Jiyong answered quick. "You, too. Who knew that you had such a despondent side to you when you aren't with a specific someone?
Dara's heart clenched nervously at this, god, he really knew how to be a tease. Although he was right, even she herself didn't know there was such a side to her. This was the first time she ever let someone shake her emotions as hard as he did.
Well, guess thats love.
"What about you?" She said, suddenly bringing up a thought from the past. Feeling her mouth also tug into a mocking smile, she leaned herself in closer to him so that they were even with their gazes. "During the interview with Minho, you seemed to give in very thrivingly there."
This made his smile fade and turn into a slight frown. Abruptly, he leaned himself back on his two arms and tilted his head to the side.
"Come to think of it, you said you wanted to go on the ferris wheel at night, right?" He said, gazing elsewhere.
Dara's eyes suddenly lit themselves up at hearing this. Really, she wanted to see it ever since he mentioned how it was when the sun went down. Out of curiosity...and some naiveness to her feelings back then. She gave a quick, eager nod, causing him to crack into a little laugh.
"Lets go tonight." He stated, sounding playful but serious at the same time. Guess he was the type of guy that liked to do things right away. Although it wasn't a problem, because she's been waiting for him to bring this up, too. Dara replied with another nod and smiled at his remark.
Suddenly remembering something that came into mind, she twitched her lips. "I'm still going to make that crane, no matter what."
"Yeah..you do that." Jiyong replied impulsively, sitting back up in one swift motion and cupping the top of her head in his palm with a hard, but not painful slap. She flinched and gazed her eyes up at him like a little child. "Just don't overdo it, you Locust's have weak bodies."
"Alright. Look forward to the day where I will surprise you with a beautifully made crane that will blow your mind away!" She exclaimed popping her tongue out a little at his insult that failed to trigger her anger. He clicked his tongue in a doubting way. After sitting in a few moments of silence, she began to speak again with a calm, curious voice.
"When did you learn to make cranes?"
"I knew such a thing since I was in high school. Proves how slow you are, Locust." Jiyong stuck out his tongue, receiving a scowl in return. She gave him a little chuckle as the two of them continued to sit in silence for awhile.
"You talk too much." He teases, finally grabbing her arm to lift her up from the ground. "Lets get some business done."
- DARA's POV -
Practice just ended, and after Jiyong and I finally got something done, I was sort of disappointed that he had to leave for album promotions. But it couldn't be helped, as his current girlfriend, I have to give him all my love and support. The performance was days away, we had plenty of time to concentrate on others things. As I was about to flick off the lights of the studio, I felt a vibrate on my pant leg from my phone.
Pushing my finger down on the light switch, I opened the exit door and pulled out my phone at the same time. It seems I've been getting random texts a lot lately. It couldn't have been from bommie, she already told me that no one would be home tonight due to solo activities. Ah..now that I've opened the message, I can see its from Seunghyun.
Which reminds me, I have to send him my regards.
Is your practice over?
Just wondering if you want to hang out right now.
As I read the message, I had to let myself consider this for awhile. I'm not going out with Ji until later on, and I had nothing else to do for the rest of the time between now and then... I owe Seunghyun too. Pressing different keys on the keypad, I multi-tasked between walking down the stairs and replying back to him. After a few minutes of sending the message, I had quickly received an answer back.
Okay, cool. I'll meet you at the Gardens.
I wonder what we were going to do to pass time. Usually when I'm with Seunghyun, things feel very carefree and refreshing, as if I had nothing to worry about. I guess that was the effect of him acting like an older oppa. As I rushed myself out the building and headed towards the Gardens, I tried to hurry up in case he was already waiting there for me.
I decided to take a shortcut instead of going the long way, just so that I could get there faster. I wasn't used to making people wait. After zigzagging myself through some bushes and trees, I finally reached the park bench and saw him standing there playing with his phone. As soon as he lifted his head to spot me, he placed it away with a quick motion and walked up to greet me.
"Hey" He said, hovering an arm up for salutations. I stopped myself in front of him and took a large inhale to catch my breath, then stood upright and nodded my head with a smile in return. He gave me a few seconds to straighten myself out for awhile, taking up some of the silence in the atmosphere around us.
"Where are we going to go?" I asked out of curiosity. I completely forgot to ask where we were heading to during the SMS moment.
"You look tired." He replied, ignoring my question for awhile. I watched him eye me up and down..did I look tired? It sure didn't feel like it. "How was practice?"
"It was good." I said, my mouth suddenly pulling into an automatic smile. Something about the topic brought me into inner giggles and spasms. "Jiyong was dragging a bit at the beginning and end, so it sort of took longer than planned." I maintained my joking sort of voice, until I realized his smile faded after my sentence. Leaning under a little to check up on him, he immediately broke into a grin.
"Hes like that." Seunghyun says, "When he's with someone he really cherishes, he might even jump a building."
Hearing this made me blush a little. I didn't think he'd be that sort of guy, especially towards someone like me. Although it was considered reasonable for someone like him. After sharing a moment of awkward silence, I absently scratched the back of my head to the start of a new conversation.
"So...where are we going?" I ask again as he cut me off last time, hoping for an proper reply this time. It occurred to me that people seemed to love leaving my questions hanging.
"Well, have you eaten yet?"
He gave me a grin and held out two pieces of paper behind his back. "In that case, lets go eat something for now."
"Ah!" I immediately broke into a large smile at the sight of two coupons to my favourite restaurant. It was famous for its Korean Cuisine- not to mention had the best spicy food in what seemed like the whole world. I couldn't help but accept this offer, because I'm huge sucker for spicy things. After confirming the request with my lit up expression, he gave a little chuckle and flopped his hand back down, replacing it with an eager motion.
We began to walk our way to where the streets were, to catch a ride, that is. It wasn't long until it came by and we climbed to the backseat. After settling ourselves in, we immediately broke into chatter. Who knew how long it lasted, because by the time we spoke the last word, we were already at the location.
It wasn't very far, to be honest. Either that or we just managed to kill time very well, It felt like seconds until we arrived at the designated place. We both climbed out of our seats and thanked the driver politely, then made our way into the large evening dining place. When we reached upon the door, he held it open for me in a manly gesture as I gave him a nod of thanks and stepped foot in.
Once I processed the scenery decoration around me, I was completely mesmerized. It was designed in a complete modern style, and everything was really bright. The floor was completely shining with lights, complimenting the simple light coloured furniture. Not noticing it the first time, Seunghyun tapped the side of my shoulder as a waitress walked up to me, seeing my surprised mouth-dropping look.
"Welcome." She greets in a singsong voice, bowing her head to the both of us. "Table for two?"
Giving her a quick nod, we followed her through the maze of light to a small corner table near the far end of the restaurant. It was lined with clear silverware along with a small menu on the sides. Seunghyun sat himself across from me as we both began to order some food. When the waitress came back to take away our menu's, we sat in an awkward silence before either of us began a conversation.
"Are you going to come watch Inkigayo?" I asked, crossing my fingers together under the table. He gave me a look as if I was an idiot, and then it occurred to me that I probably was..he was T.O.P of Big Bang, what can I expect? "Oh. What am I talking about... of course you are."
"Yeah..I'm looking forward to it." He replies in a nonchalant voice, wearing a half grin on his face. "Big Bang will be performing some songs too..noona, you better watch!"
I gave a little laugh at his eagerness. "You should invite that secret girl of yours. I'm sure it's going to be a good excuse to see her...and for her to see your cool side." Suddenly stopping to pull a smirk, I leaned in to him while propping my elbows on the glass table. "Or, could it be that this girl is in Korean Entertainment too? Yoon Eunhye? Lee Hyori....Park Ji-Yeon? Who is it?"
Again, with the staring-as-if-I'm-a-complete-idiot-look. But I could also see something else in his eyes that made the joking edge of myself disappear almost immediately. He had something else visible through him...a look of...pain? Sadness?
"You." He says in a scarce whisper, narrowing his eyes.
I blinked for a few seconds as we both gazed at eachother with an awkward look. "Wh-"
"Here you go, your milk tea and your ice water." My head jolted to the side as the waitress with flowing long blonde hair returned with one cup of beverage. I gave her a nod and a smile as she set it on the table in front of me. Watching her from the corner of my eye as she disappeared, my attention immediately flickered over to Seunghyun.
I watched him, wearing an intense look as he began taking sips of his water. After realizing I've been staring at him for about a good few seconds, he rolled his eyes up and gave me a confused look accompanied by a neutral smile.
"What?" He said, his expression now giving off total obliviousness. I gave him a small chuckle and ruffled the side of my hair, shaking my head.
"No, nothing." I grinned, "Must have been my imagination."
- JIYONG's POV -
I felt extra worked up today, for some reason. Although I think it's pretty obvious enough to why that was. I've been sitting here for a long time already, answering the questions and comments about my new album. Even though I seemed to be very interested, I was actually caught up about what was going to happen later on. I tapped my feet in rhythm on the carpet floor, waiting like a child to be dismissed after school.
I had many thoughts scattered across my mind at the moment. Some in which caused me to randomly smile and gain weird looks from the people around me. Hyunsuk had to shut me up through telekinesis because of that.
Don't ask how. Being with this guy for about 13 years of my life..I'd know.
"Due to promoting your new album, I take you are performing it this week on SBS Inkigayo, correct?" I heard a news reporter call out from somewhere between the large crowds of flashes. I gazed across to the voice, not sure where I was looking at. All I had to do was answer a bunch of question anyway.
"Yeah." I said, suddenly pulling a smile. "We'll be performing some new releases from Big Bang too, along with a few other solo's from my album."
"By this you mean the song with your girlfriend, Sandara Park, right?" Someone else calls out from the other side of the room. "'Hello' has dropped along with 'Heartbreaker' since her 'Kiss' has been released. Being entertainers from the same company, not to mention it having to be your own girlfriend, how do you feel about that?"
Heard this question many times.
"I don't care." I said with a strong, stern voice that grabbed more flashes from the cameras. "She's my girlfriend now, so I have to support her with all I can. What kind of a guy would I be if I let my career status get in the way?"
I processed the smirk coming from Hyunsuk from the corner of my eye, giving a sarcastic grin myself. I could guess he was already used to me saying things like that..although I really meant it this time. Just once...just once I'd lose something of my own for Sandara Park.
"We'd like to confirm more things about you two, if that is alright."
"Erm," YG suddenly sat up from his seat, folding his arms onto the cloth-covered table with a stern defensive look on his face. "This is a conference for the promotions of 'Heartbreaker', I don't think It'd be very appropriate to meddle with other-"
"Shoot." I interrupted, cutting him off as he gave me a sort of irritated look. Might as well satisfy their curiosity, right? After all...there was nothing to hide now that the Locust and I aren't faking anything anymore. It's not like they'd stop anytime soon if we kept avoiding their questions, anyway. A bunch of murmurs swooped from the crowd, until someone stood up and began the trivia.
"It seems that you didn't hear about the hundred kisses between Lee Minho and Dara, after the interview at their photoshoot, did you take any unnecessary actions? How did you really feel about that?"
Man, they really know how what kind of fuel to use to start the fire.
"Isn't it obvious?" I grimaced, trying hard to keep my teeth from gritting. "Of course you'd get an uncomfortable feeling inside of you, but I have to accept it..going back to the previous answer, you'd have to learn how to separate your personal relationship with work."
"Is the reason why you chose Sandara Park to be featured in your 'Hello' single related to your past feelings for her? Possibly that you two were together back then, but it wasn't discovered to the public until now?"
"No." I felt a wave of guiltiness while saying this. To be honest, I didn't really know myself. It felt like a million eyeballs were glued onto me as they left me thinking to myself for a moment. Finally, I came up with an answer. "We weren't together back then. But I guess I was just starting to get interested in her, back then.. I also felt like including her in my album for that and the sound of her voice."
"We understand that the three of you knew eachother from before, including Choi Seunghyun. What sort of things happened back then?"
"Nothing, really." I said bluntly, crossing my arms casually. "Even though we knew eachother, that was simply it. Back then we'd do things together with the others, but never really got to talk to one another in a carefree way..she was sort of the quiet, reserved one that concentrated a lot on her career."
"Then, what specifically interests you about Sandara?"
I felt a small grin creep onto the corner of my lips at this question. I hesitated for a moment, giving a nervous chuckle feeling myself go embarrassed all of a sudden. Funny, that someone like her is able to give me these kind of vibes. After blanking out for a few seconds, I let my heart take over for my mouth.
"She's cute." I speak out in a more confidential voice than expected. I could tell Hyunsuk was listening attentively. "Although at first when you get to her...she can be pretty irritating, almost like a kid." I stop for awhile. "But..I like how I can act more natural around her and be seen as Kwon Jiyong; not as a celebrity or dongsaeng from the same entertainment."
"I like girls who are like cats, both personality wise and a little looks." I continued, keeping my voice steady and accurate. "I'm attracted to girls who run away when I try to catch them, but approach me and throw themselves into my arms when I stop trying. Ones that appear fierce and strong, but have a soft side to them too. At least when I'm in love, I want to be able to have someone to lean on and rest with."
"I guess you could say Sandara Park would be your ideal girl, then?"
"She is my girl."