Word Count: 300
Step into the recording studio, and you swallow your pride, let Yoongi tear your work apart - no mistakes allowed.
The toastmaster was Namjoon, crafting carefully each word you spoke, full of shields preventing any possible scandal. Speak clearly, stop if you need to, stick to the script.
Step aside a bit to learn to conceal your emotions, act as if you were happy to be on two hours of sleep and don’t let Seokjin catch you slipping up.
Then the vocal training room was Jungkook’s territory, one wrong note and it’s from the top, no hyung it’s possible, one more try.
Now let’s do something fun, follow Jimin to the gym, abs were guaranteed charms, the fangirls liked photos in this angle the best, be coy, cute and sexy at the same time, hear the sound of their screams and act accordingly.
For the camera, Taehyung would tell you, being funny was an advantage, contort your face and speak gibberish, that’s what entertainment was all about.
Go in the practice room at sunrise and get out at sunset, the time in between you just needed to follow Hoseok’s lead. Don’t step too much to the left, position your arm like this, heads up, people liked to see your eyes when you dance.
The seven of them were balanced delicately, each a kingpin in his own little corner, commanding absolute respect and producing nothing less than stellar results. They were a well-oiled machine, each cog carefully spaced, each wheels carefully chosen.
(Don’t pay attention to Hoseok’s bleeding knee, Yoongi’s sleepless nights, Namjoon’s held back words, Seokjin’s strained smiles, Jungkook’s hoarse voice, Jimin’s fear, Taehyung’s spacing out.)
They were perfect.
(They were fractured. Bulletproof didn’t mean anything when you were idols and the masks were glass solid and breakable after one touch.)
Word Count: 295
Jinri woke to light spilling into her bedroom through half drawn curtains. It felt so luxurious, after years of training basements and back-to-back schedules.
Being able to wake up by herself before any alarm could go off was such a foreign concept that the first few days after she had it happened to her, she just fell back into slumber waiting for the shrill sound of her phone. Oversleeping could cause headache, Jinri found out.
She slipped into her morning routine with ease – clean teeth, clean skin, a cup of warm water, and then it’s into a tracksuit and out of the door for a light run.
Jinri took two steps, and stopped.
The front yard of her house was lit with sunrays that were sneaking down through the gaps between the leaves. While a soft breeze decorated the mood of the whole neighbourhood, this particular patch of green inside her property was coated golden.
It reminded her of a stage, but much more inviting, because it wasn’t surrounded by half a dozen cameras and hundred times that number in fans.
She shook off her sneakers, stepping on the grass. The soles of her sock-cladded feet were damp immediately from residual dew. She paid no mind, and as she found herself under the distorted natural spotlight, her feet found the fifth position easily and her muscle memory took over. Her body reached a balance of adrenaline and control in a well-practiced routine, one she learnt when she was five and filled with joy.
For one brief moment, Jinri remembered why she had decided to become an idol in the first place. But the routine came to an end, and the sunlight faded.
Given another year, no spotlight would find her again. It's for the better.
Title: bleed for the cause
Warnings: slight depiction of blood and pain
Word Count: 170
- It’s been only an hour, he can’t leave. That’s doctor’s orders, and it’s final!
- He has a fifteen million won event; I don’t give a rat’s ass about doctor’s orders as long as he stays on his feet.
Daehyun blocked out the conversation, hands over his eyes. It was to his best interest that he let it go on, that there could be people hearing this conversation and seeing his manager ripped another IV needle out of him later on. The lawyers could twist these details to their favours, once taken to court.
Daehyun had been thinking in legal terms and lawsuits ever since the parents realised their sons were raised in hell, and the perpetrators needed to go down. Daehyun laughed at the thought, but the headache cut off any sound.
As predicted, five minutes later, Daehyun was shoved into the van, needle wound bleeding. The blood stained Youngjae’s backpack.
Daehyun promised himself it was the first thing he would burn as soon as the lawsuit had been filed.
Word Count: 196
Their fall from grace was rather quiet. It’s gradual, as if going uphill instead of down. The taste of fame lingered.
They had never been the best. They rode on the tail end of Hallyu, their fanbase never meant to be as big as those of legends such as DBSK or Girls Generation. There wasn’t a period where their faces were plastered all over Korea. But they did manage a few big achievements, no career-damaging scandals to their names, enough no.1s to their names that they were considered “high up there”. They could keep going, but all good things had to end somehow.
Minho rather liked it that way. As he prepared to step on their farewell concert, he realised, ending wasn’t so bad. They were not stopping, not entirely. Jonghyun’s solo album was scheduled for release next week, Taemin’s single in the work, both Onew’s and Key’s musicals going smoothly, and his own MC gigs were well attended.
Their team had a good run.
“No regrets?”, asked Onew as they huddled backstage for the last time (for a while).
Minho nodded enthusiastically, as giddy as their debut day.
(Something never goes out of style.)
Title: i made the right call, deal with it
Word Count: 217
About half of the idol trainees started out because of the illusion that the glamour seen on stage lasted longer than its designated time slot.
The other half found themselves entering the toxic system because they were willing to sacrifice anything for their dreams of music and performing.
Min Yoongi considered himself belonging to the second half. Back at nowhere-Daegu rapping whenever possible, from a market’s corner to the front of a bar, Yoongi realised he was stumbling around playing a game he didn’t understand, but wanted to keep playing anyway. He stumbled some more, until he was on stage executing killer dance routines that no rightful rapper would do, but rapping nonetheless.
So, Min Yoongi compromised. When he finally developed a sense for the machine of entertainment, he wondered if he should be categorised in the first half instead.
Because once he tasted what it's like for his music to sell for more than ten thousand won, to be listened to, he could never look back at the underground again.
If he had allowed himself to, 16-year-old Gloss would definitely sneer at him, disgusted by the pretentiousness. He would laugh back, and tell the kid, baby, you had no idea. Pipe dreams wouldn't last three minutes in idoldom. Gloss would look at his eyes and understand.
Title: clock walking
Word Count: 400
- Why are you still the same?
Jimin jumped. His head whipped around to find an unfamiliar Min Yoongi staring at him by reflection. Startled and rooted in his spot, his eyes followed Yoongi through his routine of locking doors and texting himself using Jimin's phone.
He was a part of many Yoongi's 'visits' by now, but this was only the second time he met a younger counterpart. He titled his head to the side, thinking. There's a rough edge of Gyeongsang dialect wrapped around the acquired Seoul accent, the hair was brown, and not one piece of branded clothing was on this Yoongi, not even the beanie. University-age then.
- Hi hyung.
- You're the hyung. I'm twenty three. - said younger-Yoongi, tugging at Jimin's hair curiously. - Dirty blonde. I wouldn't know you were closer to forty than thirty if you didn't have midlife crisis bleached all over you Jiminie.
- You said it looks awful. - Jimin shrugged, then presented him with a shit eating grin.
Yoongi scowled. Only Jimin would still be a despicable brat after all these years.
Jimin cheerfully ignored him, arranging both of them on the floor and started chattering about mundane things. It was the best course of action.
(The first time Jimin was too scared to talk, the third time he had asked too much, had present-Yoongi lectured him on top of a two-week silence treatment, he never spoke another word until the sixth time where a thirty-year-old Yoongi told him to just talk about non time-specific stuff, why were Jimin so dense.)
The lull of conversation was comfortable, and Jimin let his mind wander. What was twenty-one-year-old Jimin doing? He had forgotten what his twenties felt like, all the ambitions mixed with eagerness and naivety. Was he in the dance practice room when Yoongi left? He turned to voice his thought.
The ceiling fan squeaked, circulating humid air. His back was sticky and cool against the mirror surface, and he was alone in his studio.
Twelve minutes. This one was on the short side then. He couldn't wait for the one day visit.
His phone rang.
- Please tell me you didn't mess up the time space continuity or something.
- You're the time travelling weirdo, not me. - Jimin sassed.
- I'm the variable, you're the constant! - replied Yoongi.
Jimin's laughter rang loudly through the static of the line, because that was by far the most romantic thing Yoongi said.
Title: click clack boom pow
Fandom: Block B
Warnings: language, mentions of illegal activities
Word Count: 175
Kyung was leaping out of his chair towards Jaehyo when Jiho entered. He sighed, pulling his friend back by the collar - bored weaponists were the worst. Kyung growled, but sagged against him after a while.
"I thought you were supposed to be top side, you know, nearer to the vault you're supposed to break into, dear leader?" Jaehyo asked, eyes drifting back to his monitors now that the threat to his life was neutralised.
Jiho bared his teeth in that too-trigger-happy way of his, throwing a map marked up in red towards Jaehyo.
"Found a weak spot underneath, so we're blowing our ways upwards. Tunnels mapping from Minhyuk's contacts, get eyes and ears in there."
Jaehyo scanned the thing, before humming to himself, probably thinking of delicious technological infiltration.
Jiho would hate to break his little moments.
"Taeil is starting at 11pm."
There were screeches behind him about ten minute warnings and a fuckton of equipments to move around, but Jiho paid it no mind, dragging Kyung with him. They got a heist to execute.
A/N: my favourite would be a tie between 'expiration' (something close to my heart, for SHINee who was my first bias group) and 'clock walking' (the idea came thanks to the prompt and would like to extend into something soon)