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 heart stop beating, tag: angel
Eun Kiho
 Posted: Dec 28 2017, 09:03 PM
Quote
© cody [they/them] // Offline
6 posts
kiho
31 years old
homosexual
soon
lee hyukjae
Backstage EME


we’re in the same place
but you’re in a different world

There was nothing frightening about confrontation. In fact, it was scarier to live in a world without absolutes, in a world of unspoken thoughts and dreadful silences. How did one cope with so many unknown variables? That was why Kiho always sought to draw them out -- or force them out, or force his own absolutes onto other people. If they refused to face conflict then Kiho would face it for them. He would lay out the facts and tell them right from wrong. He had good intuition, he looked at things objectively, without emotion.

Without a single ounce of feeling.

Sometimes it was helpful. Sometimes it only made that chasm grow ever wider. And sometimes, Kiho did find something frightening about confrontation -- those times were when he realized he didn't know what to say. He didn't know how to approach it, because somehow his own feelings had gotten tangled in the mix and he knew he'd been compromised, knew he was now incapable of telling right from wrong. He had long since discovered that things were never so black and white, and that the concepts of 'right' and 'wrong' were fluid and ultimately arbitrary. But they had felt solid and stable, and so he'd clung to them.

Stability was all he wanted. He wanted to be in a good state of mind when he dealt with this particular confrontation. He told himself he would take his time. He'd think carefully of the words he wanted to say and how he would say them. His blunt manner of delivery sometimes came across the wrong way, and he wanted to ensure that he would be understood, that he could get his feelings across just the way he wanted.

So he thought. And he thought. And he thought. He thought about Songjoon. His lovely face, his gentle hands, the words he murmured softly, sweetly. His tears. His anger. His smile, most of all. His smile would never stop haunting him. It was amazing what a spectrum of emotion could be contained in such a simple shift of muscle. It was amazing how much he could hide behind that smile, but Kiho had always seen it all - every surge of anger or sadness that he kept expertly masked behind a perfect smile.

And he thought of his own anger. The resentment, the bitter loneliness. Childish. What had it all been for? He'd done nothing but tear one of the most precious things in his life apart. It could be said that Dizco was already on a downhill slope at that point, but to meet such a grisly end... to be the catalyst of it. Kiho didn't see how even a lifetime of repentance could make up for abandoning his second family, but he would do his utmost to right the wrongs where he could. He'd keep doing everything he could.

If there was anyone who deserved at least that much, it would be Songjoon. There hadn't been closure for any of it - not for the chaotic spiral of their relationship, nor for the fate of their group. Kiho knew there were many things he should say, and he also knew he'd be a complete mess in trying to articulate any of it. Feelings were-- messy. The circumstances between Songjoon and Kiho were extremely messy. And Kiho didn't mind cleaning up messes, but when there was such an intricate tangle of so many unresolved emotions, so many painful words and memories, so many wounds that were still smarting to this day...

He wasn't afraid of confrontation. He was just afraid of ruining it. There was nothing more painful than failure, and he had utterly failed Songjoon. He didn't want to do it a second time.

So he kept thinking and waiting and thinking and waiting. Waiting for... the right place? The right time? The right words? He saw Songjoon drifting around the Elysium building every so often, and sometimes he thought he was seeing a ghost, an illusion of the past. Songjoon never looked at him, and Kiho was quick to go on his own way. It wasn't Kiho's intent to avoid him, it just wasn't the right time. He didn't have the right words.

He... didn't know when he would have the right words. How long had it been since he'd spoken to Songjoon face to face? At least seven years. Almost an entire decade. God, all Kiho wanted to do was close this gap, he didn't want to keep looking at Songjoon standing on the other side of a rift between them, but deep in that shadowy chasm writhed all the painful tenderness, all the intense feelings, all the demons of their past. And he didn't have an answer for them. Surely a simple apology would not suffice. It had to be more, it had to be--

A flash of orange caught his eye, and he paused where he was walking in the hallway, only to meet eyes with the very subject of his thoughts. Beside him was a taller boy with silver hair who he distantly registered as familiar, but all he could see right now was Songjoon. There was a moment of loaded silence between them, the weight of their past shrouding them like a dark mist, and Kiho almost forgot to breathe. And then he did, the name he hadn't uttered in years trailing out on a soft exhale: "Songjoon-ah..."

@Guk Song Joon (874)
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Guk Song Joon
 Posted: Jan 7 2018, 10:46 PM
Quote
© Pheli [she,her] // Offline
21 posts
Angel
35 years old
Openly homo
Single
Park Jong-Su
Independent



Just like a gentleman

Angel hadn't told anyone about the offer that Elysium gave to both himself and Songgi... he didn't know if he would, not until he had confirmed his own decision on the matter. On the one hand, it was very appealing to have the chance to be on the stage again, and not simply as an MC or host, where he was frequently the subject of criticism for... reasons. Many reasons. Despite not being unpopular, he couldn't consider himself popular either. He got offers, but many of them entailed a lot of the same things, if they were for a variety show or something like that. Every so often he got something that was much more respectable, and he jumped on those when he could, if just to prove that he wasn't simply an object to bounce cruel jokes from... though that didn't mean that he was serious all the time, he was still an entertainer, after all.

And this entertainer was being given a chance that not many disbanded idols get after so many years of inactivity. It was... exciting... but also worrisome. So many questions lingered in his mind, the first of which was, would they even be able to be successful? Wouldn't they get too much criticism because of Angel? They might say that Songgi was better off going solo, if that were the case. The second was that Songgi wasn't in the best of forms either, and it worried Angel that he seemed to have aged so much over the time they'd been apart, and gotten used to a life of inactivity. It wasn't impossible for him to build himself up again, but it wasn't going to be easy, and Angel wasn't about to let them go on-stage until he knew that Songgi was able to do it. (For the record, Angel was still in pristine shape, all things considered, and worked out regularly still. While he may have lost some of his flexibility and agility, he was still in a better place to return to an active lifestyle.)

He supposed the third reason was the fact that re-signing with Elysium would mean ending his contract with his current agency, the one which put so much faith into this washed up, scandal-filled idol who could have been more of a loss to them if even one thing went wrong. He owed the chairman a lot, for giving Angel that chance, and it felt almost like he'd be betraying their goodwill to leave them in favor of his past. As if it wasn't good enough for him... which wasn't true at all, but...

There were just so many things to think about and Angel had to sort through them all before closing in on a final decision. In the meantime, Angel was... well, he was trying to find excuses to linger around the Elysium building if just to indulge the idea. Also, there were negotiations for what their contract would actually entail which they still were working through. If nothing else, it gave him an opportunity to tarry about the halls, offering advice to some of the trainees and newly debuted idols. Because as much controversy as there was surrounding him, he still had the younger generations who accepted him much easier than the older, and who respected the advice of a 'legend', as some of them called him. He was flattered.

Maybe he also admittedly became a bit too attached to a certain maknae whose attachment to himself interested Angel, even amused him. And he dared to admit that he was becoming more comfortable around the boy and a bit pleased at the friendship that was brewing between them. That was all, though, it was just a friendship. He sadly had to remind himself frequently that despite their chemistry, and the comforting warmth that surrounded their interactions, Kai was still a child. And even if he wasn't, he was still nearly half Angel's age, which was reason enough to build walls and draw clear boundaries... even if he generously let some of those boundaries slip when he was caught off guard.

That was where his mind was set as he watched and listened to the boy with engaged attentiveness, once again amused with Kai's rambling train of thought as he spoke of practice, his dreams of grandeur, and other miscellaneous things. And Angel would counter those words with a piece of advice, or 'lecture' as Kai had come to call them with a roll of his eyes. Angel would laugh and say it was a bad habit, one that all old people have. Kai would make fun of him, and Angel would smile, receiving those light criticisms as something more endearing than they were....

God, he really was going crazy, wasn't he? What was he even doing, hanging out so much with an 18-year-old, one who hadn't even graduated high-school yet? He really needed to watch himself before he did something regretful...

The two of them turned the corner into the next hall, on their way to the practice room as Angel was basically forcing Kai to not skip out on practice again in exchange for... something. Anything he wanted, Angel had said, and Kai determined that he would decide on what Angel would have to do for him later. So it was as Kai was listing off a number of possibilities in his eager excitement that Angel happened to flit his eyes upwards to the hall they were walking down. His gaze met that of someone at the end of the hall walking towards them. Angel refocused them back to Kai as if he'd seen nothing, nobody, the person there wasn't anyone of significance, and his smile remained as genial and practiced as ever. If he didn't acknowledge it, then he didn't have to feel that sting that still wounded his heart.

Songjoon.... that name again, that nobody else ever called him. The ache was dull, but there... and Angel crushed it with a smile as he looked up to the one who spoke his name. "Ah, Kiho-ssi," he said casually, his eyes bright and smile relaxed. "I almost forgot that you worked here now." Of course, Angel noticed when Kiho re-entered the agency of Elysium to become a dance trainer, and while Angel still came to these halls from time to time, he skillfully was able to dodge coming face-to-face with the other man. Probably because he avoided the dance practice rooms altogether, but... this was fine. This was nothing, just two old acquaintances saying hi to one another. He pointed to the tall one beside him, Kai, grinning as he poked yet another tease towards the boy. "I picked up a stray and thought to return him," he said with a chuckle, batting his eyes a bit pleadingly. "Try not to be too hard on him, for my sake?"

This was fine. He was fine.

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Eun Kiho
 Posted: Jan 12 2018, 05:04 PM
Quote
© cody [they/them] // Offline
6 posts
kiho
31 years old
homosexual
soon
lee hyukjae
Backstage EME


we’re in the same place
but you’re in a different world

What a dreadful silence. Even though Songjoon was speaking to him, his words were awash in the thick fog that hung over them - everything that should have been said, or shouldn't have been said, or had yet to be said. Songjoon's smile and relaxed expression was as well-practiced as ever. It wasn't his real smile, though. It was a mask. It was a wall. A beautiful one, a believable one, but a fake one. Despite his polite words and friendly gaze, he was very clearly drawing a boundary between him and Kiho, that chasm between them growing ever deeper, ever further apart. That distancing honorific just drove the point home, another stake through his chest.

Kiho met Songjoon's gaze evenly, his own face betraying nothing except neutral attentiveness as always, but one of his fists balled at his side, his fingernails digging sharply into his skin. The physical pain distracted from the thorny vines encircling his heart, suffocating and biting, reopening those old wounds. Songjoon must feel it too. Or he was trying not to feel it. Songjoon would be telling himself that he was okay, that nothing was wrong, that there was nothing unusual or notable about this interaction. Just two old... friends... friends? Were they still friends? Were they anything at all?

Kiho hated this.

And Songjoon almost forgot he worked here. A muscle in Kiho's face twitched. "We don't cross paths often," Kiho confirmed, his tone carefully neutral. They had never come face-to-face with one another until this point, and Kiho suspected that the other man deliberately avoided the practice rooms to keep the aforementioned from happening. How... disheartening. But out of sight, out of mind--Songjoon had always tamped things down. Even just now, before Kiho had stopped to address him, the other man's eyes had glazed over him as if he'd seen nothing at all. If it was something that would interfere with his day-to-day functioning as the bright, charismatic, impervious leader, then Songjoon would shut it out, or choke it down, let it silently fester within him...

There had to be something left. Surely this relationship was salvageable. It wasn't like Kiho was dying to delve into this mess himself, but Songjoon wouldn't want to leave things like this either. Right? Kiho wasn't just doing this for his own sake. It was for Songjoon's too.

It was only when Songjoon gestured to him that Kiho fully registered the young idol's presence. Kai, that sunny little troublemaker. Kiho narrowed his eyes at him, and Kai shuffled behind Songjoon as if to meekly protect himself, though he stuck his tongue out and gave a peace sign once he was safely hidden behind the older man - as hidden as he could be, considering he had a few inches over Songjoon. Apparently he felt confident that Kiho wouldn't scold him in Songjoon's presence, which made him briefly wonder how close these two were, or if Kai simply was a stray he'd picked up, as Songjoon said.

"I had just been looking for him," Kiho replied, and he beckoned Kai towards him. The teenager pulled another face and ducked further behind Songjoon, though sullenly began slinking towards Kiho after a nudge from Songjoon. Strangely obedient. A fan, perhaps? A junior idol admiring his sunbae? Kiho gave the other man a probing look, though he didn't say anything about it. "This one's a repeat offender, but I'll dispense justice mercifully." He almost wanted to smile, but didn't. Couldn't. "For your sake." Kiho's gaze lingered on Songjoon for a moment longer. He could pretend things were fine. He could pretend there was nothing left to say. That the two of them were perfectly okay. This could be all they said and they could just go on their way, keep living out their lives.

No.

This was unacceptable.

It had to be now. And it had to happen.

He mustered every ounce of strength he had within him, standing up a little straighter, dragging out the courage from the thorns encasing his chest. He had to say something. They had to talk. "Songjoon, I--" he began, then remembered Kai was still waiting on him, and the courage within him died out just as quickly. Kai, loitering a short distance behind Kiho, was gazing at them curiously, eyes flickering from Kiho to Songjoon and then pointedly lingering on Songjoon in question.

"Go on, Kai," Kiho ordered, the terse authority in his voice enough to make Kai grimace and back away, staring for only a moment longer until he turned and made his way towards his group's practice room. Kiho watched after him for a moment longer too, knowing that when he turned around he would have to face Songjoon again. He would have never imagined it could be this difficult speaking to a man he'd once vested his whole heart in. That he still had his whole heart in, just in a different way.

Finally, he turned around, his gaze steely and determined on Songjoon. "I... we need to talk," he said, taking a small step towards Songjoon, as if to corner him. "In my office?" It was the most private place he could think of at the moment that wouldn't require them to walk a great distance.

@Guk Song Joon (864)
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Guk Song Joon
 Posted: Jan 12 2018, 11:28 PM
Quote
© Pheli [she,her] // Offline
21 posts
Angel
35 years old
Openly homo
Single
Park Jong-Su
Independent



Just like a gentleman

Angel wasn't going to acknowledge it. There was nothing wrong, and nothing amiss with this interaction. Even if he and Kiho were group-mates ages ago, that didn't mean that they had to be close friends now. It was natural for people to grow apart, when times changed, when people changed. Angel had changed a lot. Kiho had too, he imagined. They both changed immensely, and yet nothing had changed at all, in truth. That changed was fake, it was a mask. It was the armor that Angel used to protect the one named Songjoon, who couldn't handle the reality of his life any longer. Who couldn't handle the pain of everyone who was ever important to him abandoning him in his darkest hour. Who couldn't handle the outright betrayal of one whom he trusted enough to give his heart to.

The Devil In I.... Angel reflected back on the song that Kai had shared with him when they first started interacting... that first conversation that opened him up to their friendship. Angel remembered flitting back into the past at that time too, reminded how significant the lyrics of those song were, how much they truly applied to himself and Kiho. The problem was.... which of them was the true Devil? Or were they that to each other the whole time?

Things hadn't ended amicably between them before Songjoon left for the military, and there was little time to try and resolve them when Songjoon returned. They hadn't been given much of a chance to try and repair the damage of their already failing relationship, and that was probably Songjoon's biggest regret. But on his side, it was unavoidable. He couldn't control what happened, what pulled him away that last time, and there was nothing at all that he could see except the despair that his mother's death had left him in.

And then Kiho left. He just outright left. There was no word from him before Songjoon got the news of his... Angel couldn't really call it betrayal to the company, because he understood why Kiho was so dissatisfied. It was a battle that was a long time coming, to be honest, and Songjoon had tried to delay it as best he could... because he was selfish and wanted to keep his only family together for as long as possible, no matter how painful it was to Kiho. Songjoon forced Kiho to stay long after he wanted to leave... it was no wonder Kiho didn't feel like he could trust Songjoon anymore, like he couldn't confide in him or consult him... or wait for him.

Which of them was the Devil? They'd both done each other wrong, and neither had the courage to extend a hand out to the other to fix it. Angel knew this. And so Angel was able to be genial towards the other man. He didn't blame him for any of his actions. None of them had truly been in the wrong, and Angel was compassionate enough to forgive him for it.

Angel had to be forgiving, because if he wasn't, then Songjoon's vile resentment would overwhelm him. He had to keep it buried. Angel didn't want to taste that bitterness that still lingered after all these years, even after knowing and understanding... it was so strong that even Angel could still taste the slightest hints of it, even as he forced it down and away, even as he tried to ignore its presence. He just had to focus on something else, it was that easy.

Kai was... he was something easy to focus on. Something Angel preferred to focus on, and it was Angel's regret to use the boy like that, but there was something about Kai too that Angel found comfortable enough to trust in that way. Another something he would avoid acknowledging, but not something he would avoid taking advantage of. Not something he wouldn't partake in for his own selfishness.

Angel really was a Devil, wasn't he?

"Kai, he's not going to bite, there's no need to hide," Angel told the boy as he hid behind the older man like he was some sort of shield. "You know that Kiho-ssi was also a member of Dizco too, right?" Not that that automatically deserved him respect, as he knew Kai wasn't about to hand it over without good reason, but he hoped a little that Kai might consider the fact that he and Kiho were old friends, and that that would be enough to start trying. "He's a little intense, but you know.... I wouldn't be the person I am today if it wasn't for Kiho." Angel looked at Kiho dead in the eyes as he said that.... probably with a lot more weight in those words than intended. Whoops, he let something slip, but his face was at least as relaxed and inviting as ever. The perfect smile, the perfect laugh, the perfect face of geniality.

He gave Kai an encouraging nudge to get going along. "You'll survive, I promise," he told the boy. Let me know when you finish, his eyes said silently to the boy. Hopefully to the boy. Because Angel didn't know how this interaction with Kiho was going to go and... well, either way, Angel was going to need yet another distraction to get that bad taste out of his mouth... Sorry, Kai, he thought to himself. "Thank you," he told Kiho. "He really is a good boy, just... a bit stubborn." Angel kept his benevolent eyes firmly fixed on Kiho, as if kindly daring the other man to bring up the past. Daring him to turn this so far pleasant interaction something invidious. And that wouldn't be Angel's fault.

Angel flitted his eyes to Kai who was still lingering in the hallway, then nodded to the boy, as if giving him the okay to leave when Kiho had already told him to go on ahead. He would be okay, his expression told the younger one, feeling a bit guilty for bringing out that concern from Kai. He would be okay and they would meet up later.

Of course, as soon as Kai was gone, and it was as Angel expected, Kiho got straight to the point. Yes, they needed to Talk. Angel didn't move when Kiho stepped towards him, standing his ground in front of the dance instructor. Former main dancer of Dizco. Angel's smile broadened. "Now is a little inconvenient. I have places I need to be." It wasn't a complete lie, but he could probably stand to stay... if he wanted. Angel didn't want to. "And quite frankly, I don't want to talk," he said outright, releasing the bluntness of his feelings out with all the sugary-sweetness his natural voice contained. It was the most pleasant rejection in the world. "Please, Kiho-ssi, have a good day." Angel bent himself at the waist, giving his former band-mate and lover a respectful bow, then turned on his heels to walk away.

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