Changkyun had always loved set design, the lights, staging, ideas, and the overall sense of accomplishment that came with it. Watching the viewers ooh and aww over the effects that were put on display no matter who or what was being showcased. Of course loving something didn’t mean he was going to end up doing anything with it. At least that’s what he had always told himself while trying to pursue a bio engineering degree. He never thought he’d end up doing anything with that love.
Everything had changed when he turned nineteen and caught a glimpse of a Korean music show, something called MCore or MCount, M something. The name of the show didn’t matter. The sets did, the designs, the lights, the sound work. It was love at first sight. There was nothing he wouldn’t do to be there and be doing that. And just like that he changed majors, moved to Korea, and set about making a name for himself behind the scenes. Which wasn’t easy as he was young, inexperienced, and still learning the trade.
The change was good for him though. It got him out of the depressive funk that trying to be a scientist like his father before him had put him into. A funk he hadn’t realized he was in until he felt the first rush of being backstage at a live concert. It was a small group, maybe four members that were just starting out on their path for debut. His class had been allowed to help out as some hands on experience. He’d learned more in that one class period than he’d learned in his entire bio engineering course.
Of course loving what he was doing and paying the bills were separate things. And found him living in a shoe box apartment with fewer belongings than he’d ever thought he’d own while in America. But he was happy, he found work at a small theater doing simple tasks and it didn’t take him nearly as long to graduate. At twenty-two he started looking for a job, a real job, not just a job that paid the bills which was what he was doing now. He wanted to work at a bigger theater or maybe a company. He’d heard that JYPE and YG paid decently for stage designers.
Then he saw them. He’d been watching his newest favorite show, he’d fallen in love with their set designs that had a lot of variety and life, when Monsta, a new-ish band, opened for the show. This show always had some new band or another perform their theme song each week, those were the stages he lived for if he were honest. They were always well done and highlighted the style of whichever band performed. Each stage executed as if this band always performed. But as soon as the band came on he couldn’t draw his eyes away to the lighting like he usually did.
There was a brunette in the middle, petite and handsome while to either side of him were two blondes one with a double headed guitar and one a bass guitar. Both were much taller and both equally handsome. While there was a keyboard player off to the left and a drummer in the back. Each had black hair and wide muscular shoulders. And for some reason just the sight of them had Changkyun’s heart thudding against his rib cage, a feeling of butterflies growing in his stomach. There wasn’t any reason for them he could discern as they zoomed onto the brunette’s face.
The music started with a shot of the vocalist’s deep brown, almost black eyes surrounded in alluring makeup. Changkyun found himself licking his lips as the camera panned around to each member. Each as devastatingly handsome as the last, that had him feeling in a way that he had never felt about anyone else before. His wrist burned but he couldn’t take his eyes away from the screen long enough to find out why. Then the main vocal started singing, joined by the keyboarder and drummer. It was the same theme song he’d been listening to for weeks, he’d never heard it sound so good.
When the show ended he couldn’t recall what it had been about or what the set looked like. Only the closing shots of the band playing the outro as was customary. He’d never googled something so fast in life. And all the while there were a horde of nervous butterflies still beating in his stomach as he looked up all the information he could. Starting with what company they worked for as he promised himself he would get on there if it was the last thing he did. It was well after midnight when he had learned everything he need to know.
Monsta, at barely a few months old were popular internationally as they had started on some survival of the band show or something. While their manager was a young up and comer who was just as attractive as the band members he was always spotted with. They weren’t quite as popular locally which he supposed was why they were on a show that aired at the time that it did. But exposure was exposure as he’d heard over, and over, and over at his current job helping to set up stages for various concerts.
There were five official members who each played an instrument as well as sung for most of the songs. Starting from the age of twenty-six internationally going down to twenty-four. He wasn’t sure that it was normal, but the manager’s age was listed as well and he was just as young as their youngest. He found himself typing it all up, the pain his wrist subsiding the more he learned. He still hadn’t taken the time away from this band to look at it, figuring it was probably some insect bite. It wasn’t like it was the first time he’d been bit by a spider.
Looking at the complicated list, with pictures and all, that he’d made he skimmed through it one last time to make sure he had everything on it he wanted to. Even if he wasn’t sure what he’d do with the information yet. But even if he wasn’t sure what good it would serve him, he wanted it. Not like it would hurt anything to know about them even if he never cared that much who was performing before as long as he made them look good. Well he might care if they were someone big, or he became their fan. It hadn’t happened yet. Not until now and he hadn’t even worked with them, yet.
The top of the page started with the eldest, the drummer going by the stage name Shownu with a real name of Son Hyunwoo. He looked the most manly with full lips, heavy eyebrows, and eyes that felt like they were seeing him through the screen. His hair in the photo he’d found was a rich brown compared to the black he’d had on the broadcast. It complimented his darker skin tone making it look like an even caramel or that might have been editing. He’d seen a few lower qualities with the same tone so he didn’t think it was altered too much at least.
Next was the keyboard player, whose shoulders were not quite as wide as Shownu’s but just as, if not more, muscular. He went by the stage name Wonho and his real name while hotly contested, was either Shin or Lee Hoseok. Changkyun admitted to himself he didn’t care as long as Wonho looked like a greek statue come to life. And he did, it was almost hard for him to look away from the shirtless pictures to pick a sensible one for the file he was making. He’d settled on one that showed more of Wonho’s effeminate face and adorably large ears.
Then there was the first of the two blondes, the guitar player, going by his real name, Lee Minhyuk. He was tall, not quite the tallest but close. And he was a sight to behold with his elegant neck and small eyes as well as the cute little uneven blink he’d seen giffed everywhere. He looked like a model in the picture he’d saved of him in white with a few black necklaces dangling down his body. And like Shownu he looked better without the whitewashing that he’d seen on most of his photos. From what he’d read about him, his personality was as bright as his smile and it made the butterflies multiply in his stomach.
In age order the next on his list was the main vocalist who’d originally caught his eye. His name was Yoo Kihyun and like Minhyuk he used his name on stage as well. Though unlike Minhyuk he was short, the shortest in fact which made him stand out standing in front of all the giants in the band. But he was equally handsome with a smooth jawline and a smolder that put many a woman’s to shame. At least in Changkyun’s book as he stared at the picture of Kihyun with pink hair, a look he felt many didn’t quite pull off nearly as well. It was stunning.
The tallest member was last a bass player named Chae Hyungwon who also went by his own name on stage. Changkyun had the hardest time finding a decent photo of this member as every other photo he pulled up was meme, the good kinds. He’d inadvertently ended up with a whole new meme folder of him. But when the bass player wasn’t meme-ing he was gorgeous, like straight out of a manhwa gorgeous. Piercing eyes, full lips, small face, perfect proportions, and a heavenly smooth voice. He was sure Hyungwon was the whole package.
With the five members it was already a lot of space taken up on his page but he’d noticed there was a fansite for their manager as well. One Lee Jooheon who had a unique face, handsome and severe all the at same time. It was something in the way he carried himself but he’d seen softer photos of the man as well. There was a duality there that was as equally attractive as the members. Though there wasn’t quite as much information on him. It was enough.
It was enough, Changkyun told himself as the butterflies took over his stomach again. Pulling at him, teasing against his rib cage as he stared at the photos. There wasn’t anything else he could do about whatever had drawn him to them. It wasn’t a usual occurrence for him but he wasn’t one to judge, even if he did want to judge the stir of not quite interest but not quite lust roiling in his stomach. He’d had crushes on guys before, it just wasn’t idols, or band members. Or really this intense from the get go. More just a passing thought of ‘he’s handsome’ not a I need to do their set design or I’ll die.
Which is exactly what it felt like. He wanted to make them look better than anyone else ever had, or ever could. He had so many ideas in his head involving them he had to step back and force himself to think logically. A task he normally had no problems with. To do so he started with looking into their company, it was small a bit tight knit but he’d heard of it before. Well he supposed it wasn’t actually small as a whole, just the music section of it. Which is all he cared about as he pulled up an application for Starship Entertainment.