(jinsol goes blonde on a tuesday, the words of her agent swirling around her head as she stares at the box of dye on the shelf in front of her.
'there are a thousands of girls just like you in seoul. they all have the same dream: landing a vogue cover, walking the runways for all of the major designers, working overseas. it's nothing new, so what makes you any different from the rest of them?'
and it's later that night when jinsol really looks at herself in the mirror, her scalp still tingling with the phantom commiseration of hair bleach and toner, that she finally finds her answer:
what makes you any different from the rest of them?
'i'm dreaming the hardest.')
it starts something like this -
there's a party the next evening (something to remember if you wanna thrive in this industry; there's always a party and your attendance at all of them is always crucial. see and be seen, her agent had told her once. and it was only then that she had begun to realize that she'd be expected to sell herself just as much she would a pair of sunglasses for michal kors.
so yeah, a party, this time on the rooftop of some fancy hotel in the heart of gangnam. the champagne flutes seem to glitter everytime the light catches them.
jinsol knows she looks good.
her her newly blonde tresses hanging down her back like curtain of platinum silk. the bodice of her black dolce & gabbana dress hugs her intimately.
she can feel their eyes on her, she could hear the soft murmurs the first time she stepped into the room that evening.
'who's the new girl?'
'is she a foreigner?'
'fresh meat? this should be fun...'
and right now she's sort of feeling like elle fanning's character in the neon demon:
What’s it feel like to walk into a room and it’s like the middle of winter, you’re the sun?
jinsol takes a sip of her lukewarm champagne.)
it's still a little early in the night, mid-party, but jinsol is already tempted to head home where she has a packet of shin ramyun and cuddles from her puppy awaiting her.
so far she's managed to:
- finish off three glasses of champagne (on an empty stomach, no less)
- stave off the advances of a creepy chaebol who keeps running his fingers through the end of her hair and 'come on sweetheart, just one date. tell me, have you ever been to myongwolgwan?'
and it's when she's just about to call it a night, head towards the elevator, that she catches his eye across the room.
and looking back, she'll know then, jinsol will know that from that moment going forward she would be in for a treat.
(jeon jungkook, is not an enigma. not a mysterious casanova nor an international playboy.
not a manic-pixie dreamboy come to life.
his success in the fashion world was practically unheard of: an unknown kid from busan catapulted straight to the top. first as a model, and he still holds the record for most couture shows booked in a single season.
designers couldn't get enough of him, and the whole world wanted a piece.
his face splashed across gossip blogs. photos of him seen stumbling out of nightclubs, hanger-ons (both guys and girls) spilling juicy details of their nights spent together with him in lavish hotel rooms after hours.
but then, he disappeared.
there had been rumors of a drug problem or a secret lovechild hidden away somewhere but no one truly knows and those closest to him weren't telling.
nearly a year of him gone from runways and editorials before he reemerged, behind the camera this time.
his time away from the industry had done changed him, the once doe-eyed flower boy was now covered in ink with the piercings to match.
now as a new photographer he was basically starting from scratch on the scene, again. but he was smart enough not to burn any bridges when he took his hiatus.
now he's back, building contacts and signing contracts to exclusively shoot for brands like balmain and louis vuitton.)
they hold eye contact for only a few seconds, but jinsol can tell he's intrigued.
she watches him slowly make his way towards her out from the corner of her eye, and she holds her breath the entire time.
jungkook smiles at her, skin looking soft and all glow-y from all of the lights surrounding them, under his lashes, hello, love, aren’t you pretty, and jinsol wants to roll her eyes because he thinks he can get her, just like that?
but later that night they’re kissing. and it leaves her breathless, absolutely, and she thinks yes, because he can absolutely get her. just like that.
and jungkook leaves with his number written across her wrist and a kiss pressed to her forehead, and she closes her eyes and pushes her fingers against the digits, memorizing the feel of them (just in case something happens).
and this is how it begins, but it’s not how it ends; and she knows something’s different, this time, knows jeon jungkook is something more than a little bit special.
jinsol finally to goes his studio apartment a month later.
this is of course, after their days spent picnic-ing together by the han river and their late night food runs to the convenience store around the corner from her building among other things.
(they keep in contact through text steadily in between their time together (good morning, can't stop thinking abt you and when can i see you again?) but she's been busy.
as it turns out, blondes maybe do have more fun and she's been booked for more shoots this past month than she has been during the entire year it's been since she first begun modeling full-time)
jungkook is simple, she then realizes.
a lone mattress on the floor, piled high with white sheets and blankets. expensive camera equipment scattered across the room.
picures of him and various friends tacked to wall right next to his bathroom.
it's barren, but cozy. quaint.
feels more like a home than the apartment she's been renting for the past six months does.
he takes her new headshots.
profile, shoulder up, waist up, full length.
it takes longer than it needs to because he won't stop distracting her and keeps making her laugh by making funny faces, those big doe eyes bright with enticement.
they decide to stay in that evening, opting to order chicken and beer and relax in the sanctity of his bed.
and it's later, after they've made love. and he's already made her come twice (once with his cock and again with his head between her legs) that she thinks, this could be something.
she doesn’t meet the rest of the boys until later.
they kept to themselves during that summer. in between traveling for work and making love on every surface of jungkook's apartment, when it’s too hot to breathe but not hot enough to deter them from anything.
(jinsol wonders if it's always going to feel like this.)
they meet and they kiss and they fuck, and it’s a perfect summer, the sort she’ll look back on, in thirty years (fifty, a hundred) and think yes, yes, because there are no other words for a summer like that.
and when she meets the rest of the boys, hoseok teases her, call her jindollie and make her roll her eyes. yoongi tells jungkook that he’s whipped (and she looks at him, and he says maybe i am but that doesn’t matter and it shouldn’t be a turn-on to hear him say that, but they fuck in the bathroom, quick and dirty, her moans muffled by his shoulder).
jimin presses his fingers to the inside of her wrist, where she wears bracelets instead of the digits she’s had memorized since the beginning; and he smiles.
he leans in, whispers in her ear. “you make him happy,” he says, as though it’s a secret, and then, “really. i’ve never seen him happier.”
and jinsol turns a little bit pink, nods down at her shirt. “i - he - me, too,” she says, and she’s always been shit with words but never sparing with her feelings.
jimin laughs, then, and his eyes shine and it sets her at ease, a little bit. “i can tell,” and then he’s pulling her into a hug (and she should have expected it maybe; a famous child-actor turned singer, has read about him in a gossip magazines before, but it’s different to be in the middle of it, to have park jimin giving her a hug).
she presses her fingers into his back and holds him tight, close.
(taehyung is different.
because taehyung is an enigma. and everyone knows his reputation, the partying, the excess.
the six-figure endorsment deal he signed with gucci the previous year was still being whispered about.
but everyone also knows that he's loyal, especially to jungkook.
when jungkook returned from his hiatus and was having a hard time getting his work out there, trying to make a name for himself through his photography and be taken seriosuly, taehyung made it a point to put a clause in all of his future contracts; moving forward he would refuse to be shot by anyone other than jeon jungkook for any luxury brand.
most brands balked at his demands, and some flat out refused, but taehyung refused to yield and eventually got exactly what he wanted in the end while jungkook managed to climb back to the very top of the foodchain all through the help of his best friend.
so yeah, she’s worried about taehyung; because jungkook laughs it off every time she mentions it but she’s knows that jungkook values taehyung's approval more than anybody else's.
but taehyung comes up to her, spotting her in a crowded room full of designer clothes and the toast of seoul's glitterati and he says “can i talk to you a moment out there?” and jerks his head to the balcony.
and she can’t refuse, so she nods; her hands tremble around her glass of champagne the faintest amount but she’s okay.
she does trust jungkook, is the thing, but she doesn’t know taehyung and she’s not so sure what he wants.
he doesn’t speak for a few minutes, just looking at her.
she looks at him a little bit sideways, raising an eyebrow. “what’s up, taehyung?”
“i mean - i know, it’s the most fucking cliche thing to say, but - if you break his heart...” and he trails off, a bit, giving her a look.
she frowns at him, now, turning to face him properly. “i’m not going to hurt him.”
“he’s my best friend,” and this feels honest. “this conversation is required,” he pauses, smiling at the ground. “but - he really fucking likes you, okay?”
she raises an eyebrow.
“and i can tell you feel the same. so just - don’t hurt him. please. you seem nice, lovely, even.” he grins at her, wide, and holds out his arms. “i think we should be friends.”
(of course he says it like that; it’s easy, with people like him.)
and she hugs him back; and now, she feels almost as though she’s part of a group, accepted by them.
(accepted by kim taehyung, and despite what any has to say, he’s protective of jungkook to the end, that much is obvious).
“thank you,” she says, quick, before they pull apart, and it’s his turn to frown at her, the party still going on behind him.
“for - not hating me.”
he shrugs, then, laughing a bit. “dunno if anyone’s good enough for my jungkookie, but you’re the closest thing i’ve found.”)
it’s comfortable, being with jungkook.
he makes her happy. he’s not her sun and stars, he’s not her everything; but he’s her something of the moment, the thing that makes her smile when she doesn’t want to.
(when he’s away, traveling on location for some shoot, he calls her every night - just for a few minutes, some nights, but it means the world to her.
and on one of these calls - he gets quiet, and then whispers i love you into the mouthpiece, and she feels the words reverberate through her, fill her.
“i know, i know,” he’s saying, “i should wait until i see you - but -”
“i love you, too,” she says instead, and she giggles a bit, soft, pressing a hand to her cheek. “i - i do, i love you. god.”
“it’s jungkook, actually,” he tells her, and she can hear the smirk in his voice (and god, he's been hanging around seokjin for far, far too long) but - beyond that, she can hear the worry, fading away with each moment, and it’s that that makes her bite her lip, nod.
“i just - yeah,” she says, and jungkook laughs into the phone.
“i miss you,” he says, soft, and she grins.
“i miss you, too, baby.”
there’s chatter in the background on his end, and he sounds perturbed when he comes back. “i have to go - i’ll talk to you soon, yeah?”
“yeah,” and she hangs up, looking at her phone for a minute.
being with jungkook without really being with him is hard.
it’s nights spent pressed against the phone (knowing that she should be trying to get some sleep because she's got an early casting call tomorrow morning and there's only so much that bb cream and concealer can cover), murmuring small nothings into his ear until they fall asleep (and then it’s waking up and hearing him breathe). it’s being asked time and time again if they’re real, if she’s just with him for the clout, if she really loves him. it’s loving him more than she’s ever loved anyone else (maybe not more than anything else; she’s not a child anymore, after all, but she loves him so, so much) and not being able to see him, to hold him.
but then - it’s the absolute relief when he picks her up at the airport, spins her around, gives her a quick kiss. it’s the hiding away in jinsol’s flat, giggling and eating takeaway.
it's when she calls him nearly hysterical, nearly overwhelmed with emotion after she's just seen the ad for her stylenanda campaign on the train ride home.
'i'm so proud of you, baby,' and she can tell he's smiling. 'this is only the beginning.'
they don’t really kiss when they’re out. it’s not because it’s not real; it’s because they don’t owe the world anything, not at all.
she wants to kiss jungkook in public, but she fears that if they do they’ll become the property of them, and she doesn’t want that. (they already sort of are, but for now the touches, the glances, the love is only theirs; the world can speculate all they want but they can’t have it, no matter how hard they try, how many rumors they spread.)
this love belongs to them; it’s late nights and early mornings and skype calls ended too early. it’s beautiful and it hurts, too, but jinsol doesn’t mind. not really, because at the end of the day she belongs to jungkook and he to her.
she doesn’t believe in owning a person, has never, but she does with him. (she wants to prove to the world that she has him, that the industry can’t, that no amounts of money or fame or recognition ever will. but she doesn’t need to with the rest of the world, because she has his head on her chest, his fingers playing with hers.
she has “i love you, jin,” whispered into the curve of her skin, has “no one else,” as a promise when it all gets to be too much.)
she doesn’t know what the future holds for them. she wants it to be forever; when she dreams of later, she dreams of jungkook. (it’s simple, like that.) she realizes that she’s being silly, acting like a child, but when he looks at her, she lets herself believe.
it's a year a some change, give or take a few months later when -
she and jungkook move in together.
he doesn’t get down on one knee (they’re not there, yet) but he does say please and a long time and she knows what it means in every beat of his heart.
and she knows that this is now, that this is tomorrow, and that it can turn into a hundred tomorrows, a thousand.
“i love you,” she whispers on their first night living together, into his shoulder. “i love you so much.”
“you too, jagi,” he whispers, already half-asleep, words slurring.
and she smiles into the darkness, pulling him tight.