Chapter 1: PRO(LOG)UE
hello and welcome lol
This chapter came out longer than I intended but :')
MC is kinda scared this chapter but when you think about it, who wouldn't be scared?
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
He’s been in love once before.
Scratch that, he’s been in love a dozen of times, more than he can count. Not that he was a flirt; well, at this day and age he could consider himself one, but it’s always been innocent. Always with the purest intentions. When he falls in love, he falls in love hard and it’s painful but worth it. So worth it.
Love was giving your heart and soul.
He thinks tenderness and affection to be worthy. No matter where, no matter whom, always be tender and affectionate.
At least, that’s the idea. Growing up he tried so hard to be kind but along the way he realized that this wasn’t possible. Sometimes, there needs to be a wall between him and the rest of the world. They need to stay away people like him.
He signed his initials at the bottom of the painting he just finished: “MC”. Finishing, he set the paintbrush down, staring at the result once more. Even then after putting the finishing touches, he couldn’t avoid checking it out just in case he missed one more thing-
“Jeez, Cheong Moonsoo, you’re such a perfectionist,” giggled a familiar voice. He turned back with a small pout, and the small body of his friend Jieun approached him.
“I can’t avoid it,” Moon replied in a grumble. “I want it to be beautiful.”
“It already is.” Jieun said while gazing at the frame, her voice breathy. “What will you call it?”
The painting was a landscape of the Taebaek mountains, a representation of a photo Moon took with his cellphone when he visited the mountains back in the fall. The painting was ridden with a balance of browns, oranges, yellows, and greens of the season of autumn with the sun shining out as it peeked out from the mountains in sunrise and small wispy clouds in giving it company.
“I don’t know yet,” He frowned. “The subject was to represent a beginning, and well, what better way than the sunrise, right?”
“Hmm… Was it when you left?”
“Well, it wasn’t really leaving, I did let you and Taejun know.”
“Eight hours later! And you had already arrived!” Jieun stomped her foot adamantly, giving him a dirty look to which Moon could only smile sheepishly at.
“But at least I let you know, right? That’s gotta count for something!”
She rolled her eyes at him. Picking up his things, she started walking out the studio. “C’mon, Taejun and the others are waiting for us at the cafeteria. You can think the name for it after lunch.”
“Hey, I still got to wash the paintbrushes!”
After the small pause of cleaning up (golden rule of the studio: always clean up your workspace) they headed to the outdoor cafeteria of the school, where the fresh breeze of spring tickled Moon’s cheeks. Sprawled in the grass were their friends, who were sharing lunches with each other. Finals were rough on everybody, especially to Taejun, who looked practically dead as he slept besides their blond friend.
“Hey, Moon! Are you finished with the painting for Mr. Kwon’s class?” said girl called.
“Finally.” Moon replied dramatically, sitting himself cross-legged besides the zombie that was Taejun. “I thought I would never get that sunrise right.”
“Well you’re a big perfectionist anyways, you were probably nit-picking at it even after signing it,” snickered the girl.
“Right you are, Eunji,” sighed Jieun who sat beside her, taking out a sandwich and handing one to a pouty Moon, who took it.
“We’re in an art school, don’t tell me you’re not your biggest critic.”
“Oh, I am, but you, Taejun and Nari are on a whole ‘nother level!”
Suddenly, as if she were called, the tanned skin girl plopped herself between Jieun and Eunji with a laptop. Taejun suddenly seemed to wake up from his trance and Nari opened th Mac to show it the him.
“We got it, I am fucking-finally done editing that shit Lee asked us to do, I figured it out.”
Taejun’s eyes lit up and almost threw himself towards Nari. “HOW?”
Moon stopped paying them attention and scooted over closer to Jieun, who gave him a can of juice. Bless her heart, always bringing him lunch. He probably would be dead if she didn’t do it, or perhaps gaining weight from eating out. God knows Taejun hadn’t touched the stove in months, and it started to show on his belly.
They chatted about school, or well, whining about finals. Nari and Taejun were having a hard time editing a small movie project they had and Eunji had a whole line of fashion accessories she had to create to support with next season’s fashion demonstration. Jieun was having a hard time with twenty storyboards she had to turn in three days. The chat could seem stressful but being able to share worries like this was helpful in more ways than one.
“By the way,” started Eunji, who was peeling the wrapper of her steamed bun, “have you found a house yet?”
“Not yet,” Moon shook his head. “I just haven’t been able to find one within my price range. If they’re cheap, they’re incredibly far away from here.”
Taejun suddenly came into the conversation. “You know you can stay at my place as long as you want.”
Moon smiled sympathetically. “I can’t do that to you, dude. Your own roommates are starting to feel uncomfortable. Your room is smaller than mine.”
“That’s their problem.” He shrugged.
Moon shook his head once more. “It’s not their fault Woo Donghyun is an asshole. I can’t keep letting others suffer because of my personal problems.”
Everybody was silenced after that. Eunji chewed at her bun and Nari stared at her computer screen. Taejun and Jieun stared at Moon and he knew those gazes so well.
He chomped down the last bite of his sandwich before standing up. “Well, I’m going to go pick up some clothes at my room. I have to go take a shower while he’s not there.”
“Do you want me to go with you?” Taejun asked, slight worry in his voice.
“Nope! What are you, my mom? It’ll be ok.” Moon grinned.
“Send us a message if anything happens,” Jieun called after him, and Moon waved her off while nodding, leaving immediately afterwards.
Woo Donghyun isn’t a bad person. At least, Moon tried to convince himself of this. He’s seen him do good things. But the thing is that, some people were closed off to others, especially to people like Moon. They were fearful to the things they didn’t know or understand, and even if Moon tries a thousand times to explain, they won’t understand.
“Oppa! Moon oppa!”
Moon stopped when he heard his name being called and saw a couple of girls waving at him and walking over to him. They had wide smiles on their faces and Moon couldn’t help but to smile and wave back, walking towards them.
“Oppa, we haven’t seen you in such a long time!”
“Hyemin and Sooyoung! I hadn’t seen you either, are you both busy with finals?”
They both nodded, with a grave look in their faces. The one called Hyemin tugged on his jean jacket. “We’re having such a hard time in history! Mr. Park is really strict!”
Moon’s eyebrows rose and he whistled. “You have history with Mister Park Minseok? I shall pray for your souls; may they rest in peace.”
Sooyoung looked teary eyed. “For the final project we have to write a ten-page essay on the cave paintings. I don’t even know how to start.”
Moon tutted and shook his head. He gave her a supportive pat on her back. “You should start telling your mother that you won’t be heading back home this summer.”
They stared at him in awe.
“You should let her know that you will probably be locked in the dungeon called summer school…”
“Oppa!” They exclaimed. Sooyoung was practically crying.
He immediately laughed and hugged her. “I’m joking, I’m joking! You’ll be fine. If you want, I can send you mine so you can use it as a reference. I got top grade in that class.”
“Yep! Your upperclassman coordinator is here to the rescue!”
Hyemin and Sooyoung beamed. “Thank you so much!”
“It’s no problem. Send me a kakao message later, yeah? I have to go now.”
“Okay, we will!”
They parted ways and Moon arrived at his own dorm building after a few minutes of walking. His things were still intact, thankfully. He picked up a change of clothes and some notebooks when the bathroom suddenly opened, where Donghyun stepped out.
Everything around them was tense. Moon ended up shoving his clothes into his duffel bag and left before it could get worse.
“Dongseongyeonaeja.” He heard him mutter. Fag.
Moon’s heart was still pounding upon leaving, head throbbing with angry tears being held back. Screw trying to see Donghyun like a good person. Fuck him. Moon never did anything wrong to him, he never did anything wrong to anyone. He was so, so tired of having to go through the same thing over and over-
His cellphone vibrated. Probably Jieun worried sick about him. She really should stop… He stopped halfway the stairs so that he could answer her. However, it wasn’t her, nor was it anyone he knew. Once he unlocked his telephone, it blinked and a bunch of numbers appeared on his screen, until it finally cleared up and an unknown chat room opened.
ENTER YOUR NAME.
“What…?” Moon tried to leave but couldn’t. He looked around. He sighed and gave up, signing in his name.
MOON AND UNKNOWN HAVE ENTERED THE CHATROOM.
Chatroom? Moon didn’t remember downloading any sort of app. What’s going on?
Unknown: Can you see this?
Moon: Who are you?
Feeling suddenly very anxious, he looked around to see if anybody was close by. The staircase was alone, and the voices of some guys around in their dorms was the only thing he could hear. He held his phone close to his chest and started walking down the stairs. It kept vibrating.
He stepped out of the building and the feeling felt worse. He peeked at his phone.
Unknown: I’m sure you’re surprised.
> It’s not every day you get a text from a stranger.
> I’m a bit flustered myself. I found a smartphone at the subway station, but all it had was this messenger app.
He kept typing and Moon kept walking. Taejun’s dorm was on the other side of campus.
Unknown: All I see is an address and some important looking numbers saved in notes.
> I’d like to go there myself but I’m currently abroad…
Okay, what the fuck. Was this some sort of prank? Was it Donghyun? Or someone else?
Moon: First…who are you?
Unknown avoided the question completely. Something about being abroad and even if he did provide his name, he won’t find him on search engines. Moon wasn’t really interested in searching for him, he just wanted a name. At least. But before Moon could continue questioning him, a request for help was made, the request to find the owner of the cellphone.
Unknown: I’d appreciate it if you could help.
Moon: Why are you so obsessed with finding the owner? You can just give it to the police or the post office.
That seemed like the most logical thing to do, especially with such a mysterious phone with only one application. Unknown then went on saying about his religion, how normal people wouldn’t understand. How to always do good. That stopped Moon right there on the sidewalk, and he was weak afterwards.
Unknown: I can’t help but think how stressed the owner might be…
> I know the area. It’s developed.
Moon slumped and sighed. “Goddamn…” He ran a hand through his brown hair. “Fine,” he muttered to no one in particular.
Moon: Ah fuck
> Fine… I’m leaving right away if it feels sketchy.
Unknown: You trust me…
> Thank you!
Not really the case. Moon was just weak and had a savior complex (not that he admitted it).
A few seconds later Unknown provided the address. It was close by. Really close by. He recognized the street, it’s close by where he and Jieun went frequently to buy art supplies.
Moon: Okay, I’m on my way.
It was a fifteen walk, he had to leave campus just to get there. It was relatively early still, but the street was practically desolated. The apartment building was two streets behind the art supply shop, Moon had seen it a couple of times. The building was nice, albeit simple, surrounded by trees and more shops around its perimeter.
“Top floor, huh…?” Moon murmured, stepping into the elevator and pressing the fifth-floor button.
The elevator doors opened and immediately in front of him was a door with a padlock. R.F.A. was inscribed on top. He squinted, and his phone suddenly vibrated.
Unknown: Are you there? ^^ See. Nothing strange.
How did Unknown know he was there already? Moon looked around. The floor was deadly silent, not a soul to be around.
Unknown: Is there a password lock on the door?
Unknown immediately sent him the digits. Wait, was he going in the apartment? Was that okay? He hesitated.
Moon: Shouldn’t I at least ring the doorbell first?
Unknown: Hmm, you’re right!
> Sorry, I wasn’t thinking straight.
> Then ring the doorbell.
That seemed like an order. He started to sense impatience from this person, and Moon’s anxiety wasn’t helping. He just wanted to leave. He rang the doorbell once. Twice. Three times. He would pause, but there was no reply whatsoever.
He told Unknown that no one seemed to be home, and Unknown supposed that the place was empty.
Unknown: Why don’t you press the code?
That sounded bad. Moon’s anxiety was telling him to run but his legs were failing completely. It suddenly dawned on him that he may, in fact, be in danger.
He’s heard of hate crimes before. He’s heard that sometimes, people like him get lured into places, taken alone, and then never seen again. They were either tortured, mutilated, or killed, or all three.
He was sure he could no longer turn back.
Moon: Are you sure?
> Are you sure no one is in there?
Unknown: I’m sure.
Moon: Uhm… Okay. I will.
Moon pressed the combination of numbers and the door opened on its own. The house was dark, and he could immediately smell that stuffy smell of a house that hasn’t been habituated in ages. “Hello?” called Moon. No one replied. He told Unknown that the door’s open.
Unknown: Good. Why don’t you go inside?
Moon’s anxiety was pounding on his chest. His hands started to tremble.
Moon: Can I just enter a stranger’s house?
Unknown: You can just leave a note. I’ll give you my info.
> If something happens, you can just show my messages. That’ll do.
Okay. Okay, that seemed fine.
Unknown signed out of the chat room but sent him the information immediately. Park Jongil, 1242 Geongchanum street, Seoul. I have your phone, please call at 8745481249.
Moon went inside, prepared for the worst. He turned the lights on and thankfully, no one seemed to come up from hiding and start hitting him. He relaxed a bit and closed the door behind him. He set his phone and bag down and started to look for a pen and a sheet of paper to write the note on.
The house was practically empty except for a small living room and three tall archives behind a big desk. There Moon saw some sticky notes and a pen, and he started to write down the information Unknown provided him. Once he finished, he walked back to the entrance hallway and set the note on the table at the hallway. However, he noticed that his phone was vibrating like crazy.
MOON HAS ENTERED THE CHATROOM.
Yoosung★: Failed my midterms fml
707: Cuz u played LOLOL all night lol.
Jumin Han: if you want to work for our company, you should take care of your GPA.
Yoosung★: I’m still on the list?! +_+
Jumin Han: Yes.
707: Nice~ Can’t believe u get to work straight after college lol
> In this day and age!
ZEN: Lame. It’s nepotism.
Jumin Han: It’s called recruitment actually.
Another chatroom? Is everything alright with his cellphone? Moon didn’t remember downloading any type of messenger app. However, although the interface of the messenger was the same as his conversation with Unknown, it seemed more normal. Instead of numbers as the background, it looked like a starry sky.
There were also more people. Six people, to be specific, including him. They had names and photos, so it felt less mysterious than Unknown – but still mysterious, nonetheless.
Moon dropped down to the hallway floor, his legs finally giving in. He didn’t know what was going on. Why wasn’t his phone letting him leave? He couldn’t even turn it off.
While he was distracted, the users in the chatroom kept arguing until they finally noticed his presence.
707: Think someone entered the chat room;;
Jumin Han: Moon…?
ZEN: Wtf. How did it get in here?
Yoosung★: Hacker!? Therae’s a hacker in ouer room!!!
> Sevnee do somethign!!
ZEN: Hey, typos. -_-;;
707: Wait a sec. I’m searching.
Moon just stared at the screen. Him? A hacker? He couldn’t even get his phone to turn off.
Jumin Han: Who are you? Reveal yourself. Hey, Assistant Kang.
Jaehee Kang: Yes, I am here.
After moving it around, Moon realized that the only thing that he could make work was his keyboard. “Piece of shit…” he swore. His phone had never malfunctioned like this.
Moon: Um, hello?
Yoosung★: Gahhhh it’s talking!!
ZEN: So it’s not two smartphones.
Jumin Han: Who is it?
Yoosung★: Find out what it is!
They continued to interrogate him, and Moon just had about enough. If he didn’t need his phone, he would have definitely thrown it out the window already.
User 707 interrupted them. He had made the discovery that the location of the intruder was in Rika’s apartment. So not only was he intruding in the chat room, he intruded in someone else’s house.
“What the fuck, Unknown…?” He looked at the note still in his hand. He started to question if this person, Park Jongil, even existed. By the looks of it, he doesn’t, and now he was in danger of getting reported to the authorities for trespassing.
Jumin Han: Moon… Who are you?
> Reveal yourself, stranger.
> If you do not reveal yourself, you will pay.
ZEN: Stranger you will pay? Lmfao
> omg~*so scary*~
> It might be a girl.
707: That’s sexist lol. U should watch what u say now that ur a famous actor.
That was sexist, but that wasn’t the point. Getting misgendered was the least of his worries right now (and to some extent, he was used to it).
Jumin Han: Hey.
> Don’t get distracted.
Yoosung★: Oh, right. Username Moon…
Jaehee Kang: … An abrupt stranger.
707: My hands r shaking as I hack.
Jumin Han: Who are you? Reveal yourself right now.
Yoosung★: Yeees! Who are u?!
ZEN: Use proper english please.
707: If it doesn’t say anything I’ll hack in and find out.
> one of my fans?
Jumin sent a cute, angry sticker reminiscent of his profile picture. They all had their sets of stickers, Moon absentmindedly wondered if they were custom made. If they were, were they part of the messenger? If so, the messenger was indeed personal to them, right? He quickly snapped back to reality, when seeing the hour. It was late. He wondered if Jieun and Taejun sent him messages. They must be worried sick.
Moon: What? No, no. I’m the one confused here, reveal yourselves first.
Jumin Han: How fierce.
ZEN: Are you a woman?
707: Zen. Be more serious, plz?
> And wait a sec on the woman thing.
> Looking it up.
Jaehee Kang: Such a search violates privacy laws.
707: Ya. I’m only saying I’m looking it up.
> No evidence that I’m actually hackginh.
Moon leaned his back against the wall and started to wonder if this was some sort of prank. If it was, he would get the fucker. His phone didn’t seem to act stranger than it already was, so he wondered if Seven was indeed hacking into his archives.
Oh shit, he had some personal things in there-
For some reason, it didn’t surprise him that Zen was the first one to introduce himself. Moon couldn’t deny it- he was really hot. 707’s a secret, but according to Jaehee, his real name is strange. Yoosung looked cute, kind of reminded him of the group of freshmen he coordinated last year. He wasn’t wrong either, the boy is a freshman, guessing by his age. He smiled a bit when they revealed Jumin and Jaehee against their wishes, especially because of the cute cat picture Seven sent.
Jaehee Kang: Could it be that we have a security breach?
ZEN: True. Moon, how did you get in here?
Yoosung★: Is it really in Rika’s apartment?
707: Yup. It’s for sure…
> How did it get the apartment password?!
ZEN: Where the hell is the apartment?
How did he get here? Moon wondered himself. He started to feel sick suddenly.
Moon: I’m not sure either… I was walking back home and received a message asking for help and they lead me to this address. It was nearby. The username was “Unknown”. Do you know them?
Jumin Han: Unknown?
ZEN: Maybe he just didn’t set a username?
707: It’s mandatory to set a username so he must have set it that way.
> A hacker……?!
A part of him was glad that this wasn’t some sort of hate crime regarding him, personally. Sure, this was an issue, but nothing personal against him, right? The issue with Donghyun had him on edge these past few days.
Moon explained further that this Unknown person gave him the information to the apartment, from the address to the password, and that the application downloaded by itself.
707: Not possible
> things can’t download by themselves.
> You must have received it.
Moon rolled his eyes, and then remembered.
Moon: Well…I did download a game @ app store this morning. But the game was supposed to be to pass the time. I even played it while going to school.
Jumin Han: What a modern way of talking.
ZEN: So cute lol
Yoosung★: You go to school?!
Moon gave up trying to turn off his phone and watched the conversation ensue. Moon looked around the empty house and noticed a camera staring at him from a corner, a small red light glowing from it. He waved his hand at it from his spot.
707: Ohhhh!!! You waved!!!
> You can’t see me but I waved back at ya! Hello!!
Yoosung★: You can see her!?
> Turned on the security cameras and looked into their info
> She’s cute lolol.
Moon wondered if from Seven’s view he thought he was a girl. Granted, he was sitting hunched on the hallway, and his body was lanky… however his face did get confused regularly for a woman’s, so much he was no longer offended.
He stood up to approach the camera, fixing his glasses and hair while he did so.
Yoosung ★ : You did a background heck on her!? So Moon is definitely a girl?
Moon: But I’m not a girl.
> I mean, *wink*
Moon couldn’t help but laugh a bit. It echoed throughout the emptiness of the apartment. Moon turned on a light as it was now darker than fifteen minutes ago. He sat down on the couch – not that he was calmer, but he couldn’t stay on the floor either.
707: I made her laugh! Cutie points increased by 100!!!!
ZEN: Lucky bastard.
An actor, two corporates, a hacker, and a college student. Seemed like some horrible drama and Moon wasn’t sure if whether to laugh or to cry. Even then, he believed them. They looked seriously worried and suspicious, so Moon was positive that there was no reason to doubt him.
Taejun always said that this positivity of his would be his downfall. It’s what got him here in the first place. Or with his exact words: “Your stupid, nice face and kind heart are what get you in trouble.”
Moon: That’s not the point though. The point is that I mean no harm, and that I’m more confused than you are.
> And I kinda wanna puke too.
707: Aww lolol
> The bathroom is down the hallway to your left
> You seem to be fine!!
> Very good!
Jaehee Kang: It seems they understand each other…
707: Could this be…?
> Has my soulmate appeared??
Moon: Have the stars set us to be??
> The space station is calling!
V HAS ENTERED THE CHATROOM.
Out of everyone there the only one who managed to get him to calm down was Seven, which was strange since he was the one who could do more considerable damage. He smiled at the screen, seeing how he continued to make things lighter, rejecting Zen’s demand for a picture, further ignoring him by sharing a picture of Jaehee (whom was a very beautiful, elegant woman, Moon had to add) and felt sorry that the rest didn’t seem to recognize her.
Finally, a man with the profile picture of a man with turquoise hair started to speak. It was like when a teacher stepped into a classroom – everybody quieted down and answered to him with respect. Moon could only suppose that the user V was their leader.
The situation was repeated once more; the apartment was as a mystery to everybody as it was to Moon. Rika never revealed it to anyone, not even to her own lover and family.
“Am I your first visitor ever, Rika…?”
He finally took in the last details of the apartment. It was quite boring, not one picture on the wall, not even a mirror. Just the basic furniture, and Moon doubted Rika even used it. It was like living in the monochrome scheme, there was no color whatsoever.
V: Anyways, I can’t tell you the address. I’m sorry.
Yoosung★: Then how did Seven know that the address he traced is Rika’s apartment?
Jaehee Kang: Since he’s responsible for the organization’s classified information.
707: Yup. That’s true, but also I’m the one who developed this app.
> Rika wanted to take care of some work through this too.
> I went to her place to link the app with some of the documents in her computer.
Jumin Han: I see.
V: Only Luciel and I know the address.
> I repeat, since the information must be protected, please do not attempt to find the apartment.
> Do not ask Moon about it and Moon, please do not reveal the address.
V: All the information there is classified.
> So Moon… Is that what I call you?
> Please do not touch anything there.
> For example, if you try to force open one of the drawers…
> The alarm will ring.
The study in the back corner must activate it, Moon mused. Especially those three archives. He did grab a sticky note and pen, however, and nothing rang. He was glad that nothing else was triggered.
Moon: Don’t worry about it. I’ll be going now then, and pretend nothing ever happened, yeah?
> Your secret is safe with me.
> Sorry for intruding.
> You can’t leave.
Moon: Why not?
V: Everything regarding the Association…including the apartment itself, is classified.
> You can be in danger.
> And if its someone that knew the password and sent you…
> It must mean Rika trusts you.
> She must have chosen you.
Once again, the anxiety that had disappeared momentarily came back but more intensely, mixed with the desperation of just wanting to leave. He tried to remember if he ever met someone called Rika. No, not ever…
V: If I am right.
> Moon being at her apartment right now…
> Rika must have wanted that.
Jumin Han: Rika called in a complete stranger from up in the sky?
V: I’m not saying she wanted Moon to be there… but maybe…
> Rika wanted someone to do the work she did before.
> At the place she worked before.
Moon: What work?
707: Hosting parties?
ZEN: You mean Rika’s party.
Yoosung★: Do you really think… that Rika planned this?
> If she made that decision when she was alive…
V: That’s my guess… but yes.
> Since she didn’t leave a will.
> According to the information Luciel provided, Moon doesn’t seem dangerous.
Moon peeked out the window. The street was completely alone, and the shops around had closed. The only thing open was the convenience store, but that was until the next block and no way would they hear him if he yelled for help.
“Fuck, fuck,” swore Moon. He was suddenly afraid of touching anything as well, because then an alarm would sound off. And then what? Will it notify the authorities? Then he will definitely get in trouble for trespassing.
Moon: What is going on…I just came here to find the owner of the phone.
707: Owner of the phone?
> You were phished lol
> According to V’s guess, Rika… the person who used to live there
> had the person ‘Unknown’ convince u to go to the apartment.
And now he was trapped in here. So no, it wasn’t a hate crime against him, but he did get in kidnapped anyways.
“I’m sorry, Jieun…Taejun…”
Jaehee seemed to be the only one sane in the chat. If she kept questioning, then maybe she could convince everyone to let him go peacefully.
Or call the cops. Either one.
V: Thank you for your opinion, Jaehee.
> But right now, I would appreciate it if you could trust me.
> If Moon is not to be trusted, we can deal with it then.
Jumin Han: Hmm.
Moon: I’m not really interested. I just want to go back…
Zen: How chic…
> Cute is nice but chic women have their own charms.
Jumin Han: He’s gone insane.
707: Lol excited because she’s a girl?
Jumin Han: Excited because of a stranger?
> Your heart is insane.
707: Lololololol lmfao at what Jumin said.
> Insane heart lolololol
Jaehee Kang: Zen, isn’t it quite inappropriate to fall for someone you have never met?
ZEN: Uhm. yes.
> I can’t control myself.
Jaehee Kang: omg
Yoosung★: Moon, you may not be interested right now, but won’t you listen to what we have to say?
> You are involved now that you’re here.
> Regardless of whether you like it or not.
707: Ya. If you don’t cooperate, we can all team up to put u in trouble.
> First, we all know that u trespassed on the apartment^^
Moon stared at the camera angrily momentarily, knowing that the asshole was watching him. He gave a deep sigh.
> I’ll listen for now.
Zen: Ladies shouldn’t cuss
707: Thank you for your cooperation.
ZEN: Rika is…
> V’s old girlfriend, and the person who created this chatroom.
Yoosung★: Rika hosted parties regularly for a good cause.
> She organized a group called RFA to plan the party and manage participants.
Moon: Good cause?
707: She hosted a fundraiser to help those in need
> and introduced the guests to one another to arrange business deals.
> founded the organization called RFA four years ago and hosted two parties until so far.
> The six of us who knew her personally joined the organization and helped her host the parties.
Yoosung ★ : [ V PHOTO #1 ]
> She was an amazing person…
> She always sparkled.
ZEN: And Rika…
> is no longer here with us…
> She passed away a year and a half ago.
707: Moon has to know this anyways…
ZEN: Anyways, we still haven’t gotten over that yet
> so please just keep it to yourself… Moon.
Jumin Han: I still can’t believe…
> that Rika knew she’d pass away and planned all this.
> But I’ll just consider it as true for now since V thinks so.
Yoosung★: …I can’t imagine… someone else taking over what Rika did.
Moon: I’m sorry.
ZEN: It’s okay.
> But if we continue on like this, there’s no need for the party or our organization to continue.
Jumin Han: We don’t even know who she is though.
ZEN: Just the fact that she’s in this chatroom makes me trust her a bit though;;
Jumin Han: Not because Moon’s a girl?
V: Everyone… I know that this is confusing. But…
> Maybe Moon was chosen by Rika.
> 707 will look into that person called ‘Unknown’.
> So for now, please just believe in me and wait.
707: I guess ur busy right now. Ur replies are really late.
V: Yeah, I think… I have to leave right now.
> Moon, it is best not to touch anything in the apartment.
> It won’t be good if the alarm rings.
> Everything that you have to do… will be linked with this app installed on your phone.
Moon: What do you mean?
707: This app program is not just a simple messenger.
> All the party related emails in Rika’s computer
> will be transferred to this app.
> U’ll be able to automatically receive the guests’ information as well.
> And send personal messages to other members…
V: Then there’s no need for Moon to touch Rika’s old things.
Jaehee Kang: All Moon has to do is use this app.
707: I put in all those features so that Rika could work more comfortably.
> Glad there’s a use for them lol
Moon: My phone is kind of
> Not working right now though.
> It won’t even let me turn it off.
707: I put a lock on it.
> Don’t worry, it’ll be back to normal soon.
V: I’m sorry…
> But I have to leave.
707: Okay. See u later, V.
Jumin Han: ?
V: Please take care of things for me.
Jumin Han: …Alright.
V HAS LEFT THE CHATROOM.
And like that, V left. Curiously, Moon didn’t feel strictly in danger, the situation itself just stressed him out. The fact that he didn’t know what was going on and he was seemingly trapped in a mystery that not even the own members knew was exasperating.
His stomach started to growl. Ah, right, he hasn’t eaten since earlier the afternoon and it was just a plain sandwich. He wondered if there was any food in here…
Jumin Han: Why doesn’t everyone stop stalking and Assistant Kang summarize everything for her.
> And invite her to the organization.
Jaehee Kang: Alright.
> RFA is an organization Rika created so that anyone can freely make donations regardless of class or nationality.
> At the time, she hosted quite large parties once every two years, and they were very successful.
ZEN: Those were busy days. I thought people were going to trample me.
Jaehee Kang: This chatroom was used to discuss plans for the party.
707: I created this chatroom lol.
Yoosung★: Everyone knows that already…
Jaehee Kang: Because this chatroom contained a lot of information that cannot be publicly released
> the app was distributed in secret only for RFA members.>But ever since Rika passed away, we have not hosted a single party
Jumin Han Yeah… not a single one.
> We wanted to, but without Rika, we couldn’t proceed.
Jaehee Kang: …And this chatroom became a place for us to talk about personal matters.
707: We check that everyone’s alive with this chatroom and literally just chat.
Yoosung★: We shared our memories of Rika too.
Jaehee Kang …Moon, I think you were led to that place without any explanation.
> If V is right, it seems that someone sent you there to fill Rika’s position.
> Considering that you knowing about the existence of that place as satisfies the conditions for joining the organization, following V’s orders…
Jumin Han Fyi, currently there are six members. Me, V, Zen, 707, Yoosung, and Assistant Kang. Everyone in the chatroom.
ZEN: If Moon joins, it will be seven.
Yoosung★: Is she… really becoming a new member?
Jumin Han: We didn’t hear from Moon yet.
> All we are trying to do is host parties, raise funds, gather people… and things like that.
> Our organization has done a lot of good so far.
> … You will never regret joining.
Yoosung★: I thought Jumin was against her. Why the sudden change?
Jumin HanI am only following V’s decision.
ZEN: If you join the organization, we’ll be able to talk more. Not everyday we meet a pretty girl.
707: Uhm. How do you know she’s pretty? I didn’t even send the photo.
ZEN: Send the photo.
Jumin Han: Men will be men.
ZEN: And you’re not a man?
707: Heard somewhere Jumin’s gay.
> Go away. You scare me.
Jumin Han: Not even worth responding to that.
Moon scowled. Typical. Stopping them right there, he interrupted them.
Moon: Do I have to stay here?
> That’s the idea.
> You can use the messenger anywhere, but the email system only connects at the apartment.
> Extra security measures, you know!!
Moon: …You mean I can live here?
> Do I have to pay rent?
707: Well, the apartment is under V’s name
> So he would be the one who gets to decide that
> But V is really nice
> you’ll probably get to stay there for freesies, he’d never be able to charge anyone
Moon tripped and fell on the couch again. He stared at the camera in disbelief while he felt weeks of stress fall off his shoulders.
707: You look so surprised lolol
> You even fell down.
> Didn’t you have a place to stay?
> I was
> Practically homeless, living with friends,
> I am willing to pay rent
> Can I get in touch with V about that later?
Jumin Han: He’s barely here.
> Today was the first day I talked to him in weeks…
707: I can leave him a message, if that will make you feel better.
> I’ll join.
> All I have to do is not give out any information and organize a party
Jaehee Kang: That is correct.
Jumin Han: We will, of course, help you.
Moon: I accept.
Yoosung★: That’s a fast decision..
Jumin Han: Ha. I like it.
Jaehee Kang: I wonder if you have thought this through.
ZEN: Welcome, Moon. Oi, Seven. Register her info asap.
707: Ya. I have to register her before she changes her mind.
Yoosung★: Even the processing is fast…
> Moon must be a positive person, seeing that she made her decision so fast.
Jaehee Kang: She may not be a careful person.
Jumin Han: Assistant Kang, is there something you do not like about her?
Yoosung★: Hey~ Jaehee, don’t be like that.
Jaehee Kang: It is not that.
Yoosung★: …I’m glad we have a girl now! It was a hopeless sausage fest until now lol.
> Moon! If you have any questions, I can answer them.
> Ask anything you need.
> No need to worry about anything ^^
Such a sweet boy, thought Moon, smiling. He could tell Yoosung tries his best. He went to the hallway to pick up his duffel bag from the entrance and sat back down on the couch.
707: Good. I’ve registered her as a member! Oh. We don’t really need ur signature.
Yoosung★: You’re going to collect all the info so she can’t run away, right?
707: ^^… Since it’s a verbal contract.
ZEN: …Don’t collect anything without Moon’s permission.
> I’m gonna leave for a sec. Need to check sth.
ZEN: Background check on Moon?
707: Nah~ It’s work. I have to make a living somehow.
Moon: Hey Seven
> Could you unlock my phone? Please?
707: Oh!! Right!! Almost forgot.
> Done! You should be able to run your phone now normally.
Moon: Can I leave for food?
ZEN: You haven’t eaten?
Moon: No…I’m hungry.
707: Don’t worry!
> You should be able to leave now.
> You can touch everything
> Except the office
> That’s where the alarms are^^
707: No need to thank me!!!
> Just doing my job lol
> Now I have to go
> To my other job
Jaehee Kang: Well, since she has joined, I think everyone can leave if they need to.
Jumin Han: Hmm. Let me check my schedule…
707: Anyways, welcome Moon.
Yoosung★: Welcome!! Good luck to us.
ZEN: Glad you joined, Moon ^^
Jumin Han: We’ll see how you do.
Jaehee Kang: For now, I look forward to working with you.
JUMIN HAN HAS LEFT THE CHATROOM.
ZEN: Oh… By the way
> I had a good dream last night. I think I saw you there…
> Or not. Bye~!
ZEN HAS LEFT THE CHATROOM.
707 HAS LEFT THE CHATROOM.
JAEHEE KANG HAS LEFT THE CHATROOM.
YOOSUNG ★ HAS LEFT THE CHATROOM.
Moon: I think…I need to lay down for a while.
> Good night, everyone.
MOON HAS LEFT THE CHATROOM.
WOOOOO almost 7k words E N D M E
but it was fun! I'm currently in the process of writing the second chapter so
Some things I wanted to touch on...
First, I am not korean, however I do know that they do not take lightly to the lgbt community. While there aren't any strict laws against them, they are still very much taboo. We can see this in the game, where they mention this a lot, so I wanted to explore this.
I did look up a lot of things, but it was mostly on google, so if I am wrong in anything, please let me know and I'll fix it!
also, I will probably stray away from canon chats, at least some of them. The first chapter was pretty much standard because it was necessary but from here I will take it in my own hands to create some more, because well, Moon has baggage of his own and there will be some other events.
MC's friends are the other MCs in the game lol
Eunji is Blond!MC
Jieun is Redhead!MC
Nari is Tan!MC
And Taejun is...Taejun lol
I also tried the 4chan formatting lol typing out every name was t i r e s o m e
Credits to https://mmtranscripts.wordpress.com/ for the chat transcripts, hs, thanks.
See ya on day one!!
Chapter 2: <head>
TW: Homophobic slurs, homophobic insults and non-con insinuations, bullying.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
When he was child, he was called pretty.
“Hey, Cheong Moonsoo. I want to kiss your pretty face.”
Moon stared at his best friend Joowon with wide eyes. He didn’t understand what he had said, but then again at seven years old you could hardly understand what was going on. He just knew that his bestest friend in the whole wide world and beyond found him pretty and wanted to kiss him.
And that he too wanted to be kissed by him.
It was weird. There was a little girl by the name of Harin, who seemed to be the main crush of all his classmates at that age, mostly due to those green eyes of hers. She claimed that her daddy had given her those eyes. All the boys would tell her how pretty she is every day, and she would receive a love confession at least every week. Of course, Harin would reject them, because she had someone else she liked.
“Moonsoo! Did someone give you your eyes?”
Moon made a confused expression. “My eyes?”
“They shine in the light!”
He didn’t understand what she meant by that. He didn’t understand either that Harin liked him very much and that she wanted to hold hands with him.
But he wanted Joowon to kiss his face.
He did eventually. Joowon and Moon would escape every recess to their safe spot, to kiss each other’s faces silly. They avoided lips though, because that’s where parents kiss. But Joowon promised him that they would get married, so only then he could kiss his lips.
One day, however, Harin found them. She immediately cried, seeing Moon kissing with someone else. She told the teacher, and the teacher of course told each boy’s parents. His father did not receive him well. His punishment involved harsh lectures that hurt his seven-year-old feelings, things he didn’t understand and would lock him into his room for long hours, where he would even go without dinner until his mother unlocked the door and brought him a plate, hugging him tightly.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry.” His mother always did apologize for things that weren’t her fault.
But those punishments didn’t compare to the final one: Moon’s father transferred him out of the school to another. He never saw Joowon again.
MOON HAS ENTERED THE CHATROOM.
> I had a dream last night
> Where I was like
> Sort of kidnapped?
> I found a place to stay at.
> So I guess that’s okay, right? I won’t be homeless anymore.
> But it wasn’t a dream.
> I woke up on a couch that wasn’t mine.
> The walls are empty
> And I’m by myself.
> I wonder if my heart is what gets me into problems too much.
> It doesn’t seem to think.
> I hope you are all sleeping.
> Good night.
MOON HAS LEFT THE CHATROOM.
Moon hadn’t noticed the moment he had fallen asleep. Last thing he remembered was leaving the chatroom, leaving his phone aside and turning around. The events of the day had him out in a matter of seconds, he guesses.
As he had promised, Seven had unlocked his cellphone. As soon as he reactivated it, he saw that Hyemin had sent him a message through kakao for the job he had promised her and Sooyoung. He also had eight missed calls. Five were from Jieun and three from Taejun, plus more messages from the two of them through private messaging.
Jieun: Are you okay?
- Taejun says you haven’t come back.
- Are you ok?
- Have you eaten?
- Could you give me a call?
- Please tell me you didn’t leave again.
- Please come back.
Moon pressed his lips in a fine line. She really did worry too much. He didn’t help either with being the irresponsible asshole he was.
Moon: I’m sorry.
- I’m fine, dw
- I just…
- I had some things to do.
- I found a place to stay though.
- I’m sorry.
Taejun: Where are you?
- I went to go see if you were at your dorm
- Only Donghyun was there
- Does the jerk even go to class?
- Hey, are you ok?
- We haven’t heard from you.
- Your phone sends us to voicemail directly.
- You didn’t get robbed, did you?
- Let us know when you’re back.
- We’re really worried about you.
Moon: I’m sorry.
- I already sent Jieun a message.
- I got caught up in something
- And my phone started acting out
- Good news though!!
- I found a place to stay??? Omg?????
He felt like shit leaving his friends like this. They worried more about him than he did himself. The worst thing was that, they were used to this type of behavior. It wasn’t the first time, probably wouldn’t be the last. Once he finished answering them, he saw up and set out to explore what he could of his new home.
The kitchen was relatively big, but even more empty than the living room. No pots or pans in sight, the only thing in the cupboards were some dead bugs (which he visibly reacted to with a yuck). The refrigerator was, unsurprisingly, empty.
He found the bathroom right where Seven had told him, and besides that was the bedroom. The bedroom looked like a hospital room – all white. Moon wondered if Rika had even slept in here. He supposed she did, seeing that some her clothes were still intact inside the closet. With V not knowing the password to the door, and Seven probably not even bothering to come clean up, everything seemed to be as she left it.
Untouched. She barely lived here.
Moon proceeded to then take a shower (there was at least a bar of soap there and a towel, so he could manage with that) and changed into the clothes he had grabbed prior to coming over the apartment. There was no use to going back to sleep, since he had class in three hours.
His stomach was begging for food, so soon enough he left to at least go buy some. He found himself nervous opening the front door but was relieved nothing happened when he did. Going outside was the biggest relief though, the fresh air clearing his mind and making him feel lighter. The sun was peeking from the horizon when he started walking down the street, past the art supplies store and to the fishbread man down the corner.
Moon ate on his way towards school. The morning was chilly, and he regretted not grabbing a thicker sweater. Upon stepping on campus, he went directly to Taejun’s dorm, knowing him he should be awake by now. Moon knocked on the door, waited a few minutes, some stomping was heard, and his friend swung open the door and gave him the nastiest glare since the Taebaek mountains incident.
He also had pink hair.
“Whoa! Nice look!” Moon grinned.
Taejun scowled at him and grabbed him by the shoulder, hauling him into the dorm. Thankfully his roommates were gone, so at least he won't be that humilliated. “Don’t you FUCKING start… Where the hell were you? What do you mean you found a place to stay?”
“I-It’s a long story,” stammered Moon, pressing his back to the door. Taejun looked scary when he was mad, even with the pink hair. In fact, it made him more menacing, “I can’t really explain the details- “
“What the fuck?”
“-but I promise you it’s safe! It’s close by. It’s okay.”
Taejun stared at him for a long time. Moon stared back, albeit with less confidence. Taejun was intense. His new hair was a stark contrast between his muscular body and all those piercings, tattoo, and that mean face of his. Even when he wasn’t mad, he just had this gaze that would make you cower, but it’s just him being tired, or else that’s what Tae claims.
But his gaze eventually softened, and his shoulders slumped. He sighed, pinching his nose while he did so. “Where’s this place at?”
“I can’t tell you.”
“The fuck you mean?”
“I…” Moon bit his lip furiously. “I can’t tell you. It was a condition; the owner is kind of crazy paranoid and told me not to tell anybody. He said it was because of security issues, so I can be safer… I’m sorry, but could you please trust me on this?”
Another angry stare.
Taejun finally gave in, rolling his eyes and shaking his head. “Alright. That house better be safe, because if someone breaks into your house, I won’t be able to save your whiny butt.”
“Don’t say that!” moaned Moon.
Moon waited several minutes while waiting for Taejun to finish up grabbing his things, listening to some lectures along the way and pouting the whole time. Moon grabbed his own things that he left underneath Taejun’s bed, including his bag where he kept his sketchbook and pencils. He gave Taejun the fishbun he had bought for him, and they made their way down the stairs.
Apparently, the reason why Taejun now had pink hair was Moon’s fault.
“Don’t you give me that look! It’s completely your fault. I’m fucking stressed out of my wits and you decide to disappear? I had a mental breakdown last night because of you, Cheong Moonsoo.”
“But it was only one night!”
“You had gone off by yourself to Woo Donghyun! You weren’t answering any calls or messages! No one had seen you! How were we supposed to react?”
Moon silenced. He looked down to his feet. “I’m sorry.”
They walked in silence until Taejun patted him on his head.
“It’s okay. You should cheer Jieun up. She even wanted to call the cops.” Moon sniffed and nodded.
They bumped into Nari along the way, who gave a swift punch that hurt on Moon’s arm.
“That’s for distracting Taejun. We’re behind work now!”
Moon couldn’t answer to that. Guilt squeezed his stomach. He knew everyone was worried for him, and he felt like crap. Taejun was the type to stop everything according to the priority. The priority yesterday was Moon, and since he couldn’t find him, he had locked himself in the bathroom to dye his hair, because Eunji had the dye and he just had to.
They parted ways later, Nari and Taejun leaving to their 7:30 class and Moon leaving towards the studio, since his class didn’t start till 9:00. The studio was really his favorite spot in the entire world. It was so silent, so peaceful.
He was glad his painting was still fine when he got there. Moon tried not to look at it much, because if he did, he’d want to change it, so he opened his sketchbook and began drawing by pencil.
He started to draw the apartment by memory, right on the top half of the paper. On the bottom half, he tackled another POV, drawing what it would look like if he decorated it himself. He had remembered that he had Perception homework, so he could use this practice to turn in. Moon wondered if V would let him do it. It was his past dead lover’s last home, after all.
His cellphone vibrated. Turning it on, he saw that the messenger app notified him that Zen and Jumin were online. Still wary, he entered the chatroom. He had to at least talk to them, right? They did give him a place to stay.
MOON HAS ENTERED THE CHATROOM.
Moon: Good morning!
Zen: Welcome Moon!!
Jumin Han: Hello.
Zen: Lol, “hello?”
> That’s so lame.
Jumin Han: I was only being polite to our new member.
> I saw your messages earlier.
> I completely understand you.
> I also get weird dreams.
> Sometimes they come true…
Moon suddenly felt embarrassed because of the messages. He really did have to get introspective early in the morning, didn’t he? Especially to a group of strangers.
Moon: I’m sorry you read that.
> It was a long day yesterday
> And I couldn’t stop thinking
> But I slept a lot
> So I feel really rested.
Jumin Han: Sleep is good.
> Not too much, though.
> Just the right amount.
> You must plan something that excites you in the morning.
> That way you can wake up early.
> For example, drinking tea while watching the morning news…
ZEN: Hmm… You mean like Micdonald’s breakfast combo?
Jumin Han: -_-
Moon: Well, I do get up early
> On most days.
> I like to come sketch in the studio while it’s alone.
> And that’s usually early in the morning.
Jumin Han: Sketch?
> Or paint. Whatever I’m working on.
ZEN: Are you an artist?
Moon: Well…Yeah, I guess. ^^;
Jumin Han: V is an artist as well.
> He’s a photographer.
> I haven’t seen his work.
> But I’ll search for him.
> Do you guys want to see a painting I finished yesterday?
Jumin Han: It would be my pleasure.
Moon smiled and took a quick photo of the painting. Afterwards, he returned to the chatroom, but the option to upload a photo didn’t react. He frowned.
Suddenly an error message came up: No selfies! We gotta keep your beauty safe lololol.
> I can’t upload it.
> I guess Seven doesn’t want me to upload a photo.
ZEN: That asshole is saving you all to himself!
Jumin Han: He should put that lock on you.
ZEN: He should put that lock on you!
> All you do is upload photos of that furball.
> Ah…my nose is itching just thinking about it….
Jumin Han: Of course, Elizabeth the 3rd is a creature of aesthetic beauty.
> I can brag about her all I want.
> Take this.
> [ JUMIN HAN PHOTO #4 ]
Moon smiled widely. He really did love cats, he did. Eunji called him a crazy cat lady because of how much he smothers Jieun's cat. He would have one if he had time to take care of it, really. But he was glad that he was no longer the only crazy cat lady.
Moon: Wow! Such a cute kitty, meow!
> So, so, pretty, Jumin!
> I’m jealous.
Jumin Han: Thank god at least one person appreciates her beauty.
> I tend to believe that a person who likes animals cannot be bad…
ZEN: You only believe what you want to believe.
Jumin Han: Certainly, is that not life?
ZEN: Don’t pretend to be so above everything!
Jumin Han: Anyways.
> Cats are the best pet, so Moon, you should look into it.
Moon: They really are!
> I had one when I was a kid.
> He was a Russian blue.
> and my best friend.
> I had named him Doraemon lolol
Jumin Han: That’s…a unique name.
ZEN: Doraemon lolol like the cartoon!
Moon: Yeah lol
> I was only ten when I named him!
> So yeah
> But I agree, the name was really bad.
Jumin Han: Do you still have him?
> We could set up a play date between him and Elizabeth the 3rd.
> She should always meet new cats.
Moon: I would like that.
> But Doraemon died many years ago.
Jumin Han: I’m sorry.
> I can sympathize with the pain.
> I can’t imagine what I would do if Elizabeth the 3rd were to die…
Moon: I cried a lot.
> Don’t think about that!!!!
> Elizabeth the 3rd is alive and well, waiting for you to come back home.
ZEN: If only you felt sorry to the people you’ve employed.
> They’d polish your shoes and lay down a red carpet.
Jumin Han: It’s a waste giving yourself to people you’ve employed. It’s a business relationship. Money should be all there is to it.
They continued to chat about simple things afterwards. Jumin and Zen, Moon noticed, do not have the best relationship. Zen seemed to hate everything Jumin said and did. Jumin, of course, didn’t seem to care, but he didn’t really ignore him either. He supposed there was a reason.
However, they listened to him. For a split second, Moon forgot that these people had him locked up in an apartment yesterday, threatening to call the cops on him for almost getting kidnapped.
…Maybe he’ll forget that completely.
Once they left the chat, Moon saved Jumin’s photo. Taking out his personal sketchbook out, he began to draw her. Maybe he could negotiate with Seven so that he could at least trust him to send normal pictures.
He looked up and took his headphones off. Standing at the door was Jieun, her pretty red hair wrapped in a braid. She always did hold it back when she was stressed. However, her shoulders seemed to visibly relax when Moon gave her a shy smile.
“Jieun, you look so pretty today!”
She could only shake her head. “I was worried yesterday. Are you okay?”
Moon put his things away and walked over to her. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry! I got really, really busy. I should’ve sent you a message before that, I’m sorry.”
Jieun stared at him, and then looked for his hand. She held it tight. “It’s okay. We should go to class now.”
At lunch time he received the last and noisiest lecture from Eunji, who was mad that Taejun had stole her pink hair dye because of him.
“I bleached my hair blond for a reason, Moonsoo!”
Once that was over, everyone concentrated on their final works while eating. It was a bad habit they all had, but it was impossible to do it anywhere else. Moon was finishing a paper he had for an electoral class on business when his phone suddenly vibrated. He answered without looking at the caller ID.
“Hello. It’s very nice to meet you. This is Jaehee Kang.”
Moon sprung up and left the table without another word, his friends giving him weird looks as he did.
“-It’d be wonderful if we could talk in person, but since we can’t I thought this would be the next best option.”
Once away from hearing distance of the table, he paused. “Jaehee?”
“Yes? Oh, I wasn’t expecting a deep voice. It’s very boyish.”
Moon gave a soft laugh. “Well, that’s because I’m a boy.”
There was also a pause from the other side of the line, and then a very tired sigh. “I suppose that Luciel wanted to play around with Yoosung and Zen. Yes, that’s very like him. I’m glad that you were at least honest with me.”
“I tried to upload a picture earlier but couldn’t, I guess Seven wants to continue playing. But I’ll tell him to quit it, since I just realized that everyone else still thinks I’m a girl, heh.”
“That is very kind of you.”
“What do you like to do, Jaehee? Even if I am guy, I’m sure we have something in common.”
“I like to watch musicals starring Zen, who happens to be one of the RFA. If you are interested, I can lend you my DVDs of the show. Entertainment is guaranteed. You won’t even notice time passing.”
She is very formal. Moon didn’t mind though, and he gave a cheery approval. “Ne! I’d like that. I haven’t seen many Korean musicals, only American, so it’d be nice to see some from my own country. I’m sure Zen is a national gem.”
“He really is!” Jaehee’s voice suddenly shifted to a more excited one and Moon was glad he could be the one to experience it. “He is a very passionate actor; he puts all his heart and soul into his acting. I will send you some of my favorite DVDs through Luciel, if that is not a problem with you.”
“Not at all! I’ll be waiting for them so I can watch them and give you my thoughts.”
She gave a pleased hum. “Very well. I must get going now. It was a pleasure talking to you. Please call me when you need something or have a question. I will take care of it as fast as I can.”
“Thank you, Jaehee. I really appreciate it.”
“I look forward working with you.”
With that, she hung up. As soon as Moon turned around, Jieun was right behind him.
“Is everything okay?”
“U-Uh, yeah! Just my landlord calling, haha…”
Jieun’s expression indicated that she wasn’t convinced. However, she didn’t continue pressing on. “Okay. I grabbed your things; we should go to class now.” She handed him his backpack, along with his laptop.
“Thanks, but I’ll be skipping this one. I have to go to the coordination to help out with the sports festival this year.”
Jieun’s eyes brightened. “Who are we going against this year?”
“The enormous SKY university! I think we’re going against only some of its departments- oh.” Moon suddenly stopped as he remembered. Didn’t Yoosung say he was in SKY? He was curious if he would get to see him.
“Nothing, just remembered something. Anyways, I’ll head off now, the meeting starts in five minutes. I’ll send you a message once it’s over!” he yelled as he started running off.
“Please do!” Jieun called after him. “I’ll get mad if you don’t!”
Moon has been a coordinator since he started this school year. The older coordinators were amazed at how easy he seemed to get along with the nervous freshmen that came in, and how easy it seemed to soothe them and answer their questions. He was, after all, “super-coordinator Moon oppa-hyung”, as the freshman of this year called him.
Meeting was adjourned and classes were over for the rest of the day. Moon took out his phone and saw that he had a missed call from Yoosung. He sent him a message.
Yoosung: I tried calling you but you were busy.
- I guess you were in classes, you did say you studied…
- I hope you had a good day today! If you have any questions let me know, yeah?
- Make sure to eat!
Moon: Yeah, sorry
- I had a meeting
- I’m in student council so I get busy with that.
- By the way, are you taking part of the sports festival next week?
- Maybe we can see each other!
He closed the RFA application and went to send Jieun a message as promised but saw that she had not waited for him to send a message.
Jieun: How’d it go?
- Just the usual.
- The sports festival is next week, though!
- I’m going to my dorm to grab the rest of my stuff. I’ll be taking them to my new place now.
Jieun immediately texted him back.
Jieun: Do you want Taejun to go with you?
Moon: It’s ok.
- I can handle it.
He should be able to handle it. Moon appreciated everything Jieun did for him, but it really was overwhelming at times. He wasn’t a child; he can handle things himself. Especially assholes like Donghyun, he’s dealt with asses like that his whole life.
When he got to his dorm, he was glad that Donghyun didn’t seem to be around. He peeked into the bathroom but didn’t find him anywhere. He felt comforted by that fact, so he calmly started packing the last of his things into his suitcase.
The room was his first to begin with. He had been those lucky freshmen to get a room by himself, but as the new school year rolled around, he got stuck with Woo Donghyun. He wasn’t part of his orientation group, but Moon still tried to be the best upperclassmen to him, and Donghyun was nice to him.
At first. Then he found out the minor detail that Moon, in fact, liked kissing other boys.
After that, the slurs and insults started. Donghyun started to hide his things or hide his key to the dorm and lock him out. One night, Moon just gave up and went to sleep at Taejun’s room, and it’s been like that since they returned from Christmas break.
Taejun and Jieun told him to report the bullying. But Moon knew that the school wouldn’t do a thing to help people like him. They normally don’t care.
Once he got the last of his things, as soon as he started walking out the room, Donghyun opened the door.
Just my luck…
Donghyun stopped for a second, observing him. He noticed the suitcase.
“Are you finally leaving?”
“Yes,” answered Moon simply.
Donghyun gave a toothy grin and threw himself onto his bed. “Finally! I can finally go to sleep without worrying that your girly face will do something to me at night.”
Moon didn’t say anything. But he couldn’t move, either. Why can’t I move?
“Are you moving in with your boyfriend? What’s-his-face. I saw that he has pink hair, is that something normal between faggots like you?”
Moon immediately turned around. “Stop right there.”
Donhyun stood up and stalked towards him. “What are you going to do? Are you going to turn around and give your asshole to me? You’d like that, wouldn’t you?”
“Shut the fuck up.” Moon seethed, dropping his jacket to the floor.
“I got you a parting gift ready. You left your painting at the studio, right?”
Moon stopped dead right there.
Donghyun noticed that and continued, laughing as he did. “You did, didn’t you? Your sign your paintings as MC, see, I remember!”
He took out his phone. Moon looked and saw his painting of the Taebaek Mountains ruined, the word “FAGGOT” in English signed all over in red paint.
That was it. In a matter of seconds, Moon lunged himself over to him, grabbing him by his jacket collar and pinned him to the wall by the neck. He was angry. “HOW DARE YOU? Weeks of hard work, ruined because of you! I’ll make you pay, Woo Donghyun, you’ll regret this!”
Donghyun tried to get a hit at Moon but couldn’t. Moon had such a hard grip on him that the only thing he could do was flail around.
The door suddenly opened and in came Taejun, who quickly separated them. Donghyun fell to the floor coughing, and Moon started to cry, his body trembling.
“God, holy shit,” swore Taejun. He picked up Donghyun’s cellphone from the floor, where the picture of Moon’s ruined painting was still on the screen. “You did this?”
Donghyun stared at him. “He tried to kill me!”
“Did you do this?” repeated Taejun with a stern voice.
When Donghyun didn’t answer, it was enough for Taejun. He feigned a kick, but it never landed, although Donghyun did twitch, preparing himself for the blow.
“You’re a fucking coward. I’m taking this with me.” He pocketed Donghyun’s phone and grabbed Moon’s suitcase, pulling a crying Moon out the room by the arm.
They walked and walked, Moon trying to stop himself from crying and wiping his eyes like crazy as he did. Taejun didn’t let go of his arm, not once.
Outside of the dorm building was Jieun, who immediately ran to give a hug to Moon. Like magic, his tears stopped running out. He couldn’t continue crying in front of her.
“Are you okay?” she whispered to him.
He gave a nod. “Yeah. Thank God you never listen to me. That could’ve been a mess,” he laughed weakly.
Taejun gave him back his jacket. “I sent a message to Nari and Eunji to retrieve the painting. Let’s go to the teacher’s office to report this.”
“No!” Moon exclaimed. “No, it’s fine. We shouldn’t get him in trouble.”
“Are you listening to yourself?” Taejun shouted, and Moon flinched. “He ruined your painting! Isn’t that due tomorrow? Are you out of your mind?”
Moon only stared at the floor. He could only sniffle and listen to him. Jieun was gazing at him, God he really did look pitiful right now, didn’t he?
“I’ll take care of your suitcase. Go,” she murmured to him, patting his back. He only nodded and followed Taejun to the office.
The report was made rather quickly. Moon’s tutor, who was the same teacher who was going to grade his work tomorrow, was very angry that her star pupil had been bullied to such degree. Thankfully, he had the picture that he was going to send Jumin and Zen, so he could show the before and after.
“I’ll give you a week more so you can do something else, okay? You can paint a 30x42 instead of 42x60.”
“No, I really shouldn’t-“
“Cheong Moonsoo, you should accept help when you need it.”
He stepped out of the office, Taejun giving him a pat on his head. “Eunji sent me a message. She has the painting now, she said that no one was in the studio when she went.”
Jieun was outside along with Nari, the both of them guarding Moon’s suitcase like a pair of diligent, pretty soldiers with how uptight they looked. Moon gave a giggle.
Nari went over to him. “Are you ok?”
“Yeah. Thank you for helping out.”
“It’s the least we could do.” Jieun said to him.
Moon smiled to her and lifted his suitcase handle. “I’ll be going now, thank you. Sorry for all the trouble.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah, I want to be alone right now. I need to clean the apartment now too, so yeah.”
They let him go without another word. Thankfully the campus exit was right next to the teacher’s offices, so he could walk out quickly.
He listened to music to calm himself down, humming along as he walked. The neighborhood around the apartments always seemed to be alone, and he was glad.
Once he got to the apartment, he fell to the floor, breaking out in sobs. His whole body shook. He was so, so tired of having to go through this again.
His phone started ringing. Moon glanced at the caller ID.
Moon immediately wiped his eyes and stopped his crying.
“Hellooooo! This is Seven Zero Seven! It’s not an emergency or anything, just wanted to see how you were doing!”
“Hellooo,” replied Moon, albeit more weakly. “Everything is fine, thanks.”
“Are you sniffling?” Seven asked. Moon remembered, suddenly, that of course Seven could see him through the security cameras, so of course, he saw him break down.
“U-um, it’s just allergies.”
“Aha! Allergies that make your eyes teary! That kind of allergies? They’re the worst!”
Moon gave a soft laugh. “Yeah, that kind of allergies.”
“Did they follow you to school?”
“Not really…they ruined a project I was working on though. I had worked so hard for it…”
Seven stayed silent on the other side of the line. Moon could hear loud typing, and moments later, he said, “I did something to cheer you up. Look at your profile picture!”
Moon checked his phone quickly and saw his profile picture alongside the others. It seemed to be a unicorn with pink hair. Moon laughed. “It’s great! Did you draw it yourself?”
“Yeah! Could you tell?”
Moon smiled happily, getting up from the floor. “Yes, it’s awesome. Did you draw everybody else’s stickers?”
“Oh, oooh! You noticed! I’m glad you did, no one else appreciated them!”
“I really like them, they’re cute,” nodded Moon, standing right in front of the camera’s view. “Can you make some for me?”
“Of our newest member? Will our painter give me the honors?”
“Of course! I really want you to make some for me. It would be my honor.”
Seven hummed happily. He seemed to like that response. “I’ll think about it. Yoosung and Zen still think you’re a girl!” he laughed.
“We really got to tell them!” Moon stared at the camera. The camera suddenly shook to the sides, so Seven moved it so it could look like he was shaking his head.
“Nooo! Don’t ruin my fun! It’s so fun watching them get flustered!”
“I already told Jaehee though, don’t you think she’ll tell them?”
Seven gave a loud groan. “Fine, fine. We can tell them. But I won’t share a photo of you just yet.”
“It’s okay. I tried showing Jumin and Zen a painting I had finished. Can’t I at least show photos of that?”
“Hmmmm…” droned Seven.
“HMMMMM…” There was a slight pause. “Okay! Pictures like that seem fine.”
“Thanks, Seven. You really know how to make me feel better.”
Another silence. “I’m glad to hear that,” he said in the smallest voice ever. Then, he perked up once more. “Did you eat yet? As Mr. Trust Fund Kid said, you should never skip your meals, even if you can’t have balanced ones!”
“I ate before coming over here, but I might go to the convenience store later to buy something. Did you eat?”
“Of course! I had a feast! Are you curious? It was…dun! Dun! Dun! Honey Buddha Chips and Doctor Pepper!”
“Seven! That’s not a meal!” laughed Moon, picking up his suitcase and going into the room. In there, there was another camera.
“It’s the combo of the heavens though! If you’ve never tried it, you have to!”
“I think I’ve only had Honey Buddha chips once and it was shared with a friend. They’re really hard to find, you know!” He unzipped his suitcase on the floor, taking out his clothes and throwing them onto the bed.
“I’ll share you some. Jaehee sent me a message to send you her Zen DVD’s, so I’ll send you some along with that, yeah?”
“I’d like that.”
“How’s the apartment, by the way? Please let me know if anything’s uncomfortable. You have to, okay?!”
“Okay, okay!!” Moon laughed. “It’s close to school so everything is working out fine. Has V answered you about the rent thing I told you to ask him?”
“Not yet. V rarely answers his messages. I’ll let you know when he does, though. Promise!!”
“You have to, okay!?” Moon imitated him, earning him a hearty laugh from Seven.
“Alright, alright! You know, I really admire you. You seemed scared yesterday but you’re easing in so easily! How does it feel like being in RFA?”
Moon gave a wide smile to the camera, showing a peace sign. “I’m laughing a lot thanks to you!”
“Well that’s because you totally get my humor…You’re amazing. I’d like to give you some Honey Buddha Chips right now, this instant! …But I can’t though! Oh, wait! There is something I can give you right now.”
Moon giggled. “What is it?”
“My heart…? My sweetie.”
Moon faltered and felt his face totally red. He was not expecting that at all. “S-Seven!”
Seven gave another laugh. “That sounded like Zen, didn’t it? You got all flustered!” He kept on laughing and Moon kept on fanning himself, turning his back at the camera.
“Anyways, I’d really like to talk more but I have a lot of work to do. Then! Seven Zero Seven, returning to the world of darkness! BAM!”
Like that, he hung up before Moon could say anything else. He turned back to the camera, and waved good-bye to him.
He started organizing his clothes, carefully organizing Rika’s own clothes in some boxes he found tucked away in a corner.
Yoosung had sent him a message.
Yoosung: Sports festival?
- Oh, I did get invited for that…
- I’ll join if I get to see you!
Moon: Please do!
- It’ll be fun!
- I promise.
MOON HAS ENTERED THE CHATROOM.
Moon: Hello, Yoosung!^^
Yoosung: Moon, hey^^
> Today’s the first day you joined the organization.
> Isn’t it amazing?
Moon: Yeah. :)
> I’m really grateful to everyone.
> For letting me join you
> And for letting me stay here.
Yoosung: It’s no problem!
> I see Seven put you a unicorn profile picture.
> He told us that
> You’re a cute girl.
> Why won’t he let us see you?
> I’m not a girl though.
Yoosung: [ Huh? ]
> But Seven said!
JAEHEE KANG HAS ENTERED THE CHATROOM.
Jaehee Kang: Moon is being honest.
> I spoke to him earlier by the phone.
> He is, in fact, a boy.
Moon: Sorry if I disappointed you. :(
> Cheong Moonsoo, 23 years old!
> I’m your hyung.
Jaehee Kang: It seems he wanted to mess with you.
Yoosung: [ Tired Yoosung emoji ]
> But it’s okay!!
> You’re still great so.
> Don’t worry!
> I won’t treat you differently.
> Thank you.
> That makes me really happy.
Yoosung: [ Happy Yoosung emoji ]
> Don’t worry about it.
> I don’t know about Zen though…
> But I’ll defend you.
Jaehee Kang: Anyhow.
> The apartment that you are in probably has all the documents relevant to what Rika did.
> The biggest reason why we couldn’t host parties anymore was because we did not have access to that information.
> But now you will be able to access all that information through this app.
> If all goes well and you manage to fill in Rika’s absence…
> We will be able to host parties again.
Yoosung: Moon can do it!
> He’s in student council.
> [ Celebrating Yoosung emoji ]
Jaehee Kang: Really?
Yoosung: He told me!
> [ Starry eyed Yoosung emoji ]
> Thank you, Yoosung.
> Yeah, I have some experience.
> So I can do this!
Jaehee Kang: You are very positive.
> V has yet to notify us of his decisions on this matter,
> But if we can prove that you are a reliable person…
> I hope we can secure the date for the party soon.
Moon: I hope so too.
> Anyways, I have to finish unpacking things.
> Thank you for your kind words.
Jaehee Kang: It is no problem.
> Thank you.
> Now, please excuse me.
JAEHEE KANG HAS LEFT THE CHATROOM.
Yoosung: I’ll get Seven back for playing this prank on me!!
> Not cool!
> [ Angry Yoosung emoji ]
> Bye, Moon!
> Have a nice night!
YOOSUNG HAS LEFT THE CHATROOM.
Moon: I hope I can see everyone else soon.
> Good night, till then!
MOON HAS LEFT THE CHATROOM.
Moon went to go buy food at the convenience store, stuffing his backpack with chips, cup ramen and PhD Pepper (Seven had made him crave it).
He returned home to eat and send Hyemin and Sooyoung the work. As he finished on his business homework, he chatted with his friends, who were glad he was at home safely. Jieun was the most relieved of all, sending audio notes of how glad the Woo Donghyun was getting expelled.
Moon: I’m so tired of this though.
> Getting in trouble…
> Getting people in trouble…
> I just want to live in peace.
> I want to know when that will happen.
His friends assured him that this will be the last of it. It won’t, though, and Moon knew this as he sat alone in the apartment. His cellphone vibrated, and he checked to see who it was.
Unknown: Glad to see you’re having fun.
- I’ll be watching you.
Moon glanced out the window. No one was outside.
Moon: Who are you?
- You’re not dangerous, are you?
There was no answer. Moon didn’t expect one, either. He got distracted, when a message arrived.
- Are you available?
Moon sighed. He really, really shouldn’t answer this. But his fingers moved by themselves.
Jaemin: Come over to my place.
- We can watch a movie and have a drink.
Watch movies…Moon laughed. He knew that the last thing he and Jaemin would do was watch a movie. He continued laughing, as he grabbed his keys and jacket and headed out the door.
Moon: I’m on my way.
I swear idek how this chapter came out lol
This is the first day, so again, pretty standard things, and I know that it's a lot of Moon revolved drama BUT!!!! I SWEAR THIS HAS PURPOSE!!!! We will get into Mint Eye, eventually.
So in the end I made Taejun the representative of our darling unicorn MC lol I couldn't help it.
Also! Just to clarify, I'm sure you noticed the [ There will be no mercy! ] that Yoosung put, that's the literal translation to what the emojis say in the game. I hope that didn't confuse you, I'm still seeing how to move the format around.
The bullets are private messages. The ">" are continuations inside the chats of multiple messages.
I wrote some korean, so I hope that's not too cringy????
If you have anymore questions, please let me know! This is turning out to be monstrous chapters lol 6K again and in a matter of days!! I deserve a pat on the back.
By the way! I am basing Moon off this fanart of Male!MC I found: https://66.media.tumblr.com/52ac6904671eeb5d615d6eca695a1960/tumblr_oxfoqfMYzh1tgp7f1o2_250.jpg
I couldn't find the artist, so if you know who they are, let me know so I can credit them! Otherwise, credits to the artist. u_u
Edit 12-4-2019: Edited the mistakes and emoji format, sorry :')
Chapter 3: <body>
*casually changes the fic's rating*
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
After changing schools, getting used to life without his best friend Joowon had been crazy hard. Moonsoo has never been timid, but he just wanted to go back to his friend. In an act of defiance, he had refused to make any new friends at his new one. This, of course, backfired on him. When everyone else had a friend, Moon would been alone.
Learning how to draw had been his solace during the long recess hours where all his classmates had gone off to play outside. It had started with an activity at school with watercolors. Loving how the colors mixed so beautifull, he came home that day asking for his mother to buy some for his birthday, and surprisingly, she bought him all things necessary so he could practice. Pencils, markers, colored pencils, watercolors, paintbrushes and sketchbook, all for him.
While his father didn’t mind much his preference for art, he always tried to urge him onto sports. “You should play a sport. Aren’t you good at soccer?”
Moon was, honestly. He was good at being the goalie, especially, but he also made a mean forward. His classmates recognized his talent and had tried to invite him multiple times to play with them in recess, but he would just reject them. He just wanted to draw.
On his tenth birthday, his mother had let him adopt a kitten he found on the street on the way home. One that he had so lovingly named Doraemon because his fur seemed blue. It wasn’t that blue, he realized, but nonetheless. The kitten didn’t seem to mind either.
After finishing homework and studying he would draw the kitten, who would even model for him. He even seemed to reply when Moon spoke to him. The cat followed him everywhere when he could. When Moon would go to the park to continue drawing, Doraemon would follow and stay close, never straying too far away.
Doraemon would sit beside him when his father would lock him inside his room or when his parents were fighting so loud that his mother sobbed. These were the moments where Moon would hide under his bed, drawing to keep his mind off things, with the kitty sitting right beside him. Not once did he leave his side.
YOOSUNG HAS ENTERED THE CHATROOM.
Yoosung: Why’d you tell me Moon’s a girl?
> [ Crying Yoosung emoji ]
> You broke my heart!
> You said he was a cute girl!
707: Moon is cute though!
> He’s a boy,
> But that doesn’t mean he’s not cute.
> By my standards, at least.
Yoosung: I don’t know what your standard is like but go on.
707: Two beautiful eyes and pink lips.
Yoosung: Seven…no way….
> [ Surprised Yoosung emoji ]
> Do you like boys??
> Do I?
> I like all things cute!
> Like Elly, meow!
> [ Bright eyes Seven emoji ]
> Moon is really nice so it doesn’t matter.
707: Of course it doesn’t!
> As long as their heart is pure and good!
> I finished my investigation on Moon
707: [ Bright eyes Seven emoji ]
> I don’t know much about him!
> Weren’t you doing a background check on him?
> But nope.
> I was investigating on that Unknown person
> Who sent him to Rika’s apartment.
Yoosung: Oh, I see!
> If you find anything, will you tell everyone?
707: That depends on V.
> As always~.
Yoosung: He makes it clear that he knows everything but never gives anything out.
> I can’t help it tho T_T
> Why would the information be called ‘classified’?
707: I have to leave now. Just got more work~
Yoosung: You have to take care of it right away, right?
> My guild members just called me too.
> Gotta go!
707: Good luck lol.
Yoosung: [ Celebrating Yoosung emoji ]
707 HAS LEFT THE CHATROOM.
YOOSUNG ★ HAS LEFT THE CHATROOM.
Before checking the recent email sent by his boss, Seven checked on how said cute boy was doing. The apartment seemed to be empty, Moon’s laptop closed on top of the kitchen table. He had been there all evening, probably doing homework. Seven noticed that he avoided the office area altogether, and it was probably for the best, knowing what the special security system was.
He supposed he probably went to buy more food. The punk had chastised him earlier because of his Honey Buddha Chips and PhD Pepper when he himself had eaten cup-ramen with the same beverage. Seven would, of course, bother him after this. But now is not the time. He had to work.
Work was uneventful as always. Today it consisted of unblocking security systems for the reconnaissance team, who were currently hunting down yakuzas in Japan. The Japanese were meticulous in their codes and having to find a hole through the program was a bitch. It took him longer than usual, but not by much.
“Destroy! Destroy!” sang Seven, as the security system deactivated.
707: Momentarily though, boys!
- They’ll probably notice in fifteen minutes lolol.
- So you better run!!!!
“Glad to see you’re having fun,” sighed a heavily accented korean voice. “But most of all I’m glad that you’re actually working.”
Seven turned around, two chips on his mouth to form a beak. “Madame Vanderwood! You hurt my feelings! Of course I work!”
Vanderwood gave him a swift slap on the head, hard enough to make Seven stop typing and groan in pain. “To hell you do!” swore Vanderwood in english. “God knows that you’ll stop dead if that V person asks you to, without giving it one thought.”
Seven pouted. “You know it’s a loyalty thing.”
“Yeah, yeah, you Koreans have a code of honor almost as bad as the Japanese. Can’t mess with that, la-di-da.” Vanderwood rolled his eyes and waved his hands around almost comically, finally to then plomp down on the black couch. “So?”
“So what?” mumbled Seven, who was slumped down on his chair with his hoodie over his head. He was in his mopey position.
“You are ready for next week’s mission, right?”
Seven made an unpleased expression that was uncharacteristic of him, but Vanderwood knew that expression well. They sat in silence for some minutes more while quick typing noises were heard from where Seven was sitting. Vanderwood noticed that in the top corner screen was a security camera footage of an empty apartment. He didn’t even want to ask.
“Yeah, I guess.”
“It’ll be quick. We’ll just slip in, steal the damn program and leave. We don’t even have to get involved.” Vanderwood tried to put it as nice as possible, so that Seven won’t escape like he’s done loads of times every time they had a special operative, and Vanderwood had to bring him back kicking and screaming.
Seven groaned again. “Do I really have a choice?”
“No, you don’t.”
His arm reached out for some chips. “Could you bring me another PhD Pepper then?” He muttered like a whiny, needy kid.
Vanderwood sighed but stood up anyways. “Just because you’re being a good boy and working so hard, I’ll bring you the whole box.”
“I’m ALWAYS a good boy,” Seven stated firmly.
Vanderwood gave the loudest guffaw and left. Seven took this opportunity to turn his attention back to the apartment. The laptop was still put on the kitchen table.
Seven frowned. “Maybe he left it there…?”
He had sworn to himself that he wouldn’t check the bedroom camera, because he at least wanted to give Moon that privacy. Besides, watching him sleep would be totally creepy. Something that Jumin would probably do, thought Seven. But one time couldn’t hurt, right?
When he switched the camera to the bedroom, the bed was still intact. Moon was not in the house.
Seven felt a feeling of momentary dread, and he entered the security camera files. He had it programmed so that every hour it would save a video. He sped past midnight. Moon wasn’t there either. Past eleven o’clock when he talked to Yoosung he still wasn’t there.
He saw him at his apartment at ten o’clock. The last he did was check out the window, check his phone, and then leaving into his room to change clothes. After that, he left the apartment.
Maybe he went with friends…?
Vanderwood opened the door and he quickly changed screens. He’ll give him a call later. He’s fine, Seven tried assuring himself. He must be.
Jaemin was waiting for him in his car in the same spot as always: the university parking lot. He was smoking a cigarette when Moon knocked on the window. He gave him a look and turned on the car as Moon sat in the passenger's.
“You took longer than usual,” Jaemin noted, letting out a long drag.
Moon adjusted his seatbelt. “Well, I live farther away now.”
“Oh yeah?” Jaemin lifted an eyebrow. “You finally have a place?”
Jaemin turned around, to check if any cars were coming. “Can I go?”
“Nope,” Moon promptly replied. “You’re not invited.”
“You are so cruel!” laughed Jaemin. “I always invite you to my house.”
Moon leaned against the car window. “That’s only when you need something, bitch.”
Jaemin grinned. “Don’t say you don’t need it either.”
Moon didn’t say anything to that, he just hunched further into his seat. He still needed a lot of things from Jaemin, if he had honest.
Sex, was of course, one of them. Tonight’s sex was especially rough for both. Jaemin obviously had some steam he had to let out and Moon wanted to receive it to distract him from his own issues. But he didn’t get off without scratching and biting at him. Jaemin appeared to need it as well.
One, two, three more thrusts and Moon finally came with an open-mouthed sigh. His body trembled underneath Jaemin and his legs almost gave in. It took a few more thrusts for Jaemin to come as well, digging himself further into a weak Moon as he did.
Once Jaemin finished, he removed himself to tie the condom and throw it into the trash. Moon laid down on his belly, completely exhausted.
“You always look so pretty, even when you’re cumming,” sighed Jaemin, laying besides him and covering both of their naked bodies. “How do you do it?”
“Dunno,” grumbled Moon, feeling cum on his leg and then feeling gross. “Could you bring a paper towel so I can clean myself too? I don’t want to get up.”
“Ah, right! Almost forgot!” Jaemin left and Moon laid there, still trying to bring himself off his own orgasm. Little bastard always forgets. When he came back, he did Moon the favor to clean him off. Although he really didn’t have to, and Moon has insisted on this before, but today he was too tired to do insist once more.
“I’ve been really stressed lately because of finals,” Jaemin said as a matter-of-factly, throwing the paper towel away and laying back down.
“I could tell,” Moon muttered as he covered himself completely. Jaemin turned the bedlamp off and snickered, uncovering Moon who practically hissed at him like a cat. Jaemin ruffled his hair and Moon complained, swiping his hand away. “Hey, but are you okay? I knew about that issue that happened at school earlier.”
Taejun…Moon groaned and turned his back at him. “Everything is fine. They’re going to expel him for vandalizing artworks. That’s a big no-no at school.”
“But not because of the homophobic slurs?”
“I didn’t mention that.”
“I didn’t want to touch on the subject, Jaemin.” Moon shrugged, and he played with the blanket on him. “I don’t want to bring that kind of attention from the teachers. Getting bullied from my classmates is enough. He didn’t talk about it either…he just accepted the expulsion. So, I just left it like that.”
He felt Jaemin’s gaze on him, which Moon completely ignored. “I don’t want to talk about it.”
That was that. Jaemin, as always after sex, was out in a manner of minutes. Moon had slept for a bit, until ultimately waking up because the anxiety vibrated through his bones and it was like the events of the past two days came flushing back in, rattling him to his core.
What is he going to do tomorrow? He has only one week to do another painting. Did the teacher suspect anything? What if the rent is too high? Will V kick him out? Will they still call the police on him for trespassing? What if the RFA finds out about him?
He started scrolling through his phone to calm himself down, listening to music and answering the last messages from Jieun and Taejun. He also began reading the past RFA logs. Instead of Jaemin who he had come to forget his issues but, in the end, just reminded him of his current situation, this group of strangers (because that’s what they were) helped him forget about his problems for a while.
Moon enjoyed reading Seven the most. Although he couldn’t understand his sense of humor always, it still made him laugh. Part of him, for some reason, was very proud that the hacker found him cute. Then again, he was on the same scale of Elizabeth the 3rd.
But she is a very beautiful kitty, so it was still a good scale.
MOON HAS ENTERED THE CHATROOM.
Moon: I’m sorry I missed speaking with everybody else last night.
> It had been a busy day.
> Today’s a new day!
> So let’s get to know each other better. ^^
> I hope everybody is having a nice night.
> Sleep tight!
MOON HAS LEFT THE CHATROOM.
Soon enough after deactivating his cellphone to try to go back to sleep, it started vibrating again. He checked to see who was calling.
Moon stood up to go to the living room. Last thing he needed was Jaemin interfering.
“Oh!” Seven let out a relieved sigh. “You picked up right away. I must be the chosen man!”
Moon grinned. “I was waiting for you to call.”
Moon sat down on the couch, right where the light of the moonlight entered the apartment. He laid back. “I don’t know. I just kind of wanted to listen to you for some reason. I can’t sleep.”
“Are you worried about something?” Seven asked softly.
“Sort of.” Moon paused. “Yeah, I guess I am.”
Another silence. He could hear loud typing, guessing that Seven was still working, even at this hour. Then he stopped and took a deep breath. “You know, when I feel depressed, I look up at the sky.”
“Yeah, heh. It makes me feel better, because I think, Wow! The heavens sure are glowing today! There must be something good way out there! …or something like that. Space is very pretty.”
“If you ignore the vast nothingness and the no oxygen thing.”
“Well, yeah, of course,” snorted Seven. “But that’s its charm too!”
“The moon is really bright today, it looks beautiful.” Moon whispered.
“Ugh, luckyyy. I’ve been stuck here all day! I haven’t seen daylight in three days! White flag! I give up! Let me sleep!” groaned Seven loudly until he paused once more. “I’ve been working all day and night. I’m so tired.”
Moon brought his knees to his chest. “Has your boss been bothering you?”
“Meh, just the usual. But I’ve been looking for the hacker all day with no results whatsoever.”
“Is it hard?”
“Not really. It’s just annoying.” Seven gave a loud yawn. “One thing leads to another…”
“Do what they say, say what they mean, and baby one thing leads to another…” sang Moon softly, and Seven laughed.
“You told me something wrong, I know I listen too long but then one thing leads to another…I’ve heard that song before too! You have good music taste.”
“We can listen to music together one day. We don’t have to talk; we can just listen,” Moon offered.
“While looking at the moon?”
“Yeah, I’d like that. We can go to space while listening to music from the eighties. We can dance there!”
Seven gave a loud gasp. “In zero gravity?”
“Floating mid-air! We can do a real moon walk.”
“Michael Jackson was found quaking in his shoes!” Seven said in english, and Moon laughed. Seven gave an “aha!” of surprise and then laughed with him.
Once their giggling subsided, Seven suddenly asked, “Are you looking at the sky right now?”
“Not many people really look at it, even though it’s right there. Don’t you think that’s a shame? It won’t be bad to look up at the sky and yell “Defender of Justice Seven Zero Seven, help me!” too. There’s a 0.0001% chance I might appear right in front of your eyes.”
“Oh! Defender of Justice Seven Zero Seven, help me!” Moon called out dramatically, well, the quietest he could. He did not want to wake Jaemin up.
Seven gasped. “You’re quick! Amazing! I just got chills down my spine.”
Moon grinned. He wished he was at the apartment right now so Seven could see him. “That’s because I called you out with all my heart!”
Seven laughed once more. “You’re so dramatic, Moonie. I like that. Everybody else is so boring, especially the guys at work. I have to be the one who gives myself character or else I might just drop dead.”
“Did you just call me Moonie?”
“YES! WELL! I should go stretch a bit-”
“Seven, what did you-”
“-I’ve been sitting all day trying to catch the bad guy! So, see you later! Toodle-loo!” And with that, he hung up. Moon immediately sent him a private message.
Moon: You escaped!
- Do NOT call me Moonie.
- I will END you.
He set his phone down and noticed Jaemin standing at the doorway of the bedroom, observing him intently.
“Who were you calling at this hour?” he asked. It sounded more of an interrogation, the usual from Jaemin, and Moon was not having it.
“None of your business,” Moon grumbled, standing up and walking back inside with him before Jaemin grabbed him by the arm, stopping him midway.
“Who were you talking to?” he asked once more. Moon also knew that expression well. He was not playing. And by how hard he was squeezing at his arm; it was indication that he will not let go until he answered.
He stared at him, and in a quiet voice, he murmured: “It was just a friend. Stop freaking out.”
Jaemin let him go. Without another word, he went to go lay back down. Moon did the same, hiding his phone beneath the pillow. In a few more minutes, he was sound asleep.
School was uneventful, which was great since Moon was not in the mood for another thing like what’s been happening recently. He did, however, complain at Taejun for telling Jaemin about his problem with Donghyun. His plan backfired on him at the end because he basically ratted himself out, and Taejun ended up nagging on him anyways, which Moon couldn’t say anything to either.
“Why were you talking to him? You should’ve stopped talking to him months ago but no, you just had to-”
His lecture was cut short by a cellphone ringing. Moon checked at his phone.
Moon stood up quickly. “Sorry, landlord! Be right back!” He gave no further explanation and left, Taejun giving him a dirty look and crossing his arms. He pressed his phone as soon as he was in the hallway, as far away from Taejun as possible.
“Hello. I believe this is your first time hearing my voice. My name is Jumin Han, though I’m sure your app already made that clear.”
What a sexy voice! Moon’s eyes were wide, he probably looked like an idiot with his mouth wide open, trying to think of what to say. But what do you say to a man as refined and articulated as Jumin Han? He was, indeed, panicking, and thankfully Jumin did not seem to notice.
“You must be glad to talk to me, but there’s nothing to be glad of. I called you only because I wished to hear our new recruit’s voice. And now that you are confirmed by Luciel that you are, in fact, indeed a male, my interest is piqued further. Nothing more.”
So straightforward! Moon felt as if he were going through his first job interview once more and he had hated the feeling then, and he still hates it now.
“But I will take just one question. Ask me if you have any.”
“W-Well,” stammered Moon at first, but then hesitated, feeling ridiculous. He cleared his throat and started once more. “How does my voice sound?”
Jumin gave a thoughtful hum. “You want a review on your voice from me? I didn’t want to touch on such details…I’ll give a try if you wish, however. So, speak again, slowly.”
Slowly was good. Slowly he could do. However, he couldn’t think of anything good to say, so he went for the next best thing. “Han Ju-Min. Like this?”
There was a slight pause. “I didn’t expect you to say my name. You’re quite bold for a newcomer. This was a bit of a surprise. But that doesn’t matter. And here’s my review.”
Moon prepared himself as if he were about to receive the most brutal critique ever. If he could handle critique on his art, then he could handle a review on his voice by a total stranger who is very wealthy and good-looking.
“Often I’d get to see someone from a client company with a voice that penetrates my eardrums. I’d actually get to hear voices that sound like glass bowls shattering into pieces during a business meeting, with laughs that sound like nails on a chalkboard.”
“But your voice is very fine. I like it. Even for a male, your voice is very sweet and gentle. It reminds me of V’s voice, whom I am very fond of. I wouldn’t deny hearing you some more. I’d say it is as pleasurable as Elizabeth the 3rd’s voice.”
Moon wondered if he has ever felt his face this hot. He fanned himself, knowing that now he probably went from the gaping idiot to the blushing idiot.
“You should be happy. That is the best compliment I can offer you. I believe one question is enough.”
“What are you doing right now?” asked Moon suddenly, finally able to blurt out something more through his frenzy.
“I am on my way home. I said only one question, but you ask another as if this were your first.”
“But I’ll answer it, since I am relatively free now. This won’t happen again, however. I’m on my way home to eat lunch. I’d like to see Elizabeth the 3rd as soon as possible. She is my dear companion cat. She is truly a beautiful creature, from head to paws. I miss her dearly.”
Moon could relate to that, he really could. “I’m sure she misses you too. Please pet her on her favorite spot, so that she could be even happier. She is a very lucky cat.”
“Her favorite spot is right behind her ears. To be more specific, right behind her left ear, three centimeters down. And yes, nevertheless, I am luckier to be her owner.”
“Cats are a great companion, if I must say.”
“Yes. I am glad you understand me.” Jumin’s voice seemed to shift from a softer one, almost gentle, but this only lasted for a few seconds, until he went to his formal self once more. “You might as well ask any other questions you might have. The traffic has provided some more time for me to spare. And I’m quite bored, so it wouldn’t be so bad to listen to your voice like a radio.”
Moon laughed a bit. “Are you grabbing me as your personal podcast?”
“Yes.” Jumin answered quickly.
Moon gave another laugh. “That one was a rhetorical question, I apologize for not being specific. What will you have for lunch?”
“I do not know. I leave the menu to my chef and nutritionist. Although I am very sure that it will be balanced.”
“Yeah? You must trust your personnel quite a lot.”
“Of course. I only hire the best. For example, the other day my nutritionist explained to me the importance of Vitamin D. I already know this, but I’ll explain it just for you. Vitamin D catalyzes calcium absorption and strengthens our bones and immune system. But this vitamin will only be synthesized when our skin is exposed to sunlight. So, why don’t you open your window and sit under the sun for a while? Or you can go out.”
Moon had spaced out for a split second, wondering how someone’s voice could be so attractive. If Jumin would read him the dictionary, Moon would gladly sit down and listen. Or even better, a bedtime story. He’s sure to get a good night’s sleep then.
“…Is this too boring for you? You’re not responding. Then let me change the subject for you. I once saw a science fiction movie about a person who burns under the sunlight. It wasn’t really my taste though.”
“Are you talking about a vampire movie?” Moon asked, coming back to earth when he heard the word movie.
“No, it may have been more interesting then. It was science fiction, but I do not recall the name. But, I must say that I value stories based on imagination, but unless there is a lesson that can be applied to reality, I consider it pointless.”
“Sometimes imagination doesn’t have to have a point, I think. The imagination asks to be free, however unorganized and chaotic it may be. The imagination can be abstract, and it is purely subjective - whatever you grab from it, is the lesson you take.”
Jumin gave a chuckle. “Of course, you would say this. You are an artist. V has said something similar to me as well. I felt for a moment that I was listening to him.”
“We artists are drawn together by the same paintbrush,” nodded Moon knowingly.
“Very good analogy. I like it. Come to think of it… I want to assume that you had lunch too. My explanation on vitamin D is only valid under the assumption that you eat three regular meals every day. If you skip meals or don’t get enough sleep, no matter how many vitamins you take, it will not be absorbed properly.”
Moon gave a weak laugh. “Well, what with my finals and trying to find a place to live in, my diet and sleep routine have been a mess… For example, this morning I had a steamed bun. I haven’t eaten anything since then, but I’ll go get some lunch right now.”
“Yes, please do so. You and Luciel have very bad eating habits, although I suppose your breakfast could be worse. At least it’s not Luciel’s breakfast of salty snacks and soft drinks. Oh, we’re already home. That wasn’t too bad. I must go now, so if you don’t have any other questions, I think we should end this call.”
“None that I can think of right now. I’ll make a list so that I know what to ask in the future.”
“Very good. I will answer them then. You are an interesting person, Moon. Now, I must really hang up. I’ll call you when I have the chance. Excuse me.”
Even though Moon was a flustered mess at the beginning of the call, he supposed that it could have been worse. He noticed that Jumin tried his very best to make the chat a good one. He didn’t think he was nervous, but it was as if he lacked the basic social skills to make small talk. It was endearing, in a strange way.
“Moonsoo oppa!” called a voice. Turning around, he saw Sooyoung, one of the girls of the freshman group he coordinated. She had a worried look on her face.
“Sooyoung! How are you? Did you receive my email with the essay?”
She nodded. “Yeah, thanks! But I wanted to ask you something else.”
“Oh yeah? Shoot!”
“Have you seen Arin? She left last night to the convenience store…and she hasn’t come back. We haven’t even seen her.”
Moon frowned. Yes, he remembered Arin, a short, perky girl with big round glasses and purple hair. She’s also in his freshman group. “Have you reported this yet?”
“We’ve reported it to the teachers…the police said we have to wait 72 hours. Hyemin is looking on the other side of school but…we’re scared.”
Moon put a hand on her shoulder, trying to soothe her, at least a little. But he was worried himself. The campus area is supposed to be safe. They’ve never even heard of someone getting assaulted. “I’m sure she’ll turn up. She’ll appear at the dorm with chips and say that she got lost on the way home!”
Sooyoung smiled a bit. “I hope so.”
“I’ll send you a message if I see her, yeah?”
“Please! Thank you!”
After parting ways with her, he dragged himself back to Taejun’s side, who was listening to loud electronic music as he edited the video he was working with Nari for their finals. Moon finished drawing the rough draft for his spatial dynamics project he will be working on coming next trimester.
ZEN: Have you eaten yet?
- Just got out of rehearsal!
- [ZEN SELFIE #2]
Moon wondered if Zen knew the truth about his gender. He hoped he did.
Moon: Wow! So handsome!
- And no, not yet^^;
- I’m waiting for a friend.
ZEN: Babe! You gotta eat!
- I’ll get upset if you don’t.
Moon urged him to not worry, that he will eat soon and send him pictures of the food. At that moment, he felt a hand on his shoulder. He turned around, seeing Jieun smiling at him shyly. She had her flaming red hair in a braid tied with a white bow, and she was wearing a pretty yellow off-shoulder sun dress.
Moon smiled widely at her and whistled. “What a pretty lady!”
Her cheeks tinted in a pretty pink. “Can we go now?”
Moon turned over to Taejun while starting to put away his things. He tapped on his shoulder so Tae could pause his music.
“Are you going to come with us?”
He eyed them, then shook his head. “Gotta finish this. Go ahead.”
Moon frowned but stood up. “Okay…but you have to eat!”
Jieun and Moon went walking to a very popular sushi restaurant that was on the other side of campus. Lucky for them, it was practically empty, so they didn’t have to wait for a table. The waitress took their orders quickly, and Moon could settle back.
“Is everything okay?” she asked.
“Yeah. Just kind of tired. It’s been a tiring week.”
She put her hand on top of his. “It’s been awful. For you, especially. But you made it!”
Moon grinned. “I deserve a reward!”
“But is there something bothering you.”
“Why do you ask?”
“You look like something is bothering you.” Jieun could always guess how he felt. Sometimes he thinks that she’s reading into his soul.
Moon shook his head then, not saying a word. She eventually let it go, and they began talking about other things.
Talking with Jieun was like this was like letting go of his baggage, if only for a moment. She had this never-ending empathy; she was just so kind and always willing to listen. Moon could really let himself go with her.
Although she was a worry wart and very shy when you first get to meet her, she had a quirky sense of humor that rivaled Moon’s own. While they waited for their food and talked, they both made origami cranes out of newspaper, drawing them designs and gifting them to each other. Moon then made her a napkin rose, and she made him a napkin heart. They had to stop when the waitress glared at them when she arrived with their lemonade jar.
“No offense to Eunji but I think Taejun looks better with pink hair,” Moon stated.
Jieun nodded furiously, sipping from her straw. “Seconded! Every girl is basically going crazy over him. I think he kind of looks like a unicorn, don’t you?”
Moon laughed out loud at this. “A unicorn? Is this because of his bridge piercing?”
“Yeah! Because of all his piercings and pink hair.”
“And his tattoos! A tattooed unicorn!” exclaimed Moon, and Jieun gasped.
“I should draw him!”
They began brainstorming about the unicorn Taejun, Jieun taking out her sketchbook and drawing a cartoony, angry looking unicorn with a tree on its flank, reminiscent of Tae’s tree tattoo on his arm. The story went that this unicorn was very angry because he was sleepy and was trying to find a place to sleep. It wasn’t until his friends the squirrel (Jieun) and the cat (Moon) found him a place to stay.
Jieun wants to be an illustrator for manhwas and children books, so she was very good with drawing all kinds of cartoons, especially cute ones. Moon had always complimented her for this.
They stopped when their food arrived and started digging in. There was something bothering Moon, well actually two things, and he could no longer hide it from Jieun. He never could hide himself from her. “Hey, Jieun?”
She was dipping in her roll into the soy sauce. “Yeah?”
“I actually do have something to tell you…”
Jieun stopped suddenly, putting the roll back down on the plate. Her green eyes were glowing, suddenly expectant. “Yeah?”
Moon stared at her, wondering where he should start. He couldn’t tell her about RFA. No matter how much he trusted her; he can’t thrust her into this mess.
Your life could be in danger, V had said. He’d kill himself before putting her in a situation like that.
“U-Um. I met up with Jaemin yesterday.”
Her shoulders visibly dropped, if only by a little. Of course, Moon noticed this and felt horrible. “Yeah? What for?” she asked.
“Well. Same old. You know. He hit me up, I needed to vent.”
She looked down immediately. Now she looked upset. Moon totally felt like shit now.
“And…did you stay the night there?” Jieun looked up at him. He nodded.
They stayed silent for the longest of time. God, he should’ve waited after eating.
Jieun picked at her food, seemingly lost in thought. She sighed and turned to look at him with a wide smile. “You know what you’re doing. Just know that I’m here for you, okay?”
Moon smiled back at her. “Thank you. Sorry for being a piece of shit.”
She shook her head and grabbed his hand again. “Don’t say that. You’re my precious friend. I really care about you, you know? I just…” She wrung her hands. “I just want you to be with someone who will take care of you. Please?”
Moon nodded. “I want that too.”
“I’ll take care of you in the meantime, okay? So, you must eat! Eat!” She insisted, picking up her chopsticks once more. Moon pouted, picking up his own.
Thankfully the rest of their lunch was better, no longer that uncomfortable. Jieun was still giggly and joking around, so he was happy that he didn’t ruin it completely.
Moon walked her to the bus station after that, and from there he himself walked home. To the apartment. When he got to his floor, he noticed a medium-sized box in front of his door, with big squiggly letters in front saying “Cheong Moonsoo!” and in the top right, the stamp of a crudely drawn white…thing with red hair and black and yellow glasses. Right in the middle, it said “707”.
Moon immediately opened the package once going inside, right in front where Seven could see him. The box was filled with a ton of bags of Honey Buddha Chips and PhD Pepper. Moon laughed. Right at the bottom of the box were two DVDs in the middle. One was Tei’s Tea Leaf and the other was Promiscuous Jalapeño Topping. Both had Zen in the front. Moon suddenly remembered that Jaehee did mention that she was going to send her DVD’s.
On the bottom of the box, there was an envelope with a letter. Upon reading the letter, in neat handwriting, read “Hello, Moon. These are the DVD’s I promised you. I recommend you begin with Tei’s Tea Leaf, as it is Zen’s debut musical. Please let me know what you think. – Jaehee”.
Seeing as Seven hadn’t answered his last message (threat), Moon got up to write in a sheet of paper “THANK YOU” in front with a big red marker, putting it right where Seven could see it.
His phone vibrated.
- I see you got the package lolol
- You’re so cute
- You’re welcome!!!!
- And please don’t end me
- I’m too young T_T
- Still gotta marry Elly T_T
- Don’t call me Moonie and all is good.
- I wanna be the one who interrupts the wedding.
- I’ll steal Elly away from you!
- Cat burglar!!! I’ll bring justice upon you!!!
- Defender of Justice 707!
Moon giggled and then went to the kitchen table, so that he could watch the DVD’s on his laptop. His phone vibrated, notifying that Jaehee and Yoosung were online.
MOON HAS ENTERED THE CHATROOM.
Moon: Today is a nice evening!!
> Hiya Jaehee!
Jaehee Kang: Hello.
> hiiiii hiiii
> Why do I like using childish greetings?
Jaehee Kang: You must not want to get old.
Yoosung: Still the youngest in the group.
Jaehee Kang: Getting old is what’s sad. Please do not say that to me.
Moon: !!! Jaehee!!!
> I received the package.
> I’m going to watch them right now. ^^
Yoosung: What package?
Jaehee: I had mailed them immediately to Luciel after our conversation.
> I am glad that he got them to you quickly.
> Now you can enjoy them.
Yoosung: What package????
> Guys don’t ignore me.
> [ Crying Yoosung emoji ]
Moon: Jaehee sent me some ZEN DVDs.
> I wanted to see him and she was very kind to help me get started.
Moon: He also sent me some Honey Buddha chips.
> This is heaven.
> Honey Buddha Chips are so hard to find!
> Where’d he get those from?
Moon: I know!! I got almost a month’s worth.
> Seven is like a god! GodSeven!
Jaehee Kang: I hardly think he is godly for giving you chips…
Moon: He is!
> But on another note.
> Seven told me he hasn’t seen daylight in three days.
> I’m worried.
Jaehee Kang: I agree.
> I’m worried that he may be involved in something dangerous.
Yoosung: He’s usually locked up like this…
> It’s not the first time.
> [ Crying Yoosung emoji ]
> We’ll be here for him.
> We’ll save our Defender of Justice!
Yoosung: You’re right!
ZEN HAS ENTERED THE CHATROOM.
Moon: Hello Zen!
ZEN: Hello Moon^^
Jaehee Kang: Hello, Zen.
ZEN: Hey Jaehee
Yoosung: What would it feel like to be locked in?
Moon: Wouldn’t it feel as if you’re under someone’s control?
Yoosung: [ Starry eyed Yoosung emoji ]
ZEN: Hey, what’s up with you?
> Are you sick?
Yoosung: I want someone to control me T_T
ZEN: What is he saying
Yoosung: I can’t control LoLoL…
Moon: I can lock you up lol
Yoosung: lolololololol So exciting.
> Just lock me in with a computer.
Moon snickered. He put a pot of water for a cup of tea and sat back down on the table. Now, to test what Seven promised…
> As promised.
Moon looked tapped on the upload button. It opened straight to his gallery. Moon grinned.
Moon: [ Sushi picture ]
> I ate sushi earlier!
ZEN: Very good!
> I’m glad you ate.
> Men like us need to eat regularly.
> Or else you’ll stay short.
> You know I’m a boy?
ZEN: Of course lolol
> I did read the chat log yesterday.
> I wasn’t going to freak out.
> You’re still very nice.
> You can be my honorary fanboy
> [ winking ZEN emoji ]
Moon: You don’t know
> How happy that makes me
> I was worried you wouldn’t treat me the same. T_T
ZEN: Of course not lol
Yoosung: By the way, Moon
> Since you’re a guy…
> And you say you don’t really eat…
> How tall are you?
> [ Starry eyed emoji ]
> What lol
> So random
Yoosung: You said it first!
Jaehee Kang: Zen is 1.82 cm tall.
ZEN: Yep! Very good!
Jaehee Kang: [ Pleasant Jaehee emoji ]
Moon: I’m not that tall ;;;
> 1.78 cm.
> Last time I checked.
Yoosung: [ surprised Yoosung emoji ]
ZEN: You’re still taller than Yoosung lololol
> [ Tired Yoosung emoji ]
> I’m….just a child.
> But you know!
> You’re slightly taller than Seven too!
Yoosung: Yeah!!! Only by a little though.
> But Jumin
> Is really tall
> Taller than Zen
> Can we not talk about that guy?
Moon: I have a friend who’s really tall
> He has to crouch down sometimes lol
> He has pink hair right now so he doesn’t look too menacing
Jaehee Kang: Pink hair…
ZEN: I’m glad someone’s taller than the jerk.
Moon: Hey Zen,
> Have you ever acted out a situation where you’re locked up?
> Good question.
> When I was in musicals…
> acting a character who’s locked up…
> I guess that has happened a few times.
> But why do they always have to rip off my shirt ;;
> [ ZEN Photo #12 ]
> This picture is everywhere online.
Jaehee Kang: We should stop this improper conversation.
ZEN: What was the title of that musical…?
Jaehee Kang: “Promiscuous Jalapeno Topping”
Yoosung: Jaehee;;; You said we should be proper.
Moon glanced at the DVD that Jaehee sent him. It doesn’t look that raunchy on the cover.
Moon: I’m going to watch that one later!!
> No spoilers!!!
ZEN: I read the script thinking maybe it’s rated R, but it wasn’t even that bad.
> Only the poster’s promiscuous.
Jaehee Kang: Classic marketing scheme.
> Everyone said that the original writer was high on drugs when writing it.
ZEN: Oh; Really?
> Ah! I remember.
Moon: Jaehee! You have a really good memory.
Jaehee Kang: ^^
> This is nothing as a fan.
ZEN: The fierce fight between the Jalapenos and the Pickles… was the topic.
> “Jalapeno, weren’t you one of Pickle’s veggies…?!”
> It was a strange script;
Moon: Guys!!! No spoilers.
ZEN: Sorry Moon.
> It’s nothing too important, I promise.
> I want pizza.
Moon: Me too…
> To watch with the musical…
Yoosung: A bunch of hot sauce and parmesan cheese on top…
> That’s the staircase to heaven right there.
> Hey, wanna go with me?
Moon: We can all go together!
ZEN: ;;You can go ahead.
Yoosung: lolololol Sucks to be you.
Moon: I want to order a pizza.
> But I shouldn’t.
> I’ve been eating like shit lately;;
ZEN: You must take care of yourself, Moon.
Jaehee Kang: And, do not advertise any commercial product. We have not received any product placement.
> Guess I’ll go by myself…
Moon: I’ll go with you one day, Yoosung.
> But now
> Gotta peace out
> I’m going to watch Tei’s Tea Leaf first.
> Tell me what you think.
Moon: I will!!
> Bye guys!
MOON HAS LEFT THE CHATROOM.
A little while later after finishing Tei's Tea Leaf, Moon was preparing his second cup of tea with honey and milk. He kept thinking about the pent up Seven-Oh-Seven. He walked to the living room where the window was widest, and snapped a picture of the night sky. He then sent it to Seven through a private message.
Moon: [ Starry sky picture ]
- Thought of you this evening
- I remembered you telling me you like the night sky
- I know this isn't the same, but I hope you like it.
Even if he had refused to make friends at first, he did make a few, eventually. A little girl with a bowl cut by the name of Kyungri and her older brother (by a year) Kyungho. They would stay inside with him and draw.
At first Moon had been wary of them, thinking they just wanted to use his markers – but in the end, they brought their own and they would share with him as well. In the evenings they would go to the park by Moon’s house, to play together and draw Doraemon, who always followed them.
Kyungri and Kyungho had an older brother that was in highschool already, a boy by the name of Kyungseok. He would sometimes go pick up his younger siblings after school, always wearing his own school uniform disheveled. Moon thought he was so cool.
Sometimes he would also go to the park and pick them up, even if he did have an angry look on his face. Moon didn’t care – he thought he looked handsome. He took the opportunity one of the days he went for them to give him a drawing.
The boy eyed him weirdly but took it anyways. “It looks cool. You have talent, kid.”
Moon never felt happier. He would have an intense blush on his face whenever he saw the tall boy closeby. Kyungri noticed this, and thought he was weird for having a crush on him.
"Oppa is mean!" she claimed. "He doesn't listen to momma and he hits Kyungho!"
But Moon didn't care. He was, after all, in love.
I changed the emoji format because even I got confused. :')
I'm trying to portray the korean culture as accurate as possible, so please let me know if something seems off. ;_;
And more introductory stuff, mostly calls this chapter, but!!! I promise it'll get good the next!!!
Moon had been so infatuated with Kyungseok. So much that the crush extended all the way onto middle school. First year middle-schooler Cheong Moonsoo was in love with upperclassman second year high-schooler Kyungseok, and he didn’t know how to hide it.
Moon was born with a romantic heart. He probably owed it to all those fantasy novels he read and Disney movies he watched (where of course, he wanted to be the princess). He dreamed of giving Kyungseok letters and flowers and giving him kisses all over his face like Joowon had given him. He didn’t like him like Joowon; he had been his best friend and although he had liked his kisses, he never dreamed of giving him all this. He felt it with Kyungseok though.
His pre-pubescent heart felt like fluttering when he saw him play on the football field. Moonsoo had signed up for the club too, just to be able to see him. The middle school both teams practiced at the same time with the high school team since they both had the same coach. Because of this, Moon would see him every day after school, not just occasionally.
His father had been pleased that he joined a sport – so much so that he bought him the newest soccer shoes and a soccer ball. The team had been impressed. When Moon started, he had okay skills, but he kept practicing and practicing in the sport, until he got to be one of the better players that scored the most.
Kyungseok noticed this, of course. The middle school team made a ruckus of cheers whenever Moonsoo scored a goal when he was a forward or blocked the ball when he was a goalie. Also, he had the newest soccer shoes from Adidas, so that was something as well.
“Nice job, Moonsoo.” Kyungseok congratulated him once after a game. Moon’s eyes had widened, and he felt his heart stop.
Kyungseok gave him one more pat on the head and Moon had felt like melting that same instant.
MOON HAS ENTERED THE CHATROOM.
Moon: Good morning, Jaehee!
> Did you get a good night’s sleep? ^^
Jaehee Kang: Good morning, Moon.
> Sadly, I only slept three hours.
> I had to wake up early to get to the office at seven.
> But Jaehee
> It’s Saturday T_T
> You need to rest!!! The weekends are for sleeping in!
Jaehee Kang: Normally, that would be the case…
> We are already very busy with our regular projects,
> However Mr. Han seems very stressed lately.
> He has started creating a new cat business.
> [ Crying Jaehee emoji ]
Moon: And I imagine that Jaehee must create a report…
Jaehee Kang: [ Crying Jaehee emoji ]
> Yes, you are very correct…
Moon: ; ; ;
> Cheer up Jaehee!
> Once it’s over, I’ll promise you that I’ll buy you tickets to a Zen musical.
> When a new one is released, of course ^^;
> We can go together!
Jaehee Kang: You are very kind, Moonsoo…
Moon: It’s nothing :)
> Speaking of which!
> I was wondering if I can give you your DVD’s on Monday.
> I would send them back through delivery but Seven didn’t provide a return address…
> And I’m kinda busy this weekend T_T
> Have to do a new painting!!! From scratch!!!!
Jaehee Kang: Is that so?
> [ Surprised Jaehee emoji ]
> Why is that?
> The one I had created before got destroyed by someone else.
> It’s a long story.
> The guy is getting expelled though, and the teacher is giving me an opportunity to do it again.
> But in a week T_T
> The one I did before took me almost two weeks! And the teacher said a week, but she actually means five days.
Jaehee Kang: I see that I am not the only one suffering.
> It comforts me, if just a bit.
> Though I am very sorry your painting had gotten destroyed.
> But we can suffer together!
> You’re not alone.
> We can cheer each other up, yeah? ^^
Jaehee Kang: That sounds nice, yes.
> I would like that.
> [ Pleasant Jaehee emoji ]
Moon: Yay!! :D
> So anyways!
> Can I stop by Monday morning?
Jaehee Kang: Hm…
> Yes, between 10-11.
> I take a quick break sometimes at those hours.
> Sounds good to me. :)
> It’s the big C&R building downtown Seoul, right?
Jaehee Kang: That is the one. ^^
Moon: Great! I’m excited that I can meet you.
> Also, I watched both musicals last night like three times lol
> They were so good! Zen is magnificent!
Jaehee Kang: Really? Which one is your favorite?
They started fangirling in the chat afterwards. Moon turned around on the bed, still under the covers while he spoke to Jaehee. He gave a loud yawn. It was technically the first time he had slept in the bed in the apartment, and the first time he had slept somewhere else that wasn’t the floor or Jaemin’s bed in weeks. He was sprawled out comfortably and felt relieved that he did not have to leave anytime soon.
After Jaehee had left, he stayed a few minutes morning laying on the bed, just relaxing in silence. He came into the realization that after months of not having a proper space of his own, he could finally just shut up and let his thoughts take him.
Finally, he stood up, preparing himself coffee and breakfast, which consisted of scrambled eggs and toast. He sat down at the table, eating in silence as he did so. Afterwards, he settled down on the couch to read a book he was neglecting ever since he had stopped staying at his dorm.
His cellphone vibrated, and he saw that it was a message from Seven.
707: Wow!!! So pretty!!
- Is it me or do the stars look super bright?
- Or is it because you took it?
Moon lifted an eyebrow. He glanced up at the security camera with the same bewildered expression and typed.
- Are you impersonating Zen again?
- I’ll send you some more then.
707: Whaaaaaat lol
- Maybe not!
Moon: Don’t worry lol.
- No need to thank me.
Seven didn’t respond after that. Afterwards, he went to the art supplies store close by and bought a new canvas in shorter dimensions. He could redraw the painting he had done originally, but he won’t. Moon was pretty sure that it wouldn’t come out the same and he would hate it probably.
Upon arriving home, he moved the dinner table to the kitchen, so that he could have space to put his easel and the rest of his painting equipment. But even then, the only thing he did was draw the sketch of it, trying to grab ideas where he could.
He spent Saturday like this, just locked in and drawing. He would speak to Jieun and Taejun, and then to RFA. The chats with RFA had him very entertained, since they varied from Zen’s need for a girlfriend, Yoosung playing LOLOL, Jumin’s cat, Seven bothering them all and Jaehee just tired of everything. It surprised him how just a couple of days he had just been interrogated, now it’s just like he’s been with these people all his life. He wondered if it’s because it was online; either way, he eased right in.
They even started recommending guests to him, to which Moon wrote them down on a small journal he bought to keep track. Some were kind of kooky guests, but that’s what made the party even more fun.
Sunday, again, was the same plan. Just sketching, eating, and taking breaks in between. He had already turned in all the other projects from other classes, so if it hadn’t been for Donghyun, he would have been free right now.
But no. Asshole.
MOON HAS ENTERED THE CHATROOM.
Moon: Good morning everybody!
Yoosung: What’s there good about it.
> [ Crying Yoosung emoji ]
Moon: Wow Yoosung, so negative. Is everything ok?
> We lost a mission.
> It was my fault.
> I was falling asleep on my keyboard and didn’t rkioespond.
> Did you pull an all-nighter?
Moon: You need to sleep!
> I know that it’s Sunday.
> But still.
Yoosung: But LOLOL!!
Moon: You can’t focus if you’re tired!
ZEN HAS ENTERED THE CHATROOM.
ZEN: Whoa, Yoosung.
Moon: Hey Zen.
ZEN: Hey Moon^^
> Yoosung, you should listen to Moon
> Go to sleep.
Yoosung: [ Crying Yoosung emoji ]
> But LOLOL
ZEN: I think you should really stop playing that game.
> [ Unimpressed Zen emoji ]
> You should play a sport.
Yoosung: A sport…
Moon: I don’t think you have to leave LOLOL.
> Just moderate it. ^^
> It’s better if you have a balance.
> Playing a sport is fun though!!
ZEN: Do you play a sport, Moon?
> I’m not in the school’s team right now
> But I used to play soccer in middle school and high school.
> it was fun!
> Actually, I’m going to play for the sports festival this week 😊
Yoosung: Oh! The sports festival!
> I signed up for it!
> We’ll get to see each other!!! Yay!!!
Yoosung: [ Smiling Yoosung emoji ]
> I’m really curious about you, Moon
> So if it’s a way to see you
> I’ll sign up
ZEN: But Yoosung lol
> What sport are you going to play?
Yoosung: Oh, uhhh
> I just signed up for the races.
Moon: That’s until the end.
> I didn’t sign up for that, so I’ll be able to watch you. d(^_^)b
Yoosung: I feel nervous suddenly omg
Moon: Don’t be! It’s just about having fun.
> You’ll be okay.
ZEN: But you have to win
> I remember when I was in school
> I was so competitive in the sports festival lol
> I would win all the competitions I signed up for.
Moon: Wahh, so cool!!!
ZEN: It’s nothing ^_^
> Of course a lot of people came to see me.
> They would say things like
> “Zen! You shine under the sun! You’re so handsome!”
> Or stuff like that lol
> They would cheer for me
> [ Winking Zen emoji ]
Moon: Our shining Zen! Beat them all!!!
ZEN: Haha yes!! They would cheer something like that.
> [ Smiling ZEN emoji ]
Yoosung: [ Tired Yoosung emoji ]
> Must be nice to have someone cheer for you…
Moon: Hey! I’m going to cheer for you!!!
> In representation of RFA
> And as your friend.
> So don’t be sad, ok?
> I’ll see if I could go
> Although I’ll probably distract the players if I do lol
> With my good looks
> [ Winking Zen emoji ]
Yoosung: [ sighing Yoosung emoji ]
> You don’t need to go
> If Moon is cheering for me
> I’ll feel better.
Moon: You can count on me!
They kept chatting for fifteen minutes more, until they finally convinced Yoosung to go to sleep and Zen had to leave to rehearsal. Moon left to the supermarket to buy food so that he could cook decent food instead of surviving on instant ramen (which, Seven bothered him for instantly once he started eating last night).
LAST NIGHT, 8:20 PM
707: I SEE YOU!!!
- Instant ramen isn’t a decent meal!!
- Lolol you can’t nag me about my breakfasts anymore
Moon: NO PEEKING.
- I’ll buy groceries tomorrow
- And then you have to eat decent meals with me
And there he was, coming in with a load of groceries which he showed off to the camera when he arrived home. After organizing the pantry, he started making himself a sandwich, since he needed to go back to sketching soon and hopefully start with the base of his painting. His phone vibrated.
- You haven’t heard from Arin, have you?
- She hasn’t returned home?
- Her parents haven’t heard from her either.
- No one has seen her anywhere.
Moon frowned and told Hyemin that they will keep looking, and that he will help. He then let all his contacts know that they were looking for a girl named Arin and provided a photo that Hyemin had sent him. No one has seen her.
Moon woke up extra early on Monday morning to get ready to go the C&R building. Downtown Seoul was quite away from the university; he had to take a bus and then the subway station, and knowing rush hour, who knew what time he would get there. He wondered if he had to look formal – he supposed not, since he was probably going to just give Jaehee her DVD’s and leave. Jaehee was a very busy woman and he could not keep her distracted too long or else Jumin would get mad.
He still went dressed nicely, but as comfortable as possible. Eunji tells him that he always looks nice, and commended him on his “minimalistic artsy hoe style”, as she put it. Moon didn’t know what she meant, but still felt proud that Eunji complimented him on his fashion taste. She was the most fashionable out of all his friends.
Even though he had dressed nicely, he still felt like he stuck out like a sore thumb in front the building, which was a very big building in the center of downtown Seoul. He stood staring at it for the longest time, then began walking when he noticed all the corporate men giving him weird looks.
“Um, I’m looking for Jaehee Kang?” Moon asked when he arrived at the front desk. The lady gave him an unimpressed look. Suddenly feeling very nervous, he gulped. “I have some personal matters with her. She said that I could come at this hour?”
Again, the same unimpressed look. Moon kept feeling flustered as the moments passed. His glasses were probably fogged up with how hot his face felt.
“Department?” droned the woman.
“U-Um! I-I-” Moon was very flustered now and he fumbled. He didn’t even know. He wanted to pull his beanie over his face and just disappe-
Moon turned around and saw Jaehee walk out the elevator carrying a big pile of papers. “I apologize, I was just on my way to let Ms. Lee know that you were coming. Is everything alright?” she asked.
The front lady looked surprised and Moon wondered for a moment if she had thought he was lying. He nodded. “Yes! But I couldn’t remember what department you worked for, sorry.”
“It is alright. Come with me.”
The lady gave him a guest badge and he thanked her. Moon followed Jaehee back to the elevator, noticing that Jaehee was maneuvering around all the people at the lobby with that big pile of papers and binders while wearing high heels. He felt sudden admiration for this simple feat, which he was sure it wasn’t simple at all. “Noona, can I help you with that? You’re carrying a lot of stuff.”
Jaehee gave him a small smile and shook her head. “We would get in trouble if I let you. But thank you for your worry.”
They went to the sixth floor, where the floor was quiet and full of cubicles where people were typing away or in phone calls. They passed a fancy wooden door where in the middle, in a golden plaque, read JUMIN HAN. Moon wondered if he was there right now. He wouldn’t dare stop by to say hi. If Jumin looked at him he would probably cry.
Besides Jumin’s office was a large cubicle that read CHIEF SECRETARY JAEHEE KANG. Moon grimaced. Jumin is really clear about the secretary thing, huh?
“Only natural,” sighed Jaehee, and Moon jumped. Apparently, he said that out loud. She set the big pile of papers on the table, and turned around, finally outstretching her hand at him. “Kang Jaehee, at your service. It is a pleasure to meet you.”
Moon gave her a wide smile and took her hand to shake it gently. “Cheong Moonsoo, I’m happy that I finally get to meet you.”
“Yes, well. I am happy that I can finally evaluate our new member in person. As you may know, I have not fully trusted you-”
Moon noticed that Jaehee had a very stiff stance, and was surprisingly…muscular? Something like that. She looked that she practiced a sport. Martial arts, maybe…?
“-you have shown that you mean no harm, however I am still evaluating if you can do this job at all. The party is very important to all of us. We must handle it with the upmost caution.”
Moon returned to earth upon hearing that and he gave a soft laugh. Jaehee looked confused. “Did I say something funny?”
“I’m sorry! I just find it cute how all the guys just seem pretty relaxed about me joining and you’re the only one worried.”
Jaehee’s eyebrow furrowed. Not in a frown, but more like…a pout. “Isn’t it normal?”
Moon nodded furiously. “Yes, it makes sense. If I had to be honest, I would probably react like you. It’s only decent, but then again, you’re the most sensible out of everyone. Like a mom! It’s cute.”
Moon noticed that although Jaehee did not say much, her expressions said otherwise. Her eyes widened, if only just a bit. If she weren’t controlled, maybe she would have blushed. She cleared her throat after a few moments. “Yes, well. I will take that as a compliment. Thank you.”
“No problem. Oh! I have your DVD’s.” Moon unzipped his backpack and took out the two DVD’s, carefully wrapped in a bag. “I wrapped them in a bag because I have my pencils and ink pens inside. Gotta prevent accidents, right?” he grinned.
Jaehee took the bag and gave another small smile. Her eyes seem to sparkle! “Thank you for being careful, Moonsoo.”
“No problem! I’ll get going; it looks like you have a lot of work and I don’t want to distract you more. Don’t want Jumin to get mad,” he winked, adjusting his backpack, and then his beanie, making sure his brown hair still popped out.
Jaehee looked disappointed because of the reminder but nodded and sat down at her desk. “Yes, I apologize we couldn’t extend our meeting.”
“Maybe we can go for a coffee later? I’ll buy!”
“Oh, I can’t let you buy-”
“Nonsense!” Moon waved her off. “It’ll be my pleasure!”
Suddenly the big door behind them opened and Moon jumped again. The big eminence that is Jumin Han walked out. Moon stood there stunned silly and staring at him. He’s so handsome!
Jumin stared at him back, scrutinizing and Moon felt like he was getting his soul sucked out. “You must be Moonsoo. Assistant Kang mentioned that you were stopping by.”
Moon could only nod, wide eyes behind his glasses.
“Very good. Assistant Kang, I am going to lunch. Postpone my meeting at twelve o’clock to two o’clock. I will bring Moonsoo along with me.”
“Very well, Mr. Han.”
Moon unfroze and pointed at himself. “Wh-What? Me? Can you cancel a meeting like that?”
“Of course, I can.” Jumin adjusted his cuff links. “It is only an internal meeting, so it is nothing too important. They are used to this. Now, come with me.”
Moon felt like a dog when Jumin said that and, of course, he did not object further. He was intimidated to his core and Jumin’s presence demanded to be obeyed. He gave a look to Jaehee, who was already typing like mad on her computer.
“Noona! Make sure to eat lunch, yeah? Cheer up!”
She looked up at him momentarily, seemingly surprised. However, she nodded and gave one last small smile. “Yes, I will.”
“Good luck!” Moon waved, following behind Jumin who was already at the elevator.
The limo ride, as expected, was uncomfortable. They received weird looks as they left the building, obviously it was a weird sight to see two men, one that was wearing a very expensive suit and another with an oversized gray sweater and black jeans step into a limo together. Not to mention that Moon was carrying a backpack, a beanie, and plain black sneakers. What did an obvious college student have to do with the chairman? He felt overly conscious and nervous and Jumin was as cool as a cucumber.
Jumin was not paying him much attention, thankfully. As they drove Jumin was talking on the phone in a language that Moon could not understand. Chinese, probably? Jumin knows Chinese. Of course he does.
Jumin finalized the call and suddenly he was staring at Moon once more. Moon hugged his backpack and felt like sinking into his seat. The silence was broken when Jumin offhandedly commented: “You have very bright eyes.”
Moon blinked. “Me?”
“Yes. They are amber, correct? Even behind your glasses they pop out. Anyways, what would you like for lunch?”
The sudden change of subjects caught Moon off-guard and he couldn’t even process that Jumin had complimented him. “U-Um. I’m not sure if I’m dressed appropriately for the occasion, hyung-”
“Jumin. These clothes are kinda informal, don’t you think? I might not look okay for a restaurant-”
Once more, Jumin interrupted. “We are not going to a restaurant. I wanted to speak with you in private, so we are going to my home and my chef will be preparing lunch. So once again, the question: what would you like for lunch?”
Moon gulped. Somehow that didn’t seem any more comforting, but at this point he decided to roll with it. “I’ll have whatever you’re having. Remember you said that all your meals are nutritious? That would be a nice change to my recent bad eating habits.”
“Yes, but they are adapted to my needs.”
“But they’re nutritious nonetheless, right? I appreciate you letting me choose, but I couldn’t possibly. Getting fed is what’s important, anyways.”
Jumin gave a deep sigh. “Very well, if that is what you wish. Give me a moment, I will call my chef.”
Jumin made the call and Moon looked out the window, seeing the great buildings of what seemed to be the luxurious Cheongdam district. He’s only been here once in his whole life and that was for a fancy art exposition that Jieun had really wanted to go.
He glanced at Jumin, was seemed to be talking in what he recognized as French. While he spoke, he locked eyes with Moon, who gave him an encouraging smile (well, it was more encouraging for himself) and a thumbs up. Jumin seemed taken aback and looked away.
The limo stopped and he heard Jumin finalize the call. The door was opened by Jumin’s driver and Moon stepped out. The driver gave him a sympathetic smile, to which he could only smile weakly back. He stared at the big, modern penthouse in front of him. He gasped. Jumin stepped out behind him, and the doormen immediately opened the double doors. Jumin walked inside and Moon scampered behind, thanking all the staff that opened the doors and ordered the elevators for them.
The elevator opened to the seventh floor which seemed to be Jumin’s entire house. Moon tried to look composed, but he couldn’t hide his amazement, looking around with wide eyes. He walked towards the first thing that caught his eye, which was the big floor to ceiling aquarium full of exotic fish swimming around.
Jumin had disappeared for a moment, then returned to his side. “The chef has notified me that dinner will be ready in ten minutes, so we will have to wait. In the meantime, we should get settled.”
Moon nodded, absorbed in the pretty goldfish staring at him. “Okay. Hey, Jumin, do you like fish?”
“I do not particularly care for them. I have added this into my home because Elizabeth the 3rd seems to like them.”
“I see. We should still go to an aquarium one day. We can take Elizabeth the 3rd, she’ll love it!”
As if on cue, he heard a mreow and Moon looked down to his feet, seeing the regal cat staring at him with big blue eyes. He kneeled and outstretched his hand, to which the kitty smelled his fingers and then leaned her head against his palm. Moon scratched her behind her ears, and Elizabeth closed her eyes.
“She seems quite taken to you,” Jumin murmured, watching them. Moon looked up and grinned.
“Elizabeth the 3rd is a very pretty kitty! She’s only getting the attention she deserves, right Elizabeth? You’re such a beautiful kitty,” he cooed to her.
Elizabeth responded to this with a purr, going around his body, and pressed herself against Moon’s side, to which he took as a cue to carry her in his arms. He stood up, petting Elizabeth on her head. Jumin did the same, to which she then decided to go into Jumin’s arms.
“Elizabeth really loves you, Jumin,” nodded Moon. “She looks very happy with you.”
“Naturally. She is my upmost priority.”
“So much so that you want to make her your model for all your businesses. Careful, she’ll start charging!” laughed Moon, to which Jumin scoffed.
“I will pay all the expenses if that is what she requires.”
“A male kitty companion,” teased Moon. Jumin answered no immediately and Moon continued laughing.
“Sir, dinner is served,” a butler appeared from nowhere and Moon jumped. The butler seemed amused, to Moon’s demise. They were led to the dining room, which was another room with a spectacular view of the city. The table was for five people, but it was only two places were set.
The butler took his backpack and they sat down, to which the chef (yes, he did seem French) immediately brought a tray with the entrée: vegetable soup. Moon felt nervous again, looking at the variety of spoons in front of him. Mom had taught me this. Which was the soup spoon? Was it the little spoon? The big spoon? Little spoon?
“It is the spoon to your outermost right,” Jumin responded the answer for him, reading his thoughts. Moon smiled sheepishly.
“Thank you. My mother had taught me, but I forgot. It’s been a long time since I’ve handled silverware like this. I’ve been using just chopsticks since I entered college.”
“It is an honest mistake. Do you like wine?”
“Mmm, I’m partial to red wine, it’s more bitter and I prefer it. But, I’m not really much of a wine expert, I haven’t drunk much to be able to tell which one is older, and which one is not.”
Jumin nodded silently, and the chef then brought a bottle of wine and two glasses, serving them. Jumin took the bottle to show it to him. “This is a Masseto wine; made entirely from Merlot, and it is raised in Tuscany. This is from 1980 – not that old, but very delicious, nonetheless. I hope you enjoy it.”
Moon took the glass in front of him and swirled the liquid around. Jumin was still staring at him intently and he blushed. He just hoped he didn’t choke. He took a sip from the glass and was surprised that of how smooth it was on his palate. He gave a nod to Jumin. “It’s very good! It’s still bitter and strong, but very smooth and with this sweet aftertaste.”
“I am glad you appreciate it.” Jumin took a sip of his own glass.
Moon smiled, taking another spoonful of soup. The rest of the dinner was spent in silence. Jumin apparently immersed in his thoughts and Moon immersed in how delicious the food was. The main plate was a fish fillet a la-Moon-didn’t-register-the-rest-but-it-was-so-good on a bed of mushrooms and rice.
Once they finished, Jumin looked at him once more. But Moon didn’t feel weirded out anymore. He noticed that this was Jumin’s way to catch his attention. He supposed that even an articulate man as himself probably didn’t know how to speak to someone like Moon, although Moon didn’t think he would care.
At least, that was true, in normal cases. But Moon is different, Jumin thought.
“Do you like reading the news?”
Moon nodded. “Although I haven’t read it in a long time, I’ll be honest. But, when I was kid, my parents would read the newspaper aloud every morning. My mom would read it to my dad, or my dad to my mom. They switched. So, since it was while I was eating breakfast, I would listen to them. It was…” Moon paused and smiled at the memory. “It was nice, hearing them read.”
Jumin’s gaze had a softness that Moon didn’t think he would ever see. He even smiled. “Would you like me to read the newspaper to you?”
“Yes. I have instructed the chef to bring you dessert, so while you eat, I can read to you. That way, we don’t have to be in silence.”
So it bothered him…Moon nodded again. “Okay! I’ll listen, yeah? Oh! By the way, before you start.”
He looked around and saw the butler who had kept scaring him. He stood up momentarily and walked to him, and Jumin could only watch. Moments later, Moon came back with a small black bag and a sketchbook. “I was doing this the other day; they’re just simple sketches, but one day I’ll make a bigger one!”
He turned the pages till he reached the one where he had sketched out Elizabeth the 3rd and finished with ink. They were the pictures Jumin had shared on the chat.
Jumin stared at them for the longest time, his eyes flickering to the drawings and back to Moon. A mew was heard and Elizabeth sprung up from the floor, staring at the drawings as well and pawing at them. Jumin chastised her softly to get off the table, and then cleared his throat to start. “Elizabeth the 3rd seems to like them.”
“She does, huh? I’m kind of really proud because of that,” grinned Moon.
Jumin smiled once more. “Yes, quite an incredible feat, as my Elizabeth the 3rd is quite a picky woman…If I provided you with more pictures…would you be able to do a painting of her? I would pay you, of course.”
Moon laughed and Jumin seemed surprised. Moon shook his head. “I won’t charge you, Jumin! I can do the painting for free! We’re friends, aren’t we?”
“But as it is your talent, you should be able to make money off it.”
Moon would occasionally feel nervous upon receiving commission requests. He has received many in his lifetime, especially now that he was using advanced art techniques, but he could never quite shake off that feeling of anxiety.
But with Jumin looking at him like that (it looked like a weird mixture of softness and power – he didn’t know if whether to be endeared or intimidated) he just had to cave in. He gave a deep sigh. “All right, all right. I can do it! We can talk prices later, yeah? But for the meantime, would you like me to read the newspaper?”
The butler immediately came with the paper and handed it to Jumin. “I will. You have to eat.”
In that moment, the chef handed Moon some strawberries and yogurt. “Those are strawberries hand picked from our farm. They are Elizabeth the 3rd’s favorite, I hope you like them,” Jumin explained, although he wasn’t looking at him. He was skimming through the news.
Jumin is very attentive, so much that it was overwhelming. Everything was handed to him automatically; Moon didn’t even have to stand up or say a thing. Jumin decided everything. It was disarming, and he felt kind of stupid. But he’ll accept the treatment for now, as he was in his home anyways. The yogurt with the strawberries were so good too.
“Ah, have you heard of the Park case?”
“No, what is it?”
“It was a couple that went out to a party last Saturday night. They never came back. They left their daughter with the woman’s sister, so they assumed it was strange since they were very overprotective of the child and would have come right away…” Jumin’s eyes read a bit, his expression turning serious. He began reading: “The Park couple that had been missing since last Saturday have been found dead at Suncheon Bay. They were found by two local adolescents walking through the area and were reported immediately to the police, who arrived fifteen minutes later. They showed signs of torture and were ultimately killed overdosed by illegal substances. The autopsy showed that the drugs were a mix between LSD, methamphetamines, and sleeping pills, the final two being the ones that ultimately caused their fatal ends.”
Moon stared at Jumin for the longest time, and Jumin cleared his throat. He continued, “No signs of the one responsible for this were found, the couple were dumped in an isolated location away from where they were being held hostage. Investigation will continue. For the meantime, their daughter will be staying with her grandparents.”
“Do you think that they went through a lot of pain?” whispered Moon. Jumin sighed, closing the newspaper.
“Yes, I would suppose so. They don’t enclose on how they were tortured, but one can assume that it did not go well.”
“I hope that the one responsible for this is caught,” Moon said suddenly. “I feel sorry for their small daughter.” Jumin nodded in agreement.
Moon then picked up a strawberry and chewed on it, and Jumin sat silent, until he started reading a happier article about the cat shelter, which Jumin seemed to know the owner, and Moon suggested to invite them to the party. Jumin wholeheartedly agreed, and said that he would tell Jaehee to send them an email.
Moon’s phone vibrated. He received a message from the student body president.
Changho: Where are you?
- We’re setting up the stands for the sports festival in twenty minutes
- Did you forget?
“Shit,” swore Moon. “I totally forgot!”
“Is something wrong?” Jumin asked.
“Yeah, I forgot I had to go set up the sports festival. You see, I’m in student council-”
“Yeah, and I totally, totally forgot that we had to start today since we’re the ones hosting the festival this year. Ahhh, I’m going to arrive late even if I leave now to take the bus-”
“I’ll take you.”
“W-What?” Moon blinked. “I can’t make you do that, Jumin, you were already so kind to let me eat with you.”
“It was my pleasure to do this, now let me help you some more. To which school you go to?” Jumin asked, taking his phone out.
“Um, Seoul Arts...it’s at Hongdae.”
“Very well. We can get there in fifteen minutes or less.”
Moon bit his lip, abashed, and the butler offered him his backpack. Honestly, the only reason he was accepting this was because he really had to get there soon. The chef came out and Jumin gave him instructions (for dinner, perhaps).
Moon tapped on Jumin’s shoulder, and he turned his head to the side. Still close, Moon whispered to him, “How do you say thank you for the meal in French?”
Jumin responded in the same low tone and Moon stepped away from his back, bowing to the chef. “Merci pour le repas!” he exclaimed, probably also butchering the pronunciation but he tried his best.
The chef seemed startled but gave a smile all the same. “De rien,” he replied.
Moon said good-bye to Elizabeth the 3rd and they walked out to the limo, where the same driver opened the door for him. It took them about ten minutes to get the university, where a flock of people formed to see the limo that had just arrived at the gate.
Moon realized that, of course, he was inside said fancy limo, and that of course that would catch anybody’s attention. It had dawned on him just now. “Oh God…” he breathed.
“Moonsoo. This lunch was very…nice. It was nice to eat with you.” Jumin started, apparently unbothered by all the people. “We should eat together once more.”
Moon blushed and nodded. “J-Just let me know, yeah? I’ll be available! You can give me a call.”
“Indeed, I will. We also have to see the prices for the commission. We should have a meeting for that later.”
Driver Kim opened the door for Moon and the large group of people peeked. Moon stepped out of the limo. “Okay, okay! We’ll be in touch, ya? Thank you for the ride!” He bowed to Jumin, and then bowed to Driver Kim who tipped his hat to him. He then walked inside the school trying to ignore the gaping stares from all the people standing there.
“Cheong Moonsoo!” yelled a shrilly voice and Moon looked around. There in the crowd was Eunji, who walked over to him and pulled him by the ear.
“Who was that?”
“It’s a long story…”
“I want all the details! You better tell me!”
Of course, he didn’t tell Eunji everything. While they walked to the stadium, Moon explained that it was a possible customer for a commission and that he had offered him to give him a ride. It wasn’t the complete truth, but it wasn’t a blatant lie either.
Eunji eyed him suspiciously, but then rearranged his beanie with a smile. “Okay! I believe you! It’s been a long time since you’ve had a customer, right? Since before the Taebaek mountains!”
Moon smiled weakly. “Yeah, all the way before that…”
Eunji grinned. “So, this is great! We should go to celebrate later. I’ll tell everybody else. For now, I gotta go, I have a paper to turn in. Bye!”
Moon waved good-bye at her and soon after, got to the stadium. The rest of the council seemed relieved to see him and he got to work immediately with helping.
True to her word, Eunji rounded up everyone and they waited for him outside the stadium. Taejun, Jieun, and Nari were there and congratulated him, and they walked to the same sushi place to eat.
“I am so not going to the sports festival, Taejun said with his mouth full.
“Seconded,” Nari agreed.
“Guys! You have to go! It’ll be fun!” Moon pouted.
“I have been working my ass off all week,” Taejun shook his head. “I just want to sleep.”
“We had such a tough time animating that short,” Nari nodded. “We just handed it in.”
“Did you pass?” Jieun asked.
“We got a 100,” Taejun grinned and Nari held out a peace sign. They all clapped.
“Wow! Congratulations!” Moon clapped. “You deserved it!”
They kept talking in peace after that. Eunji told the rest that Moon arrived in a limo and they picked fun at him, to which Moon whined at. The dinner was everything that made Moon happy, being together with his friends and laughing until there were tears. They took pictures together, played and just stayed there without a care in the world. And for once he didn’t have any sense of impending doom waiting for him at home – he felt in peace.
707 HAS ENTERED THE CHATROOM.
707: So dayum tired
> [ Tired 707 emoji ]
> Anyone here?
> Mayday! Mayday!
MOON HAS ENTERED THE CHATROOM.
> A survivor!!
Moon: What’s up meow? Over.
707: Wow lol
> Never expected this kind of response lol
> Just wanted to get some attention meow, over.
Moon: You got my attention!
> Backup meow is here, over.
707: I’m sure nothing’s been bothering you?
> Ever since you entered the RFA, I mean lol.
Moon was currently at the apartment, preparing his paints on his palette to start with the painting he had to turn in. Although he saw Seven online, and he had to go talk to him.
Moon: None lol if I had to say. The situation is still weird but
> I just decided to go with the flow y’know?
> Be one with the river!!
> U r stuck in a weird situation,
> but that doesn’t mean ur weird.
> is what I wanted to say.
> I checked one last time
> whether u had anything to do with the hacker
> but ur clean!
> [ Celebrating 707 emoji ]
> I’m still trying to look up anything on the hacker
> but to tell u the results so far
> the hacker that led u to the apartment
> doesn’t seem to have any distinct qualities…
> So I think it’s safe to say that you are completely safe.
> [ In love 707 emoji ]
> I’ll tell V so no worries.
Moon was setting up his easel while Seven sent all these messages. Upon reading this, he smiled to the camera and held up a peace sign.
Moon: Thanks, Seven^^
> Yup, I’ll try harder!
> I’ll defend RFA’s peace!
> By the way,
> Are you going to paint?
> I can see you setting up the easel!
Moon: Yeah! ^-^
> I’m just going to get started.
> Wanna watch?
> I can paint at a certain angle so you can see.
707: Oh yeah!!!
> It’ll be like watching Bob Ross!!
Moon: YOU KNOW BOB ROSS?
> He’s like
> My biggest role-model.
> Yeah lolol
> So wholesome.
Moon grinned and turned the easel at a certain angle. Seven turned the camera a bit, and it whizzed as he did.
707: There! Perfect angle.
> [ Celebrating 707 emoji ]
> Thanks for tuning in!
> I don’t feel so alone if I know you’re there with me
> well, in spirit I mean ; ;
707: I’m with you, Moon.
> 707, Defender of Justice!
> And, art appreciator.
Moon: By the way!
> [ STARRY SKY PICTURE #2 ]
> Took this on the way home. ^^
707: Uwaa! So pretty!
> The moon is full today!
Moon: And the stars are shining brightly. ★^^★
707: They’re sparkling!
> Aaah, wish I could go outside to see them.
Moon: You haven’t gone outside yet? T_T
> I’ve been dealing with deals of work…
> I have to get ready for Friday
> I have an important mission…
> [ Tired 707 emoji ]
> I actually have to leave.
> Got an email from the boss.
Moon: Don’t go T_T
> I’ll be back! Lol
> I’ll be tuning in occasionally to watch Moon Ross paint lolol
707: No sad faces!
> I’ll be here, okay?
707 HAS LEFT THE CHATROOM.
> Have a good night, Seven.
MOON HAS LEFT THE CHATROOM.
hello i am back
usually my updating days are wednesdays but yesterday i had life to tend to :') but I could finally tend to my baby, this fic has become my baby lol
writing jumin is hard and fun at the same time! trying to have him show emotions but at the same time tying to repress them is a weird dynamic I'm trying to get to, and it may seem off to how he acts in the chat but then again we can't see his expression through chat??? and he's a big awkward dork when he first saw MC in the game lol
an overwhelming, overbearing awkward dork, //ahem
i also wanted to exploit his talents in languages, since in the trivia it said that one of his biggest talents were languages. did I have to give him a french chef? no, but did i enjoy imagining jumin speak french? yes, yes i did
i love all of the kudos and comments ;__; <3 I bask on motivation like this, it really brightens my day! thank you for giving this fic a chance ❤
Chapter 5: print ("FAMILIAR")
henlo this was a very long chapter to write
but i figured it would be okay since i'll be leaving for a week due to family christmas stuff
so i hope you enjoy this! also, i have "forgot a word, ate a word, confused it too, hey what is grammar" syndrome and have no beta reader, and don't seem to notice the errors until I upload it :') so sorry about that!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Summer as a child was spent at the beach with friends and ice cream. The coast was right besides the school, and as it wasn’t a tourist section, the kids would go everyday to play. Moon learned how to swim this way, with the boys practicing with one another and helping each other out in case one went too far.
Moonsoo had been very popular the first months of his first middle-school year, since he was the soccer superstar and the gentle-mannered, artistic boy. The boys recognized him, and the girls were head over heels.
That popularity didn’t last long though. That was until Harin transferred into his grade.
“I saw him kissing with another boy,” she sneered. “It was so disgusting, I still can’t get that image out of my head.”
He started getting excluded out school lunches. No one longer picked him for group projects. Suddenly, the couch no longer let him play, no matter how good he was playing.
“Don’t touch me, you’re disgusting,” Kyungseok had told him, afterwards giving him a swift punch in the gut.
Moonsoo didn’t understand what was going on. He didn’t understand why his crush hit him, let alone found him disgusting… He didn’t think that loving someone could be disgusting, and it hurt like hell since he couldn’t stop liking him just like that.
It was a certain day when Kyungseok finally spoke to him once more, inviting him to the beach. It would just be him and Kyungseok. Moon agreed to happily, happy that Kyungseok would be willing to at least give him a chance.
After Seven left, Moon continued painting for an hour more until he stood up to stretch. He at least got past the base, painting a sky the lightest of blues and whites that simulated clouds, and now beginning on the horizon. He decided that he was going to paint the beach back at home by memory. Because the best representation of “beginning” was his beginning.
He stood up to grab his water bottle and his phone rang. He ran to see if it was Seven, but upon seeing the caller ID, he was disappointed (if only by a little bit). “Hello?”
“Hey,” Jaemin said. There was loud music in the backdrop, but moments later it sounded more muffled. Was he in a club right now? On a Monday night?
“Are you busy right now?” he asked once it got more silent. He probably walked into another room.
“Yeah,” sighed Moon. “I have that painting I need to do, the one that got destroyed. I have two days to turn it in and I’m barely starting.”
“Ah, yeah. Sounds rough,” there was a tint of disappointment in Jaemin’s voice. “I wanted to see you tonight, but since you’re busy…”
“You’re going to call a girl,” Moon finished coldly. “If you’re going to call me only when you feel lonely, call your girls first. I don’t have all the fucking time in the world.”
“Of course not,” Jaemin snapped. “It’s not like that. God, I shouldn’t have called you.”
“You shouldn’t of,” Moon murmured. His phone beeped for an incoming call. “I gotta go. Bye.”
Before Jaemin could even say anything, he hung up and took the call without even looking at the ID, although he was still hopeful that it was Seven. “Hello?”
“Hi!” answered a deep, manly but very cheery voice. Moon recognized it instantly. “This is Zen, I believe this is the first time we’ve spoken on the phone. Hello!”
“Waah, this is how your voice sounds close up! I’ve only heard it from your musicals! Hello!” grinned Moon.
Zen laughed. “Yeah, it sounds great, huh?”
“My ears are blessed!”
Zen hummed and gave another laugh, but then he sighed. Moon frowned. “Is something the matter?”
“Uh, actually yeah. I wanted someone to hear me out, and I saw you online…could you do that? I hope I’m not bothering you.”
“Of course not. Shoot.” Moon sat down once more in front of his canvas to continue with the painting. He picked up his round paintbrush and continued painting the horizon while he held the phone in his other hand.
“Well, I auditioned for a role not too long ago…I wanted to keep the surprise and share the seats for you all, but they’re not calling me back…” Zen sounded quite disappointed. His voice, even in a casual call, is very expressive. “They’re supposed to make the announcement today.”
Moon could sympathize; he never auditioned for a play, but he could understand the feeling of not getting selected. Like when a teacher didn’t choose your work as part of the exhibition, or something around those lines. “Cheer up, Zen. Don’t give up yet.”
“I guess I should,” Zen moped. “Thank you. You know, this was a really good one, and I wanted to do it so bad. It’s really sad.”
“It’ll be okay, Zen. I’m sure you have other roles out there waiting for you. Better ones!”
“You’re very positive, I like that!” There was a pause. “I wonder who took my place,” he mused. “I wonder whom they casted. Was his acting different than mine? I wish I could find out exactly what was the kind of character the director was looking for…” Zen groaned loudly and faked a sob. “Man, I really wanted to star in that musical!”
Such a drama queen. Moon chuckled. “What is that musical about?”
“Ahhh, good question! I’ll give you a few details, but no spoiler! It’s a pretty interesting piece, although sad since you won’t be able to see me work…But! The main character, the one I auditioned for, is an ordinary owner of a flower shop. Then one day, he finds himself in a bizarre situation. He wakes up in an unknown place he’s never been to.” Zen paused again, this time for suspense.
“And then what?” Moon gasped.
“He freaks out and runs out to the street, and a stranger talks to him as if they’re friends. He can’t remember a thing, and he worries that he’s suffering from amnesia…but it’s because he has a double personality. He has two different persons inside a single body!”
“Pretty interesting, right?”
“Yeah, it really does sound interesting!”
“I know, right? Right? Haha,” Zen laughed triumphantly. “You know, our tastes in musicals are quite similar. Oh! During the second half of the musical, he discovers his second personality, and the two personas keep popping back and forth to take control of the body. That scene was the one I auditioned for.”
“Whoa, that sounds difficult.”
“Sort of…By acting interchanging from two completely different personas, it was a climax scene altering between desperation and evilness. I’ve never played for this kind of role before…rehearsal was so hard,” Zen admitted, seemingly embarrassed. “But just as rewarding and exciting!”
Moon smiled, even though Zen couldn’t see him. He started mixing the grey he had created and mixed it with a soft blue and began to paint the trace of the waves with a filbert. “It’s okay, Zen. It’s a pain we artists go through. We practice and practice until we get better. But hey, you’re really appreciated! Me and Jaehee are your biggest fans! We, your fans, love you!”
“Thanks…” sniffled Zen. “But hey, you did mention you painted, right?”
“Yes! I go to school for it – I’ve been painting since I could remember.”
“I’ve been acting since I was a teenager, but I love it so much…my parents never agreed with it, though. Did your parents agree with it?”
“Well…” Moon trailed off. “No. Dad wanted me to study something in the finances area, since he runs a restaurant chain back at home in Jeju.”
“Whoa, you’re from Jeju?”
“Ne!” Moon affirmed. “I was born there.”
“Do you speak dialect?”
“Haonjeo opseoye!” Moon said in Jejueo, which was the name of the native language, although most Koreans consider it a dialect, such as Zen.
Zen ahhh’d. “So cool! What does that mean?”
“’Welcome!’ …Or ‘come quick’, maybe. I’m not sure,” laughed Moon. “My dad and grandpa were the ones to teach me, but it was only a little. After grandpa passed away, Dad just stopped. Guess he didn’t know either.”
Zen hummed. “So, are you a rebel like me?”
“Maybe…” giggled Moon. “My dad didn’t want me to study painting, so he didn’t pay for my tuition, Mom did, and she still sends me money. It’s a little, but it’s enough, since she’s keeping it a secret from Dad. He thinks I’m studying business.”
“What?!” exclaimed Zen, and Moon winced. Everybody he tells has the same reaction, but he supposed that if someone told him that, he too would be scandalized.
“I know, but we can’t tell him either. Dad’s really difficult and even if we tried to talk it out, he would be very angry and close off.”
“I understand,” Zen sighed. “I knew someone like that…actually, I’ve had to pay everything ever since I ran away from home.”
They ended up talking for a long time. Zen was a chatterbox and Moon wasn’t any better, either. It wasn’t until Moon realized that two hours had passed and that they both had to wake up early that they decided to finish the call. Thankfully, while he had spoken to Zen, he had advanced a bit on his painting, even if it were just the details that didn’t require too much concentration. Any advance is a good advance.
Moon then went to wash his hands and continued to wash his paintbrushes, leaving them to dry near the window. Once he finished his bedtime routine, he threw himself on the bed and tucked himself under the sheets. He had to wake up in four hours, he almost cried.
His phone vibrated.
- I saw you painting, Moon Ross!
- Actually, I watched you for a long time lolol
- I wanted to talk on the phone too but
- You seemed busy.
- Maybe next time?
Moon groaned and covered himself all the way to the top. His face suddenly felt hot.
Moon: I was waiting for your call!!
- …but Zen beat you to it ;_;
- Could I call you first?
- In the future.
- I may not be able to answer sometimes.
- But sure!!!
- I will later tonight!!!
- We can listen to music. :)
He really did have to get up early tomorrow. But if Seven continued answering like this, then maybe he can have an all-nighter. He didn’t mind.
Is this pining? Do I like Seven? But it’s only been six days. Moon, shut the fuck up.
It didn’t have to be pining. Moon just felt connected to him somehow. Might be the sense of humor.
He waited, and waited, but then a few minutes later he fell asleep.
- You create the playlist lol
707: Did you fall asleep?
- Nighty night, Moonsoo.
Jeon Arin has been reported missing since last week Friday, reported by her roommates in the university as missing. It has been confirmed by the rest of her family and acquaintances that no one has seen her. She left her dorm at Seoul Arts University at around 8:30 PM and was last sighted by the local supermarket with her boyfriend, Park Woojin, and they both left the premises in a black car.
Neither have been sighted since that night. If anyone sees either, please contact…
Tuesday was uneventful. Moon could barely get himself up, but he managed to get to school on time, even if he did look like a mess “You look like shit,” Taejun had commented, to which Moon grunted at and flipped him off.
After breakfast he felt better and could continue helping council with the sports festival. They finished putting the last stands up, and Moon ended up helping the other coordinators organize their groups. He sent a message to his own group, and they met in the afternoon under the nice kiosk by the university’s garden.
The freshmen looked like, well, freshmen in finals. Stressed out of their minds and many had dark circles under their eyes. Moon sighed whimsically while he flipped through the papers on his clipboard. He remembered his freshmen days, being so stressed out he cried. Those were the days.
“Well! Tomorrow is the day for our Sports Day. Lucky, or unlucky for you all, this is obligatory for freshmen at our university, so there isn’t really a choice for you all,” grinned Moon.
There was a collective groan, which Moon ignored.
“I need you all to sign here besides your name and to specify which sport you will be playing. I know we did this weeks ago, but we need to do it again just to double check. Please remember that we’re going up against SKY! It’s a big university, so we need to give our best! But no pressure, okay? It’s about having fun!” Moon put the list on table, and they all got into a single file as they each signed their name.
As they did, a girl whined to Moon. “Oppa! But the sun will be so bright tomorrow!”
“It’s okay,” Moon patted her head. “The sun gives you Vitamin D, and a friend told me that Vitamin D is good for you! You can also wear sunscreen, so it shouldn’t be too bad.”
“Moonsoo sunbae, what sport will you be playing?” a boy asked.
“Soccer!” Moon answered immediately with a peace sign. The group awed and clapped, to which Moon blushed.
“It’s nothing! All of you can sign up to whichever sport you like. Look, since I’m nice, for those who don’t want cardio activity, I recommend the first two hours which will be throwing events such as shot-put, javelin, and more. ONLY sign up for these if you know what you’re getting into. If not, just go for the simple running events, which will be at the end.”
They all nodded and gave signs of acknowledgement, and Moon could sit back and watch them as they signed up. A hand pulled on his sleeve, and he saw Sooyoung and Hyemin looking at him. He gave a small frown. “I heard what happened on the news. Is it true that she left with her boyfriend?”
They both nodded solemnly. Sooyoung wrung her hands. “I told her that guy wasn’t good news! Oppa, he would say weird stuff to her! He would say that they should go to paradise, where it was magenta…or something like that, I never understood.”
“The worst thing is,” seethed Hyemin. “Is that the police aren’t taking it seriously. Oh, she probably left with her boyfriend! They probably went on a vacation!” Hyemin flailed her arms, mimicking the policemen, but as she lowered her arms, her lower lip trembled. “They’d laugh. Why do they laugh? Why can’t they consider that he took her somewhere against her will? Arin would never leave like that…”
Moon’s gaze softened and he rubbed her back, which Hyemin permitted, stepping closer to him. He couldn’t say anything, because whatever he could say would be useless. He understood their anger – he understood it because he felt it too. “The situation is so ridiculous. I just hope that Arin is okay, wherever she is. Cheer up, yeah? She’ll be found safe and sound.”
They both smiled weakly, and then thanked Moon for listening to them. They were the last ones to sign up, so soon afterwards he explained the rest of the details of the Sports Day, answered all questions, and the kids were free to go. They waved goodbye, thanking him for everything before leaving.
He was putting his papers away when Jieun appeared.
“Super Moonsoo coordinator-sunbae has done it again,” she smiled widely. “I’m amazed how you can get them to listen to you. I’ve heard that all the other coordinators are having a hard time!”
“Well,” Moon started, adjusting his backpack. “The secret is just to actually listen. People seem to forget that they were once freshmen and want to act like they run the place just because they’re coordinators. It’s about helping!”
“You and your savior complex,” Jieun teased.
Moon grinned sheepishly. “I really want to help though! Don’t make me look evil!”
They walked across campus, talking about school, Sports Day, and Arin. Jieun was worried – of course, she had the worst anxiety out of them all. Moon tried to soothe her all the same, although he was on same page as everybody.
He remembered Arin. She, Hyemin and Sooyoung had been joined to the hip ever since the beginning of the school year and they were like the three musketeers in Moon’s eyes. Arin was the leader, since she seemed spunkier and more outspoken than her friends. She was wild; Moon had to shut her up dozens of times since her voice was just so loud. But she was nice, nonetheless. Curious, and helpful. She also made Moon laugh his lungs out loads of times.
“Do you want me to escort you to the bus stop?” asked Moon.
Jieun turned to look at him. “Weren’t we going to go eat?”
“Oh! Really? I’m sorry, I can’t today. I have to finish that painting. Tomorrow I’ll be busy all day and it’s for this Thursday.”
Jieun didn’t say anything, she just stopped and sighed, looking disappointed.
“No! Don’t sigh! I’m sorry, I’ll make it up to you, ‘kay?”
Jieun looked up, hopeful. “Promise?”
“Promise.” Moon extended his pinky finger, and Jieun giggled, taking it with her pinky and then stamping their fingers together.
“Okay, you better remember!” She pointed a finger at him.
“You guys are such kids,” Taejun snickered and Moon scowled at him.
They walked all the way to the entrance together, where Jieun explained to them the short comic she started creating, starring Taejun, the grumpy unicorn and his two friends, Jieun the silly squirrel and Moon the cat with the big square glasses.
“Why am I the grumpy one?” Out of being grumpy and a unicorn, of course Taejun would get offended of the grumpy part.
“Because you always have that grumpy face!” laughed Moon, until Taejun poked his side hard with his finger, to which Moon complained.
Eventually, they parted ways, Taejun assuring Moon that he would take Jieun to the bus stop. From there, he could relax and walk back home, buying some Bungeo-ppang or fishbread as he got back.
MOON HAS ENTERED THE CHATROOM.
707: You’re home!
> I see that you bought bungeo-ppang!
> I bought some too!
> [ Common Picture #27 ]
> Nom nom nommy
> You eat the belly first!
> And I eat the heads first
> Evil Moonsoo!
Yoosung: You’re both evil ;;;
707: The belly is where the insides are!
Moon: I just like eating the head first.
> Isn’t that where everybody eats from first?
> so it’s nothing special
707: You know what would make it better?
Moon: Honey Buddha chips *-*
> You totally get me lol
Speaking of which, Moon stood up to get a bag from underneath the cupboards, right from where he was storing the whole box load Seven had sent him. He did realize he was procrastinating, but he couldn’t bring himself to leave the chatroom right now.
707: Moon got some Honey Buddha Chips!
> Now we’re eating the same thing!!!!
Moon: It’s from the box you sent me haha
> I’ve been eating them slowly.
> Don’t want them to run out :(
707: That’s not how you eat them!!
> You have to eat the whole bag in one sitting
> and eat them with PhD Pepper.
> A godsent combination
> [ Celebrating 707 emoji ]
Moon: And with bungeo-ppang
> this is heaven
> right here
Yoosung: Guuuys I don’t have any Honey Buddha Chips
> You should tell me!!!
> How’d you get some?
707: You don’t know how to get Honey Buddha Chips???
> [ Shocked 707 emoji ]
> That’s why I’m asking.
707: [ Bright eyes 707 emoji ]
> The secret is…
> To get boxes of them!!
> Lots and lots of them
> [ Bright Eyes 707 emoji ]
Yoosung: But how do you do that T_T
> I heard that
> You have to bribe the convenience store worker
> just to get a bag
> It’s a special talent you know
> To get boxes
> Not everybody can do it…
707: That’s right!
> I’m not just anyone.
> I’m Seven the Great, that’s why it’s possible lol
Moon: All hail Seven the Great!
> Bow down, meow!!
> How did you get the Honey Buddha Chips?
Moon: Seven had been nice all year round and got them from Santa uwu
> How did u
Yoosung: [ Sighing Yoosung emoji ]
707: Did u have someone tail me or sth=
Yoosung: Seven, just tell me. lol
707: Then I’ll tell u.
Yoosung: Wow! I’m so focused right now! lolol
> Should I get a pen ready?
> get ready to take notes.
> So I got the Honey Buddha Chips…
> from the box in my warehouse.
Yoosung: [ Sighing Yoosung emoji ]
> So how did you get the box?
Yoosung: What is it?;;
707: So, I have a story behind this.
> I love stories
> Tell us! >_<
707: i guess you’re really interested
> in Honey Buddha Chips too, Moon. lol
> Well, I guess
> it is the most popular snack these days lol
YOOSUNG: So what’s your story?
> I wanna have a story of my own too.
707: It’s a long one.
> And u kind of have to have an understanding of exploitation in the work place…
Yoosung: Exploitation? What?;;
> Beep beep beep beep.
> I just got work!!
Yoosung: Did you just type a sound?
Moon: Something serious must be happening!!!
> Red alert! Red alert!
> We must be evacuate everyone in the building
707: Listen to Moon!
> Everyone, evacuate!!
> I repeat!
Yoosung: You said you just got work. Why do we have to evacuate?;;
Yoosung: [ Sighing Yoosung emoji ]
707: I’ll tell you later.
707 HAS LEFT THE CHATROOM.
> He just ran off, right?;;
Moon frowned, glancing over to the camera and wondering if he really had suddenly gotten work. He had started playing because that’s what it had seemed like, but Seven had been serious.
Moon: Ya… He just ran off.
Yoosung: So mean T_T
> He has boxes of it T_T
> And he doesn’t want to share with the rest of us T_T
> Seven only listens to V;;
> And I’ve been thinking
> we are really having the party, right?;
> We keep on coming up with potential guests,
> but we haven’t even
> set the date for the party;;
Moon: ; ;
> I’m just keeping my faith in V.
Yoosung: How can you trust him when you don’t even know him?;;
> What if V just goes into hiding and we end up not having the party again?
> I am living in his house ^^;
> I have to trust him
Yoosung: It’s a problem that everyone trusts V so much.
> Am I the only one worried?
Moon: Yoosung, let’s just wait a bit more~
> It’ll be okay, yeah?
> The party will be great
> you’re trying to do your best
> but if the party doesn’t happen,
> you’d have been here for nothing.
> If that happens, I’m gonna get a bit mad.
> We’re finally starting to get to know each other;;
Moon: Yoosung, I appreciate you thinking about me,
> But I kinda have to trust V on this.
> So calm down.
Yoosung: I’m just frustrated.
> Seriously… So frustrating.
> It’s been almost a week since you’d showed up.
> Nothing specific has been set so far.
Moon: V is probably just busy. Jumin did mention he goes out to a lot of business trips;;.
> Besides, it’s too soon, I think.
> Cheer up.
> He’ll set the date soon.
Yoosung: You really think so?
> I’ll trust him.
Yoosung: That’s what everyone keeps saying;;
> To be honest, I’m really worried
> about this party and how well it’ll go.
> Last time, we had a lot of time to prepare, but since you’re new to the whole thing…
> I don’t feel like the party can be that big this time;;
Moon: Well, there’s a first time for everybody, right?
> Have a little faith in me.
> If I can prepare a Sports Day festival between two schools,
> this will be easy peasy lol
> I’m sure everybody else will be helping out, so it’ll be ok
Yoosung: I really don’t know about that.
Moon frowned once more. For the past days, Yoosung has been quite vocal in his distrust in V. He wondered if there was any specific reason – even though everybody respected V, Yoosung just seemed to be sick of him.
Moon: I understand.
Yoosung: Really? Thank god T_T
> I’m just really thankful that we get to hold the parties again.
> I just want everyone to be considerate so that it’s not too hard on you!
Moon: You’re so sweet!
> And I get what you mean.
> But let’s just wait for V a bit.
> Say it with me.
Moon: Pretty please? ;;
Yoosung: I guess that’s the only option I have.
Moon: No moping allowed!
> Turn that frown upside down.
> We’ll get to see each other tomorrow!!
> I can bring you a bag of Honey Buddha chips from my stash
> So smile!!
Yoosung: [ Smiling Yoosung emoji ]
> You’re right!!
> We’ll meet each other for the first time, haha
> I’m nervous though…
> You’re going to see me run ; ;
Moon: Come on Yoosung
> I’m not there to laugh lol
> I’m going to cheer for you!!!
Yoosung: Hyung…you’re so nice ; ;
> I did complain about V a bit but don’t worry about it.
> I still have some things I want to know from him, but he’s not a bad person.
Moon: Don’t worry. The party will happen for sure.
Yoosung: Yup~! It has to.
> I’ve been waiting for it.
> I have to go to LOLOL.
> Think someone just said there’s a rare item up for grabs T_T
> It’s not good to spend so much time playing games.
Yoosung: Yup! Okay.
> See you later!
YOOSUNG ★ HAS LEFT THE CHATROOM.
Moon gave a deep sigh and set his phone aside. He glanced at his painting, still waiting for him. I really just did waste 20 minutes in just chatting, did I?
So, he decided to get himself into action. He changed into comfortable clothes, connected his speakers to his laptop, and got to painting, leaving his cellphone charging on a faraway table, right where it couldn’t distract him.
Five hours in and Moon had advanced it considerably now, getting hardest but most beautiful and fun part finished: the waves. The waves hit the coast, crashing into each and onto rocks by the beach. He was meticulous in his details – he mixed blues, greens, and whites to get that effect just right, crashing into the brown and gray rocks.
He was just going to start drawing further details in these rocks when his phone rang. He set his palette down and picked up. “Hello?”
“Hello! This is Seven-oh-seven speaking, is Moonsoo Ross available?”
Moon hummed, thoughtful. He went down to turn down his speakers. “Moonsoo Ross isn’t available right now. Please leave a message after the beep. Beeep.”
“Nooo! I’ve been waiting for his call all day!” Seven whined. “He hasn’t called me! He told me that we were going to listen to music.”
“Are you still busy?” asked Moon.
“Weeeeell, I am! But I wanted to listen to music and remembered that you mentioned about listening to music together. I can see you painting.”
“Oh! I’m listening to music right now. Can you hear?”
“Yeah! Is that Madonna?”
Moon blushed. He looked at the camera. “Yeah, I really like her. Would you like me to change it?”
“Don’t! Is this your personal playlist?” asked Seven.
“Then leave it. I want to listen to what you listen. They say that you can really tell how a person is when you listen to their personal playlist.”
“It’s a mess…” Moon chuckled. “I listen to all types of music, in lots of languages.”
“All the better! We can just listen. I’ll work while you paint. It’s looking great, by the way!”
“Thanks,” Moon smiled. “And okay, we can listen to my personal playlist,” he finally agreed, feeling a bit embarrassed and hoped that some of his guilty pleasures won’t appear. He turned the speaker up once more, and he heard Seven typing once more, and he set him on loudspeaker so that if he spoke, Moon would hear. He set his phone done, but right beside him.
Immediately his playlist changed to a k-pop, more specifically to his favorite girl group in the whole wide world, Girl’s Generation. Genie started in the background and Moon cursed the shuffle mode so hard.
Seven snickered. “Is that Girl’s Generation?”
“Shut the fuck up and listen. It’s the best song by the best girl group in the world.”
Seven continued to laugh and Moon pouted to the camera. But as the song continued, he could hear Seven singing the chorus softly, probably not noticing himself. Moon grinned and sang with him. The rest of the night was spent like this, both in silence except from the occasional singing. Moon would skip the song if Seven didn’t seem to react to the song, putting the excuse that he wasn’t in the mood for the song. A lot of Moon’s guilty pleasures showed up, some of them were Seven’s guilty pleasures too.
By the end of the night, Seven asked Moon to repeat Genie.
Buses started lining up outside the university’s stadium and Moon lined up his freshman group with his whistle. The sleepy group lined up yawning, and Moon clapped at them so they could react.
Afterwards, the rest of the years came piling in, Jieun and Eunji dragging sleepy Nari and Taejun into the stadium and sitting on the bleachers. They had said they weren’t coming, but Moon had managed to convince them in the end (although they would never admit it).
“The water bottle station is over there by Mrs. Choi! Over there is the first aid station if you need it. Have fun! I’ll be here if you need me.”
The group nodded and went to their spot on the bleachers. Moon went with the rest of student council to receive the guests, SKY university. A large, never-ending group came piling in, and Moon scanned around to see if he could see a certain blonde head around.
He finally did see the familiar face he was looking for. Yoosung was all the way on the back, looking like death itself. Probably did another all-nighter. They locked eyes, and Moon smiled widely and waved at him, to which Yoosung waved shyly back.
Moon gave him a thumbs up and then went to stand beside the student council president. He started off by thanking SKY university and explaining the schedule and other things. Moon repressed the urge to yawn; he himself had fallen asleep late.
“And finally, we will have our third-year Cheong Moonsoo explain the rest.”
Moon took the mic. “Thank you, Mister President, and welcome! I hope everybody has fun today. Now, please separate into groups according to your year. We will have one member of student council escorting you around and assisting you if you require it. Freshmen will be coming with me, so please listen or you’ll get the whistle! Do not hesitate to ask any of us for help.”
Moon managed to organize the group, escorting them to the bleachers behind his own group. Afterwards, he went to assist his group, bringing water bottles for some of the boys and sunscreen for the girls.
Yoosung watched in awe. Moon finally went to stand behind him, drinking water himself.
“You do all this? Hyung, you’re amazing.”
Moon laughed. “What are you talking about? This is my job!”
The opening event started off, by both principles having a speech and whatnot. Moon almost fell asleep, until they paid respects to the flag, to which he had to look strictly alert.
Once the event was officially inaugurated, Moon escorted the large freshman group to their section. Luckily, the student council from SKY was also there to assist him with organizing those who had signed up for the first event, which was throwing and archery. The rest who didn’t sign up for these events were left to chill on the grass.
Moon looked for Yoosung, expecting him to be with one of the many groups that were sitting on the grass. But when he found him, he saw him by himself and under the shade, fidgeting with his phone.
The blonde boy looked up and his purple eyes widened. “Moonsoo-hyung!”
Moon sat down beside him, and Yoosung put his phone down. They sat in an awkward silence, until Moon patted Yoosung on the head. A part of Moon had thought Yoosung more cheerful, like he was in the RFA chat, but he guessed that it was easier to be a certain matter behind a screen. In any case, Yoosung didn’t owe him anything to be cheerful straight away either. And that was okay.
Yoosung smiled weakly. “I must look super lame, huh?”
“Why do you say that?” Moon asked.
“I’m by myself… Mostly everybody here is with friends, and well, you found me hiding alone.”
Moon sat silent, and saw some freshman fail miserably at the shot-put. I told them that they shouldn’t have signed up for this event if they didn’t know what they got themselves into. He shook his head and then turned to Yoosung. “There’s nothing lame about that. Some people have a hard time making friends – that’s nothing to be ashamed of.”
Yoosung brought his knees to his chest. “You’re shining. Everybody listens to you, and you seem to be liked instantly by everybody…you’re kind of like Rika in that sense. She had this…this amazing ability to convince people and bring out the best in them.”
Moon shrugged. “I don’t know about that. I just know that I really want to help. I really like helping. It makes my soul happy.”
“Rika would say something like that…” Yoosung pressed his face between his knees, then turned to look at Moon. “Are you religious, hyung?”
Moon sputtered. “What’s this talk about religion all of a sudden? Come on, Yoosung!” Moon suddenly stood up, dusting himself off. He outstretched his hand, picking up Yoosung up by a pull. “I’ll present you my friends, how about that? They’re really nice! You’ll like them.”
Moon brought him to the archery station, to where Jieun, Eunji, and Nari were focused on Taejun, who stood out with his crazy pink hair. All the guys from SKY were staring at him weirdly, including Yoosung. His friends, however, were holding their breath as he held the bow up, to then let the arrow go, hitting bulls’ eye. They all clapped, with Jieun and Eunji jumping and Moon whistling. “Way to go!”
Taejun glanced at them then looked away. Obviously, he was trying to look cool.
“He’s full of piercings!” gasped Yoosung. “The one on his on top of his nose looks really painful.”
“Well, he’s never complained about it,” Moon said thoughtfully. “But Taejun would rather drop dead and dye his hair pink over complaining about a piercing,” laughed Moon. “His first piercing was his tongue piercing back when we were in high school. He got in so much trouble for it with his mom.”
Yoosung looked amazed and Jieun tapped on Moon’s shoulder. “Who’s this?” she asked.
Moon grinned and hugged Yoosung around the shoulders. “I adopted a baby boy from SKY. Isn’t he cute? He’s my little baby.”
“H-Hyung, please,” Yoosung squirmed, and Moon just hugged him tighter. The three girls rolled their eyes and Moon laughed.
“This is my friend Yoosung! Yoosung, this is Nari, Eunji, and Jieun. They’re my closest friends.”
“You never told me you had a friend from SKY,” Jieun frowned.
“It’s a long story,” Moon looked away and Yoosung laughed nervously. Jieun didn’t seem to buy it but didn’t question further.
Taejun continued for three rounds more and won against SKY. The four friends, including Moon, cheered very loudly for him. Yoosung hid his face and acted as if he didn’t know them.
When Taejun came back with a gold medal, they all clapped but in a more proper matter. Yoosung had wondered what had gotten into them. That was until Moon stood firm, and they both saluted each other like soldiers.
“Taejun-ssi, you have bought this kingdom great pride.”
“It was my pleasure, Coordinator Moonsoo.”
Then they fist-bumped like the bros they were.
Taejun noticed a small presence besides him and stared at Yoosung, who hid behind Moon. Moonsoo had been right, thought Yoosung. He really is tall and scary!
“Who lost a kid?” he asked. Yoosung blushed.
“I adopted a baby!” Moon grinned. “He’s my baby, so please take care of him when I go play, yeah?”
Taejun continued to stare at Yoosung but ultimately shrugged. “Cool with me. Are you going to leave now?”
Moon glanced at his cellphone clock. “Forty-five minutes more. I’ll be able to watch Jieun do the pole vault.”
They went to go watch her at the station, with her pretty red hair up in a bun. Yoosung thought she looked very pretty.
Jieun came in second place, but all the friends clapped all the same, Yoosung along with them. She came back with a silver medal, sighing in disappointment, but still smiling. Eunji hugged her and Moon patted her back.
“Well! Gotta be leaving now. Please watch Yoosung for me, okay?”
The friends agreed and Yoosung felt like a child. “Hyung, I’m not a kid.”
“But you are MY kid,” grinned Moon, still being annoying. He took his glasses off and handed them to Yoosung. “Take care of these for me, please. I’ll be right back!”
The last thing Yoosung saw before he could complain some more were Moon’s eyes. They were a bright golden, he noticed, although not as bright as Sevens’, rather a warmer tone. But when the sun hit them just right, they shined brightly.
Yoosung felt Taejun’s stare piercing at him and all he could do was try to edge away, to which Taejun just followed him.
“Stop scaring him!” Eunji told him.
“I’m not doing anything!” Taejun replied, still not tearing his gaze away from him. “He’s hiding by himself. Hey, where do you know Moonsoo from?”
“U-Um…” Yoosung realized that Moon had listened to V and not told his friends anything. He considered it to be the for the best, whether he likes V or not – but he didn’t ever imagine that he would get interrogated by his friends, especially by the tall, scary looking friend that looked like he could snap Yoosung like a twig. So, he thought of a quick lie. “Through an application!”
Taejun looked at him weirdly. “What sort of application?”
Realization dawned on Taejun, and he sighed. “Okay, you don’t have to tell me more. Have you gone to his house yet?”
“Um, no, not yet,” Yoosung smiled sheepishly. “I don’t know where he lives yet.”
Taejun shook his head. “Give him an empty house and he does this… Okay, listen, kid. I’m his best friend but I can tell you this: Moon looks innocent but he’s not, trust me. He’s got some experience, but that doesn’t mean he’s not a big crybaby. Well, I think you would like experience? I don’t know.”
Yoosung frowned. “Experience…?” Then it dawned on him that maybe Taejun knew about Moon being the party coordinator. His eyes brightened and he nodded. “Of course! Experience is really important.”
Taejun seemed uncomfortable for a moment, and then he snorted. “Yeah, well, that’s none of my business. I’ll just it leave like that. Just take care of him. He’s…” Taejun paused and crossed his arms. He suddenly had a sad look on his face. “He’s been through a lot.”
Yoosung didn’t really understand at what Taejun was getting at, but he understood the last part. He nodded once more. “Okay. I’ll try my best.”
Taejun patted his shoulder. “Thanks.”
The teams came out and shook hands before going to their stations. Moon stood as goalie, tying his shoe quickly before the game officially started. Yoosung recognized that a few people from his school: they were from the official football team at school, and he knew them to be fierce. They immediately attacked Seoul Art’s without leaving them much room to even react.
The forward from SKY kicked directly to the goal and it was then caught by Moon. Seoul Art’s cheered wildly. It was like this for the last three shots, Moon caught them all. The SKY team had begun to feel frustrated, not even letting Seoul Arts take the ball. Seoul Art’s was just relieved that they hadn’t scored a thing.
It was war: SKY versus Moon.
YOOSUNG ★ HAS ENTERED THE CHATROOM.
> [ MOON PHOTO AT THE FIELD. ]
> Moon is playing right now!!
> He looks so cool!
Moon had seemed to notice a camera on him and met eyes with Yoosung. He grinned at him, distracted, and it was at this moment that SKY took opportunity and managed to score a goal past him. Seoul Art’s groaned and Moon shrugged, embarrassed.
Seoul Art’s realized that they couldn’t leave Moon alone like this. So, they started playing better, taking the ball when they could and taking it to the other side. At least now it didn’t look unilateral. But it was when the forward and the SKY forward fought for the ball and the forward fell, his ankle twisting badly as he did.
The referee called time out and Moon ran to the forward. It was one of his freshmen.
“Woohyun, are you okay?” Moon asked. The freshmen shook his head, his leg trembling.
“Sorry, sunbae, I wanted to help you…It really hurts, ah.”
Moon shook his head. “It’s okay. Just go to first aid, yeah?”
And so, it was like this how Moon ended up as forward for the second half of the game, since the only other replacement they had was for goalie. But when they started playing, Moon could compete with them. He was at least on the same level as them.
Now it looked like a game. The teams spent it on the two sides of the field instead of just one. But Moon ran. He made signs for his team to give the ball and once he received it, he took the shot and managed to also score past the SKY goalie.
Moon’s friends cheered so loud that they startled Yoosung.
Yoosung★: He scored!!
> He scored a goal!!
> [ Celebrating Yoosung emoji ]
Soon enough, the game ended, and it was a tie. The teams shook hands once more, and Moon ran to the bleachers where Yoosung and the rest sat. He sat exhausted besides Yoosung.
“Moonsoo! Don’t be gross! You’re all sweaty!” Nari exclaimed, and Moon received a towel from Taejun and a water bottle from Jieun. Yoosung gave him his glasses
“Hyung, you were so cool!” Yoosung grinned, and Moon smiled embarrassed.
“It’s nothing! I could’ve done better, but I haven’t played that much in a long time. I really had to sprint to score that one, I’m so out of shape," Moon panted.
“You really were cool!” Yoosung nodded again, and then he stood up. “I got to go now; the running events are going to start.”
“Oh yeah! Let’s go!”
They walked to the running track and Moon sat down exhausted on the grass. Jieun offered her legs and he took them, laying his head on them. She played around with his hair.
Yoosung gaped at him but Nari and Eunji dragged him away, since they were going to be in the event too. Taejun sat besides Jieun, and they watched the trio walk away.
Eunji was speaking amicably to Yoosung and he seemed to be trying his hardest to do the same. Nari commented here and there, but that’s how she was, a woman of few words. Yoosung went with his school and they seemed to talk to him now too, curious to why he was with people from the other school. Yoosung now seemed flustered. Moonsoo smiled, sitting up now to see him interact with people.
They started with the running event and Moon cheered so loud that everyone looked at him weirdly. Neither Taejun nor Jieun seemed to be bothered by this, though. Yoosung would blush like crazy, but he seemed to enjoy this attention.
MOON HAS ENTERED THE CHATROOM.
Moon: Look at our Yoosungie!
> [ YOOSUNG AT THE TRACK PHOTO. ]
> Cheer for him, guys!
The running events finally ended and the three came back with medals and compliments form Moon, Taejun, and Jieun.
“Can we go eat later?” Taejun groaned. “I’m so hungry!”
“Do you want to come with us?” Moon asked Yoosung.
Yoosung shuffled his feet, but then smiled. “Sure.”
The Sport’s Day event ended around 4:30 pm, and after the closing ceremony, the schools were free to interact in a small fair that the student council had organized days prior. Moon, Yoosung and friends went to the same sushi place though.
“What do you like to do?” Eunji asked Yoosung.
“Well,” Yoosung paused, and in a low, shy voice he said: “I like to play LOLOL.”
“YOU LIKE TO PLAY LOLOL?” Nari practically sprang up the table as she said this, startling everyone else in the process. “What’s your username?”
Somehow, Yoosung now seemed brighter. “Superman Yoosung!”
Nari gasped again. “I know you! You’re second in the leadership board right now! You’re so cool! Let’s be friends.”
“This is the most expressive I’ve seen Nari in weeks,” Taejun commented, and the rest snickered.
After Yoosung and Nari exchanged LOLOL information, they continued their dinner and speaking about relatively nothing. Yoosung got brighter and brighter as the moments passed, and Moon saw him as the cheery Yoosung that he was in the chat.
Yoosung★: [ FRIENDS GROUP PHOTO ]
> I’m having fun ^^
Moon: Guys! Don’t be jealous when you see this, lol.
> We can all go eat sushi later.
YOOSUNG ★ HAS LEFT THE CHATROOM.
MOON HAS LEFT THE CHATROOM.
When they finished dinner, it was dark out, and they all went to separate ways. Jieun was going to stay over Nari and Eunji’s dorm for a sleep-over. They kept speaking and Taejun felt comfortable enough to tease Yoosung, who complained all the same.
“Your reactions are funnier than Moonsoo’s,” he sniggered. “But don’t think you’re going to save yourself.” He looked at Moon pointedly
Moon rolled his eyes. “Yeah, yeah, I know!”
“Anyways, I gotta go. Are you guys leaving now?” Taejun asked.
“Yeah, I’m taking Yoosung home,” Moon smiled.
“Alright, be safe. Remember to use a condom!”
Yoosung looked scandalized and Moon almost tripped. He covered Yoosung’s ears. “Taejun, what the fuck?!”
“What do you mean, what the fuck? He told me you met through a messaging application! You didn’t tell me you had downloaded it again!”
“That’s because I haven’t, you pervert!”
Yoosung realized at what he had meant back then now and blushed like mad. “Oh! No, no, it’s nothing like that!” He shook his head. “It’s just a regular messaging app.”
Taejun stopped in his tracks. “Oh, really?”
“Yes!” Moon groaned. “Holy shit, dingus!”
Taejun busted out a guffaw. “I’m so sorry!” Moon scowled and Yoosung was still very much embarrassed as Taejun kept laughing his guts out. Once his giggles subsided, he patted both of their heads. “I’m sorry,” he repeated. “Be careful on your way home then, alright?” He continued laughing as he left, and Moon rolled his eyes.
“Ignore Taejun, alright? They dropped him on the head as a baby.”
As they left campus and were walking down a silent park, Yoosung took the chance.
“Are you together with Jieun-noona?”
Moon started laughing. “Jieun? We’ve been friends for a long time, but no! What makes you think that?”
Yoosung looked confused. “Well, she’s always looking out for you… And always wants to be close to you in some way…her eyes seem to sparkle when she looks at you.”
Moon gave a thoughtful look. “I don’t think so. I think she’d like someone manlier; don’t you agree? I’m too skinny.”
Yoosung laughed. “No, you’re not, hyung! You can be manly.”
“We both can be manly like Zen,” Moon agreed.
“Just take the narcissistic part out…” Yoosung sighed, and then walked in silence. A few moments earlier, Taejun had insinuated that he and Moon would be going home together in that sense. He had also told him that Moon had experience and that he wasn’t innocent. Moon didn’t seem to get the disgusted by the idea either – uncomfortable since it was Yoosung, probably, but not the fact that it was with a guy.
“Hey, Moon hyung… Do you… like boys?”
Moon stopped dead in his tracks, and Yoosung stopped to look at him. Yoosung didn’t think he’d ever see that expression on Moon’s face – nervous, embarrassed, but overall scared.
“You can tell me, hyung.”
Moon faltered, opening his mouth to try to reply. But ultimately, he nodded. “Yeah. I’m gay.”
Yoosung nodded and patted his back. “It’s okay. You don’t have to keep it a secret.”
“I don’t, really,” Moon shrugged. They started walking once more. “I mean, all my friends know, and student council and some teachers. But, it’s not something that I go around saying, hey, look at me, I’m gay, can’t do that. Especially in our society. But it is a part of me.”
“I understand. It’s nothing bad, okay? Don’t think I’m going to go telling people. I won’t even tell the rest of RFA.”
Moon smiled. “Thank you.”
“I’m…I’m really thankful that you were honest with me,” Yoosung admitted. “I’m used to people keeping secrets from me. They think I’m too childish, or that I’m too sensitive. But I am capable of listening. So…thank you for trusting me.”
Moon patted his back. “You’re not too sensitive, your heart is in the right place. It’s pure, and there’s not many people like that. And I won’t be keeping any secrets from you, Yoosung! Promise.”
Yoosung grinned and turned around and hugged him. Moon was taken by surprise but hugged him back anyways.
That was until he saw a flash. Moon pulled away to see a pair of guys looking at them and laughing, one of them with their phones out. Moon immediately stomped over them.
“Why are two guys hugging?” the one with the phone jeered, and this was the one Moon grabbed by the collar.
“Erase that picture,” Moon growled. “Erase that fucking picture right now!” he yelled.
Yoosung looked scared. “Hy-Hyung, it’s nothing bad-”
“Do you really think that I would take a photo of that, fag?” the guy snarled, and Moon almost punched him. Yoosung and the other guy had to intervene, separating both. They said nothing more as a policeman walked by, and they parted ways.
Yoosung and Moon walked in silence until they got to the bus station. Moon was still trembling. “I’m sorry you had to see me like this.”
Yoosung patted his back soothingly. Moon’s shoulders slumped and his eyes burned.
“It’s been hard, hasn’t it?” Yoosung asked softly. Moon nodded.
“It’s okay. I’ll defend you next time!” Yoosung grinned. “It’s okay,” he repeated once more.
Moon wiped his eyes quickly and took a deep breath. “Yeah. Thank you.” Then his eyes widened. “I almost forgot!” From his backpack, he took out a fresh new bag of Honey Buddha chips.
Yoosung gasped. “You remembered!”
“Of course,” Moon grinned. “Wouldn’t forget that!”
The bus stopped and Yoosung got on. “Hyung, be careful on your way home!”
“Alright,” Moon nodded, and waved good-bye as the bus left.
While walking home, he remembered to snap a picture of the sky.
Moon: Hey Seven.
- [ NIGHT SKY PHOTO #3 ]
- It's kinda cloudy today ^^;
- Hope you still like it.
- Behind the clouds there's still a sky,
- and in the sky there's the stars.
- So it's still good!!
- Like you Moon
- So it's okie dokie
wOooOOOo almost 9k words
it was really fun to write though lol
this is my "in defense of Kim Yoosung" chapter. the thing is that i've always thought that the game really made his character misunderstood and in the end underestimated him. They made him plain frustrating in some routes (especially V's), but to some extent, it's understandable. Yoosung is struck with grief; he lost someone whom he was very dependent of emotionally. And he WAS really dependent of Rika, even going to the lengths of selecting a career to please her. Don't get me wrong - being a vet is a noble and great career, but in the end it was to please Rika. And in his route, it wasn't until he found a girlfriend that he was able to move on.
I understand that the game made this for romantic purposes, but I want to explore Yoosung's full potential - he doesn't need someone to discover himself. He's highly emotional and sensitive, but because of this, I think he has the widest heart out of everyone in the RFA. He really felt complete helping out people.
So yeah, this is one of my many missions in this fic. Lol sorry for the rant and thank you for coming to my Ted talk.
In any case! I won't be posting next week because I have to travel across two states in bus :') bUT I will be back!!!
So see you until then!! and Merry Christmas~!
Chapter 6: ERROR 707
did you really think i was going to leave you all without a chapter? s i k e
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
707 HAS ENTERED THE CHATROOM.
707: Whaaaa you guys went to go eat sushi T_T
> Wish I could go
> Haven’t eaten all day since the bulgeo-ppang
> My stomach is growling and it’s demanding food
> It’s starting to eat the rest of my insides slowly T____T
> NEED FOOD!!!!
> MY STOMACH IS EATING MY LIVER!!!!!!!!
Seven groaned. No one was answering, not even Yoosung who was always on his phone. He laid his head on his desk and tried to bury himself in his sweater – he hasn’t been able to sleep, eat or even shower with all the workload he currently has. He absolutely hated missions because of this (well, one of the many reasons). The company provided money for all this, sure, but the agents were the ones who had to do everything else. The investigation itself, book the plane, hotel, rent a car. And these were just the simple things – sometimes they would have to forge a whole new identity, creating the rest of the story for said identity.
Seven was doing this right now. He was currently creating his new identity, a woman by the name of Mary. He’s been spending days hacking into systems to register her name, although he only planned to use her for this occasion. Nevertheless, this was standard procedure.
“Mary,” Seven muttered to himself. “Mary Vanderwood the 3rd…”
“Have you stopped shitting around?” Vanderwood asked, coming in and reeking of cigarettes. “I finished up cleaning up that mess you have in your living room.”
“Don’t tell me you were smoking in there! That defeats the whole purpose!”
Vanderwood rolled his eyes. “I didn’t, you idiot.”
Seven sighed in relief.
“I smoked in the kitchen, it’s empty anyways.”
Seven groaned and put his hood up, burying his head in his arm. Vanderwood sat beside him, reading what Seven has so far. After a moment, he made a face. “Mary Vanderwood? Did you really have to take my name?”
“Haven’t eaten. No creativity. Need food,” Seven grunted, his voice muffled by his arm.
Vanderwood rolled his eyes. “I’ll bring you some food, you big baby. Would you like some pizza?”
“Yeah,” moped Seven, nodding.
Vanderwood left and in that moment, from the corner of his eye, he saw Moon arrive at his house. He looked exhausted. He saw him take his cellphone out, and his own cellphone vibrated minutes after.
Moon: Can I call you later?
Seven thought about it. Vanderwood would take an hour and a half, two hours tops. The nearest pizza parlor was six kilometers away and he was not a fast driver. Also, he always took an extra fifteen minutes because of the security system, the doofus.
- I’ll be waiting for your call >_<
Moon: Okay ^^
- I’m going to go take a shower first.
- Wait for me.
Seven saw him disappear into his bedroom and then he turned around back to his main screen. Mary Vanderwood used to be a cleaning lady who got employed by Michael Allen (Vanderwood’s alias) and has been working for him ever since. She was born in Ireland and is 26 years old. She likes long walks by the beach and dislikes smelly men.
A few moments later, Moon reappeared, drying his hair with a towel and had already changed into his pajamas. He yawned and started getting his paint and brushes ready to continue his painting, although it was already as good as done, Seven thought. It looked beautiful, and he was looking at it through a black and white security camera. It must be better in person.
Once Moon set everything up, he called him, and Seven picked up and then put his most formal voice ever. “Did you eat dinner? Eating three nutritiously balanced meals regularly every day is critical to your physical and mental health.”
He could see Moon frown. “Jumin?”
“I’ll have Assistant Kang prepare a meal plan for you. Assistant Kang?”
There was a silence and Seven almost laughed upon seeing Moon completely confused. Finally, he said, “Your trial version of Jumin Han’s voice service has expired. What a shame. From now on, you will be charged one Honey Buddha Chip bag every ten seconds. Do you wish to continue?”
“No!” Moon exclaimed. “Bring Seven back!”
Seven gave a laugh finally. “You missed me. Here I am in all my glory!” He hummed happily. “Anyways, I’m glad to see that you’re doing well. Is everything okay at the apartment?”
“Yeah, everything is fine. I have to finish this painting…” Moon sighed. “Thanks for caring.”
“I’m more caring than I seem! To explain better…I can’t stop talking about my ardent love for Elly!”
Moon laughed. “I love Elly too! I met her the other day. She’s so cute!”
“Ohh! Did Han Jumin interrogate you in his famous penthouse already?”
“Kind of. We just had lunch. He was really nice.”
“Han Jumin? Nice?” Seven gasped. “That’s a good joke.”
“I’m being honest! We had a complete lunch. Oh! And I also got to know Jaehee and Yoosung now. I haven’t met Zen yet, but he called me yesterday. We might meet up later too. When will I get to see you?”
“Hmmmm…” Seven droned thoughtfully. “What would you do for me?”
“Anything, oh GodSeven! Grace me with your presence!”
“Tararaaa~! Soon! Maybe. I’ll be busy this weekend; I’ll be leaving on Friday morning.”
“Oh…” Moon set a paintbrush down and looked at the camera. “You’re going to be away this whole weekend?”
Seven looked at the screen too. Moon looked disappointed. He wondered what color his eyes were… “Yeah, I probably won’t even appear in the chat.”
Moon looked down and picked up another paint brush. “Okay. I’ll be waiting for you here. Have you eaten yet?”
“Seven! You gotta eat! Have you even slept?”
Seven laughed again nervously. “No…”
Moon set a paintbrush down adamantly and looked directly at the camera once more. “Seven, they can’t be doing this to you. Please go eat something. Get some rest. I’ll tell Jumin to let you see Elly if you do.”
Seven finally sighed and walked to the couch to lay down. His back immediately thanked him. “Alright, I went to go lay down for a moment. Food is coming in a bit too.”
“Good. Would you like to listen to music?”
“Sure! Could you put Genie on again?”
Moon chuckled and nodded. “Alright.”
Moon continued painting, seemingly lost in the details and colors and Seven watched him from where he lay, also getting lost in the soft strokes of the paintbrush. After the song ended and changed to a softer one, Moon started talking about the sport’s festival at school and how Yoosung was a better runner than he made himself out to be.
“He just has to try and believe in himself,” sighed Moon.
“Do you believe in yourself?” Seven asked.
Moon painted in silence, but finally spoke in a soft voice. “I have to, don’t you think? If I don’t believe in myself, who will?”
“I believe in you,” Seven murmured.
Moon gave the widest grin to the screen and Seven couldn’t help but to smile back. “I believe in you too!” Moon exclaimed. “But you still have to eat. And a decent meal! Not just chips and soda.”
“Guilty as charged,” yawned Seven. “But it’s so good!”
It was about an hour later that Vanderwood came around. Seven’s security system was a bitch but he finally found an English to Arabic dictionary to beat the asshole in his own game. The password today was "Vanderwood's smelly feet" (which he would get him for that later).
He was then greeted by Seven singing “A Whole New World” at the top of his lungs. He grimaced. Vanderwood also noticed that the screen at the top right, where it was always an empty apartment, suddenly had a resident in front of a canvas. Said resident was a skinny, nice-looking boy, trying his hardest to paint but ultimately failing due to Seven’s horrible singing. His laughter could be heard through the phone speaker.
Vanderwood closed the door and Seven stopped.
Seven picked his phone up and turned the loudspeaker off. “Hey, Moon? I gotta go – The bane of my existence came around and he won’t let me enjoy my song with you.”
“Sayonara!” He hung up, and Vanderwood set the two pizza boxes beside him.
“Who’s that?” he asked, staring at the camera. The boy set the phone down in dismay, and continued painting what seemed a beach. It looked beautiful.
“None of your bees wax,” Seven promptly replied.
Vanderwood shook his head. “Careful,” he warned. Seven didn’t say anything more.
THURSDAY, 9:57 AM
JAEHEE KANG HAS ENTERED THE CHATROOM.
Jaehee Kang: Pink hair…
> Pink hair…
> Moon, your friend…has pink hair.
> And many piercings.
> He looks so cool, doesn’t he?
> He looks like a manga character!!
> Or like a unicorn
Jaehee Kang: [ Unimpressed Jaehee emoji ]
> I don’t think a unicorn is fitting…
Yoosung: Taejun is so mean T_T
> Calling me shorty and picking on my hair pins.
> [ Crying Yoosung emoji ]
Moon: Just ignore him lol
> He means well.
> Sure, he can be a bit of a jackass
> But he’s reliable! He has been my friend since highschool.
Jumin Han: Is he your best friend?
> I mean.
> They’re all my good friends.
> But Taejun has helped me out so much.
> I’m really grateful for him.
Jumin Han: Yes.
> I feel the same way about V.
ZEN: But who’s that pretty lady with red hair?
> She’s so cute omg
> You gotta present me to her.
> Or maybe your blonde friend
> She looks so chic
Jaehee Kang: Zen, this isn’t appropriate behavior.
ZEN: But Jaehee T_T
> I haven’t had a girlfriend
> In such a long time T_T
Jaehee Kang: You must focus on your career.
Moon: She’s off-limits anyways.
> Jieun needs a man as gentle as her!
> And Eunji has a boyfriend ^^;
ZEN: I can be gentle!
> [ Sobbing ZEN emoji ]
Jumin Han: So promiscuous.
ZEN: Of course you wouldn’t understand
> You’ve never had a girlfriend
Yoosung: I’ve never had a girlfriend either…
> [ Crying Yoosung emoji ]
Jaehee Kang: [ Unimpressed Jaehee emoji ]
Jumin Han: [ Unimpressed Jumin emoji ]
> Did you add Nari on LOLOL? ^^
Yoosung: Oh! Yeah!
> We were playing together yesterday lol
> She gave me a lot of rare items and I gave her an armor ^^
Moon: I have no idea what you’re talking about.
> But it’s good that you’re getting along!
> She’s really shy too ^^
Jaehee Kang: By the way.
> Has anyone seen Luciel?
> I think he’s preparing for a mission.
> Or something like that…
> He told me he’s leaving tomorrow morning.
> So he’s probably busy with that.
Jaehee Kang: I just hope that it is nothing dangerous.
> I will be praying for him.
Moon: I’m really worried too;;;
> I can’t stop thinking about where he went off to
> I just hope he comes back safe.
They left early Friday morning, driving all the way out to the international airport and passing through security with other false identities. Vanderwood was Charles Royster and Seven was Tristan Park. While Vanderwood simply tied his long hair in a ponytail, Seven put a black-haired wig on, along with false green eye contacts. Vanderwood never understood why Seven used his most elaborate identities when they passed through the airport, but never asked about it either.
They flew straight to their destination: Taipei. They were received by other agents, along with all the weapons necessary for the mission. They shouldn’t have to be used – they shouldn’t. But in a job like this, you can never be too careful. They’ve all learned that the hard way.
Vanderwood smoked a cigarette as they went to their hotel reservation. The hotel wasn’t anything special, but it was inconspicuous. While Vanderwood went for their reservation, Seven scanned the security system of the hotel with his phone, hacking into the security cameras and in the reservation system, where their fake names seemed to be in order.
Once in their room they set up the rest of their intelligence equipment up, and they finally started getting dressed for their mission. Vanderwood simply changed into an expensive suit and slicked his hair back. He had shaven a night before, as well. But while he had taken at least thirty minutes to get ready, an hour had passed, and he was still waiting for Seven to come out of the bathroom.
He stamped on the door. “Hurry the fuck up! We don’t have all day!”
“We still have like two more hours!” shouted back Seven. “Calm your tits down!”
Vanderwood groaned. “What’s taking so long?”
Seven threw the door open, almost hitting Vanderwood in in the face. Seven came out wearing elaborate makeup, with bright, shiny eyes bigger than usual, long eyelashes and cherry colored lips. Vanderwood looked at him closely – he seemed to have put eyeliner and a glitter eyeshadow as well. He had a ruby red wig on, darker than his light vermilion locks and his outfit was composed of a maid costume with a short skirt, with stockings coming all the way up to his thighs and high heels that Vanderwood had no idea how he could walk in them. Overall, Seven really did look like a girl.
“Magic, Vanderwood, magic!” exclaimed Seven, and Vanderwood rolled his eyes.
“If you speak it takes all the magic away. Is this why you took so long?”
Seven shot him a dirty look. “Do you think it’s easy making myself look like a girl? I don’t ever see you wanting to take these roles!”
Vanderwood blinked; he couldn’t say anything to that. Seven applied blush on his cheeks, humming. “Yeah, that’s what I thought.”
“Why a maid though?” He eyed Seven suspiciously, crossing his arms.
“Because Mary likes dressing up!” Seven grinned, brushing his hair. “Also, the secret to really getting a feminine figure are the hips! I needed a dress that would be able to make it like I’m totally not wearing hip pads, which I am, but shhhh!”
“Okay, okay. Are we ready to go now?”
Seven packed the last things in his handbag, carrying makeup, perfume, everything an elegant lady such as himself would need. Not to mention three phones, a USB adapter, a memory card and a compact Sig Sauer which he hid in a secret compartment inside.
He looked at himself one more time in the mirror. He had to wear a choker to hide his Adam’s Apple as a finishing touch. Finally turned around, his dress picking up as he did. “Now I am!”
As they left the lobby, they received stares from the people there. A handsome looking Caucasian man walking with a beautiful woman of unknown origin obviously popped out. Their car was waiting for them outside, one that Vanderwood had rented for them. Vanderwood didn’t let Seven rent the cars, not even dreaming, since he would always rent the flashiest ones.
“We’re going to leave the car in a parking lot about 500 meters away. We’re going to have to walk,” Vanderwood explained.
“Yep,” Seven responded, putting pearl earrings on. “Same old, same old, no need to explain.”
“I’m reminding you. Are you sure you can walk in those heels?”
Seven gasped, offended. “Of course, I can! You don’t think I can walk in these heels? I can outrun you in these!” Vanderwood just shook his head.
After twenty minutes they arrived to their destination, leaving the car parked in an empty parking lot on the bottom floor. From there, they walked all the way towards the night market of Ximending street, where dozens of street vendors and tourists were still out, tall buildings towering over them.
It was in a specific dingy alley, however, where they strayed away. The alley was dark and narrow, men standing and eyeing them, woman standing in corners wearing short dresses. They stared at them, no shame whatsoever. But they knew to whom they were coming for.
“Jimmy Ling understands and speaks English,” Vanderwood said as they entered a dark building with blasting, electronic music. “He studied in Berkeley.”
“Thank God,” sighed Seven. “Speaking in mandarin is so hard.”
They walked up the stairs onto the second floor, where they were greeted by the smell of booze, cigarettes and something reminiscent of weed. It reeked bad, and accompanied by the smell of sweat of all the people dancing and pressing each other together, Seven couldn’t stand it. Woman were dancing on top of a catwalk, clinging to poles and showing off their breasts to shouting men who were throwing money at them.
Seven managed to lock eyes with one girl. She didn’t look no older than sixteen.
He walked behind Vanderwood who held his hand, although all of this was part of an act. Right there, beyond all the ruckus, was a balding man around his forties, drinking booze with all kinds of woman around him, and some men. He looked at them and smiled widely, standing up and outstretching his arms to Vanderwood.
“Michael! Long time no see, you look thinner!” spoke the man in heavily accented English. “How ya doin’?”
“It’s been a while,” Vanderwood grinned at him and patted his shoulders, already into the personality. “And I’ve been on a diet. The lady here has been very persuasive about having me in a better shape.”
Jimmy glanced at Seven and then stared at him, gobbling. Seven gave the most pleasant smile he could. “My Sweetheart has been having problems with his blood pressure,” he explained in a high pitched voice, speaking in fluent english. “Someone has to take care of him, don’t you think?”
The man gave a knowing smile back and nodded. “Yes, such a diligent lady. Michael, you are very lucky to have such a partner by your side.”
Vanderwood smiled, although it looked like a sour grimace. “Of course, Mary is the best partner one could hope for.”
“Yes,” Jimmy nodded, and then he turned around to give a nod to one of his men. “Well then, shall we head to my office? Let’s talk business.”
They were escorted to another floor, away from the music and smell. Seven felt like he could breathe better. However, the place wasn’t any better – the hallway was dark and lined with many doors, the wallpapers were peeling, and a brown carpet was stained with red and yellow stains, it looked straight out of a Stephen King horror movie. A white light bulb barely illuminated the place, as it flickered on and off.
One of the doors opened as a sobbing woman tried to escape though she was swiftly dragged back in by two men, throwing her into the room and slamming the door shut. Seven clutched Vanderwood’s hand – not in fear, but in anger. They knew the context of Jimmy’s business: Human trafficking, especially young woman kidnapped from small villages across Asia. He would buy and sell them, offering them as prostitutes and exploiting them till they could barely hold themselves up anymore. When they could no longer serve them, he discarded them onto the streets with only ten dollars. That room, Seven supposed, was where he had them all trapped.
Jimmy went to talk to one of the said men for a moment. Vanderwood turned to look at Seven and murmured in Korean, “Don’t you even think about it. Remember Guatemala.”
Seven felt like he had been punched in the gut and nodded grimly. He remembered Guatemala well, it had been his first and last failure as an agent. The mission had been to deal with a cartel lord who had been getting into the human trafficking business as well. They had intercepted with a large semi-truck filled with woman from all over Latin America. When they had finished the business, Seven had freed them, to have them quickly shot down afterwards as they escaped. At least ten women died underneath his hands.
One of the men gave Jimmy the keys, which Jimmy used to lock the door shut. The sobs of the woman could still be heard. “Sorry about that,” Jimmy sighed, coming back to them. “They’re new to this place and get nervous. I’ve told my men they need to rest, so they’re going to get tucked in soon.” He winked at them.
“It’s no problem, we understand,” Vanderwood nodded. Seven had the sweetest smile he could muster and nodded as well.
Finally, they reached the end of the corridor and into the last room. It was way more glamorous than the rest of the rooms, with a private bar of its own and full of luxurious furniture and a beautiful view of the city. Jimmy’s bodyguards stood outside the room. He seemed to have Vanderwood, no, Michael Allen, a lot of trust.
“Sit, sit!” Jimmy gestured them, and they complied, Vanderwood sitting and Seven sitting on his lap. Vanderwood glared at him and Seven gave a kiss on his cheek. Yes, he was doing this on purpose just to annoy him.
“Ah, such sweet lovebirds,” Jimmy sighed. “I remember when I had my partner, yes. Too bad she decided to leave…” he shook his head and sat in the big armchair in front of them. “But anyways, Allen, what do you have for me?”
“Well, what are you looking for?”
Jimmy gave a grin. “We need your business for various purposes – you see, we are getting a big offer of meth and ecstasy coming from South Korea. The organization seems to be new, but they’re huge. They’re taking East Asia by storm, but you can never be too trusting with the newbies. They’re ambitious, you see. They think they can put the prices, but that’s why you have to grab the best ways to negotiate with them, if you know what I mean.”
“Of course.” Vanderwood’s eyebrows rose. Then he gave Seven a pat on his back, and Seven stood and took a big file out of his bag and extended it to Jimmy, which he took. “I have just the right catalog for you, and at cheap price by wholesale. I’ve gotten a whole new haul from the United States, I have a contact from the Marines that gives me the weapons by order.”
Michael Allen, Vanderwood’s first and most notorious alias, was a weapons dealer. This is the way he had so many connections in the underworld. Apparently, he has had the name since before he became part of Seven’s agency. Vanderwood swore that Michael Allen was a fake name, however, it was debatable.
Jimmy skimmed through the file. “Hmmm, yes…” he droned thoughtfully. “How reliable are these?” he asked, pointing at specific weapon.
“Let me see. Darling, could you bring us something to drink?” Vanderwood asked Seven, and then turned to Jimmy with a smile. “I bought the best booze from Dublin just for you, mate.”
Jimmy gave a laugh. “Michael! You sure know how to make a meeting better.”
Seven took the whiskey bottle and went over to the minibar, grabbing two crystal cups and serving both Vanderwood and Jimmy. From his breast, he took out a small bottle, and deposited it onto Jimmy’s drink quickly. He came back with a tray, serving both Michael and Jimmy.
Jimmy took a sip and gave a loud groan of pleasure. “Yes, this is certainly the best, Michael. And the fact that your lovely partner is dressed as a maid surely makes it better.”
“She’s a treasure, ain’t she?”
“Quite so!” Jimmy exclaimed, and then giving Seven a swift slap on his ass, which he gave a yelp in surprise. It had been in his regular voice, so he and Vanderwood froze in place, but relaxed when Jimmy didn’t seem to notice a difference. “And not too bad on the hips, either,” he winked at him.
Seven gave a high-pitched, shy laugh, although he wanted to punch him. He sat besides Vanderwood, and as they talked about the weapons, Seven scanned the room. There were a total of three cameras, but the blind spot seemed to be the minibar, which Seven found curious, but thanked that he wasn’t caught doping the drink. So now, he had about ten minutes before the tranquilizer registered correctly inside Jimmy’s body.
He gave a tap on Vanderwood’s shoulder. “Honey, is there a bathroom around?”
“Yes! Right behind the minibar,” Jimmy immediately answered, to which Seven gave a smile and a nod to Vanderwood and left.
There in the bathroom (which was also very nice, like the rest of the room), he saw that there were no cameras. So there, he started doing what he does best: hacking. He took the three phones out, starting up the hacking system in one, turning the hotspot in another and watching the process with the last one. He took one phone to start looking into the security system, with help of the internet hotspot of his second phone. Apparently, these folks were careless in their security system, or were too arrogant to reinforce it; Seven managed to enter it in a manner of seconds, and with the third phone, he could finally watch the security feed simultaneously as the security guards outside.
For that, he finally could type in the code to loop the moment before he left for the bathroom. Seven had to type it three times for the three security cameras in the room. He checked the process in the third phone, and soon enough, all through cameras were showing looping feed of the moment before he stood up. The security cameras will be paused for a certain amount of time until they showed live feed once more.
He calculated the time left: twenty minutes before the security could notice.
Seven put all three phones away and flushed the toilet, although empty. He washed his hands, combed his hair, and showered himself in perfume before returning to Vanderwood’s side.
“Oh, the lovely lady is back,” Jimmy grinned, then yawned. “Would you be so…” another yawn, “to serve us more whisky?”
“Of course,” smiled Seven, and as he stood up, Jimmy leaned back on his armchair, and was out in a manner of seconds.
“He’s out,” Vanderwood said, checking his pulse and then his watch. “The tranquilizer is not heavy at all so any loud noise or rough movement will still wake him up. We have fifteen minutes.”
“Great,” Seven answered. “Because we have twenty minutes before the cameras go live again.”
With that, both stood up. Seven went directly to the computer and connected a cable to his hacking phone, so that he was able to log into the computer with administrator rights. He searched for a program, which was really a RAR file full of information of all the sales contacts, cargo, and people Jimmy has been managing. He downloaded all the information onto the memory card and then his phone, as to have double backup. He closed session after leaving everything in place and disconnected his things.
Meanwhile, Vanderwood was busy taking pictures of invoices, pending and paid. He took photos of the warehouse scriptures and the houses the man owned. Before Seven could go to help him, the keys he had used to trap the woman were hanging from his jacket pocket. Seven shouldn’t, he really shouldn’t…Remember Guatemala, Vanderwood told him.
But he couldn’t help himself. In the end, he swiped the keys, careful of not waking Jimmy up and of not having Vanderwood notice.
Finally, Seven helped him with put all the files back into the archives. They both scurried, Vanderwood sitting in his place once more, and Seven serving whisky in new cups. Vanderwood checked the clock – exactly fifteen minutes have passed.
Seven shook Jimmy’s shoulder, and he woke up. “Mr. Ling…?” he pouted. “Is everything okay?”
“Oh…Oh my! I seem to have fallen asleep, how long has it been?”
“About a minute,” Vanderwood lied. “Is everything okay?”
Jimmy yawned. “Everything is fine…well, I did pull an all-nighter last night. I must be getting old!” he laughed.
Seven’s pout grew more pronounced. “Mr. Ling must get his rest, it’s important!” He said in a whiny voice, and Jimmy seemed to blush.
“She’s so sweet, Michael, you gotta borrow her sometimes!”
Vanderwood forced a smile. “Of course! Whenever you want, I’m willing to share.”
Seven stuck out his tongue while Jimmy laughed.
When they finished with Vanderwood’s business, Jimmy was still yawning as he escorted them out the hallway. “Well then, I’ll be waiting for your haul, Michael! And for Mary’s company too.” He winked at Seven, and Seven giggled.
“We’ll be in contact. Thank you for being so gracious with us.” They both gave slight bows, and Jimmy waved them off while yawning, leaving back into his office. Probably to sleep.
As they walked down the hallway, the same girl that Seven had met eyes with earlier was walking down the hallway along with the other women, and she did look particularly small and young besides them. She didn’t just look underage – she looked like she belonged in school. I have to take the chance now.
Seven dropped his eyeshadows on purpose next to her. The girl reacted quickly and crouched down to help him to try to clean up the broken eyeshadows as much as possible. Seven looked at her and she glanced up shyly.
“Hey,” he whispered to her, and showed her the keys. “Take the chance. Save yourself,” he whispered in mandarin, and slid them across the carpet. The young girl looked around and took the keys, hiding them in her fist.
“Thank you,” she murmured in what seemed fluent english, and when Seven picked up his broken eyeshadow kit, they parted ways. Seven didn’t look back. He just prayed to himself that at least this child could save herself.
Straight after the bar they left to the hotel room, providing the information to the client that had paid them to get said information. But before that, five hundred thousand dollars were deposited in both of their separate bank accounts. Only then did they send the information.
Seven took his wig and shoes off and laid on the bed. He was exhausted, and this mission wasn’t even one of the hard ones. There were harder missions, that damaged him in more ways than one. But no matter the difficulties, he was always left empty. He wondered if all this money was worth all this deception and treason. Vanderwood basically sold off one of the best clients to his competition.
With all the things Seven has seen, he sometimes forgets who he was in the beginning. Where did he come from? What was his name again? Was he even alive? He wondered this frequently, but no one could give him the answer he searched for. Vanderwood had given up his humanity up a long time ago, and he didn’t want to be like him, smoking his lungs out day by day, just waiting to die.
Seven waited to die frequently, but still clung to that small humanity that remained inside his heart. All he had left was hope. Hope that the world was better out there, and that he was okay. God, he begged for him to be okay.
Seven glanced at his phone, where his bank account glared at him. He had enough to buy another car, maybe.
A message arrived.
- I couldn’t sleep
- I was thinking about you
- But because I was worried!
- I hope you don’t think I’m weird ^^;;
- I hope you’re okay
- Remember that you're human and that you need to sleep and eat well!!!!
- Sweet dreams. :)
Seven stared at the message for the longest time, taken by surprise. His chest felt weird, and then he wondered.
How did Moon’s voice sound like again?
hello and welcome back!!
i guess i found time to write this chapter?? more like the bus was more comfortable than I thought and was an okay space to type this out whoops
as you can tell, these chapters will be getting darker and darker because angst and drama are my middle name. i am adding the tags as i go, as to not spoil the story too much?? but please let me know if i missed a trigger warning, PLEASE.
this chapter was so fun to write, especially interpreting seven's maid mission in my own way and writing out the relationship between vanderwood and seven. It was quite short but then again, this was intentional, but i hope you enjoyed it like I did!
Also, I'm making this playlist for the fic uwu it's like the map of how the fic is going?? lol idk how to explain it BUT i wanted to share it with you guys, if you want to listen with me :) it's still very short but we technically only have 6 chaptERS ALTHOUGH IT FEELS LIKE A TON lol
So here u go! https://open.spotify.com/playlist/5SnhT26Xgm13carGkarEoQ?si=gho2DzDRQ5CvQ9yyFLDW1w
All the sweet messages are like Christmas presents for me ; ; Thank you once again for believing in me and in this fic and for having patience with all my grammar and spelling errors. I'm really grateful for everyone who reads this.
Merry Christmas!!! I hope everyone has a very happy and warm holiday!!
Chapter 7: if ("FRIENDS")
tw: suicide, abusive relationships. Please let me know if I miss any.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Moonsoo went to the beach as Kyungseok had told him too, exactly at six p.m. He even got there early, and he went along with Doraemon, because the cat followed him everywhere.
But Moon waited 15 minutes.
He waited for another 20 minutes.
Kyungseok never came.
When he finally decided to go home, he noticed that Doraemon wasn’t close anywhere. He frowned. “Doraemon!” he called out.
He looked around the area, and couldn’t find the cat anywhere, he supposed that maybe the cat went back home, although he’s never done that.
Moon looked all over his house but never found Doraemon anywhere.
That night, he left the window open, just in case Doraemon came back.
He never did.
Friday afternoon had Moon like a nervous wreck. Seven had gone off to a mission and he was going to present his final painting of the trimester, he felt more distracted than usual. He felt particularly nervous for this critique as well, because he felt he had done it in a rush. Three days weren’t enough, especially when his final idea of it being the Jeju beach hadn’t convinced him enough to put feeling behind it.
His grade depended on this painting, and if it didn’t get a passing score for this evaluation, he would definitely have to work extra hard for the next evaluation, unless he wants to go to summer school. Which would be a terrible thing since his dad would start questioning about his grades. I should’ve stayed with Taebaek mountains idea.
He also checked his phone frequently – Seven had just left that morning, and he hadn’t sent him a message since their call last night. Moon knew he wouldn’t, but he couldn’t help but to be worried sick. Moon checked the RFA application to see if he was online and stared at his contact info. Maybe he could call, but that would be weird, right?
What type of missions does Seven go to? What if he was lying and probably just went to a boring IT job in an office? Would Seven lie about that? But I don’t think he’s the type to lie about that-
“Moon? Moon!” Jieun called out to him but pouted when Moon was still tapping around his phone.
“Yo, stupid!” Taejun slapped him upside the head and Moon almost dropped his phone but managed to catch it before it hit the floor.
“What the hell?” he glared at him.
“We’ve been talking to you for fifteen minutes straight and you haven’t noticed,” said Taejun angrily, sitting back down beside him on the picnic table.
“You spaced out again,” Jieun smiled sympathetically, rubbing his head.
“He always spaces out,” Taejun grumbled.
“What? Oh, sorry. I’m just kind of nervous…” Moon mumbled. “That hurt…” He then pouted. Jieun’s hand went to go rub his back.
“It’ll be fine!” Jieun assured him. “It’s one of the best yet! The blend of the colors looks beautiful and the water looks very realistic.”
Moon groaned and pulled his hood over his head and pulled on the strings, closing his face off. “It’s so bad…” he moaned.
“It’ll be fine, you big baby,” Taejun rolled his eyes. “You’re one the best painters of the class.”
“Let’s think about something else, okay?” Jieun smiled. “We were talking about Nari’s birthday, it’s in three weeks!”
Moon’s eyes brightened, and he took his hood off. “Oh, yeah! I’m already looking into one of the big rooms in that barbeque restaurant she really likes. So that way we don’t have to wait for a table, and we can have all that space for ourselves!”
“Always one step ahead, huh?” smiled Taejun. Moon winked at him.
Eunji came around, sitting right besides Jieun and automatically hugging her. Jieun frowned, yet she hugged her back.
“Is something the matter?”
Eunji pulled away and her pretty blue eyes were red from crying. She sniffed. “Do you remember my friend Jinsil?” she whispered.
“Your friend from high school? The one studying business.”
“Yeah. She…she was found dead this morning.”
“What?” Jieun exclaimed. Moon and Taejun glanced at each other and stood up to get near Eunji.
Eunji wiped her eyes once more. “They said…They said it was a suicide. But she was found in some stranger’s house, and the cause of death was poisoning. But she wouldn’t do that…I know she wouldn’t…” sobbed Eunji, and Jieun hugged her once more, covering her face.
Moon patted her back and Taejun stood silent. They were quiet for a few moments more, and while Eunji kept crying softly in Jieun’s chest, they never let her go.
Eunji finally pulled back, wiping her eyes once more. “They said she drank cyanide. Do you know how painful that is? She…she went through so much pain.”
Moon continued to pat her head. “I’m sorry, Eunji.”
She shook her head, and continued sniffling. “I want my friend back. She didn’t kill herself. She wouldn’t.”
“Sometimes people go through silent wars,” murmured Taejun.
“But she would tell me,” Eunji snapped. “We were together through thick or thin. I haven’t seen her in a long time because we both had finals and she went off to live with a large group of people, but we would still text each other. She stopped texting me last week, but like I said, we were both in finals and I didn’t think much of it and-”
“It’s okay,” Moon whispered, hugging her. Eunji hugged him back. “We believe you. I want to believe that there will be more investigation done.” Eunji just nodded.
“We can go with you to the funeral, okay? You won’t be alone,” he told her.
“No,” she sighed. “I can’t make you go to that. But thank you, Moon. You’re such a good friend.”
He smiled at her and continued petting her hair.
After that, Eunji left with Jieun back to the dorm. Taejun and Moon left to the classroom, where Moon would receive his final critique. Moon looked pale and couldn’t stop fidgeting with his hands and pulling on his hoodie strings.
Taejun gave him a firm bro pat on the back. “It’ll be okay,” he said. “Go get ‘em.” He winked.
The critique was well, a critique. Three teachers looked at Moon’s painting for the longest time, and he would only try to keep a straight face as they started questioning him about the elements, techniques, and whatnot.
Ultimately, he got an eighty-five percent, due to the message not being too clear (the assignment was based on a beginning, and the beach being the central device hardly spoke of it) and that Moon got sloppy on the details on the rocks. However, he did receive big compliments on his technique on the water and on the sun shining brightly among the clouds in the sky.
“You did a good job, even if it was done in such a short time,” his tutor smiled at him. “I’m sure you can do better next time.”
Moon left the critique hating himself over it.
“Like, sure, I passed, but the grade is average and that’s what sucks the most. I wanted a ninety, at least a ninety!” Moon whined.
“The painting is as good enough as it is, you can sell it for 100 bucks and I’m sure someone will buy it on e-bay,” Taejun shrugged.
“I want to throw it away.” Moon started walking to a garbage can, and before he could throw it away, Taejun pulled him away by the collar.
“Hold the fuck up! God, you’re so stubborn! It’s fine! Why don’t you just try to finish on the details on the rocks? Would that make you feel better?”
“I guess I could…” Moon trailed off.
“That’s the Moon I know! The Moon who never gives up.”
“But my ninety!” Moon sniffed, earning a deep sigh from Taejun.
The days that went by was spent trying to complete the painting based on the teacher’s commentary, still feeling like shit over it, keeping Eunji company with the rest of his friends in her grief, and of course, speaking with the RFA.
It was fascinating getting to know them better. Whether it be by calls, chats, or private messaging, Moon loved every moment of it. Sometimes it felt as if he’s known him his whole life, but most of the times it’s discovering and re-discovering every facet the RFA has to show. It was like falling in love with pieces of art, repeatedly.
He loved Jaehee for hard-working she is. She was a two in one, as incredible as any business corporate and a mother. He loved Jumin because of his really bad humor which always cracked him up with how bad it was and how he always wanted to help everybody, even if it was in his own strange way.
He loved Zen because he always wanted to cheer him on. He always wanted to take everybody on an escape, he didn’t have to act. He himself was enough to have people relax, by just being himself. He loved Yoosung for his innocence and pure heart, and how he always wanted to be there for his friends, even if he did get distracted with LOLOL.
And he especially loved Seven, because he’s never seen a painting like him before.
In Seven’s absence and after the last night text he sent, Moon continued sending him photos through the private messages. Sometimes he would send him photos of a weird looking cloud he saw on his way home, or the time he found a turtle crawling down the sidewalk, or kitty pictures he would find online. Seven wouldn’t answer him, but at least Moon felt less alone if he talked to him.
Ever since Seven mentioned he would be away Moon would feel especially alone in the apartment.
The apartment building itself was quiet. Sometimes he would see children on the other floors, or other university students. There was a particular elderly couple whom he usually saw on early in mornings and greet, up to the point they would greet him back. The old lady once gave him kimchi.
But there seemed to be no one else on the floor Moon resided on. It’s been almost two weeks since he’s moved in officially and he has yet to even hear someone. But there hasn’t been a soul at all.
Does V own the entire floor? Just for Rika?
Speaking of which, it’s been almost two weeks and V hasn’t responded about the whole rent thing. He trusted that Seven has told him, but still, he was getting anxious on the whole thing. Would V charge him the apartment only? Or the whole floor? He couldn’t possibly pay the whole floor.
It was Tuesday when Seven finally came around the chat. Moon happened to be at home that hour as well, since he felt exhausted and wanted to take a nap before going back to his 5 PM class. Although he did get distracted, as he was responding emails from the new contacts that the RFA have provided. He was having a particular hard time with one Jumin suggested, which was the owner from the winery Jumin did business with. He always responded as if he were drunk and Moon had a hard time even reading it.
His phone vibrated.
707 HAS ENTERED THE CHATROOM.
707: Nothing beats sleeping lol
> Feel so refreshed!
Moon instantly replied.
MOON HAS ENTERED THE CHATROOM.
> so many exclamation marks
> I want to play too
Moon: I was really worried T_T
> How are you?
> Is everything okay?
707: Yeah lol
> I haven’t slept this well
> in a long time
> so I would like to make a huge leap
> and tell you
> how I save
> Wow!! I wanna know.
707: [ Sparkly 707 emoji ]
> It’s a method only I can use
> with my immense knowledge on cars lol
> I think
> that instead of just giving the bank money,
> it’s best to use it to get more babes on my side!!!
> [ Cheering 707 emoji ]
> Although I have to pay for insurance,
> my limited edition babes might go up in value
> or maybe not.
> This is Seven’s way of investing!
> Besides, you get to feel happy just by watching them.
> [ In love 707 emoji ]
> I guess you really love cars >.<
> thx for asking.
> Tbh, I like how cars work.
> So many parts come together
> through incredibly exact calculations
> and make each other work. Lol
707: That’s it!
> That’s purtty much it yo!
Moon: Gotcha yo!
> Ur totally right up my alley…
Moon: Haha ^^
> But I’m really happy you’re okay
> And that you managed to get some sleep.
> I was really really worried.
> I imagine you haven’t eaten yet, though?
707: You imagine right!
> Moon lol
> Stop spying on me
> I’m supposed to be the super spy
> Alright…At least you slept.
> Baby steps…
> By the way
> I sent you a lot of messages.
> Sorry if I bothered you. :(
707: It’s a-okay!
> it actually made me smile lol
> in the world of darkness
> I was laughing
> because you found a turtle on the sidewalk.
Moon: It seemed to escape the pet store
> But the weird thing is that the pet store is like four blocks down.
> The little guy really walked a lot!
> But I took it back so that they can feed it.
> I really liked it, but I can’t keep it. ;;;
707: Pets are a man’s best friend!
> Even turtles that have the super power to walk down four blocks.
> I really wanted it OTL
707: I want Elly to be with me
> But the super villain Han Jumin gets between us!!!
> And now another villain has appeared.
> My maid, Mary Vanderwood 3rd!
> My maid lol
> She came from the UK lol
> Luv her accent lol
> And literally, she cleans the whole house
> and disappears in the blink of an eye lol
> Anyhow, she says that if I bring Elly with me
> I’ll have to raise her pay
> can’t ever do that T_T
Moon: Oh no! What will the Defender of Justice do?!
707: [ Crying 707 emoji ]
> Indeed! What will the Defender of Justice do????
> Find out on next week’s episode!
Moon: Hey but
> You have a maid???
> Did the others know?
707: [ Shocked 707 emoji ]
> You’re right!
> I guess I never mentioned it.
> I should introduce her at this chance!
> [ 707 PHOTO #13 ]
> Mary Vanderwood 3rd.
> She’s pretty right?
> She’s cute right?
> She’s so adorable, right? Lololol
> [ Cheering 707 emoji ]
Moon gasped upon seeing the photo. The maid was very beautiful, he had to agree. But the most incredible thing was that it was very evident that this was Seven dressed up as a maid, even though the make-up and wig seemed to be on point. But Moon couldn’t mistake those eyes. This was Seven.
> So cute! Seven’s cute!
> Our little secret! >.<
> The only person who can open my door and come into my house
> except me
> is Mary Vanderwood 3rd.
> Since my job is pretty risky, I have a lot of people trying to chase me >_<
> Oh no!
> Seven’s in danger!
> Oh, if that’s the case then,
> triple layer security activated!
Moon: I see :o
> You should activate a fourth layer too
> Always be careful meow
707: I will meow!
> Ur worrying for me!!
> So touched T_T
> And I luv
> the way u talk lolol
> I’m always
> paying attention to my personal protection.
> It doesn’t matter if I get hurt doing what I do.
> but if others get involved,
> they’ll be in danger as well.
> I can always protect people physically,
> but I won’t be able to do anything about their feelings getting hurt.
Moon frowned. He noticed the sudden change in Seven with the way he wrote, noting it was more serious. Once again, the question came up: was Seven being serious when he spoke about being a secret agent?
But Moon wasn’t stupid. He was sure that whether it be true or not, Seven would never tell him, especially someone he had just met.
So, for now, he’ll at least make him laugh.
Moon: Aaaaaiiight. Just let me know what you feel safe telling me. d(>u<)b
707: Just count on me! lolol
> I feel like u understand me a lot.
> Its always tough and lonely to handle secrets,
> but thx for understanding…
> Talking about work
> is suddenly making me hungry…
> I did skip my meals today T_T
> Should get my metabolism going with the Honey Buddha Chips.
> Eat a proper meal and not potato chips!!
707: Honey Buddha chips is a proper meal!
> [ Crying 707 emoji ]
> Make sure you get something to eat too, Moon.
> Then I’ll get going.
> Seven, over and out!
707 HAS LEFT THE CHATROOM.
And like that, he left. Without giving Moon another chance to remind him to actually eat.
Moon: Please eat a decent meal…
> That goes for everybody, okay!!!
> Or else I’ll get mad.
> I really should have emojis
> Imagine I put the angry Jumin emoji
> That one is cute >_<
MOON HAS LEFT THE CHATROOM.
And like that, Moon went to the couch, wondering if Seven could see him this instant. He fell asleep moments after.
Seven stared at the screen for a while, seeing where Moon moved over to the couch and laid down. He didn’t move after that. Seven was glad that Moon could sleep – he doesn’t seem to do it much lately.
Seven was being serious when he said he was going to buy a new car. At this moment, he was looking at the Ferrari portfolio his sports car agent provided him. Some were over one million, but it didn’t matter, since Seven could pay it off in two missions.
After a while he found one he liked, and it was actually less than a million (not by much, though). But before proceeding with the sale, he did what he always did whenever he got paid: he transferred some money to his account, for his special person. When Seven started earning money for his missions, he started a bank account for his special person, so that he could go to college, buy a house, whatever he needed.
Once transferring the money, he went off to buy a new baby. This time, in red!!
The next two days was spent easing into the new trimester. Moon hardly left the apartment now over how much homework he currently has. Sometimes he saw his friends, but only to eat lunch together and do more homework in silence. But most of the times, they each went to their respective homes. This didn’t bother him, at all. After months of finishing everything in the library, getting to relax while doing homework like this was a treat.
Currently, he was making himself dinner when his phone vibrated.
V was online.
MOON HAS ENTERED THE CHATROOM.
Moon: Oh! It’s V.
V: Hello, Moon.
> It is a pleasure to see you again.
> Did the other members tell you about me or the RFA?
> Allow me to introduce myself again.
> I am V, the head of the RFA.
> I’m a photographer.
> I wonder what kind of impression you got
> from your conversations with our members through this messenger haha…
> I’m worried whether or not
> you feel nervous among a group of strangers…
> As the representative of the RFA
> I believe
> that you are here in order to help us.
> I believe
> Rika guided you from afar like that.
> In addition.
> I’d like you to trust us as well.
Moon just stared at the screen. V was typing all the messages like crazy, hardly giving Moon any time to reply. But one thing he still couldn’t understand, why would Rika guide me?
V: So Moon, I brought you some pictures for you to get rid of your nervousness.
> [ V PHOTO #17 ]
Moon stopped before replying to look at the picture V had shared with him. It was a beautiful picture of V and a beautiful blond woman besides him, both standing under a cherry blossom tree, hugging each other. The blonde woman…seemed to be Rika.
Moon felt a heavy ball fall in his chest. He felt sad, suddenly. There was a difference between everybody speaking of Rika, and V actually giving him the privilege to see them in such a moment, in a moment where Rika’s smile would be stuck in time. This is the best way to get to know her, Moon thinks – with her smiling under the cherry tree.
Moon: You two made a lovely couple.
V: Thank you. This is a picture I took when she was still with me.
> Now that you’ve seen Rika’s face for yourself…
> I hope you can find some peace.
Moon: Thank you, V.
> For sharing this picture.
> There’s a difference between speaking of someone a lot and how they passed away,
> and about how they were when they were still alive.
> I’m grateful you shared a happy moment with me.
V: You are…very kind, Moon.
> Thank you.
> I wonder just how Rika delivered her message to you.
> And what kind of message she delivered.
> Could you answer any of my questions?
Moon: Well…I could, but there’s not really much to say? I mean, I don’t really know either ^^;
> I’m still not sure why she picked me…
> You know, Rika was as daring as she could be
> but also as delicate.
> She was the type of person…
> who can dream what others can’t imagine.
> And if such a person passed on her role to you…
> I’m sure you have a wonderful world of your own, Moon.
Moon: I don’t know about that.
> I’m just an ordinary person.
V: A gemstone regards itself an ordinary stone without the knowledge that in the future it can prove itself to be a brilliant jewel.
> I’m sure Rika saw a certain potential in you that you’re not aware of.
> I’d also like to know what it is.
Moon: I don’t…I don’t know.
> I’m kind of nervous, to be honest…
V: So am I.
> I feel like an explorer about to set off for a mystic domain.
> This could be because of my job but whenever I discover someone intriguing
> sometimes I want to take a look through my camera’s finder.
Moon: Oh!! That happens to me too!!
> I think people are incomplete works of art,
> that are still very beautiful in their own way. :)
> But they’re incomplete because they have to finish themselves, you know?
> Can you see anything different through your finder?
V: You are a painter, I’ve been told.
> We are from the same kin.
> However, I think that an image visualized through the lenses
> is somewhat more special.
> Because the camera lenses can capture something that’s often so short-lived yet impossible to hide.
> A person’s personality visualized through their small habits or actions…
> or a certain intention a person’s hiding, for example.
> I’m sure there will be several chances for us to get to know you, Moon, while you are with us.
> And our relationship will grow firm and close through such process.
> I hope that day comes soon.
> [ Smiling V emoji ]
> In case you’re wondering if you could trust us, I’d like to tell you that you don’t need to worry.
> I’m sure you’ve already felt that enough if you talked to the other members.
> How has it been chatting with them? I’d like to hear your impression on them.
> They’ve all been so, so nice.
> I really feel a part of the RFA now, haha. ^^
V: Thank you for saying that.
> Actually, all of us gathered to help others.
> They all led their individual lives but they all gathered under a single goal to help others and make someone happy.
> So we’ve been holding parties as best as we could, with rewards called feeling complete.
> I wonder if there are people around you with whom you show and gain trust.
> Life becomes more brilliant if you have someone who supports you and serves as the reason of your life.
Moon: I have a few people. They’re very special to me.
> Is Rika that someone for you, V?
V: It’s Rika, yes, and also everyone else in the RFA.
> They’re all so precious to me. I thank for every minute that I can be with them.
> If you’re faced with a decision but hesitating to make your choice, think about someone precious to you, and choose the one that wouldn’t harm the ones precious to you. If you hurt those precious to you, you’ll end up hurting yourself.
Moon: I agree.
> That’s what I think, too.
V: [ Smiling V emoji ]
> That’s great.
> I’ve been talking too off-topic.
> I’ve been thinking that perhaps you’re related to Rika…
> so I guess I told you what I wanted to tell her.
> Anyways, I hope you would walk in the same path as ours.
> I believe we’ll be able to keep a good relationship if our hearts reach other.
> Is everything okay?
> h n
> o h
> Oh no…
> The internet is rather unstable.
> Looks like I’ll lose connection any minute.
> Right now I’m out of the country for a business, but I’ll be back soon.
> I wish we can soon get to see each other and talk face-to-face.
> I’ll get going now.
> Let’s talk again, V.
> Be careful!!!
V: Of course. I hope I can see you next time…^^
> Oh… and Moon
> Please don’t be alarmed if I call you.
> I plan to call you eventually, just so you know.
> Now I’ll get going for real.
> I wish you a good night, Moon.
> And to the rest of the members as well.
> [ Smiling V emoji ]
V HAS LEFT THE CHATROOM.
Moon blinked. Call him? What would he call him for? Then he slapped his forehead.
Shit, I forgot to ask him about rent.
Moon felt on edge for the next couple of days, and never once let his phone go. He was nervous about V calling him and asking him suddenly for the rent. It would soon be a month, and he hadn’t even paid deposit.
707: You shouldn’t worry!!!
> Like I said
> V is really nice
> I can’t imagine him
> charging you rent
> or kicking you out because of that lol
ZEN: He’s right, you know.
> V has helped out all of us.
> I’m sure he’ll help you out too.
Moon didn’t know about that. If he knew something, is that no matter how nice someone was, one must never let their guard down so easy.
Thursday rolled around and his group of friends were planning Nari’s birthday party at Jieun’s house. Eunji was still being quiet but was slowly cheering up once more. She started bickering with Taejun like normal, so that was something.
Taejun, on the other hand, dyed his hair again. It was now gray-ish blue. He also has a new piercing, a black septum “to go along with his new hair”. The girls at school were going even more gaga over him, not that the dork noticed. Eunji was still pressed about her pink hair dye.
“You still owe me a pink hair dye!” Eunji pointed a finger at him. Taejun rolled his eyes.
“I’m soooorry.” He yawned and laid back on the couch. “I keep on forgetting.”
“Bullshit!” she hit his arm.
Moon snickered from his seat on the table. Currently, he was chatting with student council on the preparations of the summer vacation party they were planning to throw for the school before summer vacation. They only had two months to plan this, and the principle wanted it to be perfect. This resulted in a very nervous student body president, and Moon coming to soothe the guy.
Then his phone vibrated.
Yoosung was online and sent him a private message.
Yoosung: Hey, Moon…
- Are you online?
- I gotta tell you something ;;
Moon looked up from his spot. Eunji and Jieun were looking through birthday party decoration ideas in Pinterest and Taejun was dozing off on the couch.
“Hey guys? Yoosung has an emergency, so sorry if I seem distracted.”
Jieun nodded and waved her hand at him. “It’s okay! Tell him we said hi!”
MOON HAS ENTERED THE CHATROOM.
> Is everything okay?
> [ V PHOTO #22 ]
> Do you…see this picture?
The picture was destroyed with the word ‘LIE’ written across it in blood red. It was a picture of Rika and V, both smiling and holding each other, although it was ripped right in the middle. The edges were burnt, and the word seemed to be written with hate.
Moon: My goodness!!! Where did that come from?
Yoosung: [ Crying Yoosung emoji ]
> This came from my mailbox…
> Just what is going on? T-T
> Why would I get something like this…?
> V logged in a few days ago and said nothing.
> He didn’t say anything about the party date.
> He just keeps secrets from us
> And I keep having this weird thought that somebody might be lurking near my house to kidnap me. T-T
> Moon, this isn’t related to that hacker, is it?
Moon: I don’t know ;;;;
> But Yoosung, everything is going to be okay.
> I’m here, okay?
> You’re safe.
Yoosung: Thank god at least I have you, Moon T-T
ZEN HAS ENTERED THE CHATROOM.
Moon: Um Zen ;;;;
> You should take a look at the image Yoosung uploaded…
> Just a sec
> [ Crying Yoosung emoji ]
ZEN: [ Surprised ZEN emoji ]
> What in the world!?
Yoosung: I’m so scared…
> [ Crying Yoosung emoji ]
Jieun and Eunji gave Moon worried looks, since he suddenly leaned forward on the table and his left leg started bouncing up and down. Jieun stood. “Is something the matter?” she asked Moon.
Moon gave her a nervous smile and shook his head. “Everything is okay! Y-Yoosung is just kind of freaking out over a test.”
“Then why did you stutter?” Eunji looked at him suspiciously and lifted an eyebrow.
Moon gulped. “He’s having a really bad meltdown.”
Jieun frowned. “Oh. Please tell Yoosung we’re rooting for him, okay?”
The whole thing with Yoosung had Moon crazy nervous. Especially since Yoosung mentioned that the letter seemed to be put in his mailbox without a return address, meaning that whoever put that in his mailbox took their time to come around his house. Yoosung was so ridden with anxiety that he had even began suspecting the RFA.
Moon: Let’s not suspect the members of the RFA ;;;
> The one who did this
> Must really hate the relationship V and Rika had.
ZEN: I second that.
Yoosung: But why would they send it to me?
ZEN: Now that is a mystery…
Zen then offered him to stay at his house for the night. Yoosung seemed to appreciate the idea, as did Moon. They both left after that, leaving a distraught Moon.
The hacker is at large, the hacker is at large… The one who told me he would be watching me, the one who knows where I live, the passcode-
Jieun noticed this (of course) and offered to make him tea, which he accepted. Jieun’s cat Haneul, a beautiful golden tabby cat, sat on his lap, as to soothe him. He petted his head to relax himself.
However, his phone vibrated again, making him jump. Only five minutes have passed.
JAEHEE KANG HAS ENTERED THE CHATROOM.
Jaehee Kang: Moon…
> I know I just logged in, but I’m afraid I have bad news…
> You didn’t get that bizarre image too, did you?
Jaehee Kang: You’re sharp…
> [ V PHOTO #23 ]
This photo was a different one from the one Yoosung received. It was Rika and V together, yes, but instead ‘LIE’ being written in the middle, upon V’s face was written ‘hypocrite’, in the same blood red letters.
Moon: I’m sincerely starting to think
> That this person seems to hate V himself ;;
> I think they’re trying to put us against him.
> I’m worried V might see this ;;;
Jaehee Kang: You’re right… We aren’t the ones in the relationship
> yet we’re all terribly shocked.
> So it much be more painful and shocking for him.
> Just who could send this image?
> Just why?
> And I’m not sure how this person knew where our members live…
JUMIN HAN HAS ENTERED THE CHATROOM.
Moon sighed, feeling somewhat comforted by the fact that Jumin came to save the day with his level-headed coolness. Jieun served him his tea and sat down across him. Eunji was on the couch talking on the phone with her boyfriend, and Taejun was still snoring.
Moon thanked Jieun for the tea, still distracted and replying on the chat.
Jumin Han: If this person knows this much…
> And sent the image to Yoosung and now you,
> perhaps I would get it in the near future.
Jaehee Kang: Actually, a strange envelope was delivered to the office for you…
Moon: Do you think it could be…?
Jumin Han: It’s probably a photograph of Rika and V.
> You know what? About that envelope…
> Why didn’t you give it to me yet?
Jaehee Kang: [ Unimpressed Jaehee emoji ]
> It arrived after you went out to feed Elizabeth yourself…
Moon: Jumin, you can’t nag Jaehee when you’re the one absent.
Jaehee Kang: He’s right.
Even in such a situation, Jumin was calm enough to be away with Elizabeth. It was comical enough to make Moon snort. Jumin instructed Jaehee to dispose of the picture.
Jaehee Kang: …I’ll check what it is and treat it as you told me.
Moon: Hey Jumin.
> Is your work all done?
Jaehee Kang: Allow me to answer that.
> It isn’t. ^^
> Mr. Han, are you on your way back to the company?
> The meeting will start in an hour…
Jumin Han: Postpone it for an hour.
Jaehee Kang: Did something happen?
Jumin Han: Yes, something big…
> My sweet Elizabeth the 3rd is dreaming sweetly on my lap.
Moon couldn’t help but to giggle.
Jumin Han: He laughed.
Jaehee Kang: Please do not laugh in this situation, Moon.
Moon: I’m sorry!
> I just kind of imagined it
> And I found it cute ^^;
> I also have a kitty on my lap!!
Moon took the opportunity to take a photo of Haneul on his lap, who was sleeping peacefully.
Moon: [ HANEUL PICTURE ]
> Isn’t he cute? ^^
> His name is Haneul :)
Jumin Han: He is very cute.
> Not as cute as my Elizabeth the 3rd, of course.
Jaehee Kang: [ Unimpressed Jaehee emoji ]
> I’d like you to know that I will be in huge trouble if you’re not back after 2 hours.
Jumin Han: I will.
Jieun cleared her throat and Moon looked up. “Are you feeling better?” she whispered.
Moon immediately nodded. “Sorry. I got worried for Yoosung for a bit. Um, he got a bit of an anxiety attack…”
Jieun gave an understanding nod. “Poor Yoosung…”
Moon’s eyes immediately brightened. “Hey, can we invite him to the party? I think it’d be nice, since he seems to be Nari’s friend also on LOLOL, I don’t think she’d mind.”
Jieun beamed. “That’s a good idea! I’ll add him on the list!”
Jieun left and Moon looked back at the chat. He missed a few messages from Jumin and Jaehee, but they were basically talking about disposing of the picture Jumin probably received.
Moon: Yoosung is pretty scared too ;;;
> Isn’t there a way to make him feel safe? ;;;
> He’s staying with Zen right now but
> He can’t stay with him forever. T_T
Jaehee Kang: He would interfere with the rehearsals…
Jumin Han: Hm…
> Assistant Kang.
Jaehee Kang: Yes?
Jumin Han: We should hire bodyguards.
> For everyone in the RFA and their safety.
Jaehee Kang: Very well, Mr. Han.
> I’ll get to that this instant.
Jumin Han: Moon,
> I’m not sure if the security guards will be able to go to the apartment building.
> But they can at least stay at your school.
Moon: Oh ^^;
> It’s okay, it’s not necessary
> I can’t bother you, Jumin.
Jumin Han: Nonsense.
> You are part of the RFA. We must protect you as well.
> Assistant Kang, please begin with this ASAP.
Jaehee Kang: Yes, I agree.
> I’ll get it done quickly.
Jumin Han: Also, Jaehee.
Jaehee Kang: Yes?
Jumin Han: I need you to visit V’s home.
Moon: What? Why?
Jumin Han: I’m sure that disturbing picture also found his home…
> I need you to retrieve it.
> V is currently out of the country, but I don’t want him to see it for himself when he comes back.
Jaehee Kang: Should I send someone?
Jumin Han: No, I’d like you to go in person.
> Sending someone else could lead to loss and leakage of that image.
Jaehee Kang: I must go…in person?
Jumin Han: Please get it done before V arrives.
Jaehee Kang: Do you know when he’ll be back?
Jumin Han: No, I don’t.
Moon: Jumin ;;;;
Jumin ended the conversation soon after, leaving to call V. Moon stayed to comfort a distressed Jaehee, who was just packed with work in just these moments.
Moon: You can do it Jaehee!!!
> I believe in you!!!
Jaehee Kang: Thank you for your cheering…
> [ Pleasant Jaehee emoji ]
> I should be offering you comfort, but I feel sorry since I’m making you cheer me while you are by yourself at this instant.
Moon: No Jaehee!!!
> I want to cheer you on.
> Because I really admire you and everything you do. :)
> So let me cheer for you!!
> And I’m okay, really.
> I’m with friends right now. I’m safe.
> Don’t worry about me.
Jaehee left afterwards, and Moon laid his head on the table, feeling a headache coming on. Jieun returned with Eunji and Taejun in toll, and he had to sit up once more with a smile. He couldn’t let his friends worry about him any further.
Moon dreaded the moment when he had to leave Jieun’s house. He was scared, scared out of his mind and the worst thing is that he couldn’t possibly tell anybody. He didn’t want to cause Jieun another anxiety attack and who knows what Taejun would do.
He wasn’t sure if Unknown would also leave a picture at his house, but then again, why would he? Moon was a stranger. Would he get rid of him? Was Moon failing the purpose the hacker put on him? What was his purpose in all of this, anyways?
His friends, not even Jieun or Taejun, didn’t seem to notice the silent misery he was experiencing, and on one side, he was thankful. In another, he wished someone would come help him out and at least be with him this very moment, someone who understood him.
Like Seven, maybe.
Eunji was picked up by her boyfriend and Moon and Taejun walked over to the university, over to the dorm. They separated ways there, and Moon’s panic grew by the second and he couldn’t stop looking around to check if someone was watching him. It felt scary not knowing who Unknown was among the strangers that were walking down the sidewalk.
“I’ll be watching you,” Unknown had told him.
Walking down the street with that impending doom felt like walking on a tight rope without an end. It felt like gulping down blood and he couldn’t scream. Among the multitude of people walking among him, he felt painfully alone.
Before crossing the street, he saw a familiar face smoking across the street. It was Jaemin, as handsome as ever and Moon hated him for it.
He hated him for being tall and strong, for going to the gym and having those strong arms. He hated him for having that knowing look, where he could just sense how you were and what you needed. His emerald eyes have always been brilliant, since he was of course, Jieun’s closest cousin.
Moon hated his hair. When he met Jaemin back in high school, he had a buzzcut but as they grew into university he had cut it in a faux-hawk that was now long enough to hold in a man-bun, which Jaemin didn’t really care to do since he liked how he could flip it in any way he wanted. Moon hated this because he thought Jaemin looked good in any way, and he loved how his black locks felt between his fingers. He hated his stupid jawline, his back, his hands, his smile, everything, everything.
Jaemin saw Moon coming down the street, and immediately dropped his cigarette on the floor and stepped on it. Moon made a funny face, sticking his tongue out as he got closer to him, and Jaemin laughed.
“What’s that face for? Aren’t you happy to see me?”
“No,” Moon lied, scrunching his nose. “You stink.”
Jaemin snorted, but then ruffled Moon’s hair. “Your bangs are getting longer and they’re covering your eyes. You should really get a haircut.”
Moon gasped. “Look who’s talking!” Jaemin then flipped his hair back and Moon hated him.
“At least I style it,” Jaemin winked at him. Moon rolled his eyes.
“Hey, are you done avoiding me though? Or are you still mad?” Jaemin asked, and they continued walking down the sidewalk. Jaemin tugged at his sleeve, and Moon touched his fingers for a second.
He made a thoughtful face. “I don’t know, you still kinda suck.”
“You’re so mean!” Jaemin laughed, and Moon grinned at him.
He especially hated Jaemin because he could never hate him.
After a while of walking particularly nowhere, Jaemin asked him if he could come with him for some errands. Moon definitely did not want to be alone tonight, but he wasn’t going to tell Jaemin that, at least not directly. Then the ass will get cocky.
“Okay, but what do I get in return?” Moon asked.
“Do you want me to suck you off?” Jaemin grinned devilishly, and Moon almost punched him.
“Don’t say that outloud!”
Jaemin snickered. “Alright, I’ll also buy some pizza.”
707 HAS ENTERED THE CHATROOM.
707: About that image
> got one too…
> [ V PHOTO #27 ]
> Maybe this person is sending us these images to put us against each other…
> so that we can’t trust V.
> and I think my image is the worst… V’s face is burnt out.
> If this person knows my address…I think it’s the hacker.
> He must have figured out where my computer is after picking a couple of fights with me.
> and looking at this photo, I think this hacker really hates V.
> Jaehee, when you read this, give me a call.
> I’ll go with you to V’s house.
707 HAS LEFT THE CHATROOM.
It’s been a long time since Moon has gone out with Jaemin like this, probably the first time in months. Usually when they see each other, it’s for one thing and one thing only: sex. And it worked for Moon, honestly. They both got what they wanted – they would get to see each other and fucked. Also, in the months that Moon was homeless, Jaemin would let him crash on his bed, sometimes for days on straight. Until, of course, they started arguing again and Moon would disappear from his sight.
Both Taejun and Jieun begged for him to stop seeing Jaemin. “It’s not healthy for you.” Moon knew this, of course he did. But at this point, he was now numb to whatever Jaemin did.
“I got a new job,” Jaemin told him as they got to his car. “Actually, I’m going to buy some things for it now, heh.” He grinned.
Moon buckled in his seatbelt. “Yeah? Where are you working at now?”
“At a club.”
Moon did a double-take. “A…dance club? As a DJ?”
Jaemin nodded. Moon smiled. “That’s great! So are you leaving-”
“Nope,” Jaemin interrupted him, shaking his head. “Remember, I told dad that I was going to finish my career. Not gonna let him down.”
Moon grimaced. Jaemin has always loved music – the jerk was amazing playing all types of instruments, and he’s been writing and producing songs since before they even met. But Jaemin’s father had wanted him to study finances, and so Jaemin did.
However, Moon’s hand went down Jaemin’s leg, as to comfort him. He caressed him softly, and Jaemin smiled at him, leaning in to kiss him by the ear. Moon sighed.
They went to the closest music shop, where Jaemin picked up a new electric guitar, strings and whatnot.
“Are you going to produce new songs?” Moon asked.
“Yep,” Jaemin said while looking at the guitars. “Once I’m done with new music, I want you to go see me. I want you to dance to my music again.” He gave the widest smile to Moon and Moon blushed.
Sometimes when Moon passed by Jaemin in a hallway and where no one was looking, he would touch him on his back and shoulders. Moon always made sure no one was looking.
“I don’t know if I have time to finish this new piece I’m working on tonight,” sighed Jaemin as he took the new guitar outside and put it in the backseat, along with all the other things he bought. “I’ve been so busy with some new fucking projects at school.”
“That’s too bad,” Moon patted his back. “So, I guess you don’t have time for me afterwards,” he sighed dramatically.
Jaemin turned to look at him. “Never said that.” Moon giggled as he went to the passenger’s seat.
After eating pizza, the end was obvious – Jaemin fucked Moon on his bed in the dark, and Moon was lost in his arms. For a moment, he felt safe, he felt secure. Jaemin never promised anything, never promised the world, but promised a temporary fantasy. The Moon from a few years back would feel like this was love; Moon now knows this was just a place where he felt safe.
Because with Jaemin, although he was a lying, selfish womanizer, he made Moon feel safe enough to be himself. Moon didn’t have to think of the right thing to say, didn’t have to be careful of messing up, or what the others would think. He could say what he really thinks, make fun of Jaemin all he wanted and act like a brat whenever he wanted. He was a raw wound and Jaemin could pick at him over and over again.
Jaemin kissed him silly as he came inside, and Moon whimpered as he felt that warmth inside, cumming soon after. Jaemin groaned.
Upon finishing, Jaemin through the condom away and went for a paper towel for Moon, cleaning him up. Moon was surprised – he didn’t have to ask him this time. He gave him a suspicious look. “What gives?”
“I really missed you,” Jaemin murmured softly, and he laid his head on his shoulder. “I missed being like this with you, just hanging out all night. You look really pretty today.”
Moon knew what this was. He would always tell himself that he wouldn’t fall for it, but he always did. He couldn’t help hugging Jaemin closely, running his hands through his hair.
They were already laying down sleeping when a phone rang. Jaemin stood up and glanced at his phone and left the room immediately. “Yeah, babe?”
Moon heard and sat up. He knew he shouldn’t be listening, he really shouldn’t-
“Sorry, I can’t come over tonight. I have to get up early tomorrow.” A silence. “Yeah, I really miss you too.” Another. “I had a fun time too. How about we see each other tomorrow night? After work. I promise I’ll stop by.”
Moon put on his clothes angrily and picked up his glasses. “Fucker,” he grumbled under his breath.
Jaemin came in afterwards, and upon seeing Moon, he sighed and leaned against the door. “You heard.”
“Jaemin, what the fuck?!” exclaimed Moon. “I miss you? Didn’t you tell that to me earlier? Am I another of your girls now?”
“Moonsoo, calm down-”
“Shut the fuck up,” Moon gave him an angry look. He threw him a pillow, which Jaemin caught.
“I’m so tired of you,” Moon seethed. “I’m so tired of you fucking around, why can’t you make up your mind? Why can’t you stop playing around? This is all because you hate your fucking career, but you can’t say no to your dad. You should tell him you hate studying finances! Stop taking out your problems out on me and the rest of the girls you lie to-”
Jaemin interrupted him there. “I take out my problems?” He pointed at himself. He scoffed and laughed. “You always tell me what I do wrong, don’t you? Now you’re going to listen to me. Cheong Moonsoo, you have a new issue every week! You don’t know how to handle your problems and who do you run to? That’s right, me. And why? Because no one knows how the real you is and no one would be able to stand you.”
Jaemin started ranting. “Cheong Moonsoo, the nicest, most kind and hardworking person in the whole wide world! Everyone loves you! But who actually comes around to help you when you need it? Who do you have? No one, because you would rather run away than letting someone see who the real you is. Who are you?”
Moon’s eyes started to burn. “Jaemin, stop right there.”
Jaemin neared him, cornering Moon to the wall. He pounded on the spot beside him with a fist, making Moon jump. “You have a fucking mask of kindness all fucking day that you forget who you really are. Even Taejun and Jieun have forgotton who you are. Do they remember what a jealous prick you are? Or how obsessive you can be? How insecure you are? What a coward you are? Give me a break, Moonsoo. Don’t tell me to stop taking out my problems when you’re the one who one who takes it out on the world. And stop telling me what to do.”
Moon stood immobile, tears falling down his cheeks. Jaemin flinched at that moment, and he gave a loud, tired sigh.
“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said all that.”
“You shouldn’t of,” Moon murmured, and he cleaned his tears. “You shouldn’t of. But you’re right. Asshole.”
Jaemin hugged him. Moon didn’t hug him back, but he didn’t push him away either. “I’m sorry,” Jaemin murmured, kissing his hair.
“I hate you,” Moon stated, finally pushing him away.
Jaemin didn’t reply to that. “Let’s go to bed,” he whispered and took Moon to bed, where they both laid down. Moon laid quiet a few moments more, trying to go to sleep but he couldn’t. He didn’t want to sleep beside him anymore. It was this moment when Moon realized that he no longer felt anything for Jaemin. He just wanted his company because he felt alone. He was tired of going through this all over again, listening to Jaemin and seeing the jerk do shit that made him feel bad.
And he realized that no matter how lonely he felt, it wasn’t worth going through so much hurt.
And as soon as Jaemin was out asleep, Moon stood up and grabbed his things, walking back to his apartment on foot. It was 2 AM.
Lately Jaehee has been leaving work at around 7 PM at night and today was no exception. The office was alone, dimly lit by some of the lamps that were left on. Jumin was still inside, currently in a meeting with one of the European warehouse owners. But recently, Jumin seemed to be stressed out of his mind, and Jaehee knew it was because the Chairman, Jumin’s father, was seeing a new woman. Something about Glam, Glam something, Jaehee couldn’t remember and after so many new ladies she couldn’t bring herself to memorize their names anymore.
As soon as she finished checking the projections for the new cat business Jumin wanted (something about a hotel, Jaehee found it stupid but of course she wouldn’t say anything), she started saving all her excel files. She let out a tired sigh. Usually this part of the day would be her favorite, but she still had to go to V’s apartment. Zen’s DVD’s will have to wait...
She turned around as soon as she heard Seven’s voice. She hasn’t seen the boy in months – although he still seemed strong, he seemed to be getting thinner, and that worried her.
But again, she won’t say a thing.
“Luciel-ssi, what are you doing here?”
“I told you I’ll be your driver,” Seven smiled cheerily. “Didn’t you read the messenger log?”
Jaehee frowned. “I was going to use the company car to visit V’s home…”
Seven immediately hugged her around the shoulders, pulling her away from her cubicle. “The company car is lame! Hurry up and get in! We have things to do, Assistant Kang!”
Jaehee seemed alarmed as they walked. “Uh, Luciel-ssi-”
Seven didn’t give her time to object further, since he started blabbering about who knows what. Jaehee had taught herself to ignore idiots and make it seem like she was listening, but it was difficult when Seven was on another level of idiocy. It was the smart kind.
“You seem stronger now! Are you still practicing Judo? Is it so you can flip Jumin if he gets too annoying? Please let me know if you ever plan doing so, so I can record it and upload it on YouTube, we can get LOADS of money with that.”
“Luciel-ssi, on what car are we going in?” she asked, exasperated.
The elevator door opened and Seven grinned mischievously. Right in front of the building, there was a sleek black Bugatti La Voiture Noire, it looked straight out of a future movie. Jaehee stood still and gaped at it, while Seven went ahead to open the door for her. The door popped out instead of opening like a normal car.
Jaehee felt overwhelmed. “L-Luciel, is this yours?”
“Yep!” Seven grinned, and he hugged the car. “I finally finished paying this baby off! It’s the coolest one yet~.”
Jaehee took that as the most expensive one yet.
Much to her dismay, Seven speeded across the streets whenever he could, and Jaehee felt as if her heart were to pop out. Although, she did have to admit, the car felt scarily smooth as they drove, even smoother than Jumin’s personal Rolls-Royce. It was as if they were flying.
They got to V’s house in less than two hours, which was saying something since V lived an hour outside Seoul. The house stood dark, abandoned, a mere shadow under the shining moonlight. Jaehee was sure that V hasn’t been here in more than a month.
“Whoooa, V’s house looks like a vampire lives in it, don’t you think?”
“I can hardly see it,” Jaehee replied.
“It’s right beside a cliff! Don’t you see it?”
Jaehee had to wait for Seven to open the door for her again, and they both walked towards the house. There, Seven opened the mailbox beside the front door, and he frowned.
“Is something the matter?” Jaehee asked.
Seven pulled out an envelope. “Should we take this to Jumin?”
Jaehee shook her head. “I believe he’s waiting for our report.”
Seven’s lips made a thin line. “It feels heavier than what came to me…Let’s open it together.”
They went inside with the key Jumin provided Jaehee. The house smelled dusty and closed in. Jaehee turned on all the lights and Seven immediately sat down on the first couch he saw, taking out his laptop from his backpack. Inside the envelope was a USB drive with a Horus eye on it. Seven lifted an eyebrow and inserted it into his computer which automatically started scanning the drive. Whoever left this left no trace whatsoever of himself, and that frustrated Seven. Once it finished, it opened the files, where there was only one archive – an EXE file.
Meanwhile, Jaehee looked around the apartment. It looked lonely, though there were many paintings on the wall. She wondered if these were V’s mother’s work. They looked beautiful, but sad.
Seven opened the EXE file and his screen went all black – then coding appeared, and in big green letters composed of binary, it said “YOU KNOW WHAT YOU’VE DONE”. The screen turned black once more, until it returned to the file explorer. Now, instead of only the EXE file, there was a ZIP file. Seven unzipped the file, and inside where four folders titled as so: TRAUMA, OBSESSION, CONFLICT, REUNION. And finally, there was a memo. Seven opened that first.
The collection of her, my precious, remedy process. Undisclosed.
“What does this mean?” Jaehee whispered. Seven shook his head.
“This doesn’t feel so good. Jaehee, could you let me look at it first?”
She nodded and stepped away. “Go ahead.”
Seven opened the first one. It was Rika, sitting on a bed with a white silk slip-on. The photo was in high resolution, so Seven knew this V’s camera. V took the photo.
He clicked through the pictures, until he finished, and then he switched to the other folders. Rika got more suggestive through each one, until finally she was laying completely naked on the bed.
Seven kept looking at it, until ultimately landing on the last folder, REUNION. There was video which started out with Rika looking straight at the camera. She whimpered, and V’s voice whispering something indistinguishable to her, and she moaned. Seven realized what it was, and immediately closed it and put the laptop down.
“What is it, Luciel?” Jaehee asked.
Seven shook his head once more. “I don’t think you should look at this.”
“I have to,” Jaehee said and she sat down next to him. “I have to create the report so I can give it to Mr. Han. I must see what’s inside.”
Seven said nothing and just gestured to the computer, still looking away. Jaehee looked through archives, looking more disturbed by the minute. Finally, she opened the video and it started, and closed it immediate.
“This is…this is indecent,” Jaehee managed to say. “Who could’ve done this?”
“It’s probably the hacker, the one who brought Moon to us,” Seven said, convinced. “Whoever he is, he has access to V’s computer…and I created the security for V’s computer. He broke in.”
After cleaning up and in the car, Jaehee called Jumin.
“Yes, the details are highly indecent, and invasive of V’s privacy…No, I don’t think even you can see it, Mr. Han. There are photos of V and Rika’s personal intimate life…Yes, there were those type of pictures, and a video…Of course, I will create a report for this, and Luciel will dispose of the storage drive…Yes, Mr. Han, I will tell him.”
Seven drove straight to Jaehee’s apartment from there, dropping her off in front. She gave a sigh once they arrived. “Thank you, Luciel, for coming with me. I wouldn’t have been able to see it by myself, after all.”
“No problem!” Seven said, happy that he received a compliment from Jaehee. “Happy to be of help.”
Seven opened the door for her once more, and she thanked him. Then she looked around. “Luciel, I have a question…Do you think that the hacker would harm us in any way?”
Seven’s eyes went serious. Jaehee had never seen him like this before. “I think he just wanted to scare us and put us against V. I don’t think he’d harm us, at least for now.”
Jaehee’s brows burrowed in worry. “I am worried about Moonsoo…The hacker knows he’s alone. I don’t want any harm to befall on him. He’s innocent.”
There was an unreadable expression on Seven’s face that lasted for a moment, and then gave a grin. “Don’t worry about that! I’ll take good care of him.”
Jaehee still didn’t relax but didn’t say anything further. She thanked him once more and left inside.
Seven drove around afterwards, not wanting to go back home just yet. Gas for this baby was crazy expensive, but he would rather pay for that than seeing Vanderwood put more work on him.
He stopped in a spot between the city and his home, right where he can see the stars. He remembered Moon sending him photos of the sky, so he snapped one from his view and sent it to Moon.
707: [ STARRY SKY PICTURE ]
- Look at my view, meow~
- Hope you’re having a good night!!!!!
Moon immediately replied.
Moon: Wow! So pretty meow.
- Thanks, you too. ^^
Seven smiled, and from his second phone, he logged into the security camera’s system from there. He wondered if Moon was pulling an all-nighter with assignments.
However, when he logged in and saw the apartment dark, he frowned. Moon didn’t seem to be home-
Then in that moment, Moon came in through the door. The lanky boy sat down on the floor as he removed his shoes and sat there for the longest time in the dark. Seven called him on the phone.
He saw Moon pick up. “Hello?”
“You just arrived home,” Seven said softly. “Is everything okay?”
He saw Moon sit up straight, and then turn around to look at the camera. His expression looked terribly sad and tired. “Yeah…I was at a friend’s house but left because I wanted to be back home.”
“Yeah, I missed my bed,” Moon laughed weakly. He leaned against the wall. “But…can I tell you something?”
“I’m…I’m scared, Seven. I…I’m scared that Unknown might do something to me. He knows where I live, the passcode, he told me he’ll be watching me, Seven. I…I don’t know what to do.” Moon leaned down his face, his hair covering his eyes momentarily. His breath hitched. He was crying and Seven felt awful.
“It’s going to be okay,” Seven whispered. “I’m with you.”
“Yeah. I’ll be taking good care of you. I’ll be with you always.”
Moon wiped his eyes with his hand and then he looked up. “Like my guardian angel?”
“Yeah! Like that, but instead of angel, think of me like a higher entity. Like…God Seven!” Seven chuckled and Moon laughed with him, more upbeat.
“Okay, God Seven! Here is your loyal follower!” Moon nodded. “I believe in you.”
“Yeah, really. I think you’re really cool and amazing, like a white light, shining in the dark. If I see you shine in the dark, then I really don’t feel so alone. I’ve never seen something so brilliant.”
Seven sat silent. He felt his heart beat so fast, as if it were going to pop out of his throat. “…I don’t think I’m so bright,” he managed to say finally.
“I do. I know so,” Moon whispered, and then Seven saw him stand up. “I’m going to go to bed. This talk really made me feel better. Thanks.”
“No problem,” Seven replied. “I’m here if you need me.”
“Me too! I mean, I can’t do everything you do, but, I’m here when you need a sunny day.”
Seven smiled. His heart felt like it was going to pop out. But he let himself fall into the moment. “Thanks, I’ll take that in mind.”
“Yep! Bye, have a nice night.”
“You too, goodnight.” Moon hung up soon after, and Seven saw him grin and wave at the camera one more time before disappearing into the bedroom.
Seven stared at the security feed for the longest time, ignoring the stars for the first time in his life. He felt himself falling but he couldn’t bother stopping himself, no matter how dangerous the feeling was.
HELLO AND HAPPY NEW YEARS!!!
I feel like it's been ages since I updated but I took a long time to write this chapter but I hope the wait was worth it? :')
A few notes on this chapter...
I've always wanted to do an analysis on MC as a person, because I understand that in the game we're MC and we know we're not in danger, but since I've always imagined MC as a character all on her own rather than inserting myself in her, I always felt how lonely she really was. Also, I found it curious how MC's flaws (jealous, obsessive, pressuring) would lead to a bad ending. Out of the otome's I've played, Mysme's seems to be the most human.
So I want to explore this with Moon in this fic and in result, I've had to create new characters for his world. Jaemin is a big key in all of this (but I promise I won't center around him too much). I totally based him of Cry by Cigarrettes After Sex. u_u
btw I suck at descriptions so here's my reference picture of Jaemin, credits to the artist! https://pin.it/j5jfwlxlutomy2
Also, Cheritz really wanted to make it look like V didn't take nudes of Rika, did they? they ain't fooling me.
This is the end of Act 1!!!! And we're still in the common route, whoops sorry.
I hope you enjoyed this and I wish you all a wonderful year!!