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Lonely Company

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Rian doesn’t know what she’s doing in the music room.

Tomorrow is her first day back in Kirin after staying in the hospital for almost a week. It’s lights out and she should probably be resting in her bed, trying to get some shut-eye, but she isn’t. She’s not really in the mood for Soondong’s incessant chattering, or more importantly, to be honest, for anything and everything Haesung. And fact of the matter is, with Seul in the room, it’s simply far too crowded to get decent sleep.

None of that explains, however, what she’s doing in the music room, of all places.

She reaches out and touches the acoustic guitar she has been staring at for the last couple of minutes, looking lonely and left behind as it leans against the wall. Her fingers lightly pluck at the strings and she’s about to properly pick it up when someone speaks up by the door.

“Do you want to continue your lessons?” The voice is pleasant, albeit a little teasing, but Rian instinctively rolls her eyes as a response.

“Yah, Jin Yoojin!” She snaps. “Has no one ever taught you that it isn’t polite to sneak up on people?!”

Yoojin just laughs and approaches her, picking up the guitar. Rian follows him with her eyes as he walks to the other side of the room and takes a seat on the piano bench.

“Well?” Yoojin casually beckons at her with his head, and Rian tentatively walks towards him, sitting down next to him.

Yoojin moves to hand over the guitar to her but Rian gently pushes it back to him, shaking her head.

“Play a song first.” Her demanding tone has Yoojin raising an eyebrow, but Rian immediately follows it up with a hesitant smile and he gives in.

“What song do you want?”

Rian shrugs. “Your call.”

Yoojin plays an untitled Jin Yoojin original and Rian quietly listens, unconsciously humming along as she carefully watches Yoojin’s fingers strum and pluck the strings.

Halfway through the second verse, Yoojin stops.

“So, HershE?” He turns towards Rian, questioning.

“What about HershE?” Rian meets his gaze directly.

“I’m sorry.”

Rian scoffs. “What do you have to be sorry for?”

Yoojin shrugs. “Isn’t it a little sad?”

“It’s not going to be for long,” Rian smiles, “pretty soon we’ll get back up on our feet, no? As long as... as long as we still have each other.”

Yoojin snorts, amused. “Never thought I’d hear those kind of words from you.”

Rian’s brow furrows and her mouth curls into a half pout and a half snarl. “Yeah? You think so? Whatever.”

Yoojin lets out a little laugh and Rian crunches her nose at him in defiance—this only amuses him further.

“What do you want to be Rian?” He asks. “Why are you in this school?”

“I’m here because my company wants me to be here.”

Yoojin shakes his head and throws her a slightly disapproving look which makes Rian recoil a little. She stares down at her hands and starts fidgeting with her large, flashy rings.

“I wanted to act and become famous,” Rian explains. “ Or... or maybe I wanted to become famous so I said I wanted to act.” She frowns. “I can’t remember anymore which came first.”

“Why?”

“Why?” Rian looks up at Yoojin,biting the insides of her cheek.

Yoojin shrugs and Rian sighs. Her smile is a little bittersweet and her voice small when she answers, “My mother, I guess. I wanted to make her proud.”

Yoojin nods and Rian can tell from his expression that he more than gets it—it’s a nod that makes her feel understood and she appreciates it.

“Do you like music?” Yoojin glances at the guitar in his arms and then back at Rian’s face.

Rian shifts and turns around so she’s facing the piano; she positions her right hand over the ivory keys.

“I don’t hate it—” She pauses and puffs up her cheeks, just as quickly letting out air before continuing, turning to smile at Yoojin, “I might even like it more than I originally thought I did.”

Yoojin breaks out into a genuine smile at her words.

“What do you want to be?” Rian throws his question right back at him. “Why are you here?”

“I... I want to be me.” Yoojin ducks his head, a little embarrassed at how cliche his answer is, but Rian can tell it’s the truth.

She smiles—she thinks she knows exactly what he means.

“And I want to continue making my own music,” Yoojin adds with conviction.

Rian cocks her head. “What about being a Super Idol then? Super. Idol. Jin. Yoojin.”

He doesn’t answer immediately, but for some reason, Rian can be patient when it comes to him.

“I guess I don’t hate the idea as much as I thought I did,” Yoojin finally answers, practically mirroring Rian’s own words. “As long as I don’t completely lose myself in the process.”

“Huh.” Rian snorts. “I guarantee it, you definitely will at some point.”

Yoojin’s head snaps towards her direction and it cracks Rian up. She pats his arm.

“Don’t worry,” she assures him. “As long as you have people to pull you back down to Earth, you’ll be fine. I should know.”

Rian says it with such sincerity and a suddenly serious expression that Yoojin can’t help but laugh.

“Hey, what’s so funny!” Rian slaps his arm, frowning at him.

Yoojin just laughs harder though, and pretty soon Rian is following suit, hands on her stomach, even though she isn’t exactly clear as to why.

“What are we doing?” She asks when their laughter finally starts dying out.

“Well,” Yoojin grins, “I thought I was in the middle of giving you a guitar lesson.”

Rian stares at him and lets out a snort. “Right,” she says, grinning. “So you were.”

 

 

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