Pt. II

Limelight

The rest of that week was a waiting game inside your dorm. The masses of fans, of both your group and of BTS were gathered around the front doors, keeping your from going outside with anything short of great difficulty. It had only taken an hour since pictures of your "date" with Taehyung were being tossed around various social media platforms.

 

The comments that you received ranged from blessings to words like or . You tried to brush it off, and for the most part you didn't even bat an eye, but there was the occasional strongly-worded insult that really caught your attention and really made an impact.

You weren't quite sure about what was happening on Taehyung's side, but you hoped that he was being treated better than you were.

 

Your company and BigHit took a few days for the rumors to spread and to become something of a hot topic before they confirmed your relationship. Before that, they released statements like "We will have to check with our artists, please be patient."

 

They didn't have to consult you, though. In fact you hadn't spoken to your CEO since the meeting. Instead, you sat in your dorm, on the fourteenth floor of an apartment building, waiting for the crowd to back away from the complex so you could at least go out on your balcony and not be photographed.

 

In the past few days, you had some regrets about agreeing to this plan. You longed to be able to just go out on your spare time, being able to walk through the busy streets of Seoul going, for the most part, undisturbed. Now it was a hassle just to go to practice at your company building some five minutes down the road.

 

You sighed as you turned away from your window, which overlooked the bustling city below, wishing you could make it more than two feet out of the building.

 

Your phone, which sat on the arm of the sofa in the common area of the dorm, had gone off several times, a green light flashing in the upper left corner, signaling new messages. Picking it up, you double tapped the screen, illuminating it. For a moment, you were surprised to see that the texts came from an unknown number.

 

Your heart started to speed up, and your heart dropped to your stomach as fear gripped you. As unlikely as it sounded, you were worried that your number had somehow been leaked. The last thing you would want to do is go have it changed. You had so many friends and relatives back home, some of which you knew you would lose contact with if such a thing were to happen.

Relief flooded your body when you scrolled through the messages, reading them one by one.

 

From: Unknown Number

Did you see what some people are posting?

 

From: Unknown Number

They think we’re cute

 

From: Unknown Number

I think it’s working

 

From: Unknown Number

Oh! It’s Taehyung, by the way

 

From: Unknown Number

I got your number from my manager

 

A smile tugged at the corners of your lips as a slight, breathy laugh came from your mouth. His child-like enthusiasm was enough to lift your spirits, even though it was just a few simple texts.

You made your way to the small kitchen and pulled a bottle of water from the refrigerator and leaned against the counter, a stupid smile still on your face as you typed your own reply.

 

To: Taehyung

I know, people seem to think it’s true.

 

You paused for a second, debating whether or not you should mention the negative words some people had left for you. Ultimately, you decided against it, but you were curious as to what kinds of things were being said to him.

 

To: Taehyung

What kind of feedback are you getting? I hope it’s nothing bad. I don’t want to hurt your image.

 

Staring at your phone, you were anxious for his reply, though you couldn’t quite figure out why. Since having performance training and actually becoming an idol, you found that you weren’t as nervous about things as you once had been.

 

A specific memory of having to present a project about butterflies to your fifth grade class. You remembered how bad your hands shook and how unsteady your voice had been. Eventually, your teacher told you that you could sit down out of sympathy. You were the last person your peers would have expected to become an idol, but there you were.

 

“What are you so happy about?”

 

Your head immediately turned to see Jungah, rummaging through the cabinets for something to eat. After a few seconds had passed, she settled on a handful of rice crackers.

 

You couldn’t help the blush that tainted your cheeks a light pink color. “Nothing,” you mumbled, but your response came far too quick to be even remotely believable.

 

It wasn’t that you weren’t close with Jungah; in fact, the two of you had roomed together since your days of being trainees. Out of the three other members of 4ce, she was the one you were closest to.

 

“Really?” she pushed, poking your side, causing you to twist away from her. “Because I know that look.”

 

You could feel your face becoming even warmer than before. “I...I don’t know what you’re talking about,” you said, feigning innocence.

 

A laugh fell from the other girl’s mouth. “Oh, come on, don’t lie to me, (Y/N),” Jungah whined. “Who are you talking to? I promise I won’t make fun of you! I wouldn’t do that. And I promise not to tell Hyunmi, either!”

 

Now it was your turn to laugh. The maknae could never keep closed. She had spilled so many secrets, you wondered how people could confide in her enough to tell her every intimate detail of their lives. You loved the girl, you really did. In fact, all of your members were like sisters to you; they served as your family while you were so far from your actual relatives.

 

“Okay, fine,” you huffed, but a soft giggle punctuated your words, informing her that you weren’t actually annoyed with her. “It’s Taehyung. It’s Kim Taehyung.”

 

Jungah’s eyes lit up at the words. “You mean Taehyung?” she inquired, emphasizing the name of your senior. “The one you’re dating?”

 

Suppressing a grimace, you nodded. The rest of your members weren’t quite aware of the situation you were in yet; and while you hated not being upfront about the ordeal, you weren’t quite ready to share the fact that this was all for publicity.

 

If something were to accidentally slip, you definitely would gain attention, but definitely not the kind you wanted to attract. You had to just hold on to the whole story just a little longer, until you were given the okay by your CEO to mention it to the other girls.

 

You nodded and dropped your gaze to your feet, which were covered by black socks adorned with light purple polka-dots. A little voice in the back of your head prompted you to tell her the truth, but you just weren’t ready. Instead, you forced a smile and brought your eyes back up to meet her brown ones, trying desperately to not look guilty.

 

You had never been the best liar.

 

“Yes,” you answered, dragging out the ending, giving yourself just a little more time to figure out how to tiptoe around the subject. “That Taehyung. But we’re just talking about what people are saying. It isn’t anything interesting.”

 

Jungah shrugged, and grabbed a bottle of water for herself, taking a sip of it. “It is interesting though,” she insisted. “This is our first scandal. Every interview we get, it’s going to be brought up. Anyway, I’m heading to the practice room, if you want to come. I want to get down that one move from the chorus.”

 

You ended up declining her offer, telling her that you wanted to take a nap before the group practice and final recording session later that evening. She seemed to accept the answer, grabbed her sneakers, and made her way out of the dorm while you went to your shared bedroom, though it wasn’t to take a nap.

 

Instead, you changed out of your black sweatpants and into a pair of dark blue  jeans, and traded your pink, over-sized t-shirt for grey knit sweater with a white heart in the center. On your way out of the dorm, you grabbed a pair of black, lace-up boots and made your way down to the lobby, letting your dyed red hair fall freely down your back.

 

You were going to have to face the public eventually, and you knew that it would be better to get it over with.

 

When you called for the elevator, you pulled your phone from your back pocket, debating whether or not you actually wanted to go through with your plan.

 

Your company had said that these outings would be, for the most part, planned by managers and publicists, and that they would have prefered that you refrain from making your own plans for the time being, but, for some reason, you felt the need to see him.

 

The elevator doors open and a small ding alerted you that it had arrived. Much to your delight, it carried no other passengers.

 

As the door closed behind you, your decision had been made. You pressed the green Call button that appeared next to his name on your screen and waited.

 

The person on the other line picked up after the third ring.

 

“Hello?” the boy answered, his voice making you smile.

 

“Hey Taehyung,” you greeted him. “Are you busy? I was about to go get some coffee, but I don’t want to go alone.”

 

He hesitated. “I thought we weren’t supposed to see each other without consulting with our companies first.”

 

“Well, they said they would rather us wait, but,” you started, the elevator bringing you closer and closer to the mob of teenage girls and boys waiting outside the front doors. “I really want coffee.”

 

There was a moment of silence that dragged on to a nearly uncomfortable amount of time.

 

“Okay,” Taehyung finally answered. “Send me the address and I’ll meet you there. Dress warm, though! It’s cold out!”

 

Yet another smile graced your features. You couldn’t help but wonder why just hearing his voice made you happy, but the thought didn’t last too long, because just seconds later, the elevator doors opened, and the sound of excited teenagers yelling out anything from greetings to threats to unnecessary shrieking hit you.

 

You took the final second to collect yourself before stepping out into the crowd.

 

The next few months were going to be fun.

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