?

Log in

 
 
08 July 2014 @ 02:42 pm
Four [4/4]  
Pairing: Seunghoon/Seungyoon
Rating: PG
Genre: Realistic Fiction; Angst; Friendship.
Summary: Four times in which Seunghoon cries. The fourth time, they just laugh it off.
Author's Note: The timing of this chapter sort of varies...a lot. Lots of time shifts, but the general setting/impression should be Busan, during Winner TV episode 9, with flashbacks in between. Sorry for the huge delay for this chapter, damn I feel like YG for posting this final chapter so late. Anyways, hope you like it. This is Part IV of "Four". Read Part I here., and Part II here, Part III here.


What Seunghoon loved more about dance than anything in the world was the spontaneity of it all.

No two dances were quite the same, even if the same choreography was being executed - and the reason was because so much of dancing is about being "in the moment".

And those moments were so drastically different, depending on where he was.

Space and surroundings are so important. One extra spotlight, one extra square meter of space, (four thousand more audience members, four more pairs of feet behind him dancing in unison, chasing the same dream) - these little nuances (and heavy burdens) could make each dance experience so different.

One time, a time before he became a YG trainee, Seunghoon had mindlessly filmed a dance in front of the YG building. It was the middle of the night and he was with his dance crew buddies, who had dared him to do it. That night, after that dance, he had felt shivers down his spine, as he had never before. Maybe it was the fact that he couldn't see what was around him, since it was dark. Maybe it was the exhilaration of dancing on a street in the middle of the night. Or maybe, it could have been the shivers from the cold.

But it was the environment that made all the difference.

That dance felt so different from all his other dances. In the dark, under a single streetlight that illuminated his space, he could feel the adrenaline coursing through his veins, electricity rushing from his brain to his nerves and to every muscle in his body, as he moved. He danced passionately in front of a building that had always been his dream, and there was just a single fence between him and that building, the one that held all his desires. He had spent a few cherished seconds after the dance, kneeling on the floor with his fingers wrapped around the fences, as if that would somehow magically transfer the energy of the YG building to him. It took a few shouts of "get out of here, kid!" from the security guards and the laughter of friends to finally snap him out of his delusions.

***

January 28, 2014. Busan. Winner TV Hometown Special.


"Hyung, can you believe it's been ten years since you tripped onstage?" Seungyoon said, as he laughed his obnoxious, high-pitched giggle.

"Shut up, asshole. Don't act like you didn't have that voice crack." Seunghoon elbowed Seungyoon in the shoulder, which only made Seungyoon laugh even harder.

Seunghoon smiled grudgingly and stared ahead at the stage for a while.

"Seriously though hyung! Can you believe it? We actually sort of met here ten years ago! I mean we didn't talk to each other or anything but we were in this same room and competing and within each other's presence! And we also both tied for fourth place that time!"

"Yes, yes, I'm aware. Our lives are filled with miserable coincidences, aren't they."

"That was mean, hyung."

"At least I'll get air-time."

"I get air-time too though, hyung."

"Yeah, because your skinny ass body is half-naked all the time."



They were walking through the auditorium of Seunghoon's old elementary school, where he had once been a popular kid. This was the place where the youth talent competition had taken place, 10 years ago. Seunghoon shivered a bit, imagining what would have happened if he had also tripped on the Olympic Stadium Stage, at WIN Finale, with thousands of people watching from the seats and thousands more from their TV screens.

But the WIN Finale dance performance had been perfect. Taehyun's windmills were splendid and unexpected, and Jinwoo and Seungyoon were thankfully able to figure out how to do their rotating jumps right on the day before the final performance.

The energy was exploding.

The applause was deafening.

And Seunghoon, of course, had danced flawlessly, and gotten the most praise for it. For the fluidity of his moves, the agility of his every step, the desperation written across every one of his facial expressions - all of which he heard about from his family and friends and fans, since Seunghoon himself was in a daze and forgot a lot about what happened in that performance.

He had taken the risk of choreographing a lyrical dance, and it had paid off well. Now he was known as the dance genius and choreographing mastermind of WIN. Many people praised him, calling him a "true artist".

The fourth place days were gone. Lee Seunghoon was a winner, for the first time in his life.

"It felt as if I were dancing for the first time." Those were the words that he would later say in the "WIN Epilogue" interview.

(It actually felt as if he were dancing for the last time.)

***

"Say, do you still keep in touch with them?"

"Who?"

"You know, your friends. Your dance crew friends from Busan."

"Oh."

His friends. Where were they? Being a YG trainee meant he had limited social network access, of course, but they almost never texted him. Seunghoon felt as if they hadn't talked for ages.

He knew what Minjoon was up to - he was a part-time dance instructor for a while, then became a full-time employee at some electronics company. He had no idea what Sunghyuk was up to, since they hadn't been very friendly ever since he had kicked Seunghoon out of their elementary school dance crew. Which left Howon, who Seunghoon knew, had remained in show business, and became an idol.

Howon was already living the dream.

Seunghoon could only have some occasional glances of what Howon was up to, through some internet ads, TV appearances, a drama called "Reply 1997", and recently the billbaords around Seoul, advertising Infinite's world concert tour.

Other than that, he only had vague ideas of what his other dance friends were up to. Some of them became doctors, some accountants, some restaurant-owners. All of them with a certain path they were walking down, while all Seunghoon had back then were survival programs that could have eradicated his path completely. All of them were living their lives, while Seunghoon was slipping from his own.

But almost none of them became professional dancers, or stayed in showbiz, which of course, was completely expected.



"So you really have no idea what those guys are up to?" Seungyoon asked, snapping Seunghoon out of his thoughts.

"Nah man, you can't expect me to keep up with my elementary school friends. I still talk to some high school friends, but that's about it."

"I see. I don't talk to mine a lot, either."

"Really? Weren't you pretty popular in your high school days, Mr. Superstar K?"

Seungyoon smirked. "Yeah, I was pretty popular."

"Wow. Forget I asked you."

"I was popular, but that didn't mean I had a lot of friends."

"..."

"..."

"Hey hyung, that sounded pretty poetic, right?"

"Great songwriting material for melodramatic ballads, definitely."

They high-fived, and walked out of the auditorium together, leaving the small stage behind.

***

At the Haeundae beach, the MNET PDs had told Seunghoon and Seungyoon to put on a performance. Seungyoon would be on guitar, and Seunghoon would improvise a dance. "Lyrical dance," the PDs had said. "The fans will love it."

"Well, since Seungyoon's repertoire consists mainly of cheesy rock ballads from the early 2000s, then lyrical dance will have to do."

"Wow, hyung. You sound like you're still bitter that I solved that math problem correctly and you didn't."

"At least I don't steal my answers like you did, back in Japan for that knowledge quiz thing."

"That wasn't stealing, that was strategic planning."

"That wasn't strategic planning, that was academic dishonesty."

"Alright hyung, let's do this song."

Seungyoon shuffled through his ipod music, and stopped upon an old song he used to play all the time.

"The Reason, by Hoobastank."

"Never heard it."

"Just improvise, hyung."

Seunghoon laughed and walked to the place where water met land, and practiced a few moves while Seungyoon recalled the guitar chords for the song, and struggled a bit as he tried to remember the lyrics. He hadn't sang it in a while.

***

Just like a dance, a song could have so many different moods and meanings, depending on where it was sang. The same lyrics could mean so many different things.

The last time Kang Seungyoon had sang this song, he was in a dimly lit Busan restaurant, with a crowd of people standing around his table, filming him with their phones. Back then, he had just became famous from his fourth place in SuperStar K. He had a reputation: Kang Seungyoon the edgy high school drop-out, the bad boy with a broken family, who still sang "Instinctively" with a smile and topped all the charts at the age of 17.

(Now, his reputation was the kid who sort of kind of never really debuted. He tried debuting once with Superstar K, twice with High Kick 3, three times with "Wild and Young" - if he couldn't debut on the fourth try with Team A, then would it really be the end of the road for him?)

The restaurant owner, a friend of his mother's, would allow Seungyoon to eat there for free, as long as he entertained the customers with a few songs from time to time. As the surrounding crowd clapped and cheered for Seungyoon, he searched through his ipod for a song to play, and came across "The Reason".

"Thank you everyone. Okay, so, well, the next song is called "The Reason", and uh, well..."

(The Kang Seungyoon of today was always impeccably eloquent. The Seungyoon back then stuttered more than he would have liked to.)

"This is one of my favourite songs because I found the lyrics very touching. I'll dedicate this song to my mom, who's at home right now, and didn't come to eat out with me today." As the crowd "ooh'd" and "aww'd", he picked up his guitar again.

His mother was usually here to eat with him, but today she was at home, hungover. After all, the family debts were still piling, since Seungyoon wasn't able to win much prize money, and his mother had been stress-drinking again, lately.

Throwing his worries away, he began to sing, just like that.


***

"I'm not a perfect person,
There's many things I wish I didn't do,
But I continue learning.
I never meant to do this thing to you,
So I have to say, before I go..."

***

Back then, the lyrics of the song had always reminded him of his mother. Seungyoon felt thankful and sorry for her.

Without his mother, he wouldn't have a single, constantly supportive person in his life - he'd been betrayed by friends so many times that he lost his trust in people. He had nobody else. And his mother certainly had nobody else, either.

And he wished he could repay her, wished he could be the perfect son that would mend all the wounds that his father had left on her and the family, but all he did was get in trouble and get depressed and pursue an uncertain career. Sometimes, Seungyoon questioned why his mother spent so much time supporting his risky decision to be a singer. Maybe...maybe it was because there was nothing much that she could do about him. Maybe she supported him because she really had no other choice. Which of course, was a very depressing thought.

***
"I've found a reason for me,
to change who I used to be.
A reason to start over new,
and the reason is you."

***

Whenever Seungyoon had depressing thoughts, he listened to the song and thought of his mother. His biggest purpose in life, up until then, was to make his mother proud, to repay all her debts as well as his own debt to her.

He wasn't a perfect person, but he had found a reason to keep striving toward his dream, a reason to start over as a new person - his mother.

So when he moved away from his mother to live with the other trainees, he felt like he lost the reason.

***

Kang Seungyoon learned that there wasn't always going to be that one unfaltering reason, or that one certain neverending truth that would comfort him and keep him strong, like his mother. He had to search for different reasons. Reasons that may be uncertain, reasons that were temporary or crooked or faulted or just as confused as he was himself; nevertheless, reasons.

So he found these reasons in the trainees around him.

He found a reason in Kim Jinwoo, who stuck it out through what felt like four hundred rounds of trainees eliminations, who practiced until the crack of dawn without a second to feel himself think or blink or breathe - who was still the target of snide remarks from other trainees, who thought they were more talented than him.

He found a reason in Kim Bobby, who rapped fiercely and laughed loudly and pranced around every single day amongst everybody's love and praise, and sniffled softly in the bathroom stalls while on the phone with his mother - who was even farther away from him than Seungyoon's mother was - thinking nobody would hear him crying.

He found several reasons in Nam Taehyun, who was enigmatic and moody and talented and introverted and just as confused about his identity at YG Entertainment as Seungyoon was - who had more in common with Seungyoon than he would have thought. Who struggled to fit in and cried. A lot.

And then, there was Lee Seunghoon.

The boy who could sort of sing and kind of rap and could blow minds with his dancing and move worlds with his choreography.

The boy who smiled through his tears as he received the compliments of Yang Hyunsuk and the the title of fourth place. Who kept all of his emotions pent up - a feeling that Seungyoon understood all too well - and released them all on the stage. The only one who had the guts to call out the CEO for what he was doing to the eleven of them, through the lyrics of "Officially Missing You", and through his choreography for the finale battle.

Lee Seunghoon said he was born with nothing, that his only weapon was hard work and determination; but Seungyoon saw in him much more than just that.


Lee Seunghoon was a pretty big reason.

***

"Do you ever miss your family?" Seungyoon had asked Seunghoon once, on the night before Second Battle, as they sat together on the couch after practice. The others were asleep.

Seunghoon paused for a while. It had been a while since he had last texted his family. His parents were both busy with work, he told himself, as were his sisters. All of them had their own lives to live.

Seunghoon wished he had his own life.

He also wished he could be like Mino, and send his family "I love you" texts each night, but when Seunghoon was stressed, he closed off and avoided talking. Maybe life would be easier if he could just cry out his problems, like Mino did when he lost the leader position.

Seunghoon looked up from the floor he was staring at, glancing over Seungyoon's shoulder. Even from behind, Seunghoon could see that Seungyoon was smiling, as he shuffled through pictures of him and his mom on his old, battered phone. Seunghoon immediately felt a pang of sadness hit his heart - his family was busy and at different ends of the province sometimes...but at least his family was still together. Seungyoon was such an amazing son, paying off his family debts like that, at such a young age. He watched Seungyoon rub his eyes, and text his mother back "I am fine, mom, really", even though he was tired as fuck and his debut was on the line and he had just been appointed leader of Team A and Mino was a mess and everything about his life clearly sucked right now.

Seunghoon wished he could be as positive and outwardly content as Seungyoon was, all the time. Seungyoon, the voice of reason, the wise owl, calm and collected all the time.

The only way Seunghoon could stay collected was if he remained stony-faced and closed off from people. Because people provoke his emotions, and emotions lead to tantrums, and after last night's outburst in the practice room at 4:44 AM, he wasn't sure he wanted to express his emotions ever again.

(Seungyoon had been there last night, had seen him cry and tremble and lose himself. And he had been there to hold him tight, and cry with him.)

Lee Seunghoon realized that Kang Seungyoon was pretty perfect.

Kang Seungyoon was many reasons, all wrapped up in one.


Seunghoon finally looked into Seungyoon's eyes again, and Seungyoon gave him a smile - as always - and a nod of understanding.

"Yeah, man," Seunghoon said. "I miss my family all the time."

Seungyoon yawned. "It's okay, hyung...we'll see them, soon, and things will be much better by then."

"How are you so sure?"

"I mean...it can't be worse than now, can it? Nothing can be worse than right now."

"Really?" Seunghoon scoffed. "Even if we end up losing this thing?"

Seungyoon went silent for a few seconds. Then, cautiously, he opened his mouth again.

"Even if we lose, just think about it - it'll suck for a while, no doubt, but at least we'll be certain of something. Maybe we can find closure. It's like you said earlier today, hyung...everything is always so uncertain. And I think anything is better than uncertainty. If we lose, we'll have a chance to move on with our lives, to actually do something with ourselves...instead of sticking around here and, well..."

"Well, what?"

"Not really get anywhere."

"Wow. So that was supposed to be motivational. Thank you, truly." Seunghoon  sighed. "How I love optimistic pessimism."

Seungyoon grinned sleepily, and yawned again into his sleeves. He then wrapped an arm around Seunghoon's shoulders.

"I think we'll win, hyung."

Seunghoon looked into his eyes again, and seeing Seungyoon's comforting expression, he finally forced a weak laugh out of himself, and leaned his head on Seungyoon's shoulder.

"Hey, let's change the channel hyung. This show is kinda boring."

"Sure." Seunghoon grabbed the remote control beside him, and changed the channel.

Immediately, they saw montages of "Team A" and "Team B" flash across the screen, along with the words in big letters "DEBUT OR DISBAND" while GD's "Shake The World" blared through the stereo, in the background.

Blank-minded, Seungyoon just stared at the screen, taking in all of the images, and of how much his life sucked. He looked down at Seunghoon, whose head was still on Seungyoon's shoulder, and Seunghoon closed his eyes and let out a very long, melodramatic sigh.

"Fuck our lives, Seungyoon."

And then, for the first time in a long time, they both burst into long fits of hysterical, genuine laughter.

Struggling to breathe, Seunghoon reached for the remote again, and turned off the TV.

"Let's get some sleep. We've got a battle to win tomorrow."

***

And Seungyoon was right. In the end, they won, and in about an hour, and right after this Haeundae Beach performance, they were seeing their families again. They were back in Busan, and things really did get much better.

Damn Kang Seungyoon. Why was he always right.

***
"I've found a reason to show
A side of me I didn't know.
A reason for all that I do...
...and the reason is you."

***

At the end of the song and dance performance, they sat together on the rocks and watched the sunset, shoes in the sand.

"You know, I always pictured that when I watched a sunset at the beach, it would be a romantic experience." Seunghoon said to Seungyoon. "How delusional of me."

Seungyoon snorted. "If you insist." He jokingly leaned his face toward Seunghoon, as if to kiss him, only to get slapped.

"Don't even think about it, underwear breath."

And they both laughed, hard.

***

Kang Seungyoon and Lee Seunghoon found many reasons in each other. Reasons for bickering, arguments, witty comebacks and fifth-grade level jokes; reasons for hope, for courage, for song and dance and laughs and strength - for something that was as close to certainty as they could get.

***

"Hyung, are you crying?"

"No. It was the sun earlier. The sun was making my eyes watery."

"Hyung, you're totally crying."

"Fuck you. Sue me if I missed my mom's food and I'm sad I couldn't stay in my hometown for a bit longer."

Seungyoon put an arm around Seunghoon's shoulders, his giggle still annoying as ever. "We'll be back soon, hyung...today for Winner TV, tomorrow, for...for our sold out nationwide concert tour."

" 'Tomorrow?' Kang Seungyoon, you realize we probably won't be debuting for another 10 months, right?"

And they both laughed, pulled their suitcases and headed toward Train 4, which would take them back to Seoul.

 
 
 
Rosa: ygwildchildygwildchild on July 11th, 2014 06:04 am (UTC)
Wow. Reading this series feels like watching a friendship-themed movie based on true story.
You write them in a way that makes people believe this was what actually happened! It almost feels like they told you their story and you share it to us... I would probably not be surprised if one day you say you know them personally (or that you're secretly one of them, Idk)
The scenario and their conversations in this series were flawless, so realistic, enjoyable, and casual yet emotional!
I was about to quote my favorite part but then I realized that I would probably quote the whole fic lol. But, oh, I think these are my favorite lines:
Lee Seunghoon was a pretty big reason. and Kang Seungyoon was many reasons, all wrapped up in one.
Idk, but your words are perfect! *soft crying*
Plus, this cute little conversation:
"That wasn't stealing, that was strategic planning." "That wasn't strategic planning, that was academic dishonesty."
Their cute-bicker moments are always the best! (and why "underwear breath" omg ;v;)

I've been waiting for the last part like forever lol. This was really beyond my expectation, amazing and really worth the wait! Thank you so much for writing this, Carol! ^^
Carol: pic#122344821kangsong on August 18th, 2014 02:01 am (UTC)
Oh my goodness, thank you so much! And I'm so sorry you waited for the last part for forever LOL I kept putting it off because I had no time and inspiration but I'm so glad that you liked this series! And what you said about me writing in a way that is believable is so flattering, and is my ultimate purpose through Winner fanfic writing - to write canon fics that are realistic. I'm so glad that you feel that way, so thank you so much.
(Anonymous) on July 27th, 2014 01:02 am (UTC)
Thank you for this. I've wanted to read a 2Seung fic for a while, especially after watching the WinnerTV homecoming ep. Like you, I was fascinated with the idea of these two Busan boys who led completely different but parallel lives. We have Seunghoon who's always been a happy, confident kid surrounded by his friends and his loving supportive parents and older sisters, who spent most of his time in the busy main streets of Busan, expressed himself through the movements of his body in front of a shop that blasted hiphop music, and ended up getting fourth place in a search for the next kpop star competition. Then there's Seungyoon, a troubled kid raised by a single mom, who stopped going to school for awhile and chose to spend his time by the beach, who sang his heart out to rock music with his deep voice, playing on his guitar, and also ended up getting fourth place in a search for the next superstar competition. And here they are now, branded as one Winner, together with three other boys, still different from each other, still individuals with their own set of skills but now walking the same path, living the same dream, and working together for one purpose.

So again thank you for this. I especially cried in Part 3 when you wrote out the scene of Seunghoon changing his rap for Officially Missing You. I could really feel his emotions at that time, his pent up frustration while going through the battles. And yeah, like you, I admire him for his courage to call out 'the powers that be' in the cruel, sadistic reality of the show that play them as pawns for show business. Not just during that rap but also for their dance performance in the final battle. You just can't help loving Seunghoon more, he's not someone who's born with nothing but someone with artistic talents in dance and writing. He's a well-rounded person who's introspective, aware of his situation and able to reflect upon it but also looks and acts confident and just gives off a positive, optimistic vibe. Him and Seungyoon both look up to YG as sort of a father figure (more so with Seungyoon), with the former almost worshipping him, and the latter craving for attention and approval.

I talked a lot but you just brought back all the feels I have for 2Seung. Of course, I also love the other three. I love Winner! I seriously cannot wait for their debut!!
Carol: pic#122344821kangsong on August 18th, 2014 02:02 am (UTC)
Yes! I love that about 2seung, they're so different but there are so many coincidences and similarities between the two and it's just perfect fic material. It's really flattering that my fic made you cry, haha. Thank you for your review!!
lilylilym: necklilylilym on November 25th, 2014 03:22 am (UTC)
this is perfection
I'm kinda speechless after reading this. I mean, shit, I was getting emotional and all. You have a way with words to describe how hard the situation really was and I was reminded everyday when I look at the boys - about the constant pain and anxiety and struggle that they must have during that time. Which is not cute. I'm pretty invested in Hoon but almost know nothing about Yoon except for the common knowledge, so it was new to read your interpretation of him. I can see the friendship between them, the Busan boys. I was also deeply touched with the scene where Yoon played the guitar and Hoon danced in front of the ocean that thing was just straight up cliche' but was so impactly beautiful.

Thank you again for this very well-written, deep analysis type of fic. I like it a lot.
Carolkangsong on January 9th, 2015 01:59 am (UTC)
Re: this is perfection
Thank you so much! I really appreciate your comment. I'm gonna be honest, this was kind of painful to write, especially Part 3, because I really tried to dig into their emotions, so I'm really glad you could perceive that through my writing. And that "cliche" moment actually happened in real life! On Winner TV episode 9. Thank you again for your generous comment, much appreciated ♡♡♡
lilylilymlilylilym on January 9th, 2015 07:17 am (UTC)
Re: this is perfection
haha, I know it happened, I liked it but at the same time even in the episode I still feel a little funny watching it, so set up!
Vn AnhVn Anh on January 13th, 2015 04:48 pm (UTC)
So emotional...
I have to say that I really love this fic. I get too emotional while reading part 2 and 3 of Four and I just realised how Seunghoon had suffered in real life. Each of your words is so real that Four becomes like a diary or a movie about Seunghoon, and Seungyoon.

May I have your permission to translate Four into Vietnamese and post in on my wordpress to share your fic to Vietnamese fans? Of course I will fully credit it to you.

Thank you so much for this awesome fic. I am looking forward to read more of your fic in the future.

Thank you.
Carolkangsong on January 23rd, 2015 07:03 am (UTC)
Re: So emotional...
Thank you so much! And sure, go ahead! I'm flattered that you would like to share my fic in a different language. Thank you again for your kind comment!