Saddle up Noona's and pick your man.
WARNING: Adult Situations
Walking through airports by yourself is now as familiar as listening to the crowd scream and yell behind you. Thankfully no one watches their video recordings enough to notice that you arrive only minutes before him, at every airport. You’ve worked hard for the timing; hopefully, the video cameras aren’t on when you deplane. That is the goal anyway.
Being an older, best friend of one of the most popular idols in South Korea comes with ups and downs. If he didn’t enjoy your company so much and bring you on his trips, you would never see him. What kind of friendship would that be? A very sad and lonely one. The bodyguard that goes ahead to make sure things are safe and clear, usually meets you in the front to rent a car. The two of you act just like any other traveling couple. If anyone ever figures out who he is, both of you will be discovered.
“Are you Fred today?”
As he nods his accent, you can’t help but add, “Does that make me Ginger?”
You get a head shake and an eye roll for my attempt at humor.
“Rude. That just tells me you can’t dance. Have you picked up nothing after all these years guarding him?”
A heavy sigh and a hand on your back accompany you to the door of the car rental area. You walk past him with a smirk; he acts annoyed with you but you notice he’s never asked for an assignment change. Every once in a while you can get him to crack a smile. While he's guarding he's all serious, so it is normally not until after you get back home or to the hotel. You loop your arm through his and look up at him while batting your eyelashes.
“Fred, I want a convertible this trip. Would that be okay honey? Pretty please?”
You are supposed to act like a couple so when you’ve annoyed him, you always play the part to the hilt. It's fun to see how good of an actor he can be. You remember being told once, okay, maybe twice; that even couples fight and to knock it off.
“You seem tired little one, I’m not sure a convertible would be wise. I can’t imagine it will be easy to sleep if the top is down and the wind is blowing in your face.”
You reach up and pat his cheek; “You’re so thoughtful my love. But you can simply put the top up!” '
He isn’t going to win this one. You were told you could rent whatever car you wanted this time and that you would get a chance to sneak away and go sight seeing.
It takes a bit after you reach the hotel to unwind; put items away and just get settled in. You have your paints out and are sketching by the window when the door in the adjoining room opens. Indistinct voices reach you but it never concerns you, so you continue with what you're doing.
Concentrating a bit too hard leads to a jump scare, as an arm snakes around your neck and a head pops up over your shoulder.
A familiar voice murmurs in your ear, “I don’t know; maybe a happy little cloud over there? What is that supposed to be?” he asks as he reaches forward to point at a spot you'd tried to erase.
You reach back and thunk him on the head with your palm.
“Brat! Get away from my painting, it isn’t even started yet!”
He laughs as you start grumbling about artists who have to have an opinion on every form of art, talented in it or not. You hear voices and turn to find the members of his group behind you. Your eyes open as wide as an owl, and you turn back to him with a raised eyebrow.
You had no clue they were in town, you’d only met them once before; back when you started hanging out with him. Would they even recognize you? Did they know he still hung out with you?
“Dongsaeng, aren’t you going to introduce us?”
Well, that answers that question. You try to hide the smirk and turn back to your painting but he grabs you and twirls you back to face them.
“Why do I need to introduce? You all know [YN].”
You watch eyes widen as they take you in. Since you arrived in South Korea, you've lost about 50 lbs., your hair has gotten longer and thanks to their beauty products; you've been told you look at least 10 years younger than your age. Since you don’t act your age; that is a really good thing.
A few recover quickly, “[YN]! You look great! Well, not that you didn’t look great before but, wow.”
You smile and acknowledge his embarrassment.
“It’s okay, I hardly recognize myself these days so I will take that as a compliment. Backwards or not.”
“Backwards?” he asks with a fearful, questioning look on his face.
“Nevermind,” You decide to let him off the hook. The others still haven’t said anything; he has at least now closed his mouth. You shake your head and think to yourself, “little boys – okay men"– they never really grow up. If you weren’t 10+ yrs older than them you might take offense to their reactions.
“I didn’t know you guys were coming to the hotel, I’ll make myself scarce so you can discuss what you need to.” As you head out of the room, [HN] grabs your arm and stops you.
“No running off, we’ve discussed everything. It's time to relax before we have to head over to rehearsals. You are part of my relaxing or you wouldn’t be here.” His eyes are pleading and he has such a little boy look on his face that you can’t refuse.
“Alright. Anyone like something to drink?” You take their orders and head to the kitchen to see what the team has stocked since arriving.
Upon hearing footsteps, you turn to see the leader of the group standing silently in the kitchen doorway.
“[HN], how are you?”
“That I’m still around? That I’ve lost weight? Or that I offered to get the drinks?”
“Can I claim all of the above?”
You straighten up, “That sounds a little insulting [HN], remember I am still your elder. Why wouldn’t I still be around? Is it wrong to have friends of a different age? You’re missing out on a lot if you think so and I feel sorry for you.”
He moves off the door frame and saunters over to the counter where you’re standing. He bows slightly, “I apologize. You took it wrong; I didn’t mean it to sound like that.”
“Do explain then please. [HN] and I are a too good of friends; I don’t want an argument with someone he considers a brother.”
“That’s my issue. You and he are too good of friends. Men and women can’t be friends, especially not when they look like you.”