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[FIC] No Longer Just Friends (1/4)

Title: No Longer Just Friends
Pairing: Jiyoung/Jonghoon (FT Island)
Synopsis: FT Island's leader Choi Jonghoon has openly confessed on many occasions that he deems KARA maknae Kang Jiyoung as his ideal girl. The girl in question has successfully been avoiding any confrontation regarding this matter, until today - her doom's day, or is it?



Author's Note: This took me a long time to finish, because I didn't have new ideas. When I did, I ran into a writer's block a few times. I received so many encouragements to continue my writing, so here I am. I actually had written almost the whole story, but only posting chapter by chapter now. I hope you enjoy.

Disclaimer: This is purely fiction. I don’t own any of the people in the story, obviously. Just the plot. And I don’t know if this happened in real life. I hope it does though.

Warning: This fic is very wordy and isn’t as happy and cheerful as [i]Sydney[/i]. Yeah, after writing the first chapter of the story, I realized that Jiyoung is sooooo OOC. The whole story can be quite angsty. Can be slightly impossible too, but hey, this is called fan fiction, right?
  Sorry if I got some information wrong. I tried to get the timeline right, but everything’s so confusing! And I apologise in advance to Hongki/Jiyoung shippers! And Secret’s Hyosung fans!


CHAPTER ONE: EXPLORING THE EVIDENCE

Kang Jiyoung was a nervous wreck when she arrived at the network studio with the other KARA members. In fact, she had been like that since two days before.

  They were scheduled to appear as guests on MBC’s Get To Know Your Stars, a variety show famous for its host, the effeminate Kim Jaeho. That man is notoriously known for his tendency to sometimes be too brash and probing while interviewing his guests. This usually ends with undesired results, on the guests’ part.

  The show is exactly what its name says – It reveals secrets about its guests, which mainly contributes to its high rating. With high-profile celebrities as guests every week, Get To Know Your Stars is one of the top ranking shows ever created in Korea.

  When KARA was invited, the girls were not sure if it’s a golden opportunity or a disaster in the making. Jiyoung prayed with all her might that Jaeho would be lenient with them today. Her, especially.

  At first, she thought that things were going her way. Jaeho had mostly attacked her unnies, much to her delight and admiration at how they managed to handle every question professionally. He only had asked her questions that she deemed harmless and talked about things the public already knew.

  Just when she thought it was already time to wrap the show up, she found Jaeho looking at her critically.

  “Jiyoung dear, please tell me. What do you look for in a boyfriend?”

  ‘Oh, no.’ The poor girl’s heart was pounding loudly as she looked helplessly at the others. They just shrugged at her, as if saying, ‘It’s your turn,’ or ‘Good luck,’ or ‘Your funeral.’

  She gulped and said in a shaky voice, “Um, first of all, I’d want him to be able to make me laugh. I’d want us to have a good time whenever we’re together, you know; enjoy each other’s company.”

  The others nodded and ahh-ed in understanding, which made Jiyoung feel slightly better and less under pressure.

  She continued, “I once said that I didn’t really like good-looking man,” she paused to giggle, “but that’s just nonsense when I thought about it. It doesn’t really matter, actually, as long as he can make me feel happy and comfortable. And safe. In turn, I’d want to do the same for him.”

  Jaeho clapped and cheered, but Jiyoung was not finished when she should’ve just stopped there. “Since I’m learning the guitar now, I’d want someone who can… give me private lessons.”

  A shy smile formed on her face as she pictured herself sitting on a comfy couch with a certain guitarist. He hugged her from behind as they both shared the same guitar. And as she turns to look at him over her shoulder, he steals a quick kiss, but it is meaningful nonetheless.

  Shaking herself from the fantasy, Jiyoung thought she had given an acceptable answer, but was surprised to find Jaeho staring at her with a wicked grin. “Oh, really? Interesting.”

  Jiyoung’s smile faltered and she returned to her panic mode as she waited for what more was to come from the evil host.

  “Hmm. Some artists have made confessions on television that you are their ideal girl. Were you aware of that?”

  Frozen in her seat, she felt the blood drain from her face and her heartbeat stopped as she struggled to maintain a neutral facial expression and fight off the urge to act embarrassed. ‘I can’t believe he would talk about this!’ she screamed in her head.

  “Er…” she began nervously.

  “Yes she was!” Seungyeon chirped in, cleverly ignoring glares from the younger member. “She totally knows about it!”

  Jaeho cackled obnoxiously when he saw Jiyoung squirm in her seat uncomfortably.

  “Let’s see, lots of idols have chosen you as their favourite, including Super Junior’s Eunhyuk and 2AM’s Changmin, but most of the confessions I’ve heard came from FT Island’s leader Choi Jonghoon,” he said with a Cheshire cat grin on his face.

  Closing her eyes in horror at the mention of his name, Jiyoung just wished the ground would open up and swallow her whole there and then.

  She had made sure to avoid this topic whenever she goes on talk shows, or any show for that matter, hoping that it would die with time.

  Her reason for doing this was the result of her parents’ constant warning to stay focused on her music career. Being the good girl that she was, she listened to their advice, even though her heart couldn’t help but flutter at seeing idols that caught her eye.

  She herself just couldn’t help it. She was after all almost a grown-up now, with feelings, and sometimes she couldn’t understand why her parents were so strict about her being in relationships.

  At the back of her mind, there was that nagging voice that told her that they just wanted the best for her. However, the older she got, the more she wished to ignore that voice.

  She figured that doing that would be easy-peasy if she set her mind to it, but ignoring her strange yet growing feelings towards Jonghoon was entirely a different matter.

  To her annoyance, the other KARA members giggled with delight at the expense of their maknae.

  Jaeho continued, showing no mercy. “So, did you know about this?”

  All eyes turned to Jiyoung as everyone waited with bated breath for her answer. “Yes,” she answered softly with a forced smile.

  “Woohoo!” he cheered. “And? What did you make of it?”

  Carefully choosing the right words to use, she mumbled, “I was flattered, of course.”

  Sensing the girl’s reluctance, the host professionally turned to the other girls. “Were you all with her when she first found out?”

  “Well, Gyuri unnie, Nicole, Jing and I were doing a radio show with the boys one time back in 2009,” Hara began. “Jonghoon was about to sing when Park Gyungrim, the host, asked him who among us he would want to cheer for him.”

  The host nodded excitedly and prompted her to go on.

  “He chose Jing,” Hara said as-a-matter-of-factly and looked over at the girl in question, who was frowning, rubbing her temple and hiding her face from the camera.

  “When it was her turn to perform, she chose him in return,” she finished, garnering a delightful whoop from Jaeho. She wanted to say more, but looked towards their manager who was standing critically behind the camera men. “Er, can I talk about this?”

  “Sure, you can!” the host encouraged her. “That’s why this show is called Get To Know Your Stars.”

  The KARA girls, minus Jiyoung, giggled before Hara continued. “Throughout the whole show, I noticed that both of them kept looking at each other. They looked at each other when they thought the other wasn’t looking.” Hara added in a proud voice, “But I caught them.”

  The host clapped in joy, while KARA laughed. “So that was the beginning of it all, right?”

  “No, no,” Seungyeon interrupted. “We also did an episode of Idol Army with FT Island before that.”

  “Oh, yeah!” the host recalled. “But wasn’t she partnered with Hongki?”

  “She was, but there’s a story there,” Seungyeon answered with an evil grin, earning a gleeful howl from the host.

  Fuming inside, Jiyoung couldn’t believe her ears. There she was, sitting innocently while they talked about her as if she wasn’t there. ‘Just wait till we reach our dorm,’ she grumbled unhappily.

  “The day before, we were informed beforehand who our guest was going to be for that episode. At first, Jing was being her normal self until that night at our dorm. She told her roommate Hara, who later told the rest of us, that she couldn’t wait for the shooting,” Seungyeon said.

  “Hara unnie!” Jiyoung protested, looking daggers at Hara. Hara just shrugged nonchalantly. Jiyoung guessed the older member was still peeved at her for talking about her secret rendezvous with Junhyung.

  “Surprisingly, Jiyoung acted as if everything was perfectly fine during the shooting,” Gyuri explained, “as if she didn’t have this infatuation towards Jonghoon, or anybody else for that matter.”

  Seungyeon added. “The rest of us were wondering the whole time why exactly she was so eager to shoot the episode if it weren’t for the boys. The answer came later at night that same day.”

  “Hara told us that Jing only chose Hongki for the couple game because she didn’t think she could act normally if she were to be partnered with Jonghoon,” Gyuri explained.

  Wide-eyed, Jaeho gave a joyful shout and looked over at Jiyoung, who huffed angrily. “Don’t I get to say anything?”

  “Later, later,” he told her, waving his hand dismissively and turning to the others. She resisted the urge to hit him. “Then what happened?”

  Nicole continued from where Gyuri left off. “When the radio show came, we noticed that she was exceptionally… perky… that day.”

  Jiyoung’s mouth dropped open, her blood boiling. ‘Perky?!’

  “I wasn’t sitting next to her, but I saw that she couldn’t sit still, and was acting all cute in front of the camera and the boys,” Gyuri revealed.

  Jiyoung gasped loudly, affronted by the things said about her. She was about to defend herself when Nicole cut in.

  “Yeah! She totally ignored me, but she was joking around with Hara the whole time,” she said, giving a sharp look to the maknae. “I bet she was hoping that Jonghoon was looking her way.”

  “Unnie!” Jiyoung complained.

  “There, there, Jiyoung, Nicole was just saying what she thought she saw.” Jaeho half-heartedly tried to soothe the seething girl. Looking at the others and returning to his excited mode, he continued, “Ah, so that’s how it went.”

  “Sorry, Jing,” Gyuri said softly with an apologetic smile. Seungyeon, Nicole and Hara nodded in agreement with both guilt and amusement etched on their faces.

  Jiyoung just grumbled some more, and literally was holding back tears of humiliation. ‘Why do I have to sit through all of this torture?’

  Jaeho laughed. “Then, Jonghoon mentioned her again in a show that FT Island was featured in as guests. It was in August, if I’m not mistaken.”

  “Oh, was it the one with SHINee and Park Myungsoo?” Nicole piped in.

  “Yes, yes! That’s the one. You all saw that? Wasn’t he just simply handsome?”

  “Yes!” the four girls chorused, while Jiyoung begrudgingly agreed.

  “Jiyoung, please don’t get angry,” said Jaeho, trying to alleviate the tension but enjoying it at the same time.

  The girl scoffed. “Aren’t we out of time?”

  The others laughed at her attempt to escape from the situation. The host annoyingly told her that they had all the time in the world, to her disappointment and anger.

  “All of that was back in 2009. Jonghoon’s taste also went through a change. I heard him say that he liked Secret’s Hyosung! Can you believe that? That boy. Honestly!” The host scoffed in irritation. “What about our dear Jiyoung?”

  The four girls shook their heads in disappointment.

  Jiyoung was indeed crushed that day when she found out about Jonghoon’s change of heart. A part of her blamed herself (another small part, her parents) for not telling him how she felt, how she actually returned his feelings.

  She also blamed her parents and agency for having such strict rules then. But then, she was still young and didn’t want to shake things up between herself and the agency.

  Her KARA unnies tried their best to console her, but the maknae only told them that she needed some time alone. They were surprised to see a brand new Jiyoung the next day, as if nothing had happened.

  The truth was, Jiyoung was still hurt, but had successfully covered up her emotions. At least until today.

  Jaeho’s annoyed face was then replaced by one of glee. “Luckily, FT Island was a guest on another show recently, and Jonghoon had come back to liking Jiyoung.”

  “Ah, really? We totally didn’t know about this,” Seungyeon told him.

  “Oh? Yes, yes, the show’s hosts had asked the boys if they wanted to update any information on them. And he wrote down Jiyoung’s name as his ideal girl!” The host cheered and pumped his fists in the air.

  Gyuri, Hara, Nicole and Seungyeon also cheered and high-fived each other.

  ‘He did that?’ Jiyoung’s heart fluttered at hearing the news and she felt a smile forming on her face.

  “See? See? Jiyoung, you do like him!” Jaeho exclaimed happily, pointing at her.

  Jiyoung gasped. “No, no, no! I just thought it was funny,” she lied. Unconvincingly, that is. “Ahahaha!”

  “Eiii,” her unnies teased her loudly in disbelief.

  She could only smile back uncomfortably. ‘Idiot. Why couldn’t you have thought of a better lie?’ she scolded herself.

  “Just admit it that you like him. Seriously,” urged Jaeho.

  Jiyoung sighed. “I do, but only as a friend.” She managed to keep a straight face and mentally patted herself on the back for her effort. To her relief, he seemed to accept her answer.

  “Who was it that you liked last time?”

  “Big Bang’s Kang Daesung!” the other girls answered for her.

  The host looked at her wryly. “Yeah, whatever happened to that? Did anything come out of that confession of yours?”

  Back to feeling angry and upset, Jiyoung shook her head regretfully.

  “Right. Now fate has presented you with someone new. Plus, we have proof that says you like him too. What’s stopping you?”

  Jiyoung just shrugged and looked down at her feet. She swallowed the lump in her throat and fought hard to hold back her tears.

  She couldn’t believe herself for feeling this way, because every time she goes on a variety show, she’d be the moodmaker of the five, and using her aegyo as often as she can.

  She scolded herself for thinking too seriously about this, and not turning it into a joke when she could. ‘But how is that possible if the topic at hand strays too close to my heart?

  Sensing that she wouldn’t speak anymore, Jaeho turned to a different tactic. “Okay, I shall let Jiyoung cool off for a bit, while we enjoy today’s entertainment!” he said to the camera, smiling widely. “Let’s bring out FT Island!”

TO BE CONTINUED...

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