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[FIC] No Longer Just Friends (2/4)

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?


  Jiyoung’s head snapped up at the mention of the group and she turned to see Hongki and Seunghyun bow to them and take their places on the couch next to where KARA was sitting. She quickly scanned the studio for a certain leader that had given her many sleepless nights.

  When she noticed that he was nowhere in sight, she let out a deep breath to calm her racing heart. At the same time, she tried to ignore this peculiar upsetting feeling in the pit of her stomach.

  “Jiyoung, he’s not here. Don’t worry, it’s just the two of them today,” Jaeho told her teasingly.

  She pouted and looked away. “I don’t care,” she mumbled. He and the rest of the girls giggled.

  To her discomfort, she noticed that they two boys gave her a knowing look and tried hard to hide their teasing smiles. Unsuccessfully.

  Then realization came to her that they must have heard everything they have talked about in the past two hours. ‘Aiiish!’ she winced.

  While Hongki performed an acoustic version of their old hits Love Love Love and Like The Birds, Jiyoung’s mind was flying God knows where. ‘Is something wrong? Why isn’t he here?’ she wondered.

  She came back to Earth when she heard clapping from her unnies and Jaeho. Hongki and Seunghyun’s songs were already over, and the latter had put away his guitar.

  “That was fantastic! I love those two songs!” Jaeho clapped again and gave a whoop before finally calming down and giving the two boys a serious look. “So, Hongki and Seunghyun, I’m sure you’ve heard what we’ve been talking about,” Jaeho began.

  Guiltily but smiling, both of them muttered, “Yes.”

  “So what can you tell us about Jonghoon and his ideal girl?” Jiyoung glared at Jaeho, who totally ignored her. Again.

  Hongki and Seunghyun looked at each other uneasily before the older one said, “He’s going to get angry at me for saying this.” When Jaeho urged him to continue, he sighed deeply. “Sorry, Jonghoonnie.” Seunghyun snickered.

  “Well, it all started with the Idol Army show, to my knowledge. Before going for the shooting, we already knew about Jiyoung, and that she was the tall maknae. Jonghoon saw her up close for the first time that day, and… he liked what he saw.” Hongki shrugged.

  “Oooh! Were you surprised that she didn’t pick him to be her partner?”

  Hongki laughed. “Actually, I was surprised because he is the best-looking among all of us and I said that because he isn’t here today,” he commented, making KARA and Jaeho laugh as well.

  He continued on a serious voice, “We members don’t talk to each other about who we like – it’s just wrong – so I totally didn’t know about Jiyoung until I saw the show they did with SHINee.”

  Jaeho looked mildly shocked. “I thought the both of you are close!”

  “We are, but we don’t talk about… girls. Pfft,” Hongki muttered incredulously, as if that’s the number one rule in guy world.

  Seunghyun nodded. “We would only know about each other’s preferences when we’re on TV shows.”

  Gyuri giggled and was heard mumbling, “Boys and their emotions.”

  Jaeho shook his head, amazed. “Weird. So did you ask him about it afterwards?”

  “Yeah, I did,” Hongki admitted. “He tried to laugh it off at first, saying that it’s just a crush; saying that he thought she was just very cute. But I saw how ‘affected’ he was by Jiyoung whenever KARA and FT Island were performing on the same show.”

  “Me too,” Seunghyun piped in. “Whenever we caught him staring, we’d nudge him and wink, but he acted totally clueless.”

  Jaeho and the girls (minus the pink Jiyoung) snickered at the thought of Jonghoon playing dumb. “Seunghyun, you were there at the radio show. Did you notice anything weird after?”

  The boy looked upwards as he tried to recall what had happened that day. “Hmm, actually, yes. He couldn’t stop talking about how fun the girls were. He didn’t specifically mention anybody, though. He said he had a great time, and would love to work with KARA again.”

  Jaeho cheered happily. “Ahh, this is good news, right, Jiyoung?” Not waiting for an answer, not that she would give any, he turned to the boys. “Considering that both groups are among the top groups in Korea’s entertainment industry right now, there must have been tons of shows that you were on together.”

  “Yeah, but from what we saw, Jonghoon and Jiyoung acted like normal friends whenever they see each other,” Hongki revealed, looking confused himself. “Jonghoon especially, acted like as if she was any other dongsaeng.”

  “Ahh, both of them are good actors then!” Nicole stated. The others agreed with a laugh.

  “And at such events, Jonghoon-hyung was sometimes extra friendly to Girls’ Generation and 4Minute and T-Ara…” Seunghyun trailed off. “Jaejin-hyung and I made an assumption that he was just trying to make Jiyoung jealous.”

  He and the rest laughed while Jiyoung frowned sadly at the memory of seeing Jonghoon chatting with many different unnies. With the help of her defensive mechanism, she pretended not to care, but deep down she was a bit saddened.

  “At least Jonghoon acted on his feelings and made several confessions,” Hongki said, suddenly feeling the urge to defend his best friend. Jaeho and Seunghyun nodded in agreement, while the four KARA girls looked over in sympathy at Jiyoung, who lowered her head in embarrassment.

  “Wait, wait, why did you choose Jiyoung in the Idol Army show?” Jaeho suddenly asked Hongki.

  The vocalist took a few seconds to answer. “Well…” he paused to laugh nervously and smiled at Jiyoung, “I’ve always preferred cute girls myself, so I couldn’t pass up the chance.”

  KARA, including Jiyoung, gasped and stared at him, shocked. Jaeho cheered again and patted Hongki on the back.

  “How do you feel after knowing that Jiyoung only chose you because she couldn’t act normal in front of Jonghoon?”

  Hongki shrugged. “That happened a long time ago. Now I only think of her as a little sister, so no hard feelings.”

  Jaeho nodded, seeming impressed. “Such a diplomatic answer. Hm, if I’m not mistaken, Minhwan also once mentioned that Jiyoung is his favourite, while Jaejin said that he liked the whole of KARA.”

  “Yes,” Hongki replied, worried of where this was going. Jiyoung just sighed deeply at Jaeho’s consistent probing.

  “So what became of Minhwan’s infatuation?”

  Seunghyun shrugged. “Nothing, I guess. We honestly don’t know why he picked her out of nowhere, and we didn’t ask him about it.” He looked at Hongki, who nodded. “The next time we were asked who we liked, Minhwan picked someone else.”

  “I think he found out about Jonghoon’s feelings towards Jiyoung, and he didn’t want to butt in. He’s mature like that, despite being the maknae,” Hongki added helpfully.

  “Oh, I see. What about you, Seunghyun? Do you like Jiyoung too?” Jaeho questioned.

  “Oh, no no no,” he negated a little too quickly. Realising what he had done, he stood up and bowed to Jiyoung. “Ah, sorry.”

  The four KARA girls, Jaeho and Hongki burst out laughing at his reaction. Jiyoung just smiled politely at him and gave him a small and awkward bow in return.

  “I don’t mean that she isn’t… likeable or anything. I just didn’t want to fight with Jonghoon-hyung,” he reasoned.

  Jaeho rubbed his hands together, as if he was an evil villain. “Does that mean Hongki and Jonghoon were fighting for the same girl?”

  Hongki stood up in surprise. “No!” he grumbled in protest, and glanced at Jiyoung, who was staring at him with an unreadable expression. “Back then, I didn’t know about his feelings, remember? Plus, I thought she was the cutest of the bunch, so…”

  “Yah!” Gyuri and Seungyeon shouted irritably at him, prompting him, Seunghyun, Nicole and Hara to laugh hysterically at them.

  Jiyoung herself couldn’t help but giggle at Hongki’s antics. ‘Maybe being on this show is not too bad after all. I wouldn’t have learned these things if I wasn’t,’ she mused to herself.

  Hongki continued, sitting down and looking at his hands, “Once I knew the truth, I respected his decision. And I knew my role as a friend. Now all of us do.” He paused before bursting, “Uwaa, why am I so serious today? Ahh, I shouldn’t have agreed to be on this show,” he wailed.

  Seungyeon shouted to Jaeho over the loud laughter that followed, “Be sure to invite him again with his members!” More laughter ensued.

  “Oh, this is so much fun!” the host moaned elatedly, his hands clutching his stomach. He sobered up instantly when he heard something through his ear piece. The production director flashed him a piece of paper that said ‘1 minute’.

  ‘Thank god, the show is finally over,’ Jiyoung thanked the stars.

  Jaeho turned to the camera and flashed it his patented ‘million-dollar’ smile. “This week’s episode has been amazing. I’m sure you learned so many new things about your favourite girls, KARA! And it’s been a pleasure for me to meet such brilliant young stars like them.”

  KARA clapped and smiled modestly at the camera.

  “Hongki and Seunghyun of my favourite band, FT Island, are here as well! Woohoo!” KARA also clapped and cheered for the boys. “Wait till next week, ok, when I bring all the boys here for their turn of interrogation!” Jaeho laughed evilly while Hongki and Seunghyun each forced an awkward laugh.

  “Before we say goodbye, I have one more surprise for dear Jiyoung!” Jaeho said excitedly.