This is an original ED fiction based largely around the entertainment industry and highly influenced by the k-pop world and asian diet culture. It takes place in a futuristic, fictional korea, and is written with respect to any countries and/or cultures represented. This sadly represents some aspects of reality, but is also a fantasy. Thank you for reading. Hope you enjoy!
FL/ML(Couple), Het. Rom., Fant/Fan Lit. TRIGGERS: Anorexia/restriction, Bulimia (b/p & exercise), Pressure to lose weight, Relationships.
Part 1: Prologue
Hana leaned back against the posh, modern desk in the manager’s office, the edge of the cold, white marble just touching below the hem of her very short miniskirt. She pressed her hands against the desk, and felt the cold in them too. Drawing tiny circles with her fingers on the smooth surface, she calmed her ever-present nerves. A small shiver ran up her spine. Always cold. Her tiny frame was not suited to the AC in this open-aired, high-rise office, and she wished she had brought a jacket from the van.
Jun-ho sat on the sleek, black leather couch a few feet away, hunched over and seemingly bored and tired. His neatly cut, white suit jacket was rimmed in gold stitching, like a costume from one of his concerts, but not so flashy. His white undershirt was left with one or two buttons undone, and although the fabric was stiff he felt like he could fall asleep right there. The push to always look fashionable meant he rarely got to wear what was comfortable, but that meant he had learned to sleep in almost anything.
He looked up at Hana, her soft brown layered hair falling gently on her shoulders. She was very lovely, but often seemed to hide herself or be worried if someone was looking at her. He liked her shyness - it gave her a realness that not many of the other idols had. But then again, all their characters were basically written for them anyway, so this could even be a fake side of her. The kids - as he called the fans - certainly ate it up. Hana’s popularity had only grown in the few months since her last release of a single. If it was all an act, it was cute one, he’d give her that.
“Well,” he said softly, trying to be nonchalant. “Maybe we should.”
Hana turned to look at him, jerking her thoughts from somewhere else, taking a few seconds to process what he had just said.
“Wait…” she stalled. “You’re serious?”
“Yeah.” Jun-ho kept eye contact. His look was honest, but tired. This was best for their careers right now. And deep down they each knew it. He was just going to be the one to say it.
“Let’s give the kids what they want.”
* * * * * *
Part 2: Hana
Hana was quiet the entire hour long drive to the dorm as her assistant, whom she had affectionately nicknamed Sonni for her perpetually bright personality, chatted away with the driver and noisily ate fried chinese takeaway in the seat next to her.
The smell filled the small compact car, and Hana stared out the window to keep from staring at the lovely cardboard box full with thick noodles and sauce that she hadn’t tasted in so long. Perhaps the smell would be enough for her, she would just breathe deeply and imagine that she was eating that smell again when she got to her dorm and sat down with her bowl of rice. She new that even with her strict eating now she had it easy because she wasn’t really famous yet. As soon as the collab was announced and started promoting there would be many eyes on her, and the company would stress how Hana had to uphold the beauty standards.
The collab. It was such a strange thought, and yet Jun-ho had talked about it with such ease. It was almost as if he didn’t care, but she knew that wasn’t true, Jun-ho worked harder than probably anyone in his company, and it was obvious when he performed that he lost himself in his music. I wasn’t in it for the fame and money, and that earned him fans and love quicker than any other solo artist RE had produced in the past decade. He did care about his music, and what the collab would bring to both of them as artists, but it was a publicity stunt, nothing more than that. And he knew how to treat it as such.
Why couldn’t she be like him? Mature and logical, straight-forward and able to say what she thought? All she could think of now was the waft of sweet and salty sauce, chicken that she could almost feel in her mouth. She HAD to get her mind off of Sonni’s takeaway!
“The collab”. It almost made her laugh, such a down-to-earth name for such an emotion-based media bait. She had heard of the tabloids trying to out join-ups like this before, but the stories never made it past a few magazines and she never read any of them. She thought they were just stories, just lonely, angry people trying to stir up trouble and get the most out of their made-up drama. She never thought in a million years that her own manager would come to her with a straight face and talk to her about a crazy plan like this.
Yes she was new to the scene, BLOCK1’s newest solo girl, but she didn’t think of herself as naive. And to all she knew of the Idol career, it didn’t make sense. Jun-ho was more viable single, they all were, that’s why the company was so strict on them, forbidding them from having significant others - even when they were training. So why would they come up with a scheme like this?
They arrived at the dorm for Hana and her crew, and she tried to put everything out of her mind to focus on getting her bag out of the car and getting inside. As she opened the door, she could feel how lethargic she had gotten on the long car ride. She was hungry down to her core, the emptiness hollowing out inside her. She normally would have eaten her rice dinner hours ago, but with the meeting, the paperwork, all the new information for her brain to get used too, and the long car ride, it just never seemed to be the right time. Her body felt slow and stiff as they climbed the two flights of stairs to her dorm, and all she could think about was the food she would soon have.
Sonni and her new driver, who’s name she was too tired to remember, followed her up and made sure she was settled in her tiny room. The mattress on the floor was already laid with new sheets, and there was a lamp and even a desk in the corner. It was so much nicer than the dorm she had lived in as a trainee, it must be true how the company truly takes care of you the more popularly you get.
There was another room, not as “done up” as Hana’s that Sonnie would sleep in, and the driver said that he would take the couch, as they would have to leave early in the morning and he didn’t want to waste time in the morning. Both the bedroom doors had locks so the girls were comfortable.
Now Hana could make her rice.
Safely locked in her room where no one could see her, she sat down cross-legged on her mattress, holding the warm bowl in her hands and letting the muted scent of the rice fill her nose before she even took a bite. She had added a few pieces of carrots and ginger, and thought she knew she shouldn’t have, they looked so pleasing in the perfectly white bowl and she was so terribly hungry.
She looked through her phone for any messages from her team, and saw an updated schedule for the choreography of one of her new songs, but didn’t have the energy to open it. They were constantly changing things, and they knew she would put her best effort into learning everything. She always did her best. That was who she was. Sometimes it felt like that was all she was.
She looked out the window at the bright, neon lights of the big city against the black of the night sky. It was so late. She really shouldn’t be eating this late...or this fast!! She stopped herself from shoveling rice into her mouth. It was as she had expected, once she got a taste she wanted to eat much too fast.
This was her fault, she should not have gone so long without eating, and she wouldn’t feel this starved. It was so late, and she never ate this late. Fear started to overwhelm her, and she set aside the bowl of mostly eaten rice, wishing she had stopped herself sooner.
As she laid down and pulled up her covers, exhaustion crept over her, and she wondered briefly if Jun-ho was getting enough sleep as well.