Theme: Nails, Phrase to include: "brighter than the sea"
Summary: It's a struggle to balance work as both a hassle yet enjoy it too. A career that involves him to take things to the surface at face value. He was startled by his own attraction to the man who peeked his interest, learning the true value beneath the discarded appearance.
Jungmo stood out.
His hair had odd highlights, his clothes in classic red and black. But maybe compared to everyone else that walked on either side of him, he seemed perfectly suited.
"Is something wrong?" Jungmo asked, a salty wind brushed past them. Sungmin shook his head and applied the foundation liquid carefully on his skin. They stood on the sand of the beach as the workers moved around them, quickly fixing the set.
"Are you nervous?" Sungmin asked.
Jungmo smiled half-heartedly, his hands stuffed in his pockets. "Maybe."
Sungmin carefully rid the dark circles beneath his eyes, today he wore light blue contacts that held a unique trait.
"You think these contacts are weird, don't you?"
"I think they're..." He fell silent as he stroke the liquid to match his skin tone, he had no choice but occasionally meet his eyes. His eyes glowed a soft aqua blue that were brighter than the sea that waved against them. His hand paused.
He struggled not to kiss him on the spot.
Jungmo took advantage of the hesitance and leaned in, "Do I make you nervous?"
Sungmin countered with a playful smile. "Why do all celebrities assume they make us nervous?"
"Because it's true."
"I wonder what other lines you use on them then." Sungmin said coyly when he heard his name called. "Good luck today." He offered sincerely, walking to the next person that needed to be done for the photo shoot.
Sungmin plopped down the couch, exhausted from dealing with overzealous celebs and rowdy producers, his boss no better. His phone rung again and he begrudgingly got up to handle the call.
Once finished, he dropped his head when the door opened.
Jungmo walked in, taking off his black khaki jacket and hung it by the door. Sungmin perked up, "Welcome home."
"Same to you." Jungmo said, sitting down beside him on the small couch, he placed a bag in Sungmin's lap. "Eat."
"I'm not hungry."
"You haven't eaten anything since last night. Now eat." Jungmo ordered. Sungmin narrowed his eyes briefly but did so. Jungmo studied closely at the other's figure. "You've lost too much weight."
"It's busy right now."
"When isn't the entertainment industry busy?" Jungmo returned. "My questions is what's with the sudden shortage of make-up artists, I thought they were plenty."
"There are," Sungmin said in between bites. "My boss just needs me for other tasks too."
"Right, barking orders at you like some dog." Jungmo ignored the subtle nudge to his side, he raised a hand. "It's not as if what I said was a lie-" Sungmin abruptly grabbed his hand.
"She used that brand, but it ruins the nail." Sungmin criticized under his breath, putting away his food on the desk as he reached for the make-up kit beneath.
Jungmo shook his head. "You enjoy your job too much."
"Everyone should. Makes it easier to get up in the morning." Sungmin reasoned, erasing the color and tilted his head. "I never thought black would suit you."
Jungmo rolled his eyes as he tried to pull away his hand but Sungmin held back, reapplying the same color. Meanwhile, Jungmo now surveyed his face. "You enjoy decorating people, I don't understand how you don't use any on yourself."
"It ruins the skin."
"That's considerate of you to abuse it on me then." Sungmin chuckled as he finished his work with a triumphant expression. It soon faltered at the daunting realization, reminded of the files he had to complete, he'd have to pull another all-nighter.
Before he could close the kit, Jungmo pulled him close to his side. At his silent question, he said. "You can't spare fifteen minutes to sleep?"
"Sleep." He placed a hand forcibly over Sungmin's eyes. "I'll wake you up soon, don't worry." He assured, Sungmin smiled weakly as he closed his eyes, resting in the meantime.
It started with a phone call.
Inside the train he noticed a person in the dark corner, one he tried to avoid by sitting on the other side.
On his way from the train platform, he walked ahead and noticed the same man had gotten off at the same stop and he tried to quicken his pace.
Sungmin, still fresh into the business, was too engrossed in the phone message and details that he hardly noted the man he should have looked out for.
He could barely react to the man who suddenly jumped out of an alley and lunged in front of him, wielding a knife. His arms full of things, he couldn't stop the mugger as easily as he should have.
Before the knife could strike, a figure shoved him onto the wet pavement.
The creepy man from before pulled the knife out of his hand, the mugger knocked out and easily subdued. He pulled on Sungmin's elbow and made him follow until they reached a more public street.
"Thank you." Sungmin said.
"It's a dangerous street. No one should be walking alone."
Sungmin pursed his lips at his rude tone. "I could have taken care of it myself, I was just-"
"Preoccupied." Jungmo finished.
Beneath the lights, Sungmin was able to get a better look at him. He realized he may have prejudged him too quickly.
The man didn't look as bad as he thought.
They had grown to know each other since then, building a close friendship. Months after, Sungmin ask him to move in, considering the man had no real proper home.
"I can't pay rent." Jungmo said quietly as they sat in the cafe.
Jungmo grew frustrated with the lack of interviews, each place claiming he wasn't selected even before the interview took place. "If they refuse to hire me cause I lack experience. Then how will I ever gain it?"
Sungmin mused that thought. Jungmo refused to leech off him and living free in his apartment was something he couldn't consider.
"How about this." Sungmin opened his kit as Jungmo arched an eyebrow. He pulled out a small, tailored brush. "Can I practice on you?"
"No." Jungmo said sternly, instantly backing away.
"Let me please? I need to practice techniques, and doing it on someone with a face like yours will be perfect practice."
Jungmo narrowed his eyes. "What do you mean a face like..." Sungmin leaned in, pleading with his hands clasped together.
"...Fine." He said reluctantly.
Sungmin grinned, Jungmo visibly cringed.
He took Jungmo with him to his job, growing restless with being unemployed, but often during breaks he'd practice on him.
He knew he had talent, plenty of it, but simply was never given the opportunity. By chance, someone with connections walked by as Jungmo displayed it, and soon signed him.
While proud as the man garnered income, Sungmin was saddened by the idea of having to live alone again.
When he voiced it, Jungmo gave an odd look.
"You're moving with me, aren't you?"
Sungmin walked into the gathering after the filming had ended for the day. He walked in, looking around until he found him.
He was careful not to make himself noticed though, realizing the starred men around him.
Jungmo turned his head, saw him in the crowd and waved him over.
"Who's this?" One of them asked.
"A close friend." Jungmo said, handing him a drink.
Sungmin should have been proud of that phrase, Jungmo despite his polite ways, never considered many a friend, much less close. A fact he bluntly told the media often.
He hid his disappointment, and smiled as brightly as he could.
They soon returned to the apartment, one much larger than their old one. Sungmin was filled with a bit more energy than usual having had two days free, and began to cook in the rarely used kitchen.
"Let me help."
"I don't want your nail polish getting into the food." Sungmin said. "And what would others think of a celebrity cooking in his own home?"
"Think of it as a personal show." Jungmo teased.
"I may have you personally, but knowing I'm share you with the world, doesn't make me easy." He replied light-heartedly, he knew Jungmo was holding something back. "Just say what's bothering you."
Jungmo exhaled heavily, leaning against the opposite counter. "I have to do this kiss scene. The director said I wasn't passionate enough."
"You don't date much, I can see why." Sungmin smirked, chopping the vegetables. "Like a job, you have to gain experience," He laid the knife and cleaned his hands on the towel when he turned around. Jungmo easily encircled him, forcing him still between his arms.
"You dated plenty of times, you must have plenty of experience." He said lightly.
Sungmin looked to the side, his hands clutching the table's edge. "What of it?"
With a smirk, he stepped closer. "You used me for practice,"
Sungmin felt himself being pushed onto the counter, their chests pressed together.
"Let me practice with you."
He wanted to think of a witty remark, to playfully twist his words or simply push him away. To his own surprise, he couldn't think of anything as Jungmo's lips brushed over his own.
He instead closed his eyes, his hand curling into his hair as he pulled him closer, his fingers grazing his skin.
He couldn't hold back.
He had done worst things on dates, intimate with strangers no less. But that kiss wouldn't leave his thoughts. It was a struggle to remain focused in work and he messed up often, having to apologize profusely and fix his mistakes.
Yet Jungmo grinned, greeting his employees and treating as the same as always. As if it hadn't happened.
That oblivious expression made him feel foolish. Sungmin lowered his eyes, his fingers clutching the edge of his shirt.
He was the only one feeling this way.
"Don't be conceited," He scolded at his reflection in the empty dressing room.
Sungmin hid his bitter self and walked to the set of the interview, lingering in the backdrop as he watched Jungmo answer her questions.
"Your past was difficult."
"No less difficult than anyone else's." Jungmo reasoned.
"That may be so, but the story of rags to riches, it a story everyone loves hearing. It must have been difficult when you first started, with nerves and all." The interviewer said kindly. "How do you prepare for concerts?"
"I have this tendency to dunk my head in water," Jungmo admitted. "It's a bad habit I can't shake off, but it's the only thing that clears my head."
"Doesn't that make it inconvenient for people?"
"It does. My manager, the backstage people all are frustrated with me, but my make-up artist is the only one with the patience to deal with it. He's the only one who doesn't reprimand me for it."
"You seem grateful for this lifestyle," She grinned. "Who do you have to thank for your success?"
Sungmin tilted his head as Jungmo's smile grew wider.
"Sungmin-shii," He turned around as a messenger waved him over. "We need you for the next guest." An employee said, Sungmin nodded and bolted from the spot.
Sungmin tilted the practice dummy's head, applying the pencil on the lips carefully. Jungmo walked to the back of the couch, leaning with his hands on the top edge. After a short silence, he cleared his throat.
"After filming ends," He informed. "...I'll be in the joint tour with the other SGY artists for an Asian and European Tour."
"For how long?" Sungmin asked idly, not looking back.
"A few months."
Sungmin seemed indifferent to the info. Yet the artist stroke the pencil too far on the practice dummy, and reached to fix the mistake. It hardly went unnoticed.
"If it bothers you, you should tell me."
Sungmin placed the object on the table, inhaling slightly as he turned around, beaming with a forced smile. "It doesn't bother me at all. I'm happy for you." He turned back around, reaching for some files. "Remember to call me every so often though."
Jungmo stiffened his shoulders as he crossed his arms. "You make it sound as if I'll forget you."
Sungmin continued signing some papers. "It's not that."
Jungmo too often considered him, putting him in his priorities. Yet he was growing in popularity and status, but the man still thought of him before he accepted a job. The higher Jungmo reached, the distance between their statuses grew.
Sungmin felt he was holding him back.
"You don't need to always think about my well-being, to consider me in your decisions. I can take care of myself," Sungmin assured.
Jungmo studied him for a while longer, bending down with his arms crossed over the top of the couch. "You considered me when I had nothing, and you didn't have to."
His intense gaze made Sungmin feel nervous, and the artist shifted his stare. He teased, "Since when did you become sentimental?"
Jungmo was no longer playful, his expression stern.
"Since when have you started avoiding me?" He narrowed his eyes as he leaned slightly forward but Sungmin moved once more. "Why won't you look at me?"
Sungmin parted his lips, but he couldn't voice an answer. Jungmo wouldn't let go of it.
The phone rang, Sungmin went to reach it but Jungmo snatched it out of his hands. "What are you doing?"
Sungmin stood on his knees on the couch, struggling to grab the cell. "Don't be like this, it's probably my boss."
"It's because of a phone call you nearly got hurt that time we met, because of it you lose sleep and don't enough." He said lowly, his grip tightening on the cell. "The only reason I don't hate your job, as much as I should, is because I get to see you almost everyday."
Sungmin froze at his declaration.
Jungmo held his chin between his forefinger and thumb, forcing him to face him.
"Join me on the tour."
Sungmin cleared his throat, his eyes lowering but Jungmo made sure they met eye to eye. He couldn't control his jumping heart. "I have prior commitments." He said coolly, trying to act professional in the midst of the confrontation.
But the more he looked into those eyes, the more he felt himself wavering.
Before Sungmin could react, Jungmo closed the distance and placed a soft peck on his lips. The artist couldn't push him away, and allowed himself to fall further.
"I only want you," Jungmo said breathlessly, Sungmin's eyes in a daze as he kissed him once more.
"I won't take anyone else."
Sungmin bit his lower lip as he handed the files to his boss. The gruff man skimmed over it when Sungmin took a deep breath and said. "I would like to request to work for the SGY Tour."
The boss gave him an odd look. "Do you enjoy repeating yourself?"
His eyebrows furrowed. "Excuse me?"
His boss sighed and looked through his files, before handing a crinkled envelope. "Permission granted." He said lazily as he left his desk. Sungmin looked through the papers, detailing his schedules and requirements to be sent abroad.
"W-wait, how did you know I was going on the tou-" Sungmin stopped himself.
Of course. The man was truly gaining confidence, to have already sent the file before he was convinced. An answer he had only given hours earlier.
He went about his work, in a good mood as he was excited by the prospect of the tour. The idle manager flipped through the channels as Sungmin rearranged his supplies.
""Who do you have to thank for your success?"
He turned around at the recognition of his voice, and watched the interview that took place, now airing across the small screen. Jungmo listed the group of people, a question not uncommon.
"You don't seem to worry about what others think of you. Is there anyone you strive to please? Your parents maybe or SGY himself?"
Jungmo gave his answer deep consideration.
Instead of the usual celebrity grin he plastered, it was a small but genuine smile.
"Even if I couldn't please the fans, the critics, the world. As long I make him proud, as long as I make him notice me, then I'm content. Otherwise... I couldn't care less what everyone else thinks of me." He said rather bluntly.
He laughed wholeheartedly, his light blue contacts matched his brightening smile.
"I thank him for my success, I owe him everything."
A/N: For those who don't know Jungmo, he's a member from TRAX. This video shows their interactions.
Best Couple Clip feat JungMin
I apologize for my writing errors, shall attempt to fix once I wake up ><
It seems I've been using this December challenge to write every couple I've been thinking of writing or been desperately wanting to write as well. Beware of my future couples, some may be rare .-. And... it seems potentially odd. ^^