A Hint of Shine
by Rana Eros

Pantheon insanity redux. It made Eliza laugh.

It's the most hectic week of Chinsung's life, and given how many international U.S. military moves he's experienced, that's saying a lot. He's exhausted, and he knows the others are taking bets on when he's going to fall asleep during dance practice, but he's determined not to be the one to crack.

His money's on Minhyun or Myungja. Jeongsook, predictably enough, has rallied to the challenge, and now he's all encouraging words and bracing claps on the back and focused language study while waiting for his turn in front of the camera or microphone. Chinsung admires his dedication and example, in that way you have to admire things you think are great, but have no intention of doing yourself. Daewoong has actually been to Japan before, with that group he was in as a kid, and if he doesn't remember much of the language, well, Daewoong is used to not being understood. No, it'll either by Minhyun, who has this thing about taking the time to be perfect, or Myungja, who's so mad at management right now it's a miracle he hasn't exploded at any of them.

"There was no reason to move up our Japanese debut," he keeps insisting. "Any new band they put out there isn't going to compare to us."

"Unless they clone Akai Ito," Daewoong said thoughtfully, the last time Myungja brought it up. None of them are sure he was joking.

Now, though, now management's thrown a new wrench into the works, and all bets are off.

"We've moved up your flight to Thursday," their favorite manager says. Chinsung's noticed it's their favorite manager who keeps breaking these kinds of things to them, when it isn't Jeongsook. Probably someone thinks they're less likely to shoot the messenger--and feed him to Minhyun--if they like the messenger. "We've managed to get you a spot on Ichi-Band Weekly."

Jeongsook blanches and sways a little. Daewoong puts his hand out to steady Jeongsook, his lips compressing into a thin line. Minhyun looks like he's considering taking a bite out of manager-sshi anyway. Chinsung has to admit it's tempting.

Myungja breaks the mood by whooping for joy and throwing his arms around Chinsung's neck.

"We're going to meet Akai Ito!" He starts bouncing, nearly strangling Chinsung in the process.

"Jaja," Chinsung gasps out, and Myungja abruptly releases him.

"Has our wardrobe been selected? I want to wear pink. I look stunning in pink. Or blue."

"I thought you looked stunning in every color," Chinsung manages, gingerly massaging his throat. Myungja's stronger than he looks, but he'd have to be, to dance like that.

"I do," Myungja says, "but I look more stunning in some colors than others." He eyes Chinsung thoughtfully. "You should wear cream. And a hat. You rock hats."

"Careful, Jaja, someone will think you like me."

Myungja makes a rude noise. "I love you and you know it."

"Not as much as Akai Ito."

"I don't love Akai Ito. I lust after Akai Ito. Note the difference."

"Myungja," their manager says in a pained tone, and Myungja blinks, like he'd forgotten manager-sshi was still standing there.

"Right," Daewoong says, and he reaches out to corral Myungja with the hand that isn't still holding up Jeongsook. "Wardrobe."


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Dong Bang Shin Ki
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