|"You're being an asshole, that's what," Jonghyun grumbles as he leans back in his seat, folding his arms across his chest as he does so. He looks nothing like the thirty-something-year-old man he's supposed to be, bottom lip jutted out and all, but then half the time he acts like some retired grandpa shaking his fists at the lovesick teenagers in his novels. The other half, he spends just drifting through life, making full use of whatever time he has in between working on new manuscripts and old, between piles of revisions and polarizing reviews of his published writings, but even then he's too busy just trying to keep himself alive by slurping up noodles off of an instant ramyun bowl. So it's forgivable, Jinki muses, Jonghyun's bouts of 'childishness'. Jinki can live through another decade of working with Jonghyun, if he absolutely has to. He might even enjoy his daily banters with Jonghyun nine times out of ten.|
There's just one thing.
"I'm being honest. And a good editor. Because I swear to God, Jjong — you've been writing the same shit for the past, what, five novels already?" Jinki leans back in his seat and heaves a sigh. It isn't as bad as it sounds, though — Jonghyun does, contrary to the belief of his detractors, use many different plot devices to resolve his characters' struggles, whether internal or otherwise, but it's the same basic plot, at the very core. 'Let Me Out'? That one was disguised as a novel for teeny boppers where Jung Jisoo, like any other Korean high school student, struggled with preparations for the big entrance exam and met a pleasant distraction in the form of Choi Jongwoon — and then proceeded to be ruined by her obsession for the man. 'Lonely Boy'? Exactly what the title says — campus hottie Kim Hyunsuk hides his worries behind his cool, outgoing persona, up until he meets the girl of his dreams and, he eventually finds out, his nightmares, Song Sunmi. Then there's his collection of short stories that all talk about obsession and the protagonist eventually coming around, but not without having to go through an elaborate 'pain path' — Jonghyun's words, not Jinki's — first. In all of Jonghyun's stories, it's almost always the same case — either someone dies, pushing the one left behind to come to his or her senses, or they get together and end up living a sad and tragic life — and while there's something to be said about Jonghyun's books constantly being in the top ten best-sellers in any bookstore in Seoul, there are only so many ways to retell a tragic love story. "Oh wait — I meant six novels. And then that anthology of yours whose sequel proposal I have been asking from you for three weeks already—"
"It's what sells," Jonghyun grits out. "I've tried so many things already but my fans just... keep buying the same shit from me. I can't do anything about it. That's not something I can control." He slumps further in his seat, tilting his head back a little as he does so and squeezing his eyes shut. There are dark circles under his eyes and tiny red dots on his cheeks, the beginnings of pimples surfacing on his skin, and Jinki's insides lurch a little when he notices a tiny cut on Jonghyun's lower lip from where he'd probably been worrying it too much. Jonghyun has a lot of bad habits when he's tired and stressed and powering through manuscripts, but lip-biting only ever happens when he's already worked himself to the ground and there's nothing he can give anymore. "Remember when I tried writing horror?"
airplanewishes, you're up!