Title: For You (1/3)
Genre(s): romance, humor, angst, drama, fluff
Summary: This story follows Jiyong and Seungri as they grow up separately from one another from the time that they are nine to their sophomore year in college when their paths finally cross.
Written for the YG Multibang
a/n: this is the massive G-Ri i kept talking about last month. i hope it doesn't disappoint!
-----------------------------Elementary SchoolThird Grade – Age 9
Jiyong sat at the edge of the playground, his notebook open in his lap while he chewed on his pen. He watched the rest of the kids from his class running around; enjoying their recess to the fullest. He watched a group of boys playing kickball on the asphalt to his right; a group of girls playing tag in the field on his left.
He looked back at his notebook, messy handwriting covering the paper. A row of sketches marched across the bottom of the page, a price written under each picture.
“We need at least two more designs,” he mused, scanning the playground again for inspiration.
Jiyong,” Youngbae complained, watching the kickball game with envious eyes, “Can’t we do this later? We only have ten minutes left of recess and I want to play
“Don’t you want to finish the designs so we can start making the cards tonight?” Jiyong looked at his friend, slightly disheartened by the other’s lack of enthusiasm for his genius idea, “That way we can start selling the cards tomorrow at recess.”
“You mean we can’t play tomorrow either
?” Youngbae’s eyes went wide with disbelief. He honestly couldn’t understand why his best friend would rather design greeting cards than play.
“Don’t you want people to see what we came up with?” Jiyong asked, “I think these are going to be really cool. Maybe we can even get the shop down the street to want to sell them! And then we’ll be famous and everyone will want our designs…” he smiled into the distance as he lost himself into the fantasy he’d created.
“I didn’t even design any of them anyway,” Youngbae pointed out, “I’d rather play kickball.”
“Fine,” Jiyong pouted, burying his face in his notebook, “Go play kickball. See what I care.” When he looked up again, Youngbae was on the kickball court, getting ready to run to first base. Jiyong sighed, frustrated; swearing to himself that he’d never speak to his best friend again.
Of course by the end of the day, they were walking home from school together, sharing a pop that they purchased from the little grocery store on the corner with the change that they’d dug out of their pockets, Jiyong’s notebook buried in his backpack until he came up with his next idea, which would happen approximately two days later.
Seungri walked into his classroom, telling himself that today would be a good day. Yesterday had been great. Maybe this was a new beginning for him. Maybe the boys in his class would accept him into their fold. It could happen today.
With new confidence in himself, he walked up to the boys that were at the coat closet, talking about the soccer game that had been on the night before.
“Hi guys,” he smiled, “that was
a really great game. I-”
“Ugh. Go away Seungri,” the leader of the boys in their class rolled his eyes, “This conversation wasn’t meant for you. You probably don’t know anything about sports anyway. You’re too busy studying.” The other boys snickered, sending him disdainful looks before they went back to rehashing the previous night’s game.
Seungri tensed his jaw and walked away, trying to keep his spirits up. He still had the entire day to get through. With shaking hands, he hung up his coat and backpack, setting his neatly packed lunch on the shelf above his coat hook.
“It was a good game wasn’t it?” a voice chirped behind him. Seungri turned around in surprise, thinking that there was a good chance that no one would talk to him at all that day. He saw Daesung standing behind him with a broad and friendly grin stretched across his face. Seungri nodded apprehensively, aware that Daesung never seemed to join in with the other boys when they ripped on him, but he’d never really talked to him either.
“What did you bring for lunch?” Daesung asked, smile still in place.
“Leftover stew from dinner last night,” Seungri spoke quietly, afraid that one wrong move would send the other boy running to join the rest of his classmates.
“That sounds so good! I’m buying today. Hopefully the cafeteria will have something good,” Daesung babbled, clearly not concerned about the glares he was receiving from the rest of the boys. Seungri smiled at the other boy happily. Perhaps today would be okay after all.Fifth Grade – Age 11
“Tell me another one,” Jiyong urged, leaning forward on the flimsy mattress, his hands gripping onto the rusty metal of the bunk bed.
“I’m running out!” the other boy chuckled, scratching his head and staring down at the stitching on his sleeping bag in concentration, “Oh! I got one,” he grinned in victory, eyes sparkling from having a rapt audience.
“Tell me!” Jiyong begged, almost like a drug addict would beg for his fix, or more appropriately, how a child begged his mother for sugar.
“Okay, so one time a girl went to her friend’s cabin at summer camp. They were hanging out and it got really late, so her friend told her to just stay over, but she didn’t have any of her stuff. So she went back to her cabin and saw that the light was off in her room. Not wanting to wake her bunk mate, she just grabbed her stuff in the dark and left,” the boy paused, letting the anticipation build, “The next morning she came back to find her bunkmate dead!” Jiyong’s eyes widened, “On the wall, there was a message written in blood saying Aren’t you glad you didn’t turn on the light?
“That means…the murderer was in the room when she came in!” Jiyong exclaimed, shivering.
“Hey guys,” Youngbae burst into the room, causing Jiyong to squeal embarrassingly and dive under his covers. Youngbae just raised an eyebrow before continuing on, “Want to come out and play cards? We’re starting a new game.”
“Nah, we’re telling horror stories,” Jiyong declined, climbing out from under the blankets as though he hadn’t just screamed like a girl.
“You’ve been doing that for hours and you’re already scared anyway,” Youngbae pointed out.
“Am not,” Jiyong pouted, arms crossed over his chest in defiance. Youngbae sighed.
“Alright, well…have fun I guess,” he shrugged, leaving the room. Jiyong immediately turned his attention back to the other boy.
“Tell me another one!”
Jiyong stared at the dark ceiling, eyes wide and ears alert to every creak of the cabin. He had known that telling horror stories on his first night away at camp for his class trip was a bad idea. He knew
that this would happen, but he did it anyway, finding the macabre stories far too intriguing to pass up.
Nervously, he raked his eyes through the dark of the room, pausing on the more sinister looking shadows to be sure they weren’t really axe murderers waiting to kill. As he glanced cautiously out the bedroom door from the safety of his sleeping bag, he noticed for the first time that there was a mirror above the fireplace in the main room. What if Bloody Mary came out and attacked him?
A jolt of panic running through his small frame, he leapt from his bunk, scampering over to Youngbae’s bed where he was, enviably, asleep. With shaking hands, Jiyong reached out and shook his friend’s shoulders, hoping that another person would be enough to keep the killers at bay.
Youngbae just groaned, rolling over to get away from the disturbance that had awoken him.
“Youngbae!” Jiyong hissed as he tapped the other on the shoulder.
“Mmph, what?” Youngbae whispered groggily, rolling back over to squint at his friend.
“Um…” now that he’d successfully woken the other boy up, he didn’t want to have to admit to being terrified. However, a gust of wind chose that moment to whoosh through the trees, creating a howling sound and causing Jiyong to practically fling himself into the other’s bed, trembling in fear.
“Horror stories scare you?” Youngbae asked, slight amusement in his voice. Jiyong nodded, pulling his knees to his chest as he perched on the edge of his friend’s bed.
“What if there’s a murderer?” he fretted, saying the fear out loud causing shivers to wrack his body.
“Why would there be a murderer at a camp?” the other boy reasoned.
“There’s a story that a girl went into her room, but there was a killer there and she didn’t turn on the lights, and he left a message in blood
!” Jiyong whispered desperately, looking around frantically to be sure that no psychos had snuck up on him while he wasn’t paying attention.
“Yeah, I’ve heard that one,” Youngbae shrugged, unimpressed, “But why on earth would a murderer take the time to write a message in blood on the wall?” Jiyong was honestly stumped. He had been too wrapped up in being terrified to really think the story through.
“I don’t know…” he admitted, suddenly embarrassed.
“Exactly,” Youngbae smiled triumphantly. Though he was ashamed, Jiyong still didn’t feel completely at ease.
“W-what about Bloody Mary? There’s a mirror out there,” he pointed towards the door.
“Jiyong,” Youngbae sighed, “There are like eight mirrors in your house. How many times has Bloody Mary come out to kill you?”
“Oh my god! There’s a mirror in my room at home!” Jiyong panicked. Youngbae just let his head fall back onto his pillow. This was going to be a long night.
“Hello everyone. I’m Seungri and today we’re here to investigate the swamp creature that has been rumored to live in this pond,” Seungri looked seriously into the camera that Daesung was pointing at him.
“Cut,” Daesung called, switching off his dad’s camcorder, “We got the first shot. Now let’s go get close-ups of the pond.”
“When do you guys want me to throw the rubber snake into the pond?” another boy from their group of friends asked.
“Not until after I say that there seems to be some movement coming from the woods,” Seungri clarified.
“What are we even going to do
with this?” the last boy asked, sprawled on the ground, ripping out hunks of grass and throwing them into the pond. The other three looked at each other, shrugging.
“I don’t know. It’s just cool,” Daesung tried to explain, “Okay, let’s film the next part.” Seungri took his place, squatting next to the pond, “Action.”
“As you can see, the water has many ripples, indicating that there is, in fact, something much bigger hidden below the surface. Also, these water bugs,” he gestured to a group of three bugs skimming over the water,” are often found in places that have been confirmed to have swamp creatures similar to the one that is thought to live here.”
Seungri got up and walked to the other side of the pond, followed by Daesung and the camera, to sit down near a cluster of rocks.
“This particular formation of rocks is thought to be the creature’s nest. Their eggs look like rocks, so they create a pile like this and hide the egg in it somewhere so no one can tell which is the egg. Let’s see if we can find it,” Seungri began picking up rocks and hitting them against each other, concentrating, before tossing the reject eggs into the pond, “Oh! I think I found it!” he exclaimed, holding a particularly symmetrical rock up to the camera, “This is an actual egg of a swamp creature!”
Just then, Daesung’s neighbor stuck her head out her back door to see what all of the noise was.
“You boys!” she yelled, “Get out of my yard and stop throwing my rocks and ripping up my grass!”
“It’s the swamp creature!” the lazy boy called out, jumping up and running away dramatically, just for the fun of it. The other three boys followed suit, yelling and sprinting back toward Daesung’s house as the camera continued to film, the tape recording Daesung’s blurred feet, completely ignoring the angered yells of the woman behind them.Middle SchoolSeventh Grade – Age 13
Jiyong sat against the cinderblock wall of the gymnasium, cursing the fact that P.E. was required for all students at his school. It’s not as though he hated doing physical activities or that he had anything in particular against sports. It was just that P.E. was somehow…stressful.
The teacher insisted on timing them for everything and recording any and all data about how they did in practically every activity and then posting it on the wall for everyone to see.
And then there were the kids who got way too into it, as though winning whatever they were playing that day was the most important thing in their life, which it perhaps could be, Jiyong thought. Now, that was really sad if that were true, but that alone wasn’t stressful. It was the fact that those guys would yell at anyone who wasn’t giving 110% or just wasn’t that great at whatever sport it was that day. And who wanted to work that hard during gym class anyway? It sucked to go to the next class soaked in sweat, so Jiyong never exerted himself that much in P.E. if he could help it. For instance, when it was his turn to kick in kickball, he’d lightly kick the ball into the air toward third base so the third baseman was bound to catch it. That way, he wouldn’t have to run the bases, but he didn’t look like a complete failure.
Currently, he was waiting for his turn to go in front of the teacher, and whoever else from his class who was paying attention, and see how many pushups he could do in a minute. It wasn’t anything really impressive, he knew. It wasn’t his fault that he was slighter than many of the other boys in his class. He fiddled with the leather cuff bracelets that adorned his wrists, dreading his turn. Maybe they would run out of time before he had to go.
His day had started out so well too. He’d thought he looked great that morning, wearing his new pair of black lace up boots with his school uniform and a few people had even complimented him. Youngbae had just stared at him like he was crazy, but that was pretty much to be expected. Youngbae often thought he was crazy and he wasn’t really into fashion like Jiyong was.
“Jiyong,” a boy from his class hissed, sitting down next to him. He’d spoken to the boy once or twice, but they didn’t really know each other, “I heard that guy over there talking about you and he said that you shouldn’t be wearing those boots because you’re preppy since you hang out with Youngbae and them and that you’re a poser for trying to be punk.”
“I’m not trying to be punk,” Jiyong pointed out, a little rattled by the news since the alleged gossip had been one of the people to compliment his shoes that morning, “I’m not trying to be anything.”
“I’m just telling you what they said,” the boy shrugged and then ran off to join his friends.
Jiyong took in a shaking breath. Having people talk behind his back always made him really uncomfortable. It was upsetting; these people knew nothing about him. Who were they to judge?
Not that he’d ever change how he acted or the way he dressed just because of what someone said, but that didn’t mean it didn’t bother him. He didn’t know if he was being paranoid, but he could actually feel
the stares from the guys who were talking about him. Of course just then the teacher called his name to do the push up test.
He was so shaken by the situation that he barely got ten.
Seungri ducked a flying french-fry, laughing with his friends when it accidentally nailed a girl at the next table over in the head. They ignored the annoyed glare she sent in their direction, hunching over their lunches with their hands covering their mouths to muffle the laughter.
“She’s cute, don’t you think?” one of his friends asked, gazing at the back of the girl’s head, long hair pulled back by a pink ribbon.
“Hyori?” Seungri asked, glancing at the ponytail to see what all the fuss was about, “I dunno. I guess,” he shrugged.
“I think she’s beautiful
,” Daesung sighed, his eyes clouded over dreamily.
“Hey! I saw her first,” the first boy scowled, lightly hitting Daesung on the arm. However, the latter was too busy staring to notice, much less care.
“I think Hyun is really hot,” another boy at their table piped up to much agreement from everyone but Daesung, who was still preoccupied, and Seungri, who was wondering if his friend perhaps needed medical attention.
“Seungri,” the first boy waved his hand in front of his face, diverting his attention from wondering what was wrong with Daesung, “Who do you think is hot?” Seungri paused, suddenly realizing that he didn’t really find any
of the girls in his classes particularly appealing.
“Um...Hyun. Yeah, I agree about that,” he said, holding his breath and hoping that his lie was believable.
“Told you she was the hottest,” the boy who originally brought her into conversation smirked. Seungri just let out a sigh of relief that they hadn’t questioned him further.
But what was wrong with him? Why was he the only one who didn’t care about girls? He’d always just assumed that he’d grow up and get married like his parents had, but he’d never really thought about it.
Now, panic seized his chest as he realized that something seemed to be wrong with him. What if he died alone?
Fortunately, he was able to lock those worries away once his friends brought up the soccer game that had occurred the night before, but his newly realized fears were never completely out of mind, occasionally escaping and tormenting him for the next few years.High School
Sophomore Year – Age 15
“You’re taking a girl to the homecoming dance?” Jiyong’s mother squealed, clapping her hands in excitement, “Is she your girlfriend? Do we get to meet her before the dance? Is she pretty?” she shot questions out, not giving her son a chance to answer any of them.
“Umma,” Jiyong motioned for her to stop squealing so he could answer her, “No, I’m not dating her. You already know her. And, yes, she’s pretty.”
“Who is it?” his mother questioned, mentally going through a list of every girl she knew.
“Minzy,” Jiyong told her.
“Youngbae’s younger sister?” his mother asked, confused.
“Yeah, she’s a freshman this year and she really wants to go, so I told her I’d take her,” Jiyong explained. His mother nodded, looking as though she was thinking.
“But…isn’t there a girl whom you want
want to take Minzy.”
“Oh, I know. She’s a sweet girl and I mean nothing against her, but don’t you think you’re missing out on an opportunity to maybe take a girl whom you…want to date?” his mother asked, looking hopeful.
Jiyong sighed. Truthfully, no
there wasn’t another girl whom he could take whom he wanted to date because there were no
girls whom he was interested in. There never had been and there never would be. He had suspected that he was gay ever since he learned that there was such a thing, and since junior high, he’d known for sure when he found himself most definitely attracted to boys and not girls.
He’d never felt bad about being gay. It was just the way he was and to even imagine himself being straight seemed ridiculous to him since he’d no longer be him
. So he’d accepted the fact by himself during the sixth and seventh grades, and he finally came out to Youngbae in eighth grade. When he’d told him, Youngbae had just smiled and hugged him, telling him that he was so glad that he’d had the courage to confess to him and that they’d be best friends no matter what.
After that, he hadn’t really told anyone else; not because he was ashamed. He just didn’t think there was a need to announce it. So he didn’t. He didn’t hide it though. If someone were to ask him directly, he’d surely tell the truth.
But he knew that he should have told his parents. He didn’t back in eighth grade because he was afraid that they’d tell him that he was too young to make such a declaration. So he’d waited. But…he kind of just got used to things as they were, so he never came out, not wanting to rock the boat. He had a really good relationship with both of his parents, unlike most of the other teenagers he knew, so he was afraid to do anything that might compromise that.
So it led to his mother pestering him about girls. And every time she did it, he told himself that he had to tell her. But it was never a good time. He hated to just drop a bombshell like that on his parents, but…maybe he should just do it?
“Umma?” he said, taking a shaking breath, “There aren’t any girls I want to date.”
“Oh well then. Maybe by next year’s homecoming you will have met someone,” she smiled patting his shoulder and preparing to walk away. Jiyong had to force himself to not just let her leave and let him off the hook.
“Umma,” he said a little more forcefully, making her turn around and look at him, “There won’t be one next year either,” he stated, voice sounding more unsure than he would have liked.
“You never know dear. Just give it time-”
“No,” he cut her off, looking down to the floor before moving his eyes back to her face, “There will never be a girl
that I want to date. I-I’m gay, Umma,” he finally said, feeling his limbs quaking as he waited for a response. He was so nervous that he didn’t even watch her face after he told her, instead just staring at the carpet under his feet. It felt like an eternity had passed, the silence threatening to steal the air from his lungs. But then he felt his mother’s arms wrapping around him. Surprised he looked up from the floor to meet her gaze.
“Jiyong-ah, why didn’t you tell me sooner?” there were tears in her eyes, “You know that I’d support you no matter what. And I wouldn’t have been always asking about girls!” she hit him playfully on the arm as she pulled away, only to have Jiyong pull her back into a hug.
“I know Umma. I’m sorry,” he told her, feeling his heart swelling with love for his mother, knowing that he was so lucky to have a mother so understanding.
“It’s okay baby,” she patted his back and pulled away to look at his face, “So are there any boys you like?” she asked, smiling mischievously.
“Umma!” Jiyong exclaimed, blushing at the blunt question. But he wasn’t surprised. It was so like his mother to just say exactly what was on her mind.
“What?” she asked innocently, “Are there? Oh! Is it Youngbae?”
“Ew! Umma! He’s like my brother
. That’s gross,” he shuddered at the idea, “Besides, he’s straight.” She just smiled, chuckling at her son’s outburst.
“Alright,” she held up her hands in defeat, “You’ll tell me when there is someone though, right?”
“Sure Umma,” Jiyong sighed, chuckling. His mother waved her finger at him in a mock warning before kissing his cheek like she used to when he was younger and then walking back to finish cooking.
Jiyong stood in the same place, a smile on his face and a deep sense of relief spreading through his body
And when he jogged up the stairs to go to his room, he felt about twenty pounds lighter.
“Smile everyone!” someone’s mother yelled out, the flashes blinding Seungri so he couldn’t see who had spoken. Still, he stretched his already-exhausted grin a little wider, trying to make sure he didn’t blink.
He hated picture taking before school formal dances. Everyone’s parents got way too into it and it was so incredibly awkward having everyone staring at him for so long. Plus, he’d always hated having his picture taken. He just felt so vulnerable and exposed
. And what a time to feel like that when he was surrounded by whatever random girls he and his friends had gotten to accompany them. Plus, their parents. Good times.
Seungri ended up getting cajoled into taking Dara, a girl from the group of girls who his friends sometimes hung out with. She was nice enough, Seungri supposed, but he didn’t know her that
well, so it was kind of awkward. And with the added fact that he wasn’t romantically interested in her, he wasn’t very motivated to try and spark up a conversation. That’s what big groups were for.
“Ri!” Daesung hissed into his ear through his smile, “How much longer do you think they’ll keep this up?” Seungri glanced to his right and noticed that Daesung’s smile wasn’t even strained despite how long they’d been holding the facial expression and the fact that he was talking whilst smiling. Maybe he should ask for some tips for next time.
“I don’t know,” Seungri whispered back, trying to look as though he wasn’t talking, lest he get scolded by his mother for ruining the pictures, “Remember, we still have individual couple pictures to do.”
“Are you serious?” Daesung hissed, outwardly composed, “If I fall over dead, just tell everyone to continue on without me.” Seungri started laughing, feeling a bit reassured that at least he’d have a real smile in a few pictures.
Seungri glanced around the dark and crowded gym, decked out in balloons and streamers as though that was all it took for the students to forget that they were in the school’s stuffy gymnasium. Although, Seungri noted, it seemed to have worked on some people…
He hated to seem like a dud, but he just didn’t get
school dances. The girls were running around in groups, giggling and taking pictures with every single person whom they knew, even if they actually hated them during school hours, while their dates stood around awkwardly, trying to make conversation over the blaring music.
Scattered throughout the dance floor were a few couples dancing, which meant that they were just grinding against one another, sometimes with the beat and sometimes not.
Truthfully, Seungri would have liked school dances if he actually got to dance
. But it was some unspoken rule that the boys weren’t supposed to just dance by themselves; they were supposed to dance with their date. But his date was off somewhere with some of the other girls from his group, so he was left to wait and pretend that he cared where she was.
Seungri looked over at Daesung enviously; the latter dancing- actually
dancing- with his date, Hyori. They were laughing and seemed to be having a great time. Seungri scoffed, going back to pretending he was looking for someone, just to give him something to do. As happy as he was for his best friend that he got to go with the girl he’d had a crush on for years, he was jealous that his
dance experience was completely meaningless.
It wasn’t as though Seungri was pining over some other girl, wishing that he’d had the courage to ask his dream date. As far as his options went, Dara was certainly one of the better ones; she was pretty, she was nice, and she was friends with some of the same people that he was. Seungri just didn’t have anyone in mind. He’d tried though. He really had.
For the past two years, he’d kind of had a compulsion; he’d always look at every single girl he saw when he walked through the halls of his school, trying to picture himself with each girl. He hoped that at some point he’d find a girl he was interested in; a girl he could pine over like Daesung had been pining after Hyori for the past three years. Even if he never ended up actually dating her, just knowing that he wanted
to would have been enough for him.
But so far, he hadn’t had any luck. Two years, and he never saw a girl he wanted to be with. Sure, plenty of them have been attractive; beautiful even. But he didn’t want any of them. And it scared him.
“Seungri!” Dara’s voice pulled him out his thoughts, bringing him back to the current situation. Needless to say, he wasn’t thrilled to find himself in his high school gym in a suit. But it could have been worse.
“Hi Dara,” he smiled, making sure to be polite; it wasn’t her fault that he was having an identity crisis, nor was it her fault that the homecoming decorations were so tacky and overdone, making the gym seem somewhat like a children’s birthday party.
“Want to dance?” she asked, a hopeful look on her face as she looked up at him expectantly, her heavily mascaraed eyes blinking at him innocently. It was only then that Seungri noticed that there was a slow song playing, almost all of the couples within his line of sight rocking slowly back and forth together. He couldn’t say no.
“Sure,” he smiled, holding his arm out like a gentleman and leading her to the area where the rest of their group was dancing together. Seungri snuck a look at Daesung and Hyori, pressed tightly together, Hyori’s head resting against his shoulder with her eyes closed, and both looking blissful. Seungri felt his stomach lurch with jealousy.
But he tried not to show what he was feeling. Instead he just put his hands on Dara’s hips and welcomed her hands on his shoulders, moving back and forth to the music. Stepping from foot to foot, Seungri tried his hardest to sink into the rhythm of the dance and forget that he felt as though he was somehow dancing to the wrong song.