The sky's the limit; dream big ★ (deleaah) wrote,
The sky's the limit; dream big ★
deleaah

Ever-Change, Never Change

Ever-Change, Never Change
Yoona-centric, Siwon/Yoona
PG- 13 | Slice of Life, drama | 7000w
“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer."



*~*



“Get closer,” the photographer swatted his arms, hysterically she noted.

The face of SNSD: Yoona. The face of Super Junior: Siwon. Put Super Junior and SNSD (Girls’ Generation) together and you get Super Generation with Siwon and Yoona as their representatives.

Yoona complies and her head touches Siwon’s. They smile, there’s a flash and the day ends with “Good job everyone!”

Yoona feels her knees shaking from the photo shoot’s demanding stamina but she manages to smile and thank them for their work.

“Remember to rest, okay?” Siwon says before running to Super Junior’s van. Yoona nods, watching as he disappears into the blackness.

It’s getting chillier as the summer slips into hibernation and autumn gets ready to take over, first with its gentle breeze, then with the changing leaves. She hugs herself, hoping that the parka’s sufficient for her body to warm up. It never is though.

Siwon’s the person she could relate to the most, both of them being representatives of their groups, the ones who are always in the center. But at the same time, she couldn’t tell him everything. What if he isn’t tired of being the face? What if he likes it because he can help the group? What if he isn’t as selfish as Yoona right now?

Yoona opens the door to the van to reveal eight sleeping faces. Even if Yoona wants to talk, she can’t. She’s truly alone.


*~*



“Yoona, look, you’re first again,” Seohyun points to the screen, happier than Yoona is.

Yoona smiles, “I see.” She can’t keep up with all of the lists that claim her as number one – she’s not claiming number one, number one’s claiming her and she doesn’t like it.

The world’s shallow, looks makes up for everything you lack. Looks are the first thing people notice about a person and it dominates a person’s infatuation, which leads to people naming her as their ideal type. She isn’t the variety type like Sooyoung, she isn’t SNSD’s killer vocals like Jessica and Taeyeon, she isn’t the dancing machine like Hyoyeon, she isn’t the Aegyo Queen Sunny, she isn’t the deep intellectual like Seohyun, she doesn’t have a pretty enticing eye smile like Tiffany, nor does she have a toned body like Yuri, she’s just the face of SNSD and that's enough for infatuation.


*~*



Yoona yawns through her class with the constant taps from the neighbouring tree branches. She tries not to but when work eats away any ounce of willpower left, all that’s left is a corpse. Yoona hears muffled words and blurred motions as she tries to take in some information. After an hour, her eyelids drape over her eyes. She wakes up when the class is over and the teacher is not happy. She apologizes at the end of class but her teacher understands that being an entertainer isn’t easy, and wishes Yoona good luck for her future. Yoona nods, a bit happy.

After practice, she’s whisk away to an individual commercial. The members aren’t there, the cosmetic company specifically ask for her and her company accepted. She’s tired, but fatigue isn’t a valid reason to say no. They’re signs of weakness and Yoona tries to be strong – she likes to think that they make up for what she can’t do.

“Tilt your head to the left for a bit,” the photographer says. She does it and it’s her fifteen minute break. She gets phone calls and text messages from her members, several ‘Hwaitings’ and ‘You’ll do well!’ She smiles, and responds back with a, “I’ll try my best.” She can’t assure them that she’ll be the best, she can only try.

A certain message surprises her, a message from Choi Siwon. “I know it’s hard, but don’t give up! The group needs you.”

She smiles, the words she needed to hear were finally said. She replied with a small, ‘Thank you.’

“That’s right Yoona, that same smile!” the photographer says and she flinches. She didn’t realize someone was watching her but she should have known, there’s always someone watching her.

“Yes?” she turns back.

“The smile you did just now, I want to see it during the second half of the photo shoot.”

For the rest of the photo shoot, Yoona thinks of Siwon’s message and the same smile unknowingly draws on her face. Maybe, Siwon and her weren’t that different after all.


*~*



Siwon wipes the sweat beading on his forehead. It’s past midnight but he’s at the gym, working out. His muscles can’t sag, he can’t fall behind. Even with Hyukjae showing off his abs lately, Siwon can’t lose the title. He’s still the face of Super Junior, he can’t embarrass Super Junior.

He remembers the members telling him that he glistened when he worked out. He would respond with an eye roll and a, “I’m glistening because I’m sweating, smart one.”

They would shake their heads and insist that he glistens. Siwon thinks they’re crazy.

Sometimes, he gets self-conscious of his physique. Like the time someone commented that he resembled a horse, that his name should be Ma Siwon instead of Choi Siwon. They meant it as a joke but it bothered him when he was waving at the fans, when he ate dinner and when he curled up on his bed. Finally, he couldn’t take it anymore and called Jungsoo to talk about it. Jungsoo hung up after an hour, saying that he’s the most handsome man and that he shouldn’t worry about the harmless joke.

It wasn’t harmless.


*~*



Yoona’s bathing in the remnants of summer as she waits for her turn to film the MV. If someone were to ask her if being an entertainer is worth it, she’ll respond with, “Are you sure this is what you want? Do you have a passion – not a measly interest to be in front of the camera – for singing? Dancing? Can you live with sleepless nights and assure that your sanity’s still there?”

If they answer with a yes, then she’ll say, “Then strive for that dream, don’t stop, don’t hesitate, just go.”

Being an entertainer isn’t a thing where you try it out, don’t like it and then drop out. Even when you drop out, you’re still not fully out of the limelight. There are still fans following you, drafting every single detail into their heads . People still won’t forget your name even after a decade; people will tilt their heads and mutter your name like a broken record player, trying to get the gist of who you once were.

She wasn’t sure she wanted this life but her sister was so keen on her becoming an idol, saying that she has a pretty face. She auditioned and she made it. Even with rigid nights where sleep was scarce, when she’d work to the bones, she likes this life. She doesn’t think she can be anything else other than an entertainer. She’s sure that a decade from now, people will still remember who Yoona is, even when she has already forgotten.


*~*



Yoona likes to jog every morning when the chance is given. The chance isn’t give so often but today, it is and she takes it without hesitation. “What are you doing?” Sooyoung yawns without covering her mouth, very unladylike of her, but when it’s the nine of us and no cameras are around, who cares?

“Up for a morning jog, want to come?”

She shakes her head, “You go ahead. Have fun,” she yawns again and staggers back to her room.


*~*



Yoona’s surprise to find Siwon a few meters ahead of her and she calls out. He smiles his all knowing smile and she feels her heart sway. He has that affect on everyone and Yoona proves to be a part of the latter. She’s just like any other girl.

“Hey,” he slows down. She realizes how rusty she is when she finds her legs screaming out in fatigue, from the sudden use of her muscles. Yet, she knows Siwon can run another kilometre with ease and still look like he walked out from a magazine.

“Hi, I didn’t know you jog every morning.”

“I run every so often, but lately it’s kind of hard with the drama filming. I don’t recall ever seeing you though.”

“I usually don’t jog down or should I say, up this path.” Yoona found her chest heaving for air as the second goes by. She’s out of shape, really out of shape. Every time she sees a hill, whether it be compact with a beautiful view or derive with the whispering winds, she dies a little on the inside. The hills taunt her as she struggles to drag herself over it.

“It’s hard but I like this path because of the hills,” Siwon slows down again, and she hates it. She hates how he purposely matches her pace, she should gather up her strength to catch up to him. Even if she’s sick, she’s tired, her legs feel like they’re break, she should do that. It’s only right.

“You don’t have to slow down for me,” she remarks, speeding up a bit. He follows her with ease and smiles gently.

“It’s not nice to just run off and leave you here,” he replies, the same killing smile etches on his face. Even if he’s wearing a cap to cover his face, she can tell that his features are perfect, his smile’s perfect, he’s perfect.

So he does have the choice to leave her here to run by herself, for her to struggle against the steep hills but he doesn’t. It’s always nice for someone to accompany you, moral support is always appreciated. Even if it were out of pity or whatever, the brain would overlook that and thank them for their kindness. Yoona thanks Siwon for his kindness.

When they’re at the little corner store drinking their water bottles – courtesy of Siwon, Yoona looks around. There’s a few people jogging in the morning out of leisure or obligations and Yoona wonders if her reason is out of leisure or obligations.

“The seasons are changing already,” Siwon leans back against the metal bar outside of the store.

“It’s autumn.”

There are simple things she overlooks; like the sounds of leaves rustling under her shoes and the waft of wind that carries the strong scent of the rain. It’s crisp, it’s fresh, it’s autumn air. And she only recognizes it now, after half an hour of jogging.

“It’s wonderful,” Siwon says, relishing in the beauty that autumn brings.

She watches as the leaves slowly fall. Every season has its amenity, the one ethereal moment where the world stops to marvel at it. Autumn’s gifts are the leaves dancing, the waft of fresh air and the melodic sounds of the crunching leaves.


*~*



The changing seasons bring the wool sweaters and boots out. With the change of attire comes the commercial that Super Junior and SNSD endorse, SPAO. The fans (ELF and Sones) go crazy when a new SPAO campaign is launch with new cut out pictures, videos and the clothes. It gives birth to new couples, strengthens old couples and sometimes, awkwardness between the members when the fans get out of hand and decide to transfer their craziness in forms like songs, letters, and fanfictions.

SNSD look up to Super Junior for support and Super Junior looks after SNSD, guiding them on their long journey. It’s a brother-sister relationship (most of the time). Yoona watches Jessica pose with Donghae. The ice princess with the fish. It doesn't make sense, their images clash with Jessica’s cold interior and Donghae’s childish acts but the fans love it, so it makes a lot of sense.

Then, there are the dancing machines, Hyoyeon and Hyukjae. They work out because of their passion to dance, their fierce stares on stage and their goofy smiles off stage. There’s no need for complicated reasoning, it just works out because it does.

Siwon looks at Kyuhyun hugging Sunkyu or Sunny. He thought SM would promote Sunkyu and Sungmin as a couple since they’ve been rumoured to be an item for ages but he guess not. SM likes surprises; he likes to test out the possibility of these couples for future performances. He likes the fans squealing in glee at the makeshift couples, it means money, a lot of it.

Siwon sees Joohyun or Seohyun with Sungmin. They’re an awkward pair. Even Sungmin’s aegyo can’t crack through Joohyun’s formality barrier. No one can, not even Yonghwa, though he’s the most progressive so far and it’s only been a half a year since they were a part of that reality show.

In the end, there are a few couples that stay the same and no one is surprise that Siwon and Yoona’s one of them. The faces, the representatives of the groups can’t go wrong. They’re guarantee to be an easy photograph. SM sometimess pair Yoona with Heechul or Siwon with Tiffany but they comment that it doesn’t feel ‘right.’ What should feel right or wrong at this stage? The objective is get money, to get the fans’ hearts. It’s an ugly thing, entertainment.


*~*



“You’ve been waking up pretty early to go jogging,” Hyoyeon says, stretching far too low for the average human body.

Yoona gawks at her, then reverts back to a smile. “It’s called dedication.”

Hyoyeon smirks. Yoona use to smile awkwardly at their blithe nitpicking but now she’ll smile back confidently. Hyoyeon likes that but wonders if Yoona notice the change in herself. “Well, have fun with the horse.”

“He doesn’t like it when people call him ‘horse.’”

“Touchy.” Hyoyeon represses the urge to add a ‘tsk tsk’ at the end but knew that it’ll only fluster their second maknae.

“Shut up,” Yoona punctuate with a laugh and slams the door on a giggling Hyoyeon.


*~*



“What’s your favourite season?” Yoona asks as a leaf settles on the palm of her hands. It’s light, so light that it’s like it’s not even there.

“Spring.” The season when you can see your shadows again after a prolong winter. Shadow, the figment of your soul. When the flower buds start to unravel and scent of the flower overwhelms us. When everything grows back from the frosty touch, the start of something new, something magical almost; spring.

“What’s yours?” Siwon prompts.

“Winter.” The season when winter extends its frigid fingers over the earth, caressing us with its chilly breath, sending shivers down our spines, when time stops and everything stops growing. Some places are blessed with the gift of snow, another alternative to the autumn’s leaves, the spring’s petals, the summer’s heat. Korea’s blessed with snow, Yoona’s blessed with snow. But she doesn’t feel bless.

“Oh.”

Five more minutes of lollygagged movements from drinking water to staring at the passersby, Siwon thinks it’s too quiet. But Yoona doesn’t mind, she likes being in the shade, watching them not vice versa. She wonders what would happen if they found out she’s SNSD’s Yoona and he’s Super Junior’s Siwon; not Im Yoona and Choi Siwon. She’s heard the name SNSD’s Yoona, the face of SNSD much more than her real name. It’s kind of funny.

“So, you guys are coming back next week,” Siwon says out of the blue. Yoona doesn’t find it difficult to breathe while running anymore. She can almost catch up to Siwon but this is the most she can do because Siwon has the advantage of longer legs.

“Yeah, it’s surreal. This isn’t the first time we’ve comeback but it feels special every time,” Yoona can’t stop the bubbles from forming.

“Don’t worry, you should see Hyukjae hyung every time we comeback. You can see his gummy smiles from day to night, every single day of the week. It gets kind of eerie.”

Yoona laughs. His gummy smiles are especially contagious and many of the times, she finds herself smiling at him (not with him).

“It’s kind of hard, the practices and preparation are overwhelming.”

“But you survive every comeback; this one shouldn’t be any different.”

“Everyone wants their comeback to be different, they want a break through.” Yoona feels the wind threading through her hair, casting the breeze of autumn on her delicate locks. She likes the feel of the new seasons, the changing seasons and how it enlightens her, change her almost. It’s a cycle though, the change comes, the change goes. Then the change happens, then it ends. A cycle of change.

“Who wouldn’t want that,” Siwon shrugs. It’s every idol’s dream. Once you’re considered Korea’s best idol group, Asia’s best idol group, you strive to be better. You want to be the world’s best idol group, the universe’s best idol group. It’s crazy really, this desire, this passion to be the top.

“So, that means I’ll be jogging with you less and less.”

“We’ll be cheering you on,” Siwon smiles and sends light pats on her back.

“Then it’ll be your turn. I heard your comeback’s right after ours.”

“Yeah, so that means I’ll be coming here less.”

“That makes me feel less bad about abandoning you then,” Yoona suppresses a laugh.

“I’m not that dependent,” Siwon lightly punches her shoulder. Yoona doesn’t take it as a light punch but as thunder striking her, catching her off her feet.


*~*



Yoona tries not to cry when she’s surfing on the internet. The first video teaser was just release and the responses are either good or bad. The good responses draw a smile on her face. The SONE fanbase are growing and it’s showing every day. When there are bad responses though, they drive a knife into her heart. Every time she sees another response, the knife is driven deeper into her heart, getting closer to the core of it.

She works hard, she sometimes takes up more advertising campaigns, she endures the extra hours of filming. She doesn’t mind, she says it’s for SNSD, it’s for the girls, it’s what she wants. But in return, her efforts aren’t praise (she doesn’t mind it being left aside) but instead, it’s degraded, twisted into something decadent. She shouldn’t let anti-fans get to her, that’s what the manager always says but it hurts. The words are so cruel, so sharp edged.

She’s accuse of being a spotlight hogger, they want to see another ‘face,’ they’re tired of hers. She doesn’t mind their remark about wanting to see another member but she doesn’t decide if she’s in the middle, if she’s the main actress in the first teaser. They didn’t all sit in a circle in their trainee years claiming their titles like main vocals or aegyo queen. It all happens unknowingly.

The members all watch as Yoona mutters she’s not hungry and retreats to their rooms. They know what’s Yoona’s going through but they can’t say anything but give her more smiles. Yoona has pride, they know about her lack of confidence. They don’t want to take her pride away so they stay quiet and pledge a secret oath to love one another more, if that’s even possible.


*~*



“What does summer feel like?” Yoona ask, a slight shiver from the gust of wind. After two weeks of teasing with videos and pictures, they’re in the full bloom of autumn. SNSD having their comeback stage and everyone’s happy. Half of Super Junior comes to congratulate and support them on their comeback day. They’re backstage and it doesn’t look weird that she’s talking to Siwon, not when people are running around with complaints and compress stress to notice them.

“It feels warm,” Siwon chuckles.

“You’re awfully smart, Einstein,” Yoona jokes and Siwon looks insulted for five seconds then burst into laughter.

“It is though. The feeling of the sunrays on your arms...It’s like you change as well because you get tanner and everyone’s happy. A carefree season.” A carefree season for most people but for idols, it meant work, work and work.

Summer, the frivolous season. The season when everyone forgets about the reigning winter. When school’s out, vacation’s in. It’s a season when laughter’s your background music, the sun’s your light and when you completely lose yourself to the euphoria.

Yoona forgets that summer exist when you feel the brisk air swelling in your lungs. It’s not even winter yet and the the wind’s slapping you with its brutality, you forget about the sun’s warmth.


*~*



A week into their comeback, ads drop in, there are more photo shoots and late night filming for variety shows. Yoona misses school quite a lot but it’s not a surprise. She notices how the members are getting frail, their actions are shrivelling and sleep becomes a rarity like rain in the middle of a drought.

It’s time for music shows again, everyone’s getting their mics check, some are warming their vocals, stretching out the fatigue but Yoona’s the one who tries to keep her eyelids open.

On stage with the cameras hovering over them, with the bright lights and the roaring fans, Yoona tries to concentrate on the dance steps, on the lyrics that she doesn’t sing. It’s so hard and she’s breaking.

Then everything turns black.


*~*



Yoona wakes up again in the dorm; pillows surrounding her like a moat would for a castle. She stretches a bit, feeling the strain of her muscles aching. Eight familiar faces poke their heads in, all concern.

“How are you feeling?” Taeyeon ask, ruffling her hair which isn’t straightened to the point of perfection but frizzy from the static.

“I’m good,” Yoona smiles.

“You fainted during the rehearsals; the doctor said that it’s just over-exertion,” Seohyun assures her. She doesn’t need assurance, she isn’t worried about herself, she’s worried about the performance.

“Did the performance go on without me?”

They nod, guilty. It’s not their fault; it’s her fault for not keeping up, for not being strong. Yoona periodically nods her head at their questions but the words don’t register in her mind.

She gets up from bed, the world spins a little but she ignores it. “I’m going to practice.”

“But –” Sooyoung interjects, hand mid-air, ready to stop her.

“I’ve been busy lately with all the advertisements; I just want to catch up.”

Jessica says with her light airy voice, “Don’t push your limit, okay?”



*~*



Super Junior’s practicing when Yoona heads to the practice room. She stands outside and listens to their track. It’s techno-ish, it’s upbeat, it’s Super Junior’s music. After the Sorry Sorry’s sensation, simple but repetitive gestures make an appearance in everyone’s songs (Except for DBSK’s and SHINee’s, their dances are always a challenge).

She bows down, 90 degrees to every single member. By the 12th member, the world gets dizzy again.

“What are you doing here?”

She looks up to see Siwon and her head’s ready to incline itself towards the ground when the world falls underneath her and her head’s mere inches away from it when Siwon catches her arm.

“You’re not doing any better, I presume.”

Yoona straightens up and out of his hand. Siwon doesn’t take the swift rigid actions as anything but worry. He wonders if Yoona will ever change.


*~*



Yoona has her hands on her hips; she’s looking at the ceiling, trying to bite back the tears. It doesn’t work. She can’t do the choreography right. Even after two hours of practice, when she perfects another part, she finds out she’s lacking in another aspect. So she goes back, replays the part and fails. Her phone sometime intervenes with the messages phone calls. She assures that she’s okay, that she’ll come home. It becomes a cycle with no change. A cycle of repetitive failures, something an idol worries about the most.

She doesn’t understand why. Is it because she misses the training? Is it because her leg’s shaking from the exertion?

Before her paranoia takes over completely, she feels her shirt getting soak – it’s not sweat. She touches her cheeks and realizes it’s been wet for a while. She wipes them away, she can do it. She’s SNSD’s Yoona. She has to do it – even if it kills her.

Another hour goes by and she’s still stumbling over the same part. Efforts were suppose to make up for her absence, that’s what the five years of training taught her. Even if she doesn’t shine in the singing and dancing departments, her efforts make up for them.

Now, looking at the mess in the mirror, she doubts her ideology. She’s sweaty, her hair’s dishevelled and her clothes are scrunch at the rigorous stretch in the past three hours. This is not the face of SNSD, this isn’t SNSD’s Yoona, this is Im Yoona.


*~*



Slinging her bag over her shoulder, after she combs her hair to some level of decency, her face’s not dripping with sweat and she change her clothes, she feels...normal, worthy of being here. She finds herself face-to-face with Siwon when she hears the click of the door.

“Hi. I forgot something in there when I got home so I came back to get it.”

She nods, “Hey.” When he brushes past her, she catches a glimpse of his gym bag. It’s the same one he had when she last saw him three hours ago outside the practice room. She sees his sneakers and it’s not a coincidence, but it’s the same shoes she saw three hours ago.

Siwon returns, awkwardly scratching the back of his head. “I guess it wasn’t in there.” A bit of something dark blue peeks out from the bag. She notes that it’s the same nuance of blue as the t-shirt he was wearing three hours ago after he left. Every trainee brings a spare change of clothes to change into after training so they don’t reek of sweat. Siwon wasn’t any different.

Did he go home?

Yoona decides to spare him the benefit of the doubts. “How’s the choreography coming along?”

Yoona shakes her head, “Not so well.”

“Don’t worry, it’ll come eventually.”

She feels the pique voice in her head rebutting him. “Hopefully,” she chimes.

“Are you hungry? I’ll treat you.”

“I’m not hungry,” she can taste the last bits of apples that Hyoyeon practically shove down her throat on her tongue. She can’t eat anyway. “But I wouldn’t mind tagging along.”


*~*



Yoona forgot that Siwon doesn’t live in the dorm. So his curfew’s more versatile. The purpose of a baseball cap, beanies, isn’t simply for a fashion statement but to hide the subject from people, media, trouble. That’s the first thing she learns from her manager when they’re running away from psychotic fans.

When Siwon orders a meagre meal (in his perspective, a snack), her fingers curl into tight fists. She’s not that hungry but the rumbles she would feel are telling her otherwise. She can’t eat, it’s SNSD’s comeback, she can’t eat.

“Are you sure you’re not going to eat?”

Siwon shouldn’t be persuading her but seeing her sunken cheeks kills him a little on the inside. She’s getting so thin, so breakable, the rest of them are but it's rules they have to abide too – the consequences if they fail to follow are unheard of.

She shakes her head. Before he takes a bite, he looks at her one more time and decides against eating. “Well, I’m not going to eat then.”

“You’re wasting food.”

He shrugs.

Yoona gives in and decides to order a salad. Siwon rolls his eyes, at least she’s eating.


*~*



“How do you do it?” Yoona asks, after she finish her salad and he’s finish his. They’re walking down the bridge to home with the snow showering their vision. It’s winter already. Her hands are cocoon within the mittens’ walls and her hair’s tuck inside the beanie. She wonders if anyone could recognize her on this chilly night.

“Do what?” Siwon’s hidden under his fitted pea coat that contrasts greatly with his sneakers. An embarrassment on his part. He’s pulled down by the light weights of his practice clothing which consisted of a measly t-shirt and sweat pants. Winter’s here.

“Balancing the ads campaign, practicing and sometimes not being there.”

Siwon smiles a knowing smile. He remembers telling Kibum the same thing a while back when he’s immerse in acting and the guilt took over the gawky boy. “It’s not really balancing. It’s more like, a compromise. Super Junior comes first, always. But sometimes you want to branch out, to act, to model but it’s not like you forgot Super Junior. I’m doing it under the name, ‘Super Junior’s Choi Siwon.’”

Yoona nods, understanding him.

“It’s not like I’m abandoning Super Junior either, but I’m trying something new and I’m still helping Super Junior – even in a miniscule way.”

“So it’s not balancing, just do what you love but don’t forget where you started from either. Somewhere, there’s a compromise and it works out.”

“Thanks Siwon.”

Yoona was wrong. Siwon understands the responsibility of being the ‘face’ of a group. He understands her.


*~*



The inevitable happens as Yoona’s practicing with the other members and her ankle rings in pain. Practice stops when she can’t hide the pain and she’s seated in a car headed to the hospital. The manager talks with the CEO on the phone and he sounds livid. Yoona feels like a disappointment.


*~*



Yoona returns with a small bandage around her ankle. She doesn’t tell them that she falls when she practices alone. She didn’t think she’d sprain her ankle on the third week of their comeback. She doesn’t believe the doctor either when he tells her he’s surprise she can stand while withstanding the pain and tells her to rest for two to three weeks. Everyone objects to it.

On the day of the public broadcasting, there’s a chair on a pedestal on the side of the stage for her and the members are to the right. She feels so far away and accidently forgets to sing with them during the chorus. Nobody notices her absence.


*~*



In two weeks, she can dance again but too bad the opportunity isn’t given. Yoona gets offer a second leading role in a drama and accepts. She wants to find the compromise that Siwon talks about. So five weeks into the promotion cycle, Yoona’s spot is taken over by Sooyoung. It was that easy to replace her.

Yoona’s sad at first but the incessant filming distracts her. When she’s at the dorm, she’s busy memorizing the dialogue. She finds that she likes acting and her co-stars are nice. She’s also known as Im Yoona during the filming. SNSD is rarely mentioned.


*~*



Sometimes, when she films, there will be fans there and giving her support, and presents. She’s thankful to them, even on this chilly night; they stay, watching over her. One of the upper sides of being an idol is the never-ending love from SONEs. They ask if her ankle’s okay, if she’s tired and she would respond with smiles and laughter. It’s the least she can do for them.


*~*



She returns to class somewhere during the sixth week of promotions but she doesn’t frequently show up. When she does, she gets comments from her peers, talking about her drama appearances. She beams at their comments. It feels nice.


*~*



She’s filming for another MV, the follow up promotion. Filming a drama’s harder than she initially thought but she never complained. But filming an MV turns out to be tedious for her. She doesn’t know why.


*~*



Yoona doesn’t perform during the promotions at all. News of her leaving the band surfaces and fans panic. She tells them at the filming site that there’s no such thing and it’s outrageous. The thought has never crossed her mind but for some reason, she can see her future, if the rumours were true. She’s scared now and the level of NGs during the filming frustrates her.


*~*



Winter lasts far much longer than she thought. She sees Siwon one day at the company. “Hey.”

“Hey, your drama’s doing good,” he comments.

“Your drama’s pretty good as well,” she responds. Their dramas are running during the same time lapse but there’s no rivalry between them, only proud for being friends with such talents.

“I haven’t seen you around lately,” Siwon picks at the hem of his shirt.

“Filming’s taking a toll on me,” she remarks with a smile, “It’s nice though.”

“It’s fun but don’t forget, okay?”

Yoona doesn’t understand but she nods anyway. Time’s ticking on her and she’s already late.


*~*



She arrives at the celebratory party later than she expected. It’s not an extravagant party, just her, the members and the managers celebrating SNSD’s latest win in a karaoke room. The minute she arrives, she gets rush into a group hug. When there are nine girls in the same room, things get emotional.

“I miss you guys,” she mutters and they all respond – at the same time. It’s chaotic, it’s cacophonic, it’s SNSD.

She never realizes how much she misses them until Taeyeon’s belting out her vocals, Sunny’s aegyo’s out of control and Hyoyeon’s popping uncontrollably. She understands why alcohol’s ban at the dormitory. Yuri sits beside her, an arm around her shoulder. “How have you been?”

Yoona smiles, “Wonderful. The drama’s doing well, SNSD’s doing well. Life’s great, don’t you think?”

Yuri looks at her strangely, “Yeah. It’s been a while since we’ve been together.”

“I’ll be back when the filming’s over.”

Yuri laughs, “Obviously, where else would you be?”


*~*



Yoona thinks that night. An SNSD without Yoona, Yoona without SNSD. That would equal to Im Yoona, that’s who she is, right? So would it matter if SNSD’s Yoona, her second name, suddenly disappears? She’s scared to tell the members about it. She looks out the window and notice that the snow’s almost melted into oblivion.


*~*



The members confront her when her filming ends early. She doesn’t see it coming but they’ve been together for about five years or more, they know what she’s thinking. “Yoona, if you’re thinking of leaving, then we’ll support you,” Taeyeon, the leader says.

Yoona’s surprise that they found out. She never thought of leaving but ever since the media plants the seed in her head, it’s been growing every day. The what-if scenario replays in her head and she admits that she likes some of them.

“I didn’t decide anything yet,” Yoona says.

“But we could tell. You seem –” Tiffany pauses, “Alive after you come back, even though you’ve been filming for the whole day. You’re dead tired from a performance on stage...”

“We’re not shooing you out, but if you really want that, then just know that we’re here supporting you,” Sunny remarks.

It feels like a goodbye. “Guys, I’m not leaving right now, stop overreacting,” Yoona looks at their solemn expressions. They don’t crack into smiles, they don’t move, and suddenly there’s the water work. Sooyoung starts with the sobbing, follows by Tiffany and soon, they’re all teary-eyed. They don’t care if their mascara’s smudge, if they honestly look like a mess, they don’t care.

They know Yoona, they don’t want to see her leave but she loves acting. They can’t keep her in this cage if she isn’t happy.


*~*



Yoona calls Siwon late into the night. He agrees to meet her at the Han River even if the wind cuts through his flesh and penetrates his bones. Yoona finds him and weaves through the snow. “Hey,” she says and sees her foggy breath.

“Hey, what’s wrong?” Siwon asks, concern.

“I don’t know what to do,” Yoona says, fingers grasping the railing overlooking the river. “I like acting and I don’t know if I should pursue it.”

“What about singing, dancing, and performing?” Siwon asks. It feels like déjà vu with himself. Siwon ultimately chooses Super Junior over acting but his eyes sometimes linger on the actors on screen. He wants to be there, he wants to act but he loves to perform as well. It’s a hard struggle.

“I like performing, it’s a good feeling but –”

“Perform once more and if the feeling’s still there, then you know your choose.”

Yoona stares at Siwon. “What?” Siwon laughs.

“You seem wiser,” Yoona jokes. Siwon’s surprise look – the one when his eyes grow inhumanly big – shows and Yoona doesn’t suppress laughter.

“I’m always wise!” Siwon retorts.

The wind blows, screaming empty hollers in their ears and it starts to snow. “The snow’s pretty, don’t you think?” Yoona perches her elbow on the top of the railing.

“Yeah, it is.”

Siwon looks at Yoona inching closer to the river, “Don’t fall in.”

Yoona laughs, “I won’t, unless you’re planning to push me in.”


*~*



The last episode of the drama ends and Yoona sheds tears at the after party. Everyone does and they take a group picture with puffy eyes and red faces. Yoona thinks the picture’s perfect and hangs the picture next to the pictures of her performing, with the other members, her being SNSD’s Yoona and Im Yoona at the same time.


*~*



The filming for the drama ends and she gets another offer for another drama. The offer’s quick, and she has a month to accept or reject. Yoona doesn’t know if she wants it or not. The group picture of SNSD and the group picture from the after party stares back at her.


*~*



This is it. Yoona thinks while her makeup artist’s applying foundation on her face. Its light make up with not much done to the hair. It’s SNSD’s goodbye stage and this is the rehearsal for it. It’s their goodbye stage but it’s her first time stepping on stage in a month. Yoona stares at herself in the mirror and doesn’t know if she’s Im Yoona or SNSD’s Yoona. She can be both, right?

“How come everyone looks so tired today?” the hair stylists ask, twirling Jessica’s hair into gentle curls. They respond with lack of sleep, practice, the usual. They don’t say that it might be a goodbye stage of them being nine members; they don’t say it might be a goodbye stage for Yoona. It hurts too much to say that.

When she steps on stage, she feels the exhilaration jotting through her, etching its remnants on her veins, and it flows with her blood, straight to her heart. When she utters the lyrics to the songs, she belts it out like Taeyeon did at the karaoke room.

Memories flew through her in the short three minutes and a half. She sees herself auditioning for SM Entertainment in 2002. She wasn’t the best at singing and dancing but she had the determination, the dreams motivating her to stand in front of the judges that day. She remembers herself taking a long exhalation afterwards because she was so nervous; her heart was beating too fast. She remembers training every day, long hours into the night and she didn’t mind. She would smile at the end and look at the people on stage in awe, thinking, “That’ll be me one day.” It came true and she remembers her debut stage. How they all huddle together the night before to cry about it. How they held hands before stepping on stage that day, they’re moving together towards this dream.

Yoona looks at the eight members and feels the emotions overwhelm her. Each moment that she spends with them rushes back and how they’re going to support her dream even if she leaves them. She’s too thankful towards them. One of the upper sides of being in an idol group is that there’s always someone sharing this dream with you, moving forwards with you, supporting you.


*~*



Yoona’s surprise to see Siwon in the building after her rehearsal’s over. Siwon says he’s dropping by (truthfully, he wants to hear her decision). “How are you?” Siwon asks.

Yoona’s eyes glow and Siwon knows she has her answer. “I have my answer.”

On impulse, Yoona throws her arms around him, “Thank you, Siwon. Thanks so much.”

Siwon returns the hug, surprised, “I really didn’t do anything.”

“You did.”

Siwon’s just happy that Yoona has her confidence again. The same confidence she had when he first saw her audition video. He thought she look cute dancing, realizing her dream. He’s glad that she’s back from the years of the identity crisis. “I’m glad you know your answer now.”

“I’m going to go now; I have to get ready for the recording.” Yoona’s arms return to her sides and she smiles before dashing past him. Siwon looks back at her and catches the faintest glimpse of gentle snow.

“Finally, the season’s changing. Winter's been here for too long.”


*~*



They perform their goodbye stage and it ends with tears from both sides – SNSD and the Sones. The public broadcasting station gives them a minute or two for their ending stage. It starts with introductions according to their positions in line, starting from Taeyeon to Yoona. When it’s Yoona’s turn, the members look at her through teary eyes. This could be their last performance, they made it perfect today. From Tiffany trying to perfect the dance to Jessica singing louder than usual.

“Hello everyone, I’m SNSD’s Im Yoona.”

The members stare at her and suddenly, they’re in front of her and now they’re not. They’re clouding her vision as they race towards her with hugs and tears. She later on rejects the drama offer, saying that she wants to focus on SNSD's activities but she’ll accept other drama offers later on.


*~*



Yoona’s not only SNSD’s Im Yoona but she’s also Siwon’s Yoona, Siwon is Yoona’s Siwon. It happens almost naturally.

They’re walking down the bridge again, the snow still falls but the temperature seems to be rising as spring approaches. “Don’t you think it’s still cold even though spring’s around the corner?” Yoona asks.

“Really? I feel like it's summer already,” Siwon chuckles at Yoona’s baffle expression.

“I don’t want it to change,” he adds, adding on to her confusion.

“What are you saying?”

“Don’t change,” Siwon closes the distance and their lips meet.

In the depths of winter, he learned that, beside him, there lay an invincible summer – her, Yoona, his invincible summer.


Le Fin.

----

A/N: Someone requested this and it was the season changing, and near SNSD's comeback so this is the product. I'm not a big supporter of the Super Generation pairing but they seem to match so well lately ^^~ Constructive criticism and comments would be appreciated :) Thanks!
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