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

Our Favourite Sunset Sky

Our Favourite Sunset Sky
Gongstal
PG-13 | Romance, Slice of Life | 3800 words
I want to be happy (with you for a little bit longer, not eternity but somewhere close to eternity).






Chanshik likes to think he’s heroic – not the kind of heroic with cape and tights but in a Chanshik context, he’s very heroic. His heroic complex first came about when he was a cashier at one of the nearby grocery stores. A life he chose to support his expenses travelling to Seoul and the classes he knew his parents could afford, but felt guilty over – what if he didn’t succeed? What if this isn’t what he wants? What if they’re disappointed? All of the what ifs and uncertainties give him insomnia; fright for the scary future.

Chanshik was checking out items and he looks up to greet the customer with his smile – he thinks that’s why they hired him, he has a dazzling smile or so many would tell him. It’s heroic because even when he’s tired, he smiles. It’s not for his sake but for the smile on the customer’s face. It’s very heroic.

He stops for one particular day when his eyes meet a young but intimating girl with big sunglasses on. Her long black hair frames her small and pale face and her lips in a line of contempt but he can almost see her fright, her feign confidence was nothing. He remembers seeing her and her elder sister exiting a company occasionally after he leaves for work; her older sister is the exact converse of her. Her sister’s full of clingy actions, bright smiles and doesn’t cover her mouth when she laughs. She’s full of dull stares, tired yawns and eye rolls.

Somewhere along the way, the elder sister makes her debut. It’s no surprise since that building is home to many groups and the name: “SM Entertainment” is daunting enough. Which could explain why the older sister starts coming to the grocery store with other girls, older girls who giggle and laugh just like her and the younger sister always comes alone.

“Thank you and that will be seventeen thousand won.” He says and she flicks out a bill. When he’s giving her change, she smiles for the first time.

“Thank you –” She squints at something – his nametag – “Chanshik.”

“Have a nice day...”

“Soojung, you can call me Soojung.”

“Have a nice day, Soojung.” He nods, smiling and she nods, acknowledging him.

The next week, Soojung tells him she would appreciate it if he could call her Krystal. He doesn’t ask why and starts calling her Krystal; the name doesn’t flow well with his tongue because of the consonances, but he tries because Krystal’s trying.





When training end later and later and sleep is a rarity, he quits his job. Standing on the subway platform, he takes out his iPod and listens to a random song; he tries to look busy, not alone and desperate. On the platform, he spots someone, someone he knows, the girl who hides behind her hair and sunglasses.

“Krystal?” He takes a chance and he’s lucky.

“Chanshik.” She says and her expression softens.

“Actually, Gongchan would be nice.” He corrects her. He understands why Soojung told him to call her Krystal because even if Soojung (Chanshik) sounds better (or maybe not), itis s easier for the tongue; it’s not who she is in the future. She’s still Soojung but she’s also Krystal for most of the days.

Chanshik realizes that the company wants to take full advantage of his looks and age; he has to be cute, smiley and lovable. He wonders what Krystal has to be like, how she has to act. Is it hard?

“Gongchan?” The realization dawns on her; he’s like her, he’s a trainee. It’s easy to see now, tall with a face society wants. “It doesn’t suit you.”

He shrugs, “Do I have a choice?”

Soojung laughs bitterly. She understands. “So you’re going to debut if you already have a stage name.”

Debut, stage name. This feeds to his insomnia and anxiety.

“I don’t know about that but whatever happens will happen.” Truthfully, he doesn’t want to think about it because he doesn’t know how much he can take. How long can he endure before he breaks?

“Right.”

The subway arrives and they step in, bumping shoulders. They look at each other and laugh. Chanshik notices that she has a pretty laugh; how her eyes turn into crescents and for a second, her spirit lifts just a bit. They sit beside each other, elbows touching and little chit-chats to fill in the voids of silence. Surprisingly, Soojung talks quite a lot.

He learns that she’s younger than him (a year isn’t much) but what shocks him is that Krystal’s been training for quite some time now. He’s proud with a year of training under his belt but she has had three years and still more to come. At such a young age, how could you decide what to do with your life so fast and be so willing and determine to work on that underdeveloped dream?

Sunrays hit them and they stop in awe at the setting sun. The subway’s outdoors now and concurrently, the sun happens to wash itself across the vast horizon with hues of orange, yellow and pink. It’s a rare sight that warms their skin. From the corner of his eyes, he sees her smile again.

Somehow, maybe from school, maybe from training, he falls asleep. Soojung nudges him awake when it’s her stop (she really didn’t have to) out of courtesy and tells him goodbye. He nods, wishing her goodnight. He sees her disappear in the crowd and wants to see her again. It’s not every day he finds someone whom he can relate to.

He falls asleep again but this time, instead of missing his stop (who knows how many times), he gets a text message from a new contact name Soojung. “Wake up or you’ll miss your stop!” He smiles and dashes out the subway door, hastily replying, “Thank you but I didn’t fall asleep.” She calls him a liar and he laughs. She has a strange sense of humor.




They aren’t planned meetings but somehow, they take the subway home together. Chanshik would hold the door for Soojung who tries to beat time. Her breath is unsteady and she’s grasping for air. He notices how her frame gets smaller, how her eyes get sharper and she speaks less. Soojung also notices Chanshik forcing more laughter, how he smiles too often and when he thinks that no one’s watching, his eyes go blank. They’re both going through a change in their lives and ever so quietly, they grow accustom to Krystal and Gongchan.




It's not every day they have a break from practice, singing classes, dancing classes or anything in general. When they do, Soojung decides to demand Chanshik to pay her back for the subway fares that he forgets so frequently. Chanshik decides to repay her at a café somewhere exotic (exotic meaning an hour bus ride away).

Junghwan’s eyes tell him to be careful when Chanshik announces that he’s going outside that morning. Chanshik nods, saying he’ll travel safely but he knows what Junghwan was really implying; he just becomes Gongchan and smiles before leaving.

The same thing happens to Soojung when her older sister, Sooyeon, asks her who she was texting. It was Chanshik but she didn’t need to know, no one does. “No one,” she replies. It sounds like something Krystal would say. Sooyeon would roll her eyes. It was obviously someone.

Soojung yawns after waking up from the long bus ride (all the sleep in the world isn’t enough, it never is) and Chanshik tells her that she snores really loudly. She rolls her eyes and shoves him.

“It’s so tiring.” She breathes out in exasperation, jabbing at her poor ice drink.

“You saw it coming.” Chanshik reminds her and Soojung glares at him. It wasn’t like she was hoping for comfort but she didn’t want crass words. Chanshik laughs at Soojung’s glare and leans back on his chair, hearing it squeak.

“I hope you fall off the chair,” Soojung remarks. Chanshik merely smiles and this baffles her – always.




When everything is sacred – like time, like memories – there’s nothing two people can do that can ‘make the best of it.’ They learned that movies are boring to watch, eating is barred (Krystal and Gongchan have to look a certain way) and anything too public can destroy them.

“You think people think we’re together?” Chanshik asks, willing for a bit of ridicule in the empty silence. It’s them against the world – or at least, gravity – when they’re sitting on the ledge of a rooftop. They won’t die, they both know that.

“I think my sister does but even if we are, we can’t.” Soojung shuts him down in a clean and cut matter; she was always someone who hated loose ends because loose ends always results in regret and more regret. She has long forgotten what regret feels like and she’s not willing to find it again.

“I know, it’s just a funny thought.”

“Funny.” Soojung repeats after him and rests her head on his shoulder, her fingers barely on his arm. “The world looks funny from this angle.” Chanshik’s heart skips a beat — it always does — and he softly smiles, feeling happy that this rare side of Soojung – pure, blithe and almost happy – is his.

“It isn’t weird; we’ve just never seen it before. It could be beautiful.” Chanshik offers because he’s tired of the world.

Soojung furrows her brow. Beautiful is a precarious, subjective adjective. She doesn’t understand how people throw the word around so easily. The same goes for the three, precious words: I love you. It should only be said with every bit of emotion in your heart, when you feel like it would be a regret if you don't say it and your heart aches from that regret.

“How do you define beautiful? How do you know if it’s beautiful?” Krystal wants to be beautiful but she doesn’t know how. She looks at Gongchan for the answer but he doesn’t know himself, and even if he did, he wouldn’t tell her. He knows how it could very well mutilate her.

“I don’t know but for some reason, I want it to be beautiful.” He doesn’t want beauty to be a delusion, a concept created to satisfy the industry’s need.

“I do too.”





“Thanks Chanshik.” Soojung says after the day is washed away like the sand castles on the beach.

“It’s nothing, really.” He insists and she shakes her head, insisting that it is something. It definitely is something.

“It means a lot, I was really happy.”

“I was happy too.” He doesn’t know where this is going but he can feel it, almost like Junghwan’s warning, he can tell the implications are far worst, maybe even incomprehensible.

“I’m happy then.” Soojung dawdles. What is she suppose to say? How is she supposed to sugar-coat the words so it won’t hurt as much as it should? Maybe she should have asked Jungsu for advice. “And I’m sorry.”

“What?” Chanshik’s confused now.

“I’m going to debut soon – real soon and I should have told you this sooner, I should have but I’m –” She whispers, “Selfish. I want to be happy." (with you for a little bit longer, not eternity but somewhere close to eternity)

Chanshik overestimated the obscurity; it’s actually simple. Krystal’s going to debut, which means that Krystal can’t go on these exhibitions with Chanshik anymore. She has to take responsibility now, for herself and her band-mates. Chanshik isn’t a part of the package and she made her choice; she is saying good bye. Even so, he wants her to know that even if it breaks him, he’s happy for her. She’s found her place, her own happiness.

“Why would you be sorry if you’re going to debut? You’re going to be happy.” She’ll fly into the sky, maybe she’ll touch the clouds. That’s a good thing. “I’m happy for you.”

Soojung looks at him; he’s trained to be an actor and he’s good at it. “You’ll debut Chanshik, you’ll be happy too.” She doesn’t understand why she’s comforting him; she’s not leery of his ability and she certainly doesn’t pity him. She just wants to stay with him, even if it hurts.

Chanshik is grateful towards Soojung, for everything. “You know Soojung, I love you.” That’s the only thing he has confidence in; not his abilities nor his talent but his feelings.

Soojung stops thinking and replays the prior seconds in her head over again.

They don’t say anything and Soojung finally realizes the heavy weight of Chanshik’s words; his feelings which she won’t return (she can’t). She can’t screw it up for Victoria, Luna, Amber and Sulli. She would regret it for perpetuity.

Instead she cries, her body going numb, the feelings leaving her. “You shouldn’t have said that.”

Chanshik doesn’t hold her (he would like to), and he doesn’t say anything, giving her space. If he touches her, she’ll break and she can’t break, not at this time, not when she’s been chasing her dream for so long. “I know but I don’t regret it. I won’t apologize for it.”

Krystal takes her bag and walks off –- while rubbing her eyes, being careful not to smear the mascara. Chanshik watches her and wishes for the best, the best for her. She doesn’t say goodbye and she didn’t have to. Chanshik understands and he forgives.




f(x) makes their debut and Chanshik watches their debut stage. His eyes linger on every member, powered to perfection and fortitude in every smile, stare and move. He sees Krystal and it takes a second to recognize the stoic figure on screen.

“She’s going to get far.” He comments, pointing her out.




B1A4 makes their debut two years after f(x)’s. Gongchan’s jaws are sore from practicing his smile. He smiles and the cheers elevate, which means more practice. Both groups mind their own business minus the occasional visits to every artist in their waiting rooms at the music stations during their heated comebacks. Gongchan sees Krystal and wonders if Krystal sees him.




Soon, Gongchan channels out Krystal – he realizes that he has responsibilities to his members, the staffs and his company, not just himself – and outcasts her as another artist. She isn’t more special nor less special; she’s just f(x)’s Krystal.




B1A4 comes back with songs, f(x) comes back and so does every other group. Everything is suddenly moving too fast, and when Chanshik tries to look back on the events, they’re blurry.




Despite his heroism complex, it’s not very heroic per se when he lowers his cap to hide from the public, while waiting for the subway. He doesn’t know where he’s going nor did he really tell Jinyoung when he’s coming home, he only told him that he’ll be back. It’s not like he’s tired or needs a gateway; he wants to travel for a little while and remember the things he did before he debuted – like riding the entire subway line, walking to strange, idiosyncratic places and coming back with accomplishments, smiling from ear to ear.

He swears he sees a familiar figure in the distance but does nothing to disappoint himself. He simply waits for the subway. He is everyone’s Gongchan, BANA’s Gongchan, B1A4’s Gongchan but ultimately, he isn’t Chanshik’s Gongchan nor is Gongchan really Gongchan’s Gongchan. Does that make sense?

Even if it doesn’t make sense, he has to make sense of it; he has to force himself to understand because if it doesn’t, he falls and so does B1A4.

The subway arrives and the wind is too much for him to handle. He cringes a bit at the impact. He takes two steps towards the doors when he hears a “hi”above the barreling sound. He turns towards that someone, that someone that still has long, straight, raven black hair and a piercing glance. Except that someone has changed. She looks different in her leather pants that cling to her, the thick eye makeup, and the clicks of her heels; in general, the impression she gave off.

Chanshik tries to decipher if she’s Krystal or Soojung, and Soojung overrules – Krystal would never do something this perilous.

“Hey.” He smiles and tries to lower his cap even more. She tries to suppress laughter at him.

“You haven’t changed at all.” She says, and Chanshik doesn’t let it linger on his mind any longer than it should. He wishes he could say the same for her but she has – or rather, it’s not a change, she’s developing, she’s finding herself. He remembers her on stage, the chic maknae of f(x), the one that exudes grace and charisma every second that is given to her. The quiet but pensive maknae.

Now that he thinks about it, the contrast between him and Krystal are too great. Gongchan’s always the vitamin of the group, giving his members strength when they threaten to fall, the one that smiles too much and is always in another land during interviews. The ditzy but endearing maknae.

“Is that a good thing?” Chanshik chuckles and watches as the subway depart from the station without them.

Another contrast that Chanshik notices is the one between Jessica and Krystal. Krystal is still the antithesis of her; instead of the pink frills, pigtails with ribbons and cute winks that make up Jessica, there are fishnet stockings, unhampered hair and the unforgettable smirks, which is Krystal. Krystal has to separate herself from Jessica or else, she’ll soon be lost in her sister’s shadow. She can’t afford to be forgotten. Being forgotten in this industry is a scary thing and failure is incompletely inevitable.

“Of course.” Krystal replies immediately and Chanshik’s mind eases; he’s trying to forget that Gongchan exists because right now, he’s telling Chanshik that it’s a bad idea.

Soojung gestures towards the benches on the side and Chanshik sits beside her. There is a distance between them and Soojung feels it. But she wouldn’t trade anything to change it because other than that, she’s content with whatever’s happening right now; she’s content with her reality.




“Chanshik.” She says his name and he looks up, surprised. “Back then, I really am sorry about everything.” She’s sorry for hurting him, infusing him with feelings, and then leaving him. She was scared and uncertain; she didn’t want to mess up but she ended up using him to forget her fright. He gave her the feelings of flying and secretly, she loved it.

“Soojung.” He tries to say it in the same tone as hers but somehow, he can’t. He’s been Gongchan for too long. “Stop. I already said it was okay.”

He matured (or he’s always been this mature), Soojung notes. “I know but –”

“I don’t remember you being this whiny and clingy,” he interjects and he sees Soojung’s worried eyes turn into ones of earnest laughter.

“Shut up.” Soojung warns and gives him a push which sends him almost teeter-tottering over the seat. She laughs at the droll sight of his panic face. He frowns cutely, adjusting himself so he doesn’t fall again.

“To be honest,” he closes his eyes. “I wish you’ll stop apologizing, because I was happy when I was with you.” Even if it hurts in the end. It's okay because this only means that he was truly happy. He's happy for that fact that they existed together. She helped him forget who he was for a moment and that moment was what he held onto the most.

“I know you were.” Soojung replies. Happiness is contagious when it comes to Chanshik. He smiles and you smile, he laughs and you laugh. “Because I was too, and you’re happy right now?”

Chanshik doesn’t hesitate and this cracks her heart a little. “Yes, I am. You’re happy too?”

She nods. “Yeah.” There are no regrets, she tells herself. If you repeat something many times, you start to believe it, or so she tells herself.

“I did love you in the past.” Soojung suddenly confesses with a sad smile. “I think you knew and accepted that, thank you.”

“I knew but I also knew that you love your dream as well.” He tells her. “But it doesn’t matter now.” Chanshik stands up, eyeing the next subway. He steps inside without a word and she’s next to him, almost like the old trips.

As much as he’s everyone’s Gongchan, she’s everyone’s Krystal. f(x)’s Krystal, Jessica’s younger sister, Krystal, SM’s Krystal, and he’s willing to guess that Krystal doesn’t belong to Soojung. They’re not entitled to their wants; it’s always everyone’s wants before theirs.

Chanshik learned it the hard way; Soojung was trying hard to forget it.

“It does matter, Chanshik.” Krystal says. “Even for a little bit, you let yourself be the Chanshik I needed. My Chanshik. I want to be your Soojung." (even for a little bit)

“You were my Soojung.”

Her heart shatters and bits could be felt in every touch, and seen in plain sight. Soojung doesn’t know how to pull herself together.

It hurts and Soojung bites her bottom lip to stop it from spreading. Chanshik knows that his words are anything but benign, vitriolic even. Deep down, he still wants to be the Chanshik that Soojung is comfortable with; he still wants to be the one that sees the pure, blithe and happy Soojung. He still wants to be Soojung’s Chanshik.

There are no more words when they feel light coming in. In every memory that they share together, the ones with the sun filling the endless sky above with its splendor, and giving way to the black blanket of darkness was the most precious. All the words scratching their throats would be forgotten because this moment is when they forget who they are, what their obligations are, and simply admire the ethereality.

It’s their sky, the sky that they can always return to; the sky keeps everything cherished to them hidden from the realms of reality.

They both remember the endless moments, and they both know that they can’t. The subway stops and Krystal tries to take control while Gongchan’s dazed.

“I’m going to go.” She looks in his eyes and almost wishes she didn’t. She doesn’t want to go, even if the sky was falling and the world's ending, she doesn't want to go.

“Okay.” Chanshik says, but can’t muster any strength to smile. Gongchan’s too comatose and Chanshik forgets how to.

She becomes lost in the crowd of people and Chanshik can no longer see her. He gets off the next stop and walks towards his future, no more fun and games. Chanshik opens his phone and sees a bunch of messages from the other members and managers calling him back to reality. Even if reality’s cruel, it’s what he should want. Unfortunately, that reality doesn’t need Chanshik and his memories; it needs Gongchan and his smiles. And he’s willing to give it to them.


-


A/N: My first Gongstal! My biggest inspiration is migumeki, her writing is beautiful and all the Gongstal that she's written is love. I fell in love with the pairing through her and I don't know if she'll ever read this but thank you! thank you for your amazing writing, the sincerity in every word and gah, this beautiful gongstal shipping feels! Tbh, it was really hard writing this since there's not much shippers but the song: "Our Favourite Sunset Sky" by The Boss was the biggest help! The lyrics are simply adorable and this Gongstal is somewhat a songfic!


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