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Aug. 22nd, 2010

(no subject)

 TITLE: Finding My Voice
AUTHOR: Mika
PAIRING: TBA
DISCLAIMER: I own NOTHING! Just the story is mine. ROFL
SUMMARY: A young American girl enters the Kpop business and must face betrayal, lies, heartbreak, love, and warmth as she struggles to become a singer.
A/N: Ignore my typos...this was done on my iPod. >_>
~eight 
/Fámill
~
"Everything dandy back in Yankeeland?" Min glances as me as I finish reading my letter.
"Oh, yeah...Aunt Sarah says Nana wants to send more cookies since you guys like them so much." I quickly stuff the letter in my hoodie pocket.
"COO-kies?!" Seulong and Jinwoon exclaim at once, eyes widening.
"Yah! I love Nana-ajuma's cookies, but they'll make me faaaat!" Kwon whines as he plays with the omlette on his plate.
"I'll take his share." Jay calls from the fridge.
"NO WAY BITCH." Kwon tosses some egg at Jay's jacket.
"Yah, Park Jaebeom. Get outta my fridge! You keep stealing my Chocopies!" Seulong also throws half of his omlette at Jay.
"Is this a food fight, you girlies? Cause you know I'll win!" Jay smiles and dodges behind the open fridge door.
"OI~ YOU GUYS QUIT THROWIN MY OMLETTES OR I AINT COOKIN FOR YOU ANYMORE!" Changmin yells angrily as he waves his frying pan threateningly. Ah, mornings at home.
"You look sleepy, shorty. Been up late rehearsing with the dongsengs?" Seulong asks Jay once he is sure that the Seattle boy's hands are free of any stolen chocopies.
"We had to practice the choreo for that new song Hyung wrote up for us." Jay starts humming out a melody, (must be the new song) and doing some of the motions with his hands. Tapping in time to the beat, I like the song's catchy feel. "Taec's still learning the rap lyrics. What do you guys think?" Jay looks towards my housemates.
"Dance could use work." Min criticizes.
"And your vocals ain't so hot sounding." Jinwoon adds in agreement as he takes a bite of egg on toast.
"YAH. Being the leader is harder than it looks!" Jay points threateningly at Min and Jinwoon. "Right Kwonnie?"
Kwon merely grunts in reply from behind his mug. Somebody get that boy a cup of coffee.
"Hey HotShot, let's get movin or Shin-Sung's gonna have you waxing the dance floors all night!" Jay beckons towards the front door.
"Yeah, yeah. Don't wanna make the old man crabbier or we'll have to serve him up with some butter." I steal a bite of Seulong's omlette and grab my water bottle.
"Hey! You should at least eat a proper breakfast, Rose." Min shakes his head disapprovingly as I swipe my cellphone from the counter.
"Thanks MOM." I stick my tongue out childishly.
"Come on, we're all just trying to take care of you...you've been looking very tired lately." Seulong places a hand on my shoulder.
"It's our job as your big brothers to make sure you're healthy!" Jinwoon nudges Kwon. "Right Kwonnie?"
Wow. I've really worried these guys. I didn't think they'd be so concerned about little old me.
"I'll get her some coffee and a bagel, guys. You didn't think that Jaybear would let his baby sister go to practice without breakfast, would ya?" Jay smiles and ruffles my hair. I smile and follow him out to the car, waving goodbye to my housemates.

"You know, I never realized how much I missed home until I ate Korean versions of our food. What does it take some decent cream cheese around here?" Jay grumbles as he takes a big bite of his poppy seed bagel. Kyu-J normally gets really angry when we eat in the van, but Jay made peace with a big bowl of Chinese breakfast congee, my bodyguard's favorite. I guess all men are the same when it comes to weaknesses: food conquers any man.
"I don't think that Korean cream cheese is that bad, I mean, it's no Wisconsin dairy, but it doesn't taste too awful." I point to my own blueberry bagel slathered in cream cheese. Being with Jay is comforting, I can speak English, laugh at his funny jokes, and usually hear some great stories about the 2AM and 2PM guys in trainee days. Jay snickers, "This stuff is nothing like the bakery back in Washington, I'll take you sometime, the stuff there tastes twice as delicious as this rubbish." I grin and sip from my vanilla latte as the car pulls along through Seoul's morning traffic.
"Are you sleeping enough? What does your schedule look like?" Jay suddenly asks me.
"I guess. I usually have dance practice from 8-10, then Korean lessons until 12, then vocal training until 2, then Chinese lessons until 4, then I have group practice until 7, and from there I have more acrobatics practice until about 11 or so, and then if Shin-Sung thinks I need more dance practice I'll stay in the studio until 2 or 3. I tend to get back to the house at 3:30, but the last few nights I got home around 4."
Jay shakes his head in disapproval. "Four hours of sleep? That can't be good for you, Rosie. Your muscles need six or seven hours to regenerate the tissue you break down during dance." he places a cool hand on my forehead, "No wonder you've been looking so overworked. What are you eating?"
I blush and rub at my neck uneasily, "Well, usually I have ramyun soup for lunch, sometimes sandwiches. Seulong makes me eat breakfast every morning, and I don't really snack between meals too much. And depending on when I'm done with dancing I'll have chicken salad or tuna salad for dinner."
"That's a one way ticket to disaster! I was wondering why you'd gotten so thin."
"But the trainee manager said I needed to lose weight..."
"That's no excuse! There's a healthy way to do that! If you lose too much weight at once..." he presses my hands in his own and stares fiercely into my face, "I don't want you getting sick, okay? I know way too many perfomers who don't take care of their bodies and end up in the hospital. Promise me you'll be smarter?"
I nod and stare at my shoes. I thought I was doing the right thing by following the directions from the trainee manager. I guess there's still a lot about the showbiz world I haven't learned quite yet.
"Come on kid, lose the glum face!" Jay gives me a grin and bites out of his bagel, "YUCK! I'm never ordering this cream cheese again."
I notice some poppy seeds stuck on Jay's lip and reach over with a napkin to brush them off. Jay sits very still and watches me intently, almost as if he's nervous about something.
"You okay?" I ask, raising a questioning eyebrow.
"Oh, I'm fine." He stutters, wiping a drop of sweat from his bangs. What a weirdo, I was only wiping off some seeds, what's got him all worked up?
"Miss Rose, we're here. Kyu-J calls from the front seat." I quickly switch my brain back to thinking in the Korean language and thank him for driving. "Come on, Jay. Your members are probably waiting for their breakfast too." I offer to carry in 2PM's breakfast orders we picked up on the way.
"You don't have to help me, I can take these myself." Jay tries to be all macho and carry six bags in at once, but it's obvious that he can't bring them all on his own.
"Its fine, give me those three. I'll just polish the dance mirrors to make up for being a few minutes late." I ignore Jay's protests and take a few of the bags in my hands and walk inside. We walk up the stairs from the main lobby, to the JYPE artist rooms on level 2. I'm not normally allowed down here, considering it's only for debuted singers like Jay. They get the higher quality sound equipment, brighter lights, and only have to walk up three flights of stairs while us trainees climb five flights. I marvel at the detailing and posters on the walls, it's so much nicer looking than my own practice space. Unfortunately, I'm so busy gazing at my surroundings that I don't pay attention to where I'm walking and bump into something.
"OUCH! Watch where you're walking!"
Okay, make that someONE, not something.
"I'm really sorry! Are you okay?" I get up quickly and rush to help my poor victim to their feet. It's a guy, an awfully good-looking one at that. His dark hair is shaved into a mini-Mohawk, and I can't help feeling like I've seen him somewhere before...
"Junhyung?"
"Hm?"
"Junnie! It's me, Rose! From the trainee song festival and the dinner gala? DooJoon introduced us, remember?"
JunHyung lowers his sunglasses and takes a second look at me. "Rose? What happened to ya? You look...awful."
I laugh and offer him a hand to pull him up. "Oh you know, lack of sleep and food gives this wonderful healthy glow everyone is raving about these days."
"It's the trainee look, I know it well, girl. Where've you been? You never returned my calls."
"You know, busy life of a trainee. I didn't recognize you! What did they do to your hair, dude?"
He smiles and runs his hand through his hairdo, "You don't like it? I had it done for our next album."
"I'm just not used to it." I shrug my shoulders. "I guess your fans will like it though, Mr. SUPAFLY."
"Our B2TIES are supportive, that's fo sho." he grins. Gee, I really missed hanging out with Junnie, we used to hit all the music and fashion stores back when I had time.
"Yo Rosie! What's taking so long?" I hear Jay's voice around the corner as he approaches. His face falls a bit seeing me talking to Junnie.
"Girl, next time I call to chill, pick up the phone, okay? Me and DooJoon found this killer sneakers place that I should take you to." Junhyung taps me playfully on the shoulder as he continues down the hall.
"Nice bumping into you!" I call behind him. Jay beckons me over and I walk with him to the 2PM practice room, trying to ignore the look on his face. Is he jealous? I can have more than one friend, can't I?
"Jaebeom! Hyung~ you got our food!" Junho smiles happily as we enter the practice room lined with mirrors and mics.
"FOOD?!" Chansung's eyes grow to the size of dinner plates as he rushes over to us, bouncing up and down like a puppy. "GIMMIEGIMMIEGIMME!"
Jay playfully shoves him aside and distributes his bags like a caring older brother.
"Ah hyung~ you remembered to get me the cheese of cream for me that's veggie flavored!" Wooyoung says as he pulls out his bagel.
"That's cream cheese, Busan-boy. Work on that English, you bum!" Taecyeon rolls his eyes as Jay passes him breakfast.
"Here Khun, I made sure they didn't put seasame seeds on yours this time."
"Oh, and you even got me the extra butter, just the way I like it~ aw you're the best, Rose!" Nickhun squeezes my arm as I pass him his coffee and bagel. Junsu shoots him a poisonous look, that ghetto guy never likes it when any of the 2PM guys touch me.
"Hey Rose, shouldn't you go to your practice room? You're gonna be awfully late." Chansung mumbles through a mouthful of food.
"Aw crap. I'm gonna have to wax the floors and polish the mirrors!" I wave goodbye to everyone and sprint out the door.
"Bye Rosie, call you after practice, ok?" Jay calls behind me.
"Say hi to Shin-Sung for me!" Wooyoung adds, snarkily.

"So, miss Rose. Have we learned our lesson YET?" Shin-sung's round face, much like a pumpkin, is covered in an evil grin as I wipe down the mirrors.
"Yes, sir. Your time is of value and it's not to be wasted." I mumble as I polish. The other trainees don't dare say a word, but I'm pretty sure Aiko and Daniel are dying to reply venomously. Coming late to practice is blasphemy here. The entire trainee staff are strict, but Shin-Sung is notriously evil in punishing late dancers. My dance teacher begins to take head count as I continue cleaning, "six, seven, wait...where is-"
He's cut off by the door swinging open in the most graceless manner possible. Perfectly on cue, in walks our last trainee.
"Ah, Kai. Mr. Punctual." I can see the steam rising from Shin-Sung's ears. Kai throws him a bored glance.
"What?"
"You are late again, sir. Care to explain what kept you today?"
Kai removes his sunglasses and puts down his backpack.
"Care to explain why I should give a crap about your opinion? Where I was is none of your damn business."
There goes that steam again. Shin-sung grits his teeth but remains silent. You see, Kai acts like a badass brat towards everyone, but the teachers never do a thing about his behavior. Some of the trainees say he's a mafia member, others say he's a government spy, but the popular consensus is that he's blackmailing JYPE to get his way. He's always late, and backtalks everyone, but he dances amazingly and sings like an angel. He shoots me a glance that screams "what's your issue, punk?" and lines up with everyone else. I return his stare and line up for morning dance routines.

After grueling practice, I took a moment in the upstairs lounge to catch my breath. Dance was no picnic today, I can feel myself wheezing hard. I must've forgotten to take my injection this morning. Nobody ever really hangs out here, the heater is broken and the coffee machine makes a lot of noise, so I guess it'd be okay to do my Menthacide shot right now. My lungs are killing me, so I peek around the corner to make sure I'm alone. I pull my medical bag out and fill the needle, taking care to put the correct amount of medication in. I tapped the needle a bit, and stuck it into my neck, ready to inject.
"What's that?" a voice rang out. I scrambled a bit, startled by the noise, trying to hide my menthacide needle. I saw the form coming closer and realized who it was. Crap, Jay knew.

Jul. 13th, 2010

(no subject)

TITLE: Finding My Voice
AUTHOR: Mika
PAIRING: TBA
DISCLAIMER: I own NOTHING! Just the story is mine. ROFL
SUMMARY: A young American girl enters the Kpop business and must face betrayal, lies, heartbreak, love, and warmth as she struggles to become a singer.
A/N: Ignore my typos...this was done on my iPod. >_>
~seven
/Pláce
~
"R-roommates?" I stare awkwardly at the four of them.  They can't be serious...they're rooming me with boys?!  What kind of company is this?  The guy who spoke English, Changmin, notices the uneasy look growing across my face.  He leads me into the apartment, and points out some slippers for me to put on at the front door.  Wow, still adjusting to this whole Asian culture.  The boy carrying my bags puts them down near the sofa and hurries into the kitchen, preparing some tea and rice.  Stereotypical much?
"Well, all of the trainee dorms for JYPE are full, and we're the only people in the Cube dorms with free space.  I mean, it's in Seulong's room, but we can make him move into JoKwon's room if you'd like..." Changmin nods towards the boy with a feminine face, who instantly throws his hands into an "x" shape, shaking his head furiously.  "OngOng?  ANIYEO."
I guess that must be JoKwon, since he obviously doesn't want Seulong in his room.  "No, that's really okay, I don't want to throw anyone out of their rooms...you mustn't screw up your living arrangements because those guys in management can't find me a place." I bow apologetically as the redhead returns from the kitchen carrying steaming bowls of fragrant rice and tea.  He places a bowl into my hands and a mug in front of me, still grinning.  I suddenly notice how hungry I am, having not eaten anything since leaving America except that awful ddokkbokki. I smile and thank him, not hesitating to dig in.  One of the guys laughs and says something in Korean as he takes a sip of his tea.  I look towards Changmin inquisitively, this language barrier thing is really going to be annoying.
"Seulong says he won't mind sharing a room with you since you're a good eater.  Good eaters are good cooks, he says." Changmin laughs as he takes a bite of rice.  I smile at Seulong, glad that he's willing to share a room with me without complaining.  Jokwon pulls my arm and starts babbling in Korean in his high pitched, whining voice.
"Alright, alright.  Formal introductions are in order, Kwon." Changmin rolls his eyes.  He points to Jokwon first, "This is our leader, Jo Kwon, better known as Kwonnie.  He's got the longest running record for training time with JYPE, and he's the biggest diva you'll probably ever meet in Seoul." Jokwon smiles and waves frivoulously, batting his eyelashes, "Hi~" The other guys chuckle, and Changmin nods towards Seulong.  "That's Im Seulong.  One of our high vocals, and Cube's prankster.  Hard to tell when the guy's being serious or clowning around, so be careful when rooming with him." Seulong grins at me and slaps my hand.  The last boy, who made the food and carried my bags, scoots towards me on the couch.
"Hi, I'm Jinwoon!" he grabs my hand excitedly, his smiling eyes towering over me.  "And Jung Jinwoon, our youngest not-so-little magnae.  Maybe if you're nice he'll play guitar for you." Changmin lightly punches Jinwoon's shoulder playfully.
"Always play guitar for nice chingoos." Jinwoon's broken English is adorable.  Changmin grins and points to himself, "And you know me, your good old Min.  My English is the best out of these three clowns, so if you've got any language trouble, I'm your man." I nod.  I guess between him, Khun, Taec, and Jay, I'll have enough help with my translating.  I stand up and face the four boys, bowing at a full 90º angle, "Thanks a lot for letting me room with you, kamhansunmida." Min gives me a thumbs up, Seulong nods, Kwon flashes a peace sign, and Jinwoon...well, he just kept on smiling.  I wonder if that guy knows how to frown.
Between bites of rice, sips of tea, and giggling at Seulong's awful jokes, I manage to glean some important information from Kwon (Cube's know-all-the-dirt man) through Min as translator.  Cube is the sister company to JYPE, considered by some to be lower on the totem pole of presitiousness.  Many JYPE trainees transfer back and forth between the two companies and vice-versa, so everyone on both ends are on friendly terms.  I also find out that besides being the first non-Asian trainee, I am one of two American trainees, and one of five international trainees.  The other American is a sixteen year-old Korean-American boy from Dallas, Texas named Nathaniel Choi.  The Japanese trainees, Aiko Lee, Dae-Min Suzuhara, and Ken Hiromiya were all scouted a month previous on the Asian leg of the auditions.  Amy Jansong of Thailand was originally referenced as a member of the Thai media team during one of 2PM's promotions, and became a trainee.  Min hesitates a bit when he gets to the last international trainee.
"So who's the last one?" I ask eagerly, peeking into my teacup in hopes that it will somehow magically refill itself.  Kwon and Seulong exchange glances, Jinwoon looks at the wall, and Min scratches his head.
"Well, he's a bit of an enigma, you see." Min rubs his hands together as he speaks, "The last international trainee Kai, residing from Hong Kong.  Nobody outside of the administration staff knows his full name, real age, or how he joined the company."
"Mystery guy, eh?  I wonder what's really going on with him." I smile mischiveously.
"Nobody knows." Kwon answers, rolling his eyes.
"Maybe he's a spy for the government." Min chuckles as he scoops the last bit of rice from my bowl and thrusts it near my face "Eat up.  You have to go to sleep soon." I smile and eat the bite.
"Hyung~" Jinwoon whines jealously, and we all laugh.  I like this time with them.  They make me feel so comfortable and at home even though I've only been here for a few hours.  A few hours?!  No wonder I'm exhausted! Seulong points to the clock and makes snoring sounds.
"Okay, okay, OngOng's right.  Off to sleep!  Jinwoon and I will handle the dishes." Min shoos me off to my room.
"Night-Night!" Kwonnie calls.
"Good sleep!" Jinwoon really needs to work on his grammar...
Seulong leads me into our room.  It's pretty nice, mint-green walls, a big window, two beds on opposite ends of the room, lots of posters, and a spacious closet.  Seulong points to the bed closer to the window, which has fresh sheets and a big stuffed duck on the pillows.
"My bed?" I inquire.  He nods and points to the duck, "Present." I giggle and leap onto the matress, hugging my new plush. "Thanks." I thank him for not only the gift, but for allowing me into his personal space.  He nods in response and leads me to the bathroom.  The shower makes me laugh, because there are at least six different shampoos all labeled "Kwonnie" and one that the other three share.
"Have nice shower." Seulong leaves me some towels.  The hot water on my skin after a busy day feels like heaven.  I change into clean pajamas, brush my teeth, and make my way past the other rooms' snores and chattering back to my room.  I tiptoe in, not wanting to wake my new roommate, snuggle under the covers, and close my eyes, hoping not to dream of ddokkbokki.

"Rose! Rosieeeeeeeee! Wake up! Palli-Palli! You're late!" someone shakes me from my warm coccoon of blankets.  I swat them away in attempt to fall back asleep.  "Get up!" I suddenly feel cold water dripping in my hair and onto my face.  Aigoo, if I wasn't exhausted I'd get up and kill them right now.  I open my eyes lazily, and see my roommate standing over me with an ice cube in his hands held over my head.  "I knew that'd get you up." Seulong grins and pulls off the covers.  I guess after living with me for seven months, he has figured out how to get me up effortlessly.  "Come on, you can't miss dance practice.  Shin-Sung hyung will scoop out your eyeballs and eat them!" he throws some practice attire from my side of the closet at my bed.  Seulong has a point, the dance instructor is a stickler for attendence.
"Alright, I'm getting up.  But buy me a new alarm clock! You broke my last one, and I'm not paying for another!" I scold Seulong as I roll off my soft mattress.  He grins sheepishly and leaves to let me change.  As I get dressed, I catch a glance of myself in the mirror.  I look different after seven months in Korea: I've thinned out as per-JYPE's strict diet policy, my stare seems more concentrated, and dark circles after sleepless nights practicing choreography and lyrics seem like permanent residents on my face.  I know that all the hard work will pay off soon, it has to.
"Rose! Get your sorry American butt over here!" I hear Jay call in the kitchen.  Jay's here?  Awesome!  He can help quiz me on Korean consonants on the car ride to practice!  I bounce into the kitchen, smiling and saying good morning to my housemates.  Kwon sits grumpily in front of his mug (he's such a pill before a cup of coffee to get him going), Min's cooking up some omlettes, and Jinwoon is talking to Seulong as they eat.  I can understand about half of what they're saying.  My Korean has gotten quite good, but the guys know to talk slower and anunciate around me.
"Yo, Rose.  Grab me some pepper paste?" Min calls from the stove.  I look awkwardly at the table, struggling to understand the Hangul writing on the food packaging sprawled around.
"Don't tell me you haven't been practicing your reading." Min scolds as he flips the eggs.  I blush, feeling extremely stupid. "I'm working on it." Kwon makes tsk-tsk sounds and Jay pats me on the shoulder.
"Yah, Rose-dongseng!  This letter just arrived from America for you." Jinwoon tosses me an envelope addressed from my Aunt Sarah, which I tear open and read:
Dearest Annamarie,
I hope you slept well last night instead of practicing until 5AM like the last time I spoke to you.  I know you're working hard, and I thank you for taking the time to write to us every week.  Nana misses you, and will mail you some more cookies again seeing as the guys at your place loved them.  Lots of love from home,
Aunt Sarah

PS
I have enclosed a letter to you from the hospital.

Inside was another letter addressed to me from Moris-Glenn hospital:

Ms. Sorenson,
Enclosed is the perscription for another seven months' worth of Menthacide.  Additionally, as a side note on the status of the life support patient, rapid eye movement has been noted.  Operation in vegetative state is permittable and recommended now.  Possible chance of awakening has raised from 30% to 40%, and he may wake up within the year.

May. 31st, 2010

(no subject)

TITLE: Finding My Voice
AUTHOR: Mika
PAIRING: TBA
DISCLAIMER: I own NOTHING! Just the story is mine. ROFL
SUMMARY: A young American girl enters the Kpop business and must face betrayal, lies, heartbreak, love, and warmth as she struggles to become a singer.
A/N: Ignore my typos...this was done on my iPod. >_>
~six
/ Čll
~

I look towards Jay, my eyes pleading.  I'm seriously not keen on the idea of being alone with "the boss" without someone who knows the ropes.  I'm scared of saying the wrong thing and humiliating myself in front of the president of my company.
"Go on.  It's okay." he waves me towards President Park.  I hesitantly follow to a hall full of offices.  There are names on all the doors, some in English, a few in Chinese, but most in Korean.  We finally reach a door at the end of the hall with a name printed across in Korean, Chinese, and English: Park Jin Young.  I gulp loudly as the president opens the door and ushers me into his massive office.  The room carries a scent of strong chemical cleaners, and everything is inlain with mahogany: tables, bookshelves and chairs.  Overlooking his mahogany desk are gigantic windows peering down on Seoul's cityscape.
"Please, do be seated, Annamarie!" President Park indicates to a chair by his desk.  I sit gingerly, trying to steady my shaking palms on the armrest but settle them in my lap so he won't see my anxiety.  The president pulls a plastic-wrapped package from his desk drawer, and slides it slowly towards me. "Have some ddokbokki." I hesitate and shake my hands politely, "Oh, no thank you.  I'm not really hungry." nor do I have any idea what a d-ddok...whatever honestly is.
"I insist, they're quite delicious.  My favorite, actually.  I'd think that a foreigner artist I brought from abroad would be eager to absorb all of Korean culture.  I also would imagine that a new trainee would not insult her boss by ignoring one of his favorite snacks...are you sure you're not hungry?" he raises a questioning eyebrow as he pushes the package towards me across the tabletop once more.
I feel my nervous pulse beat irregularly.  I guess I should try to NOT piss everyone off on my first day here...no matter how nervous I am at the idea of strange Korean food.  I pull off a piece of ddokbokki from the package and slip it into my mouth gingerly, chewing slowly and forcing a grin that I hope looks less awkward than it feels.
"Now, to business!" he claps his hands together and rubs them excitedly, "First, I'd like to discuss your health history." Crap. I knew the issue would arise at some point, but I did not think that point would be now. "You have an extensive medical file for someone your age, Annamarie.  Care to fill me in on what this is all about?" he drops a heavy manila folder onto the desk with a heavy "PLUNK" as the papers inside shift around.  Man, I never really knew how big that file really is.  No wonder he's worried, I must look like a cancer patient or a stoner.
"Sir, I can explain," I begin timidly but force myself to inject some confidence into my words.  "I have a medical condition with my lungs, I've lived with it since I was born." he stares at me blankly, wanting more detail obviously.  "Essentially, my lungs have trouble expanding to accomodate for larger air flow.  When I do strenuous activity like running, get too scared or nervous, or sing it flares up and the air sacs in my lungs can't get oxygen." If I had a dollar for every time I had to explain my syndrome, I'd be rolling in cash.  I had this little speech down cold since I was a child, fielding questions from curious kids and rude parents.
"But you sang at your audition and you looked just fine."
"I'm on a new medication, it's called Menthocide.  It gives my lungs that extra boost they need to expand properly for about 5-8 hours.  Once my body builds up tolerance, I'll be able to go up to 14 hours without needing to worry about breathing trouble."
"I see." he strokes his chin, deep in thought. "As long as you have the medicine, you can wing without a problem?"
"Yes sir. My doctor promised me that I'd be fine as long as I keep up my regimine."
"Very well," he drums his fingers on top of the folder. "I was worried that this would be a hinderance, but as long as you're sure you can sing, you can stay on one condition: you cannot tell anyone that you have a lung condition.  If word got out that I have an ill singer in my company, the welfare department and insurance agencies would be all over me." he smoothest back his hair and stares me squarely in the face. "Can you keep this a secret, Annamarie?"
I swallow nervously.  I'd never tried to hide my condition, it isn't something I'm ashamed of.  But I don't want to screw up this big chance.
"I promise, sir."
"You must not tell anyone.  Not your dance or vocal trainers, not your Korean tutors, not any of ther other trainees, and especially not any media personnel."
"I understand, sir."
"Good.  Now let's discuss your contract." he produces another file folder, and pulls out a thick packet with a bunch of official-looking seals and is all in Korean.  He pushes the paper towards me on the table.
"This is your official contract with JYPE.  This gives the company the right to represent you, produce your albums, put you on music shows, promote you in concerts, train you, house you, and covers health insurance.  By signing this, you agree to become a trainee for the specified training period of 11 months.  You will debut within a year, and the company reserves rights to 80% of your album comissions, with 10% going to the production and printing companies.  Sign here, here, and here." he points to three blank lines on the paper.  I stare uneasily at the paper.
"Could I have a lawyer present to help explain this to me?  I don't think I fully understand the contract."
"Sweetheart," he places his huge rough hand over mine, "You don't need a lawyer, I've explained everything.  I'm your president, I have your best interests in mind.  Don't you trust me?" his "sympathetic" grin seems forced.
"I won't sign this without a lawyer, sir." I push the paper back towards him.  His grin turns a bit angry.
"My dear," he clenches his teeth and presses the contract in front of me once more, "Might I remind you that if you don't sign this contract, I won't let you join the company.  And I know that you not only need the money, but you need my connections.  Remember our little phone conversation?"
I raise my eyebrows upward.  Crap.  I did need money and his inside information.  There would be no other way to help...
"You see, your little problem will be all fixed with my help.  You wouldn't want to disappoint someone you love, now would you, darling?" Shit.  He's right, there's no other way.  I grab the pen from his outstretched hand and rapidly sign the papers "Annamarie R. Sorensen" in all three blanks.  President Park smiles as looks over the contract in his hand.
"I thought you'd see things my way.  Now, about your housing.  Normally we'd put you into a trainee dorm, but they're all full at the moment."
"Where will I live?"
"Oh, don't worry.  We have a solution that I'm sure you won't mind.  You won't be living with other trainees, rather, we have a another arrangement for you."
"What kind of arrangement?" I'm not too keen on his ideas so far, who knows what crazy place he'll make me live in.
"Oh, you'll see soon enough.  But I'm sure you mist be very tired.  Kyu-Jin will take you to your new dorm, get some rest for you classes tomorrow morning.  Your training schedule starts at 6AM sharp." he stands up and escorts me out of his office to the hall, where Kyu-Jin waits quietly as usual.
"Be nice to your roommates." President Park waves goodbye as he calls out.  Roommates?

Kyu-Jin drives me silently in our car.  I wonder where Jay is, I'm curious about my living arrangements, and I'm a bit uneasy about the circumstances of my contract signing.
"Er, Kyu-Jin shi? Geez that sounds so stiff. Kyu-J?  Can I call you that?" Kyu-Jin grunts in reply.  I guess he doesn't mind. "You think I can do this?  I mean, this is all really daunting stuff...I've never shared a room much less adheared to a schedule.  President Park kind of scares me." Kyu-J nods in my direction through the rearview mirror.  "Oh, I forgot, you don't speak much English.  Sorry." he waves his hand sympathetically in my direction.  The rest of our ride goes quietly until we pull into a large apartment complex.  There's a sign on the building, "Cube Dorms." Cube?  What's that?  Kyu-J unloads my luggage and leads me through the front doors and up the stairs.  About six floors up, we go down and narrow hall and he rings the bell on a door numbered "12B." I hear a bunch of chattering voices as the door opens.  Four guys answer, all in hoodies, tanks and sweatpants.  The boy on the end has reddish hair and smiling eyes takes my bags.  One with a feminine face begins talking to Kyu-J with a high-pitched voice in Korean. I only understand "trainee" and "American" as the guys look me over.  Finally, one with dark hair and thick glasses addresses me, "Hi, you must be Annamarie, the new JYPE A-Trainee.  I'm Lee Changmin, and this is my band 2AM.  We're your roommates!"

(no subject)

TITLE: Finding My Voice
AUTHOR: Mika
PAIRING: TBA
DICLAIMER: I own NOTHING! Just the story is mine. ROFL
SUMMARY: A young American girl enters the Kpop business and must face betrayal, lies, heartbreak, love, and warmth as she struggles to become a singer.
A/N: Ignore my typos...this was done on my iPod. >_>
~Five
/ Encøünter
~

As we head outside, the blinding Seoul sunlight hits my face like a burning lightbulb. The climate here is totally different from back home, I hope I packed the right clothes. The bodyguard walks briskly in front of Jay and I, not saying a word to either of us. Jay's eyes survey the area as we head to the car, but he smiles at me in a friendly manner.
"The car's right here," he points to the dark blue van parked ahead of us. The bodyguard climbs into the front seat and Jay opens the door, casually holding out his hand.
"Ladies first!" he grins as I grasp his outstretched hand and slide myself into the seat. Jay slides in after me, reaching over to make sure my seatbelt is secured safely "better safe than sorry!" he wags his finger matter-of-factly. As the car drives out onto the road, Jay exchanges a few brief words with the driver (the first time I heard him speak). He then turns to me and looks me over for a moment. Do I have something in my teeth? I suddenly grow self conscious and shyly avoid his gaze. He reaches under the seat and passes me a bottle, "Here, you look beat! Have a sip." I nod my head in appreciation and gingerly accept the bottle, looking over the strangely foreign Korean lettering.
"It's just iced coffee, kills my jetlag every time." Jay urges me on. I take a sip, feeling the sweet familiar taste of vanilla roll along my tongue.
"It's no Starbucks, and I'd know since I'm from Seattle, but this really hits the spot!" Jay grins and pops the lid off of another bottle and takes a gulp, leaving a trail of coffee on his lips. I surpress a giggle at his coffee moustache.
"What?" he looks at me innocently and obliviously.
"Uh, your lip..." I point. He glances in the rearview mirror, and his eyes grow to the size of dinner plates as he covers his face. I pass him a napkin and he bashfully wipes his face off.
"Wow, that was SMOOTH." he jokes, "I wanted to impress the famously talented American trainee."
"Famously talented?"
"Everyone back at the company is just buzzing about you, Rose. Don't you realize what it means that Jin-Young hyung accepted you?" he gestures excitedly with his hands as he speaks, taking another swig from his coffee. I slowly nod my head no, "I was just taken on as a trainee. Lucky sure, but what's so amazing about it?"
"JYP has never accepted a foreigner into his company, much less a girl."
"But aren't you American too?"
"Er, that's not exactly what I meant. What I was trying to tell you is that no company has taken on a trainee who isn't of Asian descent at all. You're the first Caucasian artist ever accepted into the kpop industry."
"Oh, I didn't know that." I stare off a bit. First Caucasian artist? People are going to expect a lot from me now.
"You're definitely something special, I can tell." he gives another friendly smile, and I smile back, feeling the warmth grow from ear to ear on my face.
"Here, I'll be your tour guide." Jay grins and points out the window towards the buildings along Seoul's streetside. He makes funny voices imitating the tourguide bus operators, making me laugh harder than I thought was possible, and waves happily to fans on the street. Jay's easy manner and open attitude set me at ease in this new strange country. I can tell he's going to be fun to hang around. About fourty-five minutes into the ride, my eyelids grow heavy, even after the coffee. I stifle a yawn and stretch my arms. Jay looks over my way and takes off his jacket.
"Rosie, go ahead and take a nap." he pats the seat next him. "You'll feel better if you rest a bit, and you won't be so cranky when you meet the boys." Rosie? We just met and are on nickname-basis already? Wow, this guy treats everyone like his best friend. I oblige and lay my head down on the seat next to him, and he drapes his jacket over me with true chivalry.
"Thanks," I hear myself mutter as I snuggle under the coat. It smells spicy like cinnamon and is still warm from sitting on his shoulders. I'm sure he said something in response as we drove through the sparkling city, but I didn't hear his voice through my hazy vision as I drifted to sleep.

"Rosie! Hey, Rose! Rise and shine!" I feel someone tapping my shoulder, pulling me from my dreamless nap. I open my eyes slowly, squinting to see in the dim light. Jay's sitting next to me, so I guess we're still in the van. We're parked in some kind of garage underground. Oh yeah, I'm supposed to go to the JYPE headquarters to finalize my contract and formally greet the artists and staff. Shoot me, please.
"Come on, you've got a lot to do Rosie! People to meet, papers to sign, contracts to read..." Jay's voice carries excitedly as he shakes me awake.
"Ughhh." I groan unpleasantly and pull Jay's jacket over my face. "I'm not ready for this." he expects me to go in and live up all this hype about me, face a bunch of talented singers and entertainment staff like it's nothing? "I can't go in there." I protest.
"That's just the jetlag talking. Drink your coffee and you'll feel better." he passes the rest of my vanilla coffee under the jacket. I drink it slowly, praying that it'll somehow make my anxiety vanish. Somehow I feel strangely better. I emerge from under the jacket like a prarie dog coming out of it's burrow.
"What'd I tell ya? Right as rain!" Jay smiles and opens the door cordially. "Come on, TRAINEE. They're all waiting." I step out of the van and hand Jay back his coat.
"Nah, hang onto that. It's awfully chilly in here." he waves my hand away. I bow my head greatfully and slip the jacket over my shoulders.
"This way," Jay points to a door at the end of the garage wall, and I follow him and the bodyguard into a small elevator. The three of us cram into the shaft, squeezed awkwardly like sardines in a tin. I feel my back pressed against Jay's chest and laugh nonchelantly to downplay the extreme proximity I have to his body. DAMN, this boy's got muscles!
"So, does he have a name?" I nod towards the silent bodyguard standing next to me, who seems to obliviously staring into space.
"Him? Oh, he's Kyu-Jin Hyung. Best bodyguard in the business. He's not much of a talker, but you can trust him with your life. Luckily for us we didn't get a fan frenzy at the airport this time, but he's great with rowdy crowds. He's going to be the one watching you when you go out." Jay grins at Kyu-Jin, and the bodyguard looked up upon hearing his name mentioned. "He doesn't really speak any English, though."
Remembering the etiqutte from my culture book, I bow to Kyu-Jin and thank him for his services. He nods curtly and goes back to staring at the lift doors as they open.
"Welcome to JYPE, Rose." Jay points to the logo on the main office wall as we step out of the elevator. It's definitely not what I expected: it's covered in portraits of artists, models, and a large scaled painting hangs in the center of the office of Jin-Young himself. I figured it'd be some little hole in the wall, but this place is bigger than my imagination ever predicted. Jay strides over to an area with couches where I see a crowd of people gathered...people who's pictures are in those posters. He shakes hands and slaps backs happily, chattering in Korean a bit before waving me over, "Hey Rosie, what are you waiting for? Come say hi!" I gulp nervously, trying to remember what to say. Palms sweating and heart racing, I slowly approach the singers and staff. The conversations and hellos are silenced instantly as I stand in front of everyone.
"A-anyonghaseyo, Annamarie im nida." I bow deeply and try not to slur the pronounciation I practiced for hours. The words felt alien and unfamiliar in my mouth as I chewed over each syllable carefully before continuing in English. "Thank you so much for taking time to welcome me. I've never been to Korea before, and I don't speak proper Korean quite yet. I know that I'm new and have much to learn, but I'm willing to work hard and become a worthy member of your company. Please watch my growth, excuse my mistakes, and please accept my efforts." I bow again, and smile brightly at my superiors. Jay, a princely looking guy, and a tall guy with big ears and a lot of teeth begin repeating my words in rapid Korean for the audience. A building applause follows, and Jay leads me through the crowd, "There are some people I want you to meet before I let Jin-Young hyung steal you." We come to a crowd of guys that I recognize from the posters in the lobby displaying the names "2PM" boldly. These must be those singers Min-Ji and Hyo-Sun were so gaga about.
"Rosie, I'd like you to meet my donsengs." Jay boasts like a proud father as he leads me by each one by one.
"Jang Wooyoung, resident crybaby and vocalist." Wooyoung grabs my hand eagerly and shakes his madly, his bubbly personality seems to explode over. "Rosie! You! American! YES." he babbles in broken English.
"Lee Junho, vocalist, don't call him Rain or touch his butt. Both are what everyone remembers him by, and it posses him off." His smiling eyes greet me warmly as he shakes my hand. "Anyonung~" his musical voice buzzed through my ears.
"Nickhun, our Thai prince. He's good at dancing and his singing is getting alright too." Jay jokingly punches the princely guy who was helping translate earlier. "Hi Annamarie. I hope you like it here. My Korean isn't spectacular, but if you need any help, you can ask me anytime. I'll teach you some Thai too!" his English has a spicy accent as he winks at me handsomely. Good lord, he's so pretty.
"Ok Taecyeon. Our giant rapper boy who is actually a huge dork." the other guy who translated towers over me as I strain my neck to say hello. "I'm no dork, you shorty! Ignore Jay, he has a big head." he extends a giant hand out, and I detect a slight Boston accent in his voice. "I'm the best with both English and Korean, so I guess I can help you with your lesson homework if you need. But my services must be paid in dried mangoes!" I raise an eyebrow suspiciously, seems I'm not in on some private joke they've got going.
"Kim Junsu, vocalist and somewhat ghetto wannabe. Don't touch his scarves, he's such a diva when it comes to clothing." Junsu's fierce eyes lock on me as I say hello. "'Sup, yo', I be JunSU of 2PM." he greets me with a friendly slap on the back. This guy's intense, I feel like he's hiding something behind that sideways baseball cap.
"And finally our not-so-little magnae, Italian Hwang Chansung. His vocals are great, but he's been trying rap lately." Chansung nods hello and mumbles something through mouthful of food. "No, she doesn't want any cookies." Jay laughs as Chansung tries to shove some into my hands. I smile and accept the cookie with a laugh. Jay jumps between them, "And together we are..." he starts, "2PM!" they all finish happily. Their bright faces light up the entire room, and I can tell I'm going to really like these guys. As we all settle in and Jay tries to introduce me to more people, a hush falls upon the crowd. I turn to see Jin-Young striding over, eyes fixed on me.
"Annamarie! You're here! Why don't we have a seat in my office?" he gestures invitingly with his hands. I nod and walk after him. As Jay tries to follow, Jin-Young shakes his head, "By WE, I mean, just her and I."

(no subject)

TITLE: Finding My Voice
AUTHOR: Mika
PAIRING: TBA
DICLAIMER: I own NOTHING! Just the story is mine. ROFL
SUMMARY: A young American girl enters the Kpop business and must face betrayal, lies, heartbreak, love, and warmth as she struggles to become a singer.
A/N: Ignore my typos...this was done on my iPod. >_>
~Four
/ Depth
~

"I have a name, you know. And it's NOT 'dust-bunny,' Captain RudePants." I give him my "back-off, punk" glare.
"Sorry, Annamarie." he chuckles as he settles into his seat and placed his Micky Mouse backpack under the seat in front of him.
"How do you know my name?" I raise a suspicious eyebrow.
"Your passport." he grins that obnoxiously cheeky smile and pulls out a bag of candy. My passport?! Creeper. I roll my eyes and take my iPod out from my bag. Just because I will be sitting next to this guy for the next few hours does not mean I have to pay attention to him.
"What are you listening to?" he questions, popping some candy into his mouth.
"Just some music that the people at my new job asked me to listen to...business purposes." I take out my headphones from my pocket.
"Business purposes, eh?" his eyes light up at this. He snatches my iPod and scrolls through the artist list, reading the names aloud: "2PM, Wonder Girls, 2AM, BEAST, 4minute... Seems to me that you've been scouted by JY-Gorilla."
"H-how did you know?" my eyes widen in surprise at his correct assumption.
"Sweetheart, a guy in my position knows these things." he winks at me and bites into another piece of candy. Man, this guy isn't as dumb as I thought.
"Barely any DSP, YGE, or SME music on here...just like that old man to mainly put his own artists' songs on a trainee's iPod listing..." he ponders aloud as he continues scrolling.
"Do you know people in those companies?"
"More or less." he seems to brush aside my question. Who is this guy?
"Here," he tosses back my iPod and pulls out his own. "Let me show you some real music." he puts one of the earphones in my ear and puts the other one in his own. As he reaches over, I can smell his spicy cologne, and feel that his hands are soft for a guy.
"Listen to this," he starts playing a song with a girl's strong vocals. The beat is catchy and the words flow like satin in my ears.
"This is great! Who is she?" I turn to him, asking excitedly.
"Her name is BoA. She's a major name in the business with my company, although she's in Japan right now."
"Your company? Do you work in the entertainment business?"Yeah, I do, actually." he shyly ruffles his hair as he answers.
"I'm going to Seoul to train for JYPE, they scouted me two weeks ago. What company do you work for?" I shake his arm eagerly.
"Gummy worm?" he offers me a candy, completely ignorig my question. Damn, this guy knows how to distract me.
"Thanks," I smile and accept the candy, and he stows away the armrest between our two seats. The song switches to a group of younger boys' voices, and it sounds pretty good.
"I like these guys..." I sink deeper into my seat.
"Who, SHINee? They're also in the company, they're pretty new to the business, but they've got promise to be stars." he settles more comfortably into his own chair. He hands me another gummy worm. "I knew they were your favorite." he smiles as he bites the head off of a worm.
"Not exactly, I like sour ones the best." I grin. Another song comes on, and it's acapella. Five guys are singing with the most godly power vocals I have ever heard.
"Wow! Who are these guys?"
"That's TVXQ, you like them?" he seems to be stifling a grin.
"They sound amazing! Their voices...there's no word to describe them." I'm stricken speechless by their singing, and it moves me to the point where I feel I'm going to cry.
"There's a solo part coming up, listen closely." he puts a finger to my lips to shush me. I hear a guy with a strong yet husky voice belting out a solo. He sounds pretty good, but not quite like the other guys.
"Well?" he looks like the world depends on my answer.
"He sounds okay, but I liked the first singer better." he face drops a bit, like I've personally insulted him. Before I can ask why he's so upset, a bunch of papers fall out from my folder in my lap. Damn, I'm a klutz. He reaches over to help me pick up the papers, I guess he is a gentleman. As I'm picking them up, he begins reading one of the papers. So much for a gentleman.
"Why do you have a life-support machine agreement?" he asks as he raises his gaze to me.
"None of your business." I snatch away the sheet.
"Sorry, it's just...is someone in trouble?" he places a hand on my shoulder, his eyes deeply set on me.
"It's...a family thing." I'm trying hard not to cry, I don't really want to talk about this with someone I just met.
He pulls me into a hug, "It's okay. I won't ask. I've had my own share of family troubles." I stifle back some tears as this guy I barely know holds me.
"Ssh, don't cry. It's going to be fine." he strokes my hair and hums gently in my ear. It sounds familiar, I swear I've heard this before. He puts the headphones back in my ears and puts my hat on his head, and doesn't let go of me. I feel myself falling asleep in this guy's arms, flying across the ocean for the first time: I wasn't alone.

I wake up hearing a loud buzzing noise. As I open my eyes, I realize that I'm still on the plane...ON TOP OF A GUY! WHAT HAPPENED? I sit up quickly, remembering what happened. What's that buzzing noise? I look around and realize it's coming from my new friend, who's snoring softly. What a dork. But he looks peaceful as he sleeps, like a baby. I take the headphones from my ears, and try to get up, but he's still gripping me tightly. I tap him gently, trying to shake him awake. His opens an eye mid-snore, realizing how he's trapping me. "Oh, m'sorry.." he grunts sleepily.
"Ladies and gentleman, we're making our descent into Seoul." the captain announces. My seatmate smiles and gestures towards the window. I look outside to seethe bustling metropolis of Seoul with it's beautiful skyline.
"Great huh? You look like a puppy leaving it's house for the first time." he chuckles.
A man in a suit with sunglasses comes over and says a few words to him in Korean. He nods and replies curtly.
"Who's that?" I ask as the man strides away.
"You honestly don't know who I am, do you?" he laughs and begins gathering his things, stuffing another worm into his mouth.
"Well, it's not like you told me your name or anything." I grumble. He grabs my phone and starts punching numbers into it as the plane lands. "Come off with me, I'll get us off quicker."
We follow the guy in the suit off the plane to a smaller exit into the main check-in. Wow, this guy has connections. As we walk into the airport lobby, he hands back my phone.
"Call me if you're ever in a jam; and I'll be there in a second." he taps my nose, "Showbusiness is a rough business, be careful, dust-bunny." he smiles and puts on his sunglasses.
"Thanks. Try to he more polite, okay?" I smile and gently punch his arm.
"No promises." he chuckles and points over to the main exit. "Looks like your ride is here." I see a guy holding a sign with my name on it. I quickly scroll through my phone to find where he's put himself in my contact list.
"Bye, Chun!" I smile and wave, repeating the name he put in my phone. He grins and follows the man in the suit, who leads him towards a hoarde of screaming girls. Fangirls? Who was that guy?

I'm puzzled as I stride over to the man holding my namecard. "Hello." I bow, trying to remember my etiqutte lessons from the Korean culture book I bought.
"Hey," he grins and outstretches a hand, "I'm Jay. You must be Annamarie." this guy is clearly American.
"Nice to meet you, I actually go by Rose."
"How do you know Mickey Yoochun?" he points to the crowd of fangirls.
"Oh, we're just...wait. Mickey Yoochun?" it all hits me like a ton of bricks as I see an advertisement behind Jay. The ad features TVXQ, the band I just listened to on the plane, and the husky voice blaring from the screen is coming from a guy who looks exactly like Chun. Oh...my...GOD. I met a celebrity and I didn't even know it. What a way to start my trip. Jay's face looks a bit uncomfortable when I look at the ad, almost like he's jealous or something.
"Anyway, we'd better head to the car. The bodyguard is getting that bored look on his face." he chuckles as he points to the bulky man standing near the door. "Let's go introduce you to everyone."

(no subject)

TITLE: Finding My Voice
AUTHOR: Mika
PAIRING: TBA
DICLAIMER: I own NOTHING! Just the story is mine. ROFL
SUMMARY: A young American girl enters the Kpop business and must face betrayal, lies, heartbreak, love, and warmth as she struggles to become a singer.
A/N: Ignore my typos...this was done on my iPod. >_>
~Three
/ Čtal
~

As I stand in the airport, waiting in line to check in, my mind races. I think back on my audition two weeks ago, remembering the shock on mine and Hyo-Sun's faces and the seriousness on Park Jin-Young's -or should I say, President Park's- face. I remember trying to explain to him that it was Hyo-Sun's audition, not mine, and it was not my intention to become a singer. But he gave me this look that screamed "don't mess" and insisted that I had the right sound and look for the job: "You've got the stuff, kid."
I think back to the returning card ride, staring at the huge yellow envelope with contact information, visa information, and plane tickets.
"You have to do it." Hyo-Sun clasps my shoulder from the backseat. I figure that she would be furious that I stole her thunder and took the dream that she yearned for. Instead she was encouraging me.
"You're not mad?" I turn around.
"Of course not! You're one of my best friends! If I didn't make it, I'm glad you did! Plus, there will be other opportunities out there for me...YG has a worldwide search next month that I'm applying for!" she smiles and gives me a thumbs up. Good old Hyo-Sun.
"I don't know. I don't think I have what it takes."
Min-Ji glances at me from across the steering wheel for a moment, "Rosie, if there's anyone that can do this, it's you. You're smart, pretty, and you have a beautiful voice. I would be more worried about you knocking out the other trainees from the spotlight than not being able to make it."
Good old Min-Ji.
I recall how I told my Aunt that I was invited to train as a performer in South Korea, and tried explaining how it wasn't "a silly waste of my time" and that it was an opportunity not to be passed up. She obviously didn't agree to me moving to a strange country, dropping my final year of high school, and chasing after the idea of becoming a singer. But Nana thought otherwise:
"Let the girl go. She has a goal, why not chase it? She's got what they want and she doesn't give up. She's Michelle's daughter after all." the twinkle in my grandma's eye convinced Aunt Sarah that I should go. That spark of tenacity is in Nana, Aunt Sarah, me, and was in my mom.

"Flight 34C nonstop to Seoul is now boarding, please proceed to gate 7." a woman's voice announces overhead in the PA. That's my flight.
I pick up my carry-on and walk towards the gate, thinking of how much I'm going to miss Min-Ji, Hyo-Sun, Nana, and Aunt Sarah. How much I know I'm going to crave a big juicy burger from Susie's Shack, and how I'll really want to see the lake again once I get to Korea. I know I'll have to learn Korean, and get used to strange food and even stranger people...do they really eat dog soup?
"Ma'am? Ma'am?" the TSA agent snaps her fingers in my face. I snap to attention, noticing that she's talking to me. In my spaceyness, I've let the entire line pass me by.
"Passport please." She holds out her hand, obviously bored out of her mind sitting here waiting for some airhead like me to zone out.
"Passport, right, I need that." I rummage around my bag, trying to find my passport. I check all of the pockets, but it's not there. I obviously do the logical thing in a crisis: panic. I drop to the floor, searching like a madwoman, looking under tables and around people's feet.
Just when I think I'll have an awful lot of explaining to do, someone taps me on the shoulder.
"I assume you're crawling around because this is some new dance, or you need this." A guy with dark hair, sunglasses, and trendy-looking clothes is standing over me, holding my passport. Jesus, I could hug this guy I'm so happy.
"Oh my gosh! THANK YOU!" I get up really quickly and give him a big smile as he hands back my passport. He leans in and whispers in my ear:
"You're covered in dirt, little dust-bunny." he snickers as he pulls away. I quickly brush off my skirt and laugh nervously as he walks towards the TSA lady and hands her his passport. I notice that his blue backpack has a pair of Mickey Mouse ears on the front pocket, and is written all over with Sharpies in Korean. As we both separately walk through security, I catch him stealing glances my way. I can't get over the cheeky grin that keeps spreading on his face, what's so funny?

By the time I actually board my plane, I'm exhausted and have lost track of the mystery guy who found my passport. But whatever, all that matters is that I've somehow gotten on the correct flight. I check the seat number on my ticket, thrilled to see that I'm near the front of the plane in...FIRST CLASS?! I stare at my ticket for a moment in disbelief. I've never flown first class before, wow, JYPE really lets us American trainees fly in style.
The flight attendant directs me to my seat, and I'm worried about getting seated next to some fat snoring tourist or an old lady who talks about her grandchildren the entire way. Luckily enough, I have the row to myself. I settle in comfortably and prepare for my long trip.
"Ladies and gentleman, this is your captain speaking, we have one last passenger boarding now, and then we'll be heading out." The pilot announces loudly. I hear a rustling as the first class curtain is pushed aside and someone comes in.
"Please don't sit next to me, please don't be a fat tourist..." I pray silently as I sense the person approaching my row. He sits in the seat next to me. Rats. When he moves away his hood and takes off his hat, I stare in disbelief. It's him.
"What's happening, dust-bunny?"

(no subject)

TITLE: Finding My Voice
AUTHOR: Mika
PAIRING: TBA
DICLAIMER: I own NOTHING! Just the story is mine. ROFL
SUMMARY: A young American girl enters the Kpop business and must face betrayal, lies, heartbreak, love, and warmth as she struggles to become a singer.
A/N: Ignore my typos...this was done on my iPod. >_>
~Two
/ Destin
~

"I'm scared, Rosie, what if I forget the words? This is a big audition!" Hyo-Sun paces back and forth in line, wringing her hands nervously.
I squeeze her shoulder, "If you forget the words, I'll sing the backup vocals so you will remember them."
"What if I slip during the dance?"
"I'll slip too, so it looks like it was choreographed and planned that way."
"What if-"
I press my finger to Hyo Sun's chattery lips, "Shut up already, you're going to do fine."
"Thanks Rosie, you're the best!" She pulls me into a crushing hug.
"No problem. So, what is JYPE anyway?" I ask, glancing at the number-card taped to my shirt.
I hear Min-Ji snort as she sips her coffee, "WHAT IS JYPE?!" she exclaims as she covers her mouth to prevent her drink from spilling out.
"It's only one of the three most powerful entertainment companies in the Korean entertainment world!" Hyo-Sun answers excitedly, pointing to the audition flyer hanging on the wall above. I glance at the advertisement, seeing groups of young singers and actors I've never heard of before: "The Wonder Girls, BEAST, 4Minute, Joo, 2AM, Ivy, Rain, and 2PM! All of these talents were scouted by JYP!" the poster proclaims proudly.
"Who's this JYP dude?"
"That's him." Min-Ji points to a man in the poster wearing a dark suit. His face has a rough, almost gorilla-like gruffness to it and looks like a cold rock. "He used to be a singer himself, quite a popular one at that, but now he works as a producer for this entertainment company he's built for himself."
"If I can get accepted into JYPE, there's no doubt I will become an amazing singer in Korea!" Hyo-Sun giggles excitedly, "I'll also get to see 2PM all the time!"
"2PM? You mean those scruffy guys from the poster?" I wonder why she's so taken by these boys.
"They're not scruffy!" Hyo-Sun pouts and crosses her arms angrily.
"She's in love with them." Min-Ji rolls her eyes in annoyance as she takes another swig from her latte.
"I am not!" Hyo-Sun sticks out her tongue, "Just Khun...he's such a prince!" Her eyes glaze over as she stares dreamily into space.
"Number 4229B! Please come inside!" one of the audition staff calls from the revolving door.
"That's us!" I tap Min-Ji's shoulder as I point to the door.
"OMO! otokeeeee~" Hyo-Sun squeals in Korean as her sister pushes her shaking body to the door, mumbling in Korean herself.

We enter a large auditorium, empty save for the front row. Five seats are filled: two women and three men. The stern-looking man sitting directly in thr middle I recognize from the poster as Park Jin-Young himself. His hawklike eyes fix upon me from the moment I enter the audiotoruim, sending unwelcome chills up my spine. Hyo-Sun and I walk to the middle of the stage while Min-Ji stands by the door as to not interrupt.
"Anyonghaseyo," Hyo-Sun greets them in Korean and introduces herself. I don't understand anything she says, aside from the song title and her name. Then she points to me, speaks in a blur of Korean words, among them my name, and upon hearing this I see my cue to bow.
"Hello everyone, I'm Rose Sorenson. I'll be providing backup vocals for Lee Hyo-Sun today," I speak just as we rehearsed, Min-Ji insisted that there was protocol to follow with these folks, "I'm sorry that I don't speak any Korean. I hope you enjoy our performance!" as I talk, I notice that Park Jin-Young has been watching me intently the whole time, even while Hyo-Sun spoke. I try to ignore the strange staring as I smile and stand farther back onstage to give Hyo-Sun the center stage. The two of us counted off "3, 2, 1" and began:

•"I won't blame you pretending to be someone else in front of me."
Hyo-Sun's voice shakes a bit as we open, but I even out the tone in my vocals to keep the sound balanced.
•"Angels are supposed to hide their wings when they come down to earth..."
The woman sitting next to Park Jin-Young whispers something to him and points to Hyo-Sun. He nods silently, still keeping his eyes fixed on me as I sing.
•"...People are being stupid and careless but you're so kind hearted.
So how could I bear you to be hurt?"
I feel a gentle fluttering in the pit of my stomach as the excitement builds in my body. So this is what it's like to perform live! Not worring about my breathing, not having to stop, just me and my voice filling the hall with Hyo-Sun's. It almost sounds like I'm singing lead vocals and she's backing me up!
•"Small palms but with thick warmth.
You are always able to comfort me when I'm worried at nights."
The man sitting on the end scribbles something on his notepad and shows it to one of the other men who is filming us.
•"The dreams that I don't dare to think about but through your eyes I realize that they're actually in front of me."
As we finish, I feel a sense of peace and calm that has settled over me. After singing like this, for the first time in my life without physical difficulty, I feel like I could take on the world. I feel invincible, I can do anything!
"Thank you for coming, we will contact you with the results of our search." the whispering woman nodded slightly as she gestured us toward the door. But Park Jin-Young gently pushed down her hand as he pointed to me and rattled off to the others in Korean.
"What's he saying?" I whispered to Hyo-Sun as I gave her shoulder a nudge.
"I-I-I don't believe it." Hyo-Sun's face turned white.
"What?! What is he saying?! I heard my name!" I exclaim a little louder as the four other men and women begin arguing and pointing towards me also. Clearly, they did not agree with whatever their president was proposing, but he seemed to ignore them. I guess since he was top dog, his word was final, and that seemed to make everyone else shut up.
"Hyo, please tell me what's going on here!" I plead and continue tugging her shoulder, not noticing that Park Jin-Young had left his seat.
"What's going on here, young lady, is that I've already made my decision about you, despite what my colleagues think." The president of JYP Entertainment himself was standing in front of me, offering his hand in a friendly handshake that didn't match the harsh appearance of his face. "Congratulations. Welcome to the company, Rose Sorenson, or should I say, trainee."

(no subject)

TITLE: Finding My Voice
AUTHOR: Mika
PAIRING: TBA
DICLAIMER: I own NOTHING! Just the story is mine. ROFL
SUMMARY: A young American girl enters the Kpop business and must face betrayal, lies, heartbreak, love, and warmth as she struggles to become a singer.
A/N: Ignore my typos...this was done on my iPod. >_>
~One
/ Primer
~

"Come on, Rosie! It's just one little song!"
"No."
"Please?" Hyo-Sun leans in from her seat behind me, resting her chin on my shoulder.
"No."
"Why not?"
"You know what happens when I sing, Hyo-Sun..." I groan as the car skids over a bump in the road. "Min-Ji! Please keep your eyes on the road and off your cell phone!" I scold as I snatch away the tech-toy.
"Yes, omma." Min-Ji sticks out her tongue and returns her focus to the steering wheel.
"And quit talking in Korean, it's not fair to us white kids!" I add.
Hyo-Sun pouts her lips like a puppy, hoping to change my mind. That's the way I can tell her apart from her twin sister Min-Ji: Hyo-Sun acts like a cute little girl while Min-Ji wants to come off as mature and tough. Maybe Min-Ji has a "younger twin complex?"
"Annamarie Rose Sorensen, you've GOT to help me! You have the best voice out of all my friends! Nobody else can sing the backup vocals for my audition!" Hyo-Sun claps her hands together in front of her face in a pleading prayer.
I rub my temples anxiously, I honestly want to help my friends, but singing is completely out of the question no matter how nice my voice might sound.
I've always had weak lungs. When I was born, the doctors weren't even sure if I would breathe properly or talk at all. I spent weeks in the hospital attached to a machine that aided my lungs, and miraculously learned to breathe on my own. My parents constantly worried about me as a child, other children made fun of my deep raspy voice and laughed or stared at me when I took a puff from my inhaler. The one thing I loved to do as a child was sing, but the stress on my lungs and overwhelming energy required to sing were too much. I often have trouble breathing when I sing, and on two separate occasions I actually fainted from the sheer exhaustion of my lungs expanding too quickly. Although I dream of someday singing onstage, it seems impossible.
"First off, Hyo-Sun, don't use my full name! Next, I can't promise you anything right now. I want to come be your backup at the audition, but why don't we wait and see what this doctor says first, capiche?"

"Please take a deep breath for me, Annamarie."
I inhale slowly, like the doctor instructs and can't help but wonder if this time I'll actually have a clean bill of health. Dr. Torren's firm hand rests on my back while he listens with the stethoscope over my chest. He nods and mumbles quietly to himself for a moment before jotting down a few notes in my chart, which appears to be bursting full of papers from the last few years' appointments.
"Does everything sound okay?" I fiddle around anxiously with loose thread from my shirt.
"Well, it seems that those breathing exercises have done their job. Your lungs have adapted to expanding quicker and quicker. "
"Does this mean I can have the Menthacide?" I nearly leap off of the table in excitement.
"Menthacide treatment is quite possible at this point sweetheart, but it's very strong." My doctor pushes his glasses up the bridge of his nose. "Are you sure that you're ready for such an intensive treatment?"
I meet his gaze squarely. I've grown accustomed to the various pills and inhalants that had built up over my life, but this would be different; one dose of Menthacide and I could go an entire 15 hours without worrying about my lungs' expansion speed: I could sing.
"I'm ready. What's one more pill?"
"Darling, that's the thing: it's not a pill." he brings out a scary-looking needle filled with a greenish fluid. "You'd be giving yourself daily injections of the Menthacide. They haven't yet developed a pill for your specific condition."
I cringe at the sight of the syringe. I hate needles more than anything else in a hospital tool kit, I always feel like a shot forces something inside me that doesn't belong there.
"I'm willing to do whatever it takes, doctor."
He smiles, "You're a very brave and determined girl."
I squeeze my eyes shut as I feel the needle pierce the delicate skin near my windpipe. I count the seconds until I feel the throbbing stop and I can open my eyes, "ein, tö, tre..."

Apr. 29th, 2010

Prologue

TITLE: Finding My Voice
AUTHOR: Mika
PAIRING: TBA
DICLAIMER: I own NOTHING! Just the story is mine. ROFL
SUMMARY: A young American girl enters the Kpop business and must face betrayal, lies, heartbreak, love, and warmth as she struggles to become a singer.
A/N: Ignore my typos...this was done on my iPod. >_>
~Zero
/ Prologue
~
Read more...Collapse )All my life, all I've ever wanted was this moment. The crowd is watching me walk up onstage wearing a sparkling stage outfit and makeup, ready to sing. I look at everyone's faces, watch their anticipation as I take a deep breath and hear my lungs wheeze impatiently as always. The pain from before creeps into my chest, but I ignore it when I see my friends in the crowd, Min-Ji and Hyo-sun. I see the VIPS watching me from the front box with President Park Jin-Young. His stern face is set in stone, staring straight through me, as if daring me to prove my worth on this stage.
"Show me that you belong here!" his voice rings in my ears as the blood rushes to my brain. I'm shaking from the fear that racks my mind and rattles my core, that throbbing pain keeps thumping like a deumbeat next to my heart.
I see my fellows from the company peeking from backstage through the curtain. One face pops out among them all, the one face I've trusted and looked to for guidance through the last few weeks. Park Jaebeom, or Jay, smiles and gives me a thumbs-up as he and the other JYPE singers cheer me on from behind the floor. I smile back and step forward towards the mic.
"Ladies and gentleman!" the MC announces, "I present to you Park Jin-Young's latest solo singer! All the way from the United States!" I take the mic in my hands, smiling as I inhale sharply.
"This is it! I'm finally going to perform!" my skin tingles with excitement and the hairs on my neck stand up in the thrill of this moment: my moment.  As I'm about to sing the first note, a white flash electrocutes through my temple and into my chest.  I feel as if I'm no longer in my body, but I'm watching myself slowly falling backwards as the mic slips out of my hands and hits the stage with a deafening "THUD!"
"Jay, where's Jay?" is all I can think as my body hits the floor and seems to crumple. I see a rush a faces and hear a thousand different voices. As I slump to the ground everything goes dark.
 
"Will I ever sing?"