My realization
fawksiepuppet
So I've been lying in bed for the last two hours, desperately trying to fall asleep to no avail. Instead, my brain has been mulling over things and I've finally come to this realization:

I will never be happy unless I am famous.

It isn't about the money. It's about who I am as a person and how I behave. I am not the type of person built for the sidelines. I'm boisterous and bold. I'm loud. I've got more wit than I know what to do with and I have a whole slew of talents that are, currently, doing me very little in life.

Some people are built for quiet lives. Working their jobs and finding someone to love and be happy with. For a while, I thought I was, too. But I get bored with jobs. I get bored with relationships. I'm happiest when I'm living in my ever-changing worlds of fiction. I need constant scenery changes in my life. New people, new tasks to focus my mind, new places to go.

And honestly, the only way I will get all those things is by becoming famous. I've never acted before. I tried out for a play once, but I was far too nervous and a dismal dancer. xD But honestly, with a little training, I think I could do it well. Or I can sing. Hell, give me some fabric and I'll design the shit out of costumes.

But seriously, get me into the limelight. I'm ready. I'm ready to get out of this whole that I've been feeling sucked into lately. It's like, no matter what I do, I just have NOT been able to find something that makes me happy. Not a relationship. Not a job. Not an educational field. The only thing that truly makes me happy is creating and playing out fictional roles. It's what I'm good at. It's what I've always been good at. Whether drawing it out, or writing it out. Acting it out when I'm alone. Anything.

Fuck the money involved. I just want to get out there.

I just hope I can keep a hold on this resolve. It's one thing to say things (especially at this hour), but it's entirely something else to act on those things. I hope I can do it. One step at a time, of course, but I need to do SOMETHING. I can't just keep existing. I need to thrive, and that is NOT what I'm doing now.

Now, I'm going to try and take advantage of some of this random energy and at least get some sketches out of my head and onto paper (digital paper).

Baby Corydoras - Day 03
fawksiepuppet
After doing a fair bit of reading the last few days, I finally decided which method I was going to use to keep my baby fish going strong.

I've been trying to feed them some Hikari First Bites, but it stays on the surface for ages, and the babies just don't get up there very often. I was worrying about them not getting enough/any food, so I started reading.

I took the filter media from the 30 gallon tank and squeezed it into the baby tank. It covered them up, which the article says it will, but it also provide them with the food they need and there is no risk of water polution. It does, of course, make my tank look pretty nasty for the moment, but the sponge filter is working on it, and the babies seem to love their mucky new home. And, in case of any nasties that MIGHT have been in the filter mulm, I still have the waste-absorbing rocks in there, to give the water a little boost.

I'm doing daily water changes right now, but I'm thinking of moving to twice or even thrice daily changes. The container is still very small, and even though they are little fish, they produce growth hormones that need to be cleaned out.

I was able to actually get a good look at one of the fry today. They're going to be absolutely adorable when they've grown.

Baby Corydoras - Day 01
fawksiepuppet
This is for me, not for you. You don't need to pay attention to this.

Set up
Betta tank
Air pump
Upholstery foam
Plastic tube
Airstone
Air pump
Air tubing
Waste-absorbing stones

Put the upholstery foam over the end of the black tubing. Put the airstone on the air tubing, connected the tubing to the pump. Put the airstone inside the black plastic tubing to create a sponge filter. Put a few waste-absorbing crystals in the bottom corner of the tank to assist with tank clean-up, as the tank is small.

The filter is just getting started right now, so there is still currently much debris on the bottom. Once the babies are a little bigger, I'll be doing a tank clean to remove some of that crap. For now, I'm hoping the filter, the light medication and the waste-absorbing rocks will help keep them around long enough to grow a bit.

Day One: Detoxing
fawksiepuppet
Last week was sort of like my warm-up to dieting. I started out ok, but then with all the friends I had visiting from out of town, I ate out a lot.  =___= Not really how I wanted to start out my run... But it was good practice for this week, I suppose.

I've FINALLY gotten a hold of my sleeping pattern, I think. I've been waking around 8:30am now, no matter what time I get to bed. I decided I was going to sleep in this morning, and now I'm really feeling it. I'm so tired and I'm regretting having gone back to sleep after I woke up the first time. 

It's a very strange thing to be so tired, and yet so pumped full of energy at the same time. Between all the tea I've been drinking and the pills I'm on, I have so much energy, but because I slept in my brain is like 'sleep' and my body is like 'GO FUCKER RUN!'. 

I'm hoping between the diet, exercise and the meds, I'll be able to kickstart my metabolism into doing that it's supposed to do. I should also start taking a daily multivitamin, since not only will it help me with my energy/sleeping, but you also lose out on your daily intake while you diet, so it will help me stay healthy while I'm... getting healthy. HURRRRRRRRR

I really need to find my Hip Hop Abs DVD. Maybe tonight while I watch House I can look through my garage boxes and see if it ended up in there. At least it will give me a way to channel my energy while I sit around the house for 2 hours watching my shows. After that, I'll probably play more DDR before bed. Even just lying here typing I'm kicking my feet to keep from getting up and racing around like a tard.

Daily Rant 002: Furries and Needs vs Wants (Mature Language)
fawksiepuppet
 Well, I had this awesome shit typed out and then my internet decided it was going to be a dick.

Guh.

This might be short.

So I'm cruising FA, checking my journals and looking at my latest submissions, right? And there's a journal from a girl I watch.

Apparently she wants to die because she's so depressed, yadda-yadda-yadda. 

Now, before 45545746541684632147896532 people jump down my throat and bitch at me for 'not taking suicide seriously', stop. I do take it seriously. But you ever heard the story of the Boy Who Cried Wolf? This girl seems to have these little emo tiffs all the time, and it's quite frankly disgusting. 

She's just being a stupid little hipster and whining because that's how they get attention. If you whine and bitch about life to a very kind group of people, you're going to get about 700 comments of 'Aww, it's ok QT. Cheer up, here have free art because I love you 4REELZ' or some variation there-of.

Now, this girl. She is ALWAYS bitching about something. 'Oh, my life sucks. Oh, I'm so lonely. Oh, I'm so poor. Oh, I have no food. Oh, this. Oh, that.' There is always SOMETHING wrong. Always. And she posts at least 2 to 3 of these journals a week. .

This girl is ALWAYS pulling in commissions. And I'm not trying to sound stuck-up or elitist or anything, but her art REALLY isn't that great. It's always the same poses, the same expression, the same (awful) anatomy no matter what the species, and the coloring is really rather dismal on some of these pieces. 

It's one of those situations where I look at my art and I look at her art and there is no beating-around-the-bush about whose work is better. I don't consider my art anything special, but there is no pretending that her work doesn't even hold a candle to my own. It would be like comparing my work to someone like Caltroplay(http://www.furaffinity.net/user/caltroplay/). You wouldn't even think twice about the fact that her art FAR outstrips my own. 

That said, I would LOVE to pull in as many commissions as this girl does. Being that commissions are my only form of income at this time, I would kill to have a commissioner base like she does. I would be singing from the rooftops in languages I didn't even know.

But all this girl can do is complain about how she has things she needs and can't afford them.

YOU JUST BOUGHT A FUCKING PUPPY! PUPPIES SUCK UP A LOT OF TIME AND A LOT OF MONEY. AND YOU DIDN'T REALLY NEED A PUPPY, DID YOU? 

I know puppies are cute, and it's nice to have a pet. But a pet is not a need. If you NEED an animal, chances are that animal isn't a pet at all. It's a therapy animal and it's your working companion. It isn't your pet.

If you need a pet, get a fucking fish. Betta fish are awesome, interactive pets that cost close to nothing to keep.

And a betta isn't going to shit on your carpet or piss in your laundry. A betta doesn't need to be walked all the time or have lots of toys to keep it from shredding your things.

Face it. You DON'T NEED a pet. A pet is a WANT.

And now, not only is this girl poor because she bought something she didn't NEED, but she's also subjecting a puppy to a life less than it deserves. If you don't have the money to feel yourself, you certainly don't have the money to care for a pet. If you can't keep yourself healthy, you should NOT have an animal. They deserve far better.

But what really set me off today was this:

So she has another emo tiff today. And in the comments, some other fed-up souls like myself tell her to go to the doctor to get a handle on her moodswings. And she says 'Oh, that requires time and money that I don't have.'

And another comment says to cut out the luxuries in her life so she can afford the trip to the doctor.

AND SHE CHANGES THE SUBJECT. Now, she can't go to the doctor because her boyfriend would have to take time off of work for that. RIDE THE GODDAMN BUS. WALK. TAKE A BIKE.

But no, instead of getting healthy and taking care of herself, she'd rather piss away her money on expensive commissions for her boyfriend. 

Grow the fuck up.

But it isn't just this girl. Oh no.

Need another example of a furry putting their wants before their needs?

Allan.

Need I say more?

98% of you know exactly what I'm talking about when I mention him. For those of you new to the furry fandom, or perhaps you've spent the last few years under a rock, I'll give you a brief description. You can look him up on WikiFur if you want to know more.

Allan is a fur who got into huge trouble with money and the fandom. Over and over, he would post up journals on his FA about how he needed help with one thing or another in his life. He didn't have enough to cover his bills, he couldn't afford food for the week, things like that. And kind souls in the community would give him donations of money to help him through his troubled times.

And each time he was given money, he would commission expensive artists for pictures of his fursona.

And when he was homeless and on foodstamps, jobless to boot, the commissions kept rolling in. 

I would keep going, but talking about Allan and explaining his whole story could take several days. And I just don't have that kind of time.

But all the time, I see it. I see journals of people bitching about how they can't afford this or that, and all the while, they are posting up pictures that they've commissioned from some of the best artists in the community. And we all know commissions can be spendy.
Some of these people seriously need to get their priorities in order. I'm poor, I admit it. I'm not a well-known artist and I don't get many commissions. But I don't piss away the money I DO get on expensive commissions. I've never commissioned a single thing from anyone, despite the fact that I REALLY want to.

Why?

Because I have things in my life that I NEED. And buying art isn't one of them. I need clothing. And food. And shit like that.

I don't buy videogames. I don't buy movies. I don't buy commissions. I don't buy make-up. I don't even buy gifts for people birthdays. Because those are not things that I need.

If I want to treat myself, I buy a fish. A cheap little pet fish that can go with all my other pet fish and only costs me a couple dollars and some change.

Seriously. Some people just really need to get their act together and grow up. Needs  should ALWAYS come before wants...

Daily Rant 002 finished.

Daily Rant 001: Children and the Internet (Mature Language)
fawksiepuppet
 Let me start off with this: The Internet is NOT a kid-friendly place. GET OVER IT.

Now, to go back to how this started...

My sister, who'll be 17 next April, posted up a little comment on her Facebook. Something completely harmless. 

‎"tell him if he drive by kisses you again im gonna drive by smack him!" LMFAO!!! MY DAD IS HILARIOUS!

Now, I'm just kinda looking through all the comments on her page and I see this comment from her uncle by marriage... (I won't dive into the complexities of our family relationship because you'll become vastly confused)

Language Charli. Lets keep it PG for the kids

Now... FOR FUCKING REAL? It is not my 16 YEAR OLD sisters fault that you let your children, BOTH under 12, have a fucking Facebook. I'm pretty sure there is an age limit on that shit, anyway. If there isn't, there definitely SHOULD be. For real. Children have enough social interaction on the playground. At school. Children spend the vast majority of the YEAR in a building FULL of other children. Why the fuck do they need to come home and get on the internet and talk to those same children.

Like I said before, the Internet is not a kid-friendly zone. It's full of creepers and pedos and other kinds of strange people that kids shouldn't be exposed to. Don't bother arguing this fact, because you know it's true. Just because you don't WANT it to be true doesn't mean that it isn't. Get out of your little bubble, America. The world is NOT rainbows and sunshine. 

The Internet is huge.
The Internet is Anonymous.
The Internet doesn't give a fuck if your feelings get hurt over the content of it's several trillion pages. 

There are tons of people who will actually rejoice at the chance to corrupt and ruin your innocent child. Places like 4chan. IT'S WHAT THEY DO. You can't stop them. Don't even try.

And don't be stupid and think that you can stop your kids from going to those sites without access to a military-grade firewall.

'Oh, but I talk to my kids about Internet safety and I know they would never go to those sites because we talked about how dangerous they are...'

YOU'RE A FUCKING IDIOT.

Because you talked to your kids about those sites, they are going to be more eager than ever to go to them. They wanna see what it's like on the other side of the fence. And don't think that because you're an adult, you know more about the internet. Your child will always know at least 10 to 15 MORE ways to do something on the internet than you will. Face it. The web is ever-changing and evolving, and you are not going with it. Don't believe me?

Invite a child over that is 2 years younger than your own child and put that kid on the internet. I guarantee that  that neighbor kid is going to show your kid at least 3 to 5 new ways to do something that your own kid never knew. That's just the way it goes.

And by the way, your child now has at least 13 ways to go watch porn on the Internet that you will never know about.

'How can I avoid this horrible fate?'

You can't. Get over it. 

Even if you have a child that is willing to listen to you and not go to those sites, that kid still has to go to school with other kids. And at some point in the computer lab, the kid at the next computer over is going to say 'Hey, wanna see something cool?'

Sure, your kid might say 'No, my mommy says I'm not allowed to look at anything cool online.', Your kid might put up a beautiful resistance to peer pressure for several days, maybe even a few weeks. But eventually, he or she is going to get sick of the teasing that ensues from this 'mama's boy/girl' attitude and your child is going to approach that kid and say 'Hey, show me that cool thing'.

Why?

Because your child wants to be accepted by his or her peers. It's human nature to crave the approval of others, despite what some emo kids would have you think. EVERYONE wants approval. You want it from your boss, your friends, your significant other. Why should kids be any different? Kids want it even more than you. They are trying to figure out where they belong in life. 

So that kid shows your kid a video of two people fucking. Or of some girl throwing puppies in a river. Or Zippo Cat. Or any of the other millions of terrible things on the WORLD WIDE WEB. And at first, your kid may shy away from these things. But these things can't be unseen. Pretty soon, that 'cool kid' at school is conditioning your child to like these horrible things, and your kid is then showing and conditioning other children.

And whether you like it or not, you can't protect your kid all the time. Sure, there may be firewalls at the school, and you might supervise your kids at home.

But I see gaggles of 8 to 10 year old girls at the mall, giggling and crowding around a Blackberry now. Most cell phones now can't even be used unless they have a data package with them, where Internet comes standard. You can't escape it, and neither can your precious little angel of innocence and sunshine.

So how do we fix this issue?

Remember, back in the 90s, when kids went OUTSIDE and PLAYED? Remember shit like that? Remember when small children didn't get cell phones and laptops? 

I didn't get my first cell phone until I was 14, and I only got one because I had a very full schedule of activities, and my mom needed to get a hold of me. And it was a tiny little Nokia POS that had a number pad, an call button and a hang-up button. I didn't even get text messaging until I was 16, and I was only given 200 a month.

I didn't get my first computer until I was 16. And I STILL have that computer. 

When I was a little girl, my mom made me go OUTSIDE to play. We had a computer that ran Windows 98, and I was allowed to use it for an hour a day so that I could play Neopets. Otherwise, I had to go outside and play with my friends at the park. And we played in the sand box, rolled around in the grass.

We came home filthy, but we didn't know anything about porn. We didn't know that terrible things happened in the world. We didn't wear make-up. Our biggest concern was if we would be able to get our Pokemon cards to fit in our backpack the next day so that we could have some epic trading time at recess.

SEND YOUR FUCKING CHILDREN OUTSIDE, AMERICA. TAKE AWAY THE XBOX 360 AND THE PS3 AND THE WII AND THE INTERNET AND MAKE YOUR KIDS PLAY SOME FUCKING TAG.

AND THEN SEND THEM TO THE HOSPITAL BECAUSE YOUR CHILDREN ARE FAT AND HAVE NEVER HAD TO PLAY OUTSIDE BEFORE AND THEY JUST HAD AN ASTHMA ATTACK BECAUSE YOU ARE A HORRIBLE FUCKING PARENT.

Daily Rant 001 finished.

Don't Say Things
fawksiepuppet
 Title: Don't Say Things
Pairing: JongKey
Rating: PG for mild language
Warnings: Extremely rough drabble, break-up fic, general emo-ness

Just a word before I get started: This is NOT my usual writing style. This is very rough, unedited and has a very raw feel to it. I honestly just wanted to vent, and JongKey seemed like the right pair to use in order to do so. I promise I'll give you something better soon.


-----

Don't Say Things

It had all started out so innocently...

It didn't have to come to this...

But the door closed with a snap that struck an odd chord somewhere inside...

He was gone.

...and this time, he wouldn't come back.

Despite what the public might think, Jonghyun was really the clingy one. Sure, Key was the one that was always touching him and fixing his hair...

But the fans didn't see the subtle things that the tenor did in return. The faintest brush of fingertips over palm... those same fingers tangling in the fabric of Key's shirt while they were under pressure from SM.

No matter what the public saw, Jonghyun was always the one looking to Key to make things right. There were some things that Key relied on him for, but all the important issues fell on the diva's slender shoulders.

There were things they spoke about in the dark when everyone else had schedules. Things they wanted from one another. Things they wanted in the future. Key wanted school. He wanted to educate himself in the Culinary Arts in America.

Jonghyun wanted other things. He wanted a solo career. He wanted the spotlight. Fame. He wanted to continue shining as long as he could, making his own wages. Money he didn't have to share with anyone else. Money he didn't have to beg to spend, despite having earned it. He wanted to set his own schedule, be his own manager.

But there were things they could agree on.

They wanted a home. A family, perhaps. A space for Roo to play.

Holding onto one another, seeking comfort, the two men clung to the support they could offer one another. Life under the reign of SM was hard... unfair, even. But it wouldn't last forever. They would be free one day. Free to do as they pleased...

“Jonghyun.”

Sounded like trouble.

The tenor turned from his puppy to look up at his lover and best friend. Key's arms were folded over his chest, a wooden spoon in his fingers as his eyebrows threatened to disappear into his hairline. Curious as to what was wrong, Jonghyun cocked his head.

Puppy!Jong always got him out of trouble.

“You forgot the dishes. Again. It was your night two nights ago. Now I don't have the dishes I need to make dinner.”

Oh.

“Sorry about that. I'll get right on it,” the vocalist murmured, standing and leaving Roo to play alone while he worked on his neglected chore. Key sighed and returned to making dinner, clearly in a huff. But Jonghyun was patient. He'd give his lover a bit of space and he'd be back to normal by the end of the evening.

But as bedtime came around, and the male loitered outside the bathroom for his counterpart, Key simply brushed by him with a waspish 'good night' and vanished into the room he shared with Onew and Taemin. Hurt, but less than surprised, Jong finished his nightly routine and retired. Surely Key would be better tomorrow.

He'd mentioned not feeling well, and the boy didn't want to push. He knew how it felt to be sick as an idol. It was hard. On top of illness, the stress of being unable to hold up your own part was overwhelming. Hard to be part of a group when you can't pull you weight.

The next morning, Key was still off. He greeted Jong with a kiss on the cheek, and he seemed happy enough, but Jong could tell something was still wrong. Soundlessly, with a reassuring smile on his face, the shorter male pulled the other into an embrace. It was returned, though not as fully as it could have been.

And so it continued for near a week.

Jonghyun found himself alone in the dorm. It wasn't really that unusual. He wasn't allowed to be scheduled alone for some reason, and everyone else was out doing things on their own. So he'd stayed home to keep Roo company and get some general R&R. Besides, Key would be home first and he wanted to spend some time making his love feel better.

The sound of the doorhandle caught his attention and Key wandered in, a shopping bag looped over his wrist. He moved into the kitchen and reappeared bagless. Whatever it was, it had remained in the cooking area.

“I missed you today,” Jonghyun smiled and leaned over to kiss the other boy. No one was around to see, so it wasn't a big deal. Key returned the kiss lightly and leaned back against the couch. Jonghyun moved from the floor to sit beside the rapper. He seemed stiff and awkward... this was not normal.

“What's wrong?”

“I've just been thinking is all...”

“'Bout what?” A charming, raptor grin was given. Key didn't return the look.

“I just think... I think... It's too much, Jonghyun. You're too clingy,” the idol finally mutter.

Jonghyun was shocked. This was random and sudden. They'd been fine at the beginning of the week. All smiles and cuddles and whispers in the dark. Promises of a life together when SHINee was done.

Promises of a home. Nights spents panting and moaning together. Hours wrapped up in the safe warmth of an embrace. After caring for Yoogeun, adopting a child was an option as well. And Key had never complained before about being the 'umma'. He seemed to take to the task naturally, and being naturally needy, Jonghyun was more than willing to let Key take on the role.

“You never seemed to have a problem with it before... I don't understand.”

Key sighed heavily. It was a resigned sound. Jonghyun didn't like it; it scared him.

“I didn't for a while... but I can't do it anymore. I can't take care of SHINee and take care of us, too. And I still have so much I want to do with my life. I can't handle the thought of settling down so soon after our contract ends. I want a chance to live after SM lets us go. We've never really had that.”

He seemed to be steeling himself to deliver a blow... The tenor wasn't sure he'd be able to process it. His brain was beginning to clam up... numb over. It was hard to take in this surprise attack.

“I'm sorry I said those things to you, Jonghyun, I really am... I just got... caught up in it all. And it sounded so nice at the time. A chance to do things we can't do together here... But I realized that if I settle down, I'll never really have lived.”

The singer's teeth chewed his lower lip. He could taste the copper of his lip splitting slightly under his worrying. He could also taste the pressure on his sinuses... tears, possibly. Or a nosebleed.

...tears, he realized, when Key couldn't meet his face. But only a few.

“You don't want to settle.”

So what the rapper was actually saying was that... Jonghyun wasn't good enough for a lifetime. He was only good enough for lonely nights spent under the thumb of a domineering company. He was to be fucked, but not loved.

“Why would you tell me those things if you didn't mean them?”

As much of an ass as he acted, Jonghyun was, in all honesty, someone who wore his heart on his sleeve. He fell fast and hard and Key knew that. They'd talked about it before.

Over and over, the diva had reassured him that he wouldn't take advantage. It was a constant stream of 'I'd never hurt you like that' and 'I mean every word I say, love'.

“You lied.”

Jong stood and looked down at Key. He could feel the fissure between them. Key looked like he felt guilty.

“I know it hurts, Jonghyun, but--”

“Do NOT tell me about how much it hurts, Kibum. Do not. I fucking love you, and you lied to me about everything. I spent my night pouring myself out to you... Investing myself in your love. I wasted myself in an illusion.”

Key looked like he'd been slapped in the face. Then his eyes narrowed and he was on his feet.

“It isn't my fault you're so childish, Jonghyun. You're older than me, but you're always crying like a baby when no one is looking. Big, macho Jonghyun when the world is watching, but such a wimp behind that door. You're weak.”

The elder's features became more raptor-like than ever. His lips pulled back as he spat his words at Key.

“At least I don't lie to people about how I feel. At least I don't lead them on, drag them through the mud. I don't set people up and then pull the rug from beneath their feet. And don't forget, you said 'love' first. Don't tell me it was all my fault because you told me you loved me long before I said it back. I took my time. I made sure. You set me up to fall from your lie.”

Key's arms folded over his chest. He drew himself up, looking down his nose at his had-been lover. The effect this had was instant.

The sound of knuckles against well-sculpted cheekbone was audible in the stillness of the dorm. Key's face was to the wall, pushed that direction by the force of the punch. His eyes were wide and an angry bruise was already forming on his cheek... as well as all around his eye. He'd have the shiner for a while.

As soon as he gathered himself enough to look back at his attacker, all he found was empty space. The sound of fumbling and muttered curses reached his ears from the room that Jong and Minho shared. Too angry to storm in on the older boy, Kibum settled himself on a stool, waiting for the other to return to the room.

He would not get away with marking up this perfect face.

“Roo!”

The dachshund, which up until now had been cowering under the television stand, scampered into the room at the sound of his master's voice. The door to the room closed once more as soon as the pup was inside.

Five minutes later, Jonghyun reappeared. The insults and shouts on Key's lips died there.

With the dog's traveling bag tucked under his arm and a large duffel over his shoulder, Jonghyun didn't look once at Key as he strode from his bedroom to the door of the dormitory that SHINee shared. Key's hand lifted in slow motion, his lips parted with a silent plea to wait as he watched his lover rip open the door and vanish into the hallway.

When Onew came home three hours later, Kibum hadn't moved at all. The only sign to show he hadn't simply frozen and become stone were the tear-tracks on his cheeks.

He hadn't meant those things... The stress of promotions had gotten to him. True, he'd wanted to talk to Jonghyun about his clingy habits, and even suggest they take a break... But there was just something so... final about the way the door had slowly swung closed and clicked behind the lead singer.

Unable to register the fact that the leader was now speaking to him, the male turned and walked to look into the room where Jonghyun usually slept.

It was unnaturally clean. Even Key's most intense nagging had never gotten the room this spotless. The bed was even made...

Key broke down into tears and went to bed. Jonghyun wasn't coming back. Fragile and needy, the boy had confided in his best friend... And Key had been too much of a diva to see the damage he was causing.
...

'So what if I have doubts?' he'd told himself. 'There isn't anything wrong with this. It feels right. I'm sure I'll be sure soon, so there's no harm in telling him I love him.'

And then 'So he's kinda clingy... I'll get over it. I mean, yeah, it kinda bugs me, but I'm sure I'll get used to it.'

Then it moved on. 'Well... I don't really want to settle down so soon after SHINee, but I'm sure he'll change his mind before we get to that point. No harm in humoring him.'

It was several hours later when Key heard the door to the bedroom open and close. Taemin had wandered in, looking at him curiously. Without a word, the maknae climbed into bed next to his 'umma-away-from-home'. The boy cuddled against the rapper, his eyes silently allowing his friend to vent.

“Taeminnie... I want you to promise me something, ok?”

Confused, the younger boy nodded slowly.

“Don't say things you don't mean, ok?”

Again, Taemin looked at Key, clearly confused. After a few moments, he spoke.

“Why are you so upset, hyung? You and Jonghyun-hyung have fights all the time. He's probably just down in SuJu's dorm for the night. He'll be back tomorrow,” the boy said, unable to keep the bright tone from his voice. All he wanted was for Key to stop crying and come back out to watch TV with them.

Key, however, shook his head.
“He won't come back this time, 'minnie. I didn't say things that should have been said. Instead, I said things I didn't mean, and now we'll all have to pay the price. I'm sorry, cutie. You'll hate me in a few days.”

In the end, Taemin returned to the living room alone.
...

Three days later, their manager brought the news.

Contract terminated. SHINee had become four. The shine of their SHINee was gone. His cologne lingered on his pillow, but it didn't fill the hole. There was no Roo to run around their feet. There was no grumble of displeasure at the early hour. No tenor-pushing-sharp in the shower.

All that was left was a hollow-eyed Kibum, clutching a scrap of paper discovered the morning after the fight. The paper went where ever Key went. And even when Minho threw it away twice, it still seemed to end up in the boy's pocket.

Once, Taemin managed to catch a glimpse at the short note.

'I hope you haven't lied to anyone else, Kibum.'

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