Although Cindy wanted to hide her face, at the same time she just wanted to take in and fully appreciate Yugyeom's and Seventeen's visuals. Indeed, she was a true kpop fan at heart.
'Mingyu, DK, The8? Huh, this really is a '97 liners gathering! But then Jungkook and BamBam are missing from this scene…. Hmm, I wonder what they're scheming up, haha.'
To be fair, it was probably Cindy's imagination running wild on this one. All six of them had collaborated with other female '97 liners for a performance at the 2016 KBS Song Festival. Many of them were already friends before then, but the performance had brought them closer together.
'I wonder…. if this how Iris feels when she performs with trainees on Produce 48?' A wistfulness arose in Cindy, tugging longingly and forlornly at her heart.
'Will I also feel that same camaraderie if I ever perform with Jiyeon and Ahreum? We're already friends, but at the same time, we're still competing against one another technically. It really is like Produce 48 on a much smaller level. We become friends while knowing it's a competition. But we may also be future debuted group mates.'
Her somewhat melancholic pensiveness must've shown on her face because Yugyeom mirrored a similar expression of wonderment to what she was feeling while staring at him. Seeing her this close, this girl was truly beautiful.
He never thought he'd ever see a living person capable of fulfilling the Korean beauty standard, but this girl practically screamed the epitome of that ruthless standard while retaining her personal attractiveness and character.
And seeing her choke on the ice was rather funny. Remembering the scene, the corners of his mouth quirked up in a smirk, but he quickly coughed to distract and rid of the expression.
"I'm glad you're okay. Be careful then." He bobbed his head slightly and withdrew from Cindy with a small smile. That faint smile, however, wasn't for the faint of heart. Thankfully Cindy had a rock-solid defense for such a scenario. Perhaps after seeing so many handsome kpop idols, even if on screen, it had nulled her senses somewhat to control the urge to gawk. In person was definitely an experience beyond the screen.
Returning to their table in awkward silence, the three girls didn't know quite what to do with the idols still in the cafe. So they sipped carefully and quietly on their drinks while conversing with their eyes and expressions.
Just Yugyeom and the Seventeen members were about to leave, another lanky and dashing person burst though the cafe doors. It was BamBam. Since Cindy had prepared herself in case another GOT7 member joined the idol group, notably BamBam of the '97 line, she was able to suppress spitting out her drink in astonishment.
But her friends weren't as quick not the uptake for both sputtered on their straws. BamBam currently sported flaxen, platinum hair from their recent song 'Lullaby' released in September of that year, 2018. And as always, his personal style was on spot with the times and eye-catching.
He cast a quick glance at the three girls nearby the door who had turned around at his energetic yet stylish entrance. His eyes rested a little longer on Cindy before flickering back to his buddies. After some light, quick chatting, the entire group left the cafe together. It looked like Seventeen had ordered their drinks for everyone.
Curiously welled up in Cindy's center, but she suppressed it. 'Hell no are you becoming a stalker girl!' She disciplined herself. But Ahreum brought this up anyway, and for a short bit they conversed in hushed, excited tones about the idols.
They had picked this cafe on a whim after Jiyeon decided to take Ahreum and Cindy on a little tour of the neighborhood and food stands. Ahreum was actually from Daegu, the same place as Suga of BTS.
Surprisingly enough, Suga was her bias from BTS because he made Daegu more known as well as proud. His solo name of AGUSTD referenced the D to Daegu, so Ahreum appreciated him remembering his hometown. She too wished to make her family and community proud like Suga had.
Upon leaving the cafe, the trio continued to stroll around town while chatting the day away until having to return to the Big Hit building for curfew. When they finally all went to the dorms to sleep, Cindy reflected back on the day.
A lot had happened today was well as in the recent week. Not only was there enough drama and surprise, but she felt she had made a lot of progress too. 'One day, I'll catch up to your cuz. And we can stand side by side as equals.'
She closed her eyes with a small smile and dozed off contentedly. Cindy had found her true calling, and she was going to do everything in her abilities to make sure that her slowly blossoming dream would become reality.
Several months later.
March 12, 2019.
"Congratulations TXT on your first win with 'CROWN'! I love your song and album, and I'm so proud of my talented, hardworking, and bright hoobaes! This 'CROWN' truly belongs to you—you all worked hard! Little horns, reindeer, hearts, sparkle—"
"Uh, Yeonjun-hyung, you don't need to read out the emojis too!" laughed Beomgyu as he patted his friend and group mate's back. Soobin snorted a breathy little chuckle at the energetic eldest member of their recently debuted group, TXT.
Finally, they could call themselves Together X Tomorrow for real. They were now true idols whose dreams of debuting had come to fruition that fateful fourth day of March. Currently, the group was at the company to celebrate their first music show win at 'The Show' on SBS.
BTS had also finished their Love Yourself World Tour with their last concert in Bangkok, Thailand on April 7th. So now the Big Hit family could come back together as one. Or rather, all but one.
Iris was missing because of her IZ*ONE group activities. The MNET, Produce 48 girl group had just come back with their latest album and title track, 'Violetta' on April 1st after their successful debut song, 'La Vie en Rose' in late October.
The minority of pessimists who thought that the Produce group would flop were sorrily mistaken. While some criticized the group for not being 'global enough' because of having only three Japanese trainees, the remarks were quelled by the inclusion of Iris who was American.
She was the first ever native-born American to have made the debut lineup on the Produce series. So in a sense, Iris had paved the way for all 'international' trainees in South Korea hoping to become a kpop star.
The public agreed that Big Hit entertainment was the most suitable company for stepping out and making that venture, successful. BTS had sparked a global trend, and Iris was a global trainee in a 'global girl group.' Her fans, BTS fans, and now TXT fans all held their breath in curious suspense on where she would go next.
The country and world's eyes were on Big Hit. Not only were they debated to on equal standing with the Big Three South Korean entertainment companies of SM, JYP, and YG, but many believed that they had surpassed it.
Finally, Big Hit had more than one successful group under their belt. And everyone believed that Iris would make another if the company ever debuted her a girl group of their own.
Big Hit might've had a bad history with their failed girl group, GLAM, but since most trainees from Produce debuted in another group under their respective companies, netizens predicted that Big Hit would be no different. Bang Shihyuk would be stupid if he didn't take advantage of Iris's popularity. He live up to his mastermind image of creating globally successful music groups.
With that said, many whispered that because of that history, Iris would just become a soloist. Perhaps she would become the new 'Chungha' of the Produce series and gain national attention and success as a solo act. Chungha had astounded the country with her steadiness as a soloist and repeatedly making successful comebacks.
Meanwhile, unbeknownst to the public, Big Hit had already internally confirmed the members of their new girl group….
And here's the time skip y'all have probably been waiting for. xD Now it's going to slow down as focus more on the relationships as well as returning back to Iris after that Cindy aside.
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