We went up onto the roof where we could be alone. The sun was slowly setting, and the air was slowly getting chilly.
“Are you cold?” he asked me as he shrugged off his jacket.
“I’m fine,” I said, but he put his jacket on me all the same.
“How are you coping?” he asked me.
“I’m fine. I can keep up.”
“This is one of the toughest projects yet,” he said. “Singing in English and all,” he laughed softly.
“We can do it,” I smiled as I handed him a cup of warm honey.
“Yea… if there is anyone who can, it’s us,” he said, perfectly mimicking our managers’ words of encouragement.
“Tough job being the leader, isn’t it?” I said.
“You know it,” he smiled as he sipped the drink. “I’ve been doing it for 5 years, you’ve been doing it for 3 years. How does it feel for you?”
“I never felt like the leader. They just say I’m the leader, but no one really leads S-Cube. Maybe Shoei and I keep Skye in check, but other than that, we’re good.”
“I guess your personalities are different than of TVXQ. I have 4 other guys to take care of, and each of them has his very own issues.”
“Can’t be that bad,” I said.
“No. It’s not. It’s me who had issues. I took the role too seriously in the beginning. Good thing I didn’t chase anyone away,” he laughed.
“I heard… you always wanted them in the palm of your hand, didn’t you?” I teased.
“I did… during the first year at least. By the 2nd album, I learnt to respect them more, and to give them more freedom as members.”
“I guess I do act like an overbearing leader sometimes; when I insist something is done my way. But that’s more to do with our life at home. I hardly ever call the shots when it comes to work. We have Lex oppa and Shi Kyung hyung to do that.”
“Hmm… well… the situations are changing. We’re getting more freedom to make decisions now.”
“It’ll probably take the same time for us. This 3rd album is the first time I’ve ever contributed to the song writing process.”
“Give it time,” he said. “You’ll be writing whole albums eventually.”
“Maybe by then, you’d have become a soloist.”
“I like staying as S-Cube. I think we’re good as a team.”
“You’re as good on your own too, Sierra. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be doing this project together.”
“I know… I just prefer to be part of the group. It’s less stressful.”
“Hiding behind Skye and Shoei?”
“I wouldn’t say hiding. Depending on them is more like it. You can’t deny they’re more popular than I am.”
“I’ll admit that male performers have always had better careers. But some female ones have had pretty good careers too.”
“I’ll never be BoA or Ri In,” I said.
“No,” he smiled, “because you’re Sierra.”
We’ve finally finished recording both songs and we’re now in the dance studios working on the routine for ‘Ice Box’. Yun Ho had already choreographed most of it before we went into the studios. We’re mostly rehearsing now and amending the parts that aren’t working when we dance as a pair.
It starts with us walking into view; first Yun Ho, then me. Then there will be sort of an exchange, but through dancing. Yun Ho reaches out to touch my face and I turn away to avoid him, then when I try to leave, he grabs my hand and pulls me back, and we’d start dancing. The dance was mainly us mirroring each other’s moves, or dancing together as a pair, sort of like ballroom dancing.
“Ready?” he asked me as we were about to repeat part of the routine again.
“Yea,” I nodded and he signaled for the choreographer to turn on the music.
We were practically plastered onto each other. I’m supposed to slowly slide down his body and as soon as my whole body is about to hit the floor, he’ll pull me up and swing me outward, then pull me back in so that we embraced.
The 2nd verse started, and I slowly moved downwards, counting the beats so that I would hit the floor on time. As we’d timed it perfectly, he dragged me back up and pushed me away from him, and pulled me back into his embrace, then we moved away and mirrored each other’s moves until the bridge.
The choreographer stopped the music, since we hadn’t really gotten to that part yet. We were working on the entire routine bit by bit; moving on only when I was familiar with the current steps. I turned to pick up my towel, and I saw Jae Joong standing at the doorway of the studio. I smiled and waved, and he waved back as I walked towards him.
“What are you doing here?” I asked him as I went forward to hug him.
“You’re sweaty,” he said.
“Of course I am. I’ve been dancing since this morning.”
“Just dropped by to see how you guys are progressing,” he said.
He was wearing the usual ensemble of t-shirt and jeans, and he had a cap pulled over his head.
“Jae Joong… waseo?” Yun Ho said as he approached us.
“I saw part of the routine,” Jae Joong said. “Great choreography.”
“Well, it would still take 2 to tango,” Yun Ho smiled.
“I see the fire when you guys dance,” Jae Joong laughed. “Don’t think you can ever get that kinda fire out of me.”
“Not even with me around?” I said sadly.
“That would be a different kind of fire,” Yun Ho laughed. “Right Jae Joong?”
“Right,” Jae Joong laughed as he nodded.
“So you guys are teaming up against me, are you?” I said as I planted my hands on my hips. “You watch your back, Kim Jae Joong. And you too, Jung Yun Ho,” I threatened.
“You’re all talk,” Yun Ho said as he tugged my hair lightly.
“Yah…” I exclaimed and swatted his hand away.
“Let’s crush her, Jae Joong,” Yun Ho said as he and Jae Joong looked at each other conspiringly.
“Ya… you’re not gonna crush me…” I said as I started backing away slowly.
“Get her,” Jae Joong yelled and I broke into a full run across the room as the both of them chased after me.
“Andoe…” I shouted as the two of them closed in on me.
Yun Ho reached out first and caught me by my arm. As I was pull to a stop, Jae Joong grabbed my other arm and they both hugged… with me in the middle, crushing me in between.
“Shiro…” I attempted to whine as the 3 of us laughed.
“Still wanna threaten us?” Yun Ho said.
“No… let me go,” I pleaded laughingly.
“She doesn’t seem remorseful,” Jae Joong remarked. “We shouldn’t stop the punishment just yet.”
“Let me go…” I whined as I struggled between the two of them.
“Should we?” Jae Joong asked Yun Ho.
“Come on, Jae Joong,” I said sweetly, trying to work my usual charms on him since I was facing him. “Please…”
“Okay… enough,” Jae Joong said and he let go.
“Traitor,” Yun Ho muttered, as he let go too.
“Hey… I’m gonna get it tonight if I continue teaming up with you,” he laughed.
“Traitor,” Yun Ho repeated and punched Jae Joong on the arm and that started a playful fight between the two.
I smiled as I watched on. Their friendship never ceased to amaze me. They shared a bond that I would never experience or understand.
After Jae Joong left, Yun Ho and I went back to rehearsing. Surprisingly, we were progressing rather quickly; faster than I’d expected us to. It could be because it’s easier to learn off someone and focus when there are only the 2 of us. The choreographer was there to give us extra input and to help us watch for when we were inconsistent or out of sync. Once in awhile, the producers would drop by to check on our progress. We continued to rehearse until the weekend. This weekend, we will be shooting the MV.
The first scene of the MV was set in a basement parking lot where they sealed off the entrance and exits for a few hours so that we could film. I emerged from the trailer wearing a pair of dark jeans, high-heeled boots, and a spaghetti strapped top with a round-necked leather jacket over it. They’d put in hair extensions and slicked my hair back into a tight long ponytail for my role as Jin Yi.
The storyline for this MV was that I would play 2 characters; Sierra and Jin Yi. Jin Yi would be Yun Ho’s ex-girlfriend who betrayed him, and Sierra would be the girl he meets about a year after he kills Jin Yi during a confrontation.
We meet up at the junction of the parking lot where we greeted the director, then hung out nearby while we chatted. The scene would start with Yun Ho and some officers chasing after members of the gang I am supposedly associated with. Yun Ho plays a detective in this MV. He looked especially hot today, also in jeans, a straight collared leather jacket, and a leather baseball cap.
“Check out my gun,” he said as he twirled the prop gun on his index finger.
“I’ve got one too,” I said as I took mine out.
“Bang!” he said as he pretended to aim and shoot at something behind me. “This is gonna be fun,” he said. “I’ve never played a detective before.”
“And I’ve never played the role of a femme fatale,” I said.
“Places everyone,” the coordinator yelled, and we walked to our starting positions.
After a quick makeup touch-up and costume check, we were ready to begin filming.
“Action!” the director yelled.
Members of the gang run past and Yun Ho and his officers start chasing them. Gun shots are fired, and there’s a lot of yelling. Just then, I walk into the scene, and he spots me. He stops and lets his men continue the chase while he walks towards me.
Yun Ho: Jin Yi?
Jin Yi: Hello Yun Ho…
Yun Ho: So it was you all along…
Jin Yi: Who else did you think it was?
Yun Ho: I didn’t believe it when they told me it was you. I had been hoping it wasn’t you.
Jin Yi: Well… doesn’t it make sense? Who else would know better?
Yun Ho: I trusted you…
Jin Yi: Are you sure, Yun Ho? I never thought you trusted anyone.
Yun Ho: I opened up to you.
Jin Yi: Your mistake…
I pull out my gun, cock it, and point it at Yun Ho.
Yun Ho: You really want to do this?
Jin Yi: Get your gun out, Yun Ho. I don’t want to be accused of killing an unarmed man.
Yun Ho took out his gun, cocks it and points it at me. We both stand face to face now, with guns pointing at each other, ready to pull the trigger.
Yun Ho: You’re really gonna kill me, aren’t you?
Jin Yi: That was my assignment, and I will finish it tonight.
Yun Ho: After all these months, you don’t feel anything for me? We can turn back. You don’t have to do this. No one has to get hurt.
Jin Yi: Cut the crap, Yun Ho. It’s either you or me. Let’s end this.
Yun Ho sighs in frustration.
Jin Yi: Hana!
Yun Ho: Dul…
Jin Yi: Set
Both of us pull our triggers and gun shots ring out, echoing through the parking lot.
The bag of fake blood under my shirt is triggered to burst, and as soon as it did, I fall back, as the blood sort of splattered around.
“Cut!” the director yelled after I fell on the mattresses they’d positioned behind me.
We film the scene where I fall again, but this time I fall at a shorter distance and I have to hit the floor for real. After that, they filmed Yun Ho. He was supposed to sort of watch me fall, in slow motion. They made him stand there, motionless, while they filmed his expression. After this was done, we continued with the scene.
I lie on the ground where I had fallen, and Yun Ho is where he stood when he shot me.
“Action!” the director yelled.
Yun Ho: Jin Yi!
Yun Ho runs forward, drops his gun and picks me up in his arms.
Jin Yi: Good shot…
Yun Ho: Jin Yi… why did it have to be you?
Jin Yi: It’s just fate.
I cough and blood starts dripping from my lips, courtesy of the fake blood capsule I’d been keeping in my mouth. I had to bite it to break it. Raspberry juice… yum…
Jin Yi: I happened to be assigned to get rid of you. End of story…
Yun Ho: Did you ever love me? For all these months… tell me that you did love me.
Jin Yi: I wish I did…
And the scene fades.