mostly amber (+jonghyun, victoria, key)
this is a job. you're paid to confuse.
You're not confused. You're paid to confuse people. There's a difference.
People are not allowed to know this. You write it across your heart, tuck it inside your baggy t-shirt, where, occasionally, it becomes a little hard to breathe. You are also not allowed to have breasts.
Your friends, the ones who knew you before the fancy hat collection and lab-goggle shades, still point out every Skype session how you look less and less like you and sound more and more like something else.
"...like you have a dick."
"Shut up. It's my job, okay."
"Does your job also involve surgery? Should I donate a gonad?"
"I think you're gonna need those."
You're laughing, but the deep rumble doesn't even sound familiar. You're not--
Well, but. But you are.
You don't know it yet, but when you first see Jonghyun, you're a little terrified.
You think he's really cute. It's disconcerting, because everyone here is cute. But he's--really cute.
You want him to want to hold your hand. But he fiddles with his laptop, occasionally eyes flickering over the other girls with vague interest. They don't rest on you.
You're the blurry image just before the camera comes to a focus. You're the middleman, the afterthought. You don't know it yet, it's just a nagging residual sadness, but years later when you ponder how you got so messed up, you'll recall this moment, and then everything else.
Victoria's like the older sister, but just because she's Chinese doesn't mean you're automatically best friends. There are five years between you. That's half a decade. Enough time to start a war, and end it.
The time you called her beautiful you didn't expect her to look at you in that way. In that quarter of a second, you felt stripped naked, right down to the buttocks, your breasts free from the spandex, your body allowed to inhabit its natural space again.
"Oh, Amber," suddenly she's saying, suddenly big sister mode again; the distance between you rightfully restored. "But so are you."
"C'mon, you have to say that."
Kibum kisses you, and now you are confused.
"You know, I get these emails from fans abroad and the word that sticks out to me is 'gay,'" he whispers.
"This isn't the right way to prove them wrong," you manage to joke. "I get those emails too."
"I know, Amber. That's kind of why--"
"Why what?" And suddenly you're a little mad. "We're not the same, if that's what you're trying to say."
For a second he looks shocked, eyes dark and round. You think he's about to apologize, but he says, "Is it so wrong? I just--I like you. Is that so messed up? A boy liking a girl."
It takes you a while to realize you're not breathing. You're staring at him, and he's staring back at you. You kind of want another shot at that kiss.