avirjin: (Default)
Avirjin ([personal profile] avirjin) wrote2016-07-01 02:23 pm

Fic: Compass

Title: Compass
Fandom: Exo
Focus: Suho-centric
Genre: Gen
Rating: G
Length: Drabble, 200 words
Summary: Everyone's heart comes with a compass, pointing to their heart's true desire.

It's been a long time since the compass in Junmyeon's hand has held so steady. Far too long, he thinks, feeling more than ever the lingering ache in his left knee. He'd gotten used to the sight of its needle wavering between the SM building in Apgujeong and his university in Seokgwan, had forgotten what it felt like to know which path his heart had truly wanted as both the silence from upper management and his experiences in his university's acting department piled up.

Now, it points to the stack of unsigned papers in front of him, and the offer that had come along with them.

It's not the first time SM's promised him something over the past five years. But it is the first time they've promised a debut, as real as the contract clutched between his fingers, so close he can already see himself on stage, microphone in hand rather than the compass he's spent the past few years checking uncertainly. He feels fifteen again, when everything he'd ever wanted had seemed within arm's reach.

"Follow your heart," everyone says, and for once Junmyeon does find it that easy, thanks to the compass his heart's come along with.

Original Post: Here.
Lucky One - No matter, this silver compass / Will point to you
Author's Note: Written for Round 1 of EM's EX'ACT Drabble Competition, based off of the lyrics of "Lucky One". It's really based off two short lines bringing up a compass, but as I was discussing connotations with a friend, I remembered the compass from "Pirates of the Caribbean" and how it points to what your heart wants at that moment and it was hard to throw the image away after that. Obviously this is set pre-debut, when Suho was offered his position in Exo.

I drew a lot from
one of his Glory Day interviews, about how he actually mentally wavered when it came to deciding whether to continue as an idol trainee with SM or to remain at K-ARTS and pursue an education and career in acting, maybe even becoming a professor. K-ARTS has a strict policy about their students not engaging with the current K-entertainment industry while enrolled -- that's the reason other idols like Kim Himchan and Lee Joon also were forced to leave K-ARTS after their debuts, why Kim Go-eun had to take a hiatus after filming her breakout movie -- so Suho literally had to choose between SM and K-ARTS despite the fact that his enrollment into K-ARTS was what brought him out of his slump/depression after his leg injury, and was a source of great, personal pride for him. In the end, Suho chose Exo and for that I'm so happy, but he did say that he debated over it for a very long time, which I think is natural after suffering years of uncertainty at SM while accumulating a lot of more positive experiences at K-ARTS. I think what ultimately would've drawn him back was the actual promise of a debut, of what he wanted for so long.

It's funny, but I had actually meant for this drabble to go in a completely different direction. The original plan was for Suho's heart compass to always be pointing towards SM because he was so certain that he wanted to become and idol, and so far no conflict had been brought it between that and his K-ARTS attendance. But once he got the offer to join Exo, his heart was going to waver because he was finally going to have to choose between two things he felt really passionate about. The first draft of this was:

It's been a long time since Junmyeon's compass has spun quite so wildly. Not nearly long enough though, he thinks, feeling more than ever the ache in his left knee. He had gotten used to the sight of the arrow of his compass pointing straight ahead regardless of which direction he turned, towards a future he always dreamed about whether awake or asleep. Gotten spoiled, the way his fellow trainees and classmates had always teased him about. Not everyone is lucky enough to know what they want.

Apparently that holds true for Junmyeon as well.

It's not the first time SM's promised him something, though to be fair they've kept most of their promises to him over the past five years. But the promise of a debut -- so real, so close he can already see himself on stage -- makes him feel fifteen again, when everything he ever wanted had seemed to be within arm's reach. But university has given him promises too, promises a stage as well.

He's given his own promises to both. He doesn't know which one he's willing to break, and neither does his compass, it seems.

I actually liked it a lot, but I felt like it wasn't working and I couldn't end it the way I wanted to. So I took a chance and tried writing it from the opposite angle, and found that I was much happier with that. There are some lines in this version that I miss, but ultimately I'm happy. I wish I could say the same about the title lol