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Fan Book Story Story: BAE

Shit, I'm late again.

Allen, still sweating, took a deep breath and checked the time on his phone. It was still less than 30 minutes since the class started, so if he entered now, he could still just-barely avoid being counted as absent. Taking care to make as little noise as possible, he carefully opened the door. Casting a glance around the lecture hall, he immediately caught sight of the backsides of two familiar heads.

Of all the places they could possibly be sitting, they were sitting right up near the lectern...

Hajun and Anne were at the front row, taking up three seats between the two of them. They had clearly made this decision as a united front, and it was clearly intended to make his absence conspicuous. And Hajun was even still wearing sunglasses indoors. Being late, Allen felt tremendously awkward going all the way to the front row; but because he had forgotten almost all of his things in his rush to make it here in time, he had no choice but to join them. He hunched over so as not to block anyone's veiw as he crept down the aisle and sat down next to Anne. Professor Saimon did not interrupt his lecture with so much as a glance to Allen, but there was no way he didn't notice how late he was.

Without making a sound, Allen mouthed: I'm sorry! to Anne, and then whispered, "let me see what you've got?" in a low voice. With a look of blatant contempt, they pushed their notes towards him. Once he had a moment to catch his breath, Allen pulled out a spare piece of loose-leaf paper that had been roaming free in his backpack and began to frantically take notes without actually understanding a single word that was being said.


During break, the cafeteria was packed full of students. As students came and went, Allen was used to seeing Anne and Hajun attracting stares.

"Allen, were you up all night working on a song? Haven't you been doing that a bit too much, lately?" Anne said, taking a sip of the smoothie that Allen bought them in exchange for copying their notes.

"Ah... I just got an idea for a really good track and got carried away..." Allen said. "We're in the same class, you guys could at the very least have said something..."

Anne gripped their smoothie tightly and gave Allen a very cross expression. "Even if we had said something, do you really think that you would have woken up?"

"I... guess not." Allen had tried his best to copy the board while cross-referencing Anne's notes to make up for his lateness, but there had been so many complicated terms and theories that left him completely bewildered. "But this stuff is really hard..."

In his frustration, Allen twirled his ballpoint pen around in his hand. He had bought this pen one day when he had forgotten all of his other writing utensils, and he had bought it at random; he had liked it because it was the same color as his hair, and it seemed like an extension of himself in that way. It was the kind of erasable ballpoint pen that had been popular some time ago, with the eraser on the opposite end that rubbed away ink with the heat that the friction created. It was a cheap, ordinary pen, but Allen felt like he always wrote his best lyrics with it.

And so: "Ah, I think I'm getting an idea for some lyrics right n--"

When he reached to take his lyric notebook out of his backpack, Anne gave him a look of intense disappointment that he was talking about hip hop again.

"Just copy what I've got! Do you want to waste your entire break!?" they said.

"Honestly..." Hajun said. "Do you think you're going to be able to pass the exam next week like this? Aren't you afraid you might fail?"

Allen gave Hajun a blank look. "... exam?"

"... Allen," Hajun said, "please do not tell me you didn't know there would be a test."

"... I had no idea," Allen said.

Hajun and Anne exchanged glances and shook their heads.

"Now that you mention it," Hajun said, "I suppose Allen overslept and miss class the day that the exam was announced, didn't he?"

"You guys are jerks..."

Thinking on it-- though he hadn't paid attention to it, Allen did recall then that he had received a reminder email from the university saying something about it. A bad score on a test like that, combined with his awful attendance... well, no matter how mild-mannered Professor Saimon was, that would spell bad news.
What am I supposed to do...

"I would be more than happy to lend you my notebook, if you would like?" Hajun said, the smile audible in his voice.

"Please! Anne! Let me borrow your notebook until tomorrow!" Allen exclaimed, clasping his hands together and begging.

"Oh? Are my notes insufficient?" Hajun said with a look of mild irritation.

"It's just--! Sometimes, you write things in Korean. I know it's not a lot, but I can't read it. That's all!" In reality, he was just afraid of what Hajun might ask him to do if he let himself owe Hajun anything.

"Well," Anne said, "if you insist. But in return, you'll be on floor-cleaning duty for the rest of the month."

"Got it," Allen said.

"And the bathrooms," Anne said.


"And giving me shoulder massages. And carrying all my stuff. And--"

"You've made your point! Got it! Anything you want! Just let me borrow your notes!"

Anne was not quite as merciless as Hajun, but they were still laying it on very thick. They smiled with satisfaction. "Alright! Then you can borrow it. Copy it quickly and then give it back," they said, pushing their notebook across to Allen.

"Thank you so much!" Allen said.

"Hm. Perhaps I'll start taking all of my notes in Japanese. It's really too good an opportunity to have him enslaved every time he's about to have to take a test..." Hajun said to himself, and Allen made a secret vow with himself to only ever borrow Anne's notes as much as possible in the future.


A few days went by, and the day of the test was fast approaching, but there was no sign of Allen returning the notebook. Anne was starting to think it was time for them to start studying, themself; while Hajun was reading a magazine in the living room, they went to ask Hajun.

"Hajun, do you have any idea where Allen is?"

"Not at all. He may have gone to a convenience store, or out to a record store again."

"Ah, that hip hop maniac..." Anne lamented. "Has he forgotten that he has my linguistics notebook? He was supposed to copy it then give it back... I'm going to go look for it."

"Ah, yes, because you handle it with such grace whenever anyone goes into your room without permission..." Hajun said.

Anne chose to ignore his snide remarks and strode right into Allen's room. It wasn't like it was filthy, but it was quite a mess, with piles of records everywhere and his pajamas left strewn on the floor. They turned over the sheets of paper with scrawled-on lyrics scattered all across his desk along with his composition equipment, but their notebook was nowhere to be found. They glanced around, and laid eyes on Allen's usual backpack.

He's the type of person who'd just leave it in his backpack, right? they thought, and then then, aha. Called it.

They plucked their notebook out of Allen's backpack and returned to the living room with a spring in their step. They checked their watch. In thirty minutes, they would have to leave for their part-time club at the cabaret club, CANDY.

"Aaah, I'm so hungry. Hajun, is there anything to eat? Something that's not super fattening."

"I have some samgyetang prepared. Shall I heat up a portion for one?" Hajun said.

"Hooray! That's our Hajun!"

Hajun made a habit of preparing healthy meals, since he was very cognizant of keeping an eye on his figure; Anne was grateful for his cooking, but Allen was often indifferent. He would dismiss him with things like I don't feel like eating, and Hajun would get frustrated with him.

While they waited, Anne -- looking quite pleased with themself -- flipped through a magazine that had been left on the table. When they happened upon a picture from one of Hajun's modelling jobs in the magazine, they said aloud, "Ooh, that's a pretty face!" When they looked up, they continued. "Nothing like that mean scowl you're always wearing."

"Anne," Hajun said coolly. "The pot is warming up, so can I trust you to handle the rest yourself?"

"Sure thing~" Anne said, totally unfazed, and closed the magazine. They hummed to themself as they headed towards the kitchen.

"Be mindful, it's very hot. I've left oven mitts on the counter. Please use them."

As told, they slipped the oven mitts over both hands, turned off the oven, and extracted the earthenware pot for one.

"Hot, hot, hot! Hajun-- where's the pot holders? The pot hol-- oh, that'll work!"

Even through the mitts, the heated pot was very hot to the touch, and Anne was wandering around the kitchen trying to find a place to put it down safely. Though they were about to put it down on the magazine that Hajun had been reading, they thought better of it, fearing that he would get mad. Instead, they placed the pot on the notebook they had procured from Allen's room.

Immediately, they cast away the oven mitts and waved their hands in the air to try and cool them down.

Upon seeing Anne eating samgyetang directly out of the pot and using a notebook to protect the table from the heat, Hajun muttered, "How tacky..."

Completely unperturbed by Hajun's staring, Anne finished their meal. "Aah! That was really good! It really got me sweating. Thanks for the food!" they said. Satisfied, they put the pot away, and began to casually flip through the notebook upon which they had set the serving dish.

"... huh?" Feeling their blood run cold, they closed the notebook and looked at the cover, then began to roughly turn pages starting from the beginning. "... this notebook isn't mine," they said. A quite different kind of sweat began to trickle down the back of Anne's neck as they realized what had happened. It was the kind of bog-standard notebook that they sold at the store on-campus, so they had mistaken it for theirs. And more than that...

"This is Allen's lyric notebook and-- Hajun, what do I do!?" Anne looked at Hajun like a frightened rabbit, their brow furrowed nervously. "Allen... of all things, I think he wrote those lyrics in erasable ballpoint pen... when I put the warm pot on it, all of the writing just disappeared."

With hands trembling, they flipped through the pages to try and survey the damage. The first few pages were especially bad; the writing on the pages that had been closest to the heat was almost completely gone, wiped away in a blank space the shape of the bottom of the earthenware pot. The vague impression of some of the words were still there, but they were functionally unreadable.

They remembered the red ballpoint pen that Allen was so fond of. ... that was right. It disappeared when it was heated up. What do I do? What do I do? they thought frantically. They couldn't let that hip hop maniac find out about this. They couldn't believe that they had used his precious lyric notebook as a common piece of dinnerware-- and they had accidentally wiped out a bunch of his lyrics, too. Those were songs that he sat up all night working on. And moreover, they had given him their notebook in such a condescending way, too-- and they always got mad at him when he entered their room without permission. This was a total catastrophe.

"My, my," Hajun said, "did you accidentally ruin Allen's lyric notebook, the thing he values more than his own life? What a naughty child." Hajun wore a horribly nasty smile on his face, and Anne realized quite belatedly that they were not the only witness to their own mistake.

This was bad. What were they supposed to do? How were they supposed to get out of this one?

"Anne, I realize this may not be the time," Hajun said, "but isn't it about time for you to go to work? You're quite the hot-selling member of the cast, aren't you?"


Anne had to think, not panic. Anne began to frantically tap away on their phone to try and look for a way to fix the notebook. Clearly, the solution is just to not write anything important with erasable ballpoint pen! That dumbass!

They opened a page from the search results that looked relatively reliable. Their connection, which they usually had no problems with, seemed to be sluggish right now-- of course. They skimmed through the page; it said that, apparently, it was possible to make ink that had been erased by heat reappear if they were cooled down. What? It's that simple!?

With that in mind, they immediately ran to the freezer to throw the notebook in to cool it down, only to discover that the entire freezer was packed with Allen's ice cream. It wouldn't be a good idea to leave the notebook there; Allen might open the freezer while they were gone. Out of spite, they grabbed the most expensive-looking ice cream they could see and slammed the freezer door hard.

"Do you really have the time for a dessert break?" Hajun said. "After all, you've simply destroyed something that Allen holds dear..."

"Hajun?" Anne said, tearing off the lid of the ice cream.


"Don't tell Allen... please don't tell Allen," Anne said.

"Don't tell Allen what? That you're eating his ice cream without permission?"

"No! ... ugh, whatever! Bye!"

They had gone to the trouble of trying to eat healthy, but now that was all for naught. They shoveled the ice cream into their mouth at high speed and took off, carrying Allen's notebook along with them.

At work, they would be well out of both Allen and Hajun's sight. They sealed the notebook up in a plastic bag, and as soon as they arrived at CANDY, they headed straight for the kitchen, and chucked the notebook into the freezer, ignoring the very odd look that Zen was giving them. They could let it cool down here to bring the letters back, wait until Allen had fallen asleep, and return it to his backpack with Allen none the wiser. It was foolproof. ... except for Hajun. They had no idea what Hajun was capable of. They should have been more careful not to let slip what they had done.

They had to flip the switch, however. They were the number-one cast member at CANDY, after all. They checked their makeup in the mirror, and when Zen instructed them to please attend to table number three, they sprightly replied with a yessir~ and went out onto the floor.

And then--

"What are you guys doing here!?"

They arrived at their assigned table only to find Hajun with his legs crossed one over the other and a smirk on his face; Allen, looking rather uncomfortable, was sitting beside him.

"My, my," Hajun said, "you certainly are an unfriendly cast member, aren't you? What kind of training are they giving you here, I wonder..."

"Don't make fun of me!" Anne said. "I take this job seriously. Geez! Stop messing around and go home!"

"Oh, please don't misunderstand us," Hajun said. "We're not fooling around. We're here to have some earnest fun as guests. But if you insist, Anne, we can leave. I was just thinking that it might be nice to have a glass of champagne now and then."

At the word champagne, Anne's eyes sparkled. "... I guess there's no arguing that. You guys will go home after one round, right? ... so, which champagne would you like?"

"Well, let's see, then..." Hajun said. "Allen, do you have any preference?"

"Ah... I mean, I'm fine with just cola, or, like, water..." Allen said.

Hajun ignored Allen, who was getting himself lost in the menu, and ordered a bottle of expensive champagne like it was the most casual thing in the world.

"Wow~ Thank you soo~ much," Anne said, inserting themself between Hajun and Allen and prepared themself. They may as will milk this for all it was worth.

"This is kinda weird," Allen said. Quite evidently, he had been dragged here by Hajun, and he looked around curiously.

"Well, well, isn't it just stimulating to come to a fancy place like this once in a while? Doesn't it make you want to compose music? Aren't you inspired?" Hajun said.

"I mean... not really," Allen said.

"Well, if any lyrics do spring to mind, please feel free to not mind me and just go ahead and write them down then and there," Hajun said.

"Uh... thanks," Allen said.

"By the way, Allen," Hajun said, "about that notebook you always write lyrics in. Today--"

Anne hastily interrupted the conversation by pouring a glass of alcohol. "Anyway, anyway! Drink up, cheers! It's really quite good, that's the difference good liquor makes! Good taste as usual, Hajun! Come on, Allen, you drink up too!"

"... uh... ah, okay."

After that, Hajun kept brushing up against the subject of Allen's lyric notebook and then abruptly change the subject, keeping Anne on edge the entire time. They wondered how long they'd have to keep the notebook in the freezer to restore it. Even if they were able to return the notebook to Allen intact, how were they going to get Hajun to shut his stupid mouth about it?

And on the other hand: when tipsy, Allen was even more enthusiastic than usual about his hip hop talk.

"... and see, that's why I think those are the kinds of lyrics that resonate the most with me."

"Mm, I agree," Anne said, not actually paying attention to what Allen was saying but dutifully agreeing with everything he said.

"You agree too, right, Hajun?" Allen said, turning to Hajun with fire in his eyes. Hajun pretended to think about the question.

"I suppose so," he said. He crossed his legs and made unfaltering eye contact with Anne; they couldn't help but feel a bit nervous. "... I think that in order for us to make a good song, the most important thing is that we have strong bonds with each other." Hajun did not take his eyes off of Anne as he spoke slowly and deliberately. "Indeed, I think, that -- for example -- we should not be hiding anyhting from each other. We should be sincere, and strengthen our..." he paused. "Trust in each other. That will, I'm sure, eventually turn into quite the powerful song."

Anne said nothing, balling their hands into fists underneath the table.

"Hajun..." Allen was practically trembling from how much he was moved by Hajun's words. "That's so true... we have to stick together and strengthen our relationship to make the best song we can... Hajun, you seem so cool on the surface, but you're a really passionate guy."

"Oh, not at all. Not compared to you," Hajun said.

"I'm so moved," Allen said. "I... right now, I think I could write some of the best lyrics I've ever written." Saying this, he took his ballpoint pen out of his pocket and rummaged through his backpack. "... huh? My lyric notebook isn't here.... notebook, notebook, notebook..."

"Well, isn't that strange," Hajun said. "Oh, Anne. Where are you going?"

Anne gave him no answer. They stood up quickly, heels clacking against the floor as they took off for the back.


In the kitchen, Satsuki was cleaning the refrigerator out while humming to himself. He nodded in appreciation of his own good work a he meticulously organized the shelves inside, wiping down the lids on all the condiments and making sure all of the labels were neatly aligned. Despite appearances, he was a very good-hearted young man.

"Thank you for the job well done, Satsuki-kun!" Zen said. "I'll be sure to pay you for your helping out."

"Yeah!" Satsuki exclaimed. "Let's make it sparkle!" He opened the door to begin organizing the freezer as well, only to spy an unfamiliar plastic bag stuffed in alongside the ice and ice cream. The heck is this? he thought, opening up the bag and pulling out the notebook. He began to flip through the pages.

"... the hell...? This notebook is..." he muttered. Most of what was written was just scribbles, with some English text mixed in that he couldn't read. He wasn't entirely sure what any of it was about, but he happened to spy a familiar name: SUZAKU. "Hey, Zen-nii, this notebook--"

"Ah! That's mine!"

Surprised by the loud voice, Satsuki turned around to see Anne rushing towards him, their long hair trailing behind them and their face flushed. In the dress they wore for work, Anne was quite a different sight from the way they appeared on stage.

What Satsuki meant to say was a casual hey, Anne, you look really pretty that completely covered up all of his nerves. Instead, what actually came out was, "uh... ah..."

"... ?"


Anne plucked the plastic bag out of a speechless Satsuki's hands. They flipped through the pages of the notebook and then, with a fierce determination, sashayed back out onto the floor.

Satsuki, no longer paralyzed when Anne left his sight, sighed and looked at Zen. "That's... that's what you call exchanging diaries, right?"

"... huh?"


Hajun had a thin smile on his face as he watched Anne rush back onto the floor with the notebook in hand.

My my, so it seems that they've finally decided to be honest.

"Allen, here." With an inscrutable look on their face, Anne held the notebook out to Allen.

"My lyric notebook--! Why is it here? ... Why is it cold?"

While Allen was completely bewildered by his cold notebook and unable to wrap his head around the situation, Anne clapped their hands together in front of their face.

"Allen, I'm so sorry! I went into your room and accidentally took your notebook without permission. I was trying to take my linguistics notebook back, but I took the wrong one. And I... and the pot..."

They were having a hard time making the words come out.

"And what happened?" Allen interjected.

"I'm getting there! I... I put it under a clay pot instead of a proper potholder, and it heated up, and all your writing disappeared!"

"Huh?" Allen said, a bewildered look on his face. He only grasped it after Anne explained the workings of the erasable ballpoint pen ink; only then did it dawn on him.

"I put it in the freezer, so I think it should be pretty much fixed, but..." Anne said.

"Is that why you guys have been acting weird?" Allen said. He heaved a sigh of relief and leaned back onto the cushioned seat. "I didn't think Hajun was a fan of cabaret clubs, so I thought he was acting really weird, too."

Oh? Hajun thought. I thought you were oblivious, but perhaps you're more observant than I was giving you credit for. Though Hajun had been underestimating him, perhaps Allen was watching out for his groupmates the most.

Allen turned to Anne, who still looked rather uncomfortable. "Don't worry about it," he said. "Like... we're friends, right? And besides that, it's my own lyrics that I came up with. Of course I've got them all in here," he said, pointing to his temple. Then, he paused and opened the notebook reverently, and added, "but since this notebook is full of my history with hip hop, it is important to me." Another pause. "But, I mean, you guys are more important! Obviously!"

"Allen..." Anne said. "I'm really sorry. I can't believe I ate dinner on top of your precious notebook..."

"It's fine, don't worry about it!" Allen said. "It was fun getting to talk to you guys about hip hop, and I got to see Hajun's passionate side. ... but I mean, it is kind of tacky to use a notebook as a potholder..."

"Oh, I don't want to hear that from you!" Anne said. "It's your fault for not giving me my notebook back and for having such a disaster area of a room!"

"Huh!? Don't get mad at me! See if I ever lend you my notebook again!" Allen said.

"I don't want to borrow your notes, because I don't want to fail all my classes!"

All of the tension in the atmosphere faded away as Allen and Anne argued back and forth. Hajun watched them with a smile and prepared to depart. "Well, Allen. I suppose it's time for us to leave."

As they were leaving, Anne came to see them off at the entrance. While they were there, they said quietly:

"Hajun, thank you."

"Whatever for?" Hajun said.

"... you can be really charming, when you want to be," Anne said.

Allen, who apparently did not hear this, was in high spirits. "All this talking about hot pots is making me hungry. Hajun, wanna stop by Raimentei on the way back?"

"No thank you, I'm avoiding eating carbs or oils this late at night," Hajun said.

"What the hell's with that? You're really poor company. What happened to strengthening our bonds?"

"I do not think that strengthening bonds means giving up on my figure," Hajun said. Even as he shot Allen down, he couldn't help but smile. He couldn't help but feel, oddly enough, like Allen and Anne might be able to help him understand more about himself, including the dark past he had been carrying alone and the wounds that had not yet healed. They lived together as roommates, but there were still parts of his heart that he had not yet been able to bare to them. He was certain that they had secrets of their own.

Perhaps not right now, but maybe someday in the near future, he would be able to share all of that with them, and he would be able to understand everything about them in turn. The thought of the music they might be able to make at such a time made him uncharacteristically excited.


On the morning of the test, Allen, Hajun, and Anne were sprinting down the road to get to their university.

"Oh, come on! Allen was so impossible to wake up that we're all going to be late!" Anne exclaimed. "We should have just gone without him like usual! We're going to make Saimon-sensei worry that something is wrong!!"

"I told you already that I'm sorry!" Allen yelled. "But thanks to your notes, Anne, I think I'm gonna be okay! Thank you! Really!"


"... the fact that Hajun hasn't said anything yet is really scary..." Allen said.

"I cannot believe," Hajun said, "that you have made me run this early in the morning. If this makes me perform poorly on the test, Allen... you know what will happen, yes?"

With the fear of god put in him by Hajun's low, cold tone of voice, Allen picked up the pace and tried to break from the pack.

"Oh, my, you're ignoring me? How bold," Hajun said.

"Allen, wait, you ungrateful idiot!" Anne cried.

They both followed suit, trying to speed up to catch up to Allen. They reached out and grabbed for his backpack, but they couldn't quite make it. The two of them were chasing after Allen and reaching for him, and they realized that this was rather comedic, and they began to laugh. Soon enough, all three of them were howling with laughter as they walked onto the university campus.

Only Professor Saimon knows how well any of them actually did on that test.