Muddy Water

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Rose wasn't expecting to end up in JYP's office on their first day off. When Chan had told her that he had booked an appointment to discuss going public, she had immediately made her own appointment with the big boss.

"I understand Bang Chan still wants to announce that he has found his soulmate."

"Yes, sir. He's getting rather insistent."

"Yes, that's not unexpected. I have already had a team looking into possible outcomes if we went ahead."

Rose unconsciously leaned forward in her seat. A small part of her hoped that she was overreacting and that her existence wouldn't be the downfall of her soulmate and his group's career.


Park Jinyoung smiled sadly at her and shook his head.

"Not good I'm afraid. While it might not destroy them completely, this, how they are now, will be the peak of their careers. Perhaps in a few more years, they'll be more stable and able to withstand the backlash..."

"I see."

"I never wanted to be the kind of person who restricts his artist's freedom when it came to soulmates, but it also wouldn't be fair to let the rest of those boys and the whole team who have helped them get this far, see their work go to waste."

"I agree with you, sir."

"Good. Chan won't take this news well, and while I'm reluctant, I will play the bad guy here."

"Sorry, sir, but I don't think it will be enough. Chan is sure that letting the world know he had found his soulmate won't affect their career and he's convinced the other members of it too."

"You have a suggestion?"

"You said in a few years it might be possible, yes?"

"That's right."

"When he comes in later, tell him you'll get the staff to look into the best way to handle this. I'll convince him to put it off until it won't be so damaging to his career."

"Okay, but if you can't convince him... It would be a last resort, but Stray Kids might have to lose another member."

"I'll make sure that doesn't happen."

There was no mistaking the determination on Rose's face and Park Jinyoung had an inkling of what she planned to do. It made him a little sad that it might come to something that drastic, but he was also impressed with how she was able to put her soulmate's dreams before her own happiness.

"Then I'll count on you, Rose."

When Chan arrived, he looked so happy as he greeted JYP and then gave his soulmate a quick peck on the cheek as he sat down. He believed that after this meeting he would be one step closer to being free to talk about his soulmate and stop covering up his soul-mark, so he was very excited.

"You're here already, Jagi."

Rose tried to smile back, but her mind was reeling with thoughts of how she was going to convince Chan to change his mind. She sat quietly during the meeting as JYP and Chan discussed what they had planned to tell him.

"I'll know you know when I hear back from my team. In the meantime, keep up the good work."

"Thank you, Sir."

Chan took Rose's hand and led her back to his studio. When they got there, she braced herself for what she was about to do.


"Well, that went well, don't you think?"

Rose could barely look at her soulmate and his grinning face as she spoke.

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