Can We Love? (Jeno)

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You woke up in a cold sweat, heart pounding wildly inside your chest.  It raced just as fast in your dream as it had in real life when you had debuted with your K-pop girl group Stardust.  So many Galaxies, the fan name, had come out to support you and cheer you on.  Your position in the group wasn't anything too special.  Honestly, you could do a bit of everything- singing, dancing, even rapping.  Plus, you were pretty much considered a visual, but Hyejin, the leader of the group, was definitely in first place in terms of looks.  

This wasn't the first time you had woken up randomly in the middle of the night.  Ever since your group went on that reality show with NCT Dream a month ago, you'd been waking up almost twice a week.  And you sort of knew why, but you didn't want to admit that you had the biggest crush on Lee Jeno.

"Wasn't Mark just adorable?" Hyejin asked one of the other members outside your room.  "Too bad I only got Jeno's number.  What am I supposed to do with that?"

You almost spit your cereal back into the bowl and tried to maintain your composure.  "You have Jeno's number?  Uh, how'd you get it?"

"He actually wanted me to give it to you," Hyejin winked, and you were overwhelmed with a series of "oooooh~"s from your bandmates.  "He wants you to collaborate on something with him."

Internally, you were exploding, but on the inside, and soon enough, you were screaming with the rest of the girls.  Hyejin passed his number onto you, and you didn't hesitate to shoot him a text.

You: Hey, this is Y/N from Stardust.  I was told you wanted to collaborate on a song?

Jeno: For sure!  Your voice is really amazing, and they actually wanted us to do a song for SM Station together.  Is that okay with you?

That sounded like everything to you.  Seeming that you were from a new group, this was an incredible opportunity.  In fact, later that day, you had met Jeno in a studio room to write lyrics to a beat that Taeyong and Mark had composed.  

"It's supposed to be really powerful.  Would you rather sing or rap?" Jeno asked you, and you knitted your eyebrows together.

"If it's powerful, I can rap.  Um, I actually really like writing rap lyrics."

The two of you worked side by side for hours.  Jeno writing his part and you focusing on your rap.  Before you knew it, your manager came to pick you up to take you back to your dorm with the other Stardust members.  

"Text me when you have some time so we can write more.  We have to have everything done and recorded in a month.  Do you think we can do that?"  Jeno don a worried expression on his face, but you confidently smiled.

"Of course.  If anyone can do it, it's us.  I believe.  You should, too."

The two of you kept meeting to write lyrics until you were happy with the way the words flowed.  Today, it was all about recording.  A music technician came in to set up the mic stand and the sheet music.  Taeyong and Mark, who had created the beat, decided to sit in the outside room and give advice.

Jeno recorded first.  His voice was very different.  Silky smooth like a dollop of peanut butter.  You looked on, your cheeks heating up as you listened.  His voice made your heart pound and twist within your chest.  You wanted to hear his voice in your ears for a long time.

"Alright, Y/N, it's your turn."  Jeno exited the recording booth and gave you a high five before grabbing your hand and pulling you closer into a hug.  "You got this," he whispered in your ear, and you felt your heart pound faster than when you had debuted.

"I'm kinda nervous actually," you faced him.  "What if we're here for hours because I keep stumbling on my rap."

"No way!  You'll probably do it in one take," Jeno laughed.  "Alright, go on ahead.  And if you feel nervous, just look at me through the glass.  I'll be rooting for you."

You smiled faintly, trying to calm your racing pulse before stepping into the booth and placing the large headphones over your ears.  And even through they were soundproof, you still felt your internal metronome pounding way faster than it should.  

Promptly, you started recording, and you forgot all about your nerves.  Music was your element.  You felt yourself start to become one with the music, and you closed your eyes, pouring everything you had into your rap and harmonization parts with Jeno.

Jeno smiled at you through the glass and felt his heart beat funny when you closed your eyes and immersed yourself in the song.  You weren't just any ordinary Kpop idol.  To him, you were someone who understood everything.  The rap, the singing, the complicated choreography you learned in dance practice.  He had actually noticed you ever since he and the other NCT members watched your debut showcase.  And both Mark and Taeyong knew his little secret.  And that's why they pushed him to do the SM Station project and suggested you for his partner.  They thought it would help the two of you get closer.  And they were right.

Back in the studio when you were writing lyrics, the two of you had gotten really close... as in physically.  Your chairs were pulled together, and you worked side by side, feeling the heat radiating off each other's bodies.  Jeno had occasionally looked up from his notebook with the lyrics he had written to admire your concentrated expression and how beautiful you were without realizing it.  To him, you were breathtaking.  

"Okay, that wraps this up.  We'll just hand it over to the editing team, and it should be ready to put it out there," the music technician grinned.

"Did I do okay?"

Jeno nodded "More than amazing.  I expected nothing less."  His heart was pounding in his chest.  "Wait, come with me."

You smiled and lead Jeno lead you to the rooftop that overlooked the Seoul skyline.  He took your hands in his and leaned forward, kissing you.  It was so sudden, yet you were able to overcome your surprise quickly.  You felt the feeling of his soft lips moving on top of yours even after he pulled away.  

"Can we see each other more often?" he blushed.  "Um, I really like you.  It's almost like I'm looking at myself in the mirror."

"Of course," you smiled.  "I wanted to tell you the same thing, Lee Jeno."

It had been maybe a month or so since you and Jeno had started dating, and unfortunately, someone had snuck a picture of the two of you out on a date.  You didn't understand.  The two of you had met at 11 pm, and wore face masks and baseball hats and hoodies.  How had someone caught you?

The photo had leaked onto the internet, and you were honestly terrified to read the comments.  But Jeno had sent you a text, urging you to check them out.  You knew he was scared to pieces as well.  The two of you had cursed under your breath, blaming yourselves for being so naive.  You were idols.  You didn't have the option to lead normal lives like other people.  If you liked someone just like anyone else would, it was called a "scandal" and heavily frowned upon.  It was like you were meant to be a machine with no heart, no emotion, no soul.

You logged into your laptop and loaded the picture with the countless comments.  And to your surprise, your relationship with Jeno seemed to be well received.  Here's what a few said.

Person 1: Honestly, I've been shipping you 2 together since the variety show.  Fighting~

Person 2: Jeno-ah treat Y/N well!

Person 3: They're so cute to together ahhhhhh <3

There was a knock on your door, and you opened it, seeing Jeno.  He tackled you in a hug, and you stumbled backwards, the two of you falling onto your bed.  He passionately left pecks all over your face before zeroing in on your lips.

"See?  The odds are in our favor.  They love us."

"But not as much as I love you," you giggled, and Jeno proceeded to peck you all over your face, and you couldn't care less about anything else in the world because you had Jeno, and he was all you needed. 

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