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Posted originally on the Archive of Our Own at

http://download.archiveofourown.org/works/13487262.

Rating: Not Rated


Archive Warning: Choose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Category: F/F
Fandom: TWICE (Band)
Relationship: Im Nayeon/Yoo Jeongyeon
Character: Im Nayeon, Yoo Jeongyeon, Hirai Momo, Minatozaki Sana, Park
Jisoo | Jihyo, Myoui Mina, Kim Dahyun, Son Chaeyoung, Chou
Tzuyu, TWICE Ensemble
Additional Tags: Romance, Eventual Romance, slight angst, Post-Disbandment Fic,
future! fic, minor mimo
Stats: Published: 2018-01-26 Completed: 2018-02-12 Chapters: 3/3 Words:
21398

this heart you reside in


by skyclectic

Summary

"I'm not doing this with you anymore, Yoo Jeongyeon," Jihyo begins hotly, words
serrated around the edges. "I've let you be for years and I even kept my silence when you
ran away to Vancouver, so I'm going to say what I should have said a long time ago."

"Which is what?" Jeongyeon brings herself to ask in a quiet voice when Jihyo pauses.

"If you love Nayeon, tell her," Jihyo finally says, in a tight voice. "The Yoo Jeongyeon I
know has always been brutally honest and frank to a fault. So stop being such a coward
and just tell her."

Or how Jeongyeon finally stops running away from her feelings and a future she's always
yearned for, two years after Twice disbands, but not without some meddling from the rest
of her former members.

Notes

See the end of the work for notes


Chapter 1

Jeongyeon is 2677m above sea level when she receives Dahyun's wedding invitation, sent
through their still active group chat.

She stops walking and leans against the mountain rock beside her, squinting at her phone with
more than a little surprise.

She never would have thought that Dahyun, one of the youngest of the nine of them, would be the
first to settle down.

Jeongyeon smiles a little when she recognises the groom's name, recalling Dahyun's brief
conversation with her more than a year ago about an oppa she met at church who had requested to
see Dahyun's infamous eagle dance before even introducing himself.

Her phone beeps with a notification from Sana; a string of multi-coloured hearts followed by a
multitude of smiley emoticons. Three seconds later, Jeongyeon's phone beeps again and doesn't
stop as everyone else chimes in too.

Jeongyeon adds her own smiley emoticon to the mix then switches off her phone and tucks it
carefully away into the pocket of her coat. She breathes in deeply and takes in the sight of the
snow-covered peaks before her.

It's a beautiful April afternoon and the view is as breathtaking today as it was years ago when
she'd first seen it, Nayeon's hand in hers.

It does nothing though to take away the dull ache that always seems to linger beneath her ribs.

It's impossible to enjoy the rest of the Thrill Walk after that and Jeongyeon gives it up as a lost
cause. She skips all the obstacles and heads briskly for the cafe instead.

Settling down with a cup of steaming hot chocolate, Jeongyeon finally switches on her phone
again. She ignores the 172 unread messages and frowns when she sees 6 missed calls from Park
Jihyo.

As if on cue, Jihyo's face flashes before her and Jeongyeon taps on the screen, raising her
eyebrows in greeting.

"Finally," Jihyo huffs, rolling her eyes. "I thought you were lying in a ditch somewhere."

Jeongyeon rolls her eyes right back. "Stop being so melodramatic. And hello to you too."

"Hi," Jihyo concedes, with a small smile before she narrows her eyes. "You look like you've lost
weight. Again."

Jeongyeon hums in reply, taking a sip of her drink. "I've been on a diet."

"What for?" Jihyo questions, her voice skeptical then it slips smoothly into a tone Jeongyeon
recognises as Jihyo's leader-nim one, even though it's been almost two years since they've
disbanded. "There's no longer a need to. We're not idols anymore. You should eat healthier and
not put your body through more - "

"Yes, mom," Jeongyeon interrupts with another roll of her eyes.

She flashes a toothy grin when Jihyo bristles, huffing in exasperation. Before Jihyo can retaliate
though, she gets distracted by someone in the background and disappears, leaving Jeongyeon with
an uninterrupted view of her recording studio.

She sips her hot chocolate as she waits, and thinks of all the nagging she can do to Jihyo in return
because it's almost midnight in Seoul and not exactly healthy either to still be working.

Jeongyeon bites her tongue though when Jihyo comes back on, her shoulders tensed despite the
small apologetic smile she gives Jeongyeon.

"So, what's up?" Jeongyeon asks instead, even though she has a pretty good idea why Jihyo is
suddenly calling her for the first time in weeks.

Jihyo shifts in her seat, her smile sobering, and Jeongyeon takes a deep breath, bracing herself for
whatever Jihyo has to say.

"I just wanted to confirm," she starts, fixing Jeongyeon with a piercing stare. "That you're coming
for the wedding."

Jeongyeon exhales roughly, a breath she didn't even know she was holding. She runs a hand
through her hair, shorter now than it's been in a couple of years.

"Jihyo-yah," Jeongyeon breathes, trying but failing to control the tremor in her voice. "Of course,
I'll be there."

The silence stretches between them before Jihyo sighs. "Jeongyeon-ah, where exactly are you?"

Instead of replying, Jeongyeon taps her phone with a shaky finger, switching the camera setting so
that Jihyo can take in the view.

"Schilthorn, huh?" Jihyo muses out loud, when Jeongyeon switches the setting again.

"Yeah," Jeongyeon agrees quietly. She clears her throat awkwardly and continues in a steady
voice. "I was starting to get bored of Vancouver so I'm just travelling around instead. Doing some
sight-seeing you know."

"You flew 12 hours from Vancouver to Schilthorn just to sight-see?"

Jeongyeon lowers her gaze and pours salt from the shaker into her empty cup, just for something
to do with her hands as she tries to figure out what to say. Heavy silence lingers a little too long
between them until Jeongyeon sighs and looks up again. She offers Jihyo a wry smile and hopes
it's explanation enough without having to somehow articulate the words out loud.

Jihyo's eyes turn soft and she smiles at Jeongyeon, wistful and brimming with too much
understanding. Jeongyeon swallows past the tightening lump in her throat. Jihyo has always been
adapt at reading her, even more so with the decade they've spent growing up together.

"Don't hold the door of longing open too long, Jeongyeon-ah," Jihyo tells her, in a voice so gentle
it brings sudden tears to Jeongyeon's eyes. "The memories will only tear your heart apart."
"If you're going to quote Nell's song," Jeongyeon counters, her words coming out too rough and
wet around the edges. "At least get the lyrics right."

She hangs up before Jihyo can reply, closes her eyes and just breathes.

It takes far too long before she manages to calm herself.

Jeongyeon leaves Schilthorn and snow-capped mountains behind for Vienna the next day,
somewhere she's never been to before, somewhere that holds no memories for her.

She doesn't think about how once again, all she's really doing is just running away.

It's past midnight when her plane touches down at Incheon International Airport three months
later. There are no fans or camera lenses waiting to greet her this time, and Jeongyeon feels
slightly unbalanced, like she's walked into a memory that's not quite hers.

When she breathes, the air feels different in her lungs, foreign yet strangely familiar at the same
time. The feeling only intensifies in the quiet taxi ride to the apartment she used to share with
Seungyeon before Vancouver, before Schilthorn and Vienna, and all the other places she's called
home in the last two years.

As Seoul flashes past her, Jeongyeon catches a glimpse of a congratulatory billboard for Dahyun
on the facade of a shopping mall. She spots a faint scar near Dahyun's hairline - the result of a
skiing accident when they were filming TwiceTV 12 in Hokkaido. Jeongyeon still remembers the
panic that had seized everyone on set, from their managers to the crew. Jeongyeon also remembers
the way Tzuyu of all people, had exploded at Dahyun an hour later as she insisted on continuing to
film, despite the butterfly bandage and the deep gash on her forehead.

Jeongyeon's not surprised that she can recall every small, insignificant detail, how she can still
string every memory end to end without any trouble.

It's how she's been living for many months now, caught somewhere in between pages of a past
she cannot seem to let go enough of, and a future she yearns for but cannot seem to stop running
away from.

The thought only brings a familiar face to the front of her mind, the same wide toothy grin and soft
brown eyes that have haunted her dreams and lucid thoughts for years.

Jeongyeon startles awake to the smell of bacon and eggs. Groggily she gets out of bed and heads
for the kitchen, narrowly avoiding tripping over her own pajama pants.

Her sister must have ended filming earlier than expected and flown back from Hong Kong
sometime last night when she was asleep.
"Unnie?" Jeongyeon calls out as she nears the kitchen.

It's not Seungyeon that greets her though, but Mina who whirls around in surprise, spatula in her
hand.

Jeongyeon blinks and shakes her head, trying desperately to clear the sleepy fog still clinging to
the edges of her mind. She blinks again and then just stares as Mina carefully puts down the
spatula and turns off the stove before approaching her.

"Good morning," Mina greets softly, reaching out a hand and smoothing down Jeongyeon's
messy bed hair, before tugging her into a hug.

"What are you doing here?" Jeongyeon murmurs, allowing herself to sink a little into the familiar
warm embrace.

Mina pulls away at the question and looks at Jeongyeon with an unreadable expression on her
face.

"Jihyo's right," Mina remarks after a beat, turning away from Jeongyeon and starting to plate up
the food. "You have lost weight."

"Minari," Jeongyeon sighs, but takes a seat at the table anyway when Mina shoots a pointed look
over her shoulder.

Mina hands her a fork and pours her a cup of coffee then stirs in one and a half cubes of sugar.
"Eat first, talk later."

It brings a fond smile to Jeongyeon's face at how Mina still remembers exactly how she takes her
coffee even after all this time. Mina grins back at her and they start eating in comfortable silence.

"So," Jeongyeon begins, putting her fork down on the empty plate. "Are you going to tell me -"

"I asked Seungyeon unnie if I could drop by when you get here," Mina cuts in, standing up
abruptly and bringing their plates to the sink. She turns around, her back pressing against the
counter, and looks at Jeongyeon wearily. "She gave me the passcode, told me to let myself in
whenever."

"Why?"

"I wanted to see you," Mina shoots back. The weary look on her face disappears and her gaze
hardens fiercely. "I wanted to see you in person before anyone else did. Selfish, I know, but it's
been two years, Yoo Jeongyeon."

Jeongyeon lowers her eyes and stares at the wooden grain of the table top instead. Mina doesn't
sound like she's blaming Jeongyeon but it's not exactly free from accusation either.

"I needed to leave - I couldn't - " Jeongyeon breaks off, takes a deep breath, squares her shoulders
and meets Mina's gaze again. "I needed to do it... to figure out if I can just be me if I'm no longer
Twice's Jeongyeon."
Mina takes a deliberate step, graceful as ever, and reaches for Jeongyeon's hand, thumb brushing
gently across her knuckles. "And is that the only thing you're figuring out?"

Nayeon's smile - gorgeous and breathtaking - swims to the front of Jeongyeon's mind and she
swallows hard, half-confessing. "Among other things."

She's grateful when Mina only hums and doesn't ask her to elaborate because Jeongyeon's not
even sure she can find the words to articulate the mess of thoughts and feelings in her head.

She thinks that Mina, just like Jihyo and probably the rest of the girls too, have already figured it
out anyway. Jeongyeon's always been too transparent and never good at hiding how she feels.

They've just never brought it up or pushed her into talking about it, not even when Jeongyeon
packed her bags a week after their farewell concert and bought a one-way ticket to Vancouver.

Mina presses a kiss and a see you later to Jeongyeon's cheek when she leaves for a photoshoot an
hour later.

Jeongyeon only offers a wry smile in return. If she's honest with herself, she is looking forward to
the Bachelorette Party later because she's missed every single one of them. That's a fact that
doesn't change despite whatever else she's dealing with at the moment.

Besides, it's not really a Bachelorette Party but more like a sleepover with some of her favourite
people in the world. That and the gorgeous view from Park Hyatt's penthouse suite, as well as
Dahyun's promise of a karaoke machine, means it's going to be a night to remember, one way or
the other.

Jeongyeon gets stuck in rush hour traffic and it's almost eight by the time her cab pulls up to the
Park Hyatt. She's running late, a fact that is not lost on the rest of the girls judging by the
continuous stream of exasperated (Jihyo) and whiny (Sana and Momo) notifications on her
phone.

Yah, I'm here, you dorks. Stop spamming my phone, Jeongyeon types back as she makes her way
up. She doesn't bother checking her phone when it beeps again, probably the whiny duo with a
stream of smiley emoticons and too many exclamations.

Jeongyeon hesitates when she finds herself in front of the door to the suite. It's been two years and
she's more than a little nervous which she knows is silly, given that the bond she shares with the
girls goes beyond time and distance.

Taking a deep breath, she presses the bell and counts the seconds before someone gets the door.
She's startled when it bangs open and something barrels right into her, almost knocking Jeongyeon
off her feet.
Jeongyeon laughs when she registers the smell of English Pear & Freesia, a Jo Malone scent she
remembers shipping to Osaka last December as a birthday gift.

"I've missed you too, Sana-yah," Jeongyeon says quietly, tightening her hold around Sana's waist.

Sana pulls back, just enough to give Jeongyeon a watery smile. "I'm so happy to see you,
Jeongyeonie."

Jeongyeon smiles back through her own tears and allows Sana to pull her into another hug. "Me
too," she says, fingers twisting on the hem of Sana's blouse, her heart already feeling too full.

It's not long before they're interrupted by Chaeyoung who pops up out of nowhere and nudges
Sana with a frown. "Don't hog her all to yourself, unnie."

Sana pouts but allows Chaeyoung to take her place, choosing instead to plaster herself to
Jeongyeon's side and press sloppy kisses to Jeongyeon's cheek.

Chaeyoung squeezes Jeongyeon tightly for a beat then pulls away and heads back into the suite.

"Come on, let's get the party started. We've been waiting for ages," she throws over her shoulder,
with a slight wrinkle of her nose.

Jeongyeon watches as Chaeyoung disappears down the hallway before nudging Sana with her
elbow. "Stop molesting my face," she grumbles in mock annoyance.

She's not surprised when Sana only obnoxiously presses herself closer, and plants another loud
kiss on Jeongyeon's cheekbone. Jeongyeon digs her fingers into Sana's ribs in retaliation and grins
when Sana shrieks in surprise.

"Don't be mean, Jeongyeonie," Sana pouts again, disarmingly adorable, and Jeongyeon is
suddenly thankful that she's had years of practice dealing with Sana's aegyo to really be affected
by it.

"You know that doesn't work on me," Jeongyeon points out, rolling her eyes before schooling her
face into a severe expression. "Also, if there are lipstick stains all over the left side of my face, I'm
gonna kill you."

Sana grins cheekily and sticks her tongue out like she's five and not a mature 29-year-old adult.
"No you won't because you love me."

Jeongyeon only hums in reply and allows Sana to circle warm fingers around her wrist, pulling
her inside where the rest of the girls - her family, not bound by blood but one that she loves just as
much - wait.

Seven pairs of eyes turn towards her when she clears her throat at the threshold of the living room.
Seven pairs of eyes turn towards her when she clears her throat at the threshold of the living room.
Sana squeezes her wrist, a comforting anchor, and Jeongyeon finds the strength to smile
tentatively in greeting.

There's a beat of loaded silence before chaos erupts and Jeongyeon finds herself in the centre of a
mess of hugs, kisses and quite a few tears.

She laughs shakily, and doesn't bother to wipe at her own tears, not when there's gentle fingers
brushing them away for her. It brings back memories of the end of their first concert, when they'd
all been a mess of tangled limbs and tears backstage, clinging on to each other just like they are
now.

When Dahyun finally releases her with a sniffle, someone else steps smoothly in front of her and
Jeongyeon feels all the breath rush out of her lungs.

"Yoo Jeongyeon," Nayeon greets simply, studying Jeongyeon's face with an unreadable
expression.

Jeongyeon swallows, unsteady, and just stares helplessly at Nayeon, at that familiar face that has
haunted her for years.

It's Jihyo that breaks the heavy silence, taking charge like she always does. "Let's have dinner
first," she announces, then divides everyone into pairs and assigns tasks, conspicuously leaving
out Jeongyeon and Nayeon's names.

"Dinner in 30 minutes,"Jihyo says simply, and with a significant look at both of them, leaves to
join the others in the dining room.

"Yoo Jeongyeon," Nayeon repeats, saying Jeongyeon's name like she's trying to remember how it
sounds like out loud.

"Hi," Jeongyeon says, just as softly. Her gaze lingers on Nayeon's hair, a shade somewhere
between dark blonde and ashy gray. She looks like the Im Nayeon splashed all over screens and
magazine covers, not quite like Jeongyeon's Nayeon, but then again, she's never really been
Jeongyeon's in the first place.

"You look nice," Jeongyeon continues and she knows it's pathetic how that's the only thing she
can think to say.

Nayeon's lips quirk slightly then she bursts into laughter, bright and toothy, and just like that, they
slip back into something that's as familiar to Jeongyeon as breathing. She chuckles sheepishly and
doesn't freeze when Nayeon takes a step forward and tugs at Jeongyeon's wrist.

Instead, she buries herself into the embrace and just breathes.

Somehow, they end up on the sofa. Nayeon's arm is heavy around Jeongyeon's waist and her
cheek rests comfortably on Jeongyeon's shoulder.

"If your makeup stains my white denim jacket," Jeongyeon begins, feeling calmer than she's had
in a long time. Nayeon is warm against her and Jeongyeon files this away as another moment
they've shared that is hers to keep. "You're paying for a new one."
Nayeon snorts but doesn't lift her head. "I still endorse MLB. Pretty sure I can sweet talk my way
into getting them to give you a new one."

"Yeah," Jeongyeon concedes, her finger tracing patterns on Nayeon's knee. "You can be pretty
persuasive."

Nayeon stiffens for the briefest of seconds, then reaches out to tangle their fingers together.

"Not persuasive enough to get you to stay," Nayeon murmurs, thumb soothing circles on the back
of Jeongyeon's hand, as though apologising for bringing up the huge elephant between them.

It's Jeongyeon's turn to freeze, her heart suddenly racing too fast beneath her ribs. Nayeon lifts her
head then, and cups Jeongyeon's cheek, forcing Jeongyeon to meet her eyes.

"I've missed you," Nayeon says, her gaze intense and Jeongyeon cannot bring herself to look
away.

"I've missed you too," she whispers back, takes a deep breath then confesses all at once. "You
have no idea how much I've missed you."

"So, stay this time," Nayeon's voice trembles slightly but her gaze remains steady. "Promise me,
you'll stay this time."

Nayeon doesn't bring up all her unanswered calls and emails, doesn't ask Jeongyeon for an
explanation or an apology. Jeongyeon doesn't know if that's better than the promise Nayeon just
asked of her, one that Jeongyeon knows she cannot make, not yet.

Either way, Jeongyeon is still going to let her down.

"I can't."

"Why not?" Nayeon counters, with a crease of her brow. She is still the same stubborn girl
Jeongyeon fell for years ago and she doesn't back off. It's one of the things Jeongyeon adores
about her.

"Because I still haven't figured out what I'm running away from."

Nayeon exhales roughly and her other hand comes up so that Jeongyeon's face is cradled gently in
her palms. "However long you need to figure it out, I'm still going to be here for you."

Jeongyeon can only stare, her mouth dry. She knows it's unfair to Nayeon, this thing between
them that Jeongyeon ran halfway across the world to avoid. The irony doesn't escape her either -
how she put thousands of miles between them and still cannot run away far enough from Nayeon,
from her feelings for Nayeon.

To her relief, someone yells out for them from the dining room, and the moment passes before
Jeongyeon is forced to think of something to say in reply.

By the time they make their way to the dining room, everyone has already settled into their seats.
Jeongyeon tries her best not to react when her only option places her directly in front of the seat
Nayeon is about to take.

Only Mina seems to have noticed, catching Jeongyeon's eye from where she's about to take her
seat at the other end of the table in between Momo and Jihyo. Mina pauses and then very casually,
takes her drink and calls out to Nayeon. She walks past Jeongyeon and smoothly slides into the
seat Jeongyeon was meant to take, already deep in conversation with Nayeon about a variety
appearance the two of them are scheduled to make next week.

Jeongyeon walks over and slips into Mina's seat, still a little shaken from before. Mina catches her
eye again from across the table and Jeongyeon is at once grateful and relieved that Mina has
always been faster than most at the uptake.

Momo turns to Jeongyeon immediately, offering her some of the Jokbal they ordered. It brings a
fond smile to her face - the table is a spread of takeout dishes from their favourite restaurants and it
feels just like coming home.

The feeling grows stronger, filling her insides with warmth, when dinner goes exactly like how
Jeongyeon remembers - everyone silently enjoying their food and then slight chaos when Sana's
elbow nudges the pot of Budae Jjigae and almost topples it over if not for Nayeon's fast reflexes.

They're tucking into dessert and making small talk when Dahyun exclaims and claps her hands
loudly, startling everyone.

"Oh yes," she begins, directing her gaze at Jeongyeon. "Unnie, I have a very important question to
ask you."

Jeongyeon raises her eyebrow in reply, recognising the glint in Dahyun's eye which tells her the
question is neither very important nor a serious one at all.

"How many times did you fall in the two years you spent skateboarding up and down
Vancouver's streets?"

Jeongyeon blinks because what? then feels incredulous laughter start to bubble up her throat.
Everyone else reacts in much the same way after the question sinks in.

"Why would she be skateboarding at all?" Chaeyoung chokes out in between laughs, reaching out
to smack Dahyun's shoulder.

"Why else would she move to Vancouver?" Dahyun retorts, looking highly affronted that
everyone is laughing at her expense. "Jeongyeon unnie loves skateboarding, you know. And that's
her thing in Likey."

"That was part of a concept," Nayeon chimes in, rolling her eyes. "We were filming a Music
Video, Dahyun-ah."

"I know that but - "

"Yah," Sana interrupts before Dahyun can finish her sentence. "If we go by your logic, you're a
gisaeng, a rabbit or a pink alien. So which one of those are you?"
Dahyun huffs, ignoring the way Chaeyoung is doubled over in laughter beside her and gasping
out pink alien in increasingly louder and louder volume. "Well, none of course but -"

"There's buses!" Momo points out exasperatedly then turns to Jeongyeon with a crease in her
brow. "Or a car? Did you have a car?"

Jeongyeon chuckles when Jihyo nudges her and pleads silently with her eyes for Jeongyeon to say
something sensible before it turns into a full-out nonsense bickering mess (like it isn't already).

"Yeah, I had a Range Rover," she tells them then grins at a pouting Dahyun. "Sorry to disappoint
you, Ddoong Bboongie."

"I'm sure Jeongyeon unnie had a very good reason for moving to Vancouver," Tzuyu says
diplomatically, always the calm and composed one. "Right?"

The laughter dies down and the air in the room turns suddenly uneasy at Tzuyu's matter-of-fact
statement. Jeongyeon carefully avoids looking anywhere near Nayeon's direction. She can still
feel the ghost of Nayeon's touch on her cheeks. It takes too much effort to keep her face from
burning, especially when Nayeon's words ring through her head, making guilt knot heavily in the
pit of her stomach.

Taking a deep breath, she hitches a tiny smile on her face and blurts out the most asinine reason
she can think of to lighten the mood. "Of course I did. It was the geese actually."

"The geese?"

"Yeah, the ones Mina fed in the park," Jeongyeon clarifies, her smile widening at the way
everyone is either glaring at her in exasperation or on the verge of bursting into laughter again. "I
missed the geese."

"You - " Jihyo begins then gives up, putting her head down onto the table and groaning.

Jeongyeon can't help bursting into laughter at the sight, laughing harder when Momo begins
pelting her with peanuts from the bowl on the table because how are you still so goddamn lame
and not funny, Yoo Jeongyeon.

In the middle of all the familiar chaos, Jeongyeon is once again thankful that there are just some
people you'll never grow out of, no matter how much time passes. It makes her feel significantly
lighter and maybe, just maybe, in this safe haven they've built together, she can finally figure the
mess in her head out.

"So, are you going to finally talk to her?" Jihyo asks pointedly, purposely resting her hand on
Jeongyeon's elbow, effectively trapping her in place.

Jeongyeon takes a measured sip of her martini to deflect the question but cannot help herself from
stealing a glance across the room, where everyone else is crowded around the karaoke machine,
well on their way to being drunk.

Jihyo follows her gaze and they watch as Sana loses her balance on the edge of the sofa and
crumples in a heap on the floor with a shriek, pulling Nayeon and Momo down with her.
It makes Jeongyeon break out into a fond smile before she sobers and meets Jihyo's expectant
gaze.

"We did talk earlier," she says, and leaves it at that.

Jihyo's eyes narrow dangerously. "But you didn't tell her?"

Jeongyeon takes another measured sip of her drink and avoids Jihyo's piercing gaze."Tell her
what?"

"I'm not doing this with you anymore, Yoo Jeongyeon," Jihyo begins hotly, words serrated
around the edges. "I've let you be for years and I even kept my silence when you ran away to
Vancouver, so I'm going to say what I should have said a long time ago."

"Which is what?" Jeongyeon brings herself to ask in a quiet voice when Jihyo pauses.

"If you love Nayeon, tell her," Jihyo finally says, in a tight voice. "The Yoo Jeongyeon I know
has always been brutally honest and frank to a fault. So stop being such a coward and just tell
her."

Jeongyeon takes in a sharp intake of breath before she can help it and feels a lump start to form in
her throat.

"It's not that easy," she croaks out, her voice cracking slightly.

Jihyo searches Jeongyeon's face and takes in the way Jeongyeon's fingers are starting to twist
around the hem of her denim jacket. She exhales roughly, her temper dissolving just as quickly as
it had come.

"It's not that hard either, Jeongyeon-ah," Jihyo says, gently this time, taking Jeongyeon's hand in
hers and lacing their fingers together. "How long are you going to keep doing this to yourself and
to Nayeon too? She's not going to wait forever you know."

Jeongyeon's fingers tighten involuntarily around Jihyo's and she can't quite meet Jihyo's gaze.
"But she's not waiting for me. She can't be."

Jihyo lets out a small noise of disapproval. "She has both guys and girls chasing after her literally
all the time, it's ridiculous. But she doesn't care, doesn't even spare them a second glance because
the only one she wants to be with is you."

"How do you know?" Jeongyeon swallows, feels her heart beating too fast at the base of her
throat. "How do you know for sure that it's me she wants to be with?"

"Are you seriously - " Jihyo begins incredulously, then breaks off and just sighs heavily.
"Jeongyeon-ah, after all this time, how can you still not know?"

Jeongyeon sighs, leaning against the railing of the balcony and tries to take in the beauty of the
starry night before her. She's not proud of the way she had positively fled, escaping into the master
bedroom, after that conversation with Jihyo.
Jihyo didn't chase after her, acknowledging the fact that Jeongyeon needed time alone to collect
her thoughts. It was just too much, all of it - coming back to Seoul, seeing the girls, seeing Nayeon
again after so long.

And then there's the fact that Jeongyeon has no idea what to do with the information that Nayeon
has apparently - if Jihyo is right - been patiently waiting for her because it can't possibly be true.
Not when Jeongyeon shut her out completely for 2 years, trying to run away from it all.

She doesn't deserve to have Nayeon waiting for her, she doesn't deserve to have Nayeon at all.

Jeongyeon closes her eyes and presses the heel of her palms into them, as if that would stop all
these thoughts running in her head or the way Nayeon's smile keeps bursting into colour behind
her eyelids.

When Jeongyeon opens her eyes again, she sees Nayeon next to her, face dangerously close. She
wonders how she could have missed hearing Nayeon come in but Nayeon has always managed to
slip under every one of Jeongyeon's defenses effortlessly.

"What's on your mind, Jeongyeonnie?" Nayeon whispers, reaching out to tuck a strand of hair
behind Jeongyeon's ear. Nayeon smells of vodka, cheeks flushed red as she blinks expectantly at
Jeongyeon, waiting for her to answer.

"Nothing," Jeongyeon quickly says, then takes a step back because she needs to get away. "Come
on, let's go back inside."

Nayeon's fingers wrap immediately around her wrist and pulls until Jeongyeon stumbles back into
place. There's something in the way she is looking at Jeongyeon that sends panic shooting
suddenly up Jeongyeon's spine.

"Jeongyeonnie," Nayeon murmurs then takes a deep breath. "You're so pretty. Do you know how
fucking pretty you are, Jeongyeon-ah?"

"You're drunk," Jeongyeon replies with a shaky laugh. There's a sudden lump building in her
throat and she feels like they're on the edge of dangerous territory.

"You are," Nayeon insists, eyes swimming with too much earnestness and more than a hint of
wild abandon. "You are so so beautiful and it makes me want to - "

"You're drunk," Jeongyeon cuts in sharply, repeating it with more urgency when Nayeon's face
gets impossibly closer to hers.

There's a brief, aching moment of Nayeon holding her gaze, eyes drifting down to Jeongyeon's
lips, before she leans in.

Jeongyeon manages to turn her head just in time, Nayeon's lips catching the corner of her mouth
instead. Her heart thunders dangerously and she flinches when Nayeon's thumb comes up to brush
the lipstick smudge off her face.

"Please don't," Jeongyeon manages to say weakly and Nayeon frowns slightly but takes her hand
away, settling instead for resting her head on Jeongyeon's shoulder.

It's too much all at once, to have Nayeon so close to her when she can still feel the ghost of
Nayeon's lips on her skin. Jeongyeon has no choice but to force herself to breathe through it, slow
and deep.

Nayeon shifts against her and wraps an arm around Jeongyeon's waist. It makes the panic knot
tighter in Jeongyeon's stomach but at the same time, grounds her as well because it's Nayeon and
they've been in this same position so many times before, offering each other support.

Jeongyeon's heartbeat is finally back to its normal rhythm again when Nayeon breaks the silence.

"Dahyunnie is getting married," she notes quietly.

"Yeah, she is," Jeongyeon agrees, then can't help the soft smile that breaks out on her face at the
happy noise Nayeon makes.

"I wish I'm getting married too," Nayeon continues, still in the same quiet voice, now tinged with
a hint of wistfulness.

Jeongyeon inhales sharply at the thought of Nayeon in her wedding dress beside some faceless
groom, happy and in love.

"I'm sure one day you'll find a handsome prince that will sweep you away and marry you,"
Jeongyeon tells her in the steadiest voice she can manage.

Nayeon makes a tiny displeased noise. "I don't want a prince," she says simply.

Jeongyeon has to bite hard on the inside of her cheek to stop herself from asking who exactly
Nayeon wants instead. She's not ready to hear the answer, whatever it may be.

"Jeongyeonnie," Nayeon continues after a prolonged beat of silence, lifting her head from
Jeongyeon's shoulder. She lays a cool palm on Jeongyeon's cheek and searches Jeongyeon's face
carefully, suddenly serious. "If I asked, will you marry me?"

Jeongyeon feels her heart shudder to a complete stop somewhere beneath her breast bone as
Nayeon once again, catches her off-guard and dismantles her completely.

She knows that Nayeon is drunk, that she probably has no idea what she's even saying and will
most likely not remember this at all later. Jeongyeon knows the right thing to do would be to brush
it off, to remind Nayeon how drunk she actually is and not take this seriously.

But Nayeon is staring up at her from underneath pretty eyelashes and Jeongyeon's heart catches in
her throat.

"Yes," she whispers, because it's the truth, because there's no other answer she can possibly give
without lying through her teeth.

She watches as the most brilliant smile blooms on Nayeon's face. Jeongyeon stares unblinkingly
until it's the only thing she sees, until it's forever burned in her memory even if she's the only one
who will remember this moment when they wake up in the morning.
Chapter 2
Chapter Notes

See the end of the chapter for notes

In the morning Jeongyeon wakes up and the first thing she sees is Nayeon curled up on the other
side of the bed. Her eyes are half-open and there are several pillow creases on her cheek.

Jeongyeon can only stare helplessly because somehow, Nayeon still manages to look
breathtakingly beautiful, even more so in the early morning light.

Nayeon had refused to let Jeongyeon leave her side after they left the balcony, clinging on to
Jeongyeon until she dozed off on the bed, probably from too much alcohol in her system.
Jeongyeon had considered leaving after the other girl fell asleep but didn't have the heart to.
Instead, she just curled up on the other side of the bed, putting as much distance between them as
she could.

Jeongyeon holds her breath when Nayeon shifts then feels herself start to panic. Last night on the
balcony flashes through her mind in vivid detail and Jeongyeon scrambles to get out of bed,
almost tripping over herself.

In the living room, Jeongyeon calls for a cab with fumbling fingers, trying to be quiet and not
wake up Momo and Mina, curled up together on the couch, or Dahyun sleeping on her front near
the karaoke machine.

She hastily scribbles an excuse on the hotel pad she finds on the coffee table and flees without
finding out where everyone else is, or worse, before someone wakes up and starts asking
questions she cannot answer.

Safe in the back of the cab, Jeongyeon leans back against the seat and closes her eyes. Her
conversation with Nayeon on the balcony echoes in her mind like a badly repeated soundtrack. It
goes ironically well with Jeongyeon's sinking realisation that she had been right.

It was a night to remember, one way or the other.

Jeongyeon can still recall it in vivid detail. The exact moment she kind of knew, and then the
moment after that when she knew for sure. This is how it happens:

It's a Thursday, mundane in every sense of the word, except that they've just been told that Lena is
leaving, which means their debut is pushed indefinitely yet again.

It's the reason why Jeongyeon ends up in one of the empty practice rooms, head against the
mirrored wall, her hands clutching desperately at the railing for something to hold on to. She's
trying hard to breathe and not cry, because it shouldn't hurt this much when she knew, she knew
that the road to debut is long and impossibly hard.

But it's been years now and Jisoo, oh god, poor Jisoo has spent almost half her life as a trainee.
The thought only makes her throat tighten even more and she cannot stop an ugly sob from
escaping, the sound echoing too loudly in the empty room.

She's crying uncontrollably when she's suddenly tugged into an embrace. Nayeon's in tears too
but she still holds Jeongyeon up with solid arms, and doesn't say a word as Jeongyeon sobs into
her shoulder.

"You'll be okay," Nayeon finally murmurs when they've both exhausted all their tears, lips warm
against Jeongyeon's temple. "We'll debut together one day and we'll be okay."

Everything else fades away then, and secure in Nayeon's arms, Jeongyeon feels something
beneath her ribs shift.

Almost a year later, the moment repeats itself under different circumstances. It's another mundane
Thursday, and it's both of them alone in the same practice room again. Only this time, it's days
before their official debut showcase.

This time, Jeongyeon cries because she's exhausted and her entire body hurts from the hundreds of
times they've practised the same choreography. She's running on a deadly mix of too much
anxiety and pure adrenaline and it's at once terrifying and overwhelming.

Nayeon immediately tugs her into an embrace, holding Jeongyeon with solid arms, and doesn't
say anything as Jeongyeon sobs uncontrollably into her shoulder.

Just like before, when Jeongyeon finally calms down, Nayeon presses a tender kiss to her temple.
"We're debuting and we're together, Jeongyeon-ah. We'll be okay."

Everything else fades away then, and secure in Nayeon's arms, Jeongyeon feels it even more this
time, how her heart stutters before clicking into place, already too far gone for the girl before her.

Jeongyeon spends the rest of the day in her pajamas, lounging on the sofa and alternating between
watching horror movies and mukbang videos. It occupies her mind enough for Jeongyeon to not
dwell on last night. She's not quite ready to reexamine all the moments, to figure out what it all
means or what she's going to do about any of it.

It's a little past midnight when she finally settles in bed, feeling strangely drained despite spending
hours vegetating like a couch potato.

Her phone beeps with a notification just as she's about to drift off to sleep. She blinks blearily at
the screen to see a text message from Tzuyu.

Chou Tzuyu: Movie in 40 minutes.

Jeongyeon frowns then waits to see if another message is coming. When there's none, she sighs
but gets out of bed anyway.
It may be past midnight and they may have a wedding to attend tomorrow but it's Tzuyu and if
there's one person Jeongyeon can never say no to, it's her.

Jeongyeon's always had a soft spot for their maknae, has always wanted to protect her and keep
her safe. That hasn't changed over the years, even though the quiet 13-year-old girl she first met
has grown up into a mature young lady.

She calls for a cab as she gets dressed, pulling on jeans and an oversized sweatshirt. She grabs an
extra hoodie because Tzuyu has a habit of forgetting hers every time they've gone to the movies
together.

By the time she gets to the movie theatre near their old dorm, Tzuyu's already waiting for her in
front of the ticketing counter. In lieu of an actual greeting, they do a wordless mutual exchange -
Tzuyu hands over the large popcorn in her hands and takes the extra hoodie from Jeongyeon,
pulling it over her head.

She clicks her tongue when she notices Jeongyeon already digging into the popcorn but links their
arms together anyway, leading Jeongyeon into the theatre.

It occurs to Jeongyeon as they're locating their seats, that she has no idea what movie they're even
watching but she figures it doesn't really matter anyway. If it's terrible, she can just sleep, which
Tzuyu will be annoyed about for a few minutes before getting over it after Jeongyeon promises to
make it up to her with a chocolate milk shake from that cafe Tzuyu loves near the old JYP
building.

That's just how this movie partnership of theirs has always worked anyway.

It was a terrible movie, one of those weird sci-fi time travel things that Sana would have loved
despite it making absolutely no sense at all. Jeongyeon had spent the larger part of 2 hours dozing
off on Tzuyu's shoulder and was surprised to wake up at the end of it all to find Tzuyu chuckling
fondly at her instead of being annoyed.

Neither of them had wanted to head home just yet so they're walking aimlessly around their old
neighbourhood, arms linked together and making small talk.

Tzuyu tells her all about the new series she's set to shoot next month, a Chinese remake of a
popular Korean drama from a few years ago. Jeongyeon hums in all the right places to show she's
listening, then tells Tzuyu she'll definitely watch it when it airs.

They lapse into a comfortable silence as they round the corner, coming across what used to be an
empty parking lot but is now a swanky apartment complex.

"Do you remember when we trained for hours there when we had to throw the first pitch at that
baseball game years ago?" Tzuyu asks suddenly, jutting her chin out at the apartment complex.

"Yeah, of course," Jeongyeon replies warmly. She chuckles and nudges Tzuyu's side teasingly.
"You were so worried you would screw up that you forced me to accompany you training for
hours."

Tzuyu shoots her a half-hearted glare. "You were worried too, unnie. You kept wondering out
loud if you should ask the managers to switch you out with someone else instead."

"Yeah, I remember," Jeongyeon says fondly. She's confused when Tzuyu suddenly stops walking
and pulls on Jeongyeon's arm, forcing her to stop too. "Tzuyu?"

Tzuyu's face is only half-framed in the dim street lights but Jeongyeon can still make out the
serious look in her eyes. "Do you remember what I told you then?"

Jeongyeon frowns, trying to recall the particular memory. Before she can say anything though,
Tzuyu presses on, her tone unusually heavy. "I told you that you miss 100% of the shots you don't
take."

"Yeah," Jeongyeon says, the memory finally coming back to her. "I remember that."

"Good," Tzuyu replies, pursing her lips slightly. "Because, right now, I'm going to tell you the
same thing again. You miss 100% of the shots you don't take, unnie."

A knot forms all of a sudden in the pit of Jeongyeon's stomach because she's sure they're not really
talking about baseball anymore. The knot tightens when she realises that this is probably why
Tzuyu asked to watch a terrible midnight movie with her.

The image of Nayeon staring up at her from underneath pretty lashes slips into her mind, along
with everything else that happened last night. Nayeon asking her to stay. The talk with Jihyo. The
almost kiss. The marriage proposal.

Tzuyu meets her gaze, steady and unflinching but doesn't say anything else.

Jeongyeon exhales shakily and looks away first, focusing instead on the laces of her shoes.

After a moment, Tzuyu steps beside her and links their arms together again. They continue
walking down the street, Tzuyu seemingly content to let Jeongyeon muddle through all the
thoughts in her head, offering quiet solid support instead.

On the day of the wedding, Jeongyeon arrives early and takes some time to chat with Dahyun's
parents at the entrance. She hasn't seen them in years, which explains their sheer delight when she
showed up and the way Mrs. Kim had hugged her too tightly.

She's in the middle of telling them about Vienna when Chaeyoung appears around the corner, in a
form-fitting sleeveless maroon dress and stiletto heels. Jeongyeon has to bite the inside of her
cheek to resist the impulse to tell Chaeyoung off for wearing something that fits on her like a
second skin because for god's sake, Chaeyoung is 26, not 16 anymore.

"We have a problem," Chaeyoung announces when she reaches them. It's the same tone she uses
when there's serious trouble, most often when their manager is about to blow his top because one
of them let slip yet another massive spoiler.

Mr. and Mrs. Kim wave them off without a word and Jeongyeon follows Chaeyoung down the
hallway and into a large dressing room at the end.

Jeongyeon blinks, taking in the sight before her.


Dahyun, beautiful and resplendent in her wedding dress, is sitting in front of the dresser, her head
in her hands and what looks like a soggy mess of paper on the dresser. Jihyo has a comforting arm
around Dahyun's shoulders, murmuring words Jeongyeon can't hear in Dahyun's ear.

Over by the window, Momo has her arms wrapped around Mina's waist, chin resting on Mina's
shoulder. Mina's fingers are laced with Momo's as she leans back into the embrace, looking more
than comfortable, like they've done this a million times before, which Jeongyeon realises, they
probably have.

Across the room, Sana is in another chair, coffee cup in her hand and biting her lip worryingly, a
familiar guilty look on her face. Tzuyu has a firm grasp on her shoulders from where she's
standing behind Sana's chair.

Jeongyeon blinks again and then puts two and two together. "Okay, so what did Sana spill coffee
all over and ruin this time?"

Sana blanches and turns even paler at the question. She opens her mouth then closes it again and
in the end just swallows, mumbling an apology instead.

Chaeyoung sighs and mutters in a low voice into Jeongyeon's ear. "Dahyun unnie's vows. And
now the bride is panicking because she hasn't fully memorised them yet and she thinks the
wedding will be ruined."

"Of course the wedding won't be ruined, Dahyun-ah," Jeongyeon says immediately, loudly
enough that Dahyun looks up from her hands with watery eyes.

"But my vows - "

"We'll just rewrite them," Nayeon interrupts, stepping into the room with a reassuring smile. She's
beautiful in her black off-shoulder dress, her hair up in an elegant bun with loose tendrils framing
her face, and Jeongyeon stares for a few seconds longer than she should.

Somehow it's decided that everyone will contribute a line, rewriting the vows together like one of
those relay stories they wrote for that book ages ago. It's a perfect solution, because the nine of
them have grown up solving everything together.

"I knew you were special from the moment I met you," Mina softly starts them off, pulling
Momo's arms tighter around her own waist.

"When you requested to see my eagle dance before even introducing yourself," Momo continues
without hesitation, like they're speaking in the same breath.

Dahyun lets out a watery laugh, all the distress falling away from her face. "I remember telling
myself to 'avoid that strange guy at all costs' only to eat my words later when you turned out to be
the most beautiful person I've ever met."

Jihyo squeezes Dahyun's shoulder with her own gentle smile then chimes in confidently, "You fill
my days with so much joy, love and laughter, that I know every minute with you will never be
boring."

Tzuyu ponders for a long moment, her forehead crinkled in thought before simply settling for, "I
cannot wait to spend the rest of my life with you."

She ignores Chaeyoung's protests of how that's cliche and too impersonal, nudging Sana to say
her line next.
"I cannot wait to build a home, a whole life, and share everything with you," Sana says, with a
small smile at Dahyun, who returns it, the ruined vows already forgotten.

"In you I've found my soulmate, and my best friend -" Chaeyoung adds on then falters for a bit
before squaring her shoulders and fixing everyone in the room with a glare, as though daring them
all to laugh as she continues. "- and this is what I call happiness."

Chaeyoung glares harder at the poorly suppressed chuckles and giggles that follow her words. She
waves her hand at Nayeon, indicating for their eldest to continue.

Everyone turns and looks at Nayeon expectantly but her gaze is locked on Jeongyeon instead, as
though she's directing her words to Jeongyeon. "And after all this time, I still fall a little bit more in
love with you every day."

Jeongyeon holds Nayeon's gaze and breathes through the hammering of her heart, trying not to
read too much into it - Nayeon was probably quoting a line from one of those dramas she's acted
in.

She takes a deep breath and says in a quiet voice far steadier than she feels. "I love you more than
a human heart can hold and I promise, I will carry you in my heart, always."

There's a brief aching moment of them just staring at each other until Nayeon's lips quirk slightly
at the corners. "Always the romantic, Yoo Jeongyeon."

Only for you, Jeongyeon feels like saying, but the words stay trapped in her throat. She's already
given away too much and after everything that's happened between them the last few days, she
just can't. At least, not right now.

So Jeongyeon just tears her gaze away, feeling her cheeks burn. To her relief, no one else
comments despite the awkwardness hanging heavily in the air.

"You look beautiful, Dahyun-ah."

Dahyun's head snaps up at her words and Jeongyeon smiles gently, soothing a hand over
Dahyun's shoulder. Dahyun tugs on her hand and Jeongyeon allows it, draping herself around
Dahyun's back carefully so as not to mess up her beautifully done hair.

"Thank you, unnie," Dahyun murmurs, looking down again at the vows in her hand they had
created together, written in Sana's neat hangul.

Jeongyeon reads them too, her eyes lingering on the last two lines.

"It's okay to be selfish sometimes, you know," Dahyun tells her, watching Jeongyeon through the
mirror before them. "Everyone deserves to be happy with the person they want to share their life
with."

"Is that why you're getting married in a few minutes? Being selfish and breaking the hearts of all
your fanboys?" Jeongyeon asks, injecting just the right amount of lightness into her voice and
hitching a smile on her face.
It's a poor attempt to deflect on her part but Dahyun still laughs, genuine and full of happiness and
Jeongyeon's heart swells at the sight. She presses a kiss to Dahyun's temple and squeezes Dahyun
a little tighter.

"Congratulations, Dahyun-ah," Jeongyeon adds quietly with as much sincerity and earnestness as
she can. "I'll pray every day for you to find happiness in your new life."

"I'll pray for your happiness too, unnie. With whoever you want to share your life with," Dahyun
says with a knowing look and a tender smile, squeezing Jeongyeon's hands warmly.

"Come dance with me," Nayeon tells her when couples start moving towards the dance floor after
the ceremony. She holds out her hand for Jeongyeon to take.

Jeongyeon hesitates for only the briefest of seconds before she takes Nayeon's hand. She hates
slow dancing but it's Nayeon and no matter what, she still can never bring herself to deny Nayeon
anything.

They wind their way through the crowd, passing by Momo and Mina, swaying slowly to the
music with their foreheads pressed together, clearly lost in their own world. Jeongyeon feels
something beneath her ribs clench at the sight of her closest friends so effortlessly happy and in
love.

Another slow song stars playing and both of them slip into position easily without having to think
about it. It's muscle memory from their trainee years when they were made to take a few lessons
on ballroom dancing.

This close, Nayeon looks almost ethereal in her beauty, and it's completely distracting.

Nayeon laughs when Jeongyeon misses a couple of steps, pulling Jeongyeon closer so she doesn't
fall flat on her face.

"I'm really glad you're back, Jeongyeon-ah."

Jeongyeon smiles softly back and it's comfortable right now, between them. There are no heavy
conversations or drunken proposals. It's easy and familiar.

It's what makes Jeongyeon dare to ask tentatively, "Do you remember our conversation on the
balcony that night?"

"You mean during the Bachelorette Party?" Nayeon clarifies, a slight frown on her face. "I only
remember us talking before dinner. Did we talk on the balcony too?"

Relief floods over Jeongyeon in waves. Nayeon can't remember any of it, which is how it's
supposed to be. It's easier that Nayeon doesn't remember her drunken proposal, doesn't remember
Jeongyeon saying yes. It gives Jeongyeon more time to sort it all out in her own head.

"Was I drunk and said something I shouldn't?"

Jeongyeon has to fight to keep her face perfectly straight and not give anything away. She settles
for a dismissive chuckle instead.
"Something like that, yeah."

She sees Nayeon open her mouth, as if to ask her to elaborate, and decides on impulse to throw
her arm out so that Nayeon goes spinning before stepping back into place. She knows it will
distract Nayeon enough for her to forget to press Jeongyeon for more information.

"You know that's not how the dance goes!" Nayeon chastises when she's back in Jeongyeon's
arms but there's a crinkle in her eye and laughter in her voice.

"You liked it," Jeongyeon shoots back, laughing too because Nayeon's joy is almost infectious.

Jeongyeon twirls Nayeon again, then dips her backwards, arm secure around Nayeon's back. Her
heart catches dangerously in her throat in the shape of Nayeon's laugh.

Later, they sit together at a table, sipping martinis and watching the chaos on the dance floor.

The rest of the girls are crowding around Momo, urging her on with loud whoops and cheers as
she does a silly inebrieted version of her Likey dancebreak. All the other guests are giving them a
wide berth, some with their phones out, recording the antics of the former Nation's Girl Group
members.

Jeongyeon snorts when Momo dances up to a giggling Sana and then it somehow becomes a
messy free-for-all dance party.

Nayeon nudges her and although she's smiling widely from watching the chaos before them, her
eyes carry a fierce intensity.

"I know you're due back to Vancouver soon but can you stay just a little longer?" Nayeon reaches
for Jeongyeon's hand and holds on, seemingly not wanting to let go. "I just want to spend some
time with you before you go."

"Okay," Jeongyeon agrees too easily, saying the first thing that came to her mind without thinking
properly about it.

She allows Nayeon to tangle their fingers together and pull her towards the dance floor.

She should hate the way she cannot deny Nayeon anything, but the feel of Nayeon's hand in hers
as they dance with everyone else pushes the thought far away from her mind.

The day after the wedding, Jeongyeon cancels her flight back to Vancouver.

She doesn't reschedule for a new flight, just leaves it as it is for now.

All things considered, things with Nayeon seem to be progressing well enough and Jeongyeon
feels that they are close to finally sorting out whatever it is between them that's been lingering for
years. Like she's finally ready to navigate the mess of feelings in her chest that's been there for
Nayeon for as long as she can remember.

Days later, when everything changes, Jeongyeon will remember thinking this and will curse
herself for being so foolish - things between Nayeon and her will never be easy, will never be as
simple as Jeongyeon cancelling her flight and staying in Seoul long enough for them to figure it all
out.

Jeongyeon's in the middle of cooking herself dinner when she hears the front door beep and the
sound of someone entering the apartment.

She frowns, trying to remember if Seungyeon had mentioned anything about coming home today
but can't seem to recall anything except Seungyeon telling her two days ago that filming has been
extended because of problems with the Hong Kong cast members.

"I'm in the kitchen," she calls out, figuring it's either one of her parents, coming to check in on her,
and goes back to stirring her pasta sauce.

"Jeongyeon-ah," she hears a quiet voice call out from the doorway of the kitchen, a voice she's not
entirely expecting to hear at all.

Jeongyeon looks up to find Nayeon staring back at her with liquid eyes, dressed in an oversized
hoodie that makes her look impossibly small. Jeongyeon recognises with a jolt that it's her hoodie,
one she's been missing for years and half convinced she's lost forever.

She has no idea what Nayeon is doing standing across from her in her kitchen but there's a weary
look on Nayeon's face that makes her swallow down any questions she has.

"Just in time," Jeongyeon says, keeping her voice light and offering Nayeon a reassuring smile. "I
was just about to have dinner."

Nayeon gives her a brief tight-lipped smile in return then looks slightly apologetic. "I'm sorry for
coming over unannounced. I asked Mina and she gave me the passcode Seungyeon unnie gave
her."

"It's okay," Jeongyeon tells her, because it seems to be what Nayeon needs to hear right now,
even though Jeongyeon feels the familiar edge of panic settling in her stomach at having Nayeon
here when there's so much between them she's still in the middle of figuring out.

Nayeon settles down at the kitchen table, watching wordlessly as Jeongyeon continues cooking.
She doesn't offer to help and Jeongyeon doesn't ask her to either. Nayeon isn't the most adapt in
the kitchen anyway and as it is, seems like she's too lost in her thoughts to even be of any useful
help.

"Is everything okay?" Jeongyeon asks tentatively, watching Nayeon out of the corner of her eye
as she plates up the pasta.

"Yeah," Nayeon replies and she must know how stilted it sounds because she clears her throat and
meets Jeongyeon's gaze. "The company made me a new offer today and I'm just - "
"Just?" Jeongyeon prompts gently when Nayeon breaks off.

"Just wondering whether I should accept it. I'm not sure what's the right choice to make."

Jeongyeon absorbs that as she carries their plates to the table and sets them down.

She slips into her seat before replying, choosing her next words carefully. "Well, there's no right
or wrong choice because I'm sure whatever you choose to do will be whatever that's best for you."

A wry smile makes its way onto Nayeon's face but her eyes are still tinged with something that
looks remarkably sad. She starts eating her pasta wordlessly, looking lost in her thoughts again.

Jeongyeon doesn't push the issue, sensing that Nayeon doesn't really want to talk about it
anymore. She fills up the silence by telling Nayeon all about Vancouver and Vienna and all the
other places she's lived at or visited the past two years, talking enough for the both of them.

Schilthorn isn't mentioned - carefully omitted because talking about that is just going to open up a
whole other can of worms that Jeongyeon isn't ready to take on as well.

"Let's come back here together, Jeongyeon-ah," Nayeon tells her, gripping tightly onto
Jeongyeon's hand as they stop for a second to take in the beautiful snow-covered mountains
before them. "Let's come back in seven years, on this date."

"Why seven?" Jeongyeon asks, allowing Nayeon to lace their fingers together as they start
walking again.

Nayeon shrugs. "It's how long I've known you. It's been seven years since we first met in 2010, so
let's come back here together seven years later."

"You're so weird sometimes," Jeongyeon tells her but doesn't hesitate to link her pinky finger with
Nayeon's own, sealing their promise to come back to Schilthorn together seven years in the future.

In the end, it's Nayeon that opens the can of worms anyway, in the foyer of the apartment, just
before she leaves.

"I heard from Jihyo you went to Schilthorn," she begins quietly, her gaze fixed on Jeongyeon's
face. "I'm sorry I didn't keep to our promise."

Nayeon must be able to read the stricken expression on Jeongyeon's face because she adds in a
voice so small it breaks Jeongyeon's heart. "I didn't know if you wanted me there."

Jeongyeon swallows and forces a smile onto her face - either way, wherever this conversation is
heading to is going to end up wounding both of them anyway.
"Well, it's not like you could just leave your schedule halfway," she says mildly, but it comes off
sounding too strained and hurt, like Jeongyeon has any right to be hurt when she's the one that ran
away.

It's Nayeon's turn to look wounded and Jeongyeon feels the guilt fill her gut immediately so she
tries for honesty this time.

"It's not completely your fault. It's not like I made it easy for you by shutting you out, either."

"It's okay," Nayeon interjects, seemingly sensing that Jeongyeon had been on the verge of an
apology. "It's not something you need to apologise for."

Her eyes are sad again as they lock onto Jeongyeon's own.

"We all have our own demons to fight," she whispers, holding Jeongyeon's gaze for a moment
longer before turning away and walking out of the door.

Jeongyeon spends the next few days writing lyrics - it's how she has been occupying her time
since Twice disbanded, having no real desire to perform on stage or be in the limelight again.

She writes lyrics for idol groups and solo singers - all love songs in their own way.

It's ironic if she thinks about it, how she spends all her time writing love songs, pouring herself
into the lyrics, when she cannot articulate it out loud to the one person that she needs to tell it all
to.

Jeongyeon's writing another love song for JYP's newest boy group when she pauses and rereads
the lyrics she's written. Fighting our Demons, reads the title she had scribbled at the top. She's not
surprised when she sees that she's described Nayeon in the chorus - it's happened many times
before, like as though Nayeon is hidden in every word Jeongyeon will ever write.

Jeongyeon sighs as she starts crossing out some words and rewriting new ones, removing the
traces of Nayeon that have bled into the song.

She thinks of how she's had so many conversations about this thing between her and Nayeon
since she came back, thinks of how the girls are all right - this has been going on for far too long,
something has got to give and soon.

On hindsight, Jeongyeon knows she really should have taken a moment to think about it before
she decided to drop by Nayeon's studio unannounced.

She must have somehow lost her mind after seeing Nayeon's instagram post this morning - a
picture of her staring out of the window of her studio with the caption I wish I knew how to write
a love song.
It's too late now to back out, not when she's already standing on the threshold. Nayeon doesn't
notice her, too absorbed in scribbling something in her notebook, a deep frown of concentration
on her face.

Jeongyeon clutches her phone like it's a lifeline before clearing her throat and waits for Nayeon to
look up.

Nayeon's expression goes through five different emotions, starting with surprise, before dissolving
smoothly into a carefully neutral one.

"What are you doing here?" she asks evenly, gesturing for Jeongyeon to take a seat.

Jeongyeon holds up her phone in explanation. "I saw you're having some lyrics trouble so I
thought I'd -"

She breaks off because why exactly was she here? She's supposed to be meeting Chaeyoung for
lunch in half an hour on the other side of town, she doesn't quite have time for this. But yet, here
she is, in Nayeon's studio, grasping for a good enough excuse to explain her sudden appearance
here.

Something flickers across Nayeon's face that Jeongyeon cannot read at all. Instinctively, she
braces herself for what Nayeon's about to say.

"You know, I've always wanted to have you write my lyrics," Nayeon says matter-of-factly then
she blinks and her voice takes on a hard edge. "Sent countless emails with song demos for you but
then -"

She breaks off, takes a deep breath, and continues in a tone even more tempered than before.
"After a while, I just gave up. It hurt a lot less to give up than to keep trying uselessly. You made
it pretty clear you didn't want to have anything to do with me, anyway."

Jeongyeon swallows and realises belatedly this is what she should have thought about before
stupidly deciding to turn up here out of the blue. Of course, Nayeon wouldn't appreciate her
coming here unannounced, waltzing in and offering help on lyrics, when Jeongyeon had rejected
her repeatedly over and over again by not even replying.

What did she think was going to happen? That Nayeon will welcome her with open arms and
they'll write lyrics for a love song together?

Like anything is ever going to be quite that simple between them.

"Look, I can't do this with you right now," Nayeon tells her brusquely, standing up abruptly from
her seat. "I have an important meeting with the company I cannot miss -"

"About that decision you were supposed to make?" Jeongyeon interrupts before she can stop
herself.

Nayeon freezes completely and then her walls seem to come up all at once. She crosses her arms
and pulls her cardigan tighter around her.

"Yes," she tells Jeongyeon stiffly.

"I can show myself out," Jeongyeon offers then attempts an encouraging smile. "Good luck."

Nayeon's face crumples at little at her words before she manages to keep her composure in check.
Her shoulders remain too tensed however, like it's physically hurting her to be here in this
moment.

Jeongyeon can't help but wonder what it is if it's making Nayeon shut down like this, holding on
to whatever pieces of her composure with shaking fingers.

Nayeon walks out without another word, leaving her notebook open on the table. Jeongyeon can
see messy scribbles - half-formed lyrics crossed out before they become a song.

It's too quiet after Nayeon leaves and Jeongyeon knows she should be leaving too, knows deep
down that this is another terrible idea, but her hands reach out for the notebook on Nayeon's desk
anyway.

She turns to a fresh page and begins scribbling, the words flowing out easier than anything else
she'd ever written before.

I was okay even standing in the rain

Because everything was the traces you left behind

Because longing for you is a beautiful pain

Truthfully, I don’t want to be afraid of everything

and want to end it too

The rain falls, dries up and disappears

You can’t go away just like that, please

Don’t leave like the rain

I’m drenched like this again, today

And in the wet traces, I’m searching for you

If only I can do this over again

Just one more chance,

so I can see you again

This is how you write a love song, Jeongyeon thinks as she puts down the pencil and puts the
notebook back onto the table. You need to write about all the things you've never been brave
enough to say.

It's almost an hour later than the time she was supposed to meet Chaeyoung for lunch. Jeongyeon
winces as she enters the restaurant and immediately catches sight of Chaeyoung glaring at her
from a table in the corner.

"I'm sorry," she blurts out when she's close enough to the table. "Sorry to keep you waiting,
Chaeyoung-ah."
Chaeyoung purses her lips then seems to notice the way Jeongyeon is carefully avoiding her eyes.
She puts two and two together somehow and asks bluntly, "Were you with Nayeon unnie?"

Jeongyeon's head snaps up at that. She thinks about lying but at Chaeyoung's raised eyebrow, just
nods wearily.

Chaeyoung's jaw works furiously for a moment before she just sighs and pushes a menu across
the table.

"I heard the lobster here is good," she says simply and Jeongyeon knows it's her way of saying
she's going to hold back and they don't have to talk about Nayeon or any of it at all if Jeongyeon
doesn't want to.

When the waiter comes over to take their order, Jeongyeon orders two lobsters and their most
expensive bottle of wine.

Chaeyoung's eyebrows lift but she doesn't say anything about it, and they lapse into small talk
while waiting for their food.

There's a slight undercurrent of tension between them which they both pointedly ignore, until
Jeongyeon's phone vibrates on the table. Both of them glance at the screen instinctively.

It's Nayeon who sends a simple I'm not the one who left like the rain. Another message follows,
just thank you for the lyrics and nothing else.

Jeongyeon closes her eyes and starts counting backwards from ten, tries her best to breathe
normally. She's very much aware of Chaeyoung's gaze fixed on her face, can imagine the
knowing look in her eyes, the way Chaeyoung must be bursting to say whatever she's been dying
to say when she realised why Jeongyeon was late.

A warm palm lands on her hand and she blinks her eyes open to meet Chaeyoung's heavy gaze.

"You need to be honest with yourself about what you want, unnie."

Jeongyeon looks away. How is it that every conversation she has about Nayeon or with Nayeon
herself brings about this ache in her chest she cannot quell?

"I don't know what I want," she says softly.

It's a downright lie and they both know it, have known each other since they were teenagers
really. So Jeongyeon isn't surprised when Chaeyoung squeezes her hand tightly enough for it to
hurt.

"I think you do," Chaeyoung tells her, always honest, always brave enough to say whatever is on
her mind, the consequences be damned. "I think you do know what you want. And that's the
problem."

Nayeon texts her again a couple of hours later, which is how Jeongyeon finds herself sitting on
their usual bench beside the Han river, waiting for Nayeon to arrive.
The sun is setting and the sky is a watercolour painting of different shades of orange. It's beautiful
but Jeongyeon is too distracted trying to read meaning into Nayeon's text - Meet me, please?
There's something I need to tell you.

The whole thing throws her off, fills Jeongyeon's gut with a strange sense of foreboding. It's like
her body is trying to warn her of a storm that's about to come. It makes her feel too uneasy and
she's forced to start counting down slowly from 100, just to keep herself composed.

She's at 52 when she finally spots Nayeon's BMW pulling into the carpark nearby. She watches as
Nayeon gets out of the car and starts making her way over to Jeongyeon.

Halfway through though, Nayeon is stopped by a passing stranger walking his dog. Jeongyeon
assumes it's a fan then becomes confused when they greet each other like old friends, Nayeon
standing up on tiptoes to give him a hug and then press a fleeting kiss to his cheek.

She squints and just barely makes out the stranger's face. It's Lee Sungjoon, one of Korea's rising
stars. With a sickening jolt in the pit of her stomach, Jeongyeon remembers breaking headlines
from two years ago, headlines with both Nayeon and Sungjoon's names side by side in the same
sentence.

Something clots over in Jeongyeon's chest as she watches Nayeon bend down to tickle Sungjoon's
dog under the chin, smiling brightly up at Sungjoon like he's the sun.

After everything she's put Nayeon through, Jeongyeon knows she has absolutely no right to feel
anything at all, watching Nayeon and Sungjoon like this.

But it still hurts all the same, hurts deeper than she thought it would.

Jeongyeon can't really bear to look at Nayeon when she finally comes over and takes a seat on the
other side of the bench.

"Was that Sungjoon?" Jeongyeon asks, attempting to keep her voice casual but not quite
managing it, judging from the way Nayeon's brow wrinkles.

Nayeon nods, searching Jeongyeon's eyes like she's trying to figure Jeongyeon out.

The image of Nayeon smiling up at Sungjoon flashes before her and the words slip out of her
mouth without a second thought. "Are you guys getting back together?"

"What?" Nayeon's expression carries a world of disbelief, like she cannot believe what she's
hearing. "We were never together. It was all part of a secret publicity stunt for that drama we shot
together."

"Dispatch had pictures," Jeongyeon's voice trembles. She feels like there's ice currently splintering
under her feet. "Both of you on secret dates. Kissing."

"Because that's what we were told to do," Nayeon says dryly, with a humourless laugh. "He's
gay. He's been in love with his best friend for years - "

Nayeon breaks off, takes a deep shuddering breath then the way she's looking at Jeongyeon now
sets off all sorts of warning bells in Jeongyeon's head.

"We used to laugh about how fucking ironic it all is. Both of us having to pretend so hard to be
head over heels for each other when we're exactly the same - in love with our bestfriends who - "

Nayeon breaks off again then just closes her eyes, breathing steadily. After a beat, she looks at
Jeongyeon again and Jeongyeon cannot help her sharp inhale of breath because Nayeon looks
completely broken, eyes swimming with too much anguish and a world of hurt.

"Was that why you left? Why you ran miles away to Vancouver?"

Jeongyeon can hardly breathe now. There's a knot beneath her ribs that just feels like it's getting
tighter and tighter.

Nayeon must be able to read the anguish on Jeongyeon's face because she laughs again,
disappointed and devoid of any mirth.

"Why is it always so hard with you, Yoo Jeongyeon?" Nayeon breathes out in a voice that doesn't
sound like her own. "God, we're a fucking mess."

"I'm sorry," Jeongyeon whispers. "I'm sorry I hurt you. I'm sorry I still keep hurting you."

Nayeon wipes at the stray tear on her cheek with a shaky hand. "I'm sorry too. For the studio
earlier."

"I deserved it," Jeongyeon tells her, voice too rough. "I shouldn't have shown up out of the blue
and cornered you like that in your safe space."

She wishes desperately that she can take it all back somehow, that they can go back to who they
were before all this mess.

"I can't do this anymore, Jeongyeon-ah," Nayeon whispers brokenly as another tear runs down
her cheek. "I realised I'm exhausted and I don't think I have it in me to keep doing this with you,
not when you haven't given me anything in return."

"What - what are you saying?"

"I'm saying let's just stop dancing around each other like this. We've been doing it for years now
so let's just... stop."

"I never meant to hurt you," Jeongyeon admits around the lump in her throat, breath hitching
brokenly.

"I know," Nayeon whispers, reaching out to cup a warm palm against Jeongyeon's cheek. "But
you did. Which is why I need to do this for myself."

"Do what?"

A tiny broken sob escapes Nayeon's lips and she takes a long moment before she swallows and
regains her composure enough.

"The company offered to let me oversee the creative department. In the New York office. And I -
I thought about it long and hard and...I've been wanting a break from performing and acting for a
while now and it just - just seems like the offer came at the right time."

Jeongyeon's vision is starting to blur now because she knows, knows that Nayeon is going to tell
her she's leaving. To New York. A whole other world away.

She wonders brokenly if this searing pain in her chest is what Nayeon felt too when Jeongyeon
told her about Vancouver. If it is, then she deserves this, deserves to feel like this right now for
putting Nayeon through it first.

"I'm leaving, Jeongyeon-ah," Nayeon confirms it too quietly, brushing away a tear that manages
to escape from the corner of Jeongyeon's eye. "My flight leaves later tonight but I wanted you to
hear it from me. Not from the girls or the headlines."

I don't want to hear about this at all, Jeongyeon thinks desperately. I don't want you to leave me.

Please don't leave me. Please.

If Jeongyeon has no right to feel so deeply hurt watching Nayeon and Sungjoon earlier, she
knows she has even lesser of a right to ask Nayeon to stay and not leave.

She can't keep Nayeon at arm's length for years, putting all this distance between them, and then
hold on to her whenever she wants to.

"I'm sorry," Nayeon breathes, voice splintered from all the tears she's holding back. "I just need to
do what's best for me."

It's cruel how Nayeon's repeating back words Jeongyeon had offered her in comfort just days ago.
It's cruel and Jeongyeon feels her heart breaking all over again.

"I understand," Jeongyeon manages to say in between shaky breaths, because there's nothing else
she can say, because she's trying her best to hold herself together and not break completely.

Nayeon smiles brokenly at her, tattered in the corners. "It'll be okay. Let's just remember us when
we were younger, when it was all good...and we'll be okay."

If Jeongyeon thought she felt the ice splintering beneath her feet earlier, it pales in comparison to
how she feels now as she helplessly watches Nayeon walk away, their roles reversed at last.

Chapter End Notes

Writing this chapter hurt me deeper than I thought it would. Broken 2Yeon breaks
my heart.

The lyrics Jeongyeon writes in Nayeon's notebook is from Super Junior's One More
Chance, written by one Lee Donghae, who after more than 10 years, still remains
quietly as one of my favourites ever.

One more chapter to go! Don't worry, it won't be as angsty or heart-breaking (I


hope).
Chapter 3
Chapter Notes

See the end of the chapter for notes

Somehow, Jeongyeon manages to make it back to her apartment without breaking.

The tenuous grasp she has on her feelings somehow holds and by the time she's pulling off her
coat in the living room, Jeongyeon has gone steadily numb.

It's the only way she can cope with Nayeon leaving, with her entire world changing, without
drowning completely.

She's sitting on the sofa, mindlessly watching the television when her phone beeps. Jeongyeon
opens the message in the Twice group chat to see a selfie of Nayeon staring back at her. It looks
like it was taken in the plane just before take-off.

An irrational flare of anger overwhelms her immediately and before she knows it, Jeongyeon has
thrown her phone violently across the room, where it hits the wall too hard.

The screen is probably cracked but Jeongyeon can't bring herself to care because Nayeon can
somehow still take a selfie on the plane in perfect lighting with a perfect angle and a perfect half-
smile on her face. Jeongyeon hates that she can still look so beautiful even with red-rimmed eyes.

She holds on to the anger almost desperately.

It's easier to be angry - at Nayeon, at the stupid company for making the offer in the first place, at
the universe, at herself for screwing up so badly by being too cowardly from the start.

It's easier than letting herself feel the pain.

Later, when the anger has simmered enough to not be as good of a distraction, Jeongyeon takes
out every single cleaning product she has and begins to spring clean.

The apartment is spotless really but she just needs something to do with her hands to stop them
from shaking too badly.

Jeongyeon is on her knees, in the middle of scrubbing the floors with a rag when the front door
beeps. She ignores it and scrubs harder at the gleaming marble before her.

She thinks furiously how she needs to change the stupid passcode and tell Seungyeon off for
giving it away too easily in the first place, even if it's Mina, her favourite Twice member, who
asked.

There's quiet shuffling from somewhere behind her then someone steps directly in front of her,
toeing at the rag in her hands. Jeongyeon tears her gaze away from the bright pink sparkly toenails
and looks up to find Momo staring down at her wordlessly, lips pursed.

"What?" Jeongyeon snaps, sitting back on her heels and glowering at Momo. She deflates a little
when Momo raises her eyebrows. "Sorry, I just need to finish cleaning - "

"Jeongyeon, you live in one of the cleanest apartments I've ever seen," Momo interrupts, tugging
on Jeongyeon's wrist and pulling her towards the sofa. "And take off that ugly cleaning bandana
thing on your head. It makes you look like my mother."

"Shut up," Jeongyeon grumbles, shoving at Momo's shoulder half-heartedly before sinking down
beside her on the sofa. "It keeps my hair off my face when I clean, okay."

Momo snorts then rolls her eyes a little before turning to Jeongyeon with an uncharacteristically
sombre look on her face.

"It's been a while since I've seen you stress cleaning," she says quietly, taking in the way
Jeongyeon tries hard not to flinch and failing. "Wanna talk about it instead?"

Jeongyeon sighs, closing her eyes and pinching the bridge of her nose. She figures there's no point
in pretending she doesn't know what the it Momo is referring to is. Her mind betrays her and the
selfie Nayeon had sent all of them in their group chat earlier burns itself on the back of her eyelids.

She sighs again before opening her eyes, finds Momo staring at her with a tiny wistful smile, a
little broken but there nonetheless.

"Not really, no," Jeongyeon admits, sinking into the sofa further. "I probably should but just... not
right now."

Momo hums then reaches for her bag and pulling out a large bottle of Merlot and a corkscrew. "I
figured. Which is why I brought this. Here, open this, will you?"

She hands the wine to Jeongyeon and heads for the kitchen for wine glasses. Jeongyeon pops the
cork off then watches as Momo rummages around in her kitchen, opening and closing cabinets
before finding the wine glasses with a triumphant cheer.

Momo wanders back to the sofa and holds the glasses steady for Jeongyeon to pour out the wine.
She settles comfortably on the other end of the sofa and raises her glass, clinking it against
Jeongyeon's own.

Jeongyeon just smiles back tightly and they sit in companionable silence, sipping at their own
drinks. All things considered, it's not such a terrible end to what has been an emotionally
exhausting evening.

Hours later, Jeongyeon feels like taking it back. They're almost through with their second bottle of
wine and she's starting to feel lightheaded and probably more than a little drunk. She knows she's
going to hate herself for the hangover the next morning.

They've started playing a game, one which they'll probably never play sober, and it's Jeongyeon's
turn again.

"Heechul oppa, Choi Minho and Minari."


Momo's head pops up from where she's resting it on Jeongyeon's shoulder. "That's boring."

Jeongyeon just shrugs and takes another sip of her drink. She nudges Momo with her elbow,
grinning when Momo protests and scoots away to the other end of the sofa.

"Fine," Momo grumbles, settling against the couch cushions. "Kill Heechul oppa 'cos he'll most
likely talk rubbish and piss me off. Fuck Choi Minho because come on, those abs. And marry
Mina of course because - "

Momo breaks off and just waves her left hand, flashing the promise ring on her finger at
Jeongyeon. It's the same one she exchanged with Mina years ago and Jeongyeon is struck again
by how she can never understand how the two of them make it look so effortlessly easy.

"Okay my turn," Momo says after a few moments of comfortable silence. "Marry, fuck, kill: Ok
Taecyeon, Lee Sunmi and Im Nayeon."

Jeongyeon reaches over and pinches the skin of Momo's ankle. Momo kicks her in retaliation.
"Come on, it's a fair question. Answer it."

Jeongyeon considers it for a few long minutes, trying her best to weigh all the options as
objectively as she can even though she has known her answer almost immediately.

She gives up trying but the answer lodges somewhere in her throat, too hard to get out.

"Nayeon," she finally mutters when Momo kicks at her again. She drains the last of the wine from
her glass then sets it on the floor near her feet.

"Nayeon what?" Momo asks tentatively. "Marry, fuck or kill?"

Jeongyeon holds Momo's gaze. "All of them," she admits quietly.

There's a moment of dead silence between them before Momo snorts, then struggles with herself
for a moment before giving up and breaking into rumbling laughter.

"Oh my god," she gasps, almost spilling her drink all over the cushions. Jeongyeon quickly takes
it from her and sets it on the floor too.

"You're so fucked," Momo continues, still kind of chuckling to herself. "Like properly fucked. I
mean, seriously, Jeong."

An odd sort of sigh slips past Jeongyeon's lips. "Well, I've been properly fucked for years now so
it's not much of a surprise, to be honest."

The truth of that hits her hard all at once and Jeongyeon feels the insane urge to laugh because
Nayeon's already halfway to New York by now and there's nothing she can do about it.

Jeongyeon's missed her chance and somehow screwed this up yet again and this time, Nayeon
really won't be there waiting. She'll be in New York, a whole other world away.

So Jeongyeon just laughs, laughs so hard she has tears in her eyes then when her laughter
somehow turns into ugly sobbing, Momo is there to pull her into a hug and murmur soothingly
into her hair as she cries harder than she's ever cried in years.
Much later, when Jeongyeon has cried herself out and is lying on her side in bed, Momo shifts and
tugs on the covers. Jeongyeon lets her, is actually too drained to fight for her share like she
normally would back when they used to share the same bed in the dorm.

"What are you going to do?" Momo asks quietly.

Jeongyeon feels her breath hitch and closes her eyes. "I don't know," she breathes out shakily.

"You two are meant to be together, I just know it." Momo tells her confidently.

A watery chuckle slips out of Jeongyeon's lips before she can stop it.

"I don't think so, Momo-yah," she whispers brokenly, trying her best to suppress the bitterness and
self-loathing in her voice. "Nayeon and I, we're not you and Mina."

Jeongyeon feels Momo shift again then warm lips press against her temple. "You'll figure it
out. You'll be okay, Jeongyeon-ah."

It's such a similar echo to what Nayeon had done for her before, both times when Jeongyeon had
needed someone to comfort her.

The same defining moments when she felt something more, when she first fell in love with Im
Nayeon.

The thought only makes her want to cry all over again.

Jeongyeon wakes up with a mouthful of Momo's hair, Momo's arm heavy and warm around her.

She groans at the bright light streaming in from the windows and the unforgiving pounding in her
head. Jeongyeon shoves at Momo's arm, pushing until the other girl turns over, mumbling sleepily
and curling into Jeongyeon's pillow.

It's only when she sits up in bed does she register the two other girls in the room - one rummaging
in her wardrobe and pulling out various outfits, the other focused on folding them neatly and
packing them into what Jeongyeon recognises is her suitcase.

She's immediately confused, which doesn't help with the hangover at all.

"Uh, hi?" she croaks, and two heads swivel towards her. Tzuyu barely reacts, just blinks
wordlessly then focuses her attention on folding Jeongyeon's plaid shirts again. Chaeyoung
however, leaves the wardrobe open and walks purposefully over to the bed, her arms full of
clothes.

"You have far too many plaid shirts, unnie," she gripes, setting the clothes down in a heap on the
covers. "And why in the world do you need so many tracksuits for? You're an ex-Kpop Idol not
an Olympic athlete."

Jeongyeon's head gives another painful throb and she rubs her thumbs on her temples, hoping to
soothe the ache. "What?"

Chaeyoung sighs loudly then bats Jeongyeon's hands away. She reaches for the glass of water and
aspirin on the bedside table and hands them to Jeongyeon. Mumbling a thank you, Jeongyeon
takes them, swallowing the pills dry and then sips at the water slowly. Chaeyoung watches with a
pinched look on her face, then sighs loudly again.

"Getting drunk isn't going to help you get the girl, unnie," Chaeyoung tells her pointedly, with
more than a hint of exasperation in her voice.

"What?" Jeongyeon repeats because she has no idea what in the world is even happening right
now, can barely think over the incessant pounding in her head.

Tzuyu interrupts before Chaeyoung can answer, zipping Jeongyeon's suitcase closed and getting
to her feet.

"All done," she says, directing her words to Chaeyoung. "We have to leave soon so make sure
she's ready in 10 minutes."

Chaeyoung grunts in acknowledgement and with a significant look at Jeongyeon, Tzuyu leaves
the room, dragging the suitcase with her.

"Make sure I'm ready in 10 minutes?" Jeongyeon echoes, then tugs hard on Chaeyoung's wrist
until the younger girl lands on the bed with a yelp. Jeongyeon ignores the withering glare
Chaeyoung shoots her and tightens her grip around Chaeyoung's wrist. "What the hell is going on,
Chaeyoung-ah?"

Chaeyoung bites her bottom lip for a few seconds in thought then snorts abruptly when Momo lets
out a sudden loud snore from the other side of the bed.

"Chaeng?"

Chaeyoung raises her eyebrows at the unnecessarily tight grip Jeongyeon still has on her wrist and
Jeongyeon lets go immediately, mumbling out an apology.

"Here," Chaeyoung finally says, pressing a piece of paper into Jeongyeon's hand. Jeongyeon
squints at it and reels back in surprise when she registers what it is.

"Chaeyoung," she begins a little hoarsely, mouth suddenly dry as she stares at the flight itinerary
in her hands. "Is this - I can't - I can't just fly to New York - "

"You can and you will," Chaeyoung cuts in sharply, a fiercely determined look on her face.
"Your flight leaves in 3 hours and you will take it, unnie. This thing between you and Nayeon
unnie has gone on for far too long it's getting fucking ridiculous."

Jeongyeon freezes, at a complete loss for words. Her heart is hammering a rapid staccato against
her ribs and her head hurts so badly that try as she might, she can't quite seem to wrap her head
around whatever Chaeyoung just said.

"Look, it's already been paid for," Chaeyoung huffs impatiently, grabbing a Tommy Hilfiger
sweatshirt and a pair of skinny jeans from the pile beside her and shoving it at Jeongyeon. "All
you have to do is get on the plane."

"Unnie," she presses when Jeongyeon still doesn't move or say anything, just staring at the flight
itinerary in her hands numbly. "Are you seriously going to let her slip away again?"

"Just go," Tzuyu calls out, as she enters the room again.

Jeongyeon looks up to find her leaning against the doorway. Tzuyu waits until Jeongyeon meets
her eye then levels a tempered, even stare at her. "Take the shot, unnie."
Squeezing her eyes shut, Jeongyeon inhales deeply until her lungs expand to their fullest. It's
unfair how this intervention is more like an ambush, how they're both ganging up on her knowing
full well how she's always had a harder time refusing the two youngest of their group.

It's completely unfair but then she thinks of baseball, of all the shots she's missed taking over the
years, all the could have beens and maybes she's allowed to slip through her fingers.

She knows it may not be that easy - things between Nayeon and her have never been easy but it's
been years now and maybe it's finally time to take the damn shot after all.

She opens her eyes again and takes another deep steadying breath.

"Okay," she says quietly, in a voice far braver than she feels. "Okay, I'll go. I'll take the shot."

Her ride to the airport as it turns out later, comes in the form of a familiar white van and Sana
gesturing for her to come in through the open window.

Sana's manager, a young man not much older than her, gets out of the van and bows deeply in
greeting to Jeongyeon. He tells her with a little awe in his voice that he's always been a fan and
had hoped to meet her one day when she's back in Korea. Jeongyeon laughs off his praises, a little
embarrassed, then thanks him sincerely when he takes her suitcase to load it up into the van.

She takes a moment to hug the maknaes goodbye, both of them at the same time so that they're all
locked in a misshapen messy embrace. One of them presses a kiss into her hair (Tzuyu) and the
other catches the underside of her jaw (Chaeyoung).

Jeongyeon holds on to both of them a little longer, doesn't quite know how to thank them so she
just wraps her arms tighter around them and figures it's enough. They'll know what she means
anyway.

She pulls away when she hears a familiar shutter click from the van window where Sana is
leaning out of, her phone in hand.

"Just capturing a cute moment," Sana grins then winks at them, much to their chagrin. She giggles
at the look on their faces and then retreats back into the van.

The door opens a second later and Jeongyeon takes that as her cue to leave, climbing into the van
and settling in the seat beside Sana.

"Did you know?" Jeongyeon asks, tearing her gaze away from the window, when Incheon
International Airport starts looming into view. "About this whole fly me to New York Plan?"

Sana looks up from where she's browsing through her instagram feed and scoffs dismissively. "Of
course. It was Chaengie's idea but we all chipped in for the ticket. And I volunteered to drop you
off at the airport."

"You were all in on this?" Jeongyeon splutters in disbelief, before she deflates and somehow feels
more ambushed than she did earlier. "It's like a freaking ambush."
"Oh, don't be ridiculous, Jeongyeonnie," Sana snaps then softens almost immediately at the
stricken look on Jeongyeon's face. "We just want you and Nayeon to be happy."

"Yeah, I know," Jeongyeon sighs after a while, running a hand through her hair. She can't help
but worry if she can pull this off when she can't even figure out how to articulate her feelings out
loud, let alone win Nayeon's heart.

Sana smiles at her softly, as though she knows what's running through Jeongyeon's head. "She
loves you, Jeongyeon-ah. So there's nothing to worry about."

"I love her," Jeongyeon says quietly instead and it's the first time she's actually ever said it out
loud but that doesn't make it any less true.

It's been true for years now.

Sana hums, reaching over and pulling Jeongyeon into a messy hug. "Yeah, that much's obvious.
So go be awesome and win her okay?"

They part ways in transit, Sana heading off to a different gate to catch her flight to Tokyo for her
fanmeet, but not before squeezing Jeongyeon as hard as she can and whispering a dramatic I'm
rooting for you, go get 'em tiger, into Jeongyeon's hair.

She's just settling into her seat - first class, because apparently her members think this is a special
occasion that requires splurging unnecessarily - when her phone beeps with a notification.

It's from a group chat titled ❤ Operation Fly JY to NY in NY(City)❤ and there's only 2
messages from Minatozaki Sana. The first, a photo of her group hug with the maknaes earlier, and
the second a blurry snapshot of her entering the gate, taken from behind, like a bad paparazzi shot.

Stalker, she texts back then follows with some eye-rolling emoticons when Sana sends a sticker of
her pouting in reply.

Her phone goes off again and Jeongyeon reads the stream of messages that follow with a fond
smile.

Kim Dahyun: JEONGYEON UNNIE HWAITINGGG!! GO GET THE GIRL


WOOHOOOOO

Son Chaeyoung: Don't chicken out, unnie. That ticket was expensive you know.

Cho Tzuyu: Good luck!

Park Jihyo: Be cool, Jeongyeon-ah. Don't stammer through your speech or make stupid jokes.

Park Jihyo: And don't be lame and cry when she agrees to be your girlfriend.

Park Jihyo: BE COOL!

Myoui Mina: You got this. We're always rooting for you ~~

Jeongyeon's in the middle of crafting a reply, a long heartfelt one, when her phone beeps yet
again. It's a selfie of Momo, taken in her favourite angle, a pink post-it on her forehead and a
mournful pout on her face.

Jeongyeon chuckles at the sight. She'd been the one to paste the post-it on Momo's forehead when
she tried but failed to wake Momo up to say goodbye. There's only so many things she can say in
a post-it so she had settled for a simple Thanks for the wine then scribbled her signature, the one
she used at fansigns, on the bottom right-hand corner.

In the end, Jeongyeon deletes her half-worded heartfelt reply and settles for just sending I love all
of you very much, thank you for everything.

It's a 14 hour flight from Incheon to New York. Jeongyeon spends most of it scribbling into her
notebook. They're not even lyrics, just bits and pieces of thoughts swirling in her head.

It all boils down to this:

I should have never walked away from you and then when it was your turn to leave me, I should
have known better and never let you go.

All of them have their own methods of coping with the impending disbandment. Chaeyoung and
Dahyun move back into the dorm where the foreign members are still staying together, clinging
on to the others for comfort as they count down the days to the farewell concert.

Jeongyeon though, escapes to her parents' country house an hour's drive away from Seoul, and
spends more time shutting off from everyone and everything.

She still turns up for rehearsals, still acts the same way around the girls when she sees them but
she needs the distance to force herself to learn how to live without being a member of Twice.

Two days after their farewell concert, Jeongyeon wakes up to headlines that make her world tilt
further on its axis. The accompanying pictures are not the slightest bit scandalous - just Nayeon
and rising star Lee Sungjoon enjoying coffee in a non-descript cafe.

It's speculation more than anything but the way Nayeon is staring at Sungjoon with the brightest
smile on her face, makes something beneath Jeongyeon's ribs turn to ice. It's a feeling she can't
quite acknowledge fully, not without confronting the fact that she's been in love with Nayeon for
as long as she can remember.

On some level, Jeongyeon knows this speculated relationship - already well-received by the public
judging from the influx of positive comments - will be good for Nayeon's career both as a rising
actress and a soloist.

Still, it leaves a bitter taste on the roof of her mouth and a lingering ache beneath her ribs.
It's what makes Jeongyeon decide to buy a one-way ticket to Vancouver. Maybe it's easier to
figure out how to be herself and not Twice's Jeongyeon if she's far away from Seoul.

And maybe, with all the miles separating them, she can finally let all her feelings for Nayeon go
because Nayeon deserves to be happy, deserves to be just as happy as she looks smiling at Lee
Sungjoon like he's the sun.

"Were you ever going to tell me you're leaving?"

Jeongyeon looks up in surprise at the sound of Nayeon's voice, caught completely off-guard. She's
in the middle of packing her bags and on hindsight, she should have seen this coming, should
have anticipated Nayeon turning up unannounced in the apartment she shares with Seungyeon.

Nayeon has never been the kind to back down, and she's had years of growing up with Jeongyeon
to know when Jeongyeon is purposely shutting everyone out, like she has been for months since
the company first announced their disbandment.

"I just need some space," Jeongyeon finally admits when the silence stretches awkwardly between
them.

"From me?" Nayeon asks after a moment, in a small vulnerable voice.

Jeongyeon wants to say yes but she can't quite bring herself to hurt Nayeon that way so she
shakes her head instead.

"I need to figure out who I am again. I don't know who I am without Twice."

There's another beat of tense silence then solid arms pull her into an embrace. Jeongyeon tries to
breathe normally, tries not to think how this could very well be the last hug she shares with
Nayeon for a long while. Jeongyeon's not exactly planning on coming back anytime soon.

"You'll always be Yoo Jeongyeon to me," Nayeon tells her softly, lips warm against Jeongyeon's
temple. "You'll always be my Yoo Jeongyeon."

A stone turns over in Jeongyeon's stomach at the words and she pulls away from Nayeon's
embrace abruptly. She pretends not to notice the frown creasing Nayeon's brow and keeps her
voice as light as she can.

"I saw the pictures. You and Sungjoon."

Nayeon's frown deepens and something flickers in her eyes that Jeongyeon cannot read at all.

"Sungjoon and I are -"

"You look good together," Jeongyeon presses on, not letting Nayeon finish. She doesn't think she
can bear it, whatever Nayeon was about to say. "I'm glad you're happy. You deserve to be."

Nayeon holds Jeongyeon's gaze for an excruciating moment then her eyes turn into shuttered
windows. It throws Jeongyeon off for a brief second until she becomes too preoccupied with
keeping her own composure intact to dwell on it any longer.

They spend the rest of the day wordlessly packing all of Jeongyeon's belongings away.
When Nayeon finally leaves hours later, there's an undercurrent of grief that colours their
goodbye.

It's something Jeongyeon only realises years later on a flight to New York to finally tell Nayeon
all the words she should have said out loud back then.

God, why did each of them foolishly hide what they really feel? Why were the both of them so
afraid then?

The thought lingers in Jeongyeon's mind long after her plane lands. It's all she can think about as
she stands on Nayeon's doorstep and waits for her to open the door.

It's the first thing Jeongyeon blurts out when Nayeon finally opens the door and the smile on her
face dissolves rapidly into shock then turns guarded just as quickly.

"What are you doing here?" Nayeon asks sharply, stepping out of her apartment and pulling the
door shut behind her.

"I don't want to be afraid anymore," Jeongyeon repeats around the lump in her throat.

Nayeon's gaze snaps to Jeongyeon's face and she stares expectantly for a moment, before her eyes
harden fiercely. "We agreed not to do this anymore, Jeongyeon. So please just leave - "

"No," Jeongyeon interjects forcefully. "Just, hear me out. Please."

When Nayeon doesn't move or say anything else, Jeongyeon takes a deep slow breath.

"I'm tired of being afraid. Of spending years being so afraid of telling you how I feel about you
because - "

Jeongyeon breaks off, takes another deep steadying breath and confesses all at once.

"That night at the hotel, I know you don't remember but - but you asked me to marry you and god,
you were so drunk but - you asked me to marry you and I said yes. I said yes because I would.
Because it's always been you. It's been you for a long time, longer than I can even remember and
my answer - my answer will always be yes."

Nayeon doesn't say anything for so long, just stares at her with a furrowed brow that Jeongyeon
starts to feel panic clawing up her throat.

The panic must be showing on her face because a little incredulous laugh brushes past Nayeon's
lips. "Did you just propose?"

"No," Jeongyeon blurts hurriedly, full-blown panicking now because this is not how she thought
her confession - years in the making - was going to end up to be. "I mean... You said that you
wanted us to remember the times when we were younger, when it was all good. But I don't want
to just remember. I want to keep living the good with you, right here, right now."

There's a tiny half-smile playing on Nayeon's lips now but Jeongyeon still can't read the
expression in her liquid eyes so she keeps talking, trying to breathe past the panic knotting in her
chest.

"I just - I hope I'm not too late. I know that I hurt you, and I understand if - "

The words die suddenly in her throat when Nayeon takes a step forward and ends up in
Jeongyeon's personal space. Jeongyeon swallows dangerously when Nayeon's face gets
impossibly closer.

"You're an idiot," Nayeon tells her, then her hands come up to cradle Jeongyeon's face gently.
"But so am I. We're both such idiots."

A shaky laugh escapes Jeongyeon's lips right before Nayeon leans in and kisses her.

The world around Jeongyeon stops spinning, goes utterly still. There's nothing else, just her and
Nayeon, in a moment she feels she's been waiting for her whole life, a moment she wishes with all
her heart will last forever.

Later, much later, Nayeon is splayed naked against her, heavy with sleep. Their limbs are so
tangled that Jeongyeon finds herself wide awake, but she doesn't really mind it at all.

She reaches for her phone on the bedside table to check what time it is then feels Nayeon's hand
close gently around her wrist.

"How come your phone's cracked?" Nayeon asks, turning Jeongyeon's wrist to squint properly at
the screen.

Jeongyeon hesitates for a beat before admitting quietly, "I kind of threw it. At the wall. When you
sent that plane selfie."

Nayeon's quiet as she absorbs that, then she tilts her face up so she can meet Jeongyeon's gaze.

"I'm sorry for leaving," she says in a tiny broken voice. She takes a deep breath and continues
even more softly, barely audible now. "And I'm sorry for not fighting harder for you. For letting
you go too easily to Vancouver. We could have had all that time together if I was more honest
with you... If I fought harder for you."

Jeongyeon reaches out to cup Nayeon's cheek, thumb running soothing circles over her
cheekbone. Nayeon melts into her touch after a beat, then turns her cheek so that her lips press
against the cradle of Jeongyeon's palm.

"Don't be," Jeongyeon tells her heavily. "I'm the one that chose to run away. We're both equally
to blame but -"

Jeongyeon breaks off and waits for Nayeon's eyes to flutter open again and meet her gaze. "I don't
want us to spend the rest of our lives apologising to each other for the past."

Nayeon pulls away from her then, eyes searching Jeongyeon's face intensely and Jeongyeon
wonders if she's said something wrong.

"The rest of our lives?"

Oh. Jeongyeon swallows and hopes her voice doesn't shake too badly as she confesses, "Yeah, if
you'll have me."

Nayeon shifts, climbing on top of Jeongyeon so that Jeongyeon is surrounded by all of her, until
she's all that Jeongyeon can see.

"I love you," Nayeon says simply, surely, before she leans down and kisses Jeongyeon with the
kind of fever that builds up after years of longing and desire.

Once again, Nayeon dismantles her completely, but this time, she's there to pick up the pieces too.
This time, when Jeongyeon's world changes, it feels only like it's been waiting for this exact
moment to shift into place.

"I love you," Jeongyeon breathes against Nayeon's lips when they pull apart for a second to
breathe.

They're in love and it feels exactly like coming home.

In the morning, Jeongyeon wakes up and the first thing she sees is Nayeon tangled in the covers
with her palm open and reaching out for Jeongyeon, even in her sleep.

It's a tiny moment, insignificant in every way but Jeongyeon knows this is what she wants to wake
up to every single day from now on.

She reaches blindly for her phone, careful not to wake Nayeon up and then snaps a quick picture
so she can remember this moment forever.

Two weeks later, Jeongyeon touches down in New York. It's past midnight and she's exhausted
from the long flight.

It had been surprisingly easy to settle all her affairs in Vancouver, pack up all her belongings into
boxes and ship them to Nayeon's apartment in New York. It's like the universe is finally working
in tandem to make things easier for them.

She's not expecting to see Nayeon waiting for her because she knows Nayeon has an early
meeting tomorrow, but there she is, in Jeongyeon's oversized hoodie and a baseball cap over her
head. There's a small sign in her hands - Yoo Jeongyeon surrounded by a border of lopsided
hearts.

It's overly cheesy and every kind of cliche but the way Nayeon's face lights up when she spots
Jeongyeon still manages to make butterflies flutter recklessly in her stomach.

They meet each other halfway, and Nayeon immediately latches on to Jeongyeon, tucking her
face into Jeongyeon's neck. Jeongyeon holds her back just as tightly, pressing a soft kiss to
Nayeon's temple.

"Hi," she murmurs into Nayeon's hair.

Nayeon only seems to sink further into her, fitting against Jeongyeon in a way that feels new and
incredibly familiar at the same time.

On the ride back to the apartment, Nayeon takes Jeongyeon's hand in her own, thumb soothing
circles over her knuckles, then falls asleep on Jeongyeon's shoulder.

Jeongyeon snaps a picture of their tangled fingers and sends it to the Twice Group Chat.

Hello, from New York, she captions it.

Then follows up with a simple thank you because there are no words to describe what she feels in
this moment, Nayeon's hand securely in hers as they make their way back to the apartment, back
to their home.

They have their first fight, sort of, a day after Jeongyeon arrives.

Jeongyeon is still feeling jetlagged and exhausted from the frenzy of their bedroom activities last
night and this morning. She's really not in the mood to deal with Nayeon's more ridiculous
tendencies.

She feels her patience wearing thin when Nayeon insists on ordering the extra spicy Szechuan
chicken for dinner, and then just snaps.

"You're going to be whining all night about how spicy it is," Jeongyeon bites out, gritting her
teeth and praying for patience. "And I really don't want to have to deal with that so just get the
Orange or Sesame chicken instead, okay?"

Nayeon narrows her eyes dangerously at Jeongyeon's tone. "No. I love spicy food. I eat them all
the time with Sana."

"No, you don't," Jeongyeon retorts. "You whine every single time you eat something extra spicy.
The only reason you ate everything Sana ate is because you can never resist taking a bite of
whatever anyone is eating."

"That's not true," Nayeon shoots back, arms crossed.

"Yes it is," Jeongyeon quips, not backing down even when Nayeon glares at her. "I know you. I
know everything about you."

"No, you don't!" Nayeon fires back, her voice raising steadily in volume in her exasperation.
"You don't know what colour underwear I'm wearing!"

Jeongyeon gets a strange sense of deja vu. They've had this exact same conversation years ago in
Singapore and it's just as ridiculous as it was the first time they had it. Only this time, Jeongyeon
knows exactly what colour underwear Nayeon is wearing under her tracksuit.
knows exactly what colour underwear Nayeon is wearing under her tracksuit.

Jeongyeon can't help the smirk from breaking out on her face, which she can see, throws Nayeon
off.

"Black lace with red trimmings," she tells Nayeon, perhaps a little too smugly. "I watched you get
dressed this morning, remember?"

She watches amusedly as Nayeon opens her mouth furiously then snaps it shut and just turns
away with a huff, cheeks flushed red.

Jeongyeon chuckles, stepping closer and wrapping her arms around Nayeon's waist from behind.

"Baby," she murmurs, nosing at Nayeon's neck and pressing a smile into her skin when Nayeon
responds with a little hum at the nickname. "Let's just get the Sesame chicken. Then we'll get
pizza too. Okay?"

Nayeon seems to ponder this for a moment before relenting with a small sigh. "Make sure it's my
favourite kind."

Jeongyeon doesn't reply, just tilts Nayeon's chin towards her to steal a kiss, smiling against
Nayeon's lips when she feels Nayeon melt in her arms.

By the time Autumn comes around, they've settled into a good rhythm. Jeongyeon spends her
days writing lyrics or exploring New York, then comes home just in time to have dinner with
Nayeon after her girlfriend gets back from the office.

They still bicker sometimes but it's really over random little things because they are both secure in
the realisation that neither one of them is going anywhere.

There's no running away to foreign countries, no hidden feelings, just them sharing a life together.

They normally spend weekends lounging around the house, watching random movies together or
just curling up in bed languidly. This time though, Nayeon had insisted on visiting the local animal
shelter to volunteer.

Technically, that's what they're supposed to be doing.

Instead, Jeongyeon has been trying for the past hour to convince her stubborn girlfriend that
adopting a puppy on impulse may not be the best of ideas.

"But look at it, Jeongyeon-ah," Nayeon tells her, cuddling the black and white puppy in her arms.
"If we don't adopt it, who will?"

"I'm sure there are plenty of other families who would love to," Jeongyeon replies patiently for
what seems like the hundredth time.

Nayeon pouts at her with puppy dog eyes and Jeongyeon has to tear her gaze away because how
can a 30-year-old woman look so disarmingly adorable?
"Please, love," Nayeon murmurs and it's the nickname that weakens Jeongyeon's resolve a little.

When the puppy slips out of Nayeon's hold and climbs into Jeongyeon's lap, licking her face
enthusiastically, Jeongyeon sighs, feeling herself start to cave.

Nayeon's delighted squeal echoes too loudly in the quiet shelter as Jeongyeon stands up with the
puppy in her arms and starts making her way to the adoption office.

"I'm going to name it Tommy," Nayeon informs her when they're waiting for the papers to be
processed.

The puppy, Tommy, yelps at them from inside his carrier, like as though he approves of his new
name.

"Why?"

Nayeon shrugs and leans against Jeongyeon. "You were wearing that Tommy Hilfiger sweatshirt
when you first showed up on my doorstep months ago and stammered about how you wanted to
get married to me."

"That's not what - "

Jeongyeon breaks off with a sigh, figuring there's no real point arguing when Nayeon's attention is
already fixated on Tommy, cooing at him and scratching under his chin.

"You're ridiculous," she just settles on saying, watching as Nayeon picks up the puppy and allows
it to slobber kisses all over her face.

Five days later, Jeongyeon is starting to regret ever saying yes to adopting the damn puppy in the
first place.

As cute as he is, the little monster has stolen all of Nayeon's attention and seems to be milking it
for all it's worth. He seems to instinctively know that with Nayeon, he can get away with anything
- including chewing a hole right through Jeongyeon's favourite sneakers.

"It's just a shoe, love," Nayeon comments distractedly when Jeongyeon bitches about it. She's too
focused on capturing the perfect photo of Tommy to send to the Twice group chat - something
that she does at least 5 times a day since they got him.

Jeongyeon glares and when that doesn't work, decides to take more drastic measures.

She walks purposely over to the sofa and knocks Nayeon's phone out of her hands, ignoring the
way it sails over their coffee table and drops unceremoniously onto the carpet.

She also ignores Nayeon's indignant squawk and with the agility and flexibility of years of dance
training, swiftly pushes Nayeon back onto the sofa and straddles her hips.

Nayeon's staring up at her in shock, eyes comically wide.


Jeongyeon smirks at the hitch in Nayeon's breath when she leans down and begins nosing at
Nayeon's neck, breathing in the smell of her peach body lotion.

"Enough about the damn dog," she whispers fervently against Nayeon's feverish skin.

When Nayeon doesn't reply fast enough, Jeongyeon sucks sharply on the sensitive spot
underneath Nayeon's jaw and feels Nayeon's pulse jump. She loves the way Nayeon tries but fails
to suppress her gasp.

"Enough about the damn dog," Jeongyeon repeats, coming back up to hover inches away from
Nayeon's face.

Nayeon nods wordlessly, eyes dark and liquid, then she leans across the distance separating them
and kisses Jeongyeon almost desperately.

Needless to say, Jeongyeon wins this round and Nayeon tones down her obsession with Tommy -
she still cuddles and spoils him too much for his own good, but it's at least enough for Jeongyeon
to live with.

It's almost three in the morning but Jeongyeon is somehow wide awake. Nayeon is curled up with
Tommy on the other side of the bed and Jeongyeon stifles a chuckle with some difficulty when
she realises they are both snoring softly.

Technically, Tommy isn't allowed on their bed but Nayeon is too soft with him and gives in all the
time when he starts whining.

Jeongyeon's sure that's going to be a problem if they ever have kids because if there's one thing
Nayeon loves more than dogs, it's babies. Jeongyeon is always going to get stuck being the bad
cop, the one that disciplines and sucks the fun out of anything.

The thought makes incredulous laughter threaten to bubble up her throat because the idea of
having kids with Nayeon is just - they haven't even reached their 6-months anniversary yet.

It's a ridiculous thought. For now. Maybe one day in the future, she'll bring it up when Nayeon's
awake.

Quietly, Jeongyeon slips out of bed and heads for the study, figuring she might as well use the
time to write rather than lie in bed staring at Nayeon sleeping, no matter how appealing that
thought is.

every moment i'm awake

even the moments i'm dreaming,

my day that's filled up with you

is beautiful
when you love someone

so much that it overflows

it's so amazing

because this is how it is

Jeongyeon sighs softly when she rereads the lyrics she's written. While the words will always be
true, she feels like she can never really capture what she feels for Nayeon, what they have
together.

She gives up and just scribbles I love you more than a human heart can hold, an echo of what she
said at Dahyun's wedding - words that hold more truth than she dared to admit out loud back then.

There's a sudden noise from their bedroom, then the quiet shuffling of feet. Jeongyeon waits,
counting down the seconds in her head before she feels arms come across her shoulders, and a
heavy weight on her back.

She smiles, easing into the embrace, and puts her pencil down.

"Hello, love," Nayeon mumbles into her ear, voice heavy with sleep.

"Hi," Jeongyeon says, reaching up and squeezing Nayeon's hand.

Nayeon only hums in reply and is quiet for so long that Jeongyeon wonders if she's fallen asleep
like that, draped all over Jeongyeon's back like a blanket.

"Is it another song about me?" Nayeon murmurs, her fingers tracing over Jeongyeon's messy
scribbles, lingering a little longer on the last line.

Jeongyeon twists around in her chair so that she can look at Nayeon blinking sleepily back at her.
Her hair falls in messy waves all over her face and she looks impossibly small in one of
Jeongyeon's shirts. It makes Jeongyeon break out into a fond smile - she's not even mad that
Nayeon has a terrible habit of stealing Jeongyeon's clothes despite her own bursting wardrobe.

"Every song is about you," Jeongyeon tells her honestly. Confessions like this come easier now
that she's no longer afraid to say them out loud.

She watches Nayeon's lips quirk into a soft, sleepy smile, then feels warm lips against her temple.

"Come back to bed," Nayeon tells her, tangling their fingers together. "I can't sleep without you."

Sometimes, Jeongyeon imagines what would have happened if her friends didn't force her on a
plane to New York, if she had just given up and refused to go when Nayeon left.

But then she comes home from another day out in Central Park with Tommy and Nayeon is
singing in the kitchen while plating up their dinner and the thought just fades away.

Jeongyeon has always believed that your life is what you choose, and right now, as she's watching
Nayeon dance around the kitchen in another one of her shirts, Jeongyeon knows without a doubt
this is what she will choose over and over again.
For the rest of her life.

They're spending a lazy Tuesday afternoon on the sofa, one of the rare times Nayeon doesn't have
anything on her schedule. Tommy is curled up on the expensive bed Nayeon insisted on buying
for him, ignoring both of them as he sleeps the afternoon away.

There's a rerun of Planet Earth on the television, and Nayeon is absorbed in it, a tiny crease
between her brows as she concentrates on the screen. She's absentmindedly running her fingers up
and down Jeongyeon's ankle from where Jeongyeon's feet are across her lap.

It tickles but Jeongyeon's not complaining. Ever since they got together, Nayeon hasn't been able
to stop touching her one way or another - it's nothing sexual, but more like she's reassuring herself
that Jeongyeon is still beside her.

As if Jeongyeon would ever want to go anywhere else again.

Technically, Jeongyeon is supposed to be writing lyrics for Jihyo's comeback song, a soft piano
ballad Dahyun composed. She even has the song playing on her phone - listening to it on repeat
on her earphones - and her notebook open on her lap.

What she's doing instead though is staring unabashedly at Nayeon's side profile and attempting to
sketch it with her less than stellar drawing skills.

She's halfway through sketching in Nayeon's hair when Nayeon pinches her ankle. "You're
supposed to be writing."

"I like watching you better though," Jeongyeon replies with a lopsided grin, the one she knows
Nayeon can't resist.

Nayeon rolls her eyes but the faint blush dusting her cheeks gives her away and Jeongyeon
laughs. She gives up all pretences and puts her phone on the coffee table beside Nayeon's - she's
probably not going to get anywhere with the writing today, not when she'd much rather spend the
time memorising every detail of the beautiful view before her.

"If you complain tomorrow about how you have so much work to do on the lyrics, I swear I'll
make you sleep on the couch," Nayeon tells her, looking away from the screen and narrowing her
eyes at Jeongyeon.

Before Jeongyeon can reply though, her phone beeps on the coffee table. Three seconds later,
Nayeon's phone lights up and vibrates with a notification as well. Both of them pause for a
second, then more beeping sounds follow from both their phones, echoing throughout the room.

There's only one group chat that Jeongyeon and Nayeon both subscribe to. While it's normal to
receive random texts from any one of the girls throughout the day, the way their phones seem to
be going off non-stop tells Jeongyeon that this may be something important and not just Tzuyu
sending them a photo of a cute dog she saw.

Nayeon seems to have come to the same conclusion, reaching over for her phone and scrolling
through it. Five seconds later she lets out an excited squeal followed immediately by a loud groan.

"My eyes," she gripes, dropping her phone dramatically on her lap where it bounces off
Jeongyeon's foot and lands on the floor with a loud thump.

Jeongyeon frowns in confusion and mild concern at the way her girlfriend is currently pressing the
heel of her palms into her eyes and groaning loudly.

She sits up properly and reaches for her own phone, fumbling with the screen until she opens the
Twice group chat. At the very top is a message from Hirai Momo.

It's a photo of Momo and Mina with their eyes closed and kissing in bed. It's nothing dirty or
particularly scandalous, just them from the shoulders up even though it's pretty clear that they're
naked. The highlight of the picture though, the one that nobody can miss, is the way Mina has her
left hand on Momo's cheek with a gorgeous diamond ring on her finger, next to the promise ring
she's had on for what seems like forever.

Jeongyeon scrolls down to see the caption that follows, a simple she said yes!!!

"Oh," Jeongyeon says out loud, feeling a burst of happiness fill her insides. "Can't say I didn't see
that one coming."

Nayeon lowers her hands from her face and turns to Jeongyeon with an equally brilliant happy
smile.

"I'm happy for them," she beams, then huffs a little. "I could do without seeing that picture
though. Like, what is wrong with just taking a picture of the ring and sparing everyone the pain of
seeing them half-naked?"

Jeongyeon laughs and leans into Nayeon's side, fingers curling around the nape of Nayeon's neck.
Nayeon hums then without warning, tilts her face up and captures Jeongyeon's lips in a bruising
kiss.

Jeongyeon's eyes drift close automatically and she kisses back just as hard, slipping her tongue
past Nayeon's lips and swallowing the sharp gasp Nayeon lets out.

She only pulls away when she hears a shutter click, blinking in confusion when she sees Nayeon
already saving the picture she took on her phone.

"What are you doing?"

Nayeon ignores her, furiously typing away on her phone then putting it away with a satisfied
smirk.

As if on cue, Jeongyeon's phone beeps with another message and she opens it to see the photo
Nayeon took, along with the caption Here's us making out too but at least we're decent and not
half-naked. Congratulations btw, love you both.

Jeongyeon rolls her eyes because her girlfriend can be insanely ridiculous at times but truthfully,
it's more endearing than anything else. Or maybe Jeongyeon is that much in love with her to care
about how ridiculous Nayeon can get.

Nayeon has her lips pursed, staring at Jeongyeon defiantly, as if daring Jeongyeon to
comment. Jeongyeon just tugs a little on the hair at the base of Nayeon's neck.

"Kiss me again," she demands quietly, watching as the defiant pout on Nayeon's face dissolves,
and her eyes darken slightly.

They meet each other halfway, and Jeongyeon can feel Nayeon's smirk against her lips.
For a moment, Jeongyeon feels transported back in time to that practice room in Seoul. Jeongyeon
is twenty, raw and exhausted from all the crying. She's secure in Nayeon's solid arms and aching
with the terrifying knowledge that she's very much in love with the girl before her.

Then, Nayeon's hands come up to anchor in her hair, deepening their kiss, and Jeongyeon comes
back to the present, where Nayeon is finally hers and there's years to come for more moments like
this between them.

Chapter End Notes

And so here it is, the end. I'm a litte sad honestly, to leave this Jeongyeon and this
Nayeon behind after spending so much time with them.

Credit for the lyrics Jeongyeon writes goes to Day6's My Day and When You Love
Someone.

Lastly, thank you very much to everyone who has taken the time to read, left
comments or kudos, and enjoyed this fic as much as I have loved writing it. I'm truly
humbled. Thank you <3

End Notes

I've always wanted to write a post-disbandment future! fic where someone gets married
and the whole group comes together again for the first time in years, so this is my take on
it.

Was also greatly inspired by sparksfly7's Jeti post-disbandment fic. Thank you for
inspiring :)

Also, the Nell song referenced at the start is Time Spent Walking Through Memories, a
beautiful song that pefectly encapsulates a broken relationship, which I thought just fit the
situation Jeongyeon is in.

Please drop by the archive and comment to let the author know if you enjoyed their work!

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