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Sunday Funday

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Author(s)LJ_1998
UpdatedNov 20, 2017
PublishedJun 28, 2017
StatusCompleted
Forew ord

Description
It's Sunday, and Momo's stuck sorting out her laundry with a ballet prodigy she's crushing on, while Sana's
seducing her way to an IT major who's probably more interested in her best friend instead.

Or;

Momo likes Mina, but she isn't sure if Mina feels the same. Sana wants Dahyun, but Dahyun's head over
heels for Momo.

(It's a mess, really.)


1 [M] One

Strong ballerina feet over padded floor, jet-black strands afloat, graceful hands and lithe figure - these are
all it takes for Momo to fall, and she falls hard; the kind that comes down with a crash, all dented and
mangled, and now Momo's convinced she isn't all that right in the head.

"That Myoui girl's so pretty," Momo says dreamily, eyes in a thin slit of admiration as she sits sprawled
against the high walls of the faculty's dance studio, muscles aching, but man, the knot in her tummy's
even tighter. It's week three since the supposedly separate Contemporary Dance classes have joined
lessons together in the absence of one of their main instructors, and it's been the umphteenth time
Momo finds herself gawking over that particular raven-haired sophomore.

Sana chokes a chuckle out of her half-emptied bottle of cold water. It isn't the first time that she's heard
of such remarks from Momo, because heck, Momo finds everything to be pretty, but it's definitely a new
thing to see the other Japanese going about appreciating some random girl in their class with that face.

You know, the kind that goes with that flushed cheeks and mouth ajar, brown eyes fleeting, dazed,
mesmerized - and Sana realizes that this time around it isn't just Momo appreciating.

"Wow, look at you," Sana exclaims. She follows the older's line of vision, and instantenously the Osaka-
native's small lips are stretched in an amused smirk. "Going for the ultimate kill this time, huh?"
Myoui Mina's gorgeous, if it isn't obvious enough. Sana's known of the Texas-born ballet prodigy, checked
her out in several occassions - she's got a pretty behind, so why not - but Sana's decided that perhaps
they aren't going to click well.

See, the Myoui's a bit on the uptight side of things, with that rod-straight back and dainty hands and that
sometimes rigid, polite mannerism and careful gestures. Sana's heard her spoke, once, and has since then
noted that the second year isn't going to be that much of an amusement when spoken to. Call her
judgemental, really, but Sana's seen girls like her, dated girls like her, and oh man, they can be the death
of some people sometimes.

People like her - like Momo - who can hardly give two shits of manners and oh, what's that talk about
being graceful again? It isn't that they're rude, of course not, but they certainly aren't princesses, aren't
the most feminine of women, at least in a supposed traditional standard. Sana says whatever she feels
like saying, does whatever she feels like doing and Momo here, oh where should she start with Momo?

A disorganized, careless, dense as rock, awkward little peach who's - apparently - infatuated with some
girl who, Sana's deduced, won't even spare a glance at the two females.

Oh, poor Hirai Momo.

"I've never thought that you'd have other interest besides food, Mo," Sana remarks, poking Momo by her
toned waist - she doesn't even flinch - her expression mischievious. "But I guess that Myoui girl'd be one
heck of a meal, too, huh?"

A hand comes for Sana's temple, hard.

"You perverted asshole," Momo scolds, genuinely offended. "Don't speak of her that way. Go drool over
that Kim Eagle or something, aren't you horny for that IT nerd?"

"What?" Sana rubs the abused area. "She's super cute, okay? And super smart too. You know I've always
fancied beauty with brains."

Momo snickers a bit too cynically. "The only thing you fancy about her's her ass."
"Well yeah, her behind's pretty nice - wait, you've checked on Dahyun's ass?"

"Ugh, Sana you little-,"

"Excuse me?"

The two halt. Sana's the first to look up, sputters, and immediately the brunette pushes Momo by her
arm, gesturing the older one to look up and attend to whoever it was. So Momo does, unsuspecting of
the faint whiff of jasmine and cool voice and the suspiciously wicked smile coming from Sana's direction.

"Yeah, you need anythin-,"

Oh.

Looming over them's none other than Myoui Mina, shoulder-length tresses framing her clean face, her
aura regal - if not intimidating - the sensual lines of her curves hugged by the tight material of her black
shirt and a matching pair of leggings, and Momo swears her tummy's flipped at the little sight of the
woman's hard abdomen peeking under the tied hem of her shirt.

Oh my god, she looks even better this close.

There's malice in Mina's voice when she continues. "I've seen you two here since morning yet you're
hardly participating in class," she turns to the others by the corner of the studio. "If you aren't dilligent
enough, then I supposed it'd be better for you to excuse yourselves."

"Woah, hey," Sana raises her hands. "You're kicking us out now? We're just resting. Momo and I had
practiced our routines earlier anyway. And shouldn't you be more respectful, kid? We're your seniors."

Mina huffs. Momo watches, fascinated, if not appalled, at the youngest's demeanor who exudes blatant
arrogance. Momo never liked stuck up people, but wow, does Mina manage to make the seemingly
negative attitude looks so attractive - even though Sana isn't the slightest of what the oldest is at the
moment.
"I'm fully aware of that, senpai," Mina replies in their native, her dialect's apparent. "But I'm not the type
who'd tolerate behaviours such as this for the sake of seniority. So now either you two leave," she tilts her
head. "Or I'll gladly send you out."

"Wow, you're a b-,"

It's hasty when Momo comes in. She's always been the more diplomatic one between the two despite her
somehow dismissive nature - surprisingly - and by then Momo's holding Sana by her shoulder, tolerance
evident in her suddenly pensive eyes. "No, Minatozaki."

"What? Girl, she's-,"

"We'll leave," Momo decides. She forcefully pulls Sana by her arm as she gathers their bags, ignoring the
younger one's silent protest. "Thank you for reprimanding us, by the way."

By the time the two exited the studio, Sana's a ball of frustration and loud complaints whose poor ass's
dragged by Momo along the quaint corridor of the faculty's block.

"Seriously, Mo? She's just a stuck up kid. I'm disappointed."

"No, you impatient asshole," Momo argues. "I just don't want you to get into a petty fight with her."

"Oh, really?" Sana retorts. "Why, because you don't wanna make yourself look bad?"

"No-!" Momo stops, hands by her hips. "Sana, are we really fighting over this now?"

The brunette pouts, shoving her hands into her jacket pockets. They aren't going to argue over Mina,
really, but it feels kind of unsettling, even when Sana knows that Momo isn't the type to go over her best
friend for some girl that she barely knows.
Sana ruffles her already mussed hair. "This is why I don't go for girls like her. They're a pain in the ass,
y'know? Hard to handle. So maybe, Hirai, you should stop crushing over her. It's pointless anyway."

Momo would've argued if it doesn't make any sense.

"Okay," she sighs. "Okay. Let's just go home."

***

Sunday's a fun day, according to Sana. The brunette's out since morning and Momo who's left to attend
to their shared room couldn't care less of Sana's whereabout that late afternoon. She's probably out
checking on the new intakes anyway - it's like an annual tradition, two times each year - what with her
casual get-up of a pair of ripped denim shorts that are, well, too freaking short and a simple tie-dye shirt
which low neckline's revealed a bit too much of her chest, her hair left untied despite the warm weather.

So Sana's out of focus then, and Momo's sprawled on her bed, thinking. She doesn't do it that often, but
when classes aren't in her schedules and practice isn't a necessity, Momo'd find herself looking at the
white ceiling of her room as she lays out a mental to-do list in her head.

When most would've assumed that Momo's a lazy ass with little to no effort in organizing her daily life -
that includes Sana - Momo, in actuality, is a complete opposite of that. Sure, she can be quite careless
sometimes, especially on days when all she's wanted to do was to put herself on a coma after a packed
timetable, but it's in the weekend like this that Momo'd be going around doing chores and being
productive, and today's no different than the other.

So Momo lays, and she starts checking the list. She's cleaned the room - minus Sana's side of the space
because duh, Momo isn't up taking other people's responsibility - taken out the trash, sorted her weekly
planner for the next seven days, did her laundry-

Wait.
Her dingy bed shakes when Momo props herself by her elbows, eyes going past the edge of the bed
frame and towards the other end of her room. There, perched by the side of their bathroom's door's a
pile of the week's laundry, all mashed up and probably all gross and sticky and smelly from perspiration
and god-knows-what. Momo unconsciously cringes at the sight.

"Ugh, Momo how can you forget that pile of putrid things," she says to herself, now scrambling off her
bed and towards the awaiting mini mountain of clothes. That explains the emptying wardrobe, Momo
thinks, and she then shuffles for the detergent under her desk and with a grunt, takes her basket by one
hand; a bottle of Tide by the other.

Once out, Momo's greeted by the sight of a deserted hallway - probably half of the building's occupants
are all cooped up in their respective rooms, something that's become a common sight around. It's the
weekend anyway, and contrary to most's belief, college students like her aren't somewhere wasting their
lives partying their brains out - they're the most sleep-derived, lethargic bunch anyways; it's proven.

Momo hums. Tank top and shorts-clad, the Japanese makes her way to the elevator. She's about to press
on the button when her eyes have caught sight of one particular door by her left.

Mina's room.

They haven't seen each other since the last incident - but it isn't like they're buddies or anything - mostly
because Sana's been persistent in avoiding the raven-haired beauty. Momo's bummed at that, of course.
She's been wanting to see the sophomore's pretty face, and she's wanted to make things right again,
even when Momo's fully aware there isn't any broken basis of relationship on the first place. But perhaps
Sana's right in some parts, particularly in that Momo's desire in making a good impression, and she
doesn't want to make any enemies, ultimately.

Man, she really does want Mina to like her.

The elevator opens. Momo slightly jumps at its sound, before pushing her thumb on the button to hold
the doors. Then out comes Kim Dahyun, the IT major who's Sana's been talking about for the past month,
her hair in a high bun, white button-up all crisp and smoothened and their sleeves rolled up mid-arm,
black knee-length skirt fluttering with her quick movements. Momo's met her before, courtesy to Sana,
and have since wondered how the quiet girl's managed to get Sana's attention despite her rather demure
disposition.
"Hello," Momo greets. Dahyun halts, somewhat looking like a deer in the headlights, the sunlight's
gleaming over her thick-rimmed glasses. There's pink on her cheeks, slight red on her tinted lips, and
they're probably the only colors on her otherwise paper-like complexion. It doesn't help that her hair's
bleached blonde, and right then Momo's actually squinting to see her features over the bright afternoon
sun.

Dahyun timidly twirls her thumbs as she bows. "Uh, hello Momo-sunbaenim," she squeaks, eyes trailing
over the expanse of Momo's curved pair of legs. "I-It's nice to see you around."

The Japanese chuckles. "Nice to see you too, Dahyun-ah. Been out with friends?"

The blonde shakes her head. "I went to the Mass. It's Sunday, remember?"

"Ah," Momo slowly nods. She's almost forgotten that Dahyun's a devoted Catholic - and Momo thinks
that Mina's out of her league; Sana's playing with God's rule here, wow. "It's good to see that you're
spending your weekend productively."

The younger one blushes at the mere statement. "T-Thank you, um," Dahyun glances at Momo's basket.
"D-Do you need help with that, sunbaenim?"

"What-oh," Momo grins, very charmingly - at least in Dahyun's perspective. "It's fine, I can manage."

The first year bows her head again. "Ah, okay then."

Now Momo kinda understands why Sana's so into this one - Dahyun's pretty cute. The kind that makes
people want to squish the heck out of the blonde and puts her in their pockets, probably because of the
whole innocent get-up and her super shy tendencies. Oh, well. Sana's got a pretty good, if not, quirky
taste.

"I'm going now," Momo says with a smile. It's all naturally Momo-like when she pats the blonde by her
head and fixes the little stray strands of her hair by her ear, but Momo doesn't exactly look past the
blonde's reddened cheeks. She wonders if it's because of the weather. "Take care, kiddo."
There's probably too much enthusiasm in Dahyun's voice when she stutters her yes and dashes for her
room.

***

45 minutes in, and Momo goes for the laundry room again to check on her clothes, only to find that the
whole pile's been shoved in someone else's basket; her own's nowhere to be found.

"Dude, the hell?!" Momo yells in anger. A quick rummage on the mess before her tells Momo that her
clothes have been thrown in along with someone else's, and God forbids that someone else's riddled with
some sort of skin problem or else Momo's setting her whole laundry pile on fire, because really, it takes a
special kind of asshole to do this horrendous act. And who the hell'd steal a basket and a bottle of
detergent?!

It's in circumstances like this that Momo wishes they've installed a personal washing machine in their
room instead of relying on a small laundry room that's meant to accomodate a whole apartment block.
It's just so unfortunate that Momo's broke and Sana's getting just enough allowances from her
scholarship and ultimately, their room just doesn't have enough space for one. That's exactly why
Momo's furious by then, and Sana isn't making things any better by ignoring Momo's calls.

"Oh, come on," Momo taps on the call icon again.

Dial tone.

"Aye, whatchu want?"

"Oi, Minatozaki. Someone's taken my laundry basket, can you come down here and take another-,"

"Please leave a message at the tone, bye."

"You asshole, that was your voice mail?!"


***

Sana grins, laptop in hand, and she knocks - once, twice. The plan's pretty foolproof, and Sana's
considered every margin of error that could put her brainchild into the dump.

1-7-7.

Oh, it's going to be good; Sana could taste it on her tongue. She's never been this persevered, never been
this particular, but she's here, patiently perched upon the door of her long-time eye candy, Kim Dahyun
and that certain snobbish ballet prodigy Sana's learned to dislike. Thank the Heavens that woman isn't
around at the time - Sana's checked with a classmate and they're having a replacement lesson that day -
which leaves the estatic brunette with Dahyun, just the two of them, without any disturbance.

She may have giggled a bit too creepily at the thought.

The door opens. Sana's quick to compose herself, not forgetting to pull on the waist of her shirt so the
fabric's stretched to reveal more of her chest. She puts on her sweetest - if not the most seductive - of
smiles, eyes dreamy as a blonde head peeks from the tiny gap, her monolid eyes searching.

"S-Sunbaenim," Dahyun gapes, adding more space in between the door and its frame once she recognizes
the Japanese - she's not wearing her glasses - and right then the blonde's still donned in her button-up
from before, except now it's half-buttoned and the modest skirt's off, replaced with a pair of boxers that's
got Sana gawking at her supple thighs. "I didn't expect you to come."

I didn't expect you to have so much going on underneath all those baggy clothes.

It's rare to have sudden visitors around here, unless they're some potential customers in need of
Dahyun's expertise - the first year's been offering some laptop repairment services for extra cash - and
seeing the said gadget within Sana's grasp, Dahyun quickly assumes that the brunette's one of them.
"Need any help with that?"
"Ah, yes," Sana exclaims, her voice purposedly breathy. She needs a lot of help. "Can I come in?"

"Yeah, s-sure," Dahyun says, making way for the brunette to saunter in, and it's just so impossible to not
watch the Japanese seductress in all her glory; with that short shorts and little flesh of her ass spilling out,
her strong legs taut under sight and upon every step, robust curls adorning her broad shoulders as they're
swept to the side to reveal creamy neck and sharp jawline.

Dear Lord, Minatozaki Sana's probably one of Your finest creation.

It's difficult, really, because Dahyun's taken a liking for Momo ever since she first saw the sweet woman,
but Jesus Christ, the woman's bestfriend's really something else. And it isn't like Dahyun doesn't know of
the brunette's infatuation towards her. Sana's made it clear so many times before - verbal or through her
actions - but holy, Dahyun's never thought that Sana'd eventually come down to this.

Now Dahyun's convinced that the allegedly problematic laptop isn't Sana's only motive in paying her a
visit that afternoon.

"You can put the laptop there," Dahyun says and ushers the Japanese for her desk. Sana obliges, settling
said object upon the plastic-covered surface of the furniture, before she, too, settles herself by its edge.
Now Sana's sitting cross-legged, and Dahyun fights the urge to skim her eyes over those glistening thighs.
Instead the blonde has herself seated upon her desk, the laptop's now under her scrutinization.

A push on the monitor lid. "So what's the issue here?" Dahyun asks, her tone's professional. She's getting
a hang of it.

Or so she thought.

The blonde almost jump when Sana shifts. Then Dahyun shivers when one of those thighs came in
contact with her hand that's rested by the side of the device, and Lord, such powdery soft skin Sana has -
like crushed porcelain and exquisite cashmere and oh, warm skin and firm muscles and somehow she's
forgotten of Momo and-and-

"Let's see," Sana purrs, slender fingers trailing past the line of Dahyun's thin wrist, very, very slowly. "It
was fine the other day, but this morning when I was going through some of the files, almost everything's
disappeared and I can't really seem to recover them."
Then Sana lowers herself, lips over reddened ear, breaths heavy. "But you can help me with that, right,
Dahyun-ah?"

A gulp. "Y-yes, sunbaenim."

A giggle. Sana retreats, eyes sparkling of joy, and all of a sudden she isn't the dangerous seductress that
she was a few seconds ago. "Yay!"

Dahyun sighs too audibly. This one's going to be very complicated.

***

The wait's excruciating.

Since Momo can't really afford leaving the clothes unattended - she doesn't want the owner to find them
in such conditions and have Momo to take the blame instead - the Japanese's decided to wait for
whoever it is that poor basket's belonged to. It's a pretty gutsy move, because Momo's sure that the first
thing she's getting from the other owner's probably some nasty scolding at the very least, but all in all,
Momo's seen it coming.

What she doesn't see coming's the presence of a certain dark-haired beauty by the entrance of the
laundry room, dressed in her usual practice attire, shoulder-length tresses now pulled into an attractively
messy ponytail. Instinctively Momo shrinks at the encounter, even more when the Japanese-American
cranes her neck at the sight of the older brunette, her features aloof as ever.

"It's you, Hirai-san," Mina mutters rather coldly, before lowering her head for a slight bow. "Where's the
other?"

Momo frowns at the reference. She decides to not reciprocate the earlier gesture. "You mean Sana. She's
been out since morning. And you, Mina?"
The ballerina flinches at the informality. "It's Myoui, please," she reprimands, adjusting her sling bag. "I
had a replacement class this morning, and I came here to handle my laundry-,"

Her expression darkens. Following the sophomore's line of sight, Momo's eyes widen at what's actually
caught Mina's attention - that damned basket where Momo's clothes were thrown in.

Crap.

Unlike Momo, Mina's rather calm when she's discovered the mess, but still the younger one can't hide
those deepening lines by her brows when she takes hold of the mixed laundry - it's damp and it feels
gross, and those tops aren't hers and she doesn't remember having most of the foreign clothing pieces in
her wardrobe. It's safe to say that the ballerina's pissed, though her anger's manifested in a form of a
steely gaze upon Momo's terrified one instead.

"And what kind of sick joke is this?"

"It wasn't me, I swear," Momo bursts out in panic. "Somebody took my basket and dumped my wet
laundry into yours, and-and used the machine that I was using to wash their clothes instead."

The clothes slip from Mina's grasp. For the first time the usually stoic second year's making an expression
and it isn't the most pleasant. "You're kidding me," Mina gapes in disbelief. "Who would even steal a
basket?"

"And a bottle of detergent, I forgot to tell," Momo corrects, and giggles when Mina furrows her brows at
the newfound information - Momo's never known a perturbed Mina can be so amusing. "I shit you not,
Myoui-san, that happened okay?"

Then it happens.

It lasts perhaps within a milisecond, but Myoui Mina, the Myoui Mina, has actually laughed, and Momo's
found herself marvelling over the small burst of air from the ballerina's mouth that's now stretched and is
more than glad to exhibit those pearly whites and pretty gums and oh my God, Mina's so gorgeous when
she smiles - the kind that softens her eyes and turns them into two little dark crescents, the apple of her
cheeks full and supple, faint red in shade, and she glows.
Glows.

And as short as the moment's lasted Momo's pulled out of her trance by none other than the younger
Japanese herself, and just like that Mina's back to her former disposition, back to that cold mask that
Momo's started to despise.

"I think you should separate our clothes because mine aren't washed yet," Mina starts again, albeit this
time her voice's somehow more gentle in tone. "Just choose yours and put them in the dryer, yes?"

Momo dumbly nods at that. Hastily the brunette takes the basket into her arm and by her side, and Mina
watches as Momo waddles her way to the other side of the room and over to the lines of mostly
unoccupied dryer machines. There's a dull thud when Momo drops the basket, heaving at the load, but
her smile's equally amiable when she beams at Mina over her shoulder, brown tresses sticking to her
clammy cheeks.

If there's anything that Mina notices about the older brunette that'd be her effortless charm - how her
friendly streak's earned her quite the following in campus - though the owner herself's unaware of said
advantage. But Mina's heard of Momo, heard of how the older one's liked and praised and pretty much a
friend of everyone. And sure, Mina's heard of her name in conversations too, but it's all for a completely
different reason, and sometimes Mina feels that at most parts, it boils down to her attitude eventually.

Mina knows she isn't as pleasant as Momo, isn't as talkative, isn't as charming. Mina doesn't smile at
strangers, wouldn't speak unless needed or spoken to, and she puts that on the justification of her rather
strict upbringing - her father's in the military, and her mom's put a lot of regards on her lady-like
mannerism, their traditional Japanese values are strong despite Mina being born and bred within the
spectacles of the West. The Myoui name's another thing, really, to think that their family's been the
advocates of the Education and the Arts; that for generations, they've always
been someone doing something - they've always been so important.

It isn't like Mina hates being a Myoui. More than anything, Mina's always been grateful and it's what had
bound her all this time. It's for the sake of her gratitude that Mina's never dared herself to let loose, to
not be the best in whatever it is that she's ventured into; to not act, speak, achieve like a Myoui.

And Mina wonders how it's like to be a Hirai.


Well that sounds weird.

The thought goes the moment Mina looks at Momo again. She's facing the brunette then, as both are
lowering themselves upon their laundry, and Mina's the first to reach in as she separates a shirt that's
tangled with another that isn't hers.

"Y'know," Momo trails, thoughtful. "I think you should smile more."

A hoodie goes into the opened dryer, then a shirt, then another. "Really?" Mina asks, genuinely intrigued.
"What makes you think so?"

Momo picks up a pair of shorts and pulls it apart from her tanktop, humming. She's going at a slower pace
then, no longer tensed. "Well, you look a bit more approachable, that's one thing. I mean, going around
with that expressionless face isn't going to earn you any friends, don't you think?"

Silence. The ballerina pauses. She pushes that bothersome curl that's blocking her eyes, her fingers
gracefully sailing past her temple and to the back of her ear, and then she says; "I'm not really here to
make friends."

It's Momo's turn to pause, yet she's chuckling as if it's a humorous statement - for her, yes, at least.
"That's boring," she comments. "You sound like one of those typical prodigies."

"I am one, remember?"

"Wow, okay," Momo huffs, lips in a thin line. "Now I aspire to be as confident as you."

Mina bows, hiding a slight smile. "And I wish I could be as likable as you."

They both stop when Momo grabs on the same pants that Mina's holding on. The younger tilts her head,
and it's the first for Mina to look at Momo like this; faces close and breaths meeting, and Momo's cheeks
are two circles of heat and so does Mina's, and Mina realizes that their eyes are in the equal shade of
brown - finally, something that they have in common.
"Hey," Momo softly calls when she's sure that she can speak. "Don't say that. There are people who like
you, I mean, uh, I-I like you."

Smooth, Momo, real smooth.

"Yeah?"

"Yeah."

"Hira...Momo."

Oh, they're dropping the formality now?

"Hm?"

"You're sweating," Mina points out. "A lot."

A quick press on her shoulder's got Momo winching in disgust. She's all clammy and sticky and her skin's
damp of perspiration, a mix of warm and cold over the surface and it feels like she's simultaneously
melting all over. Momo does sweat a lot and she's always disliked the feeling. She's born with it though,
so Momo's depended on cotton-made clothes and plenty of deodorant to avoid smelling like she's bathed
in the sewer. And Momo's been accustomed in having the particular flaw to be pointed out to her, but to
have Mina saying it to her face's a pretty embarassing thing.

With a heated face Momo bows her head and wipes her hand on her top. Another bad habit. Momo's
forgotten her favourite handkerchief anyway. "Sorry. It's always been like that."

The laundry's ignored for a while. They've done separating it anyway. Mina tilts her head.
"Hyperhidrosis?"

"Ah, no, it's not that serious," Momo denies. "I just sweat a bit more than normal, but it's still okay."
It's sudden when Mina takes Momo's hair into her hands and pushes them back. The older one freezes,
eyes wide at the proximity as Mina leans and brushes the few stubborn strands off Momo's sweat-coated
shoulders - her perfume's too sweet for Momo's liking but she breathes it in anyways, like it's an
obligation of some sort. Now careful fingers are combing past Momo's warm scalp, gentle as Mina's eyes
that are scanning over Momo's glazed skin.

"U-Um, what're you doing?"

"Saving you from heat rashes," Mina answers like it's the most obvious thing ever. She's going through
her bag then, before fishing out a hairband from one of its pocket, the thin elastic fabric's rolled in
between her index and middle fingers. "Turn around."

Like a kid Momo follows suit, squatting on her feet as Mina gathers the brunette's hair and slips them into
the hairband - the ballerina's graceful even when she's tying someone's hair and Momo could almost hum
at the comforting feeling.

Now Momo's hair in a looped ponytail that hangs high from her nape and she sighs when she finally feels
the cold air on her skin.

"Better, isn't it?" Mina asks, satisfied at her work. The older one nods. "Good. Now turn around again."

When Momo does, Mina drops a small towel over her chest, presses the fabric, and drags it upon her
skin. Flushed and unable to speak, Momo finds herself staring on those tender hands that's rested
themselves under Momo's jugular, wrapping said towel over the sweaty area, kneading.

Those rippling muscles are pretty distracting, Mina's discovered. The ballerina's always taken interest in
Momo's physique - she's seen those toned arms and legs in the many observations she's made on the
third year during their shared lessons, and though initially it's all innocent and purely professional, Mina
eventually finds herself unable to pry her gaze off of the magnetic brunette. Momo's undeniably
attractive when she dances; when she's working so hard and flexing those muscles, her skin shining of
perspiration under the bright lights of the studio.

Pretty much like now.

"Mina?"
"Ah, y-yes?" Damn, Mina's never stuttered before.

The towel's caught in Momo's hand then, and oh my God when did Mina's hands lingered to her chest?!

"I can do it myself," Momo slowly tells, nonchalant, yet the warmth on her cheeks's informing the
opposite notion. "But thanks, anyway. That's very sweet of you. And thanks for helping me with the
laundry as well," she then remembers. "And uh, sorry for the inconvenience."

With that Momo rises to her feet, followed by the sophomore almost too hastily, and Mina feels like she's
beginning to sway out of her supposed elements because she's never been this rushed, never seem to be
so out of control, never acted less of a Myoui she is.

Momo's closed the dryer's lid right then, and there's a short rattle when the machine starts at a push of a
button. "There you go," Momo smiles. "Now, let's see."

She then eyes for an empty washing machine for Mina's laundry. There isn't any.

"I guess we'll have to wait," Mina decides at the circumstance.

"We?"

Oh, f-

Mina almost choke at that. She didn't mean to be so reckless, damn. "Well, um," the sophomore
forcefully clears her throat. "If you aren't occupied with anything else. I mean, I have cold drinks in my
room and my roommate doesn't really mind about guests-,"

"I'll go," Momo giggles and it's stirring those weird things in Mina's tummy. "I'd love to spend time with
you, Mina."
***

This is all kinds of messed up.

Dahyun can't really tell where things have started to go wrong. Heck, she can't even properly breathe by
then.

"Dahyun-ah," a voice whines by her ear, hot lips nipping over the soft flesh of her earlobe, high-pitched
yet throaty, and Dahyun's running out of prayers, running out of reasons, running out of oxygen. She's
lost for words, too - who wouldn't - with a scorching hot Japanese seductress seated on her lap as both
have landed on Dahyun's bed, somehow; full ass against her crotch, chest hovering upon her face, toned
arms encircling her increasingly strained neck from all of this head tilting and pointless struggling.

She should've not let Minatozaki Sana in at the first place. So much for the laptop-fixing shenanigans.

"Tell me," Sana whispers; now she's facing Dahyun again, round eyes boring holes into the blonde's
troubled soul. The younger one shakes at the feeling of Sana's mischievious fingers that's now making
their ways to the Korean's exposed chest, manicured nails leaving painful markings of their path across
the bothered skin. "What's so special about Momo anyway?"

Ah, good question.

"W-Well, um, she's a really good person, that's one."

Sana's got to laugh at that. "Silly Dahyunnie," she mocks, pulling on the hem of Dahyun's bra. The move's
got the blonde sighing a bit too loudly. "I can be a good girl for you too, y'know?"

"In fact," a tug on another button. "I can be the best there is, just for you, Dahyun-ah."

"Yeah, yeah, and pigs can fly."


The Japanese gasps at the intrusion. Dahyun yelps, covering her chest as she buries herself onto her own
pillows, and the blonde's face's contorted so much that it looks like she's about to cry.

Leaning against the door frame's a clearly unamused Hirai Momo and a possibly emotionally-scarred
Myoui Mina - whose not-so-innocent eyes are hidden behind Momo's protective hand - and awkward's
an understatement right then.

It's downright humiliating, in fact.

"Can you like, not?" Sana huffs in exasperation. "Barging into people's fucking plan so people can't fucking
steal your girl."

Dahyun's bawling her eyes out by then. "Momo-sunbaenim, it's not like what you think it is!"

Sana's eyes almost roll out of their sockets at that. "Oh, for fuck's sake Kim Dahyun, you were giggling
when I let you squeeze my ass."

"No, I didn't!"

"Yes, you did"

"Did not!"

"Did yes!"

"No!"

"Yes!"

"Jesus Christ, why can't you both just admit that you guys were horny for each other!"
The sentence would've made so much more sense if it were to come out of Momo's mouth. It didn't.

And the three could only stare at the furious ballerina.

"Well," Momo coughs. "That was unexpected."

2 Tw o

Mina wipes the perspiration that's pooling by her temple, chest heaving. It's 5 in the evening on a long
Monday, and she hasn't exited the brightly-lit, white four-walled space of the dance studio since lunch,
not even once.

She casts a look over to the left side of the studio, and there, leaned against the tall sets of mirror's Hirai
Momo with her top drenched of sweat and her eyes half-closed, head bobbing in a surpressed nap. Mina
smiles at the sight of the exhausted Kyoto-native, remembering how Momo's insisted on staying back
with the prodigy to work on her own routine. She's told Mina of her planned performance for the next
Spring Festival, adding that spending time with the ballerina would benefit her plenty in peer learning
with the sophomore who Momo's regarded 'as a better dancer than her'.

Now, that's a subjective notion, truthfully, as Mina's witnessed the kind of dancer Momo is - she's strong
on the stage, her charisma's off the chart and her passion's a rival of Mina's very own. Momo works hard,
harder than everybody else, and she's a machine that isn't up for anything that'd be getting on her way to
be a dancer-extraordinaire. And over the past few weeks Mina's learned enough of Momo's little fixation
on popping and locking and those urban music she's been blasting for every choreography.

Then Momo informs Mina on her desire to learn ballet and how she's wanted to perform a contemporary
piece instead. The ballerina's skeptical at first, not out of the brunette's capability, of course - but more
on how comfortable she'd be going out of her supposed signature elements of powerful movements and
intense routines. Mina's fully aware how Momo's struggling in their Contemporary lessons, how the
older's constantly lost and has become one of their instructor's least favorites.

Which leads to the brunette getting lessons from the prodigy in said subject, though the first few hours
have proven to be quite a challenge for the poor Hirai.

The brunette shakes when a cold bottle of water lands on her lap with a thud. She wakes, low whines
under her breath as she stretches her aching muscles and tilts her head to see the smirking Japanese-
American upon her.
"You've had enough rest, Hirai," Mina says in a cool tone, slender arms crossed under her chest. Momo
sighs, rubbing off the tight knot on her shoulder as she breathes; "Damn, Mina, I can't keep up with you."

Dainty feet flex and Mina's seated on the floor as well, facing the lethargic woman. She chuckles, albeit
quietly, before her hand comes for Momo's sprawled bangs in a quick swipe that's got them all flattened
over her hairline. Momo blushes at the seemingly playful gesture, noting how it's been so easy for Mina
to do it these days.

Momo doesn't really notice it - how they've clicked so well, when initially Momo's convinced that Mina
isn't really fond of the brunette. But perhaps the little time they've spent together had been quite a
strong basis for their budding friendship, though Momo wishes that she'd be able to peel more into the
layers of the Myoui's somehow multiple facades, to really see and learn of the raven-haired beauty in all
of her essence - not as that uptight ballerina or the only daughter of the prestiged Myouis; but just, Mina.
Momo supposes that it'll be a bit tricky, a bit of an impossible feat to achieve, but this, whatever it is that
they have between them, gives her a little hope.

"What?" Mina asks, and Momo realizes that she's been staring all this time. Heat rushes to her cheeks at
that instant, and Momo bows her head and those strands are getting into her eyes again.

"N-nothing," Momo lamely reasons, voice rasp of embarassment. "I was just thinking."

"Hm," Mina hums. "That's very unlikely of you."

The brunette whips her head up at that. "Oi," she pouts. "I know I'm quite slow, but I'm not stupid."

Mina laughs, hand over mouth, graceful as ever, and Momo feels pretty damn lucky at that. Myoui Mina
never laughs in most circumstance, especially one that involves lessons or people or both, and she's
confessed to Momo that she'd like to keep it that way because opening up would be such a hassle. And of
course Momo's snickered at that, recalling how before, Mina's told her that she wanted more friends and
more people to like her.

"I've changed my mind," Mina's stated. "I'd rather have you as my friend for now. It's good enough -
having only you to like me."
Momo remembers blushing intensely at that.

Recovering, Mina stands again, flexing both arms above her head as she strolls to the center of the room.
In horror, Momo watches, and notes that it hasn't been 10 minutes of break and Mina's been practicing
for five hours straight, not counting their 4 hour lesson earlier that morning.

And people thought Momo's unstoppable.

"Aren't you tired?" The brunette enquires, slightly worried. Her eyes trail to the younger one's bruised
toes, adding; "Your legs don't seem like they can take more than what you've forced on them."

The ballerina halts, by then perched beside the speakers, hand on the music player. She turns, a small
smirk by the corner of her wet lips. "You're underestimating me, Hirai," a push on the play button. "I did
not become a professional in middle school just out of pure talent."

Momo gapes. Then Mina - with gentle ballerina toes and back in a straight line - strolls to the center of
the room again, arms stretched, positioned. The music fades into a start, slow at first. Then she moves,
like water that ripples and flows past the gutter on a rainy day - smooth, erratic, like the beats of Momo's
heart as she watches.

And Mina radiates. She's the sun, its ray that slips through opened curtains in the many mornings Momo
would wake up with a start, eyes caught in the golden light.

And Momo; Momo's a mess of hitched breaths that subside in parched throat, of wild hair and chapped
lips, of warmth in her tummy that spreads like butterflies when the wind comes. She's the tangled sheets
that cradle her spent body like a mother's embrace, kind yet un-smoothened, cold. Cold.

The violin shrieks. The bass dawns. The piano stifles. Stripped of its complexity is a composition played
over an expensive audio set in a used CD, yet in the presence of Mina, the great, oh-so-attractive Mina -
whose luxurious hair flutters along the silent progression of the seventh chord that floats over mechanical
synth - each notes are alive, vigorous.

Then it fades.
Mina spins, anyway. Once, twice, Momo counts in her head but it all sounds like gibberish now. Nothing
ever makes sense really, in this room that smells of sweat and hidden defeat and budding romance and a
tinge, just a faint one, of jasmine and all things sweet. In this room, Mina's a specter that haunts the
nooks and crannies of Momo's mind, residing at the darkest corner, and she lingers.

The beat peaks. Amongst the daydreaming Momo's forgotten of the music but she shifts, tells herself it's
art, and decides to take it in as one, which includes Mina in all of her being, from the delicate pads of her
elegant fingers and down to her curled toes.

This is what differs Mina from many others, really. Her aesthetics are ethereal, they're like a dream that'll
have her audience clinging to them, an ideal so vivid, a concept defined by the little twirls of her fingers
and brushes of her hair. They're to be missed, to be longed for, to be kept in safety and treasured in time.

Damn, no wonder they're so keen on labeling her as a prodigy.

When Mina ends the short routine, Momo's already a muted mess of blushes and tingles in her belly, and
the brunette feels like she's a teen again.

"What do you think?" The sophomore asks, her breaths in short lapses.

"I-It's beautiful," Momo notes, cheeks red - somehow the sentence feels like it isn't really intended for the
routine."Did you choreograph that yourself?"

A nod.

"That's so cool," Momo remarks, genuinely impressed.

"Yeah?" Mina assures. "Good. Because you'll be learning it from now on."

"Eh?!"
"Yep," the ballerina goes for the brunette again. She wiggles her index upon the woman, gesturing her to
get to her feet. "No more lazying around this time, Momo. You're going to memorize it by tonight, and I'll
make sure that you're competent enough in ballet by the end of this week."

Oh, the horror. Grumbling, Momo scrambles to the center of the room, squeaks of her sneakers against
the cold floor reverberating within the space. She ignores the strain in her thighs and calves and probably
the rest of her limbs, wincing at the pain yet she's limping for the awaiting ballerina.

"So," Momo readies herself. "How did the first move go again?"

At that Mina giggles. This time she isn't covering her mouth, and those sets of pearly whites are so pretty,
her delicate features beaming. Momo frowns.

"What's so funny?" The third year asks in confusion. Mina's seated on the floor once again, legs crossed
as she leans on her arms, eyes gazing up the dumbfounded brunette. "You're a pretty gullible one, aren't
you Hirai?"

"Huh? I don't understand-,"

Her wrist's caught into a firm grasp, and Momo gasps when Mina pulls her down. She would've landed on
the younger woman if Momo isn't sane enough to cushion her fall with her free hand and avoided the
ballerina completely.

Now Momo's settled beside Mina, tired legs spread upon the floor. The younger of the two's stopped
laughing, though a grin stays when she looks at Momo and pushes her hair away.

"I was joking, silly head," she chuckles out, her eyes the warmest that Momo's ever seen since they first
met. The brunette wonders if the layers are peeling off again, wonders if this is a little glimpse of the real
Mina - one that's raw and genuine. "I'm not that despicable."

Surely she isn't. Momo thinks that Mina's among the sweetest - she's thoughtful and sincere, no
nonsense in between, though it's the first for her to be this playful, and Momo realizes that Mina's been
smiling a lot and she's a little less intimidating and a lot less uptight.
It's light - Mina's hand against Momo's. Those fingers aren't that alien to Momo's skin these days; Mina's
been physically friendly, her skinships growing bolder when Momo's the one who's too shy to even look
at her eyes directly. And she hasn't gathered enough courage to initiate anything to Mina really, mostly
out of worry that she'll make Mina uncomfortable and draw back to her shell once again.

"Are you comfortable?" Momo asks, curious, long fingers by the side of her wrist now, tracing, but Momo
tries to ignore them.

The ballerina leans. "With what?"

"Uhm, me?"

"Of course," she says without hesitance. "Why would I allow you to tag along if I'm not?"

Ah, touche.

"I'm just wondering," Momo huffs at the feeling of Mina's hand clasping onto hers. Then Momo turns her
hand, palm against palm, and she almost squeal when Mina takes her fingers in.

"Momo."

"Yeah?"

"I like being with you," Mina suddenly confesses, eyes tender, still as Momo's breathing. "It's a bit of a
foreign feeling, but I guess I'm just getting used to having someone to talk to. And I'm glad when you said
that you like me. Is it weird?"

"N-no," Momo stammers. "I-I like being with you, too."

"Good. Now, I want you to keep it as a secret," Mina tells.

"W-what?"
"This."

Warmth spreads. It's like a surge, a wave of giddiness that goes from Momo's tummy to the rest of her
being and especially concentrated on her cheek where Mina's kissed her.

Myoui Mina's kissed her.

Holy shit.

"Ah, look at the time," Mina exclaims as she turns and checks on her watch. "I guess we better get going. I
still have things to settle before going back home."

Silence.

"Momo?" Mina calls out again, turning for the brunette. "Momo, I have to go-oh my God, are you okay?!"

It's safe to say that Momo's gone home with a bloody nose. (Don't ask why.)

***

Dahyun pushes her glasses. It's bright here in the subway station and oh, how she dislikes the crowd.
They're bustling and loud and sensitive and they smell funny, act funny. There's a couple who's hardly
giving two shits about their obnoxious crying kid, a few teenage boys who've been making remarks on
some cute girls and not-so-cute ones, and there's just so much things going on and Dahyun's tired of
them all.

The blonde's never liked going out. The outdoor's like an infinite space with thin horizons but they're
crammed of people and all things that breathes and moves and operates and makes sounds. It agitates
her, frustrates her, like a ripple to her calm that's her small room and her gadgets and little inventions. It
feels stuffy, constricting, even in her loose sweater and denim shorts and ponytailed hair, and Dahyun
wanted nothing more but for the train to come and take her to her safe haven back in the college's
residence.

But the day's been okay, at least. Dahyun's aced her quiz, done few of her assignments that's due next
week - a pretty impressive feat for the supposedly avid procrastinator - and she hasn't caught a single
glimpse of that bothersome Minatozaki who couldn't seem to part ways from her ass the moment they
laid eyes on each other last week. Most importantly, she's managed to convince Momo that the
Japanese's shamelessly inappropriate shenanigans in her room's nothing but a plan revised by the
cunning third year, and told Momo that the woman's still her favourite person - subtly, of course - so all's
fine, really.

And then it just gets better.

At first Dahyun thinks that her glasses are probably shitting her, but the moment she spots those familiar
brown tresses and pretty eyes, Dahyun knows that her luck's doubled up that particular day. Momo looks
stunning (obviously), if not a little dazed, her curves hugged by those flimsy shirt and tight ripped jeans,
her legs slim and healthy, skin gleaming of sweat. Dahyun mutters a little prayer of gratitude at the sight,
fixes her own clothing, and with little sprinkles of warmth on her two cheeks, calls out the brunette's
name.

The Japanese turns, at first searching, then she makes out Dahyun's face among the blurry crowds as she
dashingly smiles. She does a little jog as she goes for the giddy blonde, her sling bag rattling at every
movements.

"Dahyunnie," she beckons once they're about a meter away.

"Unnie," the blonde waves - they've grown close enough for Dahyun to address the brunette
affectionately. "I didn't expect to see you here."

By the time Momo reaches her the brunette's panting a bit too loudly, the exhaustion from the previous
practice session's still evident. It doesn't take away the brunette's usually bright disposition though, as
Momo chuckles and alternately presses a hand on the crown of Dahyun's head - a gesture that's become
a habit whenever Momo meets the younger Korean.

"Having late classes again, Dahyun-ah?" Momo guesses from the blonde's attire and that seemingly
stuffed laptop bag. Dahyun's a pretty dilligent kid, that Momo knows, as the Korean's almost constantly
out on the usual days, her presence a frequent thing around campus. Sometimes Momo'd greet her in
between classes, taking her out on meals or walks, and Sana'd be that one estatic little casanova that
wouldn't let Dahyun escape her sight. At most times it's more of a chaos rather than a relaxing bonding
time, as Dahyun isn't shying away from expressing her growing exasperation towards her persistent
suitor, and Sana - well, Sana's just a stubborn asshole who's insistent for things to go her way.

Momo shivers at the thought of the two actually being together - imagine the potential fiasco the pair
would bring upon themselves.

Dahyun shakes her head at the question. "I've stayed back with friends to study."

Ah, as expected of Kim Dahyun.

"That's good,"Momo kindly comments. "I stayed back for practice, too - with Mina."

At the mentioning of the name Dahyun silently frowns, fingers picking on the hem of her sweater. She's
heard plenty of the popular ballerina - how pretty and talented the Japanese is and how her cool,
arrogant demeanor's granted her quite a number of relentless suitors - but what at first serves as only a
talk between friends that Dahyun hardly pays any mind on has become a form of irritance she'd like to
not hear of, especially from Momo.

It isn't like Dahyun disliked that particular Dance major - heck, she doesn't even know Mina personally,
even when they used to be roommates (after the Sana incident Dahyun's decided to change room,
though she's still stuck in the same floor of the building with the woman, because duh, she needed to see
Momo, still) - but she's jealous of her seemingly flourishing friendship between Momo and the actual
amount of time they've spent together. What infuriates the blonde even more's how Momo's so fixated
on the idea of the raven-haired beauty; how her eyes would soften at the mentioning of the woman's
name, that dreamy smile never leaving her small lips - and by then Dahyun knows that she's earned
herself a rather formidable contender.

Somehow Dahyun feels like she isn't that much of a fortunate soul, come to think about it.

"Oh, the train's here," Momo announces. The thoughts are instantly halted, and Dahyun shrinks in anxiety
when the crowd's started to close in, pushing the two as they move closer towards the platform.
Sensing Dahyun's fear, Momo thoughtfully wraps an arm over the blonde's petite back, hand clasped on
the soft material of her sleeve. "Easy," she comfortingly whispers, her gentle voice almost drowning
behind the shriek of the incoming train, fingers slowly digging into Dahyun's tender arm. "Just stay close
and you'll be fine, kiddo."

So they train stops, and Dahyun can't register much of the hectic situation, but she knows that they're
stepping into the cold, almost claustrophobic space that's the train body, because Momo's practically
carrying her in, arm still a secured hold around the blonde. The crowd's pushing behind them, a mess of
pressed limbs and lapses of voices, and Dahyun's a scared puppy in need of a guide in this scary notion of
a subway ride.

And then there's Hirai Momo.

"Watch your step," Momo reminds, guiding them through the flood of moving, compressing bodies. It's a
packed ride - a common thing at these hours as everyone's getting off from wherever it is that they've
previously spent their day in - and Momo can only manage so little with a heavy load by her shoulder and
an anxious blonde in her arm - not that she minds; she feels bad about Dahyun, actually. There isn't much
to do when Dahyun's having a hard time reaching the high railings, too - they're mostly occupied anyway -
and by then the blonde looks like she's about to burst in tears.

Dahyun chokes out a whimper when the train departs.

"Hey, easy there," Momo smiles. It's gentle when she pushes the first year into her torso, a hand on the
handle above them as the other arm's enveloping Dahyun into a cocoon-like embrace - and Dahyun
learns that Hirai Momo smells musky of vanilla and faint deodorant and warm skin.

"You don't go out often, do you?"

A slow nod.

"Try taking the bus next time; it takes a little bit more time, but there's less people."

It's probably uncalled for, but Dahyun says it anyway, bashful arms slipping their way for Momo's
curvaceous waist, head pressed on the brunette's clavicles. "B-But I wanna ride the subway with you, u-
unnie."
A quiet chuckle. "I see," Momo nods, pulling Dahyun closer when she notices how the blonde shakes at
their first stop. "Then you should start getting used to this, okay?"

And Momo's lips are soft, lingering by Dahyun's temple, comforting, and Dahyun's forgotten of Mina,
forgotten of her probably unrequited fondness for the older brunette - this moment's theirs and all theirs,
a little something that Dahyun'd keep in their box of memories, a tiny ribbon of hope by its cover.

She'll get used to this.

***

The long nap must've messed with some of the wires in Sana's brain - it must be - because holy shit, she's
seeing things these days.

Things such as the current sight that's served before her right then, the kind that she doesn't expect to
come when the Japanese's exited her room to dispose something into the hallway's trash bin - tank top
and shorts-clad - and Sana swears she could've died choking on her own saliva.

It's blurry, but Sana recognizes the two figures exiting the opened elevator, bodies flushed, soft laughters
mingling, hands meeting in between. The surprise, however, comes when a certain blonde - shorter one
of the two - cranes her pretty little neck; her lips pursed cutely as she lands them on the other brunette's
cheek, and the blonde giggles, her tone unmistakably familiar.

Sana rests both arms on her hips, jaws slacked. "Well, well, well," she remarks, voice uncharacteristically
low. "Look at my favourite little Tofu with my favourite little asshole,"

She may have closed the trash lid a bit too violently.

"And I thought I was the campus's ultimate Snake."


Oh, boy.
3 [M] Three

Miss Steal Yo Gal Minatozaki Sana's got a reputation to keep.

It isn't as pretty as Momo's, isn't as admirable as that of the arrogant ballerina Sana'd love to not say her
name, but Sana's determined nonetheless, and she isn't going to let some little ball of fluffy things and
pretty colors that's Kim Dahyun to ruin it. Call her egotistic, but Sana's always been a lover of a good
challenge, and when it comes in the form of an adorable frequent church-goer and Catholic school-leaver
who turns out to be a closeted gay, Sana's found herself cackling inside whenever she's spotted the
blonde checking out on some pretty girls' impressive behind.

Ah, even her eye candy's a fan of the notion of the glorious asses.

Of course, that isn't the only reason that's become the basis of Sana's attraction towards Dahyun. The
first year's sweet and full of those quirky, quiet charms Sana's learned to appreciate; from her funny
speech pattern whenever Sana teases her, to the bright red on the apple of her full cheeks when the
blonde's found herself being the constant victim of Sana shameless flirtation. In the many circumstances
that they're stuck together - mostly because of Sana's scheming mind - Sana's been drawn to the blonde,
and she's been tossed and chucked out of the windows the moment Dahyun's rejected her advances, but
Sana's kept going - she still does.

And that's exactly why it's so appalling; terrifying, even.

See, Sana's never been this persistent for a girl. She's fickle, the kind that goes for a target then moves to
the other once she's had her share of fun. Sometimes it went well, sometimes it ended in tears and some
nasty hair-pulling, face-scratching commotions, but Sana isn't all right in the head anyways, so the habit
stays, even when Momo's spoken of those things called karma and how Sana isn't going to have things
her way for the rest of her life. Sana remembers laughing at that, and brushes the reprimands off her
shoulders the next day she's courting on another girl by the hallway of their faculty.

Then Momo's words started to realize, and Dahyun's crush on Momo happened - the whole hallway
scene happened - and fuck, Sana feels like burying herself six-feet underground because for the first time
ever, she; Minatozaki-fucking-Sana, is desperate.

So desperate that when Momo brings her for lunch along with that snobbish dance prodigy that one fine
Wednesday, Sana's fidgeting and thinking and she's perspiring at the thought of doing what she's planned
to do as Momo's excused herself to purchase their desired meals, and left Sana with a cold Myoui whose
displeasure at Sana's blatant third-wheeling between her and Momo's so evident it feels like she's non-
verbally shouting it to Sana's face.

"I'd appreciate it if you stop boring holes into my face, Minatozaki-san," Mina points out, and Sana feels
how the quick sip on her orange juice's entered the wrong passage in her throat. Immediately Sana
convulses, citrus burning her nostrils, and Mina's rolling her eyes when she hands Sana a napkin - very
reluctantly.

Talk about being obvious.

"You have a knack for choking on things, don't you?" Mina again, cynically remarks, eyes drooping. "Glad
you're not into guys. It'd be hard for you."

The napkin's tossed carelessly on the floor because Sana isn't giving two shits on saving the
environment. Hah. "You scheming, two-faced, cynical little fox," Sana coughs out and laces it with venom,
even when it feels like those words hit closer to home. "I've gotten not a single clue on how Momo can be
so fond of you. I've disliked you since day one."

Mina flips her hair at that, thin lips curled into a small smirk. "Hmm," she fleets, thoughtful. "I'm not
surprised. You do look like you wanted to strangle the living daylight out of me. But don't worry though -
the feeling's mutual."

The brunette slides along the long bench and with a hiss, has herself seated opposite the seemingly
amused ballerina. "Listen, now," Sana starts. "I know that the both of us would love to kill each other if
given the chance but lemme tell you something Myoui, at this stage I think the both of us need to work
on something."

The ballerina halts, one elegant brow slightly raised at the statement. Oh, the unlikeliness of getting along
with Minatozaki Sana - that sends shivers down her spine. "If this involves one of your foolish plans of
getting into Dahyun's pants, then I will not put myself into such new lows. Your tragic love life has nothing
to do with me, Minatozaki."

Sana giggles - not too prettily - at that. "Ah, ah, are you sure about that, Myoui? Because let's see, we all
know that my little Tofu's crushing on your beloved Hirai and oh-oh-," Sana raises an index as she fishes
for her phone and in few quick swipes of her lithe fingers, unlocks the screen to a picture of two very
familiar figures whose bodies were pressed onto each other, the dramatic angle and less-than-vivid
lighting adding more scandalous effect on the already speculation-inducing image. "Look at what I've
gotten here."

This time it's Mina who's got some cold tea corroding her throat, and she sputters, tiny splatter of
moisture greeting Sana's equally contorted face, but she'll tolerate. Wiping her mouth, Mina then
exclaims; "How on earth did you get that?"

"I was there, unfortunately," Sana slumps. Then she turns, checking if Momo's coming. She's still in line at
the counter. "But that besides the point. The main thing here's that we both need to do something about
this, because I'm pretty sure I'm not the only having the hots for a girl. I know, Mina. I see how you look at
Momo."

Recovering, Mina chuckles at the allegation, eyes glazed of silent ridicule. She'd never be able to take
Sana seriously at this point of the conversation. The ballerina props her chin on her knuckles. "Hmm, now
you're assessing my attraction towards Momo through looks? What are you, a love wizard?"

"I'm a fucking casanova, Myoui," Sana grits her teeth. "I know if a girl's interested and I'm absolutely well
aware whether she's gonna take me for a walk in the park or a ride in her bedroom. And you're definitely
aiming for the latter. What's your fetish, Myoui? Abs? Muscles?"

The brunette leans in, her breaths minty, dangerous. "Someone that you can dominate, perhaps? Sweet
and soft as your favourite little Peach-,"

"Okay-!" Mina exhales, hands raised in defeat, face visibly red. "Okay, Minatozaki. I think that's about
enough. Just-just tell me what you want and let's get this over with."

Well that's quite easy.

Arrogance's been a word that's constantly associated with the sophomore, but at the very moment it
seems like Sana's turned herself into a living manifestation of said word, too, what with that smug smile
on her lips and the stretch on her neck as she tilts her head in victory. Persuasion's never a hard thing for
the brunette, really, she's been in so many situations where she's abused the talent for her own personal
benefits - she's wicked like that; intelligently cunning, full of schemes and loopholes where she'd slither
her way out unnoticed.
The phone's locked again, though Sana's gripping it like her love life's depended on said device - it does, in
so many ways. "I need intel," she finally answers, and it's almost painfully awkward how the whole
situation's slowly riding up to a blatant reenaction of a scene from a spy movie. "I know that Dahyun's
changed room. Where?"

It's two times more ridiculous now that Mina's actually joining in. "That's a breach into her personal life,"
she rejects - and the ballerina's personally baffled at her eagerness in participating within the increasingly
cringe-worthy circumstance. "I will not enclose that information to you."

A tap on the phone screen. "I have approximately a dozen of pictures of a drunk Momo rehearsing to
Adult Ceremony in nothing but her undergarments as a dare during her birthday - courtesy of me, of
course," Sana reveals with a shrug. "Just telling."

And just like that, Mina bursts.

"1-7-3. Her roommate's a classmate of mine and we're having a lesson together with Momo an hour after
this till late evening," then Mina breathes. "Now, I know Momo gave you my number; so all the pictures
and a video included, because I'm pretty sure you've taken one, you wicked woman."

"Ooh," Sana scoffs, then with a press of the send icon Mina feels her phone buzzing in her jeans pocket,
signaling a received message, and she could almost shake at the excitement.

"Enjoy," Sana finally ends, and by the time she's slipped her phone into her pocket, Momo's reached the
table again, trays of food in hands, completely oblivious of the major scheme that's just taken place in
that particular table.

"It's great to see that you guys are finally bonding with each other," Momo chirps as she claims her seat.
"Isn't it a good thing?"

Both Sana and Mina smirk at that.

"Yes," the ballerina grins. "Very good indeed, Momo."

Sana may have liked Mina a bit now.


***

It's raining.

If one's a fan of the supposed weather, of the sensation of cold spots over hot skin on a warm, slow
afternoon, then perhaps it'd be a circumstance to be fancied of and enjoyed - and life's good; all good.

"Fuck, I left my umbrella."

Or maybe not.

Sana steps out of the high shade of the train station, mouthing loud curses every time she clumsily steps
on a murky puddle and wets her recently washed sneakers. The brunette grimaces at the cold shower,
hair in knots of slippery dark brown, and it doesn't take long for the Japanese to be completely drenched
in her thin shirt and ripped jeans under the relentless rain as she makes her way past the busy streets and
into the vicinity of the college's residence.

The trip up to her floor's a teeth-chattering, cold-inducing one, as Sana shivers and skips out of the
elevator in a rush for the warmth that's her shared room. It's unfortunate that Momo's still having class
and is the one who'd definitely has an umbrella among the two. That's just how it works - because Momo
remembers, and Sana doesn't care.

Sana doesn't even bother to spare a glance to Dahyun's room when she passes it by her left - only two
rooms away from her own (Sana's amazed at how well the blonde's been masking her presence around
the block, like, that's some hardcore ninja shit right there). She'll handle that one later.

So the brunette then shoves a hasty hand down into her bag, fingers clawing for the whereabouts of her
keys among whatever it is that she has within and-

It's gone.
"Oh, wow, yes," Sana sarcastically scoffs, by then going through every pocket that's attached to her pants,
but it's fruitless, and now Sana's fighting the urge of karate-chopping her way into the locked door. But of
course she wouldn't resort to such unnecessary, potentially self-harming violence - Sana isn't that
unintelligent. So the Japanese reaches for her phone, unlocking said device before pressing onto her
speed dial, Momo's number in vivid display over the bright screen.

Dial tone.

"Yes, Sana-?"

A sigh of relief. "You're in class? I need your keys."

"You've left yours again, don't you?" Momo silently giggles. "Wait, we're having a lecture actually, but I
can excuse myself-,"

Sana ineviteably panics when Momo's voice disappeared over the line, and she's scrambling to dial the
same sets of number again when the brunette notices the suddenly blank screen. Then it lights up again,
only to display its iconic boot screen that can only mean one thing - she's run out of battery.

"Don't you fucking dare die on me," Sana warns the device as if it'd do her any justice. The screen dims
anyway, mocking. "Don't you fucking dare die-,"

Then it's black.

"Oh, fuck you," Sana spits in defeat, throwing her phone back into her bag. Then she squats, back huddled
against the door, and Sana thinks of the many ways she can potentially die right then.

"Man, all of this doesn't even relate to playing with girls' hearts," Sana whines, burying her numb face into
her wet arms. "Karma's just a bitter bitch."

Wait.
"I wonder if Dahyun's home."

***

Dahyun swears she could've gone into cardiac arrest when a brown head peeks through her half-opened
door, strands dripping.

"Sana-unnie-!" She yelps. She doesn't even contemplate on her supposed dislike towards the woman
when she pulls the brunette in, pushing wet hair that clings onto the Japanese's pale cheeks with eyes
glazed of genuine worry. "What on earth have you been up to?"

The brunette chuckles lightly. "Sorry, Dahyun-ah. I forgot my umbrella and uh, my keys as well. And my
phone's dead so I can't ask for Momo's keys, so yeah. I was thinking that maybe I can crash at your place
for a while? At least to charge my phone. Please?"

About to say yes, Dahyun pulls the brunette deeper into the room, before she halts, suddenly skeptical.
It's only then Dahyun manages to wrap her mind around the idea, and she frowns at the many
coincidences within the brunette's statement, wondering if this is yet another scheme from the Japanese.
So Dahyun deadpans, hand no longer clasping onto Sana's as she says; "You can stay. But only to charge
your phone so you can call Momo-unnie. That's it."

Sana's voice's peculiarly gentle when she speaks, contrary to what Dahyun's expected out of the usually
boisterous brunette. "Sure," the Japanese curtly nods with a small smile. "May I borrow yours?"

"It's on my desk - the one on the left. Careful with the plugs."

Bare feet on parquet floor, and Sana goes, her steps slow and muffled. Dahyun intently watches as the
older woman goes about with her business; dropping her bag by the side of Dahyun's desk and plugging
her phone with shaky hands and heavy breaths, her legs trembling.

Now Dahyun feels bad.


"Unnie," the blonde calls. Sana turns at that, beaming, cheeks flushed despite the chilly weather. Dahyun
fidgets. "Why don't you stay anyway? Y-you can take a hot shower and um, I have some bigger clothes
that I can't wear."

"You're sure?"

"Yeah, um," the blonde shuffles for her wardrobe. There's a rustle when she rummages in. Then she
emerges again, t-shirt and shorts in hand, a towel draped by her shoulder. Shyly she hands them to Sana,
by then noting how the rain's turned Sana's top almost transparent, so much that Dahyun could make out
the faints lines of her black bra and clear skin, her muscles as taut as Momo's - nothing peculiar there;
they're both dancers - though Sana's more feminine in shape, her silhouette's delicate despite the daily
physical strain.

God, she should really stop checking Sana out.

"These should be comfortable enough for you, and um," the Korean gestures to the bathroom. "There's
still some hot water, and feel free to use my shampoo and soap if you like, I have them placed by the
sink."

"Thanks," Sana chimes as she immediately heads for the bathroom, chocolate eyes soft against the blue
lights of the sky outside the windows, and Dahyun blinks.

Somehow they're softer than Momo's.

The Korean rubs her face at the thought. The bed creaks when she throws herself upon the soft sheets,
an arm over her forehead as she closes her eyes and recalls the train events. She remembers the warmth
of Momo's embrace - the first she's ever received - and sure, her heart soars at that.

But then there's Mina.

The whole predicament's nothing but a mess - a jumble of thoughts and memories and surpressed
feelings that Dahyun's reluctant to dabble herself in, yet the blonde isn't moving out from the supposed
concepts of self-pity and strong denial. She likes Momo, yes, but Momo isn't looking her way, and her
heart sinks at that. It's upsetting at most times, infuriating at some, and all around a sad case of
unrequited feelings and silent admiration. Dahyun resents it all, and the fact that Momo's completely
oblivious's rubbing salt over the wound, because Dahyun knows that whatever the brunette's doing to
her's nothing but a friendly - perhaps even a sisterly - gesture.

And when Sana comes around, the equation gets even more complicated.

The Japanese's been persistent, her preseverence's as unruly as Dahyun's own stubborness. And it isn't
the case of Sana treating her poorly - Sana's been good, in fact too good; that Dahyun wonders if the
Minatozaki's actually sincere in the first place. A naive disposition, Dahyun admits, but the blonde knows
of Sana's fickle-minded tendencies, how her previous relationships were nothing but a series of failures
because Sana's proven to be too impulsive to be tamed, too detached for Dahyun's liking - but Dahyun'd
be lying if she isn't attracted to the brunette.

That's where the whole equation turns almost impossible to solve, really. Dahyun does want Sana - in
whatever ways that Dahyun hasn't figured out yet - but it just feels so superficial, so short-lived. It doesn't
help that the Japanese's consistently pushing herself towards the blonde - those touches lingered for too
long and those kisses were too heavy; seemingly lust-fueled and nothing much in between, even when
they do feel intimate, but perhaps it's just Dahyun - and she doesn't like that.

Dahyun wishes that Sana can tell her if she really likes Dahyun; if the basis of her attraction isn't just out
of measly desires and her selfish conception of said attraction; if Dahyun isn't just another target - if Sana
really, really needs her, body and soul and all of her being.

Can she really do that?

The door opens. Dahyun wakes to a shirt and shorts-clad Sana, her hair glistening, wetting the towel
that's rested on her shoulders. The blonde forces a smile out. "Come here, unnie," she beckons from her
bed, silently cursing herself for dragging the two of them into this, because she knows Sana, and knows
what she can do. "I'll dry your hair for you."

They're both tangled in this truthfully, though Dahyun feels like she's the one who won't be able to get
out. And she falls deeper when she takes the towel into her grasp and drops them on Sana's robust
tresses, kneading through the wet curls and excess moisture, their crossed legs meeting at their knees -
Dahyun's over Sana's - faces so close that perhaps only a measly tilt on Dahyun's part would put her lips
upon the brunette's in a slow kiss she's always wanted to have. Sana smells of the blonde's shampoo, is
wearing her clothes and seated on her bed, and Dahyun imagines of the same circumstance but with a
different color - with a different notion that says, ah, perhaps they're in love.
In love.

What a joke.

"Have you told Momo-unnie?" Dahyun asks.

"I texted her, yes, before showering," Sana states. "Said that she'll arrive in a few."

"Good."

A hum.

"You've been quiet," Dahyun starts again - she doesn't know what she wants from this conversation. "You
aren't planning anything outrageous again, are you?"

Sana's chuckle's muted, soft in Dahyun's ear. "I don't really have anything in mind," Sana answers.
"Besides, you've probably been having a lot of fun with Momo, I guess."

"Don't say anything about that," Dahyun reprimands. Silky curls have caught themselves between her
careful fingers, caressing, but the blonde wriggles them out and presses the towel over them instead.
Sana sighs at that, smiling.

"Is it because of Mina?" The Japanese pries, unaware of the weight in her words.

"Partly," Dahyun presses her lips together. There's an ache, but she tries not to let it linger. "And I know
she doesn't like me in that way."

Her fingers bury themselves in Sana's scalp. It's warm there. Dahyun combs those strands with care,
pushing stray ones away from the brunette's dreamy eyes and pretty features, her skin's cold under
touch, distant. Then Dahyun realizes that Sana hasn't been touching her, and she wonders why.

"You like me, don't you, unnie?"


A nod.

"Why?"

"Do you have any reason for liking Momo?"

The blonde halts. Her palms are framing Sana's face now, hair in between her fingers, falling astray and
disheveled - a mess that's so pretty Dahyun finds herself staring. She thinks of the answer for a while,
then she breathes it out; "I don't really know."

And Sana finally touches Dahyun, one finger by the length of her nose bridge, its lovely pad tapping on
Dahyun's reddened tip. The Korean finds herself shivering at that, her hands are now slipped to the
brunette's sternum, their warmth's pulsating over the cold skin. Then the finger goes, and Dahyun isn't
sure why she misses it already.

"You really like her, don't you?" Sana smiles.

"You're not answering my question," Dahyun frowns.

"My reasons are irrelevant at this point, honestly," the Japanese replies. "Because you're into her and not
me."

The towel slips from Sana's hair, landing with a dull thud. "Then kiss me," Dahyun challenges, eyes
clouded. "Because I'd still like to know."

And truly, there's so much that Dahyun'd like to know, even as Sana claims her lips and breaths; her
sanity and whatever logic that they have in a circumstance that's as disoriented as Sana's tongue that's
found its way into Dahyun's mouth. They kiss as if they're parched, melting and drowning, and Dahyun
doesn't know if she'd ever be satiated, if she'd ever make it ashore.

Then Dahyun gasps - yelps - when Sana cradles her petite frame in the brunette's strong arm, heaving the
blonde up so her legs part and have them straddling the Japanese's waist instead, little feet dangling as
she curled her calves upon a bare back. Above them, Dahyun's arms hooked themselves over the
brunette's neck, fingers in her hair, and she's so desperate to hold on, so reluctant to let go.

And for a while, Dahyun doesn't want it to end at all.

But then Sana parts, slick tongue over Dahyun's chin, and the blonde crumbles when said muscle skims
past the line of her delicate jaw and under her ear, teeth leaving mark that burns just as much as the ache
that's growing in Dahyun's chest. No longer gentle, Sana buries her mouth into the lay of the blonde's
sensitive skin, lapping and suckling and Dahyun's crying Sana's name when the Japanese pushes too hard
and kisses too hard and Dahyun's missing it - the swell in her tummy when their lips first met - this isn't
content, isn't tender as how Momo's touched her.

Isn't as sweet, as fleeting, as careful.

This isn't Momo.

Momo.

Momo.

"N-No," the blonde struggles. "Please stop."

Everything breaks. And Dahyun pushes Sana off her chest, ache in her lips and her face, and her eyes burn
of something wet.

Sana retreats. She's put the blonde down, wiped the taste of Dahyun's lips on hers, and she's started to
forget it all, just like how she's always done before. In a split second, the Japanese's removed herself from
the blonde's bed, dark eyes tracing over the handsome lines of Dahyun's curves under the thin material of
her button-up shirt and loose pair of shorts - the shame and regret swirling in the Korean's eyes are
telling Sana plenty of things.

"See? I've told you, it's irrelevant," the brunette sadly smiles. "Because it'll always be Momo. And oh, I
lied."
Dahyun shifts. Sana's already at the door, bag and clothes in hand, her expression unreadable. "I do have
a plan - to find out if this is all mutual,"

The door goes for a shut.

"And I've gotten my answer."

***

It should be fine. Everything's cleared up, Sana's gone, and Dahyun isn't stuck moping over the persistent
brunette anymore.

But it's not.

Momo's the one who's returned the clothes instead, and Dahyun finds herself unable to look at the
brunette's face, even as Momo's said her goodnight and pats the Korean head before she goes. There's
just too much guilt, and Dahyun feels like she's betrayed Momo, like she's betrayed someone.

And still Dahyun falls asleep with the returned shirt in her grasp and tucked under her chin, the scent's
faint and isn't hers, and for the first time her dreams aren't about Momo, and she isn't happy.

She isn't happy.


4 Four

Two days in, and Sana's been down with a fever.

It's about seven in the morning when Momo wakes and checks on the panting brunette. The sun's warm,
but Sana's curled under her bunched up blankets, chest heaving as she struggles to breathe amidst the
heavy fabric and reddened nose, her sight hazy of disturbed sleep, throat dry as her chapped lips. They
parted with a painful huff, and Sana finally stirs, the walls spinning.
Momo's ushered her for the clinic yesterday, insisting that a check-up's more than necessary, but Sana's
declined the request, stubborn as ever. Momo doesn't really push it, but when Sana starts rejecting the
warm meals and little dosage of paracetamols that they have in their keeping, Momo's never been more
worried.

The older brunette presses a gentle palm on the younger one's scalding forehead, wincing at the heat -
it's hardly any better than last night. Momo grimaces - perched upon Sana's bedside table are two cups of
instant noodles Momo's reprimanded the brunette not to consume, yet Momo's seeing them first thing in
the morning, and she wonders when does Sana's began to defy her best friend.

Still Momo kindly caresses the woman's clammy cheek, fingers burying themselves into her tangled hair.
The younger one's eyes are glazed of involuntary tears, probably a result from her high body
temperature, but Momo sees more in them - a glint of a foreign something that Momo's witnessed only
when Sana's upset.

Is she? And if so, why?

"We really need to go see the doctor," Momo reminds, and she's run out of count of how many times
she's repeated the same thing. "Your fever's barely coming down. And you're not even properly eating.
I'm worried, Sana."

The sheets rustle at Sana's movement. Her head shakes, shoulders trembling when she weakly wiggles to
her side, distant eyes avoiding Momo's concerned orbs. The brunette's voice's barely audible when she
speaks. "I'll be fine. Just go."

A quick look on the clock informs Momo that there's about an hour before her class starts. "I can't really
leave you like this," she turns for Sana again, careful fingers kneading over the other brunette's probably
throbbing scalp. "At least have a meal? And take your meds please?"

An annoyed sigh - Sana never does that to Momo at these kinds of circumstances. "I can take care of
myself Hirai."

"But-,"

The creak on the bed when Sana whips her head back to Momo startles the older Japanese.
"I'm not a kid, Mo-!" Sana snaps, almost too painfully, then her voice loosens, regretful;

"J-Just leave."

And it aches somewhere, everywhere. Momo's out of the room in defeat, her tone lingering when she
tells Sana that she'll check on her during lunch, that she's prepared her a warm breakfast, that she loves
Sana and hopes that she'll get better. Then there's a knot in Sana's gut when she realizes that those
words are truthful, kind as Momo's warm eyes and warm fingers, the sincerest as they've always been -
and it's like an insult to the younger brunette.

Sana wants to be mad. She wants to hold grudges, and says to Momo that she despises the older
Japanese, and Sana feels so guilty about that, because if Momo's to be put in her place, she's certain that
Momo won't even think of doing the same, because Momo's kind and Sana's just a teribble person.

No wonder Dahyun likes her better.

Dahyun likes Momo better.

And Sana isn't as good as Momo.

Ah, the dreadful circumstances that she's in.

The Japanese knows that her rage isn't just out of childish jealousy or her ego. There's just something
else, a notion that Sana just can't seem to put her fingers on, a little spark in her chest when she finds
that Dahyun's eyes have had themselves directed more to Momo instead of Sana, even as Momo's
turning her back on her, even as Sana waits with opened arms and warm kisses and gentle whispers - but
perhaps they aren't enough; they never were.

It isn't about kisses or hugs; isn't about polite gestures or pleasant flattery. There's more into Dahyun's
fixation on Momo, and really, the older Japanese's never needed those to have Dahyun falling for her in
the first place. All it takes for Momo's a fleeting smile, for her to be around, for Momo being Momo.
And Sana - Sana's just this - ruffled and confused and angered, like she's battered and for the first time
she feels, truly feels, and she's attached and bound and she can't crawl her way back out of whatever hole
it is that she's fallen in. Sana pulsates, throbs; and it isn't just from this fever; this twists and turns in her
belly, chest and being.

The brunette's world's spinning. Then it crumbles and breaks and shatters - pieces scattered and unfitting
of mending - but perhaps it's just her, because Sana doesn't feel whole, nor is she full anymore.

Perhaps it's just her.

Not Momo, not Dahyun.

Just, Sana.

And Sana hates herself.

***

Mina sees Momo, and those dark circles under her eyes and the solemn lines of her lips - her vigor isn't as
energetic, and she's been too quiet for the usually chirpy Hirai - and Mina notes how Momo isn't half as
lively as she is when Minatozaki Sana isn't around.

The ballerina's taken aback when Momo's contacted her last night, voice shaky as she's pushed back a
whimper and gone about how Sana's been sick and denying her meals. Then Mina remembers storming
for the two's room at one in the morning, a pack of cold patches in her hand and an ice pack in the other,
alert as ever. She's greeted by a crying Momo at her door, her cheeks wet and Mina can't tell if it's from
her anxious perspiration or concerned tears.

Then she remembers nursing Sana as well, and she's seen how Momo's trembled when the Osaka-
native's vomitted on her shirt as Momo cradles the younger brunette in her arms, and she's begged Mina
to supposely save the Minatozaki, muttering how she loves Sana and doesn't really want her to leave.
To put simply, it's heart-warming, almost hilarious even, but it's given Mina the little peek on the extent
of the two's relationship, and somehow her chest swells at that.

And when Sana's said her thanks after that, it almost felt like Mina's finally welcomed into the circle - and
funny, she's began to slightly care about the obnoxious brunette, too.

But a moping Momo isn't that much of a happy developement, still.

The sophomore makes a bee line towards the slumped brunette who's exiting the faculty compound,
ignoring the curious stares at the ballerina's unusually rushed disposition.

"Momo," Mina then calls out, hand's stretched and aimed for the brunette's. Momo pauses, then squeals
when her cold fingers are pulled by warmer ones, her top fluttering with the inertia of her sudden turn at
the beaming sophomore. "I've been looking for you," Mina pants.

Momo smiles, but it doesn't quite reach her eyes. They're in the shade of dull brown today anyway, their
lids heavy from stress and her lack of sleep. "Minari," she mutters in return.

The nickname's been a habit these days. It's started with a mindless slip of the tongue, yet Mina's
approved of the new way of saying her name. So the ballerina smiles brighter, ample cheeks pink under
the afternoon heat, and those fingers travel upon Momo's exposed arm before settling above her elbow,
soft palm massaging the tensed muscles in a comforting manner.

"How's Sana?" Mina asks, her worry's genuine.

Mentioning the name must've turned into a taboo now, because Momo slouches lower to that, frowning.
Mina's hand goes for her back. "She's refusing meals again," Momo weakly chimes. "And she scolded me
this morning when I tried to coax her into eating breakfast."

"Stubborn as ever, I see," Mina notes with a click of her tongue, her gaze distant. Then it drifts away at a
quiet sniff that's reverberated from none other but the saddened Hirai, and Mina looks at the brunette
again - chocolate eyes gleaming.
Crystal-like tears fall and stray like daytime constellations, and Mina gasps as she catches them with a
quick press of her thumb on Momo's tender cheek, slightly laughing at the somehow adorable sight, but
the sophomore's sympathy's stronger.

"Hey," Mina coaxes. She lowers her head, nose tickling the messy spread of Momo's uncombed bangs. At
this point, Mina doesn't even care if the whole campus's watching them. "It's okay. It's not your fault."

"I-I'm worried," Momo whines, trembling hands on the waist of Mina's blouse. She's weeping again, albeit
silently and more-childlike, her breaths in shuddering intakes and hitched exhales, and suddenly Momo's
the younger one - way younger. "She's not talking as much and it seems like I've done something wrong
and-and, uh, it's always been just the two of us and we've never fought before, so when she's like that I
don't really know what to do and-and, there isn't anyone I can turn to-and-,"

There's little gasps of surprise and bated breaths when Mina places her lips by the side of Momo's left
eye, and just like that the brunette calms, and she's pulling Mina closer then, disregarding the weird looks
they're probably receiving.

Mina lets Momo hug her. "Try talking to her later," the ballerina suggests with soft lips against the sticky,
tear-lined skin. She doesn't really mind, though. "You two are the best of friends. She'll listen - I know she
will."

The warmth dissapates as they part. The raven-haired sophomore then brings forward a medium-sized
container, its bottom warm above the small paper bag that it's placed in. Momo takes it with careful
hands. She slightly bows at the sudden gift, wet eyes curious and no longer in anguish, like a puppy that's
received its favorite toy - she's precious like that. The younger of the two kindly beams.

"It's hot porridge and chicken soup. I asked the cafeteria lady to whip them up for you two, um," Mina
pauses, uncharacteristically bashful. "I thought of making them myself but uh, I don't really have the time,
so this is all I can come up with. I hope you don't really mind that."

Momo's eyes light up at the explanation. "Thank you-!" She quietly giggles, never been a happier food-
lover. Mina chuckles at the quick change of mood. "And of course I don't mind. You're so thoughtful,
Minari."

"You're welcome," Mina says. "And better rush home before it turns cold, but be careful, of course."
And Momo says her okay, before she turns, inspecting the small crowd among them. It's almost too quick
when the brunette leans for the ballerina's face again, a hand by the side of Mina's face, and Momo pulls
her in as if she's done it so many times before.

The slight tremor's evident on her lips when she lands them on Mina's thin eyebrow, and Mina shudders
along with them.

"I'll make sure Sana eats them," Momo blushes. "And I'll text you once I did as well."

When Momo finally leaves, Mina feels like a part of her's gone with the brunette, too.

***

The rattle of the keys's the first thing Sana hears when she turns. Then it's the light taps on the floor as
Momo excitedly shuffles over the space, her breaths jumpy, seemingly in a good mood.

Momo pulls the curtains apart. The sunlight hurts Sana's eyes when it slips in, warm over the lay of Sana's
bed and exposed skin. The room's stuffy until Momo pushes the window open, and Sana's hair tousles
over her pillows when the afternoon breeze blows onto her hot face.

"I brought food," Momo cheerily announces, quick feet going past Sana's bed. The mattress dips as
Momo sits by its edge, dilligent hands picking on the empty cups of instant noodles. Then the older one
arranges the gifted containers in their place instead, removing their covers to reveal a warm meal.

Sana wakes with a start at a cold hand that's rubbing slow circles on her t-shirt-clad back. She whimpers,
reluctant to be awake. The four walls are still spinning away, even more when she sees Momo, and Sana
just wants to close her eyes and drowns herself in an eternal slumber.

It just hurts so much.


Those fingers are tracing Sana's cheek then, coaxing. So the brunette forces her eyes open, lids hurting at
the intruding lights and the sweet curve of Momo's smile. The older one looks exhausted - she doesn't
glow as much as Sana's usually observed of her - probably from the prolonged strain in their relationship
for the past few days, and Sana grimaces at that, her guilt as heavy as her short lapses of breaths.

"Let's eat, Sana," Momo gently invites. "It's been a while since we ate together."

Too kind for her own good, Momo's always been the supporter of the two, her resolve strong and
unwavering, and it's her that's kept them together after all these years. Sana can't really recall how their
bond's started, but she does remember the sight of a frail ten year-old who's taught her to dance and told
her of love and friendship and what it's like to dream and have fun. Even from the start, Momo's always
been patient, the older of the two who cares and protects and tells Sana that she's pretty and she
shouldn't be afraid, and Momo's held Sana's hand when she's fallen for so many times before.

Momo's arms are strong. They've caught Sana for countless of times - even now - when Sana slips as she
rises from her back, trying to be strong, too, but she just can't.

"Careful," Momo whispers, her hands in a steady grip on Sana's wrists, and she heaves Sana up just like
how she did when Sana first missed her footing and hurt her tiny hands. "There you go."

The younger Japanese hisses. Her skull feels like it's splitting into two. Her heart does, too, but Sana tries
to ignore that, even as Momo ruffles her already disheveled mane, then pulls them into a messy ponytail
so Sana can breathe better and see better and feel better. It's just something that Momo does for Sana,
because she cares and she's loved the younger one for too long that it's feel all too natural now, like the
sparkle in Momo eyes when she smiles and takes Sana's cheek in her palm, thumb tapping over soft skin
and faint freckles - inspecting.

"Feeling better?"

A slow shake of the head.

Silver spoon lands into the white porridge with a muffled thud. Sana stares at the prepared meal without
much appetite. Has Momo eaten?

"You should eat first," Sana finally speaks, voice thick of sleep and the dry feeling in her thoat. Her fever's
subsided a little, but she's drained; her muscles are burning to be replenished.
Momo blows on the still steaming porridge, one hand under the half-filled spoon. "Don't be silly," she
chuckles, then continues; "You're sick and you haven't had a proper meal since yesterday."

The spoon's brought upon Sana's chapped lips, and Momo's gaping her mouth as if she's feeding a child.
"Open up, Minatozaki."

Sana likes being pampered, yet she feels uneasy at the gesture. "Can I just feed myself?"

"No," Momo quickly cuts. "Now open up before it turns cold."

So Sana does, cheeks red and it isn't just from the temperature. Slowly she takes the spoon in, face
contorting as if a meal feels so foreign on her tongue. Sana fights the sudden urge to vomit - she isn't
going to regurgitate her meal onto Momo again - and she swallows it down with so much pain the
brunette thinks she's chomping down pebbles.

"Soup?"

"Please," Sana reluctantly says anyway.

It tastes like water.

Then suddenly, it burns.

There's that thud again, but Momo's let go of the spoon, eyes wide as she stares at Sana's face.

"Dude," Momo slowly chuckles, confused. "Why are you crying?"

Huh?

It's wet when Sana puts a curious finger on her cheek. It isn't sweat.
The room's two times brighter now that Momo's laughing - amused at the sudden dramatic transition -
eyes turning into a thin slit, red lips glistening, her sillouhette's as vermillion as the skies above them.
Momo laughs like she hasn't got any worries in the world, her voice's a lovely chime of little bells that
rattles with the coming wind. Then she calms, like the slow traffic upon the winding streets below; and
Momo's that frail ten year-old again, so innocent and unknowing, her grin's as colorful as the Spring's
blossoms.

Sana just can't take it anymore.

It's been too long since they last hugged, yet as Sana wraps her trembling arms around Momo it doesn't
feel unfamiliar at all. The brunette's still as comforting, soft despite her muscular build, and Momo smells
like home and feels like home - like the wooden porch of Momo's house where they've met for the first
time; the little hill where they've built their secret hideout together.

And Sana weeps as much as her sickly body allows her, fresh tears creating dark wet splotches on the
neckline of Momo's shirt, and she quakes along to the magnitude of her despair.

"I'm sorry, Mo," Sana begs against Momo's chest. "I-I can't believe I'd even thought of hating you."

"Eh?" Momo exclaims. "Sana, I don't understand-,"

"It's D-Dahyun," Sana chokes out, she just can't breathe right. "S-She doesn't feel the same, Mo. She
doesn't like me."

The news hits Momo like a truck, particularly because she's sorry for Sana, and she's always thought that
everything's going well between the two - despite the constant quarrel - and she just doesn't
comprehend the real situation, so oblivious of Dahyun's infatuation towards her.

"Ah," is all Momo can muster - she's always been slow, her brain's a mush at most circumstance especially
such as this. Momo's never good at dealing with intense emotions, never an expert in handling tears and
tantrums, but she pats Sana on her head anyway, hoping that it'd comfort the other Japanese.

She snaps instead.


"Oi-!" Sana cries - voice breaking - as she throws her head back. Her fist goes for Momo's hard abdomen,
earning a grunt from the startled brunette. The relentless tears have marred Sana's delicate features,
though they're stopping now, and the younger Japanese isn't half as upset as she's before. "She's rejected
me because of you, you dense asshole."

"Eh? Why?"

"Because she likes you-!" Sana rasply grumbles. "God, Hirai, you're so frustrating!"

When it finally dawns, Momo's a flustered child who's suddenly having difficulties to speak, and she's
gaping as she recalls those seemingly longing stares and lingering touches that's come her way; the little
dusting of pink on Dahyun's cheeks the night the blonde's kissed the Japanese. It makes so much more
sense now how Dahyun's been consistently dismissing her invitations for a meal along with Mina, and
Momo thinks that perhaps she is more of a fool than what she's previously thought of herself all this time.

"S-Sana," Momo wails when the guilt finally washes over her, arms reaching for her best friend again. "I'm
so sorry! I didn't know, I swear! I thought everything's okay and-and I thought she likes you and uh-uh-uh
I don't know that you just got rejected because of me! God, I'm such a terrible friend-,"

The sentence's cut incomplete as Sana presses a hand on Momo's mouth. She isn't having any of it, really.
"Don't say that, you dumbass! I'm not blaming you for anything - I mean, yeah I did before - but that isn't
the main point now, okay?"

Sana pulls Momo into her arms again, dipping her nose into the older one's soft tresses. "I love you,
Hirai," she quietly says. "And I don't want us to break apart just because of a girl. Even a super cute one.
And I'm sorry for being a jerk. I've made you worry."

"You're forgiven," Momo laughs, eyes closed, and her mind wanders to that small hill again - she's laying
upon its freshly-trimmed grass, a binocular in one hand as she speaks of the blue skies and fluffy clouds,
flower crowns over her dark hair. And then there's Sana, her head's cradled by Momo's small shoulder,
and upon the fragile expanse of her pale yellow summer dress were their intertwined hands, small fingers
calloused from their rough playtime.

They're just too precious to be broken.


"I'll talk to Dahyun," Momo announces. "I'll let her know."

"But, Mo-,"

"It's okay, Sana," the older one assures. "I won't let her break. At least not as much as you did. You don't
want that to happen, don't you?"

Silence.

Then their eyes meet - darker brown upon lighter one - Momo's hands framing Sana's glimmering cheeks;
those tears are all dried now. "Because this time it isn't just about liking a pretty girl, right?"

It takes three seconds too slow for Sana to nod, and Momo giggles when Sana holds her pinky finger out,
her eyes hopeful. "Pinky promise?"

Momo nods; small fingers wrapped around each other.

"Pinky promise."

***

It'll take time, but Sana will heal.

They're sharing a bed tonight, with Momo's deciding to crash onto Sana's, and it's like having their little
childhood sleepovers again - the blanket's draped over them and pulled up to their chins, but half of
Momo's face's disappeared under it when she tucks her slightly bigger frame in Sana's arms. It doesn't
take a long time for her to fall asleep, while Sana's still very much awake, but she isn't aching anymore.

She's healing.
And Sana hopes Dahyun does, too.
5 Five

It's cold.

Dahyun dips her feet into the glimmering water - pale skin within brilliant blue - once, twice. The first time
sends a shiver, then she recovers at the second, but still it's chilly - the kind that surges past flesh and into
bones - and Dahyun slips in.

The water shakes, and the ripple spreads and breaks, little splashes shining of white, like stars, like the
glaze in Dahyun's midnight eyes against the vermillion sun. The shore's infinite, the horizon's thin as the
lines of her silhouette. Dahyun's bare, vulnerable, and her skin's a lay of expensive porcelain, gleaming,
fragile as the liquid calm that's surrounding her. In this body of water, Dahyun's the only white splotch
that breaks the supposedly unchanging shade, and she's drifting, falling, drowning.

Now it's blue, and Dahyun hears the water and her lungs that have screamed for air. So she tries to
breathe, but she sinks futher and her chest dips. The air escapes in pretty bubbles that shots for the
surface, leaving Dahyun without a saviour. Then the ache comes, and the water's corroding her insides -
needles in her chest - and blue shifts until Dahyun can only see grey.

Then those arms take her.

Dahyun's pulled to her back, turned, cradled. It's blurry, but what first seems like a physique-less distortion
materializes before her, its skin warm under touch despite the temperature, and Dahyun's burying her
head into an equally bare chest that she's seemed to peculiarly miss. Then she's heaved, an arm by her
waist and a hand on her cheek, so Dahyun blinks, and by the time her eyes have fluttered open again the
water's back to blue, its shade brighter than ever, and then there's chocolate, and there's red;

There's Sana.

Hot lips rest upon Dahyun's, mouth parted as the brunette breathes in.

Then Dahyun sees white.


***

The blonde wakes, searching. The walls are crisp white instead of brilliant blue, and it's warm, so warm
that Dahyun sweats through her thin shirt and loose shorts, her palms cold and clammy, the sheets damp
and uncomfortable. She shifts. The bed feels sturdy under her; Dahyun isn't floating.

And her chest palpitates; she isn't drowning.

Dahyun inhales, long and slow, lips parted. She's tasting the stale air, the soft breeze that's escaped the
little space that's her half-opened windows, and it feels like she's never breathed for so long.

Then she stills, hair on the side of her face, and Dahyun weeps.

It's been too long since Sana's walked out of the door, and since then Dahyun's drifted upon these
waters, lost and out of reach, her anchor's nowhere to be found. There isn't a hand for her to hold -
neither of Sana's or Momo's - and the blonde's never been so afraid.

It's almost noon when Dahyun finally removes herself from bed. Her schedules are empty that Saturday
morning, though it's a different story for her seemingly occupied roommate. The Dance major's gone out
earlier than usual, and she's informed Dahyun of her absence for the whole day, before leaving with a
quick reminder for the blonde to stay safe. Dahyun remembers humming at the note, hardly in the mood
for an extended conversation.

Many have spoken of her sudden change in attitude and her seemingly growing disinterest in the many
things she used to fancy. Dahyun's no longer roaming round campus in her daily endeavours of attending
club meetings or little social events, nor is she mingling with her small group of IT enthusiast Dahyun's
previously spent most of her time with. It's a shame, Dahyun supposes, but with her current mental state
the blonde isn't really sure if she can even function with the same efficiency from before.

If the Korean isn't stuck daydreaming then she'd either have Sana or Momo in her head, and just like that
she'd think too much and nothing'd ever be done right. Dahyun's been increasingly clumsy, too; her
focus's out of the window and she's been caught falling asleep in lectures multiple times before. And
speaking of falling asleep Dahyun's been having problem to do so these days, what with the constant
intruding thoughts and somehow growing ache for someone she's never thought to ever miss.
The water's cold in Dahyun's palm, almost numbing. Then Dahyun presses the collected amount onto her
face, and she shudders as blood rushes to her head - now Dahyun's more awake than before; still
lethargic, anyhow. The sleep's still in her eyes and Dahyun's inspecting the lack of flesh on her usually full
cheeks. It's only then Dahyun realizes of those little meals she's had for a day, how her usually ravenous
appetite's gone to her only capable of consuming few slices of white bread and plenty - perhaps too
much - of instant coffee.

She needs to stop punishing herself.

At least Dahyun's still keeping herself properly groomed. She brushes her teeth, and her shower's still as
time-consuming as it is, though the water's in a higher temperature now, so much that her skin'd be
scalding red and sensitive under touch, but she doesn't mind that. Dahyun's changed her shampoo and
soap, though, because she thinks their distinct scent's reminding her of someone, and she doesn't want
to be more reminded of them than she already has.

You're in denial, she'd tell herself, but Dahyun's just too fond of running away, and by the time Dahyun's
out of the shower stall she's contradicting herself again.

The shirt feels two time rougher on her purposedly abused skin, even bigger on her reducing frame.
Dahyun takes hold of the fabric, recalling how flimsy it felt in her grip as it clung reluctantly on a bigger
build - warmth seemingly emanating from the wearer's skin - and she frowns at the memory. There isn't
anything pretty about the worn out white fabric; it's old and used and Dahyun never likes wearing it
anyway, but still the blonde's putting it on almost everyday as if it's an obligation of some sort, as if it's a
basis of a painful attachment that's too precious to be rid.

Sana never leaves. Never really does. The whole room's clinging to her; to the faint wisps of her chocolate
tresses and amber eyes, to her skin that radiates and smells of Dahyun's soap, to Dahyun's shirt that
hangs onto the brunette's frame as Dahyun pulls on its flimsy fabric in fear of letting go. All of these have
stayed, and Dahyun's dreamt of them, dreamt of that rainy afternoon, dreamt of Sana.

Dahyun never really forgets - and still she holds onto Momo, and those little shards of hope she's kept.

Perhaps Dahyun's always been greedy; from the first time she's decided to fall for Momo, to the time
when she's allowed Sana to kiss her. She's wanted them, yearned for them, yet eventually she's unable to
make out what she really needs - whether it's Momo or Sana or perhaps whatever it is in between.
All Dahyun knows of is her want, and never once does she think of what'd come along.

This guilt's always belonged to her and the heartbreak's never meant for Sana. The brunette may have
been impulsive, but never did she turn her eyes for someone else even when Dahyun's gone for Momo.
Instead she's stayed and waited, and she's told Dahyun of those little hopes she's kept for the blonde, too
- how she'd love her better and hold her longer; eager despite the obvious disinterest in Dahyun's part,
the seemingly little chance she's got over the older brunette.

It's because of Dahyun's greed that they both eventually breaks, and right then Dahyun isn't sure how
they'd both fix themselves. And Dahyun wonders if Sana's began anew, if she's seen another pretty thing
that she'd have her little hopes and dreams to be laid upon - to be nurtured and loved better than
Dahyun's made of them.

Her heart isn't hollow. Instead, they're bursting of all things that Dahyun can't no longer contain; of pieces
of both women that she's selfishly hoarded, and it aches and throbs and it's threatening to explode.

Dahyun's got to let go.

***

The Arts faculty's a rather lively one, in a sense. Perhaps Dahyun's been so accustomed to the boring,
quaint white walls of the her own faculty that when she steps into the quirky, brightly-colored building,
the blonde's in awe of how much creativity's beaming from every nooks and crannies of the place.

She sees those flamboyantly-dressed of what she assumes as a group of older Fashion majors, and
instinctively the Korean stops by the wide corridor of lined design studios and pinches on the cheap fabric
of her oversized hoodie. It isn't as flashy - Dahyun compares - what with its solemn shade of grey, but at
least it's warm and comfy and Dahyun doesn't feel like she's skipping around demanding for attention
over an article of clothing. She's humble at best, the kind that blends with the crowd and the walls behind
them, and Dahyun likes herself that way.

And perhaps there's another reason to like the choice, because right then Dahyun's made herself so
unassuming that she's passing through these long corridors with ease and without evoking the intrigue of
others. Well sure, she may have looked a bit suspicious still, but Dahyun's assured that no one's going to
recognize her in this get-up, especially the ones that Dahyun'd love to avoid the most.

A ride on the elevator brings Dahyun to the third of the building, and it's probably the only section of the
area that Dahyun's most familiarized with. Here, Dahyun's gotten a hold on these almost identical
hallways and corners and the long lines of dance studios. She's been here several times, seen the rooms
and learn of their functions and their daily occupants, and despite Dahyun's liking for the quiet, has
learned to appreciate the muffled lapses of music and the hard steps that follows after.

Sana's introduced Dahyun to the particular part of the faculty when the brunette's first brought her along
on one of her dance practices. There she met Momo, fell for her, and for the next month or so, has been
trying so hard to get the older Japanese's attention on her. It's the first of such occurrence, as Dahyun's
learned to not demand of such a thing, but perhaps the seemingly intense infatuation's driven Dahyun
out of her comfort zone, and ever since then Dahyun's found herself following Momo around like a
whipped puppy.

Then Myoui Mina happened, and Dahyun's stopped coming altogether.

The blonde never really thinks that she'd miss the place, but somehow she does. The walls are just so
familiar anyway, and as Dahyun makes a quick turn for that one secluded studio by the end of the
hallway, the blonde remembers of the gentle hand that's pulled her through the doors and into the
earliest parts of this mess that Dahyun's gotten herself into.

Her tummy sinks at the memory.

It takes plenty for Dahyun to do this, and right then the Korean's contemplating if it's really worth walking
through the doors again. She doesn't really know as to where the hell's her earlier courage's chucked
itself out of the equation, so much so that the blonde's only formulated of these things called fear and
regret and plenty of anxiety in her belly. Yet, Dahyun's taking hold of their cold steel handles, and with a
shaky hands, musters the little strength she's got left in her to open the two barricades.

The first thing that comes is the booming music. Dahyun winces, careless hands leaving the steel handles
as she tries blocking the ear-shattering composition.

Then comes Momo, sleeveless shirt and jeans-clad, powerful limbs moving along to the equally intense
music, lost in the realm of her own art. Everything feels so familiar then, with Dahyun's currently perched
by the entrance, eyes observant, though those butterflies are gone now; seemingly replaced with a
different kind of jittery feeling that's got Dahyun's palms all clammy and shaky and it isn't out of her
excitement or blind admiration.

Perhaps this is fear.

"Unnie-!" The blonde shouts past the noise.

Momo turns. The brunette seems perturbed by the sudden presence. The music stops when she presses
the pause button on the audio player, before directing her attention to the other blonde who's
awkwardly making her way to the center of the room.

The Japanese blinks and hesitantly smiles. A week's passed since she last saw Dahyun, and after all that's
happened along the way Momo feels like teleporting out of the increasingly stuffy space. She's told Sana
about her plan to confront the blonde whenever she's guessed that she'd be rational enough to carry the
weight of the potentially - inevitably - emotion-inducing situation, so seeing Dahyun visiting the long-
forgotten studio out of the blue's really something the brunette hasn't looked forward, too.

Unprepared, Momo can only muster her usual bow, surprising herself of how foreign it makes her feel
after not seeing someone for a while, though perhaps the real issue here isn't about time or how
unusually solemn Dahyun is at the moment, but more of the invisible wall that Momo's built around the
blonde in fear of crossing the used to be unexisting notion of strong self-consciousness.

Momo's conscious of herself and her place in Dahyun's perspective. It's a prominent one, the kind that
puts Momo on a pedestal higher than the rest of the people Dahyun's learned to care about for all of her
life, and Momo's hardly any good at keeping herself up there. Surely, she'd drop out of the list once she's
told Dahyun that the nature of their attachment towards each other's anything but alike.

It's beyond delicate, and Momo's trying to find ways to break Dahyun and turn the whole process into a
least painful one; if it's even logically possible.

For now, however, Momo doesn't really know if she's breaking or mending things again.

"It's been a while since I've seen you around here," Momo lamely notes. Her hand feels funny when she
pulls Dahyun to sit - she's breaching past her own wall. "Looking for Sana?"
Even the bright lights can't hide how Dahyun's face imminently darkens at the mentioning. Momo
mentally slaps herself at her lack of sensitivity, and at the same time wonders if it's melancholy or
resentment that's washed over the younger female at the thought of that certain Minatozaki.

"I just thought of seeing you, honestly," Dahyun bitterly answers, diverting her gaze upon the high
mirrors, specifically at the clear reflection of the two together. It looks so unfitting to see herself with
Momo, somehow, and Dahyun imagines how it'll look like if it's Mina instead of her - faultless, perfectly
conjoined in existence, and the two belong like it's been written in the stars.

Dahyun's always been the one who's out of the equation since the start. She should've known.

"How have you been, unnie?" Dahyun asks - now she's facing Momo again, brown against brown, and
both are startled at the sudden meeting of eyes - painfully estranged.

How Momo despises the question, because she's been well and she's been mingling around with a certain
Myoui that's likely placed herself out of Dahyun's list of favorite people, while the blonde's probably been
bawling her eyes out over her crumbling relationship with Sana - Momo's known of the recent turn of
events from the younger brunette a few nights ago. The fact doesn't sit well in Momo of course, but
there's just so little to do.

"I-uh-it's pretty much the usual," Momo forces out with her head bowed. "I've been okay, I guess."

"That's good to hear," the blonde comments. She swallows, then. "I guess Sana-unnie's doing well, too?"

"Ah, yes," the Japanese quietly says. "In a few ways."

Momo doesn't really want to lie. She isn't that kind of person. The brunette goes about things as they are;
she's truthful and she believes that Dahyun deserves nothing but the absolute truth. Momo wants to
make things right, to tell Dahyun that Sana may have been a prick but she cares just as much, and the two
shouldn't be stuck in the predicament that they're in with Momo unceremoniously putting herself in
between.

Momo knows - despite how frustratingly dense she can be - that she should've withdrawn herself out of
this mess of misunderstandings and pent-up emotions and convinced the two that they shouldn't be so
afraid.
But before that Momo's got to be brave, too.

Dahyun's skin's cold upon Momo's heated one. She hasn't hold the blonde's delicate hands in hers for a
while and it seems like Momo's running out of reasons to enjoy them as much as she used to. Momo's
always liked to hold Dahyun - who doesn't, really - and adores the quirky kind of adorable that the blonde
is; in a sisterly way, of course, and that's the catch here, really - Momo's fond of Dahyun and likes to have
her around, but it isn't the same as how Dahyun's viewed it.

Momo hopes that the guilt that's nipping in her chest doesn't translate through as she speaks. "I'm
probably assuming things," Momo calculates - she's trying to find a stable point here. "But I don't think
that you're here just to ask me these kinds of questions, Dahyun,"

"So tell me," the Japanese coaxes, careful fingers burying themselves into the two small palms that are
seemingly waiting for them. "And I'll listen. You don't have to be afraid, Dahyun - I'll never hurt you."

The last statement's laughable, really, and Dahyun envies the fact that Momo's saying things as if she isn't
going around putting hopes up in one moment and breaking them in the next. It's just so unfair, because
Dahyun's here trying to contemplate on the two extremes that are weighing her chest - these two choices
of either drowning herself in this incoming heartbreak or losing her anchor that's her attachment to Sana.

And everything's just so uncertain that Dahyun can't decide if she's breaking or placing these broken
pieces together again.

"So you do know that I like you, right, unnie?" Dahyun cuts to the chase. She's never good at talking
anyway. There isn't even a need to put a relevant basis to this conversation - Dahyun's planned for this
and she's foreseen it's aftermath; it isn't as pretty as Momo's amiable features or the kind heart she's got
in her keeping.

The silence floats in what seems like the longest wait in Dahyun's life. She isn't patient enough for this.

"Yeah, I do," Momo nods. "It's kind of late when I finally figured it out, though."
Dahyun's smiling but those gleaming eyes aren't. "That's okay," she assures. She feels how the two bigger
hands are cradling her trembling ones now, and she appreciates that. "At least you're acknowledging it. I
mean, I thought you'd never know."

"Because I'm slow?" Momo jokes. The atmosphere's too heavy anyway.

"That," Dahyun points, following suit, a small smile finally adorning her tired features. "And the fact that
I'm not being assertive enough. Maybe I thought I should enjoy it first. You're wonderful, unnie, and I got
greedy, I guess."

"And you feel bad about that?"

"All the time."

"Dahyun," Momo shifts closer, and now her hands are on the sides of Dahyun's cheeks, fingers in her hair
and Momo closes her eyes when she rubs their noses together, comforting; warm breaths settling over
their faces like a little space of comfort that eases the ache in Dahyun's chest. "It's not your fault, okay?"

Momo's never unpleasant in whatever she does. She's friendly and intimate, and she's honest in how she
loves and treasures. And perhaps it's the familiarity of how every touches felt was what has enticed
Dahyun the first time - Momo feels like an old friend that Dahyun hasn't seen for years.

Like a friend.

"It's okay, unnie," Dahyun shakily breathes, and her head feels so heavy when she rests her forehead
upon Momo's. There's wetness somewhere in her eyes, but Dahyun's fighting them back because she
knows it's never the best thing to do. "I'm okay."

There isn't any need for Dahyun to put herself in this position. She's too fragile anyway, and she's known
of what'd come her way. She knows the answer, knows that Momo doesn't feel the same, but perhaps
there's so much more to healing than just pretending and acknowledging.

What Dahyun needs is a closure; for her to unravel these knots that are her's and Momo's crossed path,
for Dahyun to finally reach the surface again, and breathe like she's never breathed before.
"I've always liked you, unnie," Dahyun finally confesses - properly, this time - and she's seeing the lights
above her head now, and the waters aren't as cold. "And I've always wanted to be with you. But I know
it's impossible, and it's okay. It really is. And I don't want anything much, unnie,"

"I just want you to know," the blonde shakes - these tears have fallen, eventually. "That I really mean all
of this, and-and I'd never hate you. And I'll love you differently if that's what you want, and we'll be
happy."

Momo cries like a child. She wails and quakes and tells Dahyun how she's sorry and how she cares for the
blonde, then Momo hugs her like she's afraid that Dahyun'd vanish from her arms - and Dahyun knows
that this is the best of what things could've been.

Dahyun kisses Momo's tears away and tells her that it's okay, and this time Dahyun isn't lying. Then
Momo kisses her back, warm lips over a smooth forehead and Dahyun giggles at the nose that's tickling
the line of her hair - somehow she's the happiest that she's ever been; little pieces of hopes are made
anew.

"I feel bad for making you cry," Momo sniffs when they part. "And I feel terrible for crying too. Can we get
something nice to eat? I need some comfort food."

"How about ice-creams?" Dahyun suggest as she leans on Momo's shoulder, hands intertwined, and
Dahyun pulls them up to admire them. They still fit so perfectly, but Dahyun knows it'll feel much better
in someone else's.

"Oh, oh, I want strawberry," Momo excitedly exclaims, arms flailing. "Wanna get it now?"

"Yeah, of course," Dahyun rises to her feet, heaving Momo along. "Let's get ice-creams, unnie."

Dahyun isn't in need of a saviour. She just needs a way out of these waters; to see the lights above her
head that she's missed before.

And Dahyun will pull Sana out of this blue prison with her.
6 [M] Six
Sunday mornings aren't filled with surprises. They're slow, like how Momo's shuffling for their windows,
pushing transparent curtains aside and glass panels apart. Then they're warm, like the sunlight that's
flooding through and upon the two beds, with one still occupied by a very reluctant 20-something who's
now slipping off her comfy sheets and onto the parquet flooring.

So Sana's pretty much hanging around, half of her torso limping over the edge of the creaky bed, and
Momo laughs, pulling the brunette back onto the matress again, a quick hand upon a forehead.

"Get your lazy ass off bed, Minatozaki," Momo says, voice rasp of sleep but at least she's more of the
livelier one than the other moping brunette. "Mina's coming in a while."

"Wha-?" Sana shots up from the pillows, blanket falling of shoulders and crumpled over waist. "The hell's
that witch doing round here? It's too fucking early for an annoyance, Mo."

Momo frowns - Sana's been quite vocal in her disliking towards the ballerina, though Momo knows it isn't
all that serious. Sana likes Mina and Mina likes Sana, just perhaps on some quirky ways that Momo's yet
to comprehend. Mina's been there during the more troublesome times, and is among one that's
convinced Momo to settle her predicament with Dahyun. She's comforted Sana when the brunette's
broken in front of the two as well, noting how she equally cares for the two bestfriends.

They're cool now, Momo supposes, and Mina's the one person that's oddly completed the circle that's
the Japanese trio. The more the merrier, after all, and what seems like a world that's been long shared by
Momo and Sana's now expanding with the presence of the youngest of the three, providing the kind of
balance for the older two that Momo's grown to appreciate. Mina's the rational in their mess, the quiet in
their chaos, the pillar to their crumbled selves whenever needed. Perhaps it's a bit of a weight for one
person, but Momo believes, and so does Sana.

The older brunette's the first to occupy their almost claustrophobic bathroom, never been so enthusiastic
for the usually exhaustive morning routine. When she receives Mina's text about half an hour ago - the
ballerina's informed her of a visit and a breakfast together, because why not - Momo finds herself giggling
at the circumstance of spending the weekend with the sophomore, because she's just so whipped like
that. But it isn't the first time, of course.

Mina's crashed by their place during their first, randomly-organized movie night upon Sana's recovery,
kind of like a small celebration for their mended relationship and the new addition of the prodigy into
their supposed sisterhood. Momo's been welcoming, obviously, while Sana - despite the initial
awkwardness - eventually found herself huddled against the surprisingly touchy-feely sophomore by the
time the night's ended. The development's a great news - the only let down of the night's probably the
fact that Momo's too damn shy to share a bed with the unequally nonchalant ballerina, and has opted to
sandwich herself in between Sana and their shared pillows instead.

Pathetic at best, really, and Sana's called Momo out for chickening out in the wake of a golden
opportunity, but Momo's insisted that she isn't scared. Just, cautious.

Perhaps too cautious.

"Mo," Sana comes in, albeit groggily, stopping Momo who's about to shove her toothbrush into her
mouth. The older of the two turns, twisting the sink tap open again when Sana pushes herself against the
Kyoto-native in a struggle of dominance over the small mirror, hand reaching for the running water.
"Should I talk to Dahyun today?"

Toothbrush in between either rows of molar and premolars, and Momo thinks - here we go again. The
question's hung around since yesterday upon Momo's revelation about her meeting with said blonde, and
Sana's been worrying, acting more like a lost puppy than her habitually unbothered disposition - ah, the
kind of things a girl can do to you; Momo can only relate so much.

Tongue dabbled of cold, mint-tasting bubbly concoction, and Momo pushes her words out despite the
teeth-brushing activity. "If the awkwardness's okay with you then I say why not," a shift to the other side
of her mouth. "I'm sure Dahyun'd be glad to see you around. You guys haven't seen each other for a while
anyway."

Stray droplets fly over the vicinity of Momo's sports bra-clad torso. They're a bit too cold for Momo's
liking, so she hisses, but Sana's practically bathing her face in a handful of them. The younger brunette
huffs, wringing wet hands in two shakes of her wrist, more splotches on her night shirt. Sana puffs her
cheeks.

"I think we need more time," she decides herself anyway. Momo watches as the woman slouches at her
own statement. "And I don't wanna break down in front of her. It'll be embarassing."

Sana resumes to brushing her teeth when Momo's done. Momo waits then, thinking, back against the
cold bathroom wall - she's going through some of these little thoughts she's had since yesterday, ones
that consist of how the hell can she actually convinces Sana that her fears are getting a bit too irrational.
Momo doesn't want to push it, really - Sana can talk whenever she feels like it, but assurance isn't the
only thing that Sana needs, because that alone isn't sufficient in rebuilding whatever it it that's crumbled
between her and Dahyun.
But look who's talking, again. Momo isn't putting herself in a stable position anyway, what with this subtle
push and pull that she's gotten in with Mina, this increasingly frustrating passive-aggressive approach that
they've both found an unfitting sense of comfort in. Sometimes, Momo'd like to transit past whatever it is
that they've established between them - this friendly basis of things that Momo's began to dislike. She
doesn't want things to be friendly, because they're certainly not. Never really like that.

There's the flirting parts, but Momo's shrinking at them because hell, she isn't ready for any of them at
most times. And then there are the mixed signals, and Momo isn't all that bright in deciphering them out,
because sometimes it seems like Mina wants her, then other times it feels like she doesn't really care. It
doesn't help that Mina's aloof, the kind who's too good at masking the things that Momo'd like to read
out of her, and eventually, sadly, Momo just can't decide.

"Daydreaming again, Mo?" Sana breaks the silence. Momo perks when the younger one throws her used
towel over the other brunette's head, chuckling as she exits the bathroom. "Better get yourself all clean
and pretty for your Myoui. Princesses don't fancy the smelly bunch."

"Ew, ew," Momo contorts in exaggerated disgust, picking said towel with her two fingers as if it's hosting
some sort of a deadly plague. Then Momo drapes it upon the awaiting racks, Sana's laughter booming in
the background.

"Aw, love you too, Mo," Sana goes for the bathroom entrance again, playful head poking past the gap of
the closing door - Sana's doing Momo a favour here. "Make sure to scrub all the necessary parts, babe!"

"The only thing that needs scrubbing's your mouth, Minatozaki-," Momo retorts at the click of the
doorknob. "They're just as filthy as your mind, you asshole."

***

Mina's arrived.

Momo unceremoniously slips on the matted entrance of the bathroom, beating the purpose of said mat
being spread there in the first place. She may or may have not shriek at the blatant clumsiness, hands
flailing to grab whatever it is within reach - it turns out to be the door frame, and Momo's never been
more grateful to a non-living thing before this. Stabilizing herself again, Momo forces a smile out, cheeks
red as Sana's exploded into a fit of laughter with Mina joining in by her side.

"Morning, Hirai," Mina sweetly greets anyway, albeit giggling, still, careful hands smoothing over her
combed tresses that are left untied, unlike the sophomore's usual neat styling. Momo nods at that,
unable to respond, and she scuffles for the comb that's incoveniently placed on the other side of the
room, two amused heads following her every movements.

"W-what?" Momo widens her eyes, bashful at the attention. There's Sana with a half-assed grin on her
face - then Momo turns - and crap, Mina's watching too, jersey and shorts-clad, full lips adorned of a
small smile Momo's loved to appreciate, and suddenly finding a comb's just become such a big deal for
the three women.

"You're just so lovable, Momo," Mina says, nonchalant as ever, while Momo's a heart beat closer to
cardiac arrest, and Sana thinks she's getting diabetes from all of this.

"Man, I need a shower," the brunette announces, removing herself from bed and the potential third-
wheeling circumstance that's about to come. Oh, the horror of that. Sana's gone through it before and
heck, she's never felt lonelier. "It's getting too fucking warm in here, seriously."

Then Sana winks, and Momo may have magically mastered the art of the flying comb that's found its first
victim - Minatozaki Sana's poor ass.

***

"Games?"

Mina nods, phone in hand. "Do you play them?"

Momo contemplates. It's quieter now that Sana's excused herself to do her laundry after their quick meal
of homemade toasts and scrambled eggs - courtesy to a certain dilligent Myoui - and Mina waits, intrigue
eyes over thoughtful features. They've somehow landed on Momo's bed now, but nothing wild, really,
just the two laying beside each other in what Momo's awkwardly established as-the-friendly-kind-of-bed-
sharing. Not that Momo dislikes it, though - heck, it takes a lot to actually have the raven-haired beauty
this close, the kind that grants Momo the occassional whiffs of the ballerina's soft perfume, the tender
flesh of her arm pressed against Momo's taut one, and Momo shamefully wants more.

Be grateful, Hirai - Momo chants in her head anyway - don't be greedy.

"Momo?"

"Ah, yes," the brunette shifts, remembering the earlier question. Man, she should stop getting distracted
when Mina's around. "Um, not really, I guess? My hand-eye coordination's bad."

A ring of laughter greets Momo's ears at that. "But you're a dancer, Hirai," Mina counters, amused at the
apparent irony. "It shouldn't be that bad, yes?"

The brunette audibly breathes. The question's kind of hard to answer since Mina's rested her head on
Momo's shoulder somehow, a hand upon her t-shirt-clad chest as the sophomore moves over what little
space that they have between them - a few measly centimeters that Momo's labeled as her mini comfort
zone before she goes all jelly knees and butterflies in her tummy over the close proximity. And Mina's
breaching in said comfort zone - Momo's more than aware - but she can't possibly say no to a jumble of
silky black that's splayed over the sensitive slope of her shoulder and pretty hands upon her rippling
chest, so warm and in content as if it's only Momo's freaking her brains out at the sudden contact.

Fuck, now she needs Sana to be around again.

"W-well," Momo tries and tries hard, still, because silence isn't going to take them anywhere, and
Momo's desperately in need of a distraction, then. "Are you good in them?"

You dumbass, Mina's good at everything.

"You can say so," the younger one answers, a tad too proud, but she's always been so confident in
whatever it is that she's into.
Momo shakes when Mina leans closer, seemingly unaffected - she isn't the one who's slowly melting into
a puddle around here, anyway. Mina shows Momo her phone. "Wanna watch? I'm playing one right
now."

Online games never really go into the list of Hirai Momo's favourite things. The last time Momo's dabbled
into them's probably in high school, when Sana's dragged their immature asses into one of those
suspicious cyber cafes in downtown Kyoto which doors were heavily covered of random game posters in
their first adventurous - foolish - attempt of skipping school. Momo remembers logging into one of the
more popular international servers, and it's safe to say that she's scarred for life.

But Mina likes them, dammit.

"Um-okay-?"

The answer's enough to have the ballerina grinning, suddenly giddy at Momo's little participation in one
of the younger woman's secret guilty pleasures. Mina knows that it's pretty unlikely, but too much
hardwork's a bad thing anyway, and by the end of the day even the supposed prodigy's in need of a way
to easily unwind. Mina's kept the hobby since middle school, a little secret of her own that even her
parents had not taken knowledge of. It's like having her own unconventional act of rebellion, and Mina's
loved the thrill of staying up late under her blankets on a school night as she goes off killing monsters and
raiding towers.

"Here," Mina starts, tapping onto an animated log screen almost too excitedly. Momo inevitably dips her
head for a look.

"Can you see?"

"Kinda," Momo squints. "Uh, the sunlight's too bright. Can you like-um-increase the screen brightness
cos-oh my God-M-Mina why are you on my lap?"

Mina turns, firm bottom upon Momo's hips and back flat against full chest, ballerina legs slipping
between Momo's sculpted own, bare thighs in a friction too pleasant that it scares the shit out of the
stunned brunette. Momo heaves in a shaky breath - the one that's taken along a now stronger whiff of
jasmine and other kinds of scent that scream Myoui Mina - hands planted onto her bedsheet in her
strongest resolve to not land them on any of the more forbidden parts of the sophomore's anatomy.
"You'll see better," Mina reasons out. She's adjusting those two supple round flesh on the dip of Momo's
front now - and fuck - how the hell's Momo supposed to think that this is no more than an innocent
cuddle over a fucking online game when Mina's practically pressed against Momo, pretty red lips
brushing past the line of the brunette's tense jaw as the ballerina speaks against an increasingly clammy
lay of skin.

"And it's more comfortable this way," she innocently continues.

Their definition of comfort probably differs on so many levels, Momo's sure of that. There's hardly
anything comforting about this, and Momo really doesn't want to be that asshole who'd gladly take
advantage of the whole thing - Mina's a pretty little flower that Momo'd like to keep as it is - but with
those short shorts riding up past the safe line of what's okay and what's supposed to be hidden from
sight, Momo's in a moral debate of dos and don'tsand shoulds and shouldn'ts, and it seems like her
rationale isn't winning this time around.

"You're so tense," Mina points out, elbows propped as she goes through her damned online game again,
though an arm alternately moves, searching. Momo doesn't really know what to feel when Mina takes
her fingers in between the ballerina's very own, but fear's the first thing that's dawned upon the older
Japanese as Mina guides them for her thigh, gentle palm pushing over Momo's hand to skim over
awaiting skin.

"You can touch if you want to," Mina whispers almost too casually. "It's just us, anyways."

Momo hears a sound. It's her moral that's been chucked out of the windows and ran over by the traffic
down below, and so her hand stays - guilty yet eager - fingers curling over unmarred skin that's free to be
explored, and this is bad, so fucking bad.

Momo'd hate to think that this is one of those mixed signals again. They're just so frustratingly ambiguous
anyway, and she'd have to bust her brains out weighing the variables of these what ifs that are
sometimes too damn impossible to be even considered as a reasonable hypothesis - because Mina isn't
telling much, not with these seemingly platonic sets of behaviors nor those unaffected features, while she
goes about permitting Momo to engage herself into what screams as non-friendly instead.

If Mina'd stop being so contradicting, that'd be such a great help.


"Now you're quiet," Mina starts - the air's shifting to a lighter note now, at least. Dexterous fingers pretty
much occupied, and Mina's currently going through these little hassles of what Momo faintly recalls as
the more strategic parts of purchasing items and equpping the player's supposed avatars. Momo
remembers being so uninformed at said process, which has contributed to her apparent incompetence in
the gaming field, but Momo isn't giving two shits over things she just sucks at doing.

The brunette shrugs. "Well, you told me to watch."

"Hm," Mina hums. "Fair enough."

Then it fleets. Momo finds herself genuinely fascinated over these sequences of colorful animated
explosions upon a bright screen, eyes skimming along to those thumbs that are sliding past an item to
another, tapping away, multiple decisions made over the span of a few milliseconds that Momo's hella
sure she won't be able to replicate. For a while, Momo's forgotten of her previous inner debate, mindless
hand's moving past waist and onto a clothed tummy, rubbing shapes and picking over the smooth fabric
of Mina's jersey that Momo deems to be a tad too thin for her liking.

But Momo forgets that, too, and presses a warm cheek into the silky mess that's Mina's hair, finally at
ease. "Do you like baseball?"

Three quick taps and Mina leans back - she'd like to feel more of the older Japanese against her. "Not
really. But I fancy the jerseys."

A quick pull on said clothing. "Ah, that explains the get-up," Momo exclaims, and up goes both arms on
Mina's tummy, then. It's just so natural for Momo to eventually submit to these little temptations of
pulling the ballerina close - everybody likes cuddles anyway - and right then Mina doesn't really want to
complain. "And I take that you don't really watch other sports, too?"

"Hardly."

"Okay, um," Momo trails, calculating. "Well, I like soccer. And uh, basketball? That's pretty cool, too."

"Ah, I use to play basketball in middle school."


Momo turns. "You said you don't watch sports."

"Doesn't mean I don't play, though." Mina playfully retorts. Momo's got to frown at that.

"You're so ambiguous, Myoui," the older one comments, and somehow it feels more of a personal insight
rather than a casual remark. Mina smiles at that, back raised as she shifts for the older brunette, her
phone's tossed somewhere in the crumpled blanket that's gathered by her ankles. And Momo blinks,
anxious at the sudden turn out of events, so unknowing of what she's brought upon herself and their
soon-to-be-shaken basis of relationship, even as dainty fingers have perched themselves upon the
expanse of her jugular, soft lips pressed by the corner of her quivering own.

"Look who's talking," Mina retracts, amused at the sight of a flustered Momo who's suddenly a dumb
mess of reddened cheeks and unsaid words. "It isn't like you're any different-,"

Her tone lowers.

"You're just as frustrating as this pointless push and pull, Hirai."

They're going somewhere - everywhere - and Momo can't seem to pinpoint their exact direction. Momo
doesn't even know if she's supposed to respond or retaliate or tell Mina that she can't fathom the way
the ballerina's kissing her - lips upon lips and teeth nipping over skin, and Mina glides, wet tongue past
parted mouth but not entering, and still Momo can't digest this, because Mina's an enigma even in the
way she kisses, holding Momo like she really needs her - chest to chest, hands over shoulders, and the
younger one's clinging like she's falling, but Momo's falling, too.

They're both lost in this, and the only thing that Momo can do is to pull the ballerina closer. So close, that
it feels like they're fusing together, and Momo's pushed onto the hardwood of the bed frame by a mouth
that's too eager and hands too impatient that it seems like the air's constricting the brunette's throat. It's
difficult to breathe, even more difficult to think - the space's getting smaller, time's slower, and Momo's
torn between wanting an absolute end or an infinite stretch of the event.

And then there's Mina - in Momo's mind and within her arms - the pretty little flower's Momo's sworn to
keep, yet she's unraveling her now, petal by petal - a mask upon another - the layer's peeling off,
revealing the barest of pale skin and softest of limbs, and Momo stretches, pulling white jersey over
shoulders and atop a head, and there's a whimper - this time it isn't in Momo's head. The older one opens
her eyes then, lips still intact, and she looks into darker browns and paler white, equally enraptured, still.
"I-Is this okay?" The brunette hesitates - she's trembling. Her voice comes in a tone that falters, tipping
over her tongue and onto a parted mouth, warm breaths meeting. Mina's topless, and Momo wants to
touch her, to skim yearning hands upon fluttering skin, and Momo wants to feel her and how it's like to
have something so forbidden in her grasp. But the brunette waits - she needs her answer.

And the answer comes shortly after, a quiet mumble that's barely audible, and Mina dives in again, slick
tongue dipping for a taste. "I've told you that it's okay to touch," she parts, hands roaming past the
bothersome hem of Momo's shirt. "I think we've went past that anyway."

"No," Momo shakes her head. "No, we're not."

"You don't have to be afraid."

"No, that isn't the case, Mina," the brunette argues. The shirt's in her grasp, and Momo puts it upon
Mina's chest, concealing what's once a sight Momo's previously desired for. "This-I-I just don't know how
this works."

There's something pulsating in Mina's eyes, though Momo can't exactly put a finger on it. She never really
can. Mina's just a riddle that's ever-changing and seemingly growing in complexity, and so does their
relationship that Momo can't put a label on, even when Momo doesn't want to be superficial about it.

Momo's always wanted them to be special and complete, not difficult and haphazard.

And this - this is just a mess.

"What are we, Mina?" Momo asks. Mina can't decide if it's hope or desperation that's laced in her tone.

But Mina kisses Momo anyway - and she hopes it's more than enough.

"You tell me, Momo," she trails, opened mouth past handsome clavicles. "I'll let you decide."
The warm air pulsates. Momo's perspiring. And Mina radiates, sweet smiles and pretty lashes, hair
tousled and skin gleaming, still a flower, always a flower - a bloom that's ready to flourish - yet Momo's
clueless of what she's nurturing in between those fragile petals, of the ground she's rooted in.

"I don't know," Momo huffs. "I don't know, Mina."

Their lips meet for one last time, a kiss that stays and lingers and Momo's leaning in even as Mina retreats
- it's hardly seconds yet Momo's gasping for air and lamenting at the lost of contact.

Mina stills, manicured nails across the hot skin of Momo's back - a quick peck on flustered lips following
suit.

"And you said I'm ambiguous."

***

"I'm fucked."

Sana shifts, hand over head as she lays upon an unkempt bed. The hot afternoon air's about to combust
the two women alive, though it seems like Momo's already turned herself into heat-stricken wreck that's
moving too much and breathing too loud.

"So you guys have decided to do it?"

"No-!"

"Alas," the younger one clicks her tongue. "You bailed out at the last moment, don't you?"
Momo rubs her face. It's numb and hot and her lips are tingly from the earlier kiss. As expected, the
sophomore's left the moment Momo's crumbled into an epiphany that's driven her mind into a total
overdrive, and Momo just can't sort her thought process at this moment.

"Sana."

A quick nod. "Yeah, Mo-?"

"I think-," Momo gulps. "I think I need to confess, like, really confess to Mina, fast."

The younger of the two freezes, eyes wide at the unexpected announcement.

"Well, shit-," Sana muses to herself. "Seems like the laundry excuse's worked after all."

7 Seven - (i)

Mina's read of love and attachment. They seem so easy to comprehend in pages, but in the wake of these
splatters of colors and the swirls in her eyes, she just can't wrap her mind around the actuality of the two
concepts.

She thinks it'd be easier if she kisses Momo. When their lips met, and the epiphany came, Mina'd be
sorting these out again so finally the reading would make sense, and love and attachment would be as
easy as what Mina'd learnt of them. Then she'd be free to make the choices - whether to fall or to pull
herself out of the entanglement; whether she'd make Momo hers or let her go.

(But honestly, even in the mess that she's in, Mina doesn't really want to choose any of the latter.)

So they've kissed - Mina repeats that in her mind, but it isn't out of assurance. She's fully aware the
moment she's taken Momo for a taste, and breathed in the air that's reeked of the brunette's fragrance.
Mina's thought of what it'd mean for the two - if Momo's finally reached a verdict and told Mina that the
supposed attachement's mutual; if ever, Momo's just as infatuated and wanted Mina just as the same.

When Momo hesitated, Mina didn't really know how to translate that to her favour. The brunette looked
horrified, like she's bounded over some sort of a line that the two have unconsciously drawn between
them. Mina can't tell much, but maybe it's friendship, maybe it's something else - maybe Momo doesn't
really see things in Mina's light.

Mina might've been so sure when she kissed Momo, but inside she's just as disoriented as the way
Momo's lips have welcomed her, and perhaps just as scared, too. Then the question came, and Mina's in
hope that Momo'd figure it out herself, but alas they're still going around in circles, and Mina doesn't
really know which way to take this time around.

"We're all problematic, in a sense," Sana says, eyes distant. "You're lost, I don't know what the fuck I'm
waiting for, and Momo's just too damn slow."

Sad love stories over late breakfast, and Mina doesn't really know what's compelled her to speak past
spoonfuls of tasteless fried rice as she watches Sana plays with her own. It's weird to brood, even weirder
to do it with Sana at ten on a mundane Monday morning - Momo's gone for practice after a short class
and Mina isn't sure if she wants to join her. Now they're stuck awkwardly pouring hearts and mending
little wounds, and Mina contemplates if she should weep or laugh at how Sana's face's contorted at her
own little love dilemma.

For a while now, Mina's wondered if she'd ever found an intersection that'd bind the parallel lines that
are hers and Sana's splitting dynamic. She doesn't expect to find it over some sappy love confessions,
though, and here - in between the bustling space of the faculty's cafeteria and the throbbing headache
that's come Mina's way - the younger Japanese's found out that Sana's just as hopeless with her own
unconcluded turmoil with a certain blonde.

"I kissed Momo," Mina tells rather half-heartedly.

"I know."

"It was good-," A blush. "If not frustrating at the same time."

Sana counts the few grains of rice that are stuck by the edge of her spoon - gosh, everything's just so dull
these days. She turns, and the sun's in her eyes and the greenery's deteriorating behind clear glass walls -
it's almost Summer and it seems like the world's going into an overdrive of everything so intense.

The brunette blinks. "I'm not surprised," she clicks her tongue. "Momo - Momo's a bit of a difficult case.
And it isn't just about being dense-,"
A quick mouthful of rice.

"She gets scared quite easily."

Sometimes, Momo thinks and acts with a mental age of a child. Often uninformed, Momo sees things as
they are, and somehow fails to read what's in between. Sometimes, Momo falls, but forgets to perceive
where she's landing, and Sana worries if Mina isn't there to catch Momo in her arms. The ballerina's just
so damn patient, though equally an unknowing mess as well - clearly inexperienced, too proud, too
absorbed in whatever notion of love she's probably read from some really corny relationship books.

Mina's that kind of shallow. She's so rigid she thinks the solutions are as easy as recalling them through
superficial pages. The kind of naivety that's based on sugar-coated reality, and she thinks Momo'd smart
enough to catch her signals. Mina puts herself and Momo in positions as such the attraction's come
without distruption, as if love's a concept that comes in bottled prescription or pre-determined formula -
and eventually, Mina thinks if she'd engage in this narrow push and pull Momo'd come into her arms and
they'd run off to the sunset.

But Sana used to think of that, too, actually. Then things happened, and she's learned that heartbreaks
are even more of a hassle.

"How long are you gonna wait?"

Mina pushes the plate away. Her appetite's died since the last few minutes. "Until Momo's sure of
everything, I guess."

"You're as dumb as that woman," Sana sips her no longer warm cup of coffee - she's been consuming
plenty of the beverage for these past few weeks despite the insomniac tendencies - lips in a thin line as
she lets the bitter liquid wraps her tongue in an ugly aftertaste Sana never really likes. "I was expecting
more out of a supposed genius."

"I dance," Mina retorts with a glare. "I don't go around courting girls. That's your thing, Minatozaki-,"

The ballerina pauses and thinks if she really needs to say it out. Oh, what the hell.
"But it seems like even you're stuck weeping over a girl. Shame, I was expecting more out of a supposed
casanova."

The burn's kind of fleeting, and Sana shifts at the sommersaults that are taking place in her tummy.
Mina's an expert when it comes to hitting where it actually hurt, a trait so asshole-like Sana's appalled
that a little thing as sweet as Momo'd come grasping for the sophomore's attention.

Perhaps those corny relationship books do make sense in some ways, especially on how blind one can be
once infatuation's clouded their sight. Sana's caught in that too, and even after all these nights of spilling
hearts and wasting tears, Sana'd still traversing though these labyrinths of impending happy endings and
ungranted wishes.

At least Mina's with Momo. At least it's a two way thing that only needs a stronger basis to bind them
together, the kind that'd tell Mina that she isn't a princess waiting for a first love's kiss and Momo isn't
her knight that'd come barging through the castle doors. All they need's a little pat on the back, and
Sana'd tell them that love isn't a fairytale written in favor of the one who dreams, but rather a reality for
them to live in.

At least - just the very least - their happy ending's a sure thing, and the sunset's there, pretty and patiently
waiting, golden of hope and of all things encompassing, and they'd live off those pages of long slumbers
and sweet dreams.

Then where'd Sana go?

Chocolate strands slip past shoulders and Sana pulls on one, studying soft brown under pale white,
delicate upon touch. There's a funny sense of yearning, and Sana remembers how they used to tangle
between lighter ones, shades of burnt caramel and sun-kissed honey - Sana's missed a lot of things but
she doesn't really want to tell.

"I was a dumbass myself," Sana recalls. She lets those strands fall over a pale shoulder again, the one that
peeks behind the thin material of a sweat-dampened shirt that she doesn't even bother to slip out of
after several intense routines that morning. "And it makes me feel like shit to know that someone's
unhappy because of me."

The ballerina chuckles. "So you do care."


"Yeah-," Sana smiles. "Somehow, but she's always been a bit different - that girl."

"You mean Dahyun."

Sana rolls her tongue. She isn't sipping coffee but the aftertaste's there, lingering upon the muscle and
along her throat, and this time Sana doesn't really want to enjoy it. It leaves a dry patch that Sana'd love
to wash out of her mouth - icy cold water burning a passage into her insides so the brunette'd rid of this
warmth in her chest whenever she hears the name and remembers the images that'd come after.

The walls buzz, still. They're pulsating, and faces blur past sight like brushes of shapes and motions, but
honestly even in this broad daylight Sana's slowly losing the ability to see clearly.

The spoon's placed over plate, landing with a loud rattle that comes with a shake and a tilt of the head
from Mina's part. The sophomore audibly breathes, then, though there isn't any telling if it supposed to
mean anything. When Mina looks, alternately, Sana's kind of figured out that it isn't going to be pretty.

"Ever thought of seeing her again?"

"All the time."

"What's stopping you, then?"

Sana thinks even when the answer's clear. "I'm scared of a lot of things myself," she bashfully concludes.
"Momo and I - we're no different from each other, honestly."

"Would it make you feel better if I included myself in the list?"

The brunette chuckles, hands over heated cheeks - the warmth's settled and the summer's come with the
breeze and the new vigor of the sun. "Anything goes," she shrugs, shoulders pressed in, and hands slip
past neck and onto the table again.
Then Mina takes them, and Sana blinks.

"The hell?"

Perhaps the heat's seeped past pale complexion too, because Mina's cheeks are of the same shade as
Sana's now, lips curled into a frown that's got the brunette awkwardly chuckling.

"Sana, listen-oh my God this is so awkward-um," the ballerina coughs out. "I don't do this often and I can't
believe that I'm saying this, but-um-as much as a prick you are, get this - you deserve your happy ending
too."

"Jesus, Myoui. That's super cheesy-,"

"I'm serious-!"

"Okay, okay."

Fingers twirl, similar lengths and equally delicate. Sana lightly hooks hers against Mina's, and she traces
the faint lines upon both palms like she's reading Mina's stories and telling her own. Inside, the
sommersaults have settled, snug and unmoving and the air's in her lungs and her chest's expanded again
- who would've known that it's Mina who's offered her comfort.

"Should I talk to her today?"

Mina beams.

"Well," her fingers tighten. "Any other day's probably too late, isn't it?"

"And you'll go for Momo, too?"

A nod.
"I'll do what I have to do."

***

With little money in hand and a pending allowance, Sana doesn't really have any idea why is she still
hovering over the display section of one of the district's exclusive patisserie, eyes wild and hands pressed
over her tight jeans, calculating the many other ways she could've gone penniless that month.

Mousse cakes and short pastries glowing yellow under lights, and the sliding glass's cold upon skin as Sana
leans and inspects. There aren't many visitors like her - most are older adults in suits and fancy dresses
while Sana slips among them in a wrinkled flannel shirt over loose tank top, cheap sneakers sliding past
clean tiles as Sana crouches at the other parts of the section. Her bag shakes at her movements, little
keychains rattling and distracting, and Sana finds herself bashfully smiling upon a slight glare from a 30-
something woman who's perched by the other end of the counter.

The luxury smells and feels weird. Sana isn't exactly underprivileged, but surely these places are hardly in
Sana's list of places to go now that she's surviving on a meagre government scholarship. Seoul's one heck
of an expensive place to live in, yet the brunette goes further anyway, noting the lovely smell of freshly-
baked pastries and luxurious chocolate and the distant weeping of the few measly notes that are left in
her pocket as she explores deeper into the small premise.

Gosh, those zeroes that are written on small cards set for each items - Sana's shaking at the sight them
all.

The brunette darts a look over to the mahogany counter. There a woman awaits, round eyes bright as
they lock with Sana's dull ones, her cheeky grin's a pleasant contrast for the otherwise solemnly-
decorated walls. "Looking for a treat, ma'am?"

"Sana, please," the Japanese corrects and bows. She fixes her bag and straightens her shoulders,
returning the cashier's smile with equal warmth. "I-um-you guys sell cakes?"
The cashier giggles. Then Sana realizes the three-tier display section besides her, each adorned of said
baked goods, glossed of indulgent glaze and pretty dollops of delicate frosting, so the Japanese blushes,
cheeks hot as the ever-shifting traffic outside. "Oh-oh, sorry, that's a pretty dumb question."

"It's alright, Sana-sshi. And the name's Jihyo by the way," the woman - or Jihyo - beams again, this time
sauntering round the counter and towards the cake section. She gestures for Sana to follow her. "Come
along, Sana-sshi. Let's see if we have something for you."

Sana obliges, nimble feet trudging along the narrow space, mimicking the cashier's trained movements.
Jihyo passes the low shelves like she's been doing it for years, crisp white apron over a light sweater and
high-waisted pants in blurred motion. Then she halts upon a cooler, and inside Sana sees petite cakes in
separate slices, before she sets her eyes on a particular chocolate-glazed selection.

"These are freshly-made this morning, mostly the house's specialty," Jihyo politely points on a slice of red
velvet, then. "This one, in particular, had been many of our customers' personal favorites."

Layers of fluffy crimson atop white creamy frosting greet Sana's searching eyes. Tasty - she thinks, but it
isn't for hers, and the particular person who she's intending to buy for doesn't really fancy those sweet-
salty cheesy treats. So the brunette shakes her head no, and taps a hesitant finger over the fogged glass,
aiming for the chocolate cake tucked at the furthest row - its glaze dark and luxurious and probably sickly
sweet. A perfect pick.

"May I have that one, please?"

The cashier hums her yes. Sana instinctively retreats when Jihyo pulls the cooler door, and in goes a
careful hand that slides for the choosen concoction. There's a slight rattle as the door goes for a slow
shut, and right then Jihyo's balancing the untouched cake like it's a newborn baby of some sort.

"Alright - this way, Sana-sshi," the friendly Korean ushers again.

Now here comes the dreaded part.

"And what's the special occassion today?" Jihyo enquires, reaching for a small packaging box under the
counter - midnight black lined of penned gold cursives that forms the premise's name - man, everything
about the store screams rip-you-off. Sana watches as the woman delicately transfers a slice over, discreet
as to not damage the supposedly impeccable - expensive - creation, and it's Sana's hands that are shaking.
"It's for someone," Sana hesitates. "She's uh-she's a good friend."

"Ah," Jihyo thoughtfully nods. "A little something for her birthday?"

Brown eyes soften. "Not really. I-I was thinking of confessing, I think? Um-," the brunette shyly fidgets.
"Gosh, I'm not supposed to tell you any of this-uh-hope I'm not making you feel uncomfortable or
anything."

It's kind of funny how a stranger can easily comfort you, but Sana's been getting a lot of comforting today,
and Jihyo's one of those people who exudes plenty of that - she's soft and familiar, peculiarly welcoming,
eyes so sincere as if Sana can tell her just almost everything.

"Then I guess I'll just leave this one as it is," the kind woman finally decides, enclosing said packaging with
dexterous fingers and plenty of care. Then comes the extra touch - baby blue ribbon sliding over the
bottom and going atop, and Jihyo wraps the little present with an adorable knot that settles so perfectly,
it makes Sana smiles.

Now that's worth going bankrupt for.

"How much?"

"Oh, no worries about that," the Korean quickly shrugs; little box's placed in a paper bag. "It'll be on me."

The Japanese perks. "Eh? B-but-,"

"No, no, I insist," Jihyo pushes the item towards Sana, lips curved in a wide smile.

"Good luck, Sana-sshi."

***
Sana's one lucky bastard - that's for sure - and though she's never that much of a believer, this time, she
prays.

Her shortcomings have never been more worrying. There's anxiety, and Sana isn't sure if her superficially
kind gestures are good enough. For all that she knows, mending the broken pieces has never been her
specialty - Sana breaks but she never fixes, and she never retraces the damages and goes back to square
one. But this time, just this time, Sana wants to make sure that she'd get things right again, and she'll rid
of the ache and clear the murky waters, heart in her hands and feelings up her sleeves - she'll say what's
there to be said, and she'll do what's left to be done.

There isn't much hope, but as the doors open and Sana exits the elevator, the residence's hallway
welcomes her with a sense of normalcy that comes with a mental pat on her back, and Sana'd like to
believe that everything's going to be fine. She's been fortunate after all, so perhaps the luck would stay
and the odds would favor her over whatever brand of tragedies that have been planned on her part.

And Sana prays that Dahyun likes chocolate cakes.

Those worn out pair of white Converse's the first thing that's greeted Sana's sight when she's come
knocking on Dahyun's door. The Japanese trembles, her knuckles feel numb over hardwood, warm
against warm - Sana's sweating as much as Momo now and God, it's just too damn uncomfortable. The
brunette pulls on her flannel, soft fabric slipping off a shoulder-oh shit, the door's opening.

It's been a while, though those golden locks still flutter anyway, framing clear eyes and equally
unblemished skin, and Sana's kind of hoping that she could just disappear right then. And thick-rimmed
glasses gleam, pushed up a small nose - there's a muffled gasp, tiny hands against exposed chest that
peeks behind the low neckline of a flimsy shirt that falls past thighs and above knees. Even after all this
time, the attraction never ceases, and Sana stares like she's never seen this before.

"I-uh-," the brunette stammers as a start."D-Do you like chocolate cakes?"

Oh, wow. That's super effective, Minatozaki.

The door slightly moves - the space's smaller now and Dahyun's eyeing Sana like she's some sort of a child
molester. "W-what are you doing here, unnie?"
Ah, yes - good question.

"I've come to apologize," Sana starts again, this time's a bit more courageous and a little less creepy. Then
the emotions come, and it kind of stings somewhere in the corner of her eyes - it's probably from the
weather; Sana hates pollens anyways - but the Japanese ignores that, and ignores the involuntary spasm
of muscles on either sides of her mouth as she sniffs in some really stuffy air.

Don't break, don't break, don't break-

Tiny fingers on soft cheeks and lips curl into a small frown - it isn't Sana this time. Those glasses are off
now, held in a hand as another rests on a closed eye, the other's directed somewhere on little bare feet
hidden behind the door. Dahyun's grimacing, but she isn't flustered nor is she infuriated - there's so much
more than that, and when the tears escape from glossy eyes, Sana inevitably panics and there goes
whatever plan that she's got in mind.

"No, no, don't cry," Sana dumbly coaxes. "Hey, I'm sorry, okay? I know it's not good enough but this is all I
can do and I didn't even pay for this expensive-ass cake and-,"

"I-It's not about that-!"

The brunette freezes, hands grasping on hot air because she doesn't know what to do with them. On one
part Sana'd like to hold Dahyun again, but heck they aren't exactly on that basis of things anymore, and if
there's something that Sana'd hate to ruin between them that'd be what little safe space they have after
this period of separation. On another part, however, Sana'd like to not give two shits about that because
a crying Dahyun's actually causing her physical ache.

"Calm down, now," The Japanese continues. "We'll do this slowly, okay? I can leave if you're
uncomfortable-,"

The space widens. Dahyun finally escapes, stepping past the supposed safety that's her room and she
surges - arms open and heart palpitating - and warmth comes with an embrace that's got Sana unable to
resist, and so Sana falls and she falls deep.
Into soft tresses and wet cheeks, fragile frame and shaking limbs - and Dahyun's existence's in her grasp
again; hearts fusing and lips against supple skin - and Sana breathes it all in; of yearning and bitter
memories and forgotten kisses, and they swirl into these waters, crystal-clear and cold as ever, sweet as
the Spring's blossoms and still as the Summer's breeze.

"I don't want you to leave," Dahyun sobs."Not again."

***

"I thought you hated me."

"I'm sorry."

"I'm just too scared," Dahyun admits. "It's not your fault."

Bittersweet chocolate melts upon tongue, and Sana grimaces at the taste. Dark chocolate sure is intense.
Dahyun likes it, nonetheless. The cake's gone now, though the aftertaste's stayed, and smeared past thin
lips is a line of sweet brown-black concoction that Dahyun's failed to notice.

The carpeted floor feels two times better on bare skin. The furry expanse's a pleasant addition to the
room, and the two lies, both tanktop-clad and hair in a tangled mess. Sana's noted the familiar sight - how
she misses this proximity and the way wild mahogany's swirled on smooth tangerine - and despite the
afternoon heat Sana rolls, torso flat against the floor and head upon a smaller shoulder.

"I've missed you," Sana confesses. Under them, her fingers crawl, searching along a tender arm and down
to a delicate wrist, then palm and another set of fingers, and this time it settles. "I've missed you."

Dahyun chuckles. She turns so her nose's in Sana's hair, ah - she smells all the same and perhaps even
sweeter - but maybe this yearning's fooled them both. "You said that twice."
Palms meet. Sana clasps them together, so tight like they're conjoined in flesh and she doesn't want to let
go.

"I'm sorry that I've hurt you."

"You've said that before, too."

"Why won't you give me an answer?"

"I've told you," Dahyun sighs. "It's not your fault."

Sana moves, chest meeting freckled arm. Her hand shifts, fingers now pulling on the frail fabric of
Dahyun's top, though she doesn't dare going beyond that. There's still this boundary, and somehow
Sana'd like to keep it that way, because they're just starting again and there's just so much to learn and
discover - Sana wants to take this slowly so she'd be able to gather these little pieces and build their love
anew.

"M-May I?"

Dahyun smiles.

Now lips melt, and it's just sweet and more sweet, spread across both and past opened mouths - there's
hunger yet there's resolve - Sana just doesn't want to push it. This time, she'll be more careful; this time,
Dahyun won't be breaking and Sana won't be the reason.

This time, Sana will kiss Dahyun like she's the reason that Sana's breathing. She'll treasure this - savor it,
nurture it, and they'll blossom once the Spring's arrived again, and they'll endure.

"You'll stay, right?" Dahyun asks, mouth agape and eyes hopeful, hands in Sana's hair and her heart's
falling astray.

"Yes." A lingering kiss. "Yes."


8 Seven - (ii): The Tw o of

Dahyun doesn't ask much, never needs much. It's evident in the way she dresses - flimsy shirts
and cheap fabrics, threads out and Dahyun would press them flat and neat like how she combs
her hair right. It's evident in the limited expanse of her room, of her gathered blanket and crisp,
washed sheets, pillows stacked; and the little things she keeps on her study - two pens and a set
of fresh papers, notebooks, monochromatic memos - Dahyun has kept them simple, minimal, so
little.

But Sana's flamboyant. She's expensive - jewels in her eyes, skin glowing of luxurious red, hair
falling in right places, and she's a gift bestowed upon the worn frame of Dahyun's door, pretty
dessert in her hand and the world slipping in the line of her smile.

There are rules that Dahyun lives by so she can keep things little. Sana isn't any of that, and
perhaps that's why Dahyun has let her in, because this time around Dahyun wants to indulge.
She wants to have something that's a little bigger, a little more flamboyant, a little more than
she's allowed herself to. She wants Sana and the faltering flesh of her cheeks and the sweetness
that has glazed her lips; the warmth in the square of her palms. She wants what's there and what
isn't - Dahyun knows that Sana is hardly complete but she fills the hollow somewhere in
Dahyun's chest.

Dahyun likes chocolate. She likes them sickeningly sweet so she can ignore the bitter that comes
after. It's like Sana and the thoughts that come with her - Dahyun likes to think more of the
kisses better than the tears, and now she likes Sana with jewels in her eyes and sunlight lining
the golden of her hair. She lets the chocolate melt by the wet underside of her tongue, and she
lets Sana tuck herself under the warm blanket of her memory.

"It's good, right?" Sana tries to make sure, but what harm can a piece of chocolate cake do?

"Yes," Dahyun assures. "Thank you."

The blanket is unfolded today, and it falls with a little lump on the floor so Dahyun sits on it and
rests her back by the side of her bed. Warmth has been a pretty hard thing to get these days,
and so is comfort, and so is the gentle expanse of Sana's skin. Dahyun wants to touch her again,
to have eager fingers stuttering on still complexion, to have hands on her chest and safety in her
arms.
"How have you been?"

"Not much." Dahyun confesses, eyes on glistening chocolate on a plastic plate, the portion barely
touched because Sana has been hesitating. "It's been dull."

The small carpet shifts as Sana stretches, denim-clad legs across soft fabric, plastic plate by her
thigh and eyes over Dahyun's. "I get that."

"It's not about college," Dahyun interjects, though too softly. "It's just me. You. Us."

"You're still upset?"

"No. It's... different."

Red flannel slips, revealing white shoulders. Warmth is hardly absent when Sana is around, and it
settles in the vicinity that's her opened arms and round chest, cheeks fluttering and lips friendly.
"Come," she says.

So Dahyun moves, bare knees on the floor and she reaches for lithe waist like she doesn't want
them to ever slip away. She's being too eager for her own liking, wetness on her eyes and
pressure in her tummy - Dahyun wants to weep in those arms again, half distressed and half glad
but completely in love.

And she's still little, in Sana's embrace and in the way she curls in her lap, knees on the
hardwood and thighs by a sturdy waist, face on a neck and heart in two hands.

"I'm sorry."

The tears fall so carelessly but Sana catches them anyway, with fingers under an eye and upon a
hot cheek, another hand cradling Dahyun's back because she knows how easy it is for Dahyun to
fall apart. Sana has seen it perhaps too many times, and each time stays a little longer, hurts a
little deeper, and Dahyun would fade, just a little faster.

So Sana holds her a little tighter as well, because Dahyun should never fade away again. She
should never stray, should never be hidden, should never be away from Sana's arms.

If it's guilt then Sana will let hers tip off her own lips. Then she'll press them on Dahyun's, so the
sweet takes the bitter away, and guilt melts into relief. So love grows and warmth spreads, so
this time it's Dahyun who stays instead, and the tears are the ones that fade.

So this time they'll be together, filled and complete, never in pieces but a whole - all Dahyun and
all Sana, both, one and so much more.

"You did a lot of things to me," Sana says. "Just being there, just being you. I was a mess. I know
it's not your fault, but shit, you did a lot."

"But Dahyun, you see," she continues, head tilted so she can peek into Dahyun's bashful gaze. "I
wouldn't know if none of this ever happened."

"That I was a terrible person?"

"That I wanted you close." Sana finishes, a chuckle trailing after. "What's with the pessimism,
love?"

"I don't like myself," Dahyun argues, nose upon smooth clavicle so she can hide her eyes behind
her hair. "I don't feel good."

"Same here."

"But I like you."


The weight in Dahyun's words falls with a long sigh and a knot in Sana's tummy, lungs dipping
and chest tight and she knows that she's grinning like an idiot.

"I like you too." Sana responds a tad too quickly that Dahyun snaps her head up, blood racing for
her cheeks, sweaty palms damping the cold fabric of Sana's shirt.

"You're scaring me."

"That's bad," Sana shrugs, rubbing warmth onto her own nose. "I thought you'd be flattered."

"I just don't know," Dahyun hesitates. "If you'd stay."

"Because I'm fickle?"

"Because you're you. And I'm just me. We're just too different and I don't know how we're
supposed to work. But I like you, and that makes it all more worrying, because I don't know
much about you. Don't you see, unnie?" Dahyun shakes, fingers curling by the slope of Sana's
jaw. "There's so little basis to us, yet you say I'm doing a lot of things to you, and I'm just so
overwhelmed,"

"I think," Dahyun breathes. "I think we need more time."

"Like going slower?" Sana enquires. "Like, restarting everything? Back to square one?"

Dahyun nods, relief in her eyes and content in mouth. She's glad that Sana understands, that it's
easier now that the bitter has diminished and the sweet has wrapped itself on her tongue.
"Yeah, kinda like that. We can do it a bit more naturally, y'know? Start with a happier note."

"You're more of an expert at this than me."


"I just like doing things in a smaller scale."

"So what do you want to do now?"

Dahyun arches, shoulders opened and hands slipping to a flat tummy. Sana watches her with
fondness, lips curled and her smile growing softer, fingers tapping silent notes onto the skin of
Dahyun's wrist as she breathes her a little song. Sana hopes that Dahyun hears it, and knows that
she'll hold her more carefully, make her kisses a bit lighter.

There isn't anything extravagant in the way Dahyun loves. She's subtle, almost too tender, flimsy
as the fabric of her shirt, minimal as the things she have kept on her study, hair in a careful bun,
bed crisp - everything in its rightful place, so simple, so little.

Little as her fingers, as the faint dimple etched by the fold of her right cheek, as the movements
of her limbs when she pulls Sana to lay beside her, as the palm of her hand on the curve of
Sana's shoulder, lips on her nose, sighs on her ear.

"Let's talk," Dahyun retreats. "About you. About what happened."

"But we just talked?"

"I want to listen to you. And I want to know more about your feelings. It's redundant, but these
little things, they make me feel complete. Like everything's alright. You get me? It's like-,"

"Falling in love?" Sana guesses.

Dahyun softly beams.

It's like falling for you.


***

Momo wants to pretend. It should be easy. Mina seems to do it all the time, and when the
ballerina greets her at practice with a kiss past her surprised cheek Momo acts like it has always
been so natural for it to happen.

There are things about familiar lips that feel alien on skin and delicate wafts of jasmine that
suffocate; one is that they convince Momo that she's terrified of love and the many forms of its
existence, and two is that they tell her that she's apalled of Mina and the many ways of she could
love her.

Then Momo's terrified of herself, and the many ways she could love and the many ways they
could go wrong.

And Momo wants to be right because it seems like Mina's never wrong. She's always calculated,
like she's measured the length of her words and the weight of her actions, and has foreseen the
shapes and sizes of their consequences. Mina sounds and looks like she can't tolerate the
mistakes when Momo's filled to the brim with them, and with the newfound density of the
sealed content of her heart they're threatening to spill out and Momo needs Mina to contain
them in her two palms.

(Simply, Momo needs Mina to accept these little wrongs and spills and she needs Mina to tell her
that it's okay.)

But Momo still stutters as Mina reasons for her late arrival, so there goes another mistake.

Mina smiles anyway.

"I know this is sudden," Mina starts, gathering her soft cardigan in a hand after she pulls them off
her t-shirt clad torso. "But let's skip practice today."
The announcement has Momo shifting on her spent feet, somewhat shaken, because Mina's
Mina but she isn't being like herself. And Momo has thought of containing these stories a little
bit longer, sealing them away with the supposed distraction of a routine afternoon practice so
perhaps when Momo thinks she's exhausted enough and Mina seems like she can tolerate the
faults Momo can finally tell and Mina would shake them off as an evening daze that should have
not even happen. And though Momo's well aware of her own fisted determination before,
there's always a way for Mina to break her with tender eyes and parted lips and Momo feels how
her bravery's slipping away.

How little strength Momo has in her being to carry her heart, so what makes her think that she'd
be able to carry Mina's in her own two hands? And still Momo wants her, and these two hands
shake at how fingers hook upon a wrist and pulls Momo to the floor.

"Mina?"

"We both need a break." The ballerina reasons again, laying said cardigan into the cold flooring
before hands come for the older's shoulders, and Mina brings Momo down with her chest in tow
so she can press them on the brunette's.

Warmth emanates and Mina puts curious palm on Momo's stuttering bosom, feeling the quake
of her heart and Momo's eyes on her own. Mina fists the feeling in and imagines holding love in
her grasp - it must've felt like the coming Summer and the softness of Momo's flesh, must've
been a distant dream that resides in the deep chocolate that is Momo's eyes.

"You're different." Momo quietly notes, the remnants of her voice in shuddering lapses as it
layers upon the solemn hum of the air-conditioners above them. The cold slides their two bodies
like the foreign brush of Mina's lips on the swell of Momo's arm, lithe frame stacking onto
shaped one as Mina puts herself on Momo's chest as if space's a torment and an usual afternoon
meeting just doesn't suffice. Momo wants to believe that Mina has missed her and not just the
casual warmth, but that seems like a mistake in itself because Mina doesn't seem to mind and
the cold has kissed her exposed skin like it has always been its home instead of Momo's touch.

The ballerina draws comfort into the lines of Momo's ribs so Momo doesn't hold her breath like
she never learns to breathe. Mina remembers the fear that has swirled in the vicinity of Momo's
lips when they kissed, and how it upsets the younger one because she's convinced that Momo
would have held her close and never let her slip. But questions were asked and Mina doesn't
know their answers.

"I talked to Sana just now."

"Hmm."

"And she said..., " Mina trails, searching assurance by the way Momo's throat shift at the invasion
of the ballerina's lips. "She said that you're scared."

Momo moves a hand and she doesn't know why it goes for Mina's hip instead, heaving her close
and pressing her in, as if she's the only thing that Momo needs when she's the reason Momo's
losing grip. Perhaps it's one of the many ways love works for her - to breathe in the very air that
breaks her lungs, to hold onto the very existence that has shaken her own; jasmine that
constricts breathing and skin that claws consience, lips that steal words and heart that fills
containers.

Momo's spilling of love.

"I'm scared because I like you." Momo confesses, hiding quivering words behind the light tendrils
of Mina's hair that have settled upon Momo's shoulder. "It's a bit too much from what I've felt
before and it seems like it doesn't bother you at all. Like it doesn't matter all that much and I-,"

"Momo," Mina cuts into the dip of the underside of the brunette's jaw, spreading warmth and
little tingles and Momo wants to explode. "Don't ever think that you're not important to me."

"Then why are you not telling?"

Mina lets the question floats for a while so love doesn't spill on her part too. It's not something
that she does, and for Momo she'll make the space in her chest just a little bigger, so at least
Momo fits in and would not feel like her love isn't without a value. "Because I've been selfish to
you and thought that things would just work my way. But it doesn't,"
Then lips find home on the softness that's Momo's. "And I'm so sorry."

It shouldn't hurt that much, but Momo has always been a little bloom no bigger than that of
Mina, so when the breeze tears new wound into these delicate petals Momo has let tears graze
her cheeks and draw their scars into her features. And when love has drowned in its own,
Momo's desperately trying to breathe as she takes jasmine into her nostrils and Mina onto her
tongue, and she tells Mina that she's sorry too, and that Mina should know that none of this
turmoil was ever her fault.

But Momo doesn't know to whom these tears belong to.

"I've always been so reluctant to trust myself," Momo whispers into a wet mouth and let hers
line into a small smile. "Even when I know that you've given me so much. I just... I just don't think
that I can have you because you're just so unreal."

Mina laughs, the pink of her gums in show so Momo knows that she's sincere. "I guess being the
supposed prodigy takes a toll on my suitors as well." She jokes with a slight nip on Momo's lower
lip. "But I think part of the blame goes to me as well. So still, I'm sorry, Hirai."

"You're forgiven. And I'm sorry, too," Momo nips back, a giggle trailing behind the light meeting
of lips. "For being slow and so reluctant."

"That's fine, but have a little more trust on your own feelings, okay?" Mina assures, and she slips,
leaving a chuckle as she goes for Momo's jaw again, small nose guiding into bundles of soft hair,
taking warmth and musky scent and the exhales of Momo's breath. "And trust me when I say
that I'm all yours. There's nothing else that's left that isn't yours, and I'll let you have more if
that's what you wanted."

The brunette helplessly blushes. "You're making this sound wrong."

But they were never right from the beginning, Momo realizes, what with these stark differences
and undiscovered secrets, and that Momo finally knows that Mina has her own faults and is
never the enemy of any of them. That perhaps the way she kisses is never quite that perfect and
that her touches are hardly warm, but Momo believes of the many ways to love and Mina
doesn't really have to make them right the first time. And Momo may be flaw-ridden but Mina's
in her arms and it feels like she'll make them feel right, that the love she has spilled has finally
found its new heart and the space Mina has left unoccupied has finally gathered its own
content.

And hearts won't drown in its own doubt ever again.

"I like you," Momo says with a little more confidence now. "But I... I want to fall in love with you,
too. T-that's okay, right?"

"It's better than I thought it would be." Mina says, two hands clasped into sculpted cheeks,
adoration melting from two eyes and falling into another that waits for its kiss. "Being with you,
Momo, is way better than I thought it would be."

"You'll try, right?" Momo asks, almost wavering, but Mina's fast to hold on, lips curved into a
fleeting smile as she puts them upon another - heart spilling again but this time it doesn't hurt
and Momo isn't drowning. And maybe their lips don't fit all that perfectly, but if it's right then it's
better than perfect.

Momo's better than perfect.

"You have no idea how deep I've fallen for you."

***

The train ride home feels like the first one, like it's never a routine, like Momo's never tired of it
from the first time. Perhaps it's because it's rather empty - it's well two hours past dinner time
and the rush hour has ended long before that - or perhaps the new kind of warmth that has
followed her home has come in two hands that are clasped onto one of her own and a head
rested into her shoulder.

Momo ignores the long looks of the other commuters and pretended - very unsuccessfully - that
her tummy doesn't stir at those or the lips that have found its way to the back of her ashamed
ears. "You're the last person that I've thought to be clingy."

The ballerina shakes two strings of short laughters onto delighted skin and presses closer.
"You're just so soft."

The older sighs, huddling into her seat when she feels how the cold has bitten the bare skin of
her shorts-clad legs. Mina notices this, and with little care, nonchalantly pushes her own jeans-
dressed thighs against the underside of Momo's knees, cradling the brunette's upon her own in a
mere reasoning of sharing warmth.

Momo finally remembers how to breathe again - she's been forgetting it a lot of times since
Mina's around. "Too close, Myoui."

"Hmm?" A nibble on the ear and Momo swears that the guy about three seats adjacent to them
is looking like he's about to burst in embarrassment. "You never complain before."

"Well, we're in public now." Momo argues, though her desperation falls along to the kiss that has
granted warmth onto her already sweat-slicked neck. "T-Too much PDA, don't you think?"

The older Japanese knows that she's doomed the moment those lips whisper breaths into her
ear. "You're shy? But this is what couples do."

At that Momo's dipped red, heat on her cheeks as she bows her head in embarrassment. Mina
laughs at this, finally separating herself from Momo, though their hands are hardly loosening
their grasps and Mina inwardly realizes how sickeningly attached they are. She wonders if their
intimacy would eventually rival that of Dahyun and Sana's.

God forbids that.


"Still can't stomach the whole girlfriend-girlfriend thingy?"

A slow nod.

"God, Hirai," Mina gasps playfully as she gathers Momo's bangs in her hand. "You're so adorable
it's killing me inside."

"Well, I thought you'll give it a bit more time before calling it official!"

"I don't really care about the labels," Mina retorts. "I just need something to tell people that
you're mine."

Momo finds herself hiding her face at that. "Oh my gosh, Sana's right after all. You are cheesy,
Myoui."

"Hey," the ballerina leans. There's a feminine squeal and a deep cough when she pushes those
stray strands away and kisses Momo by her cheek, making sure that it's clearly seen because for
the first time ever, Mina wants to brag of what she has. "It's just one of my ways to love you."

Lord, they have a lot to learn about this whole love thingy.

***

A/N: Not updating was an asshole move, I'm so sorry, folks. Anyways, the last chapter (more like
the epilogue, really) is coming next, so here's a little wrap-up for everyone. Finally, thank you so
much for the love and support; this shit ain't perfect but you guys have been so wonderful, really.
9 Final
Their stories are told under blankets in tristful autumn with cold toes curled and hands intertwined, room
crisp with opened windows and breeze slipping over solemn white walls.

Momo has slept easy these days, easier when another has come under the covers to whisper her
lullabies. Her slumber visits her early, dreams somewhat vivid, warmth in her two hands, chest to a
smaller back.

It is late morning when Momo wakes with a little shake of her feet. Lightheaded, the woman shifts deeper
into the mattress, head meeting hot nape. The cold subsides a little, but fingers still stutter, tips on soft
cloth as they clench on another's shirt.

"Sana's gone." A voice tells. Momo hums to this, raising head to a soft shoulder, inspecting unkempt bed.
She never really cares about Sana's whereabout, but if her bed partner wakes to noting exactly that then
Momo can at least pretend that she would like to know.

"She's probably out terrorizing Dahyun again." But Momo does not feel like trying today. Not on a Sunday.
"Let her be."

Then there are movements, slow ones, the ones that hesitate but they have seemingly lost a mental
debate when shoulders shift and suddenly Momo finds supple chest to her face.

The Japanese, now sporting a new haircut that trims cobalt tresses above shoulders, blinks the attractive
view of white skin and the rounds of unclothed breast under thin shirt out of sleep-glazed eyes and
searches for flushed cheeks and parted lips instead. "What?"

"You know it's not about that woman." Mina sighs.

Oh.

"You wanna make out?" Momo asks like it is the easiest thing ever. It probably is.

Mina nods like her cheeks are not dipped of embarrassment in pretty crimson and her eyes are not light
chocolate melting into deeper mahogany. "You just look so cute in the morning."
"It's almost afternoon."

The younger puts tongue to lower lip. "I just need a dumb excuse."

"Mina," Momo stops her anyway, finger to chin and she pushes opened mouth into a reluctant shut.
"Morning breath."

"I thought you love me?"

"But not your morning breath."

"You suck."

"I know, baby." Momo kisses her quick, not on the mouth of course. The forehead is a good alternative.
"Now I'll be suckier by telling you to brush your teeth first."

Mina is quiet, so she complains by rolling off bed with disheveled hair and feet drumming the parquet as
she storms for the bathroom. Momo watches the antic with a little smile, fixing crumpled sheets with
slow hands as she gawks over slim legs and round behind.

Momo sucks but she is still so goddamn lucky.

***

"A date."

"A date?"
"It'll be fun!"

"We're poor."

Sana wipes cold sweat off chin. There is a little shiver, but she sees that coming the moment she steps on
the scale and figures that she needs a goddamn jog. It does not matter if it is autumn and she would
probably freeze her fat ass in the cold. Staying in equals accumulating more of those unwanted flesh and
a dancer cannot afford that.

And there is Dahyun, losing half of her life force as she stumbles onto the pavement with a thud, high
school gym clothes clad as she mouths for water only to receive a glare instead.

"I'll make do, okay?" Sana argues, showing fingers and folding each as she goes over her list of alternative
finance resources besides her filthy rich parents. "I have my scholarship. And Mr. Piggy is around."

"Mr. Piggy?"

"My piggybank, I mean."

The Korean heaves herself back to her feet, still huffing more oxygen into her system. "Sana, you
shouldn't use those money on measly things like these."

"Going out with my girl ain't measly." The older pouts. "You're important to me."

Dahyun deadpans, palm to mouth. The Korean has always been a skeptic, especially when it comes to
Sana and her silly shenanigans.

"Charming," she notes towards the gaping brunette. "But it's still a no."

Sana is almost halfway into her twenties but shame does not stop her from stomping a leg onto the hard
ground. "Oh, come on! We never have a proper date since the first time we declared it official!"
"I thought the ramen date counts?"

"The ramen's shit, so no, it doesn't."

"Look," Dahyun coaxes, pulling clammy hand into an equally damp one. Sana calms at this, gazing soft
eyes behind fogged up glasses that is more cute than nerdy. "We don't have to make this so extravagant.
It's not like I'm asking you to."

"But-,"

"I don't know why you're so persistent." Dahyun kisses the woman tender, lips to plump cheek. "Did you
treat your exes like this, too?"

A little fiddle on nervous fingers. "Well, they liked it."

"That's their preferences." Dahyun smiles. "I like us just fine."

"Poor and pitiful?"

Another peck.

"Minimal and sweet. Now let's get our asses home before I can't even walk."

***

The bathroom door opens with a creak. Momo steps in, pauses, then she retreats - brows knitted and
wrinkles on her nose.
"The bathroom smells like shit."

A gasp comes and eyes throw invisible daggers towards the dumbfounded Japanese. Mina looks at Momo
with malice, somewhat extremely offended, face red of both anger and embarassment. "Excuse you. I
never leave my business unattended."

At this Momo peeks in again, going over the tiles and sink before eyes set upon an exposed piping line
along the side of the ceiling.

"Something's dripping."

"Hirai!"

Momo turns, gesturing for the younger to scramble along. "No, I mean from the pipe. Smells bad. I think
it's clogged."

The raven haired woman sudders at the mentioning. "I'm not going in there."

"You just did."

"Well, I didn't notice!"

"Sheesh, you're loud today." Momo alternately concludes, slippers to the floor as she goes for the front
with a towel on a shoulder. "Anyway, I'm going downstairs to ask for the maintenance. Be back in a few."

Following a nod, Momo unlocks the door, twisting steel knob and flexing arm as she pulls it in haste.
Always a little unaware, Momo's gaze conveniently falls past two figures perched by their enterance,
missing faces less than a meter from her own. When she kicks her indoor slippers off for her crocs
however, Momo jumps at a cheery hello that hits her hot on the cheek.

"Fuck!"
One of the two simply stares. "Yeah, good morning to you too."

The hall monitors will only come around with announcements in hand, so Momo halts and waits, eyes
round as she bows at the two.

"Irene-sunbaenim." Momo calls to the taller one. Irene, a woman without many words, briskly nods at
this, her demeanor resembling much of that of Mina when Momo first met the fellow Japanese.
"Anything wrong?"

The woman gestures to the bathroom. "That place smells like my worst nightmare so I'm guessing your
room's affected as well." Then she turns to the shorter. "Seungwan, write this one down, too."

So Seungwan does, jittery fingers scribbling over her memo pad, small shoulders pulled in and back bent
low. Petite Seungwan looks terrified and Momo does not need to know why especially when Bae Irene is
within the vicinity. But Momo is Momo and she likes being friendly, so amidst the awkward pause and
loud shrieks of dried Sharpie on smooth paper the Japanese points a thumb to the new hall monitor and
starts the conversation with a forced chuckle.

"A new member?"

Irene smirks. "Voluntarily signed her pretty ass in for curricular marks. I guess they give a shit about that
back in Canada."

"Cute."

"I own her ass."

"Sorry?"

"Anyway," Irene cuts in, deliberately ignoring the last exchange. "Some dipshit upstairs dropped their
phone into the toilet bowl and clogged the whole pipeline. Maintenance's currently looking into it so just
get ready when they come around."
"Oh, um, okay."

Then Seungwan decides to sneeze. Irene shifts at this, eyes to round cheeks as two hands press
themselves onto them to transfer heat. It has gotten a bit chilly for the last few minutes, but it is nothing
too much for them to handle, though perhaps Seungwan here is a bit of a sensitive child.

Momo smiles at the sight. "Hey, there. Need a heat pack?"

It is almost too instant when Irene steps in and strips her own cardigan off. Momo marvels at the act,
brows up in amusement as Irene drops said clothing with a little sigh that comes a bit too softly.

"I told you not to tag along."

"Sorry."

Momo quietly shrugs. They look so achingly mismatched Momo wonders if that is how it looks like when
Mina comes around.

Hell, they're cute.

***

Their lunch arrives late noon. Momo hands collected notes in exchange of two large servings of pizza,
smiles at the delivery dude, then dashes back into their room with a little slip on the welcome mat but
Mina catches her just in time.

Sana shoves two fingers into her thinning wallet and grimaces. The pizzas are shared and so does the
cost, and she swears that Momo needs to stop terrorizing their bank account if they are looking into
surviving the rest of the semester before winter starts. But four tummies are asking to be filled and Sana
guesses that rationale just flies out of the window the moment Momo suggests the random food choice.
"You're making me fat." The Osaka-native grumbles. Momo listens to this and plops to the floor with a
grunt. The boxes follow, then Mina, then Dahyun takes one and opens it lightning fast.

Momo is the first to snatch a slice. Surprise. "I'm making all of us fat. Fair and square."

"I don't like pineapples." Dahyun suddenly starts. The two imminently halts, faces contorted in hurt. Mina
just eats.

Sana then grabs said slice and picks mushy pieces of yellow from hot cheese and throws them into her
mouth. Dahyun witnesses the act in disgust, but chokes a forced thanks before slowly devouring the
currently pineapple-free delicacy in calculated bites.

The rest goes quiet. It always works like that during meals. The bunch is mostly rowdy anyway, so when
the food comes and mouths are occupied their circle finally rests and now people like Mina and Dahyun
can have their well-deserved peace.

But there are times when someone decides to break it too early. This time it is Momo, as she swallows on
her first and scrambles for her second piece.

"The bathroom's clogged." Momo informs to the newly-arriving pair. Sana sniffs at this.

"Yeah. I can fucking smell that."

Sometimes, Mina thinks she is funny. "I think that's you." She grins, eyeing over Sana's sweat-slicked
forehead and drench tank top.

"Just fucking choke Myoui, and make my life easier already."

"Language!" Dahyun says in between flicking off burnt pineapple cubes. The reprimand is ignored, as per
usual.
"Also," Momo struggles on a large bite down her throat. "Breaking news. Bae Irene's got herself a
girlfriend."

Sana slams her palm to her thigh. Dahyun jumps at the sound, pineapple pieces falling off palm and back
to her pizza. "I knew that bitch's gay!"

Finally done with her first slice, Mina dabs two napkins to her mouth before she speaks because
apparently manner only takes effect on her. "The unlucky girl's Wendy Son Seungwan." She then
continues on Momo's part. "An exchange student from Canada. They say angels weep blood when she
sings."

Dahyun perks up at the mentioning. "Oh, Wan-unnie! I know her!"

The three deadpans at this unsurprising revelation. Momo actually stops eating. "Please don't tell me you
know her from church."

"Actually, I know her from church!"

"Bloody hell, you children of God just keeps on letting Him down."

"Nah, Wan-unnie just comes around to sing. She's really cool."

"Ain't cooler than me." Sana leans back with a little wiggle on her eyebrows, half-eaten pizza in one hand
as the other forms a peace sign, thinking that it is attractive.

It is not.

"Eh, she actually is. Sorry."

As expected, Mina is the first to curl at this, faking a pained expression as she points two indexes to the
air and proceeds to purse her lips for a long hiss akin to that of a burnt surface. To mock so vocally is
never really her thing, but if the subject is that of Minatozaki Sana then the Myoui would gladly make the
best out of the golden opportunity.
"Well damn, I'm sorry I can't sing til' angels weep." Sana relents, resuming on her meals. Nobody cares.

Silence settles again. The sun is out, though cloaked behind solemn clouds of the season, but the warmth
comes through, still. The four now goes for the second serving, pace slower. Then Mina puts her slice
down and suddenly she is out by the door, phone in hand and features troubled.

"I gotta take this call, sorry. Finish up without me."

So they did.

***

Mina does not come around for dinner.

Momo ignores this, and serves ramen for herself in the room. Maintenance has visited for a little check,
but concludes that it was just a slight leak and the bathroom works just fine after a quick fix. The smell
still stays though, but Sana braves it through and is actually thoughtful enough to sprays it away, though
now the shower smells more like their closet when the Japanese settles for half a bottle of their shared
Febreeze.

Now Sana is out again, probably for a smoke up in the rooftop. Momo does not know when on earth does
she first take up the habit, but if they both were to die of lung cancer a decade from now then Momo
concludes that it will still be good enough.

Momo just has so little concern and she hopes it is not too bad.

***
"Smoking's bad for you."

"Oh? Never knew that, textbook."

Dahyun shivers in her shirt and short shorts as she makes her way to the somehow melancholic brunette.
Dinner tastes stale without the others around, but she appreciates the warm cup of soaked ramen that
Momo has passed through her door as she wishes her goodnight and tells her that Sana is freezing her
ass in the cold again.

Smoke floats and swirls and Dahyun coughs through the pungent smell. Smokers are never her favorite
bunch of people, and despite Sana knowing this the woman sucks a mouthful in until tip glows of deadly
tangerine and her eyes turn into thin slits. She does not look like she enjoys it so Dahyun wonders if she is
ready to kill herself slowly.

"This is lowkey suicide." The Korean notes, breaths out of rhythm but bodies huddle close anyway as she
puts nose to a still fragrant chest.

Sana takes cigarette off lips and dangles hand off the high railings. "I've done this for a long time, baby, no
worries."

When Dahyun grabs a handful of hair, Sana turns and suddenly her lips are rid of the taste of tobacco and
sweet floods in instead.

"Momo says you're sulking."

"No." The older replies a bit too loudly. "The fuck not."

"I think the fuck yes." Dahyun clamps teeth on a lower lip. "You're so sensitive these days."

Fingers slip. The cigarette falls seven stories down, still lit but Sana does not feel like being responsible. So
she breathes toxic air into the blonde's mouth and watches how eyes narrow and hands tightened grip on
both mused hair and full hips and thinks of the many ways she can mess this up.
Things have been going well for the past few months that sometimes Sana has fears but Dahyun is always
quick to chase them away. She does not know if it is normal, does not know it is part of being in love and
whatever it is in between.

So there are doubts, and Sana puts herself in the list. Dahyun used to be there too, but then she says love
and Sana is heaved out of the murky waters just when chin dips in and she is beginning to claw air into
her chest. Dahyun has rescued her so many times that Sana wonders if one day she would say no and
hands did not come to her aid. And if does happen Sana wonders again if she can swim her way out and
pull Dahyun back into her arms.

"I get jealous." Sana confesses. "Everybody does. I don't think it's bad."

"When it gets too much, yes." Dahyun is tender when she argues, always reasonable. "I was just casually
complimenting an acquintance. Is that an actual offense, Minatozaki?"

No, of course not. Sana is not that immature. She never cares. She does that, used to, before and it is
never an issue. It can be a letdown, yes, but people are people and sometimes one is better than the
other and they have rights to feel a bit out of the place and a little under the standards.

So no, it is not an offense, and no, Sana should not make such a big deal out of it.

"I think it's karma." She whispers to soft cheek and kisses it slow, smelling facial wash on white expanse
and her lips just ache for another taste.

"I think you're just overthinking." Dahyun still disagrees but she turns and says that into Sana's mouth so
the Japanese is almost fooled thinking that she actually says yes. "You're not that bad."

"Yeah?"

"Uh-huh."

"Well you're fucking wonderful." Sana kisses her deep, cold to warm and hands meeting between pressed
chest. It is so darn cold in these thin shirts and stupid shorts but Sana has always been willing to put the
two in dumb misery just so Dahyun can tell her of love and security and that Sana is not so much of an
asshole she used to be.

She just gets worse.

"I thought I'd be the clingy one." Dahyun says as the two alternates between kisses and words and then
after that there are just more kisses.

"You thought wrong."

"Falling for you in the first place is never right anyway." The Korean laughs at a little bite on her chin.
"You're the worst thing that's happened in my life."

"Same." Sana just smiles. "And I'm just so in love with you, what the fuck."

"Language."

"I love you."

"That's way better." A firm kiss.

"And I love you, too."

***

Dark shows stories even when one cannot see. Momo learns of this with Mina because they have always
kept their love out of sight, and let only sounds and tastes guide heart to heart and hand to skin.

Tonight, the dark tells of one that wrenched heart and hands are out looking for skin and more. Momo
tries to grasp comfort and comfort is Mina but she is choking stories along tears that wet chest and mute
heart and Momo cannot offer warmth in a cold night. When she has bursted through the unlocked door
and stirred arms Momo knows that their stories have taken a turn and it is hardly for the better.

Momo has always known that love is not easy. To fall has been convenient, but love is made of fragile
things and it shatters in the weight of wordly problems that sometimes Momo thinks of how long can
their love stays so strong and how heart can always find heart and hands can always find skin. And there
is something about time and space that differ between existence and Momo knows that even love cannot
correct two existences that fate has absurdly put out of sync.

"I'm leaving, Hirai."

But Momo just does not expect it to be this early.

***

A week is all they have.

Mina is bound for America, and Momo feels that she should be happy. Things are better there, and Mina
has always worked hard to earn herself exactly that. Her parents thought so too, and that is why her old
man has called from Kobe informing of a new school and a brighter future to go. And though tears slip
past from time to time, Momo wipes them dry so it does not dampened hope and good intentions that
have come along with the inevitable separation.

Momo can wait, if that is what Mina worries about. Three years would not feel like much, and Momo is
sure that the distance can never take hearts away even when hands cannot feel skin. But as she folds a
shirt fresh out of the laundry she presses the fabric firm and feels thread to fingers, taking in warmth and
wafts of familiar jasmine that are about to depart with their owner.

"I'm happy for you."

"You keep saying that." Mina stacks two rolls of clothes into the suitcase with a sigh. Then she rests,
hands to her lap as she turns to the older Japanese. "I don't know what to feel."
Cobalt tresses fall. Momo hides red cheeks behind them like she does not want Mina to see her and
remember. She takes another shirt.

"Just don't be sad." The older tenderly smiles. Fingers escape folded cloth and towards a palm, lining
pattern on hot flesh that Momo knows she will miss. "You're on a good path. I'm proud. The others feel
the same too. There's absolutely nothing to be upset about."

Momo always misses the point. It is her charm. She is never quite aware of the facts, never knows of the
weight of her words or the situations that they are in. Initially, Mina thinks she is pretending, but with
bright eyes and fleeting smiles she realizes that the hurt never really existed and Momo is just Momo; she
is always glad for the greater good, thankful for whatever it is that has been gifted her way.

And Mina makes sacrifices so she can be deserving of many things. One is Momo, others are her friends,
but if she were to chuck these into the fire too, then she will have nothing.

"I'm falling apart, Hirai." Mina says, and after all this time heart spills again and these hands cannot
contain them. So she rests them on Momo's chest, crawling onto another lap as she leans until she tastes
lips and the salt in her own tears, until she sees of what resides inside the calm chocolate of Momo's eyes
and realizes it is just love and love and Mina and them and the sun that illuminates two pupils into
daylight stars.

"And you're not gonna be there to piece me back together."

She will have nothing.

Their stories are told under blankets in tristful autumn with cold toes curled and hands intertwined, room
crisp with opened windows and breeze slipping over solemn white walls.

Then they are told in sun-bathed space with two beds and a little desk, with old parquet cold to the touch
and partly covered of a cheap carpet. They warm four walls and let air to smell tender of fabric softener
and faint perfumes, of clothes fresh out of the dryer and warm coffee sitting by the bedside table. Their
stories are told in pages, in lips that dance of heartbreaks and a suitcase half-full of clothes and
mementos that endure, and Mina just does not want them to end.
"Your happiness is out of my hands, Mina." Momo puts a hand to pounding chest. "I'd say that you belong
to me, but I can't hold you out of your destiny or the good things that your parents have given you. So
keep me close."

Momo presses harder. "Keep me close."

***

Sana tucks an envelope to glove-clad palm and folds fingers to hold it tight. It is the first thing she does
when she arrives at the airport, and Mina has never seen her with red eyes and flushed cheeks and
another blonde who has to check on her every minute.

Dahyun fixes her scarf and pulls the woman close. "You need water?"

"No."

"Okay." She nods, though fingers still flick on a stray tear and push bothersome bangs off blood-shot eyes.
"Just making sure because you look like you're about to pass out."

The departure hall opens in 10 minutes maximum. Mina comes early in the morning, planning for a quiet
leave but Momo comes around with a class that she has skipped and a possible warning coming her way.
She has been cheery, taking the younger for a quick breakfast before keeping her company during the
rest of the check-in process.

Mina still cries, but Momo does not. Maybe she has come to terms with everything, and Mina thinks that
perhaps that she is just too easy to let go. Then Momo takes her to the restroom and kisses her away
from the public's eyes, and in a split second Mina is assured that it is just as hard and Momo is trying her
best to keep them all secured and completely in one part. That is just how Momo has put herself to be,
and Mina can never fathom as to how one can be so self-sacrificial.

Sana sniffs, swallowing a reluctant wheeze. "Sorry for coming in late. Had to wait for Dahyun here to
finish her quiz."
Mina beams at the reasoning. She notices the smaller hand that has gripped her own, a foreign touch
from a noticeably demure bespectacled blonde but Mina lets it stay. "It's fine. I don't even expect you two
to come."

"Three years a long time." Dahyun speaks with a little sniffle, clearly keeping tears of her own. "We'll miss
you, unnie."

"You have no idea, kiddo." Mina shifts hand to arm and now Dahyun is in her embrace. "You have no
idea."

Sana sulks at this. "You bitch. Even when you're getting your ass shipped to America you still ain't treating
me right."

The ballerina turns at the complain, arms open. "And you're still in denial, Minatozaki. I'm disappointed."

"Fuck no." Sana breaks anyway and the hug eventually lasts too long for the two's liking. "Don't tell
anyone but I love you, okay? No one's ever gonna make my life more miserable than you do. Not even
that sad little bitch over there."

The younger chuckles and glances to a Hirai currently seated on one of the long benches.

"Momo's fine."

Sana grimaces. "Bitch isn't. I know that child. Now make this goodbye count, I ain't dealing with a sad little
shit when we get home later."

So Mina goes, but she does not say much. She shows Sana's letter to Momo, have a good laugh over it,
but apart from that Mina pretends and forgets that she has a flight to catch.

The clock ticks, anyway.


"I need to go." Mina starts, pushing head to a shoulder, nose to a firm cheek. "Momo?"

"I know."

"Don't be sad."

The woman turns. Mina feels lips on her hair, smiles, and really, she does not want to leave. She does not
want America, does not want a better school or a better house to live in. But life makes itself out of
choices, and Mina creates the ideal Mina out of her dreams, and in them Momo is hardly an idea that
lives. She is an existence put away from that of the other's, but still Mina wants them to intertwine, wants
these spaces to intersect into one.

Thousands of miles should not be a problem, they say. It is love, after all. Time should not become a
reason, and this separation should not be an excuse. It is love, after all.

It is love, after all, so for this they relent and endure and Mina will keep Momo close, maybe not in her
arms or under her lips, but she will, in the many ways they have loved each other and the many more
ways to come.

"Go."

There are no kisses. Not even a hug. Momo just holds Mina's hands and then she lets go, it is as simple as
that. Perhaps that is how goodbyes should be done, and Mina knows that Momo is never more thankful.

The ballerina slips into the line. The security check goes first for business class, so in no time Mina is
already making her way to the departure hall. When glass doors part for her entrance, however, Mina
braves herself to look back, and her heart never feels heavier.

Her phone rings.

"Momo?"

"You see me?"


"Yes."

"I'll keep you close." Momo points to her chest. "Then I'll come to you. America isn't far. I'll dance my ass
off. I'll dance till I break my bones. And when I'm as good as you, I'll come to you."

The crowd has pushed in but Mina does not want to turn away just yet.

"You promise?"

"You won't believe me if I say I do." The line trails.

"I love you, Myoui."

Dial tone.

***

Christmas feels different when you are wheelchair-bound.

"I get that you've promised Mina to dance till you break your bones and stuff." Sana whispers past the
long hallway of the physiology department. "But not literally, you dumb piece of shit."

Momo sighs at the blabber. She has received these complaints for God knows how many times since last
month when she was first rushed to the hospital after tearing her knee ligament during practice.
Recovery has been hell ever since, and with five more months to go Momo is not so sure about surviving
the whole treatment or even graduating college. The injury has dragged her behind, so much so that even
the infamously half-assed Minatozaki has surpassed her in class.
"It's not like I knew it'd come to this." The older pouts, eyes trailing along sickening white walls of the
space. Momo has always hated hospitals, and God must have been a sadist for making her literally live in
one for busting her good leg. "That move was so difficult, goddamnit."

The two swerves out of the hallway and into the elevator. Momo punches on the G button, while Sana
drops the woman her favorite cardigan - it was previously Mina's - shielding her gown-clad chest from the
cold. Today, Sana is taking her out of building and into the vicinity, kindly spending her equally lame
Christmas with her best buddy when Dahyun has left the apartments for home.

(Somehow, Momo is convinced that the circumstance would be different if Dahyun were to take Sana
along, but thank God that is not the case for now.)

"Does she know?"

"About my knee? Hell no."

"Shit." Sana exclaims, halting by the lobby's lone vending machine. They may need some hot drinks to
brave the cold outside. "Could've been the best reason to get her pretty ass home. I thought you missed
her?"

"I don't wanna bother her with my problems." Momo passes on a few notes because she knows Sana is
increasingly petty since these past few months. The brunette takes them a bit too giddily. "Black coffee,
please."

Sana collects said drink and hands it to Momo before purchasing one for herself.

"Well aren't you the cutest little shit ever." Sana teasingly notes, taking a quick sip of her own hot
chocolate as she pushes the other out of the doors. The cold greets them almost instantly, and Momo
suddenly realizes that this is probably a bad idea.

"Fuck, it's too cold." The older spits. "And the coffee tastes like cat piss, what the hell."

"Bitch, you never like coffee anyway."


"I'm trying to grow up, stop putting shit on my effort. Now turn back, it's too cold."

"Fuck you and all this effort."

So their adventure outside ends in less than a minute. Sana walks up to the elevator with a stomp,
ignoring looks and the shushes that follow as the two waits for their ride back to the ward. There is a
giggle that resounds at their antics, but Sana shrugs it off as one of the nurses who probably see them as
one of their daily entertainment around the building. Sana has been visiting for too many times anyway.

The elevator lands with a ring. Sana presses on the hold button, and waits for whoever it is that is about
to exit. When she looks for the occupant however, it is her turn to choke on her own drink.

Momo, never been more oblivious, jumps at the act and the tiny sputters of hot liquid on her cheek.
"Bitch, what the fuck?"

"Hirai?"

The woman pauses. Then she gazes upon a gaping brunette behind her, before turning towards said voice
with little to no expectation on what is about to hit her.

And God does Momo feel like jumping to her feet again.

"Holy shit!" Sana points in dramedy. "It's ballerina bitch!"

And so Myoui Mina, now a brunette, storms out of the elevator and Momo has never felt so alive. There
are familiar arms round her neck, shoulder to her chin, and jasmine greets her nose again as Momo
buries her nose into soft locks and just tries, so very hard, to believe. Maybe the morphine is finally taking
effect, or maybe the coffee is so terrible that she starts seeing her girlfriend in velvet coat and lovely
denim, but whatever this is Momo just cannot fathom, and if it is possible she does not want it to end.

"You're, um, you're - holy shit - you're b-back."


The kisses come. Momo wants to combust. "Yes, yes. Oh my god, yes. I was so worried, you have no idea,
Hirai."

Momo pushes the other back and inspects. Except for the new hair Mina just looks awfully the same -
Momo does not know if she actually expects her to look different somehow - and she just smiles and she
cannot do anything more than that.

"You're back."

A quick kiss to the lips. "Yes."

"How'd you know?" Sana asks, still baffled.

"I was planning to surprise you guys for Christmas. Came looking for you in campus then people were just
telling me about this accident." Mina turns stern, then. "And speaking of that, how dare you for not
telling."

The two shrinks at this. Momo in particular, is especially terrified as she takes two hands into hold and
shoots puppy eyes to the younger in an attempt to not be scolded by the Japanese-American.

"Hey, we just don't wanna trouble you."

"Fuck that!" Mina frustratedly points. At this stage, the whole hospital is probably begging them to keep
the peace. Momo is assured that she will be kicked out of the ward once these shenanigans end. "You've
been such a pain since I left. Now you're keeping secrets as if you don't have a girlfriend. And what's with
the last minute confession, huh, Hirai? You think that's cute?"

"I-um-,"

Then Momo just sees black. Mina has engulfed her into yet another bone-crushing hug again, and this
time it follows with a kiss too deep to be called friendly. This time, Mina is not keeping their love out of
sight, and their stories are out, spilling past the brim of hearts finally meeting and hands finally touching
skin - spaces merging into one, time in a parallel, existence in sync.
"I love you too, Hirai."

***

When the cold days pass, Momo sees Mina off and just like that their universe goes into a reset - time
and space going past intersections and into non-meeting parallels. Their stories however, still writes
themselves.

Sana meets Dahyun in the spring, and parts when it is summer. But a cycle is a cycle, and their love goes
into a loop of beautiful things all mangled and interwoven so by the time she leaves college, Sana has
taken Dahyun out on their first proper date, and certainly many more after.

I remembered meeting you on a Sunday, then hating you on the next. Then I have loved you on the other,
and on this Sunday I have let you go.

But in the many other days I have hated you too, have loved you too. And these days have been wonderful,
as I have kept you close, firm and true.

Truly, every day is a fun day with you.

With love,

Minatozaki.

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