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After School

 
Jeongyeon was currently doing what she did best in the mornings: consuming caffeine and
complaining.
 
"Ugh. Thanksgiving break was not nearly long enough," she groaned. "I can't wait for Christmas
break. I'm taking a well-deserved rest."
 
"From what?" Chaeyoung asked, focusing on the road.
 
"From my busy schedule, of course," she said as if it was obvious. "And from seeing you and
your girlfriend being so ridiculously gross all the time."
 
"Sorry," Chaeyoung said, with a grin, in a tone that was not sorry at all.
 
It was not lost on Jeongyeon. She sighed. "Not all of us can be so lucky in love. I could use a
girlfriend too. Actually, I've been thinking about trimming my hair, it’s getting long. D'you think
that'd attract the ladies?"
 
"Maybe, but I think a ponytail might look good on you."
 
" Wait. Didn't you tell me one time that you had a thing for ponytails?"
 
Chaeyoung nervously chuckled. "Did I?"
 
The blonde squinted her eyes at her in suspicion. "Yeah. I've seen pictures of Somi, and she
usually had a ponytail, right? And now Mina’s been wearing her hair up more… Yep, that's it!
I'm cutting my hair."
 
"What?! Cause I like ponytails?"
 
"Yep. You might start perving on me."
 
"Oh, come on! I'm not attracted to you having a ponytail or anything—I just think it’ll look good
on you. Aesthetically speaking. Platonically."
 
"Hm. I don't like the idea of looking like one of your kinks."
 
"It's not a kink! It's just a personal preference!"
 
"For that matter, I've noticed you wearing your glasses more," Jeongyeon stated, pointing to the
frames on the latter’s face. "Does Mina have a thing for them or something?" When her friend
didn't answer, she started cracking up. "I knew it! You two are such gay nerds!"
 
"Shut up."
 
"I can't believe you're dressing up for each other… Totally whipped."
 
"How can we both be whipped?"
 
"Oh, it's possible." There was a pause in the conversation before Jeongyeon loudly broke the
silence. "Y'know who has stupid hair?"
 
"Who?"
 
"Nayeon. More specifically, that stupid damn ribbon she wears when she puts her hair up. It's
always different sizes, too. Do you think it changes depending on her mood?" Chaeyoung
couldn't respond since Jeongyeon continued her tirade, "I bet she's got a whole closet of the
damn things like she gets up in the morning and whooshes open the closet and there's a million
of the little bastards. One for every day of the week. Who wears ribbons in high school anyway?
Friggin' strange. She's got weird teeth too. And her voice is annoying, but she never stops
talking. Christ, she drives me insane." Her rant was interrupted with the sounds of her friend
snickering. "What is it?"
 
“Do you like her or something?”
 
"No way! Absolutely not!"
 
"Hm…" Chaeyoung responded, not believing her. This was an interesting development. She
would definitely have to mention this to Mina later.
 
 
♕   ♕   ♕   ♕   ♕
 
 
"I can't believe I was the last person to know," Jackson grumbled, crossing his arms.
 
"You're really not," Chaeyoung replied, looking through her locker.
 
"Seriously, bro. How is it that you've had two girlfriends when I've had none?"
 
"I guess the ladies love me."
 
"You've gotta have some advice for me, man!"
 
"Being cute helps," she smirked.
 
He exaggeratedly sighed. "It must be nice being liked by a girl…"
 
Chaeyoung recalled Dahyun’s strange infatuation with the boy but decided not to bring it up. "It
is."
 
"I guess this means Myoui’s into huge dorks—"
 
"Did someone say my name?"
 
Jackson was yet again startled by the sudden appearance of Mina. He comedically jumped back
with a yelp.
 
"Oh, hey, Mina," Chaeyoung said to her with a smile, unfazed by Jackson’s screaming. "I missed
seeing you at lunch."
 
"The errand for my teacher ended up taking way too long…" Mina explained.
 
"Were you able to eat?"
 
The couple lapsed into conversation, entering their own little world, seemingly forgetting that
Jackson was still standing there.
 
"Listen, Myoui Mina!" he suddenly spoke up, breaking the bubble. "I've got something to say to
you!" For being such a petite girl, compared to him, Mina could be quite intimidating, but
Jackson pushed through his fears—the love he had for his 'bro' knew no bounds. He puffed his
chest out. "You better treat my bro right! She's like a sister to me!"
 
The two girls regarded him with a blank stare. "That makes no sense," Chaeyoung said.
 
He continued, unperturbed, pointing a finger at Mina. "If you break her heart or do her wrong,
you better watch yourself! I'm not scared of you!" he stated as if she hadn't already freaked him
out twice before.
 
The commentary continued, "You should be. She's fierce."
 
"Just because you're a girl doesn't mean I'll go easy on you if you hurt her! I'll make your life
hell!" He tried to search for more words but came up with none. "So… yeah! I guess that's it."
 
"Don't worry, Jackson," Mina responded with an amused smile, looping her arm into her
girlfriend’s. "I care for her a lot. I'll treat her well."
 
"You better!" He nodded, crossing his arms again, but in satisfaction. "But seriously… If you
guys run into trouble, let me know. If anyone makes problems for you, then they'll have a
problem with me."
 
"Thanks, bro," Chaeyoung replied, holding her free hand out for a fist bump. "I appreciate it."
 
No matter what, she always had friends to count on.
 
 
♕   ♕   ♕   ♕   ♕
 
 
Another part of having friends was complaining about them.

"They're disgusting."
 
"They really are."
 
Jeongyeon and Nayeon’s pride from bringing Chaeyoung and Mina together quickly turned into
regret once they realized what kind of an adorable monster of a relationship they had helped
create. It had been a month into this lovey-dovey madness, and their list of grievances continued
to grow.
 
"This is all your fault," Nayeon told Jeongyeon.
 
"My fault?" Jeongyeon pointed to herself, looking aghast, then pointed back at Nayeon. "You had
a hand in this too!"
 
"You were the one taking full credit for this. I hope you're happy."
 
"And you were the one bragging about how great you are at bringing cute couples together! 'Just
like Jennie and Jisoo!' you said!"
 
"Those two are also gross."
 
"And totally your fault, just like this situation—"
 
"Ah, young love!" Sana proclaimed, materializing from places unknown. She stepped close to
Jeongyeon and Nayeon, placing a hand on each of their shoulders, and subtly pushing them
together. "And now you two are bonding over the mutual disgust from the results of bringing
your best friends together." Glancing upwards at nothing in particular, her eyes appeared to
shine. "In a way, I think that's beautiful."
 
"Ew. Bond? With her? No way!"
 
"That thought also disgusts me."
 
"No need to hide your true feelings, young ones," Sana smirked.
 
"You're one to talk," Jeongyeon retorted. Trying to distract her, she added, "I think your
girlfriend's looking for you."
 
"Oh, which one?" Sana replied, raising a hand up to exaggeratedly scan the room.
 
"Very funny. I'm talking about Momo. She could use some attention."
 
"Oh, she's fine," Sana said, waving that same hand dismissively. "But whatever, I know when I'm
not wanted. I'll leave you two alone to continue sharing your suffering together." She winked.
 
After she slithered off, Jeongyeon continued, not yet meeting her quota for complaining that day,
"Anyway… back to what I was saying. Seriously, they're awful. The other day 'A Whole New
World' came on the radio and they started singing along to it together and I thought I was going
to throw up. And when I complained about feeling nauseous to Chaeyoung, y'know what she
said? 'My driving's never bothered you before!' It ain't the driving, kid!"
 
Nayeon laughed at that. It was different than her usual laughing around the tall blonde—this one
was genuine instead of mocking. It caught Jeongyeon by surprise.
 
"You're lucky that you don't have to ride with them," she added, unable to stop herself from
smiling. It was nice to make girls laugh, after all.
 
"Do you not have your license?" the bunny asked her, also genuinely.
 
"I do, but my car… Well, that's a long story."
 
"I see." She seemed in thought for a moment. "If they're really so terrible, you could always ride
with me."
 
That also caught Jeongyeon by surprise. "Seriously?"
 
"I mean—" Nayeon looked away, then clarified with a huff, "Then I won't have to hear you b*tch
about them as much. So it's a win-win."
 
"Huh." The blonde  wrestled with the idea for a moment before quietly deciding, "…Maybe I'll
take you up on that, then."
 
Meanwhile, speaking of Jennie and Jisoo, Mina happened to overhear a conversation between
the two as she was packing up her things.
 
"Jisoo," Jennie started, her voice shy and quiet as it usually was, "Your singing was very lovely
today."
 
"Aw, thanks, babe," Jisoo brightly smiled at her girlfriend, petting her head. The younger girl
seemed to purr at the affection. "So was yours. But it always is!"
 
Hearing the word 'babe' gave Mina a brilliant idea. With lightning speed, she zipped her bag
close, grabbed her stuff, and practically raced over to Chaeyoung.
 
"Hey, Mina," the redhead greeted, hefting her backpack over her shoulder. "Ready to go?"
 
"Chaeyoung," she started, not answering her question, "We need pet names for each other."
 
Chaeyoung stared at her for a moment, blinking. She then let out a loud laugh at her overly
serious expression. "Do we?"
 
"Yes."
 
"Okay… Did you have some in mind?"
 
"Not yet. I just thought of it."
 
"You're cute," she smiled fondly at her. "Come on, let's go."
 
 
♕   ♕   ♕   ♕   ♕
 
 
"Thank god it's Friday," Jeongyeon said, stretching as she sat up once they pulled up to her
house. She leaned forward and said to Chaeyoung, "I don't have to see your face for two whole
days."
 
"Thanks," she responded sarcastically.
 
Jeongyeon turned to tell Mina, "Don't worry, your face is fine, Myoui."
 
"What about Nayeon-unnie’s face?" The redhead asked with a devious smile.
 
"What about it?"
 
"Aren't you going to miss it?" she singsonged.
 
"Ugh!" Jeongyeon groaned before grabbing her bag and opening the door in one fast motion.
"Alright, I'm outta here—before you make me sick. See you kids later!"
 
"That was a quick exit," Mina commented as they watched their friend run to the front door and
disappear into her house.
 
"It was," Chaeyoung snickered. "I think she likes Nayeon."
 
"Really? What makes you say that?"
 
"She wouldn't stop b*tching about her this morning."
 
Mina looked confused. "That means she likes her?"
 
"You don't know Jeong like I do. It's how she shows her love."
 
"Hm, I suppose it would be… Come to think of it, Nayeon-unnie complains about her a lot too."
She had recently been the sounding board for a few earfuls about the tall blonde these past few
mornings.
 
"Could they be into each other?"
 
"Maybe. They sure are weird, though..."
 
"No weirder than us, I guess." Turning out of the neighborhood, Chaeyoung asked, "Anyway,
you wanted to go get some smoothies before we head to my house, right?"
 
"I did, but I feel a bit bad for not inviting Jeongyeon-unnie along."
 
"Ah, I'm pretty sure she wouldn't mind."
 
 
♕   ♕   ♕   ♕   ♕
 
 
At the smoothie place, Mina was momentarily distracted from her deep thoughts on the subject
of pet names when Chaeyoung got up from their table to go grab their drinks after they were
called. More specifically, what had caught her attention was the blatantly flirty vibe being
directed at her girlfriend from the girl behind the counter. Mina had done enough research on the
subject to recognize the intentions behind a cute smile like that and the way their fingertips were
made to deliberately come into contact during the exchange of drinks.
 
"Here you go, cutie," Chaeyoung said after returning, placing a smoothie in front of Mina.
 
"Thank you," she replied, before asking, "'Cutie'?"
 
"Yeah. You're cute, so 'cutie' fits, doesn't it?" Chaeyoung sheepishly smiled as she scratched the
back of her head.

"You're the cute one," Mina retorted, averting her eyes and blushing. She tried to keep her tone
even, "So cute, in fact, that the cashier was flirting with you."
 
"What? For real?!"
 
Mina sighed. "You really are dense."
 
Chaeyoung giggled at the other girl's sudden grumpiness. "Uh oh. Don't tell me that you're the
jealous type."
 
"And what if I am?" Mina asked, her even tone changing to playfully threatening.
 
The redhead began cowering in mock fear. "You really are scary…"
 
"Anyway," Mina said, changing the subject after taking a slow sip. "Back on the subject of pet
names…"
 
"You're really thinking hard on this," she noted with an amused smile. "Maybe don't try to force
it."
 
Ignoring her advice, Mina continued, "How about… since you're so sweet, I'll call you…
Jagiya." Chaeyoung started cracking up. "Stop laughing at me."
 
"Seriously, you're too cute…" She wiped a tear caused by her laughter away. "Whatever you
wanna call me is fine, really."
 
"Then I'm going to call you a jerk."
 
After they finished their drinks and left the shop, it suddenly started to rain during the walk to the
car. Once in the vehicle, their departure out of the parking lot was temporarily halted by the
water now on the lenses of her glasses. She took them off to try wiping them clean with the edge
of her shirt, but that just created larger streaks on the lenses that couldn't be seen through.
 
"Augh," she whined. "This is why glasses are a pain!"
 
Mina giggled at her as she dug through her dashboard looking for a cleaning wipe, but had to
settle for a napkin. "That's the cost of beauty."
 
Chaeyoung kept grumbling in between exhaling onto and wiping the lenses. "The things I do for
love…"
 
"Love, huh?"
 
"Erm." The redhead froze, a blush creeping up onto her face as she realized what came out her
mouth. "Y-yeah… Anyway, let's get going!" she quickly said, putting her glasses back on. They
weren't clean as they could be, but it would have to do.
 
The cold rain continued to pick up on the way back to the Son residence. Mina opted to leave her
bag in Chaeyoung’s car, only grabbing her overnight bag before the two made a mad dash into
the house.
 
Despite their speed, they were both soaked. "Such a pain!" Chaeyoung complained again, and
giving up for now, she hung her wet glasses on her collar.
 
"How bad is your vision anyway?" Mina asked her. "How many fingers am I holding up?"
 
Chaeyoung shot her a glare. That was a joke that would never become funny. She leaned down
close to the other girl's face. "I'm near-sighted, so I can clearly see from here that you are also a
pain."
 
"You know you love it."
 
"Maybe," she responded, glancing away with an enigmatic smile, another blush creeping up.
 
The two headed upstairs to dry off. Mina sat on the edge of Chaeyoung’s bed, toweling off her
damp hair. After removing the water on the back of her neck, she undid her ponytail. Chaeyoung
reemerged from the bathroom, having opted to put her contacts back in, tired of dealing with
glasses for that day.
 
"Aw," the redhead whined. "No more ponytail?"
 
"Aw," Mina repeated back to her. "No more glasses?"
 
Chaeyoung sat down next to her. "I don't understand your glasses fetish."
 
"And I don't understand your ponytail fetish."
 
"There's a very good reason for it!" Chaeyoung told her, grinning mischievously, scooting even
closer. "It's easier to do this…"
 
Mina was about to ask 'do what' before getting her answer when Chaeyoung moved her hair to
the side and started kissing her neck. She bit her lip in an attempt to keep any embarrassing
noises from escaping, tingles immediately running through her. Chaeyoung had quickly
discovered that her neck was one of her biggest weak spots, and often liked to use it against her,
both to her chagrin and satisfaction.
 
"St-stop…" she weakly whined, squirming. At that, the assault on her neck ended. With those
pleasurable sensations gone, her faculties quickly returned to her, and a sense of disappointment.
"Huh?" she whined again. "Why'd you stop?"
 
Chaeyoung looked understandably confused. "You told me to," she matter-of-factly explained.
 
"Oh." Mina sheepishly looked down, blushing. "I didn't mean it."
 
Chaeyoung laughed at that, finding her to be way too adorable. "Hey, c'mon now, don't give me
mixed messages," she teased. "Tell me how you really feel."
 
"I could say the same for you," Mina said, moving close to rest her forehead against the latter’s.
 
"Hm… I don't follow."
 
"I think you do."
 
They had been dancing around the subject for almost a week now: wanting to tell each other 'I
love you.' Having only been dating for a month, they both worried that it might be too early to
say it, and didn't want to freak the other out.
 
Neither said anything for a few moments as they looked into each other's eyes, letting those three
little unspoken words hang in the air.
 
"Mina, I—"
 
Whatever Chaeyoung was going to say was interrupted by her being startled by the sound of the
front door opening.
 
"Oh, someone's home," she noted, getting up to go check the window to see what car had pulled
up. "It's my mom."
 
Mina hadn't even met Mrs. Son yet, but couldn't fight the less-than-kind thoughts that briefly
entered her head, cursing the woman's apparently poor timing. She was certain that her girlfriend
was going to say something important.
 
Chaeyoung sat back down next to her. "Are you nervous to meet my parents?"
 
"I don't get nervous," Mina replied confidently before quietly admitting, "But yes, I am."
 
Chaeyoung chuckled. "Don't be. As far as they know, you're only a friend of mine." She grabbed
the other girl's hand, holding it gently, regarding her with a very serious expression. "So you
can't act like my girlfriend. They don't know that I'm gay."
 
"What, do you think that I can't be subtle?" Chaeyoung raised an eyebrow at her, nonverbally
answering her question. "Okay, okay. I will be completely incognito." She softly asked, "How
come you haven't told them yet?"
 
Chaeyoung looked down, her eyes sad. "It… doesn't seem like a good idea. I don't know how
they'd react. I doubt they'd kick me out or anything, but… I'd rather avoid the drama, y'know?"
Mina nodded in understanding. "Anyway," she continued, trying to appear more chipper, "why
don't we head down? I want to introduce you to my mom."
 
"Do you think she'll like me?"
 
"Of course. You're very lovable," Chaeyoung told her before kissing her cheek, causing her to
giggle.
 
The two of them made their way downstairs. The front hallway led right into the small kitchen
and dining area, separated from the living room by an open wall.
 
"Hey, Mom," she said. She gestured to the girl standing close to her side—but not too close.
"This is my friend Mina."
 
"Oh, hello," Mrs. Son warmly greeted her. "So you're the one Chaeyoung’s mentioned before.
I'm Son Jiyoon. It's nice to meet you."
 
"It's nice to meet you too, ma'am," Mina said respectfully. "Thank you for having me."
 
"Any friend of Chaeyoung’s is more than welcome! I'm sorry I don't have a home-cooked meal
for you girls tonight, though," Jiyoon said apologetically, removing some trays of food from a
large paper bag. "It's been a long week and I didn't feel like cooking." True to her words, she
seemed to be quite tired. "I hope Chinese food is alright."
 
"That's fine, ma'am. Thank you."
 
Chaeyoung watched the exchange with a smile. She asked, "Where's Dad?"
 
"He should be home soon."
 
After grabbing some drinks from the fridge, the girls sat down at the kitchen table to wait
around, and soon enough they heard the front door open.
 
"Chaeyoung!" a gruff male voice called out before the door loudly shut.
 
In walked a tall man who also appeared to be quite tired. Like she had experienced earlier, his
glasses were covered with raindrops from the current downpour outside. He was not the only one
that was soaked, apparently, as he held up the source of his current annoyance: a wet newspaper.
"Look at this! The paper's unreadable! How am I supposed to get today's news? Why didn't you
bring it in?"
 
"It wasn't here yet when I left this morning," she answered.
 
"Hrmm," he grumbled. "But it was here when you got home, right?"
 
"Yeah, but… it was already raining pretty hard. We ran in and I didn't think about it. Sorry."
 
At the mention of 'we,' that seemed to alert Mr. Son to the presence of a different person at their
dinner table. "Oh," he said, appearing slightly sheepish for fussing at his daughter over a wet
paper in front of a stranger. "Hello. Who might you be?"
 
"This is Mina," she answered for her. "She's a friend of mine from school."
 
"Hello, sir," Mina greeted, unsure if she should get up out of her chair or not, but decided to
remain seated. "It's nice to meet you."
 
"Same to you," he responded with a nod. "I forgot that Chaeyoung was having a friend over."
 
As her husband threw the newspaper in the garbage can, Jiyoon suggested, "Maybe you should
get a tablet, honey."
 
"They're too expensive," he grumbled again. He walked out of the kitchen, loosening his tie.
 
"Don't mind him," Jiyoon told Mina. "I'm sure he had a long week too."
 
Mina nodded in response, not expecting that to be her first introduction to Chaeyoung’s father.
She glanced over at her girlfriend, who seemed unfazed, shrugging.
 
While Mr. Son was drying off, everyone grabbed their food and sat down, waiting for him to
reappear. Jiyoon went ahead and fixed her husband's plate for him.
 
"Thank you, honey," he said to his wife as he sat down. After taking a sip of his favorite tea, he
then addressed Mina, who was currently sitting across from him, "So you're a friend from
school? Are you in the Performance Club too?"
 
"Yes, sir. I dance and sing."
 
"Oh, how fun!" Jiyoon smiled. "I sang when I was in school. I have a lot of fond memories from
being in choir. You should treasure them!”
 
"I will, but I'm also aiming to perform professionally, like my dad."
 
"Professionally, hm?" Mr. Son raised his eyebrows, regarding her skeptically. "I suppose it would
be easier with a parent already doing it." He turned to his daughter. "But I doubt you could get
away with rapping for a living."
 
"Ah, haha…" Chaeyoung uncomfortably chuckled. She had already resigned herself to that fate,
but for some reason, his words now stung. "Probably not."
 
"If she wanted to, she could," Mina immediately defended her. "She's very talented."
 
Chaeyoung doubted those words, but appreciated them nonetheless.
 
"It wouldn't exactly be the most stable career path, though," Mr. Son continued. "There doesn't
seem like a lot of opportunities out there for rappers. Still, it's nice to have dreams. Have you
actually given any thought to a career, Chaeyoung?"
 
"Oh, uh, I've been thinking that I want to be a music teacher."
 
"Really? That's new."
 
"Teachers don't seem to make a lot of money, unfortunately," Jiyoon pointed out.
 
"Right," Mr. Son sighed, "but at least they get state benefits. You make more money if you teach
at the college level."
 
"You are good with kids, honey," Jiyoon smiled. "Oh, that reminds me—I ran into Mrs. Jung
yesterday while getting the mail, and she told me that she'll probably have some more
babysitting jobs for you soon. She's been really begging her husband for a few more hot date
nights."
 
"You babysit?" Mina asked Chaeyoung.
 
"Yeah," she answered. "Gotta make some money somehow."
 
"I hope you're saving it," Mr. Son commented.
 
Chaeyoung uncomfortably chuckled again, choosing to take another sip of tea instead of
answering, thinking about where her money went: food, games, music… and now doting on her
girlfriend.
 
Mina was starting to wish that Chaeyoung’s father would ease up on her a bit, but the opposite
occurred when Chaeyoung’s phone went off a couple of times from text notifications.
 
"Oh, oops," she said, putting it on vibrate after quickly checking who the messages were from.
"Sorry."
 
"Chaeyoung," her father started, appearing more fatigued. "Haven't I already talked to you about
having your phone at the dinner table?"
 
"Sorry, sir," she apologized again.
 
"Who was it, anyway? Don't they know not to disturb people around dinner time?"
 
"It was Jeongyeon-unnie. She doesn't really have a set meal time." Her friend's schedule could be
pretty odd in general.
 
"Which one is Jeongyeon again?"
 
"She's the tall girl with short hair," she answered as if she said it a lot.
 
"Oh, that one," he recalled. "Are you still driving her around all the time?"
 
"Yeah… but she gives me gas money." Plus a little more extra cash for the trouble, which also
went towards Chaeyoung's vices.
 
"I would hope so! Just because she's your friend doesn't mean that she can bum rides off you."
 
"I think Jeongyeon’s really nice," Mina tried adding to the conversation.
 
"Oh that's right!" Jiyoon chirped, confusing Chaeyoung, before clarifying, "Hyoyeon will be
coming home. Isn't that wonderful?"
 
"Oh. I guess."
 
"Have you talked to her lately?"
 
"Not really."
 
"Why not? She's your sister! You two used to be so close."
 
"She never seems to want to talk to me…" Chaeyoung sadly trailed off.
 
"Sometimes you need to be the one to put the effort in," Mr. Son added.
 
She muttered under her breath, "Tell her that…"
 
"What was that?"
 
"Nothing, sir."
 
"Do you have any siblings, Mina?" Jiyoon asked.
 
"No, ma'am. It's just me."
 
”Ah, that's a shame. Having a sibling can be nice, but being an only child has its benefits too. But
since you're their only daughter, I'm sure your parents will freak out when you bring a boy home
—if you haven't already." Chaeyoung ended up choking on green tea again courtesy of that
comment. Not noticing her daughter's plight, Jiyoon continued with a laugh, "They'll probably
want to run him off."
 
Mina tried to keep a straight (lol) face, recalling how Chaeyoung had already received a
somewhat stereotypical bringing-a-boyfriend-home treatment, unbeknownst to Mrs. Son.
Thankfully for both teenagers, Chaeyoung had been accepted into the Myoui family with open
arms.
 
"I'm not interested in having a boyfriend," Mina answered honestly.
 
"That's good! Don't bother with men or dating for a while—they're nothing but trouble," Jiyoon
laughed again. "You'll probably find a nice guy to settle down with once you get to college.
That's what I always tell Chaeyoung. Although, her sister could probably do better than the guy
she's currently dating…"
 
"I'm going to be quite unhappy if he ends up as my son-in-law," Mr. Son said, grumbling again.
 
The suggestion of Chaeyoung 'settling down with a nice guy' made a strange pit of disgust build
in Mina's stomach. She assumed that her girlfriend felt similarly.
 
"So what were you girls going to do tonight?" Jiyoon innocently asked.
 
Probably a lot of kissing, they both thought.
 
"Just hang out," the redhead said out loud.
 
During dinner, Mina picked up on the difference in Chaeyoung’s behavior around her parents.
Her answers for them were very short and quiet, her attitude very subdued. It was certainly
different compared to what Mina was using to seeing, but she supposed that it wasn't too unusual
for her to be able to see a different side of her.
 
However, it felt like she couldn't really be herself. It was like she was hiding behind a mask.
 
 
♕   ♕   ♕   ♕   ♕
 
 
After dinner, the girls returned to Chaeyoung’s room, making sure to lock the door behind them
—just for privacy's sake, of course.
 
"Your parents are nice," Mina commented.
 
"They're not as cool as yours," Chaeyoung retorted, flopping onto her back on her bed.
 
"Mine aren't cool, they're embarrassing," Mina responded, lying down next to Chaeyoung and
snuggling against her. After a moment, she spoke up again, "Actually, can I be honest?"
 
"Of course."
 
"Your dad seems… really hard on you."
 
"Hm, yeah. That's normal. I deserve it like 95% of the time, though."
 
"I'm sure you don't," Mina insisted, tenderly brushing some hair from Chaeyoung’s face. "Like
how he seemed annoyed about you giving Jeongyeon rides. You do that because you're so nice."
 
"Yeah, I'm too nice for my own good sometimes."
 
"It's one of the things I love about you."
 
"Really?" Chaeyoung averted her gaze, blushing, asking quietly, "What else do you love about
me?"
 
Mina dramatically drug out a 'hmm' as if she had to think hard on the answer. "Well, you're cute,
and funny, and sweet... and good at kissing."
 
"That's good to know," she lightly laughed.
 
"You're also easy to talk to. It's no wonder everyone loves you… And… actually, Chaeyoung, I
—"
 
Her intended words were interrupted by the sound of Mrs. Son calling up the stairs for her
daughter, startling them both this time. Mina internally cursed again. She really liked
Chaeyoung’s mother, but her patience was starting to wear thin.
 
The redhead got up and opened the door. "Yeah, Mom?" she asked.
 
"We've got some ice cream! Would you and Mina like some?"
 
"Oh, sure," she replied, before turning around to ask the other girl, "Want some ice cream?"
 
"Sure." Before the two exited the room, and making sure that Chaeyoung’s mother was out of
earshot, Mina told her, "Ice cream sounds nice, but your lips taste sweeter."
 
"Mina…" She started laughing at her again. "That's really corny."
 
"Shut up," she huffed, now feeling embarrassed.
 
 
♕   ♕   ♕   ♕   ♕
 
 
After the girls had some dessert, they decided to play some Smash Bros. since Mina had a lot of
fun with the game the last time she was over—mostly because she kept winning, much to
Chaeyoung’s dismay.
 
"Y'know who you should pick?" Chaeyoung said once they were back on the character select
screen after a handful of rounds. "Zero Suit Samus."
 
"Why? Is she good?"
 
"Yeah, but she mainly reminds me of you." Mina raised an eyebrow, curious. Chaeyoung
explained with a silly grin, "She's hot and looks good in a ponytail."
 
Mina laughed, feeling flattered. "Why don't you pick her then?"
 
"I'd rather have her beat me up."
 
Mina looked exaggeratedly shocked. "I didn't realize you were such a pervert…" she teased,
shaking her head in amusement. "You know who you remind me of? Kirby."
 
"Why, 'cause he eats a lot?" Chaeyoung deadpanned, expecting an answer like that.
 
"I was going to say because he's the cutest, but…" Mina trailed off, looking away with a not-so-
innocent expression that confirmed that she agreed with that assumption.
 
"Very funny. I oughta beat you up."
 
"I don't mind pain," she said with a wink.
 
Chaeyoung’s eyes widened. "And you called me a pervert."
 
After a few more matches, she spoke up, "I'm spent on Smash for now. Actually, I'm kinda tired.
Can we just lay around and talk?"
 
"Only talk?" Mina asked with a devious smirk.
 
Chaeyoung decided not to answer, instead announcing, "I'm gonna change into my pajamas."
 
"You don't have to go into the bathroom to change, you know. We're both girls. I wouldn't mind
if you strip in front of me."
 
"You really are a pervert!" Chaeyoung said with a nervous laugh, protectively crossing her arms
over her chest.
 
 
♕   ♕   ♕   ♕   ♕
 
 
Later, Chaeyoung was laying on the bed and absent-mindedly staring at the ceiling, waiting for
Mina to reemerge from the bathroom. At the sound of the door opening, she looked over and saw
the other girl wearing a familiar article of clothing of hers over her pajamas. "Hey, what the heck.
Is that one of my hoodies?"
 
"Yep," Mina responded, moving to the other side of the bed to lie across from Chaeyoung. "I was
cold. It looked warm. You don't mind, do you?"
 
"Not at all," Chaeyoung said happily, rolling over to face her. Seeing her girlfriend wearing her
clothes filled her with happiness and an odd sense of pride. "It's a little big on you, though," she
teased. The garment was pretty large on Mina’s frame, so the smaller girl would practically be
drowning in the fabric.
 
"A little bit, but it's comfortable." It also smelled like her.
 
"Y'know what it's made out of?"
 
"What?"
 
"Girlfriend material."
 
"…That's terrible."
 
"Yep, it is," she said, pulling Mina closer to herself. Her mirth appeared short-lived, though, as
Mina saw the humor disappearing from her eyes, replaced with an almost somber look.
 
"Are you okay?"
 
"Hm?" Chaeyoung said distractedly, now playing with Mina’s hair, as she often liked to do.
 
"You seem… sad. Or like something's on your mind."
 
"I was just thinking how pretty you are." She insisted, "I'm fine, really."
 
"Come on. You can tell me anything."
 
Chaeyoung opened her mouth, about to say something, before closing it again, unsure. Her
expression was unreadable, her eyes having a peculiar gleam to them. After a moment, she
asked, "Do you ever wish that you were… normal?"
 
"Are you saying I'm abnormal?" she teased. "But no. I want to be special—to stand out."
 
"Right, of course. As expected of the amazing Myoui Mina. That was a silly question to ask
you."
 
"You keep calling me amazing, but you're amazing too, you know." Chaeyoung scoffed at that,
clearly not believing her. "I mean it. How come you wish you were normal?"
 
"Ah, well… I mean normal like… not having to pretend."
 
Mina had a feeling that she knew what she was referring to.
 
"I want to kiss you," Chaeyoung then said suddenly. "Can I?"
 
"You can," Mina replied, unable to say no to that face and the way Chaeyoung was looking at
her.
 
Mina had yet to receive kisses quite like this from her. They seemed almost desperate,
pleading… It was if she was responding to Mina’s question with her own, each sharp intake of
air between their mouths meeting asking, "am I okay, is this okay, are we okay…?"
 
Since she currently couldn't reply verbally, she responded physically. She kissed the other girl
gently and reassuringly rubbed her back, hoping to soothe her frantic energy.
 
She wanted to show Chaeyoung how much she loved her.
 
Even if they couldn't say it yet.
 
 
 
 
♕   ♕   ♕   ♕   ♕

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