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dahyun falls in love with mina slowly, like honey dripping from the comb. 

 

 


 

 

it starts innocently.

dahyun had somehow managed to fight her way off the waiting list for off campus student housing and find a nice loft that was only a few blocks away, was female only, and had an onsite laundry in the basement.

the only downside is that she really doesn’t know anyone who lives there but that’s okay, because she’s only a sophomore and they’re all seniors or juniors and she’s positive no one will be bothered about her presence one way or the other. she has chae and tzuyu, anyway—and dahyun is only ever home to sleep, shower, and pretend to study, so she doubts she’ll interact with other people very much. 

dahyun has three other roommates: jeongyeon, nayeon, and mina. 

jeongyeon and nayeon share one half of the suite, and mina and dahyun share the other. both pairs share a bathroom and bedroom. of course, there’s a common area—the living room has some brown couches, a flat screen mounted on the wall, floor to ceiling windows with gauzy, sheer curtains—a kitchen that the four of them will ultimately end up sharing—and a balcony that is cluttered with potted plants.

they share a bedroom with a bunkbed and a bathroom.

their bathroom is functional, a shower, toilet, and large mirror above the sink with glamour lights installed above it. nayeon and jeongyeon’s bathroom counter is stacked with makeup and cosmetic products, a bit chaotic in an organized way.

mina keeps their bathroom spotless, with everything in bins with tiny labeled drawers. it’s even color coded. all her things are white and pink. dahyun is almost certain she’s the type to clean the bathroom on her knees with a toothbrush, scrubbing until it was all shiny and pristine. 

dahyun is, understandably, intimidated. 

nayeon is the campus girlcrush—she’s a double major in biochem and dance, which means she’s smart and hot. she’s nice enough, dahyun guesses, but her cool, aloof reputation precedes her. she has, not one, but two girlfriends. it was only a rumor, but two days after dahyun moved in, she caught nayeon kissing them both goodbye at, like, six in the morning and shooing them to their dorm before the prefect found out they had snuck out. dahyun had made eye contact across the room while she’d been sneaking into the kitchen to help herself to some of jeongyeon’s pie, and nayeon simply raised a bored eyebrow, squeezing one of her girlfriend’s behinds. sana? momo? who knows.

nayeon’s pretty, all dark long hair, large brown eyes, and plump lips that are always stretched in a knowing smirk. she knows too much

she’s nice to dahyun, and even though dahyun doesn’t see her often, she always stutters and chokes on her words when she sees nayeon. 

she’s pretty much a lesbian icon on campus. the lesbian icon. 

and jeongyeon is the goofy mom friend; happy and bright, chatters incessantly and works even harder, a film studies major who annoyingly spends all her time filming her roommates with an old super 8 and cackling when she catches them sleeping, eating, or otherwise offguard.

she’s working on a film about the quintessential female college experience, whatever that’s supposed to mean. jeongyeon dyes her hair every other week and makes, hands down, the best mandu dahyun has ever had. she worries about everyone, and it’s kind of nice, being worried about instead of doing the worrying for once. dahyun has always had to fend for herself, so having someone rally behind her, even if she can be a little annoying sometimes, makes dahyun feel warm. 

mina, though... 

mina is like the first and last rays of the sun. she’s soft and warm and she glows and takes dahyun’s breath away every time she glances at her and smiles. myoui mina is a dance major who lives and breathes classic ballet. she’s the quietest of the bunch, only ever wears pink (rosewood, coral, peach, blush, punch, strawberry), and slips in and out of rooms as silent as can be. 

she’s... an enigma, and even though dahyun lives with her, literally shares a room with her, mina is elusive and someone dahyun is desperate to understand, but can’t. 

mina is warm. 

she’s kind, unnecessarily so. she always lingers and greets dahyun with a smile even if she’s had a bad day, and doesn’t laugh when dahyun tells her she’s an art major (like nayeon and jeongyeon did). she’s all long limbs and quiet sighs and longing stares and she makes dahyun blush every time she brushes against her, seemingly accidental. 

 

 

 

 

 

so, jeongyeon has this thing about no one eating her super expensive organic nonfat greek yogurt that she has to get off some farm in the middle of nowhere, which is fine because dahyun doesn’t even like yogurt. nayeon is really, like, partial about her makeup and will fight anyone who touches her vanity counter at all because her girlfriends buy her this expensive makeup from osaka or something? they go home once a month to visit family and always bring nayeon something cute. dahyun doesn’t know, but she asked to borrow some lipstick once and nayeon freaked the fuck out when dahyun touched her makeup case, so. 

there’s that. 

everyone has a thing, boundaries they want respected, and for the most part, they are. 

mina doesn’t have a thing she’s particular about, per se, except for her vinyl collection. she has her records neatly categorized by genre, artist, and color. dahyun has no interest in them, really, so she leaves them be. 

the only thing dahyun asks her roommates to do is not borrow her clothes. they all have extensive wardrobes and dahyun doesn’t, not really. she prefers function over style and she’s not really made of money the way her roommates seem to be, so dahyun just wants to keep whatever clothes she does have in more or less a functional and presentable state and doesn’t want to lose any other pieces. 

mina always says she’s going to take dahyun shopping and dahyun can only laugh in response because the idea is so asinine. mina? taking dahyun shopping? dahyun in all pink? yeah, right. 

they all respect each other’s boundaries and dahyun finds herself settling into a nice, happy routine with her roommates, really. they’re nice girls and quickly bring dahyun into their fold, and it makes her feel... special, in a way, to be so accepted by some of the most popular girls on campus.

she has friends! cool, older, sophisticated friends who don’t make fun of her when she snorts and giggles and who take care of her, worry and fuss over her.  

so, of course, imagine dahyun’s surprise when her favorite (only) rain jacket goes missing the morning of a nasty thunderstorm. she has a stupid math test she has to sit for, and she would really like to make it there dry and not soaked to the bone. but she’s late, and it’s nowhere to be seen, and dahyun decides that she’s just going to borrow one of mina’s coats and text her about it later.  

mina wouldn’t mind, surely. 

dahyun tugs on the warm light salmon trench coat hurriedly, adjusting the belt as she rushes out of the apartment and curses herself for waking up so late. the coat smells like mina, like a lazy spring day in full height—jasmine, bergamot, roses in full bloom, musky and dizzying. the material is so soft, impossibly decadent. mina is taller than dahyun by a few centimeters, and it shows; the sleeves are a little long and the coat reaches past dahyun’s knees and doesn’t do the same for mina. still, aided by mina’s coat and her umbrella, dahyun makes it to class just in the nick of time and dry.

the exam goes about as well as dahyun expected (not well at all) but she isn’t too fussed about it because she’s never quite liked math and doesn’t see the functional value in it or what it would contribute to her art, so... it doesn’t matter if she fails it or not because dahyun has other things to worry about. 

even though the rain stops and the sun grudgingly makes an occasional appearance, dahyun can’t quite seem to take mina’s coat off. she tells herself it’s only because she wants to stay warm, but.

it isn’t really a big deal until she heads to the canteen for a quick bite with chae and spots mina across the room wearing dahyun’s favorite utility jacket—olive green, a ridiculous amount of pockets, with flecks of all different kinds paint. she’s talking to jihyo, one of the other girlcrushes on campus. she’s a living legend. an icon. of course she’s friends with mina. 

the jacket too big on dahyun and equally as big on mina, but she wears it well. it looks... nice on her, and dahyun feels like she’s short circuiting when chaeyoung drags her to the line, looking back at mina. 

her roommate tilts her head and laughs, grinning at dahyun’s (mina’s) jacket. 

it becomes a game, after that. 

who can steal whose shirts, pants, skirts, dresses, their wardrobe eventually becoming a jumble, indistinguishable. dahyun rather likes it, that way, likes the idea of being comingled and mixed in with mina.

 

 

 

 

 

“what are you listening to?” 

dahyun flinches when she realizes it’s mina sitting next to her. she came to the library to pretend to study for her art history exam—jeongyeon was having some friends over and nayeon had her girlfriends over, so it was pretty noisy and she would be tempted to hang out and goof off instead of actually study, like she’s supposed to. mina’s tucking the white earbud into her ear neatly before dahyun can even tell her it’s her mina playlist. 

so maybe dahyun has a pretty gay crush on her roommate. big deal. dahyun thinks it’s only because mina looks better in her clothes than dahyun herself does and because sometimes they hold hands or share an umbrella and that one time at the movies they shared a tub of popcorn and a large soda and only used one straw, so.... but it’s dahyun’s quiet private secret crush, is the thing, something she writes about in the journal underneath her pillow or paints about or makes increasingly sapphic playlists about. 

mina can’t know. obviously. 

“uh, um—”

“is this beach house?! i love beach house!” mina whispers softly, wriggling in excitement. dahyun’s super top secret gay crush is sitting next to her in her fucking utility jacket, again (it’s basically mina’s at this point), their shoulders bumping together as she listens to the literal playlist dahyun made of songs that remind her of mina—she’s fucked. she’s totally, completely—“i didn’t know you had such good taste, dahyun.”

“i, ah, yeah,” dahyun mumbles, nodding as her cheeks flush, smiling sheepishly. “i like a lot of different types of music...” she shrugs, looking down when mina tugs her books and laptop out of her backpack, glancing at her. out of the corner of her eye, dahyun can see the curtain of mina’s light brown hair covering her face as she dove into her book. she mouths along to the song, bopping her head to the beat. 

dahyun thinks she’s going to choke. 

 

 

 

 

 

(1) unread message!

[mimimyouixo] said: hey dubu i made you s/t!!!!

it’s a mixtape. mina made her a mixtape because she thought dahyun would like it and it’s all soft shoegaze pop that makes dahyun blush because it’s literally mina in 8 songs—soulful and deep and soothing. dahyun listens to it for a week straight, can recite the lyrics to all the songs on her sleep. 

 

 

 

 

 

when mina sleeps, she does so... cutely. 

she falls asleep everywhere—on the train ride home from the grocery store, on the bus ride downtown, on the couch during their weekly movie marathon with nayeon and jeongyeon. she’s sneaky about it, about the way she rests her head on dahyun’s shoulder and sighs softly, drawing a little closer and blaming it on the bus or train jolting, or on nayeon taking up too much space, or—whatever.

she always falls asleep on dahyun’s shoulder and her soft warm breath tickles dahyun’s neck, her cool nose pressing delicately against her and dahyun is loathe to move because she doesn’t want to startle mina, so even when her shoulder has gone sore and she feels like her arm is falling asleep—dahyun just can’t move.

dahyun would like to think they’re friends, kind of maybe. or at least close, sort of.  

but one night, mina comes home in a furious, unsettled rage, says nothing to no one and locks herself in the bathroom for three hours. 

dahyun follows mina and ends up getting the door slammed in her face, so—of course—she waits quietly in their room, pacing nervously. she doesn’t know what to do. she’s never seen mina like this. 

mina is always smiling and even when she comes home late and is all sweaty and tired from her grueling practices, she checks on all her roommates and makes sure they’re okay, that they ate, that they don’t need anything before she showers and flops into bed. so seeing mina like this, seeing her worked up, rosy cheeked, shoulders trembling, tears streaming down her otherwise serene face... it makes dahyun feel uneasy. 

nayeon and jeongyeon say this is normal, that mina just needs a good cry sometimes, just needs a little extra time to herself, and she’s fine. but mina doesn’t look fine, is the thing... she looks like something is very, very wrong. 

dahyun tugs on a grey sweater and calls out to mina to let her know she’s going out and will be back. 

shoving some earbuds in, dahyun listens to a new sza single on her way to the corner market two blocks away. dahyun buys the essentials: mina’s favorite ramen—pagaejang and it’s spicy and dahyun can’t stand the spicy beef stew but it isn’t about her right now—instant rice, bulgogi gimbap triangles, mina’s favorite brand of royal milk tea, and two candy bars. she throws in the cute little ryan bread package, too. it was cute, and it would cheer mina up which was the point of it all. 

dahyun prepares the ramen for mina carefully in their shared kitchen, ignoring both nayeon and jeongyeon’s quips about how there was no point in it. if it helped mina, wasn’t that worth it? 

“minari?” dahyun asks hesitantly, flinching. 

“go away,” mina mumbles, but it doesn’t convince dahyun one bit. she nudges the door open to their with her foot, balancing a tray with her recently purchased items stacked carefully on top. 

“i made you dinner!” 

mina pokes her head out of the comforter she’s wrapped in, squinting. her eyes are a little puffy—her whole face is, actually, swollen from crying so hard for so long—and her hair is mussed, haphazard, slipping out of the bun on her head. dahyun smiles, nodding down at the tray. 

“are you hungry?” she asks, trying to put a brave face on. “it’s delicious, i promise.”

 

 

 

so they don’t talk about what upset mina, and it isn’t like she doesn’t want to know, because she does. did someone yell at her? did she flunk a test? did she get kicked off the dean’s list? dahyun is loathe to ask. she doesn’t want to seem nosy, and they’re cuddling underneath this blanket and watching kahogo no kahoko and dahyun doesn’t even like it and the korean subs are too fast, but mina is crying/laughing into her shoulder and dahyun doesn’t have the heart to tell her to move. 

and dahyun is going to get up to put their things in the trash and climb up to her own bunk. she really is, but then mina wraps around her like a jellyfish, and dahyun tells herself that just waiting a few more minutes can’t hurt. 

when she wakes up the following morning, the pillow smells like mina and she can hear mina yelling down the hall about how she was tired of being the only one to clean the kitchen. 

 

 

 

mina doesn’t so much invite her roommates to her first fall recital as much as she slips the flyer into their respective backpacks and leaves it at that. dahyun blushes when she finds it tucked in between the first pages of her art journal. if mina had only turned the page, she would have seen all the character study sketches dahyun had done of her, but thankfully it seemed that she hadn’t.  

“ya! why is our minari like this?” chaeyoung wonders idly, turning over the flyer. dahyun’s secret gay crush isn’t so much a secret anymore as it is the topic of conversation every time dahyun meets up with her gal pals. “so secretive! what does she have to hide? is she ashamed?”

“she’s literally on the flyer!” tzuyu exclaims, pointing out a photo of mina, elegant despite being in mid spin. the lighting highlights her ensemble, and even though dahyun wasn’t there for that performance, she can feel the raw emotion emanating from the photo. “what does she have to be ashamed of?”

“i don’t know why she hid it like that. she did that to nayeon and jeongyeon too,” dahyun says as she sips her green smoothie. she hates them but mina has been making them for all her roommates lately and dahyun can’t just dump it when she’s not looking, so she forces herself to drink it. it’s healthy, but it tastes like death.

“are you going?” tzuyu asks, munching on a mouthful of fried dumplings. 

“are you nuts? of course she’s going to go!” chaeyoung exclaims, shaking her head. “this is so exciting!”

“i don’t know—”

“what do you mean you don’t know?!” they exclaim in unison, eyes wide as they look at dahyun. “you have to!”

 

 

 

 

mina leaves five tickets on dahyun’s desk and tells her to give three to nayeon, to keep one, and give the other to jeongyeon in a meticulous note. she signs it with a heart and dahyun is pretty sure she could faint. 

 

 

 

 

 

dahyun feels out of place as she sits in the second row, center stage. she tugs on the hem of her gingham skirt, fixing it with a small frown. it’s so short, but nayeon let her borrow this outfit and it was “stylish” according to the taller of the two girlfriends, sana, so who was dahyun to argue? adjusting the bouquet of flowers over her lap, dahyun glances to her right. jeongyeon is carefully setting up her tripod. next to her, nayeon is sitting between sana and momo. of course, the three of them are wearing matching black outfits. they’re always matching, somehow. it’s uncanny.  

the lights dim, signaling the patrons in the large auditorium to find their seats if they haven’t done so already. the hushed whispers descend into even softer murmurs as the first set of curtains open a few moments later. excited, dahyun leans forward. she can’t wait to see mina in her element. 

“thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for your patronage and support of our ballet company,” an elderly man says into a microphone.

he wears a crisp blue suit, black shirt, and matching blue tie. it’s a surprisingly fashion forward outfit for a man his age. his Korean is accented and dahyun wonders idly if he was raised overseas.

“we have prepared a special program for your enjoyment this evening. our production comes in two parts. there will be an intermission after acts i and iii. in the lobby, there will be light refreshments and hors d’oeuvres. our intermissions will last approximately 20 minutes. in addition, i am pleased to inform you all, for your viewing pleasure, an especially riveting performance of the kingdom of shades by our very own anna pavlova! or the second coming of her, i suppose, myoui mina! yes, ladies and gentlemen, tonight, we will be preforming our most ambitious production to date: la bayadére!” 

the audience explodes into applause. the man smiles a simple, closed grin, humming in approval. 

“very well, without further ado...” 

 

 

 

 

dahyun is mesmerized. she’s never seen a ballet performance, to be fair—but mina is literally gliding and floating and at some point dahyun is almost positive that mina is flying. she leaps and creeps and faints and it’s so—it’s so quintessentially mina, so perfect and prim and poised. the performance is visceral. mina’s body ebbs and flows with the music. she’s all long lines and soft smiles and grief and joy and dahyun would be lying if she said she wasn’t absolutely transported.

mina is a work of art and dahyun feels insanely lucky to be in her presence. by the end, dahyun is moved to tears. the performance ends in a crescendo, bold and poignant. when the cast rejoins them for their final bow, mina is bashfully centered, pushed gently by her friends and other members of the cast. her smile is bright and dahyun is half sure she’d go blind by staring at it for too long. 

 

 

 

 

 

“backstage is for cast and family only,” the security guard says, a broad chested, tanned with dark hair and glasses. “sorry, kid. beat it.”

“i—”

“listen, buster, our roommate is myoui mina,” nayeon protests, jamming her finger into his chest with a squint. 

“yeah, and my dad’s the freaking dean. keep it moving, girls—” 

“dahyun!” mina says, rounding the corner with a soft smile. “oh my gosh. hi, guys! i didn’t know you guys were coming. it’s okay, taewoo. they’re all with me,” mina hums, brushing the guard away with a dismissive hum. nayeon, sana, momo and jeongyeon crowd mina and kiss her cheeks. it’s heart warming and sweet. 

mina grasps dahyun’s hand and doesn’t let go and something about that has dahyun’s cheeks burning. she laces her pinky with dahyun’s and before dahyun knows it, mina’s warm hand is clasped quite firmly around dahyun’s usually clammy and cold one, even while mina takes pictures with others and her friends.  

dahyun is sure she’s going to faint.

 

 

 

 

 

dahyun doesn’t have to wait for mina, after. mina has pictures to take and people to thank and greet, has to change out of her costume and do... whatever ballerinas do after performance. she waits quietly on one of the benches outside, waving her friends off. jeongyeon and nayeon chide her to not get home too late, and momo and sana wish her good luck. do they know? do they know about her embarrassing crush? dahyun blushes something terrible. 

when mina finally exits the theatre, she’s wearing dahyun’s jacket, again, legs bare and feet clad in a chunky pair of white fila sneakers and yellow ankle socks. the jacket is open and reveals a pale pink dress. mina is surprised to see dahyun, cheeks tinting as she greets her warmly. 

in one hand, she has her phone and keys. her other arm holds a large bouquet of roses to her chest, the same bouquet dahyun had gifted her earlier.

“are you hungry?” dahyun asks, unsure of what to say (i love you you’re amazing that was incredible you’re a goddess would be too much, too too too much, right?) as she stands up, shoving her hands into her small pockets. 

they take the train and after they swipe their cards, mina reaches for dahyun’s hand again. the station is busy but dahyun would like to think she’s doing it because she can, because she wants to stay close, doesn’t want to get separated.  

they snag seats close together, squished. they share a pair of earphones. mina rests her head on dahyun’s shoulder and dahyun is the shorter of the two, but she doesn’t take that into account. they’re still holding hands. mina’s knee brushes against dahyun’s and dahyun face burns something fierce, again. 

 

 

 

 

incidentally, after that, they hold hands a lot. 

it’s, like, their thing now. 

when they go to the grocery store or if they’re walking across campus or even when they’re watching black mirror with nayeon and jeongyeon and they’re cuddling underneath the blanket. dahyun reaches first or sometimes mina, but they’re always touching and it’s nice. 

 

 

 

 

 

the party isn’t a good idea and dahyun doesn’t want to go. she doesn’t. but everyone is going and she doesn’t want to not go, and the guy who invited mina is a fucking dick, and dahyun wants to go to mostly sulk over all the guys she knew would be buzzing around mina. animals. 

she didn’t want to go but mina had been so excited about it, held her hand and squeezed and said it would be fun and how could dahyun resist? how? 

she finds herself in a loft on friday night when she really should be studying for a chem exam, packed full with dancing bodies. people are drinking and laughing and yelling and she was only with mina for a split second before she was dragged off by one of her friends. dahyun’s only friends outside of her roommates are tzuyu and chaeyoung, and they’re watching the old star wars movies at tzuyu’s. dahyun wishes she had gone with them instead. 

 

 

 

 

 

spin the bottle is supposed to be fun, and it isn’t like dahyun isn’t having fun, because she is, but it’s stressful, this whole business of being at a party she doesn’t want to be at. it’s a party game. dahyun did a shot with mina, squeezed a lime in her mouth, licked the salt. mina grinned at her and raised an eyebrow, grabbing her hand as she led dahyun to dance between the packed bodies.  

dahyun isn’t a good dancer. she’s awkward and shy and she only really likes to dance in her shower, not between people she doesn’t know and doesn’t want to get to know. but mina is here and smiling and dahyun wants nothing else than to be where mina is, always, so she stays and dances, tries not to step on anyone or elbow someone by accident. 

she’s about to tell mina she’s going home early (she’s sick, or her feet hurt, or whatever) when mina coos something about “let’s play spin the bottle!”

that’s how dahyun finds herself squished between her roommates in a tight circle in the basement and it’s, like, not a big deal, even if she’s super nervous about it. it’s just a silly game and everyone is having fun, but dahyun still feels her palm sweat underneath mina’s.

nayeon and jeongyeon kiss. sana and momo make out (nayeon preens.) sooyoung and sana go at it, too. (nayeon giggles and momo squints, but then sana kisses nayeon and snuggles up with momo and momo seems appeased.) the point is that everybody seems to be having fun.  

and then it’s dahyun’s turn to spin. taking hold of the bottle, she spins it with her eyes closed. she hope it doesn’t land on anyone and maybe she can just go upstairs or something, forfeit her turn. if she kisses sana or momo, nayeon will probably kill her. and if she kisses jeongyeon, won’t that make things weird? if it lands on sooyoung, dahyun is 99% sure she won’t survive. god. she’s so nervous. 

then mina is laughing and grinning, patting dahyun’s hand playfully. 

“gimme a kiss!” she’s grinning and playful, nudging dahyun gently. 

that’s how their first kiss happens, with dahyun laughing nervously and mina cupping her cheeks, pressing her pretty pink lips to dahyun’s. dahyun melts into it, cheeks burning when mina pulls away and brushes her hair behind her ear. it’s soft and sweet and goofy, the way that mina giggles and dahyun can’t help but kiss her back. 

 

 

 

 

they don’t talk about the kiss, either, after. on the subway ride home, nayeon is half asleep on momo’s shoulder. sana holds her hand and plays with her hair and dahyun is distinctly envious of their freedom. how they can just be themselves, openly, ignore the looks and pointed comments. jeongyeon sits next to mina and plays minecraft on her phone. 

dahyun and mina hold hands. their hands rest on mina’s thigh. she’s wearing a jean mini skirt that rides up and dahyun blushes at how warm her skin is. it’s soft and milky. mina says she’s tired and rests her head on dahyun’s shoulder, as she’s wont to do these days. she says she’s just resting her eyes, but then she’s yawning softly and smacking her lips together, sleepy. her perfume makes dahyun dizzy. it’s versace. it’s wonderful. 

they don’t talk about it. mina just crawls into dahyun’s bed and falls asleep. she cuddles with dahyun, makes her the big spoon and mumbles something about how much fun she had at the party. 

it doesn’t come up at all. 

dahyun is half convinced mina was too drunk and forgot all about it. dahyun hasn’t. she thinks about it often, the way their lips fit together, mina’s hand on hers, the way her breath fanned over dahyun’s cheeks. and it doesn’t help that now, she notices how often mina licks her lips, which is pretty much all the time. 

she licks them after tasting some good coffee, eating some good soup, when she’s thinking or when someone suggests something she agrees with. mina’s pink tongue always peeks out and greets dahyun sunnily, makes her lose her track of thought. 

it’s only going to get worse, she knows. 

 

 

 

 

 

mina starts sleeping in dahyun’s bed with no explanation. 

she comes home one night from ballet practice and refuses to get up and go to her own. dahyun is asleep and wakes up to mina in her bed, her ruddy cheek and pointed nose close enough that dahyun can count the little beauty marks on her face. in the morning, mina simply wraps herself around dahyun, kisses her cheek and tells her they can sleep in, morning classes are for losers anyway. 

 

 

 

 

 

dahyun finds herself memorizing mina’s intricacies, like how she licks her fingers when they get greasy chicken after class, or how she bobs her head quietly when they’re on the train and she’s memorizing symphonies for a recital. or like, how mina brushes her hair carefully and never pulls through the knots but gently combs it gently until her tangerine comb slides carefully through her strands. or mina’s smile when jeongyeon teases her, the way she indulges nayeon’s girlfriends after curfew, chats up the floor prefect while the girls sneak out so they don’t get caught. 

she finds herself thinking about it late at night, especially when mina flops onto dahyun and holds her like dahyun’s going to crawl away in her sleep. 

 

 

 

 

“dubu, can i borrow this?” mina asks, holding up one of dahyun’s cream turtlenecks to her frame. she’s fresh out of the shower and wearing a matching set (blue, surprisingly), hair wet and piled on her head with a white butterfly clip.

“huh?” 

“your sweater,” mina says, turning around and looking at herself in the mirror, holding it close to her body. mina’s ass is actually to die for. the sheer material of her underwear sticks to it and it’s soft and warm and dahyun is pretty sure she’s drooling or short circuited, she’s not sure which. “it’s so cute. i have, like, the nice at pair of chinos and it really goes with it. since it’s so cold outside.” 

“uh, y-yeah. yeah, sure,” dahyun says, not even paying attention. mina kisses dahyun’s cheek and squeals happily. she almost kisses her lips and dahyun blushes something fierce. 

 

 

 

 

mina is liberal with her affection. she pets dahyun’s hair when dahyun is busy at their desk, kisses her cheek and tells her she should go eat supper before it goes cold, curls some loose strands behind her ear and smiles gently. 

and she squeezes dahyun’s hand during the scary parts of movies. when dahyun closes her eyes and buries her face into her neck mina only laughs and wraps an arm around her shoulder and tells her when she can look again. it’s sweet.

when dahyun’s had a bad day, mina coos softly and tells her it’ll be alright even if dahyun feels like it won’t be, and makes her milkshakes and is just so comforting and soft and warm. 

dahyun is almost positive she’d die for her, and it’s kind of scary, but she doesn’t care when mina looks at her like that. 

 

 

 

 

when dahyun and mina kiss, again, it’s at another party.  

this time, dahyun doesn’t want to drink and mina drinks water too, even though she’d been talking all day about how much she wanted a stiff drink. and they dance together, too. it’s sweet, the way their bodies meet, how mina’s fingers lace with dahyun’s, holds them close to her abdomen as she rests her cheek against her shoulder. 

daniel caesar’s best part is playing when mina turns around and winds her arms around dahyun, soft and giggly and sweet and dahyun can’t help herself. she’s been trying to avoid it—avoid these feelings, stop thinking about mina’s pink lips or the way it felt when their lips met together. she’s been tamping it down. but then mina turns around and she’s so close and she’s so soft and her eyes are, like, glimmering and shining. her hands are playing with dahyun’s hair and she’s smiling her secret smile, the one dahyun would like to believe is just for her. 

dahyun is kissing her before she knows it, she can’t help herself. mina is so close and dahyun can’t stop thinking about their kiss, from before—and it’s somehow even better than before. it’s just them—this party is packed with people but everyone’s busy dancing and having fun, so much so they don’t pay them any mind at all. mina returns the kiss eagerly, cupping dahyun’s cheek as they melt together, leaning against the wall. 

“i’ve been waiting,” mina murmurs quietly against her lips, giggling as she kisses dahyun over and over, rubbing their noses together tenderly.

 

 

 

 

 

mina and dahyun go to a late night hole in the wall spot after the party, ditching nayeon and the girls half way to another party. nayeon and her girlfriends are party animals, but mina says dahyun is tired and they’re going home. dahyun smiles at her, secretive. 

mina orders galbitang and dahyun gets bulgogi. dahyun blurts it out—what did mina mean when she was waiting? what was she waiting for?

“i like you, you big goofball,” mina says over their soup, leaning closer to dahyun as they huddle over their table. “i’ve liked you for a long time. i didn’t—i wasn’t sure if you, like, liked me back or—” mina stops short, sheepish and shy as she looks down at her hands, glancing up carefully. “i don’t know. i didn’t want to be obvious about it because i didn’t want you to be uncomfortable, but i really like you a lot and i... i don’t know. i want to be—i want us to be more than like, friends or roommates.”

it kind of goes fuzzy after mina says she likes dahyun, too.

 

 

 

 

 

mina and dahyun. dahyun and mina. it has a nice ring to it. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“you know...” dahyun says one night, a few days after the party and subsequent confession. (they came home, made out, and snuggled most of the night, slept in on saturday and did absolutely nothing. it was amazing.) “we should... go somewhere. together. maybe. if that’s what you want?”

“what?” mina asks, yawning as she reaches over dahyun to help herself to some chips, thigh hitched up on dahyun’s hip. “go where? the corner store? we have ramen—”

“no, i mean. i meant—like, like, uh—gosh, i meant a date. like. maybe uh, we can go to the movies or something or, i don’t know, get ice cream somewhere—”

mina’s response? she cuts dahyun off with a sweet kiss and tells her she’d go anywhere with her, any time. 

 

 

 

 

 

date night involves sneaking into a movie theatre showing a cheesy horror parody, holding hands and making out when no one’s paying them any mind. dahyun suspects she can get used to this. 

 

 

 

 

 

when the winter holidays roll around, dahyun is a little nervous. nayeon, sana, and momo are going to kyoto for a lover’s retreat for two weeks. jeongyeon is going to go to jeju with some girls from her film studies class. dahyun is staying home and to be fair, jeongyeon had asked if dahyun wanted to come and dahyun said no because she was kind of broke and wanted to hang with her friends and work on some of her coursework, which she had gotten a little behind on. hanging out with mina, making out with mina, touching mina was a thousand times better than working on her chem project, math tests, lab reports. 

she’s just nervous at the prospect of being far away from mina for the weekend. mina is going away to fukushima with her two sisters and their pet dog, and it’s like, no, dahyun doesn’t want her to stay but feels clingy and doesn’t want to be alone, either. because when jeongyeon locks herself in their makeshift dark room and when nayeon goes to hang out with her girlfriends, it’s cool because dahyun has mina and mina has dahyun. they always have... each other. 

“my flight lands at seven,” mina says, laughing as dahyun tugs her hat on mina’s head. despite the cold, mina has dressed light—shrugged socks, her typical chunky sneakers, and a skirt that’s criminally short. her t shirt rides up her waist and she’s only wearing a jacket because jeongyeon insisted. “ya! it’s not that cold.”

dahyun isn’t convinced. she’s going to freeze on the plane, she’s almost sure of it. 

“i’ll call you when they pick me up, okay? i’ll only be away for a few days, i promise.” and it’s like, yeah, of course dahyun wants mina to see her family, but now she’s all alone and has too much time on her hands. 

 

 

 

 

 

dahyun’s winter break consists mostly of drawing, painting, spending christmas with tzuyu, chaeyoung and some of their friends, and when she’s not with them, she’s usually talking to mina. she’s good about calling whenever she’s doing something fun with her sisters, sends cute pictures and videos. mina makes dahyun’s heart ache in a longing way.  

when new year’s eve rolls around, tzuyu and chae drag dahyun out of the house to buy off brand cheap soju and watch the fireworks on the banks of yeouido. she’s going to meet them at the station and they’ll take a cab home, after, so she has some time on her hands to mope.

mina isn’t due home for another four days, so dahyun is surprised to see mina wearing her sweater and shaving her legs on the lip of the bathtub, hair up in a towel. it’s terribly domestic. 

“you’re home early,” dahyun says, still a little stunned. 

“yeah, my sisters were going to do stuff with their stupid boyfriends. they’re on military leave, so, you know, i could either be in kyoto alone for a few days, or i could come hang out with my favorite girl. the choice was pretty obvious,” mina says as she wipes her smooth leg with a washcloth. “didn’t you miss me?” 

and of course dahyun did, the apartment felt so quiet and empty and lonely when mina wasn’t there, she missed the way her mouth hung open when she slept or the way she totally took over the bathroom counter when they were rushing to get ready in the morning. she missed mina’s kisses and moans, missed every single perfect thing about her. god. 

dahyun and mina go to the station together and chaeyoung and tzuyu just give them a knowing look. mina introduces herself again, says, “i’m dahyun’s girlfriend,” and dahyun is almost positive she’ll faint. 

girlfriend. it tastes sweet. 

 

 

 

when the new year comes accompanied by loud fireworks and cheers, mina and dahyun are standing in the crowd wrapped in a blanket, holding hands and sharing a bottle of soju. mina’s cheeks are pink from the cold, her little nose pointed with a bright pink flush over the bridge. mina smiles at dahyun and dahyun leans up for a kiss. they drop the soju bottle but dahyun doesn’t really mind, not when mina’s lips feel so warm. 

 

 

 

 

 

“get that camera out of my face!” mina laughs, shrugging jeongyeon off as she stirs some vanilla extract into her cookie mix. dahyun is covered in flour and nayeon is carefully coloring frosting, squinting behind her glasses. 

it’s nayeon, sana, and momo’s three year anniversary. it looks like a hallmark store threw up in their apartment. there are candles and balloons all over, twin gigantic bears, a cake—nayeon is planning a massive surprise party to celebrate the occasion. sana and momo are convinced their ditzy girlfriend just forgot and are equally incensed and upset. dahyun woke up to a teary voicemail from sana asking if maybe nayeon was bored, or unhappy—could dahyun find out? it was kind of silly, honestly—their anniversary was two days, but they celebrate it earlier, so now that nayeon is late, they’re worried. 

“i love love! this is so exciting, i can’t wait!” jeongyeon exclaimed with a happy grin, leaning over to peek at dahyun, who was carefully frosting some cupcakes with light pink and yellow buttercream. “so, dahyun, since the theme today is love, who do you love?”

the instinct to say mina is so sudden that it makes her blush, gripping the icing bag so tightly that a stream just squirts out suddenly. she curses and apologizes to nayeon, but nayeon is too busy trying to get the exact shade of yellow momo loves to notice. 

“i love, um—i love my, uh, you guys! my roommates! you’re the best!” 

mina simply smiles her knowing quiet smile at dahyun, winking before going back to her own task. 

when nayeon is asked, she smiles sheepishly and talks about how much she really does love sana and momo, how they’re her whole world and she doesn’t know what she’d do if she didn’t have them both, all to herself. her heart is too big, she loves too deeply to just love one person.

 

 

 

 

 

sana and momo are surprised, crying and yelling at nayeon for pulling such a mean prank before kissing her cheeks and crying into her shoulders. their normally quiet suite is alive with music, dancing, and the general chatter of friends enjoying a good time. dahyun can’t stop thinking about jeongyeon’s question and how she almost blurted out her girlfriend’s name, asking herself when it happened, exactly—how long has she loved mina? 

mina dabs chocolate on her cheek and licks it off cutely and dahyun puts the question away for another time. 

 

 

 

 

 

mina’s body is a temple. dahyun worships often. she likes it, is the thing, lives for the way mina’s hands dig into her hair and how her thighs tremble and are hot enough to burn, but don’t, the way mina tastes like straight honey, how she cried into pillows and how she arches her back. everything about mina is delicate and dahyun is utterly devoted. 

she always tells dahyun to be quiet but she’s the loud one, dahyun always has to shove two fingers in her mouth or clamp her hand over hers, has more than once contemplating buying mina a gag because she’s so fucking loud, and one morning nayeon simply grinned at dahyun at breakfast and called her the “pussy slayer”. mina blushed and dahyun choked on her cereal, but they survived, thankfully. 

god, mina is delightful. her body is amazing and vision. dahyun sketches her nude once, but she could do it from memory, honestly. her left breast is a little bigger than the right. she has two little moles in the middle of her back. her ass is divine. dahyun could lay with her forever. 

 

 

 

 

“am i doing this right?”

“don’t stop—” 

it almost slips out then, when mina’s rubbing a knot out of dahyun’s shoulder carefully. it doesn’t. but it almost does. mina is sitting on dahyun’s back while dahyun lays on the floor, watching a rerun of her favorite investigative journalism show. again, terribly domestic. mina is only trying to help, says she hates seeing dahyun whine about her back and granted, it’s only an excuse for mina to touch her, but dahyun didn’t care. 

 

 

 

 

 

sana and momo and nayeon are so terribly in love. it’s obvious in the way that they look at one another, how sana’s expression softens when momo and nayeon walk into the room, or how momo indulges them in all their silly impassioned whims. or how nayeon is always thinking of different ways to make her girlfriends happy or smile, how she talks about them incessantly, how she acts like she doesn’t care but she does, she literally worships the ground they walk on. they’re always together and when they’re not, they’re only talking about being together again. 

dahyun comes home from a busy day of class to find them on the couch, nayeon curled up with her cheek on momo’s thigh, and sana curled up on her other side, dozing off on her chest. momo only grins when dahyun looks at her quizzically, says something about “the wonders of a strap and a vibrator” and dahyun blushes. 

“just kidding! we watched a walk to remember and these two crybabies cried the whole movie. they’re just tired now,” momo murmurs quietly, looking at them dotingly.

“i thought you didn’t like nicholas sparks?”

“i don’t. but i love them,” momo says, as though it’s that easy. 

 

 

 

 

 

mina squishes dahyun’s cheeks with her bare hands because she’s cold and dahyun is always impossibly warm. it’s snowing and they’ve gone to an outdoor ice skating rink with their roommates and jihyo, who’s been hanging around jeongyeon lately. mina and dahyun both think they’re fucking but jeongyeon glares whenever they bring it up. 

“stay still, i’m trying to kiss you!” mina laughs, winding her arms around dahyun in an attempt not to fall. despite being a renown dancer, skating doesn’t seem to be mina’s strong suit. “ya!”

“mina!” dahyun snickers, trying to tug them along away from the wall. she’s been hanging onto the rail for almost an hour. “i won’t let you fall. relax. i promise—”

but then they’re falling, anyway, mina lands on top of dahyun with a laugh, snickering into her neck. dahyun is laughing and looking up at her and god damn it, she would do anything for mina if it meant mina looked like that for the rest of her life. 

 

 

 

 

 

“does it hurt? i’m sorry baby,” mina said gently, carefully dabbing dahyun’s hand with an alcohol soaked cotton ball. dahyun slipped on the ice outside their apartment and scratched it up pretty good. she’d been worried, but she was going to patch herself up because jeongyeon was at film class, nayeon was, if the noises from her bedroom were to be believed, getting nailed, and mina was at dance, so dahyun was just gonna watch some netflix and figure out how to wrap her bandage around her hand. 

mina came home not long after dahyun did, told her to sit on the counter and kissed her cheek, pulling out her first aid kit to clean dahyun up. 

“it hurts a little, but i’m okay,” dahyun says, moving her wrist a little. 

“be careful, babe. what happened to your boots?”

“they didn’t go with my outfit.”

“i’m a bad influence,” mina laughs, rubbing her thumb over dahyun’s bruised wrist. “should we go to a clinic?”

“no, honestly. it’s just scratched,” dahyun laughs, leaning against mina. mina looks at dahyun tenderly and touches her like she’s about to break. “i’m gonna be okay, babe.” 

mina simply smiled carefully and shrugged as she looked up at dahyun, laughing underneath her breath. 

“clumsy.”

“it’s my charm.”

 

 

 

 

 

the realization comes early one chilly late january morning. mina and dahyun stayed up late watching bnha and then mina slipped her hands into dahyun’s underwear and it all got kind of hazy and messy, then, ended with mina and dahyun cuddling naked in bed. it was soft and nice, different from their usual quick romps. it was sweet and loving and perfect. 

dahyun wakes up to mina playing with her hair gently and kissing her shoulder. she looks sleepy and satisfied, black hair messy and inviting. she’s wearing her glasses, which means she’s been up for a while. her hand slides up into dahyun’s hair and scratches her scalp gently, smiling when dahyun turns over to greet her with a sleepy smile. 

they don’t say anything for a little while. dahyun leans in for a kiss and grins when mina tugs her onto her lap, arms wrapped around her bare waist.

the silence is comfortable. above them, the window lets in the first few streams of sunlight, dampened by the frost covering the window. distantly, nayeon is making coffee for sana and momo. she potters about. jeongyeon can sleep through anything, so dahyun doubts she’ll be waking up any time soon. 

she leans in for another kiss and snuggles close to mina, smiling when the sun’s rays tickle her face and kiss her with the same reverence dahyun does. 

“i love you.” 

it’s quiet, whispered, soft, like a secret that might blow away if she says it too loudly. mina smiles up at dahyun and sighs softly, peppering her cheeks with little dry kisses, giggling when she finally kisses dahyun properly. 

“i love you too, baby.”