Chapter 1: Chapter 1
Everyone knew who Jennie Kim was.
Graduated top of her classes and in a short period she had become one of the most successful lawyers in Seoul.
She married young - out of her mother’s demands, barely 20 years old to a wealthy CEO, both fresh out of college. They had a daughter soon after.
The little girl was Jennie’s pride and joy.
Everyone thought they were the perfect couple until the scandal broke loose.
“CEO Kim Jongin caught cheating on his wife with her secretary”
Nobody saw it coming. Well, except Jennie herself.
While at first, she could argue that they were somewhat in love, what they shared was something more of a teenage crush. Both came from wealthy families and were undeniably attractive. So her mother took the opportunity to set a marriage between the two Kim’s. They never married out of love, but rather to please their families. But Jennie was grateful for one thing that came out of their marriage: the almost 6-year-old little girl who resembled her so much.
She wasn’t blind nor stupid enough to believe the lies her husband made up when he tried to sneak out of their penthouse. What hurt her more was that he had preferred to keep up the “perfect” façade for everyone instead of ending the misery they were both in.
Needless to say, they divorced soon after with Jennie taking custody of their daughter, who still couldn’t really grasp the reason why mommy and daddy weren’t living together anymore. So, for the sake of Ella, they had agreed that twice a month she would stay at her father’s place.
Jennie never wanted to admit it but she did miss it. She missed having someone to lay next to and somewhat comfort her at night. Her job was tough and left her mentally exhausted, mostly because - despite her fame and reputation - many clients still doubted her abilities and telling her how, with a pretty face like hers, she should have just stuck with being a secretary.
That pushed Jennie to work even harder to continue her immaculate record of winning every single case she took in.
However, that also meant she got to spend less and less time with her daughter, leaving her to hang out with her best friend or as Ella liked to call her “Rosie Unnie”.
She had met Chaeyoung back in high school, bonding over their experiences abroad. The two ended up going to the same college but, while Jennie decided to stuck with what her parents had planned for her, the blonde majored in Visual Arts, her passion alongside music.
The Aussie then applied to work at a private primary school where she started to teach art - needless to say, Ella was her best student. The little Kim was a very kind yet active child, Jennie still didn’t know where she got all that energy from but she was glad her daughter was happy with the situation she was in. She had her signed up for many of the various activities the school provided, always tutored by Chaeyoung.
Jennie was grateful to have found someone who could look after her daughter while she took on very complicated cases that kept her up for days, trying to figure out how to get her client to end up winning the case.
But finally, after an intense couple of months post-divorce, Jennie could enjoy some quality time with her daughter.
It was a rainy September Saturday morning, which meant neither her or Ella had to be somewhere else other than home.
Since the weather wasn’t being kind to them, they settled to watch Ella’s favorite movie, Tangled.
About half of the movie had gone by before Ella spoke up to get her mother’s attention.
“Mommy, can I ask you something?”
Jennie turned her head, listening to the child as she gently combed through her hair.
“What is it, sweetheart?” She replied as she paused the movie.
“Can I try to take a dance class?”
“But, honey, you already took ballet classes last year and you ended up quitting” Jennie reasoned.
The little girl shook her head.
“No, I don’t mean that. That’s boring. I wanna try street dance!” She clapped her hands enthusiastically as if she had the idea of the century.
Jennie furrowed her brows.
“Street dance? Do you mean like Hip-hop classes? Where did you get that idea from, missy?”
Ella’s eyes sparkled as she recalled what happened.
“So, I was with Rosie unnie at the park and we saw this huuuuge crowd!” Jennie smiled at how invested her daughter was in telling the story, “And then there was this group of dancers, mommy! And this pretty lady with blonde hair like unnie was doing flips and cool moves! I wanna do that too!”
By this moment, the little girl had started to tap on Jennie’s thighs multiple times, “Can I? Please, please, please, mommy! Can I take that hippy hoppy class? Pleeeeease!”
Jennie chuckled at how adorable her daughter could look when she pouted, “It’s hip-hop, princess. And yes, I’ll ask a friend of mommy’s if she knows someone. But now go wash your hands so that we can have lunch, okay?”
The child squealed in joy as she hugged her mom before bolting to the bathroom.
Jennie smiled. It had been a while since she had seen Ella being so excited about something.
A quick phone call and Jennie has the name and phone number of one of the best contemporary dance studios that taught kids. She left Chaeyoung to deal with the sign up since it was only available during her work hours, the younger girl understood the situation and helped her out - Jennie made a mental note to treat the blonde with brunch out the following weekend.
“Oh goodness, Rosie, you are an angel, I swear” Jennie called her from the office during her lunch break.
“I know I am but it’s nothing, it’s a pleasure to help you and Ella out”
“Are you sure it’s not too much for you? You know picking her up after she’s done?”
“Not at all! It actually has perfect timing. I finish up usually by 5 PM at the latest so I have no problem picking her up at 6” Chaeyoung reassured her over the phone.
“I should have married you, hubby, not that asshole of my ex-husband”
Jennie smiles as she heard Chaeyoung laugh out loud.
“I know wifey, but we can’t have everything in life, can we?”
A knock on her door interrupted their friendly call. Her (new) secretary’s head peaked behind her door.
“Miss Kim, there’s the 2 PM client waiting for you”
“Tell them I’ll be there in a minute”
Her secretary nodded before closing the door behind her.
“We sure can’t, Rosie. I gotta go, talk to you later. Thank you again for everything”
“Don’t mention it, now go off kitten… I mean tiger!”
And with that, the line went dead. Jennie laughed, “Dork”, as she got ready to meet a new client.
Everything has seemed to have gone back to a routine, even with the addition of the dance classes: Chaeyoung would take Ella and pick her up after she was done, while her father would pick her up the weeks the little girl was supposed to stay with him.
That was until Jennie got a text from Ella’s father around the time he would usually pick up their daughter.
I’ve been scheduled a last-minute meeting. I can’t go pick Ella up
Jennie sighed loudly sending him a quick “Okay” back, then proceeded to text Chaeyoung to see if she was available.
He just texted me he can’t pick Ella up because of a “last minute” meeting. Is there any chance you can pick her up?
Gahhhhh I’m so sorry but I’m actually out on a date… :((
YOU ARE ON A DATE AND YOU DIDN’T TELL ME!! You got some gossiping to do! But don’t worry, I’ll go pick her up
Jennie glanced at the clock. It was almost 6 PM but she still had at least 30 minutes of work left. She sighed before getting back to the paperwork of her newest case.
Around 6:40 PM, she was finally done, rushing out of the firm quickly as she bid bye to her secretary. Lucky for her, the dance studio wasn’t too far, about a 10-minute ride. Upon arriving, she rushed inside to find her daughter talking to a blonde girl who Jennie assumed to be one of the teachers.
Ella immediately ran to her mother hugging her, tears forming in her eyes.
“I-I thought you a-and daddy had f-forgotten about me”
Jennie picked her daughter up, trying to calm her down.
“Oh sweetheart, he didn’t. Unfortunately, he got caught up with work and so did Rosie. I came as soon as I could. It’s okay, princess”
Her words seemed to have the desired effect as the little girl’s sobs got quiet until Jennie realized that Ella had fallen asleep in her arms, probably due to the tiredness.
A light cough brought Jennie’s attention to the blonde girl who was previously attending her daughter.
“So, I’ve never seen you around at pick up but you’re Ella’s mom, I presume?” The girl had a smile on - Jennie dared to say, one of the best she had ever seen.
“Yeah, I’m Jennie, sorry for the wait. Her father didn’t warn me at all and I didn’t have a backup plan”
“No need to apologize, I understand. She is a very nice kid to teach and be around” She slightly bowed, “I’m Lisa, by the way. I teach her on Fridays. Also, don’t worry, I’m usually the one who locks up the place so I can wait up if this happens again”
Jennie looked at her apologetically, trying to speak as quietly as she could with her daughter asleep in her arms, “Oh please, I’ll make sure it won’t happen again! I wouldn’t want you to wait way over after your shift is over!”
She could tell the other girl was smirking despite looking down to the ground as she muttered “I don’t mind waiting up when such a beautiful woman shows up”
Jennie wasn’t sure she had gotten that right.
The younger girl got startled, not realizing she had just said her thoughts out loud, “Uh, I mean, it’s not a problem for me to wait up, as long as all the kids are collected”
Jennie could swear she saw a faint blush on her cheeks.
“Well, I can't thank you enough? but I gotta go now before my arms fall asleep as well”
She gave one last smile to the taller girl, before bidding her goodbye.
“See you around, Miss” was the last thing she heard before the door closed behind her.
As she walked to her car, Jennie couldn’t take her mind off of the young dancer. She was going to start picking up her daughter from her dance classes more often from now on.
Chapter 2: Chapter 2
Lisa didn't think meeting a new student's parents would change her night, but boy was she wrong
How about we look into Lisa's backstory for a bit?
There were a couple of things that made Lisa proud of herself.
One definitely had to be the fact that her scalp was able to withstand many rounds of bleach without leaving her bald, but above all was her dance studio.
Purple Hearts’ Dance Studio
It had taken her so long to finally achieve her dream: many people didn’t believe in her or just disregarded her since she was just a foreigner, but she managed to prove everyone wrong but opening and now running arguably one of the most successful dance studios in the capital.
Her clientele ranged from elementary school children - secretly her favorites - to the worldwide famous idol and idol groups.
While her family still had some reserves on the career path she had chosen, Lisa couldn’t be happier to share her dream with two of her best friends.
“Hey, Lis! You got a new sign up to do!” A familiar Japanese girl’s face peeked through the door of Lisa’s small but cozy office.
The Thai girl lifted her eyes from her computer, “Can’t Momo take care of it?”
The other girl shook her head, “Nope, she’s busy teaching Twice their new choreography”
Lisa sighed, “I swear it feels like she is always working with them. Don’t they ever get a break?”
The shorter girl gave her a knowing look, a shy smile creeping on her face, “You go there and take care of the kid, I can finish up the paperwork for you”
Lisa smiled brightly, very much pleased with the fact that she wouldn’t have to see any more of that tedious work for a while. She bolted up from her chair to the other girl, engulfing her in a big hug followed by a sloppy kiss on the cheek.
“Ah! You’re an angel, Mina. Thank you so much! See you later!”
And with that Lisa was gone to the front desk, leaving a very much flustered Mina behind.
As Lisa approached the front desk, she was met by the sight of a woman - she assumed her being roughly the same age as her, but also very gorgeous - and a little girl who was enthusiastically looking around the place.
“Hi! I’m Lisa, one of the owners, how can I help you today?” She flashed her best smile at the two.
“I wanna dance! Just like you!” The kid clapped her hands, visibly excited.
“Ella, why don’t you go sit down and read your book while I sign you up?” The young woman gently spoke up to the girl, who simply nodded and did as she was told.
“Okie, Rosie unnie!”
Lisa watched the whole interaction with a timid smile. Growing up as an only child, she never had the chance to play much when she was little, finding dance as her only way to express her energy and emotions. That’s why she loved teaching young kids rather than idols, despite it being less profitable. But she didn’t care about the money too much.
“Sorry about that, she has way too much energy but she’s still a very obedient girl” The taller blonde took a sigh of relief, “I’m Chaeyoung, by the way, Ella’s babysitter, basically”
The two shook hands, “So, she’s not your kid?”
“No, I’m best friends with her mom. Jen is such a busy person so I usually end up spending more time with Ella than she does”
Lisa nodded in understanding, “I see. Well, so I’m guessing you’re here to sign her up for a class, right?”
Chaeyoung nodded profusely, “Yes, she hasn’t stayed quiet a second about wanting to do hip-hop ever since we stumbled on your street performance a couple of weeks ago. She admires you, I swear!”
Lisa chuckled out loudly, “Glad to know that!” she then took out both the sign up form and a calendar, “So, our classes for kids are always on Tuesdays and Fridays, can I ask what age is Ella?”
“She’s turning 6 in a couple of months, in January. Is it a problem?”
“Not at all! She fits right in our 5 to 8-year-old age group. Their class goes from 4 to 6. We usually provide the kids with afternoon snacks mid-class, so that they don’t come home too tired or hungry” Lisa smiled, trying to reassure the woman in front of her.
“That’s amazing, I wouldn’t be able to deal with a tired and hungry Ella all at once!”
The Thai girl gave a quick look to the little girl who was calmly sitting down, deeply invested in her 1st-grade reading book.
She then moved the form back in front Chaeyoung, pointing out a few highlighted words, “Our fixed fee is of 130$ a month, that also includes the snacks and the access to the faculty up to 2 times extra per week. We have a relax room too so if you don’t want to deal with our little Ella right there for a couple of hours, I got you covered” Lisa winked as she finished the sentence, causing Chaeyoung to blush.
“G-Gotcha! Uhm, do you need any documents or…?”
“Yeah, I need the ID of who is going to pick or drop of Ella, or even a is copy is fine” The shorter blonde started to fill out the form as Chaeyoung pulled out her ID and two pieces of paper.
“So, this is my ID. Jennie gave me a copy of hers and Ella’s father’s IDs. While I’m going to pick her up like 80% of the time, her father has her on two weekends a month so he will pick her up two of the Friday”
Lisa’s mouth went to form an ‘O’ shape, lowering her voice as not to let Ella hear the next part, “Her parents are divorced?”
Chaeyoung just nodded, “A couple of months ago, so she’s still getting used to having to spend time away from her dad”
“Ouch, I understand… You are required to leave a phone number in case of an emergency but do you mind also texting me the days when she will be picked up by her dad? So that I can make sure she has fun and has her mind off of that?”
Chaeyoung was surprised at how nice Lisa was but before she could reply, the Thai girl continued, “My parents got divorced too, and before my mom remarried, I remember how hard it was for me. So, if I can help Ella out, I’ll be glad to!”
Chaeyoung smiled as she thanked the younger girl, “Sure thing, thank you so much”
As the older girl filled in the form with the basics, Lisa made her way to the little girl who was still reading her book.
“Hey there Ella! I’m Lisa and I’m going to be your teacher this year”
The kid finally looked up from her book, a gummy smile forming on her face.
“Yay! When are we starting the hippy hoppy class?” she replied as she got off and jumped up and down in excitement.
Lisa brought one of her hands to rest on Ella’s head, gently messing up her long brown hair.
“Not so fast, little monkey! Your first class is next Tuesday, so you still got a loooong way to go!”
Ella whined, “Noooo, but I can’t wait!”
“Let me tell you this, kiddo if you behave on the way home and till Tuesday, I’ll give you extra snacks. Deal? I’ll ask your unnie so you better not lie to me” Lisa waved her index finger in a fake scolding matter.
“Pinky promise!” Ella replies as they locked pinkies just in time for Chaeyoung to be done filling up the form.
“I should have signed and filled up everything if you want to check”
Lisa took the form to put it back in a bigger folder, “Don’t worry, I’m sure you did everything perfectly”
Chaeyoung smiled once again as she took Ella’s hand, feeling at ease with Lisa’s relaxed aura, “Thank you so much again for the help! I guess we’ll see you on Tuesday then, say bye to Miss Lisa, Ella”
The little girl waved goodbye, “Bye, Miss Lisa!”
And with that, the two were out of the studio as a familiar woman followed by her manager came inside. The dust-mask she was wearing almost completely covered her identity.
“Well, well! Guess YG finally let you have a comeback, Jisoo” Lisa joked as the idol lowered her mask, revealing a stunning beauty.
“You can say old age is finally catching up to him. We need your help to choreograph my new single”
“Aye-Aye, captain Kim, you know where to follow me”
Jisoo prompted her manager to go take a break in the relax room as she caught up with Lisa. They passed by many occupied rooms, something catching her interest more than others. The one where top girl group Twice was practicing - or in Jisoo’s case, some one caught her attention.
Their leader and main vocalist, Park Jihyo.
How tragic for her to have found the perfect one for her but having the world against her - “The dating ban, Soo… I can’t risk my career, not after I spent 10 years of my life for this. You have to understand”.
Maybe someday, they could be together.
“Yo! Earth to Jisoo? Hello?”
Lisa’s voice brought her back to reality, making her shake her head.
“Yeah, I’m here. I just haven’t been getting enough sleep with all the work for this comeback”
The taller girl put an arm around her shoulder, “Ah, you got this, unnie! Let’s go warm up, I’ll go easy on you today” she reassured her, dragging the brunette into one of the many practice rooms.
Jisoo hoped she wouldn’t run into Jihyo today.
But as she walked away, she missed a pair of large brown eyes that were looking at where she stood before.
A couple of weeks had gone by without an itch, Ella had integrated into the group and was loving it even more after she found out one girl from her school, Yeri, was taking her same dance class.
The first Friday when her dad was supposed to pick her up, the little blonde came up to her.
“Where is Miss Park? She is always here to get you when we finish class”
“It’s my dad’s turn to pick me up. Since he doesn’t live with mommy and me anymore, I’m going to spend the weekend with him”
The little girl’s mouth went to form a tiny ‘o’, “I hope you have fun at your dad’s house! I’m waiting for auntie to pick me up” she then got up close to the little brunette, “Do you want to know a secret?”
Ella nodded as she leaned her head to that Yeri could whisper into her ear, “I think my auntie likes Miss Park! So I think she will be sad not to see her today” she confessed making both of them chuckle.
Soon after, Yeri had to leave as her auntie had finally arrived, leaving Ella alone.
From her office, Lisa could see what was going down in the front thanks to the security cameras they had installed. Upon seeing the little girl by herself, she decided to shut down the computer for the day and make her way to the entrance.
She managed to keep Ella entertained until her father finally showed up 15 minutes later. Clearly one of the “big guys” based on both the car he drove and the clothes he was wearing. He apologized to the blonde for keeping her from leaving, quietly taking his daughter with him.
Lisa did not like his aura one bit, she could bet his tardiness was going to be a recurrence.
She felt a hand rest on her shoulder, “Everything alright?”
Lisa turned around to see Mina gently smiling at her. She nodded.
“Yeah, everything’s good” She paused for a few seconds before Mina spoke up, “Let’s close up. Do you feel like having some takeaway at my place?”
“I’m down for it but what about Momo?”
Mina shrugged her shoulders, “I think Momo’s going out with her girlfriend again”
“Still can’t believe she has the manager of the biggest girl group of this generation wrapped around her finger”
Mina chuckled, “It’s more the other way around. She’s such a sick love puppy when it comes to her”
“That’s also true… Alright, let me get my stuff and I’ll meet you at your car” Lisa told her as she disappeared in her office.
Maybe one day she would be brave enough to confess her feelings, but for now, she was going to enjoy her night alone with Lisa.
Lisa’s suspicion about Ella’s father was confirmed the next Friday when he was supposed to pick his daughter from the studio.
She started to grow as she saw the parents come up to the front to wait for their kids, all but one were collected. She quickly texted Chaeyoung asking what was going on as Ella sat next to her, waiting for her dad to show up.
Hey Chaeyoung, sorry to bother. I know you’re not supposed to pick Ella up but her father hasn’t shown up yet?
I just got a text from her mom, he’s got a last minute meeting so he can’t pick her up but she told me she’ll be there as soon as she’s done with work. Sorry :(
Lisa sighed, hoping that Ella’s mom would show up soon.
Soon turned quickly in almost 40 minutes. She had tried her best to keep Ella entertained but she could tell the child was getting increasingly anxious and upset until finally, a BMW parked right at the entrance. A short brunette - compared to Lisa - entered the building.
Ella immediately ran into her arms, sobbing. The unnamed woman picked her up, calming her down and shooting an apologetic look at Lisa, who was completely speechless at her beauty.
She could clearly see the resemblance between mother and daughter, but she was simply breathtaking. The woman’s round cheeks were in contrast with the sharpness of her cat-like eyes. Lisa could make out a lean body under the jet black pantsuit she was wearing, her hair up in a ponytail.
She might have just been the most beautiful woman Lisa had ever seen.
Internally panicking, the Thai girl got up while the woman was handling the tired child. She lightly coughed to get her attention.
“So, I’ve never seen you around at pick up but you’re Ella’s mom, I presume?”
The short dialogue that followed went right past Lisa’s mind, who couldn’t really focus on what she was saying.
I don’t mind waiting up when such a beautiful woman shows up.
Lisa’s eyes went wide, she just didn’t say that out loud, did she?
“Uhm, I mean, it’s not a problem for me to wait up, as long as all the kids are collected”
The woman, Jennie - even her name sounded luxurious to Lisa, seemed to have bought her back up, nodding quietly, as to not wake up the now sleeping kid in her arms.
After bidding Lisa goodbye, the older woman smiled at her before leaving the building.
“See you around, Miss” she managed to say before Jennie disappeared completely from her vision.
Lisa let out a breath she didn’t realize she was holding. She leaned on the counter trying to regain some composure.
Her phone vibrated, a new text flashing on her screen.
From Jisoo (YG)
Hey, wanna hang out? Celebrating the first win of the comeback
To Jisoo (YG)
Count me in, I’ll bring the soju, you prepare the shot glasses
Lisa didn’t wait for a reply as she put her phone back in her pocket, quickly turning off the remaining of the lights before locking up the studio.
As she got in her car and drove away, Lisa couldn’t take her mind off the young mother. She hoped she was going to see her more often from now on.
Chapter 3: Chapter 3
Jennie has an eventful weekend
I've had a bit of a writer's block but thankfully we are back on track!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
For the next couple of weeks, Jennie wasn’t been able to take her mind off of the dance instructor. There was just something about her that drew the lawyer in, a feeling of unknown and freedom she had never experienced once in her life.
And it seemed like she wasn’t the only one.
Ella had been talking non stop about her new awesome dance teacher, how she was always bringing snacks in, how she always had a big bright smile on her face, how she was supportive of all her students.
To sum it all up, little almost 6-year-old Ella almost preferred her dance teacher over her own mother.
But Jennie almost didn’t mind. She always listened attentively, building this image of the teacher she hoped to find more about.
Luck seemed to be on Jennie’s side as she spent her usual once-a-month Saturday afternoon with her “rival”.
Having attended the same law school as Jennie, Joohyun had made a reputation of her own, one that the cat-eyed woman would be able to rival once out of college.
The older woman - being a couple of years her senior - had graduated before Jennie had even set foot into the prestigious college. Everyone on campus knew of the silent but deadly Bae Joohyun. She had become an icon for being one of the first female district attorneys and she quickly became Jennie’s idol as a law student.
After graduation and the birth of Ella, Joohyun had taken Jennie under her wing, feeling an intellectual collection with the younger girl, as she helped her sort out her career.
Jennie was forever grateful to have had a mentor-turned-best friend like Joohyun.
“So, how’s Ella liking the dance class? My Yerimmie won’t stop talking about it” The older woman sipped on her cup of tea while they sat on the living room couch of Joohyun’s mansion.
“Dare I say she’s in love with it? I’m starting to believe she likes the dance teacher more than she likes me”
Joohyun let out a laugh, nodding in understanding, “I feel that love as well. Lisa has been a dear friend of Seul for God knows how long. Yerim has known her since she was a toddler when Seul would bring her to the dance studio to play”
As if it was on cue, the front door opened, revealing two rather tall figures, carrying out some grocery bags. The shorter of the two quickly went up to Joohyun to gently give her a peck on the lips.
“Hi, baby” Seulgi smiled as she felt Joohyun’s hand cup her face.
Their moment was interrupted by the sound of fake gagging.
Joohyun rolled her eyes, “Hello to you too, Sooyoung”
The tallest girl has already set down the bags on the kitchen counter that looked over to the living room.
“Well, hi there, unnie. I thought for a second you forgot about me! With all this PDA, yikes!”
Jennie watched the scene amused, hiding a smile behind the teacup.
“Who are you to judge, Sooyoung? It’s already awkward enough that you want to get to sleep with my daughter's teacher”
Jennie stopped mid-sip.
Joohyun turned her attention back to the younger girl sitting next to her.
“This girl has no morals! That woman teaches my daughter, she should be off limits…”
Jennie interrupted Joohyun, talking directly to Sooyoung, “Did you two happen to go on a date?”
The tall girl flipped her hair behind her shoulder, as to show off.
“I sure did, Jen. And may I say, Joohyun , that she is into me as well” The smirk on Sooyoung’s face made Joohyun roll her eyes, again.
“Let her be, Hyun” Seulgi came to the rescue after having set down the groceries and hugged her wife from behind, “So, Jen, what do you think of the dance class? Is it okay for Ella?”
Jennie nodded, “Yes, she loves it, especially thanks to her teacher”
Seulgi’s eyes went to form a familiar eye smile, “I knew it! Lisa is amazing with kids. Ella is getting the best of the best for that”
The younger lawyer thought this was her chance to find out more about the mysterious dancer.
“What can you tell me about her? All the things I know either come from Ella or Rosie”
Jennie chose to ignore the heart eyes Sooyoung had at the mention of the taller blonde.
Seulgi stayed quiet for a second before speaking up, “Well, for starters she’s Thai but funny enough, I met her in Japan at a competition back in October 2015, if I’m not mistaken. I could see how talented she was - and still is. She told me how her dream was to open a dance studio in Korea with her friends but many people laughed at her face telling her that no one would want to go to a dance studio run by foreigners”
Jennie didn’t speak as Seulgi kept on talking, “But she didn’t want to give up so I decided to help her out, having her take me to meet with investors so that hopefully by seeing a Korean-born and raised professional dancer as well, they would eventually give in and it worked! We opened the studio in August 2016 and it’s been running ever since”
Jennie was speechless, she didn’t expect that girl to be so inspiring. She could totally understand the hype now.
“She’s overall a good kid. I’m glad I could help her out” Seulgi smiled as she made her way to the fridge to take out some water.
“I wonder how she’s still single though” Sooyoung commented as she munched on a packet of chips she had taken from the grocery bags, “That girl has some hella attractive clients. If I were her, I would have done something”
Joohyun furrowed her brows at the taller girl, “Thank goodness, she’s not you. One player is enough within our friend group”
“Although, I could swear Mina’s got the hots for her!” Seulgi’s voice answered from behind the fridge’s door.
Jennie looked confused, “Who is Mina?”
“She’s one of the co-owners, along with another dancer, Momo. Seul found all of them together in Japan. Mina is in charge of the ballet classes, quiet girl. A total sweetheart” Joohyun explained, placing down the teacup on the living room’s table and getting up to the counter.
The older woman looked at the wall clock, “Would you look at that! It’s already 6:30! Why don’t you stay for dinner, Jen?”
“Aren’t you going to ask me if I want to stay for dinner?”
“Quiet, Sooyoung. The grownups are talking” Joohyun fired back as Sooyoung scoffed.
Jennie got up as well from the couch bringing both hers and Joohyun’s cup to the kitchen sink, “If I’m not bothering you guys…”
“Nonsense! You could never bother us, plus with Ella at her father’s house, we’ll keep you some company” Joohyun reassured the younger mother.
Jennie’s eyes silently thanked the older woman for always being so considerate, “Thank you, Hyun”
Seulgi ruffled out of the kitchen - not before giving a quick kiss on Joohyun’s cheek.
“I gotta go fetch Yeri from the piano lesson, you can start preparing for dinner. I’ll be home soon!”
And with that, the remaining three women started to prepare the food, not without some inappropriate jokes from the tallest girl.
Jennie missed having an intimate familiar moment like that. In a way, she was jealous of Joohyun and Seulgi’s marriage: they were true soulmates, complementing each other. The older woman’s cold facade was balanced out by the taller woman’s friendly nature, and their kid was a perfect mix of both - with a touch of “auntie” Sooyoung’s sass.
Jennie wished she could find someone like that for herself, not someone who was chosen for her. She deserved that for herself and for her daughter.
Her Sunday, unlike the previous day, didn’t go anywhere near being good.
The morning has gone by just fine, she had managed to work on her latest case, preparing most of the paperwork her secretary had forwarded to her previously.
As she was so deep into the papers, she forgot to eat lunch, as usual, but that didn’t bother her as much, that was until, in the late afternoon when Ella’s father was supposed to be on his way to drop off the child, called her in panic.
“ I can’t find Ella! ”
Jennie’s heart dropped, “W-What do you mean you can’t find her?”
She could hear him groan over the phone, “ I mean we can’t fucking find her. We were at the park and one minute was there and the other one she wasn’t! ”
“What do you mean by ‘we can’t find her’, who are you with?”
There was an awkward pause before he spoke up, “I’m with a girl I’m seeing, I had forgotten I was supposed to have Ella this weekend and I couldn’t cancel on her last minute so I just let her tag along…”
Jennie sighed, “You know how Ella is when she has to spend time with your new ‘girlfriends’ each month”
He can’t even put spending time with his daughter as a priority.
“Listen, stay at the park and keep looking around. I’ll drive there to help out. She can’t have gone too far”
Without waiting for an answer, she hung up the phone, quickly putting on something acceptable before bolting into the car and driving to the park.
When Jennie was short of 5 minutes from the park, her phone started ringing as an unknown number was calling her. Thinking it could be a potential new client, she pulled up the car’s Bluetooth on, answering the phone. After all, any work was still work.
“ Uh, is this Jennie Kim? ”
“Yes, this is her. May I ask who is calling?”
“ This is, uh, Lisa? From the dance studio ”
Jennie couldn’t be happier to be at a stoplight.
“Oh, hi Lisa. I’m in a bit of a rush here, Ella is…”
“ here with me. She’s with me, Miss Kim ”
The brunette was speechless, “W-What did you just say?”
“ She’s with me at the dance studio, I’ll explain everything when you get here. I’m sorry for not have called sooner but I couldn’t find your number and Chaeyoung wasn’t answering… ”
Jennie let out the biggest sigh of relief in her entire life. At least her daughter was safe and sound. She quickly texted Ella’s father that the little girl was in safe hands and to go home.
She quickly detoured from the main street to reach the dance studio that was thankfully pretty close to the park.
Upon arriving at the dance studio, all the stress that pressed on her shoulders was lifted as she watched her daughter play around with the taller blonde woman from the window wall. She found the scene adorable but she had to discipline Ella for disappearing like that.
“Ella Kim, you’re in big trouble!” was the first thing she said as entered. As it was a Sunday, there was only the three of them inside - or so Jennie thought.
What she hadn’t seen from outside was that Lisa wasn’t the only one looking after Ella. A bobbed brunette, who looked to be around the same height as her, was sitting on one of the entrance lobby’s couches softly speaking to the little girl. As she looked up to her, Jennie could make out the many tiny moles that covered the brunette’s face, almost like a constellation.
Lisa got up in an instant, before quickly talking to the unnamed girl, “Hey, Mina. I got this. You keep Ella entertained while I talk to Miss Kim”
Mina … wasn’t she the woman Joohyun had mentioned?
Jennie couldn’t continue her inner monologue as the blonde woman made her way to her, gesturing her to move a bit for some added privacy. Lisa had let her in in one of the dance classrooms. Jennie had never been in one, she looked around as the younger girl spoke up.
“First of all, I wanna put out that I didn’t kidnap your kid and it was a pure coincidence I found her!” Lisa brought her arms up in defeat.
“You don’t have to worry about it, I believe you but would you mind explaining to me how exactly you ended up with my daughter?” Jennie calmly asked, genuinely wanting to know what really went down.
“Well, uh, I was out with Mina and as we walked past the park, I noticed Ella by herself at the entrance, looking rather lost and sad. We got up to her and asked where were her parents and she kinda just said she didn’t want to be around her dad”
Jennie listened quietly at the narration, mentally thanking the other woman for stopping to assist her child.
“When I asked her why, she said that her dad hadn’t even paid attention to her while she was playing by herself, how he didn’t even give her a push on the swings because he was either too busy over a phone call or being… intimate with his girlfriend”
Jennie sighed, “I knew it would end like this”
“Ella’s father is prone to finding new… flings every so often. I told him that I would rather not have Ella meet any of them unless he was serious about them. She doesn’t do well with change and the fact that he keeps showing up with a different woman each month is not helping her”
“Well, that sucks” Lisa commented, not knowing what else to say.
“Yeah, I know. So what did you do next?”
“Since she wouldn’t listen about going back to her father, I thought I would bring her here and call you as soon as we got here to warn you. Mina is an angel when it comes to taking care of kids so Ella is in good hands right now” Lisa smiled before she finally noticed something, “You know something, Miss Kim?”
“You can just call me Jennie and yes, what is it?” Jennie smiled back, an unknown warm feeling settling in her chest.
“I’ve only seen you in pantsuits but you kinda rock this posh sporty mom look”
Jennie laughed at the weird compliment, slightly embarrassed by her attire - which definitely didn’t look professional for a lawyer like her, “Thank you, and you don’t look too bad yourself”
Before leaving the room to get back to Ella and Mina, Lisa spoke up one last time, “You know, I told Chaeyoung this as well… but you are welcomed to come to the studio whenever you want. You seem like the kind of person that could use some dancing to destress a bit”
Jennie stayed quiet, reflecting on the offer.
“I-I mean, if you want to, of course, I’m free to help you out, I’m here all day long till very late at night so, I mean… yeah”
“I’d like that”
Jennie turned to face Lisa, “I’d like that, I’ve been so stressed lately with both Ella’s father’s situation and some tough cases at work… We can work it out later on, but I appreciate the offer”
Jennie left the room without another word, leaving Lisa alone to herself for a couple of moments.
Upon re-entering the room, Jennie found her daughter still playing with the younger brunette. She went up to them and slightly bowed to the other woman.
“I don’t think we have met yet, I’m Jennie Kim, Ella’s mother”
The bobbed haired woman got up to bow back, “Hi, ma’am. I’m Myoui Mina. I teach the ballet classes but I’m also one of the owners”
This was definitely the Mina Joohyun was referring to yesterday. The one with a crush on Lisa. Japanese, uh?
“Pleasured to meet you, hope my daughter didn’t cause you any trouble…”
Mina quickly shook her head, “Not at all. She’s a great kid to be around”
As Mina finished to talk, Lisa had re-entered the room as well, promoting Jennie to speak up, “Well, I better get going. Thanks again for taking care of my daughter. Have a nice evening!”
She let the child bid her goodbyes to her teachers before driving both of them home.
As Jennie was preparing dinner, Ella came up to her, looking visibly upset.
“I’m sorry, mommy. I didn’t mean to make you angry…”
Jennie set down on the counter the chopping knife, momentarily taking off her clear plastic gloves. She crouched down so that she was at eye level with her daughter.
“I’m not angry at you, I’m disappointed. You scared both your father and me so much. You have to understand that you can’t do that and you’re going to be grounded for a month with no going to your friends' house to play after school and such”
The little girl nodded, knowing she couldn’t do anything about it.
“I just wanted daddy to push me on the swing but he was too busy with the brunette lady. He wouldn’t even listen to me. I don’t like her, she was mean” The child managed to say as she got increasingly upset, tears forming in her eyes.
Jennie picked her up, feeling the tiny arms wrap around her neck and loud sobs had started to soak through her shirt, “I will talk to daddy about it, okay? Now, go play in your room. I’ll call you when dinner is ready”
She placed her down, planting a soft kiss on the forehead before the little girl bolted to her room.
Jennie took in a deep breath before turning back to the chopping board where the knife and her gloves laid. She quickly glanced at her phone sitting on the counter.
She grabbed it and scrolled through her recent calls and stopping on a specific number before saving it with one single name.
New Contact Added - Lisa
Jennie looked at her phone and put it in her pocket, focusing once again on making dinner as her mind was already thinking about the next time she would see her.
To clarify, everyone - for obvious reasons - is older than their actual IRL age. Joohyun is 32 while Seulgi is 30. Jisoo is 27, Sooyoung, Momo and Jennie are all 26 or turning 26 within the span of the fic, same goes with Mina, Lisa, and Chaeyoung who are all turning 25.
Chapter 4: Chapter 4
Things get complicated-ish
This chapter will explore the subplot lines that are present throughout the story. Let me know which ones you'd like to see pop up more often!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
“Earth to Jisoo? You keep messing this part up! You had it down last time we practiced”
The idol took a big gulp of the water bottle she had brought with her in the dance studio. The taller girl looked at her apprehensively, something wasn’t right.
“Soo, is everything okay? We can take a break if you need it”
The brunette shook her head, “No, no. I’m fine. I’m just a bit worried about this comeback since the concept is darker than my previous ones and you know…”
That was a lie.
At least partially. She was indeed worried about her much anticipated comeback but her distraction was mostly due to a meeting she had in the dance studio’s bathroom just half an hour prior.
She had just arrived at the faculty when she decided to quickly run to the bathroom near the practice room Lisa had set up for her. She was almost done filling up her water bottle when a familiar figure entered the room.
Jisoo looked up to see her, Jihyo.
“Oh, hey” The younger girl timidly smiled, not knowing how to act.
“Hey, don’t worry I was just about to leave” The older brunette quickly gathered her things and went for the door when she felt a hand gently grab onto her wrist.
She could see in Jihyo’s eyes the millions of things she wanted to say but what came out of her mouth was rather lackluster, “I’ve heard we are promoting at the same time. Good luck on your comeback, Jisoo-ssi”
Back to the formalities, Jisoo thought. Two people can play that game.
“Same goes to your group, Jihyo-ssi” She left without saying another word because she couldn’t trust her voice as the person who once promised to love her treated like she was just like any of the other idols around.
As soon as the door closed, Jihyo let out a loud curse, “Fuck…”
She wished things could be simple. She wished they could just be Jisoo and Jihyo but she was forced to choose and she couldn’t back down on her choice now.
It was early December when Mina started decorating the studio with the annual Christmas themed decorations.
The Japanese girl loved Christmas ever since she was little but it took a whole new meaning when a couple of years prior she met Lisa. She didn’t mean to develop a crush on the taller girl but how could she not?
There was just something special about her, a special flame that warmed and melted Mina’s heart but she would make sure not to let anyone know about it, not even her best friend of 10 years, Momo. She couldn’t risk the strong friendship she had developed with the Thai girl for a mere crush. Or at least that was the ballerina kept telling herself.
She glanced at the clock, realizing how late it was. She must have been really into her own thoughts to not noticing that it was already time to close up the studio.
She went down the hallway, turning off any forgotten light and locking the rooms. After a couple of minutes, she was missing just one room: Lisa’s office. Admittedly, she hadn’t seen the blonde girl around much that day, a part of her thought she had already left. But she had to check just in case.
She gently knocked on the wooden door but she was met with silence. However, she still opened the door, finding a rather familiar scene before her eyes.
It wasn’t the first time Lisa would fall asleep on the small couch she had in her office, usually from overworking herself. Mina smiled at how cute the fierce dancer looked right then. She quietly got closer to the sleeping figure, admiring her beauty. The shorter girl scanned down her face, from the big expressive brown eyes, her cute doll-like nose to finally her plump lips. Mina had spent the past years dreaming how those lips would feel against her. Maybe one day.
She moved the girl’s bangs a bit, revealing the younger girl’s forehead, pressing a gentle kiss over the exposed skin.
“Lisa… wake up, it’s time to go home” She quietly shook the blonde’s body, awakening the Thai girl.
Lisa slowly opened her eyes, soon meeting Mina’s equally expressive ones. She rubbed her eyes as she sat up on the couch.
“Hey, Mina…” Lisa’s voice sounded so quiet and sleepy.
“C’mon sleepy head, I’ll drive you home” The brunette got up from her crouching position as the blonde got her stuff.
The Japanese girl turned her front towards the door, fishing for her car keys when she felt a pair of arms back hugging her and a pair of warm lips kiss her cheek. Mina couldn’t contain a blush.
“Thank you, Minari~” She still sounded sleepy but Mina didn’t care as long as she was in her arms.
Momo rested her head on her girlfriend’s naked chest. She was trying to spend as much time as she could with the older girl, knowing that as soon as the group she managed made their comeback, God knows when she would see her again.
She didn’t plan to fall in love with the manager, their relationship had started strictly professional. After all, she was still just a choreographer who had been chosen to work with the group.
Yet, Momo was drawn to the slightly shorter girl and before she even realized it, they were making things official. The public didn’t care much for their relationship, as long as it didn’t involve one of the members of the group - who were all still under a dating ban for at least another year.
Momo was happy even if they couldn’t spend every single day together.
“Momoring, what are you thinking about?” The older girl’s soft voice cradled her.
“I’m going to miss you when the group starts promotions” She looked up to meet the brunette’s eyes.
“I’m here now, am I not?”
“That doesn’t stop me from missing you, Yeon” Momo pouted, knowing how the older girl couldn’t resist it.
Nayeon shook her head, she couldn’t win against a pouting Momo. She pecked the younger girl on the lips, “How about this: the girls are getting a one or two month break after the comeback, so how about we spend that time going to Disneyland Tokyo? Just the two of us?”
Momo bolted upright, smiling brightly, “Are you for real?”
Nayeon snaked a hand around the Japanese girl’s naked waist, “Anything for my baby”
The younger girl dived in to kiss the Korean girl, alternating a kiss to a “Thank you, I love you”. Nayeon couldn’t help but laugh as she hugged her excited girlfriend, getting ready for their round two of the day.
“I love you too”
Now that she was minutes away from starting her first individual lesson with Lisa, Jennie was very much so regretting her decision.
It had been a month since they had arranged the first meeting, which happened to be the weekend of December where Ella would be staying with her father and probably his latest new girlfriend.
It should also be noted that the lawyer had just had one of the worst weeks of the year. It had started with her car acting up and mysteriously not working which confined her to either walk or take the public transport to work - which admittedly wasn’t the best thing as she usually wore heeled shoes almost every day - all while she waited for her car to be fixed.
Thankfully, Chaeyoung was able to drive her home from work after having already brought her daughter home from school. She was pretty sure the younger girl was an actual angel on earth at this point.
This new arraignment was starting to take a toll on the brunette, she hated depending on someone for such a basic function like going around Seoul. The only positive - Jennie was still debating whether she should actually call it “positive” - was that, with the fact that Chaeyoung was the one riding her home, she often picked her up before getting Ella after her dance class, which meant the young lawyer had already seen the dance instructor twice that week, always reminding her of their first lesson the upcoming weekend.
And there she was, on a Saturday evening, being driven by her best friend to the now familiar building.
Jennie didn’t even know what to wear - as if that didn’t show how clueless she was to exercising like a dancer. So, she just opted for a pair of matching black leggings and top - hidden underneath a thick coat. She wouldn’t want to risk getting sick with the dangerously low temperatures. She opted for a subtle makeup and a high ponytail for a somewhat fierce look - at least she hoped it came across like that. After all, she was brought up with the idea that you should always look your best and keep up with the façade no matter the occasion. Jennie did not necessarily like that concept but still stuck to it from time to time.
Something inside of her wanted to impress the young teacher, she wasn’t sure why though.
“Jen, we’re here!” Chaeyoung’s voice woke her up from her thoughts.
They were indeed in the parking lot of the Purple Heart dance studio. Jennie took a deep breath.
“Thanks for the ride, Chaeng. I promise I’ll have the car back” Jennie apologized for what was like the nth time to the taller girl.
“I told you it’s no big deal! Just a heads up, Sooyoung is coming over tonight to watch a movie so I might not be able to pick you up if you finish up too late…” Chaeyoung told her apologetically.
“What’s that? Date three? I’m sure you two will be busy, uh” Jennie jokingly teased the blonde, making her blush.
“Yes, it is… She’s really nice, too flirty sometimes but I think I like her? God, this is so embarrassing” Chaeyoung covered her face with her hands while Jennie let out a laugh.
“My wifey has a crush~” She sang off tune, earning a light slap on her shoulder, “Woah there! No need for violence, keep that for later”
The shorter girl winked as she got out of the car, the Aussie rolled her eyes, “Shut up, Jennifer!”
“Love you too, Roseanne!” Jennie laughed out loud as she closed the car door, waving at the car before running inside the dance studio. She certainly wasn’t going to stay outside in a -4°C weather.
Jennie could feel her nose was starting to redden as she entered the well-lit studio, immediately noticing the new Christmas decorations that had been put up since the last time she visited just a couple of days prior.
She liked it.
She especially liked the big Christmas tree just right next to the front desk, already full of decorations. The brunette got closer to inspect it, finding the most adorable thing: the tree was decorated not only with actual festive ornaments but also many paper snowflakes and drawings from the young students - including one made by Ella. The drawing was simple yet Jennie found it adorable: the little girl had drawn herself surrounded by other female figures, Jennie herself, Chaeyoung - promptly named Chaeng Unnie and, to Jennie’s surprise, Lisa was also drawn in the picture, named Lisa Unnie. The brunette didn’t want to comment on the absence of her ex-husband as the picture spoke for itself.
“I’m wondering if there is anything Ella can’t do”
The blonde’s voice startled Jennie, who quickly turned around to see the dancer smiling at her as she rested on the doorframe that led to the individual rooms.
“She certainly didn’t get the artistic abilities from me, that’s more Chaeng’s expertise” Jennie gently smiled, remembering all the times she had come home to the duo busy with a new art project.
“But I’m sure she got many other amazing qualities from you, Miss Kim” Lisa tried to change the subject.
“I told you multiple times you can just call me Jennie, Lisa” The brunette fully turned her body to face the taller girl, taking a better look at the outfit.
The cropped tank top the dancer was wearing revealed the toned abs, while the joggers she had on reflected the street dance style her daughter was now obsessed with, thanks to the teacher. Jennie couldn’t deny the blonde looked really good compared to her.
“Well then, Miss Jennie, how about we start our lesson?” Lisa grinned as she turned her back to the brunette who was currently rolling her eyes.
Hope I come out of this alive.
Jennie wanted to scream.
What in the hell did she sign for and how could she burn that metaphorical contract.
She was quiet, only blinking a couple of times as she mentally prepared herself for the worst.
The blonde had opted to teach her a choreography throughout the duration of their lessons and had just finished showing Jennie the full dance, which needless to say was very empowering but also very sexual . Of course, it had to be a Beyoncé song. Partition, nonetheless.
Jennie wanted to say she was staring intensely at the taller girl because she was focusing on the choreography but was she kidding?
She was basically drooling over the perfect body of the blonde, how sharp and precise yet full of charisma her moves were.
And the part on the floor. Oh boy, the part on the floor .
In her almost 26 years of being on this earth, she had never felt so jealous of the floor. Guess there is a first time for everything.
“Aaand… That’s it! Easy right?” Lisa was slightly out of breath after performing the choreography.
Jennie stood quiet, unable to say a word.
“Hello? You there?”
Another moment of silence.
“My back doesn't bend like that”
Lisa laughed out loud at how serious Jennie sounded.
“Don’t tell me you’re the L word, Miss Jennie” The blonde cocked her eyebrow.
The older girl’s eyes went wide.
“W- What ?”
Jennie wouldn’t admit she was relieved that was what the other girl meant but still she felt offended.
“I’m not lazy, I work very hard every day” She crossed her arms under her chest - unconsciously making it look bigger.
“Then prove it to me, I’m going to promise you by the end of our lessons, this choreography will be a piece of cake” Lisa extended her hand to the shorter girl, waiting for the latter’s response.
Jennie took her hand and the two started to stretch before going over the first section of the choreography.
They ended up finishing at around 10 PM, both girls sweaty and exhausted after hours of practicing, getting through a good portion of the dance. Jennie was satisfied with herself and she could tell Lisa was equally as proud of her.
“There, it wasn’t that bad, was it?” The blonde smiled at her as she handed her over a water bottle.
Jennie took two big gulps of the liquid, immediately feeling better. She really needed that.
“I almost died when you wanted me to do that dry humping”
“Drama queen” Lisa joked, making the both of them laugh.
“I was indeed the drama queen all throughout high school, I must say. Think Sharpay Evans but less bitchy”
“Definitely not my crowd, you would have found me dancing in the cafeteria to show off my moves”
“I can see that happening”
The duo gathered up their things, Jennie decided to wait for the blonde as she closed down the studio. As they opened the front door, a freezing cold wind hit both of them, causing Jennie to shiver.
“How are you getting home? Is Chaeyoung picking you up?”
Jennie shook her head, “It’s too late and she’s probably busy with her date. I’m just going to take the subway”
Lisa furrowed her brows, “It’s like -10°C or something, I don’t feel comfortable leaving you to have to deal with this weather at this time of the night. Let me give you a ride home”
Jennie looked up at her, she could see the blonde was genuinely worried. “If it’s going to let you sleep tonight, sure. I just don’t want you to take a longer route just to get me home…”
Lisa waved her hand in front of her in dismissal, “Don’t worry about it. C’mon, let’s go this way”
The walk to the car was thankfully short as Jennie could feel herself getting colder by the second. Lisa opened the passenger side door, letting Jennie in first before quickly running to the other side to get in herself. She rubbed her hands against each other to warm them up a bit before starting the engine of her car.
“Do you mind reminding me of the exact address?”
Jennie quietly told her as she rested her head onto the passenger side window, slowly dozing off from the tiredness. She knew the drive was going to take around 15 minutes so she knew she had a bit of time to rest her eyes.
Next thing she knew, a hand was gently shaking her shoulder.
“Jen? Hey? Wake up, we’re here” Lisa spoke softly.
Jennie slowly straightened herself, rubbing on her eyes, as she realized they were parked right in front of her apartment building’s door.
“Oh,” She turned around to look at Lisa who was shyly smiling at her, “Thank you for the lesson and the drive home. You really didn’t have to”
Lisa shrugged her shoulders, “No big deal… Actually, if you want, uhm, I don’t mind driving you home after our lessons. Especially now that gets super cold at night. I’d prefer having me drive you home and knowing you've got at home safe and sound instead of you having to wait for the subway or something”
Jennie locked eyes with Lisa. She couldn’t pinpoint what it was but she wanted to spend as much time as she could with the younger girl. She hoped the other girl felt the same.
“Are you sure?”
“I’m the one asking you, so yeah I’m sure” The timid smile was still on her face.
Jennie smiled back.
“Okay, that can work out. But at least let me treat you dinner sometimes, okay? It’s the least I can do”
Lisa chuckled, “Sounds like a deal to me”
“Good. I should get going now,” Jennie gathered her things from the backseat, “Thank you, Lisa. Goodnight”
The brunette closed the car door, timidly waving at the driver before heading inside her house.
As the door closed, she let out a breath she didn’t know she was holding.
Her phone vibrated as a new message popped up on screen.
From Joohyun Unnie:
Hey, Seul and I are organizing a New Year’s party at our place. We’d like it if you could make it. Yeri also would love to spend some time with Ella. It’s going to be a small gathering with us and a couple of friends. Chaeyoung is automatically invited on Sooyoung’s orders. Let me know if you’re in. x
Jennie stared at the text for a couple of minutes. Her first New Year’s as a single adult.
The answer was easy.
I’m in x
Next chapter will include Christmas and the New Years party... who knows what will happen!
Chapter 5: Chapter 5
It's Christmas time!
Jennie never really loved Christmas.
Not that she didn’t grow up surrounded by presents. She would receive extravagant gifts - definitely, a designer bag wasn’t the most appropriate present for a child.
What she missed the most were her parents, always too busy - even during such an important holiday - to spend some time with her, filling the void with even more presents.
Jennie promised herself that - no matter what - she wouldn’t be like her parents with her own child. So, that was why, on the night of Christmas Eve, the lawyer was busy baking some themed Christmas shaped cookies, Ella’s favorites.
The little girl sat at the opposite end of the kitchen counter, busy finishing up writing her letter to Santa.
Jennie smiled fondly at how concentrated she looked, knowing well the kid wanted the letter to be as perfect as she could - she took that from her side for sure.
Just as the brunette had taken out the freshly baked cookies from the oven, Ella spoke up, “Finished! Look, mommy! I even drew Santa”
Jennie went around the counter and went up to the little girl waving the piece of paper decorated with red, green and gold.
“That’s so sweet of you, I’m sure Santa will be impressed by your drawing. My little artist” She placed a gentle kiss on Ella’s forehead, “ How about you go wash your hands so that we can decorate the cookies together? I’ll prepare the colored icing”
The kid bolted to the bathroom, speaking loudly as she went, “I’m making a pink snowman!”
Jennie chuckled to herself as she cleaned up Ella’s colored pencils, the letter catching her eye.
I am Ella! Happy Cristmas to you. ❤️
I am a good girl so I have some wishes.
I wish new paint for Rosie unnie
I want mommy to be happy because she was sad this year but you can help me Santa!
For me, I want a new coloring set of Barbie! The one with the ranbow unicorn!
Thank you, Santa
PS: Get someting to Miss Lisa too! She is the best teacher!
Jennie knew Ella would catch onto how difficult the past year had been. She had tried her best to look happy but she couldn’t fool her own daughter.
She was tired of faking happiness, she had been doing it for so long, it had become a routine. But lately she could feel things were changing but she didn’t know if it was a good or bad sign yet.
Maybe because it had to do with a certain blonde.
By the time, Ella was finally done, the cookies had cooled completely and were ready to be the little girl’s canvas of the day. Jennie let her do her thing as she captured the moment with some polaroid pictures.
Their moment was interrupted by a gentle knock on the door.
“I’ll go get it, you keep decorating your gingerbread man, sweetie”
Jennie came up to the door, looking into the spy hole before opening the door that revealed a much familiar face.
“Where is my favorite baby girl?!” The Aussie accent gave away the identity of the guest as she was attacked by a bear hug to her legs.
“Unnie!!” Ella cheered as she got picked up by the taller girl, “We are icing the cookies, look!”
The little girl proudly showed off her decorated cookies.
“Wow, Ella! Those look like they belong in an art museum!” The blonde smiled at her, ruffling Ella’s hair.
“Unnie, do you want to help me decorate too?”
Not that Chaeyoung could really say no to that adorable voice. She sat on the stool next to the kid, the latter explaining an elaborate story she had came up with that involved all the cookies with very convincing backstories.
Jennie smiled to herself, watching her best friend and daughter play together.
She took another Polaroid, wanting to keep the happy memory forever.
Another Christmas to add to a photo book.
It had become a tradition ever since they all moved in together, on Christmas, to get each other gifts based on a rotational system.
This year, Mina had the duty to buy Momo a present, while the older Japanese girl would buy a gift for Lisa, and Mina had to expect a present from the Thai girl.
It always made her nervous to have Lisa be her ‘secret’ Santa this year, as she felt her feelings grow strong day by day. The Japanese ballerina had opted to knit Momo a peach-colored scarf with matching gloves. It hadn’t taken her too long to complete the set, she was satisfied with the result.
The morning of Christmas day, as they were exchanging presents, Mina felt her heartbeat getting faster and faster. As expected, Momo loved her present - she still had the scarf wrapped around her neck despite them being indoors - and Lisa did as well. The oldest girl had gotten her a signed CD of one of her favorite singers - Mina guessed Nayeon had to be involved somehow.
It left Mina as the only one who hadn’t opened her present yet.
“So, Lis, what have you got for our Minari, this year?” Momo asked as she took a sip of the hot chocolate they had prepared.
“You have to close your eyes” Lisa directed her eyes onto the brunette, “And also turn around!”
Mina did as told, unsure of what to expect. Her breath hitched as she felt a familiar set of hands place a cool object on her neck and chest. A shiver went down her back as she felt a light kiss on the cheek - so light she thought she might have dreamed it.
“Now you can open your eyes” Lisa’s low voice shook Mina from her thoughts, instinctively bringing her hand to touch what was the foreign object.
She got up and faced one of the full-length mirrors in the house. She didn’t know what to say.
The necklace itself felt so high end and expensive but what caught Mina’s attention was the pendant.
By this point, Lisa has joined her, looking at her through the mirror.
“I know this is not much but I just wanted you to look at this and never forget who you are. Merry Christmas, Minari!”
The shorter girl turned around and hugged tightly the blonde without saying a word.
“Awwwwww, you guys are giving me diabetes with all the sugar. But, dope present, Lis”
Momo’s voice brought Mina to reality, realizing she had probably hugged Lisa for too long. But she didn’t want to let go yet, not when it felt so right to be in her arms.
The younger Japanese hid her blushing cheeks, “Thank you, Lisa”
Lisa smiled at her, bringing her hand up mess up the brunette’s hair and bangs, “No need to thank me, Minari”
She quickly turned around, “What were you saying about sugar, uh? Maybe you shouldn’t have eaten all of the candy we got for the kids”
Momo stuck her tongue out - a blue stain covered it.
The trio laughed together as they got ready to eat an extravagant meal prepared by Lisa’s father.
Momo and Lisa bickered about who was going to get the last piece of gummy bears. Mina stood there and watched them, her hand unconsciously going up to graze the necklace.
She wished it was all easier.
New Year’s Eve party came earlier than Jennie expected.
She wouldn’t admit it but it made her anxious, not knowing what to expect. It wasn’t the first time Joohyun had hosted a New Year’s party but this year was different. It was the first official friends gathering she was attending as a newly single mother. And even if she knew they wouldn’t judge her, Jennie still felt like she had to impress, making them believe she was doing perfectly fine.
And, oh boy, was Jennie good at faking being fine.
She opted for a black bodycon dress that hugged her figure in a sensual yet chic way, intense eye makeup and a red lip completed her look. She let her hair down, brushing it thoroughly as she checked the time.
She still had a bit of time to get her daughter ready.
“Ella, sweetheart, why don’t you go put on the dress I put on your bed?” She called from her bathroom as she put on the last finishing touch: a spray of her favorite perfume, Chanel n°5.
A couple of minutes ready, she heard her daughter call for her, “Mommy, I got the dress on!”
“Good girl, come here so that I can brush your hair properly”
The little girl entered the room and sat on the bed, wearing the faint light purple dress Jennie had bought her for the occasion.
“You look so pretty, mommy”
Jennie showed off her gummy smile, “Why, thank you, honey. You look like a princess tonight” She placed a kiss on the crown of her head, brush in hand to comb the dark locks.
It took barely two minutes to make sure Ella’s hair was fine. Jennie smiled to herself.
“I need you to put on your shoes and wait by the door. Don’t forget to put on your jacket and scarf! I’ll be right there”
Ella bolted to finish up preparing while Jennie put on her matching black heels, grabbing her coat as she exited the room. She was happy to be greeted by her daughter all covered up with the winter gear.
She took her hand as they made their way to the garage.
Perhaps, tonight was going to be okay.
Jisoo hated having schedules on New Year’s, and with being an idol, she was bound to attend award shows on that same day.
She sighed as she relaxed in her designed room backstage. The comeback had been a huge success, as expected from her. The title track quickly becoming a ‘break up anthem’ as the media called it. The nation wanted to go ‘Solo’ but Jisoo was just happy to release new music.
She took a sip of her water bottle and closed her eyes, already feeling the tears forming in her eyes. Just a couple more hours and she could go home.
A soft knock on her door echoed in the room.
Thinking it was one of the staff members, Jisoo didn’t bother to open her eyes, “The door is open”
The door closed as quickly as it opened but Jisoo didn’t expect to hear a click, signaling the only way out of the room was locked.
“You look stunning with red hair”
As Jisoo opened her eyes, there she was. Jihyo softly smiling at her with her big expressive brown eyes.
The older girl tensed up, “What are you doing here, Jihyo?”
The slightly taller girl looked down, visibly nervous, “I missed you and just wanted to talk”
Jisoo scoffed, “I thought you didn’t want to be seen with me because people could remotely think something bad”
“You know that’s not true. Before… that happened, we used to be friends and talk a lot. I miss that”
The red-haired girl got up, getting closer, “You can’t even admit we were girlfriends at some point? What we had was just a that to you?”
Jihyo sighed, “Jisoo, stop twisting my words, please” she took Jisoo’s hand, “I never wanted to end us. You know that I regret doing it but I know it was the right choice for us”
The older girl retracted her hand, as if she had been burned, “For us or just for you ? Because it sure wasn’t in my plans to have my heart broken by the nation’s sweet sweet leader”
She didn’t care if the tears now rolled down her face, smudging her makeup. She kept on talking and walking forward, making Jihyo walk back, “All I ever wanted was you , Jihyo. I never cared what people said, because their opinion mattered nothing compared to yours”
Jihyo brought her hands up to cup Jisoo’s face, using her thumbs to dry the tears off.
“I wish I had never fallen for you, I wish I could just not give a fuck about you, I wish I could stop feeling like this, I wish…”
The red-haired girl was silenced by a soft pair of lips, something she had missed for months.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry” Jihyo’s voice sounded like a mantra, her own face stained by tears, as she kept on peppering Jisoo’s face and lips with soft kisses before sharing a deep passionate one.
Neither of them wanted to stop now that they had tasted each other again. Jihyo locked her arm behind Jisoo’s neck as the latter’s hands went on to grab her waist, pulling her close after so many months being apart.
They knew there was no turning back as Jisoo lifted the younger girl to the makeup station, positioning herself between her legs as Jihyo started to kiss her neck.
The two star-crossed lovers didn’t care about anyone but themselves at that moment. Making up for the lost time, touches, everything .
Tomorrow would be for talking.
On the way to the party, Jennie surprisingly didn’t have to pick up Chaeyoung. The blonde girl had told her how her still-not-a-girlfriend-but-definitely-dating girl offered her a drive to Joohyun’s house. So, without the detour to the young teacher’s house, the Kims arrived relatively early.
Joohyun came to open the door, flashing her eye smile to the younger lawyer.
“Hey! You’re one of the first ones to get here. That never happens” the older woman joked, letting the small family in.
“Chaeyoung dropped us for her new beau. You can thank her for this!” Jennie fired back as she took off her coat, Ella mimicking her moves.
The house owner grabbed their coats to put them in the hanger room closet, “You can make yourself at home, we are still missing some people but most are here!”
Jennie nodded to herself, taking Ella’s hand, “Let’s go, baby girl. I’m sure Yeri is waiting for you”
As they entered the room, they were met by a warm cozy friendly setting, Seulgi was pouring down some expensive champagne while she was busy trying not to spill it as Lisa told her a funny encounter she had at the studio.
Jennie was taken aback for a moment by the younger girl’s presence. Yes, she knew Lisa was close friends with the dancer but she hadn’t thought she would be attending the party, alongside the two Japanese girls.
Their presence was made aware of as Seulgi’s daughter ran towards Ella, hugging her.
“Finally! I’m so tired of all this big people stuff. Come play with me, El!” Yeri implored the young Kim.
Ella looked up at her mom for permission, Jennie simply smiled and nodded, letting go of her hand.
The two kids ran upstairs, leaving all the adults in the kitchen area of the mansion.
“Jennie! Glad you could make it. Where’s Chaeyoung?” Seulgi asked as she offered her one of the filled champagne flutes.
“Fornicating with Sooyoung is my best guess” She chuckled, taking a small sip of the alcohol.
“Can’t believe Soo is out there corrupting young souls even the last day of the year” Seulgi shook her head, “Oh! I think you’re familiar with Lisa, Momo, and Mina, right?”
Before Jennie could answer, Momo stood up and extended her hand, “Actually, I believe we haven’t been introduced properly. I’m Hirai Momo, one of the other owners of the studio. A pleasure to meet you”
Jennie smiled at the Japanese girl, “Jennie Kim, likewise”
After a quick handshake, Jennie turned her eyes to Lisa and Mina, both still sitting down. She smiled at them too with Lisa somewhat awkwardly waving at her.
“Hey, Jen” She said getting up as well. Jennie took a good look at what the young dancer was wearing.
To say she looked hot was an understatement.
The Thai girl had opted for a fair button up shirt, with the sleeves rolled up to her elbows. The black tailored pants fitted her like a glove. Jennie could tell the younger girl wasn’t wearing any heels simply by the fact that they were the same height, thanks to her black stilettos.
The younger girl came up to her, a warm shy smile on her face, “I didn’t know you were friends with Seulgi or Joohyun”
“To be fair, Joohyun has been my mentor when I was starting out my career. I met Seulgi just after the engagement, a while back”
Lisa’s mouth formed a small ‘o’ that Jennie found adorable, “Oh wow, that’s cool. I met Seulgi just a couple of years ago by chance. Probably wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for her and her friendship” she commented quietly, just enough for Jennie to hear it.
“I’m glad it worked out, then” Her gummy smile was hidden by the glass as she took another sip.
A loud knock interrupted their conversation. Joohyun went to open the door, revealing Chaeyoung and Sooyoung looking rather flushed.
“I see the love birds have decided to bless us with a visit!” Joohyun sarcastically joked, letting them inside and taking their coats.
“Blessed is truly the right word to describe my existence, thanks to this girl right here” Sooyoung cockily added, her arm snaking around Chaeyoung tiny waist, kissing her cheek.
“Not here, Soo…” Chaeyoung’s face sported an almost crimson hue.
“Yeah, not here, Soo. You’re lucky the kids are upstairs if not I’d have to cover their eyes from the unholy content” Joohyun flicked her finger off of Sooyoung’s forehead.
“Let the kids see the gay agenda, it’s almost 2019!” The tall brunette faked whining.
“What gay agenda?”
“I’m the gay agenda” Sooyoung replied with a smirk.
“I’m close to kicking you out, you better watch it”
“Try me, grandma” Sooyoung patted the older woman’s head entering the kitchen.
“Well, hello there, Soo and Chaeng” Seulgi offered them the champagne.
“You should have backed me up, unnie!” Sooyoung whined.
“I’d like to start the year by not having to sleep on the couch” Seulgi answered as Joohyun went in to kiss her wife’s cheek.
“That’s my babe” Joohyun smiles at her.
“Ugh, Jesus. Gross” Sooyoung fake gagged.
The rest of the friend group laughed out loud at the interaction, officially starting the party. They went on for an hour just talking and hanging out before Joohyun called everyone to sit down for dinner.
Upon seeing how much food was on the table, Momo’s mouth - as well as Chaeyoung’s - were wide open, “The best way to end 2018!” The oldest Japanese woman happily sat down, Mina sitting to her right while Seulgi to her left.
A pair of tiny footsteps bolted downstairs, the two kids sitting next to one of their moms respectively: Ella sandwiched between Jennie and Chaeyoung while Yeri was between Sooyoung and Joohyun.
That left Lisa to occupy the only free spot at the round table that happened to be the one between Mina and Jennie, oblivious to the somewhat unfriendly looks the two had been sharing throughout the night.
“Now that everyone is sat down, I’d like to do a toast” Joohyun spoke up, raising her glass and gently putting her free hand on top of her wife’s, “I’d like to thank all of you for coming here tonight. I hope next year will treat you well and it’s full of happy memories. Cheers! Let’s dive in the food, I’m starving.”
Everyone cheered before diving into the food Joohyun had spent the whole day making.
By 10 PM, everyone officially finished their dinner as they dived in the dessert, a red velvet cake.
“I gotta say, Hyun. You’ve outdone yourself this time. Everything was delicious!” Jennie complimented her mentor, Ella following suit.
“Yes, auntie Hyun! It was so yummy”
“My mom is the best cook ever. Can’t say the same thing about auntie Soo. She even set the toaster on fire one time when she was babysitting me” Yeri commented as Joohyun smiled fondly at her daughter.
“Hey! I can see where she got that sass from” Sooyoung huffed, showing her tongue to the kid to her right.
“Easy to say, I hit the jackpot by marrying Hyun” Seulgi ignored the taller girl as she held Joohyun’s hand.
Jennie watched the couple, a hint of sadness in her eyes as she never felt like that when she was still married.
Maybe one day she will feel lucky.
As they waited for midnight, all the adults - minus the two children, who both had fallen asleep soon after the dinner - were hanging out in the living room, comfortably chatting. Jennie excused herself as she went to the bathroom.
Just as she had turned the corner exiting the living room, she collided with someone who was coming back from the bathroom.
“Oh my God, I’m sorry. Are you okay?”
Jennie looked up.
She didn’t think Lisa would look even prettier up close.
“Oh y-yeah, it’s okay. Don’t worry” Jennie timidly smiled as she looked into Lisa’s brown orbs.
The two stayed quiet for a moment before hearing a throat clearing.
They both looked to the side to notice Mina and Sooyoung, with the latter pointing to something above their heads.
Jennie was the first to look up and realized what the taller girl was referring to.
A mistletoe, standing a foot upwards right in between her and Lisa.
“Don’t break the traditions!” Sooyoung sang before disappearing into the living room. Mina quickly following through.
The lawyer could feel her cheeks getting more flushed than they already were.
“I-I mean, we don’t have to…” Lisa tentatively said, noticing how quiet the older woman had gotten.
“It’s okay. It’s a tradition after all, isn’t it?” Jennie’s eyes flickered between Lisa’s and her lips.
Before Jennie could say anything, she felt a soft pair of lips land a few centimeters away from her own lips. She felt her heart skip a beat. But as soon as she had registered the kiss, the lips were gone.
“Happy New Year, Jen”
Lisa whispered close to her ear before making her way back with the others who were waiting for the New Year.
Jennie let go of the breath she didn’t realize she was holding.
She really needed to refresh herself.