One very stupid pact later…
Sometimes the best ideas come in the shape of the most random suggestions. And sometimes just enough wine that you start confessing. But for Jeongyeon it’s not just any confession she’s making to her best friend. It’s the confession that she’s been in love with their mutual friend for as long as they’ve both known her.
“I’m not even the least bit surprised.” Nayeon says dryly, sipping from her white wine as Jeongyeon buries her head in her hands, cringing even as the words as they leave her mouth.
How stupid isn’t that anyway? Being in love with one girl for three years without doing anything about it?
“I just don’t get it?” Jeongyeon groans.
“What? How you’re in love with Mina? I think it’s pretty obvious.” Nayeon seems to have the damn time of her life, and Jeongyeon really feels the need to shut her up. “I mean she’s the picture of elegance and accuracy plus she’s one of the most beautiful girls on the entire campus.”
“One of the?” Jeongyeon asks, finally looking up from her hands to look at her best friend., then corrects herself. “Oh right. Dahyun.”
Nayeon gives a little shrug and holds the wine glass up as if greeting Jeongyeon from the depths of her mind where she had emerged.
“No but it’s not even those parts I like.” Jeongyeon sighs, finally grabbing her own wine glass. “I mean not that I don’t-”
“We get it, she’s hot. Tell me what you like.”
“She always smiles when I look at her.. No matter what. It’s like she can’t help it. And I swear to god when we talk I want to tell her everything. I want to know everything about her. And I’m not even bored when I just stall to watch her study. Because she looks so focused when she does, and I love it. Plus she has this amazing laugh. I swear she has the best humor.”
“Mina has humor?” Nayeon asks with a genuine frown.
“She’s so freaking funny I can’t even begin to understand how, but she makes me laugh so much all the time with her cute little antics. It’s so subtle but her timing is absolutely impeccable.”
“Wow, so you’re like whipped whipped.” Nayeon looks like Christmas came early. “I mean stalling to watch her study? What young adult heterosexual movies have you been watching to get that move?”
The urge to put arsenic in Nayeon’s wine flares up once again, but Jeongyeon settles for downing everything in her own glass instead.
“Anyways it’s not like you’re any better than me.”
“I’m better than you in every single aspect, excuse you.” Nayeon raises both her eyebrows, the theatrical offense so convincing you might believe her if you didn’t know her better.
“Right, so standing by the window to watch Momo run track is what? Research?”
“I’m a social studies major of course it is.” Nayeon crosses her legs and corrects her hair.
Jeongyeon sends her a look of deep (very deep) scepticism. “Sure.”
“Well what else am I supposed to do?”
“I don’t know, but in about a month you’ll be out of chances, as you will have graduated and can no longer stare at her.”
“Don’t remind me.” Nayeon groans. “I should be editing my citings tonight and here I am listening to your sad love life.”
“Well then how about we make a pact.” Jeongyeon puts her empty wine glass down.
“Which is what exactly?” Nayeon empties her own wine glass and puts it next to Jeongyeon’s.
“You know the annual ball?”
“No.” Nayeon says. It’s not a no she doesn’t know. But she’s immediately shooting down Jeongyeon’s plan.
“Oh come on. You ask Momo to the ball and I’ll ask Mina.”
“You’re really just straight out of She’s All That aren’t you?” Nayeon groans. “The elegant prince asking the beautiful girl to the prom.”
“Actually the guy in that movie was a huge ass but I guess point taken.” Jeongyeon shrugs. But even though Nayeon seems much less than enthusiastic about the idea, Jeongyeon can’t get it out of her head. She can’t stop imagining Mina in a beautiful dress and her hand in Jeongyeon’s. Can’t stop imagining her black hair all neat, with pins and decorations, maybe even flowers.
“You still there?” Nayeon asks.
Jeongyeon blinks and nods. The wine must be getting to her head.
“Will you actually ask her out?” Nayeon lifts her feet up from the floor and adjusts in the couch.
“Promise.” Jeongyeon says, not really sure she’s aware of the implications yet. Right now all she can think about is getting to see Nayeon attempt to ask out impossibly the hottest fittest third year student in the school; a feat that ought to overwhelm even the legendary Im Nayeon.
“Ugh, fine. But just for the sake of actually getting you to stop drooling about her.”
“Who?” Jeongyoen asks instinctively.
“Mina. Myoui Mina whom you’re so smitten with it’s actually gross.” Nayeon looks about half a second from smacking Jeongyeon. It’s a mutual relationship, that whole urge to smack some sense into the other. But it’s one of the reasons they work so well.
Jeongyeon nods. Right. Yeah. she’s gonna ask Mina out… Sure. Good. Can do. Definitely… not.
Okay so it turns out that plans made under the influence of wine and Im Nayeon should never be made. Because sitting in the study hall next to Mina the next day, Jeongyeon can barely focus on her exam studies. And she really really needs to if she doesn’t want to fail her classes. She needs to focus and she needs to find some way of getting her heart to stop beating out of her chest because at this point Mina might actually hear it.
Jeongyeon swallows and takes a few deep breaths in some attempt of calming herself.
“You okay?” Mina peeks up from her notes.
Great so Mina heard that but not the rapid heartbeat. Brilliant.
“Y-yeah, just uh-. Nerves you know.” Jeongyeon shrugs.
What an idiot.
She should just do it already.
Mina sends her a small smile and reaches over to give Jeongyeon’s hand a reassuring squeeze. It sends a goddamn lightning bolt through Jeongyeon’s entire body. When had she gotten this sensitive to Mina’s touches? It’s not like they haven’t touched each other before. But somehow her presence is more intense today.
“Jeongyeon? Are you sure you’re okay?” Mina asks, humor mixed worry in her expression. She’s so easy to read in all her complexity. Or maybe it’s just because Jeongyeon has a tendency to study Mina more than her actual subjects.
“I’m good.” Jeongyeon says, glancing at Mina’s hand still very much on top of Jeongyeon’s. Mina quickly removes it.
It almost feels like something. It really does. As if Mina maybe- she might as well just do it now right? She had promised to ask, and even if it got weird better now than later right?
“Mina, I was won-”
Jeongyeon starts. But the next second the door to the study hall opens violently, and Jeongyeon looks up. As does everyone else. Most look quite annoyed, but Jeongyeon most of all. Because in the door, arm around a very hot very fit girl, is Nayeon.
“Oh for fucks sake...” Jeongyeon breathes, more than a little tired.
Nayeon gloats way more than should be allowed, wordlessly standing with Momo, eyes on Jeongyeon and then on Mina.
“What is she doing?” Mina asks.
“Being a visual representation of my worst nightmare.” Jeongyeon groans.
Someone shushes, and Jeongyeon sighs. Then sends Nayeon an acknowledging look before rolling her eyes at the older girl. Nayeon seems to take this as enough of a victory that she leaves Jeongyeon be (for the moment).
With a self-satisfied grin, she turns around, tugging Momo along, away from the study hall. Jeongyeon watches until the door closes with a loud click and then lowers her head until her forehead collides with the desk.
Jeongyeon turns her head on the desk and looks up at her at an odd angle. She’s never ever going to hear the end of it.
Mina giggles even more.
And then someone shushes them.
It’s barely a week, and Jeongyeon is already regretting the pact more than anything else she’s ever gotten herself into. Because not only is she awkward and basically unable to construct a single sentence around Mina, but she also now has to deal with Nayeon and her now girlfriend Momo.
In Momo’s defense, she’s not really a problem. She’s as kind as the day is long gives really good hugs, but Nayeon is in the best mood of her life getting to torment Jeongyeon and kissing Momo every time she just feels like it. (And she feels like it a lot, apparently.)
“Just ask her the next time you see her.” Nayeon suggests, sitting on Momo’s lap with her legs crossed and her arms around Momo’s neck. Momo is dozing after lunch and just lazily smiles as Nayeon nibbles at her lips.
The need for a bucket to hurl in increases with every damn day.
“This could be you and Mina, you know.” Nayeon chimes happily, running a hand through Momo’s hair. Momo just chuckles and runs a thumb over Nayeon’s knee. Okay maybe they’re a little cute.
“Mina and I would never be like that.” Jeongyeon says dryly.
Nayeon gives a single dry laugh. “No because you and Mina won’t be anything if you don’t get going on that.”
“Well if she likes me maybe she’ll ask me out?” Jeongyeon crosses her arms, realizing at the exact moment she says it, just how dumb it shounds.
“That’s the saddest thing I’ve ever heard you say.” Nayeon snorts.
Jeongyeon sighs and leans back in the common room couch. She closes her eyes and runs a hand through her hair. “I know. I just don’t want to lose her as my friend, you know?”
“I know.” Nayeon’s voice is suddenly soft, and Jeongyeon knows they’re on the same wavelength.
“I’m scared she’s going to say no and that it’ll be super awkward.”
“But aren’t you more afraid that someone else is going to ask her?” Nayeon asks softly.
Jeongyeon rubs her eyes and imagines it for a moment. A tall handsome stranger with her arm around Mina. A short giggly girl kissing Mina. Someone else with Mina. Every single part of her body seems to protest.
“Yeah…” Jeongyeon admits. “That would be worse.”
Jeongyeon jumps and looks up. Mina is standing with a load of laundry, looking at Jeongyeon with a worried expression.
“I-If the exam- uh I mean-” Jeongyeon splutters, getting to her feet without really knowing why. But now she’s up and Mina’s gaze is both inquisitive and entertained, and Jeongyeon feels the need to extend her explanation to maybe somehow get out of this mess. “Y-you know if-if they change on the exam so we can’t bring notes and-”
Mina looks thoroughly confused and Jeongyeon can’t blame her.
“Nevermind.” Jeongyeon tries.
“O-kay…” Mina frowns slightly, but seems to accept the explanation. Then she hoists up the laundry basket. “Well I have to go deal with this, I just wanted to make sure you were okay.”
“Thanks.” Jeongyeon cringes. Then sends Mina a small smile.
She wants Mina closer. Wants nothing more than just walk over and kiss her and let the laundry basket fall onto the floor. To feel her hands on her waist and her skin under Jeongyeon’s hands. To know how she tastes. How her giggle feels on Jeongyeon’s lips.
“... did you hear me?”
“Huh?” Jeongyeon realizes her eyes have been on Mina’s lips for god knows how long, and that she definitely hasn’t heard anything.
“I asked if we’re having lunch together tomorrow.”
“Oh, uh, yeah sure.” Jeongyeon tries. But there’s something in Mina’s eyes that makes her worried that she isn’t as subtle as she wants to be. Probably not subtle at all. Why isn’t she just doing it then? Why isn’t she asking?
Maybe because if she isn’t subtle, then why isn’t Mina asking for her? Why isn’t Mina saving her from this, if she knows?
“See you then.” Mina smiles.
Jeongyeon nods. Sits down.
Her skin feels on fire, and she might actually throw up.
“Well that was as pathetic as anything I’ve ever seen.” Nayeon huffs as soon as Mina is gone.
“Shut up, Im.” Jeongyeon bites.
Nayeon keeps quiet from that day.
The absolutely dizzying possibility that she might actually lose Mina by asking her to the ball makes Jeongyeon quite keen on backing out of the entire pact, knowing that Nayeon wouldn’t mind now that she has Momo. And at least she’s not on Jeongyeon’s ass about doing something about Mina anymore. It seems maybe they both realized exactly what’s at stake.
So maybe Jeongyeon should have just done it immediately before realizing the risks - as Nayeon had done Momo. But then again; Momo and Nayeon hadn’t been close like Jeongyeon and Mina had. Momo had more been the girl Nayeon had ogled at and flirted with at bigger get-togethers without it really getting any further.
But Jeongyeon and Mina had been close ever since they had met. They had always gotten along so well. Yet for almost as long as Jeongyeon had known Mina, she had also been in love with her. It was really the worst idea Jeongyeon had ever gotten… And it’s still ten days until the dance, so she could still back out.
Jeongyeon jumps and pushes herself off the wall. The door to the training room had opened without her noticing, and the dancers are coming out one by one. But Mina is already next to Jeongyeon, duffle bag over her shoulder and the black hair in a high ponytail. She’s sweaty but happy, and her skin seems to glow.
“Hey.” Jeongyeon says. She’s about to ask Mina if they should have lunch together, but the next, someone else speaks behind Mina.
“Mina, you forgot your sweater.”
Mina turns, and Jeongyeon looks as a girl with a heart shaped face holds out Mina’s brown sweater.
“Oh, thank you.” Mina grabs it, and Jeongyeon waits for the girl to leave so she and Mina can talk alone. Really, she’s not sure why, but there’s something about the girl that makes Jeongyeon uneasy. The way she looks at Mina. Or just the fact that she doesn’t go away.
“Oh, I was thinking, do you want to have lunch today?” the girl asks finally. She looks absolutely casual about it.
Jeongyeon clears her throat automatically. She really doesn’t like this girl.
“Uh, I-” Mina looks from the girl and then at Jeongyeon. Is she considering it? Jeongyeon wants nothing more than to wrap her arm around Mina’s shoulder and tell the girl that Mina is taken. But she’s not. Jeongyeon hasn’t done anything. And this girl is free to ask Mina whatever she wants.
Because Jeongyeon is a coward. Because Jeongyeon is afraid of losing her. And Jeongyeon is just watching her get snatched away.
“Sorry, she’s with me.”
It doesn’t sound like Jeongyeon when she speaks. But the words do somehow leave her mouth. At least it feels like she does. But they’re completely out of her control. It’s the jealousy bubbling in her stomach that speaks.
The girl blushes, looking at Jeongyoen but quickly averting her gaze. “Oh. I didn’t- I didn’t know you were taken.”
“No it’s okay, Sooyoung. We’re just friends. But I did agree to have lunch with Jeongyeon.”
Jeongyeon blinks. The last part was a lie. They didn’t agree. But maybe she’s just saving Jeongyeon from the embarrassing outburst.
Sooyoung nods slowly and then smiles, her head tilted slightly. “Another time, maybe?”
“Maybe.” Mina says kindly.
Jeongyeon hates it. Hates how obvious it is that Sooyoung is flirting and how Mina isn’t seeing it. Or doesn’t mind it…
“Okay. Bye, then.” Sooyoung gives a little wave, dares a second’s glance at Jeongyeon and then walks away.
For a few moments they just watch Sooyoung and the rest of the girls walk down the hall. Then Mina slumps against the wall next to Jeongyeon.
“Thanks… She’s been trying to ask me out a few times, and I just- I don’t really feel like it.”
It’s an actual physical restraint to keep from sighing with relief. But Jeongyeon manages it and instead just nods. It’s beyond liberating to know that Mina in fact is not into this flirting beauty.
“Of course.” Jeongyeon says, trying not to smile.
“I just don’t want it to be awkward.” Mina continues.
The stone settles right back in Jeongyeon stomach at those words.
It’s pretty safe to say that after the Sooyoung incident, it only gets harder for Jeongyeon to convince herself it’s a good idea to ask Mina out; let alone ask her to the damn end of the year ball. It’s better if she doesn’t.
At least she’ll still have Mina in her life, if she doesn’t.
Yet with only two days until the ball, Jeongyeon can only see two possible scenarios in her head. One a result of her asking Mina out and the other a result of residing not to. And neither of them are even close to being favorable.
In fact they really both make Jeongyeon feel like it might be better to never drink wine ever again, if all it does is put stupid ideas like these into her head.
“Are these exams really taking this much of your energy?” Mina asks, sitting opposite Jeongyeon in the cafeteria.
Jeongyeon looks up from her lunch, barely poking at it. She can’t focus anymore.
“Nah, it’s okay.” Jeongyeon says. Truth is that she’s done quite well.
“Good. And it’s good that it’s over soon.” Mina says carefully. Then clears her throat. “You know, I miss you. You’ve been so busy lately.”
Jeongyeon searches her eyes. There’s a sadness in them. “I’m sorry. It’s all just been a mess.”
“As long as it’s not something I did. You’d tell me if it was something I did, right?” There’s something in Mina’s voice that makes Jeongyeon reach across the table.
“Mina, of course. It’s-” Jeongyeon wants to say it’s not you . But she can’t. “You didn’t do anything wrong.”
“Good.” Mina looks visibly relieved.
There’s a part of Jeongyeon that knows she should retreat her hand now. That Mina doesn’t need more consolidation. But her skin is so soft, and Jeongyeon is plenty busy just trying not to stroke over it like she wants.
Jeongyeon retreats her hand immediately. Mina looks at her. It’s clear that she’s suspicious. And there’s something inside Jeongyeon that gives in. Maybe today is as good a day as any to break the illusion. Because as long as she’s here, with her feelings unchanged after so long, it really is an illusion.
“... I’m sorry I’ve been so weird lately.” Jeongyeon sighs.
“It’s okay. You’re stressed.” Mina tries.
Jeongyeon nods. But then shakes her head. “That’s not why I’ve been weird… Okay. Basically I made a pact with Nayeon a few weeks ago.”
“Pact? What kind of a pact” Mina tilts her head, and it makes her hair fall slightly off her shoulders. It’s more entrancing than ought to be allowed.
“Um.. Well, ugh this sounds so dumb but we promised to ask our crushes to the end of the year ball. So she asked Momo, and I-” Jeongyeon cringes and looks down at her lunch again. She really should just get over her feelings instead of this. But she’s in too deep; loves Mina too much. “I was supposed to ask out mine. But I haven’t done it.”
A subtle “Oh,” makes Jeongyeon look up at said crush. She’s so beautiful, it almost makes Jeongyeon cry just at the thought that she might be about to lose her.
“I’m scared that she’s gonna say no and it gets really awkward because we’re friends. But I’m also scared if I don’t, someone else will and I’ll have passed my chance.”
There’s a moment where everything is up in the air. But then Mina nods. “That’s understandable.”
Jeongyeon sighs. “Yeah.”
“But… have you ever considered the third alternative?”
Jeongyeon shrugs. She knows the third alternative; the one where Mina says yes.
Mina gives a little hum and shakes her head ever so slightly. Then she puts a hand down in the space between them. Jeongyeon really wants to take it. As in really wants to.
“Jeongyeon.” Mina says. “Ask her. I assure you she’s gonna say yes.”
Jeongyeon looks at Mina. Really looks at her. There’s an out. She could shake her head and say ‘ I can’t’ and wait for Mina to either accept or keep pushing. But at some point it’s not a matter of pushing. It’s just a matter of taking a leap of faith and living by a very stupid pact made by a little wine and a wish to be with this beautiful girl in front of her.
It happens in the seconds Jeongyeon spends studying Mina’s gaze. The realization. The cheeks that pink so faintly that Jeongyeon might have missed it if she hadn’t known her face this well.
A small smile plays with the corners of Mina’s mouth, and Jeongyeon feels as if she’s physically disconnected from her body. It’s not like Jeongyeon is dense for not seeing it before. It’s just that she’s… dense. But the moment she realizes, it’s in every single touch, every hug, every giggle.
Especially the giggles.
“... Do you- uh,” Jeongyeon might actually faint at the slight glint in Mina’s eyes. It’s so obvious now. “Uh. Do you want to go to the ball with me?”
It’s weird. Mina had been Jeongyeon’s friend for years, and despite knowing her features better than most, and despite being absolutely in love with every part of her, nothing would’ve ever prepared Jeongyeon for actually seeing her walking towards Jeongyeon in a dress that made her glow like the moon, with flowers in her black hair and a tinge on her cheeks that Jeongyeon had learned she could conquer like only a magician ought to be able to.
“Hey.” Jeongyeon breathes. It’s all she can do. Because Mina is looking her up and down, her smile growing shyly with each second.
Jeongyeon doesn’t really know what to say. She wants to tell Mina how beautiful she is. But it’s not exactly what comes out of her mouth. “So, do you feel a little sixteen candles tonight?”
Mina chuckles and nods. “Very much. A lot more like a silly teenager than a grown up. But I don’t mind being a silly teenager for the night.”
Jeongyeon gives a relieved sigh. She definitely doesn’t feel her age tonight. Feels absolutely in too deep with Mina.
Since agreeing to go to this thing together, not much had really happened. The moment had sort of passed, with the cafeteria being packed and classes calling afterwards. And really, neither of them were the drag you into a bathroom to make out kind of type. Not- not that Jeongyeon had imagined- you know. Not at all. Nope. Just, maybe a little.
“Jeongyeon?” Mina’s voice is amused, and Jeongyeon realizes her usual habit of brain freeze around Mina.
Jeongyeon shakes her head. “Sorry, just thinking…”
“About what?” Mina inquires.
Jeongyeon’s cheeks immediately feel hot. Mina frowns, but Jeongyeon just shakes her head and leans in, pressing a quick kiss to Mina’s cheek.
It almost makes Jeongyeon’s insides turn dysfunctional under the cause of having turned into gummy worms. Really, what fifteen year old is living her grown ass adult life right now? She could’ve just kissed her for real… But Mina is still looking quizzical, and Jeongyeon shrugs.
“You just look very beautiful tonight.”
Mina looks down at their feet and back up at Jeongyeon. “Thank you. And thank you for asking me… I’m glad you did.”
“Hell, me too.” Jeongyeon runs a hand over her face. “Sorry it took me so long.”
“It’s not like I asked you.” Mina notes shyly, reaching for Jeongyeon’s hand. “I’m glad you were braver than me.”
“So are you gonna kiss or...?”
Jeongyeon jolts and turns just in time to see Nayeon standing there in her baby pink dress, leaned against Momo, with a huge smirk on her face. The urge to whack her overwhelms Jeongyeon finally, and with her dress flowing around her feet, feeling unstable in the heels, she hunts down a now squealing Nayeon, hidden only by her girlfriend’s strong features.
“I swear to god, Im Nayeon.” Jeongyeon tries to pass Momo, but the girl keeps turning to shield Nayeon. Why did her girlfriend have to be so damn loyal?
“You owe me, I got you the girl!” Nayeon retaliates.
“I got the girl myself you didn’t get me shit, you-”
Jeongyeon is about to try again, but suddenly a soft hand finds Jeongyeon’s arm and fingers thread between the spaces between hers.
“Let’s go dance.” Mina says softly.
Jeongyeon forgets about Nayeon faster than she’ll ever admit. But only until Nayeon chuckles and makes a comment that almost makes Jeongyeon go in for round two.
“I was wrong. The girl got her…”
“ Thin ice .” Jeongyeon warns, but Mina merely tugs at her hand and gives it a squeeze.
It brings Jeongyeon back to reality.
The reality that Mina’s hand is in hers and they’re on a date and the lights inside the building makes Mina’s dress glimmer, furthering the impression of a beautiful night sky, the moon and all of its stars.
There isn’t even a question of what to do first. It’s as if the dance floor finds them before they find it. Just like how Mina’s arms wrap around Jeongyeon’s neck, how Jeongyeon’s hands rest on Mina’s hips as naturally as if they had done it a million times. As if they had even ever once been this close without the intention of pulling apart almost immediately. The flow comes almost as naturally as everything else. The subtle movements of feet and the fabrics of dresses that touch gently as they near each other.
“I kind of like this song.” Mina hums.
“This one?” Jeongyeon listens for the sound as well as she can when Mina is so close. It’s so hard to balance her senses when her heart is hammering like this. “I haven’t ever heard it before.”
“I think you’ll know it later.” Mina smiles. Her hand finds Jeongyeon’s nape, and the way she plays with the hairs there, sends shivers down Jeongyeon’s spine so effectively that she actually has to let out a stuttered breath.
“How come?” Jeongyeon tries.
Mine smiles. She’s so close. But she’s not saying anything. Doesn’t answer. She’s just staring at Jeongyeon. Just takes in her features with a curiosity as if she hasn’t ever allowed herself to look at Jeongyeon like this. And when her hand reaches around to trace under her bangs, down her temple and around her jaw, Jeongyeon realizes that every bit of time Jeongyeon has spent looking at Mina, Mina has spent looking away.
For exactly the same reason.
“I think you’re right.” Jeongyeon says. “I think I will know this song later.”
And one very stupid pact later, Jeongyeon is standing on the middle of a dance floor with the girl she’s been in love with for who knows how long, with her hands on Mina’s waist and her lips finds Mina’s so easily that it takes over her entire existence. And Mina giggles onto her lips almost immediately, cupping Jeongyeon’s cheek and pulling her closer.
The song plays over and over in Jeongyeon’s head throughout the night until sunlight finds her eyelids and the smell of Mina’s shampoo fills her nostrils.
Maybe Nayeon deserves rights after all. Who knows?