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Your Lips on Mine are Balm to My Soul

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“If you add that, your mixture will explode.”

Jungeun jumps on her seat upon hearing the voice. She whips her head towards the source and sees a tall blonde girl leaning against the door frame of the room. “You scared me!” Jungeun exclaims, hand over her chest, willing her heart to calm down.

“Sorry…” the blonde says bashfully. “But I had to stop you from pouring that liquid into your mixture.” She adds, head hung slightly low and hand rubbing the back of her neck sheepishly.

Jungeun is taken aback at the sight, and she deflates slightly. “What if, in my surprise, I ended up dropping the entire thing in?” she asks, projecting her voice with a hint of playful annoyance. (She hopes the girl picks it up, for some reason.)

“Then I’m gonna have to dash over to you to pull you away and then take cover.” The blonde answers easily, without any hint of hesitation.

“Chivalrous, are we?” Jungeun responds, more to force herself to feign neutrality in light of the situation.

“Mm, I guess.” The blonde, again, answers easily. She has entered the room now and is walking towards Jungeun.

Silence fills the room as the blonde reaches Jungeun’s station. Jungeun observes the blonde as she inspects the materials laid out on the table.

“Would it really have exploded?” Jungeun, unable to bear the situation, asks shyly.

“Oh, yes,” the blonde replies, matter-of-factly, “but nothing too dramatic. The splatter would mostly just reach up to this table, with a bit of sprinkling on the floor.”

“Ah,” Jungeun says, embarrassed at the thought of what she could have caused, “that would’ve been a real trouble.” She says, scratching the side of her neck in unease. “Thank you.” She adds, after a beat, still embarrassed.

“Oh, it’s no problem at all!” the blonde, who again looks up from her inspection of the station, beams at Jungeun. Jungeun idly wonders about (and envies) how the girl could be so open and easygoing while actually housing a magnificent mind.

“Um, are you okay? Is there something on my face?”

Jungeun’s trance is broken by the very same voice that broke it earlier. Her face flushes red at the realization that she’s been staring, and has been caught staring. So she quickly turns her head away, “Uh, no, nothing… sorry, just thinking,” she manages to string together.

“Oh, you’re probably thinking of how to do this, and I’m keeping you.” Jungeun hears the blonde say. She quickly turns back and is about to tell her ‘no,’ when she sees the blonde smiling brightly at her.

“How ‘bout I help you with it as my apology?” the blonde asks, rather excitedly.

“Um, sure, if it’s not a bother.” Jungeun replies weakly, internally cursing at how useless she’s being right now.

“Oh, it’s not. I offered.” The blonde beams, and Jungeun thanks all the higher powers that she’s currently sitting right now instead of standing.

“I’m Jinsol, by the way,” the blonde – Jinsol – says, extending her hand to Jungeun.

“I’m Jungeun, and thank you… for doing this – helping me – Jinsol.” Jungeun answers, taking Jinsol’s hand in hers and shaking it. Again, she thanks the gods, but for more reasons this time.

“It’s my pleasure!” Jinsol exclaims. “Shall we get to work, Jungie?”

And, oh, “Jungie” was so not ready for that.