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Moon Byulyi was not stupid. She was just... slow.

So what if sometimes she took a few seconds longer than everyone else to catch a joke? Or if she had to use her phone’s calculator app whenever she was required to do math? It’s not like she needed to be the smartest person alive, anyway.

And she always had Yongsun to give her an extra push, too. Whether it was by whispering the word she couldn’t remember during an interview to her, or by slapping her arm when she asked an obvious question about the movie they were watching before answering it. Yongsun always seemed to know the things that Byulyi didn’t.

But this time, Byul had decided that she would figure this out by herself. Whatever this was.

It had taken her too long to realize that it was even there, to begin with — that warm, light feeling. It was as if it had been growing through god-knows-how-many years until it was so big that Byulyi couldn’t ignore it anymore. It made a home inside of her, and sometimes she would feel it stirring and twisting, burrowing deeper and deeper into her very soul.

Byul couldn’t tell exactly what it was, but she had been paying attention the last few months. She found that, one; it was always there. She couldn’t get rid of it, just like she couldn’t get rid of her moles, or scars, or dimples — it was a part of her. Two, it wasn’t unpleasant at all. It made her feel fluffy and warm inside, like the soup her mother used to make for her when she was a kid. And three; whenever it stirred, and twisted, and buried, it was always because of something Yongsun did.

Her leader seemed to be tied to that feeling somehow, so Byulyi had been forced to spend even more time with her to continue her investigation.

She was spending entire days with Yongsun, and even some nights too, whenever their movie marathons stretched a little too long into the evening. They had lunch together at least three times a week, and Daebak began recognizing the sounds of her steps. Yongsun had become used to having Byulyi coming over in the middle of night with no warning, and they had mixed up a few of their clothes so bad that they no longer knew which belonged to who. 

It was weird how right it felt. Yongsun’s house was more of a home to her than her own. And even if she groaned and complained about Byul invading her space, Yongsun still gave her the password to the apartment and stocked her fridge with kimchi because she knew Byulyi couldn’t eat without some. There was a purple toothbrush in the bathroom right next to Yongsun’s that belonged to Byulyi, and they even had established their sides on the bed (Yongsun on the right, Byulyi on the left) because Yongsun felt guilty making her sleep on the couch when she stayed over.

It had taken her months, but Byulyi thought she was finally putting it together. She could feel how close she was, but there was still something missing...

“Byul-ah.” Yongsun snapped her out of her thoughts. She had a frown on her face. “If you’re not going to pay attention to the movie, you better not pester me later because you don’t understand what’s going on.”

Byulyi stretched her back, pretending she hadn’t been just staring at her for the last few minutes.

“Sorry, it’s a boring movie.”

She received a kick on her thigh.

“It’s not! It’s very good!”

“Says who?”

“Says me!”

“Well, you also think yellow is a pretty color, so I don’t trust your taste so much,” She said, hiding her smirk behind the drink in her hand.

That, of course, earned her another kick.

“Sometimes I can’t stand you.”

Byulyi laughed as her friend paused the movie to take their now empty bowl of popcorn to the kitchen.

“Are you hungry?” She asked from there.

“Yeah.” Byul twisted on the couch, looking to the kitchen. “Should we order takeout?”

Yongsun grimaced.

“No, let’s have a homemade meal this time. I’ll gain weight if you keep making me eat all that junk food.”

Byulyi chuckled. They had ordered food the last two days already.

“Why do you care about that? You could weight half a ton and you’d still be the prettiest girl in Korea.”

Yongsun squealed, throwing the dishcloth she had in her hand to her face and missing by a few inches.

“Stop being annoying!”

But Byul was too busy laughing her ass off on the couch, clutching her belly.

Yongsun took her sweet time cooking, and by the end of it, Byulyi’s stomach had been growling for a good five minutes. Her mouth watered as soon as her friend set the first plate in front of her, along with a bottle of red wine, yet she waited until Yongsun took her seat to lean forward and press a kiss to her cheek.

“Thank you for the meal.”

Yongsun pushed her away with a groan, but Byulyi could see a smile pulling one side of her mouth.

“Shut up and eat.”

She was happy to obey, stuffing her mouth with as many fish cakes as she could. They ate in a comfortable silence for a few minutes, enjoying the homemade flavor of the food and slowly but surely emptying their glasses of wine.

When there was only one potato piece left, Yongsun grabbed it between her chopsticks and held it to Byulyi’s mouth. The sauce dripped on her chin, but Yongsun was quick to wipe it away with her thumb.

It was such a simple gesture, something they had done thousands of times, but it still made her stomach flip. And then it clicked.

She had to force herself to swallow the food in her mouth. Her throat had become suddenly dry.

“I have a surprise,” Yongsun said and rushed to take all the empty bowls to the sink. Byul knew she should have helped her, but her brain felt like it was working with a five seconds' delay. She was rooted in her place.

Yongsun disappeared in the kitchen again, and Byulyi was left staring at the now empty table.

It was crazy.

Maybe she got it wrong. She had been so obsessed with figuring it out, that maybe she just jumped at the first idea that came to her mind. Maybe she was that desperate.

But then Yongsun came back, proudly showing off some sort of dessert in her hands with a smile so big it showed her dimples, giggling while doing a silly dance with her shoulders, and Byulyi wondered how in earth it had taken her so long to realize that she was in love with Kim Yongsun.

She placed the dessert on the table.

“Ta-da!” She sat down, spinning the plate to show her creation from all angles. “It’s a cheesecake. I found the recipe online.”

Judging by the mixes of colors, it was supposed to be a three-layered blueberry cheesecake, but it was sloppy and the first layer had bled into the one beneath it, making it look more like a marbled purple mess.

Still, Yongsun seemed so proud that Byulyi eagerly accepted a slice and moaned as soon as she took a bite.

“This is the best thing I’ve ever tasted.”

Giggling, Yongsun hit her shoulder with barely any strength.

“Don’t make fun of me, Byul-ah. The first three were even worse.”

“I’m not making fun of you! It’s really good.” Yongsun squinted her eyes at her, but Byul was being honest. She really liked the dessert. “Seriously! It’s sweet but not too much, and the texture is so soft...”

Finally content with the answer, Yongsun returned to her own slice. Byul asked her for another piece after finishing the first one, even if she knew she shouldn’t eat so much when she was already full, but it put a bright smile on Yongsun’s face and pumped her ego. She had been trying to get into baking, and Byulyi was only trying to encourage her.

Yongsun also took a second slice, much thinner than the first one, and they laughed over her failures with the first few tries on the cheesecake. She had used actual cheese on the first one because she got it mixed up with the cream cheese, and then she felt horrified at how it turned out when she tried it.

Their glasses were also refilled once more, and Byulyi couldn’t tell if the buzzing in the tips of her fingers was because she was drunk on alcohol or on her long overdue realization. Whatever it was, it gave her a warm feeling in the pit of her stomach that made her feel good and powerful, as if the entire world was hers, so she decided that she liked it.

She gently pushed her feet to Yongsun’s, trying to catch her attention after their giggles subsided.

“Unnie.” Yongsun hummed, resting her chin on top of her hand to give Byulyi her full attention. “I’m in love with you.”

Byulyi didn’t know what she was expecting, but a giggle certainly wasn’t it.

Yongsun rolled her eyes with a smile, as if she had said something silly.

“Did you just figure that out?”

Byul blushed, but didn’t answer. The girl was right, after all.

Yongsun stood to return the wine to its place and then walked up to her. Byulyi had her eyes fixed on her shoes, but lifted them up when she realized that Yongsun was standing in front of her.

She pushed Byulyi’s hair behind her ear and rubbed her thumb against her jaw as she leaned down.

She held her face when she pressed their lips together, giving her a brief kiss that lasted for a few seconds before Yongsun pulled away.

Byul waited for the fireworks, and the racing heart and shaking hands, and all the euphoria she had heard about, but none of them came. Instead, she had that warm, fluffy feeling grow and settle even more inside of her, emptying her head of all thoughts that weren’t Yong related and pushing a piece Byulyi didn’t even knew she was missing back in its place.

Yongsun watched her for a bit longer, a smile pulling from the corners of her mouth as she cupped her cheeks.

“Since I cooked for you, it’s only fair that you wash the dishes today, don’t you think?”

Byul rolled her eyes and groaned.

“But they’re so many!”

“Yeah, well, nobody’s rushing you. I’ll go take a shower.”

Byul sighed as she watched her walk away, and by the time she finished with the dishes, Yongsun had already dressed in her pajamas and was drying her hair with a towel.

Byulyi took her turn in the shower, realizing how tired she was when the hot water hit her muscles and relaxed her. 

Yongsun stared at Byulyi from the bed as she combed her hair and went through a shortened version of her skin care routine.

Byulyi thought it was strange, the way it didn’t really felt like her world was turned upside down and completely transformed. It was more of a shift; like when you fixed your position in a chair after hours of being in a bad posture and then felt so much better and comfortable.

That was how Byulyi felt. Much more better and comfortable now that everything was in its place.

Yongsun turned the lights off as soon as she slipped into the bed, tucking her feet under the older’s legs to warm them up.

Her eyelids already felt heavy with sleep, and her brain was still somewhat foggy from the wine, but she forced herself to stay awake so she could enjoy the way Yongsun’s fingers felt running through her hair a little longer.

Her other hand found Byulyi’s and slipped into it, tucking them in between their bodies. She pulled her a little closer, and Byulyi nuzzled into her neck, dropping her arm over Yongsun’s waist.

The hand on her head dragged to her chin, lifting her face up for Yongsun to kiss her once more.

It was more of a proper kiss this time. Slow and tender. It had Byulyi humming in delight against Yongsun’s mouth. 

When they parted, Yongsun pulled her even closer, bodies flush against each other, and left another kiss on her temple.

“I love you too, by the way.”

Byulyi sighed and drifted off to sleep, happy to know that no matter how long it took her, Yongsun would always be waiting for her.