Since she was young Sana had been told to enjoy the little things in life, to count up the small pleasures and let them fill her up with happiness.
So she always tried her best to do just that. She found that happiness when she woke up in the morning and her phone was charged to 100%; when her favourite song played on the radio as she queued in the coffee shop near her apartment; when she managed to get the last on the shelf of her favourite snack.
But the little thing she liked the most was whenever she got to tease her best friend, Chaeyoung. The way red soaked into her cheeks when Sana held her close or gave her flirty compliments made Sana exponentially happy. It definitely helped to pass the hours at work as she took every opportunity to flirt - not that Sana hated her job as she was lucky enough to be a journalist writing for a well-known magazine and got to work with all of her friends. Teasing Chaeyoung just happened to be the favourite part of her day.
Sana flirted with Chaeyoung so much that if people didn’t know the platonic parameters of their relationship, they’d think they were dating. At the annual office party Sana would lose count of the number of times that men she recognised from work but had never cared to interact with came up to her and asked whether she and Chaeyoung were dating, along with the offer of “can I join you two?” Disgusted, Sana replied with a threatening no, but still received “ can I join you two anyway?” She guessed they all thought she was more outraged by the idea of dating Chaeyoung than by their overwhelming sense of male entitlement. She immediately made a mental note to visit HR the following morning.
“Can you believe these creeps keep asking me whether we’re dating?” Sana shook her head in disbelief as she walked over to Chaeyoung who was standing by a table, enjoying the atmosphere of the party. With a glass of wine in one hand, Sana scooped her other arm around Chaeyoung’s shoulders, attaching herself to her side like she was a wireless remote charging herself back up at the dock. She could never be apart from Chaeyoung for too long without craving the other girl near, feeling energy pour into her as she curled up into Chaeyoung’s side.
“Well, you are hanging off me right now,” Chaeyoung replied, quirking an eyebrow and motioning a hand to Sana’s arm around her shoulders almost possessively.
“And? It’s not for them.” A smirk began to appear on Sana’s face as she started to forget about what had happened and focused on Chaeyoung. She moved her face closer to Chaeyoung, her nose close enough to brush against her cheek that soon burned with the deep red that Sana loved so much.
“Sana,” Chaeyoung whined out slowly. She tilted her head to the side away from Sana’s teasing lips, but with Sana’s arm around her shoulders, it threatened like she was in a vice. It was all superficial. Sana always let Chaeyoung wriggle from her grasp and potential kisses easily. She never crossed the line, only wanted to tightrope along it and see how Chaeyoung would react.
This time Chaeyoung reacted by breaking free, feeling her face burn without even needing to press a hand to it to check. She felt lightheaded and her voice caught in her throat but she still managed to cough out a warning, “Stop that.”
Sana giggled at Chaeyoung’s flustered state and then watched her start to walk away, “Where are you going?”
“To get a drink.”
“Get me one too, please.” Sana chimed after her and threw Chaeyoung a quick wink when she turned back to face her.
“You already have one.” Chaeyoung rolled her eyes, but despite the glass in her hand, Sana knew Chaeyoung would return with two glasses.
To people who knew the pair and knew what good friends they were, they also speculated whether they were more than just that. They couldn’t help it when Tzuyu and Chaeyoung arrived at the office together several mornings a week and Tzuyu would witness Sana try to pepper Chaeyoung’s cheek with kisses as she bought her a morning coffee. Tzuyu’s own girlfriend Momo didn’t ever react nearly as exaggeratedly as Sana would when Tzuyu placed a coffee on her desk in the office. Instead, Momo would give Tzuyu an eye-sparklingly “thank you” and Tzuyu’s cheeks definitely never burned hotter than the coffee in her hands unlike Chaeyoung.
Sana and Chaeyoung’s friends were always found speculating in the office through knowing glances or in hushed words in the break room about the pair. Dahyun had caught Mina up on one morning where she had been distracted by Sana coming to sit on Chaeyoung’s lap at her desk in front of her. Sana had whispered in Chaeyoung’s ear how great the video she was currently editing looked but by the way Chaeyoung got flustered at Sana’s words and her weight on her thighs, it had made it seem to Dahyun like it was as scandalous as seductive words shared between lovers.
However, the pair carried on like normal and constantly denied all questions.
“I can’t believe you called and told us to leave work early for this. You said it was an emergency, Sana.” Jihyo shook her head.
“I could be with my girlfriend right now.” Nayeon groaned in annoyance, sitting next to Jihyo and her back resting on the headboard of Sana’s bed.
“No, you couldn’t. Mina is busy, that’s why I called you instead.” Sana said without looking at her friends, concentrating as she applied her lipstick in her dressing table mirror.
“Wow, thanks.” Nayeon’s tone was dry with sarcasm.
Sana finished and rubbed her lips together, watching the colour stain into them. When she was satisfied with her work, she turned in her seat so she could face the pair. “Anyway, this is more important. How do I look?”
“You look amazing.”
“You always look great, Sana.”
“Thank you.” Her lips slowly tugged into a smug smile, letting her friends’ compliments sink in.
“Why did you ask us and not Chaeyoung to help you?” Nayeon asked, genuinely wondering where Chaeyoung was. Whenever Nayeon came over to Sana’s apartment, Chaeyoung was always there, so comfortable on her sofa or expertly rummaging around in the kitchen cupboards that it looked like Chaeyoung lived there herself. Either Chaeyoung was there or Sana was at Chaeyoung’s place that she shared with Dahyun. They were inseparable.
“Because I know she’d say I look good in everything and that’s not helpful right now.” As much as Sana loved the idea of trying on a bunch of outfits, watching Chaeyoung’s pale cheeks darken to red and then hear her repeat the same over the top compliments to her like a pull toy, she wanted actual help this time.
“Sure, of course.” Nayeon mumbled and when Sana got up from her seat, pulling the bottom of her red dress down as she stood to retrieve her heels from the other side of the room, Nayeon exchanged a look with Jihyo. One that silently read they knew exactly why Chaeyoung would do that.
“So you’re going on a date with who again?” Jihyo asked, making her question seem like idle chit chat.
“Eunha. She’s from yoga.” Sana replied as she sat back down on the seat at her dressing table, heels selected and in hand. She dropped one and worked the buckle open of the other.
“The yoga class that you go to with Chaeyoung...” Jihyo chewed over slowly, her tone implying intrigue towards the situation. Sana didn’t like it and lifted her head up, narrowing her eyes a little at Jihyo and Nayeon. She knew how their brains worked, always with calculated intentions of meddling.
“What?” Sana queried, but only received raised eyebrows, downturned corners of lips and a shake of the head from Jihyo. The combination only bugged Sana more, asking again, this time with a more demanding tone. “What?”
“Nothing.” Jihyo laughed, but then noticed that Sana wasn’t satisfied with her answer, “I just think it’s interesting that you’re going on a date with someone who isn’t Chaeyoung.”
“Why would I go on a date with Chaeyoung?” Sana furrowed her brow, confusion overtaking her and distracting her from the task of putting on her heels. Jihyo raised her eyebrows again and Nayeon rolled her eyes, both surprised at how clueless Sana was being.
“Right, the way you flirt with her you’d think you two were already dating.” Nayeon replied and then nudged Jihyo’s arm with her elbow, “Maybe Sana’s trying to secure another girlfriend.”
“That’s stupid.” Sana scoffed back. She thought it didn’t need to be said yet for some reason she still heard herself pointing out the obvious to Nayeon and Jihyo, “Chaeyoung isn’t my girlfriend, I just like messing with her. It’s harmless.”
“So you’ve never thought about dating Chaeyoung before?” Nayeon questioned, leaning forwards away from the headboard.
“No, she’s Chaeyoung. She’s my best friend.” Sana spluttered out like Nayeon had just said the stupidest thing ever. Her and Chaeyoung had been best friends ever since they had become interns at the magazine. They shared food together; shared stories at 2 in the morning on the phone until one of them fell asleep; shared blankets as they watched movies together in each other’s arms for warmth. Sana never had a lot of best friends growing up but she assumed these were typical things best friends did. At least she did them with her best friend.
“You know friends to lovers is a very popular trope, right? In real life, not just the movies?” Nayeon laughed. For someone who liked romcoms so much, Nayeon thought Sana was pretty oblivious of the essential romcom narrative elements that Sana seemed to be living out right now.
“I’m flirty. It’s just the nature of our friendship. Loads of girls have flirty friendships.” Emphasising her point, Sana motioned with her hands and shook her head. She felt herself getting more and more defensive as the questions continued to roll in. She paused and closed her eyes for a second and then tried to redirect the questions, “Anyway, why are you two interrogating me all of a sudden?”
“Okay, okay, Sana’s right. Friends are flirty with each other all the time.” Jihyo raised her hands and a calming voice came out. One that she often used in the office when trying to deescalate growing fights about the front cover of next month’s issue - this argument felt like it was going the same way. Sana nodded back at her with a smug purse of her lips, happy to be right and not attacked with questions any longer. But Jihyo didn’t stop there, “You two are just very flirty together, but I get it because I have that kind of friendship with someone. Do you know who? Jeongyeon.”
“Yeah, because she’s your girlfriend, Hyo.”
“Exactly, Sana! That level of flirting isn’t platonic!” Jihyo exclaimed triumphantly, emphasising her point with a jab on her finger towards Sana. Nayeon couldn’t help breaking into laughter and Jihyo soon followed.
“Shut the fuck up. Both of you.” Sana groaned out, feeling her cheeks burn red in frustration. They soon matched the colour of her dress which only made her friends laugh louder. Seconds later, one of Sana’s heels came flying at the pair, a tangible warning sign to stop. Although it hit the pillow in front of them, it turned their laughter into yelps and screeches.
“I’m trying to get ready for a date with someone else and you two are here putting ideas of Chaeyoung into my head. Stop it, okay?” Sana huffed.
“Okay okay, just food for thought.” Jihyo apologised, tossing the shoe back to Sana who soon put them on.
“Anyway this Eunha must be great if you’re dressing up so nice for her.” Nayeon said once she had calmed down, gesturing to the dress that Sana was wearing. Nayeon hoped her words would act as a peace offering amongst their verbal and newly physical argument.
“Yeah, she’s really nice, I like her a lot.” She smoothed her dress down and turned to face the mirror. She saw the blush against her cheeks. A sight she usually loved so much, but on her, she hated it. She hoped she could collect herself and the colour would disappear before she went on her date.
“Bet she’s no Chaeyoung thou-”
“Can you just read it again, but this time better?” Chaeyoung asked, rubbing her face with a hand in exasperation. Two eyes glared back at her from the other side of the glass.
“Remind me to not ask you if the fashion department needs help editing anything. Fuck.” Jeongyeon hissed out the last word, surprised at her friend’s harshness. Her voice was muffled, becoming slightly electronic as it came through the speakers from the recording room, but the impact was still there.
Chaeyoung sighed, leaning back on the chair she was sat on in front of the recording deck. She had asked Jeongyeon if she could help her out by recording a few lines of audio for her new video and here Chaeyoung was rewarding Jeongyeon’s kindness by snapping at her.
“I’m sorry, I’m just stressed. You’re great, I need one more take so I can choose from a bunch, okay? Thank you for helping me, I know you’re busy.”
“I’m always busy but it’s nothing a bunch of interns can’t cover for me.” Jeongyeon smiled at Chaeyoung, accepting her apology. Yet despite being in separate rooms, the glass dividing them, Jeongyeon could clearly see the lines of worry firmly pressed on Chaeyoung’s face. She took off her headphones and stepped away from the microphone, “Why are you so stressed?”
“I have my big presentation tomorrow and so far I have the video just not the audio.” Chaeyoung paused and gestured to Jeongyeon who was helping her fill in the blanks. “I just wanna get this right.”
“Don’t worry we will.” Jeongyeon smiled reassuringly. “Why didn’t you finish this earlier in the week?”
“I’ve been so busy and then I was planning on finishing it last night, but Sana asked me to come round to debrief on her date.” Chaeyoung leant forward and rested her head in a hand. It wasn’t like her to be so disorganised.
“Right,” Jeongyeon knew Chaeyoung had a habit of dropping things for Sana and Sana must’ve been aware of the power she had to pull Chaeyoung away from games nights or dinner arrangements with Jeongyeon and their other friends. Maybe Sana had a legit reason this time. “Did something bad happen on the date? Is that why she called you over?”
“Nah, she just wanted to hang out.” Chaeyoung waved up the hand that wasn’t holding her chin, dismissing Jeongyeon’s concern but not Jeongyeon’s understanding that Sana had Chaeyoung wrapped around her little finger. Luckily, Chaeyoung seemed to enjoy it just as much. “She said it went fine. Eunha is really nice, I’ve spoken to her a few times at yoga, but Sana said she’d rather just be friends with her.”
Crossing her arms, Jeongyeon started to pace around the small recording room slowly, nodding as she thought out loud, “Hmm, strange how all her dates never seem to work out. It’s like she’s waiting for that one right person, or maybe they’re already in her life.”
Jeongyeon raised her eyebrows knowingly at the end of her sentence which only made Chaeyoung frown in confusion, “What does that mean?”
“I saw you the other day when Sana said she was going on another date,” Jeongyeon continued to pace the room as she speculated. Then she quickly turned her head around to face Chaeyoung, “You looked...jealous.”
“I didn’t look jealous.” Chaeyoung started to defend herself, but Jeongyeon merely shrugged at her own observation. “Jealous of Eunha getting to spend time with my best friend? Sure, but that’s it.”
Jeongyeon stopped pacing all together. She stared blankly at Chaeyoung and then her features became animated.
“Wait, are we ignoring the massive crush that you’ve had on Sana for years? Oh okay, sure. Continue.” Emphasising her point, Jeongyeon pulled her hand out of her crossed arms and gestured for Chayeoung to carry on. Chaeyoung didn’t find this nearly as amusing as the smirk teasing Jeongyeon’s lips did.
“You’re an asshole, Jeongyeon.” Jeongyeon faked a gasp and clutched at her chest at Chaeyoung’s comment, which to Chaeyoung, only confirmed her character assessment of Jeongyeon. Chaeyoung took her head out of her hand and moved her hand to hover over a button on the record deck in front of where she sat, “Shut up before I mute you. Sana and I are just friends.”
But Jeongyeon didn’t seem threatened at all and continued to push her luck, “Then why are you always so red when she kisses you on the cheek?”
“Jeong, I’ll do it.” Sitting up in her seat, Chaeyoung’s tone got more threatening, desperate for Jeongyeon to change the conversation.
“Go for it. I’m only here because you need me to speak.” Jeongyeon shrugged nonchalantly, knowing she had the upper hand.
“Not about this!”
“And I will help you with what you need,” Jeongyeon promised and then tilted her head with a sly smile, “after you answer my question.”
“I...because I’m embarrassed of course. She doesn’t understand personal space.” Chaeyoung felt her cheeks burn red. It was amazing how Sana made her this hot and distracted when she wasn’t even in the room. Any mention of her made Chaeyoung’s heart beat faster. She always became conscious of it beating in her chest when she was around Sana and this time tried to cough it back down to her regular rhythm.
Jeongyeon had caught sight of Chaeyoung’s cheeks, they practically glowed out of the booth, and along with Chaeyoung’s words, Jeongyeon was far from convinced. “She’s never understood personal space. If that was the reason, you would have got over the blushing years ago.”
“It is!” Voice jumping a few octaves higher, Chaeyoung instantly mentally kicked herself. “Wouldn’t you be embarrassed if she kissed you at work?”
“Sana is one of the few people in this world that Jihyo wouldn’t hit, but if Sana kissed me, I think Jihyo would smack her.”
Chaeyoung couldn’t help laughing at the thought. “Yeah, you’re right. She wouldn’t smack Sana, and probably also Tzuyu. And you.”
“Well, in certain circumstances she does.” Jeongyeon quipped back, bouncing her eyebrows up twice in a flirty manner.
“Oh my god, Jeongyeon!” This time Chaeyoung’s cheeks burnt with a different kind of embarrassment. If she had wanted Jeongyeon to stop talking before, she definitely did now, “I didn’t need to know…” Before she could finish her own sentence, Chaeyoung cut herself off and then Jeongyeon’s hyperventilating-like cackle too after she pressed down hard on the mute button.
Chaeyoung revelled in the instant silence and watched the chaos on the other side of the glass, Jeongyeon grasping at her stomach as she laughed with her mouth open wide. Her lips changed and soon moved to form words, but Chaeyoung couldn’t hear which ones and didn’t care enough to lip read. Instead, Chaeyoung looked back at Jeongyeon and pointed to her ears whilst shaking her head and then dramatically shrugged with her mouth agape. Jeongyeon realised what Chaeyoung had done, that she had finally followed through on her threat, and then pursed her lips, completely unimpressed. However, Chaeyoung was enjoying this a little too much, especially when Jeongyeon’s expression of frustration turned into one of sadness, her lips pushed out in a pout and her hands balled into fists at her sides. With this expression, Jeongyeon mouthed something that looked like she was whining out a long word and this time Chaeyoung didn’t have to think. She had seen her name cross Jeongyeon’s lips so many times before.
Giggling, Chaeyoung finally gave in and pressed the mute button once more to turn it off, “What?”
“I’ll stop talking about you and Sana, okay?” Jeongyeon lifted her hands up in defeat which Chaeyoung nodded to. “I just thought you two would be cute together.”
Chaeyoung rolled her eyes and groaned for what felt like the hundredth time, “Just because you’re all coupled up doesn’t mean you have to pair me up with Sana. Dahyun is single too and she’s doing fine.”
“Nah, I saw her flirting with one of the girls from downstairs the other day.” Jeongyeon explained, whilst walking back to the music stand with Chaeyoung’s script on, “Gahyeon, I think her name is. They seemed very friendly.”
“For fuck’s sake, Dahyun,” Chaeyoung was happy for her friend, but couldn’t help the selfish part of her that enjoyed their single lives together where they’d complain about their couple friends and how disgusting they all were. A lot of the time their conversations ended with Dahyun claiming Chaeyoung was just as bad with Sana, but of course, Chaeyoung constantly denied it and wrung the sleeves of her hoody whilst her mind wandered to the countless times Sana tucked Chaeyoung’s hair behind her ear.
“Your undeniable feelings for Sana aside, by pure logic alone you and Sana have to get together so everyone in our group is dating someone and the balance will finally be restored. It’s for the sake of the universe, Chaeng. You can’t argue with that.” Jeongyeon concluded and then placed the headphones back on her ears, “Now, should I go from the top again?”
“Sure.” Chaeyoung nodded as she pressed record and Jeongyeon started to read the script. Chaeyoung might as well have kept the mute button on as none of Jeongyeon’s words stuck in her brain nor ventured anywhere near it. Her mind was firmly filled with thoughts of Sana.
Any other Friday afternoon and Sana would be the first person out the office door. Any other Friday afternoon and Sana would be practically skipping around the bullpen to ask her friends whether they had plans for tonight and if so, to cancel them because they were all going out and getting drunk. Any other Friday afternoon and Sana would not be squinting at her laptop and rubbing circles against the stress headache burning into her temples, yet here she was doing just that.
“Are you ready to go?” Chaeyoung asked from the other side of the room, collecting her bag from her desk. The pair had made plans with their friends to meet at a local bar, hang out and destress, but Sana didn’t think the stress was going to leave her so soon.
“I dunno, Chae. You go without me.” Sana sighed back, eyes not leaving her screen as she mindlessly scrolled up and down her word document.
“What do you mean?”
At Chaeyoung’s reply, Sana looked up from her laptop, feeling her shoulders ease a little as she looked at the other woman. Chaeyoung’s presence gave Sana an idea. Pushing herself away from her desk, Sana used her feet whilst still sitting on her desk chair to scoot closer to Chaeyoung.
“Come here, come here,” Sana repeated quickly as her arms outstretched towards Chaeyoung and both feet worked together to wheel her closer to her. It was like she was a toddler, making grabby hands and shifting closer to someone to gain attention. And Chaeyoung gave her just that, walking towards Sana and swivelling her chair around. Sana yelped at the sudden movement, but that soon turned into laughter as Chaeyoung guided her back towards her desk. She pushed and pulled her side to side sporadically which only made Sana laugh louder.
When Sana arrived back at her desk she looked up at Chaeyoung who hovered near her left side, “Will you read this for me?”
“Sana, I’m a video editor. I don’t know how much help I’ll be.” But Sana didn’t listen, only pushed her laptop to the left, closer to Chaeyoung.
“Please, I just need some peace of mind.” Sana’s eyes grew sincere and her voice quieter, “You always bring that to me.”
Chaeyoung gulped and then smiled, “Okay.”
“Thank you, Chaengie.” Sana soon smiled back at the gesture and moved her head closer to press a kiss on Chaeyoung’s cheek in gratitude. That was one of the first smiles Chaeyoung had seen on Sana’s face this afternoon, she wasn’t about to interrupt her in protest of Sana kissing her cheek. So she silently pursed her lips and let the blush wash over her face instead. She pulled a chair close and sat down next to Sana. She then put her hand on the back of Sana’s chair to get a closer look at the screen as she started to read the word document.
“‘ 10 ways to show someone you’re interested in them. ’ Really?” Chaeyoung read the title aloud and then raised an eyebrow as she turned her head to look at Sana.
“I know,” Sana cringed, screwing her face up, “I thought it would be easy to write as I’m a pretty flirty person.”
“You don’t say.” Chaeyoung replied deadpanned and earned herself a playful hit on her upper arm.
“I know it’s stupid, but I wanna write it well so I can show that I’m capable of writing other more important things for the magazine.”
“I get that.” Chaeyoung moved her hand from the chair to rest on Sana’s shoulder, a silent reassurance as she read down the page. It felt so familiar despite having never read it before. She saw Sana written all over the article. Her personality stuck out so clearly to Chaeyoung. A little too clearly.
She wanted to be impartial. Enjoy the details within the text. Enjoy the way Sana wrote so beautifully and so cleverly, but she couldn’t. The subheadings of the ten things that would help you bag the one you liked made her think of something other than Sana’s writing.
- Give them compliments often.
Innocent enough but Chaeyoung’s mind couldn’t help carding through all the times she had turned up to work in a new outfit or a different hairstyle or hair colour and Sana had fawned over her new look for hours, sending an abundance of compliments her way or coming over to sit on Chaeyoung’s lap to play with the fabric or hair.
Chaeyoung reminded herself that friends compliment each other all the time as she read further into the text. She shouldn’t get carried away. As Sana just said herself, she was a naturally flirty person.
- Make eye contact with them.
Chaeyoung noted to herself that that was a given in any friendship let alone a relationship. She had always thought it was important to look a person in the eye and really connect with their words whenever they spoke, but there was always something more intense when Sana looked at her. Although their desks were across the room, Sana seemed to have a perfect eye line to Chaeyoung amongst the lamps, laptops and other clutter between them. Chaeyoung occasionally felt Sana’s gaze burn into her skull like lasers and then etch red marks into her cheeks when their eyes connected and Sana sent a cheeky wink her way. Afterwards Chaeyoung would be distracted for minutes, staring at her screen with glazed-over eyes.
- Make light but lingering physical contact during conversation.
Sometimes Sana’s touch was light - the way she’d lie her head on Chaeyoung’s lap as they rested - but sometimes there was nothing light about it as Sana tugged her close by her hip or pulled her into her lap when they were with their friends. One thing Chaeyoung was sure about was Sana’s touch was definitely lingering. She possessed a touch that crept across Chaeyoung’s skin minutes after Sana left. It was like Sana had dug her nails in deep and raked them up leaving red marks, but whenever Chaeyoung checked there was nothing else except the memory welded into her mind.
Questions whirled around in her head. Why was Sana doing all these things to Chaeyoung when it was just harmless flirting? Why had Sana categorised all the aspects of their playful friendship under the title of trying to seduce your crush when that had never been Sana’s intention?
“These are so stupid.” Chaeyoung’s laugh cut through the silence in the empty office. It came out nervous as she tried to subdue the feelings circling in her chest. She turned to Sana and was suddenly conscious of how close they were to each other. They’d be just as close if not more plenty of times before, but reading Sana’s article had made her conscious of her surroundings and a little too conscious of the unusual dynamics of their friendship.
“I know.” Sana joked back, patiently waiting for Chaeyoung’s feedback.
Chaeyoung chose to read on. There was a large gap in the middle of the text that wrote ‘think of 4-9 and add some bullshit anecdote about that guy on the high school hockey team you used to flirt with - people eat up high school romances ’ which made Chaeyoung smile.
“You might want to fill in the middle.” Chaeyoung piped up again, her voice equally as wobbly as the last time. She was content that her comment could overcompensate for a lot of the fact her mind has glazed over the details of Sana’s article. She had barely any notes aside from why have you written our relationship down on paper and not thought to give me a percentage of the earnings? Chaeyoung decided to keep that one to herself.
“You really are a video editor and not a journalist, huh?” Sana teased, not finding Chaeyoung's input useful.
“What gave it away?” Chaeyoung replied wiggling her eyebrows. Sana’s voice was making her more comfortable, pulling herself away from her thought that could only be fantasy.
“Keep reading, you’re almost finished.”
“Okay okay,” Chaeyoung trained her eyes back to the page and read number ten.
She scoffed loudly as she read aloud, “‘ 10. Kiss them.’ A little less subtle don’t you think?”
The only thing that was going to save Chaeyoung right now from her overactive imagination was her sense of humour. Rip into the stupidity of such articles giving out love advice without making fun of Sana’s writing. They both knew how stupid this was.
“What did you write? ‘ When the moment is right, lean in close and finally kiss them.’ What, like this?” Chaeyoung mused, moving her face closer to Sana. Her lips dramatically pushed together to form a big pout inches away from Sana’s cheek, expecting Sana to turn around to face her and push her shoulder with a laugh at how cheesy Chaeyoung was being. Then Chaeyoung would praise Sana like she always did, tell her she was an amazing writer whose talent was wasted on this shit, and then they’d finally leave the office and get a drink with their friends.
Maybe Chaeyoung had misjudged the closeness between them because when Chaeyoung caught scent of Sana’s perfume as she tossed her head to look at her, she also caught Sana’s lips against her own.
A millisecond of shock and an eruption of mixed feelings and then the kiss was over as fleeting as it started. It was unlike Sana to ever pull away from Chaeyoung, but she was the first out of the pair to react to their lips accidentally meeting. She jumped back, physically recoiling from Chaeyoung’s lips as if she’d just been given the fright of her life. Panic flashed across her eyes as they darted between Chaeyoung’s eyes and lips and Chaeyoung could only stare back at them. Neither of them said anything.
Once more, Sana was the first to break the contact, daring her eyes to look anywhere but Chaeyoung, especially her lips.
“So it was okay, right?” Sana sounded distracted, “The article?”
“Yeah, it’s good. Sana, I-” Chaeyoung started but was cut short by Sana slamming her laptop closed. She reached for her bag, quickly stuffing her laptop into it and then wheeled her chair back a little so she could stand up.
“Thanks, Chae. I err, I’ve got to go.” Sana stood up and directed her words to her friend who was still sitting in the same position, leaning forwards with her lips pursed a little and completely dumbfounded.
“I thought we were going to the bar?” Chaeyoung questioned Sana as she swung her bag over her shoulder. She questioned everything that had just happened so fast that her head was spinning.
“I forgot I have to do something.” Sana called back as she moved away from her desk. Chaeyoung caught the red that lit up her cheeks before Sana completely turned away from her.
“Sana?” Chaeyoung called after her, but Sana was walking away too quickly.
For a room so empty it felt overwhelmingly claustrophobic right now and Sana had to get out of there. Fast. She weaved past the desks and didn’t even think about waiting for the elevator, instantly pushing open the door to the stairs with a loud bang and disappearing down them.
The sound echoed through the room which was quiet apart from Chaeyoung’s heavy breathing. Sighing loudly, Chaeyoung flopped back in her chair, wondering what went wrong so fast and how she’d completely misjudged their entire friendship.
Sana didn’t like her. It was clear from Sana’s look of shock and disgust when they accidentally kissed that she was physically repulsed by the thought of Chaeyoung romantically.
And now she needed to be repulsed at the thought too.
“Ah, here she is.” Jeongyeon called out as Chaeyoung walked up to their booth in the bar. Chaeyoung gave a small greeting to Jeongyeon and then Mina, Dahyun and Tzuyu who were also sitting around the table, all with drinks in their hands.
“Where’s Sana? I thought you two were coming together?” Dahyun asked, munching on some bar snacks.
“She’s bailed. Said she had plans.” Chaeyoung huffed as she pulled out a chair and collapsed into it.
Dahyun replied, saying something about Sana not mentioning plans earlier, but Chaeyoung didn’t listen. Despite physically being in the bar, her mind wasn’t there. She was still reliving what just happened in the office.
“Something happened.” Chaeyoung murmured in between biting the inside of her cheek.
“What? Mina asked, intrigued, watching Chaeyoung stare off at the table deep in thought.
“Did your presentation not go well earlier?” Tzuyu worried.
“No. It went really well actually.” Chaeyoung shook her head and then sighed, “Sana and I kissed.”
Instantly her friends erupted into noise.
“Oh my god, finally!”
“You kissed her?”
“No way did Chaeyoung kiss Sana first.”
“Are you two dating now?”
“It was an accident.” Chaeyoung finally piped up. Not the answer her friends were looking for as they immediately looked confused at her words.
“What do you mean? How do you kiss by accident?” Dahyun questioned.
“We were in the office and I was too close to her and she turned around and then we…” Chaeyoung shook her head at the memory, “...kissed.”
“I’m guessing Sana didn’t take it well if she’s not here right now?” Mina winced at her own question. By the look on Chaeyoung’s face she didn’t need to ask.
“Yeah, she bolted out of there. Couldn’t bear to look at me.” Chaeyoung crossed her arms, pursing her lips. She didn’t dare lift her eyes up to see her friends’ reactions.
“How did you want her to react?” Jeongyeon questioned.
Chaeyoung looked at Jeongyeon, her brow furrowed trying to work out what Chaeyoung had wanted from this situation. Chaeyoung didn’t even know herself. Her mind was splattered all over the place.
“Not like that! I don’t want to lose a best friend over something so stupid.”
“Or a potential girlfriend.” Tzuyu suggested, taking a swig of her drink, “You’ve been wanting to kiss her since you first met her.”
“No, I haven’t.” Chaeyoung bit back, but she knew it wasn’t worth it when her friends rolled their eyes or scoffed at her predictable reply like Chaeyoung was a character in a movie they’d watched a thousand times. She always said the same thing, deflected with the same answer and she knew it herself. Chaeyoung sighed, “Even if I did, Sana obviously doesn’t like me like that.”
“You don’t know that.” Dahyun shook her head at her friend.
“She ran away from me, Dahyun!”
“Maybe she was so taken aback she ran off.” Mina interjected, raising her shoulders in a shrug.
“That’s very un-Sana though. Usually she’d be running towards you to kiss you.” Jeongyeon thought out loud, mostly to herself and into her bottle as she took a drink of her beer.
To that, Mina shot her daggers and Tzuyu elbowed her side, both warning her that this wasn’t the time to increase Chaeyoung’s doubts.
Jeongyeon spluttered into her drink at the force Tzuyu put into hitting her in the ribs. She looked back at Mina and widened her eyes as a silent confirmation that she’d got this and to give her some credit. Holding her side, she looked at Chaeyoung, “What I meant was that there’s probably a good reason for Sana leaving like that. Don’t jump to conclusions, I’m sure you two will be fine.”
“You shouldn’t be embarrassed about it anyway. It’s not like you kissed her on purpose, it was a mistake.” Mina tried to reassure Chaeyoung but all she did was hum distractingly.
“Hi all!” Chaeyoung turned around in her seat to see Nayeon approaching them wearing a large grin on her face, followed by Momo and Jihyo, the latter with her jaw set in annoyance, “Sorry we’re late, we played a game of who could go the furthest in a desk chair in Jihyo’s office and the loser has to buy a round of drinks. So thanks Jihyo.”
“This never happens to me.” Jihyo groaned as her friends broke out into cheers at the idea of free drinks. Jihyo was always used to winning so losing this one time was upsetting, even more so when losing to Nayeon who would milk this moment for every drop it was worth. “I rolled over a cable so it wasn’t a fair game.”
“Sure, Jihyo.” Momo patted Jihyo on the back before moving to sit down next to Tzuyu. Her smile softened out as she bunched up next to her girlfriend and felt her affection touch on her thigh.
“I’ll help you.” Jeongyeon announced, getting up from her seat to follow her grumpy girlfriend to the bar. She reached out for her, rubbing up and down her back trying to sooth Jihyo’s competitive side. She knew it would take a lot more having faced the full wrath of Jihyo’s competitiveness when they paired up at game night, but it was a start.
“Don’t help her pay for anything.” Nayeon called at Jeongyeon sternly, “That’s not in the rules. Jihyo has the highest salary at work, she can afford a few beers.”
“Nah, that’s Jeongyeon.” Jihyo corrected Nayeon.
“Well, I’m sure it’s nice dating the head of fashion and being the richest couple at the magazine, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a round in.” Nayeon said, rolling her eyes, and then looked at Jeongyeon, pointing a finger her way, “Don’t help her pay.”
“Okay,” Jeongyeon lifted her hands up in surrender, defending her innocent intentions of just wanting to help Jihyo carry the glasses.
Feeling triumphant, Nayeon turned around and set herself down in between Dahyun and Mina.
“Hi baby,” She greeted Mina with a smile and then a short kiss on the lips which Mina returned just as sweetly. Chaeyoung watched the whole thing from across the table. It was just as brief as the one she had shared with Sana, but instead of being filled with confusion and what Chaeyoung had read as disgust, it was filled with love.
“So where’s Sana?” Nayeon asked innocently and only received a low groan from Chaeyoung.
Throughout the rest of their evening Chaeyoung kept asking herself the same question, hoping that Sana was okay and wondering what was going through her mind. Whenever she normally had something on her mind no matter how small she would talk to Sana, in person or on the phone, but this time didn’t feel so easy.
Yet when she and Dahyun finally came back to their apartment that night and Chaeyoung fell back against her mattress, her fingers itched to text Sana. Maybe it was the alcohol in her system that spurred her fingers on to type a message.
Hey Sana. Are you okay?
Yeah, I’m fine.
Sorry I left earlier, I forgot I had plans.
That’s okay, I was just worried.
You left so fast and I didn’t want things
to be weird between us over something
so stupid because it was just a mistake of course
No, please don’t worry about it.
It just took me by surprise that’s all.
Nothing will be weird between us,
you’re my best friend, Chae :)
Things were weird between them.
Things were weird with Sana.
As hard as she tried to forget that afternoon, she couldn’t. It would be stupid to say it didn’t affect her because every time she looked at Chaeyoung across the office she’d think about the kiss. It wasn’t even a proper kiss but every time she saw Chaeyoung’s lips turn up into a smile or bite her bottom lip in concentration, Sana instantly thought of them pressed against her’s. It was like she could feel them there all over again.
“I can’t do it.” Sana sighed in exasperation. She watched Nayeon who was sat opposite her barely react to her sudden outburst, eyes still locked to her laptop screen. “Can you write this for me?”
Nayeon screwed her face up and looked at Sana, “No, I don’t wanna write your stupid article. I’m busy writing my own.”
“Ugh,” Sana moaned at Nayeon’s reply. She rested her head in her hands in defeat, “I can’t concentrate.”
“Maybe if you start staring at your laptop and not at Chaeyoung, you’d probably get some more work done.” Nayeon stated as she continued to type.
Sana lifted her head up and gasped at Nayeon.
“I am not staring at Chaeyoung.” She replied in a hushed voice, after looking around to check Chaeyoung wasn’t near and no one else was listening. Normally she glanced around the office for Chaeyoung, missing her best friend and wanting her near. This time she missed Chaeyoung like crazy, but couldn’t be near her without being reminded of that kiss in a flustered blush.
“Yes, you are.” Nayeon nodded. She had caught Sana staring off behind her several times today and Nayeon knew all too well that Chaeyoung’s desk was located behind her shoulders. On many occasions whilst sharing this desk with Sana, she’d looked up at the wrong time and intercepted flirty kisses or winks that Sana sent Chaeyoung’s way. “And the way you’ve been chewing at the end of that pencil suggests you wanna do a lot more than stare.”
Sana frowned at the pencil on her desk and saw the teeth marks whittling down the wood. She batted it lightly with her fingers and it rolled further away from her.
“I’m just thrown off. I can’t stop thinking about…” Sana screwed her mouth shut like she was wrestling with herself to get the word out. She resorted to darting her eyes away from Nayeon’s gaze, nervously, “you know…”
“When you and Chaeyoung kissed and you ran away like you don’t kiss her all the time?”
“Yeah that, but it’s different this time.” Sana tried to reason, but Nayeon wasn’t understanding any of it.
“I didn’t initiate it. All the times I’ve kissed Chaeyoung before I was in control when I was teasing her, but this threw me off.”
“So Sana has a power kink. Good to know.” Nayeon nodded slowly with a smirk which elicited a drawn out whine of her name from Sana.
“Well, talk to her. Tell her all this instead of me. I don’t want to know but I’m sure Chaeyoung does.” Nayeon wished Sana would tell Chaeyoung and not have to put up with the range of frustrated noises coming from the opposite desk any longer.
“Nayeon, I can’t even string a sentence together anymore without being a mess. She asked me if I wanted coffee earlier and I couldn’t even remember the words for yes or no. Yes or no, Nayeon! I had to sneak into the break room without her seeing to make coffee because I couldn’t bring myself to ask her.” Sana’s eyes went wide and wild, surprised by her own change of character. It was embarrassing how much of a state Chaeyoung had made her with one fleeting kiss that wasn’t intentional. It wasn’t even the real thing. She shouldn’t be so hung up on it.
“I know, I saw. It was...really something.” Recalling the disaster, Nayeon bit back a giggle. It was like the pair had just met. Two incompetent acquaintances who yearned to be more than that, not best friends who had been inseparable for years.
“I’m in no headspace to spill my emotions to her right now.” Sana agreed with herself. She had so many feelings mixed around in her, feeling like they were constantly being shaken around and would fizz up to the surface and leak out of her, tearing down her facade.
“Well, try to focus on your work then. Take your mind off things.” Nayeon suggested, and Sana nodded, eyes falling on her writing again. Nayeon thought she had won her silence and concentration back from Sana, but moments later Sana drew out a long and loud sigh.
“Every time I start writing this article, it reminds me of her. I thought it was such a good idea to write this article about flirting with people, but now it’s so fucking ironic.” If it wasn’t happening to her this would be hilarious, but it only made Sana frustrated with how distracted she had become. She always knew how to turn things on and off; knew where her level of professionalism lied; knew when to stop being hardworking and have a little fun, but now she was all off balance and threatening to fall over and never get up.
Nayeon said nothing. She focused her eyes to her screen and rubbed where her forehead met her hairline as a way of helping. But it didn’t last long.
“It’s Chaeyoung for fuck’s sake. Why can’t I talk to her?” Sana said in a huffed voice but the annoyance and frustration ran through it.
“Oh my god, I can’t take this.” Nayeon exclaimed, rubbing her temples. She looked around for a source of escape or someone to save her from Sana’s instantly groaning over Chaeyoung like they were oceans and not seats apart.
“Tzuyu, Tzuyu.” Nayeon said as the girl walked past her desk, an arm holding a large pile of papers to her chest, “Please swap desks with me and save me from Sana droning on about Chaeyoung. Please.”
Nayeon grabbed Tzuyu’s free arm with both hands and looked up to the younger girl with wide and pleading eyes, but Tzuyu remained unfazed.
“You know that look only works on me when it’s from Momo.” Tzuyu gave Nayeon a smug smile, “I love you, but I need to get these prints to publishing before Miss Bae kills me for loitering. Take one for the team, Nayeon.”
Nayeon’s face turned sour and pushed Tzuyu’s arm loose from her grip making it sway across her front, “Fine, get out of here.”
Tzuyu shook her head and smiled at Nayeon’s antics before strolling away.
“You’re being dramatic.” Sana stated.
“No, you are.” Nayeon challenged, raising her eyebrows to which Sana sighed at. “Calm down or do something about the way you’re feeling, okay?”
Sana closed her eyes and nodded. She definitely wasn’t about to act on her feelings, mostly because she couldn’t decipher what they were so she settled for the former of Nayeon’s offers. She reached for the mug of coffee on her desk and took a sip to calm down. She took the time to absorb herself in the menial action and not her thoughts.
A sharp inhale at the noise and air hit the back of Sana’s throat, making her splutter and cough up her mouthful of coffee. Covering her mouth with her hand, she continued to cough the coffee up, feeling like the hot liquid had turned solid somehow and clung to her windpipes with a burning sensation.
“H-hey, Ch-Chaeyoung.” Her voice was husky and stunted as she finally managed to gain enough composure to talk.
“Are you okay?” Chaeyoung said, looking concerned.
“Yup,” Sana winced out a smile, feeling a sharp pain in her throat and a small warm drip liquid of coffee streak down her chin. She chose to ignore the feeling of wanting to double over in embarrassment and just roll underneath her desk in favour of playing cool. She leant back on her chair with her arms relaxed on the sides and looked up at Chaeyoung. The aura of being unbothered by the whole incident surrounded her.
“Okay.” Chaeyoung couldn’t help but laugh at the sight of spots of coffee and spit dripping down Sana’s laptop screen. “Do you want to go get lunch together? I’m starving.”
“Err,” Sana started, humming out the noise like she was a robot malfunctioning. The thought of going anywhere with Chaeyoung, especially alone together, made her incredibly nervous and she felt it manifest in a deep red on her cheeks. She darted her eyes from Chaeyoung’s gaze, they were too pretty and brown for Sana’s liking, trying to regain some coherent thought process. She caught Nayeon out of the corner of her eye, dramatically mouthing the word yes like she was prompting Sana just in case she'd forgotten the word again.
“No... no.” Sana stuttered out. She didn’t think the word no had enough syllables to trip on, but somehow she managed to mess it up.
“Really?” Chaeyoung asked, trying to disguise her disappointment and Sana could see it there but couldn’t bring herself to stop acting like an idiot.
“Yeah,” Sana said in a low voice, not trusting her normal one to be stable. “I-I’ve got to finish this so I’ll umm get something later.”
“Oh okay.” Chaeyoung’s voice sounded small as she nodded in understanding. “I’ll see you later then.”
“Mhm,” Sana squeaked, her voice chasing up the octaves this time. Giving Chaeyoung a smile that didn’t spread to her eyes, she watched her walk away and out the office to get lunch.
As conversations went Sana guessed that was up there with the most uncomfortable of her life. Yet Sana didn’t run away this time so that had to be some sort of improvement.
Turning towards Nayeon who had her hand over her mouth, eyebrows furrows and her shoulder bouncing in silent laughter, Sana stared at her friend with big eyes. Eyes so large they threatened to bulge from their sockets like she couldn’t be more taken aback from her lack of conversation skills if she tried.
“What the fuck was that?” Sana cursed at Nayeon. It was like someone totally inept had taken over her body for a minute and Sana was left to watch her life crash and burn and then pick up the pieces in the form of a racing heart and deep red cheeks.
“I don’t know, but that was embarrassing. I can’t believe I’ve watched you successfully pick up girls in bars before.” She raised up the pointer finger of both her hands and moved them around. The fingers never met, only passed by each other, “Those two Sanas are not the same person.”
“I know.” Sana grimaced.
“Maybe I won’t move desks after all, this is too entertaining.” Nayeon sighed to herself, more than happy with this afternoon’s entertainment and the new teasing material she’d have over Sana for months to follow.
Defeated, Sana rested her forehead against her laptop.
“Also, you’ve got coffee on your chin, idiot.” She heard Nayeon call but only groaned in understanding. Wiping it off now wouldn’t redeem herself. It wouldn’t wipe away the way she just acted or the way she had been acting for days now. But she wanted to so badly. She wanted to go back to the other afternoon and wipe the slate clean, and get a different outcome. She wanted to keep her face a few more inches away from Chaeyoung so their lips wouldn’t meet. Or she wanted to stay and not run away from the feelings that stirred in the pit of her stomach that had now travelled up to her body and kicked around in her head, confusing her. Her stomach grumbled loud and clear over her thoughts.
“I’m so hungry.”
Days passed and things were still uncomfortable between them.
Thankfully, Sana had managed to progress from stunted sentences with much silent coaching and encouraging nods from Nayeon on the other side of her desk. But instead, Sana took every opportunity she could to avoid Chaeyoung. She’d pretend to be too engaged in reading a form to notice Chaeyoung in the corner of her eye; pretend she needed tech support from Mina or fashion help for a new article from Jeongyeon and camp out in their offices for way too long in order to avoid Chaeyoung in the bullpen; pretend she was too tired to come over to Chaeyoung’s apartment of an evening.
She hated how childish she was acting, but she couldn’t trust her brain with not distracting her with images of kissing Chaeyoung whenever the other girl was close by, and not the flirty yet platonic kind she used to crave. It was like the blush that used to belong to Chaeyoung’s cheeks had found a new and reluctant host in Sana and she resented the way it didn’t just consume her cheeks but overwhelmed her whole body and thoughts.
Lost in thought as she leant against the photocopier, watching it churn out fresh copies after copies with a mechanical moan, she didn’t notice Chaeyoung walking into the break room.
“Hi,” Sana replied and silently cursed the fact it was only the morning and no one would be coming into the break room for lunch anytime soon. She hoped Chaeyoung hadn’t come in to speak to her. “Do you need to use the photocopier?”
“Yeah, but I can wait.” Chaeyoung gave a weak smile, placing her papers on the table nearby.
“Oh no no, let me finish up real quick and I can get out of your way.” Sana said, scrambling for her papers in the photocopier tray. It was like she wanted to get out of the room as quick as possible and Chaeyoung hated it.
“Sana.” Her loud voice brought Sana from her frenzy. Chaeyoung sighed heavily. “Why do you keep on avoiding me?”
“I’m…” Sana started to defend her actions but caught herself when she saw the sad look in Chaeyoung’s eyes. “I’m sorry.”
They’d been best friends for too long for her to lie to Chaeyoung like that. Chaeyoung could always read it on her face, sometimes choosing to not press further at Sana’s worried expression, but this time she did.
“I’ve hated not being around you recently.” Chaeyoung piped up and Sana could only agree.
“Me too.” Sana dipped her head a little.
They were always so close, moving around as they worked in the office on their respective projects, but instead they moved in opposite directions like magnets that once attracted each other and now repelled with an immense force. Deciding to test this theory, Chaeyoung stepped closer to Sana. Close enough that they looked like friends who were talking, not two people tiptoeing around each other.
Sana didn’t run off this time. Only gulped.
“What the fuck is happening between us?” Chaeyoung shook her head, tired of how things had changed so drastically in a week. “Well, I know what happened, but it wasn’t my intention and I’m sorry for making you uncomfortable.”
“You don’t need to apologise. You’ve done nothing wrong.” Sana tried to reassure Chaeyoung, but Chaeyoung didn’t believe her words.
“I feel like I have. You can’t even talk to me anymore without looking like you hate me.” Chaeyoung huffed, moving a hand up to weakly motion to Sana’s face. She never thought she’d say Sana and the word hate in the same sentence - aside from listing what foods Sana disliked - and it made her eyes sting.
“I don’t hate you, Chaeyoung. I could never hate you.” Sana instantly stepped forwards to reach out for the other girl. She took Chaeyoung’s hands in her own, hoping it would ease Chaeyoung’s mind a little. She ignored the flutter in her chest as she felt Chaeyoung’s skin against her.
“I feel like I’m the one who needs to apologise.” Sana said softly. Chaeyoung was so close now and it didn’t look like there was any chance of escaping, but for the first time this week her flight mode wasn’t overwhelming her. Chaeyoung deserved an explanation and she wanted to give it to her, “I shouldn’t have run away. I’m so used to initiating everything flirty between us that it surprised me. I understood our boundaries so this completely threw me off balance.”
Chaeyoung bit her lip, rerouting the pain she felt at Sana’s words. The way Sana was going, it felt like she was about to label their friendship as only that and as that came closer, Chaeyoung realised more and more that wasn’t what she wanted. She had told herself years ago to not catch feelings for the girl she had just met and almost a week ago when Sana ran off, she had warned herself to turn off those feelings for good. But she didn’t listen and couldn’t help the way Sana’s presence made her feel. Now, Chaeyoung assuming Sana was about to shut her down in black and white, she needed to bite the bullet and get over her feelings for the sake of their friendship. Chaeyoung took her hands from Sana’s and fiddled distractedly with her fingers.
“It’s okay I understand how you feel. I guess it wasn’t in our usual friendship dynamics and that’s okay that you want to keep things strictly platonic-”
“No, Chaeyoung that’s-” Sana shook her hand, grasping for Chaeyoung’s hands, wanting them back in her own, but Chaeyoung interrupted her.
“It’s alright, Sana. I don’t want that kiss to jeopardise our friendship. We should forget about it and move on.”
Sana felt winded. After all the times Chaeyoung had blushed around her and all the times their friends had assured Sana that Chaeyoung liked her, she said this.
“Is that what you want?” Sana’s voice was quiet and small.
“I...I thought that’s what you wanted?”
Sana shook her head, “I don’t think it’s that easy to forget about. I’ve been trying all week and I can’t.”
“Sana, I…” Chaeyoung swallowed thickly, realising how close they were. Sana realised this too, feeling the air shift. She’d been doing so well so far, but she couldn’t help her mind wandering. She couldn’t help her eyes trailing down to Chaeyoung’s lips, suddenly feeling bold.
“All I can think about day in and day out is your lips against mine.” She felt one of Chaeyoung’s hands shift to grip her wrist. She could see, and feel, Chaeyoung watching her stare at her lips. “I don’t think I want to forget… just want to know what it’s like to properly…”
And then Sana lost her words and trailed off breathlessly. She didn’t want to talk anymore. Instead, she moved her head forwards and captured Chaeyoung’s lips with her own, finally giving into her craving.
It was experimental at first. Kissing Chaeyoung and hoping she felt the same after all the signals she’d been giving her. She didn’t need to wait long to find out as Chaeyoung almost instantaneously kissed her back. Sana couldn’t help her mouth pull into a small smile. The nerves, confusion and shock that were boiling up from when they accidentally kissed were gone, replaced by a different kind of headiness that made her want nothing else but Chaeyoung’s lips.
Moving her hands, Sana ran them around to Chaeyoung’s waist. She pulled her in closer and kissed her harder. A whimper passed Chaeyoung’s lips without even thinking, so lost in the sensation of finally kissing Sana. Almost instinctively, Chaeyoung’s arms went up to wrap around Sana’s neck, lacing a hand in her hair.
Of all the times her heart beat sporadically in her chest or her cheeks flushed at Sana’s little touches, they were nothing compared to how she was feeling right now. She used to bury the knotting feeling in her chest when it came to Sana. Bury it so deep sometimes that she wouldn’t even recognise it herself when her friends pointed out her crush on Sana, but now she didn’t have to shy away from Sana and deflect her feelings. With Sana kissing her back so deeply, she could sink into her feelings and Sana herself.
Chaeyoung sunk a little too far, pressing Sana against the photocopier. Then it clicked where they were and what they were doing.
“Sana,” Chaeyoung mumbled against Sana’s lips.
“Mhm?” Sana wasn’t quite ready for Chaeyoung to break up their kiss yet, pressing more and more against her.
Untangling her hands from Sana’s hair, Chaeyoung placed her hands on her chest. She took a few seconds to compose herself.
“We can’t just be friends who kiss sometimes.”
“Why not?” Sana replied, her hands squeezing the smalls of Chaeyoung’s back. It was like she was trying to distract Chaeyoung. She knew how to make her blush and push her buttons so well after all.
“Is that what you want?”
Sana could immediately see the worry in Chaeyoung’s eyes as she asked the question. After the way she filled Chaeyoung’s mind up with uncertainty and doubts this week, she wasn’t about to do the same here.
“I want you. Back in my life.” Chaeyoung heard the sincerity in Sana’s words as they passed her lips and saw the same thing in her eyes. She felt her heart almost flip at Sana’s first three words and then a sense of calm followed that showed on her face as a smile. Maybe Jeongyeon was right about the universe aligning when they’d get together.
Sana stared back at Chaeyoung in her arms. She couldn’t think of a better fit. She was so happy they were talking again and so happy that she had finally dipped her toe into the deep end and didn’t want to bring her foot out like a knee jerk reaction, but felt the urge to dive in head first. Or maybe heart first in this case.
“I think it took me until the other day to realise how I feel about you. I don’t think I’ll ever be happy with just being your friend, I want something more.” Their previous kiss had been such a small moment, but the way it worked as a missing puzzle piece, taking years of moments between them and turning them into one big picture where she had feelings for her best friend, was so much more.
“It took you that long, huh?” Chaeyoung joked, reaching a hand further up to play with the collar on Sana’s shirt.
“What do you mean?”
“I’ve liked you since I met you on the first day of work.” Chaeyoung smiled, her eyes full of what Sana always had assumed was love for her best friend, but now she knew it meant something else.
“God, if I had realised back then we would probably be living together by now.” Sana laughed at how clueless she’d been and Chaeyoung soon followed.
“With the amount of time I spend at yours, we technically already are.”
“Well, I still think I should make up for lost time.” Sana mumbled as she slowly inched her face closer to Chaeyoung’s lips, capturing them in a kiss once more which Chaeyoung welcomed eagerly.
“Can you two stop making out against the photocopier. Some of us want to use it without it being soiled.” The pair broke apart at the noise, turning towards it to see Jihyo standing by the doorway with her hands on her hips.
Laughing at Jihyo’s words, Sana retrieved her papers from the photocopier and Chaeyoung collected her pages from the table, an air of professionality about them despite having just been caught in the act like a couple of naughty schoolgirls. They passed by Jihyo, holding hands and laughing amongst themselves.
“This is the workplace, what the fuck guys.” Jihyo said under her breath, but both Sana and Chaeyoung knew that she would be messaging their group chat in minutes to relay the much anticipated news that Sana and Chaeyoung had finally got together.
Sana soon stopped before they got all the way to the sound of voices and typing on keyboards in the bullpen. Although Sana never cared that people always speculated about the office that she and Chaeyoung were girlfriends, often smiling at the thought of being tied to her best friend, she didn’t exactly welcome the whispers and knowing glances that would follow before they had even established what was happening themselves.
“Do you want to come over this evening? We could try to cook dinner together?” Sana had just got Chaeyoung back and wasn’t planning on leaving her side for longer than their work hours permitted - of course she’d sneak in a few visits to Chaeyoung’s desk in between hours like she usually did.
“Like a date?”
Sana hummed in agreement. “Mhm, definitely a date.”
The pair had cooked together many times before. Sana had watched Chaeyoung place takeout in microwaves or cut up ingredients, but she couldn’t wait to wrap her arms around Chaeyoung waist as Chaeyoung stirred a boiling pot, taking in the smells of the food and each other’s presence.
“Yeah, okay. I’d love to.” Chaeyoung smiled back. They sealed their plans with a kiss. Breaking their linked hands, Chaeyoung started to walk off and then turned around.
“Am I gonna have to wait for you to initiate every kiss since you didn’t like not being in control the other afternoon?” A flirty smile teased Chaeyoung’s lips.
“I think with enough exposure I can get used to it.” Sana walked closer to Chaeyoung, nuzzling her head to the crook of Chaeyoung’s neck and kissed her there.
As soon as Sana pulled away, blush marked Chaeyoung’s cheeks. Sana couldn’t help smiling at the sight she’d missed so much. She loved the idea that it was all from her making. Abusing her power a little more, Sana smacked Chaeyoung’s ass as she passed by to walk into the bullpen. Chaeyoung squeaked in protest and her face inflamed in a deeper red that Sana knew was there without having to turn around. It was almost embarrassing how quickly the tables had turned and how her feelings and concentration were so pliable at Sana’s presence and touch.
Composing herself, Chaeyoung followed Sana into the office a few steps behind, filtering off seconds apart to sit at their respective desks, but filled with a security that they’d reunite in a few hours' time. Sana smiled to herself at the idea of asking Chaeyoung to have lunch with her.
A few minutes passed after settling into their seats and then a crescendo of vibrations and chimes of phones sounded against tables. Nayeon was the first to pipe up.
“About fucking time!”