Shuhua shivered, pulling the sleeves of her sweatshirt over her hands. The cold metal of the bleachers didn’t help much with her situation. Who holds a soccer game when it’s getting so cold out anyway? As far as Shuhua was concerned, it was practically winter. She thanked the heavens that it hadn’t decided to snow on them yet. She groaned just thinking about it. She turned to a sudden nudge at her shoulder.
“Hey grumpy, when’s Soojin coming?” Miyeon’s smile was soft as she carded her finger through Soyeon’s hair. Shuhua rolled her eyes at the sight of them cuddled up together, Soyeon’s head in her lap. She was pretty sure Soyeon was napping— she complained about not getting any sleep and Miyeon dragging her out to the field because she’d get so cold without her ‘Yeonie’. Shuhua scoffed at how sappy they were sometimes. Maybe she was a little jealous that she didn’t have a warm body to hold onto right now. It’s not like she could make Yuqi cuddle with her, seeing as she was on the lowest bench cheering Minnie on.
“She should be here,” Shuhua poked her head over the crowd, eyes seeking the familiar figure of her girlfriend. Miyeon let out a sort of hum. “What, do you see her?” Miyeon grimaced, and when Shuhua followed her gaze, she understood why.
Lucas. Stupid Lucas. Tall, somewhat handsome, dance major Lucas, who shared most of Soojin’s classes, stood next to Soojin, chatting her up. Shuhua watched incredulously as he laughed at something, probably a lame joke that he made if Soojin’s tight smile indicated anything to Shuhua (because Shuhua knew Soojin in and out like she were a part of her, unlike Lucas ) and had the audacity to place a hand on Soojin’s arm. His hand. His hand . His hand that was probably all gross, and rough, and callous, and probably too hot or too cold, was touching Soojin.
Shuhua shot up from her seat, ignoring the muffled chuckles that came from Miyeon and the groggy mumbling from Soyeon— “Huh? What? Is Soojin being hit on again?”. Because, yeah, they’ve seen this happen too many times to count. Even before Shuhua and Soojin started dating, which wasn’t a very long period of time after they’d met (Shuhua chalked it up to irresistible charm), people were constantly trampling up to Soojin, awkward with their hearts in their hands, ready to bleed out for the goddess.
Shuhua probably tripped over more than three steps in her haste, stumbling to a stop, just a few feet away from Soojin and her unwanted suitor. She watched as Soojin’s eyes caught her own, panicked, and Shuhua took the cue, sidling up to her girlfriend, slinging an arm around her shoulder, and not too subtly pulling her away from Lucas’s grasp.
“Oh, hey Shuhua,” Lucas spoke, rubbing the back of his neck with his big hand. Shuhua glared at him.
“Who are you again?” Soojin raised a brow at her, but Shuhua ignored it.
“Lucas?” He put a hand to his chest, pointing to himself like some sort of toddler. “I’m a dance major, we’re in the same—”
“Ah, right, Luke.”
“Yeah, doesn’t ring a bell,” Shuhua gave him a tight smile. Lucas’s eyes flickered between Soojin and Shuhua. “You know my girlfriend though, huh? Since you were, you know, just chatting with her?”
“We— we, uh, talk, yeah.”
“Yeah? What about? Anything important?”
“Oh, so you were just talking...about nothing? With my girlfriend?”
“I was just asking if she liked soccer…?” Lucas squeaked.
“Well, Luke, we are on a soccer field right now. Watching soccer,” Shuhua deadpanned. “Might want to pick some better conversational topics. Since you talk to my girlfriend so much.”
Soojin tugged at Shuhua’s sleeve, her hand sliding down to grasp Shuhua’s.
“Anyway, it was nice talking to you Lucas,” Soojin gave that familiar polite smile that Shuhua knew was her ‘I’m tired and annoyed, but not rude enough to say anything’ smile. “Baby, did you get us seats?” Shuhua smiled at the term of endearment and nodded, pulling Soojin away. As far as Shuhua was concerned, Soojin was the only person on that field right now.
When they reached their seats, Soyeon was awake, her and Miyeon giving Shuhua the same sly smirk.
“So, how’s Lucas doing?” Soyeon asked.
“Still breathing?” Miyeon added, snuggling closer to Soyeon, not that she could be any closer, Shuhua noted.
“Unfortunately,” Shuhua sighed. Soojin snorted, slapping her arm.
“Don’t be mean.”
“Poor guy looked like he was gonna run away,” Soyeon commented, rubbing at her eyes.
“Good, it’ll teach him not to flirt with Soojin.” Shuhua crossed her arms with a huff. Miyeon snorted and Soyeon just settled her head back into her lap. Soojin shook her head amusedly, leaning down to pull a blanket from her backpack and pulling it over hers and Shuhua’s shoulders.
“I knew you wouldn’t dress warmly enough,” Soojin chuckled. Shuhua buried herself further into Soojin’s embrace, letting out a warm sigh. “You shouldn’t be jealous,” Shuhua looked back up to Soojin, quirking a brow.
“I’m not.” Soojin laughed. “I’m not! It’s just...annoying. And that guy was way out of line!” Shuhua pouted. Soojin pecked her lower lip softly.
“Thanks for saving me back there.”
Why did people have to ruin everything? Shuhua wondered. She stared at the obscene amount of letters shoved into Soojin’s dance locker. Someone even managed to jam in a few roses. How sweet.
“Ah, seriously?” Soojin let her duffle bag hit the floor before gently opening her locker. It was no use, the letters came out in a torrent, falling against Soojin, falling against Shuhua, sliding along the floor.
Shuhua suddenly regrets walking Soojin to her dance class. Well. No, she takes it back. Maybe it’s better now that she’s here. She can scare away anyone who thinks they have a chance with her girlfriend.
She leaned down to pick up one closest to her, a cute card with a generic design on the front (a teddy bear with hearts, seriously?). Inside someone wrote, ‘Soojin, you take my breath away!’ in an ugly scrawl. Shuhua scoffed. She could write better than that.
“What’re you doing?” Soojin laughed beside her, peeking at the card she was holding. Shuhua whipped it away, throwing it over her shoulder.
“This is ridiculous! It’s not even Valentine’s Day yet!” Shuhua helped Soojin uncover her dance clothes, gladly throwing the cards and letters onto the floor.
“I mean, it’s kind of sweet.” Soojin shrugged.
“Sweet!? These people are flirting with a taken woman!”
“And that’s all they’ll ever get to do. Send me lame Valentine’s cards and stale candy,” Soojin shook a box of candy hearts for good measure. “Who cares? It’s all going in the trash anyway.” Shuhua grumbled.
“Wait, not the chocolate though, right?”
“I will gladly let you eat all of my secret admirer’s chocolates.”
“Good!” Shuhua planted a sloppy kiss on Soojin’s cheek, making her squeak.
Shuhua would hate to have to murder someone, but here she is. The confessions were cute, sure, if somewhat a little funny. Soojin took it in stride, which was nice, because if they did cause her any emotional distress, Shuhua probably would’ve done something a bit more radical than camping out in the locker rooms, hiding in the shower stalls with Yuqi. So, yeah, Soojin had a lot of admirers, whatever, it was a fact of life. But Shuhua was slowly noticing something. A purple envelope that, without fail, would be taped to the front of her locker every single day of this week.
It was on day three that Shuhua’s curiosity got the better of her and she opened the letter. Inside, it wasn’t addressed to anyone, nor was it signed off with anything but an ‘XO’ and hearts. Disgusting. The notes were always short and sweet, things like ‘Let’s run away together’, or ‘Your eyes are like stars’. Shuhua’s blood boiled at the thought of it. So, she did the most logical thing: Forced Yuqi to carryout a stakeout with her in the locker room and wait for the culprit to arrive. And possibly incapacitate them, but Shuhua will see how feels.
“Where’s the chips?” Yuqi dug through their shared backpack for a moment, eventually opting to turn it and let the contents just spill out.
“You wanted me to pack chips?”
“I made a list!”
“I may not have looked at your list…” Shuhua gave her a guilty grin.
“That’s it, the rest of my joy and energy is gone now.” Yuqi sighed, checking her phone for the nth time that night.
“You can go if you want.” Shuhua was sure she was thinking about all the cuddling she was missing out on with Minnie.
“No,” She shook her head. “Who else is gonna make sure you don’t do something stupid?” Shuhua scoffed. “When do you think they’re gonna be here?” Shuhua checked her phone. It was five. The earliest class started at six. So, the culprit had to arrive a bit before that right? Unless they waited until Soojin’s class. Shuhua groaned at the idea of having to wait another five or so hours.
“Hopefully soon, because I’m not sleeping in the communal showers.” Shuhua readjusted herself on Yuqi’s favorite fluffy blanket.
It was nearing six when they heard the telltale sound of someone entering the locker room. Shuhua scrambled up, Yuqi trailing just behind her, and quietly (as quiet as Shuhua could be) made her way to Soojin’s locker. There stood a figure, taping a familiar purple envelope to Soojin’s locker.
“HEY!” Shuhua yelled, the sound making the offender jump in place and shriek, which, in turn, made Yuqi shriek. “What do you think you’re doing!?”
“Uh, Valentine’s Day?” The woman pointed to the envelope. Shuhua scoffed. She was tall, had long black hair, and was pretty. Really pretty. Shuhua hadn’t seen her around before though.
“Well, that’s my girlfriend’s locker. And I don’t think she’d take random people flirting with her very well!” Correction, Shuhua doesn’t take it well, but this stranger didn’t need to know.
“Your girlfriend?” The woman looked at the locker, confused. “Wait, who’s your girlfriend?”
“Like you don’t know!”
“Seo Soojin,” Yuqi answered. Shuhua looked at her incredulously, but Yuqi only shrugged. “What? I wanna go sleep in my own bed and drawing this out won’t solve anything.”
“You’re sleeping in the locker rooms?” The woman looked at the two with, what looked to be, disgust.
“That’s beside the point!”
“Well, kiddo, sorry to break it to you, but I’m not flirting with your girlfriend. I just had the wrong locker number.”
“How do you not know your own girlfriend’s locker number?” Yuqi piped in.
“It’s not for my girlfriend,” The woman scoffed like she was offended by the idea. “It’s for Bae Joohyun, ring a bell?” Shuhua shrugged, but Yuqi nodded. Shuhua shot her a questioning gaze.
“She’s an older dance major.” She supplied. “And she’s dating Seungwan…”
“Exactly. That loser asked me to tape these stupid things to her locker, just in case anyone saw her. Not like Joohyun wouldn’t know exactly who they’re from.” The woman snorted.
“Ah, that makes sense.” Yuqi nodded.
“Wait, so who the hell are you!” Shuhua pointed accusingly at the stranger. Her brain felt like it was still playing catch up. Very, very slowly.
“Sooyoung. Who are you?”
“I’m Yuqi,” Yuqi offered. Shuhua was astonished by her compliance during this entire exchange. Sooyoung nodded and looked to Shuhua.
“...Shuhua,” She said reluctantly.
“Cute,” Sooyoung grinned at her. Shuhua might’ve found that smile attractive if Sooyoung didn’t follow it up with a demeaning pat to her head. Shuhua batted her hands away from her and Sooyoung complied with a chuckle.
“Guess I’ll just have to hand-deliver,” She unceremoniously pulled the envelope from Soojin’s locker. “Nice meeting you! And Happy Valentine’s!” She waved over her shoulder, leaving the locker room. Yuqi yawned, but Shuhua didn’t feel anything close to tired. She felt a ball of panic settle in her gut at Sooyoung’s last few words to them.
“Well, that’s great. At least you didn’t have to fight anyone!” Yuqi settled a hand on Shuhua’s shoulder. At Shuhua’s sudden quietness, she spoke again. “What? What happened?”
“I...might have forgotten that it’s Valentine’s Day.” Yuqi laughed loud, the annoying, obnoxious one she gets when she thinks something’s especially funny. Shuhua winced at the way it echoed in the empty locker room. Yuqi looked at her, locking eyes, and her smile suddenly fell.
“Oh my god, you’re such an idiot. How did you forget! How could you forget when you were obsessing over this—” She gestured to Soojin’s locker “ —the whole week?”
“That’s exactly the reason I forgot! Because I was trying to figure out who this was! Oh god, Soojin— I’m a horrible girlfriend. That’s it, oh no, why can’t I be more like that Seungwan person?!” Yuqi slapped a hand against her face.
“Look, you still have enough time to grab her some coffee or something before you walk her to class, don’t panic.”
“Coffee! Coffee isn’t enough Yuqi! Coffee doesn’t tell Soojin that she’s the love of my life! Oh my god!” Shuhua crumpled to the floor into a ball and whined. “She’s gonna break up with me!” Yuqi sighed, crouching down to speak to Shuhua.
“Shuhua, please get ahold of yourself. You were never that romantic in the first place, and I doubt that that’s why Soojin’s with you.”
“Okay, first, I’m very romantic—”
“Second, coffee is a disappointing present.”
“Well, Minnie and I don’t celebrate Valentine’s, and I know Soojin’s never been that big of a fan either. I’m just saying, she probably won’t care.”
“Well, if she does, I doubt she’d break up with you over coffee.” Shuhua let out another whine.
“Alright, well, if we’re done here, I’m gonna go cuddle with my girlfriend!”
“Wait, wait, wait!”
And so coffee it was. Shuhua nervously fidgeted, flinching as she watching Soojin’s door swing open. She looked beautiful, like always, and the fact that Shuhua only had a couple of hours of sleep was suddenly apparent to her.
“Hey,” Soojin’s eyes went to the coffee, and Shuhua felt warmth flood her veins at the sight of her smile turn wider. “Is that for me?”
“Uh, yes,” Shuhua shoved it forward with a sheepish smile. “Happy Valentine’s?” Soojin snorted, taking the drink and pulling Shuhua into a hug.
“Thank you.” She whispered into her ear.
“I know it’s kind of lame—” Soojin interrupted her with a peck on her lips.
“No, it’s not.” She shook her head. “This is perfect,” She held the cup up. “So, how was the stakeout?” Shuhua sputtered.
“How—? What? There’s no...stake…” Soojin quirked a brow. “Right, fine. We figured out who was leaving those purple letters and guess what? They weren’t even for you. Kind of...funny.” Shuhua gave Soojin a weak smile, chuckling forcibly. Soojin shook her head.
“You’re so dramatic sometimes, I swear.”
“I was curious!” Soojin narrowed her eyes. “Maybe it was a little much?”
“Okay, it was.” Shuhua sighed. “How’d you even know?”
“Minnie told me.” Soojin shrugged.
“Are you kidding me?”
“Yuqi tells Minnie everything.”
“I’m never trusting Yuqi again.” Shuhua huffed.
“Good luck with that.” Soojin winked. “Anyway, I wanted to say, about Valentine’s Day and all…” Shuhua hummed in question, tilting her head. “ I got a gift for...both of us.”
“Uh...yeah.” Soojin rubbed the back of her neck, the tips of her ears suddenly turning red. Shuhua raised a brow. “Let’s just say...Miyeon unnie isn’t gonna be in the room tonight, so…”
“Yeah, oh.” Soojin cleared her throat, and Shuhua felt her face heat up.
“That’s a way better present than mine!” Shuhua suddenly spoke. Soojin chuckled, taking Shuhua’s arm in both her hands.
“Walk me to class?” Shuhua nodded eagerly.
Shuhua didn’t tend to feel threatened by any of the people that unabashedly flirted with Soojin. Shuhua knew that she was a catch, of course, and felt secure in their relationship. There really were no reasons to be jealous. Other than one Jeon Somi.
Somi was the epitome of perfect. Perfect grades, perfect dancing skills, perfect singing skills, perfect body. Shuhua could keep going if only it didn’t hurt her inside to acknowledge the fact that, yeah, Somi is a total catch, and that she also has a huge crush on Shuhua’s girlfriend.
So, screw Somi and her stupid perfect face.
Shuhua glumly chewed on her tteokbokki, not tasting a bit of it as it slid down her throat. Soojin made better tteokbokki than this. She slumped down, burrowing her head in her arms, letting out a groan.
“Seriously?” Yuqi piped up from the other side of the table.
“I mean, I get it,” Minnie spoke. Shuhua couldn’t see them right now, with her head buried in her arms, squeezed shut to fight off the misery she was facing, but she was sure that they were being annoyingly cute. She imagined Minnie feeding Yuqi a piece of tteokbokki and let out another sigh. Soojin feeds her like that.
“It’s not that big of a deal,” Yuqi chuckled. Shuhua’s head flew up again, a glare sent Yuqi’s way. Yuqi’s eyes widened at the sudden change in demeanor.
“Of course it is! Somi is my arch-nemesis, absolutely nothing worse than this could’ve happened!” Shuhua pounded a fist against the table, the dishes atop it rattling. Minnie’s hands anxiously hovered over the pot of tteokbokki, prepared to catch it if need be.
“What’re we talking about?” Miyeon slid into Shuhua’s booth, shoving Shuhua further down the bench. Shuhua shoved her back agitatedly, making Miyeon giggle.
“I heard the phrase ‘arch-nemesis’, please tell me it was being used as a joke,” Soyeon pleaded with a raised brow pointed straight at Shuhua. Soyeon opted to sit next to Minnie and Yuqi, who gladly scooted to make room for her.
“Oh, not Shushu here, she doesn’t kid, Soyeon,” Miyeon poked at Shuhua’s cheek. Shuhua slapped her hand away, pouting.
“This is serious!”
“Tell me about it! I got an ungrateful dongsaeng here that doesn’t want to take any of my affection!” Miyeon pulled Shuhua into a tight hug, suffocating her as Shuhua flailed about like a fish on land.
“Shuhua’s stressed because Soojin is doing a partner dance and guess who she was paired with?” Yuqi explained.
“Ah, that explains the ‘arch-nemesis’ talk.” Soyeon hummed, popping a piece of tteokbokki into her mouth.
“At least she’ll get an easy A.” Miyeon shrugged. Shuhua, finally managing to pull away from Miyeon, slapped her arm.
“Soojin gets As just fine on her own.” Shuhua placed her hands on her hips, glaring at Miyeon.
“I didn’t say she was bad! I’m just saying, Somi is a great dancer too, so you know she won’t slack on Soojin!” Shuhua continued to glare at Miyeon, who turned to Soyeon with a pleading gaze. “Babe, please help me out here.”
“Anyway, I still don’t get why you’re so caught up about this.” Yuqi returned them to their original discussion. Or argument. Or mental breakdown, on Shuhua’s end.
“Because Somi’s gonna pull something! I just know it!” Shuhua slammed her fist against the table. Minnie let out a small squeal, as she raised her plate away from the surface just in time.
“So what? She makes a move on Soojin, and...? Nothing, because Soojin’s totally in love with you and probably wouldn’t even think Somi’s flirting with her.” Shuhua blushed at Yuqi’s comment momentarily.
“That’s why it’s dangerous! She thinks she can just flirt with Soojin like that ! Someone needs to put her in her place!”
“Alright, here’s where I stop you,” Soyeon spoke up, previously preoccupied with cleaning Miyeon’s mouth with a paper towel. “Just leave it alone, Shuhua, really. It’s between them, plus, Soojin’s keen enough to tell Somi if she’s crossing a line. She can deal with it.” The rest of the table nodded and hummed in agreement. Shuhua rubbed a hand down her face.
“Where’s Soojin anyway?” Miyeon spoke. Shuhua’s head hit the table again with a groan.
“Practicing with Somi.” Yuqi substituted.
Shuhua bounced on the balls of her feet, her fingers playing with the bracelet on her right wrist. She lit up at the sight of her girlfriend finally making her way out of the dance studio, duffel bag slung over her shoulder. Shuhua’s first instinct was to run to her and suffocate her with kisses and professions of her love, like always, but she was suddenly stopped at the sight of Somi, following her out.
Somi looked stunning, her hair tied up in a sloppy bun (that somehow didn’t look so sloppy on her), a slight sheen still on her face. She wasn’t supposed to look hot after dancing and sweating for so many hours. No one looked that good after something like that. Other than Soojin of course.
Shuhua, being a few feet away from them, wasn’t able to hear what Somi said, but it must’ve been funny. Shuhua’s chest tightened at the sound of Soojin’s laughs echoing in the hall.
“Jin-ah!” Shuhua catapulted herself down the hall, practically throwing herself into Soojin’s, now outstretched, arms (Soojin’s had a lot of practice to hone in her reflexes when it came to Shuhua). Shuhua leaned in to kiss Soojin’s cheek but was pushed away last second.
“Ah, Shuhua, not now!” Shuhua pouted, still puckering her lips. She finally managed to land a peck on Soojin’s cheek, making Soojin squeal. Shuhua smiled at the sight of her girlfriend’s cheeks growing ruddy with color.
“I missed you.” Shuhua turned to the sound of giggling, glaring at the offender.
“Hey Shuhua,” Somi’s voice was still as beautiful as ever, even when she was just speaking. Shuhua sighed, not even trying to hide her glare.
“You’ve met Somi before, right?” Soojin’s smile was a little too easy in Shuhua’s opinion. Shuhua gave another silent nod. They fell into a silence, Soojin watching Shuhua with a confused, maybe critical, expression, Shuhua ignoring said expression to glare at Somi, and Somi’s eyes flickering between the two.
“Ah, well,” Somi cleared her throat. “I’m gonna head out, I promised to take my roommate out.”
“Right, have fun! I’ll see you tomorrow?” Soojin called after her.
“Yeah, of course! Nice seeing you Shuhua!”
“Sure,” Shuhua mumbled. Soojin tugged on her shirt when Somi was out of sight, a question in her eyes.
“Are you okay?”
“Somi likes you.” Soojin let out a disbelieving laugh. Shuhua narrowed her eyes. “It’s true!” Soojin shook her head.
“I don’t see it,” She shrugged.
“Well, it’s there! And I’m confirming it for you!”
“C’mon,” Soojin slotted her fingers between Shuhua’s, dragging her down the hall. Shuhua’s heart rate picked up momentarily, settling contentedly. “I’ll tell you about practice when I get some food in me.”
“I brought you food from the tteokbokki place.”
“This is why I love you,” Soojin said teasingly, with a soft smile.
After Soojin ate, Shuhua found herself sleepily cuddling with her on Soojin’s bed. Shuhua held Soojin’s waist tighter, burrowing her head against her chest a little further, listening to her soft breathing. Maybe Soojin was right. Maybe Somi wasn’t into her super hot girlfriend. Well, there was a slim chance, but maybe. Shuhua settled into the comforting embrace, letting sleep take her.
Shuhua was dying inside. Who knew a media studies student could get so swamped with midterms? As a result, seeing Soojin on a regular basis had been nearly impossible for the last week. Being the amazing girlfriend she was though, she managed to carve out some time for both of them after her last exam of the week, which happened to fall on Soojin’s dance exam.
Shuhua rushed to the arts building, weaving in and out of panicked theater kids and dance majors pacing outside of classrooms, waiting for their impending doom. She felt a swell of relief, knowing that her own exams were over. For the time being. But Shuhua wouldn’t worry about that. After nearly bumping into five separate people, Shuhua’s hands desperately keeping the bouquet of flowers that she’d bought in one piece, she finally reached the locker rooms. Soojin’s exam would be done by now, her quick text to Shuhua of ‘Wish me luck!’ having been delivered almost thirty minutes ago. She was sure the girl was still changing, or at least waiting for her to arrive.
Shuhua stopped, finding that someone might’ve beat her to the punch.
Somi stood with her own flowers— Shuhua couldn’t help but notice how large her collection of flowers was compared to her own, the variety nearly spilling over in her arms. Shuhua also couldn’t help but notice how she stood near the locker rooms, biting her lip. Biting her lip because she was probably nervous. She was probably nervous because she was going to confess to Soojin. Soojin. Her really hot girlfriend.
Panic seized Shuhua’s mind momentarily. Oh god, she had to do something, something now. So, she did something.
Shuhua ran over to Somi, who, hearing her loud footsteps stomp down the hall, turned to greet her with a smile. Before she could, Shuhua slapped her bouquet of flowers to the ground. The two stared at one another, Somi’s eyes going from the flowers on the ground to Shuhua, back and forth.
“Uhm. What the fuck?”
“Sorry. I mean—! I’m not! You can’t just— you know!”
“Flirt with someone who’s taken! It’s rude! And it— it hurts my feelings!” Shuhua eloquently spoke, waving the flowers, still bundled in her hand, agitatedly through the air.
“Flirt with—? Chungha’s taken?”
“Yeah, Chungha,” Somi continued, eyes furrowed.
“Those are for…?” Shuhua pointed to the poor, probably expensive, flowers still splayed sadly across the ground.
“Chungha,” Somi stated, tone flat. Shuhua felt that lead ball in her gut lighten and simultaneously get heavier in the same moment.
“Oh. Uh,” Shuhua rubbed the back of her neck. “I, uh, I thought those were for Soojin.”
“What!? No, Shuhua, you’re with Soojin, I’d never— and I’m not really interested, not since I found out you two were together!” Shuhua had a momentary meltdown at the fact that Somi did, in fact, have a crush on Soojin, and that she was right. But it was followed by a heavy sigh.
“I— I’m sorry Somi, I didn’t mean to—” Shuhua couldn’t even bring herself to look at the mess at her feet. How depressing. “That was pretty shitty of me.”
“It’s fine,” Somi waved her off with that friendly smile. Shuhua shook her head, crouching to help Somi recover what she could of the bouquet. “At least I know that Chungha’s still single! Or, I mean, I hope, I guess I’ll figure it out.”
“Is she—?” Shuhua nodded toward the locker room.
“Yeah, her exam was just after ours.”
“Ah, well, good luck,” Shuhua sent her a soft smile. She looked down at her own flowers before making a split-second decision, thrusting them towards Somi. “Take these too, I kind of...messed those up.”
“Really?” Shuhua just moved the bundle of flowers closer to her, making her take them. “Thanks, Shuhua.” Shuhua blushed.
“No problem,” She shrugged.
“I hope those are for me,” Talk about timing. Chungha exited the locker room, Soojin just trailing behind her, giving Somi an easy smile. And Shuhua witnessed something she hadn’t seen before in the other girl— Somi flushed, a bashful smile taking up her face as she fiddled with her hair, moving a strand behind her ear.
“Shuhua?” Shuhua’s attention was torn from the couple, her girlfriend giving her a knowing look. “We should probably get going, huh?”
“Oh right,” Shuhua let Soojin take her arm and led them out of the building. She made a mental note to grab some flowers for Soojin later, feeling a bit of regret for being empty-handed.
“That was really sweet of you.”
“What you did for Somi.” Shuhua stopped in her tracks. Soojin’s smile was secretive, and one look at her eyes told Shuhua everything. She let out a groan.
“How much did you see?” Soojin hummed thoughtfully.
“When you karate chopped those poor flowers out of her hand?”
“Oh god,” Shuhua hid her face in her hands. “Sorry.”
“Well, you redeemed yourself.” Soojin pat her head. Shuhua remained in that position until Soojin pulled her hands away, exposing Shuhua’s face again. “Hey, it’s alright. It was kind of funny to watch actually.”
“I’m an asshole.”
“A little,” Soojin laughed. Shuhua groaned again, this time opting to hide her face in Soojin’s shoulder. Soojin carded her fingers through her hair. “It wasn’t the best route to go, but you apologized and I’m pretty sure Somi’s okay.”
“I do do stupid things when I’m left alone,” Soojin let out a cute snort that made Shuhua smile. Soojin pulled from her embrace, tugging on her arm.
“Alright, stupid, let’s go eat.”
Soojin pulled her coat closer against her figure, jogging towards the cafe. She was late. Nearly late, and Soojin didn’t make a habit of being late. That was more Shuhua’s forte, though, maybe they were rubbing off on each other. Her dance class went a little later than anticipated; she wasn’t sure she’d taken a quicker shower in her life.
Shouldering the door open, her eyes roamed the quaint place, in search of her girlfriend. It was a nice spot, Soojin knew that Shuhua liked coming here frequently to study with Yuqi and Minnie, sometimes with Miyeon and Soyeon. Soojin usually opted to stay at the dorms, away from where Shuhua would distract her. She’d learned the hard way that studying with Shuhua was one of the most counterproductive activities she’d participated in her life.
Shuhua sat at a small round table near the far end of the cafe, huddled over her laptop, a textbook sprawled open to her right. Soojin admired the way that the string lights reflected in her glasses, a sight that even Soojin didn’t see very often, let alone outside of Shuhua’s dorm room. Her heart warmed at her, swaddled in her oversized olive green sweater, the sleeves covered her hands. Then she saw her .
Kwon Eunbi was one of the reasons that she hated coming to this coffee shop. She was popular among the patrons with her pretty smile, and dorky, yet charming, demeanor. Soojin clenched her fists, watching as Eunbi sat at the very same table that Shuhua occupied, talking about who knows what.
As soon as Soojin reached the vicinity of the table, Shuhua’s eyes caught her approaching figure. She jumped up from her seat and dramatically thrust her arms open.
“Jin-ah! My love! I missed you!” She cried. Soojin rolled her eyes, a fond smile playing on her lips at the sight.
“Shuhua—” The girl rushed into her arms, Soojin voicing a small ‘oof’, at the action. She chuckled, carding her fingers through Shuhua’s soft hair. “We saw each other this morning.”
Shuhua walked her to class, like usual, their routine more normalized now that midterms were over. She excitedly showed Soojin a cute video of a couple teaching their puppy to swim. Soojin smiled, remembering the way Shuhua squealed at the sight of the fluffy animal, engulfed in a large life jacket.
“So?” Soojin shook her head. Sometimes you had to let Shuhua be dramatic, it was in her nature. When Soojin managed to pull away from Shuhua, who was now demanding a kiss from Soojin, she addressed Eunbi with a nod.
“Hey,” Eunbi stood with a smile, adjusting the cafe’s designated apron across her front.
“Hey! Did you want your regular?” Soojin nodded, a small please following as Eunbi marched behind the counter again. Soojin might’ve hated physically going to the cafe, but it didn’t stop her from asking Shuhua to get her a drink every now and then. Apparently enough for Eunbi to know her order by heart now.
Soojin sat across from Shuhua, watching as she clicked around on her laptop.
“What were you talking about?” Shuhua didn’t look up from her laptop when she answered.
“You and Eunbi.” Shuhua looked up, biting her lip, face blank.
“Wait, what? Sorry. I suck at multitasking.” She sighed, moving her laptop out of the way. Soojin moved to speak again but was quickly interrupted by Eunbi playing her drink on the table.
“Here you go,” She smiled brightly. Why did she smile so brightly? Did Soojin smile that brightly? Did Shuhua like Soojin’s smile? Wait, of course she did, she told her all the time. Soojin’s brain did cartwheels that only worsened when Eunbi turned to Shuhua with the same smile— was it just Soojin or did her smile widen? “So, does this weekend work for you?”
“Oh! Yeah, sure!”
Soojin watched, wide-eyed, as Eunbi left again.
“What was that ?”
“Eunbi just invited me out this weekend.” She shrugged. “Do you wanna come?”
“I— did she just invite you?” Shuhua furrowed her eyebrows, pursing her lips thoughtfully.
“Well, yeah, we were just talking—”
“Where are you going?”
“Huh? Just out to eat…?”
“She invited just you to go out to eat?” Soojin’s voice was near panic. Her eyes shot back to Eunbi who was staring at their table. When Soojin’s gaze met hers, she gave Soojin a thumbs up, the same easy-going smile falling on her face. Soojin looked away again. Why the hell did she have to be so cute and unassuming!?
“Well, Sakura’s gonna be there too.” The gears in Soojin’s brain suddenly stopped.
“Yeah, Eunbi’s girlfriend.” Shuhua smiled. Soojin slumped against the table, her usually immaculate posture gone in the sudden haze of anxiety. “Are you okay?”
“I thought she asked you out on a date,” Soojin muttered into the table.
“Why would I agree to go on a date with her!?”
“Shuhua, no offense, but sometimes you take a while to catch on.” Shuhua seemed to chew on this for a second, before nodding.
“Okay, that’s true. Like that one time, I thought that the handicap symbol was a person on a toilet— ”
“Exactly like that.” Soojin suppressed a chuckle at the memory. Shuhua hummed, taking a sip from her drink. Soojin watched a sly smirk pull at her lips. Soojin narrowed her eyes. “What?”
“You were jealous!” Soojin flushed. “Jin-ah, you’re so cute,” Shuhua said dreamily, reaching across the table to poke at Soojin’s cheeks. Soojin batted her hands away.
“Stop! You’re being dramatic again.”
“Oh, baby, you know I only love you,” Shuhua exclaimed, resting her head in her hands, a sappy smile on her face. Soojin’s heart might have stuttered. Maybe.
“Say it back!”
“Say what back?”
“Ah! Why are you so cold Jin-ah!?” Shuhua pouted. Soojin couldn’t fit her smile as she pulled Shuhua’s hand into her own.
“Fine. I love you.”
“What?” Shuhua put her other hand over her ear, leaning closer.
“I’m gonna stop saying it if you’re gonna be like this.”
“No! Jin-ah!” Shuhua scooted her chair, the obnoxious screeching making a few heads raise in the process. Shuhua stopped when she was beside Soojin. She pulled her into an embrace, burying her head in Soojin’s neck. “Why are you so mean?” She pouted. Soojin rolled her eyes.
“Really!? Oh wow, Eunbi’s gonna be excited—” Soojin pecked her lips chastely, reveling in the way that it immediately silenced Shuhua.
“I love you,” And maybe Soojin kind of regretted succumbing to Shuhua’s charms and saying that phrase, because now Shuhua wouldn’t shut up about it (but not really).