The very second Jeongyeon steps into the dorm, letting the door swing to a shut behind her as she carefully sets her shoes down in their customary spot by the coat closet, she gets this strange, unexplainable feeling that something’s wrong.
She can’t quite put a finger on why. The silence is of course a little unsettling, with their apartment usually accommodating all nine of their members, things tended to feel a little empty when they had days off like this.
But then she realizes that it isn’t completely quiet, that even through the distant sound of cars on the highway and the gentle buzzing of their heating system that they can never quite seem to fix properly, she can still make out the faint sound of music, a strong orchestral theme that feels so strikingly familiar but one that she still just barely can’t place.
With a slight scrunch of her eyebrows she fishes her phone out of her pocket to check the time.
That… certainly seemed to align with her expectations, after all she had really only just left after getting lunch with her sister and the restaurant really wasn’t that far away, but she didn’t really expect anyone else to be home when she got back. Like her, all the other Korean members had decided to spend their rare free day visiting family, but she knew that they had all managed to make dinner plans despite the short notice. And she had definitely seen something in the group text about their foreign members taking the chance to go out for some shopping and then a trip to a spa downtown.
So it’s definitely way too early for anyone else to be back already.
It’s almost a reflex for her at this point to scan the entire living room when she comes back everyday, usually to see if someone had made a mess that she’s going to have to clean up. But today she finds the room surprisingly clean. Even considering that the dorm is supposed to be empty, she usually has to deal with someone (usually Momo) leaving a bunch of dishes out on the living room table or something, particularly on a day like today where people would be way too excited at the prospect of their day off to do something as trivial as cleaning a dish before they leave.
It’s only when she goes to hang her coat up that she finally notices the second pair of shoes and an elegant black peacoat hanging from the hook that can really only belong to one person.
Without a second thought she starts making her way towards the largest bedroom, stepping quietly, for some reason afraid of making too much noise.
She's barely halfway there, standing just outside the kitchen and now able to fairly clearly make out the sounds of a movie playing when she decides to whip out her phone again.
She hesitates for a second, wondering who would be the best to ask before typing out a quick text to Tzuyu. Because Momo and Sana would both spend too much time bombarding her with questions and she really needs answers right now.
Hey did you guys not take Mina with you today?
It probably only takes a few seconds, but it feels like she spends an hour staring at her phone, turning the screen on and off over and over again before she finally feels a soft vibration against her palm and she immediately switches her phone back on.
She said she didn’t want to come
Sana unnie tried everything but she just kept making up excuses
We even said we’d stay home and keep her company but she insisted that we go without her
At that Jeongyeon lets out a deep sigh.
It’s no secret that Mina’s always been one of the more introverted Twice members, but lately it seemed like she barely ever wanted to leave her bed. And now, cancelling on their plans like this, even somehow mustering up the will to say no to Sana, she has to admit she’s more than a little concerned.
Not willing to waste another moment, she immediately takes off for the main bedroom, only to stop the second she peeks around the corner as she feels a small smile spreading across her face.
And to be honest, Jeongyeon kind of always has this reaction when she sees Mina, it's involuntary and Nayeon has teased her about it more times than she can even count at this point, but really how is she supposed to not light up when seeing someone like this? Especially right now, cuddled up in a pile of blankets with a penguin plushie hugged tight against her chest as a movie plays on the iPad propped up against a couple of pillows, it's probably the most adorably comfy thing she's ever seen.
There's a voice inside that's telling her to just turn around now while she hasn't been noticed and leave the girl to watch her movie in peace. And she almost does it too. But no matter what she does she can't really get rid of the concern gnawing at her chest. And then there's the fact that after walking back in the cold from lunch with Seungyeon, there's something ridiculously inviting about the scene before her.
Although if she's actually being honest with herself, it also might have something to do with the beautiful girl sitting in the center of it.
It takes longer than she would ever care to admit to muster up the courage to finally reach up to the side of the door frame she's leaning against and give it two gentle knocks.
"Mina." She whispers quietly.
The girl jolts slightly in surprise, knocking the iPad down onto the bed as she whips her head over, her eyes stretched wide as she quickly reaches up to tuck a few loose strands of hair behind her ear.
"Oh, Jeongyeon-unnie, you're back."
Jeongyeon squints a little at Mina's startled response. Maybe a couple years ago she wouldn't have noticed anything, but now… now she knows the girl far too well to be fooled.
She'd seen the girl's bangs fall perfectly into place with just a slight flick of her head, and is next to certain that adjusting her hair had been nothing more than a carefully rehearsed act to hide a subtle wipe at her eyes.
And just like that, all the worries that had started to fade away are back in an instant. Mina had always been shy, and anxious, so things like this weren't exactly unheard of. It had gotten a little better in the years since their debut, but even then, it still makes her worry every time something happens.
"Mina," she says slowly, "weren't you supposed to go to the spa with Sana and the others today?"
"Oh…" the girl answers, "yeah I… just didn't really feel up for it."
"Are you sick?" She asks, instinctively taking a couple steps forward.
"No, just… kind of wanted to relax a bit today."
Jeongyeon can't help furrowing her eyebrows a bit.
She can tell that there’s something else behind those words that she isn’t saying, just the fact that Mina is suddenly having so much trouble meeting her eyes is proof enough of that.
"Mina… are you…"
"I'm fine. I promise."
"Unnie." Mina cuts in, snapping her head up to give Jeongyeon this… desperate, pleading look. "Please just drop it. I… I really don't want to talk about it. I'm sorry it's not you, I just..."
"Hey, no, that's okay." She interrupts, taking another couple steps forward.
For a second Jeongyeon thinks about sitting down next to her, pulling the girl into her arms like Sana does whenever one of their members is feeling down. But in the end she can’t muster up the courage and makes a hard right to sit down at the foot of the bed, heart pounding in her chest as she tentatively reaches out to set a hand on Mina’s leg.
“If you don’t want to talk right now, that’s totally fine,” Jeongyeon continues. “But… if there's ever anything… I mean I'm sure you would rather go to Sana or Momo or something… but if you ever want to… I mean I just figure..."
She's cut off by Mina suddenly taking hold of her hand, putting an end to her incessant fidgeting.
She snaps her head up in surprise, cringing a little when she realizes how much she’d been rambling.
“Thank you.” Mina says softly, somehow still catching Jeongyeon off guard with the impossibly gentle smile on her lips.
“There… there’s nothing to thank me for.” She answers, trying, and failing, to control her hopeless stammering.
Honestly, when did it get so hard to talk to Mina of all people?
“Yes there is.” the girl insists, “you’re always looking out for me, taking care of me… of all of us. I don’t even know how to put into words how much I appreciate it unnie. And I promise, as soon as I feel like I need to talk… you’ll be the first person I go to.”
Jeongyeon can’t help the wide, goofy grin that spreads on her face at Mina’s heartfelt words. She’s absolutely certain that if literally any of their other members were around they’d never let her hear the end of it, mostly because the last dozen times something like this had happened she’d been teased relentlessly for the weeks that followed.
But somehow, when it comes to Mina, she just can’t really help it.
But even she hits a point where she has to bring it under control, if nothing else than to avoid doing something stupid like giving in to the ever growing urge to lean in for a kiss or something.
"So!” She says quickly, “what uh… what are you watching?”
"Watching?" Mina says, eyes flicking back to the tablet now lying face down on the bed, "oh just Civil War."
"Civil War? That's… Avengers right?"
Mina nods slowly, finally cracking a small smile in that delicate way that only she can.
"Yup, it's actually one of my favorites.”
"Really? I don't think I ever knew that."
"Yeah,” Mina says, “I watch it all the time actually.”
"Must be pretty good then."
"It is! I really like all the complex relationships between the characters and… I don't know there's just something about it that feels really good."
Before she even realizes what's happening, there are already words flying out of her mouth.
"Would… you mind if I watch it with you?"
"Oh!" Mina says, eyes widening slightly in surprise. "Um…"
“Nevermind,” Jeongyeon replies quickly, “you’re clearly enjoying your alone time, I shouldn’t have…”
“Unnie.” Mina cuts in, “I’d love it if you joined me, I just… didn’t know you liked Marvel movies. You never really watch with us whenever we have movie nights.”
“Oh I just… I never got the chance to watch the earlier ones so I get kind of lost now that so many are out. But... they’ve always looked really interesting.”
It’s a total lie. She’s never really been much of a fan of action as a whole, they’d always felt just a little too mindless for her and superhero movies always seemed even worse for some reason.
But then Mina flashes her this gentle smile that's filled with so much warmth that it has her practically melting on the spot. And honestly, when she looks at her like that, Jeongyeon's pretty sure there isn’t a single movie on the planet she’d say no to.
“Well why don’t I set this up on the TV?” Mina says, breaking her out of her thoughts, “that way we don’t have to cram into my tiny little bed.”
For a second she thinks about protesting, making up some garbage about how it would be way easier if they just watched in here. Because there’s really nothing she wants more in the world right now than to curl up next to Mina in her bed, even if it’s to watch a movie she has absolutely zero interest in.
But in the end she doesn’t have even a fraction of the courage it would take to suggest something so bold and she has to force herself to tear her eyes away and look back toward the kitchen.
“Um… yeah, yeah sure.” She stammers, “are you hungry? I can go find some snacks for us, or we could order something if you want.”
“Snacks sound good.” Mina answers, already sliding off the bed to gather up some blankets to take out to the couch.
Jeongyeon lingers for another second, a tiny voice inside that sounds remarkably like Nayeon screaming at her to run forward and give Mina a hand, anything for an excuse at some actual contact after having this entire conversation barely even touching hands. But in the end even that somehow feels like too much and she has to force herself to tear her eyes away, sliding off the bed and heading into the kitchen, struggling with the urge to slam her head into the refrigerator at her own stupidity.
"What did you think?"
Jeongyeon's breath catches in her throat, desperately searching for an answer as her eyes stay glued to the credits steadily climbing up the screen.
Mina had been kind enough to start the movie from the beginning despite her weak protests, and had steadily explained things here and there, but with so many characters on screen added onto all the explosions and special effects, she still ended up totally lost for the vast majority of the movie.
"Um… it was really cool. The fighting scenes were surprisingly fun to watch."
The words sound so stupid coming out of her mouth, so generic and insincere, but somehow it's still enough to make Mina's eyes light up.
"Right? I love the fights in this movie. The choreography is so well paced. A lot of other movies tend to cut too much or opt for just making things so fast that you can't even keep up, but the action in Marvel movies actually strikes a pretty good balance."
Jeongyeon can't help the small, amused smile that spreads on her face.
"What is it?" Mina says suddenly.
"Oh. Uh…" Jeongyeon stammers, realizing that she'd just been caught staring. "Nothing, I was just… I'm not really sure I've ever seen you like this before."
"Sorry, I get kind of carried away with stuff like this."
"No, it's not bad! It's actually…"
She trails off, eyes stretched wide as she realizes that she doesn’t know where that sentence is supposed to go, at least not when the only thing her mind seems to be capable of supplying is ‘insanely cute’. And there’s obviously no way she’s saying that.
Thankfully she's saved from her hopeless scrambling when the front door suddenly opens to the unmistakable sound of Sana's whining.
“I’m sorry !”
The next thing they see is Dahyun storming into the living room, practically ripping the coat off her shoulders and pelting it onto the couch before stomping into the kitchen.
Jeongyeon barely has a second to exchange a confused look with Mina before Sana follows just a couple steps behind her girlfriend.
“Dahyunniieeeee!” The girl whines, running right past them with her arms outstretched. "Please don't be upset. She said she was a fan!"
“What the…” Mina breathes, only to be cut off again by Dahyun’s response shouted from the kitchen.
“Is that what you do with your fans?”
It’s at that moment that Momo and Tzuyu walk in, both of them sporting equally amused grins as they plop down on the couch.
"What's going on with them?" Jeongyeon asks.
Without warning Momo breaks into a fit of giggles, falling back into the couch and kicking her legs into the air, causing both Jeongyeon and Mina to raise their eyebrows in a mixture of shock and confusion.
"Dahyun-unnie is just feeling a little jealous." Tzuyu finally explains.
"Jealous?" Mina says, "of what?"
"And what is she even doing with you guys?" Jeongyeon adds, "I thought she was getting dinner with her parents."
Tzuyu nods in response. "She was. But apparently her parents are taking her brother somewhere early tomorrow morning so they did kind of an early dinner instead. When Sana-unnie found out, she immediately invited her to come with us to the spa since… well we had an empty spot in the reservation."
She can feel Mina shifting in the seat next to her, and Jeongyeon can't help shooting a concerned glance in her direction before turning back to Tzuyu.
"So… something happened at the spa?" She says, hoping to shift the conversation away from anything that could make Mina uncomfortable.
"Sort of," the maknae continues, "everything was actually fine until we were almost home. But Sana-unnie let slip that the girl who gave her a massage was a huge fan and even asked for her number."
Jeongyeon scrunches her eyebrows. “What’s the big deal with that? It’s not like fans getting flirty with us is anything new.”
On the other end of the couch Momo lets out another loud cackle before sitting up in her seat. “Yeah but usually when a fan tries to ask you out, you aren’t stripping off all your clothes five minutes later.”
“What?” She and Mina shout, both of them on the verge of jumping off of the couch.
“It was for the massage.” Tzuyu explains, “they gave us the option to do whatever we felt comfortable with and the rest of us all opted to keep our underwear on. But Sana-unnie apparently didn’t see much of a problem with it.”
“That does sound like Sana.” Jeongyeon sighs. “But it’s not like she stripped down specifically for this girl, it was just for a massage.”
“Yeah but you know how shy Dahyun is about that stuff.” Momo answers, “she never likes clothes that show too much skin. She even had trouble wearing the swim suit for the DTNA shoot just because it had an open back.”
“Plus,” Tzuyu adds, “the way Sana-unnie told the story didn’t really help.”
Momo nods her head in agreement. “Sana really doesn’t think before she opens her mouth.”
Jeongyeon lets out a quiet scoff. “Like you’re any better.”
“Hey. I don’t get myself in trouble anywhere near as much as she does.”
She hears Mina quietly giggling next to her. “Didn’t Nayeon-unnie get mad at you just two days ago because you made a comment about how pretty that girl at the grocery store was?”
“What? I thought it was the waitress when we went to get noodles.” Tzuyu says.
"That definitely happened too." Jeongyeon adds.
“Maybe it was both?”
"Then there was also that trainee who pretended to be all confused with choreography so Momo would help her more privately."
"Okay we get it." Momo whines, burying her face into Tzuyu's shoulder, "I put my foot in my mouth just as often as Sana."
Jeongyeon feels another smile spreading on her face at her roommate's embarrassment and she can see the two girls on either side of her chuckling as well at Momo's behavior.
"So," Tzuyu says, seemingly deciding that their friend had been tortured enough, "what were you guys up to today?"
"Oh." Mina answers, "we just finished watching Civil War. Apparently Jeongyeon-unnie had never seen it."
"Really?" Tzuyu replies, "what did you think unnie?"
"Oh uh, it was really good!" Jeongyeon answers, maybe a little too quickly, "although I have to admit I was a little confused at times."
Mina gives her an understanding nod. "It really is hard without seeing the previous movies. If… you want we could watch them in order starting from Captain America, it would take a while of course but we could at least get started tonight."
Jeongyeon can feel herself practically melting at the hopeful look in Mina's eyes. "Yeah, that sounds great." She answers without really thinking.
Almost immediately Momo sits back up to shoot her a confused look. "What? I thought…"
She's cut off by a startlingly familiar high pitched squeal. "Are we doing a Marvel marathon?"
All four of them look up to see Sana standing at the entrance to the kitchen with a considerably happier looking Dahyun wrapped in her arms.
"Are you two done fighting already?" Jeongyeon asks.
"Yup!" Sana chirps. "You know Dahyunnie can't stay mad at me."
"How on earth did you calm her down?" Momo replies with an annoyed tinge to her voice, "if I had pulled something like that Nayeon would've kicked me to the doghouse for a week."
Sana takes a second to glance down at Dahyun before slowly bringing her eyes back up with a suggestive glint in her eyes. "Oh… I have my ways."
Almost instantly Dahyun's pale face lights up bright red and the girl quickly pulls her hair up to hide behind. It's an adorable habit that Jeongyeon finds even cuter that Dahyun still hasn't managed to kick it even after all these years.
And it’s almost enough to keep her from gagging at the implication behind Sana's words.
“Anyways,” Sana says, “Marvel movies?”
There’s a bit of looking around between the six of them, everyone seemingly coming to an unspoken agreement to change their plans if anyone speaks up.
“Sounds like nobody has any complaints.” Jeongyeon finally says, not sensing any real protests.
“Great! It’s been forever since we’ve done the marathon.”
“Well we’ve been really busy unnie.” Dahyun says, tilting her head to look up at her girlfriend.
“Yah! How many times do I have to tell you?” Sana whines, “we’re dating now. You don’t have to call me ‘unnie’ anymore!”
Once again, the girl’s cheeks flush a deep red, seemingly unable to come up with a response beyond burying her face in Sana’s shoulder. Which of course, just elicits another shriek as the older girl throws her arms around her.
Apparently deciding that she’d seen enough PDA, Tzuyu chooses that moment to slide off the couch. “Well, if we’re going to be watching a bunch of movies tonight, I’m definitely going to need to change into something more comfortable.”
“Ooh!” Sana perks up, already dragging Dahyun back into the kitchen, “we can grab some snacks!”
“I’ll go make some tea.” Mina says, “Momo would you like some?”
Momo looks up, shaking her head with a gentle smile.
Jeongyeon suddenly snaps her head up, for some reason unprepared to answer despite knowing that Mina would never leave her out on something like this. Something about the girl just tends to fry her brain.
“Um…” she stammers, “yeah I… I would love some Mina. Thank you.”
She gets this gentle smile in response that only lasts a second before the girl turns toward the kitchen, and somehow that’s all it really takes for butterflies to start fluttering in her stomach.
She’s not even sure how long she spends staring at the spot that Mina had been standing before she feels another pair of eyes on her. And she turns her head slowly, only to be greeted by Momo wearing a knowing smirk on her face.
“Could you be any more obvious?”
“I… I don’t know what you’re talking about.” She mumbles, tearing her eyes away to fiddle with the blanket Mina had so kindly draped over her legs when they’d sat down at the start of the movie. And even with Momo watching her from just a couple feet away, she can’t do anything to stop herself from cracking a stupidly wide smile at the adorable penguins printed on it.
“Look at you!” Momo says, “you’re absolutely smitten!”
Jeongyeon’s eyes immediately stretch wide, snapping over to cast a panicked look toward the kitchen. “Keep it down!” she hisses.
“You’re ridiculous.” The girl answers with a roll of her eyes, “you know if you’re going to be this bad at hiding it, you might as well just tell her.”
She can feel her cheeks getting warmer. “I… is it really that obvious?”
“I mean, other than the fact that you have hearts for eyes every time she so much as looks at you, I’d say that agreeing to marathon a series of movies that you hate so much is pretty telling.”
"I do not get hearts for eyes!"
Momo doesn't respond beyond falling back in her seat and raising an eyebrow.
"What?" Jeongyeon spits.
Momo turns back to her with a devilish smirk that immediately makes her regret asking. "Oh thank you Minari!" The girl says in an overly exaggerated airy high pitched voice that sounds remarkably like Sana, "I would love some tea! Especially because I can stare at you the entire time you're walking away until I get drool all over my shirt!"
She knows Momo is just messing with her, that's just the way they operate after all, but she still finds herself with a deep blush on her face as she sneaks a glance down at her shirt.
"Oh my god!" Momo exclaims, "she's like actually melting your brain!"
"I’ve never ever seen you this self conscious before. I mean usually you’re just as bad as Nayeon when it comes to calling yourself beautiful. What happened to all that confidence?”
“I… I don’t know.” She finally admits, sinking back into the couch with a defeated sigh, “I can't help it. I keep trying to act normal around her, but somehow when she looks at me it’s like I can’t even think.”
“Then don’t.” Momo answers simply.
“What do you mean?”
“I mean you’re thinking too much. You told me before that you were worried about everything that could go wrong if she ever found out, what it could do to your friendship, to our group as a whole… but all of that is assuming she doesn’t like you back. Maybe you just need to take the chance and trust your instincts instead.”
But the words instantly die in her throat when Mina suddenly walks back into the room, two steaming mugs of tea in her hands.
“Jeongyeon-unnie.” Mina says, flashing her a bright, beaming smile as she holds a cup out towards her.
She accepts it gratefully, albeit with a whole lot of awkward sputtering, completely failing to ignore Momo’s infuriating smirk as she watches Mina sink back down into the seat next to her.
It takes a couple minutes for Dahyun and Sana to come in from the kitchen, dragging Tzuyu with them and each carrying a mountain of snacks in their arms that they pour onto the coffee table.
From there it doesn't take much to get the movie started, and even though there's a whole lot less backstory to be confused about, it's still not quite enough for her to suddenly be a fan of superhero movies.
And as the movie drags on she finds that it's even harder to focus on this one than the one they'd just finished. Which feels ridiculous considering how often they've all cuddled up on the couch like this to watch movies or binge a drama in the past.
But somehow, no matter what she does she can't seem to get Momo's words out of her head, that she should just throw away all her inhibitions and make a move.
And it wouldn't even be that risky. After all, it's not like she's never cuddled with Mina before, there's way too much evidence on VLive at this point to argue that. So no matter what, there's a pretty low chance that Mina would react poorly or dislike it in any way. But then there's that irrational part of her that keeps her frozen to the spot, a part of her that seems to have taken a more and more central role in her decision making ever since she'd realized she had feelings for Mina.
So she just stays put, casting an uncertain look at the girl sitting next to her, and then over to Sana and Dahyun on the other end of the couch, lying in each other's arms without a care in the world.
And seeing them so relaxed like that, so content in each other's presence, never failed to bring a smile to her face, no matter how much she liked to joke about how disgusting they were together. But now, sitting here on the couch with the girl of her dreams, close enough that she can make out every little detail on her face, yet somehow still painfully out of reach, all Jeongyeon can do is wonder why she just can't seem to muster the kind of courage that Sana and Dahyun can and give herself that same chance to be happy.