chaeryeong wakes up.
though her mind is oddly clear, her eyes are bleary, and she blinks them open slowly, peering around the cold room.
it’s… dark. the only light comes from that of the full moon, blocked almost entirely by the shut curtains. she sleeps better in (almost) total darkness.
what time is it? she wonders idly to herself, before letting out an involuntary yawn. never mind. if i got up to check, i wouldn’t be able to go back to sleep.
another yawn brings tears to her eyes, and she sinks further into the bed, huddling further into the covers, and turning her face to face slightly more towards the pillow.
i’ll just try and sleep again.
and she closes her eyes, reaching up slowly, sluggishly, to brush a lock of hair away from her face, and she relaxes and lets herself drift into the sweet embrace of sleep-
-until an arm drapes itself over her waist.
her eyes snap open.
and carefully, she turns around in her bed, making sure not to disturb the arm lying gently over her side, fingers brushing lightly against exposed skin as she shifts, and if chaeryeong were more ticklish she’d be giggling right now.
but she doesn’t giggle, and instead she comes face to face with an awake hwang yeji, the older girl gazing lovingly up at her.
“chaeryeong,” a murmur slips from those pretty lips. “hey. i didn’t know you were awake.”
“mm,” the girl in question lets out a small hum, placing her hand on yeji’s. “didn’t know you were awake either.”
“sorry,” yeji giggles, softly, lightly. “i just thought you looked really pretty. and warm.”
“and i felt kind of cold.”
chaeryeong’s heart softens, and her grip on the older girl’s hand tightens slightly.
then that grip loosens and her hand leaves, instead finding a home on yeji’s side.
“today is pretty cold,” she admits, stifling another yawn.
and at the sight, yeji smiles.
“you’re cute when you’re sleepy,” she murmurs, pulling herself towards chaeryeong – or rather, pulling chaeryeong towards her. and chaeryeong doesn’t resist, letting the taller girl nestle her head against the crook of her neck, their legs tangling together, a beautiful mess.
she tucks a stray lock of yeji’s hair behind her ear. “so are you.”
“can’t deny that.” and the older girl nods slightly, face pressed against chaeryeong’s neck, shallow breaths hot against chaeryeong’s skin. when she nods, her hair gets messy again.
chaeryeong runs her fingers through it, quietly.
and she can feel yeji’s smile against her skin, the older girl whispering out a “and you’re warm, too,” with the tiniest hint of a laugh in her voice.
to that, chaeryeong simply pulls yeji closer, hugging her tighter, her hand on the older girl’s back as yeji closes her eyes, lashes brushing against chaeryeong’s skin.
the blankets shift slightly, creases forming- somewhere, she’s not sure where- but she doesn’t care, not when yeji’s fingers trace tiny hearts gently into her skin, not when yeji’s in her arms and she’s in hers, not when yeji murmurs the sweetest, softest “i love you, chaeryeong” into her collarbone, the older girl’s breath warm against her neck.
yeji’s forehead rests gently against her, the two of them pressed body to body, legs tangled together under the covers, fitting perfectly together like puzzle pieces.
as they drift off to sleep, chaeryeong plants a soft kiss on that forehead, whispering ever so softly: “i love you too, yeji.”
with the faintest hint of a smile, yeji snuggles closer into chaeryeong’s arms.
and as chaeryeong’s heart melts, they melt into each other’s embrace, stepping gently, together, into the calming realm of sleep.