“You want to do what with who for who?!”
Jihyo rubs her face with both of her hands out of shock and frustration. Recovering from her quick loss of vision physically, her eyes readjust to the three women staring back at her sheepishly.
“No I heard you,” Jihyo dismisses immediately with a vague hand wave. She makes eye contact with the eldest of the three. “Let me guess,” she adds. “This is your idea, isn’t it.” It was more of a statement than a question, really.
“I just figured—”
“Nayeon,” Jihyo interrupts.
The woman by the name blinks and a small pout appears.
Jihyo releases a sigh. She looks at the other two women and then at the soju bottle at a near by coffee table. The three women watch their leader walk over to the bottle, open it, and pour herself a shot. She quickly gulps it down and releases a groan as the alcohol sears down her throat.
The three women watch their leader open their mouth to speak. Ultimately, Jihyo closes her mouth and shuts her eyes releasing a breath she didn’t know she was holding. She shakes her head.
“Okay,” Jihyo lets out after a few seconds of silence. She pours herself another shot and holds it expectantly, not taking it immediately in contrast to her last one.
“Honestly Nayeon, of all the places… the company party?” Jihyo asks.
Nayeon opens her mouth to explain but no words come out. She closes her mouth shortly after the realization of how idiotic the idea sounds out loud to their leader but she holds onto the confidence she has left because honestly, “Why not?”
“Why n—” Jihyo spits out, followed by air. “You—” she breathes. Jihyo shuts her eyes (again) imagining everything and when she opens them back up wide she exhales through her nose. “I literally—like—cannot believe you right now.”
“It didn’t sound like a bad idea at first,” Sana chimes in quietly.
“Yeah, how bad could it be?” Chaeyoung adds with hope.
“It’s the company party!” Jihyo yells almost immediately. She finally takes her shot of soju and hisses. She slams her shot glass on the coffee table and shakes her head. She makes eye contact with Nayeon. “Seriously, whatever happened to just talking things out?”
Nayeon pleads physically with her hands in the air, flailing. “Well, you told me that—”
“I told you to talk things out with her,” Jihyo interrupts roughly. She glances at the other two and crosses her arms. “But I sure as hell didn’t tell you to drag them into it.”
Nayeon opens up her mouth to respond but is silenced by a hand held up to her face. Jihyo eyes Sana and Chaeyoung, her hand still up at Nayeon’s face to which the eldest of the group stomps her feet like a child.
“I knew about Nayeon,” Jihyo begins. “I didn’t know about you two.” She leans on her right leg and allows her hand up at Nayeon’s face to drop. “Explain.”
The demand causes Sana and Chaeyoung to blush. They all hear Nayeon curse under her breath in English.
“I… uh…” Chaeyoung starts.
Nayeon walks over to the soju bottle and also pours herself a shot in Jihyo’s glass, quickly diminishing the contents of it. She winces slightly but eases shortly afterwards.
“We just thought… you know,” Sana also starts, seeing the youngest quiet.
Jihyo switches to leaning on her left leg and wiggles her head, signaling them that she wanted an answer. Nayeon makes her way to the kitchen. Not breaking her gaze on Sana and Chaeyoung, the leader speaks, “Top left cabinet, Nayeon.”
“Yeah I know,” they all hear Nayeon respond in the distance. A few sounds of glasses clinking together erupts in JiJeongMi’s apartment and Nayeon returns with three more shot glasses. Nayeon places said shot glasses on the coffee table and pours more soju shots for everyone and starts handing them out. She returns back to the group. They all clink their shot glasses naturally because God knows they all need it at this point. All four of them take their shot simultaneously, Jihyo still not breaking her gaze at the other two.
“Well?” Jihyo asks. If it weren’t for her years of knowing the girls, the slight disruption of them taking a shot of soju would have probably been a bad time. But the comfortability that all of them shared as Twice members easily refuted that thought before it could even cross her mind. Despite the frustration she was feeling—being the leader of a 9-girl group—she knew that in the long run, she would be laughing at this whole situation. But just for this moment—in the present time with Nayeon, Sana, and Chaeyoung all being embarrassed at Nayeon’s ridiculous idea—she had the right as their leader to indulge in more stress. Just this once. Jihyo gave herself that.
“We just want the same thing here,” Nayeon responds, taking the lead in things. It was her idea after all.
Jihyo inhales deeply and slowly, followed by an exhale so quick, she didn’t complete a blink. “So you think making a grand gesture to simultaneously ask out Jeongyeon, Dahyun, and Mina,” Jihyo raises her arms in a mockery defensive stance, “at the company party..?”
“It’s kind of romantic, no?” Chaeyoung asks slowly. She shrugs. “Like in a movie.”
“We’re not in a movie, Chaeng!” Jihyo responds loudly. The raise in volume of the leader’s voice causes Sana to wince slightly and Nayeon and Chaeyoung blink multiple times at the outburst.
Jihyo shakes her head, for what seems to be the 100th time. “Since when?” she asks and glances between Sana and Chaeyoung.
“That’s not fair,” Sana answers. “You can’t put a date on when you fall for somebody.”
Nayeon and Chaeyoung nod simultaneously.
Jihyo tilts her head and exhales through her nose. “Is this a gay thing?”
Sana fights back the urge to roll her eyes. “No,” she responds.
“It’s a ‘technically I’m not supposed to date a band member’ thing,” Chaeyoung adds with air quotations.
“Oh but here we are,” Jihyo says with a flail of her arms. She rubs her temples. “Listen, you of all people know that I am for this—love is love—girl on girl action—whatever you all call it.” She exchanges looks with all three of the women standing in front of her. “But isn’t there a better way of doing this?” Jihyo fidgets in her place. “I mean for God’s sake—don’t get me wrong, you’re right Chaeng, this is definitely very romantic and you’re right—it’s just like a movie but we need to be careful.” She pauses to take a breath. “If word gets out about this, we can be ruined as a group.” Her eyes soften a little. “And I’m not just saying this because I’m the leader. I’m saying this because not everyone is okay with same-sex relationships.”
Sana takes a step forward. “Well one of the managers told me that they wouldn’t even be there.” She gives a small smile. “I mean, at least not in the same room—all of the artists have their own space while the managers are going to be split up in the different office spaces.”
“Yeah but that doesn’t change the fact that everyone else will be there,” Jihyo responds. “I know that we sent our invites to other artists, I was there for that.”
“Yeah but it’s people we trust,” Nayeon retorts.
“It’s not even going to be a lot of people,” Chaeyoung says. “Normally those parties are huge but with the pandemic still happening, all of the managers said to keep the invite list to a minimum.”
“I know,” Jihyo answers. She recrosses her arms. “Do they even know? Or are you three just going out of whim here?”
“Jeong and Dahyun definitely know,” Nayeon responds. She gestures her head towards Chaeyoung with a tilt; the latter looking down at her feet. “Minari on the other hand…”
“I haven’t been as forward about it like Nayeon and Sana have been,” the woman says.
Jihyo sighs. “That’s fair. These two are like walking combustion bombs of love.”
“Hey, what the hell—” Sana pleads.
Jihyo holds up a hand at Sana to stop talking, which the latter does and pouts, looking away briefly.
“I’m guessing the times you’ve told her she’s perfect on live recordings isn’t as wild as Nayeon and Sana’s confessions,” Jihyo says.
Chaeyoung nods. She shakes her head afterwards. “I know fans think I’m going to be the first one to come out in the group fifty years from now but goddamn.” She makes eye contact with their leader. “I don’t know—I’m not as confident as they are.” Chaeyoung switches her gaze to a random spec on the floor.
“Okay,” Jihyo says with an exhalation of breath. “If Mina doesn’t know Chaeyoung’s feelings, I can understand this,” she makes a vague arm wave, “but you two? If they know, what the hell is this?”
Nayeon throws her head back quickly out of frustration and places her hands on her hips. “Bitch, seriously?” she asks rather loudly.
Sana stifles a giggle and Chaeyoung breaks out in a grin at the rough nickname. Jihyo chuckles through her nose, a crooked smile lifting.
“Do you know how many times I’ve told Jeongyeon straight up that I like her?” Nayeon asks now leaning her upper body into their makeshift group circle. She scoffs and pulls back, eyes wide. “And do you know how many times I’ve made gestures at the one-thousand concerts we’ve had?” She scoffs again. “She just won’t take me seriously!”
“Yeah,” Sana chimes in with an eye roll. “I’ve confessed to liking Dahyun on VLives and when that wasn’t making a point, I even picked her as my partner when we filmed ‘Feel Special,’” she scoffs. “I tried to make eye contact with her when I almost picked her that time Jessi asked us who we would want to date.” She shakes a whine out. “But who does she pick?” She lifts her hands in the air above her head and shakes another whine out. “She picked Tzuyu!”
“Wow,” Jihyo lets out. “So this is like, years in the making.” She looks at Nayeon. “And I thought you had it bad.”
Nayeon rolls her eyes. “No need to brag about how easy it was to date Kang Daniel.”
Jihyo also rolls her eyes. “This is not your time to accuse me of pulling the straight card, Im Nayeon.”
Nayeon guffaws. “I definitely wasn’t—”
“Whatever,” Jihyo interrupts. Nayeon scoffs at the interruption and leans on one side. She chuckles, anyways, and the rest of the girls chuckle with her.
“Where are they, anyways?” Chaeyoung asks.
“Mina is helping Jeongyeon run-through ‘Perfect World’ choreography with the choreographer,” Jihyo answers. She makes a glance at the wall clock behind her. It read 10:52pm. “They won’t be back for a while.” She takes a look at the soju bottle, which is now nearly empty. “They will be a little surprised if they find you three here passed out throughout this apartment at the rate we’re drinking, though.”
“Huh?” Sana asks. “It’s almost done, though.”
Jihyo scoffs. “I have three more bottles in the fridge and I know for a fact, we’re going to need more.”
Nayeon blows air through her mouth. “Peach or grape this time?” She starts making her way to the kitchen without waiting for an immediate response.
“Oh, grape,” Chaeyoung answers. “I haven’t tried that one yet.”
“Really?” Sana asks and takes a seat on the far end of the couch opposite of everyone.
“Yeah,” the latter responds. The other girls find their place on the couch. Nayeon walks back with a grape-flavored soju bottle in hand and cracks it open, beginning to pour the contents into the four shot glasses. She finishes the remainder of the strawberry soju bottle on her own without anyone’s permission. Chaeyoung quickly gives a thanks to Nayeon handing her shot glass and shrugs. “Mina seems to be into the yogurt one these days,” the young cub adds.
Jihyo scrunches her face. “Yogurt… soju? Gross.”
Nayeon chuckles. “It doesn’t taste as bad as it sounds,” she responds and takes a seat to the right of Chaeyoung, who’s seated next to the nearest arm rest. Jihyo finds herself leaning on the corner of her L-shaped couch, her feet stretched out pointing at Nayeon and Chaeyoung respectively; Sana to her right leaning on her left side against the back of the couch facing her friends.
They all hold up their glasses in a silent cheers and take their shots simultaneously.
“Honestly,” Jihyo begins after processing the alcohol entering her system. “You’re most likely better off making your grand gestures privately.” She adds a shrug. “That’s just my opinion, though.”
“Oh wait,” Chaeyoung starts. She leans over and places her shot glass on the coffee table. “You thought we were going to ask—like—in front of everyone at the party?”
Jihyo blinks. “Yes.”
Sana lets out a groan. Nayeon scoffs. “Okay, we’re not that stupid.”
Jihyo tilts her head. “You said you wanted to ask them out, with the help of me, Momo, and Tzuyu… at the company party.” She also leans forward and places her shot glass on the coffee table.
Nayeon shakes her head. “Yeah with your help for sure but not in front of everyone there, really.”
Jihyo blinks one more time. “So then?”
Chaeyoung sighs. “We’re planning on stealing them away from the party.”
Jihyo breathes out. “Okay,” she lets out. “This doesn’t sound as bad as it seems.”
“That explains your initial reaction,” Sana says.
“Sorry,” Jihyo says with a chuckle. “Park Jinyoung and everyone else on all the teams we have will be there—not to mention all of the other artists we invited.”
Nayeon lets out a dry laugh and holds her shot glass to her left temple. “Jeez, Jihyo, I promise we’re not that stupid.”
Jihyo laughs as a response. “It’s rough being the leader of a group.”
“We know,” Chaeyoung says. She leans over and gives Jihyo a shake at her legs. “We’re trying to not make your job harder.”
“Yeah sure,” Jihyo says with an eye roll. “Six out of a nine-member girl group being in a relationship with each other in a homophobic country definitely doesn’t make my job harder.” Her eyes soften and she takes the time to look at the three girls around the room. “I wouldn’t trade it for the world, though.” She jumps to the coffee table and grabs the bottle. She begins to pour the contents out to her members. “We’ll do our best to protect you.”
“Thanks,” Nayeon responds. They all do a silent and in-the-air cheers and take their respective shots. “Besides,” she adds. “This isn’t the first time it’s happened in a group.”
Jihyo scrunches her eyes. “What do you mean by that?”
“Amber and Krystal have been dating for God knows how many years. And Yeri mentioned that Irene and Seulgi have been a thing for like a year now,” the eldest responds.
“What?!” Sana exclaims. “How do you know that? About Amber and Krystal I mean?”
“Wait,” Chaeyoung interrupts. “Amber and Krystal… like from f(x)?”
“Duh,” Nayeon answers. She chuckles as she begins to realize that the alcohol is making her tipsy. “It’s been done.”
“How did you find that out, though?” Jihyo repeats Sana’s question in shock.
“It was a few years ago,” Nayeon starts. She leans back into the couch. “When Jeongyeon invited me to have dinner with her and her family for a barbecue they were hosting, Amber was there because Seungyeon invited her.” She chuckles. “It was the four of us surrounding a small bonfire and Seungyeon asked Amber about how things were going with her.” She runs her hand through her hair. “Amber, of course, didn’t answer right away. After Seungyeon’s confirmation that Jeong and I wouldn’t say anything—even though we had no idea what they were talking about to being with—she told us.”
“Oh wow,” Sana exclaimed. “I had no idea that they were like friends friends.”
“Oh yeah,” Nayeon nods. “They’re the same age.”
“Ah,” Chaeyoung lets out.
“How have they been managing?” Jihyo pipes out of curiosity.
Nayeon shrugs. “They had to tell their members obviously.”
“What about their managers?” Jihyo asks.
“They know,” Nayeon responds. “I don’t think their agency as a whole knew, though.”
“Do you think they’ll ever know?” Chaeyoung asks. “I mean, I know Amber left SM but f(x) as a whole still never disbanded and the group is still technically under them.”
“How are they dealing with the distance, though?” Sana chirps up. “Amber is focusing on her career in the US.”
Nayeon shrugs again. “I have no idea but according to Jeongyeon and Seungyeon, they’re still together.”
“How long ago was this?” Jihyo questions.
“Jeong told me an hour before she joined us in January after she came back.”
There’s a brief silence amongst the Twice members after the information is revealed. The leader of their group sighs. “Okay,” she breathes. “Maybe this is doable.”
Jihyo looks at Nayeon. “Is this a good time, though? Jeongyeon just came back.”
Nayeon groans. “I know but—isn’t that more of a reason to tell her?”
“I mean, technically, you already told her,” Sana says lowly.
Nayeon groans again. “You know what I mean!”
“So you didn’t confess in the card you wrote her during Secret Santa,” Chaeyoung says in realization.
“No!” Nayeon screams. She throws her face into the palms of her hands. “I almost did, believe me, but I chickened out!”
“Okay, okay,” Jihyo says interrupting the laughter coming from herself, Chaeyoung, and Sana at their eldest’s frustration.
Jihyo sits up straight and crosses her arms.
With a glint of hope and excitement in her eyes, the other three girls smile at their leader. Jihyo chuckles.
“I have the perfect way of going about this.”
The woman with the name turns around abruptly, ending all conversation she was having with Sana and Chaeyoung. She immediately extends her arms at the four other women approaching her.
“Blackpink in your area!” she screams with a shake of her shoulders.
The group by the name laugh as they engulf the bunny in their arms in a group hug.
“Thanks for inviting us!” Jennie screams over the loud music with a huge smile.
“Of course!” Nayeon screams at the same volume.
Jennie takes a look around the entire room. At JYP’s company party that Nayeon invited them to, they were placed in the building’s cafeteria. She heard Jisoo fly a compliment at Nayeon for the venue with Rosie asking if this was the same area Twice filmed one of their Time to Twice series where they had to scavenger hunt clues and keys to cure the entire staff from the zombie virus. She hears Nayeon confirm with an embarrassed laugh.
“It was a good series,” Lisa comments.
“Thanks, we had a lot of fun filming it,” Nayeon responds.
“We’re going to go greet everyone else,” Rosie adds and pulls Lisa away at the arm. They give light bows to Sana and Chaeyoung before departing.
“So tonight?” Jisoo asks after her and Jennie finish hugging said members.
All three of them nod. Jennie squeals. “Ah, so romantic.”
“Hey at least the chance of one of you forgetting when your anniversary is is slim to none,” Jisoo states with a laugh.
The three Twice members frown almost simultaneously. “That’s not the point,” Chaeyoung adds.
Jennie giggles and pats the cub’s left shoulder. “We know, we know. Just gotta tease.”
Nayeon’s heart jumps a beat and quickly turns her head to the left at the voice.
Jeongyeon gives a quick hug to Jennie and Jisoo and Nayeon can’t help but stare. Jeongyeon sported a black dad hat with a white t-shirt under a black and white unbuttoned plaid shirt, finishing off her simple outfit with black jeans rolled up above her ankles and black Vans. Nayeon could see that her blond hair was still a little wet, presumably from her shower not even an hour before the party. She noticed Jeongyeon wearing the same pair of glasses she got her as a gift from when they filmed that Secret Santa episode. She took off her face mask and smiled at Nayeon. The latter blushed at the sight.
Behind her, Mina and Jihyo followed, also exchanging quick hugs with everyone in their circle. Mina wore a 3/4 quarter black long-sleeve with high-waisted light blue jeans, complimenting her long locks of jet black hair and a pair of vans Chaeyoung made for her a few years ago. The sight caused Chaeyoung to also blush.
“Hey, Chaeng,” Mina whispered into the cub’s ear in a hug and also took off her face mask. The baby beast shivered. “Hey,” she peeped out.
Sana could see Jihyo fighting a grin watching everything around her as she took off her mask. She glanced to her right and made eye contact with the bright North star of her life. She released a smile naturally and Dahyun smiled back before continuing her conversation with Rosie and Lisa with Tzuyu at her side. Dahyun also wore a black dad hat but wore a white graphic t-shirt slightly bigger than her with jeans and white sneakers.
“We’ll go say hi to everyone else,” Jeongyeon states with a smile. Mina and Jihyo agree as the three of them slightly bow at the Blackpink members and make their rounds to everyone else in the room.
Nayeon and Chaeyoung let out a breath they didn’t know they were holding. Sana chuckles at the sight with Jisoo and Jennie.
“Ooh girls, you got it bad,” Jennie states in English.
Sana steals another glance at Dahyun who’s now greeting her other band members who have arrived.
“She’s got it bad, too!” Jisoo exclaims. Sana turns her head back to the group with wide eyes. They all laugh. “The conversation is here in this circle,” Jennie adds. She makes a gesture towards Dahyun. “Not over there,” she finalizes with a laugh.
“Sorry,” Sana says with a guilty smile.
Jisoo and Jennie shake their heads with a chuckle letting the Shiba Inu-look-alike know that it was all a tease.
“So when?” Jisoo asks with a smile.
“Where?!” Jennie also asks with a smile bigger than her band member’s.
“We have three dance studios set up,” Chaeyoung answers.
Nayeon nods. She shakes her hands out of nervousness. “Momo set up our videos before the party started.”
“And flower petals,” Sana adds.
“Videos?” Jisoo asks.
“Flower petals?!” Jennie questions with glee. She brings her hands to the sides of her face, attempting to stop her smile from getting bigger than it already is.
The three Twice members laugh out of embarrassment.
“Yes, videos and flower petals,” Nayeon answers. She chuckles and shakes her head. “It was all Jihyo’s plan.”
“I thought this was your idea, though,” Jisoo responds.
All five women turn their heads to Momo smiling with pride as she held a tray of shot glasses filled with soju.
“God, yes, please,” Nayeon says immediately taking one for herself.
Momo giggles as the other women take their glasses, as well. She throws in a shrug. “I figured you might need some liquid courage.”
Nayeon drinks her shot unceremoniously to the dismay of everyone else around her. “Keep them coming, barkeep.”
“Slow down,” Sana pleads. “You’re one of members who are lightweight.”
“Yeah seriously,” Chaeyoung states. “You don’t want Jeongyeon thinking this is a drunk confession.”
Nayeon waves a hand of dismissal in the air. “Whether it’s a drunk confession or a sober one—neither have truly worked in the past.”
The other women laugh and they all take their shot together with the exception of Nayeon who already drank her’s.
“Twenty minutes,” Momo says with raised eye brows before walking off.
“Shit,” Nayeon breathes out. She makes eye contact with Jihyo across the room to which the latter responds back with a smile.
“Wow,” Jennie says. “Not wasting any time, huh?”
Chaeyoung chuckles. “Nope.”
“Momo, Jihyo, and Tzuyu are going to find some lame excuse to separate our three knuckleheads into the dance studios,” Sana states.
“I figured,” Jisoo answers with a nod. “So what videos are you guys referring to?”
Nayeon brings her sole attention back to her group and away from Jihyo slapping Jeongyeon’s cackle over some dumb joke she’s sure she made. “Jihyo said we should show them videos fans made of us.”
“A bit narcissistic don’t you think?” Jennie asks with a laugh.
“Who’s being narcissistic?”
The girl’s turn their attention to five women approaching them. They all scream in glee and happiness as they all hug each other. Over the greetings, everyone in the room could hear the DJ begin to play “Dream of You” by Chung Ha ft. R3hab.
“Oh wait,” Yeri says loudly before huddling the rest of the Red Velvet members in with Blackpink and Twice. “Is this about your confession?”
“Yes,” Nayeon, Sana, and Chaeyoung respond at the same time.
Yeri claps like a little child while the other Red Velvet members laugh, smiles plastered onto their faces.
“Narcissistic, though?” she asks after exchanging small greetings with Jisoo and Jennie in hugs.
“We’re showing them videos of us in dance studios soon,” Chaeyoung answers.
Wendy tilts her head. “Yeah… that does seem a bit narcissistic.”
“No, it’s not what you think,” Sana pleads.
“They’re videos of our ships that fans made of us,” Nayeon explains. “You know, our pairings? NaJeong, MiChaeng, and SaiDa.” She looks for Momo in the room and when they make eye contact, she makes a lazy gesture with her hand asking her for another shot. The lead dancer of their group nods in understanding and begins to pour shots for her and the girls. Red Velvet release a hum of understanding and nod.
Momo makes her way with a tray filled with more shots than last time and greets the newly arrived Red Velvet members.
“Just exactly how many have you had, Nayeon,” Irene asks slowly.
“Not enough,” Nayeon answers before taking her shot—unceremoniously again.
The other girls laugh at the bunny’s dismay. At the corner of her eye, she catches Jeongyeon on her phone; the low lit LED light burning into her face. She watches her look up at Jihyo and Nayeon assumes she’s asking why Jihyo just texted her when she was right next to her a few feet away. Nayeon swallows a lump forming in her throat and catches Mina and Dahyun also looking at their phones in confusion. Chaeyoung and Sana catch it when they notice Nayeon looking off to the side.
“It’s starting,” Chaeyoung says and runs a hand through her hair. She releases a heavy sigh of nervousness and she straightens out the invisible wrinkles of her white, off the shoulder t-shirt. She wore black jeans and her black Chelsea boots. Mina said that she liked her best in them. It’s kept her in her high since then.
“Ah God,” Sana lets out. She stretches her arms above her head, releasing some tension in her shoulders. She sported a lavender long sleeve with light blue jeans, her top french tucked inside with white sneakers.
“For a company party where you’re confessing,” Seulgi starts.
“You’re dressed pretty casually,” Joy finishes.
Jisoo and Jennie stifle a laugh while the Twice members groan.
“We can’t stand out,” Nayeon defends. “It would be too obvious.” Nayeon wore a plain white loose tank top that was french tucked in her navy blue jeans and white sandals. The weather was getting nicer and Nayeon felt the urge to show more skin—hoping it would at least—at least—get Jeongyeon’s attention. She’s sure her side mission failed as Jeongyeon never complimented her at all.
The group watches six of the Twice members gather in a circle with Jihyo waving her hand around and speaking at the same time which they all assumed was her saying to go to their respective dance studios.
With confused looks, Jeongyeon, Mina, and Dahyun start heading to the door. Nayeon, Chaeyoung, and Sana watch them exchange words with each other as they head out and exit.
Fear starts to seep into their skins as Jihyo, Momo, and Tzuyu make their way to them, Red Velvet, and two of the Blackpink members; the other two of the Blackpink members following behind.
“Ready?” Lisa asks with a bright smile.
“I told them to give it about five minutes,” Jihyo states.
“Five minutes are going to happen in a flash,” Tzuyu adds.
“Don’t forget to breathe,” Momo says.
Nayeon whines with her body and a sound that’s similar to a baby. “You set everything up correctly, right?”
“Of course,” Momo answers. She gestures to Tzuyu. “I had a witness double check my work.”
“Thank God,” Sana lets out. The rest of the girls laugh except Nayeon and Chaeyoung who now—all three of them—feel their palms getting sweaty.
“You put both of my videos, right?” Nayeon quips.
“Both?” Chaeyoung asks. “Don’t be greedy!”
“Jihyo said five-minute limit!” the latter retorts. “The first video is like three to four minutes long and the second one is a minute long!”
“Ha, it better be,” Sana responds. Chaeyoung lets out a huff, slowly backing down from her defenses.
“It’s not my fault I had trouble choosing,” Nayeon says with an exhale. “NaJeong fans are creative.”
Sana and Chaeyoung nod in agreement thinking about the videos they all watched together as a trio trying to figure out which to pick for their grand day.
“And this was your plan?” Rosie asks Jihyo.
The Twice leader smiles as a response, teeth showing with pride. “What better way to confess your feelings? If those three see how fans have captured them together, there’s no denying it, right?”
The girls nod in approval and Nayeon groans. She hops and lightly slaps her face. “Okay, I’m going to go first. Jeongyeon is the most impatient out of the three.”
The other girls chuckle and they nod sending off their tiny cheers of hope and confidence as the bunny walks off.
Sana and Chaeyoung take a breath before looking at each other and nodding. They exchange looks with the other girls and head off.
When the girls see that all three of them had exited, Jennie pipes in a question. “How confident are we that things will work out?”
“I’d say pretty confident,” Jihyo answers. “The tricky part is finding a way how to manage everything after tonight.” She sighs. “We don’t need Dispatch rolling into this building.”
They all laugh and scoff in unison at the terrible idea.
“It’s okay,” Irene adds. “We’ll all stick together.”
“Yeah,” Jisoo chimes.
Jihyo looks at their guests with the other Twice members smiling. “Thanks a lot. Seriously.”
Sana opens the door to the Madonna dance studio and slowly peeks inside. She finds Dahyun fiddling with a few of the flower petals on the floor with her right foot, swaying it left and right. Confusion was evident on the girl’s face.
Hearing someone come in, Dahyun reverts her attention to the entrance. She raises her eye brows. “Hey,” she calls.
“Hey,” the Japanese responds back and walks over to her.
“Did Jihyo ask you to meet here, too?”
“Uh,” Sana lets out. “Sort of.”
Dahyun tilts her head to the side as a question. She watches Sana give off a timid smile before making her way to the computer that’s hooked up to a projector.
“What’s with all the flower petals?” Sana hears Dahyun ask as she shakes the mouse to wake the computer.
The projection screen on the wall pulls up a YouTube page and a video titled “PROOF Sana is IN LOVE with Dahyun” paused and set to the beginning. Sana inhales and counts to three before turning around to look at Dahyun who she sees is frowning at the screen. Sana fights the urge to roll her eyes realizing that Dahyun forgot to wear her glasses and is now squinting trying to read the words on the screen with her lack of 20/20 vision. She turns back to the computer and puts the video in full screen.
“Proof Sana is in love…” Dahyun trails off and begins to process the title with the English she knows. She makes eye contact with Sana. “What’s this about?”
“What isn’t this about?” Sana emphasizes. “I hope this makes it more clear to you.” Sana hits the space bar on the keyboard to play the video and makes her way over to the other girl in the room, stopping at arms length next to her. “Just watch it.”
And Dahyun does.
The video begins with a soft piano playing and pictures of Sana just staring at Dahyun at multiple different events. Sana feels a lump in her throat as Dahyun swallows. She can only assume that she knows Jihyo will not be coming to this dance studio.
What if we rewrite the stars,
Say you were made to be mine?
Sana takes a glance at Dahyun next to her who she sees swallows again at the clip of Sana holding her hand to her chest and Dahyun licking her lips, looking away. Sana sees a blush form on Dahyun’s cheeks and reverts her view back to the video playing. Moments fans have caught pass in the video. Knowing that the video is almost ending, Sana turns her body to face Dahyun and she sees her swallow again as she crosses her arms, almost as if she was trying to hug herself and stay stable.
Why don’t we rewrite the stars?
Changing the world to be ours.
Dahyun watches the last clip of the video play of Sana speaking in Japanese and her asking, “What are you saying? Are you saying you like me?”
The video ends and Dahyun blinks a few times before turning her head to Sana. She recognizes the look on the older woman’s face and it clicks. It’s the same look all of those pictures and videos of Sana looking at Dahyun had.
Proof. The word rings in the Tofu’s head.
“What did you say to me?” Dahyun asks.
Sana blinks. “What?”
Dahyun turns her body fully towards Sana and takes a step forward, arms still crossed. She could feel her heartbeat in her mouth.
“When you were speaking in Japanese that day,” Dahyun continues. She takes another step forward. “I never asked. Now I’m asking.”
Sana looks down and swallows a lump in her throat. She twiddles with her thumbs; the slight friction breaking the silence in the room.
“The moon is beautiful, isn’t it?” Sana answers in Korean.
“That’s what I said in Japanese that day.”
“The moon? What does—”
“It’s something Japanese people say when they’re too shy to say, ‘I love you,’” Sana answers too quickly. She feels a blush form in her cheeks and soon enough, looks away. She regains whatever confidence she has left and looks back at Dahyun who’s in shock just blinking back at her.
“You…” Dahyun breathes. She readjusts her crossed arms, now suddenly feeling very small in this large dance studio. “You love…me?”
Sana chuckles and feels tears slowly welling up in her eyes. She looks off to the side, blinking away at her tears. “I’m sorry if this makes you feel—”
Sana’s words die out as she was interrupted by Dahyun now holding her in an embrace. She cranes her face into Dahyun’s neck and feels the latter lightly laugh into the side of her head.
“I love you, too.”
Sana pulls away wiping at her tears, releasing a laugh filled with happiness and relief. Dahyun chuckles with a closed-mouth grin and helps her wipe away her tears. She shakes her head. “Sorry, Sana,” she starts. “It’s kind of hard to really believe you and take your words seriously when you’re so affectionate towards everyone else.”
The comment earns a light slap to her arm from the older woman. They both laugh. “I’ll tone it down from now on,” Sana pleads.
Dahyun shakes her head and places her right hand on Sana’s face. Sana feels her heart race at the small action and she finds herself lost in Dahyun’s eyes now suddenly losing all vocabulary she’s ever learned.
“It’s okay,” she hears Dahyun say. “We can rewrite the stars.”
Before Sana could respond, Dahyun finds a way to make her speechless again and places a long over due kiss on her lips. Sana immediately responds, bringing her hands to Dahyun’s back and leans in further not wanting to have distance between them.
Sana smiles into the kiss and ultimately breaks it, but not without leaning her forehead against Dahyun’s. “I’m so glad you understood it this time.”
Dahyun releases a loud laugh before placing another kiss on Sana’s lips; both of them smiling into the kiss.
Mina turns around to face the door that just opened in the Bobby dance studio. She drops a flower petal that she was holding and takes a step to the side to get a better view of who was coming in.
“No, it’s just me.”
Mina stands up straight at the voice and sees Chaeyoung appear in front of her. Chaeyoung gives a tiny smile and waves as she makes her way towards the older woman.
“Chaeng?” Mina questions.
“I can explain,” Chaeyoung quickly answers. She stops abruptly in her tracks, causing Mina to slightly flinch at the sudden action and watches her lightly jog to the computer on the other side of the room. She shakes the mouse and sees that her video of choice was already in full screen just waiting to be played.
Mina hears Chaeyoung take in a sharp inhale but doesn’t hear Chaeyoung release it slowly. They stand in silence for what feels like forever, even if it was only a few seconds.
“Chaeng,” Mina calls out lowly.
Chaeyoung turns around and Mina could see that the baby beast’s face was pink. Mina blinks at the observation and can’t help but feel a blush form on her cheeks, as well.
“Um,” Chaeyoung begins. She swallows dry saliva in her throat. “I’ve uh… known for a while.” She clears her throat and plays with her hands. “At first I didn’t know what to do or how I really felt about this…” Chaeyoung trails off and ultimately knocks her left heel on the floor. Mina watches the younger woman look off to the side.
“But I know now,” Chaeyoung says. They make eye contact and Mina sees a slightly more confident Chaeyoung, despite the fact that her face became pinker in embarrassment.
“And uh,” Chaeyoung adds. “I wanted to get this right on the first try seeing how Nayeon and Sana’s attempts at Jeongyeon and Dahyun failed multiple times.”
Mina’s breath hitched at the statement and a realization kicked into her head. For a moment, the atmosphere between them shifted and Mina had the idea of where this was going.
She just didn’t want to get her hopes up.
“Um yeah,” she hears Chaeyoung mumble. She watches her turn back around and play the video with the mouse.
A piano key rings in the air and Mina briefly sees a tiger and a penguin emoji pop up before lyrics are spilled and videos of her and Chaeyoung are shown. It’s a mixture of both her and Chaeyoung looking at each other and speaking at different events; hands being held, words being whispered—the whole nine.
As long as we keep this low,
Mina swallows her heart in her throat.
She hears Chaeyoung sing the next line.
You ain’t even gotta lo,
Mina’s heart rips a little hearing Chaeyoung sing the line because honestly, why wouldn’t Mina love her? With her back still to her, Mina continues to watch the video, letting it play out.
Keep it a secret.
The video soon ends and silence engulfs the room. Mina hears Chaeyoung swallow harshly. Mina also swallows to herself at how deafening the silence is between them. She isn’t sure if Chaeyoung is going to continue or if she should say something first. She glanced around the room; flower petals everywhere and a very heart warming video made by, presumably a fan, of the two of them. She sees Chaeyoung stand up straight, stiff as a plank, and hears the younger woman inhale sharply.
Mina finds blood running through her legs, finally, and makes her way over to Chaeyoung.
Chaeyoung hears foot steps behind her and just when she turns around, Mina crashes her lips onto Chaeyoung’s almost sloppily. Chaeyoung registers with enough time and they readjust, now kissing her back.
Mina breaks the kiss and leans back. “I do love you,” she states quickly and a little breathy. She swallows. “I’ll keep it a secret with you and we can tell people whenever we’re ready.”
Chaeyoung gives off a light laugh and hugs the taller girl, wrapping her arms around her waist. Mina also laughs and wraps her arms around the younger woman’s neck and shoulders.
Chaeyoung leans against the computer table and they pull away slightly, their bottom halves still attached to one another. Chaeyoung leans in for a small kiss, pulling back with a smile.
“So the dating rumor with your tattoo artist isn’t true after all, huh?” Mina asks, half teasingly, half relaxing.
Chaeyoung groans as she throws her head back, but not too far enough for Mina to grab another kiss.
Nayeon stops herself from bulldozing into the Michael Jackson dance studio and holds the door knob. She takes a deep breath. “You can do this,” she mumbles to herself and gives herself a nod of confidence.
Opening the door with all the energy she has, she rushes inside already devising what her next lines are going to be.
Unfortunately for her, though, she loses track of her well-prepared monologue as she crashes into the one person who drives her insane. Literally.
“Ow, what the—” Nayeon hears Jeongyeon say as she falls back into the door behind her that closed on time. Nayeon’s vision readjusts as she rubs her forehead and she sees Jeongyeon still stumbling back rubbing her chin.
Jeongyeon blinks at her. “Nayeon?”
“In the flesh,” Nayeon answers with a toothy smile, hoping to make the atmosphere a little lighter despite both of their injuries.
Jeongyeon scrunches her face at the eldest and quickly shakes her head. “Have you seen Jihyo?” she takes her phone out of her pocket and checks it. “She isn’t responding to me and there are flower petals everywhere.”
The girl crush looks distraught and Nayeon fought the urge to not walk over to her and strangle her.
Jeongyeon caught whatever menacing look Nayeon was giving her and stood up straight. “What?”
“Jihyo’s not coming.”
“So then why—” Jeongyeon stops speaking when she sees Nayeon walk over to the computer that’s placed in the middle of room. She hears the bunny gasp.
“Why is this off?!”
Jeongyeon blinks. “What do you mean? It’s supposed to be off when no one’s in here.”
“Yeah no shit Sherlock,” Nayeon scoffs. She aggressively turns the computer back on and starts cursing under her breath. If Jeongyeon heard it correctly before closing the distance between them, she heard Momo’s name in the mix. She stops a few feet away from Nayeon, afraid that any physical backlash of frustration the older woman was bleeding might ensue if she gets closer.
“I turned it off when I got in here because I saw that it was on,” Jeongyeon says slowly.
Nayeon turns around while the Apple chime rings throughout the studio and Jeongyeon sees the Apple logo appear on the iMac with a loading bar. Nayeon scoffs. “Of. Course. You. Did,” the older woman responds in gritted teeth.
Jeongyeon swallows feeling like she did something wrong. “W-what’s the matter?” she manages to ask. She feels something at her foot and looks down. She stepped on a flower petal. She lifts her right foot up and takes the flower petal stuck to her heel off and holds it up. “And what’s with the flower petals?”
Nayeon groans and turns her back to the girl crush member of their band. She quickly logs into the general profile of the computer and pulls up YouTube, the wall in front of them mirroring the image signaling that the projector woke up with the computer.
“Hello?” Jeongyeon calls. “You gonna answer me?”
“Shush,” Nayeon retorts.
“Jeez,” Jeongyeon answers back lowly.
Jeongyeon takes a few steps back to read the larger screen as Nayeon begins typing in the search bar.
2yeon? But that’s—
Jeongyeon sees Nayeon scrolling through videos of the two of them made by fans on YouTube. She sees Nayeon open up one in a separate tab, pausing it, going back to the original page, opening up another video in a separate tab, and pauses that one. She goes back to the first video and turns around to face her.
“You know, Yoo Jeongyeon,” Nayeon begins. “For someone who is very rational and straight-forward, I seriously can’t believe that it has to come to this.”
Jeongyeon opens her mouth to respond but no words come out. She watches Nayeon turn back around and put the first video in full screen. “If you don’t believe that I really love you more than as a friend after these two videos, I’m going to be single forever,” she hears Nayeon say before slamming the space bar key.
Jeongyeon blushes at the blunt statement as Nayeon meets her at her side.
A familiar beat rings through the dance studio and Jeongyeon immediately recognizes it as an Ariana Grande song. She watches a clip of the two of them walking together at the airport which transitions into a video clip of the time Jeongyeon showed Nayeon’s disgusting face in a toilet bowl video on that one VLive, her voice ringing through the audio. Other clips continue to play as they both watch. Jeongyeon sees Nayeon cross her arms at the corner of her eye.
The lyrics ring in Jeongyeon’s head.
So lock the door,
And throw out the key,
Can’t fight this no more.
She quickly realizes that this is one of Nayeon’s favorite song by the artist and as the video plays different moments of the two of them, she hears Nayeon sing along faintly to the chorus.
I’m stuck with u,
stuck with u,
stuck with u.
She breaks her glance briefly to look at Nayeon and she sees that she’s staring back, her arms still crossed.
“Keep watching,” the older woman instructed. Jeongyeon immediately reverts her glance back at the video and she swallows a racing heart beat in her throat. She gave it to the ONCE’s. Especially the NaJeong shippers. All of these moments spread out in different times of their lives. A small clip of their performance of “My Ear’s Candy” popped up and Jeongyeon couldn’t help but chuckle at the sight. It caused Nayeon to smile with hope.
“Yeah,” Jeongyeon breathes. “Something definitely changed between us after that special stage…”
Nayeon hums in agreement as they both continued to watch the video; ending in their infamous scene of what looked like a kiss—but wasn’t—from that stage.
As the video ended, Nayeon moved quickly to close the existing page and soon moved to the second video.
Jeongyeon opened her mouth to say something and Nayeon knew. “Last one,” she says.
Jeongyeon closed her mouth and placed her arms behind her with a tiny nod. Nayeon placed the second video in full screen and hit the space bar, walking back to her place next to Jeongyeon.
Violin notes play in the dance studio and Jeongyeon watches another video of her and Nayeon. What’s slightly different though is that the lyrics can be read with the video clips playing together.
I knew from the first time,
I’d stay for a long time cause,
I like me better when I’m with you.
Jeongyeon knew the song sounded familiar. It was one of her personal favorites.
The second video ended before Jeongyeon could process all of it.
“That was short,” Jeongyeon stated with some disappointment.
Nayeon walked over to the computer and shut it down. “Five-minute limit.”
“According to who?”
Jeongyeon snorted. “What is this, Nayeon?”
Nayeon guffaws. “You’re not seriously asking me that right now, are you?”
The latter shakes her head and walks towards her who is now standing in front of the computer with her arms crossed. “What?” Jeongyeon asks. “Are you trying to swoon me or something?” she gestures at the flower petals and then at the computer. “Those videos were nicely edited, by the way.”
“I do not own those videos,” Nayeon states. She lifts her eye brows. “Is it working? Are you swooned?”
Jeongyeon feigns contemplation. “Find another video and I’ll let you know.”
Jeongyeon erupts in laughter when she feels Nayeon slap her shoulder away.
“I’m serious, Jeong.”
Nayeon watches Jeongyeon stand up straight and swallow after she recovers from her laughter. She nods lightly. “I know.”
“So why is this funny to you?”
“You know I laugh when I get nervous.”
“Why are you nervous?”
“Because what you’re about to say out loud to me will make it real and that—” Jeongyeon stops herself and looks down at the floor. “That’s scary,” she concludes.
Jeongyeon looks to the side when she feels Nayeon close the distance between them, feeling arms wrap around her neck and shoulders. She feels her breath hitch before making eye contact with the woman in front of her. She finds nothing but genuine safety in her eyes.
“I love you,” Nayeon says slightly above a whisper. She leans in closer, the distance between their lips dangerously almost gone.
“I love you, too,” Jeongyeon responds. She slowly steps out of Nayeon’s grasp which elicits a pout and a tiny whine from the elder. She stifles a chuckle at the sight.
“But this is complicated,” Jeongyeon quickly adds.
“It doesn’t have to be,” Nayeon quips.
“I know it doesn’t have to be but we’re idols, Nabongs. It’s more than just us.”
“Do you not want to be with me?”
“I didn’t say that.”
Jeongyeon blinks away to the side trying to find the words. She fails after a split second and just releases a breath. She looks back to Nayeon who’s making her way back to her. She feels Nayeon pull her into a hug, arms wrapping around her shoulder and neck again; Jeongyeon automatically wraps her arms around the woman’s waist and she breathes in Nayeon’s citrus-scented hair. She closes her eyes in peace.
Jeongyeon breaks the hug but holds them close. “How are we going to to tell the others?”
Nayeon smiles gently. “Leave that to me.”
The latter eyes her. “I don’t know if I should.”
Nayeon lightly slaps her companion’s shoulder. “Just trust me.”
Jeongyeon scoffs. “Fine.”
Nayeon smiles a little wider and gently caresses Jeongyeon’s right cheek with her left hand. Without knowing it, Jeongyeon falls into the touch. “Will you be my girlfriend?” Nayeon asks above a whisper.
“Yes,” Jeongyeon replies before crashing her lips onto Nayeon’s.
Nayeon smiles brightly into the kiss when she feels Jeongyeon leaning forward as she leans back trying to balance them.
“Wait, everyone knew?”
Nayeon could be heard laughing in the kitchen to which Jihyo laughs as a response with a nod. “Yeah, Mina, everyone knew.”
Jeongyeon and Dahyun exchange glances before reading everyone else in the room.
Nayeon returns to JiJeongMi’s living room with soju bottles and shot glasses in hand. All of Twice were spread out in their apartment. Nayeon places all of the items in her arms onto the coffee table and goes to sit on Jeongyeon’s lap. The action earns a natural wince of denial from the latter even though she wraps her arms around the older woman’s mid-section. The group chuckles at the sight.
“Wow,” Mina lets out as Chaeyoung leans back into her on the floor. She wraps her arms around Chaeyoung’s legs that are folded up and Chaeyoung leans her head back knocking into the penguin’s shoulder.
“You guys are good,” Dahyun compliments as she feels Sana combing through her hair with fingers, her head on the Japanese woman’s lap. “Real good,” she adds and looks up at Sana. Sana smiles back down at Dahyun who blushes at the look.
Nayeon slides off of Jeongyeon and onto her right side. Jeongyeon readjusts herself and stretches her arm out so Nayeon could snuggle closer to her because she knew that was what she wanted in the first place. She grins mischievously. “It was my idea,” she chimes.
“It was my plan, though,” Jihyo states.
The girls chuckle while Momo grabs the soju bottle and begins pouring shots for everyone. Dahyun and Tzuyu respectfully decline in the moment as they were still recovering from the alcohol from the company party a few hours ago.
“Thank you, guys,” Sana says, kind of out of nowhere.
Chaeyoung nods as she pulls her head back up off of Mina’s shoulder. “Seriously.”
Nayeon hums in agreement as she eyes Jihyo, Momo, and Tzuyu. The three smile back as a “you’re welcome” and they sit in a comfortable silence.
“So what do we cheers to?” Momo asks.
“A few ground rules actually,” Jihyo quickly states as she sets her shot glass down on the coffee table. She places her hands on her hips. “Don’t think I would forget about laying out these ground rules knowing that I’m in charge of three relationships in this group now.” She rubs her right temple. “This is group work now.”
“Keep the PDA to a minimum,” Chaeyoung says lazily. She snuggles into Mina’s neck to which the latter giggles at because of how ticklish she is.
“If we argue, we need to solve it ourselves,” Sana adds with a stifled yawn, feeling Dahyun turning over, her face now in Sana’s abdomen.
“And if we can’t handle it ourselves, tell you about it so you can stay unbiased,” Nayeon finalizes. She kisses Jeongyeon on the cheek and they both blush as Jeongyeon slaps her thigh lightly.
“Oh don’t forget,” Jihyo says. She reclaims her shot glass. “When our leases our up, you 3 will STILL not be roommates with your girlfriends.”
Jihyo cackles uncontrollably at the unison of questioning from the three masterminds and takes her shot. She ignores the questions and denials coming mainly from Nayeon while the others just rightfully agree that it’s for the best. She sighs with a smile as everyone joins in on the laughter and conversation filling up her living room.
Yeah, I wouldn’t trade this for the world.