“So what you’re telling me is that you’d buy Minha all the food in the world at any given time but you won’t even buy me coffee? I was really sleepy earlier you know.” says Ikjun in disbelief.
“That seems like a given. Also, I didn’t have time to buy you coffee. I was busy.” says Seokhyeong simply and then takes another bite of his food.
“Yah! When I passed by your office earlier, I just saw you with Minha. You weren’t busy at all! You should really treat me to some meat. I know you used my money to buy her food.” says Ikjun.
“What?” says Seokhyeong, raising his eyebrows.
Minha also turns to look at Ikjun.
“When I was admitted, I know you gave a lot of it to Chuchu.” says Ikjun.
“Oh? How do you know that?” Seokhyeong asks innocently.
“I already told you, I know everything.” says Ikjun.
Minha turns to Seokhyeong. “You didn’t buy those? Gyosunim, that was a lot of food for only the two of us.”
“I wanted you to eat well, Minha-ya. It’s fine.” says Seokhyeong, smiling at her.
She grins back at him.
“Oh?” exclaims Ikjun. “What about me? I was a patient. I wanted to eat well too.”
Songhwa chuckles at the scene in front of her. She takes her last bite and joins in on the conversation. “Honestly, I feel a little jealous. I didn’t know being this bear’s girlfriend would mean unlimited food.”
Ikjun also stares at her in disbelief and scoffs. “Omo, are you saying I don’t buy you enough food?”
“Aigoo, Lee Ikjun. You should treat Songhwa well.” says Seokhyeong.
“I can’t believe this. This is how you treat me after all I’ve done for you and Minha. I’m your cupid, you know.” says Ikjun.
“Yah, don’t raise your voice, we’re at the cafeteria. And what makes you think you're our cupid? That’s complete nonsense.” says Seokhyeong.
“I really can’t believe this. I’m the one who kept telling you to give it a chance! Aish.” exclaims Ikjun.
“Isn’t it me?” asks Songhwa.
“What?” replies Ikjun.
“Their cupid.” says Songhwa in a confident tone. “I basically taught Seokhyeong how to talk about more trivial things to people he’s comfortable with. He used it first on Minha. And it seems he only used it on her.”
“Oh, did you really gyosunim?” asks Minha.
Seokhyeong gives her a shy smile. “That one time I asked you a lot of questions on that gift we were getting? That’s all thanks to Songhwa.”
Minha mouths an “ohh” as the realization dawns on her.
He continues… “I didn’t realize how talking on the phone with someone about useless things could be so enjoyable. And I only wanted to use it on you. Since, besides these guys, I was only comfortable with you.”
“That’s what I took as a green light that day. It really was effective, that gave me all the courage I needed.” says Minha. She turns to Songhwa to hold her hand and then bows her head, “Unnie, I am forever grateful.”
“See?” says Songhwa as she looks at Ikjun proudly.
Ikjun just sits on his chair exasperatedly. He looks away and sees Jeongwon and Gyeoul approaching with their trays. He turns back to Songhwa and acts playfully. “I don’t like it here anymore. Shall we go? I need to prepare for the operation.”
“Yep, my conference is in a few minutes.” says Songhwa while clearing up the table.
“Bye, gyosunim!” says Minha.
“Eat well, Minha-ya. Yah, Seokhyeong, see you at the band practice.” says Songhwa.
They start to stand up and their chairs are now being replaced by Jeongwon and Gyeoul.
“By the way, this was the worst double date ever. Bye.” says Ikjun as he gets dragged away by Songhwa.
Seokhyeong and Minha just chuckles at Ikjun’s behavior.
As he moves further away, Ikjun takes one last look at the two couples sitting in the middle of the cafeteria and looks back at Songhwa. “Look at that. I made that happen. No matter how many times they deny it.”
Songhwa laughs. “Fine. You’re Yulje’s cupid. I’ll even let you be the best villain if you shut up about it now.”
Now it’s Ikjun’s turn to laugh.
At the table, Jeongwon moves some of his food to Gyeoul’s plate.
“Thank you,” Gyeoul says with a smile.
“You’re welcome” says Jeongwon, smiling sweetly. He lowers his voice and speaks again. “Saranghae, Gyeoul-ah. Eat a lot, you have a long shift ahead.”
“Gyosunim!” exclaims Gyeoul in a whispered tone.
“Why?” says Jeongwon innocently.
“We’re at the hospital… but… nado saranghae.” says Gyeoul in a whisper while grinning.
Seokhyeong and Minha stopped eating the moment they hear the word a moment ago. Minha avoids Seokhyeong eyes and looks at Gyeoul pointedly.
“Aren’t you… a little too sweet right now?” asks Minha.
“It’s actually okay unnie, a lot of our peers know now. They’re keeping it a secret for us until we leave. So it won’t be weird anymore even if they overhear.” says Gyeoul.
Suddenly, Minha feels Seokhyeong’s knees touch hers below the table. She turns to finally look at him and sees him give her a warm smile. He starts to move his hand below the table to hold hers but he stops when they hear a chair being added to their table.
“Hello, lovebirds. Let me eat with you quickly. We have 15 minutes till the transplant.” says Junwan hurriedly.
Jaehak follows closely behind him, who is already bringing his own chair to the other end of the table. He makes a quick bow to Jeongwon and Seokhyeong and greets Minha and Gyeoul in his usual energetic and cheerful way.
“Sorry for disturbing you, we just needed to eat quickly and there weren't any tables left. Oh, and you guys seemed like you were in the middle of a conversation, go ahead and pretend we’re not here.” says Jaehak, digging into his soup.
The four just look at each other with slightly raised eyebrows.
Minha turns to Jaehak. “No no, it’s okay. We were already done with that conversation.”
“Oh!” Jaehak suddenly says, clapping his hands together. At the other end of the table, Junwan’s spoon shakes from the shock, leaving it empty.
“Do you want to know what my daughter did last week?” says Jaehak excitedly.
“Yah! My soup!” exclaims Junwan.
“You’re fine. Let him share this one.” says Jeongwon.
“Omo omo, how is she now?” says Minha.
“She’s doing really well. She was able to say ‘appa’ already!” says Jaehak.
“That’s a lie.” says Junwan with his mouth still full.
“It’s true!” exclaims Jaehak while taking his phone to open the video.
“Yah yah, eat first. We still have surgery.” says Junwan.
“You must really adore her.” Jeongwon tells Jaehak.
“She’s really a little angel. I already saw the videos.” says Minha.
“Is your wife doing well too?” Seokhyeong asks.
Jaehak nods enthusiastically. “My whole family is doing well right now, gyosunim. I’m really happy right now. It’s not that our life before wasn’t great, it’s just that having her in our lives made me appreciate more how beautiful life truly is when you spend it with the people you love and when you show them how much they mean to you.”
Jeongwon and Gyeoul look at each other lovingly. While finishing his soup, Seokhyeong catches a glimpse of Minha whose facial features already softened at Jaehak's words. He taps her leg with his once again. She turns to him then deliberately lets her arm brush his. The warmth spreads through their shared table and the only sound they can hear now is the movement of Junwan’s utensils.
Jaehak continues, “Being a parent is hard but it really is rewarding. I bet you guys will be great parents too.” He then turns back to his food to eat it hurriedly.
Minha sighs. “I’m not sure about that. I see families everyday at work and it really does seem hard.”
“You’ll do just fine, at least your boyfriend is also an OBGYN.” Jaehak says this absentmindedly as he continues to eat.
Seokhyeong chokes on his food. Jeongwon and Gyeoul chuckles.
Minha panics and attempts to deny his statement. “What- What do you mean? I never mentioned that I was even dating anyone at the moment…”
Gyeoul suppresses a smirk.
Jaehak looks up with a confused face. “Aren’t- aren’t you and Yang Seokhyeong Gyosunim together? Omo, are you trying to deny it? Yah yah, it’s obvious. I do think I should have realized it sooner when you kept asking about him before. And he can't seem to take his eyes off you either. I’m a great judge of character, you know. Don’t worry, I’ll keep it a secret. You took great care of my wife and child. I’ll be forever grateful to both of you.”
Seokhyeong hides his shy smile as he eats.
Junwan clears his throat after finishing his food. “He’s right. This bear is bad at hiding his feelings for you. Blame it on him if you get caught. And Do Jaehak, be grateful to me too. I reduced your workload when you became a father. Aish.”
“Aigoo, gyosunim. You already know how much I love you.” says Jaehak cutely.
Minha is still slightly frozen. She thought they had hid it well from their colleagues. She then suddenly feels her hand being covered by Seokhyeong’s hand. He squeezes it which makes her look at him. The warm smile from his face then comforts her and assures her that it’s okay.
As their shift ends, Seokhyeong visits Minha first at the on-call room. When he sees that the room is empty besides his girlfriend, he comes in and greets her with a back hug.
“I missed you.” whispers Seokhyeong.
“We were literally together the whole day.” replies Minha, turning to him and tightening the hug more.
“And I just wanted to hold you for most of it.” says Seokhyeong.
Minha loosens the hug and smacks his arm. “You should stop being obvious at work.”
“I can’t help it if I just want to look at you.” says Seokhyeong while pouting. “How did you even control yourself all those years? I’m really bad at this.”
Minha chuckles. “I’m a master at being professional at work. Do you want me to teach you?”
“Yes, please.” he replies while smiling. “By the way, Minha-ya. Shall we watch a movie at home or would you like to go out and eat somewhere?”
“It seems that you just want to stay at home since you suggested that first.” says Minha, chuckling. “Let’s just rest this weekend. We can watch whatever movie you feel like watching. I’ll enjoy watching it with you.”
He nods while his arms remain unmovable from her waist.
Minha slowly moves her hand to hold his face, looking at his beautiful eyes intently.
He hears her sigh.
“Why? Did you have a tough time today?” he asks.
“Nothing. It’s just that… I still can’t believe it.” says Minha in a low voice.
He raises an eyebrow. “What do you mean?”
“That I can hold you like this.” she says while softly caressing the face of the man she’s admired for a long time.
He tightens his arms around her and looks at her more earnestly.
She continues… “It seems like yesterday when we were watching that movie. You even removed the seat divider. Did you know I almost couldn’t breathe when you did that?” She chuckles lightly at this memory. Seokhyeong just smiles with his eyes as she recalls their first date from her point of view.
“Did you wish I held your hand? I honestly really wanted to hold your hand. I just didn’t know if it would be too much at the time.” he says.
“I would have hyperventilated.” she tells him with a serious look. He laughs as she says this. “Really. I’m not joking.”
“I guess our pace really was just right then,” says Seokhyeong.
She moves her hands to wrap around his neck. “Yup, and now I’m going to watch another movie with you… and hopefully watch a lot more movies with you in the future.”
“I hope you won’t get tired, Minha-ya. We’ll watch movies until we’re old. I hope you’ll let me remove the seat divider each time… And maybe hold your hand if it isn’t too much.” he replies, chuckling lightly as he says the last part.
She fully wraps her arms around him to bring them closer, resting her face near his neck.
She sighs contentedly.
“I love you, Yang Seokhyeong.”
She feels his breathing stop as well.
In the few months they’ve been together, they still haven’t said it directly. They naturally show their love for each other wordlessly in different ways. They even keep implying things relating to marriage in their conversations.
But it’s only until today at lunch that it seems they’ve just realized how they never exactly told each other this. Jeongwon and Gyeoul had said it so casually.
Although it’s not a big deal. It’s just that they’ve grown accustomed to each other’s expression of their love and the time seems to have passed for them to say it at the beginning of the relationship.
Regardless, she meant it as she said it. But she didn’t plan on saying it. It just came out from all the emotions she’s been feeling as she remembers their story.
After what seemed like an eternity of overthinking in her mind, she starts to feel her surroundings again, including Seokhyeong's heart which is already beating faster.
He loosens their hug but he keeps his hold on her. She brings down her hands and grips the sides of his shirt. Trying to look away, she distracts herself by observing their shoes.
Seokhyeong finally speaks. His voice was almost like a whisper. “Can you-“
She looks up at him tentatively.
He tries to finish his words. “Can you please say that again?”
Minha smiles. She glances at the window on the door just to check, and then she puts one hand back on his neck and presses a soft kiss to his lips.
She pulls away slightly and looks into his eyes.
“I love you, Yang Seokhyeong.”
She sees him smile in this impossibly cute way and he tries to hide it by moving closer and burying his face on her neck.
“Are you that happy?” she asks, holding his head softly in her arms.
He nods, his face still nuzzled on her body.
She just allows him to keep her close and lets herself be warm from his embrace.
After a while, he finally looks at her again.
“Chu Minha, you’re the love of my life. Thank you for allowing me to be by your side. I love you so much.”
Her emotions overwhelm her once again.
Her professor, the one she’s loved all these years, just told her that he loves her.
“Minha-yaa, come here. It’s starting.” Seokhyeong tells Minha from the couch.
Minha scoops a bit more popcorn and quickly sits beside Seokhyeong.
He wraps his arms around her and takes some popcorn.
“Which one from the trilogy is this?” she asks while adjusting herself to comfortably rest on his chest.
“It’s the first one from the sequel trilogy,” he says.
“What? Are there multiple trilogies?”
“We just watched the original trilogy, Minha-ya. This is the continuation, story-wise.”
“But why aren’t the characters the same?”
“They just grew older now. They did that first trilogy a long time ago when they were in their 20s. They’re doing the mentoring in this one and the new faces are now the ones who keep messing up but are still trying their best to save the galaxy.”
“Omo, it sounds like you and me. You’re mentoring me and we’re trying to save mothers and children as much as we can. This movie already sounds great.”
“Yah, Minha-ya,” turning his head to face his girlfriend. “I’m not that old. And when I said they were mentors, they really are like grandparents-level old.”
“They’re nothing like us…” he mutters.
She just cuddles closer and pats his chest. “Sorry, oppa. That’s right, you’re nothing like them. But you’re still my life saving partner in crime.”
Contented with her answer, Seokhyeong softly kissed her forehead.
Honestly, she doesn’t care which movie she watches with Seokhyeong, just as long as she’s there experiencing it with him. She could hear him drone on and on about trivial movie facts and the only thing she would really think about is how much she loves this man. A man who used to keep everything to himself, and is now sharing everything with her.
As he tells her a recap of the previous films, she suddenly gives him a quick kiss. He’s shocked for a moment but then leans in again and gives her a deeper kiss.
“Why?” he asks her as they separate for air, grinning because of her surprising act.
“Nothing, I just love you.” she replies, smiling brightly amidst the dimmed lighting of the living room.
“I love you too, Minha-ya.” he says, already debating in his mind if they should still watch the movie.