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The idea of falling in love is strange. As for affection she can still understand it, she has lots of it to give to her parents, friends, pet, and others who are deserving of it, but a full-on love exclusively to one person? She doesn't know if she's capable of doing that (even if Hyejin is perhaps the only one she could think of if she hears the word 'love'). This thought had been bugging Jung Wheein ever since high school when she started dating a familiar friend. Wheein was sure that she didn't love her boyfriend back then, he was fun to be around, they had good times together but it's just that, nothing more. As she grows up she forgot her pondering about the ‘love’ thing until tonight.

 

"There you go again."

 

"Hmm?"

 

Wheein just let out a heavy sigh, wondering if too many feelings could skew one's brain. "That look."

 

Byulyi still did not take her eyes off the buffet, one would think the said idol did not being treated well by the group's agency (well they're not wrong Byulyi would say). But no, her gaze went through the array of the most extravagant food in the Seoul Metropolitan Area, it landed on one woman wearing a royal navy colored dress, holding a glass of hopefully apple juice, or else the three of them would get into trouble later (Yongsun still could not hold her liquor after all of those after-parties), talking animatedly to one of the other guests for tonight's gala.

 

Wheein just groaned after throwing her band mate another disgusted look. "God forbid you're a lost cause unnie."

 

Just right on time, Hyejin sauntered over to their table bringing a plate full of a buttered honey-glazed garlic bread that Wheein had been eyeing from the beginning of the event.

 

"Oh thank Jesus you're bringing that one. I've been dying to try it but these heels are really about to bust my ankle."

 

Hyejin dropped the plate on the white linen round table, sitting in front of the two. Inside she's feeling joyous after her successful promotion ending it with a quick trip to Paris. She tilts her head shooting a confused look towards her best friend (underrated word) for 13 years already.

 

"Who’s a lost cause?"

 

Still staring, Byulyi just casually replied. "I still don't know what you're talking about."

 

Wheein just gives a pointed look towards Hyejin while nodding her chin toward the group's leader, still in fiery discussion over the buffet.

 

Hyejin spins her upper body, giving a glance to understand what the hell is going on. She spots their leader quickly, a knowing smirk is plastered all over Hyejin's face instantly. "Huh never a dull moment between you two, right Byul unnie?"

 

Byulyi just scrunch her forehead in confusion, moving her gaze from the woman she has the most affection for toward the little gremlin of her pseudo sister. Wheein noticed her confusion, a shit-eating grin started to form on her pretty face, plotting the inevitable talk between the three of them. "Say Byul unnie, if, hypothetically, I have this friend who had the same look like yours when she looked toward this particular person, just like the way you look at Yong unnie."

 

Byulyi spluttered hearing one particular name involved in Wheein's rambling. The younger girl grins wider, confirming her unnie’s best kept secret. "Would you say that there is well, perhaps feelings involved?"

 

Hyejin just snickered hearing her friend's question but also eagerly wanted to know what the hell has been going on for these past 6 years. Byulyi's whole body is frozen, static, she could feel the cold sweat start to seep in. The question threw her off guard and she thought she has earned the title of pro-yearner (Byulyi would bring the fact that she knows something about pro-yearner to her own grave). "Wha- what do you mean?"

 

Wheein just shrugged pretending to not hear Byul's nervous tone in answering her question. "I don't know, you tell me, I'm not the one who's been shooting laser eye towards Yong unnie."

 

"I'm not shooting laser eye toward her! Or anybody ever."

 

Hyejin added with raised eyebrows. "You could close your mouth a bit while at it too unnie, it's not cool."

 

"You're not cool."

 

"Wow, okay then woman." Hyejin raised both of her hands in surrender, shaking her head in disbelief over her hard-headed unnie.

 

Wheein tries to prod again over the first question. "So feelings are involved?"

 

She got a silent answer as Byulyi now directed her gaze toward the champagne glass she twirled around her right fingers. The alcohol in her system pushed her brain to speak the truth and make a confession right away but the other sensible part inside her tried the last resort to hold her from spilling it out. It's always a constant battle inside of her when it comes to Yongsun. There's no party to blame both of them are content with the way things were, the way things are. If one would like to take it one step further, she's afraid the invisible glass door would break.

 

"You could say that."

 

Wheein pushes her for more answer. "Love?"

 

"Not always, it's a strong word."

 

Wheein just huffed, slightly pouting after hearing Byulyi's curt reply. "We have countless songs with the word love in it, doesn't seem like a strong word to me."

 

Hyejin suddenly butted in into the rampant questionnaire currently being targeted toward Byulyi.

 

"Wait, affection?"

 

"Could be, one of many factors."

 

"Intimacy?"

 

"Yes, for sure. For someone to be able to convey their feelings all over their face, intimacy sure will be the core point."

 

"Let me try again. Comfort?"

 

Byul's small smile broke into a happy grin after hearing Wheein's answer. She suddenly remembers how Yongsun managed to put a smile on her face in every different situation. She remembers both of them seated comfortably on Yongsun's couch absent-mindedly scrolling through Netflix and put on whatever weird shit that the older girl was interested in but it would be Byulyi who finished watching it. Her mind also trails back during one of their escapades outside Seoul, overnight drive just to eat something good, with Yong animatedly telling different stories to keep them from falling asleep. Perhaps it was one of the recent memories, a few days ago when Yongsun caught the virus and their video call went on for hours just to keep their closeness. All of it would require much energy from someone but Byulyi only feels comfort all around her whenever Yongsun is involved. She likes to be around her, she wants to be around her. It's just one of those things that no one could take away from both of them (of this Byulyi can confirm that Yongsun feels the same). Their feeling can wait, for now.

 

Hyejin just smirks after seeing Byulyi's reaction. "I think we got the answer there Wheeinie."

 

Byulyi shoots another glance toward the leader of the group, a small smile beginning to form, "I'm just thankful for her."

 

Wheein let out an exasperated growl. "Oh God, I'm so sick of you two." At the same time, her palm just softly dabs her eyes, and something wet starts to form.

 

Hyejin just chuckled seeing her best friend's antique before she gets up from the satin-covered chair, smoothing her dress and putting on her artist facade expression. "Come on, let's just grab Yong unnie and get out from here before Wheein starts crying a bucket."

 

"None of that, I'm saving it for your wedding unnie."

 

"You guys seriously gonna be the death of me." Byulyi grumbled then continues in the lowest possible voice, but somehow her two gremlin sisters still catch it. "As if we'll ever get there."

 

Wheein put on her most devilish grin, already plotting a scheme for her two darling sisters. "Oh you will unnie, I'll make sure of it myself."

 


 

Wheein found herself in the same predicament, almost like a déjà vu. She's squatting down on the floor wrapped in a warm blanket that she shared with Hyejin, whose far too engrossed watching the movie that played on the screen in front of them. To her right, she could hear chatters and rustling sounds her two unnies are making while preparing for their dinner. All of them got a short holiday after one hell of a month, catching breaths before going on to the next projects. It's impossible to plan a holiday getaway in such a short time so they decided to camp at Hyejin's house to have a movie night. 

 

"Is this from the usual place? I thought they are closed on Monday." Yongsun is still busy unpacking their dinner for tonight, quietly amazed that Byulyi managed to get their favorite beef ribs soup.

 

Byulyi starting to look all smug and proud. "Put my order before, yesterday you said you were craving this dish." She nudged Yongsun, seeking attention and praise, "I did good right?"

 

"Aish, you're just pushing it now."

 

Byulyi just laughs freely hearing the older woman's remark. She just loved to get Yongsun all riled up for nothing which means she will get all the attention Yongsun could give her. Sometimes she wondered if she will ever be satisfied with all these antiques with Yongsun without actually doing something about her true feelings.

 

Unconsciously Wheein continue to stare at both of her unnies, unaware of the missing snack on her hand (courtesy of Hyejin), her mind drifted back toward a few nights ago when she subtlety drilled Byulyi with questions about the nature of her relationship with their leader. It's easy to read them on the outside, the body language, their gesture with each other, the soft voice laced with adoration that they used when they think no one's listening (it's a bit offensive really to think that she and Hyejin wouldn't be aware of it), but what lies behind all of that? It's like there is some sort of cosmic-galaxy-universe power that has drawn them both together. It's not like she's unfamiliar with those things, they have one, she and Hyejin, but Wheein supposed what their unnies have could turn into a different path. She's so close to locking them into one of the empty practice rooms and forcing them to really have a talk (one of these days she might do that, her life's been a little dull). 

 

"Do you guys want to eat here or over there while watching the movie?" Yongsun suddenly asked the kids after finishing preparing their dinner.

 

Wheein being pulled back to reality answered, "Let's just eat it here unnie, I'm too lazy to move anywhere."

 

Hyejin suddenly alerted, "Don't stain my sofa! Last time it took me a day scrubbing that pillow after the tteokbokki incident."

 

"Shush it, don't pretend I didn't see the mess you made after eating those pocky sticks."Wheein just threw a pillow at Hyejin to shut her up. Her attack was retaliated by a kick from Hyejin, and the small ruckus begin. 

 

Byulyi just sighs watching the 'brawl' scene unfolds before her. "Don't fight you two!"

 

Both kids are just too hungry to fight their unnie, they separate from each other not without giggling over their silliness that hasn't gone away after all these years. Both Yongsun and Byulyi carefully moved their dinner, placing it at the coffee table in front of the sofa. Quickly they seated themselves side by side in front of their younglings. Usually, it's not a quiet affair when the four of them are together, but the exhaustion that coincides with the bliss of a short holiday makes them want to enjoy the moment in silence, after all of their bustling days. The movie played in the background has been left behind after they decided to focus on the food only. Wheein silently blessed her observant nature after being able to catch the small movement from Byulyi's chopstick depositing some pieces of meat towards Yongsun's plate. She almost gagged right on cue but managed to hold in and fake it into a cough. Hyejin just eyed her weirdly knowing that her best friend had already scheming something weird. 

 

Yongsun, bless her soul and her ever caring heart, quickly pour some water, "Oo careful Wheeinie."

 

"Thanks, unnie." Wheein reaches around the table to accept the glass of water. She silently cursed herself for making a big deal out of this whole thing. It's a bit intrusive really, but the curiosity that lingered gets the best out of her. 

 

Soon after, the dinner ended and they decided to proceed with dessert. Each girl holding a cup of pudding, sprawled all over Hyejin's massive couch. None of them are following the plot of the movie they were watching (they switched to Yongsun's favorite, a B grade corny horror show). Now, this is a normal occasion during a sleepover between friends for almost 10 years Wheein thought, but the close proximity and the subtle brush between her unnies make it hard for her to not just scream into the night over frustration. 

 

"Just use all the blanket unnie, I'm fine." Byulyi tried to shove the cotton-fleece blanket to Yongsun, knowing she always hog all the blanket. 

 

"It's huge Byul-ah, it's gonna fit."

 

"No, just take it, or else your cold will come back again."

 

"But Byul-ah-"

 

Hyejin finally snaps, she forgot that this is her house, she should have shut whatever this silly bickering hours ago. "Unnie do me a favor and just take another blanket from my room, or else just take both of your ass and your lover fight to the guest room, its warmer there."

 

"We are not-"

 

"Lover what?!"

 

Both Yongsun and Byulyi turn red and quickly send death glares toward Hyejin and her audacity to openly address their (hidden) relationship. 

 

Yongsun take a deep breath and insistently pushing the half of the blanket toward Byulyi. "Byul-ah just shush and take it, we can share."

 

Byulyi then silently proceeds to wrap Yongsun's upper torso and slide closer toward Yongsun, draping the rest of the blanket on top of her own body. It's not the most comfortable position and soon they realized it, without saying any words Yongsun slid down a bit and angled her right shoulder on top of Byulyi's. She lowered her head to rest it atop of Byulyi's left shoulder, if she then feels Byulyi whole body stiffen a bit she did not mention it. She just pulled up the blanket closer to her chin, as if wanting to hide their current intimate position, and if sometimes during the night Byulyi's put her arm to wrap Yongsun's body and put a soft kiss on Yongsun's crown head, no one mention a thing.

 

Wheein still gagged though, loudly this time.