Pairing(s): girl!Jonghyun/Key (Junghee/Gwiboon), het!Onew/Taemin (Onew/Taeyeon), girl!Jonghyun/Key/Minho (Junghee/Gwiboon/Minjung) + a lot of variations and minor pairings
Rating: NC-17 overall
Genre(s): romance, angst, drama, fluff, humor, smut
Word Count: 32,052
Summary: Sick of boys and what society tells her to be, Gwiboon decides to make a club for girls who, well, like girls. But while it's meant to be a fun way to unwind and be themselves, past baggage and new relationships make things more complicated than anyone expects.
a/n: Inspired by this article.
My 2012 shineebigbang entry :)
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4
Gwiboon was sick of boys. Not to say that there had been a time when she was particularly enthusiastic about the male gender- her interest had been in girls for as long as she could remember. Boys were always just kind of there. But now she was sick to death of them. And she was even more sick of the fact that everyone seemed to think that she should like them; want one of her very own. Except she didn't and never would, but that wasn't exactly something that she could just announce every time someone (an acquaintance, a relative, a random adult) asked her if she had a boyfriend.
So she decided to start her own girls' club for girls like her so they could exist without boys and be free to be themselves without some guy staring or hitting on them and without anyone who would look down on them for choosing not to acquire boyfriends.
The first person she asked to join was Junghee, naturally. The two of them had been best friends since they sat next to each other in their third grade class and had bonded as they traded colorful erasers when they were supposed to be studying silently. Ever since, they'd been inseparable- navigating lip gloss, horrible teachers, first crushes on boys (for Junghee), and school dances together.
Of course, it should be pointed out that the two had been hooking up since the summer after eighth grade, when they were fourteen- both eager and curious. They'd learned together- becoming perfectly in tune with one another so much so that they continued their trysts throughout all of high school, excluding those five months sophomore year when Junghee had dated Donghae (something that they Do Not talk about).
After Junghee's participation was solidified (to no one's surprise), Gwiboon went about asking Minjung- the school's star soccer player and a fellow Junior, though neither Gwiboon nor Junghee knew her well. However, rumors of her interest in girls had spread through the school like wildfire after someone had heard her talking in the locker room after practice.
Minjung was understandably surprised and mildly confused by the offer from straightforward Gwiboon, but after some wheedling (Gwiboon got what she wanted, always) she agreed to at least attend their first “meeting” to see what it was all about.
Lastly, Gwiboon decided to invite her self-appointed dongsaeng, Taeyeon. A freshman, the younger girl was all wide-eyed innocence and naivete. When she'd met her working as a tour guide for incoming freshman, the younger girl had looked terrified at the prospect of being in high school as well as uncomfortable in her own skin, not to mention completely unaware of how pretty she was. Gwiboon knew then and there that it was up to her to take Taeyeon under her wing and help her adjust to high school life. Besides, someone had to protect the poor girl from the perverted guys at their school (just because Taeyeon was innocent didn't mean that the boys weren't having less-than-innocent fantasies about her with her big eyes, round cheeks, and full lips).
Taeyeon knew about Gwiboon's orientation (who didn't?), though she didn't share an exclusive attraction for girls. Still, she was open to new things and Gwiboon figured that being a member of her club would only give Taeyeon more opportunity to figure out what she wanted. And knowing Gwiboon's persuasive powers, as well as Taeyeon's adoration for the older girl, it was no surprise that she joined as well.
Something that no one, not even Junghee, bargained for was that the “meeting” was to take place at a love hotel in downtown Seoul.
“Well, what kind of club did you think this was?” Gwiboon challenged, annoyed at the other's discontent.
Junghee gaped, following Gwiboon up the stairs to their room- 204.
“Text Minjung what room we're in,” she instructed when it was clear that Junghee was at a loss for words (a rare occurrence).
“Does she know we're meeting here?” Junghee asked, finally finding her voice as Gwiboon slid the key card into the door and let them into the room.
“I sent her the address,” Gwiboon shrugged, inspecting the décor- purple brocade walls, sconces with glass beads hanging from the shades, plum colored bedding. It was meant to look fancy, but it was obvious that it was done on a budget.
Gwiboon sighed, hanging her purse on a hook by the door, “It'll have to do.”
“What about Taeyeon?”
“I'm going to meet her outside,” Gwiboon told her, phone buzzing as though on cue, “Wait here for Minjung.”
“Alone?” she balked.
“I'm gonna be gone for two minutes. Relax.”
“Wait,” Junghee grasped at Gwiboon's wrist in panic, “What exactly do you plan for us to do tonight?”
Gwiboon shrugged as though it was really of no consequence.
“I guess we'll see when everybody gets here,” she said, rolling her eyes when she saw that Junghee's panic-stricken expression hadn't subsided, “Look, we had to meet here so we could have privacy. You think the school will give us an official meeting place for our club? We can just hang out here and not have to worry about what other people think.”
Junghee nodded, placated a little at least.
“Live a little,” Gwiboon added with a smirk as she let herself out of the room.
“That's interesting coming from the person who has a breakdown when someone messes up their shoe rack,” Junghee called after her, but knew that Gwiboon wasn't listening.
She sighed, toeing off her shoes and making her way over to the bed, flopping down and making herself comfortable to prove to both Gwiboon and herself that she could “live a little.” She wasn't uptight- she and Gwiboon both knew that. But the fact that they were having this rendezvous in a love hotel? It was shocking to say the least. She couldn't help but wonder if Taeyeon would die of heart failure when she saw where they were meeting. Or if Minjung would turn around and go home.
But, much to her surprise, Gwiboon led a shy-looking Taeyeon into the room minutes later, followed shortly thereafter by a congenial Minjung.
So this was really happening.
Junghee really hoped that Gwiboon had a plan.
“Welcome to the first meeting of the Girls' Club,” Gwiboon said, gleaming smile paired with a dangerous glint in her eye that only Junghee probably caught, “Every Saturday night, we'll meet here and let ourselves be free of society's judgment and expectations. There is no judging here.”
It was all sounding pretty good, honestly. Junghee was beginning to trust that Gwiboon knew what she was doing. Maybe this would be a good thing after all.
“There are a few rules, however,” Gwiboon went on, pacing in front of the bed where the other three girls were perched, “You are not to speak of these meetings to anyone other than the other members.”
“Is this like Fight Club?” Minjung asked wryly and Gwiboon shot her a look.
“You cannot ask another girl to join unless you run it by the rest of us and we all agree,” Gwiboon went on, undeterred, “You must never, under any circumstance, date a boy,” she said, glaring at Junghee as she spoke and making the other girl wither where she sat.
“Finally, whatever happens here, stays here,” Gwiboon smirked, happy to have all of the attention on her. Junghee could feel the satisfaction at having the power to name her rules coming off the other girl in waves.
“That's all fine,” Minjung said, the only one who dared ask any questions, it seemed, “But what do we do?”
“Whatever we want,” Gwiboon grinned, “And I have a surprise. But first, does everyone agree to the rules?”
“Yeah,” Junghee replied, still feeling chastised by Gwiboon's “no dating boys rule.” Not that she wanted to. Date boys, that is. But it was so obviously directed at her.
Taeyeon nodded, fidgeting with the edge of her blouse.
Gwiboon's eyes snapped to Minjung.
“I already said that I agreed,” Minjung pointed out.
Gwiboon huffed, but ignored her.
“Good,” she smiled, “And now for the surprise.”
Three pairs of eyes followed Gwiboon as she walked over to her shoulder bag and pulled out a glass bottle.
“I got us a bottle of wine to share,” she grinned, striding easily to the bathroom to grab four glasses.
“How did you get it?” Junghee immediately questioned, suspicious. Sure, the two of them drank together on occasion, but it was usually Junghee's older sister who got them the alcohol.
“Jessica unnie got it for me,” Gwiboon told her casually and Junghee felt her stomach drop, anger swirling in her chest that she did her best to control.
Just when she thought that she wouldn't have to deal with Gwiboon going on and on and on about the older girl, here she was again, making her presence known.
“I thought she was at college,” Junghee pried, trying (and failing) not to sound sulky.
“She was home for the weekend,” Gwiboon shrugged, obviously pleased with herself.
“I could have just gotten my sister to get us something,” Junghee told her, accepting the glass that Gwiboon handed her anyway.
“It wouldn't have been a surprise then!”
Junghee quickly took a sip of the white wine (cheap, she noted) and hoped that the alcohol would soften the edges of her annoyance soon.
An hour later, the wine was gone and all four girls were sprawled out over the silk comforter, swapping stories about the stupid guys that they'd had to deal with and the obnoxious reactions that they'd gotten from those who knew that they liked girls. Well, Taeyeon was mostly listening, glassy eyed from the alcohol and eager to take in everything her unnies said.
“When Mihyun caught Junghee and I kissing in the girls bathroom once, she nearly threw a fit,” Gwiboon giggled, “Remember Junghee?”
“I remember,” she replied, finding it so so hard to stay mad at Gwiboon when her eyes were sparkling like they were and her lips were stretched across straight, white teeth. To know that smile was for her...it was nearly impossible not to melt under the attention.
“She was going on and on about how immoral it was and how we were gonna go to hell,” Gwiboon rolled her eyes, “She even threatened to go the the principal to report us.”
“Until Gwiboon kindly pointed out that having Changsu's hand up her skirt behind the school probably wouldn't be appreciated by the principal either,” Junghee couldn't help but add, catching the giggles from Gwiboon until they were both nearly crying from laughter.
“So you two are...?” Minjung ventured when the two had calmed down, grinning at one another.
“Dating?” Gwiboon asked, “No. But we've been hooking up for...ages now.”
Junghee nodded, eyeing the empty wine bottle and wishing that there was magically more liquid for her to suck down.
Minjung raised an eyebrow.
“Junghee,” Gwiboon whined, crawling over to the other girl to drape against her side, “Don't be so quiet.”
Junghee sighed. She should have expected this to happen. Gwiboon's aegyo came out full force when she was drinking and Junghee knew that she was the last person to be able to resist.
“I'm not quiet, you're just loud,” she shot back, trying to hold on to some semblance of annoyance. She was still perturbed by the whole Jessica thing, after all.
“I'm not,” Gwiboon argued, practically in her lap.
“You are,” Junghee told her, finally meeting her gaze.
“You are too,” Gwiboon smirked before pressing their lips together in a wet kiss.
Junghee was vaguely aware of the presence of the other two girls in the room. But she knew that this was Gwiboon apologizing- knowing that she'd made Junghee mad. And even if she didn't quite understand the extent of Junghee's negative feelings about her friendship with Jessica, she knew that she'd somehow screwed up. So Junghee just sighed into the familiar press of lips and kissed back. Gwiboon was forgiven. Again.
Taeyeon let herself into her house on Sunday morning, thankful that Gwiboon had monitored how much wine she'd had the night before so she wouldn't get a hangover. Instead of a headache and the urge to throw up (as she'd heard resulted from nights of drinking), she was just exhausted from staying up late. And guilty. Guilty for lying to her parents and telling them that she was staying over at a friend's house when she'd been at a love hotel with three older girls drinking wine and listening to them talk about their scandalous escapades. Well, and watching Gwiboon and Junghee kiss.
Taeyeon blushed at the memory. Fortunately, it had only been a kiss and it hadn't lasted long. Still, she wasn't used to being able to so shamelessly watch a couple kiss like that- gender of the two people aside.
That was another reason why Taeyeon knew that she'd have to lie to her parents about where she'd be every Saturday. Knowing their only daughter was a member of a club for lesbians would probably send both her parents to an early grave. Good Christian girls like her were supposed to view same sex relationships as the work of the devil. Except she was pretty positive that wasn't the case. Gwiboon might be considered harsh sometimes, maybe a little controlling and bossy. But Satanic, she was not.
Taeyeon didn't consider herself a lesbian. She'd had plenty of crushes on boys before. But then there was the pesky fact that had her praying for forgiveness nearly every night as a child- she'd had plenty of crushes on girls too. Maybe not as many as she'd had on boys. But it was impossible to deny, despite her best efforts when she was younger.
After having had a particularly troubling dream about a girl in her class, Taeyeon had ended up blurting out the secret she'd kept hidden for years to Gwiboon when they were watching some dumb movie at Gwiboon's house. The fact alone that the older girl taught her that being attracted to someone of the same sex didn't make her an abomination made her more grateful to the Gwiboon than she'd ever know. She learned not to feel guilty for her attraction to the occasional girl. But she still felt tremendous guilt for lying to her parents, especially about something that would disappoint them so much. Still, being a part of the club was something that she wanted- it was nice to feel included and taken care of by the older girls.
“How was the sleepover?” her father asked as soon as she'd entered the kitchen.
“It was fun,” Taeyeon replied, thankful that that was the truth.
“Did you get enough sleep?” her mother pressed.
“Nearly,” Taeyeon smiled, adjusting her wooden rosary around her wrist, “I'm just a little tired, Umma.”
“Well if you decide to nap, don't do it too late. You'll want to be able to fall asleep tonight since you have school tomorrow.”
“Yes, Umma,” Taeyeon nodded, ponytail bouncing.
“Now go put your bag away and join us for lunch.”
Thanks for the wine unnie :)
Gwiboon shut her phone after texting Jessica her thanks, puffing up her cheeks and hoping for a response. After Jessica had gone off to college, Gwiboon had worried that the older girl would forget all about her. But upon receiving a text from Jessica the morning before, telling her that she was in town and inviting her out to lunch, Gwiboon had been ecstatic. Not usually one to care what people thought, Gwiboon found herself inexplicably reliant on the advice of the older girl when they'd gone to school together. And still it was nice to hear that Jessica thought that her new, lighter hair color looked good. And that she thought that her girls' club idea was a good one.
“I wish I'd have thought of that when I was still in high school,” she'd laughed, “But I don't think I would have had the drive to get the whole thing going like you do.”
“If you ever want to come to a meeting, you can be an honorary member,” Gwiboon had grinned, preening from the praise she was receiving.
But following that train of thought, Gwiboon couldn't help but remember Junghee's reaction to the knowledge that Jessica had been the one to provide the alcohol. Junghee had never liked Jessica, it seemed. But Gwiboon never knew exactly why. Whenever she brought it up, Junghee would shut down- sulking and refusing to say anything on the subject. Gwiboon had thought- hoped really- that maybe Junghee would have gotten over whatever it was that made her dislike the older girl, but apparently not if last night was any indication.
It was so frustrating! Of course she'd want her friends to get along with one another. But because Junghee was so stubborn, she couldn't even talk to her about it rationally and try to dispel whatever bad image she had of Jessica in her head.
Jessica had been Gwiboon's savior when Junghee had up and gotten a boyfriend out of the fucking blue, leaving Gwiboon by the wayside. She was the only person that she had to talk to about it- the only one at that point who knew about Gwiboon's complicated relationship with Junghee and therefore, the only one who understood why her best friend getting a boyfriend had hurt her so much.
No problem, darling <3
Gwiboon smiled, setting her phone on her bedside table and rolling onto her side on her bed. She was way too tired to try to figure out what Junghee's problem was, with Jessica and just in general lately. Maybe being a part of the club would help fix things between them- whatever it was that was broken. For now, Gwiboon decided not to worry and let her eyes close, dozing off as late afternoon sun spilled into the room.
Minjung heaved a sigh as she took the elevator up to the fifth floor of the same hotel they'd met at the week prior after having gotten a text from Gwiboon with the room number fifteen minutes earlier. What was she even doing? Joining a “girls' club” (that met in a love hotel, no less) was never something she had planned for herself.
But when Gwiboon (openly having a preference for girls, but still obnoxiously popular with her high cheekbones, rosebud lips, and slanted, feline eyes) had approached her and asked her to join, there was just something in her curious enough to agree. And here she was, attending a second meeting.
The first one had been fine- just relaxing and swapping stories. Though, to be fair, Gwiboon had done most of the talking, to no one's surprise. Still, it was nice to not have to worry about being judged for her sexuality and to be able to talk to other people who had at least some understanding of what she'd gone through- realizing that she was gay, coming to terms with it herself, and then making the rookie mistake of telling a “trustworthy” friend and expecting that her secret would stay between them.
Having her lack-of-interest in boys be the hot topic of the school hadn't been as bad as she'd thought it would be. Sure, there was definitely whispering and some staring. And she'd been given a hard time by some of the more closed-minded (and outspoken) students. But it turned out not to be a huge deal, which she had to admit, was probably partially due to Gwiboon (and Junghee to a lesser extent). Apparently since Gwiboon had already been labeled as the token lesbian of the school (and lived to tell the tale, all the while remaining well-liked, or at least looked-up to), no one was that interested in her sexuality after the first day or two. Which was perfectly fine with her. Minjung had never liked to be the center of attention off the soccer field anyway.
The door opened before she even had a chance to knock.
“Perfect timing!” Gwiboon exclaimed, ushering her in, “We're just about to get started!”
Minjung shuffled in, setting her overnight bag on the desk chair and joining the freshman girl (Taeyeon, was it?) on the bed. Junghee was in the bathroom, pouring wine into glasses and Minjung watched as Gwiboon sidled up behind her- pressing against Junghee's back and whispering in her ear.
“You can thank Junghee's sister for the refreshments this evening!” Gwiboon announced, emerging from the bathroom with two cups which she handed to Minjung and Taeyeon before taking one of the cups from Junghee's waiting hands for herself. Junghee grinned at her as she took a sip.
The four girls lounged on the bed as they drank, Gwiboon and Junghee filling up much of the conversation with their anecdotes once again, which was perfectly fine with Minjung who was content to interject when she had something relevant to say and listen the rest of the time.
“So then my mom was like 'Maybe your father should be watching these music videos with you. It seems like the girl groups all just shake their butts at us.' Which implies that I only like the girl groups I listen to because they're sexy, or something. I mean, I know I like girls, but comparing me to a fifty year old man in terms of taste in women...that's kind of harsh,” Gwiboon complained.
“What video was it?” Junghee asked, taking another sip of her wine.
“Secret's Love is MOVE,” Gwiboon responded, “Which is classy-sexy, in my opinion. But apparently my mom disagrees. And thinks I just want to stare at girls' asses all day.”
“But you wouldn't complain if that was the case,” Junghee teased, elbowing Gwiboon in the side and smirking mischievously.
“Shut up!” Gwiboon protested, poking Junghee's waist and causing the latter to nearly spill her drink.
“Wait...so your mom knows that you like girls?” Minjung asked, surprised.
“Yeah,” Gwiboon replied, Junghee nodding as well, “I was always going on about how I don't like boys and would rather marry the princesses in fairy tales instead of the princes before I even knew what that meant. I think my parents thought it was a phase or something at first. Or like I just thought boys had cooties or something. But obviously it wasn't.”
“And they're okay with it?” Minjung pressed, gaping.
“I guess,” Gwiboon shrugged, “They support me and everything. I mean, my extended family doesn't know. Because they'd probably throw a fit. Except my granny knows. Because I told her. And she's fine with it. She's the most supportive of all, actually,” Gwiboon smiled, almost seeming proud that she could boast such an amazing grandmother. Minjung couldn't blame her.
“Wow,” she marveled, “You're really lucky. I'm way too afraid to tell my parents.”
“Me too,” Junghee nodded.
“My parents can never know,” Taeyeon admitted, Gwiboon wrapping an arm around her shoulders and squeezing in support, “At least not until I'm out of college and have a career or something. And that's just if I decided to like...marry a girl or something.”
“Good luck getting married to a girl,” Gwiboon scoffed rolling her eyes in reference to the laws prohibiting same sex marriage. There was a murmur of agreement in response.
“You're really lucky though, Gwiboon,” Minjung reiterated, in case the fact was somehow lost on the other girl.
“I know,” Gwiboon nodded seriously.
“I'm gonna tell my parents someday though,” Junghee vowed, pressing close to Gwiboon who grabbed her hand.
“Get all your f(x) fangirling in before then or else your parents are going to start questioning why you're so obsessed with them,” Gwiboon teased, lightening the mood.
Minjung laughed, grateful to leave such a serious topic behind. For now at least.
As the night progressed, Minjung noted the way Gwiboon leaned against Junghee's side, tucking her face into the other's neck to laugh- a stark contrast to their tense body language the week before. Even if they'd kissed, it had been clear that there was something wrong between them. Minjung idly wondered if happy Gwiboon and Junghee would be more prone to public displays of affection than tense Gwiboon and Junghee. Based on what she was seeing so far, she was guessing yes.
The subsequent make-out session between the aforementioned girls just twenty minutes later was not a surprise to Minjung who amused herself by playing solitaire on her phone until the two came up for air. She noted that Taeyeon looked somewhere between fascinated and mortified, but she didn't think that chatting while Gwiboon was sitting in Junghee's lap and sucking on her neck was really the best atmosphere to get to know the other girl.
Though she allowed that that might be the only option.
Taeyeon continued to soothe her guilty conscience by being an attentive and agreeable daughter. Not that she wasn't usually. Her parents probably didn't notice anything different. And she was almost getting used to it. Lying, that is. She wasn't sure how she felt about that development.
“Shoot,” she heard echoing in the stairwell above her, empty besides herself since it was the middle of a class period, as the sound of books crashing down the steps followed. She paused, getting out of the way of the tumbling books before looking up at the person who had apparently dropped them.
“Sorry,” the boy apologized, smiling sheepishly as he hurried after his belongings. His dark hair was just a tad too long, covering his ears. He had a round face and full lips that stretched wide when he smiled, eyes becoming crescents behind his glasses.
“It's okay.” Taeyeon bent over to pick up the notebook that had fallen at her feet.
“Thanks,” the boy smiled graciously, taking the notebook and balancing it on top of the tall stack of books in his arms.
“Why do you have so much stuff?” Taeyeon couldn't help but ask, counting three books in his arms and at least another two in his messenger back.
“AP classes,” the boy shrugged, pushing his glasses up before quickly steadying the books that were about to fall again, “Are you in any?”
“No, I'm a freshman,” Taeyeon told him with a laugh, “Only honors classes for now.”
“Ah,” the boy nodded, looking like he wasn't sure whether to continue his ascent up the stairs or continue the conversation.
“I don't want to keep you,” Taeyeon told him, though she really was in no hurry to get back to her math class.
He nodded again, “I'm Jinki, by the way.”
“Taeyeon,” she replied, holding out a hand for him to shake before remembering the precarious hold he had on his books, “Nevermind. Just don't drop anything,” she giggled.
Jinki grinned, ducking his head in mild embarrassment, “See you around,” he said, making his way up the steps again.
“See you,” Taeyeon smiled, standing there just a moment longer before she decided that she really ought to get to class.
Junghee stood outside the entrance to the school, waiting for her mother to pick her up after her extra choir practice. She scuffed her shoes against the ground, texting Gwiboon about her whereabouts because she was bored. The door opened behind her and Junghee turned to see who it was.
“Minjung!” she said with some surprise, smiling as the other girl came to stand next to her. She was in her soccer uniform, black hair pulled back into a ponytail while her wispy bangs blew in the breeze.
“You're waiting for a ride?” Minjung asked, adjusting her backpack on her shoulders.
Junghee nodded, realizing that this was the first time that she'd ever been one on one with Minjung. And that it was also the first time that they'd spoken outside of the club meetings. Not on purpose- she just didn't tend to see Minjung around very much. She also realized just how tall the other girl was. Junghee was used to being shorter than most of her friends, but Minjung was...well...considerably taller than her. She much so that she had to tilt her head up to make eye contact.
“Sorry for Saturday,” Junghee said after a considerable pause, cheeks coloring in recollection, “Gwiboon gets really touchy when she's been drinking. She really likes attention. I mean, even more than when she's sober.”
Minjung barked out a laugh, “I noticed.”
“It's fine, don't worry about it,” Minjung assured her.
“Thanks,” Junghee smiled, “You don't think Taeyeon was scarred?”
“She seemed a little embarrassed, but mostly just intrigued, honestly,” Minjung told her, chuckling when Junghee blushed, “Gwiboon doesn't mind having other people in the room, huh?”
“Not really,” Junghee scratched at the back of her neck, running her fingers through her curled, brown hair, “She'd care if she found out that we mentally and emotionally scarred Taeyeon though. She's pretty protective of her.”
“So she brings her to a love hotel and gives her wine?” Minjung teased.
Junghee snorted, “Apparently.”
A dark blue car pulled up in front of the two girls.
“That's me, so...”
“I'll see you Saturday,” Minjung said, smiling warmly.
Junghee grinned back, opening the passenger door and sliding into the car.
As they pulled away from the school, Junghee saw Minjung start to walk down the sidewalk as though she was making to walk home. Evidently, she hadn't been waiting for a ride like Junghee had. Which could only mean that she'd been waiting with her. Junghee couldn't help the smile that stretched across her face at that realization.
“So, Minjung,” her mother said over dinner, “Any boys in your classes that you think are cute?”
Since her brother had left for college that fall, Minjung still hadn't gotten used to being the only child for her parents to focus on. And the year preceding his departure had been basically consumed by admissions tests, looking at schools, and preparing to go, leaving Minjung almost unnoticed amidst the chaos. Which was mostly okay. Frustrating, at times. But preferable to this.
“Not really, Umma,” Minjung replied, feeling anxiety rise up in her at her mother's topic of choice. Couldn't they talk about soccer or something? Even her school courses and all of the homework that she had to do after dinner would be better.
“You haven't met any boys through soccer?” she pressed.
“I play on an all-girls team, remember?”
“I know that,” her mother reproached, “I just though that maybe if you met a boy who played soccer, you would have a common interest to talk about.”
Minjung sighed, “No, I haven't met any boys through soccer.”
“Maybe someday,” her mother told her, seeming to want to be reassuring as though Minjung might be disheartened by her lack of a boyfriend, “There are lots of boys who like playing soccer.”
Minjung nodded, strategically taking another bite of her food so she wouldn't have to answer.
It's not that Minjung didn't get along with her mother. They were just...different. While Minjung had always been somewhat of a tomboy- always wanting to be outside playing with the boys- her mother tried to bond with her over shopping and girly films. Of course, she'd soon realized that chick flicks might not be the way to her daughter's heart, so she tried her best to engage Minjung and ask about her interests. She had good intentions, but they definitely didn't always see eye to eye.
Throughout the slow process of realization and acceptance of her sexuality, Minjung couldn't help but realize that this was just one more thing that she and her mother didn't share. And maybe it wouldn't be a big deal in some mother-daughter relationships. But Minjung's mother was clearly under the impression that this- boys- was one of the few things that they did share, and often brought it up as an attempt at common ground.
Minjung often wondered (and worried about) what her mother's reaction would be when she found out that Minjung, her daughter with whom she already didn't understand, was gay. But she was determined to tell her mother someday. Someday when she was out of the house and on her own. Because she was not a coward and would stand up for who she was. If nothing else, Minjung's mother was a strong woman and she passed that along to her daughter. Minjung hoped that that would be enough.
Gwiboon waited for Junghee at her locker at the end of the school day. She couldn't help but tap her toe impatiently, looking forward to slipping her hand into Junghee's while they walked to Gwiboon's house together and the quick kisses she'd be able to steal while they did their homework.
Junghee finally appeared in front of her with the most peculiar look on her face- naturally big eyes wider than usual and full lips screwed up in almost a grimace.
“What's wrong?” Gwiboon immediately asked, knowing her best friend well enough to know that something was up.
“I...Donghae oppa asked me out,” Junghee said quietly, as though she was afraid that someone else was listening to their conversation. As if she was afraid that Gwiboon, whom she was addressing, might hear her.
“What'd you say?” Gwiboon demanded, “You said no, right? How'd he take it?”
“I...I told him yes,” Junghee looked down, unable to make eye contact with her.
Gwiboon froze, stomach sinking and dread creeping through her veins like ice.
“You what?” she snapped before she could help herself.
“He's really nice and-”
“Great,” Gwiboon cut her off, tone belying that she found the situation anything other than great.
“Gwiboon-” Junghee started, but Gwiboon was already stalking off, promising herself that the tightness of her throat was nothing.
“Some guy called me a delicate flower the other day,” Gwiboon complained, setting aside her empty glass that once contained vodka and orange juice to flop back on the bed, “I was helping my literature teacher move a table and I was making fun of myself for being weak. And he jumped in and was like 'No you're not weak. You're just a delicate flower.' Bleh,” she stuck out her tongue in disgust as though she'd tasted something repulsive.
“Ew,” Junghee wrinkled her nose in distaste.
“I told him, 'No, I'm just weak,'” she laughed, “Like because I'm a girl, I'm supposed to be weak? I'm only weak because I hate working out!”
“I'll bet no one says anything like that to Minjung,” Junghee giggled, mock-squeezing the other's (unflexed) bicep.
Minjung tossed her head back, laughing- perhaps having had a bit too much to drink.
“People say stuff like that to me all the time,” Taeyeon sighed, tucking her feet underneath her.
“Tell 'em to fuck off,” Gwiboon exclaimed raising the hand that once held her drink, miming a toast despite her lack of cup.
“And everyone assumes I'm so innocent,” she went on, huffing as she tucked a strand of hair behind her ear.
“You are innocent,” Gwiboon pointed out, giggling.
“I'm sitting here now, aren't I? What do you call hanging out in a love hotel, drinking with older girls?” she asked defensively.
“Okay, you're not totally innocent,” Gwiboon allowed, “But you're still the most innocent one here.”
“How do you know?” Taeyeon challenged, scowling at the amused smiles Junghee and Minjung were hiding behind their hands.
“Ooh! We should play never have I ever!” Junghee suddenly jumped in, “You know, where we start with ten fingers up each and everyone takes a turn saying something they've never done and you have to put a finger down if you've done it.”
Gwiboon shrugged, “Okay.”
“I'm gonna lose,” Taeyeon whined.
“Actually, the object of the game is to be the last one with fingers up. You'll win,” Minjung told her.
“Same thing,” Taeyeon grumbled.
“Okay, I'll start,” Gwiboon announced as all four girls held up ten fingers, “Never have I ever kissed a boy with tongue.”
Junghee and Minjung both put down a finger. Gwiboon pretended to gag.
“Never have I ever taken an honors math class,” Junghee said.
Taeyeon and Minjung put a finger down each.
“That was so boring,” Gwiboon rolled her eyes and Junghee stuck out her tongue.
“Never have I ever gotten a manicure,” Minjung added.
“You guys are doing it wrong,” Gwiboon complained, even as she put down a finger along with Taeyeon and Junghee, “These are supposed to be scandalous.” She looked at Taeyeon expectantly.
“Never have I ever...touched a guy's...you know,” Taeyeon blushed, wishing that Gwiboon would have allowed the game to continue on as it had been.
Junghee put a finger down and Gwiboon looked away, scowling.
“With or without clothes on?” Minjung wanted to know.
“I don't know,” Taeyeon squeaked, “Either?”
Minjung sighed and put down a finger.
“Never have I ever...” Gwiboon considered something else about sexual acts with boys, but then again, she really didn't want the specifics of what Junghee had done with Donghae since she'd (purposefully) never asked, “been with two people at once.”
The other three in the circle stared at her.
“You're supposed to try to get us to put our fingers down,” Minjung told her.
“I know,” Gwiboon snapped.
“Never have I ever gone down on a girl that wasn't Gwiboon,” Junghee announced, flushing but glad to see Gwiboon smirk proudly a little at that, even as she put a finger down.
“Never have I ever gone down on anyone,” Minjung said. Gwiboon and Junghee both put down a finger.
“Never have I ever...kissed a girl,” Taeyeon blushed.
“What?” Gwiboon shrieked, “Screw this game! There are much better things we could be doing.”
“L-like what?” Taeyeon asked, terrified and regretting that she'd just revealed what she had.
“We should play spin the bottle!” Gwiboon decided, picking up the empty vodka bottle.
“Why are all of these games the same ones I used to play at birthday parties in junior high?” Minjung complained and Gwiboon rolled her eyes.
“Everyone come sit on the floor,” Gwiboon instructed, setting the bottle down and then wrinkling her nose, “Okay, get towels from the bathroom to sit on and then sit down. This floor is gross.”
Once all four girls were settled (all with towels underneath them) Gwiboon looked at Taeyeon expectantly.
“I'm not going first!” she exclaimed, scandalized.
“Okay, okay,” Gwiboon relented.
“I'll go,” Junghee volunteered, reaching over to grab the bottle and spinning it.
Gwiboon preened when it landed on her, as though it had chosen her by some divine will.
Junghee leaned over and hooked a hand around the back of Gwiboon's neck, bringing their lips together with practiced ease. The two kissed for another thirty seconds or so before parting, Gwiboon smirking with satisfaction.
“Do we all have to make out like that?” Minjung asked dryly, even as she spun the bottle for herself. It landed on Junghee.
Gwiboon yucked it up, catcalling even as Junghee blushed.
Minjung just shrugged, leaning forward and pressing her lips to Junghee's softly. Their lips moved slowly together- carefully- until Gwiboon interrupted them.
“Alright alright, Taeyeon's turn!”
“You and Junghee kissed for way longer,” Minjung defended, cheeks flushed.
“Yeah, well, we get special privileges,” Gwiboon replied distractedly, nudging the bottle toward a fear-stricken Taeyeon.
“Unnie,” Taeyeon hissed, eyes wide.
“Do you not want to play? You don't have to,” Gwiboon told her, eyebrows furrowed in concern.
“No, it's just...” she bit her bottom lip, looking down as her voice turned into a whisper, “Can you just kiss me and then I'll spin next round?”
Gwiboon's eyes widened in surprise before she smiled reassuringly at the younger girl.
“Of course, baby,” she replied, lifting Taeyeon's chin with a finger, “Unnie will take care of you.”
With that, Gwiboon pressed her lips to Taeyeon's, hand snaking to the nape of her neck to hold her head steady gently. Still nervous, Taeyeon stayed still for a moment- brain going in a hundred different directions before reminding her that it was customary to kiss back. And while this wasn't her first kiss, Gwiboon was certainly more experienced than the boy she'd “dated” back in seventh grade.
Gwiboon pulled back carefully, warm eyes searching Taeyeon's- making sure she was okay.
Taeyeon blushed under her gaze, “Thank you unnie.” Her shaking hands gripped each other in her lap, teeth digging into her lower lip as she tried to shake off the feeling that her brain was filled with cotton.
“No problem, Tae,” Gwiboon grinned, playfully ruffling the other's hair before smoothing it down again, “My turn?”
Junghee nodded and Gwiboon spun the bottle, watching as it stopped with the neck pointing toward Minjung. She smirked.
Minjung raised her eyebrows, seeming to say challenge accepted.
Gwiboon's lips against Minjung's were harsh- unyielding. Both rose up on their knees as Gwiboon grasped the back of Minjung's neck harshly, pulling them together. Lips pressed and teeth clacked as the kiss deepened- tongues battling for dominance that neither was willing to give up. Minjung's hands on Gwiboon's waist tightened- fingers pressing deep into her flesh enough that it would bruise. A tug on Gwiboon's skirt was what eventually stopped the kiss.
“Um...” Junghee said when Gwiboon looked at her, trying not to look as jealous as she felt.
“I was just teaching her a lesson,” she defended innocently before shooting a satisfied smirk at Minjung who snorted and rolled her eyes in response.
“Well, it's my turn now,” Junghee announced, spinning the bottle with more force than was really necessary.
Minjung's eyes widened when the bottle landed on her, knowing that she was about to be the scapegoat in this disagreement that Gwiboon and Junghee were having. She wasn't sure whether she should be scared or...what. With Junghee's determined eyes on her like that...she couldn't quite bring herself to complain, even as her mind was shouting at her that this was all a bad idea.
Before she could mentally agree or disagree at how messy this was all about to become, she had Junghee in her lap with her tongue shoved down her throat- fingers on the sides of her face to keep her head still. If Gwiboon's kisses were controlling and insistent, Junghee's were deep and unforgiving- lips molded together as their tongues slid and tangled until they both had to come up for air.
Junghee's wide eyes met hers- looking almost surprised at herself- before the shorter girl scooted off her lap and back into her spot, looking over to see Gwiboon's reaction.
Gwiboon's scowl quickly dropped so she could force a yawn.
“Next,” Gwiboon said leisurely as though she was a bank teller calling the next person in line.
Minjung cleared her throat and grabbed the bottle, watching as it slowed to a stop and pointed to Taeyeon.
Thank god, seemed to be the general consensus, even if no one said it out loud.
Minjung leaned over and pressed her lips lightly to Taeyeon's- a stark contrast to the last two kisses she'd been a part of. The younger girl held onto her arm as she hesitantly kissed back, looking up at Minjung through her lashes innocently when she pulled away. Minjung smiled at her and wondered just how many boys were dreaming about her in the privacy of their bedrooms.
Taeyeon's first (official) spin was hesitant, as was her response when Junghee cupped her cheeks in her palms and kissed her gently, tongue coming out to tease her lower lip before pulling back to admire the flush on the younger girl's cheeks.
Gwiboon's turn had her kissing Junghee again- this meeting of lips much more possessive, on both their parts, than the one previous. And though it lasted for a full five minutes- the need to claim one another obvious in the way hands slid over sides, necks, stomachs, shoulders- neither Minjung or Taeyeon had the courage to interrupt.
The game continued on for a few more rounds, though it became repetitive rather quickly considering the small number of people playing. Still, Gwiboon declared it a success and no one could really disagree with that.
Taeyeon considered the mealtime options as she stood in line. It was school cafeteria food, so none of it looked particularly amazing, but she supposed that it could be worse. Still, this was why she usually brought a lunch- so she wouldn't have to take a chance on questionable looking kimbap. However, that morning she'd been in a rush and hadn't had time to pack one so...
“The chicken isn't bad,” a voice said from behind her and she jumped in surprise, not having been expecting anyone to address her.
She turned to see the boy who had dropped his books in the stairwell that time...Jinki, she was pretty sure was his name. He was smiling sheepishly at her.
“Sorry, I didn't mean to startle you,” he apologized, shifting on his feet.
“It's okay,” Taeyeon assured him, shooting him a grin, “You said the chicken is okay?”
“Yeah,” he smiled, “It's not as good as the stuff from restaurants, but it's what I always get. Safer, I think, than a lot of the other options.”
“You're probably right,” she laughed, glad for the advice. Gwiboon hadn't been of any help when she'd asked her- proclaiming that she'd never once bought the school's food (to be fair, she hadn't been totally useless- she'd offered to share her lunch with Taeyeon, though the latter insisted she could just buy her own lunch).
“How are classes?” Jinki asked when it became clear that they'd exhausted the topic of school food.
“Oh you know, busy,” Taeyeon told him, “I have an English test tomorrow and a paper on the French revolution due on Friday.”
Jinki nodded in understanding.
“How are your AP classes?” she asked.
“Busy, too,” he smiled.
“You have to take standardized tests at the end of the year?” Taeyeon asked, dreading the day when she too would have to take advanced placement classes.
“Yeah,” Jinki nodded, “Which is intimidating because even the teachers don't know exactly what's on it. So they can't even hint and be like 'Study this one particular thing and be sure to know these dates.'”
Taeyeon nodded, “I'm glad I don't have to do that yet.”
“It's not so bad,” Jinki shrugged, smiling, “I took one last year and did pretty well. I'm sure you'll do fine. When the time comes.”
“I hope so!”
Taeyeon ended up ordering the chicken and it wasn't half bad. Even Gwiboon commented that it wasn't as disgusting looking as she would have suspected. Which was a triumph for the cafeteria chefs, even if they didn't know it.
Minjung watched as Gwiboon stared intently at her notes as she sipped absently from her frappuccino, tapping the table leg at the cafe with the toe of her red flats. She was still in her school uniform- navy blue knee highs, navy and cream pleated, plaid skirt, white blouse, and navy blazer- and Minjung wondered, not for the first time, how she managed to look fashionable in such a standardized outfit.
The coffee shop was just a few blocks away from school and Minjung's soccer practice had been canceled, so she had decided to stop by to get a green tea before heading home to get started on her homework.
Should she go up to Gwiboon to say hi? Minjung wasn't sure. They butted heads a lot. That was impossible to deny. But Minjung didn't dislike Gwiboon. And she hoped that Gwiboon didn't dislike her.
Of course that whole battle between Gwiboon and Junghee that had happened on Saturday in which Minjung had somehow become the pawn in their games made things a little more complicated. But she'd seen the two around school acting as flirty as ever with each other. So hopefully the drama from the previous weekend was over.
Grabbing her to-go cup from the barista, Minjung decided to screw it. She and Gwiboon were at least kind of friends so she might as well go talk to her.
“Actually studying, huh?” Minjung said casually, dropping down into the seat opposite Gwiboon.
Jumping slightly in her chair, Gwiboon's head snapped up as her hand went to rest against her heart.
“Good lord, Minjung,” she exclaimed, reaching over to smack the taller girl on the arm, “Can you not sneak up on me next time?”
“Sorry,” Minjung apologized, unable to hold in the laugh at how put-out Gwiboon looked, “You're an embarrassment to coffee drinkers by the way,” she added, gesturing at Gwiboon's frappuccino.
“I usually drink lattes, if you must know,” Gwiboon defended, “Besides, you're drinking tea.”
Minjung shrugged, unconcerned.
“What are you doing here? Don't you have soccer practice or something?” she asked, taking a long and defiant sip of her drink.
“It was canceled,” Minjung told her, reaching over and pulling Gwiboon's notebook toward her so she could see what the other girl was studying.
“Please just take my stuff,” Gwiboon proclaimed dryly.
“Thanks,” Minjung grinned. Gwiboon rolled her eyes.
“So what are you going to do with your time since you're not playing soccer like always?”
Gwiboon was mostly mocking her (unsurprisingly), but she actually seemed almost genuinely interested.
Minjung shrugged, “Go home and start on the paper I have to write for Friday, I guess.”
“Mmm, thrilling,” Gwiboon hummed, taking her notebook back.
“Probably just as exciting as your history notes.”
Gwiboon's lips quirked at that and Minjung couldn't help but note how nice it was to receive a positive reaction from the other girl who seemed so intent to hold people at an arm's length. That is, besides Junghee, but even with Junghee, there was something keeping them from being fully open with one another. Minjung was so curious as to why they weren't dating since they were best friends and obviously attracted to one another on top of that, but knew that it wasn't her place to ask.
“I'll be here for a while,” Gwiboon said, raising her head from where she was reading, “I'm waiting for Junghee to be done with her choir rehearsal. So you could hang out if you wanted.”
Minjung grinned, “Sure, why not?”
“You have to at least kind of let me concentrate though,” Gwiboon warned.
“Well, it's not my fault if my charming presence distracts you,” Minjung teased.
Snorting, Gwiboon went back to her notes, but the smile in her eyes was impossible to miss.