If I Fall (Yuju/Sowon)Chasing After Time
A/N: This is based on their Me Gustas Tu performance at the Busan One Asia Festival, where the stage was (again) very slippery with rain and Yuju (again) fell many times.
I feel so bad for GFriend and I hope that the organizers (not just for this event) will learn how unsafe it is to have idols perform in such conditions and prevent something like this from happening again. But given how this happened again, I don't have much faith...
As soon as they’re alone together, the door closed behind them, Sojung is tugging Yuna to the bed.
“I’m a little tired for this, unnie,” Yuna says with a faint smile.
“Shush,” Sojung says, not ungently, guiding her (more like forcing her) to sit down. “How are you feeling? Does it still hurt?”
“No,” Yuna says, and Sojung’s eyes narrow. “Really, it doesn’t hurt. It’ll probably start hurting tomorrow. You know that’s how bruises work.”
Sojung sighs and looks down at Yuna’s legs. “You’re a little too familiar with how bruises work.”
“Don’t say this in front of the members. They’ll get the wrong idea.”
“Yuna,” Sojung says softly, and that’s all she says but the look of muted disapproval on her face is clear. This isn’t disappointed leader Sowon; this is disappointed Sojung, which is probably even worse.
“It really doesn’t hurt,” Yuna says, which is true. What hurts more is the look on Sojung’s face, both now and the way it was on stage, like she wanted to take Yuna’s and the rest of their hands and march them right off that stage (carefully, of course) and all the way back to the dorm.
“I don’t understand how they can expect us to perform on a stage like that,” Sojung says. “It’s like it’s not bad enough that Yewon’s hurt, they want the rest of us to be too.”
“It’s my fault that I’m so clumsy,” Yuna says. “I should work on my coordination.”
Sojung’s frown deepens, and Yuna doesn’t stop herself this time from reaching out and brushing her fingers over Sojung’s forehead, wanting to erase those lines. The only line that she wants to see on Sojung’s face is the one that pops out around when she smiles; not quite a dimple but not quite a laugh line either.
“Stop frowning,” she chides. “You’ll get wrinkles this way and then Sinbi will really never stop teasing you about your age.”
“Yes, like you never do that,” Sojung says wryly.
“Well, I don’t want my girlfriend to think she’s old.”
Sojung, uncharacteristically, doesn’t reply to the jibe. Her fingers are gentle, almost reverent, as they brush over Yuna’s knees and then trail down her calves. Her touch is very light and careful, like she’s afraid of leaving a mark behind, and Yuna almost tells her that she wouldn’t mind if she did. Not if it’s Sojung.
“Does it hurt?” Sojung asks, hushed, like she’s afraid to dent the air between them. Yuna doesn’t know why she would have these fears; Yuna feels nothing but safe when she’s with Sojung.
“No,” Yuna says honestly. “It doesn’t.”
Sojung lowers her head, her hair falling over her eyes. “I hated seeing you fall today. Especially that second time. And I couldn’t even help you up and ask if you were okay.”
“You did help me up,” Yuna says, “and you asked me if I was okay later.”
Sojung hadn’t said the words out loud, had only touched Yuna’s shoulder, but that’s okay. Yuna had heard her anyway.
“I wanted to do it sooner,” Sojung says. “I wanted to right away.”
“It’s okay,” Yuna says. They’re idols, and she understands having to push I want behind I need. They need to smile in front of the fans no matter how much they’re hurting on the inside. They need to pick themselves up no matter how hard they fall. Out there, she needs to be Yuju and Sojung needs to be Sowon, but in here they’re Yuna and Sojung. Out there, they’re the world’s, but in here they’re each other’s.
“Manager oppa wasn’t very happy with me,” Sojung sighs.
Yuna frowns. “What?”
“Well, I guess it’s more Source that’s unhappy with me and he was just the messenger. Anyway, they weren’t pleased that I didn’t follow the choreography and that my expression was…very lacking,” Sojung says with a wry twist of . “I guess I should just let my members all fall and hurt themselves while I’m busy smiling at the camera.”
“Unnie,” Yuna says, putting her hand on Sojung’s arm.
“I know I didn’t do very well,” Sojung says, suddenly looking so tired, like whatever has been fuelling her from the performance until now has finally drained out of her system. “I just—couldn’t help it.”
“You did everything you could.”
“I didn’t,” Sojung says, head falling forward like she can no longer hold it up. “I should have done better.”
“Sojung unnie,” Yuna says, forceful in her tone but gentle in her touch when she tips Sojung’s chin up so their eyes meet. Sojung looks at her like she’s searching for something, and Yuna hopes that whatever it is, she can give it to her. “You did the best you could. That’s all anyone can ask for.”
“Is it really?” Sojung murmurs, almost like she’s talking to herself. Yuna knows what she means. As idols, the best they can do is never enough; the ‘can’ is removed from the equation. There’s apparently no such thing as limits, only expectations.
“Well, then I guess I should have done better and not fallen—”
“That’s totally different! You couldn’t help it.”
“And neither could you.”
Sojung keeps staring at her, doing it so intensely that Yuna almost feels like she has to look away. She doesn’t. Sojung must find whatever she’s looking for, because she breaks eye contact with a small smile.
“Yuna,” Sojung says softly, and that’s all she says but the look of unabashed affection on her face is clear. She puts her hand on Yuna’s arm, the touch saying thank you and you matter so much to me, and pulls Yuna toward her. Yuna buries her face against Sojung’s shoulder, feeling Sojung’s arms come around her.
“Sorry,” Sojung suddenly says.
“Hmm?” Yuna asks, not changing position; she quite likes her perch.
“I bumped against your legs.”
“Unnie,” Yuna laughs, raising her head. “I’m not made of glass.” She clears . “I may seem like a clear glass bead, but I won’t break that easily.”
“Choi Yuna,” Sojung snorts, swatting her shoulder. “You are so lame.”
“You love me anyway.”
Sojung smiles and squeezes Yuna’s shoulder, saying her reply without saying anything.