Do’s and Don’ts (Sowon/Yerin)

Chasing After Time

A/N: I wanted to write something for Sowon's birthday and I was staring at a Word doc trying to crank out something on December 7 but it didn't happen. I would've liked this to be longer but I don't control my muse; she controls me.

The title is from the line "Every Do’s and Don’ts. They all bore me" from Mago.

Sojung is looking at a piece of paper on the worktable when she hears footsteps approaching. She hasn’t lifted her head, but she immediately knows who it is.

“Unnie,” Yerin says. “Is everything all right? You’ve seemed…down lately.”

“Have I?” Sojung says with a strained smile.

Yerin makes an affirmative sound. “You try to hide it but I can tell.”

“I guess I’ve just been thinking.” Sojung is quiet for a moment. Yerin doesn’t ask her ‘about what’ but just patiently waits. Somehow, that gives Sojung the courage to speak. “What we do… Is it worth it?”

“Is it worth it,” Yerin repeats.

“It’s a silly question,” Sojung says quickly.

“It’s not silly. I ask myself that too.”

Sojung looks at her expectantly, hopefully. “And?”

“I don’t know. How do you determine if something is ‘worth it’? By how many people we save? Or how many people we fail to? How much hope we bring – or how much disappointment? You can go in circles like this forever.”

Sojung blinks. “I didn’t realize you were such a philosopher.”

Yerin laughs hard enough for her dimples to make an appearance, and then her expression sobers. “You’ve always expected yourself to be perfect, unnie. You know that’s not possible.”

“I don’t…” Sojung’s mouth goes dry. “My power isn’t even special. Not like what you guys can do.”

“You’re our leader. I’d say that’s pretty special.”

“It does take a special amount of patience and restraint to deal with Sinbi,” Sojung muses, and Yerin grins.

“Exactly. See?”

“You’re not going to defend her?” Sojung asks wryly. “She’d be hurt.”

“She’s not here, is she?” Yerin says with a smile that has a hint of mischief. Sojung has missed seeing that hint. She’s missed seeing Yerin’s dimples, hearing her combination of wisdom and playfulness, sitting beside her with no other people in the room, no impending danger, no task waiting to be completed. She’s missed Yerin.

“What is it?” Yerin asks, her smile faltering.

No, don’t stop smiling, I already don’t get to see you smile enough, Sojung wants to say, but courage isn’t her superpower.

“Thank you, Yerin,” she says instead. “I guess I didn’t realize I needed…you know. So—thank you.”

“You don’t have to thank me,” Yerin says softly. “You should know you can always talk to me about these things. You hold things in too much. It’s not healthy.”

Sojung closes her eyes. “I’m the leader. I’m supposed to be the one you guys go to, not the other way around. I’m supposed to have it all together.”

“You’re still human. Maybe superhuman but not a super human.”

“That doesn’t even make sense,” Sojung laughs.

That smile returns. “Who said I have to make sense?”

“Yerinnie.” Sojung reaches out her hand, not really having a purpose in mind, really, just a move borne out of instinct. Yerin is still for a second, two, and then she covers Sojung’s hand with her own. “I don’t know what I’d do without you.”

Yerin stares at her with an unreadable expression for a moment – sometimes she’s so good at hiding how she feels that Sojung thinks that should be a superpower – before she smiles. It’s a soft smile, minus the playfulness but adding gentleness. “Let’s not put that to the test,” she says, and withdraws her hand. Her eyes flicker to the page Sojung had been looking at. “Are you looking at the Mago lair blueprints?” she asks, her tone becoming brisker, business-like.

“Yes,” Sojung says, slipping into the same tone. “I believe they’ve done some upgrades since then, but this was the most recent version I can find.”

“It should be okay,” Yerin says. “Do you want to call a meeting?”

“Yes, but not right now. I want to figure it out more first.”

“Do you need help with that?”

“I think I’m okay. Maybe you could look into how we can disable the surveillance system.”

Yerin makes an affirmative sound. “I’ll talk to Yewon and get on that.” She straightens and Sojung, seized with a sudden sense of helplessness, wants to ask her not to go, wants to return to their previous atmosphere. She doesn’t need psychic powers to tell that a door is closing between them and she doesn’t know when it’ll open again.

But all Sojung says is, “And can you ask Eunha to stop by? I want to talk to her about her little stunt last time.”

“Sure,” Yerin says. “I’ll see you later, unnie.”

“Right,” Sojung says, looking at the blueprint but not seeing it. “Thank you.”

Yerin’s hand lands on her shoulder, suddenly, and she looks up and is treated to the sight of those dimples.

“We’ll save them, unnie. I know we can.”

“I-I know,” Sojung says, and Yerin gives her shoulder another squeeze before heading out the door. Sojung fails miserably in trying not to stare after her.

A/N: I don't know why whenever I write WonRin it turns out sad and pining and unresolved. I swear it's not on purpose.

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