iii. first week

kissed and cursed

It has been a week since Joohyun’s curse started; 7 days since she started kissing Wendy every day; 168 hours since she started hiding her mark from her family; 10, 080 minutes since she felt her lifespan shortening by every passing second out of 604, 800, with every touch of Wendy’s lips against hers.

 

            It was harder than what Joohyun had initially thought.

 

            She made sure she was wearing a necklace before she went to dinner.

 

            “You’ve been awfully quiet these past few days, Hyun,” her mother commented.

 

            Seulgi, who had been invited to join them, looked sideways at her.

 

            “I’m just not… umm, feeling well.” Joohyun decided to pull the sick card and tried to look nauseous.

 

            “Hyun, honey, you know you can tell us anything,” her mother insisted, a crease on her forehead and a frown on her lips.

 

            “She’s just had a lot of school work lately, auntie,” Seulgi came to the rescue, looking as sympathetic as she could. “The teachers are bombarding us with exams and projects, and it’s harder since Hyunnie is a senior so she has to deal with university applications and scholarships.”

 

            Joohyun wanted to hold a rosary to Seulgi’s face. The witty excuse was far too shocking for her to believe—much so to process the entire thing. So instead of ruining it, she just nodded at her mother.

 

            Her father had yet to say a word since dinner started, which was also weird. He was usually bubbly, especially with Seulgi around to ride with his jokes. He just ate quietly, taking small sips from his wine glass and disregarding the conversation.

 

            Just when she was about to ask what was wrong, her father popped up a question.

 

            “When are you going to introduce Wendy to us, Hyun?” He looked at her blankly, and yet his tone was challenging in the smallest way.

 

            Of course, the best way to answer was to spill her drink and break her plate. “Oh no,” was all she could say. She eyed Seulgi, who sat opposite to her, mirroring her gaping expression.

 

            Seulgi stammered with an effort to understand the situation, “Y-you know Wendy, uncle?”

 

            Her father replied with a smirk and a wink. “You think I wouldn’t know that my daughter has a friend other than you?”

 

            Seulgi laughed awkwardly, rubbing the back of her neck the way she often did when she was nervous. “Makes sense…”

 

            “So?” Her father rose a brow at her, waiting for a reply—more like an explanation, with the way her mother followed suit.

 

            “How come you’ve never mentioned her before?” Her mother, sitting beside her, had turned to face her. Her father had a triumphant grin on his face.

 

            “I kinda just forgot…?” Joohyun smiled apologetically, causing Seulgi to wince at how it looked more like a grimace than what it was supposed to be.

 

            “Well,” her father started, and she froze, “you two can start now.”

 

            Joohyun and Seulgi found themselves staring at each other in silent panic, waiting for a signal from the other person. She cocked her head towards her father discreetly, while Seulgi pointed to her mother with a twitch of her lips. Another moment of silence. Joohyun widened her eyes for a split second.

 

            “For starters, we’re going to have a sleepover at her place tomorrow.” Seulgi rose her glass to drink, giving Joohyun a wink. But Seulgi didn’t really know how to wink (neither of them do) so it looked like she just closed her eyes to savor some really thirst-quenching drink even though it was just water.

 

            Despite the brunette’s desire to help, Seulgi just unconsciously made the situation worse because there was never a sleepover in the first place. Her parents looked at her at the same time.

 

            Joohyun squeezed the bridge of her nose. She’d have to convince Wendy to have one after this. It was too late to back out. “Yeah, she’s a really nice girl. Her house is just a twenty-minute walk from here.”

 

            “And when were you supposed to tell us this?”

 

            “Uhh, tonight.”

 

            They narrowed their eyes at her, and Joohyun shifted nervously in her seat.

 

            “Okay.”

 

            “Huh?” Seulgi almost choked on her drink.

 

            “I said okay,” her mother repeated, furrowing her eyebrows at the two girls.

 

            “I—okay?” Joohyun looked at Seulgi. She was wiping .

 

            Her friend grinned. “Okay!”

 

~o~

 

Seulgi stayed for the night because Joohyun wanted to strangle the girl for forcing them to make plans for a sleepover.

 

            “H-Hyun! I didn’t think!” The younger girl tried to pry herself free from her grip. Oh, she was not getting away that easily. “I wasn’t thinking!”

 

            “You definitely weren’t!” Joohyun drilled her knuckle against Seulgi’s head. “Aaaah! Kang Seulgi!”

 

            When she let the her go, Joohyun rubbed her face tiredly. Seulgi lied down on the floor, pouting as she massaged the top of her head. “That was mean, Hyun.”

 

            Joohyun glared at her. She went to her dressing table and grabbed the phone with the pineapple case. She ed it towards Seulgi, “You call Wendy and tell her we’re sleeping over tomorrow.”

 

            The monolid girl smiled cheekily at her before taking the phone.

 

            Joohyun plopped herself on her bed, hugging her soft pillow. Seulgi was talking, but she couldn’t understand anything behind the thick layer of drowsiness against her eyes. She was about to sleep until Seulgi began jumping around and was unnecessarily pulling Joohyun’s leg.

 

            “She said yes! She said yes!” Seulgi bounced.

 

            Oh no she said yes. Oh no. Joohyun didn’t know what was worse: to have a sleepover at Wendy’s or to find another place to sleep for tomorrow night and be caught lying. She was suddenly wide awake.

 

            Oh no. The sleepover was worse.

 

            Wendy said yes.

 

            “We’ll head home as soon as school ends tomorrow to pack some clothes,” Seulgi crossed her arms and looked at her seriously. “Which means no more café visiting and most definitely not to that claw machine downtown.”

 

            “Wendy said yes,” Joohyun covered her face with a pillow. She wondered if it was enough to suffocate a person.

 

            “Yes, now, goodnight, Hyun.”

 

            “I hate you.”

 

            “Love you too.”

 

            Seulgi turned off the light and went beside her, falling asleep just after a minute or two.

 

            Joohyun’s eyes were wide open the entire night.

 

~o~

 

Joohyun wanted to run away. She voiced this out to Seulgi, who simply laughed at her while hitting her arm.

 

          “It’s just the nerves, Hyun. It’s our first sleepover at Wendy’s house, and who knows how long you’ve been daydreaming about this before.”

 

          It was Joohyun’s turn to smack the younger girl’s arm. “I’ve never daydreamed about sleeping over at her house,” she defended herself.

 

          Seulgi shrugged with the notion of just letting Joohyun say whatever she wanted to say. “You’ll be thanking me later.”

 

~o~

 

“Hi! Hi, hi, hi, hi, hi, welcome!” Wendy was beaming, as usual. Joohyun wanted to faint because of her smile, as usual.

 

          Wendy ushered them in, a generous palm on the small of their backs that honestly made her skin burn and her heart hammer against her chest. The mark in the middle of her collarbones buzzed with affection, probably recognizing the person whose lips Joohyun was stuck with forever. (A tiny part of her hoped it was forever.)

 

          “How are you guys?” The owner of the house asked casually.

 

          “Wendy, we were together at school three hours ago,” Seulgi nudged the girl by the elbow, looking a tiny bit incredulous. “For someone as smart as you, you have terrible memory.”

 

          Oh sweet, sweet Seulgi. Count on her for natural comedy.

 

          Wendy shrugged, making them sit on the couch. “A lot can happen in three hours. Here you go.” Now, normally, saying here you go was mostly associated with food (for Joohyun and Seulgi, anyway), so when Wendy suddenly leaned towards Joohyun and gave her a peck on the lips, she froze.

 

          Of course, being kissed by Wendy voluntarily after a minute of entering her house was something Joohyun never expected to happen, so she stammered, her words incomprehensive and at that moment, sentences were something she couldn’t form. Not for quite a while.

 

          “Oh,” Seulgi stared at them, as startled as Joohyun was with Wendy’s actions. “Oh, well, wow. You two are living it.”

 

          “I—sorry, was I too assertive?” Wendy’s eyes shifted between the two of them nervously.

 

          Joohyun still couldn’t find her voice, so she just gave Seulgi a sharp look. Her friend caught the signal and began, “Oh no, not at all. We don’t mind. I mean, haha, not like you kissed me, but—Hyun—Hyun doesn’t mind, probably prefers it that way, anyway. Haha”

 

          She cringed.

 

          Wendy, however, seemed to accept it. Way too quickly, for Joohyun’s comfort, to be honest. She just hummed before smiling again. “Well, I’ll bring you guys some food. You can pick something on Netflix.” And with that she walked away, most likely towards their kitchen area.

 

          As soon as she was out of earshot, Seulgi grabbed her shoulders and shook the voice out of her. “Hyun! What was that?!”

 

          “I don’t know,” she admitted, feeling lightheaded and tingly. “M-must be something you said.”

 

          Seulgi gasped intensely, as if Joohyun had just accused her of stealing something. (Stealing was a big issue for her.) “Why me?”

 

          She sighed, repeating, “I don’t know. It—ugh.”

 

          “Don’t you understand what this means, Hyun?” Seulgi’s eyes were wide. Joohyun was scared she’d get herself an infection. She didn’t even understand how they could go that wide with the girl’s naturally small eyes. “She like-likes you!”

 

          “Preposterous.” At the same time, another voice joined her from out of nowhere, squealing a shrill “Cute!” Uh-oh.

 

          Seulgi blinked. “Wha-” She couldn’t even finish because time suddenly stopped. Joohyun knew that was what happened because the other girl’s mouth was hung open. It looked like someone just paused a scene from a game.

 

          Joohyun sighed again, turning around to face the goddess.

 

          Aphrodite was wearing this really skimpy outfit that made her blush. A skin-tight latex dress that was too short, with a neckline too low and a back part that was too non-existent. Silver bangles and bracelets were on her wrist, with a gold upper arm bracelet that had a dove in the middle. Rows upon rows of thin necklaces made their way down her chest, a part that covered too little. It felt like seeing her great-grandmother wearing a really revealing outfit—except this great-grandmother was a goddess and didn’t look like a day past 26. “Hi, honey.”

 

          “What is it this time?”

 

          “You make it sound like I’m a bother.”

 

          Joohyun cracked a grin. “A lil bit.”

 

          Aphrodite giggled. “As much as I want to have fun with you girls, I have bad news.” She dropped her tone, with… is that determination burning in her eyes? Oh no.

 

          “If this is about Wendy and I…. escalating, then no, thank you.”

 

          The goddess looked taken aback before guffawing. Her hair was a curtain of silver with pastel flowers for decoration. Knowing her, the flowers probably weren't held by something except by magic or whatever. “No!” She shook her head. “That’s for another day.”

 

          Joohyun flushed. She shouldn’t have mentioned it, but the goddess always made sure the world followed her way. Everything was possible with a Greek goddess that had too much time on her hands.

 

          Finally settling down, the goddess raked slender fingers through her hair. “That was a good laugh. Your humor’s getting better,” she praised Joohyun. “Now, what was I saying?”

 

          “Uhh, bad news?”

 

          “Ew. No one likes bad nudes. Sometimes, when I’m bored I let—”

 

          “Wait—no! Bad news.” Joohyun enunciated every part of the four-letter word.

 

          Aphrodite winked.

 

          “Your humor is getting worse,” she fanned her face.

 

          “Other people would appreciate. Anyway! Bad news. This would sound unexpected but…”

 

          Joohyun leaned forward in anticipation. “…yes?”

 

          “There’s a very mild complication.”

 

          “Uhuh?”

 

          “It’s nothing big, really. Might not even be here, but I’ve been told precautions would be best shared.”

 

          Joohyun was getting a headache with the way the goddess ran the topic in circles. “Just spill it out.”

 

          Aphrodite smirked at her. “Temper, temper. Long story short,” Joohyun rolled her eyes, “Apollo is here.”

 

          Boom.

 

          What?

 

          “Apollo…?”

 

          The other girl shrugged. “Nothing big,” she repeated. “I’ll be gone for a while because of him.”

 

          “Oh, okay.”

 

          “That’s it?”

 

          “What do you want me to say?” Joohyun frowned at her. Sure, she’d kind of miss the goddess, but she had long accepted the difference between their lives. Greek gods had other stuff to do, and she knew she wasn’t at the top of Aphrodite’s priority list.

 

          “So mean. Don’t go crying when you miss me.” Aphrodite laughed, patting Joohyun’s cheek tenderly. It almost brought tears to her eyes. “Keep up the kissing.”

 

          It was an echo to what she said the first time Joohyun saw her. It made her smile. “See you. Goodluck!”

 

          The world swirled, everything going slow motion. She saw the words forming from her friend’s mouth. Aphrodite blew her a kiss before disappearing.

 

          “—at was that?” Seulgi asked, blinking. “Did you hear that, Hyun?”

 

          “Hear what?” Joohyun pretended, looking at the younger girl weirdly.

 

          Seulgi scratched her head. “Huh. Maybe my imagination.”

 

          Joohyun hummed in agreement. Telling Seulgi about the goddess and everything in between would be too much for her. She could tell Seulgi about it some other time.

 

          “I have pizza and some chips,” Wendy came back with two boxes of pizza and a bowl of chips they wouldn’t bother knowing the name of. “Did you guys not want to watch something?”

 

          “I guess we kind of forgot,” Joohyun shrugged.  She began to wonder why the other god was suddenly there and why Aphrodite wanted her to know. It’s not like they’d cause a wreck…right?

 

          “Irene?” Joohyun blinked at Wendy, looking at her with worry in those beautiful brown eyes. “Are you okay?”

 

          Seulgi was watching her. “Yeah,” Joohyun replied, giving a small smile.

 

          She shouldn’t worry about Greek gods tonight since it’s a sleepover at Wendy’s.

 

~o~

 

“How is the… curse?” Wendy asked. She was on the floor, lying on her stomach with a controller in her hands. She started playing this dark game thing that sounded eerily about souls or something Joohyun didn’t really like thinking about because all she thought about was that she was in Wendy’s room.

 

          Joohyun didn’t know how to answer. Seulgi was already dozing off on Wendy’s bed, clutching one of the girl’s plushies as if it were her own, so she couldn’t rely on the girl for saving her awkward self this time. “Fine, I guess?”

 

          “You guess?” Wendy paused the game—Joohyun could see the bold words on the screen—and turned to look at her. “That doesn’t sound comforting.”

 

          “I don’t know how to say it,” she admitted. “I mean, my life changed because of one mistake—”

 

          “Ouch,” Wendy bleated, saying it so softly that Joohyun almost didn’t hear it. But she did.

 

          Joohyun froze, her heart dropping to her feet. “No! I didn’t mean—”

 

          Wendy sat up, chuckling. “I know. I know that wasn’t what you meant.” She gave her a compassionate smile. “You should sleep soon. It’s almost 1 am.”

 

          Was it? Joohyun never noticed. (She generally never noticed anything else when she’s around Wendy’s presence.)

 

          The dark-haired girl’s eyes were glued back on the screen. She wondered if she wasn’t planning on sleeping even though her bed was wide enough to fit three girls easily. Knowing Wendy, she’d probably do it.

 

          Joohyun moved beside her, covering both of them with the yellow blanket she had brought. She also got two pillows from the bed, giving one of them to Wendy, who looked up at her through thick eyelashes.

 

          She simply smiled at her. “Watching you play is more interesting than I thought,” she simply said, very aware of how their shoulders were touching. A faint blush made its way to her cheeks and ears.

 

          They stayed like that for a long time, with Joohyun feeling energetic despite the complete lack of sleep the night before and only managing to grab an hour of sleep during lunch. Maybe it was because there were times when Wendy would suddenly rest her head on Joohyun’s shoulder and she would feel the body heat through the pajamas they were wearing.

 

          It was probably the 37th time Wendy had to redo a part since she kept dying during the boss battle, (she was taught a few terms) and when her health bar dropped to a clean zero, she let out a very frustrated groan. Joohyun giggled, patting Wendy’s head.

 

          It was 7 am and the sunlight was slipping through the gaps between the curtains. Seulgi was still passed out on the bed, and Wendy and Joohyun finally began to feel the fatigue. They yawned at the same time.

 

          “You should sleep,” Wendy repeated, tapping Joohyun’s forehead. They were both on their stomachs with a pillow beneath their chins. “A pretty girl like you shouldn’t forget her beauty sleep.”

 

          Joohyun’s cheeks burned. “You too,” was all she said.

 

          Wendy chuckled, and the sound was so… nice. It was like a delicate strum of a guitar, or the sound of the toaster going off, or even a lullaby. It was relaxing.

 

          She kissed Wendy before she even realized it. It was a miracle she didn’t stutter when she whispered a shaky “Goodnight, Wendy.”

 

          Joohyun didn’t stay long enough to see the girl’s reaction, and instead moved towards the bed and into the covers. Seulgi’s warmth was familiar, but when she felt another body beside her feeling like warm sunshine and soft kisses, she slept quietly despite her loud heartbeat with, no doubt, a smile on her face.

 

          ~o~

 

It was one of the best dreams she’s ever had even though she couldn’t remember any of it when she woke up. The first thing she saw as soon as she opened her eyes was a toy carrot which, after a second, she recognized as Olaf’s nose. She tried to hold in a giggle until her eyes moved past the plushie and settled on Wendy’s face.

 

          Honestly.

 

          Wow.

 

          She could have gone into this poetic ramble about the younger girl’s features but she felt a sharp pain against her thigh that made her grit her teeth.

 

          Judging from the mumbling behind her and the foot against her, Seulgi was still sleeping. Was she hibernating? She slept way earlier than her and Wendy but it sounded like she was in the deepest sleep between the three of them.

 

          Joohyun was kicked again, this time with such intensity that she was shoved practically against Wendy with only Olaf in between them.

 

          “Seulgi!” She groaned, trying to raise herself on her forearms.

 

          “Whuzzgoinon?” Wendy croaked, blinking sleepily at her. “Irene?”

 

          “S-sorry, it’s—” Another kick and all Joohyun saw in her head were the thin red letters that she’d seen on the screen for 37 times. (YOU DIED.) How accurate.

 

          Wendy fell first, knocking her head against her study table. Joohyun followed, this time hitting her head against Wendy’s lower lip.

 

          “Oh gosh, Wendy—” Joohyun scrambled, trying to stand up in the midst of tangled limbs and blankets.

 

          Wendy’s shook her head and held a hand to . She winced.

 

          “Are you okay? I’m so sorry,” Joohyun frantically looked around for a handkerchief. Thankfully, there was one on the table, with another familiar blue W sewn on the corner. Were all her handkerchiefs like that?

 

          “Well, this looks familiar,” Wendy snorted, her eyes shining with mischief.

 

          “What?” Joohyun raised the cloth to the girl’s lips delicately.

 

          Wendy held her wrist and gave her a lopsided smile. She honestly wanted to swoon until she realized what the girl meant.

 

          “Oh… Right,” she reddened, tilting her head so that her hair would cover her face. “D-does it hurt?”

 

          “A bit.” Then, Wendy slackened her grip and moved to hold Joohyun’s hand. “Now? Not anymore.”

 

          Joohyun didn’t know what to do, what to think, to feel, to look at, and oh my gosh she was overheating.

 

          “A kiss would help,” Wendy winked.

 

          “A—what?”

 

          “I’m kidding, but isn't that what characters in movies say?” Then she laughed the cute way she did where one eye was closed tighter than the other, with the same heartwarming laugh and her adorable smile.

 

          Joohyun kissed the corner of Wendy’s lip, which prompted the girl to shut up and stare at her.

 

          “Hope it helped,” she smiled shyly.

 

          Wendy was leaning closer, looking like she was about to say something until Seulgi peered over the edge of the bed and asked, “When’s breakfast?”

 

          Joohyun threw the Olaf plushie at her.

 

 

 


 

 

i'm so sorry that it took me so long but here is an update!!! surprise surprise!

and, the usual, /shower you with cookies and love 

oh, and the game wendy was playing was dark souls. if you guessed it while reading, good job! (bcs honestly I think i didn't do a good job hinting what it was.. not that it's entirely relevant but... you know)

btw i think there's a lot of grammatical errors bcs im a terrible writer so... sorry bout that

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wandawanda21 #1
🥺
Riscark #2
Chapter 13: Damnn talk about April's fools there 😬
SEEKER_
#3
Chapter 13: Is that person connected to the princess irene? And I'm curious as to what happened to the ancient seungwan after Princess irene died. Why do i get a feeling that it's all connected. Irene's disappearance and what happened before.
Marina_Leffy
1688 streak #4
Chapter 13: Wow! Happy April fools! What a scary premonition.
Riscark #5
Chapter 12: Holy , I know it's some kinda dream, but goddamn I was so scared that it was happening in real time and seungwan cannot do something to help irene
SEEKER_
#6
Chapter 12: What the did seungwan just had a vision of the past them? As lovers too??? Omg
Aizbox
#7
Chapter 12: NOOOOOOOOO~ but for real, I'm excited for what will happened next. Thank you for writing this! 🩷
mklarisse_ #8
Chapter 12: so intense 😭 thank u so much for the update happy new year author!!!
mklarisse_ #9
Chapter 9: woah the creepy old lady 😭
chantreux
#10
Chapter 12: I just read this in one go and its soo good? Woah.