iv. busy day

kissed and cursed

Joohyun didn’t know what to label her and Wendy’s relationship, not after all that soft flirting an hour ago before Seulgi woke up.

 

                Her friend always had impeccable timing, to be honest. Perhaps it was for the better—she didn’t know what could’ve happened had she not interrupted.

 

                She couldn’t redirect her thoughts away even though brunch was messy and loud, with the three of them eating in Wendy’s room while they watched The Visit on Netflix. Wendy’s parents had already gone to work (probably around the time they hit the hay) so they had the house all to themselves that Saturday. Wendy was a great cook even though all she cooked were sunny side up eggs, pancakes, and toasted some bread. Seulgi and Joohyun offered to help (even though cooking wasn’t exactly her forte, she felt shy with the third girl doing all the work) but were firmly declined.

 

                There was that one scene where the siblings in the film were playing hide-and-seek under… some place Joohyun couldn’t determine because she was hiding behind her fingers, and the grandmother appeared, charging at the girl. She had peeked through her fingers just to see that on the screen, and it startled her so much that she gave a shrill cry and nearly toppled all the plates on the bed when she aggressively pulled the blankets.

 

                “Hyun!” Seulgi exclaimed, immediately rushing to save the food. She’d scold her later for picking food over Joohyun.

 

                “It’s scary!” Joohyun shut her eyes tight, the blankets by her chin.

 

                Wendy held her hand. “It’s okay, Irene. It’s just a movie.”

 

                She really didn’t want to admit that Wendy’s touch immediately calmed her down, so she gave the girl a small smile despite feeling shaky, now mostly because of her presence.

 

                “You are so careless,” Seulgi flicked a finger against her forehead.

 

                “Hey!” She winced, rubbing the now throbbing skin.

 

                “You should have told me you weren’t good with horror movies,” Wendy frowned at her, Joohyun’s hand still in hers. She was now rubbing her knuckle with a thumb.

 

                Joohyun blushed from embarrassment. “You looked so excited…”

 

                Wendy looked at her worriedly.

 

                Joohyun suddenly felt awkward, thinking again about their relationship. Wendy had been helpful this past week, had oddly accepted her condition easily as if being cursed (that could lead to your death) was something she was used to. They had kissed all around the campus—the library (their first one after the party), the infirmary (which made her remember their first encounter), cafeteria (she wondered how no one saw them, or maybe cared enough to look), parking lot (behind a teacher’s car), and, of course, in the washrooms.

 

                Their touches were natural, like long-lost lovers reunited.

 

                But they weren’t long-lost lovers reunited; they were almost strangers before, just a toe past the line of acquaintances simply because they have a mutual friend.

 

                It didn’t help that Joohyun had feelings for the girl prior the accident (for two years!), so everything was jumbling up inside of her.

 

                Stupid party.

 

                Stupid crush. Stupid attachment. Stupid curse.

 

                “Irene?” She felt her hand being squeezed.

 

                Joohyun looked up to find Wendy staring at her.

 

                Stupid eyes.

 

                “I’m fine.”

 

                Stupid curse.

 

                Stupid feelings.

 

                By some miracle Joohyun never thought could happen, Seulgi sensed her discomfort. The brunette hit their shoulders together, giving her a nonverbal signal that she’s there for her. She smiled at her thankfully.

 

                She can crash and burn later, in the corners of her room and in the arms of her best friend, trying to understand some thousands year old curse with some ice cream and romcom.

 

                They moved downstairs, each of them carrying several stacked plates and glasses.

 

                “I guess that’s that, then?” Joohyun started as she began washing the dishes in an effort to distract herself.

 

                “Thanks for letting us stay for the night!”

 

                “No problem! The first of many more sleepovers, hopefully?” Wendy looked at them with expectant eyes. Joohyun nearly slapped Seulgi’s shoulder from the sudden pressure of Wendy’s gaze and of her heart giving way.

 

                She can’t wait to get rid of this happy crush she had for Wendy.

 

                (She’s pretty sure that’s what it was. That’s the only kind of crush possible for a passive person like Joohyun.)

 

                “Definitely!” Seulgi answered, giving Joohyun a brief glance. Joohyun didn’t look up from the dirty dishes in her hands, but she could feel the brunette’s look from behind her head.

 

                Wendy wrapped her arms around Joohyun’s shoulders, whispering so terribly close to her ear, “I’ll do the dishes, Irene,” as she whisks her away from the sink and towards Seulgi.

 

                Oh god the killer bees in her stomach were going wild. Maybe it was the curse, or maybe the happy crush, but she started feeling lightheaded the longer Wendy touched her and it was getting out of hand as the younger girl wiped Joohyun’s hands with a cloth and smiled that smile that always had Joohyun swooning in less than a heartbeat.

 

                Stop, stop, stop, stop.

 

                “She’s not used to not doing the dishes—”

 

                A laugh. “I wouldn’t want my guests doing the chores! That’s preposterous.”

 

                “You know her.”

 

                Joohyun felt like her head was underwater, with words just going in one ear and out the other without doing a pit stop in her brain to let her understand anything the other two were saying. She couldn’t stop looking at Wendy and her brown eyes and that soft smile and the way she hides behind her hair when she’s embarrassed, especially when she noticed the way Joohyun was shamelessly staring at her.

 

                Her heart ached at the sight, and Joohyun wanted to cry because everything is happening too quickly and she likes Wendy too much and the stupid curse, despite being stupid, made her friends with the girl who made flowers bloom around her smile. She didn’t know what to do.

 

                Stop, stop, stop, stop.

 

                She felt herself choking up, “See you on Monday, Wendy.”

 

                “Are you o—” Wendy reached out to touch her arm, but Joohyun made sure she didn’t.

 

                “Let’s go, Seul.” She grabbed the brunette’s hand, gave Wendy a quick wave, and slung her bag on her shoulder before power walking to the door.

 

                Joohyun didn’t know how long they’ve been walking, or where to, but she was sure that they passed by their houses ten minutes ago.

 

                Seulgi tugged her hand after being silent the entire time, and Joohyun spun around to look at her with tears threatening to fall because there was a lump in that she can’t swallow and her heart was hurting. “Hyun, it’s okay. I’m sorry.”

 

                Maybe it was because walking can’t distract her thoughts then, or maybe it was Seulgi’s words, or maybe it was the way the brunette was looking at her with such sad eyes so uncharacteristic for her that Joohyun felt the dam she’s been so desperate to hold onto started cracking.

 

                “I’m sorry.”

 

                Seulgi pulled her to the side, to the playground they’ve gone to everyday when they were young. They sat on the merry go round, not speaking for a while and just beside each other because words weren’t always necessary when you’re with your best friend.

 

                Joohyun wiped at her tears and took in a breath. “Sorry, it’s just…”

 

                She saw Seulgi shake her head. “It’s okay. It was my fault for saying something stupid and sudden like a sleepover at Wendy’s.”

 

                “…yeah.”

 

                “How are you feeling now?”

 

                “Confused, mostly.”

 

                “About you and Wendy?”

 

                Joohyun nodded, reaching out to Seulgi’s hand to play with her fingers. “It’s just… one-sided, you know? Like I know I have a happy crush on her, but with the stupid curse making us kiss everyday and her just being so affectionate and so effortlessly lovable…” She sighed. “It just hurts how we’re acting like this when I know she’s just here to help me as a friend and not because she reciprocates whatever it is I’m feeling for her.”

 

                “How do you know it’s not mutual?”

 

                “What?”

 

                “How do you know it’s not mutual, Hyun?”

 

                Joohyun stared at her friend blankly.

 

                “I may not be the brightest flashlight—”

 

                “Bulb, Seul. The brightest bulb.”

 

                “—bulb, whatever, but I know connection when I see one.”

 

                ~o~

 

Despite being more than a week into this whole curse-schedule thing, Joohyun was not proud to say that she almost gotten herself killed the next day.

 

                She was getting comfortable into a dreamless sleep after an MCU marathon when she suddenly woke up gasping and shivering.

 

                “Hyun!” Seulgi crushed her into a hug, feeling the younger girl shaking as well.

 

                Joohyun was disoriented, the sunlight too bright and her body too cold for her to think straight. “What’s going on?”

 

                “You idiot!” barked Seulgi, motioning to someone behind her. “How could you just forget!”

 

                “Forget what?” Joohyun looked around and saw an obviously disheveled Wendy in her pajamas, trying to catch her breath as she covered Joohyun’s body with thick blankets and comforters. “What’s going on?”

 

                Seulgi’s eyes got a tad bit softer, but still with the same gleam of panic around the edges. “You almost died, Hyun. That’s what happened.”

 

                Her jaw dropped.

 

                The brunette tightened the blankets over her. “I woke up because it was so cold, and then I realized it was because you were so cold, and then when I checked, you were barely breathing! I tried waking you up but you were just—and then when I checked your pulse it was so slow, and I was about to get a panic attack until I noticed your mark barely being there and you’ve told me several times throughout the past week how bad it meant and that’s when I got my panic attack and called Seungwan and had her get here in 3 minutes despite being a 20-minute walk or a 7-minute bike from her place!”

 

                Joohyun couldn’t say anything because Seulgi was crying in front of her, visibly shaken by the fact that she almost lost her sister(Hyun) that morning. It was the first time she’s been reprimanded by the monolid girl like this, the most words used in a chaotic run-on sentence that Joohyun has never heard her speak before.

 

                “I’m so sorry.” She didn’t know what else to say and just hugged Seulgi. It struck her memory then how she had forgotten to kiss Wendy again before leaving, and didn’t make plans whatsoever for the Sunday kiss.

 

                She almost died because of one careless mistake.

 

                Died.

 

                Seulgi let her go and tried to compose herself. “I’ll get you breakfast. Wan will help you warm yourself up.” She went downstairs and left Joohyun and Wendy alone.

 

                “Irene…”

 

                Joohyun looked at the dark-haired girl sharply, feeling her heart drop when she saw the stricken look on Wendy’s face.

 

                “I’m okay. I’m okay now,” she took Wendy’s hand and pulled her to the bed, making her sit beside her. “I’m sorry.”

 

                (She didn’t know where the courage was from, but maybe it was because her senses were overridden with almost dying that she forgot about her initial thoughts about her and Wendy’s relationship.)

 

                Wendy let out a very shaky breath and held Joohyun’s hands tightly, almost as if she couldn’t believe what had happened.

 

                (Joohyun couldn’t believe it either. She almost died.)

 

                “Don’t do that again…” Wendy put their hands to her chest, and Joohyun flushed at how she could feel the younger girl’s hammering heartbeat. “You gave us quite a scare…”

 

                Joohyun noticed something rough on Wendy’s hands, and noticed that the girl had scratches and cuts over it. “You’re hurt!” She tried to stand up and get Seulgi’s first aid kit in the bathroom, but she was too weak. Wendy held her down with a tight hug that was shakier than Seulgi’s.

 

                “I’m fine. Don’t move too much, please. Rest. Just rest, Irene.”

 

                Joohyun hated how Seulgi and Wendy got into her emotional side so easily, how much she just crumbles around them with two different kinds of love that weren’t really that different.

 

                She hummed, nodding, and sank back into Wendy’s arms that give her so much to feel and so much warmth. She felt her eyelids drooping, and she did doze off for a bit.

 

                When she woke up again, maybe 5 minutes later, she was cuddling with Wendy, (Joohyun’s head by the crook of Wendy’s neck and their limbs tangled together) who was playing with her hair.

 

                “Comfy?” Wendy gave her a soft smile, feeling the voice rumble from .

 

                Joohyun grinned, feeling too weak to be embarrassed and too lightheaded to move away. “Surprisingly. You’re so warm, though.”

 

                “I’ve been told I’m hot quite often.”

 

                She laughed, “A human heater. Guess Seulgi wasn’t joking when she said you’ll help me warm up.”

 

                Wendy giggled, and the sound made Joohyun feel better.

 

                Joohyun held Wendy’s hand, inspecting. “What happened?”

 

                The younger girl shrugged. “Seulgi told you I had to get here in 3 minutes, right?”

 

                Joohyun nodded.

 

                “I got here 30 seconds earlier. Could’ve gotten here 30 seconds earlier than that if I hadn’t fallen off of my bike because of a stupid driver.”

 

                “That was dangerous,” she frowned. 2 minutes and 30 seconds for a usually 7-minute ride. She couldn’t wrap her head around it. Not that she can wrap her head around anything else.

 

                Wendy rose a brow at her. “You almost died, Irene. And you’re telling me rushing here to save you was dangerous?”

 

                Joohyun smiled weakly, not planning on giving a retort because she knew she’ll lose. She kissed Wendy’s fingers and knuckles. “Please let Seulgi treat them.”

 

                She felt Wendy nod.

 

                There was silence again.

 

                How long was Seulgi planning on getting her food?

 

                “I was so scared, you know,” Wendy started, tracing circles on Joohyun’s arms with her finger. “Not as scared as Seulgi was, but I think it was pretty close.”

 

                Once again, Joohyun felt drowsy with the circles and Wendy’s soft, soft voice. “Why?”

 

                “I could’ve lost you. That was all I was thinking about while I biked here faster than some Olympic medalists. I had to get there fast because I was losing you.”

 

                Joohyun knew she wouldn’t remember any of this, but she made an effort despite the sleepiness. “You’re quite attached, aren’t you?”

 

                “Too much, as you can see. I… hope you can finally see it.” Wendy paused and kissed her crown. “Go sleep.”

 

                So she did sleep. And she did forget about the conversation.

 

~o~

 

It was 11:35am when Joohyun woke up again, this time alone in the room.

 

                Groggy with sleep and perhaps the regenerating life force, she made her way to the bathroom. She washed her face, and there was no excuse (really) to hear the shower being used and low humming and forgetting there was a third girl in the house.

 

                “Seulgi? Where’s my food?” She knocked on the misted glass.

 

                “Ire—”

 

                “Wan, here’s a towel,” Seulgi appeared by the door. Joohyun turned around slowly, her friend looking at her with the same surprise that was probably on her face. “Hyun, what’re you doing here?”

 

                Wendy’s head peeked at them, her cheeks red. “Sorry, I should have left a note by the door.”

 

                Joohyun’s eyes followed a drop of water that fell from one of Wendy’s bangs that travelled to her nose, down to the corner of her lips, then moved to her chin, then falling onto her collarbone, and sliding—

 

                “Sorry!” She covered her face, nearly slipping on the way out.

 

                She jumped onto Seulgi’s bed and covered herself with the blanket. Her entire body felt hot, now too hot compared to how cold it was some hours ago.

 

                Feeling a presence of someone by the foot of the bed, Joohyun craned her neck to look who it was.

 

                Seulgi was smirking at her.

 

                “Hyun, first you go into a near-death state that almost gave us a heart attack, and now you’re walking into the bathroom while Wendy’s showering? You’ve gotten really bold for someone who almost died.”

 

                Joohyun wanted to strangle herself. Maybe Seulgi, too. She desperately sputtered, “I didn’t know it was her! I—why is she showering here anyway?”

 

                “Well, if you biked a 7-minute distance in 2 and a half, then had to lull someone to sleep under thick blankets and comforters, you’re surely sweat a lot, don’t you think?”

 

                Joohyun cursed under her breath. “You’re a bully.”

 

                Seulgi huffed, looking smug. “Just pointing out facts, Hyun.

 

                When Wendy came out of the bathroom, drying her hair, Joohyun felt like she was shot in the gut. Seulgi’s clothes were adorable on her, seeing as the brunette is taller than her. The oversized shirt’s hem reached just by Wendy’s thighs and it almost looked like she wasn’t wearing shorts underneath.

 

                (She knew she was wearing one but… the other thought made her want to go to the church.)

 

                “S-sorry,” Joohyun apologized. (Half because she walked in on Wendy showering, the other half because of what she had just thought.)

 

                Wendy waved her hands, “No problem! It’s okay, really. Innocent mistake.”

 

                Innocent.

 

                Hngh.

 

                “Sorry, Hyun’s just a careless little bunny,” Seulgi cracked a smile, looking apologetic but mischievous at the same time. (How?)

 

                “I’ll get your food,” said Wendy, bouncing towards her and giving her an innocent peck on the lips before bounding downstairs.

               

                Joohyun felt giddy, feeling hopeful that maybe the reason why Wendy would risk herself to save her was because she was more than a friend—

 

                “Or maybe she didn’t want you to die.”

 

                Oh here we go again.

 

                Seulgi was frozen, still with playfulness on her lips.

 

                Aphrodite stood in front of her with her arms crossed and a frown on her beautiful face. “What are you doing?”

 

                Joohyun wasn’t sure what she was pertaining to.

 

                “You almost gotten yourself killed,” the goddess spat the word as if it was taboo. “What were you thinking?”

 

                Joohyun felt smaller with the anger of the goddess. “Sorry,” she answered lamely.

 

                “Idiot.” She was reminded of Seulgi saying the same, and soon the deity engulfed her in a hug that also reminded her of the brunette.

 

                Was this how sisters would be?

 

                “Please be careful, Irene.”

 

                “I will. I’m sorry, that’ll be the last time.”

 

                Aphrodite sighed through her nose and patted Joohyun’s back before letting go.

 

                “I don’t have that much time again, but I’ve convinced Apollo to introduce me to his ward.”

 

                “Why?”

 

                “Because Greek gods are troublesome and competitive. And they want to know who their wards are up against.”

 

                “Wait… but… I’m your ward too…?”

 

                Aphrodite nodded, running a hand through her silver hair tiredly. “You’ll be meeting Apollo too.”

 

                First, she almost died, and now she’s going to meet another Greek god who also has a lot of time on his hands. Talk about a busy day.

 

                “When?”

 

                “In a few.”

 

                “Where?” The anxiety was bubbling in her because she most definitely was not prepared to meet the sun god, and she was sure she looked as unprepared as she thought. Purple pajamas with green symbols? Yikes.

 

                “Here. Then he’d go to his ward’s house and introduce us.”

 

                “Who’s his ward?”

 

                “I have no clue.”

 

                “Can I please get a different set of clothes?” Joohyun begged, looking at how her patron goddess was wearing a gown fit for the Met Gala while she’s dressed like how she was.

 

                “Of c—he’s here,” the goddess paused her hand and turned.

 

                There was a crack in the air, and Seulgi’s room suddenly felt hot. In a bright light, the Greek god appeared in front of them.

 

                He wasn’t what Joohyun expected, especially with how grand Aphrodite was. Apollo was all curly blonde hair and tanned skin, wearing a simple white V-neck and khaki shorts above white Vans shoes. Shades were perched onto his strong nose, covering eyes Joohyun was sure were gold and godly.

 

                Aphrodite narrowed her eyes at him suspiciously. Joohyun found this moment to bow at the god. “Nice to meet you, milord.”

 

                “Oh, how convenient!” Apollo grinned, looking as bright as the sun with his perfect white teeth. “We can introduce our wards at the same time.”

 

                The goddess of love looked confused, and so was Joohyun. Aphrodite put a hand on Joohyun’s shoulder, “This is my ward, Bae Joohyun.”

 

                Apollo whistled. “She looks just like the first girl. Irene, was it?” He paused, his ear twitching as if he was hearing something a mortal obviously couldn’t. “I see that she is also called such. Don’t worry, my ward will be here in 20 seconds.”

 

                Aphrodite stayed silent, squeezing Joohyun’s shoulder. Joohyun looked up to her patron, “What is it?”

 

                The other girl looked struck, her face getting pale. “It’s—”

 

                “Ah, my ward!” Apollo beamed at the door, which began to open.

 

                Wendy entered the room with a tray of food in front of her. She stopped when she saw Joohyun, then, for some reason that made her stomach drop, her eyes shifted to Aphrodite, who bristled beside Joohyun, and to Apollo who looked as excited as a god could get.

 

                “Irene…? I— Apollo, what’s going on?” Wendy furrowed her eyebrows.

 

                Joohyun was too stunned to speak.

 

                Apollo, being a good head taller than Wendy, rested his elbow on her head playfully. He gave an exaggerated wave with his other hand.

 

                She couldn’t breathe. That’s not possible—this—

 

                The sun god smiled cruelly. “Meet my ward, Son Seungwan. Though I would think you are well acquainted with her already.”

 


 

tententenTENNNNNN bam the slight angst ive been wanting to pUt yO

I don’t know if I’ve foreshadowed this enough about Wendy and Apollo’s connection but ykno

sometimes i'm just confused @ myself lol

thanks for the votes and the comments omg yall are sO ADORABLE

routine showering of cookies and love! <3

hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

 

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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.