Chapter 1

Beauty & The Beast
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I feel bad this was posted so late but the story grew by itself and I had no control over it and everything was falling apart as I sobbed at Jamie and Fynn about how the story was spirally out of control, resulting in a 16k piece that will be separated into 2 chapters. Part 2 will come out real soon, since I'm done with writing.

Anyway, I recently graduated from uni and managed to take pictures with our mandu bong :D Truly was a great day for that reason alone.

Without further ado, here's my contribution for Winter Hearth's first project, hope you'll like it :)

 

 

Lovers did not always start that way. More often than not, they were friends. Before that, strangers.

 

In a few, very, very rare cases, lovers were enemies before they crossed the thin line between love and hate; and that was the legendary story passed from mouth to mouth in Villeneuve High School. Each time the story was told, another detail was added, making it became more embellished and fuddled by a new retelling.

 

But really, the core of the story was simple, just like a tale as old as time.

 

A Beauty fell in love with a Beast – and the Beast loved her back.

 

*

 

Irene slapped her locker’s door, closing it with a loud bang. A few people winced at the noise and a girl even jumped at her spot in shock but no one dared to protest to her face. Everyone wanted to live their high school days in peace without being glared at by a whole squad of Beauties. While it might sound nice, in reality it just made you a target of constant unnecessary attention by other people who were vying for Beauties’ attention. Many had changed school due to the reason that they had pissed of a Beauty alone and when it came to Irene, the students became all the more aware of their interaction with her.

 

Except for one.

 

Irene strode to the other side of the hallway, accompanied by her usual minions, with her best friends, Seulgi Kang and Joy Park by her sides and the other girls tailing them closely. They stopped right before two girls. One of the girls were casually leaning in closer to the other girl who had her back against the lockers, face clearly uncomfortable by the uninvited attention but she was too scared to refuse the advance.

 

“Rosé. To me.”

 

Irene’s low and cold voice send shivers to the listeners. Rosé scooted to Irene’s side and joined the girls standing behind her while Irene continued to glare at the girl who was chatting Rosé up a moment ago, trying to hold herself back from slapping the said girl when she saw the sleazy look and offhanded smirk on the girl’s face.

 

“Hey Bae-tch, are you jealous that I’m paying attention to one of the other Beauties instead of you?”

 

The mocking tone grated Irene’s ears but she took a deep breath and tried to compose herself. They had had public squabbles before and the results were not pretty – Irene could still recall the shrill voice of Principal BoA telling them to become examples for other students, or else.

 

Irene would rather not find out what ‘or else’ entailed.

 

“I thought we had an agreement; you will leave my girls alone when they say they aren’t interested, Wendy.”

 

Her opponent, Wendy straightened her posture as she stared directly into Irene’s eyes before shrugging. “You made the deal with Chanyeol and his Beasts, not mine.”

 

“You were there, listening and you didn’t object a single word when we discussed that day. Don’t give me this attitu-“

 

Wendy cut Irene off before she could finish talking. “Well, yeah. I was there because Chanyeol said pretty girls would be there so I tagged along. I can’t actually be bothered to hear the s you were saying.”

 

There were some sniggers among the crowd but those quickly died down when they felt the temperature surrounding them dropped a few degrees.

 

Irene Bae was getting pissed.

 

Before she could open and said something that would start an argument that would lead them back to the principal’s room again, they heard a loud voice calling Wendy’s name. All heads were stretched as they looked around, trying to find the source of the voice but Irene and Wendy were still locked in their glaring contest.

 

A few seconds later, a girl and a tall boy wearing a varsity jacket ran through the crowd and panted hard as the boy wrapped an arm around Wendy. He had clearly been running through quite a distance before he made it there. Beside him, there girl was coughing and trying to catch her breath but she clearly looked relieved.

 

“Chanyeol? Why are you here? I thought the boys have stamina training this morning? Yeri?”

 

A perplexed Wendy stared at her best friend and one of her teammates. Yeri just grinned at her while Chanyeol flicked the side of her forehead, inciting a loud ‘Ouch!’.

 

“You . You thought I wouldn’t find out? Luckily Yeri ran to the field to inform me.” Chanyeol murmured then quickly turned to Irene and bowed slightly at the angry girl.

 

“Sorry, Beauty’s captain. Our female Beast’s captain doesn’t have enough brain cells to process simple order outside the diamond.” Chanyeol placed a palm over Wendy’s mouth, grimacing when he felt her and spitting on it but he did not budge, afraid that if he removed his hand, Wendy might say something worse.

 

“That’s okay, I wasn't sure if she had had any in the first place.” Wendy glared sharply at Irene’s reply but the Beauty was unbothered. “I heard your first game is this Saturday, Yeol. Good luck to you and your team.”

 

“Yeah, thanks. You and your girls are invited to our game this Saturday and to the girls’ game on Sunday.”

 

Irene gave a polite smile and shook her head. “No thanks, we will be having practice on both days.”

 

“Ah, figures. Just know that y’all are invited if you ever find free time alright? Now, if you’ll excuse me.”

 

Chanyeol smiled widely in a very unnatural way and nodded to the whole Beauty squad as he dragged Wendy by the collar of her varsity jacket. It was his way of pulling the girl with him while at the same time, wiped the girl’s drool on her own outfits. Wendy grumbled and struggled to break free but she was not really trying very hard. Instead, as they walked past Irene’s squad, she winked at Joy, Irene’s co-captain and received a smack on the by the tall girl in return.

 

Wendy laughed as she finally pulled her collar away from Chanyeol’s grip, properly this time and walked together with the giant and Yeri who was hopping alongside them. Meanwhile, the crowd slowly dispersed when they realized the drama they were watching before had ended instead of being escalated according to their imagination.

 

However, none of the spectators noticed Irene's look of disbelief and betrayal directed at Joy.

 

“What?”

 

Joy asked as she flipped her hair, pointedly ignoring the murmurs surrounding her. Irene wished she could chokeslam her best friend for acting so nonchalant when she obviously the reason for the buzz around her.

 

“You and Wendy…when? How?” Seulgi was the one who asked the burning question in everyone’s minds, albeit being less eloquent than Irene had wished in the first place.

 

“Hey, you said she has to leave our girls alone only when we are not interested. But me? I’m very interested. Now let’s get a move on before we’re late for class.”

 

The girls quickly walked behind their vice captain as they bade goodbyes to the captain of their cheerleading squad. Irene nodded to the greetings as she pressed her fingers against her forehead, distressed by the turn of events.

 

Seulgi looked back and forth between her two best friends whose distance between each other grew more than could be seen in the past 5 minutes before she softly remarked, “Well, that was unexpected.”

 

*

 

“, why did you have to in Chanyeol? That really thought she’s running the whole school just because she’s the captain of Beauty…”

 

“Well, aren’t you the same?” Chanyeol rebutted, observing his best friend and co-captain pacing restlessly in front of him.

 

“Excuse me?”

 

“That’s not the point right now isn’t it? You promised me you won’t argue with her anymore but you went and broke the promise in less than a week. The hell, Son? You know Principal BoA might not let you play if you get caught in a screaming match with Irene again.”

 

“Well, on the plus side, she can’t lead her squad as well so…”

 

Chanyeol scoffed. “Knock it off. Her squad needs her, and your team needs you. Don’t get so petty just because you were rejected by her two years ago.”

 

“I told you that’s not the case!”

 

Wendy hissed angrily and Yeri, who was stretching on the ground near them widened her eyes at this. “Unnie? You got rejected by Irene? Oh my-“

 

“Yeri, shut up. I didn’t get rejected by her. She just…told me politely that she doesn’t date jocks. That’s all.”

 

The grumpy reply from Wendy caused Chanyeol to snort while Yeri cackled amusedly.

 

“Honestly, can’t blame her. She had been hit on since the first time she had been in a sports competition, cheering with Beauties. Most of them were rowdy too, explains why she just steers clear of them most of the time. Now that she’s the captain, I guess she advised her girls that it’s not wise to date jocks. Not that I would disagree with her.”

 

“You talk as if you’re not one of us, Chanyeol.”

 

“I’m gay and aual, Wendy.”

 

Wendy threw her hands in the air in frustration. “Yes, Chanyeol Park, I’m very aware of that fact. But still…she’s nice to you.”

 

“We just act civilized around each other, I wouldn’t exactly call that nice. Wait, are you actually jealous that we can talk to each other without ripping each other's head off?”

 

“…No? How did you even arrive to that conclusion?”

 

“Because I’ve known you for years and you’re such an attention when it comes to Irene; I’ve never seen you act that way with anyone else.”

 

Wendy pushed Chanyeol’s shoulder, irritated by the stuffs he was saying and the taller guy retaliated by grabbing her neck in a chokehold. He laughed as Wendy struggled to break free. Yeri, who was silently observing the two best friends could not help but to ask curiously,

 

“Does Wendy unnie only flirt with Beauties because she wants Irene to pay attention to her?”

 

“Yeri, shut up!”

 

*

 

Irene titled her body by the railing, squinting her eyes as she tried to see clearly what was going on because by the cheers generated around her, something magnificent had apparently transpired but she seemed to be the only one at a loss.

 

“Seulgi.”

 

She called out softly to her best friend who was cheering along with others and Seulgi turned around to look at her, concerned coloured her face.

 

“Are you okay, unnie? Do you need anything? If you’re tired, you can always just take a seat you know, the game has just started and it might take a while before it ends.”

 

“I’m fine, Sseul. It’s just…what happened just now? Why did you cheer so much?”

 

Irene asked rather shyly. Although she was the captain of their school’s cheerleading team and had often been dispatched to various types of sporting competitions, she had never been bothered to learn the rules for any of them. Her main interest had always been in cheerleading. Normally, she would not attend any sporting events that did not require her team but it was the weekend, their usual practice sessions had been cancelled, her two best friends had informed her that they would be here for the good part of the day and Irene was bored.

 

That was how she found herself standing among other spectators today, watching a Beast’s game. She crinkled her nose in distaste as the fact was drummed in her head. The female Beast team. While their school had many other sports teams, only one team coveted the honour of being called ‘Beast; that was their school’s softball team. Irene heard that they had won the nationals several times and they also joined open competitions, which was uncommon for high schools softball team. And each time, they would perform splendidly well - both male and female teams.

 

Her own cheerleading squad was revered as the one of the best in their country as well. Together, they were Beauty and the Beast – the prides of Villeneuve High.

 

“Oh! Wendy had just prevented the opponent from scoring a point. It was so close, unnie! She only managed to tap her opponent’s foot lightly in the last minute, almost being tackled out in the process but she held her ground and now they're changing field. That was amazing.”

 

Seulgi gushed and Irene’s distaste grew. “So you’re here because of her as well?”

 

“What? Uh, I guess yeah, partly. She’s my friend after all But Sunmi unnie is also a Beast and I’m here to watch her, actually.”

 

Seulgi pointed out to a girl who was walking in from the field and Irene took note of Wendy who was taking off her mask instead, smiling brightly as she waved at her fans in the stands who were busy screaming out her name.

 

“Why is Wendy the only one wearing a mask?”

 

“Oh! That’s because she’s the catcher, unnie.” Irene furrowed her brows in confusion and Seulgi laughed when she noticed it. Seulgi glanced at the field again, making sure nothing interesting was happening before she turned to her captain, ready to explain.

 

“Basically, if I have to liken Wendy’s position…it’s like being a goalkeeper in football, unnie. She is the final defense of the team before their opponent scores a point. She’s also the one tasked to catch the pitcher’s ball – the pitcher of the team is Sejeong, the one throwing ball on the field for the opponents to hit it. Once the ball is hit, the rest of the defenders will throw it to the bases so that they can take out their opponent. Wendy is at the home base, the most important plate as once someone walked past it, they will gain a score for their team. Oh, the place they’re playing at is called a diamond by the way, since it’s shaped like one.”

 

Irene frowned again, but for a completely different reason this time.

 

“Wouldn’t it be easier if they just don’t throw the ball? Then no one would be able to hit it.”

 

‘And I won’t have to understand this nonsense.’

 

Irene grumbled in her mind but Seulgi just laughed and waved her off. “That’s no fun, unnie. Also, if the pitcher is exceptionally good – or the hitter is exceptionally bad, they can take out the hitter by throwing three strikes. That will cause the hitter to lose a turn by default. When three hitters are taken out, it’s time to change their offense and defense position. Since the person Wendy took out just now was their third hitter, Beast will play in the offensive now.”

 

The captain nodded, sighing as she tried to store the information generously provided by Seulgi. “I think memorizing cheer formation is easier than understanding softball rules.”

 

“It isn’t that bad. I’m glad that you’re coming with me and Joy today to see the game.”

 

“Speaking of Joy…” Irene’s voice trailed off. “Why is she down there, handing drinks to Wendy?”

 

Seulgi looked down at the field again and she shook her head and suppressed a smile when she saw Joy chatting to Wendy, playing with her hair as she spoke while the catcher gulped down her drink.

 

“They’ve been pretty close these days. Joy has been coming to our class lately, you know? I think she’s always hanging around Beasts during their practice as well when we’re not having ours.”

 

“Does she really like that obnoxious girl?” Irene tsk-ed. While she was monitoring Joy, she saw some other Beasts were walking over to the girl and joined in her conversation with Wendy.

 

“Hurmm. I can’t speak for her but I won’t be surprised if she does. Wendy is kind and cheerful, and she’s like, the most popular girl in our school except for you, of course. She’s a charismatic captain and aside of her random flirting bouts, she’s great to be around.”

 

“Have she ever hit on you?”

 

“My, aren’t you curious today, unnie?”

 

Irene rolled her eyes when she saw Seulgi’s teasing smile. Her best friend, and a few other Beauties had a theory that somehow, Irene and Wendy secretly liked each other and the high strung tension between them whenever they met was actually .

 

“Stop it with the conspiracy theory, Kang. I asked you about two different things but you were the one who kept inserting Wendy in your explanation.”

 

“Can’t help it. Those two different things – Joy and softball – are associated with Wendy. That’s why you are curious about them, right? As for the answer to your last question, no, not really. She’s a greasy and flirtatious person by nature. Once you hang around her long enough, you start to just get used to it. But she does have a lot of other redeeming qualities.”

 

Irene was not completely convinced and her disbelief showed on her face. Seeing this, Seulgi could not resist adding,

 

“You know, people say that hate and love aren’t that different. They’re just two different sides of the same coin. Be careful on hating Wendy too much, unnie. You might just find yourself being a little too much in love one day.”

 

“People are wrong, Seulgi.”

 

*

 

People were indeed wrong.

 

Nobody knew what happened clearly since everything happened too fast but Seulgi had it burned in her memory, play by play, like the highlights of a very intense game.

 

Things maybe started to go wrong when Irene said that she wanted to sit, tired from having to hear rowdy cheers and attempting to follow the game unfolding before her. Seulgi nodded, not giving her best friend much thought since she was engrossed in trying to catch her crush, Sunmi’s attention. Seulgi was staring at the bench where the players were seated and she barely noticed the sound when a bat hit a ball.

 

However, she could not miss the foul ball that was hit wrongly flew a little too close over her head and when she turned around in panic, she became the front seat spectator of a very fast foul ball hitting Irene’s forehead as the girl yelped loudly in pain.

 

She probably should have done something the next moment but she was too baffled, too much in shock as she heard laughter from the diamond behind her, the voice of someone that sounded a little too much like her classmate yelling her apology but it was clearly not accepted when Irene, in her fury of being hit, strode determinedly to Seulgi’s side, took of her shoes and…

 

…threw them to Wendy while screaming profanities through it all. What made it worse, Wendy walked closer to the stands and shouted back at Irene. Before long, those two were in a heated screaming competition while Beasts winced as they looked at their captain, not sure if they were brave enough to stop her when she was this heated up. Seulgi could have tried to stop Irene, but she got tongue-tied, unsure of how to react when she saw her usually calm captain just lost composure and her kind classmate shouted words she never knew Wendy was capable of.

 

Even the opposing team was rendered speechless by the incident right in front of them.

 

It only ended when Yunho, the Beasts’ coach pulled Wendy back and told her sternly to get back in the game and dispatched a few of the Beasts (and Joy) to attend to Irene.

 

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wenderpul
Hi! Thank you for reading the story. I love reading your comments, they honestly make me smile and brighten up my day. Unfortunately, I'm not good at replying back to each comment as I'm socially crippled D: But I really love them, so thank you for all the comments and upvotes! <3

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wendybae_22
16 streak #1
Penasaran
chchcn #2
Chapter 2: Well i forgot how many times i came back to read it all over again hehehe
Jamess #3
congrats on the features
zero309
#4
Chapter 2: Nice story with cute ending.... ^^
iamriou_
1228 streak #5
congrats on the featured otornim!
Baddogsucks
791 streak #6
Chapter 2: Nice job author-nim. I enjoyed it👍
zero309
#7
Chapter 1: Ohhooo 😏
AvoGato
#8
RAWIEEEEE congratz for being featured!!!
Jamess #9
wenrene ☺️
RedVelvet_baby
#10
Always fun to read