epilogue

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​​​​​​A/N: a lot of people had asked me for a sequel when i posted the first chapter and at first i thought i wouldn't want to make one, the ending felt good enough for me, but then one day i just felt the Urge to write domestic seulrene and i thought... maybe i could write a short epilogue with about 4k words or something. and then i started writing and writing and well, here's 13k

(there's a bit of a time jump here and there, i hope it's not confusing)

anyways, hope yall enjoy it! and for those of you who don't know, my twitter is @tinyrene :) feel free to talk to me about whatever

 

 

The keys fall down into a noisy mess on the hallway floor before Seulgi can manage to find the right one to open her apartment door. She has to pinch the bridge of her nose to prevent herself from just kicking it open with how impatient she is after the day she just had.

That’s why it takes longer than it probably should, considering her weariness and something beyond it she can’t quite explain, for Seulgi to finally fit the right key in the knob, ready for a bath and some shut eye.

Except that when the door finally creaks open, the sight that greets her is familiar and new all the same.

For starters, she’s not alone.

Joohyun is there, sitting on the couch while she has her legs propped on the center table. Her laptop is on her thighs and she looks like she was expecting Seulgi, but not exactly. Woojin is lying by her side, still in his ballet clothes, supporting his head on her shoulder like he was watching what she was doing but fell asleep halfway through it.

Joohyun doesn’t seem to notice Seulgi’s presence for a few minutes, or if she does, she ignores it.

It’s an adorable sight, Seulgi admits, even more when she notices how hard it is for Joohyun to type anything with Woojin’s weight on her right side, and yet she makes no move to push him away.

It has happened before – coming home to Joohyun, even if that was Seulgi’s apartment, not theirs (yet, maybe), was something Seulgi was sure she could get used to. But she also notices there’s something wrong.

From where she stands, Seulgi can see the tense muscles on her back, how her breath shudders as she throws her head back and hides her forehead in the triangle her elbow forms when the arm is bent. Joohyun’s shoulders are slumped, not only because of Woojin’s weight, but because she is undoubtedly very tired too.

Seulgi takes another step inside and with a drawn out sigh that sounds a lot more worried than what she aimed for, she croaks out, “Joohyun?”

The woman jumps on her seat, spooked, right hand resting on top of the left side of her chest.

“Seul, hi,” she greets her, a gentle curve to her lips. Her mood is completely changed, and she seems more lively, like a battery that had just been recharged.

“I thought you were working late today. Something about a choreography that needed to be changed last minute?” Seulgi points out, a frown between her brows.

She takes out her coat, lazily, hangs it on the rack before setting the bags she brought aside. Almost in tiptoes, Seulgi walks closer to Woojin, pressing a warm kiss to his forehead before moving towards Joohyun, her hand easily finding its way to her head to lovingly her hair.

“Yerim practically kicked me out of the school, so…” she trails off, leaning into the touch like a cat seeks out for affection.

“So you decided to bring work home?” Seulgi asks, half laughing.

“I’m sorry.” Joohyun looks up, not seeming sorry at all as their eyes meet. She holds Seulgi’s face with her left hand, fondly brushing her thumb over the smooth skin as she leans in to leave a brief yet soft kiss to her lips.

Seulgi smiles when they break it, waving off the apology like she doesn’t really know why Joohyun is apologizing in the first place.

“It’s fine.” The words are usual and vague, but she means it more than anything. “You know, I was sort of hoping to see you actually, just maybe not today,” she sheepishly admits.

Joohyun quirks up an eyebrow, a silent request for her to go on.

“Seungwan brought this expensive wine yesterday saying she recommended it to you before? And I thought I could come over tomorrow so we would, I don’t know, maybe relax a bit…” Seulgi tries, pulling out the skin on the corner of with her teeth. She knows how hard Joohyun has been working these past months, trying to prove herself even more.

“You’re not up for it today?” Joohyun asks, but it doesn’t sound forceful or annoyed. If anything, she seems concerned and Seulgi can’t help but feel warm at the actual question that is left unsaid. It’s Joohyun’s way of asking if she’s okay, if she wants to talk it out, if she needs anything.

“You’re here already, we might as well start it a day earlier,” she jokes, deflecting. She’s well aware Joohyun is going to pry further later, but for now Seulgi is thankful she lets it slide.

“You know I can’t really say no to that,” she says instead. Seulgi leans in for another kiss, but Joohyun stops her halfway, a hand in her chest blocking her from getting closer and her nose wrinkled playfully. “After you shower, though.”

Seulgi giggles, lighthearted, and kisses her either way.


 

.


 

When Seulgi comes back, Joohyun is still watching something in her laptop, completely focused, a crinkle in her forehead and all that.

Woojin isn’t there anymore, so Seulgi assumes her girlfriend put him to bed already. She makes a mental note to remind Joohyun later that he can’t just sleep without showering just because he’s tired.

She doesn’t even need to say anything at first because almost as if reading her mind, Joohyun raises her eyes only slightly and gives her a closed mouthed smile that tells she’s already aware of what Seulgi is going to say.

“I’ll wake him up later and run a bath, I promise,” she says, holding Seulgi’s pinky with her hand and bringing it up to kiss it. “And I’m almost done here.”

Seulgi nods, but doesn’t join her yet. Instead, she takes a few steps back and leans against the wall to continue watching Joohyun doing her job. Watches as Joohyun bites her nail absent-minded, only to shake her head as soon as she notices what she just did.

Seulgi stares at the subtle move of her left eyebrow when Joohyun purses her lips – said lips that move every once in a while as she hums the song the other ballerinas are dancing to on the screen.

“You look beautiful, you know?” she says before she can stop herself, head slightly tilted to the side as she eyes Joohyun carefully and comes to her side.

The compliment doesn't quite land – if anything, Joohyun seems more taken aback than actually pleased.

“You don't have to say this just because I –” she stops, gesturing to her face like that was supposed to make whatever she meant to say obvious. Joohyun shakes her head. “I look like I haven’t slept in days.”

Seulgi frowns. “Have you?”

Joohyun’s hands come to her lap, distraught eyes avoiding Seulgi’s as she answers, “I took a nap earlier.”

“Naps don’t count,” Seulgi reprimands. Her words sound softer once she says them out loud and she’s pretty sure she doesn't sound as demanding as she would like. “You’re the one who kept saying I should live a little and not focus on my job all the time.”

“I don’t even work that much!”

“Lately you do.” Seulgi sounds so defeated, like a child who just got scolded, and Joohyun pouts with how adorable she looks.

“It’s just for the winter recital, you know that.”

“Still, you should take better care of yourself.”

“I have you. And you do that better than me.”

“That’s all I am to you?” Seulgi crosses her arms over her chest, a supposedly intimidating look that only brings a laugh out of Joohyun’s lips.

“Yes, my guardian angel.” She nags at Seulgi’s arm, that annoying and convinced grin never wearing off.

Seulgi rolls her eyes good-naturedly, leaves a kiss on the top of Joohyun's head before walking away. She goes to the kitchen, coming back a few moments after grabbing a wine bottle along with two glasses.

Joohyun is still immersed in her laptop when she returns, barely sparing a glance up to where Seulgi is, and the lawyer wonders if she’s said something wrong with how quiet she is. She doesn’t dwell into it, Joohyun can be way too private sometimes, especially when she’s buried in her work.

Instead she merely pours the wine into both glasses and sits on the couch until Joohyun finally looks at her direction with a small, timid smile.

“I’m done for the night,” she says, in such a low voice Seulgi doubts she would’ve heard it if the apartment wasn’t so quiet.

There’s that look on Joohyun’s face again, the one that tells Seulgi she’s hiding something, that makes Seulgi’s stomach drop in worry.

Joohyun lets out a relieved sigh, shoulders heavy and expression soft but sad as she scoots closer to Seulgi on the couch.

“Are you okay?” Seulgi concernedly asks, opening her arms so Joohyun can fit in them, and so she does.

A pause, then Joohyun says, “Yeah. Just tired.”

Seulgi debates whether to press further or not, if she should mention it at all, but the fear of overwhelming Joohyun wins and she slips down in her seat, doing her best to convey everything she wants to say in a simple hug.

Another kiss on the top of her head, a gentle hold on her hand and Joohyun’s already pulling back, but not away from Seulgi. Never from Seulgi.

And then she beams, bright and genuine as she laces their fingers together. “Now come on, tell me about your day.”

Seulgi does exactly that. Talking comes easily, the unfunny jokes even more. She’s glad Joohyun also has a dry humor.

(Maybe she doesn’t, maybe she just laughs to make Seulgi happy, but for now, she doesn’t care.)

Joohyun’s about three glasses into the wine when Seulgi notices how slow she seems, hesitant at every move she makes. The tiny giggles that she lets out every single time Seulgi opens to say something it’s actually what makes it obvious.

“Did you eat today?” Seulgi asks after a while, and Joohyun adorably frowns, as if analyzing the words to make sense of the question itself. “I feel like you’re a little bit too lightheaded for someone who’s only had two glasses and a half of wine.”

Joohyun shrugs, carefully sipping her wine once more and ignoring Seulgi completely. That’s all the answer Seulgi needs.

“There you go again forgetting meals.” She clicks her tongue, hoping to sound upbraiding, but by now she should’ve known better.

They’ve been together for ten months, after all. Seulgi should’ve known that with how big her soft spot for Joohyun is, she could never actually scold her for anything.

“It's good that I have you to remind me, isn't it?” Joohyun wisecracks, fingers at ease as she twirls the wine glass by the stem as if she had wanted a distraction for a while. “I think it’s funny how we were talking about how I should take better care of myself and yet you just told me you almost didn’t eat today because you were busy with this new case.”

“That’s different, okay?” Seulgi cuts in, her index finger pointing at Joohyun accusingly yet playfully. “I always make up for it and it only happens once in a while… with you, though, it’s like an everyday situation lately. Especially when you get too engrossed changing choreos at the last minute and stuff.”

Joohyun arches an eyebrow, mutters quietly under her breath, “I hate you.”

It’s said with such seriousness it could easily pass up as a true statement, but Seulgi knows better than that, so she laughs despite herself.

“Sure you do, Hyun. Sure.” Nose squinted, she eyes Joohyun from head to toe dramatically. “You know, you look kind of hot like this.”

“I look hot when I’m mad?”

Joohyun puts the glass on Seulgi’s center table, circles the opening of the glass with her index finger, lazily dragging it over where she was drinking not long ago.

“Yeah, definitely,” Seulgi breathes out. She traces the stem of her own wine glass, similar to how Joohyun was doing before, distracted, and her eyes wander back to Joohyun, to how the shadows that adorn her face after some rays of moonlight creep through the curtains make her even prettier.

Seulgi puts the glass away, tugs at Joohyun’s wrist demanding and pulls her closer. She quickly puts her legs on either side of Seulgi’s hips and straddles her lap, tucking her face in the crook of her girlfriend’s neck, sighing in satisfaction.

“I think you’re beautiful all the time,” Seulgi says, one hand resting on Joohyun’s waist as she brings the other up just so her fingers graze between her shoulders, enough to send a few shivers down her spine.

“You do?” Joohyun asks, though distracted, arms loose around Seulgi's neck as she nods at the question.

“Yeah. Even if you have this cute pimple on your chin and your hair is a mess and you look tired, you’re the most beautiful human being in the entire universe.” Seulgi starts rubbing circles on Joohyun’s neck.

Joohyun pulls back at this, her eyes comically wide.

“I can’t help but notice you said human, does that mean –”

“Hyunnie…” Seulgi groans and rolls her eyes good- naturedly. She’s not actually mad at Joohyun, never at Joohyun, so she laughs and cups her girlfriend’s face with both hands. Joohyun’s smirk is teasing by the corner of her lips. “Shut up and kiss me.”

So Joohyun does.


 


 

Seulgi notices the heavy steps first. How such small feet can be so loud while repeating moves that are supposed to be smooth, she isn’t sure, but she doesn’t miss it either. For such a big apartment, its acoustic is rather awful.

So, quietly, she makes her way through the hall until she’s on the second door to the left, which is slightly open, and Seulgi takes a peak through the gap.

Woojin has his lips pursed together, eyebrows furrowed as he walks over to the speakers and presses the rewind button. The song restarts and Woojin goes back to where he was standing before.

He takes in a deep breath, closes his eyes and follows the choreography’s steps perfectly, until the song begins to build up – higher and higher and he does his best to follow… until he slips, stumbling on his own feet and falling to the floor with a loud thump.

Woojin barely has the time to groan for his mistake before Seulgi is bursting the door open, grabbing him by the shoulders and holding him in place.

“Are you okay?” Seulgi asks, brushing strands of hair away from his face and looking for any sign of injury as she runs her hands over his sweaty cheeks.

“I’m fine, mom,” he replies quietly, sounding ashamed for some reason. “You can go back to the living room.”

Seulgi frowns, pulling back ever so slightly to look at her son more carefully.

“Is it because you don’t want me to see you dancing?” Woojin sighs and shakes his head. He makes no move to stand up, so Seulgi joins him on the floor. “What is it, then?”

“You were a ballerina, weren’t you?” he asks, such a tiny voice Seulgi almost doesn’t catch.

She hesitates, holds her breath for a few seconds before hushing out, “Yeah, I was.”

“Can you help me with this move?”

“I’m not sure I –”

“Please?”

“Joohyun will be here soon, it’s better if you ask her, honey.” Seulgi brushes his cheek, and he steps back to avoid the touch.

“I don’t want to ask her, mom. I want to show her I can do it by myself,” he insists. “Please, please!”

He tugs at her sleeve, pleading eyes boring into his mom’s, and the twitch to the corner of his mouth reveals how nervous he is to ask her this.

“I haven’t actually danced in a long time,” she tries to tell him, tries to find a way out without hurting either of them. But Woojin’s expression darkens, his eyes seem to dim, and Seulgi hates being who she is right now. “I can try.”

Her son beams as soon as she says it, and it’s not long until they’re both standing in the middle of his room, in front of the large mirror Seulgi had installed in there.

“How is the move again?”

Woojin gets ready to execute it, one leg gracefully in the air behind the other as he raises his arms in a perfect arc over his head, keeping his spine curved right as he bents just so. He keeps his hips squared and stable, then extends an arm out in front of him, the other curved over the barre.

It’s not until the moment he has to change position that Seulgi notices – a tremor. It’s probably why he fell earlier too.

“See, this is called an arabesque,” she begins to explain, moving closer to her son. Seulgi holds his hips, making just a bit of pressure on the spot to explain it better to him. “It’s important you keep all your strength concentrated in your hips, right here.”

Woojin tilts his head to the side, trying to understand. He then repeats the formation, this time slower so his mother can correct him.

“Like this?”

Seulgi shakes her head.

“See, you’re still focusing on the leg that’s supporting your weight holding you en pointe but that’s not what matters right now. You’re still very new to this, so there’s no need for that,” she explains it to him.

Hesitantly, Seulgi raises one of her legs behind her back to try it, but doesn’t hold the position for a second before letting it fall back to its place.

The boy watches her calmly, now standing on both feet, as his mother does her best to teach him. He doesn’t notice it at first, but Seulgi’s hands are shaky when she tries to hold them above her head again, and Seulgi swallows thickly before trying again.

“Like this.”

She feels her muscles pull and stretch, the expansion of her rib cage from her slowly drawn in breath. Seulgi holds the air in her lungs as her body bends, just like Woojin a few seconds before, a perfect juxtaposition of straight back and turned out leg.

It doesn’t last long. The pressure was there the whole moment, but it’s not until she’s holding the position for full five seconds that it completely takes over Seulgi. Her heart jackhammers against her chest, the sweat-damp material of her shirt pressing tighter and tighter as if to cut her air supply.

She storms out of the room before Woojin sees her like this, goes to her own bedroom and closes the door with a loud bang. It’s only then, when she’s sure no one else is around, that Seulgi lets herself fall to the floor.


 

.


 

“Hey, hey, what’s wrong?” comes a familiar voice, like an echo from afar, trying to pull Seulgi back to reality.

She blinks, drawing in a huff of air to control her breathing. Seulgi does her best to focus in the room she’s in, on the hands that cup her face so as to not let her mind slip away again, but everything still seems so blurry and confusing and messy.

“It’s okay, sweetie. It’s okay. You’re okay,” the voice repeats, warm and smooth, like a ray of sun shining on your skin on a cold day.

Slowly, that tight feeling weighting on her chest ebbs away, the pressure around her eyes seems to lessen and Joohyun's face is the first thing Seulgi can see once she opens them again. It’s quite comforting to see she’s there still, but it bobbles painfully inside her rib cage to realize how worried she seems.

“I’m sorry, I just –” Seulgi laughs awkwardly, swallowing hard and doing her best to move away from her girlfriend’s arms. “I don’t know what came over me, I’m so sorry.”

Joohyun's hands come to her shoulders then, and the grip on Seulgi’s upper arms tightens, the feeling of warmth for her being so close becomes almost too much.

“Don’t apologize.” Her voice is firm, adamant, though her expression is a little lost. “Never apologize for this.”

“I’m – It just hasn’t happened in a while.” Seulgi sighs. At Joohyun's silence, she goes on, “The panic attacks, I mean.”

“Were they frequent?”

“It’s been a while,” Seulgi repeats, stubborn. “I haven’t had them since…”

A silence stretches between them for a moment before Seulgi lets out a shaky breath.

“You know what? It’s not important.”

“Seulgi.” Joohyun stretches a hand to prevent Seulgi from walking away from this, but it’s useless, she’s already crawling backwards to where Joohyun can’t reach her. It’s not too far away – Seulgi is still on the floor and Joohyun is on her knees, so all she needed to do was crawl forward just a bit. But she’s always been respectful of Seulgi’s personal space. “I can’t help you if you don’t tell me what’s wrong.”

Seulgi pinches the bridge of her nose, considers her options for a few seconds before she eyes her concerned girlfriend, to the soft wrinkle that has settled in the space between her brows.

“Woojin asked if I wanted to practice with him.”

The wrinkle becomes deeper, and Seulgi feels stupid for even mentioning it.

“I know it’s silly –”

“No, it’s not. It’s not, baby, I promise.” Joohyun reassures, delicately holding Seulgi’s hands that began to move frantically. “And how did that make you feel?”

Joohyun is careful with her words, has always been, and that makes Seulgi love her a little more. It’s a touchy subject, after all; they can only go to a certain extent when talking about Seulgi’s past as a ballerina.

The question, whilst harmless, presses harder against Seulgi’s thorax and she feels in need of fresh air again. So she does what she does best, she deflects.

“I just want to get this over with. I want to support Woojin.”

She thinks of her son, waiting in his room without understanding what just happened; her son, who looks at her like she hung the moon and all stars in the sky, and her chest squeezes harder.

How is that fair to him? She thinks about Woojin being disappointed with her and it feels as if her world was just ripped apart.

“I’m sure he would understand if you said you’re not ready yet,” Joohyun offers, taking a tentative step forward. When there’s no objection, she runs a hand through Seulgi's hair, cups a side of her face with the other. It’s almost embarrassing how Seulgi gives in into the touch.

“And if he doesn’t?”

Joohyun doesn’t falter. “He will.”

Seulgi doesn’t seem convinced.

“Take it easy, okay?” Joohyun says, standing even closer. “One step at a time.”

“Joohyun…”

“One step at a time,” she insists.

Seulgi thanks the lack of judgment in Joohyun’s smile — she really, really likes to smile, and Seulgi doesn’t mind. If anything, she’s more than grateful. It feels like she has her own personal sun, as if she’s lounging by the beach and letting the sound of waves hush her to sleep.

“One step a time,” Seulgi repeats, even if the words sound strange coming out of .


 

.


 

Dinner is quiet that night. Woojin doesn’t comment about what happened earlier, neither does Joohyun, so she assumes her girlfriend talked to him when she was still hiding in her room and for that she’s thankful.

They eat in silence and when they’re done, Seulgi kisses Woojin’s forehead and reminds him she loves him very much.

He’s just eight, and yet Seulgi feels like he’s grown so much already while she wasn’t looking, so she brings him closer and wraps him in a tight hug once realization hits her. He whispers an I love you too back and Seulgi finally lets him go after messing with his hair.

And then she’s alone with Joohyun.

Her girlfriend doesn’t say anything about the incident, merely kisses her temple before muttering a quiet I’ll wash the dishes even though she was the one who cooked.

“My ex used to make fun of me on the last days before I quit ballet,” Seulgi blurts out when Joohyun is focused on washing a plate. Her girlfriend stops what she’s doing, washes her hand and turns off the tap, finally turning around to watch Seulgi. “He said I wasn’t made for ballet. My moves were too sharp, my facial expression wasn’t good enough. Every day when I tried to practice, even if I was alone, I just couldn’t move. And when I did, all I could see was how I was terrible at it and how right he was.”

“You don’t have to –”

“I completely stopped after that,” Seulgi continues, ignoring Joohyun. “I didn’t hesitate to throw most of my stuff away and focus on law school. I didn’t really think about it anymore, not until I met you. And today, trying that arabesque, I couldn’t take my mind off of how his face was so full of hatred whenever I tried to show him what I practiced.”

Seulgi’s cheeks are wet and, embarrassed, she sharply wipes it out with the back of her hand. She sniffles, closing her eyes not to see the look on the teacher’s face.

“But Woojin wanted to impress you so bad, and I thought maybe I could help him, but…”

“You tried your best, that’s what matters,” Joohyun says under her breath. Her hands come to hold Seulgi by the nape, and she soothingly brushes her thumb on the back of her neck. “I’m sure you can do it, you can do anything! I believe in you so much, baby, so much.”

Leaning forward, Joohyun kisses both of Seulgi’s closed eyelids, her cheeks, until she simply supports her forehead on hers.

“Can I kiss you?” she whispers.

The question is sudden, definitely unexpected after such a confession, and Seulgi gives her a lopsided grin. “I thought we were past the stage of having to ask.”

Joohyun laughs and tucks her chin bashfully, shrugging when she looks back at Seulgi.

“You seem upset, that’s all. I don’t want to cross any boundaries or make you uncomfortable.” She gnaws at her bottom lip for a moment. “I just want to make you feel better.”

And all Seulgi can do is close her eyes again, because, oh, Joohyun. Her mind is nothing but echoes of Joohyun, Joohyun, Joohyun. Loving, thoughtful, caring Joohyun.

“You always do. You always make me feel like the happiest woman in the world. Come here,” she breathes, and she sighs profoundly into the soft kiss that Joohyun plants on her lips. Marvels at the pure, aching joy that blooms in her chest and dries the tears underneath her lashes.


 

.


 

Joohyun comes to Seulgi’s apartment earlier than expected after work about two weeks later, only to be met by loud laughs while the low sound of a piano is nothing but background noise.

When the door is pushed open, Seulgi stares bashfully at her girlfriend, aware of the sweat that’s covering her forehead and the stubborn strands of hair all over her head.

“Hey, Hyun,” Seulgi greets her with a smile. “I was just wrapping up with Woojinnie today.”

She watches how Joohyun's expression goes from confused, to unsure, to expectant, and Seulgi giggles like a schoolgirl while she signs to Woojin come closer.

“Kiddo, why don’t you show Hyunnie what you just learned?”

His face lightens up and he nods, running towards the speakers to press rewind. Joohyun sits by her side, not even flinching as Seulgi hugs her from the side, even though she hates when Seulgi does that when she’s sweaty.

For a moment, as she watches Woojin follow the moves for his next presentation without a single stumble, she finds out she doesn’t really care about anything else other than the boy she loves as if he’s her own.

“You were right about what you said when we were still getting to know each other,” Seulgi mumbles, not tearing her eyes away from her son. “Woojin is really too hard on himself, but I’m glad he has you. I mean, I’m glad we have you to remind us there’s more to life than being perfect.”

Joohyun beams, turning her head for the briefest of seconds to look at the wide grin on her girlfriend’s face before looking back at Woojin.

“You know, that ex I told you about left this – this mark in me. He made me believe a lot of things that even now I can no longer say which one is true and which isn’t,” Seulgi goes on. She entwines her fingers with Joohyun's, still not looking at her. “But he said once that I was incapable of true love. He made me believe there was something wrong with me and I’d never know any love other than Woojin’s but not even that meant much, because it’s kind of an obligation to love your child. It’s innate.”

And for the longest time, she just sort of accepted that. She wasn’t capable of love, maybe she didn’t deserve it in the first place.

“But I know better now.”

But then, more than a year and a half ago, Bae Joohyun came crashing into her world, her unconditional affection like a glimpse of light after being kept in the dark her whole life.


 


 

It’s another one of those busy days.

The kind of day Seulgi can’t see Joohyun until late at night because she had an important meeting with a client, with no free time even during lunch hours. The kind of day that only brings frustration out of her, makes her forget why she chose this job in the first place and can’t use her energy to take care of the paperwork that was left on the desk by her boss.

So, almost sensing how the day would end, Seulgi all but drags herself to the café next to the building she works. Almost in automatic mode, she waits in line for a few minutes, and steps to the counter to make her order as if she can barely keep herself up.

“Hi, good morning,” she greets the barista, a tall woman with tanned skin and bright hazel eyes that stare back at her from a small, rounded face, not even waiting for the greeting back before hushing out, “I’ll have a green tea latte and… wait,” Seulgi awkwardly stops herself, her lips turning into a straight line once she remembers that this is so not her order. “Sorry, I confused things. Venti-sized iced coffee, to go.”

Seulgi tries not to make a big deal out of it. Keyword: tries.

The barista doesn’t comment about her slip earlier when she hands over her order and Seulgi goes back to work a few moments later, iced coffee in hands, thoughts of grumpy sulking lips crossing over her mind as she heads back to work.


 

.


 

It’s not a bother, most of the time, to think about Joohyun while she does her usual things. It’s become sort of a habit by now, actually, for Seulgi to look at something and immediately associate with her, with something she’d said or did once. But they’ve been dating for two years, so it’d be safe to assume it would be less frequent by now.

It isn’t. Seulgi doubts it ever will.

Her routine is simple – she checks in at work early, organizes some files in her desk and, in some days, she even leaves the building with Seungwan to meet with a potential client. It is supposed to go on like this today too, just another busy day, but then Seulgi thinks about the date she’d taken Joohyun the night before, their anniversary date, remembers when she took her up to the rooftop of her apartment building and how vulnerable she looked under the night lights.

(“It doesn’t feel like it,” Joohyun had said, arms crossed over her chest to stop the cold.

“Like what?” Seulgi had asked, an arm draped over Joohyun's shoulders to pull her in. She leaned closer, letting herself be squeezed by Seulgi’s arms.

“Like we’re together this long. Two years is a long time for someone whose longest relationship barely lasted six months.”

Seulgi felt the moment Joohyun stiffened in her arms, probably reclusive over talking about the past. It didn’t come easy for her to talk about before, it never did. Whether it was before she cut ties with her family to follow her dream of being a ballerina, before moving to Seoul, before meeting Seulgi – it was one of the few things that Joohyun almost never talked about, and when she did, she talked about it briefly, going through everything in such a shallow way Seulgi could barely make sense of it.

“Did you think it would last?” Joohyun asked all of a sudden.

Seulgi could feel her girlfriend’s hesitation, her reservation even with such an exposing question. She knew where this was going – they’ve been there before, but that didn’t make it any easier.

“What are you talking about?” Seulgi asked, turning her head so she could have a better look at Joohyun.

Hearing Seulgi’s question, she bit her lower lip, apparently not very sure of where to even start.

“Us,” Joohyun mumbled, a little embarrassed, a little sad. The tips of Seulgi’s fingers started to trace her arm affectionately, just enough to show Joohyun that she was listening, and that she cared. “Did you think it would last?”

“It’s not like I was expecting things to go sideways all of a sudden, but I also wasn’t expecting you to stand with me for this long,” she answered, a hint of humor in her words.

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baetokkis
i saw this story got featured a few days ago and cannot describe how much this means to me 🥺 it's a story i hold very closely to my heart so i appreciate every comment, every subscribe and every upvote. thank you so much <3

if any of you wants to chat i'm on twitter @raidenrene :)
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