Cold feet

Fists of kindness

It would feel normal to remember Jisu because of what had happened, and the fact that she said she would come up with a plan. Especially when she was at work. 

But it wasn’t normal that her face popped up in Ryujin’s mind every five minutes, right? She prepared breakfast, she remembered her. She went to sleep after a long night at the bar, she fell asleep with her face in her mind. 

It was obvious that Jisu was pretty. No, she was beautiful. And had an impossibly generous heart. 

Ryujin didn’t know her. She knew nothing about her. But did she want to?  

She sighed, preparing a drink for the man at the counter. She turned to serve the man with a forced smile, glad that he left to his group at the back.  

Ryujin shouldn’t even be thinking about how pretty Jisu was. She had more important things to think about- 

“Hey, Ryujin.” 

She snapped her head to the familiar voice and widened her eyes. “What are you doing here?!” 

“Just thought I should pay you a visit.” 

“Are you crazy?” Ryujin spat, looking around. Her colleagues weren’t paying attention to her, and boss Park wasn’t around. “I can’t be seen with you!” 

“Why not? Relax, I’m not supposed to know it was you, right?” Jisu whispered, winking at her. 

“R-Right, but still... I don’t know if it’s a good idea if we’re seen together. Or that you’re here at all, to be honest.” 

“Why? You’re the nice girl who saved me that night.” Jisu smiled at her, and ing , she really had to be that pretty. “I’m not here to talk about it. If I wanted, I would have sent you a message. I just really wanted to go out with my friends.” 

Ryujin scanned the room and found the same friends she was with that night. She took a deep breath and told herself it was okay. “What can I get you, then?” 

“Surprise me.” 

“I have no idea what you like.” 

“Even better.” 

Ryujin frowned at her, an attempt to not show in her face how Jisu’s smirk affected her. She turned to the bar and looked at the bottles, telling herself to calm the  down. Her eyes landed on the pineapple juice, so she fetched it, along with some rum, coconut cream, and ice, and threw it on the blender.  

Since she let her choose, might as well serve Jisu her favorite drink. 

“Here.” 

Jisu eyed the glass and took a sip. “Piña colada?” 

“Is it good?” 

“Awesome.” 

“How old are you?”  

Jisu irked an eyebrow at her. “Asking a girl her age like that?” 

Ryujin gulped, feeling her face warming up. “J-Just because, well, okay, if you’re here, you’re an adult. Unlike me,” she whispered the last part, and Jisu chuckled. Music to Ryujin’s ears. 

“You’re right. I’m twenty, so, I’m legally here. How about you?” 

“Still nineteen.” 

“I would never tell. You look older than me.” 

“I do?” 

“Don’t get it wrong! Just... you have a mature vibe.” 

“What does that mean?” 

“You’re very pretty.” 

“W-What?” 

Jisu laughed again, and Ryujin was glad the lighting in the bar was dim. “S-Shouldn’t you join your friends? You came here with them, after all.” 

“I also came to see you. I told you, I know nothing. I wouldn't hide forever after what happened, even if it had happened like it should. I’m just... being me. So, this is what I would do.” 

“Come here and flirt with me?” Ryujin blurted, and cursed at herself the same second. 

“Flirt?” Jisu smirked. “So you think I was flirting.” 

“N-No, I mean... Forget what I said, please.” 

“I mean, I can flirt with you, if that’s what you want.” Jisu leaned forward on the counter, resting her chin on her palm. 

Ryujin widened her eyes, and looked away from the collarbones that peeked out of her cleavage. 

“I’m joking,” Jisu said, and took another sip on her piña colada. “But I’m going to let you work and I’ll go back to my friends. I’ll recommend this to them, by the way.”  

“Y-Yeah, okay. Have fun.” 

Jisu smiled at her and left, joining her friends who danced together in the dance floor. 

Ryujin turned around and leaned against the counter, closing her eyes and massaging her temples.  

This did just not happen. 

She couldn’t even say it back. That Jisu is gorgeous. 

It didn’t feel right. How could Jisu be acting like this after what Ryujin did?  

“Ryujin?” 

She looked up at Sooyoung. “Yes?” 

“Everything alright?” 

“Yeah, absolutely. I just need to pee, actually.” 

Sooyoung chuckled and patted her shoulder.  

Ryujin splashed her face with water and looked at her reflection in the mirror.  

She could have not hit Jisu when she was supposed to, but she still followed her home, and broke inside. She still shoved her into the door and covered up . She was the reason for the terror in Jisu’s eyes. 

Ryujin shook her head and splashed more water in her face, trying to erase that image from her mind, alongside the image of the terror in Yuna’s eyes. The first time the loan sharks appeared at their house, Yuna was the one opening the door, and the way they grabbed on her shoulders... Yuna was a strong girl, and way mature for her age. Even though she liked to claim she wasn’t scared of those people at all, Ryujin knew she acted like that out of pride, and not to make her worry too much about her. 

She didn’t mind beating up people who actually deserved it, but she didn’t know what else boss Park could ask her to do. This time, she was lucky she could chicken out with Jisu, but who knew what else she would have to do?  

She went back to the bar and ignored the few guys waiting to get their drink, and instead, scanned around for Jisu. There she was, dancing way too close to one of her friends, and Ryujin didn’t like how that made her feel.  

“Hey, little girl, can I have my soju already?” one of the guys barked, and Ryujin took a quick breath before shooting him a fake smile. 

“Of course.” She turned to prepare it, gripping on the bottle with a bit too much strength. 

It shouldn’t matter the person Jisu was dancing with. But then, why did Ryujin find herself wishing it was her instead?  

Jisu would hopefully be the help she needed to get out of there, nothing else. She shouldn’t be mixing business with personal feelings. 

But when Jisu approached the bar a mere five minutes later, wearing that smile Ryujin felt honored just to be able to see, her mind fogged. How was she supposed to avoid said personal feelings when she smiled like that at her? 

“Yeji loved the piña colada. Can you prepare one for her?” 

“Sure.” 

“You look tense,” Jisu said, and something warm rested on top of Ryujin’s hand, making her look down at Jisu’s hand on hers, “did something happen?” 

Ryujin retracted her hand. “I’m fine. Anything else?” 

“One more for me.” 

Ryujin attended to Jisu’s request and prepared the two cocktails, somehow feeling her eyes on her.  

“You can talk to me,” Jisu said as Ryujin turned and set the two glasses in front of her. 

“About what?” 

“You know. Or anything at all.” 

Ryujin stared at her. “I’m fine, really.” 

Jisu sighed. “You’re not alone. Please remember that.” She grabbed the glasses, leaving Ryujin with her thoughts. 

Did she... upset her? Ryujin growled, squeezing the cleaning cloth in her hand. It shouldn’t even matter. But her heart clenched when her smile disappeared, and kept clenching as she watched Jisu dancing with... Yeji, was it?  

She was already in too much of a mess to go and let herself catch a bad case of feelings. She was used to fighting, so she would fight this off too. 

--- 

Almost two hours and three more visits from Jisu later, and she was walking back to the bar again. 

“I don’t know if I should make you another one,” Ryujin said. 

“I don’t want more. But what if I did?” 

“So, you do?” 

Jisu chuckled. “No, we’re going home. I just wanted to say bye.” 

“Do you have someone to go with you?” 

“You wanna take me home?” 

“If you don’t have anyone to go with you, I will.” 

“But you’re still working.” 

“I can manage.” 

“Hyunjin, or Heejin, I don’t know, will call a cab for the four of us, don’t worry. But now I know you would take me home.” Jisu winked at her. 

“Alright, text me when you arrive,” Ryujin said, cleaning another glass. 

“You’re so sweet.” 

A sigh escaped Ryujin’s lips. Jisu was obviously drunk. 

“I mean it. You have a really kind heart, Ryujin.” 

“Your friends must be waiting for you.” 

Jisu looked behind over her shoulder and indeed found Yeji waving at her. She pouted at Ryujin. “Sad that I have to leave already. Text me when you get home as well.” 

“At six in the morning?” 

“Yes.” 

Ryujin laughed, and Jisu frowned at her. “I’m serious! I expect to see your message when I wake up.” 

“Of course.” 

“Have a good night.” 

“You too.” 

Jisu shot her a smile before turning to leave with her friends, and Ryujin kept it cool until she finally stepped outside. She leaned against the counter with a heavy sigh, but was quick to focus on her job again. Still, her heart hit her chest for some reason unknown to her. 

About fifteen minutes later, her phone vibrated on her pocket. 

[Lia] 
I’m home. Thank you for the night 

Ryujin frowned. 

[Ryujin] 
I didn’t do anything, but I’m glad you had fun. 

[Lia] 
Yes you did. Didn’t I tell you I wanted to go out so I could see you?  

The frown in Ryujin’s face deepened. What was she supposed to answer to that? Jisu was drunk, and it was not like Ryujin wasn’t used to dealing with drunk people. Just not... Jisu. 

“Ryujin,” Sooyoung called, making Ryujin look away from the phone and the message she still couldn't come up to answer. “Boss is calling you.” 

Ryujin gulped, trying not to show too much how her body jerked. “Okay, thank you.” 

It had nothing to do with Jisu. It was probably a job. An easy one. One that let her go home with a good sum of money, and she could go buy a delicious mocha bread with it, and one for Yuna. 

She knocked on the door and stepped inside. 

“Ryujin, have a seat,” he said with his usual creepy smile. 

Ryujin nodded and obeyed without a word. 

“I saw you talking with Choi Jisu.” 

. , , , , , . 

“Getting cold feet?” He asked, leaning forward with his elbows on the desk. 

“She has no idea it was me. She’s just being nice because I helped her that night,” Ryujin said, as calm and natural as she could. 

The smile on his lips turned into a smirk, making Ryujin’s stomach twist. 

“Perfect. I thought I wouldn’t need you for this anymore, but I guess I’ll change my plans. I could send someone else to beat her up, but if it didn’t work with you, let’s instead try another thing,” he said, talking with such ease, like he was talking about how to make a cocktail. “Befriend her.” 

“How so?” 

“Get close to her, get the info we need about her brother. Specifically, where he is.” 

Ryujin balled her fists under the table and used all her might not to move a muscle in her face. “I’ll try my best.” 

“I don’t expect any less than your best, Ryujin. I know you can do this, and make sure she does not suspect anything. Oh, and since you have the weekend off, use the time to be with her and gather some information, and report it to me on Monday. You can go back to work.” 

She nodded and stood up, controlling how her legs wanted to take her closer to him instead so she could punch his face, but she walked towards the door. 

“And try to be fast, alright? Keep me updated when you have new info. The longer we take, the farther he’ll run.” 

“Yes, sir.” 

She knew she had to go back to the bar, but she wasn’t strong enough to hold the vomit much longer. She rushed to the toilet and let it all out, but even so, she couldn’t stop shaking as she washed her hands and face in the sink.  

His words kept ringing in her ears like a broken CD. The way he spoke about Jisu... Ryujin clenched her jaw so hard her teeth hurt against each other, and her nails dug onto her palms. 

She only remembered feeling this angry at her own father.  

Ryujin only hoped her boss wouldn’t send someone else after Jisu. She really didn’t want to go to jail for killing someone. 

--- 

Ryujin dropped her body to the couch and her head back, closing her eyes. Byullie and Dallie jumped to her side and snuggled together on her lap. She dug her hands in their soft fur and let a small smile appear on her lips. And people say cats are es... 

That’s right, Jisu did ask her to tell her when she was home. She fetched her phone and as she opened the convo with her, she realized she hadn’t answered to her last message.  

She read it again, and again, and again. 

Didn’t I tell you I wanted to go out so I could see you? 

That was... drunk talk, right? It could only be. 

[Ryujin] 
I’m home. And we need to talk. Are you free tomorrow? 

She had to tell her what her boss told her. She had to tell Jisu she was all in for taking him and all his schemes down.  

But for now, she would drag her body upstairs, to bed, too tired to fight Jisu’s face from filling her mind as she drifted off to sleep.  

---

A/N: oh, feelings

let's see how this will turn out :))

hope everyone is enjoying this story so far!! 

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