The rays of the sun peeked through the blinds, waking Ryujin up. She blinked, checking the time on her phone, but the notification from Jisu was far more important.
Yes, I'm free today. Tell me when and where you want to meet me
Not a word about last night. She sighed, not knowing what she was disappointed for.
My house, I’ll send you the location. Whenever you wanna, I have the day free
It was Saturday, Yuna was probably studying, and all Ryujin wanted was to stay in bed. But then she remembered Yuna was going to have floorball practice later, and she had to cook something and take her to school. So, with that thought, Ryujin fought through and stood up, sending Jisu a message telling her to show up after 6 before going straight to the bathroom for a warm and relaxing shower.
And when she came back, there was already an answer.
Alright, I’ll be there.
And for some reason, Ryujin’s heart beat in anticipation. She shook her head and threw her phone to her bed.
Ryujin checked the time as she returned home. It was barely six, so, Jisu could show up at any minute now. Should she prepare something for them to munch on?
No, Jisu wasn’t coming there to play or to spend some free time with her. They were going to talk about serious stuff, and that was all. So, Ryujin sat and the tv, skipping through the news channels, because she honestly didn’t want to hear sad things in that moment.
The bell rang. Ryujin jumped on the couch, but remembered it was Jisu this time. She stood up and moved to the door, fixing her hair before opening it.
Jisu smiled at her as their eyes met, and Ryujin’s stomach did a couple somersaults.
“Hey, come in.” Ryujin moved so she could step in.
She closed the door and let Jisu look around. Byulie jumped down the couch and approached Jisu with curious eyes, meowing at her.
“Oh, hello there.” Jisu squatted and let him smell her hand before petting the Siamese cat’s head. “I didn’t know you had a cat.”
“I have two, in fact. Dallie is over there.” Ryujin pointed at the armchair, where the white cat with a few grey spots here and there laid with his eyes half open. “Sleeping as always.”
“They’re so cute. Even the names.”
“I named them.”
Jisu looked back at her with a smile, until she giggled, shaking her head.
“What?” Ryujin frowned.
“Nothing, it’s just really cute. What did you want to talk about?”
Ryujin gulped. “Let’s sit.”
Jisu followed her, sitting next to her and waiting for her to speak.
“My boss told me to befriend you so I could get info about your brother.”
There was silence, and Ryujin couldn’t read Jisu’s face at all. She kept her expression blank, blinking, her lips pursed.
“ing ...” Jisu breathed out with a sigh. “So, what do you intend to do?”
“I wanna do what you said. Take him down, take this down. He needs to be stopped.”
Jisu widened her eyes. “Really?”
“Yes. The way he talked about you, I just...” Ryujin clenched her jaw, trying to push the words to the back of her mind.
“What did he say?”
“Like you’re nothing more than a pawn in his game. Something to use to get to his end goal. Not a pinch of regret or resentment for sending someone to beat you up.”
“And in the middle of everything, I was lucky it was you. Don’t think about it, we’ll do something about this, he’ll pay for what he’s doing.”
“But what are we supposed to do?” Ryujin’s voice came out desperate.
“I need to reach my brother. I don’t know how, but that’s the first thing. We need to know what happened.”
“But I need to tell him something. He’s expecting news on Monday. I’m afraid of what he could do if I tell him either I couldn’t get anything, or that you still couldn’t reach him. What if he sends someone else after you?” The panic was back in Ryujin’s voice. “I can’t let that happen, you don’t deserve-”
“That won’t happen.” Jisu interrupted, resting a hand on her leg. “If he told you to do this, it’s because he trusts you, right? Also, you said he’s been blackmailing you. I’m sure he doesn’t think you would do anything to defy him. You can just lie to him.”
“And tell him what? As soon as he has new info, he’ll act on it. I can’t lie to him about where your brother is, he’ll find out in an instant.”
“What if you tell him he’s overseas, but you still couldn’t figure out where exactly? He can’t just search the whole world, but still, you give him some info, and proof that you’re working on it.”
Ryujin pondered on it, staring at Jisu’s hand still on her leg, and only now she noticed how it had calmed her down.
“I guess I can do that. But what if we can’t reach your brother?”
“We will. Maybe if I tell him what we’re trying to do, he will want to help us.”
Ryujin sighed, the worried still prickling under her skin.
“Don’t worry, everything will be okay.” Jisu’s voice was so soft, so tender, it drew Ryujin’s eyes to hers. Jisu was beautiful as ever. Her small and almost hand drawn lips gave Ryujin a smile that made her heart shot up.
“A-Are you hungry?” Ryujin asked.
“Now that you mention it, I kinda am.”
“Okay, I’ll prepare something for us.”
“I can help you.”
“No, it’s okay, really. You can watch tv or play with the cats. I’ll be right back.”
Ryujin bolted from the couch to the kitchen. It was the first thing that came up to her mind to end the silence, and now she was going to cook for Jisu.
But was she bothered with it, though?
She had told herself that Jisu was there to talk about business, but... she was already there. It shouldn’t hurt to keep her there for longer, and to be in her company.
Ryujin told herself it was okay, time and time again as she fetched the leftover rice from the fridge. It was okay for Jisu to be there. It was okay for Ryujin to want Jisu there, even though she didn’t deserve it.
And as she cooked the fried rice, she peeked over her shoulder. The same movie Ryujin was watching before still played on the tv, but Jisu wasn’t paying attention at all. Ryujin could see her side profile, and a small smile as she looked down, probably petting Byulie, even though she couldn’t see it behind the back of the couch. But just the thought of it was enough to make Ryujin smile, even if for just a second, because when she realized she was doing it, she looked back at the rice frying in the pan.
Ryujin prepared two bowls and went back to the living room, taking in for a second the image that was previously just her imagination. She cleared , stealing Jisu’s attention.
“It’s ready.” Ryujin handed her a bowl, and sat down, leaving Byulie laying down between them.
Jisu took a spoonful of rice and wowed as soon as she took it to .
“It’s delicious.” She took another big bite, frowning in contentment. “I need to come here more often so you can cook for me.”
She’s just joking.
“Thank you,” Ryujin said. “I always cook for me and Yuna, so I guess I got good at it.”
Jisu’s bright expression died all of a sudden.
“What is it?”
“I remembered about what you told me, about your father and all. I’m sorry.”
Ryujin bit on her cheek. “Well, yes, that’s the reason.”
“What about your mother?”
The question she dreaded the most. The one thing she didn’t want to remember.
“She died a couple years ago.”
Jisu stopped munching. “Ryujin, I’m... I am so sorry.”
Ryujin forced herself to swallow the food in and forced a smile at her. “It’s okay, don’t worry. You didn’t know.”
“You don’t need to act all tough with me. I already told you, I’m here if you want to talk about anything.”
And there she was again, touching Ryujin’s every exposed wound, even though she couldn’t see them. Ryujin dropped her head, but still fought the tears.
The bowl was stolen from her hands, then she felt arms circling around her torso, and a head on her shoulder.
“It’s okay to feel things. You don’t have to pretend it doesn’t hurt. I’m here, and I want to help that pain to go away, so, don’t hold anything back,” Jisu whispered, her breathing warming her neck, and Ryujin didn’t have the strength to hold it back anymore.
She broke down, burying her face in the crook of Jisu’s neck, and she pulled her closer, inviting Ryujin to hug her back, and kicking Byulie out of the couch in the process.
Ryujin never broke like this. She didn’t like to cry. She thought it showed weakness.
But with Jisu, it was the second time already. But Ryujin didn’t feel embarrassed. She hugged Jisu back, gripping on her sweater and kept on crying as Jisu caressed her hair.
None said a word, and Ryujin took her time. She had calmed down by now, the tears stopped flowing down her eyes, but she didn’t pull away, and neither did Jisu. Ryujin felt safe in Jisu’s arms, almost like with Yuna. But... It still felt somehow different.
With Jisu, it didn’t feel sisterly at all.
Ryujin took a deep breath, taking in the sweet scent of Jisu’s perfume. She was so close to her, her lips almost grazing on the skin of her neck...
She pulled away, cleaning her eyes with the back of her hand. Those thoughts scared her, and she couldn’t let them take over her mind.
“Are you feeling better?” Jisu asked, keeping her hands on her shoulders and giving them a little squeeze.
“Yes. Thank you. Sorry, the rice is probably cold now.”
Jisu giggled and took both bowls from the coffee table again, handing Ryujin hers.
“It’s still perfect.”
They finished their meal in silence. Ryujin kept staring at the bowl in her hands, but she could feel Jisu’s eyes on her sometimes. For some reason, she couldn’t make herself look back at her. Maybe because she couldn’t shake away the feeling that she didn’t deserve that treatment from Jisu.
“Do you want to tell me what happened?” Jisu asked. “With your mother.”
Ryujin looked at her at last.
“Only if you want to, of course. You don’t have to, but if you want to talk about it, I’m here.”
But was it wrong to still want it? To still want her to be there with her, for her?
“She died in a car accident. It wasn’t even her fault. A drunk driver hit her car and...” Ryujin bit her cheek, feeling her eyes getting warmer again, and a hand came to grab hers. “That was all that took to take her life away. To take her away from me and Yuna. After that, Yuna and I tried out best to make it through, but my stupid father dealt with it through gambling and alcohol, so here we are.”
A head rested on her shoulder, and fingers intertwined in hers. Ryujin felt her heart drumming on her chest, but still allowed her hand to squeeze Jisu’s.
“I’m sorry, Ryujin. I don’t even know what else I could possibly say. There’s no way I could know what you went through. All I can do is be here for you.”
“Why?” Ryujin found herself asking. “Why are you acting like this, when I did what I did to you? Shouldn’t you hate me? Resent me? Despise me?”
Jisu pulled away, giving Ryujin a look. “Maybe if I was someone else, I would. Maybe if I didn’t know you, if I didn’t know what lead you to do that, I would. But even though I don’t know you for long, I know what kind of person you are. That’s why I don’t hate, resent, or despise you. Far from that. I think you’re strong and brave.”
Ryujin scoffed. “Am I really?”
“Yes. Why? Do you think you’re a coward?”
“If you were a coward, would you defend me that night? Would you go against what your boss told you to do?” Jisu asked, and Ryujin remained silent. “There you go.”
Ryujin shook her head with a shy smile, looking away from Jisu’s teasing smirk.
“And you should do that more often.”
“That what?” Ryujin asked.
Ryujin didn’t know if the time slowed down, or if she was the one that froze in time, staring back at Jisu’s eyes.
But she didn’t have a reason to justify Jisu’s actions this time.
Ryujin’s eyes wandered down for a second, and it almost felt like too much. She shouldn’t even be looking at Jisu’s lips, admiring how perfect they were, and absolutely not wondering how they would feel-
The door opened, startling both girls, who shot their heads in the direction. Yuna stepped inside and met their stares, frowning as she closed the door.
Ryujin bolted from the couch. “Yuna! Didn’t I tell you to not come home alone?”
“You didn’t answer your phone, I imagined you were busy or resting, and didn’t want to bother. I didn’t come alone though, Yeojin came with me.”
“That small bean?”
“Hey, don’t be rude to her!”
“I’m not being rude, I’m worried! What would you or she do if the sharks appeared to you? At this hour in the night? Do you want to involve your friend as well?”
“It’s Saturday, and they don’t have a reason to do so. Now, care to... introduce me?” Yuna eyed Jisu, and she stood up, giving her a quick bow.
“Hi, Yuna, I’m Choi Jisu, Ryujin’s friend. Nice to meet you.”
Yuna irked an eyebrow, her eyes jumping between the two girls. “Why didn’t I know you had a new friend?”
Jisu giggled, and Ryujin cleared . “I-It’s recent. Go upstairs and take your shower, then go eat. There’s fried rice in the stove for you.”
“Thank you, sis. I’ll leave you two alone then. Nice meeting you, Jisu!”
Jisu gave her a smile and they watched in silence as Yuna went upstairs. Ryujin sighed, dropping her body to the couch. Jisu followed.
“She doesn’t know, does she?” Jisu asked, her voice low as a whisper.
“No. And it must stay like that. But it’s okay that she knows you. We are indeed friends. R-Right?”
“Of course we are.”
And for some reason, that warmed Ryujin’s heart.
“I should get going. It’s getting late and Yuna is home now, so spend some time with her.” Jisu stood up.
“Alright. Do you want me to take you home?”
“That’s right, I did say yesterday I would remember that you would take me home if I needed.” Jisu winked at Ryujin. “But that’s okay, I’ll call an uber.”
“D-Do you remember what you said yesterday?”
“Yes. I know I was drunk, but I remember.” Jisu chuckled. “Why?”
“I meant it, though. That I wanted to see you. But you didn’t answer that message.” Jisu pouted.
“I-I’m sorry, my boss called me to... have that conversation. I was so anxious I forgot.”
Jisu’s features softened. “, I’m sorry, I didn’t know. I was just joking, it’s okay that you didn’t answer, I was not mad or anything.” Jisu babbled, and Ryujin cracked a light chuckle.
“It’s okay. Do you want me to answer it now?”
Jisu stared at her, and Ryujin didn’t know if she was seeing things, or if her cheeks had become redder. Her phone rang, interrupting the moment.
“M-My uber is here, I gotta go.”
“I’ll walk you out.”
Ryujin led the way, still wondering if she should answer or not.
“Tell me when you arrive,” Ryujin said as Jisu opened the door of the car.
“I will. Have a good weekend.”
“You too.” Jisu nodded and was about to get inside when Ryujin felt the urge controlling her vocal chords. “By the way, I’m happy you wanted to go see me.”
Jisu’s eyes widened for a second. She smiled, that beautiful smile Ryujin thought was the prettiest in the world and got in, closing the door. Ryujin watched the car started before heading back inside. She closed the door and leaned her back against it, letting her head fall back until it also hit the door.
Maybe she was getting too comfortable with Jisu. Maybe she was not being hard enough on herself and on her feelings.
But... did she want to? Was she going to let something she was doing against her will, which she had a hope of getting out of soon thanks to Jisu, get in the way of living her life?
A/N: I was meant to update yesterday but I forgot lmao I'm sorry!
A bit more drama and backstory kekeke but let's take a break of the drama in the next chapter, so expect more fluff and feelings and yeah <3