Shuhua has only ever been told what a hangover felt like, and just from the tales, she was so sure she would never voluntarily choose to go through it.
But here she was, head pounding, and eyes refusing to open, despite the bright light turning her blocked vision pure red against the heat of the sun flowing through the window.
She lifts a hand to cover her face, groaning in annoyance and because of the pain she felt all over her body.
“You’re awake.” Shuhua recognized the voice immediately, and her whines started to grow in need of affection.
“Jin,” her eyes remain closed, hands waving in front of her, “close the blinds, please, then come and hold me.” She says desperately.
Soojin scoffs, but follows orders, nonetheless. “How are you feeling?”
“Like .” Shuhua groans, finally opening her eyes when the room darkens again. She sees Soojin first, smiling down at her by the window. Shuhua recognized that she’s back at her loft, in the comfort of her bed, and she couldn’t be more relieved that she didn’t have to move if she didn’t want to.
“How did I get here?” Shuhua asks, voice still raspy and gruff.
“Take a wild guess, stray girl.” Soojin rolls her eyes.
Shuhua grimaced, “did I puke?”
The older woman moves to plop herself next to Shuhua, opening her arms for the younger woman to freely squish up against her. “Surprisingly, no.”
“Did I do something stupid?”
Soojin hums in thought, “nothing extreme.”
“But I was still being stupid?” Shuhua whines when Soojin nods.
“You really don’t remember anything?” Soojin asks cautiously, watching the way Shuhua looked like she was thinking really hard about what happened last night.
“I remember…” Shuhua trails, before her head rolls to the side to stare at Soojin. The older woman holds her breath, waiting for Shuhua’s words. “I remember drinking lots and lots of tequila.”
Soojin heaves a quiet sigh, laughing nervously, “y-yeah, you did do that.”
Shuhua hums, turning over, so that half her body is on top of Soojin. She pouts, raising her head to look down at her. “Is there something else I’m supposed to remember?” Soojin sees her eyes widen, “oh my god, what did I do?”
Soojin lets out a breathy laugh, “nothing, baby. You were actually a very cute drunk.”
Pursing her lips to the side, Shuhua squints suspiciously at Soojin. “You’re not telling me something.” She nods, very sure of it, “you’re trying to distract me by calling me baby.” A firm and accusing finger is pointed right at Soojin’s face, “because you know it makes me all gooey.”
Soojin only blinks.
“Oh, wow. That is a mean, mean tactic.” Shuhua shakes her head, tongue clicking in disappointment. “C’mon, fuss up. What’d I do? It’s okay, I can take it.”
“Well,” Soojin sighs, looking up at the ceiling, trying to replay the contents of Shuhua’s first drunken night. “You made a new friend. Actually,” Soojin snorts, “several new friends. On the way back here, you befriended this woman who was walking her dog. But then you really wanted to hug her, which I think scared her off.”
Shuhua gasps, pouting. “What? How do you know?”
“Well, she immediately picked up her dog and ran away…” Soojin tries to hold her laugh. “You also owe Lucas a new bed… you broke his because you were jumping on it and singing no more monkeys jumping on the bed over and over again.”
“Why didn’t you stop me!” Groaning, Shuhua drops her head heavily onto Soojin’s chest, “never let me get drunk again.”
“Karina was watching you then when I stepped out for a bit to handle Jae. She told me about it when I came back and asked questions about the broken bed you were asleep on.” Soojin giggles, shaking her head at the memory.
“Oh, so you’re friends with Karina now? Making fun of my embarrassments like good pals?” Shuhua pouts, all sulky.
“Not exactly friends yet…” Soojin softly says, “but… she’s not bad, I guess. I mean, she took really good care of you when I had to leave.”
Shuhua smiles against her chest, “well I’m glad that my embarrassing drunk behavior is the cause of your blooming friendship with Karina.”
“You’re a real peacemaker.” Soojin playfully says, chuckling.
“That, I am.”
“Table two is getting cranky on those martinis, Soojin.” Lia leans against the bar, tapping her wrist as a way to say hurry up.
“Yeah? Well, tell table two to wait like everyone else, or to get the out.” Soojin doesn’t need to look up at Lia, hands busy making drinks.
Lia scoffs, “you’re a real pain in my , Seo Soojin.”
The older woman smirks, “right back at ya, Choi Lia.”
It takes Soojin about two more drinks for a couple at the bar, before getting to the martinis that Lia was impatiently waiting for. Oh, how she hated working at a bar, but Soojin had the mindset of it up and you gotta do what you gotta do, ever since she had to step up and take responsibility.
She hates dealing with drunks, and definitely did not like having to smell alcohol for hours on end, but it was a job to get her by, and Moonbyul was a great boss, who worked around her schedule, and to be fair, Soojin had a bit of an advantage given that Moonbyul had a sweet spot for her.
“There’s a woman at one of the booths who is requesting to see you. Says she wants you to bring her drink personally.” Lia says, balancing the tray of drinks in her hands.
Soojin frowns, “I don’t do special services.”
Lia shrugs, “I don’t know, she seems like a good tipper.” Her eyebrows bounce mischievously, “seems like she knows you though. She said your full name and everything.”
Soojin blinks in confusion, “what’d she order? I’ll go when Soobin comes back from his break.”
“A Manhattan.” Lia says quickly before leaving to get the drinks to their tables.
Soojin tried to peer over at the booths, wanting to get a glimpse of a familiar face, but there were just too many people crowding the pool table that blocked her view of what she was trying to see.
It didn't take long for Soobin to come back, and he didn’t seem to mind handling her side of the bar for a few minutes.
Soojin makes the Manhattan, holding it in her hand as she makes her way to the booths. She does see a familiar face, one that burns in her mind with pure anger and hatred.
“What are you doing here?” Soojin questions the moment she was an earshot away. The woman looks up with a wicked smile, eyebrows bouncing up in sheer amusement.
“I believe we haven’t formally met yet?” The woman extends a hand, “nice to finally meet you, Seo Soojin. The name’s Chou Tzuyu, but you already knew that, right? Assuming I’ve come up in conversations here and there.”
Soojin stares at the hand emotionless. She sets the Manhattan drink on the table harshly, “that is very ignorant of you to assume.”
Tzuyu held her smile, and all Soojin wanted to do was wipe it off with a hit.
“She refuses to even say your name, so no, I was not aware what it was, nor do I care.” Soojin retorts, which elicits a small chuckle from the latter.
Tzuyu’s arm extends forward, her hand taps on the wood of the table, motioning for Soojin to take a seat in front of her. “I just wanna talk.”
Soojin hesitates, eyeing the woman who holds herself to a high level of confidence. It bothered Soojin a little, just how someone could be more confident than she was, but she was not going to falter.
So she takes a seat, arms crossed, and remains nonchalant.
“What do you want?”
Tzuyu folds her hands on the table, leaning forward with her intense gaze. “I’m here to warn you.”
Soojin smirks, letting out a laugh of disbelief. “Warn me?” She uncrosses her arms, eyes hardening, and leaning closer, “you don’t scare me.”
Tzuyu smiles, “oh, not me, sweetheart. I don’t give a about you. I’m doing this for Shuhua.”
Blinking in confusion, Soojin’s brows furrow. “What about Shuhua?”
The latter releases a heavy sigh, “I know I’ve ed up in the past, but I care about her, okay? I want her to be happy.”
Soojin ignores the jealousy that bubbles through her chest. She simply stares, allowing Tzuyu to continue.
“The Yeh’s are not to be messed with.”
Soojin shrugs, “what am I supposed to do with that information?”
Tzuyu sighs again, “I’m here because Shuhua’s parents sent me here. They tried to pay me to get information about you two.”
“How do they even know about Shuhua and I?” Soojin asks.
Tzuyu pulls out her phone from her jacket pocket, fiddling with it, before the screen is shown to Soojin. A familiar picture of Shuhua and her kissing, pops up, along with an article written in mandarin that Soojin can’t possibly understand.
“That ing journalism kid.” Soojin curses under her breath.
“The Yeh’s are a big name in Asia, Soojin. Reputation is everything to them. They’ll do anything to keep their reputation at the top.” Tzuyu pockets her phone again, hands cradling her drink.
“There are people that keep tabs on the Yeh’s, including Shuhua, even though she’s not in the public eye as much as her parents are. But being the only child of such powerful figures, people are curious.” Tzuyu explains, and Soojin’s curiosity is heightened.
“They don’t accept Shuhua for who she is. They don’t give a .” Tzuyu shakes her head, “it tarnishes their image. People over there aren’t exactly as open minded as they are here, but if you ask me, I don’t think people care that much.” A scoff leaves her lips, “but the Yeh’s only care about power. And they have it. They don’t plan on letting that