Shuhua stayed at the library a little later than usual on a tuesday night. She made sure to text Soojin that she didn’t need to wait for her, and that she planned to study for a bit at her usual spot. Shuhua was dead tired, and she was lucky enough that she found someone to cover her shift at Cube kitchen on her less busy day, so she could get a few more hours studying for an upcoming exam the following week.
She hadn’t noticed that it was already nearing 10pm, and that the sky was already pitched black. The library was almost empty, except her and the four other students who were buried in their books.
Sighing, Shuhua ran a hand over her face, contemplating whether she could keep going, or if she should call it a night and go home.
“You know, you’re no good to anything if you burn yourself out like this.” A voice whispered in her ear.
Jumping a little, Shuhua turned her head, eyes wide, and heart beating rapidly from the startle. Soojin was smirking down at her, face quite close to hers. Shuhua gave her a confused look, quite shocked to see the older girl in front of her.
“Soojin,” Shuhua breathed.
The older girl settled to pull out the chair next to her, setting down a Starbucks cup on the table, as well as a brown paper bag with a label that she wasn’t quite familiar with.
“Yuqi said you weren’t home yet, so I figured you were still here.” Soojin explained, her eyes scaling Shuhua’s features. Her eyes looked very tired, dark circles were becoming more and more visible. She looked a little thinner than when Soojin first met her, and it was probably because Shuhua wasn’t the best at taking care of herself.
“You asked about me?” Shuhua softened, heart fluttering at the thought. Soojin looked flustered, but nodded, nonetheless.
“Yeah, you kind of ruined my routine today.” Soojin jokes, talking about how she would always meet with Shuhua after their classes, and drive her to where she needed to be. Shuhua glared at her, and it prompted a satisfied chuckle from the older girl because she just loved to mess with her.
“I was worried.” Soojin’s tone was serious and concerned.
“You were worried?” Shuhua’s eyes turned glassy and her bottom lip slightly and shakily jutted out, about to cry. She never got used to people worrying about her besides Yuqi and her other small group of close friends. Shuhua doesn’t think she’ll ever get used to it, she’s always been by herself.
“You’re terrible when it comes to self care.” Soojin teased, the usual smirk making its way back to her lips.
“I’m not even gonna argue because I know it’s true.” Shuhua pouted, her hands coming up to cover her face, in frustration and exhaustion. Soojin chuckled, reaching over to take Shuhua’s hands away from her face, clutching it in her own longer than she should. She felt bad seeing the other girl so exhausted, but amused at how Shuhua never let her lack of rest ruin her day.
“I brought you your usual coffee order, and some take out.” Soojin mentioned, nodding her head towards the goods on the table.
“So you were really listening when I told you what my usual coffee order was?” Shuhua teased, and Soojin rolled her eyes. “No. It was a lucky guess.” She muttered.
“Okay, okay. I’ll respect your need to be a total macho, but we both know you’re just a big softie.” Shuhua poked her cheek, giggling, which earned a low growl from the older girl. “I seem to be regretting this kind gesture.”
“Oh, shut up.” Shuhua chuckled, digging into the take out that was in the brown bag. Soojin watched her eat, a moan eliciting from Shuhua’s lips, a habit she noticed that Shuhua does when she would eat something delicious. She also noticed the way Shuhua would let out the biggest smile as she chewed on her food, a little dance and bounce of joy to her movements.
It was cute how Shuhua appreciated the little things in her busy day filled with all things stressful.
“I’m gonna find Yoon a new tutor,” Soojin blurted.
“What? Why? I think I’m doing a pretty good job. I helped her get a perfect score on her last test.” Shuhua’s eyebrows furrowed, concern on her face. She enjoyed tutoring and studying with Yoon, and it made her happy to be able to help her friend. Yoon has grown to become the little sister Shuhua never had, and they were quite close.
“Oh, no. You’re doing great!” Soojin reassured her after seeing the worry that was evident in the younger girl’s expression.
“It’s just that, you have so many things going on. I don’t want you to collapse in exhaustion. You barely get enough sleep, and you keep forgetting to eat. You rely too much on caffeine for sustenance, and it’s not healthy.” She was being scolded, and Shuhua was a little surprised to hear that Soojin cared and paid this much attention to her.
“I know. I have pretty bad habits,” Shuhua smiled sheepishly, her eyes not squinting into the crescents that Soojin has grown to love. Her eyes didn’t hold the usual sparkle, and was yearning to be put to rest.
“But I need to succeed.” She needed to prove something. Shuhua didn’t even know who exactly she was trying to prove something to, but she had something to prove. Whether it be to her parents, or just to herself. She was determined.
“I understand that, but you won’t fail if you let yourself take a break once in a while.” Soojin assures, and she’s really hoping that Shuhua will cave in and agree with her.
“Can I take you home? So you can rest?” Soojin pleaded.
Shuhua looked a bit hesitant, but nodded anyway, and it’s like her body relaxed suddenly at the thought of being able to rest soon.
“Only if you agree that I can continue being Yoon’s tutor. We’re good together. I help her do good in her classes, and she makes studying more enjoyable. ” Shuhua reasoned, and Soojin agreed, both grinning, satisfied with their compromise.
Soojin helped her put away her things into her bag, offering to carry it for her. Shuhua gave her a look of amusement upon the offer, “you’re chivalrous too? Hm, I learn more and more about the mysterious Soojin everyday. And she’s such a softie.”
Soojin rolled her eyes, her hand still extended towards Shuhua, so she could give her the backpack to carry. “No, thanks, macho. I may be tired, but I think I can carry my own bag.” Shuhua smirked, slinging the bag over her shoulder, making her way out of the library with Soojin in tail.
“Do not ever call me macho ever again, Yeh.” Soojin gritted, disagreeing wit