01: do platonic hook-ups exist on Tinder?

you swiped right into my heart

A/N: Because SoyeJin deserves our attention too, and I feel bad for constantly putting them on the back burner. So, consider this my form of compensation and love for the both of them. (Also, author has no idea how Tinder works.)

**edits/revisions made as of 5/08/2021.


Seo Soojin likes to believe that online dating is just a sham.


And yet, here she is. Downloading Tinder onto her phone (against her own volition, mind you), which certainly isn’t how she intended on spending the Saturday out with her two friends.


In hindsight, she should’ve known better the moment Miyeon texted her that morning. Asking if she was free around noon to go on a little lunch date together with Minnie, whose English classes ended by then. It seemed like a harmless invitation—and hey, maybe Soojin would score a free meal if she went—except this is Miyeon and Minnie she’s dealing with here. The conniving s who normally have a motive or two up their sleeves whenever they asked her to do something.


Still, Soojin gave them the benefit of the doubt. Thinking they would just meet up, talk about the annual cheering competition that Soojin’s pep squad is participating in the upcoming month, recap the fun karaoke date Minnie had gone to with Yuqi last weekend, laugh about Miyeon’s failed attempts at flirting with a clueless Shuhua, and catch up on whatever else has been going on in their lives.


Now, it’s not that any of these things didn’t happen.


Soojin just didn’t expect an intensive chat about her non-existent love life and the creation of a Tinder profile to be strung into the sequence as well.


In fact, she should’ve dropped the conversation as soon as Minnie asked about Soyeon. As if the Thai had any interest in the girl or her life beyond the fact that Soojin is silently infatuated with her.


“How’s that captain of yours, Soo?” Minnie had asked, slyly sipping her tea and smiling into the cup while Miyeon looks on with interest.


“Ryujin is doing really good, actually.” Soojin starts, not understanding whom her friend is pertaining to. “I can see why coach gave her the position so early into her recruitment. She has the skills and drive to be a good leader.”


It’s true. Ryujin is a prodigy in the cheerdancing scene, and arguably one of the best in university history. Soojin doesn’t really consider Ryujin her captain, though, but rather the squad’s captain. Then again, she’s also a freshman and several years younger than her. So, technically, Soojin is still responsible for looking after her dongsaeng and—


“No, not her.” Minnie shakes her head, amused. “I mean the captain of our dance troupe. The silver-haired girl you have a crush on.”


If her blushing cheeks weren’t enough to give it away, the stuttering that followed surely would.


“I don’t—I don’t have a crush on Soyeon, that’s… What?” Soojin floundered uselessly.


Miyeon throws her head back in laughter while Minnie giggles into her tea, which she eventually sets down to keep it from spilling in her mirth. Who knew that the mere mention of Soyeon would turn the calm and reserved Soojin into a flustered ball of stammering words?


“Right. You’re clearly acting normal for someone who doesn’t have a crush on the dance captain.” Minnie rests her chin on a palm, eyebrow cocked in a disbelieving manner, as Miyeon nods sarcastically.


Soojin finds herself between the devil and the deep-blue sea.


She isn’t sure whether to deny it even further, or risk being too obvious by purposely changing the topic. It’s not like she can turn it back on Minnie and her disgustingly happy relationship with Yuqi either, or Miyeon who is actively making the effort to win Shuhua’s heart one corny, but heartfelt compliment and gesture at a time. (Unlike Soojin with her own crush, who also happens to be her best friend.)


The time it takes for her to reluctantly decide and muster up a response should’ve been incriminating enough, but the two still listened to her anyway.


“Seriously, unnies. I don’t.” The confidence she exudes surprised even Soojin herself.


“Then who do you like, Soojin?” Miyeon asks this time, staring at their younger friend with those inquisitive eyes that regard her playfully.


“N-No one!” A lie.


“Not even the cute vice-captain of the boy’s football team?”


“No! I don’t have a crush on Lee Know!” Not a lie.


“So, what’s stopping you from dating?” Minnie’s expression has shifted into something a little too mischievous and smug for Soojin to humor, but she saw no other way out besides entertaining her.


“What do you mean?”


“Why aren’t you dating anyone?” Miyeon clarifies on Minnie’s behalf. “If no one’s caught your eye yet, don’t you want to at least try finding someone you might be interested in?”


Minnie quickly nods in agreement, and Soojin chews on the inside of her bottom lip.


“It’s just…” She paused then to think conscientiously through her reasoning, trying to make sure that “Soyeon” and “crush” don’t slip out in the same sentence. “… meeting people is hard, unnie.”


Neither of the girls stopped grinning at her, which meant that Soojin’s answer didn’t work out as well as she wanted it to.


“Well, if that’s the case then…”


Miyeon shares a knowing glance with Minnie, before reaching for the phone that was lying face-down on the table and flipping it over for Soojin to unlock. Once she does so, albeit suspiciously, Miyeon wastes no time opening the App store and navigating through it.


“Download Tinder.”


For the first time since they sat down for lunch, Soojin doesn’t care that every emotion she’s feeling right now is being displayed on her face.


Why in the world would she need Tinder to date? Sure, she’s far from the most outgoing person whose social skills aren’t the equivalent of a brick wall. But Soojin is perfectly capable of getting a date without any dating apps (if she wanted to, of course), except… that’s not what she told her friends.


Soojin literally just said that meeting people is hard. And if she doesn’t stick with this notion, then she’ll have to admit the more difficult truth—her honest-to-God crush on a certain Jeon Soyeon.


“What’s holding you back, Soo?” Minnie has that infuriating smirk that Soojin, quite frankly, wants to smack off her face.


Instead, she bites on the inside of her cheek to suppress her annoyance and growing nervousness at the idea. After a few, excruciating seconds of internal debate, Soojin takes back her phone from Miyeon.


“Fine… I’ll do it.” She resigned with a grumble and hits the download button. Her gut immediately regrets this decision, but she pushes through for the sake of getting these two crackheads off her case.


They spend the rest of their meal setting up Soojin’s profile. Meticulously choosing the right pictures from her album to post (courtesy of Minnie, the self-proclaimed photographer), then excitedly putting a selca of Soojin in that satin-black dress she wore to her cousin’s bachelorette party among the bunch. All the while, they ignore her repeated protests to change it into something less “Ulzzang” girl-like.


After typing in a dumb bio that makes Miyeon laugh but Soojin cringe at her own existence, Minnie teaches the younger girl everything she needs to know about using Tinder and even swiped on a few profiles as an example. Like a crash course into the online dating world full of impressionable strangers and aspiring singles.


When all is said and done, Miyeon pays for their bill before they leave to the mall together. Teasing Soojin on the way as she desperately tries (and fails) to make them shut up. Minnie, especially.


At least she got a free lunch in the end.



Jeon Soyeon is on Tinder for a reason.


She enjoys wasting time by swiping through profiles—seeing who matches with her and who doesn’t—while also counting off how many people she recognized as batchmates from her old high school.


The minutes tick by like seconds whenever she’s inspecting the photos someone has. Like whether or not they smile in them (if they even show their faces, for that matter), or if there’s at least one picture that isn’t just them posing at some photogenic angle that shows off their good side and admirable physique. This being said, she’s seen enough abs that they become less impressive with each swipe.


For as trivial as it seems, there’s just something so entertaining about the type of people on the app and what they consider as “acceptable” social etiquette.


But if Soyeon was in the mood, she would sometimes indulge the person on the other side of their conversation. Talking past the lame, overused pick-up lines and trite questions just to see who can top the record of driest conversationalist in Seoul.


(And no, that doesn’t count Shuhua and her dry sense of humor.)


She also thinks it’s fun to sit at lunch with Yuqi as they guess who might match with her or not. Plus, Soyeon is quite proud of her profile and the number of matches she receives from both guys and girls. Even if all the data is insignificant to her.


But lying sprawled across her bed as she procrastinates on a report that’s due on Monday, looking in-depth at the many profiles on her screen instead of carelessly flicking either left or right, Soyeon realizes that she’s on Tinder for two reasons:

  1. She enjoys wasting time on the app and receiving compliments from strangers, and
  2. Aka, the much more important reason—she had just swiped right on Seo Soojin.


In all the time spent amusing herself with the application, Soyeon has only ever seen a handful of people from her university. Obviously, she swiped left on every single one of them to save face. Choosing her dignity over the few minutes of delight she might’ve gotten from matching with them.


It was just common courtesy, after all. Soyeon had zero intention of using Tinder for actual dating, so she always made sure not to get anyone’s hopes up. Except now, there’s not only someone else from her campus. But someone whom she sees every day, her best friend and long-time hopeless crush since their senior high days, staring back at her on the screen.


Well, what do we have here…? She smiled secretly to herself. Soojin, you sneaky vixen.


For the first time ever, it takes much longer for Soyeon to commit to the right swipe. This time, the captain actually cares if she gets a match with the pretty cheerleader. This time, Soyeon might really use Tinder for dating.


Although it takes her a while to do it, she still commits anyway.


All Soyeon needed is a gorgeous selca of Soojin that she’d never seen before—sandwiched between an old picture of her with sandy-blond hair under a cute beret (a personal favorite), and one where Soojin is in a black sweater as she poses with her head resting on the back of her hand—for her to slide a thumb across the screen with bated anticipation.


Part of her hopes that Soojin had seen her profile first and swiped right, so she wouldn’t have to lie around and wait. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.


Seems like she’ll have to wait for whenever Soojin finds her profile and matches with her, hopefully. Until then, Soyeon lies on her bed. No longer skimming through random profiles to keep her occupied, but thumbing through all of Soojin’s photos again and again.


Soyeon might never admit it to anyone, but she spent a little longer staring at one picture in particular.



Minnie Mouse

Did you go on Tinder yet?

5:47 PM



Of course not, unnie.

5:50 PM


Minnie Mouse



Go and swipe rn >:l

5:52 PM



Ugh, fine.

So demanding… -.-

5:56 PM


Truthfully, Soojin has been on Tinder once or twice since she’s gone home from hanging out with Miyeon and Minnie. She didn’t stay on the app for very long (and Soojin is certain that she hasn’t swiped right on anyone), but she did use it nonetheless.


Soojin doesn’t like being made to use Tinder, but the older girls were nothing if not persistent.


If all she had to do to stop them from forcing her to confront her feelings for Soyeon was to deny people on an app for ten minutes a day, she would gladly do that.


Sighing out loud, Soojin lies back on her bed with a pillow cushioning her—arm thrown above her head in a manner that would surely get Minnie to nag her for not caring about the stupid app—as her thumb grows tired and sore from the repetitive left-swiping. Some of the people were honestly attractive, but she doesn’t want to date right now.


And even if she did, Soojin is 90% sure that Tinder is mostly used for hook-ups.


By the thirty-minute mark, she’s positive to have wasted far too much time using a dating app not to date. Mesmerized by the movement on her phone and the quickly passing selcas and portraits.


Alright, last one… Then I’ve reached my self-made quota for today.


It’s the same mantra in her head each time she looks through a profile on her screen, before swiping it out of existence without a second thought.


The lock button is half-pressed when someone catches her eye in that very second. And as soon as the screen turns black, Soojin is scrambling to unlock her phone again. Hoping, praying that the profile would still be there in spite of her closing the device prematurely.


Sure enough, a picture of Jeon Soyeon dressed in a ing leather jacket is staring intensely at her with those fierce eyes and that haughty, little quirk on the corner of her -pink lips. Head leaning against her hand as a crown of silver-blond hair framed her sharp visuals like the lustrous mane of a lion. A photo of Soyeon that she’d never seen posted before, is on display for Soojin to find in Tinder of all places.


Holy .


Soojin blinks repeatedly to double-check if her eyes are seeing this right. Unfortunately, they really are.


“What the Hell?” She muttered in disbelief.


There are so many questions circling her head at that moment. How long has Soyeon been on Tinder? How many people has she matched with already? Why didn’t she tell Soojin about her dating profile? Does Shuhua or Yuqi know?


Why has Soojin never seen this selca of Soyeon making a kissy face at the camera, or the one where she’s lying down with a coy smirk that is contrasted by the cutest, most adorable wink to have ever adorned her face? How will Soojin ever be the same again? Is it customary to have a polaroid shot of you doing a peace sign with your best friend next to you in your array of photos?


And finally, a question so big and frightening that it gives her a headache—


What the does she do with this information now?


The first thing Soojin does is call Miyeon. Partly because she doesn’t want to give Minnie the smug satisfaction that she went on Tinder, after all (plus, she wants to spite the Thai by making her the last to know), and partly because Miyeon would pick up right away and not screech into her ear.


“Hello? Soojin?” The older Korean answers by the third ring.


“Soyeon’s on Tinder.” Soojin blurts out immediately, needing a solution fast.


“Oh… kay?” Miyeon sounds confused, rightfully so. “What about it?”


If Soojin was in a better, much clearer headspace right now, she might’ve taken the perplexity in Miyeon’s voice as a sign to collect herself.


“What should I do, unnie? Her profile is here, but I-I don’t—I don’t know what to do…”


At this point, Soojin doesn’t care about how she might be overreacting. Or that her stutter is coming out again.


“I don’t think I understand the question, Soo.” Miyeon says gently to soothe her. “What do you mean?”


“W-What should I do about the fact that Soyeon’s profile is right here on my screen?” Soojin’s tone is more urgent this time.


“Um… swipe right, I guess? If you’re interested in her, then I don’t see why not.” A pause. “I’m confused. Why did you call me, again?”


Frustrated, Soojin nestles the phone between her shoulder and ear so she could express her agitation via hand movements. Wide and exaggerated. She knows that Miyeon can’t see them, but the desperation and restlessness need to leave her body somehow.


“Unnie, I can’t just swipe right on my best friend!” Soojin exclaimed, tossing her hands up.


“Soojin-ah,” Miyeon sighed. “Just swipe right. Seriously. If she ends up matching with you, then great! Good for you! But if she doesn’t, don’t take it to heart and move on with your life. You’ll find someone else to match with eventually.”


“I… I can’t do that.” She can’t do that.


Another sigh. “I know you lied to us during lunch earlier, and I know you have a crush on your favorite, little captain. I thought you’d resist more, especially with our Tinder pestering and Minnie’s constant teasing, but I guess not.”


Miyeon pauses again, as if waiting for any loud protests, then says.


“It’s a green light, Soo. Go for it.”


Breathing nervously, Soojin pulls the phone away from her ear and navigates it back to the dating app.


She’s staring at a different selca of Soyeon (one that Soojin, herself, had taken in the past) with a small pout on her lips, eyes gazing off to the side, and looking quite soft and huggable in a brown hoodie that makes her almost akin to a sulky teddy bear.


Ah, kyeopta…


The cheerleader can feel her heart squealing at the image as she bites back a giddy smile, unable to control the blush that’s sneaking onto her cheeks while Miyeon chatters quietly from the speaker. Muted words falling on the deaf ears of a lovestruck Soojin.


Her thumb swipes right.


Soojin is expecting the disappointment, waiting for it to hit her at full swing as the screen moves to another profile of someone she doesn’t care about and will inevitably swipe left on.


She’s assuming that Soyeon’s profile will slip away, and she’ll never hear from her again. Soyeon will find out that Soojin has tried matching with her, be weirded out, and then their friendship would be in total jeopardy from the awkwardness between them that they’ll eventually grow apart overtime.


. Maybe this was a mistake—


It’s a Match!


Oh my God.


“No, no, no, no, no…” Soojin mumbles under her breath.


For whatever reason, her heart is reacting to this a lot worse than to the possibility of rejection. She should be ecstatic, right? Soyeon had found her profile and—instead of skipping past Soojin—decided to match with her. That’s a pretty big deal she should be celebrating over, like a “sunbae has noticed me!” kind of moment.


Then why is she so… scared?


“Soojin? What happened?”


She almost forgets that Miyeon is still on the phone, her soft voice coming out just barely audible from the speaker and underneath Soojin’s frantic murmuring.


“Soyeon and I just matched, unnie…” Soojin puts the phone back to her ear so she wouldn’t have to stare at the match screen any longer.


“That’s great news, Soo! That’s awesome!”


Silence ensues on Soojin’s end as she tries to wrap her head around it.


If Soyeon had rejected her, she could’ve dealt with it anyway. She would have just worked through it in her own way and coped at her own pace. But now, Soojin has to confront her crush, her feelings, and this new “relationship” head-on. Except she can’t even bring herself to message Soyeon and simply exits out of the app entirely, trying to calm herself down.


“Soojin?” Miyeon calls again from the other line.


“Do… Do you think that we just matched as friends…? Like she just meant it as platonic because we’re close with each other anyway?” Soojin asked as she starts pacing around her room, walking in tense circles while changing the placement of her phone between her hands and to her ear.


“I don’t think people use Tinder for platonic hook-ups.” Miyeon giggled at how silly it seems.


“Unnie, oh my God. Do you think Soyeon just wants to hook up?!”


Soojin is panicking again, and her steps become faster as her gait shortens. It’s unnervingly quiet on Miyeon’s end, so void of any noise whatsoever, that Soojin is convinced that the older girl had unceremoniously hung up on her.


“H-Hello? Miyeon-unnie?”


“I’m going to have to let you answer your own question, Soo.” Miyeon responds eventually, an exasperated tone floating to the surface of her voice for the first time in their conversation.


“… That means no. Right?” Came the timid reply a couple beats later.


“Of course not! It’s more than just a friendly match-up on a dating app. And no, I highly doubt that Soyeon only wants to go down on you. She’s not that type of person, as far as you and I are concerned.”


“A little too suggestive, unnie.” Soojin reprimands, though a smile falls on her lips. “But yeah, you’re right… Soyeon would never treat me like that.”


“Yes! Exactly!” Miyeon wholeheartedly concurred.


The abrupt honesty has shaken her spiraling thought process just long enough to notice how ridiculous she had sounded. Soojin is beginning to feel at ease, until a very real thought sinks in.


“But what if it’s awkward between us on Monday?”


The silence that follows isn’t a silence meant to force Soojin into realizing the stupidity that left . This silence is thoughtful, contemplative, like Miyeon is taking the time to consider the probability.


Miyeon then goes to speak after a while, offering tiny parts of wise advice and encouragement, but falls quiet again and again during a few intervals. Unsure of how to reassure her worried friend on something that could very well happen.


Joint practice is going to be so weird.



Joint practice was completely normal. Almost.


All throughout their synchronous training, Soojin tries—really tries—to stay focused on her squadmates and their performance routine. Ryujin is at the helm orchestrating drills and giving out pointers and praises, which she pays attention to for the most part.


Everything seemed mostly the same. At least, until Soojin would glance at Soyeon’s direction where the captain is also directing her own troupe through a special choreography stage for their campus festival in the later weeks. Because every time their gazes met, Soyeon would flash her a killer-white grin and a playful wink that has Soojin blushing like crazy. A shy smile overtaking her face as she shifts away, looking a bit pink.


It didn’t help that their teams were sharing the same gym space while the dance studio is being renovated, the two of them peeking at each other from their respective sides at every given opportunity.


And whenever Soojin dares to sneak another glance her way, she would see Soyeon’s trademark gummy smile—whether it was directed towards the cheerleader or her troupe members.


However, it looks… different today. Like it’s brighter, more genuine, for some reason.


Despite Soyeon’s radiant smile putting her in a somewhat better (albeit simultaneously more nervous) mood, Soojin still felt like she’s spent the entire practice waiting for the other shoe to drop.


She’s waiting for Soyeon to bring up the fact that they matched on Tinder last Saturday, or that the shorter girl had found her profile in general. She’s waiting for Soyeon to laugh and casually tell her that it was all just a joke, that Soyeon merely wanted to know if they would have matched, or poke fun at her profile and how vain Soojin looks in her array of photos.


But none of these ever happen.


Their practice goes on as usual. So normal, in fact, that Soojin wonders if she was just tripping. Did they actually match, or did she just imagine it?


Miyeon and Minnie are still pestering her about it, though, so no. She couldn’t have been imagining it. And yes, the Thai was slightly offended that Soojin never told her about the match-up and only found out when Miyeon had asked their friend for any updates in their group chat.


(“I thought I was your favorite unnie, Soo! I’m hurt!” She had complained during voice call, with Miyeon laughing while Soojin rolled her eyes at Minnie’s dramatics.)


But Soyeon doesn’t bring up Tinder once, and neither does Soojin.



Two hours after she arrived home from practice, Soyeon decides to take matters into her own hands.


When she had gotten the notification that Soojin matched with her last Saturday evening, she whooped and hollered so loudly for all her next-door neighbors to hear.


Yuqi, who had invited herself over for dinner with their friend Shuhua in tow, was startled out of her gaming bubble and cursed when her character fell to his impending death. And even Shuhua, the maknae who could probably sleep through an entire hurricane, was rudely snapped awake from her food coma by Soyeon’s victory screech as she ran circles around the dorm room.


Hell, Soyeon even squealed into a pillow (courtesy of Shuhua tossing it at her by Yuqi’s request) with a huge grin that stuck to her face for the rest of the night. Not caring in the slightest about Yuqi’s suspicious gaze, or Shuhua’s raised eyebrow when she withheld the actual reason of her elated outburst.


Even though the night went without any messages, the happiness she felt didn’t leave her since and always returned in the mornings after. Still without a single message from Soojin.


Neither of them brought it up during joint practice earlier, but Soyeon refused to let it dampen her mood about this whole situation. The captain gave Soojin two hours as soon as she came back to her dorm, and then she’ll make the first move. After all, Soyeon was the one who swiped right first.


Alright, Jeon. You can do this.


Typically, she’d let the other person initiate the conversation. Soyeon didn’t need to worry about breaking the ice with a dumb pick-up line off the internet, or figure out how she can relate the first message with something from their bio or pictures and determining how high or low the conversational bar is set.


(Her expectations are usually on ground-level with these people, since she never really cared enough to put much thought into their interactions anyway.)


But as of the moment, Soyeon is lying back with her legs hanging off the side of her bed. Swiping through all of Soojin’s photos again while she racks her brain on what to say towards someone you tell nearly everything to.


It makes no sense, but she lowkey wants to ask that same best friend for advice.


What would Soojin tell me if I asked her right now?


The cheerleader would definitely say something like “Don’t overcomplicate. Keep it simple and just let your personality do the talking.” Right, of course. Soojin always valued honesty and being true to oneself.


Mustering up her courage, she types out a very short message.



Hey Jin-Jin

7:04 PM


Less than ten minutes later, she receives an equally short reply that has her scrambling back to the app. (On the other side of the screen, Soojin has spent that time having a mini-meltdown on her own bed as she frantically screamed into her mattress. Panicked, but mostly ecstatic.)



Hi Soyeonnie.

7:11 PM


Okay, so that’s not really much to go off on. But she can work with it.


Soojin called her using the nickname she gave Soyeon years ago—just like the captain did by calling her “Jin-Jin”—which meant that she’s comfortable enough to be messaging her back. It’s a good sign to keep going, maybe.


Puffing out her cheeks, Soyeon stares at their chat window. A bit clueless.


She contemplates on throwing a cheesy pick-up line into the mix. Debating on whether or not she should sacrifice her standards for the sake of breaking the tension evident from just the two greetings alone, but ultimately decides against it. Not knowing if it’ll make things better or worse.


Soyeon and Soojin have been best friends since becoming classmates back at senior high when Soojin, being a new transferee, was put into the only Arts and Design track section in their batch together with Soyeon. They had sent countless of messages back and forth to each other over that course of a couple years. And even in the beginning of their friendship, conversations between them didn’t feel forced or awkward.


The texts always flowed naturally for them, and they never seem to run out of things to talk about. But for the first time ever, Soyeon is at a rut with two simple messages that don’t feel as natural as they should.


Closing her eyes, she takes a deep breath to collect herself. Her thumbs are at the keyboard, hovering a few centimeters above the letter keys and potential words. She doesn’t want to mess this up.



I really like your pictures, they’re very cute.

7:13 PM


When Soyeon hits send, her heart is beating so fast that she’s certain it would jump straight up .


Yes, it’s the truth. And yes, Soyeon had complimented Soojin on pictures she’d taken in the past. Soojin deserves to know what’s been on her mind ever since she saw the cheerleader’s profile, but none of it makes this any easier.


The reply doesn’t come immediately as she hoped. And so, after several minutes of nerve-wrecking radio silence, she digs her own grave deeper by impulsively adding to her previous message.


Soyeon has made it this far. She can’t give up already.



I’m personally a big fan of you with the blonde hair and the beret.

But I’m also partial to that one pic of you in the black dress(?), your hair looks nice there too.

7:16 PM


She sets her phone down quickly to gather back her composure, assuming that the double text would be enough to grab Soojin’s attention as she waits for a response.


Not even five minutes later, she receives a text back.



Thank you <3 You look really good in your pictures too.

My favorite one is the selca of you wearing that cool leather jacket.

It suits your style a lot :)

7:20 PM


On Soojin’s end, she had just barely recovered from fangirling over the fact that Soyeon had pretty much called her cute—Cute! And that her hair looks nice!


Is this how it feels to be winning at life? She can’t help thinking, far too whipped to even be her rational self while smiling so widely that it almost hurts her cheeks.


Just like Soyeon, Soojin is also speaking the truth and being honest of what she thought upon stumbling across her profile. She did have to edit the last two lines of text until they seemed fit, because there’s no way of saying “you look really hot in that leather jacket, I want you to pin me against the wall and kiss me senseless while wearing it” without coming off too strong and potentially scaring off her crush.


Then again, Soojin isn’t exactly the bold type… but with Soyeon, she can make an exception.


Back on the captain’s side, Soyeon wants to melt with joy. If it were physically possible to do so, she would be a happy puddle on the floor.


She only finds it slightly odd when Soojin doesn’t mention the one photo of her in the brown hoodie that the cheerleader had taken herself, or that Soyeon had added the polaroid shot of them doing the peace sign together because she thought they looked nice in it.


But most of her brainpower is dedicated to ensuring her face doesn’t overheat from the striking realization that she’s flirting with her best friend right now.



Thanks, Jin-Jin :D

I’m also into that close-up pic of you in the black sweater.

You just looked so soft… and adorable there.

Actually, wait. That sounds kinda weird… Sorry.

Pretend I never said that.

7:21 PM



It’s not weird at all, trust me. ^^

And even if it was, you still said it anyway.

But it’s not so… thank you, Soyeonnie. I appreciate that.

I'd say the same for you in that brown hoodie~ That one’s cute too.

7:22 PM



Ah, well—

I only have my photographer to thank for that ;)

7:22 PM


With their texts flowing at a steady momentum, the Soojin that Soyeon has come to know and love starts shining through. She begins to open up more while joking along with Soyeon about the silly things on their profiles, and would even flirt back as they brazenly competed over who gets the last say in their streak of compliments towards one another.


Again, it’s still strange.


Because while they’re chatting with each other as naturally as they do, this conversation is nothing alike their previous ones. It feels like she’s talking to Soojin, but they don’t bring up college, practice, their teams, their friends, or anything else they normally talk about. Not even their past or high school.


Most of the time is spent doing harmless flirting and small doses of teasing, which Soyeon doesn’t mind at all.


Except she thought that, at some point, their messages would fall back on the lines of what is “normal” to them. That Soojin would ask Soyeon about whatever new choreography her dance troupe is practicing, or send a screenshot of some dumb conversation she had with Minnie and Miyeon (last time was a debate over whether or not a hotdog is legally recognized as a sandwich).


But then nothing about their “real life” ever makes it into their chat.



When they’re at joint practice the following Tuesday, nothing about their Tinder chat makes it into real-life conversations either.


Soojin, for one, is particularly bemused about this. Their online relationship is finally getting to a comfortable point wherein neither of them felt tense or anxious messaging the other, but their regular friendship doesn’t seem affected by this new development. Everything felt good. Absurdly good.


It still feels a little divided, though, the difference between their Tinder and in-person relationships. But Soojin figures that it would be much more convenient to keep them separate, rather than having to explain to their entire teams and friends why she and Soyeon would talk about funny bios and exchanging selcas.


Besides, they’ve only been chatting on the app for one day. Soojin doesn’t exactly know where their current relationship is going or if it was just casual flirting, but it was much easier like this.


Perhaps someday, they would cross over in the future. She’s certain of it.



A month into conversing on Tinder, Soyeon and Soojin have gotten ridiculously good at flirting and sending cute, girlfriend-material selcas to each other while remaining completely “platonic” in-person.


Everyone else didn’t know about their secret conversations, and maybe it’s for the best.


They didn’t have to brace themselves for the long, overbearing talk with their friends and respective teams, who would undoubtedly talk over the two with “I knew it’s”, “I told you so’s”, and questions about every aspect and detail of their budding relationship. From the build-up, to the that has yet to happen.


Outside of Tinder, they would act like normal best friends having practice in the gym together and walking down the halls whenever their schedules were aligned. But as soon as they got back to their separate dorms—in the private sanctuary of their single bedrooms—they would send each other sweet messages with huge, dopey smiles glued on their faces, until one or both of them had to sleep.


Even while working on requirements, they would ping the other’s phone with text replies or media attachments in the form of images and video files. The latter two being there for the purpose of drawing a reaction, which usually came as a barrage of heart emojis (Soojin’s doing) and aggressive keyboard smashing (Soyeon’s doing).


Neither of them complained about the set-up they have perfected in weeks. And frankly, it was accepted as the new norm for them.


That is, until Soyeon breaks one of the three unspoken rules.


Over the course of the month, Soojin and Soyeon’s Tinder chats have abided to a set of three rules that haven’t been explicitly stated. But were still followed with each and every text they sent:

  1. No mentioning of their current status.
  2. No mentioning of meeting up somewhere.
  3. No mentioning of telling their friends or teammates.


These rules have been easy enough to follow. At least, for a while.


Despite their pre-Tinder conversations consisting of 90% extracurricular activities, college-related stuff, in-person plans, or just ranting about their chaotic friends in general, they found new topics to talk about and new antics to keep themselves busy. It was actually refreshing not to rely on their normal dynamics, for once.


But then Soojin just had to send that selca of her looking very attractive in her work-out attire, having woken up at the crack of dawn one Saturday morning to do her weekend jogs around the park. A sheen of sweat on her flushed, ivory skin, and her caramel hair tied up in a ponytail that revealed her perfectly-lean shoulders under a tight-fitting tank top.


It was truly a sight to behold for an awestruck Soyeon, who stared at the photo much longer than she deemed appropriate and necessary. Then without ever really thinking about it, she sent the messages right before her thumb could backspace.



Damn, Miss Seo… You didn’t have to attack me like this, lol.

If I got to see you this way, I might run more often.

Maybe we should do that sometime, you know? Jogging together.

10:37 AM


As soon as the words whooshed away, the regret starts sinking in and she smacks her forehead immediately. Their routine has been going so well, keeping their two lives separate for the past month and counting. But with one simple text, Soyeon has started melting them together.


What if Soojin doesn’t agree to it?


The cheerleader’s reply doesn’t flow like the rest have, and it takes a handful of nail-biting minutes to finally stutter in. Soyeon is so nervous, she doesn’t even want to open it. But she still does anyway.



Hmmm… I don’t know…

Think you can keep up with me, Soyeonnie?

10:39 AM


Oh my God. What has Soyeon done?


After all of the weird tension in the beginning caused by their initial awkwardness and semi-formalities, she thought that they would end up falling back there again because of her previous stunt. Yet, here is Soojin pulling Soyeon out of her own mind spiral with teasing jabs she has picked up from interacting with the roguish captain.


What could’ve turned into an uncomfortable situation ended up being a playful banter, with the added progression into new, exciting territories. It fills her with giddy anticipation.



Hey now—

I’m sure I can catch up with you. Probably.

That is, if you’re willing to slow down for me a little.

10:40 AM



Well, I might consider it…

But you could try, at least ;)

10:40 AM



You wouldn’t wait for me then? :(

10:41 AM




You know I would.

10:41 AM




Seriously? You’d wait just for me, Jin-Jin?

Wouldn’t you care if I ruined your intense exercise that makes you all sweaty? Lmao.

10:41 AM



Definitely <3

I’d never leave you behind, Soyeonnie.

And no, I don’t think so.

Not when you look so cute making sure that your laces are double-knotted before tucking them in.

10:42 AM


Soyeon’s face warms at that, while Soojin has ungracefully smooshed her own against the nearest pillow and groaned into it. If this were a cartoon, the taller girl would have a white cloud steaming off her head as she whined in dismay.


Double-knotted laces? Cute? Seo Soojin, you absolute fool!


Unbeknownst to her, Soyeon can feel the warmth spreading from her cheeks down to her neck and chest. And if the feeling wasn’t enough, one peek up at the full-sized mirror next to her bed confirmed that Soojin has this innate ability of making Soyeon blush.


No, it’s not just the fact Soojin has mentioned this tiny, insignificant thing Soyeon does that the latter remembered and obviously thought about. It’s also the fact that this is the first time either of them has mentioned anything about their friendship outside of Tinder, and this revelation comes with newfound confidence.


They’ve tiptoed past the boundaries of being just “Tinder buddies”, and Soyeon feels so much lighter. Sure, it’s been great talking about new things with Soojin in the past month or so. And having a separate, secret relationship was fun too.


But now that their two lives are starting to merge, no topic of the conversation feels out of question. Not even the extra flirty things that Soyeon can’t keep under lock anymore.



Cute with my laces? Me?

Have you seen the selca you sent me last night, the one with the butterfly filter?

That’s the real definition of cute uwu

10:43 AM



You flatter me too much~

And of course, I was the one who took and sent you that picture.

10:43 AM



Yeah, but did you REALLY see it? Ugh. I’m gay, your honor.

And that post-morning jog selca?? God, don’t even get me started—

Now that I think about it, actually… maybe we shouldn’t go jogging together.

10:44 AM



Oh? Why is that?

10:44 AM


Soojin knows exactly what she’s doing. How could she not? They’ve already broken the seal, and now everything is going so fast without any boundaries in place. Not that they minded anyway.



1. I’ll up my pride and say that I definitely could not keep up with you.

2. You said you’ll wait for me, but you’d probably push or drag me to go faster.

3. If you end up looking like that by the time we’re done, I would have to kiss you. Deadass.

10:45 AM


In a flash, Soojin’s cheeks flare into a deep scarlet.


The prospect of being kissed by freaking Jeon Soyeon alone is enough to get her heart racing wildly. If it were possible, the poor thing would’ve burst out her chest from how hard it’s thumping against her ribcage.


Sending that last message was the single, scariest thing Soyeon has ever done. So much so that she’s sweating profusely now, but also grinning like crazy because holy . It felt really good to finally admit that after years of harboring such strong feelings for her best friend. She has half the mind to call Yuqi and yell at her about everything that’s transpired, but she also can’t bring herself to leave the app just yet.


Soojin’s text comes a bit delayed again, but it’s completely worth the wait.



If I promise not to drag you, could we go on a jog together then?

10:47 AM



Is it the “not keeping up with you” part that’s making you want to jog with me, or…?

10:47 AM



I think it’s the “by the time we’re done” part.

10:48 AM


Soyeon’s eyes go wide instantly.


She is well-aware that she’s the one who confidently said it in the first place. She knows that God, yes, all she wants to do is kiss Soojin right after a run. But when the other girl says it, it feels so different. So overwhelming, so enticing.



So, when are we going on this jog?

10:48 AM



I was already planning one tomorrow, Sunday morning.

Maybe 8AM?

We can get breakfast after, if you want.

10:48 AM


Good Lord, 8AM?!


Soojin has no idea how special she is for Soyeon to agree on this. A full-on run at ing eight in the morning on a goddamn Sunday. Or maybe she does, because the cheerleader promptly adds—



You don’t have to absolutely say yes, though. We can still change it.

I know you’re not the morning type of person, and I don’t want to force you out of bed so early…

10:49 AM



Nah, that’s fine with me.

Does this mean you’re buying me breakfast?

10:49 AM



If I buy you breakfast, then it lowkey feels like a date. Don’t you think?

10:50 AM



I’m not complaining, haha.

But a jog doesn’t really seem like a date, tbh.

10:50 AM



I guess that’s true…

Okay, the date only starts at breakfast then.

And yes, I’m paying.

10:50 AM




Thanks Jin-Jin!

10:51 AM



You’re welcome, Soyeonnie. ^^

10:51 AM



So, uh…

Will there be kissing after the jog too? Like as friends?

10:53 AM



Ah, jinja…

So long as I get to kiss you, it doesn’t matter to me when.

10:54 AM



Alright. Can’t wait!!

10:54 AM



Same here :)

Ttyl, I have reqs to do today.

See you tomorrow~

10:55 AM



Sure, go ahead. See ya!

10:55 AM


Flopping back on her bed, Soyeon gazes up at the ceiling with a delighted sigh on the edge of her smiling lips.


Sunday at eight in the morning, the captain would be meeting her best friend so they can jog together. Then she would kiss Soojin afterwards before they go on their breakfast date. No big deal, right?






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As a wise transbian named Natalie Wynn said: "Female friendships are just so intense, that's why I feel so strongly."
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