my fair-weather friend

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Description

Title: my fair-weather friend

Genre: Friendship, romance, angst, one-shot

Ratings: All ages

Pairings: Johnny/Seulgi ft. Jaehyun/Seulgi & Johnny/Wendy

 

"Love is hard to find, hard to keep, and hard to forget."

– Alysha Speer

 

When peak-hour traffic causes them to miss their flights, two old friends find themselves stuck in Los Angeles for one day.

For once, there’s no caveat. They really have been just friends.

Foreword

A/N: I know I said I wasn't going to start something new, but I've had this one-shot idea for a while, and it's only intensified ever since I've been writing SB, especially the SeulKai in SB. I've recently watched "Before Sunrise", and am currently watching "Hospital Playlist", and just really felt like writing something short, bittersweet, and also a little dreamy haha. 

Honestly, Johnny/Seulgi have never been my OTP ship, but I felt that they just suited the characters I was thinking of so well. Will also feature my actual OTPs Jaehyun/Seulgi and Johnny/Wendy hehehe. Spoiler: Please prepare your heart.

Pre-story notes:

  • This one-shot flits between the present and past a lot. So chunks in normal writing are the present, and chunks in Italics are flashbacks of the past (save for a few Italics used in the present tense which are to emphasize certain words or to show character thoughts. You'll see when you see).
  • Not rated M, but please be warned that there is some swearing and some reference to drinking.
  • The story is set in Los Angeles, California. All the places I described are real. Some credit to The Museum of Broken Relationships, where I referenced some of the exhibits.
  • This is a work of fiction. It doesn't reflect my opinion / opinion of people I know / opinion of my employers.

Dedicated to Bee - I know this wasn't the pairing you had in mind, but I think this is the kind of theme you'd like. Thank you for everything <3

Also dedicated to Emily - I hope you'll find some of the venues in Los Angeles familiar? Hahaha, hope that one day I can visit again.

 

This story is participating in the xodo writing contest by the lovely Din <3

Prompts:

012: "If soulmates do exist, they're not found, they're made"  Michael, The Good Place

020: “You know what kind of plan never fails? no plan. no plan at all. you know why? because life cannot be planned.” ― Parasite

021: “I think of you only twice a day - when I am alone and when I am with someone else.” ― Amit KalantriI Love You Too

- C

Comments

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prod_GLEE
#1
Chapter 2: !mild spoilers

could you elaborate on the meaning behind the title? i couldn't quite picture how it relates to the story, but that's on my lol.

this one-shot is thought-provoking. it wrecks my mind to try to define seulgi and johnny's relationship at first. they act like normal friends would and nothing past that, well until they kiss and i was like :o hold up. they must have unspoken romance towards each other, proven true when they kissed. it seems more beautiful and treasurable than the relationship he has with wendy, and she has with jaehyun right now because it cant be obtained and explored. which is a saddening to think about.

it was cool how you portray them change after 10 years thanks to each other's influence. that speaks volumes to how much they mean to each other's life in a relatively little time they shared together. even though i was more intrigued with jaehyun's character (he's only mentioned but i kinda have a crush on him haha) and thought his love for seulgi deserves an equivalent response, and i found seulgi and johnny no more than friends that are significant to each other, i like the way things are in this fic; there's a touch of realism in the universe you created :'(
PuffTedEBear
#2
Chapter 2: I really enjoyed reading your thoughts in your note. You are so correct in how relationships go in our lives. People who were once such a big part that you thought they would always be there could one day just become a "Facebook" friend where you send a like on an occasional post.
This gave me some insight into my own issues these past couple of years. As a friend I have been the worst, shutting myself away, not wanting to see people or call. I am that person who leaves a Miss You!! on a selfie post on social media but doesn't take it farther. I've let down people who wanted to stay in my life but I know they have moved on and made new connections that are stronger than I was. I just hope these new connections do not break like I allowed mine to.
Too many deep thoughts this early in the day with too little sleep. 🤔
You did a great job with the story and a look into a different side to relationships that we don't always want to think about. Good job!!
ramenandchicken
#3
Chapter 1: damn, idk but the last part made me cry. I'm hurt.
Number2elf #4
Chapter 1: This was really sweet and littered with life lessons. Honestly it was very comforting to read. Thanks (:
dyahkst
#5
Chapter 1: When they kissed i was like wait wait does friends also kiss like this aghssjaka but then again i understand the tension between them like they used to admire each other and also I'm happy with seulgi choice that she probably want to marry jaehyun. Would be nice if there's a epilogue of this story. But whatever, this story is so fresh and i like it so much. Good job!!!
luv_kero
2474 streak #6
Chapter 1: Ahhhh, I know this was completed a few weeks ago, but I finally had a chance to properly sit down, read through the whole thing in one go, and write down my thoughts!! And I just want to preface this with sending my condolences to you and your family for the loss of your grandmother. <3 It's always rough to lose a relative and I'm sending all of the support I can through the screen to you!! <3

Anyway, LA traffic is never fun and the bane of everyone's existence here. :') One big positive of the pandemic was not having to deal with that time sink, LOOOOL. The number of times my friends have road-raged (or just driven quite recklessly, TBH) is countless and the stress of getting to the airport, especially LAX, is never fun. OTL Johnny was such a smooth guy though, hehe. :P Very much a college frat boy, living out his youth. :') But oof, looks like he's gone through some stuff over the decade, as most people probably do after graduation (I know it's been a roller coaster for me these past few years post-uni and that's without factoring the pandemic >___<), and it's kinda sad to see some of the life out of him. Definitely a significant change from the flashbacks where he's living high and being reckless for the heck of it. ^^; And it's really interesting to see the contrast of Seulgi being less strait-laced as an adult in comparison to her college self, since it's the reverse of what's happened to Johnny. Just goes to show how people can change over the years due to the experiences they have. (also i totally feel seulgi on being unable to drive LOOOOL oops ^^;) And wow, Johnny's words at the end of that section ("When you're young, all you think about is your future, and when you get older, you wish you played around a little more") ring with SO much truth, at least to me. So many kids can't wait to grow up, but once you're an adult, you just wish you could rewind the clock and enjoy that time a bit more. Especially since it's so fleeting in the grand scheme of things. You're an adult for majority of your life, while your childhood is just a tiny sliver in comparison. Yet it's also such a defining part of life, since a lot of morals and opinions are shaped during that time. And dang, it's been such a long time since I last went to Big Bear, but I still remember my family vacation there so vividly even though it's been over a decade since. And lots of my friends regularly went to Mammoth to train for cross-country back in high school and university. And SO many of my friends in uni were actually chemical engineering majors, HAHA. So I'm loving the coincidence of Seulgi also studying that subject, LOOOOOL. :P And traveling the world is such a wonderful thing to do and I highly encourage everyone to do it, because I used to be like Seulgi before I lived in Paris for a year. I never really traveled and I also didn't really care to make the effort to travel until I lived abroad, because that's when I realized how vast the world is. Since then, I caught the travel bug and I can't wait for the pandemic to finally end so it's safe to travel again, because I have so many places I want to visit and re-visit while I can. :')

Ahhh, the trophy first-born son in Taeil, one of my personal favorite character archetypes to write in conjunction with the younger daughter who eventually deviates from the path, to the parents' disappointment. But LOOOOL, Mark swooped in and saved Seulgi there. XD Good on him for becoming so successful and the bit at the end of that section about Seulgi's appreciation made me laugh. :P But oof, not being able to pursue your dream career is an awful feeling and I feel really bad for Johnny. =/ Working a job that you have no passion for and also seems to your soul out of your body is never fun, and I very much empathize with his situation (although he's drowning in oodles of $$ while i'm v broke ^^;). And LOOOOL, I live quite close to Pasadena and SG, so seeing them mentioned here is so cool. :D But man, I totally relate to Seulgi's thoughts on relationships, because I think I had that very idealized view on romance when I was younger. Nowadays, I recognize that the reality is closer to Johnny's views on college relationships, but it's also still nice to think about the ideal of finding and committing to that special person. :') Very K-drama-esque, but I'm a er for them so no surprise there. XD And Youngran here sounds like a darling, as she is in SB, hehe ^^ But omg, noooo, it's so sad that Seulgi's invite got lost. Q___Q I'm imagining myself in her position with one of my close friends IRL and my heart hurts for her even more, especially knowing how excited Seulgi was to go if the invitation showed up. ;~; And I never went to the Museum of Broken Relationships when it was in LA, which is too bad since I could've gone with my best friend while we were in uni and it sounds absolutely fascinating. Definitely something my best friend and I would've enjoyed seeing, since he loves going to museums and we talk about relationships a lot. And I really love how comfortable Seulgi and Johnny's friendship is. ^^ It's not often you find someone you can banter with like that and it's also very telling that Seulgi kept that pen for ten years. Johnny means something to her, even though he has a family and she has a boyfriend. And in another life, in another time, they could've been something very special. Similar to that diamond ring in the museum.

Jaehyun definitely seems like he wouldn't be Seulgi's ideal type, LOOOOL. But kind of like how Johnny showed up again after ten years, in a busy airport no less, maybe Jaehyun and Seulgi's many coincidental meetings were meant to happen. But I also understand where Seulgi's coming from when she explains why she ran away from his proposal. I've heard several friends discuss the same worries about their own relationships. Sometimes these discussions end in break-ups. Sometimes they end up sailing on. And at the end of the day, you never know who'll be the "best" person for you. That's not to say to settle for anyone less than you deserve. But the grass will always seem greener when it might not be and in order to make a relationship work, there will always be compromise. So in my opinion, it's not about finding your perfect match but about finding someone you're willing to work with to be that perfect match. And I know Johnny probably has some regrets about how his life has turned out after meeting and marrying Wendy, but I hope he doesn't let these feelings of regret overtake him in the end. It's almost impossible to live a life without regrets, because of how many variables there are and how many choices one makes every day that can instantly change one's trajectory. But it isn't healthy to hold onto these regrets forever and I think it's better to use them as a stepping stone towards a life that ultimately has more rewards to outweigh the regrets in the end. He also clearly loves Youngran to pieces, so that's a positive he can focus on and I know he'll continue to be a good father to her. But oof, when Seulgi said it was too late after their kiss, that was such a hard-hitting moment. Because they aren't single uni students anymore. And there's no way to rewind to the past for them to try.

Seulgi's realizations at the end were incredibly poignant and I agree with all of them. There are people you meet at a certain time in your life for a reason. There are people who stay in your life for a reason. There are people who come back into your life for a reason. And there are people who never return, always on the fringes of your memories that resurface during times of nostalgia. A lot of it is about timing and none of it is ever planned. It just happens and sometimes it's messy, but that's okay. I find that whenever I allow myself to say yes to something, it ends up being a net positive. The unknown is something I'm personally trying to learn to fear less and I think this was a really comforting piece to read overall. You don't have to always know the answer and that's okay. Things will happen, no matter what, and you'll figure it out because that's life.

Thank you again for writing such a beautiful, meaningful story!! <3 Definitely a favorite now and one I'll think about a lot. :)
lovelyfeisty
#7
Congratulations on highest bid~!
sassy_author
#8
Chapter 1: Hello Candy bb <3
First off, I've already told you, but damn was this so beautiful. You were right, this is totally the type of plot that draws me in and never lets me go. Note that this rarely happens, but has been consistent for your stories so far. Is this fate for CanBee? I think so hehehe <3

Already, the contrast and structure - past / present - was so interesting and kept the pace and somewhat of a tension up in the air; mostly concerning Seulgi's impending decision towards Jaehyun. The evolution of the dynamics between Johhny and Seulgi was so fascinating. Whilst Seulgi kept the essence of her stoic, responsibility and career driven self (beyond the change of major that is), every line exchanged with Johnny and every thought that had to be read in between the lines showed just how fond of Johnny she was and how much respect and esteem she had and still has for him, despite the drift. This really reflects, in my opinion, how relatable this is; there are friendships that simply cannot be maintained no matter how hard you wish you had or how much you cared for the person. It happens, priorities change, the flow of life change or simply, the paths differ. Whilst Johnny, you could see that he had a loss of spark for life. In the end, I think that it was because he had to be reminded that change was okay, we all evolve and meeting Seulgi at the airport was like fate's way of showing them both that change is good, timing is decisive but whatever happens, you can and should be your own person. "All your choices brought you here." - type of way. Who knows, had Seulgi really received the invitation to his wedding, they would maybe not have met again and spent this incredible time and trip down memory lane together. [btw Youngran's cameo here was so cute, I melted sobs]

In essence, the impact and role that both of them had on each other's life was huge and still is. Those are the moments that for example one night, while having a sip of wine, Seulgi would remember and smile or while Johnny is in the car stuck in traffic, he would look to his side and remember how things used to be. It is bittersweet. Yes. But that's how things are. My humble JohnGi heart believes that deep down, just like Seulgi had a crush on him back then, he had one too. But their friendship and closeness was just too right to sacrifice at the time and too volatile as well to test. Ten years later, they met again and whilst the climatic kiss was a decisive moment for them both to decide and realise where they stand at life, the symbolic hand-holding moment in my eyes was a hats-off to the scene of what they could have been. In the end, they are each other's "the one who got away" and that's okay. Maybe in another lifetime. <3

This was such a beautiful story and plot. Thank you so much bb ♥
Ghad20
#9
Congratulations on winning the bid