The Hunger

Fox Bread
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On the second day of the gumiho’s hunt, the fox wakes up with the irritating need to pee. God, human bodies are annoying. Jimin sits up from her position on the couch and glances around, quickly noticing that the blonde woman from last night isn’t around the loft at all. However, her worries about the stranger turn into an afterthought since she desperately has other needs to attend to.

After she relieves her bladder and washes her hands, Jimin finds a bottle of mouthwash next to the sink to rinse the vile morning breath from her human mouth. So annoying, she thinks again as she spits out the minty liquid.

She steps back into the loft and still finds no trace of the blonde from last night. And judging by the late-autumn sunlight that’s barely bleeding through the curtains, Jimin comes to the conclusion that it’s still quite early this morning. Just where did Minjeong—?

It was eerily quiet just a moment ago, but Jimin can now hear the light shuffling of footsteps from downstairs. She strains her ears and is relieved when she can only hear one set of footsteps. It was long ago, but there was an instance when the gumiho’s true form had been discovered, and though something like that hasn’t occurred again, Jimin’s been excruciatingly cautious since. But now that she knows it’s only Minjeong on the ground floor, Jimin heads down the staircase.

The shop was practically pitch black last night, so Jimin wasn’t able to make out the details of the surroundings, but as she comes out of the stairwell, the fox finds herself in a huge kitchen. In the center is a large, square stainless steel table, and along the walls is an assortment of different racks, cabinets, mixers, and ovens.

Still, Minjeong’s not here.

Jimin strains her sensitive hearing. She can make out the gentle heartbeat from outside the kitchen, so she follows the sound and exits through a pair of curtains hanging in the doorway. As she steps outside, she walks into the front of the shop and can finally see it in daylight with all the large glass windows.

Stepping out from the kitchen doorway, the fox finds herself behind a countertop next to a glass display case and she glances around to see that the walls are slotted with shelves and lined with empty baskets.

“Oh! You’re awake!” Minjeong states as she turns her eyes up from the countertop.

Though the shop shelves aren’t filled with buns, Jimin puts together enough information from the shelf tags, the kitchen equipment, and the packaging behind the counter.

“You live in a bakery?” Jimin asks as she takes a couple of steps forward to stand in front of the blonde. The fox has seen a bakery before in passing before, but has never actually been inside one until now. She suddenly realizes that that was the aroma that she kept getting wafts of all night: baked goods.

“Technically I live above it,” Minjeong chuckles. “I do own it though.”

“You’re a baker?”

“I am,” Minjeong replies, keeping one elbow leaned on the counter while facing Jimin. “Did you sleep okay?”

The fox nods. She was so tired. She hadn’t even heard Minjeong move around in the morning when her acute hearing is normally incredibly sensitive. Looking around, Jimin suddenly glances down at the counter and notices a small basket-tray of buns sitting next to the cash register. She quickly eyeballs them, but doesn’t spot anything identical to what she had consumed last night. Her eyes soon move to wander around the rest of the bakery.

“Are you looking for something?” Minjeong asks her houseguest.

“Are there any more of those red bean buns?” the fox shamelessly asks.

“Oh!” The baker’s face immediately lights up. “Sorry, I think I gave you the last one last night. But do you want to try something different?”

“Different?” the fox inquires, interest piqued at what other baked goods Minjeong has to offer.

Minjeong naturally smiles when there’s some sort of sweet naivety in Jimin’s dark eyes. “Here, try this. It’s a lot sweeter than a red bean bun.” She pulls a tray out of the display case and pulls off the plastic wrap. Using a pair of tongs, the baker picks out a roll from a metal pan and places it onto a plate for the fox.

Jimin picks it up with her hand and notices that this one is sticky, gooey, and has swirl that spirals all the way to the center. She briefly sniffs it, but is unfamiliar with the spicy-sweet smell. She takes a big bite. Once she’s chewed and swallowed her mouthful, her eyes suddenly turn wide as the flavors catch up to her. “Oh!” Jimin shouts, physically recoiling from the taste.

“Wh-what’s wrong?” Minjeong asks, unsure of what to make of the taller girl’s wide eyes and the way that her hand is held in front of her gaping mouth in shock.

“It’s,” Jimin some of the icing from her lips. “It’s so good! These flavors!” she exclaims, unsure how to describe her love of them. “It’s very tasty.”

Minjeong releases a long exhale, not even aware that she had been holding her breath. “I’m glad you like it,” she says, smiling as Jimin continues to messily eat. “It’s a cinnamon bun.”

With cheeks filled of chewed pastry, the raven-haired woman eagerly nods as she adds ‘cinnamon bun’ to her list of human terminology. “I like this one a lot,” Jimin says, and the icing from her fingers now that she’s done consuming the whole roll.

For a woman who looks as ethereal as Jimin does, Minjeong gawks as the woman runs her tongue over her palms like some starved animal. The baker softly laughs. “Are you always this hungry?”

“I…haven’t eaten for a while,” Jimin says, wiping with the back of her hand.

Minjeong frowns as she wonders what the woman has been through to render her into such a state. She stares at the stranger as she continues her digits clean. “You should probably wash your hands,” Minjeong suggests, starting to become bothered with Jimin’s hygiene. “The icing’s really sticky.”

“Oh, sure,” the fox replies. She walks to the sink, on the wall opposite from the counter, and washes her hands, finding the citrus aroma of the soap pleasant. As she dries her hands on a paper towel, she hears the baker laugh beside her.

“You have some icing on your face.”

Jimin pokes her tongue out to the corners of , and then passes it over her lips.

“No,” Minjeong laughs, “It’s on your—here, I’ll get it for you.” The blonde goes to wet a paper towel under the faucet before she reaches up and takes a gentle hold of Jimin’s chin. “You got it all the way up here,” she chuckles as she wipes the icing off of the taller woman’s cheek.

As the baker cleans her off, Jimin finds herself staring up close into Minjeong’s dark eyes. She finds them mesmerizing with how focused they are as the human cares for her, like they’re sparkling with compassion. As soon as Minjeong’s pupils shift and make contact with the fox’s though, she lightly laughs and pulls away, leaving the gumiho to wonder why Minjeong’s heart had just started beating faster.

“There, all clean!” Minjeong announces.

“Thank you.”

“Those are day-olds. I’ll make sure to bake you fresh ones sometime.”

Sometime. Jimin wonders how long she should stay here. She’s already wasting precious time here rather than looking for a hotspot of men to feed on. However, she does wonder if a fresh cinnamon roll would taste even better than what she has just consumed.

“Do you like pork bone soup?” Minjeong suddenly asks.

Jimin perks up at the mention of meat. Though gumihos naturally feed on men, she does remember a time—centuries ago—when she had warped to a rural area where there were very few farmers to prey on. The fox had resorted to feasting on the livestock out of desperation, and they were honestly equally as delicious. She smacks her lips as she tries to imagine what ‘pork bone soup’ will taste like.

“That sounds wonderful.”

“Cool. I was thinking about making some for dinner.”

“Dinner,” Jimin softly groans, voice dipping in disappointment once she realizes that that’s the meal towards the end of the day. “That’s so far away….”

Astonished by the skinny stranger’s appetite, Minjeong lightly laughs. “Sorry, it’s Sunday, which means the shop’s closed, but that’s so I can catch up on inventory and all that fun stuff. If you’re hungry, you can eat whatever’s in the day-old basket,” she tells Jimin, gesturing to the bread next to register.

“Thanks.”

“Are you…going to hang out here for the day?” Minjeong cautiously asks. “I mean, you’re welcome to stay!” she quickly adds. “I just…wasn’t sure if you suddenly remembered where you needed to go.”

Jimin briefly considers the possibility of leaving, but as she stares at the tray of free bread, she’s also immediately reminded that this human is offering to cook and feed her for the day. Easily swayed by her indolence today, the fox has to admit that it feels nice being pampered. “I’ll stay here, if that’s okay.”

“Yeah, totally fine,” Minjeong replies, smiling brightly at her houseguest. “Make yourself at home.”

 

***

 

While the baker is busy with a notebook in hand as she runs around her shop, Jimin lingers in the commercial kitchen and looks over all the machinery. She has seen some of it on television before, but almost everything is still extremely foreign to her.

Something catches her attention though. Looking very out of ordinary in the commercial kitchen, she spots a little black plastic box tucked into the corner along one of the counters. The container is covered in puffy, shiny stickers of snowmen, snowflakes, and some penguins too. It looks rather childish compared to the rest of the professional bakery.

Curious, Jimin opens the box to find a neatly stacked mix of index cards and some loose leaf sheets of paper. She picks one up and realizes that it’s a box of recipes, most of which are handwritten on paper so old that they’re stained with some liquid or dusted with traces of old flour.

“Oh! P-please be careful with that.”

Jimin glances over at the blonde who’s now hastily making her way over. Minjeong reaches out like she wants to grab the index card from the fox’s hand, but out of timidity or uncertainty, she doesn’t.

The gumiho can smell the strange waft of distress suddenly coming from the baker, so she lays the card back down into the box. “Your recipes are precious to you,” she states.

“My grandfather’s actually,” Minjeong corrects, now reaching over to shut the box. “He passed them down to my mom and it’s…it’s all that I left of her.”

“She…?”

“She died back when I was in high school.”

“So your bakery is a family business?”

“Yeah, it was. But my dad passed away a few years ago too. So…it’s just me now.”

The fox tilts her head to the side. She hasn’t smelt sadness like this before, but Minjeong’s scent feels heavy and cold when it reaches her nose.

“Sorry! That was a lot for me to say,” the blonde suddenly blurts out, nervously laughing. “You…can look at the recipes, but please be careful with them. Anyways, I-I should get back to work so that we can go have lunch soon.”

Ugh. Lun

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Chaos_T
Whoever it is that has advertised Fox Bread, thank you so much 😭🙏❤️

Comments

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lalaflourish 0 points #1
Chapter 16: re-read this again because it's honestly the best jiminjeong au ever
iwkzoq #2
Chapter 15: Chapter 15 : I really cried a lot in this chapter 🥹🥹, I just hope that Jimin still comes back. Poor baby Minjeong
jinsoulheejin
#3
Chapter 6: OMG Yoona hii (since she said she was a friend of Minjeong's mom, I wonder if Minjeong's mom is Taeyeon here as well JDJDK my precious yoontae 🤍)

Jimin is always giving "You're killing people? No, I'm killing boys" 😭

"Jimin finds herself smiling without meaning to" 🥺 I feel that she is already getting attached to everyone who work at the bakery.

Jimin calling Minjeong stupid to her face JSJSKSKA

I really, really hope that all that talk about marriage, loving one person forever, and never leaving them is a (jiminjeong) foreshadow.

Jimin, Minjeong's angel, flung out of space.

Jimin helping and doing her best to make Minjeong feel happy 🥺

THE KISS DJKSKSKAKAJSJSJ

CONFUSED JIMIN IS SIMPLY TOO ADORABLE 😭🤏

I'm still on chapter 6, and the author-nim has just released a new story (that although I haven't started yet, I'm pretty sure is another masterpiece), but I'll be honest and admit that, before I start the other one, I'll continue reading this at a veeery slow pace cause I don't want it to end. Ever.
jinsoulheejin
#4
Chapter 5: Chapter 5: Minjeong's dream and Jimin not realizing that she is the reason for her clumsiness that morning 😭 Minjeong's not stupid, Jimin, she's just !

Later, "(...) for the sake of her research on human women." Sure, honey, that's definitely the sole reason.

The fox is undeniably smart, but maybe she did the right thing when she chose to spend a couple of weeks just studying the women around her. She still has a lot to learn, indeed.

Additionally, Jimin using her powers to make Minjeong's ex leave was so hot, ngl, and I'm glad that she didn't use them with Minjeong, no matter how curious she was.

Minjeong is so sweet. I personally would love to see Jimin killing someone in front of me. Hell, I would even let her kill me if she wanted to!

The last paragraph 😭🤍
jinsoulheejin
#5
Chapter 4: "Everyone's so nice.
They're all so stupid."

I tried to read this chapter while getting my hair done at a salon but I had to stop because I couldn't stop smiling to myself. Why does reading this make me so happy? Also, Jimin losing her appetite after thinking of Minjeong 🥺
jinsoulheejin
#6
Chapter 3: This chapter has so many highlights: Yizhuo saying "That's ist", her calling Jimin a "hot-hobo", Aeri suspecting that Jimin is a serial killer, Jimin straight-up staring at Minjeong and Yizhuo for hours while they bake (and completely freaking Yizhuo out in the process), Jimin willing to help them in order to earn a cookie in return, the "This Can Bake" apron, Jimin waiting for Minjeong to tuck her into bed. Just brilliant. Jimin was so cute here too!!
jinsoulheejin
#7
Chapter 2: Jimin is so funny without even meaning to 😭 I love reading her thoughts, and how they contrast with her actions
Kannakobayashi09 #8
Chapter 20: Done reread it, this is really a masterpiece thank you author<3
jinsoulheejin
#9
Chapter 1: Jimin wondering whether it is worth eating (literally) Minjeong is hilarious 😭
Missekie #10
Chapter 3: not jimin waiting minjeong to tuck her in to sleep, wtf she's too adorable for someone who eats human men 😭