The Scar Tissue

Fox Bread
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After Jimin had put Minjeong in bed last night, she had returned to the bakery’s kitchen to help clean up bowls of measured ingredients, which had never been mixed, and also to tidy up some equipment and utensils that the blonde had left around. So Jimin wakes up a little later than usual this morning because of it. After the fox has finished her shower, she steps out of the bathroom in her towel and freezes when there is someone who definitely is not Minjeong standing in the loft kitchen.

The woman’s tall, brunette, and is currently standing at the open refrigerator while staring at Jimin with the same wide-eye, open mouth expression that the fox is also making.

Jimin speaks first. “Who are you?”

“Who are you?” the woman retorts, but laughs as she does with no malice in her tone.

The fox nervously shifts in her stance. She glances at the open door leading down to the bakery and can hear all the noise coming from the kitchen downstairs. So if everything is normal in the bakery, then is it normal that this person is…here?

“I’m Jimin,” the fox tells the woman.

The brunette is smiling with amusement as she shuts the fridge door. “I’m Yoona.”

With perfect timing, Jimin hears footsteps jogging up the wooden staircase and she can instantly smell Minjeong’s signature scent as she approaches the loft. “Yoona-unnie!” Minjeong shouts. “I just saw your car outside. What’re you doing here? You don’t come back to work till Monday!”

“I was putting some dinners into your fridge. I was worried you might have died while I was on vacation,” Yoona says.

“Oh! Thank you, you really didn’t have to—”

Jimin wants to laugh at the blonde’s face when she does a double take to realize that the fox is standing in the middle of the loft and wearing nothing but a towel.

“JIMIN!” she immediately shrieks. “G-go change in the bathroom!”

The gumiho rolls her eyes at the human’s embarrassment over such a trivial thing, but does as the baker requests regardless. She grabs a change of clothes before going back into the bathroom and closes the door behind. As soon as the door is shut though, she can hear the shushed conversation between Minjeong and Yoona on the other side.

“So…are you going to tell me who your guest is?”

“It’s a long story.”

“I like long stories.”

“Unniiiiie, why don’t you tell me about your trip to Hawaii instead?”

“Jimin, is it? She’s really pretty.”

“Unnie!”

“Oh my god, you are so red right now. Who is she?”

“I have to go to work now!” Minjeong declares.

Jimin can hear their footsteps starting to exit the loft now just as Yoona continues to add, “You know I’m just going to ask the other girls, right?”

 

***

 

Yesterday was embarrassing. Minjeong had convinced herself long ago that the chapter in her life with Chaehyun was closed, but the shock of seeing her ex had sent her emotions into overdrive. It was truly unexpected the kind of feelings that the other girl had evoked, so the blonde baker feels desperate to shake off yesterday’s events and start fresh today.

Minjeong is about to grab a fresh pair of nitrile gloves, but is interrupted when Yoona joins her in the corner of the commercial kitchen.

“So…that was hot-hobo, huh?”

Even though the other bakers are across the room by the main table, Minjeong still makes a mental note to kill Aeri and Yizhuo. “Unnie, please don’t call Jimin that,” she sighs.

Yoona chuckles before lightly bumping her hip against the blonde’s. “I can’t believe how much happened while I was on vacation.”

“She needed help,” Minjeong explains, shrugging as she does.

“Your mom used to complain to me about the stray cats you used to feed in the parking lot. Especially when they started coming by every day,” Yoona reminisces. “Who would’ve thought you’d still be taking in strays?”

“Unniiiiiie, Jimin’s not a stray,” Minjeong whines. Actually, by definition, Minjeong realizes that, yes, the woman is a stray, but the baker doesn’t want to refer to Jimin like an animal.

Yoona clicks her tongue. “You’re too nice, honey. Be careful, okay?”

“She’s been here for almost two weeks now. I promise, she’s nice.”

Speaking of the devil, Minjeong hears the loft door open and close, followed by the sounds of footsteps coming downstairs. Feeling a rush of embarrassment about what happened last evening, Minjeong quickly makes herself scarce and tells Yoona that she needs to handle something in the storefront.

However, Yoona stays when she wants to inspect the stranger who’s made herself a home in the bakery that she’s worked at for so long. “Morning, Jimin,” she greets, watching the new employee reach the bottom of the stairs. “Sorry for barging in earlier. I didn’t realize Minjeong-ie had company.”

“Minjeong-ie?” Jimin repeats, not having heard the blonde baker be referred to as such before. “Have you known her for long?” the fox inquires.

Yoona laughs. “I used to babysit her. Then her mom offered me a job here once I got a little older. And then I kind of just fell in love with the place and work. Like, do you know those super old grandmas that you see in bakeries?”

No? Jimin has no idea because she’s never been in any other bakery. “Yeah.”

“I’m going to be just like that,” Yoona chuckles. “I’m gonna be a cute lil’ grandma baking bread till I die.”

Amused, the fox lightly smirks at the absurd statement. “You won’t find that boring?”

“Nah. You’d be surprised what kind of wonders good people and good food does for the soul. Anyways, I’m not being paid to stand around and gossip today,” she laughs. “So I’ll see you on Monday. It was nice meeting you, Jimin.”

“It was nice meeting you too. See you later, Yoona.”

The other bakers in the kitchen wave bye to Yoona before greeting Jimin this morning. As the fox approaches the center table, she sees a can of cola waiting for her, but there’s also still a cup of iced americano sitting in the cardboard tray. She glances around and sees that Aeri, Yizhuo, and Seungwan all have theirs, so….

She picks up the cup and heads to the storefront where she can sense Minjeong from.

“Morning.”

As the blonde baker turns to face her, Jimin listens to the way that the girl’s heartrate immediately picks up.

“M-morning.”

The fox approaches her and hands Minjeong her cup of coffee. “I think you forgot your coffee this morning.”

“Oh, thank you.”

Jimin’s used to the blonde being talkative, so it’s a bit unnerving standing around in silence. The fox still doesn’t know what to make of the events that changed Minjeong so much yesterday. Uncomfortable, she’s about to turn on her heel and return to the kitchen full of loquacious bakers, but Minjeong finally speaks up.

“Hey,” she says, voice a little small. “I, um, came down this morning and noticed that everything was already cleaned up from…last night. Did you stay up late?”

Jimin doesn’t understand why Minjeong’s eyes are nervously shifting in small darts, like she’s doing everything possible to avoid the fox’s gaze. “I didn’t mind. You were tired.”

Minjeong’s eyes find a permanent spot on the floor now as her hands fidget with the lip of her coffee cup. “Thanks for uh…um….”

The fox continues to grow wildly uncomfortable with these long silences. Desperately wanting to escape this conversation and retreat back into the kitchen full of music and chatter, she reaches out and pats the baker atop her head. “Drink some coffee. You’re probably tired today.”

 

***

 

At the end of the work day, after the bakers have finished cleaning the shop, Yizhuo shouts from the kitchen after she checks her messages on her phone. “Yo! Aeri’s just finishing off some work with a client. She wants to know if you guys want to go out for dinner!”

“Yeah! I’m down for dinner!” Seungwan quickly responds. “It is a Friday night!”

“Minjeong?” Yizhuo pokes the shop owner. “Can you tear yourself away from the bakery for one night?”

“Ha ha, very funny,” Minjeong replies as she throws her removed apron at her friend. “Dinner sounds great actually. I’m not really in the mood to cook. Jimin, are you okay with going out to eat?”

Beyond just the obvious fatigue, Jimin doesn’t like that something’s been dampening the baker’s usual sweet and bright scent all day. Something about yesterday has muddled with Minjeong’s scent and the fox doesn’t like the unfamiliarity of it.

“Sure,” Jimin replies. “Whatever you want.”

 

***

 

Going out for dinner means that they’re suddenly taking the train half an hour into the city center and that puts the fox on edge. It’s been two and half years since she’s been in the mortal realm, and though she should be accustomed to staying in cities, the crowds make her anxious. Jimin’s grown used to the baker’s small district during the short time that she’s been here, so when they start to weave through the throngs of people, she instinctually reaches out and grabs onto Minjeong’s arm.

It was a long time ago when cities weren’t even a thing, Jimin was young, careless, arrogant, and had been caught devouring a man’s soul while she was residing in a village. Having been exposed early on in her hunt, she was stranded in the mortal realm for weeks while on the run from being hunted by a mob of angry villagers. What was even worse was when they brought a goddamn shaman in to exterminate her. She had barely made it out of that hunt in time.

She really should be used to the crowds from all the bars and clubs that she has frequented in the more recent years. Still, the fox doesn’t like them one bit.

What does comfort her a little bit is when Minjeong feels the tense squeeze of Jimin’s hands around her forearm, the baker then moves to lace their fingers together instead. Minjeong lets the fox tightly hold her hand as they make their way to the restaurant.

 

 ***

 

Apparently going into the city for dinner also means that the girls have apparently invited some old coworkers to supper and Jimin tenses up when they’re all males. This is bad. They’re all healthy looking young men and will probably make great meals. But she tells herself that it’s best not to target any of them since they’re friends with everyone at the bakery. It would be unwise to hit somewhere too close to home—too close to where she wants to keep comfortably sleeping at night that is.

Not trusting her impulse control, she glues herself to Minjeong’s side while the blonde introduces Jimin to some of their old coworkers.

“This is Chenle, Felix, and Jaehyun.”

“Hello,” Jimin shyly greets, half hiding herself behind the blonde baker while still latched onto Minjeong’s hand.

As everyone is politely greeting each other, the fox watches with curious eyes as Chenle goes to wrap Yizhuo up in a tight, prolonged hug. As soon as it happens, Jimin hears Minjeong and Aeri’s hushed whispers as they jab their elbows into each other’s sides.

“God, look at them.”

“They’re ridiculous.”

Jimin blinks in confusion as she looks at the couple again. Why are they ridiculous?

She doesn’t dwell on the thought for long because as they take their seats for dinner, the fox grows apprehensive when the boy, Jaehyun, takes the seat on her other side.

“Hi, it’s nice to meet you, Jimin,” Jaehyun politely greets. “Did you just start working at the bakery recently?”

Is this boy just asking to be killed? Why is he choosing to sit next to a gumiho?! The fox presses her lips together and shuffles her seat slightly to her right, closer to Minjeong. “Yeah. About a little over a week now.”

“Oppa!” Minjeong suddenly exclaims, leaning over Jimin’s lap. “I heard you’re dating someone now. Tell me about her!”

The fox leans back as the two humans converse over her and, gradually, she becomes more comfortable when she soon realizes that Jaehyun doesn’t reek of the same way as an aroused man does. He doesn’t smell like the volleyball captain. He doesn’t smell like that drunken man in the parking lot that night. Actually, he kind of smells…nice. He smells comforting like most of the other bakers that Jimin’s become acquainted with.

Drinks soon hit at the table and Jaehyun grabs a bottle of soju and cracks one open before asking the fox, “Do you want a drink?”

The gumiho can smell the pungent liquid from the open bottle and it does nothing but remind her of practically all of her hunts, spanning centuries, and how the substance obscures the intelligence of humans so easily. The drink smells of stupid. While thinking about old prey, it’s also giving her stomach that same funny feeling as a few days ago with the volleyball captain at the school.

Jimin shakes her head and declines the offer. “No thank you.”

“Minjeong?” Jaehyun asks next.

“Yes, please,” Minjeong groans, desperately reaching out for her friend to fill her glass. “And keep em’ coming.”

The humans’ conversation isn’t all that interesting, so naturally, Jimin’s mind starts to wander. She momentarily contemplates if she should turn Jaehyun into a meal. If she slowly flirts with him through the evening, no one would even bat an eye if she left with him tonight and went back to his place—which apparently is in this city and far from the bakery. It could be quite perfect.

But then Jimin also wonders about what would happen in the baker

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

Comments

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iwkzoq #1
Chapter 15: Chapter 15 : I really cried a lot in this chapter 🥹🥹, I just hope that Jimin still comes back. Poor baby Minjeong
jinsoulheejin
#2
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
#3
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
#4
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
#5
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
#6
Chapter 2: Jimin is so funny without even meaning to 😭 I love reading her thoughts, and how they contrast with her actions
Kannakobayashi09 #7
Chapter 20: Done reread it, this is really a masterpiece thank you author<3
jinsoulheejin
#8
Chapter 1: Jimin wondering whether it is worth eating (literally) Minjeong is hilarious 😭
Missekie #9
Chapter 3: not jimin waiting minjeong to tuck her in to sleep, wtf she's too adorable for someone who eats human men 😭
HeekuTheMarshmallow #10
Chapter 15: God I can’t even write this cimment property becaus of my tears