like a moth drawn to flame

It’s that time of the year again.


Everyone in school looked forward to the upcoming Christmas ball, especially the winter break that came after. Excitement buzzed in the halls, seeping into conversations even in the student council office where most preparations for the said event were made.


It’s that time of the year again.


And that only meant more work than usual for the people behind the scenes.


“Do you have a date for the ball yet?” Aeri, student council secretary, asked nobody in particular while she organized the list of students who have confirmed their attendance to the said event.


“Do we look like we have the time to worry about that?” Yizhuo replied, busy sifting through student profiles looking for people who could perform at the ball.


“Tsk tsk. You’re so uptight, Ning. That’s why nobody’s asking you to the dance.”


“Has anyone asked you, Uchinaga?”


Aeri flushed. “I--Y-You’d be surprised!”


“Right.” Yizhuo put the papers down and sighed. “I’ve been sorting through piles and piles of papers but I still can’t find a fitting performer--like how miserable Aeri-unnie can’t find herself a date.”




The officers chuckled. “Have you tried Song Yuqi? She can play the guzheng.” Hyunjin suggested.


“She already declined. She’s not even attending the ball because of family matters.”


“What about Huang Renjun from 3-C? He does ballet.” Jihoon recommended.


“He’s already in the lineup.” Yizhuo sighed again, forehead hitting the tabletop with a soft thud. “We need four performances but so far, we only have three.”


“Why don’t you do it instead?” Aeri piped up. “You can breathe fire through your nose. That would be entertaining.”


“Yeah, right, why don’t you?” Yizhuo retorted. “I can set you on fire. That would be entertaining.”


“Why don’t the both of you do it?” Jihoon interrupted. “Do salsa or something.”


“Over my dead body!” Aeri exclaimed while Yizhuo made a face. “Oh, hey, wait I just thought of someone.” Everybody looked at her, expecting.


“What about Kim Minjeong?”


The student council had never agreed to disagree on something so fast. Aeri’s idea was shot down before it could fly.


“Why not?” she protested. “She’s a great singer!”


“Yeah and will most likely disrupt the ceremony.” Hyunjin said.


Yizhuo nodded. “She’s nothing but trouble, unnie. Remember last year when she poured tabasco into the punch bowl? When she put wasabi in the avocado salad?”


“There wasn’t any evidence that it was her.”


“Yes and the clean crime makes her even more dangerous. What if she goes onstage and does a fireworks performance?”


“Yizhuo, you’re exaggerating.” the girl seated at the head of the table finally broke her silence, drawing everyone’s attention without lifting her head from her papers. “It is true that Kim Minjeong can be a little too...uninhibited. But with a proper approach, I’m sure you can rely on her to fill in the lineup with grace. She’s quite the trustworthy fellow. A talented one, too.”




“Wow.” Yizhuo broke the ice. “I didn’t expect that you’d know her, Jimin-unnie.”


Yoo Jimin paused, momentarily looking away from her papers, eyes shifting sideways before tucking a lock of her hair behind her ear. “Who doesn’t, right?”


Yizhuo nodded, convinced. “Well...if you say so...then maybe I’ll give her a try. I doubt she’ll say yes though.”


“She will.” Jimin said. Everybody looked at her again. “I mean, she might. You’ll never know.”


More suggestions were tossed to the table and since then, Jimin never once looked up again. Much things had to be prepared for. The event was already set to be held at the school auditorium but there were still matters of the decoration and its budget. She had to look into the sound system too, as well as add lighting for the waltz. Hyunjin had already submitted the list of restaurants for the catering but Jimin was yet to check them all. Thankfully, the program was already taken care of by Yizhuo. But…


“Hey, Jimin. Are you staying back again today?”


Jimin looked up. They were already out of their seats, wearing their bags. Her eyes flicked towards the clock. Time flew by without her noticing.


“Yeah.” she smiled. “I’ll lock up.”


“Okay then.” they began to go out, one by one. “Don’t stay back too late.”


She nodded at Aeri. “I won’t.”


She opened the windows as soon as she was left alone. Sunlight entered the office, bathing everything in an orange hue. The frigid air stung, leaving a cool trail in her lungs. She scanned the grounds, the smattering of students all ready to head home, and glanced at the clock once more. A frown wrinkled her brows as she returned to her seat, leaving the window open.


After the event, there would be the problem of cleaning up. They would need people for that. Volunteers, perhaps. With bonus grades as an incentive. Jimin opened her laptop to start writing a proposal when a grunt came from the window followed by a thud.


“You shouldn’t keep your windows open, pres. It’s cold outside.”


The voice made Jimin’s fingers pause, twitching. She forced herself to focus on her work. “You’re late.”


“Got held back by Mr. Han. Sorry.”


Jimin finally turned and sure enough, the girl was there, casually perched on the windowsill. The winter wind blew her dark hair and spread red across her cheeks. The setting sun shone behind her, golden light outlining her petite figure. Like the saints in those paintings. Simply ethereal.


Their eyes met and the smile on those pink lips widened, a dimple appearing on soft cheeks.


“Missed me?”


Jimin frowned. “How many times do I have to tell you not to sneak in here through the window?”


“Yet you always leave them open for me anyway.”


“That’s because the last time I didn’t, you almost died.”


“Please. We’re only on the second floor. That’s not high enough to kill me.”


Jimin narrowed her eyes. “Kim Minjeong.”


Minjeong raised her hands in surrender, though the mirth in her eyes said she would do it again. “I’ll be careful next time.”


“You can always just walk through the door like a normal person.” Jimin pointed out.


Minjeong raised her brows. “That would raise a lot of questions.”


“Climbing to the second floor window like some spiderman wannabe will raise more.”


“If I ever get caught doing that, I don’t think anyone would be surprised.”


Jimin rolled her eyes at her grin. “Then stop making them assume that of you.” she chided. “Anyway, the student council’s planning to ask you to perform at the ball.”


Minjeong quirked a brow. “Is this the student council asking?”


Jimin waved a hand. “Yizhuo will approach you soon and discuss further about the matter.”


Minjeong’s slow grin made its way back on her face, “Did you come up with this idea?”


“No. Aeri did. Everyone was against it. Yizhuo was worried you would do a fireworks performance indoors or something.”


The glint in Minjeong’s eyes made her wish she didn’t mention that part at all. “Fireworks performance, eh? Wow, they really have some high expectations of me. I’ve never even thought of that before.”


Jimin clicked her tongue before the girl could get any more ideas. “Minjeong. No explosives.”


Minjeong laughed, light and easy. “Okay, okay, I got it.”


“Do you want to do it?” Jimin asked after a while. “Singing, I mean.”


“You’re asking me this as..?”


“As Yoo Jimin.”


“Ah. Then in that case, what do you want me to do?”


Jimin shrugged. “It’s up to you, of course. But I think it would be nice if you perform.”


“You’re saying that to ease the student council’s burden or because you want to hear me sing?”


Jimin pressed her lips together, watching Minjeong suppressing a smile (and badly failing at it). “Perhaps both.” she allowed. Minjeong pouted but before she could speak, Jimin beat her to it. “What would you have said if I asked as the president?”


Minjeong’s slow grin replaced her pout, “Why, I would’ve wasted no time to reject your offer.” she said. “As the student council president, it’s in my nature to defy you in everything, no question. As my girlfriend, however…” she shrugged, “If you want me on that stage, then I’ll be on that stage.”


Jimin shook her head, turning to the laptop to hide the flush that had surely colored her cheeks. “Move away from there. You might fall.”


“You wouldn’t want that?” Minjeong jested but hopped off anyway, closing the window and pulling down the blinds.


“I wouldn’t.” Jimin started typing. Asdfghjkl. “It would be messy. Too much paperwork.”


“Oh?” light footsteps approached, getting closer and closer and before Jimin knew it, her seat was being swivelled around and she found herself face to face with Minjeong. She leaned in and Jimin held her breath, eyes flicking down to her lips.


“What should we do, Miss President? I’ve already fallen.”


Minjeong closed the distance and Jimin sighed into as their lips crashed softly, slotting together like puzzle pieces.


It’s soft. Sweet. Warm. Like s’mores. Every cell of her body felt like combusting, every nerve tingling. Blood rushed up to her face, roaring in her ears. She tugged on Minjeong’s coat, pulling her closer to taste more of that vanilla. Minjeong stumbled and propped her knee on Jimin’s seat. The arms that had been beside Jimin now rested on her shoulder, icy fingers brushing the burning skin of her nape, sending shivers down her spine. A low hum rumbled in as she greedily nibbled and on sweet supple lips wanting more, more, more.


Like a moth drawn to flame, she could never get enough of Minjeong until it burns bright and hot, flames the depths of her stomach.


She could feel her smile against her lips. “So you did miss me.”


Jimin growled, “Shut up and kiss me.”


Minjeong laughed. “Don’t mind if I do.”


Yes, Yizhuo was right. Kim Minjeong was nothing but trouble.


But ironically, Jimin loved flirting with danger.




It all started with an almost business-like agreement.


The case of students cutting classes had spiked in the past weeks and Jimin, upon repeatedly mulling over it, had come up with a plan.


She didn’t expect Kim Minjeong to immediately agree, of course. But she didn’t think the girl would be laughing either.


“You--You want me to do what?” she spluttered, eyes teary from laughter. She’s seated a couple of seats down the student council table as if making sure that if the situation arose, she would be able to get to the door as fast as possible.


Jimin stared down at her, unamused. “I want you to find out where the students have been going during class hours and how. Is there anything funny about that?”


Minjeong let out a little snort, like the question tickled her. “You are aware that in order to do that, I’ll have to skip classes too, right?”


“Nothing you don’t already do.” Jimin coolly replied.


Minjeong raised her brows, amused. “You have a point.” she admitted. “But why me?”


They had never really interacted. Had no reason to. They were in different classes and had different schedules. Different circles of friends and different interests. She had heard the name Kim Minjeong several times, though it was never in a positive light. However, Jimin would admit that during the small instances that they happen to pass by each other in the corridors or be in the cafeteria at the same time, she would steal a glance. Maybe two.


And she would catch Minjeong doing the same.


(It ignited a tiny flame of curiosity, each time she meets those brown eyes from across the room for a second before they look away)


Jimin steepled her fingers on the tabletop. “It’s something I cannot suggest to the school, nor can I let the other student council members know about. Seeing them in the vicinity would only raise alarms. As much as I want to look into this matter on my own, I’m afraid that I cannot be directly involved, as I bear the school’s and the student council’s authority.” she paused, allowing herself a ghost of a smile. “It’s something only you can do.”


Minjeong stared at her. She stared back. She found it hard to read into her blank expression, stoic eyes and straight lips betraying nothing. But after a while, Minjeong finally spoke.


“A favor for a favor.” she stood, approaching Jimin. “I’ll do this favor of yours and you will have to do one of mine. No matter what it is.” she sat on the tabletop, leaning on one arm as she smiled down at her all sly and coy. “Deal?”


It seemed fair, though her logic kept on going on about how she should be careful with the promises she makes. Jimin couldn’t look away though. Her eyes were glued to those dark ones.


“You’ve got yourself a deal.”


Their secret meetings were frequent after that. Creative, too. Sometimes Minjeong would somehow slip a note in Jimin’s bag containing their meeting place after school. Other times Jimin would inconspicuously drop a letter in Minjeong’s locker. Most of the time, Jimin would be working overtime at the student council office and Minjeong would sneak in through the window, much to the former’s vexation.


Somehow, in between the hushed conversations in deserted corridors and the loud bickering in the empty office, Jimin’s tiny flame of curiosity has evolved into an uncontrollable wildfire.


She didn’t know what to do about it.


So she swept it under the rug.


This is fine, she tells herself every time she catches Minjeong looking at her in the midst of the busy cafeteria and her heart would pound a little too fast. This is fine, she tells herself every time they pass by each other in hallways and their knuckles would brush. This is fine, she tells herself every time Minjeong cracks a random lame joke when they meet after school and she would roll her eyes and try not to smile.


“So about my favor...” Minjeong brought up one late afternoon, peering at her from her position slumped over the table of the student council office, this time right on the nearest seat at the head of the table.


They had succeeded in finding out where the students had been sneaking off to and Jimin had made proposals on sealing the hidden exits. She didn’t have to anymore but Minjeong still came every after class without fail.


“Hm?” Jimin absently hummed, typing in a few more words before looking up from her laptop. “What about it? Have you thought of something yet?”


“I have.” Minjeong’s smiling but it wasn’t one of those usual smug smiles. This one was softer around the edges. Barely even there. But her eyes glinted, as though keeping a secret.


Jimin tilted her head to the side. “Well, what is it?”


“What do you think about going out with me?”


Jimin paused. Breathing, blinking, moving--everything. And then she’s slowly leaning back against her seat, swallowing to keep her heart from jumping up to .


“I have thought about it, yes.”


Minjeong laughed, momentarily hiding in her arms. “That’s not the question.” she said. Her cheeks were pink, Jimin fondly noted. Cute.


What does she think about it? “Well,” she cleared . “I think…” she her lips. “I think it would be an inconvenience but...I’d like that.”


Minjeong’s small smile widened to a grin. “Yeah?”




“I think I’d like that too.” Minjeong reached out, covering Jimin’s hand with hers and with that unfairly charming smile said, “Date me, Yoo Jimin.”


Yeah, this is...this is fine, too.












It was crowded when they got to the cafeteria.


The tables were mostly occupied and Jimin considered having lunch at the office instead but couldn’t find the chance to make the suggestion. Yizhuo and Aeri were bickering again and she knew better than to try to put a word into the conversation.


She followed them quietly, eyes unconsciously roaming around the room and lips slightly curving downward upon seeing Minjeong’s usual table occupied by the said girl’s peers yet she was nowhere to be found. Where is she? Did she finish lunch already?


“I asked Minjeong about performing, by the way.”


The mention of Minjeong’s name brought Jimin’s attention back to her two companions.


“Really?” Aeri chirped. “How did it go?”


“Surprisingly well.” Yizhuo pursed her lips thoughtfully. “She willingly agreed faster than I expected.”


“Seems like you prepared yourself for an argument for nothing then.”


“Yeah but it makes me feel anxious. It feels way too easy.”


“You’re too suspicious. I’m sure she just genuinely wants to help out.”


Jimin nodded along, agreeing with Aeri. Yizhuo rolled her eyes though. “You’re just saying that ‘cause you’re friends.”


“Which means I know her better than you do and I’m telling you, she’s not as bad as you all paint her to be.”


Jimin couldn’t help but smile. They picked up their trays and started to line up at the counter. The queue was long.


“We’re not painting her reputation. She is.” Yizhuo continued, “You can’t justify her actions.”


“You’re being close-minded. Is there only one facet to a person?”


Jimin quietly listened to them argue about her girlfriend. She didn’t feel the need to step in because Aeri was already doing quite a fine job defending Minjeong and Yizhuo was actually making credible points Jimin had actually argued about with Minjeong herself. Besides, she had a feeling this wasn’t actually about her.


She let her eyes roam around the cafeteria again, skimming through the throng of students for that familiar face and came up with nothing. She tried to ignore the disappointment dampening her spirits. Minjeong should be here around this time though.


“What do you think, unnie?”


Jimin shifted her gaze back to her friends. “Hm? About what?”


“About Minjeong.” Yizhuo answered and Jimin wanted to laugh at how she looked so confident that Jimin would side with her.


“Well…” she carefully started, “I think she deserves the benefit of the doubt.”


Aeri grinned. Yizhuo huffed. Jimin gave her an apologetic smile.


The line moved on and they got their serving of hamburg with cheese, pan fried tofu, spicy squid and radish, burdock, kimchi, rice, and a bowl of steaming spicy chicken and vegetable soup.


“Can I have two of those cream cheese garlic bread, please?” she asked the lady before leaving. “Thank you.”


They agreed to eat their food at the student council office (Jimin finally got the chance to bring it up) and she wolfed down her food while Aeri and Yizhuo went on another dispute about dates to the Christmas ball. Jimin could only shake her head.


“What about you, Jimin?” the conversation suddenly included her and she blinked, wiping her lips.


“Yes,” she answered. She was actually paying attention this time. “I do have a date to the ball already.”


They gaped at her. She tilted her head to the side. Did she say something wrong?


“No way.” Yizhuo blurted. “Who?”


Jimin couldn’t help but laugh. “Is it really that surprising?”


“No, it’s just--aren’t you too busy?” Yizhuo said.


“I didn’t peg you as the type who would care about such things.” Aeri added.


Jimin nodded. “That’s true. I don’t.”


“Who asked you?” Yizhuo inquired.


“Or did you ask someone?” Aeri put in.


Jimin hummed and then waved a dismissive hand. “Asking isn’t necessary. It’s simply how it is.”


She watched them splutter, amused. “But--why--how?”


She laughed lightly as she stood. She’ll let them figure that out. “I’m going to go get us drinks. Oh, and, a piece of advice.” she paused by the door, “Why can’t you two just ask each other out?”


She escaped the room before they could start raging about how it isn’t like that! Chuckling to herself, she made a long, roundabout detour going to the furthest vending machine situated at the grounds. She had a feeling they wouldn’t appreciate it if she came back too soon.












Jimin was a lot of things. She’s a straight-As student, the president of the student council, a taekwondo black belter, and a cat lover, among others. Minjeong would like to think that she knew her girlfriend quite well.


But even she was surprised to witness the same Jimin out on the grounds, surrounded by boys. No, not because they were wooing her or something but because they were busy trying not to get their beaten up.


If Minjeong wasn’t so alarmed at the sight of Jimin’s busted lip, she would’ve laughed at the unlikeliness of the situation. But upon seeing blood on her girlfriend’s face, she charged right in and shooed the men away.


“Now, now.” Minjeong murmured as they sat on a bed in the clinic, “Why did a good girl like you get in a fight with three people double your size?” she dabbed at the girl’s bruised and wounded knuckles with a warm cloth, before swiping it over her lips like a caress.


“Thank you,” Jimin said, eyes downcast. "For stepping in.”


Minjeong quirked a brow, amused. “You’re welcome. But that’s not an answer.” when Jimin remained silent, she continued. “I mean, I’m all for it, really. But for someone who’s always reprimanding me on daily about staying out of trouble, I have to admit this is quite a surprise.”


Jimin sighed, still refusing to meet her eyes. It’s adorable, how her brows were scrunched just a tad and her lower lip, though wounded, was slightly jutted out.


“Was it self defense?” Minjeong pressed on, putting the cloth aside to put disinfectant on Jimin’s wounds. She carefully watched her, quickly pulling away whenever she hissed. “Did they make a pass on you or something? Because I still remember their faces and I swear to God if they did something to you I won’t hesitate to spank them with a shinai.”


Jimin smiled only to wince. “I don’t think a shinai should be used like that.”


“I can and I will.” Minjeong said, relieved to see Jimin smiling, though it was short-lived. “So? What happened?”


Jimin let out a long exhale through her nose but said nothing. Sighing, Minjeong let her be, focusing on treating her wounds. A gust of wind blew through the windows, white curtains billowing before gently floating down to a quiet stillness.


“I was getting drinks for Aeri and Yizhuo.” Jimin started quietly. “And then I heard your name.”


Minjeong blinked. Her name? She wanted to ask but she waited for Jimin to continue instead.


“They were talking about you so I…” Jimin trailed off, finishing the sentence with a shrug.


Minjeong stared at her--the reddening cheeks, averted eyes, and semi-grumpy expression--as she put two and two together, the answer making her smile.


Oh. So that’s why…”


Jimin shifted backward, huffing. “See? I knew you’d make fun of me.”


Minjeong laughed, holding on to her. “Make fun of you? No way! I think it’s quite sweet, really.”


Jimin’s brows met in a scrunch. “Sweet?”


“Mm-hm.” Minjeong tapped her nose. “It’s cute but you don’t have to do that. If you fight everyone badmouthing me, then you might end up going against the entire student body.”


Jimin’s frown deepened. “But they were going too far.”


Minjeong couldn’t help but smile. She leaned in and pressed a feather-light kiss on the corner of Jimin’s lips, away from her injury. “Thank you.” she whispered.


Jimin pouted. “More.”


Minjeong laughed. “No kisses until you’re all healed up. That’s what you get for getting into a fight like that.”




The door suddenly opened and they both jumped away from each other. While Jimin merely flinched, Minjeong literally flew back to the edge of the bed. It’s a surprise she didn’t fall off.


“Uhh…” the intruder who Jimin recognized to be a guy from Minjeong’s class looked like he was about to comment on their suspicious behavior until he saw the state Jimin was in. “Holy , Minjeong, what did you do to her?”


“Wha--Nothing!” Minjeong spluttered, red faced. “I didn’t do anything!”


He turned to Jimin. “Pres, did she hit you?”




“I did no such thing!” Minjeong hollered. Was she really going to keep on shouting?


“Well then, did she hit on you?”


“What the , get lost, Beomgyu!”


Since it was clear that she wasn’t going to get a word out, Jimin settled on watching the exchange, getting more and more amused by the second. She hasn't seen Minjeong lose composure like this before.


“What are you doing here anyway?” Minjeong demanded the still laughing boy. Jimin fondly watched the way her cheeks puffed. Cute.


Beomgyu raised his hands in surrender. “My head aches, okay?” he answered. “What are you doing here? Aha, you’re pretending to be sick to cut classes, aren’t you?”


Jimin was about to tell him that no, Minjeong was there because she’s tending to her wounds when the girl spoke, “And what if I am?” she stood, opened a drawer, and shoved medicines into Beomgyu’s hand. “Stuff those down your throat. Should be enough for your head.”


He looked like he was about to protest until he remembered Jimin’s presence in the room. “Hey, I didn’t think I’d ever see the two of you together.” he looked at Minjeong. “I always thought you were the the government type.”


Well, he wasn’t wrong. Though Jimin wagered the ing he meant was in a different context.


“I was hanging out here when she suddenly arrived looking like that.” Minjeong said in a tone that was almost foreign. Like Jimin was an inconvenience. “So don’t you start spreading weird stuff. I don’t have anything to do with her at all.”


Jimin frowned. She studied Minjeong but her girlfriend seemed to have developed a stiff neck, refusing to look at her.


“You don’t have anything to do with me, huh?”


The situation amused her and piqued her curiosity, more than anything. But she must’ve sounded a little too sharp because Minjeong abruptly turned to her, a flash of worry in her eyes. But she quickly looked away.


“Y-Yes. Nothing at all.”


“...I see.” Jimin’s lips twitched to the faintest smile. Oh, Minjeong, you terrible liar.


Beomgyu looked at them, gauging the atmosphere. “I don’t think it would be safe for me to leave you two alone here--”


“Ugh, Beomgyu, just go away!” Minjeong grabbed on to his arm and with all her might dragged him to the door.


“Alright! Alright! I’m leaving!” and then to Jimin--”Please be careful, Pres! This one bites.”


Jimin smiled deliberately. “I know.”


An excruciating silence fell on them as soon as the door closed.


Jimin looked at Minjeong, at the space between them that suddenly seemed wider than it actually was. Despite her mirth, something awful insisted to churn in her gut but she refused to give in to those unpleasant emotions and tried to understand the situation.


Minjeong acting like a stranger in public, insisting on sneaking into the student council office, their stealthy dates…


Jimin thought Minjeong just wanted them to be lowkey, which she completely understands and concurred with, but after witnessing her profusely deny any relations to her...could it be that…


“Kim Minjeong, are you ashamed of me?”


Okay, maybe she did give in to her ugly feelings. Just a little.


The accusation, though said in a jesting tone, made Minjeong finally turn and look at her so fast she wouldn’t be surprised if she got whiplash.


“No! Of course not!”


Jimin crossed her arms and patiently waited for her to explain. She’s sure Minjeong had her reasons for acting that way.


“It’s just…” Minjeong sighed again. She looked very much like a sad puppy right now and under different circumstances, Jimin would’ve cooed and for being so cute. “You’re...You’re you and I’m me.”


Jimin blinked, bewildered. “Sorry?”


Minjeong stared at her hands. “I just don’t want to ruin your reputation.”


Jimin still wasn’t sure she’s following. “My reputation?” she echoed, confused.


Minjeong nodded, leaning against the door. Perhaps making sure nobody would interrupt them again. “I’m not exactly...a student anyone would want to be associated with so if people notice that we’re even the slightest bit acquainted, they might start talking and those words can hurt.”




“Well...like...saying I’m getting special treatment.”


Jimin frowned. “You don’t.”


Minjeong gave her a pointed look.


“Okay, sometimes you do. But I only let you off the hook because you’ve done something for us in exchange too.”


“Yes, but they don’t know that.”


“Well, are they? Talking about that, I mean.”


“No. But they might.”


Jimin thought about it, mental kegs clicking and whirring. “Is this why you keep your friendship with Aeri discreet?”


Minjeong nodded.


“But you hang out with Ryujin and Yuna all the time. Aren’t you worried about ruining their reputation?”


Minjeong smiled dryly, “They do that without my help.” she sighed. “Look, I’ve seen my reputation ruin my friends’. They get categorized as troublemakers just by being seen around me. I don’t want that to happen to you. So I just...somehow act like I--” she abruptly stopped, frowning as she tried to think of the proper way to say it. “Like...I’m not very...fond of you.”


It almost made Jimin smile, how she said it with much difficulty and the grimace on her face after she did, as though the words were bitter on her tongue.


“Must be a piece of cake for you, then,” she teased further, “Considering how you never really held me in a very high regard before.”


Minjeong looked like she was about to protest but decided against it, giving her a sheepish glance from beneath her fringe instead. “Was I that obvious?”


Jimin shrugged. “Well, you weren’t exactly being subtle.”


Minjeong laughed softly. “Okay, I admit I used to dislike you. And everyone knew that. So I just went on with it so they won’t be suspicious. But it’s not easy to act like I hate you when I actually feel the opposite, you know? But I’m worried--”


Jimin couldn’t help it. Two full strides of her long legs and she’s silencing her with a kiss, ignoring the sharp sting of her wound. Minjeong stared at her, wide-eyed. Understandable. She wasn’t the type to initiate these things at school, after all.


“You worry too much, you know that?” Jimin whispered, their noses touching.


Minjeong’s eyes darted to the side. “Unnie, the windows--”


“See what I mean?”




“Minjeong, you know I don’t care about any of that, right?” she pulled back, satisfied with their closer, almost non-existent distance.


No one would’ve guessed it but in the course of their relationship, Jimin had noticed that there were situations where the roles would flip and Minjeong would be the one fretting over the smallest of things while Jimin simply doesn’t give a damn. Like how they celebrate their monthsaries, preparing gifts, every single itinerary of their date, and now this.


Minjeong stresses about things like this a little too much while Jimin simply thought that if it’s with Minjeong, then everything’s already perfect.


“I know.” Minjeong sighed, “But let me do this one thing for you. Please.”


The look in her eyes was so sincere, intentions so pure Jimin had no other option but to relent. She could never win against Minjeong.














The preparation for the Christmas Ball was going smoothly, thanks to the cooperation of each member of the student council, volunteers, and faculty. Still, Jimin couldn’t bring herself to relax until the event itself was over and done with.


She strode through the school grounds with purpose and haste in each step, talking to people, having papers signed, and checking and double-checking everything among others.


Combined with the academic pressure, it was arduous, no doubt. But staying at the student council office after hours had been something that kept Jimin going, thinking that at the end of the day, there would always be warm arms to catch and hold her tight and sweet lips to kiss and steal her breath away and fragrant hair to--


“There’s going to be a rehearsal after class.” Yizhuo’s voice broke through her daze as they briskly walked through the hallway on their way to their last class for the day. “Do you want to watch?”


Aeri shrugged, “Sure.”


Jimin blinked, reeling. “Wait, wait, wait. Is this for the performances during the ball?”


Yizhuo seemed puzzled but answered, “Yeah.”


“After school?”




Jimin could literally feel the blood drain out of her face. Then that would mean...that would mean she won’t have her warm arms and fragrant hair and--


“Do you...want to watch too?”




She squeaked, surprised by her own outburst. They stared at her with wide eyes. Clearing , she repeated in a calmer manner, though her ears burnt. “I mean, yes, I guess I could...tag along.”


The dynamic between Aeri and Yizhuo hasn't changed since that day Jimin left them alone in the student council office. They still bickered over everything and nothing and Jimin wasn’t sure whatever happened between them at all but it wasn’t her business so she didn’t pry. She did talk to Minjeong about it though. Her girlfriend just laughed and said “Aeri-unnie, that little ...good for her, good for her.”


When they got to the gymnasium for the rehearsals, most performers were already there. Jimin’s eyes immediately scanned the place. Of course her girlfriend was late. She’ll have to talk to her about her tardiness.


“What’s the order for the performances?” she asked Yizhuo.


Yizhuo listed off names but Jimin only listened for a certain girl. “...And then Kim Minjeong will be the last.”


She nodded as she watched the entrance from the corner of her eye and when a group of students walked in, her head automatically snapped to their direction.


There she is.


Minjeong walked in, with Ryujin and Yuna as usual. But this time they had a fourth companion. Jimin normally didn’t mind the crowd Minjeong kept. But this one had her arm around her girlfriend’s shoulders, whispering into her girlfriend’s ear, and making her girlfriend laugh.


Before she knew it, she was already marching towards them, blood boiling and eye twitching.


Because why? Why was this random girl able to touch, able to be so close to her girlfriend out in the open when Jimin can’t?


“Kim Minjeong.” she stopped before them, allowing her eyes to land on Minjeong whose eyes widened for a second before a curtain of cold indifference fell over them. Jimin clenched her jaw. “You’re late.”


A nonchalant smile spread on Minjeong’s lips, gaze morphing into a condescending stare. “I don’t think 5 minutes is that much of a loss, Miss President.”


“Tardiness is still tardiness and tardiness is inexcusable.” she replied curtly. “Get in there while I’m still being amicable. Alone.” her gaze hardened as she pointedly glanced at the arm slung over Minjeong’s shoulder.


She must’ve noticed because she was quick to shrug it off, though she kept her cold facade on. “Geez. Fine.”


“Whoa, wait up.” the new girl grabbed Minjeong’s arm, defiantly staring down at Jimin. She’s tall, Jimin would give her that but she was too busy glaring at that trespassing hand on her girlfriend to meet her gaze. “Why can’t we come with? Is it also inexcusable for friends to support each other? That’s kinda unfair, don’t you think?”


Jimin finally looked at her. Pretty. It left a bitter taste in .


Minjeong shifted nervously in the charged atmosphere. Even Ryujin and Yuna--the only ones who knew their real relationship--were giving her apologetic smiles, tugging on the girl and saying, “C’mon, Somi, let’s go.” between gritted teeth.


But she--Somi--stood her ground. “I see other performers sit with their friends as well. Are you sure you’re not picking on us?”


Jimin didn’t bother turning to check. She crossed her arms. “Somi, is that right?”


Somi frowned. “Yes.”


“You’re in the same class as Kim Minjeong?”




“Then shouldn’t you be at the study hall right now?”


Somi opened and closed , struggling to retort, but Ryujin and Yuna were already dragging her away. “I can’t believe you even memorize our schedule!”


Jimin scoffed, watching them leave. “Only Minjeong’s.” she murmured under her breath.


Said girl still stood beside her, fixing her with a worried look. “Jimin--”


Jimin strode to the exit, not letting her finish. “Hurry and get in there, Kim Minjeong.”


She walked out of the gymnasium, not looking back.











She headed straight to the student council office.


There was, after all, stuff to do. And she didn’t quite feel like watching the rehearsals anymore.


The room was quiet save for the flipping of pages and the ticking of the clock. Almost tranquil if not for her racing thoughts and the ugly green monster rampaging in her gut.


Deep breaths, Jimin. Deep breaths.


She continued on reviewing the material for their next lesson on Korean History, already having long finished all her student council workload and even Yizhuo’s. She even considered starting on Hyunjin’s work but he would be annoying about it when he finds out so she decided to study instead.


The sun was setting. Jimin was supposed to be going home but she was on a roll. One last paragraph, she kept telling herself as she read through her textbook, only to keep reading the next.


It’s definitely not because she’s waiting for someone. The locked window and closed blinds were proof of that. She absolutely didn’t want to be disturbed right now. A hundred percent--


A knock came at the door.


Jimin sat up, eyes flicking at the clock. Oh. She had over extended her stay. She sighed, preparing an excuse for the faculty who was about to kick her out of the building when--


The door creaked open and a familiar head peeked in.


Her heart raced.




The girl looked equally surprised to see her there. “You’re still here.” She said, sounding relieved.


“I-What are you--” Jimin couldn’t find her words. She blinked rapidly but the image of Minjeong leaning against the doorway wasn’t vanishing. It’s real.


Minjeong smiled wryly, “You’re right. Using the door isn’t so bad after all.”


Jimin scoffed. “Get in here. What if someone sees you? Aren’t you worried about that?”


Minjeong shrugged, moving to enter the room, “There's something else I’m worried about so that didn’t cross my mind. I just wanted to see you.”


Heat rushed to her face. Butterflies flapping their wings wildly in her stomach. Damn it.


She cleared , “What are you doing here?”


Minjeong leaned back on the closed door. “Mmm, I believe I already told you.”


Jimin stood. She didn’t like having to look up. She rounded the long table and leaned against it.

“Well, what’s that other thing you’re worried about then? Make it quick. They’ll start checking the school for students soon.”


Minjeong stared at her and Jimin could feel it from her gaze before it even escaped her lips. She inhaled sharply as the lock clicked under Minjeong’s fingers. She pushed herself off the door, closing the distance between them with long, sure strides.


She stopped less than an arm’s length away and Jimin held her breath, looking into her apologetic eyes.


A heartbeat.




And then--


A cold hand cradled her warm cheek. Minjeong’s stepping between her legs and leaning into her lips. Jimin’s eyes fluttered shut and she melted into the touch.


Minjeong kissed her like the way she holds her guitar. Gentle. Careful. With reverence. As if writing a song on her lips.


I’m sorry.


I love you.


Don’t be mad?


Jimin looped her arms around her neck and buried her hands in her silky hair in reply.


She wasn’t as tender when she kissed back, pent up frustrations turning their kiss from slow to aggressive. She pulled Minjeong closer, humming as the hand on her cheek moved to encircle her shoulder, an arm snaking around her waist.


An image of Somi and Minjeong flashed beneath her eyelids. Fresh, hot anger rolled in her gut. She sat on the table, wrapping her legs possessively around Minjeong’s thighs, and pulled her even closer.


She nibbled and on her lip before invading and claiming every corner with her tongue. Minjeong let out a low grunt, palms restlessly running around the expanse of her back, shortly resting on her waist before aimlessly roaming around again. The coolness of her skin seeped through the material of Jimin’s shirt, making her shudder.


They pulled away for breath.


Jimin scanned Minjeong’s face, pleased at her half-lidded eyes, flushed cheeks, and kiss-bruised lips, looking thoroughly ravished. Beautiful.


She dove straight into the creamy expanse of Minjeong’s neck, planting a kiss right on that sensitive spot near her jaw.




Nipping her sweet skin.




her soft flesh.




Biting down hard and soothing it with a swipe of her tongue.




Minjeong hissed, her hand that now swam in the thick of Jimin’s hair curling to a fist. Jimin leaned back and examined her handiwork, taking in the image of Minjeong breathing heavily, hair unkempt, and pupils blown, with the mark left by her lips glaring red on her pale skin. Perfect.


Minjeong gave her a quick, sweet kiss before melting into her embrace, face burrowed in the crook of her neck.


“I’m sorry.” she whispered hoarsely, warm breath and lips tickling Jimin’s skin. She shivered.


Jimin held her closer, basking in her warmth, and sighed.


“It’s okay.”












The flurry of snow swirled in the night air before settling heavily on the green grass, completely covering the ground, accumulating. Snow didn’t seem to be letting up soon.


“The ball’s going smoothly.” Aeri approached, offering her a drink. “What are you looking so troubled about?”


Jimin glanced at the piling snow.


She’s right. The event was turning out to be a success. The collective effort from the faculty, staff, and the student council was finally paying off. The school gymnasium had been transformed into a fancy ballroom for tonight with (description). They did their best to make the ball enjoyable but the school still squeezed in their lectures and droning speeches, making almost every student in the hall either squirm restlessly on their seats or stare blankly at nothing. Everything seemed to be in order. Except…


“I knew it!” Yizhuo came marching over angrily, “I knew she’d find a way to mess things up! The way she agreed so easily and cooperated well was suspicious now that I think about it. That good for nothing--”


“Yizhuo.” Jimin reprimanded, frowning.


“Ugh!” Yizhuo stomped her foot. “I shouldn’t have listened to you!”


The outburst was directed at Aeri but Jimin flinched all the same, equally guilty.


“The program went well, didn’t it?” She attempted to pacify.


Yizhuo deflated. “Yes but it could’ve been better.”


“So you agree?” Aeri jabbed, “Having Minjeong would have made it better?”


Yizhuo opened and closed and ended up saying, “Shut up.”


Jimin looked out of the window again. Still no signs of Minjeong. But then again, maybe it’s for the better. Jimin didn’t want her to go in this weather. The ball was already more than halfway finished. The chances that she’s going to show up ranged from low to zero.


What worried her was how the girl wasn’t replying to her messages and calls. Jimin had to convince herself that she must be safe and warm, tucked in her bed. It wasn’t easy.


She wrung her hands behind her back. No, she shouldn’t think that something bad had happened. Then did she do something? She racked her brain for something she had done that would cause Minjeong to ignore her calls and came up with nothing. Her girlfriend had been her usual self during the past week. Did Jimin perhaps miss certain signs? Did she overlook something? She pressed her lips together, over and over, as she tried to think.


Aeri and Yizhuo convinced her to head back to their table. Jimin pretended to pay attention to the on-going conversation, mind racing, until her eyes caught sight of Minjeong’s friends chatting at their table.


“Jimin? Hey, where are you going?”


She ignored Aeri’s calls and continued walking, heels clacking out of rhythm from her rushed steps. The table hushed at her arrival, pairs of eyes looking at her curiously.


“Ryujin, have you--” she stopped herself, recalling how Minjeong didn’t like people knowing about them. “Can I speak with you for a moment?”


The girl shrugged, “Sure.”


Ryujin followed her to the punch bowl, lingering beside her as she made the show of refilling her cup.


“You know, I was dumbfounded when I saw the punch bowl filled with tomato juice.” Ryujin said, taking a cup for herself, “But seeing you here...it makes sense now.”


Jimin flushed. She cleared . “It’s good for your health.”


“Right.” Ryujin drawled. “If this is about your girlfriend, then I’m afraid I don’t have news either.”


Jimin sighed in disappointment. “I see. Not answering your calls?”


Ryujin nodded. “The last time she contacted me, she was asking about which dress to wear, which is why it’s surprising that she didn’t show up. Did anything happen?”


Jimin shook her head. “No, none that I know of.” She let out a frustrated exhale. “She didn’t tell you anything? Like...if I did anything that ticked her off perhaps…”


“Nothing but praises.” Ryujin assured her, coloring her cheeks pink once more.


“I just hope she’s okay.”


“I’m sure she is.” Ryujin said, though Jimin could tell she’s also worried. “If that’s all then I best return to our table. My girlfriend’s glaring daggers as we speak.”


Jimin let out a soft laugh. “Go on. Thanks.”


She lingered near the punch bowl for a while, absently sipping her drink. Soft music that she recognized as Aeri’s playlist played in the speakers. She caught her friends’ eyes and they gestured for her to bring drinks to their table. Rolling her eyes, she obliged.


“A toast!” Yizhuo suddenly exclaimed, raising her cup. “For the success of the ball!”


They clicked their glasses together and simultaneously took a sip. Ice cubes had melted in Jimin’s cup, turning the drink bland.


“I’m glad it’s finally over.” Aeri said, sighing, “The last few weeks were hellish. I can’t imagine how hard it was for you, Jimin.”


“Yeah. Jimin-unnie, listen closely because I’ll only say this once.” Yizhuo slurred and Aeri scoffed at her trying to act inebriated with tomato juice. “I admire your work ethic. Seriously. She’s been staying back at school almost every day! Even before the preparation for the ball started! Monstrous!”


Jimin choked on her drink.


“Um,” she coughed into her hand, neck and ears burning.


“Oh, shush. I know you’re just going to brush it off like it’s nothing. Just accept the compliment, okay?”


Well, it was probably better for them to think that she’s been staying late because of work and not because she’s hogging the office to have her troublemaker girlfriend all to herself.


The program proper was already finished and it didn’t matter anymore who sat where as students mingled with each other all over the auditorium. Jimin stayed seated with Aeri and Yizhuo, trying to pay attention to the conversation, though her mind kept flying to a certain someone.


“You guys have plans during the winter break?” Aeri was asking, shaking her empty cup and making the melting ice cubes rattle.


“I have nothing.” Yizhuo said from behind her cup.


“Yeah?” Aeri quirked a brow. “You have a date, the last time I checked.”


Yizhuo flushed pink. Jimin tuned properly to the conversation, intrigued. “Oh?” she leaned forward. “Do tell.”


“Ugh, I hate you.” Yizhuo grumbled at the chuckling Aeri.


“Our Yizhuo here managed to score a Christmas date with her long-time crush.” Aeri informed when Jimin kept fixing them with a curious look. “And yes, that crush is none other than yours truly.”


“Wha--Excuse me?” Yizhuo fumed, glaring at her before turning to Jimin, “It’s the other way around! Seriously! Unnie, stop laughing!”


Jimin tried to hide her giggles behind her hand. “I’m happy for you.” She managed, “When and how did this miracle happen?”


Aeri launched into retelling that day when Jimin left them behind in the student council office at lunch. The day Jimin got into a fight, she recalled. Apparently, Aeri asked Yizhuo to be her date for the ball but the younger girl rejected her, planning to go alone because she had enough on her mind regarding the event. However, things happened and instead of a Christmas ball date, Aeri got herself a Christmas day date, which she was, by the way, definitely not complaining about.


Jimin’s chuckling and shaking her head, “I think the student council office has a certain kind of magic or something.” she thought aloud.


“What do you mean?” Yizhuo asked.


Jimin waved a dismissive hand. “Nothing. Let’s just say I experienced something similar before.”


Aeri and Yizhuo exchanged looks.


“Is it the date to the ball you were talking about?” Yizhuo inquired eagerly.


Jimin pressed her lips together, the mention of Minjeong making her worry again.


“Where are they, by the way?” Aeri followed up, “I don’t think I noticed you with anyone tonight.”


Jimin chewed on her lip. “That’s the thing. She didn’t show up. She’s not answering my calls either.” she spilled, letting herself fidget in front of her friends. “I’ve been beside myself with worry the entire night and--”


Just then, someone caught her eye--someone in a white dress, glowing like an angel in the midst of students. Their gazes met and the lights seemed to shine down on her and her alone, bouncing off her eyes that glimmered like she’s found what she’s looking for. Relief washed off the weight in Jimin’s chest. And then the girl’s moving forward, paving a way through the crowd, eyes never leaving Jimin’s.


“And?” Yizhuo prompted, waving a hand to her face.


“And…” Jimin’s throat dried up and she swallowed thickly, “And there she is.”


Her friends immediately turned. Minjeong stumbled out of the dance floor, a wide grin. Jimin’s chest constricted. How charming.




Minjeong’s eyes were still on her and while Jimin had seen her girlfriend almost every single day, somehow, the sight of her tonight, approaching her out in the open made her heart race.


What would people say? What if they notice?--judging from the looks they were getting, they already had.


Wasn’t Minjeong worried about that?


Aeri blinked, looking at Jimin and Minjeong back and forth while Yizhuo shrieked, “Kim Minjeong! How can you only show up now? You have no idea--”


“Oh my god.” Aeri choked, eyes wide, “Don’t tell me--”


Minjeong walked past them and stopped right next to Jimin, mirth dancing in her eyes spelling nothing but mischief and trouble, the same playful fire that always left Jimin breathless.


She offered a hand.


Jimin stared dumbly at the waiting palm because what is she doing?


“Would you like to dance?”


Her friends gasped and she would’ve heard Yizhuo exclaim she’s the date?! as if she was betrayed if her pulse wasn’t throbbing so loudly against the skin of her neck.


Jimin, despite herself, couldn't help but quirk a brow. “Are you going to step on my toes?”


Minjeong’s smile widened, dimple deepening. “I’ll try not to.”


A laugh bubbled from her chest, spilling out of her lips. “If that’s the case then I don’t see why not.”


She takes Minjeong’s hand and lets herself be led to the dance floor.


There they stood, partially hidden in the shadows, holding each other close as they swayed to soft Christmas carols. Jimin could feel the stares burning on their backs but she didn’t care. All that mattered was Minjeong’s eyes on her at that very moment.


“You look wonderful tonight.” Minjeong commented, giving her a once over to prove her point.


Jimin pinched her shoulder. “And you are late.”


Minjeong grinned, “You know what they say,” she said, doing a spontaneous twirl that also had Jimin rolling her eyes. “It’s better to arrive late than to arrive ugly.”


Jimin hit her shoulder lightly, drawing out a laugh. “Why did you ignore my calls and messages? Do you have any idea how worried I was?”


Standing so close together, Jimin could see the glow in Minjeong’s brown eyes softening, a faraway look settling in her gaze that was directed over Jimin’s shoulder, unfocused.


“Sorry. I was just...thinking about things.”


With what they’re doing right now, Jimin had a hunch on what those thoughts might’ve been and the conclusion that Minjeong had arrived to made warmth spread in her chest. Still, she waited. A verse passed in their silence and Minjeong finally squeezed her hand.


“I came because it’s a pity to miss the chance to dance with you at our last Christmas Ball as high school students.”


“Mm.” Jimin hummed, a little distracted at the way Minjeong was peering up at her through thick, long lashes that she always marvelled at.


“And, well…” those lashes lowered and Jimin unconsciously tried to count them. “I was thinking. And I thought that we could compromise. We don’t have to tell the whole world but holding your hand and being together with you like this...these are small things we shouldn’t be deprived of.”


If their faces weren’t so close to each other right now, Jimin wouldn’t have heard a single word Minjeong just said. She could clearly see the emotions flitting through her features--hesitation, vulnerability, but sincerity rose above all.


Minjeong momentarily closed her eyes, as though gathering courage to say her next words. When they opened again, Jimin was subjected to a look of such genuine determination that had her inadvertently in a breath.


“I don’t want you to feel like a secret.” Minjeong said in earnest.


A thrilling tingle crackled from the tips of her toes, traveling up to the crown of her head, filling her with warmth.


She stopped dancing and let go of Minjeong’s hand and shoulder, palms moving to cup the girl’s cheeks.


“I want to kiss you right now.”


She watched, amused, as Minjeong’s eyes darted around nervously. “Um, I think that is something we should do in secret--no, seriously, the teachers are looking at us right now.”


Jimin tilted her head back and laughed. “I didn’t know you cared about pleasing them.”


Minjeong made a face. “Only when it’s something that concerns you.”


She dropped her hands only to grab Minjeong’s wrist and started pulling, “Come on then.”


“Where are we going?”


Jimin looked over her shoulder and threw her a wink, “Someplace quiet.”


She navigated through tables, nudging stray chairs aside with her leg and ignoring the surprised looks and hushed whispers that followed their wake and Jimin couldn’t help but laugh.


They can talk all they want. Jimin would always be willing to burn in Minjeong’s flames.


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Chapter 1: Ahhhhhh!!! I love the story so much! 💙💙💙
Wemon_ #2
Chapter 1: awwww cutieesss
Chapter 1: Aww great storyy 🫶
Chapter 1: AWWWWW OMG
Chapter 1: indeed, a beautiful story <3
morphine007 #6
Chapter 1: cute asf. I love their dynamics
Chapter 1: so cute :((
JiminXJungkook #9
tipine #10
Chapter 1: Ahhhhhh💗💗😍😍