The Favor

Counterfeit Hearts
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Dr. Karina Yu had always considered herself a rational person. As an ob-gyne, she dealt with facts, figures, and the irrefutable truths of the human body on a daily basis. Emotions, while important, took a backseat to logic and reason in her line of work.


So why, then, did she find herself agreeing to the most irrational request she'd ever received?


It all started on a perfectly ordinary Tuesday evening. Karina had just finished a grueling shift at the hospital, delivering three babies and dealing with a particularly challenging case of preeclampsia. All she wanted was to curl up on her couch with a pint of strawberry ice cream and binge-watch her favorite drama.


But fate, it seemed, had other plans.


Just as she was settling in, spoon poised over the inviting pink confection, her phone buzzed with an incoming text. Karina almost ignored it, assuming it was Giselle or one of her other friends checking in. However, the unfamiliar number piqued her curiosity.

Scooping up her phone, Karina swiped to open the message:

Hey, it's Winter Kim. Got your number from Ningning. I need a favor.

Karina blinked at the screen, perplexed. Winter Kim? As in, the intimidatingly beautiful, sassy lawyer friend-of-a-friend she'd met a handful of times at group gatherings? That Winter Kim?

They weren't close by any means - acquaintances at best, really. Winter always struck Karina as the aloof, independent type, not someone who'd casually reach out for favors from near-strangers.

Intrigued despite herself, Karina typed back:

Hi Winter, this is a surprise! What kind of favor are we talking about?

The three dots appeared almost instantly, Winter's reply popping up a moment later.

I need you to be my fake girlfriend.

If Karina had been eating her ice cream, she would've choked on it. Fake girlfriend? Was this some kind of prank? She stared at the words, half-expecting them to rearrange themselves into something less absurd.

When they remained stubbornly unchanged, she replied:

I'm sorry, I must have read that wrong. You need me to be your what now?

A fake girlfriend. Do try to keep up, Doctor.

Karina could practically hear Winter's signature deadpan snark through the screen. She huffed, torn between amusement and exasperation.

Right, how silly of me. Because that's such a normal thing to ask of someone you barely know. Mind elaborating on why you need a fake girlfriend all of a sudden?

There was a long pause before Winter's next message popped up:

It's a long story. Buy me coffee tomorrow and I'll explain. Usual place, 2pm. Don't be late.

Karina hesitated, glancing forlornly at her waiting ice cream. She should say no. She had no business getting mixed up in whatever scheme Winter was cooking up. The smart thing would be to politely decline and go back to her quiet, uncomplicated life.

But Karina had to admit, she was intrigued. The mysterious Winter Kim, reaching out for her help? It was too tantalizing to resist.  Before she could talk herself out of it, she found herself typing:

Make it a large caramel latte and you've got yourself a deal. See you at 2.

Perfect. Don't be late, Yu. I despise tardiness.


And just like that, with zero fanfare or room for argument, Karina found herself roped into meeting up with Winter Kim to discuss being her fake girlfriend. What alternate reality had she stumbled into?

She groaned, flopping back against the couch cushions. So much for a quiet night in. Apparently the universe had decided her love life, or rather, lack thereof, needed some spicing up.

Fake dating Winter Kim. Karina couldn't quite wrap her head around it. The woman was undeniably gorgeous with her fiery red hair, sharp wit and piercing gaze, but she seemed so out of Karina's league it wasn't even funny.

Where Karina was soft curves and gentle smiles, Winter was all sharp angles and cutting remarks. They moved in the same social circles, sure, but that was where the similarities ended.

Karina was the type to wear her heart on her sleeve, always ready with a kind word or sympathetic ear. Winter, on the other hand, guarded her emotions like a hawk, an air of mystery and aloofness clinging to her like an expensive perfume.

Frankly, Karina wasn't entirely sure Winter even liked her. Their interactions thus far had been limited to polite small talk and the occasional traded barb when Winter was feeling particularly snarky.

So why on earth would she want Karina, of all people, to play the role of adoring girlfriend? It didn't make sense.

But Karina was nothing if not curious (some might say to a fault). And if she was being honest with herself, the prospect of getting to know the enigmatic Winter Kim better held a certain appeal.

Against her better judgement, Karina found herself mentally rearranging her schedule to accommodate this bizarre coffee date. She'd go, hear Winter out, and then politely decline. No need to overcomplicate things, right?

Oh, how naive she was.



The next day found Karina fidgeting nervously in a booth at the quaint coffee shop Winter had designated as their meeting spot. She'd arrived fifteen minutes early like the punctual, people-pleasing doctor she was, and now had entirely too much time to second guess her decision to come at all.

She didn't have to wonder for long. At precisely 2 o'clock, the bell over the door chimed and Winter strode in, drawing every eye in the room. Karina felt go dry at the sight of her. Winter Kim strode in like she owned the place, all confidence and devastating beauty wrapped in a perfectly tailored suit. Her vibrant hair was pulled back in a sleek ponytail, emphasizing the sharp cut of her jawline and the striking symmetry of her features.

Karina suddenly felt very underdressed in her simple sundress and card

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Chapter 1: 1: I definitely hope this isn't angst cause I can't handle that any longer
pinkishsky #2
Chapter 7: Loving this :')
Chapter 7: skskskkss neeed mooooore
Chapter 7: Hahahahaahaha... can't wait for the next chapter
kariselleheart 21 streak #5
Chapter 7: i love this story. im big on angst so i wonder how itll be once karina or winter breaks 😭 my guess is karina but ahhhhh!!! looking forward to the next update

for pobs i think i like makestar, soundwave or ktown4u. this tweet has a thread of the pobs!
jushshhh 19 streak #6
Chapter 7: Dr.Yu what are you doing on the floor~ lol 😹
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Chapter 6: this is so good 😭
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Chapter 6: hskshsjhdjdh
Chapter 6: 🥰🥰🥰
Chapter 4: wow this fic's actually soooo goooood. can't wait for more chapters