Sweetest Grape on the Vine

The Bunny and The Bear
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Listen to the song that inspired the title: Slow Club – Sweetest Grape on the Vine  

“Aaah it's finally over! We can breathe a little easier now!”

  “Yah, Park Sooyoung, don’t you have a schedule in San Fransisco?”   “I know, Unnie! But having finished a series of concert around Japan is something to be relieved about, y'know?”   “Aren’t you just glad that you can pig on a late night tteokbokki again?”   “Try saying that one more time Yerim.”   They continue to bicker on their way back to their hotel where they will make a quick stop before heading back to Seoul, and at any time the oldest would tell them to behave. That night wasn't one of them as she watched the back seats in amusement, sharing the same thought with another who was giggling at Sooyoung, Yerim, and Seungwan's banter.   Yeah, she's also glad that their Japan concerts were finished.                                                   #   It hasn't been an hour since they've arrived in the comfort of their dorm that someone suggested that they should have a drink to celebrate.   That someone, was, surprisingly, Kang Seulgi.   Joohyun looked at as if she didn't suggest it that Seulgi quickly added, “Not drinking until we're pissed drunk, of course, just a glass or two.”   Usually, Joohyun would tell her to catch up on her sleep instead but before her logic could keep up, already voiced, “Sure.”   As if that's the cue, Seulgi's lips stretched to a grin, smiling with her eyes that Joohyun immediately thought that it was worth bending the rules a bit for the night.   #   Joohyun pride herself as someone who simply does not get drunk easily, let alone waking up with a head-splitting pain on her head that screams hangover even when there was only silence around her. That morning she woke up feeling nauseous on her bed, even though she clearly remembered that she was in the living room last night, being the chaperone while the younger members share a bottle. Or maybe more? She had no clear recollection whatsoever.   She also remembered Sooyoung asked her to drink at least a glass to share the celebratory spirit as well, being the leader of the group. And she did, since she remembered how the juice-soju concoction tastes.   The rest of the night was a blur, with bits of loud cackles and Seungwan’s worried ‘Unnie are you okay?’ reverberating on her mind although she couldn’t remember the context.   Joohyun groaned. So much for being an example to your dongsaengs, Joohyun, she thought while nursing her throbbing head.   The door to her room clicked open and she could see Seungwan between the cracks. With a wave that signaled that the younger woman could enter, Joohyun sighed.   “How are you feeling Unnie?” Seungwan asked in a whisper, which Joohyun was thankful for.   “I’ve been better, Wan-ah…” she replied, taking the glass of water Seungwan offered. “What happened last night?”   “Uh…” Seungwan might be looking at her but Joohyun knew she was conflicted – as if she was considering not to tell her anything. “I’m not sure what happened, but you drank more than usual.”   It was a diplomatic answer, she knew; Seungwan was telling the truth while masking some other things that Joohyun might not be comfortable knowing. After all these years, Seungwan finally learned how to mask her thoughts better.   But Joohyun had known her well too.   “Did the other kids get drunk too?”   “Yeah, but they’re in better shape than you are.”   “Mmm.”   “Sooyoung and Yerim were loud; no surprise there. Seulgi was surprisingly good in holding her liquor, unlike usual.”   “How so?”   “Well she–“ Seungwan halted and caught Joohyun’s gaze; the latter’s eyes were half opened but Seungwan knew Joohyun was scrutinizing. “She could hold a phone conversation with her dad well.”   She did it again, Joohyun thought but decided not to press further. “I see. So I’m the only one feeling like crap?”   “Yerim and Seulgi are still sleeping if it makes you feel any better.”   Joohyun scoffed to which Seungwan grinned. The two are heavy sleepers that it almost feels like a miracle if they could wake up earlier.   “Thank god I have no schedules today,” Joohyun whined, cuddling to a large bunny doll.   “Do you want me to order you something to cure the hangover?”   “Yes please.”   Seungwan smiled at Joohyun, leaving the room before she could blurt out anything. What happened the night prior might scar her for life, and she’s nervous just thinking about what might transpire the rest of the day.   #   Less than thirty minutes and soft knockings on her door later, Joohyun dragged her feet to the dining room where the smell of Haejang-guk permeated in the air. She took a deep breath, feeling slightly better with just the smell of the hangover soup. The soup itself was still heating up on the stove so she took her usual seat on the dining table, waiting for the other members to come.   “Oh!”   Joohyun was idly sitting on her usual seat at the dining table, taking in the relaxing scent of Haejang-guk, when a faint gasp urged her to open her eyes.   Seulgi definitely had the look of someone who had only woken up a few minutes prior with disheveled hair and hoodie. Even then, she looked adorable to Joohyun.   “Sit here Seulgi-yah. The soup is almost ready,” Joohyun pointed at the stove.   With a slight hesitance, the younger woman took a seat across of Joohyun. It’s not in Seulgi’s character to be mindful of her morning appearance to her members, so when she was trying to tidy her unkempt hair while stealing glances to Joohyun, the latter became self-aware of how she might look as well.   Rubbing her chin and lips for any drool (hey, she can barely remember how she could get to bed let alone how she slept!) Joohyun caught Seulgi glancing at her lips before looking away.   “I hope the kids didn’t do anything stupid last night,” Joohyun started, “I couldn’t remember much.”   Seulgi gulped, considering what to say before croaking, “You drank a lot last night, Unnie.”   “I did, didn’t I?” Mortified, Joohyun hung her head. She wasn’t even sure if she wanted to know what made her drink beyond her limits, just to make sure she didn’t say or do anything that might hurt her members afterward. “Do I want to know what happened?”   Seulgi’s mouth open and close; clearly conflicted if she should say anything at all. Knowing how much of a pure, innocent soul Seulgi is, Joohyun must’ve crossed a line last night.   “Never mind, Seul,” Joohyun held her palms up, the throbbing on her temples hurt more just considering what might happen that made Seulgi look so conflicted in telling her. “Let’s talk when my head doesn’t feel like it’s been split in two.”   With a soft ‘okay’, Seulgi stayed idle, tuning out Joohyun’s soft groans from her hearing.   The four young women took their breakfast in silence for different reasons, Joohyun thought, glancing at the younger members. Yerim looked like she could fall asleep on her soup anytime soon as her eyes were barely open since Seungwan dragged her out of bed. Point of which, being the only sober one, Seungwan seemed to be a bit off, glancing on her and Seulgi every now and then, thinking Joohyun wouldn’t notice it. Seulgi seemed to be fine, yet she was quieter than usual; her mood didn’t even improve at the sight of the soup Seungwan served her.   Something definitely happened last night and Joohyun sighed at the prospect of facing it immediately.   #   “Seungwan.”   “Yes, Unnie?”   “What happened last night?”   After the slightly awkward breakfast, Joohyun chose to lounge in front of the TV while Seungwan and Seulgi clean the dirty dishes, but only the former joined her. Seulgi went to her room quietly, not even sparing a glance at Joohyun. The image of Seulgi’s hoodie-clad back gnawed on her conscience that she decided to ask Seungwan.   “Eh? Last night?” Seungwan made a fail attempt to not be so surprised.   “Yeah. You didn’t drink last night, did you?”   “Well, just a sip here and there...”   “So? What happened?” Joohyun pressed, not even trying to take the softer approach.   Seungwan sighed, Joohyun’s hard expression leaving her no room for more cover-ups. She recounted what happened, wishing that it might be best that way.     The girls were loud as usual and had only gotten louder with each refill of their glass. Only Seungwan and Joohyun were the sober ones since they were sticking to carbonated drinks and water only. That being said, Joohyun’s laughter was still loud because of the game Sooyoung initiated. One of them had to tell a story and the others would have to guess if their story was real or not. If the story was indeed real or they could convince the others that it was, the others would have to drink a glass. The storyteller would have to drink when the others could tell that the story was made up.   “Unnie, I’m gonna pour you another glass just because I know that you were lying,” the tallest member said, already tipping the beer bottle to Seulgi’s glass.   “I’m not! I did have the chance to hike Halla Mountain that one time!”   “There’s no way you would go hiking in the morning! Knowing you, you would probably choose black pork over hiking!”   At the mention of black pork, Seulgi couldn’t control her facial expression anymore, instigating another round of laughter from the others. Being the good sport that she was, Seulgi drank the whole glass with no resistance.   “Should we choose Joohyun-unnie next? Her stories are interesting,” Yerim suggested.   “I bet it’s gonna be more interesting if she drinks.”   Having known each other for a few years, Joohyun knew that Sooyoung’s smirk is a start of something bad. Before she could refuse, a red-faced Seulgi added, “Yeah! Drink with us Unnie! A glass of beer won’t hurt.”   “If you’re less sober you’d remember that I don’t like beer, Kang Seulgi. Pace yourself, will you?”   Seulgi pouted and Joohyun had to struggle internally to not give in to that adorable frown.   “Then should I try making something for you Unnie? I think we can make a simple cocktail with what we have.”   Again, Joohyun would have refused if the offer came from Sooyoung and Yerim, but it came from Seungwan, the only sober one beside herself. “Seungwan, you too?!”   “It’s okay to let loose a bit Unnie! Only Sooyoung has a schedule tomorrow and she is already drunk.”   “Hey, I’m not drunk yet!”   “Which is what every drunk person would say. What would you say Unnie? Should I make something for you?”   The other members were looking at her expectantly and Joohyun didn’t have it in herself to ruin the mood. “Alright, you better make it delicious for me,” Joohyun sighed in defeat, but not for long because the others were cheering at her decision.   “I’m on it!” Seungwan saluted, running to the kitchen with her phone in hand.   While waiting for Seungwan, Joohyun glanced at the younger members. Sooyoung was nibbling on a dumpling she stole from Yerim, who was quick to dip the stolen dumpling in a spicy sauce. The ruckus they caused was not enough to disturb Seulgi who was taking pictures of the table full of beverage and snacks. Holding back a smile because the flushed bear was slightly swaying, Joohyun asked, “What are you doing Seul?”   “I want to show this to Sunmi-unnie.”   Joohyun’s expression dropped. “Ah really?”
  “Yeah. We promised to keep in touch after the filming,” Seulgi added.   Of course, Joohyun thought bitterly as she watched Seulgi trying hard to get a good shot with her phone. She had known that Seulgi was the second member in the group to be in Secret Unnie after Yerim, but hadn’t found the courage to watch the show yet despite the positive reaction from her surroundings. Maybe she would if Seulgi weren’t so enthusiastic in recounting the short trip she had had with the senior singer or if she didn’t realize how Seulgi had been taking a lot of pictures and was on the phone more than usual.   No, this is a night to celebrate. Keep the bitter thoughts at bay, Joohyun, she thought to herself and directed her attention to Seungwan instead. She looked like a chemistry class student with how seriously she mix the drinks. When their eyes met, the shorter woman exclaimed, “I’m almost done!” and Joohyun smiled at her in amusement.   Indeed, Seungwan brought the orange concoction to her not long after, seemingly proud of what she had made. “Here you go Unnie!”   From the look alone the drink looks like a glass of orange juice. “What’s in this?”   “Heh, you’ll be surprised,” she smiled smugly, “have a taste Unnie!”   Albeit a little hesitant, Joohyun had a taste of a drink. Her eyebrows rose at the taste of refreshing orange juice even though the end note was a little bitter. “Wow, this is good.”   At the positive remark, the two youngest brought themselves closer, fighting for a sip from Joohyun’s glass.   “Yah, stop fighting! I’ll make more for you two!”   “Whoa, what’s in this Unnie? It tastes really fresh!” Yerim, who succeeded in getting the first sip exclaimed, followed by Sooyoung.   “Give that back to Unnie, will you? And no, you’re not getting any yet, Seul! You better sober up before getting another drink.”   Joohyun snorted before taking another sip of the refreshing drink. It seemed that Seungwan really took over her role as a chaperone.   “Now that Joohyun-unnie has drunk something,” Sooyoung eyed the half-finished drink, “shall we continue with the game?”   #   After her second glass of orange juice-soju mix (Seungwan finally told her what was in it), Joohyun slowly felt warm from her neck up. Her face must be red by now, although she could still tell what was happening around her, albeit slowly.   “Is it my turn now?”   Joohyun looked up from her glass, finding Seulgi still chewing on a dumpling. She looked like she had sobered up compared to before even with a red flush on her cheeks. Good for her, she thought.   “Should I pour you a glass already Unnie?” Yerim teased, knowing full well that in all her turns Seulgi has failed to make the others drink by her lame stories.   “No! I’m gonna make all of you drink this time!” she snapped, taking her glass away from being filled again.   Looking around the table, the three members (Sooyoung h
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Some of you early readers are lucky bcs I forgot to lock the update 😅
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