I. "You're wearing two different shoes."
A/N. I read too many OC fics and this is what happened. Doyeon is inspired from a real life person named Doyeon (who's a celebrity and I hella adore her), I'm still unsure on what the pairing should be. Potentially, this could be a Gen if I end up being too lazy to decide a pairing.
I'm pretty new to the fandom, so please bear with me if the first few chapters are awkward with the characterization. I will try my utmost best.
P.S. I'm gong to alter the timeline here a little bit, but by timeline I don't mean change the order of events but instead move the happenings of KnB to an era where touchscreen phones are a thing instead of flip phones. (Basically it's set in a time that's as technologically advanced as us.)
A premise I'm going to use is that, to make things easier for me, I'm gonna use a sentence prompt for each chapter that'll make it easy for me to think of something. This is gonna be. . . fun?
Since school began, Doyeon hadn't really had the time to talk to her classmates. The move from South Korea (back) to Japan had been a hectic one, with her siblings making it harder for her as well as her parents expecting too much of her and signing her up for practically every youth program in their neighborhood so she could (quote unquote) get involved, and everything else that counted as in-between.
(If they'd moved back into the prefecture Doyeon lived in when she was younger, things certainly would've been easier, but nope!—they just had to move to an entirely new area, didn't they?)
Not that she thought she would've had much of a choice to talk to her classmates had her time been vastly unoccupied. Her status as a Korean made her stick out like a sore thumb; and she couldn't even imagine how much worse that would be had she joined the school in the middle of the year instead of from the beginning.
As it was, though, Doyeon was a social person. She was involved in the cheerleading club when she was in middle school, she was a member of the student council, and she was one of those people who you'd constantly see involved in practically any event the school had to offer. Being social was a routine in her life. Doyeon wasn't used to being the kid who was gossiped about. Doyeon wasn't used to not having any friends who'd talk to her during class.
But, still. She put a smile on her face, and continued to hold her head up high. It was hard for her, but she knew the stage of avoidance from the foreign student would be over soon.
(It was already the second month of the first semester, and though her hopes dwindled by each day, she was too stubborn to give up on the thought of ending her status as a renown social outcast in Seirin.)
The bell should've signaled the end of the class precisely two minutes and thirty-two seconds ago.
Instead, the bell remained silent and the teacher continued to drone on and on and on about… whatever chemistry they were supposed to study. Doyeon fought back her yawn, squinting her eyes together and blinking them every few seconds to avoid the urge to sleep (that was only getting stronger with every word that slipped out of the teacher's lips.)
Her lazy brown orbs looked around, absorbing the sight and letting it sink into her head. Half of her classmates were already in Dreamland, some smarter at their attempt of hiding it from the teacher than others. An amused smirk graced her lips (red, just like the lip tint she'd chosen to wear for today) as she noticed her neighbor sleeping like he was dead to the world, a line of drool connected from a corner of his lips to the wooden desk. It was a wonder how the teacher hadn't smacked him awake yet, but it surely was funny to see how he simply didn't give a damn and continued to sleep like it was the last day of his life.
After looking at him for ten seconds, she looked away, turning her full attention back to the clock stationed on the wall. It was lunch time after this, and considering she still hadn't any luck in getting friends—and wasn't that depressing?—it seemed as if she had two options: to eat lunch alone at her table and gaze out the window like she was part of a sad music video, or to follow what the protagonist of the movie Mean Girls did and eat her lunch inside a bathroom stall.
The bathroom stall option sounded dramatic enough for her flair, but then again, a bathroom was probably not hygienic enough for her to be able to eat comfortably without worrying of the… air germs, that could potentially ruin her food.
So, music video heroine option it was.
Thankfully, the bell rang shortly afterwards—it was late by five minutes, what the heck?—and their teacher was able to get a final word on his lesson (in other words: assigning them assignments to weep over at home) before promptly leaving the room, and her classmates either shaking away their slumber or celebrating loudly that yes, it was lunch time, and it was time to take a well deserved break after all the torture they'd been put through in the span of a few hours.
Doyeon closed her notebook and placed her pen (it was her favourite—it glided so smoothly, though the ink managed to bleed through the scrap-thin material that made up her notebook if she pressed too hard) back inside her simple, tan pencil case. Her lunch box was already placed on the small compartment below her desk, and it'd taken a real drive to not eat it during classes earlier when she'd skipped her breakfast this morning, as she'd overslept after pulling an all nighter to catch up on the soap opera her mother kept gushing about. (It was a pretty good soap opera, although she didn't see why there had to be so much cheating and incest plot twists going around. She preferred her regular dramas back in Korea—though sadly, she'd no luck yet in finding a streaming site she really liked.)
Today's lunch was something she prepared herself. It was a concoction of various Korean snacks she'd bought at the market a few days ago, ranging from honey butter chips, to chocopie, and even to various shrimp snacks. She could practically hear the voice of her best friend yelling at her about how this wasn't nearly as nutritious as a growing girl like her needed, but she pushed it to the back of her mind, instead happily scooping up a portion of the snacks and shoving it into her mouth. Tasty.
The chatter of her classmates provided as white noise for Doyeon as she continued to consume her lunch (was it really lunch rather than brunch?), pausing every few seconds or so whenever she felt the nausea that accompanied her habit of eating far too fast for her own good.
She stopped eating several minutes afterwards, already too full to continue, but when she glanced down at her lunchbox, a frown tilted her lips as she saw there was still a small portion of the snacks left. Did she pack too much?
Considering she wasn't one to let food go to waste, she looked to her left, and upon seeing that her neighbor—the one who always slept without a care in the world and amused her to no end—was there, chatting to… something, she guessed, considering she didn't see anyone. Doyeon placed the lunchbox that was previously on top of her table to his, and his head swiveled up, glancing at her with a stare that looked more like a glare.
Well, wasn't he an intimidating fellow?
"You can finish it if you want. I'm not hungry anymore," Doyeon explained, making a vague pointing gesture at the food she'd offered. The harsh lines around his eyes softened slightly, and Doyeon pulled her lips into a smile. "They're Korean snacks, I bought them a few days ago."
Her neighbor—his hair was a shocking shade of red and what were those eyebrows even?—gave her a long, suspicious look. In return, Doyeon mustered the most innocent smile she could, which was really a task because she was never good at pretending to be something she wasn't. After a moment or two, he looked at the food before shrugging, apparently the nonverbal version of eh, fuck it, and took an experimental (but still large) bite out of a honey butter chip.
Almost immediately, his expression brightened and all trace of hesitation was gone. The wariness was gone, replaced by an almost ravenous hunger that only served to remind Doyeon that he somehow resembled a tiger.
"Could I try some too, Kim-san?"
The unexpected voice—somehow eerie yet calming to the ears at the same time, also the most monotone voice she'd heard in her life—came out of nowhere and Doyeon yelped as soon as she spotted a high-schooler with light blue hair sitting across the redhead. She blinked. 'How did I not notice him before?
She shook away the thoughts, however, promptly remembering her manners. "Sure thing!" Her reply missed a beat, as she'd been shocked for a moment, although Doyeon was able to keep the surprise out of her tone. The blue-head murmured a low 'thank you' before trying some of the snacks himself, taking a particular liking to the sweet, mushy chocopie. Oddly, it seemed to fit him, but Doyeon remained silent; drinking in the sight of her leftovers being scarfed down by two hungry classmates.
What were their names again?
"Oi, Kuroko, don't finish all the brown biscuits thing. I haven't tried those."
"It's because you're too slow, Kagami-kun."
Kuroko was the one with the blue hair and Kagami had red hair and the funky eyebrows. Alright. She could work with that.
The friendship they shared was interesting to her. It was obvious they had contrasting personalities, but somehow, they got along nearly as well as she did with one of her close friends back in South Korea. Perhaps the whole 'opposites attract' thing was true, after all.
The lunchbox was empty within a matter of minutes (perhaps not nearly as long as that), and Kuroko placed the empty box back on Doyeon's desk. The girl smiled in delight, not having wasted any of her food today, and promptly placed the container back inside her multicolored backpack.
"Thank you, Kim-san," Kuroko piped up. In return, Doyeon merely nodded.
"It was no trouble."
There was still five minutes left until their break ended, so Doyeon intended to skim through the manga she'd managed to fish out of her younger brother's collection yesterday. It was nothing too interesting, holding the premise of a basic shoujo manga with a popular guy and geek girl concept, but there was nothing wrong with clichés. Predictability wasn't always a terrible thing, although Doyeon viewed herself more on the spontaneous side of things.
"Oi. What's wrong with that?"
A harsh-sounding voice broke her out of her thoughts. Doyeon tore her gaze apart from the manga she held, instead looking at Kagami's direction, who in turn seemed to be confused whether to look at her face, or her—feet?
"Why do you ask?" Doyeon wondered, sounding genuinely confused. Kagami's brows furrowed (and it was a funny sight, though she didn't think it was a good idea to voice it) and he gave a pointed glare at the soles of her feet.
"You're wearing two different shoes."
A look down confirmed his words. She was wearing two different shoes after all. The one she wore on her right foot was a plain black sneaker, while her left wore a particularly hideous shade of orange shoe.
"Ah. I see you've noticed."
Kagami sounded dubious. "You did that on purpose?"
Sheepishly, Doyeon nodded. "Yeah. It's a way for me to express myself. Just as how some people express themselves with poetry or comics, I do it with my shoes. Do you like it?" She beamed at him, gaining herself an odd glance from the redhead.
"That's pretty weird—"
"Hey, you don't see me going on about how weird your eyebrows are, right?"
After school was finished at last (at least, for that day), Doyeon had an inexplicable urge to go home. Alas, such trivialities were meant to be ignored, considering on every Wednesday after school, she had to stay behind for the dance club.
The dance club was the only club she was a part of. In the beginning, she wanted to join a cheerleading team, but it seemed there was no cheerleading team in Seirin. Shame, but Doyeon was new, and she didn't quite have the guts to demand a new cheerleading club when she wasn't confident in her own ability to gather any members—alas, she settled for dance, something she enjoyed and had some talent for as well.
It wasn't a very popular club, considering the title of Seirin's most popular extracurricular activity was held by their judo team, but the people were alright. Nobody went out of their way to befriend her, but nobody avoided her just for having a different race; to Doyeon, that was all that mattered.
"Rina-senpai!" Doyeon called a loud greeting to the dance club's leader, forming her hand into a quick salute, her lips tugged into a cheeky grin. Takahashi Rina was a year older than Doyeon, with body proportions that all but made up for her virtually-challenged height. Doyeon liked her enough. Although she didn't talk much with Rina outside club activities, the senior was always welcoming, although easily triggered if one managed to find a way to talk about heights.
"Doyeon-chan!" A sunny grin was on Rina's lips, one that was easily returned. "I've finished reviewing your evaluation video."
Ah, the evaluation video.
Precisely a week before, after around a month of practice, there was an evaluation held to examine who'd be in the dance club's main lineup for competitions. Naturally, Doyeon was obligated to submit her own evaluation video too—it was a good thing that the evaluation video was really just a video of them dancing to any song they wanted, and Doyeon was able to dance to a routine that didn't go past her comfort zone. (Nothing along the lines of major growth, but Doyeon knew what she was good at, and what she wasn't. She could work on her weaknesses later.)
"So, what do you think?" There was an edge of anticipation seeping into Doyeon's voice.
Rina noticed it, judging by the way she looked at the younger female knowingly. "I'll announce your result along with the rest of the club later." Doyeon's cheeks flushed in embarrassment, realizing that she'd been waiting for Rina outside the dance club's meeting room while the rest of the club was inside.
"Right. Yeah. Totally!" The Korean chirped, and no, she was not running away from her embarrassment when she practically scurried inside the classroom. And if Rina was laughing behind her, well, Doyeon pretended she didn't hear the older.
She made it.
The main lineup consisted of six dancers, and out of the ten girls in the club, Doyeon was able to secure a spot in the lineup. Doyeon couldn't help but feel a hint of pride, thus making it nearly impossible for her to wipe away the infectious grin that seemingly controlled her lips.
"To members of the main lineup, there'll be practice every Saturday in the dance studio across the school, so don't forget. I'll add you guys into a group chat later." Those were Rina's closing words for today's meeting before everyone went off to their respective ways; most of them went home right after practice, considering dance practice ended at 18.30PM, although a few liked to hang around the various hangout spots scattered near the school building.
"Ami-chan, let's go karaoke!"
"Ne, ne, Nami we have to check out that new western restaurant."
"Crap! I'm late, I bet my boyfriend's pissed!"
Doyeon couldn't help but smile as she heard their conversations. The nostalgia was harsh, hitting her with various memories of her middle school days when she'd been in their position instead of being the odd one out. Still, she had to remind herself to be… un-bitter? Not bitter? Whatever it was. Either way, being bitter would only hurt her even more—she'd seen how it transformed perfectly decent characters into monsters in all the dramas—so, no matter how bad the temptation, she couldn't let it get to her.
(A task that was lot easier said than done.)
Maji Burger was located strategically in a sense that meant it wasn't too far from school, but it also didn't stray away from the path to the station (which was Doyeon's means of transporting herself home.) It helped that the food was pretty edible and fast food tasted the same everywhere, although there wasn't a Maji Burger back in South Korea—they had Lotteria instead, but Doyeon always preferred the family-run chicken restaurants back home instead of the usual fast food served practically everywhere.
Dance practice had left her hungry, and seeing as she still had enough money to buy a cheeseburger and lemon tea, Maji Burger was a good candidate for a place to dine. Her parents were away and her younger brother must've been tired already, cooking dinner for one.
(Ah, something she hadn't mentioned. Doyeon was a terrible cook. Her parents, too, so it was up to her younger brother to take care of making sure the family didn't starve to death. Thank goodness for Dongyeon, who was practically a saint reincarnated into their dysfunctional, but loving family.)
A glance at the menu displayed behind the counter had her calculating the estimated price in her head, and, satisfied she'd still have enough to buy something for tomorrow's lunch, Doyeon promptly recalled her order to the person behind the cashier. The employee was a girl who looked like she was in college, with dirty blonde hair that was cropped short and murky blue eyes that reminded her of a river, somewhat. "I'll take one plain double cheeseburger and one lemon tea, please."
Doyeon made sure to leave a tip into the jar afterwards, knowing full well the crap fast food workers had to go through after watching all those social experiment videos on YouTube. (Probably not the best source, but then again, she'd defend herself by saying it was the thought that mattered.)
After getting her food, she held the tray close to her chest as she looked around the place to see if there were any empty tables. Her lips formed a pout, expression fallen, as she noticed every spot was taken. Why was this place so busy? It was a Wednesday night, it wasn't as if this was a weekend, or something.
Before she turned around to request to have her order wrapped so she could eat it at home, most likely her homework 'snack', she noticed a familiar face sitting at one of the tables near the window. It was—what was his name again? The one with the double brows?—Kagami, who seemed to have an entire mountain of burgers stacked on top one another that led her to believe this kind of thing was a regular occurrence. Noticing he didn't seem to have all the seats around his table taken, she jostled her way there, and after murmuring her greetings, placed her tray on top of the table.
There was Kuroko again, sitting precisely in front of Kagami. Doyeon flinched, biting her tongue to avoid a startled yelp that would've drawn the attention of the whole restaurant. How did he keep doing that? Shaking her head, Doyeon cleared away the thoughts, remembering time didn't stop every time she got stuck in one of her inner monologues.
"I hope you two don't mind if I sit here. Everywhere else is full, you see," she explained, sounding self-assured. Kagami looked around the restaurant, and, upon realizing that yes, everywhere else was indeed full, the redhead shrugged as if to say 'whatever.'
Not affected by the rudeness of the gesture, Doyeon sat next to Kuroko, who scooted over to give her more space—taking his drink along with him. It was then that she noticed he didn't seem to have any food ordered, and so, a worried look made its way onto her usually carefree features.
"You're not eating anything, Kuroko-kun?"
"No, the milkshake is sufficient, Kim-san."
Though not all of her worries were alleviated, considering as a milkshake couldn't possibly be considered as a healthy dinner (not that she was one to talk, considering she'd eaten only snacks for lunch earlier on that very same day), Kuroko didn't seem to have a problem with it—so she dropped the topic, instead taking a bite out of her own burger.
As she continued eating, she tried to avoid looking at Kagami who was devouring his burgers in a way that reminded her of a tiger who hadn't eaten in days. A view like that would probably only lessen her appetite, so she continued eating, in a pace that was fast compared to others but normal for her, though surely nowhere as fast as Kagami's.
Their dinner wasn't a conversational affair, although Doyeon suspected it was because they didn't know what to discuss with her in the mix. It did make her feel guilty, although she wasn't sure on what exactly she was supposed to say either—ask the about their day? Be overly curious about their personal lives?
In the end, after finally finishing her food and only having to slurp down her drink, she decided on a topic. "Why aren't you guys at home yet?"
"Basketball practice," Kagami replied between chews, and so, his answer sounded more like 'bskfball pwactsh', and judging from the stoic demeanor Kuroko adopted, Doyeon suspected this was a regular affair.
"Oh! The two of you are in the basketball team?" Her question received nods from the both of them, and Doyeon placed her index finger on her chin, tapping it in thought. "I've heard we've got a strong team. The two of you must be pretty good at basketball, then."
Personally, she didn't hold much of an interest in basketball, though she knew a couple things about it from being an active supporter of her middle school's basketball team as well as this one manga she'd finished reading that revolved around two rival basketball clubs. She wasn't particularly athletic aside from gymnastics and cheerleading, which, she felt, explained as to why she didn't hold much enthusiasm for sports along the lines of track (blegh), soccer, or basketball.
"You play?" Kagami questioned, and Doyeon shook her head. "Heh, I guessed that. You don't smell like someone who plays basketball."
She brushed off the oddity of the statement, choosing to contemplate it in the future instead of the present moment. "I'm more of a cheerleading person, I guess." She was the captain of the cheerleading club in middle school, after all.
"So you like to wave around pompoms?"
"That's not all there is to cheerleading," Doyeon said, a little defensive. Cheerleading was more complicated than just using pompoms and shaking butts—there was gymnastics involved, and a good cheerleader had to be graceful with her movements instead of just being plain flashy without any kind of beauty behind it. (It did sound more like a description of a ballerina or a regular gymnast, but that was Doyeon's opinion. Personally, she always disliked it when a cheerleader's style was all flashy and eye-grabbing without any sort of fluidity or grace to the movements.)
Kuroko was the one who spoke this time. "I wasn't aware there was a cheerleading team in Seirin."
Doyeon beamed at him. "You're right, there isn't! I joined the dance club instead, but I was a cheerleader in middle school."
The conversation dwindled once more afterwards, but that was fine with her. She didn't expect to be all chatty and buddy-buddy with her two classmates so soon, anyways. They'd only started conversing earlier that day, after all. It took time for people to open up, and to her, even having a casual (albeit short and slightly awkward) conversation with two classmates was enough to make her happy for the rest of the day.
(Maybe that didn't count for much considering there were only a few hours left for that day, but well, po-tay-toh po-tah-to.)
"I should get going now." That was said some time after she finally gulped down the last of her drink. Doyeon stood up bowed slightly to the two teens. "Sorry for disrupting any conversation the two of you might've had earlier, and thanks for letting me sit here. I'll see you two tomorrow!" Both Kuroko and Kagami respectively replied to her goodbye, one more polite than the other.
"I enjoyed this. I hope we can do it again sometimes," said Doyeon with a smile.