Whoo! New fandom!
I guess I'm jumping onto this drama series a bit late, huh? I'm such a Korean fail... O_O
There aren't nearly enough FFNs for this pairing. Seriously, guys.
P.S.: These aren't in chronological order.
Four years ago, he'd told her that she'd be the first person he would look for. He had no intention of breaking that promise now, not when he was standing on Korean soil again. (Well, Korean airport terminal tiles, but same difference.) So, with aviator glasses resting firmly on his nose and suitcase rolling comfortably at his side, he made his way to the parking lot. He smiled nicely for the snapping camera phones and more or less ignored the whisperings of the people around him.
"I can't believe he's back - "
"From Sweden, have you heard?"
"It's been four years and he - "
The keys to his bright orange Lotus were tucked safely in his pocket, somewhat unfamiliar after being carless for four years in Europe. He unlocked the trunk, the beep echoing in the cavernous underground garage. Pushing his bag inside with some difficulty, he finally settled behind the wheel, losing no time in zooming away.
After all, the kindergarten center was in Seoul, and he was still in Incheon.
His apartment was dark and silent when he walked in, causing him some confusion. It was usually full of light and noisy with the stereo blaring and pots rattling because Ga Eul was over. He would've expected her to be over today especially. He hung his coat on the peg by the door and slipped out of his shoes, walking in almost cautiously. Then a ball of light rounded the corner from the kitchen.
"Happy birthday!" He blinked as the ball of light solidified into a small cake with candles. Ga Eul was holding it carefully, focusing more on not tripping than looking at him. His memory flashed back over four years ago to when another girl had done the same thing in a different room, but with more poise and singing instead. He blinked again and Ga Eul was right in front of him, chasing away the ghosts of memories past. He blew out the candles in one shot.
He hadn't known what to do when the lights had gone out with Eun Jae. But when darkness covered his eyes this time, he knew exactly what he wanted to do.
"Yah! You can't kiss me when I'm holding a cake!"
"I'm so cool, I just did."
"Whatever. Hurry up and turn on the lights. I can't see."
"I can't believe you're taking photos of yourself again." Ga Eul turned around to see Yi Jung grinning at her, arms crossed and wearing a t-shirt instead of his standard suit. Jan Di and Jun Pyo (well, mainly Jun Pyo) had insisted on returning to New Caledonia for their honeymoon, but had invited the F4 and their girlfriends along. Ga Eul had agreed to come, excitedly packing up and thanking her lucky stars that the trip coincided with the kindergarten spring break. She was now sitting on the white, sandy stretch of beach, trusty camera in hand and cute poses out in full force. She stuck her tongue out at Yi Jung.
"I can take photos of myself if I want to," she told him childishly.
"Just like a tourist," he said, shaking his head.
"I am a tourist. Pabo."
"You're here with the owner of the island. You're a guest."
"There's no difference!" She shooed him away. "If you have a problem, don't watch me."
He stayed where he was. "No, it's okay. This is pretty fun to watch."
She started to ignore him, but then had a sudden idea. She stood up and casually meandered over to his side. "Yi Jung ah..."
He backed away slowly. "I am not going to pose for those stupid photos. No. No way."
She gave him a big smile. "You don't have to pose." She suddenly jumped on his back, holding the camera out in front of them and pressing the button quickly. He groaned and held her in piggyback fashion, but turned his face away and shut his eyes tightly. She clicked several more times and then checked the display, laughing outright when she saw the photos. "I got you in every single one!"
Later, when printing them out back at home, Yi Jung had to admit they were pretty funny. He was in the corners of all of them, just a scrunched up eye or the side of his face in the picture while Ga Eul's gleeful expression dominated the area. The photos made forgetting the trip impossible.
Okay, so maybe cameras weren't all bad.
D: Damsel In Distress
Ga Eul was definitely, positively, absolutely, unquestionably not a damsel in distress. She had worked for her living ever since she was legally able to, and refused to accept defeat whenever a glimmer of success lurked around the corner. She didn't wait for Prince Charmings (all right, so the four years was an exception because it was a promise - and Chu Ga Eul respected promises) and hated it when someone told her she couldn't do something.
Basically, she didn't like being treated like a delicate, fragile, stay-at-home-and-sew woman.
But when she visited with Yi Jung's family and mentioned that she worked as a teacher although Yi Jung's bank account held plenty for both her and him to live in complete luxury, all the faces looking at her wore one expression: shock.
She felt her face heat up uncomfortably and her brain was torn between defiance and embarrassment. It wasn't like they were married; she couldn't expect him to dole out money for her to live off of. But at the same time, maybe these rich chaebol families expected their sons to take care of whomever they were romantically connected with.
Yi Jung broke the awkward silence. "She enjoys her job, and she's really good with the children. I support her decision to make a living for herself." His voice was firm and indicated that the topic was now closed.
Maybe she was just imagining the chill that his family members were emanating from that point onwards.
She really hadn't meant to listen in. She was just on her way back to Jan Di's room after going to the bathroom when her name popped out from a side door. She paused to absorb the sentence.
"... Ga Eul really has whipped you, Yi Jung. You have to admit it. I mean, you haven't been to a club in months, and barely touch alcohol anymore."
"Shut up, Woo Bin. It's the same with you, only Jae Kyung has got up on a seriously tight leash."
Ji Hoo's soft laugh interrupted them. "Look at Jun Pyo's expression; he's dreading the moment when you two get to him. Everyone knows that he's the worst one out of us all."
Ga Eul had to hold in a laugh: it was true.
"I have, uh, business to attend to - "
"Sit down, Jun Pyo," said Yi Jung almost lazily. "We all cleared our schedules for today, remember? You just don't want to admit how whipped you really are."
What was it with guys and this conversation? Ga Eul silently wondered. Was being "whipped", as they so put it, a good thing or a bad thing? The way they were phrasing it made it sound like a bad thing, but their tones were joking and light.
"Having fun?" whispered Jan Di's voice from behind her. Ga Eul pulled her and Jae Kyung closer to the door and they both listened to the next volley of voices.
"I am not whipped, I'm just extremely nice to my wife." Jun Pyo's voice had acquired that high-up, snooty quality he'd had in the pre-Jan Di days. The other three burst out laughing.
"Whatever, let's just move this conversation to the dining room. I'm starved and I bet Monkey is complaining too." Woo Bin's voice came too late and the three women scrambled to get away from the door... to no avail.
"Hey - ! Were you three listening in?"
Ji Hoo led the girls' round of laughter.
Ga Eul was out shopping and his computer was off while hers was just asleep. No matter how fast his computer could load, it was still slower than waking up Ga Eul's sleeping laptop. He pushed the lid open and clicked on the internet icon, finding that her home page was facebook.
"Facebook...?" he wondered aloud. "What happened to good old Naver and Cyworld?"
She was already logged in, with two little notifications in the corner just waiting to be checked. He started to navigate to the museum site he had opened the computer for, but then stopped.
One little status can't hurt, he reasoned. Nothing harmful, just a status.
He quickly typed one in, then went to the museum site to check on his pottery exhibition photos from last night. Then he turned the computer off and promptly forgot about the status.
Ga Eul checked her facebook account to find over twenty notifications in her inbox. Shocked, she clicked on them to find all but two saying that they commented on her status. She went to the status in question.
From Jan Di: Ga Eul ah... that's strange. I know he's your boyfriend, but still.
From Woo Bin: AHAHAHAHA
From Jun Pyo: AHAHAHAHAHAHA
And he liked it, too, Ga Eul thought exasperatedly.
From: Ji Hoo: Ga Eul ah... are you feeling okay?
From a college friend: I still can't believe you guys are going out! :D Way to rub it in! ;]
From her MOTHER: This is why I don't like going on social networking sites. Ga Eul ah, pull yourself together!
SO YI JUNG IS THE SEXIEST MAN ALIVE.
"SO YI JUNG! YOU ARE SO DEAD!"
"If someone told me 'I made this for you' and gave me a one-of-a-kind keepsake, even if it's just a piece of glass, I'd be so happy." - Ga Eul, Episode 12
"Yah, So Yi Jung!"
"What? Oh, Jan Di."
"Listen closely, you potter."
"She said that?"
"No, the magic unicorn told me that. Of course she said that!"
"So... what do you want me to do?"
"White Day is coming up!"
"But I'm supposed to give candy, not that..."
"What do you think she'll prefer, candy that'll be gone in a week or that?"
"... Okay, you have a point."
"Hey, if you don't want to do it - "
"No, no, I want to. Okay, thanks for the idea."
"See you later, Yi Jung sunbae!"
"Oh my gosh..."
"It's not a piece of glass, but - "
"It's a So Yi Jung-crafted tea set. Oh, it has little bits of sea glass in there! It's so pretty..."
"Do you like it?"
"I love it. Thank you so much, sunbae!"
"Wow, you haven't called me that in a long time."
"Oh, oops. It just kind of slipped out."
"Well then, Ga Eul yang, you're welcome."
"Ha ha, funny."
"It is, isn't it?"
"Have you ever noticed that people hold hands different ways according to their relationships?" Jae Kyung asked one day as she, Jan Di and Ga Eul were out shopping again ("My treat!" "Oh, Jae Kyung unni... you always treat.") "When a guy and a girl are in a relationship, they lace their fingers together. When people are just friends, they hook arms. When there's a parent and child, they hold hands regularly." Ga Eul looked at the hand-holding positions of the people in front of them. Their fingers were laced together, which meant they were going out... according to Jae Kyung's theory. Sure enough, the two kissed before they crossed the street.
"Look," Jan Di said, gesturing discreetly to a group of girls across the square. They were all hooking arms and chatting excitedly, pointing at stores and playing with their phones.
"And there," Jae Kyung said, pointing to a mother with her son. He looked to be about eight years old, and their hands were in the position that Jae Kyung had pointed out.
"That is weird," Ga Eul said. "And I think it's automatic... we don't think about it."
"Hmm." The three continued to window-shop.
The next day, Yi Jung absentmindedly took up Ga Eul's hand as he drove her to her school. She smiled: another point for Jae Kyung's theory.
I: Ice Skating
It was nightfall and after a day of fooling around with Yi Jung sunbae on a fake date, they were at the ice skating rink. Jan Di and Jun Pyo had followed them here, Jan Di still convinced that she was undercover (poor girl thought that glasses were the perfect cover-up) and Jun Pyo looking bored out of his mind. The weather was clear and cold, perfect for skating, and the only problem Ga Eul had was that this was the same rink where Jun Pyo had beaten up Su Pyo for being such a promiscuous, insulting 'boyfriend'. That stupid, disgusting, sleazy dirtbag - the way he had tried to hook up with her after he'd seen her all dressed up! She shuddered in disgust, wondering what she could've seen in him at the beginning.
"It was hard, wasn't it?" Yi Jung sunbae's voice broke her out of her thoughts. She smiled.
"No, it was fun." If only she'd remembered to bring her gloves. It was winter, after all; how could she have forgotten her gloves?
Before she knew what was happening, Yi Jung sunbae was shrugging out of his coat and draping it over her shoulders. She froze up and looked at him, registering the scent of the cologne she'd sprayed him with before at the shop. He gave her a charming smile, then looked discreetly over at Jan Di and Jun Pyo. The only couple that's supposed to get together! she silently reminded herself.
She heard Yi Jung sunbae's voice again and gave a generic answer, before his next sentence startled her. "So, should we slowly lead up to the climax?"
Her eyes went wide. "Excuse me?"
One snap of his fingers was all it took. Fireworks slowly spread across the sky, illuminating the velvet night in the prettiest way imaginable. She had to give him credit; he knew how to finish a date memorably.
Hopefully she wouldn't make the same mistake as last time.
Yi Jung opened his refrigerator to grab a carton of banana milk (hey, just because he was a rich chaebol didn't mean he couldn't enjoy commoners' drinks) when a flash of red caught his eye. He opened the door farther to see little plastic cups sitting on a shelf, dominating the area. There were about twenty in all, and when he took one out to investigate, the inside stuff jiggled.
He shook it again experimentally, watching the... the... whatever it was jiggle. He closed the door slowly and set down his banana milk, jiggling the red thing more. He poked it and was surprised to find it slightly bouncy, and very cold. He gingerly lifted it up to his nose and sniffed.
What the... it smelled like strawberries. Sweet, artificial strawberry flavoring.
Which meant it was edible. It wouldn't be in his refrigerator otherwise.
He grabbed a spoon and carefully scooped out a part of it, sliding it into his mouth. He chewed slowly, feeling the slippery goo roll around. It was weird, disorientating... but good. Really good.
Seven minutes later, Ga Eul came into the kitchen. She had planned a small party for her kindergarteners as a congratulations-for-going-to-first-grade event, and it was her responsibility to bring the Jell-o. It should have been done by then. Opening the refrigerator door, she saw...
An empty shelf.
"Yi Jung ah, have you seen my Jell-o?"
He came into the room. "You mean the red squishy rubbery strawberry goo?"
"Because I ate that. See?" He opened the trash can lid to reveal about twenty empty cups, tiny scraps of Jell-o hanging onto the sides. He grinned proudly at her. "I like that stuff."
"Yi Jung ah! Aish!"
"If you didn't want me to eat it, you should've put it in your own refrigerator." He crossed his arms.
"How old are you, five?"
"I ate twenty-three cups, Ga Eul. No five year old can do that."
K: K-Pop/Kim Bum
I love Big Banggg :D
I know, Dae Sung is so cute!
I love alllll of them~
What about BE2ST?
Did you know Kim Bum can sing? He's so cute as an actor... now he can sing, too!
The texts were flying back and forth rapidly as Ga Eul was curled up on the couch. Yi Jung peeked over and saw that the conversation was with Jae Kyung and Jan Di (to be expected) but that the subject was about cute guy celebrities (not to be expected). He caught the last one about Kim Bum and scoffed.
Ga Eul looked up. "What?" she asked him, looking from the TV (which he was supposed to be watching) to his face. "Did the narrator say something stupid? You know that if you call to correct them on their pottery terminology, they'll listen. You are the So Yi Jung, after all."
"Oh, too bad I'm not Kim Bum," he said sarcastically.
Ga Eul grinned. "Do I hear some jealousy there?"
Yi Jung refused to look at her. "No."
Kim Bum is so adorable... ahhh, especially with Kim So Eun!
"If you're not jealous, why are you reading my text messages?" Ga Eul asked without looking up.
Yi Jung snapped back to the TV. "I'm not."
Silence except for the beeping of her phone.
"Just out of curiosity..." Ga Eul looked up at his words. "What is so cute, exactly, about this... Kim Bum guy?"
It was simple in theory. His hand was waiting right in front of her, palm upturned and fingers slightly curved. It was the typical gesture for 'hold my hand'. And who wanted to turn down So Yi Jung's hand?
But she could feel Su Pyo's gaze burning into her back and it reminded her of a time when she'd been Chu Ga Eul, innocent, naive and just looking for her soulmate in this big world. She had been a good person back then. She still was, but it was a bit tarnished now that she had realized that hey, the world wasn't as pretty as it seemed sometimes.
She could feel the naive, soft Ga Eul waiting back next to Su Pyo, ready to be tricked, lied to, and manipulated again. It was the same old story, and it was easy to follow. But waiting next to Yi Jung sunbae was a newer Ga Eul, this one wiser, just a little more worldly. It was a fresh story, one she hadn't explored yet. It was scary.
But it was better.
So she placed her hand in hers as his smile widened. Then turning around, she left.
She felt the puppet strings snap as she went.
Yi Jung looked at the pieces of artwork contemplatively. Since when had Ga Eul been into abstract art? And such... strange abstract art? These sculptures were all around the kindergarten classroom that she taught in - probably to cultivate the children's minds with thought-inspiring artwork, Yi Jung thought wisely. But why these sculptures? They were all yellow, and the pieces were all the same wide "U" shape. There was no set form to them all, and they were held together by cheap glue. If Ga Eul had wanted artwork in her class, she could have just asked him. He picked one of the sculptures up and examined it more closely, carefully holding it between his forefinger and thumb.
"Okay, I found my coat and I'm ready to - what are you doing, Yi Jung ah?" Ga Eul stopped in the act of tying her trench coat and looked between him and the sculpture curiously.
"What is this made of?" he asked in an equally interested tone. "It can't be clay, it's the wrong texture... it's too light for paper mache. I don't think I've ever seen something like this. Who made this? I'd like to watch him or her work one day."
Ga Eul, for some reason, was suppressing a smile. "Oh, her name is Hae In," she said conversationally. "If you look at the bottom of the paper base, you'll see her signature." He checked the bottom to see two rather messy characters: 해인. "She works on these and other art forms every Tuesday and Thursday from 11 AM to 11:30. It's quite fascinating to see her in the process of making these."
"Hmm... do you know where her studio is?" He placed the sculpture down and looked at her expectantly.
"Let's see... about two doors down, I believe."
Ga Eul laughed out loud at his bewildered expression. "But..."
"Hae In is one of my students, you pabo. That's made from dry macaroni and Shinhwa department store glue."
Yi Jung blinked a few times. "Macaroni? As in... those disgusting limp American noodles that they pour thick artificial powdered cheese over?"
"Yes." Ga Eul straightened her face long enough to make him an offer. "If you give me 1500 won, I can buy you a box and let you try. I think I have glue at my apartment."
He didn't know why he was here again. He'd sworn to himself that he'd try to stop being like his father, at least for a little while, especially after seeing him with all those other women after teaching his pottery classes. Yi Jung felt sick at the thought of becoming just like him later on in his life. He already had a good start going now.
But if he was to be honest, it wasn't just because of his father's playboy tendencies. Maybe he wanted to forget another certain someone who was confusing him and leading him down strange roads. He still had the chocolates she had intended to give him, tucked away in the corner of the mini-fridge. Her cheeks had turned a bright red when she'd seen him with two women on his arms that night; no doubt expecting him to turn up alone. And when they'd ushered her in (as he stood there like a stupid idiot) to warm up, he'd tried to salvage the situation by acting offhand. Of course, he just made it worse. He'd told her to just "put it there with the other ones", his voice coming out colder than the air outside. He shook his head as if trying to dispel the thoughts and took a long drag from whatever bottle was in front of him, barely registering the bitter taste.
"Oppa? Oppa, you're so moody today!"The girl on his right - what was her name again? Yu Min? - tugged on his sleeve, giggling to the other girl on his left. Yi Jung snapped back into the present rather painfully as whoever-she-was pushed his hair off his forehead. "Come on, stop being so grouchy and let's have some fun!" Lefty agreed enthusiastically, joining in on the sleeve-tugging.
Yi Jung knew that this was the part where he put on a fake smile and hook his arms around their waists, leading them to the dance floor. However, the thought of even laying a hand on any girl tonight was enough to make him feel sick. He pushed Yu Ming or whoever-she-was away and got to his feet, picking up his jacket and heading for the exit. He ignored the confused, slightly drunk cries of the women behind him as he pushed open the glass doors and into the brisk night. He shivered and slid into his jacket.
If only I'd brought my leather gloves, he thought exasperatedly, rubbing his hands together and blowing on them futilely. He eventually shoved his hands into his pockets...
... to find a nest of soft wool waiting inside.
He drew the material out with a confused frown. He didn't own anything woolly and small.
Standing under a street lamp, he straightened the fabric out to reveal a pair of warm, gray, commoner's arm socks.
He smiled and pulled them on.
O: One of a Kind
Jan Di could do spinning kicks (and she did them often, just to prove it).
Jun Pyo could act like an imperialistic ass one minute, then grovel at his wife's feet then next.
Woo Bin could mix gangsta-English and Korean together in one sentence and not sound ridiculous (much).
Jae Kyung could eat chicken feet without throwing up.
Ji Hoo could be so damn good to other people, he was nicknamed the White Knight of F4.
But Yi Jung thought that only Chu Ga Eul could be such a country bumpkin, yet somehow manage to capture him at the same time.
Although it'd be funny to see the others try.
"Oh. My. God."
"You've got to be kidding me."
"That's not possible."
"Well, it's true," Jan Di said with a sigh. "I am now officially carrying a diabolical little mini-Jun Pyo."
"AHHHHHHH!" Jae Kyung jumped up and down excitedly. "I'm totally being the godmommy."
"Me too!" Ga Eul insisted.
Woo Bin shook his head. "I still can't believe it."
Yi Jung just sighed. "It just wasn't possible."
Jun Pyo gave them all aggravated looks. "What?" he demanded.
Surprisingly, Ji Hoo was the one that said it. "I can't believe she actually let you into her bed."
"They're so cute..." Ga Eul said, sighing. She dropped a couple more bread scraps into the murky water. "Come here, little duckies. Aww. You're so cu-ute."
"Don't start kissing them, now," Yi Jung said dryly, sitting on a park bench with his arms crossed. Ga Eul gave him a dirty look as she ripped off a little more bread from the loaf in the paper bag.
"Don't listen to him, he's just jealous because he's not as cute as you are," she told the ducks. "Aww, Yi Jung ah, look at how they waddle. They're so cute!"
"Yes, I've heard," he said patiently.
"Oh, look at that one." She pointed to a little duckling with fuzzy down covering its pink skin and tiny wings that fluttered as it hopped about close to its mother. "Hello baby, are you hungry?" She dropped a few more crumbs in the duckling's direction, laughing delightedly when it gave a hoarse quack and chased after the crumbs. Its mother looked after it and quacked several times in succession.
Ga Eul practically skipped over to where Yi Jung was sitting and gave him a long, pleading look. He shook his head immediately, knowing exactly what she was going to say.
"Oh please? I'll take care of him and everything!"
"Neither of us has a pond, Ga Eul."
"I have a bathtub!"
"And how are you going to wash? I doubt that the duck would appreciate sharing its home with you."
"I could keep it in your bathtub...?" she suggested half-heartedly. He shook his head. "You have three other bathrooms! ... Fine. But I'm visiting this pond everyday. Every single day."
"Do you expect me to drive you?"
Yi Jung sighed deeply. A duck. It couldn't have been a puppy like normal people, no. It had to be a duck.
He watched her wave goodbye to the ducks, her almost-childlike happiness stirring up the now-familiar feelings of amusement, love and slight bewilderment at her actions.
She was his country bumpkin, after all.
"I cannot believe you. How could you have never had ramen before?"
"Excuse me and my cultured upbringing."
"Ramen is culture! Ramen is like, the EPITOME of Korean cuisine."
"... What happened to kimchi?"
"Well, yes, excluding that obvious answer."
"And 김밥, and 떡볶이, and - "
"Yi Jung. Shut up. If you've had those two, then how have you not had ramen?"
"I... don't know..."
"There. Eat that."
"God, that looks gross. It's all greasy soup and curly noodles. Hey, this is like a blonde Jun Pyo - "
Sigh. "Just eat it."
"Because I had to have that stupid filay mi-non-a thing yesterday."
"It's pronounced filet mignon, and that was good."
"Yeah, if you're a carnivorous bunny."
"A... carnivorous bunny..."
"Bunnies only eat a little, okay? And that was small enough to feed a bunny, but definitely not me."
"Oh, how could I have forgotten your appetite?"
"Stop with the sarcasm and eat the stupid ramen."
"Ouch, no need to get violent. I'm eating, I'm eating."
"So? How is it?"
Munch munch munch munch.
"Hey, I need some too."
Munch munch chew swallow.
Munch. Munch munch munch.
"You ate it all!"
"That was three packs! I wanted to eat too."
"Oh good, let's boil a new pot. Put in five packs this time if you want to eat."
People shoved around her and the icy air from the refrigerated section rolled down her collar, making her shiver slightly. She pulled her coat tighter around her and knotted the belt again, looking around for Yi Jung. He was standing a few feet behind her, looking slightly lost in the aggressive crowd. Ga Eul smiled slightly and headed back, grabbing his hand. He looked down in surprise but his face relaxed when he saw it was her.
"And you commoners shop like this every day?" he asked in half-awe, half-exasperation. He was jostled somewhat roughly from behind as a harried mother held tightly to her two children, emphasizing his point.
Ga Eul rolled her eyes. "It's not bad once you get used to it. Besides, it's a Saturday, the most crowded day. Come on, we haven't even started yet. Don't crack now."
"Can't I go back to the car?" he pleaded as she pulled him along. A little boy nestled in his father's arms stared curiously up at him. "I'll wait there, and then when you're done I'll pick you up."
"No, you're coming along." She pushed the cart ahead of her, biting her lip as she tried to decide between Choco-Pie and Margarets. "Um... Margarets," she decided, placing the box in the cart. She rolled on, Yi Jung following reluctantly behind her.
After navigating through three shopping cart traffic jams, narrowly avoiding five crashes, and all but filling up the cart, Ga Eul was still as bright as ever. They stood in the line to check out, her face buried in her pocketbook as she tried to figure out if she'd still have enough money to buy a box of ice cream cones as a bonus. Yi Jung was standing next to her with his arms crossed, grumpy expression on his face and wrinkles dominating his usually clean-cut suit. She looked over at him and tsk-ed.
"I told you to dress down," she chided.
He spread his arms wide. "I did!"
"No, you didn't. You wear t-shirts and shorts in Caledonia, why not wear jeans and sweaters here?"
He looked uncomfortable. "Because."
"Because what?" She decided not to buy the ice cream; the math was giving her a headache.
"Because I don't have any."
She shrugged. "Okay."
He looked at her strangely. "What, you're not going to freak out and start telling me about how wearing jeans is another experience in life I've missed out on?"
She smiled up at him. "No. I'm going to take you clothes shopping."
His expression was priceless. Then -
"Can I at least evacuate the mall, then?" (Jun Pyo did that in the drama when he took Jan Di shopping once, so yeah. It's possible for these rich dudes.)
There isn't really enough of it, although decades span out ahead. The clock is always in the background, ticking as every second slips away. It's hard to let them go without trying to clutch them closer.
The best solution is to hold onto him, and pray that the limited time you have is enough for this life.
All of it was just too cliché, she decided. The slate gray skies, the pouring rain, the wet shoes, and most of all, the absence of an umbrella. She didn't even have a hood.
Of course, it matched her mood perfectly. After the fiasco involving Jun Pyo's mom, Jae Kyung, and an arranged marriage, everyone felt depressed. It just made sense to have gloomy, crying weather as well.
Her apartment was less than five blocks away - if she could make it that far without drowning. She skirted around a particularly large puddle and jumped slightly at a distant rumble of thunder, picking up her pace and debating whether or not to duck into shelter and wait out the storm. She eventually decided against it - the rain didn't look like it was letting up any time soon, and her warm, cozy apartment was getting closer with every step she took. Just three blocks now.
Suddenly the rain stopped pelting down, although her surroundings still looked the same gloomy color. Surprised, she looked up to see a jet black ceiling. She turned to her right where Yi Jung sunbae was suddenly there, walking alongside her with a hand wrapped around an umbrella handle. He offered no words, and neither did she.
This was one cliché she could handle.
After wiping the blackboard clean and locking up the classroom door, she walked briskly through the cold to her apartment. The kindergarten kids had been unusually wild today, refusing to settle down and do their work. She would have to spend extra time going over some alphabet work with them tomorrow. The cold bit through her coat and settled deep in her bones, signaling the return of fierce winter weather. She wouldn't be surprised if it started snowing next week, if not a few days from now.
She was grateful for the warm blast of air in her apartment complex's lobby, as well as the tiny elevator's heating. She jiggled her doorknob and pushed at exactly the right moment, almost falling as the sticky door gave way. She hastily kicked off her shoes and put on her slippers, cranking the heat up to at least 25 degrees Celsius before even turning on the light. She hung up her coat and tossed her hat and mittens onto the kitchen table, padding into the small bedroom to her left.
She flicked on the light there and sighed deeply, ready to fall onto her fluffy bed. Instead, a glimmer of green caught her eye.
There, hanging neatly in her open closet (which she always closed), was a soft, bottle green coat. The outer fabric looked capable of blocking the wind well, with gleaming gold buttons lined up down the middle. Moving closer, she saw that the inside was lined with silk. A white sheet of paper was pinned to the front. She pulled it gently off and read the words.
Although they can't compare to arm socks.
Resting in the pockets of the coat were a pair of mid-forearm length wool gloves. They were lined with velvet on the inside.
He wished he hadn't looked for her.
He wished Jun Pyo hadn't stuck him with her at New Caledonia.
He wished he hadn't seen her crying, since now he felt compelled to help her.
He wished Su Pyo dead - or at least severely injured.
He wished she hadn't taken it seriously, embarrassing herself on Valentine's Day.
He wished he hadn't chased after her.
He wished he had talked to her when she dropped off her second gift, instead of hiding like a coward.
He wished she'd be more careful - if he hadn't been there, that snowboarder could have hurt her.
He wished he had been more obscure, because her ability to see straight through him unnerved him.
He wished he hadn't given her that dress along with Jan Di's, because she looked too pretty.
He wished their fake date would last a little longer.
He wished their "real" date would cut itself short, then just freaking disappear.
He wished he hadn't been so distracted by Eun Jae.
He wished he hadn't pushed her away.
He wished she wouldn't pull away.
He wished she would wait for him.
"So... it's like an x-ray." Yi Jung's expression was like one of her students' when they answered a question: hoping eagerly that he was right. Ga Eul almost didn't want to correct him.
"No, no it's not."
His face fell, then rallied into stubbornness. "Yes it is. They both look at what's inside you."
"Yes, but x-rays look at your bones. These look at... organs. I think."
"It's still the same," he insisted.
Ga Eul sighed. "If you'd like to think so, then okay."
He looked satisfied.
A nurse walked in, a small tub of gel in her hand. "I found it," she said rather unnecessarily, holding it up. "Now, are you ready?"
Ga Eul took a breath. "Are you, Yi Jung?"
"Okay," the nurse said, settling into a stool. "Here we go."
Five minutes later, a small green lump appeared on a nearby screen. The nurse inspected it carefully.
"What's her name?" she asked them softly.
Ga Eul smiled. "So Hae Kyu." She pushed Yi Jung softly. "Told you it was a girl."
Yi Jung grinned at the screen. "Hi baby," he said. "I kind of love you already."
An exclamation came from the bathroom, followed by a loud thump, then a curse. Ga Eul looked up, alarmed, then covered her daughter's ears when more cursing ensued.
"Yi Jung ah, what are you doing?"
There was a momentary pause, then his terse voice said, "Come here."
Genuinely worried now, she told Hae Kyu to stay where she was and keep coloring before she headed to the bathroom. She opened the door cautiously to find Yi Jung staring at something in his hand, expression almost frantic.
"What's wrong?" she asked carefully, working to keep her voice under control.
He said nothing, just thrust his hand out at her. At first glance there was nothing there; she looked again to see a tiny, short, silvery strand of hair.
"What about it?" she asked, chest loosening. "Aish, you had me all worked up! I thought you were in trouble!"
"It's a gray hair!" he said, eyes wide. "I can't believe it, I'm going gray."
"Yi Jung." Ga Eul gave a short, incredulous laugh. "You're thirty-three. It's natural. Relax."
"I can't believe this." Yi Jung sat down on the toilet seat. "A gray hair."
"Call the media, people, So Yi Jung is actually aging," Ga Eul said sarcastically. Then her voice softened. "It's okay," she told him. "It's just one. It was bound to happen."
"Yes, but I wasn't expecting it," he said lamely. The strand was still in his palm. She picked it up and dropped it into the sink, where it all but blended in with the chrome. She made him look at her instead of his palm.
"It's just hair," Ga Eul said encouragingly. "Just hair."
He sighed. "Yeah, I know." He stood up, brushing his hands together as if to rid himself of the already-gone strand. Ga Eul had to hold back the urge to laugh.
The stupid thing wouldn't work. This was why he so infinitely preferred buttons. But no, Ga Eul had insisted on the puffy zipper winter jacket instead of the cute buttoned winter jacket. It was like she was just doing it to spite him.
He was becoming more and more aware of his daughter's frustrated stare burning a hole through the top of his head as the little zip-up thing refused to match up with the teeth again. Yi Jung took a deep breath and calmed down before trying again.
The left side zipped up while the right side stayed unmoved. He bit back the urge to swear and undid the mess.
A pair of quick, nimble hands pulled the teeth into the right position and pushed the zip-up thing right up the line, making a smile form on Hae Kyu's face. She ran out of the house and into the yard, already scooping up snow to pack in her small mittens. Yi Jung stood up from his kneeling position to face a smug Ga Eul.
"Stupid zippers," he muttered, grabbing his own (button-up!) coat.
"Stupid you," she replied teasingly, zipping up her puffy jacket perfectly. She slipped on the now-worn velvet lined gloves and skipped outside, throwing another infuriatingly cute look over her shoulder at his frustration.
Five minutes later, Ga Eul was blinking up at Yi Jung with a shell shocked expression on her face, her butt firmly planted in a bank of snow.
Hae Kyu clapped her hands delightedly and laughed. "Daddy threw Mommy into the snow!" she reported to no one in particular.
Yi Jung smiled down at Ga Eul, his own expression smug. "Get your zippers to help you now."