remembering charms and pendants

eight years of tears and longing, of fears and misunderstanding, of firsts and happiness, and of love.
a series of chronological one shots of the elusive 'afterward.'


somewhen between two and four.

"You should go see your mother," she told him, as morning light streamed into the window of her room in Oh Sun's house (for this room was a sacred place, for this house was the only place where girls screaming K! and boys shouting Ice Princess! would never find and would never know. Granted, though, the occasional Hyun Si Hyuk fan would come venturing, but hats and a thick jacket never failed the two of them).

"Hmm," was all he answered, forefinger still tracing circles in any part of skin he could see.

She chuckled lightly, "She doesn't know you're here, doesn't she? Sam Dong, you really ought to go to her first, every time you visit."

He smiled at her. "And the airlines know how many times I visit Korea. Hmm…about once every month? One flight to Seoul in the middle of the morning, one back to New York at midnight the next day. I'm tired, Hye Mi-ah. Won't you just let me sleep?"

She tapped his arm lightly. "Really? This is a first. You never want to sleep when you're here. As much as I'd force you to."

"But I end up sleeping anyway."

"Hmm. Yes you do. You're too tired. You ought to lessen your visits."

"…I don't believe that halfhearted tone."

She sighed. "At least go to your mother first." She was back to her original argument.

He chuckled. "She already knows," he said, as he rolled over in the too-small bed, burrowed his face into her neck and inhaled.

"That you're here?" The girl was persistent. He nodded.

"Well then, oughtn't you visit her first before seeing me?"

He shifted away and opened an eye; "I'm visiting her later. You're coming with me."

Silence.

He began to laugh.

"Sam Dong!" She cried, slapping his arm again.

"Don't worry," he told her, gathering her into his arms.

"How can I not worry? She knows we've just been pretending all those years ago, and knows that we're now…I don't know…together? Or something…"

"Hye Mi-ah." He stopped her squirming and cupped her face. She looked at him, pouting.

He smiled, "I'm your boyfriend, aren't I?"

She bit her lip and looked away.

"Have been for years, haven't I?"

She sighed and said, "Why do you need confirmation, anyway? It's as you said, you've been one for many years, shouldn't you be assured of it by now?"

She was pouting again.

He hugged her, "Because until now, I can't believe my good fortune. Being with you, being a celebrity. I'm so happy."

She smiled at him, and closed the distance between them to place a peck on his lips.

"And there's that, too," he added, and she huffed at him.

He laughed at her.

"Anyway, don't worry about Mother. She knows everything. From the start. Until now. Especially that scene at the airport." He tweaked her nose.

She was reddening, "You told her that! That was really embarrassing, you know."

"It's fine. And she's always gushing about you. About her dear daughter-in-law."

She gave him a look, "Have you been feeding her lies again?"

"You know it's not that." This time he was the one who pouted. "But, well. She might have told me that that was what she wanted." He continued in a small voice, his face turning red.

He glanced at her and found that her cheeks were turning quite pink, too.

He grinned at her.

And he was overcome with sudden emotion that he had to hold her close. "Hye Mi-ah. Thank you."

Her voice was muffled against his neck, but the words were unmistakable, "Thank you, too, Sam Dong. For everything."

They smiled.

A little bit later, as she was about to leave the room to see to their breakfast, she told him, "I would've said yes, you know." His face looked bemused, and she smiled slightly at him, "When you ask." Then she was gone.

A split second of confusion was followed by the heavy weight of comprehension and he was running downstairs in a flash, calling out—"Hye Mi-ah!" to a giggling girl. To his giggling girl. (Or rather, to his girl, who was giggling rather out of character).

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I reached a hundred reviews! Thank you, everyone! Thank you!

This chapter's a little celebration, because of the 100 reviews, and because it's taken me a long time to update. I really hope you like this fluff, mindless as it may be. It's dedicated to those who reviewed, each and every one of you. This story lives because you review, all of you. THANK YOU.