"Every Kiss Has a Different Flavor"
By Zaida Thorngage
Disclaimer: I do not own Playful Kiss (or else I'd cuddle up to Kim Hyun Joong's Baek Seung Jo in a heartbeat!) – so please do not try to sue me for this work or anything else. (Seriously, you'll just get pocket lint if you try.)
A/N: This is not the first time I've tried writing this piece… I was very nearly done with the original version (literally, I had just one left!) when my dog deleted it off of my jump drive. (I was transferring my files from one USB drive to another – every file was selected… my lovely Labrador, Codex, decided she wanted to be loved at THAT PARTICULAR MOMENT. She hopped up onto the couch where I was and her paw HIT THE DELETE KEY. I've been scrambling to recreate the files I use for work, as well as anything else I've lost. I lost the original saved files for the fanfiction that I have on here, 8 works in progress, and a list of 23 additional ideas. To say that I damn near had a heart attack is a fair and pretty accurate description of me for that morning. The odds on that are, say, a million to one… and fate decided to screw with Z just once and BAM… "Ha, Z! Good luck remembering what you wrote!" T^T Yeah… that's what I'm dealing with.
Please bear with me as I try to create these stories again (or abandon them), and hopefully they'll be even better than before. (I lost 2 WIPs for Playful Kiss – they'll appear as drabbles here, 1 for You're Beautiful, 1 for Gokusen, 1 for Boy Meets World, 2 for Harry Potter, and 1 for Zettai Kareshi.)
A/N 2: Instead of the traditional Music Challenge Drabble Rules, I've decided to write short pieces inspired by songs that speak to me. I've tried to remember what was originally written – and tried to go from there… so onward!
A/N 3: I noticed last time I pretty much ignored Dok Go Min Ah and bashed poor Bong Joon Gu to bits… so enjoy their stories. Even Kwang Soo-sunbae and Yoon Hae Ra got more screen time in this one! Enjoy!
Inspired By Soyu's "Should I Confess?" (Playful Kiss OST)
Today was simply another day in school for Dok Go Min Ah – another day listening to class lectures she didn't understand, another day of looking up words she didn't know, and another day of watching him. She couldn't exactly put her finger on when she developed a crush on Bong Joon Gu – perhaps from the first time she saw him in junior high… all she knew was this Busan babe didn't have eyes for her… and probably never would. No… it'd be another day of poor Min Ah making puppy eyes at Joon Gu who would make puppy eyes at Ha Ni while she made puppy eyes for Baek Seung Jo, alone.
It didn't seem to matter if she slipped him little drawings or cards or made cartoons featuring him as the hero – Joon Gu's gaze was trained on the one he couldn't have… rather than the one that wanted him more than the next breath she took.
"Get used to being alone, Min Ah," she would often tell herself, "Until I can confess properly, this is all I'll ever have…"
This kind of existence wasn't what she truly wanted, but it's all she would allow herself for now…
Inspired By Park Shin Hye's "Without Words" (You're Beautiful OST)
"Come with me," she pleaded again. His usual response came, "You know I can't do that…"
Chris couldn't do anything more than sigh – this circular line of conversation had pitted her at odds with Joon Gu, and the more she tried , the worse things got. "I don't understand why you can't just come back with me," Chris pleaded, "Can't you at least give me a reason why? Can you help me understand at least that much?" Joon Gu's face scrunched up in pain, "Chris… you know why. My roots are here. My family and my business are here… I can't just leave-" Chris tried to interject, "Yes, you can! Your family never calls, and your business wouldn't be that hard to move. You can be successful anywhere, Bong Joon Gu! You just want to stay here – for Oh Ha Ni, for a married woman who never looked your way to begin with!"
Her frustration had gotten the better of her, and it was evident by her outburst. "Damn it, woman," Joon Gu fired back at her, "What do I have to do to prove to you that I am OVER her?!" The look of contempt in Chris's eyes matched the one glaring back at her as she spoke, "Over her? If you were over Oh Ha Ni, you wouldn't have any reservations about leaving. If you were over Oh Ha Ni, it wouldn't have taken us so long to finally have a date. If you were over Oh Ha Ni-" Joon Gu could hold back no longer, "From the way you're talking, it sounds like YOU are the one that's obsessing. In any case, how does Oh Ha Ni have anything to do with me trying to make something of myself?!" Anger gave way to sadness, as Chris finally hung her head in defeat, "There are times… it seems like you want me to be HER. I can't be her for you, Bong Joon Gu. I'm simply not Oh Ha Ni… and I think that's been the problem the whole time." Tears started streaming down her cheeks as she turned and ran away, leaving Bong Joon Gu standing alone in his apartment – absolutely speechless.
For hours, he simply stood there, just drinking in everything that had just happened… Did I really treat her that way? Bong Joon Gu wondered to himself, No, I treated her as Chris. Oh Ha Ni is only a friend…. Isn't she? His mind kept racing back and forth like a pinball between being angry, hurt, and sad – between thoughts of Chris and Oh Ha Ni, his life in Korea, and wondering how in the hell things could get this screwed up over one girl's jealousy.
Unable to take it anymore, he grabbed his jacked from the arm of the couch and slipped it on as he walked out the door. His feet led him pointedly to the one place where he felt like he needed to be at that moment in time – a local bar where the taps keep flowing and no one asks too many questions. As he took a seat at the bar, the bartender set a glass down in front of him - knowing all too well what this particular customer likes to start out with. Joon Gu let the harsh liquid spill down his throat in a desperate attempt to drown out the last few hours. He closed his eyes, letting his tongue savor the taste of the bourbon – not noticing a figure sitting down next to him. "A beer for me, and get my friend another, please," the voice next to him called out. When Joon Gu realized that another bourbon had been set in front of him, he picked up the glass and turned toward the voice to thank them. A friendly, familiar face smiled at him and simply asked, "Rough day?" Joon Gu failed to keep the shock out of his voice, "Dok Go Min Ah? What are you doing here?" "I simply stopped in for a drink," she replied, "I saw you over here and thought I'd say hello. So, hello! Now, what's your excuse?"
Over the next hour or two, Joon Gu divulged most of the details of what had happened earlier, up to and including his definitive (although) unspoken break up with Chris. At that point, Min Ah asked, "So, you're single for now?" Joon Gu simply nodded. Min Ah decided to be bold, for once, and asked, "Does that mean I have a shot, now?" Joon Gu took a moment to let her words sink into his alcohol-soaked brain, "What? You mean - you and me?" Min Ah smiled at him, "Why not? I've liked you for a long time now…" "Um, Min Ah… I wouldn't want you think that you're a rebound," he replied. She responded, "I wouldn't think that… also, you know I'm not Oh Ha Ni, right?" "I know that," Joon Gu said defensively. "Well, then, if you know I'm not Oh Ha Ni, and I know I'm not going to be a rebound, I guess that only leaves us with one question," Min Ah flirted. Joon Gu looked at her dumbfounded, "What question is that?" She leaned forward and whispered into his ear, "Do you want to come back to my place?"
It didn't take long for her words to hit him before he scrambled back into his jacket and the pair went off, into the night.
Inspired By Aerosmith's "I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing"
They simply laid there in the afterglow of love's warm embrace, clinging to one another – cocooned in a nest of tangled sheets. Bong Joon Gu reached up and used a finger to stroke Dok Go Min Ah's face. His mind thought back to the months leading up to this moment: dinners at his place, nights together at her apartment, shooting fireworks at the pier, the dates, the trips – all stemming from their one conversation at a bar. She smiled as she angled her face up toward his gentle caress. Finally, his voice broke the silence - a whisper that sounded more like a fervent prayer than a request, "Marry me?" Min Ah's eyes opened suddenly to look at the man next to her, "What?" He gazed intently into her eyes and gently repeated his request, "Will you marry me?"
She got a look on her face that Joon Gu knew all too well – doubt. She spoke in a low, trembling voice, "Joon Gu… I'm not Oh Ha Ni…" "Min Ah…" She continued, "I'm not even as pretty or outgoing as Chris…" He interrupted her again with gentle reassurance, "If I wanted them, I wouldn't be here and I wouldn't be asking you this…" He smiled at her as he asked her one more time, repeating his prayer to the goddess in his arms, "Dok Go Min Ah, will you marry me?"
A moment passed before the answer came, one word whispered in the dark, "Yes."
Inspired By Kim Hyun Joong's "Marry Me"
A/N: I'm referencing a full orchestra version of Pachelbel's Canon in D Major in this short story – the two points referenced in the story are the ones I used in my own wedding, to great effect. -Z
His heart was pounding… Bong Joon Gu wasn't entirely sure that the people standing around him couldn't hear it, too. In fact, he was almost sure of it – especially when his best man leaned over to whisper, "Hey, Bong Joon Gu! Stop looking so nervous! You wanted this, and you deserve this… now, just relax and enjoy the moment." Joon Gu's scared eyes met the other man's as he took the advice to heart, "Thank you, Chef. I needed that." Oh Ki Dong's fatherly smile gave the younger man the encouragement he needed to relax.
The moment had finally arrived. Pachelbel's Canon in D Major began to play, and the guests stood. A minute into the piece, the bridesmaids – Oh Ha Ni, swollen with her first child and Jung Ju Ri, ever the same – began to walk down the aisle, gently littering the path with a mix of white and pale pink rose petals. Nearing two minutes into the piece, the doors swung open wide and he caught the first glimpse of his bride, now inching closer to him, arm in arm with her father. This image of her, Dok Go Min Ah in her wedding dress, Bong Joon Gu wanted to burn it into memory not just in his mind, but in his soul, as she'd never looked more beautiful than at this moment. This perfect, pure creature – his Min Ah – smiled up at him as she stood before him at the altar.
In no time at all, it seemed, the vows were made, rings were exchanged, and before the kiss, a final prayer was offered. This, to Joon Gu, seemed to take forever. He felt like a man dying of thirst, unable to quite reach the one thing that would give him life. Finally, the prayer was over and the order was given – his arms wrapped around his bride and their lips met.
In that moment, life felt whole.
Inspired By Aaron Tippin's "That's As Close As I'll Get To Loving You"
Kwang Soo knew why he was here – a poster in the quad told him everything he needed to know… Baek Seung Jo and Oh Ha Ni were getting married. Good for you, Oh Ha Ni, he thought to himself, If it can work out for you – then maybe it will for me, too… He knew that Yoon Hae Ra would be upset – as hard as she pined after Baek Seung Jo, it'd be only natural for her to take it hard… but would she show it? Kwang Soo shook his head, That's not her style. She's tough… even when she doesn't need to be… maybe she'll let me be strong for her? First, though… he would need to find her. It wasn't hard tracking her down – almost by instinct, he knew Hae Ra would be at the tennis courts.
The sight that greeted him there confirmed it – Yoon Hae Ra, all decked out in her tennis gear, racket in hand, standing next to a cart full of tennis balls working on her already mean serve. Kwang Soo stood at the gate, not wanting to disturb her by approaching any closer. Minutes pass slowly by and Hae Ra begins to show signs of fatigue. Immediately, Kwang Soo springs to action. His feet carry him swiftly to the convenience store just a few blocks away, Drink – she's thirsty. She'll need something, soon…
He spent a few minutes agonizing over the drink choices: "Water! No… that's too warm. Ah! Here's one that's cold! …No, too boring… Maybe this? No, just because she's exercising doesn't mean I can just get her a sports drink. Coke! Coke! No… what if she doesn't like that? Ooh, Diet Coke! What if she thinks I mean she needs to lose weight? There's nothing there for her to lose! ….Ugh, Ahjussi! When you're thirsty, what do you want to drink?"
Moments later, beverage in hand, he stood guard once more – but he moved a bit closer in this time… hoping not to disturb the heartbroken woman before him. He watched long after the sun had gone down and the fluorescent lights came on to shine a spotlight on Hae Ra's grief. Finally, she managed to work her way through the shopping cart full of tennis balls – lifting the last, tossing it into the air. At the last moment, a cramp seized her tired, aching muscles and she missed, collapsing to the ground. As he approached her, he heard her whispered chastisement, "Yoon Hae Ra, are you really like this?" Fearing that she may be hurt, Kwang Soo closed the gap between them to reach her, "Are you okay?"
She looked up at him with wild, scared eyes before glancing to the item he held in his clasped hands, "Beer?" He continues to hold it, notes of sadness mingled in with his response, "It was cold, earlier on…" She stands and concedes, "Fine. I'm thirsty." She takes his humble offering and stumbles over to the bench. Over and over, she tries to open it – to bring relief to her parched throat – but her tired hands do nothing more than fumble with the tab, demanding, "Why won't this open?" Kwang Soo felt like he knew the answer before he ever asked his next question, "Should I open it for you?" She pulls the can closer to her, her pride affronted, "No, it's fine." He sits silently, her words stinging him, as she continues to fumble before finally breaking the tab off of the can. No, I didn't think she'd let me help.
Frustration finally gets the better of her, "This is so annoying…" Hae Ra turned her face away from him, hoping he hadn't seen the tear that streaked its way down her cheek. In the silence between them, Kwang Soo hoped his precious goddess wouldn't be hurt with him as he spoke, "It's okay if you sob. I'm okay with it. Don't hold it back…" His words were enough to break down the remnants of Hae Ra's emotional walls. She let go of everything holding her back and simply begins to cry, even leaning over to rest her head on Kwang Soo's shoulder.
What should I do, he wondered. He so desperately wanted to reach out and hold her, but he held back – wringing his hands, flexing them in and out of fists in his lap. No, there's nothing else that I can do for her right now, Kwang Soo decided, nothing more than this… for now, this is enough. It will have to be…
Inspired By Eric Clapton's "Change the World"
Oh Ha Ni, Seung Jo silently chastised the woman in front of him, you cannot POSSIBLY be sleeping on a bench. It was the last day of the Top Spin tennis club's vacation at the pension, and apparently carefree Ha Ni must have gone on a walk. She looks beautiful today, he thought to himself, like the princess - Sleeping Beauty. Seung Jo approached her and just stood there, not wanting to wake her up. What is it with her collecting leaves? Seung Jo looked at the small stack of leaves clutched in the young woman's hands.
His breath caught in his throat and eyes widened, but he didn't move, instead, he asked, "Did you come out for a walk?"
The sleepy voice lazily replied, "Yeah." He glanced down at her, What is it about you that makes you so intoxicating, Oh Ha Ni? What have you done to me? She was still sound asleep – but still managing to carry on a conversation. Seung Jo decided to move around to the end of the bench to stand at her side. Yes, that's better… now, just stay asleep, princess…
"You should have come alone," he scolded.
Her sleepy voice replied, "Huh?"
"Saying that you like me and stuff," Seung Jo asked, "Don't you know how I feel?"
The sleeping woman next to him began to mumble, but he couldn't quite make out the words. I'd better be quick… He placed a hand on her shoulder, and she quieted as he leaned in and pressed his lips against hers. It wasn't long before her lips responded to his, returning the kiss. She started to sway, as if she were about to wake up. Seung Jo broke the kiss and looked around, to make sure no one saw his moment of weakness. He caught a flash of blue, Eun Jo… His smiled at his dongsaeng, lifting a finger to his lips, This is our little secret. He crept away to a nearby tree and turned to catch one final glimpse of Oh Ha Ni. He smiled and chuckled slightly at the sight of seeing her continue to lean forward, her lips puckered for another kiss. I wish I could, Oh Ha Ni.. . Ha Ni caught herself, and Seung Jo disappeared behind the trunk of the tree he stood next to.
I know how you feel, Oh Ha Ni… because this spirit of the forest is under your spell… I love you, too, queen of my heart.
Inspired By Toby Keith's "You Shouldn't Kiss Me Like This"
Ahh, Seoul – It'd been a while since Kwang Soo had been here… well, two years seemed like a while, especially when every day seemed to drag on and on in the Army… His stop was coming up next, and his heart leapt up to his throat at the thought of being home. Will anyone be here to greet me? The bus slowed to a stop and he stood, heaving his bag onto his shoulder, to get off and find the nearest hot dog or ramyun shop to indulge in his favorite foods.
He stepped off the bus and took a step, he barely had time to register what was in front of him – a woman, hair flying, running straight toward him. They're just late for the bus… that's not for me. Shock hit him like a bolt of lightning as the woman collided with him, wrapping her arms around his shoulders and her lips pressed firmly to his. No! It couldn't be!
She pulled away and cheerfully greeted him, "Welcome home!" "Yoon Hae Ra," he stammered, "Wh-what are you doing?" He looked around – wondering if he'd died on the bus and this was heaven's way of greeting him… if it was, he certainly enjoyed it. She tried to appear nonchalant, replying, "Oh, I had nothing else better to do – so I thought I'd meet you here." Hae Ra couldn't keep a straight face for long – she smiled at him, the way she once smiled for Seung Jo. "You shouldn't do that, Hae Ra," he admonished, "You shouldn't do that if you don't mean it…" "What, the kiss?" asked Hae Ra, "Oh no… I meant it. I figured 'why not?' Now, you must be hungry – where would you want to go to eat?"
This HAD to be a dream, Kwang Soo determined… but hell, if he had to be a dream, he'd go along with it and make the best of things. "Hotdogs," he murmured before stating, "No, ramyun! Could we possibly get ramyun?" She smiled and chuckled at him, "Sure, why not?"
She leaned forward and boldly stole another kiss before walking toward the nearest ramyun shop – stopping long enough to turn back and smile at the dazed man. Nope, he determined, this isn't a dream! He snapped to attention, repositioning the bag on his shoulder, and followed in behind her.
Inspired By Rhianna's "S&M"
A/N: I'm not entirely sure how to score tennis, so please ignore me if I'm wrong (or send a private message, and I'd be happy to address it! I do so hate to be incorrect on things of this nature!) -Z
It was a rather ordinary afternoon, until they arrived. Soon, the air filled with sounds of thwacks, moans, groans, and the occasional grunt rising from the general vicinity of the tennis courts of Parang University. The warm, humid afternoon did nothing to make the "friendly" game of tennis any more fun (or easier) to play.
Yoon Hae Ra and Wang Kyung Soo were playing an all-out competition, the best of two matches out of three – the winner would get the opportunity to make a special request of the loser. It'd all come down to the final serve – all Kwang Soo needed was to score one final point to win the match to conclude the final game… unfortunately, that's all Hae Ra needed, too… In an absolute stroke of good fortune, Kwang Soo made his final serve and after his first return strike, Hae Ra missed and lost the match.
After the game, the two collapsed on the nearby bench. "I haven't played that hard in a while," Hae Ra commented, breathing hard. "Neither have I," Kwang Soo replied, also quite winded, "Didn't get much of a chance to play in the Army." "I have to say," she admitted, "That was almost better than —" "Yeah," he interrupted. She sat up and turned toward Kwang Soo, shocked, "Sunbae, Really?! You…?" "Yeah," he repeated, with a big grin spread across his face, "I agree with you! Totally better than hotdogs!" He turned to see at the shocked expression on Hae Ra's face… a moment later, it hit him, "OH! Not the same thing! Wait a minute… that means… Hae Ra?" Hae Ra felt her face go up in flames and turned away from the man sitting next to her, her hands coming up to shield her face from his gaze.
Kwang Soo gave an embarrassed chuckle – not expecting her sudden comment or inadvertently embarrassing his goddess next to him. "Well," he said, "I believe I have a request to make of you – seeing how I won our little competition." She began to peek out from behind her hands, curious as to what he would ask. "Why don't we compare the two," Kwang Soo asked, "and see which one is better?"
Kwang Soo grinned mischievously at her, and soon she joined him – looking forward to the rest of her evening.
Inspired By "Oh! Chef" (Playful Kiss OST)
Baek Eun Jo's nose wrinkled, Eugh! What IS that awful smell?! Finally unable to bear it any longer, he made the trek downstairs and the sight that greeted him was always one that made his blood run cold :
His sister-in-law… in the kitchen… cooking.
Not really cooking… more like she was looking up, mindlessly daydreaming as she continuously stirs the contents of the pot – not paying any attention to the smell that was threatening to choke the poor boy out. "Oh Ha Ni," he called out, "What ARE you DOING?!" This seemed to call her back to reality; she turned to him and smiled, "Oh, Eun Jo – I didn't hear you come down." Ugh, daydreaming… again. Eun Jo inwardly grimaced, It's a wonder that she hasn't killed hyung or burnt the house down. He asked her rather pointedly, "Oh Ha Ni, what is it that you're burning?" As soon as she heard the word, her eyes bulged and she panicked – as if her olfactory senses JUST kicked into gear. "OH NOOO!" she cried, "The chocolate's ruined." "THAT," asked Eun Jo, "was CHOCOLATE?!" He dashed over and, sure enough, the pot's contents were completely ruined – the pot scorched and the burnt chocolate had stuck to the sides, harder than any substance than he'd ever seen before. Tossing the pot into the sink, Eun Jo filled it with water, in hopes that some of the gunk could be loosened up.
Finally, he turned back to his sister-in-law and asked, "So, why do you think the chocolate burned?" Her furled brow and repentant expression did nothing to invoke an ounce of sympathy out of the pint-sized genius. "I got distracted," she answered, "…but it's the thought that counts!" "You must not really like my hyung after all," he scolded, "if you were REALLY going to give him burnt chocolate again. Remember what happened LAST TIME?" Her eyes widened again – she remembered. Seung Jo made her eat a piece from the last batch she made… she'd mistakenly picked up the salt instead of the sugar and, well, the results were disastrous. Burnt, salted chocolate isn't exactly what Oh Ha Ni would consider a delicacy.
While she contemplated this, Baek Eun Jo had gotten out another pot, a fresh batch of ingredients, as well as a clean set of bowls and cooking implements that she would need to try again. "Now," he said, snapping her out of her thinking, "try again – and please try to concentrate this time. I'll watch, just in case." …and steal a piece or two… if it turns out well, he plotted.
Soon enough, Oh Ha Ni proved true to her nickname of "Noah's Snail." The chocolate had been set in little candy molds and cooled, waiting to be boxed up for Seung Jo. While her back was turned, Baek Eun Jo picked up one of the pieces and sniffed at it before popping it into his mouth. Sweetness flooded his taste buds. Wow, that's actually pretty good… "I wish someone would make chocolates for me," Eun Jo muttered under his breath. Oh Ha Ni turned and looked at her brother-in-law in surprise, "What did you say, Eun Jo?" The boy panicked and stammered, "I just remembered… I still have a bit of homework to finish up!" He swiped another piece or two before dashing up the stairs, embarrassed after being caught.
Oh Ha Ni simply smiled and began to place the candies into a box, wrapping the package carefully with ribbon, then awaited the arrival of her husband.
Inspired By Phil Vassar's "Just Another Day in Paradise"
Baek Seung Jo enjoyed a quiet drive home from the hospital – Oh Ha Ni had promised a fantastic dinner on what was their third anniversary… marking their first special occasion in their new apartment. Finally, after two and a half years under the same roof as his parents, Seung Jo finally startled everyone with his sudden declaration that he and his wife would be moving into a place of their own. Naturally, his mother had objected… until he threatened her with the prospect of absolutely no grandchildren, whatsoever. His mother then became their biggest advocate for finding a place of their own, even taking on the role of realtor to help them find a suitable location. The apartment wasn't completely perfect, but it was better than living at home – and it was affordable and in a decent neighborhood.
Quickly, though, Seung Jo and Ha Ni found out why the rent was so reasonable – the electrical wiring in the apartment complex needed repairs… and the landlord couldn't afford the repairs without more tenants. It kept them on their toes – frustrating them and keeping things interesting, all at once.
Seung Jo finally arrived home and parked the car, grabbing his bag and the bouquet of flowers he had picked up for the occasion. He took the stairs up to their apartment, not fully trusting the elevator to get him there reliably, and entered their humble abode…
…only to find the smoke alarm going off, dinner burnt, and a sudsy puddle threatening to lap at his feet… with a panicking wife attempting to shut the washing machine off, her method of fearfully slapping at the buttons and kicking the malfunctioning contraption wasn't working – to say the least.
Quickly setting down his bag and the flowers, Seung Jo jumped to action – removing the burnt pans from the stove, opening a window or two to ventilate the room, shut off the smoke alarm, and then shut off the washing machine before consoling his wife. She cried out, "Seung Jo!" He wrapped her in a hug and stroked her hair, smiling at her. "It okay, Ha Ni," Seung Jo said comfortingly, "These things happen from time to time."
Ha Ni looked around the room to see the mess around her – the burnt dinner, the smoky haze that still lingered in the apartment, and the suds around their feet, soaking their slippers. Her face fell, and she lamented, "I'm sorry; I've ruined everything again." "No, you haven't ruined everything," he replied, "it's just a couple of minor setbacks—" Ha Ni interrupted, "—setbacks that seem to happen every single time." Seung Jo placed a kiss on her forehead and then leaned down to roll up the legs of his pants, then took his slippers off and in an effort to make Ha Ni laugh, wrung them out.
The next two hours were spent mopping up the sudsy mess in the floor, wringing out the wet laundry and hanging them up around the apartment to let them dry (not trusting the equally malfunctioning dryer) before moving to the kitchen to scrape out the newly formed charcoal bricks that were the remains of Ha Ni's "romantic dinner."
"Why don't you take a moment," Seung Jo offered when they finished, "to relax in the shower and get dressed in something comfy? I'll take care of dinner. What would you like?" Oh Ha Ni smiled up at him, but then her mind drew a blank… she sheepishly smiled and shrugged, "I don't know. Surprise me?" Seung Jo chuckled and made a hand motion to send her on her way.
A phone call and 30 minutes later, Ha Ni was greeted to a table set with flowers and Domino's Pizza – one of Ha Ni's favorite comfort foods. As she walked toward the table, the apartment darkened – the electricity had shorted out for the third time this week. Ha Ni complained, "What? AGAIN?!" Seung Jo's face suddenly erupted out of the darkness in a gentle glow of candlelight. "It's just as well," he explained, "since I was planning on turning off the lights anyway… So… dinner?"
Oh Ha Ni grinned and joined her husband at the table. Over a slice of pizza, Ha Ni spoke up, "Seung Jo, the flowers – they're beautiful." She smiled at him and continued, "Happy Anniversary, husband." He smiled back at her and replied, "They reminded me of your bright personality. Happy Anniversary, wife."
BONUS: Inspired By Josh Groban's "Mi Morena"
Oh Ha Ni bounded up the stairs, grateful to be home after another grueling day at Parang University. No sooner than she walked through her bedroom door, she dropped her bag and flopped down onto the bed. "Ugh," she groaned, "I'm so worn out!" She turned her head to make a grimace toward her study table – her least favorite spot in the room… Unless Seung Jo's there, too, she thought to herself. Something caught her eye – there was a card, standing up, on the table. The hangul printed on the front simply read OH HA NI. The inside, however, made Ha Ni gulp. English! It's printed in ENGLISH! She began to stress, not being able to make heads or tails of the strange characters. "Oh no," she panicked, "What does it say?! I can't read this!"
She agonized for a while and simply gave up. Not only could she not figure out what the message said, but she couldn't figure out whose handwriting it was. A knock came at the door. "Come in," Ha Ni called out. Seung Jo stepped in and asked, "Oh Ha Ni, did you not hear us calling you for dinner?" "Oh, Seung Jo," she said, "I was studying." "You? Studying?" he scoffed. "Yeah," she replied, "I got this note, but I can't read it."
A long-suffering sigh was Seung Jo's only response. He stepped over to her to take the note from her hands and looked at it. "It's English," Seung Jo replied. Ha Ni grumbled, "That's all I've been able to figure out." "It says, 'you can't see the trees for the forest – spirits aren't the only ones with eyes,'" Seung Jo explained. A puzzled look came over Ha Ni's face, "What's that supposed to mean?" "Why are you asking me?" questioned Seung Jo, "Why should I be the one to explain everything to you?"
He tossed the note back to her and turned to leave, "Put that down and come down to dinner, or else I'm sending up mother. You wouldn't want her to make a fuss, would you?" Ha Ni shrugged, "No, I guess not." Putting the note aside, still confused by it's odd message, Ha Ni obediently followed Seung Jo down to dinner.
When she returned later, the mysterious note was gone as quickly as it appeared.
BONUS: Inspired By Josh Groban's "You're Still You"
His voice called out, "Come in!" Oh Ha Ni opened the door and stepped through, greeted by the voice who beckoned her in, "Ha Ni-noona – you made it!" She grinned at the young man in front of her, "Eun Jo – you look so handsome!" She lifted her camera and quickly snapped a photo of her young brother-in-law dressed in his wedding tuxedo. It seemed so long ago that Ha Ni had moved into the Baek family home with her father, and Eun Jo – in elementary school – had despised her, constantly insulting her. Now, fifteen years later, here he was – all grown up – and ready to walk down the aisle, himself. She walked up to him and hugged Eun Jo, asking, "So, are you nervous yet?" "Me?" he replied, "No, not at all."
"Hey, Ha Ni," Eun Jo asked, "want me to tell you a secret?" She gave him a funny look, "What is it with you, secrets, and weddings?" He laughed and reached into his pocket – instantly, she recognized it… it was the strange note from her old room at the Baek home from years before, slightly worn and creased. Eun Jo asked her, "Would you like for me to explain it to you?" Ha Ni nodded, taking the card from Eun Jo before running her fingers over the characters of her name. She opened it up to see the strange words in English once more. "It says, 'you can't see the trees for the forest,'" he explained, "'spirits aren't the only ones with eyes.'" She nodded her head, remembering Seung Jo reading it out to hear all those years ago. "I wrote it," Eun Jo said, smiling, "I kept hoping you'd see me one day – instead of as just hyung's dong-saeng." "B-b-but," Ha Ni stammered, "I thought you hated me…" He chuckled, "Didn't you know that little kids pick on the ones they like at that age?" Ha Ni's confused expression urged Eun Jo to continue, "You see, hyung wasn't the only one watching you. I was suspicious of you, originally, and wanted to keep an eye on you for hyung's sake. While I watched, I saw you for the person you are –long before hyung did. I had a crush on you for a long time… I loved you before hyung allowed himself to admit it. You only had eyes for him, though… I realized that after watching you that night. That's why I took the note back."
Ha Ni finally understood what the younger man was saying, "Eun Jo… when you wrote that 'spirits aren't the only ones with eyes…'" "I meant that hyung wasn't the only one watching you," he finished. "Thank you, noona," he continued, "for being my first love… and for showing me what love and dedication look like. Otherwise, I think I would have missed out on a real treasure." He smiled, thinking about the bride he would soon be awaiting at the end of the aisle.
Suddenly, the door opened – "Eun Jo," a voice called out, "It's time." Eun Jo looked over Ha Ni's shoulder, "Okay, No Ri, I'm coming." After his best friend and best man disappeared, he leaned over and kissed Ha Ni on the cheek. "There," he declared, "my first love is officially over." Ha Ni handed the note back to Eun Jo, who ripped the card and put it in the wastebasket near the door. He turned back to smile at Ha Ni once more, "Wish me luck?" Ha Ni returned the smile, "Good luck, Eun Jo. You'll make a great husband."
His grin extended from ear to ear as he exited the room, starting the next chapter of his life.
A/N 4: I hope you enjoyed this new set of drabbles! The Bong Joon Gu chronicles were actually intended to be a fic I'd titled "Joy, Rediscovered" – a make-up piece for a fic I'd written earlier (that turned our favorite Rooster into a villain). The final two drabbles – Eun Jo's stories – were supposed to comprise a fic titled "Invisible" (I think that was the title…meh, I can't check Twitter at work, and I probably won't think about this at home… XD). Oh well, it works out much better this way, for me. I guess that means I could count this as my fics 3, 4, and 5 for the year? XD SQUEE~! Goal met! Anyway, it's only September – here's hoping I can get another fic in before the end of the year. Keep checking back to see what else I have in store! All my love to you, faithful reader - Z