Disclaimer: I do not own Boys Over Flowers, Meteor Garden and Hana Yori Dango. This fic is merely a piece of my imagination. I mean no harm, either. So please don't sue me.
It was an empty park in Stockholm, Sweden. A cluster of snow-covered trees on the left, followed by a snow-covered span of lawn at the center and a snow-dusted wooden bench on the right. It was like a winter wonderland postcard, except there were no Christmas decorations on those trees. Even if it was a typical New Year's Eve. But for three women wearing one piece of white clothing each, and colliding into one another; it was just another day in that thing called life.
"Ouch!", said the first, wearing a white hat with long hair flowing in soft and gentle curls.
"Ouch! Sorry!", said another, wearing a white coat, with her black hair tied up in a long ponytail.
And the last, who donned white pants and had her mid-length hair with layers framing her face simply sighed at one and asked the other, "Do you speak English?"
Nodding yes, the latter replied, "Yes, but slowly."
Pants Girl said, in an almost lazy but teasing manner, "On behalf of that klutz there, I'd like to apologize."
Coat Girl jumped and pointed at her. "You think you're so perfect! I am just..."
PG cut her off, "A klutz. You spilled coffee this morning. Then you ran into a glass window when you exited out of class. Not to mention you do stumble once a day. Today was the worst I have seen you. You just hit into another person, with luggage, after I told you not to run because there's snow!"
Hat Girl just smiled gently, not knowing what to say but knowing not to interrupt the two.
PG asked in a much more patient manner, "Seriously. I have known you for a while. What is going with you anyway? And don't even try to give me lip. You've been my neighbour and friend since you had to leave your home country for Canada some years ago. As your roommate now that you're in University and as someone who cares for you like a sister, and as a school mate who has been a very good upperclassman to you as well - you'd think I would know when you are not quite okay."
Sighing, CG answered, "I don't know why I am feeling so restless. There is just this feeling inside me! I can't explain it."
"Maybe you're getting sick?"
"Did you forget to pee?"
HG and PG exchanged glances at their simultaneous question.
PG explained, "She's got a bladder the size of a pea when it is cold and is denial about it."
CG shook her head, "Why am I even friends with such a heathen like you? It is not right being that tactless and outspoken!"
"I adjusted to your neat freak tendencies. You should have known I speak my mind by now."
"I know, but that doesn't mean I have to like it."
"Uhm-," HG interrupted, "Pardon me, but is there any way you could point me out to The Coffee Shop With No Name? I am afraid I am horribly lost. And cold. I made the mistake of stopping at the park without asking the taxi driver which way to go."
"Definitely!", CG energetically replied. "Yes, yes!"
Nodding, PG said, "You could come with us. We were on our way there. It's open for twenty-four hours for the holiday break and it's not far from here!"
"Thank you very much.". HG said, bowing.
And so the three women headed away from the park and started walking to their destination.
PG curiously asked HG, "So, what brings you to here? Are you planning on attending Konstfack?". She noticed the map that HG tightly held, with the name underlined.
CG looked interested as well and waited for the answer.
Hesitantly but steadily, HG responded, "Yes. I mean no. My... Oh I don't even know what he is. But, I am here to look for someone? He studies there. And I was told that I'll be able to find him at that cafe."
"Look for a guy?". PG and CG exchanged a knowing, almost haughty glance and sighed simultaneously.
HG couldn't help but be hurt. "Gah! I knew it was wrong to come here!". She started to leave.
The two friends glared at each other before stopping HG. "Sorry about that.". PG said. She gently tugged on her arm to steer her back in the direction of their destination.
CG elaborated, "We both have had a bad experience with the guys we went after.". She was not so gentle as she put her hands behind HG's back and pushed at it; urging her to go that way.
PG sighed, a white puff of smoke forming from her lips, as snow started falling. "It didn't end too favorably for either of us."
"But in her case, it was her choice."
"Pot calling kettle black! You decided to pack up and leave without a word!"
"I suppose so. But you, you decided to give him a letter instead of trying to confront him."
"And he followed my instruction. Good things come to those who wait! If we're meant to be, we are!"
"How long has it been?". HG suddenly asked them.
The two stopped their jibes at each other.
"About a year without contact.". Both answered.
A bit surprised, HG said, "Really? I am only approaching seven months. We've kept contact, but it's been hell."
Smiling bittersweet smiles as they nodded in agreement and chorused. "Tell us about your guy."
CG added, "It isn't easy to keep it inside but we have had each other to lean on for years – even before we left the guys. And it is always nice hearing someone else share their love story to distract me from mine."
PG continued, "Truth is, I don't know if I can go on holding on to mine. You somehow, give me renewed hope."
HG smiled, "I understand. Hmm... I suppose I could start with... Ah! He is famous and rich for being born as a chaebolin Korea as well as being a pottery prodigy. That was all I knew him for, but then I met him in person and found out he was a polite jerk with the head the size of America. I didn't want to see him again. Except, some circumstances happened and I got better acquainted with him. Then one day... I started to truly fall for him. He taught me a very valuable lesson. He compared life to pottery - how each of us are like clay. We would be stepped on, rolled over and shaped into something we could be. Then we would be put through hellfire, so we would harden. But if we are not strong enough; we would break, only for the process to be repeated until we can't break anymore."
She smiled dreamily, recalling that day and night. She couldn't stop herself from telling the story even if she wanted to. Besides, her audience had been absolutely captivated. She let the memory wash over her as she shared it to them. The girl with the white hat continued, "He told me that after my first boyfriend cheated on me, humiliated me and broke up with me. Then he took me out to have fun, he needed to cheer himself up as well, he said. He dressed me up for a night out, and took me to a club where, to my surprise; my ex was. Then he told me to wait for him at this one spot, and trust him. He left for a bit, only to walk through the dance floor towards my ex and his date, who was the proprietor of that club. He asked if he could play something."
CG asked, "Play?"
PG sharply (but lightly) elbowed the former, "Shh! And then?"
While giggling, HG kept on going, "He went onto the club stage and took the saxophone that my ex's date handed to him. Then he announced to everyone that he'd like to play something for the one who won his heart. He played this really mind blowing tune.". She felt her cheeks heat up and knew they were redder than ever. "Anyway, after he finished playing the song, he started to leave the stage. I remember thinking that the girl he played for was really lucky but then my ex got my attention. He didn't notice who I was and told me that I should have dressed up for him then he wouldn't have broken up with me. Before I could say anything, my... knight (I suppose I could call him that, even if he could also be a prince) came to my rescue. He not only stopped me from answering and sounding stupid, but he also told everyone that I was the one who won his heart and I should stop making him suffer. Later on, he told me that while what happened there was a lie, we should continue on the night as if it was real; but not to tell anyone else. Since then, he's been like my secret knight."
PG giggled at the end, something she hasn't done in a while. "You just made me feel like I was back in Taiwan. You and I are quite similar, especially with the first boyfriend that cheated. Except my... prince (I can't call him a knight; he doesn't work like your guy) told me to have more confidence. I used to be reserved and shy. After he made me believe in myself, he gave me black coffee; to appreciate the bitterness of it at first and its sweetness after. Then he dragged me to where my ex was; so that I could move on."
"Move on? More like to SUCKER PUNCH HIM!" CG burst out. "Sorry, I always like her story. It is so romantic! You both have romantic stories! You guys got cheating ex-boyfriends, I got some creepy ex-boyfriend trying to pressure me to give him more than I could give. My guy gave me a bitter drink, tea. So that I'd know it was necessary to experience a painful love in order to grow just like how that natural tea cleanses the body."
HG asked, "Then he helped you with the guy?"
"Yes. But, then he told me that I can never be one of his girls. Said that I would only be his friend. I didn't believe him but...". She trailed off painfully.
All three women sighed on that note. Then giggled at the same time because they had such similar situations and it was nice to bond over it.
"We're here! This is it! Tell us more about your guy inside, okay?!". CG exclaimed as they arrived outside their destination, "Oh man! I gotta pee!"
She raced to the door, and the two women with her tried to stop her.
"Don't run! There's black ice!"
They could only observe as she hit the sliding door, hear it make contact with the wall behind it and finally saw her fall face first into the ground.
Quickly, but avoiding the slippery area, they moved towards her.
"Are you okay?"
"I told you not to rush into the shop when it's snowing! But do you ever listen to me? No!"
"Must you rub it in?". CG steadied herself and turned to HG, "Thank you miss. That was very kind of you.". She gave PG a slight glare before seeing HG's upturned luggage outside. "Now please get your bags, they may get wet in the snow."
"Oh right!". HG swiftly, but carefully went back outside to get her belongings. She then wheeled her trolley and matching duffle back inside.
She was about to thank CG but the scraping sound of chairs on floor drew her and her newfound companions' attention.
There were three men standing by the bar. And they were all extremely familiar.
So their voices rang in unison as they called names out.
"Yi Jeong seonbae!"
Yuki could hardly believe that he was here. Her brain was fried, body frozen. But his warmth as he tugged her to settle at the bar and the bitter taste of his favorite tea in her mouth reminded her of the story they shared and she relaxed. She obeyed him when he ordered her to stay there and warm up.
No wonder she felt like something was going to happen today and felt antsy. She only felt like this when she was going to see him.
It has been nearly a year since she stopped chasing him, and followed her dreams to be somebody she could be proud of. She never knew that was the only thing that would make him realize that he wants her in his life.
She waited for him to sit beside her. And she reflected on some thoughts.
They were friends, first and foremost. She knows that she loves him. And that now (as he sat there not knowing what to say but looking like he has a lot of things to say) that he has accepted that he loves her. And like most proud men, he will rarely say it; only show it as best as he could.
So she wrapped her arms around him, letting his scent wash over her. He returned the embrace.
It would be a new start for them. They'll take it nice and slow this time. He needs to learn her story just as she learned his before. And she will tell him that she needs to finish her education first. In order to become the person that she could still be.
But that would be after this. After they have exchanged enough hello's for the ones they missed.
Then he whispered, "I found you."
And her heart soared, beating the same rhythm as his.
'Yi Jeong seonbae's here,' Ga Eul thought. Finally she could say all those things she rehearsed on the plane. She tried to say something. "Hello."
That wasn't it. But he responded.
"Hi.". Then there was that smile that bewitched her.
She tried it again. "Hi."
That wasn't it either.
She bit her lip nervously as he replied with good humor, "Hello."
She really needed to say something else than a greeting. Where does she start anyway? She was here, because of their meddling friends. Woo Bin seonbae gave her a ticket as a present four days ago, then Ji Hoo seonbae and Jan Di gave her luggage, with the clothing already inside and all three dragged her to the airport with Jae Kyung unniebefore she could even form a full protest! How does she explain?
He beat her to the first step, "You're here."
Would he think she was stalking him? He seemed shocked. He didn't know she was coming. She started off with the truth. "Woo Bin seonbae gave me a ticket to travel here as a Christmas present.". She looked into his eyes, silently reading his thoughts.
She felt a bit confused. She wanted to kiss him. There was this look in his eyes that made her want to just kiss him. But nice girls didn't do that. Speaking of nice girls, they do not just barge into someone else's life like this. "I am sorry for the unexpected visit, but I didn't want to waste the ticket.". She bit her lip, trying to control herself from saying that she also was eager to go and see him. And ask him for a kiss. Especially when he was looking at her like that - like she was the only girl in the world.
Then he said, "In Sweden, people greet each other like this."
She held her breath as she felt that utterly spellbinding feeling of floating as he gathered her in one arm and embraced her. She felt like this once before. She was barefooted, and warm in his arms. He looked at her then just as he was looking at her now.
Then she felt his lips upon hers and closed her eyes. Her first kiss with him since that night she gave him a phone after his stopped working properly.
She didn't breathe. She didn't move. But she felt herself hold onto his front tight. And they stayed like that till he pulled back but not by much.
She remembered him say that it was how people greet each other in Sweden. Did that mean he'd do it for just any other girl?
He seemed to sense this thought and put a stop to it. With that smile reserved for her (she only saw him smile like that when he was with her and his best friends), he said in that voice that caressed her soul as he placed one of her hands over his heart, "I am glad you're here, Ga Eul yang.".
She marveled at his awareness of her. She then understood what he truly meant. "In Sweden, people who love each othergreet one another like this." Then she realized she could read him too. And he was asking for another Swedish kiss. So, with her conveniently placed hands, she tugged at his front with a smile of her own. Then she put her arms around him properly as he returned his lips on hers, drawing her even closer as they both deepened the connection and shared their breaths more. And more.
Where did her outspokenness and confidence go? Should she say hi? I missed you? It's about time? She didn't know what to say. Wait, she did know what she wanted to know, "What are you doing here?"
She saw that he was taken by surprise. A slight look pain crossed his face but blended straight into a fire of resolve that enraptured her. She didn't notice how he had maneuvered her into a small space so that she was easily within his reach if she had been thinking of escaping him - she wasn't. "I thought you'd be glad to see me."
She supposed she could have said it in a much better way. What did Yuki call it? Oh yeah tact. "I am glad. But I am surprised. I never thought you'd come here.". Why was it suddenly so hot? She started to turn to look for something to ease her discomfort.
Then she stopped when he said, "I came to find you."
That phrase echoed twice in her mind before he added, "I wanted to follow you to Canada, after you left. But when you wrote me that letter..."
She nodded, "About taking the time to figure out ourselves before we define what we are?". She was so heartbroken when she learned about Xiao Gen. And she didn't want to be that girl that soothes his soul while he is holding onto a different dream.
It was painful to write that letter, but she knew deep down it wasn't their time.
"Yes. That letter.". She paid him her utmost attention. What he'll say is what their future together depends on. "I never got to respond to you. You know that I do not express myself well, if I do so at all.". The unspoken part - except with you, because I am comfortable with you - made Xiao You feel lighter. Still, she must listen to him finish first. "But if you never showed me that you would come back, then I would go after you."
He said it so matter-of-factly! Now what does she say? Was it real? "Xi Men..."
He gripped her upper arms, jolting her out of the start of jaded, cynical thoughts. She felt his earnestness, and a bit of desperation as he said all the things she could dream of, and more. "Tell me I am still the one. Tell me I didn't find you too late. Tell me you have found yourself - because I find that I am nothing without you.".
She never felt more in love with this man. And she knew that she would never love another. He was it.
He embraced her and she opened herself up to receive him. "I am never letting you go. Don't you dare leave me again."
She couldn't resist teasing him then, confident in herself and him together yet giving him one last test. "I don't settle for three dates any more."
He got her. "You won't have to. Not ever. As long as you choose me, and love me."
Actions speak louder than words, so she kissed him in response. Then she kissed him some more, sealing their future together.
Much later they all heard the din of fireworks outside. But instead of watching it the women and men all turned to each other.
Xi Men fully smirked. He was much too happy to hold his usual serious face. In English, he addressed everyone and said, "I knew Xiao You wouldn't date someone like you." He told Nishikado Soujiro as he held his out of breath girlfriend. Until he gives her the ring in his pocket anyway. Then she would be his fiancée.
"And I knew Yuki-chan wouldn't be with anyone like you," Soujiro retorted, possessively embracing his girlfriend. Yes, girlfriend. But he better get a ring to make sure she will never be anyone else's! Or just get their stamps and bring her to an official. Yeah, that sounded better.
"You two need to relax.". So Yi Jeong remarked as he tightly but gently held Ga Eul's hand. He led her to sit somewhere where all of them could sit. Then he sat down pulled her promptly down on his lap.
Ga Eul asked, "Eh? Why? What happened?". She leaned back into him, not even trying to fight such a public display of affection. She knew he was staking his claim on her, if the possessive arm around her abdomen meant anything. Men!
Her beau replied, "They were about to punch each other's lights out before you girls walked in."
There was a simultaneous cry of manly, "Ouch!" followed by a duet cry of "Men!", before two girls left their partners and sat with the peaceful couple. Both injured men shared dumbfounded looks as they watched on the proceedings without them.
"Nice to meet you!". Yuki said, as she smiled at Yi Jeong.
Xiao You explained, "She," and indicated Ga Eul, "was just about to continue telling us about you! She was telling us about how you became her knight since the night you played the sax for her."
With a self-satisfied smirk as he gently looked at his blushing girl then back at the two with a happy, spell-binding smile, he replied, "Oh really?"
"Hey, you little scoundrel!"
"Grr. That's my girl!"
"Quiet! She speaks!"
And so, life went on.