Title: Who Gets the Girl? [Chapter 34]
Players: Tiffany, BoA, Taeyeon, Yuri, Seohyun, Hyoyeon, Sunny, Mention of Jessica and Yoona
Pairing(s): Taeny and various Yul!Pairings
Rating: PG-13 + Language
Genre: AU, Rom-Com Drama-Llama.
Warning(s): I pulverize ships, apparently.
Disclaimer: I don't own Soshi. I don't own anyone, in fact. All Fiction.
Chap. Summary: Tiffany’s surrounded by the crazy--and she’s part of it.
Author's Notes: I believe this is my longest chapter. (Have I said that before?) Written a little strange for my tastes, but whatevs. Are y’all ready for this chapter? I don’t think you’re ready. :)...Formatting's different for the texting because LJ doesn't like me right now. **Additional Author's Note: It helps to read 'til the end. ^^ LOL
Glowing with pride, the woman at the door circled the swollen belly affectionately with a splayed hand. “Please, come in.”
The interior (and exterior) of Boa’s penthouse reminded Tiffany of her family’s vacation home on the Massachusetts coast. Spacious, well-lit, countless windows adorned with breezy tan curtains.
A beautiful home. Suspiciously, a little too ordinary for someone like her boss. The only indicators of continuity from her gallery persona were the impressively-framed oil paintings. Shocking color schemes and unclothed subject matter brightened the walls. She counted four reclining female nudes before her ass hit the loveseat. Nipples everywhere.
Boa took a seat next to her, a calm smile gracing her delicate features. “Can I offer you a drink? My shaman gave me these titian-colored tea leaves that aid the soul.”
Tiffany blinked off an eye roll. “No, thanks.”
“It’s bitter at first. Then, the tang sweeps your senses in and for few minutes--just a few--you experience a burden-less life. Inner peace in a cup.”
“I’d like to make a trip back to change before going to the gallery...”
“Everyone has time for inner peace, Tiffany.” She pushed herself from the cushion with a grunt, holding onto her round stomach. “I’ll go prepare some for us both.”
“Fine.” Bring the damn tea so I can get out of here.
Peculiar best described 27-year-old Kwon Boa. Both arms fully covered in surreal, esoteric tattoos. Silver piercings jutting from her dimples. Wore the same dazed (or high) smile no matter what bad news she received. Slowly spoke in tangents as if she had all the time in the world.
Under any other circumstances, she’d think Boa was just eccentric. Maybe even cool. Nevertheless, knowing that said person scored a 6-month relationship with Taeyeon made all these qualities grating to the nerves. Sure, Boa--in her own way--had admirable qualities. Always brought up new ways of approaching problems. An overall nice lady.
One little slip-up ruined any chances of Tiffany redacting her neverending side-eye.
“Did you ever hang out with Boa?” Tiffany asked Sunny on her third day of job training.
“Yeah. Not much, though.” Sunny said.
“Oh?” Tiffany felt superior already. “Why’s that?”
“It was hard to spend time with either when all they did was have se--”
Silence. Subject change.
Tiffany veiled the jealousy convincingly, making the work experience bearable. They got along well. In fact, the moment Boa realized that Tiffany spoke English fluently, she promoted her from a mere runner to their unofficial PR rep. She became the ‘face’ of the gallery. Not a moment too soon, either. Sunny, though competent, lacked any sort of interest towards visitors and Boa’s monologues went over most heads. Either way, Tiffany had the communication part down pat. Who knew talking was such a rare skill?
Feeling anxious, Tiffany texted Sunny. +I’m in Boa’s lair.
+Anything good? Sunny replied seconds later. She must have been itching for the scoop.
+Her house is strangely normal...
+She has on a fake pregnant belly. That’s special.
+O baby O baby thats hawt.
The whistle of the kettle alerted her of Boa’s immenent return. +She’s forcing me to drink some orangey tea n keeps goin on abt inner peace.
+Omg DONT DRINK THAT TEA!!!1! its laced w/ smthn crazy. 110% sure.
+How ru so su
She lifted the saucer cup and placed it on the tiny table Boa slid before her. “Oh, um, thanks.”
It smelled safe enough. She raised it to her face and gave a charming “Mmmmmm.”
Boa smiled back, unblinking. “Drink.”
At least I got to talk to my dad and tell Taeyeon I love her. Goodbye cruel world. Squeezing her eyes shut, she slowly sipped at the hot drink. It tasted super bitter and made sparks light up behind her eyelids. They quickly snapped open. “What’s in this again?”
“Isn’t it amazing?” Boa winked and brought her cup to her lips and blew. “Now, we drink in silence.”
That they did. Tiffany's antsy pupils jetted to the window every now and then, memorizing outside landmarks.
She sighed with relief once she sat her empty cup back on the table. I’m alive! I’m alive!
“Wasn’t that peaceful?” Boa mused, closing her eyes for a long moment.
Tiffany waited for them to open before speaking. “So, my reference?”
As much as Tiffany hated taking time out of her busy schedule, she really needed some proof of her hard work. An encouraging letter wouldn’t hurt, either.
The woman pursed her lips as if she brought up a thought-provoking life lesson. “Tiffany, do you know why I’m wearing this prosthetic belly?”
Because you’re out of your mind? “For fun-sies?”
Boa stood back up. Then, unexpectedly, she took Tiffany’s hand. She lifted her from the seat and didn’t let go. Instead, she placed the hand on her stomach.
“I wore this for you, Hwang Tiffany.” Detecting her apprehension, Boa continued. “You and Sunny are such assets to the gallery. I couldn’t imagine the outcome of the exhibition without your help. It’s my baby. You helped cultivate and nurture my baby. So, I wore this as a symbol of gratitude.”
Omigod get me out of here. “You’re welcome?”
She couldn’t help but notice Boa’s fingertips trailing aimless strokes along her wrist. “We’ll have to find your replacement for the upcoming project next week. Don’t fret--you’ll always be welcome to my artistic family. Give me a minute to change and we’ll get down to business.”
What the freakin’ hell!? Did my girlfriend seriously fall for this person? Kim Taeyeon, you have a lot of explaining to do.
Once they settled in the office where Boa no longer wore that god-awful prosthetic stomach, things felt less foreign.
In stark contrast to the rest of the living quarters, this office reflected her boss’s personality. A messy desk littered with oddball-yet-priceless knick knacks from overseas. Random amorphous statues lined the walls. Wall-to-floor coverings of prints, posters, and unframed paintings. A faint haze wafted in the air, smelling of incense and marijuana. The owner of the room quietly typed at her laptop while Tiffany swayed on the balls of her feet, scanning the area.
“How long have you been working with us?” Boa asked over the faint crashing waves and cawing pelicans playing from her computer.
“About three weeks.”
“I see...I’ll put a month. It’s more official.”
A smile. “Thank you very much.”
Tiffany couldn’t take her eyes off the medium-scale painting directly behind the desk. A bizarre scene of a giant tarantula battling an army of neon green chibi aliens. The sky, coated with several thick layers of crimson, rained blood on its city setting. Prior to her current position in the arts, such a piece would repel her entirely. Instead, it pulled her in with a force that made Boa glance up.
She didn’t realize that she now stood only a foot away from the gorey display. “Yeah. It’s...I can’t describe it. I feel like it speaks to me.”
“Hm.” Boa reached for ten freshly printed copies of her recommendation letter. “It’s one of my favorites. By a Kim Taeyeon.”
Tiffany nearly snapped her neck. “K-Kim Taeyeon!?”
“Mmmhmm.” Boa gently scribbled her signature on the top sheet. “A past lover. The only remaining piece from her show years ago. She’s extremely talented.”
Sure enough, the initials ‘KT’ were etched onto the corner of the canvas. Sunny mentioned Taeyeon’s college showing. I haven’t gotten a chance to see any of the photos she swiped from Boa’s files. “Yes, she is.”
“Do you know her?”
Should I come clean? I only work with her for a few more days... “She’s my girlfriend.”
Boa finished signing the papers before speaking. “The mental picture of you two is a sight to behold.”
“Right...do you know where to find the rest of her paintings?”
“Ah, no. They’re long gone. Sold them all and kept that one as a memento.” She tapped her chin with a pen. “In fact, I’ve always felt a bit guilty about not compensating her properly. I bought them quite cheap, but I sold them for...” She touched four fingers against her thumb. “... more.”
“Really?” Her heart swelled with joy. My baby’s work is worth a lot and she doesn’t even know it!
“In fact...” Boa punched several keys on her old school adding machine, mixing the ocean noises with cranky electric revving. Afterwards, she collected a checkbook from the drawer and got writing. “I trust you’ll give this to her. She deserves every cent. Tell her to drop by sometime. I miss her face.”
“No problem.” I’m certainly omitting that last part. Her eyes stretched at the number beside the won sign. “Are...are you sure this is the correct amount?”
“A rough estimate.” Boa shrugged. “Since I have my checkbook out, I suppose it’d be a good idea to pay you for your services.”
“Hold on.” A smile spread across Tiffany’s face. “I have an offer.”
Tiffany could barely contain her excitement as she locked the door to Sunny’s apartment. The purple-haired one already left to set up tonight's show, so she had the whole studio to herself to find the best resting place for Taeyeon’s present.
Attached to a box of her favorite sour gummi worms, she situated the check onto the stack of her accumulating sketchbooks. It’s a nod to all those hidden dino drawings she made for me. Ahhhhh, she’s going to flip out! She hid the painting--wrapped in brown paper compliments of Boa--atop the cabinets. They don’t properly cook enough to look up there anyways. Dressed more suitably for a fancy night, she started to clack down the hall with all the cheerfulness in the world.
It took some hardcore haggling, but I got Boa to part with her cherished possession. Daddy would be proud.
She stopped short when she heard familiar echoes ringing from the other side of the hallway. Hyoyeon’s wide-mouthed chortle and Taeyeon’s mischievous snicker. They’d been hanging out so much lately that she couldn’t help but recognize the impish combination of their laughter. Panicking, she ducked into the walkway of a room a few doors down. If she runs into me, the surprise won’t be as impactful. I bet I’ll be able to hear her cheers from here.
She waited. Whatever her girlfriend and Hyoyeon were laughing about subsided in humor when they began arguing.
“Open the door.” Taeyeon’s voice.
Hyoyeon’s scoff bounced clearly down the hall. “Nah, you.”
“I hate goin' through all these keys.”
Tiffany shook her head, still beaming. Babe is so funny. I’ll miss that so much.
“The mighty Taeyeon. Conquerer of women’s homes!” boomed Hyoyeon’s voice.
“Shut up, Hyo.”
“Ahhhh, come on. Fellow pimp-to-pimp talk. How many exes do you have?”
Tiffany’s ears grew hot as she strained to pick up every inflection of her words.
“I...lost count.” They erupted into laughter.
“That’s my girl. Damn, you woulda made a better wingwoman than Yuri. Where have you been all my life?”
“With a girlfriend, probably.” More laughing.
Tiffany sighed. Lesbian locker room talk is annoying, but I shouldn’t listen in on their conversation. She peeked around to find a way to sneak off when she heard a particular name.
“...with Jessica?” Hyoyeon finished.
What with Jessica?
The keys rang as Taeyeon tried the first one. “It was nothing.”
“Is she any good? Even I can admit that she's hot.”
“Can we not?”
Seriously. Can we?
“Come onnnn. It was--what? Two weeks ago? It has to be fresh in your mind.”
Tiffany slapped a hand over her mouth. She inched forward to get a better listen.
“Yeah. She’s an awesome kisser. You happy?”
Oh my god.
“I need more than that. A peck or...”
“Dude, my tongue was so...” Taeyeon went into a disgustingly childish imitation of messy kissing. “in her mouth and she was all ahh ughhh ughhhh. She wanted it.”
Hyoyeon’s cackle could have woken the dead. “Holy shit! You’re so much cooler than Yuri.”
The door cracked open as Taeyeon laughed in response. “Maybe I am. I copped a feel, too.”
And then the door closed. Silence save for any remnants of Hyoyeon amusement.
Tiffany’s phone lit up. Taxi’s here.
Clutching her heart, she took the hasty stairwell descent to the parking lot.
“Where ya headed?” The taxi driver eyed her through the rearview mirror, pulling the cab onto the road.
Is this some huge sign for me to stay in America and never look back? Never look back at Jessica and her crazy friends?
The dinner parties. The drinks. Laughs. Fights. Taeyeon.
My hipster Taey with the goofy smile and dirty mind.
Her computer games and hermitism.
That amazing body.
Messy hair. Pouty lips. Her kisses..
“Miss? Your destination?”
How the hell could you, Jess? You’re punishing me for not liking you, aren’t you? You’re so damn insecure that you use your sexuality to drag everyone else into the clusterfuck that is your romantic life. As if Yoona, Seohyun, Sunny, and apparently Yuri weren’t enough. You had to dig your claws into my girlfriend.
My spoiled girlfriend who should have known better. Security blanket, indeed.
I can’t run away and let this slide.
Without bothering to count, Tiffany dug out a few bills from her bag and fanned them near the driver’s face. “Go back and wait for me. I have an obscene amount of money.”
“KIM TAEYEON!” Tiffany roared, punching the door out her way.
“The fuck!?” Taeyeon squawked, flattening against the wall.
Hyoyeon spilled her drink onto the floor. “Damnit, Hot Tiffany. Inside voices, ma'am.”
“SHUT UP!” Tiffany spat, kicking the cup from her reach.
“Babe, I saw the check! That’s so--”
“Hush.” The dark-haired woman lifted a single finger. “I’m gonna give you two a piece of my mind. Sit. Down.”
Like children, they shuffled to the bed, sitting close to one another for some semblance of comfort.
“Taeyyyy. What that hell? Like...what the hell?”
“I don’t even--”
“SHUSH. I know about the kiss.”
Their lips buttoned instantly.
“You don’t do this, Taey. This is not how relationships work. What happened to that good advice you gave Yuri and Yoona? Follow some of it, damnit! I’m going back to the States in three days. THREE. Can I even trust you!?”
“Th-they were drunk, though,” Hyoyeon answered in the tiniest voice she’d ever heard from the woman.
“QUIET DOWN, DYKES.” A wiry man’s voice echoed down the hall.
Tiffany flew to the wide-open door and stuck her head out. A very old, frowning guy next door peered at her with offending eyes. Oh, hell no. “DYKE WHO? I’LL DYKE YOU!”
“You’re from that troublemaker room. Shut up for once!”
“DIE ALREADY!” She slammed the door.
Taeyeon squirmed in her spot. “B-babe. I’m scared.”
“You should be. You’re about to eff up something great.”
“Maybe I should go...” Hyoyeon suggested, yet remaining firm in her seat.
“And you! Kim Hyoyeon....Kim Number Two!” Tiffany spat, balling a fist. “Stop that! Stop trying to sabotage other couples with your dumbassery!”
“Hurr hurr hurrrrr ‘fellow pimp-to-pimp talk,’” Tiffany imitated, face burning up. “Gawwwwd. You’re in a relationship now. Does it feel good to encourage others to get in trouble with their girlfriends?! How about I give shitty advice to Sunny every chance I get? ‘Ohhhh that chick over there's hotter.' 'Hyo should re-dye her roots.’”
“Daaamn, Hot Tiffany..”
“Taeyeon. I love you. I told you that,” She roughly dragged her wrist against the corner of a tearing eye. “But I need honesty for this to work. I will give up our earth-shattering sex life if you can't even tell me about a drunk kiss with your best friend.”
Taeyeon double-blinked. “I couldn't find the best time to bring it up...”
“Sunny tells me that you’re emo when I’m not around. Is this part of the reason? Geez. Grow the hell up! I had to do it!”
“Tiffany,” Taeyeon got her feet, cautiously holding her arms out. “I don’t even know what to say. I’ll do anything to fix this.”
“Say nothing. Think about it.”
She stepped forward. “I will.”
Tiffany allowed the hug to happen. So sweet and so careless. What am I gonna do with you?
“Taey,” she whispered into her ear. “I need my space. For real this time.”
“I can’t let that happen.” Taeyeon pulled her closer.
Warm tears pressed into her neck. She had to wrench herself from the woman’s grasp to stay afloat. “Don’t call me. Don’t text me. Give me my space.”
Indie music blasted from gallery speakers and the lights were turned low by the time Tiffany arrived. She made her rounds early, chatting with clients and artists alike, her most impressive fake smile plastered upon her face. Conversation remained light on her end, for all she wanted to do was curl into a ball and cry her eyes out. But where?
Sunny, who picked up on her bad mood from arrival, swung by for the fourth time to offer some...First food, then water, then food, again. This time...
Tiffany nodded and tilted her head back to chug it all. Sunny cleared her throat and took the empty flute. “What’s wrong?”
I bet you knew the whole time. Hyo did, so you HAD to know. “Nothing.”
Sunny placed a hand on her back. “You’re lying to me, Tiffany.”
“I’m lying?!” Tiffany blurted, chuckling to herself. “Whatever.”
“Here, let’s go stand with people we know. I see vultures eyeing you.”
As if standing with these jerks will make me feel better.
“And this tattoo illustrates my struggles as a child. I had a very dark soul.” Boa held a slender arm out for Yuri to gawk.
Yuri moved in closer, raising her voice over the surrounding crowd and music. “You’re really cool, Boa. Do those piercings in your dimples hurt?”
“Not at all.”
“They’re so different. It’s hardcore.”
The woman giggled, shooting her a wink. “You have a very warm aura, Yuri. I like that.”
I’m gonna be sick.
“You mind staying here?” Sunny asked, leaning into Tiffany’s ear. “Some suits just walked in. I’ll try to woo these bitches for a bit.”
Sunny obviously didn’t care for that answer. She shook Yuri’s shoulder. “Will you watch Tiffany?”
Yuri blinked like she hadn’t noticed them there for the past five minutes. “Um, yeah. Sure.”
Sunny gave Tiffany’s shoulder one last squeeze before she clacked off.
Tiffany narrowed her eyes as she watched Yuri and and some other poor sap take turns looking desperate for Boa. Sure, she’s attractive and has money, but she’s spacey and talks about tea bringing inner peace. What do they see in her? What did Taeyeon see?
“So,” Yuri said, halfway acknowledging her presence while Boa went into detail on the antiquity of monogamy. “I had a good day today.”
She wasn’t expecting that. “Oh yeah?”
“Yeah. Monday was terrible. Tuesday was worse. Today, not so bad.”
“Are you over Yoona?” Tiffany cringed at her question once she saw Yuri’s jaw clench.
“No. But! Hyo gave me a task that wasn’t passing out crap. I now sell top-shelf liquor to groups of party ladies.”
“Sounds like a rough job.”
“It’s loads of fun. Easy, too. I think I’m better at it than Hyo.”
Yuri must have read the disgusted tinge in Tiffany’s eyes. “Something wrong?”
“Can we...” She glanced at Sunny in the distance, completely unengaged in conversation. “...go somewhere quieter? I feel claustrophobic around all these people.”
A nod. “Sure.”
Tiffany leaned onto the balcony railing as Yuri shut the French doors with a quiet click. Seoul looked beautiful from the roof. Stars twinkled in the sky and the air had a fresh, grassy sort of smell. Everything’s perfect except my mood.
Yuri straightened her throat, taking a tentative step toward the edge. “You come up here often?”
A snort. “Was that a pickup line?”
“No, no! I didn’t...” She paused, re-thinking the joke. “Ha. That did come off funny.”
Tiffany nodded her over. “Tell me more about your great day. I need to hear something positive.”
“Okay.” She took a place next to her, exhaling. “Professor posted grades for this project we finished a few weeks back. I got the highest mark.”
“Yeah. I had to make up the oral part. Glad he let me. Seohyun’s not pleased about the outcome. It’s cute.”
“So, what’s the deal with you two?”
Yuri shrugged. “Nothing, I don’t think. We’ve been texting more.”
“Yeah, she’s having a rough time with her parents. And...” Tiffany did a handsy gesture. “...Yoona?”
Yuri responded with her own gesture, emulating an explosion. “Bang. Crash. Burn.”
She sighed, thinking about her own explosive tirade from earlier. “What are you going to miss the most about her?”
“Ah, geez.” Yuri poked her bottom lip out. “Her smile. How she...you know...took care of me. I felt safe with her, ya know? She always knew how to handle issues and get shit done. Thank goodness for Hyo or I wouldn’t know how to walk on my own two feet.”
A long pause.
“Omigawwwsh!” Tiffany swatted the girl’s arm, making her jump. “Yuri! You dated your mom!”
“You sound like my ex-boyfriend. Ugh, he wanted me to take care of him all the time.”
Outraged, Yuri’s mouth went slack. “B-but you take care of Taeyeon!”
She waved a hand. “That’s different. I was her ‘sugar mama’ for a while, but Yoona was your mama mama.”
“Can we change the subject?”
Tiffany smirked to herself. Yuri’s pretty cute when she’s upset. No wonder everyone tries to get a rise out of her. She willed away more giggles as she took in the sparkling skyline. From the corner of her eye, she watched Yuri relax her shoulders, taking in a deep breath.
“Did you enjoy your stay in Korea?”
She propped an elbow onto the metal, eyeing Yuri’s contemplative gaze curiously. “Yes and no.”
“It feels incomplete.”
Yuri nodded, maintaining the eye contact.
“Taeyeon broke my heart,” she added. She hasn’t even said I love you back.
Yuri’s eyebrows furrowed. Rather than go into further questioning, she took a hold of Tiffany’s shoulders and brought her in for a hug. Instinctively, Tiffany wrapped her arms around the woman’s waist. Yuri propped her chin against Tiffany’s titled head.
“You’re kinda tall,” Tiffany murmured, swallowing a sob.
Yuri’s lips hovered over Tiffany’s temple. “And you’re prettier when you’re smiling.”
“Tiffany.” The lips fully vibrated against her temple. Is she doing this on purpose?
Perplexed and a little nervous, she shivered all the same. “Hm?”
“My heart’s broken, too.”
The statement brought their lips together like magnets.
Hands clawed through dark hair and eyes jammed shut during the string of hard, closed-mouth kisses. A plush pair wrapped around her bottom lip, tugging Tiffany’s mouth open. She complied, absorbing the timid tongue swiping along the inside of her cheek.
Taking charge, her hands maneuvered to the underside of Yuri’s jaw. Her teeth clamped down on the hesitant tongue and brought into her mouth with a moist suck. If we’re gonna be bad, might as well do it right.
There. Now we’re even, Kim Taeyeon.
Body in unanticipated agreement, Yuri pushed her against the balcony railing, fingertips drifting the length of the arms wrapped around her neck. Such light petting excited Tiffany. Her fingers twisted aimlessly in the raven locks, tightening the grip whenever a tingle trailed from the pit of her stomach. Each pass of Yuri’s lips were drawn out and languid, as if she was mapping out every detail. In fact, tongue use didn’t seem like her priority; mostly moist lips and hot, irregular breathing.
Palms made a slow but sure journey from her arm, down to her sides, then edge of her short dress. Tiffany shook her head, pecking the corner of her mouth. “No.”
Yuri snatched her hands away. “S-s-sorry! Was that too forward? Dude! Are you even single?!”
Tiffany finally laughed out loud, putting Yuri into further confusion. Oh my god. I’m kissing Taeyeon’s ex at the gallery of Taeyeon’s other ex over a silly kiss with a woman that feels like Taeyeon’s ex. I’m a wreck.
“W-why are you laughing? I thought it was going rather well.”
She pinched Yuri’s cheek with a gave it a shake. “You’re so adorable.”
Yuri leaned in for one final peck. “So are you.”
“See? Was that so bad?”
“Kissing someone who's not your mother.”
Yuri’s buzzing phone interrupted the impending argument. “Hello?” she answered, playfully shoving Tiffany’s face away.
Her face momentarily turned to stone.
“Whoa there. They what? Now?!” She checked the time on her watch, pouting. “Sit tight and get ready. We’re coming.”
“We?” Tiffany questioned once Yuri ended the call. “What’s going on?”
“We’re rescuing Seohyun.”
“So, I turn here?” Boa asked, her voice competing with Janis Joplin banging from the speakers.
This is NOT how I pictured our rescue team. Tiffany crossed her arms as she sat between driver Boa and Yuri the navigator in the big, clunky white van.
When she and Yuri raced to the main floor, begging Boa to grab Sunny to “break their friend from the bonds of the establishment” (Tiffany’s words), she was granted permission...except for the Sunny part. Boa deemed Sunny responsible enough to take charge of the gallery for the rest of the night while she drove them in the underwhelming company vehicle.
We’re about to potentially steal someone from a nice suburban neighborhood in a creepy pedo van. Might as well spraypaint “Free Candy” on the outside.
Yuri’s bouncing leg and constant hairplay made Tiffany even more jittery. “Yeah. And then a right at the light.”
“I must say, Yuri. You have a wonderful sense of direction. Your body must be aligned with Mother Earth."
“Really?” Yuri glanced to the left, looking through Tiffany. “Ya know, I’ve always been a fan of Captain Planet.”
Right. And the strangest flirting I’ve ever witnessed.
Boa lowered the volume of the stereo. Tiffany’s eardrums thanked her. “So, your friend came out to her parents, you said?”
“Yep. Didn’t go well. They should be asleep by now so we can sneak her stuff out a window.”
“Ahhh, yes. This reminds me of when we broke my buddy out of Guantanamo...”
That never happened.
“Wow! Boa, you have so many stories!”
The woman smirked in Yuri’s direction. “Life is a song, Yuri. Do you know the lyrics to your life?”
“No idea. Mission Impossible theme music’s stuck in my head, though! This is exciting!”
“We should name this mission. Seohyun, right?”
“Operation: Free Seohyun. That has a nice ring to it.”
“Ah, damn. I like that! Hashtag Free Seohyun!”
They couldn’t have arrived at the house a moment too soon. Tiffany pushed Yuri out to escape anymore Boa-issued words of wisdom. Seriously, Taey. You have a LOT of explaining to do.
“Tell her to keep the pedophile van running. Which window is Seohyun's?” Tiffany hissed, aware that her shiny dress was the worst nighttime incognito getup.
Yuri pointed. “That one over there with the striped curtains. Be careful. Her parents are next door.”
As Tiffany stalked through the grass to reduce the heel clicking, she grew more and more nervous. The hum of the creeper-mobile is so freakin’ loud. She thanked the heavens that Seohyun used her brain. A pink rock held her window ajar. Tiffany slid it up and climbed in.
From the darkness, two skinny arms pulled her up. Tiffany smiled when they closed around her shoulders for a hug. “We’re here to save you, Seohyun.”
The taller girl’s heart beat hard against Tiffany’s chest. Oh, geez. Is this what it’s like to come out to your family? I can’t even imagine. “They took it badly, huh?”
She nodded, releasing the hug to snap on a tiny desk light. “I’m not getting kicked out or anything; I just don’t want to be here.”
“That’s fine. I understand.”
Yuri’s stretched out shadow appeared before she slithered through the window space, landing on something hard. “Ffffffuuuuuuuuu....”
“Watch out. Those are my textbooks.”
“Why the hell are you bringing those?” Yuri groaned, grasping at her side.
“I have school. Duh.”
“You came to my rescue, Yuri!” Their hug lasted much longer. Tiffany, trying not to stare, grabbed two stuffed duffle bags and dragged them next to the window.
“Anytime, Juhyun.” Yuri snorted.
“Are these all your bags?” Tiffany whispered, only to be ignored.
“You can stay at one of our places until things cool off, kay?”
“Thanks, Yuri.” Seohyun wriggled her fingers into the raven locks and brought her forward for a kiss.
No kissing now! Ugh. Whyyyyyy? She snatched a stuffed unicorn from her desk and landed on the bed. “Girrrrlsss. Can we make at least one trip before we--”
Everyone stopped breathing.
We suck at this.
The door cracked open. “Juhyun? I thought I heard...”
Seohyun spun around on her heels as her mother flipped the light on. Her withered eyes stretched at the two additional sets of eyes staring back at her. “What’s the meaning of this?!”
Oh god. That cold glare. Tiffany did the only thing she could think of... “Hi there!” she squeaked, waving vigorously.
“And you are?”
“Mother,” Seohyun urged, holding a hand out. “That’s Jiyeon. My straight friend.”
Tiffany nodded, playing along. “Boys, boys, boys!”
“And Yuri, if I recall correctly.” A stern man’s voice uttered, sending shivers down her back. The hell did he come from? Omigod, Seohyun’s parents are the undead.
“You didn’t answer my question,” Her mother continued, crossing her arms. “What’s the meaning of this?”
Seohyun brought a hand to her reddening face. “We...were...uh....”
Yuri took a big breath and stepped in front of her. “Sir. Madam. Your daughter is a lesbian.”
“I beg your pardon!?” her mother shot back. Yuri winced.
“Did I say lesbian? I meant...” Yuri bounced her shoulders, trying to shake out a rhyming word. It didn’t work. “Yes, she’s gay. And she’s coming with us.”
“Yeah!” Straight friend Jiyeon piped in. “And boys! More boys!” What is wrong with me? Why am I chanting “boys” like some heterosexual Pokemon?
“She’s our family until things are more accepting here.” Yuri went on, voice more calm.
Tiffany slowly crept from the bed as Yuri spoke.
“You may not get it now, but you’ll soon see that Juhyun’s still your daughter...”
She lifted a bag onto her shoulder.
“...and...and she deserves time to figure herself out.”
Tiffany slyly handed the strap of the other duffle to Seohyun. Her father raised an eyebrow.
“Which is what we’ll give her. Time.”
Yuri flicked her eyes over to Tiffany. She nodded.
“Juhyun is our daughter.” Her mother retorted, exasperated. “Whatever you had planned can--”
“BREAK!” Straight friend Jiyeon screamed, wriggling out the big window in the most unladylike way possible. Seohyun soon followed, slinging a duffle over her shoulder once her feet hit the grass. A bang and crash followed Yuri clumsily falling out with the heaviest bag of school books. Thankfully, she landed on the unicorn plush. They ran like banshees in the night.
Maybe Boa does have experience in escaping the law, Tiffany thought as the van steadily peeled down the street.
“Do you think they called the police?” Yuri asked once their laughter subsided.
“Fuck the man!” Boa screamed, wrapping an arm around Yuri’s shoulders.
Seohyun paused, jealousy flickering on her face. “Yuri came to save me! You’re so brave.” She pulled at the girl’s arm affectionately.
“We should totes hang out some time, Yuri!” Boa ruffled her hair.
“If she doesn’t have prior plans,” Seohyun stated evenly, tucking a dark tuft behind her ear.
“I have a lake house on the countryside! We could--”
“We have CLASS,” Seohyun loudly interjected. “Besides, she’ll be helping me settle into Sunny’s apartment all week.”
Yuri twitched at the raising voices, plainly baffled. "Ladies, what's with the yelling...?"
Tiffany watched from her bumpy seat in the back. Her heart was still racing. Her hands clapped over a huge smile.
These girls are crazy. They’re out of their mind.
And I’m one of them.
I’m one of them.
“I can’t go!” Tiffany exclaimed through her fingers. “I...I can’t do it. It’s not the right time.”
“What about your dad? And the new job?” Yuri asked, turning around in the seat.
“I don’t care. He decided that for me. I’m not ready to say goodbye!”
Boa slapped the steering wheel. “Don’t go, Hwang Tiffany! Follow the song of your life!”
Seohyun narrowed her eyes at the hippie. “What are you!? I thought you were pretty, but...”
Yuri looked worried. “Are you sure about this?”
Tiffany nodded, swiping sticky bangs from her face. “More than sure. I want to help with the upcoming project at the gallery. Spend more time getting to know all of you! Make up with...”
“I’m not finished with South Korea.”
Seohyun smiled, nodding. “Then, call your dad. And tell him to suck it.”
Next Chapter: Jessica!
My thoughts exactly, Tiffany.