Title: Skandl! (Chapter 05)
Pairing(s): TaengSic, side!YulTi
Rating/Genre: PG-13 + language; AU Idol Romance
Disclaimer: I don't own Soshi. I don't own anyone, in fact. All Fiction.
Author's Notes: Waaahh. Went out with friends, so this got out a couple hours later than I wanted. Ah well, HERE IT IS. :D
No-one ever told Jessica that she’d build an immunity to shaky nerves.
As the weeks traveled by in a tailspin of music shows, dance rehearsals, and early morning giggles with warm women, Jessica fell into a pattern. Sure, those heartbeats prior to singing for millions--both in-person and remotely--made her question her preparation. Her worthiness. Her talent.
Then, quickly as it started, the set ended and they’d receive a standing ovation. The rounds of an idol. She was finally an idol. It still felt like a dream.
Indeed, Jessica’s nerves adapted to an entertainer’s day-to-day life.
Too bad this wouldn’t help in her current setting.
“Want another pear cider?” Yuri’s voice jarred the blonde from staring into her empty glass bottle.
Kwon Yuri hopped off the couch to retrieve refreshments from the fridge. Jessica wasn’t planning on getting drunk, but the buzz from the mildly sweet beer was appreciated.
Skandl’s pad looked a lot cleaner than she imagined. Yuri had always been neat, Tiffany bragged in the way only Tiffany could. A little disappointing, as far as Jessica was concerned. They were Skandl, rockstars of the Korean Pop community. Rockstars didn’t dust. Nor did they buy girly fruit-based alcoholic beverages which, apparently, were Taeyeon’s favorite.
Learning this only spurred her intrigue. Jessica almost wished Yuri and Tiffany would give in to their sexy-eyed-pet-name-calling-baby-you’re-s
Yuri uncapped a beer for herself and slid the pear drink towards Jessica’s corner of the table.
“Isn’t she precious?” her groupmate purred, eyeing her girlfriend possessively.
Jessica smiled. “She is. Very different from music videos.”
Interest evident by her arched eyebrows and cocked head, Yuri asked, “Have you seen all our videos?”
“Have I?! They’re some of my favorites! When you released your first mini, I--”
Tiffany’s outward groan cut the gushing short. “Stop being uncool.”
“Fany, my jelly roll,” Yuri laughed, patting the woman’s head not unlike a pet, “If Jessi wants to expound on how fucking awesome we are, that’s her prerogative. Just keep it quiet when Tae gets home.”
Hearing the nickname brought back her nerves. “Is she annoyed by praise?”
“Everything annoys Tae,” Tiffany sighed, yanking Yuri down to join them on the couch.
Yuri jumped on the defensive. “Not everything.”
“One has to walk on eggshells around Taeyeon. Hosts complain about her professionalism all the time.”
“Tae’s an acquired taste.”
“She’ll like you, though,” Tiffany added.
Jessica took another gulp to occupy her mouth. ‘How are you so sure?’ burned at every synapse, so she bit her bottom lip to hold the question inside.
Those heavenly seconds--when Taeyeon turned around after she’d garnered the ovaries to say hello. She couldn’t deny the obvious spark.
And she went, “Whoa.”
Followed by an ill-timed rag of a joke to downplay the attraction. Underwhelming?! Of all the goddamned words. Taeyeon eyed her so incredulously that Jessica longed to fade into the oblivion.
Careful not to betray her thoughts, she changed the subject. “Are you two planning anything for the weekend? It’s so rare for our days off to align like this.”
They swapped wistful expressions. Attempting to read each others’ mind, she assumed.
“Nothin’ over-the-top. Spending as much time together as possible.” Yuri tipped her bottle to Tiffany’s lips, smiling shyly.
Jessica quietly sipped her beer as they snickered at some unspoken joke. Once their noses brushed, leading to an unsubtle make out, Jessica shifted to the far end of the couch.
Her eyes meandered through the living room. Ordinary save the trophy cabinet lining a far wall and expensive instruments tucked neatly into its own corner. True musicians, they were. That’s what drew her to Skandl. Their authenticity.
Sure, Jessica could play the piano and devoted three adolescent years to reluctant clarinet lessons. Having a musical background in the idol world helped. Not a requirement, though. She readily transitioned into this new career without so much as touching a key.
The yellow ukulele resting on the floor put a grin on Jessica’s lips. Very cute. She secretly hoped such a darling object belonged to Taeyeon.
She would be home any minute, according to Yuri.
Jessica glanced at the kissing couple. Whether or not they’d come up for air, she had no earthly clue. They’d plainly forgotten about her presence. Or didn’t care.
Third-wheeling on YulTi dates frequently ended in a front-and-center seat to any casual fan’s wet dream. Spit-swapping, porny moans, hands beneath shirts. Forever from an uncomfortable distance. It grew old after the first show.
Her prayers were answered when the door creaked open. Finally.
The blonde sat to attention, anxiously wrangling fingers through her neat fringe. Stand up or stay put? Smile or pretend that she didn’t exist? Jessica couldn’t decide.
She didn’t have to when Yuri parted from a wet suck at Tiffany’s top lip to say, “We have company, Tae.”
The woman paused at the door.
Jessica bit her lip to hold in another “whoa.” Or wow, damn, holy moley. Especially holy moley.
Impossibly tight grey jeans, a cut-off Blondie tee, custom-made Supras. Messy dark brown bangs pointing in every haphazardly direction. Both wrists decorated with various bracelets and watches. Black fingernails with only the ring nails painted white. Everything illustrated badass. Screamed it, even.
Thus, she chugged the rest of her drink. Five percent alcohol content was not kicking in fast enough.
“Unwelcomed guests,” Taeyeon sighed, reanimating. She dragged her heels to the kitchen, wasting no manners to remove her sneakers. “You’re making a habit of this.”
“She doesn’t mean that,” Yuri mended, voice gentle.
“Oh, I mean it.”
“Tae,” Yuri stressed the syllable as she found her feet. “Take a load off and chill with us. We have no appointments tomorrow. Late night card game, maybe?”
Taeyeon snorted haughtily. “With them? Please.”
“I didn’t present it as an option.”
Tiffany and Jessica exchanged curious looks. Interesting--a squabble outside the Lucky Six dorm boundaries.
“It’s not important, Yul,” Jessica mumbled, spinning the bottom of her bottle upon her thigh.
Taeyeon’s heated gaze shot to the empty vessel. “Is she drinking my cider?”
“I bought it for tonight.”
“Is there any left?”
Yuri blocked the refrigerator door before Taeyeon could stake her claim. “For participating parties only.”
“Are you fuckin’ kidding me? I had a hard day.”
“That will end with a friendly drink.”
“They’re not my friends.”
“So what? They’re my friends. That’s all that matters.”
An uneasy minute passed. Jessica thumbed the edge of her bottle’s label, despondent. She hadn’t anticipated such a cranky response. If so, she would have declined the invitation.
She nearly offered to go when Taeyeon’s shoulders slumped in frustration.
“Fine. Gimmie a cider?”
“Take a seat,” Yuri nodded at the common area. “I’ll bring it to you.”
“Yes, master,” grumbled the singer, blindy trudging forward to fall face-first into the recliner. Her short legs kicked up in comical fashion; Jessica could practically hear the appropriate cartoony ‘boing’ playing in her head. Taeyeon’s legs hung stiffly, leaving her ass in the air and torso curved over the chair’s arm.
Tiffany burst out cackling. Jessica joined shortly after, though she dialed it back. If she got too into the hilarity of the incident, she’d expose her ridiculously silly half. Jessica tended to giggle longer than necessary, milking funny situations for their worth.
Taeyeon’s paws tangled into her nest of hair, wringing hidden ears. As expected, she was no fan of being their entertainment.
Yuri, face smug with opportunity, poked her protruding butt with the bottle.
“No,” Taeyeon grunted.
“Don’t front. You like it anally, don’tcha?”
The girl swiftly twisted onto her back, raising an extended arm for her drink. Yuri held it to her and pulled away a few times, garnering additional laughs at her friend’s expense. Tiffany continued to encourage the teasing while Jessica found herself distracted by the frayed cutoff shirt’s upward trek.
Behold, an expanse of spotless flesh freely on display, just begging for her eyes. She hadn’t realized her thirst until Tiffany nudged her in the arm.
“You like?” she lipped, smirk all-knowing.
Jessica’s cheeks warmed. She’d been caught.
“Yul baby,” Tiffany called, halting Yuri’s cat toy-like play, “isn’t there something you wanted to show me?”
“Something in your room,” she urged, obvious to everyone except the woman inhaling her newly obtained beverage.
Yuri overcompensated with a gasp. “Shit. The thing. The thing I’m supposed to show you. The important thing...that’s in my bedroom.”
“Stop talking, darling,” Tiffany replied evenly, rising from the couch.
The taller woman jerked out a silly faux salute. “Hold down the fort, captain!”
Jessica returned the gesture.
They retired to Yuri’s bedroom, leaving the two alone. In silence.
Taeyeon paid no mind to the lack of talking. Her lips audibly parted from the bottle with a satisfied sigh. She smacked her lips, held it over her tongue for any remaining drops, and left it to roll onto the floor.
Jessica thought to categorize Taeyeon’s behavior. Not hardcore at all. Moreso likened to a spoiled teenager with really good genes. And pants. They were practically painted on.
“I-um. I like your shoes,” Jessica offered, fully aware of body connected to them.
“My uh,” She extended a finger in the air, struggling to recall her groupmate’s name, “friend--you know, Hyo. She collects Supras.”
“You’re into fashion?”
The question brought a burst of confidence and expanded Jessica’s ever-shrinking list of conversation starters. Prideful, she ran manicured fingertips over her meticulously-chosen wool sweater. “Mmhm! I took several fashion courses in university, actually.”
Taeyeon’s eyes slacked closed. Voice hard. “And yet you’re a singer. Makes sense.”
Jessica frowned. Interview clips, word of mouth, and published pieces only conveyed the tip of this head-on iceberg collision. “It’s possible for someone be multifaceted.”
“Which you consider yourself, I presume?”
“I’d be shocked if you could spell the word.”
Jessica’s glower deepened. “I beg your pardon?”
She scratched at her tummy, chuckling to herself. “Nothing.”
“If you have something to say, say it.”
“You wouldn’t like that.”
“You don’t know me.”
“I know enough.”
Jessica crossed her arms and leaned back. “Imagine that.”
She shrugged, mock laughing to herself. “Nothing.”
Taeyeon’s eyelids snapped open, though her pupils remained on her own feet. “I can kick you out my fucking home for that attitude.”
“I’m the one with the attitude?”
“I’m not talking to myself, bitch.”
Screw “difficult.” Taeyeon was a goddamned shrew. No angel face, amount of soft skin, vintage clothing, or attractively molded legs could make up for being a brat. What a waste of sexy.
“Stop staring at me. It’s fucking creepy.”
Jessica had mind to stomp over there and kick Taeyeon off her high horse. Instead, her tone softened. “At least I can manage it.”
“To look at you.”
Sarcastic claps filled the space. “Good for you. Elite sure is the cream of the crop, recruiting people who can sing, dance, and use their sense of sight. Wow. So impressed.”
She rolled her eyes, words steady. “You haven’t looked me in the eye once.”
“I’d turn to stone.”
“Deflecting with lame joke attempts. Sad.”
“Why should I pay you any attention?”
“You’ve been paying me nothing but attention since Yul and Fany left.”
In a blur, Taeyeon fell to her side, eyes pointedly meeting Jessica’s. She fought off the shiver at the undoubtedly petulant action.
“Hi, you ray of sunshine. I’m Jessica,” she deadpanned.
Taeyeon continued boring into her, face completely still.
A static-y stretch of seconds passed. Jessica reached for her beer, ultimately remembering that she’d emptied it.
Driving it further, Taeyeon gasped as if she’d sprung tentacles.
“Okaaaay,” Jessica whined, “you’ve made your point. No more staring.”
Taeyeon’s smirk sent shockwaves she opted to ignore. “Why?”
“I get it. It’s weird.”
“My dorm. My rules. I stare as I please.”
“Do I please your eyes?”
The cheeky retort yielded her desired results. Blushing, Taeyeon severed her gaze, completely rotating onto her other side to face the back of the chair.
Jessica’s grin spread on her lips. This was kind of fun. “Bedtime already?”
“Sleeping after a long, romantic stare. Will you dream of me, beautiful?”
“Nightmares, more like it.”
“I didn’t know you cared.”
Flirting like this was too fun. Teenage memories flooded to Jessica’s chest, bringing with them a tingle she hadn’t experienced in years. Since the confusing age of sixteen. Since Park Gyuri.
Sixteen marked many changes in Jessica Jung’s life. She’d grown out of her “ugly phase,” she realized why her boyfriend’s advances left her feeling dirty, and she met her.
And, as a blossoming young woman discovering her sexuality, she plagued Gyuri with first-love infatuation. Which included unstoppable giggles, jokes so corny even her own father would be ashamed, openly fawning, misspelled hangul love notes--in short, anything that would repel a love interest.
Gyuri never worked out, but that inclination stayed. Jessica Jung, with her relatively calm demeanor and savoir faire, fought back base instincts to pester the objects of her desire. She tamped down underlying impulses to become an utter nuisance around potential lovers. So, she carried herself as a polite, even-keeled adult. Because that’d been the personalities of the women she dated.
Kim Taeyeon was different. She wooed Jessica’s childish nature by being childish herself. How refreshing.
Minutes passed by the time Jessica gained the footing to wander around. Taeyeon had remained unmoved since she stuffed her foul mouth into the recliner. Maybe she fell asleep.
Jessica ambled to the refrigerator, familiar enough to claim the last pear drink. High on her burst of confidence, she made way to Taeyeon’s suspended legs and stepped between them. The sensual viewpoint brought an even naughtier smile to her face as she inched closer until her knees brushed the side of the chair.
Taeyeon had a cute ass.
It matched her personality: a cute ass.
The bottle dangled from her fingers by its neck, edging closer and closer to Taeyeon’s bare midriff. It was almost sexy.
Swiping the cold glass along her lower back, Jessica received a reaction more satisfying than she’d predicted. Taeyeon’s coiled in shock while she squeaked from the back of her throat. Brazenly shivering, she shifted to flip over only to be caught on Jessica standing between her knees. The fright plain upon Taeyeon’s face at the discovery had the blonde in stitches.
“My god, you rapist!” Taeyeon squawked as she clumsily retracted her legs.
Jessica failed to hide her enjoyment. “I thought you’d be thirsty.”
“My mouth’s not between my legs.”
“True. You do have lips down there, though.”
“Fuck you, you--” Taeyeon strode to the floor, undeniably flustered. “Sex offending bitch fucker!”
“Ooh, burn. Do you want some or not?”
“I’m not sharing a beer with you.”
“It’s your favorite.”
“Stop acting like you’re my friend. Will you--”
The distinctly distracting bumpbumpbump of a headboard echoed from Yuri’s room. It was only a matter of time.
“Taeyeon, I’ve done nothing to you.”
“You’re doing too much!” Taeyeon’s harsh eyes studied her own shoes before she peered up again. “I can’t be your friend.” She pointed in the direction of the bumping. “I can’t be her friend, either. I’m none of you Lucky Bitches’ friends; so, I beg of you. Please leave me alone.”
That stung, even if it came out of anger. “I was only messing around.”
“Well, I’m not. You’re too…” She flung the unspoken words with a flick of her hand. “I don’t want to mess around with you.”
“God, it was only a joke.”
“I joke with my friends. Yuri’s my friend. Sunny’s my friend who, by the way, is in Hongdae right now penning songs for our next album. Because we actually write our own fucking music and compose our own lyrics like artists. Not your fucking synthesized bullshit.”
Jessica took a step back, blood boiling. “Fine. I get it.”
“Even like, even,” Taeyeon slapped her own forehead, finding more to say. “If you weren’t in Lucky Six, you’re so--”
“Fucking what? Since you know absolutely everything about me.”
“You’re of no substance whatsoever.”
Had Tiffany and Yuri misread Taeyeon? “Judgemental grouchy brat. You’re as bitter as they say.”
Jessica scoffed breathily, waving her arms. “Everybody. Any news outlet this side of the Pacific knows you’re a bitch, Taeyeon.”
“Good on them; they caught on.”
Bumpbumpbump bump bump bumpbumpbumpbump
Taeyeon zipped around Jessica, digging through a few jackets on the hallway hooks. “I’m out of here. Be gone when I come back.”
“I thought you were cool.”
“Your opinion means nothing to me. I don’t like you. Don’t have to like you.”
Jessica could have left. She could have knocked on Yuri’s door, demanding Tiffany to get dressed and call a car. She could have finished the last pear drink and forget about Taeyeon’s secret haven as revealed by Yuri. She could have cut her losses.
Instead, she dried her tears and went after Taeyeon.
Jessica’s calves burned from charging ascending stairs two steps at a time. She gasped a deep breath of relief when she reached the exit to the roof. It’d been propped open with a door stopper. She pushed past a sliver of walkway into the cool nighttime air.
She trailed the scent of weed to a very unamused Taeyeon.
“Annoying and invasive,” Taeyeon muttered, leaning onto a grey concrete wall.
Jessica spared no time for her lungs to catch up with her brain. Her sentence left her body low, dangerous. “Tell me, damnit.”
The flicker of hesitance in Taeyeon’s face emboldened Jessica. She kept speaking. “What’s your deal? Why do you hate me so much?”
“My hate for you isn’t special.”
“Fucking tell me.”
“Tell me. You criticize me and my group like the condescending bitch you are, so please enlighten me.”
“I don’t owe you an explanation.”
“God, Taeyeon.” Jessica threw her head back, frustration whittling at her patience. “Give me something. Then, I’ll leave you alone forever.”
“If that’s what you want.” She examined her nails, fingers tinting blue in the cold.
“It’s…” Taeyeon hissed white smoke through her teeth. “not fair.”
“What’s not fair?”
“You,” she replied, waving an upright pinky, “Tiffany, Jinnie, Im Yoona...it’s not fair.”
Jessica shook her head, bewildered. “That makes no sense.”
“It makes all the sense. Life’s not fair. You and them remind me everyday.”
“I don’t get it. Why are you so insecure?”
“Insecure?! Fucking A.” The tip of Taeyeon’s joint crushed into concrete. “You have a lot of nerve, Lucky Six Member. Korea’s finest. Korea’s fucking favorite girls.”
“So, you’re jealous?”
Taeyeon pointed to herself with a shaky hand. Her nose grew pinker by the second. “Do you think I came out the womb like this? Newsflash: I am bitter. Bitter as hell. Bitter from age eighteen when…”
Jessica crossed her arms, pushing her to finish.
“Singing is my life. Always has been. I admire my teammates for their raw, true talent. Yul--she blows my mind with her musical expertise; Sunny’s a brilliant songwriter and teacher and me--I sing. And I’m damn good. Damn good for years. Even back when I trained. Under Elite.”
“I--” Jessica started, blinking rapidly, “I didn’t know.”
“Ask your groupmates. They’ve met me.”
“Why aren’t I shiny and sickeningly perfect? Shit happens. Specifically, shit happens to girls like me. Girls like Sunny, too. Those of us who didn’t fit the mold even though we possessed more talent than any of the chosen members.”
Taeyeon brought a thumbnail to her teeth, lost for slow-ticking moments. “My...my talent didn’t matter. I wasn’t dripping with charisma like Tiffany or fucking manipulative like Jinnie. As a trainee, I was timid, stupid. Above all, too plain to make the cut.”
Jessica swallowed the dryness that accumulated at the base of her throat. “Skandl suits you better. You should be happy it worked out.”
“For me, it worked out. Other girls, not so much.”
“Too little, too late. You represent them. Women whose outward appearance matches the ideal.”
“Yours does, too. You’re gorgeous.”
Taeyeon watched Jessica suspiciously, thumb pressed into her lighter. “Whatever. It’s all bullshit, anyways. So, tell me. Who’d you have to blow to get into the group at your age?”
Ire flared within Jessica’s core, bringing her nose-to-nose with a spooked Taeyeon. “Don’t you ever say those words to me again. It’s so easy for you to play the victim card, isn’t it? My girls in Lucky Six are some of the sweetest women I’ve ever met.”
“They’re not your girls. They’re Jinnie’s.”
Jessica could hardly breathe. Everything about Taeyeon infuriated her. “‘Leader’ is only a title. We’re friends.”
“You think so? You wouldn’t have an idol leg to stand on if Jinnie hadn’t fucked the wrong tourist.”
“Elite had no place for you. Someone had to get pregnant. God, you’re sad.”
Jessica had no more tears for this jerk. “You’re malicious.”
“You’re a stand-in.”
“I find your victimized mindset repulsive.”
“I find you repulsive.”
“You were too repulsive to make it into the Six.”
Taeyeon moved in tighter. Hot breath tickled her lips as she hissed, “Who’s malicious now?”
Jessica wet her bottom lip. “At least I’m not repulsive.”
“I’m not and you know it.”
“I hate you.”
“No, you don’t.”
What slight space between their flushed faces burned hot enough for Taeyeon to break away. To banish her. To flee.
She didn’t. “God, I want you.”
Answering the plea, Taeyeon’s soft hands cupped the sides of Jessica’s face, angling her head into a heady kiss. Jessica breathed in the the woman’s tangy scent, Seoul’s freezing air, a haze of marijuana as she pressed in deeper. Her palms found the wall, using every inch of her body to pin Taeyeon in place. The very texture of her lips could break hearts, stoke obsession. Jessica savored the plushness, smearing them messily with her own pair.
Any slick sound of a crafty tongue assuming entrance, pulsation of Taeyeon’s heart hammering against her chest, chill from black-and-white nails skating down her neck, muffled moan escaping when moist lips lost their way--any and everything seized her unsettled nerves. Those pesky nerves that told Jessica Jung:
You're kissing Kim Taeyeon, lead singer of the most scandalous girl group in K-pop.
Don’t fuck up.
She stepped back. Taeyeon glided with her, thumbs circling the tender flesh at her neck. Jessica’s heart swelled at the the affectionate gesture, ridiculously sensitive to the other woman’s well-behaved hands. No groping or pawing, only careful caresses. She swooned, allowing herself to fall into Taeyeon’s passionate embrace once more until she pulled from the kiss.
Their hot breath steamed into the wind. And so would Jessica’s self control if she gave into the appeal in Taeyeon’s dark eyes. How she clenched at frays of her Blondie t-shirt, quelling hands, fingers that’d rather dwell elsewhere.
“I have to go,” Jessica whispered, careful where to rest her own hand.
The blonde smoothed Taeyeon’s silky fringe and awarded a peck to the skin peeking through. “Later.”
Rushing downstairs, Jessica’s mind, heart, and everything in between battled for dominance. For a clean-cut reason to turn around and kiss uncharted territory or keep going to the stability within Lucky Six’s walls. She chose the latter.
But, only for that night.