01: Exposition

“Excuse me?”

Tiffany looked up from her phone. “Yes?”

“Um…” The girl looked uncertainly at her friends, who nodded encouragingly at her. “Are you Tiffany Hwang?”

Odd. Tiffany was quite certain she had never talked to these girls before; how did they know her name? “Oh. Yeah, that’s me.”

“Ah, Tiffany!” The three of them bowed hurriedly. “Um, we just wanted to say that we really liked your story.”

“My st- oh.” Ah. “Thank you! I’m glad you liked it.”

“Thank you for writing it! We’re really huge fans of yours,” said one of the other girls shyly.

Tiffany smiled at them. “That’s really cool. Thank you!”

They stood there for a brief moment, just watching each other carefully. Then Tiffany’s phone rang.

“Hello?”

“Tiffany? Where are you?”

Tiffany smiled apologetically at the little group. “I’m standing at the door to the science lab. Where are you?”

“I’m almost there, like five more st- ah, I see you.” The call ended abruptly and Tiffany turned to see a cheerful Yuri walking towards them.

“Yuri!” She said, maybe with a little too much relief. “You’re here.”

“Sorry, I got held up.” Yuri turned to the girls. “Hello! I’m Yuri. Were you guys talking to Tiffany? Did I interrupt?”

“No, no,” said the first girl, shaking her head, her eyes wide. “We just, um, wanted to talk to Tiffany, that’s all.” She backed away, towards her friends. “We’ll go now! It was cool talking to you!”

Tiffany smiled at them as they left.

“Who were they?”

She sighed. “My readers, apparently.”

“Your readers?” Yuri blinked. “Oh, you mean, like, for your stories!”

“I didn’t know what to say to them,” Tiffany put her phone away.

“I noticed. The awkwardness…seriously, Tiffany, how is it that you can write about people having perfectly normal conversations and yet be so completely clueless when people come up to talk to you?” Yuri grinned as they stepped out of the doorway.

“I don’t really know. And, hey, I’m talking to you normally, right?”

Yuri tapped her chin. “Maybe you just need time to warm up. You know, like so you can understand what they’re there for, or how they want you to react.”

“Going all sciencey on me, Kwon Yuri?”

“Is that a word, Miss Writer?”

Tiffany gave her a look. “If one can say it, it is a word.”

“Really.”

“You go make up your theories about me, I’ll go make up my words. Each to their own. Now, step aside. We’re here.” Tiffany pushed open the door and went inside the building.

“Hwang, you are weird,” muttered Yuri to herself before following.

“Kyuhyun?” She knocked on the open door.

He turned around. “Ah, Tiffany. And Yuri too! Good, come in.”

They stepped gingerly into the office, careful not to touch the boxes that were placed haphazardly around the room.

“Sorry about the mess, but I have to clear this all out before the month ends, so please bear with this for now.” Kyuhyun nudged a stack of papers away with his foot. “Right. Okay, to get straight to the point, I’ve got things to say to the two of you. Do you want to sit down?”

Yuri looked around. “Um, can we?”

“Good point.” Kyuhyun grinned ruefully. “Ah, it won’t take long, so just stand for now. Okay, Tiffany first.”

Tiffany nodded.

“I’m sure you’ve heard or seen the many positive comments about your writing?” Kyuhyun smiled. “I’m really glad you joined Stewie.”

“Stewie?”

“Yeah. Stupid Mutterings?”

They all winced.

“I’m really glad you joined, because I think, for once, since its founding, Stewie’s views are actually going up. Next thing we need to do will be to change the name. But we’ve gone off on a tangent.

“Tiffany. Your stories are very popular right now, which is awesome. Therefore, as my last act as Editor-in-Chief, I’m expanding your one page space into a two-page spread. So you can write longer stories. Or more stories, whichever you prefer.”

“A…a whole page?”

Kyuhyun nodded. “Yup. You deserve it. You did a great job, both of you. Good teamwork there.”

“Of course, I’m always up to save Tiffany’s but-”

“And what about Yuri? What did you want to say to her?”

He smiled faintly at Yuri’s indignant expression. “Well, I’ve been noticing how well you two have worked together. Tiffany, you write well, while Yuri is pretty good at editing your writing and keeping you on track.”

“See? Even he sa-”

Tiffany looked up innocently, her hand over Yuri’s mouth. “Please do continue.”

“To put it simply, when I graduate, I want Yuri to take over as Editor-in-Chief.”

“What?” Yuri pushed Tiffany’s hand away.

“I want you to be Editor-in-Chief. Would you be okay with that?”

“Of course she would!” Tiffany grabbed Yuri’s hands and started to hop in place. “Right? Right?”

“Tiffany, please do be careful. And, Yuri? Please don’t feel pressured. Take your time to think it through first.”

“Can…can I tell you now?”

Kyuhyun smiled. “Of course!”

“I’ll do it. I mean,” said Yuri, blushing, “I’d love to do it.”

“Good, good. I’ll be leaving really soon, so whenever you’re free, come by and I’ll walk you through the things you’ll be in charge of as the Editor-in-Chief, okay?”

“Okay. Thanks, Kyuhyun!”

“Me too, thank you, Kyuhyun!”

He laughed. “You two look like you’re about to explode. Run along, leave me to my dreary packing. Congratulations!”

Once they had gotten out of the building, Tiffany turned to Yuri.

“So, Boss.”

“Somehow, just somehow, I knew you were going to say that.”

“But it makes even more sense now! Miss Editor-in-Chief!”

Yuri grinned widely. “I still can’t believe it.”

“We gotta go celebrate.”

“Let me guess, wild partying?”

Tiffany frowned. “Yuri, you know I don’t li-”

“I know, I’m just joking. Let’s go to Sooyoung’s to get coffee, then.”

 

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