And Here We Stand

January 24, 2014 in moonrise31, oneshots by moonrise31

Entry for the 3981 stories 2013 Christmas contest. Check out the rest of the finalists here.

The snow starts softly, falling as fluffy clumps to melt on shoes and uncovered heads. Yoona looks up and smiles wide. Then she laughs and grabs Hyoyeon’s arm before dashing into the building. The two screech to a halt and fling open the doors at the last second.

“Unnie,” Seohyun calls. Another day, her tone might be disapproving, maybe even stern. But today, she only walks a little faster in an attempt to catch up. Doesn’t break into a run, because then the managers will be even more exasperated.

Tiffany exhales and watches her breath condense into a puffy cloud as it leaves her lips. She wishes she could stop and let the snowflakes fall onto her cheeks, melt on her tongue; but manager-oppa is waving at her to come inside because it’s cold and there are cameras lining the walkway.

Taeyeon’s hand wraps around hers and tugs ever so slightly.

“Snow?” She says it in English, just a whisper that Tiffany is tuned to hear. They step into the warm lights and the door closes behind them. Tiffany smiles.

“Snow,” she echoes, giving Taeyeon’s hand a squeeze.

She wakes up with a start and lies there in a sleepy haze, wondering why.

“Fany.”

There’s the whisper again, and then she remembers it slipping through her dreams and nudging her into consciousness.

She looks at the time and doesn’t bother suppressing her groan. “Taetae, it’s two in the morning.”

“You’ve had schedules later than that.”

“Exactly. Let me sleep at a semi-normal time for once, please?” But Tiffany is already sitting up and rubbing her eyes.

“Come on,” is Taeyeon’s reply.

Tiffany starts to ask something but then she finds her coat in her face.

“Let’s go,” Taeyeon prods, sounding like a child eager for adventure. Tiffany gives in to her infectious grin and tugs the coat zipper up without another word.

Until they’re out in the hallway and Taeyeon pushes open the “Emergency Exit Only” door. Tiffany winces and waits for the alarm to sound, but the door swings away on silent hinges and the only noise is Taeyeon stepping lightly onto the staircase.

“Should we get that fixed—?” Tiffany mumbles, but then she’s pulled forward again and she saves her breath for climbing.

She’s thankful they’re only three floors from the top of the building.

Because when she finally realizes it, Taeyeon has already burst through the door and onto the open rooftop. She lets go of Tiffany’s hand to spread her arms out wide, palms facing the sky.

Tiffany looks up and watches as the snowflakes drift down, landing on Taeyeon’s jacket sleeves. Some make it all the way to the carpet of uninterrupted white that surrounds their shoes with a soft chill.

“It’s still snowing,” Taeyeon says belatedly. She turns, her breath misting, and when the cloud dissolves into the icy air, she’s sporting a wide grin and pink cheeks.

“Yeah.” Tiffany laughs and sticks her tongue out to catch a speck of cold. “It’s snowing.”

Taeyeon crouches down and scrapes up a handful, packing it with her bare hands. “Do you think I can hit one of the cars in the street?”

“Let’s not find out,” Tiffany answers, closing her eyes and savoring the spots of wetness on her cheeks. Away with the snowflakes melts the tightness in her shoulders and the aching in her head: accumulations from practice and filming and always always act as if someone is watching. Yes—here, high above the city, the first to make contact with the fresh-fallen snow—

Finally, she can breathe deeply.

“So you’re acknowledging my amazing throwing skills, right?” Taeyeon’s voice comes from somewhere to her left.

Tiffany snorts. “Let’s not start this whole baseball pitcher thing again, okay?”

“I don’t see why you’re complaining.” Taeyeon is behind her now. “Sica’s clearly worse than you.”

Tiffany opens her eyes and starts to turn. “I feel bad for Yuri and Seohyun, ‘cause we totally ruined their track record—”

Taeyeon’s grin is all the warning she needs before she squeals and whips around to face the opposite way again, shielding her head with her arms. The snowball bumps into her back. She feels it slide down and then watches as it makes a soft crater for itself between her feet.

“Well, that was anticlimactic,” Taeyeon comments, and then begins to backpedal when she sees Tiffany reaching for the snowball. “Fany no stop I give up you win you win you win!”

Tiffany laughs and straightens, returning her hands to her pockets. “Oh my gosh, Taetae, you’re such a wimp.”

Taeyeon does one of her rare pouts and shuffles back over. “Only ‘cause my hands are cold.”

“Then let me warm them.” Tiffany reaches out to grab Taeyeon’s clasped hands, and then almost drops them again. “Freezing is more like it.” She tries to rub the redness from the other’s fingers.

Taeyeon chuckles. “Thanks, Fany-ah, but I think I’ll be alright.” She starts to pull away, but Tiffany holds on. Taeyeon says, “Your hands will get cold too.”

“Yeah, so no more pretending that you’re actually a good pitcher, okay?” Tiffany teases.

Taeyeon just rolls her eyes and wrestles one hand free from Tiffany’s grasp to point. “Look.”

The city is muffled below them, but its lights are shining with a brilliance that Tiffany can almost feel as much as see. It’s the combination of a clear sky and crisp air and snow still undisturbed on the rooftop in front of them—well, undisturbed except for the aftermath of Taeyeon’s attempted snowball fight.

Tiffany’s cheeks are beginning to hurt from smiling, but she can’t stop. Because somehow, Taeyeon knows about things like how she doesn’t mind being dragged out of bed at 2 AM for this. And Tiffany thinks it’s nice to have someone in her life like that.

She hooks her arm with Taeyeon’s. “I like it when it snows.”

She also likes that Taeyeon won’t be stepping out of her life anytime soon.

Taeyeon hums and shuffles closer, and Tiffany hasn’t felt a warmth this comfortable since she was back in sunny California.

“I like it too.”