First Times: the expanded ongoing

May 3, 2013 in First Times, Nelly by nelly

It started out like any other Sunday. Taeyeon was sitting on the same old bench at the same old park listening to her same old ipod reading her same old book. She’d never been able to concentrate at home. The constant ruckus caused by her roommates was fun, but it definitely didn’t help with her studying. So every Sunday morning, she’d come here. Legs folded under her, textbook or notebook open on her lap, and a bag of old bread crusts from the bakery for when the geese showed up. To focus. To think. To have a little slice of the world all to herself.

A couple of hours later, she started to notice the joggers showing up. Mostly old guys in old, tattered shorts and old ladies in new, expensive sweat suits. If the silence before was her favourite part of Sunday, this was a close second. With her studying done, she could lounge on the bench and watch the rest of the world wake up. When the geese waddled into view, each leading a tidy trail of tiny baby geese, Taeyeon pulled out the bread and threw them some chunks. She watched the orderly lines of goose babies dissolve into a fluffy mob of bread consuming adorableness. She grinned to herself, throwing some to the outskirts of the circle, so the littlest ones could get some breakfast too. As she distributed the last of the crusts and crunched up the bag, she figured it was about time to head back. She was packing up, half listening to one of the old guys chat up a group of sweatsuit ladies, when she saw her.

A new jogger, one she’d never seen on any other Sunday morning, was coming down the path towards her. And this jogger. This girl in pink short shorts and black tank top. Was not an old dude in old, tattered shorts. Was not an old lady in a comically sweat-free ironed sweat suit. This. Jogger. This. She. Jogger. Jogging. This.

She’d passed Taeyeon by before Taeyeon could remember how to blink.

Taeyeon spent the entire walk home wondering who she was. But when she opened her door, the first thing she saw was Yuri crouched behind the kitchen counter with a nerf gun, trying to snipe Sunny hiding behind the couch. When Sunny slid a third nerf gun towards Taeyeon across the hardwood floor, Taeyeon momentarily forgot about the beautiful jogger. And she definitely forgot about it when Yuri vaulted over the counter, shot her square in the face, and bolted into her room. They spent the rest of the day converting their apartment into a makeshift battle zone.

The next Sunday, Taeyeon was at the park again. Ipod. Textbook. Bread crusts. Old guys. Old ladies. Geese. Geese babies. And just as she was packing up, it happened again. Just like last week, the same gorgeous jogger coming down the path towards her. Her red hair up in a ponytail, earphones plugged into an ipod wrapped around her arm. They made eye contact this time, and the girl smiled at her before jogging by.

Taeyeon spent the walk home being incredibly proud she hadn’t collapsed onto the ground and passed out.

Another Sunday. And this time Taeyeon remembered the jogger. She wondered if she’d see her again. Study. Old people. Animals. By the time geese were done eatting, Taeyeon was sure the past two weeks had been a fluke. She’d stayed longer than she usually would, in hopes of seeing the girl again, but so far all she’d seen was an old guy get a phone number and a kiss from an old lady. She huffed, and stood up to put her ipod back in her bag. But just as she was turning to throw away the crumpled up bread bag, she saw her out of the corner of her eye. As if on queue, the girl was coming down the path towards her. This time Taeyeon was prepared though. When they made eye contact, the girl smiled, and Taeyeon smiled back. But then the girl did something that Taeyeon hadn’t even thought to prepare herself for. She stopped.

The girl.

Stopped.

In front of her.

And waved.

To her.

“Hi! I’m Tiffany! I’ve seen you a couple times while I’m jogging! What’re you reading? Looks difficult.”

She was pointing to the textbook Taeyeon was holding. Taeyeon looked down at her hand. Up at the girl. She opened her mouth.

“Uh.”

And the girl smiled. Again. At her. Her eyes in crescents and her lips pulled into a grin.

“Well, maybe I’ll see you next week? Have a good day!”

And then she was gone, jogging along the path back around the lake.

Taeyeon has no idea how she got home. She spent the rest of the day lying on the couch, wondering if she was starting to hallucinate from all the nerf bullets to the head. Because she was pretty sure that angels didn’t have bright red hair or wear sinfully tight pink shorts.

She googled angels just to make sure.
When Yuri wandered out of her room around noon, Taeyeon was still lying on the couch, trying to bore a hole into the ceiling with her bare eyes.

“Whatcha doing?” Yuri lifted Taeyeon’s legs to make room for herself on the couch. Taeyeon didn’t respond. Her brain was still stuck in that park hours ago, trying to figure out…well, she wasn’t sure what yet. But she was sure she should have done something other than gape at Tiffany when she introduced herself.

She was pulled back into reality by Yuri waving her hands in front of her face.

“What?” She felt like she was on the cusp of an epiphany, but Yuri had yanked her away at the last second. Now she was never going to figure out what to do.

“I said, what’re you doing just lying here with your face all scrunched up? You look like you’re about to pop a blood vessel.”

“I’m trying to figure something out…” She drifted off mid-sentence, mind already back on her dilemma.

Yuri knew better than to disturb her when she had that look. She ruffled Taeyeon’s hair, much to Taeyeon’s chagrin, and strolled off back to her room. She didn’t know what Taeyeon was thinking about, but for something to stump the usually clever girl, it must have been really complicated. Watching the invisible gears in Taeyeon’s head spin so hard she could practically hear the steam was less fun than running into Sunny’s room and walloping the pint sized human with a pillow anyways.

Taeyeon finally figured it out on Wednesday night, when the three of them were having dinner together.

“And I swear, she’s starting to condition me to waking up late too. When I’m over there, it’s not like I have anything else to do when she’s sleeping in.”

“You could talk to her sister. She seems pretty nice.”

“Yeah, but every time I do more than say hi to her, it’s like…”

“OH MY GOD I SHOULD’VE SAID HI. OH MY GOD YURI I SHOULD’VE SAID HI.”

Sunny was so startled by the sudden exclamation that she spit her water full in Taeyeon’s face. Yuri was doubled over in her seat she was laughing so hard. Taeyeon wasn’t even phased by it.

“THERE’S NO TIME I HAVE TO GO PRACTISE. I’LL SEE YOU LATER DON’T BOTHER ME BYE.”

Sunday morning and Taeyeon had a game plan. She was not going to be dumbfounded this time. She, Taeyeon, was going to be smooth. The first part of her morning went off without a hitch. Books. Seniors. Birds. She wondered if the geese minded that the bread today was slightly damp from her hands sweating so hard.

Her eyes were already searching the path as she packed up her stuff. And like magic, there she was. That red hair tied up in a ponytail, wisps falling around her neck as she wiped away some sweat. When she spotted Taeyeon, she smiled and waved. Taeyeon grinned and nodded back. And mentally highfived herself.

She slowed down until she was standing by the bench in front of Taeyeon.

“Hi. Tiffany right? I’m Taeyeon.” Another mental highfive. She was on a roll.

“Hi! Nice to finally meet you, Taeyeon.” Tiffany chuckled, “I was worried I’d scared you the other day.” She outstretched her hand and Taeyeon took it instinctively. As soon as they made contact, Taeyeon was suddenly acutely aware of two conflicting thoughts. First, that she had never felt any hand as soft as Tiffany’s. Second, that her hands were embarrassingly sweaty and still had bits of bread crumbs on them. Taeyeon couldn’t figure out if she never wanted to let go or if she wanted to whip her hand away immediately in hopes that Tiffany hadn’t noticed how gross they were. She ended up just standing rooted to the spot grasping her hand and staring at Tiffany while Tiffany giggled at her.

“So, you never told me the other day. What’s that you’re reading?”

Taeyeon gave her head a shake and withdrew her hand. At a normal pace. And subtly wiped off her hands on her jeans. She was still determined to be smooth.

“Music history, I like to study here in the morning. The fresh air helps clear my mind. What about you?” Taeyeon watched as Tiffany did her cool down stretches against the bench.

“Me too! It’s always packed in this park in the afternoon, running in the morning’s the only time I have the path to myself.” They both turned to watch two old guys smack each other upside the head while arguing over something. Tiffany laughed, “well, mostly to myself.”

Stretching her arms behind her back, she tilted her head and smiled at Taeyeon, “you like geese?”

Taeyeon was caught off guard by that. The question that is. Definitely not that Tiffany’s arms stretching back were causing her chest to push forward. Nope definitely not that. At all. She gulped and turned away, focusing hard on an old guy doing the same stretch in the background. Tiffany cleared her throat and Taeyeon realized she had forgotten to answer her. Eyes glued to the old guy’s sweat drenched shorts in an attempt to focus her mind, she missed the way that Tiffany’s eyes stayed glued to her face, soaking up every expression and nuance.

“Uhhh yeah. I mean no. I just like the way they waddle.” What the hell did I just say, now she thinks I’m some idiot that comes to the park to watch birds waddle. Taeyeon was mentally bemoaning the death of her pride, when she realized Tiffany was laughing.

“You’re really cute, you know that?”

Taeyeon turned so red she thought she’d burst, and it just made Tiffany laugh louder, clapping her hands happily and throwing her head back. Taeyeon couldn’t help but grin back at her.

“You’re gorgeous.” She hadn’t meant to say it, it just sort of slipped out. This time it was Tiffany’s turn to blush. No one said anything for a moment, but Taeyeon couldn’t tear her gaze from Tiffany’s stare. After a second, Tiffany turned just the faintest shade redder, and her eyes found something really interesting in the gravel by Taeyeon’s foot.

“Listen,” she said, wrapping up her headphones and sliding them into the ipod case strapped around her arm, “I usually head over to this cafe down the street from here to grab a drink before I head home. I was wondering if you wanted to join me?”

Taeyeon nodded her head so hard she thought she was going to get whiplash. And when she saw how it made Tiffany laugh, she figured it’d be worth it if she did.

—————————————————————————————————————

Taeyeon recognized the cafe as it came into view. Well, she would have if she could’ve pulled her eyes away from Tiffany. She passed by it every Sunday on her way to the park but it was never open so early in the morning, and by the time she left it was always too crowded. It was like that now, bustling with teenagers lounging around the patio tables outside, soaking up the late morning sun. Taeyeon vaguely recognized a circle of old ladies from the park, gossiping over their lattes, before Tiffany pulled her into the cashier lineup.

“What are you gonna get?”

Taeyeon glanced at the menu hanging over the counter. She tried to read through the list, sorting through the exotic names and descriptions of dozens of things she’d just call ‘juice’. It wasn’t helping that Tiffany kept brushing her arm against her own while they inched closer to the cash register.

“Uhhh…why don’t you decide for me? Everything just looks the same to me.”

They stepped up to the lanky teenager manning the cash register and Tiffany gave their drink orders. Tiffany was clearly a frequent customer, her drink was so modified with pumps of this and whips of that and spritzes of this that Taeyeon zoned out after the first sentence. Instead she looked up at the gangly employee who was taking their order. Literally looked up. He was so ridiculously tall that she had to crane her neck backwards to make eye contact. Not that she could actually make eye contact. His head was bobbing up and down slowly, fingers entering the order into his register, but his eyes were firmly focused on Tiffany’s…assets. Taeyeon couldn’t blame him. Tiffany’s running apparel could stop traffic. It didn’t make her want to punch him in the face any less though.

When the offensively tall employee was finally done taking their order and ripped his eyes away from Tiffany long enough to tell them their total, Taeyeon pulled out her wallet and payed for the drinks. She made sure to glare at him as she handed over the cash. He blinked down at her. He hadn’t even realized someone else was there.

As they made their way to the end of the counter to grab their drinks, Tiffany spoke up from beside her, “thanks.” Taeyeon turned to her. She’d been mentally visualizing how she could leap up onto the counter and clock the guy in the face without Tiffany noticing, so she was genuinely perplexed to see that Tiffany was blushing.

“I…for what?” Taeyeon couldn’t figure out why she was thanking her, much less why Tiffany’s cheeks had suddenly turned such a bright shade of pink. But apparently she’d done something right, because Tiffany smiled shyly at her as they grabbed their drinks, and pulled her outside to one of the patio tables.

She spent the rest of the morning and half the afternoon talking to Tiffany. She was a fashion design major. She loved pink. She went to the same university as Taeyeon. She had a small studio apartment near here she shared with a friend. After the initial struggle of rebooting her brain every time Tiffany laughed at her jokes or smiled at her, she realized that Tiffany was remarkably easy to talk to. She felt like she could stay in this moment forever, talking to this gorgeous girl and drinking this ridiculous drink. And she wasn’t totally sure she could physically leave even if she wanted to. The entire time, Tiffany never took her eyes off her. Even when the teenagers were whooping and hollering in the background. Or when the old ladies noticed the sweaty old guy sitting in the corner of the café staring at them and started scolding him. Tiffany’s unwavering gaze pierced right into Taeyeon and pinned her to the patio chair.

Taeyeon was in the middle of telling Tiffany about the time she and Yuri snuck into Sunny’s room and covered it floor to ceiling with post-it notes when the sound of someone coughing and scuffing their foot made Taeyeon turn.

“Uhm…sorry…we’re closing now…so…could you…?” The lanky café employee from earlier was standing over them, a folded patio chair under each arm.

Taeyeon looked around and was suddenly aware of how dark it was. The sun was barely visible on the horizon, a strip of reddish-orange bleeding the remnants of daylight across the sky. Had they really spent the entire day here? Just a second ago she swore there were dozens of other customers sitting around the tables outside the café, but now she saw that they were the only patrons left.

Once they were away from the café, Taeyeon started rambling at Tiffany, “gosh I’m so sorry I kept you so long, I can’t believe I wasted your entire day! You must’ve had so many plans and I went and kept you sitting with me for hours and now it’s dark out and you’re still in your jogging stuff from this morning and you must be so uncomfortable because you probably wanted to go home and shower, not that I was thinking about you showering, but I know that guy at the café probably was, he was staring at you so hard and then I went and made you stay at the café for hours, and he was probably staring at you the whole time, and you probably wanted to leave and I was just-”

“Taeyeon.”

Taeyeon stopped in her tracks and turned to Tiffany, head hung low like a puppy caught digging up the flowerbed. She felt a finger lift her face and when she looked up Tiffany was staring into her eyes with a soft smile on her lips.

“I wouldn’t have stayed if I didn’t want to, Taeyeon. Walk me home?”

They stopped in front of Tiffany’s building. Taeyeon scuffed her right shoe on the sidewalk and tried not to think about how far away next Sunday was. Tiffany didn’t seem to want to go inside either. Her hand was on the metal handle of the glass entrance door, but she seemed to be hesitating.

“I’ll uh…I’ll see you next Sunday?” Taeyeon didn’t want to press her luck. Just because Tiffany wanted to hang out with her for a day didn’t mean she had permission to become a full out creeper.

Tiffany’s response came so fast it startled her. “Yes! I mean…yes. I’ll see you next Sunday.” She hesitated again, “good…goodnight Taeyeon.”

Taeyeon’s face split into a wide grin. Her name sounded way better when Tiffany said it. “Goodnight Tiffany!” She was about to leave, but realized Tiffany hadn’t turned to go inside. She was still looking at her, hand hesitating on the door handle. Taeyeon wasn’t sure why. She looked like she was just about to say something, but stopped herself at the last moment. She took a deep breath, and finally opened the door, “Goodnight Taeyeon.”

She watched her go into the building, then turned around to hop down the steps. She had just gotten to the bottom when she heard the sound of a door opening, and was nearly bowled over as someone ran into her full tilt from behind and enveloped her in a bear hug. She heard Tiffany’s voice by her ear, “thank you for today, Taeyeon.” By the time she’d gotten over her shock, all she could see was Tiffany scurrying back into the building and bolting into the elevator, face red and eyes on the ground.

Taeyeon practically floated home.

“Where the heck have you been? I haven’t seen you all day! Taeyeon? Hellooooo, earth to Taeyeon!!” Taeyeon drifted into their apartment, gliding right past Sunny who was waving and jumping around trying to get her attention.

She’d never been the wild type, but from what she heard, she was pretty sure this was what drugs felt like. She couldn’t stop grinning like a doofus even when Sunny walked in and smacked her upside the head with a fluffy pillow. She barely noticed Yuri camping outside her open doorway, shooting her in the side of the head with her nerf gun. If this was what drugs felt like, she had a feeling she was developing a severe addiction.

By Tuesday, she was already suffering from withdrawal.

“What’s up with you today, Tae? You can barely sit still, I thought you loved this class?” They were sitting at the back of the lecture hall together, and Sunny was watching Taeyeon fidget in her seat. It was Taeyeon’s favourite class, but she hadn’t heard a single word of the prof’s lecture.

She wanted to drop this class immediately and take advanced theoretical physics so she could invent a time machine to launch her into Sunday.
She wanted to run out of the lecture hall and go stalk around the design department in hopes of ‘bumping’ into Tiffany.
She wanted to tear her hair out and scream. Not that that would help her problem. She just didn’t know what else to do.

“Sunny. I met this jogger at the park the other day and she-”
“Holy crap. Please do not tell me you hooked up with an old lady in a velour sweatsuit. If that is what you’re going to say, don’t say it.”
“Shut up, Sunny.”
“Sorry. You just look like your brain is about to explode.”
“She’s…just…she’s so…just…Sunny…”
“Okay, she’s enough to make you act like a 12 year old boy. Got it.” Taeyeon was about to retort when she realized Sunny was totally right. She huffed. Sunny narrowed her eyes at Taeyeon, “is that where you were all Sunday? Hanging out with this girl?” Taeyeon bobbed her head, face split into a goofy grin.

“Do you even know her last name?”

Taeyeon frowned. She had been so caught up on Sunday that she’d forgotten to ask Tiffany’s last name.

Sunny snorted under her breath. “You’re totally head over heals for this girl. And you don’t even know her whole name.”

Taeyeon smacked Sunny on the back of her head. Because she was totally right. Again.

When they finally got out of the lecture hall, Yuri was leaning against the wall waiting to meet them for lunch.

Well, that’s what Taeyeon assumed she had been doing before her girlfriend showed up. Now she was leaning against the wall with Jessica pressed up against her, attached at the lips. She was hoping the distraction had kept her from reading the embarrassing texts Sunny had fired off to her about Taeyeon’s predicament. But just as she was done convincing herself that Yuri couldn’t possibly have had time to check her phone, she pulled away from Jessica long enough to stare Taeyeon straight in the eyes, point her finger square in her face, and shout “WHIPPED”.

Taeyeon smacked her too. For good measure.

Saturday night she felt like a kid on Christmas eve. She set 3 alarm clocks to make sure she didn’t sleep in.

Sunday morning, and Taeyeon realized she was entirely unprepared. She’d spent so much time thinking about Tiffany that she’d completely forgotten to think about what she’d do when she saw her again. Should she just wave? Should she say hi again? Should she wait and hope that Tiffany would invite her to the cafe again? Was it too presumptuous to invite herself along if she didn’t?

She sat with her book open on her lap, but she couldn’t bring herself to focus on the words. And when the geese showed up, the bread was practically drenched in Taeyeon’s sweat. Out of the corner of her eye, she could see Tiffany’s red hair bobbing into view.

She hucked the rest of the bread as far as she could and hurriedly wiped her hands off. As the geese raced in a huge feathery mob to where she’d thrown the rest of their breakfast, Tiffany slowed to a halt in front of Taeyeon.

Taeyeon wasn’t sure if it was wishful thinking or if karma was finally paying her back for all those bags of bread. Because today Tiffany was dressed to kill. If what Tiffany was wearing last week could stop traffic, what she was wearing today could stop gravity. She silently thanked whatever blessed human being invented yoga shorts. Because Taeyeon couldn’t even. She couldn’t. Even.

“Hi Taeyeon.” She was smiling so sweetly at her, and her brain had apparently chosen this precise moment to dissolve. Say something, Taeyeon. Say. Something. SAY ANYTHING JUST SAY SOMETHING SHE’S STARING SAY SOMETHING.

“Guhh…” If Taeyeon could have slapped herself upside the head, she would have.

Tiffany smirked at her, “like what you see?”

And years later, Taeyeon will adamantly deny responsibility for what she did next. She could not be blamed. She wasn’t in control of her own mental capacities.

But in that moment, all Taeyeon could think to do was nod. And grin. And forget to close her mouth to keep the faint line of drool from escaping down her chin.

When her brain finally rebooted, Tiffany was still doubled over squatting on the ground, laughing so hard there was no sound except for the rapid clapping of her hands. Taeyeon was pretty sure she should just turn around and find the nearest hole to hide in.

“Oh gosh I am so sorry I did not mean to do that. It’s just you and then I and then it was…I just…I’m so sorry!”

Tiffany finally straightened up and smirked at her before starting to walk. She got a couple meters away before she turned her head and said casually over her shoulder, “you can make it up to me by letting me pay today.”

Taeyeon only tripped over herself once in her haste to catch up.

—————————————————————————————————————

A few weeks later and she realized she’d spoken too soon.

Screw the person that invented yoga pants. Whoever it was, they sucked. Sucked. Sucked. Tiffany should never wear anything but sweatpants. Baggy sweatpants. With long johns underneath. And thermal snow pants on top.

The first week she’d been too distracted by Tiffany’s eyes and Tiffany’s smile and Tiffany’s laugh. But by the third week she was acutely aware of their surroundings. She’d thought the lanky café worker checking Tiffany out was a onetime occurrence.

She was wrong.

The loud boisterous teenage boys gawked. The old sweat drenched men leered. Even the occasional gossiping housewife would look her up and down.

Every time, Taeyeon had a barely controllable urge to cover Tiffany up with a tablecloth.

She knew she had no right to be thinking any of this. She and Tiffany were barely friends. Sure, Tiffany laughed at her jokes and listened to her stories. Sure, Tiffany seemed to really hate going into her apartment after Taeyeon walked her home. But that didn’t mean anything did it?

What made it worse was that Tiffany didn’t seem to mind at all. In fact, Tiffany seemed to be enjoying it. Every week she jogged up to Taeyeon in shorts so short she had to channel every ounce of her willpower into maintaining eye contact. And every week Tiffany found some reason to lean over the table towards Taeyeon. Or accidentally drop her keys in front of Taeyeon and bend over to pick them up. Or sway her hips as she walked across the café floor to the bathroom.

She wasn’t sure what she hated more: that all these creepy guys were staring or that she couldn’t stop herself from staring either.

One week, when Taeyeon was fed up with a group of guys elbowing each other and eyeing Tiffany like she was a private show, she suggested they head back to Tiffany’s place so she could shower and change before coming back to the café. Taeyeon figured that since Tiffany was probably tired after her run, a relaxing shower would be enough to convince her to head home first, and then she’d naturally put something more comfortable on. It was so logical, Taeyeon thought, Tiffany would definitely agree with her.

“How’s that taste? I didn’t know fruit that pink existed,” Taeyeon pointed to the terrifyingly pink beverage in Tiffany’s hand. She’d just taken a big gulp, so instead of responding Tiffany gave her a thumbs up and a happy nod.

“Listen, I was wondering if we could head over to your place, and maybe you could jump in the shower and-”

Tiffany’s eyes bulged and she choked so hard on her drink that her eyes started to water. Taeyeon leapt out of her seat and rushed to her side, kneeling beside her and worriedly rubbing her back.

Once Tiffany had recovered sufficiently she stared down at Taeyeon, still crouched beside her, with wide eyes. “You…you wanna…you wanna come over and watch me shower?”

“Oh God, no! That’s not what I meant! No no no no!” Taeyeon fell over in her haste to back track. The last thing she wanted was for Tiffany to think she was some sort of predatory voyeur. But for some reason unbeknownst to her, Taeyeon’s insistent denial seemed to have the opposite effect she wanted; Tiffany actually seemed to deflate a little. Taeyeon spent the rest of the day wondering why.

“What am I supposed to do? I can’t stop thinking about her.”

Wednesdays were getting to be her least favourite day of the week. Too far from last Sunday and not close enough to the next one. Yuri was spread out on the ground next to Taeyeon lying on the couch, the both of them staring blankly at the ceiling ignoring the tv in the background.

“You know what I’m going to say,” Taeyeon had been talking Yuri’s ear off about Tiffany for weeks now. Yuri always had the same answer, but Taeyeon couldn’t see her logic.

“I told you already I can’t ask her out. She’s not gonna say yes, we barely know each other! Besides, she probably thinks I’m an idiot. AND-”

“-you’re shorter than the kid that was staring at her boobs.” Yuri knew this entire conversation by heart already. Taeyeon had a list a mile long of reasons Tiffany was going to reject her.

“I know! And-”
“-and that goose chased you that one time because it thought you still had bread.”
“I know! And I-”
“-keep getting caught looking at her legs in those shorts and ‘oh god what if Tiffany thinks I’m a perv’.”

Taeyeon turned to glare down at Yuri, who met her eyes with a bored expression. “I know you’re mocking me.”

“I am.”
“Why???? Yuri, come on, you said you’d help me!”
“Taeyeon.” A sigh of exasperation.
“What?” A huff of confusion.
“Ask her out.”
“I told you I can’t!!”

Yuri rolled over and pushed herself to her feet. She ruffled Taeyeon’s hair, half out of frustration and half out of exasperated amusement.

“Taeyeon, for such a smart person, you are being such an idiot.”

Taeyeon flipped onto her stomach and groaned into the couch cushions. Sunday was way too far away.

She gave herself a mental pep talk in front of the mirror. It was going to happen today. Whether or not she said yes, Taeyeon was going to ask Tiffany out today.

It had been nearly 2 months. 6 amazing Sundays. 6 glorious Sundays talking to Tiffany. This girl that was so beautiful, inside and out, that Taeyeon could scarcely believe how lucky she was to have met her.

And Taeyeon couldn’t take it anymore.

She was gonna ask her out.

And then dig a hole to bury her head in when Tiffany rejected her.

She postponed it until the last possible second. If it was going to be the last time Tiffany ever talked to her, she was going to soak up every last minute of it.

“What’s wrong, Taeyeon? You look so out of it today.” Tiffany leaned over the table to touch the back of her hand to Taeyeon’s forehead. Taeyeon quickly averted her eyes, looking out the window to her right. The sky had looked stormy today, so they’d opted for a table inside the café over the patio.

Taeyeon took a deep breath. Okay. This is it. Okay.

“Tiffany.”
“-you don’t feel warm. Did you stay up too late working on your scene scoring project again?-”
“Tiffany.”
“-I told you Tae, you need to believe your prof when he tells you it’s already great-”
“Tiffany.”
“Tae?” She must have finally noticed how serious Taeyeon looked, because she pulled her hand away and sat back down across from her. “Taetae, what’s wrong?”

“I,” this was way harder than when she’d practised in front of her mirror earlier. “Tiffany, you are the most beautiful girl I have ever met.” Tiffany was staring back at her with wide eyes, but Taeyeon had already started, and she needed to make it through the speech that she’d rehearsed before she bolted from the café.

“I know we don’t really know each other. And we just got to be friends. But…but I haven’t been able to stop thinking about you since the day you said hi to me. And…I guess what I’m trying to say is…I really like you, Tiffany.” She was rapidly losing her cool, but she soldiered on. Her eyes glued to the empty glass in front of her, she failed to see that Tiffany’s smile had become blindingly bright.

“I really like you, Tiffany. And I was wondering…maybe…if you wanted…maybe sometime I could take you-”

“yes.”

“-take you somewhere nice and…wait what?” Taeyeon’s head snapped up.

“Yes Taeyeon. Yes.”

“I…what?” Taeyeon couldn’t believe her ears. She must have misheard her.

“Yes Taetae.”

That was the third time. She definitely hadn’t misheard her. But she had to be sure.

“You’ll…you’ll go on a date with me?” Taeyeon’s grin mirrored Tiffany’s now.

“Yes Taeyeon. I will go on a date with you.”

For a second nothing happened. They just sat and beamed at each other in silence. Then the final gear seemed to click in Taeyeon’s head and she leapt out of her chair. She ran to the nearest table, where two old men had seemingly overheard their conversation.

“SHE’S GONNA GO ON A DATE WITH ME.”

They both chuckled and high fived her. She bounded to the next table, to the same group of teenage boys that had been leering at Tiffany earlier.

“YOU CAN STOP CHECKING HER OUT NOW, BECAUSE I AM TAKING HER ON A DATE.”

To the fidgeting, lanky café employee.

“DATE. ME. HER. NOT YOU.” She paused. “AND I DIDN’T EVEN HAVE TO BE AS TALL AS YOU.” She could hear Tiffany laughing in the background.

She felt like she’d just won a gold medal in awesome. She jogged slow motion in a circle past tables, patrons holding their hands out so she could high five them as she passed by. As she circled back to Tiffany, she felt like she was on top of the world.

She felt like a boss. And bosses didn’t stop and plop into chairs. No. They smoothly slid into them. Because they were smooth. Taeyeon slid into her seat. Because she was a boss. And she was smooth.

And she slipped right off of it and thumped onto the ground.

She looked up at Tiffany from her spot on the ground, suddenly mortified. Tiffany beamed down at her, “I will still go on a date with you Kim Taeyeon.”

She high fived herself. Still a boss.

—————————————————————————————————————

When they left the cafe that night, Taeyeon could still smell the rain in the air. She watched Tiffany take a deep breath, stretching her arms over her head in a luxurious stretch, before pulling on Taeyeon’s hoodie. Taeyeon had insisted she borrow it, partly because she didn’t want Tiffany to catch a cold and partly because she liked the way Tiffany looked wearing her clothes.

“Ready to go?” It had become an unspoken habit for Taeyeon to walk Tiffany home every Sunday. They walked along the sidewalk towards Tiffany’s apartment, the quiet occasionally broken by the thrum of passing cars. Stopped at a crosswalk waiting for their light, Tiffany turned to her side to look at Taeyeon. One of her hands was stuck in the pocket of her jeans, the other running absentmindedly through her blonde hair.

“Are you cold?”

Taeyeon tilted her head and met her gaze with a grin, “no, I’m okay.”

“I don’t think so.”

Taeyeon tilted her head even further, eyebrows furrowing, and Tiffany couldn’t help but giggle at how much she looked like a confused puppy.

“Here, let me help you.” She took Taeyeon’s right hand in her left, and burrowed them back into her hoodie pocket. The light turned and Tiffany started walking, leading a completely stunned Taeyeon beside her.

She could feel her face heating up as she hurried to keep up. Feeling her fingers intertwined with Tiffany’s, her thumb stroking slowly against the back of Taeyeon’s hand, was almost enough to fry Taeyeon’s brain. And it definitely fried when she realized her hand was practically pressed up against Tiffany’s flat stomach, separated only by her hoodie and Tiffany’s barely there tank top.

Against Tiffany’s soft hand, Taeyeon was uncomfortably aware that hers was a glaringly inferior match. The geese might not have minded Taeyeon’s sweaty hands, but Tiffany wasn’t a bird. She tried to pull her hand away to wipe it off on the leg of her jeans, but Tiffany tightened her grip and looked worriedly at Taeyeon, “Tae what’re you doing??”

“My hands are kinda gross, I was just gonna-”

Tiffany looked relieved at Taeyeon’s explanation, but didn’t loosen her grip. She smiled and shook her head, “your hands are perfect Tae. Don’t let go.” She gave it a squeeze, “please don’t let go yet. Okay?”

“I won’t. I promise.” Taeyeon squeezed back. She looked sincerely into Tiffany’s eyes to make sure she knew she meant it. She could see in her still uncertain gaze that there was another conversation there, but she didn’t think either of them were ready for that yet. So she gave her hand another squeeze, “I promise, Tiff. Not until you make me.”

They stopped in front of Tiffany’s apartment a few minutes later, the sun already hidden behind the buildings in the background.

“So I guess…I’ll see you on Friday then?”

Tiffany lifted her eyes from the bulge of their hands in the hoodie pocket, smiling in that soft way that seemed almost unconscious, “I can’t wait.”

They stood like that for a couple minutes, until finally Tiffany relinquished Taeyeon’s hand from her grip. She was just about to unzip the hoodie to return to Taeyeon, but Taeyeon stopped her. “Hold onto it. You can give it back to me later.” An onlooker would’ve thought Taeyeon just offered Tiffany a million bucks by the size of Tiffany’s megawatt smile.

They hugged, and Taeyeon watched Tiffany get into the elevator. She smiled to herself, watching Tiffany wave as the elevator doors closed, she looks so right in my hoodie. And Taeyeon didn’t know this until months later, but Tiffany wore her hoodie to bed that night, snuggling into its fabric and the scent of Taeyeon. It was the best she’d slept in weeks.

—————————————————————————————————————

Yuri and Sunny were slumped comfortably on the couch when Taeyeon floated into their shared apartment, without the hoodie they’d seen her leave in but with a grin so bright they had to squint their eyes. They shared knowing smirks before Sunny called out in a singsong voice, “looks like someone’s happy~~”

Taeyeon flopped herself onto the couch, smile plastered permanently to her face, “I can’t believe she said yes. She’s amazing guys, she’s like…” she drifted off in thought, eyes closing to picture Tiffany in her hoodie. Her hand was still tingling from when she’d held Tiffany’s, “she’s…she’s just so great.”

Yuri smirked, “whipped.”

Taeyeon was too happy to even be bothered by it.

“So where are you taking her?” Yuri leaned back in her seat, balancing the chair on its hind legs.

Taeyeon’s head snapped up from her bowl of noodles, chopsticks frozen in her mouth. She had been so concerned with the asking part that she’d forgotten to actually think about what would happen after Tiffany said yes.

“Don’t tell me you haven’t figured out where you’re taking her yet,” Sunny’s voice was incredulous.

Yuri flicked her on the nose, “Taeyeon, you haven’t been able to stop talking about this girl for the past month, and you’re telling us that you have no idea where you’re taking her on your first date?”

Well when she put it like that, it made Taeyeon sound like a doofus.

“You’re being a doofus.”

Taeyeon huffed at Yuri, who only chuckled in return, “you know I’m right.”

“Yep. You’re totally right,” and she kicked the front of Yuri’s chair with her foot under the table, sending Yuri flailing wildly as the chair tipped over backwards. She was halfway down the hall before Yuri could even scramble to her feet.

Taeyeon lay in bed, staring up at her ceiling lost in thought. What am I gonna do? I can’t just take her to dinner and a movie. There was something about this first date with Tiffany that seemed different from all the other first dates she’d been on. She wanted to do something special, something that Tiffany would remember. But her mind was drawing a blank. She sighed, rolling over to face the window and closing her eyes. She drifted off to sleep with Tiffany on her mind.

She woke up with a grin on her face. Normally she hated clichés, but she figured it was fitting that the idea would come to her in a dream. After all, Tiffany was the closest thing to an angel she could think of.

Taeyeon stretched and sighed, before rolling out from under the covers. Now all she had to do was find a way to make her idea work.

“I swear, you won’t even notice, ma’am! Please!”

The lady sighed. She knew that look. “Okay, but if one thing is out of place in the morning, you’re going to be here for the next month paying it back.”

“Yes ma’am! Thank you ma’am! You won’t regret it!”

She couldn’t help but smile as she dropped the extra key into Taeyeon’s hand, “good luck honey. She’s a lucky girl.”

Taeyeon took the key and slid it safely into her pocket, “thanks, but I’m the lucky one.” She thanked the lady again before leaving.

“So you guys will help me?”

“Yeah, of course Taeng, that’s what friends are for. Besides, I wanna finally meet this mysterious girl.”

“Me too! Count us in.”

“I love you both! You guys are the best!” Taeyeon pulled them into a tight group hug.

“…and more importantly, I bet Yuri that you’d trip over your own tongue within 10 minutes. I have to be there to collect when I win.”

Taeyeon jerked away from Sunny indignantly, “what?!”

Sunny laughed and pulled her back in, “hey, I’m on your side. Yuri bet it’d happen within 5.”

“…I hate you both.”

—————————————————————————————————————

I can do this.

I got this.

Okay. I got this.

Okay. Let’s go.

She’d been sitting rooted in the driver’s seat for the past 10 minutes, trying to convince herself to get out of the car and cross the street to Tiffany’s apartment. But her hand had apparently decided to declare sovereignty from the rest of her body, because as much as she willed it to pull the latch all it did was tap against the steering wheel incessantly.

After a brief mental battle, she finally managed to make it out of her car. Her hands were sweating bullets by the time she got across the street, and she was sure she left a sweaty handprint on the metal door handle as she pulled open the glass door. The security guard glanced up when he saw her enter, and she gave him a shaky smile, wiping her hands nervously before handing him the bundle.

“Thanks again for helping me out, mister.”

The guard sitting behind the security counter took the bundle and gave her a friendly smile before turning back to the camera monitors. “No problemo, girlie. I’ve always been a sentimental sap anyways.” He’d seen Taeyeon walking Tiffany home a few times before. And he’d watched on his security cameras as Tiffany nearly bounced off the walls in uncontainable joy as soon as the elevator doors closed. So when Taeyeon had approached him earlier in the week with her plan, he gladly agreed.

“Go get her, tiger,” he gave her a thumbs up before the elevator doors slid closed. Taeyeon wished she had half the confidence that he seemed to have about this entire situation.

Was everything ready? She went over her mental checklist for the umpteenth time that day, counting on her fingers to make sure she hadn’t missed anything. She checked the time on her phone. 6:43pm. Tiffany wasn’t expecting her until 7. She took a deep breath to try and calm her nerves.

The elevator dinged and came to a stop, doors opening to let a girl who looked about Taeyeon’s own age to get on. They shared a polite smile and the girl punched in the main foyer button. They rode down in silence, the girl turning her head to glance at Taeyeon every couple of seconds. Taeyeon wasn’t sure how to react until the doors slid back open and the girl stepped out. She turned back around to face Taeyeon and held the elevator doors open with her foot.

“You’re Taeyeon, aren’t you?”
“I…what?” Taeyeon pointed to herself, eyes wide. She’d never met this girl before. The girl nodded, an amused smile on her lips, and Taeyeon nodded hesitantly back. “How do you know my name?”
“Tiffany hasn’t been able to stop talking about you for weeks. I feel like I’ve practically known you as long as she has.”

Taeyeon had no idea what to say, so she just nodded back mutely. The girl laughed and winked at her, “she’s been ready since 6, so you might as well go up now.”

“Oh, uh, okay.”
“And Taeyeon?”
“Uhm, yeah?”
She drew back her foot, and as the elevator doors closed slowly, she said, “We live on the 9th floor. You might want to press the button with the 9 on it. Elevators usually work better if you press a button.”

Taeyeon took the girl’s advice. And then turned and slammed her head repeatedly against the elevator wall. Apparently she was doomed to a life of terrible first impressions.

The elevator dinged and Taeyeon shakily stepped out. And way sooner than she was prepared for, she was standing in front of Tiffany’s apartment door.

She lifted her left hand up to the door, fingers curled into a fist, prepared to knock. Her right hand was behind her back, clutching at the bouquet like a life preserver.

She felt like she might pass out, either from terrified nervousness or uncontrollable excitement, she wasn’t sure. She steeled her courage, giving herself a shaky nod. I can do this. I got this. I got it. But just as she was moving her hand to knock on the door, it opened. Her left hand fell limp to her side, completely forgotten.

And now Taeyeon was almost certain she was going to pass out.

It vaguely occurred in the back of Taeyeon’s mind, behind the predominating thoughts of ‘oh my god’ and’ oh I oh my oh’ and ‘guhhhhhh’, that until now she had never actually seen Tiffany in anything but workout clothes. She struggled to swallow the lump in her throat and tried to remember how to make words. Because seeing Tiffany, with her hair falling in soft curls around her shoulders and left hand shyly fidgeting with the bottom of her dress, took her breath away.

“Hi Taetae.”

Taeyeon couldn’t think of a single thing to say. So she stuck out her right hand, thrusting the pink origami roses into Tiffany’s face. She watched Tiffany’s face light up, eyes disappearing into crescents as she squealed and grabbed onto the bouquet with left hand and pulled Taeyeon into a tight embrace with her right.

“Oh my god Taetae! They’re beautiful, thank you!!” Tiffany’s loud exclamation jolted Taeyeon out of her stupor.

“I know you like pink. And these flowers won’t wilt or anything…so…you know…you can keep them. If you want.” She’d planned her explanation to be much more eloquent, but under the circumstances she was pleased that she could get any words out at all.

Her reasoning seemed enough for Tiffany though, because she hugged Taeyeon even tighter, arms linking around her neck. She felt her sigh softly into her hair, her voice much quieter this time, “They’re beautiful Taeyeon. I’m going to keep them forever.”

Taeyeon let out a quiet chuckle, her hands around Tiffany’s waist. Being in such close proximity to Tiffany simultaneously overwhelmed Taeyeon’s senses and put her at ease. She wasn’t sure she’d ever get used to it. Tiffany leaned away from Taeyeon slightly, just far enough that she could look Taeyeon in the eyes but not far enough that Taeyeon would break the embrace. Taeyeon had absentmindedly started rubbing slow circles on the small of her back as she smiled up at Tiffany. Tiffany bit her lip, avoiding Taeyeon’s seeking gaze, instead focussing on the bouquet she was still holding.

“Tae?”
“Yeah?”
“Why does this bouquet only have 11 roses?”

Taeyeon looked down at the bouquet. She’d been initially stunned by Tiffany, but now it was all coming back to her.

“Roses come in a dozen all the time. Every other girl could get 12 normal red roses. But you’re not any other girl, Tiff. I didn’t want to get you something that had no meaning.” She nodded at the paper roses, “There are 11 because I spent 11 Sundays with you before I got the guts to ask you out. I should’ve given you one on the first day, and one on the second, but I was too much of a chicken. So these are to make up for it. 11 roses for 11 amazing Sundays.”

Taeyeon looked up from the flowers once she was finished, meeting Tiffany’s eyes. Tiffany blinked rapidly, before pulling Taeyeon back into her, “thank you Taeyeon. This is…thank you.”

After a minute of comfortable silence, Taeyeon reluctantly pulled away, “come on, we should go. And uhh, you should probably leave those here,” she said, pointing to the paper bouquet.

Tiffany tilted her head, “why?”

A light laugh, “you’ll see.”

Tiffany delicately placed the roses on the stand just inside the apartment, and closed the door behind her as she stepped out. Taeyeon remembered to wipe her hand off on her jeans before she took Tiffany’s this time. Once they got into the elevator, Taeyeon glanced briefly up at the security camera before turning to Tiffany. Her eyes were focussed on their intertwined fingers, a shy smile on her lips. Taeyeon give her hand a squeeze, drawing Tiffany’s eyes back up to hers.

“You’re not any other girl, Tiffany. You’re a princess.”

Right on cue, the elevator dinged and the doors opened to main lobby. Tiffany bit her lip, eyes disappearing into crescents, and gave Taeyeon’s hand a squeeze. “Taeyeon…” Then something caught her eye and she turned to face the lobby.

Someone had rolled out a red carpet, stretching from the entrance of their elevator to the main entrance.

“You’re a princess, Tiffany. And I want to make you feel like a princess.”

The security guard had changed out of his blue uniform into a black tuxedo. When he saw Taeyeon step out of the elevator, leading a slightly stunned Tiffany behind her, he got up from his chair. He walked up to Tiffany and handed her another pink paper rose, and winked at Taeyeon before returning to his seat. Tiffany took the rose, looking back at Taeyeon.

“That one’s for today,” she grinned cheekily at Tiffany, “and to prove to you that even though I hate clichés, I’d be cliché for you.”

She led Tiffany along the red carpet and out the door into the early evening. Tiffany was holding the rose close to her chest as she followed Taeyeon to her car. Taeyeon ran around the side to open the door for Tiffany, before circling back to get into the driver’s side. Taeyeon pulled the car out of its parking spot and turned onto the quiet street.

“What’re you thinking about?” Tiffany had been uncharacteristically quiet, and Taeyeon hoped she hadn’t gone too overboard.

Tiffany stared at her hand on top of Taeyeon’s on the stick shift, her fingers curled into the gaps between Taeyeon’s. “I’m thinking about how lucky I am to have met you.”

Taeyeon grinned, “Funny, I was just thinking the same thing about you.”

—————————————————————————————————————

As they pulled into the deserted parking lot, Taeyeon detached her fingers from Tiffany’s on the stick shift. She did a mental happy dance when Tiffany whined under her breath before reluctantly pulling her hand away and returning it to her own lap.

“We’re here.” She’d decided to take them back to the café by the park. It was where they’d really gotten to know each other. Familiar ground. It helped remind Taeyeon that this was all actually real.

She still couldn’t quite believe that Tiffany had said yes. She really couldn’t believe that they were actually on a first date. And she definitely could not even begin to comprehend that Tiffany seemed outwardly distressed that she had to let go of Taeyeon’s hand. But she had. And they were. And she was. Tiffany was huffing in impatience, hand already inching back across the median between their seats. It made Taeyeon feel a lot more confident than she had hours earlier, mussing her hair in the bathroom mirror.

“Maybe I should change…I still have time to change right? Okay I should probably change…yeah I’m gonna go change.”
“Taeng.” She could see Yuri through the open bathroom door, lying on her bed and lazily texting who she assumed was Jessica. She nervously mussed her hair with her fingers.
“What?”
“Stop freaking out. What you’re wearing is fine. And stop messing with your hair.” Yuri tossed her phone onto the dookong plushie by the headboard.
She turned back to the mirror. She’d decided to wear the same light blue baseball jacket she’d worn the first time she’d seen Tiffany. It was cheesy and kind of lame, but she felt like the jacket was lucky. She was hoping it would give her good luck tonight. She definitely felt like she’d need it.

She felt a light tug on the arm of her jacket. Tiffany was trying to pull her hand back into hers. Taeyeon wanted to oblige, but she shook her head, “we’ve got to get out here anyways, Tiff.” When she saw Tiffany pout, she couldn’t stop herself from reaching for her hand to placate her. And before she could stop herself, she’d lifted it up and pressed her lips against the back of Tiffany’s hand. She froze a second later, realizing what she’d done. She was sure she’d gone overboard now, freaked Tiffany out.

“I uh…uh…uh…” She hurriedly turned and got out of the car. Her head ducked down, she didn’t know Tiffany was watching with her bottom lip between her teeth, trying to suppress the smile and blush that were simultaneously taking over her face. Taeyeon rounded the front of the vehicle and pulled open the passenger seat for Tiffany, offering her hand to help Tiffany step out of the car and onto another red carpet. This one led directly through the café’s open doors, and she’d made sure to park the car so that the passenger door opened directly onto it. Tiffany hooked her arm through Taeyeon’s before interlacing their fingers again, walking slowly along the plush carpet.

When they stepped through the open doors, Tiffany gasped and covered her mouth with the hand that wasn’t squeezing the blood out of Taeyeon’s.

“Oh my…Taeyeon…”
“Like I said, Tiff, I didn’t want to get you a dozen roses. And a dozen is still a dozen, even if I give you 11 first and 1 later.”

Taeyeon had had to enlist Yuri and Sunny’s help all week for this one. They’d covered the floor, the tables, the counter, and the window sills. Sunny had even climbed onto Yuri’s shoulders to stick some onto the menu hanging on the wall behind the cash register.

Every single surface of the café that they could reach.

With pink paper roses.

“The first 11 were for the first 11 Sundays. The single one was for today. And these ones…these ones are for all the times after….if you’ll have them.”

Tiffany knocked the breath out of her with the force of her hug.

“I…you’re amazing, Taeyeon.”
“So are you.”

Over Tiffany’s shoulder she saw Yuri and Sunny peeking at them, hiding behind the kitchen counter, and suddenly embarrassed started to pull away. Tiffany refused. “No baby, please…just a little longer.” Yuri made a silent gagging noise at Taeyeon, but she could care less. She was grinning like the Cheshire cat.

No.

That was an understatement.

She was grinning like two Chesire cats.

On ecstasy.

Pumped full of adrenaline.

On fast forward.

She called me baby.

She.

Called.

Me.

Baby.

She watched Yuri and Sunny creep silently back into the kitchen to leave through the back door.

When she was sure they were alone, Taeyeon turned her head and nuzzled her nose into Tiffany’s soft hair, breathing in deep and letting her breath out slow. She didn’t miss the way Tiffany shuddered, arms around her shoulders and fingers in her hair. She could definitely get used to this.

“How many are there?” Tiffany looked around at the roses before lifting a forkful of the red velvet cake to Taeyeon’s mouth. Taeyeon grinned and accepted, before taking the fork from Tiffany to do the same for her. They were sitting on the ground on a picnic blanket that Taeyeon had left behind the counter, taking turns feeding each other from a slice of the red velvet cake Yuri had helped her bake. The now setting sun was streaming in through the open drapes, basking the café in a warm wash of colour.

Taeyeon was so busy watching Tiffany closing her lips around the fork, eyes closed in quiet contentment as she enjoyed the delicious treat that she forgot Tiffany’s question.

“Tae?”
“Hmm?”
“How many roses are there?”
“Uh…” Taeyeon followed Tiffany’s eyes, glancing briefly around the room before returning her focus to Tiffany. She felt like the sunlight made Tiffany’s skin glow. Her hair was radiant and her eyes sparkled as she met Taeyeon’s gaze.

Taeyeon didn’t know that it was her causing Tiffany’s glow.

Tiffany giggled, poking Taeyeon on the cheek with her finger, “baby…”
Taeyeon blushed pink and grinned like a kid, “yeah?”

“I said, how many roses are there here?”
“Uhmm…to be honest I don’t really know. I lost count after a thousand.”
“So…what happens when you’ve seen me a thousand times?” Taeyeon knew what Tiffany was asking. She took her hand and brought it to her face, rubbing her cheek against it before pressing a lingering kiss to her palm.
“I’d make you a thousand more.”

At some point during the evening, Tiffany ended up sitting in Taeyeon’s lap, legs spread out behind her back. Taeyeon’s hands were on her back, rubbing slow circles. Tiffany’s were softly massaging the back of Taeyeon’s head.

They were talking about stuff. Topics. Things. It didn’t really matter. Taeyeon knew she wouldn’t remember any of it by the next day. All she would remember was staring up at Tiffany as they joked and laughed, shared heartfelt stories and wild adventures. They didn’t look away from each other the entire time.

“And there was this sale at Toys-R-Us, so we decided to go in and there was this HUGE sale on nerf guns! So-” Taeyeon was in the middle of her sentence when she suddenly noticed Tiffany wasn’t listening anymore. Her eyes were focussed intensely on Taeyeon’s lips, an unreadable expression on her face. Tiffany licked her lips. Taeyeon gulped.

Tiffany’s face was way closer to her than she’d remembered it being.

And she was getting closer.

Taeyeon held her breathe.

And then she panicked.

“Uh uh uh uh it’s getting kind of late isn’t it yeah it’s getting kind of late maybe we should head home because I don’t wanna keep you out super late right yeah let’s go.” She dropped her hands from Tiffany’s back and started to squirm around under Tiffany, trying to get up.

Tiffany held her gaze for a second before getting up off of Taeyeon. Her eyes were darker than Taeyeon had ever seen them. Tiffany stood stone still while Taeyeon grabbed the leftover cake and picnic blanket, putting them into a plastic bin and tucking it under her arm. She explained to no one in particular that she’d come back early tomorrow morning to clean up the flowers. When she was ready, Tiffany grabbed her hand and walked them out to the car. Taeyeon trailed, trying to figure out why she suddenly felt like a misbehaving puppy. She put the bin in the trunk before getting into the car, starting it up. As soon as she’d put her hand on the shift, Tiffany’s was on top, gripping it so hard she started to lose sensation.

“So uhhh…” Taeyeon turned to glance at Tiffany, trying to restart their conversation. Tiffany was staring hard back at her, with that same inexplicable expression. She didn’t respond. She just stared at Taeyeon. Taeyeon gulped.

No one said a word the entire ride back.

When they reached Tiffany’s apartment, Taeyeon jumped out and opened the door for Tiffany. Tiffany didn’t say anything, just took her hand and walked with her to the front doors. Taeyeon hesitated outside, but Tiffany just opened the door and half dragged Taeyeon in after her.

The security guard had changed back into his uniform, the carpet rolled up behind the counter for Taeyeon to collect later. The guard took one look at Tiffany’s face and chuckled knowingly, giving Taeyeon a wink and a thumbs up. Taeyeon had no idea why. Tiffany looked absolutely intimidating. She thought she saw the guard mouth have fun.

Taeyeon was so confused.

The elevator ride was completely silent. Taeyeon could feel Tiffany’s stare burning a hole in the side of her face. She was too afraid to turn her head and look. Her hands started to sweat again. On instinct she pulled her hand away from Tiffany’s to wipe it off. Well she tried.

“No.” Tiffany’s voice was low. And there was something else in it that Taeyeon couldn’t place.

She followed Tiffany out when the elevator dinged the 9th floor. They walked up to Tiffany’s apartment door, and now Taeyeon really didn’t know what to do.

“So uhm-” Tiffany was dangerously close, and when she finally found the courage to look up from her shoes, Tiffany was so close their noses were almost touching. She took a little step back. Tiffany took a big one forward.

They were practically breathing the same air now. Well, Tiffany was breathing her air. She could feel Tiffany’s breath hot against her lips. She couldn’t breathe at all.

Tiffany’s pupils were so blown that she couldn’t see any brown left in them.

The hand that wasn’t firmly grasping her own was pushing her gently but firmly against the wall opposite Tiffany’s door now.

Her back hit the wall.

And then her brain hit the ceiling.

Because Tiffany had smashed her lips against hers in a searing kiss. Time froze. Tiffany just pinned her to the wall with her body, pushing their lips together in a kiss that was so desperate Taeyeon didn’t know what to do.

So she grasped at Tiffany’s waist to pull her even closer.

Just like that, the world went from a complete standstill to a rapid tornado of movements.

Tiffany seemed to come back to life, gasping against Taeyeon’s lips before diving back in. Her hands tangled themselves in Taeyeon’s hair, pulling and pushing her away at the same time. Taeyeon felt her whine against her lips, rolling her body into Taeyeon’s. “Please-”

Taeyeon was hopeless to resist. She slid her tongue into Tiffany’s open and waiting mouth without further hesitation. Tiffany melted into her, sighing in unadultered bliss, as she met Taeyeon’s tongue with her own. They battled briefly before Tiffany pushed her way into Taeyeon, tracing her tongue slowly on the roof of Taeyeon’s mouth. Taeyeon felt her eyes roll back into her head. She felt like she was going to lose her mind. And she was pretty sure she didn’t mind.

And then from behind Tiffany, someone cleared their throat, “You kids having fun?”

Taeyeon gasped, her head coming down rapidly from the clouds. She jerked her head away and tried to tilt her head to the side to see around the curtain of Tiffany’s hair that was hanging around their faces. But Tiffany dug her fingers into the nape of Taeyeon’s neck and growled against her lips.

Growled.

Her completely black eyes bore into Taeyeon’s, breathe still heavy against her open mouth.

Finally after a long moment, she closed her eyes and pulled away enough for Taeyeon to see the girl standing in the open door of Tiffany’s apartment. Through her Tiffany-induced haze she managed to recognize her as the girl in the elevator from earlier.

“I hate you so much right now, Sooyoung.”

After a few choice unrepeatable threats, Tiffany’s roommate Sooyoung had retreated into the apartment hands over her head, promising that she wouldn’t eavesdrop.

Once they were alone, Tiffany was suddenly timid again. Taeyeon had to admit that she was pretty amused by the rapid transformation.

“I…I’m sorry. I don’t know what got into me.” Tiffany was looking down at their joined hands, swinging them slowly back and forth between them.

Taeyeon was just about to make a joke about how she was sure Tiffany would have devoured her whole if Sooyoung hadn’t come out to interrupt them, but when she saw how genuinely distressed Tiffany looked she thought better. “Hey…” She tucked a stray piece of hair behind Tiffany’s ear, drawing her face back up to meet hers.

“It…I sort of lost it didn’t I?”

Taeyeon smiled, “maybe a little,” Tiffany visibly shrank, shoulders slumping, “but hey…I already promised you a thousand more dates. So you’re stuck with me for a little while longer, whether you like or not,” she chuckled trying to lighten the mood.

Tiffany looked up timidly, “and after that?”

“A thousand more after that. And another thousand after that, if you’ll have them. I already told you, Tiff. I won’t let go until you make me.”

This time their kiss was chaste. Taeyeon pulled away after a moment, nuzzling her nose against Tiffany’s cheek. “Goodnight Tiff.”

“Goodnight Taetae.”

—————————————————————————————————————

Taeyeon got about three steps from Tiffany’s door before her phone buzzed. She pulled it out of her pocket, drawing in her lock code.

[I miss you baby.]

She stopped in her tracks, grinning down at her screen.

[You just closed the door, Tiff]
[ =( ]
[But I miss you…]
[Well I’m still outside…]

A split second later she heard the door creak open, and before she even had time to turn back around a pair of arms had snaked their way around her waist, hands flat on her stomach. She could feel Tiffany pulling her close, nuzzling into the back of her hair.

“I like the way you smell.”

Taeyeon chuckled, turning around in Tiffany’s arms. Coming from anyone else, Taeyeon would either have felt creeped out or embarrassed. Most likely both. But coming from Tiffany, Taeyeon felt like the statement should come with some sort of prize it felt so good. Then Tiffany leaned in and pressed her lips against hers, and she figured no prize could beat this one.

Tiffany seemed less rushed than she was earlier, less demanding. Taeyeon took her time mapping out the shape of Tiffany’s lips with her own. And when she pushed her tongue past them to explore the rest of Tiffany’s mouth, Tiffany let her take the lead. It was intoxicating.

The way that Tiffany smiled against her and obliged when Taeyeon pushed up onto the tips of her feet to push them closer together.

The way that Tiffany’s fingers dug into the back of Taeyeon’s jacket when she massaged Tiffany’s tongue softly.

The way that Tiffany mewled softly against her, so low and quiet that Taeyeon was pretty sure Tiffany wasn’t even conscious of it, when she ran her hand slowly up her side.

Tiffany was intoxicating.

When Taeyeon pulled away, Tiffany pouted against her lips and tried to pull her back in. Taeyeon wanted to. She wanted to so bad. But at some point she had to go home and if she hadn’t pulled away then, she wasn’t sure she’d ever be able to.

“I gotta go.” A quick peck.
“I know.” Another.
“And you have to go inside and go to bed. It’s late.” Again.
“I know.” One last lingering one, before Tiffany finally let her step away.

Taeyeon walked the three steps back to the door with Tiffany. Gave her one last goodnight kiss before watching the door close softly behind her.

She almost didn’t see the point of taking the elevator. She was pretty sure she could have just opened the hall window and floated down to her car.

“I dare you.”
“No.”
“She’s not even going to notice. I’ll pay you ten bucks.”
“…good point. But give me the ten first.”

Taeyeon had come floating into the apartment slightly after midnight.

Floating was quickly becoming a habit for Taeyeon.

She was lying immobile on her bed, staring up at her ceiling with a goofy grin plastered across her face. She could hear Sunny and Yuri whispering outside in the hall, but she couldn’t really make sense of what they were saying. Her brain was mush in her skull.

Bop.

Something hit the side of her head. She was going to turn her head to see what it was, but at that precise moment her phone buzzed. She’d been texting Tiffany the moment she’d gotten home.

[But Sunday’s so far away …]
[I know…but I promised Sunny that I’d go with her weeks ago =( I’m sorry…]

Tiffany was trying to convince her to come over the next morning. Originally, Tiffany was trying to get her to drive back to her apartment that night. But Taeyeon still had some self restraint.

Some.

“See…told you…”
“Wow…here, you try.”

Bop.

Taeyeon scratched her head, too engrossed by her phone to see what Yuri and Sunny were up to.

[Okay…I guess I don’t want your friends to hate me ^^ Sunday then?]
[I’ll be waiting =D]
[I gotta go to bed. Sweet dreams baby <3]

She was just about to respond when she saw Yuri looming over her. “Hey Yur-PFHHHH” Yuri had nerfed her square in the face.

“YURI WHAT WAS THAT FOR?”
“WHIPPED!”

Taeyeon scrambled to her feet, pillow held over her head, and chased a laughing Yuri from the room.

After she texted Tiffany goodnight of course.

“So when do we get to meet this elusive Tiffany?” They were sitting in a booth at the back of their favourite diner having lunch between classes. Yuri had her left arm slung around Jessica’s shoulders, right hand pointing her slice of pizza across the table at Taeyeon, “it’s been almost a month since your first date, are you really going to keep hiding her away from us?”

Sunny nodded in agreement beside Taeyeon, “yeah! You made us fold those stupid flowers for days! The least you could do is show us what she looks like!”

“Flowers?” Jessica took a sip from her drink, looking between the three.

“This kid here made us help her woo this girl, and now she won’t even let us meet her!” Yuri huffed in frustration, “I got so many paper cuts on my fingers that me and Jessica couldn’t even-”

SMACK. “YURI!”

Jessica turned back to Taeyeon, ignoring Yuri who was grimacing while rubbing her stomach. “Why won’t you introduce us, Taeng?”

Taeyeon shrugged, “I dunno…”

Jessica stared back at her blankly for a second, unblinking, before she shrugged and turned her head to give Yuri an apologetic kiss on the cheek.

Sunny wouldn’t relent though, “Come on Tae, just a picture! You must have pictures!”

Taeyeon did have pictures. In fact, Tiffany had taken to texting her pictures every day.

In the morning, with her hair spread out behind her on the pillow, eyes still half shut from sleep. [Good morning baby <3]

Just before she left her apartment, in the full length mirror in her hallway. [I know you like these shorts Taetae. Come have lunch with me today?]

When she got home at night, hair up in a messy bun. [Sweet dreams Taengoo <3]

But Taeyeon was definitely NOT going to show them any of those pictures.

“…maybe she’s just really ugly…” Jessica wondered out loud, taking a bite of Yuri’s pizza.

“What?! She’s gorgeous!”
“Prove it.”

She huffed in annoyance. Now she was stuck between defending Tiffany’s honour and keeping her all to herself. For a girl who spent most of her time not paying attention to their conversations, Jessica was shockingly good at getting what she wanted. “Fine. You can meet her.”

“Don’t look so upset, Taeng, I’ll try not to steal her away from you. Besides, no one can compare to Jessica’s perfect-”

SMACK. “YURI!”

—————————————————————————————————————

“I…are you sure you wanna do this? I can just text them and say something came up.” Her hand was already reaching out to shift the car back into gear.

“Taetae, it’s been almost a month. I think I can handle meeting your friends.” Tiffany chuckled, thumb stroking back and forth on the back of Taeyeon’s hand reassuringly. They were sitting in the parking lot of the diner, about to meet Sunny, Yuri, and Jessica for lunch. But Taeyeon was having second thoughts.

“It’s just…they’re…I don’t want you to be weirded out by them.” She shifted in her seat nervously, but Tiffany pulling her hand into her lap calmed her down. “You’re sure…?”

Tiffany sighed, her other hand reaching out to cup Taeyeon’s cheek. By now it was second nature for Taeyeon to turn her head and plant a soft kiss into her palm. “Yes baby, I’m sure. Trust me, it’s going to be fine.” Taeyeon wondered why she was the one so anxious when Tiffany was the one meeting her friends.

She took a deep breath, “okay. Let’s go.”

Once they were inside she spotted them at their usual booth at the back. Sunny saw them and stood up to wave them over. Yuri got up too, grinning as her eyes shifted from Taeyeon to Tiffany. Jessica didn’t seem to notice that they’d arrived until they were standing beside the table.

“Uhh, hi guys. This…is Tiffany. Tiffany, this is Sunny, Yuri, and Jessica.” A flurry of happy waves and bows. There was a pause of awkwardness, then Sunny ushered them into the booth across from them. They exchanged pleasantries, made polite conversation about the menu, and made their orders when the waitress came by. Well that was kind of anticlimactic. I guess it was kind of silly to be worried after all.

“So,” Yuri began casually, “tell us Tiffany, what exactly were you smoking when you agreed to go out with this lame wad dork?”

Taeyeon slammed her face into the table with almost half the force that Jessica slapped Yuri upside the head. I guess I spoke too soon.

“I’m just gonna go to the washroom. I’ll be right back.” Tiffany excused herself, and when Taeyeon turned back to the table, there were two huge grins staring back at her. Even Jessica seemed mildly impressed.

“Wow Taeng. I gotta say, I underestimated you. I mean, she doesn’t have Jessica’s fabulous-” SMACK. “-there was a ‘but’ coming!-” SMACK. “-sorry…”

“I think,” Sunny took over, looking over unsympathetically at Yuri rubbing the back of her head and apologizing to Jessica under her breath, “what Yuri is trying to say is we’re happy for you Tae. Tiffany seems like a great girl.”

Jessica nodded at Taeyeon, “yeah Taengoo, she’s really nice.” She turned and iced Yuri, “you have something to say to Taengoo, Kwon Yuri?”

Yuri pouted, eyes on the table, “sorry…Tiffany’s really great…” She glanced up at Jessica with her best puppy dog face.

Jessica giggled, “That’s better, seobang,” and rewarded her with a peck on the cheek, making Yuri grin from ear to ear.

Taeyeon snorted, “And you call me whipped.”

They were at Tiffany’s apartment alone. Sooyoung was out on a date with some guy she’d met at a bookstore. Or a coffee shop. Or in the alley behind a convenience store on a drug deal. Taeyeon couldn’t care less.

Because they were at Tiffany’s apartment. Sitting on her couch. Well, she was sitting on the couch. Tiffany was sitting on her.

Tiffany had called Taeyeon to suggest they stay in and watch a movie that night because she had a headache. When they’d sat down and pushed play, Tiffany had settled her head onto Taeyeon’s shoulder, curling her body comfortably around Taeyeon’s. The opening credits had barely started rolling when Taeyeon felt fingers walking slowly up her arm, then a hot voice by her ear, “Taetae…”

“Yeah…?”
“I lied about the headache.”

Taeyeon didn’t need to be told twice.

After more than a month of being with Tiffany, Taeyeon still wasn’t used to it. If someone had told her those first couple of Sundays that there was something better than seeing Tiffany in those sinful short shorts, she would have scoffed at them. But seeing Tiffany’s…assets in those shorts was nothing compared to feeling them cupped firmly in her palms. She grinned against Tiffany’s lips, enjoying the way Tiffany pushed herself down onto her hands. She pulled away, peppering kisses across her jaw and down to the top of Tiffany’s tank top.

Her voice was barely above a whisper, “Babbyyyy…”

Taeyeon smirked against Tiffany’s skin. She knew in the back of her head that Tiffany understood full well what effect that pet name had on her. She knew that Tiffany was just getting her to do what she wanted. She knew that Tiffany essentially had her wrapped around her finger with that one word. And Taeyeon would never admit it out loud, but she was totally okay with it.

She licked a hot stripe up the left side of Tiffany’s neck up behind her ear, listening to Tiffany’s feathery gasp. She lived for the sounds that Tiffany made. She pulled the lobe between her teeth lightly, flicking over it, feeling Tiffany shudder and lean even further into her. After a moment she trailed back down, kissing along the way until she got to the dip in Tiffany’s clavicle. Dug her teeth in, marking her territory. She really couldn’t help it; she needed everyone, even people she didn’t know, people she’d never meet to know it. She needed them to see that Tiffany was hers. Tiffany didn’t seem to mind. She whimpered into her ear, hips rolling insistently into her. Taeyeon grinned and bit down harder, sucking on the flesh to make it bruise. Tiffany arched her neck further into her mouth, fingernails digging into Taeyeon’s back and raking up her spine through the flimsy material of her shirt. Taeyeon gasped at the sudden pain and squeezed Tiffany hard through her shorts in surprise.

The groan that ripped from Tiffany’s throat was almost animalistic. Taeyeon froze against her.

Tiffany pulled away after a second, panting heavily, and stared at Taeyeon with a predatory expression. Taeyeon had seen it that night on their first date, but it had started happening more and more frequently as of late.

“We…Tiff…”
“I know.” Taeyeon was thrown off by how husky Tiffany’s voice was. She glanced down and saw the angry red mark she’d left on her, but quickly averted her eyes. Not safe. Look at something safe. She watched the ending credits roll on the tv, slid her hands back to Tiffany’s thighs, rubbing soothingly.
“We talked about this…”
“I know. I just…I know.”

It wouldn’t be the first time for either of them, but they’d agreed to try and take it slow. Not to rush things. They’d both agreed that they didn’t want their relationship to devolve into pure physical lust. Easier said than done.

Tiffany’s breath hitched, “can you…can you not do that…right now.” Taeyeon looked down and realized her hands were still on the sides of her thighs, rubbing up and down absentmindedly. She withdrew hastily, “oh, uh, sorry.”

It was quiet aside from their ragged breathing. When they’d both calmed down a little, Taeyeon kissed her goodnight and headed home.

She wasn’t sure how much more she could wait. And from the look in Tiffany’s eyes before she’d closed the door, she was pretty sure Tiffany had already passed her limit.

—————————————————————————————————————

Taeyeon made her want to tear her hair out in frustration. Taeyeon made her want to scream in impatience. Taeyeon made her want to rip off all her clothes and lock the goddamn door so she could stop freaking running away every time they were. Almost. Freaking. There.

Yeah. They’d agreed to take it slow. In fact she’d been the first one to bring it up. But now she was going out of her mind.

Around their third date, things had started getting heated, but instead of enjoying the moment Tiffany had suddenly been struck by a terrifying thought. What if Taeyeon’s just in this to get in my pants? I practically gave myself up on the first date…what if I’m just another notch on her bedpost?

It was so frightening, so horrible, so unbearable, that Tiffany had to pull away from Taeyeon’s lips. She watched her eyes flutter open, an instant pout forming. Her fear must have shown on her face though, because as soon as Taeyeon looked into her eyes, her pout turned into a worried frown.

“Tiff, are you okay? I…did I bite too hard?” She chewed her lip in worry, hand travelling back up from the underside of her thigh to rub comforting circles on her back. Tiffany’s heart melted at Taeyeon’s evident concern and she almost pulled Taeyeon back into her right then to push those nagging doubts out of her head. She wanted to so much.

But she needed to make sure that Taeyeon would stay. Stay after it happened. After they happened.

She took a deep breath, trying to ignore the distracting warmth of Taeyeon’s hand on her back. “Taetae, can I ask you something?”

Taeyeon blinked up at her, “of course. What’s up?”

“Where is this going?” She shifted on Taeyeon’s lap, fingers scratching lightly at the bottom of Taeyeon’s neck. She felt Taeyeon lean into the touch, the hand on her back pressing her until she was sitting flush against Taeyeon. She thought Taeyeon was going to try something, but then her left hand came up to join her right and pulled Tiffany into a tight hug. Somehow Taeyeon always knew the perfect thing to do.

She felt herself sink into the hug. She’d only met Taeyeon a couple months ago, and they’d barely been dating for 2 weeks. But she’d never felt so safe in someone’s arms before.

“This is going exactly where you want it to go, Tiff. If you want to keep dating, we can keep dating. If you want me to dress up as a dinosaur and give you piggybacks everywhere, we can do that too.” She couldn’t help but giggle when Taeyeon grinned up at her and bared her teeth, making a little roaring sound.

She almost forgot what she was going to ask, but then Taeyeon’s hands on her back wandered a little lower, and suddenly Tiffany was scared all over again.

“Wait, I…” what if I ask and she get’s pissed off? Or she says no? “I…I want to wait.”

Blinks. “Wait?”
She nodded, hesitant, “I mean like…take it slow…with…with us…”
“Huh? What do you…oh. OH.” Taeyeon’s eyes got huge, her face turning pink. Tiffany briefly contemplated the irony of how shy Taeyeon looked, considering her hands had somehow snuck under her t-shirt, now smoothing circles onto the bare skin of her lower back. Taeyeon seemed to realize it at the same moment too, because her eyes got even bigger and she hastily pulled her hands away. Tiffany missed the warmth instantly.

“Tiff,” Taeyeon’s hand came up to cup her cheek,” Of course. Whatever you want.”

Tiffany let out a breath, half relieved and half disappointed that Taeyeon agreed so easily. She tilted Taeyeon’s face up to hers and planted a soft kiss on her, speaking against her lips, “I just…don’t want us to just be…just be benefits.”

“We’ll wait as long as you want, Tiff.”

She knew why past Tiffany had done it. But present Tiffany? Present Tiffany hated past Tiffany’s guts with a passion.

Because apparently Taeyeon had taken her seriously. And now, every single time they almost rounded second base, Taeyeon would stop. She’d stop. Stop. And look up at her with those big eyes and say they’d agreed to wait. That they should take it slow. Take their time.

Taeyeon was perfect. She was amazing. Taeyeon made her feel safe. Treated her like a princess. It made her heart clench in her chest.

But right now it wasn’t her heart clenching that was a priority in Tiffany’s mind.

“We…Tiff…”
“I know.” It took superhuman effort not to yank Taeyeon’s hands back onto her butt and grind down as hard as she could. She loved it when Taeyeon put her hands there. Loved it. She’d seen the way Taeyeon had stared that first Sunday. Felt the stare on her like a heat seeking missile. And the next morning she’d skipped class to make a special visit to Lululemon, clearing out every single pair of yoga shorts in her size. And a few in a size smaller, just to make sure she kept Taeyeon on her toes.

She watched Taeyeon’s eyes drop down, her face turning red at the sight of the hickey she’d just made. She loved that too. Taeyeon marking her. She had to shake her head a little to clear her mind when Taeyeon spoke again.

“We talked about this…”
“I know. I just…I know.”

Tiffany shuddered when Taeyeon’s slipped higher on her thighs, “can you…can you not do that…right now.” She had to stop this now, before she lost control and dragged Taeyeon into her bedroom. It was still too soon.

She really wished it wasn’t still too soon.

“Oh, uh, sorry.” Taeyeon’s hands withdrew completely. And as much as Tiffany loved Taeyeon’s hands on her, she hated it twice as much when they weren’t.

After a while, Taeyeon kissed her goodnight and headed home. Tiffany barely resisted the urge to pull her back in when Taeyeon stepped outside her door.

As soon as she heard the elevator doors close from behind her shut door, she scrambled into her bedroom and locked her door before pulling the inconspicuous shoebox out from under her bed. Once she’d settled back onto the bed and dragged her hand down from the hickey Taeyeon had left on her to the top of her shorts, she realized just how embarrassingly desperate she’d gotten for Taeyeon. She gasped, head already pushing against her pillow. No one she’d ever been with had ever gotten her like this, and Taeyeon had barely even touched her.

It was a long night. And every single time she fell apart, the only thing on her mind was Taeyeon.

When she finally collapsed back onto the mattress, spent, and marginally less frustrated with her situation, she wondered how much longer she should wait. She wondered how much longer she could wait. She wasn’t sure she could wait any more at all.

“You just want to show us your newest boy toy.” Yuri leaned back, amused expression on her face.

Sunny didn’t even pretend to lie, “He’s so cute! And he’s the DJ, so we’re all on the guest list!”

Tiffany watched Taeyeon smirk across the table at Sunny, “what happened to the last guy? 6’3″ and big arms?”
“No no, that wasn’t the last guy. That was before the dark guy with the sleeve tattoos.”
“Was he the one with the motorcycle?”
“No, that was the guy with the red hair.”
“I thought the red hair guy was the one with the Ferrari?”
“No that was a different one. This one had a motorcycle and that bad moustache.”
“Oooooh right.” Yuri started mock counting on her fingers, “I think my top 5 moustached Sunny boy toys are the redhead, the foreign transfer student-”
Taeyeon cut in, “-the one from France? Or the one from Germany?”
“-oh good point. Oh and the Swiss one!”
“The spanish guy had good facial hair too!”
“Weren’t there two spanish guys?”
“There were three. Sunny got rid of one before you met him.”
“Ahhh…”

Sunny slammed her hands down on the table, “yahhh stop it! You guys are making me sound like such a-a-” Tiffany was worried that they were actually going to have a fight before she saw Jessica roll her eyes and grin to herself. She relaxed against the seat, grip loosening around Taeyeon’s hand in her lap.

She giggled when she saw Taeyeon tiltering head in mock innocence. “Oh gosh, Sunny! We’re so sorry!” Yuri nodded violently, a look of utter seriousness on her face. “But we just can’t contain our excitement! We just love all those guys! All…” They turned to each other from across the table.

“100?”
“Gosh no. Don’t underestimate our dear Sunny!”
“Oh right, my most sincere apologies, dear Sunny!”
“400?”
“500?”
“600?”

Yuri and Taeyeon scrunched their eyebrows at each other in concentration, before both their right hands flew up, snapping simultaneously, “784 of them…” a pause, “and the DJ!”

It clearly wasn’t the first time they’d done that bit. Tiffany laughed, applauding their routine. Taeyeon and Yuri both grinned and half bowed, ignoring Sunny who was rubbing her tongue against her cheek in mock anger, failing to suppress her own grin, “you two are lucky that I put up with you. No one else would think your ridiculousness was funny.”

“What!” Taeyeon laughed, wrapping her arm around Tiffany’s shoulders and pulling her in, “Tiffany appreciates me!” Taeyeon grinned and looked down at her, making Tiffany blush, wrapping her arms around Taeyeon’s waist instinctively. She nodded back in earnest, big grin on her face, playing into their act. “Oh gosh, Taetae, yes! You’re so funny!”

Taeyeon threw her head back and laughed big before she turned back to her. Tiffany couldn’t help but reach up and pull Taeyeon into a quick kiss. Taeyeon didn’t object. She peeked one eye open and saw Yuri gagging at them and Sunny trying to shield her eyes in mock horror. Taeyeon grinned against her lips and flipped them off with the hand that wasn’t around her shoulders.

“Taetae?” Tiffany turned left and right, eyes focused on herself in the mirror, trying to get all the angles of herself in the little black dress she was wearing. But when Taeyeon didn’t respond, she turned back to face the bed. Taeyeon was definitely focusing on her, but her eyes were much too low to make eye contact. Tiffany smirked, guess I should wear this more.

Tiffany was trying to decide what to wear to the club that night. After their mock fight, Sunny had finally convinced them to go to the party that her newest boyfriend was DJing at. And from the way Taeyeon’s eyes were glued to where her dress ended and she started, Tiffany knew that she’d chosen the right thing to wear.

She sauntered over to where Taeyeon was sitting on her bed, making sure to sway her hips along the way. She smirked, watching Taeyeon swallow, “I don’t know, Taetae, I think this might be too revealing…maybe I should wear something with more-”

“NO!”

Tiffany laughed at the look of sudden distress on Taeyeon’s face, “well tell me how I look then, baby.” She knew Taeyeon liked it when she called her that. She watched Taeyeon’s eyes glaze over a little. Enjoyed the way that Taeyeon tried to grab her by the back of her thighs to pull her on top of her. She shifted so she was straddling Taeyeon’s lap. This was definitely her favourite seat in the world.

“You look like my favourite ice cream, Tiff.”

Tiffany gasped at the feeling of the warm tongue flat against her. She silently thanked past-Tiffany for buying such a low cut dress. Maybe past-Tiffany wasn’t so bad after all.

“You look good enough to eat, babe.”

She felt Taeyeon’s tongue skim the top of her cleavage, and she knew she couldn’t handle it anymore. “Baby, baby wait.”

Taeyeon retreated obediently, looking up at her. “Am I going too fast? I’m sorry…it’s just…you look so…” she squeezed Tiffany’s cheeks through her dress. Her eyes were dark. Tiffany could tell that she wanted it. But she still stopped herself the second Tiffany asked her to. Tiffany smiled, finally sure that Taeyeon wanted her as much as she wanted Taeyeon. Tiffany leaned in to nuzzle her nose against Taeyeon’s.

“I don’t want to wait anymore. I can’t. I can’t wait anymore. I want you. I want-”

Taeyeon looked up at her with eyes so dark that she stopped in the middle of her sentence. And she definitely forgot what she was saying entirely when Taeyeon leaned up and slid her tongue into Tiffany’s mouth without preamble. She felt Taeyeon’s hand slide under the back of her dress, groping her possessively. She felt her eyes roll back in her head as she moaned into Taeyeon’s mouth, pushing herself back into Taeyeon’s hands.

And then someone banged on the door.

Tiffany had never heard Taeyeon swear that loud in her life.

—————————————————————————————————————

Tiffany made to dismount from her perch on Taeyeon’s lap, but Taeyeon pulled her back by her grip on Tiffany’s ass..ets. Tiffany had finally given her the green light, she was not about to give up so easily.

“NO!! They’ll go away, let’s just ignore them,” Taeyeon’s voice was muffled against the tight fabric of Tiffany’s dress as she nuzzled into her, “let’s just stay here…”, punctuating her argument with a squeeze. She grinned when she felt Tiffany push down into her touch, threading her hands back into hair and pushing her face deeper into the front of her dress by way of agreement.

I’m sure Sunny will forgive me if we don’t show up. And if she doesn’t…this is totally still worth getting yelled at.

But then the loud knocking came again.

“Baby…” Tiffany massaged the back of her head, trying to get Taeyeon to pull away from her chest.
“No.” She licked back up Tiffany’s neck, listening to Tiffany’s feathery sigh.
“Taetae…we have to go to Sunny’s party.”
“No.”
“Taetae…”

Taeyeon huffed and pulled away, watching as Tiffany’s eyes fluttered back open, “I thought you wanted this…”

Tiffany smiled at her, leaning down for a soft kiss while her fingers scratched lightly at the back of Taeyeon’s head, “I do baby, so much,” she leaned her forehead against Taeyeon’s, so they were sharing the same air. “But your friends invited us to a party, and I don’t want them to hate me because I’m stealing you away from them.” Taeyeon felt one of Tiffany’s hands trail down to her clavicle, rubbing soothingly. “We can wait a couple more hours, besides,” Tiffany’s fingers walked a little lower and Taeyeon felt her breath hitch against Tiffany’s lips, “…neither of us have class tomorrow morning. And I promise baby, when we get home, we can start back where we left off.”

Taeyeon could almost hear her brain sizzling at the prospect. Tiffany laughed and gave her another kiss before climbing off her.

“HEY ARE YOU GUYS READY YET?” Sooyoung was stomping around outside, anxious to get going. Sunny had extended the party invite to as well, explaining that she needed to congratulate the girl who’d interrupted Taeyeon’s first date and lived to tell the tale.

“WE’LL BE OUT IN A MINUTE.” Tiffany turned back to Taeyeon and winked, “So…” she checked herself out in the mirror, watching Taeyeon’s eyes rake down her body, “you like this dress?”

Taeyeon grinned, fully appreciating the view, “understatement of the year, Tiff.”

—————————————————————————————————————

The club was packed. They’d all hung out and danced together at first, but eventually they’d all split up. Taeyeon glanced around. Sunny was up in the DJ booth. Sooyoung was lost in the crowd, dancing with some friend she’d bumped in to. Yuri was DD-ing that night, so she was sitting at their table watching their stuff. Well, sitting with their stuff. Jessica had decided to thank Yuri for offering to stay sober, and was grinding against her lap as her hips swayed to the music. Taeyeon was pretty sure Yuri wouldn’t even blink if someone walked by and swiped all their stuff.

She felt a single finger turn her head back. Taeyeon was DD-ing too, so she was just leaning against the bar waiting with Tiffany for her drink. She turned back to Tiffany, letting her eyes trail down the exposed shoulders, the skin tight dress, down the long toned legs.

“You really like this dress, don’t you?” Tiffany turned away from the bar to face Taeyeon.

Taeyeon smirked at her, reaching out to pull Tiffany closer, “the dress is okay. I mostly like you in it though.” She’d given up trying to hide her staring. It happened too often around Tiffany to be embarrassed anymore. Besides, Tiffany had finally given her the go ahead. And in a couple of hours she’d have more than her eyes on Tiffany’s body. The thought alone made her smirk harder.

Tiffany had a smirk to rival her own, shifting so that she had Taeyeon trapped between her and the bar, leaning in to whisper against her ear, “you should see me out of it.”

The music changed and Tiffany turned so that her back was to Taeyeon. She started swaying her hips to the music, grinding her back against Taeyeon’s front. Taeyeon’s smirk widened impossibly larger, reaching her hands out to grip Tiffany’s hips and pull her even closer.

Then Taeyeon’s grin dropped off her face and her brain bubbled out of her ears.

Because the bass dropped.

And so did the top half of Tiffany’s body.

Tiffany bent right over in front of her.

And straightened back up super slow, winking at Taeyeon slyly over her shoulder as she took Taeyeon’s hands in her own, pulling them around her so she was flush against her as Tiffany moved to the bass.

Mine.

Now.

Mine.

As much as she wanted to stay in this spot and feel Tiffany dancing against her, it was nothing compared to how much she wanted to get the hell out of this club. She whipped Tiffany around to face her and pushed Tiffany’s waiting mouth. When she pulled away, Tiffany’s eyes were dark with excitement. Taeyeon doubted they could possibly be darker than her own.

“We are leaving. Now.”

She turned and dragged Tiffany back to their table. Jessica had gone off to get another drink, so Yuri was sitting alone.

“Hey you guys, what’s up?”

Taeyeon didn’t answer, grabbing their jackets and bags, before digging in her purse and pulling out a wad of bills. She threw them onto the table without counting them, “make sure Sooyoung gets home safe. Tell Sunny to go home with her boyfriend. You are spending the night at Jessica’s. I don’t want to see any of you in the apartment until tomorrow.”

She didn’t wait for Yuri’s response before she turned to pull Tiffany out the door towards her car.

—————————————————————————————————————

Tiffany had coaxed her into taking a shower when they got home. Taeyeon had been super excited until she realized Tiffany meant separate showers.

Taeyeon listened to the water sounds coming through the closed bathroom door. She had to admit that it was a good idea. When they’d gotten home they both smelled like alcohol and sweat. So she’d jumped into Yuri’s shower, letting Tiffany use hers, and now she was lying on her bed wrapped in a fluffy white robe waiting for Tiffany to come out.

She stared up at her ceiling, grinning to herself. She was so lost in her own thoughts that she didn’t hear the water switching off. So busy thinking about how lucky she was that she didn’t notice the door open soundlessly. Taeyeon was only drawn back to reality when she heard a sing song voice, “baby…”

“Hmm?” Taeyeon turned her head to face the open bathroom door. Tiffany was leaning against the door frame.

Taeyeon dully realized that she’d forgotten to give Tiffany a robe to change into before she got into the shower. She also realized that Tiffany hadn’t asked for one.

Because Tiffany was leaning against the door frame. No robe. No makeup. Damp hair. No clothes. No towel. Just Tiffany. In all her glory. Standing right in front of her.

Taeyeon had never seen anything half so perfect.

A quarter so perfect.

An eighth so perfect.

A sixteenth so perfect.

Her brain malfunctioned for so long that Tiffany got halfway across the room before Taeyeon realized she should probably close her mouth.

“…Tae?” Tiffany shifted shyly in front of Taeyeon, covering herself with her arms when Taeyeon didn’t respond. Taeyeon’s mind suddenly shifted back into gear as she stood up, unwrapping her arms softly, kissing the palms of her hands as she did.

“You’re perfect, Tiff.”
“I…I want to see you too.” Taeyeon smiled, letting Tiffany’s hands wander to the tie in her robe.

When they were on equal footing, Taeyeon reached up to kiss Tiffany. It started out soft. Unrushed. Familiar.

Taeyeon’s hands started wandering. First up, then a little lower. And then a little lower still. Tiffany’s breath hitched against Taeyeon’s lips as she whispered, “ba-baby. I need you. Please, now.”

“Okay.” As Tiffany took Taeyeon’s hand to guide her onto the bed, Taeyeon wondered what she had done in her past life to deserve this perfection.

—————————————————————————————————————

A couple hours later, and Tiffany was definitely not shy anymore. And there was definitely no whispering.

Taeyeon mentally congratulated herself for making sure they had the apartment to themselves. But then Tiffany fisted her fingers in her hair and Taeyeon bent her head back down, all other thoughts evaporating from her mind.

“Ha-haaaa-Ttt-taetaeeeeee.”

Screw ice cream. This was officially her favourite food in the world.

—————————————————————————————————————

Taeyeon watched Tiffany blearily blink her eyes open.

“Kim Taeyeon, wipe that arrogant grin off your face.”

Tiffany blushed when Taeyeon really did wipe her mouth, wiping the back of her hand off on the bedspread. Taeyeon leaned down to give her a kiss before tucking them both in under the covers. Taeyeon wrapped her arms around Tiffany as she snuggled into her, planting a lingering kiss between her shoulder blades before they both fell asleep.

—————————————————————————————————————

When Taeyeon woke up, sunlight was already flooding through the closed drapes of her room. She turned to check the clock.

11:30pm.

They’d practically slept through the entire morning.

She felt an arm wrap around her waist and turn her back. Tiffany nuzzled into her hair, breathing in deep, “good morning, baby.” Her voice was husky and low. Taeyeon grinned despite herself, “got a sore throat?”

Tiffany chuckled against her, “your fault.”

“Yup. Yup it is.” Taeyeon waited until Tiffany shifted so that her face was in view, “good morning, Fany.” A huge grin.

Tiffany giggled, “What’s with the sudden name change? You’ve never called me that before.”

The grin got bigger as Taeyeon reached down with her right hand and patted Tiffany on the behind, “ahh I always wanted to call you Fany, but it was too distracting. But now that this,” she gave it a light slap, earning her a surprised gasp and a pair of darkening eyes, “belongs to me, I figure it’s only appropriate to call you Fany.”

Tiffany smacked her on the arm in mock annoyance, “yahhh, byuntaeng! Is that all I am to you?” She watched Tiffany shift so that she was lying on top of her, elbows propping her up so she was leaning over her.

She grinned, letting her eyes drop a little lower, “nah. These are pretty nice too.”

“YAHH!”

Taeyeon laughed before pulling her down for a kiss.

“You,” she looked up into Tiffany’s smiling eyes, “are perfect. And not just…” she gave an explanatory squeeze, making Tiffany pinch her nose, “not just that…you,” and this time her hand trailed up to place a hand against Tiffany’s chest, “you. You are perfect. I don’t know what I ever did to deserve you.” She looked up at Tiffany, both their faces blocked out from the world by the waterfall of Tiffany’s hair. Tiffany bit her lip and nuzzled herself into the crook of Taeyeon’s neck.

“Funny, I was just thinking the same thing about you.”

—————————————————————————————————————

Taeyeon shivered slightly, feeling Tiffany’s breath tickle under her ear. Giggled a little when she felt Tiffany push her nose further into her hair and nuzzle in, breathing deep.

“Baby, you smell so good.” Tiffany planted a soft kiss there, one hand coming up to scratch at the other side of Taeyeon’s hair.

The older girl chuckled, stretching her arms out before wrapping them back around Tiffany’s waist. Tiffany really seemed to like to scratch her head. It kind of made Taeyeon feel like a puppy. She sighed happily when Tiffany’s hand scratched behind her ear. She felt Tiffany grin against her skin, “you like that, baby?”

Taeyeon may have whimpered a little bit in agreement.

Like a puppy.

Maybe.

She blushed bright red when she realized the sound had escaped her mouth. Crap. She tried to squirm out of her hold, but Tiffany wasn’t having any of it. She tightened her leg around Taeyeon and pressed her back onto the bed, snuggling closer and cooing into her ear, “mmmmm my Taetae likes this, don’t you?”

And Taeyeon couldn’t help but whine again in response. She figured it was worth the embarrassment though, because Tiffany laughed low into her ear and kept scratching.

They stayed like that for a while, until Taeyeon sighed and shifted a little under Tiffany, “I’m sorry Fany, but I gotta go have lunch with Yuri and Sunny.” It was a tradition they’d started their first year in university. Yuri called it de-briefing. Sunny called it juicy details time. Right now Taeyeon called it a huge inconvenience. But, Taeyeon thought as Tiffany roller off her, it was a tradition, and she did want to talk to them.

“Okay Taetae, go see your friends.” Tiffany pecked her on the lips before slipping out of bed and making her way to the bathroom. Taeyeon propped her head up to enjoy the view.

“Stop staring and get dressed.” Tiffany didn’t even have to turn around to know that Taeyeon’s eyes were glued to her body.

—————————————————————————————————————

Taeyeon dropped Tiffany off at her place before heading over to the diner to meet Yuri and Sunny.

When she slid into the bench across from them, Sunny cut to the chase right away, “so?”

Taeyeon shrugged, rubbing the back of her head and grinning lopsidedly, “so what?” She’d never felt this shy about sharing details before.

Yuri laughed, “Look at this kid. It must’ve been really amazing to make you look this idiotic.” Taeyeon narrowed her eyes at her from across the table, but it just made her laugh harder. “Oh come on, Taeng, we all know that look.”

The older girl relented. It was true; she couldn’t wipe the grin off her face. “She’s…she’s amazing guys.” She gave them a rundown of her night while they waited for their food, but left out most of the details. Tiffany wasn’t any other girl; she didn’t want to share all the intimate details of their first time together with anyone, even if it was her best friends.

Their orders arrived several minutes later with a waitress that Taeyeon didn’t recognize. They’d been frequenting this diner for years, so they knew most of the staff by name and vice versa. When the girl had left to go tend the other tables Taeyeon asked, “Who’s that? Never seen her before…”

Yuri wagged her finger at her and took a bite from her burger, “don’t change the subject, Taeng. Answer the question.”

Sunny nodded, “come on, Taengoo. I told you guys when it was that tall painter guy!”

Yuri grimaced, “I didn’t really need to be reminded about that. I couldn’t look at that guy for a week after,” she turned her attention back to Taeyeon, “but come on. You still need to tell us, it can’t have been that crazy. How many times?”

Taeyeon flushed. She was really hoping that they could gloss over this particular detail. But it was a staple of their ‘debrief’. “I…I can’t.”

Sunny noticed her hesitation and her eyes widened comically, “holy crap…that many?”

Taeyeon paused, her eyes glued to the table. A tiny nod. Even the thought of it made her grin.

Yuri shook her head, “no no no no, a nod is not enough. You are telling us. I had to sit through Sunny’s disturbingly detailed account of gorilla painter man. You have to tell us.”

“No…I actually can’t. I can’t tell you.”
“Kim Taengoo. We are your best friends. Tell us.”
“Yeah, come on Taeng!”
“No…I really can’t…”
“Why the hell not?”
“I…I lost count…after 10.”

Silence.

When Sunny and Yuri had suitably recovered from the shock, Sunny reached across the table to shake Taeyeon’s hand, “well congratulations miss, you have officially beaten the gorilla painter man’s record. Your trophy will be arriving in the mail shortly.”

Yuri muttered under her breath, “great. Now I can’t look Tiffany in the eyes ever again…”

—————————————————————————————————————

Jessica was throwing some party at her place. Taeyeon had come by to pick Tiffany up, and was now lounging on her bed waiting for Tiffany to change. Well, watching. Taeyeon was watching Tiffany change.

“Baby, can you help me with this?” Tiffany motioned to the stubborn zipper on the back of her dress. Taeyeon pushed herself up and walked to where Tiffany was in front of the mirror. She grinned, taking the zipper in her right hand and trailing kisses up Tiffany’s back as she zipped her up. Once she was done she wrapped both arms around her from behind, looking at them in the mirror. Tiffany met her eyes in the reflection, “we look good like this.”

Taeyeon shrugged, kissing the back of her shoulder, “ehhh…we could look better.”

The other girl chuckled, “and how could we look better, Taetae?” one hand reaching back to scratch at the roots of Taeyeon’s hair. Taeyeon smirked against her before nipping the exposed skin, hand sliding back to the zipper on Tiffany’s dress.

“We’d look a lot better if you weren’t in this.”

They were 2 hours late to the party.

—————————————————————————————————————

Taeyeon huffed, bouncing up and down on the spot in impatience.

She and Yuri were standing in front of a restaurant waiting for their table. Jessica and Tiffany had gone shopping together without them. When Yuri pouted and asked why, Jessica just smirked and tweaked her nose, “because every time I ask you how I look in something we end up making out in the dressing room.”

Yuri blushed. Taeyeon caught Tiffany’s eyes and blushed too.

So here they were, standing in line waiting to get seated. The place was apparently very popular, because there were lots of other people waiting too. Taeyeon checked the time on her phone, “Fany and Sica should be here soon.”

Yuri poked her lightly on the shoulder, “miss her already? Gosh Taeng, you’re so whipped.”

Taeyeon poked her back, “oh please, you’re twice as whipped as me. Sica’s got you on a leash.”

“What! If anyone’s whipped, it’s you. Don’t think I forgot that time that Tiffany made you-”

Their argument was interrupted by a voice from behind them.

“Taeyeon? Yuri?”

“Oh my god! I haven’t seen you in ages!” Yuri grinned and waved at someone behind Taeyeon. She turned her head to see who the familiar voice belonged to and her face lit up when she saw who it was.

“Holy crap, where have you been!”

The girl walked toward them, pulled them both into a tight hug, “I’ve missed you guys so much! How have you been?”

Taeyeon grinned. She’d left over a year ago to do a foreign exchange, but she hadn’t known that she’d come home.

Yuri slung her arm over the other girl’s shoulders, “wait’ll you hear about what’s happened to Taeyeon while you were gone! Some girl’s got our Taeng totally whipped!”

The girl giggled, “whipped like you, Yul?”

Yuri retracted her arm in mock horror and pushed the girl away jokingly, “We’ve only just reunited and I’m already sick of you!”

The girl playfully pouted and turned to Taeyeon, “you’re not sick of me are you?” Taeyeon grinned and opened her arms so the girl could snuggle into her, “I’d never get sick of you.”

Yuri stuck her tongue out at both of them, “traitor.”

Taeyeon laughed back, “Can I help it if I’m way more likeable than you?” She tightened her arms around the girl’s waist and rocked her back and forth, “it’s not my fault that girls like me way better than you, Yul.”

Yuri was about to rebut but her eyes were pulled away again from Taeyeon. She smirked, “oh you’re in for it this time, Taeng.”

That’s when Taeyeon heard a throat clear behind her. She half turned, still hugging the girl, and was met with a bored looked Jessica. And an absolutely livid Tiffany.

Huh?

—————————————————————————————————————

“Hi Fany! How was your-” One look from Tiffany made Taeyeon shut her mouth. Taeyeon wasn’t sure why, but she suddenly had the sinking feeling that she was in the dog house. The girl in her arms wiggled around so that she had one arm still around Taeyeon’s shoulders and one hand extended out towards Tiffany. All Taeyeon could do was watch the interaction.

Tiffany walked straight up to them, never breaking eye contact with the girl in Taeyeon’s arms. She stretched out her hand and smiled with icy courtesy. The other girl didn’t seem to notice, her grin widening, and accepted the handshake.

The girl cast an amused sideways glance at Taeyeon while shaking Tiffany’s hand jovially, “Hi! I’m Im Yoona, and you must be-”

Tiffany cut her off, “I’m Tiffany. Taeyeon’s girlfriend.” Her smile could have put ice on the sun it was so cold. If Yoona noticed, she didn’t give any sign.

Tiffany’s eyes finally landed on Taeyeon and snapped her out of her trance, arms immediately springing away from Yoona, “uhm…hi Fany! Yoona just came back from a foreign exchange and we bumped into her-” Tiffany ignored her, grabbing her hand to make their way into the restaurant as their number was called. Taeyeon trailed after her, wondering what had caused this sudden change in disposition.

They’d been so excited when they went shopping this morning…maybe Jessica got her mad? Maybe she lost her wallet…

“Tiffany?” Taeyeon’s voice was concerned. Tiffany wheeled around, burning daggers shooting from her eyes.
“What.”
Taeyeon wilted a little. “I…what’s wrong?”

Tiffany’s eyes narrowed, darting over Taeyeon’s shoulders to the other girls behind them. But when Taeyeon turned her head to follow her line of sight, Tiffany tugged hard on her hand, making her head snap back to Tiffany.

“Who is that, Taeyeon?”

Before she could answer, Tiffany half dragged her into the restaurant bathroom, locking the door behind them.

Blinks. “Who is who?”

Tiffany stepped closer, eyes narrowing, “that girl. That Yoona girl that was hugging you. Who is she?”

More blinks. Taeyeon’s hands were starting to sweat again. It hadn’t happened in a while, not since those first couple of dates. But Taeyeon was feeling more nervous around Tiffany now than she had in the past couple of months combined. She’d never seen Tiffany this angry before.

“That’s Yoona…we went to high school together.”
“And?”
And what? “And what?”

Tiffany furrowed her eyebrows in frustration, “you should know ‘and what’, Taeyeon.” Without waiting for a response, Tiffany stormed past her out of the bathroom door, leaving Taeyeon standing by herself in confusion.

Huh?

Taeyeon scratched her head, looking at her own befuddled expression in the bathroom mirrors. She was definitely sure she was in trouble now. She just wished she knew why.

—————————————————————————————————————

Yoona had gone off to rejoin her own table, so it was just the four of them when Taeyeon sat down. Tiffany barely said a word. When her food arrived she stabbed at it like it had affronted her in some unmentionable way. And every time Taeyeon tried to strike up a conversation with her, she was met only with stony responses.

“How’s that taste? It looks really good!”
“It’s fine.”
“Uhm…do you want more water? I can flag down the waiter!”
“I’m fine.”
“Oh…okay.”

The meal was awkward at best. Even Jessica looked mildly uncomfortable. Yuri kept trying to make subtle hand gestures at her, pointing between Tiffany and her and scrunching her eyebrows. Taeyeon stared back in confusion. About now she was really regretting not taking that sign language class with Yuri their freshman year.

—————————————————————————————————————

Taeyeon drove Tiffany home. The ride was silent aside from the low humming of Taeyeon’s car. When they arrived, Tiffany turned in her seat so that her entire body was facing Taeyeon.

“Taeyeon.”

Taeyeon turned. Tiffany still looked angry. Taeyeon still didn’t know why. “What’s wr-”

A loud huff of frustration. “You should know what’s wrong! Taeyeon!” It was so loud it made Taeyeon cringe. “Why was that girl hugging you like that?!”

Taeyeon blinked. “I…because she’s Yoona!” Her volume rose too, matching Tiffany’s. She wasn’t about to get yelled at when she didn’t do anything wrong.

“Oh, right, I’m sorry! She’s Yoona! She went to high school with you! She’s known you since forever! Of course she was hugging you like that!”

Taeyeon was tired. She didn’t know why Tiffany was angry at her. She’d been ignored all night and now her girlfriend was screaming at her. She let out a low sigh, and muttered under her breath, “what is wrong with you tonight?” eyes focussing on the steering wheel.

Silence. Tiffany didn’t respond. After a moment, Taeyeon turned her head to see why.

The sight made her forget all her tiredness. All her confusion. All her frustration.

Tiffany was staring back at her with watery eyes, lip quivering, trying to keep the tears from overflowing her eyes and running down her face.

Taeyeon panicked, flinging off her seatbelt and pulling Tiffany toward her to wrap her in a tight hug. Tiffany acquiesced, burying her face into Taeyeon’s hair and sucking in big shaky breaths.

Taeyeon didn’t care what they were arguing about anymore, she just couldn’t bear to see Tiffany like this. “Please please don’t cry. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. You were right, I’m so so sorry. Tiffany, please please don’t cry…” she cooed into Tiffany’s ear, rubbing Tiffany’s back to calm the shaky hiccups.

Oh God what did I do? Oh no…please…please please don’t cry. Please…please I’m so sorry. All thoughts but Tiffany fled her mind.

Eventually she heard Tiffany’s voice against her neck, smaller than she’d ever heard it before. “T-taetae. Please…please don’t leave me.”

It made Taeyeon freeze. “What?”

Tiffany pulled away enough so that she could look into Taeyeon’s face. Her eyes were desperate, “please don’t leave me Taeyeon. Don’t leave me for her.”

Oh. OH.

Normally Taeyeon would have found the entire situation hilarious. But she could see in Tiffany’s expression that she was serious. Seriously afraid. It made Taeyeon’s heart swell and break at the same time. She cupped Tiffany’s face with both hands so she couldn’t turn away. Placed a soft slow kiss on her lips to calm her down.

She pulled away so she could look Tiffany in the eyes, “Yoona is just a childhood friend. We hug because we always hug. Yoona is like a sister to me. You are my girlfriend Tiffany. I don’t hug her the way I hug you. You are my girlfriend.”

Tiffany sniffled. Taeyeon smiled and used her thumbs to brush away the tears.

“Don’t you remember my promise, Fany?” She leaned in to kiss her again, speaking against her lips, “I won’t ever let go, Tiffany. Not until you make me.”

—————————————————————————————————————

Taeyeon slept over at Tiffany’s place that night. Just slept. Tiffany’s back was pressed against Taeyeon’s front. Taeyeon’s hands were wrapped securely around Tiffany’s waist. Before they drifted off to sleep Taeyeon heard Tiffany’s voice, “tell me again, Taetae.” She snuggled back, closer into Taeyeon’s embrace.

Taeyeon smiled against her hair, kissing the back of her head, “I will never let go, Tiffany. Not until you make me. I will never let you go.”

Tiffany let out a satisfied sigh, pulling Taeyeon’s arms tighter around her, “I won’t ever make you, Taetae.”

—————————————————————————————————————

Taeyeon, Yuri, and Sunny met Yoona at the diner a couple days later.

“I can’t believe you guys still come here! I always thought I was the only one who liked this place!” Yoona grinned, eyes scanning around the restaurant as she pulled off her jacket.

“We all like this place. You just think we didn’t because you ate more than the three of us combined.” Yuri rubbed Yoona’s head playfully.

“Hey! It’s not my fault I have the metabolism of a small buffalo!” Yoona grinned, “So what happened to your girlfriend, Taeng? She seemed pretty pissed when she saw me. I mean, who can blame her though, I am GORGEOUS.” She flipped her hair and batted her eyelashes at Taeyeon.

Taeyeon laughed, pushing Yoona’s face away with the palm of her hand. When they’d finally calmed down, she shook her head, “she thought that you and I had a thing. I mean…how crazy is that? I would never leave her…” she dazed off, “It never even occurred to me that she could think I’d leave her. She’s…she’s so beautiful, and so good, and just…she’s just so perfect…”

Yoona turned to Yuri and Sunny across the table.

A pause.

And then all three of them reached over and smacked Taeyeon over the head, three voices in a chorus, “WHIPPED.”

—————————————————————————————————————

Taeyeon spotted the new waitress, the one she’d noticed from the other day, approach their table.

“Hi! What can I get you guys?” She pulled out a pad of paper and pen, waiting for their orders. Once they’d made them, she nodded politely, “I’ll be back with your food shortly!”

When she’d made her way back into the kitchen, Yoona leaned across the table, “Who’s that waitress? She’s new isn’t she? I would’ve noticed her if she was here before I left.”

Yuri chuckled, “you wouldn’t have noticed if one of the waitresses had two heads, Yoong. All you ever do when we’re here is stuff your face!”

Taeyeon shook her head, watching Yoona’s expression, “I know that face. You think she’s cute! Don’t you?”

Yoona blushed, “maybe…a little.”

“What happened to that boy you said you met on your exchange?” Sunny sipped her water, looking over the rim at Yoona’s pink face.

“Aww he was just a fling…besides, he was a vegetarian! How could I date a vegetarian! He always got grossed out by my meal when we went out to dinner. So,” she shrugged, “of course I had to break up with him.”

“Heaven forbid that anything comes between Yoona and her food!” Yuri exclaimed.

Yoona nodded seriously, “of course! I mean why would anyone in their right mind not like meat? It’s food! Food!!! Besides, I-” Their conversation was interrupted by the waitress returning with their food. She placed a big burger down in front of Yoona. Taeyeon tried to suppress a grin; Yoona’s eyes were glued to the waitress instead of the food. That’s got to be a first.

The waitress turned to leave but hesitated. Then she came back to the table and placed her hand on Yoona’s shoulder, “excuse me, miss?”

Yoona looked positively ecstatic that the girl was initiating a conversation. She turned and grinned up at her, “yes?”

“You really shouldn’t eat all of this red meat. Eating burgers like this will make you die.”

Total silence.

Yoona blinked up at the girl. The other three blinked at Yoona.

Then the three burst out in raucous laughter, gripping their sides in mirth, as Yoona’s mouth opened and closed, sputtering uselessly.

—————————————————————————————————————

Sunny and Taeyeon were relaxing in the quad between classes, discussing Sunny’s newest conquest.

Taeyeon shrugged, “I still don’t understand what’s so great about him.”

Sunny covered her heart in dramatic surprise, “what! But he’s so amazing!” She started counting off on her fingers, “he’s a talented musician, he’s tall, he’s got a good job, he’s handsome-”

Taeyeon’s phone buzzed. She pulled it out, shifting her focus away from Sunny’s public monologue.

[Are you free tonight?]
[Yup. You wanna go out?]

“Hey!” Sunny poked at her temple with a finger, “are you even listening to me?”

Taeyeon laughed, “Not really, no.”

Sunny huffed and pulled a clump of grass from the ground beside her, stuffing it straight into Taeyeon’s open mouth. She was off, laughing and running, before Taeyeon could finish spluttering the blades of grass out.

“Yahh! You little midget, get back here!” She ripped up her own fistful of ammunition and took off after her. The buzzing of her phone brought her to a halt.

[I’m going to make dinner for us, baby, come over tonight?]
[Okay. =)]

She didn’t notice Sunny sneaking back up to her until another fistful of grass was shoved down her shirt.

“WHY YOU LITTLE-”

—————————————————————————————————————

When Taeyeon let herself into Tiffany’s apartment, Tiffany was nowhere in sight. “Fany? I’m here!” Taeyeon scratched her head. Tiffany had texted her to come over, so Taeyeon couldn’t understand why Tiffany wasn’t there. She padded softly down the hall towards Tiffany’s room. Maybe she fell asleep. Tiffany’s door was slightly ajar. Taeyeon pushed it open softly, not wanting to wake Tiffany.

Her eyes landed on the bed. She was right, Tiffany was on it.

But she was wrong, because Tiffany was not asleep.

“Hi baby.” Tiffany’s lips were covered in a deep red lipstick. The rest of her body was covered in nothing. “Close the door, baby. And lock the door.”

Taeyeon did.

Tiffany stretched long on the bed, back arching and legs spreading slightly. Taeyeon was definitely not making eye contact. She licked her lips.

“Well, baby? What’re you waiting for?”

—————————————————————————————————————

Taeyeon made a mental note to buy Sooyoung the best noise cancelling headphones she could afford. Because Tiffany was usually a loud girl. When she laughed, it was loud. When she chatted, it was loud.

But it was nothing compared to this. Taeyeon could barely hear the headboard slamming against the wall over Tiffany’s voice. She twisted a little and pushed up, and Tiffany’s moans raised another octave.

Taeyeon smirked. Hearing Tiffany this loud? Was definitely worth buying Sooyoung $500 headphones.

—————————————————————————————————————

Tiffany panted, weakly trying to pull Taeyeon back up. “Haa-ha-ha…Taeyeon…I’m-hhhh-aaa-stop. I ca-can’t…”

Taeyeon ignored her. And after a moment, Tiffany’s leg tightened on her back and she stopped protesting.

—————————————————————————————————————

Taeyeon grinned down at her, watching Tiffany trying to refocus her eyes. She brushed the sweat drenched red hair off her face. Taeyeon waited patiently for Tiffany’s laboured pants to calm down, before leaning down to kiss her. Her kisses moved gradually down her jaw, then her neck. All the way back down past her bellybutton.

She spoke against Tiffany’s hip, biting lightly before moving back into position. “Again.”

Tiffany’s breath hitched. “No T-taee…oh…oh…OH-ohhh-haaa-okay.”

—————————————————————————————————————

When they woke up the next day, it was already late afternoon. Tiffany could barely walk. Taeyeon high fived herself.

—————————————————————————————————————

It had been months since their first date. And every time Tiffany smiled at her, Taeyeon still felt her heart flutter. Every time Tiffany touched her hand or hugged her, Taeyeon still felt her breath hitch. She wondered if she would ever get used to this feeling.

She still found herself googling angels once in a while. Just to make sure.

—————————————————————————————————————

It started out like any other Saturday morning. Taeyeon was sleeping over at Tiffany’s. They’d taken to spending Saturday mornings in bed together, talking and laughing, kissing and touching, just basking in each other’s embrace.

Taeyeon traced the line of Tiffany’s jaw with a finger, watching Tiffany shiver slightly and lean further into her. Let her roll over so that she was lying on top, forearms on either side of Taeyeon’s head. The early morning sun framed Tiffany’s face in a halo of light. Her skin glowed, and when she smiled down at Taeyeon, it made her lose her breath.

Their room was silent aside from the quiet rustle of sheets as their legs shifted under the covers. “Tiffany?” She pushed herself up to bridge the distance between Tiffany’s lips and hers.

Tiffany leant down to meet her in the middle. “Yes, baby?”

Taeyeon’s voice was barely a whisper, but it was steady and sure, “I love you.” As soon as the words left her lips, she knew in that moment she had never spoken anything more true.

Tiffany’s voice was just as quiet, but just as sure, “I love you too.”

In the early morning light, lying in Tiffany’s bed, wrapped in Tiffany’s embrace, Taeyeon knew she could never belong to anyone else.