Let Me Be Your Haven

November 18, 2013 in moonrise31, oneshots by moonrise31

Written for the Soshified Taeny thread’s 1727th page celebration. Check out the rest of the awesome fanfic entries here.

Socks.

Favorite shirt.

The paperback on her nightstand.

She didn’t notice Tiffany standing in the doorway, but that was her fault. The other girl watched silently as a pair of pants and a cap disappeared into the suitcase on the bed.

“What are you doing?”

Taeyeon almost stopped.

Almost.

“I’m done.” She threw in her hairbrush.

“Done?” Tiffany repeated.

Taeyeon nodded. “Done.” In went a pencil bag.

She grabbed the next item on her desk and then paused for a few seconds to stare. Her music sheets from class deserved that small space of contemplation. How many hours had she put into learning those notes?

How many months had she put into doing all of this?

Tiffany walked over and sat next to the suitcase.

“Why?”

Tiffany really wasn’t making it easy for Taeyeon. Taeyeon wasn’t sure how she felt about it. Or maybe she was sure and just didn’t want to be.

Taeyeon set the papers aside and ran a hand through her hair. The strands fell messily after passing through her fingers. “I’m not made for this, Fany. That’s all there is to it.”

“What do you mean?” Tiffany demanded. Taeyeon winced at her raised voice, but Tiffany didn’t care. If Taeyeon didn’t answer her, she’d only get louder. And she could do this all day.

Taeyeon lifted her arms and made a sweeping motion. She could only gesture because words weren’t sufficient; the same ones kept coming out. She felt stupid for only being able to repeat things.

“I’m not made for this.”

Her hands fell back to her sides, slapping glumly against her hips. She struggled to elaborate. “This idol thing. It just isn’t working out.”

“What do you mean?” Tiffany prodded again. Taeyeon started to wonder if they were all broken records. Repeating only what they could, because the rest was shattered.

“You’re at the top of the class, Taetae. You’re an amazing singer and everyone knows it. Literally. You’re the envy of most of the company.”

“That’s not the problem.” Taeyeon sighed. “Or at least, not the main one.”

“Oh,” Tiffany said quietly. Taeyeon could see the dots finally connecting. It made her more aware of the heaviness hanging above her own head.

Tiffany reached out and wrapped her hand around Taeyeon’s. “You don’t need to think like that.”

“It’s not whether I need to or not.” Taeyeon jerked her arm upward angrily, but she was still holding onto Tiffany. For all the things pushing her away, Tiffany was doing an incredibly good job of pulling back.

But she plowed forward. “I can’t pretend anymore, Fany. I know I won’t make it solo no matter how good everyone thinks I am. I don’t think I can even be in a group. It’s all too much. So in the end, I’ll just get lost without making it anywhere.

“I’ll be a failure.” It came out as a hiss on her last angry breath. She inhaled through her nose and glared at the girl who stayed in her way. Her mind buzzed. Her anger rose.

Then Tiffany’s heavy sad stare brought the weight crashing down on her shoulders.

Taeyeon slumped onto the bed. “I can’t do it, Fany,” she whispered.

“Taeyeon.”

She looked up.

Tiffany’s grip on her hand tightened. “Taetae, you’re going to make it. You’re going to.” The words were forceful. As if Tiffany could just take the world and bend it to her will.

“And I’ll be here for you every step of the way.”

Taeyeon let out a long breath, counting the seconds.

One.

Two.

Three.

Then she put her other hand on top of Tiffany’s. “Fany, you’re my saving grace, I swear.” Tiffany started to smile and Taeyeon rushed to continue. “But sometimes only one is not enough, you know?”

The corners of Tiffany’s mouth dropped.

“I can’t lean on just you,” Taeyeon reasoned. “That’s not fair. One guardian angel can’t be enough.”

“Of course I am!”

Taeyeon blinked.

Tiffany ground out her words from behind unmoving lips and clenched teeth. “I’ll be enough. I am enough. You have to stay, Taeyeon. You can do this.”

Every syllable made Taeyeon’s shoulders sag even more. She thought of what was piling up.

Dreams, expectations, the final push for the top.

Disappointment, pity, the pressure driving her into the ground.

“I can’t.”

She patted Tiffany’s hand as she stood. Then she walked around the foot of the bed and closed the suitcase. Her last glance over one shoulder was filled with Tiffany’s tears.

Her palm tingled where her one saving grace had slipped away.

I’m done.

“So the leader’s back, huh?”

Taeyeon snorted and gave Tiffany a half-hearted shove. “Shut up, Fany.”

Tiffany only smiled. “Seriously. I’m glad.” She took a deep breath and tried to continue.

But articulating exactly what she’d felt at the prospect of Taeyeon leaving a second time was too much. “Shock” might explain part of it. “Panic” was another. And there was an overwhelming amount of “fear”. “Abandoned” even briefly crossed her mind, although she decided that it might be a bit too extreme to voice out loud.

Not that she could speak any of it. All the words she had hoped would just fall into place once she opened her mouth came out as a single shapeless exhale instead.

Taeyeon chuckled and opened her arms.

Tiffany walked right in.

“I thought of back then,” she finally murmured into Taeyeon’s shoulder. “What did Sooyoung say just now that I didn’t?”

Taeyeon laughed and rubbed the other girl’s back. “Then and now aren’t the same. You know that.”

Tiffany nodded.

A lot had happened since their trainee years. Gone were the late nights after practice when she and Taeyeon had climbed onto the rooftop to trace out the constellations. But staring out into a sea of pink lights as she held hands with her eight new sisters was another breathtaking experience altogether.

“You’ve got more than one guardian angel now,” Tiffany said.

“Having one ended up with me running halfway across the city,” Taeyeon reminded her. “Eight probably would’ve gotten me at least halfway around the world.”

Tiffany slapped her arm.

“Sorry.”

“Better be,” Tiffany muttered.

Sorry was what Taeyeon had said when she returned at around 5 AM the next morning after that first time.

You’re an absolute idiot, Tiffany had hissed before snatching the bag from Taeyeon’s white-knuckled hands. Then she’d marched back to their room to unpack the entire damn thing while Taeyeon had hovered nervously in the doorway.

“Thank you.” But today, Taeyeon held her close and combed through her hair with comforting fingers. “I can’t believe you still put up with me.”

“You really don’t make it easy,” Tiffany grumbled.

“Thank you so much,” Taeyeon amended. She suppressed the laugh that threatened to burst through.

Thank you, Taeyeon had said when she’d woken up with a start later that afternoon and realized that she had slept through all of their morning classes. Tiffany had skipped too.

There’s no way you’re leaving my sight, she’d said fiercely before shoving a box of crackers in Taeyeon’s face.

Taeyeon still thought of it as the most delicious breakfast she’d ever eaten.

Now, Taeyeon absentmindedly wondered if they had some crackers left in the kitchen. Then she remembered that she was hugging Tiffany and there was still a little more talking to be done.

“I guess I just think a lot sometimes.”

“Sometimes?” Tiffany deadpanned.

“All the time.” Taeyeon corrected. “I tell myself that I can escape the burden if I run far enough.” She patted Tiffany’s head. “But every time I start to forget, I remember how much heavier I felt leaving you that day.

“And how much lighter it was coming back.”

Really, it hadn’t taken much on Sooyoung’s part to convince her to stay the leader of this group they were in now. Tiffany had made sure of that, all those years ago.

Besides, if Tiffany was going through with this whole idol thing, the least she could do for her first guardian angel was stick around and try to reciprocate. Even if it was just a little bit.

“You’re welcome,” her saving grace said.

Taeyeon laughed and tightened her arms around Tiffany’s waist.  “Thank you.”

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