Long update. Will explain why at the end~
The next day at work, Geum Hee made herself scarce. Any excuse she could use to get away from Shin Woo and/or Him Chan, she took. She hadn’t slept a wink. Thoughts of Shin Woo -- her beloved Shin Bear -- falling in love with Him Chan -- the most narcissistic little moron on the planet -- filled her head. Scenarios of Shin Woo up and leaving her for Him Chan plagued her all throughout the night. She wasn’t sure what to feel. Should she be happy for her best (and really, only) friend? Should she be angry at him for not telling her? She honestly didn’t know.
“Everything alright, Geum Hee?” Ram asked, waving a hand in front of Geum Hee’s face.
She snapped to attention, flashing a brilliant smile towards her manager’s face. “I’m great, Ram-unni. Never better. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I see a window over there that needs to be cleaned!”
Ram pursed her lips and Geum Hee felt prickles on the back of her next as Ram watched her go. No matter what she felt, no one could know about Shin Woo’s crush. Absolutely no one. Grabbing a bottle of window cleaner and a rag, she set about the task with a fervor.
“Yo, Geum Hee!”
She squeaked, dropping the rag and the cleaner onto the floor. The bottle burst open, a puddle of blue erupting from its top. Him Chan knelt down next to her. She worried her lip between her teeth, fighting the urge to say something she’d regret. Instead of yelling at her, like she thought, he mopped up the cleaning solution on the floor, tossing the soaked rag into an empty coffee mug. He helped Geum Hee to her feet, dusting off her shoulders.
“Who are you and what have you done with Him Chan?” Geum Hee demanded.
The whole thing was suspicious. Him Chan would never voluntarily do work unless he wanted something -- like a pay advance or to impress any number of the girl customers that flocked there to stare at his face. As soon as he opened his mouth, she knew he’d likely ask her to fill in his shift or make her buy him lunch or--
“Do you want to go to the bonfire with me?”
Geum Hee stared. That was not what she’d been expecting at all. She opened her mouth to say something -- anything really -- but the only word that could come out of her mouth was, “Huh?”
Him Chan picked at some lint on the front of his shirt, refusing to meet her eyes. A light dusting of pink crossed his cheeks. “Simon-hyung’s hosting some bonfire thing tonight and, well, I can’t go unless I bring a girl. There’ll be beer and music and stuff,” he said it all as nonchalantly as possible.
“Why don’t you ask one of those girls that come in here everyday to stare at you? I’m sure they’d love to go with you?” Geum Hee asked scornfully.
She heard him scoff. “As if those girls are good enough to go to a bonfire with the fabulous Kim Him Chan!”
“So, I am?”
“Am I good enough to go with the fabulous Kim Him Chan?”
Him Chan forced out a loud bark of laughter. The pink on his cheeks only grew more prominent. “No, of course not! I mean, I’d rather go with you than someone I don’t know. It’d be better to just… Look, do you want to go with me or not?”
Geum Hee wasn’t sure what to say, much less think. He kept giving her all sorts of backhanded compliments and she wasn’t quite sure what to make of it. What was Him Chan planning? He must have something up his sleeve. There’s no way he would invite her just for the sake of inviting her, right? The thought sent shivers up her spine. Whether they were good shivers or bad shivers, she couldn’t say.
“Um, I don’t think so,” she finally said. “I don’t like you, Him Chan-ssi, and you don’t like me. We’d be at each other’s throats the whole night.”
A flash of something crossed Him Chan’s eyes, but it went by too fast for Geum Hee to tell what it was. Him Chan covered it up by laughing. His teeth bared in a smile too fierce to be genuine.
“That’s fine,” he said. “I figured you’d say no. I just wanted to exhaust all my options. It’s not like I’d really stoop so low as to actually take you with me.”
Her cheeks flushed. Of course. It was just another prank. She fought back the tears in her eyes, waiting until Him Chan walked away to let them fall.
Shin Woo watched silently from his place in the corner. He was good at that, being silent. He knew just enough to make himself invisible. People could walk right past him and never know he was there. It was a particularly useful skill for moments like these. He watched Geum Hee cry and his heart clenched. Ever since they were little, he’d hated seeing her cry. It felt like he was being punched in the gut, repeatedly, each time. Yet Geum Hee’s tears weren’t meant for him to see. Not this time. So he waited.
Instead, he turned his gaze to Him Chan, who’d stalked away. The rage surrounded him like a black cloud, turning into a tension so palpable you could almost taste it in the air. Shin Woo’s eyes narrowed. It was Him Chan who’d made her cry. Him Chan who’d caused Geum Hee to be upset. And it was Him Chan who’d be getting a gigantic dose of salt in his morning coffee tomorrow.
Him Chan approached Ram, the black cloud surrounding him merely suppressed by his fake cheer and too-loud laugh. He said something that made Ram turn a brilliant shade of red. She smiled and nodded, staring down at her feet like a little schoolgirl. Then Him Chan stalked away, brushing right past Shin Woo’s face. He was so close that Shin Woo could just reach out and throttle him.
“What are you staring at?” Him Chan snarled. The black cloud had returned.
Shin Woo merely smiled. “Nothing,” he said. “Nothing at all.”
Geum Hee stood in the bathroom, staring at her reflection in the mirror. She’d splashed water on her face to rid it of the tearstains and snot dribbles, but it didn’t do any good. She just looked like a sad, drowned cat. She grabbed some paper towels and dried her face as best she could. Perching her glasses back on her face, she wondered why it had to be Him Chan, of all people, to make her cry. She really shouldn’t care what he says or does. After all, it’s Him Chan -- king of biting sarcasm and the inability to remove his foot from his mouth. Somehow that didn’t make the hurt any less… well, hurtful.
Shaking her head, she stared long and hard at her reflection. “No, Geum Hee. You’re stronger than this. Don’t let him get to you.”
She nodded and left the bathroom, wiping the stray droplets on her face with the back of her sleeve. She wasn’t going to let Him Chan’s words hurt her. They were just words and words were easily forgettable.
“Everything alright?” Ram asked, brow furrowed in concern despite the light flush across her cheeks.
Geum Hee waved a hand. “It’s fine, unni. I just had something in my eye. An eyelash, I think. I managed to get it out.”
The excuse was flimsier than wet paper, but Ram let it slide nonetheless (which Geum Hee was immensely thankful for). Having to explain herself to Ram would probably end up in disaster. As she walked past, she noticed Him Chan sulking in the corner. Her heart seized in her chest. It was a bit difficult to ignore, but she managed. Instead, she had an idea. A brilliant, brilliant idea.
Shin Woo was crouched next to the counter, polishing the display cases filled with delicious pastries. Geum Hee tip-toed as quietly as she could, tickling the back of Shin Woo’s neck when she got close enough. He barely flinched.
“Oh, Geum Hee. Everything come out okay?” He said, not even bothering to turn around.
At first, she had no idea what he was talking about. Then it hit her.
“Ya! I had an eyelash stuck in my eye. An. Eye. Lash.”
Shin Woo just smiled. “Of course,” he replied. “That’s what I meant. What were YOU thinking?”
Geum Hee sputtered, aiming a hearty kick at Shin Woo’s backside. He lost his balance and fell on his bottom, staring up at her pitifully.
“That was mean, Geum Hee.” He pouted.
She rolled her eyes. “Never mind that,” she said, crouching down next to him. “I heard Simon-oppa’s having a bonfire.”
Shin Woo nodded. “Yeah. I heard him talking about it earlier.”
“Well, I was wondering if you’d want to go with me?”
A sly smile worked its way onto Shin Woo’s face. “Why, Geum Bear! I had no idea you felt that way about me!”
Geum Hee blushed and punched him in the arm. “No, you idiot. As friends. FRIENDS.”
Shin Woo laughed, rubbing his abused arm. “You may look like a girl, but you hit like freight train,” he said.
“So is that a yes?”
“Sure, why not. I’ve got nothing better to do.”
With a squeal of delight, Geum Hee pulled Shin Woo to his feet and squeezed his waist, actually managing to pick him up and twirl him around. “You’re the best oppa ever!” She cried, setting him gently back on his feet.
Him Chan watched the two of them with narrowed eyes. Somewhere in the pit of his stomach, a feeling grew and bubbled up into his throat, settling on the tip of his tongue. If he were any other person, he’d probably say it tasted an awful lot like jealousy. But he wasn’t any other person. He was Kim Him Chan and he brushed the feeling off as nothing more than nausea at seeing the Idiot Duo swing each other around.
He watched Geum Hee pull Shin Woo into another hug, which, this time, he reciprocated with the same amount of force Geum Hee had used earlier. He picked her up and twirled her around like she did him. Him Chan’s stomach lurched again.
Yup, definitely nausea.
Okay, so for the next couple of days, I'm going to try and update a lot. The reasons are two-fold.
1) School starts next week. It's very likely that I won't have time to update during the week.
2) This Saturday I'm moving into my dorm room, so it's likely that I won't be able to update THEN either.
I'm pretty bad at updating RPs, but I'd rather leave you guys with a bunch of RP updates than none at all.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed it!
I'll write the bonfire scene once I see how other people are going about theirs. (I'm not sure how I should write mine OTL)