checkinyourbra: (jessica05)
[personal profile] checkinyourbra
Title: Must Love Girls [Part Five]
Pairing(s): TaengSic
Rating/Genre: PG-13; Girl-Meets-Dog-And-Girl
Disclaimer: I don’t own Soshi. I don’t own anyone, in fact. All Fiction.
Chap. Summary: DRAMA. HA.
Author’s Notes: As always, I appreciate every single comment on here. I don’t want to get all sad panda, but idk how much more bandwidth I have for #datfanficlife, so interacting with y’all touches a special part of me. I’m still writing for now, though, (and I owe y'all pdfs) so don’t go alarmist on me just yet. <333

On a happier note, has anyone been keeping up with WDTFS?? Last chapter was pretty much all porn. Yay! #TeamBlackandBlonde #ByePink #DontFightMe


✽ ✽ ✽


Jessica drew in her top lip anxiously, standing in front of Taeyeon’s apartment door. First, she’d acquired her address based off the neighborhood’s name springing up in conversation. To finalize the rest, she “indifferently” poked for more information, trying to sus out her room number, gaining squat. The godsend known as an outside directory displayed 김태연 on the fifth floor. With an air of conviction and Lennon at her heels, Jessica sauntered into the building without buzzing for permission.

Taeyeon didn’t strike her as a surprise-me-on-a-Saturday-morning kind of woman. A heads-up phone call would’ve probably been a responsible option. Or a text.

However, Thursday had passed without the tiniest blip on her Taeyeon radar. No courtesy ‘work got in the way’ message graced her inbox. Which was quite rude.

Not only to her, but for her dog. Jessica Jung channeled the Grinch, affected by a jilted, lovesick Lens sitting wait from 6:30 to 8 o’clock. Her heart bloated three times its capacity. Lennon missed his fetch partner.

And frankly, so did Jessica. How could she forget Taeyeon’s sorrowful face on Seohyun’s date night, when those sappy eyes burned a permanent brand in her memories? Or the obvious tension between them? Their chemistry; the heat and timidity of Taeyeon saying, “I think you’re pretty, too”? She couldn’t have been hallucinating.

In the hand not strung to a leash, a bouquet of wildflowers softly rustled. Jessica had accepted scores of roses, candies, dating propositions, and the like in her heyday. Switching it up amused her, beneath the thundering nerves.

As Lennon whined fitfully, tangling in the tether as if he knew who should occupy the other side, Jessica knocked.

Twice.

“Ugh, what if she’s out?” Jessica huffed aloud. It’d be a colossal shock, too, since Taeyeon self-described as a homebody. Had she imprinted onto a new dog? Or worse—a new woman? “Over my dead body. These flowers cost a fortune.”

She fanned the fragrant bundle beneath her nose, daydreaming. Taeyeon’s home, in her active imagination, veered onto a safe palette, full of dark blues and greys. Nothing a little lavender and yellow couldn’t spruce up.

Seohyun, on their fateful night, expressed herself explicitly. Dressed for sin in a strapless cocktail dress that complemented enviously long legs and a neckline that’d out-elegant a swan’s. She wanted Jessica. Without the constant subtext, symbolism, and excavating required to crack the Da Vinci code that was Kim Taeyeon.

She and Seohyun ate, polished off a bottle of red, and skipped the formalities of coy foreplay. Jessica remembered straddling her gorgeous, willing date. Cupping her jaw, smearing their lipstick and gloss in tonsil-touching kisses. Feeling a steady rhythm build as they writhed on the couch, body primed to take the fingertips digging into her thigh...until she messed up.

Jessica broke the tight seal of their lips to ask, “What did you think of dinner?”

Understandably, Seohyun arched a skeptical brow and initiated another kiss, but Jessica pulled away, adding, “You know I made it myself. Did it...do anything?”

When her sexy date replied nothing remotely resembling, “I fell in love,” their coupling screeched to a frustrating stop.

Seohyun hadn’t done anything wrong. Though, wasn’t casual sex the opposite of her preferred endgame?

For some, love tended to be a seamless transition. Jessica assumed she’d have to work for it. And Taeyeon embodied work. Too much work. Maybe—

Lennon’s sharp whimper crashed Jessica’s pity party. The good kind of crash. His pink nose rose in pointed attention, as well as his oversized, comical ears. He sensed his girl.

“Is she in there, Lens?”

Invigorated, she gave two good bangs to the door, for the 708th time questioning why she chose to torture herself.

And all those doubts took a backseat as Taeyeon unlatched the door and squinted at her visitors. Lacking everyday makeup and business attire, the gronde woman might pass for a college student in her ratty sleeping shirt. The burgundy soffee shorts were a yummy touch. She was probably still toasty from the bed.

“Hot,” Jessica murmured under her breath, reddening.

“Lenny, my boy!” Taeyeon squealed, waking up for the dog, at least. “Long time, no see!”

“Accurate. Since you abandoned us.”

Behind a disarray of light fringe, the late-riser sighed. “Have you and Lenny been standing out here long? Last night was a long one. Set up a new account per manager’s orders...I got home past midnight.”

Aw. No wonder she’d been dead to the world. “I’ll assure you I didn’t miss any birthdays.”

“Still twenty-nine?”

This basic knowledge of her age curled around Jessica’s heart, echoing to her lips. “These are for you.”

At that, Taeyeon’s tranquil, rolled-out-of-bed demeanor dissolved into thin air. She stood to eye level with Jessica and robotically accepted the bushel of wildflowers. “Did you think I was ill?”

“No,” Jessica force-laughed. “Lens and I dropped by the market. And their flower selection is...” She did jazz hands. Cringe. “Not roses, but these especially spoke to me.”

“Telling you...?”

“Do you like them, Taeyeon?”

That question racked up a few seconds for the physical pain of embarrassment to ebb. Because Taeyeon, shifting from foot to bare foot, thoughtfully pressed the bouquet to her face. Beyond the nose. Cheeks, closed eyes, a tender smile buried into the colors Jessica intended to splash onto Taeyeon’s walls. Several deep breaths tapered into a contented reply: “Call me cliché, but hand-delivered flowers make my day. Thank you.”

She didn’t head for the hills. Progress. “May I come in?”

“Um,” Taeyeon gazed over her shoulder, expression shuttered to quiet worry. “I never expect guests, so...”

“If it’s messy, I don’t mind.”

“I have a lot of redecorating to do.”

“Lenny wants to learn more about you,” Jessica bribed, tugging Lennon to his stumpy feet. “I promise we won’t judge the clutter.”

“We’ll see.”

...

Taeyeon’s home turned out to be brighter than Jessica had envisioned. Sure, they were mixed amongst beige and aubergine elements—an accent wall, various throw pillows, etc. Non-matching items brought life into the space: a candy-striped lamp, highlighter yellow rugs, superhero prints of primaries, illustrated art books lining shelves and tables. Jessica teased her fingertips along a hardcover copy on Sarah Oppenheimer, suddenly hungry to join Kim Taeyeon’s orbit, to surround herself in this beautiful—yet somehow empty—atmosphere.

“Do you have a roommate?” Jessica smirked at Lennon helping himself to a basket of chew toys. Beside it lay a lavender dog bed and two empty dishes. “My beast is getting his slobber on their stuff.”

Taeyeon had disappeared in the kitchen to brew some tea. Her heightened voice relayed, “No. No roommate.”

Hm. Curious. “So, whose toys are these?”

“My uh, my late dog. Lennon’s welcome to them.”

“Is it some sort of shrine?” Jessica asked, poring over a shelf littered with photographs. Not many people—only a couple could-be friends or cousins.

And a dog.

A very specific dog. A Corgi-Australian Shepherd mix.

Jessica’s veins ran colder and colder during her count of eleven, twelve, thirteen...pictures and the likeness landed on one pooch: Lennon, who’d cuddled into the dog bed, gnawing at a stuffed zebra.

“Taeyeon?” she called more urgently.

Soon, Taeyeon crept into the room. Her eyes had hollowed considerably.

She’d been found out.

“What...” Jessica waved a wire framed photo of Duplicate Lennon in sunglasses and an inner tube. “in the fresh hell?”

Taeyeon parted her lips, then let them slip shut.

“Am I seeing things?” she beckoned, swapping for another photo.

“You are not.”

“Please explain.”

“His name is...um, was Diglett.”

Jessica finger combed her hair from her face, searching for some semblance of restitution. Like, fucking duh Taeyeon hung out with her for Lennon. But, this treaded beyond peculiar. And it hurt. It bruised. It humiliated. “That’s what everything was dependent on, huh? You couldn’t get over your dog—”

“Diglett.”

Diglett’s death. Is that correct?”

Taeyeon swallowed, wildflowers clutched in her tiny pale hand. “I guess.”

“You used me for my fucking pet?! Who does that?”

“Not exactly.”

Jessica stared down at Taeyeon’s sunny rug. She’d broken her vow of anti-drama singlehood for this. For somebody who quite literally couldn’t care less if she existed. Any damn person who owned Lennon would’ve culled Taeyeon’s attention, her smile, her moments. “You’re hands-down the oddest woman I’ve ever met.”

Tears slid down Taeyeon’s cheeks. Ten minutes prior, that trick would’ve worked on Jessica. Not now. “Why didn’t you save my time and say so?”

“I don’t know.”

“I’m only a liability, right? My absence means nothing to you. God, that’s so...” Jessica blinked back her own stupid tears, incensed. “Why won’t you open up to people, Taeyeon?”

“You’re not a liability.”

“Give me a break.” Jessica snatched her handbag from the sofa and rooted through its contents. To the floor flew the collapsible dish, pretzel treats, waste bags, and everything else she toted around town for the dog who freaking defeated her for Taeyeon’s affection. “You want to live your little zombie dog fantasy? Be my fucking guest.”

Taeyeon strode to her side, apparently terrified. “Jessica.”

“Lennon eats lunch at 3, so have him at my doorstep no later than that.”

“I can’t do that to you.”

Jesus, the tremor in her voice sounded almost real. Jessica skirted the eye contact, to swiftly deny those expressions access to the soft spot reserved only for Taeyeon.

Work was one thing. This? This crossed the line to bizarro land.

Taeyeon fucking liked Lennon more than her.

Shit.

“Jessica?”

She’d patted Lennon’s head, wishing him a good day with the newly-appointed dog sitter. “Mm?”

“Would you...like your flowers back?”

For that, Jessica matched Taeyeon’s stare.

How dare she.

No, it’d be better to voice, “How dare you.”

“I don’t deserve them,” Taeyeon intoned, thrusting the bunch closer. “I—”

“I know you don’t. Regardless, I’ll give you what you’ve wished for all along--a creature that can never call you out on your shit like I can.”

Wait until Krystal got an earful of this shit. She’d prided herself as staunchly ‘Team Seohyun’; Jessica should have listened.

The ‘tea date’, the movie, the handholding.

So foolish.

“3 p.m.,” she reminded Taeyeon a blur to exit. “Don’t even try to ride off into the sunset with him. Lennon’s chipped and I would fucking sue you because he’s mine.

Jessica stormed out, ditching the one person who’d made her work for love.


✽ ✽ ✽



A beatific Saturday, as one would presume, attracted a score of families and college students ringing in the best days of summer.

Dogs skipped at their owners’ sides. Grinning, panting, bringing the joy only a four-legged friend could bestow. And this no longer drenched Taeyeon’s face with tears. Surrounded by abject happiness (and these dogs) should’ve set Kim Taeyeon back a few weeks.

Rather, Taeyeon sat crossed-legged on a patch of grass, absorbing the peeks of sun spilling through thick, rococo clouds. Furious with herself.

“I goofed, Digs.”

Lennon (or Diglett, for their afternoon rendezvous) snorted sleepily in her lap, either from boredom or fatigue after two hours of runaround. His short limbs stuck out like the cutest stuffed critter. Which should’ve given Taeyeon a case of the giggles by now.

Or heedless squealing. Either one made sense.

Taeyeon emoted neither. She’d wronged Jessica—unintentionally, though that lessened the guilt marginally.

“Jessica brought me flowers. What was that all about?” She circled aimless fingers around the bumps of Diglett’s little toes. “She had a hot date last week.”

Wasn’t that enough for her?

Unless Jessica happened to be a low-key nymphomaniac.

Tempering intriguing thoughts, Taeyeon concluded the bouquet meant more than, ‘do me’. Not that it’d be an unpleasant proposal, per se...

“Would I open that can of worms?”

Diglett lazily blinked, the silver washed out as white in the sunlight.

Another twenty minutes breezed by. Companionable silence.

Just Taeyeon and Diglett.

At least this comfort stemmed from that fight. If she could even call it a fight. Jessica did most of the shouting while Taeyeon…simply waited it out. Then, when she relented, speaking what she hoped to be placating, Jessica tossed out all the dog walking essentials and stormed off.

Left alone with the dog and malaise hanging in the air.

Jessica and her ex shared similar themes.

“You were in the apartment, Digs. A woman named Seohyun visited. Witness any strange noises from their bedroom? Did they do a naked, noisy dance there on the living room floor?”

Diglett yawned.

Taeyeon echoed the yawn, popping a kink in her shoulder. “I hear ya. I could go for a cat—uh, puppy nap.”

In a matter of seconds, Diglett shot to his feet, pink nostrils flexed in rapid beats. Taeyeon partially grinned before he bolted. Legs pumping, ears pinned down, tricolors a blur towards one of many park exits.

Danger loomed outside their confines, beyond the joy of the safe park. Out there—Taeyeon snatched up the doggy bag and hightailed it—were cars, strangers, broken glass. But most importantly, cars.

“Digs! Digs, no!” Taeyeon screamed shamelessly, too haunted by deathly memories to give a fuck about alarmed passersby.

But, Diglett kept on running, dashing after a stranger’s rogue yellow ball.

Taeyeon blanched as the ball skipped, airborne from a jagged jut in the sidewalk, flying into the road. Diglett, well-trained, paused a moment, taking in the flow of traffic.

“Please god, don’t move,” she cried, winded from the run. “Diglett!”

Diglett inched a step. Another step. Into the traffic.

“DIGLETT.”

“Dig—stop!”

He glanced her way, disobeying. Going forward as the cars honored a yellow light, eager for the ball he may miss.

Just...something about that look.

That defiant silver stare.

Reminded Taeyeon.

“Lennon!”

And like a taut rubber band, the Corgi-Aussie snapped back into submission.

This allowed Taeyeon a minute to seize him by the withers, rushing the leash clip on with a strength that made Lennon yelp. Causing the woman to weep harder, gutted. She’d hurt him because of her own mistakes.

He wasn’t Diglett.

Taeyeon presently held the loop of a leash to Lennon, Jessica Jung’s dog.

These faux Diglett games endangered them both. They were the opposite of coping. A needy delusion of a lover spurned.

“Let’s get you to your mommy,” Taeyeon breathed, angling them in the proper direction. The resignation in her voice ate at her soul.

She’d been forced to move on.

...

Returning Lennon, per expected, weighed her mood to rock-bottom. Jessica cracked her front door open just wide enough to snatch the end of Lennon’s leash and allow him to squish inside. She’d commanded him so easily, too. Fluently, with a gentle wave and his nickname of ‘Lens’.

Staking her dominance—not over Lennon, really—but, over the situation. Over Taeyeon’s insecurities.

“Jessica, can we talk?”

“No.”

Taeyeon abated shameful, forming tears. If she’d experienced loneliness post-breakup and post-Diglett, then how come she found it impossible to let this go?

Jessica caught on. Lennon was a dead ringer for Diglett. Taeyeon had used both of them in a futile attempt to undo the past. Big whoop. Were they really friends anyway?

Not really.

So, why hell did this friction plague her, adhering to her hair, skin, and clothes like humidity?

“My bag, Taeyeon?”

The doggy bag’s heft abruptly tripled. Taeyeon secured a hand at its base. “Please. I’d like to explain myself.”

“Woof.”

Taeyeon double taked, confused.

“Woof woof,” Jessica drawled out in aching mockery. “Will you understand if I bark it out? Give me my woof fucking bag.”

She complied.

In a silk pajama top and kitty-print shorts, Jessica couldn’t have chosen a more ill-suited outfit for their standoff. Beneath the dread, Taeyeon found her adversary irresistible. Non-dog person Jessica would sport cat-themed sleepwear.

That and weary, bloodshot eyes.

Taeyeon shoved her hands into her back pockets. “Were you crying, Jessica?”

“Here.” Jessica panned behind the door for a moment, emerging with a few crisp bills between her index and middle fingers. “It’s necessary to pay for your services, no?”

“No!” she retorted, more emphatic than publicly decent. “I don’t want your money.”

“You can’t walk Lennon every week without compensation.”

Oh, fuck.

Taeyeon lifted dead fingers to her face, aghast. “I’m begging here. Don’t...”

‘Abandon me.’

‘Please, don’t desert me like the rest.’


Jessica shrugged. “Why must I put up with you and your creepy fixation on my dog, Taeyeon? You’re capable of entertaining him without me playing bouncer. I’m sick of third wheeling.”

“I’m sorry.” In those two words, what left of her resolve crumbled.

All along, she’d been courting the wrong resident of this apartment. This knowledge, once dormant, floated to her mind’s surface, rippling waves to a very distraught woman. She apologized again, met only with the cash falling between Taeyeon’s Keds.

“Will you walk my Lennon this upcoming Thursday?”

This role play had to stop.

Taeyeon planted her feet, unafraid of Jessica seeing her tears. She’d seen them from day one and didn’t judge. “One question.”

“Hurry up.”

“Um,” Taeyeon fought not to squander this chance. “Why didn’t you say you were gay before, when I came out to you?”

Jessica’s eyes watered. Two red fingernails pinched pink onto her arm as she answered, “I’ve never moved slowly—I hooked up. I had to ensure you’d be fully on board. Because you’re different.”

“Am I bad different?”

“That’s another question.”

“Do you want me to leave?”

In a stiff motion, Jessica nodded. “More than anything.”

Taeyeon nodded in kind. “See you Thursday.”

“Lennon looks forward to it. Don’t stand him up again.”

Jesus, if only the gronde dredged up enough moxie to combat the shutting door. If only she hadn’t wrapped herself in nostalgia, her memories. Without a doubt, she would’ve noticed Jessica’s attempts.

Hell, she did notice them.

She ignored.

Taeyeon crunched the money into her pocket and walked home.

...

On Monday, Taeyeon caved into her basic needs for legitimate sustenance. After some splendidly numb ten hours in the office, she browsed a crowded, bustling farmers market, wicker basket of healthy goodies nestled within her arms. She’d heard her coworkers rant fantastic about this place and she could see why; the handmade packaging, fresh produce, and spices whet her taste buds for stuff outside the bread food group.

Compliments of Jessica’s payment, Taeyeon procured tomatoes, basil, several cheeses, and fistfuls of herbs she hadn’t touched in her life. On her downtime at work, she’d scoured Pinterest for recipes—specifically any dish like Jessica’s date night dinner.

She sniffed a marble eggplant (not knowing what she was sniffing for) and pouted. Seohyun will probably monopolize Jessica’s free time. Taeyeon couldn’t compete with sharkish, assertive
businesswomen of her caliber.

Taeyeon would eat eggplant parmesan tonight, pretending Jessica prepared it. Like a lunatic.

After she paid, someone slipped into her private space, tentative smile flanked by deep, friendly lines.

“That sure isn’t Pepero.”

Taeyeon frowned for recognition until the plump old lady’s bird-shaped purse tipped her off—the cockatiel-mourner from PMA. She blushed, a little ticked to be recognized. “I’m trying unprocessed food for a change. More vitamins, I’ve read.”

“Good girl.” She hesitated. “You look well.”

“I don’t, but thank you.”

“How are you fairing? Still broken up about...what was his name? Digly?”

“Diglett. And, I’m better.”

“Fabulous. You’re missed at PMA.”

Yeah, sure.

Taeyeon chewed her lip, trying not to be as bitchy as she was at those meetings. “What’s your bird situation?”

“Well,” Her smile brightened into something authentic, dissolving a decade from her age. “My grands bought me two gorgeous lovebirds. They sing to each other and fill my home with music.”

“Sounds nice.”

“It is! Are you visiting kennels?”

“As a matter of fact, I stumbled upon a new dog. The perfect gentleman.” Gloom shadowed her smile as she recalled the trouble that followed her obsession with replacing history. “Unfortunately, he’s attached to someone else.”

On this cue to part ways, the old woman placed a hand on Taeyeon’s shoulder, delivering an encouraging squeeze. “Time will heal.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

Taeyeon gazed after her fellow mourner.

If a lonely, elderly bird owner found the strength to love again, why couldn’t she?

She skipped ahead to return the hopeful touch. When the woman spun around, startled, Taeyeon added, with as much conviction as she could express, “And that someone else I mentioned—I want her more.”





I feel like I don't praise Taeyeon’s talent enough. She’s incredible—from her Persona Concert to her sassy “can’t handle me” reply. Right after I received her ‘My Voice’ album, I shelled out more dough for the Deluxe version because I’m whipped.

So, yeah. She’s a treasure.
That claw thumbnail, tho. Be easy, Taeng. D:





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