Neko sat in a café, alone for the first time since her trip began. She hoped Eli and Val were making up, the same for Ama and Kevin; even if Kiseop and her didn't work out, she'd suck up the awkward as always and have fun hanging out with the group anyway. It usually ended up like that with other people, so she was used to it. But if it didnt work out...then what?
"Maam, someone requested this for you..."
A young woman slid a cup of coffee her way, the cream dancing at the top. It wasn't elaborately decorated like the one Kiseop gave her, but it smelled heavenly like warm caramel and vanilla. She wanted to thank the woman, but she had disappeared. Neko stared at the steaming coffee, letting the heat mist over her glasses wondering who the hell... No...nonono if this was how he was going to apologize than...
NO. NOT ACCEPTED.
Either in person, or not at all. She glared at the coffee but she forced herself to drink anyway, almost melting from how amazing the coffee flavor was...and how freakishly hot it was. She sat and just held the drink, her little finger brushing something flimsy stuck to the bottom of the cup. It flicked off and landed in front of her, leaving her looking down at a little piece of paper attached to the saucer. 'The hell?' Neko eyed the paper, thinking it was some stray receipt, but there was smudged black ink on it that read.
'Studio 88 Swing, 3:00'
with a little doodled cat on the side. Neko picked it up, guessing that from the vague direction it was from English-impaired Kiseop. 'How droll...but cute.' She said as she tucked it in her pocket for later.
"Um...Hello...? Anyone home?"
This particular room in the dance studio was dark, and freezing as if the heat had never been used. Neko tugged her jacket tighter around her, listening to her voice and her footsteps echo on the polished wood. She had made it to the middle of the room now, big as it was, and still no one answered. She checked her watch first, then the room number; both were correct. So WHY THE HELL WASN'T HE THERE!?
"This is ridiculous. I don't believe this. I taught you how to freaking count already so this shouldn't be a problem..." she murmured to herself as she turned away towards the door.
She froze, thinking she heard footsteps. 'Squeak squeak squeak' Neko turned just in time for music to blast at her from all sides and the light to suddenly come to life. From behind a huge door in the side of the room, out stepped Kiseop; he walked out in perfect rhythm, a fedora draped over his eyes to cast a mysterious shadow. Neko tried to hide in her squeal as he started to dance, gradually getting closer to her until he was dancing around her.
"I completely organized my phone contacts list
I don’t lie to you, like the Chinese character “mu”^
I changed the way I talk for you
I changed 180 degrees, who are you
If there is no trust or belief, then hatred will grow
Let’s not do this, let’s not become like that
I can’t breathe without you
I do believe believe
I believe in you, believe, believe
Please know my true heart, my true feelings
Believe that it’s not a lie..."
Once the song ended, Neko just stood rooted to the spot as Kiseop bowed to hisk knees in front of her. She swallowed hard, feeling the numbing heat of a blush all over her face. He could dance...DANCE!?
Kiseop was breathing heavily from exhaustion, his breath misting in the frozen air. But his eyes were perfectly full of energy as he picked himself up off the floor in front of her and looked her in the eyes.
"Neko...I love you. I don't love anyone else, only you. I don't want you to be je...jea-"
He smiled nervously, turning red. "Sorry, new word. Yes, jeal-ous." He took her hands in his; they were freezing, only making Neko want to hold them tighter in her gloved ones. "I'm sorry..." He placed his forehead to hers and closed his eyes. Neko turned bright red, but she let him lean there while listening to his heart thunder out of his chest.
Neko's response was to softly nuzzle under his chin, sighing happily.
Val immediately smelled something delicious as soon as she walked into Ama's apartment. She felt good having talked to Kiseop, and now she had worked up quite the appetite. Delicious aromas and the sound of pots and pans were coming from the kitchen. The very air was warm and fragrant. 'Mmmm...smells so good. But Ama usually doesn't cook...unless its for Kevin! Omo, if they made up already thats so cute~'
"Hey, Ama, can I have a tas-"
Val ran into the kitchenette and was greeted by an all too familiar backside. Eli was busy stirring gently, but when he heard Val's voice he turned around quickly, trying to shield the pot with his body.
"V-Val! Hi! I didnt expect you home so...so early! What are you doing here?"
"I think I should ask you the same thing. Who the hell let you in!?"
Eli shamefully looked down and held up a pair of house keys, obviously Ama's. Val walked up to him and snatched the keys from him.
"You STOLE her keys!? She's going to murder you, idiot!"
Eli laughed nervously. "I'm kidding! She let me in after I told her my...my plan."
Eli gave her a quick warm hug, still sheilding the pot from her view. "It's good to see you still care about me."
Val blushed, but she turned from silly putty to angry in a second and wriggled out of his arms. "Hmph! I-I just think Ama's mutilation is a bad way to go, that's all."
She sniffed the air, her stomach rumbling; Eli laughed, but was silenced after she have him a dirty look. "So, what are you cooking that's so secretive?" She leaned in for a closer look and was pushed. She did it again and again from different angles, Eli struggling to position his body just in her view.
"Let me see?"
"No, you can't!"
"Yes I can, I have right of passage! "
"Last time I checked this wasn't your apartme-OW!"
Eli drew his hand back from the stove quickly, now slightly red. He deftly turned the stove heat down to keep the rest of the pot from boiling over before looking at his hand.
"Shoot, that hurt. Owowow..."
Val's eyes went wild and all of her anxious feelings of anger melted away as Eli grimaced and hissed with pain. "Oh my God, Eli! I-I'm sorry! Here, come here..."
She tugged his wrist over to the sink and immediately ran ice cold water over the burn that was now beginning to blister and redden. Eli drew his hand back at first, but Val forced it under and held it there for a few minutes. Eli's face was beginning to redden as well. "Sheesh, Eli I'm really sorry. I shouldn't have..."
"It's not your fault, Val. I should have paid more attention."
He smiled at her, waiting for her to turn and see it. "Like I said, it's good to see you still care about me."
Val didn't look at him, softly whispering, "Who said I stopped?" Eli's eyes went wide, and he was about to say something when she sighed, mumbling, "At least, somebody has to in this relationship..."
Eli's eyes faded, saddened and hurt. But despite the pain he leaned in and kissed her forehead softly. Val froze, her hand now numb from the cold water but she didn't move. When he pulled away, it was like time had started moving again.
"Val...I really do love you. I really do care. Please give me another chance to prove to you that I do...forgive me?" He whispered into her hair.
Val looked up into his brown eyes and couldn't help but lean in and kiss him lightly on the lips while giving his hair a quick playful flick that made him smile.
"Depends...who is the dinner for?"
'Kevin, it is bitter and wet. Where the hell are you!?'
The wind whipped around the thick pieces of airborne ice and heavy wet snow that had begun to fall, but Ama waited under the lamplight just as she had been told. She should have told him to go to hell, because it may be warmer there, but she stood in the storm. She wasn't cold, but the air was heavy, thick and wet with a mixing of tiny hailstones, so it was pretty uncomfortable having to constantly tip the tiny ice chips out that were melting in your hat.
Ama heard the distant crunch of footsteps. It sounded like someone was running. The streets were so empty, the sound echoed everywhere so Ama couldn't tell where it was coming from. She glanced around but only saw the foggy air falling in the darkness.
"WHAT THE F*CK!?"
Ama spun around and almost chopped Kevin in the neck, but he leaned backward anticipating she would strike him.
"Kevin, you bastard! You're lucky I didn't have a knife or s-!" Ama was cut off as Kevin seized her lips with his, holding her shoulders still. His scent and warmth cut through and virtually melted the air, it was so pure and sweet like him. Ama fought the kiss at first, pissed off and still not happy about being frightened like that. But after a minute of his firm grasp holding her she didn't move, only held her hand up as she prepared to strike Kevin again; he didn't flinch, but she never let her hand go anyway, and eventually she let it fall to her side.
Kevin pulled away, and Ama could see how pink he was now in the lamplight. He was breathing hard, but swallowed and tried to control it. Ama didn't say anything, but he looked at her and started singing.
''I fell for you the moment I first saw you
You were so beautiful
I fell so deeply for you
I felt it for the first time
The thing called love, and my heart racing
I can’t help my heart feeling this way
I will go closer to you, just stay as you are
I will hold you tight so you can feel me more
Only one to protect you
Only one person to value you
The person who will love you is me..."
His voice shook slightly, and the twinkle of emotion in his eye showed he really meant it. Ama sighed and turned around to watch the snow, trying not to flip out over how cute, how adorable, how perfect he was and yet how she hated him yet loved him for it. 'Damn...damndamndamn!'
Ama grimaced, then relaxed as Kevin came behind her and put his arms around hers.
"A-Ama..I'm sorry. I don't know what...what I would do if I never saw your face or heard your laugh ever again. If you don't love me, please let me know..." he buried his face into her scarf and held her tight, sniffling either from the cold or from crying Ama was not about to find out.
He squeezed her tighter, murmuring. "I just realized...I don't need my stuffed animal as long as I have you..."
It was awkwardly silent before Ama muttered. "So, you're calling me squishy now?"
Kevin jumped, "NO! No no no! I just-"
He stopped when he saw Ama's playful smile soft in the light, before smiling himself. "Love you, Vinnie. The goofy, sweet, dorky side and all." His smile grew wider still and so did hers, and she let him hug around her shoulders as they both watched the snow fall. The storm was over before anyone had realized it, the wind gone and replaced with a romantic calm. The snow fell in fat silent flakes and glittered all around.