joohyun has thoughts. everybody does, but she likes to keep it to herself. where those people who blurts everything they think about, joohyun has learned to bite her tongue and think twice about it, even when she tastes the blood.
now it's just second nature to her. it's not needed to hold back anymore. in fact, people are urging her to talk, to let everything out. but old habits die hard, and joohyun is a not a person that can easily change.
since there's no person to spill, she goes to a place. sometimes she goes to a private bar, or a karaoke. this time, she wanted to go a little closer and more familiar: the rooftop of SM. too many nights have been spent during her trainee days just looking at the stars, searching for the stars and possibly the date of her debut.
that was in the past. joohyun has long debuted and opted for the stage name irene. now all she's looking for is the stars.
"is the view nice?" a voice startles her, and joohyun's heart almost jumped out of her chest. her frightened yell got a small chuckle in response as the person seated a respectable distance away, but still next to her.
in the darkness, joohyun's eyes adjusted to the new person, and she bowed without another thought.
"taeyeon sunbaenim," joohyun says, but another chuckle erupts from taeyeon. the air around her is easy and light, something vastly different from joohyun's vibes.
"how many times do i have to tell you it's unnie?" taeyeon laughs, her grin spreading on her face. "red velvet is my favorite hoobae after all."
joohyun's face is warm from the compliment, so she bows once again and looks at the sky, like what she was originally doing. this time, her hands are on her lap and she's sitting cross legged. taeyeon is sitting relaxed with her hands supporting her from the back and her legds spread.
the honks of cars are the only sounds between them. then, taeyeon talks.
"for some reason," she starts, her voice even and clear, "i expected you here. out of all the members, i somehow knew i would find you here."
joohyun's quiet hum is all what was needed for taeyeon to continue.
"you're a leader," she explains, words that sound vague but joohyun seems to understand it perfectly. "everyone in your group looks up to you. you can't make a mistake or it can cost something for you and everyone else. you can't tell them your needs, so you find a place to dump."
"the rooftop is my place to dump," joohyun says, her words empty at the realization. she can't see any stars that are shining.
"but you see," taeyeon talks, "the rooftop doesn't talk. but you know who does? me." she points to herself, "give me your best shot. i'm all ears."
joohyun's eyebrows raise. her first response is to shake her head, open her mouth and say it's not needed. it's not needed that her senior, who is probably way more busy than she'll ever be, will need to hear her problems when taeyeon can be dealing with more stuff.
but she thinks again. and then she makes her decision.
"i love her," joohyun says, a slow drawl on her words. "seungwan," she can't stop her smile when she talks about her. "i love her, and she loves me back."
"so what's the problem?" taeyeon asks.
her smile fades. she closes her eyes to stop seeing the stars that won't shine.
"we got into an argument," joohyun manages to say above a whisper. "she- she wanted to tell the other members. about us. and i-"
"didn't want to," taeyeon finishes. joohyun opens her eyes to see taeyeon looking at her with a gaze that's unreadable. there's an endless amount of wiseness in her eyes that makes it hard to look at her.
joohyun nods. "i'm scared," she confesses. "i don't want it to make the others feel awkward or- or anything," she stutters, her eyes stinging at the thought of her members looking at her with bewilderment. look at seungwan with bewilderment.
"there's sacrifice in every relationship," taeyeon says, scooting closer to joohyun. "i'm not saying you're going to be the one in pain, or seungwan will be, but in time, both of you will come to know the experience of doing something for the sake of someone else," she pauses, "even if it means the both of you will get hurt."
taeyeon shuts her eyes. "actions are important, but so is communication," she utters. "talk. all of your worries, all of your struggles, all of your happiness; share it. it could lead to great actions."
or bad actions, taeyeon thinks to herself. she tries not to think about it, but the situation is just screaming her. a leader and a main vocalist are in love. they're in the middle of an argument, and one is staring at the stars looking for the answer.
taeyeon used to be all three. she used to be in love, she used to be in the middle of an argument, and she used to look at the stars. she still doesn't know why she came out to the rooftop after so many years, but it called to her.
joohyun called to her. to not make another person make the same mistake.
"if you love her," taeyeon says, looking into joohyun's eyes for something. "this won't tear you apart. after years of knowing one another, this shouldn't tear both of you apart. not talking to one another, that will tear you apart."
"so what your saying is i should talk to her?" she asks timidly. it looks like joohyun isn't a fan of the idea.
taeyeon nods. "that's exactly what i'm saying."
joohyun uncrosses her legs to bring them up to her chin. she hugs her legs, to bring them closer. to feel warmth. it's not the same as seungwan's warmth, and it will never be.
"how are you still going? without her?" she finds herself asking before she could stop. joohyun is tired of tasting blood.
"the internet is a thing," she laughs, but there's no humor. it's the first time taeyeon is talking about her. this is not how she imagined exposing herself. "i see her sister from time to time. they're not the same, obviously, and it will never be the same as seeing her with my own eyes, but i'll have to be content. she's doing better without me."
it's the truth. her business is flourishing in countries that taeyeon can only dream of. her solo work is supported by strong fans, and she's doing well despite no promotion on any major shows. it's probably the best thing to ever happen to her.
"how do you know? that she's doing better if you don't talk to her?"
taeyeon stops. that hits her.
"i-" she hesitates. "i don't," taeyeon says, and she lightly punches joohyun's shoulder. "i'm the one supposed to console you, but you're the one making me realize things."
joohyun smiles, for the first time that night. "i'm sure i'm not the first one to say that, unnie."
quiet memories arise and joohyun is right. her members have talked about her without even mentioning her name. joohyun may not be the first person to say it, but she is the first person to make taeyeon realize.
there's a buzzing sound, and joohyun reaches beside her to get her phone. her eyes open slightly, and she shows the screen to taeyeon. the name reads MY EVERYTHING and it doesn't take another second for taeyeon to understand.
this is when she gets up. she wipes nonexistent dust from her body, and bows.
"my work here is done," she pats joohyun's shoulder, who looks like a lost puppy. "make things right with seungwan. i'm rooting for both of you. remember to talk," she reminds, narrowing her eyes. "especially you, joohyun. i know you have things in your head you don't share. i would know. i was and still is in your place."
joohyun smiles weakly. once taeyeon walks away, her shaky finger finally swipes right.
"i love you," is the first thing that she hears when she puts it against her ear. "i love you and i'm sorry. i should have never urged you to share our relationship to the members if you weren't ready or comfortable. that was extremely selfish of me, and i appreciate you so much. you make my world go round and i don't want us to break up over something so petty like this. i promise i'll be a better girlfriend and bake more cookies and give you more kisses, and-"
"breathe, seungwan," joohyun ushers, scared that she isn't receiving enough air. "relax. i love you, too. never, ever forget that."
seungwan is panting on the other side, catching her breath.
"and after some thinking," joohyun mentions, toying with her lip before leaving it alone. she's done holding back. "i want to tell the other members. i love you, and i shouldn't hide that. we love each other. and if they don't like us," she hopes that won't happen, "then i'll just have to beat them up. who do they think they are, anyway? just because they have tall sooyoung doesn't mean i can't fight. i can step on their toes."
seungwan sounds like she's dying of laughter. the sound is music to her ears, and her cheeks turn red about how happy she made seungwan feel.
"i'll step on their toes, too," seungwan promises. "we can be holding hands and take them down. i can see it happening," she slyly adds, "i can see us happening."
joohyun cringes, but smiles anyway. it hasn't even been five minutes but seungwan is already pulling her work on her.
"pick me up. it's cold here," joohyun commands, rubbing her arms. she can't wait to be warm with her.
seungwan hums. "where are you, anyway?"
"on top of the roof."
"thinking about me?"
"i will hang up," joohyun threatens.
"i love you," seungwan breathes. "to the stars and back."
"i love you, too," joohyun says, and she doesn't mind if she says it a thousand times. "to the stars and back."
joohyun looks at the sky. her eyes are focused and now they are suddenly shining. she thinks she found the answer. she waits with the stars and for her bad jokes to come and take her in a hug. she isn't cold anymore.