jungah can see how pissed off jimin is all the way from the entrance to the school's parking lot.
it's a big deal, of course -- jimin, although only thirteen, is a ball of raging rebellion, and this final parent's evening will determine whether or not summer school has been enough for her to carry on or if she has to stay back a year. and jimin is angry about it anyway - it stopped her from hanging out at the skate park all day long throughout the dry summer with her friends - but jungah being late, on top of not even expecting jungah but their mother instead, on top of her rebellion and her dwindling social life and her shit grades...
jungah pulls up into a free space, and jimin is already storming over to her, arm crossed over her chest and short hair bouncing dramatically. she looks ready for a fight, but jungah steps out of the car and locks it behind her then walks straight past jimin, hiding the amused glint in her eye at jimin's offended floundering behind her sunglasses.
"c'mon, kid," she throws over her shoulder. "we're gonna be late."
jimin failed three classes, which means she's had three classes over the summer. american history on monday, french on thursday, and physics on friday. they see mrs. fitzpatrick first, who is the exact opposite of jungah's old french teacher, who had been cool and distant and young. mrs. fitzpatrick smiles widely when she sees jimin, who gives her a short wave in return, and jungah exchanges greetings with her kindly, wondering if she could possibly convince this warm woman to adopt her. when they find out that jimin has passed french, jimin breathes out a relieved sigh and says 'putain finalement' under her breath.
mr. hernandez is younger but less kind, just invites them both into his classroom to sit down and go through jimin's record painstakingly slowly, only to tell them that jimin passed, congratulations, i have to tell zack he failed now so please wish me luck and don't forget to shut the door on your way out, thanks.
when they're sat outside ms. kim's class, jungah notices jimin fussing with her jewellery and hair, biting on her bottom lip, twiddling her thumbs and kicking her boot clad feet out. possibly out of nervousness, but when the door to ms. kim's class opens and the previous guardian and student walk out, she positively blushes and bites down a smile, and jungah looks up and she sees why.
ms. kim is not what jungah was expecting of her little sister's summer school physics teacher. oh, no, she's what jungah would expect of an idol. long, honey-blonde hair, a crisp white button-up tucked into a pair of wide-legged black trousers, red kitten heels matching her painted pout. the first few buttons of her shirt are undone. her jewellery is rose gold and dainty. her skin --
jungah's never been gayer.
"hi, you must be jiminnie’s mom!" ms. kim beams once the other kid's gone, and jimin's cheeks colour in embarrassment. "jiminnie mentioned that you'd be coming last week. i've heard so much about you! would you like to come in so we can chat in private?"
christ. the woman even has an attractive walk.
jungah flounders in her seat long enough for ms. kim to check on her over her shoulder, then she scrambles up and pointedly ignores jimin’s cruel giggling and almost yells ‘I’M NOT HER MOM!’ but manages to control herself in time.
when jungah walks into ms. kim’s classroom for the first time, the first thing she thinks is no way. from the black wall paint, splattered with silver and gold, to the planets and stars hanging from the ceiling, right down to the pluto is a planet! coaster on the teacher’s desk at the front, this is jungah’s dream classroom. ms. kim is the coolest - and most gorgeous - teacher jungah has ever met, and for a brief moment, she’s severely jealous that jimin gets to spend so much time with her.
then she remembers that it’s for school, which she is officially done with forever now, and the green eyed monster is appeased.
they sit down at the teacher’s desk, and jungah’s brain to mouth filter switches off. “i’m actually, uh, her older sister. jungah. yeah. i’m twenty one, so. um, not old enough to be her mom. biologically or legally, you know.”
ms. kim blinks her pretty, big eyes at her twice, before an understanding smile settles on her pretty, red lips. “ah. was ms. park held up at work? i understand - my mom’s a doctor, too.”
jimin decides that now is a good time to step in, if only to avoid jungah’s mental breakdown. she leans forward in her chair, her clasped hands hanging between her spread knees, like she means business. “uh, yeah, she is. so? how’d i do?”
ms. kim giggles, and jungah has that breakdown.
“well, you really applied yourself this summer, jiminnie! i told you you could do this at the christmas tutorials, but you wouldn’t believe in yourself until you were away from all your bratty friends. you got an A minus, i’m really proud of you!”
jimin falls back into her chair, a heavy sigh of relief punched out of her, and jungah’s eyebrows shoot up into her hairline. an A minus? that doesn’t sound like park jimin.
“i’m... not being funny here, but jimin hasn’t had a flat B since she was, like, 8. what. did you use witchcraft? because i had a friend that was into that and i didn’t think it actually worked?”
ms. kim looks at jungah like she has two heads. “well... no? i just sat down with jiminnie one-to-one, and we went through the course material together.” she pulls out a folder from jimin’s file, lined with messy handwriting (jimin’s) and perfect, neat, colour-coordinated penmanship (ms. kim’s). “we went over a few past exams too,” she says, pointing to jimin’s notes and her own comments on the side, “and we built up a revision timetable. i showed her a couple websites that i thought could really boost her learning, too, but none of it would have worked if jiminnie didn’t cooperate so well. i could see she really applied herself this summer, and that she was really interested in the stuff she was learning. i think that’s the most important part of it all, that jimin came away from this with a little more than just a good grade.”
jungah leans forward in her chair and braces her elbows against the desk as ms. kim talks, listening and thinking —
“you’re such a good teacher.”
ms. kim blushes and immediately begins to bat the compliment away, but jungah sits up and her face means business.
“seriously, ms. kim. i’ve never seen jimin do this-“ she picks up one of the past papers, riddled with scribbles and post-its and marker “-before in my whole life. she even subscribed to a physics magazine!”
jungah rolls her eyes but otherwise ignores jimin’s stomping feet. “what i’m trying to say is, you helped jimin care about school. my mom is actually going to want to adopt you.”
ms. kim sits in wide-eyed silence for a moment, before looking away and clearing her throat. “taeyeon.”
jungah furrows her brows in confusion. “excuse me?”
“my name. it’s - don’t call me ms. kim, god, you’re not thirteen.”
taeyeon shakes her head a little, then she looks back at jungah. “thank you for those kind words, jungah. that meant a lot more than you’d know.”
jungah gulps. “it’s nothing. i just - thank you. for helping jimin so much. you have a good heart.”
as a pretty peach blush spreads across taeyeon’s cheeks, jimin pointedly clears her throat. “i am still here, lovebirds.”
jungah sends her a dirty glare, but she thinks it might be worth it to see taeyeon’s blush deepen and spread, to see her suppress a bashful smile. “um, sorry, jimin. do you want your file?”
jimin mulls it over for a second, looks between jungah and taeyeon, who look... like her mothers, peering down at her, anticipating her answer. god. “stop that! ugh. yes. no. maybe. i don’t know.”
“should i repeat the question?”
jungah breaks into a fit of giggles with taeyeon following suit, and jimin is left looking between them, completely out of the loop, wondering what she did in a past life to deserve this.
a couple minutes later and their time is up, jimin announces with glee. she stands up and clutches jungah’s sleeve tightly, before practically running to the door, throwing a “thanks for this summer ms. kim you’ve been great i really appreciate it thanks for passing me see you soon bye!” over her shoulder. jungah, however, has different plans.
she fights jimin’s death grip off her wrist, jimin turning round slowly to give her a matching death glare that screams ‘what. are. you. doing. don’t. embarrass. me. in. front. of. my. favorite. teacher.’ “go wait by the car, i’ll be out in a sec,” she orders, and jimin juts her jaw out and narrows her eyes before turning on her heel and matching out.
now that it’s just the two of them alone, jungah freezes. she’s increasingly aware of taeyeon stood behind her, likely confused as to why jungah’s decided to stay behind, and she feels herself sweat more than normal, even for this time of year in california. she turns around, gathering all her courage, and watches as taeyeon’s expression turns from curious to soft. jungah’s dated a fair few girls before, but none of them have ever made her feel so much with so little.
“iwasjustwonderingifyou’dliketogoonadatewithmepleasesayyes?” she rushes out in one big breath, and taeyeon looks so taken aback that jungah would be surprised if she heard any of it. “sorry, i just - i think you’re gorgeous, and funny, and i love what you’ve done for jimin. she’s an idiot, and i hate her a lot, but i love her a lot, too. so i was just. god, this is so awkward. will you go on a date wi-“
“yes. i heard you the first time, but thank you for feeding my ego just that little bit.” taeyeon giggles when she sees jungah freeze up with terror, then thaw with relief, and jungah doesn’t bother to hide her troubled groan at the sight of it. “how about we exchange phone numbers? you know, so you don’t keep jiminnie waiting too long while we plan our save the date invites.”
jungah nods viciously, her long black ponytail swishing about behind her, and reaches for her phone, pulling up the contacts app before she can even begin to process taeyeon’s words.
taeyeon’s nails are short, and jungah’s inner goddess screams in joy.
later, while jungah’s sat around the table with jimin, her twin brother, and their parents, she receives a message.
how about saturday at seven? i have a friend who owns a korean restaurant that packs out like *snap* and he said he can get us a table reservation? x
when jungah stands up at the table, right there and then, clears her throat, then tells the room at large that she met the love of her life today, jimin rolls her eyes and throws couscous at her forehead.