January 6th, 2021 was the day it finally snowed in Seoul, South Korea. Kids from all different places went outside to play in the snow, practically tripping trying to find suitable clothes for the weather to play in. Snow brought out the youth in everyone, people of all ages stepping outside to admire the white flakes falling from the sky. Children finding anything from wheeless skateboards and trash can lids to slide down hills on. Even Attaching ropes to said objects and slinging each other around the frozen snow faster than they probably should. Teenagers who pretended to be too cool for silly things like this eventually made their way for a turn on the sled, not being able to hold back the urge to want to try it for themselves.
Needless to say, snow simply brought out the happiest parts of the grumpiest of people whether they liked it or not. Everyone wanted to get outside and experience the happy atmosphere snow created. Even overworked, dead-tired, sore idols like Yujin and Wonyoung.
From all of the weather reports and simply taking a look outside, they both knew the state of the weather outside. The white snow covered the ground quickly and they had been watching while they jumped from different interviews over the day. To be professional and avoid annoying the staff who had worked all day to make it easier for them, they didn't ask to go outside and play in the snow. They knew each other were feeling the same way because they'd done this every year. Ever since they joined Starship, every year it snowed they would dress up in too many layers and drop everything to go outside and play. It was sort of their own little tradition between themselves. The stress of becoming an idol was a lot on them being so young, but they had each other and if playing in the snow made them feel like the kids they were; then that's what they'd do.
Now they were a little older, yet still the little girls at starship who stopped their training to play in the snow every year and all they wanted to do was just that. Wonyoung and Yujin knew they would most likely get home really late which would result in Eunbi saying no to them going out without someone going with them to supervise. Obviously no one would want to watch them at 1 in the morning due to the exhaustion practice put them in.
So as Wonyoung and Yujin practiced over and over until their bones ached to memorize the choreo, they couldn't help but feel a little sad they would be ending their ongoing tradition.
All 12 girls piled groggy and with no energy into 2 separate vans to make their way back to the dorms. Due to the tiredness, there was no real order so the girls just climbed into the van that had an empty seat. Yujin and Wonyoung took this as an opportunity to jump into the same van, usually being separated by their assigned order. Managers watched the 2 swiftly run into the same van giggling and all smiled at their antics because even after watching them grow up, they really were kids after all. Yujin took the window seat and Wonyoung took the seat next to her, already reaching in her bag for her airpods.
This was Wonyoung’s favorite time of the day, sharing an airpod with Yujin and watching the busy streets of Seoul go by through the window on the older girl's shoulder. They made it a point to convince the staff to take them on a car ride everyday, even if they didn't have a destination.
It was so simple but there was something about Yujin that felt like home to her. A few months before, Wonyoung would've never thought this is where she'd be. Although she and Yujin have always been close, they went through a weird phase of not really wanting to be around eachother. Wonyoung soon realized it was a simple case of teenage hormones. They both look back and laugh about it now, maturing enough to be able to openly talk about it and agree it was stupid of them.
Now they were inseparable. If you were to ask the other members, you'd probably get mixed answers on whether that was a good thing or not. The pair were almost always up to some kind of trouble, pulling pranks (usually led by Yujin) or singing Taylor Swift songs too loud at 2am, waking up anyone who was trying to get an ounce of sleep. They walked to convenience stores together, made fake YouTube videos they would never dare to post, and do anything and everything to annoy Yena. Even with all the trouble they cause, the other girls of Iz*one would tell you they just enjoy seeing them being happy and making memories they would keep forever.
Wonyoung played “Ivy” by Taylor Swift, knowing it was Yujins new favorite song.
Yujin turned her head to Wonyoung with her big, toothy smile and a hand over her heart. Her eyebrows were knitted together in the most sincere way. “God you really do get me.” The girl wiped a fake tear from her eye and Wonyoung nudged her side.
“Stop being so dramatic of course I do.” Wonyoung rolled her eyes but the smile she couldn't contain gave it away. They both laughed and settled in for the 45 minute drive home.
Yujin was the first to drift off to sleep, eyelids finally closing after dropping and opening every 10 seconds. Wonyoung watched as the girl's head fell to her shoulder, breathing evening out. She knew Yujin was pretty, obviously. The younger girl had witnessed Yujin grow into her looks since the very beginning. She’d watch as Yujin practiced with such passion, her love of dancing and singing practically radiating from her skin. She had the natural kind of beauty everyone had admired and envied. Her first-love kinda smile and soft eyes when she spoke made everyone stop and stare.
But there was something about Yujin in this state that was different, her face completely relaxed without the worries of pleasing everyone on her mind. Mouth slightly agape, wispy hairs falling across her eyelashes. It made Wonyoung’s love for the older girl grow more and more. She watched for a little while longer, before she eventually fell asleep against Yujin’s shoulder.
At the front of the car, Eunbi could be seen watching the two from the front mirror, knowing exactly what was happening.
“AHHH!” Wonyoung and Yujin jumped up from their seats in the back of the van because of the loud noise that scared the living daylights out of them.
“That's what you get for putting toothpaste in my oreos you little shits.” Yena blew them a kiss and ran into their dorm. The two victims of Yena’s attack sat there staring at the seats in front of them.
“You good?” Yujin spoke without taking her wide eyes away from the head of the seat in front of her.
“Yep.” Wonyoung did the same. “You?”
“Yep.” Yujin still didn't move for a second. She took a breath. “Okay I'm good let's go.” The two jumped out and ran to their dorm after the others but took a second to look at the snow before making their way inside.
They took their puffy jackets off and ran to the kitchen to get snacks before taking their place at the TV while everyone got ready for bed. They waited as each member closed their doors and shut the lights off, except one.
“Please you two don’t stay up late, you need to sleep more than anyone here.” Eunbi insisted with a hand on her hip they called, ‘The mom pose”. Nevertheless they didn't want her to worry so they agreed to sleep and off Eunbi went. They watched a movie for a while until Yujin couldn't help but drag her attention away to watch the snow fall out the window. She thought for a little until she had an idea. A dumb idea, but an idea nonethless.
“Do you wanna do something fun?” Yujin glanced at Wonyoung who was a little too focused on Monsters University, eyebrows furrowed as she watched. Yujin giggled quietly. “Wonyoung.”
“Huh? What? Sorry, this movie is really interesting.”
“Do you wanna do something fun?” Yujin repeated herself once more.
Yujin grinned. “Okay but we have to be reallyyyyy quiet.”
That's how the two girls ended up on the floor in the kitchen, holding in their laughs with their hands on their mouths and silently laughing in pain.
Yujin had proposed to sneak out to play in the snow, but that required them to get their snow pants from the closet by Eunbi’s room. Eunbi is the lightest sleeper in the dorm, so both of the girls knew it would be a mission to get everything out quietly.
Everything was going smoothly, swiftly getting their snow pants and jackets out until Yujin pulled a jacket down that had one of Yena’s shake weights on it. It was too late to catch it when it hit the ground with a large thump. The pair knew they were screwed as they just stood there looking at each other with large eyes, waiting.
They heard someone open a door, walking towards them but Yujin pushed Wonyoung into the closet at the last minute and shut the door. The two waited as the person they thought was Eunbi went back to their room, but right before heard a small voice speak.
“These fucking kids I swear.” Hitomi’s voice was nearly right outside the closet door they were hiding in. Both Yujin and Wonyoung’s hands flew to their mouths to stop the laughs that were gonna come out. The two heard Hitomi’s door close when they finally realized Yujin’s hand was still on Wonyoung’s waist but dropped it quickly when she did. Neither one of the girls knew of the bright blush spread across both of their cheeks. Wonyoung quickly opened the door and they tiptoed to the kitchen silently.
That's how they got to the place they were in now, holding their stomachs whilst rolling on the ground trying to keep in the laughs they know would wake up the whole dorm.
When they finally pulled themselves together, faces red and somaches hurting from holding in their laughs they started to put on the snow gear they just got out of the closet. They both looked like giant marshmallows with how many layers they had on. Wonyoung had insisted they needed at least 4 layers of jackets and sweaters to survive the cold, and Yujin was never one to argue with her judgment. Before they had left, Wonyoung made it a point to stuff their beds with blankets for a body and use Yujin’s hair extensions as the head to make it look like they were sleeping. It took them longer than it should have because Yujin couldn't stop laughing when Wonyoung was adjusting the hair extensions.
After everything they went through to go through with the plan, they finally made it out the door without being caught, a “literal miracle”, as Wonyoung described. They walked down many flights of stairs to avoid being seen by anyone using the elevator. By the grace of god, they made it out of their building without being caught by anyone and made their way into the snow. The two girls walked a little into the streets of Seoul to find a patch of snow where it was deeper than the rest to make snow angels. Yujin didn't hesitate to jump headfirst into the freezing snow like she was an Olympic’s winning swimmer. Her whole body emerged in white snow and Wonyoung laughed harder than she had all day. Yujin quickly got up when she felt snow run down her back and proceeded to run around to try and get it out, which did nothing but make Wonyoung laugh harder. (The whole reason Yujin did it.)
Yujin stopped running around and looked at Wonyoung standing there calmly. She smirked and grabbed some snow into her hand to form a ball.
“Ahn Yujin absolutely not, get away from me.” Wonyoung demanded, starting to back away from Yujin while pointing sternly at her face.
Of course Yujin didn't listen and started to chase Wonyoung with the snowball, running around like they were deranged. Yujin threw the snowball with a force at Wonyoung and hit her right in the back of the head. Wonyoung stopped right in her tracks and turned around with her mouth wide open. Yujin knew she was in deep water now.
“Love you?” She raised her eyebrows in worry.
“Nope.” Wonyoung took off running straight for Yujin, who turned around and bolted for cover.
She was too late when she felt Wonyoung shove a pile of snow into her shirt, the freezing ice making her stop in her tracks and squirm frantically.
“I LITERALLY HATE YOU SO MUCH RIGHT NOW!” Yujin yelled at Wonyoung who was running away from her now that she stopped squirming.
“YOU LOVE ME!” Yujin could hear the smile in Wonyoung’s voice.
Yujin sneakily figured out Wonyoung’s hiding spot without her knowing and snuck up behind her to tackle her to the ground. “GOT YOU!” She yelled.
The two went down to the ground laughing harder than they had all day, feeling the stress of their hectic life leave their bodies with each breath. It was cold enough to see their warm breath in the air and they closed their eyes as the snow came down harder, snowflakes hitting their face. This is why they did this every year. This euphoric feeling of the whole world stopping just for them. The feeling of not having any worries. The feeling of being completely content with someone you know you trust with your whole life. It was a feeling they know they only felt when together. It was their feeling.
Yujin thinks this is what love feels like.
“Can I tell you something?” Yujin whispered with her eyes still shut.
“Of course.” Wonyoung spoke in the same tone but gentler, if that was possible.
“I've known you since like...forever. I can’t really imagine my life without you.” Yujin paused and took a breath. She wanted to say all the things she’d been thinking. She wanted to tell Wonyoung how she felt. How she couldn't keep it in anymore.
“You’re really important to me.” Yujin was trying to find the words. The perfect words.
Wonyoung could feel that she wasn't done so she waited. Yujin had always taken a little longer than most to find the words she wanted to say, she always had a lot on her mind. Wonyoung reached down and gently locked their pinkies together, feeling how cold Yujin’s hands were.
Yujin’s whole body shivered and the butterflies in her stomach took over. She took another deep breath. “You've always been right in front of me and I never noticed until now.” Another pause.
Wonyoung wanted to say something but for once in her life, didn't know what to say. The air around them was tense, the silence weighing on them.
Then Yujin let it go. “I think i'm falling in love with you.” She held her breath.
“Oh.” Wonyoung’s heart felt like it was gonna beat out of her chest. She swallowed the nervousness down and felt Yujin shaking slightly from their interlocked pinkies.
Wonyoung unlocked their pinkies and the older girl felt her heart sink to the bottom of her chest.
Yujin felt the regret take over her body and her mind raced, wishing she never said anything.
The panic she felt was too much and she wasn't sure what to do. It was too much.
Until she felt Wonyoung’s slightly smaller hand take her hand in her own and interlock their fingers.
“Me too.” Wonyoung’s voice was to barely be heard, a meer whisper.
Yujin smiled with a fondness she didn't know she had as they laid there staring at the sky. The snowflakes continued to fall, Yujin watching them land on the eyelashes of the girl next to her.
Wonyoung opened her eyes and turned her head to watch Yujin smile at her. She moved closer and kissed the side of Yujin’s face, landing somewhere between her cheek and the corner of her lips.
“We still have to sneak back into the dorms without Eunbi knowing.” Wonyoung giggled.
“Come on now, she never catches us what makes this time any different.” Yujin confidently stated.
The two just laughed for the millionth time that night and did snow angels to top the night off.
And with that, they were the happiest they'd ever been.
(And Eunbi still shook her head when she found the soaking wet snow clothes on the laundry room floor the next morning, the two culprits sleeping soundly entangled within each other and a thousand blankets on the couch.)