Hyelim and the Cheer Squad Captain
Hello Venus, Lime/Nara, G, 3,380 words
written for the ambitiousgirls winter exchange.
thanks to avirjin for being a wonderful ear and beta
Hello Venus, Lime/Nara, G, 3,380 words
It is 19:37 and Hyelim is almost ten minutes late for her weekly babysitters club meeting. Hyelim's not normally late, but a group project for her music performance class took longer than anticipated and she ended up missing her normal train to Juhee's apartment. Thinking a taxi might be faster, she'd skipped the train only to get stuck in evening traffic.
Every week Hyelim looks forward to Wednesday night, when she gets to attend babysitters club meetings. The club was started six months ago by one of the seniors in the music department and as a freshman, eager to make friends at university, Hyelim readily accepted Ahra's invitation to join. She wasn't too sure about the whole babysitting portion of the club at first, but after a few early mishaps she's gotten the hang of handling kids. However, it's the other girls in the club that she loves the most and keeps her coming back.
Lately they've been meeting at Juhee's apartment. She's the only member that doesn't live with either her family or in the dorms. The apartment is small, but Hyelim really likes that they have a place to hang out away from the rest of the world. With no parents or roommates to mind, they let themselves have fun between answering client phone calls.
This week they’re going to start solidifying their idea for group babysitting sessions during the upcoming school break. Hyelim is mentally planning activities in her head while she wills the traffic to disappear. She wants to put together a talent show of some sort, and she's in the middle of writing out a list of kids most likely to participate when the taxi driver alerts her to their arrival at Juhee's building.
Rushing out of the cab, Hyelim knows she just overpaid the taxi driver, but she's late enough to not care. She calls out a hasty greeting to the doorman as she rushes to the elevators. Once on Juhee’s floor and not bothering to knock, Hyelim lets herself in, typing in the door code quickly. The dorm is silent when she enters except for Ahra talking to a client on the phone. Not wanting to disturb the call Hyelim tries to be as quiet as possible while she toes off her shoes and tip toes into the main room.
Ahra acknowledges her with a slight nod of her head as she continues to talk on the phone. From the sound of it, she’s talking to Kang Dongho’s mother and Hyelim is momentarily happy she’s late. Dongho is a good kid but has more energy than Hyelim on a good day and with exams coming Hyelim knows she not up for watching him. Yooyoung is jumping out of her seat to wrap Hyelim up in a hug before she has a chance to greet the room. She briefly catches sight of an extra person before focusing her attention on the girl in her arms.
"Yay! You're here!" Yooyoung says.
Hyelim takes a moment to relax into the hug before pulling away. "Sorry for being late. I lost track of time and then there was..." she says before being cut off by Yooyoung.
"Don't worry! We've only had one call so far!" Yooyoung says. She grabs Hyelim's hand and pulls her over to where the other girls and the new addition are sitting on the floor. "This is Nara, our new member!"
Nara gives a brief wave in greeting which Hyelim returns with an awkward wave of her own. Hyelim hopes she looks more perplexed by the sudden inclusion of a new member and not slightly panicked at the thought of her crush being in close proximity, which is how she really feels. She's only met Nara once, back of the start of school, when she had attended a meeting about auditioning for the cheer squad. Ultimately, she hadn't auditioned, but she's had an ever growing crush on Nara ever since even though she hasn't talked to Nara much since they only occasionally see each other in the halls, and she always feels uncharacteristically shy around the other girl.
The first time she had ever seen Nara had been at that info meeting. Hyelim bites back a laugh as she thinks back to the odd wig Nara had been wearing. She had hadn’t seemed to notice or care that it wasn’t placed properly on her head, and Hyelim had been charmed by this.
Hyelim tunes back into the conversation happening around her to catch Ahra explaining how she had asked Nara to help out while Yoonjo was still recovering from her broken leg. With the upcoming school break and their group camp idea, Hyelim knows they need the extra help. However, it doesn't stop her from being slightly suspicious that it’s Nara who is here. In the back of her head she knows both Ahra and Juhee are friends with her, but it was only two weeks ago that Hyelim had drunkenly told them about her crush. She wouldn’t put it past either of them to try and set her up.
She doesn't have time to dwell on it since the phone starts ringing with client calls and they start fleshing out their idea for group camp in the lull between calls. She accepts a job for the upcoming weekend with the Kwak family early on in the meeting. The Kwaks have recently moved to Seoul from LA and so far only Juhee has had a chance to watch the kids. Juhee’s journal entries about them have been glowing and as a result Hyelim is eager to meet them. She’s discussing her talent show list with Yoonjo and Yooyoung when she hears Nara agree to sit for the Hwangs on Saturday as well. Her earlier suspicions are confirmed when Juhee comments that it's great the Hwangs and Kwaks live so close and need sitters at the same time.
“Oh, it’d be great if we could meet up with the kids. It’ll be my first time babysitting in ages!” Nara says.
“Wonderful! I’m sure you’ll have a great time!” Juhee answers for her. Hyelim glances up from the paper she’d been writing on to narrow her eyes at Juhee, only to receive a bright smiles in response.
The meeting ends quickly after that. Nara and Hyelim exchange numbers before going their separate ways.
Hyelim finds herself looking forward to Saturday.
Yesterday was fun and an easy babysitting job overall! I babysat for the new family, the Kwaks, for the first time. Aaron seems like a good kid and Mrs. Kwak was super nice! The parents took his sister out so I didn't get a chance to spend much time with her.
I asked Mrs. Kwak if it would be alright to meet Nara and Minhyun at the park and she was thrilled at the idea. Juhee unnie, I'm glad you noted he speaks a lot of Korean since he definitely tried to pretend he didn't know any at first! By the time we left though he had dropped the act.
We left for the park almost immediately after his parents and sister left. Aaron was really well behaved on the walk over. He didn't protest holding my hand at all and he asked a lot of questions. Juhee unnie, he kept asking if you were going to babysit him again and going on about how pretty you are! I think he might have a crush on you! Jinah might have some competition ♥
Minhyun and Aaron seemed to get along really well. They were quiet at first but well, Aaron seems to have taken a liking to Minhyun.
I mentioned our upcoming camp thing to Mrs. Kwak and she was really interested. She said she would call later in the week with a final decision. I’m thinking maybe we could introduce Jonghyun, Dongho and Minki to Minhyun and Aaron?
Since the weather is warm and sunny, Aaron and Hyelim walk to the park in lieu of taking a taxi. Aaron chatters the whole way, keeping up a slew of questions, most of them about Juhee. Hyelim had to stop herself from laughing out loud a few times when he continues to ask about Juhee.
They are nearing their destination when Hyelim hears a text coming in on her phone. Stopping for a moment she pulls it out of her bag and sees a new message from Nara.
"We're here, by the swings"
Hyelim types out a quick "We'll be there soon" before pocketing her phone. "Come on, let’s hurry. Nara and Minhyun are already there!" Hyelim says brightly to Aaron. The resume their walk and in minutes are entering the park.
Hyelim can hear Nara laughing as she chases Minhyun around in the field by the swings. Nara is close to catching Minhyun when they get close enough to call out a greeting.
“Unnie!” Hyelim calls out as she waves her hands. From the corner of her eye she sees Aaron start waving as well.
Hyelim can’t help the grin that breaks out when Nara looks over and smiles at them. Sensing that his babysitter is distracted, Minhyun takes the opportunity to escape. Nara watches him run off as she walks up to Aaron and Hyelim.
“Hi” Nara says cheerfully as she comes to a stop in front of them.
Suddenly shy, Hyelim doesn’t respond. There is a moment of awkward silence as they stand there smiling at each other before their charges demand their attention. Minhyun has stopped running and has come up behind Nara to peer curiously at Aaron. Hyelim gets down on her knees to look at the six year old directly.
“Hi, Minhyun” she starts. “This is Aaron. He’s going to play with us today. Is that okay with you?” Minhyun continues to stare quietly at Aaron before he nods at her. Hyelim breathes a sigh of relief since he seems willing to play with someone new.
She turns to Aaron and introduces him. The two boys mutter hellos to each other but make no move to interact further. Nara leans down to say hello to Aaron while Hyelim moves to put down the bag of snacks and emergency supplies she’s carrying.
“Aaron, would you like to play chase with us?” Nara inquires. Aaron nods but otherwise doesn’t move.
“Who wants to be IT?” Nara asks the group. Her question is met with silence from the boys. She pulls them to her sides and says in a mock whisper, “Do you think you can run faster than Hyelim noona? She looks pretty fast.”
Hyelim feels her cheeks heating up at the conspiratorial glance Nara gives her.
“I don’t know, Minhyun’s pretty fast,” Hyelim teases.
Minhyun stands up straighter at the compliment. “Too fast for you!” he shouts as he grabs Aaron’s hand and sprints away.
“Aaron wasn’t shy on the walk over,” Hyelim says once the boys are out of earshot.
Hyelim can’t help but laugh at that. “He usually is. I think they’ve had a good enough head start, don’t you think?”
Nara smiles and takes off running without saying a word. Hyelim follows, enjoying listening to the boys shriek when she pulls close to tag them. She teases them for a bit, pulling back just in time for them to get away, before she tags Aaron marking him as It. It’s not long before Hyelim is declaring defeat, plopping down onto the grass by their bags. She digs around her bag for water while watching the game continue without her. Deciding that the boys are in good hands with Nara for the time being, she pulls out a textbook to get some studying done.
She's in the middle of re-reading a particularly boring paragraph when Nara dramatically throws herself down besides her.
"Ugh, I'm exhausted. Who knew kids had so much energy," Nara whines. Hyelim chuckles at the other girl as she reaches for the bottle of water besides her.
"Here, have some water."
"Thanks." Nara takes the offered bottle, sipping from it before she lies down in the grass. Nara closes her eyes and doesn't appear inclined to talk as she catches her breath. After making sure the boys are fine where they are now playing on the swings, Hyelim returns to her reading. She hasn't made much progress before Nara speaks up.
"You should have tried out for cheer squad. I was disappointed when you didn't come to the audition."
“Ah, um, I don’t think I’m really cheer squad material.”
She fiddles with the edges of the page she's reading while she's waits for a response. When none appears forthcoming, she forces herself to look over at Nara. Nara waits until they make eye contact before she teases, "Hmm, maybe, but you'd look cute in the uniform I bet."
Hyelim opens her mouth to respond but no sound comes out as she wills the blush developing on her face to disappear. Here she was, sitting with a girl she's had her eye on for months, and she can't even think of a simple response when being flirted with. Hyelim tears he eyes away in embarrassment at her momentarily flirting fail.
The arrival of the two hungry boys demanding snacks give her the distraction she needs to regroup. The early shyness between Minhyun and Aaron has disappeared and Hyelim finds herself caught up in a very serious discussion about cartoons and comics. When Aaron and Minhyun start acting out their favorite comic book scenes, Hyelim can't help but join in; thrilled she has a way to make Nara notice her without having to attempt conversation.
The time passes quickly and it's not long before they all have to head back. Nara departs with a promise to call later and Hyelim almost skips the whole back to the Kwak’s apartment in giddiness.
Hello fellow babysitters,
Ahra unnie says I have to write this entry even though we were all there for camp today. Something about protocol and rules.
Camp was so much fun! Go us for coming up with such an awesome idea! Hugs and kisses for everyone!!!!!!
Okay, okay, on to babysitting stuff. Only ten kids showed up which I think was a great number given the chaos of the Dongho, Minki, Jonghyun, Aaron and Minhyun combination.
HYELIM UNNIE, I DON'T KNOW WHY YOU THOUGHT INTRODUCING THOSE FIVE LITTLE TERRORS TO EACH OTHER WAS A GOOD IDEA??
Alone they are such sweethearts but together omg it's almost too much. But it's okay, everyone survived, there were only minimal kissing attempts from Aaron, and the short talent show was super awesome! And I think Mrs. Kim might forgive us eventually for letting the boys decide on Junior Royal as a nickname for Jonghyun. Maybe. Perhaps, we should send her a card or flowers, as an apology?
Anyway, I'm going to see everyone in a few minutes for the post camp meeting so let’s talk about it then!
The next time Hyelim is able to talk with Nara face to face isn't until two weeks later when they host a minicamp for some of their clients. They've been texting a lot since they last met but their schedules just haven't allowed them more than that. Hyelim ended up missing out on the last couple of club meetings due to rehearsals for her dance class recital and by the time camp day rolls around she's full of excitement at the thought of seeing her friends.
She wakes up well before her alarm on the Saturday of camp. This early on a Saturday morning and she has the dorm showers all to herself which she fully intends to exploit by taking a longer than normal hot shower. Not too surprising, she finishes faster than what she does on a school day and decides to leave early so she can get a fancy coffee on the way.
Even then, she's the first of the babysitters to arrive at the park where they'll be spending the morning. She knows from a series of emails earlier in the week that they decided on setting up in the far eastern corner, away from the main entrance. There's no rush to set up - she's a good twenty minutes early - so Hyelim walks slowly, enjoying her coffee as she makes her way through the park.
Once she arrives at the chosen spot, she starts laying down a blanket on the grass so they can about arrange their supplies for the day ahead. All the girls agreed to bring their sitters supply box of crafts plus whatever extra they could carry. Intent on getting the kids to perform, Hyelim had brought extra home costume supplies, mainly old t-shirts and headbands she had lying around. The other girls begin to slowly arrive and together they quickly finish their preparations.
The first of the kids to arrive are the Kwaks. Aaron makes a beeline for Juhee the moment he spots her, He’s in the middle of telling Juhee what sounds like a very complicated story when Minhyun shows up and Aaron forgets all about Juhee as he dashes off to say hello. The pace picks up quickly after as more families show up. In the end there are only ten kids but it’s soon apparent that some of them would be a handful when grouped together.
Hyelim and Nara spend the morning working together teaching the kids various simple dance routines to show their parents later in the evening. It’s pleasant and Hyelim finds herself relaxing enough around Nara as the day goes on to try flirting with the other girl. They’re in the middle of trying to convince Dongho that wearing an oversized shirt as stage costume isn’t the same as wearing a dress when loud shrieks are heard to their left. Looking over they see a wide eyed Minhyun standing stick still next a smirking Aaron.
“Aaron kissed Minhyun!” Jonghyun starts to shout in between fits of laughter. Hyelim can see Ahra hurrying over from where she was drawing with the youngest kids and Juhee and Yooyoung standing by if needed. She can hear Dongho and Minki start to giggle beside her and she can’t help but join in, it is amusing. By the time Ahra has reached them Aaron is starting to reach for Jonghyun to give him a kiss as well; Dongho deciding he doesn’t want to be left out runs over to help Aaron catch Jonghyun as he attempts to squirm away.
Soon Hyelim and Nara find themselves left alone for a moment as Ahra gathers all the campers to explain why they can’t just go around kissing each other.
Hyelim busies herself with straightening out the clothes strewn about as Ahra continues her lecture. Noticing that Nara is not helping and is sitting staring off into space, she pauses in her task to ask, “Unnie, you look thoughtful. Is there something on your mind?”
Shaking her head slightly, Nara turns saying, “Oh, no, just thinking.” Nara grabs a crumpled t-shirt near her but makes no move to fold it.
Worrying the shirt in her hands, Nara says, “Well, okay, I was thinking about kissing.”
“ahaha, yes, Aaron surprised all of us with his stunt.”
“mmm, yes. But it’s not Aaron I was thinking about.”
“Oh?” Hyelim cringes slightly at the way her voice sounds a little too eager to her ears. “Anyone in particular?”
“Mmm, there’s this girl,” Nara teases as she angles he body closer to Hyelims. “She’s pretty cute. I’ve been thinking of her asking her to coffee.”
This time when she feels the blush starting to develop Hyelim doesn’t let herself get embarrassed. She takes a breath before saying, “Coffee’s nice.”
Nara smiles brightly and says, “Well then, Ms. Hyelim, would you like to join me for coffee later?”
“Yes!” Hyelim can’t help they way her response comes out in a near shout. In her excitement she doesn’t realize how close Nara is to her until she hears someone, Dongho her brain supplies, shouts “Are they going to kiss too?”
They burst into laughter as they move away from each other. As they sit there laughing, Hyelim thinks her life is pretty good – she has the babysitters club and the attention her favorite cheer squad captain.
written for the ambitiousgirls winter exchange.
thanks to avirjin for being a wonderful ear and beta