Matt whoops as Taeyeon folds the sheets of blue and slots them into the case. She secures it and gives it two pats, relieved that this project is finally done. After giving Tiffany a lot of grief over her request for an extension, Taeyeon had to tread carefully around Tiffany for the past week. And given the way the conversation had gone, Taeyeon was not exactly happy with Tiffany either.
“We’ll need an extension,” says Tiffany.
“An extension. Can’t you get it done by the deadline?”
“The column thickness has to be reworked. And the beams too. If you want that column gone, you have to give my team time to work everything out.”
“You still have time. You can get it done.”
“I’m stating right now that my team needs more time. We are not going to rush through the calculations and compromise the structure’s stability. You should know that changing the configs on ground level affects the rest of the structure as well. We have to check everything.”
“Damn it. How much extension do you need.”
“A week!” Taeyeon yells, “No can do!”
“A week is the bare minimum.”
“You are supposed to be the most efficient CEs in town! A week extension is too long! The owner is going to be unhappy!”
“Well, tell the owner that if he wants his structure to stand strong for more than ten years, he’ll just have to deal with it.”
“Fine. I’ll have the pleasant job to updating him while you CEs breeze around and take your time with the plans.”
Tiffany’s voice is strained at the seams by now. “We’ll deliver the plans in a week.”
“Then you’d better get started now. I shall not hold you up a second longer.”
Safe to say, things became frosty between the two of them after that conversation.
Then, she had been even angrier with Tiffany for making her wait till the very last minute. Just two nights ago, she had been hollering into the phone at Tiffany asking her, “WHERE ARE YOUR BLUEPRINTS? WHERE ARE YOU?” and Tiffany had refused to talk to her until this morning when she finally replied with a short and curt text message, agreeing to dinner tonight. To be fair, Tiffany isn’t the only CE who has asked for an extension but something about being so close to her makes Taeyeon’s temper rise faster. And Tiffany being a CE makes her feel less apologetic about yelling as well.
Now that the blueprints are finally ready to be sent to the mansion-to-be’s owner for his signature, Taeyeon is nothing short of happy and ready to celebrate the end of her nightmare of working with Tiffany.
“We’re going out for a drink tonight. Wanna join us?” asks Matt. “Ellie, Heechul, Kibum, they’re all going.”
“I’d love to, but I’m meeting someone.”
Matt grins and gives her the exaggerated eyebrow waggle. “A special someone?”
Taeyeon laughs. “Define special.”
“Guys! Taeyeon’s being shady about someone she’s going out with,” Matt announces to the rest.
“Is he tall? Is he hot?” Ellie inquires, her eyes shining with curiosity.
“Taller than me,” Taeyeon replies and succumbs to an urge to add, “and very hot.”
“Woohoo,” go her office mates and the usual teasing and ribbing go on till Taeyeon makes an escape with the blueprints for the messenger.
Taeyeon hurries into the restaurant, ushered by a waitress. “Sorry, I’m late.”
“It’s okay.” Tiffany does not smile. “I’m not gonna yell at you.”
Okay, Tiffany is still pissed at me . . . Taeyeon clears her throat and picks up the menu. “What are you ordering?”
“Is this your treat?”
“Yes,” Taeyeon replies quickly. “Order anything you want.”
“Okay.” Tiffany smiles as she browses the menu and Taeyeon tries not to worry about what Tiffany is up to. She finds out soon enough, when Tiffany places her order. Not one, but two sets of the most expensive dish on the menu. Jang-uh gui. Grilled eel on rice. Holy mother of eels. That is going to knock her back by more than 100,000 won. But Taeyeon keeps the smile on her face and orders a set as well. Then she watches as Tiffany devours both sets all by herself. There are new things she learns about Tiffany all the time. And tonight, she learns that Tiffany is highly capable of eating her out of house and home when she is angry with her.
Cool wind caresses her cheeks as Taeyeon strolls down the busy street. Life is good. The blueprints have been submitted and signed by the client. Tiffany’s arm is linked with hers like they are two rings joined, inseparable. Apparently, a good dinner at one of the best grilled eel restaurants in town is all it takes for Tiffany’s fire to burn out. Not one but two sets of jang-uh gui, to be exact. But after putting in the first spoonful of the grilled eel and experiencing the full extent of its taste bud seducing flavour, Taeyeon can safely say that Tiffany is not the only one who has fallen for the dish.
She makes a mental note to make a reservation for two on Tiffany’s birthday. It is still months away but an early reservation won’t hurt. Tiffany will love it, Taeyeon thinks with glee. But the fact that she is thinking months ahead like this is a little surprising. Tiffany is fast becoming so much a part of her life that Taeyeon can no longer imagine life without this ball of radiant energy that lights even the darkest corners inside her. She really is falling deeper and deeper for Tiffany every single day and it is a bottomless pit, bright with beautiful love.
“I feel like drinking tonight. Are you still paying?” asks Tiffany.
“Yes,” Taeyeon agrees with an indulging smile. “Any place in mind?”
Tiffany grins and tugs her arm. “Follow me.”
They head down the street and turn into an area full of bars and pubs. Tiffany leads her to a bar that her office mates frequent but before she can voice her concerns, Tiffany is already pulling her towards the bar. Taeyeon looks around for her office mates and is relieved to see that they are not in here tonight. They must have gone to some other place. Tiffany gets a Cosmopolitan while Taeyeon chooses the Dirty Shirley and they sip at their drinks, shoulders touching, and Taeyeon leans into Tiffany as an arm goes around her shoulders.
“I’m going to get you drunk and bring you home and take advantage of this little cutie,” says Tiffany, giggling. Taeyeon wriggles her nose when Tiffany taps on it, making her girlfriend giggle some more. It is contagious and she ends up giggling too. At this point, the ‘live’ band starts playing a tune so they turn around to watch. The songs are current and uplifting and before Taeyeon knows what has hit her, Tiffany has gotten her onto the little dance floor. Drink in hand, Tiffany is dancing right away while Taeyeon is slow to start. Now, Taeyeon has never seen Tiffany dance before. So it is a kind of culture shock when Tiffany starts shaking her hips and moving her free arm and legs in a strange manner. Taeyeon makes another mental note tonight: Tiffany is an awkward dancer even though she has proven to be very good in bed. Why she is even co-relating the two, she will never know. But she has emptied most of her Dirty Shirley so it must be messing with her brain.
“Come on, dance with me!” Tiffany shouts in her ear.
Taeyeon points at the drinks. “Let’s finish the drinks first!”
“Okay!” Tiffany drains her mojito (she had already drank up her Cosmopolitan earlier) and puts the glass down by the side. Taeyeon gapes. This was not what she had in mind but Tiffany is nudging her to finish hers so she tips the rest of her cocktail into her mouth and swallows, praying she won’t turn too red after this. Tiffany grabs her hands before she can think anymore and twirls around with her, making Taeyeon laugh. The band plays a sexier song next and Tiffany turns around, pulling Taeyeon’s arms around her. The dancing crowd moves to the tune and Taeyeon is beginning to enjoy herself. She lets herself go and sinks into the mood of the music, moving her body as Tiffany gyrates in front of her. An urge arising within Taeyeon just then, and she pulls Tiffany even closer to plant a kiss on the woman’s cheek.
Tiffany turns around with a smile and pulls her back to the bar. It’s another mojito for Tiffany but Taeyeon goes for a mocktail this time.
“You wuss,” Tiffany teases her with a winning grin.
“Trust me. You don’t want to risk having to carry me out of here and driving me home.”
“I don’t mind. But I might be too drunk myself,” Tiffany says with a laugh. She gives Taeyeon a kiss and rubs her thumb over the red lips before sliding her arms under Taeyeon’s black jacket to wrap around the woman’s slender waist. “I guess you have to be the sober one then.”
Taeyeon nods and Tiffany giggles again, leaning forward to kiss one more time. Taeyeon closes her eyes and melts into the little slice of heaven on Earth. There is nothing better than sharing a kiss with Tiffany.
An exclamation of surprise is what jerks Taeyeon back to reality. “Taeyeon?” She opens her eyes and finds herself staring into the eyes of Ellie, Heechul, Kibum and Matt. Oh my God! She pulls away from Tiffany who turns to see what made Taeyeon stop.
“Oh, hello!” says Tiffany. “What a coincidence!”
Ellie is the first of the office mates to speak. “A-Are the two of you . . .”
Tiffany replies before Taeyeon can, “Yes, we’re together.” An arm goes around Taeyeon’s shoulder. “For a while now.”
Matt’s reddening face does not escape Taeyeon’s eyes, even in the dimmer settings of the bar. She knows then, that Matt has realized she has been privy to his little lies all this time.
“How long?” Heechul asks and Taeyeon throws him a punch on his arm.
“Nosy prick,” she answers with a laugh.
“Little Miss Sneaky Knickers,” Heechul rebuts with a grin. “I can’t believe you haven’t told me a single thing.” He feigns a heartache. “I thought we were friends.”
Taeyeon bites her lip. “I’m sorry. I was just waiting, you know, till things are stable.”
Heechul gives her a pat on her head and ruffles her hair. “Don’t worry about it, lil’ buddy. We’ll leave you two alone now. But I want to hear all about it on Monday, okay?”
Taeyeon feels the heat rushing to her cheeks as she nods. Tiffany’s arm has been around her shoulders all this time and Matt’s eyes have been everywhere but on the two of them. It must be awkward for him. She will have to speak to him in private, somehow.
Ellie points accusingly at Taeyeon. “Taller than you and very hot, huh.” She laughs. “Can’t say you lied though. Smart ass.” She gives them a wide grin. “It must have been hell to work on the project together. Glad to see you survived it.”
Tiffany squeezes Taeyeon’s shoulder. “We’ll survive anything.”
Ellie winks at them. “Have a good time.”
Taeyeon’s heart swells at Tiffany’s words. “Thanks, Ellie,” she says and gives her office mates a wave before turning to Tiffany, meeting eyes that glow with the warmth of love. “Do you really think so?” she asks the woman who has given her so much to look forward to (and dread) these few months.
“Do you really think we’ll survive anything?”
Tiffany nods. “I know that I love you and this feeling isn’t going to go away easily.” Taeyeon opens her mouth but Tiffany adds quickly, “And I’m sober enough to know what I’m saying. This isn’t a drunken Tiffany speech.”
From the bottom of her heart, Taeyeon replies, “I love you too. And I’m definitely saying this sober.”
Tiffany bursts out laughing and Taeyeon follows suit, feeling happier than she has ever been this past year. “My dearest architect, you should look at yourself. Even your ears are red,” says Tiffany as she fiddles with Taeyeon’s ear.
Taeyeon smiles, leans close to Tiffany’s ear and says, “My dearest civil engineer, my ears are red because I can’t stop thinking of how much I want to make love to you tonight. I can’t wait to take your clothes off and lick every inch of your body. Every single inch.”
Tiffany pulls back and their eyes meet for a burning second. “What about our drinks.”
“Good idea.” Tiffany raises her mojito. “Cheers to our successful collaboration and may our love go the distance.”
Taeyeon raises her mocktail. “Cheers.”
With that, they empty their drinks in one long gulp and dash out of the bar, eager to get home to start the night’s activities.
“It wasn’t so bad, was it?” Tiffany asks as Taeyeon drives them back to her apartment.
“What wasn’t bad?”
“Your office mates finding out.”
“I guess.” Taeyeon shrugs. “They seemed to be cool with it.”
“So why were you so afraid of people finding out?”
Taeyeon heaves a sigh. Even after all this time, it still isn’t easy to talk about it. “My previous workplace wasn’t as liberal.”
“Did they give you a hard time?”
Taeyeon nods. “I told just one person. I thought I could trust her. But she told everybody else and things got so awkward that I resigned and joined LS instead.”
“Oh my poor architect.” Tiffany strokes Taeyeon’s cheek with the back of her fingers. “It must have been hard.”
“It was my dream company but I would never have made Project Architect if I had stayed. I guess it was for the better.”
“Not every workplace is like that. My previous office and this one are both accepting of me.”
Taeyeon smiles. “Are you kidding me? You’re a female civil engineer and a pretty one too. Do you know how rare that is? Any office would be insane to want you out.”
Tiffany laughs. “Does that mean you would be insane to want me out too?”
With a shake of her head, Taeyeon says, “I’m already crazy to be dating a CE, much less fall in love with one.”
“You’re right. We’re both crazy.”
“And crazy for each other.”
Taeyeon and Tiffany exchange a smile at that. Architects and civil engineers might be sworn enemies but there is something to be said about loving your enemies. From that very first moment when their eyes met in the toilet. To the second time. Their first ‘hi’ to each other. Grabbing their first sandwich together. Their first lunch date. Dinner date. The first time they held hands. First night. First fight. Right to this moment when Taeyeon knows beyond a shadow of doubt that she loves Tiffany. And has Tiffany loving her back. Is it really fate, as Tiffany said? Taeyeon still doesn’t know. But she believes in taking fate into her own hands too. Forging a timely encounter. So with fate on their side, Taeyeon does not think it matters that architects and civil engineers are sworn enemies. In fact, it makes it even better, loving in spite of.
a/n: okay. as requested by so many of you, this is the extended wrap up. it’s probably better this way too. so thanks for asking for this 🙂 enjoy~
also, fluffy_taeng tweeted these pictures which i had almost forgotten about. thanks for bringing these memories back to me 😀 architect taeng is and always will be hot.