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In The Next Life

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Soft brown eyes blinked open tiredly, staring up to the ceiling as the soft opening of QLER's อยู่ก่อน played through the speakers of the phone next to her head. She let out a soft groan as she switched off the alarm and sat up running a hand through her hair and glancing around the room as if for the first time. Posters of different Thai and Japanese rock and pop bands covered the off-white walls and the light-stained wood door to her closet leaving almost no space for more. She had shelf's all along the wall next to her open door, filled of books and CDs of over one-hundred different authors and artists in languages of all kinds. Along the opposite wall a large window with candles and journals along the sill. Next was a white painted wood desk with a black rolling chair, a blanket tossed over it, covered in pens and homework sheets sitting atop her laptop. Next to this, her bed was a basic queen mattress tucked into the corner of the room, baby blue soft sheets and an oversized light grey comforter rumpled and bunched from sleep and tangled with fluffy soft throw she had on top. The 4 soft, grey and blue pillows she kept on the bed had long since fallen on the floor, leaving the sleep worn body pillow tucked against her side. All around her room random stuffed animals were hidden, most tucked away into her closet among her band t-shirts and school uniform.

She sighed as her second alarm went off and crawled out of bed letting the throw fall on the floor by her feet. She walked out of her room and down to the hall, aggressively knocking on one of the doors along the right wall.

"I told you to set your alarms for earlier get up before we're late!" She shouts through the door, waiting till she heard the answering groans before walking back into her room and shutting the door revealing a collage of her and her friends and family from since she was a kid. She smiled a little glancing at the pictures before going to her closet and pulling out her uniform. Foregoing her basic button up today, she pulled on a basic grey shirt and her navy blue engineering jacket over her black skinny jeans. She took a minute to study her reflection in the mirror on her closet door. She never particularly liked her body, and she still doesn't, but sometimes even she has to admit she's kind of hot. She laughs softly as she shuts the door. When she hears the shuffling of clothes in the other room she grabs her bag and leaves her room slipping into the bathroom.
As she starts to pull back and clip the bangs of her hair into place with her signature-since-middle-school bejeweled flower clip, she thinks of her life over so far to get her to this point.

Jew Wanichakarnjonkul has spent her entire life around the same people. Her parents were one of the dream couples of campus. Team and Win Wanichakarnjonkul had adopted their little girl when she was born, around the same time that all their friends had become parents as well. They raised Jew like the princess she was in their eyes, into the strong Civil Engineering student she was today.

Being adopted she looked nothing like her parents. Her long, naturally straightened light brown hair contrasting to her papa's occasionally bleached blonde but naturally dark brown hair and her dad's deep black hair. Her soft brown eyes a lighter, caramel shade compared to the deep-dark ones her parents share. She's not seemingly short, but definitely shorter than her dads. But she was more obviously their daughter in the way she acts. She has her Dad's love for lays, her Papa's focus in studying, both of their loves for swimming. Even small mannerisms, Teams confused eyebrow crease and Wins playful smirk. She was definitely their daughter.

Jew was startled out of her thoughts, almost done with her eyeliner when a series of rapid knocks sounded against the door messing her up. She groans grabbing a makeup wipe as she opens the door revealing a panicked looking brown haired boy. He was already dressed in his uniform and sheepishly smiled through his apology as he pushed his way into the bathroom.

"In you ass! You messed me up!" Jew huffed turning to face the mirror as she wiped away her mistake.

"Sorry Jew but I'm gonna be late." He starts fixing his hair in the other side of the large mirror. They had the bathroom upgraded when Jew moved in, accommodating both the drama queens now sharing a living space.

"I told you to set an earlier alarm was I wrong? No! Did you listen to me? Also no! So not my fault." She finishes her eyeliner just on time for the front door to be riddled with the same aggressive knocking style. "God you little vermin with Wongnate blood are all unnecessarily aggressive." She ignores In's side glare.

"I'm a Chatpokin thank you very much."

"By blood you're a Wongnate so I don't want to hear it. Hurry up lover boy." She ruffles his hair grabbing her bag and rushing through the living room as another series of knocks sounds. She opens the door to a smiling girl just barely shorter than Jew. "Please go tell your cousin that New has seen him in every way possible, LITERALLY LIVES WITH US, so he doesn't need to spend more time in there than me."

"Please, In is P'Pharm's child, he must look his best for his love." Dew laughs pushing away a deep red strand of hair out of her face from where it has fallen from the clip holding it up in a bun at the back of her head. Jew just rolls her eyes as she slips on her shoes and calling over her shoulder, "We're leaving with or without you!" She grabs her captains jacket from the back of a recliner and links her arm with Dew walking down the stairs of their apartment.

"Shouldn't we wait for him?" Dew looks over her shoulder worried but Jew just shakes her head.

"He'll meet us in the car don't worry. How's your mom?" Del, Dews mom and In's aunt has always been a mother figure for her. She hadn't met her "aunt" Manaow until her freshman year, so she had been close with Del and Dew after being raised surrounded by boys.

"She got a side role in a new drama! She's so excited but has been dragging Uncle Don everywhere she's been going to prepare. I think he's starting to regret not taking that project in Germany." She giggles into the air as they round their way to the parking lot searching for her car.

"P'Don would die in Germany, plus he's miss us too much."

"True he wouldn't be able to spoil his favorite girls." Dew jokes along with her resting her head against Jews, who lets out a small laugh before letting go of her to get into the car. They both spend the next few minutes fixing their hair in the car mirrors before the back door opens and a freshly pampered In makes himself comfortable.

"Come on I don't want to be late!" He buckles in ignoring the teasing laughs from his cousin and best friend as Dew pulls out of her parking space to head to campus.

They had all joined the same university their parents had attended. Dew had waited until Jew and In had graduated high school so they could join classes together. Her mom wasn't the happiest with her decision, but she could never leave them behind.

They all smiled as their university pulled into view. Call them nerds, but they actually loved their school. It's where their parents met and where they made memories. They were sad to know one day it would all end, but for today they got to start a new year.

Del dropped off Jew and In in front of the engineering campus. "Tell New to make sure you're in class on time or we're gonna have some problems." She playfully glares at In before pulling away from the curb, leaving In and Jew to head further into the campus.

"I don't under why New had to go in early anyways." In pouts as Jew hangs onto his arm. She lets out a soft laugh before answering him.

"He's the head hazer this year since P'Det left. So he has to organize everything for this years freshers before class so he doesn't skip any classes. P'Manaow might not care but P'Pruk would definitely be upset if New missed any classes."

"Yeah yeah. Stupid New having to be all responsible and smart." He pouts more causing Jew to just laugh more. She takes her time walking with him before dropping him off in the office of this years teacher lead for the hazer program where everyone is meeting, waiving bye to him and another fairly tall student before walking off to class.

~

It was hours later after a math class and 2 environmental science classes (one of which she was an active tutor in, not a student) that Jew met up with her friends again at lunch. Dew and In were already sitting at their usual table in the engineering canteen, having gotten out of class 10 minutes before her.

She sat across from them where there was already a lunch sitting, judging by the basic rice and chicken plate and the bag of ships sitting next to it she knew it was for her. But there was something missing, the last member of their group who has gotten out of class before her. "Where's New?"

"He had one more hazer meeting before their session tonight so he couldn't make it. In's been sulking about it since he got the call." Dew rolls her eyes but smiles nonetheless at her cousins growing pout at being reminded.

"Ah makes sense. I figured he would get everything sorted out this morning." Jew skips over her lunch to open the chips only to have them taken from her hands," Hey!"

"No. Food first then chips. You know your dad would agree."

"Screw my dad he was worse than I was with chips now gimmie." Jew snatches the bag back and opens it anyways eating a chip in retaliation. They talk about how classes have been and Jew is in the middle of talking about her tutoring session when her friends eyes light up and they start waving at someone behind her.

She turns to see who it is, eyes landing on a young girl who just walked in. Her bleached yellow-blonde hair pulled half up so her bangs are out of her face, the black heels on the feet giving off the illusion of a tall figure that's framed with a tight black skirt and short sleeve button up with her nursing emblem pinned proudly on her chest. She walks past the table not sparing them a second look as Jew pushes both of their hands down stopping them from trying to wave the girl over.

"Stop." She hisses at them earning confused glances from both parties.

"Why? U haven't seen Em all summer I miss her." In pouts a little but Dew can automatically read Jews face. And she sighs.

"What happened?"

"Nothing. Seriously just. Not right now okay? Just drop it." In opens his mouth to argue but few covers his mouth watching Jew with worry as she turns her attention to her food, not really eating it just pushing it around the plate for the rest of their lunch period.

~

"I just don't understand..." In huffs silently burying his head under the chin of the taller figure embracing him. "She tells me everything but...the look on her face when Em walked in today? I'm...I'm worried about her and she won't talk to me..."

"Maybe it's not something she's ready to talk about." The deep voice above him points out, running his hands through the soft, shower fresh hair on top on In's head. In just lets out a soft whine at the obvious answer.

"I just want to see her happy again..."

"I know...you and me both babe." There's a sigh followed by a light feather kiss to his hair as they both fall asleep in each other's arms, worried about the girl sleeping right next door.

Chapter Text

I met her first in middle school. She had been transferred in my seventh grade year and we had immediately become close, something my dad thought would never happen as most of the kids didn't very much like me at this school. We stuck to each other until I transferred schools to be with my family for high school. I honestly missed her.

Much to my surprise she transferred into my high school sophomore year, not even a few weeks into that year did we start dating. Everyone was really supportive and I was head over heels for this girl. She was my everything. Until I started noticing the signs.

She started hanging around this girl I barely knew. I knew her, sure, for reasons I swore never to speak of. But she was a stranger to me. And the more she was around the more I started to notice it. The way she was acting to me. She would pull away. Fake her smiles. Lie for the first time in years. And then I saw it. The kiss they shared as they dipped into the bathroom believing they were alone. I knew then what I didn't want to believe.

She didnt love me anymore.

~

I startled a bit as a tray was set in front of me. I looked up to see a tall figure with dark hair and gorgeous eyes smiling at me apologetically.

"Sorry?" He asks confused and I just shake my head.

"No you're fine, New. Just...zoned out for a bit." I look down at the tray in front of me with a light smile. He always ordered my food extra spicy, a bit of info only he seemed to pick up on that I preferred the spice of a dried, hot thai chili that came mixed into the rice of my favorite chicken dish in the engineering canteen.

I listen as they fall into light chatter about their days as I dig into my food. I couldn't bring myself to care about my weight. Sometimes it bugged me, but I always had my friends and family to remind me that I was beautiful the way I am. So I never had a reason to stop eating the delicious food my friends plied me with. Oh there was also that, they always bought me lunch to make sure I ate. After my senior year, it just became a tradition that I was never allowed to buy my own lunch. Mainly thanks to New and In, I had come to realize.

When the chatter abruptly stopped I look up from my plate confused, only to see In and Dew staring off in the same direction. New moved to block my view but I saw what had caught their attention.

Em had walked into the canteen, attached to the arm of a mechanical engineering student. She was fairly tall, her dark black hair pulled up in a bun with strands of hair and her black drained glasses framing her face. Shi.

I look down growing tense as New stays facing me to block me from their view and vice-versa even as my friends follow their every movement with their mouths and eyes wide in astonishment and confusion. They watched them walk away long enough for them to sit in their seats, before their attention snapped to me.

"Jew what the hell was that?"
"Did you two break up?"
"Who was that girl?"
"Do we know her?"
"Why aren't you angry?"
"How are you not upset over this?"
"Why didn't you say anything to us?"

The whole time New kept his mouth shut just watching everyone slowly sink in on myself with every question before I finally gave up. I pushed my tray away from me and grabbed my bag as I got up and got the hell out of here.

~

If I whispered an unheard thank you for my leftovers were found outside my door that night after locking myself in my room all day, no one was there to hear it.

Chapter Text

Swim tryouts were held the next day. Swim meets were already scheduled to start immediately this season, so they had to build their team as soon as they could.

New say up in the bleachers among other students of their school, being the only member of their friend group present as In and Dew were both pulled away for family activities for the night. New promised to send their love. He waited scrolling through his phone before the swimmers started filing out of the locker room after this years Vice President, P'Lian. He didn't really talk much and no one was really close to him except for Jew.

Speaking of, he smiled as Jew walked out following the group, her eyes glued to her clipboard. Her body was outlined in her full black one piece suit and blue trimmed jammers, covered by her captains jacket. Among all the big, buff men she looked small and out of place. But the stone set look on her face she gets from her papa? There was no doubt she was in charge.

Jew gained the captains position of the swim team after a high school incident had left her unable to join any form of team. She had done volunteer stats work with after hours light training alone before the coach determined that there was no one else he'd rather have as his captain. A lot of the guys were a little upset at first, but after a few weeks of training they'd never want anyone else to be their captain either.

Each year they have the same issues with the freshies. They don't believe in her. They think the older guys are throwing themselves away listening to someone like her. But then they see her drop seconds off the fastest swimmer after only a week. They watch her swim. They meet her dads, the schools gods. They never doubt her again.

This year was surely not going to be any different. But Jew couldn't care less. She immediately starting her speech to the youngest, about the task and what exactly she expected from her team. She let her current members show their practice round, what they had been trained to achieve, before splitting off the groups that would be trying out.

Throughout the whole process, News eyes never left Jew. Even sneaking a couple of pictures of her and sending them off to In for proof she was okay.

~

"Results will be posted first thing in the morning on the coach's office door. If you have any questions please feel free to come find me or P'Lian in our office. Before the end of the day. You're all free to go." Jew can feel the presence behind her, the eyes trained in her direction. But she pays him no mind, heading to the office with Lian to finish off today's paperwork. She sits opposite of Lian at the desk, both falling silent, as New slips into the chair in the corner scrolling through his phone.

They sit in the office for hours the only sound the murmurs between Jew and Lian, and the occasional videos playing from New's phone. It's an hour after Lian leaves that Jew finally starts to pack her things, and it's on the way to her car the New grabs her arm and gently leads her to his.

"Hey what are you doing?" She asks confused quickly locking her car.

"Taking you to dinner." Is all he says, ignoring her multiple questions that follow as he put her in the car and drives off. Jew huffs holding her bag to her chest, staying in that position until they get to the restaurant.

She light up a little seeing the noodle stall that they frequented during highschool. It's one of her favorite places, and she's guessing New could tell if that's where they ended up seeing as how they hadn't been there since their junior year.

They went and sat at their regular seat in the back corner, staying silent the whole time. They didn't even talk as New ordered their food or as their food was delivered. It took only 5 minutes into the meal for Jew to break.

"Why are we here? You literally never hang out with me if it's not with In. So what's going o-"

"What's wrong, Jew." New interrupts her, causing her to stop mid sentence. She just laughs a little looking at her plate.

"I have no ice what you're talking about I'm...im fine..."

"I may not have known you as long as the others, but I can tell when you're lying to me. So talk. What happened with Em? What's wrong?" He puts down his silverware giving her his full attention with the hope she'll give in. She takes another bite of her food, chewing slowly on the rice trying to figure out what to say. By the time she swallows she breaks, and tells him everything.

"She...cheated on me..."

Chapter Text

New woke up the next morning to the brown hair tucked right under his nose. Now this he was used to, having lived with In for over a year now it's not really uncommon to have someone in his arms. It was however VERY uncommon, for it to be Jew. He was startled for a minute before yesterday's events started to come back to him. Jew had broken down at the noodle stall so he had taken her home. After removing her jacket he had taken her to bed, only to hold her until she passed out from crying. He didn't dare leave her.

He sighs, letting his head fall back against the pillow as he thinks over his newfound knowledge. He had promised not to tell In...but he's never kept anything from that shorty. Maybe he'll forgive him just this once...

~
On the other side of town In was sitting in his cousins bed, knees pulled to his chest as he was pouting.

"Dew I don't understand! Why won't she talk to me..."he whines. Dew just sighs glancing up from her phone just to see In pouting at his phone, presumably at his conversation where New won’t give him any information.

"Maybe she just doesn't want to talk about it. She's allowed to be her own person."

"I know that! I just..." he deflated messing with the sleeves of the deep grey Tied Together sweater he had stolen from New. "...I'm worried about her."

"I know you are but just...give her time okay?" In seems to think it over before he starts getting ready for the day.

"Where are you going?"

"School and you're going with me. I'm making her talk to me.”

“It’s a bad idea In. You know how she is.”

“Of course I know how she is! She’s my best friend! Exactly why she needs to talk to me. So get up!”

Dew just groans and rolls out of bed going to get dressed to entertain her cousins childish antics.

~

They find Jew sitting at a table in the engineering courtyard across from New. She barely registers New’s warning of “incoming,” before she’s being ambushed with a tiny In wrapping his body around her.

“Please talk to me. I’m worried about you. You never keep anything from me and now you’re not talking to me so I know somethings really wrong and I’m your best friends I love you and care about you so please will you just t-mmmmm!” He gets cut of as she covers his mouth, her eyes glimmering in amusement.

“In. Take a breath. And let me breathe. Please.”

She laughs at In’s little whine as he detaches himself from her and walks around the table to sit next to New. She barely hears Dew’s apology as she sits down.

“Sorry he’s…he’s worried. We all are. And we respect your private but…”

“But you’re curious and worried and…that’s okay. But I don’t want to talk about it. So please. Just drop it.”

“But-“

“No.”

“But Je-“

“In I said no. Drop it. Please.” She looks at him but he just huffs grabbing his bag.

“And I thought I was your best friend..” he turns and walks off, his bag in hand. New calls after him but he doesn’t turn around or stop, so few quickly gathers her stuff.

“I’ll watch him. Sorry about this…” she rushes off following him. Jew just groans dropping her head to the table.

“I know I should talk to him but they like Em…I can’t just…I can’t just make her into the villain like that.”

“But she is the villain. She hurt you, Jew, and it’s okay to make he out to be the bad guy. You know they’d both take your side.”

“I…” she sighs as she sits up. “I know I just…I don’t want them to be hurt…”

New can’t seem to think of an answer to that. He just reaches over resting his hand on hers as she thinks it over.

~

“Em!” In shouts as Dew finally catches up to him. Em looks up from where she’s sitting at a table in the med canteen among her friends.

“Hey guys!” She smiles acting way too chipper compared to how Jew’s been the past few days. He pulls his arm out of Dew’s grasp from where she’s trying to pull him back and goes over to Em. “What’s up?”

“Nothing really it-“

“What happened between you and Jew?” In cuts off Dew’s rant. He wants the truth. He needs to know what happened.

“What has she been telling you guys?” Em asks curiosly. When she receives a “nothing” in response she just nods and looks down, “that makes sense. That she wouldn’t tell you anything.”

In and dew look at each other before sitting down across from her, “tell us what happened. Please.”

Em takes a moment to gather herself before responding, “Jew…treated me terribly. We may have seemed fine in front of everyone but…we really weren’t. She has her dads short temper, you know that. And it wasn’t long before…it turned to me. She started getting snappy and would grab me so hard she left bruises…” she takes a shuddering breath “When I left…she…was angry with me…if it weren’t for my Yue…I dont think I would have been safe in that situation.”

Dew looks at in who has an eyebrow raised staring at Em with all the sass that he inherited from his fathers. Neither of them believe her story for a minute. Jew? Hurt Em? Jew worshipped the ground that women walked on.

“Uh huh…sure. Well. That solves that then.” In gets up followed quickly by Dew. Em looks up.

“What that’s it?”

“Yeah. That’s it. It was nice knowing you, Em.” In just tilts his head with his low key threatening little smile before grabbing Dew’s hand and walking away. They both look at each other in bewilderment, wondering what must have actually happened to make Em make up a story like that.

Neither of them noticed the murmurs spreading slings Em’s friends, or the slight smirk on her face.

~

Jew noticed the mutters. The stares. How everyone would glare at her or bump into her as she was walking down the halls. She couldn’t have been more confused even if she tried. But she ignored it. Chalked it up to her being paranoid, and went through the day. Class to class, it just got worse, to the point she was kicked out of her group project and has to do it on her own.

By the end of the day, she was exhausted and upset as the glares continued, but was excited to finally hide away at today’s swim practice. The team loved her, being the only girl on the team and the captain, even if she was one of the oldest she was treated like everyone’s little sister. And it was her safe space.

She walked into practice, half an hour early to set up. She changed into her practice uniform, her simple black one piece and swim leggings with the blue stripe down the side, then pulled on her jacket and grabbed her clipboard.

She rarely, if ever, got in the water. Her senior year of high school, a rival teams captain pushed her off of her starting podium and she injured her leg when it was caught on the podium on the way down. She was in surgery for hours after, resulting in a not so attractive scar along the inside of her left thigh. It also stopped her from ever swimming competitively again.

To Jew, it was the end of her world. She, much like her fathers, felt drawn to the water in a way she could never explain. Like her home away from home. They raised her to be a swimmer like them; weekly trips to the pool, lessons since she was three, even made sure whenever they moved that with a little extra money and time they could add a pool for their baby girl. And she loved every minute of it.

Even though she can no longer swim competitively, that doesn’t stop her from enjoying the water. She still floats around the pool at home, and sometimes stays after practice when she can get away with it to swim as well.

Jew snaps out of her thoughts and looks up from where she was marking inventory on their safety closet as people started to make their way into the locker room. She closed the closet to exist the room, and noticed their voices drop and their conversation hanging as they kept glancing at her. She felt her heart clench as she turned and walked out of the room.

Here too?

She sighed and went and sat on the bench near the pool, her clipboard laying forgotten next to her. She had really hoped the team wouldn’t act different. She was wrong. She doesn’t even know what she did, so she doesn’t know how to react. But once again, she tries to ignore it. She stands back up grabbing her clipboard as the team exists the locker room.

When they line up she ignores their glares as she starts her daily rundown of the plan. “Today you’re doing relays, you’ll be paired off by P’Lian and assigned a number corresponding to your practice lane for the day. After relays you’ll do timed trials once again to determine your spot for our upcoming meet in 2 weeks. You have the next ten minutes to warm up, following P’Lian and-“

“Knock it off.” She hears Lain snap from next to her. The snickers and murmurs from within group die down. Her arms fall to her sides clipboard resting against her leg as they all seem to look down.

“Locker room. Now. Everyone.” They all look up at her with confusion until she repeats herself. “Now!” They all follow each other into the locker room, a few of the snagging the bench in the middle of the room, other sitting on the floor, most of them leaving up against the lockers. All already looking severely talked to and confused.

Jew takes her time, following Lian into the locker room. When a couple of them start to mutter to each other, Lian shoots them a glare that immediately shuts them up. Jew sets her clipboard on the desk in the room and leans against it. She takes another minute before speaking, the pain and confusion clear in her voice.

“Will someone please explain to me what the hell I did?”

Chapter Text

She didn't want to leave practice early. But the way they all looked at her. The words thrown her way. She couldn't handle it. So she grabbed her stuff and left. She didn't even know where she was going, but it didn't take long before she was in front of a door she recognized well.

She had really walked this far?

She lets out a shuddering breath, the wind feeing cold against her cheeks where the tear tracks sit. She knocks on the door, noticing only then how badly she was shaking. She heard rustling behind the door but didn't really register when the door opened.

"Jew?" A gentle voice called as she looked up at the worry filled eyes in front of her.

"Dad..." was all she could get out before more tears fell from her eyes. An arm wrapped around her as Team lead her into the house, dropping her bag by the door and holding onto her as he leads her to the couch.

"Princess what happened?" He asks softly sitting down with her.

"They think I hurt her...they think IM the bad guy...she's telling everyone I hurt her..." Jew just cries harder, saying it out loud makes it all seem to real. She doesn't even resister her dad holding her closer, or the time passing, before she's out cold in his arms.

Team is so confused. He can connect enough dots to know that this is about Em, but last he checked their break up had been Em's fault. Jew had never talked to him about it, but a father knows and he's very observant when it comes to his princess. He sighs situating her so she's more comfortable and just waits for Win to come home.

~

It's a few hours later when he feels fingers threading through his hair. He smiles a little half asleep on the couch when he feels a kiss being pressed into his head and opens his eyes, only to be treated with the beautiful smile of his husband.

"Hi baby..." Win greets quietly.

"Hi hia." Team yawns a little trying not to move much when he feels the weight of Jew still against him.

"When did Jew come home?"

"A few hours ago..." he gently runs his fingers through her hair. "Will you take her to bed? I need to talk to you about something..." Win takes a minute to study his loves face.

"She didn't come home happy, did she?"

"No. No she didn't." He sighs. Win just nods, walking around the couch. He carefully picks her up and carries her to her room. It hadn't changed much from how she left it, new bedding when she moved in with In and New, but the poster and furniture she left remained where she left it. Win tucks her in before quietly closing the door and heading out to the kitchen where Team is warming up dinner for him. He smiles a little wrapping his arms around his waist from behind.

"Hia Im going to burn it!" He warns swatting at one of his hands. Win just laughs pressing a chaste kiss to his neck.

"You would never." He let's go anyways and makes his way over to the table, setting his suit jacket over the back of the chair, loosening his tie and unbuttoning the top button. He rolls up his sleeves as he sits in his chair his eyes never leaving Team as he played the food and brings it over to the table. "Thank you baby."

Team gives him a smile and sits across from him. Win takes a few bites, giving Team a moment to gather is thoughts, before asking. "How bad is it?"

Team takes a minute shoving his words carefully. "She...came home crying. I think it has to do with Em..."

"Didn't they break up?"

"Yeah a while ago. But Jew hasn't said anything about it. The most I got out of her today was she kept saying 'They think I hurt her'..." Team looks down at the table where he's tracing along the pattern in the table cloth. Win wipes his mouth with his napkin, a crease settling in between his eyebrows.

"Have you heard from Alex?"

"No but when would P'Alex ever try to talk to either of us after everything that happened with Del."

"If he thought our daughter was hurting his daughter he would have a few choice words for us I'm sure. Right now I have a few choice words for him."

"Hia now is not the time to be getting pissy with P'Alex. We're not even sure what happened..."

"Who else would this be about? We know for a fact she would never lay her hands on Dew so no one would be dumb enough to spread a rumor like th-" Win is cut off by Teams phone going off.

"It's Pharm. Give me a second." Team answers the phone. "Pharm bows really not a great-"

"Is Jew okay?" A slightly panicked yet bored voice comes from the other end.

"What?" Team, a little startled by the sudden out burst, puts his phone on speaker for Win to hear.

"In came home panicking because Jew left practice early. He's very convinced that she hates him for how he acted earlier in the day, and I just want to make sure he's okay so these two can stop panicking."

"N'New's there too isn't he?" Win asks around a bite of food, ignoring the glare Team shoots him.

"When is he not? And he seems just as worried."

Team sighs closing his eyes for a minute. "Put them on the phone, Pharm."

He doesn't even question it for a second, handing the phone to the boys who immediately put it on speaker.

"P'Team? Is she okay? Please tell me she's ok-"

"In...calm down you're not giving him the chance to answer you." News voice sounds from next to him. "Did she make it home safe, Phi?"

"Yes, she's safe, we have her. She's not great, as I'm sure you both know. But right now she just needs to be home. When she's ready, she will talk to you. But right now, she just needs time. Can you respect that?"

"But I don't even-"

"In." New sighs a little. "Yes sir. We just wanted to make sure she was okay...today wasn't a great day for her."

"Do either of you know what happend?" Win asks.

"You mean you don't?" Pharm speaks up from the background.

"No. She came home crying and barely got 2 sentences out before she crashed."

"Em told me that Jew was harsh with her...yelled at her lost her temper. Grabbed her so hard she would bruise. But that doesn't sound like Jew at all..."

"No you're right it doesn't." Team sighs closing his eyes.

"Is she going to be okay?" New asks.

"I don't know. But we'll be here for her. Thank you both for caring so much."

"Of course..." New responds again, In having gone silent.

When the call ends win and team just stare at each other for a minute.

"They're good for her.." Team comments. Win just nods pushing the remaining food around his plate. He puts his fork down looking down for a minute.

"They love her dont they..."

"Yeah. Yeah I think they do." Win smiles a little.

"Good...she deserves to be loved..."

Win finished dinner and they clean up together heading to bed, feeling lighter knowing their baby girl has people like that in her life. People to take care of her.

Chapter Text

Jew dragged herself from her bed at the repetitive knocking on the door. Her dads wouldn't be home for another couple of hours, and she wasn't expecting company, but she had manners. She made her way to the living room, blankets wrapped around her shoulders as the knocking continued.

"I'm coming!" She shouts in the general direction of the door, glad when the knocking finally stopped. She stumbles to the door and cracks it open ready to tell the intruder to fuck off. Only to pause.

"New?" She breaths out a sigh opening the door fully.

"Nice to see you too." He laughs a little holding a bag up. "Homework. You need to do it." Jew just groans and walks away from the door, leaving it open in invitation and she goes and plops on the couch pulling the blanket over her head. New follows her in and shuts the door. He sets the bag of work on the island counter before plopping on the other side of the couch watching her for a minute.

"How are you holding up?"

"I'm fine." Jew answered immediately pulling the blanket more around her.

"Okay. And how are you really, Jew?" He softens his voice, noticing her slump in on herself a little. She takes a minute before answering.

"Everyone thinks I hurt her. That I bruised her that I...lost my temper in her." She swallows giving herself another minute. "Does that sound like me? Does that really sound like something I would do? I'm not...I'm not a violent person. I don't...I don't hurt people at least not on purpose...I don't raise my voice unless it's me joking around with you guys...I...I wild never hurt her..."

She doesn't notice the tears rolling down her cheeks until she's being pulled into New's side. He just holds her giving her the time to calm down. "It's going to be okay. You have people on your side. People who love you. Who will protect you. Me. In. Dew. We're not going anywhere. I can promise you that."

She laughs a little wiping her tears. "I couldn't get of you even if I tried."

"Exactly." He rubs her arm gently with a smile, "So don't even try. And tomorrow, you're coming into school. The team needs their captain. And In needs his best friend."

She whines, "But I don't want to go back. I was very much so considering dropping out."

"No you weren't but nice try." He laughs holding her closer just letting them relax.

After hours of binging Jew's stupid dramas and a light dinner with her parents, New went home to In, feeling better about the whole situation.

~

In immediately attached to Jew's side when she walked onto the campus pouting and repeatedly apologized for the way he acted. Jew finally sighs and turns to him.

"In. I'm not mad at you okay? It was just a long day and I needed some time at home..."

"Is it cause of em? You know we done believe her right..." In looks down a little nervous.

"Yes I know. I don't think you could ever trust her more than me. We literally grew up together, In." She laughs softly ruffling his hair a little. "I'll be fine. Go to class. Okay?"

"Okay.." he pouts a little as Dew starts to drag him away waving at her and New as they leave. Jew laughs waving back and watching them before turning to New.

"You didn't tell him anything?"

"It's your life, Jew. I'm not going to tell In anything you don't want him to know. You can talk to him when you're ready. I'm here for you the whole way."

"Awh. I knew you were a sweetheart." Jew laughs as he throws an arm around her shoulders.

"For you and In, maybe." He laughs along leading her to class.

~

They meet up at the food science canteen for lunch, deciding they were sick of the engineering menu. When they arrived they sat down to wait for In and Dew.

It was only minutes before In sat down balancing three lunch boxes.

"No school food today." He sets them down smiling as if he's proud of himself, "don't worry I made Dad cook them."

He laughs looking at Jew's face. Jew, as much as she cares for In, will never eat his cooking. He makes it too...bland. Or too salty for her taste. But everyone else seems to love it. She never questions it, just sticking to eating P'Pharm and aunty Del's meals.

She just laughs taking her lunch box. Since elementary they've all had colors assigned to them for their lunches to make everything easier for Pharm, who generally made all of their meals separately due to their range in tastes.

In is Red.
Dew is Purple.
Jew is Blue.
When they met New, he was assigned Green. Even Em, when she was was still part of their group, had a Pink lunchbox to match everyone else.
(AN: these are also their assigned colors in the fandom to distinguish them in videos or art pieces!)

"Where's Dew's?" New questioned as Jew immediately dug into hers.

"Oh I gave it to her earlier. She said she had a study session during lunch." In just shrugs opening his own box.

~

"Ow! Your grip is strong for being so tiny!" A voice hisses before turning to the person holding his arm.

Dew just sighs letting go of P'Ni and P'Lian. "We need to talk."

"Yeah, how are you strong?!"

"My mom made me take self defense classes after events that happened to my uncle and her. I didn't question it, I just passed. So yeah, I'm strong. Not the point. This is about Jew."

"Let me guess what happened to em?" Lian crosses his arms.

"P'Lian, you know Jew. You've been swimming with her since high school, she's been with the team for the past 3 years. You've seen her with Em. Both of you have. Would Jew ever, EVER, lay her hands on Em? On anyone for that matter? Have you ever seen her lose her temper or raise her voice? Think logically here. She trusts the team, you are her family."

Lian and Ni look at each other with understand in their eyes before turning back to her. "We'll talk to the team." Lian promises watching as Dew physically relaxes. Nodding.

"Good. She's like a sister to me. I hate seeing her like this."

"Trust me. We do too. P'Lian tore into everyone when Jew left. It shouldn't be hard for them to fall in line. We'll be there for her." P'Ni promised her.

"Thank you.."

"Don't worry." He smiles, neither noticing that Lian was already gone.

Chapter Text

Jew woke up in her own bed for the first time in over a week, feeling more relaxed than she had since this whole thing started. School yesterday had been easier than she expected, though that could have been due to constantly having New walking her to and from class or other members of the hazing team peeking their heads into her class to check on her.
Being close to New she's kind of like the pet of the hazing team. Always tagging along to events or gaining the protections and trust of the hazers.

The good day followed her throughout practice, the team accepted her again. They were blocking around like normal, no murmurs in the crowd, no issues throughout the whole lesson. She left feeling better than she had all week.

And now here she was, getting ready for the day, fighting with in over who gets the bathroom space as New just shoved past them and locks them out of the bathroom, like every morning. Everything was back to normal, and Jew couldn't be happier.

~

I pulled my hair back from my eyes, using a claw clip and some Bobby pins to hold my hair in a half up do. I take a minute to look over myself in the mirror.

My blonde hair, now pulled back, curled to perfection. My eveyliner along with my rose gold accented eyeshadow making my eyes glow. The pale pink and gold flecked gloss on my lips finishing the look. I flatten my hands along the front of my shirt sleeved button up and short-hemmed black skirt to check for stains or wrinkles. I reach up for the finish touch, my nursing badge, as I hear a voice.

"We're going to be late if you spend anymore time in here." I hear as arms find their way around my waist. I smile making contact with the pair of eyes looking me over in the mirror.

Her dark black hair is still around her shoulders, her similarly dark eyes framed with black square frames. I can't see much else as she's hidden behind me, but I would bet actual money she was wearing her usual dark jeans and engineering jacket over her black T-shirt.

I rest my hands on her arms, "Good morning my love."

"Good morning Em..." she presses a kiss to my shoulder. "We need to go."

"I know I know. I'll be out in a minute. Go start the car."

"We're taking the bike."

"Wait, Yue, no-" before I can finish my plea, Shi is already gone heading downstairs to pull her bike around front. I just groans.

"I swear that woman is trying to kill me." I takes one more minute to fix my makeup before shoving a brush in my bag for after the drive and grabbing my helmet from before the door before heading downstairs.

Most of my stuff is at my girlfriends room, I don't like staying in mine cause it makes me feel alone. At least here I'm surrounded by her stuff even if she's not here. I go and I playfully glare at her as she takes the helmet out of my hands helping me situate it on my head.

"You're cute when you try to be mad at me." She just laughs at me.

"I'm not trying I am mad...I curled my hair this morning and now I have to fix it when we get to campus."

"And you'll look just as beautiful if not more so. Let's go pouty." She laughs again before I get on behind her, sitting sideways on the bike and twisting my body to hold onto her, my bag resting in between us.

Me and her have been together for 4 years. She truly is my everything. My Yue. My Achara.

God I love that woman...

~

"I don't want to rush things for her..." he speaks softly, his head tucked under my chin. I just smile a little.

"I know...But In, sweetheart, you can't get what you want if you don't try."  I try to reason with him. We keep our voices down, Jew asleep in the next room over.

"You want this too...right?"

"I've wanted this as long as you've wanted this, you know that." I laugh a little running my fingers through his hair.

"I love her..."

"I know...me too..."

~
~

AN

We're so close to being half way done so enjoy this filler chapter!!!

Side notes for names used in this chapter!

Shi was born in China, she was supposed to be a twin, but was the only one to survive. So her parents named her Shi, meaning Death. She hates her name, knowing it's only because her parents had wanted her brother more than her. Em sees this so calls her by two different names instead of Shi, to make her feel more loved.
Yue = Moon (Chinese)
Achara = Goddess (Thai)
Please correct me if these are wrong I'm doing the best I can using google and name charts in other languages!

Chapter Text

~
~

I was walking through the halls on my free period. Being a sophomore I wasn't supposed to have a free period, but one of my classes were canceled and my counselor never replaced it. I had dropped Jew off at her math class and headed off to explore.

I've seen most of these corridors before, and as long as I don't bather anyone teachers usually don't say anything about me being out here. There was very few spaces I've seen, but I traveled down the hall that lead to the shop class extracurricular. I've never gone down here, feeling no need to join shop or auto courses. My plan was to go to school to be a nurse.

I heard sounds coming out of one of the work rooms, odd since they don't open till after classes are over. I walk over to the door and crack it slightly peeking in. I see a girl, probably a year older than me, messing with a motorcycle that's parked in the garage. I've never seen one here, as most of the kids are too young to get the required license, but it's interesting to me that there would be one here.

I watch as she pulls her long hair back into a messy bun at the top of her head when it kept getting in the way, and pushed her glasses up slightly.

"If you're gonna keep standing there might as well give me a hand." I jump a little when her voice is directed at me. I open the door a little more stepping more into her view.

"I...know nothing about bikes. Or anything...buildy fixy wise. Really. I'd be no help."

"I can teach you." She smiles holding up the item in her hand. "Not to sound condensed, this is a wrench. There's more over there." She points to the wall across from her. "Grab the one farthest to the left and come join me." She leans down setting back to work.

I set my bag down by the door as I close is at go to grab the wrench. I walk back over and hesitate slightly before I sit down next to her. "I'm Em by the way..."

"I'm...Shi."

~

I had a little too much to drink. So has she. We both know this but we can't stop. She's been watching me all night. Watching me so close that the second Jew left I found myself here. In this room. With her. But I couldn't stop.

As her lips pressed against mine I pressed back against hers just as deeply. When her hand rests against my thigh, I grip onto her arm. When she pulls away, I chase her lips and pull her back in.

She pulls away resting a hand on my shoulder, "we should stop..."

I take a minute to catch my breath. Clear my head.

"I don't want to stop...I want you..." I pull her back in.

~

I look around. The stuffed cat in my arms. The lemonade in her hand as she holds it up to take a drink. The Ferris wheel we're lined up for. I know what this is. But I don't say anything as we get into our seats and she sets her arm along the back of my seat.

I wait and watch. We go around slowly a few times and I watch the scenery. I wait until we're stopped at the top. I smile a little looking at the view before turning to her.

"Was this a date?"

"I wanted it to be. Yes..."

"Good..." I lean over giving her a gentle kiss, feeing her smile against my lips as the ride starts up again.

Shit...what am I going to do about Jew?

~

I hear light pebbles against my window. God it's like a cheesy teen drama. I roll my eyes getting out of bed and I open the window. I quietly remove the screen setting it next to me on the floor before leaning out.

Shi is standing on my lawn a smile on her face. She got her hair cut a few weeks ago so it's pulled up, her undercut showing proudly for the first time.

"Hurry up before you let the spiders in!" I quietly hiss down at her before crawling back into my bed, sitting on top of the covers and pulling my book back into my view. It takes a few minutes before I hear the window close again, and the book is being taken from my hands, "hey!" I pout a little.

"No books. My turn." She sets the book down on the table next to us before leaning over me, my back hitting the head board.

"My dads home..."

"You know how to be quiet." She laughs softly before reaching over to turn off the light.

~

I was walking along the halls after lunch, heading to my choir class. I didn't want to take choir but, it was better than nothing. I don't pay attention when the door opens next to me until a hand grabs me and pulls me in.

"Hey what-!" I'm silenced by a pair of lips pressed against mine and I instantly relax. I almost whine when she pulls away.

"Hey."

"Hey.." I hit her arm a little "you scared the hell out of me"

"Mmmm you deserved it. Willing to be a little late?"

"You're insatiable..."

"Maybe just a little." She laughs as she pulls me into a stall.

~

Her tears were breaking my heart as I held her in my arms. She had shown up almost half an hour earlier, my dad not questioning it as she went through the front door and immediately up to my room and fell into my arms.

She fought with her parents again. About how she was a disappointment. A mistake. And her mom brought up her brother...again.

I hate seeing her like this. Broken. Helpless. She's so much more than what her parents drag her down too.  She's so much stronger. So much smarter. So much more beautiful. And I love every part of her. I could never understand how her parents could not love her to the extent parents should.

"It's okay, my Achara..." I press a soft kiss to her head hearing her let out a shuddering breath.

"A-Achara...?"

"My goddess..." I reply softly as she breaks down, crying harder and holding onto me tighter. I will never let her go through this alone.

I will never let her go.

Chapter Text

"I don't think you understand, Jew!"

"No I understand plenty! You could of just told me you never loved me! Instead of dragging me on! It's been years!"

"I did love you! But I..."

"But you what?! When...when did you stop loving me , Em?"

I watch from against the wall where I've been sitting as the tears role down her face. They've been fighting for half an hour now, Jew finally confronting Em. I saw it coming. Of course I did. Jew isn't stupid. She's a bright girl. Top of her class.

I never wanted to hurt her. But I love Em. I never meant to fall for Em but I did...and I fell hard. I was willing to step back if in the end Em chose Jew...but she chose me? Why...

Why did she choose me?

~

I feel her shaking in my arms as we're laying in the bed of my dorm. She hasn't stopped crying since we got back. But I just hold her. Don't say anything. Just let her cry.

It's been a long night. That argument was intense. Em said things...Jew said some things...Jew had broken first. Crying hard enough she couldn't get out sentences. Her aunt came to get her because she couldn't drive. I've never seen such...care. In anyone's eyes.

I'm glad she has that support system. Just like Em has me.

I feel her start to calm down. Her breathing evening out. She falls asleep in my arms and I just hold her closer.

"My poor girl..." I kiss her head "Happy birthday..." I sigh as I look at the clock reading 1 am. She's going to hate me.

~

It's been 3 months. I missed the first month of school. I had left, went back home to spend a few months with Nainai and Yeye (please correct me on translations) well I figured myself out.

I knew Em was with Jew when we were together and a part of me didn't care. But I did care. Having to sneak around wasn't my idea of a healthy relationship. And now that she's not with Jew I have a chance to do this right. But I'm still...scared.

Will this change us? Change her feelings for me? What if she cheats on me next? What if everything goes wrong? I didn't want to find out. But I wasn't going to leave her either.

It's time to go back home...

~

I watched her run away from me.

We were frozen, staring at each other after I had walked onto campus. And she ran. I immediately followed her. I needed to see her. To hold her. I missed her.

I follow her into the bathroom, hearing her let out a sob I grab her arm and turn her around pulling her into my arms. She struggled against me for a minute but I just held her closer to me tears in my own eyes.

"It's been three months!"

"I know...."

"I haven't heard from you!"

"I know..."

"I couldn't fine you were gone I thought something had happened to you or you decided you d-" I kiss her to shut her up. It works as she relaxes into the kiss. I pull away slowly.

"I...I know..."

"I love you..."

"I love you more..."

Chapter Text

New walked to the room following the sounds of crying. It was almost midnight when he had gotten the call from P'Pharm. In had come home today crying and no matter what he or P'Dean did, they couldn't get him to stop. He was the only person they could think of that could help.

New hadn't seen In at all that day, as if he were avoiding him. So hearing he came home crying was a shock.

He walked into the room quietly, seeing In curled up in the corner of the room. He sighed and walked over, sitting on the floor next to him. Being there but giving him space. It didn't take long for In to lean over, attaching to his side to seek comfort.

"I'm sorry..." he manages to croak out. New just holds him closer.

"Calm down first. Then we can talk. I've got you."

New held him for hours letting him cry himself out until the sobbing slowly stopped and the boy lay slightly shaking in his arms.

"I love her..." he says quietly I first. "I love her and I didn't want to because I knew it would fuck everything up everything me and you had built everything she's worked so hard for I don't want to love her but I do..."

"You're talking about Jew, aren't you?" New asked calmly, running his fingers through the shorter boys hair. He feels the boy nod and he just squeezes him slightly.

"I know..."

"Y-You know?" He looks down meeting the big confused eyes staring up at him. "How?"

"Sweetheart it's not hard to tell. You look at her the same way I look at you. I've known for a while." New smiles bopping In's nose.

"And you're not...mad?"

"No. It would be hypocritical if I was."

"Hypocritical...wait." In sits up more realization dawning on his face. "You love her too?"

"Hard not too. Seeing you two...I don't know. It just. It makes me happy. It feels right."

"But she's with Em..." In lays back down curling against New.

"So we wait. We love her from a distance. And we be there when she needs us."

"You're such a gentleman..."

"One of us has to be. You're kind of a brat."

"Hey!" In hits his arm causing both of them to break into laughter.

~

New leans against the wall at the end of the hall watching the scene play out in front of him. Jew and I'm are squished together on their recliner, bowl of popcorn resting on In's lap as he tosses a piece at Jew who made a comment at the movie.

He watches them for a minute. Just laughing and being themselves. It makes him feel...warm. It feels right, feels like home. He can't tell what movie they're watching but he can't find himself caring.

Jew looks happy, calm. The smile finally back on her face after weeks. Squished next to her, In is wearing an equally wide smile that softens when she turns her attention back to the screen, but he doesn't look away.

New smiles walking into the room and reaching between their heads to grab some popcorn.

"Way to start without me." He teases as he walks around them and plops on the couch not wanting to separate them. In rolls his eyes.

"We asked you like an hour ago!"

"And I said I was busy."

"Exactly!" In laughs when New throws a piece of popcorn at his head.

“Ew if you’re gonna flirt I’m gonna give you back.” Jew jokingly nudges In in News direction. Both boys fall silent turning their attention to her. She paused half way through putting apiece of popcorn in her mouth her cheeks heating a little at their stares. She puts the piece in her mouth letting her I clipped hair fall in her face as she turns her attention fall to the movie.

New sighs reaching over and snatching the remote turning off the movie. In whines.

“Hey I was watching that.”

“Yeah not right now. Come here.” He gently grabs In’s arm separating him from Jew and pulling him over to the couch with him. In won’t look at either of them, just pouting down at his hands. Jew slowly puts another piece of popcorn in her mouth in confusion. After a jew more minutes of silence New finally speaks up.

“We need to talk to you, Jew.” New says seriously.

“New, do we have to do this now…”

“Yes we do. Hush.” He rubs In’s back to keep him calm as he continues. “We didn’t say anything about this earlier because of Em. And we didn’t want to say anything lately because not everyone knows the full story…and we didn’t want to upset you. But we need to say it before this goes on any longer.”

“Okay…” Jew gives them her attention but is fidgeting with her hands, a little worried of the outcome of this conversation. New gave everyone a minute to collect their thoughts before talking.

“We love you, Jew. More than just as friends. We really love you. We…we want to be able to ask you out. Court you, even, if it will help you warm up to the idea. We’re willing to go slow. But we’ve felt like this for years.” After New finishes talking the room is silent for a while before In quietly speaks.

“Please don’t hate us…” He sounds so worried and broken that even Jew feels sorry for the boy.

“I…” she sighs softly when both New and In’s attentions turn to her in seconds. “Thank you for telling me.” Is all she says before setting the popcorn and blanket aside, heading to her room to think things over.

She misses as In’s face falls sinking back into News arms.

“We fucked up…didn’t we…” he says quietly as tears fill his eyes.

“I…I don’t know.” New replies honestly, holding the boy close as he cries.