[A Summer that’s too Cruel]
“The two of us are a team,” Hyejoo says, barging in before anyone else has aligned themselves. Sungyeol sticks his tongue out at her but privately he's relieved. He knows his sister, after all. She's a total dumbass but at least that's a known characteristic.
Still, he can't just agree. “Like I want to be with you,” he says, elbowing her in the side. Hyejoo doesn't even bother to shove him back, which is a probably a good thing because her elbows are lethal.
“Losers pay for lunch?” Mihyun asks, rolling up her sleeves. Hyejoo bares her teeth.
“Free pizza tastes the best,” she says, and Sungyeol can hear the threat she's implying. He's not a little kid anymore though; she doesn't fill him with the same kind of unholy terror that filled his childhood. Or maybe there are just too many other things to worry about now, like school and what he should study in university. That is, if Hyejoo lets him pick for himself.
“I should thank you in advance,” Sungjong says, not even bothering to loosen his collar. The racket cuts through the air as he swings it around in a circle, sharp and precise. Sungyeol’s palms feel sweaty, but it's only his imagination.
“You mean you're welcome,” Hyejoo laughs, before tossing the tennis ball up into the air and swinging the racket.
Twenty minutes layer, Sungyeol is dripping sweat from his forehead onto the court, hands propped above his knees. Mihyun is grumbling as she heads for her bag, the racket tucked beneath one arm trailing a couple broken strings, and Sungjong’s knuckles are whiter than usual, but at least Hyejoo is smiling.
“Catch,” she calls, tossing a water bottle over her shoulder as she steps off the court. Sungyeol barely avoids getting brained with the flying projectile, fumbling the lid before it opens. The water is sweet in his parched mouth.
“You're a beast,” he shouts back, wiping his mouth with the outside of his wrist. It's a little less sweaty than the inside.
“A beast with free pizza,” Hyejoo relies. When Sungjong accidentally on purpose nudges a bin into her path, Sungyeol doesn't even try not to laugh.
“I love you too,” he says, giving her a hand up and avoiding getting tripped in thanks. Hyejoo’s eyes glitter, and he figures he’d better not sit next to her at the restaurant. Just in case.
miyeokguk, you're up!