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Our Beloved Summer: Episodes 7-8 Open Thread

Our characters wrangle with their emotions and the after effects of being thrown together, and we — along with our documentarian — watch how they react. But when poignant moments from the past are echoed in the present, our leads seem brought to a turning point.

 
EPISODES 7-8 WEECAP

As ever, our unfolding narrative relies much on the differing opinions of Yeon-su and Woong — whether we’re watching footage of them in high school, or seeing them in the present — and the topic of the week is running away.

For Woong, running away is how he avoids conflict, how he protects himself, and also how he centers himself (case in point: all those hours he spends working like a hermit on those incredibly detailed drawings). In his own words, “The best defense is running away.” We see him do it in the past, and then we see him doing it in the present: escaping the awkwardness of his encounters with Yeon-su. Rather than turn up for his own “Congkats” party (those balloons!) after the success of the live drawing event, he goes AWOL.

In contrast to this, we have Yeon-su. Woong might use running away as his defense strategy, but Yeon-su boldly proclaims that, “Cowards run away.” This is very much on-point for what we know of her character… and yet when we catch up with her in the present day, she’s also gone AWOL. This might be the single most telling thing to let us know she’s shaken by Woong.

With their subjects gone missing, Ji-woong is forced to do some navel-gazing on the entire documentary which seems to be missing some serious pizazz. A dreaded writer from their studio is able to cut through the problem, though, and she suggests Ji-woong take them both away on a trip to get some good footage. That there’s something between the two leads that’s complicating things is a truth that’s getting harder and harder to deny. So, kidnapped they are (Na PD style?), and taken to a lovely village where good footage will hopefully be yanked out of them.

Things never go as planned with Woong and Yeon-su and the docu, though, and I was definitely feeling the PD team’s frustrations as they set up shoots and asked all the right questions, but continue to get the drabbest content in return.

What’s wrong, it seems, is the energy behind it all, and no one wants to address it. Woong is all mopey over Yeon-su and how she treated/treats him (and rightfully so, I would say); Yeon-su is both bothered by Woong’s reaction to her, and actively avoiding him the entire trip. And Ji-woong… he’s also in a strange place. The story he doesn’t want to tell (because telling would mean acknowledging) is the love story of Woong and Yeon-su. It’s the content that would bring the docu to life, but it also seems (to me) like he’s holding back from it because of his secret feelings for Yeon-su. There are a few moments where we catch him watching her, enjoying her presence, and it’s so wistful and sweet and sad.

None of those adjectives apply to our other second lead, though. NJ is the exact opposite, and we see more of her personality at work this week, first with how she deals with her malicious commenters, and second with her swing set confession to Woong.

NJ is a fun character — she acts like she’s seasoned and untouchable, but she’s really quite vulnerable, and it’s nice seeing that side of her. I can’t imagine her crush on Woong will end like she wants, so I’m curious what her character trajectory will look like. Right now, her presence in the plot is mostly to put pressure on Yeon-su, because who can compete with a gorgeous (and laser-focused) idol?

Our show excels at mapping the past with the present, which gives us so much emotional context that we barely need a plot. That’s exactly how the trip works — i.e., mostly as an echo of the trip that Woong and Yeon-su had in the pas. On that trip, Woong was put out because he thought Yeon-su was breaking up with him again, while Yeon-su just wanted to spend time with him before he left for school. The fact that Yeon-su first told him she loved him on that trip is basically all Woong can think about in the present. For all his huffiness, we know it’s just a mask to hide his still-broken heart.

And so, Episode 8 moves through this lovely crescendo with a million hints and glimmers of a sunset vista and sudden rain showers — and sure enough, that’s where we meet our characters at the end of the episode.

The moping around has finally shifted for Woong, and he marches over to the hilltop where Yeon-su is waiting out the sun shower. It’s a beautifully shot scene, between the rain and the fading light and the emotion in the air. After a long stare-off, Woong pulls Yeon-su in for a kiss, wondering if he’s curse, bewitched, or if he knew this would happen between them all along. We’re treated to a montage of other moments in which the couple also shared a kiss. This is made even more lovely because they are moments we’ve already seen — but now we’re seeing how they culminated.

As happy as I am for this lovely and charged moment between Yeon-su and Woong, it’s painfully clear that they haven’t resolved any of their issues yet at all — so this kiss is not the kiss to end their journey to coupledom.

And on that note, Woong is actually doing better than Yeon-su at being honest and communicating his frustrations. Yeon-su, for being such a Type A personality, is strangely reticent around/about him, so it will be interesting to see not only how they deal with the aftermath of the kiss, but what it will take for them to put everything on the table and sort out the things that have kept them apart.

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It was such a beautiful scene but I'm desperate for Woong to find out why Yeon-su broke up with him and both of them to be honest about how they’re hurting. Woong has been more communicative but he’s also been more cruel, while Yeon-su has just been detached- I want her emotions to come out in a gush! It’d be so cathartic!
On a side note, I’m a bit sad that summer has given way to autumn… I could do with seeing the sun a bit more!

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Thank you for your beautiful recaps @missvictrix.
I finally gave in and started watching this drama rather than wait for it to conclude. I felt I needed to catch up to be able to enjoy it with other Beanies here. I will be caught up next week, I think. Yay!
I adore this drama. The docu format with the POV voiceovers from both characters is extremely fun. (Can they please release the documentary for us to watch?)
Thankfully, there are so many reasons to enjoy the story, and I am invested in the characters. I savor each reveal into their motivations and am eager to know more.

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Yesss I would also love to see the docu -- much more than the webtoon version of it

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I’m all in for the docu to be aired! Too tired to read even a webtoon.. i just have it on my browser for days 😅

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I found Yeon-Su pretty frustrating. Woong is easy to read. For their first trip, everybody could see that he felt insecure about their future, he didn't hide it. But she waited for the end of their trip to say she won't break up with him... Why? They could talk about it at the beginning and then both of them would have a good trip. Their couple looked unbalanced...

I like Woong's honesty with her, it's refreshing. But in the same time, he's kinda cruel with her. He ignores his feelings for her and makes her pay for the past. It's why I liked his scenes with NJ, he's nice and cute with her. Not in pain and moody.

Ji-Woong is a big mystery. I wonder why he never confessed his feelings : he knew he had no chance? He didn't want to hurt Woong whose family kinda adopted him? He was scared? He's still living his life as a spectator?

The last scene was beautiful but in the same time, the characters were so far from having a healthy relationship, it made hard to cheer up.

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Thanks god I'm not the only one that was frustrated with YS for waiting until the end of the trip to tell him they weren't breaking up. He literally asked her all day.

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Since that scene was told from Woong's point of view/ his memories, I wonder if he really did ask her all day... We saw that their memories of what was said during the first time they were trapped by a rain shower were VERY different. I wonder if we'll get to see that trip from YS's side, and if his thoughts during that day were actually clear to her. I have a feeling she didn't know. The thing I keep hearing from her character over and over is that she can't read him and he doesn't communicate. She kept trying just to get him to say that he likes her or that he loves her. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that he never said those words out loud and she NEEDS him to say it out loud.

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I can't go on that road. If that memory is also fake/manipulated (?) then every memory is (even the one with Yeon Su asking him to say 'I like you'), and what would that mean?

From my point of view, with the 'rain shower memories' they were trying to give this "image" of themselves (Ung as a cool gentelman and YS as a cool/strong girl). But the rest of the memories are about the other's image, and for Ung that was a good memory (we're the ones complaning lol), so it wouldn't make sense for him to remember her in a negative way (acording to us) if it wasn't real.

And maybe you're right, YS didn't know, but not because it didn't happen that way but because she didn't imagine he wasn't going to be able to understand what she was doing.

Aigoo, Idk what I'm saying (believe) anymore I started to overthink the whole show and I don't even know if I interpreted your comment right.

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I find it really interesting that in the docu, Yeonsu is much more open and chatty than Woong.
I wonder why?
She’s more prepared with anecdotes? Able to hide her feelings about the past better?
It’s strange because she’s totally closed off and quiet in normal life…

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Yes, YS doesn't express her emotions, but she definitely has better social skills than Ung.

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Thanks @missvictrix for another illuminating recap--especially your point about Ji-Woong’s inability to acknowledge the obvious theme of the documentary. He almost admitted as much, when he said to Woong that he “couldn’t figure out Woong’s feelings toward Yeon-su (Yeah, right!) perhaps because..” (he doesn't want to) and didn’t finish his sentence before leaving.

I think as the storyline develops, the two lead characters, although they were cast in the documentary as opposites, are showing themselves in fact to be very similar. Both of them are closed off, neither of them really know each other – the surprise of Yeon-Su in a flashback to find out that Woong was reading Nietzsche, her discovery with the show of his concentrated devotion to drawing; similarly Woong’s flashback failure to understand that the trip was Yeon-Su’s attempt to show her love until she had to actually say it, and Woong’s cruel characterization of their relationship putting the blame on her in front of her house.

Viewers loved their earlier documentary because they represented a classic rom-com types—the prissy perfect student and the lazy student who couldn’t care less,who clearly were attracted to each other but were in denial about that attraction. But the current documentary isn’t coming together, because its clear the adult versions of the leads can’t be stereotyped the same way they were as kids, and also because the crush-biased film maker is refusing to capture the “real” storyline, the continued love of the protagonists despite a breakup,

At the half-way point, I still am really liking this story. As always with me and romances, at times I get really annoyed at the characters of Woong and Yeon-Su –why don’t they just sit down at hash it all out! But the actors are all pretty appealing, especially Roh Jeong-Eui as NJ. And even though the documentary framework is really contrived and in some ways is just serving as a plot device, in other ways it really raises some interesting ideas for me about how people construct stories about their relationships and how those stories are perceived by others. (I’m sure glad none of my past romantic life was filmed! GAH! It makes me shudder just to think about it!)

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Thank you~ I like your point about the things that Woong and Yeon-su DO have in common -- that's interesting, especially considering they spend so much time convinced they're at odds with each other

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Ah! It was a such a beautifully shot scene! The rain the sunlight the music! And just like you said this kiss did not seem like the beginning but hopefully a way to resolve the issues that they clearly have. Both are in the wrong here. I hope next episode there will be no more running away but some sitting down and tears and some good honest heart to heart. We can only hope.

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I really enjoy the way this show leaves me torn. On one hand, Woong and Yeon-su clearly still have deep, unresolved feelings for each other, and their relationship was loving and supportive. On the other hand, they communicate so poorly. And despite all those years they spent as a couple, they don't seem to fundamentally understand what the other person truly needs and expects.

This means that even as I'm rooting for them to hash things out and admit they love each other and want to be together, another part of me wonders if they are just not compatible. People can be in love but ultimately part because they don't feel properly seen and understood within their relationship. When that's the case, it's usually better to move on. I'm not sure yet which scenario is reality for Yeon-su and Woong.

Watching these episodes, I did feel that Woong is surprisingly much more emotionally mature than Yeon-su. He pretty much knows what he wants from her, and he expresses those feelings in both subtle and overt ways, verbally and non-verbally. He desperately wants her to meet him halfway. Yeon-su, in contrast, seems genuinely confused as to what she feels or wants, and she's so emotionally closed off that she gives Woong basically nothing when he reaches out to her. That's hard to watch and absolutely must change if they end up back together.

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I'm having a deep relationship with the show.
Everything and everyone is so likeable and relatable.
How can a drama with a single simple love plotline can be so complicated at the same time? It has so many layers that on episode 8 I'm still waiting, wanting for more.
Woong is like an open book because he grows up in normal middle class family with loving parents.
Jiwoong and Yeonsu are not so lucky. They have inner scars that made them insecure, closed off and more protective with their hearts and feelings.
I adore Solyi and Eunso. They are adorable with each other. Park Jinjoo never fails as suporting roles.
I LOVE Woong's parents. They don't have a single negative fibre inside them.
Chaeran is an excellent observer. She knows what she sees.

When Woong softly held Yeonsu's hand while he was sleeping (?), all the wrist-grabs I've seen in over 10yrs of kdrama watching, are nothing but forgotten.

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Yes, the hand-hold was superb - so much communicated! 10 seconds but there was a whole plot in the gesture. Standard for hand-holding has been raised!

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Reply the hand hold for couple of times. Why it seems so romantic or something about it grabs my attention?
Well hands are beautiful things, they hold things but also let go...

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Thanks for another great recap @missvictrix! I'm so glad you picked up on Ji-ung's issue - that he can't tell the story that is crying out to be told because of his own fear of acknowledging it (and thus making it real and irreversible). I actually liked the way they used the new writer to get right to the heart of the issue in their first meeting - it's so obvious, but Ji-ung can't bring himself to look it in the eye. I am *really* curious as to why. We know Ji-ung has harboured feelings for Yeon-su for ages, but, realistically, he's witnessed all that has gone on and he knows Ung (and can see Yeon-su) is still invested in the relationship. What's preventing him from making the decision to call "enough" on his feelings and make this documentary his final peace with the fact that a relationship between him and Yeon-su is not going to happen? What's giving him hope to keep holding out for it?

There's been some suggestion that Ji-ung's background - the neglected kid who is so much more aware of his "adopted" blessings than Ung (who takes them for granted) - may be the factor. Does he believe that once again Ung is taking his relationship with Yeon-su for granted and that Ji-ung only has to politely wait in the background to get the reward in the end? But whilst that might have been his mindset as a child, he's not an idiot and it clearly isn't the case here. So what's keeping him hopeful?

I understand that Ji-ung is terrified of doing anything for fear of the hurt it will do to Ung and the idea that this would be a terrible way to repay Ung and his family for their kindness. But Ji-ung seems to be as stuck in the past as Ung - and I really want to know what the catalyst for moving on will be!

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I agree Woong is better in communicating his frustrations than Yoen-su. But I think we haven’t seen Woong said those words to Yeon-su too, which is the words she really desperated to hear in early episode.
Ji Woong is right that both party is responsible for the breakup.

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Shoot, I still love this show. Everything about it. I am a sucker for pretty cinematography and pretty music, pretty acting, but I also love the story here. Yeon-su has a high self-preservation drive—she calls it pride—and to be vulnerable with anyone flies in the face of her inner being. It will be especially difficult for her to start a relationship with Woong again. The kiss is one thing, following through is quite another. But I do think she is ready to at least let Woong be himself and be there with him as he is. And I think that may enough for him.

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You make excellent points. Yeon-Su is going to have to choose to trust Woong and herself to overcome the self-preservation that was a must and has now become part of her character when it may not be needed anymore. And Woong will have to share what he is feeling too--there are still things that drama has not revealed and I think one of those is that Yeon-Su was never sure of Woong because he was also closed off (I think this was hinted at in ep 1 or 2?) in a more laid back, almost flippant way. No wonder she was taken aback to see his "serious" side during the live art show.

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As someone with a mother that has a very high self-preservation drive, it’s doesn’t ever go away. It’s a part of her being. Woong has also shown that he allows her to be that—he wasn’t the one to break up—it’s all on her.

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Hmmm...We have mostly been given a one-sided picture of the break up so far. But we know that while YS called the break up Woong definitely contributed to YS feeling she needed to break up because she didn't feel she could rely on him and or felt secure in his love for her (see episode 2). Of course, this goes back to the couple's need to communicate and be vulnerable with each other.

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Remember all those what-ifs questions? I think YS needs to hear words of affirmation fr Woong that he loves her.

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I went back and rewatched the first and second episode and you are absolutely right.

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I found that quite a lot of people completely annoyed with Yeon Soo. I got that,she is completely closed off,masking her own feeling to the point of hurting Woong.But I can totally get her.During their trips,it was her way to make up to him and basically showing him how much she loves and appreciate him.Its Woong own insecurity in their relationship that makes him react like that,the point in which should be communicated with her. I think the drama not really addressed the reasons leading to their break up,it just shows parts and pieces and all point to Yeon Soo's fault only (more like her insecurity and pride) but as Jiwoong said,there is no real villain when its comes to couple that broke up. I think the drama will explain further in second half. I'm also curious how is Woong's and Yeon Soo's life in the 5 years they are apart. I think it is the key for their reconcillation or their closure of that break up chapter.

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That last scene was beautifully shot. Ung was impressive since he is growing up and starting to act on what he wants. This is from someone who has no ambitions in life and just wanted to lie in the shade. Good job Ung!

We are only shown little bits on what goes on YS's head. So my take on Yeon Su's real reason for breaking up with Choi Ung was more than her pride. She convinced herself that she can live without him and he is a fantasy that has to end. She has inferiority complex due to her poor upbringing so deep down she feels that she does not deserve him. By staying with her, he will not be able to live his stress free dream life. That conversation they had about Ung's plans for his future was the catalyst on why she decided to finally break it off. She thinks that she will only pull him down so she decided to let him go. Being YS  she did not think it through and thought Ung will be fine without her.

For the past 5 years, She has endlessly worked to take care of her grandma and payoff that debt left behind by her uncle plus the hospital bills. So now that she has taken care of that and better off now than anytime during the 5 years estrangement. It is only now that she has subconciously searched for Ung and found parallels with the artist Ko-o. She did not necessarily had to get Koo but she did because she knew it was him. She may have done so to check on how well he is doing and possibly see if he is living the dream life.

Now that she has found him, she acts detached but I feel that she is still that same girl hoping for him to tell her he loved her.

Honestly, Ung has been immature and said cruel things to her that made her stay back (I do not blame him since he is still in pain). But this kiss was meaningful for them both. I'd like to think that this maybe the catalyst for Yeon Su to take a more proactive approach to chase Ung. Honestly she has been reticent in all her dealings with Ung and want that to change.

They are more a like that they think really. They both need to hear the other say that they love him/her. Its easily said than done with this two. But I hope it will happen as soon as they sort out their issues. Based on the preview, YS will be making a move and Ung will be flustered with her constant presence. So looking forward to that.

Yeon Soo and Ung only has eyes for each other. Ji Woong and NJ doesnt really stand a chance. Nevertheless, I appreciate their presence since they make them act rather than runaway.

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This has been my take on it, too.

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Communication is key and they both seem incapable of it with each other. I wasn't as frustrated with YS as everyone else was because I think she was trying to figure out her feelings that day too, it is why she was shocked ro realize she loved him. That was her process and she didn't want to say anything to him until she understood too. I really enjoy them together. I also enjoy the rather mundaneness of them getting back together. It only seems dramatic because of the background and music. Otherwise it is essentially a couple slowly fighting to get back together. It is adorable.

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I guess I'm the odd watcher out here. I don't really see YS and Ung making a healthy couple. I get the attraction and the longing but I think there's just too much water under the bridge for it to work. There are too many painful memories of YS's deliberate emotional distancing due primarily to her inferiority complex. Ung has so much resentment and so many grudges in his heart engendered by her behavior, I frankly can't see a love conquers all resolution.
There are couples who deeply love each other but who just can never make it work and they only end up making each other miserable.
I also love this show and am so enjoying the pacing and docu style. Just my lone little voice here whispering, without years of couples therapy, these two are toxic for each other.

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I’m giving myself a headache. The last scene is beautiful but I can’t help rolling my eyes at all the blue sky and complete lack of even one dark cloud to create the rain 🤦🏼‍♀️🙄🤦🏼‍♀️

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😂😂
(I tried to ignore the totally unrainy surroundings as much as possible... but, yeah, not always successful 😁)

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Awww come on.. don’t rain on their parade 😆

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunshower

I call it (rough translation) a “hot-rain”

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With the number of the episode I sort of expected the ending 😁 ...though I think the events and talks before it were much more important, especially the hand hold... and Yeonsu's asking What Ung was doing there... and whether he wants her to stay or go (with definitely a double meaning).

(I can't wait for the next episode 😁)

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I had to come back and gush to SOMEONE about that kiss(es) scene. The best kisses for me are the ones that carry emotion and this one...whew. Yes, it was cinematic and gorgeous in the rain. But it was the emotional impact that set this kiss scene apart as it told a STORY. The director held back on showing any of their kisses; we only had hints. So, it was extremely impactful to finally show their past kisses starting with their first and ending with the epilogue intercut with the kiss in the present. I think that kiss is in my top 5 because of the acting (Kim Da Mi's question, Do you want me to stay or go? oof ) and the directing.
Of course, these two have to TALK and actually open up to each other. For this reason, I was wondering if Ji-ung would be a better match for Yeon-Su. I began to wonder if they would be able to be vulnerable with one another in a way Ung and Yeon-Su have not been able to be because they both have pasts they can't talk about easily. But, Yeon-Su's heart-breaking question before the kiss has sold me that Ung and her need to try again. There is too much between them for either one of them to move on. So, I hope that they end up together after learning to share their vulnerabilities and become partners together, but I also wonder if they just need closure to move on. I would prefer the former and think the drama is not going to rock the rom-com format, but I can understand those who are on the fence.
But boy! What stunning chemistry Choi Woo Shik and Kim Da Mi have, whatever scene they are given. The hand holding scene was almost as good as a kiss in other dramas. Kudos to their hard work and the production team. I am one happy drama watcher right now.

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Holy god I love this show. Not only because it feels like Yeon-su and I could be the same person, but because it’s emotional motivations and reactions are so dead-on.
In episode 8, I had my heart shattered and then filled in less than a half hour. The heartbreak happened in the scene where Woong is ‘sleeping’ and touches Yeon-su’s nearby hand. She withdraws and, after she leaves, we see he was awake. He loves her so much!
But then my heart glued itself back together at the end when she’s asking whether to stay or go, and they just kiss.
I have been waiting months for these kinds of feels again.

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