mc bae & kang seulgom

slowly, steadily.
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Seulgi gets Irene’s number the day the rumor started.

 

It doesn’t take her long to convince her manager to call Irene’s manager to get the MC’s personal number after giving her reason. “It’s an embarrassing rumor, oppa! And it’s partly my fault that it began because I was the one who made her join our encore stage in Music Bank. Please, oppa, I just want to apologize.”

 

She gets the number and the first thing Seulgi did is to go to a different practice room to avoid her nosy members. She dials and Irene picks up on the fifth ring. Seulgi made the call with a string of apologies ready in her mind only to find out that her call, and her bringing up the rumor is the first time the MC hears about it.

 

They laugh over the rumor for a good while before the conversation drifts to other topics: from Irene’s new drama and her MC duties to Red Velvet’s latest song and Seulgi’s recent guesting in a variety show. It’s nice, Seulgi thinks, as she listen to Irene tell her about the hardships of filming her drama. They’re friendly, they greet each other and joke around with each other when they cross paths but this is different. Being able to talk to the older girl like this is new. She knows Irene is close to Yeri because they’re both MCs and from the number of interactions they’ve had when they see each other, Seulgi knows that Irene is an interesting person. She thinks talking to her like this, sharing experiences and laughing over mutual variety show induced awkwardness, is very nice.

 

They talk for one whole hour before Irene needs to get back to filming and Seulgi needs to go back to dance practice.

 

“Thank you for worrying about me, Seulgi-ssi. I wouldn’t worry about it much, rumors tend to die after a couple of days.”

 

Seulgi expresses her agreement and they end the call with another round of thank yous and take cares.

 

After that, Irene’s number sits in her phone for several days. Seulgi almost forgets that she has it but not really because she only ever calls her manager and her brother so “Irene Bae” stays visible in her call history and Seulgi always finds herself smiling at the thought of their conversation.

 

 

-

 

It turns out Irene was wrong when she said the rumor will die in a couple of days because it has been two weeks and the rumor remains fresh. People talk about them but not to the point of their companies being alarmed so they let it be.

 

“There’s no negative response anyway so there’s really no need to do anything.” Her manager says and so far, her manager unnie has always been right so Irene just shrugs and puts it at the back of her mind. She figures that there are worse things than being coupled with a rising idol.

 

 

-

 

Year-end events are always crazy with all attending idol groups having to come up on stage for the final performance. It’s noisy and everyone’s jumping around when Seulgi notices Irene clapping her hands along with the beat and swaying by herself on the side of the stage.

 

She’s been given a mic and therefore has to sing so she gives Yeri a nudge, pointing subtly at the lonesome MC. Thankfully, the maknae gets it and skips to the MC, grabbing her by the hands and pulling her to squish her between Wendy and Seulgi.

 

The look of surprise on Irene’s face is taken over by that of gratitude when Wendy hooks her arm on Irene’s and pulls her along to join the silly dance of the members. It’s something they learned from their SNSD sunbaenims, to look out for lonely people on stage and make them feel welcomed. It’s polite, they said, and Seulgi is thankful they picked it up when she sees the way Irene is laughing with her members.

 

Irene looks at her and grins her way just as Seulgi is singing her line. She smiles back and sings to the older woman, drawing closer and pointing at her playfully.

 

It brings out a loud laugh from Irene (and squeals from the fans) and with that, Seulgi decided she did a good thing today.

 

 

-

 

It doesn’t end there because the members decided that Irene should come get dinner with them. It turns out Irene’s manager and Red Velvet’s manager used to be college classmates so an impromptu get together and celebration for their accumulated wins commences.

 

They get pushed to sit together, with Seulgi trapped between the wall and Irene. Yeri immediately latches herself beside the MC and the two start bonding over whatever it is MCs do. The managers are seated on the far end of the table which leaves all the members and Irene on the other side.

 

The members of Red Velvet have an endless supply of questions and Irene tries her best to answer them all. They’re fifteen minutes into their dinner when Irene decides that she likes this girl group very much. She likes how sweet Yeri can be, how she and Joy will be at each other’s throat one moment only to gang up on Seulgi the next, she likes how kind and mature Wendy is in the way she always makes sure that the members’ plates are filled with food. And Seulgi, Irene likes how funny and attentive she is to her members, how she smiles at the silly antics of Yeri and Joy and supports Wendy while she is taking care of the two.

 

Seulgi is quiet for a while and Irene turns to the leader of the group, watching as she carefully picks out all things green in her plate.

 

“What are you doing?” Irene asks.

 

Seulgi shushes her immediately and Irene would be shocked by the sudden action if not for how cute Seulgi looked as she did it. “Shh, I’m removing the vegetables.” Seulgi whispers.

 

Irene makes a face at it. “Why?”

 

“Because I don’t like them.”

 

“All of them?” That surprises Irene a bit and her voice came out louder than it should.

 

Seulgi attempts to shush her again but their exchange has caught Wendy’s attention who immediately gets what is happening and shoots Seulgi a disapproving look.

 

“Aish, Seulgi-yah, what are you doing?” It’s more of a statement than a question, what with Wendy’s raised eyebrow.

 

Seulgi tries to stutter a response but Joy and Yeri are already laughing at her. Irene laughs at the pout that Seulgi throws at members which proved to be useless.

 

Wendy pushes back the rejected vegetables to mix with Seulgi’s rice and the leader just lets out a dejected sigh as she starts eating. The whole scene is just funny and Irene doesn’t stop the giggles from coming out.

 

She gets a nudge and a playful glare from Seulgi. “This is your fault, you know.”

 

Irene laughs and checks whether Wendy is still watching Seulgi. She isn’t, so Irene uses her chopsticks to grab one of the leafy vegetables. She eats it and gets a rewarding laugh from Suelgi.

 

Irene spends the rest of their dinner stealing vegetables from (an approving) Seulgi’s plate.

 

 

“Thank you for tonight! I had fun. Take care of yourself and eat your vegetables!”

 

Seulgi reads the text message from Irene several times. It’s kind and playful at the same time, much like the personality of the sender. The message makes her smile and she quickly sends a short reply before turning off the lights and plugging her phone to charge.

 

She falls asleep to thoughts of stolen vegetables.

 

-

 

They go for coffee one night, when Irene just finished filming for a variety show and Seulgi has stayed late in the SM building to practice their new dance.

 

They found out about each other’s locations through their exchange of text messages and Irene’s shooting location is near the SM building so they decided to meet up.

 

Irene makes her manager drop her off at the coffee shop and asks to be picked up an hour from then. She goes inside and easily finds Seulgi sitting at one of the tables at the back of the cafe. She walks towards the idol and sees that she has already taken the liberty to order for them both.

 

“Should an idol like you be having that much whipped cream in her coffee at this hour of the night?” Irene says in greeting as she sits across Seulgi with a smile.

 

“Every now and then is fine, besides,” Seulgi straightens up and winks (unsuccessfully) at Irene. “The fans said I have a killer body.”

 

The mock confidence makes Irene laugh and she doesn’t say anything in response because she likes seeing Seulgi eat a lot and her body is, actually, killer (She has seen the idol’s no joke abs during her MC job and she is impressed). But she’s not about to say that to Seulgi’s face.

 

Conversation flows easily between them now. Irene likes seeing the other side of Red Velvet’s leader Seulgi. She likes being able to spend time with just Seulgi, the girl who loses time in practice rooms and likes eating too much for her own good.

 

Things are good and well until a fan comes along. Irene worries briefly but fortunately, the fan is kind and all she asks for is an autograph from the both of them. She wants a picture too but Seulgi politely declines, it’s prohibited by the management, she says and the fan understands.

 

“That went surprisingly well.” Irene says after the fan has left.

 

“They’re pretty easy to talk to, the fan

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