The screams of fans could still be heard as Red Velvet exited the stage. Before the performance, the members felt tense and worried about making mistakes. But everything went well and the group delivered a flawless performance. Their nervous energy seemed to disappear as they walked off the stage.
As soon as they enter the hallway, a hoard of staff approaches them with a bunch of equipment on hand. One of them explains what was going on as they make their way to their dressing room.
“We’re starting already?” Irene asks the staff member who was setting up her mic.
The staff member nods, “Yes, we have our cameras set up in the waiting room, so we'll start filming as soon as you guys walk in.”
Irene kept her calm, but inside she was filled with nervous excitement.
She wishes she could say the same for her members though.
Yeri lets out a dramatic gasp, “Is Irene-unnie’s wife in our waiting room right now?”
“PD-nim if I get there before Irene-unnie can I take her place?” Joy asks, gaining laughs from everyone.
Irene opens to dismiss the taller girl, but Yeri cuts in, “Joy-unnie that’s not right…” Irene gives her a wary look, “...you already got your turn! This is finally my chance.” Yeri says with a determined look.
Wendy shakes her head at Yeri, “No, you're not old enough to get married yet."
"Unnie, I'm twenty-two!"
"Exactly, you're still a baby," Wendy chuckles.
"Quiet down you two," Irene says.
The staff laughed at how quickly the duo settled down. The group stopped in front of their dressing room, the younger three waiting for Irene to open the door.
Irene takes a deep breath before she timidly enters the room. She scans the room expecting to see her mysterious wife, but she visibly deflates when she doesn’t see anyone inside besides the few cameras and staff members. Irene feels one of her members gently usher her inside, and the girls make their way to the couch in the middle of the room.
Someone approaches the group and hands an envelope to Irene, “Please read the mission card out loud.”
Irene opens it up and takes out the mission card. The girls lean in to get a peek at what’s written on the card.
Before she could give Yeri or Joy a chance to steal the card away from her, Irene starts reading, “To Irene: Today is the first day of your virtual marriage. After your performance, go to the promised meeting location and find your other half.” She glances at the bottom of the card she sees an address.
Wendy's eyes widen when at the address on the card, “Unnie, that's like thirty minutes away, you should start heading there now.”
"Yeah, you wouldn't want your other half waiting," Yeri says.
"Why are you guys in such a rush, it's not like anyone's going to steal her away from me."
“If I get there before Irene-unnie can I be her other half’s other half?”
“PD-nim the couple isn’t finalized yet, right? The first person to find-”
Irene turns to the two with a tight-lipped smile, “The first person to what?”
Yeri suddenly becomes busy with fluffing the cushion on her lap while Joy avoids Irene’s gaze. Wendy, indifferent to what’s happening with the other members, was currently occupied with handing out water bottles to the show staff.
A knock interrupts their playful exchange and suddenly everyone’s attention is directed to the door. Joy and Yeri didn't even try to hide their disappointment when it turned out to be their manager, “I really thought Irene-unnie’s wife was going to come in.”
Wendy looks at them quizzically, “We just read the mission card altogether.”
Yeri shrugs, “They could've been trying to trick us.”
Their manager clears his throat trying to gain their attention back, “We have to get going.”
The group politely said their goodbyes to the staff in the waiting room before following their manager obediently to their van.
Irene gives their manager the address on the card and they make their way to the meeting location.
Seulgi could feel her heartbeat starting to pick up as she looks out of the window. Now that she was about to meet her pretend wife, Kang Seulgi could not help but feel a little restless. Her manager chuckled at how stiff Seulgi looked in her seat.
"You'll do great, don't stress yourself out too much," he says, patting her on the shoulder.
She nods and takes a deep breath. She fixes her appearance one last time before stepping out of the car.
It helped ease her nerves to see that only two cameras greeted her at the entrance of the park. She was expecting to see a whole lot more staff around, but she honestly preferred this lowkey way of filming. The location was also a lot less crowded than she thought it would be. They were at a neighborhood park—on a weekend—so she was kind of surprised to not see many people around.
Seulgi spots a mailbox off to the side of the path and laughs at how out of place it looked. She takes a look inside and found an envelope along with a simple bouquet. She looks at the camera before taking the contents out of the mailbox.
“I guess I have to read this,” Seulgi says to herself as she opens the envelope, “To Seulgi: Follow the flower path and it will lead the way to your wife. Gift her with her favorite flowers when you meet.”
She hums while staring at the bouquet. She wasn't sure what kind of flowers made up the bouquet, but they were pretty.
Not wanting to make her wife wait for any more than necessary, Seulgi starts walking along the path. Her nerves seem to go away as she takes in the calm atmosphere of the park. She walks along without talking and wonders what to say when she finally meets her wife. The one thing she definitely does not want to do is make a fool out of herself.
At a distance Seulgi can see someone sitting on a bench, so she quickens her pace. Seulgi recognizes the figure and almost trips on her own feet trying to her.
The woman on the bench turns her head toward her and smiles brightly.
“Sunmi-unnie, what are you doing here?” Seulgi hugs her in greeting.
Sunmi pulls away first, “Why didn't you tell me you were doing this program?” she playfully hits the younger’s shoulder.
She laughs, "Who knew we would be doing this show together." She offers Sunmi the bouquet, "Unnie, this is for you."
“For me?” Sunmi asks.
Seulgi nods, “It says on the car that they were your favorite.”
Sunmi bites her cheek and doesn't say anything.
Seulgi looks confused when Sunmi doesn't accept the flowers. “Did they give me the wrong bouquet?” she mumbles to herself.
Sunmi hands the envelope that she was hiding behind her back to the confused girl, “Don’t open this until you’re with your other half,” she winks, grabbing the younger girl by her shoulders to lightly nudge her forward. “Your wife is up ahead just keep following the path. Let me know how it goes,” She raises a fist in the air, “Fighting!”
Seulgi waves at the retreating figure and continues her search for her wife. "For a second there I thought Sunmi-unnie was my partner," she says to the camera. She thought that she would meet her wife right away. Who knew that they would trick her like this.
After a few minutes, another person comes into view and Seulgi tells herself to not make any assumptions in case this was another decoy.
She tries to maintain her poker face as she reaches the figure, but the corners of betray her when she comes face to face with the girl. Seulgi wonders if the show producers were inviting all her friends on purpose.
“Jisoo-yah, you don’t have time to answer my calls, but you had time to come here?” Seulgi asks in a joking manner.
Jisoo rolls her eyes, “I’m only here to warn your wife about your no-jam personality,” she retorts.
Seulgi almost let out a sigh of relief. She was glad that they weren’t going to be on the show together, not that she didn’t like Jisoo, she was just a little uncomfortable with acting like a couple with someone she already knew. Well, there was a time where they may have had something going on, but they both agreed that it wouldn’t have worked out between them. It also didn't help that Jisoo may or may not have been in love with someone else, which coincidentally was her bandmate.
“Do you know who she is?”
Jisoo nods, “I ran into her when I got here.”
“You want to tell your dear friend who it is,” Seulgi gives her friend her best pout.
Jisoo scoffs at her, "Please never look at anyone that way ever again.” Jisoo points at the stairs across from them, “Anyway, you’ll find your her over there.”
Seulgi groans, “I swear if the next person I run into isn't my wife.”
“Stop grumbling and go already, don’t keep her waiting,” Jisoo says, laughing at her.
“I’m off,” Seulgi says, waving goodbye.
At the base of the stairs, she takes a deep breath and starts climbing two steps at a time while reminding herself to stay calm. She prays she doesn’t embarrass herself, lord knows how much teasing she’ll have to endure from her friends when they see how much of a nervous wreck she was.
She slows down her pace once she's about to reach the top of the stairs. There she sees someone with her back turned about a few feet away. Seulgi hides the bouquet behind her back and slowly approaches the girl. She clears when she's right behind the girl to get her attention.
She turns and Seulgi swears it felt like she came straight out of a commercial, with how her hair seemed to flip in slow motion. Seulgi recognizes who the girl was, but maybe she was mistaken, there was no way the girl in front of her was Bae Irene.
Irene greets first with a shy, “Hello.”
“Hello,” Seulgi responds without skipping a beat.
An awkward silence followed the couple as they stole glances at each other. They hear someone clear their throat and Seulgi remembers that they were being filmed. Her cheeks heat up, she hopes she didn't look too obvious with her staring.
Seulgi hands the flowers from behind her to Irene, “I think these are for you.”
Irene takes the bouquet, “Thank you.”
“Irene-ssi is my…uh,” Seulgi pauses to think of the right term, she was too shy to refer Irene as her wife, so she thinks of the next best thing, “my marriage...partner?” Seulgi cringed at how awkward she sounded.
Irene laughs, “Yes, I am.”
Seulgi remembers the envelope that Sunmi gave her. She holds it up to show Irene, “Someone told me to open this when I find you.”
“Another mission card?” Irene asks as Seulgi opens it.
“Oh, there’s a key,” Seulgi pulls out a mission card along with a car key and some money.
The two shift closer together to get a look at what the card says. Irene reads it aloud, “To Irene & Seulgi: Today marks the first day. Spend some time and get to know each other~”
“Any idea of what we should do now, Seulgi-ssi?”
Seulgi hums, “Have you had dinner yet? We can go grab a bite to eat.”
“That sounds good to me”
“Alright, let's head to the car,” Seulgi gestures to the key in her hand and they start descending the stairs.
Seulgi took the initiative to start a conversation, “Did I make you wait too long?”
Irene flashes her a kind smile and shakes her head, “The wait wasn’t too bad.”
The couple took their time and strolled around the park, admiring the calm and quiet surroundings. Their nerves disappeared as they conversed, both of them feeling a little bit more comfortable with each other.
“Are you okay with me driving, Irene-ssi?” Seulgi asks when they got to the car.
“That’s fine with me,” Irene found it cute how Seulgi would ask her how she felt about every little thing. Seulgi even offered to hold the bouquet for her while they were walking to the car.
They waved at the cameras installed in the car before Seulgi started the engine, “Is there a particular spot you wanted to go to?”
Irene types something on her phone and shows the other girl, “Have you been here?”
Seulgi shakes her head, “No but the food looks good, though.”
Seulgi types the address on her GPS and they head to the place Irene suggested.
At the restaurant, Seulgi and Irene agreed on sharing the same dish. On the ride there, Irene kept talking about how good their spicy rice cakes were, so Seulgi went ahead and ordered it for the both of them.
While waiting for their order, Irene shifts uncomfortably in her seat as she tries to get the show staff's attention. Seulgi notices how Irene had her hands glued on her lap and suddenly gets up to ask the staff if she could get something to cover Irene's lap.
Seulgi comes back to the table shortly with a jacket and places it on Irene’s lap.
"Thank you," Irene says gratefully, now much more comfortable.
Once their food arrive, the table was silent as they focused on satisfying their appetite. Irene pauses to watch the girl in front of her, it was like she was watching one of those mukbang shows on youtube. Seulgi pays no mind as she continues to eat with gusto. Irene giggles at the scene in front of her, Seulgi looks up at her with cheeks full of food.
“Is someone going to take your food away?”
“You have to eat it before it gets cold,” Seulgi defends herself.
Irene laughs, "At least save some for me."
"Maybe if you haven't eaten all the fish cakes, I wouldn't have to result to eating everything else. I'm just making things fair," Seulgi jokes.
Irene scrunches her nose and takes the rest of the fish cakes, making Seulgi laugh.
They thank the owner as they leave and the couple decides to go walk around the area a little. They were in a shopping district and it wasn’t too busy. They went around looking at the different shops.
Irene finds a shop that caught her eye stops and gestures to it, “Let’s go in here.” She goes in with Seulgi following close behind.
Irene finds something that makes her laugh, “Seulgi-ssi, come here,” Irene lifts the item and holds it up next to Seulgi's face.
Seulgi scoffs when she sees the bear keychain the other girl was holding. She looks at the rack where Irene grabbed it from and takes a bunny keychain does the same thing, “Wow you guys could be twins!" Seulgi exclaims.
“I kind of want to get them,” Irene says, her eyes not leaving the matching keychains.
"Should we get them?"
Irene reacts with an enthusiastic nod and how could Seulgi say no to that. They pay for their things and they continue their stroll.
As they were passing by a certain store, Irene starts to quicken her pace. Seulgi laughs at what the other girl was doing and instead of following after her, she walks up to the standee placed right outside the restaurant.
"Irene-ssi where are you going? Come back here!"
Irene just covers her face in embarrassment while Seulgi tries to get her to come back.
“Irene-ssi! Look I’m with my wife!” Seulgi points to the Irene standee and herself.
Irene lets out a laugh, “Should I take a picture of you two?” She takes out her phone to snap some photos.
Seulgi laughs at some of the pictures that Irene took, "You can't delete these."
People started to recognize the two, and word started to spread like wildfire that they were here. A crowd starts to form around them, everyone had their phones out taking pictures and videos. Irene and Seulgi don't seem to mind the attention and just smile and wave at the crowd.
"We still have some money left over,” Seulgi pulls out the remaining money left from her pocket to show Irene.
Irene looks around before pointing at a small shop, “Let’s go get ice cream.”
They enter the ice cream shop and walk up to the counter to scan all the flavors.
Seulgi looks at all of the options with a serious look, her mind torn between picking her usual flavor or trying something new. Irene, on the other hand, scans through the options quickly and decides what she wanted right away. Irene waits for the other girl to finish deciding before they tell the worker what they wanted.
They find a table near a window and they talk about nothing in particular while eating their ice cream. Before they knew it, an hour passes by and it was time for them to wrap up with filming. The shoot was practically over and Irene had to head over to her next schedule soon. Seulgi felt a little sad that they couldn’t stay together any longer. She felt that they were finally warming up to each other.
Seulgi offers to walk Irene to where her manager was waiting for her. Irene and Seulgi purposefully walk slower, neither girl ready to leave the other.
Unfortunately, all good things come to an end. They get to the car and being the courteous person Seulgi was, she opens the door for Irene and then closes the car door for her when she’s settled in. Irene waves goodbye and Seulgi steps back as the car starts to move.
Seulgi has the urge to call her and thank her CEO for making her do this show. She couldn't wait for their next meeting and she won't admit it, but she’ll be counting down the days to when she can see Irene again.
a/n: I wanted to get this done sooner but this took me longer than I expected oml. I just wanted to say thank you for reading and all of the kind comments!!
Also, Happy belated Anniversary to Red Velvet! They really have my whole heart lol ʕ ´•̥̥̥ ᴥ•̥̥̥`ʔ