As soon as Irene got back to the room her members, as well as Yongsun and Moonbyul, greeted her with teasing smirks and smug faces.
“Unnie, what took you so long?” Joy asks before taking a bite of food.
“We were starting to get worried that there wasn’t going to be any food leftover because you were taking a while,” Yongsun says.
Irene sits down, “There was a bit of traffic in the hallway.”
Wendy snorts and pushes a plate of food closer to Irene, “You came back just in time, Yerim was just about looking for you.”
Irene rolled her eyes, “You guys make it seem I was gone for hours.”
“Unnie, you were gone for so long your food was starting to get cold,” Yeri says, teasing her.
Irene just chuckles at the youngest’s exaggeration.
“If you want I could distract your manager so you could sneak out and watch Seulgi rehearse,” Moonbyul wiggles her brows at Irene.
Irene scoffs and steals a piece of food from Moonbyul’s plate, her small act of revenge for the teasing.
“Now that I’ve thought about it, I didn’t know you and Seulgi were friends,” Wendy said, sending a curious look to Moonbyul
Moonbyul grins, recalling how she met her younger friend, “We were on a show together, and we just got along well.”
“Maybe we can all go out to dinner or something,” Yeri suggests.
“Since we all know each other one way or another it’ll be fun, and maybe it’ll give Seulgi-unnie and Irene-unnie a chance to get closer.” Joy leader, wiggling her eyebrows while dodging an incoming kick from Irene.
“You guys could invite Wheein and Hwasa too, it’s been so long since all of us had gotten together,” Wendy said referring to the couple’s group members.
Yongsun grins, “I’ll text our group chat later, and we can find a time where everyone is free.”
“I’ll let Seulgi know too,” Moonbyul adds.
The group continued to converse and catch up when it was time for the couple to leave and let the group finish getting ready.
Yongsun promises that they'll visit again and gives a hug to each of them before leaving the room with Moonbyul.
“Yerim, I have your mic just finish up quickly and meet us on stage,” Irene calls out to the youngest from the door.
She hears Yeri shout, “Thanks unnie!” as she hurriedly leaves the room with Joy and Wendy following behind her.
The trio reaches the stage, with Yeri arriving a few minutes later and they settle themselves to get ready to perform. The looks in each of the member’s eyes changes as they focus on delivering a perfect performance. Their stage goes by without any problems, even the director goes out of his way to give the group a thumbs-up behind the cameras. Irene pats her members' backs as they all catch their breaths.
The rest of the performers along with the show emcees quickly file onto the stage as they get ready for the ending portion of the music show.
Red Velvet was nominated for first place this week so they were placed towards the front of the stage.
The show had a few minutes of commercial break left so the groups talked amongst themselves as they wait for the show to go live.
Seulgi is off to the side by herself and it’s moments like these that she feels the most lonely. She glances at the various groups next to her with slight envy. She thought about trying to go and find Irene and her members so she could at least not look like a total loner. She makes up her mind and as she gathers up the courage to walk past through a group to reach the front, a staff member behind the stage calls out to her loudly. She points to herself in confusion and the staff member nods and gestures her to come over.
She walks over to her with a curious expression. “Is something wrong?”
The staff member quickly explains the situation to Seulgi, “We were looking for someone to give the flowers to the first place winners would you mind helping us out?”
“Yeah I could help with that,” Seulgi says, accepting the bouquets from the staff member and moving back to her spot on the stage. After a few moments, she heard the director countdown and the broadcast was back on the air.
The emcees start with their lines, then transition on to announcing the winners of the show for this week. They read off the scores, pausing here and there to add dramatic effect, and then finally reveal first place, “Red Velvet, congratulations!”
Confetti showered down as the crowd cheered for the group. As the group went on to say their acceptance speech, Seulgi made her way up to the front of the stage to deliver the flowers to the group.
She makes eye contact with Wendy and hands her the first bouquet, “Congratulations!”
Seulgi wanted to give Irene the other bouquet, but the latter was currently in the middle of her speech so she waits next to Wendy until she finishes. The group then gave their final round of thanks and as they bow in the direction of the cameras their music starts playing, signaling the start of their encore stage. She shuffles towards Irene and presents her with the bouquet.
Irene is startled by the sudden bouquet entering her line of vision, she looks up to thank the person and is startled a second time when she sees it was Seulgi in front of her. Irene takes the flowers from Seulgi and shouts over the music, “Where did you get these flowers?”
Seulgi grinned and leaned closer to Irene’s ear so she didn't have to yell over the loud music, “A staff member asked me to give it to the winners,” Seulgi looks around and notices everyone vacating the stage and goes to leave, “Congratulations again!” She waves at Irene’s members and then pats Irene’s shoulder, “I'll see you later!”
After Seulgi left the stage Yeri, Joy, and even Wendy were sending their leader teasing looks throughout their encore stage. Yeri even went as far as saying, “Thank you for the flowers Seulgi-unnie,” with her arm around an embarrassed Irene while waving straight at the camera.
Irene lets out a tired sigh as she settles in the van, she and her members are finally on their way back to their dorm after an exhausting day. Her eyes felt heavy, but right when she closed her eyes to take a quick nap a loud notification rings from her phone.
She clicks her tongue at the unwelcome interruption and fumbles through her pockets for her phone.
Unknown (11:43 p.m.): Irene-unnie this is Seulgi!
Unknown (11:44 p.m.): Congratulations again on your win!!
Unknown (11:44 p.m.): I hope you get home safe and get a good night's rest :D
Irene holds her phone up to her chest, afraid that either Yeri or Joy would see the messages. She subtly turns to look at them and find that all three of her members were all fast asleep behind her. After making sure that they wouldn’t suddenly wake up, she turns back to the front to type out a reply.
Bae Irene (11:48 p.m.): Thanks again Seulgi, I hope you get home safe too! I’ll see you at our next shoot.
She cringed at how stiff and awkward she thought her message sounded, but she didn’t have any energy to try to fix it. She locks her phone and relaxes into her seat. Her manager sends her a questioning look but Irene just smiles to let him know nothing was wrong.
After a few minutes her phone pings again.
Kang Seulgi (11:52 p.m.): See ya then!
Her manager glances in her direction once again, this time she just ignores him too busy smiling at her phone.
“Where is it?” Seulgi mumbles to herself as she walks around the parking garage. She had just finished with a photoshoot and wasn’t expecting to be rushed into filming for the show right after. As soon as she changed out of the outfit she had on for the shoot, a producer she recognized from the show had shown up with her manager. Neither the producer nor her manager explained what was going on, the producer just handed her a set of car keys and said that filming would start as soon as she found the car. Her manager handed back her phone and bag before ushering her out of the studio into the parking garage.
She scratched her head while looking around, pointing the key at random cars in hopes of finding the right one. Seulgi walks around aimlessly for another five minutes before finally hearing the car unlock. She peeks through the car window, but it was too dark to see anything inside. She opens the door and finds a mission card taped to the steering wheel. She gets in and dumps her stuff in the passenger seat before examining the card.
She looks up and sees a small camera glued on the dashboard. The singer leans in closer, “Is this recording?” She stares at it for a few moments before starting the car.
Seulgi hums to herself to keep herself occupied during the drive. It wasn’t long before she had arrived at her destination. She pulls up to the curb and doesn't get out. She double-checks the address to make sure she’s at the right place and makes a face when the address on the card was indeed where she was currently parked at right now. She surveys her surroundings, squinting to see if Irene was standing around somewhere nearby, but to no luck, she doesn’t see the idol anywhere.
After a few moments, Seulgi decided to go out to see if she could find Irene. She crosses the street and comes up to a café and from outside she could see her raven-haired wife sitting at a table right next to the window. Irene didn’t seem to notice Seulgi from the inside as the mono-lidded girl carefully approached the window.
Seulgi loudly tapped the window twice to get Irene’s attention and burst out laughing when she saw the extremely startled look Irene gave her through the window. She waves cutely to Irene, who was still recovering from the shock she just received, and quickly enters the café.
She greets the show staff brightly while squeezing through the cameras to get to Irene.
“I can’t believe you just scared me!”
“I wasn’t trying to scare you,” Seulgi chuckles.
Irene huffs and Seulgi tries to make her feel better by changing the subject. “Did you get to order yet?”
The idol shook her head, “I was waiting for you.”
Seulgi couldn’t help but smile at that, she couldn’t describe how happy she was feeling right now, knowing that the leader of one of the most popular girl group right now, waited to order together. “As compensation for always making you wait for me, I’ll pay.”
With the way Seulgi was looking at her Irene doesn’t have it in her to argue, she’s pretty sure no one in their right mind could, so she lets Seulgi pull her to the counter to order.
Seulgi places her order first and turns to Irene, “What are you getting?”
Irene scans over the menu quickly, “I’ll get green tea.”
“Did you want anything to eat?”
Irene shakes her head and Seulgi goes ahead and orders her drink. On their way back to the table to wait for their orders, Irene notices a wall full of board games and toys and walks towards it with Seulgi following closely behind.
“You want to see how fast I can solve this puzzle,” Seulgi picks up a small puzzle box from the table.
“If you could finish it before our drinks are ready, I would be impressed.”
“Maybe not that fast but I’ll see what I can do.”
It turned out a little more difficult than Seulgi had expected but in the end, she managed to finish the puzzle. Sure she finished it five minutes after their drinks were brought to the table, but she still made pretty good time, if she would say so herself.
Irene would have helped, but she had too much fun teasing Seulgi. She managed to take a piece of the puzzle without Seulgi noticing and kept it hidden from the other girl just to see her reaction. She only managed to hide it for a short while, Seulgi noticed it under Irene’s hand when the older girl was trying to stifle her laugh.
“I would have finished faster if you hadn’t distracted me,” Seulgi says, putting away the puzzle.
“I don’t even know how that piece got there,” Irene sips her tea, “It must have been the wind or something.”
Seulgi doesn’t argue.
Seulgi is back in the car, this time with Irene. They had gotten another mission card from the staff earlier as they were leaving the café. She waits for Irene to settle in before starting the car, “Where were we supposed to go?” Seulgi asks as she pulls away from the curb.
Irene reads the address from the card out loud, “Do you know where that is?”
Seulgi shakes her head no, “I don’t think I’ve been there before.”
Irene hums, “I’ll pull up the navigation on my phone.”
Seulgi nods and follows Irene’s directions. “And we just turn right here,” Irene says, glancing back and forth from her phone to the road in front of them.
Seulgi obediently complies and drives forward as she waits for Irene to tell her where to go.
“The GPS says we’re here,” Irene looks around confused, it was just an apartment building.
“I guess this is the place then?” Seulgi glances at Irene with an equally confused look. She parks the car and they walk towards the entrance to the building. They get inside and enter a small lobby area where a bored-looking attendant was sitting at her desk on the far end of the room.
“Should we ask her if we have the right address,” Irene whispers.
Seulgi nods and whispers back, “Yeah, that’s a good idea.”
They approach the worker, who as soon as she noticed them in the corner of her eye, sits up straight and greets them politely, “Miss Kang and Miss Bae we have been expecting you.”
“I guess we are at the right place,” Seulgi mumbles to Irene.
The attendant sees their confused expressions and pulls out an envelope that looked very similar to the one that Irene was holding and says, “I was instructed to pass this on to you.”
Seulgi takes the envelope from the attendant and opens it up to reveal yet another mission card. On the card, only two sets of numbers were written. Irene scrunches her eyebrows still a little lost, while Seulgi glances at the attendant.
“Do we just go on ahead?” Seulgi asks the attendant.
The attendant nods and points to a door on the left, “The elevators are behind that door and both of you can head on up.”
The couple politely thanks her and make their way to the elevators.
“I don’t know what’s going on,” Seulgi says.
Irene hums, “I haven’t seen any of the staff when we walked in.”
Seulgi scratches her head, “Well at least we’re together,” she says smiling brightly, “I know I would definitely get lost if I came alone.”
“You really are kind of terrible with directions, Seulgi-yah,” Irene chuckles recalling what happened during their drive, “Remember how you almost missed the exit on our way here.”
Seulgi pouts, “In my defense, the signs were very dirty and hard to read.”
Irene let out a small laugh, “Are you sure we were looking at the same sign?”
To be fair, Seulgi was a very safe driver; it was just at that moment where she glanced at Irene where she momentarily lost focus. Who wouldn’t get distracted when you have Irene sitting in the passenger seat, Seulgi thinks. Irene is really pretty, Seulgi would even dare to say that she was the most beautiful woman in the whole country.
Irene pokes Seulgi’s arm, snapping her out of her daydream. “We’re here.”
Seulgi looks around, not even realizing they got off the elevator, “Sorry I was thinking about something.”
“What were you thinking about? You looked like you were daydreaming.”
“Oh um,” She scratches her neck, “I was just thinking about what we should eat for dinner.”
“You must have been thinking real hard about it, I had to pull you from walking into a wall.”
Seulgi chuckles awkwardly, her face reddening in embarrassment, “Guess I’m just really hungry.”
They find the room and Seulgi lets Irene put in the code to get in. The door unlocks with an audible ping, Seulgi holds the door for Irene and follows her into the apartment. There was a long hallway that led to the living room and kitchen area. Irene gravitated towards the kitchen and marveled over the spotless countertops and the light-colored cabinets. She moved around the spacious kitchen, opening every drawer and even checking the fridge.
Meanwhile, Seulgi is walking around the furniture-less living room and notices cameras taped in the corners of the room, but there were no signs of anyone else in the apartment.
“Unnie, I think there’s a balcony here,” Seulgi says trying to get Irene’s attention.
Irene walks over to Seulgi to check out the outside balcony together. They both let out an audible gasp, “Look at that view.”
“I didn’t realize we were up so high.”
“Imagine the view at night,” Irene leans forward and looks up to the sky. “Look at those clouds.”
The apartment was high enough that the neighboring buildings weren’t obstructing their view. The balcony overlooked a small park where they could make out the tiny figures of the children running around the playground.
“Isn’t it a little weird we’re the only ones here?” Irene says after a moment of silence
“When the producers told us that they were revamping the show they weren't joking,” the taller girl chuckles, “It feels like I’m filming I live alone.”
Irene chuckles, “Not saying I don’t like having the whole staff around, but it is nice with just us.”
“PD-nim did you hear that?” Seulgi says to the camera set up on the balcony.
Irene laughs and makes a heart to show that she didn’t mean any harm.
“I feel like there’s something we should be doing,” Seulgi says as they go back inside.
“We could take a look around the rest of the apartment, maybe the producers left us a note somewhere.”
The only rooms that they haven’t seen yet were the bedroom and bathroom, but they figured the show staff wouldn’t put a note in the bathroom, so they went straight to the bedroom. Irene enters the room first and finds that the room was pretty empty, except for a bed right in the middle of the room. Seulgi finds a card placed on top of a pillow on the bed and shows Irene.
“It looks like the notes we always get.”
Irene turns the card over and reads the message on the card, “To Irene & Seulgi, we would like to be the first to welcome you to your newlywed home! To celebrate, throw a housewarming party~”
“First let’s start by inviting a few people, then we should make a list of things we need for the party,” Irene says taking out her phone to do just that.
Seulgi also takes out her phone, “I can call Moonbyul and Yongsun-unnie and I think it would be fun if you invited your members,” she suggests.
The older girl nods, “I told them to come by in a few hours, hopefully, we can have everything ready by then.”