Irene stood in front of the spices, debating between getting one of the two brands in her hands. She stares at the salts in her hands with so much focus Seulgi thought she would burn holes through them.
“Unnie, I don’t think it matters which salt you buy…” Seulgi says trailing off at the end.
Irene scrunches her eyebrows, “But the recipe says that they use this type of salt,” she shows Seulgi, “but Wendy uses this salt whenever she’s cooking for us at the dorm.”
Seulgi chuckles at the older girl’s dilemma. “Close your eyes,” she tells Irene and takes the small containers from her. “Okay now pick one.”
Irene does as she’s told and blindly taps Seulgi’s right hand.
“She has chosen,” Seulgi puts the other one back on the shelf.
Irene opens her eyes and Seulgi puts the salt she had chosen in the cart.
“What’s next on the list?”
Irene looks at the list she made earlier on her phone, “We just need some drinks and some snacks.”
Seulgi starts pushing the cart, “I don’t remember if we have any water at home.”
“I think I saw some in the fridge, so we can just buy some juice.”
“I could always ask Moonbyul-unnie to buy some before coming over,” Seulgi grins.
Irene just laughs and guides Seulgi through the aisles.
“Are there anything else we need before we go?” Irene asks as she checks her list once more.
Seulgi glances at their cart then shake her head, “I think we’re set.”
They head to the checkout and pay for their items and make their way back to the apartment.
“I forgot to ask earlier, but what were you planning on cooking?”
“I found this easy recipe online for a stir fry I wanted to try to make,” she pulls up the recipe on her phone and shows it to Seulgi.
Seulgi's face twists into one of excitement, “Unnie this looks great! I can’t wait to try it.”
Irene laughs, “You don’t even know if I’m a good cook or not how do you know if you’re going to like it?”
“Bae Irene is good at everything, everyone knows this.”
“You sound like one of my fans.”
Seulgi nods proudly, “I’m your number one fan.”
“If Joy and Yeri were here, you wouldn’t hear the end of that.”
Seulgi laughs, “I know Moonbyul-unnie wouldn’t shut up about it if she heard me say that out loud too.”
They enter the apartment with their groceries and head straight into the kitchen to prepare for the party. Seulgi drops the bags onto the kitchen counter while Irene prepares to start cooking.
“Unnie, I found aprons!” Seulgi shouts excitedly, waving them to Irene. She quickly puts on the yellow apron and walks over to Irene to give her the other apron.
Irene struggled a bit with trying to put it on but Seulgi was there to help her out. The mono-lidded, girl held the fabric in place and tied the strings securely around her waist.
“Thanks,” Irene smiles shyly.
“Okay,” Seulgi claps her hands, “I just want you to know, I don’t know how to cook so you’re gonna need to tell me what to do.”
“Let’s start you off with washing the vegetables,” Irene says as she looks for a bowl. She finds one on the top cabinet and stands on her tiptoes to reach for it, but to no avail. She sighs in frustration and was just about to hop on top of the counter to get it when she felt a presence behind her. She turns to find Seulgi reaching for the bowl, their bodies only a few millimeters apart. Irene stood stiffly with wide eyes as Seulgi hands her the bowl with a kind smile.
“Thanks,” Irene mumbles quickly shuffling to the sink, hoping Seulgi didn’t see the blush forming on her cheeks.
Seulgi starts washing the vegetables while Irene prepares the other ingredients.
“After you’re done with those could you make rice?”
Seulgi nods, looking back at Irene, “How much do you think I should make?”
Irene purses her lips, “Maybe ten cups.”
Seulgi places the bowl of washed vegetables on the counter and gets started on the rice. She fumbles with the rice cooker a bit before finally figuring it out. With a tired sigh, she trudges to the spot next to Irene. “Cooking is so hard,” Seulgi whines.
“What are you talking about? We barely started.”
The singer chuckles, “This is probably the longest I have been in a kitchen.”
Irene stops cutting to look at her, “Then what do you eat?” She asks incredulously.
“I usually just order take out or I go out,” she scratches her temple.
“That’s not very healthy Seulgi,” Irene sternly says going back to her previous task.
“I order salads from time to time…” Seulgi trails off trying to find an excuse for her bad habit.
Irene raised an eyebrow, but didn't take her eyes away from in front of her, “When was the last time you ordered a salad?”
Seulgi grimaces, trying to decide whether or not, to tell the truth, or lie, “Like yesterday?”
Irene giggles, “You don’t sound too sure about that.”
“Do you need help with cutting those?” Seulgi asks, trying desperately to avert the topic away from her terrible eating habits.
Irene smirks, but lets go of the topic for now, “You can help me with the carrots,” she rummages through a nearby drawer and pulls out a vegetable peeler, and hands it over to Seulgi.
“We’ve only been here for how long and you seem to already know where everything is,” Seulgi says, noticing how the raven had no problem navigating through the kitchen.
“I was looking through all the cabinets and drawers earlier and I remembered where some things are.”
There’s a lull in the conversation as the two focus as they only had a few hours before their guests arrived. Seulgi looks at the carrots in front of her with a troubled expression, “I should wash these right?”
Irene couldn’t help but laugh at the clueless girl, “Yah are you feeling okay?” She feels Seulgi’s forehead with the back of her hand, “Do you feel sick?”
“Huh?” Seulgi’s brows furrowed in confusion.
“You washed them earlier, remember?”
Seulgi slapped her forehead, laughing along with Irene, “Right.”
“Wendy-unnie hurry!” Yeri yelled.
Wendy checks the time, “We aren’t even late, Irene-unnie said to come at 7, and it’s 5!”
“But we still need to find them housewarming gifts for their apartment,” Yeri says, coming up behind Wendy, placing her hands on the older girl’s shoulders to push her out of their dorm.
“Just say that you don’t trust Joy driving,” Wendy snickers.
“Hey!” Joy exclaimed.
Yeri rushes to the car, excited to see the couple.
“I think we should go to the store before stopping by that bakery Wendy-unnie was talking about, what do you guys think,” Joy suggests.
“Mmhmm,” Yeri mumbles, not paying attention to her. Her face is scrunched in focus as she fumbles with the radio, trying to connect her phone to the car.
Joy pouts, used to Yeri ignoring her, and turns to the back where Wendy was, hoping that the older girl would answer her.
Wendy, who was indeed listening, kindly smiles at her, “That sounds good.”
“At least I know I have Wendy-unnie to count on,” Joy says, glaring at the youngest sitting in the passenger seat.
Yeri looked at her with wide eyes, feigning innocence, “Unnie, you can always come to me, I’m always here to listen.”
Joy lets out a sigh, driving off as Wendy and Yeri giggle at her defeated expression.
“Unnie, let me do that,” Seulgi stood up from her seat, but immediately sat back down with a pout when Irene turns from the stove with a stern look.
“I can’t trust you in here, look what happened to you when I look away for a few seconds,” Irene says referring to what had happened on Seulgi’s finger moments earlier.
“But the cut is so small, it doesn’t even hurt!” Seulgi wiggles her finger around to show that she really was okay. “Put me back in coach, the team needs me!” She jokingly exclaims.
Irene cracks a smile, amused at the other girl’s antics. “Fine, but you won’t be touching anything sharp.”
“Deal,” Seulgi gets up and speed walks back into the kitchen. She takes over with stirring the pot while Irene works on another dish.
“Seulgi, can you taste this,” Irene asks, holding up a spoon to the younger girl’s mouth.
Seulgi blows on it a few times before putting it in . She smacks her lips a few times trying to find words to describe the taste. Irene looks on nervously, hoping that her food tastes alright. A few moments passed and Seulgi looked down at Irene and gave her a thumbs-up, “Unnie this is so good, where did you learn to cook like this?” She takes the spoon from Irene and goes for seconds.
“Really?” Irene says, relieved that Seulgi liked her cooking. She grabs another spoon to taste for herself, “Do you think it’s missing anything?”
Seulgi shakes her head, “Nope, I think this is perfect.” She observes the other girl and smiles when she sees the happy expression on Irene’s face.
The idol caught the younger staring and looked away quickly, shying away from Seulgi’s kind stare. She opens , about to say something when they hear the doorbell ring.
Seulgi checks the time, “They’re early.”
Irene looks at the mess in the kitchen, “I wish we could have cleaned up a little before they got here.”
Seulgi pulls the pouting girl to the door, “I’m sure they won’t mind.”
“Have you met Yeri?”
“We can always just blame them for coming earlier than we expected.”
She could see the conflict going on in Irene’s head, “I guess you’re right…”
“And I bet they’ll forget about the mess when they taste the food.”
Irene bites her lip, “Yeah you’re right, I just had this thing all planned out in my head and I wanted everything to be perfect.”
“Don’t worry, if they make a big deal about it we can just kick them out,” Seulgi says, making Irene laugh, “It is technically our apartment.”
The doorbell rings again, interrupting their conversation. The couple shares nervous smiles before they finally open the door to let their friends inside.
“Finally!” A voice exclaimed as soon as the door opened.
“Unnie, don’t you know it’s rude to keep your guests waiting,” Another voice says.
“We brought presents!” The third voice says.
Seulgi opens the door up wider so the three could come in and Irene accepts the gifts from Wendy. Yeri and Joy burst in excitedly looking around. Wendy looks at the couple apologetically before following the younger girls in.
Seulgi blinks, not ready for what had just happened. Irene, who was used to her group’s antics, giggles at her pretend wife’s expression.
“Unnie! Can I try this?” They heard Yeri ask loudly from the kitchen, taking a spoonful and putting it in .
“Why would you ask if you just do it anyway,” Wendy says, shaking her head.
Meanwhile, Joy is in the living room talking to the camera placed in the corner of the room.
“Everybody please come to the living room,” Irene says loudly, garnering the attention of her members, “Let Seulgi and me finish setting everything up.”
“Unnie do you guys want help?” Wendy asks kindly.
Irene shakes her head, “Just make yourselves at home,” she says, forcing Yeri and Wendy to the couch.
“You guys can watch TV or something,” Seulgi hands Wendy the remote and follows Irene to the kitchen.
“Seulgi, can you start taking those plates out to the kitchen,” Irene says as she piles the dirty pans in the sink.
Seulgi does as she’s told and timidly places the food on the table, a little intimidated by the intense stares from Yeri and Joy. Seulgi would have left as soon as she set the plates down on top of the coffee table, but she made the mistake of making eye contact with both Joy and Yeri.
Fortunately for her, the doorbell rang, saving her from the younger girls, “I’m just ugh,” she points to the door, “I’m gonna go see who it is.” Seulgi quickly leaves for the door, almost bumping into the table in a rush to leave the room.
She opens the door to see Moonbyul and Yongsun staring at each other in silence.
“Are you two okay?” Seulgi asks them a little weirded out by the lovey-dovey atmosphere surrounding the couple.
“Byul just called me pretty,” Yongsun gushes to Seulgi. Moonbyul and Seulgi look at each other, the older smirks as if to silently confirm that she did, in fact just do that.
“Please just get in before the neighbors say something.”
“Are we the first ones here?”
Seulgi shakes her head, “Irene-unnie’s members arrived maybe five minutes before you guys did.” She led the couple to where Wendy, Joy, and Yeri were hanging out before joining Irene in the kitchen.
“Was that Yongsun and Moonbyul?”
“Yeah, I just let them in.”
“Let’s go join them before Yerim comes in whining,” Irene chuckles.
“Let me just grab something to drink,” Seulgi opens the fridge, grabbing water for herself and Irene. They enter the living room together and the couple makes their way to where their friends are sitting.
“Congratulations to the couple!” the group cheers, the loud clapping startling Irene.
Seulgi couldn’t help but break into a grin, she found it cute how easily scared Irene was.
“Seulgi-yah if you could please stop staring at your wife, we would like to start eating,” Moonbyul teases her, succeeding in making her friend turn a shade of red.
Yongsun pokes her girlfriend’s side, “Stop being mean to Seulgi.”
“Why does it feel like we’re fifth wheeling right now…” Joy whispers to Wendy and Yeri. The three Red Velvet members sat in between the two couples, watching them interact.
“Why is nobody eating,” Irene asks.
“We were waiting for you to say something,” Wendy answers.
“Oh yeah, go ahead and grab food everyone.”
Seulgi puts the bottle of water she grabbed earlier next to Irene, “There’s water and juice in the fridge if you guys want some.”
“Did you see Seulgi-unnie grab Irene a drink, that’s so nice,” Yeri says loudly.
“Do you want me to grab it for you guys too?”
Wendy opens to decline, but Joy cuts her off, “Thanks, unnie! We’ll just have water.”
Seulgi nods before leaving to get the group their drinks.
When the singer is out of hearing distance, Joy and Yeri direct their attention to Irene while Wendy looks at the two confused.
“You two seem like you get along well,” Yeri starts, winking at her leader.
“You guys look so cute together,” Yongsun teases her from across the table.
Irene gets up, not wanting to endure the teasing alone, and makes her way to the kitchen too, “I’m going to help Seulgi.”
Wendy feels a little bad for the pretend couple and goes to stand, “I think I should go in and help too.”
Yeri nods frantically, “Unnie, that’s genius go and stall them for us.”
This earns the youngest in the room confused looks from not only Moonbyul and Yongsun but also Wendy.
“What do you mean stall her?” Wendy is pulled back down and Joy whispers something in her ears, “Oh,” she drawled, finally realizing what’s happening.
Before Moonbyul or Yongsun could question her she dashes into the kitchen.
“What are you guys up to,” Moonbyul narrows her eyes at the two Red Velvet members.
Joy shrugs, feigning ignorance.
“Unnie, the staff told us to tell you that you have a special mission,” Yeri says, keeping her voice down in case Seulgi or Irene could hear her from the kitchen.
Moonbyul rolls her eyes, not believing the younger girl, “That doesn’t make any sense why do I have a special mission.”
“It’s also a secret mission.”
“So it’s a special mission and I have to keep it a secret?”
Yeri huffs, “It’s special because it’s a secret.”
“It’s not really a secret if everyone knows.”
“She’s right,” Yongsun interjects.
“Unnie, why are you making my life so hard,” Yeri whines.
Moonbyul laughs, “Tell me what my secret mission is.”
“Okay,” Yeri leans closer to her, “You have to give Seulgi-unnie a kiss on the cheek.”
Moonbyul scrunches her eyebrows and glances at Joy, then to Yongsun, then finally to Yeri before slapping the youngest’s arm.
“Ow!” Yeri nurses her arm and scoots away out of Moonbyul’s reach, “Unnie that hurt,” she pouts.
“That’s what you get for lying to me.”
Moonbyul gives her a pointed look.
“Okay it’s half true,” she mumbled out.
Joy laughs at her younger friend, “There really is a mission, but it’s more of a hidden camera.”
Yongsun raises an eyebrow, “Did the show producers plan this? How come we didn’t hear this from them when we got here.”
Joy shook her head, “Yeri asked if we could do a prank when we got here and they said they were okay with it.”
“We just wanted to see what Seulgi-unnie’s reaction to us being mean to Irene-unnie.”
“Imagine how angry Irene is going to be after you guys get back to the dorm,” Yongsun says, knowing Irene wouldn’t let her members get away with their teasing.
“We’re not going to make her cry or anything that’s too far,” Joy says, elbowing Yeri so she can tell the couple her idea.
“We were going to pretend that something is wrong with the food, in the nicest way possible.”
“Should we say that the food is too salty?” Moonbyul’s eyes light up with mischievousness. Yongsun rolls her eyes at her child-like girlfriend.
“I knew you would get it Byul-unnie.” Yeri sticks her hand out to the older girl for a high five.
Moonbyul laughs and slaps their hands together. She turns to look at Yongsun to see that her girlfriend had a wary look, still not completely on board yet.
“We can try to sneak in some salt onto Seulgi’s bowl,” Moonbyul her chin in deep thought.
“I like where your head is at, unnie.”
“Yeri, go to the kitchen and grab some salt,” Joy orders the youngest.
“Why don’t you go,” she grumbles but ends up being the one to do it anyways.
Yeri enters the kitchen to see the pretend couple and Wendy on the ground cleaning up a spill.
“What happened here,” Yeri asks, making eye contact with Wendy. Yeri tries to communicate silently with Wendy while Irene and Seulgi are too preoccupied with the mess.
“It was my fault, I was drinking water when I tripped and spilled all over the floor,” Wendy says. Yeri discreetly gives her a thumbs-up, impressed by her actions.
“I just wanted to check if you guys were alright. You guys were in here for a while,” Yeri says, scanning the kitchen for some salt. She sees it placed on top of the counter that was, fortunately for her, far from where they were. She sneakily palms the salt and is about to go back to the living room, but a voice stops her in her tracks.
“Yerim,” she hears Irene say.
She turns around, careful to keep the salt in her hand away from Irene and Seulgi’s view, “What’s up, unnie?”
“Could you take the paper towels to the living room, we’ll follow you out,” Irene says, oblivious.
“Yeah, of course,” Yeri takes the roll of paper towels and quickly makes her exit. A sigh of relief escapes as soon she’s in the living room.
“Did you get it?” Joy whispers.
Yeri smiles crookedly and shows off the salt shaker in her hand. The three cheer as quietly as they could and Yeri hands the salt to Joy. “Unnie, you do the honors my heart needs to rest.”
“Joy, hurry and pour it in before they come back!” Yongsun says, keeping an eye at the entryway to the kitchen.
Moonbyul smirks at her, “Look at you becoming an accomplice.”
Yongsun rolls her eyes, “I had no choice, you guys outnumber me.”
Joy pours an unhealthy amount of salt into the Seulgi’s bowl of rice and mixes in the salt so they don’t get caught.
“Perfect, and now we wait,” Yeri claps her hands happily.
Moonbyul curiously eyes the salty rice for a moment before reaching over to take a spoonful and tries it. The moment it was in she wanted to gag. She chews once and swallows after deciding she couldn’t handle having the taste linger on her tongue
Irene, Seulgi, and Wendy finally come back with the drinks and Moonbyul try her best to act like she didn’t just ruin her taste buds by the amount of salt she just ate.
Seulgi laughs at her friend’s uncomfortable expression, “What’s wrong with your face?”
“Oh, you know how I get when I’m hungry,” Moonbyul chuckles nervously.
“Now that everyone’s back, let’s eat,” Joy says, looking a little too eager to start eating.
Irene gives her a weird look but decides not to bring it up, too hungry to even ask.
The girls share knowing glances as Seulgi brings her spoon up to , anticipating what would come next. Seulgi blinks rapidly, looking down at her bowl in confusion.
“What’s wrong, Seulgi-yah?” Moonbyul pinches herself from laughing, trying not to make it seem like she was delighted by her friend’s reaction.
Irene looks at Seulgi, also confused, “Does the food taste weird?” She takes a bite from her bowl to check and it tasted fine, “Is it okay for you guys?”
Wendy feels slightly bad for lying, but if she doesn’t play along who knows what Joy and Yeri would do to her once they get back home. She looks a little guilty when she says, “Unnie, it’s really good but I feel like it’s a little too salty.”
“Are you sure, I double-checked and it tasted okay,” Irene takes another bite, a slight pout forms when she couldn’t find anything wrong.
Joy, who was watching as Seulgi downs her water to take away the saltiness, asks, “Seulgi-unnie doesn’t it taste salty?”
Seulgi stiffened in her seat, “Um,” she scratched her head and was about to agree with everyone that the food was indeed really salty, but she caught the sad expression on Irene’s face. “I don’t know what you guys are talking about, it tastes fine to me. She takes a big bite to not only show them but also to reassure Irene that nothing was wrong with her cooking.
“This is delicious,” Seulgi's face betrays her. Her eyes started to tear up from the amount of salt she had to force down.
Not able to hold back anymore Moonbyul bursts out laughing, which in turn started setting off everyone else. Irene and Seulgi were the only ones not laughing and were currently feeling very out of the loop.
Before Irene could even ask what was going on Wendy explains, “We were pulling a prank on you guys, this was a hidden camera.”
“It was Yeri’s idea!”
“You all went with it, so everyone is to blame.”
“Yah Seulgi how did you eat so much of that?” Moonbyul is still laughing at her friend, “I tasted it earlier and I couldn't even hide how bad it was”
“Can someone explain to me what’s going on?” Irene massages her temples, still not knowing what was happening.
“We basically just dumped a mountain of salt on your wife’s plate.”
Seulgi who just finished downing her third bottle of water gave everyone an exasperated look.
“We just wanted to see how she’d react to your food being bad,” Joy explains.
“Now we won’t have to worry about Seulgi-unnie hurting your feelings,” Yeri adds.
Irene looked at them like they had just grown two heads, “You-” She gets cut off by the unexpected sound of the doorbell.
"Are you guys expecting any more guests?" Yongsun asks.
Seulgi shook her head no, "You guys were the only ones we invited over."
"Who could that be then?"
"Guess we'll find out."