I'm Jealous of Seulrene
** "It's weird how other people call me my full name yet your voice is what I hear and you're the only one whom I can think of." **
- BRIEF DESCRIPTION: Imaginary behind the scenes. Not connected to Joy is Everywhere & Joy is Not Going Anywhere. Not necessarily all about jealousy towards the SeulRene ship; the title was just meant to lure you here.
After a year and few months, finally, they are back as five. Their appearance in front of camera, staffs around, and ReVeluvs watching them on their devices' screens— Finally, it's Red Velvet this 2021.
What happened during their long hiatus?
Everyone wondered, some got an answers, some did not understand, and some still trying to fill up their curiosities.
Of course, we had that background. And from that, as time progressed, Wendy of Red Velvet entered the scene again in Mysterious Record Shop, had her LIKE WATER SOLO Debut and now a DJ of Youngstreet Radio. Irene, the leader of Red Velvet successfully executed her role in Double Patty as aspiring news anchor, getting a lot of compliments alongside with Yeri, who just had her appearance in Mint Condition that resulted her to lead Blue Birthday. Joy, of course, had a lot of activities from being the face of some luxury brand, having her HELLO SOLO Debut, being casted in a drama, to becoming an MC in TV Animal Farm. Seulgi on the other hand becomes an MC in The Wise Music Encyclopedia as well as hosting her own live show, Seulgi.zip, which gives other celebrities to have a bit of themselves and unwind.
Now that it was summarized, how about we focus into two certain individuals?
You probably know them. They were the popular ship during the Happiness era then became the underrated ship at the present. Their small interactions with each other made other people question, "Does Irene of Red Velvet hates Joy?" adding some pieces of evidence provided some caught on clips of this particular topic making others believed that assumption.
And with Irene's birthday (03/29/2021), another coworker allegation rised up as Joy of Red Velvet was the only member who did not post anything for their beloved leader.
"Are Joy and Irene having a fight with each other?"
"Is it cold war again, not WenRene though, but this time JoyRene?"
"What happened between Joy and Irene of Red Velvet?"
Who knows, right?
Well, who really knows? After all, even their music videos make us so confused what is really happening between Joy and Irene. We don't know anything unless they tell us something.
And with that, let's get into their behind the scenes and see to it if there is a red string between them, we hope, or not, we wish, we're working on it kind of, it's a secret, yes...
It's their secret— JoyRene's secret.
Red Velvet 7th Anniversary Special VLive 2021
"Happiness~ Hello, this is RED VELVET."
Sitting together, smiling together, greeting the audiences are Red Velvet. Do they look the same as the last time people saw them together on screen?
Starting from the left corner of the room is Wendy with her hair already dyed in dark colour, then Seulgi with her famous short bangs dyed in the shade of orange, next is Irene with her untouchable hair, Yeri with her dyed in brown hair, and Joy with her usual natural colour too. Now, who changed and did not change?
For the majority of the viewers maybe they still look the same and interact the same, but what if behind those faces there are actually two of them acting literally on something. It does not mean that they are being superficial in front of everyone, but rather, they are being bothered by some circumstances and they have to act okay to avoid unfavoured consequences.
"We have prepared a corner. Shall we go over?" MC Joy says.
"The first corner is a corner looking back at the 7th anniversary of Red Velvet. There is a panel..." Seulgi explains about it. "It starts from year 2014."
Joy holding a hand pointing stick begins her role in starting the first corner of their special VLive. "In 2014, we were performing Happiness and Be Natural. It was a very different concept. It was too hard for a 19 year old me."
Joy naturally looks at her members as if her eyes did not linger to Irene, pretending that there is nothing going on between them, when in fact their first corner is just making her think of Irene more and she is already having a trouble stopping her flashbacks from their past.
"Our progress of growth is all in here, especially Joy. We can feel the changes of the under-age members really well."
Throughout their history, Joy did grow in a lot of ways and one of those was her feelings for the Red Velvet leader, Irene.
She met Irene when she was 17. She was afraid of her the first time and came to like her for another time. As according to her, Irene may be perceived as cold person, but it was because she is shy to strangers and is very kind when you get to know her. Also, Irene was the first trainee to approach her, which Joy appreciates until now.
Joy remembers that she was suprised to see Irene in the beginning because she was too pretty. From feeling anxious to feeling admiration, that was what happened to her as time passed by. She spent her two years as a trainee together with Irene until they debut together in a same girl group, so her relationship with Irene is justifiable. It cannot be questioned how did she fall in love. Like what could have been happened during those past days? They came to know each other, of course. They became friends, of course. They helped each other in the process of pursuing their dreams, of course. They faced challenges together, of course. They shared a lot of things despite having some major differences.
"I remember when we had our debut, we were really shaking... We were holding hands even during interview." Seulgi tells their memories during Happiness era.
"Anyone still want to hold hands together?" Joy asks following the question with a laugh as she gives Seulgi with knowing look while ignoring Irene's stare whom she sees through her peripheral vision showing a tiny smile.
"Ahh I'll hold my hands." Seulgi says holding her own hands.
"Let's go over that matter." Wendy cuts as the members laugh, maybe mixed with some awkwardness feeling the invisible tension because of Joy.
Happiness era, Joy remembers that Irene was always together with her, holding her hands, and back hugging. The pink haired leader and the green haired former maknae became visible to the public that they became the first ship of Red Velvet to sail.
"In 2015, Yeri joined us."
Joy said before that Yeri coming into their group made them livelier. Although the maknae position was passed to Yeri, it served as one of the triggers for Joy to grow more. As with the slightly changed affection of Irene towards her, it molded her more as well as encouraged her since she wanted more than being taken care of just because she was the youngest back then. She wanted Irene to acknowledge her as someone who can really take care of her unnie despite the age difference.
And yes, they became closer.
Closer to the point that Joy found herself being too comfortable to Irene from their ICC to Dumb Dumb era, becoming bolder in the extent of teasing Irene a lot of times even in front of camera, attempting to kiss her, and yes, the epic "touching" in Music Bank, shocking MC Irene when Joy touched (more like a slap) her , receiving a smack of the microphone. In addition to that scene, Wendy was surprised to witness her dongsaeng's confidence, Seulgi just smiled innocently, and Yeri acted as if it was nothing new— they all knew. At certain time, Joy would be the one fetching her MC leader Irene from the crowded place to go backstage together—a sweet side of peace for the grumpy leader.
Joy's advances prolonged and day by day found herself realizing something more than that. From a simple crush, to infatuation, and then what's next? She was suddenly maturing and at some moment of her life, let herself confessed in a very silent way as Irene could be. She confessed when Irene was actually had her eyes closed, tired from her individual schedule, and Joy having her heart beating fast and loud for both the fear and hope for Irene to hear— She was not ready for answers.
"One of These Nights was a shocking challenge."
"We were performing dance music then changed to Ballad."
"It was like, you didn't expect to come like this?"
"It came out with a ta-da~"
Yes, ta-da to her action during their appearance in Weekly Idol where they promoted One of These Nights. They were tasked to play Random Play Dance where they create their own choreo when the ballad song comes up. Spectators can come up with a story with their ballad through Joy's actions. Starting with Joy and Irene holding each other as couple, to executing pain of break up, finding someone new (Joy with Wendy), then wanting to go back to Irene who started to move on with Seulgi, but Joy prying them from getting together.
Joy could laugh over that matter. What a coincidence...
"And then through Russian Roulette we make a refreshing comeback." Joy says. "Any episodes that comes to mind during Russian Roulette?" she asks.
"During Russian Roulette, first..." Yeri answers as Joy answers on her own about some episode subjected to her only.
Joy restrained herself and waited for a very long time ever since her thought-to-be-unheard confession happened. Her patience may have given her the best result as they prepared for their comeback with Russian Roulette because during the night of her 20th birthday, she realized that Irene did take her time constructing an answer and unexpectedly, she finally replied to her confession— Irene likes her too.
"Then in 2017... was our year..."
Everything was great with Rookie, Red Flavor, then Peek-A-Boo in this year. It was also great for Joy as she and Irene became official, taking everything slowly, and doing a great a job in hiding their relationship while maintaining a natural interaction. To highlight some of their 2017 moments, let's go with Level Up Project Season 1, where Joy was not able to join due to filming of her drama The Liar and His Lover.
Of course, she watched it. And at the first episode of LUP S1 where her members were preparing for their things, she would be honest about feeling lonely. She wanted to go with everyone, with Irene especially. Even so, despite Irene not being showy about her affection to her, there were instances when Joy was the only one to get those hints and she liked it.
Irene's room was so dark, yet her beauty was radiating. "I'll show you what I packed." She turned the camera to her luggage. "Since we are going for a couple of days, I packed shoes, toner, lotion, medicine... and this is my pencil case everyone."
Joy could still remember the feeling when she watched Irene suddenly introducing her pencil case. Like why did Irene suddenly bring out her pencil case? Their leader was so random sometimes.
"Isn't it cute?"
Joy thought that Irene was cuter.
"Uhm... well, I bought this when I was in high school." she says showing a pink pencil case with a cartoon print of a rabbit and a chick. "Even though I bought it then, I still use it." Then she told her goodbye and ended her self-cam.
Joy felt happy by that simple thoughtfulness of Irene. It maybe a short clip, but that expanded to million of meanings. Although their representative animals were not changed yet back then, both of them knew about their new representative animals, which was the rabbit for Irene and a chick for Joy. That clip maybe nothing for others, but that was everything for her.
And yes, at the same event, who would forget about Irene's sweet action towards her? Irene is not the type to boast around, so her talking about how she left a note for Joy during the morning of their departure was actually her innate screaming that she wanted Joy to know that she was not forgotten, and that Irene cares for her.
"I thought Yeri was in her room, so I went into Yeri's room, but Joy was awake and sitting on her bed. So, I couldn't stop thinking about that, so I wrote a small note on a post-it and put it on her door. I don't know if she would see... she would have seen it, right?"
Joy did see it and she was more than satisfied to read the sweet message emphasizing Irene's love for her and not forgetting to indicate a souvenir of hugs and kisses if they get home.
Irene did bring her hugs and kisses plus the JOY named perfume, which Joy used to Irene first, telling the older girl that she wanted her scent to envelop her— Well, the double meaning statement became awkward in which the leader gave the solution for them to sleep early. Nevertheless, Irene spoiled Joy especially during their Red Flavor era. Since she was Joy's loyal spectator, she had watched her red haired Oriole participated in King of Mask Singer where Joy cried. And by the time she came home, Irene greeted her with warmness not just as a leader, but also as her girlfriend.
"The next is Perfect Velvet, Peek-A-Boo." Joy says.
"I remember it was really busy in this period." Seulgi also says.
"That day, we didn't have that many day off in 2017." Joy replies.
"I remember falling asleep in a massage session." Yeri continues and Wendy added some of their memories afterwards on how they worked hard for that year.
Joy's ears automatically becomes alert when Irene decides to speak too.
"We didn't have a place to wait. So, we sat on the grass and ate and hung out." Irene says.
"All day long." Seulgi adds.
"It was fun." Irene says as she looks at Joy, again with the tiny smile.
"I want to go again." Joy says not looking at Irene.
"It was fun." Irene's voice echoes in Joy's head as another set of memories came to her.
For couples, being busy is a burden since there would be a lack of communication, which often leads to misunderstanding. For Joy and Irene, they found themselves being engaged more to each other. Maybe because they were in the same girl group and maybe because they were together or maybe because they understood each other well. But deep down, both of them knew that this was only meant for them to have their bond gets stronger. Moreover, Joy's sudden explosive iness brought Irene a feast for her eyes. Their 2017 was really a busy year, but they enjoyed it well. Joy enjoyed seducing Irene well and that was extended to...
"After Peek-A-Boo, we move on to 2018. And we released a repackaged album right away. We released Bad Boy."
"Back to back, we released Bad Boy."
"This Bad Boy was..." Joy pauses as she think of other things to say, avoiding that scene just like how they did not show their behind the scenes to the ReVeluvs nor their reactions about it. "... an English version." She mentally patted herself for having a great job in evading that topic. "When we performed abroad, we could tell that the fans were really enjoying our songs with this album." she says as the other members give a rather plain reaction unlike their reactions from the previous albums.
And Seulgi was slow for some things or rather misunderstood something. Maybe she just wanted to promote JoyRene because she suddenly inserted a sentence that made Joy mentally kills her. "We saw a lot of the reaction clips of fans." she says.
Joy was aware of those clips where fans reacted to their legendary surprising almost-kissing scene in the music video. Not known to fans, she and Irene was so used to that kind of closeness that they seemed professional in filming it as well as acting cringed behind the scenes to avoid the exposure of their little secret. Nonetheless, Joy thanked the director and the other staffs for not including it in posting to an online platform. It was for their sake especially for Irene, despite teasing each other after filming that particular scene.
"Wow, we really worked hard."
And again, Wendy cuts the heavy atmosphere. "Please read us what else we did."
"A repackage album... And then in the summer, Summer Magic, Power Up. And right after that was RBB. And then right after that we had REDMARE the 2nd Concert."
After Joy had introduced the Bad Boy era, a marked change in the reaction takes place. The members become noisy all of a sudden.
"It was back to back."
"Do you remember?"
"We had like 24 songs. Is that right? We had to learn all the choreograph all over again." Yeri says.
"But we didn't have time." Irene adds.
And Joy goes with the flow. "We went at like 3 AM to learn."
"I still remember Hit That Drum. I have a picture of Seulgi-unnie from then. She was looking at the floor like this." Yeri says reenacting Seulgi. "I have one of her with a totally blank look."
The members laugh.
"And then in 2018, I shot a drama. So, whenever I went on entertainment shows, I always said, "I'm a fighter these days." My mental has to be strong."
And everyone agrees.
And again, Irene flashes in Joy's mind, remembering some nights where Irene would comfort her, motivate her, and give her the best support she could offer for Joy to replenish her fighting spirit the next day.
"When we were preparing for this REDMARE, were there five songs including Power Up? We had to learn the choreography for all the songs."
"Yes, that's right."
The Seulgi explains how they were needed to memorize the lyrics fast. Joy laughs as she shares about them crying on a swing.
"They cheered for us and loved us." pertaining to the fans. "They did so much for us."
"Yes, and we kept going so busy..." she pauses reminiscing something.
Joy knows it was not supposed to enter her mind since they were talking about Redmare Concert, but she smiles not forgetting about the Red Room in Japan. Irene just let herself became so soft to her, lowering her icy walls, removing her boundaries, and went straightly for Joy's embrace. Irene and her had this unspoken rule not to get too obvious in front of the public, but time to time when Irene could not control her longingness for Joy, she would do something unexpectedly that Joy only expected when they were alone— Joy liked it.
"So busy... So busy and?" the other members asks in hurry.
Joy getting back to her reality just diverted her attention to the 2019 events. "What's this?" she asks.
"The fan meeting."
"...5th anniversary fan meeting."
"Ahh fan meeting. That one." Joy pretends not to know.
"InteRview," Wendy replies.
"We wore our signature color outfit." Joy says. "InteRview..."
"Yes." Wendy replies again accompanying it with a laugh thinking that Joy could not remember it.
"I can remember it." Joy answers to the other members' mocking questions. Well, she smiles not because of this, but because she successfully shifted their attention. "I do remember it."
"You didn't finish the sentence."
That's because I am thinking of Bae Joohyun. Joy responds inside her mind.
"And next," Joy cuts. "There's the connection here... The festival under the theme of Reve Festival."
"You became MC all of sudden." Yeri comments. The other members agree and laugh.
"You're doing good Joy-ssi." Wendy compliments as the other applauds and cheers for Joy.
Yeah, thanks to Bae Joohyun invading my mind.
"Day 1 title song is Zimzalabim." Joy says.
"This song shined during the concert." Seulgi says.
"When you hear this song at the concert, I've never been to club before, but the song will make you feel like you're at a club." Wendy says.
Joy laughs. It was definitely true. And she also laughs because of Irene who were bewildered to see her acting like that to her during their filming of Zimzalabim. Joy enjoyed it. Irene just could not take her iness and Joy felt proud of herself.
"Day 2 is Umpah Umpah."
The members gave their reactions to it.
"I really adore this song Umpah Umpah. I feel very happy when I listen to it. So when I perform on stage, I can't help, but to smile." Joy tells them.
The members all agree. It sounds like High School Musical's song.
"That's how the song was. Other tracks are good too... Eyes Locked, Hands Locked..." Joy says.
"I knew you were going to say that." Wendy says grinning.
Obvious friendly flirtation takes place and Seulgi decides to give her comment.
"You two connect so well." Seulgi says eyeing Wendy, then Joy who is just looking at the panel board avoiding Irene's gaze.
Well, Yeri, who cannot tolerate it any longer, initiates to break the suffocating position she was put into by releasing her straightforwardness. "Come here." she tells Wendy gesturing the seat beside Joy.
Wendy immediately declines getting what it meant. "No, no... social distancing." And laughs nervously.
Who would want to sit between Joy and Irene just to be suffocated by pressure?
"And then Finale." Joy cuts. And as a thanks for Yeri, Joy brings the topic about Yeri. "The name ReVe was made by Yeri."
Their topic moved on to Psycho.
"Psycho is a good song, but we didn't perform much." Joy says letting a residue of irritation from the past flows in the air.
"It's fine... Now..." Wendy starts.
Seulgi who notices it, pats Wendy's shoulder and smoothly answers for her. "It's been a while that all of us got together." she says.
"It's like a miracle." Joy says.
"Not a miracle, it's precious." Seulgi replies trying her best to put the topic in a positive spotlight.
Wendy may have noticed it as she just laughs awkwardly at her two members arguing in a very soft and silent way. "It's a miracle." she says respecting what Joy was trying to say.
Then Seulgi silently admits defeat. "To be honest, it was really a serious situation."
"But the song is a great one and I really wanted it. And it was really precious to me." Wendy also says recognizing Seulgi's point.
"But we still have so much more to show altogether." Seulgi says.
"We can perform Psycho then."
"Yes, we can."
"We can do that."
"It's the beginning only."
"Aww Wendy-unnie~" Joy, then leads the cheer for Wendy.
"Okay, a round of applause of me~"
And finally the heavy atmosphere was again lifted up by their noises about Wendy being a DJ.
"We had a La Rouge concert."
"I love it."
"It's my favorite one."
"What's your favorite concert?" Wendy asks her members.
Yeri answers the La Rouge while Joy answers the Red Room. Fans know that Joy's reason was because it was their first concert. What fans do not know was that it was because of Irene.
"We took a look at our seven year story, using the panel. Which one do you remember the most?"
Wendy answers first, then Seulgi, and...
Joy finally decides to face Irene. "How about you, unnie?"
Do you miss me the same as I miss you? Joy asks inside her mind.
Irene seems a bit taken aback, but manages to reply immediately. "For me, I will choose concerts too. I remember all those things that happened during the process and when we have rehearsals. When we do that— our teamwork and stuff— I remember a lot of things from that time."
Then Yeri answers after. And after that, Irene's mood suddenly shifts. Her voice becomes louder and confidence is shown on her face while speaking. Joy could only stare at the monitor screen while listening attentively.
And again as Joy and Wendy talks about their solo debut, Joy is able to notice Irene. She cuts the supposed-to-be watermelon moment for Wendy, as she calls the attention of their loss in trance leader.
"How have you been, unnie?" Joy asks.
"Me? I've been just working out." Irene answers.
"I heard you're learning many things these days." Joy says mentally slapping herself to remind herself to keep her grit.
Heard is a wrong term for Joy to use. Joy knows all about Irene despite everything... and despite breaking up with each other.
They broke up not too long ago.
"Yeah, a lot." Irene replies. "... I am learning how to paint as I don't think my painting skills are good enough." She then laughs bringing happy faces to her members, especially Joy who feels really satisfied that Irene is doing fine.
"I can see how much you improved recently. I saw your painting." Seulgi says.
"Yes, she got improved." Wendy agrees.
"My teacher helped me a lot." Irene says smiling. "I also took dance lessons."
"She's also doing house choires." Wendy adds.
"Last time, Joy couldn't make it back then." Seulgi says.
"She's so busy." Wendy adds.
"We gathered and watched a movie. We also made tteokbokki together. Unnie suddenly made takoyaki for us. It was delicious." Seulgi story tells.
Joy could understand Seulgi's innocence, but sometimes the bear's words could be stabbing and as savage as Yeri's remarks. Of course, she was envious of them. Everyone knew that she can make it back then despite the schedule, but she just can't. Joy and Irene broke up at the middle of Red Velvet hiatus. She knew about her members effort to bring them together again, but she cannot just accept it easily. After all, Irene was the one who dumped her. Even so, she respected the decision. She still loves Irene dearly and interacts with her when it is necessary. She still cares and wants to be with her despite the little heart ache it caused her. She could feel it too— Irene feels the same just like she does.
Time to time she wonders how long will they going to play Tug of War in which both of them are just holding the rope. They are not moving. They are not doing anything. They remain still just looking at each other from afar waiting for one another to do the action first.
"I bought every ingredient to make it." Irene says looking at Joy in a proud smile.
Joy knows. Joy gets it that Irene wants her recognition. So, Joy brings out another memory. "I remember that day, the octopus was huge."
The members laugh including Irene whose mood completely changed. Joy is happy for Irene.
The happy talks continue while Wendy feeds Seulgi. Yeri and Irene are silent. Joy continues her role being the MC.
"This corner is a time fir ReVeluv, ReVeluv, ReVeluv, and ReVeluv." Wendy introduces.
"We're going to have some quizzes to check how much we know about Red Velvet and ReVeluv." Irene continues. "First, we have seven ReVeluv quizzes about Red Velvet. Second, we have three quizzes about how ReVeluv ranks on questions about Red Velvet..."
"It's a competition. So, please say your name first before you say the answer." Seulgi instructs.
The first quiz is about Irene in which she participated in answering it, not even knowing the answer herself.
"But I still deserve a point." Irene says, competitive as always when her members wanted to exclude the first quiz.
Then the next quiz went to Seulgi. Joy got the answer. Then Wendy's quiz next, but no one gets the correct answer.
"What's Joy's charming point [During Guess me corner of Knowing Bros] 2016?"
"IRENE, eye smile?" Irene cheers up when she gets the correct answer. She knows Joy well and Joy is satisfied.
Then Yeri's quiz comes next, but no one gets the correct answer.
The next quiz is to guess who owns the hair style shows for them.
"JOY, Irene?" Joy answers.
"IRENE, Joy?" Irene answers.
And Seulgi gets the correct answer. And the next quiz, Seulgi answers correctly again. And after that, Seulgi is correct again.
"What's the best Red Velvet MV?"
"JOY, Bad Boy?" Joy answers with a chuckle.
Irene groans. "I was about to answer that~"
"It's the same order." Joy reasons out.
Seulgi and Wendy talks about it on the side. "It's their favorite and the best MV."
"Which moment does ReVeluv want to go with a time machine?" Joy asks. "Red Velvet's 17th anniversary concert versus First birthday for baby Red Velvet." Joy reads. "Put your heart stickers on what more ReVeluv would have picked. Please say your answers."
"For me, the baby one." Yeri answers first.
"Me too." Seulgi agrees.
"The baby one for Seulgi-unnie." Joy says putting their representative stickers on the center of the question. "What about you, Irene-unnie?" Joy asks holding Irene's representative sticker.
"For me... let me think about it."
"I will choose the baby one, too." Wendy says.
"We can't go back to the past, right?" Irene says. "Then, the baby one for me, too."
"Me too." Joy says putting Irene's representative sticker smiling.
Luvies won't be able to notice it, right?
She obviously organized the stickers. She changed Yeri and Seulgi's stickers position, setting it closely to the left side of the text alongside with Wendy's, and leaving her and Irene's sticker aligned with each other to the opposite side of the question, emphasizing a space from the purple, yellow, and blue heart stickers.
In the end, Seulgi won the quiz and is the ending fairy.
"As it's the 7th anniversary, let's pick seven questions." Yeri says.
"Would you pick them and share?" Wendy asks.
"No, please pick one." Irene answers extending her hand for the 94-liners to pick their questions from ReVeluv.
Yeri picked her question and then Irene offers the questions to, "Joy~" she calls with a tone that made Joy stops functioning as she lowkey rested her back on the couch, calming herself as Wendy answers the question first and ended with them answering Joy's picked question.
"Wendy-unnie..." Joy starts.
"You are laughing at me right? I don't feel good." Wendy says.
Since Joy is really fond of Wendy, the latter felt a bit nervous seeing Joy's mischievous look.
"Well first for Wendy-unnie's good point is—"
"We're not going to say the bad point. Just the good point."
"I am going to do both." Joy responds. "For the good point, you are one and only because you take care of me so much not only during my solo promotion period, but also recently you were there to support me during my weak times. You are really precious and I am thankful. She is someone that I can rely on." She is being sincere, but at the same time really wanting to provoke Irene.
Well, she got provoked instead when Seulgi told about Irene's good point. It was not because that Seulgi was the one talking about Irene, but because it was something that made her feel bitter, a bit into thinking that Irene did not hesitate in breaking up with her.
"Downside is that she cannot decide for herself."
And so, Joy just being silent watching her members pointing out the fact that Irene is indecisive, decided to end the topic. "So, we have to admit to move on?" she says giving the double meaning statement.
Move on... Joy did not move on.
"Okay, here we have photos of everyone in teaser videos. Please pick your favorite one from here." Irene says for their next corner. "And put it on the panel right there."
Everyone is having a hard time choosing, but Yeri chose almost immediately.
Joy chuckles. "July 7th... What am I doing? Going out of the window?"
Irene looks at her first and laughs from the teaser photo Joy shows her. Atleast Joy is trying to remove her irritation. Having Irene's laugh is a bonus.
Yeri is done and goes back to her seat doing nothing as she becomes sensitive more to the leaking tension from Joy.
"Yeri picked one already?" Wendy asks.
"Can you please help me then?"
"Okay, let me help you." Yeri takes the opportunity to get out from her situation and stands up leaving a recognizable space between Joy and Irene.
Joy mentally curses Yeri. Her peripheral vision can see them divided into two pairs, helping each other when she was left alone in the corner sitting on a separate couch.
"Thank you!" Wendy stands up as she finally chose teaser photos. "Do you want to sit next to me?"
Wendy chuckles from the quick answer. She knows about Yeri's reason.
"Because I'm too lazy." A lie. She just does not want to sit in-between two ex lovers anymore.
"On the backside," Joy instructs Wendy on how will she put the teaser photos on the panel and goes back into choosing her own favorite.
Irene peeks at her direction, but eventually her eyes cannot leave Joy's direction.
Seulgi stands up next and puts her teaser photos on the panel. Joy groans as Irene also stands up approaching Joy, holding her hand out to reach for the other teaser photos Joy is holding.
"Everyone, Yeri looks amazing today, right?" Wendy says diverting everyone's attention and continues to promote their maknae's beauty.
"What? Sorry." Seulgi says when she intentionally blocks the camera being focused to Yeri.
"No, she did it on purpose, right?"
Seulgi settles down beside Wendy giving the view of Irene helping Joy.
"Agh I can't pick one!"
"Still?" Yeri asks, stops for a moment seeing Irene with Joy.
Eventually, Joy finally chose her teaser photos and took a photo of her members while doing VLive. At that time, she wanted to zoom in to Irene alone. And that she did not do.
"Now, we need to pick a group picture and there are a lot." Irene says.
"Everyone, gather around." Seulgi says.
"Yes." Joy stands up from her seat and went beside Irene, feeling her heart beats race again like it is her first time getting close to her crush.
"No, no, no, no,"
"I like it." Irene gives Joy the teaser the latter likes.
"No, no, no, no,"
"I like it." Wendy says, but Joy did not like it and, so Irene discarded the photo Wendy likes.
"Why are you eliminating when we like them?" Wendy protests, but Joy and Irene ignores her as if living in their own world.
"Let's just stay quiet." Wendy says to Yeri leaving JoyRene's world with the visitor Seulgi.
Eventually, they chose all the candidate photos and begins the reading of congratulatory letters. Joy picked up the letters, but gave it to Wendy since she cannot read it. Irene understood her right away and attempted to hold her hand, but retrieved it immediately.
"Red Velvet, let's have fun. I love you." Seulgi reads the letter.
The members applaud appreciating the letters.
"We haven't done this for a long time." Seulgi says pertaining to their cheer's chant. "We did this a lot at our concerts."
The members extend their hands. Joy feeling a bit shy, Irene pulls her hand.
"Let's try it."
"Red Velvet, let's have fun!"
Then they cheer. Joy secretly peeks at Irene and after shifting to another topic, she still finds herself stealing glances from Irene until the ASMR.
"I hope our sincerity is sent to Luvies through this video message. Of course, we played around when the other members were sending the message, but we wete sincere when it was our turn. I hope our sincerity is delivered to you. Luvies, I love you."
All of them gesture their own hearts. Then, they starts giving their closing speeches.
"Then, we will say goodbye here."
"We are... Red Velvet!" They say in unison as they wave their hands in goodbye.
With Seulgi's habit, she holds Irene's forearm waving it. And Joy sees it, turns to look at Seulgi. Thanks for the lack of time that she immediately escapes Joy's jealous eyes as she does her role as the ending fairy.
"Gather everyone. Come here." Seulgi says bringing her members closer.
Irene being the sensitive notices Joy's mood, so when it is their time to be focused in one frame, she extends her arm and wraps it around Joy's shoulder bringing her closer than the rest of the members.
"I love this shot." Seulgi comments.
Joy loves it too.
Joy hears a knock from her door and she does not need to think of anyone because she is left alone with Irene in their apartment. The other members has their schedules. Also, Seulgi and Yeri are staying in their new home. Them alongside with Wendy promised to stay over the next time.
Joy opens her door and greets her leader with a smile.
"What is it, unnie?"
Irene is just looking down on the floor and does not reply.
"Do you want to come in?" Joy asks. She does not receive a reply, but Irene goes straight to the bed, sitting on the edge, still looking down.
Joy sighs. She closes the door and then sits beside Irene, providing enough space. It is already late at night and Joy is getting ready to sleep for her early schedule for tomorrow, but she guesses her unnie wants to talk. Well, she wants to talk too. It has been a while since they talk alone together. Because of the three members staying to other places, both of them were always together in their shared apartment. Although, they do not interact well that much ever since they broke up. They would just chat about three repeated questions.
"Have you eaten?"
"How was your day?"
"What will you do tomorrow?"
Some time, they would eat silently together, but most of the time Irene eats alone since Joy is really busy. They would go to each room, which facing each other, and tells their good night.
Silence between them before was comfortable, but it changed. Everything has changed... except for Joy's feelings for Irene, of course.
"Unnie," Joy calls when she waited enough.
Irene deeply sighs and finally speaks. "You're going to start filming for tomorrow?"
Joy's newest drama Only One Person will start in filming at the beginning of August and Joy will be so busy again considering their comeback schedule as Red Velvet.
"Yes," Joy answers. "Cheer on me, unnie. And watch on how I act soon as the drama is being aired—" she stops, a bit startled, arms are being wrapped around her waist and she could feel Irene's warm breath touching her neck.
Joy stays still until she turns around gently fixing their position. She is now hugging Irene whose face is buried in her neck, gently the smaller girl's hair.
"I miss you..." Irene whispers tightening her embrace.
"I miss you too, unnie." Joy replies.
Can't we go back together? Joy wanted to ask, but she remains silent. She knows it is not the time to bring it out because she can feel that the loneliness between the two of them is not just about the break up.
"I will miss you again tomorrow..." Irene whispers.
"I'm missing you every day..." Joy whispers back.
Their situation at the moment is far different from their situation before when Joy was the one having her problem because of her jealousy to her other members. Yeri was an exemption though. Her jealousy was because of Wendy and Seulgi. At the present, she can tolerate it now, especially that she knows about Seulgi and Wendy's unspoken feelings towards each other. As a matter of fact, Wendy indirectly confessed to Seulgi during their filming in MMTG in which the bear was seen blushing so hard when Wendy serenaded her as well as getting to a position like proposing.
But back then...
Back then, she would usually gets jealous of Wendy. Irene is fond of well-expressive individuals, so she is fond of Wendy's honest and funny reactions. Wendy can always make Irene's laugh and Irene has this comfortable intimacy towards Wendy even in front of camera. This made Joy envious collecting every moments where Irene always avoided her own intimacy. She understood it well, but she cannot control her feelings well. She wanted that too. She wanted people to see that Irene was hers. Everyone misunderstood something just like a moment when Irene said that she wish to go to Jeju-do with her members.
"In terms of cherry blossom viewing, I want to go to Jeju-do more. I was thinking we can have a trip to Jeju-do this vacation, but we went to Bali instead. Next time, in the season of cherry blossoms, let's go together." Irene says.
"If you must choose only one member to go with you, who would it be?" Joy asks.
"Next time, let's go together." Irene answers her smiling.
It was meant for her, but WenRene for the win.
And during their Level Up Project Season 2 where everyone thought that Irene was jealous of Joy when in fact Joy was the one who was jealous.
"Hold my hand." Wendy offers her hand to Joy as Joy playing mischievous to make Irene jealous, but Joy was the one who gets jealous in the end.
Wendy retrieves her hand immediately making Irene laughs.
"I was going to hold your hand!"
And at the same event when Joy told her members about something to make Irene worried for her.
"As I was eating, I kept on making eye contact with someone." Joy says.
"Who?" Irene asks with a forming concern showing on her face.
"There's someone who kept following me around~"
"Her?" Irene points at Wendy.
And again, WenRene for the win.
Joy eventually was able to move on from this jealousy to Wendy as she began to replace the feelings with appreciation since Wendy is her biggest fan and gives her a lot of affection like her favorite dongsaeng.
And here comes Seulgi.
Jealousy... Compared to Wendy, Joy's jealousy towards Seulgi was greater.
It was said that Joy is the Red Velvet member who needs affection the most and so with being entitled of easily getting jealous. In the past, sometimes or maybe most of the time, she often felt it even when she was alone just by thinking about it. She knew it was inappropriate to get jealous from the members especially if they already know about her secret with Irene, but she still cannot help it.
Now, thinking about the past, Joy disliked herself about letting this negative feeling succumbed her. She felt guilty on how she kept on displacing her jealousy through her reaction whenever Wendy was choosing Seulgi on-cam.
Well, Seulgi is everyone's choice. How many times did Wendy choose Seulgi over her? And how many times did it make Joy jealous whenever Seulgi and Irene was together? And of course, despite being the partners in crime with Yeri, the maknae is very fond of the orange bear of Red Velvet.
There was nothing to blame to except her own feelings. And her members, also being the SM Rookies except her, their relationship is reasonable. Irene spent her trainee days with Seulgi in a very long period, so they know each other a lot and both created more memories. At first, it had just been a wish to be able to experience what Seulgi experienced with Irene, but then as the years passed, it changed. Wendy on the other hand is the same age with Seulgi and they are best friends. And Yeri, since she became a trainee in a very young age, Seulgi played with her a lot to make her trainee life still fun. Over all, Seulgi is perfect. Even Joy would want to marry her objectively, but she fell in love with Irene, so it was converted to insecurity leading to fear that Irene may really choose Seulgi over her.
It became Joy and Irene's major problem when they were still in a relationship. WenRene fans were predominant, but SeulRene fans were the most predominant. Aside from that, there were so many fanmade videos about the two most popular ships.
JoyRene on the other hand was always perceived as mother and unwanted daughter. Well, Irene would always be the one saying that she didn't have a daughter like Joy and she pointed out to Joy that it was because Joy was her girlfriend. She also pointed out the things Joy could do to her that the others cannot. Joy could manhandle Irene frequently, carry Irene, invade Irene's personal space, slapped her in front of camera, and of course, their JoyRene's hug, which is different from the rest of the members.
"I can't see any difference."
"Love is not supposed to be seen just to prove it, Sooyoung-ah."
As much as possible, Joy avoided browsing the social media too much and only posted for something then went off. Irene told her too, since the leader was sensitive enough to know what were the factors that makes Joy angry. Well, part of the fault was Joy and Irene's rule of being lowkey about their relationship.
Nonetheless, fate was twisted enough to make Joy more jealous when Irene & Seulgi debut as sub-unit of Red Velvet. The close-up scenes and everything, adding the reactions from fans made Joy so jealous to the point that she cried over night, thinking of scenarios about SeulRene.
Joy was happy for them, for Irene. She was glad that I&S debut was successful. The problem was hers. Luckily, Irene knew the solution.
At a certain night when the only person left in the apartment was Joy, Irene suddenly came home, surprising her girlfriend with a tight hug. Eventually, they ended up on Joy's bed, , embracing each other, covered with kisses and sweats as both of them recovered from their made-love activity as well as getting the heal both of them needed.
In Irene & Seulgi Level Up Thrilling Project, Joy was invited by Irene. At that time, both of them resolved their problems. Joy had fun provoking Irene especially about the purple knitted gift she received. Joy knew about Irene's effort in making it, but teasing her was first in priority. They had a fun together with Seulgi, Seulgi's guest Moonbyul, and the staffs.
Joy hopes that they could resolve their problem at the moment just like in the past, but how? They could not even define their own problem. Even in the present, she still does not understand Irene's reason.
If only a kiss could solve everything, then she could have just pulverizes Irene's lips with her kisses. But no, at the present, the known solution in the past cannot fix anything at the moment.
"Unnie, it's getting late. Let's go to sleep." Joy says trying to separate herself from Irene, but the latter just hugs her tighter. Joy sighs. "You can stay with me all night, unnie. Let me go for a while and I will turn off the lights."
Irene lets her go and silently goes to lie on Joy's bed. Joy smiles from the cute action as she lies beside Irene when she finally turns the lamp shade off.
Joy opens her left arm as Irene rests her head to it. Irene also moves closer to her and wraps her arm around Joy's waist. Joy on the other hand continues in the smaller girl's hair as she hums their Red Velvet's Candy.
She then hears Irene's soft sniffs making her stop from humming. The whimpers are a bit of restrained as if Irene is controlling her cries.
"Unnie, cry louder. I'm the only one here."
Joy then sits up, pressing her back on the headboard. She pulls Irene and help her lifts her petite body to sit on her lap. Irene straddles her, arms are wrapped around Joy's neck while Joy is caressing her small back.
"I'm s-sorry... Sooyoung, I'm so sorry..."
Joy kisses her temple pulling Irene in possession. "It's okay. It's okay. Don't be sorry, unnie..." Joy replies in a hush tone.
"I'm scared Sooyoung..."
It is the same statement she heard that night.
"Sooyoung-unnie," Yeri greets her.
"Where's Joohyun-unnie?" Joy asks soon as she came home from her schedule, getting the news about Irene.
Yeri walks with her as they see Seulgi and Wendy exiting Irene's room. The 94-liners give her a shaking head. Joy nods, receiving what it meant.
The three members give a way for her as she enters Irene's room. In the corner of the bed is Irene with her knees against her chest and head resting on her arms, hiding her face.
Joy approaches and immediately envelops her with an embrace. Irene let herself melts from the familiar warmness, crying without any restriction.
"I'm so sorry... I f-failed as your leader..." The sentence is too painful to hear knowing Irene that she clings so much to her responsibility as their leader yet saying this all of a sudden because of— "I'm a bad person S-Sooyoung..."
Sooyoung shakes her head. "No, no, no... Unnie, you're a good person. Don't think that way, okay?"
"B-But I... I..."
Sooyoung shuts her up by kissing her lips. "Don't... It's enough, unnie. You're a good person. They just do not know you well..." She kisses the latter's forehead. "This kind of things happen to all. And it doesn't define your over all being. We know the truth."
"B-But Sooyoung, it's not only about me... Its also about Red Velvet... It's also about Seulgi, Seungwan, Yerim, you... our Luvies..." Irene sobs in earnest and Joy continues in comforting her. "I'm s-scared, Sooyoung... I don't want to lose everything... You, Red Velvet, ReVeluvs... I'm scared..."
Joy bites her lower lip and then sighs. She smiles gently. "Joohyun-unnie, nothing will change. I am here. Your members are here. Our Luvies are here too..." She cups Irene's face and makes the latter matches her eyes. "I love you, Joohyun-unnie. With that, you should focus on me, okay? Don't mind them. Don't mind those people. Don't make me jealous. I want you to think of me alone."
After that night, Joy almost never left Irene's side. The other members, Seulgi as the second eldest as well as Wendy who just got healed from a recent event, had to remind Joy about her schedules. Yeri on the other hand tried her best in cheering Irene.
Until such time, Irene told Joy that they need to break up.
"You'll get drag because of me." Irene tells her.
"They don't even know about us, unnie." Joy replies.
"I read some hate comments about you, so I—"
"Stop reading those comments, unnie." Joy cuts. "And stop pushing me away." Joy tries to hold Irene, but the latter just evades her embrace.
Irene shakes her head, eyes teary. "You and Yerim are being affected because of me. You should stop being concern to me. From now on, focus in your own career."
Joy scoffs. "Are you serious?" Irene is serious. "NO. I will stay with you no matter what happens. I don't care."
"Stop being stubborn, Sooyoung. As your leader, obey what I am telling you."
"You know that I hate bossy leaders." Joy tells her holding Irene's hand. "And you know that I'm really stubborn."
Irene pushes her away again, shoving Joy's hand repeatedly. "Park Sooyoung, follow my instruction. Stay away from me."
"No. Why would I? I'm your girlfriend. I am supposed to stay with you—"
"Then let's break up."
"What?" Joy could not believe her ears.
"Let's break up." Irene is already crying. "Please..."
"W-Why?" Joy is already teary.
"Because I love you so much that letting you go is the best thing I could do for you."
Joy eventually agreed to Irene's decision. The expression showned on Irene's face was already enough for her to know that she cannot change Irene's mind. Following that, she shared something to social media that was related to Irene's situation.
They acted as strangers for months, only got an update about each other from their members. Slowly as time passed by, both of them slowly mended their despair. Slowly, at first, by seeing each other's faces, adjusting from each other's presence. Slowly, the second stage, they started talking with each other like it was their first time. Their progress was so slow that they eventually reached Irene's birthday.
Seulgi, Yeri, and Wendy all greeted Irene and posted about Irene in their Instagram stories. Only Joy did not. Joy was also aware about some fans getting dismayed about her and again, bringing out the coworker allegation between them.
They didn't know anything.
At the end of the day, Joy went to Irene's place. She greeted Irene personally and brought Irene's favorite foods with her. She stayed with Irene, acted as the girlfriend just like in the past, and then gave Irene a letter of wishes before saying her goodbye.
Then Joy's Hello debut came into place after Wendy's Like Water. At that time, she and Irene were finally okay, but still maintaining a distance. Irene with the 94-liners visited her in Inkigayo backstage and Joy was more than happy to see her members, to see Irene.
After that, their Red Velvet comeback was finally set. They filmed a lot and also made a special event for their 7th anniversary. At those times, Joy would monitor Irene. She knew about their beloved leader's concerns despite not being vocal about it.
Irene fears the public.
Joy with her vision already adjusted in the dark, she cups Irene's face and showers Irene with kisses, making the latter gasps from surprise.
She pulls away smiling. "You can rely on me, unnie. Your maknae before became bigger now. I grew a lot." She feels Irene's hands shifting to her cheeks, softly caressing it.
"I don't care about myself, but Red Velvet and Luvies..."
"I know, unnie. That is why you should focus on us alone. I read some quotation in the internet saying that celebrities are walking letters for the fans to decipher. Luvies are smart, unnie. They can read us. So, if you want them to be happy, be happy. I'm your fan too, so smile to make me smile." She pinches her leader's cheek, a little hard, gaining a soft groan from the latter. She then wipes the tears off from Irene's face using her soft and warm hands before pulling the petite girl's head towards her shoulder.
"Our live performance for our comeback is getting near. I want you to enjoy it. I know that there would be many eyes looking at you. With that, I want you to fix your eyes to your members..." Joy pauses, "... or me alone."
"Let's sleep then." Joy says.
Irene gets off of her then lies on the bed. Joy follows as she pulls Irene towards her.
"Sooyoung-ah..." Irene calls.
"You know that I still love you, right?"
Sooyoung smiles. "I know."
"Do you still love me too?" Irene asks.
"I do. I still love you." Joy answers as she sighs. "Honestly, I want us to be together again. But you taught me to be patient, so I can wait, unnie."
"You're welcome." Joy kisses Irene's crown. "Let's sleep. Good night, unnie..."
In the morning, Joy wakes up without Irene on her side. She feels empty, but she is filled with contentment seeing Irene in the kitchen almost finished in preparing a meal.
It reminds her of her trainee days and just like her trainee days, she approaches Irene and wraps a hug from behind. Unlike before, Irene is not surprised anymore. Rather, Irene turns around and wraps a hug to Joy too.
"Good morning." Irene softly greets.
"Good morning, unnie." Joy greets back.
Both of them ate silently after that with a little talk in-between and stealing glances, which immediately caught from another with a smile, and vice versa.
"Unnie, I'm going." Joy says.
"Take care," Irene says.
Joy smiles and nods, turns around and walks to reach the entrance door, but she stops upon feeling arms wrap around her waist from behind.
"I'm gonna miss you."
"I know. That is why I'll come back here later." Joy says holding Irene's hands.
"I want you to be with us in our Red Velvet comeback." Irene says.
Joy chuckles remembering the days when she was always absent with their group activities because of her drama filming. "I'll comeback with you guys. This comeback is special because we are five again. We are complete."
There is silence. Joy attempts to turn around, but Irene tightens her embrace.
"Unnie?" Joy calls in worry. "Unnie, I'm gonna be late, y'know." She softly laughs.
Joy's heart flutters. It has been so long since Irene last called her by her full name yet Irene can still do this to her. She really fell in love hard with Irene.
"After our Red Velvet comeback..." Irene pauses.
"After our Red Velvet comeback...?" Joy asks. "What is it, unnie? Tell me."
Irene takes a deep breath and then finally she is able to say it. "After our Red Velvet comeback, promise me that you will come back to me..."
Joy's heart skips a beat and the surrounding is muffled. She also hears a tinnitus, which is weird, until such time she feels a warm liquid falling down her cheeks.
"Sooyoung-ah...?" Irene asks in worry.
Joy does not reply.
Irene who is concern unwraps her arms and goes in front of Joy. Her eyes widen seeing Joy silently crying.
Joy shakes her head. She extends her hand towards Irene and pulls her, enveloping the smaller girl with a tight embrace.
"Thank you. Thank you. Thank you..."
"Is that the new way to say I love you...?" Irene asks. "Then I love you too, Sooyoung." She smiles.
Joy separates herself from Irene, looking directly at her eyes. Irene wipes her tears through her small hands, but Joy keeps on tearing up.
"Do you want a watermelon?" Irene asks.
Joy softly groans bringing a chuckle from Irene's lips.
Joy finally stops her cries, she takes a step and then holds Irene's face. She presses her lips to Irene's, moving it gently and receiving a response from Irene.
She pulls away, just enough to still have their foreheads touching each other. "I promise, I will come back to you." She then smiles, showcasing her eye smile as Irene stares at her with a smile, before initiating a kiss again.
"I love you so much." Joy says.
"You should go. You'll be late."
Joy pouts. "I want your reply."
"I love you too. Now, go." Irene says.
Joy groans. "It's forced." she complains.
Irene chuckles wrapping a hand behind Joy's neck and pulls her for a kiss. "I love you, Sooyoung. I love you more than you love me and you can't do anything about it."
"You're so competitive." Joy comments chuckling.
"I need to win you, that is why." Irene replies.
"I'll get going now." Joy says waving her hand.
"Don't forget to come back to me." Irene reminds her.
"I won't. You're my Queendom." Joy winks getting the cringe expression she misses. "Bye unnie. Enjoy your day."
"Enjoy yours too. Do well in acting. Make me proud." Irene says waving Joy a good bye.
Irene sighs deeply when Joy finally left. The apartment becomes silent. Her finger tip automatically goes against her lips. She smiles remembering the sensation as well as feeling her heart races in anticipation for Joy to finally come back to her.
Everything has changed, but their feelings were still the same and that all the matters.
I was contemplating about sharin it bcoz personally, while rereadin it, some scenes were a bit misleading. But since it's a fanfic I can twist everything here haha lmeow.
I made it as direct as possible since it was long. I didn't include everythin. I'll reserve 'em for another story I can think of.
BTW this is the AFF I linked to the story that ye should read to have a better understandin 'bout the story:
- Breakthrough by Ankyungbunbae
& here are the other AFF where I got ideas.
- Rhythms of a Heart by LadyPisces.
- Jelly by baechubachu29_
- Red Velvet Sickfics (Chapter 2 Food Poisoning) by reveluviees.
- A Hundred Miles Deep, Heading Headfirst by leirskald
- Altschmerz by girlstan
I respect and like the other ships. I'm just a er for JoyRene, so yeah. I really like the resistance & the small number of their fanfics make me crave for more.
Continue to love & support Red Velvet and their individual activities!
Our Queendom is here!
Be happy. Take care~