Pairings in groups are not new in KPOP, regardless if you’re an all-girls or all-boys group. It is the irony of their industry in a still closeted country. They were even given a heads-up regarding this for them to utilize for fan service.
When Yeri finally joined Red Velvet with her four unnies as their fifth member, the couple that was already established, and the pairing she personally ships is: SeulRene.
SeulRene’s history goes long way back. Seulgi had been an acquaintance of hers, as a sunbae when they were still training. Though they were not that close because of the age difference, she had noticed Seulgi’s talent and passion. She knew back then that she’s one of those who’ll make it. A year later, Joohyun joined as trainee as well. Albeit the shyness, Joohyun’s visuals and talent was no joke and Yeri also knew she’d make it.
What Yeri didn’t know was that those two unnies would become close. Her relationship with them had improved to friends from just a mere junior-senior acquaintance. Though still not that very close, but with that improvement, she had become closer to be able to observe more.
It was unexpected because of the difference in attitude. While Seulgi was friendly and easily warms up to anyone, Joohyun was shy and was hesitant to get out of her shell. So it came as a bit of surprise to her when they saw them talking comfortably to each other in one of their classes—with Seulgi coming up with a joke and Joohyun laughing to her heart’s content. She honestly felt that they have chemistry, when they sang together, especially when they danced together, even though it’s not just the two of them, the chemistry was undeniable. Just seeing them talking and looking at each other, chemistry spoke volumes. And it wasn’t just Yeri who noticed.
For it seems like the management also did. When they were paired together for a dance video of Be Natural out of all the SM Rookies, SeulRene pairing was established. Yeri didn’t know if they will even make it together in one group, but she sure hoped they would. As a SeulRene shipper, she wouldn’t want to have that chemistry go to waste. Yes, from there on, she shipped them.
And that shipping went on once she joined Red Velvet. The two was really good at fan service, she thought. How Joohyun would let her eyes linger longer on Seulgi’s lips, or how Seulgi’s hand somehow s around Joohyun’s waist. The lowkey gazes, hand-holdings, the eye-smiles, the skinships. The subtleness of it makes you wonder at the thin borderline between what’s fan service, what’s friendship, what’s sisterhood and what’s true romance. Yeri didn’t really think about it too much, she wouldn’t really want to pry as much as her curiosity wanted her to.
Yeri was known out of all the members to have the most fan-interactions. As cunning and teasing she is, she held herself down to the ground, humbling herself that she wouldn’t be there if not for her fans. She knew how to appreciate them especially during those hard times of the OT5 transition. Some were rejecting her as the fifth woman after all. She knew how change can be hard to accept. And she learned how to interact with the fans, to look from their point-of-view. And she learned that their fans are hilarious. Well, borderline delusional and hilarious, but hilarious, nonetheless.
How they all had pairings other than SeulRene, which really didn’t come as a surprise. How her teases to her bear-like unnie would come off as a flirty line and the monolid girl’s obvious cringe on it. How she was named as the SeulRene couple’s president because of how she reacts during their moments that looked like she promotes it, regardless if it was her smirking laugh or teasing scoff or just a poker-face that says ‘I’ve had enough of these two flirts’. It holds a bit of grain of truth in it so she can’t really deny the reason why their fans nominated her like that. But what she can’t seem to reason is her opposition: Sooyoung. She is the er of the famous couple. Even having the famous saying: ‘No SeulRene without Joy’; not because she was always there to push the two together, but because Sooyoung was always there to ruin their moment.
From straight-off cutting their moment by stepping in between them, to simply being there in the corner of the video frowning whenever SeulRene was being filmed. Sooyoung was obviously being a nuisance to every almost honey-dipping exchanges the two had, interrupting it as much as she can. She seemed to despise the couple. From the get-go, it was obvious which couple she rooted for: WenRene.
Now, WenRene couple was quite famous too. Seungwan was just too cheesy for her pairing to not call for attention, regardless of who she was partnered with. She was just naturally sweet and smooth. Maybe it had something to do with her growing up from Canada, a Western and not-that-wholesome country. She remembered that it was her who commented on the irony of the pairings being promoted, but the actual same gender love be frowned upon. It was a culture shock for the Canadian.
But she was able to adapt well. Joohyun, their leader, was very motherly caring, and her guidance helped, not only Seungwan, but also all of them. Seungwan became more comfortable, not to mention more open in her blabbering of greasy comments. And Joohyun was easy to fluster so she’d usually blush in pink at Seungwan’s flattering words and caring gestures. That’s probably the reason why WenRene was pretty established too. And the fans named the tallest of them as its president.
Why this was case, Yeri has yet to know.
Why was Sooyoung so against the OG ship? She was part of the OT4, for sure she had witnessed their chemistry already. Sure, Yeri had more years of experience when it comes to the pair since she knew them even during trainee days, but if you personally experience SeulRene up close, especially behind closed doors and away from the cameras, you’d turn into a believer. That’s how she sunk deeper into the ship. So why hasn’t Sooyoung been converted yet?
Why Yeri wants to know those, you may say that she might’ve taken her role as SeulRene’s president a little bit to heart.
Sooyoung was also paired up with the rest of the team, no member is safe from the fan’s pairings of course. Heck, her pairing with her, ‘JoyRi’, was even famous. Their shared fondness of teasing their unnie line made the maknae line irresistible. But out of all the rest of them, for Yeri at least, she’s the most heteroual. She even got virtually married with Yook Sungjae in a reality TV show. She was the only one who agreed. Maybe it had something to do with the responsibility of being the previous maknae that she agreed. Or maybe she was crushing on the BTOB’s maknae as well so she agreed. So why sabotage SeulRene’s moments if she’s straight? Maybe as straight as she was, she doesn’t want the world to notice her unnies’ gayness? But why push another couple then? If she’s that straight, she wouldn’t promote any at all.
Unless she wasn’t…
Unless she wasn’t!? What if Sooyoung had a crush on one of the two of their oldest?!
Damn Yeri, why have you only thought of that now????
JoyGi. Sooyoung seemed to push WenRene together so maybe… she has a crush on Seulgi? Anyone would. Even straight people would. Seulgi was known to be a target of girl-crushes. She has that kind of charisma that can bend even the straightest of the straights. Hell, even Yeri finds Seulgi alluring, especially when she’s on-stage, dancing, with those abs peeking from her mid-section. If those thoughts were out in the open, she’d be ousted from being SeulRene’s president. But Yeri knew where she stands. But Sooyoung doesn’t, she guesses.
They were paired a lot during MVs, Sooyoung and Seulgi. Most notably, during Bad Boy era. Sooyoung even suggested that almost kissing scene with Seulgi but Seulgi declined, with Joohyun taking over in Seulgi’s stead. Yeri knew why Seulgi declined, not wanting the oldest to get jealous. Joohyun took over, being the overly jealous and protective of the two, it’s better her than Seulgi. Why Sooyoung proposed that idea might be because of her secret crush on their bear-like member. If that’s the case, then everything will make sense.
There’s no use in analyzing the other pairings with Sooyoung if the above was the truth, then. Why would you if Sooyoung rooted for the pairing? JoyRene? Sooyoung was even dubbed as Joohyun’s unwanted daughter. WenJoy? Seungwan’s self-proclaimed Sooyoung biggest fan while the latter claimed the former as her favorite unnie, that was all.
But why didn’t it