Chapter I: The Storm

A Lot Like Lois Lane and Superman
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Chapter I

The Storm




June 28, 2021


There was a biting 'what the hell' at the tip of Seulgi's tongue, and there was probably more she wanted to say, because she talks to herself a lot, but mostly to berate herself—and this was different.


The bus creaks another—eerie and a reminder that she wasn't done trying to save it. It takes her a good few seconds, staring at her trembling hands, having half the mind to maybe do it again, because another roar, metallic and angry, describes the rest of the picture to her: another good pivot on the side of the cliff then the bus falls this time.


She scampers off the mud from where she slipped, tripping a few more times under the challenge of the drenching rain as she makes her way to the tail of the bus.


"Whatever the hell," she finally manages to say, shaking her head at the sheer silly of thinking she could do what she just did a while ago. She puts both her hands on the now slippery bumper, feeling her grip cry as she tugged and pulled, screaming with the screetching shell of the bus as it skidded slowly and surely along the rocks.


"Come f--king on," Seulgi groans as she tilts backwards, lifting one leg and dragging the other as she pulls, and just like every episode of irony she always seems to get hit with—


—the bumper snaps off.


Seulgi watches the bus tilt the other way—the very place she did everything to keep the bus from toppling into, pushing her to do everything, even the impossible.








Hours earlier


There was just something spite-worthy about sticking out like a sore thumb. Seulgi just didn't expect the package to include actually getting spat at—literally.


She makes a show of rubbing at the sides of her face then her ears, hoping that maybe the two guys she was literally in the middle of would take a hint. Why did they think it was a great time to fanboy about their Animal Crossing girlfriends?


They continued to chatter on despite Seulgi wedged between them and now they're leaning closer into her space to hear each other better because the entire university auditorium was equally soul-crushingly noisy. So, she's stuck with just silently praying they're unknowingly each other’s' girlfriends' in the game.


Seulgi snickers at that, feeling a little proud that she turned the spitefulness of it all into something entertaining.


One of them university head honchos Seulgi vaguely remembers to be teaching one of her physics classes was smiling really big as he takes the microphone, and dumb and dumber, along with everybody else in the audience, finally let themselves be casually shushed by the cringey feedback.


He makes his little speech about the usual leadership he doesn't miss to emphasize, and frankly, Seulgi misses the whole thing because she'd much rather look where his arm was spread towards—the new set of University Student Council, headed by none other than Bae Irene herself.


Seulgi feels her attendance was justified as she watches Irene motion for the rest of her new team to walk a few steps in front before taking her place next to them. Seulgi swoons and reiterates the gay with her chin resting on her palm as she admires her from where she sat.


It was a vicious landslide win for her entire group, and the quiet spiteful part of Seulgi sneers at the thought that anyone actually even attempted to run against Bae Irene.


"Idiots," she mutters to herself.


'Big university leader guy'—Seulgi decides to refer to him—was finally done talking and hands the microphone over to the new leaders' general direction. The bubblier side of the group pushes Irene to take it, and she does (but with a hint of a threat when she looks back at her officers) with a shy little smile.


"Hi," she starts and barely even takes a second breath after talking a single syllable and the audience falls into applause. She smiles at this, warmer this time. How her head dips and the way she pulls the microphone a good foot away from for a second—Seulgi sees it all.


But she is Irene, so she raises a hand to shush them anyway, amid the emotions she visibly gulps down. A chuckle makes its round through the audience.


"I have words," she starts. It may have been honesty, but it comes off as a joke, because people laugh lightheartedly again. "But while I believe there are a hundred different ways I can promise a whole set of things again, I'd like to start simple."


Seulgi holds her breath as she listened, feeling the rest of the auditorium do the same—even dumb and dumber fall quiet.


"As easy as it is to make promises—out of conviction, out of feelings, I think it's just as easy to sink at one point and just quit or grow too tired to lose your way to your promise, to your feelings—convictions even."


'It is,' Seulgi thinks to herself. But having no one to really offer promises to other than herself on that fateful day at a back alley, she thinks of the false ease of the quiet seabed of her mind. She listens on, partly thinking that the woman behind the microphone might not even remember that day—the day Seulgi gave school another chance; the day she decided it might be worth it to drag herself out of the little cave in her cousin's family's house.


It was years ago—the day they truly first met and just had Seulgi watching the ground Irene walks on.


"We can make promises to ourselves, too, though," Irene says with a smile, and Seulgi stiffens at the coincidence, "that maybe our ideals—old and new—can set new maps for us. I have a good team with me—"


She takes a second to look back at her now quietly smiling team.


"—they're good people, and we will fight to never lose our way. We'll make every minute count not because we're perfect, but because we have each other," she looks back into the sea of students, eyes looking everywhere, "and just as you trusted us enough to get the job done, we will always remember our way to you together. So, National Technological University, let's make that promise now, and let's keep it simple—"


Seulgi is proud. Irene wasn't even done but she is proud.


"—when or if that day comes, losing our way or the inevitable feeling of sinking, we leave no one behind; we rise back up together."


And because she knows, deep down, who Irene was, because she had seen a glimpse of this Irene making a promise in that alley as a teenager, Seulgi was first to stand. The rest of the auditorium followed as it roared into applause.








"Awesome as always, Fresh Prez," Nayeon, Vice President, says as she skids a light punch to their president's arm.


"Why do we still use Fresh Prez?" Irene says as she scoots to give Nayeon room to sit. "That inside joke should die with the campaigns. Drunk me only asked for fresh pressed pepper on my drink once and you all wouldn't live it down."


"Inside joke?" Sehun pauses from stalking his crush on Twitter to ask, pocketing his phone and putting on his seatbelt. "I mean, if there's an inside joke, how come I know nothing of it?"


"It's because your head is always on that bird app!" Nayeon rolls her eyes. "Give it up, homeboy. She's never going to look your way."


"Why are you mean to me?" Sehun makes a show of putting a hand on his chest. "You don't think I can get a girlfriend?"


"Nope," Nayeon says with a resounding 'p'.


Irene hits her on the knee with a half-hearted scold, "hey, be nice to him."


Yerim and Wendy fill out the seats in the back. Suho and the inseparable Jisoo and Jennie take the front.


"I can't believe we got stick-in-the-mud to celebrate at the Summit," Yerim 'whispers' to Wendy, all too aware that she might as well have just told Irene that because of her lack of discretion.


"Just how many names do you people have for me?" Irene says with a snort. "And go ahead, be like that. Who knows? I'm letting you spend the rest of the night celebrating at a strip mall on top of the university's plateau, because I'll run you all ragged when you're all done laughing your hearts out."


"Told you your cousin will make a good drill sergeant," Yerim makes sure to 'whisper' to Wendy this time.


Wendy just laughs it out and throws in a joke of her own, "which cousin are we talking about? I have like a million."


"Isn't it scary that she's not even exaggerating when she said 'a million'?" Jisoo hops in on the joking as she settles herself right behind the driver. "Who knows, Mr. Choi might just be her uncle, eh?"


She leans forward and nudges the old man with a playful elbow, only to be looked at like she pretty much confirmed trivia instead of pulling off a joke.


Jisoo clears , mumbling an, "alright

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AnneTokki #1
Chapter 2: Hi, will you be completing this story? 🥺🙏
jieuniii #2
welcome back po ate red 🥺🥺🥺
Chapter 1: the name layl and rex still hits different
OMG! Inch restingggg how you will turn this AU into a fanfic. Labs ko yung llsm au masyado kahit medyo nasira yung utak ko kakaisip hahaha!
Chapter 2: Intrigued by how you plan to write this version.
And it did felt familiar and new at the same time. Hahaha
can't wait for more!
Serenity_love #7
Chapter 2: Woah this looks so interesting
KaiserKawaii #8
Wah! Read this in twitter.
ereni_r #9
Chapter 2: this is going to be one hell of a ride. 😂 thank you for updating!!!
lalaflourish #10
Chapter 2: SO GOOD