The Festival and The Masochist

A Tease for A Tease
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“Red Velvet, you’re up next.”

Joohyun gulped nervously as her gaze followed the stage manager that called up for them. She craned her neck behind the mini stage where a band is currently performing, looking at the audience—about forty to fifty—some were listening attentively while others were just enjoying the beats as they enjoy each stall that surrounded the stage.

To say that Joohyun was nervous was an understatement. She can die of nervousness right there and then, and maybe she hopes to disappear a bit in order to escape her incoming doom.

“Hey Hyunnie,”

Joohyun felt Seulgi’s warm hand hold hers, lightly squeezing it reassuringly.

“It’s going to be fine. You’re going to do great. We are going to do great.”

Joohyun looked up to Seulgi who was smiling so brightly and reassuringly at her. She actually felt that nothing’s ever going to go wrong with how Seulgi beamed. She’s a sunshine.

Joohyun took a deep sigh. “Maybe you should do the vocals for Don’t Say Lazy Seulgi-yah, I don’t think I can manage—”

“Nonsense Hyunnie!” Seulgi retorted, not letting Joohyun finish her sentence. “You wrote it, so you got to sing it!”

“I don’t really think that that last minute decision was a good one.” Joohyun voiced out her worries with full hesitation on her voice.

“Look Hyunnie, we have already decided about this. We don’t want Red Velvet to be tied up in one voice. As much as possible, we want our voice to be as versatile and flexible as possible. It’s going to be fine Hyunnie. You’ll do great. They’ll love you.” Seulgi nodded.

“But Seul—”

“Come here.” Seulgi enveloped Joohyun inside her signature tight bear-hug, the taller girl’s arms caressing her back in the process. “You’re going to do great Bae Joohyun. You got this.” Then Seulgi broke their embrace and looked at Joohyun beaming.

Joohyun felt safe inside her arms and from the smile beaming at her. And maybe, everything’s really going to be alright.

“Unnie! You might want to try this!” Seungwan called.

Seulgi and Joohyun looked at Seungwan who was now sitting with Sooyoung and sipping some tea.

“I think it really does calm your nerves.” Seungwan said nodding, looking at the thermos cup in her hands.

“I told you so.” Sooyoung said, shrugging, sipping her own thermos cup.

Seulgi and Joohyun approached them.

“Here.” Seungwan handed them their thermos. “Sooyoungie packed it up for us.”

Seulgi observed how Seungwan was now smiling calmly instead of pacing back and forth around the backstage in nervousness. She smirked at the nonchalant maknae. “Extra mile, Sooyoung-ah, extra mile.” Sooyoung stepped on her feet discreetly.

Joohyun took a sip of hers too after pouring it down on her thermos cup lid. “Wow, smells good too.”

Seulgi grimaced, not really a fan of tea. “Just tastes like regular tea to me.”

“It has chamomile, you uncultured swine. It helps with the nerves.” Sooyoung retorted.

Seulgi scoffed. “Chamomile? Is that kind of weed like mari—”

“OH MY GOD SEULGI-YAH SHUT UP!” Joohyun had covered Seulgi’s mouth before she can even speak the forbidden word like it’s something fluffy like marshmallow.

Seulgi frowned as she wriggled out of Joohyun’s hold. “What? They’re both plants, they’re the same.”

“Shut up Seulgi-yah.”

“Shut up Seul.”

“Shut up Seulgi-unnie.”

Seulgi frowned at their unanimity against her. “Fine.” She drank her tea and grimaced again.

Seungwan stood up from her seat, feeling hyped up, in contrast with how she was so nervous a while ago. “Well! This is it girls! Finally we’re going to perform as Red Velvet!”

“Yeah!”  Seulgi cheered as well, which earned giggles from Seungwan and Joohyun. “We have to cheers for it!” She suggested and lifted her thermos cup in the air.

“Yeah! Sounds good! Come on Sooyoungie!” Seungwan coaxed Sooyoung to stand up and huddle with them, which the tallest complied after a disbelief sigh.

Once they were all huddled up in a circle, they all looked at Joohyun.

“Well? Go on leader-shii.” Seulgi smirked at her in coaxing. The other two looking at her expectantly as well.

Joohyun cleared . “Alright! This is it cake girls! We can do this! Red Velvet, fighting!

“FIGHTING!” The four of them cheered as they bumped each other’s thermos cups with chamomile tea in the air.

+++

Rice is amazing, I'll eat anything steaming hot
Ramen and oden with pancake, this and that
Carbohydrates, carbohydrates
A dreamy collaboration
(Hot, hot, steaming hot!)

Rice is amazing, it's a problem if I don't have it
Better yet, rice should be a complete side dish
If you're from Daegu, it's all about jjim galbi, yukgaejang and rice

But...I'm not from Daegu
(Saranghandae!)
One, two, three, four, rice!
One, two, three, four, rice!

Rice is amazing, I'll eat anything steaming hot
Kimchi and soybeans, raw egg, this and that
White rice is a pure, snowy white canvas
A fantasy imagination
(Hot, hot, steaming hot!)

Rice is amazing, it's a problem if I don't have it
Rice is a staple food, after all
If you're from Korea, it's all about rice over bread

"Rice isn't a side dish, you know!"
"Oh... I forgot."
"HEY!"

Rice is amazing, I'll eat anything steaming hot!
Fried noodles, octopus balls, pork wrapped in egg, this and that
Carbohydrates, carbohydrates
A dreamy collaboration
(Hot, hot, steaming hot! Let's go, let's go!)

Rice is amazing, it's a problem if I don't have it
Better yet, rice should be a complete side dish
If you're from Daegu, it's all about jjim galbi, yukgaejang & rice
I must have been from Daegu in a past life!
(Saranghandae!)

One, two, three, four, rice!
One, two, three, four, rice!
One, two, three, four, rice!
One, two, three, four, rice!

A round of applause and cheers echoed in the area, some whistles and hurrahs were heard, along with some laughing in positive agreement and cheering for rice.

The four of them was genuinely surprised as more people started to pile up in front of them.

Joohyun watched Seulgi beamed her brightest smile and it made her heart flutter. It has always been Seulgi’s dream to play in front of a crowd. And now, Seulgi has taken one step to her dream. Even though the crowd isn’t that big, she knew how it made Seulgi really really happy. And if Seulgi is happy, Joohyun is happier.

Seulgi looked at Joohyun, who was beaming at her, some beads of sweat had already formed on her forehead and neck, but she looked like she was enjoying herself. That

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