content warning: mentions of violence
The carriage is mostly quiet, with Karina catching up on one of her favorite novels while Irene is recalling a heist she held in Paris a few years back while both Seulgi and Ryujin are both listening attentively.
A rather calm picture considering the hefty weight of the plan they have managed to construct just days ago.
“So, how are we going to do this?” Ryujin asks, glasses perched low on their nose.
“We’re going to the party as planned. Wouldn’t want to miss such a grand event.” Seulgi answers.
"And that's how I managed to get banned from the Lou— Jesus Christ when I said you can smoke I didn't mean to embody a chimney." Irene curses as she hides her nose on the inside of Seulgi's coat.
The white smoke is everywhere and while it does smell like caramel and chocolate, the scent is overpowering and only the lavender freshness Irene finds in Seulgi’s skin seems to temper it down.
“Not used to cigarettes?” They ask, taking a deep inhale, the fire burning through the paper way too fast than what Seulgi is typically used to.
"She's sensitive to the smell." Seulgi explains as she wraps an arm around Irene's shoulders before leaning in to crack open the carriage window. A small muffled thanks can be heard.
"Sorry, I’ll put it out now." Ryujin replies, putting out the cigarette by the ashtray and blowing the last of the smoke out of the window. Karina looks over in concern at the pack in Ryujin's hand as their fingers reach for another one, stopping it before the ever exits out of the paper.
"That's almost empty. You're smoking like crazy." Karina clicks her tongue, taking the pack away and batting Ryujin's hands that reach for it.
"It's the anxiety… and the probability that this will be the first and last time I'll ever participate in a plan like this." Ryujin says defeatedly, retreating a palm that Karina hits with a paper fan.
"What's wrong with this plan?" Irene perks up, face still half-hidden in Seulgi's chest. Seulgi lets her be.
"Absurd. Crazy. Dangerous." Ryujin says, biting the inside of their cheek as they take off their glasses to wipe.
"No 'badass'? You're missing a b-word."
"Not the point."
"But this plan is indeed badass. Get in and get out with a few modifications but hey, who's counting?"
"Meh." Irene waves off Ryujin's stare and placates herself by burying herself into Seulgi's collar, indisposed for the rest of the ride.
"Hmmm Rina failed to share that you're no fun at parties." Seulgi intervenes, hand tracing circles into the back of Irene's jacket. She feels a smug smile against her neck.
Ryujin visibly pinks while Karina tries to hide the chuckle that bubbles inside her chest. Seulgi fails to hide hers.
"Just… a lot of things can go wrong and I'm honestly not ready to die." Ryujin confesses, running a hand through their hair.
"We've gone through the plan a hundred times. We planned this down until the last second. We have Plans B, C, and D. I get that you're nervous but you have to trust us on this." Seulgi calmly explains. "No one's going to die."
Ryujin takes a deep inhale only to release it through their nose before raising their hands in surrender.
“You have your backpack with you?”
“The door is our biggest enemy. It’s about five inches thick and the hinges are practically indestructible if we use blunt force.”
“That means breaking the door down is out of the question. What else can we do?”
“Well… I have something that might help. It will take time, though.”
“No problem. We’ll make all the time in the world if need be.”
“I do. I played with acids and bases before but not like this.” Ryujin answers, patting the small black bag by their side, hand ready to attach it to a belt loop.
“Like what?” Seulgi muses.
“Like in a criminal act with the potential to be hurt or worse be killed.”
"Don't worry. I'll be with you at every step of the way, yeah?" Karina offers, hand reaching to squeeze at Ryujin's knee.
"Yeah…" Ryujin turns to Seulgi who's currently pressing a kiss to her wife's forehead. "Sorry for being a mood killer, Miss Seulgi. I haven't done this before."
"Understandable. If this goes well, who knows, maybe you'll tag along for the next one."
"I'd rather not."
Without notice, the carriage suddenly comes to a stop, almost throwing everyone off of their seats and Irene releasing a panicked "eek!" before Seulgi manages to seat them back down again. Karina and Ryujin on the other hand had to hold onto the sides for dear life, knuckles turning white, as the horses outside neigh and whinny.
“Soobin,” Seulgi calls out the window for their driver as everyone in the carriage has settled down. “Is everything okay?”
“We’re here!” Soobin replies. “Someone’s going to open the door anytime now!”
“We’ll enter the palace normally. Soobin will drop all of us at the entrance,” Seulgi points to the map. “and that’s where we’ll split up.”
“Look alive, kids. It’s nearing showtime.” Seulgi advises, propping Irene up and patting down her dress.
There’s a knock on the door to which Seulgi unlatches the lock, revealing a well-dressed doorman with a wide grin on his face.
“Hello! Welcome to the Gyeongbokgung Palace. The Bae-Kangs, I presume?” He bows.
“We are.” Seulgi respectfully bows back, going out first to guide Irene down.
“The Queen will be delighted with your presence!” The doorman claps and turns to the other people in the carriage.
Karina smiles back while Ryujin raises an awkward peace sign.
“Additional guests?” The doorman asks.
“Ah, no. Just farm children looking to hitch a ride to the city. You know how it is.” Seulgi explains, clapping the doorman on the back as she turns the man away, letting Irene to whisper to the pair.
“We have to go now. You know the plan?”
“We’ll lead the doorman away and make sure all eyes are on us. You focus on getting underground. The faster, the better.” Seulgi says to Karina and Ryujin.
Both of them nod.
“Good. Now scram. You have the earpieces so ring us if there’s any trouble.” Are Irene’s parting words, walking away to rejoin her wife by the stairs. Seulgi shoots them a reassuring wink as they disappear from sight, onwards to the palace entrance.
Soon enough, camera shutters begin clicking like crazy, with light bulbs popping every few seconds as one of the infamous guests has finally arrived at the palace. The paparazzi noise drowns out the rest of the world as everyone’s heads are turned towards the Bae-Kangs.
Taking that as a signal, Soobin waves at them as the carriage rides away, Karina fitting in a “bye Greed!” that has Ryujin turning to her with a bewildered face.
“Your family names horses after the cardinal sins?” Ryujin whispers as they walk onwards to the right wing of the palace, the evening wind blowing through their cotton shirt as they juggle the weight of their backpack.
“Irene-unnie’s idea.” Karina shrugs, fixing the hat on her head, tucking in the long strands somehow. Her eyes scan for the catacomb entrance that she finds in between two oak trees. With a determined nod at Ryujin, both of them slip away to the shadows to enter the palace.
Right before they could make it far, a guard rounds the corner, prompting Karina to pull back a leading Ryujin and hushing the pained “ouch!” that escapes Ryujin’s lips.
“Shhh!” Karina whispers harshly before hearing another set of footsteps, most likely two.
She takes another look.
Two guards, another incoming.
She holds her breath.
“If there’s trouble, well, you do what you gotta do. No blood as much as possible… but there’s free reign to make it hurt.”
“Aye! Great news!” Someone shouts.
“What is it?” Another voice replies.
“Heard from upstairs the Bae-Kangs are here!”
“Huh, they really came?”
“Yup. Doorman told me they were dressed for the ball. Looks like we’ll be getting away with things tonight.”
“Oh lighten up, Mikey! Come on up, I’ll get ya a drink.”
“Huh? I can’t leave George alone here!”
“You can and you will! No one’s going to steal that diamon