II. Claws and Cupcakes

Stalemate
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Irene was at a perfunctory office holiday party.

 

Psycopath, sycophant… Irene was repeating the words in her head, and trying to remember how to spell them. 

 

She was standing in a corner, dressed in little, black cocktail dress, holding a plateful of cocktail shrimp, as speakers blasted Wham’s "Last Christmas" for the third time that night.

 

Her work wife, Solar, had come down with the flu, and had threatened bio warfare on the entire office, until Irene had assured her friend she was going to be fine by herself at the party. 

 

Across the function room, which was swathed in red bows, green garlands and wreaths, and silver tinsel, like the Ghost of Christmas Overkill threw up all over it, Irene squinted when she spotted someone who very well could have been a figment of her imagination. The spectral figure ominously approached. 

 

“You clean up nicely,” Seulgi quipped after she had floated like a ghost on rollerskates across the room to steal a shrimp off Irene's plate. “The last time I saw you, you looked like you had either given up on life or life had given up on you.”
 

They hadn't seen or spoken to each since they hooked up a week ago. They hadn't been avoiding each other, but neither of them had made any particular effort to reconnect either, preferring to ride the universe like a tidal wave and see where the current took them. Neither of them had remembered to ask for the other's phone number. 

 

“Was I supposed to wear my little black dress to eat Chinese food and watch Netflix?” Irene shot back, mildly excited at Seulgi's presence and mildly irritated at her bravado at the same time. “You look really good too,” she conceded huffily.

 

Seulgi flashed Irene a dazzling smile. “But I always look good, don’t I?” she said with a wink. “So you work here? What do you do?”

 

“Accounting,” Irene answered reluctantly. Seulgi sounded pretty offhand, like she wasn't really waiting for an answer. Still, Irene's libido seemed to betray her pride, making her feel like the room had heated up just a few degrees, making her unable to stop imagining dragging the cutely obnoxious bear into a bathroom stall. “Do you work here? I don’t think I’ve ever seen you around, but it is a big company.”

 

“Accounting! But you’re much too attractive and interesting to be a bookkeeper!” Seulgi teased. 

 

“And you’re much too annoying to be talking to me,” Irene grumbled. “You didn’t answer my question.”

 

“Nope, I don’t work here. I’m here with Krystal Jung from-“

 

“Krystal? From HR?” Irene raised an eyebrow.

 

“You know her?”

 

“I mean, we’re not best friends, but we say hi and stuff-“

 

“Let’s call her over!” Seulgi declared, all eye smiles and rascality.

 

“Seulgi, no, wait!”

 

“What?”

 

“Won’t it be awkward? 'Cause we… and she…”

 

“What? What did we and she?” Seulgi teased with twinkling eyes.

 

“Cause you’re dating her and we hooked up that one time,” Irene hissed.

 

“Krystal!” Seulgi called from across the room, and Krystal made her way over.

 

“Ohgod,” Irene groaned, and looked around to find a rock she could hide under.

 

“Oh hey, Irene,” Krystal said with a forced smile, before cozying up to Seulgi. “Heyyy,” she drawled, sliding a hand across Seulgi’s stomach and on her earlobe. 

 

“Staaahp,” Seulgi said, swatting her away playfully. “You already have J... Irene here thinking there’s gonna be some kind of showdown with you guys.”

 

"What? No!" Irene protested.

 

Krystal chuckled a little.  "What do you mean?”

 

“She’s my space invader neighbour,” Seulgi explained proudly.

 

“Ohh! Oh wow, small world! Seul’s been telling me about her breathtakingly gorgeous neighbour,” Krystal said, almost sneering, looking Irene up and down. 

 

“Irene thinks I cheated on you or something,” Seulgi cheekily told Krystal. 

 

“N-no! I just didn’t want to possibly get in the middle of something…”

 

Krystal laughed again. It was an irritating sound to Irene. 

 

“Oh, honey, Seul and I aren’t together like that,” Krystal explained. 

 

Honey? Irene scoffed internally. 

 

“We do sleep together. You probably know our Seulgi here is very skilled in bed,” Krystal purred, and tickled the bear’s ear with a light nip of her teeth. “But we’re both free to pursue other opportunities when they present themselves.”

 

Other opportunities? What am I, a pyramid scheme? And present myself? Like a baboon with a bright red ?

 

“Right,” Irene replied curtly, but gave them both what she hoped came across as a friendly smile. “Congrats I guess? Enjoy the party, I’ll see you guys around.”

 

 

*

 

 

At three am, there was loud knocking on Irene’s door and she stumbled out of bed to see who it was. 

 

She peered through the window to find a mildly drunk bear on her doorstep, holding a box of cu

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dancingseulo
0 points #1
Chapter 17: Oh damn didn’t expect Seulgi will move in with Rosé. The saddest part is they have always known they love each other 🙂‍↔️
eunxiaoxlove 0 points #2
Chapter 18: Yieeeee nicee
VanguardLancer
0 points #3
Chapter 18: Oops, we are on a ride! ... Well, the first few paragraphs were indeed quite a rollercoaster of revelations. 😂 I can't say that I'm completely surprised, but I also can certainly say that I am FAR from disappointed.

FINALLY. The universe has conspired well! A COSMIC kind of love that transcends time and space 🥹 (Which, hey, by the way is such a fun coincidence. Our space buddies are indeed reaching for the stars again soon!)

Can't wait to see more of these crackheads again soon!
scarlet511 0 points #4
Chapter 18: Omggg this chapter is so cute and ngl I'm happy reading the revelation of their feeling. It's funny but heartwarming nonetheless.
I thought it's gonna end w the story goes but you still have more? Yeay thanks!
taenyworth
0 points #5
Chapter 18: Ngl maybe I'm just stupid or dense but when Jisoo called and brought up Jennie I was like damn another girl for Irene's reborn so I really really have the same reaction as Irene when she told that she married. To Rosie wkwkw anyway I just wonder shen Seulgi suddenly came to Irene's door in this chapter, is it because Irene suddenly contact her or? Just coincidentally she just mean to visit her? With the Chinese food one I mean?
And thank for the update anyway 👍👍
regurgitate 0 points #6
Chapter 18: Chapter 18: This chapter reminded me of Say Anything, the carry-the-boombox-scene, which then reminded me of Grey's Anatomy, particularly the scene of Meredith Grey saying "pick me, choose me, love me" and just 80s, early 2000s movies overall. This was wonderfully written. One part romcom twist (Rosie + Jennie), one part American Pie-ish kind of cute+y combo (I don't know, I got reminded of Michelle + Jim, because they're funny but sweet too, a shade similar to the dynamic between Seulgi and Irene here), but all parts that are very much grounded into reality, especially when you pointed out that being single doesn't make a person emotionally available or ready right away. Good job, author. Really enjoyed this one.
KaiserKawaii 15 streak 0 points #7
Chapter 18: Hahah. Lol. As expected. The mess is kinda funny.
username404 #8
Chapter 17: I lowkey wish for Rosie's ex to return ._.
dancingseulo
#9
Chapter 16: Wenrene is finally over. What will Seulrene do now 👀
arqshime
272 streak #10
Chapter 17: Oh author! I can't wait for the grand fluffy fest of love! I'm so ready!!! Hehe I wasn't even bothered with the slight angst. I know the good stuff will be even sweeter to read after that. The seulrene talk was really great, the way they understood each other without saying the actual words... genius! Thank you for being so consistent with your updates. You're the best! 🧡