VI. Birthdays and Bearhugs

Stalemate
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“Baechu!” Seulgi crowed as she skipped down the hall towards Irene, who was standing in front of her apartment.

 

Irene had just gotten home from work and was in the process of letting herself in, bewildered as she watched the bear with a literal bounce in her step. “Hey, weirdo. You look extra happy today,” she observed, eyebrow raised in mild annoyance. How dare anyone be this happy in the middle of the workweek. 

 

“It’s my birthday today, Joohyun,” Seulgi said with smiling crescent eyes.

 

“Ohmygod, happy birthday!” Irene said, and dropped her stuff on the ground to give Seulgi a hug, feeling slightly guilty for being secretly grumpy. Luckily, Seulgi was beaming and completely oblivious to Irene’s less than effervescent mood. “Are you doing anything to celebrate?”

 

Seulgi grimaced a little. “I’m swamped with work deadlines so I couldn’t go see my folks. I usually drive down to Ansan to visit them- Haha! Listen to me act like it's so far away, but my brother is coming over this weekend instead, and I’m gonna hit up a club with my friends tonight.” 

 

“Hmmn,” Irene thought as she unlocked her front door and started picking up her work stuff where she had dropped them on the ground. Seulgi wordlessly bent down to help her neighbour. “Well, why don’t you hop over to my place for a bit if you have time? I’ll make you some seaweed soup if you haven’t had any yet. I know it’s almost dinner time, but better late than never, right?” 

 

The bear’s eyes lit up even more, as she handed folders and a tote bag back to Irene. “Really? You’d do that for me?”

 

Irene laughed. “Of course, silly bear! I’m just gonna get changed. Come over whenever, okay?”

 

“Okay!” Seulgi exclaimed with the widest grin.

 

 

*

 

 

Seulgi greedily spooned the miyeok guk into with gleaming eyes. “You make it just like my eomma does, Hyunnie,” she gushed.
 

“Well, slow down, you’re gonna give yourself a stomach ache,” Irene scolded, blushing a little at the compliment and tucking a strand of hair behind Seulgi’s ear as she ate. 
 

Seulgi was sporting a conical party hat atop her head that Irene had thrown together using construction paper and washi tape that she fished out of a junk drawer. She also quickly made a birthday card with a crudely sketched bear in a space suit on the front, and inside she wrote "A bear-y happy birthday to my favourite space invader!" 

 

Seulgi smiled, her eyes disappearing into happy, little crescents. "Gimme a pen, Joohyun," she asked, and quickly doodled a much more impressive cartoon bunny in a space suit next to the bear. "That's you and me," she explained to her neighbour. "Seul-bear and Baechubunny, explorers of deep space and probers of each other's orifices!"

 

“Aigoo,” Irene gushed, smacking her arm and pinching the younger’s cheek. “So kyeopta. And erted." 

 

“Hey, why don’t you come hang out with me and my friends tonight?” Seulgi offered. 

 

“Seul, it’s a Tuesday. You know you’re talking to an ahjumma, right? I don’t really like drinking that much. Or dancing."

 

"Oh, I don't drink and dance. That's dangerous. That's how babies are made," Seulgi deadpanned. 

 

"Plus, Krystal is probably gonna be there, I’d rather not be her punching bag.” 

 

“Aww, okay, okay. I’d bug you about not loving me on my birthday, but you made me

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Blue_is #1
Chapter 14: You know that 3x3 tiles where one categorizes good, neutral, evil x lawful, neutral, chaotic, this fic is the top tier example of chaotic good. Thank you author!
devilsdetails #2
Chapter 14: the way everyone can see that they're in love with each other except for them and their partners omg they're such an entertaining dumpster fire 😭 i know you said no angst but the lowkey yearning in this that they keep trying to downplay is so good 🙈 i usually dislike a miscommunication trope that should be easy to resolve if they just talked but the way it's written here is actually refreshing and fun!
AnneTokki #3
Chapter 14: Seulgi saying, JooHyun feels like home aww. Hope they realize that they live each other. Maybe Rosie and Wendy.
eunxiaoxlove #4
So is joohyun jealous of wense or seulse or both? Haha
regurgitate #5
Chapter 14: Seems Joohyun was jealous of Wendy fawning over Rosé and not because Seulgi is dating Rosé . Joohyun just gives me the protective best friend vibes here. Which is cool, actually. Dunno how it happened, but I actually like the couples we have now to just stay together. I mean, it was serious enough for Seulgi that she accepted and respected Rosé's terms. Can't just have things unravel between them when what they have now sparked such a major shift. Or to put it simply: if that person made me consider changing my ways (not that they're fundamentally good or bad, but just that changing in itself is already significant) I think she's worth staying with.
Oct_13_wen_03 #6
Chapter 14: They like married couples , make up with fav things after a fight 😭🤍🤍 so cute 🤍
dancingseulo
#7
Chapter 13: So Rosé was the first girl to reject from Seulgi? 😭
arqshime
249 streak #8
Chapter 13: OMG! They're so in love with each other! I'm really enjoying this building tension between them. It's going to be so good, I can feel it. Great job author. You're the best 🧡
Blue_is #9
Chapter 13: Most of the times I just have to re-read (how the hell is peanut hamburger connected to rejection????) I realized I am very simple minded I have to reach your level of intelligence to understand, you know those kinds of stuffs are like physics to me, Albert Einstein level, right you are Einstein author, I don't know if I understand nevertheless I am clapping my hands here, this makes me high and I don't even know what it feels to be high. I don't know anymore, I don't....
regurgitate #10
Chapter 13: Glazed doughnuts are the only doughnuts that matter. Everything else is a gastronomical aberration and abomination. Hmmm. So Rosie wants to take things slow, huh? Wonder if Seulgi can take that.