"We're so glad you can come on such short notice," said Yoo Yeo Reum with a warm smile thrown their way.
"Is this okay?" Kim Se Won asked, gesturing around them. "Kwon Jung Rok said we should get a room with privacy, so--"
"Oh it's fine, this is fine," Oh Yoon Seo replied, smiling largely at them. She glanced at Yeo Reum and said, "Thank you for thinking of me when getting this room; I've always wanted to experience having a double date. And given that our drama wrapped up early--"
"Are you two watching it? I told them to watch it," Kwon Jung Rok said to her, pointing at his two friends. "I even remind them regularly just in case they forgot."
Se Won rolled his eyes and said, "How can we forget? You text us almost everyday."
"I also get calls from him every now and then," Yeo Reum said, mock glaring at Jung Rok. "And then he gets angry if I don't answer the calls on time! Kwon Jung Rok, do you really think you're the only busy lawyer around here?"
Jung Rok shrugged and said, "I won't call if I don't consider it an urgent matter. You know that."
"You... call her?" Yoon Seo asked, unable to help herself as well as the tinge of jealousy coating her words.
"Yes," Jung Rok said decisively, "because I know that if Yeo Reum watches it then Se Won will, too, and it's important to me that your show gets high ratings."
"Ya, Kwon Jung Rok. You do know that's not how ratings work, don't you?" Se Won said, leaning closer.
Jung Rok blinked. "It's not?"
"It's not about the number of people, but the actual number of households watching any given show." Se Won turned to her and said, "Right? I'm right, aren't I?"
Yoon Seo tucked her hair behind one ear and said, "Well I'm not really familiar with the specifics, but... I'll take your word for it."
"Smart woman," Se Won said, giving her a thumbs up. "I actually had to research that for a case. Kwon Jung Rok, you should look into that, too, so that you can bother even more people to help boost her ratings."
"Not to say we don't watch it, though," Yeo Reum said. "I actually like the drama very much. Mostly because the story's gripping and... how should I say it." She darted a glance at Jung Rok before continuing, quite smugly, "I feel like there's natural chemistry between you and the male lead, and I know I'm not the only one who thinks so."
"Oh!" Yoon Seo smiled and covered her mouth before bowing. "Thank you very much! We work hard to make sure the viewers see what they deserve. I'm so glad you like it!"
"Natural chemistry," Jung Rok muttered under his breath, glaring at Yeo Reum and crossing his arms. "You know that's just fabricated, right? It's all... fake."
"The fact that it's you who's here with the Universe's Goddess instead of her co-star pretty much confirms it, unfortunately," Se Won replied drolly. "Ya. What a jealous man you've become! Not that I can blame you, of course. I mean, look at your girlfriend."
"I am looking," Jung Rok said, glancing at her and smiling. "Every chance I get."
Yoon Seo pushed his arm in jest. "Oh you! You're just too much."
"Ah, I feel sick to my stomach all of a sudden," Se Won commented. "I wonder why."
Jung Rok glared at him. "Shut up."
"Can I ask you an honest question, though?" Yeo Reum asked, raising one hand for emphasis.
Yoon Seo blinked. "What is it?"
Yeo Reum leaned closer and said, "Have you never really thought about dating a fellow actor?"
"O-Oh," Yoon Seo said, quite taken aback. "Well--"
Se Won nudged her arm. "Look at what you've done, Yoo Yeo Reum. Now Oh Yoon Seo might actually think about how much better her male co-stars are than Kwon Jung Rok, and then she'll decide to break his poor heart in the process! Aish, I dread to think about how even more pathetic our friend will become." He shook his head and sighed soulfully.
"Ya, Kim Se Won. Have I ever told you how glad I am that you're not living with me anymore?" Jung Rok gritted out.
Se Won placed a hand on Jung Rok's. "Just admit that you miss me. I understand."
Jung Rok rolled his eyes, pulled his hand away. "Not on your life."
Se Won chuckled.
"Well?" Yeo Reum prodded her.
Yoon Seo blinked again. "I guess not...? I mean, like what he said--" She patted Jung Rok's arm, "what I have with my fellow actors isn't real. And sometimes I feel like it's better spending time away from them so I don't feel like I'm working when I shouldn't be." She paused and asked shyly, "Does that make sense?"
"Of course it does!" Jung Rok declared vehemently. "Your life in front of the camera and away from it should be kept separate. That way, you can truly rest and recharge so that you'll be able to face your fans well."
"Yes," Yeo Reum said slyly, "as well as date Kwon Jung Rok while you're at it."
He straightened his shoulders. "That goes without saying."
Yeo Reum laughed.
"You three seem like you know each other very well," Yoon Seo commented, resting her chin on her palm and smiling at them. "It must feel wonderful, going to college with friends."
Se Won and Yeo Reum exchanged grins. "I guess you can say that," she said, while he placed an arm around her shoulders and nodded at her.
"Not really," Jung Rok said suddenly.
"Eh?" Yoon Seo said, blinking.
Jung Rok then took a chopstick and pointed at Se Won. "He's always begging me to let him copy my work, whereas she--" Then he paused and shrugged. "Never mind."
"What?" Yeo Reum asked, looking at Se Won then at him. "What did I do to you? I don't remember asking to copy your work!"
Se Won nudged her and said, "That's because you don't have to, since you're always getting a higher score than him."
"Oh!" Yeo Reum clapped her hands and grinned. "That's right. I even got a higher GPA than you!"
"It's a measly .3 difference," Jung Rok said fiercely. "No one remembers that!"
Yoon Seo nudged his shoulder and said demurely, "Except you."
Jung Rok reared back as if slapped. "Whose side are you on? I had thought--"
She then grabbed his hand and kissed the back of it. "Yours. Always."
Jung Rok cleared his throat. "W-Well. As long as we're clear."
Se Won laughed loudly and nudged his girlfriend. "Did you see how quickly he changed, right there? I should have recorded it."
"Who would have thought, right?" Yeo Reum said, resting her head on his shoulders and smiling. "All four of us, happy like this."
"Even Kwon Jung Rok?"
Yeo Reum looked at her boyfriend and said gravely, "Especially Kwon Jung Rok."
"You must excuse them," Jung Rok said, looking at Yoon Seo. "They really don't know what they're saying." He then tore a napkin and threw its bits at his friends, who swatted them playfully away.
"I don't mind," Yoon Seo said, looking at them almost wistfully. "Seriously, I don't mind. I feel like--" She tucked her hair again and added, "I feel like I'm almost a part of your group when I'm seeing how happy the three of you are together."
Se Won blinked at her. "Don't you know? You are a part of us now. I mean, if I could trade Kwon Jung Rok for you I would, but since I can't--"
Jung Rok curled his lip at him.
"And you can always trust us to support the two of you," Yeo Reum said, reaching out to cover Yoon Seo's hand. "Anyone who cares for Jung Rok as much as you do deserves it."
Yoon Seo smiled at her, finding herself almost speechless. "That's-- that's so wonderful to hear. Thank you."
Jung Rok said, "Besides, if they do something that will make you angry, I'll be more than happy to sue them on your behalf."
"Showoff," Se Won said under his breath.
"Seriously," Jung Rok added earnestly, as if his friend hadn't spoken. "I can sue them if you want. Especially Kim Se Won."
"Don't listen to him," Yeo Reum said. "He doesn't mean it."
Jung Rok blinked at her. "I don't?"
She stuck her tongue out at him.
Se Won then said, "Anyway, shall we order? We still have that drive-in movie to watch, don't we?"
"Ah, yes!" Yoon Seo said, clapping her hands. "I arranged it so that it's only the four of us watching. To thank you properly for this dinner, I hope you'll like what I prepared for all of us!"
"I'm sure we will," Jung Rok told her. "Because if they don't, I'll sue them. On your behalf, of course."
Yoon Seo just laughed in response.