Seulgi finally closes the door to their two-day, one-night hotel room. And that’s it. That’s the end of their show together. For a second, Seulgi feels like there isn’t enough air in the hotel corridor. For a second, she thinks what if Sunmi-unnie was only friendly because of the thousands of cameras filming them, and the thousands of people that they both know will watch them through their television screens?
But then. But then, Seulgi feels a hand tug at hers, intertwining them together. She turns around and sees her Sunmi-unnie with a soft smile. Seulgi follows after that smile as Sunmi leads them into the elevator.
She doesn’t really know why she says this, but she does. “I leave for Slovenia with the girls tomorrow. We’re filming season three of our reality show.”
But Sunmi understands what she doesn’t say. They won’t be able to see each other for a while. She just nods and tries to keep her smile on her face, more so to reassure Seulgi that she understands, and it’s okay. “Will you send me pictures?”
Seulgi softly laughs, still a little bashful around her despite it all. Despite being together non-stop for two days and one night with all those cameras. She talks down to her heels. “Will you give me your number?”
It’s so not what Sunmi thought she would say, and so ridiculous that she hadn’t already done so. So, she laughs, a little surprised, but very happy. Seulgi joins in.
The younger girl holds out her phone, and Sunmi quickly puts in her number under Miya <3. “Miya,” Seulgi repeats quietly to herself. Sunmi blushes at the softness of her voice.
The door to the elevator opens up again, and they step out together onto the lobby. They wave and bow to the hotel staff.
“Is your manager already here?” Sunmi asks her.
She points out the glass doors to a black car waiting by the curb.
Sunmi points to the one behind it.
By the doors, Seulgi says, “thank you for these two days.” Seulgi tightens her grasp on Sunmi’s hand, that she unknowingly was still holding. She quietly adds, “I’ll remember this for a long time.”
Sunmi just melts. Her eyebrows furrowed and a pout on her lips, she draws her Seulgi into her by the shoulders. She tightly grasps on to the back of her shoulder blades, and feels Seulgi’s arms wrapped around her waist. “So will I, my Seulgi.”
“I’ll send you so many photos. You’ll regret asking for them.”
Sunmi shakes her head, softly bumping her temple to Seulgi’s. She tightens her hold for a second before pulling away, but only enough to keep her hands on Seulgi’s shoulders, “no.”
Seulgi kind of feels a little ridiculous. They’ve spent only two days together without knowing each other previously and it’s not like she’s going away forever, only a week or two. But. She can feel her eyes getting a little hot. She has such an unimaginable feeling for Sunmi. She absolutely loves how quickly she got comfortable with Sunmi, how much she felt like she could pour out her soul to her at 3am and Sunmi would’ve held the world on her shoulders just to help Seulgi find the answers she wanted. She has such an unimaginable feeling that she’ll never find anyone like Sunmi in her life again.
Sunmi clutches at her luggage, scared that if she clutches at Seulgi again she won’t let her go. “Will you text me when you get back to your dorm safely?”
Seulgi finds it in herself to laugh softly at that. After all, she doesn’t want her last moments with Sunmi to be tainted with such sadness. Now she knows for sure that Sunmi wants to keep in touch with her, as much as Seulgi wants to keep in touch with Sunmi. She also knows as soon as she comes back from Slovenia she wants to see Sunmi again. To hell with the inevitable jet-lag. “Yes.”
They walk out the doors together. Sunmi walks Seulgi to her manager’s car.
“Enjoy Slovenia. I’ve heard it’s as big as Jeolla Province.”
Seulgi grins at her. She feels much surer of herself than she did a few moments ago. “See you when I get back.”
Sunmi hears the determination and honesty in her statement. Following Seulgi’s lead, she doesn’t feel as sad as she did two minutes ago. “You will.”
Seulgi gets in the car and it quickly drives off. Sunmi watches after her, and when it disappears around a corner, she gets into her own manager’s car.
“How was it?” Her manager asks, pulling off the curb.
She clutches her phone, suddenly reminded of the track she’s in the middle of writing. “She’s… amazing.”
Seulgi’s bursting at the seams with excitement on the way to Incheon Airport, rejuvenated by the thought of going to a beautiful country she’s never been to before. At 9am, she sends Sunmi a photo of herself and Wendy, sitting close together in the airport lobby, all grins and eye-smiles. Sunmi’s just woken up, so she sends a good morning, gorgeous! All excited and ready to go? <3
Wendy’s gone back to paying attention to her own phone and music, head on Irene’s shoulder. So, Seulgi curls up comfortably in her seat, drawing up her legs and resting her phone against them. Ready ready ready! She sends.
Seulgi is texting Sunmi up until the intercom call for all passengers to shut off their phones. She quickly sends a goodbye text, and the last message she receives before putting her phone on airplane mode is a have a safe flight! Text me when you get to Istanbul safely <3
When they get an hour between the connecting flights to relax, she fires up her phone to send a selfie to Sunmi labelled hello Istanbul Airport! It’s around 6am in Seoul, so she’s not expecting a reply for a few hours at least, and she’ll be on another plane by then. But she promised Sunmi she’d text when she got to Istanbul.
She curls up on her seat with her phone relaxed in her hand, and falls asleep.
Irene shakes her awake, and she still hasn’t quite got her bearings when she follows her onto the airplane and is directed into the seat next to her. Irene chuckles fondly at her sleepy eyes. “Turn your phone off. And film a little bit. Then you can go back to sleep.”
In an effort to wake herself up a bit more to be presentable on camera, she slaps at her cheeks. Right before she turns her phone back on to airplane mode, she sends a quick text to Sunmi saying about to leave for Slovenia! I’ll text you when I get there J
Seulgi turns on the handheld camera and sidles up next to Yeri to film their parts. Seulgi’s tired and hungry so she doesn’t really know what she says, but they do it quickly and then Seulgi wiggles around in her seat as she waits for the in-flight meal.
She thinks she gasps when she catches sight of the meals being served to the passengers closer to the front, because Yeri and Irene start laughing at her from either side. “I’m so hungry.”
“Really?” Yeri asks dryly.
She munches down the food quickly, and afterwards, in no time at all, she’s asleep.
As they walk down from the plane at Ljubljana Airport, she pulls her phone out. Touched down!
Sunmi immediately texts back a <3, and she almost goes to press the call button because she so wishes to feel and hear the affection Sunmi exudes for Seulgi.
With a smile on her face, Seulgi watches the dots appear as Sunmi writes another message.
“oooh, who’s Seulgi-unnie texting?” Joy says from behind her.
As a defensive reflex for whenever she hears Joy with that tone of mischief, she immediately goes to close the app and turn off her phone.
“oooh, why can’t we see? Is it a boy?” Yeri joins in, inevitably, hanging on to Seulgi’s arm with a playful smile to match Joy’s.
It’s not a boy, not at all, and it’s not a love interest, so she doesn’t quite know why her cheeks and neck are burning up. Joy and Yeri catch onto that quickly as well, and stir her even louder. It draws the attention of Wendy and Irene in front. Irene’s quirked an eyebrow, a little curious about the youngest girls’ behaviour.
“oooh, it is!”
“Then why can’t we see who it is?”
“It’s not, it’s just—”
“Girls, cut it out before the cameras turn on,” Irene steps between Seulgi and Yeri, a comforting hand on Seulgi’s forearm and a firm one on Yeri’s shoulder. “We don’t know what they will cut and keep in, and we don’t always have a say.”
Yerim understands what Irene is trying to tell her. Don’t embarrass Seulgi about a crush that the fans don’t know about yet. It sobers Joy and Yeri up quite a bit. Yeri nods sombrely and walks with Irene to the front. Joy wraps an arm around Seulgi’s shoulder, and when she looks at her, Joy still has a playful smile on her face, but thankfully she’s quiet about it now. It’s Joy’s way of saying sorry.
Seulgi just huffs a short laugh, kind of embarrassed about how she handled that, but tries to put it out of mind.
Their days in Slovenia are filled with so many activities that she hardly gets time to go on her phone. They spend hours walking around doing the activities the staff have set up, and get so exhausted from it that she sleeps on the car rides between locations. But at the end of the day, when the staff turn off all their cameras and they sit in their hotel rooms getting ready for bed, Seulgi stays up a little longer to talk to Sunmi.
It’s the end of the first day in Slovenia, and it’s around 6pm that they’ve let the girls turn in for an early night in hopes to combat any jetlag. So, it’s 1am in Seoul when Seulgi texts, but Sunmi is absolutely willing to wait a little bit to see how she’s doing. She lays comfortably in bed with her pyjamas on, passing time on her phone until it dings with the notification Jjuelgi J (created by Seulgi with blushing cheeks and bright eyes, after the first time Sunmi called her that in the late morning after their midnight talks).
Suddenly, Seulgi sends a barrage of photos she took from that day, on both her phone and her camera. Some of them are beautiful landscape and architecture photos, and some are ones of her in aesthetic locations that Seulgi might edit and post later on her Instagram. But her favourites are the dorky, smiley ones that she knows she took just for her.
She saves every single one into her photo album.
Seulgi sends them all with a grin on her face, curled up on the living room sofa. She feels full of excitement to tell Sunmi all about what happened in one day. She ends up in the middle of writing paragraphs after paragraphs of their activities, but then stops and thinks, this would be so much better face to face.
Seulgi hesitates, and looks at the clock.
On the other side, Sunmi watches the dots appear and then disappear. She pouts. She’s been eagerly waiting for this message for a few minutes now, and was expecting a huge paragraph of her day at this point. A little bit sad, Sunmi assumes that Seulgi probably couldn’t be bothered to give an in-depth answer to how’s your day been my Seulgi?
But then, the dots reappear with a short can we facetime? <3
Sunmi’s immediately smiling, so she excitedly goes to press the facetime button and misses a few times out of sheer adrenaline. She gets there in the end.
Seulgi’s heart drops when Miya <3’s facetiming you… pops up on her phone. Without really thinking about it, she hurriedly fixes her hair and sits up straight. She situates the phone propped up on the coffee table in front of her.
She accepts the call.
“Seulgi-yah!” Sunmi greets her, with her crooked and dorky smile.
“It’s so nice to see you! You’ve gotten prettier.”
“It’s only been a few days since I last saw you…” Seulgi mumbles, bashful from Sunmi’s compliment.
“I think the Slovenian sun suits you. You’re glowing and everything.”
“Unnie…” Seulgi thinks about the photo she wants to post on her Instagram of herself and some aesthetic olden architecture behind her. Silently, she thinks how much more beautiful Sunmi would’ve looked right there next to her, also feeling the Slovenian sun. She would’ve looked ethereal, all floral outfits and long legs and highlighted hair. Childishly, she misses her, she wants her here.
Wow, she has to put that out of mind.
“Seriously! You’re already girl crush and now…”
“Unnie!” By this point, Seulgi’s burning from Sunmi’s insistent compliments, so she covers her face with her hands, bashfully.
Honestly, Sunmi’s taking a bit of pride in the way Seulgi reacts to her comments – she’s absolutely adorable when she’s blushing like this – but she really does want to know how she’s been enjoying Slovenia, so she relents this once. “Okay, okay. You were telling me how your day’s been going?”
Seulgi powers into an excited monologue of her day from start to finish, hardly taking breaths in between. She gesticulates wildly and talks full of life, and Sunmi watches her with the fondest affection in her eyes.
Sunmi loves how Seulgi will chuckle right before telling her a funny anecdote, and loves how she will laugh again with Sunmi after it as if it was the first time. She loves how she’ll bounce up and down on the couch when talking about the beautiful landscapes, and refer to the dorky photos she took just for her.
They spend hours talking about Seulgi’s adventures, and then she talks about what she thinks they’ll do tomorrow, even though she has no idea. Sunmi will pitch in her own ideas, purposefully the most outrageous things she can think of so she can make Seulgi laugh or gasp.
“Maybe you’ll do a treasure hunt in Lake Bled!”
“Maybe you’ll hike to the top of the Julian Alps, aaaallll the way from the bottom!”
Seulgi and Sunmi are both in stitches by the end of it, and it almost feels like they’re right next to each other, except for the longing Sunmi has to stretch out and cuddle into Seulgi when she starts to feel the late night. She wants to cuddle into each other and whisper about everything and nothing, the way they did in their hotel. Sunmi remembers Seulgi looking so comfortable and secure in the same space as Sunmi in those early morning talks, where Seulgi disclosed all of her fears and her dreams. Sunmi gets the feeling she doesn’t do that often, so she feels absolutely blessed to be counted as someone her Seulgi trusts that much. God, she misses her.
Seulgi asks how Sunmi spent the day. She knows Sunmi doesn’t have a lot of schedules right now, especially because she’s finishing up the writing process on her upcoming album, but she still wants to talk about the older girl.
Sunmi tells her how she spent some of the day at the studio, helping finishing up a song, but didn’t do much more than that, but she was content just spending time at home by herself. Seulgi respects her homebody nature, also finding solace in spending time by herself to recharge.
Seulgi sees that it’s around 8pm, or 3am where Sunmi is, that Sunmi starts trying to hide her yawns and sleepy eyes. She told her earlier that she doesn’t have anything to do tomorrow until the afternoon, but she still doesn’t want Sunmi staying up all night because it’s bad for her health. On top of that, they had done that together a few nights ago, so her internal clock is probably a bit out of whack now, and it’s kind of Seulgi’s fault.
“Unnie,” she says softly, fondly. “should I let you go to bed?”
“Mm? No, no, I’m not that tired.” She’s yawning as she says so, and Seulgi thinks she absolutely adorable with her face half-tucked into her pillow and her sleepy eyes on her.
“Are you sure about that?”
“Mhm…” She’s got a teasing smile on now, so Seulgi knows Sunmi is playing into it. Regardless, they both know Sunmi should go to sleep. But they both don’t want it to end.
Seulgi takes in a deep breath. If she cracks, she’s gonna be the cause of Sunmi turning up to the studio tomorrow with only a few hours of sleep and not a lot of brainpower. But god, does she want to crack.
“Can I call you again tomorrow? I’ll try to be a little earlier.” She compromises, mostly with herself. She’s so close to staying on a little longer.
“That sounds perfect, my Seulgi. Send me more photos as well. If you have the time.” Sunmi’s pretty much already asleep at this point, slurring to Seulgi through the phone with her eyes shut.
Sunmi doesn’t answer after that, but Seulgi stays there a little longer, caught up in watching the stray hairs in front of her face move with every breath. God, she loves talking to Sunmi at this time of night. Sunmi’s breathtaking always, which she quickly realised when she met her, but she’s an absolute goddess at this time. The planes of her face and shoulders cut shadows through the darkness and her eyes glint in any small light.
She realises she’s sat there for quite a few minutes, just looking at her phone, and quickly ends the call, blush on her cheeks.
Out in the hotel corridor, Irene walks from her shared room with Wendy and Joy to Seulgi and Yeri’s room. She just wants to check on them quickly before she turns in for the night. She uses the key card their manager gave her, specifically for leader responsibilities like this, and slips in quietly.
Seulgi doesn’t seem to notice her when she comes in. She’s just sitting on the couch with her phone held up in hand.
“Were you talking to someone?” Irene breaks Seulgi out of whatever reverie she was in, kind of startling her a bit. “Or just… looking at yourself?”
Irene smiles at her, charmed as always by her sweetness. She’s always had a soft spot for Seulgi – after all, they’ve trained together for the longest. She couldn’t see her as anything other than her hard-working and clumsily-charming best friend. And as always, she can’t help but gently tease her. “So?” she prods.
“Oh! Sunmi-unnie. I was talking to Sunmi-unnie.”
“Sunmi? Isn’t she the one you did the variety show with, just before this trip?”
Irene’s smiling softly at her. “That’s sweet.”
They way Irene’s eyes glint with a knowing-ness has Seulgi feeling a little bashful, a little embarrassed, so she abruptly gets up off the couch and avoids eye contact. “Mm.”
“You should go wash up and then Yerim-ah can go in after you. We should get as much sleep as we can. The staff are giving us a lot of activities in one day.”
“Okay. Uh, goodnight Joohyun-unnie.”
Irene watches after Seulgi, the way she makes sure to give her a smile and then avoids eye contact with her head downcast and a blush rising on her neck. When she shuts the bathroom door after her, she chuckles to herself.
That girl, she thinks, and then goes to check on Yerim.