Title: I'm taller, but...?
Tags: Modern Day AU, IKEA Shopping
Notes: Dedicated to fellow SG Uni sufferee @pikaseuls
Summary: Two best friends go shopping at IKEA. (It's a bit too domestic for Seulgi's liking).
Seulgi winces as the wheels screech. Loudly. Ten metres away from the car, Joohyun makes a face, her hands leaping to the defence of her ears. It’s… not her proudest parking moment.
She kills her ignition and hops off the car. “Sorry for running late! Traffic wasn’t great.”
Joohyun takes two seconds to massage her ears before she shakes her head with a light smile. “It’s okay. Thanks for coming on such a short notice. I swear, I’m going to murder Yongsun for ditching me.”
Seulgi shrugs, tossing her car keys up in the air and catching it as she returns Joohyun’s smile. “Wasn’t about to ditch you to carry your bookshelf home alone. I mean, can you even manage? You’re so small!”
“Unnie, it’s true and you can’t begin to deny it. Anyway, we both know that Yongsun’s a shit driver – Byulyi’s the one who drives them around. Do you want to grab some food first? I’m kind of hungry.”
“You’ve not eaten?”
“Yeah, classes ended late today.” Seeing the worried expression on Joohyun’s face, she quickly adds, “I’m okay! Really. You don’t mind if we head to the cafeteria first?”
“No, no, not at all,” Joohyun replies as they get onto the escalator. “Ha! I’m taller than you now.”
“Ha, ha, very funny, unnie.”
Clang. Clang. Clang.
“Yes?” Seulgi’s smile is wide, innocent, and Joohyun isn’t falling for any of that.
“Stop trying to stab your food with your eyes closed.”
Her eyes grow smaller as her smile widens. “It might work.”
“My god. Just let me eat your broccoli already.”
“But. I still have a meatball—”
Seulgi deflates as she surrenders, handing Joohyun the fork. “Thanks for always eating my vegetables.”
Joohyun rolls her eyes, though not without some fondness. “Yeah, yeah.” Seulgi watches her curiously as she chews somewhat contemplatively before her fork meets a meatball instead of the carrot next to it.
Seulgi pouts. That’s what she gets for playing with her dinner.
But Joohyun doesn’t eat it. Instead, she motions for Seulgi to open her mouth.
Joohyun swallows a mouthful of broccoli. “Ah. Oh come on, don’t make me repeat myself.”
Seulgi obeys instantaneously. Joohyun doesn’t usually try to feed her, unlike say, with Seungwan. Which Seulgi’s always been mildly upset by. It’s not the sort of thing she’d ever bring up around Joohyun though, because why would she do that? (That’s just weird.) She thinks she might want to re-evaluate her displeasure, because Joohyun actually feeding her makes Seulgi’s stomach twist together and makes her feel like all the oxygen in her lungs were swapped with helium – so light, so tight, that Seulgi does not know what to do with how she feels.
With the way her throat is constricting, she barely manages to swallow her meatball.
Seulgi dashes forward gleefully as she flops onto the sofa. “Unnie, unnie, unnie, look at this toy! It’s so cute.” Seulgi grins up at Joohyun as she holds up a plush toy in her hands. Something soft and about as fluffy (as Seulgi’s cheeks are to Joohyun).
Joohyun bites her lip for two seconds before she bursts out laughing, joining her on the sofa. “You already have one of those plushies, Seul.”
“Yeah, well, the Velcro on Sung-ie’s mouth doesn’t really work anymore. But come on, look at it, unnie, can we get one?”
Seulgi backtracks. “Er… you can get one? So Sung-ie can have a friend? I mean. Not that you have to. But. But. I mean. It’s not a real dog! You aren’t scared of soft toys so like, Sung-ie can get a new friend? Jaehee’s eyes are super cute, aren’t they?”
Joohyun laughs again as Seulgi’s ears burn. “Can I really say no now that you’ve named it?”
Seulgi’s eyes widen as she realises her slip-up. “Oh my god you don’t have to buy it okay, I will just. Put it back here on the sofa now.”
“Yes. You’re such a baby sometimes, you know?”
Seulgi shrugs, pouting only slightly before returning, lightly, “You’re a bigger one. A bigger baby. Even if you’re older.”
That earns her a light smack as Joohyun’s brows stitch together. “You’re terrible.”
Seulgi only grins. “I’m your terrible baby.”
“That you are,” Joohyun agrees, her voice slightly pitched and Seulgi can’t really figure out why before she realises just what she’s said, but taking it back would be weird, and well, in some ways, all of them are Joohyun’s kids. Even if well, Seulgi wants to change that, sometimes. Only sometimes.
Today’s one of those times.
“Come on, unnie, let’s go grab a brand new Jaehee from the cage. Do you want to start with the kid’s section? Unless well, you’re in a rush, that is!”
Joohyun shakes her head. “Nah. We can take our time. You don’t have a project or anything, do you?”
Truthfully, she does. But does she really want to work on the script for her next presentation?
She shrugs in a non-committal display. “Let’s go! I’m going to have to bring Sung-ie over the next time…”
Seulgi leaps to her feet, her hand tugging on Joohyun’s insistently. The younger girl tows Joohyun towards the cageful of toys. While Joohyun pretends to protest and complain that Seulgi’s being too forceful, and hey, I can walk on my own!, she clearly doesn’t mind – and Seulgi knows that. Seulgi’s only response is to attempt to quash the appearance of an excessively dopey grin on her face, but she knows she’s not really succeeding. Not when she’s holding Joohyun’s small hand in her own like that.
A brand-new Jaehee is tucked in Joohyun’s hands as they wander about the showroom section. Truth be told, Seulgi’s now a little upset that Jaehee’s monopolised Joohyun’s arms because darn, now she doesn’t get to link arms with Joohyun.
Which kind of sucks, but eh, well, Joohyun-unnie looks pretty cute with Jaehee in her arms like that.
Something to think about later.
“—I’ve always wanted lights like that in my room, you know! Like a bedside lamp and all but also some decorative stuff scattered about. Maybe a lava lamp but that’ll betray my age, don’t you think? Lava lamps are so… out of vogue.”
“Using a phrase like… out of vogue betrays your age, Joohyun-ie,” Seulgi points out as she finally stops zoning out. “Besides, a lava lamp’s going to clash with your room’s aesthetic! Unless you move to a new place that’s full on dark curtains and what not… which…” Seulgi scrunches her face as she tries to visualise Joohyun deciding to decorate her room as such, and it draws a blank. “Anyway, that’s… not it, is it? Do you want your future house to be decorated like that?”
Joohyun hums. “I don’t know. What do you think?”
“Joohyun… Joohyun’s aesthetic…” Seulgi muses aloud, cocking her head to the side. How does she vocalise what she thinks Joohyun might like? “Why don’t you tell me.”
Joohyun shakes her head lightly, smiling as she clutches Jaehee even more tightly. “No, no, I asked you first.” Her eyes are wide and bright and they make Seulgi want to stare at them until IKEA closes for the night. “Tell me how you think I should decorate my new place when I finally get one.”
Seulgi’s brows knit together more. “I don’t know, if you’re going to be living alone you won’t have that much space to put stuff you like everywhere, but you’d prefer a more simply decorated room, I think? Something functional, a place that lets you store all your books… maybe a bed with drawers in them so you get to put more stuff…”
“Are you going to help me assemble that bed too?”
Joohyun suddenly stops walking as lips are rearranged into a pout. She stutters. Only slightly, when she says, “I… I kind of assumed you were going to help me with the shelf.”
“Oh!” Seulgi’s eyes widen. “Oh, oh, yes, of course!”
Joohyun’s face now bears a relieved smile and they continue to walk again. “Thanks again, Kangsseul. Say…”
Seulgi squints at the rather questionable display that is laid before them. It’s probably a kid’s room. And if they subscribed to gender conventions, the room is probably meant for a twelve-year-old boy. But good to honest gracious this showroom was hideous. IKEA’s metal bunk beds were never the height of fashion but painting them this shade of slime green was questionable, at best. At worst, she wonders if the person picking the shades might’ve been colour blind – running the risk of sounding ableist but, truly… the clashes in colour were truly atrocious. And don’t get her started on the decorations in this box.
So engrossed she is in trying to figure out the motives of the showroom’s decorator that she misses Joohyun’s next question.
Joohyun’s looking at her expectantly, and all she can do is blink in response.
Before she could ask Joohyun to repeat herself, Joohyun quickly shakes her head and dismisses her query with a hasty, “Never mind.”
“I… I missed your question, unnie,” Seulgi confesses. “What did you ask me?”
“It’s okay,” Joohyun replies as she shakes her head again.
If Seulgi doesn’t know any better, she’d say that Joohyun’s cheeks were slightly pink. Hmm.
Impulsively, she reaches forward to touch Joohyun’s cheeks, which were warm to the touch.
Joohyun startles. Nearly drops Jaehee. Then she uses Jaehee to whack Seulgi’s face.
“Ouch,” Seulgi cries out as she dances away from Joohyun’s swats. “Unnie, unnie, unnie, why do you always hit me?”
(And can't you just hit on me instead?)
“You deserved it,” Joohyun retorts, sticking her tongue out.
“I did? What for?” Seulgi pouts.
Joohyun shrugs. “Just because. Now, let’s get out of this section of the showroom. This place is hideous.”
“Joohyun,” Seulgi presses, knowing she’s wheedling. “What were you trying to ask me?”
“Ah. I was just. Wondering. If you… you guys would move in with me.”
“And risk being hit by you every day? I don’t think my insurance plan covers that.”
Seulgi neatly avoids being whacked by Jaehee again.