Iris was confused by their words, not quite connecting her special day as the occasion for the party. She merely instead thought of her poor food that was piping hot and waiting for her to eat.
"But the beef…" she murmured dejectedly and poked it with her chopsticks.
Taehyung's eyes underneath his glasses took in the sight of the delicious beef. He glanced over at Jimin who turned with a knowing look. Despite their disguise, they could tell that each other came to the same conclusion.
"Pack it up and eat it on the way over!"
"Eh? But huu…" Iris deflated, wanting to grill more beef. Part of the fun of barbecue was cooking it.
Noticing what she wanted to do, the two BTS members signed in defeat and plopped themselves down.
"Then we'll help you eat it right now!" Taehyung declared and snatched a piece of fresh beef to pop in his mouth.
"Uwah! My beef!" Iris exclaimed with a gasp. But she actually didn't mind them stealing her food. Even after a year being with the group, she still found joy in sharing these acts of friendship. Only those close to her could take food safely from Iris. She shared this trait with Cindy. It was actually one of the ways they bonded.
At the thought of her cousin, Iris suddenly felt a little forlorn. 'I wonder how she's doing…' Cindy was actually a year older than her, so she had finished junior year of college by now.
Seeing the girl's mood drop a little, Jimin prodded Iris. "Are you okay? Sorry that we're stealing your food, but we'll treat you later okay?" He furrowed his brows in genuine concern. Placing a piece of meat and some side dishes onto her rice, Jimin peered into Iris's eyes as she looked up at him.
She smiled at the thoughtful gesture and assured she was okay. "I was just thinking of my cousin and missing her…"
"Oh? Cindy?" Taehyung piped in with a mouthful of food. Iris often talked about her cousin, even more than her own parents. The BTS members knew that her parents were a touchy subject for Iris while Cindy brought her joy as well as the occasional sadness in being apart from her bestie.
Iris even sneaked in her cousin to meet the BTS members personally once. Cindy had almost fainted during the meeting. But even on cloud nine, the brunette was able to keep her cool in front of the idols. So, the BTS members knew exactly who Cindy was every time Iris mentioned her.
"Yeah, I guess I'm just feeling a little more emotional today," Iris confirmed with a weak smile.
The two members immediately felt her longing and empathized with that feeling. Like many idols and trainees, missing their family was one of the biggest grievances of those in the k-pop industry.
Jimin patted Iris on the shoulder and consoled her. "It's okay to feel like that today." His words drew a sharp look from Taehyung. But Jimin didn't see V's bulging eyes, his signal for Jimin to keep his trap shut to prevent spoiling their surprise.
But thankfully, Iris didn't take the words too deeply besides the surface intended meaning. She smiled gratefully and more cheerfully stuffed her face.
Taehyung furtively breathed a sigh while Jimin grinned at the now spirited girl. However, he still received a soft kick from the other side of the table. He jerked his head at V, and the man merely kept eating casually.
Confused, but not letting the act go unreturned, Jimin stuck his foot out under the table to return the favor. But his legs weren't as long as Taehyung who safely kept his away from the reaches of Jimin. So he only met air and managed to nudge Iris next to him instead in the process of searching.
Taehyung merely grinned in mischief as Jimin smiled sheepishly at Iris who had looked up at him in surprise.
"Ahaha, it's just this guy over there who…" Jimin explained and shot a glare at V.
Iris immediately could guess what happened, and she smirked at their antics. These two were so close. Laughing to herself, she wondered how the army fans would react knowing that the two members were closest to one another in the group.
Pretty soon, the food was finished by the three. Although Iris had ordered a lot, because she originally ordered just for herself, she still felt hungry after since the two BTS members ate quite a bit.
However, she decided it was better this way to not overstuff herself. Unfortunately, she did have to keep her weight in check when she occasionally splurged.
Once they left the restaurant, she was driven over to another barbecue restaurant. Iris looked at the two members in puzzlement.
"You're going to treat me now at another restaurant? You could've just bought me more back at the other one instead of going all the way here. Oh! Or you prefer the food here?"
Taehyung and Jimin grinned at her and then at each other. Seeing the smiles that looked somewhat suspicious, Iris merely raised an eyebrow but said no more. She wasn't too picky, so it didn't matter what place they chose. It wasn't too unexpected for them to settle on this restaurant as BTS often ate here. The privacy and security was also better.
Unbeknownst to her, this visit wasn't about them but her instead. So she casually walked into the restaurant and the room indicated without suspecting a thing. But when the door to the private room opened into darkness, she was confused for a split second.
Before she could process what this all meant, Jimin covered her eyes from behind while Taehyung shut the sliding door. Totally bewildered and thinking this was another one of their antics, Iris sighed amusedly and waited. The light then flashed on, and a raucous roar resounded in the room.
"SURPRISE!! Happy One-year Anniversary Iris!!"
Jin tooted a horn proudly while Rapmon jiggled some shakers with a silly smile. Jungkook jumped with his legs somewhat splayed so that he landed in a funny pose. He then shook his own maracas intensely with a wide bunny smile.
J-Hope joined the maknae in a similar comical pose with his sunnier than ever grin and own maraca. Suga was the only calmer, or more normal one, but even his face lit up in utmost sincerity. He had his hands up in the air with a bright gummy smile.
After she got over the initial shock, a wave of emotion washed over Iris. She held her two hands together to her chest, deeply touched by the whole surprise event. To restrain her eyes from tearing up, she yelled at Taehyung and Jimin instead.
"So this is what you meant by party? Geez, you guys…" A single tear slipped out nevertheless, but she was smiling beautifully as she gazed upon everyone.
Second daily chapter coming soon!
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