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I Dream Of Running Man

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“Alright, just come in and sit down and make yourself comfortable,” The PDnim led Ivy into a modest two story house just on the outskirts of Seoul. She could hardly contain her excitement even with the massive case of jet lag she was still overcoming. She couldn’t believe that she was actually here. Ivy had dreamed about this for years! She had been trying to make her way to South Korea for what felt like forever and now she was finally here! Not only that, she had been invited to be a guest on Running Man. How cool was that? Six months ago she had gotten a call that the show wanted to do a special episode with YouTuber’s since they were beginning to gain a massive following and she was one of the lucky ones to be noticed! Six years of Korean lessons were finally starting to pay off as she was now able to be fully immersed in the culture and speaking the language. 

 As she sat down on the sectional facing away from the door she shot the PDnim a bight, gummy smile, waiting for them to give her some more information about what the day was going to look like. Ivy found that she wasn’t the only YouTuber that was going to be joining and had simply been told she was the only vlogger/challenger that had been selected. She hadn’t been told how many other YouTuber’s would be there either but she was promised that she would find out before the actual filming began.

 “Arrasseo. So, as you know, we are going to be adding YouTuber’s to this episode but we decided to only go for two. We chose you and one other. He should be arriving shortly but before he gets here I have to ask you one thing. How do you think you would do translating?” Ivy’s face fell into a dramatic cringe.

 “I don’t really think I’d be any good honestly. I’d have to think in both Korean and in English and I think I would really just end up offending someone honestly,” Ivy’s answer was broken by her laugh. It was both a nervous habit and because she was just that bubbly. Apparently that’s what had gained her so many subscribers.

 “Alright, well the other YouTuber is a Let’s Player by the username of Markiplier. I don’t know if you’re familiar with him but he agreed but did state that he can’t speak Korean,” The PDnim rubbed his temples as if in exasperation before looking up and noticing Ivy’s shocked expression. He was pretty sure if her eyes got any wider they would fly out of her skull. “Gwenchana?”

 “Ne. I’m actually a really big Markiplier fan. I have this pink mustache tattoo because of him actually,” The PDnim just gave her a strange look as she continued to chuckle. Before he had any more time to explain though, the door behind Ivy opened and another PDnim entered followed by none other than Markiplier himself. Upon noticing the PDnim looking over her shoulder Ivy turned around in her seat in the corner of the sectional and felt her jaw drop. She could not believe that this was really happening to her! She was meeting Markiplier and she was going to be on Running Man and she was in Korea. How did this ever happen to her?

 Ivy brought her hand up to cover her mouth before turning back around swiftly. All she could do at this point was try her damnedest to not Teapot Squeal at him. Ivy saw Markiplier come around the sectional to sit himself with a seat separating them. He turned and looked at her as she looked back finally able to somewhat calm herself down, though she couldn’t wipe the massive smile off her face.

 “Hi, I’m Markiplier!” He reached out his hand for her to shake and on instinct Ivy gripped her hand around his and bowed her head slightly.

 “Annyeonghaseyo. BinguIvy-ibnida,” She fell into her normal video opening without even really thinking about it though, in all honesty, it was a normal greeting had he been speaking Korean to her.

 “Oh yeah! I know you! I subscribed to your channel a couple months back actually! Your vlogs are pretty funny. I mean, I know I’m the absolute greatest when it comes to YouTube but yours were up to par,” Markiplier ended his sentence in his playful grumble that let Ivy know that he was only joking with her. They both chuckled at his joke and she couldn’t help but feel like she had finally met someone who could probably be considered as giggly as she was.

 “Omo… Omo omo omo! Jinja? You subscribed to my channel? I can’t believe that! I’m a huge fan of yours actually. I really enjoy everything you put out. I have to admit though your scary games are probably my favorite,” The room filled with the sound of the two laughing and the PDnim just chuckled along happy to see that there was no animosity between the guests. Things just worked out better on the show this way.

 “Is it just me or do I see a pink mustache on your arm?” Ivy blushed a deep crimson and nodded. She knew it wasn’t weird for him to notice she was wearing a tank top after all and it was on her left forearm.

 “Yeah it is. It is actually a warfstache though,” Ivy giggled and rubbed her hand over the tattoo lovingly. It was one of her favorites. “I actually got it because when I went through a really hard time a few years back and your videos helped remind me how to laugh and be happy. I got it right after your live stream for the Depression and Bipolar Disorder.”

 “Wow. That’s really awesome! I don’t think I’ve ever actually met someone with a tattoo inspired by me before,” Markiplier chuckled and smiled brightly at her.

 “Alright, well as you guys know this is Running Man. We’re going to be expecting some more guests soon but they aren’t YouTuber’s like you two. We wanted to basically give you guys a trial run with someone we know will still pull in ratings. No offense. We just want to see how the audience will respond,” Ivy and Mark both nodded at the PDnim who was beginning to give them their information that was promised. “We’re going to be playing some pretty standard games, so if you’ve seen Running Man before you’ve probably seen them played at least once. When everyone is here we’re going to pair everyone off into couple teams and then you’ll be on your way. All of the other necessary information will be given to you as you play. Sound good?”

 Ivy and Mark both nodded vigorously as the PDnim stood up and headed towards the door letting them know to relax and that he would be back with the others as soon as they arrived. Mark and Ivy settled in with no honest idea as to how long they would be waiting. 

 “Do you know anything about who we’re going to be co-guesting with? Aren’t you generally up on all things Kpop?” Mark wiggled his eyebrows at Ivy, making her almost choke on her water that she had been sipping. She knew he was funny but he was much funnier when you could see all of the movements he made along with his jokes.

 “Yeah I am the go to for Kpop for a lot of people but unfortunately that’s not how Running Man works. I know just as much as you do and that’s not very much if I’m perfectly honest,” Ivy was finding it hard not to fangirl as Mark floofed his hair (for power) while giving an exaggerated thinking face.

 “Well maybe we should form a team then. We could take over all the ranks of the Running Men!” Mark was being over the top just like he was on his channel and honestly Ivy couldn’t have been happier. They say not to meet your heroes because you’ll be disappointed but Markiplier was anything but a disappointment.

 “Yeah I don’t think we should do that till we find out what we’re competing for because I WILL WIN! I will stop at NOTHING TO GRASP THE GOLDEN PRIZE AT THE END!” Ivy felt herself beginning to loosen up and fall into her normal and yet oh so strange self. She was honestly very happy that Mark was so easy to talk to. She had been worried that she wouldn’t be able to give a good show if the other YouTuber had been difficult for her to get along with. This was something she really wanted to be good at.

 Just as the two dissolved into a giggle and chuckle fit that sounded almost eerily similar the front door opened and the other guests had arrived. Ivy turned her head only to have her heart stop and eyes widen with her jaw going slack. There were seven people she had never even dreamed she would have ever been able to meet. They were walking into the living room and Ivy turned to look at Mark to see if he could register who it was. No way could he not know them. To her surprise he was looking at her with a large question mark seemingly etched into his expression. Ivy was at a complete loss for words and there was no way she would be able to explain anytime soon.

Finally the PDnim stepped into the room and began motioning for the boys to take their seats. Apparently formalities could wait and honestly Ivy was thankful for the moment to breathe and take it all in. The PDnim stood in front of all nine people who were currently sitting on either couches or the floor and began speaking.

"As you know this is Running Man. Today's filming is just a bit different since there are so many of you. We're going to be splitting everyone into teams of two. The teams themselves will be determined when filming starts. As we're trying to push focus more towards the YouTubers to see the results that we get, we ask that you bear with us in the manner in which the games will be played. This is also the largest number of people that we have had compete at one time so we're going to start with two teams and eliminate teams within that team before the final round. The final round will be an every couple for themselves round. We just wanted to give you a heads up since this is going to be a very stressful process if we are all being honest," The PDnim again rubbed his temples as if he was already trying to stave off a migraine. "I'll leave you now to get to know each other. The filming will start in an hour and that's when we'll set it up for you all to enter."

With that the PDnim left and the seven guys stood up, some needing some prodding by their elders but eventually making it up with smiles plastered across their gorgeous faces. As they lined up all Ivy could think is that this couldn't be real. There was no possible way she had gotten this lucky. No possible chance. She watched the boys form what almost resembled two lines before looking to their leader in the center for their cue.

"Annyeonghaseyo. Bang... Tan. Bangtan Sonyeondan ibnida," The boys bowed and Ivy felt like she would never be able to breathe correctly again. Bangtan Sonyeondan. Bangtan Boys. BTS. They were greeting her. She was in the presence of her absolute favorite band. How? Just how did this happen to her of all people.