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Dressed Up

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“Does anyone want to share what they’re dressing up as for Halloween?”

“I’m dressing up as a vampire!”  One of the kids volunteered.  “My dad got all this fake blood and everything!”

Jinyoung would’ve never said that Halloween was his favourite holiday in the past- but that all changed a while back.  He met his boyfriend on Halloween and ever since then it’s been a special day in his heart.

“That sounds amazing Andy!  Anyone else?”  Jinyoung had only started teaching kindergarten a year ago but he already felt like he’d been doing this his entire life.

“I’m dressing up as Wonder Woman!” 

“Wow!  You’ll make the perfect Wonder Woman Seunghee!”

“What are you dressing up as, Mr. Park?”  Bambam, one of his favourite students asked.

“Me?  I haven’t decided.”  Jinyoung had been so busy putting up decorations and preparing lessons he hadn’t been able to think of something yet.  He always loved to have a clever costume.  “What about you, Bambam?”

“I’m dressing up as Cinderella!”  Bambam said proudly.

There was a bit of a silence as everyone in class stared at him.  Jinyoung was about to chime in but he was too late.

“Bambam, you can’t be Cinderella!  Cinderella is a girl!”  That bratty kid Colin yelled from the back.

“Yeah!  Cinderella is a princess, you would have to wear a dress to be Cinderella.”  Sara said.

“I do have a dress, and a crown, and glass slippers!”  Bambam yelled back.

“Ew!  Bambam is going to show up in a dress?”  Seunghee squeaked.

“HEY!”  Jinyoung’s voice was loud enough to stun them silent.  He rarely yelled.  “You guys are not being nice.”

“But Bambam is dressing wrong!”

Jinyoung saw Bambam’s face fall, tears welling in his eyes.  “Bambam, I think Cinderella is a wonderful costume.”

“My dad said it was perfect, and it’s pretty…”  Bambam mumbled.

“You don’t have to be a girl to dress like Cinderella or any princess.  You can dress up as whatever you like.”  Jinyoung explained to the class.  “I’ve dressed up as a princess before too.”

“No way!  Wouldn’t that be kind of ugly?”  Jinyoung kept reminded himself that he loved all his students, even Colin.

“No, it wasn’t ugly at all.”  Jinyoung sighed, trying to explain things to kindergarteners was a challenge but he was up for it. 

The school bell rang signaling the end of the day, and Jinyoung had a perfect idea.


 

“Babe… do you need any help?”  Mark stared at Jinyoung as he upheaved his entire closet.

“Don’t worry, I see it back there!  All shiny!”  Jinyoung says as he stepped into his closet, reaching back towards the sparkly dress and pulling it out.  “There you are!”

“Is that a dress?”  Mark smirked.  “What do you need that for?”

“Nothing involving you, don’t look so excited.”  Mark immediately pouted, making Jinyoung laugh.  “I’m wearing this for Halloween.”

“Really?  I thought you said you were trying to dress up as another awful pun this year.”

“I had a change of heart,” Jinyoung held the dress up against his body.  He hadn’t worn it since college, but it looked like it should still fit.  “Halloween is tomorrow, did you even figure out a costume?  Celeste told me she’s tired of the whole Spiderman charade every year.”

“She told you what?”  Mark crossed his arms.  “She loves me flipping down the street!”

“Can’t you dress up as something else?”

“What am I supposed to be?  The flipping grim reaper?!” 

Jinyoung snorted.  “Better start thinking of ideas quick, she’s going to grow out of thinking you’re cool pretty soon.”

“She’s in grade two.”

Jinyoung was still giggling.  “I’m kidding, don’t look so upset.” 

“Why are you dressing up as a princess again, if it’s not for me?”

“Ah,” Jinyoung took his dress and folded it on a pile on the ground before digging in the closet for the rest of the matching accessories.  “The kids in my class were making fun of one of the guys because he said he was going to dress up as Cinderella tomorrow, so I wanted to dress up too, so he doesn’t feel so alone.”

“Have I ever told you- you’re an amazing person?” 

“You have, but I don’t get tired of hearing it.”  Jinyoung finally found his matching tiara and slippers.

“Are you in a good mood now?” 

Jinyoung turned back around, looking Mark in the eyes.  “Why?”

“Good enough mood to keep that dress on late into the night tomorrow?”

Jinyoung just laughed at Mark’s desperation, picking up his costume and walking away.  “Ask me again tomorrow and I’ll see how I’m feeling.”


 

Every year at Jinyoung’s school they had a Halloween parade, so everyone could show off their costumes.  This was Jinyoung’s first time attending, but he had confidence in his shiny blue dress and a full face of makeup.

Jinyoung’s class was full of everything, from vampires to lions, ghosts, and superheroes.  “Is everyone ready for the parade?”

The class turned around, everyone shocked to see that voice from his body.  “Mr. Park?”  Seunghee asked quietly.  “Is that you?”

Jinyoung delved into his character and curtsied to the class.  “Nice to meet you miss Wonder Woman.”

Colin’s eyes almost bugged out of his skull.  “You look so pretty Mr. Park!  Wow!!” All the other students started to agree. That was about the best reaction you could get from a kindergartener, so Jinyoung gave himself a pat on the back for that.

“Wow, what a scary lion!”  Jinyoung said, as he covered his mouth and backed away in fear, causing Colin to roar and the rest of the class to laugh. 

Jinyoung quickly counted all the students and noticed someone was missing.  “Where’s Bambam?”

“I think he’s in the bathroom!”  Yelled Sara.  “He’s been in there forever!”

“Everyone, stay right here, don’t move! The ghosts will catch you if you even move even one step!”  Jinyoung said before stepping quickly into the washroom.  “Bambam?”

Jinyoung found Bambam curled up next to the sink crying, and Jinyoung immediately ran and kneeled next to him.

“Bambam, what’s wrong?”  Jinyoung asked.  He could see Bambam was also decked out in his Cinderella costume looking as cute as ever.

“I feel stupid,” Bambam said through his tears.  “I shouldn’t have worn this, everyone is going to laugh.”

“No, they’re not, you look beautiful,” Jinyoung explained.  “Open your eyes.”

Bambam wiped at his face and stared up at Jinyoung in awe.  “Wow… you… wow.” 

Jinyoung smiled.  “Stop crying, you’re going to ruin all this pretty glitter on your face,” Jinyoung said before he reached for a paper towel, wet it, and wiped away the tear streaks full of glitter from Bambam’s face.  “We’re matching.”

Bambam was still looking Jinyoung up and down.  “Nobody laughed at you?”

“Nobody laughed at me, and guess what?  It doesn’t matter if anyone laughs at me, you know why?”

“No...”

“Because it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.  This is what I wanted to dress up as, and I’m going to be proud of it, since I know it’s the best costume.  Right?”

“Right!”  Bambam looked so much happier.

“Come on, let’s line up with the others for the parade!”  Jinyoung took Bambam’s hand and walked him back to the rest of the students.

There was no laughter from the rest of the class, only compliments and coos over how cute they looked walking together.

Jinyoung bent down and whispered in Bambam’s ear.  “See?  Everyone loves it as much as you do.”

Bambam proudly walked next to Jinyoung as they walked into the courtyard, Bambam leading the entire class.  They joined all the other kindergarten classes outside and marched in a circle, while absolutely terrifying hits played over the loudspeaker, such as ‘the monster mash’ and ‘thriller’.

After a few times around and Jinyoung bragging to the other teachers about how his class was the best dressed, and maybe one too many sashays, they headed back to the classroom.  The students filed inside while Jinyoung took an extra minute to brag about his class to another coworker who was standing outside.  He was startled when he heard someone yelling “A PRINCE! A REAL-LIFE PRINCE!” from the classroom he was supposed to be inside.

He walked inside to see a man kneeling in front of Bambam, offering him a rose.  “My Cinderella, it is me, your prince!  I’ve finally found you!”

Jinyoung was five seconds away from calling the principle to report an intruder until the man stood up.  He was decked out looking like absolute royalty, down to his leather boots and golden detailing on his jacket.   “Mark?  What are you-“

“I don’t know who this person is you speak of!  I am simply a prince who has finally found my princess!”  Mark held out his rose again and Bambam accepted it, his face terribly flushed.

“T-thank you, prince.”  Bambam said quietly, still too stunned to speak.

Seunghee turned to Jinyoung.  “Is this what happens when you dress up as a princess?  I want a prince too!” 

“Bambam’s costume is really the coolest!  He got his own prince!  I want a rose!”  Sara yelled.

“I’m sorry, I only give roses to my princesses.”  Mark took Bambam’s hands in his.  “You really are the prettiest princess I’ve ever seen.”  Mark winked and Bambam almost fell over.

Jinyoung didn’t realize Mark was this good at acting.

“Do you want to see me do a flip?”

Jinyoung sighed.

After all, this was still Mark through and through.


 

“I have to apologize, I told a little lie earlier.”  Mark said as he was helping Jinyoung clean up the classroom from all the Halloween shenanigans after they partied, gotten high on a bunch of candy and sent the kids home to get even more sugared up.

“I know you called sick into work, you don’t need to tell me that.”

“Okay, I told two little lies today!”  Mark tried to bait him again.

Jinyoung played along.  “What was the other one?”

“I told Bambam he was the prettiest princess I’ve ever seen, but that could never be true when you’re standing right here looking like that.”  Mark said as he walked over to Jinyoung and leaned in.

“Mark, we’re in a children’s classroom at a school, could you back off a bit?”  Jinyoung playfully shoved Mark out of the way to continue picking up discarded wrappers all over the floor.

“Hmm, it seems like the princess needs a bit more coercing for them to keep the dress on after trick or treating tonight.” 

“Well, I must admit the prince was a pretty amazing person this afternoon.”

“And, as such the prince should be rewarded, right?”

Jinyoung dumped the last handful of trash into the garbage bin and finally graced Mark with some eye contact.  “I think we can make this work,” Jinyoung looked Mark up and down.  “As long as you keep your costume on as well.”

Mark quirked his eyebrow.  “Ah, so the princess also has a weakness.  I believe your demands can be met quite easily.”

“Then, my good sir,” Jinyoung pulled Mark in by the collar, stealing a quick kiss.  “You better hope Celeste doesn’t eat so much sugar she’ll be up all night because I have other plans for you.”

Mark grinned.  “Wow, Halloween really is the best holiday.”