Sometime in November.
It happens like this.
Namjoon talks on the phone with his friends pretty often, and he’s still in the group text they use to make plans on the regular so he always knows what they’re up to, even though he lives like three thousand miles away. He knows about their lives, they know about his.
Well, except for this.
Jin knows he moved four months ago, so he’s never questioned the new living space when they Facetime, but today Namjoon makes a critical mistake. He holds that it’s not his fault, he’s just not paying that much attention when Jeongguk comes into their bedroom as he Facetimes Jin.
“--but this year I think they’re going to take over Yoongi’s room again.”
“Well, better that they’re there, right?” Namjoon says. Jin’s being annoyed that Jimin and Taehyung are coming to stay in the house this Christmas, probably in response to Yoongi’s annoyance that he’s going to have to share Jin’s room for a week.
“For you, I guess,” Jin huffs.
“Right.” Namjoon hasn’t thought enough about his holiday plans, even though it’s already a week into November. He always goes home to Jin and Yoongi and Hoseok’s, but this is the third Christmas he and Jeongguk have been dating, and it’s been getting steadily harder and harder to spend the holidays apart.
They also haven’t talked about what the holidays together would look like, though. Anytime they talk about Christmas, Jeongguk gets this weird, distant glint in his eye that could mean any number of things, but they haven’t established what would or wouldn’t be okay; the idea of both of them spending Christmas with one of their families feels kind of untouchable.
So fortunately for Namjoon, he doesn’t have to touch it. Jin does that for him.
Jeongguk walks into the bedroom. “Hey, I’m going to the store to get stuff for dinner, you need anything?” He goes into his closet to change.
Namjoon leans over a little to watch him take his shirt off. “Shampoo, please. Maybe toothpaste, I think I’m going to run out soon.”
“What?” comes Jin’s voice.
“Sorry, I was talking to Jeongguk. What were you saying?”
Jin frowns at him. “You were… asking Jeongguk to get you shampoo and toothpaste.”
Namjoon realizes his mistake too late. “No?” he tries.
Jin’s voice goes dangerous. “Namjoon Kim. Did Jeongguk move in with you?”
Jeongguk steps out of the closet, fingers frozen on the buttons of the flannel shirt he’s putting on. “Uh oh,” he says.
“Haha,” Namjoon says, looking from him to Jin. “Funny story? We actually moved into this new apartment together.”
“But that’s the apartment you moved into four months a--oh son of a bitch.”
“You are so fucking lucky Yoongi and Hoseok aren’t home. Bring your boyfriend to me right now.”
He looks up at Jeongguk. “Jin wants to see you.”
Jeongguk looks pale. “Okay.” He comes to sit next to Namjoon. “Hi, Jin.” Jeongguk has spoken with all of Namjoon’s friends before, though briefly, and he’s been wary of Jin the whole time they’ve been dating.
“What are you doing for Christmas?” Jin asks.
“Oh.” Jeongguk looks at Namjoon uncertainly. “Well. I usually go home to my parents’ house.”
“Are you attached to those plans?”
And there it is. Namjoon and Jeongguk look at each other in what feels like an impasse. It’s like they both want the same thing, but neither of them wants to be the one to crack and say it. Jeongguk’s eyes flicker toward Jin.
“Hey Jin, I have a great idea,” Namjoon says, tearing his eyes away from Jeongguk. “What if I talk to Jeongguk about whether he would feel comfortable coming with me to your house for Christmas, and then I get back to you?”
“Hmph,” Jin says, but lets it go for the time being.
“You can go to the store,” Namjoon says, turning the phone away from himself and Jeongguk. “We’ll talk later.”
“Sure, yeah.” Jeongguk’s voice is a little high, and he looks worried.
When Jeongguk gets home Namjoon’s done talking to Jin. He starts dinner, puts Namjoon’s toothpaste and shampoo in the bathroom, and comes to sit cross-legged on the couch where Namjoon is reading.
Namjoon gives him his attention. Before he can say anything to address the call with Jin, Jeongguk says, “I want to come home with you for Christmas.”
“Oh,” Namjoon says in surprise. “You do?”
“Yes,” Jeongguk says firmly and looks very concerned.
“Okay. You sound sure, but you don’t look sure.”
“When have I ever looked sure in my life?”
“Shush,” Namjoon says. He pulls him closer with an arm around his neck and kisses his temple. “You don’t need to feel pressured. It’s a lot, and it’s far.”
“I know,” Jeongguk says. “I was thinking about it while I was at the store, and it’s time, isn’t it? You’ve met my family lots of times. I need to grow a pair and come meet yours.”
“Your family lives in Washington,” Namjoon reminds him. “Mine lives in New York.”
Jeongguk shrugs. “I have plenty of time I can take off. I’ll just spend a little bit with my family, then fly to New York when you go. Plus I think they want to visit my mom’s side in North Carolina this year, so I’ll probably already be on that side of the country.”
Namjoon hugs him tight. “I love you,” he says. “I’m really glad you want to come. Jin acts like a hardass, but he’s going to be happy too.”
“I know,” Jeongguk says. “He texts me sometimes.”
“What? When did he get your number? How?”
“He DMed me on Instagram until I gave it to him. He just checks on me. He asks how I’m doing.”
“Oh my god,” Namjoon says.
Jeongguk laughs. “Yeah. I do want to meet all of them. I’m nervous, but I’ll be okay.”
“Great. I’ll let them know.”
“Alright. Now let me up, or dinner’s going to burn.”
kims and associate kims
I’m going to bring my boyfriend home with me for Christmas
OH MY GOOODDDD
the heavens have smiled on us!
Wait are you serious
Tae emphasized “Wait are you serious”
Jimin emphasized “Wait are you serious”
...yeah I’m serious
JOON! [sent with confetti]
Get it in your heads now that you have to be on your BEST BEHAVIOR
I’m always on my best behavior!
I AM GOING TO ADOPT HIM
SEND ANOTHER PIC
No, you already know what he looks like
Tae disliked “No, you already know what he looks like”
Hope disliked “No, you already know what he looks like”
This isn’t Namjoon’s fault, and he tries to remember that it’s not the United representative’s fault, either. The woman has enough people being mean to her, enough entitled old white people making demands she can’t meet, so Namjoon is going to be nice.
He feels like he’s about to cry, though. He thinks she can tell, and she looks kind of distraught. She reminds him vaguely of Jimin, even though she’s white and blonde-haired. It just seems like it’s hard for her to not be able to help people.
“I can rebook the flight you’re going to miss. The next one scheduled out of Chicago that you can make with the delays is going to be tomorrow morning.”
“There’s no possibility I can get there today?” he asks, feeling like he’s going to combust. “I would get a flight out of here tonight, right? I can’t get one to New York?”
She looks pained. “Our flights to New York are overbooked.” Means, I am going to have hordes of people asking me the same question, and not nicely.
“Right. Of course. Okay. Thank you. You’re doing your best, and I’m sorry for,” he glances around him at the pandemonium, “this.”
She looks away and says, “Get home safe.”
Namjoon has to camp out and watch a couple sitting by an outlet along the wall by the women’s restroom, side-eying them in a rather unsubtle fashion until they take pity on him and move. He plugs in his dead phone and waits for it to come on, then calls Jeongguk and prays he isn’t already on his flight.
“Oh, shit,” Jeongguk says immediately, reading his tone right away. “What happened?”
“My flight got canceled. Weather.”
“No,” he groans. “Oh god. Damn it.”
“Yeah. I know.”
“When is the next one?”
“All the direct flights to New York are overbooked, so it looks like I’m going to have to fly through Chicago.”
“So I won’t get there until tomorrow.”
“Oh my god.” Jeongguk sounds past worried, maybe scared. “So Christmas Eve.”
“And I’ll be there in three hours.”
“Three hours.” There’s a long pause where they both know what’s going to happen but neither of them wants to say it. “I’ll get someone to pick you up,” Namjoon says finally. Maybe he’ll ask Taehyung. He lives closest to the airport, and he has a car. His hope is that maybe it will be less overwhelming for Jeongguk to spend his first evening with just Taehyung if he has to go it alone.
“I don’t know if I can do this,” Jeongguk admits.
“You can,” Namjoon says, and then backtracks because that feels too blase. Jeongguk never appreciates blase. “They’re going to love you. Seriously. It was in my horoscope.”
“It was in your horoscope,” Jeongguk repeats, unimpressed.
“Yes.” In reality, Namjoon has had several very vivid pictures in his head of his friends absolutely doting on Jeongguk. Hugging him, feeding him, smothering him with love and kisses. He believes in these visions with conviction.
“Joon,” Jeongguk says, “you are like… eighty percent of my ability to be personable. Without you I’m just going to be awkward, and it’s not going to be cute.”
As much as Namjoon would like to say that he is always cute, he knows that’s not what Jeongguk wants to hear. “Baby, I know where you’re coming from, but even disregarding the fact that you’re underestimating yourself a lot,” Jeongguk makes a noise of dissent that he pointedly ignores, “I know you, and I know them, and I know that they’re going to love you. But if you’re really uncomfortable, we can get you a hotel room until I get there.”
Jeongguk sighs. “No,” he says, “I’ll go. Please just… let me know who’s picking me up. And get here as fast as you can.”
“I will,” Namjoon says. “I promise.”
My flight got canceled
what?! what are u going to do?!
I’m gonna get a different one
I have to fly through Chicago
ew I’m sorry
That’s not the point
The point is my boyfriend
Whose flight gets in in three hours
shit right him!!
Yeah, him. Can I ask you a huge huge favor
Like a double favor
YES I WILL GET HIM FROM THE AIRPORT!
Ok nice! Thanks! Also can you keep your mouth shut about him being here!
Don’t tell anyone else?
I’ll do anything
:) :) :)
Please don’t make him want to break up with me at Christmas
Namjoon is dozing as much as he can against the wall, an arm pathetically around his carryon with his phone held protectively to his chest. It starts vibrating, startling him awake.
“Ngh,” he grunts in greeting as he answers the call.
“Are you sleeping?”
“No.” He blinks and feels like there’s something grainy in his eyes. “What’s up?”
“I just landed,” Jeongguk says. “Like, just landed. I haven’t gone to get my bags yet.”
“You feeling okay?” Namjoon asks.
“Yeah. Flight was fine. Did you work something out?”
“Mhm. Tae is going to pick you up, is that okay?”
“Yeah. Thanks.” Jeongguk draws in a long breath, and it comes out a little unsteady. “I miss you. That’s dumb, right? It hasn’t even been two weeks.”
“I don’t know. I miss you too. Sorry this is chaos, I was looking forward to it.”
“Babe,” Jeongguk says softly. He’s not liberal with pet names. “It’s not your fault. You’ll get here. I know I’m being a baby about this, I promise I’ll be okay.”
Namjoon presses his fingers against a soft smile. “You’re not being a baby, but you’re right that you’ll be okay. I miss you and I wish I could be there, especially when you first meet them, but you’re going to do great.”
Jeongguk huffs. “If you say so.”
“I do. You want me to stay on the phone with you until you find Tae?”
A small, vaguely embarrassed grunt. “Yeah, kind of.”
“Okay. Have you got your bag?”
“I’m watching for it. Hey, did I tell you the only thing my parents would ask me for for Christmas is a framed picture of you and me?”
“Oh my god.” Namjoon bites down on a knuckle to try and contain his feelings. “We’re fucking giving them one, then.”
“I know. I don’t think we have any recent ones that aren’t lame, though.”
“We can take one when I get there. Your parents are so great.”
“Yeah, they are. Oh, I see my bag.”
Namjoon waits for him to pick it up. “Tae said he’d try to find your baggage claim. I might give him your number?”
“Yeah, that might--oh, no, I see him. Hm. He has a sign.”
Uh oh. “A sign?”
“Yeah.” Jeongguk takes in a deep breath. “It’s a selfie of you and me. Okay.”
“Oh no. I don’t know how he managed that, I only asked him to get you three hours ago.”
“Well,” Jeongguk says shortly. “I guess I should... Ah, he sees me.”
“Go, baby. You’re gonna be fine. Tae is a sweetheart.”
“I’m going,” Jeongguk mutters. “We look really cute in this selfie. I love you. I miss you.”
“I love you and miss you back. Eat some cookies for me.”
“Fat chance. All cookies I eat will be for me. I love you,” he says again. “Bye.” After a deep breath and a determined puff, he hangs up.
the best boy
do your friends usually ask people about their scars
Unfortunately they have been known to, yeah.
I think it’s bc tae and jin grew up comparing theirs from like, falling off their bikes?
did they ask about your cheek one
the best boy
When jimin and tae started dating jin made us split into two groups to interrogate them and for some reason this oral surgery jimin had as a kid was a real point of contention
Not w jimin or tae but between jin and hope
the best boy
what? you interrogated two people who were already your friends?
didn’t you say jimin and taehyung grew up together?
Have you met jin
the best boy
Wait until you meet him. Then you’ll understand
the best boy
:( if I were there I would wrap you up in my arms and not let you go!
the best boy
I CANT SHOW WEAKNESS
don’t say anything else I can feel my cheeks getting pink I think jimin is going to pounce
the best boy
Tell tae for me that he’s a bitch
the best boy
I am NOT doing that but I love you
I love you too
I will defend your honor
the best boy
will you defend my purity
the best boy
hey wow rude
will you defend my scar from when I got my appendix removed
You don’t have an appendix??? I don’t think I can date you
the best boy
You’re a little bitch
oh my god chill out
Jimin and I are already at the house
it would have been suspicious if I just didn’t come back
jin totally would have known
Please be nice to him
joon :( he is so cute :(
I know. He’s really cute
I’d ask you to give him a hug for me but you’d make it weird
on it!!!! (:
the best boy
thanks for the hug i guess
I literally told him not to
the best boy
yes well I was the filling in a jimin and tae sandwich
Aaaaah I’m sorry
the best boy
no worries it was actually not bad until tae asked me what shampoo I use because my hair smells good apparently
Ok but he has a point you know
the best boy
I mean yeah my hair does smell good and ig from what you’ve told me I should expect more like that from him
Yeah but if I were there I would flick his nose and tell him to stop being weird
the best boy
I can take it dad
Do NOT call me that
the best boy
dad dysfjjk ,; A kdnkd
the best boy
that was tae
the keysmash was jimin trying to stop him i think he’s on my side
but now they know ive been tattling on them
Babe who else would they think you’ve been texting
the best boy
This is the cutest boy I ha
ve ever seen
Sorry I got excited
I know hes cute I live with him
you just wanted to say that
… I mean yeah
I asked him if he was ok and he said very honestly
That he is fine but he’s feeling a little grumpy because he was supposed to see you today
Sometime after Thanksgiving this year, Jeongguk got all snuggled up in a blanket on the couch and said, “Tell me about Christmas at Jin’s.”
He looked very cute. He was on the tail end of a cold, mostly better with some residual congestion. His hair was messy from taking a shower and then sleeping on it wet. Namjoon had just made him tea maybe half an hour before, but looking at him all soft and sleepy with a red nose and pink cheeks made him itch to do something for him.
That was a very domestic feeling. He had to talk himself down a little. Although he imagined that if he made Jeongguk more tea he would probably drink it.
“Well,” Namjoon began. “It’s always Jin and Hoseok and Yoongi and me. Jimin and Tae missed once a few years ago and it was really weird.”
“But you guys always do the full Christmas thing together? None of you go home?”
Jeongguk is close with his family. He really loves them. Hell, Namjoon really loves his family. They’re great. Because of that, Namjoon thought it made Jeongguk sad that Namjoon don’t have a good relationship with his family. But a lot of Namjoon’s friends don’t, either.
“No,” he said. “It’s a lot of reasons. Yoongi sees his family during the year, but he stays with us for Christmas. Jimin and his family aren’t on bad terms or anything, he’s just not close with them. Hope’s mom died when we were in college, and his dad and sister moved to Korea to be with his grandparents.”
Jeongguk made a sad noise. He blinked quickly.
“It’s okay,” Namjoon said. He squeezed Jeongguk’s knee. “He’s happy here. He was messed up about it for a while after it happened, but Jin and Yoongi are really good to him.”
“Okay.” Jeongguk still looked kind of teary. He’s always made Namjoon ache a little. He’s so tenderhearted.
“Jin and Tae’s moms are cousins and they were close when they were younger, so they grew up together, but Jin’s family told him to stop coming home after he came out. They both still talk to Tae’s mom, but Jin just can’t see his family.”
“Joon,” Jeongguk said in a soft voice.
“I know, baby.”
“Sorry.” Jeongguk puffed a little laugh at himself and smushed his face against the side of the couch. “That just makes me sad.”
“It’s okay. I know. It makes me sad too.” He squeezed Jeongguk’s hand.
Jeongguk cleared his throat. He sounded a little scratchy, so Namjoon handed him his water. “But you said Tae and Jimin go to Tae’s grandparents’ house?”
“Right,” Namjoon agreed. “They go for dinner on Christmas, so we do our dinner on Christmas Eve.”
“Weird,” Jeongguk muttered.
“Hush.” Namjoon poked his calf. “So Christmas at Jin’s also includes the gingerbread town, White Christmas, boozy desserts, silent Twister--”
“Sorry. Silent Twister?”
“Mhm. Basically you do a little day drinking and play Twister, but the only one allowed to make noise is the person calling it. If you make a noise they spin for a limb and you have to hold it in the air for a turn.”
“That sounds kind of sadistic,” Jeongguk said.
“No, totally. Jin came up with it, it’s definitely sadistic. But it’s fun. It’s Christmas Eve, you’ve been making cookies, you get a little tipsy, it makes everyone laugh. And like, you’ll win, so.”
That made Namjoon feel a weird excitement. He couldn’t wait to get Jeongguk in his Christmas and see him win silent Twister. He almost couldn’t believe Jeongguk decided to come home with him.
He was determined that this was going to be good.
Namjoon’s bored out of his mind.
He’s in a hotel room alone and it sucks. He wishes he were anywhere else--New York or even back in LA. His flight was supposed to arrive hours ago. He was supposed to meet Jeongguk by the baggage claim, kiss the living daylights out of him, and then go home to introduce his big sweet boyfriend to the friends who are, for all intents and purposes, his family.
It’s been a couple hours since he’s heard from Jeongguk. The last text he sent said jimin and tae said we’re going ice skating and then to yoonjinhope’s house. that’s what they said. yoonjinhope
To which Namjoon replied, Yeah, yoonjinhope :( and then heard nothing else.
He turns on the tv and starts flipping through channels looking for something watchable. Eventually he comes upon “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” Jonathan Taylor Thomas. Okay. He’s not particularly enjoying it, but it could be worse. And it’s kind of topical, so there’s that. He briefly wonders if this hotel has Hallmark. He falls asleep before the movie ends.
Namjoon doesn’t sleep well, but still by the time he’s fully awake it’s dinner time and he’s hungry. He has a bunch of missed texts, a couple from Jeongguk, several from Jimin, and one from Hoseok.
He responds to Jeongguk’s I love you and tell me I’ve got this with an I love you, you’re doing great. Then he checks Jimin’s texts and he honest to god squeals, muffled by his pillow.
First Jimin’s sent him a photo of Jeongguk lacing up a pair of ice skates, all bundled up in a thick sweater, coat, and scarf. Then a selfie of the two of them and Hoseok.
Hi!!! We’re going ice skating
You’re terrible at ice skating
And Jeongguk has never skated a day in his life
Um well he’s really good at it
Of course he is
the best boy
it’s cold as FUCK here
jimin called me a california baby because I couldn’t stop shivering
:( I want 2 hug you
the best boy
hoseok took us to this diner for hot chocolate though
hey shut up
Can you send me a pic I like when your nose gets pink
the best boy
no go away
you can’t see my nose until you come here and kiss it
Namjoon trudges through the rest of the evening. He drags himself out for food, stops in a jewelry store and gets a couple extra things for Jimin and Yoongi, and ends up spending nearly an hour in a bookstore. He comes up with a stack of books he has to weed down to only four or five for Jeongguk.
He’s tired by the time he goes back to the hotel with takeout for dinner, not tired like ready to go to bed but tired like feeling kind of terrible from sleeping too much and so badly and just having such an awful day. He wants to watch a movie, but only with Jeongguk. Well, no--he doesn’t really want to watch a movie. He just wants to snuggle. Jeongguk is usually the one who wants to snuggle. But it’s been so long.
the best boy
we’re watching eloise at christmastime?
Oh yeah that’s Jin and Yoongi’s pick every single year
Hope loves it too but he loves everything
the best boy
I’ve never seen it in my life
Ok well you’ve definitely been missing out
Have you watched the holiday yet
the best boy
no but it’s on the table because jimin
He loves that one
the best boy
wait fuck hey
will we watch white christmas
the best boy
fuck finally you’ll be here
How did today go?
the best boy
yoongi and I got addicted to the great british bake off together
I think he got a little teary when this old scottish man got eliminated
A baking show?
the best boy
ok no you don’t understand
but we watched it and put together gingerbread houses and he didn’t try to make me talk
Yeah he’s a good one
Jeongguk sort of disappears after that.
Namjoon reads a while, thankful that he packed a couple books in his carryon, then searches through the channels and finds a terrible Hallmark movie to watch.
He catches a movie in the middle, and it’s ending by the time Jeongguk texts again.
the best boy
think i won your hand in marriage but I’m not sure
I missed you what happened to you
the best boy
I was interviewed
the best boy
yeah but I think I got the job
What job there’s no job
the best boy
official Namjoon loving boy
I’m feeling pretty good it was competitive out there
Have you been drinking
the best boy
jinsaid it wouldn’t be that strong but it was gross
Namjoon curls up on his side. He really misses Jeongguk. And now that he knows Jeongguk is tipsy he wants to be there more, because tipsy Jeongguk just wants to snuggle him.
the best boy
i lobe you
I miss you
His phone starts ringing.
“Hi, baby,” he says when he picks up.
“Hi,” Jeongguk says. Namjoon can picture him, warm and a little pink cheeked.
“Where are you?”
“In your room. There are a lot of books in here. Did you cry when you had to leave them behind?”
Namjoon snorts. “How did things go this evening?”
“Good,” Jeongguk says. “I think. They’re nice. I didn’t realize the interrogation was starting until they were all sitting on one couch and then I was on a chair and Jimin was like ‘SO.’ They were very prepared.”
“Prepared like how?”
“Um. Like they had a whole test. True/false questions about you and these cards where I had to pick the correct answer. There were also some scenarios I had to respond to.”
“Oh my god,” Namjoon groans. “Hey. You fucking nerd. This isn’t school, you didn’t have to do it.”
“And you’re my fucking boyfriend,” Jeongguk bites back. “So I aced it.”
Namjoon huffs. He bites down on his smile when he realizes Jeongguk is looking to be praised. “I don’t doubt it, baby. I’m proud of you. They gave you my hand in marriage?”
“They just kind of put it into the ether.”
“They put my hand in marriage into the ether?”
“Interesting.” That’s a subject they’ve come near several times but never quite touched. Namjoon doesn’t think Jeongguk would be talking like this if he weren’t tipsy. But Namjoon doesn’t mind. He thinks that this next year it’s time to have that conversation.
“I miss you,” Jeongguk says.
“Don’t be,” he says and for a moment, Namjoon thinks he hears the hint of a smile in his voice. “I’m just really happy to spend Christmas with you. Get here soon and give me a good kiss and I’ll forget about it.” There’s a clamor on the other end, and then Jeongguk says, “Um, they want to measure my strength. I think we’re seeing if I can pick them up.”
“Oh no,” Namjoon says. “Don’t let them put Yoongi and Jimin on you at the same time, you’ll hurt yourself.”
“I have to be strong.”
“You are strong, so don’t be stupid, okay? Jimin’s like, really solid.”
“He can go on my back.”
After Jeongguk hangs up, Namjoon sends Seokjin a text.
When I get there I better have an INTACT BOYFRIEND!
A few minutes later the message Seokjin sends back is just a picture of Jeongguk, with Jimin on his back and Yoongi bridal style in his arms. It’s from the side and Namjoon can’t see Jeongguk’s face in the photos, but this is the first he’s ever seen of Jeongguk with his friends. It makes him feel so warm.
He’s sad that he couldn’t be there to introduce them, not just to show off his pretty boyfriend but so Jeongguk would be comfortable, so he could be next to him as they bring him in and see the love he knows is going to grow around him. He wanted to experience every little thing and how it was all different with Jeongguk by his side.
He still will. He knows he’ll get home for Christmas. But these last couple of days right before area always the most special. He misses Jeongguk and he misses his family, and he wants to be with both of them together.
Namjoon pushes the door open and steps inside to a worryingly quiet house. He closes it behind him and pulls of his coat and scarf, rolls his suitcase beside the stairs.
It’s around four in the afternoon. His flight got in nearly three hours ago, but it took forever for him to get a cab to bring him here.
He walks through the entryway and turns the corner into the living room, where finally the silence makes sense. “Oh, silent Twister,” he says. The contenders left seem to be Jeongguk, in a crab walk position, Jimin, leaning over top of him, and Yoongi on his own watching them be overly competitive.
On hearing his voice, Jeongguk gasps a sweet “Oh!” and slips onto his butt. His legs knock into Jimin’s arms, sending him forward, pitching him into Yoongi’s legs, and then there’s chaos, everyone jumping up and yelling and scrambling for Namjoon.
Hoseok crashes into him first, so hard he pulls him around, giving Yoongi the perfect opportunity to launch himself onto Namjoon’s back.
“Hi, hi,” Namjoon gasps. “Hey, missed you, Seok.” He squeezes Hoseok and then looks around to where Jeongguk is being immobilized by Jimin, Taehyung, and Jin.
“You’ll get your turn!” Jimin yells at him. “We haven’t seen him in SEVEN MONTHS!”
Jeongguk is pink in the face.
Namjoon drops all sense of dignity and whines, “Give him to me.”
“I’m not going to jump him,” Jeongguk mutters.
“He might jump you,” Seokjin says.
“You better fucking believe I will.”
Jeongguk makes a very embarrassed noise and turns around so no one can see his red face. Namjoon looks on fondly. “Will you just hug them please?”
Namjoon taps Yoongi’s leg, and he slides off his back. Face to face, Yoongi gives him a real hug, quick and tight. “Hi,” Namjoon says. “I missed you.”
“Ugh,” Yoongi says. “You too.”
He gives the other three big hugs too; he lets Jimin hold tight to his waist and Taehyung lean lovingly against his back, then when there’s no one clinging to him anymore, he turns to Jeongguk, who’s looking at him with this really nice little half smile on his face.
“Come here,” he murmurs. Jeongguk grins and tries to bite it down, but fails. The corners of his eyes crinkle. He tucks himself into Namjoon’s open arms. “Hey,” Namjoon says.
“Hey,” Jeongguk says. He starts to pull back. Namjoon can feel him restraining himself. When they’re alone, he likes to lay his head in the crook of Namjoon’s neck and rub his nose against his skin, press kisses to it. He gets melty in hugs. They don’t really do short hugs, except for now apparently.
As Jeongguk pulls away, Namjoon pecks his lips.
“Namjoon,” he says, chiding. Quiet, a little embarrassed.
“Hush,” Namjoon says, holding him by the waist. “They are fine.”
“We’re fine,” Jin agrees. “Jeongguk, why don’t you help Namjoon take his things to his room? We’ll start on dinner. Don’t be too long.”
“Hmm, thank you, Jin,” Namjoon says, letting Jeongguk’s waist go and taking him by the hand. “Come on, big strong boy.”
Namjoon leads them back to the front hall by the stairs, and when they’re out of earshot he giggles. “I see you’re still intact.”
“Shut up,” Jeongguk groans. He catches Namjoon around the waist and pulls him up against his body. “Hello.” He presses his nose against Namjoon’s. “Just let me catch up, okay? I love you,” a kiss, “I love you,” a kiss, “I love you,” a kiss.
Namjoon smiles into the last kiss. He can smell the day drinking part of silent Twister on Jeongguk’s breath. This is tipsy, cuddly Jeongguk he’s dealing with. “Slow down, baby. If you don’t want anyone to see, you should probably wait until we go upstairs.” He glances to the side to see Hoseok and Taehyung leaning casually against the wall by the kitchen. When they see him looking, Hoseok shoves Taehyung and they scramble back around the corner.
“Nooo,” Jeongguk groans. “That’s so embarrassing.”
“I’m sorry, are you embarrassed of me?”
“Don’t be silly,” Jeongguk huffs and hits him on the shoulder. “I still--I mean they’re all so nice, obviously, but you know. I’m just me.”
“I know.” Namjoon gives him one more quick kiss. “I love you too.” He pulls away and grabs his backpack.
“Oh sure, I’ll get this,” Jeongguk says, picking up his suitcase.
“Yes, thank you, I love when you carry heavy things.”
Jeongguk grumbles cutely on the way upstairs, but he doesn’t show any strain on his way up. He takes the suitcase to Namjoon’s room, where he’s already set up camp for himself, very neatly.
“Are you afraid they’re going to eat you if you make a mess?” Namjoon asks.
“I’m afraid they’ll eat me in general.” He sets Namjoon’s suitcase down. “Okay, how much time do we have?”
“To make out,” Jeongguk says. “How much time until we have to be downstairs?”
Namjoon laughs. “I’d say ten, safely. Fifteen if you want to push it. You’re not afraid they’ll know what we’re doing?”
Jeongguk snorts. “They know what we’re doing. Jin was not subtle when he told me to come up here with you.”
“And you think you can live with that? What happened to not showing weakness?” Namjoon sits down on the bed. “We should go back down there right now.”
“Shut up,” Jeongguk growls, climbing on his lap.
Namjoon puts his arms around him and laughs. “Shut me up.”
So Jeongguk does; he drags him in for a kiss, his fingers threaded through the hair at the nape of Namjoon’s neck, knees tight at his hips. He hugs Namjoon tight and thunks his head onto his shoulder. “I’m a little tipsy,” he admits.
Namjoon grins. He kisses Jeongguk’s hair. “I noticed. You’re cute.”
Jeongguk starts to shift, trying to pull his legs out from under himself without getting off of Namjoon.
“You dork,” Namjoon says, “maybe you shouldn’t have gotten so ahead of yourself.” He moves Jeongguk as well as he can, pushes him over so he’s lying on the bed.
“This is a little risque, don’t you think?” Jeongguk asks.
“Oh, I hope so.” Namjoon kisses him, enjoying the feel of Jeongguk’s hand cupping his jaw, the other one skating up and down his back then pushing under the hem of his shirt. It hasn’t even been two weeks, but it feels like it’s been so long since he’s had Jeongguk under him.
After a while--probably too close to ten minutes--Jeongguk rolls them over, just lying on top of Namjoon. He lays his head on his chest, pressing his nose into Namjoon’s collarbone. His hair tickles Namjoon’s chin.
“I missed you, god,” Jeongguk groans. “I can’t believe you left me alone.” He kisses over his collarbones.
“I missed you too. I’m sorry. Were they terrible?”
“No, they were not that bad,” he says. “They’re nice. This is weird though. I would’ve been more comfortable if you were with me in the first place. I feel like they’re going to tease me or something.”
“They are probably going to tease you,” Namjoon says, “but only in extension because they’re going to be teasing me. And only because we are insufferably in love.”
Jeongguk gives a contemplative hum. “That is true.”
“And then they’ll get all soft and sappy and genuine and I’ll probably cry.”
“They’ve been trying not to,” Jeongguk laughs. “I can tell. Sometimes like, Jimin is just looking at me and I’m pretty sure he’s about to cry.”
“Oh no,” Namjoon says. “Ah, Jimin.”
“Also a man insufferably in love, I should add.”
“Oh yeah. It gets worse every year.” Namjoon tightens his hold on Jeongguk. “Anyway, I know you think you’re awkward and bad at getting to know people, but. They’re patient and they don’t jump to conclusions. I can almost guarantee they already have a read on you.”
Jeongguk’s quiet for a moment. Then he says, “They love you so much.”
“Yeah. I love them a lot too.” He strokes his fingers through Jeongguk’s hair. Then he hears footsteps on the stairs and sighs deeply.
“Joon?” comes Jimin’s voice paired with three little knocks at the door.
“Coming,” Namjoon calls. Jeongguk rolls off of him, and once they’re both upright again he runs his fingers through Jeongguk’s messy hair with a smile.
They go through the living room so Namjoon can drop his gifts under the tree. He stops to look at this year’s gingerbread town. He loves seeing everyone’s houses and shops because they all have such distinct decorating styles.
“Yoongi did those,” Jeongguk says, pointing to a pile of pretzel logs outside one of the houses. “Jin said he became a woodsman this year.”
Namjoon laughs. “Let me guess. This one is yours?” He points at a shop with “bakery” written neatly across the front in pink icing.
It makes Namjoon a little sad that he missed all of this.
“We saved the doghouse for you,” Jimin says, coming up behind them.
“Wow, thanks,” Namjoon says dryly. “I’m so flattered.”
Jimin shrugs, unbothered.
In the kitchen they get roped into peeling and cutting potatoes, which is Namjoon’s absolute least favorite job. He puts up with it, though, and avoids Jin’s gaze when his twinkly eyes dart from Jeongguk with his messy hair to Namjoon, whose hair is probably equally messy. Namjoon pours wine for both of them. There’s Christmas music playing and he already feels warm and fuzzy with everyone here in the kitchen.
“I vote we do storytime now,” Hoseok says. He’s at the counter bar, working on a pecan pie under Jimin’s close supervision.
“Storytime?” Namjoon asks.
“Yeah. Namjoon and Jeongguk storytime. Tell us the story of how you two got together.”
“I’ve told you that story the past two Christmases,” Namjoon says, giving Hoseok an unimpressed look.
“Well, who are you to mess with tradition?” Taehyung asks, leaning forward with his elbows on the counter. He gets flour on his shirt. “Aw, fuck.”
Namjoon looks at Jeongguk, who just shrugs. “Okay, fine,” he concedes. “You want to tell it?”
“Uh, no.” Jeongguk takes a drink of wine. “You tell it and I’ll make any necessary corrections.”
Jimin giggles and Namjoon frowns. “The faith you have in me is inspiring,” he says dryly. “Alright. So it was like, two and a half years ago. Um, he just graduated college, he was doing an internship with my production company,” he glances at Jeongguk, who’s just watching him. “Being worked to the bone and absolutely robbed,” he adds just to see the little smile that Jeongguk hides behind his hand. “And we didn’t really talk, you know. Just like,” he pauses. This is a lot weirder with Jeongguk right next to him. “Um, I’d see him and be like, he’s cute.”
“You look all gooey right now,” Yoongi says, wrinkling his nose. “And you’re talking really slow.”
“God, leave me alone,” he huffs.
“You saw me and you thought I was cute,” Jeongguk prompts.
“Yes. But we didn’t really talk until I had this project I needed help with, and Jeongguk was available, so I brought him in for help, found out he can sing, used him for backing vocals,” he waves a hand. “Thought he was very cute, we managed to have some real person conversations on our own, went out to dinner after we finished the project.”
“Nice job, Joon,” Jimin says with a little clap.
“Um, thank you,” Namjoon says. “Anyway. He found a place that paid him real money for his work, and before he left we both tried to ask for each other’s number. It was pretty awkward, but we both wanted the same thing, so we did ultimately succeed.”
Jeongguk gives a breathy little laugh that probably only Namjoon can hear.
“And who asked who out?” Hoseok prompts.
“He asked me to dinner, I asked if it was a date or if I was reading him wrong. He said it was a date if I was cool with that. So we went on several more, and then like three weeks later I told you guys about it. The end.”
Jeongguk raises his eyebrows mildly. “Three weeks? Wow.”
“Right?” Jin says indignantly.
“Do you have anything to add, Jeongguk?” Taehyung asks.
“Oh, actually, yeah,” he says. He looks at Namjoon. “Just that before we started talking back when I was an intern, I thought you were like, so cool. Like, untouchable. I definitely already had a crush on you when we started hanging out.”
There’s a chorus of awws around the kitchen, and Namjoon ducks to hide his blush. He already knew that in an abstract sort of way, but it’s not something that’s ever felt that important to talk about, so they haven’t.
“Okay, I’m done now,” Jeongguk says, holding his wine glass and looking into it. He scrunches his nose in a little embarrassed expression.
“Hey, that was cute,” Hoseok says.
“Yes, as we established, Jeongguk is very cute,” says Jin. Jeongguk’s ears are pink.
“It’s not really an exciting story,” Namjoon says.
“No,” Yoongi agrees. “I think the exciting part is the whole dating for two and a half years thing.”
“And the part where you MOVED IN TOGETHER AND DIDN’T TELL ME UNTIL A MONTH AGO,” Jin adds.
Jeongguk gives Namjoon a concerned look. “I grieved each of them personally,” Namjoon says.
“Jeongguk, tell me,” Jin begins, taking a sip of wine. “Did you tell anyone when you and Namjoon moved in together?”
Jeongguk looks caught out. “I mean… my family, yes? But we’re both pretty lowkey people. We just didn’t make a big deal out of it.”
“Hmph,” Jin grunts a little bitterly. Namjoon suppresses the urge to roll his eyes and instead nudges Jeongguk’s arm with his elbow to let him know Jin is just hopefully being dramatic.
Out of nowhere, Hoseok snaps, points at Jeongguk, and says, “Hummus! And falafel! Things made with chickpeas.”
Jeongguk frowns. “Yeah.”
“What?” Namjoon asks, bewildered.
“We’ve been playing this game called ‘do Namjoon and Jeongguk eat this’,” Taehyung tells him. “Jin kicked it off with avocados.”
“I did one better with avocado toast,” Jimin adds.
“What is the point of this game?” Namjoon asks, bewildered.
“Every time someone guesses right,” Jin says, “Jeongguk takes off a piece of clothing.”
Jeongguk yelps in protest.
“Ooh,” Namjoon says with interest.
Jeongguk smacks his shoulder. “I’m not taking off my clothes,” he says, pressing his hands to his cheeks.
Hoseok grins widely. “Oh, honey, we’re just teasing.” He ruffles Jeongguk’s hair. Namjoon’s heart breaks.
“Leave him alone,” Yoongi says, rolling his eyes at them. “Kid, if you’re done with those potatoes, come make the crumble for this.” He motions at the sweet potatoes he’s mashing.
Jeongguk obediently washes his hands and goes over to start cutting butter into the flour and brown sugar.
“I’m going to go build a fire,” Yoongi says when the sweet potatoes are in the oven.
“Ooh, sexy,” Namjoon says, leaning over with his arm pressed against Jeongguk’s.
Yoongi flips him the bird.
“Hey, are we having turkey?” Namjoon asks. He looks around, realizing there’s no meat in sight. “Is this vegetarian Christmas?”
“Ask him,” Jin says, pointing in the direction Yoongi went. He sounds annoyed.
“Yoongi bought a smokehouse last month,” Hoseok tells him. “He’s smoking the turkey.”
“Oh my god,” Namjoon laughs. “He really is a woodsman. Wow. I hope you guys got him flannel shirts for Christmas.”
Taehyung glares and makes a zipping motion across his mouth.
Christmas dinner happens in the same kind of contained chaos as always. They all stand up and lean over each other when it gets too hard to pass food. Taehyung winds up with mashed potatoes in his hair, which is confusing but ultimately unsurprising.
“Tell me the turkey was good,” Yoongi demands.
“Good turkey,” Namjoon says immediately. Jeongguk hums to his left. He’s gotten sleepy with all the food and drink in him.
“Thanks, but I meant Jin. He didn’t trust me.”
Jin glares at Yoongi. They have a quick standoff that ends in Jin leaning back and saying begrudgingly, “Good turkey.”
After dinner, Jin and Hoseok get all the leftovers put away and Namjoon volunteers himself to do dishes so the others can get their last minute gift wrapping done before the movie. Jeongguk offers to help, but Namjoon knows he wants to call his parents, so he send him upstairs and does them himself. As he finishes loading the dishwasher and moves to the serving dishes, Jin comes in and leans against the counter.
“Hi, Jin,” Namjoon says with a little smile.
“Hey,” Jin says. “Hey, you know something?”
“Your boyfriend is here,” Jin whispers conspiratorially.
A funny little thrill runs through Namjoon’s stomach. He closes his eyes and huffs. “He is, isn’t he?”
“He is very cute.”
“And very sweet.”
“And very quiet.”
“And very pretty.”
“Yeah, he is,” Jin agrees. “Very cute, very sweet, very pretty. Likes you a lot, you know?”
Namjoon looks at him. “I know. I like him a lot too. I live with him.” Jimin was right. He likes saying that.
“Can I tell you something?”
“Yeah, what’s up?”
“So the first evening he was here you know, after everyone went to bed I went to your room to talk to him. I just asked him some questions. I think I was pretty nice, but I don’t know, he seemed nervous.”
“That does not surprise me at all,” says Namjoon.
“And I was like, ‘what are your intentions with Namjoon?’”
Namjoon snorts. “We’ve been dating for over two years.”
“Shush,” Jin says. “And he told me that before he met you, the idea of being in love was--”
“Should you be telling me this?” Namjoon interrupts.
“It’s all stuff you know,” Jin assures him. “He said he’s told you all this. Plus, in what world can you see him telling me this mushy romantic stuff he hasn’t told you?”
“Okay, fair. Continue.”
“He said the idea of being in love was scary to him. But that since he’s been with you, he hasn’t been scared. He said you make him feel safe.”
Namjoon takes a deep breath and shuts off the water. Jin’s right, they’ve talked about this. It was at least nine months into their relationship when Jeongguk told him that, when they finally managed to have a conversation to reconcile Jeongguk’s need for physical closeness and Namjoon’s need for emotional connection.
Around that time, there was some passive aggressive conflict between them about those things and how their relationship wasn’t fulfilling them, and Namjoon was a little afraid they were going to end things over it.
They hadn’t, though. They are both good at compromise, and and they were both ready to grow. So it was that conversation that led to tighter hugs and deeper kisses and slower sex, more staying over and hanging out well into the next day, more brunch on the weekends as just time to talk, the way they do things now. They’re different, the two of them, but for Namjoon it was exciting to see how their differences complemented each other and feel the vulnerable, exposed way they both grew after they started dating. They still grow all the time.
Moving in together was a big step, but they were also at the point where they knew it was right for them. They spent nearly every evening together anyway, and it was just getting harder to go to bed apart.
“God, Jin,” he says, “I’m really happy.”
Jin punches him in the shoulder. “Good! Fucking good.” He shakes his head. “I was so worried about you when you moved across the fucking country. The entire fucking country.”
“Hey Jin, you said ‘fucking’ three times just now.”
“Yes, I’m reliving the anxiety I had when you moved. I was so worried about you. It was like having a kid. God, I don’t know how I’m ever going to be a father. Actually, no. I’m going to raise beautiful, street smart children. Listen,” he pokes Namjoon in the chest, “you are brilliant but I was afraid someone was going to take advantage of you. Especially in fucking, LA. I couldn’t sleep at least three nights after you told us you had a boyfriend, my god.”
“Jin,” Namjoon says quietly.
“No, listen,” Jin says. “After you told us more about him, I felt better but then when you told me you moved in together--”
“When you found out we moved in together,” Namjoon corrects.
“--when I found out you moved in together, I had that anxiety all over again.”
Namjoon turns around to lean next to him. “That’s why you pushed so hard for me to bring him home.”
“That’s why I pushed so hard,” Jin agrees. “That and the fact it’s been two and a half years and none of us had met him.”
“I’m sorry, Jin,” he says. “I’m sorry for keeping so much from you guys.”
“No, I get it. I really do. I know who you are, Joon, and I know you need to treat things like this very carefully, and it’s okay. I just worry about you.” Jin sighs. “I love you.”
Namjoon cracks a smile. “I love you too. Thank you for watching out for me. You don’t have anything to worry about this time.”
“Yeah.” Jin smiles. “I know. You can tell. He’s very good.”
“He sure is. I know this is tmi, but my contact name for him is ‘the best boy’.”
“Oh, yuck,” Jin exclaims. “I want to make fun of you but I’m not feeling quite myself.”
“Oh, are you coming down with something?”
“Yes, I feel weak. If I faint, will you catch me?”
“Oh no, I can’t,” Namjoon says. “You should wait until my big strong boyfriend comes back.”
“What about your big strong boyfriend?” comes Jeongguk’s voice as he rounds the corner into the kitchen.
“Ooh, hello,” Namjoon says. “Has anyone ever told you you’re pretty?”
Jeongguk flushes. “Mm, a few times, but never anyone as handsome as you.” He comes close enough for Namjoon to grab his hands.
“Good to know. Will you catch Jin when he faints?”
“Oh, sure,” Jeongguk says. “You’ll need to let go of me, though.”
“No, Jin will just have to wait to faint.”
“Oh, I feel so lightheaded,” Jin says in a high, affected voice. He pretends to waver on his feet.
“Why don’t you go lie down, then? I’m going to kiss Jeongguk.”
“Shh,” Jeongguk says, putting a hand over Namjoon’s mouth before he can move in. “Later.”
Jin laughs. “God, you’re cute. Dry that saucepan so we can make hot chocolate.”
Jeongguk obeys quickly, looking like he’s gone through the motions of this before as he pours milk into the pan and puts it on the heat. When the hot chocolate is ready, Jin sends Jeongguk to the living room with cups for Hoseok and Yoongi. “Good boy,” he says when Jeongguk comes back to get some for Jimin and Taehyung, too. “Okay, now you two go change into pajamas.”
The Christmas Eve tradition is to watch White Christmas with hot chocolate and a fire going. This year Jimin and Taehyung are curled up together on the love seat and Jin, Yoongi, and Hoseok are on the couch, so Namjoon steals all the throw pillows out from under them, sets them up against the couch, and wraps himself and Jeongguk up in the same blanket. He fights his smile of pleased surprise when Jeongguk snuggles into him, nudging Namjoon’s arm around himself and leaning his head on him.
Jeongguk loves this movie, Namjoon knows; the past two years, he’s seen it twice per Christmas, once with Jeongguk and once at home with his friends. He sings along from the beginning, quietly enough that only Namjoon can hear him. “Sisters, sisters, there were never such devoted sisters.”
Namjoon giggles at the breathy singing in his ear.
“When a certain gentleman arrived from Rome, she wore the dress, and I stayed home.”
“Wish I could see you in one of those outfits,” Namjoon mutters.
“Shut up,” Jeongguk laughs and pinches his side.
Namjoon’s favorite part of the movie now is the scene where the characters sing “the Best Things Happen When You’re Dancing” because Jeongguk always pulls him off the couch and dances with him. It’s sweet and wonderful even though Namjoon has no idea how to partner dance, and it definitely won’t be happening this year, which is okay. For now, it’s enough to hear him sing along to it softly.
After the movie finishes, Jimin and Taehyung announce rather loudly that they are going to take a shower, Yoongi and Jin go to bed, and Hoseok goes to do some last minute gift wrapping. It’s a little too serendipitous to believe they aren’t intentionally giving Jeongguk and Namjoon the rest of the evening alone.
“That was nice,” Jeongguk says, running his hand up and down Namjoon’s stomach.
“Yeah, I thought so. Do you want to sit on the couch now?”
Jeongguk considers. “I don’t really want to move, but yeah. My butt is asleep.”
“Yeah, let’s go.” Namjoon pulls Jeongguk up and plops down on the couch. Jeongguk lies on his side and rests his head in Namjoon’s lap.
“Hey,” he says. “I really missed you. I know I’ve said this before, but I’m really glad we live together.”
“So am I, baby,” Namjoon says, running his fingers through Jeongguk’s hair. “I missed you, too. How was your visit with your family?”
“Really good. They had a lot of questions about you. I wish you could’ve come with me.”
“I’m sorry I couldn’t, I like your family.”
“Yeah, they like you too.” Jeongguk strokes his thigh. “I was pretty nervous about how my mom and dad would react to us moving in together. I mean, like, in person. They were fine on the phone, but.”
“You know,” Jeongguk repeats. “But they were so great about it. They’re happy. I think they’re just happy that I’m happy. And safe. And with you, cause you’re the best.”
“You’re precious.” Namjoon rubs his sides. “Come up here.”
Jeongguk sits up and takes Namjoon’s face in his hands and kisses him. “Love you,” he says and kisses at his neck and jaw.
“Love you too.” He puts his arm around Jeongguk, who reaches around his waist. “Sing me something.”
There’s quiet for a second, and then Jeongguk starts to sing, “I’ll be home for Christmas, you can plan on me.”
Namjoon smacks him in the chest. “You brat! You said you’d forgive me.”
Jeongguk giggles. “With a good kiss, I said.”
“Wow, I’ve given you so many kisses. Are you saying they were all bad?”
Jeongguk shrugs with a challenging raise of his eyebrows. “You can give quantity over quality a shot if you want.”
So several minutes later finds Namjoon pressing kiss after kiss to Jeongguk’s lips and neck and collarbones. When he slides his hands up his shirt, Jeongguk squeals and pulls away. “Cold, cold cold,” he gasps.
“Sorry,” Namjoon laughs. “Do you want to go upstairs?”
“Mhm. I’m kind of sleepy.”
“Oh, hm,” Namjoon says. “I was hoping you might be up for a shower.”
Jeongguk presses his lips together and darts his eyes to the side. “And why’s that?”
“I want to touch you.”
“You are touching me.”
Namjoon grazes his teeth over the shell of Jeongguk’s ear. “I want to make you feel good, baby.”
Jeongguk’s breath hitches. “Shower sounds fine. Let’s go upstairs.”
“Wait, there’s one more thing I want to do.” Namjoon stands up and starts to search through his Spotify account. When he finds the song he’s looking for, he holds a hand out to Jeongguk.
“Oh,” says Jeongguk when Namjoon holds onto his hand, “what’s this?”
He hits play.
“Oh, you sap,” Jeongguk laughs when the music starts. He rubs his nose against Namjoon’s and takes him by the waist.
“Well, who am I to mess with tradition?” Namjoon asks as the song plays and they start to dance.
Jeongguk sings along a little louder now that they’re alone. “The best things happen when your dancing. Things you would not do at home come naturally on the floor.”
Namjoon laughs. “Too bad cute Christmas things are all about straight couples.”
“You’re telling me,” Jeongguk huffs. “I think our combined gay power does pretty well during the holidays, though.”
“Oh, for sure,” Namjoon agrees. “How soon do you think we’re going to be done with all this gross stuff?”
“Yikes, I don’t know. Ten days apart and I don’t want to take my hands off you and I keep having this really weird impulse to remind you how I feel about you.”
“Yeah, me too. Maybe it’s just being here.”
Jeongguk watches his face. The song changes to “Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep.” “Maybe it’s not.”
Namjoon raises his eyebrows. “Oh?” His heart skips a beat as he things maybe the conversation is going to happen.
Jeongguk kisses him. “Oh.” He looks at Namjoon for a long moment, then squeezes his hand. “Now take me upstairs.”
They shower until the water goes cold, pressed together and kissing under the spray. Namjoon fingers Jeongguk with lube from the travel-sized tube he pulled out of his suitcase and handed over with a cheeky smile. Jeongguk gets all sweet and melty after he comes, leaning against the shower wall so Namjoon can fuck his thighs, holding him steady around his wet waist.
Jeongguk shivers from the combination of cool water and cool air when they get out, and he pliantly lets Namjoon towel dry his hair. They fall asleep all cozied up in the rather impractical full-sized bed in Namjoon’s old bedroom.
Namjoon wakes up early early in the morning. The sun isn’t up. He’s not sure why he’s awake until he sees that Jeongguk is lying on his back, eyes open, looking at the ceiling.
“Hey,” Jeongguk says quietly when Namjoon rolls over to look at him. “I didn’t wake you up, did I?”
“I don’t think so,” Namjoon says. “Why are you awake? What time is it?”
“It’s like, six-fifteen, I think.” Jeongguk reaches for his hand. He laces their fingers together.
Namjoon moves closer and leans his forehead on Jeongguk’s shoulder. He shuts his eyes, thinking he will probably go back to sleep. He thinks Jeongguk is going to, too, until he squeezes his hand and says,
“Hey. I want to say something.”
Namjoon opens his eyes. “Okay.”
“Um.” Namjoon pulls back enough to see Jeongguk lick his lips. “Merry Christmas.”
Namjoon huffs. “Merry Christmas.” He kisses Jeongguk’s cheek. “What’s the thing you want to say?”
Jeongguk closes his eyes like he’s gathering himself. He takes in a deep breath. “I love you,” he says. “I think I love you more than I ever imagined I would love someone.”
“Baby,” Namjoon says softly. “I love you too.” He feels his pulse pick up. He thinks this is it. He thought he was going to be the one to make this conversation, but it’s going to be Jeongguk.
"I didn't know how to be known before you," Jeongguk says. Namjoon's heart twists. He sort of knew this already; sort of got the idea, as their relationship began, that the people Jeongguk dated in college never figured out how to know him, that Jeongguk never figured out how to let people know him. “Next Christmas I don’t want to be your boyfriend.”
Namjoon squeezes his hand and shuts his eyes tight.
“I could settle for fiance,” Jeongguk continues as if Namjoon’s heart is still beating properly.
“Settle,” Namjoon repeats.
“It would be settling, if we were engaged a year from now, just to be clear. I want to--I want--” Jeongguk turns abruptly on his side and leans in to bury his face in Namjoon’s chest. “I want to be your husband,” he says so low and quiet, muffled against his shirt, but still clear.
Namjoon tangles his fingers in Jeongguk’s hair. “You really do?” he asks, sounding a hundred times more breathless than he can stand.
“I really do.” Jeongguk’s eyes are wide open and vulnerable and earnest. “I want to be your husband tomorrow. But I can settle with just hearing you feel the same.” Uncertainty sparkles in his eyes.
“I feel the same,” Namjoon says quickly. “I feel so the same.” He kisses Jeongguk, even though they both have morning breath. He puts his hand on Jeongguk’s neck, fingers in his hair. “I want to be your husband too. I want to be your husband. I want you to be my husband. I want us to be married.” He doesn’t realize he’s crying until Jeongguk reaches out and swipes at a tear with his thumb.
“God,” Jeongguk says. Tears are pooling in his eyes, too. “I can’t believe this conversation was that easy to have.”
Namjoon laughs wetly. “I was just thinking. This next year had to be it.”
Jeongguk pulls him close and presses their foreheads together. “Just to be clear,” he says, “This is not the real proposal. I’m going to do that with a ring. Not at the ass crack of dawn. Maybe in a suit.”
“That’s so romantic. You’re going to do it, huh? What’ll you do if I beat you?”
“Don’t beat me,” Jeongguk says. The look on his face is honest. “I mean. Please.”
Namjoon studies him. He realizes he wants that, too. He likes the idea of being proposed to. “I won’t. But now I’m going to be suspicious all the time. Every time we go out I’m going to be like, ‘is this it?’”
“Good,” Jeongguk laughs. “I want you on your toes.” He kisses Namjoon.
Namjoon feels like there’s something fizzy in his chest. He’s warm and tingly and a little squirmy, like his body can’t quite contain his happiness. “This is exciting as fuck,” he says.
“Yeah,” Jeongguk agrees. His eyes slide shut in content. He winds his limbs around Namjoon as much as he possibly can.
They both doze on and off until, around seven-thirty, Jimin, Taehyung, and Hoseok begin singing a strange medley of Jingle Bell Rock and Santa Baby at top volume in the hall. Jeongguk’s mouth curves into a smile before he even opens his eyes.
Namjoon can hardly believe this Christmas. The boy in his bed wants to be his husband, and his family is waiting downstairs.
“We better go down,” Jeongguk murmurs. “I told Jin I would make waffles.”
They sit up. Namjoon kneels up on the bed. He runs his fingers through Jeongguk’s bedhead with a fond little smile on his face. “Merry Christmas,” he says, punctuated with a kiss.
Jeongguk smiles. His eyes are still puffy from sleep, but they’re shining. “Merry Christmas.”