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say you love me, love me, love me (that's what i want for christmas)

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“appa!”

 

yoongi groans, not quite ready to open his eyes. although his daughter, if the insistent hand trying to shake him awake is anything to go by, has different ideas.

 

“wake up, appa! it’s christmas today!” soyeon bounces up and down on the bed as he grumbles and tries to bury himself (rather unsuccessfully) under the covers, which are ripped away from him far too quickly.

 

“i want to open my present,” she sing-songs, and yoongi groans again because how does someone so small have so much energy at such a god forsaken time?

 

“too early,” he mumbles.

 

seokjin leans down and lightly kisses yoongi’s cheek, already up. “it’s 10 o’clock yoon, we have a little over an hour before jungkook gets here. get soyeon dressed while i make breakfast?”

 

yoongi unwillingly opens his eyes, “coffee?”

 

his husband grins, “of course.”

 

yoongi sighs and sits up, rubbing his eyes, “the things i do for you.”

 

“you love me.”

 

he pouts as seokjin laughs and presses a chaste kiss to his lips, winking at their daughter as he leaves the room.

 

“can i wear the blue dress?” she pleads as soon as yoongi is out of bed, “i want to look pretty for kookie oppa.”

 

“the one with birds on it?”

 

she nods eagerly and yoongi can’t help but smile at her enthusiasm. “of course you can.”

 

yoongi finds the dress easily; it’s the first thing they had bought her when they adopted her almost two years ago. coincidentally, it’s also soyeon’s favourite.

 

he helps her pull her shirt over her head and take off her leggings with practised ease. he unzips the dress and kneels, dress on the floor as his daughter delicately steps into it, holding tightly onto his shoulders as he pulls it up.

 

“turn around, princess,” he reminds tenderly, zipping up the dress and pressing a kiss to the back of her head.

 

“all done. can you braid your hair and brush your teeth by yourself while appa gets ready?"

 

"of course!” she answers, indignant, “i’m not a baby, appa. i can take care of myself.”

 

yoongi chuckles, “alright."

 

he goes into seokjin and his shared walk-in closet and quickly decides on his striped button up and dress pants, grabbing his black coat as he walks out.

 

“soyeon?” he asks as he sits down.

 

“in the toilet,” seokjin presses a cup of hot coffee into yoongi's hands, “drink.”

 

yoongi leans back into his seat as he drinks, eyes closed.

 

“oh i already feel so much better.”

 

“don't eat too much, the restaurant we're going to for lunch is expensive.”

 

“yes sir.” yoongi gives him a two finger salute and promptly begins to dig in.

 

seokjin rolls his eyes and goes back to his breakfast, a warm smile playing on his lips.

 

“i think kook’s back to playing overwatch. i can hear his damn war cries from here,” yoongi gulps down his second cup of coffee, “honestly how does seokseok deal with all that racket?”

 

“you’re delusional,” seokjin informs him when he finishes chewing, “jk lives an entire floor away. and in any case, he’s switched to the legend of the league or something.”

 

“league of legends,” soyeon helpfully supplies as she climbs into her seat.

 

“hey darlin’. he’s been ranting about how ‘op’ this person called neeko is for the past week,” seokjin huffs, “whatever that’s supposed to mean.”

 

“and don’t joonie oppa, minnie oppa and taetae oppa live next door to kookie oppa?” soyeon asks innocently as she calmly begins serving herself.

 

“she’s right, you know,” seokjin chuckles and ruffles her hair, “you don't hear them complaining about it.”

 

“that’s ‘cos they’re all too whipped for that kid.”

 

“says the guy who drove for an hour to get jungkook lamb skewers from his favourite place because he came down with a cold.”

 

“it was a bad cold," yoongi defends weakly.

 

his daughter snickers beside him and seokjin doesn’t bother hiding his laugh.

 

"this is slander,” yoongi complains, slouching into his seat.

 

seokjin ignores him and asks, “soyeon, wanna open your present now?”

 

she perks up, eyes sparkling, “yes, daddy!"

 

“alright let me go get it.”

 

soyeon excitedly glances at yoongi, “what is it? what is it?”

 

yoongi shrugs coyly, "how am i supposed to know?”

 

seokjin returns with a small gift box and places it in his daughter’s hands, "merry christmas, honey.” she looks up to meet yoongi's eyes, hesitant. almost as if she was asking for permission.

 

“go on,” yoongi urges, “open it."

 

she opens the lid slowly, eyes slowly widening when she sees what's inside. a thin silver locket with her full name engraved on it. min soyeon.

 

she takes it out and and holds it up in the light.

 

“do you like it?” seokjin asks gently.

 

“i love it," she whispers. she looks up, “can i wear it now?"

 

“of course," seokjin gestures for the necklace.

 

she holds her braids up as he stands behind her and does the clasp. his daughter looks at it, and yoongi will be damned if the entire universe isn’t shining in her eyes in that moment.

 

“i—um,  i also have a present for you.”

 

her parents exchange confused looks.

 

"wait here,” she orders as she races to her room.

 

soyeon comes back hiding a large piece of paper behind her back.

 

"merry christmas, daddy and appa," she pauses as she gives it to seokjin, “thank you for loving me.”

 

it’s a poster of sorts, at least a dozen photos stuck to it with lots of glitter and messages written all over. some by their friends, most of them by their daughter.

 

“taetae oppa and hobi oppa helped me make it,” she explains shyly, “do you— do you like it?”

 

“s-soyeon.” yoongi’s voice cracks.

 

seokjin doesn’t say anything, just kneels and opens his arms wide.

 

she rushes into them, face buried in the crook of her father's neck. he hugs her fiercely, yoongi arms wrapping around them both.

 

“we love you so so much.” yoongi holds his family a little closer, “to the moon and back.”

 

“we'll always love you, soyeon. don't forget that,” seokjin says, voice thick with tears, “always.”

 

***

 

“merry christmas, hyung!” jungkook chirps, grinning widely, enveloping yoongi in a hug that he immediately returns.

 

“merry christmas, jungkook-ah,” he lets go, squeezing the younger’s shoulder affectionately, “hyung’s in the kitchen.”

 

jungkook races into the kitchen and throws his arms around seokjin, hooking his chin over the elder's shoulder, “hyung!”

 

“and a merry christmas to you too, jk,” seokjin greets, amused.

 

“what are you cooking? can i have some?”

 

“soyeon's lunch and no. i made you your own lunchbox."

 

jungkook pouts.

 

seokjin waves his spatula at him, "be patient, brat.”

 

“oppa!"

 

jungkook turns around at the excited voice, lifting soyeon up into the air with ease and spinning her twice before drawing her close for a hug.

 

“merry christmas, soyeon! and how is my pretty princess doing?”

 

she giggles sweetly, "good, thank you.”

 

“where’s that boyfriend of yours?” yoongi asks.

 

jungkook sighs and puts soyeon down, “hoseok hyung had to go to work. one of his coworkers called in sick. unlucky bas- ket of sunshine,” he smoothly corrects at seokjin’s pointed glare.

 

“but he’ll make it in time for dinner, right?” yoongi asks, frowning.

 

“of course,” jungkook says, “hyung wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

 

“thank god.” seokjin claps his hands excitedly, “now, time for you to open your present.”

 

“what?" he whines, pouting, “i thought we agreed no presents."

 

“don't complain,” seokjin's eyes crinkling in a fond smile.

 

yoongi rolls his eyes in mock exasperation, “kids these days. so ungrateful.”

 

“but i didn’t buy anything for anyone,” jungkook protests softly.

 

“well, we happen to like spoiling you,” seokjin reaches out and pinches his cheek lightly, jungkook half-heartedly swatting the hand away, “so stop being stubborn and open the damn present. it’s the big red one under the tree.”

 

he gives in, dragging his feet towards the brightly lit christmas tree that the eight of them had spent an entire afternoon decorating.

 

jungkook finds it without much difficulty, and brings it to the couch. seokjin sits in the love seat with soyeon in his lap, yoongi content to lean against the doorway.

 

he tears at the wrapping paper slowly. when he sees what it is, jungkook freezes. biting is wobbling lip, he gently discards the rest of the wrapping paper. clutches the gift in hands like it’s the most important thing in the world. he looks up, tears in his eyes. “hyungs.”

 

their savings had taken quite a blow; with all of soyeon’s school fees, yoongi’s music equipment, the renovations to the apartment, money was already tight. but putting that smile on their best friend’s face made it all more than worth it.

 

the three of them had grown up together, or rather, yoongi and seokjin had watched jungkook blossom, guiding him as best they could through all of primary school and his first years high school, and continuing to do so as they tried to navigate college. he had been there for their awkward pining in all its glory, withstood their endless complaints about the obliviousness of the other and essentially forced them to get their heads out of their asses and actually admit that they liked each other (potentially loved, at that point, because to yoongi it feels like he’s always been in love with seokjin).

 

and they are so so proud of him, and of everything he’s accomplished.

 

yoongi smiles bashfully, “you’re starting your own photography studio soon. we thought it’d be nice for you to-“

 

“oppa?” soyeon interrupts, rushing over and cupping jungkook’s cheeks in her small hands. she panics, her words tripping over themselves, “why are you crying? don’t cry, kookie oppa. please don’t cry. soyeon will kiss it better, okay?”

 

jungkook lets out a watery laugh, “i’m completely fine, sweetie.”

 

she ignores him, eyebrows furrowing adorably in concern. “did daddy and appa give you a mean gift? they wouldn’t show me what it was cos’ they thought i would tell you.” she leans in, whispering loud enough for yoongi to hear, “don’t worry, oppa, yeonnie will fight them for you.”

 

jungkook carefully places the camera on top of the coffee table in front of him and scoops the seven year old into his arms, landing a fat kiss on her cheek. she squeals in delight, giggling loudly as he continues to pepper feather light kisses all over her face.

 

yoongi has to bite his lip to stop himself from cooing at the sight. he reaches out to grab his husband’s hand and interlace their fingers, squeezing lightly.

 

they calm down soon enough and jungkook points out, “but your daddy and appa might be too strong for you, darling.”

  

yoongi huffs at the endearment. their friends have a never-ending supply of nicknames when it comes to their daughter.

 

she crosses her arms and puffs out her chest, “don’t care. anything for kookie oppa.”

 

seokjin gasps dramatically, hand pressed to his heart, “soyeon, i thought you loved us!”

 

she glares at him, “of course i do. but you can’t be mean to kookie oppa. he bought me a pretty plushie last week.”

 

yoongi raises his eyebrows and scowls at his best friend, unimpressed.

 

the younger rubs the back of neck sheepishly, “i just happened to pass her favourite toy shop and it was on display. i thought she’d like it.”

 

seokjin cuts in, “you mean the shop that’s more than an hour away by bus?”

 

jungkook blushes, mouth firmly clamped shut. yoongi sighs. they needs new friends. “you guys are spoiling her rotten.”

 

“oh i don't mind at all,” soyeon chimes in.

 

“why would you," yoongi deadpans.

 

“now, oppa also has a present for you," jungkook says, switching his attention to soyeon.

 

“you do?" she exclaims excitedly.

 

he rummages in his backpack and pulls out a badly wrapped gift. “go to your room and open it, okay?"

 

she nods happily and skips off to her room, yelling over her shoulder, "bye daddy! bye appa!”

 

yoongi shakes his head in amusement and follows his husband and their best friend back into the kitchen.

 

"your two lunch boxes are in the fridge and you know where to find the snacks if either of you get hungry," seokjin pauses, "thank you for doing this, kook-ah. it means a lot.”

 

"i love looking after soyeon, you know that. it's no problem at all.”

 

seokjin narrows his eyes, “but if you eat anything from the top shelf in the fridge before the others get here, you are dead to me, jeon jungkook. understand?”

 

“no promises, hyung. i’m a growing boy.”

 

jungkook laughs at the indignant squawk and pushes the still glaring seokjin out of the door, “i’m kidding. i got it, hyung. enjoy your date!”

 

***

 

seokjin and yoongi have been married for more than three years, and the novelty of being able to call seokjin ‘husband’ has long since faded. yoongi is used to waking up next to the love of his life and his daughter sleeping soundly beside him, he’s used to coming home to waiting arms, doesn’t get butterflies anymore when he catches a glimpse of his wedding ring.

 

but god, yoongi is still so in love.

 

and it’s in the most unexpected moments that he’s reminded of just how deep he had fallen, moments that leave him breathless. like the giddy smile on seokjin’s face that makes his stomach do flips, no matter how much he tries to deny it, as he drags a reluctant yoongi away from the warmth of the restaurant, rambling about how much he loves snow (as if yoongi wouldn’t know after knowing seokjin for almost his entire life).

 

he’s never lost that child-like wonder, which by no means means he is naive or gullible, but rather, he is still able to see the beauty in the smallest, most mundane things.

 

yoongi loves that about him.

 

(yoongi loves a lot of things about seokjin).

 

yoongi’s always been someone who needs time away from people. a reprieve from the otherwise loud and disorganised life he leads. and yoongi loves his life, he really does; he's a rising producer with a loving family and amazing friends— but he likes being alone sometimes. savours it.

 

but, he muses, he’ll always like being alone with seokjin a little bit better.

 

they sit together on a bench in an old playground, bodies pressed together, yoongi's arm around seokjin's shoulder. watching the city skyline.

 

this particular playground is home to a lot of yoongi’s happiest memories. for over two decades it was a place of warmth and safety for him. this is the place yoongi would run to if ever got a little too hard to breathe, or if the walls of his home of his childhood home ever got too suffocating (and often he would find seokjin waiting).

 

it’s where seokjin, yoongi and jungkook first met. where yoongi worked up the courage to finally ask seokjin out on a date. where seokjin surprised yoongi on his sixteenth birthday by kissing him for the very first time. where they got married; a small wedding with only their five friends in attendance because they never had much use for fancy celebrations and long-held tradition.

 

now, the first place he runs to is seokjin’s arms, and to the home he calls his friends. but this playground will always hold a special place in his heart.

 

seokjin sighs quietly, content, and slowly lowers his head to rest on yoongi’s shoulder.

 

seokjin is taller than yoongi, so much more broad in comparison to yoongi's slim figure. but they make it work. they always do.

 

“look, yoongi. it's so beautiful.”

 

“yeah," yoongi echoes, eyes only for his husband, “so beautiful."

 

seokjin slaps yoongi on the arm playfully (as best as he can from his position), ears flushed red, “shut it.”

 

yoongi chuckles and presses a kiss to the top of seokjin's head, "love you."

 

"i actually, um, wrote you a song,” he slowly extracts himself from yoongi's hold, straightening. he presses a usb into yoongi’s palm, suddenly shy, “listen to it when you get home.”

 

yoongi is speechless and settles on the first thing his mind jumps to, “how did you record?”

 

“joon and hoseok-ah helped me in their studio. jungkook-ah dragged you out for lamb skewers just in case.”

 

he stares at the usb, tears in his eyes.

 

“i love you so much, yoongi. so this is my way of saying thank you."

 

yoongi takes seokjin's hand in his and squeezes it, ”i love you too."

 

he's not really paying attention as seokjin leans down to get something, his water bottle probably. and in hindsight, yoongi really should've seen it coming— by now, it's almost as if it’s a christmas ritual. but he still splutters when a hastily crafted snowball hits him dead in the face, taking him by surprise.

 

seokjin laughs loudly, and yoongi looks up with a vaguely evil glint in his eyes. seokjin runs away, shrieking in terror as yoongi gathers as much snow as he can and chases him with it.

 

“catch me if you can," his husband shouts. but just as yoongi gets within throwing distance, seokjin trips, panicking, yoongi drops the snow and grabs his arm with both hands and pulls him up before he can fall.

 

they’re both breathing heavily, forehead to forehead. “thanks,” seokjin says.

 

“i will always be there to catch you. always.”

 

seokjin’s gaze falls to the floor, pink dusting his cheeks, “god, you’re such a sap.

 

“you love it,” yoongi teases gently.

 

“i do,” he admits, eyes soft.

 

"i'm sorry i didn’t get you christmas present, hyung,” yoongi says suddenly, eyes downcast.

 

“hey. look at me.”

 

he lifts his gaze to meet seokjin's warm, brown eyes.

 

“are you even aware of just how happy you make me, min yoongi?” he breathes, “you know i don’t need presents or showy gestures. you are the one that i get to spend my forever with. you, our dumb friends and that beautiful little girl that we’re lucky enough to call our own. and yoongi,” seokjin's eyes are damp as he whispers,that’s the best christmas present anyone could possibly give me.”

 

yoongi tilts his head, seokjin meeting him half-way in a gentle kiss.

 

when they break apart, seokjin giggles, “but kisses are pretty good too."

 

yoongi grins, falling deeper and deeper and deeper. “i think we can work with that,” he says and pulls his husband in for another kiss.

 

***

 

“how much are you willing to bet our apartment is still intact?” seokjin asks, as he pulls out the keys to their apartment.

 

“with six of the most animated people we know in the same place, not that much."

 

seokjin laughs as he throws the door open. they’re greeted with a loud, unsynchronised chorus of 'merry christmas, hyungs!’ and yoongi grins at the familiar blend of voices and laughter. he removes his coat and hangs it next to seokjin’s, taking a moment to drink it all in.

 

it's warm; a feeling that’s almost guaranteed when they're all together.

 

it’s chaotic. soyeon giggles loudly and yoongi finds he wouldn't have it any other way.

 

and, as he lets himself be pulled into his friends’ antics and shares a soft look with his husband, he thinks to himself; it’s home.