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once upon a christmas party

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"I'm gonna die alone," Jimin proclaims in a miserable voice.

He is lying on the uncomfortable hardwood floor of Seokjin and Hoseok's apartment, hands covering his eyes. His phone keeps buzzing, but he never picks it up. He can guess what the notifications are for. People must have seen Sungho's post, and now they are reaching out to Jimin to get details under the pretense of concern.  

Seokjin rolls his eyes and kicks Jimin's thigh. "No, you're not. What you are going to do is get really, really drunk with us and forget the three weeks you wasted on that loser." 

"This was my third breakup of the year AND it happened on Friday the 13th, nonetheless. I'm cursed," Jimin insists. When he came out, his aunt did say that he was tainted. Maybe she wasn't being a homophobe but clairvoyant?

Then he frowns. "Hey, isn't there like some thing that if you break a mirror, the spirits fuck with your love life? I broke a mirror in high school, do you guys think that's still in effect?" 

"You are not cursed with anything but bad luck — and bad judgment. I mean, seriously, Im Minjae? What the hell was that about?" Taehyung says. He had been hanging out with Hoseok when Seokjin and Jimin walked in with huge bags of food and decided that food was more enticing than the company of his grumpy boyfriend who was working on some melody and had forbidden Taehyung from talking, so he could focus. 

Jimin groans, covering his eyes again in embarrassment. "It was the summer, he had abs and I was bored!" he whines. Okay, so, maybe Im Minjae who had spent most of the summer stoned out of his mind hadn't been his finest moment, but that hardly warranted such a harsh call-out. 

"That doesn't explain why you dated him until September," Seokjin points out, expertly catching a fry in his mouth. 

"We weren't dating. We just hooked up a couple of times," Jimin refuses. He's not sure that whatever they did could even be considered hooking up. Minjae was all talk in the streets but tiny dick in the sheets. But he had a nice body, and he didn't care that Jimin was always working which usually killed all of Jimin's relationships. 

"You have got to stop dating these losers," Taehyung sighs. "Instead, you know what would be fun? Let us leech off of your Netflix account, and I'll give you food."

"I brought that food," Jimin points out. When he is stressed out, he buys a lot of food. To not gain too much weight from eating it, he has learned to bring the excess food to apartment 3B where it will surely disappear without a trace. 

"Yes, and you can also eat some of it if you play your cards right." Jimin throws a pillow at Taehyung, but it misses by a long shot. It lands among one of Hoseok's precious plants. Seokjin curses at them both and walks into the kitchen just in time to welcome their third roommate home. 

"Hey, Kookoo."

Jungkook squeezes his eyes closed. "Once. I called myself that once. When will you people let it go?" he complains as he dumps his heavy bookbag on the floor and skulks into the kitchen. He is never drinking absinthe again, that's for damn sure. His friends already have enough stuff to tease him about.  

"When it stops being funny. Have you eaten, Jungoo? Jiminie brought enough food for an army which works out great because we have absolutely nothing in our fridge aside from some sort of slime."

Jungkook grabs a plate and fills it with the contains of the mysterious food bags. "What's the occasion?" he asks as he digs into the food. He has been studying nonstop since noon and almost sheds a tear at the taste of delicious food in his mouth. 

Seokjin opens their fridge, hoping that by some miracle food would have magically appeared inside since the last time he checked half an hour ago. "How is it that three people live here, and yet we never have anything in the fridge? We really need to make out some sort of a chore list because this is ridiculous." 

Hoseok wanders out of his room. "I smell food."

Seokjin wags a finger at him. "No food for you, lazy. It was your turn to get the groceries. It's your fault we are all starving and have to eat all of poor Jimin's food." 

Hoseok pushes Seokjin's finger out of his face and picks up one of the bags with a whistle. "This is like a fuck ton of food. Uh, oh. Did they—?" he asks, and Seokjin nods. "Damn it. I'll go bother him with fake kisses until he laughs." 

"No, you can't go near him right now, hyung," Taehyung says as he joins them in the crowded kitchen, "You are too happily in love with me."

Hoseok rolls his eyes. "Somehow I think Jimin will manage." 

"I don't know, hyung. Jimin's in a pretty sour mood. Apparently he knew the guy Sungho was with."

"Fucking garbage, that Sungho," Hoseok mutters as he walks off into the living room. Then they hear him turn on the aegyo for Jimin. "Look here, Jiminie, hyung's gonna make you smile." 

Jungkook nods at the miserable figure curling into a ball on their floor. "What's wrong with him? He looks... less chirpy than usual." 

"Jimin's just sad, but he'll be okay. He got dumped today." 

"How?" Jungkook blurts out which makes the others laugh. It's not exactly what he meant to ask, but it's hard to wonder who would be dense enough to dump someone like Park Jimin. 

"Because his ex is a fucking idiot who fucked someone else and posted a regretful yet boastful poem about it on social media to appear 'artsy'. Because Jimin has absolutely no loser radar when it comes to dating. Like, this latest guy isn't even in the bottom of the barrel, you should have seen some of the dorks Jimin has dated... I wish someone would just zap him out of it, show him how it can be. Like, this guy cheats on him one week before they were supposed to go— Holy shit, Jungkook's a boy," Taehyung suddenly exclaims. 

Seokjin's eyes widen. "Oh, right!" he marvels in a voice that sounds a little too surprised to Jungkook's liking. 

Jungkook raises his eyebrows. "Well done, hyungs. Next week, we will go over how water is wet and the sky is blue," he patronizes. 

Seokjin throws a napkin at him. "Watch it, Kookoo. No, we just meant that you could go with him. We all have plans next weekend, but you are still free, right?"

Jungkook frowns. "Go where?" 

"There's this party Jimin's work is organizing next weekend where everyone is supposed to bring their significant others," Taehyung explains. "Everyone at Jimin's work is already on his case for being the only single left at their department and they made him promise to bring someone this year. But now that he and Sungho broke up—"

"Wait, Sungho as in Kim Sungho from Incheon? That's who dumped him?" When Taehyung nods, Jungkook lets out a low whistle. "Jimin dodged a bullet there. Kim Sungho is scum. My friend dated him on and off for a year, and it was a fucking mess. She moved away just to break the cycle of getting back together with his cheating, lying self." 

"Shit, that's why Bom left?" Hoseok wonders. When Jungkook nods, he shakes his head. "That's a shame, I really liked her. Her dog Lola got along really well with Mickey and Tannie. Lola even liked grumpy old Holly." 

"Holly hates everyone. Just like his pops," Taehyung jokes, earning snickers from the rest of the group. 

Aside from one person. 

Seokjin frowns and jumps in to defend his not officially but still definitely boyfriend, "Yoongi doesn't hate people. He's just a little closed off and introverted." 

"As his boyfriend, you would know..." Taehyung teases and expertly dodges Seokjin's flicking finger headed towards his forehead. "Watch it, hyung, not the money maker."

"Most handsome face in the world," Jungkook eagerly reminds. Taehyung is an actor, and a year ago he really hit it big — his drama was in televisions all around the world which lead to him gaining a lot of attention in the media. He was even named the most handsome man in the world that year, a title his friends never let him forget. 

Hoseok turns to Jungkook. "So, will you do it?"

"Do what?"

"Go to the party with Jimin?"

Jungkook bites his lip. "Hyung, I don't know him that well. I doubt he'd even want me there," he replies. He has lived with Seokjin and Hoseok for almost two years now, gotten adopted into their friend circle and likes all of them very much, but he and Jimin have never done anything with just the two of them. A stiff company party hardly seems like the place to start. 

"All you need to do is show up and look pretty, so those nasty people will get off Jimin's back," Taehyung promises, pinching Jungkook's cheek. 

"What's the event for?" 

"That's the best part," Seokjin replies. "Jimin's company did some ad campaign for Love! Online, and now they are holding some end of the year party to wrap up the project at Jimin's boss's huge house in the mountains. It's supposed to be really beautiful there this time of the year. More importantly, there's an open bar and cute Christmas stuff. Come on, Jungoo. You're a broke university student. If anyone, you understand the worth of open bar." 

"So, it's like some sort of a Christmas party?"

"Well, sort of," Taehyung answers hesitantly which doesn't escape Jungkook's notice. 

His eyes narrow. "What does that mean?" 

His hyungs exchange a look. "It's... a theme party."

"And the theme is...?" Jungkook presses on. 

"Uh... Merry Kissmas," Taehyung finally admits. 

Jungkook sighs and puts away his plate of food. "Hyung..." he starts, but Seokjin won't let him finish his protest. 

"It's not just for couples! On the invitation they said you could also bring a friend!" Seokjin defends. 

Jimin walks in. "Hey guys, I think I'll just go home. Sorry I bothered you," he says broodingly, his lower lip slightly jutting out. 

"No! Jiminie, I have a solution to your problem." Taehyung glances meaningfully at Jungkook who huffs in response. "Take Jungkook to the Kissmas party."

Jimin's jaw drops. "What?"

"Yeah, I know his social skills leave a lot to be desired, and he is kind of a dumbass, but he's nice enough and polite. You'd have someone with you. Besides, Jungkookie isn't too bad to look at, and he is mostly potty-trained." 

Jungkook rolls his eyes. "Gee, thanks." 

"Gee, thanks, hyung," Seokjin reminds. He glances at Jimin to see if he caught the slip-up. "Okay, so maybe the politeness thing still needs a bit of work. But the other stuff I said was true." 

Jimin looks hesitantly at Jungkook. "Did they blackmail you or something? Be honest." 

Jungkook looks into Jimin's brown eyes and bites his lip before replying, "They just mentioned you were worried that you had no one to go with and I—" Taehyung gives him a stern look, "I asked if there was anything I could do to help." 

Jimin smiles at Jungkook. "Well, thank you, that's very sweet of you to offer, but I don't want to trouble you or take away your free weekend. It's the end of the year, I'm sure you have a lot of deadlines piling up." 

Taehyung snorts. "If anything, Jungkookie needs to leave his room more often. All he does on his free time is study and play video games." 

"Correct me if I'm wrong, but are you not currently on an Overwatch bender yourself?" Jimin points out. 

"If by that you mean, am I not currently kicking Jungkook's ass in Overwatch—" 

Jungkook snorts. "In your dreams, hyung." 

 

.. 🎄 ..

 

For the next week, the residents of apartment 3B get to witness Jimin searching high and low for a date to the party. He looks more stressed than ever, and one night Jungkook hears him confess to Seokjin that everyone has been hounding him for information about the person he's finally bringing to a company party. 

The door left ajar carries Seokjin's voice well despite their low tones. "Just take Jungkook. Come on, he needs to leave the house. You'd be doing us a favor. We are kind of tired of his face already," he says which makes Jungkook rolls his eyes. With friends like these, who needs enemies? 

He hears Jimin chuckle. "Hyung, are you planning something for next weekend that requires Jungkook to not be here?" 

"Whaaat, that's crazy talk. Would I kick my loving roommates out of the apartment for selfish reasons? It's purely a coincidence that Tae is taking Hoseok to meet his grandma in Daegu on the same weekend you happened to need Jungkook with you." 

"Isn't Yoongi hyung coming back to Seoul this weekend?" Jimin asks quietly. "Maybe he is in the need of a place to stay? Maybe you told him he could stay here and maybe you are hoping to get laid while all of your roommates are out?" 

"So that's why he is so hellbent on making me go to that party," Jungkook mutters to himself. It's all coming together. His friends do meddle in his life all the time, that's nothing new, but kicking him out of his own home with Jimin, so Seokjin can have a dick date is. 

"You two really need to figure your shit out, nobody is buying this 'we are just hanging out' routine anyway," Jimin says. "Yoongi hyung comes straight here every time he is in Seoul. Face it, hyung, you're in a relationship with the scandalous rapper Agust D. Our most sought after head chef, in love with a bad boy."

"And so the lion fell in love with the lamb," Seokjin quotes,solemn, and Jimin groans. "Me being the lion, of course. Yoongz is like a cute little baby lamb. I don't why anyone is intimidated by him, he laughs at dad jokes."

"And you make dad jokes! It's meant to be," Jimin coos. 

"All jokes aside, I like hanging out with Yoongi, but it's nothing more than that. I'm just a man trying to convert him into wearing more colors than black." 

"Oh, yeah? How's that going?" 

"Last time he wore a dark gray hoodie, so I'd say we are making progress." 

"Kudos, hyung," Jimin mutters, falling silent again. This time they are quiet for long enough that Jungkook thinks they left the room. 

Then Jimin speaks up again. "Why did you have to bother Jungkook with this? It's embarrassing enough that you know I can't get a date to that Christmas party from hell. But you told Jungkook, too."

"Jungkook doesn't judge. I tell him a lot of stuff. Most of it, actually. He can keep his mouth shut, so don't worry. And I told him because he can help you, you are just too proud to accept help." 

"Too proud? Are you kidding? Today I came this close to asking my mom to fly in and go with me. I have no pride left. I just don't want to bother Jungkook," Jimin mutters. His voice is so soft that Jungkook has to move closer to the door to hear him. Okay, so eavesdropping isn't exactly nice, but is it his fault that they decided to discuss this in the living room? 

"I don't get this thing you have with him. You guys have been like tiptoeing around each other since he became our roommate. You like him, right?"

"Yeah, of course. He is really nice."

"And he likes you. He asks about you if he doesn't see you for a while. So what's with this awkward aura you guys have whenever you are together?" 

"We're not awkward," Jimin insists. "I like him a lot. It's just... we never really hang out together. I think I came on too strong when we first met, made him uncomfortable by constantly calling him cute." 

Jungkook's eyebrows jump to his hairline. Why would Jimin think that? 

"Literally everyone says that to him, he doesn't care. He has two roommates who tell him that most every day. Only time he has cared that someone called him cute was when that creepy dude with a van at the rave said it, remember? But I kind of feel like he was right to be freaked out by that." 

"I guess. But that's when he started being quiet whenever I came around."

"That's just how he is. He gets quiet and shy sometimes. I swear, he likes you. He even carried you home that one night we were out drinking until dawn."  

Jimin groans. "Ugh, don't remind me. I still can't drink tequila and that Backstreet Boys song makes me nauseous." 

"Iiiiiiii waaaaaaant it thaaaaat wayyyyy," Seokjin immediately sings, and Jimin screams. 

 

.. 🎄 ..

 

And then it's Friday, and Jimin still has no one to go with. December is the busiest month for everyone, and with only a few days notice, finding a new date is near impossible. He still hasn't told anyone at work that he doesn't have a date. To escape the questions, he has been hiding out under his desk with a laptop to get work done without the cross examination.  

He waits until most everyone else has left the office, sprints down eight flights of stairs in record time and makes it out without being seen. Some weirdo sits next to him in the bus, demanding Jimin to take his side against his imaginary friend's in an argument about a stolen ghost banana.  

Exhausted, Jimin gets off two stops too early and takes a swift right. He hates being alone when he is sad, so he uses the spare key Seokjin entrusted him with years ago to get inside his friends's apartment after texting their groupchat. Seokjin is still at work, and Hoseok cooped up at the studio, but they both assure that it's fine and that they'll hang out once they get home. 

They take longer than expected: Seokjin had last minute customers, and Hoseok is struggling with a bassline. Not even Jungkook is home, so there is nothing to distract Jimin from his thoughts. He scrolls each social media site he uses, but they just bum him out. Everyone else is out celebrating the end of the semester or enjoying the variety of fun Christmas activities living in Seoul provides. After watching the third couple giggling through their cute ice skating date at Lotte World, Jimin chucks his phone on the sofa next to him and groans. It really sucks being single around Christmas. 

He puts the radio on and chuckles tiredly when the next song is Céline Dion's undying (and depressing) classic All By Myself.

"I get it, universe," he says out loud as he lays back down on the floor. "I'm single. Okay? I GET IT. No need to rub it in."  

"Jimin?" 

Jimin's eyes fly open and lock with Jungkook's. For a moment neither one of them speaks, letting Céline Dion agonize about dying alone in the background before Jimin scrambles to his feet so quickly that he bangs his knee on the coffee table. Soothing the pain with his hand, Jimin turns off the stereo and hops on one foot to face Jungkook. 

"Sorry, hyungs said you wouldn't be home until late," he explains, embarrassed. 

Jungkook is still staring at him. "Uh, yeah, I'm early," he finally says. 

"Early from what?" 

"There was an esports tournament today. We... won," Jungkook replies and curses himself for sounding like a moron. His brain feels slow like he has just dipped his entire head in a bucket of ice water. 

"Oh. That's great, congratulations," Jimin smiles. Jungkook just nods, never one for compliments. "How come you aren't out celebrating with your team, then?" 

"Not much for partying."

"No? Even though you are mostly potty-trained and not too bad to look at?" Jimin teases. 

"Had it not been for the laws of this land, I would have slaughtered Jin hyung years ago," Jungkook grumbles which makes Jimin giggle. Then he gestures at the radio. "So, by your song choice I'd guess that you haven't found anyone to go with?"

"All of my friends are busy. What's the use of having friends if they are all either office rats like me or hard working students?" Jimin rubs his eyes and sighs. "The ladies at my work are sooo going to think I invented myself a boyfriend."

Jungkook takes a deep breath. "Hyung, I'll go with you," he promises. 

Jimin's eyes shoot up. "Really?"

Jungkook nods. "Yeah. I have nothing to do for the weekend, so don't worry about it." 

"Thank you!" Jimin exclaims. He does a weird movement like he is about hug Jungkook, but then decides against it halfway and ends up doing a strange human air wave instead. "Really, uh, thank you. That's so nice of you." 

"No problem," Jungkook says. It's for one night, right? How bad can it be? 

 

.. 🎄 ..

 

"We could drive there. The roads are pretty good and the weather cast said this weekend is going to be all sunshine, albeit cold. Jungkookie, I forget: do you have a licence?" Jimin asks the next morning.

Stressing about the party had kept him up for most of the night. He had finally given up and showed up at his friends's apartment 6 AM, but since no one was awake yet, he looked at the sun rising with 3B's neighbor Namjoon. Namjoon worked as a bartender at a near-by club; his odd hours made him great company for night owls like Jimin. 

"You don't? Hyung, you are 25," Jungkook teases. 

"Shut up!! Individual driving is bad for the planet," Jimin snaps, and it's clear that Jungkook has hit a nerve. He holds his hands up in surrender, stifling his laughter. 

"He has failed the exam four times," Taehyung announces with a mouth full of cereal. 

Jimin shoots him a glare. "Tae!!" 

"He has too much road rage," Hoseok reveals, stealing some of Taehyung's cereal once he has already eaten all of his own. 

"That's a lie. And stop freaking Jungkook out or he won't go with me." 

"Do you have your bags?" Seokjin asks. 

"Hyung, it's not an overnight trip." 

"It's not? Then why did I fill Jungkook's bag with condoms and powerbars?" Hoseok heckles. 

Jungkook chokes on his cereal which makes Seokjin guffaw. "Jesus Christ, hyung," he finally manages to wheeze out. 

"What? These kind of events are a great way to meet people. And you need to meet new people," Hoseok says. 

"I kind of doubt fucking someone at the party would make me more popular in Jimin hyung's coworkers' eyes." 

Hoseok winks. "Depends on who you fuck." 

"We could take the bus and walk for the rest of the way," Jimin plans, his eyes on the map he has opened on his phone. "I mean, there's an open bar for the entire day, and I hated this project so much that there is no way I won't drink."

"I don't have to drink, I can drive us home," Jungkook promises. 

Jimin pats his cheek. "Oh, sweet, young, innocent Jungkookie. Yes, you do. Once you meet my co-workers, you are going to want to drink your weight in free booze, too." 

Jungkook's wide eyes make Hoseok laugh. "Who's freaking him out now?"

"No, sorry, that came out wrong. They are not bad people, just unbelievably nosy. And really kind of... mean. And since you are my plus one, they will want to know all about you. Which is where the alcohol comes into the picture." 

"I'll drive. If I have to drink my weight in free booze, then we'll just take a cab home." He looks at Jimin. "Ready?"

Jimin nods. "Ready."

"Play nice, children," Hoseok yells.

"That means you, Jiminie. No stabby-stabby anyone," Taehyung reminds. Then he adds in a lower voice, "But if you absolutely have to, I have a plan for where to bury the body!" 

"Remember, the pen is mightier than the sword!" Seokjin calls out.  

Jimin flips them all off and follows Jungkook out of the apartment. 

 

.. 🎄 ..

 

It's silent in the car. Jimin fiddles with the radio, but after it only coughs and screeches in response, he gives up and focuses on the scenery passing by. It's a lovely day in December, fresh white snow glistening in the ground. The cold has driven all of the clouds away, giving space for a bright, sunny sky. 

They have just got on the highway when Jungkook speaks up, "So, should we like, come up with some sort of backstory?" 

"What?"

"I mean, they are going to ask how we met. Shouldn't we get our stories in line?" 

Jimin laughs. "It's not some police interrogation," he says. "They're not going to ask us how we met and then compare what we said..." He stops talking, frowning. "Yeah, actually, let's make something up."

"So, how did you fall in love with me?" Jungkook asks, wagging his eyebrows. 

Jimin shakes his head. "No, no, none of that. Sungho and I dated for only a few weeks, so no love confessions needed. Let's just say we met through mutual friends and started dating." 

"Hyung, do you want to shut your jerk coworkers's mouths for good or not?" Jungkook asks.  

"Well, yeah, but—"

"Then we need a better love story," Jungkook insists. 

Jimin laughs. "I'm not really good with love stories," he says. "We should just go with what is the closest to the truth, it'd be easier to remember." 

"Pick something. I'll go along with it. Just make it good."

"Okay, okay," Jimin leans his cheek against the backrest and tries to imagine a scenario where he would have fallen in love with Jungkook. They've known each other for almost two years, but his coworkers would definitely not believe that Jimin has been in a relationship for that long. "Hmm... We've been dating for six months. And... we met at a bar."

"One night stand turned into a relationship? That's not exactly Oscar-worthy, hyung. Come on, engage in your inner drama cravings," Jungkook sics him on. "Think about all the TV-series you've watched, the books you've read. Give me a love story that will make your coworkers weep." 

"Okay, I got it. We were lovers three years ago, but tragically you were in a car crash, had an amnesia and forgot about me until now. We've only just been reunited." 

"I like it, but I have only basic understanding of medical stuff, so if someone there is a doctor, they could blow our cover right away." 

Jimin nods. "Fair enough. Okay, here's a tear-jerker: you had cancer and I healed you with my love."

"Better, but a little something more." 

"We were fighting on opposite sides of the outer space civil war, but you swore you'd find me again, so we could finally be together?" 

Jungkook's smile is as bright as the sky. "Perfect. That's the one." 

 

.. 🎄 ..

 

"Here we are," Jimin says as Jungkook climbs out of the car and joins Jimin in staring across the parking lot at the stairs that lead up to the house. 

"I don't want a parking lot for Christmas," Jungkook hums. Jimin groans, covering his ears. 

"Great, I will never be able to unhear that." 

Jungkook shakes his head disapprovingly. "Hyung, you must be like the last person in the world to hear that joke." 

They stand in front of a beautiful house hidden in the mountains. It looks the perfect place for a romantic getaway — if the people Jimin wants to escape weren't waiting for them inside. And if he wasn't travelling with his friends's roommate instead of a loving boyfriend. 

"So here we are," Jimin repeats, idly peeling off the label of the wine they brought as he stares at the house.

"Yup." 

"Wow, I really don't want to go inside," Jimin chuckles nervously. "Oh right, shit. We should have talked about this in the car, but... Before we go in, we should probably talk about your hard limits." 

Jungkook chokes on air. It's not a good day for his throat. "What?!" His mind is running million miles in a minute, jumping to conclusions. What did Taehyung say this party was for again? 

Jimin's eyes widen comically. "No, not like that!! Strictly platonic, okay dude? Breathe. I just meant like, are you okay with holding hands or hugs and pet names and stuff like that. Since I'm not... we don't... Uh, so, do you mind?" he rambles. Jungkook's heart rate starts to slow down, and he is able to think rationally again. 

"Oh. Sure, yeah. That's fine. I don't... mind."

Jimin rushes to remind him, "You don't have to, okay? I just know that they picked all kinds of dumb couple games just to fuck with me, that's why I asked. But really, it's okay, we don't have to—" 

"I can do it!" Jungkook objects. 

Jimin shakes his head. "You don't have to, I won't—" 

Jungkook steps closer to Jimin, keeping their eyes locked as he cups Jimin's face, leaning in... before smooching the tip of Jimin's nose just like Hoseok likes to do when he is trying to cheer his younger friends up. 

The thing is, Hoseok's aegyo kisses never made him feel quite like this. Jimin's neck grows hot under his collar, breath escaping him. 

"I said I can do it. 'You got me, I dream while looking at you'," Jungkook sings, now using Seokjin's signature flying kiss move.

Jimin is beet red, unable to move or say anything for a full minute. "Oh my god," he protests weakly.  

"Aww, look at you all red," Jungkook teases, pinching Jimin's cheeks, even though his own skin feels kind of funky, too.  

"Shut up," Jimin mutters, holding his cheeks to hide the blush. "You know, I miss that time when you were too shy to even look me in the eyes." 

"I don't." Jungkook is quiet for a while. Then his face brightens. "Hey, could I be older than you?"

"What?" Jimin snorts. 

"I mean, you want to bring some sort of a dream boyfriend there, right? Then I should be older than you. Just like in the dramas. We've already got the height difference down," Jungkook explains excitedly and gestures at Jimin's admittedly slightly shorter form. 

Jimin smacks his arm. "I'm not some lead in a drama. And as for the age thing, one look at your baby face, and they will know that you're still in school. But nice try." 

"I mean, I can work with the milf angle, too, if that's what you want," Jungkook teases.  

Jimin hides his face in his hands. "Oh my god. This is bound to be a disaster," he wails, but he doesn't pull his hand away when Jungkook intertwines their fingers.

"Don't say that, baby. I'll be the best boyfriend you've ever had." 

 

.. 🎄 ..

 

Jimin and Jungkook have barely made it inside the mountain house when an irritated lady sticks them with a pen and paper and demands them to guess how many ornaments there are on the giant Christmas tree standing proudly in the lobby. 

Jimin and Jungkook are in the middle of some furious counting/cheating when another woman shows up.

"Jimin-ah! You came! Chungmin was just taking bets whether you'd show up," she calls out first thing, and Jungkook does his best not to let his jaw drop at what she just said. 

Jimin pats his arm. "Okay, some of them seriously suck. That's Min Sooyeon, and we hate her," he whispers to shocked Jungkook. Then he puts up a smile for Sooyeon and says, "Well, here I am."

"Yes, you are. And you brought a present," Sooyeon says, letting her eyes wander all over Jungkook's body until Jungkook kind of feels like taking a shower. 

Jimin lets out a nervous laugh. "Ha, ha. Actually, this is my... This is Jungkook. Jungkook, meet Min Sooyeon-ssi, the head of sales." 

Jungkook shakes the woman's hand and smiles. "I'm Jimin hyung's boyfriend," he says casually, putting an arm around Jimin. Jimin tries to copy his lovely smile, but it feels more like carving a smiley face into granite. He is suddenly a butterfly nailed to the table with a spotlight hanging over him. 

Sooyeon's perfectly trimmed eyebrow shoots up. "Boyfriend? Reeeeally? We were starting to think he had imagined that," she says jokingly, but it doesn't really sound like a joke. Jimin's stomach twists at the implication. They've been at the party for maybe six minutes now, and Jimin is already forming an escape plan in his head. 

"I'm in my last year of college, so lately I haven't had as much free time to be with hyung as I would have liked," Jungkook explains, glancing lovingly at Jimin who is too busy contemplating on which escape route he should take if an opportunity arises to reciprocate. 

"College? Look at you, Jiminie, dating a younger man. You and Chaewon-ssi from marketing would have a lot to talk about. You are like our two cougars. See you around, Jungkookie," she says cheerfully and waves before walking off, leaving Jimin seething. 

"Chaewon's husband is like twenty years younger than her! How are we like?!" he wheezes. "I should have never come here. Where is that bar? I need vodka." 

Jungkook lets out a low whistle. "You weren't kidding about how horrible your coworkers are."

"Wish I was. Sooyeon-ssi is especially vicious. But they're not all bad, I'll show you. There's Youngja noona, she is kind of nice. Come on, let's go talk to her, I think Dohee-ssi wants to take you dancing," Jimin says, and sure enough, some lady is eyeing Jungkook hopefully. She is just about to stand from her chair, but slumps back down with a disappointed look on her face when she notices where they are heading. 

"Dohee-ssi and Youngja noona are not speaking at the moment, so we should be safe with her for a moment at least. Gotta love those office politics," Jimin mutters as he leads Jungkook to a pregnant woman sitting on an ottoman eating a giant cupcake. 

She stands up as they approach her and reaches out to hug Jimin. "Jimin! I'm so happy you could make it." She smiles at Jungkook. "And you brought a friend, that's great. Hi, I'm Lee Youngja."

"I'm Jeon Jungkook, Jiminie hyung's boyfriend," Jungkook repeats as he shakes her hand. 

Youngja shoots Jimin an amused look before smiling warmly at Jungkook. "Nice to meet you, Jeon Jungkook, boyfriend of Jiminie hyung." 

Blush creeps up Jungkook's collar which makes Jimin laugh. He squeezes Jungkook's hand comfortingly and explains, "Don't tease him, noona. First person he met here was Sooyeon-ssi." 

"Ah, our apologies for that. If only that witch wasn't so good at her job. We could transfer her to be someone else's problem, but no such luck," Youngja sighs. "Like, if she'd even fuck up some paperwork, but nooo, Miss Sooyeon's work is always perfect and on time." 

"Our time will come, noona," Jimin promises, and Youngja lets out another withering sigh that sounds a lot like when. "Did you bring your husband?"

"Yes, he is over there with the other husbands, very inconspicuously watching the game on someone's tablet. It's not very original. Jungkook, if you want to, you can join them. I need to talk to Jimin about something."

Jungkook glances at Jimin who nods. "I'll be right there. Get yourself a drink," he says and lets go of Jungkook's hand once he realizes that he has been clutching to it like a lifeline since they walked in. Jungkook seems to notice the same thing since he stays in place. 

"Are you sure?" he asks in a low voice, searching Jimin's eyes for some hidden panic. 

Jimin blows him a kiss. "Get me a glass of their most expensive champagne, please." 

Convinced, Jungkook leaves, and Youngja walks Jimin a little further away from the bustle of the lobby. "You two seem chummy," she says. "Sticking together like honey." 

"I did bring him to the vultures." 

"It's funny, I could have sworn that you said your boyfriend's name was Sungho," Youngja says next, her expression half amused and half curious. She knows that Jimin is full of it; he must have mentioned Sungho's name to her during one of their lunches, but it's too late to back out now. 

Jimin does his best to look innocent. "Weird. But as you heard, his name is Jungkook." 

Youngja smiles. "Might want to change the name on his place card, then," she whispers, and suddenly Jimin is on the move.

How did he forget about those stupid cards? His boss, Mr. Kwang, writes them himself. Partially to showcase his admittedly excellent calligraphy skills and partially so he can write "funny" nicknames on the cards. Jimin has been 'Park Singleton' so many years he is actually shocked to find his place card without it. Instead, this year his place card reads: 'Park that Booty on this Chair Jimin' and on the other side of the card: 'SINGLETON CHECKED THAT HE IS GOING TO BRING AN AVEC THIS YEAR SO IF HE DIDN'T, TELL HIM I SPENT A FORTUNE ON THE SUSHI THAT HE CHOSE AS THIS SUPPOSEDLY NOT FICTIONAL KIM SUNGHO'S MEAL'. 

Jimin dumps whiteout on both the back of his own card and Jungkook's that says 'HOLY SMOKES IS THIS A DATE SINGLETON BROUGHT, impatiently blowing on the cards to make them dry faster. Before Sooyeon threw him off his game, Jimin had expected to have to change his place card this year and came prepared. He writes Jungkook's name, trying (and failing) to imitate Mr. Kwang's immaculate handwriting. 

"Jimin!" Kim Chaewon calls out as she rushes over to the table. 

Jimin drops the pen he was holding, smudging ink on the white tablecloth. "Noona! I was just--"

"Cut the crap, I know what you are doing and I need you to do it for me, too. I just got word that Mr. Kwang wrote 'THAT YOUNG DUDE WHO'S BANGING CHA-CHA-CHAEWON-SSI' on my husband's card," Chaewon growls as she sorts through the cards. 

"I am pretty shit at calligraphy, though. If he takes one look at the card, he'll know," Jimin reminds. He likes calligraphy, but rarely has time to practice, so he's a little rusty. 

"I don't care, just do it. Why the fuck do these parties have to be mandatory?" Chaewon rants while Jimin works. "This isn't fair. Junghyun is only three years younger than me." 

"It's okay, noona, no one else is here. You don't need to lie," Jimin snorts.  

Chaewon huffs, but admits, "Okay, so it's not three years, but 'young dude' is a little bit reaching when the dude in question is 37 years old. And I don't look like some old broad, either, right?" 

"You are gorgeous as always, noona," Jimin replies smoothly as he finishes writing the card. "There you go, one Kim Junghyun has entered the chat." 

"You are a superstar, Park Jimin," Chaewon declares and smooches the top of Jimin's head as she rejoins the party. 

"It ain't much, but it's honest work," Jimin mutters as he hides the whiteout in a nearby plant. Until next year, sucker. 

 

.. 🎄 ..

 

"Welcome, everyone! It's the end of yet another lucrative year. You have done very well, pat yourselves in the back!" a short man in an ugly Christmas sweater proclaims, raising his drink at the audience. He is a boss of some kind, but Jungkook has already forgotten what his name was, so he just refers to him as Rudolph in his head because of the dumb reindeer sweater. 

The audience cheers, taking sips of their drinks. 

"Our friends at Love! Online, here's to a long partnership. And my people at the company, you are greatly cherished," Rudolph hollers next. 

"He is so full of it. Corporate just laid off like 50 people from legal and marketing," Jimin mutters as he appears next to Jungkook. 

Jungkook puts an arm around Jimin in pretend nonchalance to scold him. "Where were you? I had to listen to 15 jokes about golf in a row. And then some creepy old dude kept trying to pinch my cheeks and no, I don't mean the ones on my face."

"I'm sorry, baby, but your dinner was at stake," Jimin says, petting Jungkook's hair. "Hope you like sushi."

Jungkook's expression contorts from stormy to reluctantly pleased when Jimin keeps carding his fingers through his hair. "That does it, hyung. For the rest of the night, you are not leaving my sight," he still grumbles. 

"Sounds a little codependent, honey, but okay. While you were listening to golf jokes, I handled a crisis and then ran into Hyejin noona who is retiring after this year. She thinks you are too pretty to be believable as my boyfriend," Jimin laughs and boops Jungkook's nose. 

Jungkook frowns. "That's not true," he argues with a serious look on his face. "You could have anyone you wanted." 

Jimin shrugs. "I mean, it's kinda true. Lately all I've done is work and then whine at my friends about work. No wonder I'm single." 

Jungkook is about to say something, but just then Rudolph speaks up again, cutting them off. "Today is the day of love! You are all invited to spend your time with your loved ones! And your significant others, haha! Couples, work in pairs! Are there any Single Singletons? Park Jimin-ssi, perhaps?" he says and pretends to search the crowd. 

Everyone laughs, and the people next to Jimin pat his back until Jungkook pulls Jimin to stand directly in front of him. "Even your boss does that?" he murmurs into Jimin's ear.

"Oh, yeah," Jimin scoffs. "My boss loves inside jokes. Would love to be a part of one someday. That's why he is holding onto this. It's the funniest joke he has ever heard. And since I am still single, it's a joke that just keeps giving them more material." 

Jungkook wraps his arms around Jimin's shoulders who leans against him in a sudden surge of courage. "I am so happy you are here. No amount of alcohol would have been enough to suffer through this alone again," Jimin murmurs. 

"Again?" Jungkook repeats, but then Jimin's boss starts talking again. 

"Well, fear not, Park Jimin-ssi, we here at Merry Kissmas believe that Christmas miracles do happen — even for you! Ha, ha! Well, now let's talk about today's program! There is a friendly competition going on between the couples! The winner couple gets a 20'000 won gift card to Starbucks!"

There are some unenthusiastic clapping for the lousy prize, and then Rudolph announces that it's time to announce the winner of the first game, the exact amount of the ornaments on the mighty Christmas tree they saw on their way inside.

"There are 348 ornaments on that tree. And the closest guess was 348 ornaments by... Min Sooyeon!" he says and claps while Sooyeon smirks. 

"She decorated it," Jimin reveals with a roll of his eyes. "All of these little competitions are rigged, it's ridiculous." 

"Let's get to know each other a little, shall we?" Rudolph calls out. "Get into groups of four couples. Everyone, say your name and name one thing you like that starts with the same letter as your partner's name! If there is time left, tell the group how you met your beloved!" 

"Fuck this, we're leaving," Jimin mutters, and Jungkook has to forcibly hold him in place by his waist. 

"We just got here, hyung. You can do this. Besides, if we act grossly in love enough, we will repel people like the plague," he points out. 

The solemn look in Jimin's eyes brightens. "That's true. Okay, we need disgustingly cute pet names for each other. How about Muffin?" 

"God, no," Jungkook grimaces. "Let's just stick to 'babe', but repeat it after like every sentence, so no one will want to listen to us." 

"Sounds good, Muffin. Oh fuck, incoming," Jimin whispers before he puts on a smile and greets the three couples heading their way.

Jungkook immediately forgets their names upon introduction, but he smiles brightly and hopes that it's enough. 

Then it's their turn to introduce themselves. "I'm Jimin with a J, and I love... jam," Jimin says with a painful smile on his lips. Jungkook pokes him, and Jimin quickly adds, "Love feeding jam to my beautiful boyfriend whom I love so, so much." 

"Aw, babe!" Jungkook sighs happily before continuing, "I'm Jungkook with a J, and I love Jimin, my boyfriend. Have you seen how radiant his smile is? And his lips, I could just kiss him all day long. My cutie patootie, my mochi, my angel..." 

Jimin tries not to laugh and hides his face in Jungkook's shoulder as he hugs him. "I love you so much, babe." 

"I love you more, babe!" Jungkook immediately responds, placing a gentle kiss on Jimin's temple. 

"Isn't that sweet? Young love!" some older woman sighs and smiles at them while the rest of the group agrees soundly. 

"Huh?" Jimin blurts out in confusion and lets go of Jungkook. He and Jungkook exchange panicked looks as the couples close in on them, patting their shoulders and cooing.  

"You are so cute together!"

"It's so wonderful to see Jimin finally happy!" 

"Come sit with us, tell us how you met." 

"No, sit with us, we want to hear more about you!" 

"Okay, that backfired majorly," Jimin whispers. "Now they want to know more about us! What the fuck, we were so disgusting I wanted to throw us out of the window!" 

"Nothing works! I called you like three pet names in a row! Absolutely no reaction," Jungkook agonizes. 

"What does it take to make a love last? A dash of courage, a spoonful of trust and a liter of love? Who knows, but it's time for our annual Christmas Cookies Bake-Off!" Rudolph hollers suddenly. When no one claps, he reminds: "Please clap, there are lay-offs coming next year."

Suddenly everyone is roaring with excitement. 

 

.. 🎄 ..

 

"Darling, please tell me you can bake," Jungkook says, staring at the bowl of cookie dough in front of them. They were lead to a spacious kitchen and told to get cracking, bake cookies that would later be decorated and then everyone would vote for their favorite. 

"What, that's not included in the Dream Boyfriend package?" Jimin taunts, gasping dramatically when Jungkook squeezes his side as revenge.  

"Maybe in the Deluxe version, but you are stuck with me who is under strict laws not to touch Jin hyung's cooking stuff."

"Everyone is banned from that, you're not special," Jimin scoffs, carrying the cookie molds and the rolling pin to a free table. "Besides, this dough is from the box. All we need to do is decide what shapes of cookies we want and then put them in the oven." 

"I saw Yoongi hyung use one of Seokjin's spatulas once," Jungkook reveals as he brings over the dough and they start working on the cookies. 

"No way," Jimin gasps. Seokjin has been more than clear that no one is allowed to use his cooking tools.

"I swear. I came home late one night, and Yoongi hyung was just making fucking fajitas like it's no big deal at all. It was three in the morning! And the worst part was that Jin hyung was just chilling there with Yoongi's shirt on and he didn't try to beat Yoongi hyung with a bat for taking his stuff." 

"Wow. I didn't realize they were getting so serious," Jimin points out as he cuts another heart shaped cookie out of the dough. "It's obvious that they are dating, but cooking together with Kim Seokjin must be some level of engagement already. Unbelievable." 

"As one wise hokage would say, BELIEVE IT!" 

Jimin groans and flicks some flour on Jungkook. "My god, I brought a weeb to the party."

"You recognized the reference, fellow weeb." 

They cut up some more cute cookie shapes and then take turns watching the oven, so the cookies won't burn. While waiting for their cookies to bake, Jimin dumps a little salt in Sooyeon's cookie dough. When Jungkook scolds him through his laughter, Jimin points out that the cookie competition is not about taste, but the decorations. 

Then the timer goes off: their cookies are ready. 

Jungkook eats one and decides, "You are definitely husband material, hyung. I was going to marry Jin hyung for his cooking skills and money, but I don't know. I think we could be something beautiful, too." 

Jimin rolls his eyes, but he's smiling. He reaches over to taste one cookie himself, but just then Mr. Kwang appears in the kitchen and snags the cookie right before Jimin. "Leave them here to cool off. Chop, chop, it's ice skating time!"

 

.. 🎄 ..

 

Before going outside, they wash their hands. Jimin goes first and promises to pick up their outdoor clothes. Jungkook stays behind to wash off the flour Jimin smeared on his cheek, too. As he is leaving the bathroom, he hears a group of people discussing some office drama in the hallway. His feet get glued to the floor once he realizes that the scandal they are talking about is him and Jimin. 

"I wonder how he got that poor boy to go with him, he looks so out of place next to him. Jimin is nice enough, but he is kind of boring. No way he could land someone like that on his own," Sun Jisoo claims. 

"I don't know, he seems to really like our Jiminie. And they are so cute together. Did you see them bake, all giggles and flirting? It was like something from a movie," Kim Chaewon says. 

"Exactly. Real relationships are not like that. There are no movie moments in real life. Relationships take hard work and dedication, and neither of those is Jimin's forte," Sooyeon agrees. 

Jungkook's blood boils. He knows how hard Jimin works; he has seen him go through nights without sleeping just to finish some project. How can anyone who has even met Jimin claim that he is not hard-working? 

"He did some great work for this campaign, though," Song Minah points out. "I really loved his idea for the animation in the ads." 

"And he pitched the tagline and did all of the presentations," Chaewon adds. 

Sooyeon huffs, evidently not pleased with being disagreed with. "I suppose. Come on, let's go get our skates." 

 

.. 🎄 ..

 

The lake next to the house is covered in thick, shining ice. 

Jungkook is brimming with energy, excited to be ice skating for the first time that winter. He used to ice skate a lot more, but it's hard to find the time anymore. That's why he is the first one on the ice, already doing laps while the others are still looking for right-sized ice skates. 

The cold air brushes against his skin as he skates faster, reminding his muscles how it's done. 

He makes an impressive brake right in front of Jimin. "Want me to tie your laces, hyung?" he asks, spinning gracefully to sit next to Jimin. 

Jimin huffs, making a tiny cloud rise in the cold air. "I can do it!" 

"It'd be mighty cute, though," Jungkook offers as he takes off his glove and gently brushes a lock of Jimin's hair away from his eyes. If Jimin's cheeks turn red at the feeling of Jungkook's warm fingers on his skin, it's only because of the cold. 

"Yeah, right," Jimin laughs and pushes Jungkook away. He bends down, gripping the laces with his freezing fingers and starts tying. Once he is finished, he stays seated, nervously glancing at the other couples. One of them falls down just then, landing on his butt so hard that Jimin is half-expecting for the ice to crack. 

Jungkook glances at him, waiting. "Come on, let's go," he says, reaching out for Jimin's hand, but Jimin pulls away. 

"I can't skate," Jimin blurts out. Jungkook's eyebrows raise, and Jimin rushes to correct himself. "I mean, I can, I used to, but I haven't skated in years." 

"Just when I thought you couldn't get any cuter. Here, take my hands now," Jungkook offers and reaches out his hands. Jimin rolls his eyes, standing up with his hand clutching to the bench.

"I'm just a little rusty, you don't need to hold me up," he says — right before he takes his first step on the ice and nearly falls on his face. Luckily, Jungkook catches him, strong arm wrapping around his waist. 

Jimin avoids looking at Jungkook when he asks, "Please don't let go." 

He can almost hear Jungkook smiling. "I won't."

They start off a little rocky. Jimin has a death grip on Jungkook's hands; he is barely moving his feet while Jungkook skates backwards, carefully pulling Jimin along. He guides them around the lake, expertly avoiding crashing into the small crowd of people whom have chosen to join them on the ice.  

Jimin squeezes Jungkook's hands with his thick mittens. "I used to love skating, but it feels almost scary now," he mutters. 

"You'll get the hang of it again," Jungkook promises, gently coaching Jimin to glide a little longer. He is right: Jimin starts to move his feet in a distantly familiar way, muscle memory slowly bringing it all back. He soon lets go of Jungkook's other hand, skating faster and pulling him along. 

"Oh, it's like that?" Jungkook laughs when Jimin passes him, letting go of him completely. "I help you and then you leave me in the dust?"   

Jimin just giggles and calls back, "Catch me if you can!" 

Jungkook chases him around the lake, fingertips already touching Jimin's arm, but never quite catching him. Even though Jungkook plays his role admirably, Jimin knows that Jungkook is letting him get away on purpose to keep the game going longer. He likes it; Jungkook's different than from what Jimin thought. Whenever he has seen Jungkook in any kind of competive setting, be it arm-wrestling, fitting Doritos into his mouth, or playing a video game, Jungkook has chased victory relentlessly, never giving in or showing mercy even to his friends. It's kind of surprising to see that his desire to win doesn't apply to Jimin, but then again Jungkook is probably just toning it down for today to appear as the ideal couple. 

The thought makes Jimin's mood plummet, and most of the ice skating games Mr. Kwang and his team have thought of pass by in a blur. 

"You are good at ice skating," Jungkook compliments, bringing Jimin out of his thoughts. "Like Yuna Kim."

Holding onto Jungkook's hand, Jimin spins around on one foot like a ballerina. "Years of training contemporary dance, baby." 

Jungkook looks impressed. "You majored in Dance?" 

"I had a double major. One for me and one for my parents, so they'd pay for my school. I think you can guess which one of those majors had more job openings," Jimin says with a chuckle. "But it's okay, I like this job, too. Even if the boss is a tool and my coworkers kinda suck." 

"Maybe things will be different now that you brought a date to one of these parties like they always wanted you to," Jungkook offers, hopeful glint in his eyes. Jimin hates to put it out, but he doesn't want to lie, either. 

"Probably not. If anything, they will be mad at me when we break up," he admits. His coworkers have one by one all fallen for Jungkook within ten seconds of meeting him. It might have been a mistake to take someone as adorable as Jungkook to the party, Jimin belatedly realizes. 

Jungkook smiles. "I'll go with you to the next party too, then."

 

.. 🎄 ..

 

"Who can make the prettiest snowman?" Mr. Kwang calls out just as everyone has taken off their skates, preparing to go inside and defrost with a steaming mug of hot chocolate. His announcement is met with some very audible groans. Jimin's is one of them. 

"My toes are squished and bordering on numb," he complains. "I want to go inside and drink hot chocolate, not build some stupid snow piles." 

"My baby," Jungkook coos and squishes Jimin's cheeks together. "I'll build you the prettiest snowman." 

He picks up a shovel and gets to work. He gathers snow for them to build from and smiles at Jimin who insists on pouting at the cold. Jimin watches him work for a while, but it's even colder to just stand around, so he starts working on something, too. 

"Jungkook-ssi!" he calls out after a while. 

"What, hyung?" 

"Ta-daa!" Jimin yells excitedly and spreads his arms at the small figure he built. 

Jungkook frowns. "What the hell is that?"

"How dare you. I put my blood, sweat, and tears into this and that's all I get? 'What the hell is that?'" Jimin repeats in familiar Busan satoori which alone makes Jungkook grin. He walks over to Jimin, inspecting the tiny snowman more closely, but he can't still figure out what it's supposed to be.  

"Okay, fine. Please introduce your lump of snow to me."

"It's baby Yoda."

"Where?" Jungkook can't help but heckle him. Jimin curses and throws a snowball at him. It lands right on Jungkook's head, breaking nicely like an egg. 

Jungkook looks up at Jimin through his now snow-y lashes and announces, "Oh, it is on, hyung."

Jimin sprints off, struggling slightly because of the snow grabbing his ankles. He hides behind a pine and projectiles snowballs from there at Jungkook. Jungkook responds in kind, his strikes catching Jimin on his back, butt, and shoulder.   

They play around like little kids, taking cover behind trees and rocks, throwing snowballs like paper planes. Jimin knows that they should be heading inside already — the yard is almost empty. Only a few people are still working on their snowmen, and most of them are just laughing at Jimin and Jungkook's feud. But he is finally having fun and can't bring himself to stop so soon. 

Jungkook crawls over the rock Jimin is hiding behind and surprises him by dropping down on top of him, pinning him down. Jimin screams and struggles under him, but Jungkook is determined not to let him win. Jimin is just as determined; he pushes his pelvis up with all his might and Jungkook loses his balance, but he is holding onto Jimin, so they both start rolling down the small hill. They stop with Jimin on top and Jungkook guffawing so hard that Jimin can both hear and feel it. 

"You're a freaking lunatic, Jeon Jungkook. Are you trying to get us killed?" Jimin demands breathlessly, but that only makes Jungkook giggle harder. Jimin presses his arms down with his knees, his thick thighs keeping Jungkook pinned to the ground. 

"Maybe this is what I intended," Jungkook flirts shamelessly and enjoys the blush creeping up Jimin's neck that has nothing to do with the cold air. 

Jimin slips a little snow into Jungkook's neck, making him screech at the cold feeling. "Surrender," he demands.  

"No." 

Jimin flicks snow on Jungkook's face. "Surrender." 

"Never," Jungkook declares passionately. Jimin leans in closer, putting more of his weight on Jungkook and staring him down. It's not supposed to be hot, but it kinda totally still is and Jungkook feels like planting his face into the snow.  

"Okay, I surrender," he agrees easily. "You win, hyung." 

Jimin looks surprised at the sudden change in course. "You keep letting me win," he notes. 

"Do not." 

"Do too. Is it because you think I can't win on my own?" Jimin presses. 

Jungkook laughs. "Which one of us is pinned down on the ground?" he reminds, but he isn't meeting Jimin's eyes. "I just wanna go change into dry clothes, that's all." 

A shout is heard in the distance. "SINGLETON, IT'S SUPPER TIME!" 

 

.. 🎄 ..

 

Jimin and Jungkook are the last ones inside. Partially because they wanted to delay joining the others for as long as they can, but also because they are generally having a good time goofing off together. Jimin and Jungkook have never hung out alone before, but they quickly discover that their personalities match well. They have the same sense of humor, they are both from Busan, they love a little competition and they both hate the people Jimin works with. In retrospect, Jimin can't figure out why he and Jungkook didn't become best friends ages ago. 

Jimin's boss has arranged a few rooms in the second floor for people get cleaned up and changed for the dinner which is surprisingly thoughtful of him. 

"The other room is all free, love birds!" one of Jimin's colleagues chirps and points down the hall when they walk up. Jimin mutters his thanks and makes his way to the empty room with Jungkook in tow. The room is decorated with the absolute worst taste, bright orange over withering gray. If Jimin's coworkers and their endless prying hadn't already brought on a major headache, he is sure the decoration alone would have done him in. 

Jimin plops down on the bed. "Let's just stay in here. This can be our hideout."

"We could. But I'm starving and in a desperate need of a shower after that snowball fight. Hey, wanna play rock-paper-scissors for who gets to go first?" Jungkook suggests. 

"That's okay, go ahead. I have the worst luck at rock-paper-scissors." 

"Come on, it'll be fun," Jungkook coaxes, so Jimin holds up his hand, even though he already knows how it'll end. He can count on one of his unlucky hands how many times he has won rock-paper-scissors, but he can't say no to Jungkook's big brown eyes, never could. 

"Rock, paper, scissors!" Jungkook calls out, and sure enough, Jimin holds up a rock to Jungkook's paper. Jungkook walks to the shower with a victorious smirk on his face and Jimin stays put on the bed. His hair is wet and flat, definitely not his finest look, and they are supposed to be at dinner in 20 minutes, looking fresh and handsome. Jimin is suddenly glad Seokjin had them take bags with them because now he has a change of clothes for the dinner. 

He lays his clothes on the bed and goes to knock on the bathroom door. "Jungkoooooookieeee," he calls out. "My turn. If you don't come out in two minutes, I will join you." 

"How is that supposed to make me want to get out?" he hears Jungkook faintly reply. Jimin chuckles to himself and picks up his phone. There are some messages from his friends, mostly them asking if he and Jungkook are getting along and how the party is going so far. 

Then the bathroom door opens, and Jungkook steps out. "Finally, I thought you had—" Jimin starts to say until he turns to look at Jungkook and is greeted with a chest of solid muscle and tattoos. His throat feels dry all of a sudden, heartbeat picking up. There is only one thought in Jimin's mind anymore. 

Oh no, he's hot.  

"Thought I had what?" Jungkook asks as he rakes his fingers through his hair in an attempt to dry it faster. It makes tiny drops of water fall on him, slowly sliding down his skin. 

Oh nooooooo. 

"Gotta blast," Jimin says instead of answering and sprints to the bathroom. He jumps right into the shower after stripping and lets the water wash over him, cleansing his mind.  

It's been five minutes when Jungkook starts banging on the door. "Hyuuuuuuunnnngggggg!" he wails which has Jimin guffawing, the weird aura from earlier slipping away. "If you don't come out in one minute, I will join you." 

"That's mean, I gave you two minutes!" Jimin yells, but all the same cuts off the shower and starts drying off. It's then that he realizes that his clothes are on the other side of the room and that he will have to get dressed there. 

"It's only weird if you make it weird," Jimin mutters to himself. "So don't make it weird, Jimin."  

He takes a deep breath and tries to arrange his face into some sort of cool nonchalance, but then Jungkook starts counting down the seconds and Jimin knows that time is up. 

"You're too impatient, lover," he jokes as he walks out of the bathroom and makes a beeline to his clothes. Jungkook is already dressed, dark wet locks framing his handsome face. He is lying on the bed like he is about ask Jimin to paint him like one of his french girls. 

Fuck. 

"You kept me waiting too long, baby," Jungkook replies accordingly. Jimin laughs a little too loudly at that, picking up his pile of clothes and retreating behind the room divider. He quickly puts on his boxers, slacks and socks. 

Jungkook is laughing at something on his phone. Jimin walks over to him, buttoning up his dress shirt. "What's so funny?" 

"The hyungs are worried that I'm not fulfilling my boyfriendly duties correctly," Jungkook scoffs. 

"Why?" 

"Apparently your texts weren't convincing enough." 

"But I said you were on your best behavior," Jimin protests, quirking up a brow.

"That's the part they didn't believe." 

"Well, let's send them a selca, so they know we are all dandy and happy. And that I have not strangled any of my coworkers." 

"Not for the lack of trying, though," Jungkook mutters, earning a poke in his cheek. Grinning, Jungkook picks up his phone and takes a picture of them. 

"Delete that," Jimin demands when he sees that his eyes are closed and mouth strangely contorted. Jungkook shakes his head and just smirks when Jimin tries to take away his phone. He keeps snapping pictures while Jimin reaches for the phone. Admitting defeat, Jimin falls down on the bed, picking up a pillow to cover his face. 

"If you don't delete that, I'll send a picture of a hickey to hyungs and say that you gave it to me," he threatens. 

"They'd just be happy if I was getting it on," Jungkook scoffs. "Do you ever feel like hyungs are a little too invested in our love lives?" 

"Only every day. It was a relief when you came along to share the burden with me. It was nice that they finally had someone other than me to worry about. Did you know that they have never liked anyone I've dated?" Jimin reveals, and Jungkook has to pretend that it's brand new information to him.  

"Why not?"

Jimin shrugs. "I don't really know. They are really protective of me. I guess they just don't think anyone is good enough for me." 

"That must be it," Jungkook agrees, not mentioning what Seokjin had said about Jimin's exes. 

"I wonder if that's why they were so excited to hear that we were going to this thing together," Jimin says before chuckling. "Maybe they were hoping I'd fall for someone they already approve of."

Jungkook's eyes widen as an idea strikes him. "It'd such a shame if something were to happen to make them think that their ridiculous plot worked, only for that hope to be cruelly ripped away from them only moments later," he says, articulating very carefully.

"Oh yes, such a shame," Jimin agrees, lips curving up to what can only be described as the smirk of a true Slytherin. "It'd just dreadful if we sent them a photo of us bonding like they wanted us to and then broke the news that it was all a scam." 

They smirk at each other and get as creative as they can in the few minutes they have time left before dinner. They are slightly hesitant at first, just giggling at their own ideas, but once they film Jimin overly seductively unbuttoning his shirt to the tune of Careless Whisper by Wham! playing from his phone, all bets are off.

They end up sending a highly suggestive image of Jimin sitting in Jungkook's lap, kissing his neck while Jungkook smirks at the camera to the groupchat Jungkook has with his roommates. 

 

kookoo: [image3.jpg attached] 

kookoo: as u can see we are getting along just fine

kookoo: sorry wrong photo

kookoo: [image5.jpg attached]

taehyung hyung hyung: JEON JUNGKOOK YOU COME BACK HERE THIS INSTANT AND EXPLAIN YOURSELF

hoseokie: YOOOO I FUCKING CALLED IT

hoseokie: bet you are happy about those condoms now huh  

 

Jimin and Jungkook burst into boisterous laughter upon seeing Taehyung and Hoseok's responses. They laugh even harder when Jungkook's phone starts blowing up, vibrating on the night stand like it's having a seizure. 

"They bought it," Jimin giggles, smacking Jungkook's chest. Jungkook glances at him, smiling like the bunny Jimin always took him for. Jimin's laughter dies in his throat, sticking to his palate. Silence feels the room, painting the walls with tension. 

Jungkook tries to break the weird vibe, wracking his brain for something to say. Say something nice, he thinks.

"I, uh. I like your tattoo," he blurts out, instantly regretting it. Fantastic, now he probably thinks you're some kind of a creep. 

"Oh. Uh. Thanks," Jimin replies awkwardly, playing with the hem of his shirt. "Your tattoos look really nice, too." 

It's time to abandon ship, he can't salvage this conversation. "We should go," Jungkook says. 

Jimin shoots up from the bed. "Yeah, yes! Let's go!" 

 

.. 🎄 ..

 

The dinner is a blast. The food is good and the wine gives a good excuse for the insistent light blush on Jimin's cheeks. 

He tries not to think about it, but his earlier thought keeps coming back like a boomerang. Jungkook is hot. Like, weak in the knees, panties-dropping all the way to China kind of hot. How did Jimin not realize it before?

Of course, on some distant level he has always recognized that Jungkook is, you know, nice to look at, but it was never like this. He just thought Jungkook was unbearably cute. It has never felt like this before, never strong enough to make him lose his composure. Because Jimin knows what this is. He's felt the butterflies before. This is a goddamn Crush. He has a Crush.

On Jungkook.

Jungkook who is Seokjin and Hoseok's roommate. Jungkook who wears hoodies three sizes too big for him and makes sweaterpaws when he gets nervous. Jungkook who watches anime on his phone and falls asleep on the kitchen table while eating cereal at 4:30 in the morning. Jungkook. 

And then suddenly Jungkook is all up in his personal space, face hovering right next to Jimin's. His cheek brushes against Jimin's hair when he reaches over to whisper in Jimin's ear, "Are you okay? You've been zoning out more than usual."

Jimin's skin is on fire where Jungkook touched him; all he can think about is when did Jungkook get so hot and why no one told Jimin; and he has not heard a word of the story the person next to him has been telling him for the past five minutes. 

But sure, Jimin's just peachy. 

"It's just the wine, it's got me thinking about stuff. I'm trying to figure out if cereal really is soup," he claims.

Jungkook looks disturbed, to say the least. "What?? Who said it was soup?!" he snaps. 

"Namjoon hyung. I can't stop thinking about it. In a way--"

"No. No. No, no. No," Jungkook mutters desperately while Jimin snickers. "It's not soup, stop making me think about this."

Jimin leans in closer. "Why are waiters called waiters? Aren't the people waiting for their food the waiters?" 

"Park Jimin-ssi, I swear to God." 

"Bowl hair cut is like having bangs on every side of your head." 

Jungkook groans. "Stop." 

"Do you think the cars in the movie Cars have life insurance or car insurance?" 

"I'm warning you." 

"Stop whispering, you two. What's so funny?" Minah asks, leaning towards them. 

"I told Jungkook what we are doing once we get home," Jimin replies casually which makes the people around them snicker while Jungkook chokes on his wine.

"Jimin," he wheezes out, and once he notices his slip-up, he quickly adds, "hyung." 

"You tease him too much, Jiminie," Minah chuckles. 

"I apologize. I suppose we should call it a night, so I don't have to tease anymore," Jimin suggests slyly. 

"Nonsense! There is so much more fun things to do!" 

"So close," Jimin mutters. He leans on Jungkook and whispers, "If anyone starts singing, I'm faking a heart attack." 

"Baby."

"This is not really the time for pet names, Jungkook."

"I'm insulting you. You're being a baby. If you fake a heart attack, I will rat you out," Jungkook threatens. Jimin flicks a pea at him, but he misses and it lands in Hyejin's bun instead. They both have to hold in giggles for the rest of the dinner which proves to be very difficult. Every time Hyejin speaks (and she speaks a lot), she moves her head, making the pea bounce around. 

"We're so going to hell," Jungkook mutters. 

"Not like we weren't already heading there, bud." 

 

.. 🎄 ..

 

After dinner the cookies have cooled off enough to be decorated. There is not enough space in the kitchen for everyone, so they are split to two groups: cookie decorating and playing board games in the common room. Jimin and Jungkook choose to decorate first. They write their initials inside the cookie hearts and then go nuts with the sprinkles and the icing. 

Wooshik from legal leans over their table when Jungkook goes to get more decorating stuff for their cookies. "Your date is hot as fuck. I'd let him choke me with those thighs. Where'd you meet him, Park?" 

"Through mutual friends." 

Wooshik scoffs. "No, really. Where'd you meet him?" 

"Really. Through mutual friends," Jimin repeats, glaring at the stupid tiny candies to just settle down exactly the way he wants them to, so he can escape this uncomfortable conversation. 

"Come on, just tell me how much it was," Wooshik tempts, but Jimin's phone's loud buzzing cuts him off. 

"Excuse me," Jimin says, eagerly picking up his phone. It's a mistake: Sungho has posted another poem where he reflects his need to cheat on the people he "loves". 

"Jimin, you've gained some weight," Hyejin scolds when Jimin pushes past her to get out of the bustle of the kitchen. "Can't even walk past other people without bumping into them."  

Jimin doesn't reply, his sole goal is getting the hell out of the kitchen. He steals a glass of whiskey from a waiter walking by and sneaks into the sun room. During winter, the room is cold and dark which is why no one else would accidentally wander in. It's perfect for a person who just wants to disappear for a moment. 

Jimin sits down on one of the benches, taking a deep breath. It's all just a little too much in so little time. He has already been on the edge all day long, but now with Wooshik implying that Jimin's not good enough to be dating Jungkook, Hyejin's comment about his weight and as a cherry on top, Sungho's moronic posts, Jimin has had enough. It's all bringing back echos of past problems. 

There's the sound of hurried footsteps and a gentle, "Jimin-ssi?"

"It's fine, go back to the party," Jimin calls out over his shoulder. To him, his voice reveals nothing of the storm inside his mind, but something must have slipped through since Jungkook isn't convinced.

"What's wrong?" he asks. 

"Nothing. I just need a minute," Jimin sighs, blowing out warm air just to watch it disappear into the cold. 

"Do you want to be alone?"

"I want to be anywhere but here," Jimin states bitterly. 

"Did something happen?" Jungkook asks, hesitantly walking over to him.

Jimin laughs. It's not a happy sound. 

"What happened is that I hate these parties. I hate that my boss makes attending them mandatory, I hate that Sooyeon-ssi wants to pick apart my love life, I hate that I ever dated Kim Sungho, I hate that I brought you here because they love you. I realize now that once you are not here at the next party, they are going to tell me what an idiot I am for letting you walk out of my life. Maybe that'll be the next tradition. They'll ask about you and blame me for yet another breakup." 

Jungkook sits down next to Jimin. "Guess I'll just have to go with you to the next party, too. Keep them jealous of your boyfriend," he says softly. 

"Don't tempt me," Jimin sighs, taking a sip of his drink. He leans his head on Jungkook's shoulder. "Everything is better when you're here." 

They stay like that until there's a loud voice in the hallway that makes them stand up, ready to find hiding places. 

"I'll go check on them! I'd hate for Jiminie to miss out on the conga line, he loves that!" a voice proclaims.

"Someone's coming. Quickly, put a hand on my ass," Jimin says, gesturing for Jungkook to get a move on. 

"What?!" Jungkook whisper-shouts. Jimin makes an impatient noise, grabs Jungkook's hand and places it on his ass.

The door opens just as Jimin has arranged his face to exude embarrassment. "Noona! Uh, we were just..." he starts to explain. 

Dohee winks at him. "Gotcha, take your time," she says and then proceeds to holler, "They're not here, let's check the second floor!" 

The door closes again, leaving them in the silent darkness once again. "Jungkook?" Jimin whispers, his lips only inches away from Jungkook's. 

"Yeah?" Jungkook breathes out. 

"Your hand is still on my ass." 

Jungkook quickly pulls his hand away, avoiding Jimin's eyes. "Oh, sorry."

 

.. 🎄 .. 

 

They rejoin the party just in time to witness Christmas Carol Pictionary where you have to guess which Christmas carol is being drawn and sing it once you know. 

"It's heart attack time," Jimin mutters. "If we leave right now, we might make it out alive and undetected."

"No way, I've been waiting for this all day. I want to hear you sing," Jungkook argues and pushes Jimin towards the game room.

"Is this payback from that time I didn't cover you in Overwatch? I told you I didn't even see you! Besides, Tae taught me all the wrong commands, so he'd win," Jimin asks, dragging his feet. 

"No, I just wanna hear you sing. Tae hyung said you have a pretty voice. Jin hyung said you two go to noraebang all the time, apparently without ever inviting me. Ouch, by the way. Yoongi hyung said he likes your voice. Hoseok hyung said that you sing to him when he is stressed and can't sleep. Namjoon hyung says you sing while you teach him to dance. Basically, everyone else has heard you sing but me. Why is that, Park Jimin-ssi?" 

"Because you sing better than I do," Jimin admits. "I don't want to embarrass myself. Also, when Jin hyung and I go to noraebang, it's usually because we are stressed and want to sing extremely badly."

"I can sing extremely badly, too."

"No, you can't, you have a wonderful voice. You could be screeching the national anthem and it would still sound beautiful."

"Careful now, Jimin-ssi, that almost sounded like a compliment," Jungkook says cheerfully as he pulls Jimin towards the giant couch, signing them up for a round of Christmas Carol Pictionary. Jimin pouts at him which of course has Jungkook in the hysterics, pinching his cheeks and cooing about how cute he is. 

"Okay, baby, you're up," Jimin teases once it's their turn, but quickly remembers how their inside joke sounds to others when the office ladies start cooing. 

Jungkook winks and shows him three fingers before planting one dot on the board. Jimin starts laughing and exclaims, "Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!" 

Jungkook nods, looking very smug. Then he starts drawing another one and Jimin guesses it almost just as quickly. When the timer goes off, Jungkook and Jimin have gathered double as much as points as the couple behind them. 

"How on Earth did you guess all of them so quickly?" Chaewon marvels. 

"Uh, couple's telepathy, I guess," Jimin mumbles awkwardly rather than admitting that he and his lame friends play Pictionary rather often. After guessing songs from Seokjin's chicken scratch drawings, Jungkook's artful creations are not much of a challenge anymore. 

"You are me, I am you," Jungkook sings and presses their index fingers together which makes the ladies all sigh with aww. Jimin's turn of guessing goes just as smoothly. Once the next couple starts playing, Jimin excuses himself to get a refill for both him and Jungkook. 

When he returns, Wooshik has sat down next to Jungkook, without a doubt to flirt with him. His date sits on the other side of Jungkook, effectively taking Jimin's seat while he stares at Wooshik hitting on Jungkook. Jimin hesitates for a moment, placing their drinks on the table. Wooshik clearly knows that Jimin is back, but he keeps talking.

Jimin decides to throw caution to the wind and sits on Jungkook's lap. He hears Jungkook laugh quietly and wrap his arms around Jimin's waist. 

"Hi, baby," Jungkook mutters into Jimin's neck, his hot breath making Jimin a little dizzy. Wooshik quickly leaves, his date following in tow. 

"What did he want?" Jimin asks. 

"Asked if I'm into threesomes."

Jimin turns around to face Jungkook and snaps, "What?" 

"Don't worry, I told him no deal if it's not a foursome. No man left behind," Jungkook jokes and Jimin groans. "I'm kidding. He asked where we met." 

"What did you tell him?"

"Through mutual friends, like you said. Soulless choice, my friend. I could have been your intergalactic lover/enemy," Jungkook points out. "Such wasted opportunities..." 

"Shut up and dance with me," Jimin says, standing up and pulling Jungkook with him. 

"I'm not a good dancer."

"Liar."

"Fine. I'm a good dancer who doesn't know how to waltz," Jungkook admits. 

"It's really easy. Come on, I'll teach you," Jimin says and pulls Jimin to the next room over where a band is playing a jazz-y version of White Christmas. 

"Okay, so place your left hand on my shoulder and— Hey, I said left hand on my shoulder. You are dancing the woman part," Jimin corrects. 

"Gender is just a label society agrees upon. Also, I can dance the lady part even less, so I'm dancing the man part and you can't stop me," Jungkook says as he determinatedly places his right hand back on Jimin's waist. 

"You're the worst, but whatever. Anyway, the key to waltz is counting to three. It's like you are dancing in a box and you need to move one round before the count of three is over."  

"Oh look, a mistletoe!" Dohee suddenly fusses, and sure enough, there is a mistletoe hanging over Jimin and Jungkook, although Jimin could have sworn there hadn't been one five minutes ago. 

Jimin rolls his eyes, and Jungkook laughs softly. "They are very determined." 

"We don't have to..." 

"Hyung?"

Jimin feels himself slipping under a spell. "Yes?" 

"Can I kiss you?" Jungkook whispers. 

"Yes," Jimin whispers back, suddenly breathless. Jungkook leans in, and Jimin holds his breath in anticipation. His eyes are lidded, he can't decide whether he wants to see it happen or simply lose himself in the moment. 

When their lips meet, Jimin half-expects some alarm to go off, something to reflect the funny feeling in his stomach. This is Jungkook he is kissing! What the hell is happening? He expects for the kiss to feel weird, kissing a friend, but all that he can think about is how soft Jungkook's lips are. Butterflies are dancing salsa in Jimin's stomach, fluttering everywhere. Warmth courses through his veins, leaving Jimin lightheaded when they finally pull apart. 

"Wanna leave this party?" Jimin asks. 

There is no hesitation in Jungkook's voice. "Yes."

 

.. 🎄 ..

 

The party is finally winding down. Jimin and Jungkook get their coats and bags from upstairs. On their way down, they pass by a photo booth that has all sorts of Christmas props to take pictures with. Jimin has to physically drag Jungkook away when the other notices the antique camera used to take the pictures. 

"But hyung, that model is so rare—" 

"Yes, and I'm very sorry to part you two so quickly, but we need to get out of here before cab drivers start refusing to drive here, even if we promise to pay extra." 

"Sorry, folks," Mr. Kwang butts in. "The driveway is covered in snow and the roads are terrible. Some snowstorm is wreaking havoc in the mountains." 

Jimin and Jungkook exchange looks. Then Jimin starts hesitantly, "Let's just try to get a cab. We can walk down the mountain, so they wouldn't have to drive up here."  

"A cab? In this snowstorm? Nonsense! You can stay here, there's one room left. Come on, it'll be fun! This is like a giant sleepover with all your friends from work and the best boss ever. That's the dream, right?" Mr. Kwang cheers. Jimin's soul leaves his body. "So, your room. It's kind of in the attic, but there are no bats, so you don't have to worry! And there's a nice bed and everything." 

Jimin lets out a small whine when Mr. Kwang turns away. "This house of horrors just will not let me out of its hooks."

"He is kind of right, though. With how much it's snowing, I really doubt we'll be able to get anyone to drive up here to pick us up," Jungkook points out, worriedly glancing out of the window. The wind screams as it makes the snowflakes on their way down spin like a hurricane, turning everything white. 

"Then I'll walk if I have to," Jimin states determinedly. 

"Jimin—" Jungkook protests. 

"Jungkook," Jimin replies just as sternly. "Come on, I know you want to get the hell out of here even more than I do. Don't let some stupid snowstorm keep us from leaving." 

"But I also really like not having died. Please? It's just for the night."

Jimin huffs. "Fine. But we are leaving the moment we wake up," he gives in.  

"Deal," Jungkook agrees. They follow Mr. Kwang's directions to the second floor and Jimin is disappointed to find that the other rooms seem to be decorated in the same tasteless fashion. There is a giant stuffed eagle in the corner of the room as well as some other smaller animals that give Jimin the heebie-jeebies. It's just for one night, he reminds himself. You can do this. 

There is another problem, Jimin finds out next. "There is only one bed," Jimin notes, his pulse speeding up. "And... one duvet." He tries to joke it off. "What kind of room has two pillows and only one duvet?" 

A couple's room. 

Yup, definitely not helping. In fact, the weird atmosphere from earlier has returned by a tenfold. Well fucking done, Park Jimin. "This is single people erasure." 

"Would it kill your boss to turn up the heat a little? Geez. This place is so cold that I'm waiting for Elsa to start singing any minute now," Jungkook huffs. "I'll check if there are any extra blankets."

"Good idea." 

Jungkook rummages through the closets, but there is only cans of fake frost for the windows. "Rich people," he grumbles. "No extra blankets, but for some reason they need eight cans of fake frost." He closes the closet door with a little more force than necessary. "It's so cold that I don't even want to take off my clothes."

Jimin winks at him. "I can help with that," he says as he strips out of his dress shirt, kicks off his pants and jumps into the bed, hiding under the duvet. 

Jungkook laughs. "You're a happy drunk, hyung," he states as he takes off his clothes with a lot less vigor.

"Come closer," Jimin beckons. Jungkook dives under the cover, their gazes locking like there were constellations in the other's eyes only the could see. Jimin looks away first this time, searching for his phone. "We should probably let the hyungs out of their misery." 

"Do we have to?" Jungkook asks and Jimin's sure that he only meant it as a joke, but the words ring in his ears, creating echos of an echo until it sounds like Jungkook wants to keep the hyungs in the dark, so they can keep their little lie going a while longer. 

"Might be a little mean to... keep them false hope," Jimin says, his voice growing ever smaller, "if we are not serious." 

"And we are not serious," Jungkook says, "right?" 

"Right," Jimin agrees. 

"Right," Jungkook repeats. 

Jimin studies Jungkook's face carefully before suggesting, "What if we'll just do it tomorrow? It's really late, hyungs are probably sleeping already, so there's no point in waking them up for this." 

"Sounds reasonable to me," Jungkook nods. They look at each other before they both slowly yet surely start smiling for no apparent reason. 

"Well, nighty night, boyfriend," Jimin jokes and throws an arm around Jungkook's torso. The surprised look in Jungkook's eyes cracks him up. "Too much?"

"A little, yeah." Whispering an apology, Jimin moves away, only to have his arm placed firmly back on Jungkook's waist. "I didn't say stop." 

"Don't play with my heart like that, Jungkookie," Jimin whines. "I'm already worried about freaking you out again by being too clingy and overbearing. Last time I did that, you stopped talking to me."

Jungkook shakes his head. "I didn't freak out."

"Right," Jimin scoffs. 

"You just... you caught me off guard."

"What does that mean? Jin hyung says people call you cute all the time. But when I started doing it, you completely shut down," he reminds. Jungkook reaches over, smoothing over Jimin's frown. 

"I'll tell you a secret."

"What's that?" Jimin whispers back, giggling slightly under his breath. 

"I thought you were really cute, too." 

"The plot thickens," Jimin says which makes them both laugh. 

"I liked your voice. When you sang today," Jungkook mumbles, moments away from falling asleep. "You lied when you said that I was better." 

"Did not." 

"Did too." 

 

.. 🎄 ..

 

Jimin is slowly woken up by the cold winter sunlight creeping inside from the gaps in the ugly curtains. He opens his eyes, heart beating with uncertainty. What happens now that the ruse is over? In the light of day, he has a hard time believing how boldly he acted the night before.

Jimin's still holding onto Jungkook, his head leaning against Jungkook's upper back and his arm around him. Jungkook is sound asleep, steady breaths making his chest rise and fall. Jimin stares at Jungkook's neck, trying to read his thoughts. Where is he in all of this? 

Before he can talk himself out of it, he tickles Jungkook's neck. Jungkook stirs and turns around, slowly opening his eyes. "Hey," he mumbles, his voice still thick with sleep. Jimin tries not to coo at how adorable it sounds. 

"Hey." 

"So," Jungkook says. 

"So," Jimin repeats. Jungkook looks at him, just as nervous to make the first move as Jimin feels like now that their game is over. Gathering his courage, Jimin reaches over and places a hesitant kiss to Jungkook's lips. He pulls back and observes Jungkook to get some clue about what he is thinking. 

Jungkook's entire face lights up and he wastes no time kissing Jimin back. 

"Do you want to get breakfast?" he mumbles between the kisses. Jimin can feel him smiling against his lips. "Together?" 

"Yeah," Jimin breathes out, "definitely." 

 

 

 

 

 🎄💕 [ONE YEAR LATER] 🎄💕

 

"And the closest guess for how many ornaments there were on our Christmas tree was... Park Jimin, 353 ornaments which is exactly right!" Mr. Kwang announces. Everyone but Sooyeon claps. She is giving Jimin the stink eye, without a doubt wondering how she lost at her own game. 

"Can't believe I'm dating a mathlete. What will I do when you leave me for someone smarter?" Jungkook sighs dramatically. 

"Don't worry, I cheated", Jimin confesses, "I saw that Sooyeon-ssi wrote 352, so I wrote 353. She learned from last year and guessed slightly off this year, so we wouldn't know that she cheats."

"Baby, you're so bad," Jungkook scolds. "What am I going to do with you?"

Jimin smirks. "I have a few suggestions." 

"Oh, yeah? What are they?" Jungkook asks and Jimin leans over, whispering in his ear. Jungkook's smile turns into a smirk, and he whispers something back that has Jimin biting his lip. 

"What are you guys whispering about?" Minah asks. 

"I was just telling Jimin hyung what we'll be doing once we get home," Jungkook replies smugly and catches Jimin's wrist before he can smack him. 

"You two..." Minah huffs, rolling her eyes. "I should know better than to ask by now." 

Everyone used to think Jimin and Jungkook were adorable, they used to coo at them and tell them how happy they were for them. After a year of Mr. Kwang's ridiculous parties with Jimin and Jungkook falling more and more in love, however, the public opinion has started to lean more towards fond exasperation. Everyone still adores Jungkook and think that he and Jimin are perfect for each other, but that doesn't stop them from rolling their eyes at their sappy antics. 

Well, most everyone. A few meters away stands a group of people who have their eyes on them as well and not all of their gazes are friendly. 

"Those two should just get married already," Hyejin bitterly points out. No one can figure how she got to the party since she is supposed to be retired and no one invited her, but nonetheless, there she is. "Marriage will weed out all that ridiculous romance."

The office ladies watch as Jimin stares lovingly into Jungkook's eyes and kisses him under the mistletoe. 

"They are well on their way to that, but with no sign of less romance," Dohee says. "I heard that they are living together. They got a place together as soon as Jungkook graduated. That's why you never see Jimin at the bus stop anymore. Jungkook drives him to and from work all the time. So sweet." 

"No way that relationship is going to last. Young people today, they just need to get everything right away. It's much too early to be living together already. They have dated, what, a year and a half?" Sooyeon remarks. 

"I think it's going to last," Youngja speaks up, effectively shutting them up. "I think you are going to have to look at them being disgustingly happy and in love for as long as you will work here. Bummer. But hey, there are other vacancies in this company. I heard there's an opening for a job in the Gwangju branch that you, Sooyeon-ssi, would be just perfect for..."