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Not So Secret Santa

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There’s little Namjoon notices when he’s hyper focused on something. It doesn’t matter if it’s double knotting his Converse shoes or working on a graphic for the small company he works for. Currently, his shoes are tied, so his unblinking eyes stare at the computer screen from behind his circular wire frames, his antsy finger tapping the computer mouse lightly- not hard enough to actually click something.

 

It’s because of this focus that Namjoon springs from his comfy office chair when Jungkook peeks into the room, his floppy, curly tendrils in his eyes, hollering out a piercing, “Joonie!” Namjoon kicks the chair after jumping, the rollers gliding it over towards Jungkook where it bounces off of the paint chipped frame and slows to a stop, Jungkook giggling loudly as his warm brown eyes disappear behind his chubby cheeks.

 

“Damn, that excited to see me, huh?” Jungkook steps into the room and pats Namjoon’s shoulder in a half-hearted consolation. He slides the non-rolling chair that’s pressed against the wall towards Namjoon’s desk and sits, hooking his foot around the rolling chair and pulling it back over. 

 

“I guess. You could have done a warning knock or something. Sheesh. Dumb kid.” Namjoon smiles lovingly at Jungkook so that he knows Joon is joking, but Jungkook doesn’t need reassurance. He and Namjoon are close, what with having gone to the same high school years and years ago. Namjoon had been a senior back then while Jungkook was a mere freshman, but they both took a graphic design class online and were the only two who had signed up. That whole semester they laughed, joked, and became good friends, the two of them being the only ones in the library computer lab.

 

Now they’re both much older and Jungkook is finishing up college, also getting his degree in graphic design. Namjoon had spoken with their boss, Jin, to see if Jungkook could apply for a temp position a little over a year ago, and now he’s here working hard and showing off his skills to potentially be hired alongside Namjoon come graduation.

 

“That spoils the fun though.” Jungkook leans closer to the open Macbook and stares at the project Namjoon’s working on. It’s in the early stages- definitely rough- but Jungkook knows that Namjoon spends time on things like this, making way for a remarkable outcome. He’s ultra talented. Jungkook looks up to him, both as a mentor and a brother.

 

Which is why he’s here actually.

 

“Nice start, Joon.” Jungkook leans back in the seat and cracks his neck as he stares at the ceiling. When he sits up again, he watches Namjoon take his seat again. He slides his glasses off his face and rubs his eyes, clearly weary from staring at a computer screen for hours. “I have something to ask you.”

 

Namjoon yawns and closes the Macbook, crossing his pilates-buff arms over his broad chest. Though the man is a certified dork and nerd, he also has the brawns as well. Jungkook figures he’s probably the whole package for whomever falls for him. 

 

“Okay, shoot,” Namjoon says, locking eyes with Jungkook. He has a warm smile on his face, his tiny crater-like dimples popping into his cheeks. 

 

“You know how I told you that Hoseok and I were…” Jungkook flushes, “getting a little more adventurous in the bedroom?”

 

Namjoon snorts. He recalls that conversation quite well. A few weeks ago, he’d been minding his business when Jungkook came into his office and slammed the door behind him, needing to ask Namjoon his advice about being blindfolded. For whatever reason, because Namjoon drunkenly told him he once let a partner tie him up from head to toe, Jungkook thinks Namjoon’s the kinkiest son of a bitch on the planet. In reality, he’s just vanilla. That had been a one time thing, and even then, it didn’t go that well. Drunken him had forgotten to mention that and had embellished a little. 

 

“Yes, unfortunately I remember your sex life with one of my best friends.” 

 

“And you remember how I said we hadn’t actually fully gone all the way because I’m still learning to lean into this?”

 

Namjoon chuckles again. Jungkook’s gay awakening happened fairly recently. The cause: one graduate dance T.A. Jung Hoseok. 

 

Previously, Jungkook had only had relationships with women. He doesn’t really label himself anymore, as he likes people rather than a specific sex. Right now, his mind (and body) are on Hoseok.

 

“Sure. That’s completely fine. He’s not forcing you to do anything, right?”

 

Jungkook wildly shakes his head, clearing the air before any negative thoughts reach Namjoon’s convoluted brain. “No, no, no. Definitely not. But see, we were both interested in… toys.”

 

God, if Jungkook could see his face right now. It’s the brightest shade of red Namjoon has ever seen. The little twerp, despite the raging confidence he has when the office plays games or when there’s a trivia night down at the bar, is the shyest person Namjoon’s ever met, and that includes himself. 

 

“Sure, that’s a fun thing to incorporate. I take it you have questions?”

 

Jungkook lets out a deep breath and nods, his eyes darting away from Namjoon in his embarrassment. He folds his fingers in his lap and plays with them, his eyes lingering there.

 

“Well, I want… we want to try some on Christmas, cuz, toys? Get it?” He mutters a little ‘Jesus’ under his breath. Namjoon tries very hard to hold back his laughter at the pun and Jungkook’s growing embarrassment. This is a serious talk otherwise, as Jungkook’s confiding in him and wants to feel safe should he and Hoseok go through with this.

 

“Sure, that sounds like fun, Kookie. What do you need help with?”

 

“I’m not sure what to get,” Jungkook admits, his shoulders dropping with his sigh. “I don’t have experience with toys because I never thought I needed them and I never had the chance to use them with women. I’m not sure if I want something top wise or bottom wise. Or if there even are toys for things like that!” He rubs his hands down his face, eyes staring up at the ceiling. “Oooooh God.”

 

Namjoon finally chuckles and scoots his seat closer to Jungkook, his thick thighs framing Jungkook’s equally thick (just smaller) legs between his. “You’ve come to the right place. Sort of. I haven’t used toys with other people, but I have on myself. Don’t feel embarrassed.”

 

Jungkook drops his head on Namjoon’s chest, playing hide-and-go-seek from him. Namjoon can feel the heat coming off of his face and remembers how embarrassed he used to be conversing about things like this to his much more experienced best friend, Yoongi.

 

“It is embarrassing! I feel like a virgin.”

 

Namjoon rolls his eyes. “Virginity is a construct, Kookie. Besides, you’re just trying new things. We all go through that at some point! I cannot tell you how embarrassed I was the first time I asked Yoongi how to finger someone. The man stared at me like I was an idiot and ended up showing me on an orange. He wasn’t embarrassed in the least but I wanted to die.

 

“Hyung’s way too confident. He needs to tone it down,” Jungkook says fondly, voice muffled in Namjoon’s chest. He and Yoongi came to be friends through Namjoon, and the older has a soft spot for Jungkook. He’s quite protective over him.

 

“I agree,” Namjoon chuckles. “Anyway, back to your problem. I’ll get some things for you and you can try them and see which ones you might be interested in! Even if you don’t like one of the toys, Hoseok might! Does that sound good?”

 

Jungkook nods, his fly aways tickling the bottom of Namjoon’s chin.

 

“Good. I’ll make sure to get some stuff to you by Christmas. It’s all about exploring. Maybe someday we could go to a sex shop, too.”

 

“Okay.” Jungkook finally pulls away from Namjoon, his face left with pink remnants of his full flush. He fixes his hair with his fingers and smiles lopsidedly at Namjoon. “Thanks, hyung.”

 

Namjoon nods once, his eyes disappearing as he smiles back at Jungkook. He loves the boy dearly and feels grateful that they’re close enough Jungkook can come to him for things like this. 

 

“Of course. Now you’d better head back out to the floor before Jin sees you slacking off.”

 

At the mention of their boss’s name, Jungkook wiggles his eyebrows at Namjoon, his smile going crooked. Namjoon rolls his eyes at Jungkook and turns back to his computer screen… which is not open. Because he shut it. 

 

Finally, it’s his turn to flush. He feels his ears grow hot and opens his laptop, hoping Jungkook will ignore him. However, Jungkook’s gaze doesn’t let up, and Namjoon turns to him.

 

“Stop!”

 

Jungkook giggles and stands up, massaging Namjoon’s shoulders. Namjoon can almost feel the humor coming off of Jungkook. He knows the younger is still smiling mischievously, never one to miss an opportunity to tease Namjoon about his big, fat crush on Kim Seokjin.

 

“Are you gonna get him a Christmas present? A diamond ring? A confession note? A love letter?”

 

Namjoon groans and clicks open his email, rightfully ignoring Jungkook. When the younger gets started on teasing, he’s hard to stop. On top of that, he hasn’t had the chance to joke around since the day Jin called Namjoon into his office to praise him for his superb work for one of the websites that went up. Jin had smiled so wide at Namjoon and patted him on the back, and when Joon left the office, his words became muddled and his legs were noodly. Jungkook ended up hanging out in his office for the rest of the day to joke about the look on his face and the googly eyes Jin had in return.

 

Namjoon thinks the googly eyes had to have been a figment of Jungkook’s imagination, because they’d have to be living in a corny, dumb Hallmark movie for a man as handsome and accomplished as Kim Seokjin to have a crush on boring old Namjoon.

 

As Namjoon’s about to open an email from Jin about the new assignment he’s working on, his email chimes, alerting him of a new one.

 

Both Jungkook and Namjoon read the new bar that just popped up, Jungkook leaning over Namjoon’s shoulder to squint his eyes and take a look. The email is from their adorable office moodmaker and receptionist, Kim Taehyung. The subject line reads: SECRET SANTA FOR KIM NAMJOON!

 

Namjoon groans again and leans back, the crown of his head bumping Jungkook’s stomach. He had totally forgotten about Taehyung’s initiative to make the office more fun and inviting. Though they’re a fairly new and modern company without so many rules, a lot of the older generation sticks to each other while the youngsters cling to each other. It makes for a very awkward lunchtime in the break room, as well as causes whiplash from speaking casually to a young co-worker while remaining civil and serious when conversing with an older co-worker. 

 

Taehyung, lover of people as he is, has befriended every single person in the office. He thinks everyone has a rainbow in them- something that will make the older people like the younger and vice versa. He believes that, given time and activities, they can all grow closer and make work a second home. 

 

Namjoon thinks that’s probably bullshit but Taehyung’s trying and that’s all that matters. He doesn’t want to upset the man, as he’s been a wonderful friend and co-worker.

 

“Ooh! See who you have! I got mine earlier!”

 

“Who are you Secret Santa for?”

 

Jungkook hums thoughtfully. “I could tell you, but that might make the party less fun.”

 

Namjoon pinches the skin on Jungkook’s hand and tuts. “Well you’re going to see who I have when I open this! It’s only fair.”

 

Jungkook sighs dramatically. “Fiiiiine. I got Si Hwan. I have barely talked to him, so who knows what I’ll get him. What do old people like?”

 

Namjoon tuts at him again but refrains from pinching this time. “Don’t be rude, Kookie. There’s always things people could use. Worst case scenario, he throws whatever you get him out. But I doubt he’d do that in front of you.”

 

“Fair, I guess,” Jungkook says, mind half on that conversation. “Come on, open the email!”

 

Sighing, Namjoon clicks on it and slides his glasses back on to read.

 

To: Kim Namjoon

From: Kim Taehyung

Subject: SECRET SANTA FOR KIM NAMJOON!

 

Joon-ah,

 

The person you will be Secret Santa for this year issssss *drum roll*...

 

KIM SEOKJIN!

 

Congrats! Please don’t complain! Just try your hardest!

 

With love,

 

Tae Tae

 

Jungkook covers a gasp and snort with his hand and Namjoon slams his forehead against the keyboard, his glasses inching further up his nose. Of course. Of fucking course he’d get Jin. With the luck he’s had his whole life, why wouldn’t he? It’s just the cherry on top- the star on top, more like. What does someone like him get Kim Seokjin for a Secret Santa party? Already, he can feel the stench of failure on him.

 

“Fate has dealt you the perfect hand, Joonie,” Jungkook tells him, running his fingers through Namjoon’s hair. “You finally have an excuse to get your lover a Christmas present!”

 

Namjoon re-slams his head on the keyboard while Jungkook laughs and laughs and laughs. God, what he wouldn’t give to trade Jungkook for Si Hwan. Namjoon can count on one hand the amount of times he’s talked to the man, but he’d rather buy him some socks or office pens rather than debate well into the night what he should buy Jin. Because buying him socks or office pens will feel stale and boring, but buying him something Namjoon might have liked to buy him under different circumstances, well, that could send him the wrong message.

 

“Count your lucky stars,” Jungkook adds, clearly loving how this is playing out. “So what’s it gonna be, Joonie? A diamond ring? A confession note? A love letter?” 

 

That’s it! 

 

Namjoon pushes himself to his feet and makes grabby hands for Jungkook, getting a hold of him for a second before the younger breaks out and squeals, running around the office and out the door, leaving Namjoon to his devices… and his thoughts.

 

God, this is really happening, isn’t it?

 

“It’s happening!” Jungkook screams outside in the hallway, as if having read Namjoon’s mind. 

 

Faintly, he can hear the baritone chuckles coming from their now evil receptionist, Tae.

 

+++

 

When Namjoon finishes his early morning pilates routine (one which Yoongi hates Namjoon for, as his breathing picks up and carries to Yoongi’s room), he showers and snatches the boxes of gifts underneath his bed. He still has time yet before work to wrap them.

 

Today’s the Secret Santa party. Though it had taken Namjoon a week to find the perfect gift for Jin, he finally found something that would suit Jin that wasn’t as dumb as pens or socks. 

 

He decided on a neck massager that came with a heating element. Namjoon had half-cringed when he saw the price, especially since he’d be buying it for someone he barely knew, but he also knew that Jin was always cracking his neck and stretching in his office. A massager seemed like the perfect gift to stumble upon while he was buying toilet paper at the nearest Daiso store.

 

For Jungkook, as he’d promised, he’d ordered multiple sex toys for him to try out. He’d ordered a plain old dildo, vibrating bullet, cock ring, and prostate massager. Quite a bit- and very pricey- but he wanted Jungkook to have options. He’s been a great friend, so Namjoon’s happy to buy him things to make him happy as well. Or Hoseok. Both of them.

 

As he searches for boxes to wrap the gifts in, Namjoon smiles, recalling the look on Yoongi’s face when Namjoon had opened up the sex toys in the living room the other day. The elder’s mouth had gone slack and his eyes widened while his brows furrowed, clearly confused as to when Namjoon had become a sex fiend.

 

Namjoon let him stay in his stupor, amused. He figured it wouldn’t hurt to let Yoongi think he was getting his kicks incessantly. 

 

“Just don’t do that when I’m here. Or awake.” 

 

Those had been the words Yoongi spoke before he skittered like a nervous kitten towards his room, slamming the door.

 

Namjoon snorted a little at the memory and finally found two identical big-bulbed Christmas light boxes that had been taking up room in the closet for some time. Figuring they were big enough to fit all of Kookie’s toys into, as well as Jin’s massager, Namjoon snatched them from the shelf and threw them on the kitchen counter before returning to the closet to find some old Christmas wrapping paper.

 

“There you are.” Namjoon finally spots the dusty Christmas tree adorned paper, the designs of the trees made with glittery greens, golds, and silvers.

 

Thankfully there’s enough left to wrap both presents and Namjoon gets going on them right away as light filters through the living room windows. He hums a little to himself as he puts the skills Hoseok taught him to good use, making sure to cut off the excess paper and folding the ends correctly. He uses perhaps a little too much tape, but it’s better that there’s too much rather than too little.

 

It’s as he finishes up wrapping Jin’s gift that the doorbell rings. It takes him a minute of recalling, but he finally remembers that he and Yoongi had a guy coming in to check the radon in the apartment. Apparently a week or so ago, a resident claimed that the apartment building had copious amounts of radon. The landlord had been completely irked in the email he sent to the residents, but he still ended up calling a radon testing person just in case.

 

Namjoon takes one look at his unmarked gifts.

 

“Okay, left, Jungkook’s. Right, Jin’s.”

 

Nodding when he’s finally memorized which side they’re on, Namjoon meanders around the table and heads for the door where their landlord and some guy wearing a blue jumpsuit stands. Namjoon’s met his landlord a couple of times and has never had any issues with him, but today he appears particularly annoyed. 

 

“We’re here to do the inspection, Mr. Kim,” the landlord, Mr. Park, says. “Can we come in?”

 

Namjoon nods. “Go ahead and do your thing. My roommate is still sleeping, but he’s a heavy sleeper. If you open the door he might stir, but he won’t wake up.”

 

“Thank you,” Park says, kicking off his house shoes as the testing man begins his inspection.

 

The two older men wander around and do their thing while Namjoon wanders back to his bedroom to throw on the ugly Christmas sweater Jimin bought him last year for their Ugly Sweater Office Party, which was, again, Taehyung’s doing. 

 

He hops into some green pants and finds his plain white Nike shoes in the closet before fixing his hair and putting on chapstick. When that’s all done, he heads back out into the kitchen where Inspection Man is setting up some weird looking box in their kitchen. 

 

“We’ll be out of your hair in a minute, Mr. Kim. I just have to finish setting this up,” Inspector Man says, his eyes not meeting Namjoon’s as he plugs the box in.

 

“Sure thing.”

 

Namjoon rounds the table and looks back down at his presents, which are slightly askew. He furrows his brows, trying to remember if he left them sideways or not. Shrugging, and remembering who’s left and right, he writes the names of his friend and boss before stuffing them in his bag alongside his Macbook.

 

When he stands back up, Inspection Man is whispering to Mr. Park as he scribbles something onto a yellow notepad while they head back towards the front door.

 

“So… are we being poisoned??” Namjoon asks, snatching his peacoat from the tall stool. 

 

Mr. Park rolls his eyes at the joke but the Inspection Man (who takes his job seriously, it appears), shakes his head and points at the box. “No poison. I installed that box in the kitchen, and it should pick up the radon should it actually make its way into this building.” 

 

Namjoon chuckles and nods, sidling up next to him and stuffing his feet into the white Nikes he’d brought out minutes ago.

 

“Thank you,” Namjoon says, smiling. “Have a good day, Mr. Park and...”

 

“Mr. Jung.”

 

“Mr. Jung,” Namjoon says politely, bowing a little.  

 

He nods and opens the door, waiting for Namjoon to come out as well. “You too.” As they slowly wander down the hallway, Mr. Park with a little limp, the Inspector Guy comes to a halt and turns around, holding his tiny hand up. “Also, Merry Christmas!”

 

Namjoon, who’d just finished locking up, turns and waves back with a warm, toothy grin. “You too!

 

A minute later, Namjoon heads down the stairs two at a time and braces himself for the sharp, wintry breeze Seoul loves to embrace people with in these cold months despite the dull sun or building coverage. He slips into his gloves when he’s outside and watches his breath fog out in front of him.

 

Not wanting to wait in the cold subway, Namjoon hails a taxi and spends the ten minute ride staring out the window and trying to think about everything but Jin’s present that’s sitting heavy in his bag. He’s so nervous to give Jin something. Hell, the box could have been empty and he would still feel this heightened anxiousness.

 

He just… wants to impress Jin. But not so much that his secret crush is revealed.

 

When they arrive in front of the blue and green building, the massive windows making the front of it appear that much more modern, Namjoon fishes some cash from his wallet and hands it to the taxi driver. Then he hoists his bag over his shoulder and heads into the building, his head down to brace against the swirly wind.

 

Downstairs, he pours himself a cup of coffee into his BT21 traveling tumbler and hops in the elevator, gently sipping the plain black coffee.

 

Upstairs the room is filled to the brim with reds and greens, enough that it looks as though Christmas puked inside the office. There are twinkle lights adorning every bit of wall space, tinsel thrown over office plants and hooks placed strategically in the ceiling panels, and red and green baubles hung up in random places throughout the room.

 

In the corner, there’s a Christmas tree that’s overly decorated with ornaments, popcorn balls, tinsel, and colorful lights. Rather than there being presents under the tree, there is a track with a tiny train chugging along in slow circles.

 

Taehyung greets Namjoon when he enters. He knows for a fact that the decorating was all Taehyung, and perhaps his boyfriend and HR rep, Jimin’s doing. Taehyung’s favorite holiday is Christmas, with his birthday as a close second (literally and figuratively). He goes all out every year, and this year, he’s kept the same stride.

 

“Merry Christmas, Joonie!” Taehyung rounds the massive receptionist desk and pulls Namjoon into a bear hug. Taehyung tugs a cheap Santa hat on top of Namjoon’s forest green beanie, not waiting for Namjoon to thank him or refuse it, and shoves it all the way down to his ears. It already makes his head feel a thousand times hotter.

 

“Merry Christmas to you, too, Tae. Or, early Christmas I guess,” Namjoon says with a laugh. Technically, there’s still two more days until Christmas.

 

Taehyung’s not one for small talk or anything like that. He’s always straight to the point. He doesn’t like to add a lot of fluff. Because of this, it doesn’t surprise Namjoon when Taehyung wraps his arm around Joon’s shoulder and walks him back to his office, his bright, boxy smile on display. “So here’s how the Secret Santa thing is gonna go. You’re gonna find some time today to give Jin his present, but you gotta make sure he’s not around when you drop it off. Then, around five or so, we’ll reveal what gift we got and guess who gave it to us! I’ll reveal the Secret Santas at the end of the night, so those that guessed wrong can find out who had them. Also, there’s gonna be alcohol and lots of food, so make sure you eat a light lunch today!”

 

They reach Namjoon’s office door and Taehyung lightly pats Namjoon’s back, not waiting for Namjoon to respond, before he says, “See ya later!” and disappears back down the hallway where they came from.

 

Namjoon lets out a deep breath, one that he’s been holding since the moment Taehyung bombarded him when he stepped into the room. Now that there’s some quiet, Namjoon can think.

 

He opens his office and kicks his chair to the side, setting his tote bag and coffee on the counter. He flicks on the harsh lights and falls back into his chair, the rollers sliding him away so he has to maneuver himself back to the desk.

 

He takes his laptop out first, followed by the two wrapped presents, equally as heavy as the other. He scoots them off to the side on his desk and starts off with his morning routine after powering up the laptop, checking his emails and reading through the news.

 

There isn’t much to read email wise, and the same goes for the news. Namjoon finishes his tasks and brings up his trusted program, ready to get to some work in for a couple of hours before the slacking kicks in. Every Christmas he finds himself dragged away by his work buddies to either talk about Christmas or to start the festivities early. Besides the inevitable, Namjoon needs to find some time to sneak his gift into Jin’s office, as well as discreetly give Jungkook his.

 

Thankfully no one bothers him for a couple of hours. He gets quite a bit done despite the program crashing early on, the work up until then deleting. It’s maddening, but it’s happened before and there’s not much he can do. He sends what he manages to finish off to Jin and a couple of other co-workers to get their opinions. 

 

Then Namjoon snatches Jungkook’s present off of his desk and meanders down the hallway towards the clump of cubicles in the main part of the floor. Jungkook’s cubicle is right next to Jimin’s, which definitely doesn’t help either of them in working diligently. The two of them are jokesters and chatterboxes, feeding off of each other. 

 

Unsurprisingly, when Namjoon finally spots them upon entering the room, the two of them are playfully jabbing at each other, Jimin’s crescent eyes rescinding behind his puffy cheeks and Jungkook’s fists lightening up when they fall upon the elder’s shoulders.

 

Sighing and shaking his head with an affectionate grin on his face, Namjoon plunges forward through the mass of cubicles towards his friends.

 

Upon spotting Namjoon, Jungkook’s balled up fists unclench and he perks up in his seat, his wide doe eyes settling upon Namjoon with a beaming, innocent grin. Jimin also looks over, curiosity getting the better of him when Jungkook stops attacking him. When he sees Joon, he beams and waves, his tiny fingers adorned with silver rings that shine under the headache inducing luminescent lights. 

 

“Joon! I was just telling Jimin that I had yet to see you today. How’re you doing? You excited for Secret Santa?” Jungkook lets out a slough of questions without so much as a breath between, and when he reaches the final question, his eyebrows wiggle up and down, his smile turning mischievous. Jimin furrows his brows at Jungkook and averts his eyes to Namjoon, a pleading question in them. Jimin does not like to be left out. Because his boyfriend is the office gossip, rarely does that happen. However, Taehyung must have refrained from revealing Namjoon’s receiver, otherwise he’d undeniably be joining Jungkook in his antics.

 

Namjoon shrugs at Jimin by way of answer and ignores Jungkook completely, instead pushing a little past Jungkook so he can sit on the opposite side of Jimin, not wanting him to be privy to the gift giving in case he pries or in case Jungkook doesn’t want Jimin to be in the know about his private life.

 

“Can I talk to you for a second?” Namjoon asks, his eyes meeting Jimin’s momentarily with an apologetic look about them. Jimin gets the hint and mutters something about having to ask Taehyung a question before Jungkook and Namjoon are left alone for the time being (at least out of earshot of everyone else).

 

“What’s up?” Jungkook asks, his playful tone dying down into something much more himself.

 

Namjoon, though he hadn’t necessarily been hiding the gift, brings it from his side up to Jungkook’s face. Jungkook’s eyes meet Namjoon’s momentarily before he takes it with gentle fingers, his mouth slack.

 

“I figured I wouldn’t see you until after Christmas, so I thought I’d give you your gift now. But do not open it until you get home, okay?”

 

Jungkook looks at Namjoon curiously, his eyebrows furrowing, but nods. He turns and shoves the present underneath his desk where his ratty blue Jansport backpack sits lifeless without a laptop or other things inside.

 

“Is it…?”

 

Namjoon smirks at him and nods and Jungkook flushes, his eyes on everything around the room but Namjoon. It’s adorable, but pretty much everything Jungkook does is adorable. He scoots in closer to Namjoon and hugs him, patting his back in a friendly way.

 

“Thanks Joon! I wish I’d brought your gift. Seok says we can bring it to you the day after Christmas.”

 

Namjoon pulls away and shrugs, an easygoing grin on his face. “No worries, Kookie.”

 

There’s a momentary silence where Jungkook’s eyes dart to the present hidden in the shadows before he looks back at Namjoon, genuinely curious.

 

“Are you excited to give Jin his present?” 

 

Namjoon shrugs and sniffs, nonchalant, as if his whole body hasn’t been on edge all day from the inevitable. 

 

“It is what it is,” he opts for. “It’s nothing special.”

 

Jungkook slaps Namjoon’s knee and squeezes it, his lopsided smile gracing his face once again. “He’ll appreciate whatever it is you give him. He likes you.”

 

Namjoon snorts and rolls his eyes, standing up. Jin likes everyone in the office. He’s a friendly guy in general and while he takes up the traits of an introvert, when he must give speeches or call meetings or even speak to workers one on one, Jin’s entrancing and easygoing. It doesn’t take much for people to fall into a trance when speaking with him, as he comes off as eloquent and genuine. Namjoon’s a self-labeled bullshit detector and Jin gives off absolutely none of those vibes. He’s just good.

 

“Mm, keep trying, Kookie. Maybe one day I’ll believe you.” Namjoon snorts and ruffles Jungkook’s curly locks before walking away from the cubicle clumps to head back to his own office. When he’s up the two stairs that lead to a higher, square shaped floor, he stops in his tracks and takes a quick look towards Jin’s glass office.

 

He looks like a million bucks, but when does he not? Today he’s dressed down a bit, opting for a button up shirt without the suit jacket to accompany it. It’s an emerald green color, one that highlights his shiny, soft brown hair. To top off the look, his sleeves are rolled and pushed up to his elbows, revealing his sun kissed tan skin and single gold-bangle bracelet that delicately kisses his wrist.

 

“You’re drooling.”

 

Namjoon’s body stiffens and a full body blush consumes him. Taehyung walks past him carrying a manila folder, and his head knocks back as his deep chuckles escape into the room. He only looks back once to wink at Namjoon, his lips slightly parted in amusement.

 

Grumbling, Namjoon books it back towards the safety of his own office where he can think about Jin and his appearance in peace. He figures the best time to drop off his gift would be lunch hour since Jin always seems to go out, eager to avoid the crowd that gathers in the break room. Namjoon doesn’t blame him; he usually stays in his own office to eat in order to keep from draining himself from small talk.

 

So Namjoon works a little more, wanting to focus on something other than the heart pounding excitement of giving something special to Jin. Thankfully, he receives no interruptions for the next hour and a half, and he totally would have missed the lunch hour if the enticing aroma of leftover kimchi stew didn’t reach his office, the spiciness tingling his nose.

 

Namjoon glances at his watch and blinks unbelievingly. Time goes by fast when you’re busy and focused. 

 

He takes off his glasses and sets them on the counter. He blinks his eyes a couple of times at the wall to get them to focus regularly and then stands up and grabs Jin’s present, holding it to his chest as he braves the walk to Jin’s office.

 

Most people have gone out to lunch or are in the break room, though a few stragglers are sitting at their desks with their lunches next to them, munching away at their food while their eyes are trained on their computers. 

 

Jin’s office is empty, thankfully, and the door is propped open a little. Namjoon wonders if he had an inkling his Secret Santa would want to deliver his present during the most optimal time. Bracing himself, Namjoon places a hand on the door and pushes on it. The smell of apple and cinnamon tickle his nose as he enters and the overhead lights automatically turn back on, startling him a bit.

 

Namjoon lets out a deep breath as he takes a few steps into the office, not wanting to be caught in the spirit of the game. He gently places the present on the desk and sighs a breath of relief, glad to finally be rid of it so he can’t overthink his choices. 

 

Since he’s in here and Jin’s not, Namjoon takes a few seconds to look around the room out of curiosity. Jin’s a neat person through and through, but there are a few stacks of paper on his desk that could use some tidying up and a couple of his knick knacks on the back shelf could be dusted, but otherwise, nothing looks out of place. It’s fairly homey with framed pictures of Jin and his family and photos that look like they were taken on vacations.

 

“No significant other,” Namjoon notes, his lips quirking up slightly at his musings. 

 

Feeling like he’s overstepping his bounds and finally reaching the realm of trespassing, Namjoon backtracks and skitters out of the office, his back straightening as soon as he’s back in the square room, pretending as though nothing has happened.

 

Now that he can’t overthink, he feels confident. He’s actually excited for this year’s Christmas party. Perhaps Jin will be grateful for the present and Namjoon will have an excuse to talk to him for more than five minutes about something other than work. That would be the ultimate Christmas gift.

 

+++

 

Nearing 3:30, Namjoon yawns and closes his laptop. He’s done enough work for today and though there’s still some time left in the work hour, he figures he’ll just check out what Jungkook’s up to and maybe see if Taehyung needs help decorating the break room. While Namjoon doesn’t have a great eye for decorating, he is very good at taking orders.

 

It’s fate that Namjoon stumbles into Jungkook out in the hallway, the two of them colliding from not paying attention. Namjoon had been texting Yoongi, informing the older man to go and buy groceries. Jungkook, on the other hand, happened to be looking down at something, completely oblivious to the lumbering man he ends up bumping into.

 

Namjoon ends up at a standstill while the younger bounces off his body like he was rubber. “God, you’re like walking into a brick wall,” Jungkook muses after catching himself from falling. 

 

“Sorry,” Namjoon says dumbly, not having expected to see Jungkook here.

 

Jungkook snorts at Namjoon’s kicked puppy look. The older’s eyes finally slip down towards the box in Jungkook’s hand, the wrapping paper ripped open on one end.

 

“You opened your present,” Namjoon notes, lips pursed.

 

Jungkook nods and scratches his head, his eyes looking down and into the box. 

 

“Yeah, that’s why I was coming to see you actually,” he starts, voice wavering cautiously. Namjoon cocks his head to the side, the T of his forehead creasing. “I got sort of curious at what types of… things you bought me, so I opened this in the bathroom and… well… I don’t think it’s a sex toy?”

 

Namjoon takes a step closer to Jungkook, his heart beating rapidly. It’s almost as if the organ knows what has happened before Namjoon’s brain registers the situation. He uses his long pointer finger to tilt the box closer to him and peeks inside.

 

There, shoved down at the bottom, is the neck massager meant for Jin.

 

“Ooooooooh fuck me.” 

 

Namjoon stills. There’s not much he can do as his body tries to play catch up with his brain and heart. His eyes remain locked on the object inside the box. He wonders if he stares hard enough at the massager that he can will it to turn into the sex toys it is supposed to be.

 

“Joon, are you okay? You look like you’re about to be sick.” 

 

Jungkook sets the box on the ground and steps up to Namjoon, using the back of his hand to check his forehead for a fever. 

 

Namjoon knows damn well there’s no fever, but he sure as hell wishes he’d had one this morning. That way he wouldn’t have come in to work and therefore would not have fucked up the gifts meant for his friend and his crush.

 

“Joonie? You’re kinda scaring me,” Jungkook says, retracting his hand. He reaches for Namjoon’s hand and squeezes it. The action does something to spring Namjoon back to life, though the dread also kicks in as well.

 

“Kookie, that’s not your present.”

 

Jungkook furrows his sharp brows and looks down at the gift before averting his eyes to Namjoon. “Okay, that’s fine! You can just give me my present later. No harm, no foul.”

 

He bends down and starts closing up the box as if that will fix everything. Namjoon wishes that was the case. If only he’d waited to give Jin his present right before the party started. If only Jungkook had opened his present earlier. No, it’s not Jungkook’s fault. Ugh.

 

Namjoon slaps his forehead and runs his hand down his face. He feels mortified and he’s gotta stop overthinking for one second so he can figure out what in the hell he’s going to do to fix this.

 

“Jungkook, I gave Jin your present.”

 

Jungkook stills in his crouching position and the soft sound of fumbling cardboard ceases. Slowly, his head tilts back and his doe eyes meet Namjoon’s. He doesn’t say anything despite his mouth having gone slack, though Namjoon figures he’s trying to process what happened the way Namjoon had done moments prior. 

 

When he does though, boy, does the guy laugh.

 

He laughs, and laughs, and laughs.

 

He laughs so hard that he ends up falling to his ass on the hardwood floor and rolls onto his back, both of his hands holding his stomach.

 

Namjoon can’t do much but watch the younger in his fit. He’d scold him if he had enough energy, but from an outsider’s perspective, he must admit that the scenario is, in fact, quite funny.

 

To Namjoon, though, it’s cause for insurmountable embarrassment.

 

“I should quit, right?” Namjoon asks through Jungkook’s attempts to control himself. “Yeah, I’m gonna quit.”

 

“H-hyung,” Jungkook interrupts, his eyes wet and puffy from excessive laughter. “Don’t quit. We don’t even know if he opened it yet. Best case scenario we can just switch out the presents right now.”

 

“Jungkook, that’s…” Namjoon’s voice quietens when he finally processes Jungkook’s suggestion. “That’s a great idea. Keep your fingers and toes crossed.”

 

Though Jungkook’s entirely too giddy at the mishap, he puts on a show in front of Namjoon, crossing his fingers and holding his boots up despite Joon not being able to tell whether he crossed them or not.

 

“Thanks,” Joon mutters halfheartedly, his mind on other matters. 

 

He holds his hand out for Jungkook to take and pulls the younger to his feet. Jungkook bends over and snatches the opened gift off of the floor and attempts to somewhat fix the ripped wrapping paper. 

 

“Let’s go,” Jungkook says when the makeshift wrapping is as good as it’s going to get. He checks over his shoulder and sees Namjoon, who looks as though he’s seen a ghost, his warm brown eyes distant and far away. “Jesus, Joon, pull yourself together.”

 

“Sorry.” The apology is empty, but Jungkook figures he won’t get much more out of Namjoon until they both go and see for themselves if their boss has opened the present intended for Jungkook. 

 

He reaches out and slips his fingers through Namjoon’s, knowing that the graphic designer’s too in his head to hastily solve this issue. Namjoon allows himself to be pulled along behind Jungkook. He stares at the back of Jungkook’s head, his waves bouncing with each and every step. Namjoon notices a tiny bit of Jungkook’s cherry blossom tree tattoo peeking out from the back of his sweater, the work stopping right on the knob of his spine. Shirtless, the tattoo winds from Jungkook’s left hip, up his back, and stops on his neck. It’s dainty and intricate and black and white, but absolutely gorgeous. Namjoon had the privilege of stepping in for one of his sessions at the tattoo parlor. Half of him had been intrigued at watching ink permanently stain his tan skin while the other half of him wanted to puke from the whirring sound and the needle breaking delicate skin.

 

The thoughts of visiting one of Jungkook’s sessions lasts until they reach the main room where employees are working extra hard what with the party being held soon. Everyone seems to be moving in fast forward but the whole world stops when Namjoon spots Jin inside of his office, his chin held in the palm of his hand, eyes on his paperwork on the desk in front of him. He appears to be muttering to himself, his plush pink lips moving in overtime. 

 

God, his shoulders are wide. 

 

“Shoulders again?”

 

“Mm.”

 

“Yeah, don’t blame you there.” Jungkook releases Namjoon’s hand, certain he’s come back to earth now. “Let’s get a closer look. I can’t see shit from here.”

 

Namjoon follows Jungkook and snorts. “That’s cuz you refuse to wear your contacts.”

 

“Shut up,” Jungkook mutters as he steps up to the copy machine. He pretends to mess around with the buttons with his head tilted ever so slightly towards Jin’s office to see if he can get a better look. Namjoon, perhaps a little too noticeably, stares inside the office without faking a task. He squints and (almost impossibly) ignores Jin for the sake of searching out his present. It’s not in the place where he’d left it, though that’s not to say Jin hasn’t just moved it to the side. Namjoon sure hopes that’s the case.

 

“Still can’t see anything,” Jungkook tells Namjoon, looking back at him. “I’m gonna go talk to Jin and see if I can find it when I’m in there. Quick! Give me a reason to talk to him.”

 

Namjoon shrugs. He barely has any reasons to speak with Jin and he’s one of the higher ups of the company. 

 

“Just go bug him about something menial. Ask him where he got his shirt.”

 

Jungkook scoffs and stares at Namjoon in disbelief. Namjoon didn’t realize one could feel such offense at a perfectly normal conversation topic, but apparently Jungkook does. He shrugs and Jungkook sighs, running a hand through his hair. 

 

“I’ll just… I’ll just come up with something on the spot. I’m good at that.”

 

Namjoon thinks that statement is pretty subjective, but before he can warn Jungkook, the younger hands over Jin’s present and books it towards Jin’s office with a forced grin on his face.

 

Namjoon works at the inside of his cheek as he watches Jungkook greet Jin, who smiles cordially at him when he enters. Instead of sitting, like one usually would, Jungkook steps up to Jin’s desk and places both hands on the surface, leaning forward just slightly. Namjoon presumes he’s looking for the gift, but from here, it looks as though he’s seducing Jin with how leaned forward he is.

 

He even goes so far as to wiggle his ass, but Namjoon knows that’s just a Jungkook thing. He does it all the time. Probably doesn’t even know he does it.

 

Finally, Jungkook bows slightly and turns around, meeting Namjoon’s eyes through the glass. He’s pulling some sort of mixed emotion face, as if he’s slightly perturbed and a little apologetic.

 

Namjoon finds out why that is the moment Jungkook meets him at the copy machine.

 

“Okay.” Jungkook turns Namjoon via his shoulder and gently pushes him back towards his office. “One: I now have a whole week off in January because I couldn’t think of anything to talk about and the first thing that popped into my mind was a day off.”

 

“How did that turn into a week?”

 

“I told Jin I was getting my wisdom teeth out,” Jungkook states, a little sigh escaping as well.

 

Namjoon pulls a confused face and looks at him. “You already had your wisdom teeth taken out.”

 

Jungkook tuts. “Yes, but Jin doesn’t know that.” He waves Namjoon off with his hand. “That’s besides the point. I told Jin I needed a day off for it and he said based off of personal experience, I’d need a whole week. So.”

 

Namjoon chuckles. Despite feeling antsy about the gift and a little guilty about Jungkook having to make up anything in the first place, the situation is quite funny. The guy could have said something easy, like a doctor’s appointment. How he decided on wisdom teeth, who knows?

 

“Well, maybe you can fit in an early spring cleaning,” Namjoon suggests, humor laced in his words.

 

Jungkook knocks him with his shoulder. They reach Namjoon’s office and Jungkook falls back in the extra chair, his limbs stretching out in front of him and down by his sides.

 

“What about the present?” Namjoon asks, voice wavering slightly.

 

“Right, that’s the other thing,” Jungkook starts. “It’s open. Stuffed it all back in and attempted to re-seal it, but yeah, definitely opened.”

 

Namjoon falls back into his own chair, his seriousness fading into a frown. Of course this would happen to him. He shouldn’t be so surprised.

 

“Shit.” Namjoon rubs his eyes and swivels in his seat, opening up his laptop. He clicks on the search bar at the top and types wildly before clicking on the first link that pops up. 

 

“What are you doing?” Jungkook asks, scooting his chair closer.

 

“Booking a flight for tomorrow,” Namjoon responds nonchalantly, his eyes searching through all the potential flights listed. “I’ve heard Canada is wonderful this time of year!”

 

Namjoon sees Jungkook roll his eyes through the reflection on the screen. 

 

“Yeah, if you’re a snowman.” He snatches the mouse from under Namjoon and clicks the search bar again, both of his arms resting on top of Namjoon’s so that he can reach the keyboard. “Try Australia. It’s their summer.”

 

It’s a joke but definitely not one that escapes Namjoon. A summer Christmas in Australia? That doesn’t sound half bad.

 

“When’s the nearest flight?” Namjoon leans closer to the screen and Jungkook scoffs, clicking out of Google Chrome to reveal the cutest photo of Namjoon, Hoseok, and Yoongi sleeping sideways on a bed together. The picture was taken by none other than Jungkook himself and had been on a day where the four of them were watching movies and all three of them, old farts that they were, conked out by 11:30 p.m.

 

“Quit being a drama king, Joon.” Jungkook closes the laptop and hoists his legs up so that they’re resting on Namjoon’s thighs. He leans back in his seat and rubs his chin between his forefinger and thumb almost animatedly. “There’s gotta be something we can do.”

 

Namjoon nods. “Yes. It’s called running away. Or finding a new job.”

 

“Options for the weak,” Jungkook mutters, only half paying attention to Namjoon as he thinks about a solution. “I have an idea.”

 

“And?”

 

Jungkook rises to his feet and pats Namjoon’s shoulder in an attempt to rouse him.

 

“Let’s just ask Tae if he can skip over revealing you as Jin’s Secret Santa!”

 

Namjoon smiles amusedly at Jungkook, whose excited grin falters.

 

“What?”

 

“I’ll give you a second. There’s a flaw in your plan.”

 

“It’s air- fucking- tight, Joon.”

 

“Think about it.”

 

“Jesus. Fine. I thought about it.”

 

“No you didn’t. Think harder.”

 

Jungkook finally takes Namjoon’s suggestion seriously and leans against the doorframe, his arms crossed over his chest. 

 

It doesn’t take long before the problem reaches him.

 

“Oh. Oh, fuck. Yeah. He’ll just narrow it down to you.”

 

Namjoon nods. “There you go.”

 

Jungkook runs his hand through his hair. He looks just as frazzled as Namjoon despite not being the one entangled in this mess (at least not in the most embarrassing part). It’s nice that he wants to help Namjoon, but Namjoon sees no way out of this besides embarrassing himself so much that he actually potentially debates quitting.

 

“There’s gotta be something we can do. Maybe we can ask Tae not to reveal anyone’s? To just have people take the gifts unknowingly?”

 

“We can try, but you know it’s unlikely. That’s the fun part of the game.”

 

Jungkook’s shoulders sag. “I… I guess I could… tell Jin that the gift was meant for me.”

 

Jungkook’s cheeks burn brightly and his eyes drop to his feet. Namjoon knows he’d been anxious enough coming to Namjoon for help. Admitting to his boss that the myriad of sex toys within the box he opened was meant for Jungkook? He’d never get over that embarrassment. Namjoon knows he’d never want to experiment with them having known what he’d gone through at the office. Namjoon doesn’t want that. He doesn’t want to be the reason Jungkook’s too shy and scared to go down that avenue. 

 

If only Yoongi had been the one asking for them. This thing would be resolved in point two seconds. 

 

And that’s no slut shaming on Yoongi’s part or prude shaming on Jungkook’s. 

 

It’s just facts.

 

Alas, this is the predicament they are in and there’s no wishing or wanting. 

 

“No, I won’t have you do that for me, Kookie. It’s not that serious.” 

 

It’s a little serious because Namjoon’s crush is ages in the making and so strong he feels the nervous panging of his heart, but he doesn’t want to make Jungkook feel forced to do that for him. So a slight fib is the best route.

 

“But Joon, I-”

 

Namjoon shakes his head. “We’ll figure it out. Let’s ask Tae. That was a good idea.”

 

Jungkook frowns and stares at Namjoon in disbelief. Namjoon shoots him a sharp look and Jungkook relents, though he still doesn’t seem thrilled about the plan.

 

They abandon Jin’s present in Namjoon’s office before wandering, once again, back into the main area. The panicked, fast pacedness has eased up a little bit, but everyone still appears to be hard at work. Jin’s still in his office, but this time his back is to the room and he’s on the phone with someone. Namjoon tries very, very hard not to stare at his ass, which happens to be hugged in all the right places in those slacks.

 

“Tae’s gone.”

 

Namjoon’s eyes dart from Jin to the empty front desk. Tae’s ‘Out of the Office’ sign is hanging on the front, decorated with glitter glue and purple hearts with smiley faces inside of them. Jungkook points over to his little cubicle area and Namjoon follows with his eyes.

 

“Jimin’s gone, too.”

 

“Shit.”

 

Namjoon had totally forgotten that the two of them had been frequently leaving work for the past couple of weeks. They had decided to adopt a dog that hadn’t started off in great homes and therefore the dog was scared of humans and interactions, often leading to biting or anxiousness. Tae and Jimin have been going to allow it some time to get used to them so that when they bring him home, he’ll be comfortable with them. According to Jimin, it’s going pretty well. The dog, Tannie, doesn’t mind being pet anymore and he’ll come when they call him. He still gets nervous if they touch him without easing into it or if they make loud noises. But it sounds like they’ll get to take him home soon- with any luck, before January ends.

 

“Well, Tae has to be back before we start the party. Maybe we can find some time to ask him before he officially starts,” Jungkook suggests.

 

Namjoon nods and smiles, though his insides feel like they’re curling in on themselves. He feels nothing but impending doom.

 

“Yeah, we’ll do that. Why don’t you go and finish up the project you were working on earlier. I gotta get a bit done myself. You can text me when Tae and Jimin come back. Sound good?”

 

Jungkook perks up a bit at Namjoon’s laid out plans and nods in agreement. “Sure. And Joon?”

 

Namjoon tilts his head, curious.

 

“Don’t worry, okay?”

 

Namjoon nods but his insides betray Jungkook even more.

 

Jungkook finally parts ways, though he does so hesitantly, and Namjoon books it back to his office where he immediately packs his things and stands in the middle of the room with his hands on his hips, internally debating whether or not he really should flee the country.

 

That… that’s maybe a bit drastic.

 

But he could go home. He could avoid the party altogether. 

 

Still, there’s an ounce of hope that Taehyung will understand the situation and destroy the fun for the sake of Namjoon’s dignity. Jungkook seems pretty hopeful of that and the man can’t feign something like that if he tried.

 

Namjoon pulls at the ends of his hair and puffs air into his cheeks. He lets it out slowly and ends with a resolute, “Fuck.”

 

He sits back down in his chair and stares at the wall, the faint ticking of his watch the only sound in the room. 

 

He always gets stressed on holiday party days, but good Lord this has taken the crown. He wouldn’t be surprised if he woke up with a few new grey hairs. It shouldn’t be this much of a deal. Jin’s a grown ass adult and so is Namjoon. Sex toys are rampant in households nowadays; maybe even in Jin’s.

 

But accidentally giving them to your boss? Absolutely unprofessional. On top of that, Namjoon doesn’t even know which way Jin swings! Not that he needs to know. That’s Jin’s business.

 

God. He has to find something to do. He’s overthinking. Overthinking and Kim Namjoon do not mix. Like baking soda and vinegar.

 

+++

 

There're 249 holes in the ceiling tile above him, though he may have miscounted one, as two of them were somewhat connected. So he counted them as two, though it depends on one’s perspective. Perhaps he should count it as one. That would make the number even and make him a whole lot less disgruntled.

 

The good news is he hasn’t thought about the goings on for approximately (he checks his watch) twenty seven minutes.

 

And that happens to be long enough for his phone to vibrate against the table and an emphatic THEY’RE HERE!!!!!!!! to pop up on the screen.

 

Namjoon jumps to his feet and pulls the door open so hard that it slams into the wall behind him, taking a chip out of the yellow paint. Namjoon ignores it and books it down the hallway without running, his eyes already setting to where he knows Taehyung’s desk will come into view.

 

When he doesn’t see Taehyung immediately, his heart sinks to his stomach. However, he hears his hearty chuckle coming from the break room moments later, with Jungkook’s laughter joining.

 

Nearly breaking a sweat from the ugly sweater, warm indoor temperature, and unusual speeds he’s been going at all day, Namjoon makes it to the break room where he interrupts the conversation uncaringly in order to fix this mess immediately.

 

“Tae!”

 

Taehyung nearly drops his posterboard from fright when Namjoon’s booming voice pierces the room. Jungkook looks over at Namjoon and shows him his fingers, which are crossed. Namjoon nods with a forced smile and steps up to Taehyung with an empty apology.

 

“Holy hell, Joon! No wonder Tannie freaks out when Jimin and I are accidentally too loud.” Tae holds a hand over his heart and sets the posterboard back down on the stand. 

 

Namjoon happens to look at the posterboard and sees that, behind all the cute glitter glue swirls and stars that there are lines connecting one side to the other, the names written out underneath taped white covers.

 

“Is this the Secret Santa reveal?” Namjoon asks, backtracking slightly in light of this new information.

 

Taehyung nods with a hurt frown. He’s been scared and ignored and not even praised for his hard work once.

 

“Tae? I need you to pretty please with a cherry on top do me the biggest favor of your life. I’ll owe you ten thousand favors if you do me this single one.”

 

Jungkook’s head whips from Namjoon to Tae, who puts his hands on his hips and frowns even deeper, not liking the sound of Namjoon’s plea, but willing to listen because of the desperation in his voice.

 

Namjoon sighs. “I need you to not reveal the Secret Santas.”

 

Tae tuts and drops his hands from his hips. He seems amused, but that’s probably because he knows Namjoon has Jin and the most likely reason for him wanting to avoid the reveal is because of his massive crush. 

 

To prove Namjoon’s thinking, Tae says, “Joon, Jin won’t think twice about it. I’m sure whatever you got him is nice and, knowing you, probably deep.”

 

Jungkook snorts and Namjoon whines desperately, stepping up into Taehyung’s space. The atheist folds his hands in prayer position, willing to get on his knees at this point.

 

“Tae, please.”

 

Taehyung’s eyes drop to Namjoon’s hands and he sighs. “Joon. It just doesn’t make any sense if we don’t reveal the Secret Santas. Besides, everyone will just tell whomever it was they got gifts for and by process of elimination, everyone can pretty much guess who got them something.”

 

Tae makes a fair point (one Namjoon already knew), but there’s also the slightest chance that Jin won’t give enough shit to find out who got him those.

 

Then again, Namjoon knows that if someone wrapped up a vibrator for him, he’d sure as hell become Sherlock Holmes in order to find out who thought of such an idea.

 

(And then he’d probably use it anyway because he likes that stuff, but Jin might feel the complete opposite.)

 

“I’ll just…”

 

“Joon,” Jungkook whispers, stepping closer to the man as Taehyung goes back to what he’s doing. “Let me tell Jin.”

 

Namjoon shakes his head. “I really appreciate you wanting to do that, but I know you and I know that it won’t do you any good. Besides, it was my mistake. Let’s just… see how it turns out.”

 

Jungkook winces at Namjoon’s suggestion, but really, what other choice do they have?

 

“Tae,” Namjoon says, his eyes still on Jungkook. “Are you starting the party?”

 

“In five minutes,” Tae informs him, his voice muffled by the poster board as he maneuvers his way past them. “Get your party hats on, boys!”

 

Namjoon nods once at Jungkook and peels himself away from the room, his heart pretty much at a standstill with the inevitable looming. He’s in the acceptance stage, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be embarrassed for the rest of his lifetime.

 

When Namjoon makes it back to his office, he finds a tiny present on his desk. He opens it up and there are cute stickers and notepads with little dog cartoons on them. Very cute. An actual gift worth giving. Probably meant for him, too.

 

Namjoon finally forces himself out of his office, his bag over his shoulder, when he hears whooping and ‘Last Christmas’ blaring through the speakers in the main room. Thankfully, the Secret Santa part of the party doesn’t start for a while, so Namjoon finds himself sitting next to an antsy looking Jungkook and an oblivious Jimin. Jungkook isn’t enjoying himself properly, so when Taehyung offers him two shots colored green and red respectively, Namjoon takes them and hands them to Jungkook without an answer, eyeing him as he downs them both and cracking a smile when he cringes at the sharpness of the alcohol.

 

“I could use more I think,” Jungkook yells over the music. Jimin, who has a whole tray of shots in front of him, offers Jungkook two more and they down them at the same time, Jimin’s giggles sounding like Christmas bells. Jungkook’s cheeks turn red quickly from downing shots without food. In order to distract his mind, Namjoon wanders to the food table seeking out something greasy and delicious for Jungkook. 

 

It’s when he spots the wassail at the end of the table that an idea sparks.

 

Drastic times.

 

After loading Jungkook’s plate up with mozzarella sticks and brownies, Namjoon slips a solo red cup out of the stack and ladles the hot wine up to the brim. He sprinkles some more cinnamon on top and carefully meanders through the mingling groups towards Jungkook and Jimin, who are already tipsy and nearly falling out of their seats.

 

There’s a beginning of a plan here, but he has to look inconspicuous first.

 

“Food for you,” Namjoon says, handing Jungkook the plate. “Give Jimin a mozzarella stick. He could use one, too.”

 

Jimin giggles again, his ringed fingers covering his mouth. “I’m good, hyung. Better tolerance than him anyway.” He points his thumb at Jungkook, who scoffs.

 

“‘S a liar.”

 

Namjoon rolls his eyes and sits back down in his seat, his eyes falling to the little orange peel inside the cup, the juicy part stained red. 

 

Stained.

 

Minutes later, without warning, Jin pops by their little group with some eggnog and a little plate with a tree shaped cookie on it. He’s slightly flush, but Namjoon figures it’s from the clogged room. Also, he won’t complain because there’s one less buttoned button on Jin’s shirt, revealing a bit of collarbone.

 

“Hey guys, how’s it hanging?” Jin plops down in the empty seat next to Namjoon and winks at him. Namjoon chokes on his own spit and Jimin and Jungkook crack up. It’s pretty obvious why they’re laughing, though Jin merely smiles tight lipped, probably in an attempt not to embarrass Namjoon.

 

“Jungkookie has had way too much to drink and he told me that his boyfriend is coming to pick him up. I ogled at him and he was so red that I couldn’t tell if it was from the alcohol or embarrassment!” 

 

Jimin cups his hands around Jungkook’s jaw and coos at him again, his plump lips puffing out.

 

Jin chuckles and crosses his legs, leaning back in the chair.

 

“Yeah,” Jungkook says, his lips fish-like from Jimin’s grip. “But Jiminie turned an even brighter red when I told him that Tae was checking out his ass from all the way over there.”

 

Jimin flushes slightly but giggles, releasing Jungkook. “Yes, but we already knew this.”

 

Namjoon agrees with Jimin. We did, after all.

 

Jin hums, not really agreeing but also not denying it. He knows, too.

 

Jin finally turns to Namjoon, a gentle smile on his handsome face. “How are you doing, Joon? Can I get you anything?”

 

Joon? Joon! Joon… oh… God. He could get used to that.

 

Namjoon shakes his head, perhaps a little too enthusiastically. Jin chuckles and sips at his drink with humor swimming in his mysterious brown eyes.

 

“No. I’m- I’m good.” He holds up his wine with an awkward smile on his face.

 

“Delicious, right? I had some earlier.” He finishes off his eggnog and sets the empty cup on the small table in front of them, settling in to make small talk and God Namjoon feels sweaty. He expected that he’d have to go up and talk to Jin. He’s friends with Jimin and is amicable with Jungkook, of course, but there are others here that are way more interesting and more his speed. Namjoon’s not interesting in the least bit, at least not compared to Jin. He still hasn’t come to terms that he’s an adult yet, and Jin is the definition of a functioning, well- suited adult. Namjoon can’t even begin to wonder what Jin was like in school. It feels as though he was born in a dress shirt and the multiple degrees came with him.

 

“Delicious,” he agrees warily.

 

“Do you have any plans for Christmas?” Jin asks, clearly oblivious to Namjoon’s unstoppable discomfort. The fact that Jin wants to converse beyond mere pleasantries is both nerve wracking and exciting. Namjoon can’t really name a time where they’d spoken about anything other than work or the weather.

 

He tries and fails to slow down his erratic heart, but thankfully answers Jin with a steady voice. “Not really. My roommate and I were just gonna watch movies and cook dinner. Well, he was gonna cook dinner. I was going to help in whatever way I could.”

 

“Cooking not really your forte?”

 

Namjoon shakes his head. “No, but I can bake a mean batch of cookies. It’s my one specialty.”

 

Jin laughs this high pitched squeaky laugh and Namjoon feels it deep in his soul- it’s utterly endearing. But then… when is Jin not?

 

How can he be having such a nonchalant conversation with this… this- this god while harboring such a deeply embarrassing secret? One that’s going to be revealed shortly.

 

Fuck. 

 

Namjoon knocks back the rest of his drink without much care and winces at the aftertaste.

 

“Hmm. Have you ever thought about sharing with the rest of us if you’re that good?”

 

Namjoon cracks a smile. “I refrain so that people will still come and eat Tae’s cookies.” With a little bit of pride and a sudden burst of confidence, Namjoon adds, “Otherwise, they’d ignore his and ask for more of mine.”

 

Jimin scoffs and (thankfully) breaks the deep concentration between Jin and Namjoon. “I’ll try to pretend like you didn’t just insult the love of my life!”

 

Namjoon waves his hands in front of his face and shakes his head. “It was a joke!”

 

Jungkook snorts and points at Namjoon with his thumb, leaning in closer to Jimin, his head bobbing slightly. “Yeah, he’s just flirting, hyung.”

 

Namjoon flushes and he even catches Jin twinge a shade of pink. 

 

“Umm,” Namjoon grumbles, clearly flustered. “I’m gonna get more to drink.” He turns to Jin. “Do you want more, or…?”

 

“What?” Jin goes stick straight but then relaxes, his eyes dropping to his drink. Namjoon hasn’t seen such a reaction from Jin, as he’s usually collected. It’s odd but… humanizing. “Oh, no, thanks.”

 

Namjoon nods and clears his throat, his wide eyes on Jungkook. It takes a moment and a desperate, secret kick under the table before Jungkook realizes that Namjoon’s trying to get him to follow. The younger excuses himself with a deep slurred voice and follows after Namjoon, both of them heading to the snack table.

 

“Hyung, you made my ankle hurt. Now it’s gonna be bruised,” Jungkook whines, his lower lip jutting out adorably. “My boyfriend is gonna yell at you for destroying my delicate skin.”

 

Namjoon snorts and looks up from the pretzel bowl, his eyes glinting with humor as he stares at Jungkook. “Yeah, but your boyfriend does that to you anyway. Don’t think I didn’t see that big hickey last week. Whoever tried the cover up job on that one failed in their attempts.”

 

Jungkook scoffs and picks up an M&M, which he throws at Namjoon’s shoulder before it falls unceremoniously to the floor. “I did! I thought I did a good job!”

 

Ugh, he’s adorable. “You did a decent job, but you forgot the touch ups. By four in the afternoon it was out for everyone to see.”

 

Jungkook snarls in his drunkenness and searches for a comeback but falls short. So he turns back to the food and mutters to himself and he loads up a second plate full of junk food despite the other plate still half full back in his seat.

 

“I have a plan,” Namjoon says, pinching a frayed looking piece of dried squid and shoving it into his mouth. Through his chewing, he continues, “But it’s pretty drastic and will probably take my chances with Jin into the negatives.”

 

Jungkook stuffs a handful of plain chips into his mouth and looks at Joon with wide eyes, having them ask the question for him.

 

Namjoon snorts. “Basically, I’m going to pretend to trip and then I’m going to spill my wine on him. That way, he’ll have to leave to either go and change or not come back at all. He won’t hear that I’m his Secret Santa and I’ll beg Tae on my hands and knees to get him to avoid telling Jin later on- like maybe he forgot or something.”

 

Jungkook swallows (and it looks like it hurts), and smirks. “Tae? Forgetting something? That’s not very believable.”

 

Namjoon nods and sighs. “I know. But it’s the best I’ve got and I’m sure things have slipped Tae’s mind before. It’s not totally unbelievable.”

 

“Tae still remembers the first day Jimin held his hand. And the exact hour he met me.”

 

“I know you’re telling the truth, but it’s really bursting my bubble. I’m trying to come up with the best possible solution and this is all I’ve got.”

 

Namjoon can feel Jungkook’s eyes on him as he refills his cup with the hot wine. Namjoon has to go through with this plan whether he likes it or not because it might be crazy enough to work, and if it does, all the stress Namjoon’s carrying in his body will go away. And the problem will be semi- solved and if more problems arise, at least he’ll have more time to map out a better plan. 

 

“It’s a fine plan, considering.” 

 

Namjoon nods. “It should work, right?”

 

Jungkook shrugs. “I mean, who wants to stick around with a massive stain on their shirt? I’d go home.”

 

Namjoon agrees. Not only is a blatant stain unflattering to sport around, it’ll also be wet and sticky and uncomfortable.

 

Now all he has to do mentally prepare himself for slight embarrassment. Better than having Jin know who his Secret Santa is, of course, but still humiliating, especially in front of everyone. Especially in front of  Jin.

 

Namjoon ushers Jungkook forward with a simple look and Jungkook does as he’s told, forcing a smile and greeting Jin and Jimin again, his eyes only nervously darting to Namjoon once. 

 

Namjoon steels himself.

 

It’s for the best. I’ll be spared the utter humiliation of being the accidental sex toy gifter and Jin won’t have to fire or be disgusted by me. Jungkook can sneak into his office and steal them back so he can have a wonderful couple of Christmas nights and I’ll only have to live with the fact that I spilled wine on my boss and probably added to the list of reasons why no one (and especially Jin) would want to date me. It’s good. It’s chill. 

 

Namjoon puckers his lips and lets out a slow breath before the courage kicks in, his footsteps leading him closer and closer to his handsome, idol-like boss. The cup wavers in his hand from the nerves, but thankfully none of it spills in its journey. 

 

Finally, Namjoon reaches the tipping point. Literally. He almost doesn’t have to fake a trip because he’s nervous enough that his legs nearly give out anyway. Still, he forces himself forward and tips the cup right above Jin’s shoulder and the blood red liquid spills down his front from his shoulder to the bit of his waist where his shirt is tucked in.

 

Namjoon also doesn’t have to fake shock because he truly is. He can’t believe it has really come to this. He has undeniably spilled his drink on Kim Seokjin and now he has to live with that for the rest of his life.

 

Jimin’s reaction is the first thing Namjoon notices, as he’s right in his eyeline. The younger blinks repeatedly, his pink lips parting as he stares at the blaring red stain. He doesn’t move a muscle as he tries to process what just happened. To his right, Jungkook feigns his surprise but he does a good job of it, the food in his hand dropping back to the plate.

 

And Jin… he doesn’t move. So Namjoon doesn’t either. His words and his breath catches in his throat. Air fails to slip past his slightly parted lips.

 

It’s Taehyung who actually says something. He just so happens to be walking by with a new package of napkins and stops dead in his tracks when he sees Namjoon holding his cup in mid air and Jin remaining unmoved despite liquid seeping into the material of his shirt. 

 

Tae gasps and uses his teeth to open the plastic as he takes a detour towards them. He reaches into the package and pulls out a handful of napkins before falling to his knees in front of Jin and asking if he’s alright.

 

This spurs Namjoon from his semi-fake shock. He sets the cup on a table and rounds the chair. From this spot diagonally in front of Jin, he can see just how bad the stain is. It’s uneven, splotchy, and looks like he’s bleeding to death. Namjoon can’t even bring himself to look Jin in the eyes.

 

“Hyung, I am so, so sorry. I- I lost my footing and… it was an accident.” 

 

Lie. 

 

Ugh. Namjoon doesn’t lie. But this time, it’s for the greater good.

 

He bows at a ninety degree angle and apologizes again, squeezing his eyes shut as if the action might will away what just happened.

 

He half expects Jin to just ignore him and leave or maybe grumble a response, but that’s not what happens at all. Jin takes the napkins from Tae and thanks him and then stands up and takes a step closer to Namjoon, the shiny black toes of his shoes coming into view. Namjoon licks his dry lips and dares himself to stand up straight again, knowing full well he’ll be eye to eye with Jin.

 

He does. 

 

And Jin’s not angry. Nor blank-faced. He’s… smiling?

 

Namjoon lets out a gasp (one that’s perhaps a little too loud) when Jin’s hand grips his shoulder, squeezing it. Namjoon meets his eyes and they’re soft, the honey brown of them warm and kind. There’s a smile on his face to match that gentleness. There’s not a single feature or gesture that might show Namjoon that he’s upset. He just looks sympathetic.

 

How? How can one human being be so perfect? So many people in this situation would stomp off, frustrated, or get in the face of the person who spilled the wine.

 

But Jin shows no concern, except maybe for Namjoon’s sake.

 

“Are you okay?”

 

Are you… okay? Are you okay? What?

 

Namjoon nods, the embarrassment finally kicking in, reaching from his chest to the tips of his ears.

 

“‘M sorry,” Namjoon mumbles again, his voice wavering. 

 

Jin pulls his hand away, but instead of releasing his grip on Namjoon, the knuckle of his pointer finger gently skims the sensitive skin near Namjoon’s shoulder and follows the line of his neck towards his chin before completely removing it. Goosebumps spread over his arms and up his spine and his mouth goes dry.

 

“No worries, Joon.” Oh God, there’s that nickname again. “It was an accident. I’m just glad you’re alright.”

 

Namjoon swallows thickly and licks his dry lips again. “But- but your shirt.”

 

Jin drops his head and pinches the material of his shirt so he can get a better look at the stain. He shrugs with those wide shoulders and looks back up at Namjoon, his teeth peeking out in his grin. “It’s just a shirt! Plenty where this came from.”

 

Namjoon blinks dumbly.

 

This is… this is definitely not going to plan. 

 

But it’s also not the worst outcome either. He’s so smitten and entranced by Jin in this moment that he could almost forget about-

 

“Um… do you need to go and change your shirt?”

 

Jin shakes his head and nearly has Namjoon turning to a pile of goo on the floor as he unbuttons his shirt completely and turns around to throw it in the chair behind him, his toned back muscles moving sinfully under his see-through white tank top. 

 

Namjoon can almost hear Jungkook telling him to wipe the drool off of his mouth.

 

When Jin turns around, he winks at Namjoon.

 

There’s a year's worth of flirtations built up in the past three minutes that Namjoon is going to hold onto forever.

 

“Thankfully I have an extra one in the office. Last time I went to a lunch meeting I spilled mustard on my shirt and decided that I should be prepared in case something like that should happen again.” 

 

He smiles at Namjoon one last time before swerving around him and heading towards his office where the stupid fucking sex toys are, leaving Namjoon with his massive problem and an even more massive crush.

 

“Fuck,” he huffs, turning on his heel to look at his friend.

 

Jungkook seems just as perplexed and frantic as Namjoon, which means that the only solution left is to let it be.

 

And leave it to Taehyung to ‘let it be’ as soon as possible.

 

“Attention!” Taehyung clangs his Snoopy mug with a spoon and demands eye contact from the room. The chatter dies down a little bit until it fully subsides, Namjoon standing there like an idiot as he internally watches his future play out in front of him. Taehyung shushes the rest of the chatterers with a finger to his lips and then steps up on a chair so that the room can get a better look at him.

 

Jimin whistles at him and Tae finds him and winks.

 

“Hi! I’m glad you all stuck around for the party! As you know, we did Secret Santas this year and now, since you’re all stuffed with my cookies and Heejin’s drool worthy cinnamon bread, let’s reveal them!”

 

Namjoon feels his heart stop in his chest. Despite realizing that Jin’s going to know he’s the one that gave him the sex toys in less than fifteen minutes, Namjoon still can’t take being here. He can’t see the look on Jin’s face when his name is revealed. He doesn’t want to see the disappointment or the disgust. It’s not who he is, but he’s going to have to suck it up because Jungkook is his best friend and he comes before anyone- including Jin. He’ll take the embarrassment and the shunning if it means that Jungkook’s private life can remain just that. 

 

However, that doesn’t mean he has to stay here and be subject to Jin’s reaction now. He can wait until the next time he comes to work; when he’s had some time to somewhat prepare himself for Jin’s questioning.

 

Namjoon runs a hand through his hair and walks over to his chair. He bends over and picks up his bag, nestling the strap over his shoulder. Jungkook stares at him questioningly and Namjoon whispers, “I’m gonna go.”

 

Jungkook looks a bit forlorn and Namjoon understands why. Last year they had a blast at the Christmas party. Namjoon felt carefree and weightless and the two of them could be themselves and drink and eat to their heart’s content.

 

This year, Namjoon can’t do the same. All he wants to do is go and sleep the shame away.

 

“Text me when you get back. And hyung?” 

 

“Hmm?”

 

Jungkook smiles reassuringly at Namjoon. “It’s going to be alright.”

 

Namjoon forces a tight smile and nods once before sneaking out of the room, out of the elevator, and out of the building without a wayward glance or objection. He figures no one would really notice anyway, as he’s always in his office during work hours. Seeing him around is not a recurring thing.

 

Namjoon takes the bus home and lets out a sigh. It doesn’t take any relief with it but there is something about home that makes troubles seem far away at least.

 

Yoongi’s not around, but that’s not unusual. Namjoon brushes his teeth and slips into his fuzzy pajamas and texts Jungkook before falling asleep the second his head hits the pillow.

 

+++

 

“Wait, so let me get this straight.” 

 

Yoongi settles back into the armrest of the couch and curls his knees into his body. His hood is down over his forehead and his black bangs are in his eyes, but the moody darkness of his pajamas is a stark contrast to the amused gummy smile sitting pretty on his face.

 

“You accidentally switched up presents and your boss- Seok- Seok-”

 

“Seokjin.”

 

“Seokjin was given a myriad of sex toys meant for our dearest little Jungkook.”

 

There’s a pause where Namjoon just glares at Yoongi, hating how much he’s getting his kicks out of this very real traumatic experience.

 

“Yes.”

 

Yoongi’s snort turns into a series of hiccup-like laughs. He kicks his legs out in front of him and leans back so that his head dangles over the floor. His hand rests on his stomach.

 

“It’s not funny, you know,” Namjoon says seriously. “It could be considered sexual harassment, I’m pretty sure.”

 

Yoongi sits up and shakes his head, his smile still unwavering. “Yeah, maybe if you meant it. It was a mistake. All you gotta do is tell him that.”

 

Namjoon nods. He knows this. He just has to say it was an honest mistake. After the embarrassment from the night before, it’s not hard to put himself in a humiliating situation again. After sleeping on it, he realizes two things. 

 

First, he was perhaps being a little too dramatic yesterday. There might have been better options, but his mind was clouded with anxiousness.

 

And second, because he has to put himself in another embarrassing situation, Namjoon’s probably going to have to quit to spare himself. 

 

“I was looking at the job openings page in the newspaper today.”

 

“You still read the newspaper?” Yoongi’s brows furrow.

 

“And they have so many openings. I mean, there’s even a job opening, like, a block away! I could walk to work. I’d be helping the environment. Plus, it’s fifteen minutes away from my workplace right now, so I’d probably never have to see Seokjin again. Seoul’s massive.”

 

“Where the hell did you even get the newspaper?” Yoongi mutters, though it’s more to himself than Namjoon.

 

“Hyung, you’re really not helping.”

 

Yoongi sighs and sits up straight, his cat-like eyes staring right into Namjoon’s soul. He’s completely serious now.

 

“That’s because we already know that you won’t leave your job because you can’t leave Jungkook, you have work friends you never thought you’d have, and you would miss staring at Seokjin’s face all day.”

 

Namjoon supposes Yoongi’s right. He’s treated fairly and his pay is perhaps a little higher than the average graphic design job. His hours are great and he has Tae and Jimin and Jungkook. And, despite not wanting to agree with Yoongi, he’s right. He truly does love seeing Jin everyday. He likes their morning greetings and the minute long meetings they have about projects. He likes seeing Jin listen- really listen- to those beneath him during meetings. He likes seeing him smile at everyone in the office. He likes that he actually cares about his co-workers. No one in their building is just a cog in a machine. Everyone contributes and Jin takes note of their hard work and appreciates each and every worker. 

 

And he can’t get over the way Jin touched him last night. The way he called him Joon as if they were old friends or something.

 

“You’re doing that thing again,” Yoongi says, his lip quirking up at the side.

 

Namjoon frowns. “What thing?”

 

“That thing where you stare off into space thinking about Seokjin’s dreamy face.”

 

Namjoon scoffs and conjures up a lie. “I wasn’t even thinking of him!”

 

Yoongi blinks boredly and indulges Namjoon. “Then what were you thinking of, lover boy?”

 

“The coffee you promised you’d buy me this morning.”

 

Yoongi snorts and crosses his arms over his broad chest. “Funny, because I specifically remember telling you that I’d be home late and that I’d be exhausted from exercise of the bedroom sort and that you’d have to buy your own damn coffee this morning.” Yoongi groans and stretches out on the couch in fake annoyance. “Ah! Just because I make the money in this house doesn’t mean I owe you a coffee every single day of the week!”

 

“If I was Jungkook, you would.”

 

Yoongi scrunches his nose. “See, that’s not fair. I have to take care of him because he’s younger.”

 

“I’m younger than you!.”

 

“Sorry, let me fix my wording. He’s youngest. Besides, you’re too much like family. I’d give you the shirt off my back but I sure as hell wouldn’t go out of my way to order your grande iced sugar free vanilla latte with soy milk.” He tuts. “Or whatever it is you order.”

 

Namjoon smirks but doesn’t say anything because he’s too busy internally cooing over Yoongi remembering his entirely too pretentious coffee order.

 

The conversation pretty much dies after that, but occasionally during their movie watching Namjoon will look over and catch Yoongi smirking at his thoughts, which more than likely have to do with Namjoon and his dire straits. 

 

They’re halfway into their Christmas Eve watch of ‘Home Alone’ when the doorbell rings.

 

Yoongi furrows his brows and looks at Namjoon. “Inspection people?”

 

Namjoon shakes his head. “I doubt it. They came yesterday and he said it looked good.”

 

“Maybe someone’s finally decided to do something about the leaky faucet. I did leave the landlord a pretty scathing email.”

 

Namjoon snorts and stands up. “And by scathing you mean a really nice email with lots of apologies, pleases, and thank yous.”

 

Yoongi purses his lips and Namjoon leaves with an endeared grin before Yoongi can argue the truth.

 

Namjoon slips across the floor in his Santa Paws socks that are adorned with festive kitties and balls of yarn. When he reaches the door, he pats down the wrinkles in his pajama shirt so that he can look a little bit presentable. Then he unlocks the door and opens it.

 

And then gasps and immediately, slams it shut, and holds it closed, his heart threatening to beat right out of his chest. He stares at the handle with wide eyes, trying to figure out what in the hell to do.

 

“Who’s at the door, Joon?” 

 

Namjoon doesn’t answer. Instead, he lets out a deep breath, opens the door, and without thinking blurts out, “It was an accident! I’m sorry!”

 

Jin- Kim Seokjin- smiles. He looks effortlessly beautiful despite being the most dressed down Namjoon’s ever seen. He’s wearing a long black puffer coat, a plain salmon pink shirt, jeans, and white Converse shoes that remind Namjoon of the ratty pair he’d just thrown out a month or two ago, figuring that they probably looked boyish anyway.

 

Jin looks younger. Not that he looks old at work, but he’s always so well put together that he looks business-like and therefore appears to be a full blown adult. Here, though, with his bangs falling over his forehead, his lack of makeup, and his college-looking attire, Jin seems like he could be Namjoon’s age.

 

Well, if Namjoon wasn’t dressed in purple and baby blue pajamas with kitty socks and his glasses on the tip of his nose.

 

He pushes them up.

 

“Can I come in?” Jin asks, completely ignoring Namjoon’s outburst- at least for now.

 

Namjoon swallows nervously and nods, opening the door just enough so that his boss- HIS BOSS- can come inside. 

 

How the hell does Jin even know he lives here? Why is he here? It has to be because of the present, right? There’s literally no other reason for him to come and visit, particularly on Christmas Eve.

 

Jin bends down and unties his shoes so that he can easily step out of them. Namjoon watches him in disbelief, his eyes boring holes into the back of Jin’s head.

 

“Joon, I asked who was here and you-” There’s a slight pause when Jin looks up. Then Yoongi says, “Holy shit.”

 

Namjoon looks over his shoulder at his roommate, who looks as though he’s just seen a ghost. Even his eyes, which are usually mostly closed from lack of sleep, are blown wide in shock.

 

“What?” Namjoon asks, though barely a sound comes out.

 

Jin finally comes back to a standing position and smirks at Yoongi, his eyes staring at Namjoon’s roommate knowingly.

 

“Joon, is this Seokjin?” Yoongi asks, his voice filled with disbelief. “Like your boss Seokjin?”

 

Namjoon nods. He’s utterly confused by what’s transpiring, but in a sense he’s okay with it because that means he can stall a little bit before he has to come clean to Jin and then spend the rest of the day hiding his face in a pillow.

 

“Nice to see you, Yoongi,” Jin greets, nodding courteously. 

 

Okay, now Namjoon’s more confused and curious. He cocks his head to the side. “How do you know each other?”

 

Though Namjoon’s staring at his roommate, it’s Jin who speaks. Namjoon turns to him and listens.

 

“Yoongi was kind of my friend when we were younger. Friends, right?”

 

Yoongi shrugs. “I mean, I guess you could call it that.” He snorts.

 

Jin nods, complying with Yoongi’s definition of what they were, and continues. “Back then- in college I mean- I was a little more fun and exciting than I am now and I would occasionally find myself uh…” 

 

Namjoon holds back his surprise at the redness slowly spreading its way up Jin’s neck towards his face. He manages to avoid eye contact, too, which Namjoon knows for a fact is either embarrassment or shame. In this case, it seems as though Jin’s feeling humiliated.

 

Yoongi decides to finish for Jin, and he does so as casually and nonchalant as ever. “He’d find himself in orgies. And I’d be there.” He huffs a laugh. “Still am.”

 

Namjoon looks at Jin for confirmation and his boss nods shyly.

 

“Yeah, how you doing, man?” Yoongi asks all chill-like. Namjoon can tell he’s actually curious how Jin is doing, but he also wants to push his buttons a little bit because that’s what Yoongi does. He thinks it’s funny, and in a sense it sort of is. Who would have thought that Kim Seokjin would be into orgies? Or that he would have participated with Namjoon’s roommate?

 

Oh… okay… that’s kind of not that fun to think about. At least not with Yoongi there anyway.

 

Jin shirks his coat off and takes one cautious step into the room. He sniffs and finally dares to look at Yoongi. “Um… I’m well. I mean, I work with Namjoon. Or, I’m Namjoon’s boss. We work together.”

 

Namjoon blinks. Jin is flubbing. He is flubbing big time and it is both humanizing and refreshing. It’s also a reminder of how much of a mess he’s going to be when Yoongi finally leaves them alone and Namjoon does some explaining.

 

“You still…?” Yoongi shows Jin a few disturbing sexual gestures and Jin shakes his head.

 

“No. I don’t… don’t do that anymore. I decided I just want to settle down. Like, with one person.”

 

Yoongi scrunches his nose and scratches his neck. “Well I guess you two have a lot to catch up on. At least that’s what I hear anyway.” 

 

Yoongi smirks and winks at Namjoon as he winces. 

 

 “I’ll see you around, Jin.”

 

Jin nods and waves half heartedly at Yoongi’s retreating figure before he turns on the floor with his snowflake socks and meets Namjoon’s eyes with his own apologetic ones. He fiddles with the material of the arm of his shirt. 

 

“That’s not really how I thought I’d be greeting you.. I’m sorry.”

 

Namjoon shakes his head and pulls out a stool, offering it to Jin. The elder smiles in thanks and pads over to take a seat. Namjoon draws back the other stool and sits down, feeling like a little bit of a mess in his pajamas.

 

“How are you doing? You left the party early last night.”

 

Namjoon bites his cheek and nods. He’s ready for this. Or, well, as ready as he’ll ever be. “Yeah, I’m sorry about that. Jungkook told me that Tae put on a really great party. He said that after the, uh, Secret Santa stuff, you guys turned the office into a club.” Namjoon huffs a laugh at himself. “But to be honest, it’s just as well. I don’t really like clubs in the first place.”

 

Jin leans on the counter with his elbow, his temple resting in his hand. He smiles and points at Namjoon. “Agreed. Clubs aren’t actually fun.”

 

Namjoon opens his arms out wide. “Right? You think you’re going to have fun and then while you’re there you just wish you were in your bed with a bag of chips watching a good show on Netflix.”

 

Jin nods wildly. “Exactly.”

 

They both chuckle a little bit and when it dies down, a bit of an awkward vibe settles between them.

 

Namjoon breaks it because he seriously cannot handle awkward silences. Even if he fills them with something dumb, at least it’s not quiet.

 

“Oh! Yoongi has a lot of leftover takeout if you’re interested. I guess it’s a little past lunchtime, but.”

 

Jin shakes his head. Namjoon figures it’s just as well because who knows if Yoongi wanted to give up his food.

 

Again, a silence settles and Namjoon figures now’s the best time to bring up what happened. It’s almost as if the silence wants him to force it out. Maybe Jin does, too? Maybe he’s waiting patiently for an explanation. He obviously knows Joon is the one who gave him the sex toys by now. 

 

God, he still has to buy more for Jungkook. By tomorrow, too. Shit. He’d totally forgotten.

 

Sighing, Namjoon takes off his glasses and rubs at his eyes with his thumb and forefinger. When he’s done, he rests his cheek in his palm. 

 

“I’m really sorry about the Secret Santa thing. It was a mistake. Well, an accident anyway. See, I brought two gifts to the office and they were in the same sized box and they were wrapped nearly the same so I got them mixed up. I accidentally gave, um, someone else’s present to you.” Namjoon sits up straight when he has an epiphany and smiles. “Actually, I still have your original present. Let me go get-”

 

“Joon.”

 

Namjoon feels Jin’s fingers gently dig into his bicep and he shivers. It’s almost like a repeat of last night. Jin’s touch is feather-light and so, so warm. He wonders what being embraced by him might feel like. 

 

Namjoon turns and meets Jin’s warm brown eyes.

 

“Hmm.”

 

“It’s okay. Let’s talk a little more.”

 

Namjoon backtracks and sits back on his stool without questioning. He folds his hands in his lap and stares at Jin the way he only allows himself to in secret. He can do this now, right? Because Jin’s here in his apartment and he’s eager to have a conversation. And who knows if this is the last time Namjoon will get that chance.

 

“Were they yours?”

 

Namjoon nearly chokes on his spit. He feels his cheeks burn and shakes his head. But then he realizes that maybe he shouldn’t deny. What if Jin asks whose they’re supposed to be for? He wouldn’t do that. That’s private. Then again, he wouldn’t be asking Namjoon either, right? Unless… unless he wants to know. For… reasons?

 

“It doesn’t matter.” Jin shakes his head. “But um… and you don’t have to answer this because it’s kind of forward. I was just.” Jin sighs and Namjoon watches his ears turn from white to red. “I was just curious if you- you use them, like, in general?”

 

There’s a whole lot of questions to be asked. The first being why is his boss asking him about his sex toy usage? The second is why is he asking if he knows he’s going to get all flustered like this? The third is that Jin would never ask something so private if there wasn’t an ulterior motive, so… is this one? 

 

Also, it is way too goddamned early to be talking about sex. Namjoon hasn’t even changed out of his pajamas and he sure as hell hasn’t thought about sex in at least a week what with how busy and stressed he was. He barely thought about dicks even as he picked out a dildo for his best friend.

 

Namjoon wants to slam his forehead into the table. He manages to refrain, but his mind does a good job of creating some vivid imagery of the scene.

 

“Um-”

 

“Or,” Jin starts, perhaps a little too loud and definitely wavering, “like, do you like to have fun like Yoongi?”

 

Namjoon shakes his head. He feels like he’s having extreme whiplash. Did Jin just lose all of his experience having casual conversations? He guesses he shouldn’t judge because he’s been known to blurt out whatever is on his mind, and sometimes the things he’s indulged have been quite odd.

 

“Okay, I don’t really know where you’re going here, hyung, but no. I don’t… I’m not interested in the stuff Yoongi likes. I like being in relationships, but I haven’t been in one in a while because of work. And, well, I haven’t really met anyone I’m interested in.”

 

Jin shakes his head and sighs. When his eyes meet Namjoon’s, he can tell that Jin’s embarrassed and apologetic.

 

“I’m sorry. I’m just a little nervous I guess.”

 

Namjoon snorts. “You? Nervous? Did my accidental gift really make you that nervous?”

 

Jin shakes his head. “God, no. It made me… well. Okay, bear with me for a bit, okay?”

 

Namjoon’s brows furrow but he nods. This has been one trainwreck of a conversation- one he’s not even sure the topic of- but he wants to indulge Jin. Because he likes him a lot and if he came over, that means there’s something that couldn’t wait until Monday.

 

“When I was in college, I wasn’t really into the whole dating thing. I thought it was stupid, but I guess that’s what was planted into my mind because my parents are divorced.”

 

“Ah.”

 

“Yeah. Anyway, I decided to give it a try once. He was a year older than me and we were both graduating and had jobs lined up. We dated for nearly a year and I thought we would get married because of how in love we were. I was like, ‘wow, maybe love really does exist’.”

 

Namjoon’s never known that type of love. He definitely believes in it though. He’s one hundred percent sure he’ll meet someone he’ll spend the rest of his life with. For now, he’s content being on his own. Knowing that they’re out there, near or far, is good enough for him at the moment.

 

Jin adjusts on the stool to find a comfier position. It brings Namjoon out of his reverie and he meets Jin’s eyes once more.

 

“Well, after graduation we had this massive fight. We both wanted to go to grad school and he thought that we should pool our money to see if we could do it. He decided that only one of us could go based on the money we had and he suggested he go because he was going to law school and he’d make enough money for us.”

 

Namjoon’s eyebrows disappear behind his bangs but he says nothing.

 

“I didn’t like that I’d be paying for him, so I told him to use his own money. He didn’t like that, but we both decided to go anyway. After that, though, we mostly just fought. I broke up with him because I wasn’t happy living with him. It was a rough break up because I’d remember us before graduation and they’d be such happy memories.” Jin smiles and sighs; his mouth forms a frown. “But it was for the best. After that, I went back to having fun and just fucking around. And while it was fun for a while, I truly miss having someone to lean on and to greet me after work. I miss being held lovingly, you know?”

 

Namjoon doesn’t really but he nods anyway. He’s been held, but it hasn’t been lovingly. Or, well, it didn’t feel that way to him. He’s happy that Jin wants to be with someone again, and he hopes that whoever Jin does end up with treats him right. The guy he dated was shitty for wanting to use Jin’s money. And for not wanting him to pursue his education.

 

“That’s rough, Jin. I’m sorry that happened to you.” Namjoon awkwardly reaches out and places his hand over Jin’s. It’s as warm as ever and Jin smiles at him. It’s reassuring to know he can do that- at least as friends. “You really deserve someone who treats you right. I only know you from what I get at work, but I know for a fact that you’re kind, caring, and intelligent. Anyone would be lucky to be with you.”

 

There’s a beat where Namjoon waits for Jin to thank him, where his hand feels slightly sweaty on top of Jin’s and he wonders if he should remove it now. In this silent moment, Namjoon wonders if this is the start of a friendship. It’s something he’d like with Jin, because being friends is a hundred percent better than simply being a boss and employee. Still, there’s that little piece of him that will always have a-

 

“-crush on you, Joon.”

 

Namjoon blinks and feels his heart stop. Just completely stop. Hell, the whole world stops. He doesn’t hear the blaring noises Seoul has to offer. He doesn’t hear the indecipherable words coming from the TV. He can barely hear Jin breathe, because-

 

“Huh?”

 

Jin flips his hand over on the counter and Namjoon’s hand falls into his palm, their fingers somewhat linking together. Jin’s eyes fall onto their hands and he lifts his up slightly so that he can fully capture Joon’s hand with his own, closing them together with a squeeze.

 

The spark that has remained a stable force in Namjoon’s soul ignites and burns, burns, burns, all the way to the tips of his ears.

 

In an attempt to hide his embarrassment, Namjoon somewhat swivels on his stool. His arm- the one with the hand that’s holding Jin’s- sticks straight out behind him. Namjoon stares at his bonsai plant on the tiny corner table near the window and lets out a deep, shaky breath. 

 

Jin has a crush on him? There’s no way. There’s absolutely no way. He’s such a dork. He’s a Milo Thatch-type. He’s awkward and a bit of a recluse. He thinks graphic design is the coolest hobby (and job) ever and he’s wearing PJs with a dumb (but also really adorable) koala on it and he’s just- he’s just Kim Namjoon. There’s nothing overly special about Kim Namjoon.

 

Especially when it comes to being paired with Kim Seokjin.

 

“Look.”

 

Jin does what he did last night, using his finger beneath Namjoon’s chin to guide him back to the conversation. Namjoon’s chair slowly swivels back into place and his eyes nervously find Jin’s again. It steadies him despite feeling complete disbelief at this whole confession.

 

“Joon.”

 

“Hmm.”

 

“I have had a crush on you for a while now, but I was too afraid to act on it. Partly because I’m your superior, but also because I didn’t think you would like me. Hell, you might not like me. But your accidental present gave me the courage to tell you.” With his free hand, Jin rubs his neck anxiously. “Actually, I didn’t know it was a mistake until you told me and I was actually going to drop it, but I came here for a reason, so I shouldn’t waste the opportunity. Even if you don’t feel the same way.”

 

Namjoon licks his dry lips and stares at his and Jin’s intertwined hands. The gesture feels and seems absolutely unreal, but the warmth of Jin’s hand grounds him. Makes him realize this must be true.

 

“So when you’d come to my office to ask how a project was going, you weren’t interested in it?”

 

Jin chuckles lightly. “I mean I was, but I just wanted an excuse to come and visit you.”

 

“Kookie says he catches you looking at me sometimes.”

 

Jin nods. “Probably. I do it a lot.”

 

“And you don’t think I’m dorky?”

 

Jin shrugs and smiles at him, but instead of joking or showing charm, the smile is full of endearment- endearment aimed at Namjoon. It’s such an unusual feeling to be seen in such a way.

 

“Yes, but it’s part of your charm. And why do you think dorky is bad?”

 

“I don’t, but it’s not something usually seen as attractive in a conventional sense.”

 

Jin rolls his eyes. “Well, I think it is. You’re really attractive, Joon. Like, insanely attractive.”

 

“Even when I spilled wine on you?”

 

“Yes. But also I’m beginning to think you did that on purpose.”

 

Namjoon nods. “Yeah. Because of the-”

 

“The present,” Jin finishes. “Got it.”

 

Namjoon nods and there’s an easy silence that follows where Jin’s searching Namjoon with eager eyes and Namjoon’s feeling everything, both physically and mentally, trying to remember this moment as it is. 

 

Then as soon as he’s ready (and he probably has been for a while), Namjoon easily answers. “I like you, too.”

 

Jin’s small smile spreads across his face until his eyes disappear behind his pink-tinged cheeks. Namjoon smiles back, his dimples popping into his face. He feels weightless, like he’s floating on a cloud. There’s no happiness as sweet as this one. There’s nothing in his life that feels as right as Jin’s hand in his own.

 

“I think the perfect place to start,” Jin begins, a glint in his eye, “is dinner. Takeout on Christmas Eve sounds disgusting, no offense. Let me take you to dinner.”

 

Breathlessly, his smile not easing up, Namjoon answers, “Okay.”

 

Jin nods, his brown hair bobbing. “Okay. It’s settled then. Dinner.”

 

+++

 

Christmas Eve has always been memorable for Namjoon. There’s the year he contracted the flu and was sick for Christmas, having to skip out on the fancy home cooked meal his mom made. Then there’s the one he spent in the dorms because his family was away and no one invited him to go back home with them. He’d spent that one alone watching movies. Then there was the one where his extended family got together at his grandparent’s house on their farm and the cousins sang carols and they opened presents by the fire and ate so much food Namjoon had to go to bed early because he couldn’t move. Or there was the one where he and Yoongi got drunk on champagne and danced around the room to one of Yoongi’s newest movie scores for a drama that was coming out. They’d passed out in Namjoon’s bed together and woke up cuddling. It was really nice and Namjoon told everyone despite Yoongi telling him not to. 

 

But this one might take the cake. Even though it wasn’t spent dancing or singing or overeating or with family, it was spent with a feeling he’s never felt in his entire life. Something that lingers in his stomach that makes his heart pound and his cheeks flush every time Jin speaks or looks at him like he’s the ultimate Christmas gift. 

 

After dinner, Jin took him out for dessert and coffee and then they walked around at a nearby park just talking. Namjoon got to know more about Jin outside of exes and work and Namjoon talked about his friends and family. 

 

Jin walked him home but didn’t linger, though he did leave a scorching kiss on Namjoon’s cheek. Better than any makeout session or kiss Namjoon’s ever had and all Jin had to do was plant it on his blushing dimple.

 

Then, Jin reached into his bag and pulled out a familiar box with a terrible tape job to hold the flaps down.

 

“Here,” Jin had said with a mischievous smile. “Give this back to whomever it belongs to.”

 

Namjoon took the box from Jin, feeling extra thankful because there was no way he could have gotten them to Jungkook on time what with the unexpected excitements of today.

 

Then Jin leaned in close, his lips barely brushing Namjoon’s ear, and said, “There’s more where that came from anyway.”

 

Jin left after that, his broad shoulders the last thing Namjoon saw as he rounded the corner of the hallway. 

 

Needless to say, Namjoon’s a little in love and, though slightly nervous, ready to start on the adventure of his life: one where they hold hands and share their hearts.

 

And perhaps have a few mishaps along the way.

 

+++

 

Epilogue:

 

“Hi.”

 

“It’s so fucking early, Kookie. What?” Namjoon squints at the tiny 5:37 that’s blaring on his phone. He feels tears well in his eyes from tiredness, but if Jungkook’s calling this early, it must be important.

 

“I used the toys!”

 

Namjoon groans, but he must admit his curiosity is a bit piqued so he doesn’t complain. “Wait, all of them?”

 

“Mhm!” Namjoon can hear how proud Jungkook sounds and while it’s adorable, it’s also quite shocking. Especially for Jungkook.

 

“Jesus.”

 

“Wait, is that weird?” 

 

Namjoon needs to tamp down that panic before it rises any further. 

 

“No, no. It’s not weird. I’m just surprised by your stamina is all.” Barf. Gross. He doesn’t want to think of that. “So how’d it go? But don’t get into the details please.”

 

Jungkook gaps excitedly. “Great! I tried some things and Seok tried some things! We’ve been at it since, like, midnight. The bed sheets are soaked.”

 

“Okay.” Namjoon cringes and sits up in his own (dry) bed, exhaustion weighing heavy on him. “That’s enough of that.”

 

“Hi Joonie!” Namjoon hears Hoseok’s happy, tinny voice in the background. 

 

“Hey Seok. Glad to hear things went well.” Namjoon yawns. “But also I’m tired. So. I’ll leave you to it.”

 

“Wait! Joonie!”

 

“Mm,” Namjoon grumbles.

 

“Yoongs told me that you and your boss finally got together!”

 

“Wait, what?” Jungkook gasps.

 

Namjoon snorts. “Well where else did you think I got the sex toys from?”

 

Jungkook, with shock still in his voice, responds in a high pitched tone. “I thought you bought more! But you’re with Jin? How? You have to tell me everything, hyung! How did Yoongi know before me? Better yet, how did Seok?”

 

Namjoon sighs and yawns again, his eyes squeezing shut with the force of it. “Yoongi decided to spy on me and Jin. That’s how he knows. Seok knows because Yoongi can’t keep a secret to save his life. Not that it was a secret, but.”

 

“Oh my God! I can’t wait for you to tell me how it happened! Wait until Jimin and Tae hear about it! Tae’s gonna have Jin marked down as your partner for parties until we’re old and grey.”

 

Namjoon sure hopes not. Despite being with Jin and not really having to worry about overly embarrassing himself, he’s had enough of it to last a lifetime.

 

“Let’s hope not.” Namjoon slides back onto his mattress. “I’m going to bed now and you should, too. Merry Christmas.”

 

“It really was!” Namjoon can hear the purposeful sensual fluctuation of his voice and figures this is the best stopping point. If there’s one thing he knows about Jungkook and Seok, it’s that they both have endless amounts of endurance and a whole lot of love for flirtations.

 

“That’s my cue! See ya!”

 

“Bye Joonie! Congratulations!”

 

Namjoon hangs up and notices he has one unread text on his phone, perhaps from after he fell asleep. He opens up the chat and sees that it’s from Jin. His heart flutters as he opens it and he smiles down at the chat bubble.

 

Merry Christmas! I miss you already. I can’t believe this is real and that I can text you these things. Come Monday, I’m gonna be so smitten. I’m gonna ogle you and wanna be around you all day. We should just move your office into mine.

 

Xo Jin

 

While Namjoon knows that sharing an office is an absolutely terrible idea, he indulges Jin anyway.

 

Miss you, too. I’ll slide my desk right up to yours and we can stare at each other from 9-5. Xo Joonie

 

Namjoon falls asleep content and happy.