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under the mistletoe

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Even as a baby artist, just starting out, Dali has always loved Christmas. It has inspired some of the greatest artists in the world: Raphael, Caravaggio, Botticelli, even Da Vinci, so why not Kim Dali. She enjoys everything about it: the snow, the decorations, the spirit of merriment and joy in the air, the lights, the colours.


The vivid contrast of the bleeding crimson and the deep pine green against the pure white snow reminds her of The Sistine Madonna; the green curtains, Mary's red dress, the white backdrop. The image invokes some powerful feelings, and she's not even particularly religious.


No, Christmas isn't religious for her, it's a universal feeling. Though she may turn her nose at the more gaudy, ostentatious displays, she's quite in love with the concept of it, nonetheless.


This is the first time she's celebrating it with Moo-Hak—she's very very excited, truthfully speaking. It’s their first holiday as a couple and she wants to do all that romantic couple jazz with him.


Currently, they're shopping together, in preparation for their Christmas party for friends and coworkers, and she's determined to make the most of it this time. While Dali enjoys going above and beyond on any particular day, this is her first holiday with Moohak together as a couple. She remembers her father's fond reminiscent ramblings about cute dates during the holiday season: drinking hot cocoa together, making snow angels in parks, talking long walks in the evening as the Christmas lights around them twinkle.


She wants to do all that with him.


But first, party preparation.


It's a fairly large party so they have decided to divide and conquer the aisles separately, bravely checking off their long list of requirements and things needed to fully enjoy to the fullest.


She's looking through the cake mix aisle, deciding on which one would seem appropriate to serve as a base cake, that's later lavished with better ingredients that would up its quality when there's a sudden jostle behind her.


She turns around, ready to scold the careless customer because there are glass bottles of wine in her shopping cart, when she spots Mootak's grinning face.


"What- are you done already?" She asks, incredulous.


His grin, if possible, widens even more, as he nods furiously.




He smiles, reaching for her hand to pull her closer, "You forget that my job depends on cooking and getting supplies for a living. I have had to learn to be more efficient when it comes to shopping through the supply chain, you know that right?"

She's grumbling as he pulls her closer to his chest, hugging her tightly.


"Now, what did you get? I see a lot more than what was on the list," she asks, peeking over his shoulder.

“I did get more,” he hums in agreement, letting her go to inspect his overflowing cart.


There’s a lot in there, various kinds of edible household groceries she can barely recognize—he was in charge of food and drinks, and Dali’s hopelessness at any household chores, is a pretty clear indicator in the division of labor.


“What other things did you buy?” She asks, curiously rummaging through his finds, generally at a loss because it’s food related.


”Mostly food,” he admits, trailing off.


”But there’s other things too?”


”Mhmm,” he’s being rather evasive and he knows it.


Her curiosity is piqued.

“What did you get? Tell me! Tell me!” She whines, tugging at his sleeves, as he chuckles.


”I got some Christmas-themed version of your favourite candy, for those unhealthy late night working through sessions, that you’ve completely ‘moved past,’” he winks, softly pulling her cheeks.


She pouts.


”I have! I have gotten much better, admit it!” She shoves a finger in his chest, forcing him to admit it, and he wraps a hand around one of her tiny fingers, completely dwarfing it in the width of his fingers.


He moves her finger to his lips and presses a soft kiss against the fleshy skin, his soft breath was tickling her.


He murmurs, “You have,” as she lights up, grinning in pride.


”What else?” She presses, a curious kitten.


“Something you’ll like,” he’s being very vague and suspicious and her eyes narrow.


His hand is behind his back, holding something, and she sneaks her own arm to try and grab it.


Alas, her jerky movement catches his eye, and he moves it up, far beyond her reach.


She’s on her tip toes, but her short arms can’t go as high as she wants.


“Harumph,” she pouts, crossing her arms, and turning away from his laughing gaze.


She’s stomping off to her cake batter section—adamant on ignoring this man, when there’s a sudden tap on her shoulder.


”What-” She turns to find Moohak’s smiling eyes and his face, with that signature upward tug of his lips that she’s used to seeing on him, inches away from her own.


”Merry Christmas,” he whispers before kissing her.


For a couple out in public, the kiss is not chaste and borders on public excessive display of affection but she doesn’t care. Her hands clutch at the lapels of his coat, sighing happily into the kiss, while one arm wraps around her waist, and the other grasps her cheek.


They pull away, panting, and she waits to catch her breath before asking, “What was that?”


He smirks, and waves a tiny plant in front of her face, “Mistletoe.”


”I- Where on earth did you find mistletoe in Korea?” She sputters.


”In the fake plastic plants aisle,” he declares, showing the mistletoe lookalike to her more closely.

“I- You know it’s not romantic, right? There’s so many myths behind it—Loki killed Balder because of this, there’s both poisonous and healing properties to it,” she launches into a tirade about the long history of the small plant.


He laughs, throwing an arm around her, and pushing their carts, as she animatedly sidetracks into other artistic depictions of the plant.


It’s a Merry Christmas for them both that year and every subsequent year that they celebrate it together.