Seungwoo wasn’t sure why he was so nervous, but the weight of the present he held behind his back was doing everything in its power to keep him from relaxing.
He told himself a hundred times to pick something else, but this was what he wanted to give Wooseok for Christmas even after talking himself out of it enough times to make the poor girl behind the counter sprout a gray hair. This is what he deserves.
Finals were over, and they had decided to spend Christmas together instead of going home to be with their families. But Wooseok was his family, in a way. He felt closer to him than he did with his own flesh and blood, so spending the holidays together made the most sense. There was no one else he would rather watch the snow fall with.
“Seungwoo!” a voice called out. Seungwoo panicked and shoved the box in his coat pocket, afraid Wooseok might see it and want to open it before it was time. “Come help me with the door!”
“Coming!” He called out. Wooseok’s hands were full with a large unwrapped white box, and Seungwoo helped him get it inside.
“Do we have any candles?”
“Like for mood lighting?” Seungwoo asked, confused.
“No, like the food kind,” he laughed. “Unless you want your birthday cake to taste like Midsummer’s Night.”
Seungwoo wrinkled his nose and shook his head, but then he was touched. “You got me a cake?”
Wooseok lifted up the cover to reveal a small birthday cake perfect for two people to share, covered in sliced strawberries. “I thought since you weren’t going home, you wouldn’t be able to eat your mom’s so I picked one up. I was going to buy some seaweed soup too, but I was scared I would spill it on the bus.”
Seungwoo leaned down and kissed him on top of the head, breathing in the library dust and shampoo scents that lingered. “Thank you. You didn’t have to do that.”
“I know,” Wooseok said. “But today is your birthday, and we’re celebrating that before we do Christmas.”
“Okay,” he laughed.
Wooseok looked up at him expectant before batting his eyelashes twice.
Instead of answering, Wooseok pouted and huffed, because of course, what was a proper thank you without a proper kiss.
“I was getting to that,” he said, pressing his lips against the younger’s pout. Wooseok smiled against his mouth and sighed quietly like he finally experienced some relief after a long day.
“That’s better,” Wooseok said.
“Why don’t you kiss me first then,” Seungwoo teased, and Wooseok blushed. He was never one to initiate in the relationship, but Seungwoo never doubted that he cared for him as much as he did. They were bold in different ways. Seungwoo was the first to kiss him, but Wooseok was the first to tell everyone that they were together. Wooseok thought that Seungwoo was the first to say I love you, but actually it was Wooseok who mumbled it after falling asleep in Seungwoo’s arms one night.
Wooseok stood up on his toes and placed a peck on Seungwoo’s cheeks earning a gasp. He turned even more red and looked away. “We need plates.”
He moved towards the cabinets to hide away while he pretended to not be embarrassed. He’s so cute.
Seungwoo followed him and wrapped his arms around his shoulders before planting a kiss on his cheek.
“You know I love you right,” Wooseok said.
Seungwoo hummed. “Of course.”
“I’ll kiss you anytime you want, all you have to do is look at me.”
“But I’m always looking at you,” Wooseok laughed.
“I know,” he said mischievously, leaving a trail of kisses down to Wooseok’s shoulder.
He turned around to look at him, taking Seungwoo’s face in his hands and tracing his features with his fingertips. Seungwoo wanted to scoop him up in his arms, but he couldn’t let himself get carried away. He wanted to see what Wooseok would do first.
But looking at him so close filled him with a warmth he couldn’t explain. It made him weak and want to collapse to the floor in front of him. He wanted to give him everything he had and more, and that was only from a single look.
Wooseok pulled his face to him to kiss him first on the chin. Then he moved to his cheek and to the corner of Seungwoo’s mouth, and when Seungwoo’s breath hitched, he kissed him softly on the lips for the first time unprompted. Seungwoo’s lips parted on their own, letting Wooseok guide him. The smaller’s head tilted just enough that he could press into him.
Seungwoo’s hand went around Wooseok’s waist to support him as the kiss deepened and his hands slid to the back of his head, his fingers tangling up in his hair. He pressed him against the kitchen counter as Wooseok’s tongue slipped into his mouth, and he had never felt more intensely towards him in all their time together. But before they could get carried away, he remembered the gift in his pocket. That was the most important part of the night, and depending on how much Wooseok liked it or hated it determined if what he was stopping was inevitable anyways.
“You want some cake?” Seungwoo asked, pulling away.
Wooseok gasped for air, his cheeks flushed. “How can you be thinking about cake right now?”
“Because you taste like strawberries,” he laughed.
Wooseok bit his lip. “I only stole a few slices.”
“Wooseok!” He cried out.
“I was hungry!” He shouted.
He smiled brightly and reached above him to grab a plate from the shelf. “Then we should eat.”
They didn’t have a candle to light, but what Seungwoo wanted most couldn’t be wished for so it didn’t matter. Wooseok sang him happy birthday in the softest, most beautiful voice, and he had to cover his face with his sweater to hide the most ridiculous smile on his face.
They ate the cake together and had a very modest dinner that they cooked themselves, and as the night came to an end, somehow the bottle of wine appeared. Wooseok’s cheeks were a slight pink, and Seungwoo’s nerves had calmed enough to get him through the night, but Wooseok had another surprise waiting for him.
“Wait here,” he said, rushing off to their bedroom. Before returning, Seungwoo heard him complain about something being heavy. Wooseok came back with a box in his arms covered in brown wrapping paper.
“What’s this? Are we doing gifts already?” He swallowed.
“No, it’s still your birthday,” he reminded him. “I wanted to get you something extra.”
“You didn’t have to do that,” he said, warm all over again.
“Would you like me to take it back?” Wooseok asked.
“Then just open it,” he said, placing it down on the couch and sitting on the other side of it.
“What is it?” Seungwoo asked.
“Open it and find out,” he laughed.
“Alright, I guess I can wait,” he said, ripping the paper until the print on the box was revealed. He pulled the rest away to find that Wooseok had bought him his very on record player. “What’s this?”
“You like music, and I feel like this is something I could get you that you wouldn’t think to buy yourself,” Wooseok said. “I hope it’s okay.”
“That is great,” he said, overjoyed. “But what am I going to play on it?”
“Oh!” He said, bending down to reach under the couch. “I almost forgot”
He pulled out an album that he had hidden away earlier.
“Christmas music?” Seungwoo asked.
“I think it’s appropriate,” he pouted. “I wasn’t sure what you wanted so I thought we could go to the record store tomorrow together, and I could buy you any albums you want as your Christmas present.”
“Ahhh,” he said, kissing his cheek. “You’re so good at gift giving, I almost felt bad for having a Christmas Eve birthday.”
Wooseok waved him off. “When we’re out of school, December is going to be your favorite month of the year.”
I hope that’s true.
It was almost midnight, and Seungwoo was so nervous he was sweating. He didn’t know how much longer he could wait before he chickened out.
“Do you want another glass?” He asked.
“I think I’m alright,” Wooseok said. “Are you alright? You seem kind of jumpy.”
“Yeah, I think it’s just a sugar rush,” he lied. “I’m fine.”
“Okay,” he said, but it didn’t seem like he believed him. Seungwoo forced himself to smile to lighten the mood.
“Why don’t we play the album you bought?” He asked. Wooseok hummed, and they set it up together on the floor next to an outlet. The sound of a sorrowful saxophone filled their apartment. “Christmas jazz?”
“I told you I wanted to get you something you wouldn’t have bought for yourself,” he said.
“I like it,” Seungwoo said. “It makes me want to slow dance.”
“Are you going to dance?” Wooseok laughed. Without answering, he stood to his feet and pulled Wooseok up with him. “Are we going to dance?”
“Mhm,” he said, moving them slowly and clumsily to the music
Wooseok laughed cheerfully, and it was a good laugh. His laugh was the most beautiful music Seungwoo had ever heard. “I feel like an old man!”
“You are an old man,” he kissed his temple. “Look at your music taste.”
“It was appropriate,” Wooseok shouted, but he danced with him to the smooth crackle of their first record on the eve of their first Christmas spent together alone.
“I love it,” he said, squeezing him. When the song ended they pulled away, and it was midnight. It was Christmas. “Time for your present.”
“You got me something?” Wooseok looked up at him with large sparkling eyes
“When do I not get you presents,” he laughed. “Okay, I need you to sit down.”
Before he began, he restarted the song they danced to because it made the feelings bubble up inside of him that made him want to give Wooseok the gift that weighed down his pocket.
Wooseok waited patiently with his hands in his lap, and Seungwoo reached for his pocket. He touched the box, and his throat closed up. He had prepared so many good things to say, but his mind blanked the second the moment came, but maybe it was okay to not speak. He pulled out the box and sat next to Wooseok before handing it to him.
“Can I open it now,” he said quietly.
“If you want to,” Seungwoo said. “But I hope you do.”
Wooseok nodded and pulled back the paper. He saw him swallow and lift the lid to find a white gold ring and a matching chain.
“What is this?”
“If you’re not ready to wear it, you can put it in a drawer for later,” he said, his voice shaking. “If you want to wear it, but you’re not ready for the same reason I am, you can wear it on the chain.”
Wooseok held the ring between his fingers, examining it. The silence was absolutely agonizing.
“And if you want me to take it back, I’ll keep it safe in case you change your mind,” he added.
“Where is yours,” Wooseok asked, not looking up at him.
Seungwoo took a breath. “Hiding at Yohan’s house because I didn’t want you to find it while searcing for your present.”
Wooseok frowned, and Seungwoo’s stomach flipped.
“If this is too much, I’ll take it back,” he said. “I don’t want you to feel pressured.”
“How am I supposed to put yours on for you if it’s not here,” he asked quietly.
“What?” Seungwoo choked.
“Your ring,” he said. “How am I supposed to put yours on you if it’s hiding at Yohan’s.”
Seungwoo’s eyes widened, and he jumped up. “I need to call Yohan.”
“Wait, he’s probably with his family,” Wooseok called out. “Come back!”
“I’m so dumb, I didn’t even think about that.”
“It’s fine, come here,” he said. He put his hands on his neck to pull him close, and Seungwoo felt the cold metal touch his skin. He didn’t even notice that Wooseok had put it on, but then he felt a different cold touch his skin, and he looked at him startled. Wooseok fastened the chain behind him and smiled, content.
“If you can’t wear yours, and you still want to, you have to wear this chain,” he said. “And if something ever happens to me, as long as you still love me, you have to wear mine hooked through it so it hangs by your heart.”
Seungwoo sniffled and looked away, his eyes burning with tears.
“And if something happens to you, I’ll wear yours too because that’s what I want,” Wooseok continued.
He nodded, and the tears came faster than he could stop. This was supposed to be a sweet moment where Wooseok cried, not him, but there he was sobbing like a baby with a thin white gold necklace draped around his neck because he left his own ring somewhere else and Wooseok wanted him to know he would be his forever even after one of them passed.
“I love you,” he said, weeping into Wooseok’s neck.
“I love you too,” Wooseok said, rubbing his back and supporting his weight. “We have to get yours from Yohan even if I have to break into his apartment.”
Seungwoo snorted. “Okay, we’ll do that before we go record shopping together.
“The police will never think to look for us there,” Wooseok nodded. “But, you know, I kind of like the Christmas jazz.”
Seungwoo hummed. “It suits us.”