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The work of the Christmas spirit

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“Get up.”


Jungsoo curled his broad hand around his wrist, tugging him onto his feet with a quiet, “Up you get.”

Roksoo raised a brow and lowered his arm, letting it hang loosely. He stood there, waiting.

Jungsoo smiled. “You do know what today is, don’t you?”

“A snow flurry?” Roksoo guessed, nodding at the large window that stood behind him through which a torrent of white on white danced. “It’s a good thing we’re indoors.”

Jungsoo balked a little before he shook his head. “Not that, you impossible—oh my god, just come with me.”

Roksoo followed him out of the lounge; he had little choice in the matter, his wrist was once again captive in Jungsoo’s firm but gentle grip.

“Where are we going?”

“You’ll see.”

They slowed to a halt in one of the children’s playrooms, the double doors closed snugly shut. It was utterly quiet from this side of them, which didn’t mean much. The walls of the Henituse estate were thick and insulating.

“If they wanted you to fetch me, you could have said,” he teased.

Jungsoo smirked. “Just wait for it.”

They were surprised by a knock on the door from inside. Jungsoo perked, smiling excitedly.

“Okay, okay. Stand here-“ he nudged and prodded Roksoo directly in the center of the closed doors, plastering his palms over Roksoo’s face, much to his startling. “Close your eyes. Have you closed them?”

“Yes,” Roksoo replied slowly. “Else you’d have squished them flat.”

“Smartass,” Jungsoo laughed in his ear, low and warm, making him quash a shiver. “Okay, keep them closed until I say.”

Roksoo did, hearing the doors open with a click of the latch and creaking hinges.

He had a faint notion of what this was about but as Jungsoo guided him over the threshold with a hand on his shoulder and another on his waist, shuffling them forward and going, “Good, you’re doing good. Okay. Open your eyes!” Roksoo could admit he was still warmed to his very core by the thoughtfulness that pervaded this gesture.

Merry Christmas!”

The cheer was echoed across the room in chorus, devolving into a cacophony of glee and happiness as monikers like “Cale,” and “Roksoo-nim,” and “human,” and “Daddy,” were tacked to the end of it, variously.

Surrounded by a panorama of his family, their well wishes, and the room decked to the high ceiling in reds and greens and baubles that must have been so foreign to at least ninety percent of those present, Roksoo thinned his lips and curled his fists behind his back, warm and fond and overcome by a wealth of tenderness for these people.

“Happy Shiestokurople,” Roksoo returned, his tongue still tripping over the strange and elusive holiday title. Several giggles went up like bell chimes and Roksoo felt a helpless little smile crawl over his lips, despite himself.

Two strong arms wrapped around him from behind, reminding him who must have taken the reins of this darling venture. Him and his uncle, perchance.

“I knew you’d like it, but it’s nice to be validated,” Jungsoo laughed again, soft and full of amused affection. He brushed a kiss into Roksoo’s throat and Roksoo flushed but twisted to kiss him back on the apple of his cheek. The man blinked his pretty green eyes and went pink and grinned anyway and shoved Roksoo off of him and into the fray.

Roksoo imagined Jungsoo wanted him to enjoy a holiday drowning in a functional-for-once family and their love for him. What he must have forgotten was that he was his family as well.

Roksoo fell with the shove but snapped out his hand and curled it around Jungsoo’s wrist, tugging him with him, enjoying the wide eyes and the flash of pure and unrestrained joy that swept over his features before Roksoo himself was swept away, piled by body upon body of individuals he fondly called his. All his.

“Happy Shiestokurople, human!”

“Merry Christmas, Cale-nim.”

“Chanukah is another one in your world, no? How fascinating.”

A wordless meow of good cheer, tiny paws hooking into his the hems of his pants.

“You gotta say it back, nya!”

“It wouldn’t be out of place, hero of the Roan kingdom. Where’s your holiday spirit?”

Roksoo leaned into Jungsoo’s embrace, staring blankly at the prince through the communication orb. He turned away, ignoring his indignant squawk, and trailed a clinical gaze across each of the faces here, immortalizing them in his perfect memory. When he finished, he exhaled, and smiled a small, genuine bow of his lips, grateful beyond words.

“Merry Christmas, everybody,” Roksoo said quietly, tilting his head into the latest of Jungsoo’s kisses, right on his temple. “And happy new year.”