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This night we walk hand in hand

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When the invitation dropped in through their mail one day in November neither of them really should have been surprised. It was a well known fact that the "most successful artist of the year" was invited to the Independence Day Ball. But Robin had reached that before.

Just, he had only been thirteen years old.

Robin's eyes widened as he opened the envelope and seconds later he was hurrying into the kitchen, invitation in hand.

"Jimi oh my god look at this!!"

Jimi was munching on a sandwhich and the "what" sounded more like "mhhwhh".

"It's an invitation to the president's ball. Adressed to me."

Jimi smiled. "That's great, your turn now!"

"Except..." A grin spread over Robin's face. "It's for us both."

He showed the invitation to Jimi, grin still plastered all over his face. It clearly said "Robin Petteri Packalen & Konstantinos Jorma Hiekkanen" in cursive letters.

Jimi wanted to smile back, he wanted to grin just as much as Robin did, but somehow he couldn't. Somehow the thought of appearing in front of the whole Finnish people, on live TV, felt horrifying. Like risking all the safety they had gained. What was the point of forcing people to see them? Robin was the one who had earned that invitation, not Jimi. He should go.

Suddenly his chair was pulled backwards and Robin was straddling him.

"I can see what you're thinking and no way."


"I'm not going without you. And I am going. Which means you're going too."


"No Jimi." He kissed him. "This will be the final fuck you to those suckers. We'll get some ridiculous matching suits and we'll go there, smile at everyone and show it all straight in their face and they'll just have to deal with it. Because, in case you don't remember, we wouldn't be the only gay couple with a huge age difference there."

Jimi snorted. Robin did have a point.


Their suits might not have been ridiculous, they did follow the dress code after all, but their turqoise bow ties matched. Robin had been the one to pick them out and Jimi had agreed with a smirk, pointing out that wearing extra t-shirts underneath would only make the palace feel even hotter.

Media speculated a lot whether they would attend or not and for once it was actually fun to follow what they were saying. It was however clear that a lot of cameras would be zooming in on them. If Jimi was still nervous he wasn't nervous enough for it to show.

Robin would've noticed.


People watching the ball on TV never got to see the truth behind it. That you had to line up for hours only to get a quick handshake with the President and then have to stand the insane heat inside the building for another few hours. The only real upside being the free alcohol, which did result in a lot of drunk politicians and celebrities. There was a reason why the TV broadcast cut off quite early.

Despite winter coats it was very cold. It was the beginning of December and snow was already covering the ground. They were surrounded by other celebrities that had been especially successful this year and some small talk happened now and then.

When the line finally started moving most people faced forward, concentrating on the slow flow of the line.

"This is it", Jimi mumbled, and Robin grabbed his hand. He'd hold onto it all the way to the door.


Every camera did zoom in on them as they entered the palace. They'd gone through this several times and they walked perfectly next to each other all the way. Robin barely had time to panic over his hand being sweaty before it was his turn to shake first the president's, and then his husband's hand. As the president leaned in and whispered "congratulations" it felt like he owned the world.

After the handshake he waited for Jimi and it seemed like Jimi had received a similar comment, because he was shining. A huge smile was all over his face and he looked like he could take on anything. They grinned at each other before continuing down the red carpet side by side.

When they danced it was again like no one else existed. Yes, they did bump into others just as much as everyone else, as there wasn't a lot of space. But not once did their eyes move away from each other. If the whole country was watching they might as well look as happy as possible.

And happy they were.

"You have no idea how much I love you, twat", Jimi mumbled at some point, face close to Robin's.

If Robin's grin could get any wider it did.

"Oh, I think I do. And I'd like to think I love you at least just as much."


Robin laughed and gave Jimi's cheek a kiss.