Ji-yeon opened her eyes to blurry lights in pitch black. She glanced over to her alarm clock. Through the fuzziness she could see the time, five o’clock. She grabbed her glasses from the nightstand and glanced across the room. Her sister’s, Opale’s, bed was opposite of hers. It had been empty for months at a time. It was the day of Christmas Eve, though, and she promised that she would come back. Karai had said she'd try to go to the RFA Christmas Party as well. Grabbing her phone, she checked her texts. One from Jumin Han to the company group chat reminding them that they didn't have work that day, two from Jae asking if she got enough sleep, and one from Ilwoo telling her about his level up in LoLoL. Nothing too out of the ordinary. There was a notification for a new episode of Yuri!! On Ice from Crunchyroll as well. Ji-yeon walked downstairs, turning on the coffee maker and scrolling through her Instagram feed. ~o~o~o~ “Mye!” Hyun called to his sister from the other room. “Hyun, it's five in the morning,” Mye sighed, rubbing her eyes as she walked out of her room. “Did you forget that we don't have work today? “Of course I didn't,” Hyun rolled his eyes. “But, we have the party today.” “Ugh, that’s right,” Mye groaned in annoyance. “Yeah, so get out of your pajamas, put on a dress or something, and get in the car,” Hyun ordered. “What about breakfast?” “We’ll stop at McDonald’s or something,” Hyun replied. “Now move!” Millie squawked as Mye slammed the door shut in a hurry. ~o~o~o~ “There you guys are!” Jae exclaimed, turning around to see the Han siblings walk in through the door, Ji-yeon walking in soon after. “Okay, guest list?” “Check!” Ji-yeon exclaimed. “Food and decorations?” Jae asked. “Check! Check!” Sanha and Ilwoo said, walking into the room with boxes and bags. “I’ve got pictures, now one last thing,” Jae said, checking his phone. “Any word on Opale or Karai?” “Opale said she’d be here,” Ji-yeon replied. “She hasn’t texted me about her flight yet, though.” “Karai hasn’t told us anything either,” Sanha told him, a pang of sadness in his voice. “Well that’s not so bad,” Jae shrugged, trying to cheer his friends up. “We’ve still got all day. The party starts at six!” Ji-yeon nodded with the reassuring comment. Still though, she doubted her sister would show up. ~o~o~o~ “Karai! Focus!” Vanderwood shouted at the girl. “Hey, it’s Christmastime, cut me some slack, okay?” Karai rolled her eyes. “You are the best hacker since Agent 707,” Vanderwood snapped. “You need to get this case done now or you won’t live to see Christmas.” “Okay, okay, jeez,” Karai sighed, getting back on her computer, doing a background check on the client’s requested person. “There. Happy now? Can I go to the party now? It starts in a few hours, you know.” Vanderwood sighed, unsatisfied with the work, but they said yes anyway. “Great, thanks,” Karai smiled, popping up from her seat. “I’ll see you in about two weeks, then.” “Goodbye, Agent Karai,” Vanderwood sighed, giving a small, forced smile back. Grabbing her coat, a pair of sunglasses, and some money, Karai walked out to the parking garage and driving off in a sleek, black car. ~o~o~o~ “Where is she…?” Ji-yeon asked herself in a worried, panicky voice. “Calm down, Ji,” Mye reassured her friend. “I’m sure she’ll get here in time.” “I don’t know,” Hyun commented, a hint of worriedness in his voice as well. “I’ve been texting her and she hasn’t responded.” “Well maybe she’s not texting because it’s you,” Mye shrugged. “Savage,” Sanha’s voice came from above them, hanging the lights. “Ilwoo, help me with this, would you?” “Sorry bro, I can’t right now,” Ilwoo replied with a distracted state of mind. His headset was on, and his eyes were focused only on his phone. “I’m almost level two hundred in LoLoL.” “Well good for you. Jae!” Sanha called. “I’m putting up the tree,” Jae called from the opposite corner of the room. “Somebody help me hang these lights!” Sanha demanded. Seeing an opportunity to be nice, Hyun put his phone away. “I’ll help you.” Just then, the entrance door in the hallway outside the room slammed shut. “Opale?!” Ji-yeon called. “Sorry kiddo,” Karai replied, stepping into the room. “It’s just me.” At the sound of her voice, Ilwoo looked up immediately, putting his phone down (for once). “Karai! You’re here!” he exclaimed, hugging her excitedly. “Hey, she’s my cousin!” Sanha laughed, joining in. The day went on rather slowly, as the members put up the decorations and set up the tables and food. Somehow, Karai even managed to keep Ilwoo working. Despite the busyness, though, Ji-yeon still found herself preoccupied with the thought that maybe her sister wouldn’t come. Maybe this would be the first Christmas without her. Sure, she hasn’t been here for other holidays, but she was always here for Christmas. Mye kept trying to cheer her up, but it didn’t really work all too well.