The decision to tell Jungkook the truth about his and Namjoon’s biological relation came after Jungkook got hit in the head playing soccer in gym class and had to go to the hospital to get stitches. When they commented on Jungkook’s blood type being B-positive, Jimin saw Namjoon’s jaw stick out some, like he did when he was bothered by something or thinking really hard about something. It wasn’t until they were in bed later that night that Namjoon brought it up. Jimin had all but forgot, and was confused for a second because he was reading his book when Namjoon started talking.
“Huh?” Jimin asked, putting his book down to look at Namjoon, only to see his eyes showing worry. “What was it, Namjoon?”
“I think I’m going to tell Jungkook about his biological father.” Jimin’s eyes widened and he immediately cooed and tossed his book aside to pull Namjoon into his chest. Namjoon let out a shaky breath and tucked his forehead into the curve of Jimin’s neck.
“You think he’s old enough to know now?” he asked, and Namjoon nodded.
“And at the hospital, they told him his blood type. I’d never even thought of it, but they’re going to be learning about that in school eventually, if they haven’t already. I don’t want it to come out that way.” Namjoon picked at Jimin’s sleeve. “My blood type is O, and their mother’s was A. We couldn’t have a baby with a B type. Taehyung is O same as me. I don’t want Jungkook to figure something out on his own. I don’t want him to feel like I wasn’t ever going to tell him.”
Jimin nodded, stroking Namjoon’s hair. “Of course,” he agreed. His heart hurt, thinking about Jungkook finding out on his own. He would feel lied to and betrayed. “You think he’ll take it well?” he asked, and Namjoon sighed heavily.
“I have no idea,” he confessed. “I would hope that he knows he’s my baby, and I love him just as much as I do Taehyung, and that I’ve never cared from the moment I held him in my arms that he wasn’t biologically mine.”
He hesitated and Jimin kissed his head. “But?”
“But it’s going to hurt him no matter how well he takes it,” he whispered, sounding pained. “I can’t stand hurting him, even if it’s for the best.”
Jimin smiled sadly. “I think it will go well, Hyung. He knows you’re his Appa no matter what.”
It did not go well. Jimin could have never imagined how not-well it would go.
When the boys got home from school the next day, Namjoon was already home and Jimin had cancelled his afternoon classes. They were waiting when the kids came in, and immediately the boys looked shocked to see their father and worried to see them sitting at the kitchen table solemnly. “Uh, Appa? Is everything okay?” Taehyung asked, then his eyes widened. “OH GOD DID SOMETHING HAPPEN TO YEONTAN?!” he cried, then ran from the room shouting for their dog.
Junkook’s eyes widened and Jimin groaned. “No, no, he’s fine. TAETAE NOTHING HAPPENED TO YEONTAN!” he called after him, hearing heavy footsteps running around frantically. The dog in question, hearing his name, poked his head out from under the table, barking a few times before running off.
Taehyung came back holding his dog, glaring. “You scared me!” he said, sitting down heavily across from Namjoon, petting the dog and cooing at him like he was a baby.
Jungkook sat down beside his brother, making kissy noises at the dog. “What’s up then?” he asked absently, smiling at the dog. Jimin’s heart ached knowing that smile would probably fall in a few minutes.
“Can you guys put the dog own and pay attention, please?” Namjoon asked in a gentle tone. The boys seemed confused, but they both kissed their little dog and put him down, looking at their parents.
“What’s wrong?” Taehyung asked in confusion. Jimin and Namjoon had talked for a long time about whether they should talk to Jungkook alone and let Taehyung know later, but they decided it was only fair to keep the brothers on equal understanding. They didn’t want Jungkook to feel singled out or Taehyung to feel left out. They were close brothers, so Taehyung would be there for Jungkook when he learned such shocking news.
“Guys, Appa and I want to talk to you about something,” Jimin said, looking at Namjoon. “Namjoon,” he said gently, and Namjoon lifted his eyes from the table where his hands were clasped together so tightly his knuckles were white. Jimin slid his hand in between Namjoon’s, holding one of them instead.
Namjoon took a breath and let it out slowly. “We think that it’s time you guys learn something that really, really isn’t that important,” he stressed. “Nothing changes because of this. I’ve always known and Jimin has known since he was just your nanny, and we’ve never treated you differently because of it.” The boys looked confused and Namjoon continued. “It’s about your mother. Sort of.”
Both boys instantly looked a little solemn. Nobody ever talked about their mother. They never really, to Jimin’s knowledge, asked questions. They knew she died when they were babies and that Namjoon wasn’t dating her anymore when it happened, but that was really all they knew. Jimin often wondered if they just didn’t really think about it much, or if they didn’t want to know more to have to be sad about not having a mother. They were happy with their family, he knew that, but still, it had to hurt to know the woman that gave you life was dead.
“Appa?” Taehyung asked, frowning, and Namjoon smiled faintly.
“I met your mother when I was studying in Italy. She was there on vacation from New York. You guys know we lived in America when you were little. You are both dual citizens because you were born there, so even if you don’t remember, I know you’re aware of it.” He sighed. “Rose and I lived together for about a year, and then when things ended, I moved to California. Nearly two years later, I got a call telling me she had died and asking me to come get you.”
Jimin saw the wheels turning as the boys looked at each other and then at Namjoon. “A year?” Taehyung asked, eyes squinted as he thought. Jimin’s heart ached when he saw Junkook’s eyes widen as he finally realized. He was still such a little boy. He was thirteen, but his baby-fat cheeks and big eyes like a deer made him look just like the little boy Jimin had carried around when he was scared when he first met them. He was almost as tall as Jimin, but he was still such a little boy in so many ways.
“Appa?” Jungkook asked in a tiny voice, and Jimin saw Namjoon’s eyes glistening as he looked right at his son.
“Jungkook, I’m not your biological father.” Taehyung’s mouth hung wide in shock but Jungkook just stared at Namjoon, going pale. “Your mother was pregnant with Taehyung when I left and either didn’t know or didn’t tell me, but when they called me to come get Taehyung after your mother died, I flew to New York and found him sleeping in a crib with you, and when they woke him up and told him he was going to come with me, he freaked out because they left you in the crib when they picked him up.”
Jimin swallowed hard as he saw a tear slip down Namjoon’s cheek, but Jungkook was the one who looked wrecked. “You- you only took me because Taehyung didn’t want to leave me?” he asked, his voice breaking as he looked at Namjoon with nothing but betrayal in his eyes.
“No,” Namjoon said firmly, reaching across the table, but Jungkook took his hands away. “No, I took you because you were Taehyung’s brother and I don’t regret that.”
“Why? You could have left me for my real father,” Jungkook said, sniffling as he cried. “Was my name even Kim?” he asked aggressively.
Jimin was surprised by that. He had never wondered that himself. He looked at Namjoon, who nodded. “Your mother named you Kim just like Taehyung. She may not have even known what other name to give you. But whatever the case, I’m so glad she named you Kim. You not being biologically mine changes nothing,” he stressed. “I love you more than words can say.”
“But you didn’t even want me,” Jungkook accused. “You only took me because Taehyung wanted me,” he said, his voice breaking.
“That isn’t true,” Namjoon said almost desperately. “Kookie, come on-“
“You’re not my Appa, so don’t try to call me that,” he said angrily, shoving his chair back harshly as he stood up and ran out of the room. Taehyung leapt to his feet and ran after him.
“You’re not my brother, either!”
“Jungkook that’s not fair-“
“LEAVE ME ALONE!”
Jimin put a hand over his mouth as he heard his children shouting as they ran upstairs, and he looked at Namjoon and his heart broke because he saw his head bowed as he cried, shoulders shaking with sobs. Jimin leaned out of his chair and wrapped his arms around Namjoon’s shoulders, hugging him close. “Oh, Namjoon,” he breathed, and Namjoon just let out a broken sob and turned to clutch at him desperately.
Jungkook didn’t come home after school the next day, and Jimin nearly broke down trying to find him. He called everybody he knew, and Taehyung called all the kids he knew in Jungkook’s year at school. “Jiminnie, nobody knows where he is,” he cried, tears in his eyes. Taehyung seemed terrified because Jungkook always told him everything, but after last night, Jungkook has locked himself in his room and this morning he wouldn’t even speak to them as he left for school.
“I don’t want to scare Namjoon but I think I have to call him,” Jimin said, shaking as he held his phone to his chest. “Taehyung, you really don’t know where he is?” he asked, and Taehyung shook his head, sniffling.
“I’m scared, Jiminnie,” he whispered, and Jimin stood up, walking over to hug him. His baby was almost as tall as he was and hugging him as he cried still somehow felt like when he was a little boy. His voice was changing, he was starting to get peach fuzz on his upper lip, and yet he was still Jimin’s little baby TaeTae. If only now they could find their baby Kookie. “He said- he said I’m not his brother,” he whimpered. “What if he ran away? What if he never comes home?”
“Shhhh,” Jimin said, kissing his hair. “We’re going to find him. It’s okay.”
And it was in the end. It took them calling Namjoon, who panicked and called the police, to find him. Jungkook had gone to a bus station and was waiting to get on a bus and run away when the police spotted him and kept him there until Namjoon could come get him. He wouldn’t talk to them all night, and Taehyung yelled at him but he wouldn’t react, but he was home and he was safe, so it was okay, even if Namjoon wasn’t.
Jimin came home from class a few days after The Big Reveal and went to shower, only to find Namjoon sitting in the empty bathtub crying, still wearing his work clothes. Jimin had managed to get him to get up, change clothes, and go to bed. He left his partner crying into a pillow because his son didn’t love him anymore to go make dinner for the kids. He knew he was pissy, but he felt bad every time he snapped at Taehyung for just trying to help.
It was only when he slammed a pot down and told Taehyung to leave him alone that he realized he was really, really being unfair. Taehyung glared and stood up. “Fine. God, it’s like this whole family has fallen apart just because of some stupid secret!” he shouted. “I thought at least you wouldn’t become a different person but clearly all that held us together was something as stupid as DNA and that DNA has nothing to do with you!”
Jimin watched Taehyung glaring for a moment before he crumpled into tears, leaning back against the refrigerator as he put his hands to his face. He had held it together all along, but the crushing realization that it was true, his family was falling apart, and he was only making it worse by being unfair to his son. “Shit,” Taehyung said, and Jimin would get onto him for that later, but when Taehyung came around the counter and slammed into him, hugging him, he only cried harder. “I didn’t mean it. I love you, Jimin. Kookie does, too. It’s okay, don’t cry.”
“I’m sorry,” Jimin cried, wrapping his arms around Taehyung. “You’re right, I’m being unfair to you. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.” He pressed his face into Taehyung’s hair. “I’ve just been trying so hard to keep it together but your father’s fucking crying in bed right now and Jungkook won’t even look at me and I’m just not strong enough to deal with it, TaeTae.” He kissed his head. “I love you. I’m sorry for being mean. You don’t deserve it.”
Taehyung hugged him tightly. “It’s okay. I forgive you. This is all Jungkook’s fault anyways.”
“Don’t do that,” Jimin said, pulling back to look at Taehyung as he wiped at his eyes. “Don’t blame him. He’s being a little shit about it, but his entire worldview has been shifted, TaeTae.”
Taehyung pouted. “So? He doesn’t get a pass for making Appa cry or hurting you or acting like he’s not my brother anymore just because of it. It’s a shock, yeah, but so what? Our whole lives have been this way. His DNA didn’t suddenly change, it’s the same as it always has been. He just knows now. He’s still the same person.”
Jimin smiled sadly. “I know, but feelings are different.”
“Yeah and he’s hurting our family because of it,” Taehyung said. He gave Jimin a kiss on the cheek then left the kitchen. Jimin smiled at how strong Taehyung was sometimes, and tried not to cry as he went back to cooking.
Taehyung didn’t even knock as he shoved Jungkook’s bedroom door open. Jungkook sat up on his bed and glared. “What the fuck-“
“Don’t swear,” Taehyung said harshly as he walked over and climbed onto the bed, sitting right in front of Jungkook. “Okay, listen to me. You are going to stop being a dick!”
Jungkook glared. “Well who’s swearing now?” he said, and Taehyung really wanted to smack him.
“There is no reason for you to be like this. You’re hurting everybody because you’re a brat,” he said and Jungkook’s eyes narrowed.
“You aren’t my brother, you don’t get to call me that-“
“I am your hyung!” Taehyung interrupted, grabbing his wrist to shake him some. “Stop saying that. We have the same parents!”
“No we don’t-“
“Yes, we do!” he said louder. “The same lady had us in her stomach, and even if she didn’t, Appa and Jimin are our parents!”
“Namjoon is not my Appa,” Jungkook countered.
Taehyung huffed. “Why does it matter about DNA? Jimin doesn’t have any DNA like ours and he’s still our parent, too, isn’t he?” Jungkook opened his mouth but then closed it, seeming unable to come up with an answer. “Whoever gave you some of your DNA never met you. He probably didn’t know you exist. He never held you, or changed your diapers, or fixed your cuts, or told you he loves you,” Taehyung said firmly. “Whoever that guy was doesn’t matter. You’re my baby brother, and I’m your hyung, and you’re a Kim,” he stressed. “Jimin loves us just as much as Appa and he only met us when we were already little kids, and Appa has been there since you were a tiny baby.”
Jungkook looked troubled. “I’m not who I thought I was,” he said in a smaller voice, and Taehyung rolled his eyes.
“How? What’s different? Is your name still Kim Jungkook? Do you still like sports? Are you still bad at math? Do you still eat way too much food?” he demanded. “You’re no different than you were the day before Appa told us the truth.” He hesitated. “Well, you’re being a brat, but that’s the only difference.”
Jungkook looked a little lost. “I just-“ He hesitated a little while before sighing. “Maybe you’re right,” he said softly.
“Of course I am,” Taehyung said, pouting. “Do you not love your hyung anymore, Kookie?”
Jungkook looked startled. “Of course I do,” he said, and Taehyung smiled sadly.
“You’re my baby brother. Appa is your appa. You’ve always had different DNA. It didn’t matter then, so it doesn’t matter now, does it?” he asked, and Jungkook looked kind of surprised, but smiled hesitantly.
“I guess not,” he said in a small voice.
Taehyung smiled. “Good, now give your hyung a hug!” he said, diving across the bed to tackle his baby brother, squishing his little fat cheeks as he cooed.
“Hyuuuuunngg,” he whined, but giggled as Taehyung hugged him.
“Now, you really need to go talk to Appa,” Taehyung said, looking down at Jungkook. “Jimin says he’s crying in bed and won’t eat.” Jungkook looked guilty and Taehyung cooed, petting his hair. “Just go tell him you love him, Kookie. I know you love Appa. He just thinks you don’t want him anymore.”
Jungkook sighed but wiggled out from under Taehyung. “I guess it’s not fair. It wasn’t his fault he’s not my biological father.”
“Exactly,” Taehyung said gently. “And it’s not like he knew I existed,” he added. “I have his DNA, but he’s loved us the same amount of time. He didn’t have to love us at all,” he added. “He was living his own life, hadn’t seen our mother in years, then suddenly he’s a father of two. Appa loves you, Kookie.”
Jungkook bit his lip. “Appa’s a great appa,” he said softly. “I just- I freaked out, TaeTae.”
“I know,” Taehyung said, petting his head. “Just go tell him you love him.”
Jungkook smiled and nodded as he left his room. Taehyung smiled, hoping it would all work out now.
Jimin called the family for dinner three times, but when nobody came down, he went upstairs to make sure Taehyung and Jungkook hadn’t killed each other fighting. When he got to Jungkook’s room, nobody was there. Same thing for Taehyung’s. His heart leapt into his throat and he went to his and Namjoon’s room.
When he opened the door, his hand flew to his mouth when he found all three of his Kim boys, Namjoon in the middle with a child on either side of him, all cuddled up together asleep.
Jimin saw Jungkook was in Namjoon’s arms and Taehung was lying curled up against his father’s back, drooling on his shoulder, and he couldn’t help the tears spilling again. He walked over to the bed and saw that Namjoon was awake, looking down at Jungkook as he held him. The boys were both far too big to be climbing into bed with their parents, they were teenagers, but at that moment, Jimin just toed off his socks and climbed onto the bed, curling up against Jungkook’s back. He smiled at Namjoon, who had red, puffy eyes, but a loving smile on his lips, and mouthed, “I love you” as he wrapped his arm as far as he could reach over all of his family, deciding dinner wasn’t as important as his family overcoming a struggle together.