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Strawberry Milk and Yellow Skies

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It was another Thursday in Seoul, the sky was kinda gloomy, the air was cooler than it was supposed to be, the trains were crowded and the air smelt like smoke, coffee and rain. Jinyoung was running late, he was never really the type that gets tardy, he doesn't even remember the last time he wasn't on time. Even when he was still in school, he was punctual, a model-student who most girl fall for; cold, clean cut, intelligent and handsome. Undeniably handsome. He carried a mysterious aura around, he didn't have any friends and chose to have books as company instead. He also came from a fortunate family, his father was a doctor and his mother was a lawyer. Often being praised by adults, chased around by people and envied by some, Jinyoung had almost everything one can ask for. People had high expectations for him, sometimes it's so high that he grew anxious and frustrated.

Back to reality; here he is now, running through the busy streets of the city. He forgot to set his alarm the night before due to his friends dragging him on a nigh-out on a weekday. Jinyoung is strong-willed, he knew that going would cause him nothing good but Jackson was persistent. He and Yugeom teasing him about living alone forever with nothing but books and cats, not that he minded any of that, it was just annoying. So he went, and thirty minutes into the stupid club, he was already regretting it big time. He ended up babysitting his reckless and infuriating friends, being flirted by random drunk people, and had to drink terrible alcoholic substances all night. Long-story-short; he was gonna kill the both of them. Yeah, the both of them who happens to still be asleep on his couch the moment Jinyoung had to leave for work this morning.

The air is chilly and he didn't have any time to stop by his favorite cafe to get some coffee (which he badly needed btw), so he'll have to go on the rest of the day with no caffeine in his system and a raging headache. He just hopes that he'll have the patience to deal with loud kids all day.Getting on the train, he must've looked like hell, and he had no plans on making children cry with his appearance so he tried to fix himself up using the window of the train, trying hard to see his reflection. When he was almost done, it was just in time for them to pass by a huge billboard, on it was written "The Most Successful & Influential Man in Korea", and the picture below made Jinyoung's inside turn. The man was Im Jaebum, owner of one of the biggest entertainment companies in Seoul. Some might say that pulling off a blue-ish mullet and a suit will be impossible, but not for this guy. His eyes were piercing as one looks at them, he looked powerful and confident, and he took Jinyoung's breath away. Memories come flooding inside his head, regret, bitterness, envy? adoration? It was a mess and Jinyoung liked avoiding any type of mess. 

you really made it, huh?  a bitter laugh escaped his lips and he hated himself for it. Just like how he hated himself for the words he said years ago. Just like how he hated himself for the words he left unsaid years ago.

~~~~

"Seonsaeng-nim!" the kids excitedly called out when Jinyoung entered the classroom. The all run to their respective seats, looking at him with such bright smiles on a somber day. Taking a deep breath, he forces the biggest smile he could manage (which eventually turned into a real smile due to the kids laughter) and started his class. 

Park Jinyoung is a kindergarten teacher, although he might come off as unemotional or cold, Jinyoung loved being around children He liked the way their innocence radiated, how their eyes lit up when they discover new things, how they talk about what they wanted to be and how carefree and limitless they are. Seeing them grow and understand, play and make friends, makes Jinyoung feel like a kid again as well. A certain happiness blooms, a childhood he only wished he had.

The kids all got their hands full when they had an activity that involves crayons, Jinyoung made them draw the scenery outside their window, keeping them busy while Jinyoung basks in the short moments of silence until they are done. The sky was darker now, and Jinyoung forgot his umbrella, a frown resting on his face. As the bell rang through the hallways, signalling them for lunch. the kids all go crazy, dropping whatever they are doing and running outside the classroom after bowing at him.

Everyone went towards the small cafeteria where they all eat their packed lunch, he was about to follow too, until he notices a little girl still coloring on her  small desk.

"Yeona? Aren't you gonna eat?"

The little girl with pigtails, huge adorable eyes and chubby cheeks look up to him and shook her head. He bent down and looked at her work. She colored the sky yellow. "I like it when it's bright." she proudly stated. "because I'm scared of days when it rains." she sniffles a little, and by the looks of it, she might have a cold. Jinyoung pats her head, making her giggle. 

"Alright, why don't we have lunch here again? Like always." her face lights up and she immediately runs to her yellow bag and takes out her lunch.

Jinyoung does the same, he wasn't much of a good cook so he just reheated last night's leftovers. Yeona on the other hand had a really pretty lunchbox , with various shaped veggies and all those things that you'll see on a japanese anime.

Yeona takes a mouthful of food, humming happily in the process. She doesn't have many friends even though she's friendly and kind. She tends to always be by herself, reading a storybook, playing with a stray kitten on their playground time, or taking pictures on her little yellow camera. Jinyoung doesn't say anything but he understood why. Yeona was talented, in singing, playing the piano, cooking, reading, and she always had perfect scores on everything. So despite all her attempts to make friends, her classmates tend to leave her out. 

"you seem to really enjoy your food." he commented, getting rid of the rice on the little girl's cheek as she munches. Usually, she doesn't finish her food but this time she had a huge smile with every bite.

She cheerfully nods, "My dad had a free day at work! so he cooked for me." her eyes sparkles when she mentioned her dad, she sounded so proud and adoration filled Jinyoung's heart.

"Oh yeah? What does your dad do?" he asked to keep the conversation going, sipping from his water bottle while looking at the kid who's smile grew bigger.

"He makes music, he's also very handsome! but he's always not home and it makes me sad. But it's okay, I just play with our cats! Nora, Odd and Kunta~" she went on and on from one topic to another until they ended up talking about rabbits on the moon. Jinyoung loved moments like this though, Yeona  is enthusiastic and smart. And he could listen to all her ideas all day long.

 

"Alright! class is over, don't forget about your homework and please don't run around too much, your parents will pick you up any time soon." He called out as the final bell rang. The rain was about to fall and Jinyoung can't go home until all the kids get picked up. Sighing, he pouts as he imagines himself getting home.

"You've had that pout all day long, hyung." Bambam, one of the teachers and his friend said. 

"Woke up on the wrong side of life." he shrugged, earning a pat to his back.

Just in time, an expensive looking vehicle stops in the front of the establishment, a skinny, handsome, and well-dressed man comes out of the car.

"Yeona! Mark's here!" Jinyoung called out. 

"Good afternoon gentlemen." Mark said, cutely smiling as always. Jinyoung used to think that Mark was Yeona's dad, but he was wrong, apparently he was just his assistant. When Yeona was ready, Mark leads her to the car. she waves at both of her teachers, and gently smiles at Jinyoung.

"Bye bye~"

"Take care." Jinyoung said before the doors close, Mark waves at them as well and drives off.

"Crazy huh? Her dad must be a mob boss of some shit." Bam commented before going back inside.

"EH? why would you say that?" Jinyoung asked.

Bambam just laughed, "that car was no joke, and Mark looked like a richass man, only for us to find out that he's just an assistant?! Imagine what the real boss will be like."

Jinyoung just shook his head, "You're crazy."

 

~~~~~

 Jinyoung got home around 8PM, soaking wet, shivering and hungry. He opened the door to his apartment only to see both his friends still there, eating ice cream while watching some variety show called "Hard Carry."

"Oh hyung! You're back. come watch with us, these dudes are hilarious." Jackson offered, eyes not moving from the screen.

"Yeah! I now want to try sky diving!" Yugeom whined.

Jinyoung's head was pounding "I AM NEVER GOING OUT WITH ANY OF YOU AGAIN!" he exploded. Both eyes on him now.

"Hyung? you're wet!" Jackson pointed.

"No shit genius." Jinyoung started to take off his  shoes.

"It was raining?" Yugeom got up and walked towards the glass window to check.

"What? how long have you two been sitting there? it's been raining like crazy for hours!" Jinyoung was boiling, walking towards his bedroom to calm down.

"Aww hyung, don't worry. I'll let you borrow my car tomorrow, as an apology." the youngest offered. 

"Whatever just close the door I'm tired." he said.

The both of them giggle "I'll make dinner" Jackson said as Yugeom closed the door but not before they give Jinyoung kisses on the forehead to tease him more and Jinyoung had to use all the energy he had left to run after them.

 

~~~~

Jinyoung was again eating lunch with Yeona the day after, she was fumbling with a square-shaped object in her hands.

"What's that?" he curiously asked.

She shot up and showed it to him "A phone. Mark-oppa won't be able to pick me up later so dad gave me this to call him when class ends."

Jinyoung nodded, the rain seemed to grow stronger since yesterday. The sky was too dark and it was endlessly pouring down. Luckily he took Yugeom's offer yesterday, which made things easier.

He notice the little girl a little quiet that us usual as she continues to sniffle. Taking a closer look, Yeona's face was red and her  eyes seemed tired. Taking his right hand and placing it on her forehead, his eyes widen in worry. 

"Hey, you're burning up."

He takes Yeona to the small clinic and let's Bambam take over his class. Yeona said that she'll be okay and she'll wait for her dad until class is over, which is two hours from now. Jinyoung stayed by her side as she drifts to sleep, humming a lullaby

"you have a nice voice Seonsaeng-nim." She mumbled before heading to dreamland.

 

When it was about time to get home, Yeona's dad still wasn't there to pick her up and Jinyoung didn't want to wake her just yet. Suddenly a cute ringtone started to go off beside her, Jinyoung hesitated at first but what the heck? he the teacher, he's supposed to let the parents know. He takes the phone and answers it.

"Yeona?" That voice took him off-guard for a second but then collected himself.

"Hello? Mr. Im? This is Yeona's teacher, she has a little fever and it would be best for her to get home. Are you on your way to pick her up?" He asked, trying to keep his voice from failing the professional-level of answering phone calls.

"Is she okay? Where is she?" The other line sounded worried, which is given in this situation.

"She's asleep right now but her fever has gone down."

It was silent for a moment, "I'm on a meeting right now and I can't seem to pick her up until a few more hours." His voice was now filled with guilt and sadness "Shit. She's never gonna forgive me for this." he added.

Jinyoung didn't know what came up to him when he suddenly offered "I-I could take her to your office, if you're okay with that." he regretted it the moment it left his mouth.

Again with the silence...

"It won't be a bother though? I mean you could be busy and the weather isn't really any good. And no offence, but how should I know that I could trust you?" 

Jinyoung gulped, "I-I care about all my students and I'd gladly offer any help if needed. And if something happens, which I'm a hundred percent certain that there won't be, I'll give you all my personal information, I'll keep the GPS on her phone on so that you'll know where she is. I'll-"

The other line was slightly laughing now which made Jinyoung confused "It's okay Mr. Park, I trust you. I'll send the address."

"Oh-okay. We'll be there in no time."

A hum of approval was heard "take care and it was nice talking to you. Thank you."

"No problem."

Then the call ended.

Jinyoung immediately packed his things, woke Yeona up and told her what's gonna happen.

She looked sad at first but after she found out that her teacher and dad are gonna meet, her face lit up.

 

The drive on the way there was filled with Yeona talking about how allergic her dad is to dogs and how she once planted a cookie on her backyard but it did not grow to become a cookie tree.  Jinyoung kept listening while focusing on the map, an uneasy feeling inside is chest for reasons he doesn't know.

They ended up outside of a gigantic building, and not just any building; JB Entertainment, home of many great artist of this generation. Yeona did mention that her dad did music, maybe he's one of the producers? the thought made Jinyoung get goosebumps.  Or maybe, he's one of the artist?! And at that Jinyoung felt excited and scared. 

They enter the premise and it was huge, everything was modern and expensive, the place was sparkly clean. They went straight towards the information desk where a pretty girl was talking on the phone.

"Yes? can I help you?"

"Nayeon-unnie!" The girl shot up and looked down the desk and a fond smile escaped her lips. 

"Yeona~" she greeted.

"This is my teacher, and he's taking me to see dad." she said. The girl. Nayeon, looked at Jinyoung then smiled. 

"He's still in a meeting but you can go straight to his office." she said as she took the phone and gave instructions.

A boy with pouty lips and shining eyes came running from the door behind the desk.

"Felix, take them to the office, you know where it is right?" Nayeon asked the boy and he nodded "He's new." she informed them.

They get inside the elevator after waving at Nayeon, Jinyoung then started to feel nervous. Cold sweat running down his back as he watches the boy press the highest floor, which was 25 btw, he felt an undesirable urge to go away.

Yeona kept smilling at him and started chatting with Felix a little too. When they arrived, he notice that this floor wasn't as busy, and there were little to no people around. They enter the office, and Jinyoung was blown away by the simple elegance of the interior. It wasn't as luxurious as the lobby,or any other room they passed by before they got here, but it was the biggest one. Two black leather couch facing each other with a glass coffee table in between, a bookshelf filled with books on the side, a large TV on the wall, the desk was crazy organized and highly delicate as well. Yeona sat down the couch and patted the space beside her "Seonsaeng-nim! my dad has puzzles here we can play!" she then opened a drawer by the shelves and placed the puzzle on the table.

"I'll leave you guys here, the meeting should be done soon." Felix said.

"Yeah-umm-thanks." Jinyoung said.

 

A couple of minutes later, halfway into completing the board, the sliding doors open, making Jinyoung jump. Yeona runs up to the man and hugs him 

"Appa!" her giggles fill the vast room.

Jinyoung slowly looks at the man, at his perfectly polished shoes, his well-fitted slacks, his tailored suit, his sharp jawline, cat-like eyes, twin mole-HOLY SHIT! Jinyoung's eyes widen in shock. Throat going dry and heart stopping for a second.

"Park Jinyoung?"

 

~~~~~~~

If you asked Jinyoung, he never in a million years would think that he'd ever see the person in-front of him again. It was clear since their last meeting. Jaebum was on another level, a level that Jinyoung can't compete in. Yes, he sees him on TV, on the news, the freakin billboard everyday he goes to work, but meeting him personally? again? After his success and Jinyoung's pride? No. Jaebum still looked handsome as ever, something that was never a lie. He was the most attractive guy in school, he had many friends, if girls chase Jinyoung, then they probably would kill or swim oceans for jaebum. He was effortless, the way he dances, the light in his eyes when he's passionate about something, the smile he makes when he's fond of something. And although the whole neighborhood (now the whole world) wanted Jaebum in high school, he only had eyes for Park Jinyoung...

 

"Here..." Jaebum places the coffee on the table, and sits the opposite of Jinyoung, legs crossed as he eyes the younger in disbelief.

"You didn't have to, i was just about to leave." Jinyoung apologetically said. The elder shook his head

"Thank you for coming all  the way here." He said, looking deep into Jinyoung's eyes, trying to look for something in the process. "I hope my daughter didn't cause too much trouble."

my daughter... and that's when it really hit him. Jaebum has a daughter, a kid. A kid that he is teaching! And for some reason, it made his heart hit the ground with a loud thud. He had no right to feel bad, but why did he?

He aggressive shook his head "No, she's a good kid. Really smart and kind." Jinyoung stated, looking at the little girl who was sitting on the far corner of the room, drawing while eating snacks.

"Ho-how are you?" Jaebum asked.

Jinyoung then looked at him "I'm okay." 

The air was colder than before and they spoke as if they didn't know each other. As if they didn't spend late nights sneaking out and talking about everything. As if Jinyoung didn't know every little detail about Jaebum, the time he broke his back, the nights he cried because his dreams were too far away, or the times when Jaebum would have nightmares and Jinyoung held him. or how Jaebum often got into fights because his parents didn't care enough if he went home or not. or how the elder would feed stray cats on the way to school, that's why he's always late.

As if Jaebum didn't know that Jinyoung had scars because he once had a mild accident, how he stood there and watch Jinyoung cry in frustration because he had no idea who he is and what he wanted to di, how Jinyoung's parents were never home and left him alone in a huge house, how he was the person Jinyoung trusted as he said "I think... I like boys.". How the younger was soft and fragile behind his serious exterior.

It's funny how you know so much about a person, yet one wrong moment could change that. Jinyoung hated thinking about it, Jaebum needed to understand yet no one seemed to be brave enough to say anything.

"You've been gone since graduation, I guess you we'rent kidding when you told me that you'll disappear." Jaebum said, scratching the back of his head in discomfort.

A bitter smile escape the younger's lips "Running away didn't get me anywhere, but it was better than being there." he then stood up and started to head towards the door "It was nice seeing you again. Bye." 
He was about to take a step but he felt Jaebum take his wrist, stopping him. 

"Why? Why are you running away from me? You used to tell me everything. What happened?" Jaebum firmly asked. Jinyoung felt tears welling up, but he won't let them fall, not tonight, not ever. 

"Let go, hyung..." Jinyoung said in a small voice, eyes focused on the ground, and Jaebum suddenly let's go.

Taking a deep breath, Jinyoung collects himself and places a warm smile on his face "Yaeona-ah. I'll be heading home."

"EHHH?!" the little girl ran up and hugged his legs, Jinyoung patted her head 

"See you on Monday?" And with that the little girl smiled widely and nods.

"Goodnight, Jaebum-ssi" as he steps on the other side of the sliding doors

"Goodnight, Jinyoungie"

~~~~~~

"you know? I'm gonna be training after graduation." Jaebum said, they were at an abandoned playground late at night. Eating blueberry popsicles while swinging.

Jinyoung then looked at Jaebum,  he had always been envious of his goals and dreams. Im Jaebum had a vision of what his life was going to be, despite that, he had no supportive parents to help him out, he was reckless and passionate. He knew what he wanted and there was something in his eyes that held a promise that he will eventually get it. Jinyoung on the other hand, had the world but he didn't want any of that. Selfish? probably. Prideful? yeah... He only ever wanted one thing and that was freedom.

he wanted to live a life where he didn't have to worry about peoples perception of him, where he didn't have to listen to his parents and how disappointing he was despite all his hard work. He had his future chosen for him, and he didn't want that. No, he doesn't really know what he really wants either, He as a walking shell and he didn't feel anything. His life was full of praises, money and grades. He was lonely yet nobody seemed to see it. nobody...but Im Jaebum.

Jinyoung hadn't felt for a long time. and when he did, the elder was there. He had no friends, probably because he didn't seem interesting enough, he liked to push people away and keep everything to himself. It was okay at first, he was used to it. But one summer on their 4th grade, after a bunch of assholes picked a fight with him, Jaebum suddenly helped him. Jinyoung wasn't a coward but he certainly couldn't take on five boys at once.

After than incident, they were inseparable. Now they are 18 and are now looking at the future. It made Jinyoung feel sick, now the thought of Jaebum moving away made it worse.

He nods, "That's great, hyung." Graduation is only a few more days... Jinyoung's parents separated a year before and Jinyoung had it inside his mind that everyone leaves. 

"I love you." Those words... Jinyoung hated it.

"How can you say that so easily when you're gonna leave?" he bitterly laughed.

"I needed to let you know. And I do."

Jinyoung stood up "Liar...you're a worthless liar Im jaebum! I hate you."

"No you don't! Stop being like that! You're always like this, talk to me."

"Leave! Just leave like everyone else! I hate you. I never liked you, not even a little! you were annoying and stupid! Someone like me would never be with someone as low as you!" Hot tears are streaming down his face and before he realized what he just said, the hurt look on Jaebum's face was enough to physically hurt him. He wanted to deny it. All of it. But no words came out. He slowly walked away, a silent 'sorry' and 'i love you' left unsaid...

 

It wasn't true. Jinyoung wasn't stupid, of course he knew how the elder felt. It was obvious in how he kisses Jinyoung, slow and deep, lips dancing, eyes closed and slow hands. It was shown in how he lets Jinyoung make marks around his neck so that people will know that he's taken, and how he touches the younger, delicate and soft as if he would break, and firm and assuring as if he belonged to jaebum alone. And he did. It was clear in the way Jaebum looks at him, as if he's the only home to go to, and how they cover each other's  with tight embraces and long passionate nights. It was evedent, in the way they wake up each morning, legs tangled, chest to chest, wearing the same heartbeat, hand caressing the other's face. 

But Jinyoung was a coward. He was messed up in a way where he fears rejection yet already expects it. And out of so may people, he wanted...no, needed Jaebum to stay. He wanted to hurt more than he already did and as punishment for himself, he pushes Jaebum away too.

He knew that the elder was insecure about  his status compared to Jinyoung's. He came from an mildly abusive family, a drunkard dad, a careless mom, an unfixed house that had holes and beer bottles everywhere. But Jinyoung didn't care about any of that. He wanted Jaebum... but at that time he was screaming at the elder, it seemed like he wanted to cause himself pain more. 

After that day, they never spoke. Jinyoung couldn't even look at the elder. Three days before their graduation, Jinyoung left without a trace. He was supposed to give the valedictory speech and yet he left all of it behind.

 

He went to Seoul without knowing where to go of what to do, he got a small apartment, and next to him lived Youngjae, who knew a school where he could work in. And the rest was history. But sometimes on less hectic days, Jinyoung regrets all of it, the words he let out, the way things have turned out, the words he needed to say and the pride he chose to walk in. He wonders if Jaebum would still forgive him, if the elder wishes that he was there on cold nights too or if the elder still cared too. His heart aches, it aches for his mistakes, for his pride, it aches to meet the elder's eyes and to hear his voice. The voice that soothes him to sleep when the nightmares occur or the storms roar outside the window.

 

Im Jaebum, trained for a year in a huge company, the CEO loved him dearly like his own son. When he suddenly got sick, he entrusted Jaebum with his company. He worked hard at a young age to keep it going. Until eventually, he found out that he was amazing at this. In 4 years time, he managed to make the company rise up to become number one in Korea, making him the youngest and most successful CEO. And he also created music, something he had always dreamed about. He had everything but late at night, when the world stops and the city sleeps, Jaebum wonders, what would it be like if Jinyoung was here. Where is he now? and the thought made Jaebum's heart yearn for answers, for the things that are now lost, for what could have been, and for a smile that had been his home ever since he could remember.

 

~~~~~~~

The night after that Jinyoung didn't get any sleep. He looked like shit and he felt like it too. He had been in a daze all morning, zoning out and keeping himself awake. Three cups of coffee isn't enough. That's why he was a little shocked when Yeona suddenly places another lunchbox in-front of him.

"Seosaeng-nim~ dad made you that!" she proudly said, turning into a fit of giggles.

with shaky hands Jinyoung opens the box and inside are food, meat. Meat just like how he likes it.

"Do you like it?" the little girl giddily asked.

Jinyoung's heart was breaking, but he nods. I didn't like it. I loved it. It was the first time someone made him food for a long time. Since Jinyoung's parents was often bust as a child, jaebum used to cook for him. It was nothing much but to the younger it meant the world.

"Thank you....." He said and without realizing a single tear fell from his cheek, he quickly wiped it away before the kid can see.

 

 

"So like? Do you think Yugeom would like it if we adopt cats?" Bambam asked.

Jinyoung rolled his eyes "I don't know ask him."

"I really want cats but what if he's not into that man? I'd be crushed."

Bambam is unbelievable. "Yugeom would like whatever it is that you like, you both go together so well, stop worrying." He assured.

Bambam and Yugeom had been dating for almost two years now, they met inside Jinyoung's apartment when Bambam was gonna drop something off. Yugeom answered the door with only a towel around his waist and the first thing that they both said to each other at the same time was 'damnit man, you're hot '. 

after that they just started fooling around until Bambam asked the younger to move in with him. So here they are now, young and disgustingly in love.

 

Just in time, Yugeom's car stops in front of the school, signaling Bambam's departure. Only Yeona was left, and Mark was taking forever to get there.  But then an unfamiliar car pulled over, and what got out was no other than Im Jaebum, looking classy as ever.

"Good afternoon." He greeted formally.

Jinyoung bowed and called Yeona over. the little kid being the happiest bundle ever seeing her dad.

"Actually, I didn't come here for Yeona alone, I'm inviting you to dinner Mr. Park. As my daughter's favorite teacher, it's my duty to get to know you and show my gratitude for your care towards my princess." With every word jaebum's grin grew wider, he had to lick his lips to spot himself from downright laughing/

jerk....

"I'd love to, but-" he tried to excuse. 

"I don't take no for an answer. I'm a very busy man, and I freed my schedule to come and see you. So let's go?"

Jingyoung was left dumbfounded. Thirty minutes later he found himself sitting on the passenger seat, stuck in traffic with his first love. 

 

Jaebum's condominium wasn't as elegant as Jinyoung expected, but it was enough to leave him wide-eyed. It was simple yet clean, it was surrounded with glass windows that overviews the whole city, giant curtains, a fireplace, expensive carpets, a bar counter and so many more.

"Yeona, change your clothes, I'll start making dinner." Jaebum instructed.

"Seonsaeng-nim! I'll show you my room!~" she then pulled Jinyoung with her. Her room was painted yellow and it had soft structures, unlike the rest of the place. She has plushies and toys that she gladly showed Jinyoung. The both of them played tea party for a little while until Jaebum called them for dinner.

 

It was no secret that the elder was a great cook and Jinyoung was relieved in eating home-cooked meals. The didn't talk much, most of it was about school and Yeona. After dinner, Yeona was sent to bed and Jinyoung volunteered to do the dishes as Jaebum tucked her in.

When he returned, he looked at Jinyoung's back with sad yet longing eyes. His trance was broken when Jinyoung asked "Is her mom gonna get home anytime soon?" Jinyoung had to admit, that question stung and the answer will probably hurt even more.

Jaebum lightly chuckled and shook his head "She's not coming back."

"Oh, I'm sorry-"

"No, it isn't like that. I didn't know her. I was a trainee and the company was celebrating something, I got drunk and it happened. I can't even remember her name after that. i was an idiot and a mess." he shyly laughed "A year later, I was starting to take over the company when she arrived at my door with a baby. I couldn't believe at first but the moment I saw Yeona, i just knew. I was kinda lonely for a long time, she became the only thing that kept me happy. And I wouldn't trade that for the world." 

Jinyoung couldn't look away from Jaebum's eyes,the way he spoke about her made Jinyoung's heart melt. And before he could stop, tears rolled down his cheeks, never stopping. Jaebum ran up to him.

"Hey, you okay? What's wrong?" hands cupping the younger's face.

"i-i'm sorry, hyung." he whimpered, legs failing to keep him up as Jaebum held him. He rested his face on the elders shoulder, burying his  face on the elder's neck. "I'm so sorry" and repeated for like a mantra.

Jaebum him tightly, afraid that he'll go away again. and he's not gonna let that happen, not again.

They stay like that, holding each other, jaebum kissing the younger's forehead, hands running up and down his back until his sobs stop. Jinyoung gripping the back of Jaebums shirt.

~~~

They fell asleep with holding each other on the couch, listening to the sound of the gentle rain outside.

When Jaebum woke up Jinyoung wasn't there anymore... and his hurt overwhelms him again. He walks towards the door to start the day again, running the bath for Yeona, cooking rice and doing his daily routine. 

He then heard the door open, he poked his head out of the kitchen only to find Jinyoung, wearing one of his hoodies, carrying a bag of groceries. 

"Ji-Jinyoungie?"

"Oh hyung? you're awake. I saw that you have no food on the fridge, so I ran down the store to but some, here." he hands out the bag but was met with Jaebum's lips instead. He was taken aback at finst, but eventually gave in. Damn how he missed those lips. How he dreamt about it every night. The kiss turned into heated one, hands touching everywhere, kisses trailing down their jaw to their neck and collarbone. It was something they've been waiting for. But it was short-lived when Yeona started calling for her dad.

They both break the kiss, breathless and a little embarrassed. They laugh a little, then Jaebum takes his hand and leads them to Yeona's room.

She was confused at first, and she asked for cuddles so Jaebum got on her bed and started hugging her, Jinyoung fondly looked at them, his heart filled with warmth.

"Seonsaeng-nim!" Yeona called out and reached out both of her hands, inviting him to join. Jaebum's smile was ear to ear as Jinyoung climbs to the other side of Yeona's bed as they both tickle and hug her. and they spend the rest of the morning like that.

 

~~~~~

"I got you strawberry milk." Jaebum looks at him as he cooks breakfast.

Jinyoung then back-hugged him and whispered "I know I'm late, but I love you Im Jaebum."

Jaebum chuckled, "you didn't have to say it because even before...you always made me feel loved."

 

and for the first time in a long time they found a home in each other... again.