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The Ten Rules of Dating (And How to Break Them All)

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The Ten Rules of Dating (And How to Break Them All)

 

Chapter One: The Ten Rules of Dating

 

Kim Seokjin has always been known as an honest man; a prude to some and a bit rude to others, but always honest to say the least. Sure he is uptight and not afraid to voice his opinion, but he always succeeds at what he does and he’s always someone you can count on - though that may be the only thing people know about him.

He is twenty-eight, working at a well paying job, and he never missed a day or showed up late once in the last four years he has worked there. He has a smile that is contagious and makes anyone abide to his every command. Even with his serious demeanor, he also has a sense of humor, and not only that, he cooks, cleans, and shops for himself, becoming all-in-all: the perfect man.

And everyone can agree that he deserves that title. He isn’t just “The Perfect Man”, he is “The Dream Man”. Anyone would kill to have him, but sadly… He has ten rules that no one can seem to get through. It is like a complicated game of Monopoly mixed with Operation; no one knows the rules and with one wrong move, they are out. And when they are out, there is no second chances.

Why? Because Jin knows what it takes to make a relationship successful. Like a business plan or playing a game to win, you have to follow the rules precisely. And he never dares bend or break those rules. Not when he has so much riding on it.

The ten rules he always kept to himself were as follows:

  1. No relationships with Co-workers
  2. No relationships with people who can’t take care of themselves properly
  3. No drunk sex
  4. No nicknames (it’s childish)
  5. No sex until four months of dating
  6. No public affection until five months of dating
  7. No relationship if their future plans don’t look the same as yours
  8. Don’t let date stay over night. EVER
  9. Don’t let them pay on the first five dates
  10. Most Importantly! - Don’t let Kookie meet date until at least six months of relationship

Strict right? People wouldn’t always be wondering why the most beautiful and perfect man to ever exist was single if they just took a look at that list. No one ever makes it past rule two. And Jin was fine with how he lived. Why? Because of rule number ten, the main reason for this list: Kookie, also known as Jungkook.

 

 

     “Kookie!!” Jin called out to the house as he loosened his tie and set his briefcase down on the perfectly clean and clear white table by the door that was there specifically for him to set his briefcase down on. Jungkook’s backpack and lunchbox always seldomly found their way up on that desk too, but it seemed like today Jungkook threw his bags elsewhere.

As soon as Jin heard his voice give a soft echo off the walls of their apartment, he heard a door swing open before a pair of toddler feet pattered across the hardwood floor towards him. He grinned and bent down, opening his arms out wide for the small boy with too much energy for his own good to crash into his chest and wrap his arms and legs around his torso like the Koala Jin sometimes claimed he was.

Jungkook jumped into his arms and wrapped his arms around his neck, his legs around his chest, and shouted out with a giggle, “Daddy!! I missed you so much!”

     “I wasn’t gone that long, was I?” Jin spun Jungkook around and moved towards the living room, keeping an eye out for that green and blue Paw Patrol lunch box he was sure Jungkook tossed down somewhere.

Jungkook gasped and let out a dramatic sigh, rolling his eyes and replying with his arms spread out wide, “You were gone for wike a bajillion-trillion hours! I thought you died!”

     “Ah, well that wouldn’t be good, would it?” Jin felt a pain in his heart for Jungkook, afraid that that last part really was a worry for the toddler instead of just a dramatic statement he had learned to say to worry Jin. He hadn’t explained to Jungkook what happened to his mom, Jin’s sister, yet, and at this point he never wanted to. He was Jungkook’s uncle, but he raised Jungkook telling him that he was a dad recruited to him when he was young because what else was he supposed to do?

The truth was, his sister died giving birth to Jungkook. The real father had left the moment he found out about her being pregnant and their parents disowned his sister when they found out about the pregnancy as well. She was alone and Jin was her only supporter. But of course Jin supported her thinking that he’d be the fun uncle. He had no idea that she’d be too weak and die and leave him alone with a child that had the roundest eyes and the softest smile. He had no idea that he’d cave when he was asked what should happen to the baby and volunteer almost without a second thought to raise him by himself. He had no idea that any of this would happen, but he was glad it did. He really was. Jungkook was his whole life now. His nephew was more of his son than anything, and he didn’t need anyone else to help him. All he needed was Jungkook and all Jungkook needed was him.

Jungkook shook his head in reply to Jin’s last question, his lips puckering up in a pout as he hugged Jin and rubbed his cheek against his, “No… That’s why you need to stay home, daddy. Pwease….”

Ah, Jungkook’s lack of being able to form the ‘l’ sound always made Jin weak at the knees. Maybe one of these days he really would quit his job just because Jungkook asked him too, but in the meantime, working hard to make sure he and Kookie lived comfortably sadly won over Jungkook’s puppy dog eyes just by a little.

He fell back into a sitting position on their couch in the living room and held Jungkook, swaying him back and forth lightly as he asked, “Where’s Jiminie? He’s still here, isn’t he?”

     “Chimmy is sweeping,” Jungkook pointed towards his room where the door with letter stickers spelling out Jungkook’s name stuck to it was cracked open, revealing an image of a blonde boy - that looked to be in his teens though he was already well in to college - wearing a tiara, a pink boa, and makeup smeared all over his face as he slept, leaned up against Jungkook’s Star Wars themed bedding.

Jin laughed to himself and picked Jungkook up to set him down next to him on the couch. He got up and started to walk towards the room as he assured Jungkook, “I’ll be back in a moment. Let me just tell Jimin he can go home now.”

Jin creaked open Jungkook’s door slowly, smiling to himself as temptations to take a photo of Jimin sleeping with makeup smeared all over his face for blackmail crept into his mind. He didn't follow through with those plans though, too thankful to the undergrad dance major for helping him out every late weeknight to do that to him.

Instead, he just shook Jimin awake lightly and whispered, “Hey, sleepy-head. You should go before your miss your bus back home.”

Before he could even finish speaking, Jimin jolted himself awake and opened his eyes wide, immediately letting out a soft shout, “Oh f- my gosh, I’m so sorry! I didn’t mean to fall asleep. I swear I was watching him until like ten minutes ago-!”

     “It’s fine, it’s fine,” Jin laughed and patted Jimin on the back. “You could sleep the whole time and I’d still be thankful for all you do for me. Go home and get some proper rest without all the uh,” he gestured to Jimin face and smiled, “Makeup on your face. I’m guessing Jungkook wanted to play princesses or something?”

Jimin let out a sigh of relief and started to get up, “Actually, he wanted to dress me up as a bride for my wedding,” Jimin gave an embarrassed laugh and took off his princess crown and feathered boa that was shedding now around where Jimin stood, “My groom sadly left me at the altar though, so next time we’re going to have to find him,” Jimin started to step out of Jungkook’s room, but froze and turned back around to Jin who was following behind him, “Jungkook is apparently learning about families in school, and he asked me why you weren't assigned to him with a mom like everyone else’s dad’s were.”

     “Ah,” Jin glanced over at the living room where Jungkook was now sitting and watching a late night cartoon, his head nodding off every few seconds as sleep kept attempting to claim him for the night. He was relentless and stubborn though, just as he always was with his curious questions. Jin closed the door to Jungkook’s room behind him and spoke softer now, “What did you say to make him stop asking? Usually he never gives up when he wants answers.”

Jimin shrugged, “I just told him that you didn’t need to be ‘assigned’ with anyone else because you were ranked the number one top dad in the whole universe. He seemed to understand from there.”

Jin let out a sigh of relief, “You’re a lifesaver. Thank you.”

     “No problem!” Jimin grabbed his black dance bag he always brought with him from his dance classes to pick Jungkook up from pre-school and then back home. He slung it around his shoulder and made his way to the door, turning back around to Jin to ask one more thing, “Hey, tomorrow night is Friday night, and I was thinking…”

     “I’ll get home early, it’s fine,” Jin interrupted him, raising his hand to assure Jimin that he didn’t need to beg anymore to have a night off. He worked too hard and probably always missed out on the fun things his friends got to do without him.

Jin didn’t get the response he predicted though. In fact, Jimin’s eyes widened and he shook his head quickly, saying, “No, that’s the opposite of what I want!”

     “What?” Jin questioned.

Jimin sighed and smiled, looking down and awkwardly edging out, “This is going to sound way out of my lane, but I think you should go out and have fun after work while I just stay here a little later than normal and watch Jungkook. You’re only twenty-eight right?”

     “Jimin, I can’t have you do tha-!”

     “You’re twenty-eight! You should still be having at least some kind of fun, but all you do is work and then come back home to take care of Jungkook. And don’t get me wrong, Jungkook is amazing and if I have a kid one day, I want them to be just like him, but you need to drink with friends your age and have like… adult fun! When’s the last time you got drunk?”

Jin opened his mouth to speak, but Jimin interrupted him before he could even say anything, “And not tipsy. Drunk.”

Jin sighed and shrugged, awkwardly looking away, “Ok I see your point…”

     “There you go!” Jimin grinned, “It really wouldn’t be hard on me to just stay a little later. I can sleep on the couch when Jungkook goes to sleep and then I have the whole weekend to myself and my friends while you have wonderful memories of Friday night.”

Jin laughed and shook his head, “I’ll think about it. I don’t even know who I’d go do adult stuff with. It’s not like my coworkers are that crazy either.”

     “You’ll figure something out,” Jimin assured him with a thumbs up.

     “And if it does happen, you’re staying the night. I’m not going to send you off past midnight out into the city, alright?” Jin spoke in his fatherly tone that he had to learn with Jungkook and accidentally always used with Jimin despite him being only a few years younger. Maybe he really did need to loosen up a bit.

Jimin nodded his head and started to walk out the door, smiling to himself about how he was finally getting Jin to do something besides be a dad. Jimin knew he was going to snap one day otherwise.

Jin watched as Jimin got into the elevator on their floor and left, letting out a deep sigh when the second most powerful ball of energy in his life was gone. He loved Jimin. Jimin was a saint. Jimin was a literal angel sent down to him from the parenting gods, but Jimin was always trying to get him to go out and have fun when Jin very well knew that that ship had sailed for him the moment he told the doctors and then the court that he wanted custody of Jungkook.

Almost like clockwork when all that happened, Jin lost his family who claimed he had turned on them when he still talked to his sister even after she had been disowned, Jin lost his friends when he couldn’t hang out with them anymore, Jin lost his sanity at times when he couldn’t sleep through one night fully for a whole year because of Jungkook’s crying, and Jin lost his fun side. Sure he was a dad kind of fun, but drinking? Partying? Caring about relationships? All that was out the window almost as if he blacklisted it. Drinking and partying were obviously a big 'no' for any kind of decent parent in his eyes, but the relationship part…. He knew no one wanted a single dad. And that was it. That was why he put up so many rules, because he knew that if they couldn’t get past a few small rules without breaking them, it would especially never work out when they found out about Jungkook.

Jin slipped his shoes off by the door and trudged over to the living room where the softly playing cartoon on the tv had successfully lulled Jungkook to sleep. He turned the tv off and scooped Jungkook up in his arms, holding him close and whispering, “I love you, Kookie. You’re all I need to be happy, ok?”

     “And Chim Chim?” Jungkook asked in a yawn, having apparently been awake enough to hear Jin’s words. His cheek was rested on Jin’s shoulder now as he carried him back to his room, so he’d be asleep any second now.

Jin smiled and nodded his head, “Yeah, Chim Chim too.”

He switched off the main light in Jungkook’s room and turned on the night light lamp standing tall in the form of a rocket ship on his bedside table, the light coming out in a way to make it look like the rocket ship was blasting off with fire beneath it.

He laid Jungkook down on his bed and pulled up the covers, bending down to give Jungkook a kiss on the forehead as the little boy asked, “Was Chim Chim assigned to you to help you take care of me? Most kids have a lady that helps their daddy, but Chimmy is fine too.”

Jin smiled and brushed Jungkook’s hair out of his face, “Jimin is helping out a lot, yes, but he wasn’t assigned to me. I don’t have anyone.”

     “But aren’t you lonely?” Jungkook’s eyes opened and his eyebrows furrowed in worry. “My teacher says that mommies and daddies love each other very much, but you don’t have a mommy to help you, so who do you love?”

     “You,” Jin grinned, trying not to let Jungkook notice his breath hitching in the back of his throat. “I love you Jungkook. And I think because I love you almost too much, the people that assigned me to you knew that there was no room for someone else to help me out.” He hoped his words were coming out right. He always made up things as he went and he honestly should have kept a journal of all the lies he told Jungkook to explain their situation in the lightest way possible, but he never did. He was sure one day it was going to catch up to him.

Jungkook seemed fine with the lie for now though, gasping and looking up at Jin as he said, “I think Tae’s daddy woves him too much too then!” he smiled and wiggled underneath his covers, “You and his daddy should team up if you ever get lonely.”

Thinking about what that meant in Jungkook’s mind and then what that meant in Jin’s mind made Jin tighten his lips into a straight line to keep himself from laughing. Taehyung was a friend of Jungkook’s that Jungkook had always talked about though Jin had never met him yet - all playdates were something done with Jimin while Jin was at work - and Jin knew that Jungkook was probably thinking more about getting to hang out with his best friend more than what their two dads ‘teaming up’ like a family meant.

Jin smiled and kissed Jungkook on the cheek, “Get some sleep, buddy. Daddy doesn't need to partner up with anyone. Why?”

     “Cause you're the best daddy in the whole world and you only need me and Chim Chim,” Jungkook smiled, closing his eyes and nuzzling his face against his pillow.

     “That’s right,” Jin grinned and stood up, stepping towards the door as he called out one last time, “Good night, Kookie, I love you.”

     “I love you too, daddy,” he heard Jungkook’s voice whisper before he closed the door lightly and walked down the hall to his room.

He told himself he’d save the talk about who Jungkook’s real mom and dad was for when Jungkook was a bit older and understoodd death. He knew that if Jungkook was just young enough to not feel like he had been lied to his whole life and just old enough to understand the truth then it wouldn’t be so hard to tell. He also knew that waiting this long would give him time to be able to give him that talk.

But as the days went on, Jin wanted for Jungkook to always think that he was Jin’s. He wanted him to think that they were really just assigned together as the perfect pair: the best dad in the whole world and the best son in the whole world. But that wasn’t fair for Jungkook and that wasn’t fair for his sister.

Still though, he hoped that he would always remain the best dad in the whole world to Jungkook. He didn’t need someone to help him - except for Jimin of course - and he didn’t need someone to love besides Jungkook. Maybe he'd just add a final eleventh rule to end everyone’s chances of ever reaching his heart: Be able to love Jungkook as much as he did. No one would ever be able to accomplish that, so truly, no one ever had a chance at even dating him.



Jin had gone the whole day dreading tonight, and he regretted telling Jimin that he’d go out and have fun. He wasn’t a teenager anymore. He was a grown man. A grown man with a kid and a job and absolutely no time or interest in getting wasted or being out late at night. He wanted to just go home and share a bowl of ice cream with Jungkook as they watched his favorite cartoons and fell asleep on the couch together. That was his version of the perfect Friday night. How did he get coaxed into doing anything but that?

When it became time for Jin to leave work, he pulled out his phone to call Jimin and tell him he was just going to come home for tonight and let Jimin go off and have fun like kids his age were supposed to, but before he could, a woman - one of his co-workers - stepped up to him with a laugh under breath and a nervous smile as she asked, “Hey so, we are treating the new guy to a few drinks tonight, and we were just wondering if you were interested? You are probably busy as always, but I just wanted to-!”

     “Oh, uh…” Jin could have sworn he had an excuse as to why he couldn’t go on the tip of his tongue but in that moment, it was almost like all basic declining excuses had flown out the window in his mind. He clutched onto his phone and awkwardly thought about a reason for a few seconds, not sure how he could lie about his true plans for the night without talking about Jungkook.

He never wanted to let anyone know about Jungkook at work because it always led to questions about him. Who was the mother? Was he married once? Was Jungkook an illegitimate child? Was he from a one night stand? And the story of his sister was always a long story to tell and ended with pity he never wanted from others, so he just opted to not tell anyone about Jungkook entirely.

And that was harder than one could possibly think with him having over seven-hundred photos on his phone of Jungkook’s smile, and cute nose, and big eyes, and the scrunched up face he made when he laughed, and his artwork, and ah, now Jin just wanted to go home and take more pictures of him.

But he couldn’t. It was too late to make a believable sounding excuse so he told himself he would just go to this boring event for an hour and then leave. Surely after that he’d still have time to eat ice cream and watching cartoons with Jungkook.

He nodded his head awkwardly and stumbled out his words, “Yeah, uh, I guess I could go for an hour? Just an hour? And not drink anything.”

The girl’s eyes widened and she let out a gasp that almost sounded like a shriek. She brought her hands up to her cheeks and grinned, turning to her friends behind her and saying, “Jin is actually going!”

The girl ran over to her friends without saying another word to him and starting chatting with them about - and he was so sure he heard these things pass through the conversation - how he was a cryptid to the company outings and how they were beginning to think he was a robot that powered off after a certain time. Did his co-workers really create theories about him never going out? Was he really that antisocial with them outside of work?

He didn’t have much time to dwell on it though before a shoulder nudged his own lightly and he heard a man’s voice say in a way that made him sound like he was grinning as he spoke, “Couldn’t think of an excuse fast enough?”

     “What?” Jin turned to the man, eyes widening when he saw someone he didn’t recognize. The man had glasses and light brown hair styled up on his head unlike Jin’s that he just combed over and always forgot to cut. The man had sharp eyes that went soft when he smiled and talked, and Jin couldn’t help but become mesmerized by them as the man continued to speak, “Don’t worry, I couldn’t either. And now I’m trapped going to my own welcoming outing on a night where I’d much rather be in bed eating ice cream or something.”

Jin smiled and nodded his head, “You read my mind. Sitting on my couch and eating ice cream is all I wanted to do too!”

The man laughed which caused Jin to laugh as well, the two of them mutually bonding over their preference of eating ice cream over getting wasted with co-workers they barely knew. When their laughs died down, the man held out his hand to shake Jin’s hand, “I’m Kim Namjoon, the new employee. It’s nice to meet you!”

     “Kim Seokjin,” Jin replied, shaking his hand and smiling, “It’s nice to meet you too.”

 

 

The two men decided to stick together as they walked to the nearby bar where most of their co-workers were going out for drinks. It was working out well because Namjoon didn’t know anyone because he was new and Jin didn’t know anyone just because he had no interest in hanging out with anyone outside of work for the past four years he had worked at his company.

He took to Namjoon quickly though. They both sat down in a booth away from the rest of their loud coworkers and had a long conversation about why penguins had knees? Or was it about why olive green should be considered an omin instead of a color? Jin made a mistake of relaxing just a little bit and having a drink, and he ended forgetting what they were talking about as the conversation went on.

After his seventh drink and Namjoon’s eighth (?) -  neither of them knew the amount of drinks they had so far because they both stopped counting as they were talking about why Treasure Planet was such an underrated movie - Jin forgot what he was doing entirely.

He could only remember bits and pieces as they came, leaving the bar, kissing in the back of a cab, feeling someone’s warm hands touching his chest, stumbling into his apartment and giggling about an inside joke they came up with a few minutes ago, finding their way to his bedroom, and…. Well there was no memory of what happened after that for either of them but it’s safe to say that the night didn’t stop when they hit the bed.

And when Jin woke up with two arms wrapped around him and the smell of sex still looming in the air and mixing with the afterglow on his skin, Jin knew that memories or not, he messed up big time. He shut his eyes as a the pains of a hangover banged against the inner sides of his head and felt the hands that were still holding onto his chest.

He wanted to wish that maybe this was some kind of fever dream or sleep paralysis he was having, but he traced the man’s hands to his broad shoulders and then to his chest slowly moving up and down against his back with soft breaths and then eventually to the pain in his own ass and he knew this was a harsh reality he was waking up to. Jin felt sick to his stomach knowing that he fucked up in a worse way than he could have ever imagined he would do.

He could have possibly broken every rule he set for himself in just one night.

Chapter Text

Chapter Two

 

Worst Dad of the Year Award

 

Jin snapped up in bed, wincing at too many pains that caused alarms to go off in his brain such as a migraine behind his eyes, a pain in his ass, the dull pain of the hickeys still pulsing on his neck and collarbone, and many more feelings he didn’t even want to think about.

He kept his eyes shut, not wanting to see who was still sleeping next to him, a light snore playing on the other man’s breath. Jin was never one to mind snoring, but on this particular day, he wanted to shove the man into outer space for the smallest noises he was making.

Ok, ok, he needed to assess the situation. How bad was it? How many rules did he break?

     Rule #1: No Relationships with Coworkers.

Jin opened one eye slowly, squinting from the small ray of sun peeking through his closed curtains as he peered closer to see the face of the man sleeping next to him. The jawline, the almost button-like nose, and the light brown hair immediately gave the identity of the man away as Kim Namjoon, the new coworker he had only just met last night. Jin shut his eyes again and sucked in a short breath, “Shit….”

There was no doubt he broke rules 3, 5, and 8, no having drunk sex, no having sex until four months of dating, and never letting his date stay over. So he had already broken four rules in one night… He hadn’t done that since before he even made the rules. What had gotten into him?

He hated to think about how he probably broke more rules, but he was sure he broke rule #6, no public affection early on in the relationship, rule #2, don’t date anyone who can’t take care of themselves (He had noticed Namjoon take his lunch from the vending machine the day before which put him in that category), and rule #7, no relationship if their future plans don’t match up with yours. He hadn’t heard about Namjoon’s future plans, but he was sure they didn’t match up. He was young and just started working at a big company. No way would he want a relationship with a man who already had a four year old kid he was raising. Almost nobody ever made it past that rule.

So what rules did he have left?

     Rule #4: No nicknames

He wasn't sure of what all went down last night but he truly hoped that stupid nicknames weren't part of it.

     Rule #9: Don’t let date pay on the first five dates.

He doubted Namjoon offered to pay for their drinks, and though he was irritated by that since Namjoon destroyed almost every rule on his list and didn't even pay for that privilege, he was thankful at least this rule wasn’t broken.

     Rule #10: Don’t let Jungkook meet him until six months of dating.

Jin knew even drunk him wouldn’t be terrible enough to break that rule. That was the one rule he had never broken in all his years of dating. No one was good enough to last six months and no one was good enough to meet Jungkook, so naturally, he never had to worry about it.

There was also the eleventh rule he just recently added, but he didn’t even have to think about that one right now. This man had no chance of ever getting there.

With the risk of the few unbroken rules left being broken, Jin quickly hopped out of bed and ran over to his closet to throw on a pair of sweatpants and a t-shirt so he could check outside the room and make sure the coast was clear of Jungkook and Jimin before kicking the man out.

Jin peeked outside of his room and leaned into the living room, calling out softly to the house to make sure no one was up or was going to be up soon, “Jimin? You awake?”

     “Yeah, but don’t worry, Jungkook is still asleep,” Jin heard a voice say from the hallway where the restroom was, just now noticing the faint sound of the toilet flushing as Jimin stuffed his hands into the pockets of his sweatshirt and walked over to Jin with a smirk on his face, “Looks like you really can have a good time still, Jin! I’m proud of you.”

Jin’s eyes widened and his whole face lit up in the color of embarrassment, showing up as a light pink hue on his cheeks. He shook his head and whispered, “No, no, this isn’t fun, this is terrible! I don’t even remember having fun! I literally went out and had one drink before waking up with a…” he glanced back at the room at Namjoon who was still thankfully asleep before turning back to Jimin with a panicked expression, “A coworker that just started yesterday! I don’t even know him! I broke so many rules last night, Jimin!”

     “The point of last night was to forget about rules,” Jimin shrugged, trying to lean forward to catch a glimpse of the man still sound asleep in Jin’s bed but Jin moved into his way before he had the chance to see him.

Jin’s eyebrows furrowed and he muttered out softly, “You can have breakfast and leave whenever you want now. I’m going to wake him up and get him out of here before Jungkook wakes up.”

     “Ah, is that rule number ten?” Jimin asked with a smug grin, proud of himself for catching on easily to Jin’s ten rules he made up for himself. He was sure that if he was interested in dating Jin, he’d pass through all the tests with flying colors. That was why Jin kept him around so long as a babysitter and friend, because he never had to worry about breaking any of the rules. Jin really only applied the rules to people he saw romantically, so Jimin never had to be worried about going through all of that thankfully. 

     “Yeah, as a matter of a fact it is,” Jin sighed and rolled his eyes, stepping back into his bedroom and muttering out, “You can watch from afar to see who he is, but when I push him out, you can’t get into a conversation with him or be friendly. We have to be assertive and show him our dominance. He is not allowed to be close to me even after last night.”

     “Yes!” Jimin chuckled a little under his breath and held up a thumbs up, speaking sarcastically, “You are only into one-night stands and he must know that. Any chance he thought he had of seeing that heart buried deep deep inside of your chest is non-existent!”

Though Jin should have probably been offended, he only grinned and played along, whispering as he backed up again, “I am heartless and proud!”

Jimin rolled his eyes and laughed in response, feeling bad for whoever was about to be woken up and suddenly kicked out by their ruthless one-night-stand buddy, but there was no stopping Jin when he decided he didn’t like someone anymore. When he didn’t see a future with them, he kicked them out of his life, shut the door, and threw away the key before they could even attempt to come back in.

Jin closed the door and walked back into his bedroom, taking a deep breath and focusing a determined stare at the man in his bed, his light brown hair messy and tousled against Jin’s white pillow he was drooling on. Jin’s nose wrinkled in disgust, and he made a mental note to wash the pillow or possibly burn it after he managed to kick Namjoon out. Hopefully things wouldn’t be awkward at work. This was why he had a rule not to date coworkers, but maybe if he just continued to focus only on work and not on anything else then he’d be fine. Maybe he’d be lucky and Namjoon wouldn’t let everyone know that they hooked up. He could always deny it, but he knew how rumors worked, and that would be the worst case scenario.

Jin went over to the side of his bed that Namjoon was sleeping on and leaned against it to reach over and shake the man awake, pressing his hand on his shoulder and shoving him as he spoke in a decently loud tone, “Yah, wake up Namjoon. Time for you to go.”

     “Hmm?” Namjoon mumbled, burying his face into the pillow and pulling the covers up to his head. He shook his head and muttered out, “Not now, Tae…”

     “Tae?” Jin questioned, leaning back and scoffing. He crossed his arms and shook his head, eyes widening in disbelief, “So you’re with someone already?” He bit his lip to keep himself from full hitting Namjoon to wake him up, but he did violent shake him again and speak a bit louder, “Hey, I’m not some kind of home wrecker. Get up and get out of my house!”

Namjoon’s eyes widened to this and he sat up, head aching with a dull pain behind his eyes and in his neck that caused him to wince before he shook his head and spoke, “No, Tae is-!” he gasped when he saw Jin, glancing around the room afterwards and finally noticing that he wasn’t in his apartment as he expected. In fact, he wasn’t even wearing any clothes. His whole face lit up in a blush as he shook his head, looking down, “Tell me we didn’t…”

     “Glad to know you’re as disappointed about this as I am,” Jin sighed, picking up what he assumed was Namjoon’s boxers on the ground and tossing them at Namjoon.

Namjoon caught them and looked around for his phone, biting his lip and muttering out, “Where’s my phone? I need to call someone.”

     “Can you call them after you leave? I need you gone,” Jin spoke, not wanting to sound too mean, but the thought of Jungkook running into his room at any second now as he always did was making him only care about one thing: getting Namjoon out of his house. He didn’t care if this guy hated him at this point because anything was better than Jungkook looking back on his childhood and thinking about ‘that one time he caught Jin and another man in his bedroom after a one night stand’. He had seen movies about those kinds of parents. People always put them in the category of the parents that don’t care about their kids and are selfish, and he didn’t want to be thought of like that. He loved Jungkook and cared for him too much to be thought of like that. He needed Namjoon out of here before he could lose the title of ‘World’s best dad’.

Namjoon shook his head at his request that sounded more like a demanded, only mumbling out a panicked "No...no…." before he found his phone on the bedside table and hurried to call someone who picked up only after a few rings. Namjoon was the first to speak, his raspy voice from drinking all night asking in a scared tremble, “Yoongi, I’m so sorry, I don’t know what happened, a-and I-I-!”

Jin watched on, curious if Namjoon was going to start crying or not. He looked like he was on the verge of tears with glossy eyes and a trembling bottom lip. He couldn’t hear what the person on the other line was saying, but after a few seconds, Namjoon nodded his head and whispered, “How is he? Tell him I’m sorry..”

Jin awkwardly looked around the room now, not wanting to stare daggers into Namjoon’s head while he was on the phone but also wanting to remind him of his presence every few seconds to let him know that he still needed him to hurry up and get out. Namjoon nodded his head again and replied to the person speaking on the other line, “I’ll be home in ten minutes. I don’t know where I am, but I’m sure I’m close,” there was a pause before Namjoon rolled his eyes and muttered out a soft and easy-hearted, “Shut up,” before ending the call and setting his phone back down on the table.

He didn’t look up at Jin again until after he quickly slipped his underwear back on underneath the covers and got up to start retrieving the rest of his clothes. Jin helped him and they both worked together in silence, him slipping on his work pants that were black slacks while Jin found his belt and handed it to him. Namjoon put his socks and shoes back on as well before spinning around the room once with a confused glance and asking Jin in a mumble, “Where’s my shirt?”

     “Was it a dress shirt?” Jin tried to recall from his hazy memory of what color it maybe was if it was a dress shirt. It should have been a dress shirt at least. They did come from work after all.

     “Ah, I don’t remember,” Namjoon muttered out, glancing at the closed door of Jin’s bedroom, the one that he was guessing led to the rest of his apartment. It made him wonder what kind of apartment Jin possibly had. Was it messy? No, Jin seemed too strict and put together for that. Was it filled with furniture from IKEA that he probably managed to make look modern and chic? Did he decorate it himself or did his mom or another person in his life do it?

He couldn’t focus on that right now though, he had to find his shirt. He turned to Jin and tried to act casual though his voice was coming out in a tremble and his cheeks were heating up with a burning blush, “Do you think my shirt could be out in the living room?... Do you think we could have maybe thrown it off before coming here?”

Jin’s face contorted into an offended expression of disgust. His whole body recoiled with the thought of the many things that could have gone down last night that landed him in the very situation he was dealing with right now. The fact that Namjoon’s shirt was nowhere to be found and the rest of their clothes were also thrown about meant that the whole ordeal that happened last night was rushed and desperate, making him wonder what kind of animal within him was released that wanted all of these mistakes to happen so badly.

After getting over his momentary disgust, Jin sighed and opened the door to the rest of his apartment slowly, peeking outside for any sign of Jimin and Jungkook before opening the door wider and muttering out, “Once you get your shirt you have to leave quickly.”

     “Ah, do you have roommates?” Namjoon asked just as quiet as Jin, peering into the living room to see that it wasn’t exactly an IKEA styled suite, but it was kept neat and definitely more modern than his apartment that held mainly stuff he found for half off at Bed Bath and Body Works and things Yoongi gifted him randomly when he found the apartment to be too empty or not aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

Jin only shook his head though and answered him in a sharp tone, “I’m twenty-eight, I don’t have roommates.”

     “Ah,” Namjoon awkwardly responded, glancing at a few coloring books on the ground of the living room with mainly blue and red colors scribbled across the opened pages and sometimes - but only sometimes - falling outside the lines of the drawings. Either Jin held a day care or he was in the process of teaching himself how to color inside the lines, and Namjoon could admit that he didn’t know which one was more probable.

Even with that question burning in his mind though he had to ask Jin, “Then why are we being quiet?”

Jin only rolled his eyes and stepped out into the living room, quickly picking up the coloring books and placing them on the coffee table that was otherwise empty of any items or decorations as he answered in an irritated tone, “Because I have guests over, that’s all. Now find your shirt and get out.”

Namjoon nodded his head, not believing that explanation at all but choosing not to question it any further. Jin looked like he was ready to physically kick him out the window into a trash chute any second now, so he made sure to hurry on and look around for his shirt. Could it have been throw off in the kitchen? The bathroom? The taxi cab? He didn’t want to have to borrow a shirt from Jin - especially with the mood he was in - but he also didn’t want to go home shirtless, so he hoped his shirt was somewhere around the house instead of in the back of some random taxi.

Namjoon heard someone clear their throat from the kitchen and then whistle flirtatiously, causing him to whip his head around quickly to see if Jin suddenly changed his mood for some reason, but instead of seeing Jin staring him down, he saw a boy he recognized. His eyes widened and he stepped forward a bit, “Jimin?”

The boy’s eyes widened when they made eye contact and he stepped back a bit, “Oh-! Oh my gosh, what?” the boy glanced at Jin who was now watching the exchanged with furrowed brows and a curious stare that Namjoon couldn’t help but define in his mind as adorable. The boy continued to speak though, “Jin, you-! Mr. Kim?”

      “You know him?” Jin asked, cheeks growing redder with a blush by the second. He glanced at a closed door with the stickers ‘Jungkook’ written across it and suddenly Namjoon knew what was going on here.

He knew Jimin from a few playdates Tae had went on with one his friend named Jungkook. Jimin was only the ‘nanny’ - he always joked about that truly being his job - while Jungkook was the son of a single dad who was apparently really sweet and wanted to be with Jungkook all the time but had to work hard for him and Jungkook to live comfortably, and now he was putting it all together.

Jin was the single dad. Jin had to work hard at his job, and he did from what Namjoon could see yesterday. And Jin was… well Jin wasn’t exactly sweet from what he could tell - more irritable and strict - but he could guess that he was just probably not used to making a mistake like a drunken one night stand with someone. Just looking at him now how he looked stressed to the max and on the verge of tears, Namjoon understood why he was being so harsh with him.

Jimin and Namjoon made brief eye contact with each other, Namjoon expecting Jimin to explain for him how they knew each other, but instead, Jimin only clicked his tongue and shrugged, saying nonchalantly, “He’s just a guy.”

     “A guy whom you know the name of?” Jin pressed on, placing his hands on his hips as if he was an impatient mother.

This prompted Jimin to continue, nodding his head slowly and saying, “Yeah a guy that I ran into at the coffee shop one time. Two times. Maybe three and quite literally - he is very clumsy. I don’t know him that well, but I just-!” he glanced at Namjoon and smiled, “I’ll stop talking and-!”

     “Daddy?” a soft voice cut him off at the sound of a bedroom door creaking open, and Jimin and Jin’s eyes shot to the little toddler that had just made his appearance, Tae’s best friend in the whole entire world, Jungkook.

Namjoon was suddenly very aware of how he was shirtless in the middle of the kitchen when the toddler looked up at him and asked, “Tae’s daddy?” He gasped and smiled, running over to Jin and hugging his leg, “You teamed up!”

     “What?” Jin glared at Jimin for half a second before glaring at Namjoon for the rest of the time he spoke, “No, we didn’t team up. Namjoon just lost his shirt and was asking me if I knew where to find it.”

Jungkook’s eyes widened in understanding and he laughed a little, his nose scrunching up and his baby teeth showing through his smile as he giggled and sang out, “Siwwy Joonie! I give you my shirt, ok?”

Namjoon laughed a little, trying to avoid the toddler’s father’s glare in order to make himself stay mentally stable in this train wreck of a situation that was slowly unfolding more and more. He nodded his head awkwardly and smiled, “Alright Kookie, I’d appreciate that.”

Jungkook let go of Jin and gave a determined nod, “Okay!” before running back into his room to grab a t-shirt that would probably barely fit over namjoon’s arm.

Jin took the opportunity of Jungkook being gone though to scowl at Namjoon and growl out, “Get out of my house, right now.”

      “Alright, I just need to find my-!”

Before he could finish speaking, the t-shirt Jin was previously wearing was thrown at him in the face from where Jin was still standing in the living room, now shirtless and looking more pissed than ever, “You have your things. Now get out.”

     “Jinnie, come on, you both didn’t mean for this to-!” Jimin tried to be the voice of reason - if there was any at this point in the situation - but Jin shook his head and shouted again, “Just get out!”

Namjoon felt for his keys and wallet as well as his phone in his pocket before slipping on Jin’s shirt that was a bit small on him but would do the trick for the hopefully short ride of shame home. He quickly made his way over to the door and placed his hand on the doorknob, heart beating fast and palms sweaty enough to make him think he was in high school all over again at his first dance. He paused for a brief moment to turn to Jin and say shyly but also clearly, “I’m sorry this happened. I didn’t anticipate it.”

Jin only turned around and walked towards Jungkook’s room, ending the conversation of apologies before it could even begin. Namjoon didn’t exactly know why he was sorry either. Both of them made the mistake. Both of them got drunk out of their minds and completely blacked out. Both of them woke up next to each other and freaked out in the same ways. Why was he the one that was feeling shitty about everything and apologizing? Why was he being chased out like he was the bad guy?

Namjoon shot Jimin another apologetic glance just because he had enough apologies to go around that he could spare a few on Jimin as well just for making him witness the moment that just occurred. Jimin only offered an apologetic smile back though, shrugging and mouthing the words, ‘Don’t worry about him, you’re fine,’ before sighing and going over to Jungkook’s room to check on Jin.

Namjoon took that as his sign to leave, walking out the door as he told himself to never drink again and also never ever take Yoongi’s advice that he needed a night out every once in a while ever again. Adults with kids weren’t supposed to have fun and this morning was a prime example of why. There was too much to lose and never enough to gain when the only thing he needed was waiting for him at home probably eating cereal and watching the morning cartoons as he waited for Namjoon to return. That was his whole life right there. He didn’t have time for anyone else.

 

 

When he heard the door to his apartment close, Jin finally looked up from where he had been staring at Jungkook rummaging through his bottom drawers for the perfect t-shirt for Namjoon to wear and muttered out, “Kookie, Mr. Kim is gone. You don’t need to get him a shirt anymore.”

     “What?” Jungkook gasped and turned around to Jin on his knees, an orange shirt with a bunny on it clutched tightly in his tiny fists as he puckered out his bottom lip and pouted, “Awe, I wanted TaeTae to see him wear my shirt when he went home…”

     “I know, maybe you can give it to him next time,” Jin inwardly grimaced at the thought of ever having to see Namjoon again, but he smiled for Jungkook, standing up from the side of his bed and walking over to wear Jungkook was on the floor. He let Jungkook stuff his shirt back in his drawer before he picked the toddler up and spun him around, “Namjoon and daddy aren’t friends though. Namjoon just lost his shirt and came to our door to see if we had it, ok?”

Jungkook placed his small palms flatly over Jin’s hands and wiggled in his hold as a way to request to be held higher. When Jin lifted him up higher, he responded in a once again cheerful tone again, “Can daddy and Joonie be fwiends? TaeTae and me want us all to be best fwiends and make our own famwy!”

Jin grimaced again, this time finding it harder to hide. He lowered Jungkook and sighed, shaking his head as he started to carry Jungkook out of his room and to the kitchen, avoiding Jimin’s stare as the boy stood in the doorway with a worried expression and possibly a look of pity showing on his face like a disease Jin wanted to avoid.

     “Kookie, daddy doesn’t need help,” Jin whispered to Jungkook, holding him close and placing his head in the crook of his neck despite Jungkook being a bit too energetic now to tiredly lay it there himself. Thankfully Jungkook was always happy to snuggle up to Jin, so he stayed there as Jin continued to speak in a lower and calmer voice, “Don’t you have fun with just daddy and Chimmy? You don’t need another cool adult in your life.”

     “I guess not…” Jungkook admitted, his bottom lip curling into a pout though he didn’t let himself get anymore upset when he saw Jimin moving to the kitchen to fix him some cereal. Jin set him down on one of the highchairs and strapped him into his booster seat as he kissed his cheeks and smiled, “That’s right, Kookie.”

Jungkook giggled at the feeling of Jin’s lips tickling his cheek with a kiss, and he slapped his hands on the table as an attempt to get free as he shouted out through laughter and tears, “Chimmy, help me!!”

Jimin laughed a little from where he was fixing Jungkook’s cereal, eyeing Jin to make sure he was fine underneath the facade he was putting on for Jungkook. He could tell Jin was stressed just by the moment that already passed with Namjoon, but seeing Jin’s glossy eyes, fake smile, and trembling hands that he caught sight of when they pulled away from holding onto Jungkook, he could tell Jin wasn’t just going to forget about this morning. He was probably hating himself for breaking almost all of the rules he laid out for himself for a reason. Jimin wasn't surprised by that either.

He remembered one time Jin came home flustered and angry that he let someone kiss him in public, breaking rule number six for the first time since he made it. Jimin had to sit Jungkook in front of the tv while he brought Jin into the bedroom to thoroughly convince him that it was ok for an adult his age to be kissed in public if he so wanted. Even after all that talk though, Jin broke up with the guy he was seeing and didn’t attempt to date for a whole five months after that.

Jimin sighed and slid the newly made bowl of Lucky Charms across the counter towards Jungkook as he made eye contact with Jin and suggested more than asked, “Let’s talk in the living room for a moment.”

Jin wavered, his eyes widening and eyebrows furrowing like a little kid growing worried about why his parents seem upset with him. The kid knows what he has done but he’s afraid if his parents found out. Jin knew what he had done wrong. He knew Jimin was seeing right through him like he always did, seeing the twenty-eight year old trapped in a father’s body: a boy that had to grow up too fast in order to protect his sister’s child, and he was afraid Jimin was going to talk to him about it. He knew he was quite possibly the worst father figure ever, but he didn’t want to be told that.

Still though, he nodded his head and sighed, patting Jungkook’s head and whispering to the toddler, “Jimin and I are going to go talk in the other room. You stay here and eat your food, and I’ll see if we can’t get tickets to see that new movie that just came out that you really want to see.”

Jungkook’s eyes widened, “Incwedibles two?”

Jin grinned and nodded his head, remembering when he was younger and excited about the first incredibles movie. Now it was his son that had been asking him for two weeks straight to go see it. It made him feel so old. He stepped back towards the living room where Jimin was already headed and spoke in a cheery voice to mask the disappointed still hiding underneath the very thin mask he put on for Jungkook, “Yes! But only if you also clean up your room before we go, alright?”

     “Ok!” Jungkook gasped and chomped down on his spoon full of different flavored fruit loops. Milk splattered everywhere when he brought the spoon up to his face, but Jin tried not to mind that for now. He had to talk to Jimin.

He turned around and walked over to the couch to sit down next to Jimin, feeling like he had just been called into the principal’s office to talk about his bad behavior. He had only been called in once when he was in high school. He had talked back to his teacher and was sent to the office, and by the time he arrived to the principal, his palms were sweaty, his eyes were burning with threatening tears, and he regretted all his life choices on that long walk up to the office. Jin was feeling that same feeling now: sweaty palms, glossy eyes, and of course, many regrets.

Jimin was the first to speak though, placing a hand on Jin's thigh and lightly squeezing his leg reassuringly as he smiled and spoke sweetly, “Jin, you know that what happened last night was only because you deprive yourself of so much, right? You needed a one-night stand and a lot of alcohol. I’m proud of you!”

     “Easy for you to say, you don’t have a four year old that saw their friend’s dad walk out of their own dad’s bedroom shirtless,” Jin sniffled, his own words causing those once shy tears to finally fall.

He wrung his hands together and continued to speak in disdain, “I set up rules for myself, I can’t believe I broke every single one… I really am the worst dad ever.”

     “No, you’re not, Jin,” Jimin frowned, “Don’t you dare say that.”

When Jin’s expression didn’t change, he sighed and leaned forward to hug Jin, knowing the other man needed it at the moment more than anything. He still continued to say as much as he could to make him feel better though, “You are the perfect dad in my eyes. You have sacrificed so much for Jungkook, you know that? Your selfless mind may have thought of everything you’ve done for him as nothing, but I can see how you’ve sacrificed your social life, your youth, your evenings, and any desires or passions you might have had before for Jungkook. The world needs more dads like you.”

Jin sniffled and leaned into Jimin’s hold, trying not to freak out or cry with Jungkook in the kitchen, but this was all too much. He was stressed. He was stressed as a young employee of a big corporation, he was stressed as a young male still trying to figure out his way through life, he was stressed as a sexual frustrated young male, and he was stressed as a dad. Maybe last night happened because he was at his tipping point. Someone poked a hole in his dam and all the water came rushing through after that first shot. And he could thank Namjoon for that.

He tried to smile again and even let out a short fake laugh under his breath to try to improve his mood as he sighed, “You know, every dad needs someone like you in their life too. You’re going to be a great one when you have kids.”

Jimin smiled and glanced back at Jungkook, “I wish I could. Adoption’s impossible for people like me though, so I guess I’ll just have to help you for as long as you want me around.”

      “Which will be forever,” Jin grinned and hugged Jimin back, “Hopefully one day you get to have a kid, Jimin, one way or another. And I can assure you they will be the luckiest kid in the world.”

Jimin laughed under his breath and shook his head, his eyes glued to Jungkook who was happily eating his cereal and reading a picture book Jin bought him on his way home from work the other day, “Nah, no kid will ever be luckier than Jungkook.”

 

 

 

Namjoon ran through the front door and nearly knocked over a picture frame when he accidentally slammed the door shut. He didn’t have time to worry about the wooden framed picture of him and Taehyung though before he threw his briefcase to the side and called out the name of the child he desperately wanted to see, “Taehyung! Tae!”

He heard a crash in the other room and light footsteps run around the corner before the owner of the name came barreling towards him and jumped up into his arms with an enthusiastic yell, “Papa! You’re home, you’re home, you’re home!!”

     “I am, I am, I am!” Namjoon let out a breath he didn’t know he was holding in as he held Taehyung tightly, not letting the little boy go until he squirmed in his arms and complained about not being able to breathe. It was a rather dramatic claim, but Namjoon let go anyways, wanting to hold the toddler up a bit more so he could see the face he missed for a whole night and morning now.

When he got the close up look of the toddler’s adorable cheeks and piercing eyes, he grinned again and brought him close once more, kissing him on the nose and gushing out, “Ah, I missed you so much! Please tell me you didn’t give Uncle Minnie any trouble, right?”

     “He let me put makeup on him!” Taehyung explained as Namjoon carried him to the living room where he assumed Yoongi was. He was walking at first, but when Taehyung finished speaking, he was practically running to the living room and pulling out his phone to try to catch a picture of Yoongi in makeup, but before he could, he saw Yoongi with only a frown on his face as he spoke monotonously, “Don’t even think about it. I took it off hours ago when waiting for you to come home from your walk of shame.”

Namjoon pouted and sighed, setting Taehyung down on the couch before he walked over to Yoongi and whined out, “Never let me go to a party unattended ever again. Not only did I end up-!” he paused mid-sentence to glance at Tae to see if he was listening. Taehyung was already suffocating his purple puppy stuffed animal in a hug as he watched whatever was on tv, unaware of the conversation currently being held, so Namjoon treaded on carefully, “Not only did I end up you-know-what-ing with a complete stranger who is also one of my coworkers at my new job, but it was also the dad of Taehyung’s friend!”

Yoongi couldn’t help but laugh and ask, “So playdates are gonna be awkward from now on, huh?”

Namjoon rolled his eyes and plopped down into the chair next to Yoongi, rubbing his face with his hands to try to force the memory of this morning out of his head, “Work is gonna be awkward. I never saw him with his kid. And he was so pissed when his kid walked into the kitchen and saw me shirtless. He looked like he was going to either cry or claw my eyes out.”

     “I mean you’d be the same way too if Taehyung happened to see your one-night-stand partner standing half naked in the kitchen,” Yoongi spoke, patting Namjoon’s back awkwardly, “I’m sure he enjoyed it, but he was just too afraid to admit it, ya know? I don’t get why one night stands are such taboo for single parents though. We can have fun too.”

     “Wait until Hyunae can actually walk, and then you’ll understand why we can’t have fun anymore,” Namjoon sighed, feeling the need to add the word, “sexually,” after that. Of course he still had fun with Taehyung. Taehyung wasn’t his own kid, but he had started taking care of him when his parents died in a car accident when he was one and he was like a son to him ever since. And Namjoon never knew how much he could come to love an energetic ball of sunshine until Taehyung could start walking and talking to him. He had fallen head over heels for the toddler and giving up worry free one-night-stands was a microscopic price he didn’t mind paying.

Still though, he wanted to whine to Yoongi, leaning on him and thinking about the dreadful morning of being yelled at by the hottest guy he had ever seen in his life. His black hair that seemed styled even after he just woke up, the big eyes that stared into his soul and made him short of breath, the plump lips on the man that made his mouth water and want to kiss him until he made last night’s mistake all over again were all too irresistible. And realizing over and over again that that secret son of Aphrodite hated his guts every time he thought about this morning and the way he looked at him when he kicked him out was a thought that made Namjoon’s stomach turn.

     “I’m the worst dad ever,” Namjoon finally admitted with a huff, leaning on Namjoon’s shoulder as the effects of his hangover started to show themselves again in a migraine and a dull of exhaustion in the back of his neck.

     “Do you want me to print that out on a mug for you?” Yoongi asked, now scrolling through an article on his phone since he had learned to drown Namjoon out when he started rambling on. He knew that reassuring words weren’t what Namjoon needed right now. Namjoon was the type to solve his own problems. All he needed to do was just talk through it all by himself and come to the solution on his own, so Yoongi was letting him do just that while keeping him company.

Namjoon shoved his elbow into Yoongi’s ribcage lightly and whispered, “I’m serious… I go off and disappear with some random guy for a night and I’m more worried about how much someone as hot as him hates me more than I am about Tae. I’m terrible.”

     “No, you just know Taehyung is perfectly fine with me,” Yoongi sighed and moved to a game app on his phone he could mindlessly play as he talked to Namjoon, “Plus, you needed some,” he glanced up at Taehyung and bit back the word ‘dick’ to replace it with, “intercourse time desperately, so don’t feel bad about it. How long has it been? Two years?”

Namjoon winced, “Not that long.”

     “Oh, that long,” Yoongi countered, “I’m surprised you snapped with only one guy last night instead of the whole city.”

Namjoon let out a whine and shut his eyes, his whole face turning red with embarrassment, “Yoongi come on…”

Yoongi laughed and finally shut off his phone, shoving it in his pocket so he could turn to Namjoon and say with a smile, “Look, all I’m trying to say is, good job. You went out there and did something crazy, which is what you deserve, and you made it back in time to still enjoy the weekend with Tae. And I think that if you talk to this ‘hot’ coworker of yours, you two can maybe agree on having a second date in a place with less alcohol? That way you can both avoid calling what happened between you two a one-night-stand, and all will be well in the single dad world.”

     “You really think he’d go out with me on a second date after everything that happened?” Namjoon asked, a bit skeptical of the plan seeing as Jin made it quite clear he didn’t even want them to act like they knew each other when they next saw each other at their workplace. Still though, he nodded his head and gave a determined huff, “I’ll at least try to talk to him about all this. I don’t want us to hate each other because of something we both probably needed.”

     “Exactly,” Yoongi sat up and checked the time on his watch, sighing and running his fingers through his hair, “I should probably take Hyunae home since I’m sure Taehyung wants his room back and get away from the two year old gremlin of a little girl.”

He walked past Tae and ruffled the boy’s hair, smiling when the toddler shrugged and spoke, “I like Honey!” - her nickname for her - “She’s going to be pretty like me when she grows up!”

Yoongi smiled and glanced at Namjoon with a smirk, “You’re raising Taehyung right, Namjoon.”

Namjoon beamed at that and moved over to the couch where Tae was sitting to wrap him up in his arms and kiss him on the top of his head as the boy continued to watch tv, “At least I’m doing something right.”

Yoongi rolled his eyes and huffed, “You’re doing everything right." H e then disappeared into Taehyung’s room and Namjoon could hear the faint sound of Yoongi cooeing to his daughter, “Hey princess… You ready to go home now?”

Namjoon stood up and picked Taehyung up too since they would have to see Yoongi off in a second. He stayed at their house most of the time anyway because he hated staying in his apartment he used to share with his girlfriend alone. It was too big, too empty, and always made him angry, forcing him to remember how she basically skipped out on him and their daughter as soon as she was born. That had been two years ago, but it was still a sore spot for him. He had taken to occasional one night stands and focusing most of his time on Hyunae, but he hadn’t been in a real relationship since. How could he? He couldn’t trust anyone to care about him and Hyunae enough to stay. Not after what happened. And he claimed to be perfectly fine like that.

Though he was a bit calmer than Namjoon most of the time and didn’t care about the sexual taboos of a single father, Namjoon knew that the two of them were the same. They were both gloriously and happily stuck with the single dad card and were probably ‘gratefully’ doomed to be single for the rest of their lives. And Jin was probably the same way, Namjoon was now realizing. Because deep down, all single dads had one thing in common. No matter what they wanted, no matter what they told themselves what their reason for being single was, whether it be because they are unlucky, or picky, or have trust issues. Their worries and cares always boiled down to one thing and more specifically one person: their kids.

And Namjoon wholeheartedly respected that.

So what was he going to do now? He was going to talk to Jin. He was going to try to get that second date with Jin, and hopefully they could become at least friends and bond over being single dads. Hopefully this one-night-stand wasn’t as big of a mistake as Namjoon originally thought. Hopefully something better was going to come out of it.

Because he could already tell right now that no matter how livid and crazy Jin might have seemed this morning, there was a reason why something clicked in the both of them last night and they lost all worries and cares they previously held quite strongly. They could help each other out. And maybe… just maybe… this single father curse of not being able to get a date or feel for anyone romantically could finally be lifted with each other.

But that was just hopeful thinking on his part. He still needed to build up the courage to talk to this beautiful son of Aphrodite even after the whole mess that happened this morning that put Namjoon’s name at the top of Jin’s hitlist. At least he had until Monday, so this whole weekend he was going to do nothing but cuddle Taehyung and tell himself that he could do this. Hopefully a whole two days of doing nothing but that would be enough.

Chapter Text

Chapter Three

 

Friendly Acquaintances

 

     “Why did Jimin speak to you about this?” Jin felt a vein pop in his forehead and was so sure he was going to go home and fire Jimin as soon as he got off work. He would walk right up to that little blonde dancing troll and personally kick him out the window along with his last paycheck as soon as he got the chance. He should have known Jimin would tell Hoseok about everything that happened.

     “You aren’t fit to be a preschool teacher,” Jin growled out, grimacing when he heard an annoyingly charming laugh on the other end. He waited for Hoseok to gain his breath again before sighing and repeating his previous question in a more irritated tone, “So why did Jimin speak to you about this?”

     “Ah,” Hoseok finally spoke from the other line, a grin evident in his voice as he continued to giddily say, “Jungkook and Taehyung worked together to draw a picture in class today, and Jimin practically screamed when he saw it, and you know how he gets when he’s excited about something.”

Jin laid his head down on his desk and let the phone rest next to his ear, shutting his eyes and grimacing as he let out a loud and drawn out sigh, “I’m firing both of you….”

     “How are you going to fire me? You aren’t my boss,” Hoseok teased, not even bothering to care about Jin’s threat to fire Jimin since he knew he needed Jimin more than he needed air to breathe.

Jin only shook his head in response though and muttered out, “I’m firing you from existence. Welcome to my hit list, Hobi.”

     “Is Namjoon at the top of that hit list?”

     “I’m hanging up now,” Jin groaned, already hearing Hoseok’s quick protests for him to stay on the line and continue to talk to him as he lifted his hand up to the phone. He almost decided to keep talking to Hoseok since he was only on his break and had nothing better to do than stare at photos of Jungkook and wish he was back in the movie theater watching the toddler watch the Incredibles in awe of what the fictional superhero family was capable of.

That evening would have been perfect too if Jungkook didn’t claim that Jin was Elastigirl and Namjoon was Mr. Incredible.

Jin was about to start whining about that exact moment to Hoseok too until he heard a voice speak behind him, clearing their throat and asking for his attention. Thinking it was his boss without turning around to check, Jin quickly told Hoseok he’d talk to him later before hanging up and shoving his phone in his pocket. He spun around his chair to face who he thought was his boss, but when he was instead now faced with Namjoon - that disgusting pretty face of his - Jin grimaced and turned back around, “I thought kicking you out of my apartment was a clear enough sign to let you know that I don’t want you to talk to me at the workplace either.”

     “Can I just return your shirt to you?” Namjoon offered, holding up a paper bag awkwardly with the shirt he borrowed from Jin to get home with inside. He didn’t want to make it completely obvious that them leaving the bar together Friday night didn’t just end in them splitting the cost of the cab ride home, so he waited until everyone was gone for break to return it to Jin.

Jin glanced down at the paper bag and wrinkled his nose as he always did when he slightly didn’t approve of something. It reminded him of how Jungkook sometimes wrinkled his nose at food he didn’t like or something gross Taehyung said when he sometimes came over for a playdate. Namjoon used to find it adorable and funny to see the little boy look disgusted at times, but when the toddler’s father made that same face, Namjoon only wanted to crawl under a rock and question all of his life choices.

If Jin was disgusted, he didn’t say anything about it. He only nodded his head and huffed out as he reached behind him for an organic paper bag from the Whole Foods Grocery store down the street and held it out to Namjoon, “I found your shirt wrapped up in the covers.”

     “Oh, that’s where it was?” Namjoon smiled, “Thank you!”

He reached for it to make the shirt trade, handing Jin his paper bag while Jin gave him his own organic bag, leaning back in his chair again and sighing out, “I was either going to sneak it on your desk or burn it, so I guess you should be glad we are doing the trade off now before I could decide.”

     “Ah…” Namjoon looked inside the bag to make sure Jin didn’t sneak spiders inside of it while he was at it. Was he seriously thinking about burning his shirt? Was the memory of Friday night  truly too much for Jin to handle?

Namjoon closed the bag when he found his shirt smelling of laundry detergent and folded neatly at the bottom. He couldn’t believe someone with such a mean front as Jin went the extra mile to wash and fold his clothes for him. It made him realize even more that deep down, Jin was just a sweet single dad trying his best and got freaked out by the one-night-stand as any good dad would be.

He couldn’t help but smile and lean against Jin’s desk, reminding himself of the long weekend he had with Taehyung convincing himself that he was worthy enough of a second date with Jin before he bravely asked, “So, would you maybe want to get coffee sometime? We could… Well we could maybe make things less awkward between us by getting to know each other? And also with a second date, we won’t have to call what happened Friday a one night stand anymore!”

He was speaking quiet enough for even a busy office space to not be able to hear him, but Jin still jumped a bit at the mention of Friday night and he bit back a long string of curse words in Namjoon’s direction to reprimanded him for speaking so casually about it. Instead, he leaned against his chair and glanced around them at the empty workplace as he responded just as quietly, “So you are suggesting we have sex again so we can call it a two-night-stand instead of one?”

     “Yeah!” Namjoon smiled but then realized what Jin asked and quickly shook his head, eyes widening as he shouted out in a panic, “Woah, wait, no! No, not what I meant!” His face was heating up and getting redder and redder by the second, “I just meant that we should get to know each other so we can help each other through this, a-and you know, we’re both single dads, so-!”

     “You think we can bond…” Jin chewed on his bottom lip and looked off to the side in thought as he nodded his head slowly and almost sarcastically? If that was even possible? Could someone nod sarcastically? Because that was exactly what Jin was doing.

Namjoon waited for Jin to maybe agree with the idea and be thankful for him trying to make this whole situation less awkward for the both of them, but Jin only clicked his tongue on the roof of his mouth and shook his head, muttering out nonchalantly, “You see, that’s never going to work. I don’t want us to be dad buddies, in fact I’d appreciate it if you don’t tell anyone here I’m a dad, because it’s none of their business and now it’s none of your business, ok?” his smile as he spoke made Namjoon’s heart feel like it was crumbling, but Jin didn’t care about the other man as he continued to speak, “What happened between us was a mistake, and you know what I like to do with mistakes?”

     “I was just thinking we could-!” Namjoon tried to speak, but Jin interrupted him, “I like to forget them. And in order to forget it, I’m going to have to never speak to you again. It’s nothing personal, it’s just-!”

     “Fine, I get it,” he was interrupted by Namjoon this time, the taller male looking down at the ground with a look of disdain on his face. His hands curled up into fists, but they stayed at his side as he let out a shaky breath and spoke softly, “We won’t ever talk again, but I don’t get why you want it to be a secret that you’re a dad. You shouldn’t be ashamed of raising such a great kid like Jungkook.”

Jin shut his eyes and spun back around to his desk in his rolly chair and waved Namjoon off with an absented whisk of his hand, sighing out as if he didn’t even care about Namjoon’s presence anymore, “If you’re done, I’m getting back to work.”

Namjoon shook his head and bit his lip, already walking out of the cubicle since he had nothing else he wanted to say to Jin. He had expected to find similarities in the other single father, but all he found was that Jin was rude and narcissistic and now apparently ashamed of being known to be a dad? How could someone be ashamed of raising a kid? Especially a kid like Jungkook no less! Namjoon had known Jungkook for a year now of sleepovers and playdates. Jimin had talked so highly of Jin and how he was such a great father, but he guessed Jimin hadn't seen the other side of Jin. The side that was ashamed of Jungkook or possibly whatever mistake that caused Jungkook to happen.

Not only was Namjoon pledging to himself to be very happy he dodged a bullet by not becoming even friends with someone like Jin, but he also pledged to show Jungkook all the love in the world when the toddler came over because it seemed pretty clear that his dad gave him none of it.

 

After work, Namjoon immediately collapsed onto the couch in his living room and opened up his arms for Taehyung to hop onto his chest and cuddle up to him in a welcome snuggle that usually lasted until one or the both of them got hungry.

Almost as if Taehyung could sense Namjoon had a bad day, he carefully crawled up onto Namjoon’s stomach and wrapped his arms around Namjoon as much as he could, his tiny hands clutching onto Namjoon’s dress shirt as he laid his head over his father’s heart and whispered, “I love you papa…. Tonight I can fix you cereal if you want. Yoongi taught me how to do that today!”

    “Ah, he did?” Namjoon glanced over at Yoongi who was watching tv and rocking Hyunae in his arms. He nodded his head and sighed, “Yeah, someone has to be the cook in this family since you burn poptarts somehow.”

Yoongi had his own job as a music producer. Though he worked at home in his studio because of Hyunae, he was pretty busy, and Namjoon was thankful he came over to watch Tae everyday after preschool since Namjoon was still in the process of trying to find an affordable babysitter. Speaking of which, he needed to ask Jimin if he had any friends that were interested in watching a rowdy kid all the time for as low of a pay as Jimin accepted, but he doubted it. Jimin was an angel and a diamond in the rough, and Jin was the lucky son of Hades to get his hands on him.

Namjoon doesn’t have a chance to thank Yoongi for teaching his son how to fix cereal before Yoongi suddenly brings up what Namjoon had just started trying to get out of his mind, “So did you ask the demigod of beauty out for coffee or did you wuss out?”

Just the mention of that demigod of both beauty and hellfire made Namjoon’s blood boil and his heart feel like it was about to beat out of his chest with a surge of frustration. He rolled his eyes and sat up a bit with Taehyung still latched onto him as he answered, “Oh, I asked him alright, and believe me when I say that he is a whole other breed of evil.”

Yoongi’s eyes widened with sudden interest and he grinned almost mischievously, “Oh? Do tell me how evil he is. Maybe I can identify what kind of breed he is.”

     “Try a selfish and narcissistic evil, can’t realize he also made the mistake evil, ashamed of people to know he’s a dad evil, and a pretty evil all wrapped into his beautiful evil body!” Namjoon huffed and laid back down since Taehyung let out a whine as a request for him to become the comfy dad pillow he was always meant to be again. He puckered his bottom lip into a pout and sighed, “He literally told me he didn’t want me to tell anyone he was a dad. Who doesn’t want people to find out about that? I want to shout out that I’m a dad from the rooftops to the world every day with Taehyung as my kid!”

     “Yeah, that’s weird,” Yoongi muttered out into the blanket wrapped around Hyunae’s small sleeping body. He couldn’t imagine being ashamed of being Hyunae’s dad. He couldn’t imagine ever feeling the need to hide the beautiful daughter he had. Sure he had her from a relationship that was a toxic mistake, but he could never be anything more than happy about raising her all on his own. She was his princess. How could someone not want people to know that they were shaping a cute and tiny human all on their own? That made him feel so important and so powerful… He held Hyunae tighter and asked, “What’s his name again?”

     “Kim Seokjin,” Namjoon answered, “You probably don’t know hi-!”

Before he could finish, Yoongi gasped and sat up straight, his whole body contracting though when the risk of waking Hyunae up became too great and he needed to settle back down again to let her keep napping. Namjoon raised an eyebrow at his sudden jerk of excitement and asked, “You alright? Is he the ruler of the seventh layer of Hell afterall?”

Yoongi shook his head with wide eyes still on his face as he spoke, “Show me a picture of him, I need a picture.”

     “What?” Namjoon asked, “Why? I don’t have one cause we just met, but do you know a Kim Seokjin?”

     “Uh, yeah,” Yoongi nodded his head and reached into his pocket to pull out his phone, hoping he had a few photos from college still on his phone as he explained himself, “I had a roommate in college named Kim Seokjin. It might not be him because I don't know how he'd manage to get a kid, but thinking about your physical description of him... it fits him perfectly. He's definitely the beautiful type but not so much the uptight dad type."

He pulled up a photo of him and Jin, a selfie taken on his bed from the time when Jin had just gotten dumped by a guy he had fallen head over heels for and Yoongi cheered him up by pirating a movie and holding him as they watched it. Anything that happened between them was completely platonic, but Jin was definitely the reason why Yoongi started opening himself up more to people.

After college though, something happened to Jin. Jin briefly mentioned it to Yoongi, saying something about his sister being disowned by his family and needing help, but after that he completely disappeared off the face of the planet and Yoongi never heard anything from him again. He assumed that maybe Jin got that restaurant he always wanted and was busy with it or he moved to France to learn how to cook foreign food, but he never would have expected Jin to still be in the city working a cubicle job and raising a kid.

Namjoon peered at the phone, eyes widening but then narrowing as he asked, “So uh… did you two date or were you just extra snuggly in college?”

     “Ah, so it is him?” Yoongi asked, looking down at the photo he hadn’t seen in a while. He sighed and shook his head, “No, he was the cuddly one and I just went along with it when I knew he needed it. But hold on, if that’s him…” Yoongi thought for a moment, nose scrunching up and eyebrows furrowing in thought as he muttered out the question, “How does he have a kid? He was flaming in college. He definitely knew he wasn’t straight and would have never wasted time experimenting.”

     “Flaming?” Namjoon questioned.

Yoongi shook his head and bit his lip, “Well no, he kept it hidden for the longest time from everyone else except for me, but he definitely never had a straight thought. He would never even consider being with a girl no less having a kid with one, so I wonder how Jungkook happened.”

Namjoon’s head started spinning with theories of why Jin could have Jungkook. Did he have a one night stand with a woman once and she left him? Or he took her kid and left her? He honestly couldn’t take out that option after his two sober encounters with the strung tight man. But could he maybe be in the same situation as Namjoon? Could Jungkook’s parents have been close to them and they died or couldn’t take care of him anymore and gave him to Jin? It seemed a little crazy for them both to be in the same situation. Namjoon’s brother and sister-in-law died in that car crash, leaving a one year old Taehyung behind to live with him, but could Jin really have been in the same kind of situation?

Thinking about it almost made Namjoon feel a connection towards Jin again that was filled with something that wasn’t hatred. It was… pity and worry that maybe Jin didn’t want to be known as a dad because he really wasn’t one. Or maybe Jin was dealing with this all in his own way. Maybe Namjoon should help him deal with it all in a healthier way?... Ah, maybe he was far from the target and maybe Jin really was just a dick single dad who made one wrong straight mistake and ended up with Jungkook and had been bitter about it ever since, but Namjoon had to find out. Being his nosey self that had to know everything about everyone in order to help them out and be there for them in anyway he could, he had to find out about Jin and see if there was anything he could do despite how Jin had treated him so far.

Namjoon furrowed his brows and let out a resounding click of the tongue as he let Yoongi know his new plan, “Taehyung and Jungkook have a playdate tomorrow after school that I’ll be able to go to since I’ve done most of my work for the week. I’ll ask his babysitter Jimin about it all and see if I can’t find something out through him. Maybe there’s a reason behind why he’s so pissy about everything too.”

Yoongi laughed under his breath and only gave Namjoon a knowing smirk, rolling his eyes and looking back towards the television as he pet Hyunae’s short and soft black hair on her head with his fingers, “Maybe find out how long Jin has been deprived of a sex life too. I’m sure you two have more in common than you think.”

Namjoon scoffed and rolled his eyes, shutting them tight and nustling into Taehyung more who was already asleep as he muttered out, “You know, I’m never going to let you live when Hyunae gets older and you also lose that wild sex drive you claim you have.”

     “Oh it’s here and it’s never going away,” Yoongi joked, changing the channel to something different now that Taehyung was asleep. He was planning on leaving soon before, but with Hyunae asleep on his chest, he knew he was going to fall asleep soon too and end up staying for dinner since Taehyung always insisted on his Uncle Minnie staying and telling stories of his ‘crazy’ high school days. He tried not to think about how it had secretly been half a year since he last even touched someone sexually. He tried not to think about how it had been over two whole years since he last felt for someone romantically. Deep down he knew though, he really was just like Namjoon and Jin in that sad, sad sexually deprived single dad’s club. Maybe he wasn’t as crazy as them, but he did admit that whatever Namjoon was going through was completely relatable. And that kind of scared him.

 

Namjoon was happy to get off work early and pick Taehyung up from preschool, living for the look on Taehyung’s face when he saw it was him waiting by the gate with the rest of the parents instead of Yoongi holding Hyunae. Not that Yoongi wasn’t the best ‘uncle’ in the world and Taehyung loved spending time with him, but obviously nothing could match or rival the bond Taehyung had with Namjoon. It showed on Taehyung’s face that he missed being picked up by him when he practically screamed out the name, “Papa!” before running over a few kids to get over to him.

With full force, he jumped up into Namjoon’s arms and into his chest, sighing in content when his father held him close and spun him around, laughing and asking him, “Hey buddy, did you have a good day? It seems like it!”

Taehyung grinned and shook his head, “Terrible! I got put in timeout for talking in class, but I’m happy you picked me up!!”

     “Ah, you were talking?” Namjoon started to look around for the boy he was sure Taehyung had been talking to. He wondered if right now was a good moment to be a dad and tell Taehyung not to talk during class, but he was sure his teacher made the point enough and changed the topic, “Speaking of, where is your partner in crime? You both are going to the park today.”

     “We are?” Taehyung gasped and glanced around for Jungkook, wiggling until Namjoon put him down so he could find the shorter black haired boy who usually took some time grabbing his things and leaving the classroom.

Namjoon glanced around for Jimin, but when he didn’t see the dancer with his hair still sweaty from class and bag slung around his shoulder, he decided to head into the school to find Jungkook and wait with him until Jimin did arrive. He knew how scary it was for some kids to wait alone, especially shy kids like Jungkook, so he was more than happy to be with Jungkook and make him comfortable until Jimin showed up. Plus, maybe he could try to come up with an explanation as to why he was shirtless in the boy’s father’s kitchen when he woke up on Saturday morning.

Namjoon had Taehyung lead him to his homeroom where, as expected, Jungkook was helping Mr. Hope - a nickname the kids called their favorite teacher otherwise called Hoseok - put up the last of the crayons that all the kids left out. Namjoon almost asked Taehyung if he put away his own crayons before leaving, but before he could, Mr. Hope noticed him and called out to him with a bright smile, “Ah, Mr. Kim! Are you picking up Jungkook today instead of Jimin?”

     “Oh uh,” Namjoon glanced over at Jungkook who was already happily bounding over to his backpack to grab it and place his arms through it. He smiled a little but shook his head and sighed out, “Sadly, no. I was just thinking I’d wait with him until Jimin showed up just because we’re all four going to the park after this anyways.”

     “Really?” Mr. Hope tilted his head, a smile still on his face though it seemed as if the teacher knew something Namjoon didn’t - like an inside joke or a prank about to be played on him - and asked with a playful tone added to his voice, “Without Jin?”

Namjoon’s eyes widened and the smile on Hoseok’s face suddenly made a dangerous amount of sense. Did he know? How did he know? How much did he know? Who told him? He was sure Hoseok could see the panic growing in his eyes because the preschool teacher only laughed and waved him off, sighing out, “I just thought maybe you two were friends. Your sons certainly think so.”

Namjoon parted his lips in means to ask once again what Mr. Hope was meaning by his words, but before he could, he heard Jungkook let out a gasp before shrilly squealing out, “Daddy!” before running past him to the doorway where Namjoon was too afraid to turn around and see the owner of that name. The owner who he secretly thought didn’t deserve the name.

He turned around anyway though, letting his disappointment be known to the other single father as he huffed and asked, “Where’s Jimin?”

     “He had a last minute audition today so I let him take the day off,” Jin spoke without even casting a glance at Namjoon. He waved at Hoseok though and happily smiled for him, singing out the words, “Hey, Hobi! Remember our phone call?”

     “Oh yeah,” Hoseok spoke, and Namjoon turned around to see his eyes narrowing and his mouth curling up into an evil smirk as he spoke. He didn’t have time to question it though before Hoseok glanced at him as well and spoke with a cunningly suspicious tone of voice, “Enjoy the park, you two. Taehyung and Jungkook have been looking forward to it all day.”

Just now realizing that he was going to have to go to the park and sit on a bench watching their kids for an hour or two with Jin, Namjoon felt a twinge of dread in his heart as he turned back around to a surprised Jin, holding Jungkook closer and shaking his head, “What? We never planned any park playdate.”

     “Jimin and I did,” Namjoon muttered, looking down at Tae. He was sure Tae would be upset if he cancelled the playdate with Jungkook, but he had a feeling Jin was willing to do anything to get away from him. Maybe he’d just have to make it up to Taehyung by taking him to get ice cream instead. One easy remedy Namjoon learned after dealing with an upset Taehyung was ice cream. It worked like a charm.

Namjoon expected Jin to tightened his lips up into a soured expression and furrow his eyebrows in the pouty way he always did when he was about to reject something in front of him, but instead, Jin only looked down to Jungkook in his arms and asked in a soft voice, “How much do you want to go to the park?”

     “Very much,” Jungkook’s eyes widened to emphasize the ‘very’ as he turned back to Taehyung and sang out, “Taetae and I want to twy the monkey bars again!”

     “Ah…” Jin sighed and looked at Namjoon with a threatening stare, probably wondering how much he’d have to pay to make Namjoon disappear from his life for good. With Jungkook wants outweighing his though, he only let out a resounding huff and bit his lip, “Alright then, let’s go to the park. We should stop by the grocery store on the way home though, so how about only an hour?”

     “Fine by me,” Namjoon sighed and glanced back at Mr. Hope, “We’ll be off now.”

Mr. Hope smiled and gave a teasing wave, his eyes narrowing at Jin as his grin became almost sinister, “Have fun you two.”

Jin rolled his eyes and gave a half hearted wave to Mr. Hope, muttering out an annoyed yet somehow friendly, “Bye Hobi. Remember to bring food to Jiminie tonight on your way home because I’m sure he’ll forget to get himself something with his nerves from the audition still at a high.”

     “I will!” Mr. Hope - or now Hobi? - assured Jin as he and Jungkook turned to leave.

Namjoon followed behind Jin, raising his eyebrows with a new curiosity that found itself in the pit of his mind as he questioned where the sudden nicknames were coming from. He told himself not to attempt a conversation with the man who he was now sure was the devil in disguise as a hot single dad, but he just had to ask him as they were walking out of the school, “Wow, you and Mr. Hope are close enough for nicknames? Hobi? Jiminie? You don’t seem like the type.”

     “I’m not,” Jin answered, not even bothering to look back at Namjoon as they walked along the street towards the nearby park, “They are though.”

Their kids broke away from their hold now that they knew where they were going, and the two toddlers chased after each other towards the entrance to the park. Jin called after Jungkook to not run too far up ahead, but he didn’t care enough to chase after him. Not after the long day at work he just came from and most definitely not while wearing a suit in the blazing hot sun.

Sadly though, his option was to stay behind and walk with the other suit wearing dad, hearing him suddenly ask in a voice he wished he could slap away, “So do they call you Seokie or something? Or Jinnie?,” his eyes widened and he gasped a little, “Ah, definitely Jinnie.”

Jin rolled his eyes and tried to ignore the face that Namjoon was technically breaking rule number four: no nicknames. It wasn’t exactly the most important rule to follow, but he couldn’t help but be annoyed by it since Namjoon himself was just an irritating presence alone.

He sighed and crossed his arms, muttering out, “If you have things to do, I can watch them both for the hour. I don’t mind being alone.”

Namjoon’s head tilted and his eyebrows furrowed in a way that made Jin almost feel like the other man was about to yell at him. He almost backed up, a bit afraid since boyfriends in the past had made it very clear how they hated how ‘pissy’ he was sometimes, but Namjoon only shook his head and sighed, “That’s nice of you for asking but I can barely think if Taehyung is in someone else’s care outside of the house. The world is crazy these days so you never know.”

     “You saying I’ll kidnap your kid?” Jin asked, knowing what Namjoon meant but still trying to give him a hard time.

They rounded into the park and started heading towards a park bench in the shade with a perfect view of the main section of the park where Jungkook and Tae knew to stay close to. Jin had never been here before but Namjoon knew exactly where to go, so he led the way as he answered Jin’s taunt with a sigh, “I know you won’t, but I just know how hard it is to be one set of eyes watching two kids getting their first taste of freedom for the day. I wouldn't be able to do it either.”

They both sat down, Jin now falling silent since he had to agree with Namjoon there. His question about kidnapping was a joke, but Namjoon was right. It’s hard to watch two energetic kids by yourself especially in the crazy world they lived in where people were just around the corner waiting to put their kids in danger. The thought of losing Jungkook while someone else was watching him or having a kid get lost or hurt under his watch was a thought Jin couldn’t bare.

Maybe he could think about it when he was younger and obviously realize it was sick while moving on with his life, but his heart hurt just to dare to think about it now. He wouldn’t know what to do with himself if he lost Jungkook.

A few minutes pass by before he realizes that he’s been sitting there in thought with Namjoon next to him for a while. They hadn’t continued the conversation since they sat down but it’s hard to when their conversation kind of turned glum and they both also hate each other.

Jin knew that Namjoon was definitely more relaxed than him, but he was sure the other man hated him definitely after what he said to him yesterday. He said those things with confidence, thinking that he really was never going to have to talk to him again. The thought of course slipped his mind at the time that their sons were best friends though. It completely slipped his mind that he was going to have to see Namjoon like this for playdates and sleepovers and birthday parties. How long was he going to have to do that for? How long were their sons going to remain friends? A month? A year? Best friends until they graduate and then they're college roommates together?

The thought of seeing the same man he made a drunken mistake with and hated for the next fifteen years or so until their sons at least graduated high school made a chill run up Jin’s spine and caused a headache in his brain.

He was going to have wrinkle lines on his forehead from frowning and grimacing because of Namjoon’s annoying smile and disgusting laugh that sounded like a windex cleaner squirting out when he tried to hold it back by the time he was thirty. Namjoon was going to drive him down into the grave early with just his presence alone he was sure.

Their comfortable and uncomfortable silence that lasted for about twenty minutes was suddenly abrupted when Taehyung and Jungkook ran up to them and started singing out together in a beautiful discord of desperate whines, “You guys look so boring! Talk or play pirates with us!”

Namjoon grinned and held both of their hands when they reached out for him, causing a twinge of jealousy to make a home in Jin’s heart though he’d never admit it. He laughed and swung their arms a bit with just the light force of his wrist as he said, “Aren’t dad’s supposed to be boring? Maybe one day if I get off work early again, I’ll pack better clothes to play pirates in, and we can finally conquer Busan!”

Jungkook gasped and started yanking on Namjoon’s hand excitedly as he jumped up and down and giggled, “Yes! Yes! Chimmy will be defiated once and all!”

     “Defeated once and for all,” Namjoon nodded and corrected him with a chuckle.

He glanced at Jin who was looking at the three of them in a trance. He noticed how the normally high strung man’s features had suddenly gone soft as he stared at his son, a smile almost - almost - playing on his lips though Namjoon would believe it if someone told him he was seeing things. Maybe Jin wasn’t ashamed of being Jungkook’s father. Could it be something else?

He hated to admit this, but staring at how beautiful Jin was when he stared at his son as if he was his whole world made Namjoon not regret what happened between them last Friday anymore. It just made him wish they were sober during all of it. And that it didn’t end so badly.

Tae said something to Jungkook that Namjoon could only hear the end of, “-anna play spies instead?” before the two boys ran off again in the direction of the swing set. Namjoon set his sights on where they were running off to again and muttered out to Jin softly, “I hope those two stay best friends for a long time. Jungkook is really good for Taehyung in more ways than anyone could imagine.”

     “How so?” Jin asked, his words not coming out short and demanding anymore but more curious and pleasantly surprised by the statement about his son being good for another kid. He kept his arms crossed as if he was still mad, but he leaned back against the bench and relaxed a little, watching their kids play as Namjoon replied with a shrug, “Taehyung has been through a lot that most kids should never go through. He was so shy at first and I was afraid it’d be hard for him to make friends in preschool but sure enough, he’s found himself a best friend that he has a lot of fun with. It makes me worry less about him growing up feeling like a normal kid.”

Jin wanted to ask what Namjoon meant by all that. He was sure with how Namjoon spoke so freely about everything else that he wouldn’t mind spilling to Jin about everything there was to know about his and Tae’s past, but Jin didn’t want to push it. He knew how hard it was for him to talk about his sister and who was really Jungkook’s parents, so he decided to stay quiet and hum out the words softly, “Yeah, he’s been good for Jungkook too, your son. Jungkook never stops talking about him which is great because it’s always great to hear that someone is able to make him happy when I’m not around. I worry about that too much,” he muttered out that last part stalely, hating how he was telling his current sworn enemy about a flaw he only ever admitted once to Jimin when he was tipsy one night.

He expected Namjoon to smirk and treat that last part as a joke like some people did, telling him that he did need to loosen up or stop worrying so much since it wasn’t a good look on someone so young ‘that shouldn’t even have a kid this age yet’, but instead, Namjoon nodded his head and smiled, “I get so worried about that too. My friends make fun of me for it, but we’re dads doing this alone! Or at least I am. It’s hard to be both the worrying parent and the fun parent, but I don’t have a choice. Seeing Taehyung happy and safe though, I know I wouldn’t want it any other way.”

Jin’s eyes widened at the response he got, the words that came out of Namjoon’s mouth that were true to what he had been thinking to himself for so long. No boyfriend he ever had understood it because they had never had kids of their own, but finally he was meeting someone that felt the same way! It was exciting, it was-!

Ah…. But he and Namjoon already blew it. They broke almost all of his rules, and Jin had to stay true to those strict guidelines he needed to follow. Since Namjoon apparently worried the same way about his own kid, he’d have to understand. You can’t raise a kid, love them and nurture them, give your whole life to them, and then suddenly decide that it’s alright to just start going off and having one night stands with people while their at home wondering where you are. He didn’t deserve that. He would never forgive himself for what happened last week either. He and Namjoon could never be close because of what they did, but that was ok. It was meant to be.

Jin opened his mouth, parting his lips that were stuck together with spit that felt like glue due to his dehydration in the heat. A metallic taste resided in his mouth and in the back of his throat as he was about to remind Namjoon of everything that just passed through his mind, but before he could even attempt to voice together the string of words that he was hoping the other man would understand, Namjoon spoke first without realizing Jin was about to talk, “I know you said we shouldn’t be friends, but could we maybe just be acquaintances at least? For our kids?”

     “Acquaintances?” Jin questioned.

     “Friendly Acquaintances,” Namjoon added, wringing his sweaty hands together in his lap as if he was a middle schooler asking his crush out. He could admit this was more nerve wracking though. Instead of a cute girl who was probably hoping to find a boyfriend in time for the dance, this was a man who didn’t even want to be friends with him and made it very clear that they shouldn’t even be talking to each other. His chances of getting a positive answer were slim. 

Unlike he expected at all though, Jin sucked in a bit of air and let it out slowly and softly, answering the suggestion in a way that made Namjoon think that maybe this whole ordeal was possibly physically painful for Jin with his twisted expression and reluctant tone, “Only because Jungkook would spend all his night staying awake worrying about why we don’t like each other. He really wants us to be friends for some strange reason.”

He wasn’t going to tell Namjoon about how Jungkook actually wanted them to become partners that watched over him and Tae as if they were all a family because that was a bit too weird, but that point was still wildly clear in the back of his mind, taunting him as if this whole situation was all some cruel joke being played on him by the Universe and Jungkook himself.

Jin didn’t dare look to his side to see Namjoon’s expression, but he could guess the other man had a dumb smile on his face that showed the shock he probably felt for Jin caving into the idea of them being acquaintances so easily. He couldn’t blame the man for being shocked though. He was just as shocked at himself as Namjoon was.

He still made sure to remind him though, “Only on the condition though that we only talk when the two of them are around, and we never bring up what happened on Friday again, ok?”

     “What happened on Friday?” Namjoon asked, and Jin’s eyes widened.

     “What do you mean? We-!” he started to explain what happened, but Namjoon only laughed and waved Jin off, “I’m just joking about how it’s in the past and I’ve forgotten it by your request. I won’t bring it up again, and I promise I’ll only talk to you when the two munchkins are around and are expecting us to play nice,” he grinned and held out his hand, “So… friends?”

Jin glanced down at Namjoon’s hand like it was an invitation to die by the black plague. He turned up his nose and almost hissed out a curse to himself for not kicking Namjoon out of his life like he was supposed to when they broke all the rules, but since he couldn’t do anything else about it for Jungkook’s sake and only for Jungkook’s sake, he took Namjoon’s hand anyway, shaking it quicky before tearing his hand away again and reminding Namjoon, “Not friends. Only acquaintances.”

Namjoon smiled at this. Jin’s insults were almost funny to watch with how often Jin scrunched up his nose like Jungkook did. He looked like a toddler himself in a constant fit, but it was cute on him. Namjoon nodded his head and countered Jin’s response one last time just to make sure they had a deal that could somehow be a bit bearable for him as well.

     “Friendly acquaintances.”

Chapter Text

Chapter Four

 

Happy Days

 

     “Oh happy days! They say will come, but I’m not waiting, for I know!”

Jin groaned and rolled over in bed. He stuff a pillow on top of his head and pressed it over his ears, wishing that weekends had three days instead of two. He had always wished that every morning since middle school though and nothing changed.

     “The sun is shining, and the world is ever changing down below!”

Unable to take the sound of his annoyingly cheery alarm clock song anymore, Jin reached over and knocked it off the table, hoping a button would be pressed on it to make the sound stop. He was sure he’d hear that upbeat tune if he ever had to approach the twisted gates of Hell. It was probably Hell’s theme song, tricking people into thinking happy days were here when in reality they weren’t. Happy days were only a social construct created to give everyone hope that their sad lives were going to change at some point but they never were. Days were nothing but hard and sad and full of-!

Ok, Jin needed to stop thinking so cynically. He usually loved to wake up to this song. It put him in a good mood. He chose it specifically because it was one of his and Jungkook’s favorite songs ever since it first came on the radio one Sunday evening when they were coming back from a weekend beach trip with each other.

It came on four times on their car ride home and by the time it came on the third time, both of them had memorized most of it and were singing along to it at the top of their lungs and laughing when one of their voices cracked when they tried to the high notes. It was a song that brought amazing memories back every time he heard it. He loved it. He would never grow tired of it.

But this morning, he was too cranky to function with his lack of sleep from the long weekend he had with Jungkook due to a mistake he made Friday night. He and Jungkook sat on the couch eating from a small bowl of vanilla ice cream as they watched Brother Bear. They had already seen it five times in the last three months, but Jungkook insisted on watching it again and of course, Jin obeyed him in a heartbeat.

He fell asleep though near the end of the movie, the long week at work getting to him and making his eyelids too heavy for him to keep them open. Before he could tell Jungkook that they should just go to bed and finish the movie tomorrow, he fell asleep and ended up leaning against the remote, and with his luck, he changed it to the late night horror channel.

Long story short, Jungkook watched Nightmare on Elm Street all the way through and couldn’t sleep at all Friday, Saturday, and now Sunday night without waking up in tears claiming that Freddie was going to kill him in his sleep.

Jin made a mistake. And he was definitely paying for it.

Last night, Jungkook woke up and ran into his room, crying and telling Jin about how Freddie was under his bed. The past two nights Jungkook did this, Jin went into his room and checked under his bed and in the closet for the famous monster to show Jungkook that he was perfectly fine, but he was too tired last night to do anything. He just patted his comforter and muttered out to Jungkook in a yawn, “Then sleep with me. Freddie is too afraid of daddy to enter the room.”

Jungkook rushed up to Jin’s bed and buried himself under the covers, finally letting out a relieved sigh when Jin folded his arm around Jungkook’s stomach and pulled him close to his chest: the place where Jungkook felt the safest.

Though Jin didn’t want to wake up, Jungkook was already awake, happily wiggling out from under the covers as he tried to sing along acapella to the Happy Days song.

     “And nothing can erase the smile on my face when I'm with you!” He sang out, crawling onto Jin and straddling his chest as he slapped his hands over Jin’s cheeks and stopped singing abruptly to giggle and call out, “Daddy wake up! I want to be early and get a gold star!”

     “Ah, a gold star?” Jin asked with a smile. Jin knew Hobi was Jungkook’s homeroom teacher and would give him a gold star even if he was late for 'at least not missing school completely'. He gave out gold stars like Oprah gave out free cars. Jin knew Jungkook didn’t have to try hard to receive one, but he would never let Jungkook know that. Seeing his son try his best for something as simple as a gold star made him proud.

He sat up and scooped Jungkook up into his arms as he got out of bed, “Well then what are we waiting for? Let’s get you dressed and to school, ok buddy?”

     “Ok!” Jungkook exclaimed as Jin carried him to his room.

The two of them went to Jungkook bathroom to brush their teeth and wash their face, Jin’s stuff already in there since it was always a routine for them to do everything in the morning together. After that, Jin sat on the end of Jungkook’s bed and watched him pick out his outfit of the day, a pair of jeans, a t-shirt with an alpaca on it, a pair of socks with stars on them, and his red sneakers he always liked to wear. When he bundle up his outfit in his hands, he smiled up at Jin and said, “Let’s go daddy.”

     “Alright,” Jin smiled back at him in his still tired trance, wondering how someone related to him could have so much energy.

He stood up and they walked back to his room where Jungkook started getting dressed while Jin changed into his suit for work. He buttoned his dress shirt and fixed his tie as he absent mindedly thought about everything he had to do today: drop Jungkook off at preschool, turn in a report he made for his boss, leave early today and pick up Jungkook from preschool, and then fix dinner for the first time in two months for the two of them to eat. It sounded like a busy day, but these kinds of days when he could pick up Jungkook early and spend time with him was his favorite.

He was pulled out of his thoughts when he noticed Jungkook standing in front of the full length mirror beside him, fixing an imaginary tie to mirror Jin’s movements and be just like him. Jin smiled and ran his fingers through Jungkook’s hair, “Trying to be like daddy, huh?”

Jungkook looked up at Jin and nodded his head excitedly, “Yeah! I wanna be like daddy and… and Iron man! I wear your clothes in the day, but I,” he made the iron man pose and blew out a pitch of air as a sound effect, “save people at night!”

Jin laughed and picked Jungkook up, carrying him to the kitchen to eat some pancakes and fruit Jin was planning on fixing, “You know, I think Iron man actually saves people during the day and hangs out with his son at night. He just wears his suit when he drops him off at preschool, but after that, he flies around and saves people until it gets dark.”

He started to pull out the ingredients for the pancakes and eyed Jungkook’s reaction, grinning to himself when Jungkook’s eyes widened and he gasped, “Daddy, are you Iron Man?”

Jin laughed and shrugged, covering his closed lips with an index finger as he whispered a hushed, “Shh… it’s a secret, Kookie. Now do you want chocolate pancakes or blueberry pancakes?”

     “Chocolate!!” the toddler let out an excited shout as if his father being Iron Man wasn’t important anymore now that chocolate pancakes were being added to the equation.

Jin only smiled to himself and poured an amount of chocolate chips he already prepared into the mix, muttering out happily, “I thought so.”

Jungkook helped Jin prepare the table for two, stacking the pancakes carefully onto their plates and creating a smiley face with syrup on the top of them as Jin placed a few fruits on each dish as a required side. They then ate their breakfast in a comfortable silence that was only sometimes interrupted with a harmonious humming version of “Happy Days” that still remained the pair’s favorite song despite it being overplayed.

When they both finished and Jin was quickly washing the dishes and putting them in the dishwasher, Jungkook slung his small backpack over his shoulders and picked up his lunchbox that Jin managed to pack while eating, asking in a sing-songy voice as he swung it around, “Can Tae Tae sweepover tonight? He’s so bwave, and…” he glanced at Jin with heightened eyebrows and large eyes that looked like he was about to cry again from fear, “We can pwotect each other if Fweddie comes after us in our dreams….”

     “Ah…” Jin bit his lip and turned back to the dishwasher to close it and turn back around to bend down to Jungkook’s height, “You know daddy’s always going to protect you from Freddie, right? He’s so afraid of me that he won’t even come close to our apartment building.”

     “I…I know….” Jungkook’s bottom lip puffed up and he messed with the bottom of his shirt, looking down at the ground and anywhere but Jin’s face as if he was in trouble, “But he was in my dweam wast night… Maybe if Tae is here, he won’t be in them at all.”

Jungkook looked like he was going to cry any second now. Jin couldn’t afford to bring a crying Jungkook to preschool and have to work to calm him down for thirty minutes before rushing to work and being late. He had done that before and felt like both a terrible father and a terrible employee which resulted in him feeling like a terrible person all around. He almost had a panic attack that night and poor Jimin was new at the time and didn’t know what to do, so he called the last called number on Jin’s phone which ended up being the preschool teacher that called Jin earlier that day asking if he could just speak through the speaker phone so Jungkook could calm down to his voice. 

That was the only interaction he had with that preschool teacher, Hoseok, at the time, but he came rushing over anyway to help, talking Jin through it all and hearing the story of how he came to be in his situation with Jungkook. Though Jin was embarrassed for that being only their second interaction, Hoseok didn’t judge him for it and they all became fast friends after that.

To avoid a crying Jungkook, Jin sighed and caved in to the idea of inviting Taehyung to sleepover, “I’ll see what I can do to make it so he can sleepover, alright? I can’t make any promises for tonight, but definitely sometime this week.”

Jungkook’s mood immediately changed as if his forming tears were all an act to get what he wanted. Jin wouldn’t be surprised if it was. He let out a happy gasp and jumped for joy, clapping his hands together and giggling, “Thank you, thank you! Wet’s go so I can tell Tae Tae!”

Jin quickly grabbed his briefcase as Jungkook pulled him out the door, and he couldn’t help but smile at how easy it was to make Jungkook happy again. He really was a spoiled kid, but he made raising a kid alone in your mid twenties look so easy. Jin was the spoiled one. To be gifted with cute smiles, musical giggles, and happy jumps for joy at the smallest things was all Jin could ask for. What else could he need?

-

 

When Jin dropped Jungkook off at preschool and went to work, his mood surprisingly stayed the same. Usually he was sad to not be able to spend more time with Jungkook and he dreaded all the work he had to do, but today he was happy about only having to work briefly on a report and turning it in before getting to be with Jungkook for the rest of the day. He was excited.

He walked into work and sat down with a content sigh, leaning back as his computer turned on and glancing around the other people around him in his section that seemed to be having lesser off morning’s than him. He hated to admit it, but that made him even happier that he for once was not the most stressed out person in the room.

He finished his report by lunch and emailed it to his boss after checking it over fourteen times for any kind of errors that were possible to make. Even though he was sure it was perfect, his fingers trembled as they hit the ‘send’ button, fearing shooting up his body and residing in the pit of his stomach as all he could think about was what would happen if he lost his job from work that seemed lousy. What would he and Jungkook do? They couldn’t exactly afford luxuries now, but what would happen if he started to get no income at all?

Jungkook would wish Jin just put him up for adoption and walked away instead of taking him in. He’d only see Jin as a lousy uncle that couldn’t take care of him instead of a strong dad that was the best dad to be assigned to him all alone. Jungkook would be unhappy. And if Jungkook was unhappy then the gig was up. Like everyone told him when he first took Jungkook on, he couldn’t do this. He didn’t have what it took. He was nothing. He was-!

     “You ok, Jin?” a voice interrupted his thoughts that were leading him on a one way road to a panic attack.

Jin snapped up from where his head was currently buried in his hands and he quickly turned to the side to see Namjoon leading against his dividing wall with a worried expression on his face.

     “Huh? What do you want?” Jin snapped on accident, forgetting that they were ‘friendly’ acquaintances though he could have sworn he made a strict rule that Namjoon wasn’t allowed to talk to him at work.

Namjoon coughed awkwardly and looked away as if it was a crime to be standing there in front of Jin. Maybe it was considered one to the said man he was talking to, but thankfully there wasn’t a rule in the office against a bit of socializing during working hours, “You just look… rough? In a nice way to put it? I mean, you usually look stressed out, but you just seemed to-!”

     “I’m pretty sure it isn’t in the job requirements of a friendly acquaintance who’s not even supposed to talk to me at work to worry about me ‘stressing out’,” Jin’s voice dipped in tone at those last two words to assure Namjoon that he was doing anything but stressing out. He turned his chair back around to face away from Namjoon and sighed out, “Now if you excuse me, I…” Jin remembered Jungkook’s request to have Taehyung sleep over tonight and suddenly Jin was realizing that maybe he should try the ‘friendly’ part of their acquaintance agreement in order to get Jungkook what he wanted.

He rolled his eyes and huffed, ready to suck up his dignity and spit it out the window as he spun his chair back around and spoke to Namjoon in a mutter, “Actually, I need to ask you something.”

     “You?” Namjoon repeated, eyes widening in surprise of Jin actually continuing to talk to him for longer than he expected, “Want to ask something of me?”

Jin nodded his head slowly as if he was trying to entertain an idiot - in which case he really thought he was - and answered, “Yes, I just wanted to-!” he paused and glanced around the office for any eavesdroppers. There were always eavesdroppers in a place as boring as their company. When no one seemed to be interested enough to listen to their conversation though, Jin continued albeit a bit softer, “Can Taehyung sleepover tonight?”

     “Why are you whispering?” Namjoon ducked down a bit and whispered back.

Jin let out an irritated huff, “Because I don’t want people to know about Jungkook.”

     “Which I’m still confused by, but ok,” Namjoon muttered, “Are you ashamed of him? Is that why? Because you shouldn’t be. You should-!”

     “I’m not ashamed!” Jin answered him in a snapped whisper, quickly changing the subject back to the sleepover, “So can Taehyung sleepover or not? Jungkook wants him to sleepover, and I’m going to be home early today to pick them both up and watch them. I promise I'll cook real food and watch them like a hawk, and I’ll put them both to bed by-!”

     “Yeah, he can sleepover!” Namjoon grinned and leaned against the wall again, speaking at a normal volume once more. He crossed his arms and continued with a smile, “Taehyung’s been asking me all weekend about it too, so this is good. Ah, but he doesn’t have any of his stuff. Should I make-!” He bit his tongue before he could volunteer Yoongi up to drop off Taehyung’s things at Jin’s house. Not only was Yoongi probably not in the mood to go out of his way to Jin’s house with a baby and his job to deal with, but he wasn’t sure what the relationship between Yoongi and Jin was.

Why didn’t they talk anymore? Usually Yoongi let people fall in and out of his life because he didn’t bother to keep in touch with someone unless they did all of that work for him - which worked out fine for him since most people did want to keep his company - so what made Jin not want to bother keeping in touch with Yoongi? Was it because of Jungkook? Was it because something - dare he say it - romantic happened between them? No matter what happened, he didn’t want to put his best friend in any kind of situation with a force like Jin, so he bit his lip and edged out the next words carefully, “ I’ll bring his things by your house later tonight.”

     “That won’t be necessary,” Jin quickly argued, “I always have an extra toothbrush and toothpaste ready in the guest bathroom, he can take a bath just fine using Jungkook’s shampoo and body wash, and he can borrow Jungkook’s clothes and return them by Friday. There isn’t anything else he needs, right?”

Namjoon shook his head slowly, not surprised Jin came up with a plan to make it so he didn’t have to come by his house so quickly. His plans were definitely strong enough to not be able to argue with, that was for sure. And what was the point of arguing with Jin? He always won in the end. If Namjoon learned anything about his one-night-stand partner and friendly acquaintance in this past week, it was that it was better to give Jin what he wanted when he wanted it instead of struggle and fight until Jin eventually got what he wanted in the end.

Namjoon sighed, “Ok, I guess that’s fine for a night. Just… text me if anything goes wrong? Do you mind if we trade numbers?” He made sure to add at the end, “Just for the topic of our sons, I promise.”

Jin chewed at his bottom lip, staring on at Namjoon as if he was trying to find a way around sharing their numbers as well. After a few moments of thorough thought though, he realized that it was necessary to share their numbers in case of an emergency, so he nodded his head and sighed, “I guess we should. If you text me anything outside of the topic of our sons though, I will not hesitate to block you.”

     “Dually noted,” Namjoon offered a smile, but Jin was still frowning as he pulled his phone out. He scowled all the way through sharing numbers, and as soon as Namjoon’s contact was placed coldly into his phone as “Taehyung’s Father”, he turned back around in his chair and said to Namjoon as if he was dismissing him from a meeting, “You can go now. I’ll text you when I pick them up.”

Though Jin was still speaking to him with a grudge from last Friday layered thickly over his tone, Namjoon still smiled and went back to his desk, unable to help himself from thinking about how entirely domestic it was of Jin to say he was going to text him when he picked their kids up.

He knew this was a bit weird to think about since it was obvious he didn’t have a chance with Jin, but it felt like they were together almost. Like they were raising their kids with each other’s help and they weren’t both struggling because they had each other.

It was a warm thought. And he wasn’t ashamed of letting himself pretend like he was living in that reality even for even just a short few seconds before he had to go back to work and felt Jin’s cold, back-turned aura yet again.

 

-

 

After Jin got off work, he picked up the two toddlers that were not surprisingly on a sugar high after spending their last period with Hoseok as always. They had been eating candy they earned in an alphabet game when Jin came by and told Hoseok he was picking them both up for a sleepover. This earned Jin a suggestive wink from the preschool teacher as he asked, “Will the other Mr. Kim also being sleeping over at your house, or….?”

     “Shut up,” was all Jin could mutter out in reply before rounding up the two jumping best friends and walking them out the door. He made sure to stick his tongue out at Hoseok on the way out when the kids weren’t looking and call out to him one last time, “See you Friday since Jimin told me he can’t babysit that day!”

     “What?” Hoseok suddenly gasped, his eyes growing wide at the news he hadn’t been told until just now. He shook his head and started to follow Jin out of the classroom, stopping at the door since he couldn’t leave the rest of the kids alone, “I didn’t know about this! When were you planning on telling me?”

     “Just now,” Jin smiled in reply.

Hoseok only rolled his eyes at this and leaned against the door to his classroom covered in glitter artwork of butterflies and caterpillars, letting out a resounding sigh, “Fine, I’ll be there. But you gotta tell me like a week in advance next time just in case I get a date.”

     “I wasn’t worried about that,” Jin joked, but that only earned him a loud slap on the shoulder from his friend who was both grinning and glaring at him as he whined out, “Maybe I’d actually have a date if I didn’t have to help out you and Jimin all the time! Now go take care of your boyfriend’s kid, ah?” his grin turned evil and he raised an eyebrow as he turned to the kids and asked them with a sly smirk on his face, “Kookie, Taehyungie, do you guys want ice cream? Jin said he’d get you ice cream!”

     “Yeah!” both boys started singing out with joy at the thought of getting ice cream on top of all the candy they had already eaten. And Jin knew full well that when kids got excited like that, it was harder to let them down and not give them what they wanted than anything else he could possibly do.

His smile fell and he glared at Hoseok with a head tilt, muttering out thickly, “I hate you.”

     “And I’m babysitting Jungkook for free Friday night,” Hoseok smiled and started to step back into the classroom, “You’re welcome, Jinnie!”

He didn’t have to see Jin’s smile or hear a mutter of a thank you under the other man’s breath to know that he didn’t actually hate him. Hoseok knew just how Jin worked and he was always more than grateful beyond words for anyone that helped out with Jungkook.

And Jin didn’t have to hear another word from Hoseok to know with all his heart that he was the luckiest guy in the world to have a friend like him in his life. Him and Jimin really were life savers and at the end of the day and after all the dry humor and jokes they passed at each other, he always tried his hardest to let them know just how much they meant to him.

 

-

 

After ice cream and a quick stop at the grocery store to get ingredients for Japchae - Taehyung’s choice for dinner - Jin told the boys to get ready for bed early while he started to fix dinner. When he had a spare moment in between rinsing the spinach and boiling the noodles, he joined them so he could watch them and help them out if they needed any when they took their bath together. He was of course also there to make sure they stayed on track and washed their hair instead of getting lost in a game with toy submarines and rubber duckies. 

Jungkook insisted that he could wash his hair, but when he saw Taehyung request to have his hair washed for him while he washed his body, Jungkook requested to have the same treatment done for him as well. Jin was happy the two boys needed him so much, and he found Taehyung to be really funny when he wasn’t going on and on about how Jin gave better head massages than his papa, Namjoon.

Jin wasn’t going to admit it to Taehyung, but he had a feeling he was better than the boy’s father at a lot of things.

When the two boys were out of the bath, dried off, and changed into their pajamas, Jin was finished with dinner and laid it out for the three of them, promising that if they ate all of their food and vegetables then they could watch tv for an hour before heading off to bed. This time he was definitely going to monitor what was on the screen though. He couldn’t send Taehyung home with nightmares too.

At dinner, Jungkook and Taehyung either talked between themselves or to Jin about what they were doing in preschool. It was mostly just talk about what they did at recess, but Taehyung did mention how they talked about families and he liked that he wasn’t the only one without a mom.

At this, Jin smiled and asked, “Was your papa specially assigned to you too like I was to Jungkook?”

Taehyung giggled a little, but shook his head and replied, “No, he wasn’t supposed to be my papa, but I’m happy he is now! He’s fun!” the toddler gave a boxy grin despite his words causing Jin to feel confused.

Jin quirked an eyebrow up as he tilted his head and asked, “What do you mean?”

     “Papa is my real daddy’s uncle!” Taehyung’s smile faltered, but he still seemed happy. He probably just knew not to smile when he said the next words, “My real mommy and daddy aren’t here anymore so papa is my new daddy!”

     “Oh, Taehyung…” Jin muttered out, looking at the table. At Tae’s little hands that were connected to his little body that had been through too much a child his age should go through. No child should grow up without their parents… Jungkook was just like him. The only difference was Jungkook had no idea he was an orphan just like Tae. “I’m so sorry….”

     “Why?” Taehyung asked, unsure of why anyone should be sorry about him getting an awesome new father. Of course he didn’t remember his parents enough to feel sad about them dying. They died when he was only one year old and all he had ever truly known was Namjoon being there for him, Namjoon taking care of him, Namjoon tying his shoelaces and wiping his tears. As long as he had Namjoon, he was fine. What was there to be sad about?

 

 

After Jin tucked the toddlers into bed, he slipped away to his room and undressed until he was in just in underwear, grabbing his phone off the bedside table and crawling into bed where he held it up to his face and typed slowly. He hated himself for what he was about to do. He hated himself for finding just one similarity and flocking to the other man like a moth to a light, but it was the first time he had found someone going through the same exact thing. He knew how hard it was. He wanted to know how Namjoon could stay so calm through it all. What was his secret? Did he even have a secret? Or was he struggling just as much as Jin?

The thought made Jin sick to his stomach that he had been mean to Namjoon this whole time when he had been going through the same troubles. If someone treated him even half as bad as he treated Namjoon then he’d be crying and having Jimin console him while Hoseok fought for him.

After ten minutes of going back and forth between apologizing for how he had been acting or keeping his pride and continuing on as he had been, Jin finally sent a text to Namjoon.

 

To: Taehyung’s Father

Kim Seokjin: Can you call? I need to say something.

 

Not even three minutes passed before Jin’s phone was ringing and he picked it up to a freaked out Namjoon, heavy and quick breaths passing through the phone as a rushed voice sped out, “I’m already on my way. Whatever happened just tell Taehyung that he’s going to be ok, and I promise I’ll be-!”

     “Wait what?” Jin asked, confused why Namjoon was freaking out over nothing. He shook his head and continued, “Why do you think something bad happened? I’m actually a pretty good parent, you know.”

There was a pause.

     “You mean nothing happened?” Namjoon asked, “You’re just texting me to call you… just ‘cause?”

Jin nodded his head despite the man on the other end not being able to see his face, “Yes, I wanted to talk to you… and apologize.”

     “Oh…” Namjoon let out a sigh of relief, sitting back down on his couch where he had gotten up from as soon as he got Jin’s text. He could still feel his heart beating through his chest, but he managed to stay calm as he asked Jin, “Uh, for what exactly?”

Jin closed his eyes and leaned his head against the headboard of his bed as he edged out the words, “I’m sorry for everything. For treating you like you were the enemy when we were both in the same messed up situation… Taehyung told me how his parents aren’t here anymore. I’m not sure what that means, but I’m sure it means they passed away, and he told me how you are his uncle a-and I know how hard it is to raise a kid on your own that is not even yours after a great loss. It’s…. It’s so hard, and we’re both so young….”

Namjoon leaned back against the couch, eyes wide with surprise that Jin was saying all this stuff. Was he right about him being in the same situation? Was that what this was about?

Though he was afraid to push Jin into regretting even texting him, he dared to ask, “Jin, if you don’t mind me asking… Are Jungkook’s parents not-!”

     “Yes,” Jin cut him off, his voice short with a tremble in the back of his throat. He swallowed his spit slowly and continued with a sniffle, “My sister, his real mom, died giving birth, and his father if he even deserves that title hasn’t been around since she got pregnant. O-Our parents disowned her for keeping him and then disowned me for wanting to take him in, but I’d do it all over again. I’d lose everything all over again for him.”

     “I’m the same way,” Namjoon smiled softly, “My parents died in a car wreck and then to have my brother and sister-in-law die the same way seemed like a cruel joke… But Taehyung makes everything more bearable. Kids just seem to have that affect, don’t they?”

Jin smiled and nodded his head slowly, “Yeah…” tears were forming in his eyes as he thought about his sister dying and leaving him all alone with his nephew to take care of for the first time in a long time. It was hard to think about that so he always dug it deep down into his heart, but when it came to the surface it felt like a dam overflowing in his mind. He just wanted to cry until he fell asleep or hold Jungkook until those thoughts were buried again.

     “Jin are you ok?”

He snapped out of his thoughts to the sound of Namjoon’s worried voice on the other line. He sniffled and croaked out the response weakly, “Y-Yeah, I’m fine. I just…” he shut his eyes and felt a headache coming on. Crying was always such a pain, “How were you able to tell Taehyung the truth? I feel like at this point if I tell Jungkook, h-he’s going to hate me for hiding it from him for so long and just pretending I was his dad. I just wanted him to be happy, b-but I’m doing it all wrong!”

     “No, Jin, you’re not doing anything wrong,” Namjoon quickly spoke, afraid of saying anything wrong but worried that if he didn’t say the right words quick enough then Jin would hang up on him and pretend this never happened. He continued, “You’re doing everything right, and I honestly wish I was as strong as you. The only reason I told Taehyung about his parents was because I was going to fail as a makeshift parent, but when his first words were papa and he was looking right at me… I knew that no matter what I said, he was always going to see me as his dad since I was raising him. I’m sure Jungkook feels the same way, Jin. And whether you decide to even ever tell him or not, you are raising Jungkook just fine. Everyone can see that.”

     “But it’s so selfish,” Jin sniffled, vision blurring as it became overflowed with tears. His bottom lip trembled and he sucked in his breath, “She’s going to mean nothing to him because of me, and it’s all because I wanted all his love. I didn’t want him to want her or love her, and that’s the most selfish fucking thing anyone could ever do, I’m such a fucking-!”

Jin paused and bit his tongue back, remembering that he was talking to a man that he barely even knew. This wasn’t Hoseok or Jiminie he was venting to. This was Jungkook’s best friend’s father whom he had spoken to only a few times and nothing more. He shouldn’t be doing this right now.

     “I’m not cussing in front of the kids, by the way. They are asleep and in their room, and I’m down the hall,” Jin assured Namjoon.

Still in too much shock by Jin’s words to worry about where or who he was cursing around, Namjoon only shook his head and said, “Jin, I’m not worried about that. I’m worried about you. Should I come over? We can talk, and I promise I won't-!”

     “No,” Jin quickly snapped, almost as if this second personality had come out for a few minutes and was now being covered back up by his usual and cold side to himself. He didn’t remain cold though, only shaking his head and muttering out, “No, I think I just need sleep. I just wanted to apologize, not vent to you.”

     “A-Alright, but if you ever need to talk…”

     “I won’t,” Jin mumbled, looking down, “This has been so embarrassing and you can just forget I said anything… I’m sorry.”

Namjoon wanted Jin to stay on the phone. He wanted to continue talking to him until he was sure the other man was ok, but he was still so afraid to take another step back in their relationship. He had never been so self-conscious with someone before, but with Jin, he felt like every move he made mattered in the long run, and he wanted to make sure that the long run ended with him and Jin actually somewhat liking and trusting each other. He didn’t know why he felt this strongly after knowing the man for only a week, but he did and there’s was no denying it.

     “You don’t have to be sorry, Jin,” he spoke softly, almost as if he was trying to hush the man into a calm sleep. He was sure Jin wasn’t planning on going to sleep as soon as he got off the phone though, so there was no use in trying that. Still though, he whispered one last thing, “Good night.”

He winced as he said those words, afraid Jin was going to get mad at him for saying something so lame when all they were was just friendly acquaintances due to their sons being friends, but all he got back in return was a yawn and an almost vulnerable soft reply, “Good night… I’ll see you tomorrow.”

     “See you tomorrow,” he smiled.

 

-

 

Later that night, Namjoon laid in bed, head spinning as he thought about his phone call with Jin. How it started with Jin apologizing and led to Jin crying about things he probably never talked about to many others. He really was just a dad that cared so much for his son that wasn’t even his.

Jimin had been right all along. Jin truly was such an admirable person to look up to. He had been through so much and now that he was thinking about it, Namjoon could guess that Jin didn’t want people finding out about him having Jungkook because he didn’t want to have to explain this past that was so hard for him to even think about to more people. It all made sense now and Namjoon felt so bad for hating him even for a split second and making all those assumptions.

All he could do now was think about Jin even more and wish they didn’t screw up their relationship on that first night with the one-night-stand. If only he didn’t drink. If only he didn’t go to that stupid outing. If only he maybe had chosen his words better, or didn’t get drunk so easily, or was smart and stopped himself before sleeping with Jin. Then he’d have a chance with him now.

Unable to keep his mind at ease with just thoughts, Namjoon picked up his phone from his bedside table and texted Yoongi who was probably asleep right now or sleeping with someone else but who cared?

 

     Private Chat with: Uncle Minnie

 

     Joonie:

     I’m in love with him

 

A few seconds later...

 

     Private Chat with: Uncle Minnie

 

     Uncle Minnie:

     Who is it this time?

     Joonie:

     Still Jin.

     Uncle Minnie:

     What? I thought u hated him. What happened?

     Joonie:

     We talked… he’s in the same position as me. U know how he left school bc his sister was pregnant and needed his help because the father left?

     Uncle Minnie:

     Ya?

     Joonie:

     His sister died in childbirth, Yoongi. Jungkook is his sister’s kid.

     Uncle Minnie:

     Shit… I had no idea.

     Uncle Minnie:

     Holy shit after all these years I could have reached out to him, but…

     Uncle Minnie:

     So are u guys friends now? Is everything ok?

     Joonie:

     I don’t know

     Joonie:

     But i want to fix things

     Uncle Minnie:

     I’ll help

 

After seeing that last text from Yoongi, all of Namjoon’s emotions piling together from tonight finally boiled up into a smile that spread wide across his face. He couldn’t help but think about what it would be like to actually be really good friends with Jin, to laugh with him, to spend time with him, to finally relate with someone over their both unfortunate and very fortunate situations.

Sure it was definitely going to take a lot of work. Jin seemed to be the type of person that was very set on his ways. He probably set so many boundaries for himself and others that would be hard to get around, but Namjoon was prepared to do whatever it took to get through to the other man. No matter what walls he had to break, no matter what boundaries he had to get over, no matter what rules he had to follow. He was going to get to Jin.

Chapter Text

Chapter Five

 

Save it for Mr. Kim

 

Tuesday morning after Jin dropped off both Taehyung and Jungkook and went in to work, Namjoon could immediately feel a sudden shift in their relationship. Jin wasn’t exactly running up to him and asking how his morning was with a bright smile on his face, but he did offer somewhat of a lip twitch as he thought about smiling - though he decided against it - and muttered out a ‘good morning’ before heading to his desk.

After that, Namjoon braved to fix Jin coffee in the breakroom, fixing three different kinds of coffee: one sweet, one bitter, and one in between before bringing them to Jin. He offered the sweeter one up to him, making an excuse as to why he made him coffee, “I’m on my rounds to give a few people coffee and thought you’d want one. Do you like it sweet?”

Jin looked up at him, eyebrows furrowing since he disrupted his work but immediately softening when he saw it was only Namjoon. Namjoon’s heart fluttered at the expression he saw on Jin’s face to say the least. He wanted to grin, but he decided against it and kept his determined expression as Jin glanced at the coffee and hummed softly to himself under his breath, “Is it too sweet? I get sick if it’s-!”

     “I also have a bitter one and something in between,” Namjoon finally smiled, nudging all of theme towards Jin to show how he had three coffee cups in his arms. His grin shamelessly stayed on his face as he watched Jin glance down at the cups in surprise, unsure how to react though his eyes went wide and his lips parted with a soft gasp before he could stop himself.

He finally looked up at Namjoon again - Namjoon quickly wiped his smug look off his face - and asked, “Well which one is yours?”

     “Mine is already at my desk. And the other two people I’m bringing the coffee to don’t have preferences, so you are free to choose,” Namjoon assured him, lying about everything. He was going to drink whichever one of the two leftover that he preferred and he was going to throw the other away. It had been a week and he hadn’t bothered to make any other friends in the workplace yet.

Believing his words though, Jin nodded his head slowly and looked down again, “Which one is the in between one?”

     “This one,” Namjoon managed to pick up the coffee cup to the far right and hand it to Jin, making sure the other man had it in his grip before he stepped back and smiled, “It’s a thank you… for taking care of Taehyung last night, and I guess… being my son’s best friend’s dad? Thanks for raising him?”

Jin started to laugh into his cup, eyebrows furrowing as soon as the first sound of his squeaky laugh came out, and he quickly quieted down and took a sip. He calmed himself down and set the coffee cup on his desk as he spoke with a soft smile, “I should thank you too for letting Tae sleep over. And also for listening to me last night,” he coughed and awkwardly looked off to the side, “Sorry for saying all that stuff even though we’ve just met. That was so embarrassing, but I guess I can trust you not to talk to anyone else about it?”

     “Of course,” Namjoon quickly responded. A smile spread wide on his face and his eyes narrowed in a smug stare, “What are friendly acquaintances for?”

Jin rolled his eyes and took another sip of his coffee, swallowing it slowly and looking down at his lap, responding in almost a pouty way, “How about friendly… friends? We can just pretend that that night never happened.”

     “I’m down for that.”

Jin’s eyes lit up with relief. There was no doubt he was happy that Namjoon was so easy to have comply with his request. Little did he know, Namjoon was just as eager to forget the whole thing as well and move forward. Jin smiled to himself and took a sip of his neither too sweet nor too bitter coffee and nodded his head along with a whisper, “Good… good.”



 

The next two days of the week, Wednesday and Thursday, Namjoon brought Jin coffee again, remembering to fix it just how he fixed the sweet-but-not-too-sweet coffee he made on the first morning. It was torture to wait in line for the coffee machine in the break room and then sometimes have to hit the coffee machine into working again, but it was all worth it. Just to have those three minutes a day where he could hand the coffee to Jin and talk to him about their kids made anything worth it.

On Friday however, Namjoon got a text from Jin earlier in the morning before he usually got up, asking if he wanted better coffee from the shop across the street from their workplace. Namjoon practically jumped out of his bed to hurry and get him and Tae dressed after he replied an almost too quick of a response, ‘Of course! Let’s walk there together after we drop off the kids.’

And just like that, after he dropped off Taehyung and met up with Jin who was already standing by the gate waiting for him, they walked to the shop together and ordered two coffees to go and two blueberry muffins by Namjoon’s request since he claimed they were the best in the whole city.

Jin at first argued with that claim, but as soon as they sat down across from each other at one of the tables tucked neatly away in the quaint cafe, his eyes widened and he spoke with a mouth stuffed full of muffin, “You were right these really are amazing!”

     “I’m never wrong when it comes to food,” Namjoon countered, taking a sip of his coffee with a bemused smile as he watched Jin wipe off the crumbs scattered around his mouth as he swallowed the big bite he took. “I may be terrible at fixing it, but I’m definitely good at tasting it.”

     “Ah, you can’t cook?” Jin asked, raising an eyebrow and taking a long sip of his coffee to chase down the muffin. “Who fixes food for Taehyung then?” his eyes widened and he gasped, “Please don’t tell me that poor sweetheart is eating a box dinner every night.”

Namjoon bit his lip and gave Jin a blank stare. That was answer enough. Though Namjoon was also trying to figure out how to react to Jin calling his son ‘sweetheart’. It was the sweetest and cutest thing ever, that was for sure, but how was his son getting a cute nickname before him? He couldn’t believe he was thinking this, but he was jealous of Tae. He was actually jealous of his son.

Jin rolled his eyes and buried his head in his hands, “That explains why he was so excited when I said I was cooking… I can’t believe this,” he lifted his head up again and pointed an accusing finger at Namjoon as he furrowed his brows angrily, “I refuse to let this continue. What do you feed him?”

     “Cereal for breakfast…” Namjoon listed, kind of feeling ashamed now of what he thought was perfectly fine for him Taehyung, “And mac and cheese for dinner? Take out? Sometimes hot dogs or pizza. We are fine, Jin.”

Jin shook his head, “That’s prison food. You need to learn how to cook something.”

     “You don’t want me in the kitchen,” Namjoon laughed and shook his head, “It’s disastrous.”

Jin sighed and took another sip of his coffee more to keep himself from whining any more about good eating habits than to taste the drink. His college personality was coming out suddenly. The type of person that he used to be when he was obsessed with cooking and always made sure his friends were well fed and could feed themselves because he actually enjoyed helping others learn to cook or cooking for them. He didn’t know why it was coming out now, but it felt nice to have it back again. Like a part of him that was young was still inside of this single dad he had become over the years. A persona he had taken on that didn’t even feel like his real self anymore. But for this moment he was back. And he couldn’t help but want to hold on to it.

     “Then I’ll cook for you,” Jin suddenly said, surprising himself when he said the words. His eyes widened and he quickly backtracked though, “I-I mean, I’ll cook for Tae. You can continue eating microwave meals as a punishment for not cooking good food, but Taehyung needs to eat something healthy.”

     “You’ll actually cook for my son?” Namjoon asked, tilting his head in surprise that someone he kind of just met would really go through such lengths to take care of his son like that. Sure Yoongi sometimes cooked for him and Taehyung just because he had basic knowledge of how to make edible food, but for someone to offer to cook for Tae all the time just for his sake and without being asked? That meant so much.

Jin nodded his head and checked his phone, seeing the time that covered part of a picture he had of Jungkook as his wallpaper. Namjoon caught a glimpse of it, a wide eyed and smiling Jungkook sitting on a bench with a smoothie in his hand. Jin was definitely a parent with a camera in his hand at all times just in case.

He only got to see it for a few seconds though before Jin turned it off and quickly stood up, muttering out, “We’re going to be late for work if we don’t leave now. I’ll start sending Jungkook to preschool with two lunches though. I always have excess food left over so it’s really not a problem.”

     “Wow,” Namjoon laughed a little, still taken back by Jin’s offer and generosity. Just last week Jin was telling him to never talk to him unless they were stuck together on a playdate, but now they were having coffee together and Jin was offering to fix lunches for Taehyung. He thanked every deity that could possibly be responsible for this and walked alongside Jin to their work, changing the topic to something besides their kids with a grin that was probably never going to leave his face for the rest of the day.



 

When he got home late at night, he knew Taehyung would already be in bed since it was a school night. Taehyung usually liked to stay up to at least hug him and tell him a quick summary of his day before going to bed, but after a tiring sleepover with Jungkook, Namjoon hoped that Tae just went ahead to bed early tonight no matter how much he wanted to talk to him. A sleeping Taehyung was better than a cranky Taehyung.

As he thought, the only person awake in his apartment was a dozing off Yoongi on the couch with the soft drum of the news channel playing on the tv and causing a dark blue hue of light to circle the room. Yoongi’s eyes widened and then narrowed when Namjoon walked in as if he was struggling to see before he let out a soft groan, “You’re back really late. Hard day?”

     “I’ve had harder,” Namjoon smiled, “I just lost track and finished work that didn’t need to get done until Friday.”

     “So I’m off the hook all next week?” Yoongi guessed, sitting up a bit since it was too late to do anything but just get up and grab Hyunae from where she was sleeping to take her home and put her in her crib.

Namjoon sat down next to Yoongi on the couch though and nodded his head, “Hopefully. It seems that way,” there was a pause - but only a quick beat - before he changed the topic and asked, “So Jin and I are friends again. Do you think it’s too soon to ask him out?”

     “Ask him out on a date?” Yoongi attempted to clarify.

     “Yeah like a friend date. No sex of course.”

Yoongi’s eyes narrowed again and he leaned back against the couch, taking this new information into consideration and nodding to himself slowly, “Because Jin is playing hard to get. I’m still confused by this because he was so easy in college.”

Namjoon gasped at how Yoongi spoke of his old roommate and he stood up for him, “But he has a kid now, you know how it goes! I’m the same way.”

Yoongi let out a tired sighed, “Yes, of course, I remember. The single father curse that excludes me.”

Namjoon rolled his eyes, “Alright sex god, so should I ask him out in maybe two weeks? Wait it out a bit just to see where he stands? We can start out by maybe just… getting groceries together! Or walking in the park. Small things, you know?”

His best friend’s eyes wide?:"ned and he tilted his head with a judging expression on his face. He blew out air through his lips and laughed under his breath, “What the fuck has happened to you? Just ask him out now! If he doesn’t want you now then he’ll never want you.”

     “It’s too soon though!” Namjoon bit his lip, “He just got over hating me…”

     “You know what it takes to get over a bad fuck?” Yoongi suddenly asked.

Namjoon blinked and then swallowed his spit, unsure how to answer that since he knew that he’d never be able to guess it in a million years. He closed his eyes and arched his eyebrow in irritation, lowering his head as he muttered out, “What?”

     “A good fuck.”

     “We’re not doing anything,” Namjoon had to hold in his breath to keep himself from laughing. It’d be too inappropriate to laugh now. He laid his head back on the couch next to Yoongi’s and smiled, “I really like him, Yoongi. I don’t want to mess it up. Maybe I should ask him to… to teach me how to cook or something. He offered today.”

Yoongi’s eyes widened and he turned to look at Namjoon, “Are you serious? That was like… and not to out my friend like this, but that was his number one move back when he was in college. If he liked - and I mean like-liked - you, there was a one-hundred percent guarantee he’d offer to teach you how to cook in order to spend time with you.”

     “So… he might like me?” Namjoon muttered more to himself than to Yoongi, “He was telling me he’d cook or teach me how to cook for more Taehyung’s sake though….”

     “Nope,” Yoongi shook his head, “He doesn’t just offer to teach anybody how to cook. And he especially wouldn’t fix food for anyone unless it was me or someone he wanted to be with romantically. Ask him out right now and have him over tomorrow night.”

     “That’s too soon! He’s gonna think I’m weird for asking him to come over like two days after we become friends!”

Yoongi’s expression deadpanned and his lips tightened into a straight line to accompany his unamused stare, “You guys literally had sex two weeks ago after knowing each other for thirty minutes. I think we’re past weird. Just give me your phone and I’ll do it for you if it’s so hard.”

Namjoon shook his head and held his phone up to his chest protectively, “Min Yoongi, you are terrible. If you think I’m going to let you text him saying something like ‘hey teach me how to cook and then we can make sweet love while our kids are busy watching Blue clues’ then you’re wrong.”

     “Well where else do you want the kids to be? In the room watching?” Yoongi asked more as a joke since he was planning on possibly stepping in for his best friend’s sake and watching Tae and Jungkook at his place if they wanted.

Namjoon didn’t catch the joke part though and gasped, leaning back and away from Yoongi more, “How do you get so many dates?! How are you more desirable than me?”

     “Just hand me the phone, Namjoon,” Yoongi ignored his question.

Namjoon leaned back more, so Yoongi lunged forward for his phone and fought him for it, letting out a frustrated shout through an exasperated grunt as he tried to fight off Namjoon’s lanky arms pushing at him to get him off, “Just hand me the goddamn phone, you lameass!”

     “No!”

     “Don’t make me count to ten!” Yoongi suddenly shouted, bringing his dad voice out of nowhere that he hadn’t even used with Hyunae yet but had prematurely learned to use with Taehyung when watching him.

Suddenly, as if his words were a magic spell, Namjoon stopped fighting and the phone was now in Yoongi’s hands, opened up to him as he now searched for ‘Kim Seokjin’ in Namjoon’s contacts to text him. He started to type a simple yet ‘Namjoon-esc’ message that he knew his old roommate wouldn’t be able to turn down.

He considered himself a Seokjin expert after all those nights of hearing how some random guy wooed college Jin and what little traits he had that were just so desirable to the aspiring cook with bright eyes and a pretty face. Now Jin was apparently a single father and a grump, but he was sure the dusty clock of a man still ticked the same way. He didn’t know Namjoon was the the type to woo Jin all the way into having a wasted one night stand, but hey, you learn new things about people every day.

Maybe some people really are attracted to the human version of groot that has the potential to trip over a stair step that isn’t even there.

Namjoon huffed and muttered out in a pouty tone, “You didn’t have to use a dad voice on me. When you do it, I literally feel afraid I’m about to be put into time out or something.”

     “If you kept your phone from me for one more second then I would have sent you there,” Yoongi muttered absentmindedly, finishing his text and handing it to Namjoon who only groaned and took his phone, “What did you do…”

     “Read it and thank me.”

Namjoon looked down at his phone and read over the words that Yoongi typed into his phone. Seeing what his best friend typed out as a short yet sweet proposal for a simple date that wasn’t too obvious of a date, it suddenly all made sense now how Yoongi was still managing to have relationships with people left and right even with a baby at his hip at all times.

He was a modern day Casanova with his words.

 

          Private Chat with: Kim Seokjin

          Namjoon

          Hey, Are you busy Saturday night? You’re right about Taehyung needing better food, so I’m going grocery shopping for real food ingredients. Would love an expert to help me out though.

 

Namjoon read the words in his head but whispered them softly as he skimmed through the words one last time before looking up at Yoongi, “So grocery shopping?”

Yoongi nodded his head, “Jin’s idea of a perfect date was always doing something completely average with someone in order to see if they could make the ordinary extradorinary. Grocery shopping is simple. You can do this.”

     “Are you sure?”

Yoongi smiled, “Yeah you’re both single dad dorks with emotional problems. You’re perfect for each other.”

Namjoon laughed and elbowed Yoongi, “Thank you…”

     “It’s nothing,” Yoongi nudged him back, “Just thank me at the wedding, ok? That’s all I ask.”

Namjoon’s cheeks lit up with a light blush at the thought of going as far as to marry Jin with how shaky their relationship was now, but he smiled at the thought and muttered out softly, “We definitely will.”

 

---

 

     “Hoseok, I’m home!” Jin called out as he walked through the door and entered the darkened and close to silent apartment. He could tell Jungkook was asleep by the lack of giggles or shouts of his arrival happening, but he could hear Hoseok laughing at something on tv, the hum of people’s voices on the screen becoming louder as Jin made his way to the living room. He knocked on the wall of the living room softly to officially make Hoseok aware of his presence and asked, “How was Jungkook?”

Hoseok looked up at him, seeming a bit startled though at least he didn’t scream and fall off the couch like how he did last time Jin came up from behind him. Jin was surprised the preschool teacher never heard him coming in - which was a little worrying if he was an intruder - but he found the reaction hilarious.

This time though, Hobi only squeezed the pillow he was holding ever so slightly before letting out a short breath and saying in a calm voice, “Jungkook was good. We played a few board games and ate dinner, but he was really tired probably from the sleepover with Taehyung.”

Jin sighed and made his way over to sit down on the couch next to Hoseok, “I told those two to go to bed and even tucked them in. How are they tired?”

     “Probably staying up late to talk about their plans of you and Tae’s father getting together,” Hoseok snickered, “Jungkook told me during dinner about how he and Taehyung are trying to plan their playdates for when you and Namjoon leave work early. They want you to be dad best friends.”

Jin rolled his eyes and leaned back into the couch cushion, “Not gonna happen. I mean, we’re friends now, but I don’t see us being best friends.”

     “Oh really? What changed?”

Upon hearing this question, Jin thought about telling Hoseok about how he called Namjoon Monday night to apologize to him but only ended up venting to him about his situation. Hoseok was not new to Jin venting or making stupid mistakes, so he didn’t shy away from telling the truth, “I called him Monday night. I was only going to apologize about how I had been treating him, but I ended up telling him everything…” Jin bit his lip and shut his eyes, edging out the next words, “And crying.”

     “Ah….” Hoseok nodded his head, “So I should tell you something.”

     “Oh God, what is it?” Jin turned to him, afraid that he was going to say something about Namjoon saying in private about how he was secretly weirded out or burdened by him. Or maybe something else was going on? Was Jin losing custody of Jungkook? He had no idea why that would happen or why Hoseok would be the one to bring that news, but that was always the first and worst fear to come to Jin's mind when someone had to tell him something.

Hoseok didn’t seem like he was taking Jungkook away though. He only sighed and said, “So Jungkook told me he heard you crying Monday night. I tried to ask him if he knew why, but he only shrugged and said you were crying in the bathroom down the hall and went to bed before he could get up and see if you were hurt. He was pretty worried, but I don’t think he heard anything you said on the phone.”

Though Hoseok’s words were meant to be reassuring in the end, Jin couldn’t even process them, his eyes going wide and staying filled with fear as he muttered out, “He… he heard that? He heard me crying? Did he say if he heard me speaking?” he bit his lip so hard it could break as he looked down, shaking his head as his fingers started trembling, “Oh fuck, if he heard what I said to Namjoon on the phone… then he knows everything. He knows I’m hiding-!”

     “Hey now, let’s not say it now since he is sleeping in his room right there,” Hoseok wrapped an arm around Jin and gestured to Jungkook’s room. The door was closed but who knew what Jungkook could hear through the walls if he was secretly awake? Hoseok was smart to stop Jin before he admitted the truth again.

Hoseok coaxed Jin into his arms and held onto him tightly as he tried to whisper assurances into Jin’s ear before Jin could freak out again, “He’s fine. I told him that everyone has to cry sometimes because it is healthy for them. I said you probably weren’t sad since you are so strong, but your body forces you to cry sometimes since it needs it.”

     “And he believed you?” Jin sniffled, burying his face into Hoseok’s shoulder and trying hard not to panic right into a sobbing fit.

The man holding him nodded his head, “Jungkook laughed and told me your secret about how you’re Iron Man,” he smiled and pet Jin’s hair, letting out a silent and barely noticable breath of relief when he felt Jin relaxing, “Jungkook is fine and doesn’t know a thing, so you don’t have to worry. But you should stop keeping all these feelings buried deep down. You need someone to talk to whether it be me or Jimin, or a therapist… or Namjoon. Did it help talking to him?”

Jin sniffled and laughed a little under his breath, “Are you just trying to set me up with him again?”

He looked up at the preschool teacher with glossy eyes filled with tears that weren’t threatening to fall anymore and offered him a smile to let him know he was ok. He had momentary freak outs, but he didn’t need to talk to anyone. He wasn’t weak. He could do this on his own and prove everyone wrong.

     “I don’t need anyone. I only need Jungkook,” Jin muttered his response.

Hobi sighed, “Jin, though that is an admirable way for a single dad to think, that kind of mindset is going to get you hurt someday. You need someone to help you, Jin. No one can do this kind of thing alone.”

Hoseok was right. He was realizing this more and more with every single day he was starting to break down. With every time he cried or messed up or gave in and broke every single rule he set for himself with a complete stranger. Maybe he couldn’t do this alone anymore.

He closed his eyes and kept his face against Hoseok’s shoulder as he nodded his head slowly and admitted, “I’m finding that out.”

Jin suddenly felt his phone buzz in his pocket and pulled it out, wondering who was texting him this late at night. Who else did he even know besides Jimin?

He opened up his phone to see a text from Namjoon, a name he used to swear would always make his blood boil, but now he kind of enjoyed to see what the other dad had to say. Sometimes it was pictures he took in the past of their sons hanging out, sometimes it was a question about work, and sometimes it was a corny joke as pay back for a joke Jin told earlier that day.

Jin expected to see maybe a playdate request from Tae, but instead, he saw something that made his heart drop. He frowned and bit his lip and Hoseok peaked at his screen to see what was making him so troubled.

 

          Private Chat with: Namjoon

          Namjoon

          Hey, Are you busy Saturday night? You’re right about Taehyung needing better food, so I’m going grocery shopping for real food ingredients. Would love an expert to help me out though.

 

     “Shit…” Jin muttered, his heart feeling like it was stopping and starting every few seconds, “It’s a date. I thought I made it clear we would never be anything more than just friends.”

     “What?” Hoseok asked, peering closer at the text to read Namjoon’s words again, “Where does it say date? It says that he just needs help buying real food for his son. And I agree. Everytime I see Taehyung open his lunch and it’s a box lunch, my heart breaks for him.”

Jin shook his head, “It’s a trap. I told him I’d cook for him. He doesn’t need to cook. He’s doing it to get me alone.”

     “And what’s so bad about that?” Hoseok asked, watching as Jin kept reading the message over and over again, his eyebrows furrowing more and more the longer he stared. Hoseok rolled his eyes at how self-sabotaging Jin was when it came to dating, “If a hot, single dad that cared so much about his kid that he’d take the time and money to cook proper food from him asked me out, then I’d be hopping right on him. Hop on Namjoon!”

     “Hobi, no!” Jin whined, leaning his head back and shutting his eyes in embarrassment, “I can’t be anything with Namjoon because I have very strict rules for myself. You know this! We’ve already broken literally every rule together, so I can’t move forward with any kind of romantic relationship with him. He’s lucky we’re even-!”

     “Fuck the rules!” Hoseok suddenly declared, snatching Jin’s phone from him and hopping off the couch.

He jumped over the glass table in between the couch and the tv and ran towards Jin’s bedroom with plans to shut himself up in there to text Namjoon back, but Jin was quick. Too quick. It’s easy to forget that a man with the stress levels of a mental patient in the nineties is as young as you are until he is chasing after you like his life depends on it.

Jin grabbed the back of Hoseok’s shit and tried to yank him out of his room to get his phone, but Hoseok ended up tripping on the door and falling to the ground with Jin right behind him. This was fine though. Jin’s phone was still unlocked and there was a chance he could still type a ‘yes’ before it was too late and the opportunity passed.

With quick thinking, Hoseok used their position to his advantage, and wrapped his legs around Jin’s waist, using all his strength to flip how they were with him now sitting on top of Jin’s chest with his thighs pressing down on both sides of Jin’s neck while his legs also held down Jin’s arms.

With Jin being held down like a wild animal, he quickly typed back to Namjoon.

 

          Private Chat with Namjoon:

          Kim Seokjin

          I’m free. You need an expert to help you cook too?

 

Jin tried to grab at Hoseok’s thighs, his cheeks squished together between them as he huffed out through thick lips, “Let me go! Stop crushing me with your thighs!”

     “You know, you should be honored,” Hoseok grinned, keeping Jin’s phone hostage for a little longer just to make sure these plans were set in stone. “Many people beg to be in this position, Jinnie.”

Namjoon replied back quickly thankfully.

 

          Private Chat with Namjoon:

          Namjoon

          Sure, that would actually help out a lot. Do you want to meet at Wholefoods at 5 tomorrow?

          Kim Seokjin

          Yeah, that sounds great! I’m actually really excited :) It’s been a while since I’ve had someone to cook with. We could also have Jimin watch the kids at your place if that helps? I don’t know if you have a go-to babysitter, but Jimin wouldn’t mind to watch the both of them.

 

Hoseok smiled at his work, proud that he was able to get one of his best friends a date so easily. Now if only he could speak for Jin on the date itself so it could go just as smoothly. For now though he needed to call Jimin and make sure he was free tomorrow night. He himself would pay the dancer double to work on a weekend night if it meant their grumpy single friend was finally going to get in a relationship he deserved.

     “I’m gonna bite off your dick!” Jin threatened with a whiny shout, reminding Hoseok that this said friend of his’ face was currently being crushed between his thighs.

He laughed a little and set the phone down, “Woah there buddy, save that for Mr. Kim.”

As soon as he loosened his grip on Jin and moved to get up, Jin immediately shoved Hoseok off of him and out into the hallway before he scrambled to his phone to read the chat. His eyes widened as he skimmed through the three new text messages that were added to the screen to see that the plans were already made and set in stone.

He shut his phone off and glared at Hoseok, breathing heavily, “You have three seconds to run.”

Hoseok laughed nervously and quickly jumped up to put on his shoes and get his bag that he always carried home from work. Once he swung his coat onto his arms and opened up the door to leave, he called out to Jin one last time, “I’m calling Jimin to tell him to watch Tae and Jungkook at whichever place you won’t be making out at! You can thank me later!”

And just like that, the door slammed and he was gone.

Jin was still on the ground, letting out a breath when the man who was the human version of the meteor that killed the dinosaurs was finally gone. He laid down on the soft carpet that layered the floor of his room and sighed, thinking about how horrible tomorrow night was going to be.

This was quality time he could be spending with Jungkook going down the drain. They could have made a new lego rocketship or went to a painting class or went swimming, but now he was going to be cooking with a guy who was expecting who knows what from him.

Did he want a second round? Was he hoping they’d get drunk and make a mistake that he was thinking would be a little more bearable this time? Because it wouldn’t be that way for Jin. He’d hate himself just as much for it even if it was a two-night-stand instead of a one-night-stand.

Or were Namjoon’s intentions actually pure? Did he really just want to go grocery shopping and then learn to cook afterwards? Because it was Hoseok that came up with the idea to go back to their places afterward. Namjoon originally only wanted to grocery shopping…

So maybe he wasn’t all too bad. Maybe this completely platonic friend date wouldn’t be all around terrible. All they were doing was cooking. He did say he was going to forget the one-night-stand he had with Namjoon so technically that meant that they were back at square one again with all of the rules unbroken. And if they broke any rules again tomorrow than Namjoon truly was officially never going to have a chance ever again.

Even with all these worries about intentions and rules and mistakes, Jin couldn’t help but smile as he lay on the ground and looked up at his ceiling.

He was getting closer to Namjoon, and it was fun to be friends with another single dad in the same situation was him. It was fun to be friends with another parent in general because they were the only other kind of people that understood why he was always so stressed or anxious or self deprecating. It was because he had a kid he had to love and put first above anything else; even himself.

Namjoon understood that.

Plus, it was nice to have another friend in his very small friend group of two since Hoseok was going to have to be replaced after Jin eventually found him again and killed him, throwing his remains in a  place where his family would never find him.

Welcome to the top of his hit list, Hoseok.



~(***)~

 

 

EXTRA:

 

The next morning, Jin woke up to a text with a ringtone he hadn’t heard in a very long time. Who did it belong to again… his mother? An old college friend?

As soon as he thought about college, his eyes widened and he lifted his head up to grab his phone. He picked out that ringtone for his old college roommate, Yoongi… Was it really him? He hadn't talked to him in years though! What could he possibly want?

He looked at his screen to surprisingly actually see a text from him.

 

          New Private Chat with: Min Yoongi:

          Min Yoongi

          Don’t you dare break his heart.

 

Jin’s eyes narrowed in confusion and he squinted his eyes to try to find some kind of hidden message or any hints as to what this was for. Was this about the date tonight? Was this about Namjoon? Huh? How did he know Namjoon?

There were so many questions…

Since when was Min Yoongi involved in all this?

Chapter Text

Chapter Six

 

The Extraordinary Ordinary

 

Jin pushed his shopping cart down the dairy aisle of the Wholefoods store, humming along to a song that was playing overhead throughout the store and waiting to get a text from Namjoon saying he was either here or he was cancelling. Jin told himself he’d be indifferent about which text he’d preferred to get, but he’d seldom catch a feeling of dread for the night to come and seldom become suddenly excited for when Namjoon eventually showed up.

To pass the time or pretend like he wasn’t waiting for someone all alone and was possibly going to be stood up, Jin picked up a gallon of milk and stared at the expiration date as if he was trying to decode hieroglyphics. He nodded to himself slowly, wondering how many gallons he should get. Expiration dates didn’t matter much to him and Jungkook when it came to milk though because they always used it up faster than anything else in there house.

Jungkook used it for cereal, he used it for cooking, and they both drank it like water, so gallons usually only lasted two days on a slow week. He decided to get two for now and placed them in the cart, about to turn around until he felt someone put their hand on his shoulder firmly and say in a low voice, “Hey, sorry I’m late.”

     “What the-!” Jin grabbed a gallon of milk and almost swung it around to hit the person who dared to randomly touch him in the supermarket until he realized that he was in fact waiting for a certain someone and it was probably Namjoon.

He stopped himself from slamming the back of the jug into Namjoon’s face and placed it back down into his cart instead, muttering out a tired, “There’s so many creeps in the city, I thought you were feeling me up. Was it your intention to scare me?”

Namjoon, his life still flashing before his eyes as he was just near seconds away from his life ending with a death by milk jug, answered, “I just touched your shoulder and said hey? And you almost killed me?”

     “You’re being dramatic, Namjoon,” Jin rolled his eyes and shook his head, “Now where’s your shopping cart? Aren’t you getting food?”

     “Oh yeah, I came in a rush and completely passed by them to try to find you first,” Namjoon laughed a little under his breath, trying to get over his shock quickly so he could enjoy his date (?) with Jin. Was this a date to Jin? It sounded like it over text, but he could never tell anything for sure with him. It was like Jin was always at a constant battle with himself on how to act, and he’d always end up changing his mind about how he felt about something so easily.

Jin started pushing his cart towards a different aisle, waving for Namjoon to follow him as he spoke softer now that he wasn’t scared or irritated anymore, “We can just share a cart with each other. I’m only getting a few things for the week and the ingredients of what we’re cooking tonight, so it’s not that much.”

     “Oh, ok,” Namjoon smiled and stuffed his hands into the pockets of his jacket as he walked alongside Jin.

Once both of their first ‘date’ jitters disappeared as they assured themselves in their minds that this was just a hang out for two friends, they started to talk to each other normally again, Jin cracking a pun about a certain food he saw as they walked by it and Namjoon letting out a strange laugh that Jin then proceeded to make fun of.

     “Have you ever cleaned before? Like cleaned windows or used a spray bottle?” Jin asked, still laughing through his words as tears started falling from his eyes.

Namjoon knew where this was going. He had been told it a thousand times just by Yoongi alone, but he still grinned and played along anyway since seeing Jin laughing so hard without any worries was like a dream come true for him, “Yes, believe it or not, I have cleaned,” he laughed a little, “And do I sound like a windex bottle squirting the cleaner out?”

     “Yes!” Jin exclaimed, laughing even harder as they walked up to the checkout line. They had gotten everything they needed to cook the meal and had to hurry back to cook since they had spent so much time in the grocery store and needed to leave eventually so they weren't up cooking the whole night.

Namjoon helped Jin put everything through check out and joked back to him, “As lovely as your laugh is, you also sound like a windshield wiper.”

Jin groaned and nodded his head, “Jungkook says I sound like a seagull when I laugh. It’s the ugliest sound in the world, which is why I’m always trying so hard not to laugh.”

     “What?” Namjoon asked, eyes widening with a new genuine concern, “You’re laugh may be uh… unique? But it’s definitely not ugly. Your laugh is contagious, so definitely don’t be worried about laughing around me.”

Namjoon realized a bit too late that he was doing that thing again that Yoongi always called him out on and called the ‘Philosopher’s moment’. It was where he went on a rant about how something deep when it was entirely unnecessary, and though Yoongi never minded hearing him talk about deep things, he was sure Jin didn’t want to waste his time hearing about how his laugh isn’t that bad. Jin was confident. He was sure Jin was just joking about being self-conscious about it, because-!

     “Thank you…” Jin muttered out, a small smile playing on his lips as he pulled his now empty cart up to the woman at the check out that was still putting their things into grocery bags. He kept his gaze down as he continued shyly, “I used to not care and I don’t mind people saying it sounds like a seagull or a windshield wiper, so don’t worry. I think it’s funny… I just had a boyfriend once that would cover my mouth every time I laughed. I just took the hint from there that it was annoying, so just tell me if it is.”

     “I love your laugh,” Namjoon spoke without thinking, hands clenching at his sides as he thought about someone actually slapping their hand over Jin’s mouth to keep him from laughing every time he wanted to. What made someone think they had the right to do that? Was that a reason why Jin was so picky with who he dated now? Because he didn't want to be treated poorly again? Because he would never even think or dare to treat Jin any less then what he deserved - which was with the utmost respect, care, and love.

Before he replied, he took his wallet out of his pocket and pulled out his card, about to hand it to the woman at the cashier before Jin suddenly held his hand to stop him. Namjoon tried to fight the blush on his cheeks from the contact of Jin’s slender fingers against the back of his palm as he asked, “What’s wrong? Most of this is for me, so I’ll just pay.”

     “No, it’s fine, I have this…” Jin stopped himself from mentioning his rules. He was about to recite rule #9: don’t let date pay on the first five dates, but he opted against it since he didn’t want Namjoon to question what the other rules were. He cleared his throat and pulled out his card, forcing Namjoon’s hand down as he handed his own card to the cashier woman, “I don’t want you paying for my personal groceries, and I actually like cooking, so this is fair.”

     “Are you sure? I really don’t mind,” Namjoon spoke, definitely seeming like the type that felt bad if anyone did anything for him.

He still followed Jin’s nod in response with a sigh though and put his card back in his wallet, not wanting to risk the so far smooth date just to argue with Jin over who was paying for groceries. Jin was just being nice and he appreciated that.

After Jin paid, they each picked up an equal amount of bags and started the short journey back to Jin’s apartment, talking the whole way home about various things that were surprisingly not about their kids.

The air was cold around them and they were both glad they dressed warm since it had dropped so fast this evening. Jin looked up at the sky that was empty of stars because of all the bright lights of the city blocking their vision. He enjoyed the sight of the full moon though, smiling and muttering out, “I can’t believe it’s October already. Halloween is next week and Christmas is right around the corner. Soon enough Jungkook and Taehyung will be starting Kindergarten and we’ll wonder where the time went.”

     “They are growing up so fast,” Namjoon admitted, glancing at Jin as they continued to walk, glad that Jin was so mesmerized by the moon for a moment so he could fixate on the certain features of Jin’s face that he could never notice with how fast Jin was always moving or turning away from him.

He could see now in the light of the streetlamps they passed the sharp yet hidden shape of Jin’s jawline, his eyes sparkling under the moonlight, the way his cheeks curved around his smile when his lips moved even a little bit. He was beautiful. He was so beautiful. How did Namjoon even get lucky enough to make the mistake of a one-night-stand with him? What did Jin even see in him to talk to him that night?

     “I always wonder what I’m going to be in fourteen years when I don’t have Jungkook,” Jin spoke up, finally turning to look at Namjoon which caused him to snap his head forward so Jin wouldn’t catch him staring. Jin didn’t seem to notice as he continued with a shy and conscious smile, “My life right now revolves around him, I just imagine I’m going to turn into what the Earth would be without a sun.”

So maybe all single fathers thought the same way because Jin was saying exactly what Namjoon sometimes worried about when he thought about the future. He’d always think of what life would be like when Taehyung was grown up and went to college. Sure fourteen years was a lot of time, but if three years had gone by this fast since he started taking care of Tae, the time when Tae didn’t need him anymore was going to come just as fast.

     “We’ll always have them,” Namjoon managed to say, trying to sound confident though he felt like Jin was right. The both of them really were just going to be sunless Earth’s with nothing to warm themselves up with. They were going to grow cold and dark without that source of love in their life. Maybe he was going too far into that analogy, but he couldn’t help himself from thinking about how true and real it was.

Jin appreciated Namjoon trying to comfort him but he could see the doubt in the other man’s eyes. They were both thinking the same thing. With worries still plaguing his mind, Jin still smiled for Namjoon but thought to himself about how maybe he really should open himself up to somebody so he wouldn’t be left alone by the only person he had. He needed someone to help him through the middle school years when Jungkook would be embarrassed of him, the high school years when Jungkook was going to hate him, and the college years when Jungkook was going to leave him.

Maybe he should open himself up to Namjoon.

Another single dad going through the exact same thing as him. That wouldn’t be too bad, right?



When they got to his apartment, void of any kids since they were both being watched by Jimin at Namjoon’s apartment a few blocks down, Namjoon helped Jin put his personal groceries up before they set up to cook a meal Jin claimed was easy though looking at the ingredients, Namjoon wasn’t sure if they had the same definition of ‘easy’.

     “So we’re making Japchae since I know for a fact that that’s something Taehyung likes. I already printed out the recipe for you to take home, but you must be a hands on learner since you definitely haven’t been cooking anything good just from reading directions,” Jin said with a judging yet also amused stare, hands on his hips as if he was scolding Namjoon instead of teasing him.

Namjoon only laughed and admitted, “I burned mac and cheese once. I’m definitely a hands on learner.”

     “Well that’s fine, cause you’ll be helping me a lot anyway,” Jin smiled and brought a few ingredients closer towards him and Namjoon, handing him a knife and putting him on chopping duty while he boiled the water and put the noodles into it.

Jin walked Namjoon through a few steps when he was struggling, helping him wash the mushroom the correct way and making sure he remembered to save the mushroom water for later. Everything was going smoothly until Namjoon felt confident in his chopping skills and assured Jin that he could at least cut the onions on his own.

Though he was sure leaving a toddler trapped inside a man’s body with a job as hard as chopping onions was a bad idea, Jin still crossed his arms and shifted his weight back on his left leg as he nodded his head towards the onion and took on the challenge, “Alright then. Let me see what my star student can do after just one lesson.”

Namjoon grinned and tilted the tip of his knife that was wet from previously cutting carrots towards Jin and raised his eyebrows, “Watch the student become the master.”

     “Ok, master,” Jin retorted without thinking, eyes widening when he realized what he said. His stare darted up to Namjoon to see that his eyes were equally as wide, both of their minds going into the gutter where dirty thoughts lay. Jin’s face flushed pink and he shook his head, sighing, “No one hears a word of this. Cut the onion.”

     “Ok…. master?” Namjoon teased, but that only earned him a slap on the back as Jin both whined and laughed out, “Stop it before I cut you up and put you in the Japchae for everyone to eat!”

     “Morbid,” Namjoon laughed and started to cut down on the onion.

     “Reasonable,” Jin countered, standing up on his tiptoes to peak down over Namjoon's shoulder at how badly Namjoon was butchering the onion with just his chopping skills alone. And boy, was it worse than he thought. Jin rolled his eyes and snaked a hand around Namjoon’s waist without thinking, grabbing his hand that was holding the knife and forcing it to come to a stop as he muttered out irritably, “I said slice the onion, not dice it. We need it to be in long strips or else it’s going to be everywhere in the Japchae and ruin the taste.”

As he spoke, he kept Namjoon’s hand with the knife in his hold and started to help him cut the onion by moving his hand along with his own and slicing it into thin pieces. It wasn't until he felt Namjoon’s breath brushing softly against his lips when Jin realized how close they were, his arms wrapped around Namjoon’s waist and their faces… so close. He looked down… their lips… so close.

When he felt himself leaning forward to kiss those lips with the same lack of thought he had when he first met Namjoon, he backed away, afraid it was going to end just as bad as that night. He patted his hands against the apron he was wearing around his waist and blinked a few times, looking away and muttering out, “Ah, so that is how you cut onions… Any questions?”

     “Jin, do I have a chance?” he heard Namjoon ask, causing him to look towards the other man once more. He almost thought about laughing it off and making a joke about how Namjoon did not in fact have a chance at a cooking career, but he knew what Namjoon was asking. He knew that Namjoon was looking at him with the same stare he was giving back. They both wanted the same thing.

He knew he needed to say no though. Relationships always ended badly. They could never follow the rules. They sometimes even hurt him when he tried to enforce the rules. They thought it was stupid for him to put someone that wasn’t even his kid at such a high place in his life. They ridiculed him, put him down, treated him like he made a mistake by taking in Jungkook, like he was weak to do it all on his own…

But Namjoon was different.

Namjoon was different and that was why Jin was giving him a second chance even after they broke all the rules. He was cleaning the slate and starting over again to give Namjoon another chance and if he regretted it in the end then he regretted it in the end, but if he was happy? If he had help from another single father? If he wasn’t alone when Jungkook grew up? If he didn’t feel like he wasted his life away to raise a child that wasn’t even supposed to be his?

Then it’d all be worth it.

Jin’s scared frown soften into a smile and he looked down, too embarrassed to look up into Namjoon’s eyes as he answered in a shy voice, brushing his shoulder against Namjoon’s, “You do…”

     “I do?” Namjoon repeated, worried expression turning into a grin. He pressed his shoulder closer to Jin as if that was the only form of contact they were allowed and he was making the most of it, “I won’t mess up this time, ok? We’ll take this slow and definitely no drinking until we’re blacked out drunk.”

Jin couldn’t help but laugh at that, loosening up once more as the tension started to dissipate between them once again. He nodded his head and leaned it on his shoulder, letting out a happy sigh as he moved all the chopped vegetables into a pan to start making the sauce, “I can definitely get behind that. I can’t even look at alcohol at the moment without getting sick because of how much I drank that night!”

     “Same,” Namjoon laughed, watching Jin’s movements intently since he really did want to learn how to cook at least one decent meal for Taehyung after this date that he could now confidently call a date.

Jin told Namjoon where the bowls were so he could grab them and start preparing the food. He couldn’t help but notice that though Namjoon was definitely lacking in the cooking skills department, he could at least make a dish look like it was prepared in a five star restaurant.

Jin smiled and rested his head against Namjoon’s shoulder as he watched him prepare their bowls, admiring the way he neatly piled on the vegetables and sauce. He complimented him on it, “You do a good job making the meal look pretty. You’d make really cute lunches.”

     “I would?” Namjoon smiled, breath catching when he turned and saw how close Jin’s face was. He wanted to kiss him. Staring into those dark brown eyes, he wanted to forget about the food completely and kiss Jin into tomorrow. The only thing stopping him was a fear that Jin would get scared again or think he made a mistake and shy away once more into them hating each other.

He couldn’t let that happen. He couldn’t risk it.

He almost turned away again, ready to just shy away and start talking about the food again - maybe thank Jin for teaching him as well - but before he could, Jin reached his arm around to hold Namjoon’s waist and muttered out shyly, “You want to?...”

     “Hm?” Namjoon asked, looking down at Jin’s lips that were right there. Right there. If he just leaned forward and…

The phone rang and Jin snapped his head away to look at where his phone was ringing on the kitchen table behind him. His eyes widened and he quickly reached for it, gasping out softly, “It’s Jimin.”

 

-



     “I dub thee King Jungkook, ruler of the Kim Pillowfort!” Jimin announced, tapping a foam sword from the toy chest in Taehyung’s room to both of Jungkook’s shoulders.

Jungkook and Taehyung cheered and Jungkook posed, a proud smile spreading across his face as Jimin moved on to Taehyung and tapped his shoulders with the same foam sword, “And I dub thee, Sir Taehyung! The bravest and strongest knight of the Kim Pillowfort! The right hand to King Jungkook.”

Taehyung’s eyes widened and he giggled, jumping up and down inside the pillow fort they had just finished making in the living room as he exclaimed, “Now I get the sword since I’m the knight! I’m going to go fight a dragon!”

     “No, you can’t yet!” Jungkook suddenly argued, pointing to Jimin and huffing, “We have to give Chimmy his position!”

Taehyung’s eyebrows raised with realization and he nodded his head in agreement, staring back at Jimin and whispering, “Do you want to be the dragon?”

Jimin nodded his head and smiled, “Yes, I would lo-!”

     “No, he has to be the queen! I need a wife!” Jungkook suddenly interjected, crossing his arms and toddling over to Jimin to wrap his arms around Jimin’s neck. He hung on him and giggled, trying to swing on his neck, “Chimmy and I are going to play games together every day when we’re mawwied!”

Jimin laughed awkwardly, unsure how he felt about the four year old wanting to marry him. This wasn’t the first time he had said it too. He was sure it was innocent, but he didn’t know how Jin would feel about him playing along.

He hugged Jungkook back but laughed it off, “I can’t be you’re wife, silly! I’m so old, you need someone you’re age! In fact, I might just be an evil wizard with plans to take over your fort-!”

     “I want to marry Chimmy too….” Taehyung suddenly spoke from where he was standing, looking excluded from his side of the fort where he held the sword.

Seeing Jungkook excitedly holding onto him and Taehyung’s pout as they both announced they wanted to marry Jimin, he knew he wasn’t going to convince them otherwise in the meantime. Plus, with their single dads, they probably thought being married was just living with your friend and nothing else. He couldn’t help but laugh at how innocent the toddlers were.

Jimin opened up an arm to Taehyung and beckoned him to hug him as well, “I think that whoever goes to sleep first tonight gets to have my hand in marriage. Does that seem fair?”

Both boys nodded and were smiling again with excitement, now hanging on him and talking about what they were going to do when they married Jimin - all completely platonic things - such as getting a dog, buying a castle, playing tag, and not having to go to bed at a certain time every night. It was cute.

All their fun came to a halt though when Jimin heard a knock on the door. Jimin looked up and muttered to himself, “Who could that be this late at night?”

     “A dragon!” Taehyung gasped, hopping off of Jimin’s laugh to run over to his sword and hold it up towards the door. “I’ll go kill it!”

Jimin looked towards the door and heard the knock again, an ominous one that no pizza guy or Chinese food delivery man would place on a door. He frowned and stood up, placing Jungkook down on the ground as he whispered, “We weren’t expecting anyone…” Jin and Namjoon would have at least texted him before they started heading back, and he definitely didn’t order anything.

He heard the door knob wiggling a bit before someone suddenly shoved their body against the other side of the door. Jimin’s heart dropped and he quickly grabbed Taehyung and Jungkook, running them into Taehyung’s room and placing them in the back of the closet before he instructed them, “We’re going to have to pause playing for just a bit because some unexpected guests came over.”

Taehyung sniffled and Jungkook started crying softly with tears already falling down his cheeks, but Jimin wiped their tears quickly and whispered with a smile, “Don’t worry, I’m sure it’s nothing. I’m just going to see who it is, but just in case, I don’t want either of you to come out until someone you trust says it’s ok. Understand?”

Both boys nodded their heads and Jimin smiled, leaning forward to kiss them both on the foreheads before he whispered a short, “You both are so brave,” and closed the door to the closet. He was scared. He wanted to hide in the closet with them and hope the person on the other side of the door would just give up and leave, but he knew he’d hate himself for it for the rest of his life if the two kids he loved very much got hurt without him at least putting up a fight.

He ran to the kitchen and grabbed his phone off the counter, taking a pan from beside the stove and holding it in his hand just in case he really did need to fight someone off that came in. He opened his phone and struggled to find his phone app with trembling fingers, freezing when the doorknob jiggled a bit and suddenly the door swung open and someone stepped inside.

Jimin immediately jumped when he saw the man, yelping out in fear and holding the pan out in front of him, “What are you doing here?!”

     “Ah, shit, what the fuck?” the man stepped away from him, holding a baby in his arms that Jimin just now managed to notice. He looked around the room and then back at Jimin, eyes narrowing as he asked in a low voice, “What are you doing here? Where’s Namjoon?”

     “D-Don’t think I won’t hit you with a pan just because you have a baby in your hands!” Jimin kept his pan held high, eyebrows furrowed in an attempt to seem intimidating, but the man only seemed to be slightly irritated by him.

He sighed and walked past Jimin, keeping a safe distance as he spoke, “You must be the babysitter. I forgot Namjoon was on a date tonight. I’m just here to get my laptop that I left here yesterday.”

     “Wait, I still don’t trust you,” Jimin followed him to the living room and watched as he picked up a laptop from where it sat on the coffee table. Jimin chewed at his lip and crossed his arms, muttering out, “I’m going to call Mr. Kim and ask. Just to be safe.”

The man rolled his eyes, “Or I could be in and out of here and you could not interrupt the first date he’s had in four years for no reason at all, but do what you want.”

Jimin huffed and pressed Jin’s contact on his phone to call him and tell him to ask Namjoon if a random guy with a baby was allowed to take a laptop from his home. He felt bad for interrupting the date that was either going really good or really bad, but he knew the parents would understand and appreciate him just checking.

The phone rang only twice before Jin picked up and asked quickly, “Jimin, is everything alright? What’s wrong?”

Of course Jin was already afraid and worried as he picked up. Jimin never called when watching Jungkook unless something was absolutely wrong - the last time he called being a year ago when he and Jungkook got lost on the way home from the ice cream shop - so he understood why Jin was already freaking out.

Though he was also scared, he made sure to calm down the easily stressed man and say, “Jungkook and Taehyung are fine. I just wanted you to ask Namjoon if he was expecting a guy to come over and get his laptop from his house. He had a key too.”

     “So I’m obviously allowed to be here whenever I want,” the man groaned on from where he was now sitting on the arm of the sofa, rocking his baby softly to keep her from waking up and fussing.

Jimin eyed the baby as Jin set the phone down to ask Namjoon if he was expecting such a guest. It took everything in Jimin’s power not to ask if he could hold the baby - they were his number one weakness in life - but he managed to stay strong until Jin was eventually back on the phone and saying with a sigh, “Apparently that’s a friend of Namjoon's…” he listened on as Jin then turned away from the phone to ask Namjoon, “So you do know Min Yoongi?”

     “Yeah-! Wait… you said that like you already knew,” Namjoon spoke from the background. “What did he do?”

     “He texted me last night, but we can talk about that later,” Jin quickly replied, turning his attention back to Jimin again, “So Yoongi is fine. Are the kids alright? Jungkook isn’t scared?”

     “They are fine,” Jimin offered an apologetic smile to Yoongi and turned to the bedroom where the two toddlers were hiding, probably scared half to death. He leaned against the counter and continued, “I’ll let you two go back to cooking. Have fun ok? Am I on speaker?”

     “No?” Jin answered, confusion riddled in his tone.

This caused an evil grin to spread across Jimin’s face that Yoongi only watched happen with furrowed brows as the younger spoke slyly into the phone, “Loosen up and break some rules, alright? I’m telling you now, it’s more fun sober-!”

Before he could finish speaking, Jin hung up the phone on him mid-sentence, and all Jimin could hear from the recieving was the sound of the phone now disconnected.

Jimin only laughed and set his phone back down, eyeing Yoongi once again as he said, “Ok, you’re clear. You can leave.”

     “Are you also trying to get those two together?” Yoongi asked, standing up with his laptop now in his free hand. He seemed to start to leave but he paused and sighed, “Hold on, Tae would kill me if he found out I came over without saying hi to him.”

Jimin ignored his first question though he did grin at the fact that he really was playing cupid for those two. Of course Hoseok was helping out, but he thought that was it. He wasn’t aware there was a third party involved, but he guessed that someone had to convince Namjoon into asking the scary single father out on the first date.

He wanted thank Yoongi but he was still wary of him.

     “I’ll go get them. We all thought you were breaking in,” Jimin explained turning around to go retrieve the two toddlers from where they were still huddled together in Taehyung’s closet.

Yoongi watched as the babysitter - was Jimin his name? - walked away to go get Taehyung. He wouldn’t hear the end of it if Taehyung found out he came over and didn’t do their secret handshake that they pledged they would perform with each other every time he came over.

As Jimin walked away to Taehyung’s room to go get him, Yoongi couldn't help but look down at the guy’s ass, for some odd reason losing all self-control as he watched Jimin - his ass - walk away.

And suddenly without even trying - almost against his will as if he was being cursed just like how Namjoon and Jin were with each other that one Friday night that they kept constantly complaining about - t he single father curse was being lifted off of him and his sex drive was suddenly back in full power. He wanted something with Jimin and he wanted it now and all night. Ah, just thinking about running his hands through the boy's light blonde hair as he wrecked him made his-!

He held Hyunae closer, remembering that he was holding his daughter while having these crude thoughts. Plus, he had to remind himself that he was very much fine with never being with anyone ever again after having dealt with her mother leaving him for absolutely no reason except she found it hard to love him anymore.

And his sex drive was gone again. Just like that. It's easy to stay sexually sober when you constantly have that reminder looming over your head. 

Yoongi just feared it would come back again as soon as he saw that babysitter once more.

 

-

 

     “I’m so sorry, I forgot I told Yoongi he could come by to get his laptop while we were out,” Namjoon apologized when Jin hung up the phone, leaning against the counter and crossing his arms, “I should have told Jimin. I’m sure he and the kids were scared to death.”

     “Until they saw how short he was,” Jin joked without thinking, catching his words a bit too late. His eyes widened and he quickly exclaimed why he was making fun of maybe a close friend of Namjoon’s, “Yoongi and I used to be roommates! I’d always joke about his height, sorry. Maybe he had a late growth spurt and he’s taller now? I haven't seen him or talked to him since college…”

Namjoon laughed a little, telling himself to thoroughly think before he spoke so he wouldn’t reveal the fact that he knew full well Yoongi and Jin knew each other and Yoongi was supplying Namjoon with information about Jin, “No, he’s still really short. I joke with him about his height all the time, it’s hilarious.”

     “That’s good,” Jin grinned, almost evilly but he could swear there were good intention behind it, “I’m glad he has someone around to remind him that he’s shorter than he acts. He always forgot that in college…”

Jin missed Yoongi. He didn’t realize until he saw his name again last night that he missed having him as a roommate and a friend to vent to and whine about exes or his life in general. He couldn’t remember why he stopped talking to him. Looking back on it all now, he knew Yoongi would have been there for him through everything with Jungkook kind of like how he probably was for Namjoon now, but Jin was just so afraid. He didn’t want to hear from another friend that they were suddenly too busy for him or he shouldn’t be asking for handouts when he brought Jungkook onto himself, and he just assumed Yoongi would say the same thing as everyone else.

What would Yoongi say now if he said he wanted them to be friends again?

That wasn’t a thought for now though. Jin had Namjoon next to him that he was about to kiss a few minutes ago and now they were just awkwardly standing in his kitchen talking about their short friend that was just confused as a robber by their babysitter.

Jin cleared his throat in a cough and picked up the two bowls that Namjoon had previously prepared, leading him over to the table and changing the topic to something more date worthy. Something to get to know Namjoon more.

They talked throughout dinner and even after, empty bowls set out between them that had long since been eaten, but they weren’t ready to leave each other yet. They had too much they wanted to talk about.

When Jin noticed it was already midnight though, he sighed and stared at the time on his phone, muttering out, “We should probably relieve Jimin of his duties. That poor kid is spending one of his two nights a week he’s free to watch the kids for us, and I’m sure he wants to get home on a bus instead of trying to find a late night taxi cab. The time passed by too fast.”

     “We started eating at nine,” Namjoon noted, picking up their dishes and bringing them over to the sink to clean them, “How did three hours pass by so quickly?”

     “Because…” Jin’s voice trailed off and he looked at the ground. Because you can make something so average so amazingly fun was what he wanted to say, but he held his breath and muttered out something else, “Because time goes by when you’re having fun. Are you sure you want to go back to Jungkook and Taehyung having a sleepover or do you want me to just pick him up and bring him back? I’m sure you’re tired and don’t want to deal with two toddlers on a sugar high.”

Namjoon smiled and shook his head, “Jungkook’s a really good kid. He’s welcome over anytime he wants, don’t worry.”

Jin smiled at this, feeling proud that when Jungkook was away from him, he was still such a good acting kid. Hearing things like that assured him that he was doing something right. He didn’t know how and it could possibly be because of Jimin’s influence too, but he was happy that Jungkook was turning out alright even with him being a young single father who was too uptight for his own good.

When the dishes were clean, Namjoon put his shoes back on and threw on his coat, grabbing his things and going through a mental checklist in his head to make sure he didn’t leave anything around. A part of him wanted to purposely leave his wallet or something so he could have an excuse to come over again, but fearing that Jin would find this as irresponsible, he opted against it.

Jin walked him to the door, a tired smile gracing his features as he ran his fingers through his hair and leaned against the wall next to the door, “See you later, Joon.”

     “Joon?” Namjoon grinned, “So you are the one that makes the nicknames for everyone?”

     “Jungkook and Jimin made that one,” Jin grinned, “You can’t expose me.”

Namjoon laughed under his breath and shrugged, “I’ll catch you one of these days. So, see you at work?”

Jin nodded his head and looked around his apartment as if the paint on his walls was more important than the topic they were talking about. Namjoon knew that wasn’t true though because Jin’s cheeks turned pink as he suddenly said, “So I go grocery shopping twice a week. Usually on Wednesdays and Saturdays… If you ever need help picking out other foods, or-!”

     “Yes,” Namjoon interrupted him. Whatever Jin wanted him to do, wherever Jin wanted him to be, he was going to bend over backwards if he had to to do it.

Jin’s eyes lit up at his response and he smiled, “Ok, yeah! ‘Cause tonight was fun. Like I haven’t had this much fun in forever.”

     “Same,” Namjoon laughed, “I guess we need to get out more if we’re finding grocery shopping so much fun.”

Jin shook his head, his smile still soft, “I think it’s cause of the people we’re with. They make the ordinary extraordinary.”

Namjoon’s eyes widened and he once again couldn't help but notice Jin’s lips, wanting so much to kiss them. They were close. Not as close as before, but close enough for him to lean forward and for it to not be weird. Was it weird? Did the moment pass for him to try to kiss Jin on their first date? What would Jin do if he just… did it? Without asking?

He leaned against the door and looked down, deciding to ask in the most awkward possible, “So umm…this is our first date, and I know you probably don’t want to, but I just… We were about to before Jimin called, a-and it’s fine if you changed your mind, but I was wondering if you wanted to-!”

     “Kiss?” Jin finished his question.

Namjoon was about to nod his head in response, but before he could confirm that Jin was correct, the other man nodded his head and stood up on his tiptoes, closing his eyes and kissing Namjoon. The kiss wasn’t heated at all, lasting two, maybe three, seconds, but it was enough to make Namjoon feel like he was going to keep smiling for weeks afterwards. It was sugary sweet and tasted like Japchae and something else sweet that he couldn’t quite place. Whatever it was though, it was an addicting taste that he wanted to explore into the odd hours of the night.

Jin rocked back on his heels and became shorter than Namjoon once again, crossing his arms as a smile spread across his rosey tinted face, “Good night, Joon. I’ll see you Monday, and we can walk to the coffee shop together again?”

     “I’d love that,” Namjoon smiled, “Good night.”

Namjoon left feeling like he was at an all time high. Who knew kissing someone could make him feel so alive? Had it really been that long? Was he really that deprived? Or was it because of the person he was kissing?

It was definitely because of the man he just kissed.

 

 

When the door closed to his apartment, Jin leaned against the counter so that if his legs gave out on him as they were threatening to do, he wouldn’t fall completely to the ground. Why was he so light headed after that? Why did it feel like his whole body was anticipating that kiss for the whole night and was now tingling with a since of euphoria he had never felt before?

Sure Jungkook brought him the kind of joy no one could buy. The kind of joy literally no one else except for jungkook could give him. Jungkook was all he needed in order to be happy in that way, but Namjoon? Namjoon brought a different kind of joy. A joy that made his insides feel warm and fuzzy and made him feel like butterflies were fluttering in his stomach, and when he brushed his lips against Namjoon’s he just wanted to melt into his grip and repeat their first Friday night over and over again but sober.

He wanted to feel that kind of feeling the other man brought him more often. He knew he didn’t need Namjoon. He would always stick to the claim that all he needed was Jungkook because that was truth, but he couldn’t stop himself from admitting one thing he never admitted before.

He wanted Namjoon.

Chapter Text

Chapter Seven

 

The Sitter and the Thief

 

Jimin ran down the sidewalk with his dance bag hanging from his shoulder, his hand forcing it close to his waist so it wouldn’t swing as he ran to the preschool to pick up Jungkook on time. He knew the toddler didn’t mind waiting since he was always either playing with Taehyung in the playroom of the preschool or helping Hobi clean up the classroom, but he still tried to be there on time so he and Jungkook would have time to go to the park, grab a bite to eat, and be back before it was dark to wind down and get ready for bed before Jin came home.

He ran up the steps to the preschool and towards the classroom, trying to catch his breath before he had to talk to anyone so it wouldn’t seem obvious he ran the whole wear there from his academy.

     “Jimin, hey!” he was immediately greeted by the cheery preschool teacher who was wiping down the desks of his room while Jungkook cleaned up a few toys in the counter. Even Taehyung was helping out, stacking up the building blocks against the wall so they weren’t scattered everywhere.

     “Hey Hobi,” Jimin smiled and set his dance bag down on a desk before joining the currently cleaning toddlers to help them pick up the rest of the toys. “Is anyone picking up Taehyung? Usually the sitter Tae has picks him up before I get here.”

Hoseok shrugged and put away his cleaning wipes inside his desk where the kids couldn’t reach, “I’m not sure who’s picking him up today. You could always ask Namjoon if you could pick up Taehyung and bring him back to Jin’s house with you though. Give those two a reason to meet again,” he wiggled his eyebrows to emphasize his hopes of what the two would do if they met up with each other again.

Jimin grinned when he was reminded of the two hopeless dad, sighing and sitting on a desk as he giggled, “I think it went well because they are going on a date again on Wednesday.”

     “Ooh, where to this time?” Hoseok’s eyebrows raised in surprise and a smirk played on his lips as he waited for the answer.

Jimin was about to give him details about how he was having to watch Taehyung and Jungkook at Namjoon’s place on Wednesday because Namjoon and Jin were going grocery shopping and going back to Jin’s apartment again to cook, but before he could, a man rushed into the room, breathless and holding a baby as he started apologizing to the room, “I’m so sorry I’m late to pick Taehyung up, it has just been a rough morning with Hyunae, and Namjoon didn’t bother to tell me I needed to pick Tae up until an hour ago-!”

     “It’s fine, it’s fine!” Hobi assured him, running over to the man and reaching out for his baby as he smiled and cooed, “Let me see Hyunae! She’s the cutest little baby in this whole world, aren’t you princess?” he asked the last part directly to the sleeping baby that he started rocking in his arms. He looked up at Jimin with a grin and beckoned him to come closer, “Jimin, come see this baby! You are going to die from how cute she is!”

     “Wait, you’re the thief!” Jimin suddenly exclaimed when he caught a glimpse of the man’s face. His mouth was wide as he pointed at the man who’s name he barely remembered as Yoonki? Yooni? Yoongi! His name was definitely Yoongi. He grinned and walked over to the baby, “Seeing you picking up Tae, you’re less scary.”

     “Ah, you two already know each other? Are you two in the same sitter network or something?” Hoseok asked, but Yoongi’s eyes narrowed and he shook his head, answering in a curt tone, “I’m not a babysitter, I’m Tae’s uncle of sorts,” he crossed his arms and shifted his attention to Jimin, “And I’m not a thief either. I thought we established this.”

Jimin nodded his head but continued to argue, “Yeah, but I thought you were and thus, you earned the nickname,” he turned to Hoseok to finally explain to the confused preschool teacher, “When I was watching Tae and Jungkook the other night, he broke in and I thought he was a thief, but Namjoon told him he was allowed to be there.”

     “I had a key, I didn’t break in!” Yoongi suddenly whined, rolling eyes and taking Hyunae back from Hoseok so he could back up and call Taehyung over to him, “Come on, Tae, we need to go.”

Taehyung set down his toys and ran over to Yoongi with his backpack and lunchbox in tow, “Uncle Minnie, can we go get ice cream with Chimmy and Kookie?”

     “And who is Chimmy?” Yoongi asked with a smile, holding out his hand for Taehyung when the little boy approached.

Jimin raised his hand with a smile and answered, “Me, I’m Chimmy. It’s a nickname they have for me because Jungkook couldn’t pronounce my name correctly for the longest time.”

     “I can now!” Jungkook raised his voice in half a whine and half a boast, grabbing his things as well since he didn’t want to clean up anymore with Taehyung leaving.

“That’s right, you can!” Jimin praised him as the boy was secretly requesting and caught him as he ran and jumped up into his arms.

Staring at Jimin interacting with Jungkook filled Yoongi with the same feeling he had the other night. He wanted to have a relationship with him. He didn’t even know if he was gay or not. The guy could just be a hetero with an unfortunate case of looking like a power bottom, but Yoongi’s heart wanted him to take the risk and find out either the fun way or the hard way depending on what the answer was.

He cast those thoughts aside though and answered Taehyung's request that felt like it was asked ages ago, “Sorry Tae Tae, but I have to finish something for work by tonight so we have to get back soon. Do you mind if we do it maybe Wednesday?” Yoongi glanced at Jimin, “You’re watching both of them anyway, right?”

     “And you’ll come?” Jimin asked, grinning since he didn’t exactly hate the thief's company. In fact, now that he knew he wasn’t a thief, he quite liked it! Being friends with a fellow babysitter could prove to be a nice thing if he ever needed to cancel on Jin and recommend someone else. Especially a cute babysitter like Yoongi. Oh wait, did he just think that? Had he been thinking that this whole time? He knew he had found himself staring at Yoongi's eyes and lips and hands a bit more than normal, his attention zooming into certain aspects of the man as if he was looking through binoculars. It all made sense now though! Yoongi was definitely a hot babysitter/dad/thief he wanted to befriend. 

Hoseok tried hard not to make a dirty joke after Jimin asked his last question. He kept his mouth shut as he watched on and witnessed yet another two of his friends falling in love because of kids. They really were little angels.

Yoongi tilted his head and shook it, “Uh, I didn’t mean…” he shut his eyes and rubbed his forehead with two fingers, sighing, “I guess if you want? That way Namjoon won’t have to give you his key to get into his apartment and I can just let you in.”

     “That’d help out a lot, thank you!” Jimin smiled, finding it funny how he was planning to watch kids and get ice cream with a man he was threatening to hit with a pan a few days before. His eyes widened when he was reminded of the date that was happening Wednesday again though, and he gasped, “Oh, I should give you something!” he turned to Hoseok, “Do you have a piece of paper and a pencil I could borrow for five seconds?”

     “Well we are in a classroom, so yeah,” Hoseok took a piece of paper and a pencil from his desk to hand it to Jimin, a raised eyebrow and a head tilt letting Jimin know he was confused why he needed to borrow those two things.

Jimin set Jungkook down and sat down at a front desk to start scribbling something down on the paper quickly. When Yoongi peaked down to see what Jimin was writing, he saw a list that Jimin was making his way through. He was already on number seven, and suddenly Yoongi was just as interested as Hoseok in what Jimin could possibly be writing.

When Jimin was finished, ending on number ten, he grinned and looked up at Yoongi again, handing him the piece of paper and Hoseok the pencil as he explained himself, “This is for Namjoon. Tell him I gave it to you and-!”

     “Holy-!” Hoseok bit back on his tongue before he cussed in front of the kids and continued carefully, “Holy Ghost, Jimin, you’re going to get killed for that!”

     “It’s for him finding love,” Jimin eyed Hoseok and handed Yoongi the paper anyway, “Namjoon is perfect for Jin. I don’t want it to be messed up because of ten impossible rules. If Jin just never finds out then nothing bad will happen!”

     “Wait what is this?” Yoongi asked, taking the piece of paper and reading the list of what were apparently rules. He read through them briefly and questioned why Jin would come up with these and if he ever thought he had any sliver of hope in the slightest of finding someone perfect enough to pass these rules.

Jimin sat down on the desk and sighed, “Jin has ten rules he follows religiously when he’s dating someone. If you break one rule, he immediately cuts off the relationship and won’t give you a second chance, but…” Jimin grinned and crossed his legs, leaning back a bit as he watched Yoongi skimming through the rules while still listening, “Namjoon and him, as you know, broke all of the rules the first night they met and yet Jin still gave him a second chance. Why? Because I feel like Jin secretly really, really likes him.”

     “Jin really has these rules now? What, did he read a single dad dating handbook and make these?” Yoongi asked, looking up from the list and scoffing, “He’s no fun anymore, is he?”

     “He’s a single dad,” Jimin droned on, rolling his eyes and hopping off the desk that was surprisingly but also not surprisingly high for even him. He picked Jungkook up again and waved to Hobi with a smile and then to Yoongi as his smile faded a bit, “Do what you want with the list. I think we’re all just trying to help our two friends realize their love for each other, so you can make the choice on what you want. See you on Wednesday?”

Yoongi bit his lip and held onto the paper tighter. He should at least tell Namjoon about this. Namjoon was destined to at least accidentally break a few of the lesser extreme rules like nicknames or public affection which was a crazy rule to have against in Yoongi’s opinion. He nodded his head slowly and kept his eyes up and around the room to keep himself from staring at Jimin’s ass again as he walked away, “Yeah, ok, I’ll see you Wednesday and tell you if anything happens.”

He kept his eyes up until he heard the door to the classroom close, leaving him, Mr. Hope, and Taehyung alone to hear him let out a loud exhale he didn’t know he was holding in. Mr. Hope laughed and picked up his bag from behind his desk as a subtle way to let Yoongi know he was planning on leaving soon too, “Jimin’s pretty good at playing Cupid, so I’d trust him on this. He got me and my current boyfriend together, so he works wonders even with the densest of men,” he chuckled a little but calmed down quickly when he heard Yoongi ask as he stared at the door where Jimin had just exited, “Are babysitters always this feisty?”

     “Only hot ones cause they think they can get away with it,” Hoseok grinned inwardly, eyes narrowing with his growing smile as he watched Yoongi’s cheeks grow red with every word he took in.

Yoongi’s head whipped around to stare at Hoseok, eyes widening as images of how hot that ‘feisty’ babysitter could get if he just-! Oh my gosh, what was happening to him? Why was he losing control over this guy that literally threatened to hit him with a pan during their first meeting? This guy with brown hair and a nice ass, and- Why was he so focused on the ass?!

     “I-I have to go,” Yoongi stuttered out awkwardly, absentmindedly reaching for Taehyung’s hand and curling his fingers around the small toddler’s hand that held his own before he started to rush out of the classroom. He had to leave before his mouth watered and he drooled all over the rainbow and smiley face printed carpet of the preschool classroom.

He had to leave before he got a boner in the most awkward and slightly illegal of places.

Hoseok laughed to himself as he watched yet another awkward single dad with an even more awkward crush on one of his friends leave the classroom with his face as red as a tomato and his heart probably beating out of his chest. Now that was a relationship he wanted to see happen one day.

 

-

 

     “He has rules?” Namjoon gasped, looking at the list that Yoongi handed him just a few minutes ago after he came home from work. He skimmed through a few rules, seeing a few notable ones that they definitely broke before like: Rule #1: don’t date coworkers or Rule #10: Don’t let date meet Jungkook until six months of dating. These were rules he couldn’t help but break! How was Jin still showing interest in him if these were rules he strictly abided by?

     “Is he planning to break up with me?” Namjoon asked, scooting to the edge of his seat on the couch towards Yoongi and holding the list up, “There’s literally no rule left for me to break on here!”

Yoongi sighed and crossed his arms, shrugging, “Jimin said that Jin might be letting a few slide with you because he really likes you, but he suggests that you don’t break anymore ‘cause that might just push Jin off the edge,” he sat down next to Namjoon and glanced over the list once more, a serious look on his face as he asked, “So what are you going to do now?”

     “I really like him, Yoongi,” Namjoon spoke quickly now, freaking out as he thought about how likely it was he was going to break at least a few more of these rules in just the next week. How could he not? Nicknames were off limits? Really? Jin was already calling him Joon! It was only a matter of time before he started calling him Jinnie! He bit down on his fingernails as a nervous habit and turned to Yoongi, still speaking fast, “I know it’s bad to cheat and know the rules, but I feel like I should get a pass since these rules are almost impossible, right? Would it be bad? There’s nothing on here about lying or knowing about the rules though, so that probably gives me an ok!”

     “Then alright,” Yoongi looked to him with a nonchalant look, shrugging and giving him nothing else to work off of.

Namjoon frowned, “Really? That’s all you’re going to give me? Tell me if I should use the rules or not!”

     “I mean, you were fine without them. Jin probably doesn’t care about them as much with you,” Yoongi spoke, getting up since it was time for him to go anyways. He had to take Hyunae home before she woke up and he hated walking down the city streets with his daughter at night. He sighed and cracked his back with two swift twists before moving towards Taehyung’s room where Hyunae had been laid down to sleep, “Keep the list in your bag or something and just make sure Jin never sees it. It should be fine, but I don’t think you need it.”

     “I’ll just memorize the rules and throw it away, you’re right,” Namjoon assured himself, stuff the list into his bag and getting up to follow Yoongi out while also helping him round up his things - he wasn’t going to let him leave his laptop again after the breakdown that happened last time - “I’ll test it out on our date on Wednesday and tell you how it works. Tell Jimin I said thank you if see him again tomorrow, ok?”

Yoongi nodded his head and grabbed all of his stuff, picking up Hyunae last and holding her carefully in his arms, “I see him Wednesday anyway, so I’ll just tell him then.”

Namjoon’s eyebrows raised and he grinned, “Oh, so… wait,” he gasped, “No way, Jimin? You two are really like… having a thing? Since when?”

     “Since never,” Yoongi rolled his eyes and made his way to the door, making sure to turn around before Namjoon caught his blush that kept coming back every time Jimin was brought up - an annoying habit that needed to stop soon. He opened up the door and stepped halfway out as he finished, “We are just watching the kids together, so don’t expect anything. Unlike you and Jin, I don’t have random one night stands with my kids in the next room.”

     “Ok that was one time, one BIG mistake, and we were very drunk!” Namjoon whined, but before he could finish, Yoongi shut the door on him and was gone, obviously having none of this talk of him having feelings for Jimin and possibly even hooking up with him.

Namjoon huffed and turned back to the apartment with only him and a sleeping Taehyung in his room already tucked away. He had work to do for tomorrow, but he knew he was going to be staying up late memorizing a certain set of ten rules to impress the cutest and fussiest single dad he had ever met.

He couldn’t believe he was memorizing a set of rules to be able to succeed at dating somebody he just met a few weeks ago, but he could already tell it was worth it. Jin was definitely worth it.

 

-

 

     “Jungkook and Taehyung please put on your clothes and just-!” Jimin huffed and dropped the towel down on the bathroom ground as two very naked toddlers played tag around the house and ignored him. He crossed his arms and stuck his nose up in the air, faking a pout as he announced, “That’s it! I’m getting a divorce! I’ve found a new fully clothed love of my life and it is he whom my heart belongs to!”

This immediately caused the two boys to stop where they were, eyes widening and mouths falling open as they gasped and shook their heads, “No, Chimmy!”

They ran over to him and hugged his legs, patting his thighs as they begged him to take it back, Jungkook crying out, “I pwomise I’ll wear clothes and go to sleep!” and Taehyung sniffling, “I-If I go to bed, will you marry me again in the morning?”

     “I’ll think about it,” Jimin smiled, happy this tactic of marrying them was starting to work really well to get the two kids to do what he wanted them to do. He wrapped the towel around the both of them which was his original goal and hugged them both once they were dry, “If you two are both good and have sweet dreams, then you will have my heart once again. I love you both even now though so don’t worry.”

He picked the two boys up and led them to Taehyung’s room where he helped them get dressed and tucked them into bed, reading them a short story that he didn’t even need to finish before the boys reached their sugar crash and fell asleep, holding each other’s hands and snoring softly.

Jimin glanced up from the book he had been reading about a knight who befriended a dragon and smiled when he saw the two sleeping bodies. It never took any work at all to get them to bed. He used to think two kids would be a lot tougher to handle than one, but he was lucky to be watching such great kids. It made him want one of his own as soon as he could find a way to get his hands on one.

Namjoon and Jin may have found themselves unlucky when they first got Jungkook or Tae, but Jimin would consider himself the luckiest person in the world if he found himself in their position at any point. He’d cherish every moment just like Namjoon and Jin did now because he could easily tell even now that kids really were the best kind of happiness one could have in their life.

     “Good night, cuties,” Jimin smiled and set the book down on the bedside table, leaning over and kissing both of their foreheads before standing up straight again.

     “You do this every night?” He heard a low voice speak up from the doorway, causing him to jump a bit at the sudden audience he just noticed.

Jimin recovered from his shock and quickly nodded his head, smiling a little and speaking softly as he walked around the bed to exit the room, “It’s the only way to get them to sleep. Don’t you do it with Taehyung?”

He closed the door to the bedroom as Yoongi laughed under his breath a little and nodded his head, “It takes a lot more than just that though. You might just have a more soothing voice than me. This… This might seem like a weird question to ask, but do you sing?”

They walked towards the living room where Hyunae’s crib was set up since Yoongi was planning on spending the night after Namjoon got back - and just in case Namjoon didn’t come back - and they sat down next to it, Jimin sitting on the edge of his chair to be able to see inside Hyunae’s crib and watch her sleeping with a smile, “I took a few lessons, but I’m a dance major. I’m on a competition team that tours around sometimes, but I’m planning on becomes a dance teacher after I graduate.”

Jimin being a dancer made so much sense. He had to be doing something to make his thighs look like that, and Yoongi could only imagine what it would be like to watch him dancing up on stage for a large crowd. The smile that would flash across his face when the audience cheered for him or the movement of his chest when he let out heavy breaths on his final pose when the music stopped. Yoongi wanted to watch him dance. He wanted to see the boy in his element. He could only imagine how beautiful he could be.

Yoongi watched as Jimin put his hand down into the crib to pet Hyunae’s baby hair, muttering out softly, “She’s beautiful. Does she take after you or your wife more?”

     “Ah, not my wife,” Yoongi looked down, hating the fact that Jimin had thought he had a wife all along. He grit his teeth at the thought of his ex girlfriend and muttered out, “Hyunae’s mom, my ex-girlfriend, left as soon as Hyunae was born with no intentions of coming back. I don’t even remember her face enough to know if Hyunae is taking after her, but I… I hope she doesn’t.”

Jimin hummed to himself and nodded his head along with Yoongi’s words, “Well you don’t need to worry. Hyunae definitely has your eyes,” he smiled and looked back at Yoongi to examine his features a bit more, “And I’m sure she also has your smile which is all that matters.”

Yoongi put his hands to his cheeks to try to hide the sudden rosey tint being added to them. Jimin was just being nice, but Yoongi felt himself falling deeper and deeper for him. The real thief here was Jimin for stealing his composure so easily as if it never belonged to him in the first place.

Jimin rocked back onto the couch more from where he had been staring at Hyunae, smiling and offering shyly, “If you ever need someone to watch Hyunae, I’d be happy to help. I’ve always wanted a kid, but I think babysitting is as close as I’m going to get unless I’m lucky like Namjoon and Jin.”

     “Wait, why do you think you won’t have a kid?” Yoongi asked, tilting his head in confusion until he realized just how close Jimin was. He scooted back a bit, but it wasn’t enough before Jimin was staring him in the eyes - those beautiful eyes - and replying with a shrug, “I’m gay. I don’t think I have a chance at that unless,” he laughed a little, “We make a huge break in the science of reproduction or adoption opens up to people like me,” his smile faded and he looked down, “But I doubt it.”

     “Jin used to think the same thing back in college but look at him now,” Yoongi grinned, relaxing a little now that they were just talking. “I’ve seen how you are with the kids, and you’re really good with them for your age. It’d be a shame for you not to raise one yourself.”

Jimin laughed and hit Yoongi lightly, “How young do you think I am? I’m twenty-two!”

     “Ah,” Yoongi gave a fake dramatic gasp, laying his head back and groaning out, “You’re a baby! Are you sure you’re not having a playdate with Jungkook and Tae instead of watching them?”

     “Shut up,” Jimin groaned and rolled his eyes, “You can’t be that old if you’re hanging out with Jin and Namjoon, are you? Namjoon is twenty-four and Jin is twenty-six. How old are you?”

     “That is rude to ask your elders.”

     “I bet you’re not my ‘elder’ by much,” Jimin grinned, shifting his weight onto his side a bit more so his hips were now pressing onto Yoongi’s thigh on accident. He didn’t notice though, only grinning as he teased Yoongi more, “Are you twenty-three? Twenty-five?” Jimin faked a gasp, “Younger than me?”

Yoongi laughed under his breath and waved Jimin off, “I’m twenty-five.”

Jimin scoffed, “See? Not old at all,” he crossed his arms and turned to Yoongi, laughing a little under his breath as they stared into each other’s eyes. Yoongi couldn’t tell what Jimin was thinking. There was a smirk on the younger boy’s lips and his eyes were wide with excitement, only narrowing when he laughed and they disappeared completely.

He was so cute. When Yoongi dared to look down at his his lips, Yoongi found himself slipping again. Like when he found himself staring at his ass as he walked away, he couldn’t stop himself from staring at his lips as he spoke. All Jimin could do was steal his attention, steal his self-control, and steal his mind and heart…

With that self-control gone, Yoongi couldn’t stop himself before he leaned forward and pressed his lips against the other boy’s. His lips felt rough compared to Jimin’s smooth ones. He could taste the vanilla bean chapstick on those said smooth lips, and he wanted to find out if Jimin’s tongue and the roof of his mouth tasted just as sweet.

Dammit, what was he doing? Did he really just kiss Namjoon’s babysitter?

He broke away quickly and looked down, muttering out a quick, “Shit, I’m sorry.. I don’t know what I was thinking.”

     “Do you like me Yoongi?” Jimin came out and asked, putting his hand on Yoongi’s thigh now to keep him from moving away.

Yoongi stayed in place, looking down at Jimin’s hand and then up to his smile before he nodded his head slowly and replied shyly, “I mean… enough to kiss you definitely.”

This made Jimin grin and he leaned forward to kiss Yoongi this time, placing a hand on his cheek and hooking a leg over his waist so he was now straddling him, “I like you too. Usually I’d say that three days of knowing each other is a bit too soon to start kissing, but after everything Namjoon and Jin did,” he laughed a little and wrapped his arms around Yoongi’s neck, kissing him again and continuing, “I think we’re fine.”

Yoongi let out a short laugh, more of relief than anything that Jimin wasn’t weirded out or freaked out by the kiss, and hovered his hands over Jimin’s waist, biting his lips when Jimin rocked his hips closer to his stomach and continued to kiss him.

It wasn’t long before he was tasting the roof of Jimin’s mouth as he wanted, finding that instead of vanilla bean, it tasted like cinnamon and pumpkins and his tongue tasted like whipped cream. Of course Jimin was a pumpkin spice latte kid.

Yoongi couldn’t help but laugh to himself at his observations, grinning as Jimin slipped a tongue into his mouth as well to explore his taste. He moved his hands lower on the back of Jimin, hearing a murmured gasp escape breathlessly through Jimin’s lips as his hand brushed over the curve of Jimin’s ass. This made Jimin rub up against him more, kissing him even more passionately and humming out against Yoongi’s lips as they shared each other’s spit and whispered each other’s names breathlessly. Yoongi felt an erection growing in his pants with every time Jimin rubbed the in between of his legs against his groin and moved his hands up his shirt to brush his palms against Yoongi’s stomach and chest.

Yoongi wanted to feel Jimin too, reaching one hand underneath his shirt only to feel rock hard abs underneath. His eyes widened and he gasped softly, “Woah…”

Jimin giggled, “I can feel something underneath me that is making me go ‘woah’ too.”

This caused Yoongi to blush even more than he already was, face turning red as Jimin whispered, “You want to do this here with kids in the next room or should we wait until we can have fun and not worry about keeping it down?”

     “And who’s going to babysit for the babysitters?” Yoongi joked, stretching his neck a bit when Jimin leaned down to kiss it, biting at his skin softly to leave a mark he knew Namjoon was going to make fun of him for later.

He got back at the boy marking him up without permission though by reaching his hands into his pants and stroking the length that was equally as hard as his. Jimin bit down harder on his neck to suppress a moan that Yoongi couldn’t hear but he could definitely feel, causing a rumble in his chest that made him want to pin Jimin down on this couch right now and take him regardless of the fact that there were two kids in the house right now that would be traumatized if they walked in on that.

     “W-We should go to the guest room,” Yoongi spoke, laying his head back and breathing breathlessly as if he just ran a marathon as Jimin unbutton his shirt slowly, kissing all the way down to his collarbone now, “We can lock the door and not worry about the kids walking in.”

     “Would Namjoon mind?” Jimin asked, letting out a suppressed moan when Yoongi unbuttoned and unzipped his pants to free his erection. Feeling the older man - only by two years so he shouldn’t be bragging about his seniority status - wrap a warm hand around his length made it hard for Jimin to think straight. Normally he would never even think about doing this with the kids asleep in their bedroom. What was he thinking? He should be fired for this! He shouldn’t be able to show his face to Jin or Namjoon ever again, but how could he care about that when someone so beautiful was kissing him?

This man was more mature than anyone he took classes with, had eyes he wanted to get lost in, could kiss like a character in the books he used to like to read, and he had a beautiful daughter that Jimin might have the chance of seeing all the time? A little girl that he could help take care of if him and Yoongi ever became serious? He had never thought about this before because he always thought that Yoongi was off limits with a wife, but what if this was his lucky way of being able to raise a kid? It was a strange thought to have, but he couldn’t help but get excited.

     “I really like you, Yoongi,” Jimin smiled, light sweat dripping down his forehead as he stared into the man’s eyes and unbuttoned his last button. “I’m so glad you broke into Namjoon's apartment that day I was watching the kids.”

     “I didn’t break in,” Yoongi made sure to correct him, wrapping an arm around his back and getting ready to carry him into the guest room to continue this without worrying about being walked in on.

Before he could though, Jimin’s smile faded and he spoke in a serious tone, “But you did steal something.”

     “What did I steal?” Yoongi responded, eyebrows raised and head tilted in confusion. Did Jimin really think he was a thief?

To this question, Jimin’s smile only grew again and he replied, “My heart,” before breaking out into a fit of giggles that he couldn’t contain after his own joke. He fell into Yoongi’s hold and kissed him again, laughing even more when Yoongi kissed him back and groaned out, “Oh God, you’re so cheesy!”

Jimin’s laugh was perfect. He should really stop noting what all was perfect about Jimin because there was nothing about him that wasn’t perfect. How was someone this beautiful interested in him?...

How could he make someone this beautiful not leave him like the last person he loved did?

He was unlovable. He was hard to deal with. She would rather walk out on her own child then spend another moment with someone as unappealing as him.

He was unlovable.

Why did Jimin like him?

Before he could question why Jimin was doing this or tell Jimin to stop now before he made the mistake of liking someone like him - as he always did when someone showed even the slightest interest in him - he heard the door to the apartment jiggling open which meant that Namjoon was home. Was it that late already?

Jimin’s eyes widened and he squeaked out a string of low grade cuss words such as, darnit, shoot, and mother truck as he shoved himself away from Yoongi and stuffed his dick back into his pants, buttoning them up as Yoongi also hurried to button up his shirt again and fix his hair so it wasn’t so messily obvious that it had been ruffled by Jimin’s fingers running through his hair.

He coughed awkwardly and directed Jimin with calm and desperate eyes, “Act natural.”

     “We both have boners and hickeys on us, what do we do?” Jimin whispered out his words too fast for Yoongi to decipher, but it wasn’t like he could respond anyway before Namjoon was walking through the door and happily sighing, “I’m home! How were the kiddos?”

     “Fine!” Jimin answered a bit too chirpily that his voice cracked in the process. His body was stiff as a board as he walked past Namjoon with wide eyes and picked up his bag from dance class, “I-I’m going to go home before it gets too late. See you soon Namjoon?”

So much for acting natural.

Namjoon was too dense to notice though, seeming on cloud nine as he replied with a wide smile that seemed like it had been on his face since the moment he left Jin’s house, “Ok! Hey, and thank you for the list. You’re a real lifesaver.”

     “Oh really, it came in handy?” Jimin relaxed a bit, still sounding robotic but at least acting just a bit more natural thankfully. Yoongi was getting second hand embarrassment from him.

Namjoon nodded his head and lifted up the list he had been dangerously carrying around in his pocket, “Rule number two and rule number four, I made sure to stay clear from nicknames and let him know I could take care of myself perfectly fine. He told me at the end of our date that he was really impressed by me,” Namjoon’s grin widened even more to the point Yoongi and Jimin thought his face was going to break.

Yoongi leaned against the wall and smirked at Jimin, “So he’s like your boss or something? Impressed by you?”

Namjoon pouted and folded the list back up to put it in his bag for later. He doubted he’d need it again though. He had all the rules memorized by now, “Shut up, Minnie Mouse. I had a good time, and Jin and I are going on another date this Saturday where we’re doing something besides grocery shopping.”

     “And what is that?” Yoongi asked, glancing at Jimin since they were both thinking of this new opportunity to watch the kids together again and… do more things together once they were all asleep.

Jimin gulped, hoping to God that Namjoon wouldn’t see his boner coming back.

Namjoon grinned and shrugged, “Trick-or-treating. It’s with the kids, but that just means it will be more fun. And that’s good for you both because you won’t have to babysit!”

     “Yeah…” Yoongi looked down.

     “Right…” Jimin added. His eyes widened and he glanced up at Yoongi, wondering if they could still meet up even without the kids to watch. Sure he’d still have Hyunae, but with Hyunae asleep in her crib in a different room then it would be hard for her to walk in on them, and-! Oh God why was he thinking these things?!? Where did his innocence go?!?

     “So I have to go!” Jimin’s voice cracked again, opening the door wide and stepping out so he couldn’t get trapped into staying longer. “I’ll text you Yoong-! I mean Namjoon. I’ll text you Namjoon. Or maybe I’ll just text Jin since it’s his kid I watch,” he awkwardly laughed, “See you later. Or not see you!”

     “See you,” Yoongi grinned, loving the shade of red Jimin’s face was becoming. It was cute how flustered he could get and it was even cuter how it was impossible for him to hide his embarrassment. They were one and the same though so he couldn’t judge.

Jimin offered a short smile and walked out, closing the door behind him with a slam on accident, having no regards to the three sleeping children in the apartment he was leaving behind. Not like he was giving regards to them a few minutes ago when he was ready to beg for Yoongi to fuck him into the couch. He needed holy water. He needed to call Hoseok for advice and then he needed a long shower in holy water.

When the babysitter left, Namjoon turned to Yoongi and asked with his smile fading, “Did Jimin seem a bit off to you? Is he alright?”

     “Uh, yeah,” Yoongi coughed a little and made sure his hair was neatly parted so Namjoon wouldn’t suspect anything, “I think he’s just stressed because of school. He’s a good kid though.”

     “Ah, ok…” Namjoon nodded his head and looked down, taking his coat off and throwing it over a chair before he walked past Yoongi and asked, “Isn’t it a bit weird for you to call him a kid?”

     “What do you mean?”

Namjoon’s smile came back but more evil as his eyes narrowed and he pointed to his neck, making the shape of a small circle with the tip of his finger as he smirked and spoke, “Last I checked it’s strange for you to let a 'kid' give you a hickey when he’s stressed about school.”

Yoongi’s eyes widened and he slapped his hand over his neck, backing up and gritting his teeth as a wild blush broke across his face again, “Not a word about this. Ever.”

Namjoon laughed a bit too loudly and exclaimed, “Are you serious?! You and Jimin? How? How did that even happen? I was just joking about you two having a thing together before, but damn!”

     “I said shut up…” Yoongi grit his teeth.

     “Oh my gosh it’s like a real life story of Beauty and the Beast,” Namjoon sighed, walking past Yoongi towards his room just in case he needed to rush in there and lock the door for his own safety against a feisty Yoongi in denial, “I hope one day he can melt your playboy heart, and then Hyunae can finally have the responsible and good looking figure in her life that she has always needed.”

Yoongi rolled his eyes and stuffed his hands into his pockets, “That’s never going to happen.”

     “Never say never,” Namjoon reminded, stepping into his room so only his head was poking out, “Jimin is a good kid. I think he’d be good for both you and Hyunae in all seriousness. You should give actually dating someone a try, ok?”

Yoongi’s eyes widened as he started walking to Hyunae’s crib to check on her before bringing her and her crib into the guest room where he was staying. He bit his lip and nodded his head slowly, “You know how I feel about dating though.”

     “And I’m saying just give it a try,” Namjoon spoke softly, the sincerity evident in his voice now with him not even laughing under his breath anymore.

It was too late to think about this right now. It was too early in their 'relationship' to think about this too. Yoongi knew where he stood with relationships and he was too stubborn to change his mind this easily. He nodded his head for Namjoon’s sake though and responded, “If I were to try with anyone it’d be him… But I don’t know, Namjoon.”

     “That’s fine,” Namjoon smiled and nodded his head, backing up a bit. “I’m here to talk with my mediocre advice if you need it though. Good night.”

     “Good night,” Yoongi repeated, walking into his room with Hyunae in one arm and his rolling crib being dragged behind in the other.

Who wanted this? A grumpy twenty five year old with a one year old daughter he had to take everywhere with him and emotional issues? A past with a girlfriend who couldn’t stand him and a future of more people leaving him because they couldn’t stand him either? If Jimin was crazy enough to want him now, he wouldn’t want him later, and Yoongi didn’t have the time or emotional capacity to deal with more heartbreak.

Sure you couldn’t succeed at a relationship if you never tried in one, but you also couldn’t fail either. And Yoongi just didn’t want to risk any more failures.

Chapter Text

Chapter Eight

 

Hades and Persephone

 

     “Kookie and Tae, make sure you can see us before you take off to the next house, ok? This isn’t like where we normally trick or treat, so it will be harder to find you if you run off,” Jin called out as Taehyung and Jungkook ignored him and went running off towards the next house anyway. He sighed at his message not getting through to the kids and turned to Namjoon, “Are you sure this neighborhood is safe? It’s pretty and definitely better than a small apartment building, but the size of this neighborhood scares-!”

     “It will be fine,” Namjoon assured him, laughing a little and pointing to Taehyung and Jungkook who were currently on someone’s doorstep asking for candy, Taehyung dressed as Draco in a Slytherin robe and Jungkook dressed as Harry Potter in his Gryffindor robe. They had decided they wanted to dress up in matching costumes after finding out that their fathers were both Harry Potter enthusiasts that read the books to them when they were younger.

Jungkook had immediately called dibs on being Harry Potter, but Taehyung was already raving about how he already had a Slytherin robe to be Draco. It had worked out perfectly for them, and everyone was finding the two young Harry Potter fans adorable.

Jin crossed his arms and tried to relax, knowing that him being stressed out was not a good look for him in front of Namjoon. Namjoon didn’t seem to mind though because he only rubbed Jin’s back soothingly for a few seconds before assuring him once more, “There’s nothing to worry about. The worst thing that has happened here in the last four years is Taehyung tripped on his costume and spilled his candy, and a few kids stole it all from him.”

Jin’s eyes widened as if that was worse than anything he was expecting, “Oh no, what?! What did you do? Did he get candy that year?” he expression went cold and dark as he muttered out lowly, “Are the kids dead? It’s ok, you can tell me. I’ll understand.”

Namjoon laughed and shook his head, “Kids are alive though I sent them a look that caused them to cry and run to their parents. Taehyung and I just walked the neighborhood again to gain back the candy he lost though I had to carry him the whole way ‘cause he was crying.”

     “Awe,” Jin looked down, hating to think about a crying Tae. Taehyung was too precious, and to see him cry hurt his heart more than he thought it would. He could say he was surprised that he was feeling this much emotion over someone else’s kid, but that was exactly the case with Jungkook, so he wasn’t that surprised.

     “So where’s your costume?” Namjoon changed the topic, gesturing to Jin’s outfit that was just a pink t-shirt and gray sweatpants that gave him the comfort he would need to last a night of walking - and sometimes running - behind two energetic kids getting candy.

Namjoon on the other hand was wearing a black cloak with his hair slicked back. He was wearing fake sharp teeth and red contacts that gave his costume away as a vampire. Jin just knew he was have to keep himself from making a joke about Namjoon sucking something else besides his blood because that was always the kind of joke he made about vampires but definitely not the kind of joke he should be making with Namjoon.

But did oral sex count as actual sex?...............

YES. Yes it did. He couldn’t make that joke. He was a dad. He had to act mature and responsible like one.

     “I didn’t have time to find a costume” Jin shrugged, coughing a little as if that would expel the thoughts he just had about Namjoon from his mind. It obviously didn’t work, but it was worth a shot, “I was planning on wearing a tiara and a princess cape, but Jungkook said only Jimin was allowed to be a princess, so I ditched the idea last minute and went as a dejected father who’s son wouldn’t let him wear the costume he wanted.”

Namjoon laughed. His stupid windex squirt bottle laugh. His adorable squirt bottle laugh. He rubbed his shoulder up against Jin and smiled, “I had a feeling you wouldn’t dress up. I didn’t know it’d be because of that - which is hilarious -  but I brought you something to wear that Jimin and the kids made last Wednesday when he was watching them.”

He pulled a flower crown out of an extra pillow case he had been carrying just in case the kids filled up their bags early and shyly handed it to Jin, unsure of if he should put it in Jin's hands or place it on his head. When Jin bowed his head slightly though and closed his eyes, smiling a little with anticipation, Namjoon grinned and placed it on his head, “With a flower crown instead of an actual crown, you can be Persephone.”

Jin lifted his head back up and smiled, “Would that make you my Hades?”

His eyes widened when he said that and his cheeks turned pink, maybe even red, in a blush. That didn’t even make sense, did it? It would have made sense if Namjoon wasn’t dressed up as an obvious vampire, but it didn’t, and now there was probably going to be an awkward silence for the rest of the night if  Namjoon didn’t agree with him, or he was going to be scared off by how forward Jin was being.

Horrified, Jin watched as Namjoon’s eyes widened as well and he suddenly took out his vampire teeth and ran to throw them away in a nearby trashcan. He ran back to Jin who was still watching on in confusion and finally explained himself, “Now I’m Hades. We’re Hades and Persephone, I love that! We’re matching!”

Jin let out a sigh of relief, smiling and nodding his head excitedly, “It’s been a while since I’ve worn matching costumes with someone else besides Jungkook. Couple costumes are fun, you know?... Used to be my favorite part of Halloween.”

     “That was the first time you admitted that we are a couple,” Namjoon grinned and noted out loud without thinking. He meant to say that in his mind, but as usual, he managed to say it verbally without realizing it. His eyes widened and his cheeks went pink when Jin laughed a little under his breath at what he had said. He quickly waved his hands in the air and tried to backtrack, “Not that I was waiting for you to! I was just… That was the first time you said couple?” he turned his head away and looked around as if he could find a different topic somewhere else in the scenery, thinking to himself definitely only in his mind this time about how he was going to ruin everything with this stupid big mouth of his.

He was torn away from his thoughts though when Jin grabbed his hand and held it loosely between them, speaking in an amused tone, “I thought I admitted it when I kissed you on our first date and asked you out on a second date, but we’re definitely a couple in my eyes.”

Namjoon turned back to him and then looked down at their hands, breathing in through his nose to try to contain his excitement and not pick Jin up and carry him around the neighborhood in a hug for the rest of the night. He managed to keep that much excitement in, though he did speak in a rather breathless voice from breathing so awkwardly heavy when Jin started holding his hand, “So we’re like… friendly boyfriends?”

This caused Jin to let out a laugh, his adorable loud laugh that caused a kid to scream next to him and a few other trick or treaters to turn their heads in search of someone possibly dressed up as a seal, but all they found was a cute man dressed up in sweatpants and a flower crown holding hands with a hybrid of a vampire and Hades.

Jin didn’t notice the stares and nodded his head, practically talking through happy tears as he said, “I can’t believe you’re still thinking about that!”

     “It’s a very recent memory,” Namjoon laughed along with him, squeezing his hand more comfortably now that it was fitting in naturally with the conversation. Did this count as public affection? Jin didn’t seem to mind it so it probably didn’t. He at least hoped he didn’t. He’d hate to find out that Jin purposely did public affection just to break up with him, but it seemed like Jin was having fun so he tried not to worry about it.

He hated how paranoid he was being about all of this and the rules, but how could he not be? He wanted to be with Jin more than anything that even the slightest mistake with him made it feel like he was risking losing everything now… He just wanted this to go well. He wanted something, anything, with someone as amazing and beautiful and caring as Jin that he was willing-!

     “Papa!” Taehyung voice sang out as two little boys dressed in their oversized robes started skipping around the couple walking at a slow pace. “Papa, you are walking slow, we want to hit the big houses!”

     “Big houses, big candy, big houses, big candy!” Jungkook repeated to his father, tugging at his sweatpants and almost whining out his words, though the smile on his face made it seem more playful than demanding.

Namjoon was about to smile and tell them that they were allowed to run ahead a bit further, but before he could, Jin slipped his hand out of Namjoon’s grip and crossed his arms, looking away awkwardly and answering Jungkook sweetly though his voice was layered with worry for reasons Namjoon couldn’t tell yet, “We’ll start walking faster sweetie, I’m sorry.”

Jin blinked a few times as if he was blinking away a bad memory and watching Jungkook and Taehyung warily, eyes wide and his bottom teeth tugging his top lip as he eyed Namjoon cautiously. That was when it clicked in Namjoon. Jin didn’t want the kids seeing them holding hands.

Why though?

Was he hiding the fact he was gay from Jungkook? Why would he do that though if he was raising him? It shouldn’t be a problem, should it?

Jungkook stared up at Jin with wide eyes and giggled, “Daddy, are you and Papa Joonie best fwiends?”

     “W-What?” Jin glanced back up at Namjoon and laughed nervously, “Yeah, I guess we are good friends. Why?”

     “You hold hands like Kookie and I do!” Taehyung answered him, laughing and holding Jungkook’s hands.

Before Jin could think twice about that reply or action, Taehyung and Jungkook started skipping around them and holding hands, singing the Harry Potter puppet pals song before they ran up to the next house that was close by, still holding hands as if they accidentally became attached in the process.

     “Are you ok with Taehyung seeing you in a relationship?” Jin asked as soon as the two toddlers were out of earshot.

Namjoon was smiling at them, making sure they got up the steps of the house without tripping on their robes before he turned to Jin to try to answer his question. But was this a trick question? Namjoon went through his head quickly on what the rules were.

There were rules on letting a date meet Jungkook, but there were no rules on keeping Jungkook from seeing them holding hands. Was that an unspoken rule or a rule Jin had just thought of that no one knew about yet? Was this one answer going to make Jin lose interest in him? He had to answer sometime now, but what was the right answer?

     “I uh…” Namjoon muttered out, searching desperately for words that would at least follow true to the rest of the rules, “I like to wait a little while after dating someone before letting Taehyung see us together, but since he knows you and Jungkook really well, I don’t see a problem with them seeing us holding hands.”

Ok, at least that answer was mostly the truth and not all bullshit. When he rarely dated someone and brought them home to Taehyung - which was almost two years ago the last time he did - he didn’t mind holding hands or kissing in front of Tae because he never saw a problem with it compared to seeing a kid’s two parents kissing, but it was true that he especially didn’t care what he and Jin did because Taehyung was very comfortable with him.

Jin let out a sigh of relief and nodded his head, “Ok good,” he smiled and held out his hand again, “Then I won’t care either. I need to loosen up a bit more anyway.”

Was Jin being serious or was this a trick? He held his hand once and maybe he gave him a second chance. A second chance to change his mind and not perform any act of public affection. But what if it wasn’t a second chance? What if it was just… hand holding? Because Jin actually genuinely liked Namjoon enough to want to hold his hand?

He was wary of the hand extension, but he reached for Jin's hand anyway and held it tightly as they continued walking. A chance dared is better than a chance not taken, he thought to himself. Jin only continued to smile so maybe he really was in the clear.

They continued to hold hands for the rest of the time their two children ran around and trick-or-treated until they got tired and had to be piggybacked back to Jin’s apartment that was closer. They weren’t planning on going to the same place after trick-or-treating tonight, but as all things happened between Namjoon and Jin, it just fell into place without any words and everything remained fine.

 

-

 

     “You two should eat some real food before going home,” Jin spoke as they walked through the door, him kicking it open because his hands were occupied with Jungkook and Jungkook’s candy bag. He laughed a little and added, “Knowing you two, you both are just going to fill up with candy and fall asleep.”

     “You don’t have to-!” Namjoon tried to say, but Taehyung perked up and interrupted him, “Gimbap! Can we have gimbap!”

Jin smiled and nodded his head, “You don’t want anything else? I have more food to-!”

     “Gimbap! Gimbap!” Jungkook added, and then him and Taehyung started chanting it over and over again until Jin finally laughed and announced, “Ok, ok, you two! We’re having gimbap!”

High pitched squeals and cheers sounded around the apartment and Jin went to the kitchen to fix the easy meal for the hungry toddlers. Namjoon quickly set Jungkook and Taehyung up on the floor of the living room with a challenge to try to organize all of their candy neatly and count how much they had of each brand. Also remembering Jin’s rules about them eating too many sweets, he reminded them not to eat more than three candies before they ate dinner. He then winked and whispered under his breath, “If you eat four, I won’t tell Jin.”

The boys laughed and nodded their heads.

     “Thank you papa!” Taehyung grinned and started to unwrap a piece of candy to eat.

Jungkook’s eyes went wide and he nodded his head, “Thank you, p-papa!”

Namjoon stood up and waited for Jungkook to add the ‘Joonie’ that he always put after saying 'papa', but it didn’t come. And after a few seconds of waiting for it and wondering if Jungkook was ok, Namjoon realized it was never going to come. He looked down at Jungkook to see that he was happily starting to organize his candy and count how many M&M packets he had under his breath.

Did Jungkook just call him papa? Did Jungkook already think of him in that way? How would Jin feel if he heard that? Namjoon couldn’t even think about that right now though. There was no rule against it. And right now he felt like he was on cloud 9. Jungkook just called him papa. Jungkook saw him like that!  And to be honest, Namjoon couldn’t help but feel like that was all he ever wanted. It had happened so naturally without him even realizing it, but he loved Jungkook. He loved him like his own son.

This moment only made him realize anymore how much he wanted those two to be in his life for as long as he could help it; the toddler and his father that he already loved so much. He honestly couldn’t imagine not having them already, and that scared him.

What if he messed it all up?

Namjoon tried to push those thoughts deeper into his mind at least for now and only invite them back out when he was laying in bed late at night and was thoroughly going through every action he made around Jin recently. 

He walked into the kitchen and found Jin already almost done making the Gimbap. He leaned against the counter and smiled, admiring the face Jin made when he was determined to make something perfect. His furrowed brows and narrowed eyes and the way he stuck his tongue out between his lips that were laid in a thin line when he was about to do something he found extra challenging. He was adorable.

     “Do you need any help?” he asked, hoping Jin would say no because he knew he would find a way to burn the Gimbap while only wrapping it up and placing it on a plate. He’d probably drop both the Gimbap and the plate in the process as well.

Jin laughed and shook his head, “We want the food in our kids’ mouths, not on the floor.”

That was that response Namjoon was expecting, and he laughed along with Jin because he knew it was only meant in a light-hearted way and it was true anyways. Jin looked up at him with bright eyes and continued to speak, “What you can help me with though is winding them down. Know any boring movies we can put on to make them fall asleep? I think as soon as they fall under a sleeping spell. You can carry Tae back to your apartment and have an easier time getting the both of you to bed.”

So it was clear he wasn’t going to get to sleepover… He wasn’t expecting it. Taehyung didn’t even have pajamas or a toothbrush and of course there was the rule of no dates sleeping over. What rule was that? Rule number eight, right? Don’t let the date sleep over. EVER. 

Jimin had scribbled down that rule in all caps, so that was definitely out of the question.

     “How about we watch an old Halloween movie? Of course one that’s not scary,” Namjoon added and turned back to the living room where he could hear the faint sound of Jungkook giggling and saying quietly, “Tae Tae, papa said only four!”

Oh God, he called Namjoon ‘papa’ again. His heart was going to explode. He was sure of it. He was about to get lost in his own world again thinking about having a life with Jungkook and Jin in it forever, but before he could completely fall into a trance, Jin broke him out of it by nudging him with the plate of Gimbap and saying with a smile, “You can pick the movie from what we have on the shelf. I think we have a few non-scary Halloween movies there like Halloween Town and Ghost Busters-!”

Namjoon gasped and ran to the shelf, “Ghostbusters, yes! This is mine and Tae’s favorite Halloween movie of all time.”

     “Really?” Jin laughed, “Jungkook and I watch this every year,” he tilted his head and sat down on the couch with the big plate of gimbap in his hands, adding the next part, “And every month. We really love that movie.”

He watched as Namjoon put the movie into their dvd player, turning his head only when Namjoon bent down in front of him so he couldn’t feel guilty later for staring at his ass at such a time like this. He didn’t have a rule for himself against it, but he still wouldn’t want Namjoon to look at him that way-! ...Actually maybe he would.

God, maybe he just shouldn’t care about the rules anymore. But he needed them for Jungkook. He liked Namjoon too much that he was slipping, but he had to remind himself who these rules were for and who mattered most. He had to stay strong and stay in line. That would be the only way he could remain a good parent to Jungkook and not be some trashy single dad that cared more about getting dick than his own son like everyone thought he would be.

     “Tae Tae and Kookie, you want to eat some gimbap now?” Jin offered, smiling and sitting the plate down on the table in front of the couch for them to sit at and eat. He took a piece for himself before leaning back on the couch, “After you two eat, you can have two more pieces of candy, but that is it, ok?”

The movie started playing right after he spoke and the two toddlers sat down beside the table in criss-cross-applesauce to eat their dinner before Namjoon made his way back to the couch and sat down next to Jin.

Jin’s cheeks rose in a blush when he felt Namjoon sit down beside him, sinking in closer to him since the couch naturally dipped - after a freak jumping on the couch accident that happened with him, Jimin, and Jungkook that no one dared to mention for Jin’s sake - and holding his hand since that was supposed to be normal now.

Jin thought he was going to be become flustered beyond control. He though he would stare wide eyed at the tv and force Namjoon out of his peripheral vision as his heart beat harder and his palms became sweaty, but instead, his body followed in suit naturally. He smiled and leaned his head on Namjoon’s shoulder, nestling into his side and wrapping an arm around Namjoon’s waist before he could even think of what he was doing. Jin could feel Namjoon’s breath hitch when he did this and he almost thought that maybe he was taking things too far, but before he could retract any movements, Namjoon held him back and leaned his head on top of his own.

This was the first time Jin had been held like this since college.

 

The movie went by quickly. Or slowly. In all honesty, Jin wasn’t noticing. He kept muttering side comments about the movie to Namjoon like ‘the green ghost is me’ and ‘who would we call in real life if there was a ghost?’. The comments ended up becoming off related stuff though like ‘I’m still wearing a flower crown. Can I just keep it?’ and ‘hey, we should all four be ghost busters next year’. He’d then yawn tiredly and nuzzle his nose deeper into Namjoon’s neck, smiling when he heard a low and soft growl emit from the back of his throat.

Ah, so Namjoon was sensitive on his neck? He’d have to make note of that response for later. Like for when they were making out… or having sex. That wouldn’t be for a while of course because of his rules, but it still wouldn’t hurt to keep these notes in the back of his mind in the mean time.

He couldn’t wait to nuzzle and kiss Namjoon’s neck and make him grow impatient and needy for him from just that. He was going to make a bet with himself later that he could make Namjoon completely melt if he bit his neck softly or made a mark on his collarbone.

Without realizing it, Jin started testing it out, closing his eyes and thinking about four months from now - as the rules allowed - as he tiredly kissed Namjoon’s neck and moved up to his jaw bone.

He didn’t realize he was even moving his lips at all until he felt Namjoon’s lips on his forehead, causing him to open his eyes to see Namjoon staring down at him with a lazy smile and feel Namjoon fingers run through his hair from the back. Just like the first time they met, his mind told him it wouldn’t hurt to just lose control for a little bit. It wouldn’t hurt to break all the rules once more and leave all regrets behind until tomorrow, but he was stronger this time. He didn’t want to go back to the start where he freaked out and hated Namjoon. He knew that would happen all over again if he let himself break the rules he strictly made for himself once more.

Namjoon glanced over at Jungkook and Taehyung who had fallen asleep on the floor by all their candy twenty minutes ago and smiled. He wanted to selfishly not mention that it was probably time to go since he would get to stay longer and kiss Jin like this, but he knew he was going to end up regretting that though, lying to Jin about that even though he was already kind of lying to Jin about knowing the rules.

He sighed and motioned over to the two sleeping toddlers, “The kids are asleep. I’ve seen this movie enough times to not worry about missing the ending, so if you want, we can just-!”

     “Make out?” Jin finished his sentence though that was definitely not where he was going with that. He was going to offer to leave with Tae now and go back to his apartment so Jin didn’t have to stay up so late to see him out, but uh... he liked the way Jin ended his sentence a lot more. 

How could he respond though? Was this another test? He bit his lip and tried to decide whether he wanted to risk it all or play it safe and possibly make Jin think he didn’t like him from that, but before he could make a choice, Jin quickly backtracked and looked down, “Shit, sorry, I don’t know what came over me. Sorry if that’s like way too soon. I don’t even know why I-!”

Fuck it. Namjoon leaned forward and kissed Jin on the lips, wrapping the man up in his arms again and pulling him closer than he already was. As soon as his lips crashed into Jin’s, he thought about backing up and leaving immediately while kissing this relationship goodbye, but it wasn’t long before Jin was kissing back. It wasn’t long before Jin was running his hands raggedly through Namjoon’s hair and pulling his head back slightly so he could kiss down his neck.

What was Jin’s obsession with his neck today?

Namjoon didn’t mind it. It drove him crazy, and he loved it. He let out a low groan on accident, but caught it as soon as it came out, not letting the rest of the noise reach past his lips since he feared waking the kids up.

Jin kept pressing into him, growing hungrier and hungrier for more as soon as he got a taste of what he had been depriving himself of for years. Namjoon was just as hungry though, having not felt for anyone like this in forever. He wanted to cry, he loved Jin’ so much. He has said he loved Jin before as more of a dramatized announcement of his feelings, but love was when you wanted someone in your life forever and were willing to do anything for them. And Namjoon felt all those things for Jin in this moment.

     “We should,” Jin closed his eyes and laid his head back in acceptance to Namjoon’s sudden request to kiss at his neck now and leave a mark on his collarbone. Jin hummed out in response and tried his best not to make any other noises as he continued, “We should stop now so the kids don’t wake up to us all over each other.”

Jin looked reluctant when Namjoon quickly pulled away, awkwardly nodding his head in response and agreeing, “Yeah, you’re right. Hand holding is one thing, but making out,” he grinned at the new memory in his mind of Jin’s hands reaching to trail up his shirt, but only stopping on the outside, restricting himself from doing too much since the kids were in the room and also because of the rules.

Jin glanced back at their kids that were holding onto each other on the carpeted ground, wrapped up in their slytherin and gryffindor robes with chocolate on their faces from candy they snuck from their bags before going to sleep. They were such a sight that Jin didn’t even want to separate them.

He grinned and got up, grabbing his phone off the table and bending down to take a quick photo of them before looking up at Namjoon and saying, “My new background.”

Namjoon laughed a little, “You’ll have to send that to me. They are the cutest kids in the world.”

     “I know,” Jin smiled and looked back down at them. He sighed and shook his head, finally getting up to walk back over to the couch and flop down next to Namjoon once more, “I don’t want to wake them up. They are cute and comfortable, and one night without them being in their pajamas or brushing their teeth isn’t going to hurt, right?” He asked that last part as a genuine question, eyes raising with a desperate want for Namjoon to give his opinion on that and assure Jin that he wouldn’t be a bad dad if he let a night like this slide just this once.

This also meant that maybe he was going to be allowed to sleepover just this once too, so Namjoon grinned and nodded his head, “Just one night,” he watched as Jin leaned his head into his shoulder again and nuzzle up to him, “You can leave if you don’t feel comfortable, and I can just watch Taehyung for tonight. I don’t mind really since I’m probably just going to leave them on the floor and let them be cute while I go to bed.”

Ah, so he was inviting Taehyung to sleepover, but not him. That made sense. Rules were rules after all, sadly…

Namjoon sighed and nodded his head, “Maybe I should go home, I…”

He heard a light snore come out of Jin and looked down to see Jin suddenly out like a light. Did he really fall asleep and black out just like that? His mouth was currently open and he nuzzled further into Namjoon as if his shoulder was as comfy as the pillows on his bed.

Namjoon was about to take that as his cue to leave while he still had the self-control, but before he could, Jin wrapped his arms around him and pulled himself closer, squeezing Namjoon tighter in some kind of death grip that he seemed to be able to possess in his sleep. Namjoon’s eyes widened and he realized fairly soon that nothing was going to make him move now. Not when Jin was holding him down and he could easily just pretend like they both accidentally fell asleep and couldn’t do anything about it.

Plus, it wasn’t like they were having sex on this sleepover. They were literally just cuddling together and watching a movie and fell asleep along with their kids. There was no awkward situation to wake up to when they woke up!

Should he break rule number eight? Should he really risk everything and break another rule?

After thinking over more than enough times in his head, Namjoon finally sighed and wrapped his arms around Jin, leaning back on the couch so he was laying down with Jin now on top of him.

Who cared if he broke rule number eight and Jin got mad at him for it. This was a moment he wasn’t going to pass up for the world.

With Jin’s arms wrapped around him and his face stuffed into his shirt as he left a small pool of drool into the fabric of the white t-shirt he wore for his costume. With his hair tousled and eyes closed, making him look like a peaceful sleeping beauty. With a whole night of snuggling ahead for him holding onto Jin’s warm body that nuzzled against his every few seconds for more comfort. Rules didn’t matter.

 

-

 

Jin woke up to the sound of the Max and Ruby theme song and two boys giggling about how they wanted to be bunnies too. When Jin heard Taehyung’s voice speaking to his son, his eyes widened and he snapped his head up, immediately looking around for Namjoon whom he faintly remembered he promptly passed out on after giving him the choice to stay or not.

What did he choose?

Jin hoped he chose to left… He couldn’t stand to break another rule. If he broke another one then what was the point of them? He was just laying them out there now to let himself know what a terrible dad he was being. He didn’t even care about Jungkook enough anymore to worry about the rules! He just…

     “Jungkook, Taehyung, don’t sit too close to the tv,” a familiar voice pulled him out of his thoughts, and Jin looked over to the kitchen to see Namjoon now walking in with two bowls of cereal for the two toddlers at the tv.

Namjoon noticed Jin now sitting up on the couch with a serious case of bedhead and flashed a smile, “The kids woke me up ‘cause they were hungry. I hope you don’t mind me going through the pantry.”

Jin looked down with wide eyes. What was going on? So Namjoon decided to stay over? He broke yet another rule? And why wasn’t he freaking out just a little bit more? Why instead of wanting to kick Namjoon out immediately, he was loving how incredibly domestic this was? He was wanting to get up and wrap his arms around Namjoon’s neck, kiss him - maybe his neck too just to tease him - and pretend that maybe they were married with two kids.

OK THAT WAS CRAZY.

Jin looked back up at Namjoon with wide eyes and he was staring back at Jin with worried ones. Jin licked his lips and opened his mouth to tell Namjoon that maybe he should leave as soon as Taehyung was done with breakfast, but before he could, Namjoon spoke first, biting his lip and muttering out, “This was a little too soon to sleepover, wasn’t it? I…” Namjoon’s lip twitched as if he was trying to decide to continue or not, but speaking won over and he continued on, “I don’t normally sleepover or let anyone stay over at my place with Tae around. It’s like a little rule I have with myself, but I guess last night I was too tired to care?” he smiled a little, “I was also having a lot of fun with you and the kids. I just couldn’t bring myself to leave.”

Namjoon had that rule for himself as well?

Jin’s look of shock and almost pure terror finally softened as he stared at Namjoon, realizing that they really were one and the same. Namjoon had rules for himself as well and also broke that one for himself last night because it was true, they were both tired and having a lot of fun. What was so bad about sleeping over if they didn’t even move from the couch? They were just two dads having responsible fun and that was allowed, wasn’t it?

Plus, Jin didn’t feel like such a bad parent if another parent made the mistake with him. This was fine. Everything was fine. This just wouldn’t happen again.

He finally smiled and nodded his head as a way to reassure himself more than Namjoon, “Yeah, last night was a lot of fun. And I think I fell asleep and trapped you on the couch, so that was my bad,” he laughed a little and ran his fingers in his hair to get his bangs out of his face, “Sorry, I’m swear I’m not normally like this… making mistakes left and right. I usually have my act together.”

     “Wait, what was the mistake?” Namjoon asked, eyebrows furrowed in confusion as he sat down next to Jin.

Jin glanced over at their kids to see them eating their cereal and paying avid attention to the current episode of their tv show with no concerns as to what Jin and Namjoon were talking about. When he was sure Jungkook wasn’t listening, he turned back to Namjoon and whispered, “I don’t want Jungkook to grow up thinking I had people over romantically when I was supposed to be dedicating my time to him. I don’t want him to think he was raised by a terrible dad and could have had someone better.”

Namjoon took Jin’s hand in his own, nodding his head understandingly but arguing at the same time, “We did nothing wrong. Sure, we made out a bit, but that was it. And while the kids were sleeping. You do know that parents are allowed to do that, right?” he blushed and backtracked just a bit, “I mean.. Married parents usually don't care if their kids are watching. So obviously single parents that are interested in each other should be allowed to do that to.”

Jin’s eyes seemed to light up a bit at his last words, possibly and hopefully taking them to heart and understanding that what happened last night didn’t define him as a dad. He could live a little too and still be the best dad in the whole world.

He nodded his head ever so slightly and leaned into Namjoon’s shoulder, muttering out against his shirt, “Maybe I should keep you around here for good then just to calm me down…”

Namjoon smiled and wrapped his arms around Jin, trying not to get nervous by how close they were or everything sweet Jin was saying - which was so out of character but also so heartwarming and adorable now that Namjoon knew that it wasn’t as out of character for Jin as he originally thought - as he replied back sweetly, “I’d like that a lot.”

 

-

 

When Namjoon left mid-afternoon, Jin had put Jungkook in the bath and made him brush his teeth twice to make up for not doing it last night. He also helped Jungkook put all his candy away and made a rule that he was only allowed three pieces per day. At first he was only going to allow Jungkook one piece per day, but Namjoon had convinced him to ease back just a bit on that strict rule. That was something that Namjoon was very good at apparently… making him ease back on his rules.

When Jungkook and him were dressed in regular clothes both after taking their bath, Jin was about to fix lunch for the both of them so they could watch a movie together and go for a walk afterwards, but as he was cooking, a series of rushed knocks came to the door.

Jin glanced up at the door at the same time as Jungkook, there eyes both wide but for different reasons. Was there an intruder in the mid-day? Someone needing help? Jin thanked the Lord for peek holes so he could see who it was before opening the door, but Jungkook seemed to think he knew exactly who it was.

     “Papa and Tae are back!” he gasped, jumping off the couch and starting to run towards the door before Jin quickly stopped him by swooping him off the ground mid run and placing him in a high chair at the table, “Not so fast, Kookie. I don’t think papa-!”

Jin paused and realized what he said. Did he just call Namjoon ‘papa’? Wait… Why was Jungkook calling Namjoon papa now? When did that start?

Before he could question it further, he heard a sniffle come from the otherside of the door and Jimin’s voice call out softly, “Jin… Hoseok is busy at a teacher’s conference, a-and I don’t know where else to go…”

     “What?” Jin whispered to himself, rushing over to the door to open it, his eyes widening when he saw Jimin with tears falling down his raw and red cheeks. He looked like he had been crying for hours out in the cold October air. “Jimin, what happened? Are you ok?”

Jimin tried to nod his head, but he only ended up crying more as he hugged himself and shook his head quickly, “I-I made a mistake… a b-bad mistake.”

Did Jimin murder someone? Of course Jin never suspected someone as adorable as Jimin to be a psychopath or a serial killer, but with this context, what else could he have done? Jin was obviously going to help him out, but the question now was who were they going to have to bury? Did Jimin leave any evidence?

Jin’s eyes widened.

Were there any witnesses-!

     “I t-thought that me a-and someone else really liked each other, so we hung out last night and,” he sniffled and walked into the apartment as Jin closed the door behind him and wrapped an arm around his waist to comfort him while walking him further in to the kitchen. Jimin curled into himself more as he struggled to speak, “I r-really liked him, so I-!” he started sobbing again, this time turning into Jin’s chest and crying into his shirt.

Ok, so maybe Jimin didn’t kill anyone - though that was still a possibility - but what happened then? What happened that was so bad he came all the way to Jin crying? - Though Jin was willing to comfort Jimin even if he came running crying all the way over from just a bad date.

Jimin wrapped his arms around Jin’s waist tightly and sniffled, “I thought he’d be interested in a relationship. I-I should have asked him, but I thought we both liked each other, so I… I…”

     “It’s fine, Jimin. Take your time,” Jin whispered and rubbed his back soothingly. “You can stay as long as you want to recollect yourself. You can even stay over if you want? My place is always open to you, you know that.”

Jimin nodded his head, “T-Thank you…”

 

Jimin cried a little longer, going over to the couch and laying down while Jin quickly finished making lunch so he could feed Jungkook. He gave his portion of the meal to Jimin too though the boy couldn’t bring himself to eat yet.

When he did calm down though, he could finally speak through dried tears and soft sniffles, holding Jin’s hand for support as the other man sat on the coffee table next to the couch and stared down at Jimin with worried eyes.

     “So we had sex,” Jimin started off with, his face twisting as if he was about to cry again, but he remained strong and continued, “I liked him a lot and it was obvious he wanted it, so I gave it to him. I wanted him to like me.”

     “Jimin….” Jin whispered, biting down hard on his lip to keep himself from giving Jimin a speech on why he should never have sex with someone just to make them like him. He knew from experience that that never worked.

Jimin only nodded his head in understanding before Jin could speak and kept talking, “It was painful, I don’t know how you do it. Do you bottom Jin? It was my first time, and I thought I was going to die-!” he stopped when he saw Jin’s cheeks growing red with embarrassment. He realized he was getting off track and got back on again, “Anyway, this morning I thought we could be a couple now since that’s how it works in the movies. You have sex, you’re together, right?... Well Y-Yoongi told me that I should just forget about last night because a relationship between us was never going to happen. H-He admitted that he just used me for the sex and didn’t want someone like me in Hyunae’s life,” Jimin’s eyebrows furrowed in anger and his fingers started to curl into shaking fists, “Who the fuck does something like that?”

He was spitting out those last few words as if the thought of Yoongi was a curse even to the wicked. When Jin realized Jimin was talking about Yoongi too, he also was growing angrier and angrier with this story. Especially with what Yoongi apparently said to Jimin??? Someone as sweet and caring and kind as Jimin? How could you not want a relationship with him? How could you treat him like that as if he was nothing? How could you use him even after seeing how well he handled the kids or how cute his laugh was or how excited he got when he talked about dancing or literally anything else he had a passion for? How could someone not want that in their life or especially their kid’s life?

Jin’s hand tightened around Jimin’s that he totally forgot he was holding, and he muttered out, “That dick used you?... Yoongi used you?”

Jimin’s lips straightened into a thin line in an attempt to force himself not to cry again. He nodded his head and let out a whine as he closed his eyes again, barely edging out the words, “I guess I really am that easy, huh?”

     “No,” Jin shook his head and picked up the plate of food he fixed. He sat it closer to Jimin and stood up suddenly, muttering out to him, “Eat up and watch some tv. You and I can go over to your apartment later to get your things so you can stay with me tonight, and Jungkook and I will try our best to get your mind off that whole mess. I’ll take care of everything, ok?”

     “Jin?” Jimin questioned sitting up and watching as Jin made his way around the couch and to the kitchen where Jungkook was right now sitting and eating while reading a comic book. “What are you planning on doing?”

     “Don’t worry about it,” Jin gave an eerie smile in response, picking up his phone and texting a certain someone that was going to give him an explanation for his actions that were either understandable - which Jin doubted they would be - or worthy of him being killed. And by the looks of how things were, maybe Jin really was going to be hiding a dead body after all.

 

-

 

Private Chat with: Min Yoongi

Kim Seokjin: You busy this week?

Kim Seokjin: Actually you don’t have a choice.

Kim Seokjin: Make yourself free Monday from 12 to 1 during my lunch break. 

Min Yoongi: What? Why?

Kim Seokjin: Let’s meet up to talk :)

 

-

 

Jin had a new rule now. It was rule #12 and it didn’t really apply to those he dated, but it just applied to everyone in general. Don’t mess with those he loved.

Chapter Text

Chapter Nine

 

Wonders of a hug

 

     “Jimin, are you sure you’re going to be ok?” Jin asked for the fifteenth time as he was starting to walk out the door of his apartment, phone and briefcase in hand as he slipped on his suit jacket.

Jimin was holding Jungkook, pressing soft kisses into his shoulders and cheeks as the boy giggled and tried to kiss Jimin back on the cheek though Jimin was always just out of reach when he leaned forward, “I promise I’ll be fine. Spending yesterday with you two helped out a lot so thank you,” he offered a smile though Jin could tell he was still hurting. He heard Jimin crying himself to sleep last night when he thought no one could hear, but Jin’s door was cracked to the living room, so he heard it all.

Jin nodded his head anyway though, not wanting to push Jimin anymore if he didn’t want to talk about it. He’d tell Hoseok to make sure Jimin was ok later though when he went to pick Jungkook up from preschool.

He opened the door and started to step out, waving goodbye to Jimin and blowing a kiss to Jungkook as he smiled and said, “You’re like family to us, Jimin. We’ll always be here for you just like you’re always there for us. You both have a good day, alright?”

     “Ok,” Jimin smiled, his voice that came out softer than usual being followed by Jungkook’s enthusiastic response to his father, “Bye bye daddy! Have fun not being Iron Man!” he tried to casually wink at Jin, but he only ended up blinking his eyes awkwardly with a wide smile spread across his face.

Jin couldn’t help but burst out laughing at this and run back into the apartment to kiss Jungkook one more time on the forehead, “I love you, baby. See you this evening. Give Chimmy an easy time ok?”

     “He always does,” Jimin smiled, waving Jin goodbye as he finally was able to peel himself away from the two and leave for work. Well… not leave for work. Him and Jimin knew very well why he was leaving for work extra early these days and that was because he had a specific person he liked to meet up with at the coffee shop every morning.

Jin rushed from his apartment down the block to the coffee shop across from his workplace, seeing Namjoon through the shop window and smiling when their eyes met. He walked inside and unbuttoned his coat as he greeted the taller man, “Hey, Joon. Did you order already?”

     “The usual. I hope you didn’t want to spice up your order today because I ordered your drink too,” Namjoon smiled, wrapping Jin up in a hug before Jin could react.

He did push himself away though and ask with wide eyes, “Wait you paid for our coffees?” He looked down and thought quickly about how many dates they had been on. This was the one rule he thought he could follow. Don’t let the date pay until they’ve been on at least five dates.

They had been on two dates to the grocery store, there was Halloween, and… oh. Counting every morning at the coffee shop, they had been on many dates that Jin couldn’t even count on his hand. Ok, so he was in the clear. Namjoon could pay and he wasn’t breaking a rule.

Namjoon knew this of course. That's why he took the opportunity to pay this time.

He grinned when he saw relief flood Jin’s face and he answered, “Yeah, it saves time and you’ve been paying for yourself on all of our dates. It’s time I pay,” he nudged Jin with his shoulder a bit since he wasn’t sure yet what counted as public affection, “And I got our blueberry muffins.”

    “Best in the city,” Jin hummed, smiling and leaning his head ever so slightly on Namjoon’s shoulder. “Let’s go get a table.”

Their hands brushed together as they went to their usual table in the corner, but they didn’t hold hands, too many people around in the brightly lit store for Jin to feel comfortable. He was fine with Halloween because it was dark and they were both dressed up, but he didn’t like the stares in a coffee shop that people would probably give them if they were so handsy with each other.

When their coffee and muffins came, Namjoon asked him with a shy smile, “So uh… You want to go somewhere for lunch today? It will be better than the break-room food even if we go to a cheap place down the road, and it’d be nice to get out a bit.”

Jin’s eyes lit up and he grinned, “I’d love that!” and then his expression suddenly dropped, “But I’m meeting with someone. Min Yoongi.”

     “What?” Namjoon practically choked on his coffee. Why was he meeting with Yoongi? Why didn’t Yoongi tell him? What were they even going to talk about?

Jin sighed and nodded his head, “Yeah, I’m just going to ask him how he’s doing. I feel terrible that I left him at college without even saying a word. He deserves an explanation, and I also want to find out how he ended up with Hyunae.”

This was lie. Jin had murder on his mind. And when Yoongi was out of the way, he’d give Hyunae to Jimin to raise since he wanted kids so much. This was his chance.

     “Ah, that makes sense,” Namjoon muttered out and Jin could tell he had a hint of jealousy riddled in his tone despite attempts to hide it. He started to sip his coffee slowly as he thought of a different topic to talk about, but Jin laughed and reached out for Namjoon’s hand across the table, “Joon, are you possibly feeling jealous?”

     “No,” Namjoon bit his lip, “Yoongi and I are best friends. And you two were roommates. There is nothing to be jealous of.”

Jin laughed again, wanting to invite Namjoon to join them, but he kept himself from doing so since he didn’t want Namjoon to see him threatening Yoongi. Without thinking about it, he rubbed his thumb across the top of Namjoon’s palm and smiled reassuringly, “You’re exactly right. I’m already taken by a cute single father who has hopefully not been letting his son fill up on candy instead of real food?”

Namjoon’s eyes widened and he nodded his head awkwardly, “No, totally! Tae begs and begs but he is no match for my will power, I promise!”

     “You’re lying,” Jin deadpanned, letting go of Namjoon’s hand, “Should I hide Taehyung’s candy at my house and only give you rations to give to him?” Jin smiled, “I knew you would break as soon as Tae used those puppy dog eyes on you.”

     “Isn’t Jungkook just as bad though?” Namjoon asked, voice cracking in defense. “I mean, have you seen the eyes on that kid? I’d cave immediately every time. I don’t know how you do it.”

Jin shrugged, “I just think about the crying I’d have to deal with if he got a cavity and I remain strong. I don’t have to worry about him asking for candy at the moment,” he took a sip of his coffee and continued, “The only thing he keeps asking for is to see you and Taehyung again.”

Namjoon’s eyes lit up and he smiled, “Really? He wants me too? Not just Taehyung?”

Jin nodded his head, smirking and raising an eyebrow, “And he’s calling you ‘papa’? Did you tell him to start calling you that?”

Namjoon’s face turned red and he quickly shook his head, laughing nervously, “H-He calls me that even when I’m not around? I thought that was a mistake when I heard him call me that Halloween night, but I swear I had no say in that. I think he just wanted to call me what Tae always calls me… kind of like how Tae wants to call you what Jungkook always calls you now too.”

     “Really?” Jin’s eyebrows raised at hearing this. He smiled to himself, “So they are both calling us their parents in a way…” he laughed a little and shook his head, “Something is telling me we should correct them, but I also think it’s cute. I don’t mind Tae calling me that if you don’t mind it. I certainly don’t mind Jungkook calling you papa because the more role models in his life, the better,” he said, his words sounding confident though he looked like he was getting hotter and hotter with embarrassment.

He laughed awkwardly, not giving Namjoon time to answer before he stood up and muttered out in a hurry, “It’s time to go. Last time we walked in late with coffee, people kept making side comments to me about not caring that much about my job.”

     “That’s just because they were mad we didn’t get them anything,” Namjoon laughed but got up with Jin so he also wouldn’t have to hear the side comments either like last time.

They walked out of the shop together and towards their building before Namjoon finally nudged Jin and smiled, “And by the way, I don’t care what Jungkook calls me and I’d love to be a role model in his life. And I think you have a big impact on Taehyung too because he’s wanting to take cooking lessons from you now.”

     “Really?” Jin grinned, looking down at his shoes as he walked. He laughed to himself and looked back at Namjoon with a sparkle in his eye that Namjoon’s heart could help but beat faster for when he thought about how he caused it. “We’ll have to do father and son cooking lessons then.”

     “Oh, I don't know how I'd feel having to share my teacher with Taehyung,” Namjoon joked, wondering how he was managing to act so smooth without stuttering at all. He just hoped he could continue to speak like this without completely turning red or fumbling over his words at least until he and Jin got to their desks and sadly couldn’t talk to each other until lunch break-! Or… since Jin was going to be with Yoongi for lunch break for whatever reason, they weren’t going to get to talk until they both got off of work.

Jin smiled and answered shyly with his head tilted, “Let’s be real here, Taehyung and Jungkook are going to get bored and run off while you have me all to yourself,” he blushed a little as they walked into their office building, and he whispered even softer than before with a giggle, “Just how I like it.”

Any wishes Namjoon had of his face not bursting into a deep red color just from talking to Jin were gone with just those five words. He looked like he had a fever with the effect Jin had on him and it made him want to hide away until his face could return to a normal color again. Why was he so embarrassing around Jin? Why couldn’t he just remain cool, calm, and collected all the time?

That matter was a lost cause though. Everything Jin did made Namjoon’s body heat up until it felt like it was summer time even in the winter. Maybe one day Jin would lose his flare on Namjoon and even Jin’s teases or looks wouldn’t rile Namjoon up, but until then, he was cursed to look like a tomato every five seconds.

But that was fine. He didn’t mind it. Because just as Jin said, when he was around the other man and especially when they were alone: that was just how he liked it too.

 

-

 

When lunch came around, Jin rushed out of the office and towards the Korean Barbecue place he and Yoongi agreed on so he could get a table before the lunch time rush came in. He also wanted to get there early so he could complain to Yoongi about how he was late and kept Jin waiting, but he wasn’t going to let anyone know that.

Yoongi was surprisingly early though, carrying a baby that Jin remembered he now had and having a slightly irritated and bored look on his face that he used to have in college whenever he was angry. Why was he angry?

Jin raised his hand for Yoongi to notice him at the table, asking him when he sat down and set his baby’s stroller carrier in the seat next to him, “Are you ok? You seem angry.”

     “This is just my resting face now if that’s what your asking about,” Yoongi gestured to his whole face and attempted to smile though it looked forced. “But I’m also confused why you want to talk to me after four years of us not even thinking about each other. Is this about Jimin?”

     “Ah, so you know what you did?” Jin asked with a smile. A smile a killer would make right before they cut into their victim. “Just here to question why you pulled such a douche move on my friend, yeah.”

Yoongi sighed and put his head in his hands, “Are you serious, Jin? After all these years, that’s what you want to talk about?”

Jin nodded his head, “I wish our reunion could have been different, but I just want to know what the Hell was going through your head when you treated Jimin like that!” his voice raised a little, causing a few customers in the restaurant to turn their heads towards him. He glared in their direction and turned back to Yoongi, talking softer now, “Jimin is the nicest person I know. He does nothing but care for others and try to do his best for them to be happy, so why would you break his heart like that as if it was nothing?”

     “He should have known that as a single father, I’d only want a one-night stand,” Yoongi shrugged and looked down. “I don’t have the energy to actually date anyone especially when it’s inevitable for them to leave or get sick of having to deal with a baby while trying to date me. It’s just how it goes. You should know that since you raised Jungkook since he was a baby, right?”

     “Since the day he was born,” Jin added, furrowing his brows and frowning at Yoongi, “And when I went through the phase of only wanting one night stands when I needed to pent off stress, I always let the guy know. I especially didn’t tell him I liked him only to tell him I didn’t right after. What you did to Jimin was cruel.”

Yoongi bit his lip, looking like he was showing a little remorse though it definitely didn’t seem like he was regretting his actions. He folded his hands together and muttered out, “Did it really hurt him that much?”

     “Was that your goal?” Jin’s words came out thicker with venom now.

Yoongi’s eyes widened and they shot up to look at Jin, his mouth falling open a bit as he quickly shook his head and answered, “No, I-I just thought he wouldn’t care. Someone like him, hot and in college, I thought he just wanted a one night stand too and not have to deal with dating a single dad. No one wants to think about having to raise a kid along with dating someone. Especially if they are a kid in college like Jimin.”

Jin rolled his eyes and shook his head, “Then you obviously didn’t bother to get to know a single thing about him. He loves kids and wants one of his own more than anything. I don’t think your baby would have made a difference, in fact, it would have just made him happier.”

Yoongi shook his head, “Jin, you don’t understand. He may think he wants kids after taking care of Jungkook at certain hours of the day, but as soon as Hyunae wakes him up in the middle of the night crying, he’s going to leave. That’s what always happens.”

     “Not always,” Jin countered, but he could barely speak for himself. Every person that he dated had left him for the very reason of Jungkook - maybe only once and twice because he was too uptight - but it all came back to him having a child to take care of. Namjoon was lasting long, but that was because he knew of the struggles of raising a kid and could handle it just as well as he could.

But Jimin was different than other people who didn’t have kids. He knew that. He knew Jimin was kind hearted and wouldn’t leave someone for reasons like them having a kid. He knew exactly how Jimin felt about that kind of thing because one time when he got dumped after Jungkook fell sick and he had to cancel a date for the third time in a row, Jimin went on a rant about how people needed to be more understanding that parents always put their kids first and they just had to be patient. It made Jin appreciate Jimin so much more.

Which was why he was angry now.

He crossed his arms, “Give him a chance. And if you don’t want to give him a chance for whatever crazy reasons you have that are delusional ,” he raised his voice to emphasize the delusional part but rolled his eyes and went back to speaking normally, “At least apologize to him. You took his virginity and made him believe he was getting into a good relationship only to tear it away from him the next morning. You should be ashamed of yourself.”

Yoongi wanted to retort back with some sarcastic comment like ‘ok mom’ or ‘fuck off’ but instead, he actually did feel kind of ashamed. All of his one night stands had been mutual. Neither him nor the person he was with cared for a relationship so he just never bothered to ask anymore. A part of him knew Jimin wanted more though. A part of him knew the boy was hoping for something more, but he decided to be selfish and pretend like he didn’t notice.

He didn’t know Jimin that well, but he knew he didn’t deserve that.

Yoongi sighed and looked down, “Fine, I’ll apologize. I feel like if I don’t, you’ll bite my dick off or something anyway.”

Jin’s eyes widened as if he was horrified. It had been a long time since he and Yoongi had talked like this which was pretty funny, but he quickly recovered and feigned a dramatic voice, “Yoongi, I’m dating someone right now, I can’t put your dick in my mouth,” his eyes narrowed, “I’ll just chop it off with a knife.”

      “Good to know,” Yoongi let out a whistle, looking down at his menu for the first time since he sat down, “So onto other topics. What do you want to eat?”

Jin shrugged and got up, “Something crappy in the break-room at my workplace. I’m going to go hang out with Namjoon, and I refuse to talk to you again until Jimin is happy.”

Was Jin really using that as leverage against Yoongi? Was he that confident that Yoongi wanted to hang out with him even after being threatened to have his dick chopped off? He was… egoistic as ever in the strangest way. But Yoongi loved it. Jin was right. He wanted to hang out with him again like old times, so maybe he would have to apologize to Jimin. Not for reasons of hanging out with Jin of course, but because Yoongi genuinely felt shitty now.

How hard could apologizing to the person he tricked into taking the virginity of for a one night stand only to insult him the morning after and say he didn’t want him in his daughter’s life be?

 

-

 

Update?

IT’S HARD.

Yoongi had been typing, and deleting, and typing, and deleting his message to Jimin over and over again.

 

          Type New Message:

          Hey Jimin? This is Yoongi-

 

Of course he knows it’s Yoongi! He probably has him written in his phone as "douche bag virginity stealer" or something like that that will let him know just who’s texting him to apologize.

Yoongi groaned out and typed again.

 

         Type New Message:

          I’m sorry.

 

Jin would personally kill him if that was all he wrote.

 

          Type New Message:

          I’m sorry for stealing ur virginity and saying mean things the next morning. I just have emotional problems and am afraid of relationships because of a woman - Hyunae’s own mother - that left me a few days after we had Hyunae because she couldn’t stand the crying and said my personality made everything ten times worse and that if she spent another day with me she’d end up killing herself. She told me not to blame her for everything but myself and I did, and now I’m just so so scared to feel anything for anyone cause I don’t want to blame myself again for Hyunae not having anyone else in her life. I don’t want to hate myself again. I don’t want to hurt myself again-

 

Tear drops dropped onto his screen and Yoongi groaned out again in frustration, chucking his phone across the room and thanking the Lord for letting it land on the couch instead of against the wall or anything possible expensive - though there was nothing expensive in Namjoon’s apartment. He wiped his eyes and sniffled, turning around and muttering out, “I can’t fucking tell him that… I’m not some kind of pity party.”

He looked into the mirror in front of him and repeated, “You aren’t a pity party. Don’t hate yourself. You didn’t do anything,” he bit his lip, “Well you did and that’s why you’re having to apologize, but you didn’t do anything personality wise yet. You just had a one night stand and-!”

     “Uncle Minnie, are you ok?” he heard a tiny voice ask and he snapped his head down to look at Taehyung standing in the hallway with a confused look on his face. Tae tilted his head and asked shyly, “You threw your phone. Papa tells me not to throw things when I’m angry, so you shouldn’t do that.”

Yoongi sighed and faked a smile, “I’m not angry, Taehyung. I threw it on accident.”

     “But you’re crying,” Taehyung argued softly, walking up to Yoongi and reaching his arms up for his uncle to pick him up. When Yoongi did, he reached his hands out to wipe the man’s tears and said, “Can you tell me why you’re sad? I promise I won’t make fun of you if it’s because of something silly.”

Yoongi laughed a little, “It is because of something silly, Tae Tae. You’re uncle was just being a little dumb and hurt someone else’s feelings. Now he just feels bad about it because the other person didn’t deserve it.”

Taehyung nodded his head and looked down, playing with the collar of Yoongi’s shirt as he admitted, “I hurt Kookie’s feelings once, and he cried so I cried and we both kept crying until Daddy and Papa told us that I had to apologize to him and hug him until he stopped crying. Do you think that will work for you?”

Yoongi smiled and sighed, “I wish it was that easy…” Taehyung leaned into him and wrapped his arms around his neck in a hug as he continued, “It’s just I did something so bad, not even a hug would be able to fix it.”

Taehyung giggled and nuzzled his face into Yoongi’s neck, “Silly Uncle Minnie, hugs fix everything! You’re not crying anymore, see?”

Yoongi’s eyes widened and he realized that after Taehyung was in his arms and comforted him, he wasn’t crying anymore. It was kind of like how he was crying over Hyunae’s mom leaving, but as soon as he had to hold Hyunae to make her stop crying, his tears ceased. Maybe hugs really did fix everything… He knew he needed to come up with words too, but Taehyung was right. He needed to apologize in person to Jimin and just... comfort him for the pain he caused him.

He set Taehyung down on the ground and kissed him on the cheek, “You’re so smart, Tae. Since when did you become wiser than me and your papa, huh?” he ruffled the boy’s hair and smiled, “I’m so glad I have you, buddy.”

     “I’m so glad I have you too, Minnie!” Taehyung giggled. “I love you!”

Yoongi smiled. He understood Jin and Namjoon more than anything now. Kids really were the best kind of love to have. No matter how much you screwed up, they’d always loved you for some strange reason and didn’t even question it.

     “I love you too.”

 

-

 

When he tucked Taehyung into his bed and fed Hyunae until she fell back asleep on his chest, Yoongi finally pulled out his phone and started a text to Jimin that he knew wouldn’t be too hard since it was only leading to the hard stuff that would come later.

 

          Type New Message:

          Hey… I want to apologize for everything I did in person. Is that alright with you? Do you want to meet up at a coffee shop or something after you pick up Jungkook one day?

 

And sent. Now he would just have to wait. He tried to think about anything except for Jimin, but that was kind of hard. He had tried not to think about it since that night, but Jimin was… amazing. He felt strange thinking about this now when he should feel terrible about what happened, but he honestly almost told himself that it would be ok if he just let his guard down and entered a relationship with Jimin.

But in the morning he was scared again and freaked out. He couldn’t even judge Jin for freaking out as much as he did when he slept with Namjoon that one time, because he freaked out worse with Jimin.

His phone buzzed with a new text message and he picked it up so fast to read Jimin’s text, heart beating fast as he read:

 

          Park Jimin:

          Did Jin talk to you? If he did, you don’t have to apologize. I would just like to just forget about what happened, thank you.

 

Yoongi bit his lip and shut his eyes as he typed out his next message, trying to trick himself into thinking that he wasn’t really typing back to Jimin though he knew very well that was exactly what he was doing.

 

          Min Yoongi:

           I want to apologize though. What I did was terrible. Can we please talk?

 

Jimin’s text came faster this time.

 

          Park Jimin:

          I’m sorry, but I don’t want to see you again. I know this is immature, but I guess that’s what I am.

          Let’s not let Namjoon or Jin know about this though, alright? Neither of them have to get involved, but I think it’s best you and I just don’t interact anymore. What happened didn’t happen.

          Min Yoongi:

          Jimin, I don’t want us to end like this. I feel terrible.

          Park Jimin:

          Don’t feel bad, it’s also my fault I guess for making it seem like I wanted a one night stand. Let’s just pretend like we never met though, ok? It will be easier for the both of us.

 

This always happened.

 

          Min Yoongi:

          I understand. I’m so sorry.

 

And sometimes - most of the time - hugs didn’t work. Sometimes the people you hurt never even let you hug them to try to make things better, but Yoongi knew he deserved this. This was just another great example of how he was better off alone. He really was the reason why everyone left.

 

-

 

Two weeks later on a Thursday, Namjoon and Jin got off work early and walked together to pick their kids up, talking excitedly about a project Jin was being let on which could possibly mean a promotion for him. That would mean less hours and more money which he desperately needed. It was the big break he had wanted for forever.

     “Wait, does that mean you’ll be my boss?” Namjoon mused a little, a smirk playing on his face that definitely didn’t hide the fact that he was thinking about all of those employee and boss pornos that he definitely did not watch in the past and was imagining with him and Jin right now.

Jin laughed and shrugged, “Maybe?” he leaned on Namjoon a bit as they walked, “You better keep kissing me as good as you do if you want to keep your job,” he smiled but then realized that that kind of sounded like a threat so he added, “I’ll probably be put in charge of a different team of people so it will be fine. If I do end up being your boss though, I promise I’d never use it to my advantage.”

     “That’s good to know,” Namjoon laughed under his breath and kissed Jin’s forehead, “I wasn’t worried though. I’d love to have you as my boss because then that would mean everyone would suck up to me as well since we’re so close.”

     “Yes, please use my position to your advantage,” Jin agreed as they walked up the steps to the school. “I think together we can become the powerful duo that takes over the company and changes it to…. Kim SeokJin company?”

Namjoon laughed out loud, “And where’s my name?”

     “You’re the Kim part!” Jin defended his idea, laughing since he knew very well that it was truly just his name. When he thought about it a little bit more though, Namjoon’s last name being part of his name, he couldn’t help but blush at the idea even though they both had the same last name. What if… What if he and Namjoon ever got that far?

No that was a crazy thought.

He needed to stop getting ahead of himself. They had only been dating for two months now barely. Things happened. Things went wrong. People left, minds changed, and hearts broke. He couldn’t get his hopes up too high.

He stepped into Jungkook’s classroom and was immediately hugged by two excited little boys, “Daddy!” they both called out. Taehyung calling him that had become so normal now that Jin was barely even phased by it though it always made him feel like he was on cloud nine when he was called daddy by both of the two most important kids in his life.

Jin laughed and picked them both up into his arms, “Hey boys, are you ready to go home?”

     “To daddy’s home or papa’s home?” Jungkook asked, reaching out for Namjoon when he saw him. He gasped and giggled when Namjoon put his face between Jungkook’s small hands and kissed him on the forehead, “Hey, Kookie, how was school?”

     “Gweat!!” Jungkook answered excitedly, holding Taehyung’s hand and saying, “Tae Tae and I made a dance together on the playground!”

     “Oh wow, really?” Jin asked, looking to Hoseok who had now walked up to them and laughed, “I videoed it, it was so cute. I’ll send it to both of you later after my date, ok?”

     “A date?” Namjoon chimed in, taking Jungkook from Jin since he was asking for Namjoon to hold him, “Same guy, right? You seemed really happy about him last time we talked.”

Jin laughed and rolled his eyes, “Please, Hoseok hasn’t stopped talking about him. Last night, he texted me a picture of them hanging out at a cafe with a long paragraph about how he was the one.”

     “He is!” Hoseok defended, his eyes lighting up with excitement as a shy smile spread across his face. He made a pouty face in Jin’s direction and teased, “Though I feel like the two of you are going to get married before my guy even thinks about us being anything serious. Did I miss the wedding or something because the four of you look like a whole family.”

Namjoon and Jin’s eyes widened and they both stared at each other in shock as if they didn’t see themselves that way. But in all truth, both of them were very aware of how they looked. And they were both secretly very ok with that.

Jin smiled and laughed a little, unable to help it, and Namjoon couldn’t help but follow. They both laughed and leaned against each other, the content silence and soft giggles saying more than words would.

Hoseok rolled his eyes and pushed at them away lightly, “You two are adorable but need to leave before I get jealous. Look out for those videos of Taehyung and Kookie dancing, alright? Or tell them to put on a live show just for you two,” he grinned at the two boys and hi-fived them, “Good job today, you two. Keep dancing!”

     “We will, Mr. Hope!” Taehyung grinned and Jungkook giggled, nodding his head along with Taehyung’s words.

They then started to be carried away by their fathers who waved at Hobi and said their goodbyes before they were walking out of the school and back towards home, answering Taehyung’s first question he asked that they were going to Papa’s house that night for dinner.

That also meant they were ordering pizza instead of cooking anything, because Namjoon literally had no cooking ingredients or tools besides the bare minimum needed to cook noodles.

This was fine though because everyone easily agreed on ordering pineapple pizza, and they happily ate their food as they rented and watched the movie The Greatest Showman. Jin and Namjoon made sure to video every moment Jungkook and Taehyung hopped up from their spots on the couch in between them to attempt to dance and sing along with the musical numbers in the movie. Namjoon and Jin laughed and just watched until the boys begged them to get up and perform for them instead. They then watched wide eyed with grins as their two fathers did the worst rendition of choreography for Rewrite the Stars they had ever seen.

Namjoon and Jin ended up laying down together on the couch by the end of the movie, Jin’s arm and leg wrapped around Namjoon with his head on his chest as they watched their sons perform the last finale song of the movie. It was late and Jin had to take Jungkook home soon, but he wished it was the weekend so he could fake falling asleep and just wake up the next morning without a worry in the world about him and Jungkook being in the same clothes they were in yesterday.

But he had to leave. He had work tomorrow and Jungkook had school.

He peeled himself up off of Namjoon and yawned out, “Jungkook and I should head back before it gets too late. He gets grumpy if he doesn’t get enough rest in the night.”

     “I think that’s you, baby,” Namjoon said without thinking, holding his breath as he watched Jin not even react to that pet name. He felt his heart come back from where it fell as he calmed down and continued, “Why don’t you just stay in the guest room though? You and Jungkook can borrow some of my and Tae’s clothes.”

Jin smiled and thought about the idea of him wearing one of Namjoon’s shirts that would be oversized on him even with him having such broad shoulders. He thought about maybe sleeping in Namjoon’s bed with him instead of in the guest room since the lemony lavender scent of Namjoon’s neck that he could smell when they lay together was the most relaxing thing in the world. It made him never want to leave Namjoon’s side.

But he couldn’t do that to Jungkook and have a sleepover out of nowhere just because he wanted to snuggle with his friend’s cute father. That was setting a bad example. That was breaking a rule.

As much as his heart wanted him to say yes, his brain won over and he shook his head, “We’ll just have to have a weekday sleepover some other time when Jungkook and I are prepared,” Jin turned to Jungkook and raised his voice a little to gain the boy’s attention, “Kookie say goodbye to Tae cause we have to go home; it’s late.”

     “Awe, ok daddy…” Jungkook pouted and held out his arms to Tae to give him a regretful hug since it meant goodbye.

Jin looked down at Namjoon who was still laying down below him and smiled, “I’ll see you tomorrow morning, Joonie?”

     “As always,” Namjoon sat up so he could kiss Jin on the lips.

Jin leaned into the kiss and placed his hands on Namjoon’s shoulders to stabilize himself, breaking away only to say, “Hey, so umm… Christmas is around the corner, right?”

Namjoon thought about it in his head, realizing that they were a little over two weeks into November now and Christmas truly was right around the corner. He usually dreaded Christmas and all its glory. He had to buy gifts for Taehyung, - the bad part about that being that he had to follow the holiday shopping propaganda against his will - he was the only person alone on the holiday it seemed like, and he was always so stressed to make every Christmas perfect for Taehyung to make him never wish his parents hadn’t died in a car accident. He wanted that to be the last thing on his mind.

Namjoon buried that all a little bit deeper though so he could nod and smile, “Yeah, I guess it is. We’ll start seeing decorations and carols everywhere we look around this city soon. You excited?”

Jin rolled his eyes, “Cheesy Christmas songs on repeat and holiday sale advertisements are two things I could live without quite possibly for the rest of my life, but I think it would be fun,” he dragged the last word on and giggled under his breath, “to maybe spend it with someone this year? I’ve never done it before, but I mean… we spend time together all the time anyway with the kids. It wouldn’t have to be all that mushy romance stuff, but-!”

Namjoon cut Jin off with a kiss before he could finish, pulling away and quickly saying before Jin could change his mind, “I would love to do all that mushy romance stuff with you.”

A smile spread wide across Jin’s face and he let out a sigh of relief, nodding his head and wrapping his arms around Namjoon’s neck, “Me too. So let’s do all the stupid Christmas stuff together this year, ok? We can even have a planned sleepover that night too.”

     “I’d love that,” Namjoon said again, resisting the urge to say ‘ I love you ’ over and over again. He loved Jin so much he wished that every night was a planned sleepover with them. That would of course mean that they lived together which was way down the line, but that didn’t stop him from wishing Jin could just move in with him tonight and never leave. That they could just immediately start being a family now as Hoseok said they looked like.

But he had rules to follow.

He just needed to pass those rules, and wait, and be patient and then he could finally get all he wanted with Jin. And it was all going to be worth it. Holding Jin in his arms and wishing the seconds would pass by slower until he had to leave and that time would then go faster until he could see him again, Namjoon knew that anything was worth it if it meant he could be with Jin for the rest of his life.



But sometimes… things just aren’t meant to be.

Things went wrong. People left, minds changed, and hearts broke. He shouldn't have let his hopes get too high this Christmas.

Chapter Text

Chapter Ten

 

Not Worth It

 

          “Have yourself a merry little Christmas…”

Jin felt arms wrap around his waist as he hung the last ornament up on three and swayed ever so slightly to the sound of the Christmas music they were playing off of the TV. The smell of eggnog and vanilla scented candles scented the room, and underneath the music, he could just barely hear the sound of the snaps of the crackling fire warming them up from the cold outside.

          “Let your heart be light…”

The man pressed close behind him hummed along to the music as he brushed his lips against his neck and placed kisses down to his shoulder. Jin closed his eyes and smiled, leaning into the warm feeling of Namjoon’s lips as he sang along to the music under his breath and turned around to face him.

     “From now on your troubles will be out of sight,” he smiled and wrapped his arms around Namjoon’s neck, leaning in close to kiss him as they both started to sway in their close proximity.

They stayed like that for a few minutes, listening to the song Jin now couldn’t help but think of as his new favorite song. He used to not care for Christmas songs, having heard them too many times to count, but something about being here with Namjoon made it feel like he was hearing every song for the first time. Even when Jingle Bell Rock came on, he felt like a little kid again, dancing along to the music with Namjoon in the kitchen as they helped Taehyung and Jungkook make chocolate chip cookies for Santa.

Jungkook and Tae were wearing Santa hats and matching Elf shirts since they both wanted to dress up like Buddy the Elf for Christmas. And who could say no to two adorable little boys wanting to wearing matching outfits for their first Christmas they were going to spend together? Namjoon and Jin certainly couldn’t.

Jin leaned into Namjoon’s hold as they stood by the tree, the lights dim with only a few lamps, candles, and fairy lights on. Jin had cooked Bulgogi and Christmas cake earlier, and Namjoon had helped by keeping himself and the kids far away from the kitchen to help decorate the tree. He of course came in every ten minutes though to kiss Jin on the cheek and tell him how much he loved him.

Yes that’s right.

If Jin was listening, he very well knew how much Namjoon loved him. And Namjoon also was aware of Jin’s love for him with the sweet kisses he received in response with a giggle under the other man’s breath as he returned the words, “I love you too, Joonie.”

Namjoon was considering telling Jin right now once more how much he loved him, but Jin spoke softly before he could say anything, “Our friends should be here any minute. Did Taehyung and Jungkook both wash their hands because they had frosting all over them earlier form helping me with the cake.”

Namjoon smiled and nodded his head, “They licked all the frosting off, but I made them wash their hands. They’re right now in Jungkook’s room attempting to wrap a present they made for us at school.”

     “Oh, should we go help them?” Jin started to pull away, worried about them possibly hurting themselves or making a mess, but Namjoon held him tighter and pulled him back into his hold, “I already cut the wrapping paper for them and gave them a brief tutorial on how to wrap a present. They insisted I didn’t help them because they wanted to learn from their mistakes,” he laughed and sighed, “I wonder who they learned that from?”

Jin smiled and leaned his head back down on Namjoon’s shoulder, “They’re smart for learning from us. Mistakes are how you get better. I’m sure we’ve both made enough to become experts in that.”

     “Yeah, I can think of one mistake that turned out for the best though,” Namjoon grinned and kissed Jin on the forehead. Jin looked up at him with his big round eyes that looked almost like Jungkook's and smiled back, his cheeks slightly rosy in a blush from what Namjoon just said, “I want to-!”

He was cut off by the sound of a knock on the door. Their first guest was here.

They could wait.

Namjoon turned back to Jin, about to ask what he was going to say, but Jin had already pulled away and was walking over to the door. He opened it up quickly and welcomed the guest with a happy squeal, “Jimin! Merry Christmas, how are you?”

They practically leaped into each other’s arms in a hug, closing the door in the process and jumping all the way to the kitchen as Jimin answered excitedly, “I’m doing great! I didn’t have practice today so I went to a spa with a few friends, and now you have to go with me on your next break to see how good this place is. You’ll literally be in Heaven.”

     “I need Heaven,” Jin gasped at the idea of finally getting to go to a spa for the first time ever. He was a single parent. They should let him go for free. He held Jimin’s hands and laughed, “One day, Namjoon will watch the kids, and you and I can go, alright?”

     “Hey, I wanna go to the spa,” Namjoon pouted with a smile still on his face though as he walked into the kitchen.

Jin laughed and rolled his eyes, leaning on Namjoon and kissing him on the cheek, “Fine, you can go with us while Yoongi watches the kids, how does that sound?”

Jimin tensed at the sound of the name he thought he had gotten out of his mind, but no one noticed. He told Jin that Yoongi apologized and they were going to just be friends, but he in no way planned on even talking to that guy again. He hated acting so immature and even speed walking in the other direction with Jungkook when he picked him up after preschool and saw Yoongi coming in to pick up Tae, but he had good reason. As soon as he saw Yoongi’s piercing eyes and fluffy-like black hair that he ran his fingers through when Yoongi was fucking him hard into his bed, Jimin felt like he wanted to throw up or claw his eyes out.

Yoongi wasn’t going to be here for Christmas, was he? Surely he had other places to be, maybe with family or… friends? Hopefully not friends. Jimin had a feeling that Namjoon was his only friend.

And almost as if he was living in a movie with completely terrible comedic timing, Namjoon’s eyes flicked up to the door as someone walked in without even knocking and he raised his hand, “Speak of the devil, Yoongi!”

     “Hey, sorry I’m a little early-!” Yoongi said, but his mouth shut before he could finish speaking when he saw Jimin. His eyes widened and he just stared as Jimin turned around and awkwardly waved, looking down to avoid staring at the person he hated the most. Funny how unplanned one night stands did that to people.

Before Jimin could attempt to say anything to make the tension between them go away before Jin and Namjoon could notice, a familiar little boy came running out of his room yelling, “Uncle Minnie, Uncle Minnie, Uncle Minnie!!!!!” he dragged on the last word as he leaped onto Yoongi’s leg to hug it.

Yoongi laughed and passed Hyunae off to Namjoon quickly to pick Taehyung up and reply back to him, “Tae, Tae, Tae! What’s going on, buddy?” he flipped him upside down in his arms and swayed him gently, causing the toddler to squeal out in joy and laugh, “Minnie, put me down! I need help!”

     “Ah, with what?” Yoongi asked with a grin, still swinging the toddler regardless of his pleas to be put down. He started to carry him to his room - anything to get away from Jimin - as he continued, “If this is about the monster under Jungkook’s bed you told me about, I told you I’m all out of magic spells to cast them away.”

As he continued to walk into Jungkook’s room and closed the door behind him, his words died out to the three men standing in the kitchen, Namjoon and Jin watching with smiles on their faces while Jimin just felt so… shitty. Why couldn’t Yoongi give him that side of him? Why couldn’t he get over Yoongi? Why did he hate him so much yet still want him more than anything?

     “I’m gonna bet Taehyung needs help wrapping the present,” Namjoon sighed, rocking Hyunae in his arms as he offered an apologetic smile to Jin, “Come to think of it, I think Jungkook and Taehyung started playing rock, paper, scissors during my brief tutorial of how to wrap presents.”

Jin laughed and kissed Namjoon, “Hopefully Yoongi will get through to them though last time I checked his version of wrapping presents is putting them in a CVS bag and wrapping a bow around it.”

     “Nothing has changed,” Namjoon smiled, turning to Jimin, “Maybe you should go in there and make sure he isn’t creating a mess trying to figure out how to wrap the gift they made.”

Jimin’s eyes widened and he bit his lip, unsure of what he should say to that. Was that their way of saying he should leave them alone for a second? Was he allowed to say no? Would they be mad at him if he said no? He really didn’t want to go. The last thing he wanted was to be with Yoongi again in any kind of situation, but if Namjoon was asking them, did he really have a-!

     “Actually, could you hold Hyunae for five seconds?” Jin pulled him out out of his thoughts and handed him Hyunae without even waiting for his reply. “Hobi should be here any second and I think Yoongi is smart enough to figure out who to fold paper over an object and tape it. Namjoon and I need to finish getting our own presents wrapped for tonight and I just don’t want to stress about it while we’re all eating dinner.”

Thank God for Jin always worrying about being stressed yet still putting himself in stressful situations.

Jimin gladly took Hyunae with a smile and cooed at her as he smiled, “I’ll stay out here on Hobi watch while taking care of Hyunae, don’t worry. If you two need any help though, I can wrap presents pretty quickly so just call on me, ok?”

     “Will do,” Jin smiled and held Namjoon’s hand, already pulling him back towards the guest room where all of the already wrapped presents were hidden in wait for later tonight when they moved them to under the tree.

As soon as they walked into the room and the door closed behind them, Namjoon sat on the edge of the bed and asked, “What’s wrong? All of the presents are already wrapped, so…”

     “Jimin and Yoongi hate each other,” Jin said out of nowhere, hoping that maybe Yoongi told Namjoon something about it, but judging by how oblivious Namjoon was acting and how Yoongi hated telling anyone his true feelings, he doubted it.

Namjoon’s eyes widened as Jin expected, “What?... What do you mean? I thought they liked each other.”

     “Yeah, until they had sex, and the morning after Yoongi decided he didn’t want to be with Jimin anymore,” Jin sighed, running his fingers through his hair with a disheveled sigh, “I didn’t want to tell you because I thought they would resolve it, and I honestly thought they did because Jimin told me they were friends again, but what I saw in there made it obvious. I almost suffocated from all the tension, and I had to come in here to breathe.”

     “Wait, so what should we do?” Namjoon lowered his voice now that he knew they were being secretive about two of their friends. “Should we try to make them friends again? Maybe they can realize that they aren’t so bad and learn to be friends from today.”

Jin shook his head and bit his lip, “It doesn’t happen that easily, Joon…”

     “It did for us,” Namjoon smiled and reached forward to wrap his arms around Jin’s waist and bring him closer to the bed. Jin couldn’t help but smile despite a little bit of irritation at the memory of them hating each other. He tilted his head and sighed, “I distinctly remember it being very hard to even be in the same room as you.”

Namjoon kissed his neck and Jin melted into his embrace as the other man spoke in a low yet soft voice against his skin, “Well neither of them have a-!” Namjoon’s eyes widened and he bit his tongue before he could finish the rest of his sentence, ‘list of rules’.

That was close. He was so close to letting that slip.

What would have happened then?

Jin lifted his head a bit, “Neither of them have a what?”

Namjoon’s eyes were wide as he searched for an answer, trying to think of something believable yet not revealing, but before he could say anything at all, there was a knock at the door as Jimin called out, “Hey, Hobi and his boyfriend are here and taking care of Hyunae, so I can help!”

Jin squeaked out and whispered quickly, “Lift up my shirt when I start kissing you.”

Before Namjoon could question it, Jin got up on the bed and straddled his waist, leaning a passionate kiss into his lips as he suddenly started grinding hard against his groin. Namjoon lifted up his shirt as he requested but could barely think past that as he felt himself growing hard the more Jin pressed against him.

What was this new side of Jin? How could he get more of it? Sure, Jin was always passionate, but he was never as rough as this. Maybe he was during their one night stand that Namjoon could barely remember, but this part of Jin was definitely all new to him.

Jin let out a soft moan as the door opened and Jimin walked in, promptly freezing when he saw the sight of Namjoon and Jin practically dry humping each other as they made out. Namjoon caught Jin’s eye and wanted to ask what Jin was thinking by doing this, but Jin turned around awkwardly and shoved his shirt back down, pushing himself away from Namjoon as he laughed awkwardly and lied, “Ah, Jimin, sorry… Umm…. “ he looked at Namjoon and faked a smile, laughing under his breath again, “Sorry, we just started something earlier today that I wanted to finish. Presents are all wrapped actually.”

Jimin shut his eyes and started to back around of the room, “Oh my God, I’m so sorry, I’ll just-!”

     “No, it’s fine, if Hobi’s here then we should just wait for later when the kids are asleep,” Jin smiled and turned to Namjoon with a sly grin.

Without saying another word, he then walked past Jimin and towards the living room, calling out to Hoseok, “Hobi, you’re finally here! Introduce me to your boyfriend!”

Namjoon slowly got off the bed, awkwardly making eye contact as he muttered out a, “Sorry,” before trying to walk past him. Jimin caught his arm before he could leave though and muttered out, “Were you two seriously about to have sex? Before six months of dating?”

     “Uh… Yeah?” Namjoon remembered the rules, but he couldn’t just say no. Jin made sure Jimin thought they were doing exactly that so he had to play along. These rules were getting him caught up in too many lies, but he nodded his head and smiled anyway, “But I don’t think he minds. I tried to follow them, but he’s breaking them all anyway.”

Now at least that part was true.

This caused Jimin to grin before he nudged him and whispered into his ear as they walked out into kitchen once more, “That’s because you two are perfect for each other.”

Even without Jin breaking the last rule that they still left technically unbroken, Namjoon knew this was more true than anything. They truly were perfect for each other.

 

-

 

When the night sky grew dark and it started snowing again for the third time that day - Taehyung and Jungkook wanted to go out and play in it every time, but Jin said that if they wanted presents in the morning they would have to stay clear of snow - everyone was relaxing after dinner and drinking from a few bottles of wine as they and the kids watched Polar Express. And as always, the adults weren’t exactly watching the movie as intensely as the kids.

Namjoon and Jin were curled up together on the couch under a blanket, holding hands and leaning their heads on each other as they actually kind of did watch the movie when they weren’t whispering to each other about how cute their kids were and then how pretty each other was and then started kissing from there only to start the cycle over again.

Hoseok was sitting on his boyfriend Sungmin’s lap, giggling and kissing him more than anything though they thankfully kept everything PG. Hoseok was probably very aware that Taehyung and Jungkook were kids he taught at preschool, and it would be weird for them to see him snogging some random guy they barely knew when he was supposed to be a role model to them that always seemed close to perfect. Still though, anyone watching could clearly see that Hoseok and Sungmin were too caught up with each other to care about a Christmas movie playing. It was adorable. 

Taehyung and Jungkook didn’t seem to care though, currently watching with wide eyes as the main character of Polar Express met Santa and was about to receive the first gift of Christmas from him.

The only two people that weren't cuddling someone else or borderline making out, were Jimin and Yoongi who were on opposite sides of the room. Yoongi was watching the movie and petting Hyunae’s head softly as she slept on top of his chest. He was starting to nod off every few seconds, too tired to care about missing the end of the movie, but Jimin was alert, glaring daggers at Yoongi without even realizing it.

Santa was giving the lead boy a bell as a gift when Hyunae woke up and started crying, waking her father up in the process and also causing everyone else to become distracted from the movie.

Yoongi snapped awake quickly and sat up, muttering an apology to everyone before getting up and grabbing a bag with things for Hyunae, “I’m going to take her into the guest room; keep watching the movie.”

Everyone did as requested, turning back to the movie since Yoongi was very capable of taking care of Hyunae on his own - and if they tried to help he would make that fact very clear - but Jimin suddenly stood up from his chair and ran after him after he disappeared into the guest room, muttering out a short explanation to everyone, “I’ll go help him.”

Jin’s eyes widened and he tilted his head in confusion, glancing at Namjoon who also looked confused. He whispered softly to Jin, “I thought they hated each other?”

     “Me too…” Jin whispered before Hoseok then joined in from where he sat on Sungmin’s lap, “Did they get back together?”

     “Wait are they exes?” Sungmin then asked, eyes widening since it now made so much sense why Jimin and Yoongi acted so awkward around each other when everyone else seemed so close. He leaned back in his chair a bit, “That makes so much sense.”

Jin nodded his head and bit his lip, “I don’t know what’s going on… Should I check on them and make sure there’s not some kind of fight that will happen?” he laughed nervously but knowing both of those men well, he knew Yoongi was easily frustrated and Jimin’s voice raised within the first five seconds of a fight while he also cried because his emotions were overflowing. He knew those characteristics all too well because he had been in a fight with both of them…. Maybe Yoongi more than Jimin, but still.

Namjoon shook his head though, “No, they can work it out. Maybe they’ll come back in here friends again, who knows.”

 

-

 

Yoongi glanced at Jimin when he heard the door to the guest room open and close softly, and when he saw the shorter boy - not by much - in all his glory of an ugly Christmas sweater and a Santa hat on, Yoongi felt like he could drown in his own sweat that was suddenly coming out profusely right there.

He looked down at the bed where Hyunae’s things were laid out and muttered out shyly, “I…. I um…” he bit his lip and glanced back up at Jimin, barely able to make eye contact as the boy walked over to him, “What are you doing here?”

     “I want to help with Hyunae,” Jimin offered, holding out his arms and leaning against the bed. He had no idea Yoongi hated help. He wanted everyone to know he could do things on his own, and he wanted everyone to think he liked it that way.

But when it came to Jimin?

Yoongi handed Hyunae over to him after only a short pause and spoke softly, “I think she’s just hungry. Do you want to feed her?”

Jimin’s eyes lit up and he smiled, “Yeah, I’d love that!”

Yoongi reached into his bag and pulled out a bottle of formula for Hyunae, pressing the tip of it up to her mouth and letting Jimin take over from there, “She might spit up on you, so just hand her over to me when that happens. Some people get grossed out about that, and I understand.”

     “Nah,” Jimin shook his head, still smiling down at Hyunae and rocking her gently as he fed her, “Jungkook spit up on me so many times when he was around one or two. There was a point where I thought he was doing it on purpose,” he laughed a little, “Jin was always so scared I’d quit just because of that.”

     “Wait, you watched Jungkook when he was one?” Yoongi asked, “You’ve been in his life that long?”

Jimin shrugged, “I guess, yeah. Jin was freaking out outside his apartment one time about how his friend wasn’t going to be able to watch Jungkook, so I offered to help without even knowing him 'cause I felt bad for him. I got a full time job of watching that little rascal from there,” he laughed and leaned over to kiss Hyunae on the forehead, “Glad I ran into them that day though. Jungkook gave me such a love for kids and an appreciation for parenting. It’s hard work, but once you get through it, it…” he paused and stared up at Yoongi, biting his lip and changing the subject abruptly to the thing that was on both of their minds before he asked to help take care of Hyunae, “So I just wanted to come in here to say that we should make things less awkward by trying to be friends from now on. I’m working on moving on from what happened still, but you don’t have to be afraid to talk to me like we used to. I won’t act pissy or anything like that.”

Why was Jimin being nice? After everything he had done? Even after he had been so adamant about wanting nothing to do with him?

Yoongi looked down and bit his lip, thinking about Jimin’s words before he shook his head and muttered out, “Jimin, what the fuck…” he sniffled and wiped tears from his eyes as they formed. Before Jimin could question his response, he raised his voice and continued to speak, “What I did to you was the fucking shittiest thing I have ever done in my life. You don’t deserve someone like me around you. I get that now, and I don’t even know why I apologized to you and actually thought you could possibly forgive me-!”

     “Woah, Yoongi, I didn’t want you to beat yourself up over this!” Jimin eyes widened and he quickly cut Yoongi off. He held Hyunae closer as if to keep her safe from Yoongi himself, but in a way she was like a symbol of Yoongi that he was holding close as he protectively said, “I hope you don’t mind, but I asked Taehyung about you… I-I knew he’d give me answers and he told me how you still cry sometimes because someone important left you. He said you’re always mad at yourself for something that he doesn’t understand, but you blame yourself for Hyunae’s mom leaving, don’t you?”

Yoongi’s expression fell into one of shock but also irritation. Not at Jimin, but just at the thought alone of Hyunae’s mother or Taehyung catching onto his own self hatred that he tried to hide so hard from his nephew. Who else managed to catch on to it too? He leaned against the edge of the bed and shrugged, looking down at his socked feet as he muttered out in a low voice, one that showed how ashamed he was of this all, “I don’t blame myself for anything, I just agree with her. I’m not someone that makes raising a baby fun. I’m someone that makes others around me miserable and if I’m not pushing them away I’m suffocating them-!” his eyes widened when he realized how much he was saying and he quickly tried to cover up his words, “Jimin, it’s really not a matter for you to be worried about,” he reached over for Hyunae, “Just go back to the living room, and-!”

     “I’m not a kid!” Jimin suddenly snapped, stepping back with Hyunae proactively. His eyebrows then furrowed and he spoke in a frustrated huff, “I get that you’re broken from everything that has happened, and honestly, what you did is understandable. You pushed me away because you thought I would leave too, but I want you to know now that when I said I wanted you, I meant I wanted you and Hyunae as a packaged deal. And I still stand by that. You should have just trusted me.”

     “But do you know how hard that is?” Yoongi’s voice also raised but not too much since they were still mindful of the possible audience in the living room. Tears formed in his eyes and fell slowly as if they wouldn’t be noticed that way and he continued to speak, “I trusted Hyunae’s mom and look what she did to me? She left me with a baby I had no idea how to take care of and told me she was leaving because she couldn’t stand to be around me and Hyunae for another second or else she was going to kill herself! How am I supposed to come back from that?” his eyes were growing red and puffy now as he started to actually cry more than he ever let anyone see before, “Everyone tells me to move on and not listen to her. Jin and Namjoon tell me you’re an amazing person, but people also told me that she was an amazing person! People are wrong though! I was wrong! I don’t want to be wrong again, Jimin!”

Jimin sat there in silence, eyes wide as he held Hyunae in his arms. He wanted to assure Yoongi that he truly was different and better, but how could he even do that at this point? Yoongi had trust issues beyond repair that he had no idea how to even start at trying to help fix them.

Jimin only sighed and looked down, muttering out softly since he felt like everyone could probably hear them yelling from the living room now, “Yoongi, I wish I could hug you right now, but I’m holding Hyunae. Can you just hug me?”

     “What?” Yoongi asked, tilting his head in confusion.

Jimin repeated himself, “Hug me, Yoongi.”

Though he was confused, Yoongi did as he requested and warily stepped over to hug him, being careful of Hyunae that was between them but also becoming a little relaxed just in the warmth of holding Jimin once again. Yoongi thought it was because of the amazing sex that made him want to stay with Jimin forever during that one night, but maybe it was just because of how comforting the other boy’s body was to hold that made him never want to leave his side.

It was having the same effect now.

As they hugged, Jimin leaned up and kissed Yoongi softly, their lips brushing together lighter than they had ever done before - their past kisses all being rough, passionate, and hurried - before he spoke in just a whisper, “Let’s start over, ok? As friends,” his words were coming out as if this was hard for him to say, and Yoongi didn’t doubt it was. He did terrible things to Jimin and yet he was here comforting him and giving him a second chance just because he was so pathetic.

Yoongi could see Jimin searching for acceptance in his idea so he quickly nodded his head which prompted the younger boy to continue, “I want you to trust me and know that I would never leave you or Hyunae before we actually start dating. Is that ok?”

     “We’ll just be friends?” Yoongi asked.

Jimin nodded his head, smiling shyly, “Temporarily hopefully.”

Temporarily friends and then something possibly more when he learned to trust Jimin enough to date him. They were taking things slow… Yoongi hadn’t done this before. Even in college, he was the type to fuck on the first date and do everything backwards in a relationship until they broke up, but now… now he was starting from the beginning kind of with this boy who so far was amazing, and kind, and patient. He gave him a second chance to do this relationship right, and Hell if he wasn’t going to take that and do everything he could to be happy with him.

Yoongi sniffled and hugged Jimin tighter, “Thank you… I’m so… so sorry.”

     “It’s fine, I forgive you,” Jimin shifted Hyunae onto just one arm so he could wrap one around Yoongi and pull him closer. “Just trust me and we’ll go from there. Everything will be fine.”

 

-

 

When the door to the guest room opened up, everyone tensed since they expected someone to be storming out and maybe even crying from what they faintly heard at some points when they were all honestly trying to watch the movie. Ok so maybe they were all desperately straining to hear the conversation, but they swore to themselves that it was for Yoongi and Jimin’s sake just in case they need to run in there and break them apart.

But when they all turned to see Jimin and Yoongi walking side by side, Jimin holding Hyunae and giving Yoongi a small smile, relief washed over all of them as they realized that whatever happened between the two had fixed whatever happened between them before.

Namjoon and Jin glanced at each other and smiled, holding each other’s hands as they both were thinking the same thing about how great it was their two best friends were friends again. Jin leaned on Namjoon with a silent sigh of relief, feeling Namjoon’s lips brush against his ear as he whispered softly, “I love you, Jin.”

And Jin smiled. He loved Namjoon more than anything. And honestly at this point? More than any rules he had put up for himself.

 

-

 

Everyone left a little after the movie ended and Taehyung and Jungkook were tucked into bed with goodnight kisses and promises of many gifts from Santa. Hoseok and his boyfriend left first, looking at each other with eyes that gave away exactly what they were doing when they got home that night.

Jimin and Yoongi were talking to each other again and decided to leave together too, Yoongi offering to walk Jimin home and Jimin happily accepting the company. They left after they helped Namjoon and Jin lay out all the presents under the tree, giving the couple a few tight hugs and wishes of a Merry Christmas before going out into the night in the snow.

And when Namjoon and Jin were left alone, something new was in the air. Something they didn’t notice before. There was a tension between the two of them that was so thick, they could probably see it if they squinted.

Jin went around to blow out all the candles and Namjoon turned out the lights before they both met each other beside Jin’s bedroom door. And that was when they both realized what exactly the tension between them was for.

Jin let out a shaky breath and placed his hand on the door knob, muttering out softly as he turned it slowly, “S-So we’re sleeping together in my room tonight,” as if that hadn’t been the plan all along.

Namjoon nodded his head awkwardly, smiling nervously, “Yeah, we are…”

There was a moment of silence that passed by where they were both hoping the other would say something more to make the situation less awkward, but when it seemed like they might both be waiting there for an eternity, Jin finally opened the door and walked in, muttering out with a shuttered breath, “A-Alright let’s get ready for bed.”

Fuck this was so awkward. What happened? They were fine just a few minutes ago when Yoongi and Jimin were here, so what was causing this?

Namjoon walked over to his backpack he brought over with a few of his things in it and started to change, taking off his shirt and pants and changing into briefs and just a gray t-shirt. Before he could put on the shirt though, he felt cold hands press against his back before arms wrapped around his waist and suddenly Jin was pressing his face into his back, “Namjoon…”

     “Yeah?” Namjoon smiled, turning around in Jin’s arms  and practically losing his breath when he saw how Jin was only wearing his underwear, staring up at him with his shy beautiful eyes.

Jin leaned up and kissed Namjoon, placing his hands on his shoulders and breaking away only to look up at him again with hopeful eyes this time and whisper, “I..” he looked down at Namjoon’s chest and trailed a hand down to touch it lightly, “I love you,” he looked back up into his eyes, his mouth parting slightly a few times as if he was trying to say more words but they were too hard to get across.

Was it?...

Namjoon wrapped his arms around Jin’s waist and let his hands explore down to Jin’s lower back just above the line of his underwear. He was tempted to just take them off and do what he wanted with Jin from there, but he needed to make sure that Jin wanted this. That breaking this rule would be ok and wouldn’t cause them to break up.

He kissed Jin’s cheek and whispered into his ear as confident as he could, “Baby, do you want to?...”

     “Yes,” Jin practically cut him off, gripping onto Namjoon’s pajama bottoms and already starting to work them off, “I want you.”

And that was enough to make a list of rules Namjoon was once very afraid of seem like nothing at all to him.

Without any further thoughts or possibly any doubts, Namjoon picked Jin up by his thighs and carried him to the bed, laying him down and immediately pressing himself over Jin to make out with him, wanting to take things slow this time since last time he was too drunk to remember a thing and also probably worked too fast for either of them to enjoy it at all.

Jin spread his legs under the pressure of Namjoon’s waist and moaned out when Namjoon grinded against him, kissing down on Jin’s neck and trailing towards his collar bone, leaving a trail of hickeys on his skin that he wanted to see for at least a week after this. And after lifting his head up to see the marks he had made all over Jin. His Jin. He knew they would definitely stay for a while. And he loved seeing Jin like this, completely wrecked and writhing underneath him.

Jin bucked his hips up into Namjoon and whined out impatiently, “Namjoon at the rate you’re going, the kids are going to wake us up to open presents before you even start to fuck me-! Ah-!”

Namjoon slipped off Jin’s underwear while he was speaking and was now bent down in between his legs taking his growing erection into his mouth. Jin pressed his head back into the pillows and shut his eyes tight, holding back a moan but letting it out anyways in hopes that the walls were thick enough to conceal it from their children.

He curled his fingers through Namjoon’s hair, rolling up into his mouth in hopes of going deeper inside him, but Namjoon always pulled back just before he could get anywhere, teasing him with his tongue and small smiles of pride when he glanced at Jin and saw the effect he had on him.

Jin already felt close, having not done this sober in at least a year. He started to move his hips faster, whispering out to Namjoon how close he was until Namjoon suddenly pulled away quickly and moved to take off his own boxers and underwear.

Jin let out an bratty huff because Namjoon wouldn’t let him cum and reached over to grab a condom and some lube from the bottom of his bedside drawer. He normally didn’t have any there since he never expected to use it, but he knew all too well this morning that he was expecting something more from this ‘sleepover’ with Namjoon than just sleeping. He secretly went out to get condoms and lube and put it in his drawer for ‘safe keeping’ and thank God for that.

Namjoon watched as Jin eagerly grabbed everything they’d need from the drawer and held it out to him. He took it from him, chuckling under his breath as he asked, “Have these condoms been waiting in that drawer for over a year or did you assume you were going to get lucky tonight?”

Jin’s cheeks flushed with embarrassment from the spot on accusation, but he quickly recovered, smiling and shrugging, “I knew you were going to get lucky tonight.”

Namjoon grinned and leaned down to kiss Jin before hopping off the bed to quickly lock the door just in case their kids really did try to come running in the room to claim they heard Santa and his reindeer when really it was him and Jin moaning as the bed underneath them creaked.

When he got back on the bed, he replied back to him, “I really did get so lucky, didn’t I?”

Jin grinned and watched as Namjoon started to pour out a generous amount of lube onto his hands, teasing him more with the confidence he sometimes held when he was in an especially playful mood, “So lucky. I mean, to have someone like me? You’re the luckiest man alive.”

     “I am,” Namjoon gladly agreed, glancing into Jin’s eyes just once more as he slipped a finger into him, watching Jin’s cocky grin fade into a shy smile as he looked up and prepared himself for what was about to come.

It wasn’t long before he added a second finger and then a third, and then Jin was moaning and trying to thrust his hips up more around Namjoon’s fingers, begging for more, pleading for him to hurry up, whispering about how he was the lucky one to have Namjoon.

     “I love you Joonie, I’m lucky to have you,” Jin practically cried out, face red with frustration and a desire for more from his boyfriend, “Please… Please just fuck me already. Fuck me so hard until morning, I don’t want to be able to walk tomorrow, ok?”

Fuck, if those words weren’t enough to make Namjoon cum right there…

Namjoon finally answered Jin’s pleas and pressed the tip of his cock up against Jin’s entrance, leaning down and kissing him on the cheek as he whispered, “Jin, are you sure you want to do this? You don’t have to force yourself to do anything if you’re not comfortable,” he was thinking about the rules and the reason they were probably made, hoping that Jin wasn’t feeling forced to break them for the sake of their relationship, “If you want to wait, I’m completely fine with-!”

     “Dammit, Joon, just fuck me!” Jin accidentally shouted out, gasping and placing a hand over his mouth as he muttered out softer, “Sorry, sorry… But really Namjoon, I want this. I want you,” he wrapped his arms around Namjoon’s neck and kissed him, gripping on tighter when Namjoon slid all the way into him and nestled into a comfortable position between his legs. Jin gasped out the breath he was holding in when he felt Namjoon’s length inside him, warm and pulsing, and whispered in a shuttered breath, “I want you for the rest of my life.”

Namjoon began thrusting into him, starting out slow and sweet as he placed softer kisses along his shoulders, neck, jawbone, lips, and anywhere he could reach from where he was working deeply into Jin. The kisses became rougher as every thrust grew harder and faster. The search for love and warmth soon became a fiery hunger for pleasure that both men were trying to reach, practically fighting each other for an orgasm and eventually reaching the peak at the same time.

Jin came without warning and so did Namjoon not too far behind, still thrusting into Jin despite finishing in order to chase his orgasm to final satisfaction. He kissed along Jin’s neck again until he felt like there would be no unmarked skin left on the man tomorrow. He was normally not one for acting so possessive - since he was normally not one to leave hickeys anyway - but he wanted everyone to know Jin was his now. Maybe it was because of the wait for this moment, but he just couldn’t wait to see Jin in all his afterglow glory with hickeys all over his body and sweat causing his skin to shine in the morning light.

They were both breathless when Namjoon pulled out and leaned back on his knees to stare down at Jin who was sweaty and panting as he stared up at the ceiling as if his mind was completely blank. His legs were still spread for Namjoon, and he honestly just wanted to take him over and over again all night until the sun came up, but that’d have to be Jin’s call for now. Whatever he wanted-!

     “Sit up against the pillows, I want to ride you next,” Jin suddenly said, a new glint of hunger in his eyes. He grinned and sat up, still panting as he and Namjoon started to switch places. When Namjoon was sitting against the pillows, working on a new erection that wasn’t hard to find when staring at Jin, Jin hovered right over it, straddling him and waiting for him to become hard enough for a second round. He kissed Namjoon as they waited, trailing his lips down the other man’s neck this time.

He loved the way Namjoon shivered at the feeling of him lightly biting at his neck. Now he knew exactly how to win at any argument. When he wanted Namjoon to shut up, he’d just have to kiss him and the man would melt in his arms.

He giggled and continued to kiss his neck, “We’re going to have to cover our necks in the morning or else Tae Tae and Kookie-!” His eyes widened and he straightened up a bit, muttering out softly, “Oh shit…”

     “What is it?” Namjoon asked, fearing what Jin could have possibly realized. He relaxed though when Jin broke out into a wide and amused grin as he got up off of Namjoon and grabbed Namjoon’s boxers to put on temporarily, “We forgot to eat the milk and cookies. Kookie and Tae will be so disappointed to find that Santa didn’t even try their cookies.”

Namjoon laughed and started to get off the bed, but Jin pushed him back and kissed him on the cheek, “Stay there, I’ll only take two seconds. Want me to bring you back a cookie?”

     “Yes please,” Namjoon beamed and Jin laughed and slipped out of the room to go take a few bites of the cookies Tae and Jungkook left out and maybe steal two more to bring them back to Namjoon.

Jin tiptoed through the apartment and towards the kitchen, glad now that he didn’t bring Namjoon along since Namjoon would have definitely bumped into a table or knocked over a lamp in this darkness. Jin managed to get to the cookies safely on his own though, taking a few bites and drinking the eggnog until it was almost gone. Christmas was the one night a year he would allow food to be left out like this, and even now, it was aggravating to make a mess.

The fact that Jungkook, his own son, wasn’t worried about a jolly old man sneaking into their house to leave a mess of cookie crumbs in exchange for presents made Jin wonder what exactly went through the toddler’s mind, but he decided not to think about it for now. He had a sexy man sitting in his bed that he needed to ride.

Jin grabbed a cookie for Namjoon and turned to the bedroom again, walking towards it until he accidentally tripped over a bag Namjoon had in the hallway and knocked it over. Thankfully it didn’t make a loud noise, but a few things spilled out and made a mess, so Jin quickly scrambled to start picking it up, not wanting Namjoon to think he was going through his stuff.

The back pocket was unzipped, so he just stuffed everything back in there, a computer, computer charger, and a few sheets of paper that probably had to do with work. There was a piece of red construction paper with a list on it, so Jin figured it was Taehyung’s gift list he might have written to Santa, but seeing the words, “Rule #8, never let date stay over EVER,” caught his eyes and made him freeze.

What was this?

He lifted it up a bit into the light of the city shining through the window to see what he was fearing to find. It was his list of rules.

How did Namjoon find this out? Why did he have it? Was this why he seemed so perfect? ...Jin knew it was too good to be true.

He gripped the paper hard and stepped back into his room, closing the door behind him as he stared down at the paper, unable to even look Namjoon in the eyes at the moment. This perfect relationship truly was all a lie, wasn’t it?

Namjoon seemed to recognize the paper in Jin’s hands, immediately sitting up and saying, “Shit, Jin, i should have thrown it away as soon as I was given it. I just… I didn’t want to mess things up with you.”

     “You should have thrown it away?” Jin asked, “You don’t even regret lying to me about this, you just wish I didn’t find it?” Jin looked at the list and laughed a little to himself, shaking his head, “You all probably think I’m crazy for these rules, don’t you?” a surge of anger suddenly jolted through him and he crumpled up the paper, shouting at Namjoon, “Was all this some kind of game to you? Was it a challenge for you to see how far you could make it or if you could get me to break my own rules, because congratulations! You succeeded! Broke the last fucking rule on the list tonight, so what did you win, huh? Some kind of trophy?”

     “Jin, just hold on a second,” Namjoon quickly stepped into his boxers and through his shirt on before rushing over to Jin and taking the paper from him as if that could make him forget about it, “Baby, I didn’t use it. I was given it when we first started dating, but we were already breaking rules anyway so I thought it didn’t matter. I just shoved it in my bag and forgot about it, but-!”

     “No, you used it,” Jin sniffled, tears falling down his cheeks. He pushed himself away from Namjoon and muttered out, “When you told me you didn’t let people meet Tae until you’ve been dating for a certain time, o-or how you didn’t like public affection until you were sure you were going to be with someone for a long time, or how you made sure we had the same future plans?” Jin looked up at Namjoon with puffy red eyes that were tear stricken, “Everything was a lie.”

     “No,” Namjoon shook his head, feeling his heart dropping to his stomach, “No, Jin, it wasn’t!” he reached to hold Jin again to try to calm him down but Jin pushed him away harder and shouted out, “Just get out! Get out!”

Namjoon’s eyes widened, “Jin, please just calm down! I had to or else it would have been impossible for us to stay together. You make it impossible for anyone to get past a month; we would have never had what we have now if I didn’t-!”

     “What we have now is fake!” Jin practically screamed out, the end of his shout falling silent though when he realized they had their kids sleeping in the next room.

Jin was panting with anger, tears falling down his cheeks as he stared at Namjoon with more hatred than they started off their rocky relationship with. Namjoon bit his lip and spoke quickly, trying to diffuse the situation before it became even worse, “Jin, what we had was real. I may not have had rules for myself as I claimed or was perfect as you thought, but I loved you. I still do.”

      “I don’t love you,” Jin muttered out, looking down. “I-I hate you. I hated the real you but I loved the you that you fucking faked for me to love you,” he sniffled and continued to glare at Namjoon. “We’re over. We broke the rules, it’s over.”

     “Jin, come on!” Namjoon’s voice cracked out and he reached out for Jin but Jin went to the bed and sat down, crossing his arms and shaking his head, “No, you made it to the end and won whatever little game you were playing, now leave,” Jin bit his lip and sniffled, looking conflicted and on the verge of breaking down again as he retracted that last statement and added, “Actually just sleep on the couch tonight and let’s pretend we are still happy together in the morning so Taehyung and Jungkook can have a good Christmas, but we are definitely over.”

Namjoon always knew when Jin was done with a conversation and wasn’t going to speak about it again. Now was one of those times he knew he couldn’t talk to Jin any further without being completely shut out.

     “Jin, your refusing to talk to me about this,” Namjoon spoke softly. “You’re not hearing my side of the story, and that’s going to cause us to break up for absolutely no reason.”

     “I’m getting away from you because you’re a fucking liar and you tricked me!” Jin accused, still refusing to listen to him.

Any cool Namjoon had was almost gone, his eyebrow twitching with irritation as he bit down hard on his bottom lip and snapped out on accident, “I lied to you and used the rules because you made it fucking impossible to be with you otherwise! You expect everyone to be this level of perfect for you when you yourself are  far from it. Did you know you were the one to break every rule in our relationship? You were the one to let everything slide because suddenly breaking the rules are ok when you do it!”

     “Because I made them!” Jin argued, raising his voice again as they started to enter another shouting contest. Before they could do that though, Jin just shook his head and looked down, sniffing again as more tears flowed, “I hope this was worth it for you. Was the sex good enough for all these hard rules you had to pass to get to it?”

Namjoon rolled his eyes and turned around, sick of talking to someone who couldn’t even listen to what he said. Maybe Jin was this egoistic all along, thinking everything was about him and he really was a prize to be won. Except the game was rigged and no one could get to the prize because of fucking impossible rules that the players didn’t even know about.

He swung open the door and stepped out, glaring back at Jin only to say the only thing that was on his mind right now, “You really weren’t worth it. Not one fucking bit.”

His voice cracked as he spoke and he knew he would regret saying it later, but right now it felt so good. To see Jin’s eyes swell with tears at his words and for him to feel better about Jin not even bothering to listen to him. It was almost as if Jin wanted to break up with him with how he was so unwilling to reason with him.

Well it was over. After Christmas, he was never going to see Jin again. No more worrying about rules, no matter walking on eggshells in worries of breaking them, no more… no more feeling like he never wanted to leave Jin’s side. He loved him. He-! Jin hated him. The look on his face was obvious now. And honestly, Namjoon hated him too at the moment.

Everything was over.

Namjoon turned and shut the door behind him, walking through the darkness to the couch where he would sit there all night and wonder why the fuck he even tried to have a relationship with someone as beautiful and fucking terrible as Jin.

When Namjoon closed the door, Jin let out a shaky breath he had been holding in and laid back in bed, tears falling down his face as he silently cried to himself, afraid to let Namjoon hear how much his heart was breaking from the other side of the door.

This was why he had rules. This was why he made it impossible to reach the end, because no matter how perfect someone seemed, he’d always be left hurt. It wasn’t even because of him being a single dad anymore, it was because the only real kind of love he knew of was one between him and Jungkook. That was the only ;pve he could keep forever and ever without worries of being hurt.

Well Jin was done with even trying to love. He couldn’t do it anymore. No more rules. There was no game to try to win anymore because he was sick of getting hurt or acting like he had a chance to be in a happy relationship. That kind of stuff just wasn't possible for him, and he finally realized it now. 

He moved a trembling hand over his heart as he cried himself to sleep that night, agreeing with Namjoon in a sense that this really wasn’t worth it. It never was.

Chapter Text

Chapter Eleven

 

The Art of Isolation

 

     “Jin, I heard what happened and came to check on you,” Jin heard Jimin’s voice from outside his bedroom door and buried his face deeper into his covers, hoping Jimin would just take a hint and leave him alone. He didn’t want to see anyone right now.

 

The morning after the fight, Jungkook came running into his room and jumped onto his bed, singing about how he wanted to open up presents with Tae. Jin could fake a smile then, forcing himself to laugh as he was pulled into the living room where Namjoon and Taehyung were waiting.

Namjoon glared up at him, smiling but probably murdering him in his mind as he sat down with the kids instead of on the couch with Namjoon. Jin would be lying if he said he didn’t murder Namjoon in his mind too.

They kept smiling though. If they didn’t smile, the kids would feel uncomfortable and they didn’t want that for either of the toddlers. Jin still loved Taehyung despite hating his father and Namjoon still loved Jungkook despite hating his father too.

 

A knock came to Jin’s bedroom door again and Jin shut his eyes tighter, biting his lip hard to keep himself from shouting at Jimin to just leave him the fuck alone, “Jin, please just talk to me. You never shut yourself up like this after a breakup, and you need to talk to someone about it. It’s… It’s been a week, you need to talk to me, or Yoongi, or even Namjoon about it if it’s hurting this much.”

Jimin took a deep breath and walked inside to the dark room where Jin lay in his bed, wrapped up in his sheets and staring out the window with tear filled eyes and wet hair from a recent shower. In all the years Jimin had known Jin and his notorious streak of breaking up with guys because of his rules, he had never been this heart broken before.

 

Taehyung and Namjoon left after everyone opened up their gifts. It was obvious the kids could sense a tension between Namjoon and Jin because of the two being quieter than usual. Taehyung even looked at Namjoon for permission to hug Jin before he left. Namjoon didn’t catch it, turning to take their bags out to a cab he called for them as Taehyung snuck a hug on Jin anyway, kissing him on the cheek and whispering to him, “I love you”.

Jin smiled and kissed Taehyung on the forehead, “I love you too.”

 

Jin sniffled when he saw Jimin’s shadow walking across the room over to him. He shut his eyes again when Jimin sat on the bed and patted his shoulder comfortingly, “Jin, talk. Yoongi is coming over soon to help me get you out of bed. We’re here for you ok? We’re here for Namjoon too, and even if you two don’t want to be together romantically, you can still be friends, right?”

Jin’s eyebrows furrowed at this and his heart felt like it broke even more as he shook his head and muttered out in a strained voice, “I’m not going to be friends with a fucking liar. I don’t want anything to do with him.”

Jimin held his breath when Jin cussed, glancing at the living room to see Jungkook currently glued to the tv, sitting just a few feet away from it. Jin would never let Jungkook sit that close to the tv normally. How long had Jungkook been sitting there anyway? Had they done anything since Christmas besides stay in their apartment? He sighed and stood up, “Hold on, I should take Jungkook to the park. Have you two done anything since Christmas? When Yoongi gets here, I can do that while he forces you to eat and get ready, ok?”

Jimin was honestly just trying to do what Jin would do for him in this situation.

He started to walk towards the door, but before he could move entirely away from the bed, Jin spoke up, “Jimin, just get out.”

Jimin’s eyes widened and he felt his blood run cold, “W-What?...”

Jin sat up slowly and glared at Jimin, dark circles under his eyes and hair messy from being damp and unfixed, “You told Namjoon about my rules. Get out.”

     “Are you serious?” Jimin’s head tilted in confusion and his eyes narrowed, “Look, I’m sorry I told him about the rules behind your back, but I’m not sorry about what I did. You two were perfect for each other, and you were never going to be able to see that if you had your rules up on him.”

     “That’s the point of the rules,” Jin’s words came out dark and dripping with venom. Jimin felt like he was talking to a monster version of Jin instead of the funny and stressed out single dad he knew and loved. “If he breaks them then he’s obviously not worth my time.”

     “It’s not fair if he doesn’t even know about them though!” Jimin let out a frustrated huff, rolling his eyes and stepping back towards the bed, “Jin, as your friend, I am going to say this as nice as possible, but your rules are stupid. And if you want to blame someone for it all, blame me, because you deserve to be happy with Namjoon, ok? Don’t throw it all away because of something I did.”

Jin closed his eyes and took a deep breath, sniffling and looking like he was about to cry again before he nodded his head slowly and spoke, “Fine then. I blame you too. Get out.”

     “Jin,” Jimin began, but Jin opened his eyes again, glaring daggers at him once again, “I said get out. I don’t need you anymore. You won’t need to come around either to babysit Jungkook, I’ll find someone else for that, so just leave the keys to my apartment on the table and don’t bother contacting me.”

Jimin’s eyes widened, “What? J-Jin, come on, are you serious?”

     “Don’t make me say it again, Jimin,” Jin spoke in almost a monotone voice. “Get out.”

Tears filled Jimin’s eyes as he stared at Jin in disbelief, unsure how this was even happening. Why was Jin pushing him away too? Jin would always want him the most after break ups but now he was kicking him out of his life just like this?

Jimin cried out and wiped his eyes, sniffling and backing away as he blubbered out in a cry, “Jin, don’t isolate yourself. You need people in your life. You can’t survive with just Jungkook in your life. I know you love him, but it’s going to hurt you more than help you!”

Jin laid back in bed again, wrapping the covers around himself and over his head again as he turned away from Jimin and chose to ignore him rather than argue with him anymore. He really was going to completely shatter one day soon if he hadn’t already.

Jimin’s hands curled into fists that shook at his sides and it took everything not to scream at Jin for how stupid he was being. He stormed out of the bedroom and slammed the door behind him, ready to shout out every profanity in the book out of frustration before his eyes landed on Jungkook and his anger completely dissipated.

Jungkook looked at him from where he was sitting by the tv. He gasped when he saw Jimin, having not even noticed him before, and he ran up to hug him, saying excitedly, “Chimmy, I missed you! Are you here to play?”

Jimin smiled and laughed a little, kneeling down in front of Jungkook so he could stare into his eyes for what might be the last time and say, “No, baby, I just came to say hi to your daddy, but uh…” Jimin sniffled and took Jungkook’s hands into his own, looking down as he muttered out softly, “Chimmy might not come back, Jungkook. I’m really sad and I want to stay with you, but,” he smiled and wiped his tears as they fell, “a wizard cast a spell on me and I must leave my favorite king in order to keep the land safe. You understand, don’t you?”

The toddler’s eyes widened and filled with tears, searching for Jimin’s words to be a joke but only becoming even more watery when he realized Jimin wasn’t kidding. This wasn’t a game. He cried softly, only his sniffles being heard, as he asked in a broken and quiet voice that could almost be a whisper, “So I-I’ll never see Chimmy again? I-Is this the same wizard that cast a spell on daddy to make him sad?...” Jungkook stepped forward and cried into Jimin’s shirt, pulling his hands away from Jimin’s so he could wrap his arms around his neck, “I h-hate the wizard! He took Tae Tae and Joonie and n-now you! Daddy’s next!”

Jimin’s eyes widened and he pulled away from Jungkook with wide eyes, shaking his head and assuring him, “Don’t worry, your daddy is safe. The wizard won’t take him ok?

     “B-But he’s sad!” Jungkook argued, looking towards his father’s room and crying more as he continued softly, “D-Daddy won’t stop cwing and h-he won’t eat! What if he dies?”

Jin wasn’t eating?...

Even Jungkook had noticed now that something was up, so this must be worse than Jimin originally thought. And if Jin wasn't eating, it was only a matter of time before he body broke down too. What if he hurt himself? What if something bad happened to him because he was being a danger to himself and Jungkook would be the one to find him when it was too late? Would Jungkook even know what to do from there on?

Jimin suddenly got up and picked Jungkook up in his arms, grabbing a sharpie from the kitchen and taking Jungkook to his room to sit him in front of his bedside table. He then crouched down next to him as he began to write his, Yoongi’s, and Namjoon’s number down on one of the walls of the drawer. He wrote everyone’s name by their number and made sure every number was neatly written so Jungkook wouldn’t have any trouble reading his writing. He then explained what he was doing as Jungkook watched intently, “You know to call 9-1-1 in case daddy is hurt or there is an intruder, but if daddy is possibly about to be hurt or if you want to call someone to be with you after you call the police in case of an emergency, you can call these numbers and I, papa Joonie, and Uncle Minnie will be right by your side, alright?”

Jungkook’s eyes widened and he traced his hand along the new numbers written on his desk, “Will you be able to keep daddy fwom being taken away by the wizard?”

     “The wizard can’t take daddy away, remember?” Jimin reminded the toddler and stood up from where he was. “But you can call me even if you just want to talk or if you are worried about your daddy at all. I’ll come running.”

Jungkook nodded his head, “Can I call papa just to talk?”

Jimin smiled sadly, “Yeah… Papa Joonie would love that.”

When Jimin left the keys on the table and left, kissing Jungkook goodbye one more time and trying not to sob right in front of the kid as he thought about this possibly being his last time seeing him, he went over to Yoongi’s place to tell him to maybe hold off on visiting Jin yet. They couldn’t risk Jin sending another person away for good. He was digging his grave by doing that, and Jimin feared what would happen if he really did completely isolate himself.

Jin would be worse off than ever before.

 

-

 

Two days later, Jin was fixing Jungkook dinner, smiling and listening to Jungkook talk about a show he watched on TV that day about two siblings that traveled to far away places with dragons. Jin was trying to act cheerful for Jungkook, but it was hard when he couldn’t get his mind off of how shitty his Christmas and New Years ended up being. He tried to be an adult about it all and push all those thoughts to the back of his mind while he focused solely on Jungkook, but he was still a young - emphasis on young - adult in the end and could only hold so much restraint from acting like a child himself. 

     “Daddy listen!” he was pulled out of his thoughts by Jungkook’s whine and looked to him with with a smile,  “Hm? Sorry Kookie, Daddy’s just really tired. Do you think we can go to bed earlier today?””

Kookie bit his lip and thought about the offer. His daddy was wanting them to go to bed earlier and earlier everyday. What was making him so tired?

Jungkook nodded his head and muttered out softly, “I guess… Can we go to the park tomorrow, daddy? I want to play superheroes with you!”

     “Ok, sweetie,” Jin had work starting up again tomorrow, but he prayed he would feel up to it afterwards when he picked jungkook up from a babysitter he temporarily hired to watch Jungkook. He thought he’d be immediately happy again like usual because he always bounced back with the reminder that Jungkook was all he needed. But this time it wasn’t working… And that was scaring the Hell out of him.

Jin picked Jungkook off the high chair and spun him out around a bit, hearing the little boy’s squeal into a giggle that made him feel a little less guilty for being this way on Christmas break. Jungkook kicked his legs and giggled, holding onto Jin’s hands and gasping out, “Daddy higher! Spin me higher!”

Jin listened and held him up higher, laughing and spinning him all the way to Jungkook’s bedroom where he lay him under the covers. His smile that had temporarily come back and almost tricked Jungkook into thinking everything was fine again faded, and his father sighed, “Good night Jungkookie. Park tomorrow, alright?”

Jungkook smiled and rested his head against his pillow, feigning sleepiness with a fake yawn, “Ok, daddy… I love you.”

His father smiled again, “I love you too, sweetheart.”

As soon as Jin left the room, Jungkook sat up in bed again, listening to his father’s footsteps and the door closing to his room before he ran out of his bedroom and to the kitchen to get Jin’s phone from the counter. He tried to hop high enough to reach the counter and get Jin’s phone, but he was still too short to get anywhere near it. After a few tries, Jungkook let out a huff and looked around for a stool to use. He may have been frustrated, but he was still very determined.

He pulled over a chair from the dining room table and climbed up on it, smiling when he saw Jin’s phone and taking it before running back to his room and sitting down next to his bedside table to type in one of the numbers Jimin put on the side in Sharpie.

He wasn’t sure how a number could automatically make it so he could talk to someone he knew that wasn't with him, but he was sure it was magic. Jimin was a good wizard after all.

Jungkook typed in one of the numbers slowly on the phone, making sure every number was correct and also taking a few seconds to find every number on the keypad. When he was done though and had successfully typed in every number, he pressed the green call button and held the phone up to his ear, waiting to hear the voice he missed too much.

After a few rings, he heard him, “....Jin?”

     “Papa?” Jungkook asked just to make sure it was Namjoon. He sounded different over the phone. He sounded sadder and almost scared.

     “Jungkook? Does Jin know you’re calling me?” Namjoon’s voice changed and Jungkook knew he was talking to his real papa.

Jungkook gasped and giggled a little, “Papa! I missed you so I called you! Chimmy taught me how!” he brought his knees up to his chest and continued to speak, “When can I see you again? I-I miss you…”

     “Ah, I miss you too Jungkook,” he heard Namjoon sniffle from the other side, the sadness he heard initially residing in his tone. “But I don’t think I’ll be able to come over again. You can always be friends with Taehyung, but I…. I don’t think you should call me pap-!”

     “Why is everyone leaving!?” Jungkook started to tear up as he snapped in frustration. He wiped his now runny nose as he sniffled and continued on in a cry, “Chimmy left and you left!”

     “Jimin left?...” Namjoon sounded surprised which confused Jungkook. How did Namjoon not know? He too was being held back from coming over by the evil wizard, so was he not being kept in the same place as Jimin?

Jungkook nodded his head as if Namjoon could see him, “T-The evil wizard is taking everyone. What if- What if he takes daddy too? Daddy is so sad…” Jungkook sniffled and cried into the phone, “The wizard cursed him and now he won’t stop crying and h-he doesn’t eat.”

     “Are you serious?” Namjoon now sounded angry. Jungkook almost thought he might have done something wrong, but Namjoon didn’t scold him. Instead, he asked, “Has your daddy really not eaten anything? It’s been over a week though. Kookie, if something happens and daddy seems hurt - even just a little - please call-!”

Jungkook was listening intently to Namjoon speaking even as his words got faster and shakier. He just missed hearing his voice and was loving how this number led to it. He just wished the phone could show him his papa’s face as well. Before Namjoon could finish telling him who to call, Jungkook heard a loud crash in his father’s room and yelped out in shock and fear.

He stood up with the phone still close to his ear - the fact that Namjoon’s voice was coming out of it was comforting to him - and left his room quickly, listening to Namjoon just barely now as the man asked him, “Kookie? What’s going on? What was that noise?”

Jungkook approached his father’s door, bravely pushing the door open as he called out his name, “D-Daddy? Are you ok?”

He gasped and dropped the phone when he saw blood in Jin’s hand as he stood over a knocked over lamp and vase. It had been an accident, but Jungkook was too afraid of seeing the blood to think about that.

He raced over to Jin and grabbed his leg, “Why are you bleeding? Daddy, please don’t die!” he started sobbing as he continued to beg, “D-Daddy p-please don’t leave me!”

Namjoon’s eyes widened on the other line and he listened to Jungkook’s crying. What had happened? What did Jin do?

      “Jungkook, put Jin on the phone,” he tried to say, but realized that they wouldn’t be able to hear him.

He quickly hung up and shoved his phone into his pocket, rushing to throw a coat on and calling Yoongi to have him watch Taehyung while he went to go see if Jin was ok. Before he could get to the door though, he quickly stopped in place and realized just how terrible it would probably be if Jin saw him. What would Jin do? What Jin be worse off seeing him?... Would him showing up just make things worse?

He wavered a bit and stepped back, opening up his phone and calling Yoongi to instead ask him to just go over and check on Jin instead of him. It wasn’t his place to care about Jin anymore. They were supposed to be nothing to each other now.

He just hoped Jungkook was ok though. No matter how he felt about Jin, he cared about Jungkook more than anything and just wanted him to be happy. Because Jin wasn’t the only person he came to love in the past few months. He came to love a certain little toddler as well that he couldn’t bare to think about any longer without feeling like he should have done something more to stay in his life a little longer.

 

-

 

Jin stared down at his bloody hands, biting his lip to keep himself from freaking out. He didn’t mean to hurt himself. He just lashed out and suddenly everything on his bedside table was on the ground and glass had cut into his hand.

     “Jungkook, baby, everything’s fine,” Jin spoke absentmindedly, patting Jungkook’s head and starting to turn him away from the mess so he couldn’t get hurt, “Daddy accidentally just messed up and-!”

He saw his phone laying on the ground outside of his room and panicked, rushing towards it thinking Jungkook might have called 911 until he saw that the most recent call that went out was to Namjoon. His heart practically stopped when he saw that name he had been trying to forget and he turned to Jungkook, holding the phone up and asking in a panicked tone, “Did you call Namjoon?”

     “Papa?” Jungkook nodded his head and sniffled, “I missed him, daddy… I wanted to hear his voice,” Jungkook looked down, knowing he was in trouble though he wasn’t sure why. Why couldn’t he talk to his papa anymore? What did he do wrong? Was papa the one making his daddy cry? Was he supposed to not like him anymore? He didn’t want to hate his papa though…

Just as tears started to form in Jungkook’s eyes from him being so conflicted, Jin quickly lost all his anger for Jungkook calling Namjoon, and he picked him up to hold him in his arm that wasn’t hurt by the glass and assure him that he wasn’t in trouble, “Hey, Hey, Kookie, I’m not mad at you for calling Namjoon. I was just a bit surprised, that’s all. Did… Did you miss him?”

Jungkook cried into little balled up fists and nodded his head as he sniffled and muttered out, “I m-miss papa and Tae Tae. I want to see them again daddy!”

     “Oh baby…” Jin sniffled and pressed his head into Jungkook’s shoulders to hide his tears. He needed Jungkook to believe he was always strong, but he was afraid it was too late for that now. Jungkook had been watching him slowly breaking down into nothing this past week. Maybe this was his breaking point and he was finally failing as a parent. He knew it was only a matter of time, but who knew some stupid break up was going to cause it?

He really was just as weak as everyone always thought he was.

Jin held Jungkook closer and moved to the kitchen to grab the first aid kit for his hand, “Kookie, you can see Tae and his papa as much as you want if you miss them that much. I won’t hold you back.”

     “But d-don’t you want to see papa too?” Jungkook asked, finally looking up from his hands when Jin set him down beside the sink to start washing the cut the glass made across his palm. It was deeper than he thought it was originally, but it wasn’t bad enough to go to the hospital.

Jin shook his head and continued to look down at his hand as if that was the most important thing right now, unable to dare look into his son’s face as he said the words, “No, Kookie… I’m sorry, but I don’t want to see him ever again.”

 

Time passed by a bit quicker after that. Jungkook thankfully didn’t cry, but he wasn’t exactly his bubbly self after that either. He was just quiet and in thought.

Jin had just finished wrapping up his hand when the door knocked loudly and someone shouted from the other side, “Jin, I know you’re in there. Open up!”

Jin immediately recognized it as Yoongi’s voice, irritation laced in his tone as it always was in college. There was no doubt he was over in Namjoon’s place after the phone call that ended in Jungkook dropping the phone and freaking out about how Jin was bleeding. If Namjoon had heard any of that, mad or not, he probably was the one to send Yoongi over.

Yoongi kept knocking, “Jin open the door in five seconds or I’m calling the cops! Five!”

Jin sighed and walked over to the door - “Four!” -  he opened it up and looked at Yoongi with an irritated expression as the man was about to shout ‘three’, beating him to line by asking, “Are you here because Namjoon thinks I’m dying or something?”

Yoongi’s eyes widened with relief when he saw Jin was ok, but that relief quickly turned into anger as his eyebrows furrowed and he quickly pushed past Jin into the apartment, “Namjoon told me Jungkook said on the phone you were bleeding after he also heard a huge crash on the other line. So what happened? And did you do it on purpose? Jin, what are you thinking?!” he wasn’t even giving Jin a chance to speak as he kept freaking out, “I decided to turn a blind eye to you pushing Jimin away - though that was a dick move - and isolating yourself in this apartment for the rest of your break, but seriously? Whatever just happened today? You need help, Jin. You need someone to talk to-!”

     “It was an accident, Yoongi,” Jin muttered out, lifting up his hand that was already mostly bandaged. “I knocked over a lamp. I’m not suicidal. I wouldn't do that to Jungkook.”

     "I didn’t say you were suicidal,” Yoongi sighed, expression going soft as he took Jin’s hand and examined it with an even softer gaze. He bit his lip in consideration of the injury and muttered out under his breath, “Namjoon is in the same condition. He barely leaves the house right now, and I’ve been taking care of Taehyung mostly because Tae is just a kid full of energy that Namjoon can’t bring himself to keep up with at the moment…” he blinked a few times and shook his head before changing the subject, letting go of Jin’s hand to walk towards the kitchen, “Jimin told me you haven’t eaten, and I’m not allowed to leave until I make you a meal. What do you want?”

Jin shook his head and stepped back to the door, “Yoongi, I didn’t kill myself. You can leave. I’m fine.”

Yoongi laughed and shook his head, “What did I just say? Now pick the meal you want me to shove down your throat or else I’m picking something I know you hate.”

     “Yoongi…” Jin warned.

     “Jin…” Yoongi warned right back, his glare ten times scarier as he stepped forward and growled out, “Who always took care of you when you tried to isolate yourself like this in college after you’d fail an exam or you got broken up with a guy you thought was the love of your life? Who did you try to push away but they never left you no matter how much you insulted or yelled at them, thinking they’d run away crying and hating you just like you wanted?”

Jin sighed and looked down, “You…. But Yoongi, I don’t need-!”

     “Shut up, you always needed me and you need me now,” Yoongi rolled his eyes and turned around again, “You need Namjoon too, but we’ll work on that one. For now, I’m fixing you some Kimbap and you’re going to eat it, cause I need to get back to the babysitter I hired for Hyunae so I could come take care of you instead.”

Jin tilted his head, “Why did you just asked Jimin to look after Hyunae?”

     “He’s away at a dance competition and convention for the next two weeks,” Yoongi replied, getting ingredients out of the pantry at the moment, “He almost came all the way back here when he got a phone call from Namjoon freaking out about how you maybe died. You should thank him later and apologize for pushing him away because he cares about you too much for you to treat him how you did," Yoongi laughed under his breath and shrugged, "Wow ,have the table turned between you and me."

Jin glanced at the living room where Jungkook was laying on the ground and coloring in a coloring book. He was watching Curious George and didn’t notice Yoongi come in which was probably really good since Yoongi had probably cussed five times without realizing it in the past few minutes.

Knowing all too well that Yoongi never left him be when he got like this, Jin resigned to the situation and sighed, walking to the living room and muttering out, “Well I guess I’ll go tuck Jungkook in before you finish fixing dinner. We both had a long day and I have work starting back tomorrow.”

     “And who’s watching Jungkook while you go to work? Preschool doesn’t start back for another week,” Yoongi asked, seeming genuinely worried as he turned to watch Jin coaxing Jungkook off of the ground with a few soft tickles that cause the toddler to giggle and close whatever he was previously coloring.

Jin only gave a soft smile and answered absent-mindedly, “I hired a temporary babysitter. Jimin couldn’t have done it anyway apparently, so I’m glad I did.”

Yoongi seemed disappointed in that answer mainly because he knew that even if Jimin was here Jin wouldn’t have come to him for help. That upset him the most, but he stayed quiet for now, just keeping any thoughts he previously had to himself as he turned back to the food and nodded understandingly, “As long as it’s working out fine for you. Now hurry up and put Jungkook to bed so I can feed you before you pass out from hunger.”

 

-

 

The next morning, Jin woke up feeling better than the past few mornings. Maybe eating a whole meal rather than a few snacks here and there yesterday benefited him more than he thought it would. Either that or actually talking to someone helped too.

Yoongi practically spoon fed him and tucked him into bed as if he was a little kid like he did back in college when Jin fell into what Yoongi called ‘the isolation stage of grief’. He used to say it as a joke as he held Jin and assured him everything got better faster when he talked to people and had help getting through his troubles. Jin obviously never listened to his words. Jin could see how worried the Yoongi was when he saw how Jin really was still the same as he was in college and even worse.

He told Jin everything would be better if he brought Jimin back into his life or talked to Namjoon at least one more time so they would have better closure, but he didn’t push too much. He knew more than anyone how stubborn Jin was and how much he could take until he would just turn over in his covers and ignore Yoongi until he left.

Jin listened this time though. He missed Yoongi doing this. Granted, he hadn’t isolated himself like this in a long time since he never felt the need to with Jungkook by his side. But now he had Yoongi to bring him back from this ‘isolation stage of grief’ once more. Jin had no idea where he would go next though even if he did take Yoongi’s advice.

How could he talk to Jimin after everything he said? How could he talk to Namjoon after everything that happened between them? He was too awkward to even think about them without either feeling shitty or wanting to cry again, so how would he even confront them? He didn’t have time to learn to be an adult that could maturely deal with his problems. There were handbooks on parenting but not ones on how to deal with moving on or confronting others after you were the one to mess up or they wronged you. He had no idea what to do from here.

And he was going to have to see Namjoon today at work.

 

After dropping Jungkook off with a babysitter - a woman who he would never leave Jungkook with again because her place was a mess and she was on her phone half the time he was talking to her about things Jungkook liked to do - he ran to work and walked in, taking off his coat when he entered the warm building and looking around for Namjoon so he would know exactly which direction to avoid looking in.

When he saw the familiar blonde hair pushed up to reveal a forehead he used to love to kiss, he bit down hard on his lip and B-lined his way to his desk, sitting down and immediately checking work emails with a plan to busy himself until it was a suitable time to leave and go save Jungkook from the terrible babysitter he had no choice but to leave him with for today.

His heart hurt as he worried about him being ignored by her when he wanted to play games or go outside. What if she cooked him something unhealthy? What if she didn’t even bother to cook? What if she microwaved ramen noodles or something quick like that and just handed it to him without a second thought?

Jungkook was so used to getting the best of the best from Jimin and now he was going to have to sit through Hell for at least eight hours until Jin could run and save him.

Jin had to make it up to him. He had to fix him something extra healthy tonight and take him to the park too. He hadn’t been up to it for the past few days, but he needed to push through for Jungkook. So Jungkook wouldn’t resent him and wish for better. So Jungkook wouldn’t wish Jin never stepped up and took him in instead of just putting him up for adoption for some other better family that could give him a much better life.

Was what he did selfish? Should he have given him up for adoption? Maybe Jungkook would be living in a mansion somewhere with two happy parents, a bright future, many friends, and no need for a babysitter every single day while his single father who wasn’t really his father but he didn’t know that because his so called single father was hiding the fact that he was really his uncle because his mother died and father left and they were both so alone - and hewassuchaterriblefatherheshouldhavegivenupwhenpeopletoldhimto-!

     “Woah, Jin, are you trying to create an earthquake?” he heard a voice laugh behind him, causing him to hit his shaking knee up against the underneath of his desk before he spun his chair around quickly and faced his boss, squeaking out in a panic, “Hi-! I’m so sorry, I got lost in thought for a second, but I’ll get back to work.”

     “No, it’s fine!” his boss smiled and waved his hands in the air to assure Jin that there truly was no need for him to freak out. He laughed a little under his breath and continued awkwardly, “Are you perhaps nervous about the promotion I mentioned to you before Christmas?”

NO I’M WORRIED ABOUT MY SON, BUT YOU DON’T KNOW I HAVE A SON BECAUSE I NEVER TOLD ANYONE BECAUSE I KNOW EVERYONE WILL THEN KNOW THAT I AM THE WORST FATHER AL-!

     “Ah, a little,” Jin laughed and tilted his head, faking a small smile so everything would seem more natural. He leaned back in his chair a bit and sighed, “I just don’t know why you think I deserve it. There are plenty more people very worthy of that position as well.”

     “Humble as always,” his boss complimented, leaning forward to make his point. He leaned back and continued, “Even if there are people deemed more worthy than you, I already talked to a few bigger people upstairs and they see your potential too as an executive. You basically have it in the bag, though they would like to see your leadership skills in action themselves at a conference next weekend?” his bosses’ eyebrows raised as a way to request a response from Jin.

Jin’s eyes only widened, but he waited for his boss to say more, prompting the older man to continue on when he at least saw interest in Jin’s expression, “It’s four days and you’ll get to work on a project we have been assigned to for the past few months. You can email any questions to me, but I think you’ll be capable of knowing what to do easily on your own after I send you a few files,” his boss smiled and placed his hands behind his back, “Would you like to accept the invitation to go to the conference now so I can have everything arranged? It really will be very beneficial to the final decision of your promotion,” his voice had gotten quieter as he spoke, not wanting the other employees to feel like he was rubbing it in their faces that he was picking someone else besides them for a promotion.

Everyone knew that Jin worked the hardest though, working through lunch and not stopping until he had to leave. No one knew that was because he hated talking to them though.

Without even a thought about it, Jin nodded his head quickly and smiled, “I’ll take it. Next weekend, four days?”

     “Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday,” his boss answered with a grin. “I’ll get you a plane ticket and hotel reservations through the company.”

Jin’s eyes suddenly widened and his head tilted in confusion, “Wait, this is out of town?”

His boss’ eyebrow quirked up with worry, “I guess I should have mentioned this first. It’s in California. Is this a problem?” he chuckled a little and shook his head, “Many babes in California, Jin. That shouldn’t be a problem for a young, single man like yourself, should it?”

This conversation was getting weird. And suddenly Jin was also now freaking out about the kid his boss didn’t know about that he was going to have to leave at home for four days with God knows who cause he pushed everyone except for Yoongi and Hoseok out of his life. Yoongi and Hoseok. He prayed they’d be available to watch after Jungkook for that long. Even then though, Jin hadn’t spent more than a day without Jungkook so that was going to cause him more anxiety than exams did and-!

Oh shit he had to answer.

He smiled again and nodded his head, chipperly replying, “Of course!” he faked a laugh, hoping it sounded straight enough, “I’ll look forward to that. Thank you so much for the opportunity.”

     “It’s all your hard work,” his boss grinned and turned on his heel, walking in the opposite direction now to head back to his office as he called out one more time, “I look forward to see what you bring to the conference!” before leaving Jin’s presence completely.

Jin’s smile quickly faded as anxiety came creeping in-! No. As anxiety came fucking crashing in like a tsunami and he realized he was going to have to make so many last minute arrangements with Jungkook for this trip all because he had to tell lies and make rules and spin so many webs until he got stuck in it and struggled hard. Well now this next weekend was the big ass spider that owned the web and was coming to eat him.

And was he going to survive it in one piece with a job, his sanity still in tact, and a kid that still loved him in the end despite his terrible parenting? He wasn’t going to find out until after the conference.

Jin started to turn back to his desk so he could grab his phone and call Yoongi and Hoseok to beg them to watch his toddler for four whole days, but as he turned he made eye contact with Namjoon who was staring at him from his desk.

There was a small smile on his face but Jin could tell it was more sad that anything. Was he mad that Jin got the promotion now that they were on bad terms? Probably. He’d be the same way too. Namjoon looked worried also, but Jin wasn’t sure what the reasons would be for that. Was he worried Jin was going to fire him if he got a higher position than him?

That was definitely it.

No matter how much Jin hated Namjoon though, he would never do something like that. Maybe he’d assure him of that later.

But for now though, Jin only glared in his direction for a split second and turned back to his desk to grab his phone and type in Yoongi’s number first. The phone rang for only a few seconds before the younger man picked up, “Jin? You alright? You’re at work and not staying home in bed, right?”

     “I can’t lose it, so yeah,” Jin muttered out. “I’m more responsible than I was in college.”

     “You’re still calling from work though, so obviously not that responsible,” Yoongi mumbled in reply, asking afterwards though, “Do you need any help though? Are you feeling alright? I had a feeling you weren’t going to like the babysitter after years of having Jimin work for you, so I can take Jungkook tomorrow while you try to find a new one if you want-!”

     “Actually that’s why I was calling,” Jin interrupted him, wanting to get straight to the point just so he could get a yes or no and move on if he needed to. “I have a big opportunity at a conference that is out of town this weekend. Do you think there’s any way you could watch Jungkook for the four days I’m gone?”

There was a pregnant pause on the other end of the line before Yoongi sighed and spoke regretfully, “This weekend?...” he sighed again, “I...I’m leaving Wednesday to take Hyunae to my parent’s house for them to watch her while I go to a music convention in Georgia. It’s mandatory for me to go as a representative for my company, but maybe I could ask my parents to watch Jungkook along with Hyunae? I’m sure they wouldn’t mind if they know you raised him,” Yoongi laughed a little, but Jin shook his head and leaned against his desk, muttering out into the phone, “No, it’s fine. Thank you though. I don’t want to add another kid to their plate or have Jungkook freak out because he’s leaving New York for the first time and without me. He also has school starting back on Monday too, so he can't be too far away.”

     “I get that,” Yoongi spoke softly now, guilt evident in his voice. “Do you… Do you have anyone else to call? Hoseok maybe? Jimin is still at the competition-slash-convention thing, but he might know someone else willing to watch Jungkook?”

     “I don’t want Jungkook staying with a stranger for four days,” Jin let out a shaky sigh, his forehead pressed against the desk now as he laid his head down on it. “I’m calling Hobi next. Thanks though, Yoongs.”

     “Yoongi,” Yoongi corrected him.

     “Yoongles,” Jin countered in a whine. He heard a groan from the other side of the line before the younger man grumbled out, “Choke. Good luck with Hoseok, and call me if you need anything else, alright Jinnie?”

Jin smiled and nodded his head against the desk though Yoongi couldn’t see, “I will. Thanks.”

He then hung up and immediately tried Hoseok only to find out he was currently on vacation in the Bahamas with his boyfriend as a gift his boyfriend gave him for Christmas. Jin wished he got a gift like that but instead all he got was a break up and a sad following week where he slowly pushed everyone out of his life and put himself in this mess.

And now he had no one to watch Jungkook while he went away on a trip that meant too much to miss. Or should he just miss it? It wasn’t like he’d get fired; he just wouldn’t get the promotion. What was more important? Someone watching Jungkook for four days or a lifetime of better pay and more time to spend with Jungkook? Though none of that would matter if Jungkook was dead or hated him.

Though if he just pushed through these next four days, then he wouldn’t have to be scrambling for babysitters all the time or worry about pay all that much either. Maybe…. Maybe he could ask someone he hadn’t talked to in almost five years. A woman he hated but knew from his own experiences as a parent that she wouldn’t be able to say no to him.

Because what mother could truly turn her back on her son even in his hardest times? As much as he wanted to admit how terrible his mother was for telling him he was dead to his family for helping his sister, for telling him he was an embarrassment to his parents for being gay, for officially disowning him when he decided to take Jungkook in, and for telling him he was going to fall flat on his face as the worst father the kid could possibly have, he knew no parent could ever truly hate their child as much as his mother claimed to hate him. He just couldn’t even imagine holding that kind of feeling towards Jungkook.

He knew this phone call wasn’t something that should be made in the middle of his workplace, so he quickly got up and hurried to the restroom, his phone in hand with his mother’s contact name and number on the screen. Hopefully she still had the same number.

He made sure he was alone in the bathroom before picking a stall and locking himself in it as he sucked in a deep breath and pressed the ‘call’ button. He placed his phone up to his ear and waited for his mom to pick up until she did eventually answer, asking cluelessly since she probably deleted his number a long time ago, “Hello? Who is this?”

     “Mom…” Jin breathed out shakily, sniffling and leaning against a wall of the stall. “It’s been a while. How are you?”

     “Do you need help?” his mom asked more irritated than caring.

Jin tilted his head and tried to seem innocent though he was going to ask for help in just a few seconds, “Why would you say that?”

     “You haven’t called me for four years, so you must need help with something. Are you finally giving up on Jungkook?” his mother asked in interest now, “I thought you wouldn’t last a month, but four years… I’m impressed.”

     “No, I’m not giving up on Jungkook. Jungkook is a great kid,” Jin bit his lip to keep himself from yelling at her. “I’m…. I just need help watching him for the weekend and everyone I know is busy. Would you… Would you like to take this chance to meet him? It’s just four days, but he’s always asking why I don’t have parents, and I’m sure he’d love to meet his grandma.”

     “I’m not that kid’s grandma,” his mother snapped suddenly, almost causing Jin to drop his phone from her shout. He bit his lip and listened on as she asked in a degrading tone, “What are you doing this weekend that is so important, huh? Partying? Are you one of those parents that couldn’t give a shit about their kid? God, Jungkook is probably going to grow up just like you, gay and-!”

     “Mom, I’m going to a conference for work because I might get a promotion,” he interrupted her in an equally loud voice now. “This will be really good for Jungkook and I, and that’s why it’s so important that I even called you for help. I’m a great parent, and Jungkook is the best kid I’ve ever met, and he’s growing up just fine!”

His chest was heaving down up and down with heavy breaths and he felt tears prickling his eyes and threatening to fall.

His mother seemed to quiet down on the other line as well because her voice was softer now as she asked, “A promotion?... you really want this?

     “I need it, mom…” Jin’s voice cracked as he answered her..

There was more silence.

Then she finally replied in sadistic tone, “You should have thought about that before you took on that slut’s child. Learn the hard way how children keep you from going anywhere in life, and-!”

Jin hung up.

Why did he even think it’d be a good idea to contact her? She was a bitch.. She was always a bitch. She wasn’t a mom, she was a monster that just gave birth to him and his sister and left them on their own when they didn’t do things exactly how she wanted. Jin should have known she didn’t have a heart for him anymore. She never did. Everything she did for him even as a child wasn’t out of love but was out of making others jealous of her ‘perfect kids’ and ‘beautiful family’.

She had it all, but she was too consumed with what she wanted to realize it.

But now Jin was officially stuck not having anyone to send Jungkook to for this trip. What was he going to do? What could he do anymore?

Jin sank down to sit on the lid of the toilet, shoving his phone in his pocket and burying his face in his hands as he sobbed out. His shoulders shook as he cried and tried to think about where he was supposed to go from here. He pushed everyone away from before Jungkook and pushed everyone away that he had now. Why did he always do this? Why did he always isolate himself to the point of having no one? To the point of drowning where no would could save him?

He was drowning this time and he wasn’t going to be able to swim back up by himself. Not even Jungkook could help him this time. He was going to have to give up the promotion and it was truly all his fault for this.

A knock sounded on the stall door in front of Jin and he stilled, eyes widening as his heart stopped. Who was hearing him cry? Why were they wanting to get into the stall? Would they leave him alone if he just stayed quiet and didn’t say anything?

      “Jin…” he heard the voice of the man on the other side and felt his heart fall to his stomach.

It was Namjoon.

He continued to speak since he knew Jin wouldn’t speak on his own, “I saw you rush to the bathroom and came to check on you. Are you alright? You’re… you’re crying.”

     “I’m sure you love that, don’t you?” Jin sniffled and looked down, wanting to push all his anger and sadness onto Namjoon since he obviously couldn’t do anything else about his damn situation, “Me struggling so much after I dumped you. Maybe our relationship wasn’t worth it, but I bet-!”

     “Jin, open the door,” Namjoon messed with the handle, causing Jin to inch back a bit as if he feared Namjoon would break in there and finish him off. He was already emotionally broken; might as well become physically broken too. He deserved it. But he knew Namjoon would never do that. No matter how much he hated the man, he knew he was too kind for that.

Jin shook his head though, “Just leave me alone, Namjoon. I don’t want to talk to you right-!”

     “Open the door or I’m crawling underneath.”

Jin’s face twisted in disgust, “Gross, Joon, you have no idea what’s been on these floors and you’re going to get the germs all over your hands and clothes.”

     “Open the door or I’m crawling under and I’m hugging you with my germy hands and clothes,” Namjoon pleaded and as if that was all he needed to say, Jin quickly unlocked the stall door and leaned back on the toilet again, waiting with wide eyes as Namjoon then slowly pushed open the door to reveal his broken ex crying in the bathroom stall.

Almost as if seeing him was enough to make Jin completely break apart, Jin started sobbing again as soon as he made eye contact with Namjoon, seeing someone who he still loved but couldn’t have being the final straw.

Namjoon’s eyes widened when Jin started crying again and he quickly ran into the stall to hug Jin and pull him up into his arms, holding him as the man now cried into his shoulder, “Joon, I don’t know what to do! Everything's so fucking terrible, and I’m going to have to give up the promotion because I push everyone away and I-I thought I could do this alone, b-but I can’t! I’m so weak!”

     “Jin, you’re not weak,” Namjoon assured Jin, holding him tighter as the other man started to calm down in his arms. “Every parent needs help; it would drive them crazy to do it alone,” he continued rubbing Jin’s back soothingly, “And Jin, this promotion is a big opportunity for you. If you need someone to watch Jungkook while you’re away, I’d love to watch him.”

Jin shook his head, “That’s probably not a good idea-!”

     “I know we don’t have a chance of getting back together. You already gave me a second chance a long time ago anyway, so I’m not expecting you to owe me anything after this. I just… I want to see Jungkook again. I still care about him and you, so honestly, I wouldn’t mind.”

There was silence. Namjoon could guess that Jin was probably thinking, and something in him knew that Jin would lie and say he was fine again before struggling more just to avoid Namjoon for as long as possible. He expected Jin to push himself away once more and leave the bathroom with final words that Namjoon would probably hold onto after he moved on from Jin, but instead, Jin only began to cry more, finally wrapping his arms tighter around Namjoon as he sobbed out, “T-Thank you so much!... I-I’m so sorry…. Thank you….”

Namjoon held Jin in his arms for the next half hour, letting him cry and assuring him that everything was going to be fine now so he didn’t need to cry. After a few minutes though, Namjoon thought about how Jin probably wasn’t crying about someone not being able to watch Jungkook anymore. Maybe he was crying about something else.

Jin did keep repeating the muffled words into Namjoon’s shoulder that was already damp with tears, “I love you… I’m so sorry… I love you… I’m so sorry I’m like this,” over and over again until his tears dried and he was just resting on Namjoon’s shoulder and hugging him to try to get over all the stress he had to go through that day.

Namjoon wanted to ask what those words meant. Did he really still love him? Was he apologizing about the fight? Was he just saying he loved him because of the moment? Was he just apologizing for the ‘inconvenience’ of Namjoon having to take care of Jungkook at the last minute?

But Namjoon stayed quiet for now. He didn’t want Jin to feel uncomfortable with leaving Jungkook with him for four whole days. It was already a stretch that Jin was agreeing to let him stay with him now even without him asking about their relationship.

When Jin finally sat up and wiped his eyes, muttering something under his breath about having to get back to work, Namjoon did kiss him on the forehead, a force of habit that came out without him realizing it. Both of them didn’t seem to care though in this moment in time. They both needed it more than anything, Jin’s eyes fluttering closed as he melted into the warm feeling of Namjoon’s lips and Namjoon whispering out softly to Jin as he got up and put some space between them, “Text me what time you plan to drop Jungkook off at my house and also when you are on your way to pick him up. We don’t have to talk past that if you don’t want to, but I promise I’ll take care of him like he’s my own son.” Because he’s like a son to me.

Jin smiled softly though it seemed a bit forced, and he nodded his head, watching Namjoon start to leave the bathroom as he replied, “I trust you. Thank you.”

But did Jin really trust him? After yelling at him for being a liar that he never wanted to see again? Namjoon had no idea. And did Jin really love him?.... Saying those words as he cried into his shoulder as if they both didn't tell each other how much they hated each other that night on Christmas they decided to end everything? Neither of them knew. But things changed. Things always changed between them whether they liked it or not. Because the one thing more powerful than anything they previously thought was important to them was the amount of love they didn't even realize they had for each other already. The love that became so strong that just a simple fight couldn't even break them apart anymore. They had already become one too much in a way that now that they were broken apart and shattered on the floor right now, the only way they could be put back together again was with each other. 

 

Chapter Text

Chapter Twelve

 

The Truth

 

Namjoon looked in the mirror and fixed his hair for the hundredth time in the past five minutes, moving a few strands of his light brown hair to fall just slightly over his forehead so it looked like he didn’t try too hard to look presentable but still looked good anyways. He only ended up pushing the few strands of hair back up into his regular hairdo though because he remembered how Jin always liked it when his hair looked neater.

He wanted Jin to run his fingers through his hair again… He just wanted to hug and hold Jin and pretend like everything that happened didn’t happen, but… but it was too late. He promised Jin that watching Jungkook wasn’t a plan to get back together with him. He had to stay true to that because he didn’t want Jin to feel uncomfortable.

The doorbell rang and Namjoon rushed to the door, not wanting to make Jin wait long since his flight was soon. Jin was late which wasn’t like him, but he figured it had something to do with him leaving his son alone for four days for the first time ever with a guy who just so happened to be his ex. He was sure Jin was at his peak state of anxiety at the moment.

Namjoon opened the door with a nervous smile and immediately felt his heart beating harder and faster when he saw Jin in his work suit and hair slicked back in a way Namjoon never saw before.

Why was he so hot?

     “H-Hey…” Namjoon managed to stutter out, but before he could say anything else Jungkook was hugging him and so was Jin, handing him a backpack full of Jungkook’s things before he was saying a string of words that Namjoon could barely understand and stepping back out into the hallway.

Namjoon could just barely understand the last sentence Jin said in a rush, “Sorry I don’t have enough time to properly have a conversation, but I’m late for my flight and there’s a chance the cab downstairs left with my suitcase, so I’m kind of in a rush,” he finally stopped speaking but only to bend down to Jungkook’s height and hug him one more time tightly, muttering softly to him, “I love you, Kookie. Daddy will be back in four days, ok? I promise.”

     “I’ll miss you daddy,” Jungkook pouted, but was still holding onto the leg of Namjoon’s pants as if he couldn’t contain the excitement he held for the four days to come. Sure he was going to miss his daddy, but four days with his papa that he hadn’t seen in over two weeks? He was also really excited to say the least.

Jin kissed him on the cheek as Jungkook told him how much he loved him and Jin was backing out into the hallway again, looking at Namjoon awkwardly and giving him a short wave as he said, “Thanks again for this. I owe you one.”

     “No you don’t,” Namjoon assured him with a smile. “Just have fun on the trip, ok? You deserve this promotion.”

Jin’s almost plastic smile that he was holding before just to stay strong in front of Namjoon softened and turned into a real one that Namjoon missed seeing so much. His eyes crinkled a bit along with his smile as he nodded his head and spoke shyly, “Thank you…”

He pulled his phone out of his pocket and checked the time, eyes widening as he blew out air through his lips and stepped back towards the floor elevator, “I should really get going so I don’t miss my flight. I’ll see you in four days though!”

Namjoon smiled and waved, “I’ll-!”

      “I love you so much, Jungkook!” Jin called out before he could respond, turning back towards the elevator with another word.

Namjoon quickly put his hand down, realizing then that Jin was talking to Jungkook and not him. Of course Jin didn’t care if he saw Namjoon in four days or not. He was probably already dreading four days from now when he had to interact with Namjoon again.

Namjoon sighed and let Jungkook watch his father get into the elevator quickly and disappear before finally closing the door and calling out to Taehyung who was in his room, “Taehyungie, Kookie is here! Come out and welcome him!”

As soon as Taehyung came barreling out of room to snatch Jungkook and drag him towards his room where they’d be spending the nights of their four day sleepover in, Namjoon pushed his hair back into the comfortable mess it was before he had the thought that Jin might actually want to get back together with him again.

It was a stupid thought, and he should have known it would never happen. He should stop focusing on a relationship that was never going to happen again and just enjoy his time with Jungkook. This was probably going to be the last time he’d get the chance after all, so he had to make the most of it.

 

-

 

      “Ten!” Namjoon shouted, a grin spread wide across his face as he took his hands away from his eyes and glanced around the room. “Ready or not, here I-!”

     “Attack!” he suddenly heard Jungkook declare before the said toddler and Taehyung were hopping out from their hiding places with nerf guns and foam swords in their hands. Before Namjoon could react to the sudden attack, he was being hit by nerf bullets and being pulled down by the two toddlers that were starting to climb up his pajama bottoms.

Namjoon laughed and tried to shake them off gently, “Hey now, I thought we were playing hide and seek! I was supposed to find you guys!”

     “No, we’re slaying papa dragon now!” Taehyung laughed and gripped onto the waist of Namjoon’s pants, trying to yank them down now as he hit him with his foam sword.

Before Taehyung could succeed in that endeavor though, Namjoon quickly swept him off his waist and lifted him up above his head, waving him around a bit as if they were playing the pretend airplane game. He brought the giggling Tae close to his face and rubbed their noses together, “Silly, you can’t slay papa dragon! Who’s going to read you a bedtime story if he's dead?”

     “Uncle Minnie!” Taehyung answered but then gasped and shook his head, “No, uncle Minnie falls asleep before finishing the story every time…”

     “Chimmy!” Jungkook suddenly shouted from where he was still attempting to climb Namjoon’s leg. It was hard with a large nerf gun in his hands weighing him down.

Taehyung’s eyes widened and he squealed out with glee, “Yes! Chim Chim!”

Namjoon dramatically rolled his eyes and started to walk towards Taehyung’s bedroom with both kids still latched onto at least one of his limbs, “I can’t believe you are willing to slay your own papa and replace him so easily with Chim Chim. How is he cooler than your dragon papa?”

     “Chim Chim is a wizard,” Taehyung answered as Namjoon laid him down in his bed, “And our wife,” he continued as Namjoon bent down to pick Jungkook off his leg and also lay him down on the bed next to Jungkook.

     “Your wife?” Namjoon questioned, raising an eyebrow in an amused confusion. He laughed a little and pulled the covers over them since they were already ready for bed, brushed teeth and pj’s on, “Does Chimmy know about this because I think he’s dating someone else.”

Taehyung gasped and so did Jungkook, both boys looking at each other with wide eyes before Jungkook finally turned back to Namjoon and asked in a serious tone, “Who? Is it the evil wizard?”

    “No,” Namjoon laughed and picked up a book that Jungkook and Taehyung said they wanted him to read to them earlier that day. Despite both boys seeming dangerously jealous of this new possible boyfriend of Jimin's, he smiled and leaned in close, whispering, “I think Chimmy likes Uncle Minnie.”

Both boys gasped again and Taehyung exclaimed, “Will he then be Uncle Chimmy if they get married?”

Jungkook’s eyes widened, “I want Chimmy to be my uncle! Can he be my uncle too?”

     “Of course. We’re all family anyways, aren’t we?” Namjoon grinned and sat the edge of the bed, opening up the book about a girl that eats too many pink foods until she eventually turns pink herself. When the two toddlers saw Namjoon opening up the story, they immediately quieted down and forgot about the previous conversation in order to start listening to the story that would put them to sleep.

Namjoon glanced up at them through the corner of his eye and laughed under his breath at how much attention he gained just from flipping open the book. He shook his head and looked down at the first page, speaking in a happy tone to open up the story, “Once upon a time, there was a girl who loved to eat-!”

     “Wait, papa, lay down in between us!” Jungkook interrupted the story as he started scooting to the edge of the bed and patting the small space in between him with a grin on his face. Taehyung also scooted farther towards the edge so the space would grow big enough for Namjoon to fit between them, “Yeah, papa, so we can see the pictures!”

     “Oh ok,” Namjoon nodded his head and moved to lay down between them, holding the picture book above the three of them now as he continued to read.

As he read, Jungkook and Taehyung both rested their heads on his shoulders and snuggled up to his arms, their hands laying flat on his chest and sometimes playing with his shirt as he continued on.

When he reached the end of the book, he could hear Taehyung lightly snoring, appreciating how easy it was to make him fall asleep with just the simple lull of a voice. He turned to his side to check if Jungkook was also asleep, but instead of seeing the cute toddler’s eyes closed as he probably dreamt of superheroes or far away kingdoms, the little boy was staring back at him with his big eyes that didn’t seem tired at all.

     “Not tired tonight, Kookie?” Namjoon whispered, not wanting to wake up Taehyung. He smiled and turned a little bit to face Jungkook, “This is your second night away from your dad. Are you missing him?”

Jungkook’s lips curled into a pout and his eyes went sad as he nodded his head, “Yeah... But I like spending time with you, papa. I wish you could tuck me in all the time with daddy.”

Namjoon’s smile faltered and he looked down, “Yeah, me too, Kookie…”

     “But you don’t love him anymore?” Jungkook asked, sniffling.

     “What?” Namjoon’s eyes widened and he shook his head, “No, Kookie, I still love him so-!” his paused and bit his lip, backtracking a bit, “I still love you both, Jungkook. There’s just someone out there for your daddy that is perfect for him, but that just isn’t me, ok?”

Jungkook’s eyebrows furrowed, “Why can’t it be you? I...I want you and daddy to be with me all the time. We can be a family like everyone else!”

     “But you and your daddy are a great family together, Kookie,” Namjoon didn’t know what else to say. How could he tell the toddler that he was never going to get the family he wanted because of Namjoon’s stupid mistake that made his dad hate him?

Jungkook started to protest him, but Namjoon quickly set the book down on the bedside table and brought Jungkook up into his arms to hold him. Namjoon couldn’t help but breathe in the scent of the little boy’s hair that smelled like watermelons from the shampoo he just used in the bath. He sighed contently and spoke softly so Jungkook could calm down with his voice, “Daddy and papa might not be together, but you and I can still be a family, Jungkook. Anyone who you grow close to becomes your family, so you, Tae, and I are all a family that love each other very much.”

     “But I want my two families to be together,” Jungkook sniffled and buried his head into Namjoon’s shirt, “Daddy was happier when we were all together.”

Namjoon shut his eyes and tried not to think about Jin being just as upset if not more than Namjoon over this break up. Jin was the type to strive to make Namjoon think he was more than happy about them splitting up, but he knew the truth. Jin was crying, wreckless, forgetting to eat, forgetting to get up out of bed, and pushing people out of his life because of this break up, and Namjoon was the same way. What were they doing to each other? Why did they have to keep pretending they hated each other when in reality they were both getting hurt from this because they loved each other too much?

Namjoon sighed and rubbed Jungkook’s back lightly, “I was too, Kookie. Don’t worry about it, baby, because one day your daddy will be happier whether that is with me and Tae or some other lucky person.”

He didn’t get a response, so he guess Jungkook had fallen asleep in the time he had gotten lost in thought about whether or not it was worth it to even be fighting with Jin anymore. After a few minutes of holding Jungkook in his arms and making sure he had fallen into a deep sleep, Namjoon finally got up and tucked them more into their covers before moving to turn off the lights and turn on the night light.

He walked over to the door and glanced back at his two boys sleeping beside each other in the bed, having already found each other in their sleep to snuggle together. He smiled and wished them a good night in a whisper before heading to his room and opening up his phone to text Jin an update just to let him know that Jungkook was doing fine and there was no need to worry.

He made sure to let Jin know yesterday that he didn’t need to respond to his update texts if he didn’t want to, but he knew that if he was leaving Tae for four days with an ex of his, hating the guy or not, he’d want photos of Taehyung to make sure he was having fun and everything was fine.

Namjoon laid down in bed and pulled the covers over himself before he texted Jin:

 

          To: Jin

 

          Namjoon:

          Went grocery shopping with the boys today. Jungkook told me to send this pic to you

          little jungkook

 

Jin hadn’t responded to any of his previous messages, so Namjoon assumed he was either busy or really just didn’t want to talk to him. He understood though. He couldn’t even bring himself to be upset about it because he would be acting the same way if he was in Jin’s shoes he was sure. After everything he said during the fight too, he wouldn’t be surprised if Jin completely hated him.

Namjoon turned to set his phone down on the bedside table to attempt to get some sleep, but before he could set it down completely, it buzzed with a text from Jin. He picked it up quickly and read it.

 

          Jin:

          Cute :) I miss him so much… Sorry I haven’t been replying, but this project was bigger than I expected. I think I’m giving a good impression though.

 

Another text came in.

 

          Jin:

          He’s already asleep I guess right?.... Can I maybe Facetime him in the morning? I miss hearing his voice.

 

Namjoon smiled and texted back quickly.

 

          Namjoon:

          Of course, yeah! He’s asleep, but you can call tomorrow whenever you want because the kids and I are only planning to go to a movie later on in the day.

          Jin:

          A movie?

          Namjoon:

          Don’t worry it’s PG. It’s the new Transformers movie, Bumblebee

          Jin:

          Oh, I wasn’t worried - I trust your judgement. But Joon you really don’t need to take him to the movies. You don’t need to do this much for him

          Jin:

          Namjoon* sry

          Namjoon:

          You can call me Joon, it’s fine

          Namjoon:

          But I really don’t mind this. It’s Jungkook. I’d take him to Disney World to get his mind off of missing you if that wasn’t super expensive and they didn’t have school on Monday

          Jin:

          Thank you

          Jin:

           If I get this promotion I’ll buy Disney world for him and Tae

          Jin:

          Gtg we’re working a late night and food finally arrived. Good night Joon

          Namjoon:

          Good night

 

Namjoon lay his phone down on the bedside table and stared up at the ceiling, realizing a bit too late that tears were in his eyes and falling down his cheeks. He sniffled and tried to push his feelings back down, but they were already at the surface. He cried out softly and covered his eyes with his arm that he sloppily flung over his face as if he was trying to hide the fact he was crying.

He wanted Jin so badly - more than anything - but he was never going to have him again. What was he going to do? He felt like he couldn't breathe without him. He thought that maybe he could live if they weren’t together, but talking with him almost like things were normal again - just barely almost - made him realize that he needed to be with Jin more than anything. He needed to try. If he had to get on his knees and beg for that third chance, he would, because he loved Jin more than words could describe, and he couldn't give up this easily.

 

-

 

     “Papa, can I stay with daddy for a few days like this too when he gets back?” Taehyung asked, currently climbing on Namjoon’s shoulders as they both waited on the couch in the living room for Jungkook to finish Facetiming Jin in Tae’s bedroom. Taehyung successfully swung a leg over one of Namjoon’s shoulders and started to pull the rest of his body up using Namjoon’s hair for support as he explained himself, “I miss daddy. I never see him anymore!”

Namjoon winced at Taehyung pulling his hair and helped his son up all the way so he wouldn’t lose his hair in the process of whatever Tae was trying to do, “You can sleepover with him, I’m sure he wouldn’t mind. But Taehyungie, wouldn’t you miss me?”

     “Well you’d just sleepover with us, right?” Taehyung asked, standing up on his shoulders now and using Namjoon's hair for support yet again. “Like Christmas and Halloween!”

     “Ah, papa can’t sleepover with Jin and Jungkook anymore, but-!” Namjoon winced as Taehyung suddenly bent over his head and was now staring at him upset down, “Tae, what are you trying to do, buddie?”

Taehyung bit his lip and continued to stare at his father upside-down, “I was going to Spiderman kiss you, but I realized that’s gross.”

     “It’s not gross,” Namjoon pouted and turned his head, “Just kiss me on the cheek then.”

He smiled when he heard a soft gasp escape from Tae’s lips before a quick peck poked into his cheek and Taehyung was back up and quickly hopping off of him as he continued, “Kookie said you and daddy don’t like to see each other anymore because you two hurt each other’s feelings… Is he telling the truth?”

Namjoon shrugged and tilted his head side to side in thought, “I guess he’s telling the truth.”

      “So do you hate each other now?”

Namjoon’s eyes widened and he shook his head. God, he hoped they didn’t hate each other now. He looked down and muttered out, “We both said things to each other that made the other mad, but I still love Kookie’s daddy very much. I’m just… I’m not sure if he loves me, Tae. Sometimes relationships don’t work out.”

Here he was trying to act like he was adult that knew full well how relationships really did sometimes not work out, but in all reality he was still so confused why this thing didn’t end up working. He and Jin loved each other so much. Or at least he loved Jin so much, but everything fell apart too easily. All it took was a night and one fight for them to decide not to talk to each other for two whole weeks, and Namjoon was clueless about where he should even go from there.

Taehyung must have sensed Namjoon growing sad from his own thoughts of how this situation with Jin was hopeless because he suddenly stood up on his tiptoes and wrapped his arms as far as they could go around Namjoon’s shoulders, trying to connect his hands but not being able to since they weren’t long enough.

He patted Namjoon’s chest and back and offered a shy assurance, “Be happy, papa. Maybe daddy thinks you don’t like him too. You should just hug and apologize.”

Namjoon smiled and kissed Taehyung’s cheek, “Like we always tell you and Jungkook to do when you two fight?”

Taehyung giggled and nodded his head, “Yeah!”

Namjoon wished it was that easy. He smiled and tickled Taehyung for a few seconds, laughing and telling him the thing all parents say when they don’t want to explain to their children that things don’t work as easy in the adult world as they do in a child’s world, “I’ll try that out. You’re so smart, Tae Tae.”

He got up and decided it was time to check on Jungkook and Jin. He was sure if he let those two sit down and Facetime by themselves without his intervention, they’d be talking for two days straight. And that’d of course be all Jin’s doing as well.

He walked over to Tae’s room and listened in to see if maybe Jungkook and Jin were possibly just saying their goodbyes - he didn’t want to ruin a moment like that - or if they were still talking about how much Jin missed Jungkook and how sorry he was for leaving Jungkook so suddenly for this amount of time. Namjoon wanted to assure Jin that he shouldn't feel guilty for taking an opportunity that benefited him and Jungkook, but they probably talked enough for two exes in the last two days.

He leaned against the bedroom door more to hear Jin speaking through the screen, “I’m glad you like staying with Namjoon, Kookie. I’m happy your happy, sweetheart.”

     “I want to be here forever!” Jungkook laughed in response, his words causing Namjoon’s heart to flutter in his chest. He couldn’t help but smile to himself as he continued to listen.

     “But wouldn’t you miss daddy?” Jin laughed a little though there was a wary tone in his voice.

Jungkook nodded his head and replied excitedly, “Well you would stay here too! We can both live with papa and Tae and have fun all the time and be happy!”

Namjoon clenched his teeth together, knowing full well that Jin was going to very much hate that idea, but he stayed quiet as he heard Jin awkwardly laugh and say, “Kookie, you know that wouldn’t be able to happen…”

     “Because it makes daddy’s heart hurt to see papa?” Jungkook asked innocently.

Namjoon expected Jin to deny it, but he only sighed and agreed, “Yeah, it makes my heart hurt a lot.”

     “So you still love him?” Jungkook’s voice raised with a bit of excitement as he continued to explain his sudden conclusion, “Chimmy said that when your heart feels anything for someone, it’s because of love.”

Or hate, Namjoon thought. That had to be what Jin was thinking too, but he only replied again in a sad voice that almost trembled at the ends of his words, “Chimmy’s right, Kookie. Daddy thinks he made a mistake, but it’s too late because I think…” he heard Jin sniffle from the other side of the call, “I think papa’s heart doesn’t deserve to feel anything for-!”

     “Daddy, please don’t cry,” he heard Jungkook interrupt him, and Namjoon was already walking away before he could hear anything more. He felt like he had just stumbled upon the darkest secret that he was never supposed to know about.

Jin still loved him? Jin felt like this break up was a mistake? Why couldn’t they just be adults and speak the truth to each other? Why couldn’t they solve this with just one conversation?

They still loved each other. They still wanted each other. They still needed each other.

Namjoon had to talk to Jin. When Jin picked up Jungkook, that was going to be his last chance to build up the courage to talk to Jin and fix what had been ruined once and for all. They both did things they regretted, they both said things they regretted, but in the end they both couldn’t just fall out of love with each other after everything that happened between them.

Maybe their relationship still had a fighting chance.

 

-

 

The following day, later on in the evening, Namjoon’s heart was beating fast and dropping to his stomach every time he thought about how Jin was going to be there at his apartment any minute now to pick up Jungkook.

Very soon, he was going to try to fix things and be able to hold Jin again and tell him how much he loved him. That thought alone was enough to make his heart feel like it was about to burst completely.

Namjoon was sitting on the couch with Jungkook and Taehyung, holding them both in his arms as they watched an educational channel to make up for all the mindless superhero or comedy movies they had been watching for the past few days.

When there was a knock on their door in the middle of a scene where a scientist was explaining why birds migrate to the south in the winter, the three boys in the room all knew just who was at the door.

Jungkook and Taehyung practically leaped off of Namjoon’s lap despite their interest in the program on the tv and ran over to the door, shouting out Jin’s name loud enough for him to hear through the door, “Daddy! Daddy’s home!”

They continued to jump at the door and reach for the door handle that they wanted to turn but knew not to since their father’s both made it a rule not to open the door unless they were told they could. They watched with excited eyes as Namjoon walked over to them and quickly opened up the door, smiling nervously at the man on the other side as their two kids jumped on him and welcomed him home.

     “Daddy we missed you so much!” Jungkook giggled and reached his arms up for Jin to pick him up. Jin did so and smiled at Namjoon, “Hey, thanks so much for watching Kookie. I hope he wasn’t too much trouble?”

     “No, it was so much fun with him around, right Tae Tae?” Namjoon asked Tae which made the said little boy beam his boxy smile and nod his head, “Yes! I love Kookie so much!”

Namjoon grinned and turned back to Jin, leaning against the doorframe as he said, “We packed up Jungkook’s backpack just in case you were too tired from your trip to stay longer than a few seconds, but if you want to come inside and maybe eat you can. Have you eaten?”

     “I have, I’m fine,” Jin smiled and pointed to Jungkook’s backpack sitting by the door, “I guess I’ll just take that then and head home? Has Jungkook eaten?”

     “Yes, but could we…” Namjoon bit his lip and leaned down to get Jin Jungkook's backpack anyway and hand it to him, his hand lingering on the handle of the book bag as he continued shyly, “Jin, could we maybe talk for five min-!”

     “Daddy, did you know papa still loves you?” Jungkook interrupted Namjoon, his eyes widening when he realized what he did. He gasped and apologized, “Oh, sorry papa, I just got excited.”

Namjoon smiled softly though his heart was beating harder now. How did Jungkook know that? Who told him? Who else knew? He attempted to remain calm, “That’s fine, Kookie, but what do you-!”

He was interrupted again but by Taehyung this time, “You both love each other and it makes you sad to not see each other!”

     “You two are being so silly. Just hug!” Jungkook smiled, his eyes wide with pride as if he was showing them how to solve this whole situation in a way he thought was simple enough. And honestly… why couldn’t it be that simple?

Jin’s eyes were wide with shock as he stared at Namjoon with a look of disbelief mixed in with just a bit of terror. His eyebrows furrowed in confusion and his mouth opened ever so slightly as if he was about to ask what in the Hell was going on with their children and how they even put the pieces together that they had broken up but still loved each other.

Namjoon didn’t have time to dwell on it though. He was so thankful that Jungkook and Taehyung were saying this because it was exactly what he wanted to say. He laughed a little and admitted out loud, “That’s actually what I wanted to talk to you about. Jin, I-!”

     “I have to go,” Jin suddenly interrupted him and left with Jungkook and the toddler’s book bag in his arms, barely being able to shut the door behind him though he managed it, the sound of the door being the only thing Namjoon heard after Jin had left him so quickly.

...So maybe Jin really didn’t want them to get back together?...

 

-

 

Jin walked back to his apartment, no, he fucking ran. Not because it was cold outside and it wasn’t worth it to get a cab for just a block, but because he was quite literally running from whatever the fuck just happened.

Namjoon still loved him?

Wait, why was he running? Didn’t he want this? Wasn’t this what he couldn’t stop thinking about besides Jungkook the whole four days of the conference? He was literally hanging out on the beaches of California with a few co workers, and they thought he was had a bad personality because he couldn’t stop frowning as he thought about all the things he’d go back and change with Namjoon.

Normally when he regretted things in relationships, he always regretted getting together with them in the first place, but this time, the only thing he could regret was breaking up with Namjoon at all. Why hadn’t he just listened to him? Namjoon had good reason to keep the rules. Jin knew now how unfair it was to have rules and not let the other person know about them, but he was just so angry that Namjoon was hiding anything from him at all to think about anything else.

But now he knew and now he could admit that he was the one that messed up. Sure Namjoon said some things that really hurt him, but it was understandable. Jin would have said worse if he was in Namjoon’s shoes and stuck with someone like himself.

So was he running because he didn’t want to apologize? Was he running because he didn’t want to hear Namjoon say something like ‘you’re fucking crazy but I’m already too deeply in love with you, so you just want to give up and stay together?’ because why else would Namjoon still love him? Why else would Namjoon want to stay with someone as crazy, and immature, and stupid, and self-conscious, and cautious, and overprotective, and hypocritical as Jin? What was there to even like about himself? What exactly did Namjoon fall in love with in him?

     “D-Daddy why did you leave papa?” Jungkook suddenly asked, sounding like he was crying over Jin’s shoulder though Jin was too afraid to check. He didn’t want to see Jungkook crying because of his relationship problems. That was the exact reason why Jin made his rules in the first place. Jungkook suddenly started kicking his chest and hitting his shoulders though, crying out louder as they entered their apartment, “Daddy, I want to be with papa! I liked it when papa and daddy were together!”

Jin sighed and finally held Jungkook away from his chest, feeling a tantrum coming on if he didn’t sit down and actually talk to him about this all. Jungkook deserved to have an explanation anyway about why the man that he came to love enough to even call papa never came around anymore and why Jin suddenly ‘hated’ him.

As he set Jungkook down on the couch, the toddler had lines of tears falling down his face as he cried out once more, “We were all happy and you made everyone go away! Y-You’re the evil wizard!”

Jin’s heart dropped when Jungkook called him that. Did Jungkook really think he was the ‘evil wizard’ he hated so much? ...Did this mean Jungkook hated him now too? He was so selfish when he pushed everyone away… Pushing Jimin and Namjoon away wasn’t hurting them or punishing himself more than it was hurting his own son that he was just wanting to protect and do everything for from the start.

When had he becoming such a monster to Jungkook?

Tears fell down his face without him realizing it and Jungkook continued to shout, “I want two parents like all my friends! I-I thought papa was going to be my second daddy, b-but you were a dummy! You ruined it!”

Jin looked down, biting his lip to keep himself from crying out even more than Jungkook. All these words were coming from his son that he wanted to always love him. Everyone told him he would let him down and now he finally did. All this time, he thought he was living his life for Jungkook by standing alone, but he was only failing him all along. Jungkook was hurting because he was too stupid to see that his son wanted to just be like all the other kids with a real family… not a young adult of a father that was still trying to figure himself out while raising him.

Jin sniffled and cried out a little, biting his lip harder to keep in, but still silently letting his tears out because he felt like he was going to burst if he didn’t do something. He wanted to scream and shout or possibly even turn back time, but where would he even go? To when he broke up with Namjoon? To when he made the rules in the first place? To when he decided to take on Jungkook?

Jungkook’s cries started to quiet down when he saw his father crying beside him, and he became worried. He sniffled and got up on his knees, lifting his hand to Jin’s cheek gently as he asked warily, “D-Daddy?... Why are you crying?...”

Jin smiled and sniffled, placing his hand over Jungkook’s and whispering out softly in a trembling voice, “Would you have preferred to have a mommy and daddy i-instead of me?...”

Jungkook’s eyes widened and his bottom lip trembled as he shook his head and quickly argued, “No, never, daddy! I-I just liked it when you were happy with papa… I don’t need a mommy. The people that assigned us didn’t give me one because you were so good you were both!”

Jin felt a little better after hearing that though those were only lies he fed Jungkook when he was younger and couldn’t stop feeding to him because he knew he wouldn’t be able to handle it if Jungkook found out he had a mom and wished he still had her instead of her brother that wasn’t good enough to raise him right.

But he had to tell Jungkook the truth now. He needed to lay everything out in the open because he was so sick of lying to his own son. He was sick of keeping things from him and only hurting him because of it.

He pulled Jungkook up into his lap and leaned into the couch as his toddler leaned into him and hugged him, wiping his tears on his shirt as Jin spoke softly, “Kookie, can daddy tell you a story? It’s a little sad, but it’s how we were a-assigned… Are you ok hearing a sad story right now?”

Jungkook looked down and genuinely thought about it for a few moments, thinking through what the sad story could possibly be about before curiosity won him over and he nodded his head, giving Jin permission to tell the story on one condition, “Can no doggies die in it?”

     “No doggies died, Kookie,” Jin smiled and kissed Jungkook on the forehead, tears forming in his eyes as he thought about who actually died. “But someone did die. A very important person to both you and me.”

     “Who?” Jungkook asked, looking up at Jin and wiping the tears from his eyes with the back of his hands.

Jin sighed and shut his eyes for a second, trying to think back to everything that happened before, during, and right after Jungkook became the biggest and best thing in his life. The moments he both loved and hated to remember because it was so bittersweet in every way.

He let out a deep breath and continued on strongly, hoping he wouldn’t break down crying in the middle of his story, “Daddy used to have a sister, Kookie. And she was very, very beautiful. She looked like a mermaid, i-in fact, she was one. And she fell in love with a pirate.”

Jungkook’s eyes widened and he gasped, leaning closer into Jin’s chest as he suddenly became engrossed in the story, “Pirates are bad…”

     “Well I’m not sure if this pirate is necessarily bad or not,” Jin said, knowing full well that Jungkook’s father was the person he would come to hate the most in his lifetime for leaving his sister as soon as he found out she was pregnant, but he wasn’t going to tell Jungkook his father was evil. He wasn’t going to let his son think for even a second that he came from someone evil no matter how much he hated him. Jungkook should only come to that conclusion on his own if he pleased when he was much older. Jin continued, “But he and my sister fell in love. They loved each other so much that they decided they wanted to be assigned to a child,” Jin smiled and looked down at Jungkook again, thankful so much for his sister’s drunken mistake that became the best part of his life, “And they were assigned to you.”

Jungkook smiled as if he saw this coming, looking down and muttering out softly, “I had a mermaid mommy…” his eyes widened and his eyebrows furrowed suddenly though as he looked back up and tilted his head, “But you aren’t a mermaid or a pirate though, daddy! What happened?”

     “Well,” Jin’s smile faded, “This is where the story gets sad. Your mermaid mommy was very excited to have you, but your pirate father had to leave to go battle a sea dragon. And because mommy was so worried about him, she decided to follow him into battle to help him defeat the evil sea dragon, yeah? A-And you know how mean sea dragons are…”

Tears were falling down Jin’s face once again and Jungkook asked him, “Did they die?” in such a sweet voice that Jin just burst out into tears. He promised he would never cry about this in front of Jungkook. He wouldn’t know how to explain why he was crying because he was hiding his sister from her own child completely, but now here he was, finally telling Jungkook the truth about everything and sobbing more than ever.

Jin buried his face in his hands and continued to cry, nodding his head and managing out the words, “Y-Yes, Kookie, she died. You’re mommy and my sister died, a-and your real father left to try to get revenge on the sea dragon so he let me be assigned to you instead. And Kookie, I was so happy I was getting the chance to have you as my son. There were so many better choices for you too; Kings, Queens, fairies, and wizards that would have all been better parents to you, but I-I knew I had to have you as my son, because you were the best son anyone could ever ask for,” his shoulders shook as he took Jungkook up into his arms again, crying into the little boy’s shoulders and apologizing to him again, “I-I’m so sorry I lied to you for so long. I’m sorry if I haven’t been a good daddy to you. I know I’m not a pirate or a mermaid, but I know I love you more than any pirate or mermaid or being in any land ever could, Jungkook. I love you so much.”

He was definitely crying too much. He expected this moment to maybe be when Jungkook was older and when Jungkook would understand and maybe not even care since he never had the thought of having a mother to even cry over, but now here they were, both crying or having tears dried on their face from a previous tantrum, and Jin was still telling a fake story to be able to tell the real story he had been hiding for so long.

It wasn’t until Jungkook hugged his neck though, his tiny arms wrapping around him and his small hands patting his back lightly as he spoke softly, “I’m happy you’re just normal, daddy. And I’m happy you're my daddy instead of my mermaid mommy and real pirate daddy because I wouldn’t love them as much as I love you.”

Jin laughed a little and sniffled, “Really?”

Jungkook smiled and nodded his head, leaning up and rubbing his nose against Jin’s in an eskimo kiss that they always did in times they especially wanted to let the other know just how much they loved each other, “You’re my favorite person in the whole world, daddy. I love you more than anyone else!”

     “And I love you more than anyone else too, Kookie,” Jin smiled, feeling a weight lifted off his chest for the first time in forever now that Jungkook was finding out the truth and taking it surprisingly well. And he still loved him. Jin knew it was selfish to feel so happy about Jungkook admitting that he loved him more than he would ever think to love his real mother, but he couldn’t help but be fine with being selfish just this once. He raised Jungkook. Jungkook was his in every sense of the law and in his heart, so he deserved every bit of the love Jungkook felt for him.

He hugged his son tighter and laughed, “Ah, I was so worried you would love me less and want to become a merman after finding out about your real mommy!” he lifted Jungkook up and stood up with him raised in his arms, spinning him around a bit and announcing, “Speaking of you being a merman, I think it’s time for a bath, yeah?” he lifted up Jungkook’s shirt and blew a raspberry into his stomach, causing the toddler to giggle and kick into a fit of laughter under his lips, “Daddy no, no! Papa already gave me a bath!”

Ah… Namjoon.

Jin had almost completely forgotten about him until now because of the story. He was the one who had been assuring Jin for the last few months that Jungkook would react exactly this way when he told him the truth, and he had just watched Jungkook for four days even after everything Jin had done to him. He really was the perfect parent that Jin always dreamed would someday come along and sweep him off his feet to help him out with Jungkook… And Jin shut both him and Taehyung down tonight because he was so scared of what?... He forgot. He forgot what he was scared of, and now he was only scared of never getting the opportunity to give Jungkook what he wanted with Namjoon: a happy family just like every other kid in his preschool class had.

And for once that wasn’t just what Jungkook wanted. Jin wanted it too more than anything. He wanted to feel Namjoon’s arms wrapped around his waist. He wanted to feel his lips pressed against his own. He wanted to feel his hands in his as they walked down the street, or drank coffee together, or as they moved deep into each other underneath the covers on Christmas. He wanted that all again. He wanted that perfect family just as much as Jungkook did… and what was stopping him now? The only direction he should be running in at this point was back to Namjoon.

A smile spread wide across Jin’s face and he suddenly said to Jungkook excitedly, “You know what, Jungkook? I think daddy’s about to do something really stupid, but he left something at papa’s house and he just really needs to get it back.”

Jungkook tilted his head, “What did you forget?”

Jin made his way over to the door and grabbed Jungkook’s backpack, swinging it over his shoulder and laughing a little to himself as he answered the toddler, “The other half of our family.”

Jungkook gasped and jumped up a bit in Jin’s arms, his excitement suddenly bursting out when he heard Jin’s words. He giggled and sang out as Jin started to run back to Namjoon’s apartment, “Yes! Papa and Tae Tae are going to be assigned to us too!”

Jin ran through the streets of the city, cold air not even bothering him as he continued to run without slowing down until he arrived at the familiar door of Namjoon’s apartment. He was breathless, his chest heaving up and down as knocked on the door quickly and waited for Namjoon to open up.

What was he going to say when Namjoon eventually did - hopefully - open up the door to him? He had no idea. He was just going to pray he didn’t stumble over his words or stutter as he winged it and spoke from his heart. That was what he should have been doing this whole relationship anyways, so it was about time he started.

When the door opened, Jin held his breath, staring at Namjoon with wide eyes as Namjoon asked in a groggy voice as if he had just gotten out of bed - he was wearing his pajamas so that was perfectly plausible - “Jin?... What’s wrong?” he opened his eyes a bit more in concern and added, “You look like you’ve been crying.”

Jin stared at him for another few seconds, unsure what to say now that Namjoon was standing right in front of him actually asking what he wanted. Namjoon also looked like he had been crying too, but he wasn’t going to mention that now. That wasn’t important, though it kind of was since he caused it because he was terrible at feelings and had to run away before for reasons he wasn’t sure of, but now he was back, and SHIT HE WAS STARING TOO LONG NOW IT WAS GETTING WEIRD AND SLIGHTLY CREEPY.

     “Ahhh, I’m bad at words!” Jin suddenly gave up and shouted out in frustration, stepping forward without thinking and crashing his lips into Namjoon’s with no warning.

He quickly helped Jungkook down as he stepped further into the threshold of Namjoon’s apartment, letting him go find Taehyung wherever he was before he got trapped inside a kiss that Jin hoped wasn’t going to end until tomorrow. He almost worried Namjoon was going to push him away and ask for an explanation to all this, but instead, he only felt Namjoon almost immediately press into the kiss as well.

Thank God.

Jin finally relaxed and shut his eyes as Namjoon brought his hands to his waist and held him firmly, moving one of them only to close the door behind him and press him into it to kiss him harder. Fuck, Jin was suddenly so overwhelmed with emotions, he wanted Namjoon to fucking wreck him into the door so hard they broke it-!

     “Jin, the kids might be nearby,” Namjoon suddenly groaned against his neck, making Jin’s eyes widened when he realized that that last thought might have accidentally been said out loud. He laughed under his breath and leaned his head back as Namjoon started to kiss down it and to his collarbone, “Didn’t realize I was saying that out loud, sorry.”

Namjoon glanced around really quickly just to make sure their kids weren’t around to hear that before he stared back at Jin with an excited gaze, “So are we?... This means?...”

Jin pulled Namjoon closer by the collar of his t-shirt and kissed him again, “I love you, Namjoon,” he loved hearing himself say that out loud again, “I still love you and I understand why you had the list of my stupid rules that I never should have made in the first place. I didn’t need rules to know that I want to be with you for the rest of my life.”

     “Rules or not, Jin, you really were always worth it for me,” Namjoon’s words became serious, his smile falling as he desperately searched in Jin’s eyes for forgiveness for things that were said and done during Christmas. Jin nodded his head with a trusting look and grinned, “Well I’m gonna make it really worth it in five minutes. You were so angry at me Christmas Eve, you want to take it out on me?” he winked and walked past Namjoon towards Tae’s room that he saw Jungkook hurry into when he set him down. As soon as he tucked the boys in to their sudden sleepover, he had many ideas of how he and Namjoon were going to pull an all nighter to make up for this stupid fight they had that lasted way too long.

As for Namjoon, he was still stuck by the doorway with a hot feeling shooting down his spine and straight into his dick just from Jin’s words alone. Namjoon could admit that he never had makeup sex before, but he knew that in a few minutes - just like Jin promised - he was going to realize just why couples forgot about rough fights so easily just because of a heated makeup session that came afterwards.

And he really couldn’t wait to put whatever happened over this break behind them for good.

He grinned and walked up to Jin who was leaning against the door post of Taehyung’s room, staring into the darkness lit only by a dim nightlight that Taehyung kept in the corner of his room. He walked up behind him and wrapped an arm around his waist, resting his chin on the other man’s shoulder as he noticed their two kids already asleep in bed.

Jin smiled and placed his hand over Namjoon’s hand, holding it tightly as he spoke in a content tone, “Looks like they knew this was going to turn into a sleepover.”

      “Or they heard what you said by the door and tried to fall asleep before they could witness it,” Namjoon laughed under his breath and closed the door to Tae’s room softly, glad he already tucked Taehyung in after Jin left and Jungkook decided to join Tae in sleeping instead of waking him up. Though he wanted to see Tae’s reaction to him getting back together with Jin, he also wanted to do other things a little bit more.

He took Jin’s hand in his own and pulled him to the bedroom, eyes hooded with a look of lust as he lead Jin inside and closed the door behind them, immediately pressing Jin up against it again and kissing him. Jin moved to take off his shirt as they kissed, pulling it off when they pulled away for just a brief second and throwing it to the ground where he knew the rest of his clothes would end up in a few seconds.

Namjoon connected their lips together once more with so much force, the back of Jin’s head banged against the door and stayed there as Namjoon pushed him deeper against it, slipping his tongue between Jin’s parting lips as he started to undo his pants.

Jin closed his eyes and moaned out as Namjoon’s tongue slipped across his own. He reached his hands underneath Namjoon’s shirt and started to pull it up, requesting to take it off completely, but Namjoon was too engrossed in their kiss to care. He only patted Jin’s hands down and muttered out sloppily against his lips that they’d get to that later. Plus, he was too busy also pushing down Jin’s pants and underwear and gripping the hardening length underneath as the fabric hit the floor.

Jin grabbed the doorknob to the door and leaned his head back more, pushing out a frustrated breath through his teeth, “Ah, shit, Joon, let’s do this on the bed because fucking against the door would be too loud, but as soon as we drop the kids off to preschool tomorrow, we’re going to do it against every door in this apartment, ok?”

     “I’ll call in sick to work then,” Namjoon suddenly picked Jin up with ease, carrying him over to the bed and laying him back down so he could reach into his drawer to get condoms and lube, “Will my future boss mind?” he asked with a smirk and a raised eyebrow. He took his shirt off and threw it over to where the rest of the clothes were and turned back to the sight of his lover laying on his bed and waiting for him to completely wreck him after almost two whole weeks of them ‘hating’ each other.

Jin blushed from under his gaze and spread his legs, looking up at the ceiling as Namjoon got onto the bed and started to warm up the lube between his fingers, “I’m sure as long as you keep him occupied, he won’t have time to care.”

Namjoon smiled and took his growing erection out of his pajama bottoms, stroking it with one hand as he moved to start prepping Jin for the night ahead of them, “Oh he’s going to be occupied alright,” he leaned down to kiss and bite at Jin’s thighs, leaving a trail of hickeys that led down to his groin and causing the man underneath him to moan and writhe under his lips.

He slipped a finger into the other man’s hole, edging forward to kiss Jin's lips and whisper softly, “It’s going to be hard to make up for how much I missed you over break.”

     “Then do what you need to do to make up for it all,” Jin spoke back, eyes almost glazed over with pleasure as Namjoon slipped a second finger inside him and eventually a third. Jin kissed his neck and tugged at his skin, smiling when he got the reaction he always loved out of Namjoon, “I should have listened to you during our fight. If I wasn’t so hard-headed about my rules or pushing people out without even giving them a chance, we would have had a great break-!”

     “Fuck, I know!” Namjoon agreed, flipping Jin over on his stomach and raising his ass in the air. “That actually did piss me off how you wouldn't let me talk during the fight. You have to work on that, Jinnie. But did you reminding me of that just to make me mad again? ”

     "You were going to make our hot make-up sex super vanilla if I didn’t remind you of why you got mad at me in the first place,” Jin laughed into the covers, his voice hitching before he let out a moan as Namjoon suddenly pressed deep inside him, pushing slowly until he was all the way in.

Jin gripped onto the sheets underneath him and held his breath, shutting his eyes tight and waiting for Namjoon to start thrusting deep into him as a response. And when Namjoon did, muttering out something about how he was going to ‘take on the challenge of making this make up sex as un-vanilla as possible’ before pulling out and pushing back into Jin so hard his knees almost gave way underneath him, Jin almost felt this make up sex was going to make their terrible break up so fucking worth it. 

     “Fuck, Namjoon, that feels so good,” Jin groaned out, lifting his head up to turn and see Namjoon behind him but Namjoon quickly forced his head back to face forward as he continued to fuck him from behind, muttering out through gritted teeth, “If you had just listened to me during that fight, you could have felt this good all during break, baby.”

     “Wait what?” Jin asked, lifting his head up a bit at the sudden statement.

Namjoon bit his lip and paused, “Ah, too far?” he laughed a little and backtracked, “Don’t worry, I know what I did wrong-!”

     “Damn right, you did stuff wrong,” Jin suddenly snapped and sat up a bit, moving forward so he broke away from Namjoon. Namjoon was about to ask nervously why Jin was getting mad again and stopping, but before he could, Jin turned around and pushed him backwards on the bed so he was now laying on his back before he brought himself to a straddling position hovered over Namjoon’s member and continued to speak, “Here I was feeling guilty for everything that happened, but now I’m remembering how stupid you were too. In fact, what was it you said before you left my room after our fight?”

Namjoon shut his eyes and hoped Jin would let it go, but knowing full well that this man he loved very, very much was too stubborn to let anything go that easily, he decided to answer him with a sigh, “I said you weren’t worth it, but I was angry and obviously didn’t mean it. You are so worth it, Jin. I love you.”

     “I know you do,” Jin smiled and placed Namjoon's hands on his waist as he slid down on his erection, holding Namjoon’s hand tightly as he sat all the way down. He leaned forward and tried to catch his breath, glancing at Namjoon through his tattered breaths and letting out an airy, “I’m gonna make you never forget how worth it I am, ok?”

Namjoon’s eyes widened and he nodded his head quickly, “Y-Yes, please do!”

Jin grinned, and without further discussion he started to ride Namjoon’s hard length, directing all of Namjoon’s movements as he went: forcing Namjoon to sit up and kiss his neck, moving one of Namjoon’s hands to his own boner to stroke it, and having Namjoon continuously admit how wrong he was and that Jin was always worth it. He was always going to be worth it. Fuck, even if there was a hundred impossible rules Namjoon had to follow, Jin was going to be worth every last hurdle he had to jump over to get to the end and pass all of them.

Namjoon moaned and buried his head into Jin’s shoulder, rocking his own hips with his and trying to feel every bit of being inside Jin as he could before he eventually gripped harder onto Jin’s hips and fucked up into him, warning Jin with a mutter, “I’m going to cum..”

     “Me too,” Jin breathed out and wrapped his arms around his neck, shutting his eyes when he came onto Namjoon’s chest, that being followed by Namjoon releasing inside him and then following that orgasm with a few more thrusts before he was slowing down and finally letting his pants soften and slow down along with Jin’s.

When they both caught their breath, their lips already pulled together in a softer kiss as they stared into each other’s eyes and appreciated the sweaty messes that they were. The sweaty messes of two young dads that had finally found the other half of themselves in each other. They never wanted to let each other go ever again.

Namjoon buried his head into Jin’s chest and wrapped his arms around him to hold him closer to his face. He didn’t mean to ruin the moment with his overflowing emotions, but they just came out and he couldn’t help it.

     “Are you…” Jin noticed and started to ask, tilting his head to try to catch a glimpse of Namjoon’s teary eyes, “Baby, are you crying?” Jin couldn’t help but laugh a little. “I think I should be the one crying here, I think you broke my ass when you took charge for the first few minutes.”

Namjoon laughed through his tears and shook his head, rubbing his eyes against Jin’s chest to try to make them dry again as he responded, “I just… I love you so much. I’m so sorry for everything that happened. I’m so sorry for lying to you Jin, I want you to know that I never wanted to hurt you or make you feel like I was using you. I really do love-!”

     “Hey, shh, it’s ok, Joon,” Jin smiled and lifted up Namjoon’s face by his chin before he leaned forward and kissed his boyfriend that looked so cute when he cried even though it was so heartbreaking to see him crying like this, “I know you’d never hurt me. I trust you, and we both messed up, so don’t apologize for anything. I love you too, Namjoon. So much.”

Namjoon hugged Jin tighter and pressed deeper into the kiss, breaking away every few seconds to say things like, “I missed you… I missed you so much,” and “Being without you fucking sucked, I never want to go through that again,” and most of all, “I love you Jin. I’ll always love you.”

They barely got any kissing done after that, because Jin was breaking away just as much to whisper softly back to him though his words meant just as much as the other’s, “I’ll always love you too, Namjoon. We’re assigned to each other now,” he smiled a little and stared into Namjoon’s eyes that were wide with love that was being returned to him.

He opened his mouth to speak, but Namjoon suddenly spoke before him, assuring him one more time so Jin truly understood that he didn’t mean what he said during their fight, “Jin, you were worth following every rule you put up, you know that?”

Jin grinned and nodded his head, unable to keep his heart from feeling like it was melting, or growing stronger, or getting bigger, or all three at once, because there was one thought and one thought alone that was running through his mind as he stared back at Namjoon with more love than he had ever felt for anyone else before besides Jungkook. And he made sure to let Namjoon know that thought out loud because it was so, so important for him to say and for Namjoon to hear.

     “Namjoon, you were worth breaking every rule.”

Chapter Text

Chapter Thirteen

 

We Were Assigned To Each Other

 

Eight months had passed since Jin decided that breaking the rules for Namjoon was quite possibly the best thing he’d ever done since deciding to raise Jungkook, and he and Namjoon had long since forgotten about that stupid list of rules or any kind of rules at all. If there was one thing Jin learned from months of dating Namjoon was that anything that came in contact with Namjoon broke and rules were most definitely not an exception.

This was fine though. Jin liked acting more carefree again with Namjoon while also having a reliable partner to help him be a good dad for Jungkook and Taehyung.

They had moved in with each other in May when the kids got out of school, and they had been like a close to perfect family ever since. Jungkook and Taehyung were happy having a forever sleepover with each other and Namjoon and Jin were honestly just as excited about it.

Today was definitely the hardest day in the past eight months though. Even harder than this one weekend in July when he and Namjoon fought over where they were taking the kids for summer vacation. Jin insisted that they go to the beach since that was his and Jungkook’s tradition while Namjoon also held an adamant summer tradition with Taehyung where they went hiking each summer. It got so out of hand that Taehyung and Jungkook finally stepped in and admitted that they both wanted to go to the lake instead of the ocean or the mountains.

Jin and Namjoon realized that that was an easy middle ground and that they should have asked the kids first where they wanted to go before they got so worked up about it. This was fine though, because one rule that they made sure to never break was that every fight needed to be taken care of with hot makeup sex that was also sometimes hate sex (the only kind of sex that they loved just as much as vanilla sex).

They both smiled and thanked the kids for helping them decide on where they were going for vacation, sent them off to stay with Hoseok for the night, and then proceeded to have said apology sex for the rest of the weekend. Jin loved it!

But Jin hated this.

He was holding onto Jungkook’s hand so tight, the little boy was trying to slip out of his grip as he said, “Daddy, you said you wouldn’t cry!” he turned to his papa and let out a frustrated huff, “Papa hold daddy’s hand so I can escape!”

     “Alright,” Namjoon laughed a little and pried Jin’s hand away from Jungkook’s, releasing the little boy from being held back from going in to his classroom on the first day of kindergarten. As soon as he was free, Jungkook gasped and spread his fingers apart to enjoy this newfound feeling of not being held on tight by his father. He jumped up and down with excitement and quickly hugged Jin’s leg one last time, “I love you daddy!” he then moved on to Namjoon’s leg, “I love you papa!”

     “I love you too, Kookie!” Namjoon smiled and held Jin’s hand in his own, squeezing it a little, “Jinnie, it’s his first day of elementary school. Isn’t this exciting?”

Jin closed his eyes and shook his head, “No, he’s growing up too fast!” He quickly leaned down to Jungkook’s height and opened his arms up to hug his growing toddler who wasn’t so much a toddler anymore again, “Can you hug daddy just one more time? So he can make it through the day until he sees you again?”

     “Will you let me go this time?” Jungkook glanced warily at Jin’s arms, remembering how Jin hugged him just five minutes ago for four whole minutes and he had to wiggle out of his arms. Despite this hug looking like an obvious trap, Jungkook sighed and walked forward to hug Jin again, assuring him in a happy voice as excitement for his first day washed over him once more, “Daddy don’t be sad! I’ll give you an extra big hug when you come back from work!”

Jin smiled and nodded his head, quickly giving Jungkook one more big squeeze and letting him go, “Ok. I love you, Kookie. And Tae ran in before we could say goodbye to him, but tell him we love him too, alright?”

Jungkook nodded his head and smiled, backing up into the noisy classroom where Taehyung was already calling him over to meet a few friends he made in the span of time it took for Jin to finally let Jungkook go, “Bye daddy! Bye papa! I love you!”

     “We love you too!” Namjoon smiled and waved goodbye, watching as Jungkook held onto the straps of his bunny shaped backpack and ran over to Taehyung who was saving him a seat beside him.

He felt Jin’s hand wrap around his and finally turned to his boyfriend, smiling and saying softly, “You’re taking this really well. I thought you’d be crying, but-!”

His eyes widened when he saw tears forming in Jin’s eyes and he quickly pulled him into a hug, wrapping his arms around his waist and pulling him closer as he comforted him, “Hey, baby, I know this is a big milestone, but Jungkook is still always going to admire you and be the little cutie he was in preschool. Those things don’t change overnight.”

     “He told me not to cry,” Jin sniffled as Namjoon started to lead him out of the school to begin their walk towards work. He leaned into Namjoon and shook his head, “He’s already more mature than me. What am I going to do when he realizes that I need more growing up to do than he does?”

Namjoon kissed Jin on the cheek and smiled, “You are an executive at a very successful company, you started raising your sister’s son when you were still in college, you live in a very nice apartment with your handsome boyfriend and his equally adorable son. What more growing up do you need to do?”

Jin sniffled and smiled, his cheeks flushing red with embarrassment from Namjoon complimenting him. He laughed a little under his breath and nodded his head, “You’re right, I’m a pretty good parent and adult. And I do have a sexy boyfriend.”

Namjoon’s eyes widened and his eyebrows raised as he also wore a blush equally as red as Jin’s, “Now, I wouldn't say sexy-!”

     “Oh I’d say very sexy,” Jin grinned, squeezing Namjoon’s hand and leaning on him more, “In fact, I think we should have a little fun in my office today at work when everyone’s gone for lunch break, yeah? What do you think about being the boss for the day?”

Namjoon laughed and tried not get a hard on just thinking about what that was going to be like. Last time Jin pulled him into his new private office and locked the door during a lunch break, everything that was on his desk was thrown to the ground and they almost broke the poor table a few rounds later. No way was Namjoon going to pass up the opportunity to do that again.

     “I love how you were crying about your insecurities just a second ago,” he joked and managed to keep down a boner as they continued to walk to work, telling himself to remember to get payback on Jin during lunch break for mentioning something like that in public where Namjoon was helpless against a possible hard on. Again though, he had no complaints.

     “I’ll take anything to get my mind off our sons growing up so fast though, so count me in! Let’s just try not to almost break your desk like last time.”

 

-

 

     “Kiddos we’re home!” Namjoon called out later that evening as they entered the apartment that was a bit bigger than their other two apartments and decorated nicer since Hoseok and Jimin decided to design the interior for them because they didn’t want the apartment looking anything like the bland minimalistic apartment Jin had or the mismatched look of Namjoon’s old apartment.

They did a good job too. Jin let them do what they wished with it while they were on their lake vacation, and when they saw the finished product when they came back, Jin wished he had his two best friends with the secret talent of interior designing in his life when he got his first apartment all those years ago.

When they closed the door behind them and walked inside, Jimin poked his head out from the living room and spoke with a smile, “Hey! Yoongi is helping Kookie and Tae in the bath, but I think they’ll be out soon. Either that or the splashing finally stopped because Yoongi got them under control, but I doubt that,” he laughed and glanced back at where the door to the bathroom was closed. He could only guess the chaos inside from the noises he heard, but Taehyung and Jungkook were probably far from clean while Yoongi was drenched in water from being splashed relentlessly by the two five year olds. 

Jin smiled and took his suit jacket off, handing it to Namjoon since it was always Namjoon's job to place their jackets on the coat rack when they got home, “How was their first day? Were they happy?”

     “Very,” Jimin joined them in the kitchen, Hyunae toddling close behind him and babbling his name softly as best as she could manage, ‘Dim! Dim!”.

He paused and bent down to pick her up, holding her up in his arms and replying, “Yes, honey? You wanted me to hold you?”

     “Yeah!” she smiled and nodded her head, wrapping her arms around Jimin’s neck and nuzzling her face into his shoulder. Jimin smiled and held her close, barely being able to break away eye contact from her so he could reply to Jin, “Well you know Taehyung had an easy time making new friends, and it seemed like he also helped Jungkook get a lot of friends too though it wouldn't have been hard for him to get friends on his own. They were asking me on the way home if it was possible for them to change their birthdays to the same day and have a massive sleepover with their grade.”

     “That is the cutest thing ever,” Jin cooed and smiled, a hand over his heart for a moment before his eyes widened and he suddenly said, “Please tell me you told them that we can’t have twenty kids over at the house.”

     “Already told them that one friend each was probably the limit, and they were fine with it,” Jimin assured Jin, his voice immediately being followed by the enthusiastic shouts of the two toddlers running into the room with wet hair but thankfully at least some dry clothes on, “Daddy! Papa! Today was the best day ever!”

Taehyung jumped onto Jin and excitedly started talking about his day before the two parents could even ask what happened, “I made so many new friends, and we played superheroes! I was Thor and Kookie was Spider-Man, a-and we also got to read in front of the class, and my teacher said I was a really good reader!”

Namjoon noticed Jungkook waiting patiently by Jin’s legs for his turn to be held and asked about his day. Despite Tae beating him to his father, Jungkook still had a smile on his face, nodding along to Taehyung’s words though it seemed like no one was noticing him.

Namjoon smiled though and quickly leaned down to Jungkook’s height, tapping him on the shoulder to get his attention as he asked, “Kookie, you want to tell me how your day was?”

Jungkook turned around and smiled, eyes widening and crinkling a little with his smile as he nodded his head and raised his arms up to be held as well, “Yes! I love Ele…. Ele…” he gave up on trying to say 'elementary' and giggled out, “Big boy school!”

     “That’s so good, Kookie!” he raised Jungkook up above his head and smiled to the sounds of Jungkook’s happy squeals that fell into giggles, “Papa, I want a nose kiss!”

     “Well then a nose kiss you shall have,” Namjoon smiled and lowered Jungkook just a bit so they could rub their noses together lightly in an eskimo kiss. Jungkook giggled and patted the palms of his hands over Namjoon’s cheeks, moving his head slightly to kiss Namjoon’s nose and whisper, “Tae and I told our new friends that we were brothers. I said you were my real papa, and Tae said daddy was his really daddy. Is that ok?” Jungkook had a smile on his face as if he already knew the answer to that question but he still looked at Namjoon with wide eyes expecting any kind of answer.

Namjoon gave him what he was expecting though, a kiss on the cheek and a happy nod as he excitedly said, “Kookie, I love it when you tell people we’re family because we are! I love being your papa.”

     “And I love being your Kookie!” Jungkook responded with a smile, only glancing away from Namjoon when Jin patted him on the shoulder and said, “Hey Kookie, before you tell papa about your day, I’m going to go get changed out of my suit, so can you wait a few minutes?”

Oh, Namjoon almost forgot. While having sex in Jin’s office today, they might have accidentally spilled coffee all over his pants and also possibly released another certain substance onto the front of them as well on accident. Poor Jin had to go the rest of the day wearing those pants so he was probably dying to get out of them as soon as possible.

     “Yeah, you go change,” Namjoon said while trying to stifle his laughter. Jin hit him on the shoulder anyway though when he even so much as smiled, his face going red as he whined out, “It’s your fault for everything so you better make sure he waits to tell you about his day until after I come back, ok?”

     “Or else?” Namjoon asked with a sly smirk that caused Jin’s face to turn bright red.

He started to walk away towards the bedroom before he could accidentally get anything else onto his pants, and he attempted to reply just as flirtatiously as Namjoon was being, though his words only came out in a shy stutter anyway, “W-We won’t get to continue what we started earlier today. So make him wait!”

Yoongi walked out of the bathroom when he said that, making a face of disgust when he realized exactly what Jin was threatening Namjoon with. He shook his head and muttered out, “And here I thought I was going to leave with my innocence tonight.”

     “You can’t speak after what we caught you and Jimin doing last week when we came over for dinner,” Jin grinned and stepped into the bedroom, about to close the door before Yoongi quickly chased after him with the words, “Shut up and take a shower.”

He turned back to Namjoon when Jin closed the door behind him and his loud laugh could be heard from the other side, shaking his head and sighing, “Your boyfriend is out of control. He’s reverting back to his college self and that scares me. You know how problematic that is?”

     “It’s adorable,” Jimin smiled and Namjoon chimed in, “As long as he’s happy, I’ll love any version of him.”

Jimin let out a soft, “Awe…” and placed his hands to his heart as if he was a hopeless romantic, his eyes seeming big and wishful until Yoongi wrapped an arm around him and kissed him on the cheek, “We’re cuter, Jimin. Don’t let them fool you. I’d love you even if you weren’t happy.”

Namjoon sighed, “You know what I meant,” he bent down and let Jungkook down because Taehyung was tugging on his pants and asking to get his playmate back.

The two toddlers immediately ran off into the living room to pull out whatever games they felt like playing without another word to the adults since they weren’t allowed to talk about their day yet for Jin’s sake and also Namjoon’s sex life - though they didn’t know about that part.

As soon as the kids were gone, Jimin’s smile immediately fell into something serious though, and he moved over to his bag to pull out a package, handing it to Namjoon and saying in a suddenly serious voice, “It finally arrived. I hope you don’t mind, but Yoongi and I read through it, and it’s the sweetest thing ever. Yoongi even cried!”

     “No I didn’t!” Yoongi gasped at the accusation and turned to Namjoon with an embarrassed glare. “I didn’t cry. I’m just proud of you and Jin, that’s all. You’ve both come so far.”

     “So are you going to do it tonight?” Jimin asked, an excited grin on his face.

     “Well, I…” Namjoon smiled and quickly walked over to the coat hanger where one of his jackets were hanging. He was stupid to have it in such an easy place to find, but if it wasn’t easy to find, then he was afraid he himself would lose it and never see it again. He reached into the pocket of one of his coats and pulled out a small box, looking down at it and smiling as he muttered out softly, “I have the ring and everything. I don’t want to put it off another day, so I might just do it tonight,” he looked up at Yoongi and Jimin and managed to ask in an even quieter voice, “And you’re sure he’ll say yes?”

Jimin nodded his head, “Last week when he and I went to that spa, all he could talk about was how much he loved you,” he laughed a little and added, “He talked about maybe proposing to you, and wanted me to go look at rings with him, but I’ve been postponing it to buy you more time.”

Namjoon laughed under his breath and shook his head, “I almost want to see how he would propose. I wonder if he would include the kids too.”

     “He’d probably throw the ring at you and make a pun about you two being married,” Yoongi sighed, and glance back at the bedroom door to make sure Jin wasn’t back and listening to their plans. “Be glad that you’re the one doing this instead of him. Now hide the package and the ring before he comes out and realizes what’s going on, ok?”

Namjoon nodded his head and tucked the ring box inside the package and stashed them into a drawer, “I’m going to get Taehyung to help me out, but I’m definitely doing this tonight. Thanks you two.”

Jimin smiled and was about to wish him luck, but Jin walked out of the bedroom in pajama shorts and a sweatshirt, announcing himself to the room, “I’m back,” he paused and noticed the atmosphere of the room with everyone staring awkwardly at him as he made his entrance. He slowed down a bit but still warily made his way to them, nervously laughing, “Uh… Is everything ok?”

     “More than ok!” Jimin chirped in before the two most awkward people in the world could try to come up with a shitty excuse as to why they all looked like they were talking trash about Jin while he was gone. He patted Yoongi’s shoulder hard and continued to speak for him and Namjoon, “But Yoongi and I should probably go since it’s so late. Hyunae looks like she’s going to fall asleep any second and so does her father.”

     “I’m wide awake,” Yoongi argued just for the sake of arguing and Jimin pinched him, “No you’re not.”

     “Oh,” Jin muttered out, glancing at Namjoon for answers since this was all seeming a little too suspicious, but Namjoon only shrugged. Jin sighed and turned back to Jimin, “Are you sure you don’t want to stay for dinner? I don’t mind cooking for seven instead of four.”

Jimin smiled and shook his head, “No, it’s late so don’t worry about it. I’ll see you tomorrow though?” he grabbed his dance bag and also handed Yoongi a bag filled with a few of Hyunae’s things. He then gave Hyunae to Yoongi as well so he could walk over to Jin and hug him, squeezing him extra tight as he said, “We should have lunch tomorrow since I don’t have any practice and Yoongi is busy with work. Call me, ok?”

Jin smiled and nodded his head, “I’d like that! You can choose the restaurant!”

     “Alright! See you and Namjoon then!” he waved goodbye and started to walk towards the door, taking Yoongi’s barely free hand in his own and leading him away as well.

Yoongi smiled and waved goodbye to Namjoon and Jin with one motion, smirking and wiggling his eyebrows suggestively, “Call me tomorrow, loser dads!”

     “You’re a loser dad too!” Jimin huffed out and opened the door, pulling him out and closing the door behind him before Jin and Namjoon could hear Yoongi’s flustered retort.

Jin laughed a little to himself and turned to Namjoon with an amused glance, “They are perfect for each other, aren’t they? So crazy…”

     “We are too,” Namjoon admitted as he stepped towards Jin and wrapped his arms around his shoulders, resting his chin on his shoulder and kissing his neck, “And that’s what I love about us.”

Jin smiled and turned his head to let Namjoon kiss him on the lips, “I love everything about us. What do you say we fix a quick dinner for us and the kids and get back to the bedroom? I don’t really have to go in to work tomorrow and I’m friends with your boss now, so he knows your untouchable.”

     “I love it when you abuse your power,” Namjoon bit down lightly on Jin’s neck and pressed up close behind him, a feeling between his legs growing hot. He had to keep himself under control though if he wanted to get through dinner and then to something else a bit more important than kinky sex that lasted until morning - though that was a close second. He backed away before he and Jin could go any further and spoke with a smirk and a raised eyebrow, “I say we have breakfast for dinner tonight? That way we all eat dinner quickly, tuck the kids in bed, and then…” his grin widened and he tilted his head to the side and peaked down at Jin’s underwear, “Well we’ll see where the night takes us.”

Jin grinned and nodded his head, moving towards the kitchen to start fixing something easy, “Breakfast will be ready in ten minutes then. You go entertain the kids while I’m doing that ok?”

Jin had learned to keep Namjoon far away from the kitchen while he was cooking by telling him to busy himself with the kids. The kids were always the perfect distraction, and Namjoon was glad he was being sent away now because he actually had something important to do before they all ate dinner together.

He left Jin to fix dinner and made his way into the living room where the boys were playing. He sat down on the ground with them and spoke to Jungkook softly so Jin couldn’t hear from the kitchen, “Daddy is fixing dinner now, and I remember him saying he wanted to hear about your day. Do you want to go tell him about it while he fixes food?”

Jungkook’s eyes widened and he smiled, “Mhm!” he turned to Taehyung and grabbed his hand, “Tae Tae come on!”

Taehyung started to get up as his best friend requested, but Namjoon quickly held Taehyung’s other hand and added, “Actually Jungkook, could Taehyung stay here and tell me about his day? I didn’t get to hear about it yet, but I promise he’ll join you as soon as he’s done telling me about all the fun things you both did!”

Jungkook pouted a bit, puckering out his bottom lip and glancing at Taehyung, but he nodded his head anyway and sighed, “Ok... I’ll also help daddy with food then!” He then ran off without another word into the kitchen, leaving Namjoon with Taehyung to talk about what Taehyung’s role in the proposal was.

     “Taehyung,” Namjoon began before Taehyung could get started telling him about how his day went. He really did want to hear about Taehyung’s first day of elementary school, but he didn’t know how much time he’d have to talk about the proposal before Jin called them to dinner or Jungkook came running back in, so he’d have to get started now, “I have a very important job I want you to do for me tonight. Are you up for helping me out? I had to have Jungkook leave so we could talk about this because I want this to remain a secret from him and daddy. You have to promise me you won’t tell them about it.”

Taehyung grinned and leaned forward at the mention of a secret he had to keep. Namjoon could already tell that Taehyung was going to love gossip when he got older just because of the reaction he always had when he was learning about something no one else could know about. The excitement in his eyes was evident even now as he whispered, “I won’t tell anyone, papa. What do you want me to do?”

Namjoon smiled - he knew he could count on Taehyung - and moved over to where he hid the ring and the package, pulling them out and only taking the contents of the package out. Taehyung watched on in confusion as his father pulled out a picture book from the small package and held it up in front of Taehyung, a grin on his face as he explained, “Tae Tae, I’m going to ask Jin to marry me tonight. Do you know what that means?”

Taehyung’s eyes widened and he raised his eyebrows, “That’s what mommies and daddies do when they want to be a family!” he paused and looked down, seeming confused again as he muttered out softly and so innocently, “But why are you wanting to marry daddy?...”

For a moment, Namjoon thought that maybe Taehyung was possibly disappointed that he was officially asking Jin to marry him. Like maybe Tae really thought this was just a long sleepover but didn’t want it to be a forever sleepover. Namjoon’s expression stiffened with worry and he bit his lip, about to ask Taehyung if maybe he wanted things to just stay the way they were right now, but Taehyung spoke before he could manage out the question and said, “Marriage is for people who want to be families. Not people who are already families, silly papa.”

Namjoon let out a sigh of relief and laughed under his breath, shaking his head and looking down as he pulled Taehyung in close for a hug. Taehyung was the most precious little boy in the world, “You’re right, Tae Tae. You’re so right,” he laughed again and broke the hug just because they were running out of time to talk about the plan and he needed to continue on with telling Taehyung what to do, “But papa wants to make this marriage official on paper, so I can tell everyone that Jin is my husband and he is your daddy, a-and Jungkook is my son and your brother.”

Taehyung nodded his head in understanding, “Ah, so Kookie and I won't have to say we're brothers! Everyone will just know!”

     “Exactly!” Namjoon commended Taehyung and lifted up the book again, “So I want to surprise daddy because proposals are always surprises and special. And what time of the day is the most special for our family?”

     “Story time?” Taehyung gasped and looked at the book, taking it in his hands and looking at the cover of a family of four, the characters looking very similar to them except they seemed to be the fairytale versions of themselves. He giggled and looked up at Namjoon, “I’m a knight! And Jungkook is a prince just like how we play pretend!”

     “That’s right, and Jin is the king,” he pointed to the cover, grinning to himself, “A king with many rules because he wants only the most perfect person in all the land to rule by his side. And I want you and Kookie to read this story at bedtime tonight, alright? Can you go put it in your room and act like you picked it out from your bookshelf so daddy doesn’t catch on and know what I’m planning?”

Taehyung nodded his head quickly and jumped up, “I’ll go put it on my shelf now! And I’ll do a good job reading too!”

     “I’m sure you will,” Namjoon smiled and kissed Taehyung on the cheek, “Love you, buddy.”

     “Love you too, daddy!” Taehyung replied and ran off in the direction of his bedroom to quickly hide the book before Jin or Jungkook noticed him with it and asked about it. Namjoon watched as he disappeared into his room and looked down at the small box in his hand, something within it that he hoped he would see on Jin’s finger soon.

He quickly stowed the box away in his pocket and hid the package for now, mentally preparing himself for asking the biggest question he’d probably ever get to ask besides maybe asking Jin for a third chance all those months ago. And if that ended up with him somehow getting here, Namjoon couldn’t wait to find out where this new question would lead him.

Jin called for dinner a few minutes later, and Taehyung and him filed into the kitchen where Jungkook had helped him lay out the food, trying their best not to look suspicious and both failing miserably since they could barely contain their excitement. Thankfully though, Jungkook only fed off of that excitement and became hyper with Taehyung, and Jin swore never to let the kids eat sugary stuff before bed ever again. He then noticed how Namjoon was also bouncing in his seat and shook his head, “I am raising three children. All by myself, I am a single father with three crazy kids.”

     “No, I’m a single daddy with three kids!” Jungkook giggled and stood up on his chair to perform his best impression of Jin. “Clean your room! Stop growing up! Eat your asprintus!”

     “Kookie, it’s apparatus,” Taehyung tried to correct him, but ended up getting the word wrong too.

This was Jin broke out into laughter and corrected the both of them, “Asparatagus-!” he tripped over his words and sighed, “A...spar...a...gus,” he shook his head and turned to Namjoon with a soft smile, “Maybe we’re all a bunch of kids. We need an adult to take care of us.”

     “Having adults around is no fun though,” Namjoon laughed and held Jin’s hand. “Come on, I’ll help you put away the dishes while Taehyung and Jungkook pick out their book for story time.”

Jin was wary at first of Namjoon being anywhere around dishes that weren’t made of paper or plastic, but the offer was too kind to pass up. He stood up with Namjoon and picked up the plates with him and placed them in the dishwasher as the kids ran off to their bedroom to pick out a story.

They worked fast and joined their kids in their bedroom in no time, hand in hand as they approached the bed with their two kids already waiting for them with a book being held tight in Taehyung’s arms. He grinned and looked up at Namjoon with sparkling eyes, “Kookie and I are going to read to you guys tonight!”

     “Oh, you two are?” Jin sat on on the edge of the bed on Taehyung’s side and glanced down at the book, “Is this a new book?”

Taehyung nodded his head and looked down at the cover of the book, “It was in the classroom today, and my teacher let me bring it home to read! I chose it cause the people look like us.”

Jin leaned forward more to examine the characters, smiling and nodding his head, “You’re right, they do! You’re a knight, Kookie is the prince, and… am I the king or the dragon?”

     “The king of course!” Taehyung laughed and glanced at Namjoon with a smirk, “And papa is the dragon.”

Jungkook leaned on Taehyung shoulder and impatiently opened the book, wanting to hear the story more than examine the cover and see how they all looked like the characters. He and Taehyung had already talked about it a little bit, so he was ready to move on to see if these characters possibly acted like them as well. He hugged Taehyung’s waist and asked softly, “Do you want to read first or me?”

     “We can go back in forth between pages,” Taehyung offered, and opened up to the first page of the book, beginning to read out loud in his dramatic storytelling voice, “Once upon a time, there was a king who was known to be the most beautiful person in all the land. Many people adored him and wanted to marry him, but no one ever could.”

Jungkook leaned forward and read his page, “M-Marrying the king was di…” he glanced up at Jin, “difficult?”

Jin nodded his head and smiled, “Yeah, difficult. Good job!”

Jungkook smiled and continued to read, “Difficult because he had a series of tests one must pass through to even see him. He had to make sure they were perfect to be able to match how amazing he was!”

Taehyung and him continued to switch between pages and read the story that told about how one day a dragon attempted these tests, claiming that he was the only one amazing enough to rule alongside the king. The king laughed and didn’t believe him because he made sure these tests were impossible, but as the dragon started to go through the tests, the king got to know his personality and started to secretly make the tests easier for him. The dragon ended up passing through all the tests and there was a big celebration because the king had finally found someone worthy enough to be by his side. And at the celebration, the king told the dragon he loved him and the dragon turned into a prince so they could be together.

As the story went on, Namjoon’s heart started racing and he became more and more nervous. How was he going to do this? He hadn’t thought this far. He just thought the kids were going to read the book and Jin was going to figure it out, but how was he even going to present the ring?

Namjoon felt for the box in his pocket, wondering if he should just open it up and pop the question after the dragon proposed to the king in the book or if he should just… An idea came to his mind. It wasn’t the most romantic thing in the world, but he knew that this book was the question in itself. He just needed to make sure Jin saw the ring, and he knew the perfect way to do that.

Jin was so immersed in the story, laughing and glancing down at the pages to see the art every time Taehyung and Jungkook turned the page. He even mentioned how this story was similar to their real life relationship, and Namjoon was lucky he didn’t break down there from the stress of Jin realizing that fact too early.

While Jin was busy listening to the story though, Namjoon took the ring out of the box within his pocket and held it in his hand in a tight fist, making sure to have it ready for the last page. That moment was so close from now too. Just one more page and he and Jin would be together for ever. Just one more page and the rest of his life was starting. He knew they still had a wedding to go through as well, but that part barely mattered. Just as long as Jin knew that he was Namjoon’s and Namjoon was his.

Taehyung turned the page and grinned, seeing the last paragraph that Jungkook was going to be reading and knowing where this was going to lead. He handed Jungkook the book to read the last page and hugged him as he looked on, whispering softly into his ear before the younger began reading, “We’re finally brothers…”

Jungkook was too focused on the words to realize what Taehyung said, leaning on him and reading out loud as clear as he could managed since he loved showing off that he could read, “After the celebration, the dragon who was now a prince took the king away to a private room and asked him a very important question. He held out a ring made of gold and took the king’s hand in his own, saying softly, 'I love you more than anything in this whole world, my king'.”

Namjoon held Jin’s hand and leaned in close to whisper in his ear, “I love you more than anything in this whole world, Jin.”

Jin seemed to just now notice him, having been so into the story to even remember they were next to each other until he heard his soft voice next to his ear. He smiled and squeezed Namjoon’s hand back, “I love you too.”

Jungkook continued reading, not even noticing what was going on, though Taehyung was watching with a smile widening on his face, “The dragon continued to speak, 'Every test I went through for you was worth it, and I’d be will...willing to go through many more just to stay by your side forever'!"

Namjoon opened Jin’s hand and held it between his fingers, messing with the ring in his other hand to get it ready. Jin still seemed to be focused on the story and Jungkook reading to care too much about what he was doing, though he did glance down a couple times at their hands, wondering what exactly Namjoon was up to. He must have passed it off as Namjoon just absent-mindedly fidgeting though because his gaze didn’t linger on it too long.

Jungkook continued, “The dragon placed the ring on the king’s hand and kissed him before he finally asked after what felt like years, though they were just seconds, of waiting, ‘King Seokjin will you marry me?’”

Namjoon quickly slipped the ring onto Jin’s finger just as he heard the soft gasp escape Jin’s lips as he realized what was going on. He looked into Jin’s eyes and grinned when he saw the look on his face, his eyes wide with shock and mouth dropping as he tried to figure out if this was a joke or not.

He glanced down at the ring, then to the book in Jungkook’s hands, and then to Namjoon who repeated the last part of the book just to make sure Jin knew he was wholeheartedly asking to be with him forever, “Every test you put me through was worth it, and I’d go through a hundred more each day if it means I’ll get to be by your side for the rest of my life.”

     “Holy shit…” Jin grinned and nodded his head with tears in his eyes, silently answering the question before Namjoon could even ask it.

Namjoon grinned and glanced at Jungkook and Taehyung to make sure they were equally happy. Jungkook looked like he was still trying to piece things together but Taehyung was grinning and squeezing his brother tighter and tighter as the moment continued.

Namjoon laughed a little and turned back to Jin, tears also in his eyes and now threatening to fall as he thought about actually getting to spend the rest of his life with Jin; with the best family he could ever even imagine he could have, “Jin, will you marry me?”

     “Yes!” Jin practically cut him off before he could finish the question, jumping forward and hugging him with so much force that they both fell off the bed, rolling to the ground and laughing when they hit the carpet.

Jungkook watched his parents fall off the bed and turned to Taehyung with his eyebrows furrowing in confusion, “What’s going on?”

Taehyung laughed and hurried out from under his covers to peak over the side of his bed at Namjoon and Jin holding each other and laughing from how they accidentally fell off the edge. He laughed and turned to Jungkook who was crawling over to join him on the side of the bed, finally explaining the situation, “Papa and daddy are going to get married now, and we’ll be a real family!”

Jungkook gasped, “Married?” he let out a happy laugh and clapped his hands, “Like us and Chim Chim!”

He quickly got off of the bed with the help of Taehyung and they both joined their parents on the ground, climbing on top of them and joining the hug to make it a family hug. Jungkook was practically crying and laughing excitedly as he talked about how now no one will correct him when he said Taehyung was his brother or Namjoon was his papa, and Taehyung was saying how him and Jungkook were twins now and should share the same birthday.

Even in all the chaos of their kids hugging them and excitedly talking about their new life together that would be the exact same as it had been for the past months - just more official - Namjoon and Jin couldn’t stop staring into each others eyes and kissing each other when the excitement of the moment caught up to them and they couldn’t control the love they were feeling right now.

Soon though, the kids calmed down and ended up falling asleep in between them, both holding each other since they fell asleep whispering to each other about secret plans of proposing to Jimin in the same way next time they saw him.

With the kids asleep, Namjoon and Jin found themselves kissing more, barely letting each other breathe though the kisses remained sweet and kid-friendly just in case their kids were awake between them.

Jin admired his ring a bit when he broke away for breath, smiling and muttering out against Namjoon’s lips, “The ring is beautiful… I never thought I’d actually see the day I’d be wearing one of these.”

     “Every moment with you these past few months, I’ve been imagining you wearing a ring that showed the world that we were together forever,” Namjoon smiled and moved his hand to rest on Jin’s cheek, letting himself take in the beauty that was all his now. He leaned forward to kiss Jin once more and say, “Jungkook said to me over the summer how you and I were assigned to each other.”

     “Oh God…” Jin shut his eyes and laughed a little, “That was the lie I always told him when I couldn’t admit everything about my sister and his real dad. I thought he knew now that that wasn’t a real thing though.”

Namjoon nodded his head in understanding but continued anyway, “Actually he does know that you said people don’t actually get assigned to each other, but he still believes it’s a real thing,” Namjoon smiled and glanced down at the top of Jungkook's head that was resting in between their chests, “He told me that people who are assigned to each other are meant to be together from the start though they may not know it at first. That they can struggle and fight, but they’ll always love each other because they know that without the other, they are incomplete.”

     “He said all that?”

     “Yeah,” Namjoon held Jin’s hand again and brought it close to his heart, “Though we may not have known it at first, we were assigned to each other. We fight and we struggle and sometimes we even drive each other crazy, but without you, I’d lose half my heart. I think we were all somehow assigned to each other to be a family because we all needed it, and I couldn’t be happier about that.”

Tears rolled down Jin’s cheeks and he nodded his head in agreement, sniffling and saying softly, “Me too. I love you, Namjoon. I love our family more than anything”

Namjoon wrapped his arms around their two children between them to reach around Jin’s waist and pull the three of them closer to them. His new family. Their official family.

And just like Jin, he loved them more than anything.