Jinho stood in front of the full length mirror. He studied his body and all the changes it had gone through in the recent four months.
He had larger hips than four months before. They stuck out more and they seemed to jut painfully out past his tiny and thin frame. His arms were the same, maybe his legs seemed thicker and a bit closer together as his hips widened, but only slightly. It's not like his jeans fit anyway, being confined to always wearing sweatpants. He had gained love handles. Not big ones, but there was enough there to actually grab and pinch. His chest had gotten softer too as his skin stretched through weight gain. He had gotten a slight double chin, not enough to see when he was standing straight, but if he were to slouch, it peeked out past his first chin. Finally, his hands were down at his belly.
With Jinho's pregnancy came this monstrous hunger that was never satisfied and he didn't hold back, eating whatever whenever. He hadn't had morning sickness this time around and so everything he was eating stayed inside. With that monstrous hunger came monstrous fatigue as well and so everything he ate went straight to his hips, thighs, and belly. He was bigger than he should be.
He was pregnant with twins. TWINS! He couldn't believe it either. The likelihood of him getting pregnant the first time was low in odds, yet he had gotten pregnant with his little boy, Hyunggyu. Hyunggyu was excited to have two more play mates and made plans every day of what he was going to do with them once they were born. He wanted to first play soccer with them, but Jinho had explained to him many times that he had to wait if he wanted to play such a big boy game with his little brothers or sisters.
He wasn't too incredibly fertile, yet here he was with one little boy and two more babies on the way. It was a miracle, but Jinho just wished he hadn't been so fertile the second time. He was happy to have more children on the way, but that meant that he would have to stop teaching sooner this time. Jinho was a kindergarten teacher. In his last pregnancy, he had stopped teaching around seven months when he finally deemed himself too big to keep up his stamina and the little kids. But with two babies in his womb, he was already feeling the strain on his body and when he went and taught classes even at twelve weeks pregnant he struggled.
Jinho used his hands to smooth out over the expanse of his belly, feeling the soft skin against his thin hands. It was soft and stretched out previously from his pregnancy with Hyunggyu. His hand somewhat sunk into the flesh. Jinho was always thin and the sudden oncoming of pregnancy was a shock on his body as he gained weight and expanded everywhere.
"Umma!" a voice entered the room. Jinho turned his head and saw his three year old son running into the room waving around a long sock that he recognized as Wooseok's. It was laundry day and Jinho assumed that Hyunggyu was "helping" his dad. That usually meant he played around and made a bigger mess rather than helping.
"Hello, GyuGyu," Jinho cooed, smiling down at his baby boy. Hyunggyu had no shirt or pants on, which wasn't odd to him. Hyunggyu was going through a phase where he would take off all of his clothes at random. He wasn't like this in public, but sometimes Wooseok and Jinho couldn't predict what their hyperactive son would do.
Hyunggyu was taller than a normal kid his age, thanks to his dad, and Jinho was very short, so Hyunggyu was able to reach Jinho's stomach, which was bare from his earlier observations of his own body. Hyunggyu grabbed the waistband of Jinho's sweatpants and stood on his tiptoes to place a sloppy kiss on his mother's swollen tummy, "Hi, kids," he called. It was funny because he had started to call his siblings that after hearing his parents call them kids so much. He was still a kid himself.
Jinho made a face at the spit that was now on his belly. Hyunggyu gave sloppy and wet kisses, and while it was cute at first, it wasn't now. Jinho moved to wipe it away, but was soon interrupted again, but this time by someone much bigger and very familiar.
Wooseok had entered the room, following their son and his odd habit of stripping. He did have Hyunggyu's khakis and button-up shirt in his hand, but upon seeing his husband and son in such a sweet scene, he placed the clothes on his and Jinho's bed and joined his family. He walked up behind Jinho while he was focused on an infamous "Hyunggyu Wet Kiss" and wrapped his arms around Jinho's waist, placing both hands under his round belly.
Jinho almost stiffened when Wooseok placed his hands on his belly. He gave up in his mind and just accepted the physical contact even when he wasn't confident in his body at the moment. He was still in the "Pregnant? Or fat?" stage and it wasn't flattering, even when he was bigger since he was having twins. One of their friends even commented on how much weight he had gained and it hurt him a lot.
Wooseok, noticing how lost Jinho was in his thoughts, placed a kiss on the back of Jinho's neck after stooping low to reach it. This seemed to bring Jinho back to life since this was a sensitive spot for him. Jinho turned his head into Wooseok's face and the younger quickly placed a light kiss on Jinho's forehead, smiling as he did so.
Jinho smiled and turned around into Wooseok's arms, lowering his shirt to cover his stomach again.
"Hi," Jinho cooed, resting his head on Wooseok's chest. He hadn't really seen Wooseok that day, with Jinho sleeping most of the day away and Wooseok off playing with Hyunggyu. Jinho had woken up from his nap a few times to hear Hyunggyu screaming in delight and Wooseok shushing him or he would "wake umma up". It made Jinho smile, but he would be fast asleep again.
"Wanna go out tonight?" Wooseok asked, adjusting his grip on his husband a bit so he was more comfortable, "I would love barbeque," he stated, smiling against Jinho's hair as he thought of the fun of grilling his own food for the night. His whole family in fact loved going to a barbeque restaurant and always had fun together. And Hyunggyu had mentioned about five times while doing laundry that he wanted grilled meat, but referred to it as "meat grill".
Jinho was about to protest, but to his luck, Hyunggyu had heard his dad say barbeque and he instantly became excited, "Yes! Please please please!" Hyunggyu chanted, running in circles around his two parents. His arms were in the air, flailing in excitement. This boy was a pure ball of energy and his wishes were granted, there was no way they weren't going.
Jinho faked a smile and nodded, looking towards his husband, "Wanna go now?"
Wooseok could tell that there was something off with Jinho, but chose to ignore it, knowing that Jinho would brighten up once they got to Mama's Korean Barbeque House. That was actually where he and Wooseok met. Wooseok was a new waiter at the establishment and it was his first night, a boring Tuesday night at the restaurant. The slowest day of the week and it was just him and a co-worker who was training him.
Jinho had come in with his niece, Sebin. She was obsessed with her uncle as much as he was obsessed with her. He had taken her out to lunch and she happened to like the barbeque house just as much as he did, so of course, this was where the two went to bond.
Wooseok was standing at the podium, not paying attention. The sudden entrance of the two brought him back to reality and he immediately focused on the little girl in front of him. She was so adorable and he couldn't take his eyes off of her. He smiled at her and she smiled back, baring all of her little, white teeth in a massive grin. She was absolutely gorgeous and it was a wonder how she got such good genes. He only had to look up to see the same genetics in her uncle.
"Table for two please," Jinho had said to Wooseok, noticing just how mesmerized the young waiter was in Sebin.
Wooseok nodded, grabbing one menu, knowing Sebin wouldn't need one and stepped out from behind his little podium, "Alright, just this way..." he trailed off, finally looking up to address the adult. His eyes locked with Jinho's and he stared. He took a long look at Jinho and how perfect he looked. Sebin looked a lot like him and he felt the same way he did with Sebin towards Jinho. He was(is still) gorgeous.
jinho smiled, baring off his set of perfect teeth and Wooseok was taken aback. His smile spread across his whole face, eyes squinting into half moons. His smile lit up the room and Wooseok felt happy upon seeing it. After they started dating, Wooseok claimed that it was love at first sight. And this was seven years ago.
Wooseok claimed Jinho's table as his, even though it was his co-workers turn and he served Jinho and Sebin all night. He would often find himself staring at either Sebin or Jinho when he was at their table and by the end of the night, Jinho had left his number on his check, right next to Wooseok's generous tip. A bold move led to their marriage, a kid, and now a pregnancy with twins.
The family got into the car and drove to the familiar restaurant. They actually hadn't gone since before they found out Jinho was pregnant for the second time. What with Jinho's terrible fatigue and his antic to sleep everywhere and anywhere he could, they didn't get many opportunites to move around or go out. Now that he was "relatively normal", Wooseok thought it was perfect to go out as a family again.
Upon entering, the entire restaurant greeted them. The cooks came out from the kitchen to hug both Jinho and Wooseok, the owner picked Hyunggyu up and gave him a sucker, a whole bunch of sweep and sappy things happened as the entire staff welcomed the family. Wooseok had quit to go to college and they were still on good terms. They were like his extended family to him.
The family didn't even have to order because their order was memorized for years, adding Hyunggyu's order when he was old enough to start eating solids. Their order was usually the spiciest beef they had, a plate of seasoned steak cuts, shrimp, and a plate of chicken wings, three sides of rice, and a bowl of noodles for Hyunggyu. This and the employee discount made a pretty decent dinner for the family.
Everything was soon out on the table with all the extra sides that came with the grill. Hotaek, the waiter that has been at the restaurant the longest, helped Hyunggyu light the coals under the grill with permission from Jinho, and the three year old loved it. He cheered as soon as it was lit and the cooks in the back could be heard cheering with him.
Wooseok also helped Hyunggyu place the first slab of beef on the grill and he was ecstatic. This truly was one of his favorite places.
Wooseok covered the grill in the spicy beef so that there was no escape for the smoke underneath. He liked his meat smoky as well, go figure. He was weird with his food. Hyunggyu slurped on his noodles and picked at the side of kimchi that came with the grill. He still didn't like the taste of it, but he would learn to soon. Jinho craved it like crazy throughout this pregnancy and he was having it with all of his meals throughout the day.
Jinho picked at a chicken wing, peeling off piece by piece with his chopsticks and slowly chewing it. He watched as Wooseok happily smiled at all the meat he was cooking and Hyunggyu sticking a sloppy spoonful of rice into his mouth, a few grains sticking to his nose and chin. Jinho was quite fond of this scene. His son was so much like his father and his love of food.
"Alright!" Wooseok cheered, pulling the fully cooked pieces of meat cleanly off the grill. There were perfect grill marks on the beef and this sent Jinho's mouth into a shower of saliva. He was salivating like crazy, but a recurring thought kept playing in his head. He had been eating too much recently and he didn't want to get much bigger than he already was. He wanted the baby part of his body to even out with the fat he gained on his body. He wasn't confident in his body at all right now. He was fat. Ugly. Gross. These words kept filtering through his head on repeat.
"Jinho, hold out your plate," Wooseok ordered, holding up a generous amount of beef in his tongs. Jinho frowned at the amount thinking it was too much for him to eat. He had no doubt in his mind that he could eat it all and more, but he didn't want to. He was almost afraid to.
"Jinho?" Wooseok asked, noticing how upest his husband looked. He never passed up on the opportunity to eat food and this seemed completely out of character. When he was pregnant, he ate twice as much as he did than when he wasn't pregnant, but Wooseok was smart. Jinho ate a lot, but also became incredibly self-conscious of his body. As his body changed, he grew aware of the changes and more often than not, hated them. Wooseok knew Jinho well, Jinho knew this too.
"Hyunggyu, Umma isn't eating. Can you help him eat?" Wooseok asked their son, smiling mischievously, "Remind him how good food tastes," it was almost like the two adults were speaking through telepathy because as soon as Hyunggyu shouted an excited yes, Wooseok looked to Jinho again and Jinho's face just read, 'Curse you, Wooseok'.
Hyunggyu hopped over to sit on Jinho's side of the table, "Careful," Wooseok warned as he set the tongs full of meat on a plate in front of Hyunggyu, "Carefully put the meat in Umma's mouth," he spoke softly to Hyunggyu, making sure he wasn't going to make a mess of his mother.
Hyunggyu took a fork and stabbed a piece of meat, picking it up and placing it in front of Jinho's mouth, "Open up, Umma!" Hyunggyu chanted, opening his own mouth and encouraging him to do the same. Jinho smiled and opened his mouth wide enough for Hyunggyu to put the beef in without getting grease on his face. Hyunggyu succeeded and Jinho happily chewed on his food, enjoying the taste.
"Yay! Umma ate!" Hyunggyu shouted, clapping his hands together and reaching over to stab a potato with his fork and put in his own mouth.
"And Umma looks so beautiful, doesn't he?" Wooseok cooed, resting his cheek on his knuckles. He looked doe eyed as he observed his husband. He was just as gorgeous as the day he met him in that restaurant. He meant every word. Even if Jinho didn't feel or look the same, he would always think that. He loved the man too much to think anything else.
Jinho smiled and looked down, finally swallowing what was in his mouth. He smiled and opened his mouth for Hyunggyu to put another forkful of beef in his mouth. Hyunggyu chanted, "Pretty Umma!" over and over again. A few kisses were shared here and there and Hyunggyu made it known how much he loved his mother.
Even in the setting, a barbeque house, young son covered in grease and rice, and husband trying and succeeding to get him to eat, Jinho felt beautiful in his own way, and he loved his family for reminding him of that.