It’s a quiet night, practically a silent one, as Jimin sits reading a book Namjoon had recommended him months ago but has only now found the time for it. The TV is off, a rarity in their home, the curtains drawn against the dark, cold December evening and there’s a mug of hot chocolate cooling on the table next to the sofa.
Jimin sighs, one of those heavy contented kind of sighs that warms the body until you’re positively glowing with happiness. He rests the book on his chest, sinking deeper into the corner of the sofa as he looks down to his peacefully sleeping husband.
Winter nights are Jimin’s favourite nights in the year.
There’s just the right kind of nipping chill in the air that manages to slink its way under your thick layers of clothing and leave cold goosebumps peppered over your skin. It’s the perfect time to snuggle on the sofa with hot drinks and thick fluffy blankets. But most importantly, the winter brings a clinginess to Yoongi that Jimin oh so deeply adores.
Like tonight, for instance.
Tonight, Yoongi came home from work with red cheeks and a heavy pout hidden beneath his thick grey scarf. There was a deep crease between his brows, halfway to a scowl, and Jimin had thought his husband looked utterly loveable. Delectable even.
And so, with a large amount of coddling and kissing red cheeks and frostbitten noses warm, Jimin had coaxed Yoongi out of his multiple layers and into a thick cable knit sweater and sweatpants before tucking them both up on the sofa for the night.
There was food on the stove, something Jimin had picked up on the way back from work because he instinctively knew that neither of them would be in the mood to cook tonight. But the food could wait. Cuddles and snuggling were just what the doctor ordered on this cold December evening, and Jimin was more than happy to provide that for his squishable, loveable husband.
Turning to glance at the clock on the wall, Jimin thinks it’s probably a good idea if they ate sometime soon, it’s been three hours since Yoongi came home after all. But he’s distracted by a little sigh and Yoongi wriggling into a more comfortable position. His husband is currently using Jimin’s lap like a pillow, knees pulled up to his chest and hands slotted between his own thighs.
It’s beyond adorable, Jimin thinks, and no picture could do the cute scene justice.
Carefully, so as not to disturb Yoongi, Jimin grabs the blanket they have thrown over the back of the sofa and covers it over Yoongi. The man had insisted that all he needed was to curl up to Jimin to feel warm and had swiftly fallen asleep before Jimin had the chance to argue him into using the blanket.
Curse his husband’s amazing ability to sleep anytime anywhere.
Just as Jimin is tucking the end of the cream blanket between Yoongi’s back and the back of the sofa, the house phone sends a shrill ringing through the silence.
“Fuck,” Yoongi grumbles, groggily blinking awake.
Jimin hushes him, running his hand through his hair. “Go back to sleep, it’s probably nothing.”
Knowing that it’s probably not nothing, Yoongi narrows his eyes up at his husband and pushes himself up right. “Quick, love, before it goes to answer message.”
Jumping to his feet, Jimin shuffles across the room and snatches the phone from the cradle. “Hello? Park residence,” he calls into the phone, eyes locking with Yoongi’s. He can’t help the fond smile that pulls across his lips as he watches Yoongi wipe the remaining sleep out of his eyes.
“Hello, Jimin, are the pair of you ready for some good news?”
Jimin’s heart stops, his knees wobble and he’s suddenly overwhelmed with dizzying giddiness. “Yes, yes we are.” His voice is strained, like he needs to cough through a large lump in his throat.
Yoongi is by his side, their hands tangled, foreheads touching. How did he get over here so fast?
“There’s a baby ready for you.”
“A baby,” Jimin repeats, awe in his voice, smile so wide across his face. “All for us?”
There’s wetness on his cheeks. Jimin knows they’re not his and he untangles their hands in order to reach up and wipe the tears from Yoongi’s eyes. Leaning just a little closer, he brushes a chaste kiss against his husband’s smiling mouth.
“That’s right.” Their social worker chuckles, voice light. “Can you make it over here within the hour?”
“We can make it over there within the next twenty minutes,” Jimin replies.
Yoongi will never like the look of orphanages. Especially not the ones in Seoul.
As a child of the system himself, Yoongi knows very well that the way in which orphanages are run is meticulous, cleanly and very incredibly private . It’s no secret that there are hundreds of unwanted children in the world, but there’s just something about that thought that brings a melancholy sadness into people’s hearts.
A sadness that one would think would make people want to help, want to do something about it.
But for some reason, it’s a sadness that people tend to forget about . Just so they don’t have to feel responsible for it.
The orphanage in which they had gone to look to adopt their first child together was no different. It’s a large, four-story building made of grey brick and the front is covered by large cherry trees that looked cheery in the spring, yet anything but welcoming in the cold winter.
There is no sign out front explaining what the building is for, either. Almost as though disguising such a terrible blemish from the city would help people forget that there are unwanted children out there.
“Cold, baby?” Jimin asks, tangling their fingers together and bringing them both to sit inside the pocket of his own coat.
Grateful for the warmth, Yoongi smiles. But there’s nothing genuine about it.
Jimin’s face hardens just a moment, then softens. Spare hand reaching up to rest against the cool of Yoongi’s cheek.
Nothing else needed to be said. Yoongi doesn’t much like talking about his time jumping from orphanage to orphanage until he was lucky enough to find himself a family. Jimin doesn’t like pushing Yoongi to talk about it either, content to just offer silent support for as and when Yoongi needs it.
Being together so long meant the two of them have built a strong understanding support between them that Yoongi cherishes just as much as the wonderful man he calls his husband.
“Ready to be a dad?” Yoongi asks, voice soft on the backs of the gentle winter winds.
The fullness of Jimin’s cheeks blushes pink as he smiles brightly. “More than ready.”
It’s with hands entwined in the warmth of Jimin’s pocket that the two of them stumble their way up the path that leads to the front door.
Yoongi can get through another orphanage if it means he can tell a child that they are very much wanted, that they will be very much loved.
Chae Jeongmin is young.
Younger than both Yoongi and Jimin. She carries a youthful complexion and a modern, fashionable twist to her simple grey skirt suits that changes every time Jimin sees her. Today it’s in the form of a rose gold holly brooch, pinned to the lapels of her blazer, and a subtle glossy pink lip.
Her chestnut brown hair has been left down today, curled elegantly around her face and shoulders, cascading in dark waves down her back. Her shirt is salmon pink, her tights sheer, and her feet slipped into generic plastic green slippers that Jimin always hates wearing whenever he visits public places.
The things just never stay on your feet and turn him into a fumbling clumsy mess. More so than usual.
“Merry Christmas,” Jeongmin greets, a red blush to her cheeks and a polite smile to her face.
“Merry Christmas,” Yoongi returns, eyes zoned in on their social worker rather than the rest of the interior. Despite the fact they’ve visited the orphanage a fair few times over the past year, Yoongi still feels anything but comfortable inside.
Jeongmin’s eyes narrow. “You doing okay?” she asks.
Jimin feels exposed. “We’re doing more than okay,” he reassures, squeezing his husband’s hand. “We’re over the moon right now.”
There’s still a knowing glint in Jeongmin’s eyes, the dark inky pools of her irises glistening with an understanding far beyond her youth. “I bet you are,” she finally says, gaze softening. “If you come with me, you can meet him.”
Yoongi blanches, one foot out of his sneakers ready to slip into the generic plastic green slippers. “ He?” His voice croaks, like a broken whisper.
Jimin feels his heart thumping faster in his chest, like he’s gaining speed on a marathon as he rounds the corner towards the finish line.
Excitement glitters in Jeongmin’s eyes. “Congratulations,” she says. “You have a son.”
The sob that bubbles out of Jimin’s throat isn’t all that surprising. He’s always been the most openly emotional between the pair of them. But the bear tight hug from his husband as they stand utterly overjoyed in the entryway, is.
Yoongi is always openly affectionate with Jimin in the privacy of their own home. But around people, in public, he’s subtle with his love, conservative with it. Saving it all for Jimin when no other prying eyes can see them.
“I’m so happy,” he whispers against the shell of Jimin’s ear, holding him impossibly tighter.
Tears tumble their way down Jimin’s cheeks as he nods in agreement, words utterly failing him.
Happy is an understatement right now.
They’re led to a room on the third floor, tucked away at the back of the orphanage in which no loud, older children can come stumbling pass it and arise the babies.
Yoongi notices before they get to the baby area that the place is eerily quiet for the time of year it is. He sees no lights, no Christmas decorations no music or children singing along to Christmas songs as they wander the halls.
In fact he sees not a single child as they climb the stairs and totter through the dimly lit hallways.
“Most of the children are spending the holidays with foster families or their future permanent families,” Jeongmin explains, as if answering Yoongi’s internalized worry. “That’s why the place looks so empty.”
Jimin hums. “I’m happy to hear the kids get to have good holidays.” Jeongmin agrees, nodding in reply before flicking on the hallway lights.
It reminds Yoongi a little of a hospital. It’s cold and clinical, the fluorescent lights reflect off the grey linoleum flooring and bring no homey comfort or warmth. Yoongi was fortunate enough to only ever be placed in little orphanages, with six or seven other kids. Everything was smaller, styled a little more like the home he always wanted, and the lights were always on.
But this is the city, and everything is different in the city.
Jeongmin wastes no time in opening the door to the baby room. She holds it ajar for Yoongi and Jimin, pointing to a crib at the end of the room that sits next to a small, simple Christmas tree.
“There he is,” she whispers, nodding encouragingly.
Jimin practically runs across the room, dragging Yoongi behind him. Their slippers slap against the wooden flooring, echoing around the empty room and blend together with the erratic beating of Yoongi’s heart.
Their son, dressed in a soft pale blue baby grow, sleeps peacefully in his crib. None the wiser to the world around him, content to live through the dreams that fill his little head. His hands are wrapped in soft cream mittens, there’s a yellow hat half falling off his head and a patchwork green and pink quilt, no bigger than an A3 sheet of paper, covers him snuggly.
“So small,” Yoongi mutters in awe.
Jimin lets go of his husband’s hand, slipping it out of his pocket and fussing with fixing the boy’s fallen bonnet. “So soft,” he mutters, voice gentle gentle gentle. Like a lullaby, melodic and calm. “He’s gorgeous.”
Nodding through the lump forming in his throat, Yoongi raises his face to the ceiling and forces the tears welling in the corners of his eyes to not fall.
So many years they’ve waited.
Waited to start a family of their own, waited to bring love and a home to a child who is in need of it. Even longer Yoongi has waited to return the gratitude he felt when his parents took him from a life of orphanage hopping and into a warm family that showed him kindness and love he never thought he deserved.
Fuck it, if there was ever a time Yoongi was going to cry in public then now would be it.
Reaching into the crib, eyes blurred with tears, Yoongi pulls the small boy up into his arms and cradles him against his chest. “Hey, buddy,” he whispers, voice barely even audible in the silent room. “Hey.”
He feels one of Jimin’s arms wrap around his waist, watches as his other hand caress the full soft cheek of the little boy in Yoongi’s arms.
Yoongi feels like he’s living a dream. “Our son , our baby .”
“That’s right,” Jimin replies, voice equally as quiet. “We’re daddies.”
Pulling a somewhat disgusted face, Yoongi snorts. “Don’t make it weird, love.”
Jimin giggles, turning his hand to clean up the tears marring Yoongi’s cheeks. “Sorry, couldn’t help myself.” He brings their foreheads together once more, eyes closed as he sighs. Yoongi thinks it’s one of those heavy contented kind of sighs that warms the body until you’re positively glowing with happiness. He can practically feel the happiness radiating off of his husband and warming his skin.
He’s always thought himself fortunate enough to have fallen in love with the human embodiment of the sun.
“Take as much time as you need,” Jeongmin says, her voice blending into the tranquil quiet the two of them have built around their three person family. “I’ll get all the paperwork in order. Come find me when you’re ready to take him home.”
Jimin is the first to break away, hand outstretched for Jeongmin with a look of utter gratitude written across his ever expressive features. “Thank you, Jeongmin-ah, for everything.”
The social worker takes Jimin’s hand, eyes catching Yoongi’s gaze just briefly before looking down at the little boy she helped find a new home for. “It’s more than my pleasure, it’s my privilege,” she says.
They’ve managed to squish themselves into the very small rocking chair that’s sat next to the crib. Yoongi is practically sitting on Jimin’s lap, but his thighs are strong after years of dancing and early Sunday mornings down the gym, so the added weight doesn’t bother him.
Their baby, their boy, sits nestled between both of them, curled up in Jimin’s arm’s with Yoongi running the tips of his pointer finger across every inch of his face. They haven’t spoken for so long now. But it doesn’t matter all that much. The two of them are more than content to memorize every aspect of their child, eyes running over the curve of his cheek, the wrinkle of his brown, the long black lashes around his sleeping eyes.
Every now and then their emotions consume them. Yoongi will reach down to kiss their child, then reach over to kiss Jimin. Or Jimin will find himself on the verge of tears again, hiding his face in the crook of Yoongi’s neck, knowing if he takes another look at his new son then he’ll burst into uncontrollable sobbing.
They’re so close, the three of them. Bodies entwined together as they settle into their new dynamics. Jimin feels like the hole in his heart, the missing piece in their life, has finally, finally been filled. His entire body is overcome with emotions he never knew he had, the capacity he has to love someone has doubled, stretched his heart so wide that it almost hurts.
His entire world is squished together with him in an old rickety rocking chair and the happiness he feels is similar to an overflowing cup of sweet nectar.
“He needs a name,” Yoongi comments softly. His finger tickles the palm of the baby’s hand, slipped out of his cream mittens just so they can feel his skin against theirs. Just so they can be reassured this isn’t all some wonderful, incredible dream.
Jimin hums, watching as the boy’s little fingers try to close around Yoongi’s much larger pointer finger. His heart melts, head slumping against his husband’s shoulder. “Do we still want to name him after my grandfather? Byeongho?”
There’s a moment in which Yoongi leans just a little closer to their son, eyes dreamily drinking in his beautiful little facer. “He doesn’t really look like a Byeongho.” Yoongi finally concludes.
With a hum, Jimin leans in closer to look at their son too. “Really?”
“It’s too flashy,” Yoongi adds, and there’s a thoughtful downturn to his lips that Jimin really wants to kiss. “Sorry, I know how much you love your grandfather.”
He settles with leaving a kiss against Yoongi’s neck, craning awkwardly to reach it. “That’s alright, love,” he says, softly. “This is our child; the name should be something decided by the both of us.”
“His name should be something that sounds nice with Sarang!”
Jimin furrows his brow, catching Yoongi’s equally bewildered expression.
Who on earth said that?
Turning his head slowly, towards the sound of the third, new voice in the room, Jimin prays that the happiest day of their lives won’t be ruined by spotting a ghost haunting the old orphanage.
But thankfully, what he finds is indeed not a ghost, but a little girl. Possibly around three years old with a gap-toothed smile and full round cheeks tinted a warm happy pink. “Hello,” she greets, politely, bowing her head.
“Hello.” Jimin smiles.
“Are you going to take him home with you?” she asks, nodding her head towards the baby in their laps.
Jimin looks down at their peacefully sleeping son and then back to the waiting little girl. “We are planning on it, yes.”
Yoongi is back to stroking his finger over the plump of the little boy’s cheek. “We were just enjoying some cuddles, that’s all.”
This seems to make the girl incredibly happy, her big owl like eyes twinkling under the gentle glow of the fairy lights on the Christmas tree.
“Oh he loves cuddles!” she exclaims, stepping closer to them. Her little hands rest on Jimin’s knees as she pushes herself up to peer at the baby in their laps. “He also super duper loves kisses,” she adds, leaning forward to pepper feather light kisses over his face.
The baby doesn’t stir once, sleep completely uninterrupted, and Jimin marvels at how gently the little girl handles him.
She turns a serious expression towards them after she’s finished peppering love over the baby’s face. The kind of serious expression that melts Jimin’s heart and reminds him of how Yoongi gets during the cold winter. He has to stop himself coddling the little girl remembering that it’s best to take her seriously when she’s trying to be serious.
All the best parenting books say to respect the fluctuating emotions of children and to not disregard them as childish.
“You have to promise to give him six kisses every day and spend lots of time cuddling him,” the girl says, pushing herself up taller against Jimin’s knees, probably to try and make herself look more intimidating.
Jimin bites on his lip to stop himself from giggling. “Why only six?”
The little girl rolls her eyes as if that’s a stupid question. “Six is the biggest number I know.”
Yoongi makes a fake shocked expression, mouth agape and eyes wide. “What if I give him ten kisses every day?” he asks. “Or even one hundred kisses.”
It’s clear that the girl struggles to comprehend how many kisses that actually is, a small wrinkle pinched between her brow as she thinks carefully . She stands up straight, hands on her hips and pout on her lips in what Jimin assumes is a cute imitation of an adult when they talk seriously to her. “How many kisses is one honey-dred? ” she inquires. “Is it more than six?”
“It’s very much more than six,” Jimin nods. “It’s a very, very big number.”
The pinch between the girl’s brow deepens. “If it’s a very, very big number, than can you really give that many kisses?”
Pretending to think about that question seriously, Yoongi taps his finger against his chin, humming in deep thought. “I’m very sure I can give him at least one hundred kisses a day.” He nods, leaning down to brush his lips against the plush of the baby’s cheek as if to prove his point.
Jimin beams, leaning down to kiss the baby’s other cheek. “And considering he’ll have two dad’s that means he can have double kisses from both of us.”
There’s awe and excitement mixed in the little girl’s eyes once more, her mouth falling agape as she tries to comprehend just how many kisses that is. But after a while, the math clearly hurts her head a little too much and she settles a contented smile on her face.
Lots of kisses is lots of kisses, and to a kid an exact number doesn’t matter so long as there’s lots .
“You seem nice,” she nods, resting her little hands on Jimin’s knees again to lean up and look at the boy. “I told you they would be nice people.” Her voice is a whisper, only for the little boy.
Jimin can feel the warmth radiating from Yoongi. He spies a glance out of the corner of his eye, catches the little smile across his husband’s pink lips and settles deeper into his husband’s side.
“I’m glad you think we’re nice,” says Yoongi, subtly shifting the baby on their laps so that the little girl can see him better without craning her neck.
She nods, eyes fixated on the baby, content to just watch him. “You were holding his hand, he likes that.”
Jimin giggles. “Were you watching us?”
“Only a little,” she whispers, ducking her face a little, shame crawling across her cheeks in the form of a red blush. “Sorry.”
Yoongi reaches over and tucks a loose strand of the girl’s jet black hair behind her ear. “Don’t be sorry, we don’t mind,” he reassures.
But the reassurance in his voice doesn’t seem to do much in lifting the girl’s shame. “I learned it’s not polite to eavesdrop.”
“It’s not,” Jimin replies, voice as soft as a lullaby. “But you came over and said hello eventually. I’m proud that you knew not to continue being rude.”
There’s a brief moment of silence as Jimin’s words wash over the room. For a moment, it looks as though the small girl hasn’t really listened to what Jimin’s said, content to just stare into the face of the little boy on their laps.
But then she nods. Ever so slowly and ever so small, but it’s there. An understanding to what’s being said and Jimin can practically feel the relief washing off of her.
Then, she turns to them both with a straight lipped look and says: “I don’t like Byeongho, it’s boring.”
Neither Yoongi nor Jimin can stop themselves from laughing this time. Giggles and chuckles tumbling out of their mouths, dripping from their lips like honey. Jimin can see through the happy slits of his eyes that the little girl’s face has lit up with pride and happiness at making the two of them laugh. She practically glows like a Christmas tree.
“It’s a funny name,” she adds.
Reaching out a gentle hand, Jimin pats the top of her head. “You’re right.”
“What do you think is a good name?” Yoongi asks, he shuffles where he sits, gently rearranging the baby so that he’s wholly resting on Jimin’s lap. He taps the tops of his thighs, and the little girl all too willingly scurries over to sit herself in Yoongi’s lap.
Her cheeks are dusted pink again, her face so cheerful and so bright that Jimin feels her happiness echo within his own chest. She’s small for age, Jimin thinks, both in height and size. Her skin is caramel, her lips a plump dusty rose and her eyes are the size of the moon itself; deep black with flecks of golden brown in her irises.
She’s dressed in a thick cornflower blue sweater with white daisies stitched across the front, white pleated skirt and thick black tights. She isn’t wearing slippers, and Jimin wonders if she might be a little chilly running across the cold floors of this place, but if she is, she doesn’t let it bother her.
Her hair is shoulder length, straight and as black as a raven’s wing. A little messy and unruly, but that’s a given considering she seems so young. Her fingernails have been bitten down almost to the beds, the skin around them chewed on too. As she settles in Yoongi’s lap, Jimin sees his husband’s hand wrap around her small waist in a little back hug, keeping her secure. Their nails are the same. Destroyed by anxiety and worry, nibbled on until they’re red raw and ready to bleed.
It settles a worrying pit in the bottom of Jimin’s stomach. What could a little girl possibly have to be anxious about?
“Well,” the girl finally begins once she’s happily settled in Yoongi’s lap. “It should sound good with Sarang.”
Humming, Yoongi tucks her wild hair behind her ear again. “Why Sarang?”
“Because that’s my name,” she says, as though that’s the most obvious reason in the world.
Jimin chuckles. “Of course,” he muses.
Leaning back into the baby’s space, Sarang presses another kiss right to the little boy’s forehead before leaning back against Yoongi’s chest. “You know,” she begins with a big smile on her face. She looks the epitome of comfortable, hands absentmindedly playing with Yoongi’s fingers where they link over her tummy. “Mummy said that I am all the love she has, and that’s why she called me Sarang.”
Jimin feels his heart skip a beat, sees the way Yoongi’s eyes soften at the explanation. “That’s beautiful, Sarang-ah,” he whispers, offering her a gentle smile. “You have a very pretty name.”
She nods excitedly. “I think so too.”
“What goes with love?” Yoongi ponders for a moment, head cocked to one side.
With a snort, Jimin looks down at their son and slowly, carefully, goes back to memorising every inch of his face using the tip of his finger. “Too bad Hoseok is taken,” he comments, off handed.
He can feel Yoongi shudder. “Imagine how big that idiot’s head will get if he finds out his nephew has the same name as him.”
There’s a light sound of a hand coming into contact with something. “You shouldn’t call people idiots, oppa, that’s mean,” Sarang scolds and Jimin bites back his laughter. She must have gently smacked Yoongi’s thigh in reprimand and Jimin thinks he’s in love with her sassiness.
“Sorry,” Yoongi apologises, sheepishly.
“What does Hoseok mean?” Sarang asks.
“It means hope,” Yoongi supplies. “I think hope and love go well together, don’t you?”
There’s a moment's pause.
Jimin turns his gaze, a little begrudgingly, away from his son to see what’s going on and finds a heavily contemplative look on Sarang’s soft features. Yoongi is watching her carefully, a little worry in his eye that he might have said something wrong.
Cocking his head at the little girl, Jimin reaches out to tickle the tips of his fingers under her chin. “Everything okay, Sarang-ah?” he questions, softly.
The tickling under her chin makes Sarang smile, only slightly, however. It disappears when Jimin drops his hand from her face. “I dunno,” she mutters, bottom lip sticking out in a deep pout. “He isn’t hope, hope isn’t right.”
Before Jimin has the chance to ask why it isn’t right, the door to the nursery opens and a sweeping of cold air from the corridor cascades through the room and sends a shiver up his spine.
“There you are, Sarang,” a voice Jimin has never heard before speaks out into the room. It sounds exasperated, disappointed even. Sarang shrinks under the tone of it, a guilty look across her face, all colour and excitement gone from her cheeks. “I’ve been looking everywhere for you; you know it’s way past your bedtime.”
In the doorway stands a stoutly woman with silver threaded hair pulled into a tight bun atop her head. Her lavender sweater is thin and no-nonsense, her jeans a dark dyed denim and sturdy. Her face is lined with wrinkles; crows’ feet around her eyes and smile lines around her mouth that leave her aura somewhat warm.
Behind her, Jimin can just about see Jeongmin peaking her way into the room, an apologetic look on her face; concern in her eyes.
Something feels a little off.
Sarang mutters an apology but makes no move to leave Yoongi’s lap. In fact, Jimin sees that she subtly sinks deeper into Yoongi’s back hug, almost rebellious at the idea of leaving.
The woman in lavender huffs out a frustrated sigh and extends her hand in Sarang’s direction. “Come on, little miss, let’s get you ready for bed.”
“Are you two ready to take your boy home?” Jeongmin asks, pushing politely past the lady in lavender and making her way over to the couple.
Sarang sits bolt up-right, worry across her face, a glare in her eyes directed at Jimin and Yoongi. “You’re taking him home today ?” she asks and there’s panic in her voice, her chest rising and falling heavily.
The woman in lavender scurries into the room, a heavy crease between her eyebrows. “Now, sweetie, we knew this day was coming.”
“But it’s so soon!” she wails, jumping off of Yoongi’s lap like she’s just been burnt. “I’ve only known him one days!”
That worrying pit in the bottom of Jimin’s stomach suddenly grows in size, breath catching in the back of his throat. “What’s going on?” he asks, standing to his feet, holding his son tightly to his chest.
Sarang backs away from them all looking very much like a deer caught in a predator’s trap. The lady in lavender kneels herself down to the little girl’s height, reaching out to her with comforting hands that Sarang clearly doesn’t want right now. “Remember how much you wanted him to find a nice family? A loving family? Well he has that now, Sarang-ah. Isn’t that wonderful?”
Jimin feels uncomfortable; guilty just by the look of overwhelming emotions that erupt across Sarang’s face. Clearly, it’s all too much for her little body to contain, and in the next second she’s running from the room, little tight clad feet slapping against the cold wooden floor.
With a deep sigh, the lady in lavender stands to her feet and bows low in Jimin’s direction. “I’m deeply sorry about this,” she says. “Sarang is a sensitive soul.”
Jimin looks down at the baby in his arms and then over to his husband and feels his heart sink in his chest.
There’s a knowing, empathetic look across Yoongi’s face. Eyes drooped in familiar melancholy; mouth twisted into a heartbroken frown. He stares at the doorway, continues to do so even though Sarang is no longer there.
Jimin worries his bottom lip between his teeth, grip tightening around the baby, a worrying tap to his feet. “This is more than just a little girl being a sensitive soul ,” he comments, quietly.
“Is she the only one here?” Yoongi asks. “The only child with no home to go to?”
Jeongmin shakes her head. “There are a few other children downstairs,” she elucidates. “I’m in the process of finding arrangements for them over the holidays...”
“But?” Jimin asks, feeling something, something ominous, hanging heavily in the air.
There’s a sad downturn to Jeongmin’s lips, her face looking far older than she actually is. “ But , Sarang is a special case.”
The lavender woman raises her head, Jimin had forgotten for a moment she was still here, something akin to anger and confusion ringing in his ears. “She won’t be alone for the holidays though, rest assured. I’ll make sure of it.”
Yoongi shrinks a little in the chair, Jimin isn’t sure what he should do. “What’s going on?” Jimin asks once more and his voice is dry, husky, worried.
With a long deep sigh, Jeongmin straightens herself up. “This conversation needs a cup of tea.”
Yoongi isn’t sure where his son is anymore. Jeongmin handed him to some lady in a purple sweater and explained that she’ll get him ready for his journey home .
Now, he’s sat in a stuffy little office, surrounded by pictures of cats and dogs that have the place feeling more like the waiting room of a vet rather than a social worker’s office.
There’s a cup of tea in his hands, warming the skin of his fingers. The steam rises steadily, and Yoongi watches it dance in the air in front of his face just briefly before disappearing.
He’s not thirsty, his stomach is in knots.
“Sarang is a very special case,” Jeongmin repeats, finally sitting in her seat behind her desk now that both Yoongi and Jimin have tea. Jimin hasn’t touched his since the social worker placed it on the desk in front of him. Yoongi’s just glad for something to occupy his hands. To keep him anchored to the situation.
Because currently his mind is wherever Sarang ran off too.
“She was taken from her mother around a year ago?” Jeongmin continues after taking a sip of her own cup of tea. “She was ruled unfit to parent, an alcohol problem that left her neglective. But the judge saw a chance for her to make herself better, make herself fit to be a parent and granted the mother visitation rights.”
Yoongi shivered, visitation rights .
He remembers knowing several children in the system that still had contact with their birth parents; saw how it was both a curse and a blessing.
Jeongmin places her cup on the desk and shuts her eyes, taking a deep breath. “Children who are still in contact with their birth parents aren’t the most...” she pauses, face scrunching up in disgust. “ Desirable, children for potential adoptive parents.”
Perhaps he’s going to be sick? Yoongi feels like he’s five years old again and being told that another family has decided that now just isn’t the right time to take him home.
“ Desirable ,” Jimin seethes, hands clawing tightly at the arm rests of the chair. “Children aren’t merchandise, they’re not the holidays’ most must have toy.”
With an understanding nod, Jeongmin offers them both a small comforting smile. “I know,” she agrees. “But people are already so unwilling to adopt just for the pure fact that these children aren’t blood . So you can imagine how unwilling people are to take in a child that still has an attachment to their birth family. Makes it harder to make them, theirs. ”
Property, that’s all children in the system are. Property ready to be bargained off to the right bidder.
Yoongi doesn’t want to be here anymore.
He stands to his feet, chair scraping loudly across the wooden flooring and without excusing himself he leaves the room.
The door to the office slams shut behind him. It echoes around the empty space of the hallway, dark and sinister.
No child should be raised in a place like this, so void of comfort, of love and warmth.
The plastic green slippers on his feet slap noisily against the linoleum floor, each footstep falling harder and faster until Yoongi finds himself running down the corridors of another orphanage he can’t seem to escape from.
He reaches the end of the hallway; flings open the heavy wooden doors and finds himself panting in the stairwell. There are small windows, high up on the wall that look out into the dark, cold December night, letting in little street lamp glow or light pollution from the city. The building is too far back from the main road, too hidden from the world. Kept a secret. Unwanted and locked away from society.
The entire stairwell is thrown in a sickly pale green, illuminated by the emergency exit signs. The walls are bare, even less decoration in here than in the corridors where children must spend a lot of time walking through.
Besides the little, pathetic excuse for a Christmas tree next to the baby’s crib, there’s no Christmas decorations anywhere in the building. Sure, most of the kids are spending the holidays outside of this god awful place, but you’d think there’d be at least a wreath on the door.
Something strangles its way up his chest, bubbling through his throat and escaping from his mouth like a choked sob. His back hits the wall and he sinks down to his knees.
Mere moments ago he was the happiest man on earth; king of the world.
Now, he feels like he’s hit rock bottom of a roller coaster with no momentum to head back up.
And then, he hears sniffles. Sniffles and snuffles, muted sobs and a heartbreaking whine.
Crawling on his hands and knees, Yoongi shuffles over to the banister of the stairwell and peers down.
There’s someone huddled in the sickly green glow of their stairwell, sobbing quietly into their hands, hidden from the world as if they don’t want to be a burden. Squinting in the horrible lighting, Yoongi realises that it’s a little girl.
A little girl who’s not wearing any slippers. Her pleated skirt looks as though it could be white and her sweater has stitched daisies on it.
Yoongi has never pulled himself from the brink of a panic attack so quickly, practically jumping to his feet, slapping some colour into his cheeks and scrubbing the tears from his eyes. Jimin had forced him to read numerous parenting books over the course of the last few years, preparation for when the day finally comes that he needs to be a dad , his husband had explained.
And right now he knows that his own problems need to be put into a deal with later pile , so that he can focus all his attention on the little girl so badly in need of some comfort.
Gingerly, so as not to startle the poor, overwhelmed girl, Yoongi makes his way down the stairs. He’s not sure what he’s supposed to say, not sure what he’s supposed to do, either. He knows that out of their little gaggle of friends, he’s the one people always seek out for comfort when they’re feeling bad, or look to for advice and guidance when they’re lost.
He’s utterly, completely unsure as to why they would choose him above the emotionally capable and logical Namjoon. Or the ever warm and empathetic Hoseok. Or the supportive and excellent listener that Seokjin is.
But every time his friends ask him for comfort, he gives it the best he can.
The fact they still come back each time they’re upset means he must be doing somewhat of a good job, right?
He can handle a sobbing lonely child at Christmas, right?
Sitting himself down on the same step as Sarang, he feels the little girls body stiffen, face hidden in her hands. He licks at his dry lips, still debating the right thing to say, the right thing to do. Sarang doesn’t move, doesn’t acknowledge his presence in anyway shape or form and Yoongi wonders if maybe it’s better if he had just left her to get all her tears out on her own.
But then Sarang is scrubbing angrily at her face, swiping away her tears. “I’m not crying,” she wails, voice still wobbly with sobs. “I’m a big girl, big girls don’t cry.”
Yoongi’s heart squeezes as tight as a vice. “It’s okay to cry,” he says.
She glares at him, face red and puffy. “I don’t want to cry.”
Gently gently gently, Yoongi reaches out for the girl’s little hands and cradles them in his own. “I like to think that crying is a bit like medicine for your heart.”
Sarang doesn’t respond, brow furrowed, lips wobbling.
“Crying may seem silly, may make your head hurt a little and your nose runny. But after you’re finished, do you feel a little better?”
The girl thinks for a moment, just a brief moment, weighing up Yoongi’s words in her head. Then she nods, gaze down turned to the floor. Yoongi still smiles at her, hoping she can feel the warmth he’s offering.
“It’s okay to cry,” he repeats, soft. “Even big girls cry.”
Sarang nods, tears slipping down her cheeks and Yoongi’s arms reach out around her, bringing her back into his lap and cradling her tight against his chest. “There now, there,” he soothes, pushing her hair away from her wet face. “Let it all out, I’m here, I’ll take it all.”
Sobbing echoes through the stairwell. Sarang buries her face into Yoongi’s chest making it all wet and snotty and gross. But he doesn’t care. He rocks her back and forth, humming a tune that’s been stuck in his head all week; wonders if maybe he can make something soft and gentle out of it; something comforting.
Eventually, Sarang calms down enough to stop sobbing, hiccups tumbling from her lips and little gasps and snuffles the only sound filling the silence between them. Yoongi’s lips have buried in the top of her head, pressing feather light kisses there, hands soothing up and down her arms.
“Oppa,” Sarang mumbles, voice raw. “I’m sorry.”
Yoongi hums inquisitively. “Why are you sorry?”
“Please still adopt him, don’t blame him because I was selfish.”
The grip Yoongi has around the little girl tightens. “We would never leave him behind, never.” There’s a strong promise in his voice, resilient. “He’s our family now, I promise we will look after him and love and give him a good home to call his.”
On an exhale of relief, Sarang nods, nuzzling subtly into Yoongi’s chest. “You are good peoples.”
“We like to think so,” Yoongi replies. “But you’re good peoples too,” Yoongi adds, pressing another light kiss to the top of her head. “You really look after that little boy, don’t you?”
Sarang leans away from Yoongi’s chest, smile wide on her face. “I want to be the best Noona for him!”
Yoongi swallows thickly. Licks at his dry lips, furrows his brow. “Can I ask you something?”
The girl nods, rubbing at her eyes, swallowing down a yawn that must have snuck up on her. “Why is hope not right? For his name, that is.” Yoongi asks, gently prizing her hands away from her eyes so she doesn’t rub them raw.
Sarang blinks. Once, twice. Then smiles. “Because Mummy said that he’ll be full of all her goodness,” she explains. “Mummy won’t get to see him anymore, and Mummy says that will make him good. He’ll be the goodest without her.”
There’s something heavy pushing down on Yoongi’s chest. His grip around the girl tightens. “He’s your little brother, isn’t he?”
“Yes!” Sarang exclaims happily. “I’ve only known him a little bit, but that’s okay. Because he’s going to live with good peoples, and that makes me very very happy.”
For a while, Yoongi just stares at this selfless girl on his lap who deserves to be a little selfish after the world stole so much from her. He wonders where she learned such compassion, how she still has such hope and light and goodness in her after being taken from her mother and is now having her brother taken from her too.
He studies the curves of her cheeks, the darkness of her eyes and the pink of her lips and sees the little baby that he and Jimin are meant to take home today and …
Something just clicks.
Jimin has a nervous leg, twitching and jittery as he bits on his bottom lip. He stares at the door, hears the ominous ticking of the little desk clock sat next to a picture of a Scottish fold kitten that Jimin is certain is not Jeongmin’s.
The social worker had left not long after Yoongi had, off to check how things were going in getting their baby ready to take home.
And Jimin is excited, ecstatic even at the thought of finally bringing their missing piece home with them and starting their life as a family.
But now there’s a new hole tearing its way through his heart and it itches something fierce. It snags at his nervous, has him worrying his lip between his teeth and has his leg jittery and tapping against the floor.
Something is just not… right .
Jimin stands to his feet, pacing the length of the office with his arms folded across his chest and his lips downturned into a heavy set frown. He thinks he knows why things just aren’t right, why he can’t just walk out of here with his son and Yoongi and spend a happy first Christmas together as a family.
Because the moment the three of them leave, they’ll be leaving behind something Jimin wants to bring with them.
If Jimin is known for anything amongst their group of friends; it’s being stubborn. He’ll pout and whine and moan like he’s 8 years old rather than 28 until he gets what he wants. He’ll refuse to listen to reason, listen to advice and guidance when he thinks he knows what’s best for him.
He’ll fight tooth and nail for what he wants, unyielding to any obstacle that gets in his way.
But he also knows that Yoongi had been somewhat apprehensive over starting a family and getting him to agree to adopting one child had taken so much talking, so much compromising and opening of old wounds that Yoongi never really wanted to open again.
Jimin knows he’s lucky, knows how blessed he is with his big birth family full of love and light and happiness. He’s always wanted just as big of a family for himself when the time was right and when he found the right person.
Yoongi is most certainly his right person but what’s right for the both of them isn’t necessarily a big family. Not with all the uncertainties that Yoongi still holds. Jimin is positive that Yoongi would make the most amazing father, he has so much compassion within himself that Jimin just knows he’s more than willing to share with the world.
But it doesn’t stop his insecurities, his fears for the future, his fears from the past.
Suddenly throwing the idea of adopting two children into Yoongi’s lap would just overwhelm the man and Jimin doesn’t want to do that to him just to appease his own stubbornness.
The door to the office opens, slowly, creaking on its hinges as it brings in a slither of light from the hallway. Jimin stops his pacing, turning wide eyes on the visitor, expecting to see Jeongmin carrying his baby in her arms with all the paperwork tucked under her arm for him to sign.
But instead, he finds Yoongi holding Sarang’s hand with a steely look in his eyes and a tightness around his mouth. Sarang’s eyes are red and puffy, her cheeks are wet with drying tears and she biting on the skin around the fingers she doesn’t have laced with Yoongi.
And something just clicks.
“I’ll be right back,” Jimin replies, squeezing past Yoongi as he leads the little girl into the office. He gently runs his fingers over the back of Yoongi’s hands, a subtle reassuring touch before he’s running through the corridors back towards the nursery.
He runs up the stairs, breath falling rigidly, thighs burning. He can hear voices beyond the door to the corridor with the nursery on it and flings it open, the brass door handle colliding angrily loud with the wall.
Jeongmin drops the papers she’s holding at the sudden noise, face turning as white as a sheet. The lady who had come to collect Sarang from the nursery is now wearing a yellow apron with bears over it and lets out an almighty squeal that awakens the baby in her arms and he starts crying.
“Jesus, Jimin,” Joengmin grumbles, bending down to collect her fallen paperwork.
With a sheepish look glanced at the lady with the lavender jumper’s way, Jimin apologises and reaches grabby hands for his crying boy. “My baby,” he coos, swiftly pulling him against his chest and rocking him gently. “I’m sorry, did daddy scare you?”
The shuffling of paper is the only other thing that can be heard over the wailing of the baby. “You scared us all, honestly, was there a need?”
The baby’s eyes are scrunched shut, little tears gathering in the corners and his mitten clad hands wave around his face. He’s been dressed in thicker clothes, swaddled in a thick knit baby blanket and his feet slipped into cute little reindeer socks. He looks so much smaller cuddled up in so many layers and Jimin feels like he’s holding the worlds more precious diamond.
His hushing turns to whispered reassurance, uttered so quietly and so calmingly, only for his son’s ears. “That’s alright, baby,” he whispers, gently. “Everything’s going to be alright.”
Jeongmin stands to her feet, dusting off her grey pencil skirt before trying to organise the papers into a more cohesive pile in the crook of her arms. “Is there a reason why you slammed your way up here?”
Nodding gently, and running a finger softly under the baby’s eyes to swipe away his tears, Jimin stops his hushes and turns back to Jeongmin with a determined look in his eye. “We want to adopt Sarang too.”
There’s a cold and somewhat disheartening look that washes over Jeongmin’s face. Her body stiffens and she shares a knowing glance with the lady in the lavender sweater before turning back to Jimin. “Jimin, listen—”
But Jimin isn’t in the mood to listen. He shakes his head, rocking the baby in his arms as his sobbing begins to even out. “No, there’s no need to listen. My husband and I have made up our minds. We want to take both the children home with us.”
“It’s not quite as simple as you seem to think it is,” the woman in lavender explains, tentatively. “There’s paperwork and house visits and compatibility meetings and talking to her mother…”
Jimin furrows his brow. “Then let’s do all that,” he says. “I know how long this adoption process is, we’ve been waiting for two years to finally hold this little boy in our arms.” He looks down at his son, sniffling and whimpering in his arms as the last of his tears slip down his cheek. He holds him tighter to his chest before placing a gentle kiss to the top of his nose. “But you said yourself you’re struggling to find a foster family that is willing to take Sarang in for the holidays and we’re literally offering you our home up on a platter. We’ve already been cleared numerous times as suitable parents with a suitable living environment, what other hurdles could we possible jump through?”
Still, Jeongmin looks unconvinced, the tightness to her lip somewhat frightening to Jimin. “And what about Sarang? Have you thought about what she wants?”
“How could you think that we haven’t?” Jimin asks, offended.
With a deep sigh, Jeongmin shakes her head. “Not like that,” she corrects. “I know if we told Sarang that she gets to go home for the holidays with the two of you and her baby brother then she would be over the moon.”
“Baby, brother?” he asks, looking down at his babbling son. His eyes are huge, dark inky pools with flakes of golden brown in his irises.
“Exactly,” Jeongmin whispers, sympathetically. “Their mother still has visitation rights with Sarang because it’s harder to change a judge’s ruling. But the courts didn’t grant her visitation rights with the son. I’m honestly not sure whether the courts would allow the two of them to be raised in the same home, in the same family, just for this fact alone.”
Something wriggles in Jimin’s gut, squeezing his stomach in knots. “But that’s so unfair,” he mutters. “How can they think separating siblings is better then letting them be raised together?”
“We have to take the children’s safety into consideration, and although the mother has shown no signs in actively taking her children back, we just can’t risk things.” Jeongmin takes a step closer to Jimin, spare hand reaching out and squeezing his shoulder reassuringly. But there’s no warmth in her touch. “What if you don’t form a bond with Sarang? What if it gets to a point where you just don’t feel like you can keep her anymore? Think how she’ll feel to be abandoned by people she thought were going to love her, forever.”
Jimin flinches, curling in on himself.
“Meetings between potential parents and children are set up for months in advance so that bonds can form and everyone is on the same page with adoption. Going through with things as spontaneously as this can cause problems.” Joengmin’s voice is beginning to sound distant, rattling around in Jimin’s head like an echo in an abandoned cave. “Once you adopt the boy then he’s legally yours, his mother cannot come and take him back. But she can with Sarang, and she might just one day prove herself a fit parent again and fight to take her away from you. Could you handle that?”
Can he handle that?
He thinks he would very well be torn in half if children he has brought into his life, loved with all his being, were so suddenly ripped away from him. Jimin doesn’t even want to think about how Yoongi would be able to deal with it, he’s fairly certain he wouldn’t deal with it.
But this is bigger than them. This is bigger than how they would fare during this whole, difficult process. Because, after all, this isn’t wholly them. Right now, Jimin is holding a child who is in need of a home, of love. And so is Yoongi.
Everything else they’ll deal with, but right now, he knows deep in his gut that he can’t separate the siblings. He refuses to be Sophie.
“I understand.” His voice finally catches up with his mind, and his grip around his son tightens. “And these are all things we’re more than willing to deal with.” He turns his gaze to Jeongmin, pinning her down where she stands, trying his hardest to convey with more than just words how willing they are to let this little girl into their homes and their hearts. “We would gladly deal with anything , so long as it’s in the best interests for Sarang. And right now, her best interests is to spend the holidays with the brother she’s only been allowed to know for a single day.”
Silence reigns through the corridor. The cold night air whips across the windows and sends a ghastly howling through their ears. There’s a distant rhythmic tapping noise, like the dripping of a tap perhaps? A radiator hums noisily behind the door of the room closest to the stairwell.
And Jimin watches Jeongmin’s hard, icy features melt like she’s been hit by the first rays of the spring’s sun. She takes a deep breath, holds it for a few moments, then lets it push past her teeth in a low whistle. “I’ll have to get more forms ready, so you can’t take her home today.”
Nodding enthusiastically, Jimin feels that new hole in his heart start to mend. “That’s okay, we can come back tomorrow. First thing if needs be.”
“Please, I don’t want to be working all night,” Jeongmin groans before turning to the lady in the lavender sweater. “Can you go and get Sarang’s things all packed up? And maybe find her and tell her what’s happening?”
The woman looks more than a little sceptical but nods, offering Jimin a small bow before heading towards the stairs.
“She’s in the office, with my husband,” Jimin calls after her, the door to the stairwell opening far quieter this time.
He turns back to Jeongmin who has one hand placed on her hip. “This doesn’t mean you’re adopting her,” she explains, a serious edge to her voice. “I’ll register you as foster parents for the holidays and she can spend no more than a month with you. Come January 1 st she has to come back.”
“Can we still visit her?” Jimin asks, worry in his voice. “After the 1 st , that is?”
Jeongmin pushes her tongue against her cheek. “I’ll file an order with the court tonight. If they give approval for the siblings to be adopted under the same family, and the mother has no obligations to the request, then we can start the paperwork for adoption.”
With a narrow of his eyes, Jimin worries his bottom lip between his teeth. “You didn’t answer my question, Jeongmin-ah.”
The social worker takes a step closer to Jimin, close enough to send the little boy resting in Jimin’s arms a warm, empathetic smile. She shuts her eyes, schools her features, then turns back to Jimin. “If the courts deny your request, then I think we can all agree that it would be best for Sarang to stop forming a bond with a family she’s not allowed to have, right?”
Sarang’s feet don’t touch the floor from where she’s sat in the office visitor’s chair and Yoongi thinks it’s utterly adorable. She’s resting her hands in her lap, her little slipperless feet swinging back and forth as her eyes dart from each animal picture.
“I’ve never been in here before,” she says, voice sing-songy and light. “It’s kinda funny.”
Yoongi chuckles. “I think so too,” he says. “Do you like animals?”
Nodding gently, Sarang yawns. “Bunnies,” she says, rubbing at her eyes. It’s obvious she’s trying very hard to keep herself awake. Yoongi chances a look at his watch; quarter past nine is no time for little girls to still be awake.
She flops against the back of the chair, legs stilling as she lets another yawn slip past her lips. “Will you let my brother get a bunny?”
Pondering the request for a moment, and remembering the family dog he had growing up, Yoongi feels his chest all warm and tight at the thought of his son playing with a rabbit in their back garden. “Maybe,” he concludes, memory running away with him as he sees Sarang hopping behind a little grey and white rabbit, her brother crawling after them. “If that’s what he’d like.”
“I hope he likes bunnies,” the little girl muses, eyes drooping ever so slightly. “Can I come and see the bunny? If he gets one?”
“I’d really like that,” Yoongi agrees quickly. He squats down in front of the chair, and pushes her hair behind her ear before it falls in her eyes. “Hey, what do you think about the name Kyung?”
Poor Sarang looks a little bit like she’s already being taken away by the sleep fairies. “Kyung?” she parrots, nuzzling her face against the warmth of Yoongi’s fingers until his entire palm eclipses her soft, tear stained cheek. “Why Kyung?” she asks, eyes shutting.
Yoongi cannot fathom how such a precious child can be handed such a cruel life. He wants to wrap her in blankets and keep her warm, shower her with love and affection, spoil her with anything and everything she asks for until she wants for nought.
“Because,” Yoongi whispers gently, warmth blooming in his chest. “I think it goes really well with Sarang.”
She flutters her eyes open at that, fighting the sleep that claws at her body and tries to drag her into the world of dreams. “Is it a good name?”
“It is,” Yoongi explains. “But it only matters if you think it’s good.”
Her eyelashes flutter like the wings of a butterfly until finally she can’t fight her sleep much longer She lets a little sigh puff past her full lips. “I think it’s good.”
Time ticks by slowly and yet all too quickly as Yoongi watches the little girl sleep in the chair that’s three sizes too big for her. He imagines a life he can build for her, for her brother too. A life in which each day they get to smile, each day they get to experience new things, follow whatever passions their little hearts so desire and they can live in warmth and love.
He wonders if Sarang likes music. Would she want to learn to play the piano? Maybe she’ll be more of a singer like Jimin, god , Yoongi hopes that she comes to love to sing. He might cry if he hears both Sarang and Jimin singing together one day.
Maybe their son will be more into sports, which admittedly, isn’t Yoongi’s area of expertise, but Jimin has always been good at whatever sport he’s tried. He can just imagine soccer dad Jimin, with his shoulders weighed down with different backpacks filled to the brim with varying sports jerseys as he ushers both children from club to club.
What if their son grows to love dance, just like Jimin?
The warmth that is currently blooming inside Yoongi’s chest is enough to blossom an entire garden of flowers. It amazes him, awes him even, just how much his capacity for love doubles at the sight of these children. He never in his wildest imagination thought he had the space to love more than Jimin.
Yet here he is, building a life for two children he’s spent less than a few hours with.
It’s true, what his mother told him about having children. There’s no need to worry about finding room in your heart to love them, because your love just increases in size.
The door to the office opens and Yoongi’s head snaps towards it, hoping to find his husband with a blinding smile across his face and good news on his lips.
But instead he’s greeted by the women in the purple jumper who had taken away their son to get him ready for his journey home not too long ago. “Did she fall asleep?” the woman whispers, Yoongi nods. “I’ll take her to bed, then, if that’s okay.” It’s not a request, really.
The woman looks tired, body hanging heavily as though the weight of the world is pressing down on her shoulders. Yoongi hops to his feet, taking a step away from Sarang. “Please,” he says, nodding his head towards the peacefully sleeping girl. “It must be uncomfortable sleeping there.”
Chuckling softly, the woman reaches down and lifts the girl easily into her arms. “Sarang has this amazing ability of being able to sleep anywhere,” she explains. “She fell asleep in one of the kitchen cupboards during a game of hide and seek with the other children last week.”
The smile that pulls across Yoongi’s face is nothing but fond. “Amazing,” he comments. “My husband says I could fall asleep during the apocalypse. I find it so easy.”
“Looks like you two have that in common.” The woman smiles politely. She turns to leave, Sarang’s head resting against her shoulder. But she stops herself just before she reaches the doorway, turning on her heels and giving Yoongi a harsh look. Her gaze runs over him judgmentally, before softening just a little. “You’re not just doing this because you feel bad, are ya?”
Confusion clouds Yoongi’s face. “What do you mean?”
She shrugs. “It’s the holidays and folks tend to get a little sappy, a little over come with charity ,” she elaborates, shuffling the weight on her feet. “I’ve worked here for a long while now, and often times I’ve seen kids’ hopes raised during the holidays only for them to be shattered when the new year comes, and couples are snapped out of the holiday spirit .”
For a moment, Yoongi’s mind blanks, his hands fidget at his sides and his lips pull into a harsh flat line. He leans against the edge of the desk, gaze dropping to the floor. “When I was 3,” he begins, voice deep and soft, words slurring ever so slightly. “An older couple who had recently retired wanted to take in a child because they never had any of their own.” He scoffs. “I remember their faces, every excruciating detail of them because I was sure they were going to be my parents. But after meeting with me twice and promising me the world, they never came back.”
The woman says nothing, shows no signs of struggle against the weight of the little girl in her arms, no signs of compassion or understanding on her face and Yoongi is… well he’s thankful. It’s hard for humanity to just listen sometimes.
“Then I turned 5 and this businesswoman with a soft round face and short yellow hair asked if I would be happy with just a mother and no father,” she had been so short, Yoongi recalls. Tottering on heels too tall for her, and red lipstick smeared across her teeth. The other children had made fun of her late at night after she left, and Yoongi had gotten into numerous fights with them. He would fight tooth and nail if it meant standing up for his new mother. “Three days before she signed my adoption papers, she received a call from her company telling her she’d been promoted to head a division of the company in Singapore. She told me the time wasn’t right but she’ll be back.”
She never came back the words go unspoken in the room, but the understanding is clear.
Sarang sighs in her sleep, face snuggling closer into the crook of the woman’s neck and Yoongi watches as she settles herself back to sleep again, little breaths puffing from her lips. “Then I turned 8 and a big woman dressed in jeans and a green polo-shirt and a skinny man with horn-rimmed glasses wandered into the orphanage. And out of all the bright, happy children so excited to be adopted, they took interest in the little boy who had given up thinking anyone would ever want him.” His bottom lip quivers, emotion flooding him in such an overwhelming mess he has to take a deep steadying breath before continuing. “They met with me once and knew then and there they wanted to give keep me. I was sceptical, I remember my carers being sceptical too. Muttering pitying words about me when they thought I couldn’t hear. But three months later, the couple held one of my hands in their own and walked me from the orphanage and I never saw that place again.”
For months he lived with his parents wondering when they were going to take him back, when they were going to realise that he’s just not what they want . Yet they never did, they showed him love and kindness and warmth every day. They took his insecurities and worries and shared them with him.
“My parents, they built me a home that I never thought I’d ever get. A home that had been in my grasps so many times before, but I had lost.” He sighs. “I may not know much about Sarang, but I know, without a doubt, that I want to build a home for her. Her and her brother. Jimin and I will love them for as long as the world will let us, and even longer still.”
The thickness of the silence that surrounds the little office afterwards hangs like an ominous dark shadow in the room. Yoongi’s heart beats wildly in his chest, anxiety bubbles through his veins like a poison, the way it always does when he feels like he’s overshared.
But he knows that he can never explain fully how ready he is to be these children’s father, to love them, to support them and give them the world on a silver string in any other way than oversharing his miserable childhood. And reassure this kind-hearted woman, who clearly has a large soft spot for Sarang, that Yoongi will do right by her.
“Thank you,” she finally says, nothing more, nothing less and Yoongi nods one final time before she leaves the room.
She doesn’t shut the door behind her, and as Yoongi wanders over to do it himself, a cold shiver running down his spine brought into the office by the hallway, he spots his husband leaning against the wall by the door, eyes closed, and cheeks stained with tears.
Yoongi cups Jimin’s face in his hands, dries his cheeks with his lips and presses as much love into his soft skin as he possibly can. Jimin’s own hands cover Yoongi’s, pushing them closer to his face and entwining their fingers.
He twists his mouth to presses kisses of his own against Yoongi’s palm. “You’re so wonderful,” he whispers. “All three of us, Sarang, the baby and I, we’re so lucky to have you.”
Yoongi smiles gently. “I think you’ll find, that our children are going to be so blessed to have the both of us. A team like no other.”
Nodding in agreement, Jimin slips himself out of Yoongi’s hold and wraps his arms around him, pulling him tight against his chest. “Jeongmin said we can take both of them home tomorrow,” he explains softly. “I think it’s been an emotional evening and we could use some recharging to be in top condition for tomorrow.”
“Agreed,” Yoongi sighs, snuggling his face into the crook of Jimin’s neck. He smells like the baby, powdery soft. “What do you think about the name Kyung?”
“Kyung,” Jimin repeats, testing the name on his tongue. “Love and goodness?”
Yoongi nods. “Love and goodness.”
Humming and threading his fingers through Yoongi’s hair, Jimin plants a small kiss to the side of Yoongi’s face. “I like it, I like it a lot, actually.”
“Good,” Yoongi mutters into Jimin’s heated skin. “Me too.”
“What do you mean you forgot ?” comes the ever so disapproving voice down the phone and Jimin winces, curling into the collar of his coat. “Seokjin-hyung never forgets our birthdays, in fact he’s always the first to congratulate us. How can you just forget that December 4 th is Kim Seokjin day?”
Dear god, Taehyung is just far too dramatic sometimes.
Yoongi sides a glance from the driver’s seat, hands steady at two and ten on the steering wheel as they make their way through the overly crowded Seoul streets.
With a small voice and a heavy heart, Jimin takes a deep breath. “It’s not like we meant to forget Tae Tae, we’ve just been a little… busy.” He feels Yoongi’s hand on his thigh, squeezing it ever so reassuringly.
A long exasperated sigh rings down the phone and Jimin curls up even tighter on himself. He knows that if he were to just tell Taehyung why they’ve been so busy then they would give them a pass. But both Yoongi and he decided that until Sarang and Kyung are both settled into the house and into a routine, then they would keep their big news a secret.
Plus the couple really wants to spend a few days selfishly loving the two children before their Uncles come round and demand to take up all their time.
“You never forget a birthday either,” Taehyung comments, tone still disapproving but there’s a bit of a softness around the ends of his words. It’s no secret that Jimin and Yoongi have been more than a little busy over the last few years. They’re the first in their friendship group to start a family, and it’s been a difficult journey to say the least. They couldn’t be more thankful for the support their friends have given them. “I know this year has been a bit all over the place, but you still made time for all of our birthdays. I just don’t see why you would suddenly let slip Seokjin’s…”
Jimin bites down harshly on his bottom lip, eyes scrunching shut.
He could never keep anything from Taehyung.
“Oh my god,” his best friend breathes down the phone, almost like a small thankful prayer. “When did you get them?”
“It’s—” Jimin pauses, catching Yoongi out of the corner of his eye dutifully paying attention to the road ahead. “Complicated.”
Yoongi catches his gaze, a knowing twinkle in the dark inky pools of his irises.
Did he figure it out? He mouths and Jimin nods, guilt swirling in his stomach.
But Yoongi never lets Jimin dwell on his unwarranted guilt, always quick to remind him that he’s done nothing wrong. He tangles their hands together and pulls them up to his mouth, softly kissing at Jimin’s knuckles before resting them both against his own thigh.
Jimin smiles, small and soft and turns his attention back to his patiently waiting friend. “There’s not just one baby.”
The squeal that Taehyung lets slip down the phone is filled with glee. “You have two babies!?”
Moving the phone a little ways away from his ear so that Taehyung’s excitement doesn’t deafen him, Jimin sighs. “We might have two babies,” he corrects. “Like I said—it’s complicated. Besides, one of them isn’t a baby.”
“Boy or girl?” Taehyung asks, by passing the technicalities like always.
“Both,” Jimin replies. “A baby boy and a little girl…” Furrowing his brow, Jimin pulls the phone closer to his ear. “Wait, Tae Tae, are you crying?”
There’s a loud sniffle from the other end. “Of course I’m crying, I just became an Uncle. Twice.”
Jimin thinks his heart couldn’t possibly be more full with love right now. “Do you want to know their names?”
“What kind of a question is that?” Taehyung sobs. “Of course I do! I need to know what to get tattooed over my heart.”
Such a drama queen.
The smile on Jimin’s face is fond as he looks out the passengers window. They’ve hit the outskirts of the city now and the car is finally reaching higher speeds. The day is grey and wet, rain clinging to the window in little droplets that race across the surface. The Christmas lights have been turned on earlier because the day is darker and the reds, golds and green blur in Jimin’s eyes like he’s spinning on a round-about.
“Our son is called Kyung,” Jimin relays, chest so warm it almost hurts. “The girl is Sarang.”
“Fuck that’s precious,” Taehyung whines. “Wait, are you ready for this? I thought you weren’t supposed to be getting a kid till the new year? Do you have a crib and diapers and a car seat? Do you have stuff for a toddler too?”
“We’ve been buying baby stuff for the past two years so we’re more than ready,” Jimin explains. “The spare bed is small enough that Sarang can use it without problems, we’ll look into picking out a bed for her when things get more... permanent. ” At least he hopes and prays to anyone who hears him that this arrangement can become permanent.
“Are you ready for Christmas?” Taehyung adds, a gasp in his voice. “This is your first Christmas as a family! You best have decorated every inch of that apartment or swear to god I’ll beat both of your asses into next year.”
Jimin rolls his eyes. “We can decorate with the kids around.”
Taehyung really does gasp this time, all happy-sadness in his voice gone. “Not good enough.”
“Tae, please calm down.”
“Never,” he huffs. “I got shit to do, catch you later Chim.”
The phone goes dead before Jimin can even try to convince his spontaneous best friend to stop whatever scheme he’s concocting in his brain. But when it comes to Taehyung and children, there’s just no stopping him from giving them everything their little heart’s desire.
Jimin supposes that’s what makes him such an excellent kindergarten teacher.
Yoongi gives their conjoined hands a little squeeze. “Everything alright, love?”
Humming as he pockets his phone, Jimin shrugs. “We’ll see later, I guess.”
When they finally arrive at the orphanage it’s nearing midday and Yoongi is shaking.
Jimin holds his hand extra tight just to remind him that he isn’t doing things alone and Yoongi has never been more thankful that the man he married is wholly incredible.
It’s not like Yoongi’s regretting things, not in the slightest. But he is worried about doing right by both children. A couple month old baby needs constant attention and round the clock care and throw in an emotionally unsteady three-year-old who needs the same if not more attention than the baby and Yoongi thinks there’s far too much on their plates.
But they can do this, they want to do this.
They don’t even reach the front door of the place before it’s flung open and a little girl with raven black hair pulled into high pigtails greets them with a gum drop smile.
“You’re here!” Sarang calls and her face is practically sparkling with excitement.
It’s practically instinctive, the way Yoongi’s whole body warms and his heart flutters. His smile grows as wide as the Cheshire Cat across his face and his footsteps fall quicker in his haste to get over to the little girl.
“Of course we came,” he says, letting go of Jimin’s hand so he can squat down to Sarang’s level. “Did you think we weren’t going to come?”
There’s a shy, somewhat ashamed look that darkens across Sarang’s bright features and it sits heavily in the pit of Yoongi’s stomach. She doesn’t say anything say anything, but it’s pretty clear that she thought there was a large possibility that going home with Yoongi and Jimin wasn’t really in the cards for her.
Yoongi knows that feeling all too well. Knows how sceptical and cynical a child he was after being let down far too many times to count and god, he doesn’t want Sarang to ever feel that way again. Not if he has any ways to prevent it.
Carefully, he rests his hands on Sarang’s shoulders and levels her a serious, no-nonsense look. “I’m going to tell you something, Sarang-ah, and I want you to remember it, okay? Can you do that for me?”
The little girl nods dutifully, eyes as wide as the moon and plump bottom lip sticking out in a sweet little pout.
“If either Jimin or I make you a promise, then we will never break that promise,” he explains, softly, gently. “If we say we’re going to do something, then we will follow through with that, too.” His voice is full of all the same emotions his mother had in hers when she told Yoongi the same thing all those years ago. “You can depend on us; we won’t ever let you down.”
And perhaps Sarang is a little too young to fully understand what Yoongi is saying, but she nods slowly and steps out of Yoongi’s hold in order to hold his hand in hers. “I have to get my bag,” she says in a quiet voice. “Will you come with me?”
Jimin steps a little closer to Yoongi’s side and takes up the girl’s spare hand in his. “We can all go together?” he offers. “How does that sound?”
Sarang nods, the excitement back on her face. “And then we can go get Kyungie together too!”
“That’s such a great idea,” Yoongi nods, pulling himself to his feet and letting Sarang lead them through the orphanage.
He wonders whether he was able to ease Sarang’s worries and scepticism just a little. Comforting words used to always make Yoongi feel better back during the darker days of his childhood. But even if Sarang is still unsure of whether Yoongi and Jimin can live up to their promises, Yoongi is more than ready and willing to prove themselves worthy of Sarang.
It’s the least this little girl deserves.
Three hours and copious amounts of paperwork later Jimin is strapping Sarang into the child seat they borrowed from the orphanage while Yoongi buckles Kyung into the baby seat next to her. She hasn’t stopped singing Let It Go since the moment they walked out the front door hand in hand.
“Would you like to listen to the Frozen songs on the way home?” Jimin offers and he pulls on the seatbelt to make sure it’s nice and secure.
The gasp Sarang lets out of her mouth is utterly adorable. “Can we?”
“Absolutely,” Yoongi chuckles, leaning over to give a sleeping Kyung a kiss to his forehead. Jimin had gotten to dress their boy for the day in one of the numerous outfits they had bought over the year. He’s opted with a thick white sweater and soft brown corduroy trousers that Yoongi had teased him as being far too over dressed just for a car ride home, but Jimin didn’t care.
Sarang’s little legs kick excitedly in her car seat. “I think Elsa is very pretty,” she explains.
Jimin beams at her. “Me too,” he agrees with a nod. “And I think she’s a very good sister, too.”
“Can we listen to all the Frozen songs?” Sarang asks as Yoongi shuts the door on Kyung’s side of the car.
“I don’t see why not,” Jimin agrees, smoothing out the pretty long sleeved dress Sarang had chosen to wear today. According to Jeongmin, Sarang had specifically asked to wear her ‘bestest dress’ and Jimin thinks she looks utterly adorable.
It’s a pink floral dress, long-sleeved with a white collar and pussy-bow and matching lace frills around the hem of her skirt. Today she’s also wearing tights, but her feet are snuggly slipped inside tan boots with white fluffy fur on the inside.
Hoseok and Jungkook are going to have a field day dressing up Sarang like a little doll.
He shuts Sarang’s door and slips himself into the seat in front of her. The car is already on, engine rumbling angrily against the cold December air. Yoongi double and triple checks his mirrors whilst Jimin gets buckled in himself and Sarang is back to singing Let it Go in the back seat.
She’s quieter this time, eyes carefully watching her sleeping brother so as not to wake him. She doesn’t really know the words to the song all that well to begin with, but the longer she watches her brother and reaches out to touch his little round cheeks, the less sense her singing makes.
Yoongi shares a look with Jimin that is a mixture of utter fondness and unbearable pain over how cute she is, before pulling off from the curb.
It’s not that long of a drive back to their house, about half an hour or so if traffic is good. But considering this is Seoul traffic is never good. Throw in the fact the orphanage and the house are on opposite ends of the city, and you’re looking at close to an hour’s drive.
Which doesn’t seem to bother Sarang in the slightest. Not when Jimin is softly playing the Frozen soundtrack from Spotify , phone plugged up to the car’s speakers. She wriggles in her seat like she’s dancing or reenacting parts from the movie, voice not once going hoarse as she tries her best to sing along to every single song. Even when it gets a little too fast for her, or she struggles to say some of the words it doesn’t hinder her enthusiasm. She’ll make up words that sound similar to the actual thing, or she’ll just giggle through it and do a flashy move with her hands that has Jimin in giggles in the front seat as he watches her.
His neck hurts and his body is twisted awkwardly to be able to watch her little performance, but he can’t seem to find it in himself to care. Not when Sarang is smiling so happily, her sweetheart shaped face all pink from excitement.
Yoongi watches as much as he can through the rear-view mirror, not wanting to lose his concentration whilst driving, but also not wanting to miss Sarang’s one woman show. Jimin takes to recording as much of it as he can, always the first to want to document every second of life.
He gets a particularly heart warming moment on camera, when Kyung wakes up from his nap and starts crying. But before Yoongi can pull the car over and check to make sure he’s okay, Sarang has leaned over in her seat as far as her seatbelt will let her and starts tenderly petting at her brother’s face.
“There, there, Kyungie,” she soothes, kissing the tips of her fingers and pressing them against his nose, unable to give him proper kisses. “Noona is here!”
Jimin’s heart feels heavy in the best possible way, and although her soothing doesn’t do much to calm the antsy baby down completely, his crying does even out into little hiccuping sobs. At the next red light, Jimin unbuckles his seat belt and clambers into the back seat, squashed in the middle between the two children’s seats and fusses around the baby to try and get him a little more settled.
“I think someone’s hungry,” Jimin coos.
Yoongi hums from the front seat, looking at his watch. “It’s a little early for dinner for us, but who’s down for an afternoon snack?”
Sarang claps her hands. “Can we have something sweet?”
“How about Churros?” Yoongi offers, spotting a convenience store just a little way down the road.
The excited squeal Sarang gives in response is clearly enough of a yes to have Yoongi pulling off the main road. Jimin has to clamber back into the front seat before he can get out the car and help Sarang out of her own seat. Which is a feat in and of itself considering the girl wont stop wriggling.
But Jimin can’t find it in himself to scold her or calm down her excitement. So long as she’s happy and not in any danger, then Jimin doesn’t care.
Once Yoongi has figured out how to detach the babyseat rom it’s cradle and turn it into a carrier, Sarang takes a hold of Yoongi’s spare hand and then fills her other hand with Jimin’s too and leads them both into the store.
They end up buying more than just Churros. In fact, they get so many different types of snacks that Jimin deems it utterly impossible to eat in the car and sets the four of them up at one of the tables at the back by the microwaves.
He opens every snack while Yoongi wipes Sarang’s hands with a wet wipe, her little legs swinging back and forth from the chair they’ve sat her on, feet too far off the ground. She’s patient as Yoongi rolls back the sleeves of her dress, smile wide on her face.
“You can eat whatever you’d like,” Jimin explains, gesturing to the assortment of cakes and chocolate bars spread out on the table. “But don’t forget to share.”
She turns to her brother, who’s carrier has been sat up across from her on the chair besides Jimin. “Kyungie, what would you like to eat?” she offers and Jimin’s heart melts.
Yoongi chuckles, patting the top of her head. “Kyungie is a little too young to eat big people food,” he explains, pulling a pre-made bottle out of the baby bag. “When he gets a little bigger than he can eat it.”
“Oh,” Sarang nods. She looks at the food and then points to a strawberry shortcake. “Can I have this?”
“How polite,” Jimin praises and Sarang beams. “Of course. Would you like a fork…” he begins, but Sarang has already stuck her little hands into the cake, smudging cream all over her fingers as she brings the sweet treat up to her lips. “Never mind,” Jimin finishes, chuckling fondly. He watches as Sarang happily munches on her cake, legs still swinging, and cream smudged all over her face. “Looks like someone’s going to need a bath when we get home.”
Yoongi places the bottle of formula in the microwave and sets it for thirty seconds, foot tapping along to one of the millions of tunes he has running through his head. His back looks deliciously broad in the long black trench coat he’s wearing today, shoulders almost as wide as Kim Seokjin’s himself. Neither of them are very tall, but the way Yoongi always holds himself had the man looking taller than he actually is. Jimin thinks it’s something about his aura, his strong, independent ‘Don’t Mess With Me’ vibe that he puts out to the world.
While Jimin uses insoles to make himself just a little taller, Yoongi uses good posture and a tight lipped look about his face.
Behind closed doors, however, Yoongi is anything but the intimidating man he holds himself to be in public. He’s nothing but a little kitten in need of constant love and affection. Cold hands continuously in need of holding and sweet pouty mouth always needing to be kissed.
His little burnt marshmallow.
The microwave pings and Yoongi pulls the bottle out, giving it another shake before turning to Kyung.
“Did you test the temperature?” Jimin asks.
Yoongi cocks his eyebrow at Jimin. “Are you questioning my parenting skills?”
With a giggle, Jimin shakes his head. “I just didn’t see you do it, that’s all.”
“Would you like me to do it again?” There’s a teasing lilt to his voice that has Jimin rolling his eyes lovingly.
He pushes himself up from his seat and plants a chaste kiss to his husband’s lips. “I trust you,” he whispers before plonking himself back down in his seat and turning back to the table. He thinks the red dusting across Yoongi’s cheeks must be utterly adorable, but Jimin knows that pushing his husband too far into the realms of public displays of affection makes him incredibly uncomfortable.
So instead, Jimin resigns himself to stealing quick chaste kisses from his husband when he least expects them and then carries on with what he was doing as if nothing just happened. Lingering on the action has caused Yoongi to get a little too embarrassed and Jimin doesn’t want to be mean.
He just wants to tease.
He reaches for a mini churro, dipping it in the warm chocolate sauce it came with and devouring the whole thing in two bites. He hadn’t realised he was so hungry.
Yoongi has unbuckled Kyung from the carrier and is now cradling the baby in his arms as Kyung chows down on his meal. His little hands wave around his head as he drinks and Yoongi’s eyes melt into inky black oceans as he watches his entire world drink happily in his arms.
Honestly, Jimin thinks Yoongi was born to parent. He’s such an unselfishly caring soul.
It’s as Jimin turns back for another churro that he realises how quiet it is. There’s no singing, no nattering or humming and Jimin’s brow furrows as his gaze lands on Sarang. Her head is hanging on her shoulders, cake long forgotten on the table and cream stained fingers clenched into little fists besides it.
She’s still, no swing in her legs and there’s a voice in the back of Jimin’s head telling him something’s wrong.
“Sarang-ah,” he calls softly, but at the sound of her name the little girl flinches and curls in on herself more. “Everything okay?” She doesn’t respond with words, only a small nod that tells Jimin that everything is not okay.
He slips off his seat and crouches down besides her, ready to ask her again if everything is okay. But the moment he gets to her height, Sarang bursts into fits of tears.
Jimin panics. “Sarang-ah, what’s the matter—” he asks with thick urgency in his voice, hands reaching out to try and soothe her. But Sarang flinches away from his touch and Jimin forces himself not to smother the girl if she’s not in need of tactile support.
But then he notices liquid on the floor by her feet.
“Oh,” he soothes, puzzle pieces clicking into place. “Sweetie, it’s okay.”
Her crying turns into wailing sobs and Jimin is vaguely aware of the fact they’re in public and people are watching them with heavy judgmental gazes.
He hushes her softly, reaching out to wipe the tears from her cheeks, ignoring the way she tries to push herself away from him. “It’s okay, baby, it’s okay,” he promises, but his words get lost in the mixture of her sobs.
“What happened?” Yoongi asks, voice quiet. Jimin catches his husband’s gaze and then purposefully looks down to the puddle on the floor. By the time he looks back at Yoongi, there’s understanding in his eyes and he’s placing Kyung’s half drunk bottle on the table. “I’ll be right back,” he says, slipping Kyung back into his carrier and pulling his keys from his pocket.
Jimin turns his attention back to the crying girl. She’s rubbing her cream-stained fingers over her face and over her eyes as she sobs, and Jimin carefully catches them before she gets cream actually in her eyes. “Let’s get you cleaned up a little, okay?” Jimin says, reaching for a wet wipe that had been left out on the table in case fingers got sticky after their afternoon snack.
Sarang lets him clean her fingers and face, bottom lip wobbling as her tears continue to fall. Her legs are crossed at the ankles and her whole body is rigid.
“S-sorry, m’s-sorry,” she hiccups between sobs.
“What do you have to be sorry for, baby?” Jimin asks gently, cradling her now clean hands within his own. “It’s just an accident.”
His comfort doesn’t seem to be the thing Sarang wants to hear right now and instead her sobbing increases, tears falling like a waterfall down her cheeks.
Thankfully, Yoongi reappears before Sarang cries the whole building down, black backpack outstretched in his hands.
Jimin takes it with a thankful nod before carefully pulling Sarang to her feet. She doesn’t go willingly, voice growing a little hysterical as Jimin removes her from the wet chair and over towards the bathrooms.
“No, No!” she wails and Jimin’s grip tightens around her hand.
He drops to his knees once she’s stood, holding her little face between his palms and forcing her to look up at him through tear blurred eyes. “Sarang, listen to me.” She lets out a particularly harsh sobs and Jimin swipes her tears out of her eyes. “Stop crying and listen,” he repeats, voice a little harsher. But it has just the right edge to it to calm Sarang down enough that she can focus on Jimin’s face a little better. “I need you to stop crying for me right now and be a big girl,” Jimin says, running his thumbs soothingly over her wet cheeks. “Do you think you can do that for me?”
More tears well up in her eyes and Jimin hushes her before she explodes again. “I know you can be a big girl for me,” he says through a soft, reassuring smile. “Because you’re Kyung’s Noona, and he has the most grown up Noona in the world, right?”
At the mention of her brother, her wailing reduces down to hiccupping, sniffling sobs and after a few moments contemplating Jimin’s words, she nods.
And that’s enough for Jimin to smile, proud.
Sarang is silent as Jimin gets her cleaned up and into some fresh clothes. He picks out an equally pretty pale blue dress that just covers her shoulders, but fans out around her waist like a mini princess style dress. He pairs it with a fresh pair of white tights and a thick white cardigan.
Her boots are soaked and will probably need a good wash before they can be used again. But thankfully there’s another pair of glossy black dolly shoes in the bottom of her bag. He sits the girl on the closed lid of the toilet as he fixes her shoes on snugly for her. She’s chewing on her fingers, face all puffy and red, one ponytail slipping down her head.
Her chest rises and falls quickly every so often, still recovering from her crying spree and Jimin goes slowly as he dresses her, waiting for her to be calm enough so they can talk.
“There now,” he finally says, letting her shoe clad feet go. “Good as new.” Sarang doesn’t look convinced, head turned away from Jimin and gaze trailing across the floor. Carefully, he pulls the little girl to her feet and takes her place sat on the toilet seat before pulling her into his lap.
She seems a little reluctant to begin with, but Jimin hushes her softly and pulls her tightly against his chest, cradling her gently. “Now,” he begins. “Are you ready to tell me why you got so upset, baby?”
For a moment, it’s silent, and Jimin wonders if Sarang isn’t ready to talk just yet. But then she lets a long sigh past her plush lips and rests her head against Jimin’s chest. “I’m sorry.”
“Why are you sorry?” Jimin asks, knowing best to understand her point of view before helping her understand she has nothing to be sorry for.
She wriggles uncomfortably on his lap. “I didn’t m-mean to,” she stutters.
Jimin hums, pressing a kiss into the crown of her head. “I know you didn’t, accidents happen from time to time.” She sighs and Jimin cradles her tighter, feels her body melt comfortingly into his own. “Were you a little too excited?” Sarang shakes her head. “Did you just forget, sweetie?”
Sarang shakes her head once more, fingers linking together and then unlinking, nervously. “Y-you were feeding Kyungie,” she mutters on such a small voice Jimin almost misses it.
“Oh. Oh sweetie,” Jimin coos, twisting the girl in his lap so they can be facing each other. “I know Kyungie is very small and needs lots of attention. But that doesn’t mean you get less attention.”
Her face scrunches up, hurt stitched into her features that Jimin wonders who put there. “B-but—”
“No buts,” Jimin replies, taking her hands in his and kissing the tips of every finger. “You deserve attention too, Sarang-ah. If you need us for something you just tell us. It doesn’t matter if we’re feeding Kyungie or if we’re feeding ourselves. You have to promise me that if you need something, you tell me or Yoongi.”
She lowers her head. “A-are you mad at me?”
Jimin shakes his head and plants a kiss to her forehead. “Never,” he reassures and Sarang tangles her fingers with his, squeezing so so tightly. “This is just an accident,” he says gently. “Accidents happen, sometimes. But we have to have talks like this, so they won’t happen again, okay?
Sarang nods, little sigh falling from her lips. “I’ll tell you next time I have to wee-wee.”
“Thank you,” Jimin praises, giving her another quick kiss. “I’m very proud of you for telling me how you feel,” he adds, pulling out her ruined pigtails and letting her hair fall about her shoulders. “And I’m sorry if you felt like you couldn’t tell us that you needed to go to the toilet.”
Sarang falls against Jimin’s chest, nuzzling her face against his warmth and wrapping her arms around him. She mumbles something, but her words get lost into the fabric of Jimin’s clothes. He doesn’t push for her to repeat herself; something tells him that if she wanted Jimin to hear what she had said, she would have said it clearly.
So instead, he kisses the crown of her head again and slips his arms around her so that she’s cradled tight enough against his chest that she won’t fall when he stands up. She wraps her legs around his waist once Jimin stands, clinging like a koala to a tree.
He grabs up the bag, thankful he had the foresight to pack everything away whilst he was cleaning Sarang up and not leaving it all till the end, and exits the bathroom. Luckily there’s no one waiting to use it and Jimin shuffles the two of them back over to Yoongi and Kyung.
Kyung is back to sleeping in his carrier, Yoongi rocking it gently and humming a tune once more. There’s not a single sign of the little accident on the chair or the floor, and all the food has been repackaged up and placed in a carrier bag to be eaten at a later time.
“There’s my favourite girl,” Yoongi beams, voice soft and deep. Sarang’s face is hidden in the crook of Jimin’s neck, but her eyes flutter over to Yoongi at the sound of his voice. He stands to his feet and reaches over to place a kiss to Sarang’s temple. “Are you ready to head home?”
She nods, face back to hiding in Jimin’s neck. “Oppa,” she whispers just loud enough for Jimin to hear. “Sit with me?”
Jimin strokes a soothing hand through her hair. “Sure, baby,” he hums. “We can hold hands the whole way back.”
“I like holding hands,” Sarang replies, voice a little lighter than before.
With a chuckle, Jimin plants a big kiss to the side of her face, gaze turning to watch Yoongi gather Kyung in one arm and fling the baby bag over his free shoulder. “So does Yoongi,” Jimin gossips, voice hushed like he’s passing on an important secret for Sarang to cherish. “He might get a little jealous that I get to hold your hand the whole way home.”
Sarang hums, deep in thought then covers her mouth as she whispers back a secret of her own. “I can hold Yoongi-oppa’s hand until bedtime?” she offers, earnestly.
Jimin giggles. “He would love that.”
“Dear Sarang and Kyung,” Yoongi reads, lips pulled into a flat line. “It has been brought to my attention that you will be spending Christmas here this year. So I asked a friend of mine to bring you a little present so that you can get yourselves ready for the holidays.”
Yoongi’s eyes the two large red sacks by his feet, certain they’re filled to the brim with tinsel and fairy lights and all the fiddly Christmas trimmings. Sarang currently has a tight grip on his hand, little body thrumming with uncontrollable excitement as she gapes at the bags in front of her.
“I hope you can make the house look magical in time for my visit,” Yoongi continues. The letter that’s clearly been written in Taehyung’s messy scribble has been doused in a good thick layer of silver glitter and is currently getting all over the carpet. “Happy Holidays, Santa.”
“Santa Sarang screams, voice so shrill it’s practically deafening.
Jimin hushes the girl as he fusses about getting Kyung out of his car seat. “Sarang, sweetie, not so loud, your brother is still sleeping.”
She blushes, sheepish look on her face. “Sorry, Jimin-oppa,” she apologises before turning back to Yoongi. “Is it really from Santa?”
Looking over the letter once more, careful to not get even more glitter on the carpet, Yoongi nods. “Seems so.”
Honestly, Sarang looks like she could explode from excitement at any moment. “But how did he know we were going to be staying with you?”
“Santa’s magic, baby,” Jimin explains, Kyung held tight against his chest and baby carrier tucked up besides the sofa. He runs his hands through her hair. “He knows everything.”
“Plus I think your Uncle might have put in a good word with the big guy,” Yoongi scoffs, ignoring the glare he receives Jimin’s way.
Sarang’s brow furrows, head cocked to one side. “My Uncle?”
Jimin nods. “That’s right, your Uncle Tae Tae,” he explains. “I’m sure you’ll meet him soon.”
“But for now,” Yoongi sing songs, slipping the letter back into one of the red sacks and scooping Sarang up into his arms. She lets out a little squeal, pearls of laughter following suit. “It’s time for bath and bed for good little girls.”
She looks only a little disappointed by this news. “But I want to know what’s in the red bags,” she whines and Yoongi has to stop himself from cooing at her.
He hums. “You’ll just have to wait until morning, then, won’t you?”
“Why not now ?” Sarang tries once more.
Jimin comes up on her other side, sneaky little smile on her face. “Because Santa said the bags aren’t supposed to be opened until tomorrow.”
“He did?” both Yoongi and Sarang chorus and Yoongi tries to ignore the pointed look his husband sends his way.
“He did,” Jimin sing-songs, reaching for the letter and pointing to a random line. “Right here; not to be looked at until tomorrow .”
Yoongi bites down on his bottom lip. The line Jimin’s pointing to actually says it has been brought to my attention you’re spending Christmas here . But Yoongi thinks using the fact Sarang can’t read to their advantage is possibly the most ingenious parenting tip he’s ever seen.
With a slightly glum look Sarang nods. “I don’t want to be bad for Santa,” she agrees. “Can I have a story before bed?”
“Tell you what,” Jimin says, eyes twinkling. “If you’re a very good girl for me during bath time, I’ll read you two stories.”
Sarang claps her hands together before turning to Yoongi. “Put me down please?? I have to go get ready for bed.”
“Sure,” Yoongi chuckles, placing the girl on her feet and watching her run out of the room. “You’re so good at this, love,” he praises his husband, dropping a kiss to his cheek.
Jimin is practically glowing at the praise. “I know.”
“Faster, Jimin-oppa!” Sarang calls from the hallway. “I don’t know where I’m going.”
Just as the bath finishes running, Kyung wakes up from his slumber, babbling and smacking his lips together. Jimin strips him of his clothes too, and fills the bathroom sink with just enough water that Kyung’s chubby little legs will be covered.
Yoongi focuses on Sarang, making sure the water isn’t too hot before he helps her undress.
“Why can’t Kyung have a bath with me?” she asks as Yoongi helps her into the tub.
“Because he’s a bit too small just now,” Yoongi explains, making sure the girl sits down gentle before cupping his hands with warm water and trickling it over her head. She giggles, chest heaving a little as the water trickles down her face. “And he can’t sit up right on his own like you can.”
As if wanting to join in on the conversation too, Kyung lets out a loud squeal that has Jimin, Yoongi and Sarang giggling. “That’s right, cutie,” Jimin coos, pushing the warm water over his soft skin and letting his little hands flail about his head. “Is that nice?”
“It is!” Sarang answers for her brother, giggling as Yoongi drops more cupped water over her head. “Oppa, that tickles,” she says.
Yoongi chuckles. “Sorry, baby,” he apologises, reaching for the shampoo. “Let’s get you all squeaky clean and curled up in your nice warm bed, okay?”
She nods, tilting her head back so Yoongi can have better access to her hair.
It’s a blessing how smoothly bath time goes and Yoongi thinks it has something to do with the fact Sarang is very well-behaved. She didn’t complain once the entire time, giggling with every cascade of water over her skin and asking Yoongi if next time she can have bubbles in her bath.
He tries not to kick himself over forgetting to give her bubbles this time, but promises she can have them every day.
By the time Sarang is clean and wrapped up in a fluffy white towel, Jimin has Kyung dressed in a soft yellow baby grow and slips down the hall to his bedroom in order to put him in his crib. He’s slept for most of the day, but Yoongi read that’s very normal in new borns and thanks their lucky stars that Kyung seems to be relatively easy in following his routines too.
Perhaps it’s just a sibling thing.
Sarang picks out her own PJs for the night, a plain white nightdress with a brown bear pattern littering it. Yoongi grabs an extra blanket from the linen cupboard as they pass it on the way to the spare room, hoping her little legs don’t get cold in the night.
The spare room is pretty bland in comparison to the rest of their house. It had been mainly used as storage for all the things that didn’t quite have a home. But the two of them had spent the entire morning before heading over to the orphanage cleaning it out and making it look as welcoming as possible.
The walls are cream, and the floor is wooden, sadly the only room in the house without heated flooring, but Yoongi pulled the three spare space heaters out of the loft to make sure the room stays nice and toasty. The bed is low and covered in fresh white linen sheets, a fluffy cream rug along side it so that little feet don’t get too cold from the wooden flooring.
Yoongi worries whether Sarang will be comfortable sleeping here. He remembers the first night at his parent’s house, how the walls were white and the room bare. How there was a coldness to it that settled deep in his bones and stole the sleep from his exhausted body. For days he struggled to find the warmth in that room, struggled to appreciate the warmth in the rest of the house if it meant at the end of the day he had to go back to that cold, little room.
It took three days before his mother realised he wasn’t sleeping well. But as soon as she did, she took Yoongi into town and told him to pick out a paint colour he would like on his bedroom walls.
The space is yours, so let’s make it that way, okay?
They hadn’t had enough time to really make the room suitable for a little girl to call her own. Their time was so limited after all and Yoongi had fretted about it all morning, growing worry poisoning his veins.
But Jimin had reassured him that come the weekend, after Sarang and Kyung were more settled into a routine, they could take her into town and she could pick the things she wanted to decorate her room with.
‘Maybe Jungkookie can paint her a mural or something,’ Jimin had suggested too, pressing kisses into Yoongi’s skin and relaxing his muscles.
Thankfully, Sarang doesn’t seem all that bothered by the bare room she’s been led too, hurrying over to the bed and getting herself snuggled into it. She had already picked out two bedtime stories; The Night Before Christmas and Rudolph and is more than a little eager for Yoongi to read them to her. They’re the only Christmas stories they have in the house and Yoongi makes a mental note to pop to the shops tomorrow and buy her more.
Once she’s settled, Yoongi slots himself next to her on the edge of the bed. “Do you have everything?” he asks softly. She waves Flopsie , her comfort blanket/stuffed bunny in front of Yoongi’s face before sucking her thumb into her mouth and leaning deeper into her pillow.
“Is Flopsie comfortable too?” he asks and Sarang nods, not bothering to remove her thumb from her mouth. Yoongi has honestly never seen a toy like it. It’s no bigger than a handkerchief, completely flat and soft like one too, save for the bunny head and tail attached to it.
But Yoongi can’t find it in himself to really care about how weird the little toy is, not when it brings Sarang so much comfort.
“Alright then,” Yoongi sing songs, opening up The Night Before Christmas.
It’s halfway through Rudolph that Sarang finally falls asleep, Flopsie grasped tightly in her little paws. Carefully, so as not to wake her, Yoongi slips off the bed and pulls the duvet tighter around her. He lays the fluffy brown blanket he had grabbed from the linen closet over the top of her, then places a kiss to her forehead before carefully sneaking out of the room. He leaves the door ajar and the hall light on, a slither of yellow light illuminating her room so that she’s not left in complete darkness.
He totters down the hall, peeking in to find Kyung sleeping peacefully in his crib in his own room, a mobile of stars and planets spinning above his head and a music box style lullaby twinkling in the quiet of the room. There’s a night light plugged into the wall by the crib and casting a soft golden glow into the darkness. But Yoongi still leaves the door ajar when he leaves.
There’s cursing and huffing coming from the living room by the time Yoongi makes it back downstairs, and as he opens the door, he finds his husband hopelessly tangled up in a string of fairy lights and scarlet red tinsel around his feet.
He tries his best not laugh, he really does, but he can’t help the loud snort that escapes him over the sight before him.
Jimin narrows him an angry glare. “Why not help me instead of laugh at me?”
“Love,” Yoongi sighs fondly, sauntering over to Jimin and pulling the lights of off him and kissing the pout on his lips. “What are you doing?”
Huffing as he steps out of the tinsel and lets Yoongi detangle the cables from his body, Jimin whines. “I wanted to get the house all decorated for Sarang to wake up to!”
“Cute,” Yoongi concludes. “But wouldn’t half the fun of the house being decorated is actually doing the decorating?” he adds. Jimin cocks his head to one side and Yoongi leans in to kiss the pout on his lips once more. “You always tell me how you and your brothers looked forward to decorating the house and putting up the tree every Christmas because it was something you did as a family.”
“Oh,” Jimin mumbles, body sagging. “That’s true.”
Yoongi removes the last of the cables that have gotten tangled around his husband and then helps him step out of the lights that are now pooled at his feet. “I love your thought process, my little Christmas elf, but remember how excited Sarang was to open the sacks? If you decorate the whole house while she’s sleeping, you’ll take away a happiness from her.”
There’s guilt written across Jimin’s face, but before it can settle in his gut Yoongi is pulling Jimin down onto the sofa so they can tangle up together. “Don’t you dare feel bad,” he warns, lightly. “You had nothing but good intentions.”
“Good intentions that could have really upset Sarang,” Jimin mumbles, throwing his leg over Yoongi and snuggling up into his side. He twists his face into Yoongi’s neck, lips tickling against the sensitive skin there.
Yoongi wraps his arms tightly around Jimin’s slight waist, pulling him as close to his side as possible. “Doesn’t make them any less good,” he explains. “Besides, you’ve barely started so really there’s no harm done here.”
Jimin sighs. “I guess.”
“I know,” Yoongi corrects, pulling Jimin’s face out from his neck and kissing the man dizzy. He’s hungry for his husband’s lips, practically famished, so one kiss just isn’t enough. He goes back for another, and another, until Jimin is panting into Yoongi’s mouth, hands scrambling for purchase on Yoongi’s sweater, moulding himself into Yoongi’s embrace.
Jimin always tastes sweet, a citrus sweet that drives Yoongi utterly insane, sends his head spinning like he’s drunk on all things Jimin. His lips are always soft, supple and Yoongi loves nothing more than to nibble on them. It has Jimin winning against him, body so pliant and hungry for anything Yoongi will give him.
Honestly, Yoongi could spend hours kissing Jimin and never tire from it. It’s his absolute favourite pastime and now they’re sharing their home with two small children, he relishes the rare moment alone together.
Eventually, however, the rumbling of Jimin’s stomach has them breaking away, breathless chuckles on their lips and heads knocked together. All guilt has been kissed away from Jimin’s face, nothing but happiness hanging in the air between them.
“I’ll make us some dinner you clear away the things you pulled out?” Yoongi offers.
Jimin sighs. “Sure,” he agrees, a little reluctance in his voice at the prospect from detangling from each other. “But promise me we can go back to snuggling after dinner?”
“That’s most definitely a promise I’m more than happy to keep.”
Jimin is beginning to learn that a few months old baby and a three year old suck up your energy in very different ways.
He can’t remember the last time he had a full night’s sleep and the kids have only been home with them for about a week now. Which he isn’t complaining about as much as he would if he had to be at work. Thankfully Yoongi and Jimin both work for the same company and they were more than understanding about giving them the month off. Besides, come the New Year, Yoongi plans to work from home anyway so he can be with the baby.
The luxuries of being a producer; he doesn’t need to be in the office 24/7.
The same can’t be said for a choreographer, they’re a little more hands on with the job. Jimin doubts his idols would be able to learn the very complicated steps to his and Hoseok’s dances if Jimin were to teach them over the phone.
Sarang is a little ball of energy that bounds through their house with loud thumping footsteps and a song on her lips. She spent the entire first day at the house pulling out every little Christmas decoration Taehyung had shoved into the red sacks and then proceeded to squeal and clap with delight as Yoongi helped her put them up.
Now their usually muted cream and brown home has been dyed in reds and greens and golds. Tinsel hangs from every available space and Jimin has to bite back his OCD need to make it look a little neater . Sarang tried her best to get everything as straight and neat looking as possible, but the excitement thrumming through her veins meant her hands were shaky and her patience thin.
But it’s all part of Sarang’s vision as Yoongi likes to refer to it as, so Jimin lets the girl do as she pleases.
The tree was her absolute favourite thing to decorate, however. It took her three days to decide what colour baubles she wanted to use and whether she wanted to place an angel or a star on the top and what type of fairy lights would look best. Jimin remembers how Jungkook would make mock ups of his final projects during school before he made the actual thing, and used it to help ease the little girls worries.
There was a deep pinch in her brow as she ate her bibimbap for lunch, staring at the blank tree that had been put up by the TV. Clearly, she wanted to do a good job, wanted it to be the best it could possibly be, but there were just too many choices bubbling around in her head.
So, Jimin drew a few Christmas trees on a couple pieces of paper and dumped every coloured pencil they had in the house on the floor and told her to test out her ideas . It wasn’t until the following afternoon that she had decided she wanted it to be all gold to match the gold star that she wanted to put on the top of the tree.
Everyone was involved in decorating the tree. Even Kyung, who sat in his rocker seat with wide eyes and babbles on his lips as he watched the three of them place baubles on branches and string lights around the tree.
“No Oppa,” she had scolded Yoongi, hands on her hips and bottom lip sticking out in an adorable pout. “That’s not where that goes.” She pulled the little gold and white bauble from Yoongi’s hands, stretching up on her tippy toes to try and hang it on one of the higher branches.
Jimin didn’t let her struggle for too long, lifting her up so she could place it easily. “Thank you,” she sang, sweet as always.
“You’re very welcome,” Jimin had replied, placing the girl back on her feet with a kiss on her cheek for her hard work.
Yoongi had the biggest, warmest smile across his face. “How comes I couldn’t put the bauble there?” he asked.
Sarang skipped over to the sofa to grab her initial design and waved it in front of Yoongi’s face. “Because it doesn’t match my drawing, Oppa!”
Taking the picture from her little hands, Yoongi studied it intensely, rubbing at his chin in thought. “I see,” he hummed. “Yes, the symmetry would have been all off if you hadn’t stopped me.”
“Simmie-ta-ry?” Sarang had repeated with a cock of her head.
Jimin leaned down to wrap his arms around her shoulders and rest his chin on her head. “Symmetry,” he repeated the world slowly before pointing at her picture. “You see how you have the same design on both sides?” She nodded. “That means you gave the tree symmetry. It’s balanced and the same on both sides.”
“Oh!” she exclaimed. “I just thought it looked pretty.”
“People like symmetry because humans have symmetry,” he explained, reaching up for Yoongi’s face. Cupping his husband’s jaw, he lowered his face so Sarang could see it better before running the tips of his finger over the curve of his cheek. “See, two eyes, one nose and one mouth in the middle, two ears…” he described, finger gently running over Yoongi’s porcelain smooth face and making him shiver.
Sarang giggled. “Very pretty face, Oppa,” she had said, taking the sides of Yoongi’s face in hers and resting her forehead against his. Yoongi’s eyes had blown wide, mouth dropping a little and Jimin’s heart had swollen three sizes bigger than usual. They stood with their foreheads touching for just a few moments, Sarang’s pretty eyes shut gently and a small smile on her plush lips. Then she turned to Jimin and pulled him in to do the same thing. “You and Oppa do this a lot,” she commented.
Jimin held her face between his palms like it was the most precious thing in the world and tried his best to will his heart to stop beating so fast. He closed his eyes and let the moment wash over him, let all the love he was growing for this little girl pass to her through their touch.
“This is how I show your oppa I love him,” Yoongi had explained. As Sarang pulled away from Jimin, eyes fluttering open, Yoongi pulled Jimin into his space, knocking their foreheads together gently and pressing a light kiss to his lips. Jimin’s eyes never once opened, worried that tears might very well spill down his cheeks. But Yoongi’s touch was soft and grounding, remind him that it’s okay to be overwhelmed, because they can be overwhelmed together.
A light twinkling giggle broke their forehead touch and brought their attention back to Sarang. “Like this?” she asked, leaning over Kyung and gently touching their foreheads together before kissing across his cheeks and making him squeal.
“Just like that, baby,” Jimin had whispered, voice breaking. Yoongi wrapped an arm around his shoulder and pulled him tight against him, subtle wiping the fallen tears from his eyes before Sarang could see them.
The hole in Jimin’s heart that formed that day at the orphanage had mended the moment he took Kyung and Sarang’s hands and lead them away from that cold place. And now it was blooming like a forest in his chest, fed by the light Sarang and Kyung had brought to their lives.
He can’t begin to imagine life without the both of them in the house anymore. He won’t even try to imagine it. He fights off a horrible melancholy that grasps out at his ankles every now and then, trying to pull him into a darkness in which Sarang is taken from them and he never gets to see her again.
The long nights of midnight feeding and soothing a crying baby back to sleep only to spend long days entertaining a child with endless energy is all worth it. Because Jimin’s heart is just so, incredibly full.
Yoongi wakes feeling groggy and not in the slightest bit relaxed. His mind foggily recounts the previous night in which poor Kyung had been crying half the night, snotty with a cold and refusing to eat or sleep unless Jimin or he were holding him. No matter how many times he had drifted off to sleep in their arms and placed back in his crib for the night, without delay a few moments later he would be awake and screaming the house down.
They had debated taking him to the hospital, but read online that giving him baby painkillers might help, and considering he didn’t have a fever there wasn’t much cause for concern. But still, Yoongi had worried. Jimin had worried too, pacing back and forth with Kyung in his arms, eyes red and teary, lips wobbling as he tried to hold himself together. Yoongi had to be the rational one of the two of them, a role he’s not new to, but it was hard to keep a level head when he just wanted to cry and get every doctor in the world to give his son the best medical help money could buy.
Stretching his arms above his head, Yoongi lets a long yawn past his lips before pulling himself up right. Usually he’s the last to wake up in their house, usually closer to midday rather than early morning. But with kids in the house, Yoongi has taken to rising with the sun just like his morning loving husband does.
He spies the clock on the nightstand: 10:00am glares back at him and he lets another groan escape him. He can’t remember what time they eventually fell asleep last night, the whole night has merged into one big nightmare and Yoongi is just thankful that Kyung isn’t crying anymore.
Turning his attention to the bed with the intent to wake Jimin up so he can start getting Sarang ready for the day and he can focus on giving Kyung his bottle, he finds his whole body stilling and his breath catching in his throat.
His husband is curled up on the other end of the bed, Kyung wrapped up in his arms and finally, finally sleeping peacefully. At some point in the night, Jimin must have stripped him of his endless layers of sleep clothes, because he’s now only wearing his vest and a nappy with a soft yellow blanket thrown over his bare chubby legs.
Jimin’s hair falls in utter disarray around his pillow, the strands fanning out from his head and reminding Yoongi of the way saints and angels were painted in old renaissance art. The covers are twisted around his body, half covering him, half leaving him exposed to the warmth of the room, one bare leg thrown over the top of the covers and toes encroaching on Yoongi’s side of the bed.
But what makes the entire scene all the more precious, is Sarang has joined them.
When she had managed to clamber her way into their bed, Yoongi isn’t sure, but her glossy raven locks twist across their white bedspread as she snuggles up as close to her brother as possible. She’s tucked herself deep under the duvet, just her head popping out and one hand curled around his brothers, but there’s a content smile on her face as she sleeps. Her full cheeks are tinged pink and her lips open just a little.
Yoongi thinks his heart could explode from the amount of love that’s been building in his chest the past few weeks. He already wants to shout his happiness from the rooftops, share with the world how amazing his family is and that’s a big thing for little introverted Yoongi.
Without thinking about it, he grabs for his phone charging on the nightstand and opens up his camera. He takes 20 pictures too many of his sleepy family all snuggled together, but Yoongi can’t find it within himself to care.
He opens their group chat, glancing briefly over the hundreds of messages that have been pinging off nonstop for the last few weeks. He feels a little guilty as he scrolls past the pictures of Seokjin’s birthday celebrations, making a mental note to take his hyung out for a dinner at his favourite high end restaurant to make up for it. Numerous times people ask why Jimin and he are being so quiet and distant and Taehyung swoops in telling people not to worry about it and abruptly changes the subject.
Perhaps Yoongi should take Taehyung out for dinner too to say thank you.
Dear Uncle Seokjin,
we’re sorry we missed your birthday,
we promise to make it up to you!
We hope you can forgive us because
we’re cute and we love you lots and lots.
I’M CRYING AT 10AM
ARE THOSE YOUR BABIES!?
DID YOU GET TWO BABIES!?
DO I HAVE A NIECE AND A NEPHEW?!
Omg, hyung, they’re beautiful
I’m crying too
That’s why you guys have been so distant
I was worried for a moment
Thought you’d been abducted
Have you been staying up late to watch
stupid documentaries on YouTube, again?
Don’t worry, he’s been scolded by all of us
There are so many interesting documentaries out there
Yall are just close minded.
OMG THE NEWS HAS BROKE
I NO LONGER HAVE TO KEEP QUIET
DID MY BABIES LIKE THEIR PRESENT FROM SANTA?!
They did, Tae
That was really thoughtful
Sarang has spent the last few weeks turning the
house into Santa’s grotto.
I LOVE HER
YOU’RE NO LONGER THE BABY
I am ALWAYS the baby
HOLD THE FUCKING PHONE!
Do you mean to tell me @Yoongi
that TAEHYUNG got to meet my niece
and nephew BEFORE me
and you’ve been keeping them all to yourself
FOR A FEW WEEKS NOW
WHAT THE FUCK KINDA TREATMENT IS THIS
I NEED TO HUG THEM
I NEED TO BUY THEM THINGS
I NEED TO LOVE THEM
If you shut the fuck up you can come meet them today
I SEE YOU GOING TO OPEN YOUR MOUTH PARK YOONGI
KEEP IT SHUT
IF YOU WAKE MY BABIES I WILL END YOU
Damn since when was Jiminie-hyung so cranky
in the mornings?
Since we stayed up all night
With a sick baby
I’m not afraid to eat your knee caps, Jeon.
I thought you were just getting a fresh out the womb baby?
FRESH OUT THE WOMB
I WISH I HAD LUNGS
Ya’ll know what I mean
There’s a fresh baby and a kid in that bed
WHERE’D THE KID COME FROM
Her name is SARANG.
And it’s a long, complicated story.
But they’re siblings.
We were only meant to adopt Kyung,
But things, happened.
We’ll tell you when you get here
Which will be when, btw?
Give us an hour?
I can pick everyone up and drive us over.
Can I also add that Sarang and Kyung are the most
Did you pick them?
We wanted a name that sounded good with Sarang
Hoseok would have sounded GREAT with Sarang
Jung Hoseok I will eat you whole.
Kinky, but no thanks.
Sarang has been glued to Jimin’s side all day, hand gripped tight into the hem of his sweater and face hidden behind his leg. It’s reassuring, how attached she is to Yoongi and him that she considers them a safety net in the face of new situations.
But he’s currently trying to make bulgogi for dinner and she’s making it incredibly hard to move around the kitchen.
“Sarang, sweetie,” Jimin sing songs, squatting down to her level. “Why don’t you go play with Yoongi-oppa and Kyungie in the living room?”
She shakes her head, nibbling on her thumb. “Dun wanna.”
Jimin tries to keep his smile at bay. “But if you cling to my leg so much I won’t be able to make our dinner delicious.”
“I’ll be more carefully,” she pleads, eyes wide and grip tightening around the hem of Jimin’s sweater.
Honestly, Jimin wonders how he can ever grown a disciplined back bone in order to say no to this wonderful girl. But he has to be strong, he has to be a good parent. “Sweet, are you nervous?” he asks, and the little gasp she lets out hits the nail on the head. “There’s nothing to be nervous about, these are your uncles and they love you to the moon and back.”
“I dun know them,” she mumbles through the fingers she’s currently chewing on. “And they dun know me.”
Jimin reaches out and pulls them out of her mouth. “Sometimes, you don’t have to have met someone before to know that you love them,” he explains, soft soft soft. “Your Oppa and I loved you the moment we saw you, after all.”
Her eyes sparkle, her sweet round cheeks blushing red. “You did?”
“Of course!” Jimin announces, sitting his butt on the floor of the kitchen and pulling Sarang into his lap. “There was this little niggle in my heart,” he explains. “And it made this hole appear.”
Sarang turns her head around to look Jimin in the eye, worry across her face. “A hole?”
He nods. “A good hole,” he reassures, bopping the tip of her nose with his finger. “Because when you love someone, your heart starts growing bigger. And when I saw you, my heart started building a little space for you to live, a little Sarang hole that you fill with love every second of everyday by just being you .” He kisses her cheek, basking in the sweet awe across her features as she comprehends what Jimin is saying.
“I think,” she finally says, quietly, almost as though she’s worried to say the words out loud. “I think my heart has a Yoongi-Oppa and Jimin-Oppa hole in it, too. It makes my chest warm.”
Jimin wraps his arms around his girl and pulls her tight against his chest, falling backwards until his back hits the floor and she’s laying on top of him with a bright smile across her face. “That makes me so happy to hear,” Jimin exclaims, joy written across his face. “I’m so happy you love us just as much as we love you.”
Something dark shadows across Sarang’s face, however. Like a worry or a reminder of something that makes her whole body sag with melancholy. But before Jimin has a chance to ask her what’s wrong, the breath is knocked out of him.
He looks down and finds Kyung laying next to Sarang, back against Jimin’s chest, and the added weight has Jimin gasping a little for breath.
“Hold still,” Yoongi says, pulling out his phone. “Everyone say kimchi !”
Sarang throws up a peace sign, the worry washed from her face as she smiles over her shoulder at Yoongi’s phone. Jimin tries his best not to look like he’s currently dying from suffocation.
“Honey,” he gasps. “I know I’m strong, but there’s too many babies on me right now—help!”
Yoongi chuckles, picking Kyung up and throwing him up into the air just to make him giggle. “Did we wear Daddy out?” he asks in a sweet sing song lilt that has Jimin’s heart swelling.
“Daddy’s not worn out, he just likes being able to breathe,” he corrects, kicking himself up right and pulling Sarang back onto his lap. He chances a quick glance down at her and sees the way she worries her bottom lip between her teeth and the pinch between her brow deepens as she contemplates something.
Something important that she’s not ready to share with them just yet, but Jimin hopes it doesn’t niggle away at her for too long.
It takes Taehyung telling Sarang that he’s the Uncle who knows Santa and helped deliver all the decorations for little girl to fully warm up to her uncles.
Yoongi can’t really blame her, the five of them are often times too much for adults to handle in one sitting, so he can’t imagine how overwhelmed a three year old must be. Especially when all five of them smother her the moment they step through the door.
Well, almost all of them. Jungkook still stands warily in the doorway to the living room, eyes as wide as saucers as he spies Sarang and Kyung like they’re undetonated landmines rather than children.
Yoongi slips over to the youngest of their friends, fresh out of University with his architecture degree and internship at one of the best design companies in Seoul, and wraps an arm around his shoulders. “A bit much?” he asks.
Jungkook swallows thickly. “They’re so… small ,” he concludes.
“Yeah,” Yoongi agrees. “But they won’t hurt you.”
“I’m more worried about me hurting them,” Jungkook mumbles. “But it’s good to know that they’re sturdy.”
Sarang, who has her hand grasped tightly around Jimin’s, hasn’t even spared Jungkook a look just yet. Her attention too caught up with her four older uncles as they dote on her and her brother.
“You’ll be fine,” Yoongi promises, though he can feel the unease radiating off of the youngest so intensely. “Hey, Sarang-ah,” he calls to the girl, hand outstretched for her. She gives Jimin a wary look, waiting for a nod of reassuring approval from him before she hurries over to Yoongi’s side, taking his hand gratefully. “This is your Uncle Jungkook, and he’s really good at building gingerbread houses.”
The twinkle of interest in Sarang’s eye is just what Yoongi was hoping to see. She side eyes her Uncle, bottom lip sticking out in a deep pout. “He is?” she asks, still uncertain.
Yoongi nods. “He went to school especially to learn how to make the best gingerbread houses.”
Jungkook blanches. “Way to make my whole degree seem kind of lame, hyung,” he grumbles.
But Sarang looks as though she’s been given the greatest gift in the world. “You did?” she gapes at Jungkook, hand slipping out of Yoongi’s to take his instead. “Will you help me build one?” she asks, excitement back in her voice and all shyness evaporated. “My Oppas said they weren’t very good at it, and I have a whole kit that Santa brought me ages ago.”
Yoongi watches intently as Jungkook swallows thickly once more, but ultimately caves into the twinkling excitement in Sarang’s eyes. “I can take a whack at it,” he says, squeezing her hand and leading her towards the kitchen. He grabs Taehyung by the collar as they walk passed, however. “This Uncle can help too,” he announces.
“Wise choice picking the Kindergarten teacher to help you,” Hoseok snickers. “Can’t leave children unsupervised.” The glare that Jungkook throws over his shoulder is one of his most menacing yet, but it softens the moment Sarang calls for his attention again.
“When I came here, there were huge bags full of Christmas decorations,” she says and Jungkook listens to her intently as they walk over to the kitchen. “I decorated the whole house.”
Jungkook gasps. “Wow, you did such a good job,” he praises.
“Did you know,” Taehyung starts, taking up Sarang’s spare hand. “That I was the one who told Santa that you would be staying here?”
Sarang gasps. “ You’re my Uncle that knows Santa.”
“You bet I am,” Taehyung sing songs, smug as anything.
It’s not until the three of them are out of the kitchen that he feels a gentle touch to his arm. Namjoon stands next to him, worry and compassion in his eyes and Yoongi knows that their conversation is going to be anything but easy.
Jimin and he had been putting off the whole debate about potentially losing Sarang come the 1 st of January. Neither of them wanting to entertain the idea that their time together is limited, content to just enjoy it for what it is.
“She’s not yours to keep, is she?” Namjoon asks, voice the softest Yoongi has ever heard it.
He shakes his head. “It’s complicated.” His voice wavers. Jimin takes his hand in his. “She could be ours, maybe one day.”
“But right now,” Jimin cuts in, hearing the emotions tugging in Yoongi’s voice. “We’re just her foster family for the holidays.”
Hoseok looks so sad, so deeply sad and it just looks completely wrong on his usually bright face. “What makes it so complicated?” he asks. “If she’s a child without a family and you’re a family willing to love her, then things should be simple, right?”
Jimin hums, thumb running soothing circles into the back of Yoongi’s hand. “Her mother still has visitation rights with Sarang, but not with Kyung. Courts might not see the two of them raised together in the same home in which one sibling gets to see their birth mother and the other doesn’t to a healthy situation for them.”
“That makes sense,” Seokjin sighs, collapsing onto the couch. “I wish it didn’t though, I hate to think siblings being separated.”
“You should see Sarang with Kyung,” Yoongi comments and all eyes snap to him. “She’s so good with him, so gentle and so caring. You can tell she wants all the things in life she never had, and if that means he gets to live with us but she doesn’t, then—” Yoongi can’t bring himself to finish that sentence, head turning away from his friends to hide against Jimin’s shoulder.
Then she would leave them just so Kyung could be happy .
Namjoon tangles his hand in Yoongi’s spare one, squeezing him so impossibly tight. The two of them have been friends for so long now, that Yoongi can’t imagine his life before he met Namjoon. “Surely if the mother gives up her visitation rights, then Sarang is all yours?” he offers, always the one looking for a positive outlook.
“How could we possibly force a mother to give up the right to see her child?” Jimin stutters. Yoongi buries his face deeper into his husband’s neck, drinks in the calming scent he carries. “They may not see each other all that often, and she may not actively reach out to see Sarang, but she’s still her mother.”
Seokjin sighs. “But have you thought about how having a mother just out of her grasps could be affecting Sarang?” he asks. “Constantly having a happy life with her mother dangled in front of her only for the mother to leave again.”
“Why was Sarang taken away from her, anyway?” Hoseok asks.
“Substance abuse,” Jimin explains, voice vibrating against Yoongi’s skin. “If she can get herself sober then what’s to stop her being a good enough mother for Sarang? After all, a child should be with their birth parents, right?”
Yoongi groans like he’s in physical pain. “No,” he whispers. “No that’s not right.”
“Love?” Jimin asks, twisting so that Yoongi has to fall out of the safety of Jimin’s neck.
There’s a heavy kind of tiredness pulling at Yoongi’s limbs and making him feel so incredibly heavy. He doesn’t want to talk about this, he doesn’t want to relive old memories, doesn’t want to think about the same kind of things happening to Sarang.
But he has to, because he and Sarang aren’t all that different, really.
Thankfully, Namjoon is there to catch him as he falls. “Yoongi-hyung is right,” he says, grip so tight around Yoongi’s hand that it’s somewhat cutting the circulation off. “Blood isn’t always what’s best. Sometimes a family isn’t even blood at all.”
“You’re giving Sarang a family,” Seokjin continues. “Her mother is giving her false hope.”
“Stop.” Jimin pleads. “I—I can’t think of it like that, I just…”
Yoongi is there to catch the first of his tears, swiping them away from his cheek. “It doesn’t make you selfish, thinking you can offer Sarang a better life than her mother could, love,” he hushes.
But Jimin shakes his head out of Yoongi’s grip. “No, but it makes me a bad person.”
“Because you think you’re taking a child away from their mother?” Hoseok offers, speaking the words that could have probably gone unsaid.
It’s then that Kyung cries from where he’s sat by the tree, clearly bored with the little lion plushie he had been sucking on. Jimin sees it as a way out, Yoongi can practically feel the relief wash off of him as he bends down to scoop their son into his arms.
He sniffles back his tears, kissing the tip of the baby’s nose. “I think someone needs a diaper change,” he announces, leaving the room without another word.
It’s the third week Jimin and Yoongi have welcomed Sarang and Kyung into their homes and their hearts and Jimin is beginning to hear the sound of their very limited time together slowly tick away. He wants to cherish everything they do together, burn the memories into his mind so he never has to forget the best Christmas he thinks he’ll ever have.
But now that the elephant in the room has been acknowledged, Jimin feels that dark shadow crawling its way across his skin and smother him in anxiety.
He doesn’t want to lose Sarang. But he will give her up if it’s what’s best for him, he can’t be selfish.
Sarang gets a little clingier with every morning that dawns on their house, wanting more cuddles and her hand held even when she’s supposed to be eating. She’s taken to crawling out of her room in the dead of night and climbing into Kyung’s crib with him, just small enough so that the two of them can fit together without it being uncomfortable.
Neither Jimin nor Yoongi scold her for it. Though every morning they find the two of them curled up together, their heart fractures like a broken mirror.
“You know,” Jimin comments one morning as the four of them eat their breakfast together in the living room so Sarang can watch Frozen for the twentieth time since she got here. “You haven’t written a letter to Santa yet.”
Sarang snatches her eyes away from the movie, gaping at Jimin. “A letter to Santa?” she asks.
“That’s right,” Jimin giggles, wiping a bread crumb away from the corner of her mouth. “How can he know what to get you if you don’t write him a letter?”
Yoongi hums. “Best get it done soon too,” he adds, looking at his phone. “There’s only three days let till Christmas.”
Jumping to her feet with an urgent gasp, Sarang accidentally lets the plate with her jam on toast drop pathetically to the floor. “Oh no!” she wails. “Am I too late?”
Leaning down to pick up her discarded breakfast, Jimin shakes his head. “I think if you can get it done by tomorrow, then it should be fine.”
“But it has to be a secret,” Yoongi adds and Jimin levels him a confused look. His husband shrugs. “My mother said that writing to Santa was like making a wish, and if you tell the world your wish then it won’t come true.”
Panic floods through Jimin’s veins and he subtly punches his husband in the arm. “How is she meant to write a letter , Yoongi,” he hisses through clenched teeth. “She can’t write .”
At least Yoongi looks a little sheepish, rubbing his hand in the spot Jimin had wacked him. “I mean, it’s okay if one person knows about it…” he tries to cover.
Sarang turns to Yoongi, little hands tangling in the sleeve of his black turtleneck sweater. “Can Uncle Kookie help me?” she whispers, red tint across her cheeks and shyness in her voice.
Yoongi cocks an eyebrow at her and Jimin tries his hardest not to laugh. “Uncle Kookie? Really?” he asks, and she nods. “I mean I can ask if he’s free?”
“You’ve taken quite a liking to Uncle Kookie, I see,” Jimin comments off handed as he takes his Sarang’s plate out to the kitchen. He knows the little girl well enough that when she gets too excited about something than she won’t be able to finish the task she was already doing – in this case, eating breakfast.
But he supposes that’s okay, they are having a late breakfast today, and lunch will be right around the corner, so his girl won’t go hungry.
He can hear her little bare feet slap against the floor as she follows him into the kitchen. Even though they bought her very cute bunny slippers, Sarang is still very anti-slippers . “Uncle Kookie is really cool!” she beams, jumping next to Jimin’s legs and leaning against. “He has drawings on his arms, and he said I can colour them in sometime.”
Fuck, that’s adorable.
“Well if you go and ask Yoongi-oppa nicely, maybe he’ll let you borrow his phone and you can call Uncle Kookie yourself,” Jimin suggests, running the water in the sink ready to get a start on the breakfast dishes.
Sarang squeals, running out of the room with Yoongi’s name on her lips and Jimin spares a moment to watch her go.
The house will be so quiet if she leaves .
He shakes his head, turning back to the sink and letting it fill about halfway before he throws in the dirty dishes. He can hear Sarang shouting down the phone, her high airy voice has become one of Jimin’s favorite sounds. That and the sound of Kyung giggling.
Arms wrap around Jimin’s waist and lips kiss along the juncture of his neck and shoulders, warming his skin. A pleasant hum slips passed his lips, sinking back into Yoongi’s back hug as he shuts off the water. “Hello, you,” he greets, softly.
“Hello, love,” Yoongi mumbles into Jimin’s skin. “You’re looking all domestic today and I have to admit it’s very attractive.”
Jimin giggles. “Flattery will get you nowhere, Park Yoongi.”
“Don’t lie, Park Jimin,” Yoongi chuckles, sucking a light hickey into the side of Jimin’s neck. No way near harsh enough to leave a lasting mark, but he nips down teasingly against the reddening skin anyway. “Flattery gets me everywhere with you and your praise kink.”
The kitchen is suddenly all too hot, and Jimin feels his skin heat. “The kids are in the next room.”
“I know,” Yoongi replies, smugness in his voice. “So let’s not waste the small time we have.”
Jimin turns in his husband’s hold, wrapping his arms around his neck and pulling him in for a kiss that’s no way near PG13 enough for the small children in the other room. But it’s been so long since Jimin kissed Yoongi enough to send himself dizzy. Kissed him so deeply that he feels his husband’s taste on his tongue after they break away.
If he could, Jimin would spend all his free time just kissing his husband. Licking into his mouth and nibbling on his bottom lip until the usually composed man is panting into his mouth; whines tumbling from his lips and blush high across his cheeks. Jimin loves that he’s the one who gets to see Yoongi this way, weak to love and attention.
The world knows that if anyone deserves to be loved wholly and unconditionally it’s Yoongi. And Jimin is more than willing to spoil Yoongi with all the love he has to give him.
“Eww,” comes the little disgusted gasp from Sarang that has the two of them breaking away with giggles tumbling passed their kiss swollen lips. “Oppa’s that’s gross,” she scolds.
There’s a mischievous twinkle in Yoongi’s eye. “Oh is it now?” he asks before swooping down and capturing the small girl. She squeals and Yoongi pulls her up so that she’s trapped between both Jimin and Yoongi.
“Noo!” she screams, the large smile on her face betraying her resistance. “Let me goooo!”
“Never!” Jimin exclaims, swooping in to litter her soft cheek with kisses. Yoongi does the same to her other cheek, making loud smooching noises until Sarang is giggling and gasping for breath.
The house phone rings that evening and disrupts Yoongi and Sarang’s piano lesson. When she had heard that Taehyung’s birthday was on the 30 th and they were going to have a party for him at their house, she had asked Yoongi to teach her how to play the birthday song.
During the first few days of her stay here, she had stumbled across Yoongi playing his grand, brown piano and had been utterly in awe of the songs and tunes he had been playing. Ever since, she often asked Yoongi to play her something. Most of the time songs from Disney movies or Christmas songs that she just barely knew the words too. But Jimin could tell that Yoongi was all too happy to share his joy in life with the little girl.
The two don’t move from their practice session, so Jimin takes it upon himself to answer the phone, balancing it between his ear and his shoulder so he can continue feeding Kyung his dinner.
“Hello,” he sing songs. “Park residence.”
“Ah, hello,” the voice replies, awkward and unsure. “Is that Park Jimin?” they ask. “Or Park Yoongi?”
Jimin smiles down at his son, wiping the little bit of milk that had managed to slip past the corner of his lips with his thumb. “This is Park Jimin,” he says.
“Oh, well, um,” the voice stutters. “My name is Jihee, I’m Sarang’s mother.”
Jimin’s blood turns cold.
Christmas Eve is littered, as always, by couples.
There seems to be an extra dosing of Christmas spirit in the air, everyone carrying a genuinely happy smile across their faces as they get their last minute shopping or stroll hand in hand with their lovers through the festive streets of Seoul.
Usually, Yoongi and Jimin spend Christmas eve together, curled up in bed with hot wine and an endless supply of snacks. They’ll go for a walk around dusk, marvelling in the Christmas lights that they had been all too busy with work to stop and admire before.
Perhaps they’ll grab some pastries and a coffee from their favourite café in Hongdae, or maybe they’ll sit along the Han river with their hands warmed by hot Chocolate and just watch the sky bleed from a dusky purpled twilight to an inky black.
This Christmas Eve, Yoongi hoped it would be spent getting Sarang excited for Santa’s visit. Baking cookies together that she can leave out for when the big guy stops by with all her presents, or dressing both kids up in the matching reindeer onesies they had brought so many weeks ago and taking pictures together.
But instead, they’re sat in a Holly’s Café opposite a slight, ghostly looking woman with large bags under her eyes.
She had been sat waiting for them when Yoongi and Jimin arrived, both Kyung and Sarang left with Jungkook and Taehyung back at their house, writing out the letter to Santa that Sarang had been all too excited to write.
Jihee isn’t a woman of many words, it would seem. She greeted them with a polite bow and a thank you for meeting me before silence fell between the three of them. Her hands shake around her coffee, her eyes dart around the room like she’s uncomfortable to be here and her lips are dried and cracked.
She’s dressed in old jeans, ripped at the knee in a way Yoongi thinks isn’t supposed to be for fashion purposes. Her white T-shirt isn’t as brilliant a white as it probably could be, potentially faded from one too many washes. She wears a little mascara around her eyes and a red lips that’s a little smudged on her chin.
But it’s her eyes, her big inky black eyes with flecks of brown in them that really capture all of Yoongi’s attention. Sarang and Kyung have her eyes, they have their mother’s eyes.
“Can I ask,” Jimin finally says, the silence getting to him. “Why you wanted to meet us here? We could have met at the orphanage…”
Jihee looks panicked, eyes blowing wide. “No, no, they mustn’t know we met.”
That doesn’t make Yoongi feel all too comfortable. “Why not?” he asks.
The woman looks guilty. “Because I stole your number out of your file when I had stopped by to see Sarang,” she explains. “If she’s on a foster visit, technically I’m not allowed to have contact with her or you.”
That makes sense, Yoongi thinks. Gives Sarang a chance to grow a bond with a potential new family without feeling too guilty that she’s not giving her mother any attention. “Then why did you contact us anyway?”
Jihee’s skittish eyes look down at the swirling black of her coffee. Her nails are long and red, filed to a point that looks a little sinister. “Sarang has never been on a foster visit before,” she mumbles.
“I can’t imagine why not,” Jimin replies, sadness in his voice. “She’s wonderful.”
“That’s—” Jihee begins, conflict awash her face before she pushes down the words she was going to say. “That’s good.”
Silence falls between them again, heavy and thick in the air despite the café being completely filled to the brim with patrons. Usually, Yoongi loves the smell of coffee, it brings life to his sleepy mind and animates his heavy body to keep going just a little longer.
But now it stings at his nose, it causes his stomach to swirl like a tempest and he thinks he could be sick.
This is Sarang and Kyung’s mother .
“Is…” Jihee begins. “Is she happy? With you?”
Jimin nods. “Yes.” His voice is curt, lacking the usual warmth that it holds.
Carefully, Yoongi reaches for Jimin’s hand atop the table, tangles their fingers together and tries to send his husband as much calming reassurance as possible. He can see the stiffness to Jimin’s frame, eyes steely and back as straight as a bowstring.
He gives Jimin’s hand a little squeeze before turning back to Jihee. “Are you worried about her?”
The question seems to shock Jihee, eyes blowing wide. “I—” she begins, swallowing thickly before worrying her chapped lip between her teeth. “I suppose.”
“You suppose?” Jimin snaps. Yoongi pulls their conjoined hands towards his lips and kisses tenderly against his knuckles. Jimin levels him a sharp look, clearly clinging onto his anger to save himself from falling apart.
But Yoongi knows that Jimin will come to regret his actions. His husband isn’t mean, he’s just passionate and caring. His heart is too big for his little body and Yoongi loves that about him.
Jihee is folding in on herself, forehead so close to the tabletop as she curls protectively away from her. “I mean,” she continues, voice wobbling. “Aren’t mothers supposed to worry about their children.”
“They are, yes,” Yoongi replies.
Jihee nods, eyes unblinking. “I don’t know if I can call myself her mother.”
Yoongi feels his lips downturn. “Why?”
The woman scoffs, rubbing her hand across her nose. “What kind of mother lets her child waste away in an orphanage when she’s been given a chance to get her back?”
Jimin goes to say something, but Yoongi squeezes his hand. “I think you already know the answer to that question, Jihee-ssi,” Yoongi replies, surprised to find such comfort in his voice. “It’s okay not to want her back.”
“Don’t say that,” She spits, voice sharp. “She’s my daughter .”
“And as a mother, you only want what’s best for her,” Yoongi counters. “That’s why you haven’t tried nearly as hard as you could to get her back.”
There’s hurt across Jihee’s face, hands shaking harder than they had been before. “That’s not—”
Yoongi reaches across the table, placing a reassuring hand over hers. “It’s okay,” he says, voice gentle. “What you’ve done, it’s not a bad thing.”
“I neglected her.”
Yoongi shakes his head. “You gave her a chance, a chance at a better life.”
Tears well in the woman’s eyes. “I really truly wanted to be that chance for her, but I—”
Jimin sighs and pulls his phone out of his pocket. “Look,” he says, voice far gentler than before. He opens up a picture of both Sarang and Kyung, cuddled together in Kyung’s cot, hands linked between them. “They’re both happy, they’re both healthy, they’re both okay.”
Jihee’s eyes stare at the picture on the phone, her bottom lip wobbles and her hands continue to shake uncontrollably beneath Yoongi’s touch. “ Both of them?”
“We were the couple who adopted your son,” Yoongi explains. “It just seemed right to bring Sarang home with us too.”
A sob cracks it’s way out of Jihee’s mouth, eyes slamming closed and head finally turning away from the picture. “You’re good people,” she mutters, removing her hand from Yoongi’s touch and subtle scrubbing away at her eyes.
“Look, Jihee-ssi,” Jimin starts, pocketing his phone. “We’re not here to tell you that you’re a bad mother and you should leave Sarang alone,” he says and every word has the woman flinching. “Because I think we can all agree that we want nothing but the best for that little girl.”
Yoongi nods, pride in his gaze as he watches his husband be so incredibly strong. “We love Sarang, we love her a whole lot more than we ever thought we could love anyone. Your son too.” He turns back to Jihee, sees the way she’s glaring at her cup and wishes there was something more he could do to offer comfort for this woman. “If you would like to be apart of her life then we want you to be apart of her life.”
Jihee doesn’t respond.
“You can sit there and convince yourself that you’re a bad mother, that you don’t deserve to be apart of her life. But I think that’s far from true,” Yoongi sighs, heart beating faster. “I wish my birth mother loved me enough to know when to let me go.”
It’s been a long while since Yoongi last thought of his birth mother let alone acknowledged her. He doesn’t think he’s ever even mentioned her to Jimin, and he doesn’t think he ever will. At least not in great detail.
He barely remembers what she looks like anymore, anyway. But he can remember the way his heart would break every time she scowled at him, every time she was forced to acknowledge him. She was too stubborn to abandon him like she probably should have the moment he was born. She was too caught up in spite and envy to ever love Yoongi enough to let him go. Not when he was a perfect way to get out all of her anger, all her hate.
Yoongi wishes his birth mother had loved him half as much as Sarang’s mother loves her.
Yoongi wishes his birth mother had let him go before he had broken into pieces that will never fully heal completely again.
He pulls his business card from his pocket and pushes it across the table. “I don’t know what the future holds, I don’t know whether we will be the ones to love Sarang for the rest of her life. But know that if we are so lucky to be, then you can reach out to us anytime and we will be happy to tell you how she’s doing.”
“Thank you,” Jimin adds, voice so incredibly quiet that Yoongi almost misses it. But Jihee catches it, eyes snatched over to Jimin’s direction, bottom lip worried between her teeth. “For bringing such wonderful children into this world. It’s been a privilege being able to love them.”
Jihee doesn’t say much more. But the tears welling in her eyes speak louder than any words ever could. She doesn’t sit with them much longer; she doesn’t even finish her coffee.
She leaves with nothing more than a thank you on her lips.
Christmas morning finds Jimin being awoken by a very excited three year old jumping up and down on their bed and singing Jingle Bells at the top of her lungs. Jimin knows that it’s no way near early enough to start Christmas day, but he’s also not heartless enough to squash the girl’s excitement and tell her to go back to bed.
Instead, he grabs her up in a tight hug and pulls her under the covers in order to litter her face with kisses. She squeals, Yoongi grumbles his protests from the other side of the bed and Jimin giggles.
“Happy Christmas, Sarang-ah,” she greets.
“Happy Christmas, Oppa!” she sing songs back. “Can we open presents now? I think Santa came!”
“It’s 4am, Sarang-ah,” Yoongi whines, rolling over and pulling her into his chest. “Sleep now, presents later?” he pleads.
But Sarang is having none of it. She wriggles in Yoongi’s hold until she can press her forehead against his. “Presents now, Daddy, sleep later,” she replies, voice ringing with utter happiness.
Jimin’s heart stops beating.
Yoongi’s eyes fly open, all sleepiness vanished.
It takes a while for Sarang to realise that both Yoongi and Jimin are staring at her, wide eyed and full of shock. It takes even longer for her happiness to subside and be replaced by a crippling worry that a little girl on Christmas shouldn’t be feeling.
“I’m so—” she begins, but Jimin is smothering her in a tight hug before she can even finish the unneeded apology on her lips. He pulls her so tight against his chest that he might be cutting off her air supply, but there’s just so many emotions swelling within him like a tempest that Jimin can’t bring himself to think rationally.
“Sarang-ah, baby,” Yoongi breathes, shock finally subsiding and love flooding through his veins. “You called me Daddy.”
“I didn’t mean to!” Sarang implores, panic in her voice. “I’m sorry, please don’t hate me!”
Jimin pulls back from their hug, holding her face between his palms. “My love, my baby ,” he coos. “Why on earth would we hate you?”
Sarang’s eyes well with tears. “B-because I’m not yours, I d-don’t get to call you Daddy.”
Yoongi’s hands are there to catch her tears before they fall, pressing kisses into the crease between her brow. “What makes you think you’re not ours?”
“I have to go back, I have to leave,” she sobs. “Kyungie gets to stay, he gets to call you Daddy, I can’t and it’s not, it’s not—”
“Fair?” Jimin finishes, thumbs gently stroking at her cheeks.
The damn breaks and Sarang is sobbing uncontrollably. Tears streaming down her red face, all excitement for Christmas lost to the worry and anxiety that must have been bubbling in her little body for the past few weeks.
Jimin thinks he could break, but he has to keep himself together.
He has to, for his daughter.
“Sarang, I know it’s not fair,” he begins, voice serious. “But we aren’t just going to give you back and leave it at that,” he explains. Yoongi continues to wipe the tears from her eyes, his own gathering in his lashes. “You are ours,” Jimin reiterates, emphasising each word so that Sarang hears it. “You’re our baby, our precious little girl, and we will fight to keep you.”
“B-but,” she wails.
Yoongi hushes her. “No buts, baby,” he says. “We promise that we love you more than words could ever say. We want you to live with us and Kyungie forever and ever . We want you to call us Daddy, and hold our hands and give us kisses and cuddles. And even if you have to go back to the orphanage, we will still come to see you. We promise that this will always be your home.”
“And we will always be your family,” Jimin adds. “And we never break our promises.”
Sarang wraps her arms around Jimin’s neck and buries her face against his chest, letting the rest of her sobs break out into the world, no longer bottled up inside of her. Jimin holds her tight against his chest, Yoongi rubs his hands up and down her back, hushing and soothing her as best he can. He rests his forehead against her temple, unable to reach her forehead from where it’s hidden against Jimin’s chest.
And Jimin hopes, with his entire heart, that Sarang can feel the love they both share for her.
She doesn’t call either of them Daddy again after that.
Eventually her crying send her back to sleep, safely tucked up in Jimin’s arms. Every now and then hiccupping a little sob that shatters both Yoongi and Jimin’s heart into more fragile pieces.
“I can’t give her back,” Yoongi whispers into the quiet Christmas morning.
Jimin finds his hand beneath the covers, holds it tight and lets his tears slip down his face. “Me either.”
Sarang doesn’t call them Daddy again.
She wakes up from her crying induced nap and her excitement is back in full force, pulling both Jimin and Yoongi out of bed and down the corridor to wake up Kyung.
The four of them open Christmas presents in the living room, acting incredibly surprised every time Sarang opens a present that she had asked Santa for in her letter. Without a doubt, her favourite present is the Elsa dress Taehyung and Jungkook had run around all over town trying to find last night.
She puts it on immediately, momentarily forgetting the other presents that are still left to be unwrapped under the tree. Yoongi has to fold over her sleeves a little as their a bit too long, and he pulls the girl into his lap and diligently braids her hair in true Elsa fashion.
Jimin smiles fondly at the scene, bouncing Kyung on his knee as he plays with a new rattle. “I didn’t know you could braid hair.”
“YouTube is very informative,” he explains and Jimin practically melts into a big pile of goo imagining his husband learning how to braid hair all for Sarang.
So many pictures are taken that day that both Yoongi and Jimin buy extra memory on iCloud just so they don’t lose a single one. Half of them are sent to the group chat, their friends more than a bit demanding for pictures of their niece and nephew on Christmas day.
It’s a happy day, Jimin tries his very best to make it as happy as possible. Any moment he sees worry or sadness creep it’s way across Sarang’s face he swoops in and steals it from her in the form of a kiss to the tip of her nose.
Each time he sees a distant, melancholy look in his husband’s eyes as he watches Sarang play with her brother and their new toys, Jimin wraps him up in a hug and squeezes all the sadness from them.
“Just for today,” Jimin whispers into the shell of Yoongi’s ear. “Just for today, lets pretend.”
Yoongi’s grip around his is shaky and Jimin thinks he’s never seen his husband so incredibly broken.
There’s only one day left.
One more day as a family before they have to give Sarang back to the orphanage.
“But it’s not forever,” Yoongi reassures himself, staring himself down in the mirror. There are bags under his eyes, evident of countless sleepless nights, stubble across his chin that he’s meant to be shaving off whilst Jimin gets the children ready for Taehyung’s birthday party.
He looks so exhausted. But he knows he wouldn’t trade any amount of peaceful nights for the memories he’s gained over the last month. He’s never felt so whole, so complete before. Sarang and Kyung were the very things that his life had been missing and he’s more than ready to fight to keep them.
He wonders whether he should call Jeongmin and see if there’s anything at all they can do, anyway he can fight or plead his case to the courts just to keep Sarang. Maybe they can run away? Escape to another country and start their lives a new. They would have to give up their family and friends, their jobs and a cushty income that can easily support both Sarang and Kyung.
But at least they’ll be together.
Yoongi runs the cold water, cupping it in his hands and splashing it against his face. He lets the shock of the icy cold water bring him back to his senses, ground him in the situation and let him think a little more logically about the whole situation.
But logically thinking just isn’t comforting right now.
Logically thinking means giving Sarang back to the orphanage and hoping fate will be kind to them.
There isn’t really much Yoongi can do in terms of fighting to keep her. All he can do is wait.
He reaches for his razor, tucked away on the top self of the bathroom when the shrill ringing of the house phone cuts through his tangled thoughts.
“Yoongi! Honey!” Jimin calls from down the hall. “Can you get that?”
“Yeah!” he calls back, forgoing the towel and letting his wet face drip all over his nice clean shirt as he makes a run downstairs for the phone. He’s pretty sure he grabs it just before it hits the machine. “Park residence,” he says, voice panting.
“ Am I too late to bring you a Christmas miracle?”
“Sarang, baby, come sit next to your brother so I can get a picture,” Jimin asks, placing Kyung in his little rocker next to the giant cream teddy bear that Hoseok had bought him for Christmas.
Bring a gift bigger than the baby, he had said, that’s what makes you the best Uncle .
Jimin had begged to differ, wondering how in the hell they were going to keep such an obnoxiously large stuffed bear. It’s bigger than Jimin, practically the size of a lounge chair.
Sarang had loving called it Sven , however, and the moment she did Jimin knew that they’d never be able to get rid of it.
“Okay!” the girl sing songs, skipping over to her brother and sitting next to the rocker. Seokjin had bought her the prettiest dusty rose skirt and cream coloured sweater to wear for the party, with red roses stitched into the hem of the flowy a-line skirt and a headband with matching roses attached to it.
Jimin had practically swooned the moment she was dressed, matching Kyung in a cream overgrow and dusty pink corduroy trousers over the top. Together they looked utterly adorable, picture perfect and Jimin found himself wriggling from the cuteness overload.
He pulls his phone from his slacks pocket and holds it aloft. “I’m going to send this to Uncle Taehyung, so give me your bestest, biggest smile, baby,” he explains and Sarang opens her mouth as wide as possible, teeth snapped together and usually large eyes scrunching up into happy little crescents.
Kyung is about to fall asleep, large eyes drifting close, long eyelashes dusting against his fat little cheeks, but Jimin can’t seem to find it in himself to care.
Not when they look so cute.
“Jimin!” Yoongi bellows, disrupting the moment and causing Jimin to take a very terribly blurry picture.
He clicks his tongue, settling a faux look of irritation to his face that has Sarang giggling. “What?” he calls back, turning just in time to see his husband stumble through the door.
Panic bubbles to the surface of Jimin’s skin. Yoongi’s face is pale, his teeth are chattering, and the house phone is still tightly gripped in his hands. He’s quick to jump to his feet, lunging himself at Yoongi like his husband may very well just crumple to the floor at any moment.
“Love?” he calls, taking Yoongi’s face between his hands. “What’s the matter? What’s wrong?”
Yoongi surges forward and captures Jimin’s lip in an awkward bruising kiss.
Sarang makes a noise of disgust and Jimin pulls away with a strong blush painted across his cheeks. “What the hell was that for.”
“Don’t say hell,” Sarang scolds. Jimin offers the girl a pointed look over his shoulder, to which Sarang does nothing but giggle at.
He turns back to Yoongi. “What’s going on.”
“Jeongmin called,” Yoongi finally says and it’s at this moment that his knees give out from under him and he crumples to the floor like a piece of paper. Jimin is a little too stunned to catch his husband as he falls, staring blankly at his face, unsure whether he should be overjoyed or whether he needs to break into floods of tears.
Sarang crawls across the room and places a hand to Yoongi’s forehead. “Are you sick, Yoongi-Oppa?
Yoongi shakes his head, pulling the girl to sit in his lap and placing a big wet kiss to her cheek. She giggles, pushing Yoongi away from her weakly. “I’m fine, baby,” he reassures, kissing her again for good measure. “More than fine, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been, ever .”
Jimin drops to his knees, figuring that he might as well be both happy and cry his eyes out because there’s just too much going on in his heart right now to make sense of how he’s feeling. There’s white noise in his ears, his heart is thumping so painfully against his chest, too big for his rib cage and trying to break free so it can grow bigger.
“Why are you happy?” Sarang asks.
“Because,” Yoongi sing songs, smile so wide across his face that his gums are on full show, his noes and his cheeks are dusted pink and his eyes are crinkled into happy little crescents. “The lady from the orphanage just told me that if you would like, you can stay with us forever.”
A sob erupts its way from Jimin’s throat, hands coming up to cover his mouth.
Sarang cocks her head to one side, brows furrowed. “But I thought I had to go home—”
Yoongi shakes his head, kisses away the pinch between her eyebrows. “Some very important people decided that so long as you’re happy, you don’t ever have to go back to the orphanage.”
“I don’t?” the little girls gasps, voice so breathy.
“Would you still like to be a part of our family?” Yoongi asks, hope in his voice that has Jimin choking back more sobs. “Because we would very much like for you to stay with us.”
Jimin shuts his eyes, body folding in on itself, tears cascading down his cheeks as he tries to struggle through all the emotions he’s feeling right now. He’s so happy. He’s ecstatic, even. Utterly, emphatically overwhelmed and with every second that goes by and his brain imagines the life the four of them will live together his heart grows even bigger.
Warm little hands rest against his cheeks and gently pull his face up. His watery eyes find Sarang smiling at him, and Jimin thinks this is the moment his heart could burst. But then she pulls her forehead against his, shuts her big owl like eyes and lets a long, content sigh past her lips. Jimin thinks it’s one of those heavy contented kind of sighs that warms the body until you’re positively glowing with happiness.
“Don’t cry, Daddy,” Sarang whispers. “I love you.”