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found in love

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“Where have you been?”

Namjoon didn’t even turn when the door opened, only kept rubbing his eyes in the middle of a yawn. One of the first sunrays was playing at his bare feet, toes curling on the still cool rug. He looked almost like a child, shoulders shivering from morning air, face soaked with sleepiness, all stretched limbs and sharp angles, only muscles showing off his true age.

How could anyone ever hurt him?

“Downstairs.” While the man was still groggily blinking at the window, Seokjin quickly climbed into bed from the other side, clumsily crawling over blankets to get to him. “Missed me?”

Namjoon hummed with approval – directed either at the question, or at the arms looping around his waist, Seokjin’s chin promptly finding its place on his shoulder. He had to spread his thighs a bit too widely to fit Namjoon in between, but he gladly took the challenge. His yoga classes couldn’t go to waste after all.

Namjoon’s body instantly relaxed into the touch, leaning backwards to press closer, hand finding Seokjin’s knee and squeezing gently, fingers slipping to stroke underneath.

It was always so easy to fit together.

“Is that my hoodie?” Namjoon asked with surprised curiosity, hand tugging at the grey material, after a few seconds they spent taking each other’s presence in.

Seokjin immediately scoffed with joking offense, pouting a bit even if the other couldn’t see – he could hear it in his voice very well. “It’s mine.”

“Don’t think I signed any papers on changing the owner?”

“You left it here, that’s official enough.”

“I forgot it.”

“Same thing.”

Namjoon let out a chuckle, skipping a moment to press a kiss to the side of his partner’s head. “Okay, okay, I’m glad you like it.”

“Yeah. Not that much of your clothes get my appreciation.” Seokjin smirked almost smugly, shifting a bit to let Namjoon turn with an offended “hey!” and a giggle of his own.

“What is this? Are you attacking me? Just like that?”

“Not you,” he tried to restrain himself – but it was impossible not to smile with endearment of his whole heart when Namjoon was looking so childishly sulky, “only some of your clothes.”

“You know nothing about true fashion.” The man objected with such confident, matter-of-factly tone that Seokjin decided to forget about all the fashion shows he had to attend and all the different styles he had to try in an instant. All of them. If only to look at Namjoon with innocent eyes and a tilt of the head, “Yeah I guess so,” before moving forward to kiss those pouting lips.

He didn’t need the memories anyway. Just little moments of his big happiness.

“Do you really think it’s bad though?” Namjoon mumbled a couple of minutes later, not really breaking the kiss but moving an inch away to look Seokjin in the eyes.

“What?” But it was a bit too quick for Seokjin to catch up, slightly dazed eyes and fingers drawing lines on the side of the man’s thigh, thoughts climbing over every day of the last month he spent without these touches.

“My style.”

He took another second to clear the mind from much too longed intimacy (they were supposed to talk about something, weren’t they?) – and then melted into a soft smirk. There was a hint of worry in Namjoon’s eyes, and to think that he might took it seriously? Such a teen.

“No, I do not.” Seokjin pecked his lips again, sweet sound dying away between their bodies. “It suits you well. Just sometimes wish I could see a little bit of you,” he pointedly pinched the other’s thigh, “under all the layers.”

All the remnants of tension left Namjoon’s body with a chuckle, wide grin finding its way on his lips, making these annoyingly cute, illegally pretty dimples appear right in front of Seokjin (the nerve!).

“You can always see a bit of me,” this time Namjoon was the one to break the speech with a quick peck, “all of me,” another, soft warmth in the corner of Seokjin’s lips, “just make sure to schedule an appointment.”

The audacity! Seokjin gasped with full force of 5 years of degree in acting, 3 years of courses and 20 years of professional work. The audience reacted with a muffled giggle. That will do.

“I want to talk to the manager!”

“He’s busy.”

“What?”

“He’s getting laid.”

“At workplace? Sir, you need to check your employees before hiring.”

“Nah, I’m good.”

This time Seokjin was the one to giggle, giving up to the gentle push on his shoulder, too pointed to count it as a simple nuzzle.

Getting laid, huh?

Folds of the blanket were a bit too uncomfortable under his back, but with almost purring hums coming from the stretched hem of his hoodie Seokjin could forget about it for the time being. They were supposed to talk about something? Maybe, it could wait for later.

“Wait, are we doing it?”

He propped himself up on an elbow, rising an eyebrow at Namjoon, who just turned on the bed fully, to half-kneel between his legs. The hoodie was already pushed to Seokjin’s chest by the greedy hands, more and more kisses lingering on the skin.

The question seemed to strike Namjoon dumb, mind a bit too focused on what was happening already. Only after a couple of seconds he straightened up to look at Seokjin with an almost sulky suspicion, like a kid that was asked for his favorite candy, “Yeah, I’m all up for it,” hand gently squeezing his waist.

“Oh, already?” Seokjin almost cooed with a soft smirk, knee brushing against the man’s hip. “What about the boys though?”

“What about them? They don’t have to join.” But, seeing no reluctance from the other side, Namjoon visibly relaxed, palm grazed against the knee, shamelessly gliding down towards thigh. “Did you lock the door?”

“Not sure.”

Namjoon gave him a quick look of disapproval, unfazed by Seokjin’s innocent eyes and pouting lips, before hurrying to get off the bed.

The door was not locked – another exchange of expressive looks while Namjoon was quietly closing it again. So that’s how it feels to be on the receiving end of his lectures?

“I can’t get used to other people in my house,” Seokjin said in an almost defensive manner, shifting to lean on the headboard and demonstratively crossing arms on his chest, lips still forming a pout. Not only Namjoon was allowed to be childish sometimes, wasn’t he?

It’s not like Namjoon was actually accusing him of anything – but sometimes he just wanted to justify himself under that gaze. Was it a little bit too self-conscious? Maybe. But did he ever claim to be perfect? Well, to be honest…

Seokjin even parted his lips, probably, to remind that he is only a flawed mortal being – and only then noticed that Namjoon wasn’t smiling. The words seemed to hit something inside him as a more serious expression hardened the soft angles of his besotted features.

Seokjin’s heart tightened.

Right. They needed to talk about something.

“You know, I didn’t mean that, like, I don’t want to, or something, right?”

“It’s okay.”

Namjoon found his way back quickly, with an odd air of determination climbing between the other’s legs. Getting closer to Seokjin who was still unfocused and frowning at himself, because he could find a better way to say it, he could.

“Hey.”

As soon as Namjoon called him, though, palms gently squeezing his knees, Seokjin snapped out of it, raising his head and finding the man right in front of him. Namjoon was looking straight at him with a soft, deep expression that, maybe, wasn’t so deep after all, because it was all here, and at the same time something Seokjin could never reach the bottom of.

“It’s okay. If you need more time, it’s okay. I’ll talk to Benjamin, we’ll figure something out. You’ll get used to me, I promise.”

“No, no, it’s not about that.”

He sighed, gaze trailing to the side for a second, helping Seokjin to gather his thoughts together – before coming back to his partner’s attentive eyes. His shoulders slumped a bit, hands relaxing their grip on his own elbows – and almost tentatively landing on Namjoon’s shoulders.

“What if Jungkook isn’t ready? He’s just a boy.”

“He’s nineteen, when will he be ready?” Namjoon objected with a gentle push to the words.

“Maybe, in,” Seokjin swallowed nervously, not even thinking the answer through, “in a couple of years?”

“Years? Baby, I’m not gonna wait years, not again,” he even fidgeted, eager to deliver his determination fully – before stumbling in the middle of the sentence with a hesitant, "unless, of course, that’s what you want. I mean, I can, but, Jin, it’s not- We have to discuss it again if you, if that’s what you’re saying, because years is not the same, it’s…”

“No, no, it’s not, it’s, fuck.”

Namjoon was looking at him with wide, confused eyes, clearly dumbfounded with the words – and could anyone blame him? He was supposed to move in by the end of the year max, and now, god, what was happening now?

Seokjin exhaled with surrender and pushed away from the headboard, to send the hands travelling further round Namjoon’s neck, to let the forehead meet the crook of his neck. One thing was still clear for him in this madhouse.

“I want to live with you.”

The muscles under his forehead relaxed in an instant, quiet but relieved breath escaping Namjoon’s mouth – and Seokjin felt guilt pinching at his guts from inside. He got so lost even Namjoon wasn’t sure in his wishes?

As if to prove himself further, Seokjin pressed closer, hiding face in the corner between Namjoon’s neck and his own elbow, mumbling down into his chest, “I want to fall asleep to you muttering quotes to yourself. I want to wake up because you’re so close I can’t feel anything else but you. I want to bicker over what sort of coffee is better in the middle of a store. I want you to be here. Everywhere.”

“Why then you can’t let go of everything else?”

At some point of his speech Namjoon’s hands found their way on his back, the final touch of proper hug. Seokjin allowed himself to enjoy to the fullest, to melt into it just for a second – before moving away, just enough to look Namjoon in the eyes.

He wanted to say right away, but lump rose in his throat. Realization dawned on him as his gaze cradled Namjoon’s face, affection in the other’s eyes still making his own heart grow like a balloon inside.

Jungkook said his dad was not as handsome?

God, what did he know.

“I’m afraid you’ll be mad at me,” he almost whispered finally, eyes widening in shock in front of him – but he didn’t finish. “All this time, these years, I was thinking. Sometimes. That if, if you told her, what happened? What if I hurt your family beyond repair. What if,” he blinked a couple of time, no, he wasn’t going to cry, he wasn’t – but emotions were still poking at the strings of his heart, “what if you despise me, what if you wish we’d never met.” Unable to hold it anymore, he casted his gaze down, the ever-loving affection in Namjoon’s eyes making him almost guilty for such words. “You always said your family comes first, and now your son doesn’t want to accept me, so what, what will be in two years? Five years? What if we get into a fight, and you’ll have that thought, that regret, what if you’ll realize it wasn’t worth it – but it’ll be too late, and then…”

Palm squeezed the back of his neck, breaking the speech that was almost a slur already, bringing Seokjin back, closer. He took a deep, steadying breath, unaware of the tightness in his throat up until this moment, blinking through veil even if the tears weren’t there.

So, that’s what it was, huh?

He closed his eyes, allowing himself to relax into the hug, to nuzzle into familiar scent and pretend like the scary things weren’t there. Like nothing could get him here.

Maybe, 5 years olds know more about life than he thought.

“I have never had any regrets. Ever.” And Seokjin breathed out, wrapping arms around his neck even tighter, something warm and airy spreading through his muscles. Namjoon only squeezed his waist in return, fingers thoughtlessly grazing through hair at the back of his head. “I never told her, but I talked to Jungkook – and I, I never felt sorry. I felt like I have to, like I’m a bad husband, bad father, I have to feel sorry. Guilty? Yes, sometimes. But never sorry. I just couldn’t. I was happy.” The palm coaxed him into raising his head, heart stuttering at Namjoon’s fond smile. “You made me happy.” He pressed a kiss to Seokjin’s brow, brief and tender. “You always make me happy.”

“You know it’s not gonna last forever, right?” Seokjin let out a chuckle, soaked with the tidal wave of feelings, glowing eyes following every motion.

“Well, it’s gonna change. Maybe, we’ll get used to each other,” with an emphasized carefulness Namjoon pushed a lost hair off his forehead, “maybe, you’ll have to wear earplugs to not hear my mumbling. Maybe, we’ll start buying different packs of coffee. Maybe, we’ll grow old and boring, but isn’t it happiness too?” Namjoon smiled a bit wider, so sure about everything, so open Seokjin couldn’t help but feel guilty for every doubts that ever crossed his mind.

“I don’t need butterflies every time I see you to know what feels right.”

“Hey, I’m gonna be breathtakingly handsome even in 20 years, you’ll see.” It slipped off his tongue so easily, god, it really was that easy?

Namjoon chuckled, with something softer and deeper than amusement, “Can’t wait,” and pressed another kiss to Seokjin’s cheek.

Was it that easy?

“Jungkook thinks it’s not gonna work out.” He looked up with an almost pained question in the eyes. “What if it doesn’t work out, Joonie? What will you do?”

“Okay, first of all, Kook still hasn’t come to the terms with what happened,” Namjoon objected immediately, even shaking his head with defiance, “of course, he thinks it’s too early to talk about feelings. But if that’s your worry, then you forget about Losa. Even if I’ll become such an intolerable, arrogant, selfish, ugly copy of myself that you won’t be able to tolerate me anymore,” at that Seokjin pinched him with a huff, not having any regret at the other’s wince, “I will still have my job. I’ll find a place, I’ll figure something out. I’m not as helpless as you and Kookie might think.”

“That’s not really what I meant,” though knowing that Namjoon did include that possibility in his plans was somehow soothing – at least Seokjin was not the only thing to tie him up here, in case… In case of nothing.

He frowned though, looking for better words – something that wouldn’t sound like a reprimand, something that didn’t include reminders of Namjoon’s feelings for his ex-wife. But if that was something they needed to avoid, it’d become a subject of another conversation entirely. One Seokjin didn’t want to think of right now.

In the end, he just muttered casually (as it was possible after almost a whole minute of thinking), “Jungkook told me about your breakup.”

“He told you? When?”

“We had a talk downstairs, just now.”

“I see.”

How did Namjoon manage to pull off such a casual tone himself? It was almost unfair!

“Did he tell you I was heartbroken and couldn’t get over Yoonja not being there?”

Seokjin blinked, feeling oddly embarrassed. Namjoon was looking at him with an almost tired expression like he already knew the answer but didn’t want to hear.

“Yeah. Well… Yes.”

Yes, Namjoon definitely knew the answer, why else would he groan and push his face against Seokjin’s shoulder?

They were quiet for a few moments, Seokjin awkwardly stroking the other’s back and trying to decipher the undistinguishable mutter. Sounded like “Can’t believe it”. Not really helpful.

“Okay, so,” he suddenly straightened up, startling Seokjin, hands falling down on his waist, “it’s obviously not true.”

Obviously. Seokjin frowned, looking him in the face, searching for any sign of tension all the while keeping his own kind and understanding.

“Look, Joonie, it’s okay. I’m not mad or anything.” He even pulled a smile meant to be coaxing and reassuring, because honestly, it’s not a big deal, ‘obviously’ Namjoon had had deep feelings for his wife. “You don’t need to…”

“No, no, no.” But the man shook his head so fervently, a couple of strands on top of his head swayed a little. Cute. “Really, it’s not true. Of course, 20 years of marriage is not something you brush off that easily – but it’s not like you can really miss a person that hurt your son. And, I don’t know, I was used to living without her anyway, with all the trips, you know.”

He squeezed Seokjin’s waist with a hint, mindless smile making its way on the man’s face – yeah, Namjoon was travelling a lot, that much he knew, but then what was it all about? Jungkook wouldn’t lie to him, right? He sounded so sad, and earnest, and, “What about the cards, and keys, and the, the bed, and your mother.” He blinked trying to grasp, though the answer was already forming itself in response.

Namjoon sighed and looked to the side, hand coming to scratch the back of his neck, features turning into uneasy expression. “Well, yeah, it’s true, but, uh, it wasn’t easy still. I mean, I had a 16 years old fixed on the idea that he ruined his parents’ love and no place of my own.” Seokjin caught his quick gaze and nodded shortly – yes, he remembered, Yoonja took the apartment for maintenance, that much Namjoon told him. “We had to move out as quickly as possible, Jungkook was getting quieter day by day, and she just wasn’t talking to him, like he wasn’t there, and it was just the worst. I don’t know how else to describe, it was the worst days of my life.”

He chuckled quietly as if trying to keep the mood lighter even with the eyes blankly staring at Seokjin’s shoulder. Something was slowly squeezing Seokjin from inside.

“So, yeah, there was a lot going on, and I couldn’t keep track of everything, and Jungkook was still quiet, and I couldn’t leave him, obviously, so I had to look for clients online, but it wasn’t enough, and, you know, I was all over the place.”

Namjoon smiled almost sheepishly as if trying to apologize – hey, I’m not always able to handle things, I can be weak too, would you still love me? Whatever was clinging onto Seokjin’s insides reached his throat, messing with every intake of air. He blinked again, wanted to say something, maybe the words that were on his mind for too long already – but couldn’t push them past the lump in his throat, and the moment was lost, and Namjoon had already kept going.

“Then things started to get better. Taehyung needed some time for himself, like, he was always close with our family, with Yoonja too, it wasn’t easy – but then he started coming over more often. Then Sangmi came for a few days, and it was really… It helped us a lot, me and Kookie. Like everything was a bit more normal again. And,” he chuckled again, this time with a hint of genuine lightness, “I think she called my mom. Probably with something like, dad needs help, SOS, cause she came in 2 days after Sangmi left, with two bags of groceries and a backpack of clothes.”

“Your mom sounds fun.”

Namjoon smiled, a bit more warm, a bit more present, and nodded, finally looking up at Seokjin again. “Yeah, she has a heart of adventurer. She used to take me and dad on the trips, so by 3rd grade I saw all the corners of Korea. She even travelled with me for work, but after dad got a stroke she didn’t have much space for going and gave it all into, um, into the family, ah, anyway, sorry, it’s just,” he awkwardly quieted down, clearly flustered about the sudden trail of thoughts.

Seokjin only smiled, deciding to leave the long and clear explanation of why Namjoon can talk about his pre-Seokjin life whenever and for however long for later, and tilted his head. “Hope one day I’ll get to meet her. Maybe, not as your partner, but…”

“No, I don’t, I don’t think you have to worry about that.” Namjoon straightened his back for a moment – they were, indeed, sitting for a bit too long – before settling closer to Seokjin again, palms sliding further to his back. “We had a talk about my, uh, my preferences not being the same. She was surprised, but after Jungkook it was easier to accept, I guess, so… yeah, I think it’s gonna be okay. I’ll talk to her when we’ll be back.”

“Okay.”

Why it was making him so warm and in love, aish, why he had to be so in love?

“Okay.”

They sat quietly, Namjoon thinking about something, gaze caressing Seokjin’s face so openly he felt his neck starting to prickle, too quickly for his own taste – god, will he ever get used to his partner’s attentiveness?

“So,” he cleared his throat, “Jungkook.”

“Right, Jungkook.” Namjoon snapped out of it with a blink, throughtful frown finding its way back to his face. “Jungkook, well, he was stuck in this idea for pretty long, that somehow it was all his fault, and that I was in pain, that I needed Yoonja and not him, and maybe he didn’t even have to come out, you know, it was hard for him too.”

Seokjin nodded, trying to imagine the pain. Even though Namjoon was talking more or less casually – because it was all in past tense, it was past tense – the words themselves were still terrifying.

“I didn’t figure out at first, Kookie is not the one to speak up about his feelings as you probably noticed. But then one night we had a talk with Tae while he was asleep, and he suddenly broke down,” too caught up in his memories, Namjoon even raised hands mindlessly, to show the tears running down the boy’s cheeks, “started apologizing, saying it’s his fault, and he’ll always be there for Kook, but they don’t know how to help me, and they never wanted it to go that way, and, you know, it was a mess.” He let out a nervous cackle.

Seokjin’s heart was aching. Either for the two little boys thrown into the whirlpool of rejection and fear, or his own lover that had to give his all to pull them out without anything to lean on himself. He quietly fidgeted closer, while Namjoon was still looking for the words to continue.

For some reasons that could probably be explained by scientists, he suddenly felt cold, goosebumps running down his arms, and the only source of warmth was the man in front of him.

“You know it’s all fine now, right?” Namjoon chuckled softly, after a few seconds of Seokjin silently tightening the hold of his arms around the other’s neck, snuggling right into him. He didn’t stop him, though, only, after Seokjin finally settled on the distance between their bodies that was acceptable for his shivering heart, wrapped arms around him, almost pulling the man on his laps, lips smiling against his ear.

Seokjin nodded, not trusting his voice enough to speak up, only feeling everything growing, flowing, shimmering between the two of them. Pushing only a tiny whisper out. “I’m sorry.”

“For what?” Namjoon’s voice was calm and stable now, almost tender against Seokjin’s heart.

“I wish I were there for you.”

He heard an exhale of a smile. “Breaking news, renowned actor and public’s favorite Kim Seokjin ran away from a film set and disappeared in the direction of Yangcheon.”

“You think I wouldn’t do it?” Seokjin even managed to tear himself away from the man’s shoulder for the sake of looking at him properly, small smile tugging at his lips.

Namjoon took a second to look over his face before meeting the eyes and shaking his head, “No,” reply now emphasized by the pause, “I’m only saying that we were living different lives. It’s pointless to regret.”

Seokjin could only sigh at that, “I know,” and move back to his shoulder, sadness now softened by his partner’s words but still present.

Of course he knew it was pointless. Nothing could be done about it, no time machine, no magic, nada. But he loved past Namjoon no less that the present, and for a bit, just for a bit, he wanted to care for him as well.

They both were processing each other’s words, or maybe just basking in intimacy, when the quiet of the house got shifted with noises. Muffled knock from downstairs transforming into steps on the stairs. They didn’t move, silently listening to Jungkook trying to pass their room as quietly as possible before opening another door. Another voice reached them through the walls, impossible to distinguish.

“I’m gonna talk to him,” and Seokjin immediately tightened his grip once again, ankles crossing behind the other’s back.

Laughter full of fondness touched his hair. “No? I’m not allowed?”

He silently shook his head.

Namjoon could tease him till the end of their days, it wouldn’t make breaking the warm shelter of their mutual comfort any more pleasant.

“Okay, okay, can we lie down then? My back is numb, if I have to be honest.”

This time Seokjin nodded, allowing Namjoon to pull him into the blanket. The other’s waist landing on his thigh might not have been the most enjoyable part, but for now it was bearable. Just like Namjoon’s elbow pressing into his ribs. Not the most comfortable cuddle they ever created, but it was all too much of a bother to settle all over again.

“Hey.”

He hummed, eyes already closed, head lolling on his own shoulder. How much time was it? Time for breakfast was somewhere near, surely. But just, just one more minute.

“So, about the moving thing?”

He hummed again, this time louder, clearer, eyes fluttering open to stare at Namjoon’s jaw.

“What’s the final conclusion? We didn’t really, uh, settle on this one.”

Didn’t they?

Seokjin kept looking at the curve of his Adam’s apple, unblinking, for a few seconds.

Didn’t he already?

“You sure Jungkook will be okay on his own?”

After a beat Namjoon nodded. “Yeah, I’m sure. I’ll talk to him, of course, but…”

“Then move in as soon as you can.”

They said the last sentences simultaneously, Seokjin letting out his own thoughts as soon as the answer reached him. There was not much else to talk about.

That was all he truly wanted.

“Really?”

That, and Namjoon’s smile revealing his dimples, and Namjoon’s eyes glimmering at his, and Namjoon’s hands pulling him closer, and maybe the whole Namjoon, from head to toes.

Yeah, Namjoon, and life with Namjoon. Nothing else needed.

“Really,” he couldn’t stop himself from a soft imitation, “don’t act like we haven’t established it already.”

They say, life is getting calmer after forties, how did he manage to find a man that was making his heart hammer with a simple kiss then?

“Yeah, but I thought,” Namjoon mumbled, the rest of the sentence getting lost between Seokjin’s lips. Smiling, of course he was smiling, how couldn’t he.

“Well, you were wrong,” Seokjin giggled, tiny pecks tickling his jaw, “that was the plan all the way.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah.”

Namjoon was staring down at him, already pinning Seokjin to the bed, hands squeezing his shoulders through the so much unneeded hoodie between them. He slowed down now, not kissing, not touching, just looking with so much more than any kiss and any touch could deliver, smile on his lips smaller now – but that much happier.

“Is that what you really want?”

“Yes,” Seokjin nodded, his own smile betraying the feelings, “that’s what I really want,” and moved a hand from Namjoon’s back to his cheek, cupping with a gentle caress, “and I’m sorry if I made you doubt.”

“I love you.”

What?

But he didn’t have time to process the words, even so – react properly, as Namjoon pressed to him, into him, leaving no doubts about his intentions. Lips found his lips, hand found his thigh, fingertips sliding under pants, and, ah, why not leave any musings for later?

Seokjin was biting on his lips, swallowing down every gasp, as Namjoon was making his way up his chest, reviving old marks, counting every rib with his lips, pushing the hoodie higher, and higher, and

Knock.

He audibly bristled, immediately covering mouth with his palm, while Namjoon just stilled against his diaphragm.

Someone fidgeted outside and, after a second, cleared his throat.

“No, no, this isn’t funny,” Namjoon whispered fiercely, emerging from under the clothes – but Seokjin couldn’t help it, shaking with laughter against his own hand.

It’s been 24 hours and three attempts, and they still didn’t get to even start properly. It was hysterically funny.

“Can we have an ounce of privacy in this house?” Namjoon was still complaining, though notably softer, losing tension at the sight of Seokjin wiping his tears and coughing in attempt to hide cackles.

“Dad?”

“Yeah, yeah, just a second,” he replied with zero enthusiasm, probably realizing the futility of the situation as well.

Ah, well, Seokjin didn’t prepare himself properly anyway.

“How were you coping before? I mean, you know, with her. Maybe, sending them away?”

Not the wisest strategy to talk about exes in bed, but damn, they had to find a solution, hadn’t they?

Namjoon didn’t look happy with the question though, hand coming to rub the back of his neck, gaze lowering to his own feet on the floor – he was already sitting on the edge of the bed. A frown came over his face, but not an annoyed or displeased one, rather…

“Ah, you know, we didn’t really… Maybe, only when I was back after long trips, or, or for occasion, like, I don’t know, anniversary, or something, or, ah, nevermind.” By the end of his slur of a speech Namjoon’s cheeks were the color of Seokjin’s old pajama. Soft pink with blots of red strawberries.

Cute.

Seokjin smiled with endearment – such a teenager – and curled on the side to properly reach the man with his feet, toes poking at the hip to ask for attention. God, he was so flustered that couldn’t even look Seokjin in the eyes, only turned around, firmly keeping his gaze on the sheets.

So cute.

“Poor woman.” He sighed loudly, putting all of his pity into the statement. “Didn’t know what she was missing out on.”

That caught enough of Namjoon’s interest to make him look up, nervousness quickly washed away by a blank, unreadable expression. Seokjin even fidgeted in alert – what, did he say something wrong – smile already faltering on his lips when the other raised his voice.

“Say that again – and I’ll send them for breakfast to KFC.”

Oh.

Seokjin melted into soft smile.

Cute.

The woman clearly had no sense of intelligence whatsoever.

He paused for dramatic effect, tilting head, parting lips, using all of his talent and experience to catch every bit of Namjoon’s attention (and, maybe, enjoying it a bit more than needed) – before scrambling up towards the man to plant a chaste kiss on his cheek.

“KFC? Baby, I may be cruel sometimes, but your sons are not my blood enemies.”

All the tension of anticipation left Namjoon’s frame with loud exhale, smirk involuntarily tugging at his lips. “I’m too old for you to play me like that,” he muttered with a hint of endeared sulkiness, turning to kiss the corner of Seokjin’s proudly grinning lips on his own.

“Do you know how hard it is for me then?” Seokjin even raised his voice, full of offense and affection. “I’m 648 days older than you, hope you didn’t forget.”

“Oh no, how could I.”

“Right, right, do you have it written- wait, have you seen my pants?”

“Here, and of course, I’m gonna tattoo it on my arm, you don’t mind?”

“No, no, it’ll only soothe my poor old heart.”

“Good, then we have a deal?”

“Of course,” and Seokjin finally reached him at the doorway, dressed up and content, pecking Namjoon’s shoulder before pushing the door open. “Good morning, how was your jog?”

He was too happy at the moment to care about their mutual tension at the sight of Jungkook.

The boy looked up with surprise, taking a quick step back like he didn’t expect to see both of them. “Uh, morning, Mr.Kim… again.”

“Seokjin-ssi.”

“Seokjin-ssi, yes, sorry, I wanted to talk to you.”

Oh? Seokjin frowned while Namjoon looked between the two of them with similar confusion. Was there anything else?..

“What is it?” His gaze automatically darted to Namjoon – was he supposed to be a witness? – but Jungkook didn’t seem to mind. Instead of looking at his father as well, he kept his eyes on Seokjin, or rather his legs, and bowed – not really low but with emphasis.

What on earth?..

“I’m sorry if I offended you this morning, I didn’t mean to.”

“Oh no, it’s…”

“Is it true? Jungkook, what-“

“No, no, it’s not true.” Seokjin immediately stepped closer to Namjoon, standing between the two like they were supposed to fight, not get through a fatherly lecture on respect and politeness. It didn’t matter what the reason was though – seeing Namjoon agitated was always making him uneasy.

“Are you sure?” The man turned to him with concern, hand catching one of his wrists – but Seokjin nodded with reassurance.

“Yes, yes, I’m sure, I don’t even know what you’re talking about, Jungkook-ah, it’s okay.”

“Oh, are we having a morning party?” Suddenly, bathroom door opened, Taehyung (who clearly heard the whole conversation) looking at them with curiosity, toothbrush sticking out of his mouth.

“No, no, we are having a breakfast, Joon-ah, you can use the bathroom downstairs, Kookie, stop talking nonsense and go brush your teeth, I’ll be waiting at the kitchen.”

The boy only blinked at him with surprise but nodded, disappearing in the bathroom with “Hey, it’s my place” coming out shortly after. Seokjin scoffed loudly – these kids – and followed Namjoon downstairs, sun already shining brightly through the windows.

Weather promised a good day.

 

They spent the rest of the day jokingly bickering and sharing quick kisses, Seokjin only smiling with awkward warmth when Jungkook’s gaze was lingering.

Yes, he was his father’s partner. Yes, he loved him. Yes, he was sure about it more than anything else.

Jungkook wasn’t saying anything.

Namjoon was not so subtle about the whole “Kook-ah, we need to talk” thing right after breakfast. Taehyung let out a noise of surprise then, curiously looking between the Kim family while chewing on his toast. Jungkook, in turn, was not surprised at all, only sent a quick glance Seokjin’s way – the man didn’t return it, busy with dishes – and nodded.

“Did he talk to you, Jin-ssi?”

As soon as they left through the backdoor outside, Taehyung stood up with an empty plate, moving closer to Seokjin.

The other only nodded in response. It was going to be okay, right? Namjoon knows how to handle his son’s doubts and fears much better.

“Good. Oh, no, I can wash it myself!”

“It’s okay, I like to keep myself busy in the morning.” It was only partially true – but for today, at least, there were no doubts about it.

Taehyung gave him a long look, probably trying to assess if there was a joke in that one – he got used to Seokjin’s antics pretty quickly – before passing the plate. “Thank you. I’m gonna get ready then?”

“Yeah, sure, just no shorts, okay?”

“Ah, and I thought they’re good on me.”

The man huffed, breaking the frown – probably the exact outcome Taehyung was trying to achieve. He wasn’t there to witness it though, already humming something cheerfully from the stairs.

Yeah, if Kim Seokjin ever had a son, Taehyung could replace it and no one’d notice.

Namjoon came back after the longest 15 minutes, chuckling when Seokjin immediately turned to him with a searching expression. “So?” was written all over his face.

“It’s okay.” The man pecked him on the cheek before looking around, his cup of coffee – cold and untouched – still on the counter.

“Okay as in…?” Seokjin’s gaze followed him closely, frame still tense despite the exhale of relief pushed out of his lips by the man’s words.

“Okay as in we talked about past and present, and how things are different now, and if he wants to live with Taehyung, I want to live with you too, and you know, all that.” He dropped it casually, with a wave of one hand and his cup in the other.

“Did he ask if you love me?” – was what Seokjin almost asked, but it was silly, right? It was silly.

Instead, he murmured “How sweet” and pushed himself off the counter. If Namjoon said it’s okay, then there was not much else for Seokjin to add.

“Come on,” he patted the man’s thigh on the way out, “we have a long day ahead, honey.”

And the day was long indeed.

The boys had quite different tastes, so it took them a while to establish a sensible plan for the four and a half days they got to spend in San Francisco. Thankfully, the discussion took place back in Seoul – or they’d probably be stuck in the car for two hours at least, trying to figure out which turn to take.

Although the trip started quite messy anyway, as, despite the momentarily cleared sky, fog was still taking up the most of the Golden Gates viewpoints, so they had to leave it for later.

It turned out to be their luck – cause, apparently, two hours was not nearly enough for Namjoon and Taehyung to appreciate the Palace of Fine Arts to the fullest. By the end of their third hour in there Seokjin reminded his partner that they’d already visited the place for the fifth time. Like all the times prior, Namjoon muttered something like “just one more room”, pecked his cheek and disappeared (with Taehyung following closely behind), probably, for the next half an hour.

Well, at least Seokjin had a chance to talk with Jungkook about something else but his romantic relationships with his father. That is, about a giant sculpture looking like two bowls. Namjoon was too immersed in the painting of red and blue stripes, Taehyung was looking through his camera roll with serious face, so the only person left for a life-changing question was Jungkook.

And Seokjin had not lived for over 40 years to be intimidated by a 19-year-old.

“How long would it take to make noodles in this thing?”

Jungkook looked up with a flicker of surprise, clearly aware of the silent wall between them, and stayed quiet for long enough for Seokjin to feel weirdly offended.

“Do you mean ramyeon or..?”

“Yeah, let’s take regular ramyeon. I’d say one hour.”

The boy audibly bristled – before catching himself and replying with a more polite, “I don’t think so. 3 hours at least.”

“What? No, unless you like them all soggy.”

“Ew. But one hour wouldn’t be enough to even heat the water. I mean, it looks like copper, it’d need time to heat up.”

“Yeah, but with a dozen of bonfires?”

“Well, you didn’t specify that one.”

Seokjin only winked at him with a smirk and turned to poke at Namjoon again, the man already walking towards them.

Clearly, he was the winner.

Only 10 minutes later did he find out that the sculpture weren’t bowls but two giant steel plates in the shape of eights. Namjoon was ecstatic about the thing, looking around with wide eyes while walking between the plates. Seokjin, hurrying after him (losing the sight of Namjoon in an art museum meant spending another 20 minutes searching through every corner), was rather interested in the physical properties of the plates.

He was the winner, surely – but he had to collect arguments for any possible counterattack.

Thankfully, Jungkook didn’t try to win over again (that maybe disappointed Seokjin just a little)

By the time the art lovers finally stepped out of the building, all four of them were left with barely any time to grab a bit of chowder and some grilled fish at Fisherman’s Wharf before the scheduled boat trip to Jungkook’s destination – Alcatraz.

Namjoon was not that happy about the abundance of seafood on the table, which, probably, prompted him to be a bit more annoyed with the haste. Which, probably, was the reason for him to suggest (quite bluntly) that they should leave the boat trip for another day. The boat trip Seokjin reserved for them almost 3 weeks prior so that they didn’t have to search for more expensive and less pleasant options. Seokjin who likes for things to be in order.

He realized the mistake quite quickly – one of Seokjin’s “Yah, Namjoon-ah!” in the middle of the food stands was enough for Namjoon to take his words back. Which didn’t save him from a long and emotional lecture on how he has no respect for those older than him, and that next time too-kind-for-his-own-good Seokjin will leave them on their own with the city.

The speech was fast-paced and elaborate enough for both of them to know it was no more than Seokjin’s flamboyant façade. For the boys, though, it was clearly not a funny show: they looked between the other two in mild horror. Even more so, when a couple of minutes after Seokjin went back to eating, Namjoon, without a word, pulled a scarf out of his backpack and wrapped it around Seokjin’s neck – the wind was notably colder on the shore. The man replied only with a nose scrunch and a grateful smile, too busy munching on the last piece of fries.

The youngers’ eyes went so comically wide he had to cover his laughter with a cough.

They didn’t need to know how actually soft he was for Namjoon, not just yet.

The trip to Alcatraz turned out to be fun, actually – as much as a trip to a prison on as island in a cold, foggy weather could be. Even Seokjin, who was sure nothing can really impress him to the core, was ready to admit that some of the prisoners’ stories touched him deeply.

Also, he liked the birds. They were walking around, all posh and important, stomp-stomp-stomp. He spent significant amount of time walking after them, shivering from the cold winds himself and pointing the funny ones to Namjoon – the man was only smiling with unchanging endearment and pulling him further into the island.

They spent almost four hours there as well, Namjoon listening to every audio file in the guide, his son exploring every corner in person, Taehyung marveling at the sights, changing with every gust of wind, and Seokjin – trying to keep them all together when he wasn’t busy with the stories and sights himself.

And the birds. They were so funny, splashing into water next to the fishermen’s boats and looking all offended when the men weren’t throwing them anything. Maybe, he should try it too? Surely, it can’t be that difficult.

“Would you go fishing with me?” he asked on the way back, teeth stuttering slightly – even his warm clothes weren’t enough for the whole four hours.

“Sure,” Namjoon replied with not much enthusiasm (or faith in his intentions) and pulled him closer, “but let’s warm up first.”

Seokjin sniffled at that, cold nose against the other’s shoulder, but didn’t say anything, remaining still for the rest of the boat trip. He was quite warmed up here, in Namjoon’s arms, anyway.

By the time they reached the wharf again, grey dusk already draped the city – which only made it more colorful. The peers were bursting with life, lights and scents of fish, both fresh and cooked. The latter left Seokjin’s stomach rumbling. The other three were more keen on having a proper meal though, so he had to give up on his attempts to lead them into another food stall, the last, hopeful one voiced already in the car.

No one supported him again.

Well, whatever. They had a place to be anyway.

Good evening, welcome to Wings, may I- oh, Seokjin-nim, we were waiting for you.”

Chohee hopped from English to Korean in an instant. Impressive. Seokjin winked at her as a mean of appreciation – before quickly pulling an official face. The boys were watching after all.

“Good. Is everything okay?”

“Of course, Seokjin-nim, the weather is, you know,” she waved at the windows, curious eyes darting over the whole company, “people are coming to warm up with chef’s stew, hello, Namjoon-nim.”

Hi,” the man gave her a wide grin in return, “maybe, we could get four bowls too, to begin with?” He turned to Seokjin with a question, cheeks pink from warmth of the place.

The owner of it couldn’t contain a soft smile at the sight. “Of course, boys, what do you think?”

“Yes, please! Jungkookie just needs to unfreeze – but he’s excited too. Hi, I’m Taehyung.” The moment the question caught the boys’ attention Taehyung banged into the conversation with his usual cheers.

Chohee blinked – before giving up to his charms and replying with a smile, “Nice to meet you, Taehyung-ssi, my name is Chohee, I will be your waitress this evening.” She then turned to Seokjin with a polite nod. “Please, come this way, we reserved the table closer to aquarium as you wished.”

“Woah, Kookie, aquarium, look!”

They met the other two waiters on the way, each smiling with a hint of cheekiness before bowing and going back to their duties. Thankfully, Namjoon didn’t seem to notice, caught up in explaining to Taehyung equipment of the aquarium, or was brushing it off as simple politeness.

He didn’t need to know why every single staff member knows the difference between “Mr. Kim Seokjin” when Namjoon is out of town, and the “Seokjin-ssi” he turns him into. Not like Seokjin was harsh and strict beyond measure in any given day – but the distinction was there nevertheless.

God, they’ll probably be celebrating for hours after closing the restaurant when Seokjin will drop the news about them moving together.

“Is there anything you’d like to add to 4 portions of doenjang jjigae now?” Chohee lingered next to their table, all sweet and polite, only maybe just a bit more cheerful for the special guests.

“Maybe snacks? And then we’ll have time to decide on the main,” Namjoon looked over to the boys, “Kook-ah, you’re an expert here.”

“Um, yeah, just, just a second.” Surprised with sudden attention, Jungkook blinked but quickly regained himself, grabbing the menu out of Taehyung’s hand – the boy pouted in disapproval – and skimming through pages.

Silence settled over the table, only pages’ rustle and Taehyung’s murmur breaking it – it took him less than 5 seconds to shift his attention from empty hands to the big aquarium behind his back. He was currently cooing over a couple of fishes swooshing after one another. Should they tell him they’re trying to fight? Yeah, maybe next time, for now let them settle in the corners.

Seokjin squinted at the two with a knowing smirk, warmth and familiarity of the place making him almost drowsy, especially after cold hostility of the weather outside. He didn’t have a proper night rest either, so…

“Looks like you were busy today?”

Chohee decided that the silence stretched for too long. Good move. Professional. Seokjin nodded without even looking at her, eyes now following the multitude of fishes as well. When did they get so many?

“Yeah, you can say so.” Namjoon smiled at the girl, hand coming to pat his partner’s thigh that was so conveniently next to his. The man only rumbled in agreement, too lazy to engage in a proper conversation.

“Did you see something interesting? The bridges are all foggy I bet.”

“Yes, but we are just from Alcatraz…”

“It’s cool!” Taehyung popped in with a wide grin. Chohee gave him a look of endearment – poor girl still didn’t catch up with the situation.

“It is indeed, but we all smell of fish now probably, hope you don’t mind.”

“Oh no, no, don’t worry.” She even giggled politely, eyes darting to Seokjin. Good job, he nodded at her, keep it up. If clients are ready for a small talk, then so be it.

“I think I’m done here,” and Jungkook finally raised his voice then,” what about modeumjeon for us and buchujeon for dad? And banchan with rice, of course.”

Everyone nodded in agreement, including Chohee who lingered take two of the menus, and, “Oh, we were all curious about injeolmi, Namjoon-ssi, did you like it?”

Seokjin opened his eyes in an instant, heart jumping up to his throat.

“Sorry?” His partner, in turn, only tilted his head in confusion. “To be honest I didn’t have one in years.”

“Oh,” the girl’s eyes darted to Seokjin in a not so subtle expression of guilt, “sorry, I, um, I must’ve confused something, forget about it, I, the food will be ready in a few minutes.”

And like that, she disappeared, wisely avoiding her boss’s eyes.

Silence spread out for exactly 6 seconds.

“Jin-ah.”

“Do not say a word.”

“But-“

“Not a single word.”

“But-“

“No. Choose your meat.” He demonstratively slapped one of the two remaining menus in front of Namjoon. “I’m gonna choose one with Jungkook, because you two are insufferable.”

“I didn’t even say anything!”

“But you look like you want to.”

At that Taehyung only grinned, innocent expression disappearing in an instant, and obligingly followed with, “Your ears are red.”

Seokjin stilled in the middle of transferring himself to Jungkook’s side and gave his boyfriend a long, bemused look – as efficient as it was with his cheeks aflame – before delving into the card Jungkook was holding, escaping all curious gazes.

Is revealing a secret he was hiding from Namjoon for over a month – and supposed to keep for four more weeks – was enough of a reason for firing? Probably not, but for a second Seokjin felt like it. God, how did she even find out? It supposed to stay between him and Mingyu, their pastry chef, but now, apparently, “they all” knew why he was panting over rice flour for hours on end.

Good job at promoting friendly and open environment at the workplace, Seokjin-ah, reap the benefits now, don’t you?

“Do you want something from that page, Seokjin-ssi, or I can…?”

“No, no, it’s okay,” Seokjin immediately waved his hand, snapping out of his thoughts and trying to pull as careless face as possible. “Actually, maybe you could choose something for me, Jungkook-ah? I trust you. Got to check if our stew is cooked properly.”

He gave an apologetic smile all around and scrambled out of the table over the youngsters’ knees and feet. Namjoon was seeing him through, obviously, concerned frown following to the hallway, but what Seokjin could do?

He was upset, of course, he was upset. He was beating himself over these stupid rice cakes for over a month, at first carefully observing Mingyu every time he was cooking for clients before trying himself. And failing. And trying. And failing. And trying, and desserts were never his field of expertise, okay? But he wanted to make something special.

Namjoon was supposed to come back a few days after his birthday, this time to stay. Finally. At last. Of course, Seokjin wanted to meet him with something unexpected. With something good. With an open home.

Ah, whatever, he couldn’t get the texture right anyway.

Chohee started apologizing the moment she saw him – but Seokjin only chuckled dismissively, ”Aish, it’s okay, no big deal, is Yeorim-ssi at her office?” And like that, he went into the work mode, checking up on figures with their administrator, exchanging a couple of jokes with the staff, catching a glimpse of regular clients and walking over for a small talk. Yes, not official today. No, can’t stay for longer, kids already looking for me, ha-ha, no, not married, just joking. Enjoy your evening.

By the time Seokjin came back to the table his mind was already clearer, only sadness as heavy as feather on his heart.

“I know, I know, you missed me like crazy.”

He cut straight through the hint of awkwardness – it was clear why he left, it was clear why it took him so long – but when did it stop him? “Swoosh-swoosh,” he motioned at Namjoon to give him space, settling down, close and content. His bowl was the only one untouched.

“Did you see something interesting there?” Taehyung pointed at the direction of the kitchen, still chewing on a piece of meat. Seokjin only huffed, mouthful of flavored broth significantly lifting his spirit – as well as Namjoon’s palm weighing down on his thigh, keeping him from leaving again.

“Not much, only your order. Asked a friend to add a spoonful of pepper.”

“Whoa, why me?”

“For being disrespectful to elders.”

Taehyung stared at him for a couple of seconds, pouting and squinting, sharp eyes assessing credibility of the statement – and then turned to Namjoon with a silent question.

“He’s joking.”

“How do you know? You never know.” Seokjin turned to him too, with a daring look of his own – but the man only smirked back, thumb rubbing over his jeans.

“We ordered one shared portion of galbi, grill is warming up already.”

At that Seokjin had nothing to say, only pout in disappointment, accompanied by Taehyung’s laughter and Jungkook’s quiet snicker. And so, the peace was restored.

Only almost an hour later, when they were full and waiting for Chohee to come back with a bill, did Namjoon move closer. Taehyung was gazing at fishes again, Jungkook – scrolling through his phone, Seokjin – staring blankly at the table and wondering if anything’s left in the fridge for a late snack, when something firm pressed against his shoulder.

“You okay?”

“I’m always okay,” he replied automatically, without even moving his gaze, thoughts still revolving around the container with gimbap. Was it still good?

A hand caught his then, the one that was drumming against the wood of the table without much thought, and pulled to the side, closer to Namjoon, fingers gently entwining. At that Seokjin finally processed the question, turning to the man with a questioning frown of his own, because of course he was okay, why wouldn’t he be okay?

Namjoon’s face turned out to be too close to his, gaze automatically dropping to the other’s lips, a couple of inches, and… Seokjin promptly turned away, feeling a bit warm, a bit shy, and a bit anxious about all the people around them. They’ve been sharing kisses all day – but the lights were dimmed in that corner, aquarium sending blue lights to flicker across the walls, making everything more deep, more intimate.

Maybe, that’s why Namjoon’s foot pushed his under the table, fingers fidgeting to get a proper hold of his palm – but not with the kids! The two were still immersed in their worlds though, which didn’t help to calm Seokjin’s heart when warm (hot, too hot) lips pressed under his ear.

“Should I forget what she said?”

Oh. Oh, that.

“No, it’s okay, it’s okay,” he muttered, a bit too flustered, but Namjoon’s breath was burning his neck, sending shivers over his shoulders, and the kids, the kids!

“Alright,” and a chuckle went deeper into the crook of his neck (was Namjoon drunk? None of them had any alcohol in solidarity with Seokjin who had to take them home – but could he sneak it? Somehow?), “then we can talk about it later?”

“Yeah, okay.” Seokjin fidgeted, warmth growing in his body, gathering closer to the stomach, and for a second, one second, just one, one single second he tried to remember if their bathrooms were big enough to fit two people.

But it was silly, of course it was silly, he was too old for that, they both were, old and rusty. He huffed at the thought and turned – Namjoon immediately looked up with dark, glimmering eyes – to press a quick kiss to the corner of his lips. Shorthand for “later”.

“Hey, you, get off him, what are you doing, hey, leave him alone, you- bastard!”

They stilled in an instant, confusion shared through widened eyes, and turned – only for Namjoon to giggle against Seokjin’s shoulder a second later. Taehyung was pursing his lips, frowning, and looking all sulky and angry against aquarium’s glass. The same two fishes were now stubbornly trying to nip each other’s tails – and Taehyung was carefully but with concentration knocking against the glass, probably to save whoever was bitten.

Yeah, they have to figure out how to separate them, poor boys couldn’t find a girl to share. Seokjin squeezed Namjoon’s hand with a smirk – the man’s forehead still pressed against his shoulder – eyes now following the two enemies as well. Poor boys, poor boys…

In the corner of his eye he caught a glimpse of Jungkook raising his head at Taehyung’s words, his boyfriend turning to give a brief look – before both of them turned different ways, smirking at whatever thoughts they shared. Yeah, okay, maybe they were not as clueless as Seokjin would like to think.

“I’m so sorry for the delay, here is the bill and that,” slightly panting and notably stressed out waitress placed a little box of takeout on the table between them, “is a present. From the staff. I, uh, we hope you’ll enjoy it.”

All four of them quickly moved their attention to the thing, looking with curiosity (and Seokjin – with a hint of shyness, what present, they didn’t warm him, unbelievable). It wasn’t big, maybe ten, fifteen inches from each side, nor was it tall. What possibly could fit there, and for what?

“Would you like to pay with cash or by card?” Chohee seemed to pull herself together, less emotional, more formal look on her face.

“Card.”

“Wait, we didn’t…”

“You can pay me back later, honey.” Seokjin didn’t even turn to look at Namjoon’s reaction, eyes still fixed on the box, only patted his thigh with a hint of dismissiveness.

Loud “cough” came from Taehyung, Jungkook stayed quiet, just like his father, who said nothing and only huffed with a lop-sided smile.

“Come on, open it, Seokjin-ssi!”

As soon as all formalities with the transaction were left behind, Chohee leaving with polite bow and a wish of good evening, Taehyung pushed the box towards Seokjin as if he was the one to receive it. The boy was so excited, almost jumping on his spot; his boyfriend wasn’t showing that much, but curious eyes and elbow leaning on the table were speaking for themselves.

They were almost making him nervous – but hey, it’s just a takeout, not Pandora box.

The moment he pulled one of the covers loud chuckle escaped his lips, quickly blooming into a full-on laughter.

“What?”

“What is it, Jin-ah?”

Unable to explain properly, he only pushed an open box – with four neatly packed pieces of injeolmi inside – and turned around. Chohee was not so far away, waving goodbye at the clients. At the sound of his laughter, though, she turned their way – and met his eyes with an awkward, almost apologetic smile.

Yeah, okay, maybe there were benefits after all.

Seokjin sent her a wink, still giggling, and turned to the rest of them, boys sharing confused looks. From their perspective, he probably gone mad.

“What does it mean?” Namjoon turned to him with similar confusion in the furrowed brows, packing the rice cakes back up.

“Just a dessert to bring home.” Seokjin smiled brightly, giddiness still hiding in tiny wrinkles around his eyes, and patted Namjoon again, this time on the head.

What else could he do if his partner was so cute when clueless?

“Come on, don’t look at me like that and hurry up – or administrator will take me hostage for the rest of the night, and you’ll have to catch three buses to get home.”

 

“Jin-ah.”

“Hm?”

“Look, I just got an email, I got to send some documents to Seoul…”

“Mm.”

“…and talk with Seattle.”

“Mm-hmm.”

“I’ll finish up quickly.”

“Mm-hmm.”

With that, Namjoon pressed a kiss to his temple and disappeared upstairs, door of the cabinet shutting with not so quiet force – muffled “sorry” barely heard through the hallway. Only then Seokjin allowed himself to sigh, fully and with discontent, and close the book he was so immersed into mere seconds ago.

Namjoon wasn’t so subtle about the emails he was scrolling through all the way home, seriousness replacing relaxed contentment with every passing street, so really, Seokjin should’ve seen that one coming. It was nothing special, the interpreter had clients from all over the world, and some of them needed attention at any given hour, but…

He huffed again and dropped the book back on the coffee table.

Yeah, okay, he was counting on more interesting evening, especially with the boys, tired and full, sleepily stomping into their room some fifteen minutes prior.

But it’s not like Seokjin himself had never had to stay later for a check up on financial reports while Namjoon was quietly snoring next to him, so…

He sighed again (third time, Seokjin-ah, third time, come on, get yourself together, you are forty four after all) and scrambled up. Not one of Namjoon’s “quickly” ever ended up earlier than two hours in. Would be easier to release tension (literally – his leg muscles were buzzing with all the walking gathered through the day) in the shower and get it over with.

It’s just that Namjoon was so eager to…

He caught himself mid-sigh, shook his head, and went straight to the bathroom. Next time, Jin-ah, next time.

 

Seokjin couldn’t possibly know when and why exactly he startled, but judging by the grogginess and deep darkness, it was still night. A pair of whispered curses gave a hint to his still asleep mind.

“J’n’ah?”

“Shit, sorry, I woke you up? Sorry.”

He hummed indistinctly and pushed back into the pillow, crawling away from the center of the bed to give space. Which turned out to be pointless as, a few seconds after mattress creaked under additional weight, he was pulled back to the middle.

Warm.

He hummed in agreement – to something he couldn’t consciously process but was all up for – and relaxed in the embrace.

More warm, this time in the corner of the eye.

“Sorry it took so long. Sleep.”

He muttered out a noise he couldn’t distinguish himself. Probably something between “I know you have to work late sometimes, and it’s okay, I understand” and “I don’t like to fall asleep alone when you’re here – but now you came, so let’s sleep”.

Yeah. Probably.

 

It was still warm when he woke up the next time. Both inside and out.

Seokjin swallowed through dry throat, blinked a couple of times and, with closed eyes, got down to assessing the situation.

Namjoon’s near? Check.

Pressed to the back? Check. (Did they fall asleep spooning? He couldn’t remember)

Arm across the torso? Check.

Boner against the thigh? Oh?

Seokjin blinked again, mind suddenly interested in waking up and joining the party.

It’s not like both of them didn’t have morning woods on a regular basis (thanks, testosterone, you never let down, buddy). It’s just that usually they weren’t paying much attention, except, maybe, for a couple of jokes and a couple of handjobs before going on with their days.

But now Seokjin wanted to pay attention.

It’s been almost 48 hours since Namjoon landed for fuck’s sake. They weren’t their 30 years old selves anymore – but there were things Seokjin was looking forward to (with increasing interest these past couple of days).

Proper, healthy, enjoyable sex with his partner was one of them.

Not mentioning his own cock that, apparently, had an intuition on its own, waking up even earlier than Seokjin in anticipation of something. Most likely, something good. The only problem…

“Joon-ah.”

Nothing.

“Namjoon.”

Didn’t even fidget, only breathed in deeper, exhale sending goosebumps down Seokjin’s neck. It must be a joke.

For a desperate second he considered jerking off – but no, no, he’s been doing it for the last three months. Seokjin didn’t spend a whole evening shaving and checking on the remnants of lube for nothing.

“Joon.” He elbowed him – first gently (to no avail), then with more intent.

The man fidgeted in response, erection grinding against his partner’s pants, arm tightening for a second – and stilled again, sleepy exhale on his skin.

Seokjin couldn’t remember last time he was so eagerly awake at the break of dawn. The room was milky grey, shadows still hiding in the corners – but this morning he didn’t give a fuck about them.

Kim Seokjin never gives up, right?

It was time for some dirty tricks.

“Joon-ah?” he tried again, just for a clean conscience – nothing – before fidgeting, moving his lower body an inch away from Namjoon to give space for his own hand to slide against the small of his back. It wasn’t easy to handle things from that position, blindly groping for the other’s cock – but oh, was it worth it.

As soon as he gripped it through shorts, familiar weight and shape sending blood to his own erection, Namjoon shivered and pushed closer.

“Joon-ah?” Nothing.

Alright then, now Seokjin at least knew the way, hurrying to search for the edge of thin material. Muscles of his arm were whining quietly at unusual angle – but he was blissfully ignoring.

Namjoon’s cock was warm, and smooth, and big, with slight curve to the head and vein pulsating on the downside, just as perfect as he remembered. Seokjin had never thought of himself as a person to be strongly attached to his partner’s genitals (or any other body part for that matter). But with Namjoon it was different.

Especially if it was the only thing to get a more or less coherent “Jin-ah?” out of him.

He wasn’t supposed to feel that much relief over a chance to fuck.

But then again, he wasn’t supposed to fight for it with Namjoon’s dreams either.

“Glad you figured.”

“What-” The rest of sentence got swallowed by Namjoon’s hum, thighs thrusting a bit into Seokjin’s hand that was still slowly stroking.

He waited a minute for Namjoon’s mind to fully catch up with their position – pace of his breath slowly picking up, hands leisurely roaming over Seokjin’s pajama in search of a way to get under – before pulling his own hand out of the shorts and gently squeezing the hip.

“I gotta shower first.”

“I’s not necessary.” Namjoon’s voice was deep and still croaking with sleep, thighs immediately filling up the freed space with Seokjin’s bottom, pressing into him with clear intention.

Seokjin only hummed, allowing himself to linger in the desire slowly enwrapping them both. Namjoon’s hand was already under his shirt, sliding up to find his nipples, lips pressing lazy kisses above the hem with increasing frequency, Seokjin’s own hand rubbing his thigh, encouraging to stay closer. But he still wanted more than a lazy and rather quick morning handjob (or even blowjob?).

It was the first time in months.

He wasn’t planning on going easy.

“Don’t fall asleep again.”

Namjoon whined out loud, as soon as Seokjin wriggled out of the embrace, and flipped himself on the back to look up at his partner with pleading eyes. The boner, now bulging under the blanket, and open dark gaze clinging onto Seokjin’s own were slightly ruining the effect.

“Baby, come on.”

“Thank me later.”

By the time he came back, fresh, pink and fragrant, Namjoon was already on the edge of the bed, blankly staring into the insides of the nightstand. The blanket was folded in the foot of the bed, sheets smoothed out – clumsily but neatly enough for Seokjin to smile.

He didn’t like it when the bed was messy. Namjoon knew it too.

“Jin-ah?”

“Mm?”

“You don’t have any lube?”

Seokjin frowned, locking the door – Namjoon sent a glance his way at the sound, then turned back to the cupboards, and then back to Seokjin, this time with more interest, eyes following as he walked over. He knew he had to shower first, if only for that look.

A hand sneaked under his bathrobe even before he took a proper look of the nightstand.

There were all kinds of bottles and tubes, things his stylist methodically listed for him a few weeks before leaving Seoul. “You can’t waste that skin, Seokjin-ah, promise you’ll take care of yourself, promise me.”

No wonder Namjoon got lost.

“Here.” He picked up one of the bottles, thing looking more like perfume than anything remotely related to sex. Even Namjoon frowned a bit, swirling it in his hand.

“Something new?”

“Yeah,” Seokjin swayed slightly, giving up to the hand on his thigh pulling him closer, “they say it’s all natural and stuff.”

“Well, as long as digestible.” Namjoon dropped the bottle on the bed before looking up at his partner, delightful smirk and innocent eyes on his face.

Cute.

Seokjin pushed a hand through his hair, fond smile playing on his lips, before pulling at the strands slightly and diving down, pressing to Namjoon’s lips. And more. And more.

Luckily, Namjoon had enough sense to take off his t-shirt – unlike the shorts that were now rubbing inner sides of Seokjin’s thighs, skin there sensitive on its own and after warm shower additionally.

“Joon, shorts.”

“You have to get up then.”

And he immediately objected with a loud, protesting him, too comfortable on the other’s laps to move again. Namjoon only chuckled, low, husky sound against his lips, and hummed as well – in support of his previous statement. The palms sliding over Seokjin’s thighs were clearly not a part of it, pulling him closer instead of encouraging to get up.

They were too busy warming up against each other’s skin to think through the rest of the conversation.

“Missed you,” Seokjin murmured a few minutes later, unintentionally, mindlessly, hand fisting the hair on the back of Namjoon’s head. The man replied with a stronger bite to his shoulder – Seokjin gasped, pain flaring up with pleasure – and a tug on the back of the bathrobe. It was barely holding onto Seokjin’s shoulders anyway.

“Jin-ah.”

“Mm.”

“I want to see you whole.”

“Take off your shorts then.”

“You have my word.”

They both chuckled, slightly panting already, eyes dark and glued to each other, even as Seokjin pulled back to stand up again. True to his words, Namjoon’s shorts disappeared in a matter of seconds. Just as Seokjin’s robe.

“Do you even know how unfair it is when you have a boner and refuse to wake up?”

“Yeah?” Namjoon pressed a kiss to his stomach before guiding to the covers, playful smile on his lips.

“Yeah. Because then I get one too.”

“Because of me?”

“Because of you!”

“And I’m not there to take care of it?”

“And you aren’t there to take care of it!”

He supported the complaint with a note-worthy pout, fidgeting to let Namjoon settle between his knees. Namjoon himself, in turn, had the audacity to not take the words seriously. More than that, he didn’t even try to look guilty! He was only smiling softly, hovering over Seokjin to peck his lips.

“I apologize from the bottom of my heart and will do my best to fix the inconvenience.”

No, he won’t.

But was Seokjin going to point it out? At least not now. At least not when Namjoon’s hand had already found his cock, lips – the vein pulsating under jaw, and heat already started to shimmer between their skins.

Maybe later.

He swallowed a gasp, chest tensing under wet, open kisses.

Yeah, later.

“Joonie.”

“Mm?”

“Joon.”

“Yes, baby.”

“Joon, I,” and he caught another moan on the edge of his lips, sound turning into vibration, before allowing himself to speak up again. “Joon, I want, I want to do something.”

“What do you mean?” The man almost purred, licking wide across his nipple. Seokjin shivered.

“For you, Joon, I want…” He pulled his hand away from Namjoon’s shoulder, and down, to his stomach, the furthest he could reach in their current position.

He wanted to feel. He wanted to touch. Both of them needed more time to fuel up anyway, and he was eager to help, but...

“Next time, okay?”

Namjoon moved up again, looking into the narrow, unfocused eyes, kissing into his lips again, and again, and again, until Seokjin forgot what he was asking.

“Joon-ah.”

“Next time.” He traced a path of kisses to Seokjin’s ear, whispering like a dark secret,” I want to eat you whole. I want to taste every part of you, is that okay, baby, is that okay with you?”

Oh.

Seokjin swallowed. If there was anything Namjoon was good at, that was his tongue. In all senses.

“Yeah.”

“Yeah?” The palm still playing with his cock squeezed harder. “You want that?”

Oh. Oh fuck.

Seokjin nodded, feeling just a bit dizzy, because his mind wasn’t comprehending, wasn’t grasping fully what was happening – but was gladly absorbing every bit of honey Namjoon’s voice was dripping.

He could hear a pleased smirk in Namjoon’s chuckle, teeth carefully pulling at his earlobe, thumb pressing at his nipple, lips almost touching the skin. “Next time, I promise.”

And he dropped down again, a chain of kisses trailing back to Seokjin’s chest, tongue rubbing flat against his nipple, just where he left it. All Seokjin could do then was to grab Namjoon’s neck again and let the shaky breath escape into the heavy air around them.

Namjoon wasn’t planning on going easy either.

True to his words, he didn’t skip a single part of Seokjin’s abdomen, splattering pecks or nips in patterns known only to him. By the time he finished with the stomach, muscles tense and shivering under skin, and headed south, Seokjin was barely himself anymore.

His skin was aflame, overstimulated and aching for more, heat from inside and coolness of air lashing into goosebumps, tingling on his skin. In addition to Namjoon’s mouth, his hand wasn’t leaving Seokjin’s cock – if only for caressing strokes over his hips and thighs, fingertips drawing circles on the sides before going further down between his legs, reaching perineum, balls – and back to slow, rhythmic pumping.

Seokjin was going crazy.

He could barely hear anything but the thud of his own heart, Namjoon’s murmur, and his own moans and whimpers that were growing in desperation with every passing minute.

One weirdly logical part of his brain was pointing out that that was exactly what Namjoon was aiming for, and even muttering sullenly that Seokjin gave up way too easily. The rest of his mind, though, was too deep in the layers of pleasure to care. Of pleasure of being pleased by Namjoon. His Namjoon.

“Joon-ah,” he whined, shaking his head in instinctive motion like he couldn’t control his body anymore – and gasped when lips finally reached the tip of his cock.

Namjoon wasn’t experienced, wasn’t taking deep, wasn’t trying to go further than he could. It was their inner joke, gentle teasing from both sides that Namjoon still had a long way to go, and that Seokjin will do his best to teach him well.

Because Namjoon, spending most of his life in faithful (almost) heterosexual relationships, was obviously not that good at giving blowjobs.

Which, luckily, didn’t stop him from exploring, even after a couple of not so fortunate experiences – and immediate Seokjin’s reassurances that it’s okay, just don’t get too greedy, baby, take it slow, it’s okay.

And now he was definitely following the advice, focusing more on the tongue work – fuck, where did he learn it from – and rhythm. He was, of course, still trying to take deeper, but not enough for Seokjin to feel it fully.

Which was okay.

But also kind of not – because Namjoon was eager. He was eager to take, to lap, to kiss, to trace every line with his tongue, and Seokjin could feel the shimmering heat building up down inside.

And that was not okay.

“Joon, Joon, Joonie,” he chanted again, gasping through the dearest word, shutting eyes involuntarily, only to bust them open, to not miss a single detail of Namjoon’s mouth on his cock.

At the string of words that were a bit louder, a bit more sensible than Seokjin’s slur seconds prior, the man looked up. Their eyes met, and oh fuck, oh fuck, oh fuck.

Seokjin let out a long moan and practically pulled Namjoon off himself, closing eyes and trying to think of the birds of Alcatraz instead of dark deep eyes of the man he loved, and the bright pink lips of the man who had never done it to anyone else.

But there was no escape as Namjoon’s voice reached him, raspy and panting, “Baby, what’s wrong?”

This time he couldn’t stop himself, hips bucking up in chase of the warmth of this mouth again – but, but…

“More, more, Joon, I don’t, I can’t, please,” he whispered frantically, eyes still closed, knees scrambling up for a silent plea.

It could be the only time they’ll be able to have sex this week. He couldn’t let himself go off, without touching Namjoon, without feeling him, without pleasure rushing through them both.

Seokjin wanted to fuck. Thoroughly. Properly. He knew how good it was, he knew how perfect they were for each other. He wanted that. He took time to clean himself fully, for fuck’s sake, he couldn’t just, he couldn’t, please, “Joonie, please.”

He wasn’t making any sense – but Namjoon still got it, purr seeping through the voice. “Don’t worry, my lord, you won’t regret.”

And something in the phrase – or the nip on the inner side of his thigh – made him jolt.

Palms began to draw soothing circles over his hips and stomach, lips came back (with Seokjin’s quiet whimper) to press a kiss to the head of his cock (with Seokjin’s shaking exhale). Every Namjoon’s motion was slowly dragging over Seokjin’s skin as if he liked torturing him into pleasure.

He was close to pleading again, forgetting about any sense of shame, when instead of going back up again, Namjoon’s pecks went further down the hilt, massaging the balls for a few long seconds – Seokjin was helplessly panting and raising his knees higher – before planting a wet kiss on the perineum, hand patting his thigh.

“Got to turn you around, baby.”

It was almost embarrassing how quickly he complied – if only embarrassment was still in his vocabulary. Thankfully, it was long forgotten instead, and Seokjin didn’t have to think twice before pushing a pillow under his hips, pressing cock with it to the stomach, and sprawling his upper body over the bed.

Opening up. Offering. Asking.

The most vulnerable position – and yet all he could think of was Namjoon’s hot chuckle on his butt.

“You’re so fucking hot when you stop thinking,” he lapped at Seokjin’s perineum, earning a shiver, “when you let your guard down,” palms smoothed over his thighs before going up, towards the cheeks, “when you feel good.”

And then he squeezed them, pulling apart, making Seokjin gasp for air. He could feel everything, every movement, every bit of pressure, drowning in sensations – but still having enough sense to reply, almost automatically.

“I’m always hot, I’m, I, fuck, Joon, f-fuck.” And the only attempt at sensible sentence failed with Namjoon’s kiss right above the rim, exhale making Seokjin squirm, anticipation and desire curling his toes.

“Yeah,” he pressed another kiss, right below, “yeah, you are.”

The only reply left in Seokjin was a low whining moan.

Namjoon didn’t hesitate to press the third kiss in between the other two, hot, wet lips on the most sensitive patch of skin. Seokjin instinctively tensed before forcing himself to relax, partially out of habit, partially – because Namjoon’s palm found the small of his back, soothingly rubbing over.

Seokjin exhaled almost with relief – before jolting up, back muscles tensing, desperate “Joon-ah” mixing into the whimper.

He did his best to not push back against the flat of Namjoon’s tongue slowly dragging against the rim, but noises were unable to be contained any longer. Perhaps, they should’ve thought about the other guests in the house – but Seokjin was too caught up in the hot, teasing, almost lazy strokes between his butt cheeks, and Namjoon, well, Namjoon probably didn’t care.

Not about the noises though.

With Seokjin’s words losing any kind of coherency and growing higher, his tongue was moving faster, rubbing, circling, pushing deeper, until Seokjin’s hips started to move against his will, rubbing his cock against the pillow.

Maybe, he thought, dizzy and out of breath, maybe it’s better to come, now, not wait, he can’t wait, maybe later, but now, he needs a release, he, now, please.

“No, no, baby, got to make you feel good, can’t get off like that.”

Namjoon’s voice wasn’t fully clear either, though at least the words made sense. Which Seokjin was able to recognize only after he nipped the side of his thigh, earning a surprised high-pitched moan in return.

“Joon-ah, Joon-ah, I’m close.”

“Do you want to come?” Namjoon leaned back then, only his hand still holding Seokjin’s trembling thigh. “If you want to, I can keep…”

“No, Joon, god, no, please, just, fuck, just fuck me, please” was the most sensible answer Seokjin could come up with at the moment. Maybe, it was a bit too harsh, but he was too desperate and out of his mind to explain more.

Thankfully, Namjoon didn’t need any more.

“Can’t refuse when you ask me like this.”

There was smugness in the words, invisible smirk on his lips as Namjoon’s palms glided over his thighs, hips, stomach, pressing just enough for Seokjin to follow, to push himself on knees and elbows. The pillow was still there though, dangerously close to the head of his cock – but none of them had enough mind to move it.

Instead, Namjoon crawled forward, palms leaving prints on the sheets next to the sides of Seokjin’s body. Seokjin himself was too immersed in the process of evening out his breath, delaying the orgasm as best he could, when soft lips pressed a kiss between his shoulders, sending a shiver down his back.

“Joon-ah,” he whined immediately – but quieter, deeper, almost a whisper, like the other’s closeness allowed him to not say more, not explain. One word was enough to put the whole world in.

At that, Namjoon only moved even closer, chest to back, pining Seokjin down, and nuzzled against his shoulder, muttering something into the skin – but Seokjin couldn’t hear, couldn’t understand, because Namjoon’s cock was right there, hot and heavy, its length pressing between his cheeks. He almost choked on the moan and, losing last bits of shame, pushed backwards, pleading “Joonie” leaving his mouth in a hurried whine.

He could feel the other’s body tensing against his, hips meeting the motion – and the both moaned at the friction that was too close to penetration.

That was enough for Namjoon to finally hurry up, leaving “Wait for me, baby” in a pointed kiss on his shoulder blade, and moved backwards. Seokjin whimpered again – this time at the cool air touching his damp back, warmed up with the other’s presence, just a quiet sound of disapproval – but the noise was cut off with another low moan.

This time the touch was firm and precise, two wet fingers sliding over his perineum towards the rim, massaging first, circling, making him quiver with desire. “Can you take them both?” – and before Namjoon even finished, Seokjin was already nodding, feverish and impatient, knees fidgeting to get comfortable, to ground him, to help relax.

“Sorry I have to keep you waiting,” soothing murmur on the small of his back, fingertips rubbing the rim already, “gotta make sure you’re ready.”

And Seokjin shook his head, mind struggling to put into words affection and reassurance – but the fingers pushed further, and the only sound leaving him was a hiss. Namjoon immediately went down, kissing and carefully nipping all over his lower body, palm disappearing in search of more lube.

It wasn’t that painful though, just more uncomfortable than if they started with one, muscles more determined to push the fingers out – but Seokjin was familiar with soothing them. Also, Namjoon found the lube quick enough, hand coming back to stroke his cock, so it wasn’t that bad. Especially when he started to whisper, “I know you can take it, you’re so good, Jin-ah, relax for me, just a bit more, yes, like that, good, good boy” reaching him through wet sounds and Seokjin’s own heavy breath.

He was weak for Namjoon’s voice, they both knew it.

He was weak for Namjoon – but that one he’d leave for himself.

“Joon!”

“Yes, I feel it too, baby, right here?”

“Yes, yes, fuck, please.”

“Not so quickly, just a bit more, here, it’ll be easier…”

“Joon, now!” But the force of the order was lost with a desperate mewl, hips jolting backward, chasing after more touches.

But Namjoon was firm, too familiar with Seokjin’s body to comply. “No, Jin-ah, just a bit more, yes, good boy, you like it?”

He nodded, quietly panting between his own forearms.

“You can take three?”

Another nod, toes curling, body shivering at the simultaneous touch to the prostate and the head of his cock. “Joonie.”

“Just a bit more, baby, here,” and he licked across the rim as soon as the fingers left Seokjin, muscles contracting, searching – “oh fuck, Joon, fuck” – readily taking in the tip of his tongue, loud moan breaking through the string of whimpers.

He could feel Namjoon’s smile against the skin, hand disappearing from his cock to pinch the butt, “You have to be a bit quiet, Jinnie.”

“Joonie, please.”

“Shh, here,” and three fingers pressed to the hole, dipping in with the tips, lube dripping all the way to the balls, “take it easy,” palm rubbing his thigh up and down, “easy, baby, don’t hurry.”

Seokjin only whimpered again, part of his brain that was still functioning acknowledging the nagging sting of the muscles that still needed time to adjust, his whole lower body tensing in urge to escape – and relaxing under caressing strokes and kisses, and tensing, and relaxing, and relaxing, and taking more, and, “Joon, fuck, Joon, please, it’s okay, I’m ready, it’s okay, I promise, I can take you, I,” he gasped in the middle of the sentence, high-pitched wet sound escaping his mouth as Namjoon reached deeper, middle finger grazing over his prostate.

This time Namjoon (thank god) didn’t object; in fact, he didn’t say anything, kisses on the hot skin of Seokjin’s back seemingly taking most of his attention. The fingers lingered for a bit, spreading wider as if to check one last time before leaving.

Seokjin only sniffled at the emptiness, breathing heavily, heartbeat echoing in his ears, pulsating in the stimulated insides, reverberating through his whole body. Just a bit, he exhaled, listening to wet familiar noises, Namjoon’s lips and hands disappearing, just a bit more.

“You ready?”

“Yes.” His voice was broken, now resting in the low dip between the moans and whimpers. He swallowed, blinking at the peachy sheets wrinkled with his own fists, shifted, pushing his knees further apart, and breathed out, loud and slow.

It was a sign to get ready, palm smoothing over the small of his back, calming and stabilizing. He inhaled deeply, held it for a moment, and exhaled again, forcing the remnants of tension out of his body. At the same time he felt pressure against the rim, breath stuttering before calming again.

On the third exhale Namjoon pushed in – and air stuck in Seokjin’s throat, low moan rumbling through his chest, echoing the one from behind.

“Oh fuck, Jin-ah, good, so good,” and something warm blossomed in his chest, odd pleasure from hearing Namjoon’s voice breaking on the edges, palm sliding on his waist to grip tighter. It wasn’t possible to put in words – but was bigger than all the touches and kisses still burning on his skin.

Sharing the moment, the pleasure, the pure connection that was always between them but now took its bare, natural form – yes, that’s what Seokjin was craving. Getting off to Namjoon’s husky, filthy voice in the speakers, sending selcas every night before falling asleep, feeling all warm and giggly every time Namjoon was getting worried at prolonged silence, every time he was missing him – it was all good, close, love and connection brimming through the ocean. But it couldn’t be compared to this.

Raw, naked, instinctive.

“Joon-ah,” he moaned and pushed backwards, the grip on his waist tightening, sound turning into pained groan – but it was good, still, it was so good.

Namjoon didn’t try to stop him this time, finally giving up on carefulness in chase of pleasure. His breath was now deep and loud as well, one hand moving towards Seokjin’s stomach to support, while the other was travelling up and down his side.

“Good, good boy,” he murmured and swayed backwards, just an inch, before pushing again, deeper. The pressure was familiar, good, what Seokjin always liked – but still overwhelming, feelings, sensations making him whimper again.

The hand on his stomach quickly found his cock, fingers wrapping around to pick up the pace, “No, no, Joonie, please,” immediately leaving Seokjin’s mouth in a feverish whisper.

He knew he won’t last long – but he wanted to get the most out of it.

In the sudden wave of pleasure he barely noticed Namjoon thrusting in again, deep but still careful, gentle. Always such a gentleman.

The thought made Seokjin chuckle, albeit heavily, eyelids drooping again. But curious “What?” followed not so long after, fingertips drawing lines from his shoulder blades to the hips.

“Nothing,” he shook his head with a weak smile, but just to make sure Namjoon won’t get nervous, “you’re cute.”

Another chuckle followed, this time from behind, all movements ceasing to stabilize Namjoon for a kiss on Seokjin’s upper arm. “You see it all the way from there?”

“I feel it, baby.” And he turned his head just enough to meet Namjoon with squinted eyes, squeezing him inside for a moment. Red cheeks, messy hair, sweat-slick temples, and dark hooded eyes. Yeah, he was cute, making Seokjin smirk with affection.

Whether it was the motion, the smile, or something in his eyes, but Namjoon’s hips instantly buckled forward, both of them shutting eyes with a shared groan. And only a few seconds later Seokjin recognized another source of pained pleasure, Namjoon’s teeth holding the skin of his arm, grounding them both.

He was almost fully inside now, the tip grazing over the prostate with the last push. It was good, the amount of pleasure easily outweighing any discomfort, making the muscles tighten – and relax to accept more. It was good.

“Joon-ah.”

He hummed, only lips pressing to the bite now, fingertips rubbing the base of Seokjin’s cock.

“Joon-ah, it’s okay, you don’t, you don’t have to be cute anymore.” Seokjin smiled a bit at his own words – and immediately choked on air, Namjoon taking the cue without a hitch.

“Like that?” And he thrusted again, deeper, faster, Seokjin’s moan stuttering with the motion.

God, it was good.

So good Seokjin’s legs started to give up in a matter of seconds, few deep thrusts being enough to make his knees buckle, whole upper body leaning down on the sheets.

“That good?”

He couldn’t do anything but nod, the most sensible though at the moment, “Good,” pushed into the mattress. Just like the rest of him, whole body losing its strength, leaning down on the sheets with every splash of heated pleasure racking through it.

Namjoon was everything but cute indeed, the pace once picked up not losing its momentum, making Seokjin dizzy. The only points of stability were sheets, fisted in his hands, and pillow rubbing his cock with every push, everything else lost in between different angles and obscene noises.

“Jin-ah,” and the thrusts faltered, buried deep inside – Seokjin moaned weakly, trying to grasp why, muscles pulsating with the need of friction – sudden touch pressing between his shoulder blades, “Jin-ah.”

He turned, following the words, or rather the voice on its own, another thrust, smaller but deeper, reminding of its owner. “Jin-ah,” and he met the whisper with a low moan, muffled with the other’s mouth.

It was outside of his abilities to stop the noises from leaving his mouth – but Namjoon swallowed all of them, pointing every thrust with another kiss to his lips.

It was more than he could take.

“Joon-ah,” another kiss to his lower lip, another thrust, another exhale, “Joon, good, close, I’m…”

“Baby, want you to come.” And he shivered from the hoarse, panting voice, another harsh thrust emphasizing the words.

But Seokjin sensed the additional meaning, whispering as best he could, “No, you, want with you, Joonie...”

“I need more time, baby,” Namjoon pecked his lips again, palm sneaking between the pillow and Seokjin’s body, “it’s okay, Jin-ah, want you to come, want you feel good.” And whatever reply Seokjin was preparing had drowned in the wave of pleasure jolting through his body, hips shaking between the pressure inside and the hot grip outside.

He was so close, heat radiating through his stomach, muscles instinctively tensing, back arching, whimpered “Joon-ah” escaping his lips.

“It’s okay, baby, feel good?”

“Good.”

“Can you come for me?”

“Joon!”

Seokjin gasped, teetering on the edge, sparkles going off behind shut eyes, not noticing the other’s weight on his back disappearing – until Namjoon’s other hand came back to his skin. Open palm slid down over his back, fingers tracing the curves of every muscle, towards the butt, and it was unfair, it was a dirty move, but he couldn’t complain, not when the firm grip of fingers mixed into the tune of pleasure.

The last note. The finishing stroke.

Seokjin pushed back – chasing the fullness, chasing the pressure, Namjoon’s hand not faltering on his cock – gasped, stilled, and came with a silent moan. He heard another moan, muffled with instant weakness of his mind and body, that quickly turned into a murmur, “Good, good, Jin-ah,” albeit strangled with Namjoon’s own grip of pleasure.

For a second Seokjin allowed himself to forget about it, catching his breath, clearing his mind, adjusting to the emptiness and lack of contact. Which was unpleasant. Which was wrong.

“Joon?” he asked weakly, listening to the noises, shifting to look back.

Namjoon was still there, a focused frown on his face, eyes shut in concentration, hand moving on his own already bare cock in sharp movements. He looked so focused, so serious, so, ah, cute Seokjin let a fond smile to slip on his lips.

“Joonie,” he called again, this time louder, softer, clearer, reaching backwards to grip Namjoon’s thigh.

That one he couldn’t ignore, bursting eyes open with surprise and confusion, “Give me a second, baby” rushing out of his mouth.

But Seokjin shook his head, denying the words, and pulled Namjoon back, closer, simultaneously pushing his own cheek into the bed and the hips – up, ignoring the tremble of weakness.

“Wha- No, Jin-ah, it’ll hurt,” though his hand followed the other’s invitation mindlessly, even releasing his own cock to stroke Seokjin’s butt and thighs again, hips buckling at the sight and sensation.

“No. Here,” and Seokjin’s hands found his, covering, squeezing his own thighs together, “wanna feel you.”

The words were a bit slurry, post-orgasmic haze stumbling over him – but Namjoon understood all the same, eyes widening for a second. He didn’t ask again though, lingering only for long enough to leave a constellation of kisses on Seokjin’s hips, pushing thighs together.

He was hard, unfocused, half-way to the peak of his own, so cute in his hurry Seokjin couldn’t help but smile, finding his leg again and squeezing in encouragement. “Come on, baby, want you to fuck me good.”

Namjoon let out a small desperate sound, pressing against Seokjin, impatient fingers smearing the tube, sheets, his own forehead with lube – he didn’t even notice, last remnants of his focus dedicated to covering himself fully.

“Yes, yes, like that, Joonie, come here,” and Seokjin kept murmuring, glimmering eyes following the actions as best he could, hand still holding his thigh tightly, muscles hard and tense under skin.

Namjoon breathed out loudly, sound strained and shaking, and pushed between his lover’s thighs, wet cock easily slipping in.

They both moaned simultaneously, Namjoon – at the tightness and friction, Seokjin – at the sudden pleasure still finding its way through already wasted body. It was an odd, unfamiliar sensation: to feel Namjoon thrusting not inside, without the nagging pressure of stretching and fleeting strokes over prostate, but still so hot, and hard, and for him, so hard for him.

Seokjin whimpered again, fingers digging into Namjoon’s leg, not allowing to leave, to stop the movements. “Joon-ah, good.”

“Good?”

“So good.”

God, he probably could get off just on that, just on the feeling of Namjoon’s hands holding his hips so tightly he could easily bruise him, forcing to move with him, to meet every thrust. He was pounding in, hard and fast, in a way he rarely allowed himself with penetration, even in the tightest embrace of pleasure remembering to not hurt, and just that fucking pace was making things to Seokjin.

It’s been over 10 years since he was able to get physically aroused so quickly, but still something was circling through him again, not letting go, tingling on the tips of his toes.

It was warm, and good, and Seokjin kept moaning, hiding face in the crook of his elbow, other hand digging into Namjoon’s flesh with such force it was probably leaving marks. He tightened muscles of his own thighs, just for a tease – and Namjoon moaned, curse hiding in the sound, pace stuttering to push deeper.

“Joon, Joonie, want you to come for me, Joonie, come on, baby.”

Seokjin even turned to look at him from behind his shoulder, sweet murmur coaxing Namjoon through the last thrusts, so rough and uncontrolled Seokjin felt his whole body sliding forward. As soon as Namjoon came - strangled “Jinnie” leaving him with the first drops of sperm, momentum keeping them both going, smearing all over smooth thighs - Seokjin’s knees finally gave up, crashing him down on the pillow.

It took them both a few seconds to catch their breaths, Namjoon’s heavy panting somewhere above Seokjin’s waist, hands buried in the sheets on the both sides of his ribs – before Seokjin fidgeted, restless, and looked up as much as he could from the mattress, lazy gaze only reaching the other’s arm.

“Joon-ah.”

“Yeah?”

“Kiss me.”

And Namjoon was on him in an instant, lips finding his in a greedy kiss.

“Was it good?”

“So fucking good.” Kiss. “Perfect.”

Seokjin giggled into soft lips, "Good. ‘Cause you have to fuck me like that again.”

Namjoon smirked against him, pausing between pecks to catch Seokjin’s squinted gaze. “Yeah?”

“Yeah,” and he leaned forward to catch a kiss himself, until their smiles ruined its softness completely.

 

“Joon-ah.”

“Mm.”

“Joon.”

“Mm-hmm.”

“Joon, come back.”

“Just a moment, baby, I think I dropped the condom somewhere over here.”

At that Seokjin finally opened his eyes properly, pushing the pleasant languidness aside for a proper disapproving look. Namjoon, who had the audacity to leave the bed the whole 3 minutes ago and still not come back, was standing next to the footboard, a pack of tissues in hand, and furrowing down, missing out on Seokjin’s precious acting skills.

He couldn’t let it go to waste, could he?

Seokjin cleared his throat and went back to the disapproving frown the moment Namjoon’s gaze landed on his face. Still no guilt, whatsoever!

“No, it’s not- here,” Namjoon disappeared from the sight for a second before standing up with the infamous condom in hand, “it’s empty, don’t worry.”

“But what if it wasn’t?” Seokjin couldn’t stop himself from objecting, although the words were enough to make him yawn, closing eyes again and turning head on the other side. He was still too lazy to turn around.

“Baby, I know when liquids leave my body.”

“Mm, sexy.”

Namjoon snorted at the remark, finally climbing back into the bed, and patted Seokjin on the shoulder. “Roll over.”

“Hm? You’ll clean me up?”

“Just for today, special occasion.”

Seokjin smiled, sleepy and fond, and muttered “cute” before obediently turning on the back.

Namjoon didn’t question the comment, too used to the claim by now, only huffed something shy and incoherent, pulling tissues out of the box. Seokjin’s smile only grew wider, eyes opening just a bit to look up at him.

“You’re such a mess.”

“Thanks to whom?” And Namjoon smiled, just in the corner of his lips as if trying to contain it, almost proud of his achievements, while wiping Seokjin clean.

“Ah, you’re so smug.”

“Me? Never,” but the smile was already growing on his lips, turning into a smirk, thumb lingering to stroke his lover’s inner thigh.

Seokjin only hummed in disagreement, deeming himself clean enough to turn on the side, pushing the long-suffering pillow out of the way to wrap a leg around Namjoon’s knees, arm sneaking around the torso to pull him down.

It was Seokjin’s time to cuddle.

Namjoon only chuckled softly, having no objections, and reached for the nightstand to drop the stained tissues, pulled a blanket over the two of them, and finally settled as well, arms looping around Seokjin who readily pressed even closer.

It was quiet again, just like an hour ago, when they only woke up. The unperturbed morning. The blessed peace.

Seokjin even started to doze off again, promising to himself to nap only for a moment, to get up before the boys (if they were still asleep, of course, god, he was quite loud, wasn’t he?), when Namjoon called him, gentle whisper getting lost on his temple. He only fidgeted in reply, fingers tracing lines on Namjoon’s back, indicating that he’s still awake.

“So, I was thinking.” Ah, Namjoon’s biggest strength and weakness. Thinking. Seokjin hummed, a bit more cautious. “About yesterday. About the rice cakes.”

Oh. Seokjin sighed quietly and pressed closer, unable to stop a pinch of sadness.

Yeah, the cakes he wasn’t going to bake anymore.

“Did you, um, did you want to make them yourself?”

“Yes.”

Some things were better left unperturbed – but Namjoon was too curious for his own good.

“For us?”

He sighed again, relaxing the embrace, head falling back on the pillow. Well, fuck, he was sad now.

It wasn’t going to work anyway, so whatever.

“For you. For your birthday. But it wasn’t working out, so never mind. At least you got the actually tasty version yesterday. What do you think of a new pair of socks?”

He smiled, as playful as possible, trying to not let his feelings affect Namjoon as well, because then what? The two of them will be lying there, anxious and sad? No, he wasn’t going to let that happen. 

Actually, he had a couple more ideas, like a lamp out of single piece of wood or one of the books from museum. And there were always KAWS figures – Namjoon was lighting up like a Christmas tree at every mention, so no, no socks. If only for a prank?

Seokjin hummed at the thought, musing it for a second longer, when Namjoon broke into the process by pecking his hair, thoughtful “Is that what it feels like when you call me an idiot?” murmured against Seokjin’s temple.

He had an answer prepared long time ago.

“Yah, Namjoon-ah, where’s your respect for the elders?”

But Namjoon didn’t listen (shameless!) suddenly tightening the hug, pressing face into the crook of Seokjin’s neck, limbs and bodies entwined, close enough to feel each other’s heartbeat. All Seokjin could do was to hug him back, small soft smile hiding in Namjoon’s shoulder.

“We can order the shittiest pizza and spend the day playing videogames, and it’d still be the best birthday gift ever.”

Always so earnest, so romantic, Seokjin couldn’t stop himself from chuckling, palm running up and down Namjoon’s back. That was more than any confession he’d ever received.

“What’s with the videogames? Do you think it’s the only thing I’m good at?”

He said it with a joking note, but the memory still pinched something deep inside. The hotel room felt like another life entirely.

There’s a theory that every person lives their life on repeat; same arms holding him, same lips pressed to his skin, even the same smell of Namjoon enwrapping him. The moment felt a bit like dejavu. Like that past Seokjin got a chance to live fully, to live properly. To breathe.

The seemingly innocent comment striked something in Namjoon as well, fingers suddenly pushing into Seokjin’s sides, lips pressing in his neck for a second – before moving on to find Seokjin’s. To share a kiss, a silent reassurance. I’m here. It’s real. Can you believe that?

They stayed like that for a bit longer, not sleepy, just slow and thorough in exploring the intimacy all over again. They were silent, except for occasional giggle or murmur that made no sense but needed to be said, the only resemblance of a conversation being Seokjin’s explanation of his new lotion and Namjoon cutting it off with a gentle “I like it, you smell like flowers” and even more gentle kiss to the shoulder. Seokjin had half a mind to tease him as that was the point of flower oils – but then decided against it, too relaxed to raise his voice again. What did it matter if Namjoon already liked it.

In the end, Seokjin was the one to pat him on the waist, the man being still and quiet somewhere next to the top of his head for long enough to fall into a nap. Thankfully, it wasn’t the case, low hum and quick peck responding to the action.

“Rise and shine,” he whispered, the tone too peaceful for a proper call for action, “time to get up, baby.”

Another hum, too close to a muffled whine. Seokjin smiled and nuzzled Namjoon’s throat for a moment before planting a kiss and fidgeting to untangle the legs first.

Namjoon didn’t really try to stop him, pushing himself up as soon as Seokjin wriggled out of his embrace fully, no touches between them, no shared warmth. God, it was always so cold outside of their bed or just now?

Seokjin shivered and turned back to see his partner standing at the window already, yawning and rubbing his eyes. Such a mess. Such a cutie.

“Joonie?”

Namjoon hummed again, one eye squinting back at him, the other still covered with fingertips.

“Shower?”

“Together?”

Seokjin nodded, automatically yawning himself. Namjoon nodded as well and, after a moment of deep thinking, added wisely, “Gotta find pants first.”

Which turned out to be an actually wise idea, because as soon as they opened the door, Namjoon lazily hanging off Seokjin’s shoulders, they were met with two pairs of curious eyes.

“Good morning.”

“Hi, hyungs.”

“Morning, boys, are you fin-“

“Hi, just a second.”

And Seokjin closed the door again.

Three seconds of silence.

“Seokjin-ah?”

“Your son is there!”

“I noticed.”

“And you’re half-naked. I am half-naked!”

“And?”

“And it’s… I… Stop laughing!”

“Sorry.”

“This isn’t funny.”

“No, just endearing. So, you wanna go downstairs or?”

“No! Let’s, let’s just wait.”

“Mm-hmm.”

“…I was very loud?”

“Mm-hmm.”

“Fuck. I told you to stop laughing!”

“Ouch, okay, okay. How long are we going to wait then?”

“A bit more.”

“Can I kiss you?”

“Mm-hmm. Hey, not there!”

By the time Seokjin met the guests again, this time in the kitchen, he more or less accepted the situation. Yeah, maybe his partner’s son (and his beloved boyfriend) heard the aforementioned partner fucking him into bed, but it could happen to anybody, right? No need to dwell for longer.

Thankfully, the boys were polite enough to not comment on the morning’s events (or just smart enough to not tease a person willingly making a breakfast for them). They were in the middle of discussing if the weather will be good enough for a walk to the Golden Gates, when Namjoon finally joined them, shaved clean and humming something under his breath. Morning sex truly changes lives.

“Hey, dad, we forgot, when do you leave today?”

“Around four,” as he went straight to the coffee machine. “We have to be at the office at five, but…”

“…it means everyone will gather around six,” Seokjin finished, rolling his eyes at the too familiar picture.

Usually, he was the one to be late for all kinds of parties, but now he was a family man, wasn’t he? The thought made him snort at the frying eggs.

“Why would they tell to come at five then?” Taehyung’s frown was one of genuine confusion, head tilted to the side.

Namjoon only shrugged in reply while Seokjin answered, in a not so enthusiastic tone, “Because some guests prefer to show up first, and some – when everyone else had already gathered. Some want to actually discuss something – like we do – and some want to just have a couple of drinks and fun. It’s a whole another world,” one he was too familiar with, “Joon-ah, what do you want for breakfast?”

“I already had mine, thanks.”

It took him five long seconds to catch the meaning fully, soft smile gradually replaced with a flat look. He shoot a glare Namjoon’s way – who had the audacity to give him the widest grin in return, cheesy bastard – before turning around in time for a strangled noise to reach him.

Taehyung was apparently responsible for it, face hidden in Jungkook’s shoulder, his whole frame shaking with muffled laughter. Jungkook, in turn, managed to hold his composure, even if the lower lip squeezed between his teeth and trembling chin were betraying the same giggles kept inside.

But could Seokjin blame them? He turned to look at Namjoon again, the man still smug and happy with the reaction, and asked in the calmest voice possible, “When did you come up with that one?” tips of his ears already heating up.

“Just now, in the bathroom,” Namjoon even dared to tilt his head in curiosity, “do you like it?”

“I hate you.”

The bastard burst out laughing, clearly unfazed by the words Seokjin put all of himself into. “No, you love me.”

He only huffed at that and turned to the eggs that started making noises, the ones behind his back finally getting quiet.

“You’re lucky you’re cute.”

And Seokjin reveled in the tiniest part of revenge, because Namjoon wouldn’t dare to object, and being called cute in front of your 19 years old son? He didn’t have much experience, but was sure there had to be something about it he could use to dignify himself.

Apparently, Namjoon didn’t care much. Instead of replying, or at least pretending to be embarrassed, he only leaned closer to press a kiss to Seokjin’s cheek. And another one. And another.

“Ew, hyung, we’re still here!”

 

“She was flirting with you.”

“She wasn’t flirting with me.”

“She was flirting with you all evening.”

“You were right there, Joon-ah, she wasn’t flirting with me.”

Of course, Losa’s PR manager was flirting with him, but did Namjoon need that kind of information? Absolutely not, at least in Seokjin’s point of view. He wasn’t interested in the slightest, so what did it matter?

It just turned out that if you spend time alone, at the bar, in the middle of something that supposed to be a BBQ lunch but turned into a party on one of Losa’s yachts, you are automatically counted as single. Phew, who would’ve thought, right?

The fact that Namjoon kept disappearing with Losa, who was dragging him all over the place to “meet his future colleagues” wasn’t helping either. Neither at getting rid of others’ gazes, nor at fixing Seokjin’s mood.

At one point he even gave Benjamin a cold gaze of his – when the man practically teared Namjoon’s hand off his knee to pull somewhere again – but the CEO only laughed and splattered faux apologies all around. Namjoon, in turn, only smiled apologetically and left Seokjin on his own with gin tonic and Katie. Was she Katie? Yeah… probably.

Seokjin didn’t really like Losa.

Or no, he liked him as a businessman. Mr. Losa was sharp, detailed, open-minded and seemingly kind-hearted – which he, of course, wasn’t, but the illusion was making it easier to approach him.

When they were seeing each other for business, it was focused, concise, and filled with joking comments from both sides, the ones even Namjoon had troubles to translate.

But in a place like that one, well, Seokjin kind of despised him. Maybe, because Benjamin was genuinely an unpleasant person to deal with – or maybe because he knew all of his antics way too well.

Despite his age, Benjamin Losa wasn’t married, “only to work” as he was always jokingly saying about the ring on his finger. Rumors said he had an ex-wife and even a kid – but the man himself never spoke or even joked about them.

He had partners sometimes – but was mostly seen alone, as confident and brilliant as ever. He was rarely flirting – but was still catching attention of others, girls, boys, and everyone around. He wasn’t especially attractive – but there was the power of charisma in each of his gestures.

Yes, Seokjin knew him all too well, and when their eyes were meeting, he knew Benjamin could see his own past too.

Also, he apparently thought that Seokjin is playing with Namjoon so there’s that.

God, where these ideas were coming from? Had Seokjin ever done anything to doubt his love?

He only hoped Namjoon himself had never had such questions.

“Even if she was,” Seokjin promptly caught his hand, his, no, their house already seen in the dim light of sunset, “what does it matter, Joonie?”

He sent a questioning look Namjoon’s way, clear crease between the other’s eyebrows, lips pursed, seriousness making his features ever more handsome. Older, yes, but no less handsome.

Seokjin tugged at his hand – and Namjoon finally gave up, meeting his gaze for a second and chuckling, small smile lingering in the corners of his lips as he shook his head, entwining their fingers. “It doesn’t.” And, after a beat, “Can’t believe I’m the one to take you home.”

Seokjin only rolled his eyes, hiding shy smile in the gesture, and tightened his grip. “It’s not a prom party or something, Joon-ah. I can walk on my own as well.”

“But you’re walking with me.”

And there was nothing he could say to that, only close eyes for a moment, taking control of the smile still fighting its way on his lips.

They were already on the stairs leading to the door, Seokjin looking for the keys, when the words finally properly settled, allowing other thoughts to come by.

“So, did you sign everything? It’s official?”

“Yes.” Namjoon smirked, following inside. “Technically we are colleagues now.”

“Oh, so I’m sleeping with my boss?” Seokjin sent him a cheeky smile, taking off his shoes. “Or you are?”

“Whatever turns you on.” Namjoon easily slipped into the mood, winking back. God, if only they met 20 years ago, they’d probably be spending every night exhausting each other till the last drop of sweat.

Not that Seokjin didn’t plan to try.

“I’ll think about it,” though they could go with both, “first let’s...”

“Give it back, Jungkook-ah!”

They barely stepped into the living room, Seokjin’s gaze hooked with the hoodie on the back of the couch, when loud steps came from upstairs. In a moment the source of noises appeared as well, two sources, running down the stairs one after the other.

Seokjin’s mind glitched a bit, unable to process familiar voices with an unfamiliar picture – but Namjoon seemed to do it just well.

“Boys! What’s this?”

The two of them immediately jumped up in surprise, ending the joking fight over a t-shirt and hurrying to face the elders.

Jungkook was half-naked. Seokjin kept his gaze as far away from his legs as possible, but even in the corner of his eyes he could see his bare legs. Thankfully, he was wearing a t-shirt at least – unlike Taehyung, whose cloth was, apparently, the subject of the chase. He had enough shame in him to press fully against Jungkook’s back, hiding himself behind the human fence, arms wrapped around the boy’s torso – but every visible part of his body was naked.

Water was dripping from their hair, Taehyung’s red locks now the color of wine, Jungkook’s shirt sticking to his body wherever possible. It wasn’t hard to guess how they entertained themselves.

“You’re back? Oh, I mean, sorry.” Jungkook’s wide eyes darted between the couple, hands unconsciously pulling the t-shirt down.

“We thought you’ll be back at night.” Unlike his boyfriend, Taehyung didn’t seem much flustered. On the opposite, as soon as the initial shock wore off, he grinned at them like a boy proud of being naughty.

Namjoon sighed. Seokjin was still catching up.

“As you see, we are not, now get dressed, we’re having dinner soon.”

“Can we watch something then? I know a cool movie!”

“Sure, just, get dressed first, okay, Taehyung-ah?”

The boy only nodded, finally taking the t-shirt Jungkook kept pushing into his hands. Still, he managed to give Seokjin a wide grin, clearly amused with reaction, before the man turned away, allowing them to get back up in peace.

“You okay? Look like you saw a ghost.”

Apparently, Namjoon found it funny as well, following his partner to the kitchen. Seokjin only hummed in response, musing over one particular thought that, maybe, shouldn’t have entered his mind in the first place.

“I warned you, they have no shame.”

“Not the first time for you?”

Namjoon even laughed, “Oh no,” settling at the table while Seokjin went straight to the freezer.

He was able to keep his curiosity at bay for exactly a minute and a half, before turning to Namjoon so sharply the man looked up from his phone in surprise.

“Is Jungkook, like,” he pointed at the floor, trying to be both concise and polite – but Namjoon only frowned in confusion, making Seokjin huff with impatience and embarrassment, hands fumbling in the air. “I mean in sex, is he, you know,” and he showed with another gesture, clapping hands in recognizable position, cheeks heating up, god, why did he even start.

But Namjoon finally understood, letting out a loud, barking laughter and shaking his head. “They’re switching.”

“Oh, okay.” And Seokjin turned to the pot of water, mentally pleading for the conversation to be over. But…

“Why? Are you surprised?” Namjoon’s voice was still bearing traces of laughter and awoken curiosity.

“No, I just, no.” Or maybe, just a bit?

For some reason, he thought Jungkook to be the one on top, with all his similarities to his father. Also, Taehyung was a bit like Seokjin, at places, so even though he never dwelled on it for too long, he kind of automatically assumed that…

“We can try it too.”

Namjoon’s voice was so close, why it was so close, he was sitting on the other side of the kitchen seconds ago, why- Seokjin startled when lips pressed to the back of his neck, hands looping around his waist.

“What?”

“You know,” Namjoon hooked his chin over Seokjin’s shoulder, “switching.”

He swallowed, perfectly knowing that Namjoon can hear it, but still carelessly huffing immediately after. “I’m too old to change my habits.” At this point he was just mindlessly replacing chicken wings in the water.

Obviously, he thought about it. He was the one to top not only with girls (and even with them, not always) – with some guys the energy was just flowing that way too. Yes, he preferred to be the one receiving, too used to prostate stimulation helping him reach the peak, but it was not the matter of principle.

Rather, it was the matter of Namjoon.

He thought about it – but never felt the urge, the need to change. He was comfortable with the way things were between them, including in bedroom. And Namjoon himself had never stopped him when playful fingers were going further, deeper, always trusted with quiet moans of pleasure but never hinted that he’d like to switch.

That is, until now.

“Okay.” He nuzzled Seokjin’s neck, pressing hips a bit closer than needed. “Just, you know, I don’t mind. Got to try everything while we can.”

“What do you mean while we can?” Despite the trickles of arousal in his veins, Seokjin huffed, calm and loud, finally leaving the wings alone. “I’m planning to be up and going for 30 more years at least.”

Namjoon chuckled into the crook of his neck, showing no intention to move away. “What if I’ll be the first to fall then?”

“Too bad for you.” Seokjin shrugged, unfazed, Namjoon’s head shifting at the movement, cheek pressed to the shoulder. “You’ll have to watch me pleasing myself and, maybe, cry.”

Judging by the sound of his voice and the fingers hooking under Seokjin’s belt, Namjoon only got amused at the warning. “Yeah? Will I be able to help you?”

Seokjin hummed with exaggerated thoughtfulness, moving to pour the water out of the pot, Namjoon’s grip on him faltering for a moment. “Will you still be hot?”

This time he giggled out loud, murmuring “I’ll always be hot for you” into the crook of his neck, before pointing the words with a kiss. It didn’t take long to find Seokjin’s lips either.

The “cool movie” turned out to be ‘Wide Awake’, a thriller about time-traveler that kept trying to bring his friends back to life. Main actor: Kim Seok-Jin.

That same actor gave Taehyung a long, questioning look as soon as the first notes of soundtrack came from the speakers. The boy only shrugged back, “I really think it’s cool,” already munching on a grilled wing and leaning on Jungkook.

Namjoon looked between the two of them in confusion, “What’s wrong?” – for what received an opening credits long lecture about the importance of being interested in one’s partner’s life.

It was impossible to tell if he was actually serious when, ten minutes into the movie, he exclaimed, “Oh! Isn’t it you?”

Seokjin said nothing, only shook his head and placed a hand on the armrest of the couch, Namjoon finding it in a matter of seconds, eyes still fixed on the screen. There was only one armchair in the living room, and Seokjin was currently curling in it – the younger couple was impossible to tear apart.

They proved it once again when, after about 20 minutes, ended up in a meld of limbs and hoodies, Taehyung practically sprawling between Jungkook’s legs. They kept fidgeting against one another – Namjoon seemed to be deep in the movie’s plot, not paying a heed – until a hushed “not now” made all four of them still.

The way Namjoon’s lips faltered betrayed his mind’s true presence.

None of them reacted, only Seokjin squeezed the hand a bit tighter, fighting a cackle, and his partner reflected the gesture in an instant.

By the end of the movie, though, both kids dozed off. Seokjin kept glancing their way with something too close to endearment until Namjoon was distracting him with another quiet comment.

The movie plot seemed to strike something inside him indeed, the flow of “no, why did he do that” and “they must end up together, right?” not stopping even during the last scene. They even got into a heated discussion over Seokjin’s character’s father: Namjoon kept insisting that he should’ve been kinder while Seokjin himself thought that then everything would go wrong. The argument quickly died down – but Namjoon still brought Seokjin’s palm for a kiss a few seconds later, and even though Seokjin wasn’t mad, he wasn’t, it was just a movie plot, he did feel a bit lighter.

“But those two, these, here,” Namjoon pointed at one of the polaroid photos scrolling through the screen with end credits, “they are a couple, right? I mean, it’s obvious, but you saw the script.”

At that Seokjin only smiled mysteriously and nodded at their own younger couple, “Wake them up?”

 

The next day was their last full day in San Francisco. Winter semester was starting soon, the boys needed to get ready. And now not only Namjoon but Taehyung as well needed to deal with moving. They all had their lives still going, back in Seoul.

Just like Seokjin, who got a call from his yoga instructor early in the morning (oh, you can’t tomorrow, okay, yes, good for me too, what? No, no, not sleeping late, of course, I promised) and two emails from Losa sent after 2AM. One was a reminder of the monthly report they talked about yesterday, the other – a list of new meals to work on with his chef and a link at the end. Seokjin didn’t click, but the “best ideas for honey moon in California” in the link body was speaking for itself.

He scoffed and dropped the phone back on the nightstand, before rubbing his eyes and turning back to wrap around Namjoon’s frame once again.

He was so used to it already, the warmth, the smell, the heavy presence of the body next to him. Knew he’ll need to get another blanket out, to soften the drop of temperature at night after Namjoon will leave again.

Not for long, at last.

They had an agreement with Losa – Namjoon supposed to be at the meeting in Fresno on September 20th. Four weeks from now on. Only four weeks.

Seokjin sighed deeper and pushed nose into Namjoon’s hair. Pine shampoo, sweat, and a bit of Namjoon himself. Grey lines were here and there already. He smiled, a bit sad, and kissed them, one by one.

Namjoon was supposed to leave again then, to Fresno, and maybe LA. Ben mentioned Seattle a couple of times, so… But it’s okay – Seokjin traced the line of his neck with a thumb, allowing a bit more care to slip through pale light of the morning – it’s okay. As long as Namjoon is willing to come back, he will be waiting.

By the time Namjoon rubbed his eyes with a quiet groan, his partner was already dressed up for a jog. “Hey, baby, no, come back,” but Seokjin had already sent a flying kiss back to him and closed the door.

He met Jungkook stretching outside – which wasn’t surprising, he heard the boy leaving and even considered skipping another day to avoid possible awkwardness – with a bright smile and a wink. If you can’t avoid it, enjoy it.

Jungkook, in turn, looked baffled, eyes widening with surprise, before giving a nod in response. “Good morning.”

“Yeah,” Seokjin looked around while stretching his arms – the mist was holding onto the neighborhood tightly, milky smoke stretching far into both sides of the street, “pretty good.”

They spent another few minutes in silence, Seokjin slowly getting into the mood for running, breathing in deeper, listening to his body rather than Jungkook’s huffs. What was in his head, in turn, was impossible to guess – but the boy also seemed more at ease since the last time they were left alone.

The power of sports!

“Hey, Kook-ah.” The boy, just finished with the stretching and ready to set out, startled and turned back. “Where are you going?”

“To, um, for a jog?” Confusion was all over his face, frown settling as his eyebrows slowly raised up.

Seokjin demonstratively rolled his eyes, leaning down between his hips before straightening up with a content huff and stepping closer. “No, I mean, where? Want to check my route? It’s through the park. Maybe, you’ll get to use it again someday.”

Such a sweetheart, Seokjin praised himself, smiling at Jungkook’s obvious surprise. They were kind of good now, at least in official papers – not like they ever were in an actual fight or something – but they also didn’t spend time one-on-one since the dusty morning in the living room, so… There was some space for surprise at such openness, surely.

But really, Seokjin didn’t want to dwell on it for longer. Didn’t want for the two of them to always have that note of tense awkwardness in between. ‘Hey, remember you thought I don’t love your father and almost accused me of taking him away? Yeah, good times.’ No, thanks.

He even patted Jungkook on the middle – oh, the boy was hiding a lot under baggy jackets – and got a rushed, almost shy “Yeah, yeah, okay.”

Yeah, yeah, okay? These kids.

“Okay,” Seokjin chuckled and motioned in the direction of the park, “just don’t get lost.”

Jungkook muttered something at that – but Seokjin wasn’t listening already. His trainer was supposed to come in an hour, and he still had things to finish by then. Like feed his partner, who’ll probably be munching on dry cereals while he’s out.

Seokjin huffed at the image – god, they were turning into such an old couple – and returned his attention to the breath. Self-awareness, all that. Good stuff. Just don’t lose sight of Jungkook who was patiently jogging behind – at first, at least.

Without much surprise from Seokjin’s side, the pace turned out to be too slow for the boy. Seokjin even had half a mind to turn it into a competition when Jungkook passed him by with a questioning look – but then decided against it and nodded. Let the youth sprint forward, they’ll take care from behind.

You can’t brush 30 years of difference that easily anyway.

The weather promised to be good, fog quickly wearing off to clear the way for sunrays. Seokjin even smiled to himself, watching the shapes of dogs and children brightening in the sunlight, even sounds growing clearer like the fog was an actual cotton keeping everything muffled.

Jungkook was clearer now too, a dark figure jogging in distance. The boy was sometimes looking back, silently asking for directions at turns, but mostly kept to himself. Like he always did.

Seokjin smiled, just a bit, something too close to fondness in his chest. Or, maybe, just morning air.

They were already on the way back home, Jungkook getting farther and farther away, when familiar voice caught Seokjin’s attention. Or rather, familiar barking.

No, Chimmy, wait- Ah, it’s you, Jin.

Seokjin nodded with a smile, “Good morning, Julia,” before returning his attention to the dog swirling around his knees. It was the cutest creature he knew (except, maybe, for Namjoon), a golden furred, puppy-like, good boy named Chimmy.

Julia, his middle-aged sporty owner, once explained all the twists and turns of his biography, but there was too much dog-related slang involved, so Seokjin only got the gist of it. Chimmy was a not so desirable result of short-lasting love affair between golden Labrador and a mixed-breed. What was so wrong about it Seokjin didn’t understand, but, apparently, dark ears, dark tail and white spot around the nose was enough to leave him in shelter.

How stupid could people be?

Chimmy was the sweetest, smartest, prettiest dog, always polite enough to not jump too close to Seokjin, dirty paws always landing back on the ground, and even listen to his commands, although the stranger had nothing to offer except for another scratch on the side and a happy “good boy”.

Seokjin was deeply immersed in booping Chimmy’s nose as often as possible and – not so deeply – in a weather-work-oh-Namjoon-is-back talk, when Julia suddenly interrupted herself with an “Oh, hi, so you know each other?”

Who, Seokjin?

He turned around, and yes, of course he knew Jungkook, the boy fidgeting a few feet away from them. He was studying the fountain some distance away, but when the woman’s voice reached him, he nodded with polite smile and gave Seokjin an “are you coming?” look.

Oh.

Oh, right.

Seokjin smiled involuntarily and turned to the woman, palm patting between Chimmy’s ears. “Yeah, Namjoon’s family. Have to hurry up.”

She gave him an understanding smirk and nodded, “Okay, tell him I said hi,” Chimmy letting out a couple of barks when the stranger started off after the other one.

Something about Jungkook choosing to come back and wait for him, instead of hurrying to get home, kept him smiling for the rest of the way. And even then, as soon as they stepped inside, he pushed himself right into Namjoon’s lips, the man meeting them almost in the doorway.

“Oh wow.”

Seokjin giggled, pulling back to take off his snickers. “What?”

“You kissed me.”

“Yeah? I do that sometimes, never noticed?”

This time Namjoon chuckled too, infected with his partner’s giddiness, taste of coffee already sticking to Seokjin’s lips – but, after a beat, the smile turned sheepish, hand coming to rub the back of his neck. “Look…”

Seokjin huffed, every bit endeared as before, and gave him a pointed look. “What did you do?”

“Nothing, nothing, I, um, we wanted to make breakfast…”

Jungkook, who was already hiding his snickers and stubbornly ignoring everything happening under his nose, stilled for a second. Familiar reaction, Seokjin smiled, too happy even for a worry.

“Have you hurt yourself?”

“No, no.”

“Good, then show me your cooking masterpiece.”

Turned out Taehyung didn’t have much talent for cooking either.

It wasn’t that bad though.

Just that the boy (quite understandably) didn’t trust Namjoon’s experience in making egg toasts, and while the man was gathering the ingredients and toasting a piece of bread on the pan, he was scrolling through Naver. And actually found something good – only by the time the two of them finished discussing the recipe, toasts were already smoky.

They tried to fry the egg filler on the butter that was left – and that, oh so unexpectedly, turned out to have the same taste of burned bread.

The kitchen smelled the same.

Seokjin said nothing at that, only laughed and waved a hand at the couple’s guilty faces, going straight for the fridge. He had some pork and kimchi left from two days ago, that’ll do.

All three of Kims were quietly observing him cutting meat and vegetables, Jungkook joining the other two probably out of solidarity. They were cute like this, sitting in a row and just sharing curious gazes. Seokjin chuckled. Yeah, maybe he could spend a life here.

“Okay, who’s gonna watch after tofu while I’m in the shower?”

The two failed cooks exchanged hesitant gazes before looking up at him. This time Seokjin couldn’t contain a full on laughter. “Come on, you didn’t burn the kitchen, did you?”

“I’ll do it.”

He nodded at Jungkook, bright smile ever-present, and pointed at the pot. “Alright, turn it off and pull them out to drain in 5 minutes. Thanks, Kook-ah.” And, still giggling, he left to get his yoga clothes and shower, not forgetting to wink at the other two first.

By the time he came back, wet hair and smell of jasmine, Taehyung was already over his remorse, peeking over Jungkook’s shoulder. Namjoon was still seated though, a thoughtful look directed at the tofu his son was diligently cutting – Seokjin just had to flick him on the nose with an “everything’s fine” smile before turning to the boys.

It didn’t take him long to prepare a proper breakfast – tofu, fried kimchi and pork, rice, and a bit of pickled vegetables. Turned out harder to convince them to eat it on their own – his trainer supposed to show up any minute now, not the best time to stuff one’s stomach, really.

The boys, thankfully, gave up, Taehyung’s stomach rumbling with hunger – but Namjoon, guilt still in his eyebrows, promised to wait. The door ringed then, and all Seokjin had time to do was sigh and disappear from the kitchen, smell of red pepper following him to the door.

What he didn’t think through at the time was that the boys were to leave the kitchen and go through the living room upstairs. Which was okay – it distracted him for a few breaths, Taehyung’s eyes widening at the posture he was currently in, but the two of them hurried to leave anyway.

What did distract him, though, was Namjoon coming back to the kitchen after taking his laptop, and getting oddly quiet somewhere behind Seokjin’s back. He didn’t hear the click of the kitchen door either.

Seokjin’s head was somewhere around his knee at the moment, muscles of his back and legs gently aching from tension, so it was really not the time for him to think, but… His gaze darted to Yumi, his trainer, fit Japanese in her late 30s, who was gently pressing on his back and counting his breaths. She was nice, she was pretty, just a little of encouraging smile on her lips, and for a second, just for a second Seokjin wondered if she looks like Yoonja, what if there was something about her that- Yeah, okay, no, Namjoon was definitely looking at him, head tilted in a curious manner, gaze jumping to Seokjin’s turned face so quickly it was almost comical.

I’m leaving.

“Namjoon-ah.”

“I’m not here, I’m not here.”

Seokjin only huffed, unable to fight a small smile, hating the hint of relief in his shoulders but still feeling its warmth. Namjoon was looking at him. Always looking at him.

Sorry.

He promptly came back to position, but Yumi only smiled, “It’s okay. I don’t let my wife watch me either.

Oh, good. Wait-

The rest of the training went as usual, painfully long but blissfully relaxing, so when Seokjin finally entered the kitchen all he could think of was food. And shower. But first food.

Namjoon was faithfully waiting for him, open laptop and spatula in hand, face serious and concentrated on the pan (another one) and little kimchi pancakes. The smells were pretty delicious, actually.

“Working off? Good, good.” He even patted Namjoon on the waist, post-exercise hormones or something making him almost euphoric.

Everything was okay. For some reason, it was brimming through his every cell. Everything was okay.

“These wolves ate almost everything,” Namjoon muttered, too focused to even turn around, just waved in the direction of the dining table. The plate was almost empty indeed, a few pieces of tofu and lonely kimchi waiting for their fate.

Next to it, though, was a small stack of already made pancakes, a couple of sandwiches, and two cups – one with coffee, the other with jasmine tea. Seokjin swelled with fondness at the sight, unable to contain a grin while sitting down.

“You made it yourself?”

“Working off.”

Namjoon sent him a quick smile before carefully checking on the pancakes – and quietly cursing when spatula got smeared with batter. He was wearing an apron, ends tied together so tightly they were pressing into skin, underneath only pants and loose top, bare shoulders showing off to the world.

Seokjin hummed with an almost dreamy smile, chin on the palm, munching on a pancake and studying the man’s figure. Was working on his back more, huh? Maybe, Seokjin will get his own chance to stare.

“What?”

Finally, Namjoon caught his gaze while taking the last patch of pancakes off the pan, questioning frown emphasizing the word. Seokjin only gave him a sweet grin in return and shook his head, finishing up with his sandwich.

Now, he wasn’t hungry anymore. Maybe, will grab something later. Shower was still high in his list of priorities, but first...

“Where are the boys?” he asked casually, fingers drumming against the table surface, eyes fixed on Namjoon’s cup of coffee.

The man only shrugged, already deep in his email inbox. “Packing stuff and checking on the weather.”

Seokjin hummed, gaze darting to the laptop before coming back to its owner. “And what about you?”

“What about me?”

“What are you going to do?”

Namjoon finally sensed something in the innocent voice, looking up with conspicuous frown. “Check tickets, unpack things, you know, usual stuff, why?”

“Nothing,” his foot found Namjoon’s under table, “just wondering,” tilted his head slightly, waiting for the man to take a sip, “if you’re interested in a blowjob.”

Namjoon almost choke on his coffee. Good, that’s good.

“What, why, what, what did I do?”

Seokjin chuckled at the wide eyes and stuttering words – such a teenager, still – before pouting with a frown, toes traveling up Namjoon’s ankle. “Can’t I just want to make my partner feel good? Didn’t get much of your taste the other day.”

Namjoon’s brain was clearly processing, eyes automatically following when Seokjin swiped across his lips with a thumb.

Of course, there was more to it than simple desire to please Namjoon, even if it was taking the solid first place in his mind at the moment. But he also needed a second of this, a minute, ten minutes, more.

Attention. Reaction. Feeling.

They established long time ago that they were different in this aspect. Namjoon was open and talkative – but preferred to stay away from others’ gazes. Seokjin, in turn, was quiet and gentle on his own – but needed more on stage.

Gazes. Recognition. Love.

And that persona, that part of him that supposed to stay in Seoul snitched into the baggage, stuck to Seokjin’s tags, got lost between his clothes – and creeped back into his life.

He wasn’t stopping it, was always following his own desires – and now his desires wanted Namjoon.

His attention. His reactions. His feelings.

His gazes. His recognition. His love.

Seokjin dreaded the day it won’t be enough – but was absolutely sure it’ll come. And so, he was getting accustomed with clients, was going to Losa’s parties, was grabbing bits of attention wherever he could. Different life, Jungkook said, but was it really?

Yes. Yes, it was – because before it was all he got.

Now, he had much more. Now, he could choose. Now, he could turn away from everyone else and go back home, to hide in Namjoon’s arms sleepily pulling him closer and forget that the rest of the world existed.

“So, are you interested?” Seokjin raised an eyebrow, silence stretching out for too long for his taste.

“I am, I am, I mean, I, uh,” Namjoon threw a quick glance at the laptop – and promptly closed it, hurrying to stand up. “I am very interested.”

Seokjin smiled – so cute, he was always so cute – and got up as well, murmuring softly, “You get points for eagerness.”

“Can I use them?” Namjoon mindlessly followed him to the dishwasher, clumsily fumbling with the spatula in hands.

“Yes.” Seokjin took the thing, pushing his own palm into the other’s hands, turned the washer on, and looked at Namjoon with a cheeky smile, “Just remember to stay quiet,” before pulling him to the stairs.

By the time he got to the shower, lips still warm and smiling, it was almost noon – but, well, he didn’t have much plans for the day anyway.

 

“Jin-ssi!”

He startled and turned around, bright red of Taehyung’s hair flashing over the stairs, Jungkook, as always, following behind.

Funny how Seokjin was almost used to them already.

“Will you take us to the hills? And then to lunch? And then to the beach?”

He chuckled at the wide childish eyes and nodded, closing the book – Peter (Pete? Petia?) could wait. Taehyung eagerly pushed the two of them on the first place in Seokjin’s plans.

“Yes, alright, just let me check up on Joon first.”

“He’s busy,” Jungkook immediately added, exchanging amused gazes with Taehyung, “can’t find the tickets.”

“What?” Seokjin frowned – what’s funny about it? – and straightened up. The man was obediently quiet even after they finished, only rustle of clothes and occasional “Jin-ah, I’ll put it here” coming from upstairs for the last half an hour.

“It’s okay. He probably lost his password or something.” Jungkook shrugged as it was happening all the time. “It happens all the time.”

“But he’ll restore it… soon?” Seokjin wasn’t so sure anymore. Namjoon was full of surprises.

“He’ll probably have to contact Incheon and confirm everything again.” This time Taehyung was the one to shrug, god, was it really happening so often?

“And he’s still packing.”

“Or unpacking.”

“Anyway, he said we should ask you.”

“And hope you won’t be too scared to spend the day with us.”

“But we’re nice.”

“Really nice.”

“Wait, wait, let me process!”

Seokjin huffed, the couple practically giggling in front of him, even Jungkook’s grin finally showing off. Their hands were entwined somewhere behind Taehyung’s back, arms swaying one way or another in a playful manner.

They were kind of nice.

Also, what, “did he say I’ll get scared? I? Scared? Wait a second, Namjoon-ah!”

Indistinct hum came from the second floor.

“What did you tell the boys?”

Steps followed, and the man himself peeked over the stairs, confused and unsure. “What did you say?”

“What did you tell the boys?” Seokjin quirked an eyebrow – but another giggle broke through his suspicion. Namjoon, in turn, still looked as clueless as ever.

“I told them to find you and ask if you’d want to take them to the city, I’m a bit busy here, sorry,” but Seokjin already turned to the younger couple, Taehyung clearly biting his lips to not smile even wider.

“Scared, huh?”

“Maybe, that was not exactly what he said,” Jungkook retorted with the most innocent face, Taehyung nodding by his side, “but I’d say we explained the meaning perfectly.”

Seokjin gave them a long, bemused look. "Your chances of exploring San Francisco by foot are growing with every passing second.”

While the boys immediately whined, doing their best to express guilt, Namjoon’s voice turned serious, steps halting behind Seokjin. “Is everything okay?”

For a moment Seokjin wanted to complain (jokingly, of course, jokingly) that his kids have no respect, and how dare they tease him like that, and jokes are his privilege – but was it worth ruining the moment? Because Jungkook’s lips were trembling with hidden laughter, Taehyung almost hiding behind his back, probably the initiator himself, and kids are supposed to joke around, aren’t they?

“Yeah, no worries,” though he gave them a very serious glare – before leaning backwards to look up at Namjoon. “Got to work?”

“Yes, and, uh, finish up with the tickets for tomorrow.” Always so shy about his forgetfulness, always so cute.

Seokjin smirked, gaze lingering on the tiny hickey under jaw before going back up to his eyes. “Didn’t have time earlier?” and his teeth accidentally grazed over the bottom lip.

Namjoon watched him thoughtless for a couple of seconds – before huffing out something like “aish, gotta go” and stomping back to the stairs.

It was a whole chain of teasing, wasn’t it? The one Namjoon will gladly return, so very soon. 

Seokjin smirked again, softer, warmer, gaze following the man upstairs. He’ll be waiting.

“So, will you take us, Jin-ssi?”

“We’ll be nice.”

Oh, right.

He demonstratively sighed and stood up, clapping over himself in search of the keys. “I don’t really have a choice, do I?”

 

It turned out to be even easier than he imagined.

The younger couple, that were always a bit too immersed in each other, stuck to their habit. They were, indeed, nice – except for a few lewd questions from Taehyung that Seokjin quickly cut off with a loud threat to drop them both in the middle of a road – but, overall, nice.

Seokjin even found himself enjoying the trip, when Taehyung persuaded him into running into the frame while Jungkook was taking photos. It quickly turned into a chase between all three of them, where the youngest was easily outrunning them both – only to spend too much time setting the camera, enough for them to catch up and proudly stand in front of it again.

Seokjin left the couple to their games soon enough – he was too old for that much unnecessary running, even if he’d never admit it out loud. Instead, he went for an ice cream stall nearby, the shore along the Golden Gate Bridge filled with all kinds of options to rest. The boys hurried to join him in some five minutes – maybe, genuinely looking after him, but most likely just sensing that they’re in for some free sweets.

He didn’t bother with thinking about it for too long, just gave them two cones and a wild eye roll at Jungkook’s suggestion of mint chocolate.

Poor boy.

Seokjin bought him chocolate instead, maybe it’ll fix him.

They spent the rest of the day just hanging around, looking for pretty views in chase of the boys’ aesthetic pleasure (“while the most handsome man is right here, huh”). After the bridge they went for Twin Peaks, then Oakland Bay Bridge, then center of the city once again – with an obvious drop by 'Wings' – before hurrying to the beach, where Namjoon was already waiting for them.

“You survived?” He chuckled, pulling Seokjin closer for a moment, just a squeeze on the shoulder that was enough to make him smile.

“Not really. They were playing their favorite songs.”

“You said you liked them!” Taehyung immediately exclaimed with offended pout on his lips.

Jungkook behind his back bristled with amusement – but quickly added, “Better not to joke about his music taste, Seokjin-ssi.”

“Me? Joking? Never did such thing,” though he did pat Taehyung on the back, just to make sure they were clear.

The boy only nodded at him with a softer expression – and immediately pointed down the seashore. “Let’s go that way, we haven’t been there yet.”

Wasn’t it the same everywhere?

But no one objected.

The sun was already caressing the outline of dark water on the horizon. The day was slowly coming to an end. Kids and dogs were blissfully running around, happily meeting the warmth of nearing September. The fog allowed them all to have a peaceful day at last – it was now only a haze, hiding sunrays above the skyline.

Seokjin took a deep breath and pulled a blanket tighter over his shoulders. Despite the summer warmth, it was still chilly near the ocean, especially so close to twilight.

“You’re cold, Seokjin-ssi?”

Taehyung finally reached him. The boy left the other two knee-deep in water some ten minutes ago, to walk intentionally towards Seokjin – but kept straying away from his course to study some things in the sand.

The man only huffed and fidgeted under the blanket, “Not everyone is a walking oven like that one,” and nodded in the direction of his partner.

Namjoon didn’t pay him any heed – probably because he was some dozen feet away – focused solely on the sand. His small bucket was lying next to the hole he dug, water splashing between the toes as he stood still, waiting for something to appear. Most likely, another crab – but judging by the look on his face, it could’ve been a genie.

“Balancing things out?”

“Kind of.”

Taehyung flopped down next to him and only then responded with a wide grin. Was he expecting for Seokjin to give up on his thin-but-soft specifically-bought-for-beach blanket? The man frowned, clutching material – just in case the other will try to take it away (which was, actually, possible) – but Taehyung didn’t even look at him.

He straightened his legs, totally unbothered by the sand sticking to his wet feet and seeping into jeans, and leaned back on his hands. He looked like he was enjoying the moment to the fullest, soft smile and soft gaze directed at the sun, Jungkook, or the whole universe in front of him.

Seokjin decided not to bother him, only after a couple of moments went back to his own staring. The water was whispering something in clear distance, glimmering under setting sun; couples, and kids, and parents, and an old lady with a poodle were creating a nice, low murmur all around them; Namjoon was crouching in the swaying water, explaining something to his son, the two of them giggling when a sudden wave splashed over the elder’s knees. Yeah, there were things to get lost in for a moment.

“Jin-ssi?”

“Hm?”

“Can I ask you a personal question?”

“Is it related to mine or Namjoon’s sex life?”

He snickered. “No.”

“Go ahead then.”

“Why him?”

It took Seokjin less than two seconds to turn to the boy with an absolutely emotionless expression. What, again?

The question was, apparently, written all over his face as Taehyung immediately descended into a fit of laughter. “No, I don’t mean it like- god, you should’ve seen your face,” he even cut himself off with a giggle before clearing his throat again, gaze – calmer and deeper – coming back to Seokjin. “I know Kookie asked you, uh, things, but I don’t mean it… I was just curious myself. You met when, ten years ago?”

“Eleven.”

Taehyung chuckled – but obediently corrected. “Eleven. And you, um, you…”

“We fell in love, yes,” his gaze immediately darted to Namjoon’s frame against the dark blue of the ocean, “and had sex, depending what you mean.”

“Both, I guess.” Taehyung smirked again, this time softer, thoughtful eyes studying Seokjin’s face with an almost uncomfortable attentiveness, before politely turning to the horizon as well.

He was quiet for a bit, maybe thinking through the answer – or his own question – or just studying Jungkook’s sand castle. The thing was quite impressive, for sure.

“Why did you fall in love?” And before Seokjin could do as much as comprehend the absurdity of the question, hurried to explain, “I mean, you, you knew he was married, and it’s not gonna last – unless…” He gave Seokjin a questioning look – but the man only shook his head.

No, Namjoon had never gave him any promises.

“That’s what I thought. It’s just that sometimes I look at you and wonder what was it like before. How would it be if you never met again? Couldn’t you choose someone else? Was it worth it? What was so special about it?”

“You two love difficult questions.” Seokjin gave him a humorless chuckle, unseeing gaze staring at the sand.

“Yeah. Maybe, because everything’s so different when we look at you.” A note of sweet nostalgia reflected through his speech, fingers mindlessly gathering sand in the fist. “We know each other for as long as I can remember. Of course, not everyone’s like that, but,” he paused to shrug, “it’s hard to imagine falling so easily. We confessed two years after first kiss, because it was scary to admit, to,” he raised both hands to clasp them in a lock, sand splashing everywhere, “fit the feelings and friendship together. But he's always been my Jungkookie – and you, you could’ve walked away, couldn’t you?” Finally, Taehyung looked at him again, questioning and serious. “Hyung would never be yours, so why, why would you choose this?”

Seokjin was quiet for a few seconds, absent gaze studying tiny pieces of sand between his fingers.

It was such a weird question.

“I’d never have another chance for this. I could walk away – but I couldn’t unlove him, could I?”

“But was it-”

“Yes,” he cut, maybe a bit too harsh – but why so many people kept questioning his feelings? – before continuing with a calmer tone, “yes, it was strong enough, and it was special, and it was worth it.” He looked up, at the other two finally paving their ways toward them, Namjoon carefully holding something in his hands, Jungkook carrying the bucket just as gently.

“May I ask you a personal question?”

“Of course.”

“Why did you ask me this?”

“I was just curious, sorry, did I make you uncomfortable? I’m sorry.”

“No, I mean,” Seokjin frowned mindlessly, gaze searching for something over the beach, “why did you think I’d choose something else?”

“It’s obvious, isn’t it?” There was soft amusement in the boy’s voice. “Because you are a person that can choose whoever they want.”

Seokjin chuckled at that, zero joy in the sound, and gave Taehyung a quick, almost sad glance. “Why would I want anyone else?”

“Jin-ah, look!”

Namjoon came just in time for the two of them to finish the conversation, Taehyung not showing any intention to reply, only smiling with a warm look in his eyes.

Even before Namjoon opened the lock of his hands, Seokjin asked with hidden amusement, “Is it another crab?”

It was another crab.

Actually, Namjoon had already caught a dozen of these ones, all looking the same: pale, small, and fiercely harmless. Seokjin considered it his duty to point at the fact – but his partner immediately protested.

“They are not the same, look, that one has a spot behind his eyes.”

Oh yeah, there were, indeed, tiny spots Seokjin first confused with sand – and so, he sighed with compliance.

At the same time Taehyung pointed at Jungkook’s bucket, “What’s in there then?”

“Oh, you know, just-“

Splashes reached even Seokjin, the man letting out a sound – perhaps a bit too loud – of surprise and confusion. Which was nothing compared to Taehyung’s face, his whole upper body covered with cool salty water.

“Jung- Hey, no, come back here, Kook-ah, where’s your respect!”

And like that, they disappeared, shattering (or, maybe, completing) the view of the beach with loud laughter and innocent threats. The other two looked after them, still for a few seconds, fond smiles on their faces – yeah, long time ago they’d be the same – before Namjoon moved to sit down. On the other side of Seokjin. Taehyung’s place was slowly soaking with remnants of water.

“So, how are we going to name him?”

Seokjin fidgeted under blanket, snuggling closer to Namjoon’s side. He was warmer here, more peaceful, more content. The sights around them were serene enough – but that was the last piece he needed.

“What about Henry? One of my clients,” he quickly explained to Seokjin’s questioning look, before returning his attention to the creature. “Though I think it’s a girl, look how pretty she is, didn’t even pinch me- ow!”

If ‘she’ didn’t pinch him, then Seokjin for sure meant to.

“Prettier than me?” He gave Namjoon wide, innocent look and pouty lips, tilting his head in faux surprise.

The man only smirked, still rubbing the suffered thigh, and raised his other hand higher as if trying to compare. The restless and oblivious crab was tiptoeing on his palm. Seokjin was patiently waiting for the verdict.

Finally, Namjoon sighed with exaggerated sadness and shook his head. “If only your eyes were sticking out of your body.”

“At least I have great pincers,” and he wasn’t afraid to show them, pinching the other’s side until Namjoon, still laughing, caught his hands.

Henry was proudly stomping away.

“You are the prettiest, who am I to question three journal rankings?”

“And two TV shows.”

“And two TV shows,” Namjoon obediently corrected and pressed a kiss to his hair. “Are you cold, the Most Seductive Man of Korea 2015?”

Seokjin only shook his head, wondering what the fact that Namjoon was keeping up even with such silly titles of his was giving him. Probably nothing, except for a shy smile and a warm glimmer deep inside his chest.

They sat like that for a while, Namjoon’s hand on his shoulder, Seokjin’s head – on his. The boys were now trying to pull each other deeper in the water without getting wet, which was a senseless task because they both were covered in splashes already.

Is that what family feels like?

“What were you talking about?”

“Hm?”

“With Tae.”

“Oh,” Seokjin’s gaze lowered to the knees right in front of him, “nothing serious.”

“Yeah?” Namjoon’s thumb was gently rubbing his shoulder.

“Yeah. Just you.”

“Oh?” He paused. “Was it flattering at least?”

Seokjin smirked and nodded. “Yes, pretty much.”

“Okay then. Good.”

And they both giggled, pulling closer.

Only something was tugging at the edge of Seokjin’s mind, and the more attention that something was pulling, the more tension he could feel. Not his own, no, but-

“Joonie?”

“Hm?”

He finally raised his head, eyes searching for the reason behind Namjoon’s fingers fiddling with the material of his blanket and his jawline looking all set and serious. “Something’s wrong?”

“What? No, no, of course, of course, no, everything’s fine.”

Very convincing.

Seokjin shifted, pulling away only to give Namjoon a proper look of disapproval. “What’s wrong, Joonie? Did you forget to lock the door again?”

At that Namjoon chuckled, a tiny bit of his tension dying away. “No, I promise, I checked everything.”

“Good, cause I’m not in the mood for a rush.” He smiled softer, eyes still peering at Namjoon. “What is it then?”

The man kept chewing on his lips for a few more seconds, averted gaze travelling over the sand – before finding Seokjin’s again, small sigh of surrender escaping him. “This is not,” he chuckled nervously, pushing a hand through the strands, scratching the back of his head, “this is not how it supposed to be.”

Seokjin’s frown only grew deeper, head tilting in confusion – what? What supposed to be? It was slowly making him nervous as well. Namjoon was rarely showing so much, especially in public.

It was something important then, whatever ‘it’ was.

“God, it’s like I’m talking to a crush from high school.”

And Seokjin smiled – feeling, weirdly, a bit breathless at the words – and cooed, “Oh, do you have a crush on me, Joonie?”

Namjoon didn’t laugh.

“Yeah, I, actually, I think I love you.” Seokjin blinked. “No, I mean, I’m sure, I know that I love you.”

He froze, unable to do anything, to say anything, only heart suddenly clear and loud in his chest. What was that, what did he, what, what?

Namjoon caught his gaze and smiled, awkward, sheepish, cute, hand squeezing Seokjin’s shoulder ever so tightly, like it was glued.

“I know, uh, I know we don’t really say it – but I wanted to, even before we arrived, but then there was that thing with Kook, and I kind of left it for later, but this,” he let out a nervous cackle, “this is really not how it supposed to be, but I guess, I guess it is now.”

Seokjin was quiet throughout the whole mumble of a speech, trying to make his brain work, and his heart – calm the fuck down for a moment, he’s trying to focus, thank you very much. He was quiet, long enough for Namjoon’s face to start losing its affectionate shyness, hesitant frown smearing over his eyes – but even then all Seokjin could pull off was, “But you said it already.”

“Oh. Oh, right, but it was, I don’t know, it slipped off, but I wanted to make it more official. More romantic? Not sure if that one worked out though.” He chuckled at the sand, a low uncertain sound, and Seokjin frowned this time, because it was. It was chaotic, yes, but sincere and beautiful, and why would he need anything else – but Namjoon kept going.

“I wanted to make sure you know what I mean.” The hand finally let go of his shoulder in order to find his hand under the layer of blanket and squeeze, Namjoon’s eyes finding their fingers and focusing on them with a more serious, concentrated frown. “I know there’s a lot more for us to get through. It’s been a few months, and Jungkook did get a point – that is too early for, well, for all of that.”

He paused again with an awkward smile, unblinking as he was, looking for the words. Seokjin’s heart was somewhere in his throat, eyes staring at Namjoon so openly anyone else could think they were in a middle of life-changing confession. Oh, wait.

“It is too early – but with you it feels like I’m eleven years late. I couldn’t give you everything then – but now I can, and I want, and I will. If you'll let me.”

Finally, he raised his head, eyes – deep, serious, loving – finding Seokjin’s as a final touch of the delivered secret.

“When I saw you there, in that room, I couldn’t believe. When we went for that show, and you held my hand, I couldn’t believe. When you let me in, when you kissed me, when you,” Seokjin automatically squeezed his hand – Namjoon wasn’t actually going to include a blowjob in his confession, was he, “said you want to be with me,” oh, “I couldn’t believe. I couldn’t believe how lucky I am – but I knew I can’t let go. I see my life with you, Jinnie, and I will never let go, not again. I love you.”

Seokjin blinked. Took a deep breath. Collected the rest of his thoughts scattered in between the crashing waves of feelings.

“I’m sorry, Joon-ah, but I’m not ready yet, I need more time, is that okay?” was what he supposed to say.

“I love you” was what left his mouth instead – and his eyes immediately widened in realization.

Namjoon, who was observing him carefully, lovingly, with attention of a person who was content with where his heart belonged, read the expression easily, soft smirk coming to his lips. “You don’t have to reply now, Jinnie, it’s okay. I only-“

“No, I mean, I mean it,” he blurted out suddenly, all warm, and shy, and eager, and finally, finally ready. What was there to wait for? What was there to fear? Be careful about? Be patient?

What was there to hide?

“I’m not that good with words, but I, I don’t want you to let go, I don’t want to lose you, ever again. I want to be with you, I, I want to spend my life with you too,” god, why it was making so light, so empty-headed to say it out loud, “I love you, Joon, Joonie, I love you.”

At that Namjoon’s expression finally changed, smirk disappearing, only corners of his lips still turned upwards to give way to warm feelings dancing in his eyes. “Yeah?”

Seokjin swallowed, blinked again, this time to get rid of blur dots in the corners of his eyes, and nodded with a shaky chuckle. “Yeah.”

And, without another word, they kissed, frantically almost, lips searching for each other’s warm presence, for a way to express the yearning of the hearts, the mutual happiness. They didn’t even need to deepen the kiss, to go beyond simple pressure, breath to breath, skin to skin.

“Are these tears in your eyes?”

“Yeah? Maybe,” and Namjoon raised a hand to swipe across Seokjin’s cheek with a thumb, “but would you look at that?” There were clear wet traces on the pad.

Oh.

Seokjin couldn’t even pout in response, only sniffled with a giggle and scooped closer, Namjoon’s arm finding its place around his shoulders once again.

Boyfriends. Partners. Lovers. Has anything changed? Not really. But, in the grand scheme of things, Seokjin felt a bit more content, a bit more peaceful with his place.

Because Namjoon said he sees their life together. Because Namjoon’s place was right next to his.

“Joon-ah?”

“Yes?” And, to accompany the word, he pressed a kiss to Seokjin’s head, strings of love still pulling them closer.

“Can they find their way home?”

Namjoon hummed in confusion, hand squeezing his shoulder a bit tighter. He was warm too, warmer than before, hidden tension in the muscles under Seokjin’s ear, fingers a bit more restless than usual.

“The boys.”

“Oh, yeah, I think so, why?”

Seokjin rolled his eyes – such a teenager – and raised his head, lips finding Namjoon’s without further ado, teeth pulling for a mere second. Thankfully, it was enough for the man to exhale with recognition.

“Because the man I love is leaving tomorrow, and I’d like to spend some quality time with him today. On our own. Preferably, in bed.”

Namjoon had no complaints whatsoever.

 

“Can you, maybe, not leave?”

“No, sorry, I can’t.”

“You sure?”

“Yeah, I’m pretty sure.”

“…We can buy you clothes here.”

He chuckled, endeared, and shook his head. “Sorry.”

“Not fair. But you’ll be back soon?”

“I’ll be back soon.”

“And then?”

“And then I’ll never leave again.”

Huff. “Liar.”

“Alright, alright – but I’ll always be back.”

“Always?”

“Yes, I promise.”

“Dad, I think we better hurry up.”

Seokjin breathed in, tightening the hold on his partner in the face of myriad noises rushing to burst their bubble.

“Okay, just a second, Jinnie?”

“Sure.” He pushed himself away from Namjoon’s shoulder, pulling a cheerful smile on. “Can’t get enough of that beauty, huh?”

Namjoon didn’t even flinch, cupping his cheek and pulling for a quick kiss. “I’ll be back soon, okay? I love you, Jin-ah.”

And his smile faltered, lips hurrying to respond, to whisper, “I love you too,” to kiss – and let go with a smaller, sincere smile. “I’ll be waiting.”

Sorry, I, I’m sorry to interrupt,” sudden unfamiliar voice entered Seokjin’s slightly dazed mind. “Are you Kim Seokjin?”

Oh right. Flight to Seoul. Koreans. Lots of Koreans.

Who?” He turned to the girl with polite but confused smile. “No, sorry, I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

She hurried to apologize – but surprised, curious gaze kept darting to his face – and left to join a company of friends. Mostly girls. Still looking their way.

Seokjin sighed and pulled his mask up. “No rumors needed,” he replied shortly to Taehyung’s confused gaze. “So, are you leaving or what?”

“Are you done or what?”

“Shameless.” Seokjin huffed, pursing lips at Taehyung’s delighted grin, feeling soft smirk against his own temple. “You know I can take back my invitation for winter holidays, right?”

The boy only gasped, while Jungkook next to him narrowed his eyes in suspicion. “You wouldn’t.”

“What makes you think so? You don’t know the depths of my cruelty,” and he imitated a Disney movie villain’s laugh.

Even Jungkook couldn’t contain an amused chuckle – before turning to Namjoon again, “Dad, you coming?”

“Yeah, yeah.” But the grip on Seokjin’s waist didn’t falter.

“Joonie, come on.” This time Seokjin was the one to remind, much softer, turning head to peck his partner’s cheek. “Text me when you can.”

“Okay.” Namjoon sighed with compliance – but lingered to give him one last kiss on the lips. “I love you.”

And Seokjin melted into a smile, chasing the kiss – so what if through mask, it didn’t make it any less pleasant – and murmuring softly.

“Love you too, Joonie.”

 

[19:12] on our seats

[19:12] everything’s fine

[19:15] kook said we’re gross

[19:16] tae said we’re cute

[19:16] i guess it’s a win?

of course [19:18]

kim seokjin never loses [19:18]

kinda miss you [19:20]

call me from Seoul? [19:21]

[19:22] it's gonna be 3AM here?

so? :( [19:22]

[19:22] kkk

[19:23] okay

have a safe flight [19:24]

[19:25] <3

[19:25] see you soon

:) [19:27]