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In the previous life ( and maybe the next too )

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The first time Jin saw him, he thought the other man was drunk. It was early in the morning and he had just opened the bakery barely ten minutes ago when the man had quite literally stumbled in, tripping twice as he made his way to the counter. Seokjin doubted whether the blush dusting the other's cheek was from embarrassment or some intense late night partying. He looked young, maybe in his last year of college?

 

He smiled his best how-can-i-help-you-sir smile, otherwise known as the retail worker smile™. "What can I get for you, sir?"

 

The man brought his gaze up from the various arrays of donuts and pastries that he had baked that very morning to look at Jin, looking rather like a surprised deer. Jin couldn't help but notice that this guy had horrifying dark circles, and match that with his wrinkled clothes and stressed face and you get a very burnt out look.

 

So no partying, probably a student who just pulled an all nighter on a very important assignment and needed serious sustenance and a will to live ( he is exposed to Taehyung on a daily basis, he knows the look all too well ).

 

The other is still staring at him with a far off look, so Jin prompts him again. "Sir?"

 

He finally snaps out of his daze and ducks his head, look at Jin shyly as he was a little kid even though he was taller and for all intents and purposes appeared like he was just dragged through hell.

 

"Um, could I have some strawberry muffins? And two americanos please. To go."

 

Jin nodded and went around making his order. The other workers weren't here yet and it was too early even for his regulars, so they were the only people in the bakery currently. He liked this, this moment of peace every morning before work began in full swing. There was never a customer this early, it was barely six in the morning after all. Even his earliest co worker never showed up before seven.

 

He packed the muffins and the coffee in a cute pink bag stamped with the bakery logo and handed them to the man. He had zoned out again, and took the bag with a startled look. He cradled it as if it was something precious and fished out his wallet to pay.

 

His wallet. Which he dropped. The tight hold on the bag suddenly made much more sense.

 

He picked it up and smiled shyly and god damn it was the cutest thing ever ( there were dimples ) and all Seokjin wanted to do was to wrap him up in blankets and take care of him. He felt like that 'my precious' guy from the time he sat through a movie marathon back in college. Which was frankly creepy, so he squashed the thought because this was a fully grown human and not some god forsaken ring.

 

"Have a good day!", he chirped instead and the guy nodded and went out, giving him one last smile. Not a bad way to start the day, in Jim's not so humble opinion.

 


 

Namjoon smiled hesitantly at Yoongi and held up the bag. "Muffins?"

 

The shorter male said nothing, just arched an eyebrow.

 

"And I have coffee."

 

"Come in."

 

Namjoon carefully put the bag from the bakery on the table and then crashed on the sofa, sinking into the soft material, closing his eyes. However hard ass his friend may prefer to be, he always had the most comfortable furniture.

 

"So what was the call from the company about? You pulled an unplanned all nighter and we both know that that's my thing."

 

He sighed. "You can't even imagine. Minah decided that she was unsatisfied with the song halfway through the recording process, and with the comeback so close…"

 

Namjoon did not need to see the other to know he was pulling his disgusted face.

 

"We needed you there, Mr. Min Genius."

 

There was an answering scoff. "Well I don't work with her and you're the one with the crazy IQ so don't complain."

 

He opened his eyes and looked at the other, who had seated himself near his feet and was busy rummaging through the package. "How's Hobi?"

 

"Still sleeping," he answered without looking at him. "God Namjoon, I thought your kid would never run out of energy."

 

He chuckled at that. Hoseok was an energetic little five year old, practically having all the energy of the sun condensed into a tiny human body. A fact which his 'Uncle Yoongi!' claimed was very frustrating, but Namjoon knew that Yoongi secretly adored the boy if his constant spoiling was any indication.

 

"He tried to wait up for you", the aforementioned man was saying, "saying how he needed to give you a goodnight kiss so that you get happy dreams."

 

And that was just too sweet for poor Namjoon's heart. His kid was too cute, and Namjoon was Weak with a capital W. His attempt of trying to melt into a puddle was fortunately interrupted by the grumblings of his friend.

 

"I never get a goodnight kiss."

 

It was low and clearly not meant for his ears but Namjoon heard anyway. He grinned and said, "You could have just asked him for one."

 

Yoongi choked on his coffee. "I don't need a damn goodnight ki–"

 

"Yes hyung, because you're a complete badass who totally does not take a hundred pictures whenever Hobi does something."

 

"I was–"

 

"Pass the muffins please."

 

The other glared at Namjoon, who shot his best innocent expression. Yoongi put down his nearly empty cup of coffee with a sigh and fished out two muffins from the bag, passing one to the younger while taking a small bite from the one in the other hand.

 

His eyes widened slightly. "Fuck Joon, where did you get these from?"

 

"Just a bakery on my way from the studio? Why? Do they suck? Oh shit hyung did I accidentally give you food poisoning–"

 

"Does this fucking bakery have Jesus working for them because these are the best things I have ever eaten and I don't even like strawberries that much."

 

Namjoon paused and stared at the muffin in his hand. They definitely looked good, but these have to be exceptional to get that amount of praise from Min Yoongi of all people. He tentatively took a bite.

 

Sweet tears of Ryanbear he actually saw god smiling at him for a second holy shit–

 

"Dad! Good morning!"

 

He was suddenly attacked by a small hyper blur who hugged him tightly.

 

"You're back!"

 

Namjoon smiled and hugged Hoseok back, running his fingers through the boy's feather soft hair. "I'm sorry for being so late."

 

Hoseok leaned back, shooting him a blinding smile. "It's okay! Uncle Yoongi is lots of fun! We watched movies and he cuddled me a lot!"

 

The producer didn't know whether to be offended that his kid pretty much admitted to liking his best friend rather than him, or take this golden moment to tease said best friend.

 

"Not one word Namjoon."

 

Namjoon just grinned at his hyung, whose self conscious blush showed up beautifully on his pale skin. It wasn't often that he saw him get flustered, and Namjoon was going to enjoy every moment of that. After all, blackmail material is hard to find when your best friend is Yoongi.

 

He refocused his attention on Hobi when he felt a small finger poking his cheek.

 

"Daaaad!"

 

"Yes?"

 

"Can I get cookies? In one of the movie the monster gave the kids blue cookies! Blue cookies, dad!"

 

Namjoon chuckled at his child's excited ramblings. Hoseok had a sweet tooth and a black hole for a stomach. He really shouldn't be fuelling his kid's sugar cravings, his mother's warnings of cavities and stomach aches appearing in this mind ( and not that Hoseok needed any more energy ) but he just couldn't help caving in when those cute puppy dog eyes were focused on him.

 

He'd just have to make sure that Hoseok brushed his teeth properly at night.

 

"How about this? We can get those cookies tomorrow. They won't be blue," he warned, and then hastily added on seeing Seok's disappointed face, "and I got you muffins! Your favourite!"

 

The boy's eyes instantly brightened. It was like a flower blooming, the way his mouth lost the upturned v shape it got whenever he was upset and unfurled into his unique heart shaped smile.

 

"You're the best dad!", Hobi cheered, craning his neck to look at Yoongi. "Don't be sad uncle Yoongi! I love you too!"

 

Said man averted his eyes and coughed into his hand, something that he did whenever he got ruffled.

 

"Whatever, kid."

 


 

The second time Jin saw him, it took a moment for his brain to click and make the connection with the customer that just walked into his bakery and the cute mess he saw the other day. When his brain finally kicked in however, he nearly dropped the tray of scones he had just taken out of the oven.

 

The man definitely cleaned up well. When yesterday he looked utterly huggable with messy hair and a nice oversized sweater, today he had gelled back his locks and wore a black leather jacket. If Seokjin had not come to terms with his sexualtiy years ago, this would be as good a moment as any to realize that he, Kim Seokjin, was gay.

 

His customer suddenly tripped on nothing, and yeah. This was definitely the same guy.

 

Jin's eyes fell on the small figure next to the man, a ridiculously adorable kid speaking a mile a minute. Judging by the slight similarity of the faces, he was related to Dimples. Nephew maybe? Surely the age difference would be too great for it to be his brother? The child looked around five to six years old at most. Or maybe...the son? If that was the case, then he had definitely underestimated the age of the man.

 

Seokjin directed a smile ( sweeter than the ones he gave to the other customers, but no one needed to know that ) at Dimples and glanced down and felt his lips widen. He received a beaming grin in return from the cute child and a more reserved one from the guy.

 

"What would you like today, sirs?''

 

"Ah, do you hav-''

 

"You're really pretty!"

 

Both the adults whipped their heads towards the small boy, who was looking up at Jin. Aish, this kid just earned the spot of his favourite customer with just one line and a smile. He laughed lightly and thanked him, while Dimples blushed a very pretty shade of pink.

 

''I apologize for my son! He tends to say things without thinking a lot."

 

Jin ignored the slight pang of disappointment at hearing the word 'son' -this was just a more attractive than usual customer, it was not like he was a teenager with a crush or anything! Instead, he focused on the conversation at hand.

 

''It's okay! Please don't trouble yourself, it was a very sweet compliment. Quite a charmer, aren't you?" he said, directing the last question to the child.

 

His favourite customer smiled widely, showing off a row of perfect teeth. "It's true! You look like those idols on tv!''

 

His father coughed awkwardly into his hand and averted his eyes when Jin started at him curiously.

 

"He's...Hobi's not wrong though."

 

Kim Seokjin does not get flustered over simple compliments, especially when he had been praised for his looks for most of his life. Kim Seokjin definitely does not turn his eyes to the floor shyly, forgetting all his experience at showing outward confidence even when he was feeling anything but.

 

But it seems that all it takes to betray himself was cute customers with cute kids. A cute customer that was very much taken, he reminded himself. He was twenty five for god's sake, way past the age to be having silly crushes.

 

He refocused his attention yet again. The other man's face was angled towards the confections on display. The child- Hobi tugged on his father's pants, pointing towards the batch of cookies. Jin stifled a smile. His cousins too, loved his cookies the best even when they could ask him to make anything. It was a staple for kids, it seemed, no matter the age.

 

( Even Jungkook always asked for his cookies. As he said, a staple for kids. )

 

"Would you like the cookies, sir?''

 

 It was Hobi who answered his question, a small pout on his face. "They're not blue…''

 

His dad bent down and patted his hair in a consoling manner. ''I know, sunshine. But don't they look good anyway?'' Straightening up, he addressed Jin, an apologetic note in his voice. ''I'm sorry, its just something he saw in a cartoon and wants to try.''

 

Jin laughed and waved away his apology. "Food in animations always look so good, no? I used to ask my mother to make them too. It never did really look the same in real life, but it was fun.'' On considering, colorful cookies really was a nice idea. It would make the classic baked good even more pleasing. "I can bake a batch of blue cookies next time, they sound good!''

 

The tiny kid perked up on hearing that, eyes practically sparkling with hope. "Really?''

 

Jin nodded. ''Really! I'd maybe make some others too, like pink! It's my favourite.''

 

''Can you make green too? I love green!''

 

"Of course!''

 

Dimples looked at him again, and Jin was not going to let him say sorry for the third time that day. Before he could open his mouth, the baker said, "It's not a trouble, trust me. This is more of a fun project,'' he assured.

 

''But-''

 

''You can come pick them up next week if you want.''

 

The man looked like he was about to protest, but then his lips quirked up and he nodded. "Then please just back us some muffins again, please. Two of them.''

 

"Strawberry ones!''

 

Jin cooed at the cute boy and said, ''Sure Hobi. Oh, can I call you that?''

 

"Yeah! You can call me Hobi! Or Seokie! That's what dad and uncle Yoongi call me! But miss Youngsun at school calls me Hoseok, so you can call me that too!'' He then jabbed his finger at his father, who was watching him speak with a fond look. "And dad's name is Namjoon!''

 

''I'm Seokjin, but call me Jin. Everyone does.''

 

With the introductions and the replies of 'nice to meet you' out of the way, he turned around and busied himself with packing up the food ( and slipping in a brownie for the kid who quite frankly stole his heart in the span of thirty minutes ). His favourite customer, hands down.

 


 

"Wooow! You really made them!''

 

Jin grinned proudly, watching Hoseok praise the cookies. He knew that just simple cookies made blue with food coloring would have been enough, but he was here to impress, dammit. Which means colorful cookies with colored white chocolate inside and cute designs on top, which surely any kid would like.

 

"Of course I really made them. Kim Seokjin does not go back on his promises."

 

Hoseok's eyes widened. "You're a Kim too? Like me and dad! Are you related to us?"

 

Namjoon ( and wasn't he glad, finally getting to know the name of dimples ) laughed and started to explain that Kim was a very common surname in Korea, but evidently all that went over Hobi's head or he decided to ignore the words, that brat because his next question was addressed to Jin.

 

"Can I call you dad then?"

 

What.

 

He didn't want to know exactly what prompted the child to ask that. Currently all he wanted to know was how to answer that question, preferably without hurting any feelings. Thankfully, Namjoon answered it for him, saving him from a potentially disastrous situation.

 

"Seokie, you already have a dad."

 

Hoseok thought for a moment, fingers coming up to caress his chin in an imitation of the 'serious thinking pose'. Both the adults hoped he would drop the matter, but the Hobi's eyes brightened in some kind of understanding and they knew it was different from what they were trying to make him understand.

 

"I can have two dads then!" He then shot a blinding smile at his father. "There's nothing wrong with that, right dad?"

 

God, this was one sly kid. Jin glanced at Namjoon, curious to see how he would get out of this one. Either he can refuse and sound like he was against same sex couples – of course, he may be against them, Jin had no way of knowing, but it just didn't seem to fit what he knew about the other person. Or he can accept, which would mean that his kid would be calling a person who was not related to them in either way, dad.

 

The man simply smiled down patiently. "There's nothing wrong with it–"

 

"So I can call him dad?"

 

"Let me finish, sunshine. Everyone with the same surname aren't related, okay?"

 

Hoseok's eyes widened again, and Jin just knew that the kid that taken it to mean something else.

 

"You're not family?" There is was.

 

"What!? No, I meant– Of course I'm your family!" Namjoon sighed, and then said, "You haven't asked Jin yet if he's okay with it."

 

The boy whirled around, a huge grin on his face. "You're okay with it, right Jin?''

 

The boy really didn't need to show those puppy dog eyes of his ( he's long immune though, prolonged exposure to Park master-of-puppy-dog-eyes Jimin does that to a person ). Jin had absolutely zero problems with letting the adorable child call him dad, but unfortunately, life was an adult was not as easy as life a kid. Adults had to bear responsibilities and be logical.

 

He half heartedly glared at Namjoon, who was behind the whole problem ( he couldn't blame cute Hobi! ). If only the man had put more of an effort in explaining things to his son then Jin wouldn't be in this place. Surely he would forever be immortalized in sweet Hoseok's eyes as the evil baker with no heart.

 

The man suddenly bent down to his son's height and pointed at a table. "Sunshine, why don't you reserve a table for us?''

 

"Dad! You didn't say the magic word!''

 

Bless kids and their short attention spans, Seokjin thought privately. Namjoon smiled and replied with a ''Please?'', and Hoseok ran off to a table beside the window. The father straightened and ran a hand through his ( very soft looking ) greyish brown hair, sighing before, he too, looked at Jin with cute as hell puppy dog eyes. Hoseok took to too many of his father's habits, and the duo were going to be the death of Jin.

 

"I am sorry for being so rude but could you please go along with it?''

 

Jin was quick to reassure him that no, he didn't mind, he knew how kids were. His main concern was something else entirely. "But won't his mother mind?"

 

Namjoon winced slightly, something that Jin would have missed had he not been staring so intensely at him. "He's, um" the man paused, taking a moment to gather himself before continuing, "he's my sister's son actually, but I'm taking care of him. And...it's complicated I guess."

 

Jin couldn't imagine what it was like, but his respect for Namjoon rose even higher. He could tell that the man was trying his best for the child, despite it not being his own. Hell, he could point out some of his own relatives who wouldn't take in their nephews or nieces if any incident happened.

 

He was curious exactly what the circumstances were, but he was not going to pry in this family's affairs. He smiled instead. "Then I have no problems."

 

Namjoon's expression morphed into one of surprise, making him look rather cute. It was unfair, how this man managed to look both hot as hell and cute as a bear. "Really?"

 

Jin laughed, feeling a sense of deja vu. He went through the same disbelieving routine with Hobi the previous week, if he remembered correctly. ''Yes Namjoon-ah, really.'' He handed over a plate of cookies to the other. "Now go and join Hobi, he's been sneaking glances at you from the table for the past few minutes.''

 

They both left after polishing up the plate, a smile and a nod from Namjoon and a sweet ''Goodbye papa!'' after a long speech on how Jin couldn't be dad since he already had dad Joonie and he was the best so naturally Jin had to be the papa but that doesn't mean I don't love you! from Hoseok.

 

Jin resolutely ignored his flushed cheeks and the teasing from his coworkers on adopting a kid. Sometimes he wondered why he even hired these idiots in the first place and- ''Amber noona please shut up and get to work!''

 


 

Namjoon calls Yoongi as soon as Hoseok falls asleep that night. It's not that late, and Yoongi usually stays awake well into the night despite the shorter's love for sleep. He claims that inspiration usually strikes him during the witching hour and Namjoon had long since stopped trying to get the man to adjust his sleep schedule. It works for him and he stays healthy, so why complain?

 

"Joon? Did you break something again?''

 

"Hyung...hyung am I a bad parent?''

 

He could visualize the elder straightening up on hearing the question, eyes sharpening like they always do when Yoongi decides to properly focus on anything. ''Of course not! What happened?''

 

He took a deep breath before speaking, hesitant to reveal the whole incident that happened in the morning. It didn't feel appropriate to tell it in a phone conversation for some reason, he would rather say it face to face. ''I just feel that he needs someone better, you know? A proper family. I'm trying, I really am, but I don't think it's enough.''

 

"Did Hoseok say that?''

 

"You know that he's a child hyung so obviously he didn't but-''

 

"Then why in hell are you thinking utter bullshit like that? Look, Namjoon-''

 

The father tried again to make Yoongi understand the issue here. It was not just some idea his insecurities had created, but based on proof. ''Yoongi hyung-''

 

''Don't you 'hyung' me, brat. Shut up and and just answer in yes or no, understood?'

 

Namjoon recognized the process. It was something the other did for him everytime he was feeling anxious or nervous. They had been friends since high school after all, Yoongi knew him as well as he knew Yoongi. His hyung was well aware that the best way to calm Namjoon down was to walk him through cold hard facts.

 

Yoongi didn't wait for an answer. Both of them knew that Namjoon was not going to refuse.

 

''That guy who your sister was with, he didn't want anything to do with her after she was pregnant, right?''

 

"Yes.''

 

''So even if Hoseok had stayed with his mother, would it have been a- as you put it- a proper family?''

 

''No, no it wouldn't. But-''

 

''I think I told you to shut up? And did Geongmin want to get an abortion?''

 

He shook his head, realizing a second later that the elder definitely couldn't see him right now. ''No,'' he said. His sister was adamant on that fact, claiming that if her boyfriend of 6 months was going to just leave her like that then she'll show him that she was good enough to care for a kid by herself.

 

( On hindsight, he should have seen it coming, proving yourself to your boyfriend is far from an ideal motive to raise a child. )

 

''But she gave up on the child when he was born and hated him so much she couldn't even bring herself to look at him. If we had forced her, would it have been a safe and healthy environment for Hoseok? Be honest.'' Yoongi's voice was sharp and biting, but he couldn't bring himself to take any offense. His sister's actions had disgusted him too.

 

''No it wouldn't have. I'm sorry hyung, I was just being stupid and took up so much of your time.''

 

Voice softening, the older man asked, ''What brought this on, Namjoonie?''

 

''About that…can you meet me on Thursday at the usual place? If you're free?''

 


 

Yoongi put down his coffee. ''So you're saying Hoseok called the guy, dad?''

 

''Papa'', Namjoon corrected while setting down his own cup. They were at a cafe owned by one of their friends, Jackson. He had inherited it from his family, and had taken over as soon as he graduated from college.

 

''Dad, papa, whatever. And you thought that's why Hoseok needed another parental figure in his life?''

 

The younger nodded. ''He seemed really excited, you know? With me being so busy with work, maybe he's lonely.''

 

Yoongi raised an eyebrow. ''There's me too,'' he pointed out. ''With how often the kid stays over and begs me to take him to the park you'd think he would be too busy having fun to even think about loneliness.''

 

Namjoon sighs and rubs a tired hand over his face. ''I know hyung, but it's not the same thing. You know what I mean.''

 

''No I don't. What I understand that Hoseok saw someone he liked had the same surname and reached the conclusion that they must be related. He's a kid, Joon. This is the kind of shit that kids do.''

 

''Wow I didn't know you were an expert on kids.''

 

The other producer reached over the table and flicked Namjoon on the forehead. ''I didn't come here to be disrespected by idiots.''

 

Namjoon was just about to swallow another mouthful of coffee when the question of ''So do you like Seokjin?'' reached his ears.

 

He choked.

 

''Wh- what do you mean?''

 

''Weeell,'' Yoongi began, drawing out the word. ''You've been single for a while, and from how you talk about the guy-

 

''Just aesthetical appreciation!''

 

"-you might as well go for it,'' he finished smoothly, ignoring Namjoon.

 

"We've only met like three times!''

 

''God, Joon I'm not telling you to go and marry him. Just try to ask him out on a first date!''

 

The Ilsan born frowned. "I am too busy with work and Hobi to even think of dating and stuff, you know that better than anyone. And I don't like Jin in that way!''

 

Yoongi leaned forward and rested his head in his hand. ''Hoseok loves him, I'd say you should really think this over. At least with him you don't have to worry about whether the kid would like him or not. He calls him papa for fuck's sake.''

 

"I don't know hyung, he was just excited to find someone with the same surname, there's probably no special meaning behin-'' Namjoon's eyes widened at the dawning realisation. ''Hyung you sly fucker.''

 

The aforementioned sly fucker smirked. "That's what I have been trying to hammer into your stupidly smart head since yesterday. You're a great father Joonie, never doubt that fact.''

 

Namjoon smiled shyly an ducked his head in silent thanks. There was a moment of peace as they both focused on their respective drinks until Yoongi put down his empty cup. "So, do you like Seokjin?''

 

"Hyung!''

 


 

Seokjin looked up from his intense staring at the cake - he couldn't decide between white or dark chocolate for the icing - when he heard the door open. Jaehwan popped his head in, grinning. "Your kid's here to see you!"

 

He disappeared, going back to manning the counters, ignoring his boss' squak of "He's not my kid!". Really, he was regretting hiring these morons. It's been three whole weeks since the whole 'dad' incident and his employees would not stop teasing him about it.

 

Nevertheless he left the kitchen and went to the main room, where Jaehwan and Amber were cooing over Hobi while Namjoon waved awkwardly at him. Even after seeing the man a grand total of fifteen times ( yes sue him he was keeping count ), he never failed to melt at how cute he - scratch that, how cute the two of them were.

 

Hobi and Namjoon were both sporting matching Ryan beanies, and if that was not the cutest thing ever he did not know what was.

 

Hobi's face brightened when he caught sight of him and he rushed forward to hug him. "Papa! Guess what?"

 

"What?" he asked, playing along.

 

"I have a dance show next month!" The boy shouted, waves of excitement rolling out from his tiny body.

 

Jin smiled back. "That's amazing! I know you'd be the best!"

 

Hobi blushed lightly and began babbling on about the dance routine, pausing here and there to show this step or that. He could see Jaehwan taking pictures of the child from his phone, and made a mental note to ask him for them later.

 

"Um," Namjoon intervened, "Jin, Hobi has something to ask you, don't you sunshine?"

 

Hoseok gasped and paused mid-spin, eyes coming to rest on Jin with renewed excitement. "You'd come to the show, right?"

 

"Ahem," coughed Namjoon.

 

"Please!" he tagged on.

 

Honestly, Namjoon really needed to stop making those puppy dog eyes of his. They were very dangerous for his heart and also useless for the situation. He did not need to shoot him those looks over Hobi's head, he was going to agree anyway.

 

Jin moved his gaze to Hobi again. "Of course! I won't miss it for the world!"

 

Hoseok whooped and hugged him once more, while Namjoon took out his phone and held it out to him.

 

"So," the man began, "I'd text you the details later? I mean it's okay if you're not okay with that I would just leave the information on a piece of paper or someth–"

 

His rambling was cut short when Jin laughed and took the offered phone, punching in his number while resolutely ignoring the whistles from the two idiots over at the counter ( they really should be focusing on serving the customers, not on his non existent love life ).

 

"Great, so uhm, I will message you."

 

Jaehwan finishes bagging the cake the ahjumma from the neighborhood ordered and shouts, "Jin finally got a date!"

 

Amber yells from beside him, and even the ahjumma congrats him.

 

"It's not a date!" Jin protests weakly, but of course he's ignored. Of course. When will the day come when his employees actually listen to him? Even Hoseok was joining them, Jin contemplated going out there on the road and getting run over by a car.

 

Namjoon was blushing to the tip of his ears ( fuck it was adorable ), eyes trained on the phone in his hands. "It's not a date," he mutters, but he too, is ignored.

 

Amber-noona cups her face in her hands, resting as if she owned the countertop. "Suuure. Just don't forget to invite us to be wedding."

 

Sometimes Jin wonders why he doesn't become an isolated sheep herder in Iceland instead of dealing with these shits. Namjoon said nothing ( a wise man, truly ) and just bows before picking up the usual order of strawberry flavored sweets – frosted donuts this time – and exits after paying.

 


 

unknown

 

8:32 pm

hi

 

Namjoon here

 

8:34 pm

hey Namjoon!!

 

:)

 

8:34 pm

so about the show

 

its on the 18th next month

 

starts at 7 pm

 

hope you're free?

 

8:35 pm

I'm free dw

 

how long is it??

 

8:35pm

2 hours

 

that's fine right?

 

I'll come to pick you up

 

I mean

 

if it's okay

 

8:35 pm

I don't want to trouble you, you can just tell me the location I'll be there

 

8:36 pm

it's no trouble

 

I insist

 

you're the one doing me a favor by coming

 

hobi would have been very sad

 

8:36 pm

no I want to come!

 

it's not a favor or anything

 

if you're sure then…

 

here's my address

 

8:37 pm

I'm sure

 

its honestly no trouble

 

8:37 pm

:)

 

8:37 pm

my friend yoongi would be coming too

 

he'd meet us at the venue

 

um he can be quite grumpy but I can assure you that's just how he is so don't take it to heart

 

8:38 pm

thanks for the head's up haha

 

sounds interesting

 

8:38 pm

that's not what most people say

 

usually it's 'sounds rude'

 

ah so

 

I'll pick you up at 6

 

8:38 pm

understood

 

I'll be ready by them :)

 


 

Namjoon smoothed down his shirt nervously before ringing the doorbell of Jin's apartment. He had already left Hoseok at the dance center an hour ago, and now it was time to pick up Jin so that they could go watch the performances.

 

He heard a faint "Coming!'' from the other side and his nervousness grew even more. It was ridiculous, his son was the star of the evening and here he was, more nervous than him. Mentally fortifying himself, he stared resolutely at the door when suddenly it swung open and there stood Seokjin in all his beauty.

 

The man looked enviably handsome even in the cute mario pattern apron he wore in the store, but now he looked positively stunning in a simple pink button down and black slacks. Namjoon mentally drew upon the god like self control powers of his best friend and smiled at the other ( he really hoped it looked casual instead of creepy ).

 

"You ready to go?'' He asked, holding out a hand.

 

Wait. Wait wait wait abort mission! He held it out reflexively because he always did it with Hoseok but this was Jin! He attempted to take it back as casually as possible, but Jin grabbed it before he could do that.

 

''Yes!'' Jin answered, holding his hand. ''Just let me close the door and then we can go.''

 

Jin let go of his hand for a moment to turn back and lock the door, reaching out to hold it again when he was done. The baker shyly glanced at him as if asking if it was okay, and Namjoon nodded, smiling reassuringly.

 

( He was dying on the inside. )

 

"Tell me about the programme, Joon-ah. You were very vague about it,'' Jin implored as they walked down the stairs.

 

"I don't know much myself, Hoseok insisted on it being a surprise.''

 

Jin hummed thoughtfully. "Whatever it is, I'm sure it would be very nice.'' He turned to smile at Namjoon again. "I am looking forward to it.''

 

Namjoon smiled back before motioning to his car. ''Me too. Seokie was very excited to perform it. Why, yesterday I had to stop him from practicing it at midnight. He was so full of energy he couldn't sleep.''

 

Jin laughed as Namjoon slid into the seat next to him and started the car. ''That excited, huh?''

 

''You can't even imagine.''

 

They lapsed into silence, and Namjon briefly toyed with the idea of starting a conversation before deciding against it. It was comfortable, and he saw no reason to break it. Eventually, it was Jin who spoke. ''Shouldn't we pick up some flowers?''

 

The producer refrained from banging his head on the steering wheel. He prided himself on his memory, but he fucking forgot to buy flowers for his own child. "I fail as a father,'' he muttered. On seeing Jin's questioning gaze, he clarified, ''I forgot to buy flowers. Thanks Jin.''

 

"It's okay! Doesn't mean you fail as a parent or anything like that. Why, my mother once forgot my birthday! You're really great Joon-ah!'' The man cleared his throat embarrassedly before speaking again. ''Um, so what I was saying was, we could pick up some flowers now?''

 

Namjoon nodded and pulled over next to the first florist he saw. He decided on a simple bouquet of yellow roses - Hoseok's favourite after sunflowers. He moved to pay when he noticed Jin oohing at some pretty pink roses. As if sensing his attention, Jin asked, "Aren't these beautiful?''

 

Namjoon nodded in agreement, a faint memory of the day Hoseok requested blue cookies resurfacing. "It's your favourite color, right?''

 

Jin looked surprised, fingers resting lightly on the petals of the roses.

 

"You mentioned it before," said Namjoon, answering the unasked question. He then moved to talk to the florist again. At this point Namjoon figured if he was going to fuck this up he might as well fuck this up all the way.

 

"I would also like the flower crown please- yes that one. The one with pink and white roses."

 

"Namjoon!"

 

He ignored all of Jin's complaints on how it was unnecessary and how he did not have to do that, paying for both of the items before handing over the flower bouquet to Jin and then gently placing the crown on his head.

 

"Hold this for me?" He asked referring to the bouquet.

 

The other opened his mouth, but then closed it again and huffed. "Sure. And thanks for the roses," he tagged on as they got into the car again.

 

"You're welcome, Jin."

 

The rest of the drive was again passed in silence, Namjoon focusing on driving and Jin looking out of the window. Out of the corner of his eyes he sometimes caught glimpses of the baker occasionally reaching his hand up go touch the flower crown, which was frankly really cute.

 

( He mentally called upon the Min Yoongi self control powers™ again to ensure he did not embarrass himself by saying anything. )

 

"We're here," he informed as he pulled into the parking lot of the dance center. He led the way inside, both of them grabbing a seat in the middle rows. Namjoon decided to make sure the seat next to him was empty for Yoongi.

 

He turned his head towards Seokjin, who was staring at the closed curtains with excitement. The show was about to start in five minutes ( and he really should have come earlier, they could have have been sitting in the front row ).

 

"You remember my friend that I told you about?"

 

"Ah the one who's coming? Yoongi, right?"

 

Namjoon nodded. "He'd be here in around fifteen minutes, he got caught up with some work."

 

Jin smiled understandingly. "What does he do?"

 

"He's a producer, same as me."

 

"You're a producer? That's amazing! Film?"

 

Namjoon scratched his neck, feeling a little shy with Jin's praise. It was hard to do and he and Yoongi had to go through hell to reach where they are now, but he was not amazing or anything.

 

"Um no, it's music," he clarified. "You might have heard some of them? There's Wondaland and Ashes. I mostly tend to work with hip hop and rap songs.''

 

Jin lowered his eyes apologetically and said, ''I'm sorry, I'm not very into the genre. But I'm sure you're wonderful at what you do!''

 

The producer waved the apology away. ''It's fine! Um, Yoongi worked on Suran's Wine, if it sounds familiar?''

 

"Ah I recognize that one! And I'd check out some of yours too, Joon-ah.''

 

Namjoon was starting to say about how it was not necessary and Jin didn't need to feel obliged to do that when the curtains rose and the event started. Both of them started and turned back to look towards the stage, where a cheerful woman was announcing the programmes. The first dance performance- a very well coordinated routine by some older kids- was halfway through when Yoongi sat down beside him.

 

His dark haired was ruffled, and the man had clearly rushed here. "Did I miss it?'' On Namjoon's head shake, he relaxed into his heat and waved lazily at Jin who was looking at him with a curious expression. ''Nice to meet you, I'm Yoongi. Or Suga. Whatever you wanna call me.''

 

Jin nodded and smiled at him. ''I'm Seokjin, call me Jin.''

 

Yoongi nodded and diverted his eyes to the stage, which the other two took as a cue that the conversation was over for now and they too, refocused on the stage. The first choreography had just ended, and there was one before before it was the turn of Hobi's class.

 

It came quicker than expected, and soon a group of five year olds were walking to the center of the stage with fierce looking expressions. Namjoon was not even surprised to see that Yoongi had whipped out his professional camera, it seemed like his best friend was determined to document every single moment of Hoseok's life.

 

( He's not complaining, he gets high quality videos and images of his child. )

 

The performance was great. It was nothing spectacular considering how young the kids were, but the effort they put into practice showed. They clearly looked like they were enjoying themselves out on the stage, having fun doing the choreography. Similar to Namjoon, Seokjin had whipped out his own phone to make a video of the whole thing and was making appreciative comments in between.

 

The whole event was nice, all the kids doing amazing at their respective dances. After it was done, most of the people got up to collect their children, the three of them following suit.

 

Namjoon saw Hoseok standing near the backstage door talking to his friends - his kid was as social as Namjoon was awkward - and he bent down to scoop up Hobi in a hug.

 

Hoseok yelped in surprise before laughing giddily. "Dad! Did you like it? Was it good?"

 

Namjoon smiled and buried his nose in his hair. "It was amazing! Wow sunshine, you sure you're not a dance god?"

 

Hobi giggled at that and Namjoon kissed his hair before moving his head to allow Yoongi to ruffle Hoseok's hair. "You did good, kid. We're proud of you."

 

"Really?" he asked, eyes shining with happiness. "Uncle Yoongi, you're not lying?''

 

Seokjin had been quiet, probably to allow them to speak to Hobi first. He held his hands out to Namjoon, head tilted slightly to one side, asking for permission to hold Hobi. The father paused for a moment, then took the bouquet from Jin's hands and passed Hoseok into him, who went willingly enough.

 

( Namjoon was surprised at how much and how fast Seokie had taken to Jin, if he was to be honest. )

 

"You were wonderful, sweetie,'' Jin murmured, smiling at Hoseok. ''Do you think any of us would lie to you?''

 

The child shook his head, then hesitantly bit his lip. ''But Seung Ho said that I sucked at dancing.''

 

Namjoon subtly gripped Yoongi's arm, trying to stop his friend from committing murder while Jin reassured Hoseok that no, this Seung Ho kid was just an idiot and you're really good at dancing, right Joon-ah?

 

Namjoon nodded, then remembered the flowers he was holding. He held them out to Hobi, who took it with wide eyes. "Flowers!'' he shouted with glee. Seokjin laughed at his enthusiasm and lowered him down to the floor so that he could stand.

 

"Just for you,'' said Namjoon.

 

Hoseok clutched the bouquet tightly, face breaking out in a large grin. It seemed to diffuse the situation, and even Yoongi let the incident go for now, and he was as protective as a dragon with its treasure.

 

He whirled around to face Jin, pointing at his flower crown. "You have roses too, papa! We match!''

 

The baker's eyes twinkled mischievously and he shifted his gaze to the person who had given him the present. ''Your dad has good taste.''

 

Hoseok's eyebrows furrowed, but then he grinned again. "You gave papa roses, dad! This means you love him!''

 

Namjoon wished that it was possible for him to disappear. He regrets few things in life, but one of them is allowing Hobi to choose the movies for their movie nights. The five year old loved cheesy old romance film for some reason, and Namjoon had seen no problem with it. He always checked whether it had anything inappropriate for kids before letting Hoseok watch them.

 

He contemplated inventing a time machine and going back in time to stop himself from letting his kid watch them.

 

Seokjin's face was bright red ( and instead of clashing with the pink flowers and clothes it went with them, truly a god among men ). He coughed awkwardly, before attempting to smile. ''Your dad loves me, just like he loves you and Yoongi! Yes?''

 

The producer agreed rapidly, but of course, what were best friends for if not for tormenting each other?

 

"I don't know,'' drawled Yoongi with his mouth quirked in a smirk, ''He might like some more than others.''

 

Just you wait, Min Suga, he thought privately in his mind. One day you'll fall hard for someone and I'll tease you mercilessly. Out loud he said, "Of course! I love Seokie the most!''

 

Yoongi looked like he wanted to comment on that, but thankfully he said nothing. ''Well, I have to go. Work, you know?'' He asked looking at his friend, who nodded understandingly. He remembered the track Yoongi was working on. He directed a polite farewell at Jin, before telling Hoseok that he'll take him out for ice cream tomorrow as a congratulatory gift.

 

And Yoongi had the gall to say that Namjoon spoils him too much.

 

They accompanied Yoongi to the parking lot, where they parted ways. Namjoon drove Jin back to his apartment, he and Hoseok sitting in the backseats. Well, Jin was the one sitting, while Hobi fell asleep in his lap, tired after the excitement of the evening.

 

( Namjoon had to bite his cheek to prevent himself from cooing out loud. )

 

They reached the complex soon, and when Namjoon looked back again, Jin was staring at him with a hesitant look on his face, flitting his eyes to the still peacefully sleeping child before looking at the father of said child again.

 

"Hoseok, baby, it's time to wake up," the producer said, trying to wake him up. He tried again, louder this time when Hobi mumbled something and shifted a little. "Sunshine, wake up."

 

Hobi opened his eyes, blinking sleepily at his dad. "Morning?"

 

Jin laughed loudly. "No Hobi, it's still night. I have to go home."

 

"You really have to go?"

 

Namjoon could see Jin physically resisting himself from hugging the boy and never letting go after hearing that sad and disappointed note in this voice. He could relate.

 

"Yes sweetie, but you'll see me soon. Just drop by the bakery!"

 

Hobi nods, then yawns and rubs his arms. He sits up slowly, looking rather like a tired kitten and god, what did he do to deserve such a cute kid? Jin presses a quick kiss to Hoseok's forehead ( and come to think of it, what did he do to deserve such a cute...friend like Namjoon? ) and opens the door, getting out of the car.

 

He moves to stand next to Namjoon's window. "Thanks for everything today, I enjoyed myself." He then hesitates and shifts from foot to foot, before saying goodbye. "And do tell Hobi again that I loved his performance!"

 

It seemed to the younger like he wanted to say something else, but Jin just waved and turned back and began walking towards his apartment. He put it out of his mind and drove away, giving one last wave to Jin who had looked back at the foot of the steps.

 


 

"You can be in denial all you want, but I'm telling you, it was a date," Jaehwan says while popping a chocolate ball in his mouth.

 

Jin seats away his hands from the tray – it was for his customers, not for hungry employees who could eat their weight in sweets and then some – and purses his lips.

 

"You should ask him out,'' Jaehwan continues on cheerfully, unbothered by the lack of response. "Go on a super romantic date!''

 

''I'm not asking him out.''

 

"Even his kid likes you! That's like the equivalent of being blessed by the gods. I mean, his kid seems like the kind of person who can never think bad of anyone but ignore that.''

 

Jin smiles at the customer who he just finished ringing up and then gave Jaehwan a dirty look. ''I'm not even sure if he likes me back, you want me to make things awkward between us?''

 

''Think back on your day and ask me that again.''

 

''You mean it's already awkward?'' Jin asks after a pause.

 

His coworker sighs good naturedly. ''I mean that he likes you back.'' On hearing Jin's disbelieving snort he added, ''Look man, just give it a try. Ask him out as a casual friends outing- one without Hoseok- and see from there! There's this cool movie, go watch that! I even got you tickets.''

 

"Just...how invested are you in this?''

 

Jaehwan laughs but does not say anything. Jin has a growing suspicion that he and Amber have a bet going on about this. The other pokes his side when he does not respond, and Jin sighs. ''Fine.''

 

He ignores the ramblings on what would be 'totally romantic' to do on a first day. It has been scientifically proven that following Jaehwan's ideas were a recipe for disaster.

 


 

namjoon

 

9:14pm

hey joon!!

 

or shall i say

 

rm

 

9:14pm

adslfdflk JIN

9:14pm

yes thats my name

 

9:15pm

you checked some songs out??

9:15pm

i did

 

can't deny

 

I'm really impressed

 

you make great songs

 

thank you!

 

9:15pm

it's not just me though so many people contribute to the creation of a song

 

i can't take all the credit

 

behind a successful song in an amazing staff

9:16pm

true

 

but still doesnt change the fact that youre amazing

 

and

 

i heard your mixtape

 

9:16pm

YOU DID?

9:16pm

it was amazing

 

Life was my favourite the lyrics were amazing

 

i feel like i keep overusing the word but its true :D

 

and you have a gorgeous voice joon ah

 

9:19pm

;;;

 

you flatter me

 

i didn't expect you to find my mixtape

 

i actually didn't expect you to really look my work up tbh

 

9:19pm

i looked up some of yoongi's too!!

 

both of you are great!! I saw his mixtape but i have yet to listen

 

look at you

 

actual idols

 

9:20pm

we're not??

 

we are producers but for some reason people requested solo tapes from us

9:20pm

'for some reason'

 

why do i feel like you both are the types to grossly underestimate your popularity

 

i found your fanclubs

 

9:20pm

i honestly have no idea why they exist we're literally just producers

 

the behind the scenes staff

 

like we sometimes feature in songs but we're not professional idols or anything??

 

9:21pm

people recognize skillz when they see it

 

9:21pm

did you just type "skillz"

 

9:21pm

 

my friends have the brains of actual children excuse me if the lingo catches on

 

respect your hyung

 

9:22pm

wait what

 

you're older than me?

9:22pm

yes

 

by 2 years

 

as I found out through research

 

9:22pm

I'm surprised

 

you look so young jin

 

9:22pm

*hyung

 

9:24pm

jin hyung

 

no seriously you're so beautiful

9:29pm

I know

 

but thanks

 

so anyway

 

9:30pm

that's a change of subject

 

did you actually get flustered

 

cute

9:30pm

SUCH DISRESPECT I can't believe

 

9:30pm

;;;; sorry hyung

9:31pm

I was only teasing dw

 

 so ANYWAY

 

9:31pm

yes anyway?

9:31pm

are you free on Friday? theres a movie me and my friend wanted to see but he canceled and I dont want to waste the tickets

 

9:31pm

this Friday?

9:31pm

yepp

 

afternoon show, you know the new horror movie?

 

9:32pm

sorry hyung I can't make it

9:32pm

oh

 

it's okay!! I'd find someone else!!

 

9:32pm

really sorry about this hyung I have a deadline :(

9:33pm

I understand if you're busy!!

 

9:33pm

can we go somewhere on Wednesday? if you're free that is

 

to make up for this

9:34pm

you dont have too namjoon-ah

 

no need to feel guilty its alright honestly

 

9:34pm

I want to

 

would be nice for me to relax once in a while too

 

are you free in the morning?

 9:34pm

yes I can ask amber to handle the bakery for a few hours

 

what are we doing?

 

9:35pm

you'll see

 

9:35pm

you cant just say that!!

 

any dress code?

9:35pm

no hyung just wear casuals

 

I'm not going to take to a cabin in the woods and murder you if that's what you're worried about

 

9:35pm

aish what do I do with you

 


 

Jin stood on the curb outside his apartment, waiting for Namjoon. The younger had refused to tell him about where they were going, except a vague "don't expect too much, it's nothing unique or extravagant". He idly filled with the hem of his sweater and wondered what the other would be wearing. When they went to Hobi's dance recital he had nearly died because damn, did the man look hot in his white button down and charcoal jacket. And those glasses. Those glasses would be the bane of Seokjin.

 

He perked up when he saw Namjoon's familiar car coming up the road. It halted beside him, the man rolling down the window to smile at Jin. "Hi Jin-hyung."

 

( He was wearing those glasses again. And those cute dimples? Jin felt like combusting. )

 

Jin dips his head in greeting and moves to get into the car from the other side, scooting into the seat beside Namjoon and closing the door. "Hello to you too, Joon-ah. So where are we going?"

 

"I thought we could go to this nice cafe," the other says, keeping his eyes on the road, "it's nothing special but me and Yoongi are really fond of it because...well you'll see."

 

The baker hummed curiously, but said nothing. Namjoon could have taken him to the convenience store as a dat– friendly outing and he would still have thought it was the best thing ever. Maybe his coworkers were on to something after all when they claimed that he was whipped for Namjoon ( and Hoseok too, the kid was so cute he felt like adopting him ).

 

The ride was spent in silence again, but he didn't mind. It was not like it was awkward, on the contrary it was actually quite pleasant to have some peace and silence after being used to having hyperactive friends.

 

Namjoon pulls over outside a normal looking cafe and they get out of the car. A muted sign board announced it as 'Baby Bird Cafe'. There were large windows from which Jin could glimpse the interior, and a few tables outside the building for those who preferred sitting outdoor. It seemed like a nice cozy place, though nothing special, a cafe that would be usually filled with regulars and chatter and good good food.

 

It was just the kind of place Jin loved.

 

Namjoon leads the way inside, walking straight up to the barista behind the counter while he follows slowly, taking in the place. It was just as he had expected, and it reminded him a bit of his own bakery. The vibes they gave off were very similar, making him feel instantly at home.

 

By the time he had joined Joon, the producer was pouting ( oh god was it cute as hell ) while the barista– Jackson, according to the name tag– laughed heartily. ''Hi! Namjoon here really likes Ryan bear, meat, cold noodles and dogs, just saying,'' Jackson informed with a twinkle in his eyes.

 

''Jackson!''

 

''Hey don't Jackson me! I'm helping out your boyfriend here!''

 

Jin felt his cheeks grow warm at the title. ''We're not dating,'' he clarified.

 

''Yet,'' Jackson winked teasingly. ''Now shoo, you guys can go at that nice table near the stage. It'll be beginning soon.''

 

Jin tilted his head curiously, silently asking Namjoon just what was about to begin but the other just smiled and shook his head as he pulled a chair for him. ''You'll see in a few minutes.''

 

''I hope you don't mind coming here in the morning,'' he continued somewhat more subdued, taking a seat opposite to Jin's, ''it was the only time I was free today and this happens only on Wednesda-''

 

He was interrupted by a booming voice as everyone turned towards the stage. ''Hey guys! Seventeen right heeeere!''

 

''There are only three of you today!'' someone shouted.

 

''The rest are busy, okay!?'' The boy with the mic shouted back. He sure was fiery for someone so small, but it shouldn't surprise Seokjin. Jimin had one hot temper too. He diverted his attention back to the man sitting in front of him. ''So is this what you were talking about?''

 

Namjoon smiled, showing off his deep dimples. ''This cafe holds this event every Wednesday, where people perform and the audience are welcome to join in. Usually it's done by the music majors from the nearby university, but sometimes proper bands come too. They,'' he gestured towards the trio who were launching into a very upbeat song, ''are from the uni.''

 

Jin nodded and leaned forward to be heard over the song. ''Why Wednesdays? Aren't these sort of things held during the weekends?''

 

"That's what makes this cafe special. It used to be during the weekends, but few years ago Jackson proposed the idea of mid week events to his parents- yes, he runs this place. He thought it would be better to have something to remind us poor students that the week was halfway over and help us relax.''

 

''Definitely a good idea, this seems very popular.'' He sighed dramatically, laying his head on the table. ''God, I could have used this when I was trudging through college.''

 

He heard more than saw the other's laughter. It was deep and rich and to be quite honest he could have listened to it all day. ''I was lucky to know Jackson since my first year, then, getting to enjoy this. You know, it continues till midnight?''

 

Jin sat up again and raised his eyebrows in surprise. ''That long?''

 

"Did you know, Namjoon used to perform here too?''

 

Both of them look up at the sudden interruption to see Jackson grinning at them. Jin smiled back, then turned back to Namjoon as the words registered in his brain. ''You did!?'' he asked, wide eyes. He knew he shouldn't be so surprised, Namjoon was a producer after all, and Jin had heard his mixtape. Obviously he would have participated in such activities during college. But. But the thought of a younger Namjoon, a bit more fierce and a bit less polished, rapping his heart out on a weekday, cheered on by the patrons of the cafe was a picture to imagine indeed.

 

Namjoon's soft assent made Jin snap out of his thoughts, but really, his thoughts were safer since Namjoon was biting his lips, looking very, very kissable.

 

"In fact," Jackson continued, shit eating grin widening, "you can watch it live today if you want."

 

"What!?"

 

Jackson laughs at Namjoon's confused and horrified face, eyes wide as he stared at Jackson. "I reserved a spot just for you when you messaged that you were coming today, you better not disappoint. Not that you ever do though, you monster."

 

"What?" Namjoon asks again, more subdued.

 

"You have to go up there after the Boo-Seok-Soon trio are done, okay?" Jackson pats Namjoon's back in mock reassurance, then turns to fully focus on Seokjin, completely ignoring the spluttering man. "Now, what would you like? I recommend the stuffed omelettes with a blueberry muffin– our special of the day or our popular classic apple and cinnamon pancakes. Comes with vanilla ice cream."

 

Namjoon recovers enough to place an order for the pancakes and coffee, Jin doing the same. Jackson gives one last pat on the back and returns to the counter, winking at Seokjin. He was unsure what the wink actually represented, but judging by the conversation few seconds ago it was probably 'you're going to enjoy the upcoming performance'.

 

"Dessert for breakfast?" Jin asks, trying to change the topic to something...safer.

 

"I'll let you know pancakes are fair game." Namjoon replies. "Technically fruits are sweet too, and no one says anything about that."

 

"Ah," Jin says slowly, realizing. "You're a sweet tooth. No wonder you come by so often to the bakery." He fake pouted and said, "and here I thought you were there for the wonderful company, and by that I mean me, because you can't convince me the monkeys that I call coworkers are actually good com–"

 

Namjoon rests his face in one hand, smiling softly. "Maybe I do go there for the wonderful company."

 

Jin really, really hopes Namjoon is ready to pay for a heart surgery, because he swears his heart is going to stop soon if the man keeps it up. He ducks his head, trying not to blush. If this was karma for every time he teased Jimin about how much he blushed when on the receiving end of Taehyung's compliments, then god save poor Jungkook when he finds someone. The karmic revenge will be off the charts.

 

''You can't just say something like that with no warning!'

 

Namjoon laughs, but whatever he's about to say is interrupted by the three students announcing the end of their performance. "Already?", he asks.

 

"And now," the shortest one announces, "we're pausing to allow the amazing Kim Namjoon hyungnim, or as he's popularly known, the super famous producer RM to take the stage!"

 

For all him denying and complaining, Namjoon looked completely in his element as he took the stage, and it was obvious from his confidence that this was a man who had done this a thousand times. He informs them of the name of the song, and Jin makes a mental reminder to google it when he get home. But for now, all his focus is on the person standing on the stage. If he had thought Namjoon was amazing when he had heard his mixtape, it was nothing compared to seeing in live. How in hell did the man manage to bring about an atmosphere of an blazing concert in the sweet little place?

 

Namjoon looks over to him from time to time, eyes intense even with a smile playing on his lips. It's something he has probably thought  a hundred times over, but he'll say it again, Kim Namjoon was unfair and a cheater at this. Who allowed him to be that cute, sophisticated, smart, handsome and sexy? Unfair.

 

Jin remains quiet for a few minutes after Namjoon had taken his seat in front of him, trying to take it all in. "That," he breathes, "was amazing. Why are you not a rapper?"

 

Namjoon scratches his neck shyly, looking out of the windows. His eyes looked strangely unfocused, a sign that Jin was beginning to understand meant that he was immersed in thoughts. "Lots of reasons," the producer replies at last, meeting Jin's eyes. "I liked the freedom song writing and producing gave me, and it's always fun to experiment with different styles and genres according to the preferences of different artists. And," he adds after a pause, "there's Hobi to consider."

 

Jin screws up his courage and takes Namjoon's hand, who, while surprised, doesn't pull back. "Whatever you do Joon-ah," he says, half forgotten memories of lazy afternoons doing homework coming up in his mind, "just do it well. Mm? It's something my mother told me long ago." He squeezes the hand once and lets go. "You're a wonderful producer."

 

"Thank you." The words are simple, but sincere, and maybe Jin fell a little more in love. Maybe.

 


 

"Is Jin even human?"

 

"When are you going to go back to your own studio?"

 

Namjoon takes a long sip of his coffee, ignoring the glare that his best friend had been sending him for the past ten minutes. If Yoongi was really serious, then he would have kicked Namjoon out of the studio long ago.

 

"I'm busy," the elder says.

 

"You've been stuck on that part since yesterday and I'm being such a nice friend and distracting you and yet you try to boot me out?"

 

"You're just here to ramble about your date–"

 

"Not a date. Yet," He adds when Yoongi stares at him with an impressive arched eyebrow.

 

Yoongi saves his file and rotates his chair a little more to focus fully on Namjoon, expression intense. "You like him." It was not a question.

 

He bows his head.

 

"I'm proud of you." Namjoon doesn't need to ask what Yoongi was talking about. They've been friends for years, and if there's someone who knows him front and back, it will be this sharp hyung. Yoongi's happy that he worked things out with his own self, and even now, when they're both grown adults, Namjoon cherishes Yoongi's praise as much as that lost kid did, years ago.

 

"Thank you, hyung."

 

Yoongi allows a rare full blown smile, but gets down to business quick enough to make the younger blink in surprise.

 

"Now, when are you going to ask him out?"

 

Namjoon takes a long draw of his coffee to avoid answering, but HawkGi was still looking at him like a...well, a hawk. "I'm taking it slow."

 

Which means that he has absolutely no idea how to go about this.

 

"Which means that you have absolutely no idea how to go about this."

 

"I hate it when you read my mind."

 

"Namjoon," he begins slowly, "you're both grown adults. Forget whatever shit happens in high school or college. Just go about it normally, don't be dramatic, yeah?"

 

He nods. "I got it hyung…, but I just want to think about this a bit more. Go over the whole thing and understand my own feelings."

 

Yoongi smiles understanding, a hand moving up to shift his blonde hair out of his eyes. "Of course. I trust your judgement, Joon. And I hope that you do too." His eyes flicker to his computer, and he sighs, smile disappearing. "Now shoo. I have to finish at least a draft of this and finalize two other songs before the staff meeting next week."

 

"There's a staff meeting next week?", the other asks with widening eyes.

 

"You forgot?" On hearing Namjoon's answering silence, Yoongi continues, "Neon Earrings is giving a presentation at that, so you better get your shit ready if you haven't already. You know how much he loves to target you."

 

"You gotta be kidding me," he says, throwing the coffee cup in the dustbin. "Those meetings always last the longest."

 

"Well I'm not, so off you go."

 

"Ah," Suga exclaims when Namjoon is just about to step out. "Good luck!"

 

Namjoon smiles nervously. "Thanks Yoongi-hyung."

 


 

"Jin? I'm so, so sorry to bother you this early in the morning–"

 

Jin nearly messes up the frosting on the cupcakes from surprise. He had asked Jaehwan to receive the call and put it on speaker, and no wonder he was getting those creepy looks from him.

 

"Namjoon!?"

 

"Ooo it's the love of your life", Jaehwan stage-whispers, and Jin really hopes Namjoon doesn't hear it. A faint hope, considering the suspicious thud that sounded from the other end.

 

"Please ignore my idiotic staff," Jin says with as much calmness he can muster. "And you're no bother."

 

"Um, are you already at work? I'm honestly sorry to trouble you, there was just this thing that came up, and you're free to refuse, of course! I wouldn't want to disturb–"

 

"Namjoon", Jin interrupts again ( as much as he hated to do it, he absolutely didn't want to hear another unnecessary apology ). " It's fine. Feel free to say what you want."

 

"It's just that I have a meeting today and the person Hoseok usually stays with is away because there was an accident with her mother this morning- ah, nothing serious, she just slipped in the bathroom and she had went to visit her, and I can't ask any other friend since they have to attend the meeting too, so can you take care of Seok for a few hours after school?"

 

Namjoon said this quickly, and Jin can nearly feel the stress radiating from the phone. "Of course! So should I pick him up from school?"

 

"The little kid is coming here?" Jaehwan squealed with excitement, shamelessly eavesdropping.

 

"Ah yes, it ends at 2pm, I'll text you the address. I'm really sorry again for the inconvenience–"

 

"Daaaad we're going to be late!"

 

"I'm coming sunshine! Jin there's a bag containing anything he'll need which you can collect from his teacher, I'll talk to you later!"

 

"That", Jaewhan says while Seokjin stares at the phone propped on a bowl, "Is one busy man."

 

"Child raising is difficult," Jin agrees. "Being a single parent even more so." He finishes the last of the frosting, placing down the piping on the table. "I'll leave the shop to you and noona today, and I want it in one piece tomorrow. Understood?"

 

Jaehwan nodded with a rarely seen serious demeanor, and Jin smiles at him, satisfied. His coworkers may be the textbook definition of childish, but they are competent and get the job done.

 

2 pm came sooner than he had expected, and Jin found himself rushing to the address Namjoon had texted him. He wasn't late by more than a few minutes, but he would have had liked to avoid even that. What would the cute duo think of him?

 

The school was nice from the outside, and it was set in a good neighborhood. Clearly, the younger had chosen it after careful consideration. He looks around, searching for the adorable child he had come to love in the short time he had known him. He spots him standing near the swings with a lady that he supposed was the teacher and three other kids.

 

Their eyes meet, and Hoseok's whole face light up with the smile he gives Jin. The baker idly wonder how cool Namjoon would be if he kidnapped his kid. Hoseok already likes and trusts him, and Jin would rather get run over by a truck than harm him, so his dad should be fine with it, right? Right?

 

Hoseok pulls at the hem of his teacher's dress and jabs a finger towards him, saying something Jin can't make out from the distance. Seokjin approaches the group, bowing politely to the teacher and introducing himself as the one who had come to pick up Hoseok.

 

"Papa!" The little guy shouts and runs up for a hug, which Jin gives willingly ( only a true monster would refuse, and he was not a monster, thank you very much ).

 

"Ah," the teacher interrupts, "are you Seokjin-ssi?" She has a weird look on her face, and Jin can pretty much guess why. It's either because she's shy, his handsome face has that effect, or because he was just called by the title of papa despite him not being related to Hoseok in any way.

 

"That's me," he affirms with a pleasant smile, which the lady mirrors.

 

"Namjoon-ssi informed me that you'll be here." She reaches to the swings and picks up a bag from one of them, handing it to him. "There you go. His father asked me to give it to you."

 

Jin nods and accepts the bag. She bends down to talk to Hoseok, before gently ruffling his hair. Another parent comes at that moment, and Jin bows and smiles at both of them before taking his leave, Hoseok in tow. He tells him about his day, launching into a particularly enthusiastic rendition of how a classmate refused to share his green crayon with him, and Jin made affirmative noises now and then to indicate that he was listening.

 

"You want to sit shotgun?" He asks when the reach the car.

 

Hoseok nods, climbing onto the seat and smiling happily at Jin who takes his spot behind the wheel. His phone vibrates with a message from Namjoon, and he assures the man that yes, he got his kid, no, there wasn't any trouble. He sends a pic of Hoseok showing two thumbs up before pocketing his phone again.

 

"Are we going to the bakery?"

 

Jin smiled back, shaking his head before refocusing back on the road. "We're going to my home first, but we can drop by the bakery in the evening if you want. That is, if your dad doesn't come to pick you up before that."

 

"He won't," Hoseok says with conviction. "Dad is out veeeery late sometimes, and miss Miyeon tells me he's doing important stuff."

 

"Ah, really?" Jin makes a sympathetic noise. He was sure the man would have liked to spend more time with his son. "Who's miss Miyeon?"

 

"She's the one who takes care of me when dad's busy," the child replies, fiddling with the strap of his bag. "She's really nice! But dad's the best!"

 

He sounded lonely, and Jin wished he could have cancelled Namjoon's meeting. Of course, that wasn't possible, but Jin would be damned if he didn't make sure that Hobi had so much fun with him that he would forget about missing his dad, if only for a few hours.

 

They reach his apartment soon enough, and Hoseok is surprising quiet, taking in everything with wide eyes. Jin suddenly feels inadequate, faced with the curious, adoring look, but hey! His apartment is clean and orderly and welcoming ( hopefully ) at least, even if it's not particularly grand or luxurious.

 

He guides Hoseok to the sofa, handing him the colors and papers that Namjoon had thoughtfully packed. He remembers the message that the younger didn't have time to pack a snack, and to try to feed Hobi something healthy if possible. Jin practically scoffed when he had read it. If Namjoon thought he was not going to take the best possible care of Hobi, then he was wrong.

 

"Sweetie," he calls, grabbing the child's attention who looks up from his paper. "Would you like some pasta?"

 

Hobi smiles and shouts a happy yes, and Jin finds himself smiling back at the adorable display. "Can I help?" He asks.

 

"Of course!" Jin replies, scooping Hoseok up in a hug. "What would I do without my sous chef?"

 

"What's a– sous– chef?" The boy asked in between giggles.

 

"The second in command of the main chef," Jin answered. He releases him and looked him in the eyes, face schooled in an expression of mock seriousness. "Are you for the challenge?"

 

Hoseok nods with determination, and they head to the kitchen. It had been a while since Jin had so much fun while cooking. The kid was a delight, as energetic and sweet as they came. He kept up a running commentary about his dad's disaster and Jin was this close to calling Namjoon that very moment to propose to him.

 

His mishaps in the kitchen were both cute and hilarious, and he clearly needed someone to take care of the both of them with that and his busy schedule. But he still tried his best ( "Dad took a cooking class! I went with him and helped him!" ) and truly tried his best to look after himself and his son, and really, Jin couldn't find a more perfect human if he tried.

 

Aforementioned child interrupts his daydreaming about Namjoon with a curious, "Rainbow veggies?"

 

"Rainbow veggies," Jin confirms, putting the batch of different, colorful vegetables in the pasta dish. "Do you like it?"

 

"I do! Veggies are nice!" Hoseok shouts with a raised hand. "But I don't like tomatoes."

 

"Really?" Jin thinks about the tomatoes he had already put into the pasta, and makes himself look as sad as possible. "But the poor tomatoes will be sad that you're not eating them."

 

Hoseok looks away guilty, but stays stubbornly silent.

 

"Ah, I can hear the tomatoes crying. They're feeling so bad that it's their fault that Hobi doesn't like them."

 

"It's not their fault!" The child yelled, meeting Seokjin's eyes. "I'll eat it!"

 

Jin pats Hoseok's head, satisfied. "You're so kind, Hobi." The smile he got in return was worth the world, in his humble opinion.

 

The cooking adventure continues in the same vein, until both of them were seated at the table with two plates of steaming pasta in front of them. Jin watched expectantly as Hoseok took a shy bite, before breaking into a grin and shovelling the food into his mouth.

 

Seokjin : 1   All other dads ( except Namjoon ) : 0

 

Seokjin had expected Hoseok to be a rambunctious kid, but he was surprised at how subdued he was. He did not look sad, particularly. It was more of a comfortable calm, with Hoseok occasionally pointing out things in the penguin documentary they had decided to watch after lunch. It was only fair, he allowed. Hobi was young, but he was human, and no one just stuck to one personality mode. The prime example being Taehyung who, for all his cheerfulness and energy, was actually quite chill and peaceful most of the time.

 

''Papa!'' Hobi's excited tugs on his shirt broke Jin out of his thoughts. ''Look at this! It's so cute!''

 

And cute it was, seeing a tiny little penguin wandering around, looking a tad lost. Hoseok jumped off the sofa to copy its waddle. Seokjin's heart may have just burst. And he may have dropped his phone in his haste to take a video. And he may have joined Hoseok in copying penguins after that. There was no proof.

 

namjoon

 

4:09 pm

[ video ]

 

look at my kid

 

he's adorable

 

4:14 pm

hyung do you want to kill me at work?

 

4:14 pm

all part of my nefarious scheme

 

4:14 pm

damn I knew it

 

4:14 pm

hypothetically if you die do I get custody of Hoseok or

 

4:15 pm

no unfortunately for you custody would go to my parents

 

4:15 pm

IM HIS PAPA

 

4:15 pm

well shame

 

we aren't married so no

 

you still don't get custody

 

4:16 pm

i'll get the ring and we'll do the thing then

 

4:16 pm

holy shit hyung how badly do you want me dead?

 

ah gtg

 

work

 

4:16 pm

bye!

 

don't overwork yourself okay?

 

your health is important

 


 

Jin wondered if it would be too much to ask for thunder to strike him dead right this moment. He looked out of the window and sighed at the view of the clear blue sky. Did he really just propose to Namjoon? Via text? He was a disgrace to couples everywhere. Not like they were dating. And not like Jin was serious about the proposal. ...Okay, maybe a little. He would hundred percent not mind marrying Namjoon ( and really be a dad to the child taking a nap on his lap, his mind supplied ). But he'd also like to do all the mushy mushy dating part first.

 

Not like he'd ever date Namjoon either. The kids - and he really couldn't wait until their study trip were done and they'd be online again, he missed them - liked to tease him about how he called everyone an eight out of ten at the maximum, with himself being the ten of ten, but god, Namjoon was a solid eleven.

 

Jin never thought he'd say this, but this was one person who was definitely out of his league. Namjoon was smart, ridiculously so, handsome, cute, and so sweet and caring it goddamn hurt. It fucking hurt. At this point, he'll honestly take rejection and make things awkward and never see the pair again rather than keep on pining away like this.

 

( Jin never said he was selfless. )

 

He looks at the child sleeping peacefully, someone who trusted him, someone he has been trusted with– and god, it hurt. He'd never see Hoseok again cause of course Namjoon was going to reject him, but he knew he couldn't keep going like this. He needed to talk to the other, and he needed to do it soon.

 

He needed to do it today.

 


 

Jin watched on as Jaehwan and Amber fawn over Hoseok. True to the promise that he'd made with Hobi that afternoon, they're at the bakery. It's a sweet scene, watching how much his coworkers adore the child, but Jin's brain was focused on the upcoming conversation with Namjoon and the subsequent rejection.

 

He smiled at one of the regulars, going back to his thoughts as soon as the customer left. Jin knew logically that it doesn't matter how much he thinks about it, the outcome is going to be same. So it's better not to think about it in the first place and retain what little is left of his sanity ( dealing with his coworkers and the maknaes has made it practically non existent, but he likes to remain positive ).

 

He's startled very rudely by Amber, who dragged him by his arm to one corner of the bakery. ''Noona wha-''

 

''What's got you looking so glum, boyo?''

 

"Did you just call me boyo?''

 

''Don't try to change the subject.'' She puts her hands on her hips, glaring at Seokjin all the while. Amber was a grand total of twelve centimeter smaller than him, but in the moment it honestly felt like she was the one towering over him instead of the other way round. ''Something's been bothering you.''

 

''I'm about to make the worst mistake of my life today.''

 

''On a scale from one to giving Jaehwan free reign of the kitchen, how horrible is it?''

 

''Challenging Hyunsik to a drinking contest,'' he replied while looking her dead in the eye.

 

''I hate to tell you this but you're fucked." She paused, looking at him with curious eyes. "What are you gonna do?"

 

Jin debated on telling her or not before deciding that yeah, he might as well tell her while she was still being nice. She was scary as hell and he did not want to get on the bad side of that.

 

"I– uh– I'm basically planning to ask Namjoon out?"

 

"Oh my god," she sighed dramatically, taking off her cap and running a hand through her hair. "I can't believe you. You're getting so worked up over that? God finally, I thought it'd never happen."

 

"I–"

 

"You wasted so much of my time, you know that? And here I thought it was going to be something horrible."

 

They both suddenly looked over to Jaehwan when they heard a particularly loud squeal, but it was just Hoseok being tickled by the man. She turned back to face him again, placing her hands on his shoulders. "Look man. Dude. Bro. Boss. Whatever. Just go and do it okay? You're pretty fucking scared, I get it. But you gotta have courage okay? And hope. Hope especially. You're expecting the worst, but the saying is hope for the best and prepare for the worst, yeah?"

 

"I'm not prepared for the worst," he says quietly. Amber's eyes sharpen, and Jin really needed to remember that she was more perceptive than she appeared.

 

"Rejection isn't what you're really afraid of, are you?"

 

"...No." Jin really didn't know how to put it, but he still tried to put his feelings across. "I– I'm just afraid of losing this you know. It's only been a few months and it's stupid of me to get this damn attached but I– but I just, I really, really don't want to lose this."

 

"You just gotta let it happen," She said after a pause. "I can't guarantee you anything, and if it's not meant to happen it won't. But I have seen the guy so many times that I would like to think that I got a good feel of his character, and I'll tell you to go for it."

 

"You think so?"

 

"Yes."

 

She neither elaborates or explains, turning on her heel to man the counters again, indicating the conversation is over. Jin's still afraid, scared as hell, but fuck. He's Kim Seokjin. He can do this, and dumbasses they may be, he trusts his coworkers. Especially Jaehwan, a friend he has know since middle school. If he felt that Jin was only setting himself up for a heartbreak, he would have stopped him way earlier.

 

So Kim Seokjin squares up, smiles, and joins the rest of the crew. The nervousness and the bad feeling is still there, but he won't let it get a hold of him.

 

( Kim Seokjin later learns, that he should not overestimate himself. )

 


 

namjoon

 

8:02 pm

I'm sorry the meeting ran longer than expected!

 

Be there in 10

 

8:02 pm

it's no problem joon ah

 

take your time

 


 

"I really don't know how to thank you."

 

"There's really no need," Jin replied, stepping aside from the doorway to let Namjoon in. "Hoseok was an absolute angel, it's honestly me that should be thanking you."

 

How ironic, Namjoon thought. An angel calling another person an angel. But he couldn't deny Hoseok deserved the title. Raising a child was difficult, and he wouldn't deny there were lots of trouble along the way, but he truly loved his son with all his heart.

 

"Daaaaad!" Hoseok suddenly came running from one of the rooms, jumping straight into his arms in a move Namjoon was well used to.

 

"Sunshine!" He called back, laughing at the excited boy in his arms. "Did you have fun with Jinnie?"

 

"I did!" Hobi turned to point at Jin, a habit Namjoon had chastised him many times for. "Papa's the best! And he's really good at cooking."

 

"Well, I'm flattered sweetheart," the man laughed lightly. "Ah!" He clapped his hands suddenly, remembering something. "Will you be staying for dinner? The both of us ate already but I made extra just in case."

 

"Ah no, we really have to get going, but! If it's not too much bother to pack them for me?" He asked hesitantly, adding the last bit when he saw how disappointed the other looked.

 

"Of course! I'll get it ready right now!"

 

He followed Jin into the kitchen, letting Hoseok down so that he could run and fetch his bag. Namjoon stared at the elder's broad back, wondering if this was a good time. It was kinda embarrassing, but it's not like he hasn't done something like this before, and Jin really helped him a lot, and...the other did seem kind of subdued for some reason.

 

"Um, hyung?"

 

"Yes?" The other replied without turning back.

 

Namjoon approached closer and placed a small packet on the counter. "I, ah, got this for you," he said, not daring to look at Seokjin.

 

Jin paused his chore of putting the food into tupperware, curiously taking the box. Or that's what Namjoon hoped at least. His face could be disgusted right now and Namjoon wouldn't know.

 

"Ah," Jin exclaims lightly, his voice sounding far off. It was not the reaction Namjoon was expecting. "This is a beautiful necklace Namjoon. For me?"

 

"Yeah, um, as thanks."

 

Namjoon frowned at the long silence in the room. It was not the comfortable one he was used to, instead it was thick and heavy, making him feel like he had just majorly fucked up.

 

"Just as thanks?" Jin asked. His voice was shaky. The feeling of fucking up just increased tenfold in Namjoon.

 

"You shouldn't be so nice," he whispered after another long pause.

 

"What do you mean–" Namjoon finally, finally looked up, and he immediately wished he hadn't. At least that way he could have pretended he was unaware of the tears that were clearly visible in Jin's eyes. "Hyung!?"

 

The other looked away. "It's nothing Namjoon."

 

"Something that made you cry is not nothing," Namjoon argued, taking a step closer. "Was it something I did? I'm so so sorry, Jinnie. Jin hyung."

 

"I'm telling you, it's nothing. Just go, Hoseok shouldn't be up too late."

 

"But–"

 

"Go."

 

"Hyung–"

 

"Leave!" Jin shouted, slamming his hands on the counter, pointedly not meeting the younger's eyes.

 

Hoseok peeped out from behind the door at that moment, the two adults turning to stare at the small scared child. Namjoon had a sinking feeling that he had heard most of the argument at least.

 

"Dad?" Hoseok called you in a small voice. "Papa? Are you okay?" He asked, looking at Jin.

 

The black haired man hastily wiped his tears on his sleeves, aiming a small smile at Hobi. "Perfectly fine, sweetie. I was just–"

 

Before the elder could have made some excuse, Namjoon was striding up to Hoseok. He crouched down in front of the son, holding him close. "Listen sunshine, can you wait in the living room for a moment?"

 

Hoseok's gaze flitted to the still shaken up adult, before leaning in closer to Namjoon. "Is this like when you have to talk to Uncle Yoongi?"

 

The producer bit his lip, considering. Hobi had unfortunately witnessed two of Yoongi's depression episodes – rare now, thankfully. He did not want to be reminded of the shitstorm that was Yoongi's last year of high school. This was nothing as grave as those, but he did need to talk with Seokjin, and it was important. So he nodded, and Hoseok nodded back understandingly and went to wait on the couch.

 

He ran a hand through his hair, before taking a deep breath and facing the only other person left in the room. "Hyung."

 

"Leave," he repeated, sounding exhausted. Namjoon should have said yes. He should have respected his wishes in his own damn home at least. He should have given due consideration to the feelings of the person in question. But Namjoon also had years if experience of being friends with Yoongi, and one of the many things  that it had taught him was that one of the best things he could do was stay.

 

Namjoon could have had said a lot of things. He said, "No."

 


 

Jin did not understand. Why was Namjoon being so stubborn? Why didn't he just fucking leave instead of standing there and feeling like shit when it was all Jin's fault? Namjoon didn't deserve this, just because Kim Seokjin was a dumbass who should have learnt to control his own feelings.

 

( He should have taken Kookie seriously when he had teased him and Jimin for getting attached too quickly. )

 

The other was saying something, Jin could definitely see his mouth moving, but he registered absolutely none of it. No actually, he was pretty sure it was something about it being his fault? Which was absolutely wrong, of course. Why would it be Namjoon's fault? Being nice was not a fault, if anything, falling for someone who was just being kind and polite and giving said person even more stress by acting this way was the real crime here.

 

Namjoon was still speaking, and oh. He was moving closer. Jin forced himself to snap out of it and tune into whatever conversation was going on. He was already stretching the limit of disrespect, he would at least like to extend the courtesy of listening after all that the other had done for him.

 

"Hyung," he was saying. "If I do anything you don't like, tell me okay?"

 

And Jin suddenly found himself engulfed into a hug. It was gentle and Namjoon held him loosely, clearly getting the message across that Jin was free to get out of it.

 

( It was gentle and loose. And for some reason it hurt.)

 

"I'm sorry, Jinnie hyung. I don't know what I did but I'm not so dumb I don't realize that it's my fault. Forgive me?"

 

Namjoon was an idiot. Namjoon was a fucking idiot that made Jin feel small and safe in those arms of his and Jin- Jin was even more of an idiot for not being able to let go.

 

''Not your fault," he whispered.

 

''Then tell me what's wrong?'' The younger implored, and if he wasn't in the state he was in, Jin would have laughed that the one question was all it took for his resolve to break. Jin talked, and talked, and talked for what felt like hours, Namjoon listening patiently the whole time. He laid himself as bare as he could allow himself to- after all, he might as well fuck this up all the way, shouldn't he?- and Namjoon didn't even flinch when he admitted that he liked him.

 

Actually, Namjoon didn't have any of the reactions Jin had expected. He had thought the man would be disgusted, or uncomfortable, but he discern absolutely no reaction from him. Well, the silence was answer enough he guessed.

 

Jin should get out of the embrace. Dry his eyes, send the pair off with a smile. He shoul–

 

"Is this a joke?"

 

And that, was a reaction he was definitely not expecting.

 

Namjoon dropped his arms, taking a step back to look him in the eyes. "Is", he repeated, voice unsteady, "this a joke? You like me? Why?"

 

Jin did not understand. He seemed to be not understanding a lot of things today, when it came to Namjoon. "What do you mean why?"

 

"Hyung, you're honest to god amazing and you could have liked anyone in the world, so why me?"

 

Namjoon looked so confused, so lost, Jin nearly forgot his own roiling emotions in his intense wish to make the younger see how wonderful he was. Was the man an idiot? How in hell did he not see his own brilliance, when he shined bright enough to attract the attention of people wherever he went?

 

"Namjoon-ah, you're one of the most wonderful, handsome, and sweet people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting, so I don't know why you would ask that." Jin looks at the man who still looked a little lost, and he bowed his head. "I'm really sorry for making you go through this and I'm sure I made you feel uncomfortable. I understand if you want to never see me again."

 

Namjoon opened and closed his mouth a few times, before finally finding his words. "Really?"

 

"Yes of course. I wouldn't hold it against you, it's a perfectly valid reaction." Jin was not so self entitled that he would ask someone to be in his presence if they clearly didn't want to, and he was kind of offended that Namjoon didn't believe him.

 

"No, not that." The younger ran a hand through his hair, looking frustrated. He took a deep breath, shuffling closer before meeting Jin's eyes with an intense look. "Hyung. Tell me to stop the moment I overstep my boundaries, okay?"

 

The hands cupping his face are soft, soft and tender and gentle, just like the lips on his own.

 

Namjoon pulls back quickly, and Jin would be lying if he was not disappointed.

 

"Okay?" Joon asked with an adorably hesitant voice, looking at him all concerned. Jin buries his head in Namjoon's broad chest, suddenly embarrassed at the events of the past- past something. He lost track of time, with all the emotions and feelings they had to hash out.

 

''More than okay,'' he replied. He feels the taller's hands wrap around him, and a kiss being pressed to the crown of his head.

 

''I'm sorry,'' Jin said, voice muffled by the fabric. ''For- for all that.''

 

''You don't have to be,'' Namjoon consoled in a soothing voice. ''I'm glad at least one of us had the courage to say something, because if it was up to me to confess, then we'd have grown old before it happened.''

 

They both laughed, before lapsing into comfortable silence.

 

''I should go get Hobi.''

 

Jin agreed, stepping out of the embrace. Namjoon carefully swiped his thumbs across his cheek to brush away any remaining tears, smiling when he was satisfied. God, Jin was in love with those dimples.

 

He led him by his hand ( large, the older noted ) to the living room, where Hoseok was fiddling with his bag. He ran right up to them when he saw them enter the room, standing by his father who patted his head.

 

"Time to go home, Seokie."

 

"Everything okay?" Hoseok asked timidly.

 

"Perfectly fine," Namjoon smiled. "Thank you for being so well behaved."

 

The child soaked in the praise, face bursting into a heart shaped smile. "You're welcome!" Jin laughed at the reply. Someone here sure knew their manners.

 

He cutely waddled over to where Jin was standing, holding his arms up in the universe sign to be picked up and cuddled, and who was Jin to refuse him that?

 

Hoseok wrapped his arms around his neck, and whispered in his ear, "Don't tell dad, but I love you as much as I love him."

 

Namjoon clearly heard it, judging by the split second shock that was taken over by the fondest look he had ever seen on the man. He let Hobi down, and the father son duo took their leave because it really was getting late, and as much as Jin wanted to spend more time with them, he would hate if Hobi missed school because of him.

 

He gave Namjoon a quick kiss just before he shut the door, the cute wide eyed surprised face being etched in his memories. Oh well, they had a lot of time to spend together.

 

He knew it was too early, but he hoped both of then stayed in his life for years to come.