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The Neighborhood

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“JISUNG I SWEAR TO GOD IF YOU DON’T COME DOWNSTAIRS I WON’T LET YOU HANG OUT WITH CHENLE FOR TWO WEEKS,” Doyoung shouted up the stairs trying to get his son to come to eat breakfast.

“Honey, why are you screaming,” asks Taeyong.

“I’ve told Jisung five times to come and eat breakfast and he hasn’t come down yet.”

“Jisung’s at Chenle’s.”

Doyoung mutters something about how Jisung is never home then goes into the kitchen. At the table sits Jeno, Yangyang, and Renjun.

“Why are none of the children at this table mine?”

“The cooking here is better than any of our dads, well except for Renjun’s dad. He was just tired of hearing Chenle and Jisung trying to summon another demon,” says Yangyang.

Doyoung and Taeyong had lived in their neighborhood the longest out of all the families that currently occupied it. They had moved in not long after adopting their oldest son, Jungwoo. In the years they’ve lived at their house they’ve adopted three other boys names Donghyuck, Sungchan, and Jisung.

About a year later Kun moved in with his four children Renjun, Chenle, Hendery, and Winwin. He and his wife had recently gotten separated. He got custody over the kids and wanted a fresh start for them all, so they moved.

After Kun, Johnny and his husband moved in with their two kids, Mark and Jaemin. After a couple of months, Johnny's husband left them, leaving Johnny to raise two kids by himself.

After Johnny moved in, Taeil moved in with his two kids, Jaehyun and Jeno. They had never knowns their mother because she died after they were born.

Then there was Ten and his kids Yangyang, Xiaojun, and Lucas. They moved from China. Ten and his wife had gotten divorced after Ten realized he was gay. Yangyang, Xiaojun, and Lucas ended up in his care and they moved to Korea after Ten had gotten transferred for his job.

The last two to move to the neighborhood were Yuta and his little brother Shotaro. They moved into the neighborhood only a couple of years ago. They moved from Japan after their parents had died. Yuta was only 20 at the time and Shotaro was 12. With the money, their parents had left them and some money Yuta had got from jobs he’d worked they had been able to move to Korea. After their parent’s death, they wanted a fresh start.

Due to all the kids being around the same age they were all friends. The parents were all close too, so all the kids were also pretty close with all of them. This resulted in everyone just walking in and out of each other’s houses whenever they felt like it. This is why Doyoung constantly asks himself why he convinced Taeyong to get this specific house when they bought it all those years ago.

Doyoung sits down at the table and puts some eggs on a plate.

"You guys are here more than my own kids. I should've adopted you instead."

“I quite like my dad. Maybe if Chenle manages to bring a demon into my house. He’s been doing them at mine since Kun has started allowing less demon summoning,” says Jeno after shoveling some eggs into his mouth.

“Here’s some advice. If you ever have children don’t move into a neighborhood where 17 other people, who are not your family, just walk in and out all the time. They’ll steal all your food.”

Even if Doyoung seemed like he didn’t enjoy any of their presence, he really did. All of the people on the block managed to weasel their way into Doyoung’s bitter and cold heart one way or another. He genuinely thought of them as family and didn’t know what he would do the day all of them were finally moved out of their respective homes.

“Oh, you love us,” says Renjun.

---

“CHENLE WHY ARE YOU HOLDING A DEAD DOG,” Yuta screams when Chenle and Jaemin walk into his living room.

Jaemin and Chenle both look at each other with a guilty expression before Jaemin says, “Funny story. So, I borrowed my dad’s car so Chenle, Jisung, and I could go get ice cream. On the way back I accidentally ran over my neighbor’s dog. We didn’t notice until we got into my driveway that it was the dog. Jisung left after he saw the dead dog. My dad is now using the car though, so we need you to drive us to the forest to bury the dog, so the neighbor doesn’t find out.”

Yuta gives them a disappointed look and shakes his head.

“This is the third time. I’m not driving you two to the forest. It’s an hour away.”

*30 minutes later*

“I can’t believe I’m driving you to the forest.”

Since Yuta was 24 he didn’t fall into the age range of the kids and definitely not the parents. That put him in the position of an older brother figure to everyone. Whenever any of the kids did something stupid, which was often, he was the one they bothered.

“Just promise me you aren’t going to try to do some type of ritual with it.”

“Can’t make any promises,” says Chenle.

When they get to the forest they grab the dead dog from the trunk and the shovels they brought. They walk ten minutes into the forest and start digging. Once they’ve deemed the hole big enough they drop the dog in it and walk back to the car. An hour later they were back home.

“I can’t believe you made me drive an hour to the forest so you could bury a dead dog you ran over,” says Yuta getting out of the car.

Yuta looks over at Chenle and Jaemin who are both staring at something. Yuta follows their gaze and sees Johnny, Jaemin’s dad.

“You did what?"

Yuta mouths a sorry at them before leaving and going into his house.

"It was an accident. Please don't ground me," Jaemin says pleading.

"Please don't tell me dad."

Just as Chenle said that his dad, Kun, stepped out from behind Johnny.

"Chenle, no Jisung for a week."

Chenle's eyes widen and he says, "Now that's just cruel."

"Don't kill someone's dog next time."

Johnny walks over to the two and pulls Jaemin towards his house, most likely to think of some punishment for him.