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Crazy Is Most Definitely Genetic

Chapter Text

“ChimChim!”

An impatient sigh.

“Jiminie!”

The kitchen knife drops onto the counter with a clatter, carrots left forgotten. Footsteps near the stairway to the second floor.

“Jimin, if you don’t answer me right this instant, so help me…!”

Jin mentally counts down from five, his patience wearing thinner as he goes.

5…

4…

3…

Still no answer.

2…

Deafening silence throughout the house.

1-

“Coming, coming! Sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry, sorry,” Jimin repeats breathlessly as he hops down the stairs two at a time to land in front of his mom. “What’s up?”

Jin purses his lips at the beaming smile on his son’s face and resists the urge to affectionately ruffle his hair under the ridiculous snapback he’s taken to wearing for the past few months (“Jiminie, I can hardly see your handsome face under that thing,” “Mom, all the cool guys at school wear them!” “If all the cool guys at your school jumped off a bridge, would you?” “Ugh, you’re so lame, Mom!”).

Jin doesn’t answer Jimin’s question, just drags the boy to the living room where it looks like a tornado tore through. Jimin is very clearly Namjoon’s son if this mess is any indication.

Jimin chuckles nervously, rubbing the back of his neck and avoiding eye contact with his mom. “Sorry, Mom. I’ll clean it up now.”

“That’s my good boy,” Jin finally grins, patting Jimin on the back. “Make sure this is clean before dinner, yeah?”

Jimin nods, running back upstairs, shouting over his shoulder, “Just let me say bye to Suga!”

Jin sighs and shakes his head. He swears that boy spends more time on Skype talking to his boyfriend than he does talking to his own family. He returns to the kitchen, picking up his knife and continues to chop vegetables for tonight’s dinner, scowling when the front door opens and slams shut-

“Taehyung, what have I told you about slamming doors?”

“My name is V!”

“I’ll start calling you that when you stop slamming the front door!” Jin calls back with an eye roll. Taehyung’s been insisting on being called V for weeks now. What’s wrong with the name Taehyung, Jin can’t even begin to fathom.

“TaeTae!”

“ChimChim!”

Jin groans at the telltale sounds of Jimin running down the stairs and tackling Taehyung to the ground, one of the two knocking over the coatrack if the sound of wood cracking against the hardwood flooring is any indication. “What have I said about roughhousing inside? If either one of your breaks another coatrack, I’m taking it out of your allowances!”

All sounds stop and Jimin pokes his head into the kitchen, “We didn’t break-”

“-the whole thing.” Taehyung finishes, smiling guiltily. “Just an arm busted off.”

Jin levels the two with an unimpressed stare.

“I’ll get Suga to try and fix it the next time he comes over,” Jimin offers, snatching a mushroom from the cutting board.

“Jimin, go clean up the living room.” Jin tells him, ignoring his suggestion for the time being; though he’ll probably take him up on it during Yoongi’s next visit to the Kim household if Namjoon isn’t able to fix the coatrack himself by then (which, Jin knows with 100% certainty, he won’t be able to). “Taehyung-”

“V.”

“Whatever your name is,” Jin says in exasperation, “I know you’ve got a science project due tomorrow. I don’t wanna see you down here until it’s finished, young man.”

Taehyung leaves the room with a huff, stomping his way upstairs. “I know, I know, life’s so tough, kiddo.” Jin unsympathetically calls after him, watching Jimin steal another handful of veggies out of the corner of his eye before disappearing into the living room.

Jin goes back to trying to get dinner ready, the only sounds to be heard are the occasional nonsensical babbles coming from Jungkook in his high chair, the vacuum cleaner, and dinner simmering on the stove behind him.

All is calm.

It’s nice.

And it lasts four minutes.

“Mom!”

“Mom!”

Jin startles at the two shouts of his name, rushing to the living room first to find Jimin with his head stuck underneath the coffee table, attached to the underside by a large glob of gum.

“Mom!”

Jin ignores Taehyung panicky screams for a moment to pull at Jimin, apologizing profusely when his son cries in pain and clutches at his head.

“Ah, Jimin!” Jin frets, kneeling down beside the boy and inspecting his hair: the gum is tangled in at the roots. “What were you thinking? Silly boy,” he mutters.

“This is Tae’s fault!” Jimin nearly wails, fingers scrabbling at his scalp that Jin bats away. “You know he sticks his gum under here!”

“Let’s not blame anyone yet,” Jin says, more focused on scraping at the gum attached to the table with his nails until it falls from the coffee table, Jimin flopping onto the carpet in relief. “Go into the kitchen and keep an eye on Kookie, Jimin. I’ll be back in a minute and we’ll get that gum out, okay?”

Jimin scowls as his fingertips brush against the thick clump of hair fused with gum. “I’m gonna kill Tae!”

“No threatening to kill your brother, Jimin; you know how I feel about that.” Jin absently scolds before running upstairs and into his middle son’s room, stopping abruptly when he sees Taehyung whimpering on his bed.

“Kill it! Kill it! Kill it! Kill it!”

Jin stares at Taehyung. “Uh…”

“Hurry before it kills us all and takes over the world!”

Jin blinks rapidly, scanning the room for a murderer or… something. Anything, really.

“The spider! It’s right there!” Taehyung points to a large, black spider lazily crawling over his keyboard across the room. Jin stifles the laugh that threatens to burst from his mouth and grabs a leaflet of paper from Taehyung’s desk, coaxing the spider onto it before flicking it out of the open window.

Ewwww! It touched my paper!”

Jin chuckles, then remembers Jimin’s predicament and runs back downstairs, surprised to see his son as calm as ever, making sure dinner doesn’t burn while simultaneously making silly faces at Jungkook to keep him entertained. He walks up to Jimin and reaches above him, grabbing a container of peanut butter from the cupboard. “This should get the gum out.”

Jimin pulls a face as his mom lathers peanut butter throughout his hair. “What if it doesn’t?”

Jin sighs dramatically, working his fingers through Jimin’s hair, “Then we’ll just have to shave your entire head, I suppose.” He laughs loudly when Jimin shoots out of his reach and clasps his hands over his head, bottom lip wobbling adorably. “I’m kidding, Jimin, now come back here. I promise your hair will be fine.”

*

Namjoon’s learnt to expect the unexpected in his own house. Living with his family, as insane as they all are, has prepared him for all life has to offer.

Still…

When he comes home from work he doesn’t expect to see Jin rubbing peanut butter all over Jimin’s head while Taehyung and Jungkook, who’s secure in his older brother’s arms, take turns stealing said peanut butter off Jimin’s head to eat, giggling all the while.

Namjoon feels like the odd one out in this scenario so he steps into the kitchen and sticks his finger in, too, pulling it out to lick at the peanut butter.

“Namjoon! You’re as bad as them!” Jin scolds, though he leans in for a kiss that Namjoon happily gives.

“Do I want to know why we’re eating off Jiminie’s head?”

Jungkook giggles and makes grabby hands at his dad, peanut butter stuck to his chubby fingers. Jin just shakes his head at Namjoon’s question, “Probably not, no.”

*

“It’ll grow back, Jimin,”

Jimin glowers at his dad, tugging his snapback further down onto his head.

“At least now you have a reason to wear those hats,” Jin attempts to joke, smiling sadly when Jimin still looks like he’s going to burst into tears at any second. “Your dad’s right, ChimChim; it’ll grow back before you know it.”

“Easy for you to say,” Jimin grouses, lifting his hat and showing the large jaggedly cut patch on the top of his head, “you don’t look like a freak!” Taehyung bursts into uncontrollable giggles at the sight of Jimin’s hair and the boy slams his hat back onto his head. “I hate everything.”

Chapter Text

Jimin makes it a point to not bring friends home very often.

Because his family is embarrassing.

And crazy.

And Taehyung usually weirds people out before they get the chance to take their shoes off.

So when he, grudgingly, brings his dance partner home from school, he’s nervous. J-Hope’s a cool guy and all Jimin wants is to be his friend.

His number one goal in life is to be cool.

A goal that, so far, he’s failing at.

Badly.

So Jimin’s understandably cautious as he walks up the path to his home, surreptitiously checking the yard for any sign of his brother doing something weird (like the time he set up a kimchi stand instead of a lemonade stand). His dad’s car is in the driveway and Jimin makes a mental note to not go near his dad’s studio.

He quietly opens the door, feeling every bit like a video game character when he pokes his head in, much to J-Hope’s confusion, and checks the house’s immediate surroundings, deeming it clear with a sigh of relief.

No Mom.

No Dad.

No Jungkook wobbling around the house on unsteady legs while Taehyung chases after him pretending to be Kim Jong-un (who he maintains is scarier than any monster lurking in the shadows).

Jimin laughs off J-Hope’s curious gaze at his actions and invites the older boy inside, still wary of one of his family members appearing and scaring the other boy off.

He curses his own brain for volunteering his house for a place to practice their dance routine. What the hell was he thinking???

“My room’s this way,” Jimin says, pointing up the stairs and leading the way, his heart practically seizing up when he gets to the top of the stairs and sees his dad standing outside Taehyung’s room, talking away to his brother as if hasn’t got a care in the world.

As if he’s not the biggest obstacle in the universe right now.

This is not good’ would be the understatement of the century.

Jimin has half a mind to grab onto J-Hope’s arm and drag him back down the stairs, thus appearing every bit the spaz most people at school think him to be, when J-Hope climbs past him, “You okay, Jimin? You look a little pale.”

Jimin is definitely not okay. And if J-Hope knew what he was about to walk into, he wouldn’t be either.

“Uh, yeah,” Jimin weakly says, leading the way to his room, “this way.”

Maybe if he’s quiet enough his dad and brother won’t even notice him- unless, of course, J-Hope ruins that plan by saying, loudly, “You wanna work on that krumping bit? I think we’re off the beat in the second verse.”

“Jiminie!”

Jimin freezes like a deer in headlights, eyes wide and shoulders tense as he stares up at his dad, forcing a smile onto his face. “Heeeeyyy, Dad, didn’t see you there. We’re just gonna go to my room now, soooo...”

“Who’s your friend?”

“Oh, my God.” J-Hope says, his eyes wide open and mouth slightly ajar. Jimin would’ve laughed at the expression on the boy’s face at any other moment, but now he’s just wondering why the hell J-Hope’s staring at his dad like he’s some kind of messiah-

Oh, wait.

Oh.

Oh.

Well, shit.

“You- You’re him!” J-Hope excitedly says, gripping his dad’s hand and shaking it enthusiastically. He looks at Jimin accusingly, “You never told me that your dad was Rap Monster!” He turns back to Jimin’s dad, “I’m a huge fan, Mr. Monster!”

A loud laugh is heard from inside Taehyung’s room and Jimin can hear him wheezing out Mr. Monster! over and over again.

Jimin watches as J-Hope flushes, “Tae! Be nice!” he practically begs. J-Hope is his key to becoming popular and that sure as hell won’t happen if he’s humiliated in Jimin’s house.

Taehyung’s still laughing when he appears in the doorjamb, eyes immediately zeroing on the new kid in the hallway.

……

Huh.

Love at first sight? Definitely a real thing, Taehyung thinks with absolute conviction.

He pushes past his dad, ignoring the disapproving stare he gets at interrupting the two’s conversation, and plants himself in front of the new guy. “I’m V!”

J-Hope takes a break from gushing and smiles at Taehyung, “Name’s J-Hope.”

Jimin watches with growing horror as his brother compliments J-Hope’s legs of all things and asks him if he’s interested in watching a meteor shower with him later this week. “It’ll be at, like, four in the morning, so I’ll bring us a blanket and some pillows! We can watch it in the backyard if you want.”

And if that wasn’t enough to convince J-Hope to spend the night with his weird brother, Jimin cringes when Taehyung adds, “I’ve got a really nice telescope. Seriously, it’s pretty cool. We might even get to see a UFO! You like aliens, right?”

Oh, my God, Dad, make him stop!” Jimin urgently whispers to his dad. “Make him stop talking now!”

“Taehyung, come on, let’s leave your brother and his friend to… whatever it is they’re gonna do.”

Jimin sends a grateful look to his dad, dragging J-Hope to his room before Taehyung can get a definite answer out of J-Hope for their picnic/meteor shower/alien encounter/date… thing.

When the door to his bedroom closes behind them, Jimin breathes a sigh of relief. His clothes are practically soaked through with sweat from interacting with his family and he looks at the other boy, smiling apologetically.

*

“Mooooooooooooommmmmmmmmmm!”

Jin merely raises an eyebrow at Taehyung’s lamenting, his arms thrown dramatically over his head, which Jungkook copies with a loud giggle.

“Why didn’t he answer me?"

“Taehyung-”

"V."

"Taehyung-"

“Doesn't he wanna watch the meteor shower with me?”

“Tae-”

“Maybe he really doesn’t like aliens,” Taehyung muses out loud, gasping at the mere thought, “How could he not?! I don’t know if this relationship will work if he doesn’t like aliens, Mom.”

Jin nods his head, tempted to point out that said relationship isn't actually real at this point in time, but he could never do that- Taehyung looks so excited to have a crush on someone and Jin just wants his son to be as happy as he can be, so he reassures the boy, "I'm sure he likes aliens, Tae."

"Right, of course, why wouldn't he?" Taehyung readily agrees.

Jin continues to listen to his son’s newest crises while simultaneously trying to figure out why their phone bill is nearly doubled this month. He interrupts his son halfway through a limerick he's composing about this J-Hope boy's hips, “Taehyung, have you been phoning other countries again?”

Taehyung waves off his mom’s question, “Of course I have. I needed to know if the people in Madagascar wore polka-dotted scarves in August and Google was being less than helpful.”

…Right. The likeliest of explanations.

“And do they?” Jin asks, mostly because if he’s paying out the ass for this outrageous phone bill, he might as well know the answer to Taehyung’s odd curiosities.

Taehyung rolls his eyes, “I couldn’t get a straight answer outta the guy I was talking to. So, like, maybe? I’ll try again next week, Mom; we’ll get an answer outta someone, I promise.”

Jin’s about to go pay the bills in the den when Taehyung starts talking a mile a minute about this J-Hope guy again-

“Mom, he’s tall! And he was wearing a purple jacket! Purple! I LOVE purple! You know that!”

Jin half-listens to his son for a few more minutes, only slightly startled when Taehyung throws his head back and shouts, “COSMIC FORCES DON’T FAIL ME NOW! J-HOPE’S HEART WILL BE MINE!” before leaving the kitchen with a determined look on his face.

“A little too intense, there, Tae!” Jin calls after him, running a hand through his hair. He turns to stare at Jungkook, “Your brother’s crazy, kiddo.”

“AM NOT!” is faintly heard from upstairs and Jin shakes his head in amusement.

Chapter Text

Yoongi doesn’t quite know what to think about this.

On the one hand, Jimin is staring adoringly at him (and Yoongi really likes that look on the younger boy’s face). On the other hand, he’s been fixing things all afternoon and he’s not even getting paid for it.

“Did I mention I’m not an electrician?"

Jimin nods his head.

“And that this isn’t even my house? Did I mention that, too?”

Another nod.

“Seriously, Jimin, why do you keep telling your parents I’m good at fixing shit?”

“Because you are!” Jimin says. “Case in point: You fixed the coatrack again and the garbage disposal.”

Yoongi just rolls his eyes, flicking the switch on the lamp and thrusting it into Jimin’s hands when it lights up. “There, done.”

Jimin grins, “My mom’s gonna be so happy when he gets home! This is his favorite lamp.”

“Awesome.” Yoongi deadpans with a yawn and Jimin grabs onto his hand, pulling him upstairs and into his bedroom. Yoongi falls down onto Jimin’s bed, patting the spot beside him invitingly, “Come on, Sunshine; lay down with me before my taskmaster makes me fix something else.”

Jimin hops onto the bed, cuddling into Yoongi’s side, pressing a quick kiss to his lips. He sighs in contentment when Yoongi wraps an arm around his waist, tugging him even closer. His breath puffs onto Jimin’s cheek and he smiles, “You are so cute, you know that?”

Jimin blushes and sticks his tongue out. He runs a hand through Yoongi’s pink hair, “I like this color.”

Yoongi laughs, “It was for a bet, Jimin. Don’t get used to it.”

“But I like it,” Jimin pouts, trailing his hand down the side of Yoongi’s face to cup his jaw. He leans closer and whispers, “What if I want you to keep it pink, huh?”

“You’re gonna have to convince me, then,” Yoongi muses, bringing Jimin’s hand to his lips and kissing each individual finger.

“A kiss?”

Yoongi shrugs a shoulder, seemingly uninterested.

“Two kisses?”

“Eh. I think I’ll just dye it black again.”

“What else could you possibly want besides my kisses?” Jimin whines, already picturing Yoongi’s pink hair disappearing before his very eyes.

“You know what I want, Sunshine.”

Jimin scrunches his face in confusion, “Uh…”

Yoongi stares into Jimin’s eyes, nodding his head when the younger boy’s eyes widen in realization.

“You’re such a loser,” Jimin giggles. “Seriously, you want me to nap with you? We do that all the time.”

Yoongi grins and nuzzles his face into Jimin’s neck, “Mmm, but I love napping with you.”

“Weirdo.”

“You want the pink hair to stay a little longer? We nap together all day. Deal?”

Jimin doesn’t even hesitate to agree to Yoongi’s terms, pulling the covers over their bodies and tangling his legs with his boyfriend’s. He closes his eyes and, despite the fact that he wasn’t tired a few minutes ago, the warmth from Yoongi’s body makes him sleepy.

“Sweet dreams, Sunshine,”

*

“You ever think about our future?”

Yoongi had once had a girlfriend who’d asked him that exact same question. But he’d never really been a fan of planning out his future and that included thinking about where his current relationships were going.

Needless to say, his girlfriend hadn’t liked his answer of not really and they'd broken up that very day.

Yoongi’s not the type to fall hard and fast for someone, preferring to err on the side of caution in his relationships, but with Jimin- Damn, with Jimin everything’s different.

Yoongi thinks about his future with Jimin all the fucking time. He’s pictured what their first apartment will look like- how he’d work two jobs just to be able to afford getting Jimin anything his cute little ass wanted. He imagines that someday they might get a dog and Jimin’ll name it something so ridiculous that Yoongi’ll be embarrassed to call its name in public.

Of course he’d rather die than admit to any of that shit because he doesn’t want to scare Jimin away with his intensity. So he just answers Jimin’s question with a lazy shrug.

“Seriously, Yoongi,” Jimin quietly needles him, cuddling closer to his boyfriend, “you don’t think about what’s gonna happen once you graduate?”

“I figured I’d go to college.”

“Yeah, but where?” Jimin asks. “Have you thought of a place yet?”

Yoongi has. There’s a local university that he’s planned to enroll in- it’s only forty minutes from downtown Seoul and he can live at home to save some money. But most importantly, it’s close to Jimin. And, honestly, that’s all that matters.

“Not really.” Yoongi says, eyes drooping shut once more, “Maybe the local one? They’ve got some music production courses that might be cool to take. I could probably get a basketball scholarship, too.”

Jimin nods, tracing random patterns along Yoongi’s arm with his fingertips.

“What’s got you worried, Jimin?”

This time it’s Jimin’s turn to shrug.

“Sunshine, come on,” Yoongi pokes Jimin’s cheek, smiling when the younger boy laughs. “Tell me what’s up.”

“It’s just- I’m worried that once you graduate, you won’t wanna date someone like me anymore,” Jimin hesitantly explains, “Like, you’ll go off to college and meet all these new people- exciting people who aren’t me and I can’t compete with them-”

Yoongi hushes Jimin with a kiss. When he pulls away he rolls his eyes, “You think I’m just gonna trade you in for someone new?”

“It sounds stupid when you say it like that,” Jimin’s words are muffled as he buries his head in Yoongi’s neck.

“It sounded stupid when you said it, too.” Yoongi states matter-of-factly. “You’re stuck with me, sweetheart. I’m gonna be around as long as you’ll let me.”

Jimin smiles shyly, “Forever?”

“Forever.” Yoongi echoes.

*

Yoongi’s known Taehyung about as long as he’s known Jimin, give or take a few weeks. He puts up with the kid’s weird conversation topics (“You know pineapples contain a special enzyme that eats away at the flesh of your tongue?”), weird behaviors, and general weirdness altogether.

Partly because Taehyung is Jimin’s brother.

But mostly because Taehyung’s pretty funny and hanging out with him is never dull.

But this? This is just annoying.

“Jimin, make him stop!” Yoongi whines, burrowing further into the covers.

Jimin blearily opens his eyes and looks up at his brother- who’s bouncing on the bed and occasionally jumping on their legs, too. “TaeTae, go away!”

“No can do, bro,” Taehyung continues bouncing. “I need Yoongi’s sage advice.”

Yoongi groans and rips the covers off his head, “If I help you, will you go away?”

“Of course! Now, Yoongi, do you know of an angel of a boy named J-Hope?”

“We’re friends, yeah; why? Did he mess with you or something? That’s not really his style.”

Jimin snickers, “Tae likes him-”

Yoongi props himself up on the bed with the headboard, frowning, “You like J-Hope? Loud, gangly, awkward J-Hope?”

“Perfect, handsome, funny J-Hope,” Taehyung corrects wistfully, flopping down onto the bed and nestling between Jimin and Yoongi. “How do I get him to notice me?”

“Uh, be yourself? I don’t know. Why the fuck are you asking me?”

“Because you’re older, so you should have a wealth of information at your fingertips!”

“Seriously, kid, I wouldn’t know the first thing about how to get J-Hope to notice you. He’s loud, so, I dunno? Be loud around him?”

Realizing Yoongi isn’t helping. Like at all. Taehyung stares at his brother, “How’d you get Yoongi to notice you, ChimChim?”

“I didn’t do anything, Tae.” At Taehyung’s look of disbelief, Jimin chuckles, “Seriously, Yoongi was the one who stalked me.”

Yoongi splutters, “E-Excuse me? I stalked you? You being serious right now?”

Jimin ignores Yoongi’s outburst. “After we first started dating, his friend Zico told me all about how he used to follow me around at school.”

“I’m gonna kill that asshole. I didn’t stalk you.” Yoongi mutters under his breath. At both Jimin and Taehyung’s inquisitive looks, Yoongi relents, “Okay, fine, I might’ve stalked you a little bit.”

 




interlude: the part where Yoongi’s a stalker.



“GO SUGA!”

“SHOOT IT!”

Yoongi lets the ball leave his fingertips, watching it soar through the air as if it’s in slow motion, nearing the net and finally dropping inside it, the swish all he needs to hear before shouting in glee, jumping up and down with his teammates in celebration.

“Alright, alright, bring it in!”

Yoongi and the rest of his team jog over to Coach, taking a knee.

“Just because you won a practice match against your own teammates doesn’t mean you’re good enough for the championships yet. I’m doubling practice-”

A chorus of groans.

“Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Before and after school. Dismissed.”

Yoongi and the others jog to the locker room, changing back into their uniforms after showering. He leaves his teammates and is on his way to his locker to get his stuff and head home for the day until he sees him.

The guy literally stops Yoongi in his tracks as he passes by and laughs at something the boy beside him says, both of them disappearing into the dance studio down the hall. Yoongi blinks a few times, trying to clear the guy’s face from his mind, but it doesn’t work. He can still see the kid’s chubby cheeks, bright eyes, and full lips.

Yoongi’s always been a sucker for cute things. And, honestly, this kid takes the fucking cake when it comes to being adorable.

*

“Earth to Suga! Heeellllloooo…?”

Yoongi scowls as Zico snaps his fingers in front of his face, his eyes following the boy’s fingers instead of his original target- who has now disappeared into the crowd. Zico frowns right back at Yoongi, “Dude, did you hear anything I just said?”

“No. Now go away.” Yoongi weaves his way through the lunch crowd trying to find the cute guy again.

“Who the fuck are you looking for, man?” Zico peers around Yoongi’s body, trying to follow his line of sight.

“None of your business.” Yoongi bites out because, no, he’s not about to bring attention to the cute kid. He wants him all to himself, and though Yoongi knows, objectively, that Zico probably won’t be interested in competing with him for the guy’s affections, he’d rather avoid that scenario altogether. “Don’t you have somewhere else to be, man? Like, not here?”

“Fine, whatever, I can take a hint-”

“Not quickly enough.” Yoongi mutters to himself, watching Zico disappear into the sea of students flooding the cafeteria. He takes a moment to scan his surroundings, sighing when it looks like the boy isn’t around anymore. Yoongi growls out in annoyance and pushes a freshman out of his way, stomping into the hallway, intent on finding a secluded spot to spend his lunch hour at.

It’s when he’s halfway done eating his sandwich that Yoongi gets the brilliant idea to become a stalker. Or, well, in his mind he’s not so much a stalker as an interested party. It’s not uncommon for students to watch the dance practices that go on after school and Yoongi could very well be interested in dance.

“You hate dance.” J-Hope says, clearly puzzled at Yoongi’s arrival in the dance studio after school. “What’re you doing here?”

“I don’t hate dance,” Yoongi defends, arms crossed over his chest. “I just thought I’d support a friend, y’know?”

“Support a friend.” J-Hope deadpans, frown deepening as if he’s trying to solve the mystery of Min Yoongi and the Curious Case of Appearing at Dance Practice Despite Hating Dance. “Who’re you trying to fool? Come on, Suga, why’re you here?”

“Listen, I just wanna watch your stupid dance practice without getting interrogated, so go away.” Yoongi snaps, ignoring the way J-Hope glances between him and the other dancers. “Shouldn’t you be popping and locking or some shit?” J-Hope laughs, jogging back to the other dancers, but Yoongi can feel his eyes on him every once and a while during the practice. Though, honestly, he doesn’t have much time to notice J-Hope staring at him when his entire mind, body, and soul are focused on the kid with the hips and ass and thighs and everything dancing in the third row.

*

Yoongi goes to every practice they have for three weeks, until he gets too busy with schoolwork, basketball practice and annoying friends who insist he spend time with them on a regular basis, because, apparently, that’s what friends do.

He’s in a shittier mood than usual and everyone notices. He snaps at anyone that even looks at him the wrong way, gives clipped answers in class, and growls at more underclassmen than usual. And it’s all because he’s having Jimin withdrawals.

Jimin, the kid with the sinful body and stupidly adorable face. Jimin, the guy he can’t stop thinking about, and this is turning into a full blown obsession, and maybe he’s going a little crazy. Just a little.

“For the love of God, just introduce yourself to him already!” Zico whispers, scowling in disgust at the way Yoongi stares at Jimin from across the library. “Say ‘Hi, I’m Suga, I’ve been stalking you for about a month now and I was wondering if you wanted to get married?’”

“I can’t just introduce myself-”

“Because that’s what normal humans do in this situation?” Zico guesses with a dubious look. “Seriously, you’re acting like a serial killer. Stop stalking the poor kid and ask him on a date!”

“I’m not stalking him-”

“I bet you 15,000 won that you have his entire schedule memorized.”

Yoongi rolls his eyes, “Just because I know what classes he has-”

“And when they start.” Zico mutters under his breath, “And when they end.”

Yoongi crosses his arms on the table and sets his head on them, puffing out a breath so his bangs stop tickling at his eyes. “I don’t even know if he’s single.”

“Jimin’s a loser.” Zico plainly says, shrugging a shoulder at the heated glare he gets from Yoongi. “Suga, I’m just saying what everyone knows. He’s always alone. Pretty sure sayin’ he’s not dating anyone is a safe bet.”

“But-”

Zico sighs heavily, rolling his eyes, “I’m serious, man, either you ask him out or I’m gonna do it for you. Right now. Man the fuck up and ask this kid out!”

Yoongi grits his teeth, steeling his nerves, and stands up from the table. He takes exactly two steps forward and abruptly turns around, fleeing the library, much to Zico’s annoyance.

*

“So, uh, this guy- Zico, I think that’s what his name was? He said he was your friend, and that you wanted to talk to me?”

Yoongi slams the door to his locker shut, nearly jumping out of his skin when he sees Jimin casually leaning against the lockers, smiling innocently at him. And, fuck, this kid is way too cute up close- seriously, Yoongi just wants to kiss his nose and buy him a cupcake or something.

“You’re Min Yoongi, right?” Jimin’s asking now, all uncertain and he’s biting at his lip, and goddamnit, Jimin, stop being so fucking endearing. “You’re on the basketball team? Or is that not you? Shit, I’m such an idiot, sorry- God, I’m sorry, I thought you were Min Yoongi. My bad-”

Before Jimin can keep babbling away, Yoongi reaches out and places a hand on the kid’s arm, silencing him. “Chill, kid, I’m Yoongi.”

“Oh,” Jimin smiles brightly, “you had me worried I had the wrong guy.”

Before Yoongi has the chance to, no doubt awkwardly, ask Jimin out, J-Hope appears out of fucking nowhere, here to ruin his life, as usual.

“Yo, Suga! Finally decided to put the moves on Jimin, eh? About time, man.”

“Fuck off, Hoseok,” Yoongi grunts, pushing the taller boy away. He turns to face Jimin again to see the younger boy staring at him in shock. “Listen-”

“You like me?” Jimin interrupts with wide eyes, hands playing with the hem of his sweater. “Like, like me?”

Yoongi cradles his head in his hands, wondering why the fuck he’s even friends with J-Hope or Zico; they’re both terrible people. “Uh, yeah, I guess.” He rubs the back of his neck with his right hand, shrugging a shoulder, “I mean, I might be interested in going on a date with you, or whatever. If you wanted to, that is. Do- Do you?”

Jimin shyly nods his head and later on in the day when Yoongi is walking Jimin to his class, he’ll consider thanking both J-Hope and Zico for their interference in his love life, before ultimately deciding against it; they’re both too full of themselves as it is.

Chapter Text

“Jin, have you seen my glasses?”

Namjoon raises an eyebrow at the glare he receives.

“Jin-”

He gets a shush this time from his husband.

“Just a simple shake or nod of your head would suffice.” Namjoon grouses, pursing his lips when Jin sighs in annoyance and leaves their bedroom altogether; the phone call he’s on apparently more important than helping his own husband.

“Guess I’ll just blindly look for them on my own, then!” Namjoon calls after him.

It’s nearly midnight when Jin gets off the phone and comes back to their bedroom. Namjoon’s already in bed, reading a book, his glasses now perched on his nose, and steadfastly ignoring Jin.

“You’re as bad as the kids, you know that?” Jin says as he settles into bed beside him. “They can’t go two minutes without interrupting my phone calls, either.”

Namjoon sticks his tongue out, further cementing the fact that his mental age is around ten years old.

“Anyway, that was my mom,” Jin tells him, leaning his head on Namjoon’s shoulder to see what he’s reading, “she’s moving into her new place next week and I told her I would help her out for a few days.”

Namjoon hums, half listening.

“Which means you’ll be alone with the kids, Namjoon.”

Namjoon shuts his book, turning to face Jin, “You sound apprehensive about leaving me alone with them.”

“Not apprehensive, no… just… concerned.”

“You do realize that I’ve looked after them before, right? I'm their dad, not some stranger.”

Jin rolls his eyes, “I know you can look after them, but next week’s going to be hectic. Jimin’s got dance practice for his showcase that’s coming up; Tae’s got the science fair to prepare for-”

Namjoon holds his hands up, smiling, “Jin, calm down; everything’s gonna be fine. I can handle it.” At Jin’s dubious look, Namjoon kisses him, “I’ve got it covered. Don’t worry so much, Princess.”

Jin scowls at the nickname, but sighs nonetheless, trusting Namjoon to take care of everything while he’s away.

*

The morning Jin leaves, Namjoon finds a list on his nightstand, scoffing while he reads it.

- Grocery shopping is only to be done with Jimin. DO NOT let Taehyung come; you will lose him.
- Don’t let Jimin do the laundry.
- Kookie hasn’t been eating his vegetables lately- good luck getting him to eat them, Namjoonie <3
- Taehyung won’t eat his vegetables either. Don’t bother trying to get him to eat them.
- Jimin isn’t allowed to see Yoongi Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday this week because he’s grounded.

Namjoon glosses over the rest of the list (which is ridiculously long) and sets it back on the nightstand. He wanders down the hallway and knocks on Jimin’s door, frowning when he hears muffled voices coming from inside. Namjoon opens the door, sighing when he sees Yoongi in the process of climbing out of Jimin’s window.

“Good morning, Yoongi.”

Yoongi pokes his head back in the window, cringing, “Morning, Mr. Kim.”

“I assume you just popped in to say good morning to Jimin, right? You certainly weren’t here all night, correct?” Namjoon asks, eyes narrowed, though he fights the grin threatening to take over his face when Jimin and Yoongi exchange panicked looks.

“Oh, uh, yeah. I just came by a few minutes ago.” Yoongi affirms, nodding his head. “So, uh, morning, Sunshine. I’ll see you at school, yeah?”

Jimin nods, waving goodbye as Yoongi shimmies out the window and into the large tree beside it, dropping to the ground and beginning the walk back to his own house. “I swear, Dad, he-”

“We’ll just keep this between us, alright, Jiminie?” Namjoon smiles, pulling his son out into the hallway and leading him to the kitchen, “What your mom doesn’t know won’t kill him.”

“Awesome!”

“Now how about we start breakfast?”

Jimin nods, grabbing two aprons and handing one to his dad, laughing when he puts it on. “You look good in ruffles, Dad.”

“I think your mom pulls them off better than I do,” Namjoon argues, going into the fridge to get some eggs. “So you wanna tell me why you’re grounded for part of the week?”

Jimin starts frying eggs in a large pan. “I didn’t finish my chores.” he says. “But, Dad, there wasn’t time! I had dance practice, like, every day after school, and Yoongi had a basketball game, and I couldn’t miss that!”

“Surely not,” Namjoon quietly agrees with a grin. “Listen, kiddo, I know what it’s like to have a boyfriend-” At Jimin’s look of disbelief, Namjoon rolls his eyes, “I wasn’t always old and married, you know. I did happen to date when I was your age.”

“Yeah, you dated Mom. That doesn’t count.”

“It doesn’t count? I beg to differ.” Namjoon says, “If I hadn’t dated your mom, you wouldn’t be here, Jiminie.”

“Yeah, but-”

“Your mom and I were just like you and Yoongi,” Namjoon takes the frying pan from Jimin and flips the eggs. “I used to skip out on school to visit him at his school-”

“You didn’t go to the same school?”

“Nah, Mom told me he went to an all boy’s high school.” Taehyung answers, sitting at the kitchen table, his hair sticking up every which way and eyes still heavy with sleep. “And that Dad used to come visit him a ton.”

Namjoon nods his head, pouring Taehyung a glass of orange juice. “So I get that it’s hard to split your time between what’s important and what you want to do. But, Jimin, you’ve gotta realize that when your mom asks you to do something, like your chores, you need to do what he says.”

“I know, but-”

“Otherwise, you’re showing him a lack of respect.”

Jimin bows his head, shoulders sagging. “Right. You’re right, Dad. I’ll apologize when he comes back.”

“That’s my boy.” Namjoon takes two plates out and sets them on the table, distributing the eggs evenly for his sons. “I’ll be right back, boys. Dig in. I gotta get Kookie.”

Jimin watches his dad leave the kitchen and stares at his brother, “You think he realizes he left the stove on?” He gestures to where there’s still a fire underneath the burner.

Taehyung gets up and turns it off. “We’re gonna have to keep a close eye on him this week.”

Jimin nods. “Agreed.”

*

“Taehyung, where’s your brother?”

Taehyung shrugs a shoulder, seemingly more engrossed in his show than what his dad’s saying. Which is absolutely true; his dad, try as he might, just isn’t as interesting as Attack on Titan. “Which one?”

Namjoon rolls his eyes, gesturing to a sleeping Jungkook in his arms, “Jimin, Taehyung. I think I know where Jungkook is.”

“Oh, yeah- Uh, he’s got detention today.”

Namjoon scrubs a hand over his face, “And why does he have detention?”

“Dunno.” Taehyung answers, grabbing a handful of chips and shoving them into his mouth. “Didn’t ask him when I saw him before I left school.”

“Lovely.” Namjoon mutters. “Come on, Kookie, we’ll just go to the grocery store alone, then, won’t we?”

Taehyung perks up at that and spins around to face his dad, “Can I come? I never get to go grocery shopping with Mom!”

Namjoon thinks back to the note on his nightstand.

DO NOT let Taehyung go grocery shopping

But, honestly, Namjoon would rather have Taehyung’s company than go through the arduous process of buying everything on his own. What’s the worst that could happen?

*

Jin is going to kill him. Slowly and methodically, and nobody will recognize his body after his husband is done with it because he’s lost Taehyung and Jin will never forgive him.

One minute the boy was at his side chatting away and the next Namjoon’s standing in the canned foods aisle, wondering where his son’s gone off to. He tries to remain calm, pushing the cart through each aisle, absently listening to Jungkook name off the food products he recognizes.

“Froot Loops!”

Namjoon smiles, though it’s strained as he still hasn’t seen Taehyung anywhere. “That’s right, Kookie. You like Froot Loops, right?”

Jungkook nods, eyes seemingly scanning everything in the cereal aisle.

“He’s sixteen, where would he go?” Namjoon mutters to himself, stopping in the middle of the aisle to collect his thoughts. “Okay, kiddo, if you were sixteen where would you go?”

Jungkook seems to be pondering his question and Namjoon patiently waits for a response, knowing his son is just trying to come up with the right words.

“Carousel.”

Namjoon laughs and ruffles the boy’s thick hair, “I don’t think he went to the carousel outside the store, Jungkook, but I think I know a little boy who wants to do that, right?”

Jungkook doesn’t answer, too preoccupied with trying to grab a jar of strawberry jam off the shelf, and Namjoon returns his search for Taehyung.

He looks down every aisle, seeing no sign of his son and genuinely starts freaking out. He’s this close to calling Jin and asking where Taehyung might go until he hears it:

“Would Kim Namjoon please come to the customer service desk; we have your son. I repeat: Would Kim Namjoon come to the customer service desk; we have your son.”

Namjoon’s too relieved to feel embarrassed at the stares the other shoppers are giving him as he rushes to the service desk, eyes immediately zeroing in on Taehyung. “Taehyung! Where were you?”

“Sir, we caught your son putting Mentos in soda bottles outside the store. Not only did he cause a mess, he didn’t pay for the supplies he took from the store.”

Namjoon doesn’t have a response for that. Honestly, what’s he supposed to say? He’s not even surprised to learn that his son was performing science experiments at the grocery store; he’s more thankful that he won’t have to tell Jin that he lost their son.

“It was in the name of science!” Taehyung claims, arms crossed over his chest. “I just wanted to see if the results would be different with Coke versus Mountain Dew. And I was gonna pay for the stuff I used. Obviously.”

“You caused a big mess, kid.” the sales person tells Taehyung and Namjoon just reaches into his wallet, handing over a few bills and apologizing before dragging Taehyung away.

“Dad, before you get mad-”

“Too late.” Namjoon rubs at his temples, “What were you thinking, Tae? Why didn’t you just wait until we got home?”

Taehyung shrugs, “I dunno. The stuff was here and I didn’t really think about the consequences, I guess.”

“Like the consequences of shoplifting?”

“I was gonna pay for it!” Taehyung maintains. “I know stealing’s wrong. I figured if I was still on the store’s property it would be fine.”

Namjoon sighs, “Alright, new rule: no leaving the store without paying for things. And no science experiments in public, you got it?”

“I got it, yeah.” Taehyung mumbles, scuffing his shoes against the floor. “I didn’t mean to get into trouble.” He nervously looks at his dad, “Are you gonna tell Mom about this?”

Namjoon really should, because he and Jin don’t have any secrets from each other, but this time? “I won’t tell your mom, kiddo. But you gotta promise me you won’t run off again.”

Taehyung grins widely, hugging his dad, “Thank you! I promise! You’re the best, Dad!”

Namjoon looks down at Jungkook, “Hear that, Kookie? I’m the best.”

“Daddy best?”

Taehyung pinches Jungkook’s cheek, “You got that right, Kookie.”

*

“DAD!”

Namjoon groans loudly as looks at the clock on the nightstand: 6:20 AM.

“DAAAAAAAAAAAAAADDDDD!”

Namjoon hauls himself out of bed, blearily reaching for a shirt and slipping it on as he stumbles into the hall. He is not a morning person and Jimin knows that.

He trips a few times going down the stairs and winds up in the kitchen to see Jimin tearing apart the fridge.

“DAAAAAA-”

Namjoon winces at the volume. He taps his son on the shoulder, “Right behind you.”

Jimin pulls his head out of the fridge and anxiously looks at his dad, “Where is it?”

“Where’s what?”

“Whatever you baked,” Jimin answers, going back to the fridge. “I can’t find anything, Dad!”

Namjoon isn’t sure if it’s just the early hour that’s making him so confused or his own stupidity, but he has absolutely no idea what Jimin’s talking about. As if he senses his dad’s confusion, Jimin turns back to him and says, “Dad, please tell me you baked something for Suga.”

Namjoon yawns, holding up a finger, and disappearing back upstairs. He finds the list on the nightstand and puts his glasses on, reading through the thing before he finds it:

- Don’t forget to make something for Yoongi’s birthday! His mom’s working the late shift at the hospital that night and I already told her we’d take care of a birthday dinner and cake (or cookies, whatever you feel comfortable baking, Namjoonie) for Yoongi :)

Ah.

All right, then.

This… should be interesting.

He goes back to the kitchen and pulls Jimin out of the fridge, closing the door. “I haven’t baked anything yet, Jiminie-”

“Dad, I wanted to give Yoongi something at lunch!”

“Jimin, I didn’t even realize I was supposed to bake anything until about thirty seconds ago.” Namjoon tiredly tells him. “Grab some money from my wallet- you can buy him lunch, yeah?”

Jimin deflates at his dad’s words, but nods, “Yeah, okay. I guess. I wanted to give him something homemade, though.”

“I promise I’ll make dinner and a cake for him, Jiminie. Go get ready for school and stop worrying- everything’ll be fine.”

*

Namjoon soon learns that not only does he have to make a birthday cake and dinner for Yoongi, he’s also gotta do the laundry (his first indication of that is that Taehyung’s been wearing the same shirt the past three days in a row); pick up the mail; remember to pay the bills; change the lightbulbs in the living room (how it’s possible they all burnt out at the same time, Namjoon will never know); and pick up Jimin and Taehyung’s new glasses from the optometrist's office (unfortunately, his son’s have both been cursed with as poor of eyesight as Namjoon and Jin).

How the fuck Jin does all this kind of stuff every day while Namjoon's at work is a mystery. The man is a goddamn superhero because Namjoon barely manages to get home before the kids, with take out from Yoongi’s favorite pizza joint and a cake from the nearest bakery (don’t judge him, he can’t cook or bake).

The night goes off without a hitch, though, and Yoongi is smiling, which means Jimin is ecstatic and Namjoon’s just happy the kid’s birthday is being spent with people that care about him and not home alone.

*

When Jin comes home on Saturday, Namjoon’s got bags under his eyes and he feels like he’s been running a goddamn marathon all week. He doesn’t even try to pretend that the house isn’t a disaster zone: there’re dishes piled high in the sink; the bathrooms haven’t been cleaned all week; the white laundry’s now pink (Namjoon mistakenly forgot about the list and let Jimin do the laundry); and Namjoon may’ve smashed the TV the other night with the Wii remote while playing with Taehyung.

“You look tired, sweetie,” Jin tells him, patting his cheek mockingly. “Were the kids too much for you?”

Namjoon just smiles and wraps his husband in his arms, murmuring into his ear, “You are Supermom, you know that?”

Jin pulls back and laughs, “I am, am I?”

“I don’t know how you look after everything, Princess, but I’m grateful you do.” Namjoon kisses him, laughing at the twin looks of disgust on his son’s faces. “Next time you leave, we’re coming with you.”

Chapter Text

“Run that by me again?”

Jimin points at the flyer stuck to the corkboard in his bedroom that advertises the upcoming Spring Formal, “That’s our deadline; the Spring Formal.”

Yoongi runs a hand through his hair, pacing back and forth, “See, this is where I’m still confused.” He stares at Jimin, “Because I don’t remember signing up for this little mission of yours.”

“You’re dating me.” Jimin explains with a shrug, “Which means you automatically get roped into my plans. You should know that by now, Suga.”

If Yoongi had a stronger will he might be able to say no to Jimin. As it is, the kid’s pout gets to him every time and he caves within the first ten minutes of Jimin’s begging. And that’s how he winds up becoming a goddamn interrogator (sort of).

“Any movies playing that you wouldn’t mind seeing?”

Hoseok shrugs a shoulder, grabbing the salt shaker and tipping some into his soup, “Not really.”

“Okay, what about bowling or something? Sound fun?”

“Eh.”

Yoongi resists the urge to roll his eyes at Hoseok’s less than helpful answers. They’re eating dinner at a café that’s just down the street from Jimin’s house and Yoongi promised his boyfriend he’d bring him back some useful info. But after ten minutes of talking and getting nothing but useless answers from Hoseok, Yoongi gives up on the original plan.

“J-Hope, you’re killing me here. Just tell me what kind of fucking date you wanna go on.”

Hoseok stops the spoon about halfway to his lips and sets it back into his bowl, laughing nervously and looking so uncomfortable that Yoongi’s surprised he hasn’t bolted from the restaurant yet. “Suga, listen, man, I like you as a friend and everything, but-”

Yoongi pulls a face, “I don’t wanna date you, you idiot. I’m finding this shit out for a friend.”

“Wait, wait, wait!” Hoseok holds his hands up. “Someone wanted you to find out what kind of date I wanted to go on? Why didn’t they just ask me themselves?”

“Because you rejected their first offer,” Yoongi tells him. “It’s Kim Taehyung.”

Hoseok frowns and bites at his lip as if he’s trying to remember if he’s ever met Taehyung. Yoongi’s not really sure how one would forget meeting Kim Taehyung (Yoongi’s own first encounter with the kid involved being tackled to the ground and having to answer a riddle before he was let up), but apparently Hoseok doesn’t remember, which is fine because Yoongi was told all about it and can absolutely refresh his memory.

“Apparently he asked you to watch a shooting star with him or something? I don’t know, whatever, doesn’t matter. Point is-”

Oh… that guy, Jimin’s brother, yeah I remember him.” Hoseok nods his head. “He, uh- He came on a little strong.”

“Yeah, that sounds about right.” Yoongi mumbles under his breath. He sighs, “Listen, Taehyung’s a good kid; I mean, he’s weird-”

Hoseok shrugs, “I didn’t think he was weird-”

“Seriously?” Yoongi frowns and raises an eyebrow, “Everyone thinks he’s weird. Because he is. Like, super weird.”

“I thought he was charming. He said I had nice legs,” Hoseok laughs at the memory, “He was cute. I felt bad for flaking out on our plans to watch the meteor shower.”

Yoongi feels like his entire head is about to explode. “Wait, hold on a fucking minute. You were gonna go on that date with him?”

Hoseok nods, “Yeah, ‘course. But my mom wasn’t really down with me going to some guy’s house at four in the morning on a school night, so…”

Yoongi doesn’t even know how to respond to the fact that Hoseok seems to like Taehyung back- at least enough to want to go on a date with him. This is… unexpected. Really fucking unexpected. And it throws Jimin’s entire mission out the window. Forget subterfuge and stealthily trying to get the two to like each other over the course of weeks, the busywork's already done.

This makes Yoongi's life so much easier.

“Give me your phone.”

And since Hoseok’s a trusting guy he hands the device over without any further questions. Yoongi grabs his own phone and finds Taehyung’s contact info, copying the number into Hoseok’s phone and handing it back to the other boy with a grin.

*

From: Suga
March 21, 16:22

Operation Hope is going differently than we planned, Sunshine.

From: Sunshine
March 21, 16:24

oh no :(
whatd you do???

From: Suga
March 21, 16:24

I’m offended that you think I did anything.

From: Sunshine
March 21, 16:29

i know you. you definitely did something.

From: Suga
March 21, 16:30

Turns out he already sorta likes Taehyung so I gave him your brother’s number.

From: Sunshine
March 21, 16:31

OMG! :D:D
did you tell him to text tae????

Jimin sets his phone down, waiting for Yoongi’s text when his bedroom door flies open, Taehyung launching himself at his bed and flopping down on it. He holds his phone over his head like a trophy, grinning widely.

“I don’t know how he got my number, but J-Hope texted me!” Taehyung practically squeals, his legs flailing wildly in his excitement. “He wants to play tennis this weekend!”

They both ignore the fact that Taehyung doesn’t actually know how to play tennis and jump up and down together, acting like twelve year old girls with their first crush.

Suddenly a flash goes off and Jimin and Taehyung spin around to gape at their dad who’s holding a camera. “Dad!”

“What? It was cute; you two jumping around like little kids,” Namjoon defends with a grin. “You can’t fault your dad for wanting to capture that moment, can you? What’s so exciting, anyway? I want to jump around, too."

“The guy Tae’s crushing on asked him out,” Jimin shares, “they’re gonna go play tennis.”

OMG!” Namjoon says with a wry grin, hopping up and down in the doorjamb, much to Taehyung and Jimin’s embarrassment. He steps into the room and ruffles Taehyung’s hair, “Who’s the lucky guy, Tae? Have I met him?”

“J-Hope,” Taehyung answers, smile still on his face as he cradles his phone to his chest. “Remember, Dad? You met him, like, two weeks ago? He called you Mr. Monster.”

Namjoon laughs, “Right, that kid. He’s your dance partner, right, Jimin?”

“Sort of,” Jimin says, “we get paired up sometimes, but it’s not like a regular thing.”

“You know, I think your mom has a tennis racket in the garage,” Namjoon thinks aloud, “from back when he was trying to get us all to exercise more.”

Taehyung groans at the memory, “Glad that phase is over. Bike rides at six in the morning were not my idea of a good time.”

"At least he didn't drag you to synchronized swimming lessons." Jimin mutters.

*

It's Saturday afternoon and Yoongi's kicking Jimin's ass in Mortal Kombat when the front door slams open and shut.

“I almost killed J-Hope!”

Jimin and Yoongi drop their controllers on the ground, video game forgotten as Taehyung runs into the living room, eyes wide and face pulled into a grimace.

“Whoa, slow down!”

“What happened?”

Taehyung sits down on the couch and drops the tennis racket beside him, repeating I almost killed him over and over again, as if in a trance.

Jimin lightly slaps Taehyung’s arm, “Tae, focus! Tell us what happened?”

“I hit him in the head with my racket.” Taehyung shakily admits. “And then with the tennis ball.”

“Is he okay?”

“I don't know! I think so?” Taehyung plays with the rings on his fingers, avoiding looking at either Jimin or Yoongi. “He was trying to teach me how to swing the racket and I got him in the neck the first time. And then later I accidentally hit the ball right at his face!”

Jimin looks at Taehyung, clearly horrified.

“And then I ran.”

Yoongi sighs loudly, raking a hand through his hair, “You ran off?”

“I was scared he was gonna be mad!” Taehyung hastily explains, “And I was so embarrassed!”

“Worst first date ever.” Jimin proclaims, slinging his arm around Taehyung’s shoulders. “You’ll do better next time.”

Taehyung gives Jimin the look- the same look their mom gives their dad when he’s being an idiot (needless to say, the look happens quite often), “I think it’s safe to say I’m not gonna have another date until I’m sixty.”

*

Jimin’s walking out of the boy’s bathroom when he sees Hoseok talking to some guys down the hall. There’s a band-aid across his nose and the skin around it looks swollen and yellow, tinged with blue and purple bruises closest to his nose- clearly the handiwork of his brother.

From: ChimChim
March 25, 09:17

just saw jhope in the hall! you might wanna stay away from him

From: TaeTae
March 25, 09:18

WHY?????

From: ChimChim
March 25, 09:20

just trust me tae.

From: TaeTae
March 25, 09:20

o_O
IF YOU SAY SO

*

“Jimin!”

Jimin stops before entering his math classroom, turning around to see Hoseok jogging to catch up with him. He gets out of the way of the other students milling about the hallway and waits for Hoseok, cringing when the older boy gets close enough that Jimin can see his swollen nose more clearly.

Hoseok stops in front of Jimin, grinning brightly despite the pain his face must be in, “Have you seen Taehyung? I’ve been looking for him all day. He hasn’t answered my texts. I’m worried about him.”

Jimin blinks in confusion. Then does it again.

Because what?

Hoseok’s worried about Taehyung? Seriously?

Any other person in the universe would be pissed at the guy who ran away after hitting a tennis ball at their face. But Jung Hoseok? No. Hoseok is clearly crazy and too good for this world if he’s worried about Taehyung.

The bell rings before Jimin has a chance to give Hoseok an answer and the older boy just sighs, “Listen, if you see him, can you tell him to at least text me back?”

“Sure thing,” Jimin replies before going off to his next class, head reeling. He pulls his phone out and composes a new message:

From: ChimChim
March 25, 13:55

just ran into jhope. he wants u to text him tae.

From: TaeTae
March 25, 13:59

DID HE LOOK MAD?
 
From: TaeTae
March 25, 14:00

DOES HE WANNA BEAT ME UP?

From: TaeTae
March 25, 14:00

IS HIS FACE OKAY? IS IT STILL BEAUTIFUL?

Taehyung gives up waiting for a reply from his brother when ten minutes pass, and he scrolls through his phone, finally gathering all his courage and opening Hoseok’s unread texts from the past few days. There are… a lot of them. He expects them to be filled with Hoseok yelling at him, probably telling him to go fuck himself (not that he doesn’t necessarily deserve it after their disastrous date), maybe even a threat or two, but this?

From: J-Hope
March 23, 15:11

Taehyung? Why’d you leave??????

From: J-Hope
March 23, 15:18

Did something come up? You left so quickly I didn’t have a chance to ask :(

From: J-Hope
March 23, 15:40

Taehyung, are you okay?

From: J-Hope
March 24, 07:01

Okay, so maybe tennis was a bad idea. You can pick what we do for the next date, okay? Any meteor showers going on in the near future? :D :D :D :D :D

From: J-Hope
March 24, 10:57

Are you mad at me? Did I do something?

From: J-Hope
March 24, 20:38

I’m getting the feeling you don’t wanna talk to me :( What’d I do, Taehyung?

From: J-Hope
March 25, 08:22

Maybe we can talk at school?? Pretty please?????

*

Taehyung’s nervously sitting outside of school, waiting for Hoseok to come out the front doors. He watches the other students pass him by, looking for the telltale sign of Hoseok’s purple jacket. He twiddles his thumbs for a few minutes until he sees the boy and barrels his way towards him, coming to stand in front of him.

“Taehyung!”

Taehyung licks his lips in nervousness, wincing at the sight of Hoseok’s face. “I am so sorry, Hoseok-”

“You’re sorry?” Hoseok frowns, pulling Taehyung out of the throng of students and further along the sidewalk where it’s more secluded. “I’m sorry, Taehyung.”

“No, no, you don’t have anything to be sorry for!” Taehyung insists, biting his lip. “You didn’t do anything!”

“I must’ve done something,” Hoseok says so quietly that Taehyung barely hears him. And the older boy looks so confused and downtrodden that Taehyung feels a million times worse. Hoseok should never be anything other than happy and smiling and laughing, and fuck, he’s made this amazing boy who he likes so damn much look miserable.

The universe’s cosmic forces are not guiding him very well throughout this crises.

“Look, the reason why I ran off on Saturday was because I was embarrassed,” Taehyung confesses. “I hit you in the face with my racket and a tennis ball! And I was kinda scared you were gonna hate me or be mad-”

“Mad? It was an accident! I would never be mad at you for something like that, Taehyung. Honestly,” Hoseok chuckles, flinching when his face flares up in pain. “I thought something was wrong, or you didn’t like me- You do like me, right? Like, this didn’t screw everything up, did it?”

Taehyung quickly shakes his head, “No, no, I like you! I like you a lot!”

Hoseok smiles brightly, “Good. Because I really like you, too.”

“So… what now?”

“Wanna get ice cream with me? My treat.”

Taehyung smiles widely, “It’s March. Most people would think it’s too cold to get ice cream.”

Hoseok looks insulted by the very idea. “Excuse me? It’s never too cold for ice cream.”

Taehyung laughs and shyly intertwines his fingers with Hoseok’s. “That’s exactly the answer I was hoping for. I don’t think I could be in a relationship with anyone who didn’t like ice cream in any climate.”

“Luckily,” Hoseok winks at Taehyung, “I’m into weird things like that.”

*

“We did it! Operation: Hope was a success!”

Yoongi stares blankly at his boyfriend, “We didn’t do anything, Sunshine. They got together on their own.”

Please,” Jimin scoffs, fixing himself and Yoongi a sandwich in the kitchen, “without us-”

“They still would’ve wound up together.” Yoongi interjects, grabbing the food from Jimin and carrying it into the living room, going to switch the TV on until he sees it’s got a large crack down the center. “If I had known your TV was broken I would’ve made you come over to my house.”

“Dad broke it when he was playing Wii Bowling with Tae.” Jimin offhandedly comments, dragging Yoongi with him to his room instead. “And are you saying the only reason you come over is because of my TV?”

“Absolutely.” Yoongi answers with a straight face, laughing at the look of betrayal on Jimin’s face. “All right, all right; I might come over to see you, too. But the TV’s the main reason.”

“Hardy har har,” Jimin deadpans with an eyeroll. “You be nice to me or I might not ask you to be my date for the Spring Formal. I might just go with Tae and J-Hope.”

“Three’s a crowd, Sunshine.” Yoongi bluntly tells him, “And it’s not really much of a threat when you know I don’t wanna go to that thing.”

“Fine," Jimin says, smirking, "you be nice to your extra sweet boyfriend or no more napping together.”

Yoongi scowls, “Now you’re just being cruel.”

 

 

Chapter Text

It’s warm and safe, and all Jungkook wants is to stay like this forever. Except someone’s loudly opened his door and there’s sun coming from the window now and it hurts his eyes-

So he starts crying, and Daddy is shushing him, but his face is too close and Jungkook doesn’t like it when Daddy’s hair is all crazy like a clown's in the morning, so he cries for Mommy because Mommy is safer and he’ll know why Jungkook’s upset (Daddy thinks he’s hungry. Silly Daddy).

Except Mommy isn’t coming. Why isn’t Mommy coming?

“Mommy!”

“Kookie, Mommy’s sleeping. Why don’t we have some breakfast, huh?”

Jungkook shakes his head, wriggling around in Daddy’s arms when he’s taken out of his bed. He makes urgent grabby hands at the stuffed rabbit still in his bed and when it looks like Daddy’s going to leave without his toy, Jungkook lets out a scream, fresh tears falling down his cheeks.

Why doesn’t Daddy get it? Jungkook’s so frustrated with Daddy right now. The man is driving him crazy this morning! Mommy would understand; Mommy’s so much smarter than Daddy.

Daddy takes him down the stairs and Jungkook wants his toy, but he doesn’t know the word for it yet so he just pounds his fists against Daddy, glaring when Daddy uses his serious voice to tell him to stop.

Jungkook doesn’t like the serious voice. Daddy only uses it when Jungkook’s being a bad boy, but it’s Daddy’s fault, not his! Daddy knows he doesn’t like to go anywhere without his stuffed rabbit! Daddy’s being the bad one, not Jungkook!

“Jungkook, behave.”

Jungkook crosses his arms over his chest, eyes widening in horror when it looks like Daddy’s going to start cooking breakfast. This isn’t good; Daddy is not good at making food! But Mommy’s really good at it- and so is J’min!

“J’min!”

Daddy shakes his head at him, putting a bowl of porridge and a stack of… carrots (doesn’t Daddy know he doesn’t like vegetables?!) in front of him. Daddy’s got another thing coming to him if he thinks Jungkook's going to touch those carrots.

He pushes the food away, staring at Daddy. Your move, Daddy.

“Kookie, you gotta eat your veggies.” Daddy tells him, but Jungkook knows it’s a lie. TaeTae doesn’t eat his vegetables either, so why should he?

“Not gonna eat.” Jungkook says, firmly shutting his lips when Daddy tries to slip a carrot in his mouth.

Daddy looks tired all of a sudden and Jungkook thinks he should take a nap if he’s tired. He’s about to tell Daddy that when Mommy comes into the kitchen, and he smiles at Jungkook, and Jungkook smiles back because he loves Mommy so much!

Mommy sits at the table with him and plays with his hair, and Jungkook likes it when he does that because it feels so nice and Mommy always knows what to do to make him happy.

“You wanna grow up to be a big boy, don’t you, Kookie?” Mommy asks him and Jungkook’s eyes widen because he does, he really does! He nods his head and Mommy looks so pretty when he’s happy. And Jungkook's proud because he did that; he made Mommy happy- all on his own!

“Then you gotta eat your veggies, kiddo.” Daddy says, and Jungkook frowns at Daddy, wondering if this is still some kind of trick. “That’s how your brother’s got so big. They ate all their veggies when they were little like you.”

Jungkook looks back to Mommy. He knows Mommy wouldn’t lie to him. “Really?”

“Of course, Kookie!” Mommy picks a carrot up and maybe Jungkook will eat one. Just one, though! No need to go overboard just yet. “Here comes the airplane!”

The airplane?! Jungkook’s excited now because he loves the airplane! It’s his favorite and he can see the orange airplane flying in the sky and it’s coming closer to his mouth, so he opens as wide as he can until it lands in his mouth. He munches happily on the airplane, showing Mommy and Daddy the food in his mouth, and they clap their hands and Jungkook feels like such a good boy.

“Good boy, Kookie!”

Jungkook just stares at Daddy because, duh, he knows he’s a good boy. The airplane went into his mouth, didn't it? Silly Daddy.

*

Jungkook doesn’t know why J’min kisses the boy with pink hair. He’s pretty sure that J’min and the boy aren’t married like Mommy and Daddy, but the pink haired boy gives him horsy rides and plays with him, and he’s always at their house (Jungkook doesn’t think he lives with them, but maybe he does? He’s not too sure), so Jungkook supposes it’s okay that he kisses J’min. For now.

The boy with pink hair doesn’t have a name, but J’min keeps telling him to say Shhhooogah, but it’s too hard. His mouth doesn’t know how to do that yet, so Jungkook doesn’t call him anything and everything is fine like that.

J’min and the boy are in J’min’s room and Jungkook wants in, but the door’s closed, and J’min knows he can’t reach the doorknob! He’s too short! He smacks his hands against the door and shouts J’min’s name, because he knows his brother will hear him, but instead of J’min, the boy with pink hair opens the door and looks at him before picking him up.

“Shouldn’t someone be watching your brother?”

Jungkook is placed on the bed and he stands up, wobbling on the unsteady surface. J’min’s bed is so much bigger than his! He takes a few steps to reach J’min and flops onto his brother, giggling when J’min makes an oof! sound.

“Tae was supposed to be watching him.”

Jungkook recognizes the name Tae and grins widely, playing with J’min’s fingers. He’s about to demand J’min play a game with him until he sees the boy with pink hair playing with the necklace around his neck, and it’s shiny.

Jungkook really likes shiny things. It looks like something Daddy would wear and Jungkook wants to see it closer, so he crawls over to the boy and starts the process of climbing up his body (why everyone can’t be as short as him, Jungkook doesn’t know, but it makes life so much harder).

He’s surprised when he’s picked up and eye-level with the boy with pink hair. Jungkook tries saying Shhhooogah, but it only comes out as, “Oooguh!”

That must be good enough, though, because the boy laughs and pokes his nose, settling Jungkook on his lap, but no! Bad Shhhooogah! Why doesn't he get it? He wants to see the necklace, not sit on his lap! Jungkook looks at J’min and points at his neck, “Wanna see!”

But J’min’s not listening to him, and Jungkook pouts because he doesn’t like it when people don’t listen to him. TaeTae always listens to him. He should’ve stayed with TaeTae and not run off to see J’min.

J’min’s being stupid.

*

Jungkook doesn’t know who’s holding him, but he doesn’t like it. He starts crying and flails his arms out, trying to get out of the person’s grip who has him. It isn’t Daddy or Mommy, he knows that. Daddy’s arms are strong and he knows that Jungkook absolutely doesn’t like to be held like a baby! He likes it when he’s carried on Daddy or Mommy’s hip or against their chest because it feels better and this person is stupid and Jungkook doesn’t want to be held by them anymore!

“Kookie, what’s wrong?”

Jungkook looks at where the voice is coming from and he sees TaeTae! TaeTae will help him! He reaches out to him and his cries start to subside into hiccups when the stranger hands him off to TaeTae.

TaeTae is comfortable and familiar, and he smells like Mommy’s cookies that he baked earlier today (Jungkook got to eat two of them, instead of one!). He clings to his brother’s shirt, sniffling into it and wonders why TaeTae let the mean stranger hold him.

“Sorry, Hoseok,” TaeTae says, and Jungkook doesn’t know who Hoosuk is, but he doesn’t like him! “He’s usually pretty calm; I don’t know why he’s crying,”

Jungkook wants to tell TaeTae that he’s crying because Hoosuk is a stranger and strangers are scary, but he settles for burrowing further into TaeTae’s clothes.

“It’s okay, Tae; he probably just doesn’t know me yet. Isn’t that right, little guy?”

Jungkook doesn’t like that the stranger’s face is alarmingly close to his own now and does the only thing he can think of when the stranger’s finger enters his field of vision and pokes at his cheek:

He bites down on it. Hard.

The stranger pulls back, staring at Jungkook in shock, and Jungkook huffs, scowling. That’s what you get for putting your finger near my mouth, stupid boy.

*

Jungkook isn’t sure of a lot of things. He’s still learning every day, and Daddy and Mommy tell him he’s a smart Kookie, so they must be right and he is smart.

But when it’s time for dinner and J’min and TaeTae are talking so fast that Jungkook can’t keep up and doesn’t understand and it’s so, so frustrating. He wants to talk as fast as them! And Mommy and Daddy answer TaeTae and J’min and everyone laughs, and Jungkook laughs, too, but he doesn’t really know what’s so funny. He just likes it when everyone’s smiling and happy because when someone’s sad, Jungkook gets sad, too.

And being sad isn’t any fun. Jungkook wants to make his family happy!

Sometimes when there’s a quiet part at dinner, when Daddy and Mommy and TaeTae and J’min are all eating and Jungkook’s supposed to be eating, too (but it’s mostly vegetables on his plate again, bleh), he tries to tell everyone how much he loves them, but it only comes out as a jumbled mess of sounds, because he forgot he had rice in his mouth. And everyone’s laughing and smiling at him.

And Jungkook thinks that maybe he doesn’t need to talk as fast as J’min and TaeTae because they all seem to understand him just fine, and Daddy’s ruffling his hair, and Jungkook likes this.

He likes his family.

He even likes the pink haired boy. Shhhooogah. He’ll try extra hard to work on saying his name like J’min wants him to.

But he still doesn’t like Hoosuk, no matter how much TaeTae keeps telling him he’s funny and nice. Jungkook just doesn’t see it and maintains that the strange boy is stupid and not welcome at their house.

Chapter Text

“FAMILY MEETING!”

Namjoon checks his watch, and, yep, it’s nearly 11PM; the kid’s should definitely be asleep. He slowly turns to look at Jin, “Why aren’t they in bed?”

Jin sets the papers he’s organizing down and marches his way to the living room, asking, “Family meeting? Since when do we have family meetings?” as if that’s the most prevalent thing to be questioning.

Namjoon follows his husband and sees that Jimin and Taehyung are already sitting on the couch, faces as innocent as ever, but Namjoon’s not fooled. Something’s up.

Jin’s apparently thinking along the same lines as he asks, “What did you two do now?”

“We didn’t do anything!” Taehyung’s quick to reassure his parents, smiling brightly. “I need help with something for school.”

Namjoon sighs in relief because hearing that is so much better than the usual news that one of them’s broken something or set something on fire, or worse. “Did you have to wake your brother up for this family meeting?” Namjoon grouses as he picks Jungkook up off the floor where he’s busy building a city out of blocks.

“He was already awake when we went by his room,” Taehyung tells him with a shrug. “Thought we might as well bring him with us.”

Namjoon takes a seat next to Jin and bounces Jungkook in his lap, “So what do you need help with that couldn’t wait until tomorrow morning?”

“Inquiring minds wanna know how you and Mom met.” Taehyung says, and at his dad’s blank look, continues, “Okay, so I’ve gotta do a project on my family history, so I thought I’d write about how you and mom met.” Taehyung explains as he grabs his laptop off the coffee table and sets it on his lap.

“You don’t want to learn about something more, I don’t know, historical? Like from your grandmother? She was alive during-” Jin tries to offer.

Taehyung shakes his head, grimacing, “Last time I talked to grandma, she talked about how she and grandpa haven’t made love in, like, twenty years.”

Jin pulls a face identical to the one Taehyung’s sporting. “Right, right, yeah. Well,” he smiles at Namjoon, “you wanna start or should I?”

“You go ahead.”

“Where to start?” Jin muses, tapping a finger against his chin. “I first met your dad…”

 



   Kim Seokjin meets Kim Namjoon for the first time and it’s not as earth shattering as one might think



Jin’s tired and stressed and it’s not even noon yet. He’s got two assignments due on Monday, he’s failing gym class (because, apparently, it’s not acceptable to be horrendous at sports all the time), and he’s supposed to be meeting his math tutor at the library, but so far the guy’s a no-show and Jin. Just. Wants. To. Scream. Or cry. Possibly a combination of the two.

But he doesn’t because it would be rude to be disruptive in the library. And Kim Seokjin is not rude. He was raised better than that.
 
So, whatever, he can just study by himself. He can learn about advanced trigonometry without his tutor’s help. How hard could it be?

Ten minutes later and Jin finds out that it’s really hard and he is so not cut out for a life dealing with math. He lets his head fall to the table with a dull thunk, thinking of all the ways his day could get worse when someone takes the seat opposite him, making the chair topple over before cursing under their breath and causing a general ruckus.

Jin lazily lifts his head, math homework stuck to his cheek that he hastily peels off, and looks at the guy across from him.

“Hey, sorry I’m late,”

Jin just continues to stare at him. Does this kid think they know each other? Because this just got awkward if that’s the case.

“You’re Kim Seokjin, right? I’m Kim Namjoon. Pleasure to meet you.”

Oh. This must be his tutor. Obviously.

“Where do you wanna start?”

Jin thrusts his homework at him, “If you can explain to me how any of this makes sense, I will be eternally grateful. Seriously, I’ll be in your debt forever.”

The kid pushes his (absurdly) thick glasses further up his nose and takes the offered page, eyes scanning over the problems and grabbing a pencil out of his bookbag, correcting Jin’s mistakes with lightning speed and handing the paper back to him. “Okay, so why don’t you look at the first problem and see if you can figure out what I did,”

Jin can’t figure out what Namjoon did, but after an hour of meticulously going over the problems, he finally gets the hang of it. Maybe. Probably.

“Thanks for this,” Jin says with a small grin, rolling his shoulders to relieve the tension from being hunched over for so long. “Hopefully this’ll stick with me until my test.”

Namjoon laughs, “Nah, you’re smart. It’ll stick. See you next week?”

“Next week.” Jin confirms, slinging his backpack over his shoulder and waving goodbye to Namjoon.

*

“Wait- That’s it?”

Jin raises an eyebrow at Jimin’s outburst.

“No sparks? No love at first sight? Nothing?”

Taehyung enthusiastically nods, “Yeah! I thought your first meeting would be full of you guys being all lovey-dovey around each other!”

Jin chuckles and shakes his head, “I was more concerned with passing my courses than focusing on how cute my tutor was.”

“What a disappointment,” Taehyung sighs, typing something on his laptop, and Jin would bet anything that his word document reads something along the lines of ‘My parents met and it was boring’. “Okay, so you guys met at the library. Dad was your tutor and you didn’t love him yet. Just when does this story get interesting?”

“I think,” Namjoon says, “the next year was when we went on our first date.”

“God, you guys took a long time to get together.” Jimin groans, stretching out on the couch, clearly getting comfortable.

*

Jin’s sitting in the library again, textbook open in front of him. He’s trying to memorize all the bones in the human body and gets as far as ulna when someone drops into the seat across from him.

“You’re late.”

Namjoon grins, “According to you, I’m always late.”

Jin just hums thoughtfully before going back to his studies. He and Namjoon aren’t friends, per se, but they have been studying together for the past month. So, maybe they’re at least acquaintances?

Namjoon slides a muffin across the table and Jin accepts it with a grateful smile-

*

“Alright, so a few months in and Dad gives you muffins? Is that like some sort of ancient mating ritual?”

Namjoon reaches over and smacks the back of Taehyung’s head, “Quiet, let your mom tell the story.”

*

“You never told me what you got on your last exam,” Namjoon casually says, briefly looking up from his own homework. “Did those flash cards help?”

“Oh, of course. I got a B.” Jin sets his highlighter down, flipping the page of his textbook, “They were a great help, yeah. I can’t thank you enough, Namjoon.”

“That’s good,” Namjoon smiles, his dimples showing for a brief moment. “I’m glad they helped.”

For the next three months Jin and Namjoon study together in the public library at least twice a week. Namjoon brings Jin muffins (claiming he bakes a lot and “These were just the leftovers, I thought you might want them.”) and Jin pretends he doesn’t notice the price sticker on the bottom of the treats because it’s kinda cute that Namjoon wants to impress him with his (nonexistent) baking skills for whatever reason.

Over time, they get to know each other better- Namjoon isn’t just that smart kid who tutors him anymore, and Jin isn’t that guy who shouldn’t have taken advanced trigonometry as an elective course.

They grow into friends and it’s nice. Jin’s forgotten what it’s like to have friends who don’t act stuck up all the time just because they go to a private school, and Namjoon marvels at having an older friend who doesn’t just see him as the nerdy kid most of his schoolmates do.

When Jin enters his final year of high school he and Namjoon still meet every Monday and Thursday after school at the public library, but now it’s more of an excuse to see each other than it is to study.

“So you went from advanced mathematics to…?” Namjoon leans over the table, trying to see what Jin’s textbook says. “Anatomy? I don’t know anything about anatomy. Except, like, my own. I’m pretty familiar with my own anatomy.”

Jin sniggers at the blush on Namjoon’s face when he realizes what he’s said.

“I mean- Like… Uh,” Namjoon stammers, hiding his head in his hands. “Just ignore me. Please.”

*

“I knew it!” Taehyung cries, smiling broadly. “I knew Dad would be awkward around Mom!”

Anyone could see that,” Jimin points out. “Dad’s awkward around Mom nowadays and they’ve been married for like fifty years.”

Namjoon raises an eyebrow and turns to Jin, “Fifty years? Just how old does this kid think we are?”

Jin comforts Namjoon with a pat on his leg, “I don’t think the answer to that would be flattering to either of us,”

*

It’s one of the rare sunny days they’ve had this month when Jin suggests they should study outside. Namjoon isn’t a huge fan of the outdoors, but when Jin flashes him a reassuring smile, he can’t find it in himself to resist the idea.

They find a small patch of grass beside the library and lean against the only tree. Namjoon tries to steady his notebook on his bony knees, having a hell of a time doing that while trying to read his textbook that’s on the ground, and his neck’s at an awkward angle, and how is it that Jin looks so at ease and comfortable?

That’s hardly fair.

Namjoon tries to focus on his psychology homework, but the words blur together after a while and his brain doesn’t want to think about the id or ego anymore. He takes his glasses off and rubs at his eyes, turning his head to see if Jin’s still working as diligently as ever, and of course he is.

Jin looks like some kind of angel with the way the sun is filtering in through the leaves of the tree, forming a sort of halo in his hair, and damn, Jin’s gorgeous- handsome in a way that leaves Namjoon a little breathless some days, and makes him envious others. Because one person should not be allowed to monopolize all the beauty in the world.

It’s not the first time Namjoon’s come to that revelation, but it’s the first time he’s thought about just what would happen if he were to tell the other boy that.

Would Jin laugh at him? Pat him on his head, tell him how cute he is for having a crush on an older boy and send him on his way?

“Namjoon?”

“Hmm?”

“Namjoon, you’re staring.”

Riiiiigggghhhht. He probably shouldn’t be so obvious when he’s trying to surreptitiously check Jin out. “Sorry, you, uh... had a… bug… in your hair.” Really? That’s the best his brain could come up with on the fly? Ugh. He hates himself some days.

Jin shakes his head, hands coming up to comb through his hair, “What? Where?”

“Here, I’ll get it,” Namjoon says, and he isn’t even consciously aware of what his body’s doing because now he’s leaning closer to Jin and running his hands through his hair, and it feels really soft and so nice.

He pretends to flick the imaginary bug out of Jin’s hair and grins at him, “Got it.”

“My hero,” Jin says, arm thrown over his face as if he’s swooning, and Namjoon kinda likes the thought that he’s Jin’s hero. “Is there any way I can thank you, gallant knight?”

Namjoon nods before his brain can actually catch up to what his body’s doing, and dear God, now he’s talking again, “Have you- I mean, I was- What I’m trying to say is…”

Jin stares expectantly at Namjoon, smiling, “Yes…?”

“I’d like to take you out to dinner.”

Namjoon takes a moment to be horrified at what he’s just said. He just asked Jin out to dinner? Curiously enough, not lunch. Because lunch would imply… what? Friendship? Dinner is more intimate; it has certain connotations with it. And, Jesus Christ, Namjoon is 100% certain that he shouldn't be allowed out of the house without a muzzle if this is the result of him talking to his extremely gorgeous, older friend.

“Namjoon, what exactly are you asking?” Jin asks, all traces of humor gone from his tone as he tilts his head to the side.

“I’m asking you out to dinner, Jin.” Namjoon repeats, though his voice shakes a bit more than before, and his insides are all twisted up like they get before he's about to go on a roller coaster. "J-Just... dinner."

Namjoon watches the older boy fumble with his words- coming up with a jumble of excuses, and Jin’s not sure if he even voices one correctly. He’s too flustered, too unprepared to deal with someone asking him out. He’s so not used to this.

And maybe Namjoon’s crossed some invisible line of appropriate studying decorum (scratch that, he’s definitely crossed some kind of line) because an awkward silence settles over the two boys after Jin’s mumbled answer (not that it was much of an answer at all; Namjoon didn’t understand if he got a yes or no to his offer) and before Namjoon can fix the situation, Jin stands and brushes the dirt from his pants, bidding Namjoon goodbye and heading off.

Well… that definitely could’ve gone better.

*

“I guess we know where you got your lack of social skills from,” Jimin jokes, nudging his brother with his shoulder.

Taehyung shakes his head, “I’m not as awkward as Dad is!”

“You’re worse! You practically beat up J-Hope on your first date!”

“We promised never to speak of that again!”

*

Namjoon barely holds onto any hope that Jin’s gonna come to their next study session, but there the older boy is, at their usual table with his homework spread out around him, waving at Namjoon from across the library.

Namjoon settles himself into his seat, cautious not to do anything to scare Jin off. He’s hyper aware of everything Jin does- the way he chews on his pen cap when he’s working on a problem, or how he casually stretches out his legs under the table, briefly brushing against Namjoon’s own legs, which leaves the younger boy breathing sharply, trying to ignore the tingling feeling coursing through his body.

“Namjoon, you look stressed. Is school going okay?”

Namjoon forces himself to act like a normal human being and nods. “Yeah, yeah, everything’s good.” Except for the fact that I asked you out and now you're acting like it never happened.

“If you say so,” Jin goes back to his work and Namjoon should really start studying, too, but he can’t find the willpower to drag his gaze away from Jin and the way his fingers drift over the words on the page of his textbook, or the way he huffs out a breath when he doesn’t understand something right away.

“Okay, I can’t take this anymore,” Jin suddenly says, dropping the pen from his hands and laying his palms flat on the table. He stares at Namjoon and sighs, “You’re acting weird. What’s up?”

“I’m not acting weird,” Namjoon scoffs, though he can feel his cheeks start to heat up, “you’re acting weird.”

Jin just stares at Namjoon, eyes slightly narrowed and lips pursed until Namjoon cracks. “I’m just… distracted.”

“Distracted?”

“By you.” Namjoon admits, shrugging a shoulder at the look of bewilderment on Jin’s face. “Sorry if that’s not what you wanted to hear.”

“Oh…”

“I mean, I asked you to dinner, Jin. I thought you might’ve gotten the hint that I liked you. And now we’re just acting like it never happened, and it’s weird.”

And there it is. Everything’s out on the table now (or, well, not everything, but enough). Namjoon doesn’t feel like a weight's been lifted off his chest or anything, though; he feels even heavier than before because Jin’s staring at him like he’s crazy and Namjoon isn’t sure how to interpret that look.

Is he crazy for pushing the subject? Crazy for liking Jin? Just crazy in general?

Jin’s avoiding looking at him now and there it is; he doesn’t feel the same way. If Namjoon hadn’t realized it yesterday, he does today: this is clearly a one-sided attraction.

“I hadn’t really thought about you that way, Namjoon.”

“Yeah,” Namjoon’s humiliated at this point and, honestly, he just wants to run away- to be anywhere but here. “I can see that.”

“I suppose I should’ve seen the signs,” Jin’s murmuring, possibly to himself, but Namjoon hears it as clear as day. “I wasn’t expecting it when you asked me to dinner the other day, and… I don’t know. It was just… so sudden.”

Yeah, Namjoon gets that. It was sudden for him, too, when he asked the question.

“I’m not averse to the idea of dating you, Namjoon; you’re a sweet boy,” Jin tells him after silence hangs over their table for an agonizing minute. “But I don’t know if things would work out between us. I’m older than you and I’ll be going off to college next year. I’ve never really dated anyone before and I’m not sure if-”

Not averse to dating you are the main keywords Namjoon focuses on and he tunes everything else Jin’s saying out. Cancel his wish to be anywhere but here because, hell, here is exactly where he wants to be now. “We can at least try, can’t we? I mean, I’m not asking for you to marry me or anything, Jin! Just a date.”

"I don't know..."

Namjoon holds his index finger up, "Come on, Jin. Just one date."

“Alright," Jin sighs, though there's a small smile tugging at his lips, "one date and we’ll see where it goes from there.”

*

“There is a God!” Taehyung shouts, causing Jimin to giggle beside him. “They’re finally going out on a date!”

“Took long enough, and Dad basically had to beg Mom to go out with him,” Jimin’s still laughing, rolling around on the couch.

*

Their first date is at the movies and Jin’s surprised to find that it goes better than he could’ve anticipated.

Namjoon’s as sweet as ever and even puts his arm around his shoulder halfway through the movie. They share popcorn and candy, and at the end of everything Jin drives Namjoon home and it’s… kind of nice. Definitely not as awkward as Jin was expecting it to be.

They fall into an easy routine of going on dates after their study sessions at the library, and it almost feels like they’re too familiar with each other. Jin doesn’t quite know how to explain it- It’s similar to when he hangs out with his family; he doesn’t have to pretend to be anyone he’s not. It’s not like a new relationship at all, in that sense; it’s more like they’ve been dating so long that they’re just comfortable with each other.

Namjoon just instinctively knows that Jin likes holding hands and doesn’t like big crowds; and Jin just gets that Namjoon likes to be in control of most situations and that sometimes he just likes to lounge together, listening to music and reading comics.

Their two month anniversary passes by, then it’s their sixth, and before Jin knows it they’ve been dating eight months. Namjoon takes to skipping out on his classes at school to spend time with Jin during the older boy’s free periods at his own school, and Jin scolds him, but it doesn’t hold any real conviction because Namjoon’s still getting straight A’s and he’s got one of the highest IQ’s in the country for someone his age, so, really, Jin doesn’t feel too bad about Namjoon missing school to visit him.

“Graduation’s coming closer, huh?” Namjoon casually says one afternoon when they’re at the library after school.

“Two more weeks,” Jin affirms with a nod. He reaches over and grabs Namjoon’s eraser, correcting his latest mistake on his essay before handing the small piece of rubber back.

Namjoon tilts his head, “You don’t seem very excited,” he innocently observes. “Does your school hold a prom? I mean, it’d be all guys, right?”

“There’s an end of the year luncheon,” Jin tells him. “Not that I’m gonna go.”

“No?”

“I’ve had enough of my classmates for a lifetime,” Jin admits with a chuckle. “I don’t really want to spend any more time with them than I have to, y’know?”

“Of course, yeah.” Namjoon agrees, though he keeps glancing at Jin and the older boy wonders just what’s on his mind. “How about I take you out that night?”

“I’d like that,” Jin says and they schedule a date for the night before Jin’s graduation ceremony.

*

“So, let me guess: you guys went to dinner, Mom was super awkward, Dad probably broke something, and- BAM! You guys got engaged-”

“Your Dad never showed up to the dinner,” Jin interrupts with an eyeroll.

“Wait a second,” Namjoon says, passing Jungkook to Taehyung when his youngest calls out his brother’s name. “I did show up-”

“Two hours late, and I was long gone by then.”

Namjoon leans back and wraps an arm around Jin’s shoulders, “And then you broke up with me.”

“Hold up!” Taehyung shouts, typing furiously, “You guys broke up?!”

Jin nods his head, brushing his hair out of the way when it falls into his eyes. “We stayed together for a few months, but it was too hard to do the whole long-distance thing. I had so much on my plate at university and I barely ever had time to visit. We fought a lot, and I told your dad I thought it would be better if we spent some time apart from each other.”

“But it was true love!” Jimin says, looking distressed at the news that his parents broke up years ago. “How could you guys break up?”

“I didn’t want to.” Namjoon says with a pointed look at Jin. “But I understood where your mom was coming from. He was stressed out and I wasn’t going to be the reason he couldn’t focus on his studies.”

“So you weren’t mad?” Taehyung asks as he adjusts his glasses, squinting at the harsh light emitting from his laptop. “Didn’t you try to convince Mom that you guys could work it out?”

“He did try, Tae, but I needed time for me. Sometimes in life you have to do the responsible thing and not what your heart wants. Because the two rarely coincide.”

“And I respected that.” Namjoon says, “Grudgingly.”

*

Two years go by and Jin doesn’t let himself think about Namjoon anymore (not when he’s sober, anyway). Being pre-med doesn’t leave a lot of time for having a social life and Jin’s fine with that, though he does make it a point to go out with the few friends he has a couple of nights a month, just to keep up with all the current events happening in each others lives.

It’s during one of their meet-ups that Jin sees Namjoon again.

“Is that…?”

His friends follow his line of sight to the TV in the lounge, playing some music video on mute. “Rap Monster, yeah. He’s fucking everywhere these days.”

Jin frowns at the name. Rap Monster. Really, Namjoon? Really? And it definitely is Kim Namjoon on the screen- Jin would know that face anywhere, no matter that the boy’s wearing huge, black sunglasses and is sporting a rather impressive hairstyle. He’s wearing the usual threads that rappers tend to dress in and Jin wonders just how in the hell Namjoon went from boy genius without a clue what he wanted to do with his life to hip hop idol.

*

“Seriously? The next time you saw Dad he was an idol?” Taehyung asks, typing diligently on his laptop. “I’ve seen pictures of Dad back when he first debuted, did you really decide to start dating him again when he looked like that?”

“I’ll have you know that that’s what all the idols dressed like,” Namjoon interjects, though he frowns when he thinks back on his hair. “It was a cool look back then.”

“Doubtful,” Jimin laughs, “You looked like a poodle.”

“Poodle Daddy!” Jungkook repeats with a laugh, climbing over Taehyung to reach Jimin. “Hide ‘n Seek, J’min?”

“Not right now, Kookie; it’s story time.” Jimin tells Jungkook, settling the boy between him and Taehyung and handing him his stuffed rabbit. “What happened next?”

“Hmm... the next time I saw your dad face-to-face, I punched him.”

Taehyung gapes at his mom, “Uh, come again? You punched Dad?”

Jin just grins and stands up, linking his fingers with Namjoon’s, “Yes, but it's almost midnight and you've both got school tomorrow. We'll wrap this up another night.”

“What? No!” Jimin whines. “I wanna know why you punched Dad. And how you guys even met up again. It's not like you ran in the same circles,”

“True love, ChimChim.” Taehyung points out, shutting the lid to his laptop. “True love always finds a way. Right, Mom?”

Jin laughs, “Something like that.”

Chapter Text

“Repeat after me: Manners.”

“Ma…”

“Manners, Kookie,” Jin repeats, smiling broadly when the boy tries again and again.

“Maaann… maa… mannaners.”

“Close enough,” Jimin says from his spot on the couch. He’s sprawled out with his head pillowed on Taehyung’s thigh as he plays on his iPad, the volume turned down low enough that he doesn’t disturb Jungkook’s impromptu vocabulary lesson.

“Manana… Mommy?”

Manners, Kookie, can you say that?”

Jungkook’s biting at his lip and Jin can tell the boy’s close to getting frustrated enough that a tantrum isn’t far off.

“Mommy, man… mann…”

“Errs.” Jin prompts the boy to finish the word.

“…errrs.”

“Manners, sweetheart.”

“Mannn…nerrrs.”

“Mommy’s so proud of you! Good job!” Jin beams at Jungkook, grabbing the boy around his middle and lifting his shirt to blow a raspberry against his stomach.

Jungkook lets out a shriek, giggling and pushing at his mom’s head, “No, Mommy!”

“Sorry to cut your class short, Kookie, but we've got a story to wrap up.” Taehyung clasps his hands together, “Okay, so Mom’s in university and Dad’s an idol.” he says as soon as his dad joins them in the living room. He turns his laptop on, “And Dad’s about to get punched.”

“Right,” Jin says, “so…”

 




Jin is not still in love with Namjoo- okay, fine, maybe he is



The thing about getting over a breakup is that it’s a lot harder to do that when your ex is everywhere.

Jin can’t walk ten feet down the street without seeing someone wearing a t-shirt with Rap Monster emblazoned on it; without hearing his songs blaring through someone’s speakers; without seeing him on TV, promoting his newest single- and Jin is just sick of it.

He and Namjoon lost contact a while ago, though they promised to stay friends (easier said than done when you still clearly have feelings for one another that go beyond mere friendship), and seeing the younger boy on every media outlet just brings back all the emotions he ever had for him.

A part of him will probably always love Namjoon. First loves and all that stereotypical garbage that you don’t realize is true until you actually have a first love and you start to notice that, damn, I’m still thinking about this guy all the fucking time, and even when it’s not a conscious decision, it’s still in the back of your mind like a ticking time bomb, ready to render you into a helpless, emotional wreck at a moment’s notice over the stupidest things (like the time Jin had a breakdown when he bought a muffin from a bakery and caught sight of the price sticker stuck to the bottom of it and ended up blubbering to the shop keeper about how Namjoon used to buy me muffins, and, oh god, I’m never gonna get over him! Why did I break up with him?).

Even after two years, Jin sometimes finds himself thinking random thoughts; like that Namjoon might enjoy eating at that place on campus that makes the best beef bulgogi; or when he downloads a good song, he wonders if Namjoon’s heard it. It’s stupid things like that that keep popping into his head; unwanted thoughts that distract him from his homework at the worst of times, that make it hard to completely forget about the other boy.

It’s been two years since they dated; one year, eight months since he last spoke to Namjoon on the phone; and one year, four months since they texted for the last time.

It’s not fair, Jin finds himself thinking angrily, practically stomping his way to his afternoon class. He was doing… not great, but well enough. He finally got into a place in his life where he wasn’t always thinking about Kim Namjoon and his dimples and sweet disposition, and the way he would treat Jin like he was something precious, and fuck it all; Kim Namjoon might’ve been the love of his life, but he’d pushed all those thoughts into a box inside his head and shoved it into the furthest corner of his mind, never to be touched again unless he’s extremely drunk and wants to feel his heart breaking all over again because some days he’s a glutton for punishment.

But breaking up was the right decision, Jin maintains. It was the responsible thing to do- something his parents would expect him to do; something he would expect himself to do.

Because Jin’s a responsible kind of guy. He pays his bills when they show up in his mailbox, he does his taxes, and finishes his assignments for school in a timely manner.

School comes first. It’s always been that way, and Namjoon understood that. Even when they were trying out the whole long-distance relationship thing, Namjoon understood that Jin wouldn’t be as available as he might like. But they still fought, because they were young enough that when things didn’t go the way they wanted them to, it wasn’t because life just sucks sometimes, it was because of the other person- Namjoon would accuse him of caring more about his classes than him, and Jin would complain that Namjoon was being too childish and he needed to grow up.

Jin sits in his class, stewing in his thoughts.

It’s stupid. So, so, so, so, so fucking stupid. Kim Namjoon is someone from Jin’s past and he shouldn’t be thinking about him anymore. They’re done. Over. Their breakup is water under the bridge and it’s been two years, damnit! It’s just pathetic to think about an old boyfriend this long after you’ve broken up.

Jin is pathetic.

*

Taehyung’s puppy eyes are in full force as he looks at his mom, “I want to hug you so badly right now. This is the saddest story ever- like, if I didn’t know you and dad wind up together in the end, I’d probably start crying.”

Jin laughs, “Don’t worry, Tae-”

V.”

Everyone in the room sighs, and Jimin flicks Taehyung on his forehead.

*

Jin pulls a face at the interview playing on TV. Channel surfing has never felt so dangerous now that Rap Monster is seemingly on every broadcasting station.

“I’m sure everybody is wondering: What does it take to get a guy like Rap Monster to notice you?”

Ugh. Just… ugh.

Jin wants to change the channel- change it to anything that doesn’t involve Kim Namjoon’s face, but his fingers are just hovering over the remote, and maybe it’s morbid curiosity that makes him want to know the answer to the question, or just a deep desire to torture himself, but he doesn’t allow himself to touch the remote just yet.

Because Jin knows what it takes to get a guy like Kim Namjoon to notice you, but Rap Monster? Rap Monster’s an unknown entity to him.

“A pair of tight jeans doesn’t hurt.”

…Ugh.

It’d be bad enough if Namjoon and the interviewer were the only ones on stage, laughing, but there are three other men (Jin just assumes they’re rappers, too, because, well… they’re dressed exactly like Namjoon is, down to the gold chains hanging around their necks and oversized sunglasses obscuring half their faces), and they’re laughing and elbowing each other like it’s the funniest thing they’ve ever heard.

They look like morons, so, who knows? Maybe Namjoon’s chauvinistic joke is the funniest thing they’ve ever heard.

“I’m sure you’ve been around the block a few times-”

“Idiots.” Jin mutters to himself as he watches the other rappers high-five each other, while, curiously enough, Namjoon looks vaguely uncomfortable.

“I don’t really…”

“Ooh, Rap Monster’s shy!”

“Fine, fine, there was this one guy, he was… something else, man, y’know? We met when I lived back in Ilsan-”

…wait a minute.

“I was his tutor of all things,”

Jin keeps his eyes trained on the interview, practically holding his breath waiting for Namjoon to speak again.

“We just clicked. It was... I don’t know how to explain it… I feel like, at the time, I didn’t realize how special our relationship really was.”

Jin’s moved closer to the TV without even realizing it, his mouth open in shock.

“Rap Monster’s getting soft on us!”

“Shush!” Jin tells the loudmouthed idol who interrupted Namjoon. He watches as Namjoon chuckles, rubbing the back of his neck and adjusting his sunglasses.

“So what happened to this guy?”

Jin grimaces at this entire situation. He’s slightly uncomfortable- not only by being referred to as some random guy that Namjoon once dated, but by the way Namjoon himself seems uncomfortable with the interview as a whole.

“He went off to university.”

“So what you’re saying is that Rap Monster’s single and just waiting for someone to win his heart?”

“Nah, my heart belongs to the fans nowadays.”

Jin shuts the TV off, breathing deeply; that was… surreal.

*

Jin doesn’t let himself think on the interview for long periods of time. It just ends up confusing him and awakens emotions inside himself that he’d rather not deal with again- like ever again.

He’s so tightly wound up by consciously not thinking of Namjoon every five fucking minutes that he decides he needs a hobby; something he can expend some of this anxious energy that plagues him on a daily basis.

In hindsight, self-defense classes might not have been the best thing to take. Between the horror stories he hears from some of the other people in the class about being held at gunpoint, assaulted or worse and the crime documentaries he’s taken to watching late at night when he just can’t take studying anymore, Jin’s even twitchier than before- hyper aware of every threat that could present itself at a moment’s notice.

*

Let it be said that Jin doesn’t mean to punch Namjoon.

It’s an accident… sort of.

“What the hell?!”

To be fair, Jin did mean to punch whoever was behind him, gripping his shoulder, but he didn’t know it was Namjoon. This isn’t his fault-

“I say hi and you punch me? What the hell, Jin?!”

In Jin’s defense, Namjoon crept-

*

“I didn’t creep up behind you!” Namjoon argues, looking at Jin like he’s crazy for sticking to this version of the story for so many years. “I walked up behind you like any normal human would and you freaked out and punched me!”

“Shush, I’m telling the story,” Jin says, ignoring Namjoon’s further protests of his inaccurate storytelling.

*

Namjoon crept behind him, startling the shit out of him- for all Jin knew he could’ve been a mugger, or a murderer- whatever, doesn’t matter. The point is that Namjoon shouldn’t have been skulking behind him, and he definitely shouldn’t have grabbed his shoulder.

Namjoon should know how jumpy he is; he dated him for goodness sake!

“Namjoon!” Jin’s thoughts race from Why the hell is Namjoon here?! to Holy shit! I just punched Namjoon! with incredible speed. “Oh, my God- I’m so sorry! Shit! I’m sorry- I didn’t mean… I thought you were trying to kill me… and just… sorry.”

“Fuck, this hurts,” Namjoon groans, gingerly touching the side of his face. “Am I bleeding? Disfigured? Did half my face come off? Because that’s what it feels like right now.”

Jin’s quick to assure him that, no, his face isn’t disfigured (a little swollen, but nothing a bag of frozen peas won’t fix).

*

“Holy sh-”

“No swearing!” Jin quickly tells Taehyung, gesturing to where Jungkook’s playing in Jimin’s lap.

“…shmoly.” Taehyung lamely finishes, playfully waving at Jungkook when the boy’s attention is drawn to his voice. “You were even more of a spaz than Jimin is, Mom.”

Jimin and Jin both scowl at Taehyung.

*

“Why are you dressed like a thug anyway?” Jin demands, heart still pounding somewhere in his throat.  They’re standing outside of the restaurant that Jin manages on the weekends; his keys are still in the lock and he hastily turns them, opening the door and ushering Namjoon inside while he flicks the lights on.

“I’m not!” Namjoon looks vaguely insulted by Jin’s comment, crossing his arms as he dutifully follows the other boy through the empty restaurant.

Jin leads Namjoon into the kitchen, disappearing into the deep freeze and coming back with a frozen slab of meat. He hands it to Namjoon, “Put this on your face, it’ll help with the swelling.”

“Gross.”

“Hush and do it.”

Namjoon looks at him through the eye that’s not obscured by frozen meat, “I can’t believe you punched me.”

Jin puts his head in his hands, sighing heavily. “For what it’s worth, I can’t believe I did, either.”

“So, uh, hi.” Namjoon says with a hesitant smile, “That’s what I was trying to say when you clocked me.”

“Hi,” Jin lamely says back and he’s sure his face is beet red at this point. He’s never been this humiliated before in his entire life.

A few minutes pass in silence and Jin finally looks up from where he’s been staring at the ground this whole time. “This is weird.”

“A little,” Namjoon shrugs. “I thought that if I ever saw you again it’d be… different.”

“Different?”

Namjoon gestures at his face, “I didn’t count on you beating me up, for one.”

“One punch hardly constitutes being beat up.” Jin disputes as he leans against the prep station. “Besides, you’re supposed to be ‘a real man’, right? That’s what all your songs are about, aren’t they? You should be able to handle a punch from me of all people.”

Namjoon flushes, “Right, yeah, I guess you know about the whole idol thing, huh?”

“Kinda hard not to when everywhere I go someone’s playing your music.”

“I-” Namjoon sighs and runs a hand through his hair. “I wanted to text you so many times after we broke up. Especially when I was scouted; I could’ve used someone to talk to, y’know?”

The confession is so sudden- so quiet that Jin’s not sure if Namjoon even meant to voice it out loud.

“What stopped you?” Jin asks just as quietly; afraid if he speaks above a whisper the mood will dissipate into thin air and shift into something else entirely.

“Too much time passed, I guess.”

Jin nods; he gets it. “What are you doing around here anyway?” In my neighborhood where it was supposed to be a Namjoon-Free zone is left unspoken.

Seoul's supposed to be big enough that he's not supposed to ever run into Namjoon. Ever.

“You know that tall building a few blocks over? The one with the fountain out front?” At Jin’s nod, Namjoon says, “They have a recording studio in there. I just got finished and was gonna take the subway home-”

Jin can’t help but roll his eyes, “You don’t have a driver waiting to take you everywhere you need to go?”

Namjoon flushes in embarrassment, “I mean- yeah, but not this late. It’s, like, one in the morning.”

Point taken, Jin thinks. “How’s your face?”

Namjoon sets the meat down, wincing slightly when he touches his cheek, “Could be worse.”

“So, um,” Jin sweeps his bangs off his face, staring at Namjoon and he can’t help the rush of affection he feels at seeing him again. He clears his throat, hesitant to even broach this topic. “I saw this interview you did a few weeks ago.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah,” Jin echoes. “You were talking about- You were talking about me.”

Namjoon visibly swallows, his Adam’s apple bobbing with the movement. “I remember it.”

“You sounded like…”
    
“Like what?” Namjoon prompts him.

Jin shrugs, “Like you still think about me.”

“I do.” Namjoon confirms, his eyes widening like he’s just realized what he said. “I mean, you’re special to me- Wait, no-”

“I’m not special to you?”

“No! No, you are!” Namjoon furiously nods his head. “I just meant that, like, you’re… you.”

“I’m me? Namjoon, you aren’t making any sense.”

“You’re special,” Namjoon tells him. “And just, like- I still think about you, yeah.”

Jin laughs at the way Namjoon’s face turns red at his own confession and the younger boy groans, sliding onto the floor in embarrassment. Jin sits beside him, chuckling, “I’m flattered, Namjoon. To tell you the truth, I was kind of… I don’t know, scared, maybe? That you would hate me after we broke up.”

Namjoon draws his knees up to his chest and rests his head on them, “I’ve thought about this a lot, Jin- like a lot, and I think that we probably needed to break up. You know, to grow into the people we are today.”

Jin thinks over his words, and, yeah, he’s probably right. Namjoon’s always been insightful and Jin’s not about to dispute that them breaking up wasn’t the right choice. If they hadn’t, Namjoon might not have been scouted; Jin probably would’ve suffered in his courses trying to split his time evenly between school and his boyfriend- Everything worked out the way it was intended to, he supposes.

“I feel bad taking up your time like this. When I saw you standing down the street, I couldn't just not say anything, y’know? I just meant to say hi and catch up a bit, see how you were doing.”

Jin raises an eyebrow because what? Namjoon feels bad for taking up his time? Jin barely resists the urge to scoff; between the two of them, his time is far less valuable than the idol’s.

“You’ve probably got someone at home worrying about where you are, right?”

Oh.

“Subtle,” Jin says with a smirk. “I’m not seeing anyone right now, Namjoon, if that’s what you’re really asking.”

“Oh, I- I wasn’t. I was just...” Namjoon relents with a grin, “Okay, maybe I was asking.”

“What about you, Rap Monster?” Jin teases. “Anyone special in your life?”

Namjoon lifts his head, “I’m looking at him.”

*

“Dad’s smooth!” Taehyung says, clearly impressed.

Namjoon crosses his arms across his chest, “And just why do you sound so surprised?”

“I mean…” Taehyung gestures to his dad, “You’re you.”

Namjoon pointedly glowers at Taehyung until the boy ducks his head and continues writing his report.

*

It would be a lie to say that Namjoon and Jin don’t start dating immediately. There’s too much history between them to allow them to be just friends, and neither can stay away from the other for long anyway. Namjoon’s contract, surprisingly enough, has no restrictions on him being in a relationship, and Jin’s acclimated to juggling university and real life by now that he’s not worried about dating interfering with his studies.

Life is blissfully perfect- a feeling that Jin hasn’t had in what feels like forever because being with Namjoon is like coming home.

Jin never really saw his life going this way, though, to be perfectly honest.

He, reluctantly, gets used to being referred to as Rap Monster’s boyfriend, and being photographed when he’s out and about, sleep deprived because of finals, and having tabloids falsify stories like The struggles of dating hip-hop idol Rap Monster: Are too many fights leaving Kim Seokjin sleepless and stressed?

And it’s pretty weird to attend award ceremonies and have someone pick out his clothes so he doesn’t clash with Namjoon’s own outfit (he’s heard on numerous occasions that Namjoon’s stylists think he’s some kind of fashion terrorist); and getting used to his fellow classmates looking at him in awe and reverence is definitely off putting.

But, in the end, coming home to Namjoon, exhausted and stressed from classes, is probably the best thing in the world because Namjoon has this effect on him that as soon as he starts speaking, Jin’s stress melts away and all that matters is that they’re together- a united front against whatever the world throws their way.

*

“See, I knew it; Fate brought them together again.” Taehyung tells his brother. “Fate always has a plan.”

“True love can overcome anything.” Jimin agrees with absolute conviction and Jin finds himself smiling, hoping his son doesn’t lose that naïveté of his anytime soon.

"Think you got enough for your essay, kiddo?"

“More than enough,” Taehyung tells his dad with a grin. “I better get an A on this thing. Maybe I’ll even sell it to a magazine or something- Someone’s gotta want a story about the famous Rap Monster’s love life, right?”

Taehyung…”

“Kidding,” Taehyung amends when his dad continues to pointedly stare at him, “I wouldn’t do that! I won’t. Seriously, stop staring at me like that, Dad. Mom, make him stop!”

 

Chapter Text

Yoongi doesn’t even know what he’s seeing.

Well, okay, he knows what he’s seeing: Jimin talking with Ji Min’gyu, arguably one of the more popular guys in their school because, apparently, to be popular all you have to be is rich and dumber than a signpost.

So, yeah, this is weird.

Really fucking weird.

It doesn’t look like Min’gyu’s giving Jimin a hard time, either, so Yoongi’s not in overprotective-boyfriend mode (yet), but he’s still cautious because guys like Min’gyu are generally assholes and they don’t usually give nice guys like Jimin the time of day.

“What was up with that?”

“Up with what?” Jimin asks as he joins Yoongi at their usual table in the cafeteria.

Yoongi raises an eyebrow, “You were talking with Min’gyu. What’d he want?”

“He- Uh, he asked me out.”

…Alright, then. Overprotective-boyfriend mode is definitely activated now. To be fair, Yoongi isn’t the type of guy to get jealous over petty things, like, say, people checking out Jimin’s ass because, hell, they’re not actively doing anything to get closer to Jimin; but this?

This Yoongi just can’t stand for.

“Everyone knows we’re dating- what a piece of shit.”

Jimin grabs his hand and squeezes it, “Don’t worry, Suga; I told him I wasn’t interested.”

“I wasn’t worried.” Yoongi mumbles.

“You looked a little worried,” Jimin teases, leaning into his side. “Did you think I was gonna fall for his charming pick-up line of ‘Your ass is sick, wanna go out sometime?’ because, no, that didn’t really do it for me. Even you were more eloquent when you asked me out.”

“I was downright charming,” Yoongi agrees, chuckling when Jimin just rolls his eyes. “Okay, maybe not charming, but-”

“Awkward.” Jimin finishes for him, grinning. “Cute, but definitely awkward.”

*

Yoongi doesn’t make it a habit to spy on Jimin- actually he’s never done it before (and stalking him last year doesn’t count; that was in the name of love, damnit!), but drastic times call for drastic measures.

Yoongi’s standing at his locker, pretending to grab his textbooks, and watching Jimin and Min’gyu talk.

Because that guy just doesn’t know when to give up.

But this isn’t really any of Yoongi’s business, so he’s not gonna get involved. He trusts Jimin enough to set the boy straight, for the second time this week, and send him on his merry way. And sure enough, a few minutes later, Min’gyu fucking saunters away and Jimin is left standing in the hallway looking about as confused as Yoongi’s ever seen him.

He slams his locker shut and makes a beeline for his boyfriend, tapping him on the shoulder and pretending that ‘hey, I just happened to be in the area and noticed you looked a little uncomfortable, what’s up?

“Min’gyu asked me out again.”

“Did you tell him to go fuck himself?” Yoongi can’t help but ask, leading Jimin through the halls towards the boy’s next class.

“I told him I wasn’t interested.” Jimin frowns, “I just don’t get why he keeps asking me out- like… I didn’t think he even knew my name and now he wants to date me? It’s just kinda weird, right?”

“It’s annoying is what it is.” Yoongi grumbles, stopping in front of Jimin’s math class. “That kid better get a fucking clue; I’m not giving you up anytime soon.”

Jimin smiles and Yoongi can’t help the feeling of warmth that bubbles inside his chest at that beaming face directed at him. Some days he can’t believe how lucky he is that Jimin’s actually dating him. Yoongi doesn’t need anyone to tell him how precious Jimin is; he’s very aware of what a catch his boyfriend is.

Which is why he’s starting to get a little irritated that Min’gyu can’t take a fucking hint.

A day later and the guy is talking to Jimin again; this time boxing Jimin in at his locker, and no. This won’t do. This guy doesn’t get to make Jimin uncomfortable- not on Yoongi’s watch.

“Yo, you wanna take a step back?”

Min’gyu slowly turns his head and looks at Yoongi, “What’d you say to me, shrimp?”

Yoongi’s taken aback by the (albeit shitty) insult. Is he suddenly in middle school all over again where everybody teases the fuck outta him for being short? “I’ll dumb it down for you since you didn’t understand me the first time: get the fuck away from him.”

“Hey, I’m just letting Jimin here know that he’s got other…” Min’gyu looks Yoongi up and down, smirking, “options available to him.”

Jimin, for his part, looks frozen in place, arms locked by his sides and bottom lip between his teeth. He looks like he’d rather be anywhere else and Yoongi doesn’t blame him; Min’gyu has that effect on people.

Yoongi grabs Min’gyu’s shoulder and forces him to face him, letting Jimin have some breathing room. “I hope you’re not talking about yourself.” Yoongi tells him, rolling his eyes, “You don’t even register on my radar as competition; now get lost.”

“That’s big talk coming from someone so small.”

Yoongi raises an eyebrow, “Was that supposed to hurt my feelings? If you’re gonna go to the trouble of insulting me, at least make it worth listening to.”

Min’gyu narrows his eyes at Yoongi and cracks his knuckles, and Yoongi presumes that’s supposed to be intimidating.

It’s not.

Not when Yoongi’s been in enough fistfights with guys bigger and tougher than Min’gyu. Because Yoongi’s the type of guy who doesn’t know when to shut his fucking mouth, and that tends to land him in hot water on occasion.

“Come on, Sunshine, let’s get outta here.” Yoongi ignores Min’gyu and grabs onto Jimin’s hand, pulling him into his side and wrapping a possessive arm around his waist as they walk down the hall. “You okay?”

Jimin nods, “Yeah… Yeah, I’m fine.”

“You looked a little freaked out back there,”

Jimin fidgets under Yoongi’s gaze and shrugs a shoulder, “Not a big fan of confrontation.”

“Aren’t you on the debate team?” Yoongi asks with a grin, nudging shoulders with Jimin to let him know he’s teasing him.

“Debating is different and you know it!” Jimin laughs, stopping once he and Yoongi reach the dance studio. “Are you gonna stay and watch?”

Yoongi shouldn’t; he’s got a ton of homework to get through before tomorrow and he promised his mom that he’d go grocery shopping, but looking at Jimin and seeing the way his shoulders are still tense and how his smile doesn’t quite reach his eyes, he knows what he has to do.

“Of course; wouldn’t miss it for the world.”

If he can make Jimin feel comfortable and safe then he’s sure as hell gonna do it. And if watching him shake his ass in dance practice is gonna do that, well… it’s not as much of a hardship as it may seem.

*

Everything is normal for a week.

Jimin doesn’t get ambushed by Min’gyu and Yoongi doesn’t have to keep watch on his boyfriend’s every move. But Yoongi’s not fooled; he’s still on his guard because Min’gyu is always there. Yoongi’ll catch sight of him out of the corner of his eye in the halls, in the cafeteria, outside of school- the guy is fucking everywhere.

Like he’s Jimin’s newest stalker- and no, fuck no. Yoongi doesn’t think so; he’s the only one allowed to stalk Jimin. That position’s been filled for a year now, thanks, so go fuck yourself.

“You look tense.”

“I am.”

Jimin tilts his head to the side, “Wanna tell me why?”

“Min’gyu.”

“What about him?”

Yoongi gestures to where the guy’s sitting a few tables away, “He’s always around.”

“So? He does go to this school, y’know.” Jimin points out, continuing to eat his lunch. “Tae! Over here!”

Yoongi keeps his eyes trained on Min’gyu, not sparing a glance to Hoseok and Taehyung as they join them. “He’s up to something.”

“You’re paranoid.”

“Are you still going on about Min’gyu?” Hoseok asks him with an exaggerated sigh. Over the past week, Hoseok’s been subjected to text after text about Min’gyu and how Yoongi’s positive he’s cooking up some kind of nefarious plan to get him out of the picture- never mind the fact that Min’gyu couldn’t spell nefarious, let alone think of a plan beyond something like ‘Punch Yoongi, Yoongi go down, Jimin all mine now.’

“I’m just looking out for my boyfriend.”

Jimin smiles at him, “And I appreciate it, but I think we’re fine, Suga. He hasn’t talked to me since last week.”

“I’m with Yoongi- the world’s karmic forces are telling me that he’s still hung up on you.” Taehyung says as he digs into his pudding. “He’s the kind of guy that isn’t used to people saying no to him. Remember his last girlfriend? She dumped her boyfriend for him, and he was probably expecting you to do the same, ChimChim.”

Yoongi purses his lips and scoots closer to Jimin, “He’s an entitled asshole if he thinks that’s gonna happen.”

*

Yoongi’s walking to the bathroom when he hears Min’gyu’s obnoxious fucking voice, and normally Yoongi wouldn’t give a damn about what Min’gyu has to say, but he hears Jimin’s name, and damnit, now he’s gotta know what the guy is saying.

He turns the corner and sees Min’gyu and his friend (Yoongi doesn’t have a clue who he is- some other popular kid?) leaning against some lockers.

“I’ve got my car riding on this, man, I’m not gonna lose because his boyfriend’s always fucking around-”

“Corner him in the bathroom or something. You’ve got, like, two more days until the bet’s over. How hard is it to get him to suck your dick?”

“I’m telling you, that’s why Jae chose him! That fucker knew this Jimin kid wouldn’t cheat on his boyfriend.”

“Too bad, that kid’s got cocksucker lips-”

And nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Yoongi’s heard enough to last a fucking lifetime. He won’t stand around and listen to two assholes talk about his boyfriend like that. Jimin does not deserve to be talked about that way- he’s practically a ball of sunshine and Yoongi will be damned if he’ll let anyone talk shit about him.

Yoongi’s not sure if he’s ever been as angry as he is right now. He doesn’t think of anything besides kicking the shit outta the two as he stalks his way over to them, and it doesn’t even occur to him that this might not be the best idea- to take on two guys who are much taller and bulkier than he is, but whatever. Doesn’t matter.

Jimin’s honor, or something like that, is on the line, and Yoongi is gonna make sure these guys know not to fuck with him or Jimin again.

*

Hoseok would like to make it clear that he’s a lover, not a fighter.

Except for right now, because he’s got Jung Hwan in a headlock while Yoongi and Min’gyu are wrestling on the ground beside him.

Honestly, Hoseok was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and if a teacher sees them fighting, he’d like to point out that he got roped into this fight unwillingly- sort of... maybe- okay, fine, not really (he wasn’t gonna let Yoongi fight two guys on his own, and, hey, dance is kinda like fighting, right? He should do fine).

Anyway, it’s not like he or Yoongi started the fight.

(He finds out later that, never mind, Yoongi definitely started the fight. But for good reasons that Hoseok is 100% behind because the shit that those two were pulling is so not cool.)

*

“I can’t believe you got suspended.”

Yoongi’s lying on his bed, staring up at the ceiling, “It was worth it.”

“I swear, if he ever comes near me again, I’m gonna beat him up, too! Asshole thought I was gonna blow him?! What is wrong with people nowadays?”

“I think I made it pretty clear that you weren’t gonna do that, Sunshine,” Yoongi tells him with a grin. “I feel bad that Hoseok got suspended, too.”

“Yeah, Tae’s moping about not being able to see him for a week. J-Hope already texted him and told him that his mom isn’t letting him have any visitors all week.”

Yoongi sighs, “Yeah, my mom’s probably gonna say the same thing when I ask her if you can come over.”

“Good thing she hasn’t taken your phone away, then.”

“Yet.”

“Don’t jinx it!”

Yoongi chuckles at the sound of panic in Jimin’s voice, “Sorry, I take it back. So… uh, did you tell your parents?”

“Of course.”

Yoongi nods; he’d figured that Jimin would tell them because that family tells each other everything. It’s nice, but still… he didn’t think they needed to know that their son’s boyfriend got suspended. Yoongi doesn’t wanna come off as a bad influence on Jimin or anything.  “Your parents probably aren’t too impressed-”

“Actually, I think you gained a few brownie points with them. They both looked downright pleased when I told them why you got suspended. Mom even said what you did was very chivalrous.”

Yoongi’s eyes widen in shock; he wasn’t expecting that. His own mom was less than thrilled when she’d gotten the call from school that he was suspended for fighting- even when he’d told her why he was fighting, she’d just sighed and told him to go to his room.

“Hey, I gotta go; Kookie wants me to read to him, but I’ll text you later, okay?”

“Say hi to Kookie for me,” Yoongi tells Jimin, laughing when he hears Jimin relay the message to Jungkook and the boy’s loud response of Hiiiii Shhhooogah! “Love you, Sunshine.”

“Love you, too, Suga. See you in a week.”

Yoongi hangs up, setting his phone beside him on the bed. He grabs a permanent marker from his desk and walks over to his calendar, circling Wednesday of next week and writing See Jimin Again underneath the date.

Seven days and counting…

 

 

Chapter Text

“How do I look?”

Jimin scrunches up his face and Taehyung gets the distinct feeling that his brother is not on board with his outfit. “Too much yellow?”

“Unless the look you’re going for is a banana, then, yeah, too much yellow.” Jimin agrees, getting up from his spot on Taehyung’s bed to rifle through his brother’s closet. He casts a backwards glance at Taehyung and shakes his head, “Where did you even get yellow pants?”

“They’re yours.” Taehyung flops down onto his bed. “Remember when you were a fireman for Halloween a few years back?”

Jimin pokes his head out of the closet, “You little thief! I was looking for those last year- I should’ve known you took them.” He tosses a pair of shorts at Taehyung, “Put these on. The yellow shirt can stay… if it must.”

Taehyung grabs the shorts, scrutinizes them, and throws them back, much to Jimin’s confusion. “I thought you liked these? You wear them all the time.”

“I mean, I’m new to the whole dating thing, but aren’t you supposed to wear fancy clothes when you go out to dinner? Hoseok’s seen me in shorts, like, every day after school.”

Jimin raises an eyebrow, gesturing to Taehyung’s current outfit, “And you thought, what? That looking like a banana was fancy?”

Taehyung laughs, “I wasn’t going for a banana! But, I dunno- I thought since Hoseok’s favorite color is yellow…” he lets the sentence hang in the air, shrugging a shoulder. “I just want him to like me as much as I like him.”

“Tae, have you seen the way he looks at you? I don’t think you have to worry about impressing him.” Jimin tells him, grinning. “But this look is definitely you, and if you think he’s gonna like it…” he sighs, shaking his head in amusement, “then you should wear it… I guess.”

“Aren’t you going out with Yoongi tonight?”

Jimin nods.

“You’re not wearing that, are you?”

Jimin looks down at his clothes and shrugs, seemingly uninterested in talking about his own fashion choices. “Maybe. Depends where we go.”

“So, like, you don’t care what you look like around Yoongi anymore?” Taehyung curiously asks. “Like, he’s probably seen you at your ugliest, right?”

“My ugliest?” Jimin repeats with a scowl.

Taehyung nods, grinning cheekily, “Yeah, like when you’re in your sweats or pajamas.”

“That’s when I’m at my ugliest, is it?”

Taehyung laughs, nodding his head and yelping when his brother goes to smack him. “To be fair,” Taehyung says between giggles, “you’re always ugly- those are just the times when you’re ugliest- Ah!”

Jimin tackles Taehyung to the floor and the situation quickly devolves into a wrestling match, talk of clothing abandoned for the time being.

*

Somehow, and Taehyung’s still not sure how this happened exactly- but somehow his and Hoseok’s date has turned into a family outing.

Which, uh… Taehyung wasn’t really expecting that to happen, to be perfectly honest. This definitely wasn’t his original intention when he'd made a reservation and had specifically stated party of two, not party of seven. But whatever. It's not like Taehyung's upset at his date being barged in on or anything...

“This is nice.”

“I think you mean weird.” Jimin corrects his mom, gesturing around the table where nobody is talking. “This is definitely weird.”

“It’d be less awkward if you didn’t draw attention to the fact that this is weird.” Namjoon points out, rather unhelpfully, Jin thinks.

“It would’ve been less awkward if everyone hadn’t decided to sit with us,” Taehyung counters with a shrug. “Just saying.”

“I was against this.” Yoongi lazily tells him, “I told Jimin we should’ve waited for our own table-”

(“This place is packed. You sure you wanna eat here?”

Jimin immediately nods his head, “I’ve got coupons.”

Yoongi sighs, “Great, we’re those people now.”

“What people?”

“Coupon-people.” Yoongi gestures at the papers in Jimin’s hands, “They’re embarrassing- put ‘em away.”

Jimin rolls his eyes, holding them out of Yoongi’s reach, “Hey, I’m treating you to dinner, and if I want to save a bit of money, that’s my own business.”

“That’s you being cheap is what it is.” Yoongi mutters under his breath. “Come on, let’s go in.”

Jimin whimpers at the line of people in front of them. “I’m gonna starve to death if we don’t eat soon!”

Yoongi squints at where the hostess is standing, reading the chalkboard behind her head. “It says there’s a forty-five minute wait. Can you wait that long?”

Jimin frowns; torn between using his coupons to get a ridiculously delicious meal and treating his boyfriend to a nice dinner, or… going through drive-thru because he’s sooo hungry and his stomach’s growling, and Yoongi just might have to hold him up because he can feel himself going limp from a lack of strength due to starvation-

Oh.

Wait a minute.

Hold off all talk of starvation.

“There’s Tae!”

Yoongi looks to where Jimin’s pointing and spots Taehyung and Hoseok at a reasonably large table- and, no. He knows exactly what’s going through Jimin’s mind.

“No.”

“But-”

“We are not crashing their date.”

“It’s not crashing it. It’s called double-dating.” Jimin argues with him, dragging Yoongi through the crowd of people waiting and into the dining room.

“Jimin, no!”

Jimin ignores his boyfriend, unceremoniously dropping down into the empty seat beside Taehyung with a grin. “Fancy meeting you two here.”)

Jimin sighs dramatically, “The line was out the door! We wouldn’t have gotten a table before I passed out! My stomach’s practically eating itself!”

“You literally ate, like,” Yoongi checks his phone for the time, “two hours ago. How are you still so hungry?”

“I barely ate anything-”

Yoongi snorts, “I don’t know if two pizzas count as barely anything.”

“Jiminie, don’t tell me you ate those pizzas I had in the freezer?” Jin sighs, tsking when Jimin hesitantly smiles at him. “Those were supposed to be for dinner on Saturday.”

“I was hungry!” Jimin defends himself with a pout. “If they weren’t supposed to be eaten, you should’ve left a note or something.”

“Do you really want me to leave notes on everything I don’t want you to eat, Jimin?” Jin tiredly asks. “I’d just like you to think before you devour anything you want, okay?”

“Fine, yeah, whatever.” Jimin sulks, and Yoongi sighs because now it’s his responsibility to get Jimin out of his bad mood- it's basically part of the Boyfriend Code.

“Hey, they’ve got chicken.” Yoongi points at the menu, frowning when Jimin just shrugs. “Oh, come on, don’t be like that. You love chicken.”

“I’m not hungry anymore.”

Yoongi scoffs, “Please, who’re you trying to fool? You’re always hungry.”

“I’m not always hungry,” Jimin argues.

“Like, 90% of the time you are.” Taehyung jumps in, laughing at the look of annoyance on his brother’s face. “You eat as much as Mom.”

“I have a normal appetite, thank you very much,” Jin says, ignoring the way Namjoon snorts and shakes his head at his statement. “I eat a healthy amount-”

“For a horse,” Namjoon chuckles, heedless of the glare his husband’s giving him. “I’ve said it since we first started dating- you’ve got a hollow leg when it comes to eating.”

“And I hate it when you say that.” Jin grumbles.

“Can I just point out that I’m a growing boy?” Jimin says, clearly still irritated. “It’s normal for me to be hungry.”

“You know,” Taehyung grabs everyone’s attention, “I see a free table over there,” He gestures across the restaurant, pointedly staring at his mom and dad, “Hint, hint.”

“I think Taehyung’s trying to tell us to leave, Namjoon.”

Namjoon nods his head, “Yes, I’m getting the distinct feeling he doesn’t want us here.”

“It’s nothing personal.” Taehyung tells his parents, smiling innocently at them. “I don’t want anyone except Hoseok here. Not just you two.”

“Oh,” Namjoon grins, the action not quite reaching his eyes, “I feel so much better now, Taehyung, thank you.

“I told you we should’ve gone to another restaurant, Namjoon.” Jin pointedly tells him.

(“Namjoon, have you seen my coupon book?”

“Considering I wish you didn’t own it, no, I haven’t seen it.”

Jin frowns, rummaging through the kitchen, “I swear I saw it this morning.”

“Why do you need it?” Namjoon asks, hoping that the thing is gone forever; he doesn’t even know why Jin bothers with clipping coupons. They’re well enough off that he has absolutely no need to. “I thought you were making soup tonight?”

Jin sifts through some papers, handing one to his husband, “There’s that invitation you were looking for. And I was going to until the boys told me they were both going out tonight. What’s the point of making dinner just for us?”

Namjoon raises an eyebrow, “So I could eat it?”

“Don’t be silly, Namjoon.” Jin tells him. “Besides, if everyone else is going out, why shouldn’t we? We haven’t had a proper date night in weeks.”

Namjoon looks at where Jungkook is playing with his toys on the floor. “I don’t think it counts as just us when we’re gonna bring Kookie along.”

Jin shrugs, “It’s as close as we’re gonna get to being alone.”

“Point taken.”

Jin throws his hands up in defeat and grabs Jungkook off the floor, “I give up. You drive and I’ll see if I can find them in the car.”

By the time they arrive at the restaurant Jin still hasn’t found the coupons, but they do see Jimin, Taehyung, Hoseok and Yoongi sitting at a table.

“Let’s just pop over and say hello.”

That’s possibly the worst idea Jin’s ever heard Namjoon say. “We should go; we’ll be intruding on their date.”

Namjoon waves his husband’s concerns away, “We’re doing no such thing.”

“They’ll be embarrassed if we eat at the same restaurant. Let’s just forget about the coupons, not that I could find them anyway, and we can go to that place with the dumplings you like so much-”

Or not because Namjoon’s striding his way towards their kids and before Jin knows it, they’re all sitting at the same table.

And as awkward as it may be, Jin thinks it’s kind of nice having everyone gathered together for dinner.)

“I don’t know why we can’t stay.” Jimin grouses. “We could have a double-date.”

“If you’re operating on that logic, Jiminie, then your mom and I could also stay. Make it a triple-date.” Namjoon points out, much to Taehyung’s growing horror.

“No offense, but double dating with my parents and my brothers isn’t really what I had in mind for tonight,” Taehyung mumbles, shooting Hoseok another apologetic look, mouthing Sorry! over and over again.

“Well I still think this is nice.” Jin states, folding his napkin into his lap and fastening a bib around Jungkook’s neck.

Taehyung looks longingly over at where there are now two free tables.

“Hey,” Hoseok whispers to him while the others are deciding what to order, “cheer up. Your family’s great-”

“Yeah, sure,” Taehyung agrees with an eyeroll. “Intrusive, but great.”

Honestly, Taehyung loves his family, but would one night away from them be such a bad thing?

*

Halfway through dinner and Taehyung isn’t sure whether or not this is some kind of big, cosmic joke the universe is playing on him.

Because not only has his date turned into a family dinner, but now Hoseok is covered in food-

“And who was having the spaghetti?”

Jin waves the waiter over to his side of the table, patting the spot in front of Jungkook, but, of course, before the meal makes it to Jungkook, Jimin slides his chair out, going to get up, and makes the waiter trip.

Which, in turn, leads to Hoseok getting a bowl of spaghetti on his head.

Jungkook is screaming his little lungs out-

Because Hoseok is wearing his dinner, and, honestly, Jungkook’s more than a little upset that his least favorite person in the world has just ruined his meal.

and his mom might just be a little (or a lot) tipsy.

“Namjo-” Jin hiccups and covers his mouth with a giggle. “Namjoonie, be a dear and order me another drink while I take Kookie outside to calm him down.”

Namjoon shakes his head, “I think you’ve had enough, Princess. Why don’t I take Kookie and you can have some bread, okay? Sop up some of that alcohol that’s in your system.” He gets out of his seat and hoists Jungkook out of his own, shushing the boy as he makes his way out of the restaurant, apologizing to any annoyed customers he sees along the way.

“Can I borrow your napkin?”

Jimin stifles a laugh when he passes his and Yoongi’s napkins to Hoseok, who’s got tomato sauce dripping down his face and strands of spaghetti hanging off his shoulders like they’re tassels attached to his shirt.

“So, uh, this date’s on par with our first one, isn’t it?”

Hoseok dabs at the sauce covering his eyes and laughs, nodding his head. “On the plus side, I’m not sporting any bruises.”

“Yet.” Taehyung wipes at Hoseok’s hair, picking out chunks of tomatoes. “Mom, can you get the bill?”

Jin nods, the action much sloppier than it would be if he were a little more sober.

“I’ll get it,” Yoongi says, getting up from the table. “Make sure your mom drinks some water. I’ll get some more napkins, too.”

Jimin scoots over to his dad’s vacant seat and hands his mom a glass a water, “Went a little too hard on the soju, huh?”

“Don’t sass your mom,” Jin tells him, waving an unsteady finger in his face. “I can handle my liquor very well, I’ll have you know.”

“We’re so gonna use this as blackmail someday, you know that, right?” Jimin laughs, letting his mom lean his head against his shoulder.

Yoongi comes back, the bill and a stack of napkins in his hands. He drops the napkins in front of Hoseok and hands the bill to Jin, taking it a moment later when the man carelessly drops it onto the table.

“So, I’m thinking for our next date-”

Taehyung stares at Hoseok, eyes wide and mouth open in shock. “Are you serious? You still wanna date me? After all this?”

Hoseok looks at Taehyung like he’s crazy, “Of course; I like you, Tae. No amount of tennis balls to the face or spaghetti in my hair is gonna change that.”

“I feel like most people would be running for the door right about now,” Taehyung says. “Dating me seems like it’s detrimental to your health.”

“I’m cool with that.” Hoseok bluntly tells him, smiling. “So, next week,” he continues, “how about I invite you over to my house when my family’s out and we’ll order a pizza or something, yeah? Just the two of us. How dangerous could that be?”

“I guess we’ll just have to wait and see,” Taehyung jokes, flicking a noodle out of Hoseok’s hair. He doesn’t know what he did to get so lucky to land a guy like Hoseok as his boyfriend, but he’s infinitely glad the boy doesn’t look unsure (like at all) about wanting to continue dating him.

Taehyung idly wonders if this is what Jimin feels like when he’s with Yoongi; or even how his dad and mom feel about each other- deliriously happy, comfortable, and excited to see what the future holds for them.

 

 

Chapter Text

It all starts with Jimin and Taehyung watching YouTube videos because they’re bored of playing cards with Yoongi and Hoseok. Honestly, there’s only so many times that they can play Crazy Eights before someone’s (more specifically- Taehyung’s) attention wanders off for good.

Technically, they’re all supposed to be working on homework (Jimin has a science project that was due last week; Yoongi has roughly four million algebra questions that need answering; Hoseok has an essay due on Monday on a book he hasn’t read yet; and Taehyung doesn’t even remember getting an assignment from his history class, but apparently he has one), but that plan deteriorated about as quickly as anyone would expect.

With their dad at work for the afternoon and their mom out of town until tomorrow, Jimin and Taehyung don’t have anyone nagging them to get their work done.

And it’s a breath of fresh air- if not a little irresponsible of them.

But whatever; there’s still Sunday to do homework, so nobody’s that worried.

Hoseok and Yoongi opt to play solitaire together while watching a baseball game on TV, content to let Taehyung and Jimin entertain themselves online.

From one link to another, they get sidetracked of their original videos of conspiracy theories and start watching videos of free running. Then a couple videos of cute kittens. Then back to amateur stunts. And, well, that’s how Jimin and Taehyung wind up on the roof of the garage while Hoseok and Yoongi remain blissfully unaware that their boyfriends are complete morons about to get hurt while Jungkook naps in his room, his baby monitor on the coffee table in case he wakes up (they’re supposed to be babysitting, after all).

“You sure we can’t die from a fall this high?”

Taehyung looks below them, shrugging a shoulder. “I’m sure it’ll be fine.”

Jimin bites his lip. “So… we just tuck and roll? Right?”

“Uh, yeah.” Taehyung nods, leaning forward and grabbing onto Jimin’s hand. “You’re sure the camera’s filming us?”

Jimin points across the yard where there’s a video camera haphazardly placed on a wheelbarrow. Originally, Jimin had gone to get Yoongi or J-Hope to film their stunt, but Taehyung had pointed out that they’d probably try and stop them from jumping off the roof- even though they totally know what they’re doing and nothing can possibly go wrong.

“On three?”

Jimin swallows nervously. “One.”

“Two.” Taehyung takes a step forward.

*

“Shit!”

Jimin stares in shock at his dad, “You just swore… I’ve never heard you swear before.”

“Ah, I’m sorry, Jimin, ignore that,” Namjoon absently tells his son, trying to staunch the blood coming from Taehyung’s leg. He takes his tie off and wraps it around the boy’s leg, helping him into his car. “Taehyung, what were you thinking?!”

“That the roof wasn’t high enough to get hurt from?”

Jimin snickers, but gasps when his dad helps him stand next, the pain in his own leg throbbing so bad that Jimin’s surprised he hasn’t started crying yet. At least he’s not bleeding like his brother, though; he managed to avoid falling on the sprinkler.

His dad pokes him in the arm, grabbing his attention and looking equal parts unimpressed and concerned. “And you? What’s your excuse? You saw your brother jump off the roof, get hurt, and you thought, what? I want to be an idiot, too, and practically give my dad a heart attack when he comes home from work to see his children lying in the front yard- looking like they’re dead?”

“Um…” Jimin shrugs a shoulder, causing his dad’s frown to deepen, “I mean, we jumped at the same time, so…”

“Idiots, the both of you,” Namjoon mutters, and helps Jimin limp towards the car.

“Wait- why are we getting in the car?”

Namjoon heaves Jimin into the backseat, “To go to the hospital, Jimin. Honestly, use your head. Both of you, stay put- I’ve gotta get Jungkook, then we’ll head out.”

Taehyung pokes his head out of the window of the car, “No need. Hoseok and Yoongi are watching him.”

Jimin watches as his dad slowly turns around to face Taehyung, arms crossed over his chest, “You left your brother with your boyfriend?”

“And Jimin’s boyfriend!” Taehyung quickly says. “Kookie loves Yoongi!”

“Jungkook loves the TV remote, too, but you don’t see me leaving it in charge of him, do you?”

“Dad, Kookie’s fine. Yoongi loves the little guy- he wouldn’t let anything happen to him.” Jimin explains.

Namjoon ignores Jimin in favor of stalking his way into the house, spotting Yoongi and Hoseok in the living room, watching TV, Jungkook’s baby monitor on the coffee table. He makes his way to Jungkook’s room, peeking in and seeing the boy sleeping peacefully- a rare occurrence when Jin’s not around to tuck him in and read him a bedtime story.

Namjoon sighs heavily and closes the door, walking back to the living room. “I don’t want to alarm either of you, but I’m taking Jimin and Taehyung to the hospital-”

What?”

“Oh, my God! Are they okay?! What happened?”

“They’ll be fine- they just jumped off the roof is all.” Namjoon waves their concerns away, though the two boys look like they’re even more worried now. “It’s probably just a sprained ankle and some cuts and bruises, but I’m still going to get them checked out.”

“Yeah, yeah, of course.” Hoseok readily agrees, wringing his hands. “Can we- I- Can we come? I’d like to make sure Tae’s okay and be there for him, and-”

“I actually have a favor to ask you both,” Namjoon cuts him off.

“Yeah, anything,” Yoongi immediately stands, pulling Hoseok up with him, ready to do whatever the man wants them to do.

Namjoon runs a hand through his hair, “I wouldn’t normally ask something like this, but I need someone to watch Kookie; I’d rather not have him running around a hospital-”

“Say no more.” Yoongi nods. “We’ll look after him until you guys come back.”

Namjoon smiles tiredly at Yoongi, “Thank you both. I’m hoping to be in and out of there in an hour- two at the most.”

“Don’t worry, Mr. Kim,” Hoseok reassures him, “we’ve got everything under control here.”

*

Jungkook doesn’t remember falling asleep, but that happens sometimes. He’s tired a lot and Mommy says it’s because he’s a growing boy, so Jungkook sleeps as much as he likes and sometimes he wonders if the reason Daddy looks so tired is because he doesn’t nap as much as he should. Daddy’s a growing boy, too, isn’t he?

He blinks the sleep out of his eyes and it’s when his vision isn’t blurry anymore that he realizes he’s not in his bed- he’s in someone’s arms.

They don’t smell like Mommy or Daddy or J’min or TaeTae, and Jungkook gets scared. Why isn’t Mommy holding him? Where’s Daddy?

So Jungkook calls for them, and then again even louder when nobody answers him. Why isn’t Mommy coming- What happened to Mommy? Mommy told him he wouldn’t be gone for more than a few days and it feels like it’s been an eternity! ‘More than a few days’ has to be over, right?

Jungkook wiggles around in whoever’s arms that are holding him; let him down! He has to go find Mommy!

“Someone’s cranky when he first wakes up, isn’t he?”

Jungkook freezes at the sound of the voice and he cranes his head upwards, but his neck’s at a funny angle and he can only see the boy’s chin- until the boy looks down at him and… oh no.

Not this boy again!

Jungkook looks around wildly, looking for Mommy or Daddy or TaeTae or J’min, but he doesn’t see anyone, and why did they leave him all alone with Hoosuk? Are they coming back? Was he a bad boy and Mommy and Daddy aren’t coming back?

Daddy promised him Mommy would come back soon- that he wasn’t leaving forever; but maybe Daddy lied to him…

Jungkook’s jostled slightly as someone else grabs him and he looks at the boy holding him, breathing a giant sigh of relief when he sees Shhhooogah! Shhhooogah’s here! Jungkook’s never felt more relieved because if Shhhooogah’s here then J’min’s gotta be around somewhere, too, right?

“J’min!”

Jungkook looks over Shhhooogah’s shoulder and recognizes the living room because there are his toys! They’re still on the ground where he was playing with them before his nap, but why isn’t J’min coming? Where’s J’min? Did he leave like Mommy and Daddy?

Was Jungkook a bad boy? Is that why Mommy left? Jungkook hasn’t seen Mommy in forever and he misses him because Mommy is his favorite person in the whole wide world and he knows how to tuck him in at bedtime, and he rocks him to sleep- and why did Mommy have to go?

“Mommy!”

Jungkook starts crying, thrashing in Shhhooogah’s arms, because he wants Mommy! Mommy wouldn’t leave him forever, would he? Jungkook can be a good boy, he promises! He’ll eat his vegetables when Daddy asks him to and he’ll go to bed when it’s dark out! Come back, Mommy! He can be a good boy!

“Shh, Kookie, shh, stop crying, your mom’ll be back tomorrow. It’s just us for right now, okay? So you gotta stop crying, can you do that for me?”

Jungkook wants to be a good boy and listen to Shhhooogah but Mommy’s gone and he’s never coming back- and Daddy isn’t here either! And J’min and TaeTae disappeared, too, and Jungkook doesn’t understand why everyone’s gone but he doesn’t like it and he’s scared-

“So maybe just us babysitting wasn’t such a good idea?”

“He just misses his mom, that's all.”

Jungkook wipes at his eyes at the mention of his mom and looks around, trying to see if Mommy’s back.

“Well… what does Jimin usually do when Jungkook’s in a bad mood?”

Jungkook snaps his head to glare at Hoosuk; he is not in a bad mood! He’s sad! There’s a difference!

“Hey, Kookie, you want a horsey ride?”

Jungkook resolutely shakes his head, burrowing into Shhhooogah’s sweater and blowing his nose on it.

“Come on, you like horsey rides, don’t you? I know you do.”

Jungkook does- he really, really, really likes horsey rides, but Shhhooogah doesn’t get it! Jungkook wants Mommy or Daddy or TaeTae or J’min, not a horsey! They’re not the same thing!

“Hoseok, get down, I’ll put him on your back.”

To Jungkook’s horror Shhhooogah puts him on Hoosuk’s back and Jungkook crosses his arms across his chest, pouting. He doesn’t want a horsey ride! And he especially doesn’t want a horsey ride from Hoosuk! Why is Shhhooogah being so dumb?

He’s almost as bad as Daddy is when he doesn’t understand what Jungkook wants. Why are grown-ups so stupid?

“Are you a dead horse or something? Move!”

Jungkook faceplants onto Hoosuk’s back when the boy moves, lurching him forward, and Jungkook has to hold onto Hoosuk’s shirt to not fall off- and maybe Jungkook’s having a little bit of fun… maybe.

“He’s smiling! Keep it up!”

Jungkook kicks his legs to make the horsey go faster and he laughs when Hoosuk neighs like a real horsey, and he’s really good at being a horsey! Even Shhhooogah isn’t this good at being a horsey!

“I’ve found my true calling, Suga! From this moment onward I demand to be called J-Horse!”

Jungkook finds himself forgetting all about Mommy and Daddy and TaeTae and J’min and wondering where they went because Hoosuk is galloping through the house and into the kitchen, and Jungkook makes grabby hands at the cookie jar that’s on the counter- and it’s too high for him to get to, but Shhhooogah gets him a cookie, then another, and Hoosuk slowly crawls back to the living room, flopping onto the ground.

Jungkook pats Hoosuk on the back, “Good horsey!”

“J-Horse was a good horsey, wasn’t he, Kookie?”

Jungkook eagerly nods his head at Shhhooogah’s question, grinning widely at the boy. J-Horse is a very good horsey! J-Horse is the best horsey!

*

“Horsey!”

“J-Horsey’s tired, Jungkookie. It’s Suga’s turn to be a horse, right?”

Jungkook looks at Hoosuk with watery eyes; why doesn’t he wanna play with him anymore? Jungkook’s been a good horseback rider! He even let Hoosuk take a break earlier when they went upstairs and played in TaeTae’s room, and then again in the backyard. How many breaks does Horsey-Hoosuk need?!

“Come on, Kookie, I’ll be your horsey-”

“No!” Jungkook pushes Shhhooogah’s hands away and loops his arms around Hoosuk’s neck, holding as tight as he can. “Wanna play with Hoosuk!” He pets Hoosuk’s head because he’s been a good horsey, and holds out part of his cookie for the boy to take, “Share?”

“Thank you, Kookie- that was very nice of you!”

“I’ve never seen him share a cookie with anyone, Hoseok.”

“Does this mean he likes me?”

“I think it means he likes J-Horse.”

Jungkook eats the other half of his cookie, smiling when he bites down into a chocolate chip and it’s so yummy, and he wonders if he can trick Shhhooogah into getting him more cookies because they’re so good and Mommy baked them and when Jungkook eats them he doesn’t miss Mommy as much as when he’s not eating them.

*

“Tae texted and said he and Jimin are both okay, but now they’re stuck in traffic. He said they might be there a while.”

Jungkook looks at Hoosuk when he says Tae- even though it’s TaeTae, not just Tae, but Jungkook can teach Hoosuk the right way to say his brother’s name. He’s a smart Kookie, after all, and Hoosuk doesn’t look that dumb. It should be easy. But that’s for later because right now Jungkook’s busy dragging Shhhooogah and Hoosuk upstairs into his room where his stuffed animals are.

Jungkook grabs his rabbit and hands his stuffed lion to Shhhooogah, grabbing his stuffed giraffe and giving it to Hoosuk. He sits on the floor and starts playing where he left off before his nap- but maybe this wasn’t such a good idea because Shhhooogah’s calling his lion a boy! She’s a girl, not a boy! “You’re playing wrong!”

“How do you play right?”

“I don’t know, but you’re making him mad, man.”

Jungkook puts his lion back in the toy pile; if Shhhooogah can’t tell the difference between a boy lion and a girl lion then he doesn’t get to play at all! “Shhhooogah, time out!”

Jungkook smiles when Hoosuk laughs loudly, and maybe Jungkook was wrong about Hoosuk… Maybe Hoosuk isn’t so bad. He’s a very, very, very good horsey after all and he does Mr. Giraffe’s voice just like J’min does it, and he keeps smiling at Jungkook and he even makes Shhhooogah get them more cookies.

Yeah, Jungkook nods his head, smiling brightly at Hoosuk, this boy isn’t bad at all. TaeTae was right! He is fun!

*

Taehyung leans on his dad as they enter the house. By the time they get home it’s dark out and Taehyung feels so incredibly bad that Hoseok’s been stuck babysitting his little brother who can’t stand him-

“Is that…?”

“Yeah…”

Taehyung, Jimin, and their dad all share a confused look because there’s Jungkook, on top of Hoseok’s chest, both of them fast asleep while Yoongi rushes over to see Jimin and make sure his boyfriend’s all right.

“Uh…” Taehyung cautiously says, “Does Kookie know who he’s sleeping on right now? Should I prepare for some screaming when he wakes up and sees Hoseok’s face?”

Yoongi chuckles, “Nah, they’re good friends now.”

“No way.” Jimin protests with a shake of his head. “Kookie hates him.”

“He loves him.” Yoongi insists, going over to the pair and poking Hoseok’s cheek until the younger boy awakens. “Hey, they’re back.”

“Tae!” Hoseok jumps up, cradling Jungkook to his chest as he runs over to Taehyung, fussing over him and making sure he’s still in one piece. “You’re okay? No broken bones?”

Taehyung shrugs, “Bruised tailbone and twisted ankle, but that’s about it.”

“Hoosuk?”

Hoseok looks down at Jungkook and smiles at him, “Rise and shine, Jungkookie.”

Namjoon goes to take Jungkook from Hoseok, only for his son to start squirming in his grip, “How about we put you to bed, huh, kiddo? You still look pretty tired.”

“Horsey?” Jungkook flails an arm out and grabs onto Hoseok’s shirt. “Horsey-Hoosuk?”

Hoseok grins and gets down on the ground, “Okay, one more horsey ride.” Once Jungkook’s on his back, he flashes a grin at Taehyung before neighing and shuffling around the living room on his hands and knees, disappearing into the kitchen a moment later, much to everyone’s amusement.

When the two finally come back, Jungkook’s happier than Namjoon’s seen him since Jin left yesterday (though that could be due to the cookie in his hand) and he reluctantly parts Jungkook from his new friend. “You can see Hoseok again another day, okay, Kookie? He’s gotta go home now; it’s bedtime.”

Jungkook tilts his head to the side like he’s trying to understand his dad’s words and Hoseok grins at him, ruffling his hair. “We’ll play again soon, I promise.”

“Pinky swear?” Jungkook asks, all innocence and wide eyes and Hoseok’s practically reduced to a puddle of goo at that ridiculously adorable expression.

He links his pinky with Jungkook’s own smaller one, “Pinky swear.”

*

Jungkook looks at Daddy with sad eyes. Hoosuk’s gone, Mommy’s gone- everyone’s leaving! He kicks the blankets off his body and sits up, immediately settling back down into bed when Daddy looks at him and uses his serious voice to tell him to lie back down.

“Daddy? Mommy coming back?”

“He’ll be back tomorrow, Kookie.” Daddy tells him, kissing his forehead, and Jungkook claps his hands together- Shhhooogah wasn’t lying when he told him that Mommy was coming back! Mommy will be back when he wakes up in the morning and Jungkook’s gonna tell Mommy all about Hoosuk and how he’s such a good horsey, and how he knows how to do the good voices for his toys, and how Shhhooogah gave him a bunch of cookies-

He’s got so, so, sooooo much to tell Mommy in the morning! He can’t wait!

 

Chapter Text

Yoongi thought this was the right thing to do.

Turns out he was out of his goddamn mind to suggest to Jimin that maybe- just maybe after dating two months, he should meet his parents.

He should’ve known something was up with the way Jimin avoided the question like the plague on numerous occasions. But Yoongi’s stubborn and has absolutely no problem following Jimin around all day, every day, pestering him until the younger boy gives in, because he likes Jimin enough that meeting his parents is the next logical step in their relationship.

“What are these?”

“Flash cards.”

Yoongi turns the index cards over in his hands, “And why are you giving me flash cards?”

Jimin narrowly dodges a stray basketball that comes sailing at his head. Maybe basketball practice wasn’t the best time to meet up with Yoongi? “You wanted to meet my parents- I’m preparing you for that.”

“You’re-”

“Preparing you for it, yeah.” Jimin repeats, taking the flash cards from his boyfriend and laying them on the bench they’re sitting on. “Okay, first things first-”

“That’s a cute idea and all, but I think I’m good without them.”

“You have no clue what you’re getting yourself into.” Jimin warns him, as serious as Yoongi’s ever seen him. “I’m not even kidding when I say they’re gonna interrogate you.”

Yoongi rolls his eyes as he takes a drink from his water bottle. “Stop trying to make me nervous. They’re just your parents.”

“Oh yeah?” Jimin raises an eyebrow, “My dad takes you into his studio. It’s just the two of you and he doesn’t say anything; he’s waiting for you to speak first. What do you say?”

Yoongi’s taken aback by the sudden scenario, but nevertheless humors Jimin, “Alright, we’re in his studio, so I guess I start by saying I’m a big fan-”

Jimin makes the sound of a buzzer, loudly and annoyingly, and shakes his head, “Wrong. Now he thinks you’re only dating me so you can meet the famous Rap Monster. Congratulations, you’re now single.”

“Wait!” Yoongi holds his hands up. “That isn’t fair! Let me try again!”

“Nope, you failed with my dad.” Jimin tells him with a shrug. “You better hope you can impress my mom.”

“Mom’s love me.” Yoongi assures him and Jimin rolls his eyes because Min Yoongi has yet to meet anyone as formidable as his own mom.

*

“They’re gonna split us up.” Jimin informs him before they enter his home, squeezing his hand in, what Yoongi assumes, is supposed to be a reassuring way, but only ends up making his hand clammier, and fuck, did he always sweat this much? “Don’t be nervous.”

“I’m not.”

“You’ll do great!” Jimin assures him, opening the door. “Mom! Dad! I’m home!”

Yoongi steps into the house and toes off his sneakers, arms stiffly at his side as Jimin leads him into the kitchen to grab something to drink.

“Ah! This must be the famous Min Yoongi.”

Yoongi exhales slowly, trying to remember how to speak without stuttering. He greets Jimin’s mom and dad with a polite hello, surprised when a cookie’s offered to him, along with a glass of milk. They make small talk and Yoongi thinks that this isn’t so bad- a few questions here and there about his and Jimin’s relationship, but nothing he can’t handle.

Until…

“Jimin, why don’t you help me start dinner.”

“Yeah, it’ll give me and Yoongi a chance to get to know each other.”

Alarm bells go off in Yoongi’s head and he shoots Jimin a panicked look, getting a nervous smile from his boyfriend in return as he finds himself being led through the house, away from Jimin and his mom, and to, what he assumes, is the studio. Yoongi reminds himself to not act like a fan, but it’s hard when there’s gold and platinum records hanging along the wall; photographs of Jimin’s dad with every rapper imaginable; and top of the line recording equipment that Yoongi just barely restrains himself from drooling all over.

“So, Yoongi, tell me…”

Let the interrogation begin, Yoongi thinks, steeling himself. He’s ready. He’s so fucking ready! He’s gonna make the best first impression!

“Have you kissed my son?”

Nope. Never mind. He’s not ready. Definitely not ready for that fucking question. He thought they’d start off with something a little less blunt than that.

Still… he’s not gonna lie to the man. “Yes.”

And all he gets for his honesty is a blank stare.

…He probably should’ve lied.

“Have you tried pressuring Jimin into having sex with you yet?”

Holy shit, this is awkward.

Also, a little insulting.

“I wouldn’t do that, sir. Like, ever.”

“You’re an older boy, aren’t you, Yoongi? I’m sure you’re far more experienced than my son is. You must get certain… urges,”

“Umm, yeah, I guess…?”

Jimin’s dad stares at him, cocking his head to the side, “You don’t want Jimin to help you out with those types of urges-”

So, so, so, so, so awkward.

“No- I wouldn’t- I… I want to- But- No, that’s not…” Yoongi hangs his head, exhaling slowly. He collects his thoughts and tries again, “Whether you believe me or not, I respect your son, Mr. Kim. I would never ask Jimin to do anything like that.”

“We’ll see about that.” Jimin’s dad mutters just loud enough that Yoongi hears him. “My son sometimes refers to you as Suga, why?”

“It’s just a nickname.”
 
“Your nickname is Suga?” Jimin’s dad asks, lip curling up in distaste and Yoongi can just imagine all the horrible things he’s thinking the nickname Suga could stand for. And Yoongi’s sure that none of them paint him in a flattering light.

“I’m the shooting guard for our school’s basketball team.” Yoongi hastily explains, though Jimin’s dad still doesn’t look happy with his answer, so he needlessly elaborates, “You know, shooting guard; Suga. It’s just a stupid nickname.”

The man just hums in response and Yoongi gets the distinct feeling that this is not going well.

“You look uncomfortable.”

“I am.” Yoongi readily admits. “This is a little nerve wracking.”

Jimin’s dad grins at him, and that’s probably supposed to be comforting, but Yoongi’s so on edge right now that it just freaks him out even more. “Deep breath. I’m just trying to get to know you better. This is just a friendly little chat we’re having.”

Bullshit; Yoongi gets the feeling that he’s being lulled into a false sense of security.

“Am I right to assume you don’t smoke?”

Yep. Definitely a false sense of security.

“No, sir.”

“Any drugs?”

“Never.”

“Are you failing any classes?”

Yoongi shakes his head, “Not that I know of. History’s not going great, but I doubt I’m failing.”

“Are you serious about dating my son, Yoongi?”

Yoongi doesn’t hesitate to nod his head, “Absolutely.”

“Why?”

Yoongi really, really wishes he could express himself better with words. As it is, ‘I like him’ is all that comes out of his mouth, and fuck, this is going so much worse than he’d ever imagined it would.

Jimin’s flash cards so didn’t help!

“Why?” Jimin’s dad presses him for an answer and Yoongi shrugs helplessly.

“Because he’s Jimin.” Yoongi answers, and though it might not be the answer the man wants to hear, it’s the only one Yoongi can think of. Because there’s no one reason why he likes Jimin so damn much- there’re a million little reasons, and every day Yoongi finds more and more things he loves about the boy.

“Dad?” Jimin steps into the studio, “Dad, Mom wants to know if you can go get some milk from the store,”

“Not a problem. In fact, why don’t you come with me, Jiminie, and we can let your mom get better acquainted with Yoongi.”

Yoongi forces himself to smile and nod his head, following the two back to the kitchen. His legs feel like jelly after that little interaction and Yoongi is 90% positive that his clothes are soaked through with sweat.

Jimin pats him on the back before leaving with his dad, calling over his shoulder that they’ll be back in a bit, and Yoongi is left standing in the middle of the kitchen while Jimin’s mom ties an apron around his waist. “Do you know how to cook, Yoongi?”

“A bit.”

The man smiles at him, “Good, then you’re already more useful than my husband is in the kitchen. Off you go, there’s an onion over there for you to chop up.”

Yoongi does as he’s instructed and finds that Jimin’s mom is… surprisingly easy to talk to; they make small talk over inconsequential things like the weather and what Yoongi’s favorite foods are. He laughs at the stories he hears about Jimin when he was younger, and everything is going smoothly.

It’s a breath of fresh air compared to his interrogation a few minutes ago.

“Kookie’s down for his nap right now, but I’m sure he’ll be thrilled to meet you when he wakes up, Yoongi.”

Yoongi finds himself smiling, “Jimin talks about him a lot. I’m excited to meet him, too.”

“I would normally rope Taehyung into helping me with dinner, too, but Astronomy Club is tonight and he’s quite dedicated to it- he’s very fond of outer space, that one.”

“Yeah, I’ve heard him talk about it once or twice.” Or six-thousand times before.

Jimin’s mom wipes his hands on his apron and hands Yoongi some tomatoes to cut. “Are you coming to the dance showcase next week?”

“I thought I’d surprise Jimin by going, yeah.” Yoongi tells him, now onto chopping the tomatoes into small chunks. “I kinda thought it might be nice to get him something, too. Just to say, like, good job, or whatever.”

“I’m sure Jimin would love that.” Jimin’s mom smiles at him encouragingly, “Anything in particular you were thinking about?”

“I was thinking of getting him fried chicken.” Yoongi says, much to the amusement of the other man. “I mean, I don’t think he’s into flowers and he’s always hungry, so…”

“You definitely know my son.” Jimin’s mom says with a laugh. “I’ll be right back, Yoongi, keep chopping.”

Yoongi nods, grabbing the carrots as he’s left alone in the kitchen. He’s so caught up in trying to not cut his fingers that he startles when he hears footsteps against the tiled floor, calming when he sees it’s just Jimin’s mom and… Jungkook, he presumes.

“Didn’t want Kookie to sleep too long, or else he’ll be up all night.”

“Right, yeah.” Yoongi absently says, completely fascinated by the baby. He’s never been around kids before and it’s almost like meeting a new species. The boy is looking at him curiously and Yoongi stares right back before he wonders if maybe he should smile at the kid or something- except, no, because now the kid’s making a face like he’s gonna cry. And, fuck, did he do that?

Great; the kid already hates him.

“Don’t mind him; he’s cranky from waking up.” Jimin’s mom tells him, turning his head to the right and grinning, “I think I hear Namjoon pulling in the driveway. Here,” he hands Jungkook to Yoongi and Yoongi holds the baby at arm’s length, eyes wide. “Hold him for a second, will you? I’m gonna go see if that’s them.”

Before Yoongi can tell Jimin’s mom that, no, trusting him with a baby is a very bad idea, the man leaves and Yoongi is left holding a wriggling baby. He hesitantly brings the kid to his chest and starts to rock him, trying to remember what he’s seen people do with babies in movies. “So, uh, hey. I’m Yoongi. Nice to meet you.”

Jungkook just stares at him.

“I’m dating your brother.” Yoongi tells him. “Jimin, not, um… not Taehyung. And, uh, I hope we can be friends?”

Yoongi watches as Jungkook’s eyebrows furrow together, like he’s trying to understand what Yoongi’s telling him. “Not very talkative, huh? That’s cool. Me neither.” He rubs circles along the boy’s back and smiles when he yawns, “I probably shouldn’t let you fall asleep. I think your mom wants you to stay awake, kid.”

Jungkook yawns even wider and snuggles into Yoongi’s shirt.

“Okay, you win. You can have a short nap, but only ‘cause you’re cute. This’ll be our little secret, okay?”

Yoongi likes to think that Jungkook’s way of agreeing is by drooling all over his t-shirt.

*

Jimin’s on his way to bed from the bathroom when he hears his parent’s voices. He creeps down the stairs and hovers just outside the living room, listening in:

“...he’s a good kid.”

“Unless he was lying-”

“He’s a good kid, Namjoonie. Cut him some slack; he answered all of your crazy questions, he knows how to help out in the kitchen, anyone can see that he cares about Jimin, and he passed the Kookie test.”

“True; from what you said, he didn’t freak out when you left him alone with Kookie. Not like that last boy Jimin brought home-”

“I came back to the kitchen to find him yelling at Jungkook when he started crying! Who yells at a baby?”

Jimin frowns when he thinks back on his last boyfriend. He wasn’t kidding when he told Yoongi that it was possible to start out the night in a relationship and finish it a few hours later single. Hyong Jihoon was one such occurrence.

“I’m still going to keep a close eye on him, Jin.”

“If this boy is as crazy about Jimin as he seems to be, I don’t think we have anything to worry about.”

Jimin scurries down the hall and barges into his brother’s room, flopping down onto Taehyung’s bed (and, by extension, his body).

“This bed’s taken! Go sleep in your own!”

Jimin pokes at his brother until Taehyung bats his hand away with a grunt. “Mom and Dad like him!”

Taehyung blearily opens his eyes, “ChimChim, I love you, but I don’t care, go away.”

“They said Yoongi’s a good kid!” Jimin continues to enthuse, smiling widely. “They’ve never liked anyone I’ve dated before!”

“And by anyone you mean the two other guys?” Taehyung mumbles into his covers, trying to kick Jimin off the bed.

“Did they say anything to you when you got home? Did they mention that they liked him?” Jimin continues babbling, heedless of Taehyung’s protest of I’m trying to sleep here! “Kookie didn’t even cry-”

Taehyung tiredly sits up in bed, “Yes, Jimin, Yoongi’s great- everyone thinks he’s fucking fantastic. Now let me sleep! I just got back from staring at constellations for, like, two hours straight! I’m tired, leave me alone!”

Jimin laughs and snuggles further into Taehyung’s side, opening his mouth again, much to Taehyung’s displeasure. “And he-”

“Ah!” Taehyung covers his ears and pulls the blankets over his head, trying his best to ignore his lovesick brother. “Oh, my God! Stop talking about Yoongi!”

Jimin playfully shoves his brother, “Hey, when you date someone I’ll listen to you talk about them all you want-”

Taehyung scoffs, “Please. I’m not dating anyone anytime soon. Our entire school’s filled with nothing but boring people. If I’m gonna date someone, they’re gonna have to be pretty amazing to catch my attention and hold it.”

*

“This isn’t fair.”

“I mean…” Jimin’s trails off, shrugging a shoulder. “What did you expect?”

Yoongi narrows his eyes at the scene playing out in front of them. “I expected it to go about as smoothly as it did with me. This is just… so not fair.”

“It’s J-Hope.” Jimin says, like that explains everything. “Everyone likes him. It’s really hard not to.”

“No, your dad’s supposed to be scary and intimidating!” Yoongi insists, scowling as he watches Jimin’s dad laugh at something Hoseok says. “Not smiling!”

“Listen, some people just make better first impressions than others-”

Yoongi raises an eyebrow at Jimin, “Are you saying I make bad first impressions?”

“Uh, yeah,” Jimin nods, “that’s exactly what I’m saying.”

They’re both staring as Hoseok charms Jimin’s parents, Taehyung interacting every so often, when Yoongi slowly turns to look at Jimin from where they’re hovering just outside the room, “I’ll be right back.”

Jimin shrugs in response and Yoongi comes back a minute later with Jungkook in his arms, setting the boy down on the ground and directing him over to where Taehyung and J-Hope are.

“You’re being petty.” Jimin tells him with a laugh. “You know Kookie doesn’t like him.”

Yoongi crosses his arms across his chest, “Listen, I’m just trying to even the playing field here-”

“What playing field? My parents love you!”

Now they do, sure, but I had to earn that over the course of an entire year! I’m just gonna let Hoseok have a little taste of what it’s like to not have everyone fawning all over you.”

“You’re a terrible friend.” Jimin points out. “You should be happy J-Hope and my parents are getting along.”

Yoongi shakes his head, “Nope, I want him to know what it feels like to have to work for someone’s affection.”

“A terrible, terrible friend.” Jimin maintains, trying to resist the urge to laugh when Jungkook climbs onto Taehyung’s lap and immediately starts crying at the sight of J-Hope. “There? You happy now?”

“Very.”

 

Chapter Text

Jin didn’t mean to adopt Kim Taehyung.

Wait- that sounds bad. He did mean to adopt him, but it wasn’t like this was a decision he and Namjoon talked about beforehand. Not much, anyway.

Adopting Kim Taehyung was absolutely the most impulsive thing Jin’s ever done in his entire life.

And he doesn’t regret that decision for a second.

*

Jin rolls his eyes when he reads the white board in the on-call room:

Kim Seokjin  05:00 – 22:00  Pediatric Wing

Honestly, Jin likes kids- he does, but he’s been stuck in the pediatric wing of the hospital since he started his internship at Daegu’s easternmost hospital two weeks ago. He’s not aiming to become a pediatrician, so it’s a little bothersome to keep getting shoved into that department, but whatever. It’s not like he’s jealous of the other interns who get to help out in the ICU. He’s absolutely not jealous that they get to have hands-on experience with any number of ailments on a daily basis while Jin’s stuck tending to ouchies and booboo’s for fifteen hours a day- okay, fine, maybe he’s a little jealous of the other interns.

It’s just that he’d like to spend his days saving lives and not giving out lollipops to kids who are just there to get a flu shot.

Four years of university, another four years of medical school, and now he’s qualified to give sweets to children.

He hopes Namjoon appreciates the sacrifice he made by moving with him to Daegu for the time being- because he could’ve been interning at Seoul’s busiest hospital right about now, but no. He just had to love Namjoon and want to be near him and support him, and, really, did Namjoon have to record his new album in Daegu of all places? Just what was wrong with all the recording studios in Seoul, Jin doesn’t know, but never mind. It’s fine. Everything’s great and Jin’s just being crabby (possibly because their new apartment is right beside the train tracks and he gets woken up every two hours by noisy trains rolling by); he can totally adapt to life in Daegu.

…Just give him a few weeks.

*

Jin’s busy looking at his next patient’s chart when the boy in question comes bounding into the room with all the enthusiasm of a puppy and happily plants himself on the examination table, swinging his legs back and forth with a large smile on his face.

Four years old. Complaints of headaches and slight dizziness, coupled with nausea. No previous illnesses in the past two years. Healthy weight and height for a boy his age.

“Kim…” Jin quickly scans the boy’s name on the chart again, “Taehyung, I’m Doctor Kim. I hear you’re not feeling well?”

The boy, Taehyung, shrugs a shoulder, seemingly more interested in the medical posters on the walls than on the doctor in front of him.

“I’m told you’re getting headaches. Is that true, Taehyung?”

“Sometimes. What’s your favorite color?”

Jin’s slightly taken aback by the abrupt subject change. “Uh, pink. What’s yours?”

“I like pink, too!” Taehyung practically screams in excitement. “But I like green! And white! And black, too! Do you watch cartoons, Doctor Kim? I love cartoons!”

“I like cartoons, sure,”

“Cool! Do you like pizza? I love pizza!”

“Only crazy people don’t like pizza!” Jin tells him. “What’s your favorite kind of pizza?”

“All kinds- Oh! But maybe pepperoni! Or cheese! I don’t know; I can’t decide! No vegetables, though!”

Jin laughs, taking the boy’s temperature while he’s distracted. “Do you like ice cream?”

Taehyung’s eyes widen and he grins widely, nodding his head with such force that his hat flies off his head. “I love it! It’s soooo good! I could eat all the ice cream in the world!”

Jin smiles at the boy, righting his hat back on his head. “I like it, too. So, Taehyung, can you tell me when your head hurts the most?”

Taehyung stares intently at Jin and smiles, jumping off the examination table and coming to stand in front of him, “You’re really pretty, Doctor Kim.”

Jin blinks in shock, then feels his face heat up from embarrassment. “Oh, uh, thank you, Taehyung. That’s very kind of you to say. Now, how about you hop back on the examination table-”

“Will you marry me?”

…Jin takes a moment to be thoroughly stunned at the question, then tries his hardest to not laugh at how adorable this kid is; he doesn’t think the boy would take too kindly to having someone laugh after issuing a marriage proposal.

“I’ll marry you on the condition that you answer my questions, okay, Taehyung?”

Taehyung nods and climbs back on the examination table, playing with the sanitary paper that’s crinkling under his body whenever he shifts the teensiest bit. “It hurts when I watch TV or when I color pictures, or when I read my books. Like, like…” Taehyung trails off and bites on his lip like he’s thinking of how to explain to Jin what happens when his head hurts. “Like when I read, sometimes the words go all fuzzy, and then I feel kinda dizzy. Am I sick?”

Jin jots the boy’s answer to his previous question on the chart in his hands and stands, grabbing his stethoscope from around his neck. “That’s what we’re here to find out, but I don’t think there’s anything to worry about.”

Jin puffs out a breath on the stethoscope to warm it a bit and presses it inside Taehyung’s shirt, chuckling when the boy gasps at the cool metal against his skin, squirming to get away. Jin notes that Taehyung’s heartbeat is strong and healthy and checks the boy’s ears next, then his throat and finally his eyes- and, yep, just like he thought.

Jin’s not an optometrist, but he’d wager a guess that Taehyung needs glasses.

“Like yours?” Taehyung excitedly asks, reaching out and taking the frames off Jin’s face, slipping them on his own and squinting when he, obviously, can’t see clearly. “I don’t think I need glasses, Doctor Kim.”

Jin takes his glasses back with a laugh and puts them on, ruffling Taehyung’s hair. “Mine are probably a bit too strong for you. When you go see the eye doctor, he’ll make sure your glasses are perfect for you. Sound good?” At Taehyung’s nod, Jin sets his chart down and opens the door to the exam room, “Let’s go see your parents and tell them the news, okay?”

Jin’s halfway out the door when he notices Taehyung- bright, energetic Taehyung, scuffing his shoe against the floor, his arms crossed over his chest. Jin steps back inside, closing the door, and crouches down so he’s eye-level with Taehyung. “Is something wrong?”

“I don’t have a mommy or daddy; I don’t think they wanted me.” Taehyung whispers, avoiding eye contact with Jin. “I’m an orphan.”

…Jin’s had a tiny amount of counselling training during medical school, enough that his bedside manner isn’t atrocious, but he doesn’t think any amount of training could prepare him for a statement like that- so heartbreakingly honest. Taehyung looks like he’s close to tears and Jin doesn’t blame him. How could a four year old possibly hope to understand the complexities that come with putting your child up for adoption?

“Taehyung…” Jin trails off, putting a comforting hand on the boy’s shoulder, and then pulling him into a hug. He doesn’t know what to say to make the boy feel better, but Jin’s been told that his hugs are pretty good at getting people out of bad moods, so that’ll have to do for now.

*

A week later and Jin can’t stop thinking about Kim Taehyung.

He can still see the boy’s downtrodden face when they’d finally left the exam room and entered the waiting room, where Jin had explained the situation to the woman waiting for Taehyung’s appointment to finish- a stern, older woman who, in turn, explained that while the Catholic church that housed Taehyung and others like him had enough funds to send him for a checkup, money was tight and getting him glasses just wasn’t a possibility right now.

Jin had only nodded his head, understanding (but not thrilled about) the situation, and waving goodbye to Taehyung as the boy trudged after the woman and out of the hospital.

“I thought you were going to sleep?”

Jin looks up from his laptop and grins sheepishly as Namjoon enters the bedroom, settling beside him in the bed. “I’m just trying to get around the hospital’s stupid policies.”

“Already trying to break the rules, huh?”

Jin swats Namjoon’s arm, “I’m not breaking any rules.” Yet.

“What’re you trying to do?” Namjoon looks at the laptop, eyes quickly scanning over the words on the webpage. “Eye exams and free glasses for a patient of yours?”

Jin nods, “There was this boy that I saw a few days ago; the church that looks after him doesn’t have the money to get him glasses, so I thought-”

“That you’d try and help out.” Namjoon finishes with a smile, kissing Jin on the cheek. “I assume the hospital doesn’t like to give out free things, though.”

“Not so much, no.”

“We could just buy him glasses.” Namjoon offers as he grabs his book off the nightstand. “Money’s not exactly tight right now.”

“I wasn’t going to ask-”

Namjoon hums thoughtfully, “I know.”

“I’m quite capable of dealing with this on my own-”

I know.” Namjoon repeats with a grin. “You’re stubborn and I know you don’t like it when I pay for things- like letting me pay your student loans back, but let me do this, yeah? It’s just a pair of glasses, Jin, and it means a lot to you, so it means something to me, too.”

Jin shakes his head, “I appreciate the offer, Namjoon, but this is something I’d rather do myself. You understand, right?”

“Of course.” Namjoon says with a sigh, slipping his own glasses on and immersing himself in his book. “Just… if you do need help at some point-”

Jin kisses Namjoon on his cheek. “I’ll ask for it.”

*

Another week passes by before Jin admits defeat (Daegu Medical Legality System: 1, Kim Seokjin: 0) and has Namjoon accompany him to the nearest optometrist office, setting up a payment plan for Kim Taehyung and arranging for the charges to be put on Namjoon’s credit card.

“I promise, when I have the money, I’ll pay you back-”

Namjoon rolls his eyes and slings an arm around Jin’s shoulders, leading them back to his car, “You know,” he muses with a grin, “when you finally agree to marry me, my money will be yours, too. So just think of this as you paying for it, okay?”

Jin shoves Namjoon playfully, “When you propose properly I just might consider marrying you.”

“And just what was wrong with me proposing on our anniversary last year?”

Jin groans, “We were in the middle of a fight! A proposal shouldn’t be something you do to end a fight. It should be special and well thought out, Namjoon.”

Namjoon unlocks the car as they near it, “I’ll try and work on that, then.”

“It should be romantic.” Jin adds as an afterthought. “And I should cringe at how cheesy it is.”

“So many rules,” Namjoon mumbles as they enter the car. He starts the ignition and backs out of the parking spot, “So where does this kid live?”

Jin raises an eyebrow, “Why?”

“Aren’t we going over there to tell them to get that kid to the optometrist’s office?” Namjoon asks. “Address, come on, Jin, give it to me.”

Jin shakes his head, “No, no, I don’t want to intrude-”

“Didn’t you say he lived at a church? I’m not against driving to every church in Daegu, especially since I’m sure I could find out which one houses orphans.”

Jin exhales and rattles off the address to Namjoon, watching the city blur by as they drive further and further out of the city, only to pull up to a large church with a playground right beside it, children happily playing on it.

Namjoon parks the car and gets out, Jin following him a moment later. “Let’s go in,”

Jin walks up the steps and into the church, looking for anyone over the age of six, and finally spots a man a few feet away. He lightly taps him on the shoulder, “Excuse me?”

The man turns around and smiles kindly at Jin and Namjoon, bowing in greeting. “Are you here to worship?”

Jin shakes his head, “Sorry, no. I’m Kim Seokjin, a doctor- I treated a young boy, Kim Taehyung-”

“Oh dear, is there something wrong with him?” The man frowns, “I could’ve sworn we were told he was fine. He just needs glasses, right?”

“Right,” Jin tells him. “That’s right.”

“Unfortunately, money’s a little tight. We have many mouths to feed and, well, the donations from the community only go so far. You understand, of course.”

“Of course.” Jin readily agrees, nodding. “But that’s actually why we’re here. We’ve set it up so that Taehyung can go to this optometrist’s office,” he hands the man a business card with the address on it, “and get an eye exam and glasses- free of charge.”

“Free of charge?”

Namjoon chuckles at the dubious look on the man’s face and rubs at the back of his neck, “I mean, it’ll be free for you,” he admits. “But we’re more than happy to help out.”

“We really couldn’t accept-”

Jin places his hand on the man’s shoulder, smiling gently, “Please, let us help.”

“Then I and the church thank you for having such a generous soul, Doctor.”

“It’s our pleasure.” Jin says, bidding the man goodbye. He and Namjoon leave the church and head back to the car but are stopped by a small body slamming into Jin and latching itself to his side.

“Doctor Kim!” Taehyung smiles up at him and Jin’s surprised that the little boy actually remembers who he is. “Did you come to see me? Are we gonna get married now?”

Namjoon merely raises an eyebrow at the boy’s question and Jin shakes his head in amusement, “Oh, Taehyung, I’m much too old for you.”

“Probably. You’re really old.” Taehyung agrees before turning his attention to Namjoon and frowning, “Who’re you?”

“This is Namjoon, Taehyung,” Jin introduces them, smiling as Taehyung excitedly shakes Namjoon’s much larger hand with both of his own smaller ones. “He’s my boyfriend.”

Taehyung’s eyes widen, “Are you gonna get married to him, Doctor Kim? He’s as old as you are!”

“Maybe you can talk him into it, Taehyung.” Namjoon says. “He keeps saying no to me.”

Taehyung pulls at Jin’s hand, causing the man to crouch down to his level. “You should marry him, Doctor Kim! He’s got white hair! That’s cool!”

Jin can hear Namjoon trying to muffle his laughter. “Maybe one day, Taehyung.”

“Why not now?” Taehyung persists, “Don’t you love him?”

“Yeah, don’t you looooove me?” Namjoon mock pouts, sidling up to Jin and leaning his head on the man’s shoulder.

Jin rolls his eyes and pushes Namjoon away, “Not right now, I don’t.” He looks down at Taehyung- at the clothes he’s wearing that are clearly the wrong size; the shoes on his feet that look like they’re barely being held together; and Jin feels the strongest urge to… provide for this boy.

And if that isn’t a shock to his system, he doesn’t know what is. Because Jin wants nothing more than to buy this little boy everything his heart desires- Jin wants to make sure he grows up knowing what having a family who loves him feels like because Jin can’t even begin to imagine what it’s like going through your childhood without parents to tell you how much they love you each and every day, or-

Jin shakes his head.

He’s the boy’s doctor, not his parent, for goodness sake. He has to remain professional. He’s just being a good doctor by making sure Taehyung gets the glasses he needs, that’s all.

That’s all, he firmly repeats to himself as his heart clenches painfully when he and Namjoon finally part ways from Taehyung (much to the boy’s infinite protests and pouting) and the boy goes back to playing on the swings, looking as defeated as Jin feels.

“Cute kid,” Namjoon says as they drive away and Jin has to restrain himself from turning around in his seat and having one last look at Taehyung. He absently nods in agreement with Namjoon’s comment and wonders if this hollow, almost guilty feeling in his chest will go away with time?

*

It doesn’t.

Jin finds himself concerned for Taehyung all the time- wondering if the little boy has gotten his glasses yet; if he’s got a warm coat for the upcoming winter months; if he’s eating a balanced diet-

He doesn’t let Namjoon know he’s grown such an attachment to the boy- he doesn’t think Namjoon would understand. After all, Jin’s only met with the boy twice, and how is it possible that he just keeps thinking about him- worrying about him. It’s crazy, possibly borderline obsessive behavior and maybe he should get his head checked out, just to make sure he’s not going crazy…

*

“Namjoon?”

“Hmm?”

“Namjoon, look at me.”

Namjoon looks up from his notebook, lyrics forgotten for the moment. “Yeah?”

“You want kids, right?”

“In the world? Or, like, in our home?” Namjoon asks, needing clarification.

“In our home.” Jin rolls his eyes, “I don’t think you have any control over whether there are children in the world.”

“Oh, um,” Namjoon shrugs a shoulder. “I guess, yeah. I haven’t really thought about kids, but yeah, sure. They’d be nice to have around one day.”

But one day doesn’t seem soon enough to Jin…

*

Jin doesn’t even know who he is anymore; there’s an empty feeling in his chest, he can swear he hears his own biological clock ticking (if you buy into such nonsense), and the last time he and Namjoon went shopping, he had to stop himself so many goddamn times from buying toys to take to Taehyung.

He gets saddled with interning in the pediatric wing of the hospital yet again and wonders why he doesn’t feel any kind of connection with any other patients he sees. Because maybe it’s just natural that when you work with kids you get a little attached to them- you want to see them healthy and happy, and honestly, Jin would find that a comforting thought if he felt the way he feels for Taehyung towards his other patients.

Because all of his patients are cute kids like Taehyung (or, well, most are cute, some of them will hopefully grow into their looks), and Jin sees the way their own parents interact with them, the fond look they get in their eyes, and it’s with a shockingly clear mind that he realizes he already, kind of, maybe, sort of acts that exact same way with Taehyung.

*

“I checked my credit card statement this morning,” Namjoon says when he comes back from the recording studio, practically dragging his feet with how exhausted he is. “Looks like they finally got that kid his glasses.”

“Oh, good, good.” Jin grins at Namjoon, kissing him and sitting him down at the kitchen table. He doesn’t have to go to work for another few hours (because who doesn’t love the 2AM to 4PM shift?) and sets a bowl of soup in front of his boyfriend. “Eat, then get some rest.”

“Yes, Mom.” Namjoon jokes, but it stops Jin dead in his tracks and his throat constricts a little. Mom.

...He could be a good mom.

*

Jin’s moving on autopilot. He doesn’t even realize he’s halfway to the orphanage until a song of Namjoon’s comes on the radio and snaps him out of his daze and he focuses on just what the hell he’s doing- which is, uh… going to see Taehyung.

Just to check up on him, Jin insists to himself, humming along to the music in the car. Except when he finally gets to the church and he’s bombarded by Taehyung’s eager presence and he’s asking Jin a million and one questions about this and that, and if he likes his new glasses, and the boy looks as excited to see him as Jin is to see him, and it’s almost too much.

Jin can’t just leave again.

He just… can’t.

*

“Doctor Kim?”

Jin looks around for the voice and sees the woman from Taehyung’s appointment so many weeks ago at the hospital. She’s as severe looking as ever, hair pulled tight into a bun, but judging from the way two little girls are holding onto her hands and staring adoringly at her, she’s obviously good with children.

Jin smiles at her, “I hope you don’t mind; I was hoping I could check up on Kim Taehyung...”

The woman stares at him, unmoving, and Jin briefly wonders if it's not okay that he’s here to see Taehyung.

“I’m interested in adopting him.” are the next words that pop out of his mouth and the woman looks as surprised as he is that he’s said them. Jin’s frozen on the spot as the woman gently smiles at him and ushers him inside the church, the twin girls scampering off to play on the hopscotch court.

The woman gestures for him to sit across from her in the small office she leads him to. “Do you have any other children, Doctor Kim?”

Jin shakes his head, “No, no, I- uh. I don’t.” He’s needlessly nervous. Like he’s at a job interview, and maybe that’s a more accurate description than he realizes, because he’s absolutely being assessed as a prospective parent for Taehyung.

“Are you married?”

Another shake of his head, “No.”

“Are you single?”

“I live with my boyfriend-”

“We usually prefer married couples when it comes to adopting a child-”

Jin feels his heart clench painfully; he can’t let a detail like that be a deciding factor in whether or not he’d be a suitable parent for Taehyung- Besides, he and Namjoon are practically married! What difference would a marriage certificate really make? “We’re engaged!” Jin blurts out, and, fine, it’s a lie, but it’s for a good reason, so maybe that makes it okay?

“I assume, then, that he would be adopting the child with you, Doctor Kim. Is that correct?”

Jin shrugs helplessly at her question, “I… don’t know.”

“Maybe,” she says, clasping her hands together on the desk, “for right now, you can visit with Taehyung until you know for sure whether your partner is interested in adopting, as well.”

Jin nods, “Yes, of course; you’re right.” He sighs, “I’m sorry; I should’ve thought about that before coming here.”

“It’s alright.” she assures him, “You can visit with Taehyung as much as you want- maybe bring your partner along to see if you all get along and form a bond of sorts? Then you can decide whether or not adoption is right for you.”

“Definitely, yes. Thank you.” Jin says as he’s led outside the church and back into the harsh sunlight of the morning sun. The woman points over towards where the swings are and Jin spots Taehyung, alone, on one.

*

“Where’s your boyfriend? Are you still getting married one day?”

“One day, yeah.” Jin answers, pushing Taehyung higher on the swing, “Namjoon’s at work.”

“What does he do? He looks like a teacher.” Taehyung muses aloud. “He looks smart. Is he smart?”

Jin briefly entertains the idea of Namjoon as a teacher and laughs. “No, he’s not a teacher, but he is smart! He’s a hip hop idol.”

“What’s that?”

“He makes music.” Jin explains. “Maybe one day he can rap for you.” Something rated PG.

“Cool!” Taehyung calls out after Jin pushes him even higher than before, his legs kicking wildly in the air.

When Taehyung grows tired of the swings, he and Jin sprawl out on the grass and watch a few other kids kick a soccer ball around. “Do you want to go play with them?”

Taehyung shakes his head, “They’re not my friends.”

“Where are your friends, then?” Jin asks, looking at the other groups of children playing around them.

Taehyung picks at a few blades of grass, twirling them between his fingers, “I don’t really have any friends.”

“I find that hard to believe,” Jin smiles at him, frowning when Taehyung just shrugs in response. “Why don’t you have any friends?”

“Everyone says I’m weird.”

“You’re not weird, Taehyung.” Jin firmly tells him, tilting the boy’s chin up to stare at him, “You are perfect, just the way you are. Don’t let anyone tell you any differently.”

“Will you be my friend, Doctor Kim?”

“Always.”

*

Jin’s about to back out of the underground parking structure underneath his and Namjoon’s apartment when his boyfriend taps on his window, startling the hell out of him. He rolls the window down, “Namjoon, I thought you were gonna be stuck at the studio today. I was just heading to the store.”

“Were you?” Namjoon smirks at him, crossing his arms across his chest. “Are you sure about that?”

Jin stays silent.

“Look, I know I’m a busy guy, and I can be kind of oblivious, but, Jin… come on. Did you really think I wouldn’t notice that you’ve been disappearing all the time?”

“I didn’t know how you’d react if you knew where I was going,” Jin quietly admits.

“Well now’s your chance to find out…” Namjoon prompts him, smiling encouragingly.

Jin purses his lips and sighs, “I’ve been going to visit Taehyung at the orphanage; he’s such a sweet boy, Namjoonie, and I didn’t want to scare you off by talking about how much I’ve been thinking about adopting him, and-”

“Scare me off?” Namjoon scoffs. “Jin, I love you a crazy amount, and I always imagined that we’d have kids one day-”

“But not this soon!” Jin interrupts. “We’re supposed to be married, I’ll be a resident at a hospital- not an intern, we’ll have our own house, and then we’ll talk about kids-”

“Hey,” Namjoon reaches into the car and grabs onto Jin’s hands, bringing them to his lips and pressing a kiss to them. “Just because we’re doing things a little backwards, doesn’t mean it’s not the right time. You know that, right? If you think Taehyung is the missing piece of the puzzle with us, then I don’t want us to miss out on this opportunity to bring such a wonderful little boy into our lives and raise him.”

“You barely know him, Namjoon.” Jin weakly protests and Namjoon gets the distinct feeling that Jin wants him to be the voice of reason here- to be the person to tell him that he’s crazy for wanting to adopt a kid he’s only known for a short while. Except Namjoon knows how big of a heart Jin has and if he’s already given a piece of it to Kim Taehyung, then Namjoon wants to bring that little boy home with them as soon as possible. It’s as simple as that.

“Let’s change that, then, yeah?” Namjoon says and gets into the passenger side of the car, fastening his seatbelt. “I want the chance to love him as much as you do, Jin. It’s not fair that you’ve been going to visit him without me.”

Jin subtly wipes at his eyes with his sleeve, “If I had known you wouldn’t be against the idea, I would’ve brought you sooner.”

*

Soon enough, Jin’s solo visits evolve into Namjoon tagging along whenever they’ve both got a day where they can escape from work, sometimes bringing Taehyung lunch or dinner depending on when they arrive at the orphanage.

Whenever they’re not seeing Taehyung, they’re talking about Taehyung- so much that it becomes a nightly thing; wondering how he’s doing, if he’s managed to become friends with anyone yet, if he likes the new scarf they bought him…

Without realizing it, Namjoon becomes as ridiculously attached to the little boy with the box-like smile, too big ears and infectious laugh as Jin is.

“We should definitely adopt him. Right?” Namjoon casually says when they’re eating dinner one night and Jin leaps into his arms, tears streaming down his cheeks, peppering kisses on Namjoon’s face, and whispering yes! yes! yes! over and over again.

*

The next time they go to visit Taehyung, Jin goes off to find the woman in charge of the orphanage and Namjoon is left playing with the boy on the monkey bars, helping him cross them and high-fiving when he drops back to the ground with a cheer.

“Taehyung,” Namjoon starts, taking a deep breath and steeling his nerves, “you like me and Jin, right?”

Taehyung happily nods his head, content to play in the sandbox that he’s dragged Namjoon into. He starts making a castle and Namjoon hands over the shovel that’s lying next to his leg. “How would you feel about us adopting you?”

Taehyung snaps his head to look at Namjoon, narrowing his eyes slightly, “Nobody’s ever wanted to adopt me. Why do you?” he demands, expression guarded and Namjoon finds himself wondering how many times this sweet, innocent boy has been passed over by other couples because he isn’t as young as the other children.

Namjoon’s seen how quickly the babies in this place get adopted, but children like Taehyung… well… it turns out that not as many people are looking for kids who’ve already started to shape themselves into the wonderful people they are today; everyone wants to mould kids into their own image. And if prospective parents can’t do that, certain kids tend to get overlooked.

Kids like Kim Taehyung- four years old and already suspicious of adults and their motives.

“We like you, Taehyung.”

Why? I’m not a baby, you know.” Taehyung stands up on his tippy-toes and spreads his arms as wide as he can, “I’m a big boy!”

“You’re a very big boy,” Namjoon agrees with a smile. “Look how tall you’re getting! Soon you’ll be taller than me!”

“I’m gonna be as tall as a dinosaur when I’m older! And everyone will call me Tae-Rex!” Taehyung boasts and Namjoon chuckles, nodding his head. “Are you sure you want a dinosaur to live with you and Doctor Kim?”

“I would be honored if a dinosaur-in-training like you would consider living with us.”

Taehyung scrunches up his face like he’s thinking really hard, and finally nods his head, “I’ll think about it.”

Of course, no more than five minutes later when Jin comes back from talking with the woman in charge of adoptions, Taehyung runs to him at full-speed, gleefully shouting about wanting to live with him and Namjoon, and can he go home with them today? Can he? Can he?

*

There’s a ton of paperwork to fill out- seriously, Jin doesn’t think he’s ever answered so many invasive questions about himself and signed his name on so many forms in his entire life.

The church doesn’t have the most… legal of processes to transfer guardianship of Kim Taehyung over to someone else, but the company Namjoon’s contract is with has a team of excellent lawyers that Namjoon enlists the help of to make the process smoother and more… legitimate.

The perks of being an idol actually come in handy; Namjoon’s paperwork gets ushered through South Korea’s legal processes that much faster, and suddenly (unwantedly, Jin grouses) it’s all over magazine stands and talk shows that Rap Monster and long-term boyfriend Kim Seokjin secretly adopted a child while in Daegu?!

Of course, if having his privacy invaded is the price to pay for getting Taehyung to live with them faster than usual, then Jin will happily pay it.

*

It takes Taehyung a few weeks to stop calling Jin Doctor Kim, and then a few months to get him to stop calling both him and Namjoon Mr. Kim and instead Jin and Namjoon, but then one day when Jin’s in the middle of trying to write his resignation letter to the hospital, Taehyung comes running up to him, asking as politely as he can (which still kind of sounds like demanding, but it’s okay; he’s trying to learn manners and that’s all that matters) if Jin will play with him.

“I’d love to, Tae, but I’ve gotta finish this letter. Can you wait a few minutes?”

Taehyung sighs dramatically and flops down onto the couch beside Jin, “Fine.”

It’s roughly thirty seconds later when Taehyung prods at Jin’s thigh, “Are you done now?”

“Not quite.”

Another ten seconds pass before Taehyung is whispering into his ear, “What about now?”

“Almost, kiddo.”

“Now?”

“A few more minutes, okay, Tae?” Jin pleads with him, patting his knee.

“Moooooooommmmm!” Taehyung whines, and Jin freezes, the pen dropping from his fingers. Logically, he figures that the likeliest explanation to Taehyung calling him ‘mom’ is that Namjoon probably made fun of him again, behind his back, and called him that when Taehyung was around to hear it.

But… still… Jin won’t deny that his heart beats just a little bit faster at having his son call him something so familial. It’s a feeling that he can’t ever hope to describe- it’s pure happiness radiating throughout his entire body and Jin hugs Taehyung tightly, the boy protesting that he can’t breathe and trying to push him away.

“Can we play now?” Taehyung asks, bouncing in his seat, then pulling Jin into the kitchen where he’s spread out his crayons and papers across the table. “Let’s draw pictures for Dad when he gets home!”

And if Jin wasn’t crying before, he is now. The fact that Taehyung is so comfortable with them already… it’s nothing short of amazing, and Jin is just astounded that this little boy- this little ball of sunshine, is all his and Namjoon’s to dote upon and love until the end of their days.

They’re the perfect family as far as Jin’s concerned.

(Taehyung, however, wouldn’t mind a brother or sister to play with…)

 

 

Chapter Text

Namjoon’s sitting in the living room with Taehyung, reading a story together, when he sees Jin walk into the room, his phone held away from his ear, and Namjoon understands why when he hears Jin’s mother screeching through the earpiece:

“Kim Seokjin, how could you not tell me? I had to learn that my son adopted a child through a magazine! What kind of son doesn’t tell his own mother that she has a grandchild?!”

Namjoon offers Jin a sympathetic look, having gone through the exact same conversation with his own mother a few months ago.

Honestly, it isn’t out of spite that they aren’t telling anyone- but more out of… selfishness. They want to spend as much time as they can with Taehyung before extended family swoops in and demands to meet the new addition to the Kim family.

As it is, Namjoon’s surprised that Jin’s mother hadn’t found out sooner with the way that woman reads gossip magazines- especially when they have anything to do with him and Jin.

“I swear, Seokjin, you better bring that little boy to meet me! I’ll never forgive you if you don’t!”

“Of course I will,” Jin assures her, bringing the phone back to his ear with an eyeroll at Namjoon. He walks out of the room and Namjoon turns his attention back to where Taehyung’s reading the story on his own.

“What’d I miss?”

Taehyung sighs dramatically and flips back a few pages to where a cow and chicken are on a farm. “You missed everything! But don’t worry- I can read it again for you!”

“Oh, good.” Namjoon says, pulling Taehyung closer to him with a grin. “Off we go, then.”

Taehyung clears his throat and begins reading, stumbling over a few words here and there, and Namjoon resists the urge to correct him; he’ll learn at his own pace and Namjoon doesn’t want to rush him- he’s not gonna be the kind of parent that demands too much, too soon from their children.

*

“Busan?”

Namjoon smiles guiltily, “I know what you’re thinking-”

“That we just got back from Daegu and now you want to move to Busan for a few months.” Jin says, stirring the pot of noodles on the stove. He casts a glance at where Taehyung’s busy watching cartoons in the living room. “Namjoon, Taehyung starts kindergarten next week-”

“They have schools in Busan, you know.” Namjoon points out. “And, conveniently enough, one’s near the housing complex we’d be living in.”

“Namjoon…” Jin trails off, trying to get his boyfriend (fiancé? It’s not official or anything, but, technically, on Taehyung’s adoption papers, it says they’re engaged) to see reason. He doesn’t want to enroll Taehyung into a school in Busan and then suddenly uproot him two months later when Namjoon’s reality show wraps up shooting.

“I’m not going to pressure you into anything, Jin.” Namjoon says and Jin sighs because he’s got that look in his eyes that says I’ll do anything for you, Jin, won’t you do the same for me? “If you don’t think it’s a good idea, then I’ll just call the production company tonight and tell them I’m out- they can replace me with someone else, I’m sure.”

“You’ve been talking about this for weeks, Namjoon-”

“But you and Taehyung are more important than it is and I’m not even considering going without the two of you.” Namjoon firmly tells him, grabbing a pair of chopsticks and stealing some noodles from the pot. “I’m sure there’ll be other opportunities like this.”

Jin mentally weighs the pros and cons of moving to Busan with Namjoon for two months (for the record, there are fourteen cons and only three pros), and finally heaves a sigh, “If we move there, we’re moving there for the whole school year. I’m not going to have Taehyung make friends and then rip him away from them a few months later.”

“Completely understandable.” Namjoon nods, pressing a kiss to Jin’s lips. “Thank you. You’re amazing, you know that? Seriously, the best.”

Jin just rolls his eyes with a small smile, “Go set the table.”

*

“Tae, you’ll make friends, I promise-”

“How do you know?” Taehyung demands with a pout, holding tightly onto his mom and dad’s hands. “What if everyone thinks I’m weird?”

Namjoon smiles at him, “Nobody’s gonna think you’re weird, kiddo.”

“They will!” Taehyung insists. “Everyone else did! And I won’t know anyone in there-”

“Hey, listen to me, Tae,” Jin gets down on his knees and smiles at his son. “I know it’s scary to go into a new place where you don’t know anyone, but all the other kids are just as nervous as you are-”

“No they’re not-”

“Trust me,” Jin says with such conviction that Taehyung finds himself hesitantly nodding his head. “You’re gonna go in there and you’re gonna make so many new friends and have so much fun that you won’t wanna leave when it’s time for us to come get you.”

Taehyung looks at the door in front of them and sighs, “…if you say so.”

“Do you want us to go in with you?” Namjoon asks with a smile, and Taehyung quickly nods his head, tugging at his parent’s hands as he walks closer to the door. Namjoon twists the doorknob and leads his family into the room, quickly introducing himself and Jin to Taehyung’s teacher. “And this is Taehyung. Say hi, Tae.”

Taehyung looks up at the woman who’s going to be his teacher, saying hello before his attention is drawn to where there’s an easel and a bunch of paper-

“I’m gonna go draw!” Taehyung exclaims, letting go of his parent’s hands in favor of rushing towards the easel and planting himself in front of it, immediately getting to work on a masterpiece of a picture.

“We’re gonna leave now, Taehyung. Are you gonna be okay without us here?” Namjoon asks after chatting with Taehyung’s teacher for a few minutes, chuckling when Taehyung practically pushes them out the door, all previous nervousness forgotten now that he’s found the art supplies. “We’ll see you after school, okay, kiddo?”

Taehyung absently nods, content to keep drawing and Jin links his fingers with Namjoon’s, pulling the man out of the classroom. “Is it crazy that I miss him already?”

Namjoon shakes his head, looking longingly at the door to the classroom, “I think being away from Tae is going to be harder for us than it is for him.”

*

Recess is… weird, Taehyung decides as the rest of the kids in his class run outside and start playing. What’s the point of making him go outside for fifteen minutes? Outside is hot and sunny and Taehyung does not like going outside. Why can’t he stay inside and keep drawing? Better yet, why is Busan so much sunnier than Daegu?

He really misses Daegu right about now.

Taehyung, reluctantly, steps outside and shields his eyes from the sun, looking around the playground for some shade when he sees a giant slide and he makes a beeline for it, intent to go sit underneath it for the remainder of recess... until he hears voices near it.

“Your glasses look stupid!”

“That’s why he doesn’t have any friends!”

“He’s such a loser!”

“Look! He’s crying!”

“Only babies cry! Are you a baby?”

Let it be said that Taehyung is quick to act and he doesn’t always think about the consequences of said actions until much later. So, obviously, when he hears a bunch of bullies picking on a kid, he intervenes… in the form of shoving the bullies away from the kid and screaming at them in a made up language until they all run off (claiming he’s some kind of alien who’s gonna eat everyone’s brains).

“You better run!” Taehyung yells after them, quickly turning back to the boy. “You okay?”

The boy pushes his glasses further up his nose and sniffles, shrugging a shoulder. He’s still crying quietly, and Taehyung immediately acts- parking himself on the grass beside the boy, sharing his Animal Crackers, and making funny faces until he stops crying and starts laughing.

Taehyung holds his hand out- something he’s seen his mom and dad do often enough when they meet new people, and when the boy doesn’t shake it, Taehyung takes matters into his own hands and grabs the boy’s hand, gripping it firmly and shaking it as vigorously as he can; laughing when the boy’s entire body shakes at the action.

“Who’re you?”

The boy lifts his head and stares at Taehyung. He doesn’t say anything and Taehyung wonders if the boy doesn’t have a name (but that’d be weird and Taehyung’s almost positive everyone has a name), or maybe he can’t remember it, or maybe-

“P-Park Jimin.”

Or maybe he’s just shy, Taehyung muses with a frown; he doesn’t really know what it’s like to be shy- he’s always made sure people know who he is his entire life by screaming as loud as he can, laughing as hard as he wants to, and saying what he wants when he wants (that sometimes gets him into trouble, though).

But Park Jimin looks scared and still kinda sad, and Taehyung doesn’t want this boy to feel that way. He wants him to be happy because Taehyung remembers what it’s like to be sad- back before his mom and dad adopted him, and it’s not a nice feeling at all.

So Taehyung spends the rest of recess talking to Park Jimin and when it’s time to go back to their kindergarten classes, Taehyung waves goodbye and they promise to play again tomorrow during recess.

*

“Mom! Mom! Mom!”

Jin scoops Taehyung into his arms, grunting a little with the effort before setting him down and grabbing onto his hand, leading him towards the car. “How was school today, Tae?”

“Mom! I met a boy today!” Taehyung enthuses as he’s placed into the backseat, his seatbelt buckled next. “His name’s Park Jimin and he’s got glasses like mine and we shared my Animal Crackers- and he’s got a Pokémon backpack! He showed it to me at lunch and it has a picture of Pikachu on it! Can I have a Pokémon backpack?!”

Jin chuckles and starts the car, making the drive back to their house. He glances at Taehyung through the rearview mirror, “Maybe for Christmas, Tae. Is Jimin in your class?”

Taehyung shakes his head, pouting. “No; he’s in the class across the hall from mine, but I made him promise that we’d spend recess playing together tomorrow. Can I have more Animal Crackers tomorrow? Jimin thinks it’s funny when I make animal noises and I wanna show him more!”

“Of course, yeah,” Jin nods. “I’m so proud of you for making a new friend, Taehyung.”

“He’s gonna be my best friend! I just know it!”

*

Taehyung isn’t sure what to make of school yet. When his mom had first told him that he’d be starting school, Taehyung had been confused; why did people go to school? Why did Taehyung have to bring food to school? Why couldn’t his mom and dad come with him to school? Why wasn’t he allowed to wear his pajamas at school like he did at home?

Now that Taehyung’s been in school for a few weeks, most of those questions have been replaced by new ones: Who decided he was going to be the new milk monitor in his class? Why can’t someone else hand out the milk? What if Taehyung’s in the bathroom? Will the milk not get delivered at all? Why is it so important that he learns how to spell words? Why can’t he just not learn to spell? Because, to be perfectly honest, Taehyung’s okay with going through life not knowing how to spell. If he needs to write a letter he can just get Dad to write it for him because Dad is very, very good at spelling.

School is still kind of a foreign concept to Taehyung and it doesn’t really make any sense to him to shove so many kids together in one building and expect them to get along and play nicely (for the record, some kids are just plain horrible, like Lee Yujin who is not a nice girl, and why on Earth is Taehyung expected to play nicely with her if she hogs the purple crayon all the time?), but he supposes he’ll keep going… for now.

*

“Can I have an extra snack tomorrow?”

Jin shakes his head at Taehyung’s question, placing one bag of Animal Crackers into his lunch bag, “One’s enough, Tae.”

Taehyung pouts, “But Jimin needs a snack, too!”

Jin lifts Taehyung up onto the kitchen counter and looks at him, “Does Jimin’s mom not pack him any snacks?”

Taehyung shrugs a shoulder, “I don’t think so; he never has anything to eat, and I keep sharing my cookies with him, but then I’m still hungry when recess is over.”

“Well that’s very nice of you,” Jin tells him with a smile. He grabs another bag from the box on the counter and deposits it into Taehyung’s lunch bag. “There, one bag for Jimin, too.”

“Thanks!”

Jin levels Taehyung with a pointed stare, “Now, make sure those cookies go to Jimin and not inside your tummy, okay?”

Taehyung giggles when his mom pokes at his stomach, batting the man’s hand away, “I promise!”

*

“Park Jimin!” Taehyung shouts, lightly pushing another student out of his way when he sees his friend disappearing down the hall. “Jimin, wait!” He skids to a stop in front of Jimin and beams at him, holding out a bag of Animal Crackers, “My mom packed an extra one for you. Here.”

Jimin hesitantly reaches out to take the cookies, then drops his hand, shaking his head. “I shouldn’t; it’s yours…”

Taehyung frowns and shoves the bag into Jimin’s hand, physically curling the boy’s fingers around it. “Take it- it’s for you. We’ve got a ton at home, you can have this one.”

Jimin looks at the bag in his hand and delicately places it inside his backpack, “Thank you, Taehyung. Tell your mom thank you, too. She sounds like a nice lady.”

He.” Taehyung immediately corrects Jimin. “My mom’s a boy.”

Jimin tilts his head to the side, like he doesn’t understand and Taehyung thinks he looks kinda funny that way. “Moms are girls, though.”

Taehyung just shrugs, “Not mine.”

And that’s that. Jimin doesn’t ask any other questions; he just accepts Taehyung’s explanation as it is, and the two continue down the hall to their respective classrooms, stopping once at the water fountain because Taehyung can’t possibly make it all the way to class without water!

*

“Park Jimin, what is this?”

Jimin looks up from where he’s playing on the floor in the living room- Miss Joh is holding his empty bag of Animal Crackers up, and Jimin was so sure he threw that away before he came home today.

“Well? Answer me.”

Jimin stands up and clasps his hands in front of himself, “T-They’re cookies-”

Miss Joh steps closer to him and Jimin takes a step backwards, head bowed. He knew he shouldn’t have taken the cookies from Taehyung. “I know I’m not supposed to have sweets,” he whispers, “I’m sorry.”

“Jimin, how on Earth are you going lose that baby fat of yours if you keep eating sweets?”

Jimin bites at his lip, shrugging a shoulder.

“Do you not have any self-control, Jimin?”

“I do.” Jimin assures Miss Joh, looking up at the woman with unshed tears in his eyes, “I do. I promise. I’m sorry.”

Miss Joh tsks and tosses the empty bag of cookies in the trash, shaking her head, “Since you’ve gorged yourself on sweets today, you won’t mind not having dinner, will you?”

Jimin’s shoulders sag and he forces himself to nod his head. He’s been bad- he deserves this as a punishment. “No, Miss Joh, I don’t mind.”

“Good boy, Jimin; nobody likes chubby boys, do they?”

Jimin shakes his head, his stomach already grumbling at the thought of not having another meal until breakfast tomorrow morning. But it’s for the best; Miss Joh wouldn’t lie to him. She tells him that the reason nobody wants to adopt him is because he’s chubby- so he has to stop eating sweets and sometimes he doesn’t get to eat lunch or dinner, but it’s okay because it’s all helping him become a better boy.

…And maybe if he’s good enough, someone will want to adopt him someday.

*

“I saved a rhino for you, Jimin.” Taehyung tells his friend when the boy finally joins him at the monkey bars during recess. “I ate the rest, sorry.”

Jimin refuses the cookie, pushing it back towards Taehyung, “I ate an apple for breakfast; I’m full.”

Taehyung pulls a face at the mention of fruit, “I don’t like apples.”

“They’re okay,” Jimin says, climbing on top of the bars. “Apples are better than bananas.”

“But cookies are better than both of those!” Taehyung argues and shoves the rhino shaped treat at Jimin again.

Jimin finally relents; he only has so much self-control when it comes to cookies, and munches on the treat, feeling immensely guilty once he swallows it- what if Miss Joh finds out he ate a cookie? He’ll have to miss out on a dinner again, and he really doesn’t want that. “Don’t tell anyone I ate that, okay?”

“Okay.” Taehyung agrees, though he’s not 100% sure why Jimin cares if he tells anyone that he ate a cookie. But Taehyung’s a good friend and he won’t tell if Jimin doesn’t want him to.

*

“Can I have a brother?”

Jin nearly chokes on the piece of ham in his mouth, swallowing carefully before turning to face Taehyung. “You want a brother?”

“Or a sister.” Taehyung shrugs his shoulders, pushing the vegetables on his plate off to the side. “But I’d rather a brother.”

“Getting a brother isn’t like going to the store,” Namjoon tells Taehyung with a laugh. “We can’t just pick one out-”

“You picked me.” Taehyung points out. “How would picking another kid be any different?”

“We picked you because we love you.” Jin says, pressing a kiss to the top of Taehyung’s head.

“Won’t you love the next kid you adopt, though?”

Jin smiles, “Of course we would-”

“Then let’s go get a brother!” Taehyung exclaims, smiling widely.

“Maybe one day,”

Taehyung pouts at his mom, “But why not now?”

“Eat your veggies, Tae.” Namjoon switches topics, pointing at the boy’s broccoli. “If you don’t eat them, you don’t get dessert.”

Taehyung makes a face and forcefully shoves his vegetables in his mouth, chewing loudly and grimacing the entire time. He swallows and stares at his mom, “What about next week? Can I have a brother next week?”

*

“ChimChim!” Taehyung runs full-speed at Jimin, tackling the boy onto the ground with a grin, “My mom said I can invite you over for a sleepover this weekend! Can you come?”

Jimin stares up in shock at Taehyung before eagerly nodding his head; nobody’s ever invited him for a sleepover before! Realistically, living in a group home, Jimin sleeps in a room filled with four other boys, so it’s kind of like a sleepover every night, but he doesn’t like those boys- he does like Taehyung, though; Taehyung’s his best friend!

“We can stay up late and watch movies and eat popcorn, and my mom said he’ll buy ice cream for us!” Taehyung bounces up and down in excitement, his eagerness contagious, and soon Jimin is doing the same, both boys heedless of the looks they’re gathering on the playground.

*

Taehyung doesn’t think he’s ever had as much fun as he has with Jimin this weekend. They play games, watch movies, eat ice cream, eat pizza, play some more, eat another bowl of ice cream, and get to sleep in sleeping bags in the living room. So, understandably, Taehyung’s disappointed when Jimin has to go home the next day.

“You’ll see each other at school,” Jin tells them, cooing when Taehyung grabs a hold of Jimin’s hand and refuses to let go. “Jimin has to go home now, Tae. You gotta let go of him.”

Taehyung pouts but does as his mom says, fiercely hugging the boy before backing away. “Don’t forget to wear a green shirt on Monday!” He looks at his mom, grinning, “We’re gonna be twins.”

Namjoon laughs as he places his hand on Jimin’s shoulder, gently leading the boy out of their home and towards the car. He makes sure Jimin has his seatbelt on before starting the engine and driving to the boy’s house. “Did you have fun, Jimin?”

Jimin eagerly nods his head, “It was so fun! I never get to eat ice cream and pizza!”

Namjoon cringes when he hears that- does Jimin live with health-nut parents who are gonna hate him and Jin when they find out their son had gorged himself on fatty foods while under their supervision?

“Well you’re welcome to come over to our house anytime you want; I’m sure Taehyung would love to have you over more often. Maybe next time you come over, we can make cookies?” Namjoon sees Jimin smiling widely at him through the rearview mirror and grins. “Do you ever have sweets at your house, Jimin? Or do you eat mostly healthy food?”

Namjoon doesn’t get a response and he nearly has a panic attack when he notices Jimin crying in the backseat, his sniffles nearly deafening in the enclosed interior of the car. “Why are you crying, Jimin? What’s wrong?”

To be honest, Namjoon’s still learning how to be a dad- he’s still getting used to having someone depend on him and need him for little things like hugs, bedtime stories, and picking out clothes for school the next day. It isn’t an overnight transition, and while Taehyung’s lived with him and Jin for a few months now, Namjoon’s still learning every day how to interact with a child on a daily basis.

And interacting with an upset child is ten times harder.

Jimin shakes his head, wiping his nose on his sleeve, “It’s nothing.”

“It doesn’t look like nothing,” Namjoon quietly muses. “It looks like something’s bothering you. Was it something I said?”

“No,” Jimin shakes his head again. “It’s just- I’m not allowed to eat sweets.”

“Why not?” Namjoon hesitantly asks, hoping like hell it’s not because he’s allergic to them or anything- though, Jimin doesn’t look like he’s suffering from some kind of allergic reaction, so maybe his parents just don’t like him eating sweets because they’re bad for him?

“Miss Joh says I’m chubby.”

…that definitely wasn’t what Namjoon was expecting to hear. “Who’s Miss Joh?”

“She’s the lady that takes care of us.”

It’s when Namjoon’s pulling up to the address Jimin gave him that everything clicks inside his mind. There’s a sign outside the house, Maple Ridge Avenue’s Group Home for Troubled Children, and Namjoon can’t help but wonder what a sweet boy like Jimin is doing in a group home for troubled children.

He wonders if Taehyung knows that Jimin doesn’t have any parents, but Namjoon figures that Taehyung would’ve said something to him or Jin if he knew. Which means that Jimin- sweet, adorable Jimin doesn’t share that detail of his life to anyone. Not even his best friend.

Though, Namjoon finds himself wondering if Taehyung’s even shared the fact that he’s adopted with Jimin yet. It’s not like it’s a defining characteristic or anything, but surely if Jimin knew that Taehyung’s adopted, he’d feel more comfortable sharing that part of his life with his friend.

Namjoon parks the car and goes to open Jimin’s door, helping the boy out of his seat as more tears fall from his eyes. “She says that that’s why nobody wants me- because I’m chubby. So I’m not allowed to eat sweets anymore, but I couldn’t help it! Please don’t tell her I ate pizza and ice cream! I don’t wanna get in trouble again, Mr. Kim.”

Namjoon slowly exhales through his nostrils, fists clenching. Shame on anyone for telling this little boy something so monstrous. The fact that Jimin hasn’t been adopted yet is astonishing to Namjoon and his heart goes out to the boy the same way it did for Taehyung all those months ago when he started to get to know him. Whoever this Miss Joh is can keep her unwarranted opinions to herself and not cloud Jimin’s mind with such toxic thoughts.

Namjoon rubs soothing circles into the boy’s back, something he’s seen Jin do on numerous occasions with Taehyung when he’s upset or not feeling well. “I promise, Jimin, it’ll be our little secret.”

Namjoon has to try ridiculously hard to resist the urge to turn around and drag Jimin away from this place, because anywhere that someone tells this amazing boy those kinds of lies has got to be caustic. As it is, though, Namjoon would rather not get arrested on kidnapping charges, and he spends a few minutes calming Jimin down and wiping the tears from his eyes before knocking on the front door to the group home.

A young girl opens the door and stares at Namjoon curiously before spotting Jimin behind him. “Jimin’s back!” she yells into the house before running away and Namjoon leads them both into the hallway.

“You must be Jimin’s friend’s dad. Thank you for dropping him off.” a woman says as she comes around the corner, grinning at him. “Jimin was just so excited to have a sleepover, weren’t you, Jimin?”

Jimin nods his head, and it’s like he’s a different boy inside this house; Namjoon notes the way he’s practically hunched in on himself, head bowed, and refusing any and all eye-contact. “Yes, Miss Joh.”

“Why don’t you go to your room? Maybe tidy it up? It’s getting pretty messy in there, isn’t it?”

Jimin releases his grip on Namjoon’s hand and softly bids him goodbye, scurrying further into the house and disappearing around a corner. Namjoon regards the woman in front of him with a cold stare. “So you’re the one who told Jimin he wasn’t good enough for someone to adopt him?”

The woman looks taken aback by Namjoon’s blunt accusation and stiffens, scowling at him. “What I say to any of the children I tend to is none of your concern-”

“It becomes a concern of mine when I see an innocent boy crying because he’s been told he’s not good enough the way he is.” Namjoon evenly tells her, crossing his arms over his chest. “Who do you think you are to tell a child that?”

“Who do you think you are-”

“I’m concerned.” Namjoon interrupts. “Because the only thing that should matter is the well-being of the children you look after; and telling one of them that the reason he hasn’t been adopted yet is because of his weight is unacceptable. You should be ashamed of yourself.”

“Mr…?”

“Kim.”

The woman levels a glare at him, “Mr. Kim, I look after these children day-in and day-out. Every waking hour of my life is spent with them; making sure they’re properly cared for. If I say that one of them needs to lose weight, I’m only saying that as a concerned caregiver-”

“He’s five years old!” Namjoon bites out. “He needs love and affection- not petty insults and thinly veiled contempt. He shouldn’t be afraid to eat sweets! How dare you put those kinds of thoughts in his mind-”

“Out!”

Namjoon raises an eyebrow, “Excuse me-”

“You think you can just come in here and lecture me on how to look after these children? Out!” She pushes Namjoon out of the house and he’s only slightly surprised when the door slams shut in his face.

This is so not over, Namjoon thinks as he stalks his way back to his car. This is not over by a longshot.

*

“I’m adopted.”

Jimin looks up from where he’s playing on the jungle gym, Taehyung’s face blocking out the sun.

“I’m adopted.” Taehyung repeats, sitting down beside Jimin. “My dad told me that I should think about telling you that. So I did. I’m not really sure why you’d wanna know, though.”

Jimin just nods his head, a smile tugging at the corners of his lips.

“You wanna pretend to be pirates?”

Jimin shakes his head, “Let’s be ninjas!”

Soon enough, their lunch hour ends and Jimin and Taehyung walk back to class. Before Taehyung has the chance to enter his classroom, Jimin grabs onto his hand, saying, “I’m not adopted. But…” he shrugs a shoulder, “someday I wanna be.”

*

Namjoon is not a trouble-maker. Honestly, he’s a pretty laid-back, go-with-the-flow kind of guy.

Except when it comes to children and their well-being.

Because who knew that once he and Jin adopted Taehyung, his paternal instincts would come out full force and demand that he do something about Jimin’s current situation.

…like, say… adopt him.

*

“Okay, Tae’s asleep. What’s up?” Jin asks, and Namjoon takes a moment to just appreciate this amazing man standing in front of him- flour smeared on his cheek; hair a mess; a muddy handprint, courtesy of Kim Taehyung, on his new white shirt; and Namjoon doesn’t think he’s ever looked as radiant as he does now.

“I love you.”

Jin blushes at the intense look in Namjoon’s eyes, “I love you, too. Now, what’s up?”

It’s now or never, Namjoon thinks as he takes a breath and steadily exhales, “How would you feel about adopting Jimin?”

Jin blinks in confusion, “First of all, doesn’t Jimin have parents?”

“Right,” Namjoon says, “I guess I should’ve told you…”

Twenty-two minutes and a discussion about Jimin’s caregiver later and Jin is seething. “What an atrocious woman!” He begins to pace the floor of their kitchen, kicking a stray shoe out of his way. “And poor Jimin! He must be miserable in a place like that. It breaks my heart to think of him being treated that way-”

Namjoon nods his head, “Which I why I think we should adopt him. Get him out of that place and somewhere he’ll be taken care of.”

“It seems like every time we move to a new city we adopt a kid,” Jin weakly jokes, shaking his head a moment later. “We just adopted Taehyung, Namjoon.”

“And?” Namjoon shrugs. “It’s not like there’s a time limit on how long you have to wait in-between adoptions.”

“Right, but-”

“You remember when you told me you wanted to adopt Taehyung?” At Jin’s nod, Namjoon asks, “And what did I say?”

Jin sighs, letting a small smile overtake his face, “You were all for it.”

“So what do you say?” Namjoon grins at him, grabbing him around the waist and resting his hands on the man’s hips. “You think you’ve got enough love to share some with Jimin?”

Jin immediately nods his head, pressing a light kiss to Namjoon’s lips. “I’ll call a social worker in the morning.”

*

“Please, sit.”

Namjoon and Jin take their seats opposite the social worker in front of them, both declining tea and coffee a moment later when he offers it. “So, you’re interested in adopting Park Jimin?”

“Yes, that’s right.” Namjoon says.

The man opens a file on his desk and peruses it for a moment before shutting it. “Just so that you are aware, Park Jimin is what some would classify as a troubled case-” He holds his hands up to stall Jin and Namjoon’s obvious questions, “Which just means that, in his case, it’s been harder than usual to place him with a family. He’s been adopted three times before-”

Three times?” Jin echoes with a shocked expression. “What went wrong?”

“His first adoption was when he was just an infant- the couple that adopted him thought they wanted a baby, but they just weren’t ready.” The man explains with a shrug, “It happens sometimes. Nothing to be done about it.”

“And the adoption after that?”

“Jimin was…” The man picks the file folder up again and scans through it, “Eight months old. A family adopted him, kept him for almost a year before deciding that they would prefer a girl over a boy.”

Namjoon stares in shock at the man in front of him, “You’re kidding.”

“Unfortunately, Mr. Kim,” the man says, “situations like that arise more than we’d like to admit. It’s sad, but we’d rather take the child away from those kinds of parents than have the child suffer in their care.”

“Of course,” Jin readily agrees. “And the last adoption?”

“This was only two years ago.” He sighs, “Jimin was three years old and the couple who adopted him told their social worker that he was too chubby for their liking-”

What?!” Jin nearly screeches. “That’s preposterous! He was three! Of course he’s going to be a little chubby!”

“Yes, well,” the man sighs, “this couple didn’t want a heavy baby who might turn into an overweight child, so we took Jimin back into our care.”

Namjoon shakes his head in disgust, “Some people…”

“Shouldn’t have children. But I see that you already have a little boy who’s the same age as Jimin-”

“Taehyung, yes.”

The man smiles at Jin, “And you’ve had him for a few months now, is that correct?”

Namjoon and Jin both nod.

“How are things going? Do you think Taehyung would be at all apprehensive about another child coming to live with you, especially so soon after you’ve adopted him? Could he feel like he’s not enough for the two of you? Any feelings of inadequacies?”

Namjoon’s brow creases as he thinks it over, “I doubt it. He’s been asking if he can have a brother lately, so we’re fairly confident he’d react to the news positively.”

“Excellent.”

*

 “I just got off the phone with our social worker,” Namjoon tells Jin a few weeks later as he sits on the couch next to him. “He said that that woman-”

“She-who-must-not-be-named, you mean?”

Namjoon chuckles, “Yes, her. He told me that Miss Joh is currently being investigated for harassment and emotional abuse charges against the children in her care thanks to my rather, detailed, complaints.”

Jin hums thoughtfully and sighs, “What a shame.”

“What a shame indeed. They’ve got another woman taking over for her in the group home while the claims are being investigated.” Namjoon says, grinning. “I certainly hope she’s better at her job.”

“Can’t imagine she’d be any worse.” Jin mutters under his breath.

*

Jin and Namjoon arrange for Taehyung to be babysat while they ‘officially’ meet with Park Jimin as prospective parents. The meeting goes well- ridiculously well, and, honestly, Jimin seems far more at ease with the two of them than he does with anyone in his group home.

The next few meetings Jin brings Jimin homemade meals, along with some desserts, assuring the boy that he can eat as much as he wants, and that when the time comes to live with them- food won’t be restricted like it once was, and he certainly shouldn’t feel ashamed for eating everything on his plate or for asking for seconds- Jimin’s a growing boy, after all, and Jin would consider himself an awful parent if he deprived his children of basic needs like food.

Understandably, Jimin’s still a little cautious of being adopted again, but he really, really likes Jin and Namjoon and having Taehyung as a brother would be so cool! So each night, before he goes to bed, he prays that everything will work out for the best and maybe this time he’ll get adopted for good…

*

Jin is getting so sick of answering the same questions over and over and over again. Honestly, why does he have to state his full legal name in twenty-three different places on the adoption forms? Why isn’t once enough?

“I don’t remember having this much paperwork with Taehyung.” Namjoon grumbles, checking this box and that, signing his name, initialing that line- it’s tedious.

“Because Taehyung wasn’t part of an actual group home.” Jin reminds him, sighing when he finds another place that wants him to sign his name. “That’s it. I’m changing my signature to a dot. No more of this signing my whole name- it takes too long.”

Namjoon laughs and pats Jin on the leg, “Just think, in a few weeks, this’ll all be worth it.”

“You’re right. You’re absolutely right. No more complaining.”

“What’re you complaining about?” Taehyung asks as he skips into the kitchen, parking himself at the only available seat at the table. “Did Dad try to cook again? Is the house on fire? Should we grab everything and run while we still can?”

Jin lets out a small giggle, shooting Namjoon an apologetic look. “No, nothing like that, Tae.” He looks at Namjoon and grins, “Should we tell him?”

“I’m honestly surprised Jimin hasn’t yet.” Namjoon whispers. He turns in his seat and smiles at his son, “You know how you’ve been asking for something lately?”

Taehyung stares blankly at his dad. “Um… no?”

“Think, Tae,” Jin presses, “what have you been wanting for months?”

Taehyung scrunches up his face in thought, “An iPad?”

“Or a brother!” Jin excitedly says, waiting for Taehyung to react-

And react he does.

What?! No way! Are you serious? I’m getting a brother?” Taehyung jumps out of his seat, hopping in place. “When is he coming to live here? When do I get to meet him? Who is he? What’s his name? Is he older than me? Is he younger? Is he a baby-”

“Hold on a minute, kiddo,” Namjoon says with a chuckle. “He’s gonna come live with us next month- that’s pretty exciting, right?”

“Yeah!” Taehyung shouts, dancing around the kitchen table. “Can I meet him before then? Can I? Please?

Jin shares a look with Namjoon and grins at Taehyung, “You’ll see him at school tomorrow, Tae; it’s Jimin.”

…let it be said that Jin and Namjoon have to cover their ears from the piercing screams of joy that erupt from Taehyung’s throat at the news.

*

“I can’t believe you didn’t tell me!” Taehyung dramatically cries out. “We’re supposed to be best friends!”

Jimin nudges his shoulder against Taehyung’s, “I was afraid you might not wanna share your parents with me, and then they’d decide they might not wanna adopt me after all and-”

“What a crazy thing to worry about.” Taehyung dismisses with a shake of his head. “Of course I wanna share them with you! You’re my best friend!”

“You’re not mad?” Jimin hesitantly asks, playing with the loose threads of his jacket.

“You’re nuts for thinking I’d be mad, ChimChim. You becoming my brother is, like, the most exciting thing to ever happen in the history of the universe!”

Jimin tackles Taehyung to the ground with a hug, pressing a kiss to his cheek, and grinning widely, “We’re gonna be brothers!”

And best friends!” Taehyung adds, hugging Jimin back. “Now get off me; I can’t breathe.”

*

“Shhh! We gotta be quiet!” Taehyung whispers to Jimin as they creep down the hall towards their bedroom. Their mom and dad’s bedroom door is closed and Taehyung assumes they’re asleep- and he wants to keep it that way! He tugs Jimin into their shared room and goes about handing him as many pillows as the other boy can carry, “I’ll meet you in the living room,” he tells him, going about gathering their quilts, blankets, and a few stuffed animals before following Jimin back into the living room where their sleeping bags are arranged on the ground.

It’s their first sleepover as brothers and Taehyung wants it to be extra special. And, honestly, what says ‘welcome to the family’ quite like a fort made out of pillows and blankets?

He and Jimin work tirelessly for the next twenty minutes, trying to create the Ultimate Fort of Manliness (NO GIRLS ALLOWED), complete with stuffed animal sentries at the entrance- except the blankets keep drooping and they won’t stay up, and Taehyung is getting a little frustrated because he doesn’t understand physics and why won’t this work?!

Both boys are at a loss on how to keep the blankets from falling down onto their heads, and Jimin doesn’t look like he minds too much, but Taehyung wants it to be perfect!

Apparently they weren’t quite as quiet as they’d hoped because when Taehyung looks up from the ruined fort, he sees their mom and dad standing in the hallway, both staring at him and Jimin in amusement.

“Aren’t you two supposed to be sleeping?”

Taehyung stares at his dad, “Aren’t you?” he counters, laughing loudly when his dad rushes towards him and picks him up, tickling his sides until he’s breathless and squirming in his hold.

Jimin looks at Jin (he’s still a little uncomfortable with the thought of calling Jin and Namjoon Mom and Dad, but he hopes that someday it’ll come just as naturally to him as it does to Taehyung) and tentatively grabs onto the man’s hand, pulling him into the fort with him. He lies on his back and pokes at the sagging blanket that’s hanging in his face, “It won’t stay up.”

Jin hums thoughtfully before crawling out with Jimin, “Did I ever tell you that I’m an expert fort builder?

Jimin’s eyes widen and he shakes his head- he absolutely did not tell him that, but that’s so cool!
 
“It’s true,” Namjoon confirms, setting Taehyung on the ground and helping Jin grab a few dining room chairs. “Watch and prepare to be amazed, boys!”

Jimin grabs onto Taehyung’s hand, sitting on the floor as they watch their parents quickly transform their lackluster fort into one with high ceilings and even more pillows and blankets.

“Wow,” Jimin breathes out, climbing inside the fort and smiling brightly, his eyes crinkling in happiness when the blankets and quilts don’t slump down in his face. “It’s like a real house in here!”

“This is awesome!” Taehyung enthuses, pulling Jimin with him as he hugs his mom and dad. “Are you gonna sleep in here with us?”

“I don’t think there’s enough room, kiddo.”

Jimin stares at Namjoon, “Tae and I can share a sleeping bag, and you and Jin can share one.”

Jin already misses his comfy bed as he agrees to his son’s request, grabbing onto Namjoon and tugging him into the fort (made for children, he might add). He lies sandwiched between Jimin and Namjoon and tries to ignore the hard carpeting that’s doing nothing for his back. “Everyone comfy?”

Namjoon grunts in displeasure while Taehyung and Jimin both nod, snuggling further into the sleeping bag they’re sharing. “Sweet dreams, boys.”

Jimin and Taehyung parrot the sentiment back and soon enough they nod off; Taehyung’s breathing evening out while Jimin’s soft snores echo in the fort.

“Jin?”

“Hmm?”

Namjoon props himself up on his side, “I’ve been thinking we should look at buying a house once we move back to Seoul.”

Jin nods, whispering back, “I’ve been thinking that, too.”

“Maybe something with a big enough backyard to get married in.”

Jin scoffs, “And just when did I agree to marry you?”

“You’re the one who lied about us being engaged on Taehyung’s adoption forms.” Namjoon points out. “I’m just accepting your proposal.”

Jin raises an eyebrow at Namjoon’s statement, “Oh, I proposed, did I?”

“Absolutely. And I accept.” Namjoon says with a grin. “I’m thinking a July wedding.”

Jin settles beside Namjoon and closes his eyes, intent on ignoring the younger man. He opens them a moment later with a sigh when Namjoon runs a hand through his hair. “You’re being annoying.”

Namjoon smiles and grabs onto Jin’s hand, tracing patterns up and down his ring finger, “Jin- I love you. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life without you. Will you just agree to marry me already?”

“Did you seriously just propose to me in our son’s fort?” Jin asks with a muffled laugh, nearly jumping out of his skin when he feels a finger tap him on his shoulder. He rolls over and smiles at Jimin and Taehyung, both wide awake, and maybe he and Namjoon weren’t being as quiet as they thought they were.

“Are you gonna say yes?” Jimin asks with an eager expression.

Taehyung leans over Jimin, “Please say yes!”

“Come on, you know you want to.” Namjoon adds, grinning. “What do you say? It’s only the rest of your life, Jin.”

Jin shakes his head in amusement and grabs the back of Namjoon’s neck, bringing their lips together for a quick kiss before nodding his head, “Yes.”

 

Chapter Text

It’s when Jin’s at the grocery store that it happens the first time. He’s smiling at a toddler clinging to her mother’s legs and he gets this weird… hollow feeling throughout his chest. For a minute, all his medical training comes back to him and he goes through the most common types of problems associated with the chest and crosschecks them with what he’s feeling.

He comes up with nothing, obviously, and continues shopping.

*

The feeling happens again less than a week later when he’s waiting for his son to finish dance practice. Jimin’s still working on his routine with his partner, so Jin engages the woman beside him in conversation; smiling at the baby in the carrier at her side.

He gets this sudden… urge (Jin doesn’t even know what else to call it) to hold a baby in his arms, to have someone staring up at him as adoringly as this child is at his own mother.

And- oh.

Jin suddenly knows what this feeling is; he’s felt it twice before.

…he wants another kid.

*

Jin tries to ignore the feeling- it’s not like he’s unhappy or anything. And he certainly doesn’t feel unfulfilled with having raised Taehyung and Jimin into the wonderful teenagers they are now… but… he just wants another kid.

Preferably a baby.

And after a while it’s hard to ignore the feeling of emptiness inside himself. He gets that hollow sensation in his chest whenever he sees a baby, and he can’t help but want one for himself. He feels like his family isn’t as complete as it could be; and that’s a beyond frightening feeling. Especially when just a few weeks ago, Jin was certain that his family was perfect just the way it was.

But... still. Jin doesn’t want to tell Namjoon about any of this; what if the younger man thinks Jin’s just, heaven forbid, bored of his family? What if Namjoon doesn’t understand Jin’s desire to bring another child into their family? What if Namjoon decides he’s put his career on hold for long enough with helping raising Jimin and Taehyung and he doesn’t want to do it any longer? Namjoon seems perfectly happy with their family as it is...

Jin’s thoughts are plagued with what ifs for so long that he closes himself off to Namjoon without realizing it.

*

Namjoon comes home to find Jin on the floor in the living room, surrounded by the hundreds upon hundreds of pictures, both in photo albums and out, of family vacations, school functions, birthdays, holidays, and every other little thing they deemed worthy of a picture over the years.

It’s the middle of the afternoon and Jin has what looks like some kind of smoothie (except, why is it black?) that he’s periodically sipping on, a bowl of carrots and dip on the coffee table, and a package of dried cranberries near his left knee. Namjoon makes a quick detour to the kitchen to grab something more palatable and sits on Jin’s right.

“Reminiscing?”

Jin sighs heavily and lets his head fall onto the couch that he’s propped up against and shrugs. And Namjoon’s not sure if it’s something he’s done, but lately… He doesn’t even know… Lately, Jin’s been distant and less talkative, and Namjoon wouldn’t be as worried as he is now, except Jin’s only acting this way towards him.

They’ve always had an amazing relationship built on communication, love, and trust, but now Namjoon feels more like an outsider looking in than an active participant.

He grabs a picture of Taehyung and Jimin- they’re probably only six or seven, dressed in neon green and yellow swim shorts, a local beach in Busan visible in the background. Taehyung’s entire face is covered in sunscreen and he’s wearing Namjoon’s hat that’s way too big on him, pouting at the camera like it’s personally responsible for dragging him out in the sunshine. While Jimin is, as expected, all smiles.

“Do you want to talk about whatever’s bothering you?” Namjoon quietly asks as he drops the picture back onto the floor. “Or do you want to keep shutting me out? Because as fun as that may be for you, I’m not a fan, Jin.”

Jin snaps his head to look at Namjoon, face scrunched up in confusion, like he hasn’t realized that this is the first time they’ve talked in three days.

“Did I do something?” Namjoon feels like he’s back in high school, not married and in his thirties. He feels almost unsure of where he stands in his relationship with Jin right now.

“No.”

Jin’s answer is so quiet that Namjoon barely hears it over the sound of his husband rooting through family photos. “Then what’s up with you?”

“It’s nothing-”

“It’s not!” Namjoon interrupts him, running a hand through his hair. “Just be honest with me and tell me what’s wrong.”

Jin thrusts a picture at Namjoon- one that was taken only a few months ago of Jimin and Taehyung. “They’re so big now, Namjoon.” Jin says almost… mournfully?

“To be fair, Jimin’s still pretty small-”

It’s the first time that Jin’s cracked a smile at him in days and Namjoon finds himself laughing as he fends off Jin’s smacks. “I was kidding!” he gets out between chuckles.

“You know how sensitive he is about his height!” Jin shoves Namjoon in his shoulder, though the grin on his face is a welcome sight as opposed to the zombified look he’s been sporting lately.

“I’ve missed your smile.”

Jin sighs and links his fingers with Namjoon’s. “I’m sorry I’ve been distant lately.”

“I just want to know what’s wrong.” Namjoon says. “We don’t keep secrets from each other.”

“I haven’t been keeping secrets from you,” Jin tells him while grabbing a handful of cranberries and shoving them into his mouth. “I’ve just been... thinking.”

“Stressing, you mean.” Namjoon corrects with a smirk. “About what?”

“They’ll be starting high school next year.” Jin abruptly changes the subject, tracing his index finger over a picture of Taehyung dressed as an octopus for Halloween two years ago. “And then going off to college. And then they’ll be getting married-”

“They’re fourteen, Jin, not forty.” Namjoon lightly points out. “You can’t keep them as kids forever. Is that what you’ve been stressing over? Jiminie and Tae growing up?”

“I miss them as little kids,” Jin says. “They actually wanted to hang out with us- remember? They would always want to be near us, and now-”

“Now they’ve got friends of their own.” Namjoon says, shrugging a shoulder. “Which is healthy. I would be more concerned if they didn’t have any friends and wanted to spend all their time with us.” He plays with the hair at the back of Jin’s neck. “What’s this really about?”

“Midlife crises?” Jin jokes with a chuckle, sobering up a moment later. “I’ve been thinking that it might be nice…”

Namjoon gestures to Jin to continue, sighing when he doesn’t. “Why are you so scared to tell me?”

“I don’t want you to say no.” Jin whispers, playing with the wedding band on his finger. “I want you to want this as much as I do.”

Namjoon tilts Jin’s chin so he can meet his eyes. “I can’t want it if you don’t even tell me what it is.”

Jin nods, taking a deep breath. “I want a baby.”

Namjoon blinks in confusion, obviously wondering where that desire suddenly came from, and Jin anxiously stares at him, waiting for him to say something- anything.

“Didn’t we say two was enough? I distinctly remember we agreed on that at one point.” Namjoon says with a weak chuckle. He adjusts his glasses and sighs, “You can’t just adopt a kid because you feel obsolete-”

“I do not feel obsolete!” Jin interrupts with a glare.

“You do. You said it yourself: you miss Jimin and Taehyung as kids.” Namjoon insists with a shake of his head. “But that isn’t enough of a reason for us to adopt another child.”

Jin scowls at Namjoon, “Newsflash, Namjoon- Sometimes people just want a baby. No reason needed.”

“From what you just told me, it sounds like you want a baby because you want to feel needed again. So, sure, other people might just want kids for no reason-”

“Not just other people, Namjoon- Me! I want a baby just because I do!” Jin argues, trying to get his husband to understand. “Can you honestly tell me you haven’t thought about adopting another kid?”

Namjoon sighs, “I love kids, you know that, but I just think we’ve got our plate full with Jimin and Taehyung already.”

Jin stays silent and Namjoon resists the urge to look at him, knowing if he does he’ll probably cave and give in to him and his wishes- but, honestly, they’ve got their hands full with the boys as it is and Namjoon’s just not 100% sure they can handle a baby of all things, no matter how much Jin wants one.

Besides, Namjoon doesn’t know the first thing about how to take care of a baby.

*

Jin is a well-oiled machine when it comes to running his house:

Wake up at six; make breakfast for Namjoon before he runs off to work for the day; pack Jimin and Taehyung’s lunches; make them breakfast when they get up at seven-thirty; make sure Taehyung’s hair is actually brushed; find Jimin’s glasses (because they’re always missing); and drive them to school.

Clean the house during the day; watch a few soap operas on TV; pay the bills; cook dinner; spend time with the family; go to bed; and wake up to do the whole thing over again the next day.

So when Namjoon tells him that they’ve got enough to worry about with looking after Jimin and Taehyung, Jin just internally rolls his eyes and wonders who Namjoon’s trying to fool. Himself, maybe. Because Jin has absolutely no problem looking after his children and husband on a day-to-day basis.

He’s an expert at it.

*

“Why are you sleeping on the couch?”

Namjoon sits up and looks at where Taehyung’s descending the stairs, empty water glass clutched in his right hand.

“Are you and Mom fighting?”

“We don’t fight.” Namjoon tells his son, scooting over to make room for him on the couch. “We have… disagreements.”

“I guess Mom won that disagreement, then, since you’re on the couch and not him.” Taehyung says with a yawn. “Did you finally tell him you broke that vase that Grandma bought him for Christmas last year?”

Namjoon brusquely shakes his head, “No, and don’t you say anything about that, either.”

“My lips are sealed.” Taehyung promises with a grin. “So what’d you do?”

Namjoon debates internally whether or not to tell his son about why Jin and he are arguing, and finally decides that Taehyung will probably find out sooner or later, so why bother postponing the inevitable? “Your mom wants to adopt a baby.”

If Namjoon was expecting a surprised reaction from his son, he’s severely disappointed. Taehyung merely nods his head and says, “So why don’t you want to?”

“How do you know I don’t?”

Taehyung pointedly looks at the couch, then back at his dad. “Uh, because you’re sleeping on the couch?”

“Point taken.”

“So?”

Namjoon wraps an arm around Taehyung’s shoulders, “I don’t know the first thing about raising a baby, Tae.”

Taehyung shrugs, “So? You didn’t know how to take care of me when you and Mom adopted me-”

“I did, too.”

Taehyung laughs in disbelief, “You so didn’t! But it was okay because you got better- and when Jimin joined the family, you were a pro at being a dad.” He pats his dad on his arm and Namjoon gets the distinct feeling that his fourteen year old son is patronizing him. “So, yeah, sure, it might take a little while to get used to looking after a baby, but you’ll get the hang of it like you did with me, right?”

“When did you get so smart?” Namjoon asks with a chuckle, ruffling his son’s hair.

“Please,” Taehyung scoffs, “I’ve always been the smartest! I’m insulted you didn’t realize it sooner.”

*

Jin frowns when his bedroom door opens and outright scowls when Namjoon appears in the doorway. “I thought I made it clear I don’t want to be near you right now.”

“I’m scared of adopting a baby.” Namjoon says, laying his cards on the table, “I’m afraid because I don’t know anything about babies, and babies are tiny and delicate and what if I break it? What if I don’t bond with it, or what if the baby doesn’t like me-”

Jin beckons Namjoon into the room and smiles at him, grabbing onto his hands and pulling him onto the bed. “You’re an idiot.”

“I’m being serious.”

“So am I.” Jin says with a grin. “You’ll adapt as quickly to having a baby around as you did with a four year old.”

Namjoon falls back onto the bed, staring up at the ceiling. “How can you be so sure?”

“Because I’ve seen how fast you bonded with Taehyung and Jimin- do you really think a baby will be any different?”

“Yes?” Namjoon answers, but it comes out as more of a question than anything.

“Idiot.” Jin repeats affectionately, kissing Namjoon on his cheek. “So does this mean…?”

“That we’re going to adopt a baby?” Namjoon looks at Jin- sees the way his eyes are wide and hopeful, and damn, how can Namjoon deny him anything? “Yeah, I guess we are.”

*

“Aren’t you too old to adopt another kid?”

Jin lets his fork clatter to his plate in surprise, narrowing his eyes at Jimin’s question, “Excuse me?”

Jimin quickly backpedals, “I mean- Like, you’re in your thirties! Most people have kids when they’re… younger. Not that that means you shouldn’t adopt another kid! You should! Just- Yeah. You’re not old.” At his mom’s blank expression, Jimin smiles innocently, “Have I told you how handsome you are lately?”

“I wouldn’t have to give up my room, would I?” Taehyung asks around a mouthful of food. “Or share it? I don’t wanna share my room with a baby.”

Jin chuckles; if the thing that Taehyung’s worried about most is if he has to give up his room or not, then Jin considers that a win. “Nobody would have to share their room.” Jin explains, “We’d convert your old playroom into a nursery.”

“Cool.” Taehyung nods his head and goes back to eating his dinner, steadfastly ignoring the vegetables on his plate as usual. Really, Jin’s not sure why he even bothers to put them on his son’s plate- they remain untouched 99% of the time.

“You both realize that there’ll be a lot of crying and tantrums, and we might ask you to babysit every now and then-”

“We’re gonna be the best brothers.” Jimin assures his dad. “We’ll help as much as you need us to, right, Tae?”

Taehyung eagerly nods his head and Jin exchanges a relieved look with Namjoon; with Jimin and Taehyung on board, all that’s left to do is actually adopt a baby.

*

Adopting a baby is hard.

Like, ridiculously hard.

Jin and Namjoon are told by the adoption agency that it could take up to two years before they find a suitable match for them- not to mention the fact that Seoul’s main adoption agency isn’t as… keen to let an openly gay couple adopt a baby (no matter just how famous one half of that couple is) as Busan and Daegu were.

Never mind the fact that they’ve already adopted two children and raised them wonderfully (thank you very much), but whatever. Jin’s not mad or anything- Fine, yes he is. It’s absurd! Why should his sexual orientation have any sort of impact where his name is placed on a waitlist for adopting a child in need?

Jin feels dejected and horrible and rundown, and not even Namjoon or the boys can seem to cheer him up.

“We could call our social worker from Busan? See if he’s still working and if he can help us find someone willing to give us a baby?”

Jin perks up at Namjoon’s suggestion and nods his head, barely allowing himself to hope that something will work out; these past few weeks have crushed his spirit a bit a lot.

*

As if, by some miracle, Namjoon and Jin hear back from their social worker in Busan (or, technically, Jimin’s old social worker), and their information is passed along to a young woman who’s scheduled to give birth in seven and a half months and is looking for a suitable family to adopt her child.

It’s a tense two weeks with Jin stressing over whether or not the woman will choose them or some other family, but finally they receive a call and arrange a prospective meeting with the woman.

Much to Taehyung and Jimin’s displeasure, they’re stuck at home for a week with their grandmother while their parents are away in Busan.

“Why can’t we come?”

“You and Tae have school to go to, Jiminie.”

Jimin rolls his eyes, “It’s not like we’re learning anything there anyway.”

Namjoon chuckles, folding a shirt and going to grab a tie from the closet, calling out, “Oh, good. I was hoping that tuition I was paying for was going to waste.”

“Pretty much.” Taehyung agrees with a nod.

“Regardless, you’re both staying at home and I expect you to behave for your grandmother. Can I count on you both to do that?” Jin says, staring pointedly at Taehyung.

Taehyung grins at his mom, “We’ll be good.”

“If I hear about either of you giving her a hard time…” Jin warns, letting his sentence hang in the air as he continues packing his suitcase.

“We’ll be grounded?” Jimin guesses.

“For life.” Namjoon absently says, disappearing into the bathroom to grab a few toiletries. “So unless you want to be grounded until you’re eighty, I’d behave.”

“Yes, sir!” Taehyung salutes his dad, giggling like mad when his dad stares at him, clearly unimpressed, and takes a step towards him, causing Taehyung to run away, dragging his brother along with him.

“We’ll be good! Promise!” Jimin calls over his shoulder before he’s out of earshot of his parents.

*

 “Oh, wow, it really is you.”

Namjoon smiles at the young woman and stands, shaking her hand, and pulling out the chair opposite his and Jin’s at the table. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Ms. Yu.”

“Call me Soobin.” She shakes Jin’s hand next and sits, picking up the menu in front of her and perusing the selection of food. “When I first read through your file, I thought it was just a coincidence that your names were Namjoon and Seokjin- but, wow. I can’t believe that Rap Monster and Kim Seokjin are sitting across from me right now.”

Jin chuckles, “I hope you didn’t just choose us for a meeting because of who we are.”

Soobin shakes her head, “Oh, no, not at all- it was just a surprise. I read that you’d adopted two children before?”

“Yes,” Namjoon says, taking a sip of his water. “Taehyung and Jimin- they’re both fourteen now.”

“Can I be blunt with you two?” she asks them and Jin immediately nods his head, though he’s a little hesitant to hear what she’s about to say. Is she about to outright reject them? Has she already decided that they’re not the type of parents she’s looking for? Have they irrevocably screwed this interview up? “When I read your file and saw that you’d already raised two adopted kids, I was impressed; most of the other couples were younger and didn’t have any kids. It might be selfish of me, but I want this baby,” she rubs at her stomach, where there isn’t even a visible bump yet, “to grow up with siblings and parents who actually know what they’re doing.”

“We’re definitely not rookies when it comes to raising kids,” Jin jokes. “Though, to be honest with you, we’ve never raised a baby. Taehyung was four when we adopted him and Jimin was five.”

“But you know how to raise a child,” Soobin insists with a grin. “And that’s what I care about.”

“If you don’t mind me asking,” Namjoon hesitantly says, “why are you putting your child up for adoption?”

“Namjoon!” Jin hisses elbowing his husband in the side. “I’m sorry; you don’t need to tell us-”

She waves Jin’s concerns away, “No, no, it’s fine. I- I’m only twenty. I’m not ready for a kid.” She shrugs a shoulder, “I never really planned on having kids- especially not after a one-night stand, y’know? I just… I know I won’t be able to take care of this kid, or even love it as much as it deserves. And that’s not fair to it, or to me.”

“So adoption was the most logical of choices.” Namjoon surmises, nodding. “Would you want an open adoption-”

“Definitely closed.” she quickly responds. “As selfish as it might seem, I want this to be a closed chapter in my life- I don’t want to be reminded that I gave up a child. I think it’ll just be too… hard.”

“If that’s what you’d like,” Jin says, smiling gently at the woman. “We’re fine with either option, though, if you change your mind.”

“That’s sweet, and I’ll think about it a bit more, but I don’t think I will.”

*

Yu Soobin, Jin and Namjoon learn by the end of their meeting, is interviewing three other couples within the week. Which basically means that Jin is a nervous wreck for seven days- keeping his phone on him 24/7, obsessively checking for any new text messages, and pacing holes into the carpet of the hotel room they’re staying in.

*

“Oh, my god, stop it.” Namjoon says, clearly exasperated, “Stop pacing!”

Jin doesn’t stop. If anything, he starts pacing even faster (if only to annoy Namjoon more) and Namjoon closes his eyes for fear of going dizzy by trying to follow his husband’s hurried steps.

“What if she chooses someone else?”

“Well, we would-”

“I will love that baby more than anyone, Namjoon!” Jin tells him, looking at his cell phone for the umpteenth time. “Why hasn’t she called yet? It’s been a week!”

“Maybe-”

“She’s probably trying to think of a nice way to let us down.” Jin murmurs, stopping his pacing and flopping down on the floor, undoubtedly exhausted. He rests his head on his knees and Namjoon immediately goes to comfort him when he starts sobbing, “What if we don’t get chosen?”

Namjoon wipes Jin’s tears away, “Then we’ll just keep trying until we do get chosen by someone.”

Jin sniffles and breathes deeply, then suddenly shoots out of Namjoon’s arms at the feeling of his phone vibrating inside his pocket. He stands up and composes himself within seconds, flipping his phone open and accepting the call.

Namjoon listens intently to Jin’s side of the conversation and lets a small smile cross his features when Jin starts beaming, mouthing She picked us! while frantically pointing at the phone.

Ten minutes later when Jin ends the call, he crashes into Namjoon’s arms and hugs his husband tightly. “She chose us- I can’t believe she chose us!”

Namjoon lets out a sigh of relief, “I have to admit, I was preparing for the worst.”

Jin stares at him and shakily exhales, “We’re gonna have a baby soon.”

Namjoon feels about as nervous as he ever has at Jin’s words. He’s beyond excited, of course, but… it’s still scary. In seven months they’ll be bringing a baby home…

*

Honestly, moving Soobin to Seoul is the easiest option. It’s not like Namjoon and Jin can move to Busan (again)- not while Taehyung and Jimin are still in school, anyway. And Jin wants to make sure that Soobin gets the best medical attention throughout her pregnancy; and that he’s there for her if she needs him.

So, as crazy as it might seem, Namjoon rents out an apartment for the next seven months, pays for Soobin’s things to be moved to Seoul, and ensures that she’s as happy and comfortable as she can possibly be.

*

“Kyung?”

Jimin and Taehyung both shake their heads.

“Minsuh?”

Jin throws a few pieces of the popcorn he’s eating at Namjoon. “Absolutely not.”

“What about Heonwoo?”

Jimin makes a retching sound at Taehyung’s suggestion. “Seoyun sounds good for a girl, right?”

Jin smiles at the suggestion and writes it in the maybe column for possible girl names. “Any names you like for a boy, Namjoon?”

Namjoon flips through the baby book in his lap and shrugs noncommittedly. “I didn’t mind Kyung for a boy.”

Jin marks it down on his list; so far, the only names to make it on the list for boy’s are Kyung and Youngsu, and girl’s names are even sparser with Seoyun being the only one Jin’s taken a liking to tonight.

Though, to be fair, they still have (roughly) three-million more baby books to go through, so hopefully more choices will be added to the list by the time the baby is born.

*

Namjoon is a level-headed man. He’s logical, smart, and rational in nearly every decision he makes. He’s not one to get flustered easily (that’s more Jin’s department) and he’s known for keeping a cool head in most situations.

Except for right now because he’s storming his way into his house, slamming the front door closed behind him and stomping his way into the kitchen to find Jin chatting with Jimin while they cook dinner together.

“Jimin, can I talk to your mom alone?”

Jimin looks at his dad and sees the way his face is drawn tight and nods his head, scampering out of the kitchen. He so doesn’t wanna be around his dad when he looks downright pissed off.

“What’s wrong? Bad day at work?” Jin asks, worried and immediately fussing over him and Namjoon drops his head into his hands, sighing heavily. “I just got a call from our social worker.”

Jin lets his arms fall to his side and stands still, “Oh?”

“He said that another family got into contact with Soobin-”

“No…” Jin says, a look of horror on his face. “No.”

Namjoon breathes out through his nose and raises his head, eyes meeting Jin’s own terrified ones. “He said that they’re trying to get Soobin to consider giving her child to them. They’re offering her more money, and she’s considering it.”

Jin bites his bottom lip and turns away from Namjoon, hugging himself to ward off the sudden chill that’s in the process of overtaking his body. “She… She can’t just take our baby away from us, Namjoon!”

“She can.” Namjoon tells his husband with a heavy heart. “We haven’t gotten her to sign a parental termination contract with us yet, so…”

“So she can just choose another family.” Jin surmises, lightly pushing Namjoon away when he tries to hug him. “That baby is being born in two months and he or she is coming home with us. I’m not letting this happen, Namjoon.”

Namjoon would doubt his husband in this particular matter, but the look of determination on Jin’s face is a shock even to him; he doesn’t think he’s ever seen Jin look so resolute about something before.

*

Jin is not taking this sitting down. He’s spent too much time growing attached to this baby- to the idea of coming home with a baby boy or girl; looking after them; caring for them; loving them- so no. Kim Seokjin may be a lot of things, but a pushover is not one of them and no matter what, this baby is coming home with him and Namjoon in two months.

End. Of. Discussion.

*

“You don’t have any strong attachments to your money, do you?”

Namjoon slowly lifts his head from the track he’s working on and turns to stare at Jin. He lets out a small chuckle at the sheepish grin on Jin’s face and shrugs, “Not particularly, no.”

“Good.” Is all Jin’s says as he walks out of the studio, and Namjoon wonders whether he should be more worried about the fate of his bank account or Jin’s mental state. It’s no secret that the man’s been an absolute (to put it as nicely as possible) basket case with the fate of adopting their baby in the air at the moment, but Namjoon’s fairly confident that Jin wouldn’t go crazy and buy something stupidly expensive without talking to him about it first.

*

Namjoon’s wrong.

He’s so very, very wrong.

Because two days later, he’s told by an ecstatic Jin that everything’s been resolved with Soobin and the other family, and all it took was practically emptying out Namjoon’s bank account.

Simple, right?

Seriously, over one hundred million won has disappeared from the account- and Namjoon mentally calculates how many more tracks he’s going to need to produce in order to earn that back… and, yeah, it’s a lot.

(To be honest, Namjoon isn’t even the teensiest bit angry. He’s more relieved than anything that all it took was more money to get Soobin to sign the parental termination contract and agree once and for all to give them her child once he or she is born. And Namjoon gets it- he does; if he were in Soobin’s position he might’ve asked for more money, too. Especially if the other family was as good of a match as his own is. He might not love that his family had to agonize over possibly losing out on the baby they’d already grown so attached to and he’s a little bit more broke than he was a week ago, but he gets it.)

*

It’s four in the afternoon. Jimin’s just gotten back from dance practice; Taehyung is blasting his music at an ear-splitting volume in his room; Namjoon is watching the news; and Jin is about to relax for a few minutes after a day of running errands.

And then the phone rings.

Jin answers it, smiling while greeting the person on the other end, but dropping the expression a moment later for one of shock, quickly hanging the phone up and rushing into the living room. “Soobin’s water broke!”

Namjoon snaps his head to stare at Jin and he fumbles with the remote, trying to turn the television off, but it won’t work, and goddamnit! Why don’t the batteries in this thing ever work?! Namjoon settles for stumbling over to the TV himself and shutting it off manually, breathing deeply and trying to wrap his head around what Jin’s just said.

Soobin. Her water just broke. And she’s probably on her way to the hospital right now, and, uh, why aren’t they?! “We’ve gotta go! What if she has the baby before we get there? We should leave now!”

Jin holds his hands up to calm his husband, “Deep breaths, Namjoon- she’s got hours of labor ahead of her. We’ve got time.”

“Right, right.” Namjoon nods, trying to steady his breathing, but it’s not working, and he’s so unprepared for this! Seven months was not enough time to prepare for this! He needs more time!

“Dad looks like he’s about to pass out. What’s wrong with him?” Jimin asks his mom when he passes by the living room.

“Go get your brother, Jimin,” Jin instructs his son. “Soobin’s in labor- we’re gonna head over to the hospital now.”

Jimin’s eyes widen and he runs upstairs, tripping twice, before barging into his brother’s room and explaining the situation to him, both of their excited shouts echoing downstairs.

Jin stares at Namjoon and places his hands on the man’s shoulders, “Namjoon, look at me.” When Namjoon’s eyes meet his own, Jin smiles, “Breathe deeply and relax. You’re no good to anyone if you’re freaking out, alright?”

Namjoon shakily nods his head. “Yeah, right, no. I’m cool. I’m good.” he assure Jin with a lopsided grin. “Just- It’s just a lot to take in.”

Once Jimin and Taehyung rush back downstairs, Jin claps his hands together, “Jimin, Taehyung, get in the car and wait for us. Namjoon, grab the baby bag we packed, okay?”

Everyone rushes off as per Jin’s instructions and Jin runs into the den, quickly locating his wallet and shoving it into his jacket pocket before jogging outside and opening the driver’s side door, “Namjoon, move.”

Namjoon frowns, “Just get in the passenger side-”

“I am not chancing the car getting a flat tire or something like that because you’re driving.” Jin calmly tells him, physically unbuckling his seat belt and tugging his arm until the man gets out of the driver’s seat. “We can’t chance the car breaking down, Namjoon.”

Namjoon rolls his eyes and gets in the passenger seat, “Ready?”

Jin barely manages to nod his head at Namjoon’s question, shakily exhaling when Taehyung and Jimin pat his arm from the backseat.

*

They arrive at the hospital shortly after Soobin herself does and they’re told that, no, they haven’t missed the birth and that, yes, it’ll be at least another ten to fourteen hours before she’s even dilated enough to start pushing in earnest.

“We can drop you back off at home if you don’t want to wait around-”

“We’re staying!” Taehyung firmly tells his dad, frowning. “This is our brother who’s gonna be born soon.”

“Or sister.” Jimin says, grinning. “And we don’t wanna miss anything.”

He.” Taehyung insists. “It’s gonna be a boy.”

Jimin rolls his eyes, “You don’t know that-”

“I had a dream that it was gonna be a boy.” Taehyung states like that’s the most valid way of presenting evidence for an argument. “It’s gonna be a boy.”

“I had a dream I could fly once,” Jimin scoffs, “and you don’t see me shooting off into the sky like Superman, do you?”

“Who wants dinner?” Jin interrupts the two’s argument before it can get heated. “I bet the cafeteria is serving something delicious.”

*

No.

No, it’s not.

Jimin scrunches his face up, an expression that Taehyung mirror’s perfectly. “I’ll just have ice cream.”

Namjoon snorts, “This isn’t an ice cream parlour, kiddo. I don’t think they’ve got ice cream.”

Taehyung stares in shock at his dad, “You mean to tell me that in this giant hospital, full of sick people, there’s no ice cream?

“I’m sure there is somewhere-”

Taehyung ignores the rest of his dad’s sentence and darts out of the cafeteria’s lineup, intent on finding where they keep the ice cream in this place.

“Taehyung!”

“Tae, get back here!” Jin huffs in annoyance and leaves his place in line. “Get me a salad and some chicken for Taehyung, will you?” he calls to Namjoon before chasing after his son.

(Let it be said that Taehyung’s quest to find ice cream doesn’t go very well; he finds approximately sixty sick people before his mom drags him back to the cafeteria and none of them have any ice cream. What a waste of time.)

*

It’s, quite literally, the middle of the night when Soobin actually starts having contractions that garner interest from her doctor. Jimin and Taehyung are ridiculously excited at the news and Jin has to restrain them from jumping out of their seats and rushing into the delivery room.

“Can we go in?”

“Please!”

Jin shakes his head, “You know you can’t.”

“That’s not fair,” Taehyung pouts, crossing his arms across his chest. “I wanna be there when the baby’s born!”

“Taehyung, I love that you’re so invested in your new sibling, but I don’t think you’re old enough to witness the miracle of birth just yet.” Namjoon says with a grin.

Jimin suddenly nods, grimacing, “Yeah, remember those videos we watched in health class? Do you really want a front row seat to that?

Taehyung quickly shakes his head. He smiles at his mom and dad, “On second thought, I’ll just stay here.”

Jin laughs, “That’s what I thought.”

*

Three hours later and Namjoon’s back at home with the boys- the nurses having assured Jin that Soobin’s got at least another few hours of labor ahead of her before the baby’s even close to being born. They eat some food, shower, and sleep for as long as they dare, but Taehyung and Jimin are too full of energy to stay asleep for long, and soon enough they’re shaking their dad awake, demanding to get back to the hospital.

“Dad, get up! Get up! We’re gonna miss it!”

“We’ve gotta be there!” Jimin continuously pokes his dad in the arm, “Get up!

Namjoon yawns widely, stumbling off the couch where he’d fallen asleep. “Jiminie, grab your mom something to eat, yeah? I’m gonna change and we’ll head out again, alright?”

Jimin nods and drags Taehyung with him to the kitchen while Namjoon stretches out the kinks in his back, absently glancing at his watch and seeing that it’s only six in the morning- he’s literally been asleep for an hour, but at the thought of going back to the hospital and seeing how Soobin’s doing, he’s wide awake once more- ready to spend the rest of the day at the hospital if need be.

*

Namjoon doesn’t even know what time it is anymore- he’s long since stopped checking his watch for the time; what’s the point? The baby’s going to come when he or she’s ready and not a minute sooner. So when a nurse rushes into the waiting room and tells them it’s time, Namjoon’s had enough time to prepare himself for this- he’s so ready!

He and Jin get ushered into the delivery room, Jimin giving them a thumbs up and Taehyung grinning widely as they leave the waiting room. Once they’re dressed in sterile gowns, gloves, and masks, Namjoon’s sure everything is about to go underway.

…except it doesn’t.

Honestly, Namjoon’s sure that Jimin and Taehyung are probably having a better time than he and Jin are because, well… right about now, not a hell of a lot is happening.

The occasional push here and there, Jin comforting Soobin- offering her ice chips, rubbing her back, wiping the sweat from her brow; but Namjoon is just… standing there. Awkwardly. It’s almost reminiscent of his senior prom: standing in the back of the room, alone, while watching everyone else mill about.

It isn’t for another forty-five minutes that Soobin begins pushing intensely and that’s when everything passes by in a blur. There’s a lot of screaming from Soobin; Jin is hovering anxiously over the doctors and nurses (like he wants to deliver this baby himself); and Namjoon is trying to resist the urge to… well… faint (cut him some slack, okay? There’re so many fluids gushing and Namjoon’s never been great with watching any kind of medical procedure. He tries to be supportive and help Soobin through this, but, yeah, he’s pretty useless).

*

The first scream that erupts from the baby shouldn’t sound as beautiful as it does to Jin, but it brings tears to his eyes knowing that his baby is finally here- after seven months of waiting, of counting down the days, Jin can finally meet his baby for the first time.

He watches carefully as the doctor take care of cutting the umbilical cord and Jin has to resist the urge to take the baby from the nurses- he is, technically, a doctor (even if he’s not working anymore, he’s still got the diploma to prove that, yes, he’s more than qualified to swaddle a baby and perform the necessary tests done to newborns, thank you very much). But he patiently waits and when a squirming bundle is placed in his arms a few minutes later, he looks over at Namjoon in awe- like he can’t believe this is real, that this is actually happening.

“We’ve got a son.”

Namjoon leans in closer to the baby boy, gasping when he opens his eyes, revealing brown irises rapidly scanning his environment. “He’s got hair.”

Jin laughs through his tears, “Of course he’s got hair.”

“I thought he’d be bald.” Namjoon quietly muses, letting their new son grasp onto his finger and squeeze it, his eyes shutting a moment later. “Does he look healthy?”

Jin cuddles him closer to his chest. “He looks perfect.”

“Welcome to the world... Youngsu or Kyung- which are we deciding on, Jin?”

“Jungkook.” Jin whispers, tracing his finger down the side of the baby’s face, smiling widely when the boy yawns. “He looks like a Jungkook.”

Namjoon gently threads his fingers through the boy’s dark hair, “Where’d that name come from?”

Jin just shrugs, careful not to jostle the boy too much. “I don’t know. It just sounds… right.” He gazes down at Jungkook and smiles, “You are going to be spoiled rotten, little one.” Jin tells him, pressing a kiss to his forehead. “Mommy loves you so much.”

Namjoon wraps an arm around Jin’s shoulders, “And Daddy.”

“And Daddy.” Jin agrees, leaning his head against Namjoon’s shoulder. “And you’ve got two amazing brothers who already love you to bits.”

“He looks a little bruised.” Namjoon comments, pointing at where Jungkook’s ID band is wrapped around his wrist.

Jin continues smiling down at Jungkook while he answers Namjoon, “Completely normal. He was just pushed through a narrow canal- he’s gonna be a little bruised.”

“Is his face supposed to be puffy?”

“Yes.” Jin laughs, letting Jungkook bring his finger into his mouth to suckle. “Is my boy hungry? Namjoon, grab the nurse and get a bottle for Jungkook, please.”

Namjoon tears himself away from his newborn son and goes to do Jin’s bidding, leaving his husband and son. Jin walks over to where Soobin’s still recovering on the hospital bed. “You did wonderfully, Soobin. How are you feeling? Any major discomfort?”

She tiredly smiles at Jin, “I’ve felt better.”

Jin holds Jungkook out, “Do you want to hold him? I know when we spoke before you said you didn’t want to, but-”

Soobin slowly shakes her head, her hair sticking to her sweaty forehead. “No, no. It’ll- It’ll just make it harder, y’know?”

Jin nods, but, no, he doesn’t know. He can’t imagine the amount of strength this woman- so young, so unprepared for something like this… he can’t imagine how hard this is for her. How much courage it took for her to decide that giving up her child was the right decision.

Jin doesn’t think he’d be able to give Jungkook up and he’s only spent ten minutes with the boy.

“You’re gonna take good care of him, right?”

Jin hears the uncertainty in Soobin’s voice and he fiercely nods his head, grabbing onto her hand and squeezing it in reassurance. “He’ll want for nothing; I promise.”

“Good,” she murmurs exhaustedly. “I knew you and Namjoon were the right choice.”

“Words can’t express my gratitude towards you, Soobin.”

She grins at him, though the action is much more lax and Jin squeezes her hand once more before Namjoon comes back with a nurse. When Jungkook’s quietly nursing from the bottle, Namjoon and Jin watch as Soobin’s moved from the birth room into the recovery room, and after Jungkook’s finished eating, he’s taken from them and relocated into the nursery to rest.

Namjoon smiles at Jin as they walk back to where Jimin and Taehyung are sleeping in the waiting room; Jimin’s head lolling onto Taehyung’s shoulder while Taehyung unconsciously rests his own head on top. Namjoon sits across from the two and pulls Jin down beside him, letting out a quiet chuckle, feeling like this entire situation is almost too surreal for words. “We have a son.”

Jin beams at him, echoing, “We have a son.”

“Did you see his little fingers?” Namjoon asks with a grin. “And when he yawned? So cute. I can’t believe he’s all ours.”

Jin hugs Namjoon tightly, murmuring into his ear, “I love you.”

Namjoon hugs him back and presses a kiss to his temple, “I love you, too.”

“Gross.”

“Get a room!”

Namjoon and Jin break apart to see their son’s staring at them, both grinning despite their exclamations of disgust. “How’s she doing?” Taehyung eagerly asks, wiping the sleep from his eyes. “Is she any closer to having the baby?”

Jimin nods, checking his phone, “We’ve been here forever. How long does it take to have a baby?”

“It takes forever apparently.” Namjoon answers with a smirk. “She had the baby.”

What?!

“No way!” Jimin cries. “What’d she have? Do I have a new sister or brother?”

“I told you, it’s gonna be a boy!” Taehyung maintains. “Right?” He stares at his parents, “It was a boy, wasn’t it?”

Jin stands up and gestures for everyone to follow him as he leads the way to the nursery- to where the newborns are all sleeping or squirming around in their beds. “See that bed in the middle?”

Taehyung frowns, “I don’t see a Youngsu or Kyung name card.”

“Or a Seoyun.” Jimin comments, scanning each bed.

“Change of plans,” Jin smiles at his youngest son through the glass, “meet your new brother, Jungkook.”

“Jungkook.” Taehyung repeats while shooting a look that clearly conveys I told you so! to his brother. He waves wildly at the newborn. “He’s so small!”

“His eyes are huge!” Jimin observes, pressing himself closer to the glass. “When can we hold him?”

Namjoon ruffles Jimin’s hair, “Tomorrow.”

“Tomorrow?” Taehyung whines. “Why not now?”

“Because right now it’s three in the morning and we’re going home.” Namjoon explains, rolling his eyes good-naturedly at his son’s complaints. “Your mom’s going to stay here with Soobin and Jungkook, right, Jin?”

Jin absently nods his head, staring at Jungkook.

“We’ll see them again tomorrow, okay? Say goodbye to your mom and Jungkook, boys.”

Jimin reluctantly pulls himself away from the glass and hugs his mom, Taehyung doing the same a moment later before they follow their dad out of the nursery.

Jin watches with rapt attention as Jungkook rolls around, stretching his tiny arms and kicking his legs out, his eyes are wide open, looking around wildly- and Jin thinks that, maybe, Jungkook’s looking for him. That maybe this amazing little boy is already as attached to him as Jin is to him.

“Don’t worry, Jungkook;” Jin whispers as he places his hand against the glass, “I’ll always be here.”

 

 

Chapter Text

“This isn’t fair.”

Namjoon sighs for what seems like the hundredth time in the span of an hour. He leads Jimin through the security checkpoint, “It’s one week, not forever, kiddo.”

“Whatever.” Jimin continues glaring at his dad and shoves his earbuds into his ears, resolutely ignoring his entire family as they find the correct terminal and grab a few seats while waiting for their boarding call.

“If I’d known he was going to be so upset at being separated from Yoongi I would’ve just suggested bringing him along.”

Namjoon rolls his eyes at Jin’s suggestion- as sweet as it might be, it’ll do some good for Jimin to spend some time with his family and relax. Besides, Namjoon’s sure that as soon as they reach Los Angeles, Jimin’s going to forget all about missing Yoongi in favor of sightseeing.

“He’s just being annoying. You don’t see me whining about not being able to hang out with Hoseok.” Taehyung says as he boldly reaches into his dad’s pocket and grabs his wallet, “Can I take this?” he asks before waiting for an answer and darting off in the direction of the food court inside the airport. “I’ll be right back!”

Jin takes out his English phrasebook and turns to Namjoon, “Listen to this,” Namjoon nods and barely avoids cringing at Jin’s thick accent while he greets him in English. “How’d it sound?”

Namjoon chuckles, “Uh, good, yeah. Very… good.”

“Liar.” Jin pointedly stares at him. “You’ll have to do the talking when we get there.”

“That’s… probably for the best.” Namjoon agrees with a smile. “Keep practicing, though. It’ll get easier, trust me.”

“For the record,” Jimin says while his mom keeps repeating… something in English over and over again. “I hate this.”

“Heaven forbid your parents take you on a trip halfway across the world.” Namjoon quietly muses to himself. “What a horrible dad I must be.”

“You didn’t even ask if I wanted to come!”

Namjoon sighs (again) and swears that if his his hair was still black, you’d be able to see all the grey hairs Jimin’s given him this past week. “You’re sixteen, kiddo. You don’t get a choice in family vacations. You come regardless of whether you want to or not.”

“That’s not fair, though!”

“Jiminie,” Jin says, setting his book down, “this trip is going to be amazing, and you’ll see Yoongi again in a week. It’s not the end of the world.”

“But I’ll miss him.”

“And he’ll miss you.” Jin assures his son. “But just think of all the stories you’ll have to tell him once you come back! And you can buy him souvenirs!”

“I guess,” Jimin shrugs, though he isn’t glaring at Namjoon anymore, so Jin thinks he’s done a pretty good job of defusing Jimin’s hissy fit.

“What do you think, Kookie?” Jin taps his youngest son on his head, causing the boy to look up from where he’s sitting in Taehyung’s vacant seat. “Are we going to have fun in America?”

*

Jungkook looks up at the sound of Mommy’s voice and smiles when he sees him. But he’s not close enough- Jungkook wants to be closer to Mommy! He climbs over J’min to get to Mommy, which is fun because J’min’s lap is cushy and Jungkook would just stay on top of J’min, but Mommy’s so close now and Jungkook finally makes it over to him with a huge smile, giggling when Mommy grabs him around his waist and settles him on his lap.

Mommy’s lap isn’t as squishy as J’min’s, but it’s still comfy and Jungkook leans back in Mommy’s arms, watching people pass in front of him with big cases rolling behind them. And Jungkook recognizes the rolling cases- Daddy’s got one! And so does Mommy! And J’min and TaeTae have them, too!

Jungkook’s not sure why he doesn’t get one, though. He wants one! “Mommy! Want one!”

“What do you want?”

“Rolly box!” Jungkook points at where a man is rolling one by them. “That!”

“That’s called a suitcase, Kookie.”

Soot…case?

“It’s where you put everything you’re taking with you on a trip,” Mommy is telling him and Jungkook’s eyes widen in horror; he’s going on a trip! He’s going to… Jungkook frowns in thought but he can’t really remember where he’s going, but he knows he’s going on an airplane- and Jungkook’s never been on an airplane, and he’s so, so, so excited! But if he’s going somewhere, doesn’t he need a sootcase, too? Why didn’t Mommy tell him sooner! He didn’t pack anything!

“You’ve already got one, Jungkookie.”

Jungkook turns to look at J’min, frowning. He’s pretty sure he’d remember if he had his own rolling thingy. J’min’s clearly crazy.

“Need one!”

“Jimin’s right, Kookie; you’ve got one, remember? We packed it full of your clothes and toys last night.”

Jungkook’s only slightly distrustful of Daddy’s words. He wants to believe him… and maybe if he thinks about it hard enough he can kind of remember putting his things inside of a big box before bed last night because Daddy said he needed a bunch of things for their trip. And Jungkook had nodded and listened (because he’s a good boy), but he didn’t really understand what Daddy meant- he was more confused why Daddy was taking his clothes out his closet and some of his toys and packing them away.

And Jungkook didn’t like that Daddy was taking his things, so he’d cried for Mommy to make him stop (Daddy has his own things! Why did he need his, too?), and, really, the only other thing Jungkook remembers from last night was Mommy rocking him in his arms, and he’d smelled nice- like the dinner they’d just had, and Jungkook had closed his eyes in the middle of telling Mommy that Daddy was stealing his things… and then he’d fallen asleep.

But Jungkook gets it now!

Daddy wasn’t stealing his stuff… hopefully. Hopefully his toys and clothes are in the big box and he’ll get to see them soon!

“Can you tell Daddy what I taught you to say, Kookie?”

Jungkook eagerly nods his head; he can do that! He practiced so many times (even when Mommy wasn’t around because he wanted to make Mommy proud of him!) and his stuffed animals had all thought he’d sounded just as good as Mommy by the time he’d grown tired of saying the same word over and over again.

Jungkook looks at where Daddy is and opens his mouth, saying the word that feel so unfamiliar and weird- and it doesn’t sound like anything to Jungkook, but Daddy looks so happy, and he’s smiling at him and kissing him and Jungkook giggles because he did a good job!

He wants more smiles so he says it again, “Hello!

Jungkook doesn’t even know what it means, but Mommy told him that it’s a polite thing to say and that even in a foreign country he needs to remember his manners. And Jungkook prides himself on having manners! He’s very good at saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ (when he remembers to, that is).

Daddy says something back to him and Jungkook doesn’t understand it so he figures that Daddy’s speaking in English- Mommy once told him that Daddy could say anything in English, and Jungkook doesn’t know why Daddy learned English when Korean is hard enough- but it’s probably a good thing that Daddy knows how to speak English because Mommy says that’s what people in other countries speak.

Jungkook doesn’t understand why everyone can’t just speak Korean because that would make everything so much easier and make more sense, but Jungkook supposes it’s not that big of a deal if he can’t understand what people say in other countries; Daddy will understand, and as long as Daddy’s with them everything will be fine.

*

Taehyung.”

Taehyung looks across the aisle at where his mom’s giving him that distinctive mom look. “What?”

“I saw that.”

Taehyung looks down at where he’s… liberated Jimin’s pack of cookies from his brother’s lax grip. “He’s asleep.” he tells his mom. “He didn’t even notice.”

“He will when he wakes up.”

Taehyung just shrugs, ripping the package open and grabbing a cookie, startling when fingers close around his wrist.

“Drop. The. Cookie.”

Taehyung smiles guiltily at his brother, “ChimChim-”

“Drop it.” Jimin repeats, wiping the sleep from his eyes and yawning. “They’re mine.”

“Come on, let me have one!” Taehyung whines, pouting at his brother as he drops the cookie back into the package.

Jimin snatches the package away from Taehyung and pops a cookie into his mouth, chewing loudly, “Mmmm! So good!”

“You suck.”

Jimin shrugs, eating another cookie. “Not my fault you already ate yours.”

“But I’m so hungry!” Taehyung dramatically cries out, garnering the attention of a few of the other passengers on the flight. “I’m gonna wither away to nothing if I don’t have something to eat!”

“Taehyung, they’re going to serve dinner in an hour.” Namjoon tells him with an eyeroll. “Think you can survive until then?”

“Not without a cookie to tide me over.” Taehyung seriously tells his dad.

“Jimin-”

“Not fair.” Jimin says to his dad (and Namjoon has a feeling that that’s going to be Jimin’s catchphrase for this entire trip), reluctantly handing a cookie over to his brother. “Now stop being a baby.”

“Love you, ChimChim.” Taehyung says around a mouthful of cookie, bits flying into Jimin’s face much to the boy’s displeasure. “Another?”

Jimin just rolls his eyes and holds the cookies out, allowing Taehyung to stick his hand in and take another (or four more, but whatever).

*

They land in LA in the middle of the afternoon and, as luck would have it, Jungkook’s suitcase is missing.

Jin tries to remain calm, but all he can think about is the fact that if it doesn’t turn up, they’ll have to get Jungkook new clothes and toys, and really, Jin isn’t looking forward to spending his first day in Los Angeles shopping for things they already own.

Honestly, how did the airline lose a suitcase with a barnyard pattern?

Namjoon comes back from the customer service desk, shaking his head and sighing, “They don’t know where it is. Best guess, somewhere in Canada.”

Jin scrubs a hand over his face in annoyance.

“Please don’t say we’ve gotta go clothes shopping…” Taehyung grimaces, sitting on top of his suitcase. “Can’t he just wear that outfit-”

“For seven days?” Jin asks, suddenly very tired. He looks at Namjoon, “New plan, we go to hotel, drop off the bags, and sightsee the inside of a mall for a few hours.”

*

American malls, Jimin realizes, are just as boring as the malls in Seoul. Especially when you’re stuck in the baby section of a department store.

“Wanna go explore?”

Jimin does. He absolutely does. But they shouldn’t.

“Come on,” Taehyung tugs on his arm, “this is boring and we’ll be back before they’re even close to being done!”

Jimin knows this is a bad idea; their dad explicitly told them not to run off by themselves (and, honestly, Taehyung’s ideas usually end up with them in trouble or grounded- sometimes both), but Jimin’s bored out of his mind, so, yeah, he nods his head and, as stealthily as they can, they run off into another part of the department store, leaving their parents to shop for Jungkook alone.

*

“Daddy!” Jungkook looks at Daddy and sticks his lower lip out, wanting to be carried because his legs are all wobbly and he’s tired and walking is too hard right now. “Up!”

He smiles when Daddy picks him up and he rests his head against Daddy’s chest, frowning when Daddy’s glasses poke against him from where they’re inside his shirt pocket. So he grabs them and tosses them onto the floor and Daddy doesn’t notice, and Jungkook thinks that Daddy probably didn’t like them all that much anyway if they were just stuffed into his pocket

Daddy looks better with his normal glasses, anyway. He doesn’t need the dark ones that hide his eyes.

*

Somehow, and Jin’s still not sure how this exactly happened, but somehow he’s lost his entire family.

Except Jungkook.

Because Jungkook is toddling between the racks of clothing and Jin is only a step behind him at all times because he’s not about to lose his baby boy inside this store- not like Namjoon, Jimin, and Taehyung, anyway.

Honestly, one minute he was grabbing Jungkook from Namjoon while his husband went to look for his sunglasses that he’d noticed were missing, and the next Jin had went to ask Taehyung a question only to notice that the boy wasn’t there. And neither was Jimin.

And then Namjoon hadn’t come back, either.

And after phoning everyone to no avail, Jin had decided that he’d just continue shopping with Jungkook (while simultaneously keeping an eye out for his family) and get this shopping trip out of the way as soon as possible.

*

They’re in trouble, that much is obvious.

Though, to be perfectly honest, Taehyung doesn’t know why. Seriously, they were just trying on hats (Taehyung’s still sporting a cowboy hat while Jimin’s got an oversized sunhat flopping into his eyes every so often) and dancing to the music that was playing on the store’s speakers when some man had started talking to them in a very stern voice.

Taehyung’s knowledge of English is practically non-existent (and Jimin’s is even worse), so, yeah, this situation is not ideal.

“Maybe he thought we were gonna steal the hats?” Jimin quietly says, cringing when the man says something to him in a tone that is decidedly not friendly.

No speak English!” Taehyung tries to tell the man again, his accent heavier than even his mom’s and the words sound so weird and they leave an odd sensation in his mouth. Taehyung eventually just shrugs his shoulders at whatever the man says in response.

“Where’s Dad when you need him, right?” Jimin mutters.

*

Jin is finally done shopping. He’s got a basket full of clothes for Jungkook- most of them red because Jungkook’s going through a phase where he refuses to wear anything that isn’t red, and Jin makes his way to the checkout counter with Jungkook tagging along beside him, his hand firmly clasped in Jin’s own larger one.

Hello!” Jungkook waves at a lady as they pass her and Jin chuckles at how excited Jungkook is to interact with new people.

They finally arrive at the checkout and Jin greets the woman on the other side of the counter, starting to unload his basket. Once everything is put through, the woman says something to him and Jin smiles apologetically, shrugging in confusion when she repeats her words.

And this is why he needs Namjoon with him. Because, as it is, Jin’s staring at the woman, the woman’s staring back at him, Jungkook’s staring at them both, and Jin has no clue what to do.

He tries handing her his credit card, but she only pushes it back at him, saying something else- slower this time, and great, thanks, that really helped. He tries a different tactic and grabs the money he converted into American bills before they left Seoul and hands them to her, shrugging helplessly when she hands those back, too.

Jin sighs and continues to try and communicate with this poor woman who’s probably just as frustrated as he is.

*

“For future reference,” Namjoon says, “don’t take the hats off the mannequins, don’t start a dance contest in the middle of a store, and don’t run off without letting your mom or me know where you’re going. Got it?”

“To be fair,” Jimin smirks at his brother, “it wasn’t really a contest; I won hands down.”

Namjoon tries, ultimately failing, to not laugh. “Not really the thing to be focusing on, kiddo.”

*

“Mommy?”

Jungkook looks up at Mommy, wondering why he isn’t paying attention to him. He tugs at Mommy’s pants, but he just gets a pat on his head for that and, no, that wasn’t really what Jungkook was going for. He wants attention; he’s soooo bored!

He’s been watching Mommy try to do something for such a long time, and Jungkook doesn’t know what he’s trying to do, but why is it taking so long? Jungkook’s hungry and tired and Bunny’s in TaeTae’s backpack and he’s probably missing Jungkook, and what if Bunny’s lonely or thinks Jungkook’s forgot about him?

“Mommy?”

Mommy keeps talking to the woman and Jungkook doesn’t know what they’re saying because he’s pretty sure Mommy’s speaking the language that Daddy knows so well, but Jungkook only knows how to say ‘hello’ so he doesn’t think he’ll be able to help very much.

“Mommy?”

“What is it, honey?” Mommy finally asks him, lifting him into his arms, and Jungkook smiles because now he can actually see Mommy properly- he looks a little tired, kind of like how Daddy looks after he comes home from work, but still perfect and Jungkook’s positive that his mommy is the most perfect mommy in the whole world! Jungkook grabs onto Mommy’s face and kisses him on the nose, “Love you, Mommy!”

And Mommy’s smiling at him and telling him how much he loves him, too (Jungkook loves being told how much Mommy loves him!), but then Jungkook sees Daddy over Mommy’s shoulder; and there’s J’min, and if J’min’s here, TaeTae’s gotta be here, too!

Which means Bunny’s close by!

Jungkook wiggles in Mommy’s hold, desperate to get down and run to TaeTae. When he’s let down, Jungkook shoots off and crashes into TaeTae’s legs, hopping up and down in front of his brother- give him Bunny! “Bunny, TaeTae!”

“Oh, right, yeah,” TaeTae says before getting Bunny out of his backpack and shaking it in front of Jungkook’s face before handing it over- and Jungkook checks Bunny over; making sure he’s okay before tightly hugging him to his chest. “Did you miss Bunny, Kookie?”

Jungkook doesn’t bother answering TaeTae; he’s got better things to do- like flopping down onto the floor and telling Bunny all about what he and Mommy have been up to!

*

It’s a day later and Jimin is dumbfounded- dumbfounded!

Because while his mom, dad, and Jungkook are all taking embarrassing touristy pictures with the Hollywood sign in the background; Taehyung is surrounded by teenage girls- all giggling and smiling at him, apparently finding his broken English charming!

It’s not charming, fyi. It’s just bad.

But whatever. Seemingly American girls (and even some older women- wait, what?!) think Taehyung’s just so cute and precious and bleh. Jimin could throw up at all the affection getting thrown his brother’s way.

*

American food, Namjoon learns, is Jin’s new favorite thing- and Jimin’s, and Tae’s, and even Jungkook (his picky little eater) is in love with French fries and waffles with whipped cream on them. Which basically means that Namjoon spends about 500% more money on food than he originally thought he would.

He’d thought that going to the beach for a day would give his wallet a break, but no.

He’s clearly underestimated his family’s ability to find food even on a beach.

Because at every turn Jin manages to find a food truck; Jimin and Taehyung steal his wallet and come back moments later with pretzels as big as their heads, cotton candy for Jungkook, and a steak kabob for him and Jin to share (it should be noted that Namjoon gets exactly one bite before Jin claims the entire thing for himself); and even Jungkook somehow succeeds in getting Namjoon to buy him a lollipop as round as his head at the end of the day.

*

Jungkook doesn’t know what’s happening. Daddy’s surrounded by a bunch of people and Mommy’s holding him, and J’min and TaeTae are standing off to the side. Mommy’s saying something to J’min, but Jungkook can’t hear what it is over the sound of the people around Daddy all talking so fast and in that weird language.

Jungkook doesn’t know what a rap monster is, but everyone keeps saying those two words over and over again, so it’s gotta be important, right?

“Mommy, rap monster?”

“Do you know who Rap Monster is, Kookie?”

Jungkook tilts his head to the side at TaeTae’s question because apparently Rap Monster is a person, and how is Jungkook supposed to know who it is? He only knows four people and he’s pretty sure that nobody in his family is Rap Monster.

“No.”

“It’s Dad.” J’min tells him, pointing at where Daddy keeps doodling on papers that people keep shoving in his face. And Jungkook wonders why nobody is letting him draw pictures on papers. Don’t those people wanna see his doodles, too? Jungkook’s an excellent doodler! He's probably even better than Daddy!

“What’s a Rap Monster?” Jungkook asks because he still doesn’t know what a Rap Monster is. J’min says it’s Daddy, but if it’s Daddy, then why don’t people just call him Daddy and not Rap Monster? Or even Namjoonie- because sometimes Jungkook hears Mommy calling Daddy that, too.

“It’s just Dad’s stage name, Kookie.” TaeTae tells him and Jungkook shakes his head in frustration because that didn’t clear anything up; he doesn’t know what a stage name even is and TaeTae’s just making him even more confused!

*

“So, good trip? Bad trip? Still mad we brought you along, Jiminie?”

Jimin reluctantly shakes his head, smiling at his dad. “No, I guess it was fun.”

“I bet you’re excited to see Yoongi again, though.”

“I can’t wait to show him the shirt I bought him-”

“And the hat, and the bag, and the phone case,” Taehyung mutters with a grin. “Seriously, how much stuff did you get him? How’d you get it all to fit in your suitcase?”

“He didn’t.” Namjoon interrupts. “Half of it’s shoved into mine and your mom’s.”

Jimin grins, “I couldn’t just not get him something-”

“I think you mean twenty somethings.” Taehyung smirks. “I just got Hoseok a hat.”

Jimin stares at his brother with a raised eyebrow, “And?”

“And nothing.” Taehyung quickly says, shooting Jimin a look that clearly says shut up! “Who’s hungry? Should we get something to eat before the plane boards?”

Jin grabs onto Taehyung’s arm to stop him from getting up, “What else did you buy Hoseok?”

“Uh…” Taehyung rubs the back of his neck. “Nothing. Because, unlike my dear brother, I’m responsible with my money.”

“But not with Dad’s.” Jimin snorts.

“Okay, fine,” Taehyung relents at the looks on his parent’s face. “I got him a toy.”

Namjoon frowns, “What kind of toy was it?”

“Just a random toy, that’s all.”

“That’s not all.” Jimin singsongs, laughing at the look of betrayal on Taehyung’s face. “Tell them how much it cost!”

“How much, Taehyung?” Namjoon asks with a prolonged sigh. “Do I need to take a loan out?”

“I mean,” Taehyung chuckles unashamedly, shrugging his shoulders, “you’ll see how much it was when your check your credit card statement.”

“That’s exactly the kind of answer I was afraid of.” Namjoon mumbles, vowing to not let his credit card out of his sight when Taehyung’s within pickpocketing distance.

 

 

Chapter Text

Taehyung corners Hoseok in the hallway between their lockers, his textbooks precariously balanced in his arms. “We’re going trick ‘r treating on Saturday night, right?”

Hoseok slowly shakes his head, confused. “I mean, I figured we’d hang out, but… we’re a little old to go trick ‘r treating, Tae.”

Taehyung, clearly shocked, takes a step back, “Too old?

“I think the socially acceptable age limit for going trick ‘r treating is, like, fourteen.” Hoseok tells him with a frown. “Maybe thirteen.”

“B-But candy!” Taehyung very nearly wails, “Free candy!

Hoseok laughs and slings an arm around Taehyung’s shoulders, leading him towards the cafeteria. “If it’ll make you feel better, we can dress up for the Halloween dance.”

“But what about my free candy?”

“I’ll buy you a bag of candy, okay?” Hoseok promises him as he grabs a tray for Taehyung, then one for himself. “Seriously, all the gummy worms you can eat, okay?”

And we’ll dress up for the dance?”

Hoseok smiles brightly, “As anything you want.”

*

In hindsight, telling Taehyung they could dress up as anything may’ve been a bad idea.

Hoseok doesn’t know where Taehyung got these costumes on such short notice (seriously, it’s only been three days since they talked about dressing up), but it’s now Friday- the dance starts in less than an hour and Hoseok’s just not 100% sold on this idea.

Mainly because the shorts he’s wearing are almost indecent with how short they are.

“I don’t think I’ve got the legs to pull these off, Tae.” Hoseok says as he looks at himself in the mirror in his bedroom. “Why can’t I wear pants? You get to wear pants.”

“Just be thankful I let you wear shorts and not a skirt.” Taehyung giggles and comes up behind Hoseok to wrap his arms around his midsection, nuzzling his face in the older boy’s neck. He looks into the mirror and beams, “You’ve definitely got the legs to pull them off. You look amazing!”

Hoseok blushes, ducking his head. “You’re just saying that.”

Taehyung shakes his head and presses a light kiss to his cheek. “Your legs look insane- for real. Now, come on, we’ve gotta get going.”

Hoseok takes one last look at himself in the mirror, trying to tug his white shorts just a little lower to no avail. He eventually gives up and grabs the cat plushie off his bed, handing it to Taehyung, “Don’t forget Meowth.”

“Ready to protect the world from devastation?” Taehyung asks before they leave Hoseok’s bedroom. “To unite all peoples within our nation?”

Hoseok laughs, nodding his head, “Team Rocket is always ready. I’m insulted you’d even ask that.”

“Let’s blast off at the speed of light, then, yeah?”

*

The Halloween dance at their school is already underway, and about an hour into it Jimin sees something over Yoongi’s shoulder that makes his entire body freeze. “Oh, no…”

Yoongi snaps his fingers in front of Jimin’s face, focusing his attention on him, “What’s up?”

“This is embarrassing, this is so embarrassing, this is so, so embarrassing!” Jimin points at where his dad is bopping along to the music across the gymnasium near the exit, his mom nowhere to be found, but Jimin’s not fooled; if his dad’s here then his mom’s gotta be close by.

Yoongi laughs when he finally sees what’s making his boyfriend freak out, “Why’s your dad dressed as a piece of bacon?”

That’s your response to seeing my parents here?”

Yoongi quickly nods his head, laughing even harder a second later when he spots Jimin’s mom dressed as a fried egg. “This is too funny!”
 
“No.” Jimin firmly tells him. “This is not funny. This is a disaster.”

“Oh, my god.” Taehyung stops dead in his tracks, two cups of punch outstretched towards his brother and Yoongi. “Please tell me I’m not seeing what I think I’m seeing.”

“Are those your parents?” Hoseok asks as he comes up to the rest of the group. “You didn’t tell me they were chaperoning the dance.”

“I didn’t know!” Taehyung cries out, placing his head in his hands. “Why are they here?!”

“Chaperoning, obviously.” Yoongi gets out between laughs.

“But why?” Jimin whines, holding in the urge to stomp his foot in a childish display of displeasure. He gapes when his mom starts moving along to the song that’s playing and- dear god, no! “He’s dancing, Tae! We’ve gotta stop him!”

Taehyung readily agrees, eyes widening even further when his dad starts dancing in earnest, too. “Why would they think it’s okay to be here?!”

Hoseok coos at the sight of the two adults dancing together, “They’re so cute together!”

“I think you mean embarrassing.” Jimin corrects him, grimacing when his dad starts doing his version of krumping. “This is definitely embarrassing.”

“Nah, man, they’re cute.” Hoseok maintains, grinning widely. “Look at them! They’re dressed as bacon and eggs! How can that not be the cutest costume ever?”

Taehyung grabs onto Jimin’s arm and drags him through the crowd to stand in front of their parents. “What a coincidence, seeing you two here.”

“Yeah, I didn’t know you were students here.” Jimin adds.

“The school called us earlier today and asked if we could chaperone the dance,” Jin explains. “We figured you two wouldn’t mind-”

Wouldn’t mind?” Taehyung repeats incredulously. “How would you feel if your mom and dad were at your high school dance?”

Namjoon shrugs, “I like to think I’d be okay with it.”

“Doubtful.” Jimin mutters. “Can you please, please leave?”

“Not until the end of the dance, Jiminie. You’ll just have to suck it up and pretend we’re not here.”

“For the record,” Taehyung says, “I am not okay with this.”

“Duly noted.” Namjoon nods. “While you’re both here, though, what do you think of our costumes?”

Jimin rolls his eyes and walks away while Taehyung grudgingly tells his parents, “Hoseok thought you guys were really cute.”

“See, Namjoon, I told you we looked adorable!”

“I didn’t say people wouldn’t think we were adorable,” Namjoon quietly points out, “I just said I didn’t want to be the piece of bacon.”

“You know the rules of Rock, Paper, Scissors.” Jin says with an unapologetic shrug. “You lost fair and square.”

*

The rest of the dance goes off without a hitch… mostly.

There’s a point during the dance where some girl (foolishly) challenges Hoseok to a dance-off and then runs off crying when he ‘beats her ass’- Taehyung’s exact words; Namjoon and Jin try to reign in their desire to dance, but, honestly, they’re both dance machines and it’s hard to ignore the call of the music, much to Jimin and Taehyung’s mortification; and Jimin ends up spilling punch all over Yoongi’s monster costume, which prompts Namjoon to offer his own as a substitute, so instead of Jimin dressed as a giant cookie and Yoongi being a monster, aka Cookie Monster- they’re now… Bacon and a Cookie.

Which, yeah- not really the couple costume they were going for.

By the end of night Taehyung’s lost his Meowth plushie somewhere in the gym; Yoongi is so ready for bed; Jimin just wants to be able to manoeuvre around without bumping into things because walking around as a giant cookie is really fucking inconvenient; and Hoseok is just happy that he’ll be able to change into pants soon.

Namjoon offers to drive everyone home, making a quick stop to pick Jungkook up from his babysitter’s house. When he opens the backseat and buckles his son into his carseat, it’s to the sounds of everyone cooing over Jungkook’s Halloween costume.

“He’s so cute!”

“That’s the most precious thing I’ve ever seen!” Yoongi lightly pinches Jungkook’s cheek. “Is it crazy that I want Kookie to dress like this every day?”

Jin laughs from the front of the car, shifting in his seat to stare at Jungkook. “I’m not sure if he’d like that, but he does make an adorable piece of sushi, right?”

Jimin nods along before frowning as looks around the car, “Oh, god, we look like a buffet. This is awkward- why are we all dressed as food? It looks like we planned this!”

“I think we look cute.” Jin says with a grin. “Maybe next year we can actually plan a theme with all our costumes.”

“Oh, yeah,” Jimin scoffs, “that’s totally gonna happen.”

Yoongi shrugs a shoulder, “I’d be down with it.”

Jimin gapes at his boyfriend, turning his attention to Hoseok when the older boy agrees with it, too. “You’re all crazy!”

“As long as it’s not lame, sure.” Taehyung states. “Come on, ChimChim, you don’t wanna be the odd one out next year, do you?”

Jimin sighs exaggeratedly, “Fine. But no more food costumes!”

*

It’s the day after the dance (officially Halloween, as Taehyung keeps loudly reminding everyone within earshot) and Hoseok is wishing that he’d stayed in bed instead of agreeing to hang out with Tae, Jimin, and Yoongi.

Because Hoseok has his moments where he’s an idiot, but this?

This takes the fucking cake.

He doesn’t even know why he lied to Taehyung in the first place- okay, fine, he knows why he lied; but it was only because he didn’t want Taehyung to think he was a giant loser. So, yeah, whatever, he told Taehyung he wasn’t scared of anything, and that of course he’d go with him to the Halloween fair in-town. And, why yes, he’d be more than delighted to accompany the younger boy into the haunted house because that sounded like fun.

Hoseok isn’t really sure what the endgame for this plan was. In all honesty, the best case scenario was… what? Impress Taehyung? He should’ve just been upfront with his boyfriend about his fears of… well- of everything.

But whatever. It’s too late now; they’re waiting in line to get inside the haunted house and Hoseok just wants to run away and confess his fears to Taehyung, but he’s dug himself in too deep with his lies at this point, so…

Here goes nothing.

Hopefully he can control his fears for twenty minutes and keep his pride intact.

*

All Taehyung can hear is Hoseok screaming- literally, that’s all he hears. Because Hoseok’s mouth is right next to his ear and his mouth’s been open this entire time in a scream (sometimes silent- most of the time not).

And, truthfully, if he had known that Hoseok would turn into a little girl the second they got into the haunted house… he would’ve taken his phone out and started filming way sooner.

His boyfriend is such a liar, Taehyung thinks with a smirk. All his talk of being so manly and ‘I’m not scared of anything, Tae!’ is such bullshit that Taehyung can’t help but laugh at Hoseok’s mini freak-outs every time something scares him (which is, like, every thirty seconds).

“Tae, I don’t like this!”

Taehyung loudly laughs at the sound of Hoseok’s whimpers, clutching at his stomach as Hoseok takes baby-steps forwards, his face pulled into a wide grimace.

To be fair, though, Taehyung muses to himself as he looks behind them, Jimin isn’t doing much better with the way he’s clutching at Yoongi’s arm for dear life, wide eyes scanning the environment for any kind of threat.

“Ah! No!

Taehyung almost doubles over in laughter when he sees Hoseok on the ground, hand over his heart as he stares at the skeleton that’s now dangling from the ceiling.

“It came out of nowhere!”

Taehyung helps Hoseok up, still giggling, and lets his boyfriend latch onto his arm, his nails digging into the skin just a bit too much for Taehyung’s comfort. “Think you can make it the rest of the way through?”

Hoseok doesn’t answer him, opting to shuffle forward with his eyes clenched shut, trusting Taehyung to guide him out of the haunted house.

*

“I can’t believe you made me come in here!” Jimin hisses through clenched teeth. “I hate you!”

Yoongi pulls Jimin closer with a smirk, wrapping an arm around the younger boy’s waist. He can’t see Hoseok or Taehyung anymore- not since a paper cut-out of a werewolf popped out in front of them and Hoseok ran the fuck off, pulling Taehyung along with him. Though, every so often, Yoongi can still hear Hoseok’s screams, so he figures they’re not too far ahead of him and Jimin.

“Something’s gonna pop out, something’s gonna pop out, something’s gonna pop out…”

Yoongi rolls his eyes at Jimin’s whimpering. “Nothing’s gonna pop out-”

But, as luck would have it, right when Yoongi says that, someone dressed in a (poorly made) vampire costume jumps out at them, claiming ‘I vant to suck your blood! Blah!’ and Jimin… well… Jimin fucking bolts.

As in, out of the goddamn haunted house- leaving Yoongi to chase after him (bypassing Hoseok, who’s curled up on the ground, and Taehyung, who’s trying to bribe him into getting up with the promise of unlimited kisses and cuddles).

Once Yoongi makes it out of the attraction, he scans his immediate surroundings and spots Jimin hunched over and panting near the bumper cars. “You’re such a baby, you know that?”

Jimin straightens up and crosses his arms across his chest. “You know I don’t like jumpscares!”

“But they were so lame!” Yoongi argues, shaking his head in amusement. “How can you be scared of some random guy dressed as a vampire? The fucking vampires from Twilight were scarier than he was!”

“Shut up.” Jimin mumbles, clearly embarrassed. He turns away from Yoongi and stares at the people on the other rides. “Just so you know, we are not watching any scary movies tonight.”

Yoongi huffs, “Come on- that’s the best part of Halloween! We eat a ton of chocolate, binge watch shitty movies, and I make fun of you for getting scared. It’s a tradition!”

“It’s not a fun one.” Jimin grouses under his breath.

“It’ll be even more fun this year,” Yoongi continues, “Taehyung and Hoseok are gonna watch with us and we can make fun of him instead of you.”

“You mean along with me.”

*

“Remind me again why I’m not allowed in the kitchen-”

Jimin stares at his mom, “Because you weren’t invited.”

Jin looks taken aback for a moment, glancing at Namjoon, “Did you hear that? I’ve gotta be invited to go into my own kitchen.”

Namjoon smirks, “Obviously,”

“If we’re all hanging out and you or Dad are just around it’ll ruin everything.”

Everything.” Taehyung agrees. “Don’t be lame, Mom.”

“Yeah, Jin, don’t be lame.” Namjoon grins at his husband, dodging the smack Jin aims at his arm. “Don’t worry, Jiminie, we’ll stay in our room tonight-”

“Unless Kookie needs us.” Jin points out, holding up his hands to stop the beginning of their protests. “No negotiations.”

“Ugh, fine.” Taehyung pouts. “But try to keep your son under control, yeah?”

Namjoon barks out a laugh at Taehyung’s audacious comment and ruffles his son’s hair, “We’ll try and reign Kookie in, kiddo, but no promises.”

*

Hoseok is not happy.

And for a guy whose nickname is J-Hope that’s kind of a big deal.

Taehyung had promised him they were gonna spend Halloween watching Disney movies- which, obviously, Hoseok was down for. Disney’s awesome- it’s awesome, okay? And Taehyung had boasted having the collector’s edition of Mulan (the best Disney movie ever- Hoseok will fight anyone who says differently), so Hoseok was pumped for a G-rated Halloween devoid of any scary movies.

…until Yoongi arrived, that is.

Because once Yoongi comes over, arms laden with movies that Hoseok is sure will give him nightmares for the next eight months, Mulan gets turned off and Hoseok’s happy, carefree Halloween is turned into a Friday the 13th marathon.

…yay.

(Hoseok’s starting to think that maybe- just maybe, telling him they were gonna watch Disney movies was just a cruel trick to get him to agree to coming over.)

*

They’re three movies in; someone’s just gotten decapitated in a rather horrific way and Hoseok decides that no- Nope, nope, nope. He can’t do this anymore. His teeth are chattering, he’s so edge that every time someone even so much as breathes loudly he jumps about a foot into the air, and he just needs to calm down.

He gets up from his spot on the couch and wanders past where Yoongi and Jimin (who’s watching the movie through slits in his fingers) are sprawled out on the floor and into the kitchen to grab a glass of water.

It’s when he’s halfway through gulping down his drink when he hears it- a distinct thwack against the window in the kitchen that makes him shout in surprise and clutch his drink to his chest, breathing heavily.

Hoseok hesitantly (very hesitantly) inches himself forwards, then decides fuck it. He doesn’t care what made that sound. For real, he doesn’t care; nothing good ever comes from investigating weird sounds on Halloween- in fact, it usually ends with someone getting brutally murdered. So, yeah, no thank you.

Hoseok enters the living room again and stops dead in his tracks at the sight that greets him: everyone’s gone.

The movie’s paused, Taehyung’s bowl of popcorn is on the coffee table, and Jimin’s can of soda is still unopened on the floor. But, uh, yeah… nobody’s here.

Hoseok isn’t stupid. He’s not fooled into thinking that everyone just coincidentally decided that now was the perfect time for a bathroom break.

They’re trying to freak him out.

…and, fine, it’s working a little bit because there’s another fucking thwack against the window and Hoseok swears he hears a door creaking, and the house is pitch black (the only light in the living room is coming from the TV, and seeing Jason Voorhees is not a comforting sight).

“You guys are lame, you know that, right?” Hoseok calls out, refusing to be scared. He sits back on the couch and patiently waits for his friends to come back.

Because he is not gonna go looking for them.

He’s not.

…okay, fine, maybe he is.

Because being alone in a dark house is so much worse than being scared by his friends jumping out of a closet to scare him (or whatever stupid thing they have cooked up).

*

So, uh, Jimin is not in on the plan of everyone hiding from Hoseok.

He’s legitimately in the bathroom when someone bangs on the door, startling the hell out of him. “Oh, my god! Go away!”

Another knock, this time even louder.

“I’ll be out in a minute!” Jimin shouts, annoyed, and then goddamn petrified when a piece of paper is slipped underneath the door with what looks like a bloody handprint on it.

All thoughts of actually going to the bathroom fly out of his head and he hastily pulls his sweatpants back on, bending down to pick up the paper. He flings the door open and expects to see Yoongi standing there- excited to see if his dumb prank got Jimin scared or not (for the record, it only scared him a little).

But nobody’s there.

Great.

*

…going outside may’ve been a mistake.

Because it’s fucking freezing and Hoseok is wearing a tank-top and shorts and the only reason he even went outside was because he thought the thwacking on the window was Taehyung, or even Yoongi and Jimin, messing with him.

Now that Hoseok’s actually outside, the flashlight on his phone barely illuminating anything in the Kim’s backyard, he doesn’t see Taehyung or Yoongi or Jimin. Which, uh, now that he knows he’s alone out here, it’s ten times creepier.

Thwack!

Hoseok spins around so fast that he loses his balance, falling face first onto the grass. He shakily lifts his head and stares at where he thinks the noise came from- the goddamn kitchen window.

Realistically, Taehyung’s probably hiding in the shadows and occasionally hitting the window with a stick or something. But that’s of little comfort to him at the moment because the noise happens again, and it kinda sounds like it’s getting closer- and that is not okay with Hoseok! Not one fucking bit!

*

Jimin leaves the (relative) safety of the bathroom and heads back into the living room, frowning when he sees that nobody’s there.

Seriously, it’s been, like, ten minutes since he’d said he was going to the bathroom- where’d everyone go?

Jimin huffs and begins searching the house for everyone, checking all the bedrooms, bathrooms, the basement, and even his dad’s studio, but there’s no sign of anyone.

What? Did they all just disappear? Should he go check all the closets and make sure they didn’t fuck off to Narnia?

Jimin’s not so much scared as he is annoyed-

Okay, never mind; because a door just slammed shut and Jimin’s pretty sure it was his bedroom door, and, well, he was just in his room- there was nothing in there!

…unless there was and he just didn’t see it.

But he’s pretty sure he would’ve noticed Yoongi, Tae, or Hoseok in there. Which only leaves one logical explanation: his house is haunted by ghosts.

And Jimin is so not prepared to deal with ghosts!

*

Hoseok just might have a heart attack because with each step closer he takes to the mysterious noise in the backyard his heart beats faster and faster, his palms grow even sweatier, and he’s pretty sure his entire body is shaking.

“Tae, I swear, if that’s you…” Hoseok calls out, taking another step. “I’m gonna- I don’t even know what I’ll do! But it’ll be bad!”

“Hoseok?”

Hoseok will deny it later but he shrieks at the sound of Taehyung’s voice behind him. He turns and launches himself at the other boy, hugging him tightly.

“Need air!” Taehyung gets out through a strained voice, trying to push Hoseok away and sighing in relief when the other boy lets him go. “Why are you outside?”

“Not important.” Hoseok quickly says. “Where were you?

“Not outside like a crazy person.” Taehyung answers with a frown. “Seriously, why are you out here? We’ve been waiting forever for you to come back so we can start the movie again.”

“I was inside! You were gone!”

Taehyung rolls his eyes, “I was in my room showing Yoongi my trophy from the science fair and Jimin was in the bathroom, you spaz. Did you seriously think we were hiding from you or something?”

“I thought you were messing with me, yeah,” Hoseok quietly admits, nodding his head. “I kept hearing this weird sound outside, and I thought it was you-”

Taehyung laughs, “You thought I was, what? Just hanging out in my backyard- in the dark, waiting for you to come out here so I could scare you?”

“When you put it that way…” Hoseok shrugs, smiling sheepishly. “But I did keep hearing a banging noise against the window-”

“Oh, yeah, that,” Taehyung waves his concerns off, “it’s just a branch that hits the window in the kitchen when it gets windy.” He shakes his head in amusement at his boyfriend, “I can’t believe you thought I would be that much of a dick to hide out here and scare you.”

Hoseok chuckles nervously, “Sorry- I guess I was just on edge from the movies and- Ah! No! Fuck! No, no, no, no!” Hoseok falls backwards as he scurries away on his hands and knees (only cowering slightly) from the fucking figure in black that just jumped out at him from behind a tree- and who does that?!

Taehyung high fives the mysterious figure and Hoseok feels so stupid because he was so focused on Taehyung scaring him that he forgot all about Min fucking Yoongi- who’s just staring at him, like he’s disappointed that Hoseok was that easy to scare.

Fuck you, Yoongi.

“For the record,” Taehyung says in-between laughs, helping his boyfriend up, “I’m not that much of a dick, but Yoongi is.”

*

“Where’s Jimin?”

Taehyung shrugs at Yoongi’s question, flopping down onto the couch with Hoseok, apologizing all the while. Hoseok looks like he’s distrustful of anything Taehyung says at this point and Yoongi would be more concerned about Hoseok’s mental state except his own boyfriend is missing at the moment.

And, really, who knows what kind of trouble Jimin’s gotten himself into?

“I’ll be back.” Yoongi mutters, making his way to the bathroom down the hall and bringing his fist up to knock against the door. “Jimin? Baby? You still in there?”

He gets no response and sighs, going to check his boyfriend’s room, frowning when that’s empty, too. It’s pure coincidence that he hears a faint noise coming from the…linen closet of all places when he passes it. He tries the door and rolls his eyes when it doesn’t budge, like something’s blocking it from the inside. “Jimin, you in there?”

“…no.”

Yoongi smiles at the sound of his voice. “What, uh… What’re you doing in there?”

“Hiding.”

“Right, yeah, sure.” Yoongi says like that’s the most logical explanation. “But why?

“There’s a ghost!”

Yoongi resists the urge (though it’s really fucking strong) to laugh. “A ghost?”

“It knocked on the door when I was going to the bathroom!”

“How about that,” Yoongi says as he leans against the wall. “Are you sure it was ghost?”

 “It slammed my bedroom door closed, Yoongi! And there was a handprint-”

“Aw, Jimin, sweetie,” Yoongi grins, pressing his forehead against the door, “that was me and Tae- we were just trying to scare you.”

“……really?”

“Really.” Yoongi confirms, smiling when the door opens and Jimin peeks his head out, staring at him with wide eyes. “You okay?”

“You suck.” Jimin tells him as he refuses Yoongi’s offered hand when he exits the closet, grudgingly following him back to the living room. He narrows his eyes at Taehyung who’s lounging on the couch next to Hoseok, “You’re a horrible human being.”

“If he is human,” Yoongi says with a smirk. “Jury’s still out on that.”

Taehyung narrows his eyes at Yoongi, “Just for that comment, we’re watching Disney movies for the rest of the night.”

Hoseok lifts his head, a hopeful expression on his face, “R-Really?”

Yoongi scowls, “Oh, come on-”

“You get no say in this.” Jimin tells his boyfriend with a pointed stare as he moves to sit away from Yoongi and beside Hoseok. “You lost all movie-choosing privileges when you decided to scare me!”

Yoongi proceeds to sulk throughout the first half of The Little Mermaid, his mood only brightening considerately when Jimin sidles up to him once more and links their fingers together, whispering, “Don’t say a word, because I’m still mad at you, but I want cuddles, so…”

Yoongi doesn’t say anything, just smiles and pulls Jimin closer, wrapping an arm around his shoulders. And suddenly listening to musical numbers about mermaids and true love isn’t so bad with Jimin in his arms.

Go figure.

 

Chapter Text

Jin’s puttering around the kitchen, trying to simultaneously fry eggs while keeping a close eye on Jungkook, who’s been sick for the past two days and is cranky and fussy, and Jin would just be eternally grateful if Jungkook’s fever went down a few degrees so his son could at least get a decent night’s sleep.

Unfortunately instead of Jungkook’s fever stabilizing into a healthy temperature, Jin’s greeted by the sight of Taehyung shuffling into the kitchen, his quilt wrapped around his shoulders, nose red, eyes puffy, and breathing ragged.

“Mom, I think I’m sick.”

Jin smiles sadly at his son and gestures for him to take a seat at the table. His voice sounds even worse than Jungkook’s and he’s shivering like he’s cold, but when Jin presses the back of his hand to his forehead, he’s burning up.

“I’ll call the school and tell them you’re not coming in today.”

*

Taehyung absently listens as his mom calls the school, looking up from the drawing Jungkook’s working on at the kitchen table when Jimin walks in. “Morning,”

Jimin looks at him, then jumps back, making a cross with his index fingers and warding him off like he’s some kind of vampire. He starts holding his breath as he slowly backs up, only breathing again when there’s a good ten feet between them. “I don’t wanna get sick.”

“And what? I did?” Taehyung asks, coughing loudly when his throat constricts around the words. “Get me some orange juice.”

Jimin shakes his head, “I’m not going near you.”

“You’re such a bad brother!” Taehyung wheezes out. “I’d take care of you if you were sick!”

Jimin sighs in frustration, “Stupid guilt trip,” he grumbles to himself as he quickly darts back into the kitchen and thrusts the entire carton of juice at Taehyung. “There, I took care of you.”

Taehyung pouts at the carton, “No cup?”

“Just drink out of the carton-”

“Oh, for the love of- don’t do that.” Jin tells his son once he’s off the phone, grabbing a cup from the dishwasher and filling it for Taehyung. He’s about to put the juice away when he thinks better of it and grabs Jungkook’s sippy cup and fills it up, too, handing it to his youngest. “You want breakfast? I made eggs.”

Jimin shakes his head, “They’re contaminated.”

Contaminated?” Jin asks as he stares at the eggs in the pan. “And just how did you come to that conclusion, Jimin?”

Jimin gestures around them, “Uh, because it’s like a quarantine zone in here and there’s no way those eggs haven’t been tainted with sick germs.”

“More for me.” Taehyung says with a shrug, blowing his nose on the edge of his quilt, much to Jin’s dismay. “Can I have ice cream, too? My throat hurts so much, Mom.”

“He’s totally milking this already.” Jimin whispers to his mom. “Ignore him.”

Jin chuckles and sends Jimin on his way with a granola bar. “Hurry or you’ll miss the bus.”

Jimin pulls a face at the mention of the bus and Jin sympathizes with him, but really, it’s not like he can leave Jungkook and Taehyung alone while they’re sick just to drive Jimin to school.  “If you don’t want to take the bus why don’t you ask Yoongi to pick you up?”

Jimin looks up from his phone and grins, “Already done. He’ll be here in ten. I’m gonna wait outside for him so I don’t get diseased.”

“I’m not diseased!” Taehyung shouts after his brother with a glare. “You’re diseased!”

“Yeah!” Jungkook calls out, smiling at Taehyung. “Wanna draw?”

Taehyung grabs a green crayon and starts coloring in the sky in Jungkook’s picture while his mom continues making breakfast.

“TaeTae, the sky’s blue not green.”

Taehyung shakes his head, “Go crazy today, Kookie. Color anything the way you want to, not the way it’s supposed to look, okay?”

Jungkook looks positively shocked that he’s allowed to do such a thing and gleefully grabs a pink crayon, coloring in the sun with a large smile on his face. After he’s finished with the sun, Jungkook holds the picture up for his mom to see, grinning widely while proclaiming, “Mommy! I made the sun pink just for you!”

*

Jimin patiently waits outside for Yoongi to pick him up, shoving his hands in his pockets in an effort to keep them warm. He finally sees Yoongi’s car pull up in front of his house and runs to it, hopping inside and slamming the door shut, sighing when the vents in the car emit heat.

Jimin turns in his seat to greet his boyfriend, only to jerk away in surprise, mouth open in shock. “You-”

“Yep.” Yoongi says with a nod, pulling away from the curb and beginning the drive to school. “Did you eat anything? You want me to swing through drive-thru and get you a breakfast sandwich or something?”

“You- You-” Jimin tries to get the words out, but they just won’t come. He’s half tempted to cry at the sight of Yoongi’s pink hair that’s now gone, but then again… blond looks really, really good on him. “When did you dye your hair?! Why didn’t I know this was coming?!”

Yoongi shrugs, “I just kinda… did it. Spur of the moment, y’know? Do you hate it?”

Jimin rolls his eyes, “Uh, I love it, obviously, but the pink, Yoongi- I miss it.”

“Maybe we’ll bring it back one day.” Yoongi comforts him with a pat on his knee. “So breakfast? Yes or no?”

Jimin’s stomach growls and he grins, “Definitely yes.”

*

Taehyung’s lying on the couch, occasionally watching game shows on TV and occasionally napping, when his cell phone starts vibrating where it rests on his stomach. He jerks awake and blearily looks at the device, reaching for his glasses and slipping them on before unlocking his phone and reading his newest text:

From: MY HOPE
November 20, 12:34

Jimin said you were sick :( :(
Are you drinking enough fluids?
Did you sleep enough? Have you eaten lunch yet?
Should I drop out of school and dedicate my life to taking care of you?

From: Tae!!!
November 20, 12:35

JUST WOKE UP FROM MY NAP. DON’T FEEL LIKE EATING.

AND PLEASE DON’T DROP OUT OF SCHOOL.

From: MY HOPE
November 20, 12:35

Stop yelling at me!

From: Tae!!!
November 20, 12:36

I’M NOT YELLING

From: MY HOPE
November 20, 12:37

WHAT DOES THIS LOOK LIKE???????

From: Tae!!!
November 20, 12:37

…sorry :( :( :(

From: MY HOPE
November 20, 12:38

:D
Do you want me to bring you anything after school? Maybe a bubble tea to make you feel better?

Taehyung sends a text back as quickly as his fingers will type in the affirmative because of course he wants bubble tea. He always wants bubble tea.

And hot chocolate. And candy. And lollipops.

*

“We’re still on for the movies tonight, right? Because I’ve been craving popcorn for, like, a week now and I thought we could bring some candy back for Kookie and Tae since they’re sick.” Jimin rambles on as he leans against the locker beside Yoongi’s own. He shoulders his backpack more securely and stares at his boyfriend when he doesn’t reply, “Yoongi?”

“Oh, uh, yeah, what?”

Jimin smiles at him and playfully shoves his shoulder, “Our date tonight. We’re still going, right? I know you said you might have to work on your history report but-”

Yoongi shuts his locker and absently nods his head, avoiding looking at Jimin as he leads them out of the school. “Yeah, I should, uh- I should work on that tonight.”

Jimin pouts, “It’s Friday, though. You can work on it on the weekend, can’t you?”

Yoongi shakes his head and exits the school, wrapping his scarf around his neck. “Nah, I can’t. I really need to get it done.”

“But-”

“Drop it, Jimin!” Yoongi sharply tells him and Jimin’s steps falter; Yoongi’s never snapped at him before. Like, never ever. It’s… weird and slightly unsettling because that’s not the kind of relationship they have- they don’t get mad at each other enough to snap like that. They don’t really get mad at each other at all. Disagreements here and there, sure, but actual fights? Never.

“Sorry,” Jimin quietly apologizes. “I guess we’ll just hang out later, then.”

Yoongi stops before they reach his car and scuffs his boot against the sidewalk, “You need a ride home?”

Jimin frowns at Yoongi’s body language- completely closed off to him like he doesn’t want anything to do with him and Jimin finds himself wanting to be anywhere other than an enclosed space with his boyfriend at the moment. “Nah, I’ve got dance practice today.”

“Okay, cool.” Yoongi says, half-heartedly waving goodbye over his shoulder as he gets in his car and drives away, leaving Jimin to stand on the sidewalk fucking stunned.

Because not only did Yoongi just completely blow him off and get mad at him, but he believed Jimin when he told him he had dance practice; and Jimin knows Yoongi knows which days he has practice and which he doesn’t. And Friday? That’s the day he and Yoongi hang out- always; no exceptions.

Something weird is going on, Jimin’s sure of it.

*

Taehyung wakes up to the feeling of someone carding their fingers through his hair and he sighs in contentment, leaning into the touch like some kind of pleased cat.

“Feeling better, kiddo?”

Taehyung looks up at where his dad’s perched on the end of the couch, smiling down at him. “I don’t feel as cold anymore.”

Namjoon grins, “Good; I’m sure your mom’ll be happy to hear that. Do you feel up to eating some dinner?”

Taehyung sits up and rubs at his eyes, frowning in bewilderment, “It’s time for dinner already?”

“Uh huh.” Namjoon stands and brushes a piece of lint off his sweater, pushing Taehyung back down when he tries to get up as well. “Stay put, I’ll bring dinner to you, okay?”

Taehyung watches his dad disappear into the kitchen and sits up on the couch, head tilting in confusion when he spots a bubble tea on the coffee table, dripping condensation onto the flat surface and looking generally delicious. “Dad? Did Hoseok drop that bubble tea off for me?” he calls out, hastily reaching forwards and grabbing the cup, bringing the straw to his lips and grimacing when the taste of lychee hits his tongue.

“This kid, I swear… I leave my drink alone with you for two minutes and you drink it.”

Taehyung sharply looks to his right and beams at Hoseok as he brings in two bowls of soup, setting them down, along with some crackers and napkins. “Where’s my tea?” Taehyung immediately demands, making grabby hands at the cup when Hoseok lifts it from where it’s hiding behind a stack of DVDs. Taehyung recognizes it as his favorite flavor as soon as it enters his mouth and he moans in delight at the taste of chocolate. “Thanks, Hobi.”

Hoseok laughs when the younger boy gulps half of it down in one go and pushes his soup towards him. “Eat some dinner before it gets cold. Your mom told me to make sure you eat at least half a bowl.”

Taehyung obediently starts eating his food. “Did you just get here?”

Hoseok shakes his head as he crumbles some crackers into his own soup, “I’ve been here since after school.”

“Why didn’t you wake me?” Taehyung asks with a pout. “We could’ve spent more time together.”

“As if your mom would’ve let me wake you up.” Hoseok tells him, grinning. “It’s cool, though; I helped him make the soup.”

“You helped my mom. Make soup.” Taehyung slowly repeats, eyebrows furrowed together. “Why?

Hoseok shrugs, “I was here and your mom had his hands full with Jungkook so I told him I’d help out.” He glances at Taehyung and smiles, “Plus, you know, I wanted to help take care of my poor, sick boyfriend.”

Taehyung blushes and leans his head against the other boy’s shoulder. “Where’s Jimin at?”

“He’s been in his room since we got here.”

Taehyung narrows his eyes at the odd behavior. “What happened?”

“Nothing,” Hoseok says, shrugging helplessly when Taehyung continues staring intently at him. “Seriously, Tae, I gave him a ride home, we talked about school, and he went upstairs when we got here. That’s all.”

Taehyung abruptly stands and lets his quilt fall from his shoulders, beginning to shiver when his heat source is removed. He takes wobbly steps forwards- his legs not used to walking after having slept all damn day, and slowly makes his way upstairs. Ignoring Hoseok’s questions as he follows him to Jimin’s room, Taehyung knocks on the closed door. “ChimChim?”

“I’m busy!”

Taehyung rolls his eyes and knocks again, “No you’re not. Open the door or I’m gonna puke all over it.”

“…go away, Tae. I’m not in the mood.”

Taehyung exchanges a questioning glance with Hoseok and reluctantly trudges back downstairs when it looks like his brother isn’t going to open the door anytime soon. He sits on the couch and drags Hoseok down with him. “Something’s up.”

“You think?”

Taehyung tiredly nods, “Absolutely.”

“How do you know?”

“Brother’s intuition.” Taehyung says with a yawn and Hoseok would laugh at that if his boyfriend didn’t look 100% serious like that’s a real thing.

*

Jimin’s not freaking out.

He’s not, okay? Because it’d be stupid to freak out and obsess over the fact that it’s Saturday afternoon and Yoongi still hasn’t answered any of his texts that he sent yesterday.

Whatever.

It doesn’t matter.

Jimin’s not desperate or anything for his boyfriend to acknowledge him- Okay, fine, yes he is.

Why hasn’t Yoongi answered his texts? Why is he ignoring him? Why does Jimin feel like they’re fighting- only he has no clue what they could even be fighting about.

Maybe Yoongi’s just sleeping? It’s not unheard of for his boyfriend to sleep for absurdly long periods of time, but Jimin gets the distinct feeling that this isn’t one of those times. In fact, Jimin’s getting the feeling, deep down in the pit of his stomach, that Yoongi’s avoiding talking to him.

“Why are you glaring at your wall?”

Jimin looks to where Taehyung is entering his bedroom, gently shutting the door behind him and sitting on the floor, his back leaning against it. “Shouldn’t you be asleep?” Jimin counters.

Taehyung glares at him, “I’m not Kookie, thanks. Just because I’m sick doesn’t mean I can’t decide when I want to sleep and when I don’t.”

“Touchy, touchy.” Jimin holds his hands up in surrender. “Sorry.”

Taehyung shakes his head, “No, I’m sorry. I’m just a little cranky from being sick.” He spreads his legs out in front of himself, staring at Jimin, “You wanna tell me what’s up yet? You were being weird yesterday.”

“I think Yoongi’s avoiding me.” Jimin quietly tells his brother, and hearing the words out loud makes it even worse- it makes it sound real.

“That’s crazy.”

Jimin fiddles with his phone, not actually doing anything on it, just trying to keep his fingers busy enough that they won’t betray him and send another needy text to Yoongi. “He hasn’t answered my texts.”

“And?” Taehyung asks with a confused expression. “So what?”

“He always answers my texts, Tae.” Jimin explains. “How would you feel if Hoseok didn’t answer yours?”

Taehyung shrugs, seemingly unperturbed by the idea. “I’d just think he’s busy, I guess. It’s not like our relationship is dependent on him answering my texts. Is yours?

Jimin rolls his eyes, “Of course not-”

“Then what are you worried about?” Taehyung grins.

Jimin… doesn’t know. Was he stupid for thinking that Yoongi was purposefully avoiding him? Is he so insecure in their relationship that if they don’t communicate with texts every few hours that something must be wrong?

No. Absolutely not.

Jimin’s just being needy. Because there’s no way that Yoongi is ignoring him.

There’s just no way.

*

It’s Sunday and Jimin has exactly zero texts from Yoongi.

He’s trying not to worry. He’s trying not to read too much into this.

And he’s trying to keep his mind preoccupied with other things, like helping his mom around the house and keeping his dad company in his studio for a few hours, but, really, all that does is eat away at half the day and the other half is spent with him keeping his phone practically glued to his hand, checking it every ten minutes to see if Yoongi’s messaged him back yet.

A simple fucking hello and to know that Yoongi’s actually alive is all he wants at this point.

*

By the time Jimin’s lying in bed, trying to fall asleep, Yoongi still hasn’t texted him and Jimin honestly just wants to see his boyfriend again to make sure that everything’s okay.

*

Everything’s not okay.

Because, yeah, sure, Yoongi’s physically fine, but he’s still acting oddly distracted and distant. “You wanna see that movie tonight?”

Yoongi looks up from his lunch, “What movie?”

“The movie we were supposed to see on Friday.” Jimin slowly explains. “Remember? You blew me off to work on your homework.”

Yoongi rolls his eyes, “I didn’t blow you off-”

Jimin scoffs, though he grins a moment later, “Yeah, you did.”

“Whatever.” Yoongi mumbles into his sandwich. “We can go tonight. You want me to pick you up?”

Jimin stares at his boyfriend in exasperation, “Uh, yeah. You know, like good boyfriends usually do.”

“Fine, I’ll pick you up at seven.”

*

From: Sunshine
November 23, 19:07

running late? :P hurry up or we’ll miss the movie!

From: Sunshine
November 23, 19:10

suga did u forget about our date??? hahaha

From: Sunshine
November 23, 19:18

yoongi???? seriously did u forget?

From: Sunshine
November 23, 19:25

the movie starts in 5 minutes………

From: Sunshine
November 23, 19:26

did ur car break down again? o_O

From: Sunshine
November 23, 19:30

…i guess we’re missing the movie :(

From: Sunshine
November 23, 19:42

u suck

*

“Hoseok, sweetheart, you need to go home.”

Hoseok looks up at Taehyung’s mom, “But-”

“Tae’ll be fine without you here. I am a doctor, you know. I know how to look after sick people quite well.”

Hoseok reluctantly nods his head and stands from where he’s sitting on the couch. He squeezes Taehyung’s hand once before being ushered to the front door. It’s already dark out and Hoseok’s own mom is probably worried about where he is, but when Hoseok looks back at where Taehyung’s sleeping fitfully on the couch, he pouts and stares at the man in front of him, “Maybe just a few more minutes?”

“Hoseok, you need to go home. I don’t want you catching Tae’s bug, okay?”

“I never get sick.” Hoseok tells him with absolute conviction. “I’m very healthy.”

“Even so,” the man says, “let’s not test that theory, alright?”

“Okay,” Hoseok says, defeated. “But- Just- There’s a wet facecloth on the table that I’ve been using to keep his fever down, and if you play with his hair he falls asleep a lot faster, and he’ll tell you he wants ice cream, but he won’t actually eat it because he’s too cold…” Hoseok stops talking when he sees the amused look on Taehyung’s mom’s face and he ducks his head in embarrassment, “And you probably know all this, huh?”

The man nods and smiles at him, “Yeah, but I think it’s very sweet of you that you’re taking such good care of my son.”

“Do you think he’ll be able to go to school tomorrow?”

“Maybe the next day.”

Hoseok sighs and finally turns to leave, “Will you-” He glances back inside the house and watches Taehyung, asleep and breathing properly for the first time in four days. “Will you tell him I’ll come around after practice tomorrow?”

“I’m sure he’ll look forward to it. Goodnight, Hoseok.”

*

Jimin wakes up the next morning to five new texts from Yoongi- each one apologizing even more than the previous one for standing him up because he’s stupid and moronic and apparently has the memory of a goldfish because he did forget all about their date.

And, because Jimin is so in love with his idiot of a boyfriend, he forgives him (but only if Yoongi makes it up to him by taking him out to the movies tonight and literally buying him all the candy and popcorn he wants- no objections).

*

Taehyung’s finally over his cold, but his mom still makes him stay home on Tuesday (“You need to recover your strength and energy, Tae.” “But I wanna see Hoseok-” “I don’t want to get a call from the school saying you fainted in gym class because you overexerted yourself.” “…I could just skip gym today-” “Taehyung.” “Fine.”).

He spends his day watching movies with Jungkook- Or, well, movies isn’t entirely accurate because they watch one movie.

More specifically Frozen.

Because Jungkook is absolutely in love with Elsa and spends half the movie singing along with her and the other half staring at her with hearts in his eyes, declaring his love for her every few minutes and gushing about how pretty she is.

So, yeah, Taehyung watches Frozen three times in a row, and then dumps his younger brother off with his mom in the den because he will not watch that movie again. He won’t; he refuses. You can’t make him!

By the time Jimin comes home from school with Hoseok in tow, Taehyung practically jumps on the two and demands they get Let It Go out of his head because he is. Going. Insane.

Only, instead of them helping him get it out of his head, Hoseok begins belting the lyrics out loud, Jimin joining in a moment later, and Jungkook comes running into the room, bouncing along to their singing and then screaming out the chorus along with them.

“All of you are just the worst.” Taehyung says as he covers his ears, and then throws a pillow at Hoseok’s head, hoping to shut him up, but only succeeding in making him sing louder. “Seriously, the worst people ever.”

*

“Isn’t Yoongi supposed to be picking him up right about now?”

Taehyung looks out the living room window and sees Jimin pacing up and down the sidewalk in front of their house, checking his phone every few feet. “He’ll be here.” he tells Hoseok as they continue to watch Jimin.

*

From: Sunshine
November 24, 18:40

suga?

From: Sunshine
November 24, 18:44

helloooooooo???????????
why aren’t u answering ur phone?

From: Sunshine
November 24, 18:49

…please don’t do this to me again

From: Sunshine
November 24, 18:53

:(

From: Sunshine
November 24, 18:59

just…… let me know what’s going on. please.

*

It’s Wednesday morning and Taehyung is not happy.

Because Hoseok- Mr. I-Never-Get-Sick is, in fact, out sick.

So, really, his entire reason for coming to school (besides getting an education, as his parents keep reminding him) is gone. Which sucks.

And, to top it all off, Jimin is just generally being miserable and a wet blanket.

So, yeah, thanks for that, Yoongi.

*

Jimin sees Yoongi standing down the hall, talking to some of his friends, and he takes a deep breath, trying to get his emotions under control. Each step he takes closer to Yoongi, though, he gets angrier and more confused and upset, and by the time Jimin is standing behind Yoongi, he’s glaring and he forcefully taps his boyfriend on the shoulder to grab his attention.

When Yoongi spins around to face him he looks more tired than Jimin’s ever seen him before and he feels concerned, and for a second all he wants to do is wrap Yoongi in a hug and ask him what’s wrong- why are there bags under his eyes? But Jimin remembers that, oh fucking yeah, he’s really pissed at his boyfriend right now.

“Jimin-”

Jimin’s glare intensifies and he crosses his arms over his chest, “What’s your excuse this time?”

Yoongi looks at the ground and shrugs, “I- I just lost track of time, babe.”

“Doing what?” Jimin asks in irritation. “How could you forget about our date for a second time? That’s kind of a big deal, Yoongi.”

“Doing stuff,” Yoongi vaguely tells him, running a hand through his hair. “It’s not important-”

“It must’ve been if you chose it over me.” Jimin quietly says, dropping all hostility and staring at Yoongi in confusion. “I just- I don’t get what’s going on with you lately.”

“Nothing.”

“Nothing?” Jimin echoes incredulously. “We’ve barely talked all week, you keep blowing me off-”

“I’ve been busy, Jimin.” Yoongi interrupts him with a scowl. “What? I’m not allowed to have a life outside of you?

Jimin feels like he’s been doused in cold water and he involuntarily takes a step back. ”I…”

Yoongi sighs and scrubs a hand over his face, “Jimin, I’m- I’m sorry; I didn’t mean-”

“No, it’s… it’s okay.” Jimin slowly says, wrapping his arms around himself. “I just kinda feel like you’re, I don’t even know. Like you’re pulling away from me?”

“I’m not.”

“Then why’ve you been acting so weird lately?” Jimin questions, ignoring the bell for class when it goes off. “Why won’t you tell me what’s going on?”

Nothing is going on, Jimin. How many times do I have to tell you that?” Yoongi maintains with an aggravated sigh. “Everything’s fine.”

“Why do you keep lying to me?”

“Jimin-”

“You’re acting differently, you keep forgetting about our dates, you barely talk to me, you even changed your hair-”

“So, what? I can’t change my own fucking hair without asking you first?”

Jimin shakes his head, “You know I didn’t mean it like that, Yoongi. I just- I feel like you don’t… care about me like you used to. And I don’t know what changed.”

Yoongi stares at Jimin like he’s completely insane. “Nothing’s changed.”

“It has.” Jimin insists, looking away from Yoongi now. “Maybe you just haven’t realized it yet.”

“Jimin-”

Jimin bites at his lip and ignores the way his eyes are getting watery with unshed tears. “You’re not acting like the same guy I fell in love with.”

Yoongi swallows around the lump in his throat and goes to grab at Jimin’s hand, only to have his boyfriend pull away. “Jimin, Sunshine-”

“I’m sorry, Yoongi.” Jimin closes his eyes and takes a shaky breath, “But I can’t be with someone who doesn’t care about me as much as I care about them. I can’t be with someone who keeps secrets from me. I have to… go. I’m… I’m sorry.”

*

It’s Wednesday afternoon when Jimin breaks down in the boy’s bathroom, barely able to send a text to Taehyung asking him to ditch class and be with him, because right now? He just… doesn’t wanna be alone.

He doesn’t wanna accept the reality of what he just did…

Chapter Text

Taehyung takes his duties as a brother very seriously. Especially when it comes to being a brother to Jimin. And, yeah, he’s protective over Jungkook, too, but it’s not quite the same as it is with Jimin because they’ve been through everything together- the good and the bad, and they’ve always had each other’s backs.

Taehyung knows Jimin almost as well as he knows himself. He knows how his mind works- knows how prone to insecurities his brother is.

Because Jimin, Taehyung’s learned over the years, is constantly striving to be perfect in everyone’s eyes.

It’s… an unrealistic expectation to put on yourself.

So when Taehyung rushes to the boy’s bathroom after receiving Jimin’s text message, he immediately locks the door, sits down beside Jimin and doesn’t say anything- just grabs his brother in a tight hug and lets him cry on his shoulder for as long as he needs, yelling at anyone who dares to knock on the door and interrupt their time of crisis.

Because, come on; there are, like, twenty other bathrooms in the school- go piss in one of them; this one’s taken.

*

“Okay, so why’d you break up with him? What’d he do?” Taehyung asks as soon as they get home after school, dragging Jimin into his room and locking the door behind them. He sits on the bed and pulls Jimin down with him.

Jimin remains silent and Taehyung’s about to ask again when something wet splatters on the back of his hand, and he looks at Jimin’s face to see tears making their way down his brother’s cheeks. “ChimChim…” Taehyung trails off, squeezing Jimin in a hug and petting his hair in an attempt to soothe him. “Forget about him- he doesn’t deserve you.”

“Why- Why did things have to c-change, Tae?” Jimin stutters out through erratic breaths after explaining the entire situation to Taehyung, burrowing his head into his brother’s chest and desperately curling his fingers around Taehyung’s sweatshirt. “Why doesn’t he love me as much as I love him?”

Taehyung shrugs helplessly; he wishes he had all the answers that Jimin needs; he wishes he could reassure Jimin that Yoongi does love him as much as he used to, but… Taehyung doesn’t know if that’s true anymore.

*

From: Tae!!!
November 25, 15:39

NOT GONNA BE ABLE TO COME OVER TO YOUR HOUSE TONIGHT

From: MY HOPE
November 25, 15:42

Stay as far away from me as you can.
I’m probably contagious.
I don’t want you getting sick again, Tae.

From: MY HOPE
November 25, 15:43

…also remember what I said about capslock???

From: Tae!!!
November 25, 15:43

FYI JIMIN AND YOONGI BROKE UP :’(
SO IF YOU WANNA HANG OUT WITH YOONGI UR GONNA HAVE TO DO IT WHEN JIMIN AND I AREN’T AROUND
 
From: MY HOPE
November 25, 15:45

WHAT?!? WHAT HAPPENED?
TELL ME!!!!

From: Tae!!!
November 25, 15:48

YOONGI’S AN ASSHOLE! THAT’S WHAT HAPPENED!
HE DOESN’T DESERVE SOMEONE LIKE JIMIN!!!!!

From: MY HOPE
November 25, 15:49

Yoongi’s always an asshole.
What’d he even do?

From: MY HOPE
November 25, 15:50

Do you want me to try to kick the shit outta him?
Would that make you and Jimin feel better?
I might lose that fight, though… just so you know…
But I’ll do it if you want me to.
Seriously, say the word and I’ll go on a crusade to beat some sense into Yoongi’s ass.

From: Tae!!!
November 25, 15:51

YOU SHOULD JUST INVITE HIM OVER TO YOUR HOUSE AND COUGH ON HIM UNTIL HE GETS SICK!

From: MY HOPE
November 25, 15:52

You’re evil.
And cute.

*

Jimin stares at his phone, not really seeing it, but absently registering that it’s buzzing on the floor in front of him. He’s been sitting on the carpet in his room for- he looks at the clock on his bedside table and frowns when it tells him he’s been sitting here for four hours.

It’s already two in the morning and his phone hasn’t stopped vibrating since he left school that day. He grabs the device and unlocks it, swallowing around the lump in his throat as he ignores all of his texts from Yoongi and goes about blocking the other boy’s number from his phone. It’s… easier this way, he tries to tell himself as he drops his phone back onto the carpet, hugging his knees to his chest and letting himself cry just a little bit more.

Taehyung’s long since gone to bed, hesitant to leave him alone, but Jimin had assured him through hollow words that he was fine.

Jimin doesn’t even know what ‘fine’ means anymore… But he’s pretty sure he’s not the definition of it.

*

Taehyung spends the rest of the week at school glued to Jimin’s side. Seriously, he doesn’t leave his brother’s side for one second. He makes sure they avoid anywhere that Yoongi might be; glares at anyone who even tries to approach either of them; and he even (as nicely as possible) tells Hoseok to get lost because this is not the time to flaunt their relationship in front of Jimin.

Taehyung is Jimin’s shield against the world right now and he’ll be damned if anyone so much as looks at his brother the wrong way.

*

Taehyung can’t stand for this- nobody gets to make Jimin feel like shit; especially not his ex-boyfriend who’s an asshole for making Jimin doubt himself.

Jimin looks completely wrecked- he hasn’t showered in nearly a week, hasn’t slept more than a few hours each night, and Taehyung hasn’t seen him eat an actual meal since Wednesday morning. It’s… worrying, to say the least.

So when Taehyung drops Jimin off at his Chemistry class, heading to his own classroom all the way on the other side of the school and is ambushed by Yoongi coming up to him, looking (if possible) even worse than Jimin, Taehyung finds it in himself to not care. Seriously, he doesn’t give a damn about how shitty Yoongi looks because this is the guy who’s making his brother miserable.

“Look, I know you probably hate me right about now-”

Taehyung immediately nods his head, “You’re not wrong.”

“Taehyung- Please, just listen to me-”

“No.” Taehyung brushes Yoongi off and continues walking down the hallway to his next class. He shakes Yoongi’s hand off his shoulder when the older boy tries to stop him. “Stay the fuck away from me and Jimin.”

“Taehyung, I need your help-”

Taehyung spins around and narrows his eyes at Yoongi, “You need my help? Do you know who needs my help more? My brother- remember him? The guy whose heart you broke?”

“I didn’t-”

“Yeah, you did.” Taehyung bites out. “Fuck you.”

“It’s not-”

Taehyung holds his hands up and glares at the blond, “Save it- I don’t care. In case you don’t get it, I’m on Jimin’s side, not yours. Bros before hoes.” And with that, Taehyung stalks down the hallway, away from Yoongi, and takes a deep breath.

He doesn’t want to hate Yoongi; he’s spent the past year and a half becoming friends with him, but… Jimin comes first. He always will. It’s as simple as that.

So, yeah, Taehyung’s lost a friend- which means he has exactly one friend outside of Jimin left. And it sucks, but Taehyung can’t betray his brother by remaining friends with Yoongi.

He just… can’t.

*

“Jimin, sweetheart?” Jin gently says as he knocks on his son’s door. “Dinner’s ready, maybe you wanna come down and eat something?”

“I’m not hungry.”

Jin sighs heavily and hangs his head, heading back downstairs and absently grabbing a bib for Jungkook before he sits down at the table. He secures the piece of fabric around Jungkook’s neck and shakes his head at Namjoon’s expectant gaze. “He’s not hungry.”

“I can try bringing him something?” Taehyung offers, pushing his food around his plate. The mood around the table is solemn; even if Jimin hasn’t told their parents what’s happened yet, they clearly know something’s up. “Maybe just a small plate of food?”

“Thanks, Tae,” Jin smiles at his son, nodding his head. “Make sure he eats a few bites, okay?”

Taehyung gets up from the table and puts a plate together for Jimin, walking upstairs and entering his brother’s room without so much as knocking. He carefully balances the plate as he sits down on the floor next to Jimin. “You need to eat something.”

“Not hungry.” Jimin whispers with a shrug, eyes trained on his closet.

Taehyung follows his line of sight and immediately stands, shutting the doors. Jimin doesn’t need to be staring at Yoongi’s hoodies that are hanging in his closet. “Mom and Dad are worried about you.”

“I’m fine.”

Taehyung raises an eyebrow, “Well that’s clearly a lie.”

“I’m fine, Tae.”

Taehyung quietly asks with a frown, “Are you trying to convince me or yourself?”

Jimin huffs out a breath, his bangs lifting with the puff of air. “…I don’t know- maybe both?”

Taehyung grabs the chopsticks off the plate and lifts a piece of beef, holding it out in front of Jimin’s mouth. “Eat.”

Jimin dutifully takes the offered food into his mouth and chews it, pointedly staring at Taehyung. Swallowing, he asks, “Happy?”

Taehyung grins, holding out another piece. “I know you don’t like talking about what happened- and that’s cool, but maybe think about telling Mom and Dad what’s going on; they’re really worried and-”

“I’ll think about it, Tae.”

*

Time isn’t really something Jimin pays attention to anymore. It keeps moving forward without his consent- minutes turn into hours quicker than he ever remembered them having done before; Mondays blend into Thursdays; and throughout it all, Jimin remains in the same mindset- not caring about anything except the vicious thoughts circling in his own mind.

As much as he wants to blame Yoongi for everything that’s happened, Jimin can’t find it in himself to do that. It’d be so easy to hate Yoongi for ruining their relationship but Jimin can’t help feeling like there has to be something wrong with him- why else would Yoongi have become so distant and detached if it wasn’t because of him?

Jimin has no idea whether it was something specific he did that caused Yoongi to start pulling away from him or if it was just inevitable that eventually their relationship would crumble to pieces. Jimin tries to rationalize his thoughts- people break up every day; life goes on; the earth keeps spinning; and the world doesn’t end. Except, well, to Jimin it does feel like the world is ending because he doesn’t know what to do without Yoongi’s constant presence in his life.

Min Yoongi, the guy who would never pass up an opportunity to tell him how much he loved him. Yoongi, who always seemed to know when Jimin needed words of affection whispered to him; who could always make Jimin smile like nobody could; who wouldn’t hesitate to embarrass himself in public by doing aegyo just to make Jimin laugh.

Jimin’s used to not being good enough for other people but Yoongi had always assured him that he was perfect just the way he was.

…and Jimin had foolishly believed him.

*

“Jimin? Honey?”

Jimin looks up from where he’s been staring at old pictures of himself and Yoongi on his phone and sniffles, hastily wiping at his eyes with the back of his hand, “Yeah?”

“Can we come in?”

“I guess, yeah. Sure.” Jimin calls out, firmly staring at the ground when his parents enter his room, shutting the door behind themselves.

Namjoon takes a seat beside Jimin on the floor and stares at his son’s tear-streaked face, “Oh, Jimin,” He wraps his arms around Jimin and pulls his son closer to him, running his fingers through his hair, “Jiminie, what’s going on?”

Jimin wants to tell his dad that he’s fine- he wants to be strong and tell his parents that breaking up isn’t a big deal and that he’s already over it, but instead Jimin finds himself clinging to his dad and letting out a muffled sob against his shirt.

Jin looks at Namjoon in concern and parks himself on Jimin’s other side, rubbing Jimin’s back as he cries into his dad’s embrace. “My poor boy…”

“It’s my fault,” Jimin hiccups as he raises his head from his dad’s chest. “It’s all my fault.”

Namjoon’s taken aback by Jimin’s statement and opens his mouth, closing it a second later as he lets Jimin’s words echo in his mind. “What’s your fault, Jimin? What happened?”

“I broke up with him.” Jimin’s breath hitches as he tries to get the words out, “I broke up with Yoongi.”

“Did he try something with you?” Namjoon very nearly growls, hands balled into fists. “I swear, if he tried to pressure you into something-”

“Oh, my god! Dad!” Jimin gapes at his dad, shaking his head. “That’s not what happened- like at all!”

Namjoon holds his hands up in surrender at his son’s outburst, “I was just checking-”

“Really, Namjoon,” Jin says with an eyeroll. “Yoongi wouldn’t pressure Jimin into doing anything he wasn’t comfortable with; you know that-”

“Like hell he wouldn’t!” Namjoon bites out. “That little twerp obviously did something and I should beat his ass for making Jimin cry!”

“Please don’t beat him up,” Jimin mumbles, head in his hands. “This is why I didn’t wanna tell you; I knew you’d blame Yoongi.”

“Who else is there to blame?” Namjoon barely restrains himself from shouting. “If I see that boy anywhere near you again…”

“Namjoon, cool it.” Jin tells his husband with a firm glare. He squeezes Jimin’s hand, “Do you want to tell us what happened between you two?”

Jimin wordlessly shakes his head.

“Do you want us to leave, Jiminie? Do you need some time alone?”

A nod.

Jin stands and pulls Namjoon with him. Before they leave the room, Jin turns around and smiles sadly at his son, “It’ll get better, Jimin. Just… give it some time.”

*

“What should we do, Namjoon?” Jin asks as they get ready for bed. He slips into his pajamas and crawls into bed, “He looks so miserable- it breaks my heart to know he’s so upset.”

“We can kick Yoongi’s ass, for starters.” Namjoon mutters, though that earns him a smack from his husband. “What? You can’t tell me you don’t want to give that kid a piece of your mind!”

“I don’t think doing that will help Jimin,” Jin lightly points out. “And our number one priority right now is helping Jimin get through this. You remember what breaking up feels like, don’t you?”

Namjoon pointedly stares at Jin, “Yeah, thanks to you.”

Jin rolls his eyes, “Please don’t tell me you’re not over me breaking up with you all those years ago. You do realize we’re married now, right?”

“I’m over it,” Namjoon assures him, “I’m just saying I remember how horrible it was.”

“Jimin just needs some time to heal from this, I guess.”

“He needs to go kick Yoongi’s ass.”

Namjoon.”

Namjoon sighs, “Fine, he doesn’t need to do that.”

“Good-”

“Because I’ll do it for him.” Namjoon says under his breath. “Nobody makes my son cry and gets away with it.”

Jin chuckles at the look of solemnity in Namjoon’s eyes. “Please don’t beat up a high schooler, Namjoon. I’d like to keep this family out of the tabloids as much as possible, yeah?”

Namjoon doesn’t look happy about it, but he nods his head, acquiescing with his husband’s wishes.

“And I feel the need to point out that Jimin was the one who broke up with Yoongi- we don’t even know the full story.”

“We know enough,” Namjoon grouses, “That kid was trouble from the beginning- I never thought he was good enough for Jimin.”

“You don’t think anyone’s good enough for Jimin.”

“Because nobody is!”

“Jimin thought Yoongi was,” Jin quietly muses. “And now we have to respect that something’s changed and help Jimin get through his first real break up.”

Namjoon nods his head. “For the record, though,” he tells Jin, “Jimin isn’t allowed to date again unless I find a suitable boy for him- got it? Background checks will be issued, and there’ll be chaperoning on the first twenty dates to make sure he’s treating Jimin like he deserves.”

Jin rolls his eyes with a grin, “Of course, Namjoon. Whatever you say.”

*

Jungkook isn’t used to J’min being sad. J’min’s always smiling and playing with him, and Jungkook loves playing with J’min because his horsey rides are almost as good as Hoosuk’s and afterwards J’min gives him cookies when Mommy’s not looking because for some reason Mommy has a strict only two cookies a day policy in place for him.

But lately J’min doesn’t play with him anymore. J’min doesn’t leave his room as much and Jungkook misses seeing J’min’s smile and hearing him laugh. Even TaeTae doesn’t laugh as much anymore and he spends a lot more time in J’min’s room and Jungkook can’t help but wonder what they’re doing in there- he wants in, too! But J’min and TaeTae never let him in anymore, so Jungkook’s had to play with Daddy lately.

…and Daddy is not good at playing horsey and he’s not good at playing make-believe and Daddy doesn’t let him play hairdresser with him like Mommy and J’min do.

Daddy just isn’t good at playing at all and Jungkook’s frustrated because why can’t J’min and TaeTae play with him instead? Why don’t they watch movies with him anymore? Why doesn’t J’min eat dinner with them anymore?

Why, why, why, why, why?

Jungkook’s full of so many questions and absolutely no answers.

*

Jungkook runs full-speed to the front door when someone knocks on it. But he can’t reach the doorknob, so has to wait for TaeTae to come open it, which takes forever! TaeTae is so slow at walking and Jungkook doesn’t get why because his legs are so much longer than Jungkook’s!

Jungkook looks up in surprise when there’s another knock on the door and he smacks his hand against the door, shouting, “You gotta wait! TaeTae’s a slowpoke!”

TaeTae finally catches up to him and Jungkook watches in excitement when his brother opens the door. Jungkook looks up and smiles widely at Hoosuk, tugging on his pant leg, “Up!”

When Jungkook’s in Hoosuk’s arms, he looks around in confusion. He stares at J’min as he passes them and tilts his head to the side, calling out, “J’min, where’s Shhhooogah?”

Jungkook looks around when nobody answers him. Why isn’t anybody answering him? If Hoosuk’s here, why isn’t Shhhooogah? Jungkook doesn’t get it- Shhhooogah’s usually always at their house because he and J’min are always together, but lately Shhhooogah hasn’t been living at their house and Jungkook misses him.

“Shhhooogah?”

“Shh, Kookie,” TaeTae says and Jungkook doesn’t like the way TaeTae’s looking at him, like he’s in trouble. Why is he in trouble? He didn’t do anything wrong! TaeTae and J’min are both being mean and Hoosuk is ignoring him, too, and Jungkook just wants to play! Shhhooogah would play with him; he always plays with him!

“Where is he?” Jungkook demands, face pulled into a pout. He crosses his arms over his chest and huffs, “J’min? Why isn’t Shhhooogah here?”

Jungkook looks at J’min and TaeTae and Hoosuk and they look sad. Are they sad that Shhhooogah isn’t here? Why don’t they just go get him? Where is he- Jungkook will get him for them!

Jungkook squirms in Hoosuk’s arms to be let down; he needs to go find Shhhooogah because J’min hasn’t been as fun lately and he doesn’t smile as much, and Jungkook knows that if Shhhooogah were here J’min would smile because Shhhooogah makes his brother so happy- like how Mommy makes Daddy happy!

“Kookie, Suga isn’t gonna come around anymore.” TaeTae whispers in his ear and Jungkook pulls his head away, staring at TaeTae, “Why?”

It’s J’min who answers him, saying, “That’s not important, Kookie. Just forget about him.”

Jungkook scrunches his face up in confusion, shaking his head. He doesn’t wanna forget about Shhhooogah- Why does J’min want him to forget? Jungkook loves Shhhooogah! What’s going on?

Jungkook’s upset and he doesn’t understand what’s going on and he’s so confused.

*

Taehyung’s worried. Worried about Jimin’s mental health, worried about Jimin not sleeping, worried about Jimin not eating properly-

He’s just worried about Jimin period.

He’d figured that Jimin would take a few days to be upset about his break up (maybe a week at the most) and then slowly get back to normal. But Taehyung’s quickly learning that normal for Jimin is acting like a former shell of himself and retreating further and further into his own mind.

He doesn’t smile. He doesn’t laugh. He doesn’t do much of anything, to be perfectly honest.

Taehyung can’t even remember the last time they played a video game together- can’t remember the last time Jimin initiated a conversation with him, either. And if this is what having a broken heart does to you, then Taehyung never wants to experience this.

*

It’s been exactly nine days since Jimin broke up with Yoongi.

Nine days of sleeping on his floor because sleeping in his bed just reminds him that Yoongi isn’t there to cuddle him and demand lazy kisses from him- telling him how much he loves napping with him. Nine days of avoiding wearing anything Yoongi ever complimented him in. Nine days of staring at himself in the mirror and trying to figure out what turned Yoongi off of him so suddenly…

Jimin stares at his reflection in the bathroom mirror and grimaces. Because even if the lighting wasn’t as harsh as it is, he’d still look terrible. He’s not sure what Yoongi ever saw in him to begin with; the older boy could’ve done so much better… and he obviously realized it.

It’s selfish of him but Jimin wishes that Yoongi would’ve remained oblivious. He wishes that nothing had changed between them. He wishes that Yoongi was with him right now to tell him that he’s handsome and perfect just the way he is.

But it’s not like he could just ignore the way Yoongi was acting towards him. He couldn’t stay with someone who acted like it was a chore to be with him. He just... couldn’t.

Breaking up was…

It was for the best.

Jimin sighs and rests his forehead against the cool glass, his breath fogging up the surface.

Yoongi had once promised him that they would stay together forever- an unrealistic promise between lovesick teenagers, sure, but Jimin had always kind of hoped that that was one promise that wouldn’t get broken...

*

It’s, like, three in the morning when Taehyung’s woken up by… something.

He doesn’t even know what it is. It almost sounds like it’s raining outside- the rain splattering against the side of the house; but it’s too irregular and Taehyung reluctantly gets out of bed, slipping on his glasses and trudging over to his window to see what’s making that annoying sound.

...ugh.

Taehyung groans loudly at what he sees and opens his window, poking his head outside and narrowing his eyes at the blond boy tossing pebbles at his brother’s window like they’re in a goddamn rom-com. “Min fucking Yoongi!” Taehyung hisses, mindful to keep his voice down. He doesn’t want to wake Jimin- though how he’s sleeping through Yoongi throwing fucking rocks at his window is a mystery.

Yoongi startles and drops the stones from his hand, staring up at the window next to Jimin’s where Taehyung’s glaring at him. “I was-”

“I don’t care what you were doing! It’s the middle of the fucking night!”

“I need to talk to Jimin and he won’t answer my texts-”

Taehyung groans, “Because he doesn’t wanna talk to you! Take a hint and go away!”

“Taehyung-”

“Fuck off, Yoongi.” Taehyung tiredly mumbles, loudly enough so Yoongi will hear him. “Seriously, Jimin doesn’t wanna talk to you.”

“But-”

“If you don’t leave, I’m gonna go get my dad and he is not a fan of yours right now...” Taehyung threatens, nodding in satisfaction when Yoongi reluctantly leaves. “Idiot.” he mutters as he falls back into bed, ignoring the way his glasses rest uncomfortably on his face; he’s too tired (or lazy- possibly a combination of the two) to take them off.

*

“Hey, I was thinking maybe we could watch a movie?”

Jimin doesn’t even look up from where he’s sitting at his desk, staring blankly ahead at the corkboard that hangs in front of him on the wall. It’s decorated with ticket stubs, an absurd amount of pictures of Jungkook when he was a baby, and a handful of handwritten notes from Yoongi.

“Jungkook’s been begging to watch Frozen. Again.” Taehyung chuckles, leaning against the doorframe. “It’s pretty cute to watch him try to sing along with the songs, and I think he’d really like it if you watched it with him.”

“I don’t really feel like it, Tae.”

Taehyung’s shoulders sag and he slowly nods his head, “Okay, yeah. If you change your mind, though, you know where we’ll be.”

*

“I brought you a sandwich.” Taehyung sets the plate down on Jimin’s bedside table. “Thought you might be hungry.”

Jimin just shrugs.

“You wanna watch TV?” Taehyung asks, his voice hopeful and tinged with just a little bit of desperation. “Please?”

“I’m not really in the mood.” Jimin mumbles. “Maybe later.”

Taehyung nods and forces himself to smile, leaving Jimin’s room while pretending that everything’s fine; he knows that there won’t be a later, though.

*

Taehyung’s really tired of pretending that everything’s okay when clearly everything is falling apart.

He can see that his mom and dad are tired of pretending that it’s normal to see their son acting like a zombie. Taehyung sees the way Jungkook still looks around the room whenever Hoseok comes over- like he’s expecting Yoongi to pop out, and Jungkook has to pretend like he isn’t bothered by the fact that Yoongi isn’t around anymore, even though anyone would be able to see he misses him; and Taehyung’s pretty damn sure that Jimin’s sick of pretending he’s not on the verge of breaking down at any given moment.

Nobody’s fine.

Everybody’s on edge and tense and confused, and Taehyung wants make this better- he needs to fix this.

He needs to fix Jimin.

*

“We’ve gotta do something;” Taehyung states, lying on Hoseok’s bed, “I miss my brother. He’s getting worse, not better.”

“I’m not sure what’s up with Yoongi.” Hoseok says, “He hasn’t really been talking much. At least not to me; so it’s hard to get a read on what he’s thinking. But, like, appearance-wise, he looks pretty terrible.”

Taehyung taps his pencil against his lips in thought, concurrently trying to figure out how to finish his essay and fix his brother’s life at the same time. “As much as I hate to say this…”

“Yeah?”

Taehyung sighs loudly, letting his pencil fall from his fingers and watching it roll across his notebook. “Maybe- Ugh. Maybe Jimin was wrong to break up with Yoongi. It’s almost scary how dependent they were on each other, but, like- Jimin’s so depressed and sad all the time, and he still cries when he thinks everyone’s asleep, and my mom keeps telling me that Jimin just needs time, but- just… I thought Jimin would be over this by now, but he’s getting worse, and I don’t know… They work so much better together than they do apart.”

Hoseok steals Taehyung’s eraser and uses it on most of his math homework. “I- Yeah,” he nods, “I think you might be right.”

*

It takes twelve days since they’ve broken up for their paths cross again.

Jimin mistakenly takes the stairwell near the gymnasium (where he knows Yoongi’s basketball team practices) in his hurry to get to dance practice and comes face-to-face with Yoongi at the bottom of it, in the middle of stuffing his basketball jersey into his backpack.

They both freeze at the sight of the other and before Yoongi even has the chance to open his mouth, Jimin runs, pushing past him and jogging outside, all thoughts of dance practice fly out of his mind as he leans against the side of the school, breathing heavily. He crouches down and rests his head in his hands, trying to get a hold of himself.

It’s not like he hasn’t seen Yoongi in the halls since they broke up- but… well… Taehyung was usually at his side when that happened and made quick work of diverting Jimin’s attention from the other boy, making sure he didn’t dwell on thoughts of his ex-boyfriend for too long.

“Jimin,”

Jimin straightens up and snaps his head to the left, spotting Yoongi coming closer to him. Jimin resists the urge to run away again and stands his ground, shoving his hands in his pockets.

He’s not ready to face Yoongi again.

“Uh, so... hi,”

Jimin just continues staring at Yoongi.

“I, uh, I tried to text you a bunch- I’m not sure if you got my messages or not-”

“I blocked your number.” Jimin quietly admits while he fidgets under Yoongi’s gaze.

“You blocked-” Yoongi exhales sharply and nods his head. “Right, yeah. Makes sense.”

Jimin looks anywhere but at Yoongi and when he can’t take the uncomfortable silence that’s settled around them he pushes away from the wall he’s leaning against. “I should… go.”

Yoongi reacts almost immediately, shaking his head vehemently, “Jimin- Don’t go- I need to talk to you-”

“I’m good, thanks.” Jimin tells him, walking away before stopping when Yoongi calls after him again. “Yoongi, you’re making this harder than it has to be.”

“We need to talk, Jimin.”

“No, we really don’t-” Because if we start talking I’m not gonna want to stop, and I can’t handle you hurting me again…

“Jimin, will you please just let me say this? Please?”

Sighing, Jimin wonders if this is gonna turn out to be one of those moments where he looks back on his life and regrets nodding his head and agreeing to hear Yoongi out…

 

Chapter Text

From: Suga
July 20, 13:20

Since I’m pretty sure you’ll get this when you land, just remember: your parents aren’t punishing you, your trip is gonna be awesome, and I’ll miss you more than you’ll miss me, Sunshine <3

Yoongi sighs and tosses his phone beside him on the bed once the message goes through. He stares up at the ceiling and wonders just what the hell he’s gonna do for an entire week without Jimin.

He turns his head towards his bedroom door at the sound of shouting and rolls his eyes, languidly standing up and stretching his arms above his head. He slips his sneakers on and grabs his wallet, stuffing it into his pocket before reaching towards his desk for his car keys.

He leaves his room and goes downstairs, bypassing his parents (arguing again) and exits his house, making his way towards his car while shooting a quick text at Hoseok:

From: Suga
July 20, 13:29

You better be at your house because I need a place to hang out for a while.

From: J-Hope
July 20, 13:29

Sorry, man, my mom’s bookclub is over at my place right now. I’m hanging out at that coffee shop you hate that only plays reggae music.

From: Suga
July 20, 13:30

…we’re not hanging out there.

From: J-Hope
July 20, 13:30

Because of your unnatural hatred towards reggae music?

From: Suga
July 20, 13:31

Because we’re not turning into hipster douchebags who hang out in coffee shops in the middle of the afternoon.

*

Despite Yoongi’s best efforts he turns into a hipster douchebag (if only for the afternoon) who hangs out at coffee shops that only play obscure reggae tracks.

“I miss hanging out with Tae.”

Yoongi glares at Hoseok, “Don’t even start, Hoseok.”

Hoseok frowns as he lies his head on his arms on top of the small table they’re seated at near the back of the coffee shop. “Why?”

“Because if you bring up Taehyung, then I think about Jimin.”

“Ah.” Hoseok nods in understanding, going quiet again before sighing loudly and pouting at Yoongi, “Do you think he misses me yet?”

“You’re pathetic.” Yoongi tells him as he takes a bite out of his bagel. “He’s probably forgotten all about you.”

“You’re hilarious.” Hoseok deadpans, leaning back in his chair and taking in the scent of freshly baked scones. He stares at Yoongi, “Our anniversary’s coming up.”

“And?”

“And I don’t know what to buy for a present.”

“It’s what? Your fifth month anniversary?” At Hoseok’s nod Yoongi continues, “Don’t get him anything big. Because you’re just gonna have to one-up yourself on the one-year mark.”

“What’d you get Jimin?”

Yoongi shrugs, “I think I might’ve taken him out to dinner. But, seriously, that was more than a year ago; so who knows?”

“Okay…” Hoseok draws the syllables out and scrunches up his face in thought. “Maybe I’ll take him to the planetarium or something. But what if he gets me something better?”

Yoongi laughs, “He’ll probably get you something you won’t even know what to do with.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“It means,” Yoongi tells him with a smirk, “that for my birthday this year he got me a rock.”

“A… rock?”

Yoongi nods, “Yeah, it was a piece of a meteor from Mars, and it’s like half the size of my fingernail. What am I supposed to do with that? It’s just sitting in my room because I have no clue what to do with it.”

“I wouldn’t mind something like that.” Hoseok quietly admits while he drums his fingernails on the tabletop. “That sounds pretty cool.”

“You’re such a nerd.”

“It’s not that I want a space rock or something, but…” Hoseok shrugs a shoulder at Yoongi’s dubious look, “I dunno, man. I’d love anything that Taehyung bought with me in mind.”

“I can’t wait until you get out of the honeymoon phase of your relationship.” Yoongi mutters under his breath, ignoring the eyeroll he receives from Hoseok in response.

“And exactly what phase are you and Jimin in? The senior citizen phase? You guys just hang out at his house all day and watch TV together and nap- where’s the fun in that? At least Tae and I go out and actually enjoy life!”

Yoongi levels Hoseok with an unimpressed look. “We just like hanging out together without other people around, what’s wrong with that?”

“It’s lame.”

You’re lame.” Yoongi fires back, shaking his head at his own retort. “When you’ve been dating Taehyung longer, you’ll get it. It’s just… better hanging out alone. I can’t explain it. It’s like- I don’t need anything distracting me from Jimin, and when I hang out with him, I just wanna be with him and not have to worry about pretending to be anything I’m not.”

“Who knew Min Yoongi was such a softie when it came to Jimin.”

“Uh, everyone knows that. Jimin’s my fucking kryptonite.”

Hoseok gawks at Yoongi, “You’re referencing Superman and you called me a nerd?”

“Because you are a nerd.” Yoongi tells him, getting up from their table. “Okay, if I listen to another reggae song I’m gonna lose my shit, so we’ll hang out later.”

*

It’s at two in the morning when Yoongi starts thinking about what he should get Jimin for his birthday. It’s not too far off- another few months, and talking with Hoseok earlier just kind of reminded him that, yeah, he should probably start thinking of a gift for his boyfriend. They’re yearly anniversary is already taken care of, so Yoongi only really has to worry about Jimin’s birthday and Christmas gifts.

Easy peasy.

Or, well, it would be if Yoongi actually knew what to get Jimin.

But Jimin has everything he wants and needs. He’s… spoiled, for lack of a better word, and Yoongi doesn’t begrudge him that or anything- because Jimin’s mom and dad are loaded and obviously when money’s not an issue, you buy your kids the things they want (within reason; Jimin’s been whining for months about wanting a kitten, but as far as Yoongi knows, his mom hasn’t budged one inch on that request).

Yoongi’s never really had an inferiority complex, but… some days… he has his doubts whether he’ll be able to provide for Jimin when they’re older the same way his parents do for him now. Because, yeah, sure ‘all you need is love’ is a nice thought and all, but money’s even nicer, and Yoongi would be lying if he said he didn’t want to provide Jimin with everything he deserves, and the thought of Jimin having to slum it with him while he gets his foot in the door in the music production world isn’t an attractive one.

Yoongi clicks on a few links here and there, leading from one website to another until he winds up on a jewelry site. He’s never really taken Jimin for the jewelry-wearing type, but maybe a nice chain wouldn’t be too bad for his birthday.

Honestly, Jimin’s probably the easiest person to buy gifts for (at least that’s what Taehyung’s always telling him), but Yoongi overanalyzes everything and, well, nothing’s ever good enough for Jimin in his eyes, and Yoongi just has a really hard time buying things that he thinks his boyfriend will like, okay?

Yoongi clicks on the link that’ll take him to the chains, but instead he gets taken to a page with rings on it, and Yoongi lets his eyes linger on them for a little too long because suddenly his mind is visualizing Jimin wearing a ring on a certain very specific finger (shut up, Yoongi’s not thinking of buying Jimin an engagement ring), and once that image is in his head, he can’t really get it out.

An engagement ring is too much. Obviously. They’re still in high school for fuck’s sake and while Yoongi knows he wants to spend the rest of his life with Jimin and Jimin alone, he’s not about to become a statistic by becoming engaged as a teenager, marrying ridiculously young, and then divorcing by age twenty when life gets to be too rough and they end up taking their frustrations out on each other.

But… Yoongi peruses the rings a bit more and finds a page dedicated to promise rings.

As in Yoongi promises to always love the fuck out of Jimin, to always be there for him, and whenever Jimin’s feeling just a little bit insecure about himself he can look at the ring and remember that he’s got a boyfriend who’s insanely in love with him and thinks he’s perfect just the way he is.

(and, yes, thank you, Yoongi knows promise rings are corny and outdated and embarrassing, but maybe this is just the kind of thing that Jimin will like…)

*

Unfortunately, Yoongi’s plan costs around 700,000 won and he’s got… considerably less than that in his bank account.

But, hey, that’s what part-time jobs are for, right?

*

Yoongi hates everything.

More specifically, Yoongi hates his new job.

After six unsuccessful interviews (seriously, how fucking picky are these people?!), he finally gets hired at a swanky as hell restaurant that takes him half an hour to even drive to, and you’d think that because it’s more expensive than most restaurants that it might pay better, but guess what?

It abso-fucking-lutely doesn’t.

Minimum wage sucks.

Washing dishes sucks.

His boss sucks.

His co-workers suck.

Everything sucks.

Until he gets paid, that is.

Because getting paid is awesome. He realizes he really loves the feeling of crisp bills in his hands as he counts them one by one. He’s still not close to having enough money for Jimin’s present, but, well, he’s a lot closer than he was before.

Until he overhears his parents talking that night- though fighting might be a more accurate description. And suddenly Yoongi feels the weight of the world on his shoulders as his mom and dad argue back and forth about money and how they’re going to afford to pay the rent this month.

Money’s been tight ever since his dad lost his job and Yoongi had just kind of assumed that everything would work out like it usually does, but… he guesses it’s gonna work out because of him.

Yoongi may be a lot of things, but selfish isn’t one of them and he dutifully hands his hard-earned money over to his parents, ignoring his mom when she initially refuses and finally forcefully curling her fingers around the bundle of notes. “You need it more than I do, Mom.”

*

Yoongi goes from working ten hours a week to twenty in the span of a few weeks. He picks up any other shifts he can and puts in as much overtime as his boss will let him. Because his job’s gone from ‘I want to buy Jimin something really nice for his birthday and I need some money to do that’ to ‘my family’s broke as shit right now and the landlord keeps threatening to evict us if we don’t pay our rent so I need to make some serious money right now to provide for my family’.

It’s… stressful, to say the least.

And it’s getting harder and harder to hide this part of his life from Jimin.

Honestly, at first, he didn’t tell Jimin about the job because he’d only expected to keep it for a few weeks- enough time to get the money for his ring and then get the fuck outta there because washing dishes was definitely not his true calling.

But then his dad lost his job, the hospital drastically cut his mom’s hours, and suddenly Yoongi was really fucking integral when it came to paying the bills at home.

Jimin would be worried if Yoongi told him, and that’s not something he wants to do. Jimin doesn’t need to worry about him- he’s fine, his family’s gonna be fine, and everything’ll work out sooner or later.

*

“You’re not even trying to find another job!”

“Like hell I’m not!”

“Our son’s stuck paying the bills while you sit on your ass watching TV all day!”

Yoongi can hear his parents fighting, again, downstairs and he hastily shoves his earbuds into the jack on his phone, opening his music player and turning the volume higher and higher until he can’t hear their voices anymore. He taps his pencil against his notebook and crosses out November 5th, changing it to November 19th instead.

His original plan had been to buy Jimin’s gift back in October- for his birthday, but… well… money problems haven’t really let up yet; his dad still hasn’t managed to find a new job, his mom is barely making enough to cover the basic necessities, and Yoongi’s gone from working twenty hours to twenty-five and it still doesn’t feel like enough.

…and, no, he still hasn’t told Jimin about his job yet; this is Yoongi’s problem and he doesn’t wanna worry Jimin over something that isn’t even that big of a deal. Yoongi needs Jimin to be the light in his life right now.

Because everything else in his life is going kind of terrible.

*

“You look tired,”

Yoongi rests his head against Jimin’s shoulder, grinning lazily, “I always look tired.”

Jimin chuckles while he edits his essay, “You look exhausted, then, is that better?”

“Just tired from basketball practice this week.” Yoongi says as he yawns. It’s not a lie per se; he’s just not telling the Jimin the whole truth. Basketball practice is exhausting, but, well, working six hours after that is more so.

“When’s your first game?”

“Not until December.” Yoongi answers as he shuts his eyes. This is the first night this week he hasn’t had to work after school and Yoongi feels like he could sleep for a whole damn month at this point. But, really, deciding between going home and resting or hanging out with Jimin isn’t a decision at all.

Jimin wins.

Jimin will always win.

Plus, he can just nap on Jimin’s bed and that’s infinitely better than sleeping in his own bed without his boyfriend’s presence beside him.

*

Yoongi stares at the letter in his hands in shock because… what?

Is this some kind of joke?

He can’t stress enough how much he wasn’t expecting this. Because Seoul National University is probably the most prestigious university in the fucking country and what the hell are they doing accepting someone like him into their school?

Yoongi rereads the letter and his head fucking spins when his mind actually takes in the details of what he’s reading: Min Yoongi… conditionally accepted into Seoul National University… GPA remains above 3.9 for the duration of your final year of high school [2015-2016]… Congratulations on being pre-accepted…

Yoongi had honestly just applied because his parents had been badgering him about university lately (“Yoongi, you need to make sure you get a high paying job somewhere.” “I know, Mom.” “Have you applied to school yet? Aren’t the deadlines come up?” “I’ll apply soon, Dad-” “You’ll apply now, young man.” “…Fine.”), and to get them off his back he’d applied someplace he was pretty damn sure wouldn’t accept him… but, uh… apparently their standards are lower than he’d originally banked on.

It’s not like he’s an idiot or anything, but he definitely didn’t think his grades (or the mixtape he’d sent in) were good enough to get him into such a reputable university.

But now that he’s accepted, well… he kinda has to go now, doesn’t he?

He’d always envisioned going to the community college, but Seoul National University is, like, the dream school and it fucking opens doors for its students once they graduate with a degree from there. And he’d be an idiot to refuse an offer like this, right?

*

Yoongi begs his boss for the chance to become a waiter; they get tips and Yoongi can be damn charming when he wants to be and, well, having that little bit of extra money will help; especially now that he’s gotta figure out just how the fuck he’s gonna pay for university next year.

His boss agrees to let Yoongi transfer over to becoming a waiter in the evenings and on weekends.

Except now he has to wear a suit and tie.

Oh, and no pink hair is apparently a rule, too, if you work in the front of the restaurant.

So, yeah, great. Fucking fantastic.

Yoongi gets fitted with a suit and tie at the restaurant, buys some hair dye at the nearest convenience store (but, really, how convenient is it that they don’t carry black dye and only have blond?), and spends his Thursday night bleaching his hair, frowning at his own appearance in the mirror.

…he hopes Jimin isn’t too upset that his pink hair’s gone.

*

Yoongi’s been looking forward to his and Jimin’s date tonight for weeks. He’s got their movie choices narrowed down to two options and in his mind they’re already at the theater, buying a giant tub of popcorn to share and arguing over where they should sit (Jimin foolishly thinks the seats in the middle of the theater are the best. They’re not; the ones at the back of the theater are better).

It’s not until he gets a text in the middle of his Biology class that his mood droops significantly. It’s from an unknown number which, nowadays, only means one thing: one of his co-workers got his number from his boss and wants him to cover their shift tonight. He’s proven right a moment later when he reads the actual message, confirming what he thought.

He contemplates texting back with a big fat NO, but… responsibility is a bitch and makes him answer in the affirmative.

His good mood is effectively ruined and he angrily scribbles down the notes his teacher is writing on the whiteboard, absently trying to think of an excuse to give Jimin later on about why he has to cancel their date.

*

Yoongi doesn’t hear Jimin’s steps coming closer and continues rifling through his locker, trying to find his notepad- he knows it’s in here somewhere; where the fuck did it go? His boss is gonna kill him if he learns that Yoongi’s already lost it. It’s been, like, a day, and Yoongi really doesn’t wanna have to get a new one on his first official night as a waiter.

“We’re still on for the movies tonight, right? Because I’ve been craving popcorn for, like, a week now and I thought we could bring some candy back for Kookie and Tae since they’re sick.”

Yoongi huffs in annoyance and gives up his search, shouldering his backpack and scanning his locker one last time, absently registering that Jimin’s staring at him expectantly.

“Yoongi?”

“Oh, uh, yeah, what?” Yoongi focuses his attention on his boyfriend and remembers that, oh yeah, he hasn’t thought of a fucking excuse to give Jimin yet. Great.

“Our date tonight. We’re still going, right? I know you said you might have to work on your history report but-”

Yoongi slams his locker shut and grabs onto Jimin’s hand, leading his boyfriend out of the school, internally sighing in relief that Jimin’s given him an out for their date tonight. “Yeah, I should, uh- I should work on that tonight.”

Jimin pouts at him and Yoongi wants nothing more than to indulge his boyfriend and go to the movies with him, but...

“It’s Friday, though. You can work on it on the weekend, can’t you?”

I’d blow work off if I could, Sunshine, Yoongi thinks as he shakes his head, wrapping his scarf around his neck. “Nah, I can’t. I really need to get it done.”

“But-”

“Drop it, Jimin!” Yoongi hears himself snap and he doesn’t mean to- he really doesn’t, but he’s stressed, and tired, and overworked, and pissed off that he’s gotta work, and Jimin’s looking at him like he’s the bad guy here and Yoongi just can’t deal with this right now- he’s got too much on his plate as it is and dealing with Jimin’s disappointment at him blowing off one date is just making him feel worse and it isn’t his main priority right now-

Getting to work on time is, and he really needs to leave- like right now if he wants to make it on time.

“Sorry, I guess we’ll just hang out later, then.”

Yoongi quickly checks the time on his phone, asking, “You need a ride home?” while he calculates just how long it’ll take to drop Jimin off at his house and then drive all the fucking way across the city to get to the restaurant.

“Nah, I’ve got dance practice today.”

“Okay, cool.” Yoongi breathes a sigh of relief and waves goodbye, rushing to get in his car and practically peeling out of the school’s parking lot to get to work on time because less time at work means less money and what Yoongi needs right about now is more money.

He’ll make up canceling their date to Jimin later- when he’s not overburdened by fifty things at once and he can focus all his attention on his boyfriend like he deserves.

*

Yoongi gets home at midnight and collapses on top of his bed, still in his suit. Which makes it really fucking convenient when he wakes up on Saturday morning to a phone call from his boss asking if he’ll cover the lunch shift.

Of course Yoongi says yes because that’s just the reality of his life lately, and covering the lunch shift turns into covering the lunch and dinner shift, and Yoongi just wants to bang his head against the nearest available surface.

*

Sunday is the day of rest.

Unless your name is Min Yoongi. Because then Sunday means pulling a double-shift. He gets an hour long break in between his shifts and spends that time hastily doing as much homework as he can. He’s stretched thin, his grades are slipping, and he’s kinda worried that if they slip much more Seoul National University is gonna notice and revoke his conditional acceptance.

By the time Yoongi gets back home and flops down onto his bed, he takes his phone out and sees nearly twenty missed texts- all from Jimin. He’s in the middle of answering the first when he falls asleep, not waking up again until his alarm goes off for school on Monday.

*

“You wanna see that movie tonight?” Jimin asks him, smiling at him from across the table and Yoongi wants to muster up enough energy to smile back at his boyfriend, but he’s running on about four hours of sleep and his brain is barely working, let alone the muscles that control his facial expressions. He’s pretty sure he looks like a zombie at this point, but if Jimin notices he doesn’t say anything, which Yoongi is eternally grateful for.

“What movie?”

“The movie we were supposed to see on Friday. Remember? You blew me off to work on your homework.”

Yoongi rolls his eyes, because, yeah, thanks for reminding him. He knows he’s been less than attentive lately. Hell, he still feels like a piece of shit for not answering Jimin’s text on Saturday and Sunday. “I didn’t blow you off-”

“Yeah, you did.”

“Whatever.” Yoongi mumbles into his sandwich, too tired to argue with Jimin. Because his boyfriend doesn’t get it- he doesn’t get that Yoongi’s doing the best he can in an impossible situation, and he just wants Jimin to understand, but to do that Yoongi would have to tell him what’s going on, but if he tells Jimin about his family problems; or being accepted into university and his worries about being able to maintain his grades or his ability to even pay for it; or his shitty, but really fucking essential job, then Jimin will probably want to help him out, and… just… Yoongi doesn’t need any help. He’s got everything under control.

Sort of.

“We can go tonight. You want me to pick you up?”

“Uh, yeah. You know, like good boyfriends usually do.”

“Fine, I’ll pick you up at seven.”

*

Yoongi makes a quick detour to the mall on his way home. He knows exactly what he wants and he finally has the money to buy it.

Twenty minutes later and Yoongi leaves the mall with a small box in his jacket pocket. He might be too late to give this to Jimin for his birthday, but Yoongi figures that a belated gift is better than waiting until Christmas to give this to Jimin.

*

It’s exactly 6:46 PM when Yoongi finishes getting ready for his date with Jimin and leaves the house, getting into his car and starting it. He’s about to pull away from the curb when his phone rings and his stomach drops because he just knows.

He knows who’s calling and why, and he just wants to ignore it and pretend he doesn’t hear it. But, no, he’ll answer it and just tell his boss that, no, he can’t come in tonight because he’s got an amazing boy waiting on him and they’re gonna go on a fucking date once and for all this month.

Yoongi answers the call and listens as his boss hastily explains the situation to him: someone didn’t come in, need you to cover a shift until eleven, you’ll get paid time and a half if you come in, blah, blah, blah.

In the four months Yoongi’s been working at the restaurant, he’s heard this spiel more times than he can count.

“Sorry, but I can’t tonight-”

“Yoongi, weren’t you the one who wanted any shifts I could offer you?”

Yoongi grimaces, “Yeah, but I really can’t come in tonight- I’ve got plans-”

“Should I be phoning others to cover any shifts that come up, then? Hmm?”

Yoongi sighs in irritation; this isn’t fair. “No, I- I want the shifts, it’s just tonight’s not a good night.”

“Yoongi, I let you have Halloween off, didn’t I? That was a favor I did for you. Are you really so selfish that you won’t return the favor and come in when we desperately need you at the restaurant?”

Yoongi wants to point out that he’s more than returned that tiny favor his boss did for him last month, but ends agreeing and telling the man he’ll be there in twenty minutes. He rushes back inside, changes into his suit, actually brushes his hair so it looks somewhat presentable, and in his haste to get back into his car, he leaves his phone in his jacket on his bed.

*

Yoongi’s seething throughout his entire shift; he forgot his phone at home, the phone at the restaurant is down, and he’s not friends with any of his co-workers enough to borrow any of theirs.

Throughout the night Yoongi can only think of Jimin- Jimin waiting for him, wondering where he is, angry at him for not showing up, and, frankly, Yoongi’s angry at himself, too.

He’s trying so fucking hard to do everything right, but it seems like the more he tries, the more things fall apart. The more he contributes to paying the bills around the house, the more the bills pile up (who the fuck knew the heating bill would practically double in the winter?!); the more he tries to hang out with Jimin, the more he ends up blowing him off; the more he tries finding time to study, the more time he seems to spend at work away from his textbooks.

Yoongi is so close to breaking down, but he holds on because his parents needs him right now- Jimin needs him to be the same loving boyfriend he’s always been.

*

When Yoongi gets home, he immediately finds his phone and his heart drops somewhere in the pit of his stomach as he reads Jimin’s texts- the last thing he wants to do is make Jimin unhappy, and that’s all he seems to be doing lately.

From: Suga
November 23, 23:48

I’m so sorry, baby! I’m such an idiot! I forgot all about our date! I’ve got the memory of a fucking goldfish lately :(

From: Suga
November 23, 23:49

Seriously, I’m so sorry, Jimin!

From: Suga
November 23, 23:52

Can you forgive me? You know I’d never stand you up on purpose, Sunshine <3

From: Suga
November 23, 23:55

I love you so much, please don’t be mad at me.

From: Suga
November 23, 23:59

Again- so, so, so, so, so, so, SOOOOOOOOOO sorry!!!!

*

Jimin forgives him, but Yoongi can tell that his boyfriend’s pissed. It’s not like Yoongi blames him either- he needs to find a way to fix this; Jimin deserves to be treated way fucking better.

Except the exact same thing happens the next night and Yoongi feels like the shittiest human being on the planet for standing his boyfriend up two nights in a row.

He’s screwing everything up and he’s just trying to make things better, but he’s so fucking tired of trying to hold himself together- of hiding everything from Jimin. He just wants to be honest with his boyfriend, but how the fuck would he explain why he’s been lying to him for months? Jimin would be mad, and the last thing Yoongi wants is to make his boyfriend even angrier at him.

*

It’s the next day when Yoongi’s entire world comes crumbling down around him- Jimin breaks up with him, claiming he doesn’t love him as much as he used to and Yoongi snaps at him and his mouth runs on autopilot and before he knows it, Jimin’s walking away from him and he’s left standing in the middle of the deserted hallway… frozen on the spot.

Numb.

Hollow.

*

Yoongi texts Jimin for what feels like hours- never mind, it has been hours. He’s been texting Jimin nonstop since school let out and his boyfrie… ex-boyfriend hasn’t answered any of them yet. Yoongi doesn’t wanna push Jimin too hard to talk to him- he wants to give the younger boy time to collect his thoughts; to maybe reconsider what he just did.

Yoongi doesn’t even know what to do with himself at the moment. He lies on his bed, staring unblinking at his ceiling and waits for Jimin to text him back.

…except he never does.

*

From: J-Hope
November 25, 18:04

Taehyung told me you and Jimin broke up…

From: J-Hope
November 25, 18:05

…you okay, man?

From: J-Hope
November 25, 18:05

Sorry, stupid question; of course you’re not.
Tae said you’re an asshole.
Wanna elaborate?

From: Suga
November 25, 18:07

I screwed up.

From: J-Hope
November 25, 18:08

What happened?

From: Suga
November 25, 18:09

I don’t really wanna talk about it, man.

From: J-Hope
November 25, 18:11

Okay.
But I’m here if you need to talk.

*

Yoongi’s basically letting his body run on its own. He barely registers getting ready in the mornings; he’s not sure if he’s eaten an actual meal since Wednesday morning; he can’t remember the last time he showered; he does his homework, but he doesn’t retain any of the information; he goes to work, but gets sent home for the week when he ends up spilling more meals than he delivers.

He’s… a mess, to put it bluntly.

He tries explaining through text messages and voicemails to Jimin what was going on with him- his job, the gift, university, his fucking parents, but Jimin never answers his texts or phones him back, and Yoongi should really just take the hint and leave Jimin alone.

But he can’t do that.

Without Jimin, Yoongi’s life is just one shitty event after another without any kind of silver lining.

*

Every time Yoongi tries to get close to Jimin, Taehyung’s there- always there, like some kind of overprotective guard dog, warding Yoongi off and making sure the older boy knows that he’s not welcome near Jimin.

Yoongi is, quite frankly, getting sick of this.

Even showing up in the middle of the night at Jimin’s house, throwing pebbles at his window to try and wake him (because climbing up the tree outside his window and knocking on it seemed a bit rude), resulted in fucking Taehyung telling him to get lost and threatening to get his dad if Yoongi didn’t leave right now- and Yoongi’s pretty damn certain that Kim Namjoon is not his number one fan at the moment.

In fact, he’d wager a guess that the entire Kim family isn’t very fond of him anymore.

*

“Suga?”

Yoongi looks up from his lunch, eyeing Hoseok wearily. “What?”

Hoseok sits across from him and sets his lunch tray on the table. He looks at the other boy and grins, though it doesn’t quite reach his eyes. “Hey, how, uh- How’re you feeling?”

Yoongi raises an eyebrow; he knows Hoseok can see that he looks like shit.

“Listen, man,” Hoseok says, rubbing at the back of his neck and avoiding all eye-contact, “I know this break up with Jimin must be hard and everything, but… It’s almost been two weeks-”

“And?”

Hoseok shrugs, “Don’t you think you should be over him by now?”

Yoongi abruptly drops his sandwich back on his tray and narrows his eyes at his friend. “Excuse me?”

“I just mean-”

“No.” Yoongi firmly says, “You don’t get it, Hoseok; I love Jimin- okay? I’ve spent the last year and a half falling stupidly in love with that kid and being apart for two fucking weeks isn’t gonna change that. I miss him so much that it literally hurts to not be around him. So don’t even try and pull any of that ‘just get over him’ bullshit on me. You got me?”

Hoseok has the decency to look ashamed and sighs heavily, nodding his head, “Yeah, man, okay. Sorry.”

Yoongi’s silent for a moment before he lifts his head to stare at Hoseok once more, quietly asking, “Do you think you’d be able to get over Taehyung in a week if you guys broke up tomorrow?”

“I-” Hoseok shuts his mouth and wordlessly shakes his head.

“Yeah. That’s what I thought.”

*

“We don’t want you to think you could’ve done anything to prevent this,”

“Sometimes people just grow apart.”

“This has nothing to do with you.”

Yoongi listens intently as his parents tell him that they’re getting a divorce.

It’s been a long time coming, but still…

“Nothing’s going to change for you, Yoongi,” His dad tells him, “You’re going to stay here with your mom.”

Everything’s changing, Yoongi wants to scream. Everything around him is falling apart and no matter what he does, he just can’t stop it! It’s fucking infuriating to try and try and try only to have nothing you do actually matter in the long run.

“Remember, we both love you and we’ll all get through this together.” His mom wraps him in a hug and it’s when she’s dabbing at his eyes with the sleeve of her sweater that he realizes he’s crying. “Everything’s gonna be okay, sweetheart.”

*

Yoongi knows it’s stupid- he knows, okay? But that doesn’t stop him from leaving another voicemail in Jimin’s inbox.

“Hey, uh, it’s me. Again. I- I know you’re probably sick of hearing my messages- unless you’re not even listening to them and just deleting them… I didn’t really think of that until now, actually. Um… so, my parents… they’re getting a… they’re getting a divorce.”

Yoongi closes his eyes and breathes deeply.

“I just- I really wanna talk to you, Jimin. I need to hear your voice again, baby. I’m so… I’m… I just miss you. I’m sorry for everything that I put you through- I can’t even imagine what you were thinking, but… if you got my other messages then you know what was going on. It’s not an excuse for the way I treated you, but… yeah… I… I love you, Jimin.”

*

Yoongi is a mess on the basketball court. He’s surprised his coach hasn’t benched him and let one of the reserves take his place yet. Practice runs later than usual and Yoongi leaves as soon as he’s allowed to, wanting to get home so he can wallow in self-pity some more. He climbs the stairs to the second floor of the school and opens his locker, grabbing his backpack before going into the boy’s bathroom to change back into his uniform.

He descends the stairs and stops at the bottom, frowning when he notices he’s still holding onto his jersey and hasn’t even put it in his backpack yet. He rolls his eyes at his own absentmindedness and shoves it inside once he unzips his backpack, turning around and looking up when he hears hurried footsteps coming down the stairs.

His breath catches in his throat at the sight of Jimin.

And, of course, in true Jimin fashion, before Yoongi can even get out one syllable, he runs away- his fight or flight instinct is usually tuned in to flight, as Yoongi’s learned throughout his time dating him, and Yoongi automatically runs after him; this is first time he’s seen Jimin alone in nearly two weeks and he’s not gonna pass up this opportunity to talk to him.

Yoongi follows him outside and slowly walks towards where Jimin’s crouched, trying to catch his breath.  “Jimin,” he softly calls out, not wanting to startle the other boy. When Jimin stands up and stares at him, Yoongi rubs at the back of his neck, suddenly at a loss for words. “Uh, so… hi,”

Yoongi swallows nervously as Jimin continues staring at him- not saying anything, just… staring.

“I, uh, I tried to text you a bunch- I’m not sure if you got my messages or not-”

“I blocked your number.”

“You blocked- Right, yeah. Makes sense.”

So… Jimin knows nothing about what Yoongi’s been going through.

“I should… go.”

Panicking, Yoongi shakes his head, his hand reaching out like he wants to grab Jimin. “Jimin- Don’t go- I need to talk to you-”

“I’m good, thanks.”

“Jimin-”

“Yoongi, you’re making this harder than it has to be.”

Yoongi exhales slowly, “We need to talk, Jimin.”

“No, we really don’t-”

“Jimin, will you please just let me say this?” Yoongi implores the younger boy, “Please?”

A moment of tense silence fills the air around them before Jimin finally nods his head, though it doesn’t escape Yoongi’s attention that the action looks forced. “Fine, I guess, yeah.”

Yoongi clears his throat, “So, all week I, um, I’ve been leaving you voicemails and texts about what was going on with me and why I was acting the way I was, and I was really hoping that you’d heard them, but… yeah. Now I know you don’t know anything, so I guess, first things first, I should tell you everything that’s been going on.”

“Yoongi-”

Yoongi holds his hand up, “Jimin, just… Just let me talk. Please.” He takes a deep breath and looks at Jimin- takes in the other boy’s gaunt appearance and knowing he’s the reason Jimin looks so rundown makes him feel ten times worse than he already does. “So, uh, I never told you this, but… I got a job back in July; when you were in LA-”

“You- What? You had a job all this time? Why didn’t you tell me?” Jimin asks, face scrunched up in confusion.

“I got it because I was trying to save up money to buy your birthday present-”

“You mean the stuffed animal you got me?” Jimin frowns. “Not that I didn’t love it, but it didn’t look that expensive.”

Yoongi shakes his head, “No, not that- I got you that because I didn’t have enough money for the other thing when your birthday rolled around. And that was because, uh. My dad- He lost his job a few months back, so… my job kinda went from saving up money for your gift, to saving up money for food and bills- things like that.”

Jimin wraps his arms around himself, “Why… Why didn’t you tell me?” he asks so quietly that Yoongi barely hears him. “Why were you keeping secrets from me? For months. Did you not trust me-”

“Of course I trust you!” Yoongi assures him, wanting nothing more than to wrap Jimin in a hug; he’s obviously feeling hurt and betrayed. “I just- I didn’t want you to worry about me.”

“Relationships don’t work that way, Yoongi. You don’t get to decide what I worry about.” Jimin bites out.

“Yeah, I know- You’re right. You’re so fucking right, but… I don’t know… I thought things would just blow over; that it would be temporary.”

“But it wasn’t.”

“Not really, no.” Yoongi shrugs, “My dad couldn’t find a new job, so I was working more and more, and then I got… um… I got accepted into Seoul National University, so I had to work even more than before to save up some money for school and, just. Everything was piling up, and I knew I wasn’t paying as much attention to you as I should’ve been, but I had to help out at home and work, and it was just… it was too much for me, Jimin.”

“We’re supposed to be there for each other, Yoongi.” Jimin whispers. “I feel like- Like I should’ve been there to help you out- Even if I was just there for you to vent to or something.” He stares at Yoongi and bites at his lip. “I can’t believe I didn’t notice anything was going on with you-”

“Hey,” Yoongi shakes his head, “you didn’t know anything because I didn’t want you knowing anything. Don’t think for one second that you didn’t notice because of any other reason. This is all on me- you didn’t do anything wrong, Jimin.”

“You didn’t do anything wrong, either.” Jimin tells him, frowning. “I mean, okay, yeah, you stood me up. Twice-”

“Yeah, uh, work came up those nights and I forgot my phone at home, so.” Yoongi explains. “You don’t even know how horrible I felt for doing that to you.”

“I was just confused.” Jimin admits. “I thought- I don’t know, that, like… I thought you were getting tired of me or something.”

Yoongi gapes at Jimin. “Are you kidding me? You thought I- You thought I was getting tired of you? Are you insane?” He takes a step towards Jimin, “I could never get tired of you, Sunshine.”

“Why didn’t you try to tell me what was going on? Why did you wait this long to explain everything?”

“I did tell you.” Yoongi says. “I left you all those texts and voicemails telling you everything- I even tried to tell Taehyung, but he- He wasn’t really in the mood to talk to me. And I went to your house and tried to talk to you in the middle of the night, but Taehyung practically chased me off. And then my parents told me they were getting a divorce, so I’ve been dealing with that-”

“Yoongi...” Jimin takes a hesitant step forwards, “I’m so sorry.”

“It’s not your fault.”

“No,” Jimin agrees. “But you’re dealing with so much right now…”

“It is what it is.” Yoongi mutters. “Before… the only thing that was getting me through everything was thinking of you, Jimin. And now…”

“Yoongi-”

“I miss you so much.”

When a lengthy silence forms between them, Yoongi inhales and grabs a hold of Jimin’s hands, staring at the other boy while slowly closing the distance between them. Yoongi breathes against Jimin’s lips, “I love you too damn much to let you go-”

“You don’t get to make that kind of decision.” Jimin quietly tells him, going against everything his mind is screaming at him by curling his fingers around Yoongi’s own. And it shouldn’t feel as good as it does- this simple skin-to-skin contact, but Jimin’s always loved skinship and this… it feels warm and familiar and perfect in a way that makes Jimin’s head confused, but his heart skip a beat. “You don’t get to love me anymore-”

Yoongi cocks his head to the side, “Too late. You’re it for me, you brat. You know that, right?”

“You’re not being fair,” Jimin very nearly whines, turning his head away so he doesn’t have to look into Yoongi’s eyes; they’re too much right now- too honest. “We’re broken up. You’re not allowed to say things like that to me.”

“You’re the only one I wanna say things like that to.” Yoongi tells him. “You’re the only person in the entire fucking world that I actually wanna spend time with.”

“Yoongi-”

Yoongi shakes his head, “You don’t get it, Jimin;” he says, frowning, “you’re the best thing that’s ever happened to me- all that other shit that’s been happening in my life- I don’t give a fuck about it if I don’t have you in my life. University, my job, my parent’s getting a divorce- none of it fucking matters as much as you being beside me. I can’t even begin to tell you how fucking sorry I am for keeping secrets from you and hurting you; I never wanted to hurt you, Jimin. I just- I wanna be worthy of you. I wanna be able to provide for you and be the kind of guy you’re proud of-”

Jimin blinks in confusion, “Worthy of me?” he echoes, shaking his head. “I’m not-”

“You’re perfect. To me, you’re absolutely perfect.” Yoongi insists. “I know I probably never said it enough, but everything about you… Jimin… it blows me away what an amazing person you are. You’re so brave, and strong-willed; even if you don’t realize it.”

“Stop.” Jimin murmurs, biting his lower lip. “If you don’t stop talking I’m gonna give in and we’ll start dating again-”

Yoongi swallows nervously, “Would dating me again really be that bad?”

Jimin nods, whispering, “I don’t wanna get hurt again.”

“I promise you that I’ll never keep secrets from you again, baby.” Yoongi vows. “The good, the bad- I’ll tell you everything. Whatever you wanna know, I’ll tell you.”

“Yoongi…”

Yoongi takes a leap of faith and lunges forwards, pressing his lips against Jimin’s, and it’s like- fuck; it’s like coming home. Being this close to Jimin again is like a breath of fresh air compared to how he’s been living lately- like he’s been underwater; everything muted and blurry.

When they part, Jimin rests his forehead against Yoongi’s and huffs, “You’re making this whole ‘breaking up’ thing really hard to stick with.”

Yoongi hesitantly grins at Jimin, “Fair warning, if we don’t start dating again, I’m just gonna stalk you until you decide to give me another chance.”

“You’re not funny.” Jimin tells him, trying to restrain himself from smiling.

Yoongi chuckles, “I’m a little funny.”

Jimin lets Yoongi pull him into a hug and he deeply inhales the scent of his jacket and hair and just everything. “Not even a little.” he mumbles into the older boy’s shoulder, wrapping his arms tightly around Yoongi.

Yoongi lets go of Jimin and reaches into his jacket pocket, producing a small box. “I, uh… This is the reason I got that job in the first place. This is your original birthday present.”

Jimin stares at the box with wide eyes and Yoongi hastily explains, “I wanted to get you something that would show you how much I love you and that I wasn’t going anywhere,” He lifts the lid of the box and shows Jimin the ring inside, “It’s a promise ring.”

“A… promise ring?”

“I promise that I’m always gonna be around if you need me.” Yoongi smiles at him, slipping the ring on Jimin’s middle finger. “I promise that I’ll never leave you if I can help it.”

Jimin stares at the ring in shock.

“I mean,” Yoongi babbles, taking Jimin’s silence as a bad sign, “I know they’re lame and kinda embarrassing, but, like- I thought maybe it was a nice gesture or something? If you hate it, you don’t have to wear it. I don’t even know what I was thinking; it’s stupid-”

“Hey,” Jimin places his finger against Yoongi’s lips and smiles, “stop insulting my present; I love it.”

“As much as you love me?”

“…I might love you more.”

“Even after everything?”

Jimin presses a chaste kiss to Yoongi’s cheek. “Even after everything.”

 

Chapter Text

“Anything special you wanna do for your birthday? Dinner? We could go see a movie?”

“We can’t leave Jimin alone, Namjoon.” As if on cue, a muffled sob echoes down the hall and into their bedroom. “And I wouldn’t feel right celebrating anything while our son’s so miserable.”

“No- Yeah, you’re right.” Namjoon nods his head in understanding. “We can celebrate it later when he’s…”

“Smiling again.” Jin says with a sigh. “My birthday isn’t as important as making sure Jimin’s fine.”

*

Jin’s fixing Jimin’s favorite meal for dinner, hoping to get his son to eat something (and maybe brighten his mood a little). He’s in the middle of pouring rice into the pot on the stove when Jimin comes home… smiling.

Jin’s eyes widen in shock and he hesitantly smiles back at Jimin, “Looks like you had a good practice, sweetie. Did Hoseok give you a ride home?”

Jimin shakes his head, grin still firmly on his face as he says, “Yoongi did. We, uh- We talked things through and everything’s gonna be cool between us now.”

Jin listens as Jimin hastily explains the entire situation to him and Jin’s heart goes out to Yoongi for everything he’s been through lately. He chuckles to himself while Jimin dreamily stares off at nothing (and Jin would bet anything that he’s thinking about his boyfriend); it’s not like he didn’t see this coming- of course Yoongi and Jimin were going to get back together. They’re too in love, too devoted to each other- too invested in their relationship to call it quits over a simple misunderstanding.

“I’m proud of you two for working out your problems,” Jin tells Jimin, affectionately ruffling his son’s hair. “Why don’t you invite Yoongi over for dinner tomorrow night?”

Jimin stares at his mom, biting at his lip. “Will you tell Dad to not be a psycho and kill Yoongi?”

“Don’t worry, Jiminie; I’ll explain everything to your dad and he’ll be just as excited that you two are back together as I am.”

Jimin raises an eyebrow at his mom’s words and Jin sighs, promising, “He’ll be on his best behavior, at the very least.”

*

“They’re what?”

“Back together.”

Namjoon purses his lips and begins pacing back and forth, “No- No. That boy doesn’t get to date Jimin again.”

That boy has a name.” Jin tells Namjoon. “And he’s been going through some tough times, Namjoonie, cut him some slack.”

“No,” Namjoon bites out. “No slack will be given when it comes to my son being hurt.”

Namjoon.”

“Don’t ‘Namjoon’ me.” Namjoon says with a shake of his head. “Yoongi hurt Jimin-”

“And Jimin hurt Yoongi, too.” Jin lightly points out. “They’re teenagers. They’re gonna fight and break up, but the ones that truly care about each other… they find their way back to each other.”

“You’re a sap.”

“And you’re being unreasonable.” Jin sighs, “If Jimin’s decided to give Yoongi another chance then we will, too.”

“Like hell we will-”

“We. Will. Give. Yoongi. Another. Chance.” Jin cuts his husband off, glaring. “The next time you see Yoongi, you’ll treat him like you did before all this unpleasantness happened because that boy’s been through enough and the last thing he needs is to have his boyfriend’s dad have a personal vendetta against him. End of discussion, Namjoon. Do I make myself clear?”

Namjoon slowly exhales, scowling. “Crystal.”

*

“Doctor Kookie,” Jin greets his youngest as he walks into the boy’s room to see him with his toy medical set open on the carpet, stethoscope around his neck… and bedsheet wrapped around his shoulders. “Or are you a superhero today?”

“Both! Checkup time, Mommy!”

Jin chuckles and sits on the ground beside Jungkook, letting himself be poked and prodded by his three year old to make sure he’s healthy. “I’m not sick, am I?”

Jungkook gravely nods his head, “Mommy’s very sick.”

Jin gasps, “Oh no!”

Jungkook grabs his toy reflex hammer and taps on Jin’s shoulder, then on the top of his head, and finally on his stomach. “I can fix Mommy.”

“If anyone can fix me, it’s the world famous Doctor Kookie!”

Jungkook nods his head, expression serious as he grabs a pair of play scissors and pretends to cut… something out of Jin’s stomach, tossing it over his shoulder before grinning widely. “All better!”

Jin breathes a sigh of relief and kisses Jungkook’s cheek. “My hero!”

“Cookie?”

Jin laughs at the hopeful look on his son’s face and stands up, scooping the boy into his arms. “I think you definitely earned a cookie for saving my life, Doctor Kookie.”

Jungkook vigorously nods his head, “I’m the best!”

Jin laughs, “And so modest, too.”

*

Yoongi doesn’t think he’s ever been as nervous as he is right now- not even meeting Jimin’s parents for the first time compares to this feeling. He stops short of entering the Kim household and wipes his sweaty palms on his jeans.

“Hey,” Jimin says, smiling at him from the entryway and beckoning him inside the house. “Don’t tell me you’re scared to come in,”

Yoongi scoffs, then locks eyes with Jimin a moment later and nods his head, “Uh, yeah. Fucking terrified, actually.”

Jimin rolls his eyes and pulls his boyfriend inside, shutting the door behind him. “What do you think’s gonna happen? Nobody’s gonna yell at you or anything; I already explained everything to them yesterday.”

“Your mom probably thinks I’m a piece of shit, and I don’t even wanna think about your dad, Jimin.”

“Melodramatic much?”

“I’m being serious-” Yoongi stops speaking as Taehyung rounds the corner and comes into view. “Uh… hey…” Yoongi tentatively greets him, eyes widening when his breath gets knocked out of him as the younger boy rushes at him and crushes him in a hug.

“I felt so bad for being mean to you!” Taehyung says into his shoulder. “Seriously, I’m so happy you two are back together! All is right with the world again!”

“Jimin, help,” Yoongi gets out as Taehyung inadvertently continues squeezing the life out of him. “Jimin!”

Jimin laughs as he pries his brother off his boyfriend, “Tae, let him breathe.”

“Sorry,” Taehyung sheepishly apologizes, smiling. “I’m just excited we can be friends again!”

Yoongi chuckles and pats Taehyung on the back, “I missed you, too, Tae.”

*

Jungkook’s supposed to be playing quietly in his room. Because Mommy’s busy making dinner, and Daddy isn’t home from wherever he goes every day, and J’min’s always in his bedroom lately, and TaeTae’s being mean because he doesn’t wanna play with him.

But Jungkook doesn’t want to stay in his room, so he creeps out into the hallway and gasps when he comes face-to-face with Shhhooogah-

“SHHHOOOGAH!”

“Hey, Kookie!”

Jungkook’s lifted into Shhhooogah’s arms and he grabs at the boy’s face, tugging on his hair to make sure that it’s really him, and bunching his hands in Shhhooogah’s shirt when it turns out that, yep, this is the real Shhhooogah, and Jungkook doesn’t know what he’s doing in their house because J’min and TaeTae said he wouldn’t be coming over anymore, but here he is!

He’s here! And Jungkook needs to bring him to J’min! Because J’min’s been super sad for so long and Jungkook doesn’t like J’min when he’s sad, but Shhhooogah knows how to make J’min smile!

Jungkook wiggles around in Shhhooogah’s arms, finally being let down a moment later and urgently tugs on Shhhooogah’s hand, leading him across the hall to J’min’s room. Jungkook pounds his fists against J’min’s door, shouting his brother’s name at the top of his lungs- because open up already, J’min! Jungkook’s gonna fix everything by bringing Shhhooogah back to you and making you happy again!

J’min finally opens the door and stares at him and Jungkook points at Shhhooogah, smiling widely. “Shhhooogah’s here!”

“Did Kookie intercept you on the way to the bathroom?”

“Pretty much, yeah.”

Jungkook doesn’t get why J’min isn’t as excited as he is to see Shhhooogah, so he pushes on the back of Shhhooogah’s legs, making him get closer to J’min. “Shhhooogah’s here, J’min!”

“He is, isn’t he?” J’min says, crouching down in front of him and Jungkook points at Shhhooogah, trying to get J’min to understand that he brought Shhhooogah to see him so he’d be happy!

“J’min’s happy now?”

“About Yoongi being here?”

Jungkook doesn’t know who that is because there’s only him and J’min and Shhhooogah around, so he shakes his head with a frown. “Shhhooogah’s supposed to make you happy!”

“You’re right, Kookie. He does make me happy. Thank you for bringing him to me.”

Jungkook beams at J’min when his brother smiles at him, and Jungkook can’t remember the last time he saw J’min smile at him and it’s nice and familiar and J’min looks so happy now that Shhhooogah’s back at their house, and Jungkook puffs his chest out a little, proud that he’s fixed his brother and made him happy again.

Jungkook thinks he probably deserves a cookie for this. “Cookie?”

“It’s almost dinner, Kookie. You know the rules.”

Jungkook pulls a face and stomps his foot on the ground. Because why doesn’t J’min get it? Jungkook’s been a good boy and he deserves a cookie! Mommy will understand why he’s allowed a cookie before dinner just this once.

“Cookie!”

“Kookie-”

“Cookie!” Jungkook says again, lower lip wobbling. “Shhhooogah?”

“Sunshine, look at his face-”

“Fine, alright. I’ll be right back with your cookie.” J’min smiles at him, disappearing downstairs and Jungkook looks up at Shhhooogah, “No more leaving J’min!”

“I promise I won’t leave again.”

“Cross your heart?”

Jungkook watches closely, craning his neck to see Shhhooogah do the motion across his heart. “Missed you, Shhhooogah.”

*

Jimin cautiously walks towards where his dad’s watching the news in the living room. He sets Jungkook’s cookie down on the coffee table and sits beside the man. “Uh…”

“I hear you and Yoongi are back together.”

Jimin takes a deep breath. “Yeah, uh… He’s in my room right now and he’s staying for dinner, and can you just try not to be a psycho around him- even though I know you probably don’t like him very much right now-”

Namjoon sighs and holds a hand up to stop his son’s rambling. “Jiminie, your mom already explained everything to me. And as much as I don’t want to treat him nicely because I’m still upset he hurt you, I will treat him fairly and I promise I won’t make him uncomfortable.”

Jimin lets out a breath he didn’t know he was holding and hugs his dad, “Thanks, Dad.”

“Send Yoongi down to my studio in ten minutes, though. I want to have a little chat with him before dinner.”

Jimin’s eyes widen and he shakes his head, “Dad, please don’t beat him up-”

Namjoon snorts, “I’m not going to beat him up, Jimin. I just want to talk to him for a bit- clear up a few things, that’s all.”

*

Yoongi’s walking towards his own funeral- he’s positive of that fact.

As he nears the studio he can feel his palms growing sweatier, his breathing becoming harsher and his heart beating erratically enough that he’s a little concerned for it.

At least if he has a fucking heart attack, Jimin’s mom will know what to do.

Standing in front of the door, Yoongi hesitantly brings his hand up and raps his knuckles against it, swallowing nervously when Jimin’s dad tells him to come in.

He does and takes a seat on the couch inside the room, resting his hands in his lap and resisting the urge to fiddle with the rings on his fingers. He avoids looking directly at the man in front of him- mainly because he’s afraid that he’ll see pure hatred on the man’s face for what he put Jimin through.

“Yoongi.”

Yoongi snaps his head up and stares at Namjoon, exhaling shakily.

“I hear congratulations are in order.”

Yoongi frowns, eyes narrowed in confusion. “Uh…” He scratches at the back of his head, “What?”

Namjoon smiles at the boy in front of him, “For getting into university, Yoongi. Congratulations.”

“Oh, uh, y- yeah.” Yoongi says, mind reeling; this is so not what he was expecting them to talk about. “Thank you.”

“I’m sure you’ll do wonderfully there.” Namjoon tells him. “I’m proud of you- not everyone can say they’ve been accepted into Seoul National University.”

“It’s definitely an honor.” Yoongi quietly agrees.

“It is. And I’m positive you won’t squander this opportunity.”

Yoongi hastily shakes his head, “Absolutely not.”

“On another note,” Namjoon says, “I heard your father lost his job.”

“A few months ago, yeah.” Yoongi slowly tells him, “He’s been, uh- He’s been looking for a new job, but...” He shrugs a shoulder, “Not many places are hiring, I guess.”

“I understand how hard it must be.” Namjoon sympathizes. “I just wanted to let you know that if he’s interested, I’m in need of a new accountant at my company. He’s more than welcome to the job if he’d like it.”

This is so, so not what he was expecting to talk about.

“I- Yeah. I’ll… let him know the next time I see him.” Yoongi murmurs, trying to wrap his mind around what’s just happened. “Thank you, Mr. Kim.”

“No thanks necessary,” Namjoon waves his words off, absently hearing Jin calling everyone for dinner. As he ushers Yoongi out of his studio, he places a hand on the teen’s shoulder, “Oh, and Yoongi?”

“Yeah?”

“If you ever hurt my son again, I’ll make sure that you never get a job in the music industry in all of Korea. Do I make myself clear?”

Yoongi swallows around the lump in his throat and jerkily nods his head, knowing that if there’s one fucking person in this entire country who can do that, it’s Kim Namjoon.

“Good!” Namjoon claps his hands together and grins, “Let’s eat, shall we?”

*

Namjoon is crazy about Jin. Honestly, there’s not a day that goes by that Namjoon isn’t thankful for the man’s presence in his life. Jin’s his everything- not even figuratively. Jin is literally everything to Namjoon, and he would be disappointed in himself if he didn’t celebrate the man’s birthday properly.

From: Dad
December 9, 20:00

Emergency meeting in the studio. Bring your brother.

From: Dad
December 9, 20:06

Taehyung, I’m serious. Get down here now.

From: Dad
December 9, 20:07

I won’t hesitate to ground you both if you don’t get your butts down here in the next two minutes.

“We’re coming!” Namjoon hears Taehyung shout as he nears the studio. “We’re here! We’re here! Don’t ground us!”

Namjoon watches as Taehyung and Jimin burst through the door and plant themselves on the sofa in the studio, leaving the door wide open. Namjoon looks from them and back to the door, nodding in satisfaction when Jimin immediately stands to shut it with a sheepish grin. “That’s better.”

“Where’s Mom?”

“He’s not allowed to hear what I’m about to tell you both.”

Jimin looks at his brother with a wary expression, “That sounds oddly ominous. I kinda want Mom here even more now.”

“It’s about his birthday.”

Taehyung frowns in confusion, “Like, next year’s birthday? Because he just had his, Dad, like… on Friday. Don’t you remember?”

“Old age.” Jimin whispers to his brother, earning himself an unimpressed look from his dad. “I’m just saying! They say your memory’s the first thing to go when you get older.”

“I’m going to forget I have a son in a moment if you keep talking.” Namjoon jokingly threatens. “Now be quiet and listen to me.”

Taehyung and Jimin both close their mouths and sit up straighter, attempting to give their dad their undivided attention, but Namjoon’s not fooled; Jimin and Taehyung have even worse attention spans than Jungkook.

“Because Jimin was going through a tough time last week, we didn’t celebrate your mom’s birthday.” Namjoon needlessly explains to the two, patting Jimin’s thigh when his son winces at the thought of ruining his mom’s birthday. “But now that everything’s resolved itself on that front, I think we should throw your mom a surprise party. We’ll decorate the house, get him gifts, make him dinner- it’ll be something special just for him.”

“Can I cook dinner?”

“No.” Namjoon immediately shoots Taehyung down. “We don’t want to burn dinner, Tae.”

“I’ll cook.” Jimin offers with a smug grin. “That way we’ll be able to actually eat the food.”

Taehyung sticks his tongue out at Jimin and Namjoon snaps his fingers in front of their faces. “Focus,” he tells them. “Jimin’ll cook. Tae, you can decorate the house-”

“How am I gonna decorate the house if he’s always in it?”

“We’ll do it on Saturday and I’ll make sure he’s out of the house, okay?”

Taehyung nods, “Okay.” He hesitantly smiles at his dad, “Can I invite Hoseok?”

“To your mom’s surprise birthday party?” Namjoon asks with a raised eyebrow. “To a family-only affair?”

“If Hoseok’s coming, Yoongi gets to come.”

“I didn’t say-”

“Hoseok can help me decorate!” Taehyung exclaims, smiling broadly. “And Yoongi can help you cook.”

“You mean he can watch me cook.”

Namjoon listens to them talk and sighs, wondering why he even bothered trying to say no to Hoseok and Yoongi coming over; they practically live at his house as it is. “Fine. They can come.”

Jimin rolls his eyes, “Of course they’re coming. Even if you said no, they’d still come. You know that, Dad.”

“Why isn’t Kookie here?” Taehyung suddenly asks as he notices his little brother’s absence. “If anyone’s gonna be excited about throwing Mom a surprise party, it’s him.”

“No.” Namjoon quickly says. “No telling Kookie anything about this!”

“Because…?”

“Because your brother’s going through his…” Namjoon tries to find a less insulting word, but gives up after a few moments, “blabbermouth phase. Anything you tell him, he’ll tell your mom within the hour. I can’t risk him giving away the surprise.”

“Good point.” Jimin agrees.

“When are we gonna get him presents?”

“I’ll pick you both up from school tomorrow and we’ll pick out gifts for your mom.” He looks at both teens, “And if your mom asks anything about what’s going on-”

“We know nothing!” Taehyung quickly answers, grinning.

“Exactly.”

*

“Dad, do you even know the man you married?”

Namjoon ignores Jimin in favor of turning over the spatula in his hands.

“Seriously, don’t buy him that.” Jimin advises him, lightly taking the cooking utensil from his hands and placing it back on the shelf. He motions his brother over and stares at his dad, “Dad, Mom doesn’t want cooking stuff for his birthday.”

“Unless you’re buying him a new oven.” Taehyung interjects, pointing at where the appliances are on the other side of the store they’re in. “He’s been complaining about ours for months.”

“No.” Jimin shakes his head. “Birthday gifts aren’t supposed to be practical.”

Namjoon sighs, “Jimin, I think I know what your mom likes and doesn’t like.”

“You don’t.” Jimin bluntly tells him. “That’s why we’re here.”

“Get him a new car!”

Namjoon rolls his eyes at Taehyung’s suggestion. “I’m not buying him a new car. The one he has is fine.”

“Buy me a new car, then.” Taehyung proposes, smiling cheekily at his dad. “Or get Mom something he doesn’t need, but wants- like a giant Mario plushie!”

“No.” Namjoon shoots him down as they exit the store and continue walking through the mall. “He doesn’t need a giant stuffed Mario.”

“Besides, if Dad got him that Kookie would probably just end up wanting it and whining about it until Mom just gave it to him.”

“True.” Taehyung muses. “What about getting him tickets to a concert?”

“Are you suggesting things for your mom’s birthday or yours?” Namjoon absently asks as he looks through the window of a clothing shop. “What about getting him a new scarf?”

“Lame.”

“Super lame.” Jimin says with a shake of his head. “That’s like saying ‘Happy birthday, I couldn’t think of anything better to get you, so here’s a scarf’.”

“Well what do you suggest then, Jimin?”

Jimin shrugs at his dad’s question, “I dunno. Something cool.”

“Oh, thank you,” Namjoon deadpans, “that was very helpful.”

“Get him a dog!” Taehyung excitedly says as he presses his face up against the display window of a pet shop. “Please get him a dog!”

“Or a cat!” Jimin suggests as he coos over the kittens in the shop. “A cute, fluffy kitten!”

Namjoon forcefully pries his sons away from the store’s windows, “No pets. What about a pass to the gym?”

“He’ll think you’re telling him to lose weight.” Jimin immediately shoots that idea down. “Do you really wanna call Mom fat on his birthday?”

“I give up.” Namjoon announces with a groan. “I’m going back and buying him that spatula and maybe the scarf, too.”

“You can’t give up yet, Dad!” Taehyung cries. “Mom’s perfect present is here somewhere!”

“Where?” Namjoon demands, looking around at all the shops available to him. “Do you see it, Tae? Because I sure don’t.”

“It’s here.” Taehyung assures his dad, tugging him through the mall. “We just have to find it.”

*

Namjoon knows he’s in for a long night when he enters Jungkook’s room to find his son spinning around in circles with his stuffed rabbit in his arms, giggling loudly, and hopping up and down in excitement when he sees his dad.

“Do you know what time it is, Kookie?”

“Time to play?”

Namjoon smiles sadly at the boy, “Afraid not. It’s bedtime.”

“Not tired!”

“How about we get you into your pajamas and we’ll see how you feel afterwards, okay?” Namjoon offers, rummaging through Jungkook’s closet for a pair of pajamas. “You wanna change into these, Kookie?”

Jungkook pulls a face at the blue pajamas. “I don’t like the blue ones!”

“Okay. Fine.” Namjoon goes back to the closet and gets Jungkook’s black pajamas. “What about these?”

“No!”

Namjoon quickly learns that Jungkook also doesn’t like his yellow, white, or green pajamas. He wants his red ones.

The ones in the wash.

“Kookie, they’re dirty. You can’t wear dirty pajamas.”

“Yes I can!”

Namjoon holds up two pairs of pajamas in front of his son. “Kookie, pick which one you want to wear from these two. Either the blue ones or the black ones.”

“Red!”

“Blue or black?”

Red, Daddy!”

“Red isn’t an option.” Namjoon patiently tells him. “Blue or black?”

“Red!”

Namjoon runs a hand through his hair, exhaling slowly through his nose. “Black it is.” he decides for his son, grabbing the boy around his middle and wrestling him into his pajamas, earning himself a bite on his arm and a kick to the leg for his troubles. When Jungkook’s finally in his pajamas, Namjoon sets him back on the ground, “Now, you’ve got your pajamas on, how about we brush your teeth-”

“No!”

“I wasn’t really asking, Kookie.” Namjoon tells him as he leads him into the bathroom and helps him brush his teeth, trying not to laugh at the disgruntled look on Jungkook’s face the entire time the toothbrush is inside his mouth.

“Spit.”

Jungkook dutifully spits into the sink and rinses his mouth out with water, letting Namjoon bring him back into his room. “Playtime now?”

Namjoon shakes his head, “Kookie, it’s bedtime, not playtime.” he repeats for what feels like the hundredth time in the span of ten minutes. “How about we get you into bed, huh?”

Jungkook grimaces at the thought, darting out of his dad’s grasp and running out of his bedroom, giggling like mad while Namjoon internally counts to ten and calmly follows his youngest towards his and Jin’s room. He enters the room and finds Jungkook being lifted into his husband’s arms, the man kissing their son’s cheek.

“I thought you were putting him to bed?”

Namjoon leans against the doorframe and rolls his eyes, “What does it look like I’m trying to do?”

“It looks like you’re playing with him.” Jin tells him, grinning at the boy in his arms. “Was Daddy playing with you, Kookie?”

Jungkook nods, beaming at his mom. “Playing tag, Mommy!”

Jin’s eyes widen in exaggerated excitement, “How fun!”

“So fun.” Namjoon deadpans. “But it’s bedtime now, Kookie. Say goodnight to Mommy-”

“No!” Jungkook pulls a face at Namjoon and burrows further into Jin’s shirt. “Not tired!”

“Tough.” Namjoon plainly tells him as he walks forwards. “Come on-”

“No!” Jungkook twists his body away from Namjoon’s approaching figure, clinging to Jin even more.

Jin pets Jungkook’s hair and rocks him, “Are you sure you’re not tired, sweetheart? It’s pretty late.”

“I’m sure!” Jungkook insists with a yawn that he tries to hide behind his hand. “I wanna stay up!”

“Jungkook, enough.” Namjoon finally says. “It’s time for bed and that’s where you’re going. No more arguing.”

Jungkook furrows his brow and looks at his mom, unshed tears in his eyes at his dad’s tone.  “Daddy’s mad.”

Jin pointedly glares at Namjoon before smiling at his son, “Daddy’s not mad at you, Kookie. Daddy’s just tired.”

“Because it’s bedtime?”

“Right.” Jin nods, striding past Namjoon and down the hall towards Jungkook’s room. “Daddy’s tired because it’s bedtime and he wants to sleep. Maybe you wanna sleep, too?”

Jungkook pouts, “Wanna play.”

“We played all day, Kookie,” Jin points out as he sets Jungkook down on his bed, settling the covers on top of him and tucking him in. “And we’ll play tomorrow, too.”

“Promise?”

Jin smiles and presses a kiss to Jungkook’s forehead, “I promise. We’ll play when you wake up tomorrow, but first you gotta go to sleep.”

“But-”

“If you don’t go to sleep,” Jin tells him, “then tomorrow will never come. How will we play tomorrow if it never comes?”

“I’ll sleep, Mommy!” Jungkook quickly says, yawning again as he snuggles further into his covers.

Jin watches over Jungkook as he quickly falls asleep and quietly sneaks out of his room when the boy’s breathing evens out. He goes back into his bedroom and frowns when he sees Namjoon already in bed. “It’s eight o’clock. Why are you in bed?”

Namjoon waggles his eyebrows, “Jungkook’s asleep, Jimin and Tae are at the movies…”

Jin snorts at the smirk on Namjoon’s face, though he climbs onto the bed, exchanging lazy kisses with his husband. “We’ve got an hour, tops, before they’re back from the theater.”

Namjoon grins against his neck, “We’ll just skip the foreplay and get to the main event, then, yeah?”

Jin chuckles, rolling his eyes, “Such a romantic.”

*

Jimin has a shadow.

And its name is Jungkook.

Who’s making it really hard to wrap presents for their mom’s birthday party.

“Kookie, why don’t you go play with your stuffies?”

“No.”

Jimin sighs and tries pushing his little brother out of his room, only to have the boy flop down on the floor in protest. “Kookie, I’ve gotta do… stuff.”

“Like what?”

Jimin shakes his head, “It’s a secret.”

“A secret?”

“Yes, a secret, and no, I’m not telling you what it is.” Jimin tells him, picking his brother up and frowning when he clings to him like a koala. “Kookie, you gotta leave. Go bug TaeTae.”

“TaeTae’s kissing Hoosuk!”

Jimin pulls a face identical to the one Jungkook’s sporting. “Ew.”

“Yeah!” Jungkook agrees. “Wanna play!”

“You’re gonna have to play by yourself.” Jimin says as he untangles Jungkook’s limbs from around his midsection. “I’ve gotta do this and you can’t be here for it.”

“Why?”

“Because you’re not allowed to know what I’m doing.”

“But why?”

Jimin rolls his eyes, “Because it’s a secret, Kookie. I already told you that.”

“But why?”

“Because it’s something you don’t need to know.”

“Why?”

Jimin groans in frustration and gently guides his brother out of his room, “That’s just the way it is. Now go tell TaeTae he’s being gross and make him play with you, okay?”

Jungkook reluctantly goes and Jimin shuts the door behind him, locking it for good measure before grabbing everything he needs to wrap his mom’s presents.

*

“Your mom and dad and brother are leaving the house for exactly an hour on this lovely Saturday afternoon!” Namjoon calls out into the house, ignoring the way Jin’s looking at him like he’s lost his mind.

Jimin and Taehyung appear at the entryway, smiling innocently and waving goodbye. “See you in an hour.”

“You’re all acting weird.” Jin tells his family as he lets Namjoon drag him and Jungkook out of the house. “Don’t wreck anything while we’re gone.”

“Wouldn’t dream of it, Mom.” Jimin sweetly tells him, shutting the door behind them. “Okay, Yoongi and Hoseok are on their way over, so you start decorating and I’ll get dinner started.”

Taehyung excitedly nods his head and grabs the bag of party supplies he’d stashed in the linen closet a few days ago. “I’ll send Yoongi your way when he gets here,” he tells his brother as he grabs a pack of balloons and rips it open, beginning the arduous task of blowing them all up.

*

Half an hour later and Jimin’s got the food in the oven, has Yoongi driving to a nearby bakery for the cake they ordered for his mom’s birthday, and... the living room still isn’t finished being decorated. “Seriously, Tae?”

Taehyung hastily pushes Hoseok away and smiles guiltily at his brother. “I- We- Hoseok keeps distracting me!”

“Lies!” Hoseok shouts. “I can’t help it if you can’t stop kissing me.”

“Gross.” Jimin says. “Stop making out and start decorating. We’ve got, like, twenty minutes until Mom and Dad get home.”

“You stay at that end of the room, I’ll stay at this end.” Taehyung instructs his boyfriend, pointing at the other side of the living room. “And no more trying to kiss me.”

“I make no promises.” Hoseok grins, grabbing the streamers from the bag and beginning to hang them up.

*

Jin’s positive something’s up with his kids. And possibly Namjoon, too.

They’re all acting very suspicious. Which probably means they’re hiding something, and Jin would be more concerned about that, except he already knows what they’re hiding.

A surprise party. For him.

(Jin should probably mention to Taehyung that hiding party supplies in the linen closet is not the best place to hide things because, uh, Jin goes in the linen closet every day and seeing balloons, streamers, a giant Happy Birthday sign, and noisemakers is kind of a dead giveaway that a party’s in the works.)

Still, Jin feigns being shocked when he enters the house and sees that Jimin, Taehyung, Yoongi and Hoseok have managed to decorate the entire living room and cook him dinner, all in the span of an hour.

It’s impressive and heartwarming, and no, he's not crying- okay, fine. He might be crying a little bit.

*

“You don’t like the scarf I bought you, do you?”

Jin settles himself under the covers of their bed and kisses Namjoon’s cheek, “I thought it was very… practical.”

Namjoon rolls his eyes, “You hate it.”

“I love it because you bought it for me.” Jin assures him. “I’ll wear it all the time, Namjoon, I promise.”

“Good.” Namjoon smirks, “Because I hear it gets cold in Italy in January.”

Jin cautiously looks at Namjoon, a smile slowly working its way onto his face. “You didn’t.”

Namjoon leans over the side of the bed and fishes a pair of plane tickets, topped with a bow, out of his nightstand, handing them to Jin. “You didn’t really think all I got you was a scarf and a spatula for your birthday, did you?”

Jin laughs and wraps his arms around Namjoon’s neck, kissing him while clutching the plane tickets to his chest. He parts from his husband and looks at the tickets, “Seven tickets?”

Namjoon pointedly looks at Jin, “I’m not having a repeat of our trip to Los Angeles. We’re bringing Yoongi and Hoseok along so that everyone’s happy.”

Jin stares at his husband in amazement, “How did I wind up with someone as wonderful as you in my life?”

Namjoon grins and kisses the tip of Jin’s nose. “I ask myself that same question every single day.”

 

Chapter Text

“How do you feel about pizza for dinner tonight?” Namjoon asks, walking into the living room with his eyes downcast, focusing on the pamphlet in his hands. “Buy two, get one half price-”

“Shhh!”

Namjoon stops in his tracks and stares at Jin, “Wh-”

Jin slaps a hand over Namjoon’s mouth, grinning while he gestures over to where Jimin and Taehyung are sitting on the carpet with Jungkook- papers strewn about around them while Christmas music plays softly in the background.

“You gotta write a list for Santa, Kookie. All the things you want for Christmas.” Jimin tells his younger brother, handing Taehyung a sheet of paper and a pen. “TaeTae’s gonna write down what you want and then we’ll mail it to the North Pole so Santa gets it.”

“Iron Man.”

Jimin hides a laugh behind his hand. “You want an Iron Man action figure?”

“No. Iron Man.”

“I think Iron Man’s gonna be busy keeping the world safe, Kookie.” Taehyung tells him, but writes Iron Man down nonetheless. “What else do you want?”

“Hugs!”

Taehyung chuckles as he writes it down on the paper in front of him, “You want a hug from Santa?”

Jungkook shakes his head, “Hugs from Mommy!”

“What about a hug from Daddy?” Jimin asks, handing a paper over to Jungkook, along with some crayons. “You like Daddy’s hugs, too, don’t you?”

Jungkook shakes his head, poking his tongue out of his mouth as he scribbles on the paper with a blue crayon. “Mommy’s are gooder.”

“That was brutally honest.” Namjoon whispers to his husband as they watch their sons prepare for Christmas. “For the record, my hugs are just as good as yours.”

“Eh.” Jin shrugs, trying to hold back his laughter at the look of concern on Namjoon’s face. “I’m kidding; your hugs are just as good as mine.”

“Liar.” Namjoon mumbles under his breath, continuing to watch his sons.

“You can ask for anything you want, Kookie.” Taehyung says, tapping the pen against the paper. “Anything at all.”

“A shark.”

Jimin snorts, shaking his head in amusement. “A shark?”

Jungkook nods, exchanging his blue crayon for a yellow one. “Big shark!”

“You got that, Tae?”

Taehyung dutifully writes Jungkook’s request on the paper. “Alright, that looks like enough stuff-”

Jungkook quickly shakes his head and shuffles his way over to Taehyung, whispering, “No more baths.”

“You need to take baths, Kookie.” Jimin immediately points out. “Nobody likes taking baths, but you gotta do it.”

“No baths.” Jungkook repeats, grabbing onto Taehyung’s hand and placing it on the list. “Tell Santa, TaeTae.”

Taehyung scribbles Jungkook’s wishes onto the paper, giving Jimin a shrug in response. “Hey, that’s Santa’s problem, not ours.”

“Great.” Namjoon quietly grouses, “Now it’s our problem.”

“Kookie’ll forget all about that one when Christmas actually rolls around and he’s swimming in toys.” Jin promises him, slowly backing out of the living room while dragging Namjoon along with him. When they’re in the kitchen, Jin sets about making a cup of coffee, “While we’re on the subject of Christmas, we’ve gotta decide what we’re getting Jiminie and Tae.”

Namjoon hums in agreement, stealing Jin’s coffee once it’s finished brewing, only to have his hand smacked away. “Tae’s been dropping not-so-subtle hints about concert tickets.”

“The problem with that,” Jin muses, “is that it’s a group present, right? We can’t get Taehyung two tickets because he’ll want to take Jimin and Hoseok- and if we get him three tickets, then we’ve gotta get a fourth for Yoongi. It wouldn’t be fair for all three to go and Yoongi to be left out.”

“Okay, how about this,” Namjoon proposes, “we get them a group present- four tickets, and then buy Jimin and Taehyung their individual presents.”

“And we’re back to square one.” Jin surmises.

“Let’s just give them money.”

Jin tsks.

“What?” Namjoon shrugs. “They love taking money from me.”

“True,” Jin chuckles, “but it’s not an appropriate Christmas present for our sons.”

“We could just ask them what they want.” Namjoon says after a moment. “Have you thought of doing that yet?”

Jin grins at him, eyebrow raised. “You think I haven’t asked my own children what they want for Christmas?”

Namjoon opens his mouth, then shuts it, shrugging helplessly. “The thought passed through my mind.”

“Go ahead, Namjoonie.” Jin shoos him out of the kitchen. “Go ask.”

*

“I dunno.”

“What do you mean you don’t know?”

“I mean,” Jimin shrugs, “I’ll like whatever you get me; I always do.”

“Yeah,” Taehyung nods, “use your best judgement and get us something cool.”

Namjoon runs a hand through his hair, “You must want something.”

“World peace?”

“A Lamborghini?”

Namjoon slowly exhales. “What about a CD? Any movies you want?”

“We don’t really need you to buy us those things; we’ve got Netflix.” Jimin tells him. “And iTunes.”

“If you don’t give me any ideas, I’m going to tell your mom that you both asked for socks and underwear.” Namjoon warns the two, smirking in satisfaction when they instantly look away from the TV to stare at him.

“I need new socks.” Taehyung jumps on the suggestion with glee. “And new boxers.”

“Yeah. Mom knows which ones we like, tell him we want a bunch of ‘em.”

“Good idea, Dad.”

“Yeah,” Jimin agrees. “Good idea.”

Namjoon blinks, then does it again. This… was not the outcome he was expecting.

*

“Mom.”

“Jimin.”

“Mom.”

Jimin.”

Mom.” Jimin whines.

“Jimin.” Jin narrows his eyes at his son.

Jimin sighs, feeling incredibly put upon, he might add. “But…” he trails off, pouting at his parents. “Yoongi and I were gonna hang out today. It’s, like, the first day he’s had off from work since we got off school for winter break.”

Namjoon crosses his arms over his chest, levelling his son with the look. “What I’m hearing, Jimin, is that your little brother isn’t as important as your boyfriend-”

Jimin hastily shakes his head. “Of course Jungkook’s more important. But-”

“Jimin,” Namjoon sighs. “We’re not going to force you to take your little brother to see Santa.”

“You’re not?” Jimin hesitantly asks, eyeing his parents with trepidation.

“No.” Jin tells him, smiling sadly, “We’ll just let Jungkook know that his older brother, whom he loves very much, doesn’t feel like taking him to the mall to see Santa today.”

Jimin groans, placing his head in his hands.

“Don’t worry, though, Jiminie.” Namjoon adds, “I’m sure Jungkook won’t mind too much. It’s not like he’s been waiting to meet Santa for months or anything…”

“Oh, my god, stop talking.” Jimin moans. He lifts his head and stares at his parents, “Fine, I’ll take him to see Santa.”

“Oh, no,” Jin says, “We wouldn’t want to put you out. When your dad’s off work next week and I’m finished volunteering at the hospital, we’ll take him ourselves-”

“I’ll take him! I’ll take him!” Jimin tells his mom. “I’ll just call Yoongi and tell him we can hang out later tonight.”

“Thanks, sweetie.” Jin ruffles his son’s hair. “Go get ready and I’ll drop you off at the mall on the way to the hospital.”

*

“One down,”

“One to go.” Jin finishes, sighing. “Hopefully Tae won’t be as hard to convince to take Jungkook to the mall as Jimin was.”

*

“Taehyung?”

Taehyung looks up from his manga, sitting up cross-legged and setting the comic in his lap. “What’s up?”

“How would you feel about taking Jungkook to see Santa this afternoon?”

“Yeah, sure.”

“Taehyung, please- Wait… did you say yes?”

Taehyung nods his head, “Yeah.”

“No arguments?” Namjoon suspiciously asks. “No whining about spending your Saturday with your little brother?”

“Uh, no?” Taehyung shrugs helplessly at his dad’s piercing gaze. “Am I not supposed to want to take him?”

“Never mind.” Jin quickly says with a smile. “Thanks, Tae. Get ready and we’ll leave in a bit.”

*

In all honesty, this is Taehyung’s fault-

“This is not my fault!”

Jimin gives Taehyung an unimpressed look, “Oh, I suppose this is my fault? I’m not the one who yelled at that kid-”

“He butt in front of Kookie! Damn right I was gonna give him a piece of my mind!”

“He was, like, four!”

“So he should know his manners by now!”

Jimin rolls his eyes, “And if he doesn’t, what? You’re gonna scream them at him? Is that it?”

“Whatever.” Taehyung mutters, lowering his eyes to the ground. “If you hadn’t let Kookie bite Santa-”

“I didn’t let Kookie bite Santa-”

“You didn’t stop it from happening.”

“Neither did you!”

“Uh, I was a little busy yelling at a four year old.” Taehyung points out. “You were supposed to be watching Kookie.”

“I was! I watched him bite Santa!”

“And you didn’t even try to do anything to stop him!”

“Santa shouldn’t have tried to pinch his cheek. He’s supposed to be good with kids!” Jimin retorts. “This is all his fault!”

After a few minutes where neither talks, Taehyung sighs heavily and lets his head fall back against the wall behind them. “Mom’s gonna kill us.”

“Dad’s gonna help him.”

Taehyung looks around the security office they’re in. “You think we can take the guard?” he whispers, gesturing to a slumbering man sitting behind a desk. “I’ll go for the eyes, you-”

“No.”

“We can totally take him-”

No.”

Taehyung pouts, “You’re no fun.”

*

“You know, the hospital’s looking to hire some new doctors.”

Jin grins at the nurse in front of him, “Subtle.”

She laughs, “I’m just saying…”

“I don’t think I could stand to leave Jungkook at some daycare center all day.” Jin admits. “Plus, who would look after everything in the house?”

“Your husband?”

Jin barks out a laugh, “If I wanted the house to burn down, then, yes, Namjoon would be the logical choice.”

“Listen,” she says, “maybe not anytime soon, but think about this, okay? You’re so good with the patients and you know everything there is to know. Maybe you’d need to brush up on your medical journals, but-”

“I appreciate your vote of confidence in me, but,” Jin sighs, shrugging a shoulder, “for right now, my family’s more important to me than a paycheck.”

“But you’d be making a difference in people’s lives.”

“I already do that with my own family.” Jin points out.

“Don’t you think it’s a little selfish of you to not use your skills to help people out?”

Jin’s taken aback by the woman’s question and he frowns in thought. Is he being selfish? He loves helping people, sure; that’s one of the main reasons he went to medical school in the first place, but raising his family is so much more important to him than being a doctor. Is that such a bad thing?

Is it wrong of him to want to take care of his own family first and foremost- to be a pillar of strength and stability for his sons in an ever changing world?

Jin never really thought that he was being selfish, but now…

Maybe he’s been selfish for far too long.

“Besides, don’t you miss working? Contributing just as much as your husband does?”

Jin misses saving lives, but the long, grueling hours? Not so much. He misses meeting new people and connecting with his patients, but he doesn’t miss random bodily fluids covering his scrubs at all hours of the day. And he definitely doesn’t miss cafeteria food.

“Do you think your husband ever wants to switch places with you?”

Jin immediately shakes his head at her question, but… he doesn’t actually know how Namjoon feels about this. He’d always just assumed Namjoon had been happy with their roles. Maybe he’s been wrong all these years, though.

Maybe Namjoon wants a chance to spend time at home with the kids and Jin’s just been too self-involved in his own desires to see it…

*

Namjoon’s in the middle of debating whether or not he wants to blow his brains out or attempt to fix the sound mixing in one of Korea’s up and coming artist’s newest single.

…Honestly, he’s closer to shooting himself in favor of not having to slog through a four minute track that’s obnoxiously loud, repetitive and sounds more like an amateur’s mixtape than an actual singer’s who’s signed to an actual label.

The talent of some people nowadays is… debateable, Namjoon muses as he starts the track up again and resists the urge to rub at his temples.

When his phone rings, Namjoon’s shocked to realize that his ringtone is more melodic than this particular track. What a mess… He’s going to be here all night at this rate.

He unlocks his phone, doesn’t recognize the number and debates whether or not he even wants to answer it- then realizes that if he doesn’t, he’s going to have to listen to the song for the millionth time, and no thank you.

“Hello?”

“Am I speaking to Kim Namjoon?”

“Yes, and you are?”

“Mr. Kim, this is the security office at I Park Mall. We have Jimin and Taehyung in custody-”

“Of course you do.” Namjoon groans. “What have they done?”

“I’d rather discuss the particulars of what they’ve done in person. Are you able to come down and collect your children? We tried contacting your wife-”

“Wrong.” Namjoon immediately corrects. “You tried contacting my husband.”

“I’m sorry. Your children called your husband their mother, so I assumed-”

“Wrongly.” Namjoon says as he stands and gathers his coat and scarf. “You assumed wrongly. I’ll be there as soon as I can.”

*

Namjoon arrives at the mall and is reminded why he hates shopping during the holidays when he’s shoved out of the way by no less than ten people in the span of five minutes. He manoeuvres his way through the throng of people everywhere and makes it to the mall’s security office in one piece. He goes inside, spotting Jimin and Taehyung sitting on some chairs off to the side of the room, but no Jungkook.

Namjoon strides up to the man sitting behind the desk, “Where’s my youngest son?”

“Mr. Kim I presume?”

“Yes. Where’s my son?”

“He’s being looked after at the daycare center on the second floor-”

Namjoon holds his hand up to stop the man’s speaking, “No, see, what I want to hear is that he’s on his way back to this very room.”

“Mr. Kim, there’s no need to panic, your son is in capable hands-”

Namjoon narrows his eyes and leans down, placing his hands on either side of the man’s desk. “No. He’s not. Because he’s not in my hands. So let me spell this out carefully for you: get my son back in here within the next sixty seconds or I will become very unpleasant to deal with. Do you understand me?”

“Yes, sir.”

Namjoon nods in satisfaction when the man goes on his radio and calls for Jungkook to be brought back. Namjoon looks at his watch and literally counts how long it takes Jungkook to be brought to him.

56 seconds.

“You’re lucky.” Namjoon tells the man, taking his son from the other security officer. “Kookie, are you okay?”

Jungkook smiles brightly, “Saw Santa, Daddy!”

“You did?” Namjoon gasps, hugging Jungkook to his chest. “That’s great! Did you tell him what you wanted for Christmas?”

“I bited him.”

Namjoon’s about to reply until Jungkook’s words actually sink in. He finally looks over at Jimin and Taehyung, “Kookie bit Santa?”

“Um, yeah.” Jimin shrugs at his dad’s bemused expression. “It just kinda happened.”

“Mr. Kim,”

Namjoon’s attention snaps back to the security officer in front of him. “Right. What did my children do to wind up in here? Besides biting Santa.”

“Your son-”

Taehyung guiltily raises his hand and waves at his dad.

“Got into a heated argument with a child-”

“You were arguing with a kid?” Namjoon asks his son with a raised eyebrow. “Really, Taehyung? You’re almost seventeen.”

“He cut in front of Kookie!” Taehyung defends himself. “We were waiting in line for, like, an hour and this kid butt right in front of us!”

“And your other son-”

Jimin cautiously smiles at his dad.

“Caused quite the scene by starting a shouting match with Santa Claus. We had to escort them out of the lineup and brought them down here.”

“You… yelled at Santa?” Namjoon slowly asks Jimin, running a hand through his hair. “Are you insane?”

Jimin huffs, “No. He was getting mad at Kookie for biting him. So I got mad at him.”

“Right.”

“J’min called Santa a bad word!”

At Jungkook’s words, Namjoon narrows his eyes at his son. “Honestly, Jimin. With Jungkook right there?”

“I know, I know,” Jimin says. “But that jerk called Kookie a brat!”

Jungkook looks up at his dad and sadly nods his head, “Santa doesn’t like Kookie.”

Namjoon presses a kiss to the top of his son’s head, “Santa loves you, Kookie.”

“Didn’t really seem like it.” Taehyung mutters to Jimin.

Namjoon ignores Taehyung’s comment and turns his attention back to the security guard. “Are they free to go? They didn’t really do anything, after all.”

“We’re letting them off with a warning this time.” The man says, “In the future, we’d appreciate it if you could make sure your children are better behaved.”

Namjoon doesn’t bother replying, opting to drag Jimin and Taehyung out of there. They weave their way through the mall and are dangerously close to the exit when Taehyung abruptly stops, causing Namjoon to slam into his back and nearly jostling Jimin off his feet.

“Dad, look!”

Namjoon looks at where Taehyung’s pointing and sees a small stage with a large crowd around it. He chuckles when he recognizes his own song being played and a man onstage rapping to it.

“That’s embarrassing.” Jimin mumbles, and Namjoon rolls his eyes; everything’s embarrassing to his son.

Namjoon cringes when the song finishes and the man onstage points at him, “No way! Is that- It is! Ladies and gentlemen, that right there is Rap Monster!”

Namjoon doesn’t even realize he’s being ushered onto the stage until it’s too late to do anything about it.

“We all wanna hear Rap Monster, right?” the man shouts into his microphone, eliciting a deafening cheer from the crowd. “You’re cool with this, right?” he whispers to Namjoon with a grin. “You want me to hold your baby?”

Namjoon shakes his head, spotting Jimin and Taehyung in the crowd and beckoning them forwards, handing off Jungkook to them.

“Let’s do this,” Namjoon says into the mic, grinning when his song begins playing once more.

*

Jimin finds it almost surreal how crazy these people are going for his dad. They’re acting like he’s the god of rap or something. It’s amazing how many girls are staring at his dad in adoration and how many guys are nodding their heads along to his lyrics like they get it on a level that Jimin just doesn’t.

His dad’s songs are great- of course they are, but… Jimin’s never been able to associate Rap Monster and cool in the same sentence like everyone else can because to him Rap Monster and his dad are the same person. When he thinks of Rap Monster, he thinks of his dad- dorky, clumsy, always trying to make their mom smile, and embarrassing him and Taehyung at every available opportunity.

When the world thinks of Rap Monster, Jimin figures that they imagine somebody who’s cool- a man who writes inspiring lyrics and someone who managed to motivate countless people to start rapping. They definitely don’t see Rap Monster as Jimin does- someone who spends countless hours building a perfect replica of Olaf outside in their backyard after the season’s first snowfall just to see his toddler smile and laugh.

Despite not being able to see his dad as the rest of the world does, Jimin thinks that his version of Rap Monster is better than everyone else’s.

*

“Grounded.”

“But-”

Jin raises an eyebrow at Jimin and Taehyung’s simultaneous outbursts. “Are you sure you want to argue with me on this?”

Jimin meekly shakes his head at the look on his mom’s face, Taehyung copying the motion a second later.

“One week. No video games, no TV, no hanging out with Yoongi or Hoseok, and no internet.”

Taehyung gapes at his mom, “Mom-”

“That seems a little harsh, Jin,” Namjoon lightly comments. He’s not one to interject when Jin’s doling out punishments in their household, but this… it seems a little extreme for something so trivial.

“Jimin, Taehyung, go to your rooms.” Jin tells them, narrowing his eyes when they don’t move. “Now.”

Namjoon watches the two scamper from the room and he turns to stare at his husband. “Did you have a bad day today?”

“My day was fine.”

Namjoon nods, “That means yes.”

Jin rolls his eyes and retreats into the den. “That means my day was fine, just like I said.”

“You’re in a bad mood and you’re taking it out on Jimin and Tae.” Namjoon comments, watching Jin listlessly flip through book after book- clearly not looking for a particular book but just trying to keep his hands busy. “What happened at the hospital?”

“Namjoon, stop trying to be my therapist-”

“I’m trying to understand what’s happened.” Namjoon corrects. “Because, as your husband, I feel that I have a right to know what’s making you so upset that you take it out on our kids.”

Jin pauses and shuts the book in his hands, setting it on the end table. He takes a deep breath. “Do you resent me, Namjoon?”

Namjoon blinks in shock at the question, frowning. He takes a step towards Jin and spins him around so he can see his face. “What a ridiculous thing to ask. What on earth could I possibly resent you for?”

“For quitting my job and staying at home all these years.” Jin quietly admits, eyes trained on Namjoon’s. “For being selfish and putting my own wants above everyone else’s.”

Namjoon doesn’t know where these insane thoughts are coming from, but they’re decidedly unwelcome.

Jin continues speaking, “You’re always working and I’m just at home-”

“Looking after our children.” Namjoon interrupts with a shake of his head. “You didn’t quit your job to just stay home. You’ve done something I could never dream of doing- raising our children flawlessly and looking after everyone’s needs before your own. Why would you think you’ve been selfish?”

Jin looks away from Namjoon and plays with the hem of his shirt. “I- There was this woman at the hospital today. She made some comments about me staying at home with the boys. That making you work all the time wasn’t fair-”

Namjoon places a finger against Jin’s lips, “Shh. Don’t believe for one second that any of that is true. You are under no obligation to work again unless you want to. And I do work all the time, but I like working… for the most part. Sure, sometimes I’d like to spend more time with you and the kids, but what I do is such a large part of my life… I couldn’t imagine ever giving it up. Staying at home with the kids would probably drive me insane- no offense to the boys.”

Jin chuckles weakly.

“The fact that you’ve looked after Jimin and Taehyung their whole lives; that you’re doing it again with Jungkook- It blows my mind, Jin. Anyone can get a job, but successfully raising three kids? That’s something astounding.”

“I-”

“Don’t ever think I could resent you.” Namjoon tells him, cupping his face and pressing a gentle kiss to his lips, lingering a moment longer than necessary. “I love you so damn much, you have no idea.”

Jin smiles and places his head on Namjoon’s shoulder, “Thank you, Namjoon.”

“Don’t let people like that woman put doubts in your mind. You’re amazing.”

“You are, too, you know that, right?”

Namjoon grins, “Yeah, I heard that a lot today after my impromptu concert.”

“Wait… your what? Concert?”

Namjoon laughs, “I’ll tell you about it after you go apologize to Jimin and Taehyung.”

Jin acquiesces, leaving the room and heading upstairs, knocking on Taehyung’s door first. “Taehyung?” he calls out, opening the door and finding his son sitting on his bed, staring out the window. Jin takes a seat next to him and sighs, “Tae, I’m sorry I got mad at you and Jimin earlier.”

Taehyung slowly turns to look at his mom, brow furrowed. “You are?”

Jin nods his head, “I was having a bad day and I took it out on you two. I’m sorry.”

“That’s… okay.” Taehyung says, confusion still written on his face. “Does this mean I’m not grounded anymore?”

Jin chuckles, ruffling his son’s hair. “How about you’ll just be grounded for tomorrow?”

Taehyung grins widely, “Deal!”

“Good.” Jin says, leaving Taehyung’s room to go have the exact same conversation with Jimin. Admitting his wrongdoings to his children is not his favorite thing to do, but punishing his children for his own foul mood is unacceptable.

*

“Mommy!”

Jin burrows further into the covers.

“Daddy!”

Namjoon grunts in response, still asleep.

“No more sleep! Mommy!”

Jin blearily opens his eyes, spotting Jungkook’s face looming over him, Jimin and Taehyung standing at the foot of the bed. “What-” Jin yawns, “What time is it?”

“Five.”

Jin squints at his sons, his vision still blurry with sleep. “Why are you up?”

“Christmas, Mommy! Santa!”

“What he said,” Taehyung grins, pointing at Jungkook.

“Plus, Jungkook woke us up, like, half an hour ago. He was singing Let It Go at the top of his lungs.” Jimin adds. “I think he wants to open his presents.”

“Presents!” Jungkook repeats, bouncing on the bed and onto his dad’s stomach, rousing Namjoon from sleep.

“Why am I awake when the sun’s not even out yet?” Namjoon mumbles, slipping his glasses on and placing Jungkook between him and Jin. “How about another few hours of sleep and then we open presents?”

“No more sleep!” Jungkook insists, grabbing onto his dad’s hand and trying to pull him out of bed.

“Alright, alright,” Jin says, slowly getting out of bed. “Let’s get some breakfast in everyone and then we’ll open presents, okay?”

Jungkook excitedly hops up and down, standing on the bed and wobbling on the unsteady surface. “Daddy, up!”

“I’m getting up,” Namjoon grumbles, rubbing a hand over his face. “Jimin, can you make your mom and I some coffee?”

Jimin grins, nodding as he leaves the room, dragging Taehyung and Jungkook with him. “Meet you downstairs!” he calls over his shoulder.

Namjoon tiredly flops back down onto the bed, “Kill me.”

Jin laughs, “Up you get,” he says, going over to Namjoon’s side of the bed and grabbing his husband’s hand, yanking him up. “Get ready for a long day.”

Namjoon stumbles out of bed, “Need coffee.”

“Jimin’ll have it ready in a few minutes,” Jin assures his husband with a pat on his arm. “Splash some water on your face and wake up a bit, Joonie.”

Namjoon staggers into the bathroom, tripping over his own feet with all the elegance of a drunken ballerina. “Coffee.”

“Soon,” Jin continues to promise him and Namjoon drowsily nods his head, splashing cool water onto his face, hoping it wakes him up but, really, all it does is cause water droplets to soak into his t-shirt, making him wet and uncomfortable. “Jin?”

Jin pokes his head into the bathroom, glasses on his face and hair mussed from sleep, but his eyes bright and awake and that’s really not fair, Namjoon groggily thinks. “You okay?”

Namjoon shakes his head, “I’m dying.”

“You’re not dying,” Jin tells him with a laugh. “Come on, let’s head downstairs and have some coffee.”

“Too tired to move.”

“I’m not carrying you,”

Namjoon rests his head against the mirror above the bathroom sink and lets his breath fog up the surface. “I’m gonna spend Christmas like this.”

Jin grins and grabs onto Namjoon’s arm, dragging his husband out of the room and downstairs. “Let’s get some caffeine in you.”

“Dad looks like a zombie.” Taehyung comments when his parents enter the kitchen. He sets Jungkook’s breakfast in front of his brother and laughs when his dad gulps down the cup of coffee Jimin hands him. “Is he even coherent right now?”

“Barely.” Jin says. “You know your dad doesn’t do mornings, Tae.”

“He’s usually not this bad, though.” Jimin points out, buttering some toast and handing it to Taehyung. “Jam’s on the table if you want it, Tae.”

“More.” Namjoon mutters, handing his cup back to Jin.

Jin chuckles and refills the cup, handing it back to Namjoon, “You awake yet?”

“No.”

Jimin laughs and hands his mom a plate with some toast on it. “Should we put some cartoons on for Jungkook? Keep him busy while Dad’s becoming human again?”

“That’s…” Jin briefly glances at Namjoon, “not a bad idea.”

*

Christmas, much to Jin and Namjoon’s surprise, goes off without a hitch.

Mostly.

One tantrum from Jungkook, one instance of Jimin and Taehyung arguing over something so inconsequential that Jin doesn’t even remember what it was about, and one occurrence of Namjoon tripping over the gifts under the tree (only breaking two ornaments and a coffee cup- which, surprisingly, is less than what he broke last year).

*

“You didn’t need to get me anything,”

Yoongi rolls his eyes and shoves Jimin’s present into his hands.

“Did you… wrap this yourself?” Jimin asks with a barely restrained giggle, eyeing the clumsily wrapped gift with way too much tape.

“Just open it already, you brat.” Yoongi grouses good-naturedly.

Jimin reaches into his bag and pulls Yoongi’s own present out of it, “Open mine first.”

Yoongi nods and begins ripping the paper off his present, hands going limp at the piece of material that’s revealed to him, “You…”

Jimin smiles brightly at him, practically bouncing in delight on Yoongi’s bed. “Do you like it?”

Yoongi reverently traces his fingers over the autograph scribbled onto the back of the basketball jersey and shakes his head in bewilderment, “How did you-”

“I was just gonna get you his jersey, but then my dad was going to this charity event that Seo Janghoon was gonna be at, too, so I thought you might like his autograph on it-”

Yoongi launches himself at his boyfriend, wrapping an arm around him while still clutching the jersey in his other hand. “I can’t- You’re- Holy shit, you’re-”

“The best boyfriend ever?”

“Without a doubt.” Yoongi nods, grabbing onto the back of Jimin’s neck and fusing their lips together for a moment. “I love you.”

Jimin grins, eyes widening a moment later and hastily reaching into his bag and producing another gift, “Almost forgot about this.”

“You didn’t have to get me anything more, babe.”

“This is just a small, cute present,”

Yoongi smirks, “Is it you?”

Jimin laughs, “No, it’s cuter than me.”

“Nothing’s cuter than you.”

“You’ll disagree when you see this.” Jimin promises.

Yoongi takes the offered gift bag and opens it, immediately laughing when he sees what’s inside. He reaches in and grabs the Kumamon plush, hugging it to his chest. “I love this.”

“I knew you would.” Jimin smiles. “See, cuter than me.”

Yoongi shakes his head, “I stand by my previous statement. This is fucking adorable, but you… You’re something else, Sunshine.” Yoongi sets his stuffed animal down between the two of them and pushes Jimin’s own present into his hands. “Your turn.”

Jimin excitedly takes the gift and carefully unwraps it, frowning at the… jar? He studies it more closely and sees a ridiculous amount of bits of paper shoved inside. “What-”

“It’s a memory jar. I’ve been keeping track of all the funny things we’ve said, and our dates, and then I wrote down the things I love about you.” Yoongi tells him, fidgeting with the Kumamon plush. “I mean, I don’t know, I thought- I thought that it might be nice for you to have something where you can just kinda reach in there and read about how much I love you if you’re feeling down or when you just wanna smile.”

Jimin stares at the jar filled to the brim with paper in awe, “I was expecting you to get me, like, a gift card or something, but this is so much better than I could’ve ever imagined.”

“I’m glad you like it.”

“Love it.” Jimin corrects him, falling back onto Yoongi’s bed. “You look a little tired,”

“Just from work,” Yoongi waves Jimin’s concern off. “Nothing new there.”

“You wanna take a nap?” Jimin asks, already arranging himself into a more comfortable position.

Yoongi settles himself beside Jimin, “Now that’s an offer I’m not gonna refuse.”

Jimin blindly reaches for the covers and pulls them over their bodies. “Grab Kumamon; I wanna snuggle him, too.”

“I don’t know how I feel about sharing you with him.”

Jimin rests his head on Yoongi’s chest, “That’s just a sacrifice you’re gonna have to make.”


 

Chapter Text

“So,” Namjoon casually says as he plants himself next to Taehyung on the couch, “good birthday, kiddo?”

Taehyung smiles at his dad, “It was awesome, yeah.”

“Good.” Namjoon looks on as Jungkook quietly plays on the floor of the living room, beckoning Taehyung over a moment later. “Anything you wanted that you didn’t get?”

Taehyung settles himself beside Jungkook and grabs the toy train that his brother hands him, making a choo choo sound that Jungkook immediately copies. “I could’ve done without Jimin dropping my cake on the floor,” Taehyung admits with a laugh. “But it’s cool. I made him promise to make me another one.”

Namjoon internally breathes a sigh of relief that Taehyung is more amused than upset over his birthday cake being ruined. “I’m sure your mom’ll help him out on that.”

“I hope so.” Taehyung absently says as his phone vibrates inside his pocket. He digs it out and checks his messages, face lighting up as he reads his newest text. “Is it okay if Hoseok comes over, Dad? He wants to give me my birthday present.”

“I don’t see why it wouldn’t be.”

“Cool, okay,” Taehyung texts his boyfriend back and sets his phone on the carpet once it goes through. He races Jungkook’s own toy train around the living room, holding back at the finish line so his brother can win the race.

“I won! I beat you, TaeTae! Daddy!” Jungkook hops up and down in front of his dad, tugging on the man’s pant leg to get his attention, “Daddy, I won!”

Namjoon gasps and scoops Jungkook up onto the couch, “You did? I’m so proud of you, Kookie! Good job!”

“I’m the fastest train!” Jungkook boasts, shrieking in delight when his dad lifts his shirt and blows a raspberry on his stomach, “No! Daddy! Stop!”

Namjoon obliges his son, letting him go, only to have Jungkook lifts his shirt once more, “Don’t actually stop! Do it again!”

Namjoon laughs and blows another raspberry against the boy’s stomach, playing along when Jungkook tells him to stop and runs away. “I’m gonna get you, Kookie!”

“I’m too fast!”

Taehyung giggles as he watches his dad chase after his little brother, both of them running out of the living room. He grabs his phone, content to play on it until Hoseok arrives.

*

“What’d you get me?” Taehyung excitedly asks as Hoseok enters the house. “Show me, come on!”

Hoseok laughs and presses a kiss to Taehyung’s lips in greeting. “As much as I love kissing you, I hope that wasn’t my present.” Taehyung bluntly tells his boyfriend. “Because that’d be kinda lame.”

“What a greedy kid…” Hoseok mutters good-naturedly. “Let’s hang out a bit before I give you your present, okay?”

Taehyung sighs dramatically, “Okay. What do you wanna do?”

“It’s your birthday,” Hoseok shrugs a shoulder. “We should do something you like.”

“I like opening presents.” Taehyung not-so-innocently tells him. “Just sayin’.”

Hoseok snorts. “What about stargazing?”

“It’s snowing.” Taehyung says, pointing out the window where large snowflakes are drifting to the ground. “And it’s cold.”

“So?”

“So it’s not exactly stargazing weather.” Taehyung tells him with a laugh. “We could watch Netflix-”

Hoseok shakes his head, “Nah, let’s look at the stars together. Get your coat. And the telescope.”

Taehyung doesn’t bother arguing anymore and tells Hoseok he’ll meet him in the backyard, darting into the garage to pull out his telescope and then quickly bundling up, grabbing an extra hat for Hoseok. He exits the house and goes about setting his telescope on the deck, blowing specks of dust out of the eyepiece. He glances at Hoseok and steps towards him, gently arranging the extra hat on his head, “There. Don’t want you getting sick again.”

“You’re cute.” Hoseok tells him with a smile. “Let’s look at some stars, yeah?”

Taehyung spends the next twenty minutes showing Hoseok various constellations, answering the older boy’s questions about this and that, and finally decides that while it’s great to look at stars with his boyfriend- romantic even- his fingers are about to fall off from the cold and hanging out inside sounds really nice right about now.

“Wait-” Hoseok stops Taehyung from going inside, grabbing onto his arm and tugging him back towards the telescope. “I wanna look at one more thing. Can you go to these coordinates?”

Taehyung takes the scribbled-on note from Hoseok and arranges the telescope at the exact coordinates, frowning when all he sees are more stars.

Nothing spectacular. Just… stars.

The same kind they’ve been staring at this entire time.

“Do you see it?”

“See what?” Taehyung questions, squinting into the eyepiece. “I see stars.”

“There should be, like, a cluster of them. Do you see the cluster?”

Taehyung nods his head, spotting what Hoseok’s talking about, but still not knowing why he’s looking at this particular cluster of stars.

“Okay, do you see a few stars off to the side of the cluster?”

“Um… yeah. I see them.”

“The one- Um, the one on the far right is… It’s yours.”

Taehyung slowly turns to look at his boyfriend, “It’s mine?”

Hoseok brightly grins at him, pointing up at the sky, “I bought you a star for your birthday!”

“You-” Taehyung smiles widely, “You bought me a star? Like an actual, real, honest-to-god star that’s in space?”

“Yeah.” Hoseok slings an arm around Taehyung’s shoulders and pulls him closer, “I named it V.”

Taehyung looks up at the sky in wonder.

“I’ve got the certificate with all the details and stuff on it back at home; I was gonna frame it for you.” Hoseok continues, “But I haven’t gotten around to it yet.”

Taehyung stares at his star and frowns in thought, “We need to buy the one beside it, too.”

“Because one’s not enough?” Hoseok jokes, tsking, “Greedy.”

“Because you should be up there, too.” Taehyung says as he points upwards, “Right beside me. Otherwise I’ll be lonely.”

Hoseok blushes and ducks his head.

“We can name it J-Hope,” Taehyung excitedly says, bending down to look in the telescope’s eyepiece once more. “This is so awesome!”

“I had a feeling you’d like it.” Hoseok lightly pushes Taehyung out of the way so he can take a look himself. “It’s beautiful. Like you.”

“That was so corny.”

Hoseok rolls his eyes, “Hey! I’m trying to be romantic here!”

Taehyung chuckles and playfully nudges his shoulder against Hoseok’s, “Total fail.”

*

It’s the first day back from winter break and Hoseok’s already been texted by nearly everyone he knows; been given at least ten flyers in between classes; and been told by so many random people in the halls today that it’d be impossible for him to not know about the party happening on Saturday night.

He enters the cafeteria with his lunch and finds Yoongi sitting at their usual table, Jimin and Taehyung nowhere to be seen. “You gonna go?” Hoseok asks, gesturing to the flyer in Yoongi’s hands as he sits down across from him.

Yoongi crumples the paper in his hands and tosses it into the nearest garbage bin.

Well, Hoseok thinks, that answers that question.

“Don’t tell me you’re going-” Yoongi nearly groans at Hoseok’s nod. “Why would you waste your Saturday night at a party that’s gonna suck-”

“You don’t know it’s gonna suck-”

All parties suck.” Yoongi interrupts. “It’s just a bunch of assholes getting drunk and dancing to shitty music.”

“I mean,” Hoseok shrugs, “you’re not wrong, but I’m gonna see if Tae wants to go-”

“Please don’t.”

“Why?”

Yoongi sighs, “Because if you ask Taehyung to go with you, then Jimin’ll wanna go, and that means I’m gonna have to go.”

“You do realize that Jimin can go places by himself, right? Like, without you. You’re not his babysitter, you’re his boyfriend.”

Yoongi raises an eyebrow at Hoseok’s statement, “Firstly, yeah, I’m aware of that fact; secondly, I don’t trust the dickheads that we go to school with to keep their hands to themselves sober, let alone drunk; and thirdly, fuck you for even implying that I’m his goddamn babysitter. So what; I’m protective when it comes to my boyfriend- sue me.”

Hoseok holds his hands up in surrender, chuckling. “Alright, man, calm down.” He lifts a spoonful of soup to his lips and grins at Yoongi, “But I’m still gonna ask Tae to go with me.”

Yoongi lets his head fall to the table and grunts into the surface of it. “I hate you.”

“It’ll be fun!” Hoseok assures him. “I promise!”

*

“They’re our parents, they love us, they want us to create meaningful memories in high school-”

Taehyung reaches over and knocks the top of Jimin’s head with his fist. “I’m almost like 100% sure that Mom and Dad don’t want us to create meaningful memories at a party where there’s gonna be drinking and stuff.”

Jimin ignores his brother and continues rambling.

Taehyung sighs and lies back on Jimin’s bed, closing his eyes as he listens to Jimin mutter possible ways to ask their parents if they can go to the party (of the century) on Saturday night. “We should just be upfront with them-”

“No.”

“Seriously,” Taehyung persists, sitting up and grabbing the flyer for the party that’s on Jimin’s bedside table. He smoothes out the wrinkles in the paper and stares at it. “Look, we’re not gonna drink, we’ll come home at a reasonable hour, and Yoongi and Hoseok’ll be there with us. What’s the worst that could happen?”

*

Jin’s just about to sit down to watch a movie with Namjoon when he hears his phone go off. He grabs the remote and pauses the opening credits, shooting his husband an apologetic look. “I’ll be right back.”

“If you’re not back in five minutes, I’m eating your popcorn.” Namjoon threatens, his hand already inching towards the bowl.

“Do it and you’ll be sleeping on this very couch tonight, Namjoonie.” Jin sweetly tells him, laughing at how quickly the other man pulls his hand back.

Jin enters the kitchen and grabs his phone, flipping it open and reading his newest text:

From: Taehyungie
January 8, 20:12

FAMILY METTING! BRING DAD!

Jin raises an eyebrow at Taehyung’s grammar, which leaves much to be desired, and goes back into the living room. “Taehyung’s calling a family metting.”

Namjoon slowly turns his head to look at Jin, “And what exactly is a metting?”

“I’m assuming he meant meeting.” Jin guesses, opening his phone once more when he receives another message.

From: Taehyungie
January 8, 20:13

*MEETING!

Jin shows Namjoon the screen of his phone. “Meeting. I was right.”

Namjoon looks longingly at the TV, slowly standing up and snatching a handful of Jin’s popcorn while his husband’s still preoccupied with his phone.

From: Taehyungie
January 8, 20:13

IN JIMIN’S ROOM! :DDDDDDDD

“Come on,” Jin says, leading the way upstairs. “They’re in Jiminie’s room.”

From: Taehyungie
January 8, 20:13

BRING SNACKS PLZZZ!!!!!!!

“And bring the popcorn.” Jin adds, rolling his eyes in amusement when Namjoon says ‘yes’, only to have bits of popcorn fly out of his mouth. “Subtle, Namjoon.”

Namjoon descends the stairs once more and grabs the bowl of popcorn. “It seems a little unfair that the boys get to eat the popcorn you made, but I don’t.” he says as he raps his knuckles against Jimin’s closed door.

Jin grins at him, “You know I was gonna share it with you.”

Namjoon merely raises an eyebrow at him.

“I mean,” Jin chuckles, “eventually.”

“Popcorn, awesome!” Jimin says as he opens the door and immediately relieves his dad of the bowl in his hands.

Jin and Namjoon enter the room, only slightly suspicious of their son’s motives for calling a family meeting. “So…” Namjoon starts. “What’s up?”

Jimin hands the bowl off to Taehyung, who happily begins munching on it, before beginning to pace in front of his parents. “Okay, so. It’s like this. Uh… We- Tae and I. We-”

“We wanna go to a party.” Taehyung says around a mouthful of popcorn, shoveling another handful inside his mouth.

“What he said.” Jimin agrees, exhaling and flopping down on his bed.

Jin shares a concerned look with Namjoon. “What kind of party?”

“Um, you know.” Jimin shrugs. “Just, like, a normal, run-of-the-mill party.”

“It’s a house party.” Taehyung supplies while Jimin continuously fails at speaking. “You know, loud music, drinking, dancing, all that stuff parents warn their kids about.”

Namjoon purses his lips and Jin runs a hand through his hair.

“We’re not gonna drink,” Jimin hastily assures his mom and dad. “Seriously, not even a drop. We just wanna go and hang out and-”

“See what a real party’s like.” Taehyung interrupts with a beaming smile. “We’ll dance, hang out with Hoseok and Yoongi, and come home.”

Jimin watches as his mom stares at his dad, then his dad stares at his mom, and Jimin’s pretty sure they’re able to communicate with just their eyes and the teensiest facial expression. It’s scary. And super inconvenient because Jimin has no clue what they’re thinking.

Jin finally sighs and nods his head. “You can go, but there’ll be conditions.”

“No drinking.” Namjoon tells them, “Do not take anything someone offers you. Stay away from brownies and cookies- Just stay away from baked goods.”

Jimin bites his cheek to stop himself from laughing. “Are you worried we’re gonna eat a pot brownie?”

Namjoon narrows his eyes, “How do you even know about those?”

“Because it’s 2016 and I’m not an idiot.” Jimin quickly responds. “Seriously, Dad, we’re not stupid. We’re not gonna do any drugs-”

“No smoking.” Namjoon continues, ignoring Jimin’s eyeroll, “No having unprotected sex-”

“Oh, my god!” Taehyung covers his face with his hands in embarrassment. “Mom! Don’t let him talk about sex!”

Jin regards his husband, “Namjoon, you’re scarring our children. Pretend you have no knowledge of sex at all, okay, sweetie?”

Namjoon scowls, “I’m serious. I know what goes on at parties-”

“I don’t know what kind of weird orgy, drug-taking parties you went to when you were my age, but this is just a house party, Dad.” Jimin points out. “They’re gonna be handing out chips and beer, not cocaine and condoms.”

Taehyung moans into his hands, “Why are we still talking about this? Can we please not talk about this anymore?”

“And you’ll be home by ten.” Namjoon finishes with a firm nod of his head.

Taehyung looks between the cracks of his fingers, “Dad, the party doesn’t even start until ten.”

Namjoon feigns innocence, “I don’t see the problem. You pop in, say hello, and come back home-”

“Namjoonie,” Jin pats his arm. “Be back home by two, boys.”

“One.” Namjoon corrects his husband.

Two.” Jin repeats, slapping his hand over Namjoon’s mouth when he goes to speak again. “Just be safe, okay? Use your better judgement; look out for each other; and if you need to, don’t be afraid to call us to come pick you up. Deal?”

“Deal.”

*

“What’re you doing, TaeTae?”

Taehyung looks at his door and sees Jungkook slowly making his way into his bedroom while dragging his stuffed rabbit behind him. “Getting ready.”

“Why?” Jungkook manoeuvres himself onto Taehyung’s bed and watches his brother rifle through his closet.

“Because tonight,” Taehyung tells him, “I’m going to a party.”

“A party?” Jungkook’s eyes widen and he kneels on the bed’s edge to get closer to Taehyung. “I- I wanna go!”

Taehyung turns to look at Jungkook and winces, “Sorry, Kookie. It’s not a party for little kids-”

“Not little!” Jungkook argues as he stands on the bed. He gestures to his body, “I’m tall!”

Taehyung grins, helping Jungkook carefully sit back down on the bed. “You’re… tall, sure.” he hesitantly agrees, knowing if he doesn’t Jungkook might have a tantrum and that’s probably the last thing he wants at the moment. “But if you come with me to the party, who’s gonna play with your toys? They’ll be lonely without you, Kookie.”

Jungkook bites at his lip in thought, glancing down at the toy in his hands. “Bunny can’t go?”

Taehyung shakes his head, retreating back to his closet to find a shirt. “Sorry, no bunnies allowed.”

Jungkook slides off the bed and stands next to his brother, poking him in the leg. When Taehyung looks down at him, Jungkook sighs heavily, “If Bunny can’t go, I’m not going.”

Taehyung shrugs in apology, “I get it, Kookie. Bunny comes first.”

Jungkook nods, hugging the stuffed rabbit to his chest. “Don’t be sad, TaeTae.”

“I’ll try to hold back my tears, Jungkookie. Now why don’t you go see what Mom’s doing? I think I heard him say he was gonna bake some cookies-” Taehyung laughs loudly when Jungkook runs out of his room at the mere mention of their mom baking cookies. “Cutie.”

*

“There’s Yoongi.” Taehyung gestures across the street where the blonde boy is sitting inside his car. “Shotgun!”

Jimin levels Taehyung with an unimpressed look, “Did you seriously just call shotgun to sit in the front seat beside my boyfriend?”

Taehyung grins cheekily, sliding into the passenger seat while Jimin climbs in the backseat. “You know the rules of shotgun. Not my fault you were too slow to call it.”

“I hate you.”

Taehyung twists around in his seat, jostling slightly as Yoongi puts the car in gear, and beams at his brother. “No you don’t! You loooovvvveeee me!”

Jimin tries to stop the grin overtaking his face, but finds that it’s really hard to stay annoyed at someone like Taehyung who’s such a happy person, and his laugh and smile are stupidly contagious, and soon Jimin finds himself joking around and not minding at all that he’s stuck in the backseat.

*

Taehyung bounds out of Yoongi’s car as soon as the older boy finds a parking spot across the street from the house the party’s being held at. He stares in awe at how many people are milling around outside the house and he can’t even imagine how many more people are actually packed inside. Taehyung swears he can see the house vibrating from how loud the music is and he immediately wants to experience everything he can all at once.

He tugs on Jimin’s arm, squeezing his way past a dozen people all congregated around the front door, and enters the house, slack jawed at how loud and crowded and just awesome everything is. Taehyung narrowly avoids being slammed into by two guys who are wrestling over some girl and he finds himself cheering along with the crowd, getting swept up in the commotion without even realizing it.

“Let’s find Hoseok!” Jimin shouts into Taehyung’s ear, nodding his head over to where Yoongi’s already disappearing down the hall.

Taehyung happily follows his brother, head spinning this way and that at everything going on around him. There’s a handful of guys building a pyramid out of beer cans near the stairwell; girls are dancing more provocatively than Taehyung’s ever seen before; and the smell of sweat and alcohol are so palpable that Taehyung swears he can taste it on his tongue.

Taehyung lets himself be led into the kitchen and he scans his surroundings, finding no sign of his boyfriend. It’s quieter in here once the door shuts behind them and Taehyung finds the thumping of the bass almost soothing.

“You guys thirsty?”

Taehyung eyes the dozens of bottles of alcohol on the counter beside Yoongi and hesitantly takes a step towards them, only to have them blocked by Yoongi’s body.

“I meant for water. Or, like, soda.” Yoongi clarifies, digging through the fridge and producing a can of grape soda. “You want it?”

Taehyung grudgingly takes the can of soda, pouting.

“Hey, I’m not gonna stop you from drinking,” Yoongi casually tells him, popping the top on his can of Coke. “I just don’t think your parents would be too impressed to smell alcohol on you after you promised them you wouldn’t drink.”

“I don’t think they’re gonna smell one teeny, tiny drink.” Jimin muses, grabbing a bottle of… something. It’s brown, smells like death, and Jimin’s excited to see if it tastes as bad as it smells. He grabs a plastic cup and fills half of it with the strange liquid before Yoongi grabs onto his wrist to stop him.

“You trying to kill yourself, babe?” Yoongi pours the rest of his Coke into the cup and mixes it for his boyfriend. “Enjoy.”

Jimin sniffs at the concoction, wrinkling his nose in distaste and holds the cup out for Taehyung to smell, too.

“Smells… good.” Taehyung eventually says with a grimace. “Try it.”

Jimin holds the cup to his lips and lets the contents slide into mouth. He pulls it back and sets it on the counter as he coughs, feeling like his throat is on fire.

“I wanna try it!” Taehyung decides after seeing Jimin’s reaction. He downs the rest of the drink in one go and pulls a face as the taste registers on his taste buds. He shakes his head, licking at the inside of his mouth and hastily drinks some of his grape soda, trying to get the rancid taste out of his mouth. “Gross.”

“Why’d you drink it all if it was gross?” Yoongi questions, patting Jimin’s back as the younger boy continues coughing. He grabs a water bottle and holds it out for Jimin to take. “Just remember, if you’re gonna drink, don’t forget to mix the alcohol with juice or soda, okay? No drinking straight from the bottle, either.”

Taehyung laughs, “I don’t think I’m gonna be drinking anymore tonight. That was probably enough.”

*

Taehyung… is wrong.

So very, very wrong.

He finally finds Hoseok in the living room of the house, in the middle of some kind of impromptu dance competition and Taehyung muscles his way to the front of the crowd that’s circled around the dancers to cheer his boyfriend on, grinning widely when Hoseok waves at him.

Taehyung watches in fascination as Hoseok does things with his body that look so fluid and easy but probably took him years to master. He cheers louder than anybody for his boyfriend and when the other dancer starts dancing, Taehyung rolls his eyes in Hoseok’s direction, mouthing words of encouragement to the older boy.

When Hoseok inevitably wins the dance-off (because, really, was there any doubt he wouldn’t?), Taehyung jogs over to him, wrapping him in a hug. “You were so good!”

Hoseok smiles brightly at him and wipes the sweat off his brow. He ropes Taehyung into dancing with him when a new song begins playing and places his hand on the younger boy’s hips, swaying them to the beat. “I was worried you weren’t gonna come.”

Taehyung snorts, “Yoongi drives like an old man.”

“That explains why you’re so late.” Hoseok laughs loudly. He looks around them and frowns, “They’re still here, right?”

Taehyung nods his head, loosely looping his arms around Hoseok’s neck and threading his fingers through the older boy’s hair. “I think Jimin was trying to talk Yoongi into dancing with him.”

Hoseok takes another look around and grins when he spots a shock of blonde hair. He stealthily manoeuvres himself and Taehyung closer to where Jimin and Yoongi are… well… dancing isn’t entirely accurate.

Because Yoongi isn’t really moving.

More like shuffling in place while Jimin dances and tries to guide him into the motions. Except it’s hard when your dance partner is stiff as a board and refuses to move more than an inch at a time.

“You look like you’re dead!” Hoseok calls out to his friend, laughing at the look of hatred Yoongi shoots him. “Loosen up, man!”

Yoongi flashes Hoseok his middle finger and reluctantly places his hands on Jimin’s hips, shuffling slightly quicker to the beat of the music. “Happy?”

Jimin shakes his head in amusement, “I can dance with Tae and Hoseok, if you want; I don’t mind.”

Yoongi shoots Jimin a grin and kisses his cheek, “I’ll be over there.” he gestures to where a group of guys who look way older than anyone they go to school with are playing beer pong. “Come get me when you get tired of dancing.”

“Will do!” Jimin flashes Yoongi a thumbs up and integrates himself into Taehyung and Hoseok’s personal spaces, the three dancing together until Taehyung has to stop and get something to drink. He sees Jimin wander away, too, and he enters the kitchen, going for a bottle of water until someone offers him a cup of… questionable liquids. There’s definitely alcohol in there and Taehyung isn’t really sure he wants to experience drinking again after it tasted so horribly the first time, but…

“You want it or not?”

Taehyung doesn’t wanna seem rude after this guy went to the trouble of making him a drink, so he slowly takes the offered cup. What’s one more drink? He sniffs at it and finds that it doesn’t really smell like anything other than Sprite.

“You gonna drink it or just stare at it?”

Taehyung flushes in embarrassment and shoots the guy a hesitant grin, bringing the cup to his lips and taking a sip, finding the taste… not unpleasant. He chugs the rest of the drink and giggles, resting the empty cup on the counter, only to have another placed in his hands almost immediately by the boy.

“Thanks,” Taehyung smiles at him before leaving the kitchen with his drink, weaving his way in and out of the throng of bodies in the house to get back to Hoseok. He spots Yoongi in the crowd, sees his brother dancing with a group of boys he vaguely recognizes from Jimin’s dance class, and finally finds Hoseok talking with a girl in the dining room.

“Hey!” Taehyung beams at the two of them, taking a sip of his drink. He’s feeling relaxed, carefree and right now Taehyung doesn’t care about anything other than having a good time. He grabs onto Hoseok’s arm and tugs him back towards the living room. “I wanna dance, Hobi.”

Hoseok smiles in agreement and Taehyung leads them towards the crowd of dancing people, only to jerk to a stop a second later. Taehyung frowns in confusion and turns around to see the girl grabbing onto Hoseok’s arm, speaking to him in hushed tones that Taehyung can’t hear worth a damn.

“Let it go, Nari,” Hoseok tells the girl. “We’ll talk about this later.”

“We’ll talk about this now.”

Hoseok shoots Taehyung an annoyed look and rolls his eyes, “Sorry, Tae, I’ve gotta talk about some stuff for a minute- you don’t mind, do you?”

Taehyung just shrugs his shoulders and wanders off. It isn’t any of his business if Hoseok wants to hang out with other people; he’ll just hang out with Jimin or Yoongi.

*

Taehyung officially can’t find Jimin anywhere.

Seriously, either his brother’s disappeared or he’s just constantly on the move and Taehyung just happens to keep missing him.

It’s annoying. But, whatever, he’ll just go hang out with Yoongi.

*

Yoongi, Taehyung realizes, is absolutely no fun at a party.

He doesn’t drink-

“Yoongi, try this!” Taehyung thrusts a can of beer into Yoongi’s face. “It’s so good!”

“No.”

“Just try it!”

“I’ve gotta drive everyone’s asses home tonight, Taehyung.”

“So?”

“So,” Yoongi huffs, “I’m not planning on killing us all in the process. Get that shit outta my face.”

 He doesn’t dance-

“Let’s dance!”

“I swear to god, if you try and make me dance to a country song I’m gonna kill you.”

He barely smiles-

“Lighten up!” Taehyung beams at the blonde boy. “You look miserable!”

“Yeah, turns out when you’re the only who isn’t drunk at a party, it blows.”

“Smile! It’ll make you feel happier!”

Yoongi doesn’t even deign that with a response.

And his idea of a good time is sulking in dark corners.

“This is weird.”

“Nobody said you had to follow me over here.” Yoongi bluntly tells the younger boy. “I feel like I’m babysitting you.”

“Why are we in a corner?”

“Again, nobody said you had to follow me.”

And, hey, Taehyung’s not one to judge, but sulking in dark corners at a party isn’t as much fun as it sounds- Actually, it is about as fun as it sounds. Because it doesn’t sound fun at all.

*

Taehyung quickly gets bored of hanging out with Yoongi and goes to find Hoseok again- hopefully he’s done talking with that girl so they can have fun together. He nearly groans when he sees Hoseok and the girl still talking and he’s about to turn away, resigning himself to spending the rest of his night with Yoongi (who is literally 80 years old and why Jimin thinks he’s fun is just beyond Taehyung) when he sees the girl running her fingers along Hoseok’s upper arm.

Uh

Taehyung’s eyes widen when she has the audacity to place her hand on his shoulder and lean in close to whisper something in his ear. She links her fingers with his own and Taehyung’s seen enough. He downs the rest of his drink and lets the cup fall from his fingers to the floor. Marching over to the two, Taehyung’s momentarily calmed when he notices Hoseok lightly pushing her away, only to have her bounce right back into his personal space, and no.

No.

Taehyung is not okay with what’s happening.

He might not be the jealous type, but he’s damn well not comfortable having someone else paw at his boyfriend. Especially when Hoseok looks about as uncomfortable as one can in this type of situation.

“Hobi?” Taehyung places his hand on the older boy’s shoulder, “You okay?”

“I’m good, yeah.” Hoseok tells him with a small smile. He looks back and forth between Taehyung and the girl in front of him. “Tae, this is Nari.”

“We used to date.”

Taehyung’s eyes widen at the girl’s words and he wonders if she thinks that’s an appropriate thing to say after having just met. Because it’s not. It just makes things awkward.

Taehyung doesn’t even know how to respond to that, so he just settles for “Umm…”

“Yeah, we went out for two years.” The girl continues, “How long have you two been going out?”

“Our relationship is none of your business.” Hoseok cuts in before Taehyung has the chance to reply.

“You’ve never mentioned him before.” Nari says, then turns to stare at Taehyung, “He’s never mentioned you before.”

Taehyung doesn’t really think that needed repeating.

“We never talk.” Hoseok scoffs. “Why would I tell you about my boyfriend?”

“We talk all the time.”

“We really don’t.” Hoseok maintains, shaking his head.

Taehyung feels almost like he’s third-wheeling it right now- Which is so unfair! If anyone’s being a third-wheel here it’s Hoseok’s ex-girlfriend, not him!

“We talked last weekend!”

“You texted me to ask about the dance competition! That doesn’t count as us talking!”

Taehyung slowly backs away from the two; this absolutely isn’t his argument to get involved in and he’d rather stay out of it than get dragged in. He gleefully spots his brother in the crowd and practically tackles him, laughing at the dazed look Jimin gives him. “You are so drunk!”

Jimin rolls his eyes, stumbling into Taehyung’s arms. “’m not!”

“You totally are!” Taehyung insists with a cackle. “Mom and Dad are gonna kill you!”

Jimin waves Taehyung concerns away with an unsteady hand. “You’re not drunk enough!” he declares, pulling Taehyung to the kitchen. “More drinks!”

Taehyung watches Jimin fix himself a drink that’s probably 97% pure alcohol and grabs it from his brother with a grin. Taehyung doesn’t really think Jimin needs anything more to drink, and he probably shouldn’t have anything else, either, but it’d be wasteful to just dump it down the sink…

And, honestly, when’s the next time he’s gonna have the opportunity to drink again? Besides, Taehyung thinks, all this booze will probably wear off by the time they have to head home, so no worries.

And if he can’t hang out with his boyfriend, he’ll settle for getting drunk with his brother in a kitchen that vaguely smells of barbeque chips and vomit.

*

“Suga!”

Yoongi catches Jimin as he trips into his arms, grunting with the effort to keep them both upright.

“You caught me!” Jimin looks at Yoongi with adoration in his eyes, “Such a good boyfriend.”

Yoongi bats away Jimin’s hand as he pets the top of his head. He hands Jimin his bottle of water and forces the boy to drink the rest of it, hoping that getting some water into his system will keep him hydrated.

“Gross. What was that?” Jimin wipes at his mouth with the back of his hand.

“Water.” Yoongi tells him, rolling his eyes when Jimin starts laughing for no reason at his answer. “Jesus, babe, how many drinks did you have?”

“Just- Just,” Jimin holds up one finger, giggling, “one.”

Yoongi shakes his head, “I think it was a few more than that.”

“Nah!” Jimin waves Yoongi’s words off. “’m not drunk.”

“You sure about that?”

Jimin leans closer to Yoongi, his breath tickling the other boy’s ear, “I might a little drunk. Don’t tell anyone, though!”

“Oh, trust me,” Yoongi mutters under his breath, pulling Jimin upstairs, “I’m not gonna have to say anything. Anyone within fifty feet can tell you’re plastered.”

Jimin lets Yoongi lead them into a bedroom and he flops down onto a bed with coats piled high on it. “You’re so good looking, you know that?”

“Yeah, that’s great,” Yoongi replies, looking down at his phone. “You’ve got an hour to sober up, Sunshine.”

“Let’s dance, Yoongi-bear!” Jimin says, trying (and failing) to get up from the bed on his own. Since when did his arms and legs turn to jelly?

Yoongi grimaces at the nickname and shakes his head, firmly pushing Jimin back on the bed, but clearing off the coats to make it more comfortable for his boyfriend. “I don’t want your parents to get pissed at you if you show up home drunk. So, lie down and have a nap, okay? Sleep it off.”

Jimin props himself up on his elbows (falling back down the first few times he tries to). “I’m not tired, though! I wanna dance! And party!” He shouts out in excitement and Yoongi rubs at his temples.

“Sleep.”

“Party!”

“Jimin, seriously,”

“Yoongi, seriously.” Jimin echoes with a giggle.

“I can’t believe I’m spending my Saturday night like this.” Yoongi murmurs under his breath. “Just try closing your eyes. Please?”

Jimin falls back onto the bed with a huff and shuts his eyes, opening them a nanosecond later and shrugging a shoulder, “Nothing happened.”

Yoongi’s this close to giving up on trying to sober up his boyfriend, but figures that if Jimin gets in shit from his parents about coming home drunk, he’ll probably be grounded and that means that Yoongi won’t be able to spend time with him. And, really, why should Yoongi be punished for Jimin’s mistake?

He crawls into the bed beside his boyfriend and wraps an arm around the boy’s middle, resting his head on Jimin’s shoulder. “Shut up and try going to sleep.”

“I’m thirsty.” Jimin whispers into the darkness of the room.

“No you’re not.”

“I wanna dance.” Jimin whines, still able to hear the music from downstairs loud and clear. “Dance with me?”

Yoongi sighs, “I promise I’ll dance with you after you sleep for a bit.”

“Just for a bit though.” Jimin clarifies. “Because I wanna party more.”

“Uh huh.”

“And drink some more.”

“Oh, absolutely.” Over my dead body, Yoongi thinks. “Shhh, sleep.”

“Night, Yoongi-bear!”

“If there’s a god, you’ll forget that nickname by the time you wake up,” Yoongi mutters as begins raking his fingers through Jimin’s hair and sighs in relief when he hears his boyfriend nod off a few moments later.

*

Hoseok finds Taehyung laying down in the front yard, staring up at the sky, a bottle of vodka balanced on his chest. He crouches down next to the other boy and gently takes the alcohol away. “Is this where you’ve been this whole time? I’ve been looking for you for like half an hour.”

“I was getting hot in there.” Taehyung slurs his words, gesturing to his jacket that’s lying on the grass. “And outside is cool and nice and I wanna live out here forever, Hobi.”

“You’re looking a little trashed there, Tae.” Hoseok laughs, settling himself beside Taehyung. He watches the other people around them- a few couples making out, someone throwing up in the bushes, and a group of guys singing horribly to the songs playing inside.

“Yep.” Taehyung confirms with a giggle, pointing at the bottle, “This is good, Hobi. You- You should have some.”

“I think you’ve had enough for the both of us,” Hoseok says, but takes a drink of it nevertheless. He passes the bottle back to Taehyung, “You wanna head back inside and dance some more?”

“Nah, I’m busy.”

Hoseok smiles uncertainly, “Doing what?”

“Watching us.” Taehyung tells him like it’s the most obvious thing in the world while pointing at the sky. “Aren’t we cute? We’re just up there, doing what stars do, together. It’s cute.”

You’re cute.” Hoseok corrects him, ruffling his hair. He takes another sip out of Taehyung’s bottle and lies down beside the other boy. “What exactly do stars do, anyway?”

Taehyung shrugs, “Star things.”

“Which are?”

“She’s still hung up on you, huh?”

Hoseok blinks repeatedly at the abrupt subject change. “Who? Nari?”

“Yeah,” Taehyung answers, and Hoseok would be more concerned about where this particular conversation’s going, except Taehyung looks completely at ease- like he’s not even bothered by the thought of his boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend still being in love with him.

And that… that’s why Hoseok loves him so much.

Taehyung’s completely secure in who he is. He doesn’t try to be anything he’s not and it’s such a breath of fresh air that Hoseok’s sure he’ll never get tired of being surprised by how genuine Taehyung is.

“Probably.”

Taehyung hums in response. “I hope she finds someone else. She seemed nice.”

“She was really rude to you, Tae. I think all that alcohol is affecting your memory.” Hoseok teases, taking the bottle away from his boyfriend. “I’m cutting you off.”

Taehyung giggles, “You wouldn’t have dated her if she was always mean.”

“True.” Hoseok concedes.

“Hobi?” Taehyung asks after a lengthy silence passes over the two.

“Hmm?”

“I think…”

Hoseok prompts him, “You think?”

“I’m gonna be sick!” Taehyung pulls a face and spins to the side, retching into the grass. He gets onto his knees and empties the contents of his stomach until there’s nothing left. He dry-heaves a few more times and looks up at Hoseok, “I don’t feel good.”

“Let’s get you some water.” Hoseok stands and carefully helps Taehyung up, mindful to not make any sudden movements because as much as he loves his boyfriend, he really doesn’t wanna wear his vomit.

*

“Joonie.”

Namjoon grunts at the sound of someone calling his name and burrows further into his pillow.

“Namjoon.”

Namjoon swats the hand that’s shaking him awake away with a displeased groan.

“Kim Namjoon, it’s your turn to check on Jungkook and you know it. Get up.”

Namjoon huffs in annoyance and sits up in bed, leaning over and fumbling with the various objects on his nightstand, finally locating his glasses and slipping them on. He slowly gets out of bed, stumbling towards the door and yawning as he nears Jungkook’s room. He can faintly hear his son crying and he wonders just how the hell Jin heard that so clearly in their own bedroom.

It wouldn’t really surprise Namjoon if Jin had superhuman hearing.

*

Jungkook shuts his eyes and cries, hugging his knees to his chest and shouting for Mommy and Daddy. Because if Mommy and Daddy are here then the monsters will go away! Jungkook knows they’re hiding in his room somewhere and he keeps his eyes firmly shut, scared to look around his room in case he sees them. Why do there have to be monsters in his room? He never hears J’min or TaeTae complain about monsters in their rooms! It’s not fair!

Jungkook wishes the light was on because the light scares the monsters away, but he’s too scared to get out of bed to turn it on (the monsters might be under his bed and then they’ll get him for sure if he goes on the floor) and he can’t reach it anyway. He jumps in surprise when his bedroom door opens-

“Daddy!”

He shuffles to the side of his bed and lifts his arms up, clinging tightly to his dad when he picks him up. He cries into his dad’s shirt and sighs in relief when he turns the light on.

“What’s wrong, Kookie? Did you have a bad dream?”

Jungkook shakes his head because it wasn’t a dream- it was real. Jungkook knows there are monsters hiding in his room and he’s not safe! They’re gonna eat him!

“Daddy, there’s monsters in my room.” Jungkook whispers into his dad’s ear, looking around the room for any sign of the things.

“Monsters, huh?”

Jungkook enthusiastically nods his head. “They’re scary, Daddy!” he tells him, eyes widening in concern when his dad sets him back on his bed, “Daddy, don’t leave! Don’t!”

“I’m not leaving, kiddo. I’m gonna check your room for the monsters, okay?”

Jungkook grabs onto his dad’s hand, “Don’t! They’ll eat you!”

“I’ll be careful. I promise.”

Jungkook reluctantly lets Daddy’s hand go and swallows nervously when his dad gets on the ground to check under his bed. “Do you see them?”

“Nothing under your bed.”

Jungkook breathes a sigh of relief. He watches Daddy open his closet doors and Jungkook shuts his eyes on instinct, opening them a crack when his dad tells him it’s all clear in there, too.

If the monsters aren’t under the bed or in the closet then where are they?

“Looks like your room’s monster-free, Jungkookie.”

Jungkook doubts that very much. Monsters are crafty and they’ll be back- they’re always back.

“They’re only gone,” Jungkook sniffles, “because you’re here, Daddy. When you leave they’ll come back!”

“Hmmm, that is a problem, isn’t it?”

Jungkook nods his head- it is! It’s a humongous problem and he’s so happy Daddy gets it!

“Why don’t we get rid of them for good?” Daddy asks him and Jungkook doesn’t know how Daddy’s gonna do that, but he’s on board with this plan; Jungkook doesn’t like it when the monsters hide in his room.

“Attention monsters!”

Jungkook shakily stands on his bed and pulls his dad down to his level. “Don’t call them, Daddy! They’re gonna get us!”

“Kookie, do you remember what people call me?”

Jungkook bites his lip and tilts his head to the side. J’min and TaeTae call him the same thing as Jungkook does- But Mommy doesn’t! “Mommy calls you clumsy.”

“Uh. Yeah- That’s… technically correct. But I was thinking about Rap Monster.”

Jungkook narrows his eyes in confusion and he slowly backs away from his dad. Is Daddy telling him he’s a monster?

“You’re a monster, Daddy?”

“That’s right. But I’m a good monster, and I’m gonna tell all the other bad monsters that they have to leave you alone. Does that sound good?”

“That sounds very good.” Jungkook decides with a nod. “Make them go away, Daddy!”

“Attention monsters! I, Rap Monster, will not tolerate anyone scaring my son Jungkook anymore!”

“Yeah!” Jungkook shouts, spinning around to see if he can catch sight of any monsters running out of his room. “Leave me alone!”

“No more monsters are allowed to scare him or hide in his closet or under his bed!”

Jungkook grins widely at his dad, “Did you scare them away?”

“I think so. Do you think you can go back to sleep now that the monsters are gone for good?”

Jungkook yawns at the mention of sleep and climbs back under the covers. “Daddy? Can you leave the light on?”

“You bet. Sleep tight. I love you.”

“Love you, too, Daddy.” Jungkook snuggles further into his bed and watches Daddy leave his room. He looks around and sticks his tongue out. Stupid monsters. Daddy’s the coolest monster ever and he’s gonna protect him no matter what.

*

Namjoon quietly shuts Jungkook’s bedroom door and makes a quick detour into the kitchen to get a glass of water. He absently notes that it’s nearly two in the morning and decides that he may as well wait up for Jimin and Taehyung to get home.

He sits on the couch and idly flips through a magazine, keeping a close eye on the time.

*

“So sleeping did nothing to help.” Yoongi says to himself after Jimin wakes up twenty minutes later, clearly still drunk. “That’s- Well, that’s just great. Awesome. Really.”

“Stop frowning!” Jimin tells him, reaching over to lift the corners of his mouth into a smile. “That’s better!”

Yoongi bats Jimin’s hands away from his face. “Can you at least try to act sober?”

Jimin ignores Yoongi in favor of leaving the room and Yoongi slowly exhales, his mouth set into a firm line, before following the younger boy. He finds Jimin dancing again, cheering about something (who knows what; Yoongi’s quickly learning that when his boyfriend drinks, he’s loud just for the sake of being loud) and dancing along to a shitty pop song.

“Yoongi-bear, come dance! You promised!”

Yoongi finds himself wishing the floor would swallow him up right about now as numerous pairs of eyes turn to look to see who ‘Yoongi-bear’ is. He’s really fucking tempted to tell Jimin ‘no’, but… Fuck it. Yoongi’s has morals and he’s not an asshole (at least not to Jimin).

“Fine, I’ll dance with you, but just for one song.”

Jimin excitedly nods his head, dancing to the beat and manhandling Yoongi’s arms to flail around in the air (“Wave ’em like you just don’t care!” “I hate you so much right now.”)

“Looking good, Suga!”

Yoongi snaps his head to the right and glares at Hoseok as he passes by, Taehyung shuffling close behind him. “Shut your mouth, Hoseok.”

“Yoongi, dip me!”

Yoongi’s caught off guard as Jimin falls into his arms, expecting Yoongi to catch him, and, well. To be fair, Yoongi does catch him, he just doesn’t stay upright and they both tumble to the floor within a matter of seconds.

Jimin groans and Yoongi struggles to bring them both to their feet. “Okay, that’s enough. I’m done. We’re leaving.”

“But-”

Yoongi silences Jimin with a shake of his head. “It’s almost two, anyway. You gotta get home.”

“But-”

Yoongi takes Jimin’s hand into his own and leads him in the direction Hoseok and Taehyung went. “It’s bad enough you’re gonna show up home drunk, do you really wanna piss off your parents even more by showing up late, too?”

“Who cares?” Jimin scoffs, and Yoongi snorts, “You will when you get home and your parents ground you forever.”

“Nah!”

Yoongi rolls his eyes, “Yeah.”

*

Namjoon’s awoken by the sound of the front door opening. He rubs at his eyes and glances at the clock- a few minutes past two, but he’ll let that slide. He’s just glad Jimin and Taehyung are home, safe and sound.

He gets up from the couch and walks towards the entryway, raising an eyebrow at the sight of his sons:

Jimin, eyes glazed over, reeking of alcohol; and Taehyung who looks even worse than his brother.

“Dad!” Jimin bounds over to him, hugging him tightly. “We had so much fun!”

“I can see that.” Namjoon tiredly says. He looks over to where Yoongi and Hoseok are standing in the doorway. “Thanks for bringing them home.”

Yoongi nods. “I, uh. I tried to keep them from drinking, but.”

“Yoongi-bear didn’t drink at all, Dad!” Jimin tells him with an eyeroll. “He doesn’t know what he’s missing!”

“You boys should head home now, too.” Namjoon tells his son’s boyfriends. “Drive safe.”

“Will do.” Yoongi says, dragging Hoseok, who looks like he’s ready to pass out, with him out the door.

Namjoon regards the two in front of him and sighs, “Well.”

“I’m a little drunk.” Jimin whispers to him with a giggle. “But I’m not supposed to tell Mom and Dad.”

“I don’t feel good.” Taehyung murmurs, leaning into his dad’s side. “Can I please go die?”

Namjoon is, frankly, too tired to deal with two drunken teenagers at the moment. It’s two in the morning, he just wants to go back to sleep, and he’d wager a guess that anything he says to the two right now will be forgotten by morning.

He ushers both his sons into their own rooms (dropping off a bucket with Taehyung in case he gets sick), and decides that the hangover those two are going to wake up with in the morning is probably worse than whatever punishment he and Jin can possibly think of.

 

Chapter Text

Yoongi & Jimin


It’s been roughly (or exactly- whatever; Yoongi’s not counting or anything) four months since they’ve started dating. Yoongi’s met Jimin’s parents, Jimin’s met his, and Yoongi isn’t really sure what to do next.

Because long-term relationships have never really been a thing in his life before. He’s never committed to anyone long enough for them to stick around. But, for whatever reason, Jimin’s still here.

Which is just fucking astonishing and Yoongi’s determined to make sure this relationship doesn’t just fizzle out like all his others. He’s determined to put in the time and effort it takes to keep Jimin in his life. Because Jimin’s possibly the sweetest, most fucking adorable, angelic, naïve, and just goddamn perfect human being that Yoongi’s ever met and Yoongi really doesn’t wanna fuck this up; Jimin is literally one of the main reasons Yoongi drags himself to school every damn day and the fact that the other boy probably isn’t even aware of what an impact he’s made on Yoongi in the short time they’ve been together just by being himself is something special. Jimin is special, and Yoongi knows that he’s pretty much hit the jackpot in life by having someone like Jimin waste his time with him.

Yoongi just- He really wants this relationship to last because he... He loves Jimin.

It’s a big deal- loving someone.

Yoongi’s only ever said ‘I love you’ to someone once before. He doesn’t think he meant it, either. It just seemed like the right thing to say at the time, and looking back on it now, Yoongi isn’t even sure how he could’ve mistaken those feelings for the ones he has now for Jimin. Because if that was love, Yoongi doesn’t know what the fuck he feels for Jimin is… all encompassing, unconditional, head-over-heels, wanna-grow-old -and-adopt-cute-babies-someday-with-you love, maybe?

It’s only been four months, though, Yoongi reasons with himself. It’s too soon to say those three little words. Way too fucking soon. Jimin might think he’s crazy for declaring that kind of sentiment so soon, and maybe he is. So Yoongi holds off on saying anything too serious, too heavy, too… meaningful. He doesn’t wanna screw this up. He refuses to screw this up.

*

Jimin knocks on Yoongi’s front door, patiently waiting to be let in.

The door swings open and Jimin politely greets Yoongi’s mom, “Hi, Mrs. Min.”

“Jimin, what a surprise!” she says, ushering the boy inside and taking his coat. “Yoongi didn’t mention you were coming over.”

“Sorry, Mom.” Yoongi half-heartedly apologizes, inclining his head in greeting at Jimin from his spot at the bottom of the stairs. “Didn’t think you’d still be here.”

“I was just leaving.” Jimin watches as Yoongi’s mom grabs her keys and coat, kisses Yoongi’s cheek goodbye (much to his boyfriend’s embarrassment) and pats Jimin’s shoulder on her way out the door. “Be good, boys!”

Yoongi absently nods, locking the door behind his mom and taking Jimin’s hand, leading him into the living room. “You hungry?”

Jimin shakes his head, “I ate dinner before I came over.”

Yoongi sits on the couch and pulls Jimin down with him, handing the younger boy the remote. “You sure you don’t want popcorn or something? A drink?”

“I’m good.” Jimin chuckles, channel surfing. He sets the remote back on the coffee table when he finds a movie that’s just starting. Settling more comfortably on the couch, he shifts himself so he’s leaning into Yoongi’s side. “You’re cold.”

“And you’re warm, so don’t you dare think about going anywhere.” Yoongi says, wrapping his arm around Jimin’s shoulders to keep him put. He frowns at the TV, “Are we watching fucking Ponyo again?”

Jimin giggles at Yoongi’s apparent resentment towards Ponyo.

“It’s good!”

“We watched this, like, two weeks ago, Jimin!”

“And now we’re watching it again.” Jimin tells him, sticking his tongue out when Yoongi huffs. “Stop pretending like you don’t love Ponyo.”

“There’s no pretending going on here.” Yoongi mutters under his breath. He stealthily tries reaching forwards to grab at the remote, only to have Jimin snatch it before he can. “Really?”

Jimin hugs the remote to his chest.

“You know I can take that from you, right?”

“No way.” Jimin scoffs, fingers tightening around the remote. “This baby’s staying with me.”

Yoongi smirks, “You sure about that?”

“Try it.” Jimin challenges him with a raised brow. “I dare you.”

Yoongi lunges at his boyfriend and grabs onto the remote, trying to pry Jimin’s fingers off, only to have his boyfriend retaliate by biting his arm. “Wh- No biting!”

Jimin giggles, twisting away from Yoongi. “You never said no biting!”

“I didn’t think I needed to!” Yoongi incredulously states, shaking his head in bafflement. “Let go!”

“Never!”

Yoongi grunts in exertion as he tackles Jimin onto his back, successfully getting the remote from his hands and holding it above his head in victory. “Looks like I won.”

“I let you win!”

Yoongi smirks, “Uh huh. You keep telling yourself that, Sunshine.”

Jimin sticks his tongue out and pushes Yoongi off him, rolling his eyes when his boyfriend changes the channel to a basketball game. “Ugh.”

“You like basketball.”

“I like watching you play basketball.” Jimin corrects him. “Other people? Not so much.”

Yoongi blushes, grinning as he changes the channel once more. “Thor?”

Jimin’s quiet for a moment, then finally nods his head, arranging himself back to his previous position and leaning against the other boy.

Halfway through the movie Jimin looks up at Yoongi to see his boyfriend struggling to keep his eyes open. “Tired?”

“Always.” Yoongi jokingly mutters. He rests his head against Jimin’s and yawns. “I’m awake, though. ’m not gonna fall asleep.”

“You can if you want. I won’t be mad.” Jimin tells him, “I’ll wake you up when the movie’s over.”

“The whole point of you coming over was for us to hang out.” Yoongi points out, “I’m not really hanging out with you if I’m asleep.”

Jimin shrugs. “Suit yourself.”

Half an hour later and Jimin shakes his head in amusement when he sees his boyfriend still fighting to stay awake. “Why’re you so tired?”

“Just been working on my music and stuff,” Yoongi mumbles, sighing in contentment when Jimin begins tracing random patterns on the back of his hand; the feeling soothing in a way that Yoongi thinks something so simple shouldn’t be able to render him so tranquil in a matter of seconds. “I think it was around six that I turned in.”

“Sleep for a bit, okay?” Jimin says, patting his arm. “For me.”

Yoongi lets out a long-suffering sigh and acquiesces, “Fine. For you.”

He shuts his eyes and lets the low volume of the TV and the feeling of Jimin in his arms start to lull him to sleep. He’s just about to nod off when he feels the younger boy shift and a pair of lips lightly press against his cheek.

“Sweet dreams, love you.”

Yoongi’s eyes fly open, wide and alert- all traces of sleep gone from his mind as he slowly cranes his neck downwards to look at where Jimin’s repositioned himself to lie across Yoongi’s lap. He gapes at him, his brain barely functioning at this point because what?

What the fuck just happened?

Jimin feels a pair of eyes on him and lifts his gaze to see his boyfriend looking anything but relaxed. “You okay?”

“You. I. You.”

“Um.” Jimin chuckles in confusion, “What?”

“You love me?” Yoongi blurts out, feeling like he’s dangerously close to losing his cool because what the hell is Jimin doing falling in love with him? Not that Yoongi isn’t thrilled about this revelation- it’s just… unexpected and a little perplexing. “Did you just say you love me?”

Jimin lazily nods his head, looking as if he doesn’t have a care in the world- like he didn’t just detonate an atomic bomb inside Yoongi’s mind. Jimin is all nonchalance and that’s just unfair, Yoongi thinks; he’s supposed to be the calm and collected one in this relationship, not Jimin.

“…are you sure?” Yoongi can’t help but ask.

“Of course.” Jimin replies, then tilts his head to the side, “Don’t you love me?”

Yoongi shakes his head so quickly that he thinks getting whiplash might just be a serious concern. “No! No! I do! I… I love you. I love you so much. Tons. A bunch. Like, there’s a crazy amount of love I have for you in my body- wait, that sounded weird. Did that sound weird?”

“A little. But it’s okay, I get what you’re trying to say. It’s nice… I think.”

Jimin goes back to watching the movie while Yoongi feels like his heart’s beating way too quickly for it to be healthy, and holy fucking shit did that just happen? Did they just say I love you to each other? Did Jimin just say it? Is this all a fucking dream? Is this real? What is life right now?

“Are you freaking out?” Jimin questions with a frown. “You look like you’re freaking out.”

Yes. “Not freaking out,” Yoongi slowly assures him, trying to wrap his mind around the fact that Jimin- Jimin loves him. “Just… happy.”

Jimin snorts, “That is not your happy face. That’s your freaking out face.”

Yoongi lets a smile overtake his features, “There, better?”

“Better.” Jimin agrees. “Now, shhh; Thor’s about to kick some ass.”

Yoongi dutifully keeps his mouth shut, content to watch Jimin watch the movie; beyond pleased in the knowledge that Jimin- this amazing boy in his arms, loves him.

 

 




Namjoon & Jin



“Whoever decided Valentine’s Day needed to permeate every aspect of life for an entire week before the actual day needs to die.”

Jin stares at Namjoon in amusement as the boy rants about Valentine’s Day.

“It’s such a commercial holiday. It’s just people judging everyone’s love for each other with gifts.”

“I think it’s nice.” Jin comments as he highlights an entry in his textbook.

Namjoon whips his head to look at his boyfriend. He scowls, “Don’t tell me you buy into this crap?”

“I like Valentine’s Day.” Jin maintains with a smile. “It’s nice having a day devoted to love.”

“A day devoted to pointlessness is a more accurate description.” Namjoon grouses, tossing an eraser at Jin’s head. “Valentine’s Day is just a way for corporations to make you buy their products-”

“Not like Christmas, Easter, or any other major holiday, though, right?” Jin interrupts with a raised brow.

“It’s too much pressure.” Namjoon continues, content to ignore the validity of Jin’s statement. “Why should whatever I give you be an accurate representation of how I feel about you?”

Jin scribbles some equations down in his notebook and sets his pen down, gazing at Namjoon, “Are you worried about what to buy me?”

Namjoon scoffs, rubbing at the back of his neck. “N- No. I just think it’s a senseless holiday.”

“Listen, I made reservations for us at that restaurant you like for Valentine’s.” Jin tells him, “Whether it’s a stupid holiday or not, I kinda just wanna go have dinner with my boyfriend, so can you drop this tirade against Valentine’s Day and just agree to spend some time with me somewhere where we’re not stressing about school and doing homework?”

“I mean,” Namjoon sighs, “of course I’ll go. I’m just saying that Valentine’s Day is the worst.”

“Duly noted.”

*

Jin spends exactly twenty-six minutes feeling like the biggest idiot on the planet before storming out of the restaurant. He’s done getting pitying stares from the other couples eating their dinners, and the fact that Namjoon stood him up (for whatever reason) on Valentine’s Day of all days is just not okay.

*

Namjoon wouldn’t really be surprised if he didn’t have a boyfriend anymore. Which is a shame. He’s gotten used to having one and, honestly, he quite likes Jin.

But forgetting about their Valentine’s plans?

… That’s not good and Namjoon knows it.

He screwed up. He’s man enough to admit that… but he’s also man enough to admit that he’s a little afraid of how Jin’s gonna react the next time he sees him.

*

Namjoon walks up to Jin’s front door, outwardly appearing confident, but inwardly spazzing about the confrontation that’s no doubt about to take place in the next minute.

He raises his hand and raps his knuckles against the door, waiting for only a few seconds until it flings open and his boyfriend is standing there, appearing generally gorgeous, but also sporting a really pissed off look that’s mildly terrifying.

It’s simultaneously unreasonably sexy and scary, and Namjoon isn’t sure whether or not he wants to kiss Jin or apologize and grovel for forgiveness.

“Didn’t I tell you I didn’t wanna see you?” Jin practically spits out, crossing his arms over his chest.

“You can’t avoid me forever.”

Jin scowls, “I beg to differ.”

“I said I was sorry like fifty times.” Namjoon says as he stands on Jin’s doorstep, and the fact that his boyfriend hasn’t let him inside his house yet… that’s not a good sign. In fact, it’s decidedly a bad sign. “I was studying. You know how I get when I’m studying, Jin.”

“Self-involved, selfish-”

“Those are technically the same thing.” Namjoon automatically points out before his brain can catch up to his mouth and decide that correcting his boyfriend’s word choice probably isn’t the best way to get back in his good graces. “Sorry. Shutting up. Continue yelling at me.”

“You don’t think about anyone but yourself, Namjoon!”

“Not true!” Namjoon argues, shaking his head. “I think about you all the time!”

“Like last night?” Jin counters, eyes narrowed at the taller boy. “You stood me up!”

“I didn’t mean to!”

Jin snorts, rolling his eyes. “Right. Sure.”

“Do you think I wanted to hurt you, Jin? I lost track of time- that’s all.”

“A likely story.” Jin mutters under his breath, but Namjoon hears it and runs a hand through his hair, wondering just how the hell he’s gonna fix this.

His boyfriend is being ridiculously infuriating and stubborn, and all Namjoon’s trying to do is apologize and make things right and Jin’s being difficult and disagreeable and just- ugh.

“I would never hurt you on purpose.” Namjoon tells him, enunciating his words to get his point across. “I was looking forward to our date-”

“You were not.” Jin argues with an incredulous expression. “You’ve been ranting all week about how horrible you think Valentine’s Day is-”

Namjoon sighs, “Just because I think the day itself is dumb, doesn’t mean I’d be an asshole and stand you up.”

Jin narrows his eyes. “And yet,” he says, “that’s what happened. Congratulations, Namjoon,” Jin sighs and helplessly shrugs his shoulder. “You’ve converted me into thinking that Valentine’s Day is a pointless holiday.”

Namjoon officially feels like the biggest asshole on the planet. Whether he thinks Valentine’s Day is a joke or not (for the record, he does), he never really wanted to foist that opinion on his boyfriend- the same guy who got absurdly happy at the sight of roses, fake and real alike, decorating the shops in town; the same guy who couldn’t wait to buy a bag of candy hearts, picking through each and every one of them and gifting Namjoon a new one each day this past week (Namjoon’s favorite was Soul Mate because, well, whatever, he’s a sap and thinking of Jin as his soulmate is kind of nice and makes him feel all warm inside); and the same guy who bought his mom a carefully crafted bouquet of flowers to remind her that even though her husband had passed, she still had love in her life, even if it was only from her son.

Namjoon does not want to be the reason Jin stops being way too into Valentine’s Day.

“Jin-”

Jin huffs, “If you didn’t want to celebrate Valentine’s you should’ve just told me. You didn’t have to pretend you forgot about our date with some lame excuse-”

“Why would I intentionally forget about our date and hurt you?” Namjoon demands in exasperation. “I love you, you idiot!”

Jin's torn between being upset with Namjoon or crumbling and professing his own declaration of love to his boyfriend. He wars with himself for a moment and eventually settles on somewhere between the two.

“Well. Fine, then. Good.”

Namjoon raises an eyebrow, “Good?”

Jin nods firmly. “Yeah. Because I sort of love you, too.”

Namjoon scuffs his sneaker against the concrete outside and stares at his boyfriend, “…what now? Are we done fighting?”

Jin shrugs. “I guess. You wanna go to that new karaoke place? The place that just opened?”

“Sure.” Namjoon hesitantly grabs onto Jin’s hand, internally sighing in relief when the other boy doesn’t immediately pull away, and leads him away from the front door towards his car.

“Just so you know,” Jin says as they get into the car, “you’re buying to make up for standing me up yesterday.”

“Fair enough.” Namjoon says, thinking that if that’s all he has to do to get back in Jin’s good books, that’s a small price to pay.

“And you have to buy me lunch.”

“Okay.”

Jin pulls away from the curb and starts the drive downtown. He adds, “And I get to pick your first song.”

“That’s fine.”

“Namjoon?”

“Hmm?” Namjoon glances at his boyfriend, “Something up?”

Jin links their fingers together and grins, “I love you.”

“I like hearing that.” Namjoon confides in the other boy with a wink.

Jin pointedly looks at Namjoon, “Me, too.”

“I love you, too, Jinnie.” Namjoon parrots the sentiment back, smiling widely. He watches the city fly past them as they make their way downtown and is only vaguely aware of the look Jin’s giving him.

“That was a nice moment there,” Jin idly comments. “Up until the nickname.”

“Not a fan of Jinnie?” Namjoon asks, still staring out the window. “I think it’s cute.”

“It’s not cute.”

“I like it.”

“Fine.” Jin says, “I’ll call you Jinnie, then.”

Namjoon laughs.

“Or…” Jin bites his lip in thought, “How’d you like it if I called you Joonie?”

Namjoon shrugs. “Sounds good to me.”

“Well- Whatever.” Jin says, clearly flustered that Namjoon is somehow agreeable to that nickname. “No calling me Jinnie.”

Namjoon smirks, “Whatever you say, Jinnie.”

“I’m loving you a little less right now.” Jin bluntly tells him as he changes lanes. “Just gonna put that out there.”

“Doubtful, Jinnie.”

“Stop it.”

“Stop what, Jinnie?”

Jin sighs in annoyance. “I’m gonna dump you.”

Namjoon snorts, “Nah. You won’t.”

“I’ll do it.” Jin threatens, “Don’t test me.”

“No way. You loooooooove me.”

“You’re insufferable.”

“I’m adorable.” Namjoon corrects him, grinning widely while placing his hand on Jin’s thigh. “Now be nice to me because I’m buying lunch and karaoke.”

“Be nice to you?” Jin splutters, “You’re the one teasing me!”

“I’m doing no such thing.”

Jin sulks, eyes narrowed as he continues driving. He briefly glances over at Namjoon, “I don’t love you anymore. I take it back.”

“No takebacks.” Namjoon calmly replies. “You’re stuck with me now.”

 



Taehyung & Hoseok



Namjoon makes it a point to not run over his kids. It’s basic parenting, really.

But when he pulls into the garage after coming home from work, he’s eternally thankful for good brakes and seatbelts because there, in the middle of the garage, is Taehyung.

Namjoon breathes deeply, trying to calm his heartrate at having almost killed his own son, and adjusts his seatbelt, rubbing at the spot where it tightened exponentially due to his sudden stop. He rolls his window down and leans out, “Are you crazy?”

Taehyung barely spares his dad a backwards glance, continuing to rifle through the junk that’s been littering the garage since they moved in- nearly ten years ago. “Hey, Dad.”

Namjoon puts his car in park and gets out of it, running a hand through his hair. “I almost ran you over, Tae.”

“It’s cool.” Taehyung mumbles, digging through a box, “You didn’t.”

“It’s not cool.” Namjoon protests, exhaling deeply. “If you hear me opening the garage door, move.”

Taehyung rolls his eyes, “I was pretty sure you weren’t gonna kill me, Dad.”

“Just- If you hear me coming home, don’t be in the garage, okay? I nearly had a heart attack, Tae.”

“Yeah, sure. Fine.” Taehyung says as he ventures to the other side of the garage, pulling a box down off a shelf. “We have an old boombox, right? I remember seeing one a few years ago.”

Namjoon’s tempted to not ask Taehyung why he needs a boombox. It would be easier to just let his son continue on with whatever it is he’s doing and not get involved. Except Namjoon’s not that kind of father. He’s nosy inquisitive by nature and he likes to know what’s going on in his kid’s lives.

“Can I ask why you need a boombox? Is it 1990 again?”

“Not unless my time machine’s worked.” Taehyung answers with a shrug, prompting Namjoon to raise an eyebrow and ask, “You have a time machine?”

“Not yet. I’m working on it, though.”

“Right.” Namjoon nods. “Well… let me know if you need any help with that.”

“Nah,” Taehyung shakes his head as he dumps the box’s contents on the ground. “I’ve got it under control.”

“Good to know.”

Namjoon leans against his car’s hood and watches his son sift through everything in the box. “Tae?”

“Yeah?”

“Boomboxes are big.”

Taehyung tilts his head in confusion, going back to his search.

Tae.”

Taehyung lifts his head again to stare at his dad, “Hmm?”

“It’s not gonna be in a box.” Namjoon elaborates as he pushes off from his position and glances around on the higher shelving units in the room. “Look for a big, black box, okay?”

“Got it.” Taehyung nods, abandoning the junk on the floor and scanning the room for something blocky and black. He scrunches up his face in disappointment when his search comes up empty. “So… we don’t have one anymore?”

Namjoon continues looking, shifting some boxes, a bicycle, two pairs of skis, and what looks like an ancient waffle iron that he’s not really sure why they’re holding on to (but he’s not going to be the one to throw it away and have Jin yell at him for it), and finally sees what he’s looking for.

Caked in dust and cobwebs, Namjoon hauls the boombox out from behind an old toolbox and places it front of Taehyung with a grin. “One boombox for you, kiddo.”

Taehyung grabs its handle and groans at the weight. “Didn’t think it’d be this heavy.”

“So,” Namjoon starts, “you never told me why you need that.”

Taehyung sets the boombox on the ground and grins widely, “I’m gonna hold it over my head outside Hoseok’s house while it plays a sappy love song and confess my undying love to him.”

Namjoon blinks once. Then does it again.

“Just like in the movies.” Taehyung adds as an afterthought. He looks at his dad for a reaction, puzzled when all he gets is a blank stare. “Do you think it’s a bad idea?”

Namjoon hesitantly shakes his head. “Not a bad idea. Just…” He clasps his hands together and sighs, “Taehyung, you’ve been dating Hoseok for three weeks.”

Taehyung nods.

“Are you really sure that you love him after three weeks?” Namjoon gently questions. It’s not that he doesn’t believe that Taehyung thinks he loves Hoseok, but… Namjoon has his doubts of whether or not Taehyung really knows what love feels like as opposed to an infatuation.

“I fell in love the moment I saw him.” Taehyung replies in all seriousness, “It was love at first sight, Dad.”

*

When Taehyung had imagined this particular scenario in his mind… it was romantic.

And it definitely didn’t include being driven to Hoseok’s house by his mom. It’s more than a little embarrassing, but Taehyung doesn’t let that dampen his spirits. Because he’s about to tell Jung Hoseok that he loves him and if movies and books and television have taught him anything, it’s that this moment is gonna be magical and special, and Taehyung’s gonna remember it for the rest of his life.

“Do you have fresh batteries in the boombox?”

“Yep.”

“Did you remember the cassette tape?”

Taehyung nods, “Uh huh.”

“Are you nervous, sweetie?” Jin asks, smiling at his son. “It’s okay to be nervous.”

“A little.” Taehyung shrugs as he feels butterflies milling around in his stomach. “But I’m not expecting him to say it back, so… I mean- I’d like him to say it back, but. Yeah.”

Jin just nods in understanding, opting to stay silent in order to let Taehyung vent his feelings.

“It’s not like he’s just gonna say thank you or something. Right?”

I hope not. “He’d be a fool to not love you, Tae.” Jin reassures the teen, patting him on the leg. He pulls up outside of Hoseok’s house and cuts the engine, turning in his seat to look at his son. “You ready?”

Taehyung bites at his lip, looking unsure for a moment before resolutely nodding his head. He grabs the boombox from the backseat and hauls it onto Hoseok’s front yard, turning it on and grunting with the effort it takes to lift it over his head.

He patiently waits for Hoseok to look out his window to see what all the noise is and panics when he sees his boyfriend exiting his house from the front door to come stand in front of him, two others whom Taehyung assumes is his mom and sister crowding around the door and watching their exchange with interest.

“Ah- You’re supposed to open your window and we’ll talk that way!” Taehyung shouts over the music that’s blaring dangerously close to his ears.

Hoseok blinks in surprise at the image Taehyung presents. “Um… okay. Sure. I’ll be right, uh, back. I guess.”

Taehyung waits a bit longer and smiles brightly when Hoseok appears at his window, opening it and leaning outside.

“That looks heavy!”

Taehyung nods as the muscles in his arms shake in fatigue, “It is!”

“What’s all this for?” Hoseok yells down from the second story of his house. “I feel like I’m missing something.”

“I love you!”

Hoseok rears back in shock, banging his head on his window and clutching at his skull in pain. He ducks out of view and Taehyung worriedly sets the boombox onto the ground, hastily shutting it off and politely making his way past Hoseok’s mom and sister. He climbs the stairs to his boyfriend’s room and finds Hoseok groaning in pain.

“Is your head okay?”

Hoseok waves Taehyung’s concerns away, “Yeah. Great. Just- Just give me a minute.”

Taehyung settles himself beside Hoseok on the ground and rubs soothing circles on his back.

“You said you loved me.” Hoseok says, looking at Taehyung through his bangs. “You said you loved me with a giant boombox over your head, and my mom and my sister both heard it, and we’ve been dating for, like, less than a month and this is just… it’s a lot to take in.”

Taehyung giggles, smiling widely as he waits for Hoseok to process everything.

“You’re so different from anyone I’ve ever dated before.” Hoseok states, staring at Taehyung in awe.

Because he’s never dated anyone who says what’s on their mind 24/7; someone who doesn’t seem to feel pressured to act the way society says is normal; someone who isn’t afraid to do things out of the ordinary.

“Most people wouldn’t love someone after dating them a few weeks, Tae.”

Taehyung shrugs, seemingly unperturbed by that thought. “I’m not most people,” he tells Hoseok with a grin. “I knew I loved you the first time we met.”

Hoseok feels his face flushing bright red. “You did?”

“Yeah.”

Hoseok’s silent, seemingly intent on staring at his shoes, and Taehyung taps his arm to gain his attention. “You don’t have to say it back.”

“I-”

“Seriously, Hobi, I didn’t tell you so you’d feel obligated to say it back. I just… I wanted you to know how I feel about you.”

Hoseok worries his bottom lip between his teeth, contemplating his next words. “I… I like you, Tae.”

Taehyung swallows down something that feels suspiciously like disappointment and forces a smile onto his face. Just because Hoseok doesn’t love him now, doesn’t mean he never will. And Taehyung’s nothing if not hopeful that one day Hoseok will be able to tell him those three little words.

“So, uh.” Hoseok rubs at the back of his neck, hesitantly grinning at his boyfriend, “You wanna meet my mom and sister? They’ve been dying to meet you and this is as good a time as any.”

“Yeah.” Taehyung stands up, pulling Hoseok with him. “I’d like that.”

 


 
Jungkook & Jin



“Anything special you want for dinner?”

“I might not make it home in time for dinner.”

Jin hums in acknowledgement.

“I’ll try my best, but-”

“But you might not be.” Jin finishes for him, frowning at the vacuum cleaner in front of him. Why it’s refusing to work, Jin has no clue but he’s about to give up on the damn thing altogether. Two hours of fighting with it and he’s had enough. “I heard you before, Namjoon.”

“Are you mad at me?”

“I’m not mad at you.” Jin sits down on the carpet and begins taking the vacuum apart. Again.

“You sound like you’re mad at me.”

“I’m not.” Jin looks at the attachment in his hands in bafflement, he’s... less than proficient at fixing things and Namjoon’s even worse. Maybe Taehyung or Jimin’ll be able to tell him what’s wrong with this thing when they get home from school.

“Are you sure? Because you sound upset.”

Jin grits his teeth in annoyance. “I’m frustrated.”

“Look, I’m sorry I’ve been working more than usual lately, but-”

Jin rolls his eyes at Namjoon’s babbling and cradles the phone between his ear and shoulder as he puts the vacuum back together. “I’m mad at the vacuum, Namjoon, not you.”

“The… vacuum?”

“It’s not working.” Jin tells him, kicking the thing away in exasperation. “Whatever. I’m done with it. We’re buying a new one.”

“I’ll take a look at it when I get home.”

“Good luck with that.” Jin mutters, flopping onto his back on the carpet and switching his call to speakerphone, setting his phone beside him. He glances over to where Jungkook’s quietly playing with his toys and smiles tiredly. “Can you pick up more diapers on your way home?”

“Anything else? Are we stocked on baby food?”

“Yeah, we’re good on baby food.” Jin confirms, grinning widely when Jungkook looks straight at him and begins excitedly crawling across the living room to reach him. “Hey, Kookie,” he says in hushed tones, lifting Jungkook and settling him on his chest. “You wanna say hi to your dada? Can you say Dada, Kookie?”

“I can guarantee with one hundred percent certainty that he can’t.”

“He’ll say it soon, Namjoonie.”

“I’m sure he will. It’s just taking too long for my liking.”

Jin chuckles, “You’re just jealous that he said Mama first.”

“…a little.”

Jin plays with Jungkook’s fingers and presses kisses to each one, “You’ll say Dada soon, right, Kookie?”

“Mama!”

“See? Now he’s just rubbing it in that he likes you better.”

Jin laughs, shaking his head. “He doesn’t like me better. He just spends the majority of his day with me; and all the experts say that it’s easier for babies to say Mama than it is to say Dada. He loves you just as much as he loves me, Namjoon.”

“I don’t know about that…”

Jin bounces Jungkook on his chest and grins, “You love your daddy just as much as me, don’t you, Kookie?”

Jin watches as Jungkook opens his mouth, shuts it, then opens it again, letting out a small laugh before gleefully winding his arms around his mom’s neck, mumbling into his neck, “Love Mama.”

Jin freezes, eyes wide and mouth agape. He breathes shallowly and looks at the boy on his chest, who seems to be in the middle of trying to fall asleep. “Namjoon?”

“Yeah?”

“Namjoon, did-” Jin swallows, his throat suddenly dry. “Did you hear that?”

“Hear what?”

“Kookie. He just. He-” Jin can’t form complete sentences, can’t stop his heart from beating erratically, and can’t seem to focus on anything other than his son.

“What’s going on, Jin? What about Kookie? Are you both okay?”

“He just said I love you.” Jin whispers, combing his fingers through Jungkook’s hair. “He said he loved me. I- He-”

“He did? I missed it? For the love of- That’s it! I’m coming home right now! I’m not missing him saying it again!”

Jin just nods his head, his entire world focused in on Jungkook.

“I’ll be there as soon as I can. Keep making him say it so he doesn’t conveniently forget how when I get home.”

“Okay.” Jin quietly answers, not wanting to disturb his son. He hears Namjoon disconnect the call with a quick ‘love you’ and Jin breathes deeply. “I love you so much, Kookie.”

“Mama love.” Jungkook tiredly murmurs into Jin’s neck, snuggling into his shirt. “Love Mama.”

 

 

Chapter Text

Namjoon returns to his bedroom to find Jin sitting up in bed, idly flipping through a magazine. He climbs into bed next to the other man, “They’re both drunk.”

Jin sets his magazine down, tsking. “How drunk?”

“Drunk enough that I’m fairly certain Jimin won’t remember most of tonight.” Namjoon guesses with an eyeroll. “Taehyung looked like he wasn’t as far gone as Jimin, though.”

Jin exhales heavily.

“I can’t believe they’d be so stupid as to drink when they promised us they wouldn’t.” Namjoon says. “And drinking so much? What were they thinking- Never mind; I can tell you what they were thinking. Nothing! They weren’t thinking at all!”

Jin casts a sidelong glance at his husband, “You know,” he muses, “as much as I do agree with you… I’m not surprised they got drunk. They’re seventeen-”

“Seventeen is much too young to be drinking.” Namjoon argues with a scowl. “They’re children!”

Jin chuckles, “They’re almost adults, Namjoon. We can’t stop them from experiencing new things-”

“We can try!”

“Namjoon,” Jin grins. “Come on, now.”

Namjoon sighs and crosses his arms over his chest. “They’re still young, Jin. They don’t need to be experiencing these kinds of things yet.”

“You can’t shelter them forever; I know you want to protect them from everything that could hurt them- I do, too, but we don’t want to smother them.” Jin points out.

“No,” Namjoon finally agrees, rather reluctantly, after a lengthy silence. “I guess we don’t want that.”

Jin places a comforting hand on Namjoon’s arm. “Them growing up isn’t a bad thing.”

“It feels like it.” Namjoon grouses, letting his head fall back against the headboard. He frowns. “They lied to us tonight, Jin.”

“They did. We’ll need to punish them.”

“Should we ground them again? I feel like we’ve been doing that a lot lately.”

Jin shakes his head, “I’ve got a better idea. One that’ll stop them from drinking again anytime soon.”

“Such as…?”

“You’ll see.” Jin tells him with a wink, shutting his bedside lamp off. “I’ll tell you all about in the morning.”

“You’re sexy when you’re being mysterious, you know that, right?” Namjoon whispers into Jin’s ear, lightly tugging on the lobe with his teeth.

Jin slowly sits up and raises an eyebrow at Namjoon, “Are you really trying to put the moves on me at,” he takes a look at the clock on the dresser, “two-thirty in the morning?”

“Um… yes. Yes I am.”

“…go to sleep, Namjoon.”

“Right.” Namjoon mutters, inching back over to his own side of the bed. “I’ll just- Yeah. Sleep. Going to sleep now.”

“Shush.”

“Shushing, dear.” Namjoon agrees with a nod, quickly pressing a light kiss to Jin’s lips before the man drifts off to sleep.

*

Taehyung wakes up with a start, head whipping this way and that as something screeches near his ear, and it’s too early to be awake and his head is pounding and why does his mouth taste like a garbage can? “Oh, my god! Make the loud noises stop!”

“Sorry, Tae,” Jin says, sitting on the end of his son’s bed. “Kookie wanted to show you the new microphone we got him.”

Taehyung blearily opens his eyes and spots his little brother roughly a centimeter from his head with a toy microphone gripped in his hands, emitting a distorted version of his voice when he speaks into it. "Morning, TaeTae!"

“I wanna die,” Taehyung moans into his pillow, covering his head with his blanket. “Please let me die in peace!”

“It’s a beautiful day out, Tae,” Jin states, swatting at his son’s form underneath the covers. “Time to get up. It’s almost eight.”

Taehyung groans, holding his head in the darkness of his cocoon. “Why do I need to be up now? It’s Sunday!”

“Up you get!” Jin ignores Taehyung’s protests and stands. “I’ll meet you downstairs for breakfast in ten minutes-”

“I’m not hungry.” Taehyung mumbles, his stomach roiling at the mere mention of food. “I wanna be as far away from food as possible.”

“Breakfast in ten.” Jin repeats, crouching down so he’s eye-level with Jungkook, “Make sure your brother gets up, okay?”

Jungkook happily nods his head, hopping onto the bed and shouting through his microphone for his brother to wake up. “TaeTae! Get up! Get up! Get up! Up! Up! Upppppp! Uppppppp!”

“Kookie, I love you, but go away.” Taehyung grunts, blindly flailing an arm out from his covers and trying to swat at his little brother.

“Get up! Get up! Mommy said to get up, TaeTae! Dooooooooo it!”

This, Taehyung thinks while Jungkook begins jumping on his stomach, is hell.

“Up! Up! Up! Move your butt, mister!”

Yep. Definitely hell.

*

“Jiminie…”

Namjoon watches on impassively as his son remains oblivious to the world around him.

“Jimin, c’mon, kiddo, time to get up.”

Jimin shifts slightly in his sleep, but continues slumbering.

Namjoon reaches down and, in the blink of an eye, rips the covers off Jimin’s body.

“No!” Jimin splutters, blinking in confusion, “Why! What-? No! Give ‘em back!”

“Oh, I’m sorry, Jimin.” Namjoon apologizes, but Jimin blearily thinks that his dad sounds anything but apologetic. “I’m going to do laundry. Thought I’d put your blanket through, too.”

“I wish I were dead.” Jimin grumbles, wincing when his head pounds against his skull with such a ferocity that Jimin’s pretty sure he’s about to die any second now. “Everything hurts.”

“That’s a shame.” Namjoon absently says, grabbing Jimin’s pillow out from under his head and tearing the pillowcase off it. “Breakfast should be ready in a few minutes.”

Jimin yawns widely, closing his eyes again because it’s just taking too much energy to keep them open. “I’m not really hungry-”

“Sure you are.” Namjoon assures him. “You haven't eaten since last night. You must be starving."

“Not really.” Jimin groans as he tastes the inside of his mouth and nearly gags. He curls up in a small ball and tries to ignore his dad’s presence as the man continues talking to him. He almost manages to block him out completely, quickly falling back asleep when his dad forcibly lifts him out of bed and sets him on his feet.

“Why am I standing?” Jimin asks in confusion, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes.

“Need your sheets, too.” Namjoon grins, stripping his son’s bed completely. “Head on downstairs, Jiminie. I’ll be there in a few.”

“Need more sleep.” Jimin whines, about to fall back onto his bed until his dad steers him towards his door.

“What you need is a good breakfast.” Namjoon corrects him, guiding his son out of his bedroom. “Let’s go get some food in you, okay?”

“Wanna sleep.” Jimin weakly objects as he’s led into the hall. “’m still tired.”

“Nothing like a hearty breakfast to wake you up, then.”

*

Taehyung runs into his brother and dad on his way out of his room, stumbling into the hall while gripping the sides of his head with both of his hands, as if that’ll stop it from cracking in half. He leans on his brother for added stability, both slowly making their way into the kitchen and practically collapsing at the table.

Taehyung focuses his gaze on where his mom’s cracking eggs into a pan. He grimaces at the pile of bacon on the table, the grease of it seeping into the paper towels it’s resting on and the waft reaching his nostrils, making him gag.

He watches his dad sit down opposite him and grab a few pieces of bacon and set them on his and Jimin’s empty plates. Taehyung avoids breathing through his nose and stares at the meat with thinly veiled disgust. He looks at Jimin and sees his brother resting his head on the table, eyes closed.

Taehyung subtly grabs the bacon off his plate when his dad’s not looking his way and quickly deposits it on Jimin’s own, wiping the grease off his fingers with his napkin. His eyes widen when he looks at where Jungkook’s sitting, eyes trained on him. Taehyung raises a finger to his lips and makes a shushing action, smiling when his little brother copies the motion with a giggle.

*

Jimin groans into the table’s surface when his mom bangs the pans on the stove for the millionth time. He cracks an eye open just in time to see his mom bring one of the pans over to the table, smiling at him.

“One or two eggs, Jiminie?”

“Zero.”

“One it is.” Jin decides for him, letting a runny egg drip from the pan and splat down onto Jimin’s plate, biting his lip to hide the smirk on his face when his son looks at it in revulsion. “Eat up, sweetheart.”

Jimin pokes the egg and swallows down the bile in his mouth when the smell reaches him. He winces when his mom continues making louder than usual noises in the kitchen- banging pots and pans, dropping utensils, and just generally making Jimin think his head is about to explode with the amount of pain it’s in.

“Eat your breakfast, Jimin.”

Jimin looks imploringly at his dad, “Please don’t make me eat this.”

“What’s wrong with it?” Namjoon asks with a raised eyebrow, setting his newspaper down and looking at Jimin’s breakfast. “You love bacon and eggs.”

“Please.” Jimin whimpers, glancing at where Taehyung’s reluctantly shoveling bits of toast into his mouth. “I don’t feel good.”

Jin deposits a small bowl of oatmeal in front of Jimin, running a hand through his son’s hair. “I’m sorry to hear that, sweetie.”

Jimin stays silent, pushing the bowl away, only to have his mom shove it right back under his nose.

“Can I be excused to go die?” Taehyung quietly asks, a piece of crust hanging out the side of his mouth.

Jin feigns confusion, “Now why would you wanna die, Tae? Are you not feeling good, either?”

Taehyung nods his head, “I feel like crap.”

“My poor babies,” Jin coos as he lifts a spoonful of oatmeal up to Jimin’s mouth. “I’m sure you’ll feel better after you’ve eaten.”

“I don’t think-”

“I said,” Jin forcefully repeats, eyes narrowed at both his sons, “I’m sure you’ll feel better after you’ve eaten.”

“Uh… are we being punished right now?” Jimin hesitantly asks as his mom shoves the spoonful of oatmeal into his mouth. “Is that what’s happening?”

Namjoon idly flips the page of his newspaper, “Why would we be punishing you?”

Jimin exchanges a look with his brother, hesitant to bring up last night in case their parents have somehow, miraculously, forgotten about it.

“No reason.” Taehyung slowly says, “No reason at all.”

“Good, then eat your breakfast.” Jin tells him, sitting down at the table beside Jungkook and keeping his eyes trained on his sons, and Jimin’s eyes widen when he realizes his mom is just staring at him and his brother. Not doing anything, just… staring. “Um.”

With great difficulty, Taehyung swallows the toast in his mouth. “Are you just gonna watch us eat?”

Jin nods.

“Okaaaay.” Taehyung stretches the syllables out and looks down at his plate of food. “I don’t think I’m gonna be able to eat everything, Mom.”

“Try.” Jin answers with a saccharine smile and gestures for Taehyung to start eating. He turns his head to look at Jimin, “You too.”

Jimin brings another spoonful of oatmeal to his lips and dumps it inside his mouth, trying to not gag at the mere thought of food or the fact that it’s in his mouth right now.

“Swallow.”

Jimin looks at his mom, tears practically in his eyes as he shakes his head. “I can’t.” he murmurs around the food in his mouth.

Jin crosses his arms over his chest, “Jimin.”

Jimin forces himself to swallow the oatmeal, glancing to see his brother poking at his own plate of eggs and bacon while their dad closely watches him. “Mom-”

“Eat.” Jin tells him, handing him a piece of bacon. “It’s extra crispy- just how you like it.”

Jimin whimpers as he puts it in his mouth, head dropping down to the table as he slowly chews it, trying not to breathe in the smell of any food products.

“I can’t do it,” Taehyung whines, setting his fork down with a clatter. “I seriously wanna die.”

Jin stares at Taehyung, “Tae, what could possibly have you feeling so horrible?”

Taehyung looks away from his mom, hiding his head in the crook of his arm and mumbling, “You know what.”

“Do I?” Jin levels both Jimin and Taehyung with a piercing look, as if he’s daring them to confirm what he already knows. Jimin wisely shuts his mouth while Taehyung mumbles something incoherent, forcefully taking another bite of his eggs.

Breakfast ends with Taehyung and Jimin nearly vomiting multiple times, but both refusing to admit to their parents that they’re hungover and in a ridiculous amount of pain by just being forced to eat a simple meal. The only saving grace of having to sit through a near-torturous breakfast is that they can go collapse in their beds and shut the world out until they both feel human again- Sunday is the day of rest, after all.

“Where do you two think you’re going?”

…or not. Because apparently Sunday isn’t the day of rest, anymore. It’s the day of doing things until you feel like passing out.

A painfully loud wake-up call and nauseating breakfast lead to a morning walk through the neighborhood, which leads to Jimin and Taehyung having to entertain Jungkook in the park amongst screaming children, which somehow turns into a family bike ride/picnic, which finally leads to Jimin breaking down and begging his parents to kill him because his headache is too much and he’s pretty sure he’s about to die, and, fine, yes, he's hungover, he admits it, just please take him home so he can wallow in pain without being bombarded by loud people and the outdoors and the sun (which is way too bright).

Jimin and Taehyung happily withstand the lecture they get about underage drinking and how stupid it is if it means going back home and being able to down a few painkillers and crawl back into bed.

*

“So,” Jin says, smoothing the hair off Taehyung’s forehead as he gets up to leave the boy’s room, “what’d you learn from this entire experience?”

“That drinking an entire bottle of vodka on an empty stomach is a bad idea.”

Jin sighs, shaking his head. “And?”

“And that I shouldn’t let Jimin mix my drinks at a party.”

“Close enough.” Jin concludes as he watches Taehyung’s eyes droop closed. “Everything’ll feel better when you wake up.”

“I hope so.” Taehyung responds with a yawn. “Can’t get much worse.”

*

Namjoon is not a weak-willed man.

Unless you’re talking about him when it comes to his children. Because in that case, yes, he’s very weak-willed.

He’s supposed to be picking up a few things from the mall- a new pair of jeans for Taehyung, Jimin needs another binder, and Jin requested a new couch- Namjoon thinks he’s joking; he hopes he’s joking anyway because he’s not going to buy a new couch; the one they have is fine (It’s not- at least, not after Namjoon had spilled coffee on it last week, and coffee on a white couch is just… It’s not the look Jin’s going for in their living room).

“Daddy, stop!”

Namjoon stops walking directly in front of a toy store and he chuckles at the look of wonder in Jungkook’s eyes. “See something you like, Kookie?”

Jungkook nods his head, fussing to be let down and darts into the store when Namjoon sets him on the ground. Namjoon follows him at a languid pace, entering the store to find Jungkook with his arms wrapped around a stuffed animal that’s bigger than he is.

“That’s a pretty big bunny.”

Jungkook excitedly nods his head, “Daddy, can we bring him home?”

Namjoon sadly shakes his head, “Sorry, kiddo. Not today.”

“Tomorrow?” Jungkook asks with a frown. “Can we bring him home with us tomorrow?”

“Not tomorrow either.” Namjoon tells him. He crouches down so he’s eye-level with Jungkook and ruffles the boy’s hair, “Come on, we have to get your brother a new pair of pants. Doesn’t that sound exciting?”

Jungkook shakes his head.

“It’ll be fun, let’s go-”

“No.” Jungkook quietly says, plopping himself down beside the bunny and crossing his arms over his chest. “I’m staying here.”

Namjoon blinks, taken aback. “You’re staying here?”

“Uh huh.”

“And what, pray tell, are you going to do here?” Namjoon asks, eyebrow raised. “Are you going to live here from now on?”

“Yeah. With the big bunny.”

“What about your toys at home? Don’t you think they’re going to miss you? And what about TaeTae and Jimin?”

Jungkook bites his lip, thinking his dad’s words over. “I… They’ll visit!”

“What about Mommy, Kookie?” Namjoon asks with a smile. “Aren’t you going to miss Mommy?”

“Mommy can live here, too.”

Namjoon shakes his head, “No, Mommy lives at home with TaeTae, Jimin, and Daddy.”

“Mommy lives with Kookie now.” Jungkook informs his dad. “Mommy loves me more than you.”

Namjoon bites his lip to suppress a laugh at the boy’s audacious comment. He stands up and stares at Jungkook, “Okay, well, if you live here now, I’ll just leave and go home by myself, then. Bye-bye, Kookie.”

Jungkook waves goodbye to his dad.

Namjoon slowly makes his way out of the store, keeping his eyes trained on Jungkook and frowning when the boy starts playing with the giant stuffed rabbit, not looking the least bit worried that he’s all alone in the store. Namjoon goes back inside and stands in front of his son, “Okay, enough playing, kiddo.”

Jungkook narrows his eyes as his dad stoops down to his level and reaches his arms out for him- “No, Daddy!” Jungkook thrashes in the man’s arms, grabbing onto the stuffed animal’s long ear and hugging it to his chest. “I wanna stay!”

“Jungkookie, let go.” Namjoon says as he tries tugging the ear out of his son’s grasp. “I’m serious, Jungkook; let go of the bunny-”

“No!”

Jungkook…”

Jungkook glares at his dad, huffing, “We can’t leave without the bunny!”

“Oh yes we can.” Namjoon argues, prying the stuffed animal from Jungkook’s fingers and setting it back on the ground. “When we get home, you’re going to take a nap, Mr. Fussy Pants.”

“No!”

“Yes.”

As soon as Namjoon turns the corner and exits the store, Jungkook begins wailing, tears streaming down his cheeks and grabbing the attention of everyone within earshot. Namjoon winces at the looks he’s receiving and sets Jungkook down, tiredly watching as his son flops onto his stomach on the floor and cries even harder.

“Jungkookie-”

“Daddy’s mean!”

Namjoon smiles sadly, “I’m not trying to be mean, Kookie.”

“Daddy’s being very mean!” Jungkook maintains, sniffling loudly. “Kookie’s good, Daddy’s bad!”

Namjoon runs a hand through his hair and bends down, “Why do you think Daddy’s being mean?”

“Because!”

“Because why?”

Jungkook hiccups, “Because you won’t buy the bunny!”

“Kookie, you can’t always get what you want.”

“Why not?” Jungkook quietly asks, “Don’t you love me, Daddy?”

Namjoon feels his heart breaking at the sight of his youngest son’s tear-streaked face staring up at him like he’s the bad guy, and he just- He can’t deal with that.

Kim Namjoon can deal with a lot of things, but not that.

*

“We’re home!”

Jin descends the stairs, grinning at Namjoon and Jungkook before stopping abruptly at the sight of- just of everything that his husband’s hauling inside the house. “Oh my.”

Namjoon sets the bags on the ground and guiltily smiles at Jin, “I know what you’re thinking-”

“I doubt that.” Jin interrupts. “I doubt that very much.”

Namjoon holds his hands up, “I know it looks like a lot of stuff-”

“It looks that way because it is a lot of stuff.” Jin says, shaking his head in bewilderment because not only is there a giant stuffed bunny in his house, but there’re about ten other shopping bags filled with, what looks to be, other bunny related items, and, oh yeah-

An actual rabbit in a cage sitting at Namjoon’s feet.

“You bought our son a bunny.”

“I-”

Jin purses his lips, “You bought our son a pet without talking to me about it, Namjoon.”

“Um. Yes. I- I did.” Namjoon nods his head, cringing at the look on Jin’s face. “Are you- You okay? Jin?”

Jin breathes deeply, exhaling a moment later. “I… have no words.” He opens his mouth again as if to say something, then closes it, shaking his head and walking away without another word.

Namjoon winces at Jin’s sudden departure and turns to look at where Jungkook’s sticking his fingers inside the cage and petting his new bunny’s fur. “How about we put your new friend in your room? Huh? Sound good, Kookie?”

Jungkook smiles widely, tugging his dad’s hand and leading him upstairs, only stumbling a few times up the stairs in his haste to get to his room. He pushes his bedroom door open and points at his bed, “Put it there! He can sleep with me!”

Namjoon shakes his head with a laugh, setting the cage on Jungkook’s dresser. “Your bunny’s going to sleep here, okay, kiddo?”

Jungkook stands in front of his dresser and frowns, eyebrows creased in confusion as he reaches his hand upwards, “Daddy- I can’t reach the bunny.”

“You can look at the bunny.”

“I wanna pet him!”

“You can,” Namjoon assures the boy, lifting him up so he can do just that. “But only when Mommy or Daddy or one of your brothers is with you.” He sets Jungkook back down on the floor and places his hand on the boy’s head, running a hand through his hair, “When you’re alone, you can look, but you can’t touch, okay? Can you remember those rules, Kookie?”

Jungkook immediately nods his head, “No touching unless you or Mommy or TaeTae or J’min are here.”

“And?”

Jungkook bites his lip in thought.

“No playing with the bunny…” Namjoon trails off, urging Jungkook to finish the sentence and grinning when the boy says, “I’m not allowed to play with him when I’m alone.”

“Exactly!” Namjoon holds his hand up to Jungkook’s face, “High five!”

Jungkook clumsily smacks his hand against the much larger one, giggling when his dad holds his hand to his chest, face contorted in pain.

*

“This isn’t a bad thing,” Namjoon hastily explains as soon as he leaves Jungkook’s room, tracking his husband down and finding him in the backyard, cleaning up after Taehyung’s latest science experiment. “This is a good thing.”

“Is it?” Jin asks, setting the garbage bag he’s down. “Because from where I’m standing this looks like a bad thing.”

Namjoon begins picking up… paper maché and cheeseballs (he isn’t even going to question what Taehyung’s experiment was this time around), depositing them in the garbage bag while trying to convince Jin that getting Jungkook a pet isn’t the worst thing to happen.

“He’s so happy, Jin.”

Jin rolls his eyes, “I’m not angry about our son being happy, Namjoon. I’m not a monster.”

“I didn’t mean-”

“I’m mad that you didn’t even talk to me about this before you did it- not even a text!” Jin fumes, scowling as he kicks a pinecone away from himself, “Spoiling our son is one thing, but getting him a pet that’s going to live years is another thing altogether! Did you even think about what’s gonna happen when Jimin and Taehyung see that their younger brother got a pet before they did? They’ve been asking for a pet for years-”

“And now we’ve got one!” Namjoon concludes with a hesitant smile. “It’s a win-win situation.”

“No.” Jin points out, “Jungkook has a pet. How do you think they’re gonna feel about that? It’s going to look like blatant favoritism.”

Namjoon’s silent for a moment- he knows Jin’s right; Jimin and Taehyung will definitely see this as an unfair situation. “I…” Namjoon sighs, his shoulders sagging, “I just got a little carried away today.”

Jin quirks a brow, “You think?”

“But I can’t take the bunny back. He’s attached to it now.”

Jin pinches the bridge of his nose, “You’re gonna have to explain to Taehyung and Jimin why Jungkook gets a pet and they don’t.”

Namjoon exhales heavily, nodding his head. “Yeah- I will. I’m sure they’ll be fine with it. Eventually.”

*

Jimin and Taehyung are not fine about Jungkook getting a pet as Namjoon soon realizes after his sons decide to give him the silent treatment.

*

A week after the whole bunny debacle wherein Taehyung and Jimin still aren’t talking to him and Jin has only grudgingly forgiven him (though he’s Jungkook’s favorite person right about now, so that’s gotta count for something), Namjoon comes home after grocery shopping to find a puppy chewing on the coffee table in the living room. He blinks, then does it again. And then again. Because really? Really, Jin?

Taehyung rushes into the living room with a collar, fastening it around the puppy's neck and coos over the dog, lifting her and excitedly shoving her into his dad’s arms. “Dad! Isn’t she perfect? She’s the cutest thing ever!”

Namjoon, grudgingly, admits that this puppy is adorable.

“Mom said that we can go to the park when the weather gets nicer and take her for walks-”

“Speaking of your mom,” Namjoon interrupts, petting the dog’s head, “where is he?”

“He’s baking some treats for Bokshiri-”

“Bokshiri?”

Taehyung beams, taking his puppy back from his dad and pressing a kiss to her head. “Yeah, I named her Bokshiri. Cute, right?”

“Very cute, Tae.” Namjoon agrees, smiling at the two before making his way into the kitchen. “So…”

Jin holds his hand up, halting his husband. “I know. I know.”

“I’m not gonna say a word.” Namjoon smirks. “Just, you know, I’d like to point out that me buying Jungkook a bunny is way different than you getting Taehyung a dog.”

Jin sighs, finishing shaping the treats he's making into dog bones before placing them on a cookie sheet and sliding them inside the oven. He sets the timer and turns around, wiping his hands on a tea towel. “What was I supposed to do, Namjoon? You put me in an impossible situation. And it’s not like Taehyung wanted to share Jungkook’s bunny or get one of his own. He’s always wanted a dog, you know that. If you had just exercised some restraint at the mall, we wouldn’t be in this mess.”

“So,” Namjoon surmises, “essentially, this is all my fault.”

Jin nods without hesitation. “Without a doubt.”

*

“You’ve gotta be kidding me.”

“ChimChim!” Taehyung launches himself at his brother, shoving his puppy into Jimin’s face. “Meet Bokshiri!”

“I left the house for like two hours! How’d you manage to get a puppy in that timeframe?” Jimin latches onto the puppy, pressing his face into her fur and stroking a hand down her back. He lifts his head and stares at his brother, “How'd you do it?”

Taehyung shrugs.

“I better be getting a cat.” Jimin says with a scowl. “Because this is so not fair that everyone gets a pet but me.”

“Just guilt trip Dad into getting you one.” Taehyung suggests. “That’s what I did with Mom.”

*

It’s two days later when Jin tells Namjoon that he and Jimin are going to the animal shelter to get Jimin a pet of his own. Namjoon doesn’t even question it, just nods his head because it’s only fair and, honestly, his family has always been an ‘all-in’ type of family, so it doesn’t really surprise him that in the span of two weeks they’ve gone from having five people in their house to five people, one bunny, one dog, and soon-to-be (Namjoon assumes) one cat.

He’s proven right when the two come home a few hours later with a carrier and a very vocal cat.

Jimin sets the carrier down and opens the door, letting his cat out, who hesitantly pokes his head out and sniffs the air before rubbing himself against Jimin’s legs and beginning to purr. “And who’s this?” Namjoon asks, bending down to pet the cat, only to have it hiss at him and scratch his hand.

Jimin scoops his cat up and comforts it while glaring at his dad, “You scared him, Dad.”

I scared him?”

“Aww,” Jimin coos down at the feline, “did the mean man scare you, Suga?”

Namjoon eyes widen at the cat’s name and he shakes his head. “You’re not naming him after your boyfriend, Jimin.”

“He’s my cat.” Jimin argues, “I’ll name him what I want.”

“I’m not calling your cat your boyfriend’s nickname. Not gonna happen, kiddo.” Namjoon maintains, crossing his arms over his chest. “Think of something else.”

“Mom?”

Jin winces, “Your dad’s got a point, Jiminie-”

“Fine.” Jimin huffs. “Min Suga?”

Namjoon pulls a face, “That’s even worse.” He goes to pet the cat, only to have it rear back and start yowling. “What about Satan?”

Jimin nuzzles his face into his cat’s fur, “That’s just mean. He’s a sweetheart.”

“Oh, yeah, I can tell.” Namjoon mutters. “El Diablo?”

Dad.”

“Beelzebub?”

Jimin shakes his head in exasperation. “His name’s gonna be…” He taps his finger against his chin in thought, “Professor Cuddle Muffins.”

Namjoon stares at his son, “…Cuddle Muffins?”

Professor Cuddle Muffins.” Jimin corrects. He looks down at the cat in his arms, “You’re sophisticated, isn’t that right, Professor Cuddle Muffins?”

“Suga was better.” Namjoon reluctantly admits. “Can we go back to calling him Suga?”

“Too late.” Jimin declares as he climbs the stairs to his room. “Come on, Professor Cuddle Muffins; I’m gonna show you your new room, and then I’ll introduce you to Tae and Bokshiri, and then Jungkook…”

*

“Tae, she can’t come to Italy.”

“But…” Taehyung trails off, eyes getting watery at the thought of leaving his baby alone with strangers for a whole week. “She’s gonna miss me, Mom. She’s gonna think I abandoned her!”

Jin chuckles, “She’ll be fine, Tae, I promise. They’ll take good care of her- it’s like doggy daycare.”

“Fine,” Taehyung halfheartedly agrees, hugging his puppy tightly. “I’ll bring you back some Italian treats!”

“Besides, she’ll have Professor Cuddle Muffins and Jungkook’s bunny there, too.”

“Has he still not named it?” Taehyung asks with wide eyes. “It’s been weeks.”

Jin just shrugs, “He keeps changing the name- this morning he was calling it J-Horse.”

Taehyung bursts out laughing, snorting at the look of confusion on his mom’s face. “That’s Hoseok’s nickname.”

Jin… doesn’t even want to know why Taehyung’s boyfriend refers to himself as J-Horse.

*

“You’re sure I’m invited, right?” Yoongi asks as he throws a pair of jeans into his suitcase. “Like, I’m not gonna show up at your house tomorrow morning and have your dad tell me it was all a joke or something-”

“You’re paranoid.” Jimin laughs. “Of course you’re invited! Why would I lie about that?”

“I’m just making sure!” Yoongi huffs defensively, tossing a sweater at Jimin. “Put that in there.”

Jimin cringes at the piece of material like it offends him on a personal level and throws it back at his boyfriend, “Grab that blue one instead.”

“What’s wrong with the other one?” Yoongi asks, but does as the boy demands. He flings it in the suitcase and does the same with a hoodie. “Is there anything specific I need to pack?”

Jimin makes a noncommittal sound.

“Helpful, thank you.”

“You should probably pack something nice for dinners.” Jimin advises him while he scrolls down his Twitter feed on his phone. “Do you have a tie?”

At Jimin’s words, Yoongi stops rifling through his closet for something that at least resembles a dress shirt. “Uh, no.”

“I’ll let you borrow one of mine.” Jimin offers with a grin. “Or Tae’s. He’s got a ton, too.”

“Why the hell do you have a tie?”

Jimin rolls his eyes at Yoongi’s perplexed tone. “Award shows, charity events, stuff like that.”

“Right.”

“You should be glad I’m acclimatized to going to that kind of stuff.” Jimin comments, folding everything in Yoongi’s suitcase because apparently his boyfriend has no clue that things are supposed to be organized and actually folded and not just thrown in to become a wrinkled mess.

“And why’s that?” Yoongi calls out from his closet as he internally debates how many shirts he needs to bring.

“When you’re famous and get dragged to all those types of things, I’ll be there to help you out.”

Yoongi pops his head out of the closet and smiles at Jimin, “When I’m famous?”

Jimin nods, grinning. “The world’s most talented producer.”

“I don’t know about that,” Yoongi chuckles, rubbing at the back of his neck and ducking his head in embarrassment. “I’ll just be happy to have a job after I finish university.”

Jimin waves his concerns off, “You’re gonna be awesome.”

Yoongi quietly laughs. “All right. And while I’m being awesome at producing, what’re you gonna be doing?”

“Who knows?” Jimin says with a hesitant chuckle. He lies back on Yoongi’s bed and grabs the Kumamon plush wedged between the pillows, settling it on his chest. “Haven’t really decided anything yet.”

Yoongi lets out a hum in understanding. “Any ideas? I figured you’d do something with dance.”

Jimin doesn’t say anything, opting to stay silent.

“You’ll find something,” Yoongi assures him as he emerges from his closet with a handful of clothes. He dumps them on top of Jimin with a grin, “Fold these for me?”

“I’m not your maid!” Jimin scoffs, but starts folding the clothes nevertheless. “You’re lucky you’ve got me in your life.”

“Don’t I know it.”

*

“I’m hungry!” Taehyung sleepily whines as he latches onto the back of Hoseok’s jacket and lets the older boy lead him through the airport.

“Once we get to our terminal, we’ll get something to eat.” Jin reassures his son, patting him on the shoulder. He readjusts Jungkook on his hip and looks ahead, squinting to see if their terminal is in the distance. He huffs out a sigh when he realizes that they’ve already passed it. “Namjoon!”

Jin’s not sure if Namjoon’s pretending to not hear him because that’s the type of joke he’d find funny, or if his husband is really that hard of hearing. Honestly, it could be either. Jin just rolls his eyes and tugs Hoseok and Taehyung (who then grabs Jimin’s arm, who then glombs onto Yoongi) back in the right direction.

“Dad!”

“Leave him,” Jin tells Jimin. “He’ll figure out we’re not with him eventually.”

Jimin shrugs, yawning widely and dragging his feet after his mom.

Yoongi raises an eyebrow at Jimin’s lethargy, “How am I the awake one here?”

“Dunno,” Jimin answers, dutifully following his mom through the crowd. “I’m gonna sleep the entire plane ride.”

“Same.” Taehyung calls from where he’s lagging even further behind Jimin and Yoongi. Jimin casts a backwards glance at his brother and gapes at the sight of Taehyung on top of Hoseok’s back. “Yoongi…”

Yoongi follows Jimin’s line of sight and shakes his head. “No.”

“Carry me.”

“What part of no did you not understand?”

“Hoseok’s carrying Tae, though.”

Yoongi rolls his eyes, “Good for Hoseok.”

Jimin sighs forlornly, “If only I had a boyfriend who loved me enough to carry me…”

“Oh, come on.”

“Won’t somebody take pity on this poor-”

Yoongi scoffs, “Definitely not poor.”

“Tired soul!” Jimin finishes, throwing his arm across his eyes for added effect.

Yoongi feels his will crumble at the sight of Jimin’s pouting face and he crouches down, oofing when Jimin immediately hops onto his back and loops his arms around his neck. “Happy?”

Jimin nods, resting his head against Yoongi’s back. “You’re comfy.”

“Oh good.” Yoongi grunts as he gets a secure grip on Jimin’s legs. “I was worried you wouldn’t be comfortable enough on my back.”

“No worries there.” Jimin easily replies, snuggling further into Yoongi’s jacket. “I could fall asleep.”

“Fantastic.” Yoongi grouses.

*

“I’d just like to point out,” Namjoon announces as he enters the terminal and makes his way over to where Jin’s helping Jungkook stick a straw into his juicebox, “that you all abandoned me.”

“We know.” Jimin murmurs from where he’s curled up with his brother on the ground. “You were going the wrong way.”

“Mom said you’d find us eventually.” Taehyung sleepily adds, adjusting his backpack to lie underneath his head as a makeshift pillow.

Namjoon scowls at his sons and sits down between Jin and Hoseok, the latter fast asleep. “Did you abandon Yoongi, too?” he asks as he looks around, not seeing any trace of the blonde boy.

Jin chuckles, “No, just you.”

“So where is he, then?”

Taehyung wordlessly lifts his arm and points to the right, “He said he was getting coffee.”

“And donuts.”

Taehyung cracks an eye open and stares at his brother, “He didn’t say anything about donuts.”

“If he values his life, he’ll bring me back a donut.” Jimin tells his brother, lying his head on Taehyung’s shoulder. He must drift off to sleep at one point because he wakes up to the smell of coffee wafting into his nose and something sugary-

Jimin sits up, eyes slowly opening and seeing his boyfriend sitting beside him with a stack of mochi donuts directly to his left. “How many donuts did you buy?”

Yoongi counts them, “One… eight… uh, thirteen.”

Jimin salivates at sight, smell, and just- everything about them and grabs two, one in each hand, ignoring the stares coming from his mom and dad. “I love you.”

“Love you, too, Sunshine.”

Jimin absently looks at Yoongi, “I was talking to the donuts.” He takes a bite of the one in his right hand and then a bite of the one in his left, moaning at the taste. “I don’t think I’ve ever been this happy.”

“You’re delirious.” Yoongi tells him. “You probably need sleep more than donuts.”

Jimin shakes his head, “Donuts are more important.”

Taehyung makes a noise of agreement as he takes a bite out of Hoseok’s donut, “Sleep’s overrated.”

“Don’t talk with your mouth full, Tae.” Jin scolds. “You’re seventeen, not seven.”

Taehyung giggles and opens his mouth wider, showing his mom the contents inside and causing the man to shake his head in exasperation, “I give up with this kid.”

Namjoon watches in fascination as Jimin polishes off his two donuts and goes back for another one, “Jiminie, you might wanna get something other than sugar in your system before the flight. Maybe a bagel-”

“Nah, I’m good.” Namjoon frowns in displeasure at Jimin’s words.

“I’ll make him eat something else.” Yoongi whispers to the man. “Taehyung, too.”

Namjoon smiles at the boy and relaxes in his chair, content to let Yoongi take care of Jimin and Taehyung if that’s what he wants.

*

“Wait- No. Why…. Why am I sitting all by myself?” Jimin casts a panicked look at his mom and dad, eyes wide as he looks at where he's supposed to be sitting for the duration of the flight. Which is not beside Yoongi as he'd originally hoped. “I don’t wanna sit by myself!”

“You’re not by yourself.” Hoseok points out, rather unhelpfully, “There’s some guy beside you.”

Jimin glares at Hoseok, “I don’t know him!”

Jin casts a pleading glance at his husband, “Namjoon-”

Namjoon stands up from his own seat between Yoongi and Jungkook, “Yeah, yeah, I got it. Take my seat, Jiminie.”

Jimin heaves a sigh of relief and darts into his dad’s vacant seat, shooting the man a smile. “Thanks, Dad!”

(Namjoon would like to point out that while Jimin, Jin, Yoongi and Jungkook get to sit together, and Hoseok and Taehyung are near the back of the plane together, he’s stuck beside a man with a blatant odor problem for eleven hours. He hopes Jimin appreciates this seat swap because this is not how he wanted to start out his vacation.)

*

After landing, getting a taxi to take them to their hotel and unloading all their bags onto a luggage cart, Namjoon’s barely through checking them in at the front desk when there’s a commotion behind him- people are screaming, there’s a loud crash, and Namjoon just knows that at least one of his kids is at the center of this catastrophe.

“Ah, Tae!” Jin tuts, apologizing profusely to the bellboy with a plate of pasta splattered all over his uniform. “Taehyung, apologize!”

Taehyung bows his head, muttering apologies that he’s pretty sure the bellboy doesn’t understand because, well, Korean isn’t that popular of a language in general, and he guesses even less so in Italy. He hears his mom apologizing again in English to the man and Taehyung steps over the pasta on the floor to glue himself to Hoseok’s side. “Do you think if I order room service later tonight, he’s gonna spit in my food?”

Hoseok snorts out a laugh. “Fifty-fifty chance.” he predicts, slinging an arm around Taehyung’s shoulders. “But we should do it anyway because that looked pretty good.”

*

It’s when they’re all shuffling into their respective rooms that Namjoon notices it- a silver band on Jimin’s ring finger.

…Jimin’s wearing a ring that looks suspiciously like something someone would wear if they were engaged.

Namjoon doesn’t even have a chance to react before Jimin and Taehyung disappear into their room and Jin’s tugging him into their own.

*

Ten minutes later and Namjoon’s pacing up and down in front of the beds in their room, passing the adjoining door that leads to Jimin and Taehyung’s room each time. He has half a mind to go in there right now and demand to see Jimin’s hand- to confirm his suspicions (whether or not he actually wants to know the answer is still in the air, though) and then properly freak out.

He continues pacing, shrugging his jacket off and flinging it on the bed. He has to tell Jin- his husband needs to know that something serious is going on between Jimin and Yoongi. “Jin.”

“Hmm?”

“Jin,” Namjoon mutters, clearly distressed, though what he’s upset about, Jin has no clue. “He’s- He. I- He.”

“Complete sentences are your friend, Joonie.” Jin distractedly tells him, trying to make a vague schedule of what they’re going to do tomorrow once everyone's rested and not jetlagged.

Namjoon inhales, then exhales, then does it again. “Jimin…” he trails off, furrowing his brow like he’s trying to come to grips with whatever it is that’s going on in his mind.

“Jimin…?” Jin prompts his husband. “What about him?”

“He’s- His-” Namjoon shakes his head, “There’s a ring on his finger!”

“And?”

Namjoon gapes at Jin, stopping his pacing for a moment. “And?!”

“Jimin wears rings all the time- Tae does, too.” Jin comments with a raised brow. “What’re you freaking out over?”

“The- The ring he’s wearing is. It’s-” Namjoon exhales loudly, “It’s not his usual type of ring, Jin.”

“Oh, that one. Namjoon,” Jin sighs. “Jimin’s been wearing that ring for months.”

Namjoon dismisses that idea with a scowl, “I think I would’ve noticed something like that.”

“Honestly, Namjoon,” Jin tsks with a shake of his head. “Try to keep up, sweetheart.”

“Why is he wearing a ring?” Namjoon rants, pacing once again. “What does it symbolize? Did that punk pre-propose to our son? Is it an engagement ring? Is my son wearing an engagement ring, Jin? This is unacceptable! I won’t allow it!”

Jin waits until Namjoon’s stopped talking to turn in his chair to face him. “Are you done yet?”

“He’s wearing a ring on his ring finger, Jin!”

“Where one usually wears a ring.”

Namjoon runs a hand through his hair, making the ends stand up in all directions and causing Jungkook to let out a giggle. “Why are you acting so calm about this?!”

“To balance out your insanity?” Jin offers with an innocent smile, going back to writing his impromptu itinerary.

“This isn’t funny.”

“You’re acting like a loon, Namjoon.” Jin pointedly tells him.

“Daddy’s a loon!”

Namjoon slowly pivots to his left to where Jungkook’s watching him and Jin with rapt attention. “Daddy’s not a loon.”

“Loon Daddy!”

Namjoon levels Jin with an unimpressed look, “See what you’ve started?”

Jin chuckles, getting up and pressing a kiss to Namjoon’s cheek. “Sorry, but you’re acting crazy.”

“I’m acting like a concerned parent!” Namjoon insists. “How are you not more concerned about our son wearing a ring on a very symbolic finger?”

Jin rolls his eyes. “Because it’s a promise ring, Namjoon.”

Namjoon doesn’t miss a beat, “What is he promising?”

“I couldn’t begin to guess.” Jin says with an uncaring shrug. “That’s between Yoongi and Jimin. It’s none of our business until they make it our business.”

“They’re too young to get married.” Namjoon exclaims, “Over my dead body will our son get married while he's still in high school.”

“My goodness,” Jin shakes his head in amusement. “I’m pretty sure they’re not getting ready to elope.”

“Good-”

But,” Jin continues, “if they were going to get engaged, there’s not a whole lot you can do about it, Namjoon. Whether you like it or not, Jimin’s growing up and he’s making his own decisions, and you can’t be upset if those decisions aren’t what you want for him; it’s his life.”

Namjoon flops down onto the bed nearest to him.

“I don’t see you getting this worked up over Taehyung and Hoseok’s relationship.”

Namjoon lifts his head to stare at Jin, “It’s not the same as Jimin and Yoongi’s.”

“Because?”

“Because Taehyung and Hoseok look at each other the way teenagers should… and the way Yoongi looks at Jimin,” Namjoon declares, “is the same way I look at you, Jin.”






Chapter Text

DAY TWO

“You wanna see if Jimin and Tae are up?” Jin calls from where he’s trying (and mostly failing, thanks to Jungkook’s obstinate protests of not wanting to wear any clothes) to dress their son for the day. “If not, wake them, will you? We should head out and get some lunch soon.”

Namjoon makes a noise of agreement and walks over to their adjoined door, opening it and stepping inside the room, expecting to see Taehyung and Jimin sleeping soundly, unaware that jetlag has royally skewed their perception of time and that it’s now nearly two in the afternoon. What he doesn’t expect to see, however, is Taehyung nowhere to be found and a sight he’d hoped to never witness happening on Jimin’s bed.

Namjoon lets out a shout at the image of his precious son making out with his boyfriend, hips gyrating and hands wandering everywhere… and just- Namjoon books it out of the room as quickly as possible and slams the door shut behind him, panting and shaking his head in disbelief.

“You okay?”

Namjoon doesn’t answer, opting to instead internally freak out.

“Did you walk in on them changing or something?” Jin asks with a chuckle, buttoning Jungkook’s overalls and handing him his stuffed bunny to play with. “Joonie, talk to me,”

Namjoon slumps down against the door and shakily exhales.

Jin takes a seat next to him, “You’re scaring me. What happened? You were in there for less than a minute.”

“Our son-” Namjoon grimaces, “On top of Yoongi and… kissing-”

Jin laughs loudly, smacking Namjoon’s arm. He rolls his eyes, “Don’t tell me you got spooked because you caught them making out?”

Namjoon cradles his head in his hands, “My innocent son-”

“Is a hormonal teenager.” Jin points out with a barely suppressed smirk. “He’s seventeen. I can’t even count the number of times I’ve caught them together-”

“You knew they were doing… that?”

Jin stares at Namjoon incredulously, “I know everything about our children, Namjoon. Including the details of their sex lives.”

“Sex?” Namjoon squeaks out, eyes nearly bulging out of their sockets. “They’re not-”

“No. Not yet. But Namjoon,” Jin places his hand on his husband’s shoulder, smiling gently at him, “do you really wanna know the specifics of how far they’ve gotten?”

Namjoon doesn’t reply, staring blankly ahead at the wall, only occasionally blinking. He just- He doesn’t really know how to process this information. He’s gonna need some time.

*

“Did you hear that?”

Yoongi pulls back from sucking a rather impressive hickey onto the side of Jimin’s neck to shrug a shoulder. “I didn’t hear anything. I’m sure it’s nothing.”

Jimin rolls his eyes and gets off Yoongi, walking around the room and looking for any sign of someone. “Weird.” He frowns, scratching at his head, “I could’ve sworn I heard something.”

Yoongi just tugs Jimin back onto the bed, “You’re losing it. Now hush and let me get back to work here.”

“Seriously,” Jimin continues, tilting his head to the side to allow Yoongi more access to his neck. “I heard something-”

“Jimin! Yoongi! We leave for lunch in ten minutes!”

Jimin jumps away from Yoongi at the sound of his mom’s voice coming through the thin walls of the room. “’Kay!” he shouts back, his eyes widening as he realizes what his mom just said- “He knows you’re in here with me! He totally did come in and see us a few minutes ago!”

Yoongi winces at that knowledge, but counts his lucky stars that it was Jimin’s mom and not his dad. Yoongi doesn’t really know what he’d do if Jimin’s dad walked in on them making out- maybe run for the hills because Yoongi’s almost 100% certain that Kim Namjoon would not look upon anyone favorably if he caught them making out with his son.

*

“Two-hundred and ninety-six steps?” Yoongi repeats with an offended look as he reads the sign on the lawn of the Tower of Pisa. “No thank you.”

Jimin laughs, tugging on Yoongi’s arm, “Come on!”

“No way.” Yoongi reiterates. “Not gonna happen.”

Jimin rests his hands on his hips, “Are you seriously just gonna stay down here while we all go up, Grandpa?”

Yoongi lazily nods his head, already walking away from Jimin and sitting down on the grass a ways away. “Have fun!” he calls, watching Jimin disappear inside the tower along with the rest of his family- Well… almost all of his family.

“Didn’t feel like climbing the steps, either, Mr. Kim?” Yoongi politely asks, feeling the atmosphere outside drop about fifty degrees when Jimin’s dad doesn’t answer him- content to just glare at him, and Jesus Christ, what did he do to make the man look at him so distastefully?

“Um. So…” Yoongi says, “Nice weather today, huh?”

Silence.

Yoongi picks at the grass on the lawn and tries again, “Thanks again, Mr. Kim. For, y’know, inviting me along. I, uh. I can’t even begin to tell you how great this trip’s been so far. I’ve never really been anywhere, so this is pretty amazing.”

More silence.

Right. Yoongi quietly exhales and goes back to watching the other tourists milling around the tower. He casts a furtive glance at Jimin’s dad once more and furrows his brows in confusion; he honestly has no idea what he did to make the man so mad at him…

*

Technically, he’s supposed to be sleeping.

But Taehyung’s always been more of a night owl than an early riser, so when the rest of his family turns in before 11PM, Taehyung has to find ways to entertain himself.

He can tell that Jimin’s already fast asleep (the snores are a dead giveaway)- so hanging out with his brother is a no-go, but.

Taehyung takes his phone out and sends a quick text to Hoseok:

From: Tae!!!
January 26, 22:35

HOBI! HOBI! HOBBBBBBBBIIIIIIIIIIII~


From: MY HOPE
January 26, 22:35

What’s wrong?

From: Tae!!!
January 26, 22:36

NOTHING. IM BORED. LETS DO SOMETHING!

From: MY HOPE
January 26, 22:37

Like what?
You wanna come over to our room and watch TV?
Suga’s watching some weird game show.
But I don’t think he’d care if you wanted to change the channel, though.

From: MY HOPE
January 26, 22:37

……never mind.
He told me he’d punch me if I even thought about changing the channel.
:(

From: Tae!!!
January 26, 22:38

LETS GO OUTSIDE!!!!

From: MY HOPE
January 26, 22:40

That sounds like a bad idea.
We might get lost.
Or be kidnapped.
Or die.

Taehyung doesn’t even bother answering Hoseok’s ridiculous text, choosing instead to jump out of his bed and quietly sneak out of his room, lightly rapping his knuckles against Hoseok and Yoongi’s door down the hall.

“This is a bad idea.” Hoseok tells him as soon as he opens the door. He turns his back to Taehyung and calls out, “If I’m not back in an hour, tell my parents I love them.”

Yoongi scoffs, “Overdramatic much?”

“Just cover for us if anyone asks where we are, okay?” Taehyung pipes up, grabbing onto his boyfriend’s arm and tugging him out the room, the door softly shutting behind them. “So… where to?”

Hoseok stares incredulously at the younger boy, “What do you mean ‘where to’? You’re the one who’s supposed to know where we’re going!”

“And I do! We’re going towards adventure!” Taehyung assures him with an uncertain grin. “Come on, let’s go explore.”

*

Exploring, Hoseok soon realizes, basically just means aimlessly wandering around until something catches Taehyung’s eye. They’ve already stopped at a street vendor and gotten a late night snack; Taehyung’s managed to lose his keycard for his hotel room at a park a few blocks down from the hotel; and now they’re walking around a 24hr minimart.

“Hobi! Look!” Taehyung shouts in excitement, his box-like smile in full effect that has Hoseok grinning right back at him. He holds up a bag of dog treats in his hand, “Treats for Bokshiri!”

“Cute!” Hoseok grabs the bag from Taehyung, examining the pizza-shaped treats. “Do they have any for Jimin’s cat?”

Taehyung examines the shelves, spinning around to look on the opposite side and letting out a shocked laugh at what he sees. “Hobi- Hobi-” He tugs on Hoseok’s arm and points at all the different types of condoms, tubes of lube, pregnancy tests, ovulation tests- basically everything under the sun that makes Taehyung want to giggle like a school girl and blush ten shades darker than usual.

Hoseok sniggers at a particular brand of condoms that have a picture of a… marshmallow on it?

“Why would you want a condom to taste like anything?”

Hoseok blushes at his boyfriend’s comment and innocently shrugs his shoulders. “Dunno.” he mutters, eyeing another one that boasts a coconut flavor.

“What d’you think dotted means?”

…Hoseok knows exactly what dotted means in the context of condoms, but- He looks at Taehyung’s inquisitive face and decides that his boyfriend (his innocent, inexperienced, naïve boyfriend) doesn’t need to know about that kind of stuff yet. Despite being in a relationship with Taehyung for nearly a year now, they’ve yet to go any farther than kissing. And, yeah, that might suck at times, but… Hoseok prides himself on being a perfect gentleman; he’s not the kind of guy to pressure anyone into doing something they’re not comfortable with and, honestly, if all Taehyung ever wants to do is kiss him, then that’s all they’ll do. It’s as simple as that.

“You wanna buy a pack and fill ‘em up with water? We could throw them off the hotel’s roof.”

Hoseok thinks that’s probably a really bad idea that’ll, without a doubt, get them into trouble, but-

“Definitely!”

Hey, you only live once, and how many other people can say they’ve thrown water-filled condoms off the rooftop of a hotel in Italy at one in the morning?

 

DAY THREE

Jimin is all for being cultured and seeing the sights and soaking in historically important landmarks, but this is the sixth cathedral his parents have dragged them all to in three days and Jimin- He’d just like to skip this one, thanks.

They all look the same after a while. They’re all big; super old; impressive, sure, but there’s only so many times that Jimin can look in awe at a giant stained glass window and comment on how cool it is. He’s just- He’s bored, to be perfectly honest.

“Jimin, look at the intricately carved pillar there,” Jin points across the cathedral and Jimin puts on an interested face, nodding along when inside all he wants to do is groan.

“Bored?”

Jimin whips his head to the right at the sound of someone whispering in his ear and sighs in relief when it’s just Taehyung. “Yeah, you too?” he whispers back, leading Taehyung away from their mom.

“I was bored after the first church we went to,” Taehyung admits with a shrug. “I grew up in one- You’ve seen one, you’ve seen ‘em all.”

Jimin slings an arm around Taehyung’s shoulder, “You think Mom and Dad would notice if we just hung out outside? I saw a place that sells pizza a few blocks back.”

Taehyung grins widely, “Let’s go!”

“Wait!” Jimin grabs onto his brother’s arm to stop him, “Should we grab Yoongi and Hoseok?”

Taehyung looks behind them to see their dad talking with Hoseok. “I don’t think we can risk grabbing Hobi; Dad might think something’s up.” He looks around, trying to spot Yoongi and sees the older boy taking pictures around the church, “And it kinda looks like Yoongi’s enjoying himself, so…”

“Just us, then.” Jimin states, stealthily avoiding attracting either of his parent’s attention as he and Taehyung make their way out of the cathedral.

*

“Your breath smells like garlic.”

Taehyung innocently looks around, “Huh. Weird.”

“And you’ve got sauce or something on your shirt.” Hoseok points out, tapping the spot on Taehyung’s chest.

Taehyung tries rubbing the tomato sauce off his shirt, only succeeding in making the stain even larger. “Uh. Yeah. That’s from… this morning.”

Hoseok nods knowingly, “From breakfast?”

“Exactly.” Taehyung grins, slipping his hand into Hoseok’s own.

“Makes sense,” Hoseok muses out loud. “Especially because you had, y’know, yogurt.”

Taehyung opens his mouth, then closes it.

Plain yogurt.” Hoseok continues speaking, much to Taehyung’s dismay, “So, yeah, totally. I can definitely see how you’d get a red stain from eating plain yogurt.”

Taehyung looks at Hoseok, sees the smirk on his face, and rolls his eyes with a grin. “Fine! You win, Detective Jung! It’s pizza sauce!”

“I knew it! I can’t believe you got pizza without me!” Hoseok pouts. “I love pizza!”

“I know! I know!” Taehyung murmurs, smiling apologetically at his boyfriend, “I’m sorry!”

“Where’d you get pizza, anyway?” Hoseok asks, whipping his head around like he’s looking for a pizza vendor inside the cathedral. “And more importantly, why wasn’t I invited?”

“Jimin and I snuck out, and we would’ve brought you, but you were talking to my dad-”

“Not fair.” Hoseok whines.

“I’ll make it up to you-”

“How?”

“Kisses?”

Hoseok shakes his head, “Kisses and pizza aren’t the same.”

“You’re right. My kisses are way better than pizza. That isn’t a fair trade.”

“I would say it’s the other way around, but…” Taehyung smacks Hoseok’s arm and he holds his hands up in defense, “Kidding!”

“Just for that,” Taehyung smirks, “we’re even. No pizza or kisses for you.”

Hoseok watches Taehyung walk away and sighs, shaking his head in amusement.

*

Namjoon’s engrossed in a philosophical debate with Taehyung and Jin when he spots Jimin and Yoongi standing at the back of the church, facing towards each other, fingers entwined-

Basically looking like a couple about to get married-

And nope. No. Not gonna happen. No way. No how. Not on Namjoon’s watch.

Namjoon abruptly leaves the conversation he’s having with his family and makes a beeline for Jimin and Yoongi, slotting himself between the two, steadfastly ignoring the blonde boy and striking up a conversation with Jimin that has absolutely nothing to do with marriage or commitment or serious relationships or anything along that vein, really.

 

DAY FOUR

“I swear to all that is holy, Kim Taehyung, if I see you leaning over the side of your gondola one more time...” Jin lets his threat hang in the air, watching in satisfaction as Taehyung shifts himself back into his seat, expression meek.

“On the plus side,” Jimin calls out from where he’s sitting across from Taehyung, “if he falls in, I’ll have more legroom.”

Taehyung smirks, “Your legs are too short to even need legroom.”

Jimin splutters at his brother’s comment and crosses his arms over his chest, glowering at Taehyung.

Jin rolls his eyes at the both of them and tightens his hold on Jungkook when the boy begins squirming, wanting to get closer to the water on either side of the gondola. He leans into Namjoon’s side as they glide through the water and sighs in happiness, content to ignore Jimin and Taehyung’s arguing in the gondola beside theirs in favor of focusing on the thought that he’s in Italy on vacation and relaxation is his #1 priority right now.

Until he hears a splash and Taehyung’s panicked shout, and then his relaxation goes right out the metaphorical window.

“Taehyung…” Namjoon groans, running a hand through his hair. “Do I even wanna know what just fell?”

Taehyung looks longingly at the water, “My phone.”

“You’re lucky it was just your phone.” Jin pointedly tells him with a shake of his head. “It could’ve been you in there.”

“But my phone!” Taehyung loudly laments, sitting back in his seat and sulking. “How am I gonna text Hoseok now?”

Jin stares at his son, then at the gondola that’s behind theirs holding Yoongi and Hoseok, then back at Taehyung. “Tae, why would you need to text Hoseok? He’s literally thirty feet from you.”

“He’s too lazy to actually turn his head and shout at Hoseok.” Jimin supplies with an eyeroll. “He’d rather just text him.”

“Says the guy who’s texting his own boyfriend right now.” Taehyung mutters under his breath, then looks over at his dad, “Can we get me a new phone after this?”

Namjoon chuckles, “You’ll be fine without a phone for the rest of the trip, Tae.”

Taehyung gapes at his dad, “Uh. No. No I won’t be.”

“Yes you will.” Namjoon assures his son. “It’ll be good for you to not have your phone glued to your face every two minutes.”

Taehyung grunts, “This isn’t fair.”

“Taehyung,” Jin says, “I hate to point out the obvious, but if you’d just listened to me earlier to not lean out of the gondola, you’d still have your phone.”

Taehyung shoots Jimin a pained look and whispers, “Even in another country he’s telling me I told you so.”

“I heard that…” Jin pointedly tells his son with a glare. “And you should be lucky your dad and I even let you out of the hotel after we almost got kicked out because of that little stunt you pulled the other night.”

“I don’t know what the big deal was,” Taehyung grouses. “They were just water balloons.”

“That you were tossing off a roof!” Jin shouts in exasperation. “Honestly, Tae- Sometimes I wonder if you’re actually seventeen…”

“I think he just does it for attention,” Jimin says with a laugh, wincing when his brother shoots him a sharp look and says, “You’re one to talk, Mr. Lets-His-Boyfriend-Give-Him-A-Giant-Hickey-On-A-Family-Trip.”

Jimin flushes and sinks lower in his seat.

*

Lunch is a terse affair.

Yoongi still doesn’t know why Jimin’s dad seemingly has a personal vendetta against him all of a sudden; Namjoon keeps glaring every time Yoongi so much as breathes near Jimin; Taehyung’s still complaining about his phone; and Jungkook is refusing to eat anything other than ice cream.

“Don’t want it!”

Jin sighs tiredly, setting the piece of chicken back on Jungkook’s plate. He sends a pleading look at Namjoon, and the younger man nods his head, tapping Jungkook’s shoulder to get his attention, “Kookie, aren’t you hungry?”

Jungkook nods his head.

“So how about you eat some of your lunch? You like chicken, don’t you?”

“Want ice cream, Daddy.”

“You can have ice cream after you eat some lunch, how about that?”

“No.”

“I tried.” Namjoon tells Jin with a shrug, going back to watching Jimin and Yoongi’s every move.

“Very helpful, thank you.” Jin scowls at his husband, trying to feed Jungkook again. “Do you want some of Mommy’s fish, Kookie?”

“No.”

“What about my pasta?” Taehyung offers from across the table, twirling a few strands of spaghetti on his fork and offering it to his little brother. “It’s spaghetti- you love spaghetti, Kookie!”

Jungkook hesitantly reaches out for the fork, missing it and grabbing the pasta itself, looking it over before tossing it onto his plate. “No! Want ice cream, TaeTae!”

Taehyung shakes his head, “You can’t have ice cream for lunch.”

“Yes I can!” Jungkook argues, sliding out of his booster seat and toddling away from the table, prompting Jin to shoot out of his own chair and chase after the boy, “Jungkook, get back here!”

“Tae, try this,” Hoseok offers a forkful of his food, feeding it to Taehyung with a grin. “Good, right?”

Taehyung enthusiastically nods his head, grabbing his fork and stealing more of his boyfriend’s lunch. “Trade?”

Hoseok scoffs, “Wha- No way! I just wanted you to try my food- not steal it!”

“You shouldn’t have let me try it, then.” Taehyung points out with a shrug. “You brought this on yourself, Hobi.”

Hoseok rolls his eyes good-naturedly and switches his and Taehyung’s plates, digging into the younger boy’s spaghetti while he mourns the loss of his own steak. He looks up from his food at the sound of footsteps nearing their table and laughs at the sight of Taehyung’s mom carrying Jungkook in his arms- an ice cream cone firmly grasped in the kid’s hands.

Jimin laughs when Jungkook sits at the table without a fuss and starts licking at his ice cream cone. “Kookie: 1, Mom: 0.”

*

Namjoon is dreading doing this.

Seriously, he doesn’t want to do this. He’d much rather pawn this task off to Jin (who is, without a doubt, the better communicator in their relationship), but Jin’s being much too nonchalant about this whole ordeal, so Namjoon can’t really trust Jin to take this matter as seriously as it should be taken.

And it is a serious problem- no matter what Jin continues to tell him to the contrary.

Namjoon had (foolishly) hoped that he’d never have to give a talk to one of his son’s significant others, but, well… Yoongi needs a harsh talking to.

Because if that kid thinks he can just go ahead and give his son a significant piece of jewelry and not have Namjoon freak out and overanalyze it, then he’s got another thing coming to him.

And, sure, maybe confronting Yoongi about his intentions towards Jimin during their family trip isn’t the best time or place to do this (Namjoon actually can’t think of a worse time to do something like this), but it needs to be done and if Namjoon doesn’t get some answers out of Yoongi soon, he’s going to stress the entire week. And, really, after shelling out a ridiculous amount of money for this trip, Namjoon is not going to waste it by worrying about Min Yoongi and his plans when it comes to a certain son of his that he’s quite fond (also, overprotective) of.

They’re out shopping when Namjoon finally decides that now is the right time to drag Yoongi away from the rest of his family while they’re all occupied with other things: Jin’s trying to talk Jimin into trying on a sweater vest-

“Is your goal in life to make sure I never make any friends?”

“You’re so overdramatic, Jimin. This would look adorable on you-”

“You mean stupid. It’d look stupid on me.”

“Just try it on, let me take a picture and send it to your grandmother. She’s tired of seeing you in those horrible snapbacks and ripped jeans. You want to make your grandmother happy, don’t you?”

“…your guilt trips are getting old, you know that, right?”

“Yeah, yeah... Now lift your arms, Jiminie… stop fidgeting… okay, now smile for your grandmother!”

“… I hate everything.”

Jungkook’s holding onto Taehyung’s hand as they watch the other people milling about in the clothing shop-

“TaeTae?”

“Yeah?”

“You’re fatter than that girl over there.”

“Wow. Okay. You can’t just go around telling people they’re fat, Kookie.”

“Why not?”

“Because it’s rude.”

“Why?”

“Because people don’t like hearing negative things about themselves, I guess.”

“But why?”

“Because they just don’t.”

“Why?”

“It’s like- You’re a big boy, right?”

“Right!”

“Well… how would you like it if I called you a silly baby instead of a big boy?”

“…”

“Oh, no… Jungkookie, it’s okay, it’s okay-”

“Whoa- why’re you crying, Kookie? What’s wrong?”

“H-Hoosuk! TaeTae’s mean!”

“No! I’m not! I was just- Never mind, just don’t cry, Kookie- I didn’t mean to make you cry... shhh, calm down……”

“I can’t believe you made your little brother cry. For shame…”

“You’re so not helping, Hoseok! Come on, Kookie, I didn’t mean it- I’m sorry…… Mom, get over here! Code red! Code red!”

And Yoongi’s off on his own, browsing the accessories near the back of the shop. Namjoon takes this as his opportunity to confront the teen and makes his way towards him, settling a hand on his shoulder, “Yoongi, let’s have a little chat, okay?”

*

Yoongi’s eyes widen at the man’s words and he feels himself being led outside the shop, wincing at the harsh sunlight once they leave it. He doesn’t know why Jimin’s dad wants to talk to him alone, but he can’t really think of a good reason as to why this might be happening.

He follows the older man over to an area down the street where there’re less people (less people to witness his murder, maybe?) and he waits for Jimin’s dad to say something- anything, really, because this silence stretching between them is a really fucking unnerving.

“So…”

“So…” Yoongi parrots the man’s words. “Um. You, uh. You wanted to talk to me?”

“I just thought it was time you and I talked about some things.”

“Things?” Yoongi questions. “Like-”

“Jimin.”

Yoongi sucks in a breath at the mention of his boyfriend’s name and he wordlessly nods his head, his mouth suddenly too dry to speak.

“When you first started dating my son,” Namjoon starts, adjusting his sunglasses as he stares at Yoongi, “I wasn’t worried.”

“Um…” Yoongi tentatively grins, “Good?”

“I honestly didn’t think you’d be around this long, Yoongi.” Namjoon states, “You didn’t seem to be Jimin’s usual type and I was used to seeing his past relationships fizzle out within a few weeks- a month at the most.”

Yoongi keeps his mouth shut at the man’s words, nodding his head to show he’s listening- though, to be honest, he’d rather he wasn’t hearing this. Because this sounds like some big speech that Jimin’s dad’s prepared, and Yoongi wonders just what the fuck he did to warrant this kind of speech.

“But then you stuck around after a month. And then another. And another.” Namjoon continues, crossing his arms over his chest. “And I still wasn’t worried. Do you know why?”

Yoongi swallows around his nervousness at actually being asked a question by the man and helplessly shrugs a shoulder, guessing, “Because you knew I’d treat Jimin well?”

“No.”

“Oh.” Yoongi quietly says. “Then I- I guess I don’t know why.”

“Because, for the most part, relationships in high school don’t last, Yoongi.”

“Right.” Yoongi agrees, still confused as to where this conversation’s going. “Okay.”

“Teenagers don’t know what they want; especially when it comes to relationships-” Namjoon smiles at Yoongi’s expressionless face, “No offense.”

“None taken... I guess.”

“But the past few months,” Namjoon tells him, “I’ve noticed something that does have me worried.”

Yoongi frowns.

“You bought my son a ring.”

Yoongi cautiously nods his head, “I did, yeah. It’s a- Um, a promise ring.”

“So I’ve been told.”

“Is that…” Yoongi clears his throat, “Is that a problem?”

“Do you think it’s a problem?”

“No.”

“So,” Namjoon asks, “you think it’s acceptable behavior to buy my teenage son a ring?”

Yoongi opens his mouth, then closes it, then opens it again, steeling his nerves for the man’s reaction to his next words, “I do. I- I love your son, Mr. Kim, and I wanted to give Jimin something that would show my commitment to him-”

“Your commitment to him?”

“That I’m not going anywhere.” Yoongi bravely tells him, voice steadier than he feels inside. “I’m gonna be by Jimin’s side as long as he’ll have me.”

Namjoon purses his lips and takes his sunglasses off, “Yoongi-”

“Mr. Kim, I really don’t want you to hate me.” Yoongi quickly interrupts before he loses his nerve. “Like, I really want your approval, and I want nothing more than to prove to you that I’m serious about my relationship with Jimin, but…” Yoongi sighs heavily, shrugging a shoulder, “I don’t know what else I can do to show you how much I love him.”

“It’s your intense sense of commitment to Jimin that I’m concerned about, Yoongi.” Namjoon admits, pinching the bridge of his nose between his thumb and index finger. “I’ve seen the way you look at him-”

“The way I look at him?”

“Like he’s your entire world.”

Yoongi flushes, cheeks turning pink. “Oh.”

“The way the two of you act around each other- it’s too comfortable for high schoolers.” Namjoon says, “You act the way married couples do. And that, Yoongi- That concerns me greatly.”

Yoongi inhales deeply, exhaling in a shaky breath while asking, “Because you don’t think I’m good enough to marry your son one day?”

Namjoon shakes his head, “Because I think you’re too ready to marry my son as soon as you possibly can.”

“I…” Yoongi doesn’t really know what to say to that… because it’s true. He’s ready to completely dedicate his life to Jimin- there’s not a doubt in his mind about it. “I’m-” Yoongi swallows nervously, “I’m not gonna ask Jimin to marry me tomorrow or anything-”

“Not tomorrow, no.” Namjoon agrees. “But a year from now? Two years?”

“If you’re asking me if I plan on asking Jimin to marry me in two years, then, yeah, maybe. Maybe sooner, maybe further down the road, but…” Yoongi locks eyes with Jimin’s dad, “I am going to marry your son one day, Mr. Kim. Because I can’t imagine my life without him in it- I don’t wanna even think about the possibility of waking up one day and not having Jimin by my side. He’s my… He’s my everything. Like, your son is the reason I’m busting my ass to get into a good school; he’s the reason I’m so dedicated to getting a good job down the road; he just. He makes me want to be better at being me, I guess.”

“Yoongi-”

“Mr. Kim, you might not have known you wanted to marry your husband when you were my age, but I’m different. I know my future… and Jimin’s in it.”

Namjoon’s quiet for a moment- processing everything Yoongi’s just said. He finally looks at the teenager in front of him, “Are you finished?”

Yoongi winces at the unimpressed look on Jimin’s dad’s face, but figures that since he’s probably already signed his own death warrant at this point with everything he’s just admitted to the man, he might as well finish what he wants to say. “Almost.”

“Yoongi-”

“Look,” Yoongi says, tone almost pleading, “I get that you’re protective over Jimin- I get that because I am, too. But you don’t have to worry about him when he’s with me. I’d do anything for him, Mr. Kim. And I just- I really want you to be okay with me dating your son.”

“Yoongi-”

“And I know that after Jimin and I broke up, you probably stopped trusting me when it comes to your son, but you’ve gotta know that I would never let something like miscommunication get between Jimin and I again-”

“Yoongi, stop talking.” Namjoon forcefully tells the teen. “Don’t misunderstand me; I don’t dislike that you two are in love- I’m happy that Jimin is happy, but what I’m not ecstatic about is the fact that you two are moving very quickly in your relationship-”

“We haven’t had sex yet!” Yoongi blurts out before his brain can catch up to his mouth and tell it that saying that is a very stupid idea; Jimin’s dad doesn’t need to know the specifics of his and Jimin’s sex life!

“Unfortunately,” Namjoon says with a pained expression, “I already knew that.”

Yoongi hangs his head in embarrassment, wanting the floor to swallow him up right now, thanks, because he so doesn’t wanna have to make any sort of eye-contact with Jimin’s dad ever again after that comment. He rubs his sweaty palms on the shorts he’s wearing and mumbles, “Can we forget I just said that?”

Namjoon nods his head, “That would be for the best, yes.”

Yoongi exhales in relief. “Great.”

Namjoon’s silent for a moment as he looks Yoongi over. “Do you think you’re good enough for my son, Yoongi?”

*

“Mommy!” Jin’s eyes widen as he sees Jungkook running towards him with something clutched tightly in his fingers, Taehyung and Hoseok slowly trailing behind him. “Mommy! Mommy! Look!”

“What’ve you got there, Kookie?” Jin asks, trying to see just what Jungkook has. It looks a bit like… a costume? “Is that a-”

“Dragon!” Jungkook shouts out, holding the outfit up for his mom to see. “TaeTae found it!”

Jin takes the dragon costume from Jungkook and inspects it- bright blue, horns, wings, adorable- “Where’d you find this, Tae?”

Taehyung shrugs a shoulder as he points towards the back of the store, “There’s a Halloween section over there.”

“Halloween?”

“And Christmas.” Hoseok adds. “We found a reindeer outfit, too. But Jungkook liked the dragon better.”

“Mommy, buy it?” Jungkook asks, tugging on his mom’s pant leg. “Please? Please? I’ll love you forever!”

“Mom!”

Jin startles at Jimin’s abrupt appearance at his side, “You nearly gave me a heart attack, Jiminie!”

“Sorry, but have you seen Yoongi? Or Dad?”

Jin takes a quick look around the store and shakes his head, “Maybe they went outside for some fresh air?”

Jimin narrows his eyes, “Dad’s been acting, like, super weird and protective lately.”

Jin nods knowingly, “He finally noticed your promise ring-”

Jimin pales at that. “I’ve gotta find them before Dad kills Yoongi.”

Jin snorts at his son’s melodramatic comment. “Your dad isn’t going to kill Yoongi-”

“Can’t take that chance, Mom!” Jimin calls over his shoulder as he sprints out of the shop.

“Teenagers,” Jin sighs, looking down at where Jungkook’s now happily playing on the floor with the dragon costume. “So dramatic. Am I right, Kookie?”

Jungkook sagely nods his head, “So dramramtick.”

*

Yoongi swallows around the lump in his throat at the man’s question: Do you think you’re good enough for my son? “I-”

“Dad!”

Namjoon and Yoongi both turn to see Jimin running towards them, skidding to a stop a moment later. “Stop-” Jimin stops speaking and holds a finger up, taking a deep breath to get some air back into his lungs after having just ran the entire way over to them. “Stop interrogating my boyfriend!”

Yoongi’s eyes widen at Jimin’s words and he pats the younger boy on his back, “He’s not interrogating me-”

“Liar.” Jimin pants, taking another deep breath. “He knows about the promise ring!”

“Jiminie,” Namjoon says as he puts his arm around his son’s shoulders, “not every conversation I have with your boyfriend is a bad thing. I was just offering Yoongi my thoughts on some things, that’s all.”

Jimin narrows his eyes at his dad, shifting his gaze to look at Yoongi, “Were you really just talking? He wasn’t giving you the fifth degree about our relationship?”

“It’s the, uh, the third degree, and no, we were just clearing up a few things between us.” Yoongi assures Jimin- and it’s not a lie; it’s not. He and Jimin’s dad were just talking… intensely… and somewhat one-sidedly. But he doesn’t feel like the older man’s out of line for asking him these types of questions or voicing his concerns- Hell, Yoongi would do the same himself if he were in the same position as Jimin’s dad. “Really, Jimin, everything’s cool.”

Jimin purses his lips, looking between the two other men and finally nods his head. “Alright. If you say so…”

“Let’s head back to the others,” Namjoon proposes, leading Jimin and Yoongi back down the street towards the clothing shop. “Then we’ll get dinner.”

As they reach the shop and Jimin disappears inside, Yoongi turns to look at Namjoon, saying, “The answer to your question is no; I don’t think I’m good enough for Jimin. But, I mean- I’m not sure if anyone could ever be good enough for him.”

 

DAY FIVE

“Jimin!”

Jimin raises an eyebrow as his dad not-so-stealthily beckons him over. He slowly walks over, assuring Yoongi that he’ll be right back, before his dad grabs his arm and yanks him behind a display of postcards.

“Um… Hey, Dad.” Jimin hesitantly greets his dad. “What’s, uh. What’s up? You look a bit… frazzled.” He watches his dad cast worried glances around the two of them, as if expecting someone to pop up at any moment. “You’re acting really weird.”

Namjoon ignores Jimin’s remark and whispers, “I need your help, Jiminie.”

Jimin blinks in surprise; his dad asking him for help isn’t really something he’s used to; it’s always the other way around. “Okay. Yeah, sure. Anything.”

Namjoon ushers his son even closer and whispers into his ear, pulling back and locking eyes with his son. “You got it?”

Jimin grins, nodding his head. “Got it.”

*

“We should have a family dinner tomorrow night.”

Jin bounces Jungkook on his lap, staring in perplexity at Jimin’s suggestion as they wait for the others to finish taking embarrassingly touristy pictures in front of a fountain. “And what we’ve been doing the past week is different than that how?”

Jimin rolls his eyes, “I mean like a fancy dinner or something. Y’know, like we could all wear suits, order expensive food-”

“I don’t think either of your brothers or Yoongi or Hoseok would enjoy that.” Jin gently tells his son. “Plus,” he adds as an afterthought, “I highly doubt anyone brought a suit, Jiminie.”

“I did.” Jimin points out. “And we could rent suits for everyone else.”

Jin frowns at Jimin and presses the back of his hand against his forehead, “Are you feeling okay, sweetie?”

Jimin bats his mom’s hand away. “I’m fine- I just thought it’d be a nice way to end the trip,” he mutters with a shrug, scuffing his shoe against the ground. “Whatever, just forget it.”

Jin sighs at Jimin’s dejected look. “It’s just a lot of work, Jimin. We’d have to get everyone dressy clothes, get reservations on short notice, and-”

“But it’s doable, yeah?” Jimin interrupts with a hopeful expression that Jin can’t bring himself to wipe off his son’s face, ending with him tentatively agreeing with Jimin’s plan, “As long as your dad agrees-”

“I’ll go ask him now!” Jimin bounds away, running up to where his dad’s posing embarrassingly with Hoseok and Taehyung in front of the fountain and, a few seconds later, shooting his mom a wide grin and a thumbs up.

“Well, Kookie,” Jin sighs, brushing his fingers through Jungkook’s hair, “how do you feel about wearing a suit?”

Jungkook cranes his neck to stare at his mom and mirrors the man’s expression, “Wanna be a dragon, Mommy.”

Jin chuckles, pressing a kiss to the top of Jungkook’s head. “You can’t wear your dragon costume to a fancy restaurant.”

Jungkook tilts his head to the side, “Why?”

“Because your costume’s for playing in at home, sweetie. We’ll be going to a restaurant- you need to dress properly there.”

“But,” Jungkook shifts in his mom’s lap so he’s facing the man. “But maybe- Maybe I can wear my dragon costume?”

“Won’t you feel left out if your brothers get to wear suits and you don’t?”

“No.” Jungkook answers with a simple shake of his head. “Don’t wanna wear a suit. Wanna be a dragon. Why can’t- Why- Why can’t I be a dragon?”

“It’s just not really dinner-appropriate attire.”

Jungkook scrunches his face up in confusion, “What’s that mean?”

“It means that people don’t generally wear dragon costumes to dinner, Kookie.” Jin patiently explains, “You’re supposed to wear nice clothes to a restaurant.”

“My dragon is nice!” Jungkook quickly defends his costume. “It’s blue! Blue is nice! And it has a tail! And wings! Those are nice, too, right, Mommy? Right?”

Jin smiles at Jungkook’s enthusiasm and decides to hell with it- honestly, he highly doubts anyone will care too much if a toddler wears a dragon costume to dinner. And if it’s going to make Jungkook happy and not throw a tantrum about having to wear a suit, then Jin can’t find a single fault with this plan.

“Alright,” Jin pokes Jungkook’s nose, “you win. You can be a dragon at dinner tomorrow night.”

 

DAY SIX

“Dress nicely.”

“I always dress nicely.” Jin responds with a huff. “Are you worried I’m gonna dress like a hobo or something?”

Namjoon chuckles, “No, but-”

“Then stop micromanaging me and let me get dressed in peace.”

Namjoon holds up his hands in defense and lets his husband pick out his outfit. “Do you want me to dress Jungkook?”

“No!” Jungkook shakes his head at his dad’s question, running over to his mom and grabbing onto his leg. “Want Mommy!”

“Why don’t you just wait down in the lobby with the kids, Namjoon?” Jin absently asks, picking Jungkook up and setting him on the bed. “We’ll meet you down there in a few.”

“Fine, fine.” Namjoon says, “I can see when I’m not wanted.”

“Good, I’m glad you can see that.” Jin responds with a cheeky grin, laughing at the look of indignation on Namjoon’s face. “I’m joking, Joonie. Now go make sure our children aren’t destroying the lobby.”

*

Everything’s coming together smoothly-

Well. Smoothly might not be the best word.

Smoothly would imply that things are going according to plan, and they’re not.

“Tae,” Namjoon stares in dismay at his son, “what, uh, what’re you wearing?”

Namjoon regards Taehyung’s plaid patterned abomination of a suit and exhales tiredly. He should’ve never let Taehyung go and buy his own suit while he helped Yoongi and Hoseok pick their own yesterday because the result was a plaid suit, and Namjoon was under the impression that Italy was one of the fashion capitals of the world, but apparently Taehyung found the one clothing shop in the entire country that sells hideous suits.

“A suit.” Taehyung slowly answers, staring at his dad like he’s lost his mind for even asking a question like that. “It’s cool, right? I don’t know what the guy in the shop was saying, but he looked really excited when I took it to the cash register; he kept thanking me over and over for buying it.”

He was probably overjoyed that somebody wanted to buy that monstrosity, Namjoon thinks to himself, but forces a smile on his face at Taehyung’s words. “It’s definitely… different.”

“I can’t wait for Jimin to see it,” Taehyung says with a wide grin. “He’s gonna be so jealous!”

Namjoon pats his son on the shoulder, “I bet.” he lies, trying to ignore the stares coming from the other people around them in the hotel lobby who are no doubt staring at Taehyung’s fashion statement.

Which- Fine. It’s fine. If Taehyung wants to wear that, then Namjoon isn’t going to tell him not to. Because tonight is going to go off without a hitch, and it’ll be wonderful, and everything else is going to go according to plan-

“Daddy!”

Namjoon smiles at Jungkook as he comes shooting out of the elevator and into his waiting arms, then nearly groans when he actually takes note of what his son is wearing-

“Why is Jungkook dressed as a dragon?”

Jin grins at Jungkook and pats the top of his head where two horns stick straight up. “He wanted to wear it.”

“And you had no… objections to this?” Namjoon asks with dubious expression. “We’re going to a really nice restaurant for dinner and our son’s dressed up as a mythological creature.”

“And?”

“And I figured you’d buy him a cute, little suit.”

“He didn’t want to wear a suit, Namjoon.” Jin tells him, “And I wasn’t about to tell Kookie that he couldn’t wear something he loved.”

“I’m fairly certain there’s a dress-code at the restaurant.”

Jin quirks an eyebrow, “I doubt they have a no-dragons policy.”

“Jin-”

“Besides,” Jin continues, “I can’t believe you’re complaining about Jungkook’s outfit when you bought Tae a suit that looks like it was once used as the fabric for a couch.”

“I did not buy that- He chose it himself.”

Jin tsks, “That’s even worse, Namjoon. Honestly. Letting Taehyung go shopping for his own suit was a mistake on your part. You’ve got nobody to blame but yourself.”

Namjoon watches Jin walk away, grousing to himself, “How did this turn into being my fault?”

*

After two wrong turns, a quick stop to refuel the taxi, and another wrong turn, they finally arrive at the address Namjoon had rattled off to the driver before hopping in his own taxi and speeding off ahead of them.

Jin tilts his head to the side in confusion as the taxi comes to a stop in front of large, wrought iron gate, twisted ivy encircling the entire thing. He hesitantly gets out of the car after paying the driver, wondering if Namjoon had given the driver the wrong directions before they’d parted ways.

After looking around for a second, Jin shakes his head at the driver, hoping the man will understand that this isn’t the correct location by his hand gestures and repeated use of the words wrong, bad, and no. To his dismay, the man begins speaking a mile a minute in Italian, pointing at the gate and gesturing for Jin to walk through it.

Before Jin can even contemplate having the driver take them somewhere else (like the actual restaurant Jin was under the impression they were going to), the taxi speeds off, leaving them, well, stranded for lack of a better word.

“This is nice.” Hoseok comments, ever the optimist. “Are the others coming soon?”

Jin passes Jungkook off to Yoongi so he can dig his cellphone out of his jacket pocket, sighing in annoyance when he sees there isn’t any cell reception out here.

“No service?” Yoongi guesses as Jin shoves his phone back in his pocket.

“No service.” Jin echoes, letting out a longsuffering sigh. He internally groans at the thought of having to walk to the nearest gas station to find a working phone- the last of which he saw nearly thirty minutes ago while driving.

“There’s a building!” Hoseok points at the grounds beyond the gate. “Maybe there’s a phone in there?”

Jin walks over to where Hoseok’s staring and spots the building in the distance; there’re lights on inside, so at least there’s power there, and to be perfectly honest, having one of the boys climbing over a gate is preferable to walking for over an hour to the nearest gas station. “Which one of you wants to climb over the gate and see if they’ve got a landline?”

Hoseok immediately goes to do just that, placing his hands on the gate in preparation to hoist himself up and crying out in surprise when it starts to swing open from his movements. He chuckles, “Guess we should’ve checked to see if it was locked first, huh?”

*

Jin thinks there are definitely worse places to be stranded than a beautiful, lush garden filled with flowers, a small fountain a ways away, large trees that he imagines offer shade during the day, and statues littered here and there- Jin wonders if this place is open to the public or if it’s someone’s private property. He really hopes the people inside the house aren’t too upset that he’s intruding on their gorgeous land.

But as wonderful as the view is with the sun having now set in the background, the wind softly blowing through the trees and the stars barely illuminating the night sky, Jin just really wants to get back to civilization and reconnect with the rest of his family.

And eat dinner. Because he’s so hungry right now that he’s contemplating eating a plant, and by the way Hoseok’s eyeing them, too, he’s clearly not the only one thinking along those lines.

They’re nearly at the house when they come upon a clearing and Jin blinks in surprise, stopping dead in his tracks as he sees trees with fairy lights strung throughout the branches; a pathway to the middle of the clearing lit up on either side; paper lanterns floating in a nearby pond; and… Namjoon, Jimin, and Taehyung (and some man Jin has no idea the identity of) just standing there in front of them…

“Took you long enough to get here.” Jimin tells his mom, Yoongi, and Hoseok, leading them all closer to an archway in the middle of the clearing where his dad’s standing. “Dad’s been freaking out- he thought you got lost or something.”

Jin splutters as Jimin takes Jungkook from him, “Jimin-”

“Go on, Dad’s waiting.”

Jin’s still completely confused as to what’s happening as he makes his way over to Namjoon, “What-”

“So,” Namjoon says with a wry grin, “this obviously isn’t a restaurant.”

“Obviously.” Jin repeats with a frown. “I mean, this place is beautiful and all, but why are we here?” He subtly nods his head at the stranger standing behind Namjoon and whispers, “And who’s that guy?”

Namjoon ignores Jin’s questions and smiles at his husband, “Jin, how long have we been married?”

Jin scowls at Namjoon, “I certainly hope that was a rhetorical question, Namjoon, because if you don’t know how long we’ve been married-”

“Ten years.” Namjoon quickly reassures the man, rolling his eyes in amusement. “Ten wonderful, love-filled years.”

Jin smiles as he shrugs a shoulder, “Give or take a few moments here and there.”

Namjoon places his finger against Jin’s lips, “Shush for a moment.”

Jin sighs, but nods nevertheless.

“We’ve been married for ten years- a decade. And throughout those ten years, I’ve fallen deeper in love with you every single day.” Namjoon rubs his thumb against the back of Jin’s hand, “I never could have imagined that I would ever be this happy in my life- that one person could make my day brighter with just a simple smile-”

“Namjoon-”

“There’s never been a single doubt in my mind that I want to spend my entire life with you. The good, the bad, the wonderful, the crazy- I want to spend it all with you, Jin.”

“And you will.” Jin promises him. “I’m not going anywhere.”

“So, then,” Namjoon uncertainly asks, “Would you agree to marry me? Again? In front of our family?”

Jin smiles in confusion, “You want to… renew our vows?”

Namjoon nods, “I want to show you that I’m still committed to our relationship- no matter what might happen in the future, I’ll be by your side.”

“We don’t need to renew our vows for me to know that, Namjoon.” Jin softly tells him, cupping his cheek. “I know how you feel about me.”

“I know,” Namjoon says, “but this is also a chance for me to give you a better ceremony than last time.”

Jin chuckles at the memory of their wedding- Jimin and Taehyung, five years old, both running around hyped up on sugar from mauling the wedding cake before the actual ceremony even took place; Namjoon’s tuxedo being too small in both his arms and legs; and the band they’d hired not even showing up for the reception to name but a few mishaps on their wedding day all those years ago.

“You deserve a new memory that’s as beautiful as you are.” Namjoon earnestly tells him. “So, what do you say?”

Jin snorts as he hears both Jimin and Taehyung fake-retching in the background at their dad’s declaration. He turns around to stare at his sons, “You two were in on this, weren’t you?”

Taehyung and Jimin both nod their heads in perfect synchronicity.

“And you two?” Jin turns to face Hoseok and Yoongi, “Were you both supposed to lead me here after we supposedly got lost tonight?”

Yoongi shakes his head, shooting a scowl in Jimin’s direction, “Uh, no. We thought we were lost, too.”

“And that guy’s a minister, isn’t he?” Jin asks Namjoon, gesturing to the stranger. “You planned this out to the last detail, didn’t you?”

“Absolutely.” Namjoon smiles, “So?”

Jin pretends to think about it for a moment, then smiles widely when his husband shoots him a concerned look- like he’s actually worried Jin will say no. “Of course I want to, Namjoonie.”

Namjoon visibly relaxes, shoulders slumping down in relief. He exchanges a few words with the minister and turns to face Jin, “Ready?”

“Always.”

*

When Namjoon had envisioned this moment in his mind, it was… different.

Not that this is bad by any means, but… well… he didn’t really count on Taehyung being dressed as a fashion victim; Jungkook wearing a dragon costume; Yoongi and Jimin staring at each other with hearts in their eyes during the entire ceremony (fine, maybe he did count on that); or Hoseok falling into the pond.

And Namjoon realizes that all these little things- these tiny details that he couldn’t possibly prepare for might just make this night even more magical then it would’ve been without them because even though the night isn’t perfect, Namjoon spends it renewing his vows to the one person he loves more than anything else, in front of their children and their boyfriends, and that’s a memory worth cherishing for years to come.

 

DAY SEVEN

“Mr. Kim? Can I talk to you for a sec?”

Namjoon’s taken aback by Yoongi’s request, but agrees and leads the young man away from where Taehyung and Hoseok are cuddling on one of the lobby’s couches- patiently waiting for Jimin, Jin and Jungkook to come down for breakfast before their flight leaves in the afternoon.

“Um. I just- I wanted to say I’m sorry.”

“For?” Namjoon asks, tilting his head to the side in confusion. “Have you done something that should warrant an apology?”

Yoongi sighs, “I mean- Yeah. I, um. The way I spoke to you during our last conversation… I was rude and disrespectful, and I just. I’m sorry.”

“You weren’t, Yoongi.” Namjoon disagrees. “You were passionate and assertive. Don’t apologize for being those things when it comes to speaking about your relationship.”

Yoongi blinks in surprise. “But,” he runs a hand through his hair, “you don’t want me to be those things.”

Namjoon chuckles and rests a hand on Yoongi’s shoulder, “Yoongi, listen to me; I have no problem with you dating my son-”

“But you said before-”

“The only problem I have,” Namjoon continues with a pointed look at the teen, “with your relationship is you moving too fast. I don’t want you or Jimin regretting any of your actions in the future. If you two want to get married, I’ve been informed by both you and Jin that there’s nothing I can do about it, but I want you to think long and hard about what kind of commitment it takes to make a marriage work.”

“I know-”

“You don’t.” Namjoon interrupts with a kind smile. “And that’s okay. Because you’ll learn over the years and when you’re ready- really ready, you’ll know. But I can assure you that Jimin, no matter how much he loves you, is not ready for that kind of commitment.”

“I know he’s not ready right now. But-”

“I’m not asking you to wait forever, Yoongi.” Namjoon tells him. “I’m just asking you to take Jimin’s thoughts and feelings into account. Because two years down the road and you might be ready to get married, but Jimin might not be, and I want you to be prepared for that very real possibility.”

Yoongi quietly sighs, looking towards the ground as he nods his head. “Is that- Um. Is that what happened with you and Mr. Kim?”

Namjoon nods, “Jin refused to marry me for years. It didn’t stop me from proposing all the time, but… I had to be patient and give him time.”

“I’ll, uh. Yeah. I’ll take that into account.” Yoongi says after a moment of silence. “Does this mean- Does this mean you don’t hate me? Since you’re willing to talk to me about this stuff?”

Namjoon snorts, shaking his head in amusement, “I never hated you-” At Yoongi’s piercing gaze, Namjoon chuckles, “Alright, alright, I might have disliked you very strongly after you and Jimin broke up, but you’re a good kid, Yoongi. And I’m glad Jimin has someone looking out for him when I’m not able to.”

“So…” Yoongi cautiously grins, “Is this kinda like your way of giving our relationship your blessing or something?”

Namjoon ruffles Yoongi’s hair, “My blessing to date Jimin? Sure. But if you want my blessing to move forward in your relationship you’re going to have to work a lot harder for that type of approval.”

“Challenge accepted, Mr. Kim.”

 

 

Chapter Text

Yoongi’s not used to sharing Jimin. In fact, that’s one of the main perks of dating him- that he doesn’t have to share him with anyone else.

Except now, apparently, he does.

And Yoongi is so not on board with this.

“So…” Yoongi narrows his eyes at the cat monopolizing all of his boyfriend’s attention. “This is-”

“Professor Cuddle Muffins.” Jimin finishes for him, scratching said cat behind its ears and cooing when he starts to purr.

Yoongi grimaces at the name and shakes his head, “Yeah, I’m not gonna call him that.”

Jimin raises an eyebrow, “It’s his name, Yoongi.”

“I’m just gonna call him Cat.” Yoongi states, scooting closer to Jimin on the couch only to have Cat wedge itself between them- and if Yoongi didn’t know any better, he’d think Jimin’s dad trained this cat to keep as much space as possible between him and Jimin at all times.

Jimin sets his pencil down on the coffee table and levels his boyfriend with an unamused look, “That’s not his name. You’re not gonna call him Cat.”

“Listen, Sunshine,” Yoongi implores the younger boy, “it’s embarrassing to even think of saying his name- How do you think the cat feels that he has to live with a name like that?”

“He loves it!” Jimin assures his boyfriend, looking down at where Professor Cuddle Muffins is lying between them. “You love your name, don’t you, Professor Cuddle Muffins?”

“All the other animals probably make fun of him, I hope you know that.”

Jimin scoffs, “Bokshiri’s too sweet for that and Jungkook’s bunny doesn’t even have a name yet, so your argument is invalid and I win.”

Yoongi just rolls his eyes at Jimin’s logic and goes back to reading his chemistry textbook. After a few minutes of silence he says, “I’m still not gonna call him that.”

“If you start calling him Cat, I’m gonna call you Human.”

“That’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.”

“You’re impossible.” Jimin quietly huffs, “You’re acting just like my dad, you know that? He wouldn’t let me call Professor Cuddle Muffins Suga-”

“Uh. Come again?”

“Suga. I named him Suga.”

Yoongi blinks in confusion, “And you named your cat after me because…?”

“Because he’s old and grumpy and he sleeps, like, twenty hours a day.”

“Well that paints me in a flattering light, doesn’t it?” Yoongi mutters. “He looks nothing like me.”

“He’s practically your twin!” Jimin exclaims, lifting the cat up to Yoongi’s face, “He’s basically you in cat form.”

“He’s too close to my face.” Yoongi deadpans, staring at the cat. “And he’s glaring at me.”

“Exactly! He glares at everyone!” Jimin grins, “Just like you do!”

“I do not-”

Jimin scoffs, “Please! You glared at the guy at the frozen yogurt stand the other day the entire time we were there.”

“Because he was checking you out!” Yoongi argues.

“He was not!” Jimin retorts with a baffled expression. “You think anyone who stares at me is checking me out-”

“Because they are!”

“Believe it or not,” Jimin tells him, “but not everyone is out to steal me from you.”

“Not everyone, no.” Yoongi agrees. “But like 99% of people are.”

“Yoongi-”

“And now your cat is trying to do the same thing.” Yoongi petulantly points out. “He’s stealing you away from me.”

Jimin quirks a brow, “He’s a cat.”

“Who’s hogging all your attention.” Yoongi grouses.

“He loves me- Just like you.”

“I love you more.” Yoongi mutters under his breath. “And I was here first.”

“I can’t believe you’re jealous of my cat.” Jimin shakes his head in amusement. He puts his cat back down between them and leans into Yoongi’s side, “You know,” he says, “when we’re all done school and have a place of our own, Professor Cuddle Muffins is gonna live with us. He’ll be your cat, too.”

Yoongi’s stomach does a few summersaults at Jimin just casually mentioning them living together someday and he stares down at the cat that’s, apparently, just as much his as it is Jimin’s. “So… this is. Like- It’s our first pet.”

Jimin hums in agreement and Yoongi presses a kiss to the top of his head. “We’re still not calling him Professor Cuddle Muffins.”

“Suga it is, then.”

Yoongi nods, “Suga it is.” He looks down at the cat, “You better live up to the name.”

“He’s already pretty possessive over me.” Jimin tells him as the cat climbs onto his lap and begins to nap. “I think that’s a good start.”

*

“Where’s the kale?”

Jin finishes filling up a cup of juice for Jungkook and stares at Taehyung in bewilderment, “At the grocery store?”

Taehyung groans, “Mom.”

“Don’t ‘mom’ me,” Jin tells him. “Why would I buy kale? You and your brother refuse to eat it.”

“That’s not true-”

“No?” Jin asks with a quirked eyebrow, “So the last time I bought it and made a salad for dinner you didn’t end up shoving it into your napkin and flushing it down the toilet to get rid of it?”

Taehyung’s eyes widen at his mom’s words and he rubs the back of his neck, “I, uh. I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Right. Sure.” Jin nods, rolling his eyes good-naturedly. “So what’s with you wanting kale, Tae?”

“V.”

Jin frowns- are they really going back to this nickname again? “Tae-”

V.”

“Fine,” Jin appeases his son, “V, why the sudden interest in kale?”

Taehyung shrugs a shoulder, picking at the fringe on his jacket and Jin finally does a double-take on what his son’s actually wearing- a fringe jacket. “Where- Uh. Where’d you get the jacket?”

Taehyung smiles widely at the mention of his jacket and spreads his arms out, spinning to fully show his mom his jacket, “I bought it at that thrift shop in Gangnam. It’s cool, right?”

Jin wouldn’t really consider a jacket with fringe cool, but to each their own, he supposes. “And just what was wrong with the jacket you already own? How many jackets do you need, Tae?”

V.” Taehyung insists. “And that jacket was too new.”

Jin… doesn’t even know how to respond to that.

At his mom’s questioning look Taehyung elaborates, “I wanted something vintage.”

“You know,” Jin muses, tapping his index finger against his chin in thought, “I think your dad has some of his old clothes lying around from when he was an idol- you can go through them if you want-”

Taehyung grimaces, “Uh, that’s okay. I’m more into things like cardigans, old-school suspenders, that kind of stuff, y’know?”

“Is your brother gonna jump on this vintage bandwagon with you?”

Taehyung shakes his head, “Nah, this is my thing.”

“And should I expect this fashion phase to last about as long as the last ones?”

Taehyung’s brow creases in confusion, “Huh?”

“Oh, you know,” Jin says, “like how you and your brother refused to wear anything that wasn’t ripped jeans and those horrible hats-”

“Snapbacks, Mom.” Taehyung enunciates, “Snapbacks.”

Ugly.” Jin fires back with a smirk, chuckling when Taehyung sticks his tongue out at him- the pinnacle of someone on the verge of adulthood. “And there was the phase before that where you both wore all those gold chains around your necks like two-bit thugs-”

“Okay, okay, okay!” Taehyung holds his hands up to stop his mom from listing all his past fashion decisions, “I get it. But this isn’t a phase- it’s a lifestyle.”

“A lifestyle, is it? My mistake.” Jin inclines his head at his son, “I’ll get kale the next time I’m at the store, okay? I hope your new lifestyle can wait until tomorrow afternoon.”

“What am I supposed to eat until then?” Taehyung moans as he opens the fridge and stares listlessly into it. “I want kale.”

“Gross.” Jimin says as he walks into the kitchen, bypassing his brother and grabbing a bag of chips from the pantry. “Why would anyone want kale?”

“Your brother’s going through a lifestyle change that involves eating kale.” Jin informs Jimin with a grin. “I think it’s great that he’s going to start eating healthier.”

“Wait a minute,” Jimin says, tone suspicious as he stares at his brother with narrowed eyes as the other boy grabs their mom’s 100% natural and organic box of muesli (disgusting) made out of granola and flowers (doubly disgusting)-

And it’s with sudden clarity that Jimin realizes what’s happening here- the large frame glasses; all of a sudden listening to obscure indie bands that nobody’s ever heard of; insisting that he wants to eat kale; and the other day Jimin heard him telling their dad that he’s only gonna drink out of mason jars now- it all points to Taehyung becoming a hipster.

Jimin grimaces at this newly discovered information and looks at his brother, scrutinizing every little thing about him. And that’s when he actually notices Taehyung’s jacket. “What’re you wearing?” He flicks the fringe hanging down Taehyung’s new jacket’s right sleeve, “Where did you even find something that ugly?”

“I could say the same thing about your face.” Taehyung saccharinely tells his brother with a large smile, dodging the smack Jimin aims at his body with a cackle. “Seriously, though,” he continues as he dances out of his brother’s reach, “is Yoongi blind or does he just not mind dating someone as ugly-”

“You’re dead!” Jimin charges after his brother, bypassing his mom and Jin just shakes his head in amusement as Taehyung goads Jimin even more, his boisterous laughter ringing throughout the house every time Jimin tries to catch him. He absently writes down kale on tomorrow’s shopping list and winces when he hears a loud crash coming from the living room.

“What’d you two break?”

Taehyung and Jimin poke their heads into the kitchen and grin guiltily. “Nothing- It’s nothing.” Jimin assures his mom, ducking back into the living room.

“Just, um. Just don’t come into the living room for a few minutes, okay?” Taehyung adds after a moment of contemplation, “We don’t have any superglue, do we?”

Jin just sighs and rummages through their junk drawer to find a bottle of it, handing it over.

Taehyung quickly thanks him and disappears from sight, returning a minute later, saying, “Um, yeah. The superglue isn’t really working, so, like, on a scale of one to grounded forever, how mad to you think Dad’s gonna be when he sees his Music Bank trophy missing a few pieces?”

“Definitely grounded for life.” Jin says without missing a beat and Taehyung slowly nods his head, “Right, yeah. Okay, so good thing we didn’t, um- Didn’t break that then. Just- if you see Dad looking in the direction of his trophy can you, like- I dunno. Distract him from noticing the missing pieces and the glue all over it?”

Taehyung.”

“Thanks, Mom; you’re the best!” Taehyung calls out as he hastily retreats from the kitchen. Jin follows him, grimacing as his eyes immediately zero in on the now-mangled trophy innocently perched on top of the bookcase.

“Looks good as new, right?” Jimin optimistically asks from beside his mom. “You can’t even tell it’s broken.”

Jin comfortingly pats his son on his shoulder, “You and your brother probably shouldn’t make any plans for the next few weekends, Jiminie.”

*

“Oh god,” Yoongi mutters upon entering his boyfriend’s house and spotting Taehyung. “Don’t tell me you’re a fucking hipster now?” he asks, pulling a face while he watches the younger boy take a selfie of himself and some kind of (no doubt) overpriced drink from Starbucks. “Don’t forget to put a pretentious filter on that picture before you post that shit to Instantgram.”

Taehyung stares at Yoongi incredulously, “Instagram.”

Yoongi doesn’t actually give two shits what the thing is called, he just knows that it’s full of the type of people he can’t stand, so he stays as far away from that crap as possible. “Whatever. Where’s Jimin? I’m afraid if I hang out with you any longer I might catch whatever’s got you acting like this.”

Taehyung just laughs and point upstairs. “Jungkook’s room. Enjoy babysitting the little tyrant!”

“Enjoy your overpriced frappe-whataver.”

“Will do!”

Yoongi hears Taehyung leave the house moments later as he’s climbing the stairs to Jungkook’s room and enters it only to find it empty. “Jimin? Kookie?”

“In my parent’s room!”

Yoongi hesitantly enters Jimin’s parent’s bedroom and finds Jungkook hopping up and down on the bed, Jimin still nowhere to be found. “Hey, Kookie-”

“Shhhooogah!” Jungkook’s eyes light up at the sight of him and he stumbles his way off the bed, wrapping his arms around Yoongi’s legs. “Play with us?”

Yoongi nods his head, bending down to pick the boy up. “I’m gonna play with you all day, kid-”

Jungkook gasps, mouth open in shock, “Really?!”

Yoongi chuckles. “Really. I promise.” He readjusts Jungkook on his hip, “Where’s Jimin?”

“In here!” Jimin calls from the closet, poking his head out a second later and flashing his boyfriend a grin. “Just grabbing some clothes. You wanna be my mom or my dad?”

Yoongi’s taken aback by the question and shrugs helplessly, “Uh. Neither?”

Jimin walks out of the closet with two outfits, holding them up for Yoongi and Jungkook’s scrutiny. “What do think, Kookie? Should Yoongi be the daddy or the mommy?”

Yoongi’s eyes widen as he realizes what’s going on. “So… we’re playing house, are we?”

Jungkook excitedly nods his head and cranes his neck to look at Yoongi, “You can be the mommy, Shhhooogah.”

Jimin stifles his laughs as he hands Yoongi one of his mom’s outfits. “Better go change… Mommy.”

*

“Pour the tea, Mommy!”

Yoongi fumbles with the tiny teapot in his hands and tips it in the direction of Jungkook’s cup- pretending to fill it and then setting it down afterwards. “There you go.”

Jungkook huffs, “You gotta give tea to Daddy!”

Jimin holds his plastic teacup and shakes it, “Daddy needs tea, too, Mommy.”

“Stop calling me that.” Yoongi grouses under his breath, reaching over and grabbing Jimin’s cup, filling it with imaginary tea and placing it back into the younger boy’s hands. “Is it time to drink our tea now, Kookie?”

Jungkook looks at Jimin and sighs loudly, shaking his head, “Mommy’s hopeless, Daddy.”

“Hey! What’s that supposed to mean?”

Jimin laughs, “You’ve gotta serve everyone cookies and finger sandwiches before we can drink our tea, Yoongi.” He looks at his little brother and ruffles his hair, “It’s Suga’s first tea party, Kookie. We’ve gotta go easy on him, okay?”

“Kay,” Jungkook reluctantly agrees. “But he’s bad at being the mommy, J’min.”

“I think Jimin would make a better mommy, don’t you, Kookie?” Yoongi proposes with a barely concealed smirk.

Jungkook eagerly nods his head, “J’min’s a very good mommy!”

Jimin rolls his eyes good-naturedly, “Fine, I’ll be the mom. But that means whatever I say goes. Got it?”

Yoongi raises an eyebrow, “Isn’t it the dad who’s in charge?”

Laughing, Jimin condescendingly pats Yoongi on his arm, “It’s cute that you think so.”

*

The tea party ends soon after he and Jimin switch roles and Yoongi thinks that’s that. He’s done pretending to be the dad to Jimin’s mom- except no.

Because, apparently, after playing tea party it’s time to play house.

Which Yoongi kinda thought they were already playing.

“That wasn’t house.” Jimin tells him as he leads the three of them into the room beside Jungkook’s own, which Yoongi always thought was just a storage room or something, but nope. Apparently it houses all of Jimin and Taehyung’s old toys; Jungkook’s large collection of stuffed animals (80% of which are, unsurprisingly, bunnies); and a mini, plastic make-believe kitchen.

Yoongi watches with fascination as Jungkook speeds over to the little kitchen and drags Jimin along with him, issuing commands to his older brother for this and that while Jimin follows each one with a smile, and Yoongi’s struck with how picturesque this is-

How something like this- It could be his future.

Because, holy shit, Jimin fits into the role of a parent so goddamn easily. He understands Jungkook on a level that Yoongi just doesn’t; he can anticipate the toddler’s moods, his wants… everything. And, yeah, sure, that could just be from being Jungkook’s older brother, but. It’s more than that.

Jimin is just inherently good with kids. And Yoongi can’t stop the smile overtaking his entire face as he watches his boyfriend pretend to make dinner with Jungkook. Because, fuck. One day, that could be real.

“You’re a better mommy than TaeTae, J’min.”

“Hear that?” Jimin calls over his shoulder at where his boyfriend’s just staring at him with a dopey expression on his face. “I’m a better mom than Tae. Go me, right?”

Yoongi chuckles, nodding his head and sending Jimin a thumbs up, all the while wondering if his and Jimin’s own kids will take after his boyfriend’s unusual habit of calling their dad ‘mom’. He almost hopes so because, fuck it. Jimin would make a really fucking good mom.

“Shhhooogah!” Jungkook grabs onto his hand and drags him over to Jimin, “Daddies have to help the mommies in the kitchen!”

“R-Right.” Yoongi nods, wandering over and pretending to chop a plastic onion. He can’t help glancing to his right every now and again to watch Jimin pretend to cook dinner while Jungkook giggles at Yoongi’s own ineptitude even in a fake kitchen.

*

Jimin absently taps his pencil against his notebook as his teacher drones on about the newest math equation they’re learning. He counts down the minutes until lunchtime and practically runs out of the room when the bell finally rings.

He gleefully grabs his lunch from his locker and meets Yoongi on his way to the cafeteria, greeting him with a quick kiss on his lips. They make their way to their usual table and sit down across from Taehyung and Hoseok- who are both eating dishes that look super ostentatious and expensive and healthy.

“Don’t tell me you converted Hoseok into being a hipster with you?” Yoongi asks Taehyung disdainfully. He shifts his gaze to Hoseok and grimaces, “Do you even know what the fuck you’re eating?”

“Uh. Quinoa, right, Tae?” At Taehyung’s nod, Hoseok continues, “Apparently it tastes good, but…” Hoseok shrugs a shoulder and shovels another forkful into his mouth. “I dunno. I’m not really loving this.”

“You wanna try my food, Hobi?” Taehyung offers, holding out his fork with kale attached to it. “You’ll like kale.”

“Stop trying to make him a hipster.” Yoongi practically growls at Taehyung. “It’s embarrassing enough that you’re one now.”

Taehyung pointedly stares at Yoongi, “Not as embarrassing as when you had pink hair-”

“Hey!” Jimin points a finger in Taehyung’s direction, “Yoongi looked hot with pink hair. You look like an idiot with kale hanging out of your mouth.”

“Yeah, no comparison.” Yoongi smugly says, wrapping an arm around Jimin’s shoulders. “Plus that was for a bet I lost- you’re doing this entire fucking thing voluntarily.”

*

Yoongi pinches the bridge of his nose between his index and middle fingers when he sees Taehyung and Jimin waltz into the mall and bound over to where he and Hoseok are waiting for them. “The fuck are you wearing?”

“Excuse me?” Jimin asks with narrowed eyes. He stalks up to his boyfriend, “What’s that supposed to mean?”

Yoongi rolls his eyes, pulling Jimin in for a kiss. “Not you; your brother.”

Taehyung looks down at his outfit in confusion at Yoongi’s statement, “What’s wrong with my clothes?”

Hoseok takes Taehyung’s hand and kisses the back of it, “Nothing. You look great.”

“That’s not the word I would’ve chosen.” Yoongi mutters under his breath as they wander throughout the mall. “I mean, really? A bowtie? Over a plaid shirt? And a beanie? Like, you might as well just hang a sign around your neck that says ‘unoriginal hipster douchebag’ on it.”

“You’re just jealous you can’t pull off a bowtie.” Taehyung retorts, sticking his tongue out at Yoongi. “I’m totally rocking this.” He looks at Hoseok and his eyes light up, “We should get one for you, Hobi!”

Hoseok isn’t really into the hipster trend, but looking at Taehyung’s eager face he finds himself agreeing and being dragged into the nearest store that sells them- and ten minutes later he’s the proud owner of six of them because Taehyung couldn’t decide which one would look best on him. He figures he’ll wear one once, and then shove them into the back of his closet to never wear again unless he’s going somewhere that actually requires a bowtie.

Which, as much as he loves Taehyung and respects his (sometimes questionable) fashion choices, is not the mall.

*

“Take that off.” Jimin tells his brother as he wanders over to where Taehyung’s trying on hats while Hoseok and Yoongi gawk over the latest sneakers. “Like right now.”

Taehyung looks at himself in the small mirror near the hat rack, “What? Why? Fedoras are in now, right?”

“No.” Jimin adamantly says. “Fedoras are never in. Ever. Like never ever ever.”

“But-”

Jimin grabs the hat off Taehyung’s head and puts it back on the rack. “Never.”

“But what if-”

Jimin shakes his head, “I say this because I love you, but I will literally kick your ass if you ever think of wearing a fedora, okay?”

Taehyung sighs, sadly bidding farewell to the fedora as Jimin drags him away from it.

*

Yoongi’s officially done with Taehyung and his hipster ways. Because the food court in the mall is supposed to serve greasy hot dogs, burgers, and pizza; not whatever it is that Taehyung’s got on his tray. “What the fuck are you eating?”

Taehyung looks down at his food, “Uh, a matcha green tea smoothie, deep fried pickles and a maple-bacon donut.”

“Looks good.” Hoseok tells his boyfriend, digging into his own meal and offering Taehyung a bite of his burger, “Wanna try?”

Taehyung shakes his head, “I’m only eating vegan foods from now on.”

“Oh my god.” Yoongi mutters under his breath. “You’re so fucking pretentious it literally hurts.”

“I dunno, that donut looks pretty good.” Jimin states, staring at Taehyung’s donut. “Can I have a bite?”

“No!” Yoongi slaps Jimin’s hand away from Taehyung’s food. “That’s what he wants, Jimin!”

“It’s what I want.” Jimin corrects. “You’re acting crazy.”

Yoongi scowls, “If you try that donut, then the next thing you know you’ll be wearing scarves and sweater vests and- Just- I can’t deal with dating a fucking hipster, Jimin; don’t make me do that. Please.”

Jimin laughs, holding his hands up in surrender, “Fine, you win. I won’t try the donut, weirdo.”

*

They’re in some random store that Yoongi would never step foot into on his own (but apparently Taehyung wants cufflinks of all things) when he overhears a group of people laughing loudly.

Yoongi’s generally not someone who gives a fuck about what other people think or do, but when he lazily turns his head to see a gaggle of annoying teenagers pointing at Taehyung and laughing- well.

That’s just not okay.

Because it’s one thing for him to make fun of Taehyung’s stupid fucking bowtie and general hipster look, but other people?

No.

Not a chance do they get to make Taehyung feel inferior for the dumb clothes he’s wearing. That’s Yoongi’s job- not theirs.

Without thinking about it, Yoongi marches over to where Taehyung’s trying to ignore the comments of the group and shoves the guy who’s in the middle of spewing out an insult. “Back off.” he bites out, crossing his arms over his chest when the guy he shoved looms over him- which is just. It’s not fair that Yoongi’s unable to physically intimidate people with his height because he has a feeling he’d be really fucking good at it.

“Who the fuck are you?” the guy demands with a sneer. “You his boyfriend or some shit?”

“Yoongi, let’s just go,” Taehyung tells him, tugging on the older boy’s arm only to have Yoongi forcefully shake his head, “We’re not going anywhere. These assholes are gonna apologize to you-”

“You want us to apologize?” Someone in the group barks out a laugh, “Not gonna happen, man.”

Yoongi would really like to say that he handles the situation like an adult, but. No. He handles it like a hot-headed teenager and throws the first punch. And then the second and third.

Things… escalate quickly when Hoseok joins in as soon as he spots his boyfriend and best friend fighting, which leads to Jimin jumping in as well, and eight minutes later (a split lip on Hoseok’s end and Jimin sporting a black eye) all of them have officially been banned from the mall for six months for fighting.

“So, uh,” Jimin says as they’re walking back to Yoongi’s car. “Why exactly were we fighting?”

“They were making fun of Taehyung.” Yoongi answers, shrugging at the incredulous look Jimin gives him. “What?”

You make fun of him all the time!”

“I’m allowed to do it because we’re practically family.” Yoongi states, sending Taehyung a small smile, “But anyone else tries to pull that shit and I’ll beat their ass.”

Taehyung grins, mouthing thanks at Yoongi before piling into the backseat beside Hoseok.

“You feeling okay? No internal bleeding or anything?” Hoseok asks his boyfriend, fussing over him. “We can go to the hospital if you need-”

Taehyung laughs, “I’m fine, Hobi- really.”

Hoseok gives Taehyung a pointed look.

“I mean- I’m used to people thinking I dress weird. Or act weird. So this wasn’t really anything new.” Taehyung explains. He looks at Yoongi as the older boy drives starts the car, “I’m just surprised you thought it was worth getting into a fight over.”

“Like I said, you guys are my family.” Yoongi plainly tells them, pulling out of the mall’s parking lot. “I would’ve done the same for Hoseok or Jimin.”

“Such a softie.” Jimin wistfully says from the front seat, laughing at the look of indignation on his boyfriend’s face.

“A softie?” Yoongi raises a brow. “Did you not see me beat that guy up? He was twice my size!”

“A softie with a mean right hook, I mean.” Jimin amends with a smile.

Yoongi nods in approval. “Damn right.”

*

“So. Seriously.” Jimin says as he barges into Taehyung’s room and situates himself on his bed beside Bokshiri. “What’s up with this whole hipster thing? Do I need to do stage an intervention or something? Because this isn’t you. Like, at all.”

“I just thought it’d be cool.” Taehyung defends himself, shutting his laptop and turning to face Jimin. “Plus…” he trails off and shrugs. “I dunno. I- It’s- Never mind.”

“Come on, Tae. Tell me.” At Taehyung’s continuous silence, Jimin reaches over and starts poking him in the leg and pouting, “Tell me, tell me, tell me, tell meeeeeeeee-”

Taehyung finally cracks and laughs at his brother’s whining, “Fine, fine- It’s. Like- You know how I went to watch Hoseok’s dance competition the other week?”

Jimin frowns, not seeing the connection here. “Yeah…?”

“Okay, well, he introduced me to a bunch of his old friends he used to dance with and they were all so cool and older and- They- I- They all kinda… sorta… dress like this. And I just wanted to act like them, y’know?” Taehyung admits, not looking at Jimin anymore, but at the floor. “I wanted to… I dunno. To fit in with Hobi’s friends, I guess.”

Taehyung’s just waiting for his brother to laugh at him when instead he feels a stuffed animal whack him in the face. “You’re stupid, you know that, right?”

“Uh-”

“Who cares if you fit in with his friends?” Jimin asks. “You think I fit in with Yoongi’s friends?”

“Does Yoongi even have any friends?” Taehyung can’t help but to ask with a smirk, dodging the next stuffed animal that flies at his face. “It seems like he only ever hangs out with you.”

“He has friends!” Jimin defends his boyfriend with a huff. “He’s not a loser like-”

“You?” Taehyung can’t help but finish the sentence, giggling when Jimin flips him off. “Sorry; couldn’t resist.”

“I was gonna say you, but whatever. Point is,” Jimin continues, “is that I don’t fit in with Yoongi’s friends. Like, if I hang out with them, they usually just talk about basketball or baseball or soccer- or any sport that involves a ball, really. And I just kinda tune it all out while smiling and nodding every now and again.”

Taehyung sits up straighter and pushes his hair out of his face. He sighs, “Doesn’t that make you feel left out, though? Because, like, when I was hanging out with Hobi’s friends and they were talking about how much better organic food is for your body and how it helps with dancing and stuff like that- I just. I didn’t know what to say.”

“Just smile and nod.” Jimin tells him with a grin. “Nobody wants you to change who you are, Tae.”

“What if-”

Jimin shakes his head, “No what ifs.”

“Yeah, but what if-”

“Uh uh. No what ifs.”

“Fine.” Taehyung slumps down in his seat and sighs. “I’ll stop being a hipster.”

“You don’t have to stop being one if it’s what you actually wanna be,” Jimin eventually says. “But- Tae, we both know you don’t wanna eat vegan or organic foods. I mean, come on.”

Taehyung ducks his head to hide the smile on his face. “They’re not that bad.”

Jimin pointedly stares at his brother, “You do realize that if you stick to this whole vegan/organic thing that you won’t be able to eat fast food anymore, right? Say goodbye to Burger King.”

Taehyung snaps his head up, eyes wide in shock. “I never thought of that! I- This- Okay. Maybe I’m not ready to give up Burger King yet.”

“That’s what I thought.” Jimin smugly says. “To celebrate your escape from the clutches of the hipster lifestyle, why don’t we throw out all your cufflinks and bowties?”

“Only if we’re throwing out all your bucket hats, too.”

“Deal- Wait… What?” Jimin splutters at Taehyung’s request, trailing after him as just laughs in response. “What’s wrong with my bucket hats?”

“Just grab ‘em.”

Jimin sighs, “Fine. I’ll sacrifice my very stylish hats if it means getting rid of your stuff.”

Taehyung laughs, “Trust me, the world appreciates that sacrifice.”

*

Namjoon’s just walked in the front door when Taehyung walks past him, calling out a quick ‘Hi, Dad. Bye, Dad’ over his shoulder as he and Jimin carry a plethora of different clothing items to the garage. “Hey, what’re you two doing with those clothes- and they’re gone.” Namjoon lamely finishes as his sons shut the door behind them, cutting him off mid-sentence. 

“I probably don’t even want to know,” he mutters to himself as he wanders into the kitchen where he can smell dinner cooking. He leans against the counter and watches Jin flit about the room, adding this and that to the pot of noodles on the stove, “So.”

Jin jumps in surprise at hearing Namjoon’s voice coming from behind him and grins, turning around and kissing his husband in greeting before going back to cooking, “How was work?”

“It was good.” he answers, grabbing a bottle of water from the fridge and taking a sip before staring at Jin, “So, did I… Did I just see our son wearing a fringe jacket?”

Jin doesn’t even bother looking up from the frying pan, “Most likely.”

“Did you buy that for him?”

“Certainly not.” Jin says, reaching behind Namjoon for the salt. “He went to a thrift shop the other day-”

“A thrift shop?”

Jin shrugs at Namjoon’s confused expression, “It’s a new thing to do, apparently. Vintage clothes are in right now.”

Namjoon nods, “At least we’ll save money when it comes to buying Tae’s clothes if they’re all second hand.”

Jin condescendingly pats Namjoon’s hand as he chuckles, “He’s been going thrift shopping in Gangnam, Joonie. I think it’s safe to say that this new fad is costing you more than buying him new clothes.”

“Our children are going to drive us into the poor house, I hope you know that.”

“Probably,” Jin answers with a grin, “but at least our kids’ll be the most fashionable ones in the poor house.”

“Always looking for that silver lining, huh?” Namjoon says around a mouthful of noodles he’s stolen from the pot. He lets Jin push him away from their unfinished supper with a chuckle, his brow creasing when he sees Jimin and Taehyung walking past him and Jin- the latter of the two wearing only his boxers. “Taehyung?”

Taehyung stops in his tracks and stares at his dad, “What’s up?”

“I feel like I shouldn’t even have to ask this, but where’d your clothes go, kiddo?”

Jin spins around to see what Namjoon’s talking about and he sighs in exasperation, “Taehyung, for goodness sakes, why are you in your boxers?”

“Not important.” Taehyung answers with a grin. He looks at his mom, “What is important is that you stop buying kale, Mom.”

Jin tilts his head to the side in confusion, “You told me the other day that you wanted me to buy kale for you.”

“Change of plans.” Taehyung declares, “Buy super unhealthy stuff from now on, okay? I’m back to eating junk food.”

Jin just shakes his head and shoos Taehyung out of the kitchen, “Just go put some clothes on.”

*

It’s an unspoken rule between Jimin and Taehyung that they don’t talk about their pasts with anyone but each other. Until Jimin starts dating Yoongi, that is. Because once Jimin falls stupidly in love with Yoongi, he tells him everything- good and bad alike about growing up in a youth home and being passed over by families time and time again until his parents decided to adopt him all those years ago.

And after Jimin tells Yoongi everything, that’s that; Yoongi knows not to talk about Jimin’s past- especially when the younger boy isn’t even there.

“Does Jimin talk to you about before?”

Yoongi doesn’t bother looking up from his textbook as he chews on the cap from his pen, trying to memorise everything he can about the Battle of Osan before his test on it tomorrow afternoon. He’s almost completely forgotten about Hoseok’s presence until the other boy throws a rolled up ball of paper at his head, causing him to look up with narrowed eyes, biting out, “What?”

“Jimin,” Hoseok repeats with a frustrated expression, “does he talk to you about before?”

Yoongi resists the urge to roll his eyes at a question that makes exactly zero sense. “Before what?”

“Like, y’know,” Hoseok shrugs, “before he was adopted.”

“Oh,” Yoongi goes back to his notes, “no. Not, uh. Not really.”

“At all?”

“I mean, I know about it,” Yoongi rephrases, “but it’s not- It’s not something he likes to talk about. So we don’t.”

Hoseok’s quiet for a moment, seemingly contemplating something that Yoongi doesn’t really give a fuck about; he’s just thankful for the peace and quiet so he can go back to studying without the boy’s incessant chattering-

“Taehyung doesn’t.”

Yoongi sighs heavily and sets his pen down, closing his textbook and giving Hoseok his undivided attention- So long, Battle of Osan; hello a big fat F on his history test tomorrow. “Taehyung doesn’t what?”

“Talk about his past.” Hoseok clarifies, practically whining at this point and Yoongi just stares on impassively as he continues to talk, “He just- Every time I ask him about it, he just changes the subject.”

“Why do you wanna know about it?” Yoongi asks.

Hoseok exhales, shrugging, “I- I’ve told Tae pretty much everything about my life, so it just seems, like- I don’t know. Like maybe he doesn’t trust me enough to tell me-”

Yoongi can’t resist it anymore- he rolls his eyes and shakes his head for added effect, “It’s got nothing to do about him trusting you. And if you actually believe that then you’re an idiot.”

He drums his fingers on the table’s surface, “So what is it, then?”

“I don’t know, man.” Yoongi tells him, “With Jimin, he doesn’t like talking about it because they’re painful memories. So maybe it’s the same with Taehyung.”

“Maybe.” Hoseok quietly agrees, looking just as dejected as he did when the conversation started. “Maybe he just doesn’t think I’d understand or something-”

“You wouldn’t.” Yoongi bluntly tells him, holding his hand up to stop Hoseok’s protests. “You can sympathize, sure. But, like, you wouldn’t fully understand what he went through. Same with me and Jimin; I’ll never be able to understand what he feels when he thinks about his time in his group home, y’know? You and I grew up with parents who loved us, Hoseok- Taehyung and Jimin didn’t.”

Hoseok nods, “I get that, but-”

“He’ll tell you when he’s ready.” Yoongi opens his book again and goes back to his notes. “Just wait for him to come to you.”

*

Jimin grunts as Taehyung’s elbow connects with his side. He repositions himself on the hammock so that Jungkook’s between the two of them- he’s pretty sure his brother will be more careful with his gangly limbs if it’s Jungkook who’ll get hit and not him.

“TaeTae?”

Taehyung hums in response and Jungkook points up at the night sky, “Did- Did Hoosuk really buy you one of those?”

Taehyung grins, nodding happily as he grabs Jungkook’s finger and points it to where he’s about 90% sure his star is (give him a break, okay? His memory isn’t perfect and that’s the general area his star’s in), “Yep, that’s it there, Kookie.”

“I want one!”

Jimin chuckles, “Maybe one day someone’ll buy one for you.”

“I want one now.” Jungkook pouts, crossing his arms over his chest with a huff and Taehyung laughs, ruffling the boy’s hair, “You can have the one beside mine and Hoseok’s, okay?”

“Really?” Jungkook’s eyes light up and he shuffles around in the hammock, shifting until he’s sitting on his knees and staring at the sky in awe. He beams at Jimin, “J’min! TaeTae says I can have that one!”

Jimin smiles, “Well aren’t you lucky, Kookie?”

“Aren’t you cold out here?”

Taehyung looks at where his mom and dad are walking across the backyard towards them and shakes his head, “It’s warm out tonight.”

“Even so,” Jin says as he drapes the blanket he’d brought with him over his sons. “I don’t want you catching a cold.”

“You having fun with your brothers, Kookie?”

Jungkook happily nods his head at his dad’s question. He points at the sky, “TaeTae says that’s my star, Daddy!”

“Tae said he’s gonna buy it for him.” Jimin pointedly looks at his dad, “With your credit card, of course.”

Namjoon doesn’t even bat an eyelash. He loops an arm around Jin’s shoulders, “Maybe we should all get stars-”

Taehyung shakes his head, “No, no, no, no. This is my thing.”

Your thing?” Jin dubiously asks. “I don’t think you have a monopoly on buying stars, Tae.”

Taehyung stares in disbelief at his parents, “It’s my romantic thing with Hoseok. Please don’t make it a weird family thing.”

Namjoon laughs, “Fine.” He leans over Jimin and grabs Jungkook out of the hammock, “Come on, Kookie; time for bed.”

“Don’t stay up too late, okay?” Jin calls out as he and Namjoon head back inside, the backdoor shutting and leaving Taehyung and Jimin in silence.

“Do you ever…” Jimin trails off, unsure how to phrase his question. He looks at his brother’s questioning gaze, “Like, I dunno. Do you ever think about your birth parents? Like, meeting them?”

Taehyung’s perpetual smile is wiped off his face in an instant and he scowls. “Nope.”

Jimin shifts further underneath the blanket and stares into the sky, “Why not?”

“Why would I wanna meet the people who gave me up?” Taehyung fires back, crossing his arms over his chest. “Why would I waste my time thinking about them?”

Jimin shrugs a shoulder, “I don’t know… I’ve just- I dunno. I’ve been thinking… wondering, y’know? Like,” he runs a hand through his hair, “what kind of people gave me up, who were they-”

“Assholes.”

Jimin’s eyes widen at Taehyung’s response, “Tae-”

Taehyung flips onto his side to look at his brother, “Jimin, the people who gave both of us up are assholes. End of story.”

“Maybe they didn’t have a choice?” Jimin quietly muses.

Taehyung scoffs, “What, was someone holding a gun to my birth mother’s head and told her if she didn’t give her two-year old up they’d shoot her?”

“…no, but-”

“Like I said,” Taehyung tells Jimin, “only assholes give up their kids.”

“I guess. But…”

Taehyung frowns, “But what?”

“Some people have a good reason to put their baby up for adoption-”

“I wasn’t a baby, though.” Taehyung points out with a firm glare, “I was two. You’d think my parents would’ve had some kind of bond with me at that point.”

Jimin just nods his head, opting to stay silent.

“That’d be like Mom and Dad giving Kookie up,” Taehyung angrily mutters. “Can you imagine them doing something like that?

Jimin immediately shakes his head, “Course not.”

“So,” Taehyung states, “case in point, my birth parents are assholes.”

“…what about mine, though?”

“I…” Taehyung sighs, “I don’t know.”

“Yeah.” Jimin swallows around the words, “Me neither.”

Taehyung wraps an arm around Jimin’s shoulders, “Jimin…”

“Hmm?”

“Do you- Do you wanna, like, meet your birth parents or something? Is that what this is all about?”

Jimin rests his head on his brother’s shoulder, “…maybe. I mean- I don’t know.” He exhales heavily and plays with the promise ring on his finger, “It’s dumb, right? Like- I don’t even know, Tae. I just… I’ve been wondering for a while now who my birth parents are and… whatever. Forget I said anything; it’s stupid.”

Taehyung shakes his head, whispering, “It’s not stupid; as much as I hate my birth parents, I wonder who they are, too, sometimes.”

Jimin links his hand with Taehyung’s and squeezes lightly. “I’m scared to ask Mom and Dad about this, Tae.” he admits. “I don’t want them to think I love them any less, y’know? Or make them think that I think they’re not my true parents or something-”

“They won’t.” Taehyung assures his brother, squeezing his hand back. “You know they won’t.”

“What if-” Jimin cuts himself off and bites his lip in uncertainty. “What if they don’t wanna meet me, though?”

“That’s crazy-”

“Is it?” Jimin interrupts, frowning deeply. “They gave me up- Why would they wanna see me again?”

Taehyung shrugs uncertainly at Jimin’s questions, keeping their fingers tightly linked. “They’d be idiots to not wanna meet you.”

Jimin remains silent, staring up at the stars in contemplation. He finally sighs loudly and sits up in the hammock, absently petting Bokshiri’s head when she perks up at his sudden movement. “We should probably head inside; it’s getting late.”

Taehyung nods, gathering up the blanket and following Jimin inside. He taps Jimin’s shoulder before his brother can disappear into his room and sends him a reassuring smile, “Talk to Mom and Dad. They’ll get it.”

“And if they don’t?” Jimin whispers, not wanting to wake their parents or Jungkook with their conversation.

“Then they’ve clearly been abducted by aliens and replaced with clones, and we’ll go on an intergalactic adventure to hunt our real parents down and defeat the oppressing alien forces that’re holding them prisoner.” Taehyung whispers back in all seriousness, cracking a smile when Jimin has to stifle his laughter behind his hand. “Trust me; everything’s gonna be fine.”



Chapter Text

Hey everyone!

So I hate it when authors update their work, but it’s just like an author note and not an actual chapter, but here’s me doing it....

Let me start off by saying that I’m so so soooooo sorry I’ve left you guys without an update for so long! Seriously this wasn’t my intention at all! I’ve just been crazy busy and haven’t had time to write anything for a few months :(

I started university a few months back, and I’m literally at school for upwards of 15+ hours a day, and I moved to a new city, so… yeah. Life’s been a little busier than I’m used to lol Anyway, I just wanted to let you guys know that I absolutely haven’t abandoned any of my fics (especially this one because let’s face it, it’s practically my baby), and that I’m trying to finish writing a new chapter right now for it, but I can’t make any promises when it’ll come out.

I don’t want to disappoint any of you guys with not updating this, or have any of you thinking I don’t care about this anymore, or that I’ve abandoned it- because that’s definitely not the truth ^-^ I will be back and update this more regularly, I just don’t know when, but hopefully I’ll have an update for you guys soon!! I'll definitely delete this note when a new chapter goes up, but for now, this is just to let everyone know what's going on :)

And a huge thank you to everyone who’s been concerned about me!! I love you all sooo much <3 <3 <3 <3 Thank you for your concern!! ^-^ I hope everyone has an awesome Halloween- stay safe, sweethearts!!!

<3
Calicocoa

Chapter Text

“My toy.”

Jimin raises an eyebrow as his phone, which is definitely not a toy, is grabbed out of his hands- courtesy of one Jungkook. “That’s not a toy, Kookie-”

My toy.” Jungkook repeats with a giggle, running away from his brother when he reaches out to take it from him. “Mine!”

Jimin rolls his eyes and gets up from the couch, immediately following the sounds of Jungkook laughing madly all the way to their dad’s office. He blocks the doorway and finds Jungkook climbing onto their dad’s rolling chair, plopping himself down on it and tapping Jimin’s phone with his fingers (which are smeared with jam, Jimin might add, and he can’t even begin to say how excited he is that he’s gonna have to clean his phone after this).

Jimin places his hands on his hips, “Having fun, you little thief?”

Jungkook looks up and beams at Jimin, holding the phone up to his ear and pretending to take a call.

“Kookie, I need-”

“I’m on the phone, J’min!” Jungkook frowns at him. “Shhh!”

Jimin blinks in shock at being told to shush by a three year old. “Did you just shush me-”

Shhh!” Jungkook holds his finger up to his lips and continues his imaginary phone call.

“And just who are you talking to?” Jimin asks with a sigh.

“TaeTae!”

“Oh?” Jimin feigns interest, “And what’s TaeTae talking about, Kookie?”

Jungkook bites at his bottom lip in thought, “He’s talk- He’s talking about…”

“Yeah?”

“Talking about ‘shiri.”

Jimin grins, “Talking about Bokshiri, huh?”

Jungkook nods enthusiastically, “Yeah! She can do tricks now!”

Jimin peeks his head outside of the room and looks down the hall to where Bokshiri (possibly the world’s most distracted dog) is currently chasing her own tail without a care in the world. “That’s weird;” Jimin says, head tilted to the side, “this morning she couldn’t even sit when TaeTae asked her to.”

“She can now!” Jungkook insists. “She can!”

“What else can she do?”

“She can…” Jungkook huffs, thinking of what to say.

“Can she roll over?”

Jungkook nods, shimmying off the chair and demonstrating what she can do himself on the floor. “She can do everything!”

“Can she bark on command?” Jimin asks, grinning when Jungkook nods. “Can you show me how she does it?”

Jungkook smiles widely, “Yeah!”

“Okay, bark!”

Jungkook proceeds to do just that.

“Do I want to know why you’re making your brother bark?” Namjoon asks from behind Jimin, startling his son. “Kookie, stop barking.”

Jungkook stops and looks up at his dad. Namjoon bends down and scoops Jungkook up, placing him on his hip. “Jimin, please refrain from making your brother act like a dog in the future, okay?”

Jimin scoffs, “I was just getting him back for stealing my phone.” He grabs the device from where Jungkook had dropped it on the ground. “Control your kid, Dad. Honestly.”

Namjoon chuckles at the comment, “Never.”

*

Jimin isn’t immediately sure what woke him up, but when he hears a rhythmic knock against his bedroom door he sleepily grins, groggily getting out of bed, absently noting that his clock says it’s almost three in the morning. He opens his door and frowns in confusion at his brother. “You used the secret knock.”

Taehyung nods his head in complete seriousness. He grabs onto Jimin’s hand and tugs his brother downstairs and into the living room where he’s built a… fort?

“Uh…”

“Remember when we were kids?” Taehyung asks, ducking inside the fort and dragging Jimin inside with him. They settle into the pillows and blankets and Taehyung turns on the flashlight app on his phone to illuminate the fort. “We used to get Mom and Dad to make us forts all the time.”

“I remember.” Jimin murmurs, staring up at the blanket ceiling. “We used to talk about making the ultimate fort when we lived back in Busan.” He laughs, “You wanted it to be made of sprinkles and cheese.”

Taehyung grins, “And you wanted one made out of-”

“Animal Crackers.” Jimin answers with a grin. “Because it was the first thing anyone ever shared with me.”

“Yeah,” Taehyung sighs, “I remember. Recess, right? In Kindergarten. You were getting bullied by those stupid kids.”

Jimin remembers that vividly, “And you jumped in and scared them away.”

Taehyung lays his head against Jimin’s shoulder, “I miss us hanging out.”

“We hang out all the time,” Jimin protests with a chuckle, “We went to the mall yesterday.”

“With Hoseok and Yoongi.” Taehyung quietly states. At Jimin’s confused look, Taehyung shrugs, “I love hanging out when it’s all four of us, but, like- I don’t know. I just-” Taehyung rubs a hand over his face, “I like spending time just the two of us, too.”

Jimin flips onto his side and stares at his brother, “Is something wrong, Tae?”

“Nothing,” Taehyung reassures Jimin. “Nothing’s wrong. I just… miss you.”

Jimin smiles, “I’m not going anywhere.”

Taehyung stays silent and Jimin frowns. “Tae?” He grabs onto Taehyung’s hand and squeezes it, “Seriously, Tae, what’s going on?”

Taehyung inhales deeply and bites at his lip in hesitance. “I… No, it’s stupid.”

“It’s not.”

“You don’t even know what it is,” Taehyung protests with a laugh. “It is, trust me-”

Jimin forcefully shakes his head, “It’s not stupid if it’s making you act like this.”

Taehyung stays silent for a few moments and Jimin doesn’t pressure him to say anything; knowing that if Taehyung wants to tell him he will- in his own time.

Taehyung drums his fingers against his own chest and sighs, “I’m scared.”

“Of what?” Jimin quietly asks.

Taehyung shrugs a shoulder, “Of you meeting your birth parents.” He exhales, “Like, I know it’s stupid. But, like. I’m afraid that you’re gonna meet them and they’ll be everything you’ve ever wanted, and just. You’ll wanna live with them or something. I don’t know.” Taehyung chances a look over at Jimin and sighs, “I know it’s crazy because you love us and everything, but. I don’t know. I just don’t want you to leave…”

Jimin wraps an arm around Taehyung, “I’m not going anywhere, Tae. I promise. These people could be the most amazing people in the world, but they’re not you. They’re not Mom or Dad or Jungkook.” Jimin admits, “I just want… closure. More than anything else, I guess.”

“You wanna know why they gave you up.”

Jimin nods. “I’m not looking for a new family, Tae.”

“I told you it was stupid,” Taehyung chuckles in embarrassment.

“It wasn’t.” Jimin tells him. “Your feelings are never stupid.”

Taehyung snorts, “You sound like Mom.”

“I’ll take that as a compliment.” Jimin proudly states with a grin. He shuffles even closer to Taehyung and shuts the boy’s flashlight off. “Sleep?”

“Our first sleepover in years,” Taehyung whispers into the darkness.

“Let’s bring Jungkook next time.” Jimin proposes.

Taehyung suddenly sits up with a grin, “Why not this time?”

Jimin and Taehyung both scamper out of the fort and quietly ascend the stairs, entering Jungkook’s room and finding Jungkook, unsurprisingly, sitting up in bed already. “Why aren’t you sleeping, Kookie?”

Jungkook shrugs his shoulders, “Not sleepy.”

“Fair enough,” Jimin says, hoisting Jungkook into his arms, “Wanna come on an adventure with TaeTae and me?”

Jungkook excitedly nods his head, “Adventure!”

“Quiet, Kookie,” Taehyung shushes him, leading the way back downstairs and trying to quiet his little brother down, but it’s practically impossible with how excited Jungkook is at seeing the fort in the living room.

“You’ve gotta be quiet, Jungkookie,” Jimin reminds him, settling him in the fort between himself and Taehyung. “We don’t wanna wake up Mom and Dad, okay?”

“Okay!” Jungkook agrees. Loudly.

Taehyung chuckles and gets comfortable, pulling a blanket over all three of them. “You know, Kookie,” he says, “Jimin and I used to have sleepovers all the time when we were younger.”

“Really?” Jungkook sits up and Jimin lightly pushes him back down with a chuckle.

“Yep. And now we’re gonna have one with you.”

“Cause I’m a big boy?” Jungkook demands to know, quickly glancing back and forth between his two brothers.

“That’s right!” Taehyung readily agrees. “And-”

Taehyung stops talking at the sound of footsteps coming down the stairs and all three boys poke their heads out of the fort to see their dad come into view, stopping on the last step to stare in confusion at them. “Gotta say,” Namjoon states with a yawn, “wasn’t expecting to see this.”

“Um. Hi.” Jimin waves at him. “We’re just… y’know.”

“Having a sleepover.” Namjoon finishes for him with a smile. He crouches down in front of them, “And you didn’t invite your mom and me?”

Taehyung laughs, “You can join if you want.” He beckons his dad inside, “Jimin, go get Mom.”

Namjoon shakes his head, chuckling, “No, no. It’s okay, boys. You have your fun. I’m gonna go back upstairs and sleep in an actual bed.”

Taehyung rolls his eyes, “Lame. That’s what old people say.”

“Have fun,” Namjoon ruffles Jimin’s hair, presses a kiss to Jungkook’s cheek and flicks Taehyung’s forehead. “That was for calling me old.”

Taehyung laughs, closes the entrance to the fort as their dad leaves the living room, and settles down to sleep.

*

“Is she flirting with him?”

Yoongi lifts an eyebrow at Hoseok’s question and squints in the distance. He can’t even fathom what the fuck Hoseok’s even talking about with their entire school practically shoved together on the soccer field while the fire alarms blare obnoxiously loud in the background.

“She’s been hanging around him for the past week.” Hoseok looks decidedly unhappy about this revelation he’s come to- and if Yoongi were a better friend (or less tired; it’s 9:52 in the goddamn morning and the only thing he gives a fuck about is getting caffeine in his system) he’d be more worried about Hoseok’s happiness. As it is, Yoongi just goes back to yawning and trying to not fall asleep on the spot.

Just as he’s about to drift off Hoseok hisses into his ear, “She’s hugging him!”

Yoongi pries his eyelids open and sighs. Loudly. “Fine. I give. What’re you talking about?”

Hoseok stares at him like he’s got a third head, “What?”

“What. Are. You. Talking. About?” Yoongi enunciates each word with an ever-growing glare towards Hoseok. “What girl? Who’s she hugging? Why the fuck should I care-”

“She’s hugging Tae!” Hoseok wildly gestures across the soccer field where Yoongi can see… nothing. He sees nothing. He rolls his eyes, “You’re seeing shit, man-”

Hoseok points at two figures who, Yoongi supposes, could be Taehyung and… someone else. Possibly a girl. Possibly a guy with long hair and a thin waist (and let’s be real; Yoongi knows about twenty guys at their school who’re rocking that look right now). “You’re paranoid and insane and I’m going back to ignoring you.”

Hoseok huffs and Yoongi’s only slightly surprised when Hoseok grabs his arm and manoeuvres them closer to where he thinks his boyfriend is chatting too closely with someone of the opposite sex. “So you’re thinking what?” Yoongi grouses as he’s pushed through a group of freshmen, “That Taehyung suddenly decided he’s not in love with you anymore?’

Hoseok stops suddenly and urgently points to where Taehyung is definitely chatting away with a girl. “Look!”

Yoongi shrugs a shoulder, “I’m looking at nothing, man.”

“They’re talking!”

“Yep.” Yoongi agrees. They’re definitely talking. And doing nothing else. “And?”

Hoseok rolls his eyes, “What if she’s into him? What if-”

“What if she is?” Yoongi repeats with a shrug. “Who cares?”

Hoseok looks at his friend in exasperation, “Uh, me! I care!”

Yoongi yawns, blinking tired eyes, “Listen to me, you idiot-”

“Rude-”

Listen,” Yoongi stresses, rubbing at his temples with his fingers, as if this very conversation is bringing on a headache. Which it most definitely is. Yoongi’s had enough of listening to Hoseok’s insecure ramblings this morning. Enough is fucking enough. “If that chick likes him it doesn’t fucking matter. Because Taehyung loves you. For some unknown reason. But whatever, he does. And you,” Yoongi pointedly stares at Hoseok, “need to stop being so insecure lately. Like, what’s up, man? You’ve been like this for weeks now.”

Hoseok sighs, “I just- I dunno. He seems distant.”

“And let me guess,” Yoongi smirks, “you haven’t asked him about it?”

Hoseok goes to open his mouth, then shuts it.

“Yeah, that’s what I thought.” Yoongi pushes Hoseok towards the direction Taehyung’s in, “Go talk to him.”

*

“So what’s up with Taehyung?”

“What do you mean?” Jimin frowns at the question, chewing on his pencil in thought. Why in the world is he forced to take algebra? This is pure torture.

“Hoseok says he’s acting weird.”

“He’s always weird. This is Tae we’re talking about.” Jimin absently points out, squinting in confusion at his textbook. “How much do you love me?”

“Not enough to do your homework.” Yoongi immediately answers with a smirk. “Seriously, though,” he continues, “Hoseok says he’s been distant with him. You notice anything like that?”

Jimin gives up. He shuts his textbook and pushes it off the coffee table, content in the knowledge that he’s gonna fail algebra, and by extent fail the entire grade, which means he’ll never graduate and, honestly, that’s fine by him if it means he never has to look inside that textbook ever again.

He leans against Yoongi’s side, watching his boyfriend write the world’s most boring essay on how Japanese business practices influence South Korean businesses. Jimin’s uninterested just by the subject matter. “Tae’s fine.”

“Liar.” Yoongi mutters, writing down another sentence. “He’s not.”

“Fine,” Jimin chuckles, “you’re right. He’s just… I don’t know. He’s worried about me meeting my birth parents, but I think it’s more than that, y’know?”

“Like?”

“Like I think me meeting mine has him wanting to meet his.” Jimin quietly admits, very aware that Taehyung’s upstairs in his room and could come down at any minute and hear their conversation. “But he doesn’t wanna admit it. He hates them, Yoongi.”

“He doesn’t know them.” Yoongi points out. “Can’t hate someone you don’t know.”

“Says the guy who hates 90% of people.” Jimin snorts.

Yoongi grins, “I mean, yeah. I do. But I’m cynical and an asshole. Taehyung’s not.” He sets his pen down and takes a break to kiss Jimin for a moment. “Have you talked to him about wanting to meet them?”

Jimin shakes his head, admitting, “I don’t even know how to bring it up without him getting angry or something.”

“I’d suggest Hoseok bring it up, but Tae hasn’t even told him anything about what it was like being adopted-”

“Wait- What?” Jimin blinks in confusion. “Tae hasn’t told him about that stuff? Seriously?”

Yoongi cautiously nods his head, “I mean, that’s what he said-”

Jimin frowns in confusion, “Why wouldn’t he tell Hoseok? I’m gonna look into this- don’t leave!”

Yoongi barely has time to agree before Jimin’s shooting off the couch and running upstairs. He gives his essay another look and groans, letting his head fall against the back of the couch. He doesn’t know why he’s trying so hard for something that’ll produce a 60% at best… a fail at worst.

*

“You haven’t told Hoseok about anything!”

Taehyung looks up, clearly startled, as Jimin barges into his room, shouting about something. “Uh… what?”

Jimin stalks closer to him, “You haven’t told Hoseok about being adopted!”

Taehyung nods, “I know.”

“How can you not share that with him, Tae?” Jimin asks, sitting next to him on the bed. “It’s part of you-”

“It’s not that important,” Taehyung dismisses with a shrug. “I didn’t think he’d wanna know.”

“Of course he wants to know!” Jimin very nearly shrieks in frustration. “He loves you, Tae! He wants to know everything about you!”

Taehyung rolls his eyes, “It’s in the past, Jimin, no need to bring it up, right?”

Jimin rolls his eyes, “You’re so stupid.”

“And on that note,” Taehyung forcefully pushes his brother out of his room, “goodbye.”

Jimin glares at the door slammed in his face, “You can’t ignore your past, Tae.”

“I’m not trying to ignore my past,” Taehyung calls back. “I’m trying to ignore you.”

*

Taehyung listens as his brother’s footsteps retreat back downstairs and lets out a breath he didn’t realize he was holding in.

He walks back over to his bed and sits down on it, grabbing his laptop and resuming his binge watch session of One More Happy Ending. He tries to focus on the show, but ends up focusing more on Jimin’s stupid words- which is insane because he doesn’t wanna bother Hoseok with anything like this. He doesn’t wanna burden the older boy with his own problems. Not that they’re even problems. Because they’re not.

Taehyung doesn’t have any hang ups about his birth parents or being given up as a toddler, or… whatever. Okay. Fine. Maybe he cares a little bit. Maybe he’s a little bitter.

…maybe he’s a lot bitter.

And angry.

But that’s why he doesn’t like to dwell on the past. Because he gets upset and Taehyung wants to avoid thrusting that kind of mood onto Hoseok at all costs (he doesn’t think Hoseok’s ever seen him upset before and he’d like to keep it that way, thank you very much).

Taehyung just about to switch shows when a knock sounds and he groans, “Go away, Jimin.”

“TaeTae! It’s Kim Jungkook! Let me in!”

Taehyung chuckles and shuts his laptop, getting up and opening his door. He looks down at his little brother, “Can I help you, Kookie?”

“Are you sad, TaeTae?” Jungkook asks, climbing onto Taehyung’s bed and looking at his older brother. “You only shut your door when you’re sad.”

Taehyung grins, “I’m not sad, I just don’t feel like hanging out with anyone right now.”

“Why?” Jungkook tilts his head to the side. “Shhhooogah’s here!”

“I just wanna be alone.”

“Why?”

“Because,” Taehyung shrugs, “I just do.”

“Why?”

“Because it’s nice to be alone sometimes,” Taehyung says, ruffling Jungkook’s hair. “You understand?”

“No.” Jungkook shakes his head.

Taehyung chuckles and sits next to his brother, “You’ll understand when you’re older, Kookie.”

“You’re crazy.” Jungkook exclaims with a frown, getting off the bed and toddling out of the room.

*

“You ready, Jiminie?”

Jimin shakes his head, looking down at where his hands are clasped in his lap. He feels his dad’s arm go around his shoulders and he exhales shakily.

“You don’t have to do this.” his mom gently tells him, running a hand through his hair, and Jimin nods his head, “I know.”

Namjoon shoots a look at Jin, then focuses back on Jimin. “Do you- We can go in with you, if you want?”

Jimin shakes his head and takes a deep breath, finally standing up. He turns to look at both his parents and bites at his lower lip. “I’m- I-”

“We know.” Jin smiles at him, standing to give him a hug. “But there’s nothing to be afraid of, sweetie.”

“We’ll be right in here if you need us.” Namjoon assures his son. “We’re not going anywhere.”

Jimin nods, reminding himself of that fact- his parents aren’t going anywhere… not like his birth parents who are literally ten feet away in the next room, and maybe this was a huge mistake- maybe he shouldn’t have decided to contact them; why would they wanna meet him? Why would anyone-

“We love you, Jiminie.”

“Take as much time as you need.”

Jimin hugs his parents one last time before opening the door to the next room and stepping inside, gently closing the door behind himself and staring at the two individuals seated at a table. He feels his palms start to get clammy with every second he’s in the room; his heart starts to speed up, and all he can think about is how much these people mean... nothing to him.

He thought the second he saw his birth parents that he’d have some sort of connection to them, but...

Jimin slowly takes a seat across from the two at the table and studies them- he supposes he sorta looks like the woman a bit. He doesn’t really resemble the man at all, though. They both have black hair, so… there’s that.

“You must be Jimin.”

Jimin startles at the woman’s words and shakily nods his head, “Uh, yeah. Yeah. I’m… Jimin.”

“My name is Sukyo.” She gestures to her right, “And this is Jaesum.”

“Thanks for meeting with me.” Jimin quietly tells them, bowing his head in greeting. Now that he’s here- actually meeting with his birth parents he doesn’t quite know what to say. He thought things would just come to him, but this is weird, and awkward, and all Jimin was hoping for was some kind of connection to these people- maybe some answers, but as he’s looking at the two… he finds he doesn’t really care anymore.

These are the people who didn’t want him.

“You probably have a lot of questions,” the woman begins with a sigh. “I was in college when I got pregnant with you, Jimin. I…” she begins to tear up and Jimin almost feels detached from the entire situation- like he feels nothing at all towards these people. “I wasn’t ready to raise a child- neither of us were.”

The man nods, “We talked about our options. All of them.”

Jimin frowns, “Like… abortion?”

“Yes.” the man nods, pinching the bridge of his nose in-between his thumb and forefinger. “We decided in the end that it would just be better for everyone if we put you up for adoption. You were a mistake-”

“A mistake?” Jimin quietly questions. “I mean, I get a surprise… but a mistake?”

“We didn’t want a child.” the man continues. “Especially not one together.”

“It was a one-night stand, Jimin.” The woman explains, “We were drunk, it was at a party, and… well. You’re a teenager, right? You know how these things go.”

“No.” Jimin shakes his head. “I don’t.”

“We thought it’d be easier for everyone if we put you up for adoption…”

*

Jin resists the urge press his ear against the door to hear the conversation going on in the other room.

Namjoon, however, doesn’t.

“Get away from that door.”

Namjoon ignores Jin in favor of pressing his ear even closer to the door, only managing to hear muffled voices. “Shhh!”

Jin raises his eyebrow and sighs, going back to texting Taehyung to get an update on how babysitting Jungkook is going.

From: Taehyungie
15:03

WE’VE EATEN ALL THE FOOD
KOOKIE BROKE DAD’S IPAD
GOING ON A WALK TO TERRORIZE THE NEIGHBORHOOD NOW
LOVE YOU <3 <3 <3

Jin purses his lips and shakes his head, deciding to ignore that information and try to get Namjoon away from the door instead.

*

“I read,” the woman says, “that you’ve got brothers.”

“Yeah,” Jimin replies, “Taehyung’s the same age as me and Jungkook’s about to turn four.”

The man nods, “That’s nice.”

Jimin doesn’t know why this is so awkward. They’re all forcing small talk, and it’s clear that his birth parents aren’t all that interested in getting to know him. Jimin doesn’t know what he was expecting- maybe that they’d at least wanna know how their child turned out, but... not so much.

“And Seokjin and Namjoon- They treat you fairly?”

Jimin grins at the mention of his parents, “Yeah. They’re amazing. Couldn’t ask for better parents. I can’t even imagine my life without them, y’know?”

The man chuckles, “Guess you should be thanking us for giving you up, huh?”

Jimin blinks at the man’s remark, “Uh…”

“I wouldn’t have known what to do with you, kid.” The man continues, “Probably would’ve screwed you up-”

Jimin. My name’s Jimin. Not ‘kid’. And I haven’t been a kid for a long time.” Jimin interrupts, “I don’t know if you could’ve screwed me up more than the other three families that adopted me and then decided they didn’t want me.” Jimin narrows his eyes, “But you’re right, I should thank you- Because eventually I got the parents I deserved, not the ones I got stuck with who didn’t even want me in the first place.”

“Jimin-” The woman places her hands on top of his on the table’s surface, “He just meant that-”

Jimin takes his hands out from underneath hers and frowns, “He meant that you didn’t want me and were glad you gave me up. That’s fine. Great, really. Because my mom and dad are better parents than you could’ve ever been.”

“Jimin-”

“In fact,” Jimin stands, staring at the man and woman in front of him, “they’re better people than you two are.” He walks towards the door and opens it, turning back to look at his birth parents one last time, “Thanks for meeting me and letting me know what I wasn’t missing out on.”

*

Namjoon’s eyes widen at Jimin’s comment as the door swings open and chances a glance inside the room to see the dumbstruck faces of the occupants inside. He gently closes the door and clasps a hand on Jimin’s shoulder, “So…” he says, “good meeting?”

Jimin just hugs him.

Jin presses a kiss to the top of Jimin’s head and leads the three of them out of the building and to their car. “You sure you’re okay, Jiminie?”

Jimin buckles his seatbelt in the backseat and smiles at his mom, nodding his head. “I’m good. I just… I’m glad I met them.”

“Do you want to schedule another meeting with them, kiddo?” Namjoon asks from the driver’s seat, though he’s fairly certain he knows what the answer’s gonna be. “You can meet up with them again next weekend if you want-”

Jimin shakes his head, “Uh, no. No. I’m… good, Dad. I, uh, I don’t think I’m gonna see them again.”

“Not what you were expecting?” Jin asks, turning in his seat to look at Jimin.

Jimin shrugs, “Not really sure what I was expecting. But it wasn’t them.”

“I’m sorry, sweetheart-”

“Nah, it’s fine.” Jimin says. And to his own surprise… he means it. Jimin doesn’t know what he was expecting to feel when he met those people, but it wasn’t complete and utter indifference. “Can we have McDonald's for dinner?”

Namjoon nods, “Anything you want, Jiminie.”

“Can we get ice cream after?”

“Sure,” Jin answers with a grin.

Jimin chuckles, “Are you guys gonna get me anything I ask for because you feel bad about the meeting?”

“Pretty much, yeah.” Namjoon says with a laugh. “Now’s your chance to ask for a car, kiddo,”

Jimin’s eyes light up, “What- Seriously?”

“No.” Namjoon deadpans with a barely concealed smirk.

“You’re evil.” Jimin sulks. “Pure evil disguised as my own dad.”

Namjoon smiles guiltily, “Sorry, Jiminie. How about no chores for a week instead?”

“Deal!”

*

“You were right,” Jimin says later that night, standing in the doorway of Taehyung’s room. He slowly enters and shuts the door behind himself. “They sucked.”

Taehyung expects Jimin to start crying, or maybe yell a bit, but he’s faced with his brother smiling. “And that’s… good?”

Jimin slowly nods his head, almost as if he’s uncertain about it. “Yeah. I- I think it is.”

“Why’d they suck?”

Jimin shrugs, “They just- They weren’t supposed to be my parents. If that makes sense?” At Taehyung’s look of confusion, he chuckles, “Like, uh, we didn’t click at all. They didn’t wanna be my parents. And I’m better off with Mom and Dad.”

“You got closure?”

Jimin nods, knocking his shoulder into his brother’s, “And I think you need some, too.”

“I don’t-”

“Tae…”

Taehyung bites his lip, slowly nodding his head. “Maybe.”

“Maybe?”

“Fine. Okay.” Taehyung relents, “Now that you met yours, I wanna meet mine. I wanna yell at them for giving me up, show them what a mistake it was, and tell them to go fuck themselves.”

“Good.” Jimin nods. “Go tell Mom and Dad. They’ll see if they can track them down.”

*

“I was adopted when I was four, okay?”

Hoseok opens his mouth in confusion, “Uh…”

“I was given up by my birth parents when I was two. And it sucked. And I was the weird kid at the orphanage where I grew up and I didn’t have any friends. And, just- It sucked. I don’t really like to talk about it, but you should know. Because I’ve been weird lately and it’s just ‘cause Jimin met his parents, and I guess it kinda made me wanna meet mine, but I’m scared and I’m mad. And. Just. Yeah. I’m… sorry.”

Hoseok looks around at all the stares they’re getting and ushers Taehyung out of the line in the cafeteria and brings them outside. They sit on the grass and Hoseok hugs his boyfriend tightly.

“I didn’t wanna tell you because I didn’t wanna bring you down or-”

“Hey,” Hoseok tilts Taehyung’s chin up with his finger and presses a kiss to his lips. “You’re the only one allowed to bring me down. If you’re upset I wanna know why. We’re a team, Tae.”

“Thanks, Hobi,”

“Do you wanna talk more about it?” Hoseok asks with an encouraging smile.

Taehyung hesitantly nods.

*

Namjoon finds Jin in the living room, playing with Jungkook. He sits next to his husband and hands him the letter in his hands.

Jin absently takes it and reads it over, biting his lip as he looks at Namjoon, “We need to tell Taehyung,”

“How do we tell him something like that?”

Jin hands the letter back to Namjoon, “Gently.”

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Taehyung’s trying to figure out if the plaid pants he’s wearing go with his tie-dyed shirt when he sees Jungkook coming into his room, “What’s up, Kookie?” he asks as he picks his little brother up and sets him onto his bed. “You wanna help me pick out my clothes for school today?”

Jungkook excitedly nods his head and points at Taehyung’s pants, “Those are ugly!”

Taehyung frowns at his own reflection, twisting and turning to see just what Jungkook’s on about. His little brother clearly doesn’t have quite as refined taste in clothing as he does.

“That’s ugly, too!” Jungkook points at the shirt Taehyung’s wearing. “Why- Why do you wanna wear ugly clothes, TaeTae?”

“I mean,” Taehyung shrugs, “I think they look pretty good-”

Jungkook shakes his head, expression serious, “No, TaeTae.” He stands on Taehyung’s bed, wobbling only slightly, “Mommy said I look handsome! Look more like me!”

Taehyung grins at Jungkook and studies his outfit, “I don’t have any shirts with dinosaurs on them, Kookie.”

“That’s ungortument.”

Taehyung frowns at the word, then chuckles after a moment, “You mean unfortunate.”

“That’s what I said,” Jungkook huffs, rolling his eyes. “Listen, TaeTae!”

“Sorry, sorry,” Taehyung quickly apologizes with a laugh. “Which pants do you like more, Kookie?” He holds up a pair of blue jeans in one hand and a black pair in the other. “Blue or black?”

“Purple!” Jungkook shouts, pointing at the pile of clothes on the floor of his brother’s room. “Those! Those, TaeTae!”

Taehyung grabs the purple pajama pants off the floor. “I sleep in these, Kookie.”

“So?”

Taehyung tilts his head to the side in thought, “I guess I could wear ‘em to school-”

“Since you-” Jungkook struggles to get the words out as he takes his shirt off and offers it to Taehyung, “You don’t have a shirt with dinosaurs on it, you can wear mine!”

Taehyung shakes his head, “Uh, that’s okay, Kookie-”

“Mommy says it’s nice to share, TaeTae,”

“He’s right,” Taehyung agrees, “but I’m bigger than you, Kookie. It won’t fit me.”

“Because you’re too fat?”

“Not fat,” Taehyung mumbles. “It’s because I’m not a kid like you-”

“I’m a big boy.” Jungkook tells him matter-of-factly. “Daddy said so earlier!”

“You are,” Taehyung agrees, mostly because he doesn’t wanna get Jungkook upset if he doesn’t. “But I’m bigger.”

Jungkook looks at Taehyung, nodding his head. “But I’m gonna be bigger than you one day!”

“Sure. Okay.” Taehyung ruffles Jungkook’s hair. “You’ll be taller than Dad, I bet!”

Jungkook nods his head, expression serious, “I will.”

Taehyung slips his tie-dyed shirt on and spreads his arms out, grinning at Jungkook, “How do I look?”

Jungkook scrunches up his face, “Not enough dinosaurs.”

“I agree,” Taehyung says, seriously enough that Jungkook feels his comment is validated. “But this’ll have to do for school today.”

“Can I come with you?”

Taehyung snorts, “Trust me- you’re gonna wanna avoid school in the future. It’s not as much fun as you think it is.”

“Maybe you don’t like it because you’re bad at it?” Jungkook innocently observes as he stares at Taehyung with a small smile.

Taehyung just gives his little brother an unimpressed look.

*

Jin’s flipping through a magazine at the dentist’s office while Taehyung gets his wisdom teeth removed when he sees it- an article on idol’s children. It’s not unusual for the press to snap pictures of idols- obviously it’s some people’s jobs to take as many pictures as they can, but children aren’t usually the focal point. It’s… more than a little weird to see his own children in some of the snapshots- Jimin and Taehyung at the mall; Jungkook, Namjoon and himself grocery shopping; another of Jimin; and another one of Jungkook with his two brothers.

Jin’s still absentmindedly reading the article while keeping a watchful eye on where Jungkook’s playing with a large toy train set in the middle of the waiting room when he feels his phone vibrating inside his pocket and fishes it out, answering it-

“By any chance did Jimin tell you if he was going out today? And where he was going?”

Jin’s taken aback by Namjoon’s urgent question, “Namjoon,” he slowly asks, “why don’t you know where our son is?”

“Because he’s seventeen and doesn’t understand the concept of using a phone to tell his family where he is apparently.”

“Have you phoned Yoongi?”

“Twice.”

“What about Hoseok?”

“Hoseok! Yes! Okay, yeah. Great. I’ll go phone Hoseok-”

Jin rolls his eyes in amusement, “Find our son, yeah?”

“On it!”

Jin’s only mildly worried about Jimin’s whereabouts; he’s probably out with his dance group, or walking Bokshiri, or any number of places-

“Mr. Kim?”

Jin looks up and sees Taehyung, swaying slightly from the medicine administered to him, and clutching a small container with his wisdom teeth inside. He stands and thanks the hygienist for bringing him out, pays their bill, and helps Taehyung and Jungkook into the car.

“How’re you feeling, Tae?”

Taehyung mumbles something, but coupled with the tiredness, his mouth being frozen, and the amount of saliva dripping out of said mouth, Jin doesn’t understand a word of it. “You look like you’re ready for a nap.”

Taehyung grunts in agreement, resting his head against the car’s window.

*

Jimin’s not missing. Honestly, he’s not.

He’s the furthest thing from missing, actually.

He’s blissfully listening to music with his earbuds in, eyes closed and contentedly lying on the hammock in their backyard when he feels like he’s being watched. He cautiously opens one eye and shrieks when he sees his dad looming over him, looking like he’s about to have a heart attack.

Jimin sees his dad’s lips moving and hastily grabs his phone and fumbles with it before finally unlocking it (seeing a bunch of texts and missed calls from his dad…) and shutting his music off. He rips his earbuds out and grins guiltily at his dad, “Sorry, couldn’t hear you. What’s up?”

Namjoon purses his lips and crosses his arms over his chest, “Do you like torturing me, Jimin?”

“Uh…” Jimin doesn’t know if he should answer that question or not. It kinda feels like it’s a trap. “No?”

“Really?” Namjoon questions, grabbing Jimin’s phone and pointing at the missed call notifications on the home screen. “Then why didn’t you answer any of my messages or calls? I thought you were missing!”

“I was in the backyard.” Jimin tells him, gesturing around them. “I’ve been here since, like, after school, Dad.”

“And how was I supposed to know that?”

“Um. You could’ve just looked out here, I guess?” Jimin hesitantly answers with a shrug

“I swear, Jimin,” Namjoon sighs, pinching the bridge of his nose, “you’re going to give me gray hair.”

“Not intentionally,” Jimin says, as if that makes up for him making his dad worry about him, but honestly, it’s not his fault his dad didn’t think to check their own backyard for him. The man is hopeless without his mom around.

*

Jungkook doesn’t understand why he’s in trouble. He was just trying to give J’min’s cat a bath. But Daddy’s looking at him with his eyes all squinted and he’s telling Jungkook that he’s been a bad boy, and Jungkook just doesn’t get it.

“Baths are good, though, Daddy!” Jungkook protests as he carried to his bedroom for a time out.

And Jungkook hates time outs.

“But I was helping!”

Daddy looks at him and shakes his head, “You can’t give the cat a bath, Kookie. They don’t like water.”

Jungkook scrunches up his face in confusion, “But I don’t like water, either!”

“Yeah,” Daddy says, going into his room and setting him down on his bed. “But water’s good for your body. Jimin’s cat doesn’t need water to clean itself.”

“But why?”

“Because he cleans himself with his tongue.”

Jungkook’s eyes widen and sticks his own tongue out, licking his arm and pulling a face. “Gross.”

“I think so, too, kiddo.” Daddy pets the top his head and goes to leave the room, but Jungkook doesn’t wanna be in time out anymore. Time out’s booooorrrrriiiinnnnnggg!

“Daddy?”

“Hmm?”

“How long is time out?” Daddy looks at him and Jungkook pulls his best puppy dog eyes- maybe they’ll help make time out shorter? “Is it over yet?”

Daddy laughs, “Your time out hasn’t even started yet.”

“But I learned my lesson!” Jungkook tells Daddy, pleading with him, “I won’t do it again! I promise!”

“Well…”

Jungkook sits up on his bed and juts his lower lip out, “I- I’ll be good, Daddy! Don’t you love me? Why do you wanna punish me?”

“Of course I love you, Kookie.” Daddy sighs, “This isn’t fair. You know I can’t resist that sad face.”

Jungkook knows this very well.

“Ah- Fine! Fine! No more giving anyone a bath, though, okay?” At Jungkook’s nod, his daddy stares pointedly at him, “You pulled the sad face on purpose, didn’t you? You know I can’t stay mad at it.”

Jungkook smiles and hugs his daddy, “Yes, I did.”

*

Namjoon finishes putting Kookie in a time out (Jin doesn’t need to know that the time out only lasted a total of thirty seconds because Jungkook knows how to manipulate Namjoon startlingly well) and finds his husband folding laundry in their bedroom.

Namjoon grabs a shirt out of the basket and starts folding, “We need to tell him.”

Jin nods his head, setting a pair of pants off to the side to be mended. He takes the dress shirt from Namjoon and rolls his eyes in amusement, grabbing a hangar from their closet and placing it in its proper place.

“He’ll be able to take it.”

“You don’t know that,” Jin dismisses with a scowl. He lets himself take a seat on the bed and stares at his husband, “You know how Tae gets about his birth parents.”

Namjoon nods his head, grabbing onto Jin’s hand and giving it a light squeeze.

“I don’t want him getting upset,” Jin admits, sighing heavily. “I just want to protect him from everything that could ever hurt him. He’s had enough heartbreak in his life, Joonie; I don’t want-”

“You can’t stop Taehyung getting hurt.” Namjoon quietly interrupts, smiling guiltily at the look Jin gives him. “He’s gonna get hurt in his life.”

“Is that supposed to make me feel better about that letter?”

Namjoon shakes his head, pressing a kiss to Jin’s lips. “It’s supposed to be a reality check. I don’t want Taehyung getting hurt, either, but sometimes you have to get over what’s bothering you, right?”

Jin groans in frustration, “I hate it when you’re the level-headed one.”

“I’m always level-headed.” Namjoon says, ignoring Jin’s raised eyebrow. “What? Name me one time when I wasn’t-”

Jin barks out a laugh, “Any time Jimin’s alone in a room with Yoongi.”

Namjoon shut his mouth at Jin’s words and sighs, solemnly nodding his head. “You… might be right.” He starts folding another shirt and locks eyes with Jin, “We tell him after dinner?”

“After dinner.” Jin echoes.

*

Jimin’s washing up the dishes with his mom and dad in the kitchen, music lightly playing in the background that his parents occasionally dance to every now and again (and isn’t that a sight he wishes he could purge from his brain), when he hears a knock on the front door. He rushes out of the room, drying his hands on his jeans, and opens the door, smiling widely at Yoongi, “Come in!”

Yoongi chuckles at Jimin’s enthusiasm, “Someone’s happy to see me.”

“You’re saving me from doing the dishes, so yeah.” Jimin grins at him. He calls over his shoulder, “Yoongi’s here- we’ll be upstairs!”

“Keep that bedroom door open!”

Jimin’s cheeks flush with embarrassment at his dad’s comment and he drags Yoongi upstairs and into his room, making sure to loudly slam his door shut. “What does he think we’re even gonna do in here?”

Yoongi smirks, “Well…”

Jimin rolls his eyes and smacks his boyfriend on his arm, “The thought of doing anything with my entire family in the house is disgusting.”

Yoongi pouts, “Even kissing?”

“Well. Maybe not everything.” Jimin says with a giggle, leaning over and kissing Yoongi on the lips. “Now where’re the lyrics?”

Yoongi catches Jimin’s lips with his own again while simultaneously reaching inside his jacket and handing Jimin a sheet of lyrics. They part and Yoongi grins, “Read ‘em and let me know what you think.”

“And while I do that, you’re gonna-”

“Lounge on your bed.”

Jimin snorts, “Meaning you’re gonna nap.”

“Basically, yeah.” Yoongi settles onto Jimin’s bed and arranges the pillows to his liking, shooting a glance at the cat at the end of the bed, “You’re still here, huh?”

The cat doesn’t answer him, except for narrowing its eyes and then going back to pretending he doesn’t exist. Which is just fine by him.

“These are… different.”

Yoongi cracks open an eye, “Different from…?”

“Your usual stuff,” Jimin shrugs a shoulder. He lightly pushes Yoongi and the older boy makes room for him on the bed. Jimin points at the page, “Is this- I mean… Like-”

Yoongi raises an eyebrow, “Complete sentences, sweetheart,”

“Is this about me?” Jimin finally gets out, blushing under Yoongi’s scrutinizing gaze. “I mean. I just- I thought because it sounded kinda like it was, but, um.” Jimin knows he’s babbling, but he feels stupid for even bringing it up because Yoongi’s just staring at him. “Forget I said anything. They’re good- Really good. I, uh, yeah. I like them.”

Yoongi continues looking at Jimin for a bit longer before he grins and links their fingers together, “Course they’re about you, Sunshine.”

Jimin feels his cheeks heat even more and he burrows his head in Yoongi’s chest, “Why do you like torturing me?”

Yoongi shrugs, “It’s fun?”

“You’re horrible.”

Yoongi scoffs, “I just wrote an entire rap about how crazy I am about you and you call me horrible?” He presses a kiss to the top of Jimin’s head and mutters, “Ungrateful brat.”

“Old man.” Jimin fires back without missing a beat.

Yoongi shushes him, “Quiet, youngun; it’s nap time.”

Jimin snorts in amusement, “You’re literally, like, eighty.”

“That’s right,” Yoongi mumbles tiredly, “Now let me sleep because I spent the last three fucking nights writing those lyrics and I’m tired as fuck.”

“Yoongi?” Jimin says after a moment, heedless of Yoongi’s grunt of annoyance. “Yoongi?”

“I’m gonna kill you if you don’t stop talking, Sunshine.”

Jimin smiles into Yoongi’s chest, “I love you.”

Yoongi rolls his eyes good naturedly, “Good. Glad we established that-”

“The end of that sentence better be your own damn declaration of love,” Jimin warns him with a harsh poke to his side.

“You didn’t let me finish,” Yoongi grouses, “Glad we established that, now shut the fuck up before I stop loving you.”

Jimin mutters under his breath, “How romantic.”

“Stop talking.”

*

Taehyung scans the contents of the letter and finally sets it down, frowning.

“Tae? You okay, kiddo?”

Taehyung blinks a few times and stares at his parents, not really registering that they’re talking to him. He sees their lips moving, but the sounds are garbled and incomprehensible and all Taehyung can think of is how fucking unfair everything is. He tries not to be angry- he really tries, but he feels it coursing through his veins like fire. It’s there- just beneath the surface and all he can focus on is the letter and his emotions, and he feels like he’s about to blow up-

“Tae?”

Taehyung’s eyes narrow in on his mom and he feels the man’s hand on his shoulder, a gentle, warming presence. It’s definitely welcome amidst everything he’s feeling.

“Tae, I know this wasn’t what you were expecting-”

“Not really.” Taehyung mumbles, the letter clutched in his hand and he crinkles it further in his fist. “It’s not fair.”

“I know-”

“You don’t.” Taehyung quietly tells his parents. He looks up at them with watery eyes, “I think I just wanna be alone.”

Jin and Namjoon exchange a look and nod their heads. “We’re here if you need us, Tae,” Namjoon tells him, watching with a heavy heart as Taehyung disappears upstairs.

“We love you,” Jin calls up to him just in time to hear Taehyung’s bedroom door close with a quiet click.

*

“Can we talk?”

Jimin looks at where Taehyung’s loitering just outside his room and beckons his brother inside. “Yoongi, I’ll call you back later, okay?”

“Everything okay?”

“Everything’s fine,” Jimin assures the older boy as he makes room for Taehyung on his bed.

“You sure?”

“Yes-”

“What if you’re being held at gunpoint and they’re making you tell me you’re fine?”

“You’re insane and I’m hanging up on you now,” Jimin ends the call at the sound of Yoongi's laughter and tosses his phone on the bed, focusing on his brother. “What’s up?”

Taehyung picks at a thread on Jimin’s blanket. He swallows before speaking, “Did- Were… Uh. Were you scared before you met your parents?”

“Terrified.” Jimin answers with a smile. “I wanted to impress them so badly and show them that I was worth keeping around, y’know?” He nudges Taehyung’s shoulder with his own, “You nervous?”

“A little.” Taehyung says, “I don’t really know what to say. It’s… different from you meeting your parents, y’know?”

“I can come with, if you want?”
    
Taehyung shakes his head, “Nah,” At Jimin’s slightly hurt look, Taehyung hugs his brother. “I need to do this on my own. And Mom’ll be there in case I can’t handle it.”

“Yeah,” Jimin says, understanding, but still wanting to be there for his brother. “I get it.”

“Plus,” Taehyung grins, “we can’t let Dad look after Kookie by himself. Last time we did he got Kookie a bunny.”

Jimin laughs, “Good point.”

*

Taehyung’s standing in front of the Women's Correctional Institution in Cheongju, his mom beside him and resting a comforting hand on his shoulder. “I’m nervous.”

“Me too.” Jin admits, smiling down at his son. “You still want to do this, Tae? We can turn around and go home if you’re having second thoughts.”

“No,” Taehyung shakes his head, “I wanna meet her.”

“Let’s go meet her, then.” Jin says, leading Taehyung into the prison complex.

After signing in, getting visitation badges, and being escorted by a guard to the visitation area, they’re told to wait. Which has Taehyung stressing out even more. He’s about to meet his birth mother- who’s in prison. In prison for drug trafficking. He doesn’t even know what he should talk to her about- Should he open with what a shitty mother she was? Should he give her a chance to explain (“Sorry, Taehyung, but selling drugs was just more important than raising you.”)? Should he just give her a piece of his mind and then walk out on her like she did to him fifteen years ago-

“Come with me.”

Taehyung and his mom follow the guard out of the room and into a smaller one with tables and chairs. “I’ll be over here, okay, Tae?” Jin tells him, pointing to the edge of the room where a row of chairs are.

Taehyung nods and continues to follow the guard to where a thin woman with brown hair sits, eyes downcast until Taehyung takes a seat across from her. He was expecting a harsh woman, someone more befitting a criminal past- but this woman… she looks- She looks like him. Taehyung can immediately see the resemblance between them; the same cheeks, the same overall face shape, the same ears, even her hair is the same color as his (when it isn’t dyed, that is).

The woman looks up at him as soon as he sits and her eyes fill with tears, reaching out a hand to touch him-

“Hands to yourself!” the guard posted at the side of their table barks.

The woman meekly nods and brings her hands back to her lap. She meets Taehyung’s gaze and smiles through her tears, “My baby boy…”

Taehyung’s… confused. Why is she crying? Why does she look like she cares about him? Why-

“I never thought I’d see you again,” she whispers, more tears cascading down her cheeks. “You’ve grown up into such a handsome young man, Taehyung. You look so healthy, baby,”

Taehyung bites at his lip, unsure what to say. This isn’t how this was supposed to go; she wasn’t supposed to care about him. She was supposed to be a horrible human being- Taehyung wasn’t supposed to feel anything towards her…

“You’ve got your dad’s nose,” the woman tells him with a watery smile. “Are you with a good family, Taehyung? Is that your dad over there? Are you happy? Is-”

“Y-Yeah…” Taehyung shakily answers, “The best family I could ask for. I, uh. I… I’m really happy-”

“Thank the Lord,” the woman bows her head and Taehyung catches the sounds of a quick prayer. “I knew the orphanage would place you with a family that could look after you, honey. They were good people- I made sure of that, Taehyung.”

“You- You… what?” Taehyung’s trying to wrap his head around what this woman’s telling him. “You cared where I wound up?”

The woman gasps at him, “Of course I cared! I loved you so much, baby! Your dad and I- We loved you more than you can imagine! It killed us to give you up- you don’t know how hard it was…”

Taehyung feels his heart clench painfully at her words. He shouldn’t feel anything towards this woman- but, fuck, he kinda does. She’s not like he imagined. She’s not the villain he made her out to be all these years and Taehyung doesn’t know what to do with that knowledge. He doesn’t know what to do with all his misplaced anger now. It’s just… there. With no place to go.

“Why-” Taehyung’s voice breaks, and he takes a moment to collect his thoughts and his emotions. He wills down the urge to start crying and forces the question out of his mouth, “Why’d you give me up if you loved me?”

The woman looks down, wringing her hands together. “Your dad and I… We made some mistakes, Taehyung. When we were younger, we sold drugs on the side to make a bit of extra money, but once you were born we stopped. I didn’t want you anywhere near that sort of lifestyle… And then- Times got tough, baby. And your Dad started it up again. I argued against it, but your dad, Taehyung, he was a stubborn man. He thought he was doing what was needed for us at the time. But, a few months later, your dad got caught by the police, and I knew they were coming for me. Guilty by association, right? So-”

“So you left me with the church.” Taehyung quietly surmises. He blinks and feels a teardrop finally escape his left eye, trailing down his cheek to land on the table. He sniffs and hastily wipes at his eyes. “Uh, what, um. What happened to…?” Taehyung doesn’t elaborate. Doesn’t want to call the man his dad…

“He passed away a few years ago.” she regretfully tells him, her voice hitching on the words. “He overdosed on… it’s not important. Kim Gunho, he’s buried in the cemetery in Dalsea-gu in Daegu… if you ever want to visit him.” At Taehyung’s continued silence, the woman sighs, “Taehyung, I just want you to know, I never stopped thinking of you. Every day I would pray that you were doing well and looked after.”

“I am.” Taehyung finally speaks, his eyes still trained on the table. He can’t look at her anymore. He can’t deal with her telling him all this; it would’ve been easier if she’d been horrible, but she’s loving and sweet and a part of Taehyung mourns for the life they could’ve had together because she genuinely loves him. She cares about him.

She’s thought of him every day with nothing but love and concern in her heart.

…and he’s been angry at her for fifteen years.

And he doesn’t know what to do. Because part of him wants to still hate this woman- hate the mistakes she made in her life that led her to give him up in the dead of the night at the church. He wants to hate her for all the times in his life he felt like he didn’t belong; like he wasn’t wanted… not even by his own birth parents. But he can’t. He can only feel pity towards her. She didn’t get to see him grown up; didn’t get to teach him to ride a bike; she didn’t get to build forts with him; she missed out on all the major events in his life.

Taehyung can’t even imagine living with the kind of guilt and sadness for fifteen years that she’s had to.

“Thank you,” he finds himself saying, smiling through his own tears that are falling freely now. “I’m sure you would’ve been a great mom, but…” Taehyung looks over his shoulder at where his mom is. He turns back, “I’m where I’m supposed to be. Everything happens for a reason, right?”

Taehyung can’t imagine his life without his mom (who is literally who Taehyung aspires to be when he’s older), his dad (even though he’s the dorkiest person Taehyung’s ever met), Jimin (the best friend he could ever ask for), or Jungkook (who he loves an insane amount, despite that fact that Jungkook can be a handful at times). If he’d never been adopted by his mom and dad all those years ago, he’d never have met Hoseok, he wouldn’t have Bokshiri- He wouldn’t be who he is now.

“The Lord had special plans for you, Taehyung,” she agrees, grinning brightly, “and I’m so thrilled you’re happy, baby; that’s all I ever wanted for you.”

“Can I-” Taehyung wipes his tears on his sleeve, “Can I visit you again? Maybe? I mean, I don’t need a mom, but… I dunno. Maybe we can be friends?”

Between the sobs, she nods her head and Taehyung smiles, feeling lighter than he has in years.

Kim Hana might not be his mother anymore, but maybe she still deserves a place in his life.

*

Despite what Taehyung tells his family about not wanting to visit the graveyard his biological father’s buried in, he does. He just… he wants to do this alone. So he tells his family he’s hanging out at the arcade (while letting Jimin know where he’s going because he’s not that stupid that he doesn’t let no one know where he’s actually going), buys a train ticket to Daegu and finds his way to the cemetery.

It takes him a little bit to find who he’s looking for, but eventually Taehyung finds the grave of Kim Gunho. It’s well maintained, thanks to the groundskeeper, no doubt, and Taehyung takes a seat in front of it. The grass is damp from the sprinklers, but Taehyung just lets it seep into his jeans and continues staring at the grave.

“So…” Taehyung starts, feeling self-conscious. He looks around and sees a group of people in the distance, barely visible with how far away they are. At least if he feels stupid doing this nobody’s gonna judge him. “Um. Hi. I’m… Taehyung. Your kid.”

Taehyung picks at the blades of grass near his knees. “I don’t really know what I’m supposed to say. This is- It’s kinda weird, right? Like, I don’t know if I believe that you can hear me or not. But, uh, I guess if you can hear me, hey.” Taehyung thinks on what he wants to say next, “I- I met Hana a few days ago. She… she was really upset about you passing away, so y’know. You’re missed.”

He rubs at the back of his neck- he is so bad at this.

“Listen, I don’t know if you would’ve even wanted to meet me, but from what Hana told me… You guys actually loved me-” Taehyung chokes slightly on the words and he bites at his lip, “And, I mean, it wasn’t fair what happened, but… it was stupid what you did. We-” Taehyung exhales deeply, “We could’ve been a family.”

A few minutes pass before Taehyung speaks again, “I was so mad all these years, y’know? I thought you guys didn’t want me and I thought that if- I don’t know, that if I ever got the chance to meet you both that I’d tell you what shitty parents you were.” He lets out a weak laugh, “And now… Man, I don’t even know. I’m not mad anymore, I guess. I feel… I feel sorry for you.”

Taehyung spends a few more minutes at the grave, thinking about everything that’s happened the past few days, and finally stands, dusting the dirt and grass from his jeans and reaching into his back pocket. He pulls out a crumpled note and sets it on the grave, “This is, um, it’s a letter I wrote to you back when I was, like, thirteen, maybe? It’s… pretty horrible. Lots of swearing,” Taehyung shrugs guiltily, “but, um. I don’t think I should hold onto it anymore, y’know? So, maybe you can, like, um. Maybe you can take it from me?”

Taehyung places a nearby stone on top of the note so it doesn’t blow away and runs a hand through his hair, “I, uh- I don’t think I’ll ever come back here.” He mumbles, “Nothing personal. Just- I just don’t think I need to say anything else. So… yeah.”

Taehyung turns his back to the grave and starts the walk back to the train station.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Taehyung, unlike his brother, has absolutely no qualms about being in the public’s eye. Where Jimin seems to shy away from attention, Taehyung basks in it- relishes it.

So, naturally, auditioning for their school’s annual play is a no-brainer.

*

Jimin stares at Taehyung in horror, mouth agape.

“…too intense?”

Jimin blinks, then does it again.

“Too intense.” Taehyung surmises, nodding his head. “I’ll tone it down.”

“Yeah, maybe don’t scream at me.” Jimin finally suggests, gesturing for Taehyung to run through his lines again. “Quieter and, uh, less spit.”

“Got it.”

*

Hoseok never really thought Taehyung was interested in acting or anything, but when the younger boy tells him that he’s gonna try out for their school’s play, Hoseok immediately clears his schedule and vows to rehearse his lines with him as much as he wants.

Which is a lot.

Hoseok knows the play just as well as Taehyung does at this point and he’s sure that Taehyung’s gonna get the lead role. His boyfriend is so animated and on point with his lines and Hoseok honestly thinks he’s found his calling with acting.

“You could be an actor, Tae,”

Taehyung looks at his boyfriend like he’s lost his mind, “Uh, sure.”

“Seriously,” Hoseok insists, “I’d watch anything with you in it!”

“You’re biased,” Taehyung points out with a laugh, pressing a kiss to Hoseok’s cheek. “Let’s go through the lines again, okay? I wanna get the timing down.”

*

“Oh, god, he’s screaming his lines again.” Jimin mutters, shaking his head.

“Quiet!” Hoseok shushes him, leaning forward to rest his forearms on the seat in front of him in the school’s theater.

“I don’t think we’re in any danger of not hearing Tae.”

Hoseok huffs in annoyance at Jimin’s babbling and moves a few rows ahead, eager to listen to Taehyung’s audition. He’s been running lines with Taehyung for the past week and a half and actually seeing his boyfriend up onstage is pretty damn exciting.

When Taehyung finishes his monologue and bows to the drama teachers in the front row, Hoseok claps loudly, waving wildly at Taehyung. He rushes backstage and accosts his boyfriend, grabbing him around his middle and spinning him around in a circle. “You did so great!”

Taehyung bites at his lip. “Are you sure? I felt like I could’ve-”

“It was perfect!” Hoseok assures him, hugging him tightly. “They’d have to be crazy to not give you the lead.”

Taehyung ducks his head in embarrassment and chuckles, “I don’t know about the lead, Hobi…”

“Well,” Hoseok says, “no matter what part you get, I’ll be there on opening night.”

*

Taehyung anxiously taps his pencil against his desk, watching the clock and waiting for it to bring about the end of class. Because the sooner class ends, the sooner he can check the corkboard outside of the theater and see if his name is on the list of roles chosen for the play.

*

“Namjoonie!”

Jin rummages around the stack of papers Namjoon has everywhere in his studio, grumbling under his breath about how messy his husband is. Would some kind of organizational system really be so difficult to implement here?

“Namjoon!”

Jin rolls his eyes when he pushes a flyer advertising Halloween deals out of his way and sees Jimin’s report card for last term- the one Jin had to ask the school to reprint for him because it had been lost the second Jimin had given it to Namjoon to sign.

“Namjoo-”

“I’m right here.” Namjoon lazily points out form where he’s leaning against the doorframe, watching Jin tear apart his desk with an amused grin. “Is there a reason you’re making a mess in here?”

Jin drops the paper in his hands and slowly lifts his head to stare at his husband. “Excuse me?” He gestures around them and gives Namjoon an incredulous look. “I’m making a mess? I am? Have you seen this pigsty? How you can find anything in here is a mystery to me.”

Namjoon regards the room and shrugs a shoulder, “It’s called organized chaos, Jin.”

“It’s called you being too lazy to clean up after yourself.” Jin mutters under his breath, speaking more forcefully when he says, “Help me look for Jimin’s dance schedule- I know you have a copy of it here somewhere and mine’s mysteriously gone missing.”

“Jungkook tried to eat it.” Namjoon tells him, fully entering the room and helping to sift through the piles of papers on his desk.

Jin doesn’t bother asking for any more details on that; Jungkook tries to eat… most things. Paper, stuffed animals, Bokshiri’s dog bones… honestly anything that fits in his mouth is fair game. 

“I guess I’ll just ask Jimin to get another copy for me,” Jin says is defeat. He doesn’t have it in him to go through another stack of papers on Namjoon’s desk.

“I’m sure it’s in here somewhere, Jin,” Namjoon mumbles as he bends down to look underneath his desk. “Just gotta find it.”

“Right, okay,” Jin says, “you work on finding it and I’ll get an extra copy just in case.” He leaves the room, absently hearing Namjoon muttering to himself some more. There’s no way his husband’s going to find the schedule- he might call it organized chaos, but Jin knows better; it’s a mess.

*

“So, what do you say?”

Yoongi doesn’t even glance up from his lunch as he shakes his head. He can practically feel Taehyung’s pout, but he couldn’t care less. He’s got shit to do after school- he doesn’t have time to help paint fucking sets for the play Taehyung’s in. Not that he’s not happy for him or anything, but. He’s busy. And he just doesn’t wanna do it.

“C’mon, man, this is important.” Hoseok kicks his foot under the table. “We’re all helping out.”

“Good for you guys,” Yoongi mutters, shoving a fry into his mouth. He chances a glance around the table and sighs when he sees the looks that not only Taehyung’s giving him, but Hoseok and Jimin. “I’m busy with practice.”

Taehyung juts his lower lip out even more in an attempt to seem even more pathetic, “But what about after practice? Please?”

“I don’t know how to paints sets,” Yoongi argues, trying to come up with more excuses that’ll get him outta this. “They’d look like shit.”

“It’s easy,” Jimin assures him with a grin, “I’ll help you!”

“I-”

“For me, Yoongi?” Jimin quietly asks him, and Yoongi can only deny Jimin for so long before he cracks. 

“Fine,” He grouses, sighing loudly, “When are we meeting?”

*

Yoongi steps into the school’s theater that night after basketball practice to see Taehyung rehearsing his lines on stage as Hoseok, Jimin, and a bunch of other students he doesn’t recognize paint sets. He shoves his hands in his pockets and reluctantly shuffles towards the stage, hating that he’s spending his night painting when he could be doing literally anything else; aka dragging Jimin away and spending the night with him watching shitty movies and cuddling.

Jimin so owes him for this.

“Yoongi!”

Yoongi nods in greeting at Hoseok and climbs onto the stage, blinking in shock when he’s accosted by the other boy and an apron is shoved into his hands. “Uh.”

“Put that on and grab a brush!” Hoseok instructs him with a grin, gesturing over to where there’s an empty jar full of paint brushes. “Grab some more green paint while you’re over there, too.”

Yoongi does as he’s told, slipping the apron over his head and tying it around his waist. He grabs a brush and green paint, and wanders back over to Hoseok and Jimin. He sets the paint down and leans over to press a kiss to Jimin’s cheek, “Hey, Sunshine,”

Jimin beams at him and gestures for him to sit next to him on the ground, “We’re painting bushes.”

“Riveting.” Yoongi deadpans, dipping his brush in the paint and making vague bush-like circles on the set. “This looks fucking terrible.” he states after a few minutes.

Jimin nods, “Yeah, but…” He shrugs a shoulder, “Hopefully nobody looks too closely at the sets.”

“They’ll be too busy watching my acting to pay attention to the sets,” Taehyung calls over, grinning widely. “They won’t be able to take their eyes off me!”

Hoseok gives him a thumbs up, clearly encouraging him, and Yoongi rolls his eyes, turning his attention back to the green blob he’s painting. “Is this good enough? Can I be done now?”

Jimin snorts, “You just got here!”

Yoongi groans, “I hate this already.”

“Less whining, more painting!” Taehyung scolds them, and Yoongi levels the boy with a look that would intimidate anyone else, but apparently Kim Taehyung is immune to his glares and Yoongi does not like that one bit.

He’s gonna have to work on his withering stares. Amp them up a bit more.

*

Two hours later and Yoongi’s covered in paint as he climbs into his car, along with Taehyung, Jimin, and Hoseok. He has a feeling there’s gonna be paint all over his car once everyone gets out (he’ll deal with that in the morning- or never, whichever suits him), but he finds himself too tired to care.

Painting sets is fucking mind numbing and Yoongi never wants to do it again, thanks. He literally felt his soul die a little each time he was forced to paint a stupid bush or fluffy white cloud or dumb giant castle.

He’s got paint caked underneath his nails, in his hair, staining his jeans, and he can feel it drying in flecks on his face from where Hoseok had accidentally flung his paintbrush in Yoongi’s direction and splattered him with purple.

Everything about this night has been a nightmare and Yoongi just wants it to be over.

And because he has the worst luck in the world, his car breaks down about ten minutes away from Jimin and Taehyung’s house.

“Fucking kill me now.”

Jimin pats him on the shoulder, “It’s okay, we’ll just walk the rest of the way.”

Yoongi rests his head against the steering wheel, “What about my car?”

“We could push it?” Taehyung offers with a shrug.

And that’s how Yoongi spends the rest of his night. Pushing his fucking car alongside Taehyung, Hoseok, and Jimin. And sure, yeah, this is basically the worst night ever and Yoongi wants to scream in frustration, but as he looks over at the others and sees them grunting with exertion and sweating and generally as miserable as he is, he can’t help but think that there’s nobody else he’d rather be miserable with than these three.

If they can help him push his car, uphill, then he can sacrifice a few more nights painting more fucking bushes.

*

“You’re gonna be amazing!”

Taehyung nods his head, wiping his sweaty palms on his pants. “I know, but-”

“No buts!” Jimin shushes him. “We didn’t paint fourteen million bushes for you to not be amazing,”

Taehyung laughs loudly, shaking his head. “I’m just nervous,”

“It’s okay to be nervous,” Jimin tells him, hugging him tightly, “but you’re gonna be great, Tae. Seriously, you’re so ready for this.”

Taehyung nods his head, “Yeah, no, you’re right. I’m just-”

“Overthinking everything.” Jimin interrupts with a grin.

“Pretty much,” Taehyung admits, grimacing. “Just scared I’ll mess up.”

Jimin waves him off, “Nothing wrong with messing up. Remember when I first tried out for the dance team and messed up my entire routine? That was super embarrassing, but not the end of the world.”

“True,” Taehyung concedes, head snapping up to stare at the lights as they flicker on and off a few times. “Show’s about to start.”

“You got this,” Jimin says, hugging him once more before heading to find his seat.

Taehyung jumps up and down a few times to rid himself of excess energy and fixes his hat, “I got this,” he mumbles to himself, steeling himself for the next two hours. And as he steps onto the stage, nerves already trying to creep back in, he spots Hoseok, Yoongi and his family in the front row, cheering louder than anyone else, and he thinks that, yeah, maybe he can do this.

*

“That’s my boyfriend!” Hoseok cheers, beaming at Taehyung as he takes a bow as the play finishes. He nudges Yoongi, “Did you see how great he was? Oh, my god! He was so good!”

Yoongi nods his head, honestly a little surprised that Taehyung actually was pretty amazing in the play. He wasn’t really expecting that. “Did you see those sets, though? They were the real stars.”

Jimin lets out a laugh at that and smacks Yoongi’s arm, “We’re lucky the lights were dim enough that you couldn’t even see most of them properly.”

“Nah,” Yoongi shakes his head with a grin, “the show wouldn’t have been as good without them- they carried that play. I might even make a career out of this.”

Jimin tugs Yoongi out of the theater towards where the rest of his family and Hoseok are waiting for Taehyung to come out. “Min Yoongi- professional set painter? You’re insane.”

“Insanely passionate about painting bushes,” Yoongi fires back with a smirk as he kisses any rebuttal that Jimin might have away. “Let’s go congratulate Tae,”

“You can’t just kiss your way out of any situation,” Jimin mumbles, blushing.

Yoongi pauses and kisses Jimin again, resting his hands on the younger boy’s hips. “Course not, but I’d be an idiot to not take any opportunity to kiss you that I could, Sunshine.”

*

Jimin isn’t a greedy person- really, he’s not. He’s more than happy to share with Taehyung or Jungkook; he doesn’t really ask his parents for much (fine, okay, maybe he does, but whatever- Taehyung asks for way more things that are way more outlandish and ridiculous than Jimin does, so… that counts for something…right?). The only thing that Jimin is kinda-maybe-sorta greedy about is Yoongi’s time. 

He can’t help it; Yoongi is everything to him- he’s the one person in the world that can cheer him up quicker than anybody else (Taehyung excluded). Yoongi makes him feel so secure in himself; he gives him strength and confidence and, whatever, it might sound stupid but Jimin honestly kinda aches when Yoongi isn’t with him. They spend time apart- of course they do; they’re not attached by the hip (despite what his family might think… or mainly what his dad might think), and they both have their own friends and hobbies, but… still. Jimin covets his time with Yoongi because, well, he’s only got a few more months with Yoongi until he goes off to university. It’s a sobering thought- one that makes Jimin want to curl in on himself and stay at Yoongi’s side until he has to leave.

Yoongi’s the type of person who Jimin can never get tired of- frustrated with, sure; mad at, sometimes; but tired of him? Never. Jimin can talk to Yoongi for hours about everything and nothing. They can sit in silence for hours with no need to fill it and never get bored. Jimin can tell Yoongi anything; honestly anything and he knows his boyfriend won’t judge him; tease him maybe, but never judge him.

Jimin knows without a doubt that Min Yoongi is his soulmate and he never intends to give this kind of love up.

*

“I can’t believe you’re just gonna leave me all alone-”

“Alone?” Yoongi snorts and slings an arm around Jimin’s shoulders as they make their way up the walkway to Jimin’s house and enter it, “Tae’s gonna be there with you.”

Jimin rolls his eyes, “It’s not the same,”

Yoongi leads Jimin up the stairs and into the younger boy’s bedroom, shutting the door behind them and flopping down on the bed. He props himself up on a pillow and stares at his boyfriend, watching as Jimin starts pacing back and forth. 

Jimin frowns in thought and stares despondently at Yoongi. “I won’t see you in the halls everyday.” he finally says, voice uncharacteristically quiet.

Yoongi closes his eyes, feeling pinpricks of tears behind his eyelids at Jimin’s tone because, fuck it, thinking about not seeing Jimin every single day breaks his heart too, and the fact that Jimin is clearly distraught about it… it fucking sucks. “Sunshine,” he sighs heavily, reaching out a hand to grab onto Jimin’s shirt and drag him closer. “You’re breaking my heart, babe,”

“I’m just,” Jimin trails off, shrugging helplessly as tears cascade down his cheeks, “I’m gonna miss you.”

“I’m not going anywhere,” Yoongi promises, linking their fingers together and kissing Jimin’s knuckles. “Every second I’m not in class, I’m gonna be on the phone with you, or texting you, or skyping with you, or driving over here to see your cute ass-”

Jimin laughs and sniffles, pressing a kiss to Yoongi’s lips and lying down beside him.

Yoongi unlinks his right hand with Jimin’s and tilts the younger boy’s chin up to look at him, “Just because we’ll be in different schools doesn’t mean you’ll spend any less time in my mind, Jimin.”

Jimin nods, feeling silly for even getting emotional over something like this- Yoongi’s only gonna be an hour away, not in another city or across the country or-

“I’m doing this for us, Sunshine,” Yoongi tells him with a grin, pressing a gentle kiss to his lips, lingering slightly longer than necessary. “Gotta make a name for myself and get a good paying job because I’ll be damned if you don’t have everything you want once we live together, baby.”

Jimin burrows his head in Yoongi’s neck and mumbles, “I love you,”

*

Jimin’s pretty sure he’s about to die. Like, 90% sure. Hoseok doesn’t usually run the crew this ragged, but, well. Jimin gets it- it’s the last performance Hoseok is gonna choreograph as their dance captain, so he wants it to be perfect. Jimin gets it. But, y’know, Jimin also likes breathing. And being able to walk the next day. As it is right now, his thighs are on fire, calves burning something fierce, too, and Jimin’s almost certain that he doesn’t usually sound like Darth Vader when he breathes. Is he even still alive? At this point, Jimin’s kinda doubting it.

Luckily, they’re on a five-minute break and Jimin crawls his way over to where Hoseok is still running through the routine with another dancer; walking’s overrated and Jimin’s not even sure he’d be able to stand on his own two legs at this point. He’d probably just collapse in a heap and never move again. 

He paws at Hoseok’s leg and stares imploringly up at his dance captain, “You gotta stop this,”

Hoseok startles, looking down at where Jimin’s lying on the ground. “You okay?”

Jimin glares at him, practically wheezing, “Do I sound okay?”

Hoseok thinks that, no, Jimin doesn’t usually gasp his words out, but wisely choose to keep his mouth shut. “You need some water, man?”

Jimin shakes his head, “Need new legs. Give me yours.”

Hoseok laughs and squats down to Jimin’s level, patting him on the shoulder, “Too much for you to handle today?”

Jimin doesn’t even deign that with a response and just flops down on his stomach, refusing to move until Hoseok gets him water and lets him rest for at least another few minutes before torturing him with more dance moves that no sane person would attempt.

“I hate you.” Jimin pants out twenty minutes later, hands on his knees as he hunches over and tries to catch his breath after having popped and locked all over the room. “You’re a sadist.”

Hoseok laughs, trying to catch his breath too. He dismisses the rest of the dancers and sits on the ground beside where Jimin’s flopped down. He rubs at his sore muscles and takes a sip of water, offering the bottle to Jimin next. He smiles widely, “I think a few more practices and we’ll be ready.”

“As much as my body hates this right now, it’ll be worth it.” Jimin groans as he stretches his arms above his head, “I’m not gonna be able to move tomorrow.”

“You love every second of this,” Hoseok teases him with a laugh. “Just like me.”

Jimin rolls his eyes, but smiles nonetheless. “…Maybe.”

“C’mon,” Hoseok gets up, springing to his feet and gathering his belongings like his entire body isn’t dying right now and offers Jimin a hand up, chuckling at the look of incredulity that he’s given. “What?”

“Do you ever get tired?” Jimin demands, gingerly standing up and hissing at the burn. Mentally he’s already in the bathtub at home- soothing his aching muscles.

Hoseok just shrugs a shoulder, “No time to get tired!” he says, clapping Jimin on the shoulder. “Too much to do, man.”

Jimin nods in understanding; he gets it. This is Hoseok’s last performance and last few months at school before… Jimin’s not actually sure what Hoseok’s gonna do once school ends. As far as he knows, Hoseok’s gonna get a job- or, according to Taehyung, just go with the flow (which sounds like a terrible idea to Jimin, who likes to plan out every detail to the millionth degree, but, honestly, it sounds exactly like the type of thing Hoseok would do). Whatever he ends up doing, though, Jimin knows he’ll be amazing at it; Hoseok just has that talent that he’s inherently good at everything he does.

“Y’know,” Hoseok says as he slings his backpack on, “I was thinking of who might take over next year.”

“Yeah? Any ideas?” Jimin absently asks, following the other boy out of the school.

Hoseok pointedly looks at Jimin, “You.”

Jimin stops in his tracks, gaping at Hoseok, “Um. What?”

Hoseok laughs loudly at the look on Jimin’s face, “I’m gonna recommend you for dance captain for next year.”

Jimin’s head is reeling and he feels like he’s not really understanding what Hoseok’s telling him- he’s gonna recommend him for dance captain? Is he insane? “Are you insane?”

“What’s so crazy about you being the new dance captain?”

Jimin can think of at least a hundred reasons why it’s crazy. “Because everyone else is way more talented than me. I’m, like, the least qualified to be dance captain.”

“Bullshit,” Hoseok waves his words off. “You’re the best dancer we have and you know it.”

Jimin, in fact, didn’t know that.

“Besides,” Hoseok continues, lightly pushing Jimin to get him moving again, “I already recommended you, so… get used to the idea before the new school year starts.”

*

“You think you’ve got enough cookies there, kiddo?”

Jungkook stares up at his daddy, tilting his head to the side in thought. He looks at the cookies in his hands and shakes his head, grabbing two more. Daddy’s right- he didn’t have enough!

Daddy chuckles, grabbing the cookies from his youngest, and Jungkook’s eyes widen in horror; why is Daddy taking his cookies away? “Maybe these would be better for after dinner, yeah?”

Jungkook shakes his head vehemently. Why is Daddy always trying to take his cookies away? Why doesn’t he get it? Jungkook loves cookies. Cookies love Jungkook. So why is Daddy taking them away? “My cookies!”

“Hmm, I don’t know about that,”

Jungkook scrunches his face up in frustration because he knows they’re his cookies! And if Jungkook knows then why doesn’t Daddy know, too? Why is Daddy so dumb when it comes to cookies? Where’s Mommy? Mommy knows that he’s allowed cookies! Mommy made them for him because he’s a good boy!

“You can have cookies after dinner, okay?”

No, Jungkook thinks, that’s definitely not okay. He wants cookies now.

Jungkook looks up at Daddy with his lower lip jutted out and gives the puppy dog eyes just like J’min and TaeTae taught him to. “Daddy… please?”

Jungkook can tell the puppy dog eyes are working when Daddy gives him his cookies back and tells him to enjoy them. And Jungkook will, thank you very much. He’ll enjoy these cookies very very much now that he’s rescued them from Daddy.

*

It’s four in the morning and Namjoon should be sleeping. He really should. His entire body thinks so, too. He’s dead tired, and his brain is barely making sense of the tracks in front of him on his computer, but he needs to at least finish this section of the song before going to bed. He’s already behind on this track and he just needs to push himself a little longer. Then he can go to bed.

It’s pure coincidence that the moment he pauses the track, he hears… something. He almost puts it off as his imagination, but then the sound happens again and Namjoon frowns. He slowly gets up and quietly walks upstairs to the main floor, straining his ears for the noise again.

There- Namjoon’s eyes dart to the kitchen. He steps inside and turns the light on, gasping in shock at seeing Yoongi opening the door to the backyard. He clutches his chest and tries to catch his breath, “You nearly gave me a heart attack, Yoongi!”

Namjoon watches Yoongi guiltily backing away from the door, breathing raggedly and looking as panicked as Namjoon feels. “Were you sneaking out or breaking into my house, Yoongi?”

Yoongi’s eyes widen and he blinks repeatedly at Namjoon, “Um. I, uh.”

Namjoon raises an eyebrow, “You…?”

Yoongi shrugs helplessly, “I was just leaving?”

Namjoon sighs, tiredly rubbing at his eyes, “Hmm. What’d I tell you about spending the night with Jimin?”

Yoongi shakes his head, “It’s not like that, Mr. Kim; seriously- I- We didn’t do anything! I was just- I mean. Like… I just needed a place to crash.”

“What’s wrong with your own house?” Namjoon asks with a yawn, barely able to keep his eyes open after the adrenaline of seeing Yoongi skulking around his kitchen wears off. “I’m sure your bed’s just as comfy as Jimin’s.”

Yoongi scuffs his shoe against the floor and shrugs.

Namjoon looks at the clock above the counter and sighs, “I’ll make up a bed for you on the couch. I’m not gonna have you traipsing around the neighborhood in the middle of the night, kiddo.”

Yoongi blinks in surprise at Namjoon’s words, because, uh, what? “Wait- Really?”

Namjoon gives him a tired smile, “Really.” He gestures for Yoongi to follow him into the living room and makes a quick detour to the linen closet to grab some spare blankets and pillows, arranging them on the couch for the teen. “Get some sleep. We’ll talk in the morning about you sneaking in and out of my house.”

Yoongi hesitantly nods his head, settling himself on the couch. Once Namjoon’s sure Yoongi’s got everything he needs for a good night’s sleep, he decides to call it a night himself and heads to bed, feeling more rundown than he has in months.

*

“Yoongi?”

Yoongi looks up at the soft voice and sees Jimin’s mom smiling at him from the doorway to Jimin’s room. He hesitantly grins at the man, “Uh, Jimin’s in the bathroom, I think-”

“I actually wanted to talk to you,”

Yoongi feels like his stomach’s dropped down into his feet. His palms start sweating and he feels himself begin to panic because why the hell does Jimin’s mom want to talk to him? Is this about Jimin’s dad catching him sneaking out a few nights ago? Is he gonna be banned from hanging out here?

Jimin’s mom hands him something, and Yoongi looks it over, frowning at the object in his hands. “A key?”

Jimin’s mom nods, smiling slightly. “It’s a key to our home, Yoongi.” He sits down at Jimin’s desk, “Namjoon told me about the other night, and you don’t have to tell me if anything’s wrong at home, but if there ever is a reason you don’t feel comfortable staying at your house, you’re more than welcome to spend the night here.”

Yoongi’s at a loss for words, because what? How the fuck did Jimin’s mom see that something was wrong at home so easily? How does this man know everything? Yoongi’s never even told Jimin that things at home were sometimes… not the greatest, but somehow Kim Seokjin of all people knows. Maybe it’s mother’s intuition? Is that even an actual thing? Yoongi has no fucking idea, but as he stares at the key in his hands and turns it over, he finds that he doesn’t really care if it’s a real thing or not. Because he’s got a safe space to stay if his house becomes too much and that… that means fucking everything to him.

“Just- If you do spend the night here, Namjoon wanted to make it clear that this offer is for the couch and not Jimin’s bed.” Jimin’s mom says with a laugh, shaking his head in amusement, and Yoongi kinda wants the world to swallow him up right about now, thanks. 

“I hope you don’t think this too presumptuous of me, Yoongi, but I think of you part of our family and I just want to keep you as safe as possible, okay?” Jimin’s mom tells him, standing up and hugging him. “If there’s ever anything wrong, you can come to me or Namjoon.” He chuckles after a moment, “Even if Namjoon likes to give you a hard time, he does care.”

Yoongi’s still at a loss for words as Jimin’s mom leaves, and he finds himself carefully placing the key in his pocket. By the time Jimin comes back, clearly having made a detour to the kitchen if the drinks and snacks in his hands are any indication, Yoongi’s still kinda in shock.

“You okay?” Jimin asks, pulling the older boy down to cuddle with him on the bed.

Yoongi wraps his arms around Jimin’s shoulders and nods his head. “Your parents are pretty amazing, you know that?”

*

“You sure you wanna take me on at tennis again?” Taehyung asks with a smirk, swinging his racket in his hand and fumbling with it for a moment before it clatters to the ground noisily. He ducks down to hastily pick it up, “I’ve been practicing.”

Hoseok laughs, “You can’t be much worse than the last time we played.”

Taehyung gapes at him, “Um. Excuse me? I almost won!”

“Uh. Sure. Yeah. That’s what happened.”

Taehyung splutters at Hoseok’s words and shakes his head, grabbing a ball and bouncing it on the ground a few times. “Ready to lose?”

Hoseok throws his head back and laughs, “Let’s see what you got, Tae.”

*

Halfway through the game, where Taehyung is in fact winning, Hoseok gets a phone call. He feels his phone vibrating in his pocket and he fishes it out, calling out to Taehyung, “Hold on a sec! It might be my mom!” before the younger boy can serve the ball.

He unlocks his phone and sees an unknown foreign number instead of his mom’s and shrugs, answering it out of curiosity, “Hello?”

“Hi, is this Hoseok Jung?”

Hoseok can hear the clearly American accent (not to mention their rough handling of the Korean language) and isn’t really sure why someone from another country is phoning him. “This is Hoseok, yeah. Who’s this?”

“Hi, Hoseok, this is the Institute of Dance in New York City- we’re calling because we’ve recently received your audition tape for our summer internship and we’d be thrilled to offer you a spot-”

Hoseok pretty sure he’s not even breathing anymore and almost drops his phone in shock at what he’s hearing. “Oh, my god! Are you serious? Tell me you’re serious!”

The woman on the other end laughs, “We’re very serious, Hoseok. Our admissions officers saw your tape and immediately set aside a spot for you if you’re interested-”

“Yes!” Hoseok practically screams into his phone, beaming from ear to ear.

“Fantastic! I’ll send you all the information you’ll need to proceed with the admissions to the email address you provided on your application. But let me be the first to say we can’t wait to see you in New York, Hoseok.”

“Thank you! Oh, my god, thank you so much!” Hoseok hangs up and bolts across the tennis court to Taehyung, wrapping the stunned boy in his arms and spinning him around.

Taehyung laughs, clinging to Hoseok and only slightly curious why he’s being spun around. Once he’s put down, he matches Hoseok’s grin, “Why are we so excited?”

“I got into the Institute of Dance, Tae! I got in!”

Taehyung’s eyes widen and he launches himself at his boyfriend, hugging him tightly and peppering kisses all over his face. “I knew you’d get in! I’m so happy for you- oh, my god, you’re gonna blow them all away and be the best dancer over there!”

Hoseok can’t stop smiling and kisses the younger boy back, his excitement dying for a moment when he realizes- “This means I’ll be gone for the next six months, though.”

Taehyung shrugs, scoffing, “As if distance is gonna get between us.” He winks, “You’re still stuck with me even when you go to another country.”

“I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Hoseok grins.

*

Mommy is going to be so proud of him- he knows it!

Jungkook decides that he’s gonna surprise Mommy with cookies. And Mommy will love them so so much, and he’ll get all of Mommy’s smiles and hugs! It’s gonna be perfect!

Mommy always bakes cookies for him, so he’s gonna bakes them for Mommy! Mommy’s gonna be so happy!

“Up!” Jungkook tells J’min, being lifted a moment later until he’s eye-level with the cupboards. He opens one and grabs a bottle of juice, a… jar with a green lid, marshmallows, another jar with a yellow lid, a box of orange things, and… gooey stuff. “Down, please!”

Jungkook feels J’min set him down on the chair that TaeTae brought over to the kitchen counter and he stares at both his brothers- they look excited to learn how to cook from him! And they should be! Jungkook’s the best chef ever!

…Except for Mommy.

Mommy’s the best in the entire world!

*

Taehyung grimaces at the ingredients his little brothers grabbed. A bottle of vinegar, cashews, marshmallows, olives, baking soda and honey… not necessarily the ingredients he would’ve chosen had he been cooking himself. “Why did you let him grab this stuff?”

Jimin shrugs, “It’s not like we’re gonna eat it,” he whispers while Jungkook’s busy mashing marshmallows with honey in a mixing bowl. “What are we making, Kookie?”

*

Jungkook intently squishes the marshmallows between his fingers and lifts it to his mouth, smiling at the taste. It’s good- almost as good as Mommy’s food. But it needs… something.

“J’min, open it!” Jungkook picks the box of orange stuff up and hands it to his big brother, wiping his hand on J’min’s arm while he’s at it. “TaeTae, stir that!”

Jungkook keeps a close eye on TaeTae and narrows his eyes when TaeTae grabs a spoon- no! He needs to use his hands! TaeTae should know better!

Jungkook grabs the spoon out of TaeTae’s hands and smacks him with it. “Use your hands, TaeTae!”

But now TaeTae looks mad at him and Jungkook doesn’t understand why TaeTae’s upset.

“No hitting, Kookie.”

“No spoons!” Jungkook retorts, face pulled into a frown. It’s TaeTae’s own fault that Jungkook had to hit him. 

*

“He’s a tyrant,” Taehyung whispers to his brother as he rubs at the spot Jungkook whacked him with the spoon. 

Jimin’s not paying any attention to Taehyung; he’s too busy trying to convince Jungkook that olives aren’t really the best ingredients for cookies. “You sure you want those, Kookie? Why don’t you taste one and see if you like them?”

Jungkook looks at him for a minute and then nods his head, sticking his entire hand into the jar and splashing olive juice all over the counter, causing Taehyung to start gagging at the smell. Jungkook lifts his hand out of it, olives smushed between his closed fist and jams them inside his mouth.

“I think he likes them,” Jimin chuckles, wiping Jungkook’s chin and face with a kitchen towel as his little brother keeps munching on them. “Alright, Kookie, pour ‘em in if you want.”

Taehyung watches with thinly veiled disgust at the olives in the mixture of honey and marshmallows and baking soda and shakes his head, “No way I’m eating any of that.”

“TaeTae doesn’t like my cookies…” Jungkook tells Jimin, turning to face Taehyung with wide eyes, tears already clinging to his eyelashes.

Taehyung groans, “Not the tears! I can’t resist them, you little monster,” He walks over to Jungkook and blows a raspberry on his stomach, smiling when the boy stops and starts giggling wildly. “I’ll eat one cookie, okay?”

“Ten!”

Taehyung shakes his head, “One.”

“A million!”

Jimin snorts, “I would’ve taken the ten.”

“I said one, Kookie.” Taehyung firmly tells him, ruffling his hair. “Deal with it.”

“A bajillion!”

Taehyung rolls his eyes with a laugh, “Fine, if you bake a bajillion cookies, I’ll eat them all, okay?”

Jungkook enthusiastically agrees.

*

Jin comes home to the sight of a warzone. He’s not sure he’s ever seen his kitchen in such disarray- not even when Namjoon attempts to cook is it ever this messy, and that man is a tsunami in the kitchen. Jin cautiously walks into the room and dodges the eggshells on the floor, the olives strewn about the counter, oil everywhere and… marshmallows stuck to the fridge with- is that honey?

Jin places the groceries he’s carrying down on any surface he can without a mess on it and cringes at the plate of… something. He’s just noticed them sitting innocently on top of the stove and judging by the smell, they’re either a new bioweapon his kids have engineered or a cookie recipe gone very very wrong.

He hesitantly picks one of the cookies up, frowning when it crumbles in his hand, but stays stuck to him, and how something can be that dry and wet at the same time is baffling. And the smell… Jin doesn’t want to know what’s causing the smell. He doubts he’ll be able to forget it for some time, though.

“Jimin! Tae!” Jin calls out, tapping his foot against the floor, careful to avoid any mess. “Do either of you want to explain why my kitchen looks like this?” he asks as soon as Jimin and Taehyung enter said room.

Jimin holds his hands up in surrender, “This was all Jungkook.”

Jin merely raises an eyebrow.

“He’s telling the truth,” Taehyung assures his mom. “He’s a menace to society. You’re raising a monster.”

“You mean to tell me,” Jin says, surveying the kitchen, “that Jungkook, who’s not even tall enough to reach the counters, somehow managed to make this gigantic mess? All by himself?”

“Well-” Jimin shrugs helplessly, while Taehyung nods his head. “He wanted to make cookies, so…”

“So you helped him destroy my kitchen to do it?” Jin deduces and at his children’s nods, he disappears into the garage and comes back with a broom and dustpan. “Next time you help Jungkook do something like this, help him cleanup afterwards, yeah?”

Taehyung groans, “We’ve gotta clean up? It’s his mess!”

Jin pats his son on the back in consolation, “You helped him make this mess, you can help clean it up.” He quickly heads upstairs and finds his youngest playing with his toys and babbling to himself, the perfect picture of innocence. “Kookie?”

Jungkook looks up and smiles at him, “Mommy!”

Jin grins and bends down to pick him up, resting him on his hip. He stares down at the little boy, “Did you make a big mess in the kitchen, Kookie?”

Jungkook happily nods his head, “Uh huh!”

Jin chuckles and carries the boy out of his room, “Do you wanna help clean up your mess? Tae and Jimin are already down there.”

Jungkook shakes his head, “I don’t wanna!”

Jin sighs softly, “Nobody likes cleaning, Kookie, but when you make a mess you’ve gotta clean up after yourself.”

“Why?”

“Because Mommy doesn’t like messes.” Jin tells his youngest with a sad look on his face. “Messes make Mommy very sad.”

Jungkook grabs at Jin’s face in hands and forces his mouth into a smile, “Don’t be sad, Mommy! I’ll clean!”

Jin smiles brightly at the boy and sets Jungkook down on the floor next to where Taehyung’s scrubbing at a stain of what looks like jam and Jin honestly can’t remember the last time he even bought jam. “Tae’s gonna teach you how to clean up, okay, Kookie?’

Taehyung glances up at his mom, heaving a sigh as he pulls Jungkook towards him, settling the boy between his legs. He puts the rag in Jungkook’s hands and demonstrates how to clean the stain, and Jin busies himself with putting the groceries away while his son’s get the kitchen presentable again.

Jin puts away the last of the groceries and watches Jimin try to instruct his little brother how to hold the dustpan properly, only for Jungkook to dump the contents onto the floor a moment later. Jin fully expects Jimin to get frustrated, but smiles when his son just starts laughing and starts cleaning up all over again.

His kitchen might never be as clean as it was before, but Jin cherishes these types of memories even more than a properly clean house.

Besides, he can just clean up again once the boys go to bed.

 

 

 

BONUS
wherein Namjoon thinks he’s funny

 

Jimin and Taehyung know their dad is embarrassing- it’s just common knowledge, to be honest. But he’s never more embarrassing than when he’s trying to be funny.

*

“When do you need to be picked up?”

Jimin shrugs as he gets out of the car, waving at where Yoongi’s already waiting for him across the street. “I don’t know, Yoongi can probably just drive me home, but I’ll call you later if he can’t, okay?”

“Don’t call me Later, call me Dad.” Namjoon says with a grin, laughing at his own joke, much to Jimin’s dismay.

*

“Where’s Mom?”

“He’s out running errands, why?”

“I’m hungry!”

“Hello, Hungry. I’m Dad.”

Taehyung sighs disdainfully, turning around and leaving the kitchen, lest his dad make another lame joke.

*

“What? You’re crazy! The first Pirates of the Caribbean was way better than the second!”

Taehyung levels Jimin with a piercing stare, “Uh, excuse me? Do you even know what you’re talking about right now?”

“What did the pirate say on his 80th birthday?” Namjoon cuts into his son’s argument, grinning widely. “Aye Matey!”

He’s met with twin groans and a faint chuckle from Jin who’s busy making dinner in the next room.

*

Jimin loves grocery shopping.

Seriously, he loves it.

Food is delicious and Jimin knows that every time he goes to the grocery store with his parents, he’ll get free samples.

Because what’s better than food?

Free food.

But when Jimin loses sight of his mom and Jungkook and is forced to tag along with his dad, he knows his dad is gonna do something embarrassing; it’s just in the man’s nature. There’s no way of avoiding it.

Jimin’s proven right two minutes later when his dad stops a sales person in an aisle, asking, “Do you know where you can get chicken stock in bulk?”

Before the poor sales person can answer, Jimin groans, knowing what’s coming, as his dad says, “The stock market!”

Jimin just apologizes quietly for his dad’s existence and hauls him away.

*

Jimin remembers when he was seven and he went to school dressed as a vampire for Halloween. When he came home, he’d cried into his dad’s chest, wondering why nobody wanted to be his partner at school that day and how it just. Wasn’t. Fair.

Namjoon had sat Jimin in front of him and placed his hands on his shoulders, sighing heavily. “You know why no one wants to be friends with Dracula, Jiminie?”

Jimin had shaken his head, tears still falling down his cheeks.

“Because he’s a pain in the neck!” Namjoon laughed, poking at Jimin’s neck, “Get it? Because he bites people’s necks?”

Jimin had merely stared at his dad, perfecting the way his mom did when he was unimpressed, before walking off.

*

Similarly, when Taehyung was twelve, he went to school dressed as a skeleton for Halloween (more specifically, Jack Skellington, but try telling his classmates that he was an actual personified skeleton and not just a random sack of bones).

His dad had dropped him and Jimin off at school, asking them, “Why are skeletons so calm?”

Taehyung had spent a good thirty seconds trying to figure out the answer, only to shrug and demand his dad tell him the answer.

“Because nothing gets under their skin!”

Taehyung had hastily gotten out of the car, shaking his head at his dad’s lame joke as he trudged into school.

*

They’re having a nice family dinner. For once Jungkook isn’t throwing his food everywhere; Taehyung isn’t talking everyone’s ear off; and Jimin isn’t complaining about how much he hates high school.

Jin wishes they would have more dinners like this and relishes the nice conversations happening around him. Until…

No.

Not again.

Not during this nice dinner.

Namjoon, resist the urge! Jin desperately thinks when Namjoon gets that look in his eyes and clears his throat.

“You know, kids,” Namjoon casually says, and the grin on his face is all anyone needs to see to know that he’s about to make a joke. “I used to work in a calendar factory.”

Jimin and Taehyung both send urgent looks at Jin, silently begging their mom to say something- anything to get their dad to stop making these jokes.

“Namjoonie-”

Namjoon ploughs on, “But I got fired because-”

“Nope! I can’t take it!”

“I’m outta here! Mom, talk to him!”

Jin watches with amusement as his children scatter from the table, shouting over their shoulders for their dad to stop- for the love of god, please stop!

Namjoon shares a look with Jin, raising his eyebrows in surprise. “Was it something I said?”

“It’s the jokes, Namjoon. You know how embarrassed they get when you try to be funny.” Jin tells him with a chuckle, “You’re embarrassing.”

I’m embarrassing? Me?” Namjoon looks positively shocked at the news that his son’s think he’s an embarrassment.

Namjoon scoffs and turns to smile at Jungkook (who’s begun mashing his fingers into his yams and making what looks like a smiley face on his plate), “You don’t think I’m embarrassing, do you, Kookie?”

Jungkook copies the head shake that Namjoon’s doing in front of him. “Daddy!”

“That’s right, Daddy’s not embarrassing!” Namjoon tells his youngest with a smile. “You like my jokes, right, Jungkookie? You think Daddy’s funny!”

Jungkook resolutely shakes his head at his dad’s words, seemingly horrified that his dad would insinuate such a thing. “Not funny!”

Jin nearly spits out his drink at Jungkook’s words, laughing loudly once he swallows. He coos at Jungkook and ruffles his hair, “What a smart boy you are, Kookie!”

Namjoon just scowls, vowing not to waste his jokes on an audience with no discernible funny bone.