The first time it happened, Seokjin thought that it was just an accident. He'd left the bag of groceries and snacks for the kids on the door of his house so that he could carry Hoseok inside, the 5year old boy had fallen asleep on their way back home. When he reached home it was their eldest who opened the door and the boy offered to carry his bags inside but as expected, the task proved to be to difficult for the 6 year old Yoongi.
“Thanks for trying baby. Can you please go get your Appa? I can't call because Hobi might wake up."
The boy nodded and Seokjin proceeded to ruffle his hair. Yoongi scrunched his nose adorably before rushing inside to do the task. Seokjin walked in smiling at the thought of both his beautiful boys before carefully setting Hobi down on the couch. The boy was becoming a little difficult to carry around, specially when he liked to kick in his sleep. He turned around to the sight of his husband walking towards him. He wrapped his arms around Seokjin's waist and smiled, “Hobi fell asleep?" He asked even when the answer was obvious. Seokjin hummed in answer.
“Namjoon-ah? Can you go get the bags from the door? I couldn't carry everything and Hobi all at once." Seokjin smiled a little, thinking about the little trip from the store to the door when he'd avoided tripping at least thrice and already bumped into five strangers till a friendly soul offered to help him. Namjoon was quick to nod a little and then he went to fetch the bags. He came in already rummaging through the contents.
“Jinnie Hyung, there are only two boxes of cookies, what about mine?" His husband pouted and it made him look ridiculous. Seokjin giggled a little before dropping down on the couch beside Hobi, “Look properly Joon, its there. I bought three."
“No Hyung, there's only two. Really! Look for yourself."
Seokjin sighed before grabbing the bag and looking through it carefully.
“Hmm. That's strange. I did buy three you know. Maybe I forgot it on the counter? I could go get it back?" He asked but he didn't really mean it though. Accompanying a five year old who was as bouncy as Hoseok had drained his energy for now. Namjoon seemed to get that as he smiled a little. He bent down to kiss Seokjin's forehead and said, “its okay, you can rest."
They forgot about it soon afterwards.
The second time it happened, it was a tiny box of fruit flavoured cereals that Hoseok had wanted. He didn't even like having cereals, but the colours on the box had made him jump up and down in the middle of aisle four and he refused to leave without it. Needless to say it wasn't nearly as easily forgotten as the cookies were. Hoseok whined the whole day and only shut up when Yoongi threatened to not share the bed with him. Hoseok was always scared of the dark and it comforted him to sleep with someone and so they made Yoongi and him sleep together. Seokjin and Namjoon had thought Yoongi would say no because, “ I'm a big boy and big boys sleep alone." But he was always happy to help his baby brother even if they were just a year apart. It made him proud that he could take care of his brother and of course it made his parents proud too.
“Why do I keep forgetting these things? I swear Namjoon I really bought it."
“Maybe you re getting old Hyung." His husband said with a cheeky smile that immediately disappeared when Seokjin narrowed his eyes and glared at him. Namjoon gulped.
“I think someone stole it."
A quiet voice interrupted them and both of them turned to look at Yoongi.
“What, a box of cookies and cereals? I don't think anybody would steal that. Maybe Hyung dropped it."
Yoongi shrugged with too much swag for a six-year old and said, "Maybe. But you did see those kids? There were two boys." Yoongi proudly held up two fingers and nodded sagely. Yoongi's slight lisp made it a little funny but Seokjin was too confused.
His brows furrowed. Two boys?
The third time he went to the grocery shop, he made sure each and every one of the things he had taken were with him. He was walking to the counter when he noticed the faces of two little boys squished against the glass doors of the store through the corner of his eyes. As soon as he turned around to get a good look, the boys' eyes' widened comically and they scrambled out of sight as quickly as they could. Seokjin raised his eyebrows. So they were the ones? His six year old proved to be more observant than he was.
He paid the cashier and grabbed the bags and Hobi's hand and started to leave, determined to catch those boys and have a word with their parents. Their children should not steal.
He was fully aware of the boys following him home and Seokjin was careful not to look behind him or else they would surely run away. He got home and opened the door with his spare keys.
He bent down to the child's height and kissed him on his cheek “Hobi honey go inside okay?" The boy gave him a big smile and nodded before running inside. Now he would put his plan into action, Seokjin thought gravely. He left the bags at the door before walking inside and shutting it halfway, putting on a casual act of forgetting about the bags. He then walked over to the window that overlooked the front door and settled there to look at what the kids would do.
“Jin Hyung what-"
“Shhhh" he grabbed his startled husband by his wrist and made him sit beside him. He could hear the boys if they kept quiet.
“Jiminie, he kissed that boy. Why no one kiss us?" The two boys were holding hands as they walked upto the door.
“Taetae I kiss you." The child with chubby cheeks and dark brown hair said to the other whose hair was a lighter shade of brown. He smiled a small smile and then carefully put his hands into his pocket.
"Look Joon, he's going to steal now." Seokjin whispered to his husband who let out an “oh" of realisation.
But instead, the boy took out a note, currency note, and placed it carefully on the bag and patted it with his chubby small hands and backed away. The other boy shrieked, “Jiminie no!"
“Tae!" The slightly shorter clasped a hand over the other boys mouth.
“We should pay. We took food." The boy explained quietly and Seokjin's jaw dropped. What was going on?
The taller one, Tae, removed the hand from his mouth to reveal trembling lips,“But Jiminie that's all we had." His voice cracked and it broke Seokjin's heart. They couldn't be? They surely couldn't right?
The shorter one shook his head and turned the boy around, “Come on Tae, let's find a place."
“Jimin I'm tired. Can't we sleep here?"
“No Tae. The pretty man might see us" The boy rubbed his eyes, removing the unshed tears no doubt.
Seokjin couldn't take it anymore he rushed to the front door, Namjoon in a tow. He jerked open the door and startled the boys. Their hands clasped together quickly, tightly as their eyes widened and tears pooled in their eyes. Seokjin took a step forward and they backed off slightly. His gaze dropped to the note on the bag, a 1000 won note.
that's all we had.
Tears were beginning to form in his eyes too but he blinked it back and put on a small smile.
“Hi." He said. The boys looked terrified but the one called Jimin gulped and took a step forward as his companion whispered a desperate no.
At this point the boy burst into tears and repeatedly apologized between his sobs and hiccups. The boy behind him was silently crying too.
Jimin rubbed his eyes with fisted hands and Seokjin's heart ached to wrap his arms around the boys. “I'm sorr-ry. I-I took the food. S-sorry. Won't d-do it again. Prom-mise. Sorry. W-we'll pay b-back."
Seokjin shook his head and smiled at them as best he could,“Were you hungry?" The boy stopped rubbing his eyes and stared at Seokjin with his mouth agape, sniffling now and then. The taller boy took a little step forward and came to stand beside the other. Hesitantly, Jimin nodded.
Seokjin nodded and sat right there, on the steps to his home.
“What about your mom? Or dad?"
The boys vulnerable expressions suddenly turned into something hurt and confused. Tae's lips pressed into a straight line as Jimin's formed a perfect pout, eyes glassy with unshed tears.
“We don't have mom and dad. W-we're sorry. We'll go. We'll pay you. It-t was my fault." It was Tae who spoke this time, curling his tiny hands into fists by his side.
Something inside Seokjin broke when he heard that. They looked so small and soft but no doubt they were in pain. Hungry enough to steal food when they knew it was wrong. So innocent and pure, that they had wanted to pay back.
“Where will you go?"
Seokjin smiled at the answer but asked again, “sleep where?"
“Anywhere." His husband gasped from behind him and for the first time, Seokjin noticed his presence.
“Do you want to eat something?" Namjoon asked suddenly and the boys looked just as startled.
“E-eat?" Tae spoke up but Jimin quickly shushed him and shook his head.
“we should go. It-ts late. We won't find a place. S-sorry."
“But its so cold." Seokjin didn't even realise he had spoken this time and the boys stared at him with wide eyes.
“Why do you care?" Tae spoke with such genuine curiousity that Seokjin would've broken down into tears right there if Namjoon hadn't kept a hand on his shoulder. It was the first sentence they had spoken without stuttering.
“We just want to help you."
“Hel-help us?" Jimin asked quietly. Seokjin nodded.
“How old are you?"
“10" Tae said and Jimin gasped beside him, “Tae don't lie." Of course they weren't ten, they barely reached up to Seokjin's thighs.
They spoke in hushed tones, “what if they kill us?" A visible shudder went through Jimin's body and he kept quiet.
“oh my god no. We will never hurt you."
The boys looked at him with big innocent eyes, no doubt trying to ponder if he meant what he said.
"You can eat and sleep inside, if you want?" Seokjin spoke again, hoping and praying to god they'd say yes, “we've got a nice bed and its not cold inside. We have food too."
Both the kids eyes had a faraway look in them and Tae bit his lip to keep the smile from spreading any more. “Really?" Jimin asked and once again Seokjin nodded, hurried to assure them of it. He stepped forward a little and then bowed, “Thank you. M-my name is Jimin." Seokjin broke into a grin at that and the boy pulled his little companion forward too, “This is my brother Taehyung."
“Hello Jimin, TaeHyung. I'm Seokjin. This is Namjoon." Namjoon bowed formally to them as Jin stood up.
Seokjin let out a breath he didn't even know he was holding when Jimin started to smile at the gesture. It was the prettiest thing in the world, his eyes disappeared into crescents and his mouth spread as wide as it could, cheeks bunching up cutely. Seokjin couldn't help himself anymore. He cooed at the boy and pulled him into a hug. The boy stiffened but relaxed soon after. His brother's eyes were so wide that they could've popped out. When he let Jimin go, he quickly pulled Taehyung in for a hug too. The boys arms slowly wrapped around his neck and when he let go, both of them were staring at him in awe. Namjoon chuckled quietly and said, "come inside kids."
“why are you helping us? Nobody helps us." Jimin just whispered the last part like it was a fact and Seokjin pouted unconsciously.
“Because you're just like Hobi and Yoongi" Seokjin said with a tiny smile.
“H-Hobi? That boy?"
“Yes they're our sons." Namjoon said with a smile and the idea of being someone's son made Taehyung's eyes water, “we're like Hobi to you?" He asked disbelievingly
“of course." Namjoon spoke up again.
And this time it was Taehyung's smile that blew away Seokjin. He grinned so wide, revealing two missing teeth, and looked at Jimin in pure shock. Jimin nodded back excitedly.
“we can stay?"
“yes baby come inside." The boys excitedly climbed up the stairs, taking one step at a time or they would fall. Seokjin went back to the time Hobi would do so and it made him giddy. The boys let out an audible gasp as they entered and Namjoon made them sit on the couch.
“So how old are you?"
Taehyung broke into a sheepish grin as he replied, “4"
Jimin said at the same time,“3 and half."
Taehyung stuck his tongue out at his brother who pouted.
“Twins? Aw" Seokjin muttered to himself when Hobi came flying down the stairs, Yoongi right behind him. The boy shrieked when he saw the kids sitting on the couch and ran upto them.
“WOW NEW FRIENDS! I'M HOBI." Jimin blinked in surprise and Tae kept staring before Jimin finally said, “hello." That was enough of an invitation for Hoseok who jumped up on the couch beside them and started excitedly telling them about stuff five year olds can talk about. Yoongi was slow to follow but he sat beside Hobi anyway. After half an hour of chatter, Seokjin asked Hobi to show them his toys while he prepared dinner. They went to Hobi and Yoongi's room. Namjoon got up and walked over to Seokjin who was already in the kitchen.
“Joon they don't have a home."
“I know I know, they can stay, of course they can. But what about the legal things? We can't just keep them with us even though we want to."
“we'll have to find out where they came from, about their family."
Namjoon nodded and sighed. “Tomorrow."
The looks on the boys faces were priceless as Seokjin set the table and they watched from a distance. When they finally saw Hobi and Yoongi sit at the table and they looked at each other with confused looks before Namjoon beckoned them over and asked them to sit as well. They sat carefully. When Seokjin asked them to eat, they stared at him dumbfounded. He gave them an encouraging smile as he started to feed Hobi when he realised what they were waiting for. They didn't know how to use the chopsticks. Seokjin nodded to Namjoon who started to feed them at once. The boys were beyond shocked but they ate gratefully and didn't forget to thank him again and again. Yoongi watched everything with a frown, and Seokjin knew he'd have to talk to him soon.
He called Yoongi over to him after dinner when the boy said, “Eomma, they keep asking us if you were going to stay here forever and never leave. It was scaring Hobi. Are you going somewhere?"
“No, Yoongi, no. They're just...sad because they don't have anyone to take care of them. They think we'll leave them alone too."
“No Eomma Appa?" Seokjin nodded and Yoongi's eyes widened in understanding.
“Yoongi you wouldn't mind if they stayed with us right?"
The boy thought for a minute before he muttered a quiet no and left. He treated them like a big brother for the rest of the night, asked them to call him Hyung.
He made arrangements for the twins to shower, which they did together, and then dried them with a towel as Namjoon put Hobi and Yoongi to bed. Their faces scrunched up cutely and Seokjin couldn't help but coo at them, “such beautiful babies."
Matching red blushes showed up on their cheeks as they smiled shyly. He dressed them in Yoongi's old pyjamas. Seokjin made arrangements for them to sleep in their spare room and asked them to settle down, promising to be back in a bit. He'd just gone to give his sons their goodnight kisses and once he was back, he stood at the door to hear what the boys were talking about.
“Jiminie they're so nice, I want to stay here forever!" The excitement in his voice made Seokjin proud but the next words out of Jimin's mouth made him sad again.
“But you know we can't Tae."
“But Jiminie why not?"
“Tae they don't want to keep us forever. They have their sons." Seokjin wanted to barge in and tell them they could stay forever but even he knew that was not true. Unless they could do something about it.
“So we'll go in the morning?" No, no, please no.
“We'll go." There was a pause. And then a sniffle.
“I don't want to go. I wish we could all stay here. You and me and Kookie." The tremble in Taehyung's voice was enough for the tears to start pooling in Seokjin's eyes.
“I miss Kookie. Do you think he's okay?" Seokjin didn't know who they were talking about.
“He's a strong baby. I miss him too."
There was another long pause in their conversation as Seokjin thought of what to say to them when he entered. He couldn't give them false hopes, but he wanted to keep them. So much.
“The bed is so soft Tae."
“I wish we could stay too."
“Jiminie, I'm tired. Goodnight kiss?" There was shuffling sound as the elder of the twins gave the younger a kiss on his forehead before settling down and muttering, “mine?" Taehyung proceeded to do the same.
“Goodnight Tae. Sleep well Kookie."
“Goodnight Jimin. Sleep well Kookie."
Seokjin walked in then, unable to control himself, and the boys sat up startled, “sorry, were we loud?We'll go away tomorrow, promise"
Seokjin shook his head as he sat beside them. “Boys, do you want to stay here? " They looked at each other with wide eyes before facing him again, nodding slowly.
“Then you can stay. But you have to answer my questions honestly, okay? We'll try our best to keep you here."
They nodded quickly and Seokjin ruffled their hair. “Okay first, who is Kookie?"
Jimin immediately looked down at his hands which lay on the blanket, “He's our brother."
Seokjin stared dumbly till Taehyung continued, “He's our baby brother. He's so small, only one year old."
Seokjin was panicking as he grabbed their hands, wondering if they'd left a one year old out on the street, “where is he?"
“with the mean lady at the fo-sta home." Foster home.
“Is that where you were? Before we met?" Seokjin willed himself to keep his voice calm
“We ran away... ten days ago." Jimin had been counting how many days it had been.
“They died in the car. And left us with the mean lady at the fo-sta home," Jimin spoke with a pout, “ not a home." Tae whispered from beside him.
“So Kookie is still there?" Seokjin finally asked, and the looks on the boys face screamed guilt.
“W-we, mom told u-us to stay together. B-but everyone w-wanted to take away k-kookie be-because he's so small. N-no one wanted a-all three of u-us. So w-we s-scared away those pe-people who would t-take him a-away." Jimin broke down then and Tae patted the boy's back, blinking back tears of his own.
“the mean lady then hit us. S-She told us Kookie would n-never be happy if we did that. Look, it still hurts!" Tae shoved his arm in Seokjin's direction and truly enough, there was a dark mark on the boys arms, Seokjin gripped his arm and stroked lightly before stroking the boys cheeks, “So we w-went away. Kookie w-will be happ-py now?" Jimin asked him with his eyes glistening with tears. He ruffled his hair and nodded a little.
“We can go see Kookie tomorrow?" Seokjin asked to which the boys looked up startled, “You're taking u-us back-k?"
“No Tae, I'll just bring Kookie too."
“Y-you will?" Seokjin nodded and the boys broke into watery smiles. He kissed them each on the forehead and tucked them in. The boys looked like they would cry again but Seokjin smiled at them and all their doubts went away. He walked out of the room, shutting the door behind him.
“Taetae? I don't miss home now."
“me too. Just Kookie."
The next morning they ate breakfast in silence, in anticipation of the upcoming visit to the foster home. After Seokjin had found out the whole story, he'd gone to his room and broken down into sobs while Namjoon consoled him. Together, they'd worked all night to narrow down the foster homes Jimin and Taehyung could've run away from and there were only two in the area so they had decided to visit it the next morning.
Breakfast went by smoothly until Jimin knocked something off the table and then broke down into hysterical sobs and strings of apologies till Seokjin hugged him and reassured him they would not leave them at the foster home again. Whatever that place was, the boys saw it as hell and Seokjin made a mental note to have a word with the mean lady.
When they reached the first one, all of the boys seated at the back of the car, Seokjin looked back and found Taehyung and Jimin staring out of the window in concentration with furrowed eyebrows.
“Is this it boys?" Namjoon asked and Jimin nodded quietly. They stepped out of the car and grabbed the hands of the boys before walking in. Seokjin was holding Jimin's, who held Taehyung's hand in turn. Taehyung's other hand was in Namjoon's hand. Hobi clung to Seokjin's side while Yoongi walked next to Namjoon.Seokjin noticed Jimin gripping his hand harder and he smiled at the boy a little before walking in.
“Hello. I believe these boys are from here?"
The receptionist looked at Jimin and Taehyung with narrowed eyes and the boys whimpered slightly before shuffling uncomfortably.
“Yes I believe they are."
“Good. Because now they are going to be living with me."
The receptionist's eyes widened before she nodded, “I'll prepare the papers. Their names please?"
“uhh Jimin and Taehyung."
Seokjin looked back at the boys who stared at him before Tae said, “oh. Park." He smiled widely.
“And your names sir?"
“Kim Seokjin and Kim Namjoon. We've adopted before, you should check into your database."
The women nodded, “oh and while you're at it, I want to enquire about another child."
She raised an eyebrow and Seokjin continued, “Their younger brother, Kookie?"
He looked at the boys again who looked up cluelessly and nodded.
“Is his name Kookie?"
“Oh um no. Jungkook." Jimin spoke shyly and Seokjin smiled too, pleased. Beautiful names. Their beautiful boys.
Soon a woman holding a baby in her arms appeared. The boy was dressed in a bright yellow T-shirt and blue shorts, hair poking our from odd directions. He squirmed and thrashed as he cried in the woman's arms. Jimin tugged his hand free and he ran to her, Tae right behind him before stopping short as the woman stopped to glare at them.
“You dare run away?" She spoke in sickly sweet voice and the boys whimpered as they took a few steps backward. The woman was about to bend down when Namjoon stepped forward, beating Seokjin to it, “if you touch them, just see what I do to you." He spoke in a calm voice that had shivers running down Seokjin's spine. If the woman didn't get the message than he wasn't sure what would get it through to her. The receptionist cleared her throat and gestured for her to leave. The woman held up the squirming baby and Namjoon took him into his arms. Thankfully, she went away then. Namjoon held the child close, whispered thing so that he would quiet down but Jimin and Taehyung were tugging at his pants. He bent down to their level then, “Kookie look who's here." He said and Seokjin smiled at his husband.
“Kookie Kookie Kookie!" Jimin spoke in his high pitched voice and the boy looked up. He had big, black doe-shaped eyes, and the jet black hair framing his face made him look like an angel. The crying stopped as the boy reached out with his tiny arms, swatting Jimin's head and when he had made sure he was actually there, he broke into a grin revealing the only two teeth he had in his mouth. They happened to be the upper jaw incisors, making him look like a perfect bunny.
Taehyung giggled from beside Jimin and this caught Jungkook's attention who jerked his head in the boys direction and let out an odd sound accompanied by, “Te!" The boys giggled more and a big smile had appeared on the rest of their faces too. Namjoon shook with laughter, which in turn shook Jungkook who giggled even more. Hoseok had walked over to the bunch and poked Jungkook's cheek softly, the baby let out a high pitched sound and laughed.
“Appa he's so cute. Can we keep him?" Namjoon nodded.
“He's like a puppy!"
“Hoseok, don't compare children to puppies."
“No, he's a bunny." Yoongi was the one to speak this time around and Seokjin laughed at the fact that he had made a similar observation in his head.
“I thought so too." He said to him and Yoongi smiled his signature gummy smile. The boy wordlessly walked over to Seokjin and looked up in his eyes seriously, “Eomma was I that old when you brought me home?"
Seokjin froze, before getting down on his knees to face the child properly, “you were younger." He said softly and ran a hand through his hair. The action had always calmed the boy, even when he was a baby.
“Yoongi baby, how-"
“Its okay. You're Eomma. And he's Appa. That's all." Yoongi smiled againand Seokjin tried not to laugh at the way the boy had vaguely gestured behind his shoulder to point at Namjoon.
Seokjin hugged him, “Yes, yes you are my son. And that's all. My baby. So grown up, so big, he understands eomma so well. He understands everything so well. Promise me baby, you'll take care of all your dongsengs, just like Hobi, okay?" The boy nodded sincerely before pressing his lips to Seokjin's cheek and running away to the rest of the boys. To say that Seokjin was proud would be an understatement.