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"Got a potential job opportunity for you."

Taehyung looks up from his computer and over at Hoseok as he walks into his apartment, helping himself to an apple. "The door was locked."

Hoseok wags his eyebrows, dropping down to sprawl across the couch, though he gives no explanation. "Job opportunity, Taehyung. Are you listening?"

He sighs, setting his tablet down and turning in his chair. "What is it?"

"Babysitting."

Taehyung's eyebrow twitches up, looking at Hoseok over the top of his glasses. "Elaborate."

"Babysitting my boss' kid."

"Pass," is his immediate response, picking his pen and tablet back up. 

Hoseok sighs, and Taehyung can see him sitting up from the corner of his eye. "I knew you'd say that."

"Then you shouldn't have asked, should you?" He shoots back with a syrupy sweet voice, going back to shading. 

"You need the money."

"I also need my brother to find a new best friend."

Hoseok tosses the half eaten apple at him. "Taehyung-ah."

The younger sighs, scratching his forehead with the end of his pen. "Thank you for thinking of me, hyung. But I don't want to get caught up in your little world of crime and rebellion."

"How many times have you heard that babysitting ends badly, huh? Nothing bad ever happens when a kid is involved," Hoseok protests as Taehyung picks the apple out of his lap, dropping it in the trash. 

"I'm sure there's a whole category dedicated to babysitting horror movies. Hyung, there's a horror movie just called The Babysitter. Try harder," Taehyung rejects, eyeing his screen as he takes a sip of his coffee.

Hoseok sighs, coming to lean against the side of his desk. "Like me or Yoongi would let anything bad happen to you."

Taehyung scoffs, "Oh, that makes me feel so much better, thank you."

"Yah. I'm serious," Hoseok mutters with a scowl, swatting at Taehyung's chest. "You think I'd ask you if I thought there was any chance it was dangerous? You think I'd ask you if Yoongi hadn't approved of the idea?"

Taehyung can tell he's not going to get anymore work down while Hoseok is hanging around. With a frustrated sigh, he twists back in his desk chair to face his brother's best friend. "Why isn't he proposing the idea to me, then?"

"Busy."

He hums, "Vague. Busy doing what?"

Hoseok meets his eyes, both of them staring each other out before the elder's shoulders sag. "Alright, so Yoongi doesn't know yet, but when I... briefly mentioned the idea, he didn't completely dismiss it."

Taehyung gives him a vacant look.

"Taehyung."

And no, Taehyung won't tolerate whining. "Get out," he dismisses, attempting to swivel back around in his chair, but Hoseok doesn't let him, planting his hands on either shoulder.

"Please, kid. This isn't just a potential job opportunity, but a favour to me, too."

"I knew it. Why?"

Hoseok purses his lips. Taehyung raises an eyebrow, waiting. "I told my boss you'd already agreed. You're actually meeting him tonight."

Taehyung laughs before his face drops and he shoves Hoseok back so he can go back to work. "No, I'm not."

"Look, it's just over the weekend. You can take your work with you, the kid is as good as gold. I'll make sure you get paid handsomely. Ah, just like you, huh? Handsome?"

His brother has made a terrible choice with this friendship.

"Come on, Taehyung. Two days and you walk away without having to feel guilty about Yoongi paying your rent," Hoseok tries, knowing exactly what he's doing.

Taehyung shoots him a sharp look. "That was a low blow, asshole."

Hoseok doesn't even pretend to look apologetic, just stands there and picks at his nails. 

Fucker.

"Alright, fine. But if Yoongi gets mad, that's all on you. I come out the hero. Little brother taking up a job to pay his own rent and to help out big brother's best friend. Deal?"

Hoseok beams. "Deal."

"Now leave me alone."

                                                                                                          -- -- --

Later that night, Hoseok comes and picks him up for a meeting, which sounds so ominous that it makes Taehyung's skin crawl. There's still a chance that the big boss man might decide he doesn't like him, and Taehyung knows he wouldn't feel too bad. He's stayed clear of his brother's line of work for the last three years. Though it's not like Yoongi's ever been too keen on him being a part of it, either. He's never best pleased when Hoseok brings up anything involving work. Taehyung doesn't want to know. He saw his brother come over with blood on his clothes one night and no scratches and he vowed never to ask about it. 

See no evil, hear no evil.

"My brother is gonna kick your ass," Taehyung sighs as they drive through Seoul, scrolling through his texts. 

"He'll get over it," Hoseok waves off with a shake of his head, and the younger turns to look at him with a raise of eyebrows.

"Do you even know Yoongi? Like, at all? I accidentally rolled onto a pair of his sunglasses one time and he's never let me live it down. That was fifteen years ago."

Hoseok inhales deeply and drums his thumb against the steering wheel. "It'll be fine. Maybe we don't even have to tell him."

"Yeah. Because that always works. Let's definitely do that." Taehyung shakes his head, going back to his phone and replying back to Momo with the Google Drive presentation from class today. He eventually heaves a deep breath and tucks his phone away, looking out of the window. "Are we in Gangnam?"

Hoseok hums. "Predictable?"

"Pretty much." He pauses. "You know there's a chance I could get turned away, right? I have no experience in caring for a kid that isn't one of my siblings. Wouldn't it be better to hire someone who, I don't know, actually knows what they're doing?"

Hoseok pulls a face. "Tried that in the pass. Never went well. It's too risky."

Taehyung doesn't even want to know what the means. "Aren't I risky? He doesn't know me."

"No, but he knows you're Yoongi's brother. I know you. I trust you. That's the important thing."

It makes sense. But still, this guy only knows of him, doesn't actually know him as a person. 

The drive is a little ways out, away from the district area, going up through a couple of back roads and up an incline and it makes Taehyung feel a little uneasy at the fact that the cities lights get further and further away the longer they drive.

Hoseok must pick up on his unease. "Getting spooked?" And the smirk on his face has Taehyung swatting at his ribs. "Driving here. A gentle reminder."

"Don't pick fun. Why is the place so far out?"

The elder sighs, settling a look on his face that says that the answer should be obvious. "Don't be dense, Taehyung. I know you know just how high ranked Jeongguk is."

"Jeongguk?"

"The boss."

Taehyung nods. "Well, I don't, actually. Me and Yoongi don't talk about it, you know that. The less I know, the better I sleep at night."

Hoseok chuckles, taking one last turn and Taehyung sees the faint shine of a house in the distance. "Never been curious?"

"It's bad enough knowing that you guys aren't being good citizens and abiding the law. That's enough for me."

It seems to trigger something in Hoseok, his face settling into something more serious. "I know I probably don't have to say it, but - but you know whatever you hear or see, you can't mention it to anyone. Right?"

Taehyung rolls his eyes, scratching under his chin. "I'm not that ignorant, hyung, please. The less I know, the better," he repeats to get his point across.

"Good. Keep it that way."

He shoots a look over at Hoseok at the portentous tone, reaching over and nudging him until his face splits into a grin. 

They slow at the approaching gates, and Taehyung watches with attentive anticipation as Hoseok leans out of the window and thumbs at a button.

"It's me," he says before anyone even says anything on the other side. There's a muted buzz and the gates creak with the sound of a locking mechanism being unlatched before they're parting and exposing a long driveway, leading up to a house that's all glass and dim neon lighting around the borders. 

It's a pretty sight, soft glows of blue lighting up the immaculately trimmed bushes lining the driveway, and greens and purples hitting the sides of the house, bouncing off the white plaster and grey stone. It's definitely an ultra modern house, parts elevated up higher, formed in blocks, all sharp edges. Cars litter around the garage, all sleek and expensive looking. It makes something unpleasant settle in Taehyung's stomach, realising that he really is stepping into the lions den. He feels a nervous itch at his skin, having been preventing moments like this for the last few years, but now he's being pulled right into the middle of it. Even if nothing comes from tonight, he's getting another insight of his brother's line of work. And he'd rather not. He'd really rather not. 

"Hey," Hoseok speaks up, pulling him out of his daze. There's a line between his eyebrows, hesitance behind his eyes. "Listen, Tae. I know I said you'd be doing me a favour, but I don't want you to be uncomfortable. I can take you home if you want, no harm."

Taehyung seriously considers it, thinks about how he could agree and after this make even more of an effort to block out this side of Yoongi. But he really could use the money and he hates - hates with a capital H - relying on his brother for income. Not that he's not grateful, but he's a grown man. He should be able to fend for himself, be able to pay his own rent like every other kid his age attending uni. Taehyung knows Yoongi has more money than he knows what to do with, and he already feels guilty enough that he let him get him an apartment in the nicer part of town, closer to campus. Yoongi knows better than anyone that he doesn't like being indebted to anyone, doesn't like feeling like he owes anyone anything - his brother is the same. But it always seems to be a double standard when it comes to him.

"No, no. It's fine," Taehyung decides with a nod, shooting a smile over to Hoseok, giving his knee a pat before he climbs out of the car. He takes a deep breath, the air seemingly cleaner and thicker up here, away from the city and closer to the hills. Less pollution, he supposes. His eyes scan the cars parked up around Hoseok's and he clicks his tongue at the familiar license plate. "Ruh roh," he mocks, twisting to look at the older. When Hoseok gives him a look of confusion, Taehyung points over his shoulder with a thumb and a phony look of sympathy.

Hoseok groans upon spotting Yoongi's car, head dropping back as he rests his arm up on the roof of his car, seemingly debating with himself. All the while Taehyung rocks on his heels, eyes filled with mirth. Buckets of mirth. "Shit."

"Maybe you wanna go home now."

The elder fixes him with a narrowed look, mocking a silent laugh before shaking his head. "No, c'mon. It's fine. It'll be fine. He loves me enough that he won't kill me."

Taehyung hums, patting Hoseok's arm as he passes him around the hood of the car, climbing the steps to stand in front of large, grey double doors. "After you," he insists and doesn't miss the eye roll he gets as Hoseok lets himself in.

Needless to say, the house on the outside has nothing on the inside. High ceilings and tall walls, covered in modern art and photographs of skylines. The floors are marble, the odd block coloured rug spread out here and there. And that's just the foyer alone. Two sets of black marble stairs start in the middle of the room, glass banisters, curving up to meet at the top in the shape of sideways eye. Couches and arm chairs hug the curves of the wall in the middle, styled like a waiting room, showing a fireplace right down the middle at the end. His knees give a phantom throb at all the marble and hard surfaces, already picturing himself with colourful bruises on his shins.

He gives a low whistle, gaze dropping from the obnoxiously shaped chandelier hanging above them and onto Hoseok. "Feels like I've just stepped into a catalogue," he whispers, almost cautious of raising his voice too loud in fear of it bouncing off the walls.

Hoseok snorts and nods for him to follow, leading him right down the middle of the "eye" and towards what looks to be the living room, white leather couches parallel to each other and a single glass coffee table in the middle. 

Taehyung spots Yoongi sat on one of the couches, in the middle of some story when his attention turns to Hoseok approaching. The smile that pulls at his lips is sweet - for about three seconds - before his eyes land on Taehyung standing a bit further back, arms still tucked behind his back. "Hi, hyungie," he greets with a big, innocent smile. 

"What the fuck is this, Hoseok? Why is Taehyung here?" Yoongi spits, standing up and giving his friend a look that has Taehyung wondering if there's a nearby fire extinguisher. Or maybe a fire station. 

"Yoongi, wait, wait, before you start--"

"Shut the fuck up," the elder snaps, pushing Hoseok aside and directing his attention to Taehyung, who's been standing there like the good little brother he is. His smile drops with a pained ah ah ah as his brother grabs his ear and drags him out of the room, his sandals slapping noisily on the floor as he's forced back outside. "What the fuck are you doing here, Taehyung? I thought this was the exact shit you wanted nothing to do with."

Taehyung slaps Yoongi's hand away from his ear, reaching up to rub at it with an exaggerated wince. "Why do you have to be so rough."

"Taehyung!" Yoongi all but growls, and Taehyung sighs.

"Hoseok said it was good money. I need the money," he shrugs.

His brother blinks at him, shaking his head with a dangerous lick of his lips - Taehyung knows that look. Yoongi's about to use the big brother voice. "Why won't you just let me take care of you? The money means nothing to me, you know that--"

"Yeah, but it means something to me, hyung. I don't like relying on you anymore than I already do. I can't do it forever. I need to be able to do some things for myself." When it doesn't get the reaction Taehyung wants, he sighs impatiently. "Put yourself in my shoes, okay? You hate having things handed to you. So imagine the guilt you'd feel knowing that someone else takes care of all your bills, makes sure your fridge is stocked up and puts money in your bank. It's comforting, sure. But it's frustrating." Taehyung's arms drop to his sides, eyebrows pulled together gently, voice softening. "Let me be an adult."

Yoongi exhales slowly through his nose, arms crossed over his chest as he looks off to the side, and Taehyung can see the inner turmoil he's clearly facing. He knows not to push, so he stays silent, but he's anxious. It's been something he's been wanting to say for the last year and a half, when the initial satisfaction of having everything taken care of for him wore off. 

"Alright, fine. Fine." Yoongi pauses again, this time searching his brother's face. "Are you sure this is how you wanna do it, though, Taehyung? This job exactly?"

Taehyung's once again hit with the opportunity to bail out, but he'd feel a little stupid after all this to just back out now. He's still doing Hoseok a favour. "It's just for the weekend, right? Once it's done, I won't do it again."

His brother nods, but he still looks wary. "Tell me at any point if you wanna go, okay? I'll come get you. I'll look after the kid myself if I have to. I just - I don't want you to feel uncomfortable. Promise me you'll tell me, Tae."

Taehyung doesn't have the heart to tell Yoongi that he's already uncomfortable, not when he's speaking so sincerely to him. He reaches up to cover one of his eyes with two of his fingers and gives a soft smile, their own version of a promise. When they were younger, they'd once had a late night conversation about how the concept of pinkie promises worked - how if you broke the promise, you lost the pinkie. Yoongi mentioned how people could still function without a pinkie. Taehyung said how it should be something more vital, like an eye. It's been their own silent promise ever since.

Yoongi gives a twitch of his lips before nodding and pushing the door open for him, following close behind. 

"Any pointers?" Taehyung mutters in question as the walk back to the living room. 

"Don't kill the kid," is his brother's blunt reply, which earns him a gawp and elbow to the ribs from Taehyung. "Kidding. But, really. Don't."

Taehyung lets out a slow breath. "Helpful."

Once they return, the initial hustle and bustle over from brother having his five minutes - Hoseok is still cowering in the corner - Taehyung registers the other people there. There's only a few of them, but he can just tell by the air around them who's in charge. It's the guy with the white button down and a sharp look to his eyes as he scrutinises Taehyung. He bows his head to the rest of the room, but his gaze goes back to Jeongguk, not entirely sure what he's meant to do or say, if he's meant to treat this as a job interview, or what. He looks over to Yoongi who inclines his head towards Jeongguk with a raise of his eyebrows, clearly encouraging him.

"Hi," he greets. "I'm Kim Taehyung. Yoongi's brother. If that whole scene didn't make it abundantly clear."

Jeongguk studies him passively, uncrossing his legs and setting down the drink in his hand. "Follow me."

Taehyung's eyes widen, sparing another glance at his brother who gestures for him to follow. So he does, staying a few steps behind Jeongguk as he's led through another part of the house. He realises they're stepping into what must be Jeongguk's office, going by the big, glass desk at the back of the room, facing the double doors. Taehyung clears his throat as he watches Jeongguk sit down and study him, turning away so he can close the doors behind him. He hesitates for a minute before going to take the seat on the other side of the desk.

It's a nice room, once again modern, but this room feels more worn in. Like it's been used more often. It's stark white, more paintings on the wall and couches in the corner, a small bar in the very corner. This room, though, has a view of the pool outside, overlooking the city and the long expanse of yard in the back. Taehyung feels lost in a place as nice as this, feels very out of his element, like anything could break if he just looks at it hard enough.

"So. Taehyung. Tell me a bit about yourself," Jeongguk starts, leaning back in his chair.

"Uh, well. I'm twenty-two. I'm in university, studying game design..." He trails off, not really sure what else to offer. This whole scenario is throwing him off.

Jeongguk gives a slow nod. "Do you have any experience with kids?"

"Just my younger brothers and sisters."

Another nod. "Can you cook?"

"I get by."

"Are you careless?"

That throws Taehyung a little. "Um. Sorry?"

"I said. Are you careless, Taehyung." Taehyung's mouth falls open a little, blinking as he tries to think of a sensible response. "Because I obviously wouldn't subject my son to being taken care of someone careless. I'm sure you understand," Jeongguk explains, a soft smile on his lips that does little to comfort him.

"N-No, of course. I understand. I'm not careless, no. I'm very careful, I don't take things lightly."

Jeongguk seems pleased with that, folding his hands under his chin. "Do you know what I do, Taehyung?"

"No," is his immediate answer. Then he scrunches his nose. "Vaguely."

Jeongguk's eyebrows raise. "Surely with Yoongi and Hoseok--"

Taehyung shakes his head. "We don't talk about it. To be honest, I have no interest in any of that stuff."

"Then why do you want this job?"

He frowns in response. "It's babysitting. I didn't realise that put me in the world of thugs and hooligans."

Jeongguk's lips twitch up at the side. "It kind of does, unfortunately."

Taehyung takes his own turn to smile, a little bitter, rubbing his hands along his knees, not realising how much his skin had clammed up until his damp palms brush his knees through the slits in his jeans. "May as well get paid for it then, right?"

The man takes his time to study him, and for the next twenty minutes he asks him all sorts of questions about possible criminal records, minor offences, any weird habits - it's all a little ironic coming from someone like Jeongguk. Not that he knows exactly what he and his band of brothers do, but he's got an idea of it. 

"Do you want to meet him?"

Taehyung blinks. "Who?"

Jeongguk seems to swallow back a small laugh. "My son, obviously. Junseo."

He's a moron. "Oh, right. Yeah! Yeah, of course. I'd love to meet him. How old is he?" Taehyung hears his own voice softening and he wonders if this is why Hoseok thought of him to look after his boss' kid. It's been a while since he's been able to dote on his younger siblings, but when he does, nothing makes him happier than playing with them. He's always had the biggest soft spot for children.

"Seventeen," Jeongguk tells him with a blank face and Taehyung's a little rattled, stunned from where he was midway to standing up. "I'm kidding," the man laughs, amusement curling at his lips. "He's six." And Taehyung can hear the softness to his voice.

"Great age." Jeongguk's eyebrows raise in silent question as he leads him out of his office. "You know, it's when they're at their softest. They think you're the funniest and most entertaining person ever, like you know the answers to the universe."

Jeongguk seems to get it, going off the way his face goes a little soft when he thinks Taehyung isn't looking. "How old are your brothers and sisters?"

"Nine, thirteen and fifteen. They've gotten past the stage where they think I'm a superhero," Taehyung huffs softly, though it's a little sad. He misses when they'd let him cuddle them without batting an eyelash. Now they've got friends and their own little lives. He misses it.

They make their way through the house once again, passing the living room and Taehyung catches sight of Yoongi no doubt still scolding Hoseok, if his brother's best friend's pleading face is anything to go by. When Yoongi looks his way, Taehyung shoots him a hopeful thumbs up before they disappear around the bend of stairs.

"You've got a nice house," Taehyung comments as he's shown more and more of the seemingly endless hallways. For a place that is slabbed with marble and angles, it feels warm and he has no doubt it has everything to do with the little boy he's about to meet.

Jeongguk nods his thanks, his own eyes taking in the place as if he's seeing it for the first time. Taehyung doesn't miss the way his eyebrows pull together just the slightest bit, but he makes no comment. 

He's led down one of the corridors to a door with wooden letters stuck on, spelling out Junseo's name, hand painted and messy, definitely the work of a young mind. Jeongguk lets himself in, and Taehyung peaks around one of his shoulders as he steps into the room and spots a little boy on the floor, laid out on his belly with pencils, crayons and paper scattered all around him haphazardly. Taehyung half expects an introduction, for Jeongguk to announce their presence, but he just gives him a nod that he reads as go ahead.

Taehyung's eyes return back to the young boy as he slowly approaches, carefully sitting down beside him and watching as he colours a picture of a lizard in with reds and oranges. "That's a cool lizard," he comments, resting his chin on his hand.

"Thank you. They're my favourite." Junseo looks up then, crayon pausing on the paper to meet Taehyung's eyes. "Daddy got me a lizard last year for my birthday."

Taehyung raises his eyebrows, mouth parting in childlike wonder. "No way. That's so cool. What's its name?"

"Drago."

He gasps and gives a serious nod. "That's a cool name."

Junseo studies him for a second before his eyebrows twitch. "Wanna see him?"

"If that's okay with you."

The kid nods, giving a little gummy smile that has Taehyung's heart squeezing in on itself. While Junseo goes and gets Drago, Taehyung takes the opportunity to look over his shoulder at Jeongguk who's still standing at the doorway. He doesn't say anything, just meets his eyes before they flicker above Taehyung's head to where Junseo is returning.

"This is him."

Taehyung is definitely amazed at the sight of the lizard in Junseo's hands, skin a bright, mint green with orange stripes over his belly. The artist in him feels inspired. "He is the coolest lizard I've ever seen," he tells Junseo honestly.

Junseo grins at his answer, gently running a little finger over Drago's back. "He's a panther iguana. He's my best friend."

His heart feels like it's about to burst. "I can tell. He looks like he loves you a lot a lot."

The kid sits down beside him, smile still fixed into place. "Wanna hold him?"

Taehyung gives Junseo a soft look. "Are you sure? What if he doesn't like me? He looks like he's very attached to you." 

Junseo giggles and it has a toothy smile stretching onto Taehyung's face. He's shown how to hold Drago, shown how to pet him and he's even allowed to feed him a grasshopper, which is insanely cool, watching Drago's tongue dart out and curl around the insect. Taehyung doesn't even have to fake his noises of amazement.

"He's so cool!" Taehyung confesses in a whispered shout, watching the way Drago's protruding eyes roll around. 

For a while they just sit and play with the brightly coloured lizard, before the kid looks up at him. "What's your name?"

"Taehyung," he introduces, giving an over the top bow of his head, though he's careful not to disturb the reptile in his hands, holding him delicately. 

It gets another laugh out of Junseo and that has Taehyung feeling that pride that only a giggling child can bring. "I'm Junseo!"

"The pleasure is all mine."

A couple of minutes later, when Junseo is putting Drago back, Taehyung looks over his shoulder to check in with Jeongguk, and spots him disappearing down the hall, leaving the pair of them alone. He takes that as a good sign.

For the next hour, him and Junseo draw and colour, and Taehyung feels like some world-renowned artist at the sheer wonderment that crosses the boy's face as he sketches out little drawings for him. He tells him all about what he's studying at school, and the look that Junseo levels on him as he listens with keen ears, reflects his father's. He can see the resemblance, the pout of his lips and the gentle slope of his nose. Junseo doesn't hold the hardness of Jeongguk's eyes, though. They're open and trusting and it makes a paternal instinct flare up in Taehyung's chest.

Junseo seems so genuinely interested in what Taehyung's studying at school and insists that he be shown some of his sketches. He complies, of course, pulling out his phone and giving free reign to Junseo to look through his art folder. He seems particularly fascinated with his mock design of superheros as female characters, drawn to his sketch of female Spider-Man, softer with feminine features. Taehyung talks about how the project he's on right now is all about making your own villain for a specific game concept that's been set.

"Okay, so let me set the scene," Taehyung starts, both of them now sat on Junseo's bed - it's bigger than his own back in his apartment - and the kid leans back down onto his belly, chin resting on both palms, staring at Taehyung like he's about to hear the story of a lifetime. "It's set way in the future, the world is corrupt-- bad," he corrects, to make it easier for Junseo to understand. "Evil has taken over and the world's new superhero is slowly starting to piece it back together." He goes on and gives a long description, making sure to be extra animated, gesticulating wildly with his hands, putting on voices that have Junseo snorting and gasping and gaping at him. It's a little over the top, he knows, but Junseo likes it, and that's what matters. 

"A cyborg villain," Junseo decides once Taehyung's finished crashing two cars together on the bed. 

Taehyung pulls his phone out and starts taking notes as Junseo brims over with suggestions, taking it all into honest consideration because the kid has a bright, vivid imagination and it's incredible. He's envious of it, the young, youthful mind that's not tarnished with overused concepts and creates his own world in the one Taehyung's started for him. 

"You're so cool, you have such an imagination up here," Taehyung praises with a little poke to Junseo's head, which gets him another all-gum smile. 

They continue to talk and play for a while longer before eventually Jeongguk is reappearing at the door, and he doesn't know how long he stands there for, watching Taehyung and his son talk enthusiastically about cartoons before he makes his presence known. "What's all the excitement about?"

Taehyung and Junseo both turn to look at the older man, and Taehyung grins, setting the figurine in his hand down with the collection that they'd gathered. "We were just talking about Pororo," he explains. "And how cool it is."

Junseo nods quickly, starting to put his toys away and Taehyung helps him, stacking them back on his shelf. "Taehyung's seen all the episodes too, daddy!"

"Has he now?" Jeongguk asks, sending an amused glance over at Taehyung who smiles in turn, organising the toys back in the way Junseo had them before. "Sounds like you've both been having a lot of fun. But now it's time for bed."

Taehyung and Junseo whine in unison, both sending pouts over to Jeongguk before Taehyung remembers that he is not, in fact, a child. He's actually an adult and he doesn't have a bed time. "It was nice meeting you, Junseo. You too, Drago," he bows to the lizard and Junseo once again rewards him with a laugh.

"Will you be back?" Junseo asks, staring up at him with eyes big enough to envy the entire world.

Taehyung rests a gentle elbow on Junseo's head. "That's up to your dad over there."

They both turn to stare at Jeongguk once again, Taehyung propped up against his son. Jeongguk huffs a laugh through his nose, eyes on Taehyung as he clearly considers it, tongue laving his bottom lip and wow, kind of hot, but he'll overlook it. "Taehyung will be back this weekend. But only if you get ready for bed, ah?"

The pair grin and Taehyung lets his arm drop as Junseo looks up at him. "Bring some of your drawings!"

Taehyung nods with obligation. "I will. But only if you show me some of your stories! Promise?" He asks and Junseo lifts two fingers and covers one of his eyes with a knowing grin, one which Taehyung returns. "Sleep tight, bug." He turns away then and gives Jeongguk a smile as he passes, leaving the pair to get Junseo ready for bed while he heads downstairs. He meets Yoongi and Hoseok in the foyer, both clearly waiting. 

"Well? How'd it go?" Hoseok asks, and Taehyung can make out the red mark on the side of his cheek.

"Went really great. He's amazing," Taehyung sighs, feeling all merry after spending time with Junseo. "Boss man invited me back, so."

Hoseok sighs with relief, giving Yoongi's side a little jab. "See? I--"

"If you say you told me so, I swear to god, the least of your worries will be a bruised fucking shin," Yoongi cuts in with a dismissive hand, effectively shutting Hoseok up, who sends Taehyung a wag of his eyebrows over his shoulder. 

Jeongguk returns a few minutes later, eyes steady on Taehyung as he comes down the stairs. "Looks like you've got a fan," is what he says first, having Taehyung's cheeks warming happily. "He likes you. I think you'll be just fine over the weekend."

Taehyung bows his head in thanks, draping his arm around his brother's shoulders. "Here, let me give you my number in case you need to let me know anything," he initiates, holding his hand out for Jeongguk to give him his phone. 

"Taehyung-ah. Manners," Hoseok chastises, reaching around Yoongi to poke him harshly in the ribs.

"No, no, it's fine," Jeongguk dismisses, hilarity swimming in his eyes as he pulls his phone out and hands it to Taehyung, who quickly inputs his number, and sends himself a text so he can have his number too.

He hands it back with a broad grin. "Junseo's a great kid. We'll have fun over this weekend, don't worry," Taehyung assures, though he's soon distracted by the sight of two Doberman peering around the corner. He gasps and rushes over, arms outstretched and drops to a crouch to pet the two dogs.

"Aish, Taehyung," Yoongi sighs from behind him, and he hears him quietly apologise to Jeongguk while Taehyung cuddles up to the pups.

Yoongi eventually pulls him away - alas - and Taehyung gives Jeongguk a wave as they head out, telling him to text him if he needs him to know anything. Once he's in Yoongi's car and they're heading back to his, his brother reaches over and smacks him on the back of the head.

"Yah! What was that for?" 

"For talking to Mr. Jeon like that."

"Mr. Jeon? You're joking, right?"

Yoongi sends him a look. "That's what you're to call him, Taehyung. He's a good man. He was kind to you tonight, but don't--"

"Yeah, yeah. I know what you're gonna say, hyung. Don't piss him off. Don't annoy him. I got it. I won't be hanging around him anyway."

Yoongi sighs irritably beside him. "You're taking this very lightly, kid, and I don't appreciate it. Do you know, he once--"

Taehyung waves his hands around. "Don't wanna know, don't wanna know. I'll be good, alright?" He huffs, looking over at his brother. "Are we good?"

Yoongi looks his way, face still pinched before it softens a fraction, reaching over and ruffling his little brother's hair. "Yeah, we're good. Just don't get us killed and we'll definitely  be good.

                                                                                                          -- -- --

Taehyung's in the middle of doing his laundry when his phone buzzes in his back pocket. He sets down the shirt he'd been in the midst of folding and takes a look at the text.

from: boss man

Is this Taehyung? It's Jeon Jeongguk. 

Taehyung's eyebrows raise in amusement at the formality of it. It sounds like such a dad text. He leans his hip against the dryer and hits reply.

to: boss man

yh i know who u are ahah 

what do u need lord jeon

from: boss man

Lord Jeon? 

Taehyung remembers his brother's warning, and he's about to apologise, maybe say he was joking when he gets another chime of his phone.

from: boss man

Don't you know how to talk to your elders, Taehyung?

Ooh. Taehyung scrunches his nose up at that. Just when he'd been so close to actually giving a genuine apology. He brushes it off.

to: boss man

im aware :)

is smthing the matter ?

He really shouldn't be playing with fire. But Jeongguk didn't seem so bad, so he'll take what he can. If it ever came to the dude actually being mad, then he'd apologise. He doesn't like to break out honorifics unless he really has to, unless he feels like someone really deserves it.

from: lord jeon

Interesting.

And no, nothing is the matter. Just thought we'd talk about Junseo.

to: lord jeon

aww how is the cutie ? 

from: lord jeon

He's well, thank you. 

He's looking forward to this weekend. 

to: lord jeon

me too ! 

he wants me to teach him how to use a tablet

and he's gnna teach me about reptiles 

how cool !!

from: lord jeon

Sounds like you've got quite the weekend planned.

I just wanted you to know that all the food will be prepped for you, you don't have to worry about that.

And I'll leave you a list of rules, like bed time, bath time, school work, etc. 

Are you keeping up?

to: lord jeon

food and list 

double check !

anythin else ????

from: lord jeon

Junseo sleeps with a night light, or he'll get scared. 

Don't let him tell you that I allow him to watch scary movies, because I don't.

Clear?

to: party pooper

crystal :)

give me a sec, im writin this down too

And like he said, he pulls up his notes on his phone and copy and pastes Jeongguk's texts into a new document. 

to: party pooper

ok what else 

from: party pooper

He's got asthma, but he has plenty of pumps scattered through the house and he knows how to use them.

So don't worry about that.

He doesn't often need them, just when he gets a little panicked or winded.

to: a real good dad

oh no :(

but ok i got it 

from: a real good dad 

Yoongi will give you the code to the gate and alarm.

I have security patrolling at all times, so don't worry if you spot them patrolling.

Don't forget to put the alarm on at night.

Do not. And I mean do not answer the door or the buzzer if it rings.

If it's me or my guys, then we'll let ourselves in.

That's very important, Taehyung. Do you understand?

Taehyung feels something heavy settle in the pit of his stomach at just the warning of something like that possibly happening. It might send him into a panic if it happens. Just the thought has his heart beating a little faster, mouth going a little dry. It'll be fine, though. It's just precaution. Jeongguk has security, there are locks and gates and men between him and Junseo.

to: a real good dad

i understand

i wont do anythin stupid like that

i swer

swear*

from: a real good dad

It'll be fine, don't worry.

I just want you to have all the facts.

Do you have any questions for me?

to: wat have i gotten myself in2

are we allowed t go out in the garden ? 

from: wat have i gotten myself in2

Of course. Just be inside by seven.

Anything else?

to: wat have i gotten myself in2

where do i sleep ??

from: wat have i gotten myself in2

Any of the guest rooms.

No parties, either.

to: wat have i gotten myself in2

wat

why u sayin that 

why would i have a party 

from: wat have i gotten myself in2

It's a good opportunity for a party.

Don't kids always throw a party any opportunity they can?

But don't have one.

to: grandpa (not real 1)

ok ?? 

ill try

from: grandpa (not real 1)

Taehyung.

to: grandpa (not real 1)

im kidding !!!

pick up on the sarcasm 

no parties , i woujdnt do that

swear 

from: grandpa (not real 1)

Sarcasm is hard to pick up through texting.

to: grandpa (not real 1)

no 

i think ur just bad at it

from: grandpa (not real 1)

Is that so?

You really are quite outspoken, aren't you.

Your brother was right.

to: rudey mcrude rude

dont listen to him

im a good egg

who understands sarcasm :)

from: rudey mcrude rude

Anyway.

Any other questions?

to: rudey mcrude rude

no i think we are gdddd

see u frieday boss man

from: rudey mcrude rude

See you Frieday.

to: SO RUDE !!!!

(¬▂¬)

Taehyung scoffs, setting his phone down. "Rude."

                                                                                                          -- -- --

Yoongi picks him up that Friday, and he can see by the look on his face that he's pensive, clearly second guessing this

"Hyung," Taehyung says as his brother drives them over to Jeongguk's. "It's gonna be fine. I've already had a long talk with Jeong--" he stops at the look Yoongi sends him. "I've already had a long talk with Mr. Jeon, alright? I know the rules. No answering the door, put the alarm on at night, in by seven. I even made my own list. You know how serious I am about things if I bother to make a list."

Yoongi sighs, giving a nod, running his hand through his hair as they stop at a red light. "Just don't fuck up, Taehyung. I'm your brother, but I can't be held accountable for your actions this time. Okay?"

Taehyung frowns, lips pushing into a sulk. "I can handle my own, thank you. It'll be fine," he repeats, this time a little more assertively. 

His brother just nods, not saying anything else on the matter. Probably for the best. Taehyung doesn't want to hear the whole spiel about just being a kid, not knowing the extremes of the job, because once again, he's just babysitting for the weekend. He's been trusted hundreds of times to look after their siblings alone. It's no different. 

When they arrive, guys are already pilling into cars, clearly about to head off. Taehyung doesn't even have the smallest bit of interest to know what is actually happening over the weekend. He's fine with being kept entirely in the dark. 

"Taehyung!" Junseo greets as he and Yoongi step into the house, smile bright on his face, one Taehyung mirrors.

"Junseo! You excited for the weekend?" He asks, setting his bag down to the side, being careful because his tablet and laptop are inside. "You got those stories ready for me?"

Junseo nods eagerly before he stops and crosses his little arms over his chest, and he looks like a tiny Jeongguk, oh god, how adorable. "Have you got the drawings?"

Taehyung copies him, tongue pressing against the inside of his cheek and chin lifting. "I might do."

They both break into giggles then, poking at each other until Jeongguk steps over, and wowcha. Taehyung looks over the older man, dressed in a dark suit, the first few buttons open to mid chest and he can see ink peaking out on one side, can make out some Hangul, but it's cut off by by a thick silver chain hanging between his collarbones. Now Taehyung is really getting a good look at Jeongguk for the first time, he can't deny that the guy is attractive. 

But now is not the time to check out the hot dad-slash-gangster.

"Taehyung," Jeongguk greets, fixing his blazer, which he returns with a smile of recognition. "The list is on the kitchen counter. Did your brother give you the gate number?"

"I did," Yoongi inputs.

"And you remember the rules we discussed?"

Taehyung nods. "I remember. It's gonna be fine, I promise. We're gonna have a good time, aren't we?" He asks Junseo who's been tugging at a loose piece of string on Taehyung's sleeve, looking up to beam and nod. "Now leave so our sleepover can begin."

A short, stocky guy with grey bangs falling into his eyes laughs as he passes. "Keep this one around, sir, he's funny," he says as he steps outside, following behind a couple of other guys.

Taehyung just smiles a little too sweetly over at Yoongi who snorts in turn. "I'm funny, Yoongi-hyung. Did you hear?"

"Shut up," Yoongi scoffs, but pulls him in by the back of the head to bump their foreheads together. "Be good, alright?" And then a little quieter, "Call me straight away if anything happens. Me first, alright?"

Taehyung nods.

With that, Yoongi heads out, but not before Taehyung manages to trip him at the ankle, his brother stumbling out with a curse on his lips, before he catches himself at the reminder of the child present.

Taehyung turns to the other two then, everyone else seemingly have left aside from Hoseok who's standing at the door, waiting.

"Be good for Taehyung, okay? You do what he says while I'm gone. He knows the rules, and you do too, yes?" Jeongguk asks his son, crouched down in front of him, making himself small.

Junseo nods, wrapping little arms around Jeongguk's neck. "I love you, daddy."

Taehyung tries to avert his eyes, but it's too sweet of a moment to pass up on, watching Jeongguk squeeze Junseo to his chest and press kisses to the side of his head. He stands and gently knocks his son's chin with a knuckle and gives his chin a squeeze. "Daddy loves you too, kiddo." He steps away then, and walks past Taehyung who stands straighter and pins his arms to his side like a loyal soldier. "Have fun," Jeongguk tells him with a little narrow of his eyes.

He watches him go, giving a little mock salute with his index finger. "Lord Jeon," he bids farewell, lips twitching with silent laughter when Jeongguk looks back at him as he leaves, and he definitely doesn't miss the curl of his lips.

"You're trouble," Hoseok whispers to him as he closes the door, and Taehyung waves with both hands.

Once the door is closed and the sound of engines fade away, Taehyung spins to face Junseo the same time the kid faces him too, and they both start yelling and running, heading into the living room to go and bounce up on the couches.

It's gonna be a fun weekend.