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the way our horizons meet

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Yoongi doesn’t hate children.

He might seem like the person outwardly who dislikes children, but that’s a bit of a misrepresentation, because he doesn’t hate children. He’d even go as far as to say that he likes children – when they are a friends or a family member’s and he can take them out and fill them up with sugar and wind them up then dump them with their parents and leave.

It’s just that he gets a bit uncomfortable around them. Kids are okay when they are happy and laughing and everything is dandy, but when they cry or throw tantrums or are ill, he’s at a loss.

It’s why he’s always been glad that he doesn’t have children, nor does he even need to worry about an accident happening and him ending up with a child.

Until now.

As he sits on the old couch with a forgotten cup of tea in front of him and a luck of utter surprise on his face.

“They what?!”

The kindly old lady sat in the armchair opposite him smiles gently.

“In their will, Jungha and Daeguk named you as their preferred guardian for Jungkook should anything happen to them...” She trails off.

Today has been full of surprises for Yoongi, with him learning that his childhood friends had passed away in a car accident a few days ago – that had been traumatising enough, but then he’d been told that he was named in the will and had to come to the solicitor's office and now… now he’s being told that he’s been given custody of their son.

He’s only even met Jungkook a few times and the last time was a couple of years ago. The kid was tiny back then. This must be a mistake.

“It isn’t a mistake.” The solicitor says warmly. “You have clearly been named as their preferred guardian of Jungkook. You don’t need to accept, but they have no immediate family left and if you weren’t to take the boy in, he’d end up an orphan in care.”

Yoongi frowns. The last thing he wants is his oldest friend’s child ending up in the system. He’s heard awful things and he doesn’t like the idea of that happening to Jungkook…

“How old is the kid now?” He asks.

The solicitor looks at her notes for a moment.

“He’s seven.”

An age where he would notice the changes around him. He’ll feel the loss of his parents the most. He’ll need some stability. Yoongi isn’t sure how much of that he can offer, but he feels himself wavering. He feels backed into a corner, like he has two choices and only one is even slightly viable.

He sighs.

“Okay.”

 

**

 

Yoongi woke up the morning with a stranger in his bed and a missed call from the solicitor office.

Now he’s getting back into the flat with a seven year old kid with all his worldly possessions in a plastic bag.

“I don’t have a bed for you yet, but you can stay on the sofa and I’ll get the spare room sorted out, okay?”

Jungkook just nods.

It’s pretty much all he’s been doing since Yoongi picked him up from the child services office late this afternoon. He’s nodded and shaken his head, but so far Yoongi hasn’t heard a single word out of the kid. It’s worrying, but it’s probably normal – the kid has just lost his parents.

Yoongi doesn’t know. He doesn’t know shit about kids.

“You hungry?” He asks.

Jungkook’s reply is a shake of the head.

Yoongi shrugs. He’s pretty starving. In the drama of the day, he hasn’t eaten and he’s probably still a little hungover from last night. His stomach clenches as he thinks about food and within minutes he’s throwing his leftovers from last night in a pan for reheating. He pours himself a drink and grabs a can of coke for Jungkook as well. The boy just stares at it.

Yoongi sighs, unsure of how to approach the problem. He knows this is probably all normal. This has been a big upheaval for the child. Last night, he lost his parents and today he’s at a complete stranger's house and he’s had to leave his life behind and it’s not even like Yoongi is good with children – he has no idea why Jungha and Daeguk put him up to this.

He dishes up his food and starts eating, and he’s halfway through the bowl when he looks up and sees Jungkook watching him, his eyes following the chopsticks as they move from the bowl to Yoongi’s mouth.

He frowns.

“Are you sure you’re not hungry?”

Jungkook nods again, but his stomach lets out a long growl.

Yoongi sighs and passes his bowl over to Jungkook. “Finish this.” He says.

Jungkook hesitates but Yoongi pushes the bowl towards him.

As he watches Jungkook take the chopsticks and start to wolf down the noodles, Yoongi starts to list the things in his head that he needs to do.

He needs to give Jungkook a bed, because the kid can’t live on his sofa.

He needs to let his boss know that he needs a bit of time off work (thankfully Namjoon is a close friend and will understand, and Yoongi can always work from home if needed).

He needs to get Jungkook enrolled in a school and sort all of that out,

He needs some time for himself to reconcile what has happened, because he’s somehow ended up with an orphaned kid and Yoongi realises, for the first time that day, that his life is probably never going to be the same again. Not just because he now has to think about someone other than himself, but also because he has lost one of his closest friends today.

Yoongi feels his heart sink when he thinks about it.

 

**

 

He can’t sleep.

It’s four am and he’s tossing and turning in bed. He’s been trying to sleep for hours now, and he’s actually exhausted from the day but his brain won’t stop thinking and Yoongi can’t sleep.

He can’t help but think of the skinny little boy laying on the couch in the other room, his whole life turned upside down and now living with someone he can probably not even remember. He can’t stop wondering why his friends would choose him for this role – it’s clearly not something that he’s ready for. What good can he bring to this kid’s life?

Those are the thoughts keeping him awake as he pulls himself up out of bed and walks as quietly as he can through to the kitchen to get some water.

He doesn’t need to be quiet though, because as he steps into the kitchen he hears a little voice. “Yoongi?”

He spins at the sound and sees Jungkook on the couch, knees pulled up to his chest and the duvet Yoongi had dug out wrapped around him. Even in the dim light, Yoongi can see the red-rimmed eyes.

“Hey kid.” Yoongi replies. “Erm… do you want something to drink?”

Jungkook nods slightly. Yoongi pours two glasses of water and then sits gingerly on the end of the sofa. He doesn’t know what to say. Clearly, Jungkook is upset, but Yoongi doesn’t know what to say. They sit in silence for a moment before Jungkook speaks again, his voice quiet.

 

“My Mum and Dad aren’t coming back, are they?”

Yoongi feels a lump in his throat as he looks down at his hands. He’s not sure what to say. So he tells the truth.

“No, Jungkook.” He tells child. “They aren’t.”

Jungkook nods.

“I thought so. The lady who came to my school told me that they had hurt themselves in the car and weren’t very well and then you came and took me away and then I was with Mrs. Lee for a few days I just knew…” Yoongi hears a sob in Jungkook’s voice. “One of my friends’ mum died last year and then the teacher told us what that means and it means that they aren’t coming back ever again. My parents are dead, aren’t they?”

“They are.” Yoongi replies.

“So are you going to look after me now?” Jungkook asks.

Yoongi feels something inside, something nervous and sad and dark. Something telling him that he can’t do this, but he knows that he has to. He looks at the boy on the sofa, just a small thing surrounded by duvet, and he knows that he has to be a pillar for him. Yoongi is all Jungkook has, and as much as he thinks he’s going to fuck this up so bad, he needs to try.

“Yes Jungkook. I’m going to look after you.”

Even through Jungkook’s tears, Yoongi can see a small smile light up the boy’s face.

He decides there and then that he is going to do this the best he can.

He sits on the sofa until Jungkook can barely keep his eyes open, and at five, Yoongi heads back to his own bed and catches a couple of hours sleep.

 

**

 

He wakes up at eight, way too early for his liking. He wants to get stuff done before Jungkook wakes up though, and thankfully the kid is still fast asleep when Yoongi wakes. 

He starts by calling Namjoon.

“I was about to call you, Yoongi. Are you running late?” Namjoon says as soon as he answers the phone.

“Actually...” Yoongi sighs, “I’m not going to be able to come in… for a few days. I’ve, erm, just come into the possession of a seven year old.”

There’s a long pause, and Yoongi can almost imagine the look on his friend’s face.

“...what?” Namjoon replies, eventually.

Yoongi fills Namjoon in on what has happened as quickly as he can.

 

“So I think I’m going to need a few days off, there’s a lot to sort out and I need to make sure he’s settled and in school before I can even think about work… I’m so sorry to drop this on you...”

“Don’t be. It’s not like you had any warning, and it’s a great think that you’re doing. We can make adjustments to accommodate this, so don’t worry about your job. I’m pretty sure you have lots of holiday allowance to take anyway, if you want to take the time as paid break.”

Yoongi feels a surge of appreciation for his manager and best friend, and after handing over a project he was halfway through and promising to email the files over that afternoon he ends the call and ticks the first thing off his mental list.

The next thing he does is calls the school board. After the secretary ‘awwhs’ her way through Yoongi’s explanation, she quickly directs him to a school just around the corner with spaces for a kid Jungkook’s age. She tells him to call them and arrange an appointment before wishing him luck and ending the call. Yoongi calls the school and they quickly agree to take Jungkook in. It’s a Tuesday afternoon, and they tell him Jungkook can start as soon as tomorrow. Yoongi will need to bring him in and have a meeting with the school counsellor and headmaster, but it’s all much easier than he expected.

By the time that’s finished, it’s only nine thirty. He debates waking Jungkook up, but he remembers how late the boy was awake and how exhausted he must be. He lets him sleep a little longer.

Jungkook wakes at around noon, and Yoongi watches as he opens his bleary eyes and has a moment of confusion before he spots Yoongi and remember where he is. Yoongi’s heart drops along with Jungkook’s face, but he fixes a smile on as quickly as it happens.

 

“Hi.” He greets.

“Good morning.” Jungkook says.

“Good afternoon, more like.” Yoongi chuckles. “You hungry?”

“A little...”

Yoongi sets to making Jungkook a glass of orange juice and a sandwich (he really needs to stock his cupboards, because all he has is a bit of bread and meat and instant noodles and that is not a great diet for a growing boy).

“So...” Yoongi starts, “now that you’re living here, you’ll be starting a different school.”

Jungkook stops eating and looks up at Yoongi. “Can’t I go to my old school?”

“It’s too far away...” Yoongi replies carefully, “but this is a really good school.” Yoongi swallows when he sees Jungkook’s lip stick out. “Jungkook, I promise you’ll really like this school. The teachers sound really nice...”

“But I have friends at my old school!” Jungkook pouts.

“How about this...” Yoongi racks his brains for a way to avoid the seemingly inevitable breakdown. “We’ll get you settled in here then we can invite your friends over for a day?”

Jungkook thinks the idea over, before nodding carefully.

“Promise?”

“Promise.” Yoongi replies, hoping that Jungkook’s little kid memory is not great and he forgets this. He can deal with one seven year old, but more than that and he’d be driven crazy.

“Okay. I’ll go to this new school.”

 

**

 

After a day of shopping for new school uniform (how is a sweater and top so expensive ), the two of them have a quick tea of instant noodles and Jungkook has a bath.

After the boy is asleep, Yoongi remembers to send over the project to Namjoon and decides to have an early night himself.

 

**

 

It’s been a week since Jungkook came into Yoongi’s life, and things are starting to settle into a rhythm. Yoongi is getting used to the presence of the kid in his life and his home, and he’s starting to realise just how much work goes into looking after a small human.

The last weekend was probably the first weekend in six years that Yoongi hasn’t ended up in some seedy bar in the early hours of the morning. Instead, he spent it watching all three Iron Man movies with Jungkook, a bottle of coke and a bag of popcorn. He actually really enjoyed them.

He’s just got Jungkook to sleep (he’s now in the spare room on a second hand bed that Yoongi had managed to get for cheap) when there’s a knock at his door. He looks at the clock – it’s eight in the evening – and wonders who the hell is here at this time.

(And that’s concerning, because a week ago, 8pm was early. Why is it that when you have a kid, the days get shorter and the nights become about actually sleeping.)

There’s a man that he doesn’t recognise stood at the door.

Correction: There’s a really handsome man he doesn’t recognise stood at the door. He’s tall – and Yoongi isn’t just saying that because he’s short – and his face is sculpted, and Yoongi loses his words the second he opens the door.

 

“Are you Min Yoongi?” The man asks.

Yoongi nods. “I am...” He replies weakly.

“My name is Kim Seokjin. I’m Jungkook’s teacher at school. Do you have a minute?”

Yoongi thinks of the bottle of whisky in his cupboard. He was really looking forward to a quick relaxing drink since Jungkook’s had an early night, but he can’t exactly turn the kid’s teacher away, and there must be a reason he’s come over.

“Come in...” He pulls the door open and leads Seokjin to the couch. “Would you like a drink?”

Seokjin shakes his head. “I won’t be staying long. I’m sorry for just dropping in on you like this...”

“It’s okay… is Jungkook in trouble or-”

“Nothing like that!” Seokjin interrupts. “No. He’s a great kid. It’s just… has he told you about our current class project?”

Yoongi shakes his head. “He hasn’t.”

“The kids are all producing either a family tree or a family portrait or a short essay or story called ‘My Family’. Jungkook doesn’t seem keen to get involved, but he won’t talk about it.”

Yoongi has to take a few deep breaths to stop himself shouting at Seokjin, instead he fixes his gaze on the teacher and speaks as calmly as he can.

“Are you fucking insane?” He hisses.

Seokjin’s eyes widen. “Excuse me-”

“You’ve given a project on family to a kid who lost his parents a week ago?”

“What-”

“Surely you know? I made sure the school board and your headteacher knew. I told her to make sure that everyone was careful not to upset him-”

“She told me that Jungkook had been through some stuff, but she never said… I never thought… I just...” Seokjin drops his head into his hands. “Have I messed up?”

Yoongi wants to tell the teacher that he has messed up, but he seems so concerned and upset that maybe he had upset Jungkook. Yoongi can tell that it wasn’t deliberate, and as much as he is going to speak to the headteacher about this oversight, he knows he can’t blame Seokjin.

“It’s okay. If you didn’t know. I should have noticed he was down. I guess we’re still getting to know each other-”

“What do you mean?”

Yoongi feels like he’s been carrying a weight for the last week, and Kim Seokjin seems so approachable and kind and the words just force themselves out.

“His parents were friends of mine through school, and they got pregnant young. They had Jungkook at seventeen. We’ve kept in touch even when I moved away from Daegu, but I’ve not been able to visit as often as I might like to and last week I got a phone call… they had a car accident and they had named me in the will as Jungkook’s guardian should anything happen… I don’t have kids of my own and I barely know the kid and I don’t know… I don’t know how to do this parenting thing. He’s such a good kid, but I can tell he’s hurting and I don’t know what to say or what to do or how to make him feel better.”

Seokjin stares at him in surprise.

“So you found out that you were the guardian of a seven year old and brought him home and got him into school in a few days and clothed him and fed him?” He says in surprise. “I’d say you’re doing a good job, Yoongi.”

“It doesn’t feel like it.” Yoongi mutters, but he can’t deny that he feels better.

“Look, Jungkook’s a good kid and you seem like a nice guy.” Seokjin starts. “I’ll do whatever I can to support the two of you and make this work, if you’ll let me.”

Yoongi hesitates, until Seokjin carries on talking.

“It won’t make you a failure, if you let someone help.”

Yoongi nods.

“Thank you.”

“I’ll give you my number. If I can ever help, just let me know.”

After Seokjin leaves, Yoongi sits with his glass of whiskey and closes his eyes.

He suddenly feels like some of the tension has left him. He doesn’t know what it is about the teacher, but Seokjin just has a way of seeming genuine and kind and caring and like someone who really will help.

 

**

 

“Jungkook.”

They’re sat at the table the next morning, Jungkook with a bowl of cereal and Yoongi with a slice of toast.

“Mmm?”

“Are you enjoying school?”

“It’s okay...” Jungkook replies. “My teacher - Mr. Kim - is nice.”

“Are you doing all of your work?”

Jungkook hesitates. “Well...”

“Mr Kim told me that he gave you a project and that you haven’t been doing it.”

“It’s about family...” Jungkook replies, looking down. “I don’t have a family anymore so I can’t do it.”

“Jungkook...” Yoongi softens his voice. “You do still have a family, Even if they aren’t here any more, your mum and dad are still your family...”

Jungkook stares down at his bowl. “I don’t want to do the project.”

“That’s okay, Jungkook, you won’t need to.” Yoongi replies. “Mr. Kim isn’t going to make you, but I want you to tell me if you’re sad about anything, okay? How can I help if you don’t tell me?”

“I’m sorry...”

“It’s okay, Jungkook. I’m sorry that they gave you that project and made you sad. It won’t happen again.” He sighs. “Are you going to eat your breakfast.”

“I’m not hungry any more.”

Yoongi feels the sad feeling in his chest for the rest of the day.

 

**

 

Yoongi goes back to work a few days later. Just through the week, and only within school hours. His colleagues welcome him back happily – he’s only taken two weeks off.

He always makes sure that he’s home early enough to collect Jungkook from school.

 

Except the day a week later where they lose their files and Yoongi needs to try and find the back ups and he’s so stressed that he doesn’t see what time it is until his phone starts to vibrate in his pocket. He answers it without even reading the display.

“Hello?”

“Hi. Yoongi. This is Kim Seokjin, Jungkook’s teacher.”

It’s at that moment when Yoongi looks at the time on his computer and realises that he’s over an hour past the time he usually picks Jungkook up.

“Shit… Seokjin I’m so sorry! I’ll be right there-”

“Don’t worry, I just wanted to let you know that I’ve brought Jungkook back to my place. Let me give you the address.” He reels off an address that Yoongi knows is just around the corner. “If you’re in the middle of something, don’t rush. I’ll keep him happy and feed him and you come when you’re ready.”

Yoongi lets out a sigh of relief.

“Thank you so much.”

 

He finishes up at work about an hour later, and bids goodbye to Namjoon, the only person aside from him left in the building.

When he finally gets to Seokjin’s, he finds Jungkook on the sofa watching Iron Man (again) eating a plate of pizza and chips. He doesn’t even acknowledge Yoongi when he walks in and Yoongi knows that he’s in the kid’s bad books.

“I’m so sorry...” He says to Seokjin in the next room. “I had a thing at work and-”

“It’s not me you should be apologising to...” Seokjin starts. “The poor kid was in tears when I found him sat on the steps at the school. He was really worried that something had happened to you as well.”

Yoongi feels that lump in his throat again.

“Fuck.” Yoongi mutters. “I really fucked up.”

He’s so angry at himself.

Seokjin raises an eyebrow. “You did. But it’s to be expected. You’re new to this.” He puts a hand on Yoongi’s arm. “He’ll get over it, but you’ve got a lot of grovelling to do...”

It’s at that moment that Jungkook mooches into the room.

“The movie finished.” He tells Seokjin. He’s avoiding looking at Yoongi and Yoongi is torn between being upset and angry at himself and entertained by the effort Jungkook is putting into being annoyed at him.

“You should probably go home then.” Seokjin tells him.

“Do I have to?” The kid moans and Yoongi rolls his eyes.

“Yes. You do.” He says.

“Do I have to. Mr Kim .”

 

Petulant child.

 

“Yes, Jungkook, you do.”

Jungkook drags his feet the whole way off and Yoongi sighs. Seokjin smiles warmly at him as he leaves.

“Just call me next time, okay? I’m happy to have him over after school if you need time at work, or even time to yourself.” He says at the doorway.

Yoongi smiles back.

“I appreciate that, and thanks again for today.”

This whole scene, with Yoongi stood at Seokjin’s doorway saying goodbye seems like the end of a date. He doesn’t know why that thought immediately popped into his head, and the moment is immediately ruined by the seven year old glaring at him from the backseat of the car.

“Anytime.”

 

**

 

If there is one thing that Yoongi has learned in the three weeks since he acquired Jungkook, it’s that a seven year old can hold a grudge. Jungkook is still giving him the silent treatment the next morning at breakfast.

“Are you not going to talk to me?” He asks as he places Jungkook’s bowl of cereal and glass of orange juice in front of him. Jungkook just starts eating the cereal, staring at Yoongi’s morning paper. “I’ll take that as a no then...” Yoongi mutters.

They don’t talk the whole way to school and Yoongi is wondering if this is it, if Jungkook has decided he’s never going to talk again, but the second he walks onto the grass in front of the school he’s chatting away with two other boys and Yoongi realises that it’s just him.

“Kids.” He mutters to himself as he rolls his eyes.

But he knows he deserved it, he’s really upset the boy and he should probably do something about it.

He has an idea.

He takes his phone out of his pocket and calls Namjoon.

“Hey...” He greets. “You know those extra hours I put in yesterday...”

“Yes...”

“Can I have today off?” He asks.

He hears Namjoon chuckle. “I knew you wanted something… we’re not too busy today anyway so that’s fine. What’s up?”

“The kid is angry at me for forgetting to pick him up and I need to make amends.”

“Yoongi, you’re really starting to sound like a daddy, and not in the kinky way I know you like.” Namjoon laughs.

Yoongi scowls. “Shut up.”

“You seem calmer, it’s good.”

Yoongi thinks that over when he ends the call.

 

He is calmer and more settled. That’s true. He’s started to think of his life in two eras; Before Jungkook and After Jungkook. Before Jungkook Yoongi was on a road to ruin, he can see that now. He used to drink a lot more, and he couldn’t go a weekend without bringing some stranger back home for sex.

 

After Jungkook Yoongi is all about routine and realising that he’s responsible for more than himself now. it’s reading books on child development and parenting and random google searches like ‘how to tell if a seven year old is dehydrated’ and cooking in creative ways to hide the vegetables.

After Jungkook Yoongi is about calling his boss to ask if he can skip work then spending the whole morning in a home store. He spends his afternoon painting and hanging curtains and washing and drying new bedding, and he finishes in time to clean up and meet Jungkook after school.

 

The look on Jungkook’s face when he steps into his new Iron Man decorated room is enough to warm Yoongi from head to toe.

He’d visited three stores before finding the matching Iron Man bedding, rug and curtains. He’s painted the walls a gold, like the gold on Iron Man’s suit, and he’d even bought a set of Avengers figures to go on the dresser.

“Wooooow!” Jungkook exclaims as he steps into his room. “You did this?”

“All by myself.” Yoongi replies, swelling with pride. “Do you like it?”

“I love it!” Jungkook replies spinning around to get a look at everything. “It’s the best. You’re the best!”

“I did good?”

“You did really good!”

“Do you want to watch a movie tonight? After dinner?”

“Can we?”

“Of course we can. I bought the whole set of Avengers movies-”

“Really!? All of them?! Even the Hulk movie?!”

“All of them.” Yoongi replies, a grin on his face.

In the three weeks since Jungkook came into his life, he’s pretty sure neither of them have smiled as much as they do that evening.

He takes a picture of the room that evening, while Jungkook sleeps on the couch (because - Yoongi had explained multiple times – paint has to dry). He sends a picture to Namjoon with the caption ‘I think he’s forgiven me’ and then in impulse he sends the same thing to Seokjin.

He gets a message back from Seokjin within minutes.

 

From: Seokjin

Wow Yoongi, That’s amazing.’

 

Then seconds later;

 

From: Seokjin

I knew you could do it.’

 

Yoongi rereads the messages a few times, a dopey smile on his face.

 

**

 

“What are you so happy about?” Jungkook asks over breakfast a few days later. “You’re smiling really bigly...”

“Bigly isn’t a word, Jungkook.”

“It is now.” Jungkook crosses his arms and Yoongi lets out a chuckle, before glancing down at his phone.

 

From: Seokjin

So how many times did you watch Iron Man last night? Jungkook told me he made you watch it three times the other night.’

 

It’s only a short message, there’s nothing special about it, but Yoongi can’t help the weird fluttering in his chest whenever he sees ‘ From: Seokjin’ . He doesn’t know what it is or why it’s happening, but it seems to get stronger each time he sees Seokjin or gets a message from him.

“See, you’re smiling bigly again.”

“I told you it isn’t a word.” Yoongi grins.

“And I told you that it is now, cos I made it one!” Jungkook sticks his tongue out, and Yoongi can’t help but lean over the table and ruffle the kid's hair. “Hey!”

 

**

 

Things settle once again into a steady equilibrium. Each morning, Yoongi wakes Jungkook up with a bowl of cereal and glass of juice, they sit at the table and wake up over breakfast. Then, Jungkook gets ready for school while Yoongi washes their pots and gets ready for work. He drops Jungkook at school then goes to work. He finishes at four and picks Jungkook from school at four fifteen and takes him home. He fixes Jungkook dinner and then they spend the hour watching TV or playing games or just relaxing together.

It’s a routine, and it works for them. Jungkook seems really settled and despite the fact that sometimes he’ll say something like ‘my mum used to make better boiled eggs’, he seems happy enough for someone who lost his parents five weeks ago.

The other thing that seems steady is Yoongi’s feelings for Seokjin. He’s come to terms with the fact that he’s crushing on his kid’s teacher but he’s still not sure if that’s reciprocated. He sees the man every couple of days, sometimes he comes out when Yoongi collects Jungkook to check in on the two of him. Every now and again, Jungkook goes back to Seokjin’s after school, and he always leaves with the best stories about Mr. Kim. It makes Yoongi smile, which is something he seems to be doing a lot more regularly now than he ever used to.

Things are good, which is something he never expected when he took Jungkook in. He’s barely struggling through things anymore.

It’s a cool spring evening when everything changes.

 

Jungkook is in the front room playing something loud and irritating on the XBox so Yoongi has migrated to his bedroom to do some reading when his phone vibrates on the bedside table. He checks the called ID and sighs when he sees the name of one of his old crowd, from before Jungkook. He knows this person won’t stop calling unless he answers so he presses the answer symbol.

 

“Hello?”

“Yoongs! You’re alive. I haven’t seen you in so long. What’s going on? Someone said you had a kid but I thought you didn’t bat for that team-”

“It’s a long story.” Yoongi sighs.

“Are you coming out this weekend? There’s going to be a right rager, a few of the crew are going to be there. Remember that guy you went home with on Himchan’s birthday? You said he was amazing at-”

“Sorry man, I can’t.”

“Why? That’s so boring!”

Yoongi wants to hang up the phone - he’d never realised how annoying his old friends were - but he forces himself to stay as polite as possible.

“I’ve got the kid. I can’t do that shit now, man.” He sighs dramatically. “Much as I’d really love to.” He wouldn’t.

“Forget the kid. Just leave him at home. He can work a toaster can’t he? Order a pizza or something. Come out! We miss you.”

Yoongi narrows his eyes. He’s lucky this guy isn’t in front of him because he would definitely have punched him in the face by now.

“I’m not coming, okay?” He grunts. “So stop asking me. And don’t call me again.”

He presses the end call button and mutters a few curse words under his breath before picking his book up again.

 

He’s a few pages in when he feels the breeze.

“What the-” He mutters as he pulls himself up. “Did I leave a window open? Jungkook must be chilly.” He checks his windows - they are shut and makes his way into the front room to see if maybe Jungkook has pulled a window open. Jungkook isn’t there though. “Huh?”

The controller is on the floor, and the screen is still flashing, but the kid is nowhere in sight.

“Jungkook?” He says, as he checks the bathroom (it’s empty).

He’s puzzled, until he sees the wide open front door.

“Jungkook?” He shouts, but he already knows that Jungkook isn’t in the apartment. He pulls on his shoes as quickly as he can and runs down the stairs. “Jungkook!” He shouts again.

He runs down the street faster than he knew he could run, looking everywhere for Jungkook’s slight frame. He shouts the name so loud that he gets a few funny looks, but he doesn’t care. His kid has gone and he doesn’t know where and-

“Shit.” He hisses, panting as he looks everywhere. “Jungkook-”

He feels the panic really set in there. It’s a big city, and Jungkook could be anywhere. How had he not noticed that Jungkook had gone outside? Why would he even do that? He doesn’t know what to do, so he just stands frozen at the junction, shaking and at a loss because this is his fault. He knew he’d mess up at some point and he doesn’t know what he’s done but he’s clearly done something to upset Jungkook.

He spins around, grabbing an old man who’s walking past him.

“Excuse me, have you seen a kid about… this high? He’s wearing Iron Man pyjamas and he’s got dark hair and-”

The man shakes his head and pulls his arm away from Yoongi and once again Yoongi is at a loss for what to do.

He walks back home as quickly as he can and grabs his phone. He should call the police, that’s the next thing for him to do. They’ll find him. They’ll probably take him away from Yoongi because he’s such a shitty guardian but it would be worth it to know that the boy is safe.

He’s about to dial the emergency number when his phone rings in his hand. It’s Seokjin. He answers, because maybe Seokjin can help

 

“Seokjin. Thank god you called. I’ve lost Jungkook-”

“Yoongi, calm down. He’s here.”

Yoongi lets out a long sigh of relief. “He’s at yours?”

“He turned up here five minutes ago in tears.” Seokjin sighs. “He says that you said something about him making your life bad or something. I don’t understand much of what he’s saying. He’s inconsolable. What did you do?”

“I didn’t… I didn’t say anything like that…” Yoongi replies. He’s racking his brains but he genuinely can’t think of anything that would make Jungkook think that. “He must have misunderstood something I said. I would never say that… Seokjin, you know I’d never say anything like that…”

“That’s what I thought but…” There’s a pause. “Just come over here and fix whatever he thinks you’ve done. I’ve never seen him like this.”

“I’ll be right there.”

 

Yoongi is pretty sure that he’s run like six red lights on the way to Seokjin’s, and he’s definitely not sticking to the speed limits on the way there, because it takes him about five minutes to do a journey that would usually take ten or fifteen minutes. He’s through the door without knocking, and he finds Jungkook curled up in a ball with Seokjin’s arms around him.

Yoongi’s heart clenches at the sight of his boy in this states and he knows that he needs to fix this.

“Jungkook.” He whispers, and the two of them look up and spot him. “Jungkook, why did you leave?”

When Jungkook replies, his words are garbled and hard to understand, but Yoongi thinks he’s got the gist of it - he thinks that Yoongi doesn’t want Jungkook.

“Why would you think that?” He asks.

“I heard you on the phone.”

It takes Yoongi a couple of moments, but then he remembers the phone call with his old friend, if Yoongi can even call him that.

“Jungkook, that’s not what I meant-”

“You said that you couldn’t do anything because of me. You don’t want me you just got stuck with me because my mum and dad died-”

“That’s not true-” Yoongi starts, but then he breathes. He sinks down softly next to Jungkook on the other side to Seokjin. “When I first found out that your mum and dad wanted me to look after you, I didn’t want to do it. Not because of you but because I thought that I wouldn’t be good at it, and that’s obviously true because look how bad I’ve messed up now.”

“See, I told you-”

“But that’s changed now Jungkook. It’s true that my life is different now, but that’s not a bad thing. I used to be a bad person, Jungkook. You changed me, you gave me a reason to be a better person. You’re the best thing that ever happened to me, okay? And I know I’m not your dad and you’re not my son, but I think that we can be each other’s family.”

“So you don’t wish that you never ended up with me.” Jungkook has stopped crying now, but he’s still letting out little sobs.

“I’d never wish that.” Yoongi replies. He doesn’t miss a beat. “Do you wish that you’d never ended up with me?”

Jungkook shakes his head. “I wish my mum and dad didn’t die, but they did. I’m glad that you’re the one they chose to look after me.” He smiles a little, and Yoongi feels himself lighten.

“Good.” Yoongi replies. “I’m glad they picked me as well.”

“Promise?”

“I promise.”

“Do you pinky promise?” Jungkook sticks his little pinky out and Yoongi smiles and hooks his onto it.

“I pinky promise. You and me, Jungkook, we’re a team, okay?”

Jungkook nods, then he yawns.

Yoongi is about to suggest that they go home and get the kid to bed, but Seokjin catches his eye. Yoongi had forgotten that the teacher had been there through the whole thing. His focus had been on his kid.

(When had he even started to think of Jungkook as his kid, anyway.)

Seokjin tilts his head to the kitchen and Yoongi stands up.

“I’m going to go and have a word with Mr. Kim, okay? You don’t go anywhere.”

“I won’t.”

“Pinky promise?”

Jungkook giggles, but it’s quiet and Yoongi knows that the kid isn’t going anywhere, he’s too tired. Seokjin fetches a pillow and blanket, so that Jungkook can sleep whilst they talk.

 

The teacher puts a mug of tea in front of Yoongi and shuts the door.

As soon as the door shuts, Yoongi lets out all the emotion that’s been stirring inside of him, he isn’t crying but he’s on the edge of it.

“I messed up again.”

“I think you actually just made things better. He’s probably been insecure over that, and this happened and you’ve just fixed all those worries. I can tell that you two are going to be stronger than ever after this. It doesn’t seem like it but I think this is a good thing.” He smiles. “You did really well though Yoongi, you said all of the right things. You were honest and straight with him and that’s a really good thing.”

“Do you think so?”

“I really do. I can’t get over how different you seem now to when we first met. You seem calmer. He’s really changed you.”

Yoongi smiles. “He has. He really is the best thing that happened to me.” He frowns. “When I realised he was gone earlier and I couldn’t find him I… I was so worried about all of the things that could have happened to him.” Yoongi is mortified to feel a tear drop, and then his voice catches in his throat and another tear cried and he didn’t want to cry. Why is he crying?

“Yoongi, look at me.” He hears Seokjin’s soft voice from beside him, and he feels a warm hand on his shoulder. He looks up at Seokjin’s warm eyes, which seem to be boring into him. “He’s fine. You’re fine. It’s sorted. Don’t dwell on what could have happened, just take it and move forward.”

It’s probably an accumulation of all of his worries and concerns about Jungkook, but Yoongi’s body is still shaking and the tears are still dropping slowly down his face. Then he feels Seokjin step forward and wrap his arms around his frame and the next thing he knows he’s sobbing on his kid’s teacher’s Mario-clad chest and there are so many things that are wrong. Yet he can’t help but feel so comforted and warm in Seokjin’s arms and there’s this thing stirring inside him that he can’t ignore anymore, so he finds himself tilting his head up and Seokjin is already looking at him with this look in his eyes that Yoongi can’t place but it makes him both want to jump away or step forward.

He chooses the latter.

It’s Seokjin who moves first, his head dipping slowly. Yoongi meets him in the middle. Their lips meet gently, but it still sends a jolt through Yoongi’s body, like this is something that he’s been waiting for and now it’s happening and he didn’t expect it to happen this way - he didn’t expect it to happen at all - but it’s every bit as perfect as he expects it to be. Seokjin’s lips are soft and warm and they at move at such an agonizingly slow pace against Yoongi’s. He doesn’t want to ruin the moment, he doesn’t want to move an inch, but Yoongi finds his arms winding around Seokjin’s waist and he feels Seokjin’s hand press against the small of his back.

Eventually, Seokjin pulls back. The inch of space that he creates between the two of them feels so much bigger to Yoongi - he wants more. He also doesn’t want to make a sound, he’s scared he’ll break the moment and Seokjin will say that was a mistake and Yoongi will never be able to look Jungkook’s teacher in the eye again and-

“I shouldn’t have done that.” Seokjin whispers, “I’m so sorry.”

Yoongi’s heart plummets, but he forces words out. “Why are you sorry?”

“I took advantage of you. You’re upset and I took advantage of that and now I’ve made things weird and-”

“Seokjin, you didn’t take advantage of me.” Yoongi interrupts. “If I hadn’t wanted that I would have pushed you away, or punched you or something.”

“I still shouldn’t have done it…” Seokjin shakes his head.

“Why-”

“That kid through there-” Seokjin points to the door. “You and I are his support system, and he needs one. He deals well, but he is a kid whose life has changed so much in the last two months. He’s sensitive - look at what happened tonight because he misunderstood one thing that you said.” Seokjin sighs. “I like you Yoongi, I really do. I think we’ve had a connection since we first met, and any other time I would take this opportunity and see where this goes but… if we were to mess up - if we tried and failed - it would impact Jungkook’s life. We shouldn’t risk that, even for whatever this”  he motions between the two of them, “might be.”

And in that moment Yoongi knows that Seokjin is right. That whatever attraction is fizzling between them needs to be put to the back of their mind because Jungkook is their priority.

He steps back with a small smile.

“You’re right.” He says. “I’m sorry…”

“Don’t-”

“We should go.” Yoongi says, he knows it’s probably immature but he won’t meet Seokjin’s eyes.

“Yoongi-”

 

Yoongi pushes the door open. As expected, Jungkook is fast asleep on the couch. He feels bad waking the boy, he looks so peaceful, but Yoongi just wants to get out of here. He gently shakes the boy. “Jungkook, wake up.”

Jungkook stirs.

“Yoongi?”

“Yeah Jungkookie, it’s me.” Yoongi whispers. “It’s time to go home, Iron Man is waiting.”

Jungkook pulls himself up with a yawn. “I need to go and see Iron Man…”

“Yeah you do, kid.”

They leave quickly, Yoongi barely even looking behind him to say goodbye to Seokjin. The one time he does look over his shoulder, he finds Seokjin watching him with a frown on his face.

He turns and leaves without looking at the teacher again.