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Painting Through Life

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Jin made sure to keep blinking his eyes so he didn’t fall back asleep. He continued to sing a soft lullaby to the baby to try and get him to fall back asleep,but it didn’t seem to be doing anything. It was 2 in the morning when Jungkook started crying. It was now somewhere around 3 and Jin could not find anything particularly wrong with him. Jungkook had a habit of waking up and realizing that there was no one around and would then start to cry. However, tonight Jungkook wouldn’t just settle down with simple rocking. He was only two months old and Jin couldn’t just ask him what was wrong. His arms started to get tired of rocking, and it seemed to not do much anyway and stood up to bring him into bed with him. He laid him down next to himself and pulled the light covers over the both of them. Jungkook’s big brown eyes widened at the new surrounding and snuggled up more in his little soft blue blanket Jin had bought for him right before he took him in. Even with exhaustion weighing on Jin’s mind, he smiled at his little baby. He reached out and brushed the little hair Jungkook had started to grow, out of his eyes. Jungkook seemed to like it and let out a content sigh and closed his eyes. Jin slowly brought the little one closer to his chest and started to fall asleep with a smile on his face. He’d love Jungkook no matter what, and at that moment swore to himself that he would never let anything ever hurt him. He would never let his baby go through what he went through. He loved him too much.

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The sun was just starting to shine through Jin’s crappy curtains that came with the apartment. It was an early Wednesday morning when Jin walked into the kitchen to make his favorite tea. These were his favorite days when he had just finished a project the day before and could give himself a distressing day before getting a new one. He set the kettle on his stove and started towards the pantry where he could grab his pancake mix. He needed a change from the bland cereal he would shovel down in the mornings. It was in the middle of him mixing the ingredients when he heard his phone ringing on the counter. He set his batter covered spoon down and wiped his hands on the dish cloth nearby, before walking over to his ringing phone. MOM in giant letters were popping up on his phone and Jin didn’t even think about the fact that his mother never calls when he picked up the phone.

“Good morning Mother! Wh-” he stopped shortly when he heard a sob from the other side of the phone. “Mom?! What's wrong?” His eyebrows creased in worry at the sound of stifled cries crackling in his ears.

“Seokjin,” she stopped as her breath caught, “I have some bad news…”

“Mom tell me whats wrong?” worry was clear in his voice.

A long, shuddered breath is taken from his obviously distressed mother. “It’s your sister. She's gone.”

Jin didn’t hear anything as the phone fell from his hands other than the screaming of the tea kettle.

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It was one phone call that led to the beginning of a very stressful day. It was six am, when the sun was just about to peep over the city skyline, and strangely both Jin and Jungkook were still fast asleep. The two were never asleep. But at this moment, Jin’s phone started blasting his annoying ringtone he was too lazy to change, and wake up the household. This did not bode well for the two who didn’t get enough sleep. Jin’s eyes had shot open and he scrambled to grab the phone before it woke the baby, but it was already too late. A loud, shrill cry was let out beside him and echoed against the walls. Jin didn’t even look at who was calling before he shut off the ringer and looked to his side where his baby was lying with fat tears cascading down his face.
“Kookie, baby it’s ok…” he whispered as he scooped him into his arms. But Jungkook ignored him and continued to scream even louder. Jin’s face scrunched up at the terrible sound. He tried rocking him, talking, even singing, but the baby still cried. Jin had run to the kitchen making sure he wasn’t hungry or thirsty to try and calm him, but nothing worked. He tried everything he could think of, but all was useless.
Jin was running on minimal hours of sleep, with weights attached to his eyes, and the sound of his baby in distress made matters worse. It was now nearing 7 and Jin didn’t know what to do. He could feel his hands start to shake, and he bit his lip to keep the tears away. He knew he was being pathetic. So many people did this, and he couldn’t just get his kid to calm down. Jin had slowly made his way to the couch where he sat down with Jungkook in his arms. Sitting down made him feel more secure with his baby in his arms and no worry about dropping him with his shaking hands. Jungkook’s eyes squeezed shut and his hands shot in the air waving wildly. Jin cradled him closer to his body and immediately one of Kookie’s hands found its way to Jin’s fingers. The little hand, after grasping the finger triple the size, squeezed it. The baby opened his eyes and looked up at Jin, his tears stopping and squeezed his little hand again. Jin smiled and bent down to press the two’s foreheads together realizing Jungkook just needed comfort.
“I’ve got you baby...I won’t let you go…” Jin breathed and he could feel every little muscle in Jungkook, relax. Jin smiled.
He was about to let himself relax too...but all good things must be absolutely destroyed for Jin apparently, because at that moment he could hear a key enter the front door. Two pairs of loud steps followed as the door was flung open and before he could even try and warn them-
“WHY DIDN’T YOU ANSWER YOUR-!” and before Jin could shush his two yelling, idiotic friends, Jungkook started to scream once again.

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Another car beeped at Jin from behind, making him jump for the millionth time. His hands shook on the steering wheel, and at the moment, he honestly couldn’t remember where he was going. His ears were ringing and he could hear-

-the sound of his mother’s voice calling for her son on the other end of the phone. Jin stood frozen. His sister was….gone? He just saw her two weeks ago in the hospital for giving birth. He saw her walk out of the hospital with the baby in her arms. What happened? She couldn’t have been sick that quick.

Seokjin!” His mother called out which momentarily unfroze him enough to pick the phone back up and quickly run to the kettle to shut it off.

“W-what do you mean she’s gone?!” His voice rose with every word and he had to move his hand to the nearby counter to keep from falling over. His mother let out a long, shuddering sigh, making the sound from the phone, crackle.

“Jinnie, I need you to-”

But Jin interrupted, “Mom, tell me the truth, what happened to her!?” His breathing was heavy, and labored, and he could feel the pressure build behind his eyes.

“Jin….we can’t find her. There was no note, nothing!” His mother’s sobs, made Jin squeeze his eyes shut, unable to comprehend what she had said. A hiccup echoed through the speaker and right as his mother tried to speak again, a thought crossed his mind. 

"Jungkook! What happened to the baby?" A million ideas raced through Jin’s head of what happened to the little boy.

“He’s ok. A neighbor found him….” Jin let out all the tension resting in his shoulders, but his mother wasn’t done, “but now he’s up for adoption….” The air was pulled from his lungs in a second. He wasn’t aware of what he was doing until his mug was shattered into pieces on the floor and sobs-

-ripped through his throat, drowning out another beep from a car behind him.

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“You idiot!” Jin’s friend, Yoongi, yelled smacking the back of his boyfriend, Hoseok’s head. Hoseok grabbed the back of his head lightly rubbing the spot he was smacked, a pout laying on his face.
“Yoongi, your not very helpful either!” Jin grumbled as quiet as he could as he rocked his, once again, screaming baby, back and forth. “One of you be helpful and go grab one of Jungkook’s formula bottles from the kitchen and heat it up.” He ordered, the tension building back up into his shoulders. Yoongi huffed under his breath and stalked to the kitchen, knowing exactly where the stuff was. The two practically lived in Jin’s apartment whether he liked it or not.
Jin met the couple when he moved in almost three years ago after finishing university. They lived across the hall, three doors down, but they were never there. They were either at their jobs, Hoseok being a dance instructor at the studio downtown, and Yoongi being a high school English teacher, or they were lounging at Jin’s place because it was more “interesting”. Jin never saw the interest in the apartment, but maybe it was just the idea of the company and different foods that rested themselves inside. Hoseok was only a year younger than Jin, Yoongi still stood at 2 years older than him having gone through many years of schooling. The two held very opposite characters, Hoseok holding an optimistic view towards his life, while Yoongi was just about the definition of a realist, but the two made up for what the other didn’t have. They grounded each other. Jin often wondered what the two were like before they knew each other if it had changed them at all, but he never uttered this to the couple.
Hoseok sighed, and cautiously walked towards the stressed man, rubbing the back of his neck preparing himself for another yell. “Jin-”
“It’s okay Hobi.” He stood there with wide eyes staring at Jin who was still rocking the crying baby in his arms. His mouth opened and shut again like a gasping fish. “Water’s in the kitchen,” Jin’s words once again catching Hoseok by surprise. His cheeks flushed pink.
“I'm sorry, Hyung,” he laughed nervously, “I can take him for a minute.” This time Jin stood speechless. He stopped his rocking, which evidently was a bad move because the wails only got louder. Hoseok held out his arms and Jin willingly placed his baby there. Jungkook wiggled around in his arms trying to get used to the different surroundings. He still whimpered and no matter how many times it happened, all three men jumped when an ear piercing screech left his mouth.
“Thanks, Hobi…” Jin mumbled, his shoulders visibly relaxing but his eyes kept flitting down to watch Jungkook, his hands itching to take him back and calm him again.
The exhaustion was starting to really show on Jin’s features, now whenever the two saw him, his eyebrows were never, not pinched together, the bags under his eyes grew darker, and his tone was slowly getting more irritable. Jin was young, only 25. He was just starting his art career, learning how to get by as an individual in a crazy city, and this mess was dumped on him with no warning; no preparation. His sister suddenly gone and now he’s got a month old kid in his hands and no partner to help him out. On top of that, Jin somehow had to figure out if his job would keep the two of them stable enough to stay in their apartment. It was like walking on eggshells around Jin now.
“Jin-Hyung?” Hoseok asked. The other man pulled his tired eyes to meet his, one of his eyebrows popping up in confusion. “You look exhausted-” Jin scoffed at his friend for pointing out the obvious and looking back down at Jungkook and the way his friend's hands cradled him softly. Hoseok sighed. “I think you should consider hiring a babysitter.”
“No.” Jin didn’t wait to see if there was more before silencing his friend and standing up.
“But-” Hoseok tried to reason but before he could Jin sent a glare his way. Hoeseok sighed again at the way Jin’s shoulders tensed up. Before he could try to reason again, Yoongi walked back into the room with the formula bottle. Jin tried to reach out but Yoongi switched to Hoseok handing it to him instead.
“Jin, don’t. We can handle him,” Yoongi said calming him.
The cries that filled the room slowly quieted and all that was heard was the quiet breathing from the three men. Yoongi looked from the baby back to his friend.
“You know we are always here to help…” Jin cracked his knuckles and sat back down.
“That’s the only the umpteenth time you've told me that…” he paused to look down at his dirty socks and back up, “but thank you.”
“Go take a shower, Hyung. We’ll take care of Jungkook so you can take care of yourself,” Hoseok said softly rocking the boy in his arms.
Jin looked to his friends to protest but gave in knowing he hadn’t showered in days. He silently thanked the couple and stood, walking to the bathroom. He could hear quiet chatter come from the two as he walked away and just before he shut the door he heard Yoongi mutter.
“He’s going to be ok.” Jin wasn’t sure who the man spoke about, but only prayed it was for himself and the boy.

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By the time Jin had arrived at his sister’s house, the redness of his eyes and puffiness of his cheeks had disappeared. There was a single police car parked outside and his parent’s car sitting in the driveway. As he got out of the car he could hear the quick click of his mother’s heels against the pavement and was meet with two arms wrapped around his torso. His mother let out a cry full of pain clinging to her son, and Jin reciprocated her actions, hugging her gently. She was much smaller than him, her head only reaching under his chin, giving him the pungent smell of her hairspray. He bit back his own tears as his mother shook in his arms knowing she needed the comfort.

He lifted his head at the sound of his father’s voice. “Hi, son.” There was hesitation in his voice and Jin gave him a weak smile not quite trusting his voice yet. His mother pulled out of his arms wiping her eyes with shaking hands.

“What happened?” He only knew from the small details his mother explained over the phone but there had to be more. Jin’s father came closer knowing very well the woman would be unable to explain without trouble.

“We don’t know when she left, it couldn’t have been long-”

“Do you know why? Did she say anything?” Jin butted in and his father sighed.

“No. We had no idea. We had spoken to her just last week and she seemed fine. The police say she probably left sometime yesterday given that Jungkook was still alive.” Jin’s mind raced at the idea of the baby being alone.

His mother wiped her nose with a small tissue and cleared her throat. “The neighbors never heard or saw when she left but the Yi couple said they noticed that her car had been missing yesterday afternoon and they tried to call her, but she never picked up.” Her breath hitched and she closed her eyes for a second seemingly to calm herself, “they were woken up this morning to crying and called the police, only for them…for for them to find the baby all all alone.” She stuttered and covered in her mouth, starting to cry once again.

Jin clenched his fists, all remorse for his sister’s disappearance gone, turning into hot anger. Who in their right mind would leave a newborn baby alone, he thought to himself but started to wonder if she was ever in her right mind. The loss of Jungkook’s father had absolutely broken her heart and she seemed to slowly recover, but maybe she never did. Is that the reason she fled? Had the baby reminded her too much of what she lost? But where would she have gone?

“Jin?” His father’s voice broke through his running thoughts. He looked up. “The police are just investigating to see where she could have gone, so there’s not much we can do. Your mother and I are going to the hospital where Jungkook was sent to. Would you like to go visit him with us?” His father asked gently. Jin unclenched his fists and nodded.

“Yeah.” He tried a small smile to reassure his parents. He didn’t know what was going to happen to the baby but he had but the least he could do was go to see him. His father instructed Jin to follow them to the hospital and Jin obliged. He cried the whole drive there.

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Jin felt a hand brush his shoulder and looked to see an empathetic smile placed across Yoongi’s lips. “We’re proud of you, Hyung”
“Took you long enough,” Hoseok muttered. Yonngi quickly shot him a glare and Jin quickly waved it off.
“Yeah, yeah, I know its a little late but you know how protective I am of my little bunny.” Jin finally caved into his friends’ incessant talk of hiring a nanny, and he knew they were right. His paid paternity leave was ending quite sooner than he had planned and needed someone he could leave Jungkook with without a worry, but he knew it wouldn’t be that easy.
“Well you seem to have everything in control, the two of us gotta head to work,” Yoongi said starting to head to the door, “so if you need anything call us. Seriously, Hyung.” Not like Jin hadn’t heard him say that a million times. Jin quickly ran to the door to open it up for the two and lightly shoved Yoongi’s shoulder on the way out.
“What did you want me to do again?” He pretended to look like he was thinking and laughed when Yoongi shoved him back. “I will I will…” he paused, “Daddddd.” He heard Hoseok laugh before he shut the down with a smile on his face.
The clock on the microwave read quarter past 7, meaning potential nannies would start arriving for meetings soon, and boy did he hope they were good.


“Hoseok I’m quitting my goddamn job,” he grunted into the phone as he laid down on the couch absolutely exhausted. A small sigh came from the other side of the line.
“I’m gonna assume that means things aren’t going well?” Jin laughed in response and stood up gripping his phone tighter starting to walk around aimlessly.
“Oh no no, things are wonderful Hobi. Yea just wonderful with a bunch of crack heads coming to my apartment. Just great.”
“What?!” Hoseok spluttered into the phone holding back a laugh. Jin dragged a hand down his face and rested his head against the window he was standing in front of.
“Hobi I can’t even begin to tell you how many crazies I’ve had in this apartment. I wouldn’t hire a single one of them!”
“Well, maybe you’re just being too harsh.”
“Would you hire a man with a tattoo of a knife on his forehead?” Jin questioned recounting all the people he saw today.
Hoseok laughed. “I guess not. How about the others?”
“Um let's see, I started the day with a literal 15-year-old thinking this was an afternoon babysitting job. Three people ask if I did background or criminal checks. And oh get this, I even had one woman ask me how to change a diaper. Yeah, the process is not going well and I’m nowhere closer to finding someone for Jungkook,” Jin said sadly and walked back to the couch sitting down and putting his head in his lap.
“I'm sorry Hyung.” He felt bad for his hyung, he really did he couldn’t even imagine what a long day it had been. But then he got an idea. “Hey, Jin-Hyung I think I know of a guy who might work!” Jin immediately sat up straighter hearing this.
“Oh Hoseok please I’m desperate,” he pleaded.
“I’ll try my best to get a hold of him for you Hyung. I’ll let you know as soon as I can ok?” Jin smiled and nodded to himself.
“Thank you thank you Hobi. If he’s good I don’t know how I could ever repay you,” Hoseok immediately cut him off.
“Don’t worry about it. I’ll see you later.”
“See ya,” Jin said and hung up the phone with a sigh of relief. “Please be good,” he whispered to himself.

Chapter Text

He just stood there watching as a nurse tended to Jungkook. He stood at a far distance as to not disturb anything or scare the poor child. His eyes were wide and wandering around the busy room.

Suddenly a woman had slowly walked up to Jin and cleared her throat. “Excuse me, I apologize for disturbing you, but are you Mr. Kim Seokjin?” Her voice was soft and gentle and Jin turned to look at her. She wore a black pantsuit and great heels to reach his own height, and she stood with a small black folder tucked under her arm.

Yes Ma’am that’s me,” he answered quietly, his voice wavering.

She offered him a gentle smile. “My name’s Ms. Choe I work children in social services,” she stuck her hand out and Jin shook it gently. “I’ve just spoken to you’re parents and police of your nephew's situation. I’d like to inform you that Jungkook will be put up for adoption if your sister does not show up in the next 7 days,” Jin’s breath hitched and he glanced back at Jungkook. He couldn’t let him go into hands of who know just like that but before he could ask, Ms. Choe spoke again, “However, due to the circumstances, you do have the choice to try and obtain custody of your nephew after those 7 days. That is your choice and I will leave you with my card when you’ve made a decision.” He quickly pocketed her card and forced a smile. “It was nice talking to you Mr. Kim I hope to hear from you soon.” Jin quickly bowed muttering a thank you before she walked away.

It was so much information he could hardly think. He turned back to Jungkook watching a nurse check his temperature. He didn’t know what he would do, he knew nothing of trying to obtain custody; hell he knew nothing about how to raise a child, he wasnt even a month old for crying out loud. Suddenly his head shot up as he heard a loud cry erupt from the boy's mouth. But it wasn’t just one. He started to scream, with fat tears dripping down his cheeks, his cries loud and piercing. Jin teared up and covered his mouth forcing himself to turn away. He quickly walked away in need of some air. 

How could things have gotten so bad?