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Yoongi never understood the whole “wanting kids” thing.

So many people his age were already parents, or at least desperately wishing for children, and for the life of him he just couldn’t understand why anyone in their right mind would want something like that. Kids are a lifelong commitment, a loud and obnoxious and expensive commitment. For someone who had a hard time even committing to a kind of food to eat, having kids had never really been something that Yoongi even entertained the thought of.

The whole thing just seemed like one big bad idea, so for most of his adult life he’d been perfectly fine leaving all of that child-having nonsense to his friends.

That meant, naturally, that the babysitting requests started pouring in, since he was the only one of his close friends still unmarried and childless. And so that was why, instead of sleeping in and waking up sometime past noon on a Saturday, he was walking to the nearby playground at ten in the morning with his friends’ son Jungkook.

“Why d’you like going to the park so much, anyway?” Yoongi grumbled, looking down at the skinny kid with wide innocent eyes and newly grown in front teeth walking beside him. “Don’t kids like reading anymore? Or do you not know how to do that yet?”

Jungkook gave him an offended look. “I’m eight years old, Uncle Yoongi. I know how to read.”

“Well, shit, I don’t know how old kids are when they can start reading. What do I look like?”

Jungkook raised his eyebrows. “You look like someone who just cursed in front of a kid.”

“Shit,” Yoongi said, then clamped his mouth together. “I mean, uh. Shoot. Sorry, kid, I’ll be more careful.”

“Nah, it’s okay. Papa curses all the time, so I’m used to it. Yesterday he told Dad to
eat his fucking vegetables.”

“Hey!” Yoongi said. “Don’t repeat that shi— stuff.”

Jungkook rolled his eyes. “You’re supposed to be the fun uncle. You’re as lame as Uncle Namjoon.”

“I’m not lame,” he insisted. “I won’t even tell your dads that you were cursing.”

“That’s good. If you did, I’d just tell them that I learned it from you.”

Yoongi narrowed his eyes. “You’re kind of diabolical, you know that?”

Jungkook smiled sweetly and batted his eyelashes. “But I’m cute, so I get away with everything.”

“Now that I can’t argue with,” Yoongi said, ruffling Jungkook’s hair. They arrived at the playground, coming up on the fence that separated it from the neighborhood nearby, and Jungkook darted off toward the slides immediately, leaving Yoongi to hang back near the benches.

There were a few parents with their kids, mostly toddlers and a couple five year olds, but there was one boy who looked to be a little older than Jungkook sitting on the swings by himself. Yoongi thought that he should tell Jungkook to go talk to him so he wasn’t lonely, but then every thought evaporated from his mind instantly about a second later, because sitting on the bench near the swingset was possibly the most beautiful human being Yoongi had ever seen. His hair was a gorgeous shade of caramel and was styled over his forehead like a prince straight out of the Disney movies Jungkook was obsessed with. His eyes sparkled in the sunlight, and his nose sloped down to the plushest kind of lips that were probably hand crafted by the gods specifically for kissing. Yoongi’s heart actually skipped a beat or two.

The guy was sitting at the far end of the bench with a book perched on his lap, and every now and then he would look up and over to the boy on the swings. He must be his son, Yoongi thought. Either that or he was a creep, but Yoongi decided that he’d give him the benefit of the doubt and walked over.

“D’you mind if I sit here?” Yoongi asked, pointing to the ample space on the bench. The guy looked straight at him, making a lump appear in Yoongi’s throat, and he nodded.

“Sure, go ahead,” he said.

Yoongi sat down and there was a moment of silence before the guy spoke again.

“Is he yours?” he asked, nodding his head toward Jungkook.

Yoongi panicked. If someone were to ask him later why he said what he did, he would blame it on the man’s shoulders clouding his better judgment. “...Yes,” he said, internally cursing himself. “That’s Jungkook.”

“He’s cute,” the guy smiled. “That’s my son Jimin on the swings over there.”

“He looks just like you,” Yoongi said, his heart racing. How did parents make small talk about their kids? Did he sound awkward? Was he doing this right? Fuck, why did he get himself into this?

“He’s actually adopted, but I get that a lot,” the guy said, and set down his book, holding out his hand for Yoongi to shake. “I’m Kim Seokjin, by the way.”

“Min Yoongi,” he responded, making a mental note of the fact that there was no ring on Seokjin’s finger. Leave it to him to find a hot single father at the playground. Babysitting Jungkook had its perks, after all.

“How old is Jungkook?” Seokjin asked, reminding Yoongi that he was currently in the middle of a lie. “He looks like he’s around Jimin’s age; he’s ten this month.”

Shit, how old was Jungkook again? Taehyung and Hoseok had invited him to every damn birthday party, and this past one was only a week ago, how many candles were on that cake…

“Jungkook’s eight,” Yoongi said, hoping his pause hadn’t appeared too long.

“Ohh, gotcha. That’s around the age Jimin started mouthing off to me.” Seokjin laughed, a high sort of giggle that made Yoongi’s heart flutter. “Jungkook seems like a good kid, though.”

“Trust me, he has his moments,” Yoongi said, shaking his head. “Sometimes I just don’t understand what’s going on in his head.” The lies were coming easier to him the longer he spoke, to the point that he was surprising himself with what was coming out of his mouth.

Seokjin laughed again. “Tell me about it! I mean, we were all that age once, right? You’d think we’d understand.”

“Well, I dunno about you, but it’s been kind of a while since I was eight,” Yoongi said, grinning slyly. “As far as I’m concerned, it never happened.”

Yoongi didn’t think he was all that funny, but from the way Seokjin was chuckling at everything he said, one would think he was a comedian. “A while, huh?” he said. “How old are you?”

“Thirty-five.”

The grin that spread across Seokjin’s face could only be described as shit-eating when he responded, “Oh, huh. I’m thirty-six. Looks like I’m your hyung.”

Yoongi’s first thought was that he would have liked to have called him hyung anyway, but he decided to keep that particular thought to himself. Before he could properly respond, Jimin came running over, sitting beside Seokjin and looking up at him with a pout.

“Dad, can you push me on the swings?” he asked. “I can’t go high enough.”

“Sure, kiddo.” Seokjin glanced over to where Jungkook was playing, and then raised his eyebrows at Yoongi. “Why don’t you go grab Jungkook, and they can swing together?”

Yoongi cursed internally. He hadn’t thought that he would get this far, and now he was stuck in the unfortunate position of having told this hot single dad that Jungkook was his son, when he has never in his life raised another living thing.

“Uh, yeah. Sounds good,” he said, getting up off the bench, very aware of Jimin’s eyes on him. Kids were so attentive that it was almost like Jimin could see right through him already. Ignoring the burning feeling on his back, he marched over to Jungkook and pulled him aside.

“Listen,” Yoongi muttered to Jungkook. “I need you to pretend to be my son in front of that guy over there on the bench.”

Jungkook gave him a funny look. “What?” he said. “Uncle Yoongi, that’s weird.”

“C’mon, Jungkook, please? I’ll buy you anything you want from the convenience store.”

Jungkook considered this for a second. “Even the chocolate ramen?”

Yoongi grimaced at the idea of someone actually wanting to eat chocolate with their ramen, but then he remembered how amazing Seokjin’s lips looked and nodded. “Yeah. Cross my heart.”

“Okay, you’ve got yourself a deal,” Jungkook said, slipping his arm through Yoongi’s, “Dad.”

Yoongi shuddered at the mere thought, but put on his best bullshitting face and returned to the park bench, where Seokjin and Jimin were still sitting, Jimin kicking his legs back and forth as he waited.

“Jungkook, this is Jimin,” Yoongi said. “He’s your hyung, so get along with him.”

Jungkook flushed and clung to Yoongi’s side, his cheeks steadily reddening as he stared resolutely at the grass and mumbled out a greeting. Yoongi was in awe at the complete 180; he didn’t think it was possible for Jungkook to get shy.

“Hi, Jungkook,” Jimin said, hopping off the bench to get a closer look at him. “I like your shoes.”

Jungkook perked up a bit, holding out his leg. “Thanks. My dads got them for me.”

Seokjin’s eyebrows raised at that, looking to Yoongi. “Are you married?”

Yoongi subtly nudged Jungkook with his knee, then shook his head. “No, he just has an imaginary friend that he thinks is his other dad.” The lie came out of nowhere, but from the look on Seokjin’s face, it was well received.

“That’s so sweet.”

“Hey! I don’t have an imaginary friend!” Jungkook said, his cheeks flushing and his fists clenching.

“It’s okay,” Jimin said, walking over and holding Jungkook’s hand. “I have one too. Maybe our imaginary friends can be friends, too.”

Jungkook instantly deflated, nodding. “Okay.”

Yoongi shook his head. If another kid around his age was all it took to get Jungkook to behave and not mouth off, he would have taken him to the park from the very first time he’d agreed to babysit for Taehyung and Hoseok.

The four of them headed over to the swings, Jimin and Jungkook chatting the whole way, and now that they were both standing Yoongi realized just how much taller Seokjin was than him. Of all the days to have him babysit Jungkook, of all the parks he could have come to, of all the benches he could have sat on… Maybe someone out there was looking out for him, after all.

As ridiculous as it felt to be pushing an eight year old on the swingset, Jungkook seemed to be having fun seeing if he could make himself go higher than Jimin, and Seokjin was eating up the competition as well. Loathe as he was to admit it, Yoongi found himself having a good time, pushing Jungkook higher and higher until his arms began to get sore.

He was so absorbed in chatting with Seokjin and watching the kids run off and chase each other around the playground that he hadn’t even noticed the time; he was supposed to have Jungkook back home for dinner in five minutes.

“Shit,” Yoongi muttered, then turned to Seokjin. “I lost track of time; I’m supposed to have Jungkook back for, uh…”

“Cram school,” Jungkook piped up, saving Yoongi from fumbling around for an excuse.

“Ohh, gotcha. You should hurry off, then,” Seokjin said. “Don’t wanna be late.”

“Man, I hate cram school!” Jungkook announced loudly, and Yoongi gave him a stern look that clearly said dial it back a bit.

“Really? I like it,” Jimin said.

Jungkook blushed again and mumbled something about it not being so bad, and Seokjin reached in his pocket, pulling out his cell phone. “We should hang out again,” he said. “Why don’t you give me your number? It seems like Jungkook and Jimin really get along.”

“O-oh, yeah,” Yoongi said, typing in his number hastily. “Uh, I’ll see you around?”

“See you.”

Jungkook was very obviously reluctant to leave, looking over his shoulder about five times to wave at Jimin.

“So, you made a friend,” Yoongi said, attempting to deflect how awkward he felt now that it was just him and Jungkook, him and the kid he’d just bribed to pretend to be his kid so he could flirt with a hot single dad at the park. As far as dignity goes, it’s a bit of a low day for Yoongi.

“What? No I didn’t,” Jungkook said quickly, his cheeks heating up again. “Don’t be weird.”

“Are you getting shy?” Yoongi teased.

“No!” Jungkook crossed his arms and puffed up his cheeks in a pout, glaring at Yoongi. “Stop, Uncle Yoongi. What about you and Jimin-hyung’s dad?”

This time it was Yoongi’s turn to flush. “Don’t worry about it,” he said. “Adults just talk sometimes.”

“You like him,” Jungkook said in a sing-song voice, his embarrassed expression morphing into a smug look of glee. “Uncle Yoongi likes Jimin-hyung’s dad. Gross!”

“Come here, brat,” Yoongi said, chasing after Jungkook down the sidewalk, only stopping when they nearly barreled into a teenager walking a dog. After apologizing profusely, Yoongi told Jungkook not to run off ahead anymore, and the topic was forgotten.

At least until they reached Hoseok and Taehyung’s house, and Yoongi realized that Jungkook was apt to blab all about his time at the park with Uncle Yoongi and his new friend to his parents. The thought sent a shiver down his spine; how utterly humiliating.

“Don’t tell your dads, okay?” Yoongi whispered as they approached the house. “I don’t need your Papa using this to make fun of me at the next get-together.”

“Alright,” Jungkook sighed. “But it’s gonna cost you.”

“Goddamn, you’re a little con artist.” Yoongi reached in his wallet and handed him a 10,000 won bill, then knocked on the front door. “Here. Use it to buy whatever you want.”

“I want a gaming laptop.”

“Don’t push it,” Yoongi warned under his breath as the door swung open.

“Hey, hyung,” Hoseok said when he saw who was standing there, then turned to his son. “Hey, kiddo. Were you good for Uncle Yoongi?”

“Yep!” Jungkook chirped, suddenly the picture perfect image of a sweet little kid.

“Was he okay?” Hoseok asked quietly once Jungkook ran into the house.

“Yeah, he’s a good kid, Hoseok,” Yoongi assured him.

God, Hoseok always looked like he had a million and one things on his mind, and even though he was one to smile through the stress, it showed in the worry lines on his forehead and the crease of his eyebrows.

As entertaining as it had been to pretend to be Jungkook’s dad for a few hours, he did not envy Hoseok and Taehyung in the slightest.

Although, to be fair, the two of them had known what they were getting into by becoming parents, and despite all of their stress and sleepless nights, they truly did love children, and he’d never seen them happier than the first day they’d brought Jungkook home.

Regardless, he doubted Seokjin would actually text him, so his brief stint as a pretend parent had come to a close, and he left Hoseok and Taehyung’s house feeling oddly empty.

The thought left his mind by the following day, and he hardly thought about Seokjin at all as he sat there in his desk chair at the small record label he was employed at. He definitely wasn’t thinking about how infectious his laugh had been, or how kissable his lips had looked, or how impossibly handsome he was.

Well. Maybe he was thinking about it a little.

“Something on your mind, hyung?” Namjoon, one of the recording artists signed to the label asked, his hand resting on the back of Yoongi’s chair. “You look stressed.”

“When am I not stressed?” Yoongi replied, sighing and leaning back in the chair. “Pretty sure that’s just my face at this point.”

“Nah, nah, looks like there’s something. You wanna talk about it?”

His and Namjoon’s relationship had never been the most conventional, and Namjoon was never afraid to call out Yoongi’s bullshit or see right through him when he was trying to avoid talking about something uncomfortable.

Not that there was really anything to talk about. He’d briefly considered what it would be like to have a kid, decided that it wasn’t his thing, and was moving on. Simple as that.

“Quit meddling, Joon,” Yoongi said, looking up at him. “I’m fine. You’re not really here just to check on me, are you?”

Namjoon chuckled. “You underestimate how much I actually do care about you, hyung. Are you forgetting that we’re friends?”

“Yeah, yeah,” Yoongi waved his hand dismissively. “My place or yours?”

“Yours, if that’s cool,” Namjoon said. “Mine’s a mess; my roommate decided to Konmari the whole place and I’ve got piles of shit everywhere.”

Yoongi nodded. “Alright, see you later, then.”

The following morning, Yoongi stretched out his arms and yawned, accidentally elbowing Namjoon in the ribs.

“Ghh. Joon, wake up. It’s almost nine,” he said, voice still thick with sleep.

Namjoon mumbled something incoherent as he stirred, turning over and rubbing his eyes. “Huh?”

“It’s almost nine,” Yoongi repeated. “If you want me to make you breakfast, you gotta wake up now.”

Namjoon slurred out something that sounded like “Okay, hyung,” and so Yoongi left him in his bed (he really needed to wash those sheets) and stepped over their discarded clothes scattered across the floor to head out into the kitchen.

Sometimes Namjoon would stay a bit later and they’d watch a movie or talk for a bit, but Yoongi had a lot to work on and didn’t want to deal with some of the awkwardness that had been plaguing them recently. They’d reached the point of being friends with benefits where it was a little weird that neither of them were dating yet, and the fact that Yoongi hadn’t slept with anyone but Namjoon in a few months was weighing on him.

“I met a guy at the park the other day,” Yoongi said, just to make conversation while they ate breakfast. Namjoon hadn’t put a shirt on, and the whole scene was just a little too domestic for Yoongi’s taste. It would be better if they hadn’t just slept together, and if Yoongi’s thighs weren’t quite so sore, and if Namjoon had a damn shirt on.

“You did? How was he?” Namjoon asked through a mouthful of eggs.

“We just talked. He had a kid.”

“Oh.”

“He has my number, though.”

“But he hasn’t called yet?”

Yoongi shook his head. “No.”

“Would you answer if he did?”

“I don’t know,” Yoongi said honestly. He decided to leave out the part where he’d lied to Seokjin about having a kid himself, and the fact that even if he tried to have some kind of relationship with Seokjin, it would fall apart almost immediately.

“I think you should. It’s been a long time since you dated, hyung. I think it’d be good for you.”

“Yeah,” Yoongi said, mind glazing over. It would be, probably. Too bad he’d already fucked everything up before it had even had a chance to begin. He had a tendency to do that.

Namjoon left about an hour later, leaving Yoongi with an empty house once again. Normally he didn’t mind it, preferring to have his own space most of the time, but after the events of the past week, it was starting to weigh on him a bit.

He wondered if perhaps the universe was actually listening to him for once, because no sooner had the thought of his home being a little lonely crossed his mind, his phone buzzed with the sound of an incoming text.

Seokjin was actually texting him.

kim seokjin
09:54

hey, this is kim seokjin, that guy you met in the park the other day

yoongi
09:55

kim seokjin…? doesn’t ring a bell

kim seokjin
09:55

damn, usually people remember a face like mine

i must be losing my touch

yoongi
09:56

oh that’s right, now i remember

you’re the guy with an ego as big as the moon

kim seokjin
09:57

and you’re the guy who i’m considering asking out for coffee

yoongi
09:58

you’re very forward, you know that?

kim seokjin
09:58

when you get to be my age you don’t really have time to mess around

yoongi
09:58

oh yeah you are horrifically old and decrepit, i forgot

well, old man, i’d be happy to go out and get coffee with you

before it’s too late, anyway

kim seokjin
09:59

i see where jungkook gets his cheekiness from ;)

how’s saturday sound? bring jungkook and he & jimin can hang out at the park while we get coffee at that nice place nearby

yoongi
10:01

it’s a date then

kim seokjin
10:02

:)

“Fuck,” Yoongi cursed, setting his phone down and resting his head back against the fridge. Handsome, a smartass, and somehow attracted to Yoongi enough to ask him out on a date? It was like this guy was created just to be Yoongi’s type to a fucking T.

Too bad their interactions were all based on a horribly picked lie. Goddammit, Yoongi.

If Yoongi kept this up, Jungkook might have enough of Yoongi’s bribe money to end up buying a gaming laptop, after all.

If being the key word, here. He couldn’t do this forever, but he’d already committed at this point. One more time couldn’t hurt. He was sure they would end up never speaking again after a few weeks, anyway.

Sighing and wishing that he could go back in time and stop himself from ever thinking this was a good idea in the first place, he picked his phone back up and dialed Hoseok’s number.

“Hey, hyung,” Hoseok said, picking up on the fourth ring.

“Hey, uh, Hoseok,” Yoongi said, unsure of how to word this without sounding like a freak. “Can I borrow Jungkook on Saturday?” Oh, yikes. “I- I mean, like, to go to the park again? I promised I’d take him back.” Okay, that was a little better.

“Really?” Hoseok breathed into the phone, the relief clear in his tone. “That would actually help me out so much, hyung, thank you. I have so much stuff to get done for class on Monday. We’re doing the school festival soon, and I have to prepare the activities, and...you know.”

“Yeah, it’s really no problem.” Now he felt a little guilty for only offering to help out when he was gaining something from it. He’d have to make a mental note to call up more often.

On Saturday, Yoongi hated to admit that he did go out of his way in order to look a little nicer knowing that he would be spending the day with Seokjin. He usually didn’t put much into his outfits when he was just taking Jungkook to the park or hanging out with friends, but Seokjin seemed at the very least like a well-put-together adult, and Yoongi didn’t want to give him any reason to think that he wasn’t as well.

“I can’t believe I’m doing this,” he muttered to himself as he knocked on Hoseok and Taehyung’s door.

“You’re a terrible influence on me, Uncle Yoongi,” Jungkook informed him after he shut the door to his house and hopped off the porch to join him on the sidewalk. “I’m going to grow up dysfunctional.”

Yoongi stared at him. “Where do you learn this shit? Who taught you the word dysfunctional?”

“That’s what our old neighbor called Dad. He said that our family is dysfunctional.”

Anger flared up in Yoongi’s chest. “That guy is a prick. Don’t listen to him. You have two parents who love you more than anything; that’s the opposite of dysfunctional.”

Jungkook pursed out his lips. “Yeah, I guess. It made Dad really upset, though.”

“Listen to me. Other people would kill to have a family like yours. Don’t let anyone tell you or your dads any different.”

“Is that why you’re pretending to be my dad?” Jungkook asked. “Because you want a family too?”

Yoongi blinked, suddenly uncomfortable. “No,” he said quickly. “I’m just trying to get Jimin’s dad to, uh. Be my friend.”

Jungkook looked him up and down. “You don’t look like a hobo today. Why are you so dressed up?”

Now Yoongi was flushing, looking away so that Jungkook couldn’t see how red his cheeks had gotten. “I just felt like it.”

Jungkook narrowed his eyes, but shrugged and moved onto another topic instead of pushing the issue. That was the plus side to children— their attention spans didn’t hold for very long.

Jungkook’s cheekiness melted away the instant he and Jimin laid eyes on each other, and he once again became a timid, blushing kid who was half-hiding behind Yoongi. Jimin marched over and held Jungkook’s hand, asking if he wanted to go to the park right out front of the coffee shop. Jungkook nodded, and then the kids were off, leaving Yoongi and Seokjin standing there alone.

“Did you do something different with your hair?” Seokjin asked, holding the door open for Yoongi.

I washed it. “Uh, I parted it a little differently,” he lied.

“I like it.”

“Oh. Thanks, uh. I like your… face?” Smooth, Yoongi.

Seokjin grinned. “Understandable,” he said. “Most people do. What are you getting?”

Yoongi didn’t have to look at the menu to respond, “Oh, just a black Americano. But, hey, you don’t have to—”

“Nonsense, I’m the hyung,” Seokjin said with a wink.

Yoongi protested the entire time Seokjin was ordering his own sugary-sounding drink and Yoongi’s Americano, but Seokjin won out in the end, handing over his card to the cashier and turning smugly back to Yoongi while they waited for their drinks.

“I told you, I’m the hyung. I’m paying.”

Yoongi huffed, shaking his head. “Well, thank you, anyway.”

They looked out the window to the park where they could see Jimin and Jungkook racing down the slides, and chatted amicably about how energetic kids up until their drinks were called out. Yoongi had been counting; Seokjin had made about six puns in the three minutes that they were waiting, and at two puns a minute, that was far too many to let slide for any normal person. The fact that Yoongi still wanted to go on this date with him was a testament to how attractive and funny he was.

With neither of the boys appearing to be running out of stamina any time soon, Yoongi and Seokjin settled in at a table by the window and sipped their coffee. They continued chatting, the conversation remaining light but not uncomfortably so, and Yoongi hated that he was only falling deeper for this tall, handsome pun-maker. Seokjin had a talent of knowing when to speak and when to let silence speak for him, never forcing the conversation and gauging Yoongi’s reactions before he spoke again.

It wasn’t until they’d gotten all of the usual banter and small talk out of the way that Yoongi finally couldn’t stop himself from blurting out, “So, um, you’re not married, right?”

Seokjin laughed. “What gave it away? The fact that I was at the park alone, or the fact that I asked you out?”

“Well, I mean—”

“I’m just messing with you. Yeah, I was married, but my husband had a bit of a gambling problem, so we got a divorce a couple years ago. I have sole custody.”

“Shit,” Yoongi breathed, shifting uncomfortably. God, he never should have said anything. “I’m so sorry.”

“Oh, don’t be. He was an asshole, anyway, and I’m glad Jimin doesn’t have to grow up around him.” Seokjin smiled easily, waving his hand slightly. “It doesn’t upset me to talk about it. What about you? Only if you’re comfortable answering, obviously.”

Well, shit. He supposed he could have made up a lie about a spouse, but he felt guilty enough already lying about being a single father; he decided not to push it too much. “I was never married,” he said honestly. “My last relationship was about two years ago, and the way it ended wasn’t exactly...amicable.”

“Is Jungkook both yours and your ex’s?” Seokjin asked.

“No, just mine.”

Seokjin took a sip of his coffee and raised his eyebrows. “That’s incredible of you to take that on all by yourself. Obviously, I know how hard it can be, so good on you. You’ve raised a really great kid.”

The guilt was practically eating away at his insides now, and Yoongi was finding it hard to look Seokjin in the eye. “Thanks. Uhh, you’re not doing too shabby, either. It seems like Jimin really likes playing with Jungkook.”

Seokjin smiled. “Well, you know. Jimin doesn’t have a lot of friends his age. He likes art and dancing, and he’s at the top of his class, so... He gets bullied a bit. I’m just glad he can have fun with Jungkook.”

Yoongi wondered if Jungkook had ever been bullied. With how cheeky he is, he doubted it, but then again Jungkook wasn’t actually his son. He had no idea one way or the other, since Hoseok or Taehyung had never brought it up. “That’s a shame,” Yoongi said, turning his attention to the park, where Jimin appeared to be drawing something in the sand with Jungkook, a big smile on his face. “I’m glad he and Jungkook get along.”

It was getting dark by the time they decided to head back home, Seokjin saying that he’d promised Jimin he would order chicken tonight. There was a moment of hesitation, and then Seokjin said, “I’ll see you sometime soon, yeah?”

“Yeah,” Yoongi said, guilt gnawing at him. If there was a time to come clean, it would have been earlier, when they’d been discussing being single parents. He’d missed his chance, and continuing to see Seokjin would mean continuing to enforce this lie.

And yet… The date had gone so well, with he and Seokjin clicking so immediately, something that Yoongi hadn’t experienced in a very long time. He didn’t want to just give up an opportunity like this.

As it turned out, Seokjin was serious about seeing him again soon, because not even a few days later, he invited him out to dinner, without Jimin or Jungkook there as buffers. Yoongi accepted, and outside the restaurant, before Yoongi was able to get in his car, Seokjin bent down and asked if he could kiss him.

“Yeah,” Yoongi breathed, and Seokjin closed the distance. His lips were just as soft as he’d been imagining, and Yoongi couldn’t help chasing for more when Seokjin moved away.

“You’ve got a pretty mouth,” Seokjin murmured, his words sending a flurry of heat through Yoongi’s body.

“You— you’ve got, uh. A pretty mouth,” Yoongi stammered back, still struck dumb.

Seokjin chuckled, and kissed the corner of his lips before backing away, waving lightly. “I’ll see you around.”

“See you. Thanks for dinner, hyung,” Yoongi called, standing out in the dark for another good thirty seconds before he remembered that he was right outside his car.

He and Seokjin ended up going on more dates after that night, sometimes with Jungkook and Jimin, but more often than not, they were on their own, and it was very clear that Seokjin was actively pursuing him. It was too late to come clean and he was in far too deep to simply ghost Seokjin and allow the two of them to fall out of contact. That aside, Yoongi was also entirely smitten by him, and couldn’t help but agree to every one of Seokjin’s offers to take him out, even though he knew that he should have ended this weeks ago.

At work the following day, Namjoon approached Yoongi outside the recording booth, scratching at the back of his neck. “Hey, hyung,” he said. “Do you wanna hang out later? I could use a break.”

They both knew that ‘hanging out’ meant something entirely different, but Yoongi shook his head, apologetic. “Sorry, Joon. I’m, uh. I’m kind of seeing someone right now.”

“Really?” Namjoon’s eyes widened. “The guy with the kid?”

Yoongi nodded. “Yeah. It’s, uh. It’s just been like, dating, so far, but… I feel like it might get serious soon.”

“Wow. That’s awesome, hyung. I’m happy for you.” Namjoon paused, his eyebrows furrowing as he looked at Yoongi’s expression. “You don’t seem too happy about it, though. What’s wrong?”

Yoongi bit his lip, debating if he should just tell Namjoon everything or keep up yet another series of lies. In the middle of deciding, his mouth opened and he blurted, “I’m lying to him.”

“What? About what?”

“I told him I have a kid.”

Namjoon winced. “Oh, hyung. Why did you do that?”

“I don’t know, I panicked, okay?” Yoongi pressed his palm to his forehead, grimacing. “I was babysitting Jungkook for Hoseok and Taehyung, and Seokjin asked if Jungkook was my son and I panicked and said he was, and now I’m in way too deep.”

“What a mess,” Namjoon said. “I can’t believe you, hyung. You have to come clean.”

“How the hell am I supposed to do that now?” Yoongi said. “He’s taking me out to dinners and for coffee because he thinks I’m another single dad. He’ll kick my ass if I tell him I was lying to him this whole time.”

Namjoon shook his head. “Well, you can’t keep going on like this. Eventually, he’s going to find out Jungkook isn’t yours, and if you wait much longer, it’s just going to get uglier. You have to either end it or tell him the truth.”

Neither of those seemed like excellent options to Yoongi at all, but he knew that Namjoon was right. Damn him, of course he was right. This was by far one of the most ridiculous things Yoongi had ever done.

“Yeah, shit,” Yoongi sighed. “You’re right. Lemme think about it.”

The next time Yoongi babysat Jungkook, Seokjin was busy, leaving just the two of them alone for the first time in a while.

“It’s been a while since you’ve been my uncle,” Jungkook joked. “You keep making me be your son in front of your friend, it’s making me confused. I feel like I have three dads.”

“Well, be grateful,” Yoongi said. “That’s three more dads than I ever had.”

He took Jungkook to the bookstore this time, where Jungkook used the money he’d been collecting from Yoongi, the money he’d wanted to use on a gaming computer, to buy a few books.

“It’s Jimin-hyung’s birthday soon,” Jungkook said when Yoongi stared at him as he gathered the books to take to the register. “He said he liked these kinds.”

Yoongi said nothing, and allowed Jungkook to pay for the books, watching as he examined the cashier wrapping them in a cute paper per his request.

They headed back to Jungkook’s house after that, Jungkook proudly toting the bag, giddiness in every step.

“Oh, hyung, Jungkook! Yoongi-hyung, d’you wanna come in for dinner?” Hoseok said, opening the door. “As a thank you for helping us out with Jungkook so often.”

“As long as I’m not imposing or anything.”

“Are you kidding? Get in here, hyung.”

Yoongi followed him inside, mumbling an embarrassed thank you and leaving his shoes at the door next to Taehyung’s hideous Gucci slippers and Jungkook’s tiny Timberlands.

There were about twenty glittery nametags spread out on the kitchen table, each one spelling out a name in looping orange letters.

“Sorry for the mess,” Hoseok said, pulling out a chair for him. “It’s for the school festival, I was just waiting for the glitter paint to dry.” He began clearing away the tags, and when Yoongi reached over to help, he stopped at one nametag that spelled out ‘Park Jimin.’

Oh, god damn.

“Hey, Hoseok?”

“Yeah?”

“This wouldn’t happen to be Park Jimin, son of Kim Seokjin, would it?”

Hoseok’s eyes widened. “Yeah, how did you know?”

Yoongi laughed out of sheer disbelief. “It’s nothing. I just know his dad.”

Hoseok stacked up the rest of the tags and set them on the counter. “Wow. Small world.”

“Yeah,” Yoongi echoed, praying that Hoseok never mentioned his home life around his students, or at least not his son. “Small world.”

That was probably a sign, he thought. Definitely a sign that he should just confess already. It was frankly a miracle that Jungkook didn’t attend the same school where Hoseok taught, or there was an even larger chance that Seokjin would find out the truth on his own. No, he needed to hear it from Yoongi himself, and soon.

After clearing off the tags, Hoseok returned to the stove and continued stirring the sauce he had boiling, waving his hand to the now clean table. “Make yourself comfortable, hyung.”

“No, let me help,” Yoongi said, joining him in the kitchen and grabbing a nearby carrot that he began to chop.

Taehyung came home about twenty minutes later, hanging up his keys on the hook and calling out a greeting. Jungkook came barreling out from wherever he’d been holed up with his game and charged at Taehyung, nearly bowling him over in a hug.

“Hi, babe,” Hoseok called over, handing the ladle off to Yoongi and shuffling through the kitchen to greet his husband. “How was your day?”

“Oh, y’know,” Taehyung said casually, giving Hoseok a peck on the lips while still half-wrestling Jungkook. “The usual, mostly. I had to argue with this snobby college kid about the importance of Van Gogh’s work to the history of art. Can you believe that little brat tried to tell me that post-impressionism wasn’t a valid painting style?”

“The world is full of uncultured people, Dad,” Jungkook said, climbing on his father’s back and looping his arms around his neck like a koala.

Hoseok laughed and shook his head. “You run an art gallery, Tae. You’ve gotta expect these kinds of things.” He glanced back to the kitchen, where Yoongi was still stirring the sauce and feeling oddly lonely at seeing them all be so domestic. “Oh, babe, Yoongi-hyung is staying for dinner today.”

Taehyung perked up immediately, yanking Jungkook over his shoulder and flipping him onto the couch, causing Jungkook to laugh delightedly, then waving to Yoongi like nothing had happened. “Hey, hyung!” he said. “What’s up?”

“Not much,” Yoongi said. “Just stirring some sauce.”

Normally domesticity made Yoongi uncomfortable, but now it was making him just a bit forlorn. Taehyung and Hoseok’s lives were far more chaotic than Yoongi cared to experience himself, but it was obvious to anyone who saw them that they truly loved each other and their son. All this pretending was making Yoongi sort of want that for himself, now.

Oh, dammit. He was going to have to come clean.

He pushed it off only another week, never quite finding the right opportunity to bring it up (mostly due to chickening out when an opportunity presented itself). However, one night, Seokjin invited Yoongi over to his house for take-out since Jimin was at cram school for a few hours, and Yoongi swore to himself that tonight would be the night.

Then, of course, Seokjin had to be so handsome and charming as always, and the two of them ended up locking lips on the couch for so long that Yoongi nearly forgot that he was going to be telling Seokjin the truth today.

Seokjin broke away for a moment, his eyes searching Yoongi’s face, and then he opened his mouth before Yoongi had even fully recovered.

“Hey, can I ask you a serious question?”

Yoongi swallowed a lump in his throat and nodded. “Oh. Um. Sure.”

“Where is this thing going? Between us, I mean.” Yoongi had never heard Seokjin speak so frankly before. There was no sarcasm in his voice or playful twinkle in his eye when he spoke. “I don’t mean to put you on the spot or anything, but it’s just… I’m old enough now that I can’t waste time messing around and confusing my son.”

Oh, hell. Oh, shit.

“I like you,” Yoongi said, just to get the ball of honesty rolling. “Shit, I really like you, Seokjin-hyung.”

Seokjin grimaced. “I feel like there’s a ‘but…’ coming.”

“But, I need to tell you something.”

“Okay. What is it? You’re still married? You’re moving to Australia? You have a third nipple?”

Yoongi snorted, his heart racing. God, he really liked Seokjin a lot. This was going to be impossible. “No, I… Listen, you’re probably going to hate me a lot, but just… just keep in mind, I’m an idiot. You already know that, so…”

“Yoongi, you’re killing me, here. What is it?”

“Jungkook is… He’s not my son.”

Seokjin’s reaction was nothing like Yoongi would have expected. He should have been reprimanding him for lying, or telling him to fuck off, or at least laughing at him, so why was he staring at him with such a sympathetic expression?

“Yoongi, don’t say that. Just because he’s adopted doesn’t make him any less your son. Look at Jimin, he’s—”

“No, hyung, listen to me. He is not my son. He’s actually my friends’.”

Seokjin blinked. “What?”

“I was babysitting him that day we met, and I panicked and pretended like he was mine, and then before I knew it I was in too deep to come clean.” He took a deep breath. “I’m sorry.”

Seokjin blinked a few more times, dumbstruck. “I… Well. That’s not what I was expecting. So everything you told me was a lie, then?”

“Not… everything. Just the parts where I talked about being a single father. Everything else was true.” Realizing that he wasn’t helping his case, Yoongi quieted, fully expecting Seokjin to tell him to get the fuck out of his house.

Instead, he kept laughing. “Wow. This has got to be the wildest way a guy has tried to get with me,” he said. “You really had me fooled for this long, that’s impressive.”

“It was shitty, and I shouldn’t have done it. I’m sorry, hyung,” Yoongi said. “I get if you never want to see me again.”

“Yeah, it was shitty,” Seokjin said, still cheerful. “But also funny as hell. How did you get Jungkook to go along with it?”

“I’ve been bribing him with snacks and money.” Yoongi winced at himself, all of it sounding so much worse as he was saying it out loud.

That got another laugh out of Seokjin, who was shaking his head in disbelief. “Of course you were. That’s hilarious.”

“You’re not even mad?” Yoongi demanded. “Why aren’t you telling me to get the fuck out right now?”

“I dunno,” Seokjin said, tilting his head to look at Yoongi head-on. “I guess I like you, too, Yoongi.”

“What?”

“I mean, I’d be willing to laugh all this off and give you a second chance, if you want. Only if you swear a blood oath to never lie to me again.”

“A second chance? I don’t deserve that,” Yoongi said, absolutely flabbergasted. None of this was going even a fraction of how he had expected it to.

“Don’t question my forgiving nature,” Seokjin grinned. “So, what do you say? You went through all that trouble, now do you want to be my boyfriend?”

“Hell yeah, I do,” Yoongi said.

“Good. Now hurry up and kiss me. Unlike you, I actually am a father, and my son is going to be home from cram school in a half hour.”

Yoongi didn’t hesitate to bring their lips together.

 

six months later

 

“Hey, Jungkook! Stop running so close to the stairs! Your dads will kill me if I bring you back with a broken leg,” Yoongi called out, exasperated.

“Okay, Uncle Yoongi!” Jungkook yelled back, not looking at him as he continued to chase after Jimin.

“Ah, they’re just being kids,” Seokjin said, rubbing Yoongi’s back. “Don’t worry so much.”

“Easy for you to say,” Yoongi grumbled. “I’ll have two angry dads waiting for me if I drop him off with a concussion.”

As he said that, the two boys ran back to them, both out of breath and panting. “Hey… dad… can we get… snacks?” Jimin wheezed, clutching his ribs and looking up at Seokjin with stars in his eyes.

“Yeah, yeah, pick out one thing each,” Seokjin said, handing him a 5,000 won bill. “Hurry, so we can make it in time for dinner.”

Jimin nodded and grabbed Jungkook’s hand, the two of them running off again toward the candy shop. Thankfully the mall was relatively empty right now, or they surely would have bumped into several people by now.

“Speaking of dinner, where do you want to go?” Seokjin asked. “Not lamb skewers again.”

“Hey, why the hell not? You’ve gotten to pick the place the last three times.”

Seokjin grinned. “Well, someone still has to make up for lying to me, so…”

Yoongi crossed his arms, looking up at Seokjin and shaking his head. “Forgiving nature, my ass.”

Seokjin winked. “Oh, come on. You love me.”

“Yeah. I do,” Yoongi said, and reached up to give him a kiss.