Jin was late.
That was the only way to explain it. His routine that he cultivated, and perfected over the last two years was ruined in the span of one night, and all because of one Kim Namjoon, CEO of the company that he worked in.
Even though he was awake before his alarm was supposed to ring at 6.55am, he couldn't get out of bed. He physically, could not get out of bed. He didn't want to go to work. He didn't want to walk into that office and have to see Namjoon. He didn't think he could handle it. He didn't want to see his face, he didn't want to have to pretend like he didn't know he was his son's best friends dad. He didn't want to have to pretend like he didn't know what the inside of his house looked like, that he didn't know what his towels felt like, like he didn't know what the feel of his clothes felt like on his skin, or how they smelt freshly laundered or even how deep his dimples were.
He didn't have the energy to pretend.
Jin just wanted to get through the day at work so that he could pick up his son from Kindergarten and go home and watch cartoons with him and cook him dinner and cuddle as Jungkook fell asleep on him.
He wanted his day to be normal again. But somehow, he got the feeling that after meeting Kim Namjoon, things were going to change, and for his sake, he really hoped he was wrong.
And that's how Kim Seokjin ended up strapping Jungkook into the car and driving him to Kindergarten. Because they were off schedule and wouldn't make it in time if they had walked like Jin usually liked to do.
It was all Kim Namjoon's fault. Jin already hated that guy and his stupid lavender smelling soft, oversized sweater that Jin had already washed and folded neatly in a paper bag that he was going to return to Namjoon.
"Iron man save me!" Jungkook said in a high pitched voice from the carseat at the back with his Iron Man action figure as high as he can hold it, "Iron Man is coming! Boom! Poosh! Boom, boom! Night night bad guy!"
Jungkook imitated loud explosions making his little action figure fly around him, diving down before flying up and diving again.
Jin snuck a glance from the rear view mirror, smiling, as he kept driving.
"Wow, Kookie," Jin said, "Iron Man sure is busy today. First the saved the pirate cereal from the milk monster and now he's saving someone else from explosions?!"
"Is not a exploshun daddy!" Jungkook was quick to correct, "Is a big fire! It go everywhere!"
"Big fire," Jin repeated, trying to stifle a chuckle, "Where's Iron Man going now?"
"To Kindygarten with me!"
"Are you sure you want to take your favourite Iron Man toy with you, baby? You're going to have to take extra good care of it," Jin warned him as he pulled over, turning the engine off.
"I do!" Jungkook said, holding the toy close to his chest, "TaeTae said he want to see Iron Man and I said okay 'cause we're bess friends!" Jungkook told him, doe brown eyes sparkling.
Jin started to unstrap Jungkook from the carseat, "You have to make sure you don't lose Iron Man okay? Daddy's not going to buy you another one."
"KooKoo promise!" Jungkook said, holding up his chubby pinky finger to his dad.
Jin didn't know when it began, but one day when he asked Jungkook something and made him promise, Jungkook stuck out his pinky finger and with his wide, doe brown eyes and a small pout he said, in the cutest little voice, "Kookoo pwomise." And ever since then, Jungkook has done a Kookoo promise whenever Jin has asked him to be careful of something. And every single time he did it, Jin melted a little on the inside, and could never even attempt to get stern with him.
"Okay baby," Jin said, kissing Jungkook's chubby, slightly pink cheeks as he carried him from the carseat into his arms. Jungkook looped his arms around Jin's neck, hitting him with the Iron Man action figure, but Jin was used to it. He just reached slightly into the car and got Jungkook's bag pack out, making sure that his bottle and snacks were inside before shutting the door and setting Jungkook down on the ground.
"Want daddy to carry your bag, or do you want to do it yourself?" Jin asked, locking the car door.
"Kookoo can do it! I'm a big boy now daddy!"
"Yes you are, baby," Jin said, putting the bag pack on Jungkook. "Hold daddy's hand, okay? No running like you did yesterday."
Jungkook nodded, holding Iron Man tighter in one hand and Jin's big hand in his other.
"I'm gonna show Taetae Iron Man today and then Taetae and I will play Avengers like we did with Taetae's Papa and ChimChim too! And then Taetae and I will have Oreos and then I will play with Taetae Hulk toy and then we will go to Taetae's house again!" Jungkook said all in one breath, tumbling over his excited words, jumping around as he told Jin what his plans were.
Jin could barely keep up with Jungkook's excited ramblings but he caught a couple of words here and there.
"Baby, who's ChimChim?" Jin asked.
"ChimChim!" Jungkook said, pointing his chubby finger that was holding Iron Man out.
"Good morning Jin!" Jimin greeted, bright and smiley, with Taehyung's hand in his.
Jungkook squirmed out of Jin's hold, and ran as fast as his chubby legs would carry him over to Taehyung screaming about the Iron Man toy in his grasp.
"Morning ChimChim," Jin said as he walked closer to Jimin, "Hey, listen, about yesterday-"
"Don't even think about apologising or thanking me, or I swear-" Jimin threatened emptily, with crescented eyes and a dimpled smile.
"Let me buy you coffee or something then," Jin said, "It's the least I could do as a good friend."
"I'd like that," Jimin told him.
"Daddy lookie! Taetae brought Hulk!" Jungkook marvelled, waddling over to Jin, one hand gripping Iron Man, and the other Hulk.
"Wow, Kookie! You're going to have so much fun today, aren't you?" Jin said, leaning down and kissing Jungkook's chubby cheek. He would never get enough of peppering Jungkook with kisses. It was his favourite thing to do, second only to cuddling a sleepy Koala Jungkook in the morning.
The warning bell rang and Jungkook let out a gasp as his teacher walked out.
"Say goodbye to your parents everyone! It's circle time!"
"Good to see you Teacher Jung!" Jin called out with a wave.
"Dinner with Yoon soon, Jin?" Hoseok asked.
"Can't argue with the teacher now can I?" Jin said with a laugh.
"Bye daddy!" Jungkook said quickly, as Hoseok called him over.
"Have fun today, Kookie! Daddy will be right here after Kindergarten okay?"
"Love you daddy!" Jungkook waved, walking into the classroom.
"He's a cute kid," Jimin said, with a soft smile.
"He is." Jin said proudly.
"I didn't know that you knew the teacher," Jimin commented, absentmindedly playing with the leaves near the gate of the Kindergarten.
"Oh, Hoseok?" Jin said, "Yeah, we go way back! Him, me and my best friend Yoongi were in college together. They actually dated for a bit before they realised they were better off as friends. You'd like Yoongi actually. He's...Yoongi."
"Descriptive," Jimin said with a laugh.
"We should do coffee together! Trust me, it's impossible not to like Yoongi." Jin said, "Trust me. I've tried."
"Name the time and place, and I'll be there," Jimin said with a smile.
Jin sat in his car, sighing as he tried to hype himself up to go to work.
"You can do this, Kim Seokjin," He said to himself, hands gripping the steering wheel tight until his knuckles went white, "You're a 24 year old man who's had this job for years! You are not about to let someone younger than you make you feel like crap about your perfectly normal desk job!"
Jin leaned back, letting go of the steering wheel.
"There's no harm in quitting right? I mean, quitting means I get to spend more time with Jungkook, and play with him! Oh my god, if I quit, I get to sleep in!" Jin thought out loud before groaning, "But if I quit, then who the hell is going to earn money? I can't live off Yoongi. Unless..."
He shook his head adamantly, "Nope. Nope. No! I cannot live off Yoongi!"
He ran his hands over his face.
"I need to work," He sighed, "I made a promise to Ji Hye and I can't just...Okay no, it won't be that bad. I can do this! All I have to do is ignore my boss and pretend he doesn't exist.I need this job. I need the money. Jungkook needs food and water and ice cream and Iron Man and I am not about to be the worlds worst father because I can't put up with some stupid punk who has the softest goddamn towels in the whole wide world! How the hell does he get his towels so goddamn soft?! Is it fabric softener!?"
He turned the engine off, and took the keys out, reaching over to the passengers seat to grab his briefcase.
"You got this. You got this. You can do this." He kept muttering to himself as he got out of the car and locked it, walking over to the lift near the car park.
He wasn't late. He could still clock in by 9am. All he had to do was survive for 8 hours and 2 minutes. He could totally survive for 8 hours and 2 minutes.
The lift dinged and opened its metal doors. Jin got in, pressing the 8th floor before pressing the close button. Just before
"Hold the lift!"
Jin pressed the close button repeatedly, hoping that the lift would listen to him and actually close so he could avoid any contact whatsoever.
"Thanks!" Namjoon said as he slid in, standing next to Jin, "Do you mind pressing-"
Before Namjoon could even finish, Jin pressed the button for the 10th floor wordlessly, taking an unconscious step away from Namjoon.
"Good morning, Jin."
Jin stuck his tongue into the side of his cheek, wondering when exactly he made the transition from Seokjin to Jin. He didn't remember giving permission to Namjoon to call him that.
With a forced smile and a very strained voice he greeted Namjoon, for the sake of his job.
"Good morning Mr. Kim."
"Did you get home alright last night? The rain was horrible." Namjoon said, making small talk,enjoying the way Jin tried to remain pleasant.
"I did. Thank you."
"And what about Jungkook-"
"He's good too. Got home alright." Jin answered, looking at the numbers go up on the lift, trying to mentally ascertain how long this conversation would have to continue.
"He had fun at mine with Taehyung last night," Namjoon said, "We should organise a-"
The lift dinged and announced the floor.
"Excuse me." Jin said quickly and exited the lift as soon as he could, walking fast to his office, closing the door harshly behind him.
He dropped his briefcase and let out a huge sigh of relief.
Only 7 hours and 59 minutes left.
Jin already wanted to give up. How was this meant to get any easier?
Namjoon wasn't an idiot. He knew that Jin was avoiding him. He couldn't help but feel guilty that he was.
It was Namjoon's fault, really. He shouldn't have been so inappropriate. He was trying to be a gracious host but Namjoon, again, just had this problem where he can't keep his mouth shut, especially when he sees wasted potential. And that's exactly what he saw in Jin.
He saw this amazing, bright, kind and caring guy who was stuck in a job that was so clearly beneath him, and he couldn't for the life of him, figure out why. He read over Jin's folder again and again wondering who the hell hired him in such a crappy job! The pay wasn't that great, his hours were stunted and all he was doing was looking over contracts and trying to get people to sign them. Jin could do so much more and Namjoon knew that he could! All he needed was a little push and Namjoon was going to be the one to do it.
But after yesterday, and seeing Jin hesitate after Namjoon told him about the extended, unfixed hours, he knew that, Jin was going to turn his down. And for the life of him, he couldn't understand why! The promotion was offering a bigger office! A fatter paycheck! Endless opportunities! Hell, Jin was going to move an entire floor up! How could he say no?! Namjoon just didn't understand it. He thought about it the whole way home, and even while he was playing with Taehyung and his new friend. He kept asking himself what part of this entire offer didn't appeal to Jin. Was it the way he put the hours across? Was it the fear that was taking Jin over? Did he need more encouragement?
And then he saw it.
He was the reason Jin was saying no. It was a completely valid reason and Namjoon understood completely. He saw the eyebags under Jin's eyes. He saw the tense shoulders and the frantic, panicked look in his eyes. He also saw the smile on his face the second he saw Jungkook. He saw the fond look, and the love in his eyes. He saw the soft kisses and the ruffles of hair. He saw just how much Jin cared for the kid.
And Namjoon understood completely.
How could he not? Namjoon had Taehyung. And just like Jungkook was to Jin, Taehyung was to Namjoon - Everything. He was his everything and he knew it was the other way around too.
But somehow, Namjoon could sense that there was more to this than just a job. It wasn't just a way to make money for Jungkook and him. He could sense that Jin wasn't completely happy and he didn't know why. Was it the job? Was it the fact that just like Namjoon, Jin knew he too could be doing better and he too could be climbing the corporate world. That he was meant for this, and yet he didn't want to try.
Namjoon couldn't quite place his finger on it. And that's why he asked the question.
"Are you happy?"
If Namjoon blinked, he would have missed the way Jin's face went from blank, to understanding, to surprise and then sadness. It wasn't the sadness you felt just because you were sad. It was deeper than that. It was as if something in Jin's life was missing and he didn't want to admit it. And then it went blank again. All in the span of a couple of seconds.
The next thing he knew, Jin walked out the door.
And now here he was, standing near the lift of the 8th floor, trying to pretend like he wasn't waiting for Jin to walk out of his office.
It was pathetic that he's been waiting for a couple of minutes already, pretending like he was doing random rounds to try and get to know more people in the office seeing as how he just took over the job, but something in his gut was telling him that Jin was worth the trouble. And his gut has never been wrong before.
He heard a shut of the door followed by shuffle of footsteps before the button to the lift turned bright red with a soft beep.
"Ah, Jin," Namjoon said, walking to the lift, "Going down too?"
"Yes sir." He gritted out trying not to roll his eyes.
Namjoon couldn't help but smile at this little push and pull game they were doing.
"Have an answer for me yet?" Namjoon asked him.
"It's only Tuesday, sir." Jin said, putting on his best poker face, "I have till the end of the week."
"That you do," Namjoon said with a nod, pushing his thick black glasses up the bridge of his nose, "You know, Jin, I just realised that I offered you the position without showing you exactly what you'd be doing."
"Sir?' Jin asked, confused, eyebrows furrowing, making a wrinkle appear on his forehead, that Namjoon found himself wanting to make disappear.
He shook his head. He couldn't be caught being so unprofessional, especially in the workplace! He was the boss for god's sake!
"Tomorrow at 11." Namjoon said with a smile, "Meet me in my office. I hope you don't have lunch plans."
Jin just blinked at him, staring blankly at Namjoon as if wondering what just happened.
"Your lift is here." Namjoon said with a cocky smirk, backing away from the lift, "I'll see you tomorrow, Jin."
Namjoon turned on his heel and walked the other way, feeling Jin's eyes bore into his back, following his movement as the lift door closed, leaving him behind.
"Stupid, cocky, designer suit wearing, fake glasses having piece of sh-"
"Daddy! Daddy!" Jungkook screamed in glee as he door to the Kindergarten opened and a flood of kids rushed out, waiting to see if their parents were waiting for them behind the gates.
"Kookie!" Jin said, anger melting away as he saw Jungkook and his giant backpack running towards him.
"Daddy, I mithed you!" Jungkook said, running into Jin's arms as Jin hugged him tight, placing kisses on his chubby cheeks.
"I missed you too, sweetie!"
Jungkook pulled back from the hug and launched off into all of the details that he did in Kindergarten, as Jin strapped him up into the carseat.
"And then, and then, and then, Teacher Jung tolded us to count to 5 and I did, daddy! I went one, two, tree, pour, fhive!" Jungkook said, voice going higher as he stuck his fingers out counting slowly, "And then, and then, Teacher Jung said I did good! And then he gave me one whole gold star, daddy! He said I did good! And then daddy I counteded more! I went six, seven, ate, nine, and then I said ten! And daddy, it was Kookie and TaeTae that kepted on counting! Me and TaeTae got a whole two stars on the star chart daddy!"
"Wow Kookie!" Jin exclaimed, sneaking a glance through the rearview mirror at Jungkook who was practically shaking with excitement, "Two stars on the star chart! I'm so proud of you baby!"
And he was. Jin really, and truly was. To be honest, Jin wasn't very confident in his parenting skills. He didn't know if he was built to be a father or not. All this time, even after all of the parenting classes that he took, dragging Yoongi along with him, even after reading all of those books and watching YouTube videos, hoping to find answers, scouring through almost every single parenting blog or website that there was; Jin still didn't know what he was doing. He was winging everything. Yoongi had said that no one actually knew what they were doing. Parenting doesn't really come with a manual. It comes with love, and affection, and a natural gut instinct that leads us through it. But Jin still didn't know. He didn't know if he had that feeling or not. But he did know one thing - That he would never stop trying. He loved Jungkook, since day one. He was there when Jungkook was born, waiting right outside. And he was sure that he would do everything in his power to be there for Jungkook every step of the way.
"Daddy, 'm hungry." Jungkook complained with a pout, swinging his little chubby legs.
"What does my precious two star gold collecting baby want for snacks, hmm?" Jin asked, parking the car, turning around to look at Jungkook.
"Chocky milk!" Jungkook declared with a grin, "And Oreos too!"
Jin looked at him, expectantly.
"Peas!" Jungkook said, smiling widely, cheeks chubbing up, doe brown eyes wide, sparkling with innocence.
Jin could've sworn that he melted right there and then. Saying no to this kid would always be hard.
"Come on baby, I'll get you some snacks." Jin said, turning the engine off as he exited the car, going to unstrap his son from the carseat.
He didn't know what was going to happen tomorrow with Namjoon, or even what Namjoon wanted to show him. But there was no way that Jin was giving this up. Any of this!
He wasn't about to give up waking up early in the morning just so Jungkook had extra cuddle time. He wasn't going to give up watching Jungkook try and decide between the same two cereals in the morning, always ending up picking the same thing anyway. He wasn't going to give up reminding Jungkook about his 'please' and 'thank yous'. He wasn't going to give up taking him to Kindergarten and watching him wave goodbye with excited, sparkling eyes. He wasn't going to give up picking Jungkook up, with those exact same eyes greeting him, or when Jungkook rambled on excitedly about his day, stumbling over his words because he couldn't talk fast enough to match his excitement. He wasn't going to give up chocolate milk and oreos and hugs and kisses.
Because taking that job meant working more, which meant that he would have to change his entire schedule to accommodate his job, and not Jungkook. Jungkook was and always will be his number one priority, and no amount of money, or person, could ever change that.
Jin didn't care if he was happy or not. All he cared about was that Jungkook was happy, and healthy and loved.
"He wants what?" Yoongi asked him, taking a sip from his beer bottle while Jungkook coloured in the living room with the television playing in the background.
"Wants me to meet him at 11 at his office tomorrow." Jin mumbled, "I don't even know what he wants! Or why he can't leave me alone!"
"It's obvious, isn't it? He wants you to take that damn promotion!" Yoongi answered.
"It's not that simple, Yoongs," Jin sighed, "This isn't just my decision to make-"
"I know, Jin," Yoongi cut him off before he could even say anything, "I know that you have Kook to think about and I know that you only want to put him first, but god, it's a damn good offer! Think about it! You'd be earning more! You'd have a good-"
"Money isn't everything."
"Money is what keeps this roof over your head." Yoongi deadpanned, "There's only so long an insurance payout can last, Jin."
"I'm doing fine!" Jin hissed out.
"When's the last time you got laid, huh?"
"That has nothing to do-"
"Fuc-" Yoongi started but cut himself off, taking a quick glance at Jungkook who was humming, oblivious in his own world, trying to stay inside the lines as he coloured the cloud red, "Firetruck hell, Jin! You can't keep being miserable forever!"
"Why does everyone think I'm unhappy?! I'm fine! I'm happy! I have Jungkook! I have you! I don't need anyone else!" Jin yelled out, slamming his beer bottle down onto the counter a little louder than necessary.
"Who's everyone?" Yoongi asked.
"You said everyone thinks you're unhappy. Who's everyone?" Yoongi repeated.
"Namjoon asked me last night if I was happy..." Jin admitted, taking a large swig from the neck of the beer bottle, the burn hardly affecting him anymore.
"And when exactly did Mr Kim say that?"
"When I was picking up Jungkook from his house." Jin admitted, "Surprise, surprise! He's the infamous TaeTae's father. Wohoo. The universe really firetrucking hates me, doesn't it?"
"Do you believe in fate, Jin? Maybe even destiny?'
"Oh shut the firetruck up." Jin muttered out, rolling his eyes.
"All I'm saying," Yoongi said, "Is to hear him out with an open mind."
"Yoongi, you saw what happened the last time-" Jin said, eyes pricking with tears from the memory that still haunted him to this day, that still caused him to lie awake at night, to want so badly to turn back time and redo everything.
"You can't keep punishing yourself for that, Jin," Yoongi said, sympathy filling his eyes, "You're not the same person you were back then. And look at him, Jin. Look at Jungkook! He's a happy kid! He's healthy! But most importantly, he's right here. In front of us."
As if on cue, Jungkook set his crayon down, grabbing the paper and running over to Yoongi with bright eyes and a giggle.
"Uncle Yoo! Uncle Yoo!" Jungkook called out.
"There's my little Iron Man!" Yoongi said with affection lacing his every syllable.
"Lookie! I maded you this!"
"You did?" Yoongi said with a gasp, taking the paper from Jungkook's outstretched hands, marvelling at it as if it were the Mona Lisa itself, "Woah! This is the bestestest drawing I have ever seen in my whole life! Oh my god! Our little Jungkookie Iron Man is a painter!"
Jungkook giggled, eyes crescenting.
"Jin, you better call the newspapers! Look how amazing this drawing is! Everyone should see it! You should hang it up on the fridge, Jin!" Yoongi said.
Jungkook gasped, "Daddy, are you and Uncle Yoo really gonna put the drawing I maded on there?"
"Of course sweetie," Jin said, taking the drawing from Yoongi's hands and the magnet that was hanging on the fridge, "Everyone needs to see how amazing our little KooKoo bear is and how well you can draw, right?"
Jungkook just nodded, still in disbelief that his drawing was on the fridge.
"Tell you what, Kookie," Yoongi said, leaning down and picking him up in his arms, "If you finish all of your veggies for dinner today, Uncle Yoo will take you out for ice cream. Can you do that for me?"
"With sprinkles?!" Jungkook asked excitedly.
"Anything you want, kiddo." Yoongi promised.
"I want sprinkles, Uncle Yoo!" Jungkook asked, putting his chubby fingers on Yoongi's cheeks, "Peas."
"Promise." Yoongi said, practically melting on the spot. Truth be told, this kid could ask Yoongi for the moon and he would still find a way to get it for him. He was truly wrapped around his chubby little finger, and has been ever since the first night he saw him sleeping in his crib after Jin introduced him.
"Daddy! Uncle Yoo said that Kookie could have ice cweam with sprinkles!" Jungkook told his dad, eyes blooming with excitement.
"I heard," Jin said with a strained smile on his face, knowing how much sugar Jungkook already had today.
"What?" Yoongi said, shrugging, "Don't look at me like that! I said ice cream after dinner and veggies!"
Jin just glared deeper at Yoongi.
"You try saying no to the kid, you monster!" Yoongi grumbled.
"Don't worry Uncle Yoo! Iron Man save you from monster!" Jungkook said, gasping at the 'm' word, squirming to get off Yoongi's lap, to get his Iron Man action figure from the table he was colouring on.
"You hear that, Jin? Iron Man's coming!" Yoongi said, cocking an eyebrow at Jin, "He'll protect me from your monster glare."
Jin loved Jungkook, he really did, with all of his heart and soul, Jin loved his son. But it was times like these where he wondered just how much he loved Jungkook.
"Baby shark dodododododo. Baby shark dododododo, baby shark dododododo." Jungkook sang over and over from the carseat, making his Iron Man action figure dance along to his off beat rendition of Baby Shark.
"Kookie, sweetheart," Jin said in a sweet voice, cringing at how irritating that song truly was. He wanted to strangle whoever made it.
"Yes daddy?" Jungkook asked brightly, smiling, eyes rounded and sparkling.
"Baby, do you want to try singing another song? Any other song?" Jin nearly begged.
Jungkook thought about it for a second and then shook his head, "No tank ewe."
He took a deep breath and kept singing the same line over, and over, and over, and over again.
"Baby shark dododododo. Baby shark dododododo. Baby shark doododododo. Baby shark dodododododo."
Jin wanted to be mad, he really did, but he couldn't. Jungkook was just too polite.
When they reached the Kindergarten, Jin parked the car and turned the engine off, before walking to unstrap Jungkook from his carseat.
"Yeah, baby?" Jin asked, undoing the straps.
"TaeTae said he would play Avengers with me today." Jungkook told him.
"Really? Are you excited?"
"TaeTae said he would be Hulk and I would be Iron Man," Jungkook said, fiddling with his Iron Man toy.
"Wow! Are you going to save the world like Iron Man does?"
"I like Iron Man," Jungkook said, looping his arms around Jin's neck as Jin carried him from the seat, reaching over to get his backpack, "Daddy, do you like Iron Man?"
"I like Iron Man, but you know who I love?" Jin asked.
"I love you!" Jin said, peppering Jungkook's chubby, slightly flushed cheeks with kisses as Jungkook giggled loudly, squirming in Jin's hold.
"Stop! Daddy stop!" Jungkook giggled, trying to push away from the kiss attack.
"Ready for Kindergarten, baby?" Jin asked, putting Jungkook down, looping his backpack on.
"Daddy will I get a gold star today?"
"If you're a good boy I'm sure Teacher Jung will give you a gold star."
"Does Teacher Jung like Iron Man?" Jungkook asked, eyes wide with curiosity.
"Let's ask Teacher Jung, okay?" Jin said, pushing the gate open, walking hand in hand with Jungkook.
"Good morning Jungkook! Are you ready to say hello to the day?" Hoseok asked with a wide grin.
"Good morning Teacher Jung! I'm ready to say hello to the day!" Jungkook cheered along to their morning song.
"Hey Hobi," Jin greeted.
"Hey Jinnie," Hoseok said with a smile, "No Yoongi today?"
"He's on some big case, didn't really sleep the night," Jin explained.
"Heard you have a meeting today with a certain CEO," Hoseok said, wagging his eyebrows.
"It's nothing like that," Jin told him rolling his eyes, "It's just that he's such a di-"
"Daddy, daddy! Ask Teacher Jung!" Jungkook said, pulling on Jin's trousers.
"Ask Teacher Jung what, Jungkookie?" Hoseok said, crouching down to eye level.
"Do you like Iron Man?" Jungkook asked, thrusting out his Iron Man action figure.
"I do like Iron Man!" Hoseok said with a bright nod.
"Is he your fa-your favo-uhh.." Jungkook said, seemingly stuck at the word. He looked up at Jin with wide eyes and a pout that was only growing deeper.
"Favourite." Jin corrected with a fond look in his eyes as he broke the word down for Jungkook to follow, "Fa-vou-ri-te."
Jungkook looked up at Jin and then nodded furiously, "Is Iron Man your bestestest superhero?!"
"Iron Man is my second bestestest superhero!" Hoseok told him, "I like Captain America."
"Daddy!" Jungkook pouted.
"People are allowed to like different hero's Kookie. You like Iron Man, TaeTae likes Hulk and Teacher Jung likes Captain America," Jin said, "Isn't that nice, Jungkook? How everyone likes different things?"
"Daddy, who do you like?" Jungkook asked.
"I like Jungkook the bestestestest!" Jin said, ruffling Jungkook's hair, "He's my favourite superhero!"
"Daddy's silly," Jungkook said with a giggle, holding his Iron Man close to him.
"Good morning everyone," Jimin greeted as he held walked in holding Taehyung's hand.
"Taetae!" Jungkook said excitedly, running up to him and hugging him.
"KooKoo!" Taehyung mimicked his excitement, hugging him equally tight, his Hulk action figure against Jungkook's back.
"Good morning Taehyung! Are you ready to say hello to the day?" Hoseok greeted with a bright smile.
"Good morning Teacher Jung! I'm ready to say hello to the day!" Taehyung replied with a wide, boxy grin.
"ChimChim?" Jungkook asked, pulling away from Taehyung.
"ChimChim do you like Iron Man the bestestest?" Jungkook asked, sticking out his action figure at him.
"No! ChimChim like Hulk the bestestest!" Taehyung demanded.
"No! ChimChim like Iron Man!" Jungkook said, frown growing deeper.
"Taehyung. Jungkook." Hoseok warned in a low, authoritative voice.
Jimin crouched down to eye level and pushed them apart subtly, "I like Iron Man, and I like Hulk too."
"But which one do you like bestestest?" Jungkook demanded.
"I like Thor bestestest." Jimin answered.
"Oh." Jungkook said, mouth almost as round as his eyes were, "Okay."
"Say goodbye to Jimin and daddy you two," Hoseok said, "We're about to start circle time!"
"Come here, Kookie," Jin said, crouching down to hug Jungkook.
"Daddy will you see TaeTae's papa?" Jungkook asked him as he waddled over to Jin.
"I will," Jin said, wanting to groan at the reminder. He had nearly forgot.
"Can you ask TaeTae's papa if he likes Iron Man the bestestest?" Jungkook asked as he hugged Jin goodbye.
"I will try."
Jungkook took Jin's cheeks in his chubby little hands and squished them hard, looking serious, "No try, daddy. Do."
"Okay, I will ask him," Jin said with a nod, trying to hold back a hug, "Now give daddy a kiss before daddy goes to work."
"I love you, daddy," Jungkook said, placing a wet kiss on Jin's cheek.
"I love you too, sweetheart."
Jin stood outside Namjoon's office at 10.57am, waiting for the okay from his secretary to go into the room. He had been dreading this ever since Namjoon fixed the meeting between them. He had wanted nothing more than to leave, or to run away, or literally do anything that did not require him to be here right now.
"Mr Kim?" His secretary said, putting the phone down, "He's ready for you now."
"You watched 50 shades again last night, didn't you?" Jin teased.
"Twice." She said with a grin.
Jin shook his head as he knocked the door.
Jin opened the door, stepping in before shutting it behind him.
"Good morning sir." Jin greeted.
"Morning," Namjoon said with a smile, "Please, sit down."
Jin took a seat opposite Namjoon who pushed up his thick black glasses, laying a file on the table as he straightened his red tie, and leaned back against the chair, making sure not to mess his perfectly styled hair up.
"There's a client coming into the office today with his lawyer because he wants to terminate his contract with us," Namjoon said, placing his hands in front of him, "That's their file. I want you to look through it and familiarise yourself with it, because you're going to help me with this meeting."
"With all due respect sir, isn't this the legal team's problem? I don't see why I should get involved..." Jin trailed off, glancing down at the file as if it would burn if he even went near it.
"It's strategy, Jin," Namjoon said, leaning further back into the expensive black leather clad chair, "If I brought in the legal team, they would immediately get hostile and there would be no saving the deal at all. But if I brought you in, someone who they already have dealt with in the past, and have been happy with, there's more chance that I can save the deal and this business relationship."
"I've dealt with them before?" Jin asked, eyebrows furrowed in confusion as he picked the brown file up, flipping through it, eyes skimming the words on the page.
Namjoon smiled, knowing that Jin's curiosity would get the best of him, and that it would bring one layer of his guard down around him.
"Park Do Hyun." Namjoon said, "You worked closely with him on the-"
"Audacae contract." Jin answered, "I remember. I didn't know he moved to a different company though."
"He got a better offer, got promoted, higher salary, company card benefits..." Namjoon listed out, "You know. The works."
Jin took a couple of minutes to skim over the file, taking in important details, especially of the terms of the contract that they weren't agreeable to, and terms that Namjoon wanted to keep in.
"So, what do you want me to do?" Jin asked, looking up briefly at Namjoon before putting his head down and reading the file again.
"Make sure they don't terminate." Was all Namjoon said.
"What time are they coming?" Jin said, "I need to know if I have enough time to look this over properly and maybe make some notes."
"You have an hour." Namjoon said with a nod, "Conference Room 3. I'll get someone to call you once they're here."
"Thank you, sir." Jin said, grabbing the folder and walking out the door, feeling some sort of excitement that he would never admit.
Do Hyun, his lawyer and Namjoon were sat in the conference room, on opposite sides of each other with some paper in front of them, and pens laid neatly down next to it.
There was a knock on the door followed by Jin walking in, closing the door behind him.
"Sorry for keeping you waiting," Jin apologised politely.
"Kim Seokjin..." Do Hyun said with a smile on his face, "They brought out the big guns today, huh?"
"It's nice to see you again Do Hyun. I trust you've been well, especially with your new job," Jin said with an equally polite smile, placing the brown manilla folder down in front of him as he sat next to Namjoon.
Do Hyun laughed, "It's been a step up from the last company I can tell you that."
"Speaking of company's, what this I hear about you wanting to end things with ours?" Jin segued, taking a copy that he made of the previous contract out, placing it down in front of him.
"Look Jin, you were amazing with the last deal I did with you and the company but I don't think this one is going to work out. The terms just aren't suitable to us anymore and there is no way that we can fix it without terminating the entire contract." Do Hyun said with a sigh.
"You do realise that if you terminate, the damages that you would pay for the breach, and the losses that you would incur would be higher than the actual project, right?" Jin said, smiling politely, but the punch behind the words were harsh.
"We have 60 days before the contract takes force. We are well within our time-" The lawyer started to say but Jin cut him off.
"You had 60 days." Jin corrected, "Those 60 days ended yesterday. If you terminate the contract with us, you would be in breach of a fundamental term thus triggering the repudiation contract clause on page 14, clause 11.6, stating that the breach is entirely your fault and the damages that you would pay would be double, including but not limited to the 8 percent interest per annum for every year that you delay."
Namjoon couldn't help but look on at Jin with pride in his eyes. He knew that he was so much better than just a desk jockey. If Jin could do all of this in one hour, Namjoon couldn't help but wonder just how far Jin could soar.
"The way I see it, we have three options," Jin said, leaning back, "The first is that you terminate the contract, and trigger the repudiation clause, which will not only cause you losses, but will damage your reputation, and knowing how sensitive the stock market is, you would lose shares, and who knows, maybe we'd even start winding up proceedings to try and get the money that you would not be able to pay back. The second option is to continue with the contract as it is."
"Both of those options are undesirable." The lawyer said through gritted teeth, trying to keep his cool.
"I'm aware." Jin said cockily, leaning back further in his chair, "Do Hyun, your relationship to me, business and otherwise, is important. Which is why I'm giving you a third option. Something I wouldn't have given anyone else. But because it's you, I'm willing to compromise."
"How so?" Do Hyun asked, intrigued.
"A supplementary agreement." Jin said, "We draft up a supplementary agreement with mutually agreed clauses, including but not limited to, prices, instalment payments, dates, times, so on and so forth. I'm sure you get the gist of what I'm saying."
Do Hyun looked over to the lawyer, trying to figure out if it was a good legal move for them.
"You're suggesting a collateral contract?" The lawyer asked.
"I'm offering." Jin clarified, "It's a contract that will run side by side with this main one right here. We will state, in this collateral contract that unless otherwise stipulated, the contract remains the same. Whatever is in the collateral contract will be the only changes. That way you're happy, and we're happy, and most importantly our relationship continues. Don't you agree, Do Hyun?"
Do Hyun nodded, clearly impressed with the way Jin handled this, "We won't terminate on one condition."
"Go on." Namjoon said, leaning forward.
"I want Jin to personally handle the contract and anything else that comes along with it," Do Hyun said.
Jin tried to keep his poker face, but was surprised with the condition that Do Hyun had attached. He was sure that it was going to be a money clause or something that reduced the amount that they had to pay.
"Done." Namjoon said immediately.
Do Hyun stood up, followed by his lawyer and then Namjoon and Jin. He stuck his hand out to Namjoon, waiting for the other to accept it.
"You have a keeper here, Mr Kim," Do Hyun said, "I suggest keeping him tight in your fist, otherwise I might just come out and take him from you."
"Oh trust me, Mr. Do," Namjoon said, looking at Jin, "I'll do everything in my power to make sure he doesn't go anywhere."
"Let me show you out, Do Hyun," Jin said, trying to hide the flush in his cheeks.
"Jin, if you ever want to leave-" Do Hyun started.
Jin laughed, "We've been over this Do Hyun, I'm fine where I am. I'm not moving jobs."
"It was just a suggestion," Do Hyun said, shrugging as he left the room.
Jin walked back in and closed the door behind him, walking over to the table to attempt to clean up the mess of papers left behind.
"You were amazing!" Namjoon complimented immediately, "The way you basically laid down the facts and tried to make it seem like you were giving them a choice when really you picked for them."
"Thank you," Jin said, eyes unmoving from the papers that he stacked back neatly in the manilla folder.
"Tell me you didn't enjoy that," Namjoon almost challenged.
"It was nice."
"God Jin, you would be so amazing with this promotion and this is just a slice of what you'd be doing! Jin if you-"
"Mr. Kim," Jin interrupted, voice dropping down to just over a whisper as he said, "Please. I have till the end of the week to decide."
"I know." Namjoon said, "I just can't help but know that you would be amazing in any job that you take up. I saw you just now. I saw the way your eyes lit up and the way you shined, and how you knew that everyone was hanging off every single word that you said. You had power and you weren't afraid to use it. Jin, trust me, if you just say yes, I promise that I will make this so, so worth it."
"I have a lot to think about," Jin said, feeling his heart beat faster and faster, the adrenaline rush he got from the meeting not wearing off yet.
"If there's anything I can do, anything at all to even sway your decision-"
"Do you like Iron Man?" Jin asked, lifting his eyes and looking at Namjoon, his eyes bright and shining as he looked at Jin, glasses slipping down the bridge of his nose, his white shirt slightly crumpled, tie still neatly in place.
"Do you like him? Iron Man, that is..." Jin said, "Is he your favourite Avenger?"
Namjoon smiled, soft and big, dimples deepening with every passing second as he said, "Don't tell Taehyung, but Iron Man is my favourite Avenger. Honestly, no other Avenger comes close."
Jin nodded, as he grabbed the brown folder off the table, turning on his heel, smile unconsciously growing bigger and bigger as he left the room.