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He's just a friend of mine

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"You're going on tour for eleven months?!" Her hand gripped his wrist tightly. Hakyeon smiled sadly at her, softly running his fingers through her hair. "I am sorry, but this is my work and I can't disappoint our fans just because my girlfriend misses me.. You understand, don't you?"

"I do." She sulked. "Doesn't mean I have to like it. Also, what happened to no labels because we've only been dating for three months? And now you're calling me your girlfriend?" Hakyeon's smile grew bigger as he hugged her close and kissed her nose sweetly. "Nah, of course, you're my girlfriend. We can talk on the phone every day, we can video call and text whenever we have time, and before you know it I'll be back. Besides, you have enough work to distract you."
"I mean, I guess I do. I got all these reports to finish, and I could organize my work desk a little better.. While you tour the world and make loads of fangirls happy." She snuggled into his warmth, spending the night at his dorm.

 

That talk was a month ago. Now she sat at her work desk, fingers swiftly dancing across the keyboard. Her job was one she liked, inviting idol groups and solo artists and bands to music shows, variety shows, talk shows. Planning their visit, managing everything from setlist to scripts, from accommodation to catering. Despite only being in her job for four years she already had a reputation - she was the eomma nobody asked for but everyone needed.

The wall behind her was filled with pictures, signed letters, notes, little post-its. Her favourite picture was one of her with VIXX (well five of them, because it was just after Hongbin had enlisted), everyone grinning happily but instead of standing next to each other awkwardly doing the V-sign they had decided to lift her. She had been sitting on Hakyeon's shoulders, with Jaehwan and Taekwoon each holding one of her hands, and the two younger members holding her legs so she wouldn't fall. That was the day she met them, and it was also the day Hakyeon asked her for her number.

They met up a few times afterwards, some things happened, and they started texting a lot. He opened up to her about the troubles of being a leader, and she comforted him to her best abilities. Many nights were spent on the phone, or in the safety of her apartment or his dorm, although living with five other guys limited their privacy a lot. It didn’t take long until their first kiss, and more followed. But still, they (especially Hakyeon) refused to slap a label on whatever it was they had.

 

Now he’d been gone for a week and a half. VIXX - sans Hongbin who was still in the military - was touring around the world and would only come back when the winter had come and gone again. They texted a lot and spoke on the phone whenever they could and even promised to squeeze in one or the other video call.

For a while, it went well.

Until texts happened daily.

Then every two to three days.

After two months Hakyeon was exhausted and constantly busy. His phone was dead more often than not, and she was working a lot as well. More groups came to perform on the show. Everything needed to be managed, from the schedules to their favourite drinks and snacks. There simply was no time for a relationship.

They were not naive and ended it for now. It was a sensible decision.

 

Hakyeon had been gone for 87 days. They hadn't even texted in the last 33 days. Not that she was counting or anything. Still, the photo hung behind her, right in the middle of the wall.

She just didn’t look at it that often anymore.

“Excuse me, I wanted to double-check the schedule for the performance on Tuesday, are you the right person to talk to?” A deep voice rang out.

She lifted her head, only to be met with a sight she wasn’t used to. Of course, she recognised him, she knew most idols, even the ones she hadn’t met (yet). “Oh, Bang Yongguk-ssi, usually I do that with a manager?” Swiftly she stood up and bowed to the older rapper, despite her head feeling weird today.

His smile was as bright as she had seen on pictures taken by fans. “Yes, sorry, I don’t have a manager anymore, I prefer managing myself. I’ve had too much trouble with managers only seeing profit in our music, so now that I’m my own boss I can do it however I want. Ah, sorry, I’m talking too much..”

“Not at all. Well, of course, we can go over your performance now if you’d like to. Take a seat please, can I get you anything? Tea, coffee, snacks?” she offered with a smile. He declined but sat down and talked her through his plan for the following week, only looking up from the computer a few times. Whenever he did look up though, he realised she looked as tired as he felt.

About fifteen minutes into the discussion she started absentmindedly massaging her temple with the fingertips of one hand. After twenty minutes she started blinking more often than before and looking at the computer screen made her squint a little.

Yongguk was observant. “Are you alright? Is it a headache or are you dizzy?” he asked her quietly. She straightened her back and forced a smile. “Ah, I’m sorry, I seem to be a little under the weather for some reason, but please don’t worry. Now, what kind of catering can I book you for? Please don’t say none, I refuse to let any idol go without eating and drinking.”

Yongguk nodded with a slight smile. Her motherly behaviour reminded him of a certain former member.. No, Yongguk, don’t think of them now, he scolded himself internally.

When he looked up again, he realised that she had paled quite a bit all of a sudden, and hit the floor before he could even react. She was out cold, not responding to anything he was saying or doing.

Without a second thought, he gathered her into his arms and carried her through the corridors of the building, only telling one of her colleagues he met on the way to the elevators that she had lost consciousness suddenly and he was taking her to the hospital.

 

She only woke up there, in a bed with an IV in her arm and Yongguk still at her side. He held her when she started crying after the doctor had told her about the reason for her too low blood pressure. She had stared blankly at first. How could she not have realised she was pregnant?

 

The doctor gave her leaflets and information on how to behave while being pregnant. He prescribed her vitamins and minerals and wanted to keep her in the hospital for a day to check if her blood pressure would recover to normal levels.

Yongguk didn't stay, she sent him home after thanking him and apologizing about a thousand times. He waited until she fell asleep, then left a note with his private phone number on the bedside table.

They discharged her after a day and a half. The moment she placed her keys in the glass bowl on the little white table next to the door she took a deep, very deep breath. She was pregnant. This was how it was now. She deep cleaned the apartment over the next few hours, then sat down with a pencil and a notebook. After two hours she knew she could afford to be a mother, even if it wasn’t going to be easy.

She also knew she could stay in her apartment, transforming her office into a nursery would work just fine, and she would keep working for as long as possible. No more tears would be shed, she could do this.

There was a scribbled side note on one of the pages though. She had circled it twice and it had a lot of question marks around it.

“Tell Hakyeon???”

For now, she decided, Bang Yongguk would continue to be the only one who knew. There still was a little way to go until fifteen weeks. Anything could happen before that. There was no real family she could rely on, so she only had to think about herself. And her baby now, apparently.

Her baby.

Suddenly, it hit her. Her vision swam, she slid down to the floor, leaning on the wall. She was going to be a mother. Hakyeon was going to be a father. They had broken up. She was going to raise this child alone. While working.

With great difficulty, she crawled to her bed, laid down on it, covered herself and cried herself to sleep.

 

Of course, she went to work the next morning.

 

For a couple of weeks the only occasions she would acknowledge her pregnancy were her doctors' appointments.

But then they told her it was twins. She was more than 3 months along now and starting to show. Well, not when she dressed to hide it, but she knew. She knew she wouldn't be able to hide it forever, so she told her boss, who was a parent himself and was very supportive.

 

It's twins, Yongguk. Twins. How am I supposed to take care of two children?

Tell him. He needs to know. And he needs to get the chance to be there. If not for you, then for them.

 

 

Hakyeon, whenever you have time, we need to talk. It's important.

Oh hey, sorry for the late reply, what's up? Just finished a show and had some drinks with the guys

There's no way to sugarcoat it. I'm pregnant. And I can't do this alone. It's twins. I need you. We need you. They need you.

WOW! You got over me fast didn't you? Geez, I'm glad I'm out of the picture there, I'd have to make you get an abortion or something if those were mine, haha, I have more important things to do than take care of some brats.. Dodged a bullet there! Good luck tho!

They're yours. (User has blocked you from sending messages)

Are you serious right now?! (User has blocked you from sending messages)

Hakyeon.. (User has blocked you from sending messages)

 

He'd have to make her get an abortion? What? Who did she just talk to and what happened to the caring sweet guy she knew?

Fine. If he wasn't going to help her, she would have to do it alone.

 

“Alright, the new MCs are these three. Twice’s Dahyun, Seventeen’s Seungkwan and VIXX’s Hongbin who just got out of the military. Here, you three are going to be working with them. Please take care of your idol and make their work here as comfortable as possible.”

She nodded and bowed. Her colleagues left in the direction of their own offices, so she did the same. Sitting down at her desk she opened her folder - and of course. She got Hongbin.

A knock on her door was the only warning she got. Hongbin, hair still short, bowed politely. She greeted him the same way, tried to introduce herself. "I know who you are." Hongbin sneered. "You are that woman who's trying to trap Hakyeon hyung with a child."

"What?" she blanched. Instinctively, her hand cradled her barely-there bump. "How do you know that I'm pregnant? And what do you mean to pass the kid off as his?"

Hongbin sat down, crossed his arms in front of his chest. "Yeah. Hakyeon hyung told me. We had a good laugh actually."

He leaned forward. "Listen, little Miss Mum. I don't care about you, or your future brat. I'm here to do my job, you're here to handle my requests. Let's not forget our positions here, and just do what we're good at. Which is entertaining and MCing for me, and fulfilling my needs and serving for you. We're done here, I will email you my list of requests. See you at the first show."

Hongbin left, leaving her behind shocked and her eyes burning.

 

List of requests:


> neck pillow, not too soft

> fresh fruit, peeled, cut

> bottled water

> silence during the breaks

> eye mask, gel, cooled

> no meetings with the assistant. email contact only.

 

She fulfilled those requests. Even the last one. Hakyeon still had her blocked. So had Hongbin on his phone.

That tripped her up a bit since he didn't read his emails often enough for her to inform him of short-notice changes. He always came to her office, berated her when it happened. It was the only time she even saw him.

She fought through it. As usual. For weeks she would try and check in with Hongbin, be ignored, then scolded if something was not how he liked it. For weeks, she went alone whenever there was a clinic appointment. For weeks, she talked to nobody but Yongguk about her children. And even then it was rarely since she knew he had his packed schedule.

The situation with Hongbin - or any VIXX member really - didn’t get better at all. All of them had her blocked, the only one she sometimes saw was Hongbin, and even then he sneered at her, barked orders and scolded her in front of any and every superior that happened to be present.

She got quieter, more withdrawn.

Until one Tuesday night.

“Where is my favourite little manager-chan?!” A booming deep voice rang through the corridors, followed by a second one. “Stop it, love, she’s my favourite, not yours.” The Japanese words let her eyes widen while she stood in front of Hongbin, getting scolded once again (this time his water was too sparkly).

Through the door burst a middle-aged man, followed by a shorter one. The taller opened his arms upon seeing her but stopped abruptly. “SHE’S PREGNANT! HIDETO! OH MY GOD, I’M NOT READY TO BE A GRANDFATHER YET!”

The shorter one - obviously Hideto - grinned. “Wow, who’s the lucky father? We need to make sure he’s right for her! Come here manager-chan, say hello to your old idols.”

Hongbin’s hand hung in the air, seemingly frozen in time while pushing her shoulder again and again before the two Japanese guys had interrupted. Her gaze was downcast, her hands folded under her bump. She raised her head quickly as they began to talk, tears starting to leak out of her eyes. “Camui-san.. Hideto-san..” she whispered, a smile starting to tug on her lips.

She took one step towards them, only to be stopped by another hand. Hongbin. “Yah, what do you think you’re doing? I wasn’t done with you, I haven’t dismissed you yet!”

“Camui my dear. I feel like our favourite manager is being mistreated. Can you deal with that?” The shorter one went forward, wrapping his arm around her and leading her out of the room, while the taller one - Camui - nodded. He waited until the door had closed again, before talking directly to Hongbin.

“Listen, hoobae. I don’t know what this was about, but I don’t appreciate someone being treated like that. She is obviously pregnant, and proper manners would have you support her or at least aim to make her job easier, not pick on her or whatever you were doing. Are we clear?”

Hongbin scoffed. Of course, he knew who was in front of him, and only the knowledge of that person’s still huge influence in the industry stopped him from talking back.

Camui nodded and turned to leave. “Support and lessen her burden. Remember that.”

 

Meanwhile, Hideto had led her to her office, closed the door and held her at arm’s length. “Let me have a good look at you, what was that kid doing? Huh? Are you alright?” With a shake of her head, she let him pull her into an embrace and finally let her tears fall.

When they first met the two Japanese stars were invited as guest judges on a competition show. She had been notified that she had to take care of both eccentric idols a month before. In this month she spent most of her free time looking through her old Japanese notes from school, revising as much as possible to make sure she could communicate with them. Also, research took up whatever time was left, so when they finally arrived she could offer them their favourites and could hold a conversation.

Over time the two of them had taken a liking to her and specifically requested only her whenever they came to stay. They even contacted her from Japan sometimes, sent her care packages.

Now Hideto softly whispered Japanese words into her ear while stroking her hair. She was still crying when the door opened and Camui entered the room, nodding once to his lover. “Now, manager-chan. Come here, darling, cry yourself out, let it all out, you must have suffered for a while, hm? I know you well enough to be able to tell that you simply endured what that little guy had to say, right? It’s alright, we’re here now..” He took over holding her, after a few minutes simply lifting her into his arms and sitting down on the couch with her sideways on his lap.

Hideto, in the meantime, cancelled their flights back to Japan the next day. Both of them would stay until they knew what was going on.

She tired herself out, falling asleep on her youth’s idol’s lap, her head on his shoulder, his arms tightly around her waist. “Do you think he’s the father? Did she talk about a boyfriend lately? Something is not adding up here.” Hideto said, crouching down to pet her hair softly. “I don’t know, love. But honestly, I’d first like to know if she’s alright physically. How far along is she, what do you think? Four, five months? As far as I know, she should have gained some weight, but even though it’s been a while since we saw her last I don’t think she did. I’d like to get her checked out first.”

His partner nodded. Hideto and Camui organized a car to take them to their hotel, as they didn't want to intrude on her home. Not even for a moment Camui let go of her until she was finally asleep in their king size hotel bed.

Camui carefully closed the door to the bedroom of the suite and sat down next to his husband. „Are you thinking what I am thinking?“

Hideto tilted his head. „You want to offer her your assistant's position, right?“

Camui nodded. „I need a replacement anyway. You know my assistant already handed in his resignation. And she'd do well, I know it. And we could have an eye on her and the baby. Support her.“

 

She ended up taking the job. Hongbin was furious. He was angry about having to get used to a different employee taking care of him. Yongguk was relieved but also sad that she would leave. It would only be a few months until they would see each other again, as Camui and Hideto were expected for a big award show.

By the time the award show arrived, Hakyeon had been gone on their world tour for eight months. And she had been pregnant for eight months. Very pregnant. Yongguk carefully hugged her as well as he could with her belly in the way. They had agreed to meet after the show, get something to eat and then make their way to the after-show party together.

They had been in contact at least once a week over her months in Japan and had become close friends. He listened to her stories about living in a different country, having to pee every five minutes, working for Gackt and Hyde, and how her babies started kicking and moving. „I swear they're aiming to bruise every single one of my organs“ she had said.

She listened to him whining about being in love, but not being able to act on it. She was the one that got him to confess, and now he was one half of a happy (albeit secret) BangHim couple.

Now they made their way from the backstage area to the parking lot, having just said goodbye to her employers (and basically substitute fathers). Yongguk linked his arm with hers so she wouldn't fall because they had to take the stairs.

„Look at that. She couldn't get Hakyeon hyung to play family with her, now she picked someone else dumb enough to pay for her and her brats.“

Her head whipped around. Hongbin was leaning on a wall, sneering at the two friends. Yongguk stepped in front of her immediately. „We're friends. Not that that would be any of your business. Now get lost, we're on our way out. Leave her alone.“

„Oh yeah?“ Hongbin smirked. „I don't think so. I want her to swear that she won't bug Hyung with this crap. Better yet, I want her to give me a written confirmation that these brats are not his and he has no responsibilities in this case.“ He made her way over to them until he was standing right in front of Yongguk. Both of them took a few steps back.

„You have no right to even talk to her! This doesn't concern you, move along.“ Yongguk's deep voice got impossibly deeper, almost a threatening growl now.

„Wait..“ her voice shook. „Did you talk to Hakyeon again? Does he know they're his?“

„STOP LYING AND TRYING TO DESTROY HIS CAREER YOU LITTLE SLUT!“ Hongbin roared. Before Yongguk could react, Hongbin sidestepped him and pushed her shoulder. „I DON'T KNOW WHO YOU FUCKED TO GET KNOCKED UP, BUT LEAVE MY LEADER OUT OF THIS!“ Another shove. Yongguk's eyes widened.

Time seemed to slow down. Yongguk made eye contact with her, both of them terrified. He tried to get to her, to stop it, but Hongbin blocked him, still yelling.

She didn't scream. In fact, one of the first things that happened was her head hitting the handrail. It knocked her out immediately. Even Hongbin froze, and the two could only watch her tumbling down the stairs.

„CALL AN AMBULANCE“ Yongguk yelled. He jumped down the steps and felt for a pulse, his other hand hovering over her body, too scared to move her. „HONGBIN! NOW!“

„I..- What..- No..-“ Hongbin stuttered, still not moving. „WE NEED HELP HERE!“ Yongguk's voice was full of despair.

„She's bleeding..“ Hongbin whispered, horrified. Not only did she have a nasty cut just below the hairline, but Hongbin could see blood pooling between her legs. „Oh my god she's bleeding..“

Yongguk's yelling had finally attracted people, several celebrities and staff members got to work. „The paramedics are on their way, they said to watch her breathing and don't move her unless we have to.“ NCT's Johnny tilted his phone away from his mouth to relay the information.

It didn't take long. The ambulance arrived, the paramedics strapped her to a gurney and wheeled her out. They didn't allow Yongguk to follow, so he called her Japanese employers. Hideto dropped his champagne glass, grabbed his husband and ran him to their car. He basically threw Camui into the backseat, told his driver where to take him and left again. He had something else to take care of.

Hongbin still stood on the top of the stairs when Hideto found him. With a roar he grabbed the taller idol by his collar and threw him against the next wall. „How dare you lay even a finger on her, you little shit! If anything happens to her or her children I will ruin you, you won't even get a job as a delivery man once I am done with you!“

Hongbin barely flinched at the pain of fists hitting his face over and over again. As if he was numb, he just let the Japanese beat him up. Until the other finally had enough and left him on the floor, bruised and bleeding.

Again, it was NCT's Johnny that came back and found him. „Oh my god, Sunbaenim, what happened to you?“ Worried, the younger idol helped him up into a sitting position. „I just killed two children. Oh god.. I just killed unborn babies..“ Johnny barely had time to move his feet before Hongbin violently threw up on the floor. „What?? The pregnant woman who fell down the stairs? They're dead? What?“ As well as he could he held the shaking and crying senior artist before he finally just picked him up to carry him away from the hallway and into their dressing room.

It took a while for Hongbin to cry himself to sleep. Johnny whispered to his group members, explaining the situation. Together they agreed to take care of Hongbin, and Taeyong left to tell his manager what had happened.

 

At the hospital, it was chaos. The placenta had ruptured, so the babies had to be delivered right then, with an emergency C-section. It would take some time and nobody was allowed in, so in the waiting room Yongguk and Camui just stared ahead until Hideto arrived with bloody and bruised knuckles. He told them what had happened and got them to update him on what was happening now.

Then it was waiting.

And more waiting.

Nobody even spoke.

After two hours, the doors opened. The doctor was smiling a little, and Camui allowed himself to breathe a little easier than before.

„It was close, but it went as well as it could have. Two healthy baby boys. And the mother will recover well, as far as we can tell now.“

This was the best news they could have hoped for. „Can we see her?“ Yongguk's voice was scratchy with unshed tears. The doctor nodded and lead them to a room.

The two tiny boys were swaddled in blankets, each in their own crib and attached to several tubes and machines. It looked scary, but the doctor told them it was just a safety precaution because they were born prematurely. She looked tiny as well, in the big hospital bed, with an oxygen cannula under her nose, an IV in her hand and bandages on her head. She had broken a rib and suffered a concussion as well as a sprained wrist and ankle, but she would be fine. It would just take a while to heal. Which was fine, because the babies needed time to catch up on their development of the last few weeks they should have been safe inside her belly.

So they all stayed, moved into a VIP room (as if Hideto and Camui would ever let them use a normal hospital room) and focussed on bonding and healing.

 

Meanwhile, Hongbin slowly had to come to terms with his guilt. In more ways than one. The older NCT members had become his confidants. Together they had agreed to let Hongbin live with them for a while, take care of him, after he had told them what exactly had happened.

Taeil's advice was very clear. „You have to talk to her. Apologize, ask for forgiveness. Find out what even happened to the children. And to the mother. You don't know if they really are dead. Maybe they're fine?“
But Hongbin had already set his mind. “You weren’t there. You didn’t see all that blood.”

To him, it was clear what he had to do. Atonement. And the only way to do that was to go back to the military. He had hated it there, but that was the entire point. He didn’t deserve to feel good or make his own decisions. He deserved to be a mindless soldier, to suffer through military lifestyle again.

So he did.

For three more years he wore a uniform again. His agency didn’t understand the reason, but they agreed to put his contract on hold until he got back. His fans were clueless, some even angry. His members were hurt. He refused to see them, talk to them, it was like he had vanished from their dorm. He gave away his phone.
Vixx as a group had a few comebacks, but mostly the members focused on their solo activities. It didn’t feel right to them, having group comebacks without Hongbin, but they did what their agency expected of them.

Even when Hongbin came back, he was a different person. Way more subdued, no more yelling at his computer while playing a game. Almost no teasing his members. He kept to himself, especially avoided his leader. Hakyeon was clueless and had given up on trying to talk to him. He couldn’t even look the oldest member in the eye.
They covered everything up in front of cameras, of course. The fans barely realised how much Hongbin had changed. As time went on, they had another two successful comebacks, and again it was an award show that should eventually rip open old wounds.

It was an end of the year award show in Japan. Hongbin was sweating buckets. He had not forgotten the way the Japanese singer beat him up after that fateful shove. Deservedly, if he was being honest, but he could basically still feel the phantom pain. Yep, there was definitely no desire to repeat that.

It was Taekwoon who stumbled upon two crying five-year-olds. Hidden away behind a dusty curtain in one of the back rooms filled with equipment that wasn’t needed for today’s show. The usually quiet man knelt down in front of them, talking to them first in Korean, then Japanese. To his surprise, they responded to both.

“Hey, don’t cry you two, what’s wrong? Are you lost?” His melodic voice shocked one of the two out of his stupor. The little guy nodded softly, rubbing his eyes with a small fist. “Mommy told us not to run away, but we heard uncle Camui say that Daddy was here, so we went to look for him, and now we don’t know how to get back, and Yeonwoo fell and now Mommy will get mad because he ripped his shirt and it’s all dirty..” he started crying again. Taekwoon silently opened his arms, pulling the kid in a one-armed hug while softly tapping the other one on the shoulder.

“Hey, Yeonwoo? Can you turn around? We can go find your parents together?”

Yeonwoo did turn around. His shirt wasn’t only ripped, a long scratch went just below his collarbone, steadily dripping a small amount of blood onto the tattered remains of the shirt. Taekwoon frowned. “Oh no, you hurt yourself.. Let’s get you some help and then find your family, alright?”

Carefully he got up, lifting one kid on each hip. Since he didn’t know if they were an artist’s or a staff member’s children, his first instinct was to go back to their dressing room. Hakyeon always packed a first aid kit and could certainly help. On the way, he found out that Yeonwoo and Yeonbin were twins, five years old. Their parents were apparently Korean, but they lived with their mother and two uncles in Japan.

They had never met their father but seen pictures. Taekwoon felt for the little boys, it must be hard with just one parent. Still, he didn’t think much about it until they reached Vixx’s area.

Immediately upon entering both boys gaped at Hakyeon with big catlike eyes. Yeonbin suddenly grinned from ear to ear. “Yeonwoo, look! It’s Daddy!” Yeonwoo nodded. “Daddy! Hello! Can you clean my shirt so Mommy won’t know I fell?” His little arms reached towards Hakyeon, who - shocked into silence - simply nodded and went to work. Silently he cleaned the child’s cut, but the shirt was a lost cause.

“Did they really just call you Daddy?” Hyuk was the one who finally spoke up. “He really did,” Wonshik smirked, “hey Hyung, got something to tell us? You never mentioned you were a father.”

Nobody realised that Hongbin had paled considerably. “This can’t be.. It’s impossible..” he whispered. Slowly, his gaze went from one child to the other and then to Hakyeon.
Hakyeon’s mind couldn’t keep up. It was like looking in a mirror. A mirror that reflected tiny versions of yourself. But how? What was happening here?

When the door opened to reveal a frantic Japanese man, part of the group was animatedly talking among themselves. The boys had tired themselves out with their little adventure and were sleeping soundly on the couches, covered by jackets that looked huge on their little bodies.

“Oh thank god. I thought we’d lost you, you little rascals. Your mom will be so relieved..” Hideto’s gaze went towards the men in the room. “Hello, I am glad you found these two, they ran off- what are YOU doing here?!” His voice took on a hostile tone as soon as his eyes landed on Hongbin. The younger singer closed his eyes. This was all the confirmation he needed. With a sob he fell to his knees, bowing down and muttering apologies. His cries alerted the rest of his members, who got up as well, observing the situation confusedly. Except one. Hakyeon still sat there, shellshocked.

“Excuse me, Sunbaenim. Can you tell us who these boys’ parents are?” Hyuk asked curiously. Hideto sighed. “I can. Oh get up, Hongbin, don’t do this.” Upon hearing his name, Hongbin straightened his back, sat back on his feet and waited. Still, he kept his gaze on the floor. “Hyung.. Can you remember your girlfriend before the world tour?” he almost whispered. Closing his eyes, his leader nodded. “So it’s true? They’re mine then? I have two sons? I have missed what, five years with my children?” his voice, when he posed these questions, would haunt Hongbin for a while, probably. He nodded.

While Hideto checked the boys over and texted their mother and his husband, Hongbin started talking. Finally, he could get all of this off his chest.
By the time he was finished two more people had found their way into the room. Camui stood by Hideto, while she went to her kids immediately, not even realising who else was in the room.

“Why didn’t you tell me I was going to be a father?”

Her head snapped up so quickly her spine cracked audibly. “Hakyeon..? Why did I not..? What?” With more tears starting to fall down her cheeks she turned to the Japanese couple. “I can’t deal with this.. He really just asked me why I didn’t tell him? While he said all these things back then? I can’t..” Camui carefully put his arm around her and pulled her into a firm embrace. “Are you serious right now? Do you want to see again what you texted her? How you dodged a bullet and her child couldn’t be yours? How she got over you fast?” His voice held venom and built-up frustration in it.

Hakyeon frowned. “I what? I.. wait.. They’re five years old? That was back when.. wait.. He actually.. Oh god.. Oh god, Taekwoon, I think I’m..” Leo immediately moved next to his leader, catching him safely when he fainted. Together with Wonshik, he laid him down on the floor, a bunched up suit jacket under his head and feet elevated on a random backpack.

“It was when we still had a manager that tried to cut our ties with everyone he deemed a hindrance to our career. We didn’t even have our phones back then. He confiscated them after he concluded our constant exhaustion and health problems came from us being on our phones constantly. Which we were not. He was just an asshole. Whatever messages you got, they were not from Hakyeon.” Wonshik’s voice came close to a growl.

Hyuk nodded. “Hyung was actually quite heartbroken when he didn’t have any chance of contacting you again. Manager told him you had called and said you didn’t want to hear from us ever again.”

Slowly she moved over to Hakyeon’s still form. With a shaking hand, she softly stroked his hair, whispering to him. “Of course I wanted you to be there.. But I thought you didn’t want to be part of this.. I’m so sorry..” Her smile wavered as soon as her gaze left Hakyeon and fell on Hongbin. He whimpered, still on his knees, and started bowing deeply again. “I’m so sorry.. Even if all three of you survived, everything that happened back then was my fault. I thought I had killed you. I am so, so sorry.”

By the time he was finished apologizing, Hakyeon came around. Immediately he sat up, enveloping her in his arms. “It wasn’t me, I swear I didn’t know, if I had known-” She chuckled. “-then you would have been there. Right?” He nodded furiously. “Well.. Meet your children. The one on the left there is Yeonwoo. He’s three minutes younger than Yeonbin, on the right.”

Hakyeon and Hongbin were stunned. “You named them after me..” Hakyeon’s eyes were wet. “And me..” Hongbin stuttered.
She smiled. “I did, yes.”

Hongbin’s face took on a confused state. “But.. If they’re actually Hakyeon Hyung’s sons.. Then what about Bang Yongguk?”

“Yongguk?” she chuckled.

“No, Yongguk is just a friend of mine.”