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Huang Renjun was only eighteen years old when he met Park Soobin; a single mom of two wonderful fraternal twins Yunsoo and Yunbin. Soobin was a hardworking mother who made ends meet with three jobs. Renjun was a high school graduate who found joy in taking care of children. When the opportunity arose for him to work in Seoul, he took the job without giving his future much thought.

However, there was a catch – Soobin was, well, sick. To put it in simple words, she had at most, less than twenty-four months left on this Earth. And the worst part? The father was nowhere to be seen. Maybe that was the part that infuriated him the most. Because how in the hell was Yunsoo and Yunbin, no older than six, going to grow up without their mother? Without any other family who wants to take care of them? He had feared the worst, and the worst was that the twins would end up in the system, never having the life they deserved. If given the right opportunity, he had always wanted to tell Soobin that he wants to take care of the twins should she pass. But even he struggles to make ends meet, let alone pay for his older brother’s tuition.

 

“Alright, you two. Can we make a promise?” Renjun turns to the twins, a bowl of cereal in both of his hands.

“What’s the catch?” Yunbin looks up at the older.

“Your mama would be happy?”

“That’s not a good catch.” Yunsoo deadpans.

“No TV for you, then.” Soobin interjects as she walks inside the kitchen.

“See?!” Renjun reprimands. “I was going to make you guys promise to eat your breakfast fast so that you guys get to watch some TV before going to school.”

“Yunsoo!” Yunbin scolds. “We could’ve watched Pororo before school!”

“How was I supposed to know?! Uncle Junnie is always so sneaky!”

“Mama! I want a do over!” Yunbin bargains. Who doesn’t want to watch Pororo? “Yunsoo can not watch TV.”

“Hey!”

“Oh, forget it!” Renjun finally dismisses. “Just eat your cereal so we can all get going.”

“You’ll never win with your uncle Renjun.” Soobin adds on, a playful smile on her lips. If there’s one thing Renjun loves about Soobin, it’s that she’s able to ride along to his jokes. “Let’s hurry up with breakfast so we can all get going, yeah?”

“Okay!” The twins said in unison. 

After breakfast, the four of them busied themselves in packing up their things for the day. The twins would head to school, Soobin at her job, and Renjun to his part-time job in a cafe.

Had it not been for Renjun’s kind heart, he wouldn’t even think about doing a part-time job when he already works full time for Soobin. But he just wants to. Because he wants to help Soobin just as much as Soobin helps him, whether that means giving half of his salary at his part-time job, as long as all four of them are happy, then he’s happy. 

He does the usual rounds; waiting tables, taking orders, doing the dishes. It wasn’t until when he was suppose to clock out for work did he receive a phone call - it was the HR at Soobin’s work. 

“Hello? Is this Huang Renjun?” The voice called out.

“Yes, this is me? Is there something wrong?”

“Yes, actually. Soobin collapsed just ten minutes ago and the paramedics are currently transporting her to the nearest hospital. If you can, please come as soon as possible.”

“What?! She collapsed? I’m on my way!”

“Thank you.” And the phone call ended.

At this point, his brain was going a hundred miles per hour, unable to think straight. “She collapsed?” He almost yelled out loud. “Fuck, I need to get the twins first! Their school is almost ending!” He yanks off his apron and throws it haphazardly inside his locker. He bids farewell to his co-worker and struts for Soobin’s car. Had he not been in a panic mode as of the moment, he would mind his speed limit, but now nothing matters more than making sure the twins actually see their mother… alive.

As he gets to the twins' school, he hurries to their classroom and just by his luck, the teacher was just dismissing the class. He waits by the door, and just as he sees the twins, he picks them both up and walks back to the car. 

“What’s the hurry today, uncle Jun?” Yunsoo asks. 

“We’re going somewhere.” Was all Renjun could say. Because in all honesty, how does he tell them?

“To where?” Yunbin adds. 

“The hospital.” He finally gives in. 

“Is mama sick again?” Again. They shouldn’t be used to their mom being sick. He lets the thought roll out of his brain and just focus on getting to the hospital as fast (legally) as they can. When they do get there, he approaches the first nurse he sees and asks for Soobin. Unfortunately, Soobin was still at the emergency room and visitors aren’t allowed yet until she gets admitted and transferred to the ICU. He couldn’t do  anything but nod in agreement and wait. Patiently wait until it was okay to see her. 

At this point, he’s already rehearsing the many ways he’s going to break it to the twins that today might be the last day they’ll get to see their mom. Fucking hell, they’re only six. Six. Six years old and they’re about to lose the only parent they ever had. 

After a quick trip to Subway and endless rounds of Among Us later, the attending physician finally calls Renjun into the ICU. 

“Is she going to be okay?” Was the first thing he could think of. 

“She’s in critical condition. It looks like she was skipping her medication for a couple days now and that lowered her immune system.”

“What? But I always made sure she took them! And to think that we went to chemo yesterday!”

“I’m sorry. You can use this time to say a few words to her.”

“No! No, no, no! This can’t be happening! You’ve got to do something! She’s the only parent they have! They have no other relatives! I’m just their nanny!”

“I’m so sorry, Mr. Huang. There’s nothing else we can do at this point. Her body is slowly shutting down.”

“No! Noona! What were you thinking?!” Renjun almost screamed. 

“You can see her now.” The doctor gives Renjun a pat on the back before walking away.

“Thank you.” Renjun manages through his sobs. As he walked inside the room, he could hear the beep of her heart monitor. That’s a good sign, he thinks. “Noona?”

“Ah, Renjunnie. Is Yunsoo and Yunbin here?” Soobin tried to smile. She was in pain, Renjun could tell. Slowly, Renjun realizes why.

 

Simple.

 

She was tired. 

 

“Yeah, I brought them with me.”

“Where are they?”

“They’re in the playpen by the pedia ward. A nurse is looking after them for the time being.”

“Good. That means we could talk without them.”

“Talk about what?” Renjun is still unsure on where this conversation is going to go. 

“Renjun, look. I don’t think I have much time.” 

“What are you talking about?” Renjun does his best to fight the urge to cry. “It’s the twins’ birthday in a couple weeks.”

“I know. But it’s too painful now.”

“Noona, please. What's going to happen to the twins when you're gone?” 

“They have you.” She simply states. It sounded so simple and she sounded so sure of her answer. If only it was that easy. 

“Noona, as much as I would love to take them in,” He tries to reason. “How? How is that going to work? I’m still on a working visa. I don’t think I can legally take them."

“Junnie, will you trust me, please?”

“Noona, please! You have to fight! Do it for the twins! You’re the only one they've got!” Soobin doesn’t reply nor meet his gaze. She just smiles afterwards and looks back up to Renjun again. 

“I guess it’s time.” She breaks after a while. “Can you let them in? I want to talk to them.” Now Renjun lets his tears fall. She sounded so absolute. Like nothing can change her mind anymore. 

But he does as he’s told regardless and brings Yunsoo and Yunbin in. Soon, Soobin could hear the loud chatters from her children followed by Renjun shushing them quietly.  

“Mama!” Yunbin and Yunsoo call out. They climbed the bed steps and immediately tackled their mother to a hug. 

“Be careful!” Renjun warns. Soobin looks at him and then at the twins. And for a moment, Soobin looked ethereal, looked so at peace it scares the living shit out of Renjun. So this is what people meant when a person is about to die, they look so blooming. 

“Yunsoo-ah, Yunbin-ah, promise me that you’ll listen to uncle Renjun, okay?” 

“But we always listen to uncle Renjun.” Yunbin retorts with a laugh.

“That’s good to know.” Soobin smiles. “Yunbin-ah, promise me you’ll take care of Yunsoo-ah, right? Since you’re older.”

“Yes, mama.” Yunbin agrees. Then, realization washes over her face. “Wait, are you leaving?” Maybe that hurt Renjun more than it should. The twins were six and yet they already know the reality of what’s going on, of what’s going to happen next.

“Mamay has to go away now.” Soobin replies. 

“Tell grandma we said hi.” Yunsoo finally speaks up. Traces of crying evident on his face. 

“Of course sweetie. Grandma would love that.” Soobin smiles.

 

One.

Two.

Three.

 

Soobin slowly closes her eyes.

 

Four.

Five.

Six.

 

Yunsoo and Yunbin start to cry.

 

Seven.

Eight.

Nine. 

 

The nurses come barging in as they hear Soobin’s heart monitor.

 

Ten.

 

And Renjun’s entire world comes crashing down. 

 

There came a point where Renjun doesn’t know the difference between night and day anymore purely because he’s never had some shut eye since the night before Soobin passed.  If he’s not back home tending to the twins, he’s somewhere in the city fixing paperwork for the hospital and the funeral. And it’s dawned on him that this is already beyond his job description. But what else is he supposed to do? 

 

Three days later, the funeral was finally in place and Soobin would be in peace soon. This was when he met a man clad in a black suit and asked if they could talk for a bit.

"Can it wait? I need to put the twins to sleep first.” He replies. 

“That’s okay. Take your time.” This was the hardest part. Because Soobin had no more families, it was just him and the twins at the funeral with the occasional visit from her close friends. Fortunately, after some time, the twins finally pass out and Renjun can slip out for a few minutes. 

“I’m sorry for the long wait. But what’s this about?”

“I’m Soobin’s attorney, Mr. Kang. I’m sure you’ve heard of me before?”

“Yes, you’re also one of her close friends. Thank you for visiting her.”

“I’m very sorry for what happened. But rest assured that Soobin can finally rest now.”

“Yes. That’s the only thing I’m thinking about right now.” Renjun weakly smiles. “But what brings you here?”

“I’m here to deliver her last will to you.”

“I’m sorry. Her what? Last will? To me?”

“Yes.” Mr. Kang confirms. “She had very strict instructions that I should give this to you as soon as possible after she passes away.” Mr. Kang then hands him a long manila envelope. It looks bulky and heavy, like there’s a lot of documents inside. He shakily opened and almost choked back a sob. The first thing he sees is a picture of Soobin at the hospital holding the newborn twins in each arm. As always, she was alone. But she was happy. 

The next document Renjun sees was the title of their home with an attached document to change the ownership under his name. 

“Wait, what?”

“The house is yours now.” Mr. Kang simply states. 

“You’re joking! Can I even do such a thing?!” Renjun can’t believe what he’s hearing.

“I suggest you continue reading, Renjun - ssi.” Mr. Kang instructs and Renjun does so. The next document he sees were adoption papers of the twins.

“Hold up! I’m a foreigner with a worker’s visa! I can’t adopt them and then stay in Korea!”

“Well, because of the current situation, you can. As soon as you sign the papers, you’ll automatically be granted a residential visa. Which means you can stay here and legally adopt the twins.”

“But I’m just a domestic helper!” Renjun reasons. “Now that she’s gone, how am I going to make money? I don’t think my part-time job at the cafe will do.”

“You’ll have access to all her bank accounts and life insurance plans. She practically planned all of this for this exact scenario. I think Soobin - ssi knew what was to come.”

“But why didn’t she tell me? What about their father?”

“Their father, hmm.” Mr. Kang takes a while to respond. “It’s hard to say. His company doesn’t want him to acknowledge his children.”

“What? Why? His company? How is that even possible?”

“This is their father.” Mr. Kang fishes something out of the envelope and pulls out a photograph. It was a picture of Soobin, the twins when they were two, and their father.

 

No way. No fucking way. 

 

Yunsoo and Yunbin’s father is none other than jay6’s Jeong Jaehyun. 

 

Jeong Jaehyun, member of the famous group jay6 comprises of five other members Johnny, Jungwoo, Jeno, Jaemin, and Jisung. The funny thing here is that jay6 is Renjun’s all time favorite kpop group and Jaehyun was his ultimate bias. Jaehyun was the person that he looks up to the most, the person who got him through the roughest moments, the person who made him fly all the way to an unfamiliar country just so that he could meet him. Jeong Jaehyun was also the absent father of Yunsoo and Yunbin that he hated so much. Jaehyun who couldn’t even visit Soobin once and even on her very last day on Earth. 

 

Guess what they say is right; that your idol is not what they seem to be. 

 

He was torn. One second, Jaehyun was this perfect person and the most important in his life, and the next he wanted nothing to do with the idol. Jaehyun, his inspiration, his muse, his reason for living, is now nothing but a bitter taste in his tongue. He wanted to scream the pain away, wanted to block everything out and fly back to China. But he can’t do that, and he can never do that now. Yunsoo and Yunbin are under his care now, and it’s the least he could do after everything’s Soobin done for him. Soobin was his employer on paper but in real life she became a mentor for Renjun - teaching him the ways of life and how to go about it. He owes her a lot, and he’s going to make sure Yunsoo and Yunbin live out the best of their lives. 

 

Noona, I didn’t know you had this much trust in me. But  I’m going to try my best. No, I’m going to do my best and give Yunsoo and Yunbin the life they deserve. 

 

Three months later, the adoption was finalized and everything was transferred to his name. 

“Now, you’ll still call me uncle, okay” Renjun instructs the two. 

“But you’re our dad now, right?” Yunsoo questions. 

“Well, yeah?” Renjun scratches his head. “But still, you can’t call me dad, okay?”

“Okay.” The twins said in unison. 

 

The house was a lot more empty now. Even though only one went missing, it’s not the same anymore. He can’t pinpoint it exactly, but things are so, so different and it scares him so much. He has called his parents multiple times in the course of three months, constantly asking for advises and what he should do in general. Raising a child is hard, but raising two toddlers who aren’t even yours is a lot harder. 

One day, as the trio were making a quick grocery trip, Yunbin suddenly calls out a “Papa” out of the blue. 

“Come on, Yunbin.” Renjun playfully scolds. “Now’s not the time for your jokes. I told you to call me uncle, remember?”

“But it’s Papa!” Yunbin happily replies. 

“Yunbin!” 

Suddenly, a man starts walking towards them and it was only when the person was a few feet away did Renjun finally recognize the man. 

“You-” Renjun was cut off by Yunsoo trying to free himself from Renun’s grip. 

Then, Jaehyun finally locks eyes with him. Holy shit, Junnie. You’re meeting your idol. 

“You're Renjun,  right? Their nanny?” Jaehyun finally spoke. 

“For your information,” Come on, Junnie. Now’s not the time for you to fanboy! He hurt Soobin, remember?  “I’m their father now so piss off before I call the cops on you.” He spats. 

“I’m their father.” Jaehyun presses. 

“How can you be their father? You’re not even on their birth certificates!”

“Do I have to be there to be called their father?”

“Uh, yes? But I don’t care what you have to say! You weren’t even there when Soobin noona died and now you think you have the right to call yourself a father? Are you that delirious? Has the fame gotten in your head that bad?!”

“Uncle Renjun, please don’t fight with Papa.” Yunbin tries to stop them both. “Mama wouldn’t like it  when you fight with each other.”

“You’re right, Yunbin. Let’s go home.” Renjun calls out. 

“Home?” Jaehyun picks up on this.

“Our home! And for your information, you’re not allowed in there!” Renjun quickly walks away and does his best to ignore Jaehyun as he goes through checkout. By the time he’s loading the groceries in their car, Jaehyun was still hot on his tail. 

“Look, I don’t know what your problem is, but if you keep this up, I will call the cops on you. I don’t care if you’re an idol or not.”

“So you do know who I am.” Jaehyun flashes the younger one a playful smile. 

“You know what, I’m glad the twins’ don’t take after your attitude. And just for the sake of it, yes, I do know you. In fact, I’m getting sick and tired of seeing your ugly face all over Seoul.” He quickly buckles the twins in their car seat and hops in the driver’s seat, leaving Jaehyun in the parking lot. 

How? How did Renjun not notice it before? Yunsoo and Yunbin both take after their parents’ names, Yunho and Soobin. It’s practically their names together. 

 

And over the next few months, Renjun would come to realize that Jaehyun is really stubborn and it’s not just fanservice. If he’s not intercepting him as he picks up the twins from school, he shows up at their house announced. Although he can’t really complain much seeing as the twins were always happy to see him. How can he take away the only other parent they have? He wants to hate Jaehyun for leaving Soobin alone, for not being there for her during her last days, but every time he hears one of the twins laugh with Jaehyun, he can’t help but think that this is where he’s supposed to be.

After the twins fell asleep for their afternoon nap, he finally had the chance to corner Jaehyun into telling him everything. 

“You’ve got some explaining to do.” Renjun demands from the older. 

“What do I have to explain to you?” Jaehyun counters. The audacity of this person.

“Explain why you weren't with Soobin noona this entire time?”

“I couldn’t.” Jaehyun simply states. As much as Renjun wants to believe that Jaehyun was just lying to him, all he could hear was sincerity in his voice.

“That’s bullshit.” He tries.

“The company won’t let me.” 

“Did you even know that she was battling cancer all on her own?”

“Of course I knew! Did you think I was that much of an asshole to not know that the mother of my children was sick?”

Now it all makes sense to him. Whenever he asks for a day off to go to a jay6 event, Jaehyun either has to leave early, come late, or not come at all. It’s because he was seeing his family. But why? Of all the days of the week why does Jaehyun decide to see his family on the day Renjun wants to see him? Was Soobin doing this on purpose because she doesn't want Renjun to see her and Jaehyun meeting? Why didn’t Soobin want Renjun to know that Jaehyun was the father of her kids? Was it because she knew how much he loved Jaehyun’s group? That she didn’t want him to feel disappointed and lose interest in his group knowing that the twins’ father couldn’t be there for them? Even when Soobin took her very last breath, Jaehyun was nowhere to be found.

“Then why weren’t you there?!” Now Renjun was getting agitated.

“I tried, okay?!” I tried to meet them as much as my schedule allowed me to, Sometimes I’d miss events on purpose, pretend I’m sick, and then sneak out to meet them! I’m not the monster you think I am, Renjun.”

“So you two were together the entire time?”

“We weren’t in a relationship, but we were in communication the entire time.”

“Did you even love her?”

“How can you ask such a question?!” Jaehyun sounded offended. “Did you think I’d meet them again and again if I didn't love her?”

“Wasn’t it only because of the twins?” Renjun argues.

“No, Renjun.” Jaehyun sternly says. “ I love Soobin.”

That wasn't supposed to hurt, Renjun.

“The night she died, my manager told me and Johnny took everything in him just to stop me from sprinting out the front door. My first thought was the twins; what’s going to happen to them? And then that’s when they told me that her lawyer was already in talks with you. When I found out, I knew they were in good hands with you.”

“Then why didn’t you talk to me after you found out?”

“I didn’t know how to tell you! Although Jeno has seen your face before in our previous events. I guess that’s why Soobin didn’t tell you about me.”

“That - that’s bullshit! I at least deserved to know who the twins’ father was!”’

“But you know now.” Jaehyun smugs.

“I only knew it was you after she died! Imagine my surprise when her lawyer pulls out a picture of you and Soobin noona with the twins! I almost asked him if noona was a fan!”

“I’m so sorry, Renjun - ssi.” Jaehyun manages through his laugh. “And I’ll say sorry on behalf of Soobin. She was just trying to protect you. But desperate times call for desperate needs and she needs to tell you before it’s too late. 

“Fine. FINE.” Renjun finally resolves. “You can visit them as much as you want. At least I know that you didn’t abandon them.”

“Thank you, Renjun! Really, thank you!”

“Be good and I might just talk to the attorney.”

“About what?”

“Don’t you want that? For your name to be in their birth certificate? Because from how the system sees it, they have no biological father.”

“Oh. I would love that.” Jaehyun smiles that dimpled smile of him. Calm down, Renjunnie. “However, I’ll have to ask the company about it.”

“You know, your company has always been shitty.”

“Well, it’s not like we can leave.” Jaehyun shrugs. “We are still under a contract.”

“I know. And I hate that for your group.”

Jaehyun smiled at him. Renjun doesn’t know why, but that tingling feeling he used to have for the idol slowly but surely made their way up to the surface once more. And Renjun hates it. Really hate it. 

“Renjun - ssi, can I ask you a question?”

“No.” The younger deadpans.

“Who’s your bias in our group?”

“Jaemin.” And yet both him and Jaehyun knew that was a lie.

“Hm, that’s not what Soobin told me.”

“Oh, so she snitched on me? Wow, even in her grave she manages to one up me!”

“No? Its’ because Jisung told me that you had my poster signed.”

“Oh, so Jisung is also a snitch?! And to think that I considered him as my child!”

“Jisung sure does have a lot of parent stans.”

“Are you jealous?”

“No. But I can be your dad.”

“Ew. No.”

“Note taken.” A long silence blankets them for quite a while, both diverting their attention to the TV playing some random show. Both didn’t know what words to say or do. 

“Renjun?” 

“Yeah?” Renjun manages through a mouthful of popcorn.

“Do you think it’d be okay if we became friends?”

“No?” Renjun looks at Jaehyun as if the elder grew ten heads.

“No, it’s okay or no it’s not okay?”

“Not okay!”

“But why? I’m sure Soobin would like that even. Come on, we’d be spending more time together now.”

“For your information, Mr. Jeong Jaehyun. We are nothing but co - parents to Yunsoo and Yunbin. If you come here, I’ll leave you three alone and we have nothing to talk about.”

“Come on! Are you mad at me?!”

“Yes! Yes I’m mad at you! Because when Soobin noona was taking her very last breaths, she was alone because she didn’t want the twins to see that! She was alone, Jaehyun! You could’ve been there!”

“How long are you going to keep that against me?! That’s beyond my control!”

“Out of your control? You chose to have kids, Jaehyun! You chose your company, your career before your children and the mother of your kids! You could’ve done something so that you were there from the beginning! Or at least you could’ve been there at the end! And you know what? I was there through it all! When Soobin noona underwent chemotherapy, when the doctor told her that she has two years left, the twins’ first birthday, first day of school, hell, even when Yunbin broker leg!” Renjun was fuming. It was taking all of him not to punch Jaehyun square in the face at this point. “Not once did you make an effort to witness all of these for yourself! If you think you being here now can make up for the times you weren’t, then you’re so wrong!”

“Renjun - I”

“Forget it. I don’t want to hear it.” Renjun stands up and starts to walk towards the direction of his room. “If you want to stay the night, you can sleep in the twins’ room or in noona’s room if you want.”

“Is her stuff still there?”

“Of course. What? Am I supposed to throw them out?  I did, however, donate her clothes. She told me to do so."

“Okay.”

“Let me know if you need anything.” And Renjun slams the door shut. 

 

How dare Jeong Jaehyun think he can correct his wrong doings by just being there for his kids? 

He’s six months late for everything. 

 

The next day, Renjun wakes up to a note in the fridge that says; “Took the twins out for breakfast. Your door was locked so we couldn’t wake you up.”

Wait - Jaehyun, alone with the twins? What if the public sees them?

Noona, please grant me the patience I need to put up with the father of your kids. 

He let it slide and finally for the first time in months, he was alone.

Not the lonely type of alone, the good kind of alone. It’s been a hell of a six months for him, and quite frankly, it all happened too fast for him. One second he was just a domestic helper helping a single parent raise her kids and the next he was the legal adoptive father of the said twins, tied together with their biological father being a total pain in his ass. Not to mention that said father is the very same person Renjun has idolized for years. 

But he takes this opportunity to rest, both body and mind. He knows that Yunsoo and Yunbin are in good hands so he has nothing to worry about. 

 

More weeks passed and he couldn't help but grow close to Jaehyun. It’s not his fault the older is suddenly there for his kids. But it makes him question one thing: why only now? Why not then? They could’ve been a perfect family and Soobin would’ve been a lot happier. Hell, he would’ve been happier even if Soobin didn’t need him at all. But alas, he can't be picky and accept reality.

Noona, are you happy up there? I hope you are because I am. 

Happy that the twins are happy and happy that he and Jaehyun are actually turning out to be good friends. And with him and Jaehyun growing closer, he ponders on the idea of giving Jaehyun paternal rights to the twins and leaving them behind. But he counters himself and thinks that he can’t possibly do that. Not when Soobin entrusted everything to him. Not when he’s living comfortably in Seoul thanks to her. 

That afternoon, Jaehyun returns the twins back home so that he can attend a schedule afterwards. 

“I’m planning on going back to Jilin for a couple of weeks and I’m taking the twins with me.” Renjun casually states as he puts away the twins’ jackets.

“What?!” This takes Jaehyun by surprise.

“You can come if you want, but you need to find a hotel for yourself.”

“I’ll ask my manager about it.”

“Okay, but we’re leaving the day after tomorrow.”

“Give me until tomorrow for an answer.” Jaehyun bargains. 

“Okay.”

 

And just as Renjun expected, Jaehyun did end up going with them. He introduces Yunsoo and Yunbin to his parents and older brother, the fine details of the situation he’s in, and how he ended up being the adoptive father of his previous employers’ children, and finally, Jaehyun.

“He’s cute.” Hendery, his older brother, comments. “I mean, he was cute on TV but he’s even cuter in real life. You have taste, Junnie.”

“No.” 

“Why not? He’s hot and rich!”

“He’s literally my boss’ ex boyfriend AND the father of her children. No. He’s off limits.”

“That’s not what you said a year ago.”

“No, ge!”

“Your jay6 posters and merch collection begs to differ.”

“Shit.”

“We haven’t touched your room since you left. Mom just cleans it.” Hendery shrugs.

“Well fuck me. Make sure Jaehyun doesn’t come into my room ever or else I'm not paying for your tuition anymore.”

“Rude, but alright. Ge’s promise.”

 

Contrary to what Renjun thought, his parents actually loved Jaehyun and the twins so much that they insisted that he stays at their house. Although his mom still can’t believe that the very boy whom his youngest son used to go gaga over is literally sitting at their tiny dinner table with his children - that Renjun is taking care of.

“You know, Junnie, I don’t know how you ended up in this situation, but I’m glad nonetheless. You look happy."

“Mom, please?” Renjun whines as he facepalms himself.

“Oh, will you let me?”

“Yeah, Junnie. You actually stuck to something that lasted longer than six months.” His dad adds.

“Can we please just enjoy dinner without bringing up my past?!” Renjun complains. This earns a hearty snicker from Jaehyun and Hendery.

“And yet you’re still cute.” Hendery teases.

 

After dinner, Renjun immediately brings the twins to his room to put them to bed. He makes sure Jaehyun doesn’t see him walking inside his room. 

“You know, your house is so small there’s only so many rooms here.” Jaehyun suddenly speaks up as Renjun walks inside his room. 

“Don’t be rude!” He scolds as he tucks Yunsoo and Yunbin inside the comforter. “ My parents almost broke their backs just to pay for this house!”

“I meant that you can’t hide from me.” He reasons. “Also, nice posters.”

“Will you please just get out? I’m trying to put them to bed and you’re distracting them.”

“No.”

“Please?”

“Can you stand staring at yourself?” Renjun teases.

“I’m used to it.” Jaehyun deadpans.

“Wow, fine.” Sometimes, Renjun can’t believe that Jaehyun is actually a real person. 

The two diligently put the twins to bed by reading them a bedtime story. And when the two deemed that the toddlers are out like a light, they both sneakily walked out and situated themselves by the living room. 

“Can I ask you a question?”

“Shoot away.” 

“What did your dad mean when he said that you actually stuck to something?”

“For an idol you sure are nosey.”

“Just curious.” Jaehyun shrugs.

It’s nothing really. It’s just that, when I was younger, I was very indecisive in what I wanted in life. As soon as I finished high school, I left Jilin to find my own thing.”

“Where'd you go?”

“Well, I first went to Beijing. Met some people, then found myself in Shanghai. Then I went to Shenzhen and that’s where I met Soobin.”

She went to Shenzhen on her own?”

“Yeah, back then her mom was still alive so she left them with her to come there for work. I met her in a bar, we got to talk, and that’s when she told me about how she’s having a hard time because she's a single parent and her mother’s getting old. That’s when I also asked if she was looking for a nanny.” Renjun laughs a bit. “Imagine an 18 year old boy asking you if it was okay for them to be the nanny of your kids!”

“That does sound kinda sketchy!”

“I know! She didn’t buy my offer at first but I told her that I had nothing to lose anyway. I never wanted to go to college. But my older brother did so that’s where my money went.”

“But it’s been six years then, is your brother still in school?”

“Yeah. He’s taking his masters in Beijing. He just went home when he found out that I was also going home.”

“How about you, don’t you have plans to go to college?”

“I already have my plans, and that’s taking care of Yunbin and Yunsoo.”

“But eventually they’ll get older and they won’t need you as much.”

“Then I’ll decide by then. For now, I want to devote myself to making sure they get to live the life they deserve.”

“Soobin is so lucky to have met you.”

“No. I’m lucky I met her. She was like an older sister to me. Helped me redirect my life and taught me so many things. I owe her a lot so taking care of her twins is the least I can do. I’m forever thankful for her.” Renjun couldn’t help but look back at it all. How Soobin would guide him, made sure he made all the right decisions. 

Noona, I hope you're proud of me.

“How about you,” Renjun asked after a while. “How’d you meet her?”

We were both trainees.” Jaehyun simply states.

“Oh.”

“But she never got to debut so she went to a community college, got a two year course and started working.”

“But you were together?”

We were. But then I debuted so we broke up because it wasn’t allowed.”

“So, what? You both had break up sex or something and got her pregnat?”

“Something like that?” Jaehyun laughs a little. “ I mean, I was just a rookie then. A scandal on my name would literally ruin the group. Now I kinda realize that’s probably the reason why she hid it in the first place.”

“Really?”

“I only found out that we have kids two years after my debut.”

“How?”

I saw her in a cafe with a trolley in tow. I mean, it doesn’t take a genius to see the resemblance.”

“They do got your dimples!” Renjun adds. “So that’s when you only knew?”

“Yeah. I admit I was kinda sad that she didn’t tell me from the very beginning. But I can see why. She was protecting me and the members. They were her friends too, especially Johnny."

“She’s always been so selfless.”

“I know. It’s one of the things I love about her.”

“I sure do hope the twins take after when they grow up.”

“We’re going to make sure they do.”

“We?” Come on, Renjun. Pull yourself together!

“Yeah, we. Aren’t we co-parents?”

“Yeah.” Renjun mutters. “Oh, about that. I talked to the attorney.”

“What’d they say?”

“Well, they can’t have two dads and if you want your name to appear in their birth certificate and have full legal rights to them, I’d have to revoke my rights as their stepdad since the court will always choose the biological father.”

“Oh.”

“But only if you want that. I mean, I’m okay with this setup. As long as they know that you’re their father, that’s alright with me.”

“I’m okay with this too. But at least the option’s there. You know, if maybe one day you wanna take a break, then we can do that. Who knows, maybe then, I can do whatever I want without the company nagging at me.”

“Okay. though I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of looking after them.”

“Thank you, Renjun.”

“No, thank you. I realize it now.”

“Realize what?”

“That’s it’s okay that you’re here now. I mean, we can’t change the past anymore, now can we? So why dwell on it? As long as the twins are happy and you’re happy, then I’m sure noona is too. So, why shouldn’t I be?”

“Do you mean that?” Jaehyun looks at him with utmost sincerity.

“Yeah?”

“That’s great coming from you. I really appreciate that.”

“What do you mean?”

“What I mean is, well, guess I’m not walking on eggshells around you.”

“If what you’re implying is that we can be friends, then fine. Let’s be friends.”

“Just friends?”

“Uhhh - “

“Thank you, Renjun.” Jaehyun smiles at him, dimples on full display.

You better stick to your words, Jeong Jaehyun. Because this Huang Renjun falls in love very, very easily. Most especially if it’s you.

So maybe Renjun does finally let himself fall for the man. That’s his role model for crying out loud. His bias for six whole years and the two years before when he was just a trainee. Was he supposed to say no? For the meantime, he’ll let himself play along. Play pretend that this is his family just for this time. 

But what if Jaehyun doesn’t feel the same? What if Jaehyun doesn’t see him like that and treats him only as a friend? What if Jaehyun is still in love with Soobin after all this time? Because how dare Jaehyun fall out of love with someone as amazing as Soobin?

Come on, Renjun. Just enjoy the fact that Jaehyun is there in Jilin with you. 

 

When they get back to Seoul, life goes back to normal; Jaehyun goes back to being an idol and Renjun goes back to being Renjun. And the sad thing there is that jay6 are currently preparing for a comeback so Jaehyun can’t come over as much. Why is it that when Renjun finally admits it to himself, Jaehyun distances himself?

Well, not really distance himself, but still, the point stands.

>When are you coming over? The twins miss you.

I can’t say yet<

Our schedule is packed. I’ll let you know.<

But I might visit them later tonight but only for a short while.<

We have an early radio show tomorrow.<

>Okay.

 

“Are they asleep?”

“Yeah.”

“Guess I’ll just kiss them goodnight and be on my way.”

“We can wake them up if you want. They’ve been wanting to see you.”

“Is that okay?”

“I guess It’s fine. Come on.” Renjun walks Jaehyun to the twins’ room.

 

“Hey, Papa’s here!” Jaehyun mumbles as he plops down on the floor.

“Papa!” Yunsoo exclaims. We thought you'd never come!”

“I’m so sorry, Soo - nie. But Papa’s here now, yeah? Come on, let’s go back to sleep.”

“Will you be here here in the morning?” Yunbin finally stirs awake.

“Papa has work tomorrow morning.” Renjun informs the toddlers. But we can visit him when he's free.”

“Okay.” The twins mutter dejectedly. Jaehyun can’t help but kiss the twins goodnight and sings them a lullaby to help them fall asleep faster.

 

“Thanks for letting me see them.”

“They’re your kids, Jaehyun. You don’t have to ask permission to see them.”

“Oh, ye - yeah. Right.” Is he blushing? “By the way, do you think you can come to our comeback show?”

“And what? Let the fans see the twins?!”

“They won’t know they’re my kids anyway. Besides, you’ll be staying backstage.”

“Oh.”

“Yeah.”

“Uh, I’ll think about it.”

“Okay. Let me know if you’re coming.”

“Okay.”

 

That was probably the most awkward conversation in Renjun’s life.

 

On the day of the showcase, Renjun and the twins do show up and are greeted by Jisung.

“Oh, my God! Hyungs!” Jisung calls out to the people in the green room. "Yunsoo and Yunbin are here! Oh, you must be Renjun, right?”

“Yes.” Renjun is amazed his voice isn’t shaking right now.

“Come on in! Jaehyun hyung is probably inside!”

“Okay. Thank you, Sungie.” 

“Sungie?” Jisung tilts his head sideways in confusion. Get yourself, Renjun! You’re not close with him!

“Jisung - ssi.” He corrects himself. “Sorry, we call you Sungie online.”

“Ah!” Jisung waves his hand as if to dismiss Renjun’s worry. “No worries! I was just surprised! It’s okay, though. I like that nickname anyway.” Jisung smiles that gummy smile of  his. The three then went inside and were greeted by the other members. Renjun looks around and notices that Jaehyun wasn’t in the room. Johnny quickly takes notice of this. 

“Don’t worry. Jaehyun just went to the bathroom.”

“Oh.” Renjun replies. The other members then busy themselves into playing with the twins, Jungwoo and Jaemin being the most enthusiastic about it. When Jaehyun does come back, the twins free themselves from the members’ grips and run towards Jaehyun.

“Papa!” 

“Soonie - ah, Binnie - ah!” Jaehyun then kneels down and engulfs the toddlers into a hug. “I’m so glad you guys came! Now this comeback is even going to be more memorable!”

“Jaehyun - ah, since when did you become a sap?” Johnny tease.

“What do you mean, hyung?” Jungwoo adds. “He’s always been a sap. Back when he was still with Soobin noona, and even more now that he’s a dad.”

“Please stop that before my kids pick up on it.” Jaehyun threatens with a smile. 

 

Later on during the show, Renjun and the twins tune in though the TV in the green room.

“It’s Papa!” Yunbin exclaims. The staff in the room can’t help but coo at the twins. 

“Yeah, it’s Papa!” Renjun adds. 

 

Hello! We are jay6!” The six members greet. 

“Hi, this is your resident prince charming Johnny, at your service!”

Hello, everyone! It’s your first love, Jaehyun!”

“It’s me, jayzennies! The one with the healing smile, Jungwoo!”

“Everyone. Jaemin here!”

“Hi, everyone! It’s me! Jeno!”

“Hello, everyone! It’s jay6’s forever maknae, Jisung!” 

“Thank you so much for supporting our comeback, jayzennies!” Johnny speaks through the mic again. 

“In fact, our comeback song was written with you in mind!” Jungwoo mentions. 

“Yes!” Jaemin speaks up. “Jaehyun hyung had the biggest contribution in terms of lyrics for our title track!” 

“I wrote this with jayzennies in mind. However, I also wrote this song with another person in mind and I sure do hope they’re watching!”

“Ooooh!” Jisung teases. “Jaehyunnie hyung, to whom do you dedicate this song to?”

“They’ll know when they hear the lyrics.”

“Anyway, without further ado, here is our comeback song; Highway to Heaven!” 

The group positions themselves for their formation and the intro starts to play.  Jaehyun was the first to sing. 

 

Your heart is calling calling, if you call me

I‘Il be there

I’m already running running to you

What are you waiting for

Shout to the sky

 

We’ll take the highway to heaven

Any time, anywhere I feel you

You and I, highway to heaven

This place where we’re together is heaven

 

Then Renjun realizes and he wishes that he didn't. The song… Is about him. It’s literally about him. Every single word, Jaehyun wrote with him in mind. 

 

>We need to talk when you get home. I won’t take no for an answer.

Okay :) <

 

“Why?!” Was the first thing Renjun asked once Jaehyun was finally in the living room. 

“What do you mean why? For what?”

“Why did you write that song about me?”

“I thought that was obvious already?”

“No, no, no! You have to dumb it down for me!”

“Okay… I like you, Renjun.”

“But what about Soobin noona?!”

“What about Soobin? Did you think she’d let us mourn over her forever? Wouldn’t she be happier if we moved on?”

“But not with each other!”

“Look, Renjun. I’m pretty sure she’s okay with this. I know she’s happy as long as we’re both happy. 

“I don’t know, Jaehyun.”

“Look, I’m sure she’d like it regardless. Besides, it’s a win-win situation for us all. Now the twins can have two dads!”

“I - “

“Please, Renjun?” Jaehyun pleads. “I’m not forcing you to give me an answer now, but at least think about it.”

“Think about it? What’s there to think about?” Oh, Junnie. You’re getting bold! “I mean, I guess that’s okay. As long as noona doesn’t haunt us both, I’m okay with this. Always had, always will.”

“Always had?” Jaehyun repeats for clarification.

“Jaehyun, I don’t know if you haven’t noticed the posters in my room, but yeah.”

“Oh.” Fuck, he’s blushing. “O-okay. So, um, will you go out with me?”

“Yes…?”

“Yunsoo, Yunbin, how would you feel if uncle Renjun and Papa started dating?” Jaehyun turns to the twins who were busy with their iPad.

“Oooh, dating?” Yunsoo exclaims. “Mama would want that! She had always wanted Uncle Renjun to get a boyfriend!” Yunbin nods along to her brother.

See? Even the twins like the idea.”

“Alright, alright.”

“Great!” Jaehyun exclaims as he pulls Renjun closer and kisses the younger for the first time - in front of the twins, as Jeno walks in. 

 

Fuck, they totally forgot about the afterparty. 

 

Renjun just wants the earth to swallow him whole.