Sometime Around Midnight

Sometime Around Midnight

 

***

 

Youngjae rolled over onto his stomach and buried his head under the pillow, reaching an arm out to turn off the alarm clock before it could blare its siren.
 
And it began.
 
Day one, Youngjae thought. Day one of him and Jongup, just the two of them. Daehyun had left for Busan early in the morning and unfortunately, Youngjae and Jongup had to stay in Seoul because no one would be able to watch Jongup for an entire week. Not that Youngjae didn’t like spending time with the toddler. Of course he did! He was their son after all, but the three of them had never been apart for more than a couple days before.
 
So, Youngjae lied there… He knew that it was way earlier than the scheduled time he was supposed to wake, but it had been a restless night for him anyway, in more ways than one. A dull throbbing sensation pounded behind his eyes and he sighed, knowing that the headache would only get worse if he didn’t get a move on. He pulled the blanket off his body and sat up, cringing and flushing at the state of the sheets and his bare lower body. He made a mental note to do laundry later.
 
But now, it was time to wake up their little man.
 
 
 
“Did you finish your homework last night?”
 
“Mm-hmm! It was math!” Jongup said before he swallowed a mouthful of soggy cereal.
 
“Alright, I’ll check it before we leave.” Youngjae slid the omelet filled with diced tofu from the pan onto his plate and sat down across from his toddler, leaning over to fork a strawberry from the bowl placed between them to pop it into his mouth.
 
“Do you have work today, appa?”
 
“Unfortunately, I do, but I’ll be there to pick you up from school, okay?”
 
“Then I have to go to daycare, right?” Jongup set his spoon down and his cheeks puffed out, lips pursed.
 
“Sorry, buddy. My shift ends a bit later today and since daddy isn’t home, there isn’t anyone to watch you.” He reached out to fix a loose strand of Jongup’s shaggy black hair, chuckling at his pouty expression. “But, hey, Junhong will be there today with you, right? You guys can play together!”
 
“Yeah! He wanted to play blocks with me!”
 
“And you know what? I’ll make your favorite tonight when we get home.”
 
“Fried rice with the little shrimp?” Jongup asked, his tiny eyes widening.
 
Youngjae chuckled, “Yeah, with tons of those little shrimp you like. Does that sound good?”
 
He nodded vigorously with eyes still doubled in size. “Okay! I love you, appa!”
 
“Love you, too, kiddo. Now, come on, open up.” He forked another strawberry and held it up to Jongup’s face, prompting his mouth open. Jongup took it without hesitation, eager to eat one of his favorite fruits. “Is your cereal all finished?” Youngjae peered over into the empty bowl and smiled. “Good job, Guppie! Do you want some eggs now?” Jongup nodded again and Youngjae slid his plate over to him, watching as he sliced it in half and stuffed it into his mouth. Aish, just like his daddy. Yup, that was one thing he definitely picked up from Daehyun. The two finished off the bowl of strawberries and once Jongup was nice and full, he ran off to his room to get dressed while Youngjae finished the rest of his breakfast and cleaned the table before looking over his homework assignment.
 
Jongup came running back into the kitchen a few minutes later. “Did I do good?”
 
“You did! They’re all right! Aigoo, our Jonguppie is so smart, appa is proud of you.” Youngjae ran his fingers through Jongup’s dark hair once the toddler went and wrapped his arms around his legs, hugging him. “Are you all ready?” Jongup nodded and made his way to the front door, holding his arms out as he waited for Youngjae to come and dress him. “It’s snowing outside so you’re going to wear your boots, okay?” After dressing Jongup in a winter coat and mittens, he finished off with a green wool hat. “I put Pikachu in your backpack, too. Alright, let’s go.” Youngjae pulled on his own coat and took Jongup’s tiny hand in his, stepping out of the apartment. Once on the bus, Youngjae found one last open seat in the back and pulled Jongup into his lap, letting him play a game on his phone while they waited for their stop in front of the elementary school. He watched him squirm and move around as his character on-screen jumped through hoops and slid under falling rocks, Jongup's cheeks puffing out when the bus stopped. Youngjae moved to stand up, setting him on the ground and taking his hand in his once again. They stepped off and headed towards the front entrance of the school, meeting with the other kids and their parents dropping them off.
 
“I'll be here to pick you up, okay, so wait for me.” Youngjae reminded Jongup as he zipped up his coat. “Listen to your teacher and be good.” Jongup nodded, listening intently. Youngjae bent down and pulled him into a hug, smoothing down his hair.
 
“Okay, I love you, appa!” He ran off towards the entrance.
 
“Bye! I love you, too!”
 
It had been a busy day for Youngjae at the hospital and by the time he got out, the sky was already beginning to darken. He hailed a cab to the daycare center and took Jongup home, thanking the wonderful owners and friends, Yongguk and Himchan, that watched over him.
 
“Go change for dinner. I bet you're hungry, huh?” Youngjae said as he shrugged off his coat then Jongup's. The other nodded so much, Youngae thought his head would just snap right off. “Alright, I'll get started on it.” Jongup cheered and ran to his room, taking off his boots as he went. Youngjae chuckled and left for his own room, changing out of his nurse scrubs and into sweatpants and a T-shirt. Jongup returned a few minutes later and joined him in the kitchen. “Are you going to help me?”
 
“Can I?”
 
Youngjae laughed. “Sure! Come wash your hands and I'll let you cook.” He helped Jongup step onto the small stool placed in front of the sink and proceeded to wash both of their hands. “Okay, you want fried rice, right? With the little shrimp?” He started to pull out the various ingredients they needed, checking off the mental list. He cut the vegetables and fried the rice with Jongup sitting on the counter, watching. “Now, you can add the shrimp in.” He gestured to Jongup the bowl of freshly washed raw shrimp and continued stirring the rice in the pan. “Just drop them in slowly, Guppie.” The five year old hesitated, looking up at his appa with uncertain eyes.
 
“What's wrong?” Youngjae asked.
 
“They're... dead, right?”
 
“What do you mean?”
 
“The shrimp.” Jongup whispered, looking down into the bowl. Oh. Youngjae chuckled at the realization.
 
“Yes, they are. They're not alive.”
 
“Are you sure?”
 
“Yes, baby, I promise you. The shrimp are not alive, they won't feel anything.”
 
Jongup hesitated for a while longer and then, finally, dropped the first few shrimp into the pan, watching in awe when the sizzle of cooking food exploded from the stove top. Off to the side, Youngjae laughed at the amusing antics of the toddler. As he prepared their dinner, Jongup told him of all the new things he learned in class.
 
“I can count to 100 now!” He told Youngjae.
 
“What? Are you joking with me?”
 
“Nuh-uh! We had to count with partners today and I got all the way up to 100.”
 
“See? I told you that you were smart!” Youngjae ruffled his hair in affection, taking in the subtle pink that colored his cheeks. “Daddy will be so proud to hear that when he comes home.”
 
“When is that?”
 
“Sunday night.”
 
“That's a long time, almost... one week, right?” Jongup pouted.
 
“I know, but he's visiting grandma and grandpa, remember?”
 
“Will daddy bring home presents?”
 
“Probaby, and food, too, knowing him.”
 
Jongup giggled and added in the rest of the shrimp. “Can I try it?”
 
“Yeah, sure. Just be careful and blow on it.” Youngjae forked a cooked shrimp and handed it over.
 
Jongup did what he was told, puffing his cheeks out to blow on it before sticking it into his open mouth. “It's really good, appa!” He exclaimed.
 
“Great! And it's almost done, too. We just need to add a few more things, then we can eat. Are you still hungry?”
 
“Very.” The toddler pursed his lips and stared at him with large eyes. Well, as large as they could get.
 
“Did daddy teach you that? That's the same look he uses when he wants food, too.” Youngjae shook his head in amusement and checked the fried rice one last time, deeming it good, and began to plate it. “You get everything we need?” Jongup hopped off the counter and ran to the kitchen drawer beside the refrigerator, grabbing their spoons and cups to set them on the table. Youngjae plated their food, giving an extra spoonful to Jongup, and both boys dug in.
“So did you have fun with Junhongie today?”
 
“Yeah, we played the whole time! He wants me to come over to his house soon, too.” Jongup said, a light pink dusting over his cheeks. “If.. it's okay with you and daddy.”
 
“How does next week sound?”
 
“Really?! Okay, I'll tell him! Thank you, appa!”
 
“You have to eat your vegetables, though.” Youngjae eyed his plate. Jongup responded with an enthusiastic nod and proceeded to eat his entire portion. Afterward, Youngjae put him to bed and finished his final duties before he, too, called it a night and fell into bed on freshly washed sheets.
 
Day one went by without a hitch.
 
 
 
On Tuesday, Youngjae was woken up with a squirming and excited five year old on his stomach.
 
“Appa! It's snowing outside! Come look!”
 
Youngjae groaned, turning on his side to cover his face with a pillow. “Jonguppie, it's still too early. My alarm didn't even go off yet.”
 
“There is a lot of snow. I think school might be closed.” Youngjae stilled and went back to sleep. “Appa? Appa....” Jongup whined. “Did you fall asleep again?” He placed his tiny hands on Youngjae's chest and started shaking him awake. “Appa!” When Youngjae still didn't move, Jongup switched to poking his cheeks, giggling when he smushed them together. “You look like a fish.”
 
“I'm not a fish,” Youngjae mumbled from underneath his pillow. “I'm a shark... and I like to eat little boys named Jongup!” His head sprang up and he grabbed for Jongup, tickling his ribcage. Jongup squealed and shouted.
 
“No, s-stop!”
 
“I'm going to eat your little feet first!” He went after his feet, tickling the bottoms while Jongup rolled around on the bed fighting his way from his appa's grasp. He kicked his feet and squirmed, like some crazed worm.
 
“Appa, stop!”
 
“Nope! I want your arms next!” Youngjae's fingers ran up and down Jongup's sides, poking and tickling the skin. Tears filled his eyes from laughing so much and it was then that Youngjae finally decided the little boy had had enough. “Well, that definitely woke me up. You said it's snowing a lot?”
 
“Mm-hmm,” Jongup replied, fixing his hair.
 
“Alright, let's go see then.”
 
 
“So what do you want to do today since you don't have school?” Youngjae asked as he munched on an apple. Jongup sat at the table coloring.
“Hmm, I don't know, whatever you want?”
 
“I don't have work so we have the whole day together.”
 
“Can we go outside? I want to play in the snow.”
 
“Good idea! Some fresh air would be nice, too.”
 
Jongup ran to the swing set as soon as they stepped into the park, the furry pom on top of his winter hat bouncing with every quick step he took. “Appa, can you push me?” He turned back and bounced on the tip of his toes. Youngjae ran to him and hauled him over his shoulder. Jongup let out a squeal, clutching onto the back of Youngjae's coat. Once he was sat on the wing, he hung on tight to the chains and prepared himself when Youngjae's hands held onto him and pulled him back, then, he was surging forward towards the cloudy gray sky, his legs swinging back and forth underneath him.
 
“Hang on tight, Guppie, okay?” Youngjae yelled behind him. He did as he was told, tightening his grip around the two metal chains and held on, feeling the cold wind whoosh behind every time he was propelled into the open. It was as if he was flying, soaring through the sky, nothing but air below. He loved it. But once his eyes caught sight of the slide a little ways ahead, he hopped off the swing, much to Youngjae's disapproval, and scurried on over, climbing up the ladder to reach the top. By the time Youngjae caught up to him, he had already slid his way down and was in the middle of climbing up the ladder again.
 
“Appa, come play with me!” Jongup said.
 
Youngjae stood at the bottom of the slide, waiting to catch him. “I don't think appa can fit on there, Jongup-ah,” he replied, scratching the back of his neck sheepishly. “but I'll stand here and catch you instead.”
 
The five year old laughed, agreeing that his appa was too squishy and fluffy and might get hurt on his way down for being so tall. After a while, Jongup got tired of the slide and ran back to the swings and Youngjae already felt exhausted from following the young kid around-one minute he'd be on the swings and the next, he'd be playing in the snow- so he sat on a nearby bench and kept a close eye on Jongup while he continued to play. He pulled his phone from his coat pocket, thanking whoever that he hadn't forgotten it, and started up a game to pass the time. Youngjae also noted that Daehyun had yet to call or text him. It was a little strange at first, but he thought nothing of it; Daehyun was probably busy.
 
It was a while later when he was on the third level that he saw a shadow appear by his feet. He looked up to see the bright eyed, red cheeked face of his five year old.
 
“What's wrong?”
 
“There's... this other boy that wants to play with me.” He mumbled, fidgeting in his spot.
 
“Oh, it's okay, Guppie. Don't be shy, he just wants to play.” It seemed like the hyperactive Jongup was gone, replaced by the sweet, shy Jongup instead; he was always like this when it came to meeting new people. Jongup bit into his lip and finally gave a confident nod once Youngjae assured him again. He gave him a quick hug and returned back to the new boy.
 
“Umm, my appa says it's okay.” He managed to pull a small smile for the other.
 
“Cool! Do you want to make a snowman then?”
 
Jongup looked at the other boy for a second then broke out in a big grin, nodding excitedly.
 
Unfortunately, the boy had to leave a short time later, leaving Jongup to play by himself. He was in the middle of forming another snow mound until Youngjae came up to him. “Ready to go? It's getting cold and we don't want you to get sick.” Jongup nodded and held his arms out, signaling that he wanted to he picked up and given a piggyback ride. “Let's go get some food, huh?”
 
 
The rest of the day went by like usual. When they got home, Jongup worked on his homework while the TV ran in the background.
 
“Do you know what comes after 100?” Jong up asked. “101.”
 
“That's good, Jongup. Before you know it, you'll be able to count to 1,000.”
 
“There are that many numbers?” He asked again, genuinely surprised.
 
“There are a lot! Billions!”
 
“Do you think I can learn to count that high one day?”
 
“Of course I do! You are very smart, Guppie. Daddy and I are proud of you.”
 
“Has daddy called yet?”
 
“No, not yet.” Youngjae recalled with some disappointment. “He's probably really busy with grandma and grandpa.”
 
After Jongup was finished with his assignments, it was time for bed. “I'll be there to tuck you in in a bit, okay?”
 
Jongup nodded and got himself ready for bed. Youngjae looked at his phone one last time. No new calls or messages.
 
 
 
By Wednesday, Daehyun still hadn't called or texted and Youngjae's mind was starting to wonder. After dropping off Jongup at the school, Youngjae made his way to the hospital to start his shift and it seemed as though the headache he developed at the beginning of the week came back. His head felt like it was held in a vice grip and the incessant pounding was starting to get on his nerves.
 
“Youngjae, good morning! How are you?”
 
Youngjae waved to the girl behind the receptionist desk. “Ahh, I'm okay, Sunhwa. I just have a bit of a headache.”
 
She frowned. “Did you take any medicine yet?”
 
“No, I didn't have time. I had to drop Jonguppie at school.”
 
“Well, here.” Sunhwa reached down into the drawer and give him a bottle of aspirin. “Hopefully, you'll feel better soon.” Youngjae said thanks and took two pills before he headed down the hall towards Pediatrics, mentioning that he'd see her later and she waved back, a sympathetic look on her face.
 
 
Soon, it was time for Youngjae's break and that meant picking up Jongup from his school and taking him to the daycare center. It was midway through the day and traffic was already backed up. Youngjae cursed as he got on the road-there was no way he would be able to make it in time to Jongup's school. . A heavy sigh left his mouth and he moved to massage his temple as he waited in his car, feeling the pounding behind his eyes start to double in strength.
 
His irritation only worsened when he was finally able to park in the school's lot. When Jongup wasn't in his usual waiting spot, Youngjae was directed to the school's office.
 
“Appa!” Jongup called out soon as he stepped front inside the little room. The boy ran to him and wrapped his arms around his leg.
 
“I'm so sorry I'm late, Jongup-ah. I got stuck in traffic.” He bent down to the boy's level and pulled him into a hug.
 
“It's okay. I got candy while I waited.” Youngjae watched as Jongup pulled a green er from his pocket and waved it around.
 
“Where'd you get the candy? Remember what we said about taking candy from strangers?”
 
“Mrs. Park gave it to me.”
 
A middle aged woman stepped out from the side and introduced herself. “Good afternoon! I'm Mrs. Park, the receptionist here. You must be Youngjae, Jongup's father?”
 
“I am.” Youngjae stood up, giving her a quick bow and handshake. “Is there a problem?” He asked, worried.
 
“Well...” she hesitated for a moment. “It seems like there was a little problem on the playground today. Another boy pushed Jongup while they were waiting in line to the use the swings and he scraped his knee.” Youngjae sighed in annoyance. Really? Could this day get any worse? “Jongup's teacher brought him in,” the woman continued, “and we cleaned up his knee and bandaged it up.”
 
“Did something happen to the other boy?”
 
“He was given a time-out in class and we've notified his parents. What happens next will be up to them, I suppose. You might get an apology from the family or not.” A confused expression appeared on Youngjae's face. Mrs. Park was dreading this part and heaved a heavy sigh. “Jongup accidentally let out that he has... two dads.” She gave Youngjae an apologetic smile.
 
“So, that's what this was about.” There is was again, the pounding sensation behind his eyes. “Well, I guess I should be grateful that nothing worse happened, huh?”
 
“His teacher told me that no one else heard it because it was just the two of them. I don't think his parents want to deal with the serious consequences that come with the inappropriate behavior of students and intolerance, so I'm sure this will be kept quiet.”
 
Youngjae nodded, a bit relieved. “Thank you so much, Mrs. Park.”
 
“It was on problem at all! Jongup was a sweetheart. Be careful about your knee, okay?”
 
“I will! Thank you for the candy!”
 
“You're very welcome.” She chuckled, then looked back to Youngjae. “You and your partner are doing a great job.”
 
 
“Appa, are you mad at me?” Jongup asked in a quiet voice from the backseat of the care once they were on the road again.
 
“No, why would you say that, Jonguppie?”
 
“Because I let Hyunshik hyung know that I have you and daddy. And because your cheeks are all puffy.”
 
Youngjae sighed, releasing his grip on the steering wheel. “No, baby, I'm not. It's just... sometimes, you'll meet really stupid people in life, but remember that daddy and I love you, okay?”
 
“I love you guys, too!”
 
At the five year old's words, the vice around Youngjae's head, and heart, lifted away.
 
 
 
Things took a turn for the worst on Thursday. His headache turned into a full blown cold and after a long, tiresome shift of giving flu shots, taking blood pressure, and cleaning stitches, Youngjae was finally sent home at the risk of infecting patients and his fellow coworkers. He stepped into the apartment, with Jongup in tow, and shut the door behind him, immediately heading for and collapsing on the couch.
 
“Are you okay, appa?”
 
“I'm fine, I just need to sit for a bit.”
 
Jongup ran to the kitchen and came back with a full glass of water, handing it over to him. Youngjae chuckled, ruffling his hair. “Thanks, Guppie.”
 
“Welcome! Want to see what I drew in class today?” Youngjae nodded and waited as Jongup went over to his backpack to grab his drawings. His hand reached for his phone in the back pocket of his blue scrubs and he frowned, turning it on to find no new messages or missed calls. Youngjae pouted, but he wouldn't admit that he was sulking because he wasn't. Of course not. Jongup's feet padded back into the living room and Youngjae set aside his thoughts while he paid attention to what his five year old was saying. “I drew me and Junhongie playing.” Jongup handed the paper over to Youngjae with a light blush on his cheeks.
 
“You'll have to show him when you go over there, okay?” Youngjae chuckled and Jongup ducked his head in embarrassment. The next drawing was of him and his stuffed Pikachu doll, his most favorite thing in the world.
 
“And then this is a picture of you and daddy and me.”
 
Youngjae gushed over the picture, even snickering in amusement at Daehyun's sixth finger. “Oh, Guppie, this is so great! I think it will look perfect on the refrigerator, right?”
 
“Really?!”
 
“Yeah! Go stick it on there and I'll make us some food, too.” He gathered all his strength to stand up but sat back down, clutching his head, the second he felt a wave of dizziness hit him. The aches suddenly rampaged through his body and a loud sneeze alerted Jongup.
 
“Oh, no! You're sick!” Worried, Jongup climbed onto the couch and laid a small hand on his forehead.
 
“I'm fine, I'll be okay. Besides, I need to get up and make us something to eat.” After the brief dizzy spell, Youngjae stood back up, although a bit slower, and headed into the kitchen to start cooking their dinner for later.
 
Another sneeze sounded from the kitchen and Jongup looked on, distressed. How was he going to make his appa feel better? He smiled once he thought of the perfect idea.
 
In the kitchen, Youngjae struggled to come up with something to make, the pain radiating in his head was all he could think about. That, and in addition to his runny nose, as well. Alright, he decided, carry out it is. “Jongup-ah? I'm ordering take out, is that okay?”
 
“Okay!” The other replied.
 
“What do you want?” Youngjae asked as he looked their stack of restaurant menus.
 
“Umm.. Chinese food?”
 
“Sure, do you want.. Sweet and Sour Chicken?”
 
“Yes, please!”
 
Once that was established, Youngjae dialed the number to their favorite Chinese restaurant and proceeded to put in their order, remembering to order extra just in case and some soup for himself.
 
 
After their food was delivered, Youngjae and Jongup settled in front of the TV watching a generic action movie, the household's thick blanket wrapped around them. Jongup ate his chicken and rice with his eyes glued to the screen and Youngjae had his Wonton soup in his lap, a box of tissues off to his side within reach. Now, under normal circumstances, this would have been the perfect evening, just staying at home eating dinner and being snuggled on the couch with Jongup. But, unfortunately, things didn't end up that way. He had a cold, one that gave him body aches with a headache to match and an annoying runny nose, and no gorgeous, pouty-lipped boyfriend to take care of him. This was probably one of the worst weeks of his life, but he wouldn't admit that he was sulking.
 
“I know what will make you feel better, appa.” Jongup's sweet voice broke him out of his self pity session and he turned to the other.
 
“What will?” His five year old dashed to his room and reappeared with a small bottle of bubble mix. A soft chuckle left Youngjae's mouth. “Bubbles, Guppie?”
 
“Mm-hm! They will make you forget about being sick!” He crawled back onto the couch beside Youngjae and started on the container, uncapping it and dunking the wand into the soapy solution. “Here, I'll show you.” Taking a deep breath, Jongup blew into the end of the wand. Youngjae smiled as he watched a trail of bubbles float through the air in their living room, rising and falling, reflecting the colors of the TV screen, before they popped into the carpet. Jongup blew the bubbles again, giggling in delight at how the round, clear spheres of soap filled the space around them and wonder filled his eyes when one of them landed on Youngjae's finger. 
 
“Whoa! How did you do that, appa?”
 
Youngjae blew the bubble in Jongup's direction where it popped once it hit his cheek. He scooted closer to Jongup and held the boy's finger out, guiding it to catch a falling bubble. Jongup gasped, eyes widening at the large bubble that hung clung delicately onto his finger. However, that excitement was short live once it popped. Youngjae chuckled. “Here, let's try again.”
 
 
 
It was close to 9:00PM when Daehyun stepped into the apartment, the silence indoors broken only by the TV playing quietly in the living room. He set his bags on the floor and made his way past the kitchen into the other room, his socked feet padding almost silently across the carpet. The sight that greeted
him made him break out in a wide smile.
 
On the couch was his boyfriend their little boy, cuddled under a blanket with Jongup sprawled out on top of Youngjae's chest, fast asleep. Food was on the coffee table along with a half empty bottle of what Daehyun figured was bubble liquid. Adoration and a sense of homesickness fluttered throughout his body as he continued to take in the scene before him. Daehyun tiptoed his way over and carefully, oh so carefully, lifted Jongup from Youngjae's hold, praying that the older wouldn't wake. Sadly, being a young, active child, Jongup's eyes blinked open, a tiny fist coming up to rub at them afterwards.
 
“Daddy?” Daehyun held a finger to his lips and started down the hallway to the bathroom. Jongup nodded, then wrapped his arms around Daehyun and buried his head in his shoulder, giving him a tight hug. Once inside, he shut the door and locked it behind him. “Daddy!” Jongup almost shouted. “You're home! I missed you!”
 
“I missed you, too, Guppie.” Daehyun chuckled., smoothing out Jongup's bedhead. The five year old pulled him into another hug.
 
“Did you see grandma and grandpa?”
 
“I did, and they said that they wanted to see you and visit real soon.”
 
“Really? When?” Jongup jumped up and down in his spot.
 
“They aren't sure, but they said soon. Did you have fun with appa?”
 
“Yeah! We did all sorts of things. But then appa got sick.”
 
“He did? Oh, no. We'll just have to take care of him then, right?”
 
“Right! I gave him bubbles make him feel better.”
 
“Ahh, good job, Jonguppie.” He pinched the boy's cheek. “Did you wash up yet?”
 
“No, I fell asleep with appa on the couch.”
 
“I know, I saw. Let's get you cleaned up and in bed. It's almost your bedtime.”
 
 
“You know, I think appa missed you, too.” Jongup whispered as Daehyun carried him to his bedroom.
 
“Oh?” Daehyun wondered, an amused grin forming on his face. “How did you know?”
 
“His cheeks were puffy for a long time.”
 
Daehyun joined in on Jongup's giggling, covering his hand over his mouth so as not to let the person sleeping in the other room hear. “They look big and squishy when that happens, right? You didn't tell him anything, did you?”
 
“I didn't tell appa anything.” Jongup held his finger to his lips, indicating his silence.
 
“Good job, Guppie. Now, let's get you in your jammies so you can go to sleep, alright?”
 
“Yaaayyy, pika pika!” Jongup shouted as he ran over to his dresser, reaching for the bottom drawer to pull out a set of Pikachu pajamas. He helped Jongup into them and tucked him in, pulling the blanket up to his neck before a placing a soft kiss to his forehead. “I really missed you guys. Oh! I got you something, too.” He reached into his pocket and pulled out a shiny new key chain with a Pikachu plushie hanging from a braided string of yellow fabric.
 
“Thank you, daddy!”
 
“You're welcome, Jongup-ah. You can put him on your backpack and take him to school with your other one, too! Now, get some sleep. We can hang out and play tomorrow, okay?”
 
“With appa, too?”
 
“With appa, too.” Daehyun smiled. “Night, Guppie puppy,” he whispered as he shut the bedroom door.
 
“Night, daddy.” Jongup replied back, voice muffled and thick as sleep quickly took over his tiny body. Daehyun smiled again and went back into the living room to this other baby.
 
 
Youngjae laid on his side facing out towards the TV, his cheek smushed against the couch cushion and his legs curled up into himself, like a shrimp. Daehyun smiled, crouching down to his level to run his thumb across his other cheek, feeling the smooth skin beneath his finger. A strand of dark brown hair fell across his forehead when he squirmed and adjusted his position and Daehyun took that opportunity to brush the stray strand away and placed a kiss to his cheek, letting his lips linger on the younger's skin longer than usual so that he could nuzzle his way down to the sharp jawline. He felt Youngjae squirm in his spot again, rolling his side to the side, and moments later, dark brown eyes peered up at him, sleepy and unfocused.
 
“Daehyunnie?”
 
“Hey, baby,” he whispered back. “Missed me?”
 
Youngjae sat up, squinting at the clock. “When did you get home? It's late, are you hungry? Here, there's still a lot of food-”
 
“It's okay, I'm fine, Jae. I got home about half an hour or so and I put Jonguppie to bed already.”
 
“Ahh, I didn't even realize we fell asleep.” He moved to lean against the back of the couch, crossing his legs and rubbing his eyes some more, a giant pout on his face. Daehyun settled in next to him.
 
“Aww, what's wrong?”
 
“Don't get too close, Dae. I'm sick and I don't want to pass it on to you.” The youngest said.
 
“That's the welcome I get after being gone for so long?” Daehyun teased, knowing that Youngjae was always a bit grouchy after just waking up from a bout of sleep. His bottom lip jutted out and he furrowed his eyebrows, a dramatic attempt to seem hurt.
 
“You were only gone for- hey! You were only gone for three days! I thought you said it was gonna be a week?”
 
“What? Jongup didn't tell you?”
 
“Tell me what?” Youngjae faced Daehyun and leaned into him.
 
“I told him that I was going to be gone for only a few days and not to tell you so that you would continue on thinking that it was going to be a week. I wanted to surprise you.”
 
“... You sneaky little bastard. I hate you.”
 
“Jaeeee... don't say that... I missed you. Did you miss me?”
 
“No.”
 
“Aww, not even a little?”
 
“No...” Youngjae remained silent. “I missed you a lot, actually.” He said once he opened his mouth again. “It was going fine for a few days, Jonguppie and I had a lot of things to do, but then I got this stupid cold.” As if to emphasize his point, a loud sneeze burst from Youngjae's nose and he took a second to grab a tissue before he continued. “So I was sent home from the hospital because they were afraid I was going to infect everyone. But luckily, I was able to pick up Jongup from school. Oh, and speaking of, did you know that he got pushed? Pushed. Some other boy in class pushed him because he accidentally let out that he had two dads and he scrapped his knee. I swear, if I ever meet his-” Daehyun's lips met with his, warm and soft, and Youngjae didn't even realize he had missed the feeling until that very moment, when the older boy proceeded to cup his face in his hands and maneuver him into his lap without breaking the connection of their lips. “B-but, Daehyun... I-I'm sick!” He tried to protest but was held onto even tighter, Daehyun's arms sliding down to wrap around his waist instead.
 
The older boy dove forward, capturing his full bottom lip between his teeth to gently. An adorable kitten-like mewl came from the other and Daehyun smiled into the kiss, satisfied that his boyfriend was finally starting to relent, gripping onto his shoulders to scoot himself closer to his body. He broke away to stretch them over the length of the couch whispering by Youngjae's ear, “If I get sick, I'm sure Nurse Yoo will be able to take care of me, right?” Not giving the youngest a chance to reply, he attached his lips to Youngjae's skin once more, kissing a trail down his jaw to the junction of his neck while his hand slipped underneath the blue colored top of his scrubs, ghosting up and down his sides and caressing each bump of his ribcage. He was rewarded with a series of airy giggles from the loveable boy pinned beneath him.
 
“That kinda tickles, Dae.”
 
Through the flashing lights coming from the TV screen, Daehyun could make out a faint blush on Youngjae's chubby cheeks. “You're so adorable, Jae, you know that?”
 
“You tell me all the time, idiot.” Youngjae replied, the blush deepening.
 
“Well... you are. God, I missed you and Jonguppie so much, you don't even know.” He placed a sweet, delicate kiss on one of Youngjae's cheeks before he pulled him into his arms. Youngjae ran his hands up and down Daehyun's back in a comforting gesture, closing his eyes at the satisfying feeling of having his boyfriend back in his arms. “I love you guys and I'm home now so there's nothing to worry about.”
 
"I love you, too." There were fingers skimming along the waistband of his bottoms and Youngjae felt a stirring in the pit of his stomach, a breathy moan leaving his lips when Daehyun's entire hand crept underneath the fabric. Anticipation bubbled in his veins. “D-Daehyun...”
 
“I don't have to be back at work until Monday. You, too, right?” Youngjae nodded and Daehyun watched as his eyes darkened, filling with lust, when he reached further south and palmed his growing . “We have the entire weekend to make up for all that lost time then.”

 

 

///

 

Note: fjklafjlafigagjeg

I don't know how I feel about this... xD I liked it in some parts and hated it in others. (>_<) That's why it took me so long to post it. That and a bunch of other things got in the way... But I wasn't exactly happy with it and it didn't turn out the way I wanted. It seems rushed.  /sobs
 
Anyway... I hope you guys disagree? xD I will be back later to fix it up a bit because I know there are some grammatical things and more and I'm having problems with the formatting, but it's close to midnight over here and I have to get ready for bed. -______-
 
Until next timeeee~ <3 And thank you for all the wonderful (and silly) comments, readers and subscribers~

 

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Daejae06 #1
Chapter 1: That was so adorable and sweet, I loved it!! Great story ❤️❤️
inixaw
#2
Chapter 1: aww it's so cute

i giggled a lot and it's a great thing
Sempiternalis
#3
Chapter 1: This is so cute! Toddler Jonguppie is the sweetest. <3 DaeJae really are good parents, they're doing a great job. Though, I feel like Jongup is a little too well behaved for a child, he didn't even make a face when Jae told him to eat all his vegetables haha. But that doesn't matter, this still is really cute and fluffy and it made my heart warm.

xo
redellered
#4
Chapter 1: Most adorable DaeJae fic that I'vr read. Ah that was just what I needed :3 ❤️ Toddler!Uppie is so adorable too but I kinda wished that he was a little devilish or smth fufufu XD but it's rly cute~ ❤️❤️❤️❤️
[deactivated] #5
Chapter 1: Awwww this was really cute quq i loved it <3
daesvoice
#6
Chapter 1: OMGGG THIS IS REALLY CUUUTEEE~ YAAA >o< the morning scene in youngjae's bed ;^; so sweeet~ and when dae was finally back ;; kanalamwoan ♥♥
Jpd0824
#7
Chapter 1: I love this and all the fluff gahhh :) this family hehe
Almantina
#8
Chapter 1: So much fluff /rolls around/
himjongs #9
Chapter 2: So cuuuute~
Even though the youngup is adorable it was the daejae that had me cooing.
EunHyun #10
Chapter 1: and JONGUP'S "PIKA PIKA". WAE SOOO CUTEEE OMFG.