Kyuhyun stares in a pair of deep brown orbs, his heart beating loudly against his ribcage and his sweaty hands trembling at his sides. He gulps loudly, Adam apple bobbing up and down in painfully slow motion yet the brown orbs keep drilling in his own hazel eyes with a harsh intensity.
Kyuhyun blinks… once… then twice. The person with brown orbs keep looking, eyes round and fearful, without blinking even once and Kyuhyun knew he was getting himself in a lot of trouble right then.
“Kyuhyun, quit scaring the kid,” A deep voice grumbled from behind.
“I beg to differ,” Kyuhyun scoffed back, eyes still fixed on the little guy in front of him, whose wide scared pupils were not shaking in the least, for all Kyuhyun know the little guy might have this permanent lost looking expression on his face. “If anything, he has started scaring me a little.”
“Stop whining,” The other mumbled as he absentmindedly rushed here and there in search for his wallet. “But I am so glad you are doing this for me. I swear Kyu-”
“Excuse me!” Kyuhyun screams in horror. “I never agreed to baby sat that little dev-” Kyuhyun stops just in time to glance back at the little kid with big eyes and double take at the word he was just about to mutter. “I am not doing it, Donghae!”
“Oh come on, Kyuhyun,” Donghae pleads desperately. “It’s just for one night… Hyukjae’s parents are not home, and that only happens once in blue moon. I can’t possibly let that opportunity pass, now can I?”
“Of course you can,” Kyuhyun retorts in a sassy manner. “And even if you can’t… I couldn’t care less.”
Kyuhyun turns around to storm out of the place, half a mind to punch something due to heavy disappointment and frustration. He had been over the moon when his best friend Donghae has called earlier, asking him to come over before five. Kyuhyun had been expecting party poppers going off and everyone screaming a loud ‘SURPRISE!’ once he walks in… instead Donghae dropped a bomb on him asking to babysit his nephew, so that the elder could have his chummy time with his sorta-kinda boyfriend.
“Kyuuu…” Donghae whined. “Don’t do that… you know it’s February already… Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. I can’t have my Hyukkie all angry and go on no-make-out-no- strike before that. I don’t wanna be a loner on Valentines.”
“Seriously, is Valentine all you think about when hearing the word ‘February’?” Kyuhyun asks incredulously, eyebrows raised enough to touch his hair-line. “Nothing else rings a bell?”
Donghae stands there, gazing at Kyuhyun with unfocused eyes before shaking his head slightly, eyes blinking in confusion, “Should it remind me of something else?”
“Argh!!” Kyuhyun groans in frustration. “Just forget it… I am leaving.”
“Don’t you dare, Cho Kyuhyun, you owe me this one,” Donghae shouts at his friend’s retreating back.
“How so?” Kyuhyun asked, eyes crunched together in confusion trying to recall any such thing.
“Remember the time you wanted to jump on your hot and y boss and asked for my help?” Donghae grins, flashing his white teeth at an appalled looking Kyuhyun.
“That never happened,” Kyuhyun all but screams, eyes blown in sheer horror at Donghae’s words.
“Oh right,” Donghae face palms himself. “That’s what happened in the dream I had the other night… and I helped you in my dream so technically you still owe me.”
“Donghae-” Kyuhyun starts exasperatedly.
“Look Kyuhyun, it’s just for one night,” Donghae is back on his pleading plan. “My brother is not in the country and left his son under my care… but Hyukkie is important for me as well and I can’t just leave Jungkook all alone, now can I?”
Kyuhyun turns his face to look at the five year old, Jungkook, standing beside the couch, his small arms wrapped around the big and fluffy teddy bear he had a death grip on, while staring at Kyuhyun with same big lost looking eyes since the moment the brunet has put his first step in the apartment nearly half an hour ago.
“Yeah, but he is your brother’s son,” Kyuhyun says, emphasizing on the word ‘brother’ like that should explains everything and maybe it did because, suddenly, Donghae has that big eating grin on his face that Kyuhyun itches to slap away. “Your brother a.k.a my boss, Choi Siwon, who- I am sure you as well as our whole company knows- I despise more than anyone in this world because he is one of the biggest assh-” Kyuhyun stop once again, peeking at the erect standing Jungkook. “… ACHOOO!”
“Nice disguise,” Donghae mumbles with a roll of an eye. “And even if you do hate him a little more than you should, your boss is practically in love with you.”
“All the more reasons for me not to take care of his son,” Kyuhyun pointed out, dropping his voice he again threw a subtle look at the mute boy. “I don’t want Siwon to see me with his son and start giving out discreet hints on how I am such a mother-material… I swear to Lord, I would punch him if he ever did that.”
“Siwon is not in the country,” Donghae said each word slowly and loudly, like Kyuhyun was some sort of retard for not getting this piece of information in the first go. “It’s just one night Kyuhyun… not like you would have anything better to do, anyways. I would owe you a big one, I swear! Just do this for me.”
“After so much offense?” Kyuhyun demanded with narrow eyes.
“Stop being a drama queen,” Donghae retorted before moving toward the frozen Jungkook and effortlessly heaving the boy up in his arms. “Kookie, you see that sweet and handsome Hyung there… his name is Kyuhyun, he is pretty right?”
Kyuhyun scowled darkly at being called ‘pretty’, something Siwon loves calling out… much to his embarrassment and mortification. Especially when the whole office knows about their boss’s partialness and favoritism regarding the ‘pretty’ Kyuhyun.
Jungkook just glance at Kyuhyun with his round eyes, but otherwise kept mute. Then Kyuhyun watched Donghae leaning forward to whisper something in the younger boy’s ear... whatever it was, but Kyuhyun noticed the slight softness in Jungkook’s expressions.
“So, if Uncle Donghae leaves you with Kyuhyun, Kookie would be alright, right?” Donghae asked in a baby tone before lowering Jungkook on a wide couch along with the big teddy bear. Jungkook nodded once shyly, before darting a hard penetrating look to Kyuhyun. “That’s my brave, Kookie.”
Kyuhyun almost rolled his eyes because if anything, he was the brave one to babysit a kid… which in Kyuhyun’s dictionary synonym as a devil spawn. Donghae cooed at his nephew before straightening up to walk toward the still hovering in entrance way Kyuhyun.
“I already cooked pasta, Jungkook loves pasta, just serve him dinner in an hour or so,” Donghae muttered quickly, flashing strict expressions on his face as he gave instructions. “Jungkook’s usual bedtime is seven, but since its Saturday night so Siwon lets him stay up till ten. Just let the boy watch his favorite cartoons and you need not be worried about anything… okay?”
“I hate you, Choi Donghae,” Kyuhyun mouthed at his so-called best friend.
“I love you too,” Donghae replied cheekily, before darting a full blown cheesy grin in Kyuhyun’s direction. “And I am sure Hyukjae would love and thank you as well. I owe you… I would remember that forever.”
“Can’t you go real quick and peck Hyukjae and come back?” Kyuhyun tried desperately, one last time, following Donghae to main door of Siwon’s apartment.
“You know that’s not how it works, Kyuhyun,” Donghae wriggled his eyebrows suggestively before his expressions changed to a curious one as he lowered him voice. “Or maybe you don’t know… you need to get out more often and loosen up at little, Kyuhyun.”
Donghae was quick to dodge the punch that flew his way, merrily chuckling at the grumbling Kyuhyun, the former man made to quickly walk away. Kyuhyun could only sourly watch Donghae’s back as the latter flashed out of the house… so much for ‘epic gift’ and ‘what are friends for’, Kyuhyun mused sulkily. Taking a deep breath, Kyuhyun tried calming himself done while chanting ‘you can do it, Kyu’ under his breath, continuously.
Slowly and carefully, he went to take a seat on the long couch’s other end. He could feel Jungkook’s large eyes drilling holes on his face as he kept looking at Kyuhyun from behind the big teddy bear. When Kyuhyun would turn to catch the boy in the act, Jungkook would shrink behind his stuff toy before peeking around shyly.
He was cute, Kyuhyun would admit, but too shy for him to reach out easily. Kyuhyun was not exceptionally great with kids, but he had ton of fun playing with his own nephew who was a year older than Jungkook, most probably… and that’s it. In the initial days, when Jungsu and Heechul had gotten their baby through surrogate mother, Kyuhyun was scared to even hold the little thing in his hands. But soon he grew to love the child… only that tiny being.
Kids over the whole scared Kyuhyun… especially the one that kept looking at him like he was a giant that would eat them alive. Kyuhyun admit he was grumpy, but the fact that kids were terrified of him was not exactly pleasant.
A whole torturous hour went by in which Kyuhyun pretended to watch the meaningless cartoons that were playing on television, while Jungkook kept his eyes fixed on Kyuhyun, like he was afraid Kyuhyun would eat him if Jungkook got distracted even for a second.
“Are you hungry?” Kyuhyun finally asked once the clock showed it was seven already. He turned to seek an answer from the shorter boy, nothing but silence greeted him. “Should I reheat the pasta?”
Maybe the word pasta did the magic, but Kyuhyun could make out a short nod of Jungkook’s head. Quickly, he jumped to his feet and heated up the food Donghae cooked. It wasn’t bad; Kyuhyun concluded once he took a small bite. Somehow, he felt obligated to make sure the thing was edible before giving to Jungkook. He doubts Siwon would remember the fact that he claims to love Kyuhyun, if his son got poisoned under his watch.
It was a bit awkward for Kyuhyun to heave up a shy Jungkook up on the kitchen stool; the young boy almost folded himself once Kyuhyun got near him. But thankfully, the pasta distracted Jungkook enough to give time to Kyuhyun to study the black haired cutie in front of him. The way Jungkook’s small pinks lips would prod out with cheeks fluffed out while he chew, Kyuhyun was tempted to smother the child with pecks all over his chubby face. After dinner, the awkward cartoon watching was resumed.
“If you don’t wanna watch the cartoons,” Finally Kyuhyun huffed as he turned to catch Jungkook yet again looking at him rather than the television. “Shouldn’t I just tuck you in the bed?”
The already wide eyes got even wider if possible. But before either of men could say anything, the sound of a key twirling in the locked door snapped their attention toward it. Kyuhyun frowned, looking at the clocked that showed five minutes to nine… was it possible that Donghae came back earlier than expected?
The door opened and a tall figure entered, Kyuhyun’s jaw dropped while Jungkook’s loud shout of ‘daddy’ as the small boy ran to hug the tall guy resonated around them. It seemed like everything was happening in slow motion as Siwon gathered his son in his arms while smiling warming toward him, before turning around to face Kyuhyun. Siwon’s expression froze as did Kyuhyun’s.
“I thought you were out of country,” Kyuhyun blurted out as soon as he found his voice, albeit the fact that his voice came out all squeaky. Siwon blinked a couple of times before smiling, like he finally realized that Kyuhyun being in his house was not a dream.
“I am leaving for China on Wednesday,” Siwon murmured while adjusting Jungkook in his arms. “I thought you already knew that.”
“But Donghae said-” Kyuhyun stop short when he realized what exactly was going on. “I am gonna kill him,” Kyuhyun vowed under his breath before looking up at amused looking Siwon. “Donghae wanted to go and meet his boyfriend but I reckon you left him in charge of Jungkook… so he begged me to babysit your son… and he said you were out of country… I swear I had no idea that he was lying to me-”
“It’s okay Kyuhyun, just relax,” Siwon cut in quickly, looking at the flush rising in Kyuhyun’s face. “I believe you… I am sure Donghae played you for his own benefit.”
“Yeah,” Kyuhyun scratched the back of his head nervously. It was one thing to say he despises Siwon- when the man is not around- but it was entirely another thing to come face to face with his intimidating boss. “Well, since you are back… I think I should head home now.”
“How would you go?” Siwon questioned sharply, leaving Kyuhyun baffled for a moment.
“Umm… well, I came by public transport since my car is at mechanics but-”
“It’s dangerous to go out late in dark, right daddy?” Unexpectedly it was Jungkook’s baby voice that interrupted Kyuhyun this time around and rather than perceiving the younger boy’s words, Kyuhyun was more taken at the fact that Jungkook could actually talk… like he had started to fear the boy was mute.
“Yes, it’s very dangerous,” Siwon agreed with a hint of amusement flashing on his face, making Kyuhyun to narrow his eyes at the elder man. “Unless you have plans to spend your birthday with your friends at a night cl- umm, I mean night restaurant or something.”
Kyuhyun would never admit out loud but his stomach was filled with butterflies when the fact that at least Siwon remembered that today was Kyuhyun’s birthday registered to him… when his own brother and best friend forgot.
“Oh please,” Kyuhyun scoffed bitterly. “You are the only one who remembers it’s my birthday, anyways. Not a single friend of mine wished me… Donghae didn’t remember either. Jungsu Hyung and Heechul Hyung are more invested in their married life to remember their younger brother, so they had plans to take their son to play land or something.”
“What?” Siwon asked in shock, even Jungkook’s blown eyes conveyed he understood Kyuhyun’s pain. “Nobody wished you? Nobody celebrated your birthday?”
“You don’t need to rub it in, you know,” Kyuhyun pouted angrily. “I mean, I am feeling quite bad anyways.”
“But I sent you a birthday gift,” Siwon muttered in hardly an audible voice but Kyuhyun was able to make out the words anyway. “It must have reached your building by now, I guess.”
“Oh,” Kyuhyun sincerely has no idea how to act at that piece of news… he would admit, knowing that Siwon looks at him as more than a friend, the fact that Siwon remembered his birthday and sent a gift, held far too much emotions for Kyuhyun to comprehend.
“How about we celebrate your birthday here?” Siwon suggested excitedly while lowering Jungkook to stand beside him. “I can bake you a cake and Jungkook and I would sing you the birthday song. I am sure Jungkook would want that too, right Kookie?”
The small boy nodded enthusiastically before his eyes clashed with Kyuhyun and he quickly hid himself behind his father’s long legs. Kyuhyun noticed the pink hue on the boy’s cheeks as he got down on his knee, to be on same level as Jungkook, but a considerable distance away.
“Oh really?” Kyuhyun mused while slanting his eyes at the hidden boy. “But I didn’t get any vibes from Jungkook that he likes me enough to want to celebrate my birthday. Do you really want me to stay, Kookie?”
Jungkook looked toward his father, who silently urged the boy to answer on his own, before the black haired boy vigorously nodded at Kyuhyun.
“But I would only stay on one condition,” Kyuhyun said loudly and clearly, still trying to catch the younger boy’s eyes before pointing at his cheek. “Only if Jungkook gives me a kiss, then I would stay.”
Again, Jungkook quickly looked up at his father, his wide brown orbs silently begging his father for help.
“Trust me, I would love to do it in your stead, Jungkook,” Siwon told his son quite seriously. “But I am sure Kyuhyun won’t appreciate so you are on your own buddy.”
Kyuhyun would have loved to throw dagger glares at his tall boss, but the fact that Jungkook had started taking baby steps toward him made the brunet boy to silently wait for the small boy to come to him. Jungkook shyly reached him before leaning forward to peck at Kyuhyun’s cheek.
“My dad makes really yummy cakes,” Jungkook said like he was assuring Kyuhyun that he can stay without any fear.
Smiling, Kyuhyun reached forward to cup Jungkook’s chubby cheeks before planting a kiss on each cheek- something he had wanted to do for so long- and hurled the small child in his own arms.
“We gotta see how talented your father is then, huh?” Kyuhyun wondered out loud, giving a subtle look to the grinning Siwon. Immediately the party of three moved toward the kitchen, with Siwon in lead and Kyuhyun following behind with Jungkook still secured in his arms.
While Siwon wrapped a cute apron around his waist and started gathering the required ingredients like a professional cook, there Kyuhyun set the suddenly hyperactive Jungkook on a corner of the Kitchen Island, with his arms circled around the child in protective manner. Maybe it was that fact that Jungkook had spent several hours judging Kyuhyun and finding him harmless or that the child has his father around, but unexpectedly Jungkook was who