The sun rays filtered in through the curtains as Donghae opened his eyes to stare at the most beautiful man in the world. Hyukjae. His Lee Hyukjae. The man he loved with all his heart and soul. The man he was lucky enough to be loved by with the very same intensity.
“Stop staring at me Donghae,” Hyukjae mumbled, his eyes still closed, as he took Donghae by surprise, who didn’t expect Hyukjae to be awake before him, “And before you ask me how I’m awake before you, I really needed to take a piss because of all the orange juice you made me drink last night.”
At the annoyance in Hyukjae’s voice, Donghae found himself laughing heartily, as he moved closer to his husband and pecked his lips softly, “Ever the romantic huh? Talking about pissing first thing on what’s supposed to be a lazy Sunday morning”
Hyukjae, whose eyes had been closed up till now, opened them and stared right at Donghae, “LAZY Sunday? Excuse me, but who are you and what did you do to my husband?”
Donghae pouted and grabbed Hyukjae by the collar, this time pulling him in for a rougher good morning kiss. Hyukjae, being the ever compliant husband, did not hesitate even for a second before wrapping his hands in Donghae’s hair and kissing him back with equal fervour. Neither of them had brushed their teeth and their morning breath probably stank a little, but all these years later, meagre things like these had just stopped mattering. They kissed when they felt like it, they made love when they wanted to, no second guessing.
They deepened the kiss as Donghae entwined his legs with Hyukjae’s, pulling his body flush against Hyukjae’s, wanting some sort of friction. Breathlessly, Hyukjae pulled his face away from the younger one’s and laughed, speaking against his lips, “What are you trying to do? Get into my pants?”
Donghae shook his head, his ears flushing pink, as his hand began to fidget with the elastic band around Hyukjae’s waist in an attempt to pull down his pyjama trousers, “I’m trying to get you OUT of your pants so I can have you IN me”
Hyukjae, highly amused, shook his head and pulled Donghae’s hands up to kiss both his palms, “As much as I would love to entertain this baby of mine,” he pointed at Donghae, “we both know our baby is about to come barging in through that door any time now.”
Donghae’s expression immediately softened as his face was lit up with a joyful smile.
As if right on cue, their bedroom door slammed open and in came a four year child, running towards the bed, barefoot and close to tripping on her oversized pyjamas.
“Apppppaaaa Paaapaaaaaa,” their daughter screamed as she climbed onto the bed from Donghae’s side and dropped down with a plomp between them both, where they’d made space for her just when they’d heard the bang of the door being thrown open, “It’s Sundaaaaaayyyyyyyy and we will have strawberry pancakes with maple syrrruuuupppp and strawberryyyyyy millllkkkkk!!”
Donghae shook his head, pretending to be disappointed with the choice of food his daughter had just listed, but inside his heart, he was bursting with the richest kind of happiness.
“What’s the first thing we say to our parents when we wake up in the morning Haru?” Placing his hand on Haru’s cheek softly, he nodded, encouraging her to say what he had taught her.
Bowing her head slightly at the both of them, Haru smiled prettily while whispering “Good morning” shyly, and then started to giggle, while hiding her face in Donghae’s side.
Hyukjae laughed loudly, gathering her in his arms and bringing her up to sit on his torso.
“Did my baby have a good night?” Hyukjae cooed at her, gently rocking her tiny body on his own.
When Donghae extended his hand towards Haru, she didn't hesitate to place her tiny one on his bigger one, and Donghae wrapped it up in his own.
Looking back at Hyukjae, Haru spoke animatedly, “I think I had a good dream. Kyuhyun samchun took me to Lotto World and Heechul samchun came with us too but he was too scared to get onto any rides and Kyuhyun samchun would not stop teasing him hehehe,”
When Haru giggled, Donghae and Hyukjae both burst into laughter and Donghae found himself placing his head on Hyukjae’s shoulder.
“Does this mean our Haru wants to go to the Lotto World but with her samchuns and not with her appa and papa?” Donghae sounded light hearted so Haru wouldn’t misunderstand him
Haru’s eyes went wide and she tilted her head, deep in thought, wondering how to answer her papa’s question.
But it was Donghae who blushed when Hyukjae whispered something in his ear, “Look at her. She truly is your daughter. Look at the way her eyes go wide and her head tilts to the side when she’s confused or thinking, just like you always do, my little bunny”
Clearing his throat, Donghae punched Hyukjae’s shoulder lightly, which did not feel light at all because Hyukjae groaned in pain and Haru pulled out of her thoughts to scowl at Donghae, “papa!!” she berated him as she gently massaged Hyukjae’s shoulder with her tiny, little hands, “you can't just punch appa like that, with your big muscles and rough hands! It must have hurt!”
Donghae started chuckling at the big muscles part because it was a long standing jokE between Haru and Hyukjae. For some reason it always made him smile and reminisce the olden days, when Hyukjae used to be annoyed at Donghae for bulking up so much because it was starting to get difficult for him to carry Donghae around on their days off from their schedules, for he truly loved having Donghae in his arms as much as he could.
Hyukjae looked sideways at Donghae and spoke to him in the same soft tone he used with Haru, “And what do we do when we hurt someone, even if it’s by accident?”
This was their way of teaching Haru the smallest of things about manners and everyday interactions with her seniors, peers as well as juniors. They would ask each other questions and then answer them, making sure that Haru understood and learned what they were doing.
Haru looked between her parents as they talked to each other. Donghae smiled up at Haru before replying to Hyukjae, “We bow and apologise, and tell them it won’t happen again. I’m sorry Hyukkie appa, I’ll try my best so that I don’t do it again.”
Hyukjae grinned at Donghae before pecking his forehead, “Thank you Ddohae. Apology accepted.”
When Haru giggled all of a sudden and hid her smile behind her tiny hands, Donghae was quick to pull the hands off her face, “Don’t cover your smile, baby. You look so beautiful when you laugh, just like your appa.”
Haru nodded, and like the obedient child she was, brought her hands down and placed them on Hyukjae’s chest, adjusting her position to sit more comfortably on his abdomen.
Donghae immediately noticed the way Hyukjae had turned his face the other way, a slightly pained expression on his face. And it suddenly struck him that he’d just said the same thing to their daughter that he had said to Hyukjae when they were both 15, dancing in one of the SM practice rooms after a long day of work.
“Hyukjae hyung, you have such a pretty smile, all teeth and gums. Why do you always hide it behind your hands? You never laugh openly, as if you’re embarrassed of your smile. Please don’t be like this. I like it when you laugh openly.”
And Hyukjae had smiled sadly before ruffling sweet little Donghae’s hair and walking away, feeling a different kind of warmth blooming inside his chest, the source of that warmth being the man who was lying in bed next to him right now.
Haru was slightly confused as to what was going on, and before Donghae could even think about saying anything, Haru was holding Hyukjae’s large face in her small hands and turning it up towards her own, “Appa, why do you look sad all of a sudden?”
There was a gloomy look on her face and Hyukjae’s heart broke to see the expression on her face, “It’s nothing baby. Nothing at all. Appa is just thinking about how much he loves Haru and her papa. And that appa is going to make sure that nothing bad ever happens to both of them.”
And then Hyukjae smiled so brightly that his daughter’s worries seemed to vanish into thin air, and she was smiling equally brightly down at him, and watching the scene unfold before him, it was now Donghae’s turn to tear up.
A few years ago, not even in his wildest dreams would he have ever imagined he’d be able to have the kind of life he so desperately wanted with the man he had loved all through his teenage and young adult years.
But now, here he was, the wedding ring glistening brightly on his finger, head leaning on Hyukjae’s shoulder and their daughter perched atop his husband, and he didn’t know how to thank God for all the blessings he had.
He was pulled out of his thoughts by Haru landing squarely on his chest, for she had decided that it was now time to change her seat, going from sitting on her appa’s abdomen to her papa’s chest.
Donghae spluttered in surprise as he caught Haru around her waist just in time, stopping her from falling down the side of the bed, “Haru baby, I know you love jumping around but please be careful, I don't want you to get hurt ok?”
Next to him, Hyukjae could not stop laughing. Ever since Haru was born, Donghae had been the careful, held back parent, while Hyukjae was the more fun loving, free spirited out of the two of them. Hyukjae would create mischief along with Haru and then they would both be sat down by Donghae and admonished for causing trouble. But it almost always ended up with them going to the park for a little play time or the ice cream shop just around the corner if it wasn’t too late at night and Haru wouldn’t end up getting a sugar rush and stay up through the night.
Donghae did not hesitate to glare at Hyukjae, which made