Rating: PG13 (for now)
Genre: AU, fluff, angst, WAFF
Disclaimer: I don't own anything apart from the story. I wish I had YunJae and if I had my way, they'd move to New Zealand so they can be civil-unionised here
Summary: Jaejoong just wants somewhere to call home again. Living by himself is really not as great as his sisters made it out to be and he yearns to be around people again. He misses the hustle and bustle and even the crying babies that make up his parents’ household but he’s too proud and stubborn to return. He is nineteen after all and fully capable of living his own life away from his ridiculously large family. Enter a tiny little girl who captures Jaejoong’s heart in an instant and he finds himself with a family…of sorts. And for a sheltered, very well-loved boy, complicated doesn’t even begin to describe his life from the moment the tearful baby crawls into his lap looking for comfort.
AN: Wordy Nicki is wordy...
Btw, I wrote a tiny little snippet for someone who wanted to know what Jung's expression was like after Jaejoong kissed him at the end of the last chapter and you can see it here if you're interested.
The meeting has gone ahead without a hitch, Yunho regaining his ruthless edge once again, now that he no longer has to worry about his daughter. However, it takes almost all his willpower not to let his thoughts wander off during the four hour meeting. Several times he’s found himself drifting, his mind on the strange boy sleeping in his bed on the top floor of that very building and every single time, he yanks himself back with a firm jolt. He almost feels like he needs to be leashed., and that errant thought makes him more angry than anything else does. He takes out his anger on the people at the meeting, probably being harsher than he normally would have been but he needs an outlet. However that anger does him well in the end, his associates understanding that he is back, and dead serious about burying Choi Industries under. Yunho has been planning a campaign to undermine his in-laws’ company for several months now, and it is only now that he finally has the time and capacity to give it his full attention.
He looks at the clock on the wall, staring out the floor to ceiling windows, not really seeing anything as his mind once again drifts back to the boy. Why he keeps thinking about him, he has no idea. Maybe he’s shocked? Or maybe he’s just not used to someone like him. He twirls the pen in his hand as he thinks back to that morning. His tongue darts out to sweep his lush bottom lip as he remembers soft moist lips pressing against his for but a second that morning. Jaejoong hadn’t even opened his eyes, and Yunho has no idea if the boy was more asleep than awake. Yunho however, was most definitely awake. His brow creases as he frowns, thinking back at how hard it was to leave that bedroom this morning. The urge to climb back into bed had been strong, and he convinces himself it’s only because of Jiyool.
He’d eaten the still-warm kimchi fried rice, pleasantly surprised at how delicious it was. The kitchen was spotless, all the dishes done, and sitting by the sink on a drying rack that Yunho has never ever seen before in his life. He has a cleaning lady who comes in twice a week and he hardly ever eats in anyway so dishes are a foreign concept. However, he’s not stupid and he washes his plate, placing it with the other drying dishes on the rack. He still wonders how Jaejoong got everything done with a baby strapped to his front because they’d tried to leave Jiyool in her crib twice and both times it lasted less than five minutes so he doubts his daughter was left alone while Jaejoong pottered about the kitchen. He frowns slightly at the thought, wondering how dangerous it is to have a child in the kitchen. Should he ask Jaejoong about it?
He eyes the clock once again, and realises his head is really not in his work. So much for not being distracted by his daughter, he’s now distracted by her nanny. Or is it manny? Banny? Tanny? Yunho shakes his head in disgust. This is ridiculous. He’s not sure how it happened but somehow that young man has wormed his way into his head and is holding fast. He’s struggling really hard to keep him out but the boy is just so strange and unpredictable. So unlike anything or anyone he’s ever encountered. For one, he’s never met someone so trusting of others. It borders on a complete disregard for himself, and Yunho frowns, wondering if the boy really is the best person to look after his daughter if he cannot even look out for himself. His only consolation from this whole utterly uncharacteristic behaviour of his, borne mostly out of desperation, is that the boy is well-known. He leans forward to click his laptop on, searching through his emails for the brief his investigator has provided him. He scans through it again, the only thing really jumping out is that the boy is well-liked by everyone, he is exceedingly close to his extended family, and that he graduated top of his class. This doesn’t surprise him at all. He leans back in his chair staring out the window.
There is yet another benefit to this arrangement, one he’s not sure the significance of but he’ll take it. Unwanted memories of his dead wife that used to sneak in and torment him on a daily basis have not plagued him at all that morning. Instead, his mind is filled with sleepy doe eyes, and a pout that he’s never seen the like of whether on a male or female. That, and a well placed kiss.
Yet again his eyes find their way to seek out the time, and he finally gives up, dropping the lid of his laptop and packing it away. He’s not needed in the office anyway and his baby is sick. Yes, that’s the reason he’s leaving the office at 12:30pm.
Yunho frowns as he enters the apartment, a little surprised at the silence. He’s definitely not expecting this. He drops his things in his study along the way to his bedroom. He opens the door carefully, trying to be quiet since it’s probably a safe assumption that his baby is asleep judging from the quiet household, and for the second time that day, panic assails him. The bed is made and empty of bodies. He stares unblinking at the monstrosity in the middle of the room, with the blood red canopy and black covers and for the first time, since moving back in, he feels this overwhelming need to get rid of everything. Maybe it’s the fact that Jiyool is sleeping in there and he wants nothing to do with her mother touching her. Maybe he’s finally free from the woman’s hold over him, able to take in his surroundings again and not just existing. He’s blocked out so much in the last decade or so that it’s almost as if he has to re-learn how to engage with his environment, to notice what goes on around him.
His hands squeeze the doorknob reflexively, as he focuses on slowing his breathing, to relax and calm down. It’s an exercise he’s had to perfect over the years. Once the initial panic leaves him, he turns and heads to the nursery. Once again, he opens the door carefully, and is met by apprehensive doe eyes, rocking gently in the chair. Jiyool is in her apparent new favourite place, zipped up in Jaejoong’s hoodie.
They stare at each other for an immeasurable moment.
Jiyool stirs, breaking both men’s eye contact with each other as they look down at the baby.
Jaejoong reaches out a hand to Yunho, the other cupping the little joey using his hoodie as a kangaroo pouch. Yunho stares at the hand, unsure as to what exactly it is that the boy wants.
“Can you help me up? I’ve been sitting here for over two hours, and I think my legs are dead asleep. You may have to hold on because I don’t know if I’ll be able to stay on my feet.”
Instead of taking his hand, Yunho moves forward, and in a repeat of this morning, he bends over, scooping Jaejoong out of the rocking chair, baby and all. He thinks nothing of it, as what he does seems like the best option in his mind.
Jaejoong squeaks in surprise, but his arms are full with a precious bundle and there’s nothing he can do but hope Yunho doesn’t drop them. He takes a deep breath and suddenly his head is filled with that heady scent he cannot stop sniffing from Jiyool’s hair and he gets flustered. He can feel the heat rising in his cheeks, but despite this, he looks at Yunho, unable to take his eyes away from the man holding him.
“Where to?” Yunho’s voice is a low murmur, his eyes on his baby.
“Where would you like to go?” he clarifies.
“Oh,” Jaejoong scrunches his nose, freeing the arm pinned against Yunho’s chest to curl it around his shoulders instead. “I wanted to give Jiyool a bath because she threw up but I couldn’t find any baby soap.”
Yunho is about to take a step forward but Jaejoong’s words stays his feet.
“She threw up? Why didn’t you call me?” His voice comes out harsher than he intends and it wakes the drowsing babe still tucked safely in Jaejoong’s hoodie. His baby girl looks around in confusion, almond eyes a little gummy from sleep, and he watches as she struggles to free a tiny little fist that she uses to swipe sleepily at her eyes. Jaejoong uses his free hand to unzip his hoodie a little, giving her more room to move but not so much that she might fall out. The boy rubs at her back as she turns her face to Yunho, blinking up at him, eyes slightly unfocused.
“It’s normal for babies to throw up if they have an ear infection. It wasn’t anything major. It was just a couple of mouthfuls of milk, but she got in on the bed so I had to change the sheets.”
Yunho nods, accepting Jaejoong’s assessment of the situation, his mind nagging at him that he’s missing something important about what Jaejoong has just said, but his baby girl distracts him as she smiles up at him. He bounces Jaejoong in his arms, to get a better grip and also to move him slightly higher up so he is able to kiss his daughter. The motion startles her, but her eyes are on her father and she is in her Jaejoong cocoon and so Jiyool is content. Yunho does it again because the first time didn’t quite get Jaejoong in the right place, and this time she lets out a tiny giggle at being bounced around.
Both men look at each other at the sound, exchanging relieved glances. Jaejoong tucks his hand into the opening of his hoodie, stroking Jiyool’s back as Yunho finally starts moving again, kissing his daughter’s slightly sweaty forehead before turning to leave the nursery and head back to his bedroom.
He deposits his precious cargo on the bed, pressing yet another kiss to the top of Jiyool’s head, before turning towards the bathroom.
“I’ve already looked in there.”
Yunho stops and turns, once again back to being silent as he arches a questioning eyebrow at the boy currently unzipping his hoodie and freeing Jiyool whom he lays on the bed in the space between his legs, propped against a pillow he’s lain across his calves.
“I looked in all three bathrooms in this apartment of yours and I didn’t find any baby products. Did you run out or something?”
“What baby products?”
“Uh…” Jaejoong stares perplexed at Yunho who is staring at him, face once again wiped of any expression as usual. He is starting to treasure the instances of affection towards Jiyool, and brief sparks of emotion he sees on the man’s face, pleased that at least he does show something, especially in relation to his daughter. If Yunho doesn’t want to show Jaejoong any emotion or even affection, that’s fine by him. Jiyool shouldn’t have to suffer a cold father though. She won’t understand. To be honest, he’s not sure if he understands either, but at least he can vocalise his confusion should he choose to do so.
“You know, baby products…shampoo, soap, diaper cream, that sort of thing.”
“Oh,” understanding dawns on Yunho. “I just bathe her with my stuff.”
Jaejoong’s jaw drops open in shock.
“Are you crazy!?” he all but shrieks, Jiyool jerks in surprise, staring up at the beautiful blonde boy currently apoplectic with shock as he stares aghast at her father. She’s used to sudden noises from him by now though, and so she just sticks her fingers in her mouth, and starts sucking, eyes not leaving him as he starts waving his arms around.
Yunho frowns in reaction, not accustomed to being yelled at. Not in this setting anyway.
“You can’t use your stuff for a baby! There’s all sorts of junk in adult bath products. That explains why she smells so good I can almost eat her. She smells like you because you’ve been washing her in your stuff! Oh my god, you’ve been washing her in chemicals. And here I thought it was just your aftershave rubbing off on her head. Oh my god, you washed her hair with your stuff! What were you thinking? Jiyool-ah, your father is crazy. Crazy! We need to go shopping right now.”
After that rambling spiel, Jaejoong jumps off the bed, staggering slightly as his legs are still a little shaky but he manages alright, before swinging Jiyool back into his arms. The little baby giggles happily at being bounced around again. Jaejoong is in a bit of a tizzy, completely flabbergasted with her father, and therefore speaking without thinking about his words, nor is he putting much thought in his actions, as usual acting out of impulse. He’s practically out the bedroom door when a voice halts him dead in his tracks.
Jaejoong huffs and turns, glaring at the silent man staring at him impassively.
“Come on, already. We need to go shopping. I haven’t made lunch because there’s almost nothing in your pantry. It’s a wonder I even found rice this morning! Hurry up, we don’t have all day! Actually, maybe we do. What time is it?” But Jaejoong doesn’t wait for a reply before he continues on like a runaway train, completely oblivious to the man flexing his jaw as he clenches it. “Maybe we can go get my stuff today too if you don’t have to go back to work. I hope you don’t have to go back to work. We have a lot of things to do today. Why are you still standing there?”
Yunho doesn’t budge. He really has no idea what to make of this mere boy barking instructions at him like a drill sergeant interspersed with vocalised random flyaway thoughts. No one has ever spoken to him in this manner, his dead wife included. He can barely keep up with the rapid fire words spilling out of that beautiful mouth, his mind trying to process everything that Jaejoong is saying, and a quick glance at his daughter indicates that she is just as mesmerised. Or confused. Yes, confused. Her fingers are forgotten in her mouth, her dark eyes turned up to gaze curiously at Jaejoong.
“Well?” The one word holds a wealth of impatience. The invincibility of youth strikes again, as Jaejoong starts tapping his foot restlessly, waiting for a response. The one word conveying the fact that he is used to getting his own way.
Yunho has to fight to keep from cracking up. He has honestly never felt such a confused jumble of emotions in such a short space of time, and he feels like he’s just been sucked out to sea and left floundering in a whirlpool. He wants to laugh at the hilarity of the entire situation. Jaejoong is tapping his foot impatiently, staring expectantly at him and all he wants to do is bend over and laugh. Who is this boy? What the hell has he gotten himself into? But even as those thoughts enter his mind, he doesn’t even consider the idea of withdrawing his offer of a job. Jiyool is happy. That’s all there is to it. He has never heard nor seen his daughter giggle with anyone except him, and for her to be at ease enough with Jaejoong to do so is enough for Yunho. The boy seems to drag out long-forgotten behavioural impulses from him, forcing him to engage even when he tries to stay distant. He hasn’t decided if this is a good or bad thing though, as his cold mask has served him well for many years.
“We don’t have all day, you know. Are we just going to stand here and stare at each other?”
This boy really has no sense of self-preservation. At all. He’s lucky that Yunho is more amused than annoyed at being ordered around this way. He knows Jaejoong is acting out of concern for his daughter if his earlier lecture about chemicals in bath products is anything to go by, and Yunho can forgive him this once. Instead of replying though, he walks towards Jaejoong, who starts backing away. Maybe he does have a bit of sense after all?
Jaejoong walks backwards as Yunho approaches him, wincing when he realises just how bossy he sounds. God, what a start to this job? He’s telling his employer what to do. Will he ever learn? He can picture his umma shaking her head at him. Everyone’s always shaking their heads at him, but it’s usually accompanied by a fond smile. Oh well. Yunho will learn soon enough. It’s better that he knows what he’s like than get shocked later on. A sudden recollection clouds his head briefly, as he remembers the strange stains on the mattress of the bed when he changed the sheets. The stray thought leaves him almost as soon as it flits across his mind though when Yunho takes Jiyool out of his arms, kissing his daughter on the cheek and she curls into him almost immediately, as if she’s used to doing this, tucking her head under his chin.
“Have you showered?”
“Yes, you. If we’re going out, you should probably shower.”
“Are you saying I smell?”
Jaejoong’s voice is indignant, and Yunho has to really fight to keep from smiling at his expression.
“I’m not saying that, but it’s a rather humid day and you’ve been in those clothes for awhile. I’m sure you’ll fit into one of my shirts.”
Jaejoong wrinkles his nose and pouts, staring up at the man who is a good three inches taller than his 5”10 frame. He shrugs off his hoodie and takes a whiff, frowning ferociously at the offending piece of clothing when he finds that he is indeed less than fragrant. How embarrassing! He lets out a huff and nods at Yunho. He is curious to see his lips quirk, but the action is brief and out of his sight when Yunho turns and heads to his closet. The man doesn’t even bother to turn around when he tells him to get in the shower now. Oh well, it’s not like Jaejoong hasn’t been bossing him around either.
It is less than fifteen minutes later that Jaejoong finds himself staring at his reflection in the full length mirror inside Yunho’s vast walk-in-closet. He is still trying to contain his horror at all the crap he found in the ingredients list of the man’s shower gel, willing himself to let it go. The man is a single father and doesn’t know any better. That’s what he’s here for. To make sure this doesn’t happen again! He pushes at his wet fringe annoyedly. Why did he wash his hair? Assuming a hair dryer exists in this bachelor pad is clearly something he shouldn’t have done. That’ll teach him about assumptions. He takes one last look at himself. He is dressed in a white v-neck, loose on him and so the V dips lower than it normally would. Yunho has also given him a Seoul University hoodie. It smells a little musky, and judging from the size, was probably from an era when Yunho was a lot narrower in the shoulders. However it fits him well and a couple of sprays of Yunho’s cologne over the hoodie, and Jaejoong is more than happy to wear it.
The boy finally emerges from the closet, running his hands through his still damp hair, the blonde locks a little darker when wet. As he shakes his hair out, Yunho is struck by how feminine he looks. He remembers his question from last night, and Jaejoong’s answer; no girlfriend or boyfriend. Jaejoong doesn’t spare him a glance as he walks out the bedroom and Yunho is left to trail bemusedly in his wake, his little girl still tucked under his chin. Surprisingly though, he goes into Jiyool’s room.
When he enters, he finds Jaejoong rummaging through her dresser, looking for something.
“What are you doing?”
“Looking for hair clips.”
“She’s wearing a head band.”
“Not for her, for me. Ah! Found some.”
And to Yunho’s amusement, Jaejoong clips up his fringe with his daughter’s bright yellow sunflower hair clips. The two flowers with smiley faces on them wink teasingly in the sunlight streaming through the window, and Yunho is once again mesmerised. This boy is doing weird things to his head.
‘Alright, let’s go.”
Jaejoong breezes past him, grabbing the baby bag Yunho had prepared and once again, Yunho is left trailing after the whirlwind. He shakes his head ruefully, lifting his daughter out from under his chin so they are looking at each other. Identical almond eyes gaze at each other, and Jiyool gurgles around her fingers, smiling at her father who smiles back, giving her what he doesn’t give anyone else. In a mimicry of Jaejoong earlier, he speaks softly to his baby girl.
“Jiyool-ah, am I crazy? What have I done?”
The trip to the supermarket takes far longer than anticipated. Yunho is sure that Jaejoong is determined to buy up at least one of everything. The large shopping cart is so laden that when they turn up at the counter, the checkout girl stares at it in horror, before calling her supervisor who sends two other checkout assistants to help ring up the purchase. Yunho simply watches as Jaejoong chats amiably with the three girls, who keep darting looks back at him and then at Jaejoong, blushing nervously as the young man continues his mostly one-sided chatter.
“You do realise this isn’t all going to fit in the car? I don’t own a truck.”
“Oh, I’m sure you could buy one,” comes the blithe reply. “But don’t worry, I’ve got that sorted.” Jaejoong turns away from the girls, looking around before spotting his target. “Lee-ssi! Lee-ssi!” he calls out, waving animatedly at the supervisor from earlier who hurries to the smiling young man. “Could you arrange to have this delivered tonight please? Between 5 and 6pm? Oh wait!” Jaejoong turns his beguiling doe eyes at Yunho who merely crooks an eyebrow at him. “Do you think we’ll be home by then?”
Yunho checks his watch, and then looks at the teenager waiting expectantly, before drawling lazily. “It all depends on you. Do you think we can be home by 5? We still need to go to the baby store, and then to get your things. It’s almost 2:30 right now.”
“Damn it! Ooops!” Jaejoong claps his hand over his mouth, staring at Jiyool who is watching the goings on in fascination. He was carrying her earlier but she kept grabbing stuff out of the cart. As it is, he is still wearing the kangaroo pouch, Yunho having opted to just carry her without one. “Can you cover her ears? I want to swear.” Jaejoong whispers loudly.
Yunho shoots a bland glance at the trio of girls who’ve started giggling at the teenager’s strange words.
“Hurry! Cover her ears, I don’t want her to hear me swear.”
“I think it’s a little too late for that,” Yunho responds drily.
Jaejoong makes a strange sound, a mix between a grunt and a huff, and reaches up to cover Jiyool’s ears himself before looking over his shoulder, back at the supervisor who is gaping at the exceedingly odd couple.
“Damn it! Ok, that wasn’t as satisfying as I thought it would be after all that. This man doesn’t take instructions very well, let me tell you.” Jaejoong pouts as he nods towards Yunho before continuing. “Can you have the groceries delivered between 8 and 9pm then? I wanted to make dinner tonight but clearly that isn’t going to happen. Damn! Fuck! Hell! Ok I got that out of my system.” He removes his hands from Jiyool’s ears, turning his body back around to face his audience.
It really is an audience, their checkout counter now surrounded by amused supermarket patrons as well as an assorted number of staff. Quite a few of them recognise Yunho, though fewer recognise the beautiful blonde boy with him. Those who know both are curious as to what they’re doing together. The news of the youngest Kim child, and the scandal-ridden head of the Jung conglomerate of companies, being seen together in such a domestic setting, will spread throughout the city before nightfall.
Yunho realises they’re being scrutinised, every action noted and filed away to be spread far and wide later on. However, as usual, he doesn’t care. Nothing can hurt him more than he’s already been hurt and if a storm comes raging on his doorstep from this impromptu outing, then so be it. It’s not something he isn’t used to although seeing as who Jaejoong’s father is, he hopes the media will at least keep their distance. Something inside Yunho though is itching to play, a long-forgotten part of him waking slowly from being put in stasis for over a decade. Maybe it is rejoicing at the silence in his mind from his dead wife’s cruel taunts. Maybe it is the lack of proper sleep or sustenance, breakfast being a distant memory. Maybe it is the fact that his daughter doesn’t seem as sick as she was last night, and is currently snuggling contentedly in his arms. Maybe it is the blonde boy currently tickling his baby girl under her chin, cooing at her while she giggles at him. Maybe it is all of the above. Yunho will certainly find many excuses for his actions in the next few moments.
“You can still make dinner if you like. I enjoyed the kimchi fried rice you made for breakfast this morning.” Yunho takes a step closer, crowding Jaejoong against the counter but the boy doesn’t bat an eyelid, still cooing at Jiyool. He hums in response, tilting his head to stare up at Yunho, a pout playing about his lips as he thinks about it. Then the boy turns around, in the limited space he has, to talk to the supervisor, and Yunho drops a hand to the small of his back, his touch very light against the hoodie, so light that Jaejoong will not feel it unless he takes a step back. However to all those watching, his actions are very interesting indeed.
“Lee-ssi, can you have them delivered at 8pm on the dot? No later, otherwise I’m not coming back here to shop.” Jaejoong wags a playful finger in the supervisor’s face as he sends a disarming smile his way, showing that he’s not too serious about it, but wants to ensure he has his purchases at the right time.
“S-sure. J-Jung-ssi.” The man stutters mistakenly in response, eyes wide over Jaejoong’s head as Yunho smirks, his face betraying absolutely nothing despite the quirk of his lips.
“Jung-ssi? I’m Kim. Kim Jaejoong. He’s Jung.” Jaejoong pops a thumb over his shoulder not bothering to turn around. Whispers are flowing through as the crowd titters, but he is oblivious to them and the man amusing himself at his expense behind him.
The supervisor apologises profusely, eyes darting down to the hand in the small of Jaejoong’s back, and back up to the tall man carrying a pretty baby in his other arm. Yunho simply cocks an eyebrow at the supervisor, his features a cold mask, and the man looks away in a hurry, shaking as he feels the chill. The couple is as different as night and day. One dark and cold and the other light and effervescent. Jung sure knows how to pick them though. First, the Choi heiress and now the Kim heir? It’s not as if he needs their money, the man is apparently richer than both those families combined. He is curious but he values his life, and so he keeps his tongue, nodding at Jaejoong who repeats his request for the groceries to be delivered at 8pm, wanting to hurry back to his station as soon as possible, away from those dark soulless eyes. He even sends up a prayer for the Kim boy’s safety, just in case, even though he doesn’t appear to need it.
As the couple leave with the baby, now transferred back into Jaejoong’s front pack, the supermarket is rife with speculation about the two. Yet another interesting tidbit will be added to the news travelling around the city about them. News that horrifies the fourth Kim daughter, and somewhat amuses the Kim magnate and his wife.
They eat on the go, Jaejoong too excited about going to the baby shop that his sisters frequent, that he isn’t willing to stop. The drive is a rather long half hour, and Jaejoong feeds both Jungs along the way. He chatters continuously about everything and nothing, blissfully oblivious to the odd looks Yunho is throwing him in the rearview mirror every single time he gets hand fed kimbap, and Jaejoong’s fingers brush against his lips.
Yunho is woefully unprepared for the force of nature that is Jaejoong. For someone completely cut off for so many years from genuine, affectionate, human contact, he doesn’t really know what to make of the young man who seems to share it around so freely. He treats everyone with the same friendly attention, whether male or female. Yunho has tried to find a distinction between the way the teenager interacts with either sex but so far, the only difference that stands out is that the boy is currently feeding him half eaten kimbap by hand. It’s hilarious really, and Yunho keeps wanting to say something about it, but Jiyool is gurgling happily in the back as Jaejoong talks to her, and he is loathe to say anything to change the atmosphere in the car. But the fact that Jaejoong is taking a bite out of the kimbap before feeding the other half to Yunho is baffling to say the least. Is this how everyone acts? Surely not.
The baby shop is practically a novelty store to Yunho. Jaejoong disappears within it with Jiyool and Yunho has no idea where the two have gotten to as he wanders along the myriad of aisles. The store is even bigger than the supermarket and almost ninety percent of the shoppers are female, staring and whispering as he walks past. Jaejoong finally rescues him somewhere in the breast pump aisle, giggling behind Jiyool’s dark head as he passes her over to him. However just as he does it, a woman walks past and bites out a single malice-laden word.
Yunho freezes. He’s gone almost an entire day without this and now it happens, in the most unlikely of places, while he is carrying his baby. However before he can say a word, Jaejoong turns on the woman, and Yunho is treated to a protection instinct that rivals his own, as Jaejoong unleashes the furies of hell on her.
Jaejoong speaks before he thinks, simply acting on instinct and impulse as he turns on the foul woman who’d just dared to say what she did. All he can see in his mind’s eye is Yunho with Jiyool, the care and affection he shows towards his daughter, the way he puts up with Jaejoong’s own idiosyncrasies and allowing him to take charge of their day. He even goes back to the instance when Yunho had almost left the house half-naked because he thought that Jiyool had been taken, and his tone of voice when Jaejoong tells him that Jiyool had thrown up. He remembers the difficult night they had and Yunho’s worried expression every time his daughter woke and wouldn’t stop screaming. He remembers the man singing with him to soothe his baby girl, and he remembers how the man seemed to struggle as they entered his oddly decorated bedroom. He remembers all this and more, because he can see past that cold exterior. He is almost certain Yunho has been hurt really badly in the past and he does not deserve to be treated this way. Not to mention the fact that little innocent Jiyool is here. And so Jaejoong goes all mama bear on the silly woman.
Yunho can only stare, completely mystified at the change in the young man, as he holds Jiyool close, a hand cradling her head as she curls into his chest. He presses his mouth against her slightly upturned forehead, lips continually pursed and relaxed as he kisses her, both father and daughter staring in mute fascination at the furious vision standing protectively in front of them as he tells the woman off. He does it politely of course, Yunho doesn’t think Jaejoong truly has anything within him to be cruel, but the anger behind it is very clear. You know it is serious when the unaffected teenager starts throwing his surname around and the clout they have. He even waves the manager over and tells her in no uncertain terms that if she allows someone so willing to openly slander another person in front of their child, then she can say goodbye to the Kim family ever patronising her shop ever again. It is practically impossible to describe how angry he is, but he is almost vibrating from it. Yunho can sense every single eye in the store turned toward them, some even looking at him expectantly, as if he should do something.
Deciding to give it a try, he puts a hand on Jaejoong’s shoulder. Instead of stopping, the boy merely takes a step back, putting his own hand over Yunho’s and squeezing, as if trying to reassure him. He doesn’t stop his blistering tirade though, and when he’s done with the woman, he turns to end with a challenge to the entire room.
“Does anyone else have a problem with Jung Yunho?”
He is met by silence, the only sound being the occasional cries of babies scattered around the room.
“Anyone? No? Good. I suggest you keep it that way.”
Jaejoong whirls around and runs straight into Yunho who staggers slightly, but holds his ground. His hand drops to Jaejoong’s waist though to steady him, and they stare at each other, Jiyool squashed between them though the baby doesn’t seem to mind. They only break eye contact when the little girl, spotting the hair clips in Jaejoong’s hair, reaches out and tugs at them, causing the teenager to wince as she grabs a fistful of hair in the process, and then chuckle as she giggles at the funny face he makes.
Despite the unfortunate turn of events in the baby shop, Jaejoong manages to do a good job of filling the car with purchases. Anything that Jiyool shows even the slightest interest towards, ends up in the shopping cart. Everyone gives them a wide berth, but almost no one stops looking at them, stunned at the contrast of the earlier outburst from the now smiling and laughing blonde boy. Even they notice the change and yet again, something else is added to the rumours already circulating around the city about the striking pair and the little baby girl. This time the news prompts Jaejoong’s mother to pick up the phone to call her wayward son.
Meanwhile in the library of a certain mansion…
“Why are you calling Jaejoongie?”
“Don’t you think I should? I’ve had so many phonecalls from concerned friends that I really think we need to get the story straight from him.”
“Do you remember Jung Yunho before he got married?”
“Yes, he was such a sweet boy. I don’t know what happened. He wouldn’t even acknowledge us, remember?”
“Leave Joongie to him. I knew his parents and they were a cold pair. His wife was even worse despite her beautiful face and empty smiles. She never fooled me. He needs some sun in his life.”
“But my baby boy?”
“Yah, he’s almost twenty. He can look after himself.”
“Maybe I should invite him over for lunch on Sunday.”
“Aren’t you getting ahead of yourself? I’m sure the poor man has his hands full with our flighty son and you want to throw him to the lions?”
“Joongie will look after him.”
The man sighs as he gazes fondly at his wife. Forty-three years of marriage and still going strong. He wants that for all his children, and most have gotten there. He only has his youngest left, the most precocious child out of the nine, and the most beloved even though they do try very hard not to pick favourites. It’s impossible not to love Jaejoong though, the boy is like a ray of sunshine on a dreary day, lighting up everything and everyone around him. He’s always kept an eye on Jung Yunho. He doesn’t know why but the change in the man was too abrupt for it to have occurred naturally, and the intrepid journalist in him, forced to work his way up the ranks by his grandfather, can smell a story a mile away. There is definitely a story attached to the Jung magnate, and if anyone is able to sniff it out and fix it, it will be Jaejoong. Out of all his children, his youngest is the one with the most developed instinct, and he trusts his son’s judgment even though he may not always agree with it. He finally responds to his wife’s statement, echoing her, but not quite meaning it the way she probably does.
“Yes, Joongie will look after him.”
AN: I am absolutely astounded and overwhelmed by how much love this story is getting even though YunJae + baby has already been done to death and I was worried about whether everyone would be sick of “oh another baby fic”. I’m humbled by your comments and a little apprehensive because I want to do justice to this story and I’m worried I might not. The story is pretty definite in my head as to where it’s going and what happens (and happened) etc, I just don’t know how long it’ll be especially since I’m the most ridiculously wordy person ever omg… Anyway, much love to everyone who has taken the time to tell me how much and what they enjoy about this fic of mine.