AN1: I really am on hiatus. After SB ended, all my muses suddenly disappeared. Changmin, Yunho, Jaejoong, even Jiyool all beat a hasty retreat lol. I think they know I’m flat out busy and don’t want to hassle me, which is kind of them and good for me but bad for my readers heh.
AN2: You can find the drabbles and oneshots for this ‘verse here
“Don’t bother us unless blood or fire is involved.”
Jessica and Krystal laugh at Jaejoong’s half-serious instructions, before nodding and chasing after the four older Jung children who have already scattered the second their parents laid out the thick blanket. It is the beginning of spring, and it is still fairly cool, but the children are resilient and a little cold won’t hurt them. After much lobbying by the girls and the twins, both Yunho and Jaejoong give in, taking them to the nearby park. Meeting Jessica and Krystal there is purely coincidental and the adults are more than happy to relinquish their children to their dependable nieces. Jessica is already twenty one, an adult herself, studying to be an early childhood teacher, and she is always more than happy to practice her skills on any of her various cousins. If asked, she will deny it, but everyone knows she has a very soft spot for her only uncle’s brood of kids.
Yunho and Jaejoong sprawl out in the middle of the park, enjoying the sun, and the blissful quiet. Their toddler is asleep between them, so Yunho and Jaejoong are actually experiencing a rare moment of peace. Changmin has been a little sick lately, and in the futile effort of keeping it from the other children, he has been quarantined with his parents. The youngest is not yet old enough to really understand exactly why he isn’t allowed to play with his siblings, especially his sisters, and after a rather noisy tantrum, he has cried himself to sleep.
Jaejoong props himself up on his elbow, and cards his hands through his baby’s hair, gazing at the chubby toddler fondly.
“I think he’s almost fine now.”
“Judging from how loud he was, I’d say he’s much better.” Yunho moves to mirror Jaejoong, but gazing at his wife rather than his son.
Jaejoong rolls his eyes at his husband. “I know you have a soft spot for the brat but I couldn’t have Jiyool and JJ catch it. Jiyool has that little show and tell thing with you that she’s been talking about for weeks, and JJ has her audition for the school choir. I can’t sacrifice two children for one.”
“I kinda like it when he calls you naughty Mama though,” Yunho retorts with a smirk.
Jaejoong looks down at their son, and then back up at Yunho, batting his eyelashes almost mockingly, before replying in a husky whisper.
“I like it better when you call me naughty Mama…” he finishes it with a suggestive sweep of his tongue over his lower lip, pulling a heartfelt groan from his husband who slumps onto his back, an arm over his face, moaning as if in pain.
“Why did I have to marry the only man who can turn me on with one sentence in the middle of a public park surrounded by my five children and two grown nieces?”
“You love it.” Jaejoong chuckles, completely unrepentant. Teasing Yunho is fun.
Before Yunho can reply, their short-lived peace is broken by some shouting.
“Yunho oppa! Uncle Jaejae! Oppa! Come quick!”
Both Yunho and Jaejoong bolt upright as they see Krystal running towards them. They look at each other, worry in their eyes, Jaejoong’s instructions resonating in both their heads. Without missing a beat, Yunho scoops up the sleeping toddler who is starting to wake, but as his father whispers soothingly in his ear, he drowses off back again.
Krystal grabs Jaejoong’s hand, no one bothering with the blanket at all as they hurry along with her. Jaejoong keeps asking her what the problem is, and she just shakes her head. To his horror, they are heading for the large drain lining one side of the park. It is an overflow drain, used to take away excess water when it rains unseasonably heavily. It hasn’t rained at all that week, and so the drain is probably empty, but it is still a dangerous place for four children under the age of seven.
“Krystal. What is going on?” Yunho’s voice is brusque, speaking up for the first time when Jaejoong’s pleas to his niece go unanswered.
The teenager turns to look at Yunho, suddenly aware that she has scared her uncle and his husband. She shakes her head at him, smiling to reassure him.
“Oppa, they’re ok, I promise. I’m sorry for scaring you. I know you said blood and fire but Jessica said you must see this.”
By now they have reached the drain, where both parents heave a sigh of relief when they see that it is empty and their children alright. However, their relief is short-lived when they realise that their four kids are actually in the drain. It is deep enough that if it were full, the water will be well over Jiyool’s head. She is the tallest, but not by much, maybe a centimeter but even then, it’s a little generous. JJ is the tiniest, a petite wee little girl, her younger brothers already almost a head taller than her.
All four are on the ledge inside the drain. The ledge would have kept their noses above water if the drain had been full, though not JJ. The children appear to be smart enough to not have jumped off that ledge and into the drain fully because the distance to the floor of the drain is probably the length of JJ’s body.
“Sica! Why the hell did you let them go into the drain?” Jaejoong hisses at his niece, his eyes never leaving his children who seem to be oblivious to their audience.
“They were already in it by the time I got here. Your kids move very fast. There is no way to get them out till they reach the other end of that ledge. I guess you can probably lean over and haul them out but they’re ok.”
“Ok? They are in a drain!” Jaejoong’s voice is a little high as he is mentally envisioning a great wall of water suddenly coming down the drain and washing his children away. Unlike him though, all four can swim although that’s not really a relief to him at this stage. His fanciful imagination is interrupted by Jessica.
“Well, I seem to recall you taking Chaerin and I on a walk and we ended up in a drain too.”
“Look! This is why I wanted you to come.”
Three adults, and an almost-adult watch as the children come to a gap in the ledge. The gap is to allow water to flow in from another smaller drain. The only way to get across is to jump, which the two boys do easily. They both turn, coaxing JJ to come over. The young girl, in her formerly white, light winter jacket hesitates. Her older sister has her head bent, as they confer.
“JJ can’t make that jump. Her legs are too short.” Yunho’s voice is soft, but the worry in it is evident as he states a fact all of them are thinking about. She can make the jump if she runs, but unlike her older sister, JJ is not really the type who would.
“JJ, we can do like we did earlier.” Junsu’s voice reaches his audience as he calls out to his older sister. At that age, children seem to have two volumes. Loud and louder. Junsu is particularly loud, his voice echoing in the drain.
“But you’ll get into trouble with Mama! Look, your jacket is already dirty and so is mine.”
“Just say it’s my fault.” Yoochun speaks up, pushing Junsu behind him.
“I’m the oldest here. If it’s anyone’s fault, it’s mine.”
“But I’m the one who wanted to pick those flowers.” JJ might be tiny but her voice is the loudest amongst them all.
At JJ’s words, both Yunho and Jaejoong turn to look at her hands, and true enough, she is clutching a handful of pretty blue flowers. Yunho’s eyes sweep the length of the drain, to find that the flowers she is holding are growing in the gaps in the cement of the wall of the drain.
Spring has brought forth the blooms, growing in the unlikeliest of places. JJ has her mama’s eyes, seeing beauty in everything, even the tiniest little flower in the wall of a large drain.
“You wanted them for Minnie because he likes blue. I think Mama won’t get mad about your jacket if you explain.”
“Come on, JJ. Like last time.” This time it is Yoochun coaxing his sister.
“Just leave me here. You go, and I’ll wait here.”
All her three siblings shake their heads vehemently. Junsu’s voice is loud and high, as he pushes his brother behind him, stepping forward, his foot almost off his side of the gap in the ledge, making Jaejoong squeak.
“No! We are not leaving you!” And with those words, he takes a giant step across the ledge, holding onto the side wall to keep his balance, his older brother hovering anxiously behind him as he lowers himself onto his front, stretching his body and legs across the gap, making a bridge.
Both Yunho and Jaejoong’s mouths drop open as they watch, JJ turning to hand her flowers to Jiyool, and then clambering across Junsu’s prone body, apologising the whole way. Yoochun pulls her upright when she reaches the other side, and then both maneuver to get Junsu back on his feet. Once that is done, they take a few steps back, waiting for their oldest sister who also takes a few steps back, before running forward and leaping over the gap easily. JJ immediately falls into her for a hug, before taking her flowers back, and then all four continue on along the ledge. The twins are arm in arm and so are the girls, chattering happily as they pick flowers from the wall.
There is one more gap to navigate, and the four Jung children repeat the process all over again. However, this time, just before Jiyool jumps over, she turns her head, and catches sight of their audience who have not moved since arriving. She is utterly disconcerted, freezing as four pairs of eyes pin her, and the six and a half year old steps back, leaning against the wall, her mouth opening and shutting but no sound coming out.
“Yoolie! Come on! We have to get back to noona before she gets mad and tells Mama and Daddy that we’ve run off.”
Instead of replying, Jiyool simply lifts her hand and points. Her younger siblings all turn, and the brief silence is broken by a loud shriek from Yoochun who immediately steps forward, pushing Junsu and JJ behind him.
“Daddy! Mama! I can explain!”
Jaejoong has no idea whether to laugh or cry. His children are in a drain. There are streaks of dirt on Junsu’s face and hands, as well as his jacket. JJ is no better though her face is clean. Both Yoochun and Jiyool look petrified at being caught, Junsu and JJ look to be a little stunned at being discovered but with Yoochun in front of them, Jaejoong cannot see their expressions.
Yunho moves first, handing over the still sleeping Changmin to an amused Jessica, before he grabs Jaejoong’s hand and they walk to the bridge spanning the drain, crossing it and getting to the other side where their children are.
Jaejoong coaxes the three already across the ledge to climb up the short flight of steps that will take them out of the drain, while Yunho simply leans down, hooks his hands under Jiyool’s shoulders, and hauls their oldest daughter out of the drain. They line all four up in front of them, before sitting down cross-legged on the grass.
The silence is getting uncomfortable for the Jung children, their heads bowed, all their hands are filled with blue flowers, not to mention being covered in dirt. There is grime on each child; under their nails, their hands, some streaks on their jackets, Jiyool and JJ’s leggings, the twins’ pants, and in Junsu’s case, also his face.
“Daddy, we can explain.” Jiyool finally breaks the silence, though she is unable to lift her head to look at her father, her eyes resolutely downcast as she stares at her scuffed new shoes.
JJ turns to look at her sister when she speaks, then at her silent brothers, Yoochun rubbing his nose as he sniffles, before turning back to her parents, her eyes filling with tears, before she gives in, and starts to cry. Jaejoong immediately leans forward to pull her into his lap, where she turns her face into his chest, still crying.
“Hush, JJ. Baby girl, you’re not in trouble.”
“She’s not?” Jiyool finally looks up, her eyes are also wet, but she is not crying.
“All of you aren’t.” Yunho speaks up, his eyes on his sons who both now look up. He opens his arms, and the twins both fall into his lap, apologising profusely as they clutch at each other and their father.
Jaejoong shifts JJ, making room for Jiyool, and he gestures for her to come over, which she does immediately. Instead of sitting in his lap though, she lays out on the grass, laying her head on his thigh, smiling a watery smile when he starts carding his hand through her long hair, untangling it gently.
“You’re not in trouble this time, but please don’t do it again. You almost gave me a heart attack when I saw the four of you in that drain.” Jaejoong’s voice is soft, JJ is sniffling against his chest, but she has stopped crying.
“I-I-I just wanted to give Minnie some flowers because he’s sick.” JJ brings up her hand to show her mama the flowers she picked, but in the hubbub, she has accidentally crushed them. She lets out a dismayed sound, attracting the attention of her other siblings.
The boys immediately hop out of their father’s lap to hand their tearful sister the flowers they are holding which have miraculously, survived somehow. Jiyool too gives her the flowers she is holding.
As JJ gathers the more-or-less intact flowers from them, Jessica and Krystal plop down opposite Yunho and Jaejoong. Changmin is awake and looking around, sleepily fisting his eyes. His mouth is pouty, and his hat has been knocked slightly askew which makes him look even more forlorn. He finally blinks around, seeing everyone’s eyes on him. However, the first person he sees is his mama, and he sniffs at Jaejoong, turning away because he is still not happy with the man, causing his mama to laugh at him. He sees his father, and his brothers, and his eyes light up, struggling in Jessica’s arms immediately.
“Down Sica, down! Let me go! Daddy! Daddy!”
Jessica lets him go immediately, and the slightly round toddler stands, a little wobbly at first after having been asleep, before he waddles the short distance to his daddy, falling with a giggle in between the twins who immediately hug him.
Jaejoong nudges JJ who is watching with a smile on her face, and she crawls out of his lap, going on her knees and walking on them towards her father and brothers. Jiyool gets up to get out of the way, taking her seat and sitting squarely in the middle of Jaejoong’s lap. Her mama leans forward, wrapping his arms around her, his nose in her hair as they watch.
By now, Changmin has managed to wiggle his bottom in between the twins and is sitting happily, leaning against his father’s chest, trying to coax his brothers into playing ball with him. He is almost two, and his vocabulary has increased exponentially, always wanting to be in the middle of everything with his older siblings and not wanting to be left out. He finally notices JJ in front of him and he beams a toothy smile at his sister. She offers him her handful of blue flowers with a smile, and he looks down at them and back at her, before taking them and looking at them curiously.
“Yes, Minnie, pretty blue flowers!” JJ smiles happily as her brother seems to like them.
Changmin’s eyes immediately dart over to his oldest sister. “Pretty. Yoolie is pretty.”
“Yes, baby. Yoolie is pretty.” Yunho chuckles as he kisses the top of his son’s head, his nieces laughing along with him while Jiyool blushes and snuggles back even further into her mama.
Changmin’s eyes move over to Jessica, distracted by her laughter and he smiles at her. “Sica, pretty.”
“Yah, Minnie.” Jaejoong laughs, hugging his daughter tighter as his son turns towards him. “You’re too young to be chatting up pretty girls.”
“Oh, I don’t mind. He’s a cutie. And with you and Yunho oppa as parents, I might become a cougar because that kid is going to be beautiful.”
Changmin latches onto the last word, the most familiar word to him, having heard it often enough in his home. “Beautiful. Mama, beautiful.”
“Yes, love. Your mama is very beautiful.” Yunho’s kisses his son again, though his eyes are on his wife who is hiding his face behind Jiyool’s head so only his doe eyes are showing.
“Mama, beautiful!” Changmin bounces in his father’s lap, momentarily forgetting that he is still a little annoyed with Jaejoong, happy to bask in the attention of his daddy.
“I definitely prefer this to naughty Mama.” Jaejoong chuckles, as he watches his son.
Their little gathering is filled with groans as the brat starts squawking again, reminded that he is annoyed with his mama, though one of the groans is for a completely different reason to the others…
AN: Hope y’all will still remember me when I come back lol…whenever that is. Oh and as you might have noticed… this is a Nicki-length “drabble”… OTL