Genre: AU, slice of life
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 :P
AN1: Lol I know most of you were expecting an ICE or LITI update but this wouldn’t let me go and I was laughing on the bus on the way to the bank thinking about it so I had to write it. As usual, what the muse wants the muse gets :P I can’t force him to do anything especially since my muse is Jaejoong and we all know how impossible he is… Basically when it comes to a fight between YunJae's children and Anyang Halla, YunJae's kids ALWAYS win... OTL
AN2: Un-betaed and although this is from my Sleeping Beauty verse, you don't need to have read it. All my oneshots and drabbles for the Sleeping Beauty universe can be found HERE
“I still can’t believe you didn’t organise a costume for me!” Yunho grumbles under his breath as he watches his children at the doorstep of the second last house on the block listening intently to a tall man holding a bunch of bananas. They’ve been walking for almost two hours now, slowly because of Jiyool’s injured toe, but walking nonetheless. He had finished his meeting early just to be able to join his family in the time honoured American tradition of dressing up and going round getting cavity inducing concoctions. He is actually rather pleased that his children are much better behaved than the other kids he’s seen when given creative alternatives to the usual chocolates and sweets.
Three houses in a row now, the children have been given fruit instead of candy. At one it was a large box of raisins, at another it was an apple and at the third house here, they had not only been given a banana but also a lecture on the bad effects of candy on teeth. He has to hide a smile when his twins in their little lamb costumes finally plonk themselves on the top step, leaning into each other and drooping, almost nodding off as they wait patiently for the man to finish his spiel. His girls are both listening raptly, eyes wide, mouth parted as the man describes cavities in rather painful detail.
When he finally lets them go, Jiyool actually shudders as she glances into her basket, placing her banana carefully right at the top. As they turn to leave, the man gestures for Yunho and Jaejoong to come up to him.
Both Yunho and Jaejoong walk towards the man, placing a hand on the heads of each of their children as they walk past in a silent request for them to wait. With so many children, the two have developed their own sign language.
A hand to the head means stay, whether they lay a hand on the children’s heads or their own heads if they are at a distance from the children. A fist in the air, and then to the temple means come to them now. If their are fingers out, the number of fingers corresponds to each child. One finger means Jiyool is to come. Two, means JJ. Three for Yoochun and four for Junsu. Changmin is not even walking yet but when he is old enough to understand, he will be five.
A hand against the mouth, palm against the lips means immediate silence, and fingertips to the lips means food is ready.
This saves Yunho and Jaejoong needing to shout for their children unlike most other parents, and all the children know better than to disobey their parents. Jiyool had tried a few times to pretend not to see them, and Jaejoong had taken her to an optometrist after the third time it happens. Sufficiently contrite after that, she passes on the wisdom of not ignoring their parents to her siblings.
The four huddle by the gate, whispering quietly as they wait for their mama and daddy.
“I don’t know if I want to eat all this candy…”
JJ wrinkles her nose as she looks into her own basket, before looking up and shaking her head solemnly at her sister. “I do. I’ll have your candy if you don’t want it.”
“Candy yummy,” Yoochun points out as he looks at his own bucket and then at his older sisters’ wicker baskets.
“Sleepy…” Junsu slurs slightly as he drops his bucket and steps forward, wrapping his arms around Jiyool and nuzzling into her. “Candy yummy sleepy.”
Jiyool giggles as her brother’s furry costume tickles her nose. She is dressed as Little Bo Peep, her little prop hook helping her hobble along. Her daddy had offered to carry her but she refused. Her twin brothers are both dressed as her sheep, or lambs as she corrected the woman at the costume shop, because they’re still young. JJ is a pretty princess in purple complete with tiara, and she’s taken to twirling around randomly every now and again because her skirt spreads out beautifully when she does so.
Their mama is dressed as a lion. She has no idea why he chose to be a lion, but since they only baby costume left is a lion cub, she reckons it makes sense. But then her mama isn’t really a complete lion. He is just in furry overalls, with a long tail and lion ears, and she reasons again that this is because of Minnie. He needs to feed and if her Mama was dressed as a real lion then how will Minnie get his milk?
Her eyes stray over to her father who is smiling as they talk to the strange tall man. Now he is not really in costume. He has furry ears like Mama, and they’re probably tiger ears. He is wearing one of Mama’s striped hoodies that he usually wears to carry Minnie in. She figures it’s probably because they didn’t get a costume for him because he was at work. She looks at Tigger sitting awkwardly on his shoulder, sewed into place hurriedly by Mama just before they left and she sighs. Her poor toy. Daddy must be a tiger. She hasn’t had time all evening to actually chat with her parents, too caught up in the excitement of a new place, new experience and making new friends that she didn’t ask.
“That’s the first time tonight that children have actually listened to the entirety of my lecture.”
“Really?” Jaejoong queries, before hiding his amusement by turning away, dropping one of the straps of his overalls again as Changmin starts to fret. It is way past his bedtime and he knows the baby is going to be howling soon because the more tired he gets, the more enraged he is that the world is keeping him from his comfortable bed. His little bundle of joy is wrapped up in a cute lion cub costume, his cherubic face staring out from the animal hood he is wearing, complete with adorable furry ears. The weather is slightly cool so he is thankful for the warmer costume. The girls both claim to be alright and he believes them.
Yoochun and Junsu are both in similar costumes, but as sheep, and Jaejoong really wants to hurry home soon because he is sure a toilet episode isn’t too far off, and in their one piece costume, it will be naked twins all over again. He is really going to have to work on this strange habit of theirs.
He is still musing, as Changmin feeds, when Yunho nudges him.
Jaejoong smiles politely at the tall man who winks at him, causing him to bite his lip as he allows Yunho to guide him down the path, back to their waiting children.
“What was that about?”
“He just wanted to tell us what great children we have.”
“You weren’t listening?”
Yunho chuckles as he tucks Jaejoong under his arm, leaning over to look at the furiously feeding baby in his arms. Changmin’s eyes are on him, and upon getting his daddy’s attention, the little munchkin pulls off, milky drool down his chin as he gurgles and gives him his unique lopsided eye smile, before turning back, and snuffling around for his milk again. Yunho watches as Jaejoong guides the searching mouth back in place, and he knows his son is tired. The baby usually has no trouble finding his way.
“Maybe we should make this the last stop?”
“No! Daddy, please just one more?” Jiyool speaks up immediately, overhearing her father’s remarks as they come to a stop in front of them. She stares up imploringly, even though she is well aware of the half asleep twin currently clinging to her, and Yoochun hugging his brother from behind and leaning sleepily into him as well. However she is also old enough to know that this is a special occurrence and she doesn’t want to miss out
Junsu leans away from his sister, blinking sleepily at her, before he mimics her, though not really knowing what she’s talking about.
“Daddy, one more.”
“One more,” Yoochun echoes his twin, though his eyes are shut and he too has no idea what’s going on.
Yunho chuckles before he crouches next to the sleepy twosome.
“Come on, one more but I’m carrying you alright?”
Yunho tugs both twins into his arms, and they comply willingly, their buckets of candy forgotten as they hug their daddy as he stands up easily with them in his arms. Junsu nuzzles against the Tigger sitting on Yunho’s shoulder, giggling sleepily as it tickles his nose, before curling and finding a spot against Yunho’s throat, eyes already shut.
Yoochun stares at his twin for few seconds, before he too finds his own sweet spot against his daddy’s throat. He mumbles as he closes his eyes, reaching out to grab his twin’s hand, and they link fingers.
“What is it, baby?” Yunho asks, hearing the older twin saying something but not quite catching it. “Chunnie?”
Yoochun pulls back, blinking a little confusedly, before shaking his head. “Candy,” he murmurs before dropping against Yunho’s collarbone this time, mouth open and sucking on the material, eyelids heavy as he gnaws, more out of habit than anything else.
He is not yet two and while they can communicate well enough, they still haven’t quite outgrown some of their more babyish behaviour and this includes sucking on something to comfort them. Jiyool has her fingers, JJ usually chews on her lip, the twins suck on their thumbs generally but if a parent is close, they will suck on them. And Changmin, well, Changmin sucks on anything, especially his Mama.
The Jungs walk slowly towards the final house, JJ and Jiyool both carrying a twin’s bucket in their own wicker basket without complaint as they walk hand in hand ahead of their parents.
Jaejoong takes a couple of quick steps and turns, walking backwards as he looks at his baby boys in the arms of his husband, before smiling and nodding.
“Yup, dead to the world. They must’ve been exhausted.”
“Why can’t Minnie be like them?”
“What do you mean?”
“The twins just droop and the fade out. Min gets noisier the more tired he is. How does that even work?”
“We don’t have cookie cutter children Yunnie-ah.” Jaejoong chuckles, shaking his head as he falls back in step next to his husband. “And well, he takes after Jiyool. She gets screechy when she’s tired, haven’t you noticed?”
Yunho winces, “How can I forget? I swear she speaks in the whistle register.”
“Lucky for you, I enforce bedtime then, huh?” Jaejoong nudges Yunho’s arm gently, making the older man smile sheepishly. They’ve had a few disagreements here and there about bedtime, Yunho at first not really getting why Jaejoong has an almost militant stance on it. But after several incidents where he’s had to supervise bedtime while Jaejoong was in school, he understands why his wife is so adamant that the children go to bed at specific times. As it is, it’s almost the girls’ bedtime. The boys’ bedtime have all gone long past.
The couple turn into the next gate, and stop, watching as the two girls walk up the short lane to the front door. Jiyool is speaking rather animatedly to JJ about whether they will be getting fruit again, and the younger girl is protesting loudly, hoping that it will not be thus. JJ is definitely the one with the sweet tooth in the family, and clearly the lecture by that man from the last house hasn’t really fazed her enough. Jaejoong suspects she barely understood half of what he was waxing so eloquently about and in this case, ignorance is bliss. He does though make a mental note to make sure she brushes her teeth properly tonight.
The door opens and a woman in a pink fairy outfit appears at the door, giving both Yunho and Jaejoong a bit of a shock with all the frills and sparkles. She is literally a cloud of dazzling pink. However when she opens her mouth, they both frown.
“Ah! You are so adorable! How…are…you…?”
The woman has a rather high voice, and it seems to get higher as she looks down at the two little girls staring up at her in awe. They don’t answer, too busy gaping at her and she continues, speaking slowly.
Jaejoong snorts, jerking Changmin from his feed, and the baby protests by clawing at his chest with his sharp baby fingernails. He hurriedly rectifies the problem as he watches his girls, slightly amused at the woman’s presumption, but it’s happened at a few houses now that he cannot help but just sigh.
“You’d think in this day and age, people will stop doing this.” Yunho mutters under his breath, watching as Jiyool cocks her head to the side, staring up a little perplexed at the woman. He knows his daughter understands, but like him, she is still a little dazzled by the excessiveness of the woman’s costume.
“Oh, you little angels. You don’t understand me do you? Such a pity because you’re so pretty. Let me try again. Candy? Want candy?”
“Why are you speaking like that?” Jiyool finally speaks up.
“Oh! You can speak English! How darling!”
“I can speak Japanese and Korean too. And we have a French lady at the creche who is teaching us French. It’s very pretty. Comment allez vous?”
“How are you? You asked me in English and I asked you in French. Can’t you speak French?”
The pink fairy’s face turns a shade close to that of her costume. “N-no.”
“Oh! Well, you should learn. It’s fun. What language can you speak then?”
“Just like her Mama…” Yunho whispers quietly, getting an elbow to the side, and a quiet chuckle for his words.
“Um…” the woman mumbles, completely disconcerted by the precocious five year old. She looks up to find two gorgeous amused men with children in their arms staring at her. She takes a step back, her pulse suddenly racing when the taller man smirks. Her eyes dart to the younger man who has an identical expression. Her gaze drops to the suckling baby, and then back to the sleeping children in the older man’s arms, and then back down to the two pretty little girls staring up at her.
She clears her throat, but doesn’t speak, and JJ steps forward and tugs at her skirt.
“You’re very pretty. I’m a purple princess and you’re a pink princess.”
Oh dear, they both speak English, which probably means their parents do too. She is feeling all kinds of silly now, and she tries to hide her embarrassment by crouching down next to the tiny girls, pretending the two stunning men staring at her don’t exist.
“I’m a fairy, sweetheart. But I can be a princess just for you.”
“I like fairies too.”
“And I like purple princesses. I see your baskets are full of candy. What’s your favourite candy?”
“I like Reese’s cups!” JJ replies immediately, doe eyes widening at the prospect of possibly getting more of her favourite candy.
“Well, isn’t that lucky? I happen to have some of those.”
Both girls squeal at that, because while Jiyool’s sweet tooth isn’t as pronounced as JJ’s, she too has a soft spot for Reese’s cups.
The woman, still feeling a little awful at her presumption from earlier, gives the two very appreciative little girls her entire stash of peanut buttercups. Which amounts to about ten mini cups between them, much to Jaejoong’s horror.
Both girls open one each right there on the step as their tongues almost trip in the speed at which they are thanking the pretty pink princess fairy person who gave them lots of their favourite candy, popping them quickly into their mouths before they turn to their parents, eyes down, mouths full, chewing industriously.
“Jiyool… JJ…” Jaejoong calls out, shaking his head. The two girls well know the rule. No candy till tomorrow. And he knows they know judging from how both refuse to meet his eyes.
He steps forward, pulling a slumbering Changmin off and onto his shoulder and fixing his overall as he walks up to the woman.
“What for?” Jaejoong asks as he nudges both girls to walk towards their father.
He shrugs, smiling at the serious pink fairy. “It’s alright. You’ve been the nicest about it. It’s happened a few times, and well, I guess you know my daughter can turn it around quite easily.”
“I wonder what she’d say if I told her I only know English.”
“Jiyoolie!” Jaejoong calls out quietly, mindful of the baby on his shoulder. She turns, and he almost rolls his eyes at the thin line of chocolate drool. Her mouth was so full she could barely contain the candy earlier, and the evidence is all over her chin. He shudders to think what JJ looks like. “This lovely lady only knows English.”
He hears the gasp from the woman, but he ignores her, though he can see Yunho’s expression and he knows he’s going to get into trouble for this later even though there’s nothing really to worry about. But getting into trouble with Yunho is fun. He wonders if his husband has caught on that Jaejoong gets into “trouble” on purpose ninety percent of the time.
Jiyool smiles, chocolate all over her teeth and lips.
“Are you an English expert then?”
“Just say, yes.” Jaejoong prompts under his breath.
Jiyool grins, “That’s so cool! I’ve never met an English expert before. My English teacher speaks English and Korean so she cannot be an English expert. I’m going to tell her all about you! I’m very happy to meet you!”
The woman stares at the beaming young girl, and her heart is lost.
“I’ll tell my children that I met the most beautiful family tonight.”
“But wouldn’t your family be the most beautiful family?” Jiyool asks quietly.
If the woman is startled by the tiny little girl’s insight, she doesn’t show it, as she smiles, feeling tears gathering. Looking at the beautiful couple earlier, she wasn’t surprised they have so many children, and so close together at that. Listening to their oldest daughter speak, it’s no wonder they wanted more children after her.
“Yes, my family is, and yours is the next one after that.”
Jiyool drops her basket, using her shephard’s hook to hobble quickly back to her Mama and the blonde woman standing next to him. She hugs the woman, inhaling deeply. The woman smells as pretty as she looks. She steps back and looks up.
“I’ll remember you.”
“And I’ll remember you too, sweetheart.”
Jaejoong smiles, taking Jiyool’s hand as they walk back to Yunho and the rest of their family. They wave goodbye to the pink lady, and climb into the waiting town car that Yunho had called for earlier. As they strap the children in, Jaejoong feels Yunho’s warm breath against his ear.
“Even after five children, you’re still a brat.”
Clearly, Yunho underestimated just how bratty his wife can be. The destruction in the serviced apartment they are staying at is absolute. Well, ok, he’s exaggerating but the counter of the kitchen is absolutely covered in empty candy wrappers.
Jaejoong looks sheepish, as he twiddles his thumbs.
“I got a little hungry…”
“But ALL the candy? Jae, surely not?”
“Well…you know how I get when I’m doing something…I don’t really pay attention to what I’m eating and well, before I knew it, I’d finished my book and all the candy.”
“Mama! Mama! Daddy! Where are you? Is it candy time yet?”
“Oh dear god!”
Jaejoong has to stop himself from laughing as Yunho actually pales, looking around as if trying to find a hiding place as their children approach, and when he cannot see anywhere possible, he launches himself ONTO the granite island in the kitchen, using his body to hide the empty wrappers. Jaejoong collapses onto the floor behind the counter, fist in his mouth as he fights desperately from the urge to howl from laughter at the behaviour of his 36 year old husband.
Meanwhile, Changmin is sitting in his bouncy swing, swaying gently in the doorway as his siblings push past him, staring at his Mama on the floor and kicking his chubby feet out, bouncing because he wants him.
“Daddy? What are you doing?”
“Uh…” Yunho looks down at his daughters and twin sons. What is he supposed to say? His children had spent two hours yesterday getting all that candy and now, it’s all gone. He is sure he is lying on a banana peel as well. Not even that survived Jaejoong!
Jaejoong finally collects himself, schooling his features to look contrite as he pops up from behind the counter, startling his children. The twins immediately run to him, hugging his legs, and he feels a smidgen of guilt at his actions.
“Mama’s been naughty and Daddy is trying to hide it.”
“Naughty? What did you do, Mama?” Jiyool asks.
“Yunnie-ah, get up. I’m sure I’m going to have to wash your shirt because I can see a banana peel sticking out from under your elbow.”
Yunho sighs, looking at his daughters, and then the baby dangling from the swing. Changmin is silent, watching curiously, and he is very thankful that the youngest isn’t old enough to go trick or treating just yet. He can absolutely see the potential fury in the baby boy if he finds out his candy has been eaten by someone other than himself. He howls loudly enough when Jaejoong isn’t on hand to feed him, and he squawks indignantly enough when Yunho doesn’t feed him his mashed sweet potato quickly enough. God knows what kind of chaos will ensue if he realises his candy is gone.
But then that’s for another time. Right now he has four children waiting for candy, and none to give.
He sits up gingerly, and Jiyool, the only one tall enough to be just able to see the counter, gasps in horror.
“WHAT HAPPENED TO OUR CANDY?”
“What do you mean? Yoolie?” JJ, too short to see, tugs at her older sister who is gaping wide-eyed. She turns and looks up, and sees her daddy brushing empty candy wrappers from his shirt. One wrapper floats off him, flitting by her face, and she turns, bending over to pick it up. She stares at it, her brain not quite registering what it is she is seeing. But yet, she knows what it is.
An empty Reese’s mini peanut butter cup wrapper.
“Daddy?” JJ’s voice is tiny as she stares at the empty wrapper.
“Not daddy, baby. It’s not daddy. Mama ate all your candy last night. I’m so sorry.” Jaejoong’s voice is full of remorse, but really it’s remorse for something other than what he is admitting to. He sees Jiyool looking like a baby guppy, mouth opening and closing, and JJ just looking betrayed as she stares at him.
“Share?” Junsu tugs at his Mama’s pants. He understands enough.
Jaejoong looks down at the toddler clinging to him, and he shakes his head. “I’m so sorry, Susu. Mama didn’t share.”
“No candy?” Yoochun asks, his bottom lip quivering, eyes slowly filling with tears.
Jaejoong’s heart lurches, and well, this was a good idea at the start, but now he’s feeling really bad.
“I’m sorry, Chunnie. Mama ate all your candy. We can buy some new ones ok?”
“Ok, Mama.” Junsu smiles, a sweet innocent angelic smile, but Yoochun starts sniffling and he turns to his twin. “Ok Chunnie. Ok.”
Yoochun shakes his head, still sniffling. “Not ok.”
“I’m sorry, Chunnie. Mama is so sorry.”
But sorry isn’t going to get his candy back, and the older twin finally bursts into tears properly, wailing about his candy. The toddler had fallen asleep with candy as his final thought and had spent the whole time while being bathed by his daddy chattering about his candy.
And now there’s no candy.
Jaejoong crouches, and scoops Yoochun into his arms, surprised that the twin doesn’t struggle, wrapping his arms around his neck instead, burying his face against his throat, crying about his candy. He suddenly finds himself surrounded, as his daughters have moved next to him. He looks down as he jiggles the still crying Yoochun in his arms, both Jiyool and JJ are patting their brother’s feet, trying to soothe him.
“It’s ok, Chunnie.”
Yoochun somehow hears his oldest sister’s voice and turns to look down at her, his crying faltering slightly as he sees that they don’t seem upset.
“Daddy can buy a whole candy store.”
Yunho’s eyebrow goes up. “I can?”
“Yes, you can! We believe in you, Daddy! Fighting!” the cheeky little girl even fist pumps to emphasize her point, making JJ and Junsu both laugh and Yoochun to finally stop crying.
“What the…” Yunho trails off as Jiyool glares at him, her hand to her mouth in their language for silence.
She turns back to her sniffling brother. “Daddy has lots and lots of money and so he can buy us a candy store. He flew all of us for hours and hours to get here because JJ wanted to see Halloween. So he can just buy us a candy store. Right, Mama?”
Dark almond eyes, completely serious, are now turned onto beautiful doe eyes torn between amusement and guilt.
“Well, maybe we don’t need to go that far…”
This time it is Jiyool who gets cut off as Jaejoong puts his hand to his mouth. He smiles, then changes his sign to that of food, and all the children stare at him. He moves carefully, away from the three children crowding his legs and walks out of the kitchen using the other exit towards the outdoor balcony, making a fist, and raising his free hand into the air, before bringing it to the side of his head. Even from the back, all the children know what this means, and they quickly scramble quietly after him.
Yunho shakes his head ruefully, finally catching on after all that drama. He jumps off the counter, moving to scoop a bouncing Changmin who is gurgling excitedly into his arms. He kisses the chubby baby on the nose who immediately tilts his mouth up to try and suckle on his daddy’s chin, making Yunho laugh.
“Forever hungry, you are, Min-ah. Your Mama just tricked us all.”
He can hear the happy squeals just as he exits the kitchen and into the balcony, where the outdoor table is laden with plates of unwrapped candy.
“You lied, Mama!” Jiyool accuses in between munching on a large Reese’s cup that she had gotten earlier in the evening yesterday.
“Trick or treat Yoolie. I tricked you.”
His daughter huffs, but accepts his answer, as she finishes her peanutbutter cup and surprisingly, grabs a piece of sliced banana. The other three younger ones are too happy at the banquet before them to care one way or other about the morals of the whole thing as they feast. Jaejoong watches, knowing he will probably pay later for their indulgence now, but an exhausted Mama is alright if his children are happy. And Yunho is with him today.
“That was a dirty little trick.”
Jaejoong shivers, as Yunho’s warm breath right up against the curve of his ear sends delicious tingles down his spine.
“Such a dirty little trick.”
Jaejoong feels Yunho step up flush against his back, slipping his large hand around his waist, splaying it across his belly as be pulls him against him.
“And what should I do with this naughty little trickster?”
Ok, so he definitely didn’t say that out loud. Right? Right?
But the eyes of his children on him, and the husky laughter in his ear tells him otherwise.
Jaejoong turns bright red, turning around, grabbing Changmin from his laughing husband, mumbling about needing to feed the baby as he beats a hasty retreat. As he walks away, he can hear Yunho trying to explain that Jaejoong had said feed him.
Feed him indeed. He’ll feed Yunho later alright…
AN1: Wrote this in just over three hours so it’s probably riddled with mistakes but do excuse me because I squeezed it in while at the bank waiting to open a damn bank account and then on the bus on the way home OTL My MacAir’s battery life span is seriously daebak cos I still have 31% left lol. Go thank Apple for me getting to write this lol.
AN2: Jiyool is me lmao. There was an incident when I was a kid, and I was about five, and my family tells me I did the same thing. A friend of mine in day care or whatever was upset because another kid had broken her toy. And apparently I told her that I’d get my daddy to buy the toy store and give her a new replacement toy and tell them not to sell any toys to the bad boy hahahahaha! And my dad was there and he was all “I will?” and apparently I glared at him, and told him to shush as I comforted her… OTL And the whole English thing happened to me too. It was very annoying. Once someone spoke to me like I was three or something, and I was 17 and OH was all "Why the fuck are you speaking to her like that?" and yes, he actually swore. He was really pissed off. He wouldn't do that now but he was still 16 then lmao! I'm half caucasian but I look more like my mother who is Japanese/Chinese so yeah lol.