Genre: AU, fluff, romance, mild angst, drama
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: Yunho knows ice very well. He is the youngest team captain in the history of the best professional hockey team in South Korea, bringing his teammates to glory time and time again. But a little something has been missing lately, a spark that everyone has grown to recognise from the young man. His teammates know exactly what’s wrong but he refuses to acknowledge it. Jaejoong is much too young to be this cynical and jaded. At least, that’s what his parents say, but what do they know? They love their only son and only want him to be happy despite not agreeing with his rock star lifestyle. When the 29 year old finds himself in rehab after a sort of accidental overdose, his tearful parents give him an ultimatum. Now he has to figure out what to do with the ball of ice that is his heart…
AN1: And here it starts… all my As and Bs and Cs… let’s hope it doesn’t come to a C… This is the beginning of the end ;-)
AN2: This banner was done by Yue aka @lilxinyue :D
Yunho is awoken by soft, desolate, whimpering. He is disoriented, feeling an odd yet familiar presence next to him, as he rubs the sleep from his eyes. He turns over, to find Jaejoong facing away from him. The man’s bare slim shoulders are shaking as he is tormented by whatever it is that has taken a hold of him in his dreams. Yunho leans up quickly, pressing his chest against the older man’s back, leaning over him to offer what comfort he can.
But he is too late, for someone else has gotten there before him.
Dark, solemn eyes stare up at him as Hyuna stands by their bed, holding her daddy’s hand as he mewls in his sleep.
Not the good kind of mewling, but the extremely upsetting kind. Yunho can feel Jaejoong’s torment as if it is his own.
He looks over back at the little girl as he wraps an arm low against Jaejoong’s belly, pulling him close. Her gaze is unwavering, disconcerting Yunho a little as he stares back at the little girl whose head barely reaches over the bed.
Despite that, she has a tight hold of Jaejoong’s hand in her two little ones.
“Daddy…sad…” She whispers, merely stating a fact as she looks towards Jaejoong, and then back up at Yunho.
The younger man can feel a tight knot in his chest, feeling utterly out of his element. U-Know Yunho, who got his nickname because he always appears to know everything, in that moment, has no idea what to do.
He nuzzles against the back of Jaejoong’s shoulder, nosing his way up to his nape, kissing him softly, whispering soothing love words against his skin, his eyes never once wavering from their daughter’s. Jaejoong’s whimpering slows eventually, though Hyuna doesn’t once let go of his hand. Yunho doesn’t know much about children, but for a three year old to remain still for that long feels unnatural to him.
Both he and Jaejoong are decent, both wearing sleep pants, and so he thinks nothing about leaning over the now quiet older man to offer Hyuna is hand to pull her into the bed with them.
But the little girl shakes her head. Her hold of Jaejoong never falters, and she flatly refuses to let go of him, shaking her head at her appa.
A little non-plussed, Yunho bends down to kiss Jaejoong awake, coaxing him quietly to wake as soothingly as he can manage it.
It takes several minutes, for the older man is in a deep sleep, but he does eventually wake. Yunho cannot see his eyes, busy whispering soothing words into his ear, but he knows the second the man wakes, because Hyuna breaks into the most beautiful smile.
“Daddy…” the way she calls him has a dreamy-like quality to it. The word seemingly hanging in mid-air between them, swaying in her exhalation, before washing over the waking rock star who exhales her name back at her.
Her grip of Jaejoong’s hand is firm, and the idol easily hauls her up into the bed with him. She finally lets go of her hand once settled, staring back and forth between her appa’s face and her daddy’s, before deciding what to do.
Yunho is in for surprise number two that morning as the little girl clambers over Jaejoong’s prone body to squeeze herself between the two of them, giggling when she topples straight into his chest, planting a solid kiss against his mouth.. The slightly overwhelmed young man can only thank his lucky stars that he brushed his teeth before going to bed for real barely two hours ago.
Jaejoong’s husky laugh, hoarse from sleep, but still sexy as hell, floats around the room as he turns inward to face Yunho and their baby girl.
The ice hockey captain’s eyes tighten when he sees the faint streak of tears down Jaejoong’s cheeks, but he doesn’t comment on it as the older man nuzzles against the little girl trapped very solidly between them, making her giggle again. Her giggles make him chuckle, and soon, the room is full of soft laughter. If anyone were to ask Yunho later what they were laughing about, he’d be hard pressed to answer, because they are not laughing over anything.
They are simply happy they exist.
The soft murmurs of the two adults and the little girl is interrupted by an indignant cry as Jongdae wakes up in a strange room, finding himself rather well and truly alone. Yunho slips out of bed, walking quickly over the squalling infant, lifting the little boy up.
And he is in for his third surprise.
Jongdae wants nothing to do with him.
The boy screams his dissatisfaction, finding the poor young man wanting, as he bawls.
Yunho looks helplessly over at the bed, the rock and sway he thought he perfected last night practically worthless in the watery light of dawn. The infant’s screams are almost deafening, and Yunho would be more than happy to face down Nippon Cranes alone than be stuck in a room with Jongdae all by himself. He hurries quickly over to Jaejoong who is sitting up in their bed, arms open to receive the babe.
The handover occurs easily, the six month old infant practically throwing himself out of Yunho’s arms.
As if sensing Yunho’s consternation, Hyuna clambers over her daddy’s lap, opening her own arms in a silent request to be carried.
The opposite of the previous night occurs as Jongdae settles quickly against Jaejoong’s bare throat, sucking on his small fist, while his sister curls around Yunho’s broad shoulder. She is literally draped like a dead weight over him, fingers skimming leisurely up and down the smooth skin of his back. Her head is lolling, hanging limply as she makes like a sack of baby potatoes.
Yunho’s brow furrows, but he is surprised to see the smile on Jaejoong’s face.
“Did anyone ever tell you how adorable you look, completely lost like this?”
“No,” Yunho grumbles quietly as he sits next to Jaejoong on the bed. “Maybe it’s because I’m never lost.”
Jongdae is watching him silently, great big tears still hanging from his surprisingly long lashes. Yunho counts three droplets. The baby had ceased crying almost as quickly as he started, and he almost wants to check his diaper to see if he has an off switch. Or perhaps Jaejoong has a button somewhere on his person that mutes the baby. Yunho wouldn’t mind going hunting for that button…
“Your thoughts are all over your face, babe.” Jaejoong teases, thoroughly amused at that faint look of contemplative debauchery that Yunho had been wearing. The second he mentions it, Yunho wipes it from his face, but his sheepish expression is telling enough.
“Well, it’s not my fault I’m more accustomed to waking up with my uh…thing pressed against your…uh…” Yunho falters, switching swiftly from English to Korean to Japanese and then falling silent altogether, his face flaming red. “Does she understand Japanese?” he whispers in Japanese, slightly mortified.
Jaejoong shakes his head, wanting to laugh at first, but Yunho’s words remind him that he has turned this young man’s life so thoroughly upside down, it’s amazing the man even knows which way is up right now. Judging from the look on Yunho’s face, the urge to bolt is probably not far from the younger man’s mind. And if the rock star is being honest, he knows this is more than a natural reaction.
Hell, he too wanted to bolt at first.
And the urge to bolt still rears its ugly head over and over and over again.
Several times a day in fact. So much so that the guilt eats at him sometimes, and it seeps from his subconscious and leeches into his dreams.
But he knows he will not run.
But the battle raging within him still needs to get used to the idea, and so he suffers in his sleep every now and again. He knows he’d been crying in his sleep again. The dream this time was about Hyuna, Jongdae and Yunho being lost to him because he ran away from them. He is not going to allow that dream to come to fruition. He will not let them out of his sight.
The snore coming from Yunho’s shoulder makes both men smile. For such a dainty little girl, Hyuna snores like a trucker.
“She has sinus problems.”
Yunho shakes his head, smiling fondly at the older man and the little baby curled against his chest, all wide-eyed and completely sans tears now. “It’s ok. Then I won’t have to be one of those parents who carry a mirror in their back pocket to place it in front of their children’s mouths to check that they’re still breathing. If she didn’t snore, I’m sure I’d be that appa.”
Jaejoong’s breath catches at the casual way Yunho slips in his claim over Hyuna. His brief worry over Yunho being overwhelmed is still there, but as he looks at the strong young man now kissing the back of their daughter’s limp hand, he knows that no matter what, they will work through it.
“Should I put her back in bed?”
Jaejoong nods. “She gets like that sometimes. She wakes up really early and amuses herself, and then when normal people start to function, she droops like a wilted bloom. It hasn’t happened in awhile though. I think she’s just restless in the new place and finds you a lot more comforting than her bed on the floor.”
“She…she finds me comforting?”
Jaejoong smiles softly at the wonder on Yunho’s face. “She doesn’t sleep on just anyone. It took her three days to be comfortable with me, and yet she’s taken to you in less than twelve hours. She knows who you are.”
“Who am I?”
“You’re Jongdae’s too.”
“And mine. Always mine.”
“I love you so fucking much,” Yunho manages to get out, saying it as quickly as he can before he makes a complete fool of himself. He is almost drowning in the sentimentality and the very uncharacteristic softness in Jaejoong’s gaze. But despite the strange feeling, he recognises within himself that need to belong to someone. To be someone’s, wholly and completely.
Yunho is a giver at heart. He gives himself, putting in a hundred percent into anything he undertakes. He never takes anything for granted, always working and striving to be the best that he can be. Being so giving has its downside, and he has seen a fair bit of it. He trusts quickly, much to his detriment, and that blind faith and infinite capacity to love has always struck falsely for him in the last few years.
A man hell bent on being the most impossible person to love, so closed off and unwilling to give of himself the way Yunho is so willing to give of himself. A man afraid to give, period, and more than happy to take. A match that should have been destined for hell not heaven, for Jaejoong is a user and an abuser. Perhaps not in a black and white manner, but compared to Yunho, he is definitely that and more. His environment plays a part of course, but Jaejoong has always had a choice.
And his ultimate choice is Yunho.
“I love you too, baby. Are you going to start crying now?” Jaejoong asks, quietly teasing, but the love in his eyes shines brightly, taking any sting out of his words.
“If I do, it’ll make the pair of us this morning.”
“You noticed, huh?”
“Will you explain?”
And Jaejoong does.
The hesitation he has always felt about giving someone power over himself by giving them knowledge of his innermost thoughts and feelings is non-existent. He trusts Yunho, and instead of feeling apprehensive at laying himself out there, he feels as if a burden has been lifted from his shoulders. He finds the words coming easily, as he explains his fears to Yunho who moves closer with each word.
By the end of his explanation, Yunho is propped up against the headboard, Jaejoong tucked under one arm, sighing contentedly as they watch Jongdae suck his fist in Yunho’s lap, while Hyuna is still snoring mightily away on Yunho’s other shoulder.
“We should get up otherwise we’ll be late. We have less than an hour before we have to leave the house.”
“Do you want Hyuna or Jongdae?”
“To do what with?”
“Uh…” Yunho stares at the drooling baby in his lap, and then rubs his cheek against the sleeping angel on his shoulder. “I think I’ll take the boy.”
“Coward.” Jaejoong grins.
“You’re telling me it didn’t take a few days for you?”
“Well, I guess it did, but in the end I didn’t have a choice. I jumped into the tub with my boxers on with both Hyuna and Jongdae because they were starting to really stink by day three.”
“It’s not funny.” Jaejoong grouches, correctly interpreting Yunho’s tone as amusement.
“You’re telling me you left our children to roll around in their own filth… for three days?”
“I changed Jongdae’s diaper! And Hyuna is toilet trained! But yes…”
“Oh, Jae…” Yunho shakes his head in disbelief, his shoulders rocking slightly in suppressed laughter.
“Well, just because of that, you can have Hyuna.” Jaejoong replies petulantly, picking up their son who has just started trying to determinedly gum his way through Yunho’s bare knee. He gets a very wet smile from the baby, and an extremely exaggerated pout from the appa. “Her clothes are in the purple bag.”
And with that, Jaejoong disappears into the master bathroom with the baby boy.
Yunho stays where he is, not quite believing that Jaejoong is leaving him alone to clean the snoring baby girl somehow.
A loud gurgle comes from the bathroom, accompanied by the sound of the shower going.
And then like a rainbow bursting through the still dim room, peal after peal of happy gurgles hit him. Jongdae is laughing the only way babies can, that continuous short burst of gurgling that eventually peters out, followed by a pause, and then it comes again, and then a pause.
Curiosity gets the better of Yunho, and he pulls himself out of bed, following the excited gurgling of the infant, and the quiet laughter of Hero Jaejoong.
The sight he comes upon makes him feel a comforting warmth, as if wrapped in soft loving arms, all the way from the tips of his toes to the very ends of his short hair.
Jaejoong is naked underneath the shower, an equally naked baby boy in his arms. He is tickling the baby, distracting him while he soaps and shampoos the little boy. Water is cascading across the rockstar’s back, and Yunho can see Jongdae blinking rapidly as the spray hits his eyes, but Jaejoong is protecting him the best he can. And besides, the baby is too busy laughing to really take note of any minor discomfort. That little squishy baby butt nestled in the crook of Jaejoong’s arm is the cutest thing Yunho has ever seen.
The man is carrying him high up on his chest, playfully ducking under the spray now, to wash the baby off.
They duck in and the baby sputters and giggles at the same time, just as Jaejoong ducks out.
In and out, underneath the warm spray of the large two person shower.
Yunho is a mite jealous.
He continues to watch, wondering if Jaejoong knows he has an audience because he is partly turned away. The slippery little angel in his arms has the older man’s undivided attention. Yunho marvels at how Jaejoong manages to clean himself with just one hand, all the while singing to the baby boy who has now taken to tugging at his daddy’s wet hair.
All too soon, the shower goes off, and he sees Jaejoong’s head turn quickly towards him when Hyuna’s loud snoring gives away their location.
“How long have you been standing there?” Jaejoong asks as he nuzzles his baby boy, kissing the wet skin of the contented infant who is now once again sucking at his fist.
“Long enough for?”
“Long enough to fall in love with you all over again.”
Yunho can see the rueful expression on Jaejoong’s face, as the older man lifts the infant higher in his arms and gazes into the baby’s eyes. “Your appa is the corniest, sweetest, dorkiest man in the whole wide world. And if you grow up to be even a tenth of him, I will be a very proud daddy.”
Jongdae merely grins around his fist, patting Jaejoong’s nose with his free hand as he wiggles.
“And you call me corny?”
“I was merely stating the truth,” Jaejoong sniffs as he walks over to the toweling robes, picking one and somehow maneuvering himself in it. The robe is Yunho’s and thus a size too large and Jaejoong uses the excess material to wrap the baby along with him too. Two gorgeous males swathed in white eqyptian cotton, with only their heads peeking out as they both turn towards Yunho and Hyuna in the doorway.
Yunho steps forward, the sudden movement somehow jarring Hyuna as her snores stop abruptly.
He walks towards Jaejoong, even as the little girl starts to sniffle.
She shakes her head.
Jaejoong hums, thinking for a moment as Yunho is finally toe to toe with him. The taller man bends down to kiss him, and the baby all wrapped up with him, playfully sucking at the infant’s hairline, making the boy gurgle again.
“Yah! You gave him a hickey.”
“That’s not a hickey, it’s just a little red.”
Jaejoong nuzzles at the “hickey”, taking a couple of steps away, glaring playfully over the baby’s head at a smirking Yunho.
“Do you smell, baby?”
To Jaejoong’s complete surprise, both Yunho and Hyuna sniff at themselves, and then at each other. It was done with such perfect synchronicity that they could have been doing it for years.
Hyuna had her right arm around her appa’s neck, and so she lifted her left arm and sniffed.
Yunho is carrying Hyuna with his left arm, and so he lifts his right arm and sniffs.
And then both lean towards each other to sniff.
It’s the most hilarious thing Jaejoong has ever seen.
Which of course perfectly explains why the (formerly) cold, aloof, international rock god, bursts into tears.
AN: Drowning in fluff dear god… someone help me. I’m going to try and finish this before my husband’s family descend upon us en masse on Thursday. So I have about 24 hours to finish this fic…in between working OTL