PG-13 | EunHae | AU, Friendship, Romance
Summary: In which the letters are bold and they’re running low on ink.
A/N: The working title was ‘Dear M’ because I was like I want to be addressed as M by someone and then let’s write letters to each other and fall in love so I want to flail. So anyway, this fic resulted from all that jazz.
I'm pleased to tell you that the kids are fine. And that they miss you. (They told me so.) And that they're starting to like books, too, just like their babysitter. They also asked me to tell you that they're waiting for you to come visit.
Jinyoung had finally learned how to tie his shoelaces properly today. Seolbin was watching him with her bright eyes as usual, and kept on glancing at her perfectly tied shoes. Taeyeon walked them to the day care before she went to school, probably.
I saw them off and checked the mailbox right after. I smiled as soon as I recognize the texture of the paper of one particular envelope addressed to me. I walked back to the house and sought the comfort of my kitchen, where I poured grapefruit juice on a glass while I read the letter.
Tell the kids their most favorite uncle in the world is coming to visit as soon as he finishes things with the contractor. What sort of books are they interested in these days? I'd want to buy them something, you see. (Speaking of you, you should call me. But because you're terribly shy, I'd call you as soon as I'm not busy.)
"Daddy, I want to have peanut butter for dinner," Seolbin said as soon as Taeyeon bade goodbye.
"By peanut butter, do you mean peanut butter sandwich or just peanut butter?" I asked, because it's better to be clear when dealing with my children.
She thoughtfully sighed, glancing at Jinyoung for some sort of answer - because big brothers always seem to have the answers, and told me, "Just peanut butter."
Jinyoung was too busy putting his coloring books back into his bag to care, apparently. I cleared my throat to get his attention, "Well, I appreciate your opinion, Seolbin. But I want to know what Jinyoung wants for dinner, too. Because, you know, we have to be fair."
With that, she stared at her brother.
He looked from her to me and then back at her again. He told me, "I'd eat whatever you prepared, Daddy."
"And I prepared vegetables," I said and watched Seolbin pout. I immediately coaxed her, "But, we can all have a little peanut butter for dessert because I completely ruined the apple pie!"
I think it's better if you surprise the kids, instead? Bring them coloring books - they terribly like those, and perhaps Dr. Seuss? As for the call, I would wait. But when are you ever not busy?
The next few weeks were relatively calmer than usual. Jinyoung proceeded to have lunch with his friends and their respective families while Taeyeon “borrowed” Seolbin so they can go out and shop for new clothes.
I stayed at home and tried to tidy up the house. Summer break was upon us and the two kids were bound to make a mess out of everything. I had originally planned to have all three of us on a road trip to their grandparents’ but I changed my mind after going to the supermarket with them last week where Jinyoung knocked over a perfect stack of cans of legumes and Seolbin opened a pack of Skittles before I could pay them.
Last week was, in a word, a disaster.
Well, except for a few phone calls at the wee hours of the morning - ungodly, but for reasons that I, personally, find rather happiness-inducing.
I’d like you to know that my plane leaves in exactly 34 hours (so your reply can wait until I’ve surprised the kids). Also, I certainly heard the excitement in your voice (which is still as lovely as ever) over the books I bought yesterday. I’ll call you once I’ve touched down in one piece. I’d see you soon.
The pizza turned out perfectly. Seolbin and Jinyoung were watching me when I pulled it out of the oven. When the doorbell rang, Seolbin was hesitant to go answer because THERE’S PIZZA. Jinyoung, on the other hand, asked me if he could answer the door. I told him he could and I also asked Seolbin to go, because we all should go see who it was.
The reunion was loud. Seolbin leapt at Hyukjae the moment she recognized him, yelling, “Uncle Hyukjae!” in an almost-screech. Jinyoung was equally surprised, and he hugged Hyukjae’s leg in the process of welcoming him.
“I’m going to go get pizza for everybody, then?” I told the crowd of three.
“I’d go take Uncle’s bags upstairs!”
“I’d help him!”
“Be careful, then. Thank you, Sir and Ma’am.”
Hyukjae smiled at me, then, and followed me to the kitchen. “Hey.”
“Hey,” I replied, embarrassed now that he’s finally here again, after about a year of being away. “How was your flight?”
But he didn’t answer. Instead, he aggressively walked over to me, trapping me against the counter and kissed me.
He nodded and let me go after a quick peck on the lips. “Later, then.”
Seolbin was in love with Hyukjae, apparently. She told us over dinner how she would marry someone like him. Jinyoung interjected, of course. He told her she’s too young to get married so she said okay, when she’s old enough, she’d marry someone like Hyukjae.
The argument eventually died down because they were too tired from all the cooking that today involved. They wanted to sleep almost right away and Hyukjae graced them with bedtime stories as I washed the dishes.
I walked over to the kids’ room as soon as I finish cleaning up downstairs. Hyukjae was just about to leave when I excused myself so I could kiss the kids before they finally dozed off.
Hyukjae then ushered me out and we went to the guest room so he could unpack.
“How’s life in France?”
He beamed as he unzips the bigger of his bags. “Lonely. And especially unromantic.”
“Liar,” I told him. “Tell me how it really is.”
“France is wonderful, of course. You know how completely I am in love with France, let’s not talk about this,” he said, pinching the bridge of my nose. “How are you?”
“Well, the kids are, as you can see, kids.”
“I said you. Not the kids.”
I blinked twice before I said, “I’m… Well, I’m the same as usual. Fatherhood is not my thing, as you know. So I’ve been really, well, busy.” He didn’t say anything so I continued, “Since I’m not able to write anything, well, it’s nice that you write despite your busy life.”
He smiled. “Your letters make me incredibly happy, too.”
I felt my face heat up, blushing from embarrassment. I had never been good with words or actions or anything at all when it comes to things or people that matter most to me – like my children, and Hyukjae.
“You know, I’m tired and this bed is incredibly messy. Why don’t I sleep in your bed tonight?”
“Y-yeah, I’ll sleep on the couch, then.”
“Shut up and stop being so shy around me,” he said, grasping at my shoulders. “I’m your boyfriend, for heaven’s sake.”
Jinyoung attacked the new coloring books with determination. He particularly liked the one with the globe, saying he wanted to be the first president of the world. Seolbin settled on the more basic ones with uncolored Disney princesses and proceeded with her varying shades of pink crayons.
Hyukjae watched them with curiosity and I watched him watching my children, looking at them as if they were his own.
The kids were on the floor while the two of us were sitting on the couch behind them. Hyukjae put his arms around my shoulder and pulled me closer, and he whispered, “I wonder if we could call in the babysitter?”
“Why?” I whispered back.
He shrugged and replied in a hushed voice, “Stuff.”
The only summer activity we deprived Taeyeon of was her re-reading of The Great Gatsby – which was overrated, to be honest. The kids were off to the backyard where Hyukjae and I had set up an inflatable pool.
We quietly made our way out of the house and I let him take me to this quaint house that had a dramatic view of the lake, about thirty minutes drive from the house. He unlocked the door and it smelled of fresh paint and wood.
“Come here,” he said as he walked over to what seemed like a bedroom. And it was a bedroom, as it turned out, but the mattress had not been previously used. He pushed it off the wall and motioned for me to come closer.
He kissed me.
His lips were warm against mine and one of his hands was around my neck, pushing at my nape so we were infinitesimally closer. The other was gripping at my back.
My arms lacked strength and will. They were just hanging blithely on my sides as I focused on responding to his passionate kiss. We were soon on the mattress, with him on top of me, and he broke away for a while, telling me how much he missed this with me and that France sucks without me.
I blushed, and my hands began to become responsive, as they wound over his back.
“I love you.”
He smirked and stopped altogether. We were both trying to catch our breaths.
I might have told the kids how I love you? Help?
Please tell the kids that I’m a phone call away and that I love the three of you. Also, please tell them that France doesn’t feel as grandiose as it did before. Plus, there’s this house I bought months ago. I’d show it to them once I get back. And, then, maybe we can all live together? I mean, for good? Because that would be fun, I think. Don’t you think so?
Seolbin thinks it would be so much fun to have you around, uhm, “forever”; while Jinyoung says it would be nice. And if you’re asking me to marry you or something, you know you don’t even have to ask.