a/b/o, non-idols, mpreg, morning sickness //
ok so namjikook au where nj abruptly breaks up with jk after some of the happiest years of his life and jk is left wounded and confused and alone.
he is paralyzed by the heartbreak. unable to so much as get out of bed most mornings.
jk arrives at the address provided by jm and so far he’s only thought of turning back a total of five times and he’s proud of himself, really.
he keeps thinking about how he’s doing this for binna.
how he’s doing it for himself.
if anything, he deserves some sort of closure.
he feels tiny and insignificant and unrefined at the doorstep of nj’s (and jm’s?) house. it’s not a mansion or anything but it’s a /house/.
with a whole driveway and a front yard and shit.
so he takes a deep breath and rings the doorbell.
in the two minutes it takes jm to answer the door, jk, in a full-fledged panic, thinks of running away again.
“jk-ah,” jm says, voice airy and and soft as ever.
jk’s jaw locks tight.
“you, ah, look really nice,” jm says and his scent gets so sweet still in jk’s presence.
he swallows. jm also looks very pretty in his blue silk and little silver hoop earrings. “t-thank you.”
jm bites his lip and nods a little.
“ah, please come in,” he says, moving aside to let jk in.
the house is sleek and modern and tidy.
there are a few framed photos on a table along the hall. the domesticity of it feels suffocating and jk ignores them, as jm leads him in into the dining room.
it’s a long dark wooden table that sits eight people. it’s fucking ridiculous. jk doesn’t even know what to do.
jm is seemingly in the same predicament. “ah, i was just gonna set the table,” he says. hesitantly moving towards a cabinet.
jk slides away to let him through.
“um, do you need help?”
“well, no, but since you’re here,” jm says and shoves three plates into jk’s hands with a hesitant smile.
jk, damn him, blushes.
he quickly turns around and tries to figure out where is he even supposed to set the places in a table for eight.
“he makes you set the table?” he hears himself ask as he sets a plate down.
jm gives him a look, an icy edge to it.
“not at all,” he huffs. “we barley even use this dining room. and when we do, we usually hire someone to handle that side of things,” he says, setting down the wine glasses, engagement ring glistening. “nj just needed a moment before coming down.”
jk digs his nails into the palms of his hands.
“help me get the food from the kitchen?”
jk nods stiffly and follows jm into the kitchen.
“it’s just takeout, sorry,” he says. “we don’t really cook.”
jimin is pulling cartons and cartons out of the food bags,
and all jk can concentrate on is the /we, we, we/.
they get the food and as they try to go back into the dining room they have to dance around each other when they try to walk through the door frame at the same time.
they look at each other and blush. jm’s scent spiking.
jm clears his throat and lets jk go through first.
they set the food at the table and hover awkwardly around it.
after a moment jm huffs out a laugh. “fuck, this is awkward.”
“you think?” jk rasps out.
jm bites his lip and looks up at jk. he opens his mouth to say something,
and then nj is calling his name from somewhere inside the house.
jk can’t help the full-body shudder.
“ah, i’ll be right back,” jm mutters. “please get comfortable.”
jk huffs. as if he could. he hovers awkwardly for another moment, looking around,
but the traces of nj’s and jm’s life together are everywhere.
a pink half-drunk coffe cup on the cabinet top, nj’s reading glasses, jm’s knit sweater draped over one of the chairs.
he ends up sitting down and dropping his face into his hands. his head in a turmoil.
he can smell them everywhere too.
jm’s sweet scent mixing in with nj’s woody and warm one. they fit so well together. smell so nice. jk can’t help how warmth spreads across his chest because of it. how safe his omega feels.
it’s like a battle between his primal instincts and his head. he doesn’t know which one he wants to come out triumphant.
then he hears footsteps, and the scents grow thicker as jm, followed closely by nj, enter the dining room.
jk looks up.
nj looks nervous. /is/ nervous. jk recognizes it in his scent.
nj forces a smile.
“jk,” he says. “t-thank you for coming.” and the worst fucking part of it is that he’s still so handsome. still smells so good. still makes jk shiver and want to submit.
jk feels almost betrayed by his body.
he has to take a moment. only speaks when he’s sure his voice will come out steady. “you don’t have to thank me. i’m not doing it for you.”
nj swallows and nods. “i still appreciate it.”
jk just looks at him. for a long moment until jm is clearing his throat and pushing nj into a chair, then sitting himself.
“okay,” jm starts. “so, this is fucking awkward, obviously. but if we’re all here it’s because we want to sort it out, right?”
nj nods, immediately.
jk just leans back on his chair and crosses his arms over his chest.
jm looks at him, and his mouth almost twitches into a smile. “okay,” he says. “so, you two clearly have shit to discuss. i don’t want to interfere in that. i’ll just sit here quietly.”
so he sits quietly. and so do jk and nj. they all trade looks.
eventually, jm rolls his eyes. “for fuck’s sake,” he says and gets up to get a bottle of wine from the little bar. “so, jk-ah, nj has questions for you. and i’m sure you have questions for him,” he says,
as he pours glasses of wine for all of them. “should we start there?”
he offers the glass to jk and he takes it. jk swallows. “okay,” he says, immediately drinking from it. he can already tell he’s going to need it.
nj ignores his wine glass and clears his throat.
“he leans forward. “okay,” he says. “um.” he exchanges a long look with jm, then turns to jk. “is she mine?”
“no,” jk almost growls. nj and jm blink at him.
jk has to take a deep breath, he looks down at his hands where they’re digging into his knees.
“i mean, yes. obviously,” he mutters.
“you’re sure?” nj asks.
“yes, i’m fucking sure,” jk snaps, looking up. “i’ve never even— with anybody else.” he looks away again, his face on fire.
“n-not even now?” nj asks, his face is also red when jk turns to look at him, mouth open.
“nothing,” nj says quickly. “sorry.”
jk huffs. he glances at jm and he just has his eyes closed, shaking his head slightly.
there’s a pause. they all sip from their wine, then:
“why didn’t you tell me?” nj asks, voice quiet. he’s not looking at jk anymore.
just down at the table, he looks hurt.
jk sets his now almost empty glass down. his hand is trembling. “you think you get to ask that question?”
nj looks at him then, eyes sad. “jk. listen, i’m so sorry,” he says. “i know it must not mean anything to you anymore, but i am.”
“it doesn’t mean anything to me,” jk says. “and you know why? because it’s not worth shit. i still don’t get why you did it. do you have any idea how long it took me to get over it?”
“i do,” nj says. “i do, actually. do you think it was easy for me?”
“how the fuck am i supposed to know? the way you just got up and left didn’t look any difficult to me.”
“it was,” nj says. “it’s the hardest thing i’ve ever done.”
“didn’t look like it,” jk huffs.
nj sighs. “jk. i- i can explain it,” he says.
“i think, finally, after all these years i can speak of it but not if you’re just going to be cruel about it.”
“you think i owe you kindness?” jk says, wiping a tear off his face. when did he start crying? “i don’t owe you a single thing.”
“i’m here because i don’t want to deny my daughter the chance of having a father without even hearing what you have to say. but i will. if i think it’s best for her, i fucking will, nj. don’t get it confused.”
jk’s angry and he likes it. he feels comfort in it. he feels safer.
nj looks at him for a long moment, jaw clenched. “okay,” he finally says. “i respect that.”
jk shrugs. “you have no choice,” he says and downs the rest of his wine.
“/okay/,” nj says, annoyed now. “i respect it. i won’t pressure you into anything. can we fucking have a conversation now?”
jk clicks his tongue. he glances at jm.
he’s seating back quietly, his mouth twitching a little, like he wants to laugh.
“sorry,” he says, laughing a little. “i’m just nervous.”
jk and nj both look at him and smile dumbly before turning back to each other.
“talk, then,” jk says, pushing his glass towards jm so he can fill it again.
nj clears his throat and nods. “okay, yeah, so, ah.”
he clears his throat again. “i loved you,” nj says and jk’s glass almost slips out of his grip. he doesn’t dare look nj in the eye. “i really, really did. i didn’t leave because the love ran out.”
“why did you?” jk asks, voice small, suddenly feeling vulnerable again.
“i was scared and i- i felt guilty,” nj says quietly. “we were so young. /you/ were so young. i thought about that a lot. how young you were. how we started dating when you were, what? eighteen?”
jk nods, still not looking up.
“and you just. gave in completely, didn’t you?”
“you gave up college, your home, everything. to follow me here, to be with me. and i just thought about that a lot.” nj is not looking at jk, but at a spot above his head. his fingers softly tapping on his glass.
“i was supposed to take care of you, but most of the time i didn’t even know how to take care of myself. it felt like such a big responsibility,” he says.
“i didn’t put that on you,” jk says, sniffling and looking at nj, then.
“i never asked you to take care of me or asked you to know what you were doing. i just wanted to be with you.”
nj nods. “i know. jk, i know,” he says. “that’s what scared me.”
“you were just willing to take anything i would give you when you deserved more than that. i didn’t want you to realize that one day and regret everything you gave up for me.”
jk shakes his head. tears pouring out now.
“that’s so fucking stupid. /i wanted to be with you/, hyung,” he repeats.
“you were so young and you loved me so much,” nj says, voice breaking. “and i was just working all day. i barely even saw you,” he says.
“sometimes i came home so exhausted, i didn’t even feel like having a conversation and you were up waiting for me with a dinner that had run cold and i couldn’t even look you in the eye sometimes.”
he’s crying now too. he didn’t use to cry back then.
jk looks down and sees jm slide a hand to cover nj’s.
“i felt so fucking guilty, jk,” he says. “i didn’t want to live like that. i didn’t want to wait for you to hate me.”
“you didn’t have to live like that,” jk says, voice coarse. he wipes his tears with his sleeve.
“you worked for your /mother/, nj.”
“yes, and it fucking sucked,” he snaps. “everyone looked at me like i was taking something away from them so i had to work that much harder to prove that i deserved to be there. you don’t know what that’s like,” he says.
“don’t fucking say that to me,” he snarls. “i’ve spent the last five years of my life proving that i can take care of my daughter. without you. without an alpha,” he says. “and even then, didn’t i have to prove myself to your mother too?”
“prove that i was worthy of you? you think that was fun?“
nj shakes his head. “i’m sorry,” he says. “you didn’t deserve that. you didn’t deserve any of it.”
“so you walked away.”
“i did,” he says. “we both deserved the chance to live at peace with ourselves.”
jk shakes his head. “you’re a fucking idiot. you don’t think i deserved to know what the fuck was going on inside your head?”
“no, don’t put that on me,” nj says. “i- i tried talking to you about it. you know how hard it was for me to talk to you about that shit,” he says.
“and you dismissed it. you said i just needed a few days off from work but it was more than that and i tried telling you. sometimes i hadn’t even gotten the sentence out and you were already unzipping my pants. saying you could help me get my mind off things,” he says.
“but it was more than that,” he says. “i didn’t need you to suck my dick, i needed you to listen to me.”
jm removes his hand from nj’s at that. nj snaps his head back to look at him. “baby,” he pleads, an apologetic frown on his face.
jm shakes his head. “no, no, go on. you’re doing great, baby,” he says and sips from his wine.
“i didn’t know how bad it was,” jk says quietly when nj turns to look at him again.
nj shrugs. “i guess i’m sorry i didn’t try harder to explain it,” he says.
“i understand how it felt sudden for you and i’m sorry for that. but it— it had been building up and i didn’t know how to talk about it with you. until, ah.”
“until you just decided to tell me you didn’t want to be with me anymore.”
“i didn’t say that.”
“no, you said you needed space and that you’d paid the year’s rent so i didn’t have to leave the apartment after you moved out.”
“and then you yelled at me to get out” nj snaps. “and ignored every single one of my calls.”
“what were you fucking calling me for? you /dumped/ me.”
“i didn’t want to leave things that way!”
“should have thought about it before making the decision for me, then,” jk snarls
“okay,” jm cuts in. “i don’t mean to get in the middle, but i sort of am and i dont think this is going anywhere, so.”
he taps nj’s hand where it’s gripping the table and nj lets go. blinking and sitting back. jk also sits back in his chair, breathing hard.
the air feels thick and suffocating with all their scents spiked and mixed together.
“okay,” jm says when they’re all breathing steadier.
“should we eat?” he asks. “and then we— you can talk about binna. this is about her, right?”
jk and nj nod, not looking at each other.
they eat in silence and it’s awkward again. everything said and everything left unsaid hanging above them.
“so, um,” jk starts, after a while, because he is genuinely curious. “h-how’d you two meet?”
nj and jm exchange a single look.
“i was on a date with some asshole i met on a dating app,” jm says. “he took me to nj’s latest gallery opening at the time and we chatted for a bit.”
“and when it didn’t work out with the other guy i went back.”
jk’s eyes dart to nj. “and then you took him to the pier’s gallery?”
nj groans and jm chokes on his wine.
“it’s my favorite place in the city,” he argues. “it took me so long to even go back there after we broke up.”
jm shakes his head. “so stupid. i can’t believe you tainted your own proposal.”
“you thought it was romantic.”
“that was before i knew you’re just taking everyone there.”
“not everyone. just the two of you,” nj says, not meeting anyone’s eyes.
jk and jm look at each other, holding each other’s gazes until jk feels too embarrassed and has to look away.
jm huffs. “this is fucked up.”
“i’m sorry,” nj says again. “for tainting your proposal. i’ll do it again,” he tells jm who snorts. “and for blindsiding you the way i did,” he tells jk.
“you’re not sorry we broke up?”
nj hesitates. “i-it’s complicated.”
jk snorts. “okay. well, /i’m/ not sorry,” he says, “it’s been hard but i don’t regret having raised binna alone.”
nj nods. “if the alternative would’ve been to parents who didn’t talk to each other or fought all the time, i’d feel the same way.”
“is that how you look back on our relationship?” his neck starting to prickle with anger again.
“of course not,” nj says. “that’s just where i feared our relationship was headed to. i still think you should’ve told me. i wouldn’t have let you go through it alone,” he says.
“i didn’t want to be near you,” jk says. “i was angry and heartbroken. and you weren’t ready for a baby,” jk says.
“you said it often enough. how you wanted pups, wanted to get married but not yet. /not right now/ you said. and to me it sounded like you meant to say not with /me/. so i didn’t tell you. i couldn’t stand another heartbreak.”
“that is not what i meant,” nj says quietly.
jk shrugs, not looking at him. he sighs.
“so, what now? what do you want exactly?”
nj hesitates and turns to jm. jm nods encouragingly.
nj turns back and clears his throat. “i want to know binna,” he says.
“i want to be in her life. in whatever capacity you allow.”
jk takes a moment, then finally nods. he leans forward, resting his elbows on the table and rubbing a hand over his face. “okay,” he says.
“i’m not ready for you to meet her. but we can try to work to it,” he says. “and i want your mother to stay as out of it as possible.”
nj nods quickly. “of course.”
“and i, ah.” he turns to jm. “i was just wondering if she can go back to ballet?” he asks, his voice softer.
“of course,” jm chirps, sitting up. “we really miss her.”
“she misses you too,” jk says, looking down and feeling his face heat up.
“so, um,” nj starts, clearing his throat. “do you, um. have pictures of her?”
jk blinks at him.
“oh. ah, yeah, sure,” he says and quickly pulls his phone out on binna’s photo gallery and slides it across the table to nj. “you can just scroll.”
nj takes it and looks at the photos, jm leaning next to him to look.
“ah, she’s so cute,” jm says. “she looks like you, hyung. i always thought so and i just assumed it was the heat and the baby fever messing with my head.”
nj doesn’t say anything, just scrolls through the photos, face pinched in anguish.
“oh, she was so tiny here,” jm coos. “so cute. look at her hair sticking up.”
eventually nj begins tearing up and puts the phone down.
“i’m so sorry,” he tells jk.
jk swallows, holds his gaze. “i told you i’m not.”
nj huffs. “she’s beautiful, jk”
jk nods. “she is.”
“ooh, jk-ah,” jm yelps then. he’s grabbed the phone to continue scrolling. “you’re pregnant here.”
jk’s eyes go round, his face hot. nj leans in to look and goes very red.
“y-you can stop scrolling there,” jk says.
“oh but you look so cute,” jm says.
“please,” jk begs when they keep looking at the photos and nj’s scent starts to thicken.
jm looks up and raises an eyebrow at him, fighting off at smirk. nj goes redder.
“sorry,” jm says and hands the phone bag to jk who is also beet red.
jk goes home after that. with the agreement that binna will go back to ballet and that they will all keep in touch and a still, bitter taste in his mouth. his stomach in knots.
so he knows why nj broke up with him.
and he still can’t understand it, can’t forgive him. but he can finally try to make his peace with it. know that it wasn’t his fault. that there was nothing he could do to keep nj.
at least nothing that wasn’t a baby in his belly. which is not a reason he would’ve wanted to keep nj for anyway.
he did good. made the right decision not telling him. he knows this.
now, he has to make his peace with nj and jm being in his life. maybe even in binna’s life.
he clenches his fist over his knee the whole subway ride, thinking of all the shit ahead of him.
“all because i couldn’t fucking keep it together over some cute guy,” jk whines to hs later at home.
binna was already asleep and in bed when he got there so he just kissed her head and got into his own bed with hs.
“i should never have taken binna to that stupid class.”
hs hums and pets his hair. “my baby,” he coos. “i’m so sorry this is all happening this way. i wish i could have warned you.”
jk sighs and rubs his face in hs’s shoulder, somehow trying to get jm’s and nj’s scent off of him. “it’s okay. you couldn’t have known.”
hs hums. “they’re not bad people,” hs says. “i know you don’t want to hear it but they’re not. if i thought they were i wouldn’t be letting you or binna near them.”
jk smiles. “you would get possessive over me?”
hs laughs. “yea-ah i would.”
jk drops himself on his pillows.
“divorce yg-hyung and marry me instead,” he jokes. “i’ll court you so good, hyung.”
hs blushes and laughs. “aish, jk-ah,” he says playfully shoving him away.
“just try to sleep, okay? i’ll be here. you’re safe.”
jk hums and lets himself be lulled to sleep by hs’s voice and dark scent.
binna goes back to ballet next week. she’s ecstatic about it and jk is relieved, if only a little.
he’s nervous about picking her up, and spends most of his day at work worrying about it and, of course, everything works against him to make him late.
he rushes into the studio a good twenty-five minutes after the class has ended.
“i’m so sorry,” he says, walking in. he finds jm sitting on the floor in the middle of the room, binna perched on his lap, looking at one of the photo books they keep at the reception.
binna jumps up when she sees jk come in and runs up to him. jk catches her in his arms and balances her on his hip. “i’m so sorry, sweetheart,” he says kissing her face as she giggles and whines.
he looks at jm as he gets up from the floor.
“i got held up at work and my phone died so i couldn’t text you,” he explains. “i’m sorry.”
jm smiles and shakes his head. “don’t worry about it,” he says. “we were okay, weren’t we, binna-yah?”
binna nods. “jm showed me pictures in his book,” she says.
jm smiles again.
jk feels tense all over and jm must notice, because his smile falters. “it’s okay, jk-ah, really.”
jk chews on his lip, then swallows. “binna, love, can you wait for appa a minute over there?” he kisses her head and puts her down.
she pouts. “a minute?”
jk nods. “yeah, like, just a moment, okay?”
she heaves a big sigh and walks over to the book left forgotten on the floor to continue looking at it.
when jk looks up, jm is smiling at them. “cute,” he says.
jk hums, then walks over to one side of the room. jm follows.
“listen, i know what we discussed and all, but this was not a part of it. i’m not comfortable with you hanging out with binna outside of class. i’m sorry i was late but it won’t happen again, okay?”
jm looks at him for a long moment. “okay,” he says, “i’m sorry.”
jk closes his eyes and shakes his head, rubbing at his temple. “no, no. i mean, it’s fine. thank you for watching her. i just don’t want her to get confused. to her you’re just her ballet teacher. not— you know.”
jm nods quickly. “of course, i understand,” he says. “i-i agree. i wouldn’t want to make things more complicated than they should.”
jk nods, relieved. “yeah, yeah that’s it. thank you,” he says. “sorry, i’m just tired.”
“are you okay?” he asks, eyes honest and worried.
he lifts a hand as if he’s about to touch jk, then drops it.
“yeah, yeah. i’m fine.”
jm nods. “okay. if you need anything, i’ll be happy to help.”
jk nods and they look at each other for a beat longer.
“okay, then. ah, we should go,” he says and jm nods again.
“binna, sweetheart. let’s go.”
jk turns to look at jm before they walk out and jm smiles from where he’s standing at the center of the room, watching them go.
binna continues going to ballet classes and jk and jm keep running into each other and it’s civil. they say hi, smile at each other. jk thanks jm for the class and then they’re off. that’s all.
then one day, jm stops jk right before leaving.
“jk-ah, please wait.”
jk stops and turns around, binna pulling him by the arm. “binna, just a moment.”
jm laughs fondly at her impatience, then looks at jk. “ah, nj will text you most likely later tonight, but i just wanted to give you a heads up,” he says.
jk can’t help how tense his body gets.
“so, nj curated a super temporary exhibit at the modern art museum and it’s opening up this saturday. he wanted to ask you to come,” he says. “just you, of course.”
jk stares at him. “oh. okay..”
jm breathes out a laugh. “these things are fun sometimes,” he says.
“and if it’s not, it’d be nice to have someone to keep me company while nj is being the center of attention.”
“am i the someone?”
jm smiles, slowly, sweet. “if you wanted to.”
jk swallows. “i- yeah, fine. i’ll think about it.”
jk used to hate these type of events when he and nj were together. it’s something he definitely did not miss when nj broke up with him.
he always felt inadequate in those type of settings. but nj was just an assistant back then.
the only times they got to attend openings as guests was when nj’s mother was hosting them.
now it’s nj hosting them. independently from his mother, as he always wanted. jk from five years ago would be so proud of him.
“jm always has a horrible time at those things,” th says.
he’s sprawled on his couch, his feet propped up on about five pillows. he’s already past his due date and the baby is still not coming. sj is in the kitchen teaching binna about making cookies.
“yeah, well, so did i,” jk says.
th hums. “you’d keep each other company,” he says.
“and nj is always at his most pleasant during an opening. i think it’s a good opportunity to hang out.”
“i’d have to dress up,” he says, scrunching his nose.
“you can borrow something from my closet,” he says. “please do, all my nice clothes are just gathering dust now.”
“we’ll watch binna,” sj calls from the kitchen. “we’ll watch old disney movies and make popcorn, right, binna-yah?”
th looks over at jk and smiles. jk smiles back. “yeah, fine.”
“and just, careful with the popcorn, okay?” jk is saying over the phone. “remember not to talk while you’re chewing.”
“yes, appa,” binna chirps.
“okay. i love you,” he says. “put th back on the phone.”
he’s riding on the back of a car with nj and jm, who look like a big shot celebrity couple. jk already feels inadequate, even in th’s nice shirt and jewelry.
“everything okay?” nj asks once jk hangs up the phone.
“ah, sure,” he says.
“good,” he says, then clears his throat.
“don’t want to overstep but if you ever needed help to like get a babysitter, you could always reach out,” he says. “especially now that th might have the baby any day now.”
jk frowns. “i can afford a babysitter,” he says. “i just haven’t been needing one.”
“right,” he says.
“just thought i’d offer.”
“right. well, thanks, i guess.”
nj nods. it’s awkward to talk like that when jm is sitting right in the middle. jk has actually considered how awkward it is to have to navigate this probable co-parenting situation with jm in the middle of it.
or just with jm and nj working as unit. but he’s also considered the alternative, of having to deal with nj alone and… this is preferable.
jk would probably be engaged in a petty fight with nj by now if jm wasn’t sitting all prettily between them.
prettily or not prettily, doesn’t make a difference, jk reminds himself.
they ride in silence to the museum and by the time they get there, jk is suffocating with the thickness of their scents. the tension of it.
the driver gives them an alarming look as they get out.
nj and then nj /and/ jm take some photos going in while jk just hovers awkwardly.
jm flashing his ring.
jk thinks it’s all so ridiculous and he’s actually grateful it’s jm and not himself. and it’s good because jm seems to enjoy the attention. glows under it, really.
once inside, nj is immediately dragged away by one of the artists and a group of people jk can’t hope to know. jm and jk meet up with hs and yg and head to the bar.
“jm-ssi,” hs starts. “how many times did you get to hear nj’s speech for tonight so far?”
jm smiles. “a million?”
hs laughs. “well, just one more to go, right?”
jm laughs and nods and tells them all about it and jk feels his stomach turn.
it’s the intimacy of it and how jm is so seemingly friendly with hs and yg, how well he fits into nj’s life.
jk is not jealous, that’d be stupid, but he feels weirdly alienated from all of it. he’s never had it easy fitting in, and this should be simple because he’s known nj and hs and yg for years.
but instead he’s just standing there listening to jm and hs chat.
he turns back to the bar to ask for something stronger.
“you okay?” yg asks, voice low, leaning in closer so jk can hear him.
jk nods. “yeah. this is all just really fucking weird.”
yg nods. “i can imagine,” he mutters.
jk and yg never were exactly close, but yg has always been good to him. and binna the few times he’s had the chance. he’s the oddest, quietly nurturing omega he’s ever met.
jm is soon dragged away by nj, probably to be showed off somewhere.
hs turns to jk and smiles sympathetically.
jk shrugs. “i don’t know why they even wanted me to come.”
“he’s trying,” yg says.
“so am i,” jk says. “i wouldn’t be here otherwise.”
hs hums. “that’s good,” he chirps. “baby steps.”
jk raises an eyebrow at him and hs laughs.
eventually, nj is able to take a moment and he’s smoothly sliding next to jk.
“do you want the tour?”
jk glances up at him, and nj looks back. smiling a little hesitant but sincerely and warm. jk has to look away.
“okay,” he mutters.
so nj leads him through the exhibit, telling him about every piece, fast and eloquently, and so passionately.
jk never understood much about te type of modern art nj works with, but he always liked hearing him talk about it.
it triggers a lot of memories and jk is quickly overwhelmed. he’s about to ask for a moment when jm is sliding up to his other side with a drink in his hand.
jk feels trapped. nj goes on talking about some sculpture and jm waits for him to be done to speak.
“it sort of looks like anal beads,” he says.
jk chokes on his own spit. nj turns to look at him, his jaw clenched, not like it does when he’s angry but the way it goes tight when he’s trying not to laugh.
“what? it does!” jm says.
nj cracks a smile, then huffs out a laugh.
“it really does.”
jm laughs. jk feels his mouth starting to twitch into a smile, so he turns to gesture at jm’s champagne glass and clears his throat. “can i?”
jm nods and gives it to him and jk drinks. he can feel nj’s eyes on him, the knowing smile on his face.
“nj!” a voice is shrilling across the room then, a voice that quiete frankly make’s jk’s blood run cold.
nj curses and turns around, his scent spiking in alert.
“oh no,” jm mutters and immediately curls a hand around jk’s arm.
“mom, what are you doing here?” nj hisses, striding forward.
nj’s mother is clicking her heels quickly towards him. her alpha scent is one of the strongest, most pungent smells jk’s ever smelled. it mixes with the expensive perfume she insists on wearing and it makes him sick.
it feels as if someone is forcing a very distasteful drink down his throat with how overwhelming it is.
“what do you mean what am i doing here?” she snaps. “am i not allowed to come to your openings anymore?”
“mom, you can do whatever you want, but a heads up would be—”
“what heads up? what- what are you talking about?”
she waves a hand at him. “this is wonderful, nj,” she says.
“i was just talking to the artists, they are absolutely in love with you. oh, nj, i wish you would just come back and work with us. my current assistant is completely inept, i tell you, the other day he—”
her eyes catch on jm and jk then. “jm!” she calls.
“are you not going to come say hi? show me that ring?” she asks, walking closer.
jm takes a deep breath and lets go of jk, plastering on a smile and taking a step forward.
“eomeonim,” he greets and she hoots at him.
“jm, darling, look at you,” she says caressing his jaw and looking him up and down. “so gorgeous. let me see that ring.”
jm shows her and she hoots in delight an admiration.
“so pretty,” she says. “isn’t it?” she asks looking up at jk. “who is—”
jk can tell the exact second when she realizes. the surprise on her face. then the displeased purse of her mouth.
“oh,” she says with disdain. “what is he doing here?” she turns to nj to ask. jk clenches his fist.
“ah, it’s funny, actually,” nj says quickly.
“he just moved across the hall from jm’s friends.”
she blinks at nj. “how is that funny?”
jk frowns, hes about to speak but then he notices the look on both nj’s and jm’s faces and he realizes.
she doesn’t know.
“funny as a funny coincidence, eomeonim,” jm rushes to clarify.
“mm. i don’t find it funny,” she says, still talking to nj. she hasn’t addressed jk once. “is it a charity event? are you inviting random neighbors now or—”
“if you’ll excuse me, i’ll be outside,” jk cuts in, pointedly addressing nj’s mother who is insistent on ignoring him.
she gives him a nasty look before he’s pushing his way out of the hall.
he walks over to the nearest store to buy a single cigarette, then lights it up outside.
it’s only a few minutes before nj finds him.
“jk,” he calls and jk turns over to face him.
“what are you doing?” jk asks him. “go back to your thing.”
nj gives him a long look, brow furrowed in something like distress. like he feels really sad for jk. “will you come back with me? i asked my mother to leave.”
“you— what? no,” jk says. “i’m done for tonight.”
“okay, then,” he says. “i’ll call jm, we can go and—”
“will you stop?” jk snaps. “what the fuck do you want from me? i’m not your boyfriend and we’re not trying to get back together, you don’t have to do this shit for me.”
“who’s talking about getting back together?” nj asks.
“i’m trying to be nice. i’m trying to have a healthy and friendly relationship with you so binna can grow up having parents that don’t hate each other.”
jk puffs out smoke. shakes his head. “fine,” he says. “you don’t have to leave your own stupid opening, though, jesus.”
“i’ll go back in, let me just finish this,” he says waving the cigarette in nj’s face.
nj nods, relaxing a bit. he leans his back on the store’s front.
“so, you still smoke?”
jk shrugs. “only when i’m really stressed,” he says. “i quit when i found out about binna. you?”
nj shakes his head. “jm doesn’t like the smell.”
“right.” still, jk can see nj looking at the cigarette as he puts it in his mouth to take a drag. so jk just offers it to him.
nj grins, a single dimple popping out, and grabs it. jk has to fight a smile.
“i’m sorry about my mother,” nj says, coughing a little around the cigarette smoke. it must really have been a while since he smoked. “i didn’t know she was gonna show up. if i did i would have simply asked security to not let her in.”
jk snorts. “she would’ve gone unhinged.”
nj laughs. “yeah.”
“so she doesn’t know? a-bout binna.”
nj shakes his head, passing the cigarette back. “i’m still figuring out how i’ll even start that conversation.”
“just blame it on me.” jk shrugs. “she already hates me, so.”
“you have nothing to blame,” nj says.
“and i don’t want her to hate you, jk.” he sighs. “listen, i feel like you don’t believe when i say this but i want to do this right. i fucked us up so much and that’s something i will never be able to fix so i want to do this the right way,” he says.
“i want to have a good relationship with you. and with binna. and i want her to have a decent grandmother who can be respectful of her dad.”
jk purses his lip. “that’s a whole lot of shit to want.”
“jk, please,” nj says. “i mean it.”
jk looks at him.
ever since nj came back into his life, jk has had a problem with looking at him in the eye.
the love might have run out, but somehow he still feels so vulnerable, so seen under nj’s gaze. it’s ridiculous because they are different people now. they don’t know each other anymore.
“you have to show me,” jk says, around the lump in his throat. “you can say all this shit to me and it won’t mean a thing if you don’t stand by it,” he says. “you have to understand what you’re getting into, nj, because there’s no turning back.”
“if you want to be her father, it has to be a lifelong commitment. because if you ever walk out on her, if you ever hurt her —- i will do anything to make your life a living hell.”
nj looks at him.
“is that what you’re afraid of?” he asks, gentler than he should have any right to. “me abandoning her? like i did with you?”
jk doesn’t answer. just looks away.
“that won’t happen, jk,” he says. “that will never happen again. i’m not who i was, i—” he huffs,
runs a hand through his hair. “the other day you asked me if i regretted our break up and i told you i didn’t,” he says. “well, i lied.”
jk turns to look at him then.
“i started regretting it the moment i did it.”
“i was just too much of a coward and too proud to do anything about it. but it’s the biggest regret of my life and i’ve spent years wondering where would we be if i hadn’t done it,” he says.
“and now, knowing about binna it’s ten times worse because it makes me think about the kind of life we could have had. the three of us.”
“don’t,” jk says, voice breaking. “don’t fucking do that. i’ve spent five years doing it and it was hell.”
“i don’t regret anything anymore,” he says. “i made the decision that i made and i can’t change it. i made the best out of it. binna is a good child and she’s happy. all that’s left now is to sort this out,” he gestures between him and nj. “in the present. no looking back.”
jk waits for nj to speak and he’s tired. feeling all the fight leave his body. he just wants to be at peace with what he’s got.
nj examines him, then nods. “okay. no looking back.”
jk nods. “and that doesn’t mean i forgive you. i just want to move on.”
nj’s mouth tugs up into a smile. “okay. i don’t expect you to,” he says. “i won’t walk out on you and binna, jk. i promise.”
jk looks at him, lets himself feel vulnerable for a second.
he’s dimly aware that this is the first time they have been alone together in over five years. and that they’re not screaming at each other.
baby steps, hs had said.
“we’ll see,” jk says. “let’s go back inside.”
both of their phones ring then, at the exact same moment.
they look at each other and then hurry to answer.
“it’s jm,” nj mutters.
when jk answers his phone, it’s to sj’s frantic talking.
“what happened?” he asks, all the blood draining from his face.
// cw birth mention //
“jk-ah? it’s the baby,” he says. “he’s coming.”
jk turns to look at nj, who has a big dopey smile on his face.
“so we’re leaving after all,” he says.
they get jm and hs and yg and they rush to the hospital where they find sj pacing the floor.
he tells them, talking fast, about how th was just getting up from the couch to take binna to bed when his water broke.
“where’s binna?” nj asks.
“with our neighbor,” jk tells him, raising an eyebrow.
he asked sj to leave her with their elderly neighbor that’s always making food and dropping it off for jk and binna. she’s not fond of the old lady, but it will have to do for one night. jk was not having sj bringing her into all this. especially with jm and nj around.
nj blinks. “oh okay.”
they wait, nearly all night and at 4:07 am, th gives birth to a baby boy.
it’s a while before they can go in and meet him. sj goes in first, and then they let all of them in for a few minutes.
sj is sitting at the edge of th’s bed, th is holding the pup.
they both look exhausted and teary-eyed but so unbearably happy.
jm and hs are immediately crowding them, cooing at the baby, yg takes a step back to give them space. and jk watches from afar.
it triggers memories for him and it all makes him want to cry.
how lonely it was, when it was just him and a tiny newborn binna.
the only people at the hospital for him were his mother and hs and jk was happy, but was still burdened with worry.
jk looks up and finds nj not watching the scene but looking straight at him.
and not for the first time, today, or in the past ten years of jk’s life, it feels as if nj can read his mind.
nj gives him a single sad smile, then looks back at th and the baby.
jk has to wipe a tear from his face.
“appa, when can we see the whales?” binna asks. she’s looking through a nature magazine jk picked up on the way from work for her.
he’s on his computer, working on a design for a client. he’s been increasingly taking work home over the past few weeks.
he’s had time for little else. he still takes binna to ballet, his relationship with jm almost back to what it was before this whole mess came about. all except for the low key, not so low key, whatever it was, flirting they had going. it’s… nice.
and he and nj started communicating through text almost on a daily basis. just jk sending little updates on binna. like,
binna buttoned up her own shirt today
or she lost her first baby tooth
or she picked her own hairstyle
or she drew this family of clownfish today
nj always has quick and enthusiastic replies and yeah, whatever, it feels good to have someone else celebrate with him even the tiniest milestone.
so that’s been good. things have been pretty okay. except for how overworked jk feels all the time.
“ah, i-i don’t know, sweetheart, i—”
“but you said we could!” she shrieks.
“yes, i just don’t know when would it be a good time,” he says.
her lip quivers in disappointment.
“i’ll make time,” he says quickly. “we’ll go soon, okay?”
jk hesitates, then he gets an idea. “we’ll go for your birthday,” he says. that interests her. “and then we can have cake, any flavor you want.”
jk smiles. “chocolate it is.” he hesitates again, then swallows. “how would you feel about inviting jm?”
“and jm’s friend, maybe?”
“ah, no. another friend.”
she frowns, thinking about it and jk is about to backpedal, tell her they can ask hs and call it a night — and he’s a little relieved, to be honest — when she shrugs.
“okay, he is invited” she just says, looking back at her magazine. “but he has to bring a present.”
jk swallows. “i will let him know.”
jk really didn’t think he’d find himself coming back to nj’s house so soon.
this time is just a weekday morning and he doesn’t feel any more comfortable standing at his front door.
jm answers and jk blinks. he’s wearing plaid pajama pants and an oversized shirt and his hair is standing up.
he looks very… soft. jk has the stray urge to nuzzle and scent him.
“hey, jk-ah,” he says with a tired smile.
“uh. hi,” he says. “sorry. nj said i could come over before work. were you sleeping?”
jm shakes his head. “i was just making coffee, come on in.”
jm leads him into the living room where nj is sitting on the carpet at the coffee table, looking at his laptop. he’s in sweatpants and he’s wearing his reading glasses. he always looked so handsome in glasses.
it’s all very domestic and jk fidgets with his bag strap.
nj looks up and smiles. “jk, come in, sit down.”
jk walks carefully over to an armchair and sits. “i don’t have long,” he says.
“do you want a cup of coffee, jk-ah?” jm asks.
jk shakes his head. “thank you, though.”
jm nods and leaves for the kitchen, ignoring nj who was just opening his mouth to speak.
nj’s jaw clenches as he watches jm leave, then turns to jk and smiles again.
“so, you wanted to talk?”
“um. yeah,” he says. he clears his throat.
“so, binna’s birthday is coming up,” he starts.
“it is?” nj asks, sitting up straighter.
jk nods. “she’ll be six on the 11th,” he says.
nj smiles. “that’s just a few days before jm’s birthday,” he says. “so what do you have planned?”
jk shrugs. “not much,” he says.
“she’ll have a small party at school during the week and on saturday i wanted to take her to the aquarium. she’s really into sea animals, so.”
nj smiles gets impossibly wider. “i love sea animals.”
“yeah, ah, i know,” jk says, looking down at his hand still fidgeting with his bag. “so, anyway, i wanted to ask if you wanted to come. with jm. i asked her and she’s cool with it.”
“really? you want me to come?”
“do i /want/ you come? like not so much but i’m trying here.”
“right,” nj says quickly. “i appreciate it, really.”
jm comes back into the living room then, a single cup of coffee in his hand. he drops down on the couch. nj looks at him, eyeing his coffee.
jm looks at him, eyebrows raised. “oh, i didn’t ask if you wanted a cup? oops.”
he sips from his coffee.
nj glares at him a moment longer, then looks back at jk.
“so, next saturday?”
jk nods, eyes wide, feeling uncomfortable about something that has nothing to do with himself for once.
“what’s next saturday?” jm asks.
“binna’s birthday,” nj and jk say at the same time.
jm sits up at that. “oh, it is?”
jk nods. “she wants you to come with us to the aquarium.”
“oh, that’s so sweet. we’d love to,” he says.
“okay,” he says. “you have to bring presents.”
“does she need anything in particular?” nj asks.
“she’s five, you don’t show up to her birthday with something that she /needs/,” jm says. “you show up with like a doll house or a giant stuffed animal.”
nj blinks. “okay, i can do that.”
“she doesn’t need a dollhouse,” jk says. “i mean, she’d like the stuffed animal better, i think,” he says. “a regular sized one.”
jm pouts. “can i try with a small dollhouse? if she doesn’t like it, i’ll take it back.”
both nj and jk are looking at him hopeful and expectant. jk is already overwhelmed with all of it.
“fine,” he says. “just don’t spend too much. and we’re having cake after.”
nj nods enthusiastically. “yes, great, okay.”
“i can’t wait,” he says, with that sincere, unrestrained excitement jk used to find so endearing. jk ignores the tug inside his chest.
“just be cool about it,” he says. “she doesn’t know you’re her— you know. she just thinks you’re jm’s friend.”
“of course. yeah, i can be cool. i can be jm’s friend.”
jk has to fight a grin. then he looks at the time on the wall clock behind nj.
“ah, i have to go but i’ll see you both on saturday?”
nj and jm nod. and before jk can get up, jm has excused himself to go upstairs.
jk turns to nj. nj gives him an apologetic smile. “sorry, he’s sometimes grumpy in the mornings.”
on saturday, jk wakes binna up with song and kisses and pancakes.
she chooses a pretty yellow dress to wear and they’re about to head out when someone rings their bell.
it’s a delivery guy and jk let’s him come up, thinking it’s maybe the winter coat he ordered for binna,
but instead the guy is struggling to push a huge pink wooden dollhouse out of the elevator.
jk hurries to help him and bring it inside and when binna sees it she goes a little insane, almost wanting to climb inside it.
jk stares, not knowing what to do or where he’ll even fit that in binna’s room. he tries not to think about how much jm must have spent.
it takes him a good twenty minutes to convince her that if they don’t leave now they’re going to be late for the aquarium.
once they get there, binna is bouncing up and down from excitement, and jk’s stomach is in knots. it’s so stupid, he thinks. what could even go wrong?
right at the door, there’s a huge display with a cartoon shark and baby shark playing loud on the speakers.
binna yelps and runs towards it, immediately bouncing to the music and singing along.
jk is about to join her when he hears a familiar laugh.
“so cute,” jm says and jk turns around. he’s walking over with nj hesitantly coming behind him.
he’s holding a pink wrapped present. it looks like a book.
“hi. ah, i bought her a book,” he says and yeah. “i was thinking she could choose a stuffed animal from the gift shop. they have some pretty cute ones.”
jk nods. “sure, fine. thanks.”
nj looks relieved, but he still shifts awkwardly. he’s nervous. jk is too.
“did she get the dollhouse?” jm asks.
“ah, yeah. it’s so much, jm, you really didn’t have to.”
“but i wanted to! i always wanted one when i was a kid, i figured she should have it.” he’s smiling, kind and good-natured.
“i tried to tell him to get a smaller one,” nj says.
“why should she get a small one?” jm snaps, turning to him.
“because that’s what you and jk agreed,” nj grits.
“if it bothers him i think he can speak for himself,” jm says and then they both turn to jk.
jk blinks, looking between the two of them.
“oh. i- i don’t— it’s fine. i mean next time it’d be cool if you asked first when spending so much money but she loved it so, thanks.”
jm shoots a single smug smile a nj before hurrying over to surprise binna.
“um. is everything okay with you guys?”
nj shrugs. “don’t worry about it,” he says, then his eyes drift over to jm and binna. “should i just, ah, say hi?”
jk smiles. “sure. she’s usually really good with meeting new people and you have a present. it’ll be okay.”
nj nods, not removing his eyes from binna.
“she’s so beautiful,” he says. it warms jk’s chest.
people often say that about binna and it’s not that jk doesn’t believe them, it’s just that it sounds much more sincere when nj says it. like he just might see her the way jk does.
“she is,” he says softly.
then, he clears his throat. “come on.”
he has to tap nj’s elbow so he can start walking along with jk.
binna looks up at jk and the smile fades from her face as her eyes fall on nj.
jk and nj freeze.
“binna? this is nj. he is jm’s friend.”
“h-hi, binna,” nj says, carefully.
binna frowns and pouts and doesn’t say anything, just runs over to jk and hides behind his leg, gripping his pant leg.
jm, still kneeling down, looks up at both nj and jk. they all trade looks.
“binna?” jm asks gently.
binna hides her face, then starts tugging jk’s shirt so he can pull her up. he does.
he glances once at nj who looks like he’s been slapped on the face, then walks a few steps closer to the door, away from nj and jm.
“sweetheart? what’s wrong?” he asks into her hair.
binna doesn’t say anything just hides her face in jk’s neck.
“is it nj?”
“he brought you a present,” jk says. that gets binna to look up. she looks like she’s about to cry. jk brushes the hair out of her face.
“what is it, baby?”
“does he have to come?”
jk hesitates. “no, no he doesn’t,” he says, then turns to nj again. he looks miserable.
shit. he clears his throat. “he really wanted to see the whales, too, though.”
binna frowns, like she’s thinking about it. “he has a present?”
“mhm. want to give him a chance? if you’re not comfortable we can leave and come back—”
“okay, okay,” he says.
“i want to go in now,” she says. “put me down.” she shoves at jk’s chest, so jk puts her down and immediately she’s running inside.
“binna!” he calls and runs after her. jm and nj follow them inside.
jk finds binna trying to access the aquarium and a security guard trying to guide her outside with a hand on her shoulder and jk’s vision blurs. nj’s scent spikes.
“hey, hands off! we have tickets,” jk snarls. already trying to pick binna up but she fights him.
the security guard doesn’t seem bothered in the slightest until he spots nj and ducks his head, letting them through.
binna runs in and jk runs behind her, already freaking out because the place is so crowded.
he catches up to binna and stops her. he kneels down.
“hey,” he says. “if you’re gonna misbehave we will leave. you can’t go running on your own. if you want to walk that’s fine but you have to stay where we can see you. are we understood?”
she frowns. glances back at jm and nj who are watching. she sniffles and nods.
“okay then,” jk says. “come here.” he hugs her tightly and kisses the top of her head. “let’s go see the whales.”
he grabs her hand and lets her lead. she immediately drags him to a cylindrical tank with fish. where she immediately presses her hands and forehead on.
“i’m sorry,” jk says when nj and jm catch up to them. “she’s not usually like this, i promise. i don’t know what’s gotten into her.”
jm hums. “little ones are very perceptive and have sensitive noses,” he says.
“what does that mean?” nj asks. “i’m her— shouldn’t she like my scent?”
“yes but the last time she smelled you it was under a stressful situation,” jm says.
“shit,” jk says. “yeah, ah, i was so upset that time. she was really scared. i’m sorry.”
“jk-ah, it’s not your fault.”
“i’m sorry,” nj says.
”aish, its no one’s fault,” jm says.
“she just needs time. go ahead and tell her about the fish, you like that crap,” he tells nj.
nj looks at jm, then at jk. they both nod encouragingly,
so nj approaches carefully and stands next to binna who is talking to the fish and addressing it as dory.
“ah, that’s a blue tang,” he says. binna looks up with a frown. “that’s the name of the fish,” nj clarifies.
“i know!” binna snaps. “i named her,” she tells him,
as if nj is being very stupid. jm giggles.
nj looks up at them and he looks like a kicked puppy. jk sighs.
“why don’t you tell nj what else you know about the fish, binna?”
binna looks up at nj, still distrustful,
but she must feel some responsibility to educate him because she heaves and tells him about the fish.
“they live in coral reefs,” she says. “but not these ones because they live in cat— catit—” she huffs.
“captivity, sweetheart,” jk supplies.
she nods and looks at nj again who’s smiling as if binna is the single greatest thing he’s ever seen in his life. he kneels down next to her and binna talks about the fish.
it makes jk’s heart somersault inside his chest. he feels jm’s eyes on him and he blushes.
jm smiles and doesn’t mention it.
they move further into the aquarium. binna quickly takes it upon herself to tell nj everything she knows about the fish and even allows him some input a few times.
she doesn’t seem to be warming up to him, though.
at one point, they find a little stand with maps of the aquarium and binna grabs one to look at it and when nj tries to read it for her, she huffs and pushes him away before getting another map to give to him.
“binna, we don’t push people,” jk tells her, sternly.
“i gave him his own map!” she whines. nj looks a little defeated but accepts the map from binna.
jm and jk walk behind them, chatting idly and jm takes a lot of photos of nj and binna.
“is it her first time at the aquarium?”
jk shakes his head. “my parents took her back home when she was a baby, but i don’t think she remembers much of it.”
jm hums. “what a cute first trip to the aquarium, then,” jm says,
looking down at a photo he took of nj and binna looking enthralled at a ray swimming above them in the tunnel tank.
jk’s throat goes tight. “can i get those photos?”
jm takes a long look at him. “yeah, sure,” he says after a second.
“thank you for doing this,” jm says, carefully, like he’s measuring his words. “it really means a lot to nj.”
jk doesn’t meet his eyes and shrugs. “i’m just trying to do what’s right. for all of us.”
jm nods. “and you are. i know how hard it’s being. jk-ah, i—”
he doesn’t get to say anything else bc binna shrieks. they both turn to look and they find nj putting her back down as she kicks and screams. once she’s on the floor she continues hitting nj’s leg.
“binna!” jk calls, walking over to her and pulling her away.
“binna, stop,” he says. “what is up with you?”
and that’s when she starts crying and babbling things jk can’t hope to understand.
“i-i was just trying to put her over my shoulders so she could look at the fish better,” nj says, gesturing at the tank above him.
“i’m sorry. i-i should have asked. i mean i did ask, but i should have waited for her to say yes and i- i didn’t.”
jk shakes his head. “we still don’t hit people,” he tells binna, kneeling down. “hey, what’s up?” he asks,
gently wiping the tears and pushing the hair away from her face where it’s sticking to her forehead from the tears and sweat.
“i don’t want him,” she huffs.
she huffs again and starts crying and resumes her babbling against jk’s shoulder.
jk sighs and pats her back. he looks over at nj and jm, some feet away from them.
nj has his head ducked and jm has his faced cupped in his small hands. he’s smiling gently and talking quietly into nj’s space, only for him to hear.
jk feels like he has to look away.
“want me to lift you up so you can look at the fish?” he asks in binna’s ear.
binna shakes her head and shoves at him. she turns away and looks at the tank. jk sighs and stands up just as jm is coming over.
“may i?” he asks, gesturing at binna. jk shrugs and nods.
lets jm kneel down next to binna. she seems to relax at that.
when jk walks over to where nj is standing all the way over at the other side of the room, he finds him quickly wiping tears away and jk doesn’t know what to do for a full minute.
nj never cried back then. ever.
jk was with him when his father passed and never saw him shed a tear.
since he’s back in jk’s life he’s already seen him cry twice. it’s… odd.
“ah, i’m really sorry,” jk says, lifting a hand to touch nj, then thinking better of it and dropping it again.
“but i’m sure it’ll be fine. she’s just five, she won’t hold a grudge. i’ll talk to her when we get home, she’s overwhelmed right now.”
nj sniffles and nods. “six now.”
jk’s eyes go wide. “yeah. shit.”
nj nods. “you don’t have to apologize,” he says. “i guess it’s fitting. that she’s making me work for it.”
“i guess it is,” jk says. he’s not looking at nj, but at jm and binna.
jm, it seems, has convinced her to let him put her over his shoulders.
nj sniffles again and jk turns to look at him. his eyes are wet and his nose is a little runny. jk smiles.
“it’s so weird,” he says.
“seeing you cry,” he says.
“i never saw you cry the five years we were together and i’ve seen you do it twice now.”
nj blushes. “ah, you’d be surprised,” he says. “i’ve been going to therapy and i cry like a baby each time. she thinks i used to repress things a lot and i guess she’s right.”
jk hums. “that’s good,” he says. “i mean, i hope it’s doing you good.”
jk hums again. “i’m the opposite. i guess i’m about to sound like an idiot since you’ve seen me cry like three times in the last few months but i actually don’t do it as often as i did.”
there’s a pause and then, “you look pretty when you cry, anyway,” nj says. unprovoked.
jk looks up at him, eyes wide. his brain short-circuiting. doesn’t even know what posses him to answer with, “yeah, i do recall how that got you going.”
nj chokes. and he started it didn’t he?
and now jk knows they’re both thinking about nj whispering praise in his ear while he fucked him until jk cried.
jk can smell the spike of arousal in nj’s scent.
jm turns to look at them then, his nose twitching.
he squints his eyes at them before turning his attention back to binna when she tugs him by the arm.
jk clears his throat and rushes to pull the aquarium’s map out of his pocket and refusing to look at nj.
“anyway. um, isn’t this like the last room. where are the whales?”
jk looks at nj, he’s obviously flustered. it makes jk flustered.
“the whales,” jk repeats, ignoring how pink nj is. “that’s the whole reason we’re here.”
“there are no whales here.”
“no, i mean, like. b-beluga whales?”
nj just stares at him in alarm.
“there are no whales?!” jk almost shouts.
binna cries and and shrieks and kicks her feet when they tell her. jk apologizes over and over again.
“we can go see whales another day, binna-yah,” nj says.
“don’t make promises you won’t be able to keep,” jk hisses.
“i’ll keep it,” nj insists.
but it doesn’t matter, binna won’t listen to reason.
or not until they get to the gift shop and she forgets about the whole thing.
jk has to negotiate with her and then nj about how many stuffed animals she can get.
binna leaves the aquarium with a stuffed whale shark, a penguin and a red crab that nj insisted on.
“hs is meeting us at the park with the cake,” he says, as they’re walking out. “can you guys still make it?” jk asks checking the time on his phone.
the aquarium trip took a good two hours longer than he anticipated.
but jm and nj just nod. “we have nowhere else to be,” jm says.
so they meet hs and yg and th and sj and the pup at the park.
there’s chocolate cake and more presents for binna and she’s elated.
“it didn’t go so terrible, did it?” jm says, coming to sit on the grass next to jk as the sun starts to set. binna is watching tae lull the pup to sleep while nj takes pictures from afar.
jk looks over at jm and jm smiles, warmly and squinty eyed. he’s hugging his knees to his chest.
“i guess it could’ve been worse,” jk says.
jm laughs. “it was nice,” he says. “a lovely end to an awful week, really.”
“ah. is everything okay?” jk asks a little hesitantly.
“yeah” he says, leaning his head in and resting it on his knees. “just. complicated shit i don’t want to think about right now.”
“right,” jk says. and it’s really weird. he feels like he’s really making progress in his relationship with both jm and nj separately.
but then he remembers that they’re a couple with a whole life and complicated shit that jk is not part of. and as a friend to both, he doesn’t quite know how to deal with it. how to console jm about whatever he might be going through with nj.
so jk doesn’t even bring it up.
“so what are you doing for your birthday?”
jm snorts. “having dinner with nj’s mother. at her insistence. she wants to go over wedding stuff.”
“right.” jk thinks about asking how the wedding stuff is going but he doesn’t really want to know.
“i took some pretty cute pictures,” nj says then, walking over to them and sitting on jm’s other side.
“can i have them?” jk asks.
“yeah, of course,” nj says.
jm leans into him and closes his eyes. “i’m tired,” he pouts.
“because you stayed up all night watching white people’s tv,” nj says, not looking up from his phone. “i told you you’d be falling asleep at the aquarium.”
“downton abbey is not— whatever,” jm says. “beats getting horny at the aquarium,” he says.
jk and nj choke on air.
jm hums and closes his eyes, adjusting himself so he can lie against nj’s shoulder more comfortably. “you think any of you can hide anything from me with your scents?”
“you think /you/ can hide anything from me with your scent?” nj asks back, raising an eyebrow.
jm opens his eyes to glare at nj.
jk is starting to feel deeply uncomfortable and weirdly called out when binna comes running towards him. he’s grateful.
that night after a bath, jk lets binna into his bed and as he lulls her to sleep he asks.
“did you have a nice birthday, sweetheart?”
she nods, sleepily. “yeah.”
jk hums. then, “binna, why don’t you like nj?”
she huffs. “just because.”
jk looks at her. “he’s a nice person. and appa’s friend,” he says. “he would really like to spend more time with you. you think we can give him a chance?”
she pouts and shrugs. “i’m tired.”
jk sighs. “okay. let’s sleep.”
she shifts and moves around until she’s comfortably cuddling her whale under jk’s arm and she’s asleep within minutes.
binna continues to avoid the nj conversation and jk feels out of his depth.
he’s had difficult situations with binna before and he’s felt under prepared to deal with them but this is just a whole other level.
he finds himself googling a lot, reading parenting forums.
how do you introduce your child to her father who has never been in her life before?
what do you do when the child rejects them?
how do you deal with it when you might or might not be crushing on the father’s new partner? and maybe being still attracted to the father, too?
his search hasn’t been too fructiferous.
“what if she’s right?” he asks th one day. “maybe i’m the one who should be listening to her and not the other way around.”
it’s after dinner and both binna and the pup have finally settled down to sleep.
he’s found comfort in talking to th about all this.
his situation might be completely different but he is still an omega with a child and he gets it more than anyone else jk knows.
th hums. “you really think she’d benefit more from not having nj in her life?”
jk sighs. “no. i actually think he will be good for her,” he says. “she’s always been so smart and curious and i’ve always feared it would get to the point where i won’t be able to keep up with her. nj can,” he says. “but how do i convince binna of it?”
“you don’t have to convince her,” th says.
“just be confident in your decision. if she sees that you trust nj and that you trust him with her, she will start letting him in.”
jk huffs. “i’ll do my best,” he says.
“my heat is coming up. i was thinking about leaving her with them during those couple of days but i need her to be ok with it.”
“you can work up to it,” th says.
and jk tries. but no matter how many times he tries asking binna, she’s not interested in seeing nj again.
the next day, when he picks binna up from ballet, he approaches jm to ask if they can all meet up to take binna to the park on saturday but jm seems particularly down.
“are you okay?”
jm turns to him and runs his fingers through his hair, forcing a smile. “i’m fine.”
when he brings his hand down, jk notices it doesn’t glint.
“what happened to your ring?” jk asks before his brain can catch up to the implication.
jm huffs. “nothing. i have it at home. i’m just not wearing it at the moment,” he says and before the sentence is out, he’s bursting into tears.
jk’s eyes go wide. he quickly pulls jm into a hug.
“it’s n-not, nothing bad,” jm says. “it was my decision. i’m just so overwhelmed.”
jk tangles his fingers im jm’s hair and rubs soothingly. his lungs fill with his sweet, sugary vanilla scent.
“do you wanna talk about it?”
“i- i think i do,” he says, voice watery. “it should be weird. because it’s you. but it’s not. i /want/ to talk to you.”
“don’t overthink it,” he says. “listen, i was gonna ask both you and nj to the park tomorrow. but we can go just us. a-and binna, obviously.”
jm smiles, wiping his tears. “i would like that.”
jk wants to reach out and touch his face, wipe the tears for him,
and for a full second he completely intends to do it, but then binna is walking over to them.
“jm-ie?” she aks, a worried frown on her face. her little palm tugging at jm’s shirt.
jm huffs out a laugh. “i’m okay, binna, see?” he says, forcing an exaggerated grin.
binna looks at him as if he just lost his mind and jm breaks out into giggles. it relaxes binna, who laughs too.
“see you tomorrow?” jk asks once he and binna are ready to go.
jm nods and smiles again, so softly. his scent sweet. “see you tomorrow.”
jk and binna meet jm early at the park. they find a quiet spot to eat the breakfast jk packed sitting on the grass.
binna brings some of her stuffed animals and jm is so good about indulging her game of feeding all of them. jk is very endeared.
later, binna is invited to kick a ball around by other kids and jk and jm lie down on the grass for a bit.
“i haven’t gotten this much sun and fresh air in a while,” jk says, looking up at the clouds.
jm hums. “i know what you mean,” jm says. “it’s really nice.”
jk feels jm sliding closer to him. he doesn’t look.
“there was something digging into my back,” jm explains softly, way closer than he was a minute ago. jk turns to look at him then. he’s really close. jk can feel jm’s breath on his face, and jm’s scent on his tongue.
they hold each other’s gaze for a minute. until jk’s breathing starts to pick up and he has to look away, back at the clouds. he doesn’t think about how fucked up this is.
“so you want to talk?” jk asks, voice coarse.
he feels jm nod. “i don’t know where to start, though.”
“why aren’t you wearing your ring?” jk asks, because he can’t help himself.
there’s a pause. jk has to turn to look at jm again when the silence drags out. jm is also looking at the sky, his eyes welling up with tears.
“hyung,” jk says, turning around to lie on his side.
“i’m sorry. i didn’t mean to—”
“it’s fine,” jm says, wiping his tears away. “i don’t know why i keep crying about it. it’s what i wanted.”
“putting the engagement on hold, i guess.”
jk has to sit up at that.
“what happened?” he asks, voice quiet, looking down at his feet.
“the timing just isn’t right,” jm says, also sitting up.
jk glances back at him. “because of me and binna?”
jm sighs. “no. yes. i-it’s complicated.”
“isn’t that what you wanted to talk about?”
jm nods. “it’s just. i don’t want you to feel like it’s your fault, because it’s not. and there are things i’m sure nj wouldn’t want you to find out about like this. but- it’s just not /right/.”
“it sounds like it has a lot to do with me,” he says. “the other day at the aquarium, we were just talking and—”
“he told me what you talked about,” jm says. “and i told him about, ah. that time before my heat in your apartment. what i wanted to do. what i almost did.”
jk looks at him. “it was just scenting,” he says. isn’t that what jm had said?
jm smiles. “it was more than that. you know it was more.”
jk nods and closes his eyes. “was he angry?”
“no. i don’t think he even knows how to feel himself,” jm mutters. “i know i don’t know how to feel.”
jk doesn’t say anything. it sounds like it is all on jk. and no matter what his feelings on the relationship are, he never wanted to cause problems. he bites his lip nervously.
“jk,” jm says gently. “it’s not your fault. there are so many other things at play,” he says. “ever since we got engaged we’ve just been fighting about the stupidest shit and its because there’s so much pressure around it.”
“around the wedding?”
“i love nj and i know he loves me and if that’s all this wedding was about, it would be all i needed, but it’s not. his mother has been needling him to get mated and have pups for years now and she thinks she has a right on how that’s gonna happen,” he says.
“and she’s so good at getting into nj’s head and nj is so good at letting her. he thinks he owes it to her, still. and for what? /not/ raising him? helping him start his career or whatever? it’s ridiculous. it’s this argument you can never win with him,” jm sighs.
“and now there’s you and binna. and it’s not what she had planned and once she finds out she will want to control it too, and nj knows it. that’s why he’s been delaying telling her,” he says. “and then there’s whatever i feel for you. whatever /he/ feels for you.”
“it’s just a whole mess. the last thing we should be doing is /planning a wedding/.”
jm sighs and drops his face in his hands. jk scoots closer, just a little.
“what do you feel for me?” he asks, voice barely above a whisper.
jm lifts his head, gives him a long look.
“i feel… safe,” he says softly, closing his eyes again. “your sunburnt skin scent makes me feel like summers at my parents’ house. drifting into sleep in the middle of the afternoon in my childhood twin sized bed while sunlight filters into the room. i want to bathe in it.”
“jm…” he says, his throat dry. jm opens his eyes and looks at him, his eyes so soft and gentle on jk. he doesn’t miss how jm’s gaze drops to his mouth.
jk swallows. “i- i don’t know how to deal with this.”
“me neither,” jm whispers, looking down.
they don’t say anything else for a few minutes. so much said, out in in the open, and yet jk doesn’t feel any lighter. his head is not any clearer.
if anything, he feels more burdened with feeling.
he knows jm must feel the same.
he is glad for the distraction when binna runs over to them, panting exaggeratedly, asking for water.
jm laughs and jk hurries to get her water bottle for her.
the rest of the morning is pretty quiet. jk and jm lie down on the grass again and watch the clouds pass them by.
jm walks them home after, he insists on it because he’s the hyung, and once he’s said goodbye to jk at his door, jk stops him, grabbing his wrist.
“what did you want to do? the last time you were here?”
jm’s eyes go wide for a second, then soft.
he takes a step forward, leans in and right into jk’s ear, he says, “guess.”
then he presses a kiss to the corner of jk’s mouth and immediately pulls away, smiling once at jk, before rushing into the elevator and disappearing,
leaving behind a strong trace of vanilla scent in the hall.
nj wants to meet him up for coffee a few days later and jk reluctantly agrees to meet him up during his lunch break at work.
he’s nervous. nj was never the jealous type but jk is sure he’s about to get called on when he walks into the coffee shop.
nj just smiles at him and lets jk order and then doesn’t let him pay for it.
jk doesn’t say anything, doesn’t know what to say, as he stirs a bunch of sugar into his coffee.
when he looks up, nj is staring and smiling all dopey at him.
“you still got your sweet tooth,” he says.
“you still got your, ah, dimples?”
nj huffs out a laugh. jk blushes. god.
“so, ah, you wanted to talk?” jk asks, ready to defend himself if he needs to. nj nods.
“has binna been to the children’s science center?” nj asks, sipping from his coffee.
jk blinks at him. “um, no.”
“do you think she’d like it?”
“ah, i’m sure she would.”
“can i take you guys this weekend?”
jk stares when nj just keeps sipping on his coffee. “/this/ is what you wanted to talk about?”
nj blinks. “ah, yes,” he says. “i wanted to ask you before i bought tickets.”
“nj, this could’ve been a text conversation.”
nj splutters out a laugh. “sorry,” he says. “i guess i just wanted to, uh, see you? things have been really weird at home.”
jk tenses up at that. “with jm?”
nj nods. “he broke off the engagement,” he says quietly.
jk swallows. “he said he’d put it on hold.”
“right. that,” he says, then sighs. “i get why he did it and i agree with him, i don’t want to force this wedding but i’m just upset and i- i don’t know. i’m upset. fuck, i don’t know why i asked you to come here.” he looks miserably down at his coffee.
jk sighs. “hey, it’s fine,” jk says. “of course you’re upset. he’s upset too,” he says. and fuck if jk isn’t in way over his head trying to console nj about this.
“did he talk to you about it?”
“shit, no. that’s not why i—” he huffs.
“i respect that you guys are friends and have a bond i shouldn’t break into,” he says. “i’m just feeling a little lost.”
“i’m sorry, hyung,” jk says, sincerely and feeling guilty that not a week ago he was really wishing he could kiss his boyfriend.
nj takes a long look at him. it makes jk squirm. “i could smell you all over him the other day,” he says.
jk’s blood goes cold. he’s about to apologize again. explain. but nj goes on.
“he did it on purpose. he wanted me to smell it. i don’t know if he wanted to annoy me or bait me or what but, really, it was… nice,” he says, very quietly. “he smelled so good, i just had to- we-”
“oh my god,” jk chokes out when he can smell the arousal in nj’s scent. his own face going hot. “stop. i’m not- i don’t- /no/. i’m putting my foot down. i don’t want to hear a-about that. and i don’t want to hear any more about the engagement. just stop.”
nj winces and closes his eyes. “i’m sorry. i genuinely don’t know what is wrong with me anymore.”
“is it your rut?”
nj blushes “no! i had my rut when jm had his heat.”
jk tries not to roll his eyes. “of course,” he says and that reminds him.
“hey, um, by the way. binna will be staying with hs and yg for a few days in like, two weeks from now?” he says, making quick calculations. “my intention was to try and leave her with you guys but i don’t think she’s ready for that.”
“right,” nj says almost pouting.
“so, anyway. she’ll be at hs and yg’s but they have work shit, i guess. so if you wanted to take her out for lunch or whatever, you could. you and jm.”
nj blinks. “oh, okay. yeah, we’d love to,” he says. “are you visiting your parents?”
jk glances at him once before looking down and blushing. “no.”
he feels nj’s gaze on him for a moment and then feels it when realization downs on him. “oh, OH.”
jk shuts his eyes. his face burning.
“hey, it’s all good. nothing to be embarrassed about. w-we’re adults, we can talk about these things.”
“i don’t want to talk about my heat with you.”
“right, yeah, of course,” nj says but is still looking expectantly at jk.
“what?” jk snaps.
“nothing!” he says, but it’s obviously something because he bites his lip and then it bursts out of him. “j-just wondering if you have someone,” he says, quickly, all at once.
“that’s none of your business,” jk grits. “but no,” he says quietly.
“so it might take more than a few days, so please look after her.”
nj frowns, worried now. “you don’t have anyone? jk-ah, that’s not—”
“nj, please,” jk says. “please just look after binna, okay? i’ll be fine.”
nj swallows. “yeah, okay.”
“we’re going to the children’s science center,” jk tells binna when she asks what they’re doing tomorrow as jk brushes her hair before bed on saturday.
“what is that?”
“it’s a science museum for kids,” he says. “there are lots of fun things to do.”
“mm, i wouldn’t be able to tell you, sweetheart. i’ve never been. but nj has, he will be a good tour guide.”
“no!” binna shrieks and throws herself face first into the pillows.
jk sighs and lies down next to her, rubbing her back.
“he was nice to invite us, binna. c’mon, it’ll be fun.”
“why did he invite us?”
jk wets his lip in thought. “well, he wants to spend time with us. and he thought you would like the museum. he works with museums. he’s being nice.”
binna huffs and hides her face in the pillow.
she says something jk can’t grasp.
“i can’t understand what you’re saying, sweetheart. you have to lift your head.”
she lifts her head. “will jm come?”
“yeah,” jk says. “he also wants to spend time with you.”
“i only want to be with him.”
“o-okay,” jk says.
“nj is still coming, though. and you have to be polite even if you don’t like him.”
“because he hasn’t been anything but nice to you.”
“he made you upset,” binna mumbles and jk goes still. “at the store.”
“binna, sweetheart, look at me,” he says.
binna looks at him, her mouth pursed into a pout.
“listen, that day at the store was bad because i wasn’t expecting it, okay? appa was really upset but, ah—” shit. jk’s mind races to come up with any explanation that won’t be a lie and won’t turn binna any more against nj.
“we talked, okay? me and him, we talked and we are okay now. t-that’s what we do. we talk about how we’re feeling when someone hurts us and we promise to do better.”
“yeah. yes he did.”
binna doesn’t look too convinced but she relents. she knows how important promises are.
so next day at the science center, binna is not mean. but she is careful and suspicious and nj doesn’t really know what to do about it.
it’s pretty funny to watch, actually.
jk and jm stay back as nj tries to guide binna around the interactive activities all over the museum, trying them first himself to teach binna how to do it. he gets weird looks from other kids and their parents.
nj is completely shameless and unbothered by the attention as long as he can bond with binna.
except binna just frowns at him. her mouth tilted into a grimace.
eventually, nj learns the best approach is to let binna figure the activities out on her own.
nj’s face lights up in wonder as binna approaches a huge wooden gears display and discovers she can control it by turning a wheel back and forth.
they later come across a giant puzzle and binna and nj work on it together while jk and jm sit and watch.
“it’s going well,” jm comments.
jk nods. “yeah, it seems so.”
it’s been awkward between the three of them, binna the only thing to alleviate the tension. but nj and jm don’t seem to be actively fighting anymore, so that’s something.
“they really are alike,” jm says,
watching binna and nj frowning down at the puzzle in concentration. “it’s so odd. that she would carry that in her genes, isn’t it? not just the looks.”
jk shrugs. “i guess.”
jm turns to him and smiles. “she’s also so much like you, jk-ah. you raised her and it shows,” he says.
“and she’s so much like herself, too. she is so small, it shouldn’t all fit inside her but it does. she’s amazing.”
jk’s throat feels tight. “yeah.”
after the museum and a trip to the gift shop that ends up in two stuffed animals and a children’s chemistry set, they all go for ice cream.
“i’m not letting you buy her stuff every time we go out, by the way,” jk tells nj when they’re all siting in a booth.
“why?” binna whines.
“he said they were gifts.”
nj nods. “they are.”
“people don’t get gifts every weekend,” jk says. “we are cooling it down with the gifts,” he says, looking pointedly at nj.
“noted,” nj says with a nod.
binna huffs and squints her eyes up at nj.
“you said we would see whales,” she says, pointing a finger at nj, her face all sticky with chocolate chip ice cream. “you /promised/.”
jk and jm both turn to look at nj.
“we will! i promise!” he says, then turns to binna.
“the whale watching season starts in january, though. can you wait until then, binna-yah?”
nj nods. “um. after christmas and the new year.”
“oh,” binna says. “why?”
“they migrate to okinawa in the winter,” nj explains.
“oh,” binna says again. “where is that?”
“what?” jk splutters. “what do you mean japan? binna doesn’t even have a passport.”
“what is that?” binna asks.
“i-it’s a document that we use to travel outside of the country,” jk explains.
“just a fancy piece of paper,” jm explains.
“why don’t i have one?” binna asks, annoyed.
“we’ll get you one,” nj says, quickly. binna squints her eyes at him.
“yes,” nj says solemnly. jk raises a single eyebrow at him. and nj backpedals. “i-if your appa allows it.”
binna turns to jk.
“we’ll see,” he says. “january is a long time away.”
binna huffs and goes back to her ice cream.
the day ends with a sleepy binna getting annoyed when nj tries to pick her up to go home and knocks her cup of melted ice cream all over her and nj’s jeans and shoes.
so when jm drives them back, they’re all sticky and gross and binna is fast asleep in jk’s arms.
nj and jm help him carry everything up to the apartment.
jk is a little embarrassed about nj seeing where they live but he hides it, standing as tall as he can with binna’s weight over his chest as he opens the door.
“i’ll just put her down and i can give you a change of pants,” he tells nj. “the bathroom is over there if you want to clean up.”
so jk hurries to put binna down on her bed, then washes his hands on the kitchen sink and gets the biggest pair of sweatpants he owns.
he hands them to jm who knocks on the bathroom door before opening it and giving the sweatpants to nj, then comes over to sit across from jk in the living room,
and smiling sweetly at him as if the last two times he was here didn’t almost end up in them getting off on this very couch.
when nj comes out wearing jk’s sweatpants he looks between the two of them,
then has some type of silent discussion with jm before he walks over and sits next to him on the couch.
jk stares at them. ignores the rumbling of his omega at seeing nj in his clothes and having him and jm so close to his nest, so close to his heat.
nj and jm must notice the spike in his scent because their eyes go wide. jk swallows.
he’s about to ask them to leave, he’s tired and he needs a shower, but then jm exchanges a look with nj and clears his throat before turning to jk again.
“jk-ah,” he starts. “um. there’s something that we wanted to, ah, talk about. with you.”
jk freezes. his heart almost immediately beating faster.
“what is it?”
nj and jm look at each other again.
“what is it?” jk asks again, louder.
“it’s a-about your heat,” nj blurts out.
jm heaves and glares at nj.
“what?” jk asks. “what about it?”
jm sighs. “we don’t want to overstep or make you uncomfortable,” he says. “but, ah, nj brought it up the other day. because you want us tu watch binna and that’s fine. we can do that if you like. but, um. he also mentioned that you’d be alone and we just, ah.”
“worry,” nj fills in. “you always had such a rough time with your heats and i-i can’t imagine how you would get through it alone.”
“well, i have,” jk snaps. his whole face and neck on fire. “i can’t believe you’re bringing that up, that’s fucked up.”
nj winces. “i’m sorry—”
“no, listen,” jk cuts him off. “i have spent my heats alone f-for more than five years now. i am perfectly capable of going through them alone,” he spits. it’s not a lie, but he is omitting the part where his heats /have/ been hell for the last five years.
the only reason i even told you about it is because i wanted you to spend time with binna. n-not for you to come into my own house and ambush me. seriously, what is this?”
“jk-ah,” jm says gently. it calms him a bit. “we want to help.”
“what?” jk says, breaking into a little hysterical laugh. he looks at jm, at nj. they are not laughing. the smile drops from his face.“fuck, you’re serious.”
jk is speechless.
“t-the two of you?” he hears himself ask when the silence has dragged on for too long.
“yes,” jm says.
jk is getting a little dizzy, but still manages to hold onto the armchair and focus on them. “i don’t need your help. i don’t need your pity. i don’t need you to come with your relationship shit to me. you think this is going to fix whatever the fuck is broken?”
“it’s not like that, jk-ah,” nj says. “we just… want to.”
jk snorts. “i know, i can fucking smell it on you.”
“we can smell it on you too,” jm says quietly.
jk swallows. ignores that and shakes his head.
“it’s a bad idea. a really fucking terrible one. this whole thing is fucked up enough as it is”
nj and jm look at him a moment longer, and finally jm nods.
“okay,” he says. “we can respect that. we just thought we would bring it up.”
“well, thanks,” jk says. “but really, no thanks.”
jm nods quickly and stands up. “i’m sorry we upset you,” he says. “we’ll leave.”
nj doesn’t stand up, just keeps looking at jk, a worried look on his face. “jk-ah,” he says, softly.
“nj,” jm warns. “he said no.”
nj swallows and nods, then stands up. “i’m sorry,” he tells jk. “thank you for the sweatpants and letting me spend the day with binna,” he says. “if you need anything just call,” he says and then lets jm lead him out of the apartment.
jk closes the door after them and releases a long breath. he can hear jm annoyed and talking fast at nj on the other side of the door. he can hear nj talking back.
jk sighs. so stupid. they’re so stupid.
what do they think would happen? if they spent jk’s heat with him?
how would they go about their relationship after?
isn’t this whole thing complicated enough? all of them having some type of feelings for each other. the engagement. nj’s mother. binna. binna who should be jk’s priority. not how fucking terrible his heat will be.
ot how much he wants jm. not how much it turns him on how much nj wants them both.
he sighs and walks over to the bathroom, where he strips and gets in the shower.
he tries not to, but the lingering mixed scents of jm and nj are too strong, too present, still.
he can’t help it when he slips a hand between his legs, imagining himself tucked safely and warmly between jm and nj. their hard dicks pressed against him. the kind of shit nj likes to spiel when he’s horny low in his ear, jm’s soft whimpering in his other ear.
would jm talk to him too?
jk comes like that, too fast, his breathing erratic.
he drops his forehead against the cool tile and closes his eyes in shame, letting the water wash over him.
and all he hopes is that this was enough to fucking get it out of his system.
as jk slips into pre-heat he doesn’t show up to jm’s ballet studio, just has sj pick binna up for him.
if he communicates with nj it’s about binna and binna only.
and that should be it, but as his heat approaches, jk cant stop thinking about them. the offer they made.
he’s not considering it, though. he’s /not/.
he just can’t stop thinking about it. picturing it.
on his last day of work before his heat leave, he has to run to the bathroom when he starts slicking up at the sudden stray thought of getting fucked by jm while nj watches.
but it’s just the heat fogging up his head and his self-control, he reasons.
and the thing is, nj was right. jk never had an easy time with heats. he gets so emotional and clingy and just. unreasonable. unhinged. /horny/.
he cries when hs picks binna up the night before his heat is due to start and even if they do this a couple of times a year, binna cries too. and it’s all just so ridiculous.
even hs’s familiar scent is making him emotional.
jk hates going through his heats.
“if you need anything just call,” hs says. “you have water, food?”
jk nods. “thanks, hyung.”
hs hums. “i’ll have th check on you.”
and then they’re off.
once alone, jk takes a shower.
he is very thorough with his ritual. likes feeling the best he can before descending into his worst.
he likes feeling clean and he likes the soothing smell of his neutral soap and he likes shaving all over. likes the smooth feeling of his body when he runs his hands through it.
then he gives into the urge to nest. not something the rational part of his brain likes too much. but his instincts are begging for it.
so he gets clean sheets that smell strongly of the baby fabric softener he started using during his pregnancy, that reminds him of it and his newborn pup, and his favorite worn, soft clothes.
and a little shamefully, he drags in a green scarf left forgotten by jm the last time he was there.
it still smells like him and nj.
he drops everything on the bed and arranges it to his liking until his omega settles some and jk can curl up in the middle of the bed and nuzzle jm’s scarf until he feels a wet slide between his thighs.
he’s not desperate for it yet, so he tries to ignore it, resisting the urge.
it’s always better when he doesn’t start getting off early into his heat, it’s easier when he drags it out. it makes the worst of it go faster.
instead he soothes himself to sleep. and it works for most of the rest of the night.
he only wakes up early in the morning to the first rays of sunlight, feeling hot, sticky with sweat and slick.
he huffs and his head is still clear enough to change his soaking shirt, use it to wipe some slick off and throw it in the hamper before pulling on a clean one on.
then, on weak legs drops back into bed.
he fluffs up his pillows a bit and lets himself slide his hand down and cup himself just to relieve some of urge. but still holds off.
his tummy is cramping up with arousal, and the urge to be bred.
t’s uncomfortable but he does his best to ignore it.
he makes it like that until maybe mid-afternoon and then he can’t take it anymore.
he reaches out for his vibrator and it feels like he’s been edging himself for hours, because he comes in under a minute and yet it doesnt do anything to ease the need.
he’s already close to tears with frustration when he tries sticking a pillow between his legs and humping it,
jm’s scarf pressed against his face. he breathes it in and he tries not to think of jm. not to think of nj. but he can’t help it. can’t help it when he starts whining for them, craving their scents, needing to be filled by them. by nj’s knot. so big.
he used to go completely stupid for it. fuck.
it takes two or three more unsatisfying orgasms before he feels like he might die from the frustration. and usually he would endure it. but this time it just seems so simple. so easy. to just reach out for his phone.
or maybe the lingering scent from the scarf is just fucking with his head. and it has nearly faded by now.
before he can spare a single thought against it. he’s got his phone pressed to his ear. his arm shaking.
“h-hyung,” he gasps. “does t-the offer still stand? please,” he begs, then immediately winces at how pathetic he sounds.
there’s silence on the other line. then muffled voices talking in the background.
then jm’s clear, soft lilt. “yes,” he says. “do you want us to come over?”
“please,” jk manages.
jm doesn’t ask if he’s sure or what made him change his mind and jk is grateful because he doesn’t know himself. doesn’t want to come up with an explanation.
“okay,” is all jm says. “we’ll be right there. just hang in there, jk-ah.”
jk just sobs in response before dropping his phone somewhere into the sheets.
(cw // knotting, breeding kink, overstimulation and lots of crying during sex!!! also jm is an intersex omega and jk is not — pussy and clit are used)
end of pt. 2
will continue pt.3 (last one) on a different thread !!!!!! u can expect that over the weekend !!!!!!!! if you’re still reading this, thank u
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