intouch_withyou My darling husband and I are starting a family!
Liked by k_a_r_d and 2,103 others
k_a_r_d Wait, that was the guest room! You made it into a kid’s room? Where are your guests gonna sleep?
intouch_withyou On the sofa!
k_a_r_d In the living room??? What did I ever do to you, Intouch?
intouch_withyou You’re testing In’s patience. Like the post and keep scrolling.
k_a_r_d Do you sTILL not have an account of your own!? STOP USING THE SAME ACCOUNT!!! You two are so gross! 5555
intouch_withyou We regret to inform you that your member status has been lowered from “guest” to “pest”. As such, you will now be given only a small, unvacuumed part of the home office floor for your future accommodation. Further arguments regarding this matter will result in a permanent block.
k_a_r_d …You two are starting to sound so much like each other, I don’t even know who I’ve been talking to.
intouch_withyou And you never will.
out.back The room looks great, guys. I like the new paint job.
intouch_withyou Thank you, Somkrit. In’s painting the last wall now.
out.back Haha, I was wondering why you took the photo from that angle.
intouch_withyou The room’s not finished, but we cleared the last official hurdle today, so In wanted to make a post. We shoved a whole bunch of stuff into the corner so it would look nicer. 555
out.back 555555 Sounds like In. Let me know if you guys need any help with anything.
intouch_withyou We will, thanks.
In’s current Instagram account has 3,499 followers, which is—of course—shameful. He had 43,999 followers—respectable—when he deactivated his previous account, and just thinking about all that interaction, all those comments and likes and notifications, makes In a little wistful sometimes. But In also felt that it was important to draw a firm line between Thirst Trap Intouch of the past and Model Parent Intouch of the future.
He’s also pretty sure schools check that kind of thing nowadays, and he’s not going to attend any of his child’s academic events alongside teachers who have seen his (tasteful) honeymoon photos or his and Korn’s sexy Throwback Thursday photos.
Korn, on the other hand, has never had any social media accounts of any kind, and tends to just use In’s whenever he wants to search for something. In is disappointed in Korn on a personal level for this, but his choice to abstain from polite society has actually made their transition from Iconic Smitten Couple to Envied Ideal Parents go much smoother.
“Why don’t you just delete this account too?” Korn asks one night, proving that despite their many years together, he might as well be a perfect stranger.
In switches off his phone screen and sets it facedown on the bed.
Korn raises his eyebrows and sets his book facedown on his chest.
This bed has seen a fair number of scuffles, sexual and platonic, but this confrontation will be a battle of minds. Of principles.
“Why don’t I just delete it?” In puts his hand over his heart and inhales slowly. “Did I hear you correctly?”
Korn doesn’t even have the grace to hide his grin. “Yeah,” he says. “You did. I’ve made it this far through life without any social media accounts. Pretty sure you could do it too if you had enough attention from other sources.”
In makes a grand show of absorbing that, nodding with as much composure and maturity as he can muster. Korn, clever man, doesn’t buy it, and lets out a tiny curse as he slides toward the edge of the bed. His book topples off his chest, and In moves it so it won’t become a casualty like so many previous books.
Then In pounces. The wonderful thing about dating the same person for ten years is that he knows all of Korn’s ticklish spots.
“What are you calling me, huh?” In shouts, grinning. Korn’s laughter is quiet and stifled, but In enjoys any opportunity to make him louder. He digs his fingers under Korn’s ribs and watches Korn arch with an silent gust of laughter. “Are you calling me an attention seeker? A diva? Say it! I dare you!”
He should be watching Korn’s legs, based on previous experience, but he’s distracted by the rare abandon in Korn’s face. Korn’s been so much more relaxed ever since he started working from home, and spending more and more time together has brought back the kind of fun they used to have when they first started dating. That career shift was in fact a significant contribution to the “starting a family” decision—the realization that they would have the time and finances and energy to do it.
In’s just starting to let up, his hands smoothing over Korn’s chest and enjoying the heat of his body through the fabric, when Korn retaliates.
In’s on his back in a flash, and In shows his disgruntlement with a pout. “Cheater,” he says.
Korn, still short of breath, exhales a short huff of disagreement, but says nothing more. He kisses In’s forehead, then his nose, and both corners of his mouth.
“I’ll give you all the attention you need, sweetheart,” Korn says.
In knows he’s still teasing, but he paves a higher road for himself and settles his arms around Korn’s neck, bringing their foreheads together with a gentle bump. “I appreciate that,” he says. “But I’m keeping my account. And I’m going to use it to become the most iconic parent in the whole world.”
Korn smiles, warm and fond and deep. “What if our kid doesn’t want to be part of your brand?” he teases.
In pulls a horrified face. “Korn! Our child is not appearing anywhere on my account,” he says.
Korn visibly struggles with that for a second, then asks, “Are you being serious?”
Sighing, In plays with the longer strands of Korn’s hair splayed on the back of his neck and says, “Do you remember the photos we got of him? And the videos?”
Korn’s expression switches to one of deep sarcasm. “Of the child we’ve legally committed to adopting? Yes, vaguely.”
“He’s adorable, Korn,” In says. He widens his eyes, expecting Korn to catch on without further details needed.
Korn says nothing, then rubs the very tips of their noses together. “I don’t know what you’re talking about, In,” he says.
In groans and pushes Korn back so he can sit up. Primly, he climbs into Korn’s lap, then turns and arranges Korn’s legs the way he prefers to sit on them. When he’s comfortable, he rests his arms on Korn’s shoulders and smiles. “There. Can’t have a serious discussion with you being all cute with your nose kisses and your forehead touching.”
Korn smirks and wraps his arms snug around In’s lower back. “Definitely not,” he says.
Attempting solemnity in the face of this terrible cuteness, In says, “I am going to take approximately six thousand photos of Team every day for as long as I’m physically able. Present company aside, he is the cutest thing I have ever seen, and it is my moral obligation to archive his development. His future partner will thank me. If I like them enough to share, of course.”
Korn nods. “Of course,” he says. He’s keeping his hands still and chaste on In’s lower back, so In gives him a kiss on the cheek to tide him over until he finishes his very important speech.
“However,” he says, holding up a finger, ”more important than social media, more important than anything else, is that we protect him. There are terrible, terrible people in the world, Korn, and I’m not going to put my child at risk for clicks and views. Not a toe, not a hair, not a blurry silhouette of that child is appearing anywhere online until he chooses to do it himself. I will fight anyone who tries, and I will win.”
In smiles with confidence and watches one his favorite things: Korn’s eyes going soft and warm and fiercely proud.
“Besides,” In continues, “I don’t need Team’s photos to become the most iconic parent on the Internet. Anyone who thinks otherwise just suffers from a tragic lack of creativity.”
intouch_withyou I’ll admit it. Despite my vast improvements in the world of culinary arts, I was nervous. This first homemade meal our son will eat with us holds more significance than I’m prepared to admit it does, even now. I think it turned out all right. You can see my first attempt up to the left. I let Korn have the better one, of course. But the best one is for our boy Team. I want so much for him to feel safe and happy with us. Wish us luck!
Liked by miss_antika and 2,664 others
miss_antika Oh, In, you made me cry! It’s too early to cry this much!
out.back I think omelets were a safe bet. If he doesn’t like it, I’ll send you some photos of the food you were making in university for Korn so he’ll know how lucky he is to have what you can cook now.
intouch_withyou wHY DO YOU HAVE THOSE PHOTOS?
out.back Kard sent them to me 555555
k_a_r_d I want my rights to the sofa back!
While Korn washes the dishes, Team takes each dish and cup and piece of cutlery he’s given and wipes it dry with an emerald green towel. There’s a stepstool he was using, but he seems to like prefer sitting on the counter.
He shouldn’t be on the counter, and In should say something.
But the visual of Korn handing dishes and cups and pieces of cutlery to Team while their small son swings his legs back and forth and scrupulously dries each one with a towel is too adorable for In to resist documenting. He takes six videos and twelve photos and sends the best of each medium to Antika.
Then he adds a message about how sweet his husband and son are and how he’s seconds from crying and how is he going to cope with this much excitement and terror expanding exponentially in his chest?
Then he concludes with a short, [By the way, remember not to post anything of Team online and please don’t send them to anyone you think would.]
She responds, [I think your protective instincts are even stronger than mine,] with a heart emoji.
[Are you all right with us showing up around noon for lunch?] he writes. [I’m so excited for Team to meet Alin! It’s a shame there’s an age gap. They would have been best friends if she were his age.]
“Um,” Team says.
In turns his screen off immediately and pockets his phone. “Yes, Team?”
Korn shuts off the faucet and accepts the damp and—at this point—almost ineffectual towel from Team with a smile. Then he picks Team up off the counter and sets him down on the floor.
“Do you have any games on your phone?” Team asks. They changed him out of yesterday’s outfit into another one he brought with him. His teal T-shirt has a piece of dark blue crescent moon-shaped felt on the chest, and Team keeps playing with the sharp bottom point of the moon. He’s got energy to burn, In’s sure, and he seemed to like the look of the playground when they passed it last night.
In sits at the freshly wiped down table and gestures for Team to join him. This isn’t the first time Team’s asked him about games on his phone, and it probably won’t be the last. Alin asked him constantly for eight consecutive years. He’s a professional at this.
“I’m going to get the car,” Korn says.
In nods at him. Then, as Team is climbing up onto the same chair he ate breakfast from, In blows a kiss that Korn catches and proceeds to eat.
In rolls his eyes but doesn’t bother hiding his grin.
His husband’s perfect.
When Korn is out the door, Intouch shows Team for the fourth time since their first meeting that the only thing even resembling a game on his phone is Instagram.
“Can I see your Instagram?” Team asks. He’s kneeling on the chair with both arms on the table, and his eyes are fixed on the screen with far more hunger than he showed for his breakfast.
His big curious eyes are the other other reason In didn’t want to keep his old Instagram account. In grew up with the internet, yes, but Team’s generation is going to grow up with it infused into everything. And while In can’t erase his sordid sexy past, he can make it irritating for people to find and, presently, impossible for Team to find.
“I knew a kid who had an Instagram,” Team says. He reaches for In’s screen and pokes until he’s brought up the search bar and the keyboard. Idly, he types in “shark” and presses ‘search’.
“How old was he?” In asks.
“Six,” Team says. “He’s famous.”
In makes a neutral sound, allowing Team to explore shark photos in peace.
“Can I have one?” Team asks. He looks up at In for the first time, his face earnest.
Most assuredly not for the first time, In’s heart is overcome by those hopeful eyes.
“You can someday, yes,” In says.
“When?” Team asks.
“When you’re too old for me to legally stop you,” In tells him.
Team blinks. Then, as if In didn’t understand his question, he repeats, “When?”
In grins. “You can use mine for now, how’s that?”
Team clearly doesn’t like that, but he says, “Okay.”
Getting his acquiescence isn’t likely to stay that easy for long.
“Here, I’ll let you leave a comment. Do you want to say hi to my mean friend who tried to blackmail me earlier?”
“Sure. What’s blackmail?”