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The Other Man

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Seokjin fiddles with his sweater sleeve nervously as he lets Taehyung style his hair. Taehyung isn’t doing anything too dramatic, just giving him some small curls that he claims makes Seokjin look absolutely squishable , whatever that means. 

 

Jimin is lounging on Seokjin's bed as he watches them, aimlessly scrolling through social media. He glances up, catching Seokjin’s eyes in the vanity mirror. 

 

“Hyung, are you nervous?” Jimin asks, his smile a little mischievous. 

 

“Nervous doesn’t even begin to cover it,” Seokjin admits, and Jimin’s smile turns tender. 

 

“Don’t be nervous,” Taehyung says, giving his shoulder a squeeze. “Namjoon’s father is a nice guy.” 

 

Seokjin looks at him through the mirror. “You’ve met him?” 

 

Taehyung nods. “He comes into the office from time to time. He’s a lot different than Namjoon. He’s… eccentric . Namjoon is, well, you know how he is. He’s responsible and determined and can be a bit… hard sometimes. I think it’s because his father is the opposite. His father is a free spirit. He and Namjoon’s mother are divorced, and his father has just gone and done whatever he wanted ever since. He’s always traveling, and he’s been married like three other times. He’s a good guy, but he wasn’t always there for Namjoon growing up, and Namjoon wants to be better than him.” 

 

Seokjin nods in understanding. He and Namjoon have spoken a little about his father, and he has picked up on the vibe that while Namjoon and his father get along now, it hasn’t always been that way. 

 

And now Namjoon has asked Seokjin to meet him. 

 

Taehyung finishes his hair and sits on the bed next to Jimin, draping his arm over the shorter boy’s shoulders. 

 

“I’ve known Joonie for a while now,” Taehyung continues. Seokjin smiles at the nickname. “And he’s never asked anyone to meet his father. Well, except…” 

 

“Minho,” Seokjin fills in, reaching up to touch his cheek where the bruise is now only a ghost. 

 

The bruise has faded, and Minho has been charged. He was charged with a misdemeanor, which means he had to pay a fine and has to do some community service. It also means he is still out there, and Seokjin hates that he constantly feels like he has to look over his shoulder while walking around campus. 

 

“Hey,” Jimin says softly, pulling Seokjin from his trance. He climbs off the bed to stand behind Seokjin, wrapping his arm around him and kissing the top of his head. 

 

“Yah!” Taehyung exclaims. “Don’t mess up his hair! I worked hard on that!” 

 

Jimin ignores him with an affectionate eye roll, continuing to focus on Seokjin. “Everything is okay. I know the situation with Minho sucks, and I know you’re still hurting about everything. But Minho has backed himself into a corner now. If he even comes within fifty feet of you, his charge is upped to a felony and he’ll go to jail. He’s the past. Namjoon is your present and hopefully your future. I think… I think it’s fate. The two of you meeting each other, I mean. All of us meeting. I think it was fate. The universe can be cruel and sometimes twisted, but this whole mess brought us all together.”

 

Seokjin smiles at him. 

 

“Even Jungkook,” Taehyung chimes in. “He can be a bit of an asshole sometimes, but I guess he’s alright.” 

 

Seokjin snorts in amusement. “He doesn’t make friends easily.”

 

Taehyung grins. “I know. But I’m more stubborn. I’m going to win this.” 

 

Seokjin cocks an eyebrow at him. “Win what?” 

 

“His friendship,” Taehyung declares. “He’s never getting rid of us now.” 

 

Jimin laughs as he nods in agreement. 

 

Seokjin hears the sound of the apartment door opening, and he leans over in his chair to peer through the bedroom doorway and out into the living room. He smiles to himself as he sees Namjoon letting himself in. 

 

Seokjin had given him a key about a week ago. It had felt like a pretty big step in their relationship. And now he’s meeting Namjoon’s father. Big steps. Exciting steps. 

 

“Angel?” Namjoon calls out. He’s still dressed in his suit from work, although he has pulled his tie loose a little. 

 

Seokjin bounces out of the bedroom to greet him. 

 

Namjoon wraps his arm around him and pulls him in for a kiss before pulling back to softly reply, “Hi, angel.” 

 

Seokjin smiles at him warmly. Every time Namjoon calls him that, he practically melts right then and there. Namjoon smiles back, leaning down to kiss his forehead this time. 

 

“You look great,” Namjoon hums appreciatively when he leans back again, glancing over Seokjin’s hair. “Taehyung?” he guesses. 

 

“Yes,” Seokjin confirms. “Him and Jimin are in the bedroom.” 

 

Namjoon looks past Seokjin, chuckling softly under his breath when he sees the two waving at him from where they still lay in Seokjin’s bed. 

 

He looks back at Seokjin. “It’s like having toddlers.” 

 

Seokjin tilts his head back in laughter, and Namjoon kisses him again. 

 

 

Namjoon and Seokjin are the first to arrive at the restaurant. Namjoon can tell Seokjin is a little nervous, and he finds that absolutely endearing. 

 

The truth is, Namjoon has never felt more ready for someone to meet his father. He has often treated it as a test with people he is dating, because if they can handle his father, then they can certainly handle him. He’s not like his father, he’s a lot different than him, actually, but he’s the way he is because of his father. It took him a while to realize that, and it’s still taking him a little time to accept it. He knows he can be difficult, but being with Seokjin has made everything feel easy. 

 

Tonight isn’t a test for Seokjin. He already knows he wants to spend forever with him, and Seokjin has already promised him that he’s not going anywhere. He wants Seokjin to meet his father tonight simply because he wants to. Because he wants his father to meet the person he loves, and to meet the person who loves him back unconditionally, even if they haven’t actually said those three words to each other yet. 

 

“You have nothing to be nervous about,” Namjoon says softly when he catches Seokjin fiddling with the sleeve of his sweater. 

 

Seokjin smiles up at him. “I’m mostly excited,” he admits. 

 

Namjoon raises an eyebrow. “Excited?” 

 

Seokjin nods, looking at him tenderly. “Yeah. He’s your dad. Of course I’m excited to meet him.” 

 

Namjoon kisses him, and Seokjin smiles against his lips. 

 

“He can be a lot sometimes,” Namjoon warns. 

 

“I think I can handle it,” Seokjin replies. 

 

Seokjin definitely can handle it. Namjoon finds himself watching in awe halfway through dinner as Seokjin and his father are having an exciting conversation about deep sea fishing. 

 

They are both talking animatedly, with big hand gestures and excited exclamations, and Namjoon can’t take his eyes off of Seokjin and how beautiful he is. His cheeks are flushed a bit from the alcohol he has consumed, and his eyes are bright with laughter. 

 

Namjoon swears he’s going to marry this man someday. 

 

After they have finished eating, Seokjin excuses himself to use the restroom. Namjoon’s father watches him go before looking at Namjoon. 

 

“He’s the one, son.” 

 

Namjoon blinks in surprise. “I didn’t think you believed in the one.” 

 

His father smiles, but it’s a little sad. “I do believe in it. The one for me was your mother. She was the love of my life. I have no doubt about that. Sometimes even then, things don’t work out. The divorce with your mother hurt. It was so achingly painful. I didn’t think I would recover. Sometimes I think I never did. The people I’ve been with since… well, there’s a reason they never lasted, you know? Your mother is an incredible woman, and even though we burnt out, I’ll always love her.” 

 

Namjoon takes a slow sip of his drink as he takes a moment to process his words. 

 

His father gestures toward Seokjin’s empty seat. “That boy is special. You look at him like he hung the stars in the sky, and he looks at you the same way.” 

 

“He is special,” Namjoon agrees softly. 

 

“He’s been hurt before?” 

 

“Painfully so.” 

 

His father looks visibly upset at that. “I’m sorry to hear that. Take care of him.” 

 

Namjoon smiles a little. “Aren’t you supposed to be on my side? You know, like, giving Seokjin the ‘if you hurt my son you’ll regret it’ speech?” 

 

His father grins. “Nah. You do a pretty good job of taking care of yourself.” 

 

Seokjin returns, sliding back into his seat beside Namjoon. Namjoon wraps his arm around his waist and pulls him closer. Seokjin blushes a little at the touch, blushing even deeper when Namjoon kisses his temple. 

 

After dinner, Namjoon’s father hugs Seokjin and shakes Namjoon’s hand before departing. Namjoon and Seokjin decide to stay out a little longer, walking through the city streets together. 

 

The city has started decorating for the holidays. Lights are strung up in the street  and storefronts are decorated with wreaths and Christmas trees. 

 

They pause to look at a tree that is set up in the center of the walkway, and while Seokjin takes in the lights and ornaments with wide, wonder-filled eyes, Namjoon is looking at Seokjin. 

 

“I love you,” he says suddenly. 

 

Seokjin turns to look at him, eyes widening impossibly further. 

 

“You don’t have to say it back,” Namjoon says as he lifts his hands up to hold Seokjin’s cheeks. “I know you might not be ready to say it back. That’s okay. I don’t need you to say it back. I just need you to know that I love you, and that you make me so, so unbelievably happy.” 

 

There’s a hint of tears gathering in Seokjin’s eyes as he leans into Namjoon’s palm. 

 

“I just want you to know that you’re loved,” Namjoon adds gently. 

 

The tears spill over then, and Namjoon wipes them away for him with his thumb. 

 

“Thank you,” Seokjin sniffles. 

 

He stretches up to kiss Namjoon, wrapping his arms around Namjoon’s neck. He keeps his arms there when they break apart, keeping Namjoon close to him. 

 

“I’m not ready to say it back yet,” Seokjin says softly. “But I know I will be. I care about you so much. The L word scares me a little. It scares me because the last person to say that to me ended up being a monster. But you don’t. You don’t scare me, and you loving me doesn’t scare me. I’ll get there.” 

 

“There’s no rush,” Namjoon reassures him. “There is absolutely no rush or expectations. I just had to tell you. I’ve known for a while that I was falling for you, but tonight made me realize just how far I’ve fallen. It scares me a little too, because I can’t even clearly remember the last time I felt like this, and the only examples I’ve had of love are my parent’s failed attempts at it, but I also haven’t been so sure about anything in my entire life.” 

 

Seokjin kisses him again. Namjoon’s lips are warm against his, warm and welcoming and enticing in a way that has Seokjin desperately trying to pull him closer. 

 

Namjoon is more than happy to oblige, stepping more into Seokjin’s space, sliding his hands from to Seokjin’s face to instead wrap his arms around the small of Seokjin’s back and hold him flush against him. 

 

“We should, ah, we should probably not make out in the middle of the sidewalk,” Seokjin laughs between kisses. 

 

“Absolutely,” Namjoon agrees, but he continues kissing him anyway. 

 

They eventually make it back to Seokjin’s apartment. They’re a mess of tangled limbs and laughter-filled kisses as they stumble through the doorway and make it over to the couch. 

 

Namjoon falls back into the cushions, pulling Seokjin down with him. Seokjin straddles him, tangling his fingers in Namjoon’s hair as he kisses along Namjoon’s jaw. 

 

He pulls back to catch his breath, but his breath hitches a little as he gazes down at Namjoon. Beautiful, handsome Namjoon. He brushes some of Namjoon’s hair back from his forehead, smiling at him tenderly. He might not be ready to say he’s in love yet, but he’s definitely almost there. 

 

Seokjin kisses Namjoon again softly before sliding off of his lap so he is cuddled against Namjoon’s side.

 

“Your father seems nice,” he comments. 

 

Namjoon turns toward him a little, propping his elbow against the back of the couch. “He is. He’s just…” he sighs. “He’s a nice guy. Friendly. Gets along with everyone. But he also doesn’t take any responsibility. My parents divorced when I was thirteen, and while my mom shouldered the responsibility of raising me, my father started taking vacations a lot and got remarried six months later. And then divorced again. And then married again. He had a huge inheritance, so he was basically free to do whatever he wanted… except raise his son, apparently.” 

 

“I’m sorry,” Seokjin says softly. 

 

“My mom is amazing,” Namjoon continues quietly. “She filled in the gaps he left as much as she could, but she’s just one person. She could only do so much, you know?” 

 

Seokjin smiles a little. “I can’t wait to meet her.” 

 

Namjoon returns his smile. “She’ll love you.” And then he laughs. “I wanted you to meet my father first because even though he’s a little wild, he’s nothing like my mother. She is fiercely protective, and she will ask you about a million questions.” 

 

“I think I can handle that.” 

 

“What about your parents?” Namjoon asks. “You don’t really talk about them much.” 

 

Seokjin mirrors Namjoon’s position, leaning his elbow against the back cushion of the couch as he looks at him. 

 

“We’re not very close,” Seokjin starts.  “My mother and father are nice people, but they can be cold. Distant. They married out of obligation more than love. I did exactly what they wanted me to. I went to business school, I…” he trails off, looking down at his lap. “I married someone of similar status. They always told me they were so proud of me, and I just thought I was lucky to do what they wanted while actually finding someone I loved. Jungkook went the less traditional route. They wanted him to be a lawyer .” He chuckles, looking back at Namjoon. “Can you imagine that?” 

 

Namjoon huffs fondly. “No. Being a lawyer is perfect for someone like me. But someone like Jungkook? Absolutely not.” 

 

“Exactly,” Seokjin says. “Jungkook was always kind of the rebel, which I don’t think is a surprise to anyone. I focused on studies, he played sports and did his own thing. We were both happy, I guess, in our own ways. I never hated that I basically lived with my nose in a book. I liked studying. I liked learning.” He shrugs. “And now I love teaching.” 

 

“And Jungkook is an architect with a beautiful beach house,” Namjoon adds. 

 

“Exactly,” Seokjin says again with a small smile. “And now I’m with you. Everyone’s happy. Everyone wins.” 

 

Namjoon leans forward, pausing when their lips are just a centimeter apart. “Especially me,” he murmurs. “I’ve definitely won.” 

 

Seokjin closes the distance between them, cupping Namjoon’s cheek with his hand, gently stroking his skin with his thumb. He leans back, but only enough so he can look Namjoon in the eyes, their noses still brushing against each other. 

 

“Stay the night?” Seokjin whispers. 

 

Namjoon’s eyes widen a little. “Really?” 

 

“Yeah,” Seokjin says. “I’m not… I’m not ready for that . Not yet. But I don’t want you to go home. Not tonight.” 

 

“Okay,” Namjoon murmurs, kissing him again. 

 

And when they climb into bed a little while later, Namjoon holds him close, Seokjin’s back against his chest, and Seokjin feels safe and content and warm . So warm. 

 

Namjoon presses a kiss to the back of his neck, and warmth tingles through Seokjin all the way to his toes. 

 

Yeah, he might not be ready to say ‘I love you’ yet, but he’s pretty damn close. 

 

--

 

It’s a surprisingly warm day for December. Seokjin appreciates the sun radiating in through the windshield as Namjoon drives them out of the city. Taehyung, Jimin, and Jungkook are crammed together in the back seat, much to Jungkook’s disdain. He’s squished between the two, arms crossed over his chest as he glares at the back of Seokjin’s head, silently blaming his brother for making him come along with them. 

 

Hoseok and Yoongi have invited them to their vacation home. It’s just over an hour outside of the city, and they will all be spending the weekend there. They’ve only been in the car for about twenty minutes, and Jungkook is already regretting agreeing to come. 

 

Namjoon glances over at Seokjin, his heart fluttering at the sight of sunlight dancing across his cheeks as he hums along to the radio. Taehyung and Jimin are singing loudly, but Seokjin is more subdued, eyes shining with happiness. Jungkook is silent, arms still crossed and his lips pressed together. 

 

Taehyung isn’t bothered by Jungkook’s brooding, throwing his arm around the boy’s shoulders. Jungkook sighs, accepting his fate. 

 

As they pull up to a red light, Namjoon looks over at Seokjin again. Seokjin catches his gaze this time, smiling back at him. 

 

“You’re beautiful,” Namjoon states. 

 

Seokjin leans over to kiss his cheek. 

 

Jimin coos. Jungkook pretends to gag. 

 

When they arrive at the vacation house, it’s the middle of the afternoon. Despite the warmth of the morning, the temperature has dropped and clouds have formed in the sky, an indication that snow is to come.  

 

Hoseok runs out to greet them, helping them all unload the car and carry in their luggage. Yoongi is in the kitchen when they walk inside, concentrating on whatever he is cooking. Seokjin goes into the kitchen to help him, leaving Namjoon to supervise the other three as Hoseok shows them their room options. 

 

Yoongi glances up from the vegetables he is cutting when Seokjin steps into the kitchen. 

 

“Hi,” Seokjin says. “How can I help?” 

 

Yoongi gives him a small smile. “You can help with the vegetables. Everything else is pretty much ready to go.” 

 

Seokjin takes a moment to wash his hands before standing on the other side of the kitchen island and starting to help cut the vegetables. 

 

“How have things been?” Yoongi asks. “Namjoon mentioned that Minho has been causing some issues?”

 

“He showed up on campus one day. He… I went to the police station the next day and reported it. He was charged with a misdemeanor and sentenced to community service. If he comes near me again, his sentence will be raised to a felony. I haven’t heard anything from him since.”  

 

“Good,” Yoongi says with a satisfied nod. “I don’t think he’ll come near you again. Not with the risk of jail.” 

 

“I hope you’re right,” Seokjin murmurs quietly. 

 

Yoongi shifts the subject. “How are things with Namjoon?” 

 

Seokjin blushes a little. “They’re… good. Really good.” 

 

“He’s a good person.” 

 

“He is,” Seokjin agrees. 

 

“I’m happy for you two,” Yoongi adds. 

 

Seokjin smiles. “Thank you. And, well, thank you for everything, Yoongi. I know I’ve thanked you a lot already, but you made everything with the divorce so much easier. You handled everything perfectly, and I really appreciate everything you did to keep mine and Minho’s interactions to a minimum.” 

 

Yoongi returns the smile. “It’s my job.” He shrugs. “But you’re also my friend, and you’re important to Namjoon.” He waves his knife around. “And I’m protective of my friends.” 

 

Seokjin laughs. “Good to know.” 

 

Namjoon enters the kitchen then, stepping up behind Seokjin and wrapping his arms around him, resting his chin on Seokjin's shoulder as he watches him resume cutting vegetables. 

 

“Have the boys found their rooms?” Seokjin asks. 

 

Namjoon exhales a soft laugh. “Yes. Taehyung managed to convince Jungkook to share a room with him and Jimin. Hopefully he doesn’t murder them.” 

 

Hoseok bounces into the kitchen then, and he takes over for Seokjin, shooing him away. “You’re our guests. No work for you.” 

 

Seokjin relents, letting Namjoon guide him out of the kitchen and into the living room where the other three are already in an intense game of mario kart on the large TV over the fireplace. 

 

Namjoon and Seokjin squish together in a chair to watch. Seokjin cuddles into Namjoon’s side with his legs draped over his lap. Namjoon massages his knee gently with one hand while his other arm is wrapped around Seokjin’s shoulders, holding him close. 

 

They watch as Jungkook wins the first game, much to Taehyung’s frustration. Jimin laughs at the two, simply happy to be with them. 

 

Seokjin smiles to himself, pleased to see the tension Jungkook always seems to carry fading from his body as he finally allows himself to relax. 

 

“They’re good for him,” Namjoon says quietly, following Seokjin’s line of sight. 

 

“They are,” Seokjin agrees. He turns to look at Namjoon, their noses brushing. “And you’re good for me.” 

 

Namjoon kisses him, lifting his hand from Seokin’s knee to hold his cheek. 

 

Jungkook throws a pillow at them. “Stop being gross!” 

 

Jimin laughs while Taehyung wiggles his eyebrows at them. 

 

“Oh, please don’t stop,” he teases. “I love a good show.” 

 

Much to Jungkook’s dismay, Seokjin laughs before leaning back in to kiss Namjoon again. Namjoon circles his arms around him, pulling Seokjin more flush against him. 

 

“My eyes!” Jungkook cries, covering his face with his hands. 

 

Seokjin breaks away from Namjoon with a laugh, his chest swelling with warmth and happiness. Namjoon kisses his cheek obnoxiously loud just to tease Jungkook further, and Seokjin’s face starts to hurt with how much he is smiling. 

 

The food is finished a few minutes later, and they all gather around the large dining room table. Dishes are passed, drinks are poured, and laughter fills the vacation home. 

 

Seokjin catches himself staring at Namjoon often, smiling to himself as he watches him interact with the others. Laughing, making jokes with Hoseok, scolding Taehyung for being, well, Taehyung

 

He’s so happy, and he can’t believe the moments that have led up to this one. And as horrible as some of the moments were, Seokjin finds himself at peace with that, because now, he has found more love than he ever thought possible. 

 

Namjoon catches him staring, smiling back at Seokjin warmly while chaos ensues around them. “Hi.” 

 

Jungkook flicks rice at Taehyung while Jimin and Hoseok laugh and Yoongi pours himself another glass of wine, but Seokjin ignores it all, only focusing on Namjoon. 

 

“Hi,” he echoes softly. 

 

Namjoon leans closer, kissing his nose. 

 

After dinner, they move back into the living room. Hoseok joins Jimin, Taehyung, and Jungkook in mario kart while Yoongi watches, his cheeks flushed from all the wine he has consumed. 

 

Seokjin and Namjoon stand out on the balcony, huddled together while they watch the snow fall. 

 

Seokjin shivers. Namjoon shrugs his own coat off, draping it over Seokjin’s shoulders. Seokjin blushes a little before tilting his head back to look up at him. 

 

“I love you.” 

 

Namjoon freezes, eyes wide. He exhales slowly, as if he needs to take a moment to collect himself. “What did you just say?” 

 

Seokjin grins. “That I love you.” 

 

“You…”

 

“I love you,” Seokjin says again. “And I think I have for a while.”

 

Namjoon kisses him. He kisses him like they’ve never kissed before — deep, sensual, and filled with love and need. Seokjin encircles his arms around Namjoon’s neck, keeping him close even as he leans his head back a little so he can speak. 

 

“I promise it’s not all the wine that is making me say this,” Seokjin says softly, their noses brushing. “Maybe it gave me a little liquid courage, but I don’t think so, because I’m not scared to say it. I love you, and that doesn’t scare me. I love you , and I am happier than I have ever been.” 

 

“Me too,” Namjoon says breathlessly. “And it’s not just you that I love. You’ve made me love life again. Before you, I was… I was proud of the work I did and of the life I had built for myself, but I was also so lonely. I didn’t want to admit it then. I was too stubborn to admit it then. But then you entered my world like a storm that couldn’t be stopped, and after a while, I realized I never wanted it to. I’ve found love in you, but I’ve also found love in life again.” He glances through the window just as Taehyung finally manages to beat Jungkook, and everyone inside erupts into cheers. “I’ve found a family too. You’ve given me that.” 

 

Seokjin blinks against the tears that are building in his eyes. They escape anyway, leaking out the corner of his eyes and rolling down his cheek. Namjoon holds his face, wiping them away gently with his thumb. 

 

“We’ve given each other that,” Seokjin corrects with a teary smile. “And you… you kind of saved me, you know? You say I entered your life like a storm, but you — you were my storm shelter. When I met you, I thought my life was going to fall apart, but the truth is, it already was. I just didn’t know it yet. And when I thought everything might be too broken, that I might be too broken, you are the one who has helped me put everything back together.”

 

Namjoon kisses him again. He wraps his arm around the small of Seokjin’s back to hold him close as he pushes forward until Seokjin has to bend back a little under the strength of the kiss. Seokjin smiles, unable to contain his happiness, and he tangles his fingers in Namjoon’s hair. 

 

“I love you,” he breathes against Namjoon’s lips. “I love you, I love you, I love you.”

 

Namjoon inhales his words, lets them seep through him and warm him from his head to his toes despite the snow that continues to fall around them. He leans back just enough to gaze down at Seokjin, his heart skipping a beat as he takes in the beauty that is Kim Seokjin. 

 

“I’m so glad you forced your way into my life,” he says. 

 

Seokjin grins. “Me too.”