They're a cliché, Minseok knows it. It's not something he constantly thinks about but in this very moment when he's unbuckling Jongin out of his seat, lifting the six-year-old boy out of the car, telling him softly to stay beside me while he reaches into the car, fumbles a bit before his fingers curl around the strap of their insulated cooler bag. It's heavy, the rough fabric of the strap digging into Minseok's palm for a bit before Minseok manages to drag it out of the car. He secures the heavy bag over his shoulders before looking after Jongin's backpack. It's gone.
"Jongin do you have your backpack?" Minseok directs the question over his shoulder while his hands still scramble blindly over the floor of their van. All he manages to retrieve is a bottle of lukewarm soda and some tissues.
"I have it," comes his husband's voice from the other side of the van where he's busy strapping their daughter into her beige baby carrier that's securely strapped onto Kyungsoo's chest, thick, padded straps running over Kyungsoo's torso and shoulders.
"Jongin, go to Dad and get your backpack," he says in the general direction of his legs where he feels the warmth of his tiny body pressed against his legs; Jongin's tiny fingers fisted in his shorts.
"Where is Dad?" Jongin asks, tugging at Minseok's shorts to the point where he feels them inch down his hips. Minseok manages to prevent himself mooning the rest of the people in the parking lot by grabbing onto the waistband of his shorts.
"On the other side of the van with Yerim," Minseok says, ruffling Jongin's hair as he pulls himself out of the van, making sure that Jongin isn't standing nearby before he closes the door firmly. Minseok manages to see the back of Jongin's t-shirt adorned with the letter 7 and KIM written on the back, before Jongin vanishes. Minseok pats the side-pockets on his shorts, making sure that he's brought his cellphone and wallet before he follows Jongin.
On the other side of the van, Jongin has gotten his the good dinosaur backpack on his tiny shoulders, and is proudly showing it off to his baby sister who's safely secured in the baby carrier on Kyungsoo's chest. Yerim is looking curiously at Jongin who's cooing at her, twirling around and making faces.
Kyungsoo is struggling with a backpack that Minseok knows contains Yerim's stuff as well as extra pants for Jongin and sweaters for himself and Kyungsoo.
"Honey I'll take that," Minseok says quickly, rushing over to Kyungsoo's side. Kyungsoo looks up at him with wide eyes, bangs falling into his eyes and Minseok swears he's falling in love with him all over again.
"You've already got the cooler bag though," Kyungsoo says softly, gesturing with the hand that's not pulling at the straps of the bag. And while that's true, Minseok doesn't want Kyungsoo to carry anything since he's already balancing Yerim on his front.
"Yeah I know but you've got Yerim."
And Kyungsoo's eyes goes so soft Minseok swears it makes it hard for him to breathe, as if his ribcage suddenly is two sizes too small for his set of lungs. A warm smile splays out on Kyungsoo's lips, and Minseok is in love. Has been for the past decade actually.
"Help me put on the bag, Kim Minseok," Kyungsoo chuckles. When Minseok is about to protest, Kyungsoo continues quickly. "Let's swap on the way back ok."
Ok, Minseok can't really argue with him so he pulls the backpack up from the ground, eases each of the straps over Kyungsoo's shoulders. It delights him that the backpack isn't heavy, and finds he's a bit more ok with Kyungsoo carrying it.
"Sehunnie! Dad!" Jongin exclaims suddenly, grabbing onto Kyungsoo's shorts. Minseok looks up from where he's adjusting the strap of the cooler bag to the direction Jongin is pointing in. Surely enough, running towards them on his chubby legs is Jongin's best friend Sehun, his mom following him, a big grin on her face. When Sehun comes over to them, Minseok sees he's dressed in the same soccer kit as Jongin is, in the colors of their local soccer team.
"Yes, go greet Sehun, Jongin. It's ok," Kyungsoo murmurs, ruffling the messy, black hair of their son fondly. Jongin lets out an excited shriek and plows toward Sehun. Just as Minseok closes the door to the van and Kyungsoo digs the keys out of his pockets, pressing one of the buttons. A sound comes from the van as the doors lock themselves.
Minseok and Kyungsoo let Jongin walk ahead of them with Sehun as Sehun's mom, Seulgi joins them, she too is carrying a insulated bag as well as a backpack on her back and a small one in one of her hands, presumably Sehun’s. She greets them with a soft smile, easily walking next to them. Usually, both Sehun's parents tag along for soccer matches, so Minseok wonders why she's alone.
Kyungsoo voices his concern before Minseok manages to. Soulmates.
"Where's Joohyun?" Kyungsoo asks, eyeing Seulgi's countless bags, hanging heavily on her slight frame.
"We had to split teams today," Seulgi explains as they walk towards the soccer field. "Joohyun and Soojung went to Soojung's taekwondo class earlier today. They'll be a little late so I took Sehun."
“How will Soojung take it when she’s late to soccer, I wonder,” Minseok muses out loud, a grin on his face. Soojung, Sehun’s twin sister, is deadly passionate about both soccer and taekwondo. He knows that Joohyun and Seulgi have tried several times to make her choose one but somehow Soojung manages to persuade her parents to let her continue with both for just another month. For as long as Minseok has known the Bae-family – approximately three years – Soojung has almost always gotten her will. Kyungsoo likes to call her princess. Soojung blushes at Kyungsoo’s words, but he’s the only one who’s permitted to call her that. If someone else does, she snaps at them, telling them that she’s absolutely not a princess.
There are no bleachers around this certain soccer field, so most of the parents have settled down on blankets. Minseok, Kyungsoo and Seulgi follow their example and before long they have spread out two blankets next to each other on the green grass. Minseok is digging through the cooler bag after a soda he knows he slipped in there earlier when Jongin comes running up to them, Sehun hot on his heels.
“Papa!” he says, completely ignoring Kyungsoo’s ‘where’s the fire, boys? ’, not stopping before he’s standing right in front of the cooler bag. Minseok gives up the hunt for the soda in favor of looking up at his son who looks terribly distraught; a pout on his lips.
“What’s wrong?” Minseok asks, ruffling Jongin’s hair.
“I don’t have my soccer shoes!” Jongin exclaims dramatically, throwing his tiny arms up in the air. Minseok looks fondly at him for a second before he realizes he doesn’t know where Jongin’s soccer shoes are either. He can’t remember packing them.
“Um, Jongin, Papa isn’t- “
“They’re in the backpack, top pocket,” Kyungsoo says calmly, bouncing a giggling Yerim on his knee. He looks awfully smug when he meets Minseok’s gaze, but it’s soon replaced with fondness, surprise when Jongin completely ditches Minseok for Kyungsoo.
“You know everything, Dad!” Jongin beams, retrieving his shoes from the exact place Kyungsoo told him they would be. Minseok expects him to come back to him to ask him to help him tie his laces tightly because Kyungsoo’s occupied with Yerim. Instead, Kyungsoo has to hand him a happily babbling Yerim because Jongin insists that ‘Dad has to do it! ’.
Sehun who is already wearing his soccer shoes is sitting in his Mommy’s lap, tiny fingers clutching a juice box, watching Jongin with interest.
“Mommy.” Minseok hears him say, to which Seulgi hums softly, kissing the crown of his hair. “When is Mom and Soojungie coming? The match is starting soon.”
“Mom just texted me and she said they were on their way. I guess they’ll be here in 10 minutes or so, don’t worry,” Seulgi tells Sehun who immediately looks calmer. Sehun finishes his juice box and hands Seulgi the empty carton. Jongin is done putting on his shoes at the same time. All parents get a peck on their cheek; Yerim gets two from Jongin and Sehun each before they sprint down to join the rest of their team.
Yerim is curled against his chest, fine, dark baby hair ruffled, when Kyungsoo leans closer.
“Do you want me to take her?” he asks softly, looking down at her fondly. Yerim is trying to keep herself awake, her eyelids fluttering closed before she forces them open again. She’ll fall asleep in a matter of seconds.
“No it’s okay,” Minseok murmurs quietly, curling his arm tighter around her tiny body so she’ll be in a somewhat comfortable position. Looking up he notices that Kyungsoo is still crowded into his space. Minseok does absolutely not mind it. “What?”
“I love you,” Kyungsoo says softly, eyes warm before he leans in and presses a brief kiss to Minseok’s lips that despite its shortness manages to send shivers down his spine. Before Kyungsoo manages to pull further away, Minseok curls his right arm around Kyungsoo’s shoulders and brings him in for yet another kiss, longer, languid.
They’re a cliché; Kim Minseok and Do Kyungsoo, high school sweethearts, dated through college and now married with two kids, a white-painted house, a van and two cats. Their history is boring and their friends call them boring, domestic they say, teasing. Maybe they haven’t gotten out as much seeing as they got Jongin almost straight after college, and now Yerim. But this is the life Minseok wants and he’s thrilled he gets to spend it with his best friend, his boyfriend, lover, husband, Kyungsoo.
“I love you too,” Minseok says when they pull apart, both a little out of air, Kyungsoo’s cheeks flushed a healthy pink. Minseok knows his cheeks look exactly the same.
“Gross,” Seulgi says, but when they turn to face her, she’s winking at them, beaming.
“You’re just jealous,” Minseok teases, sticking his tongue out at her. Next to him Kyungsoo laughs softly.
“Just wait until my wife gets here,” Seulgi says, pointing at them both with a sandwich. Some of the mayonnaise is sticking to her cheek. “I’ll show you what a kiss is.”
After four years of seeing Joohyun and Seulgi together, Minseok doesn’t doubt Seulgi at all.
With all the force of a great typhoon, springmaid you're next!