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The Garden of Earthly Delights
My Mind Is My Best Friend And My Worst Enemy
Carousel (girl!ChanHo) 
6th-Aug-2015 12:36 am
Title: Carousel
Pairing: girl!Chanyeol/girl!Suho, side Chen/girl!Kyungsoo
Rating: PG
Genre(s): fluff, romance
Warning(s): child rearing, dog poop, schmoop out the wazoo
Word Count: 9,730
Summary: In which Joonmyun is a single mom, and Chanyeol is a single dog mom.
a/n: This is a very, very late birthday present for coley_merrin

Read on Ao3.

------------------

Joonmyun bent over to pick up the discarded toy cars from the sandbox- shaking excess sand out of the nooks and crannies before putting them in her tote. She was tired after a long day of work, but this was her time to spend time with her son, so she pushed past it.

Straightening up, Joonmyun turned toward the swings- poised to ask her son if he was ready to go home and get some dinner. But before she could even say anything, she realized that Jongin wasn't on the swings. He wasn't on the seesaw, or the jungle gym, or the slide.

Joonmyun's heart dropped. Logically, she knew that he was probably here somewhere. It wasn't a big park, and they weren't in a dangerous area. But not being able to see her three, almost four, year old son had her panicking.

"Jongin!" Joonmyun called, heart pounding in her throat. She spun in a circle, looking for Jongin's brown hair and red t-shirt.

A flash of red through the bushes, and a laugh she knew well.

Hastening toward the sound, Joonmyun found Jongin standing in front of a big, husky dog- little hand patting the dog's head. He giggled as the dog tilted its head up to lick his arm- trying to sniff his hand as Jongin continued to try to pet it.

It was a heartwarming scene, but Joonmyun was too relieved to appreciate anything other than the fact that her son was safe and sound in front of her.

"Jongin," she called again, and this time Jongin's head turned- big brown eyes filled with happiness.

"Mama, look at the doggy!" he said, shrieking happily when the dog licked up the side of his face.

"Jongin, you can't wander away from me like that," Joonmyun scolded, heart rate still trying to stabilize.

"Sorry," he apologized, looking like he wanted to cry at her sharp tone.

Joonmyun sighed. "It's okay, just wait for me next time," she told him, walking close enough to card her fingers through his wind blown hair.

Jongin nodded seriously, though Joonmyun was fairly certain Jongin would be just as likely to wander away again if he saw a dog.

"Sorry about this," Joonmyun said, addressing the person at the end of the dog's leash for the first time.

The woman appeared to be a little younger than Joonmyun but a good foot or so taller than her with soft looking brown hair pulled up in a messy ponytail and long, lean legs on display with her short, short cotton athletic shorts.

"No problem," she assured Joonmyun with a smile that took up most of her face. "Sorry you worried. I was just about to ask this little guy where his parents were."

"It's okay," Joonmyun said, turning to watch Jongin hold out his hand for the dog to lick. His smile had Joonmyun grinning despite her earlier worry. She couldn't help but enjoy watching Jongin so happy. "He really loves dogs. Well. I guess that’s pretty obvious.”

“Colonel and I come to the park everyday around this time, so come find us if...Jongin, you said?”

Joonmyun nodded.

“If Jongin wants to have doggy time again,” she finished, shooting a grin at Joonmyun.

Joonmyun was going to have to talk to Jongin when they got home about not talking to strangers, but at least it appeared that this was a friendly one.

“Thank you,” Joonmyun said to the woman, returning her smile. “And thank you for being so understanding.”

The woman waved her off with a laugh. “I don’t mind, and Colonel loves the attention.”

Sure enough, the dog was enthusiastically sniffing Jongin’s ear as the little boy giggled.

“I’m Chanyeol, by the way. Chanyeol Park,” the woman added when Joonmyun looked back to her.

“Joonmyun Kim,” Joonmyun replied, shaking the woman’s- Chanyeol’s- hand, and chuckling at the belatedness of their introductions. “Well, we should probably get going. It’s almost dinnertime.”

“No problem. I don’t want to keep you,” Chanyeol told her, mega-watt smile not dimming in the slightest.

“Okay, Jongin. Time to go home for dinner,” Joonmyun said, bending over to take Jongin’s hand.

Jongin’s pout was immediate. “But I wanna stay and play with the doggy.”

“We can visit him another time, okay?”

Jongin sighed, dejected, but nodded.

“Say goodbye to Colonel and Miss Park,” Joonmyun instructed, and Jongin gave Colonel one last pat before waving sadly at Chanyeol.

Joonmyun sighed, apologizing to Chanyeol once more before leading Jongin back in the direction of the apartment- telling him about the fruit popsicles she’d picked up at the store for after dinner to cheer him up. But Jongin only perked up when she promised that they could return to the park the next day to find Colonel again.

For Jongin’s sake, Joonmyun hoped that Chanyeol hadn’t been exaggerating when she said they were at the park everyday. Otherwise, she was going to have to soothe a heartbroken little boy.


---


“Doggy!” Jongin exclaimed, letting go of Joonmyun’s hand and taking two steps before turning back around. “Can I go?”

Joonmyun smiled at Jongin’s conscientiousness in light of yesterday’s slight scare.

“You can go, but don’t startle the dog. You don’t want to scare him.”

Jongin nodded, and carefully walked over to where Chanyeol had Colonel on a leash. But the dog was already straining at the leash before Jongin even got over there- apparently having caught his scent and remembering that he was the perfect height for face-licking.

“Hi, again!” Chanyeol exclaimed, turning around to see Joonmyun walking toward her as Jongin and Colonel enthusiastically greeted each other.

“I hope you weren’t just being polite when you told us to find you again,” Joonmyun said with a laugh.

“Nah,” Chanyeol assured her. “I brought Colonel’s extra long leash today in case you guys showed up so Jongin can play with Colonel and maybe throw some sticks for him.”

“Really?” Jongin asked, looking up at Chanyeol with excitement shining in his deep, brown eyes.

“Yep,” Chanyeol grinned. “Just let me swap his leash. You can find a good stick while I do that.”

Jongin nodded before bounding off, squatting down underneath a gathering of trees to inspect the sticks on the ground.

“It was really kind of you to think of Jongin,” Joonmyun said, coming up to stand next to Chanyeol as she held onto Colonel’s collar, unclipping his leash and replacing it with the long lead she had wrapped around her wrist.

“I was the same way when I was a kid,” Chanyeol confessed, motioning for Joonmyun to follow her to a park bench and sit down beside her. “We didn’t have a dog, but I wanted one so badly. I used to walk around my neighborhood and knock on the doors at houses I knew had dogs, and ask to play with their dogs. I must have been such a pain,” she laughed.

“Our apartment building doesn’t allow pets,” Joonmyun explained, feeling the need to defend her reasoning for not having a dog- wanting Chanyeol to know that she wasn’t depriving her son of a canine companion on purpose.

Chanyeol nodded understandingly. “It’s not the same as having his own dog, but I mean it when I say he can play with Colonel any time.”

Colonel was currently snuffling at Jongin’s ear as the boy squatted on the ground, looking back and forth between two sticks.

“I appreciate it,” Joonmyun told her honestly, warmed by this woman’s kindness toward her son. “Jongin does too.”

“I can see that,” Chanyeol chuckled, watching as Jongin finally chose a stick and stood up- gesticulating as he spoke to Colonel about something.

“I can throw it?” Jongin called, looking over at Chanyeol for confirmation.

“Just not too far. He’s still on a leash,” Chanyeol answered, and Jongin nodded before flinging the stick into the air- watching Colonel excitedly go after it even though it only went a couple of feet.

“Will he run away if you let him off the leash?” Joonmyun wondered, observing the way the red nylon dragged over the grass when Colonel dashed to fetch the stick again.

“Yeah, huskies are runners by nature,” Chanyeol explained, readjusting the leash around her wrist. “If he catches a scent, he could run for miles. Even at the dog park, I have to have him on this long lead or else he can just jump the fence and take off.”

“Oh wow,” Joonmyun marvelled, eyes on Jongin as he wiped Colonel’s spit from the stick off on his shorts. “We had a terrier mix growing up, and he was fast, but not like that.”

“When I was younger, we had a german shepherd, and even though they aren’t as likely to run away as huskies, you still have to be careful. But my dad just didn’t get it, and he’d somehow manage to let her get out all the time. Fortunately, we always got her back, but I just remember panicking every time as a kid. I guess I’m probably extra paranoid now, especially since Colonel really could end up in the next city over before he even stopped to rest.”

Joonmyun nodded. “It’s smart to be aware like that. I’m glad Jongin can’t run that far when he gets out of sight,” she playfully observed, and to her relief, Chanyeol let out a loud enough laugh that both Colonel and Jongin turned to look in their direction before going back to playing tug of war with a stick.

“I’m surprised my mom never put me on a leash when I was a kid,” Chanyeol joked, and Joonmyun chuckled.

Colonel finally let Jongin have the stick, backing up and clearly waiting for Jongin to throw it again.

“So, what do you do?” Joonmyun asked after watching Jongin wind up only for the stick to go three feet in front of him- Colonel dashing after it like he’d thrown it straight across the park.

“I do computer coding,” Chanyeol told her, and Joonmyun had to admit that she was impressed. She’d taken one web design class back in college, and all of the letters and numbers and symbols had left her reeling.

“Wow, so you work for a computer company?” she asked.

“Trucking company, actually,” Chanyeol told her with a chuckle. “I know the trucking and coding don’t necessarily go together at first glance, but most companies need coders these days.”

That made sense, and Joonmyun nodded.

“What do you do?” Chanyeol asked in turn.

“I’m a paralegal,” she said, feeling kind of lame in comparison. She’d bet that Chanyeol made quite a bit more than she did.

“Oh! Cool!” Chanyeol enthused, and a glance at her seemed to confirm that she actually was impressed. For some reason. “Your job probably isn’t like all those lawyer TV shows, but that’s how I’m imagining it.”

Joonmyun laughed. “Not quite. Plus, I just deal with a lot of paperwork. I’m not in the courtroom or anything.”

“You must know a lot of law stuff, though,” Chanyeol marvelled before breaking off in a chuckle. “Clearly, I don’t.”

“I guess I know a fair amount of law stuff,” Joonmyun agreed, laughing.

“Does your husband work in the same field?” Chanyeol wondered, and Joonmyun tried not to grimace at the question. She was okay with being a single mom, but it always got awkward when people asked after a husband figure- often having the opinion that she would be better off with a man.

“I’m not married,” Joonmyun told her, voice light. “It’s just me and Jongin.”

“Oh! Sorry!” Chanyeol’s brows were creased. “I shouldn’t have assumed.”

“It’s okay,” Joonmyun waved her off. “I get that kind of thing a lot.”

Chanyeol didn’t appear placated. “But that doesn’t mean you should.”

Joonmyun shrugged, unsure of what to say.

“It’s honestly fine,” she settled on. “It’s been Jongin and I for the past three years, and we’re doing just fine. As long as we’re doing okay, it doesn’t really matter what people assume.”

Chanyeol nodded, but her brows were still furrowed in concern.

“If you ever need me to babysit or something…?” Chanyeol offered, looking like she wasn’t sure if she was making things worse or not. “Not because I think you need any help! I’m sure you have everything under control. You certainly seem like you do! But just in case you ever want to go out or something.” Chanyeol chuckled awkwardly. “Sorry, we only just met, so you probably don’t want to leave your kid with me. Which is cool! I’m just offering because I love kids, and...because.”

Joonmyun had gotten well-meaning offers to help her out that had left her feeling judged and patronized, but for some reason, she didn’t feel that way with Chanyeol’s proposal.

“I’ll keep that in mind,” Joonmyun promised, shooting Chanyeol a smile that had her relaxing. “Thanks.”

Truthfully, Joonmyun probably wouldn’t take her up on it only because usually the only time she needed someone to watch Jongin was when she was working, which would also be when Chanyeol was working. Maybe if she was going on dates or something...but Joonmyun had only been on one date since Jongin’s dad had left, and it had been a disaster. She had no intention of doing that again for quite some time. But still. It was nice that Chanyeol had offered, despite barely knowing her.

They ended up discussing a TV show that they both were hooked on until Jongin was crawling tiredly into Joonmyun’s lap, and Colonel was panting at Chanyeol’s feet.

With the promise to meet up again the next day, Joonmyun carried an exhausted but happy Jongin home- a bounce in her step.


---


Over the course of the next two weeks, there was barely a day that went by that Joonmyun didn’t take an eager Jongin to the park to meet up with Chanyeol and Colonel. One day, it had been raining too hard, so Jongin had pouted and made his stuffed dogs go through homemade obstacle courses while thunder crashed outside. But every other weekday saw Jongin tossing sticks or balls for Colonel, sometimes playing tug of war, and always ending up with a few licks to the face for his trouble.

Joonmyun was ecstatic to see Jongin so happy, and she had to admit that she’d been really enjoying being able to sit and talk with Chanyeol. Most of Joonmyun’s friends whom she saw regularly either worked with her or were the parents of kids in Jongin’s class. And it wasn’t that she didn’t like to spend time with them, but Chanyeol was different- made her think of making new friends in college when she wasn’t known for her profession or her status as a mother.

That being said, Chanyeol seemed to really like Jongin- sometimes asking Joonmyun to hold the end of the leash so Chanyeol could go run with Jongin and Colonel in the grass- and she never seemed bored by the stories Joonmyun told regarding Jongin, and Joonmyun told quite a lot considering Jongin was the center of her universe and had been for almost four years.

“So, they tell me that some kid bit Jongin today when I picked up him from the afternoon daycare at the preschool,” Joonmyun said with a sigh.

“Is he okay?” Chanyeol asked, wide eyes moving to look at Jongin as he tried to grab Colonel’s wagging tail.

“Yeah, though he got a little teary when it just happened, apparently.” Joonmyun shook her head. “I don’t know if that’s a normal phase for kids to go through? Biting other humans?”

“I think I bit my mom once when I was really little,” Chanyeol reminisced, startling a laugh out of Joonmyun. “It was right after I saw The Lion King for the first time, so maybe I thought I was a lion or something.”

Joonmyun snorted. “I guess I should be thankful that Jongin has never bitten me.”

“Maybe you should talk to that kid’s mom,” Chanyeol suggested teasingly. “Ask her if her kid has been excessively watching The Lion King.”

Joonmyun laughed. “I should.”

“Hey, uh,” Chanyeol started, losing the teasing edge to her voice. “I was wondering if maybe you and Jongin wanted to come to dinner at my place on Friday? I like to cook, but I live alone, so it would be fun to cook for someone besides myself. And Jongin could play with Colonel. Only if you want. No pressure!”

Chanyeol shot Joonmyun a wide, lopsided grin that had Joonmyun smiling through her surprise.

It was one thing to tolerate a woman and her kid in a public space, but it was another for Chanyeol to invite them to her home.

Joonmyun was touched.

“Sure! I- yeah! That would be great,” Joonmyun told her, happy to see Chanyeol’s eyes light up in response. “I mean, as long as it’s not too much trouble. Having a kid roaming around your apartment…”

“I live with a giant dog, remember?” Chanyeol pointed out, lips quirking.

Joonmyun laughed. “Okay, good point.”

“Any requests for the menu?” Chanyeol asked. “Any allergies to anything?”

“No allergies, but Jongin can be kind of picky,” Joonmyun admitted sheepishly. She knew that a lot of people subscribed to the make your kid eat all the things, even if they hate them school of thought, but she wasn’t particularly comfortable with that. Besides, being forced to eat peas as a kid had caused her to be completely averse to them as an adult. Her hope was that Jongin would try new foods as he was ready, and that his tastes would grow and expand as he got older.

“How about macaroni and cheese?” Chanyeol suggested, and Joonmyun smiled, relieved. “My mom taught me a really great recipe with five kinds of cheese.”

“That sounds deadly,” Joonmyun laughed, stomach grumbling a little at the thought since it was almost dinnertime. “That’s perfect.”

“Miss Park!” Jongin called from a few feet away. “Colonel is pooping!”

Chanyeol stood up, pulling a plastic bag from her pocket.

“Don’t worry, I’ll clean it up,” Chanyeol assured Jongin, making her way over.

Watching as Jongin observed Chanyeol pick up the poop with morbid curiosity, Joonmyun couldn’t fight the smile that stretched across her face, even though, she acknowledged, it was a pretty weird scene to be smiling about.


---


“This doesn’t look like the stuff from the box,” Jongin said suspiciously when Chanyeol set the bowl down in front of him, and Joonmyun flushed. Her own son, selling her out- basically announcing that the only kind of macaroni and cheese they have at their house is the kind made from powder cheese packets.

“Miss Park made it herself,” Joonmyun explained, leaning over to put a hand on Jongin’s arm.

He still looked skeptical, but thankfully, didn’t fuss.

“It looks delicious,” Joonmyun told Chanyeol when a plate was placed in front of her. “And it smells amazing.”

Thick, white cheese coating the elbow pasta- lightly browned breadcrumbs on top. It had been a while since Joonmyun had had a homecooked meal that wasn’t her own famous spaghetti with warmed up tomato sauce from a jar.

“I slaved away all afternoon,” Chanyeol teased, sitting down with her own serving. “Honestly though, I think I gained some muscle from all the stirring.”

Chanyeol flexed her bicep, and Jongin burst into giggles.

“Miss Hulk Park,” he said, imitating her stance, and making Chanyeol grin.

“I’m definitely going to turn into the Hulk by tomorrow,” Chanyeol agreed, playing it up a little more with Jongin before she reached over to ruffle his hair, telling him to dig in.

Joonmyun took a bite, and couldn’t help the satisfied groan she made at the taste.

“So good!” she said around her mouthful, hand covering her mouth, when Chanyeol turned to her for a reaction.

“Yum!” Jongin exclaimed, eyes wide with surprise after he’d taken his first, tentative bite. “This is just as good as the box stuff!”

Joonmyun opened her mouth to assure Chanyeol that her homemade mac and cheese was much better than the kind you could get for a dollar at the grocery store, but Chanyeol was beaming.

“That’s the best compliment you could give me,” Chanyeol said to Jongin, and Jongin smiled back- bouncing slightly in his seat.

Joonmyun looked at Chanyeol, quirking a brow.

“What?” she defended playfully. “Kraft mac and cheese is great!”

Joonmyun laughed, nudging Chanyeol with her elbow as she chewed.

“Can Colonel have some too?” Jongin asked, turning to look at where the dog was laying by the kitchen doorway.

“No,” Chanyeol told him. “It’ll give him a tummy ache.”

Ooh,” Jongin replied, nodding solemnly at the information he’d received before helping himself to another forkful.

Joonmyun had a feeling he was filing everything he learned about dogs away for when he was able to get his own dog one day.

By the time Joonmyun was helping Chanyeol take the dishes to the sink, and Jongin had joined Colonel in the living room, they’d all had two servings and Joonmyun was about ready to explode.

“Thank you so much for dinner,” Joonmyun said to Chanyeol as she placed hers and Jongin’s dishes in the sink. “It was really delicious.”

“No problem,” Chanyeol replied with a grin. “Thank you for coming over.”

“Let me help you with the dishes,” Joonmyun requested, stepping up next to Chanyeol as Chanyeol retrieved the dish soap from under the sink.

“You don’t have t-”

“I insist,” Joonmyun said, bumping Chanyeol’s hip with her own. “It’s the least I can do.”

“Alright, you can dry,” Chanyeol relented, handing Joonmyun the dish towel as she put on a pair of yellow rubber gloves and grabbed the sponge. “But it honestly wasn’t any strain. I like being able to cook for people, and ever since my ex moved out, I haven’t had many chances.”

“Oh!” Joonmyun hadn’t known that Chanyeol used to live with someone she was dating. It had never come up in their chats at the park. But it wasn’t as though Joonmyun sat around discussing her ex husband. Even if he was late with child support again, Chanyeol didn’t need to hear the nitty gritty details about her life. Not that she’d have minded Chanyeol telling her about her troubles.

Joonmyun liked to fancy herself a good listener, so it made her feel good to be able to lend an ear when a friend needed advice or just needed to rant.

“How long ago was that?” Joonmyun asked, trying to discern whether or not she was prying. She certainly didn’t expect Chanyeol to divulge details about her personal life if she didn’t want to.

“Not really recently,” Chanyeol assured her. “Let’s see...it’s been over a year since she moved out?”

She?

Joonmyun could feel Chanyeol looking at her like she was gauging her reaction.

She was a little surprised, but certainly not bothered.

“I’m sorry that happened,” was all Joonmyun could think to say.

“It definitely sucked at the time, but I’m okay now,” Chanyeol said with a shrug, seeming to relax since Joonmyun hadn’t reacted poorly to the fact that her ex was a girl.

“I understand that,” Joonmyun told her. “I’ve been there.”

Chanyeol’s brows knitted in concern as she regarded Joonmyun. “Yeah, it must’ve been even worse since you…” She trailed off, biting her lip like she might have said too much.

“It was definitely tough at first,” Joonmyun admitted. “But after the initial shock and hurt and anger wore off, it was a lot better than it had been when he’d been around. Instead of trying to deal with a passive aggressive jerk, I could actually enjoy spending time with Jongin.”

“Jongin is really great,” Chanyeol said, turning a grin on Joonmyun- trying to lighten the mood- and Joonmyun smiled in response.

“He is,” she agreed, feeling warm thinking about the bond she and Jongin shared, as well as the fact that Chanyeol could see what a great kid he was. She could have just been being nice, but based on her interactions with him,Joonmyun was pretty sure that Chanyeol meant it. “I got lucky.”

“You’re not gonna give yourself any credit?” Chanyeol teased. “You don’t think your parenting has had anything to do with it?”

“Well,” Joonmyun flushed at the implied praise. “I’m just trying not to screw him up too badly.”

Chanyeol tsked. “You’re a great mom, and Jongin adores you.”

Joonmyun didn’t know how to explain the lump in her throat, so she hastily tried to will it away- taking a deep breath before she responded.

“Thank you,” she finally said, keeping her voice steady. “That really means a lot.”

Chanyeol smiled at her, gently leaning into her before she went back to scrubbing the pot in her hand.

“And you’re a great dog mom,” Joonmyun blurted out, catching Chanyeol off-guard.

Chanyeol’s eyes widened before she burst out laughing. “I try.”

Joonmyun chuckled when Chanyeol hip-checked her again, drying the rest of the dishes with a smile on her face.

When they left the kitchen, they found Jongin curled up on the floor next to Colonel- both of them fast asleep.

Joonmyun shared a silent giggle with Chanyeol before she bent over and picked up Jongin, holding him so he could rest his head on her shoulder and bury his face in her neck- barely even stirring.

“Thanks for having us over.” Joonmyun whispered, carefully retrieving her purse from where she’d hung it over a chair. “See you on Monday at the park?”

Chanyeol nodded, smiling softly as she opened the door for Joonmyun and a sleeping Jongin- waving until Joonmyun stepped onto the elevator.

Joonmyun smiled to herself for the entire walk home.


---


“Miss Park!” Jongin called, rushing up to Chanyeol as soon as he caught sight of her in the park on Monday evening. “We had mac and cheese for lunch at daycare today, but it wasn’t as good as yours. I told everybody that you make the best mac and cheese. Besides the stuff from the box my mom makes.”

Chanyeol laughed, tousling Jongin’s hair and beaming down at him. “I’m honored you liked it so much.”

“So good!” Jongin yelled, spinning before he ran over to where Colonel was standing under a tree and looking up at a squirrel in the branches that had evaded him.

“I’m afraid you ruined him for mac and cheese,” Joonmyun said with a playful smile, standing in the shade next to Chanyeol. “Maybe me, too.”

The grin Chanyeol directed at her had her heart jumping a little.

“I might be okay with that,” Chanyeol teased, puffing up theatrically at the praise. “The good news is that I’d be happy to make it for you and Jongin whenever.”

“You really will become the Hulk if you have to do all that stirring all the time!” Joonmyun joked, ignoring the way her heart was pounding and refusing to acknowledge why.

Chanyeol laughed, doing a ridiculous looking Hulk pose that probably shouldn’t have been as charming as it was.

“It was really fun though,” Chanyeol said, slightly more serious now. “You guys are welcome to come to dinner any time. I can make the same thing or something else. Whtever. It was just nice to have you guys over.”

Joonmyun tilted her head so her hair fell forward, hoping to hide the flush she could feel heating her cheeks.

“Thanks, it really was fun,” Joonmyun agreed, willing her blush to go away so she could talk to Chanyeol like a normal person. “I really appreciate you having us over. Jongin does too.”

Chanyeol was smiling when Joonmyun hazarded a glance in her direction, but she looked like she could tell Joonmyun was off, and Joonmyun wanted to stomp on her own foot out of frustration at herself.

“So, anymore biting happening at the daycare?” Chanyeol asked, voice light like she wanted to shake whatever weird vibe Joonmyun had invited.

Joonmyun chuckled, relieved to be able to move onto a subject that didn’t have her stomach flipping like she was thirteen.

“Not that I’ve heard about, no,” Joonmyun told Chanyeol with a laugh, sitting down on their regular bench when Chanyeol did and gestured for her to do the same.

Jongin was running back and forth and Colonel was running along with him- stopping and starting and darting next to Jongin and making him laugh.

“I guess the kid figured out he wasn’t a lion after all,” Chanyeol observed wryly. “Always a disappointing realization.”

Joonmyun snorted, thankful to be feeling normal again. Though it was short-lived when she remembered what she’d decided she ought to do.

“Hey, do you want to maybe come to our place for dinner sometime?” Joonmyun asked, the question out of nowhere since she’d missed her opportunity earlier. “I mean, to return the favor. I don’t think I can cook as well as you, but I can make...some things?”

Chanyeol was looking at her wide-eyed again before her face broke into a grin that had her eyes nearly disappearing entirely.

“Yeah, that would be great!” she enthused. “And don’t worry about making something special, or anything. I like to cook, but half the time I just get take out or make frozen dinners. I’m not picky.”

Joonmyun felt relief suffuse her even as her heart picked up.

“I’ll try to do a little better than frozen dinners,” she promised, smiling back at Chanyeol and feeling her chest warm.

She’d spent quite a bit of time over the weekend thinking about Chanyeol and their dinner on Friday. It had been all Joonmyun could think about when she’d been lying in her queen-sized bed, trying to fall asleep. There had been a lot of no, Joonmyun, you’re just being silly’s and just because she’s nice and likes Jongin doesn’t mean anything’s.

But sitting with Chanyeol as the sun started to dip behind the trees, it was a lot harder to convince herself that what she was feeling was just an idle musing, or something she could easily dismiss.

It was only Chanyeol’s bright smile as she told Joonmyun about the first time she’d tried making fried rice that kept Joonmyun from panicking entirely.


---


“Thanks so much for picking Jongin up from daycare for me,” Joonmyun said the moment that Kyungsoo opened the door. “They sprung this meeting at me last minute and I-”

“It was no problem,” Kyungsoo assured her, cutting her off and stepping aside to let her in. “The boys are out back playing dinosaurs.”

Kyungsoo was one of Joonmyun’s friends from college- the only one who lived nearby. Coincidentally, she also had a son the same age as Jongin.

When their pregnancies had overlapped, it had seemed like they were both on the same track- both starting families with their new husbands and embarking on their adult lives.

But when Joonmyun’s husband left, the stark difference between their realities had Joonmyun feeling bitter and cheated.

How come Kyungsoo was seemingly getting her happily ever after when Joonmyun’s was falling apart? But those thoughts and feelings had been when everything was fresh and Joonmyun had been miserable. Now, she was happy for her friend, and enjoyed having someone to commiserate with as Jongin hit the milestones in his life since Kyungsoo’s son, Sehun, was going through the same things as well.

Following Kyungsoo to the back window, they peered out at their boys, stalking around the yard like they were giant beasts instead of three foot tall boys with dirt smudged on their elbows and knees.

Sharing a smile with Joonmyun, Kyungsoo moved to pull open the sliding glass door, but Joonmyun stopped her with a hand on her elbow.

“Actually, do you have a few? I need advice about something,” Joonmyun said, feeling her stomach start to flip with nerves.

Kyungsoo raised her eyebrows- surprised. It wasn’t everyday that Joonmyun nervously asked for advice.

“Of course! Want some tea?” she asked before making a face. “Not to sound like such a housewife.”

Joonmyun laughed, following her back into the kitchen. “Tea would be great, thanks.”

“So?” Kyungsoo asked, turning the electric kettle on, and facing Joonmyun where she’d perched on a barstool at the kitchen counter.

“We’re the only ones here, right?”

“Yeah, Jongdae is still at work,” Kyungsoo told her, and Joonmyun nodded, having no more reason to put off talking.

“I think...I might have feelings for someone?” Joonmyun confessed. It had been so long since she’d felt like this- college, probably, was the last time- so she had no idea what to even do with herself.

“Yeah?” Kyungsoo replied, looking surprised and intrigued. “Who is it?”

“Remember when I mentioned that Jongin has been getting to play with a dog in the park after daycare?”

“Yeah…? Don’t tell me it’s the dog.”

“Oh my god, shut up,” Joonmyun laughed, reaching across the island to smack Kyungsoo on the shoulder. “It’s not the dog.”

“Thank god, because I’m really not equipped to handle those kinds of problems,” she said as she poured the hot water into mugs.

Joonmyun scoffed, knowing that Kyungsoo was just teasing her- that she knew that Joonmyun was wound tight and was just trying to get her to relax.

“Anyway, it’s the dog’s owner,” she clarified, taking the cup of steaming green tea and cradling it between her palms.

“What’s he like? What does he do?” Kyungsoo asked, leaning over to rest her elbows against the counter.

Joonmyun chewed on her lip. “She’s a computer coder,” she rushed to say, watching Kyungsoo’s eyebrows jump at the pronoun.

“Been awhile since you dated a woman,” Kyungsoo observed, blowing on the surface of her tea and taking a tiny sip.

“Been awhile since I dated anyone,” Joonmyun pointed out, and Kyungsoo nodded, acquiescing.

“So, what’s she like?”

Joonmyun blew out a breath, glad that Kyungsoo wasn’t going to fixate on the fact that Joonmyun’s love interest was female or tell her that she shouldn’t be even considering a same sex relationship now that she had a son. Sure, Kyungsoo knew that Joonmyun had dated a couple of girls in college before she’d started dating her ex husband, but doing anything in college was very different from doing it out in the “real world.”

“Well, she’s really tall…”

“Oh thank god. I was most concerned about her height,” Kyungsoo said dryly, and Joonmyun made a half-hearted swatting motion in Kyungsoo’s direction.

Anyway,” Joonmyun continued, “she’s really funny and generous and she’s great with Jongin. She had us over for dinner on Friday and cooked this macaroni and cheese that Jongin hasn’t stopped talking about. She’s really good with her dog, which I know sounds silly, but it just shows that she’s responsible and caring. We always end up talking the whole time Jongin is playing with Colonel- that’s her dog- and she’d just really easy to be around. She even offered to babysit Jongin if I ever need it! And she said that she’d be happy to have us over for dinner anytime! And I… Oh my god. What am I even going to do?”

Joonmyun had half acknowledged most of that in her head, but saying everything out loud- to a human who was listening, no less- made it so much more real.

“Well,” Kyungsoo said calmly, “do you know if she’s interested in women?”

“She mentioned an ex girlfriend when I was at her house for dinner,” Joonmyun told her. “That’s what kind of...started the whole thing, because before I just didn’t even acknowledge that she could possibly even be interested in me, so the fact that she was pretty and funny and nice didn’t matter.”

“So you think she’d interested in you?”

“I-” Joonmyun started, ready to claim that she had no idea. But was that the truth? Chanyeol might not have come out and said it, but looking back, it did seem like a distinct possibility. Especially knowing that she liked and had dated girls. “Maybe?” she settled on.

“If you didn’t have Jongin, I’d say go to her apartment and make out with her,” Kyungsoo said, and Joonmyun snorted, feeling her cheeks heat at the idea of that- something she hadn’t let herself imagine...much. “But since you have Jongin to think of, you should probably proceed with a bit more caution. Especially if this is something you are seriously considering.”

Joonmyun nodded. “And Jongin already knows her and likes her so if I said something to her and she freaked out…”

“It doesn’t sound like she’d freak out,” Kyungsoo reasoned, and Joonmyun had to admit that she was probably right. “But you’d definitely need to ask the important questions like if she wants kids, and if she does, if she would be okay coming into a family that’s already been started.”

“Wow,” Joonmyun breathed. “That got serious real fast.”

“I’m just being realistic,” Kyungsoo told her. “If you just wanted to hook up with her a few times, then that would be one thing. But you said yourself that that’s not the case. And I know you. You aren’t really one for the meaningless hook up.”

Joonmyun sighed. She knew that Kyungsoo was right.

It wasn’t that she didn’t like the idea of being serious with Chanyeol. In fact, it scared her how much she did. But it was pretty frightening to think of asking Chanyeol if she was ready for such a big commitment.

“Talk to her,” Kyungsoo said simply when Joonmyun didn’t respond. “You need to sit down with her in private and tell her how you feel. You need to ask her if she’s ready for what a relationship with you and Jongin entails, because it’s no good to bring someone into his life just for them to flake out a couple months later.”

“You’re right,” Joonmyun admitted. “That is completely terrifying, but you’re right.”

Kyungsoo smiled smugly. “Of course I am.”

Joonmyun rolled her eyes, but she was immensely grateful- something she made clear when she gave Kyungsoo a big hug before she and Jongin left.

The next step was really, really scary, but it helped to know that she wasn’t completely crazy for wanting to go through with it.

Had Kyungsoo told her she was nuts and that she should forget it, she would have done her best to ignore anything beyond platonic fondness for Chanyeol she might have been feeling, but she hadn’t. She’d told her to move forward and see what could happen.

Truthfully, Joonmyun was terrified and found herself almost half wishing that Kyungsoo had told her to forget it, but there was anticipation simmering under her skin nonetheless. She was feeling things she hadn’t felt in years, and as scary as it was, it felt great- heart pounding with something she thought she’d forgotten how to feel.

There was no guarantee, Joonmyun was well aware, but it was worth it to try. Of that, she was certain.


---


The day that Chanyeol was set to come over to for dinner, a Saturday, saw Joonmyun running around her apartment, trying to prepare. She vacuumed, dusted every flat surface, including the top edges of the baseboards, scrubbed the kitchen counters and table, and cleaned the windows.

Jongin watched her curiously from where he was sitting on the living room floor and playing with his animal figurines, asking her why she was cleaning so much.

“Miss Park is coming over for dinner, remember?” she said, and Jongin’s face lit up.

“Is she bringing macaroni and cheese?”

Joonmyun shook her head. “I’m cooking today.”

“Is she bringing Colonel?” Jongin asked next, looking hopeful.

“Dogs aren’t allowed in our building, sweetie,” Joonmyun reminded him.

“Not even to visit?”

“Not even to visit,” she confirmed, and Jongin pouted. “Do you only like Miss Park because of her macaroni and cheese and her dog?” she asked curiously, unable to help herself. Jongin’s opinion mattered more to her than anyone’s.

“No,” Jongin easily told her, going back to making his plastic tiger climb the side of the couch. “She’s funny and nice.”

Jongin didn’t seemed like he was interested in expounding- probably saw no need. To him, Miss Park was funny and nice, and that was that. But it had Joonmyun smiling to herself nonetheless.

But even after she’d finished all of her tidying up and had the chicken seasoned and in the oven, there was the very important issue of what she was going to wear. She didn’t want to look like she was trying too hard, but she hadn’t ever gotten the opportunity to show Chanyeol what she looked like when she was all cleaned up and looking nice.

Around her fifth outfit change, Jongin wandered into her room- looking from Joonmyun to the pile of discarded clothing on her bed.

“What are you doing?” he asked, and Joonmyun didn’t know how to explain the mess of rejected outfits.

“Getting dressed,” she settled on, deciding that she was just going to stick with the blouse and knee-length, floral skirt she had on. It wasn’t too too much, but she thought she looked nice.

“Do I need to wear my nice clothes?” Jongin wondered, and Joonmyun had to laugh- mostly at herself.

The last time she’d put so much effort into appearance, they were going to dinner with her parents at a nice restaurant, and Joonmyun had wanted to show them that she was doing fine on her own. She’d dressed Jongin in some black slacks and a white dress shirt- both of which he was almost too big for- in the hopes that her parents wouldn’t try to convince her to move home so they could help her out.

“No, what you’re wearing is fine,” Joonmyun told him, and Jongin let out a sigh of relief.

“Good. The shirt squeezes my neck,” he complained, and Joonmyun chuckled, tousling his hair as she moved past him to plug her curling iron in in the bathroom.

“We’ll get you a shirt that’s more comfortable next time you have to dress up, okay?” she promised.

Jongin nodded- watching as Joonmyun curled the ends of her hair, but wandering away when she started in on her makeup.

By the time there was a knock at the door, Joonmyun had managed to get to a place where she was feeling pretty good about her appearance and the state of her apartment. The chicken was almost ready to come out of the oven, and the potatoes and peas were nearly finished.

She was ready, she assured herself before taking a deep breath and opening the door. But what she hadn’t been ready for was Chanyeol kind of dressed up- high waisted pants making her already long legs seem endless, and a blouse with a scoop neckline accentuating…

Joonmyun forced her eyes to Chanyeol’s face, smiling and stepping aside to let her inside.

The fact that Chanyeol, too, had dressed like this was a special occasion had Joonmyun’s stomach swirling even more with anticipation. It was somewhat comforting to think that maybe they were on the same page with all of this, but at the same time, it made her even more nervous.

“Miss Park!” Jongin exclaimed, sprinting in from the living room and almost running into Chanyeol's legs with his momentum.

Chanyeol grinned, leaning down to give Jongin a high five, and Joonmyun was relieved for the break in the charged atmosphere.

“Thanks for coming,” Joonmyun said, voice back now that she wasn’t just standing there, staring at Chanyeol in all her glory.

“No problem,” Chanyeol replied, straightening up and offering the bottle of sauvignon blanc she was holding, seeming a little unsure. “I didn’t really know if you drank wine, but I wanted to bring something.”

“This is great, thanks,” Joonmyun told her, taking the bottle to put it in the fridge. "We can have a little with dinner, and maybe a second glass after Jongin goes to bed. If you want.” Had that been too forward?

“Sounds good,” Chanyeol said with a smile, following Joonmyun into the kitchen with Jongin at her heels.

Despite Jongin complaining that he wished they were having macaroni and cheese, dinner went well. The chicken wasn’t undercooked, the peas weren’t overcooked, and Joonmyun thought everything tasted pretty decent.

Chanyeol heaped on the praise, though Joonmyun suspected that her enthusiasm was to counteract Joonmyun’s insistence that she really wasn’t a talented cook and that this was the most impressive dish she was capable of.

Joonmyun hadn’t prepared a dessert, but when Jongin begged for a popsicle and Chanyeol said she’d take one too, Joonmyun wished she had.

“Nah, this is great!” Chanyeol assured her when she apologized, lips red from eating the frozen treat. “I haven’t had a popsicle in ages! It reminds me of summers as a kid.”

It wasn’t long before Jongin was dragging Chanyeol to his room to show her his stuffed animal collection- their popsicle sticks left abandoned on the table.

With Chanyeol otherwise occupied, Joonmyun took the opportunity to start on the dishes so Chanyeol wouldn’t feel like she had to help.

She thought that she could take the time alone to calm the fluttering feeling in her stomach, but just knowing that Jongin liked Chanyeol enough to show her his prized positions, and that Chanyeol liked Jongin enough to let the four year old manhandle her and talk her ear off about all of his plush toys just had Joonmyun’s heart filling with affection.

“Hey, no fair!” Chanyeol complained, coming back into the kitchen as Joonmyun was scrubbing the last pot. “I was gonna help.”

“I know you were. That’s why I did them when you were busy with Jongin,” Joonmyun told her cheekily, turning around to watch the pout that Chanyeol shot at her.

“Can we watch Finding Nemo?” Jongin asked, speeding into the room and sliding across the floor in his socked feet.

“Chanyeol has probably already seen that movie,” Joonmyun said, not wanting to make Chanyeol sit through an hour and a half kid’s movie she probably had no interest in. “But you can watch it. Just give me a minute and I’ll put it on for you.”

“Have you seen it?” Jongin asked, blinking up at Chanyeol hopefully.

“I have,” Chanyeol confirmed. “But I wouldn’t mind watching it again. If that’s okay with your mom.”

When Joonmyun turned back around, drying her hands on the dish towel, she had two sets of eyes on her- waiting for her to grant permission. She couldn’t help the laugh that bubbled up.

“You sure?” she asked Chanyeol, hopefully giving her a look that let her know that she had an out if she wanted it.

“Yeah!” Chanyeol said enthusiastically, letting Jongin hold tightly to her hand with both of his. “I haven’t seen it in a long time anyway. It’ll be fun.”

“Okay,” Joonmyun agreed, and Jongin cheered, running toward the living room to get situated.

“You really don’t have to do everything he wants you to,” Joonmyun told Chanyeol when Jongin was out of earshot.

“It’s fine,” Chanyeol assured her. “You’re watching with us, right?” And there were those hopeful eyes- the same type Jongin had been looking at her with seconds before.

Joonmyun smiled. “Of course.”

All three of them fit on the couch with Chanyeol in the middle (at Jongin’s insistence), Joonmyun on one side, trying to keep a normal, casual distance between herself and Chanyeol while also maybe sitting kind of close to her, and Jongin squirming around on the other side.

Jongin announced all of his favorite parts to Chanyeol and watched her eagerly for her take on what was happening on screen. Fortunately, Chanyeol had naturally exaggerated reactions, so he was pleased with how much she seemed to enjoy all of the jokes.

But by three quarters of the way through the movie, Jongin had dozed off with his head pillowed against the armrest, drooling on the hand he had shoved under his cheek.

“I’ll take him to bed,” Joonmyun murmured, stopping the movie and scooping Jongin’s sleep lax body from the couch with practiced ease.

“He didn’t wake up and demand to see the rest of the movie?” Chanyeol joked when Joonmyun returned to the living room after tucking Jongin into bed.

“No, once he’s asleep, he’s out,” Joonmyun told her. “Did you...want to finish the movie?”

Chanyeol laughed. “Nah, it’s okay. I’d rather chat with you.”

Joonmyun felt herself flush at that, even though it wasn’t necessarily a romantic thing to say.

“Want another glass of wine?” she offered, heading to the kitchen to retrieve their glasses and the bottle at Chanyeol’s nod.

“Wow, you’re not playing around,” Chanyeol teased when Joonmyun set the whole bottle on the coffee table.

“I just don’t want to have to get up if either of us wants a refill,” Joonmyun defended, chuckling as she poured them both a glass.

They sipped in silence for a moment, Joonmyun feeling the weight of being alone in her apartment with Chanyeol.

“You look really pretty tonight,” Chanyeol said, shooting Joonmyun a shy smile when she looked over at her. “I mean, you always do, but...you know.”

Joonmyun flushed. “You do too.”

Chanyeol let out an awkward chuckle at the compliment. “Well, I figured you’ve pretty much only seen me in dog walking clothes, so I thought you should know that I do own some nicer things.”

Joonmyun laughed, but couldn’t stop the flood of adrenaline through her limbs.

This was the time. This was her moment. She wasn’t going to get a better opportunity than this to figure out if Chanyeol felt the same and if she was willing to do what it took to really be someone special in Joonmyun’s life.

“I, uh, wanted to ask you something,” Joonmyun confessed, fiddling with her wine glass before setting it on the coffee table.

Chanyeol sat up straighter, eyebrows raised, as she waited for Joonmyun to continue.

“So, I was wondering. Do you...want kids?”

That wasn’t the question that Joonmyun had wanted to lead with, though it was an easier, more concise question than the one she really wanted to ask. And it was relevant, at least.

Chanyeol looked surprised, like that wasn’t the question she’d been expecting either.

“Yeah!” she answered, relaxing a bit. “I definitely want kids. I love kids. Which, I guess, you can probably tell,” she laughed. “My sister has three kids, and it’s so great to get to spend time with them when we’re all home for the holidays. I spend so much time playing with them that my sister keeps threatening to demote me to the kids table since I think I end up visiting more with them than with her and my mom. But yeah. Kids are definitely something I want at some point.”

Joonmyun nodded, comforted, but not surprised by Chanyeol’s answer. As she’d said, Joonmyun could definitely tell that Chanyeol loved kids. And to know that she wanted them was one box she could check off. But there were still more things she needed to know.

“You’re really great with Jongin,” Joonmyun confirmed, and Chanyeol grinned. “But that wasn’t the question that I meant to lead with. Um.”

Chanyeol’s brows furrowed a bit as Joonmyun geared up for what she wanted to say.

“Are you-” she started with and then stopped. “Would you-”

No that wasn’t right.

“I’ve been-”

For the amount of time she’d spent thinking about having this conversation with Chanyeol, she’d never come up with the correct opener, and it appeared that she should have. Nothing seemed right.

She let out a light, huffing laugh at her own expense before taking a breath and trying again.

“I don’t know if it’s just me, but I’ve...developed feeling for you,” Joonymun’s cheeks were burning, and she couldn’t bear to look Chanyeol in the eye. “But it’s more complicated than if I was just a single woman, because I have Jongin, and I haven’t really dated since my divorce aside from one really disastrous date. Anyway. I don’t know if you feel the same way, or not. And even if you do, I can’t just rush into something without knowing exactly how you feel and what you want, because Jongin and I are a package deal, and I can’t do anything without making sure it’s the best thing for him as well.”

Joonmyun took a breath and glanced at Chanyeol who was looking at her with an expression that Joonmyun couldn’t read.

“Sorry, that was probably the worst confession in history,” she went on, not able to handle the quiet right then when all of her nerves were jangling. “But I just needed to lay that all on the table.”

Another pause.

“And it’s completely fine if you don’t feel the same or if you just don’t want to deal with everything being in a relationship with me entails. I don’t want that to get in the way of our friendship, and I really don’t want that to mean that you and Colonel leave our lives because I know Jongin would be really sad. But that’s up to you. I don’t want you to be uncomfortable-”

“Joonmyun,” Chanyeol finally said, closing her hand over Joonmyun’s. “Can I respond?”

Joonmyun nodded, sucking in a nervous breath. But Chanyeol’s eyes were smiling, so at the very least, she didn’t appear offended or horrified by what Joonmyun had said, so that was good. That was good.

“I honestly never thought you’d really be interested in me,” Chanyeol started. “I didn’t even know if you were interested in women. And even if you were, miraculously, that didn’t mean that you’d be interested in me. But I’d hoped?”

Waiting for Chanyeol to go on, Joonmyun tried not to jump to any conclusions, lest she be disappointed.

“I really like you, Joonmyun,” Chanyeol said, turning to look Joonmyun in the eye- hands closing around both of Joonmyun’s. “I’ve liked you since the first day we met. I understand that bringing someone into your life is huge, so the fact that you can even entertain the idea of trusting me...”

Chanyeol’s big eyes were on her, filled with such amazement and awe, and Joonmyun felt like Chanyeol must have been able to hear how loudly her heart was beating.

“We’d still have to start slow,” Joonmyun told her. “I don’t want to rush things and risk screwing them up.”

Chanyeol nodded, earnest and serious.

“So you’d...I mean, in the instance that this lasted...you’d be okay with being in a relationship with someone with a kid? Or even...you’d be open to making Jongin a part of your life?”

“Yes,” Chanyeol said, squeezing Joonmyun’s hands in hers. “I know it’s early yet, so we don’t know… But yes. That would be good. That would be more than good.”

Joonmyun took a deep breath, shaky with the adrenaline leftover from broaching the subject at all and from the fact that there was this possibility now. Nothing was certain, and only time could tell, but…

Overwhelmed, Joonmyun leaned forward and pressed her lips softly to Chanyeol’s- sparks catching fire behind her closed eyelids and sending electricity skittering across her skin. It had been a long time since she’d felt anything like this- so long that she’d made her peace with never experiencing it again. But now that she’d found it, found a person whose mere presence inspired a symphony of feelings to erupt in her chest, she wasn’t keen on letting it slip away.

“You’re so amazing, Joonmyun,” Chanyeol breathed when they parted, her hands slipping up Joonmyun’s arms to rest warm on her shoulders before she gently kissed her again.

“I know we had to talk about a lot of serious stuff,” Joonmyun said, pulling back. “But you don’t need to feel obligated to be anything or be a certain way for me. I just need to know that if it gets to that point, that you’re okay with fitting into my life and accepting everything that comes with it.”

Chanyeol nodded, fingers lightly combing through Joonmyun’s hair- playing with the soft curls as she smiled.

“We can still have fun,” Joonmyun went on. “We can still date like regular people...I mean, we probably can’t go out as often because I’d have to find a sitter for Jongin. But don’t make me a burden. It can be fun! We can...rent a swan boat!”

Chanyeol’s lips quirked. “Are you trying to sell to me the fact that dating you can be fun?” she teased. “Because I was already under the impression that it would be, boats or no boats.”

Joonmyun chuckled. She was so bad at this- dating, everything. But at least Chanyeol seemed amused and understanding, rather than judgmental.

“Sorry,” she laughed, pressing a light kiss to the corner of Chanyeol’s lips. “The atmosphere got kinda heavy, and I didn’t want you to think it was always gonna be that way.”

“It can be any way you want,” Chanyeol told her with a smile.

Chanyeol kissed her again, fingers threaded through the hair at the nape of her neck, and Joonmyun let herself get pulled under by the feeling of Chanyeol against her.

When she felt the first twists of arousal, Joonmyun pulled back. They could save that thread of possibility for another day. It was something she would enjoy exploring, but now was not the time.

Instead, they spent the rest of the evening with Joonmyun’s legs thrown over Chanyeol’s lap as they talked- Joonmyun regaling Chanyeol with the story of trying to potty train Jongin when he was convinced that Jafar from Aladdin was hiding behind their toilet, and Chanyeol telling Joonmyun about how she used to have conversations with plants as a kid when her sister stayed over with friends because she got lonely in their shared bedroom by herself.

A bit past midnight, Chanyeol finally unfolded herself from the couch and Joonmyun walked her to the door, kissing her firmly before letting her leave.

They’d made plans to go on a walk the next day with Jongin and Colonel, and Joonmyun was already anticipating it. With so many possibilities ahead of her, Joonmyun was anticipating a lot of things.


---


When Joonmyun and Jongin moved into Chanyeol’s apartment a year and a half later, Jongin finally got his dog.

Joonmyun got so much more than that.



















- Happy birthday, Jen! I hope you liked it ♥♥♥
- Title from Vanessa Carlton's song of the same name.
- Comments, asalways, are appreciated ^^



suho
Comments 
6th-Aug-2015 05:38 am (UTC)
spot for coley_merrin <3
6th-Aug-2015 08:24 am (UTC)
Baby!nini is so cute!!!

But also Chanyeol talking to plants because she was lonely and Joonmyun being awkward lolll

Loved it!
6th-Aug-2015 09:13 pm (UTC)
baby!nini was so fun to write ;;
the plant thing...may be based on...experience... ahem
and when is joonmyun not awkward? lol.
i'm so glad you enjoyed it!
thanks for reading and commenting! <3
7th-Aug-2015 07:25 am (UTC)
aww so cute and sweet :)
so very nice
adorable baby jongin too cute
but yes joonmyun and chanyeol and kyungsoo :)
very nice, very very nice
7th-Aug-2015 07:34 pm (UTC)
i'm glad you liked it!
hehe it was a lot of fun to write baby jongin ^^
thanks for reading and commenting!
7th-Aug-2015 07:29 am (UTC)
honestly this fic was so good that i ended up making an account just so i could comment lol

it's really funny because just a few days ago i was thinking about how nice it would be if there was more girl!suho/girl!chanyeol and here it is! i really love suyeol and i'm always looking for more fics (especially girl/girl lol) and i'm just so happy you wrote this, because it was enjoyable and wonderful and i was dying the whole time lol. it was such a fun and easy read and little jongin is so cute ;_; the most precious baby in the world.

and chanyeol was so charming and sweet!! the ideal girlfriend tbh~ my dream

but so was joonmyun!! she was so sweet and adorable and so painfully cute ;__;

all of your characterization was really good and spot on and this was just such a heartwarming and fun and happy fic to read which is so nice, and the ending actually made me tear up hahaha. anyway thank you for writing such a good fic it was so much fun to read!!
8th-Aug-2015 04:09 am (UTC)
oh my gosh that is so flattering?? ;;;;;;;
girl!ChanHo are so cute ;; have you read this one?
jongin is a precious baby~ even in his current state XD so he's even more adorable as an actual baby lol.
omg i give myself soo many problems with ideal gf chanyeol /sobs
i also love girl!joonmyun, and i'm glad you enjoyed her here, too!
it makes me so happy to see that you liked the characterization because that's always a big focus for me when i write :')
i'm so glad you enjoyed this!
thanks for reading and commenting! <3

Edited at 2015-08-08 04:10 am (UTC)
19th-Mar-2016 08:21 pm (UTC)
god sorry this took like a year to respond to i kept getting myself locked out of my account every time i tried to log back in to reply omg?

also no ive never read this one yet! but im reading it rn and screaming and im really always looking for more wlw fic (esp chanho..) so THANK YOU!!

and honestly? chanho are just both my ideal gfs at this point criesss i love them so much ;;__;;

thank you so much for writing such amazing fic! <3
14th-Aug-2015 12:33 pm (UTC)
oh, this was sooo cuTE!
When Chanyeol first appeared, I was wondering how Joonmyun was going to deal with her feelings, but then you revealed that she has dated girls before, and I was like "YAS, NOW MARRY".
Seriously,this was the cutest thing ever, I was smiling like an idiot :D
23rd-Aug-2015 05:49 am (UTC)
aw i'm so glad you liked it!
don't worry! they definitely do marry! i have this whole au figured out XD
thanks for reading and commenting!
23rd-Aug-2015 02:58 am (UTC)
Oh my goodness, this entire fic was a whole lot of cute!!! ♥
I will always love kid!EXO, but baby Jongin was so precious! ;;
I love your Joonmyun and Chanyeol. Joonmyun being her overly practical-worried self, and Chanyeol being . . . well Chanyeol XD
I also appreciate how you included Kyungsoo, helping guide Joonmyun along the way.
The ending was really sweet too!! I wanted to coo at SuYeol! ♥
23rd-Aug-2015 05:50 am (UTC)
aw yay!
i'm glad you liked it!
jongin is precious as he is now, so as a kid, he'd just be so ridiculously adorable ;;
hehe chanyeol being chanyeol is the best chanyeol :p
i'm happy to hear you liked the kyungsoo scene!that ended up being one of my favorites to wrote :)
thanks for reading and commenting!
2nd-Dec-2015 01:36 am (UTC)
This is all I've ever wanted in a Suyeol fic and more. My heart
*clenches hand over heart*
21st-Jan-2016 01:37 pm (UTC)
Aw yay!! I'm so glad you liked it ^^
Thanks for reading and commenting!
21st-Jan-2016 08:37 am (UTC)
Oh my god the schmoop. This sounds like a hallmark movie. This should be one, actually. But this would be a good one, not insanely cringey.
21st-Jan-2016 01:38 pm (UTC)
It's so schmoopy ><
Of hallmark wanted to make this a movie, I'd be on board lmao
Thanks for reading and commenting!
15th-Feb-2016 10:48 pm (UTC)
YAY FOR HAPPY ENDINGS. YAAAAAYYYY!

(this had me craving mac and cheese lol)

Edited at 2016-02-15 10:49 pm (UTC)
16th-Feb-2016 03:01 am (UTC)
\o/ i'm glad you liked it! and i'm always one for a happy ending ^^
i am also always craving mac and cheese XD
thanks for reading and commenting!
24th-Aug-2016 12:59 am (UTC)
Ahhhhh, this is wonderful! Chanyeol and Joonmyun are so precious and Jongin is adorable!
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