johnny is a pro-volleyball player with no time to date, but not if his cheeky son donghyuck can do anything about getting his dad a date with his most favorite art teacher mr. lee taeyong
during an off-season break, donghyuck purposefully not-so-purposefully shoves crayons up a classmate's nose because oh my god you have no right to say anything about my dad's blocking form you shrimp head!
johnny gets an urgent call from donghyuck's homeroom teacher, a frazzled art teacher named lee taeyong, and he's spewing out a-hundred-mile-per-hour apologies as he drives to school to attend to his son's supposed tomfoolery.
the last thing art teacher lee taeyong was expecting to walk through the school's double doors was south korea's pride and the news-dubbed "flower boy of the courts" seo youngho, and he couldn't help but let his jaw drop at the man, overdressed for a school meeting.
taeyong almost has an aneurysm.
almost, because one, he's a professional, and two, he can't really turn into a gay disaster in front of his students.
he's a role model, for god's sake. a perfect teacher.
but damn, did donghyuck's dad have to be that hot?
see, see, art teacher lee taeyong likes to think that he has a good head in his hands. and he does!
except, underneath the stress of midterms and planning an upcoming school festival, he really forgot that donghyuck's dad is a pro-athlete.
a middle blocker.
not that he knows what that means. he's into pro-gaming (not that anyone should be concerned), not the sweaty world of sports. it's yuta, his housemate, who knows more about that.
come to think of it, he should get an autograph.
actually, no. he should greet this guy first.
god, lee taeyong is really out of it today, huh? and just because his student's dad is hot and t--
"i'm so, so sorry," mr. seo begins, hands clapped together in apology. "see, hyuck's an angel, but he gets really protective of me a--"
"i can see why," taeyong interrupts.
and immediately regrets not even five seconds after.
god, get yourself together.
fortunately, mr. seo doesn't seem to mind, simply chuckling at his little interruption.
"ah, still, he needs to get that temper of his che--"
"you mean mark needs to get his eyes checked!"
"duckie," mr. seo sounds exasperated, yet still full of love. "what did we say about people who don't agree with our playstyle?"
taeyong couldn't help but notice how the tall guy bent down to keep his height level with his son.
"we tell them to go watch a game,"
donghyuck motions with a pout, unable to look his father in the eyes. "and give them free tickets."
"good, good," mr. seo's voice is gentle, and taeyong scolds himself for even feeling the mildest attraction for a married man. MARRIED. "now what did you do?"
"shove crayons up his nose," donghyuck's voice is small, almost shy. "but dad! he doesn't know a thing about volleyball! he's a filthy soccer player and--"
it takes one hard gaze from mr. seo for donghyuck to shut up.
"i'll go and apologize," he finally offers with a whine.
"and i'll invite him to your next game too, like what we agreed on."
"good," mr. seo ruffles his son's hair, his grin bright at the conclusion. "you have to help me apologize to your teacher too, 'kay?"
"kay," donghyuck faces taeyong, does a 90 degree bow. "sorry mr. lee!"
taeyong simply nods, offers a small smile. "apology accepted, hyuckie. but i think the one you really have to say sorry to is mark."
"fiiiine," donghyuck stomps his way back to the classroom. "but he's still wrong! my dad's the best!"
"i'm sure he is, hyuckie!"
taeyong actually has no idea what on earth he's saying.
a big mistake on his part, really.
"you think so?" mr. seo asks, and taeyong finally remembers that he's actually there, existing and breathing in the same vicinity. "have you watched my games?"
"uh," taeyong hesitates.
but he really thinks he'll dig a much bigger grave for himself if he lies, so he settles for a cop-out.
"well, not often, but..." come on, taeyong. "my house mate's really gung-ho about sports, so i do hear and see sometimes."
taeyong tries his best not to see disappointment.
that isn't disappointment in the pro-athlete's face, right?"
"ah, well, i won't put that against you, mr. lee," he begins. "but if you do want to check a game out, do consider yourself invited."
"you don't have to," taeyong waves off the sentiment. "and please--"
"--just call me taeyong."
mr. seo quirks a brow.
"then just call me johnny." he offers with a grin, and taeyong suddenly wishes to be swallowed by the earth. "i hope this doesn't mean will be seeing each other often--"
there's one stab to the heart.
"--in this setting, i mean." mr. seo--johnny--finishes, punctuated with the sweetest, brightest grin.
taeyong can feel his heart reforming at light speed.
"ahaha, i would bet against it," he motions with a chuckle. "donghyuckie's a really good kid."
"he's lovely," johnny agrees, eyes filled with fondness. "ever since his mom left us, he's been nothing but a ray of sunshine in the house."
huh. a single dad.
no, taeyong. focus.
"i bet he is," taeyong hums. "he's a ray of sunshine here too."
johnny smiles at that, and taeyong feels himself warm up at how much love this guy radiates for his son.
"anyway, i'll go say bye and run some errands before i pick him up at dismissal," he motions. "he's basically off the hook, right?"
"with a warning," taeyong clarifies.
johnny's face scrunches up at the slightest, almost as if it wasn't what he's expecting.
"darn it," johnny snaps, like one of those cartoon leads. "and i thought the charm was working."
"sorry, we follow a strict rule book~" taeyong sings, eyes curled up into crescents.
"we don't give special consideration to anyone, even famous pro-athletes."
taeyong prays he didn't wink after that sentence, but he might've.
"that was all i was hoping to hear." johnny gives him a pat on the back. "you're doing a fantastic job here, taeyong. i'll see you."
johnny leaves in his big, black, SUV, and taeyong has to peel himself from the school doorway, scream at himself to get back to work.
(in the afternoon, when johnny comes to pick hyuck up, he receives a tall cup of cafe latte.
"not a bribe, i promise. it was dongyuck's idea.)
(donghyuck waves from the passenger's seat.
"if it's not a bribe, then--" taeyong eyes the cup, a bit suspicious.
"it's thanks. between the two of us, you're duckie's favorite teacher, and this is barely enough to show our appreciation."
taeyong tries not to implode)
donghyuck is not silent in the car ride home, like a guilty kid should.
"are you gonna date mr. lee?" he asks, blunt, as always, and johnny wonders where he got it from. "he's single, by the way."
"what gave you that idea, duckie?" johnny keeps his eyes on the road.
"besides, your mom sa--"
"mom has uploaded her fiftieth instagram story of her eurotrip with that pretty auntie," donghyuck cuts, would show him the phone if he weren't driving. "besides, i'm not a kid anymore, dad. i'm eleven. you can go on dates now."
"look, i know, you're afraid that you're gonna be too busy to date when the season kicks in, but that's in six months!"
johnny really wonders where on earth donghyuck gets this.
"just give it a shot! i saw how mr. lee looked at you," donghyuck opens the window, dry heaves.
"besides," donghyuck closes the windows before johnny could, a good child. "you guys are alike, adults. why are you even letting an eleven year old give you advice?"
johnny sighs, ruffles donghyuck's hair in defeat.
"fine, what do you want me to do? invite him to dinner?"
donghyuck grins, wide, bright.
"i knew you were a grown up!"
johnny simply accepts his utter defeat, concocts a game plan on how to actually ask that cute art teacher out on a date.
"you're telling me," yuta begins, eyes glued at his soccer game despite taeyong having bared his heart and soul out to him. "you had flower boy middle blocker say a couple of smooth lines at you AND give you coffee, and you didn't even bite?"
"I PANICKED, OKAY, PANICKED"
taeyong is having a crisis.
he has no idea what just happened earlier in the day, unsure if everything wasn't just a fever dream.
but there's a used cup with "johnny" on it, sitting by their coffee table, and by god--by god.
everything was real.
"was he flirting with me, yuyu?" taeyong whines, upside down on their shared couch. "it's been so long since i dated--what if he was just being nice? you know, be--"
"he gave you coffee, touched your back, even giggled at your lame jokes" yuta narrates. "how old are you--"
"-five? don't you think you're a little too old to be a disaster gay?"
"shut up." taeyong pouts. "you're supposed to be supporting me."
"i am not supporting your disaster gay ass whine and pine over someone who clearly has the hots for you too, lee taeyong."
"but yuyu, he's ma--"
"divorced. legally. for a good nine or so years now." yuta's looking at him now, not the screen. "google exists, lee taeyong. use it."
taeyong groans and pouts, contemplates his life choices, as well as his friendships.
"but what i--"
his train of thought gets halted by his phone suddenly ringing, a rarity, since no one really calls him this late into the night.
read: nine in the evening.
'donghyuck' says the caller id.
"duckie?" he says after picking up on the third ring. "what's up?"
taeyong almost threw his phone at the voice he hears from the end of the line. that is not duckie at all.
that is duckie's (hot) dad, using duckie's phone, to give him a call.
he almost hangs up, really, but yuta's glare works wonders.
"h-hi, johnny, right?"
"mhm." taeyong wants to die at how much deeper his voice sounds through the grapevine. "sorry, i thought using duckie's phone would be better than calling from an unknown number."
no it wasn't.
"what did you call for?"
there's a small pause at the other end--possibly contemplation.
"i know this is a bit abrupt but--" he hears johnny sigh, like he's gathering courage, but what for? wh--"do you want to come over for dinner some time?"
taeyong grabs yuta's arm to keep himself from falling over.
he turns to his housemate, prays his wide eyes and panicked expression count as a cry for help.
yuta simply rolls his eyes.
"hello? god, it is too abrupt, isn't it? i told donghyuck i shouldn't b--"
"i'd love to," taeyong hopes his answer is quick enough,
quick enough to dispel any doubt. "it is a bit soon, but i--" he takes a deep breath, collects his senses. "i'd love to. i think it can work."
(at the other end, johnny's brows raise; blinks, for good measure.)
"huh. you thought that far already?" taeyong hears teasing.
"you're teasing me," taeyong says, hopes his pout can be heard. "i was only trying to assure you, mr. seo."
"well, mr. lee," johnny banters smoothly, "your approval was the only reassurance i needed."
taeyong is blushing. blushing.
"do you really move this fast?"
doesn't hurt to ask, right?
"is it a pro-athlete thing?"
not like he has prior experience.
"no, not really," johnny answers with a hum. "but i only have six months until the season starts again, and i want to see if this could work as soon as possible."
"so it is a pro-athlete thing."
"maybe," johnny sing-songs. "but maybe it's also a johnny-thinks-this-art-teacher-is-cute-and-his-son-thinks-said-teacher-is-cool-and-that's-enough-reason-to-go-for-it kinda thing."
taeyong is red from the tips of his ears down to his toes.
"gosh, what does donghyuck tell you" taeyong says with dread, something that makes johnny chuckle into the line.
"all good things, i assure you." johnny hums, tone lilting. "i may have had a tiny crush before i even met you in person."
earns another chuckle.
"you're exaggerating," taeyong tries to not make it sound like he's whining, but he fails.
whatever. it makes johnny laugh.
"no. you can ask duckie. h--"
"DAD," taeyong hears donghyuck from the other end, loud and clear. "ARE YOU DONE USING MY CREDITS TO FLIRT?"
johnny chuckles, partnered with a small sound of embarrasment.
"you heard the guy," he mutters, quick to recover. "so, dinner? next week thursday, if you're free?"
taeyong doesn't even bother to check his calendar.
"absolutely." he croons. "that would be wonderful, johnny."
"great," johnny banters. "you're absolutely wonderful."
"i could say the sa--"
"DAAAAD. MY CREDITS!"
"i'll text you with my own phone, okay?" johnny says, abrupt, not too eager to face his own son's wrath. "see you on thursday."
"mhm. bye, johnny."
yuta, at least, has the decency to keep all his laughter in until after the phone call is through.
"BYE JOHNNY" he teases, and taeyong hits him with a pillow. "YOU SOUND LIKE YOU'RE IN COLLEGE, TAEYONG! GOSH!"
like how petals fall.
one dinner date turns into a regular "taeyong thursday" (thanks, donghyuck), in which both johnny and hyuck are kept on their toes at what three-course gourmet meal will taeyong bring to the table that night.
the seos are thankful.
taeyong fit into their equation effortlessly, like a puzzle piece that's made-to-order.
sometimes, they order in, especially when donghyuck is being especially whiney for pizza.
other times, they eat out, because pro-athletes can handle that and more.
johnny pops the question after a month and a half, over a nice plate of steak and a glass of red wine, just a bit after donghyuck was sent in for nine-o'-clock bed time.
"do you want to make this official?" he asks, swirls the red in his glass. "like, be my boyfriend, and all?"
taeyong bursts into a fit of laughter. must be the red.
"and yuta says i sould like a collegiate," he tips the wine back, ignores the look of worry on johnny's face. "we're adults. you should be asking me to marry you."
yup. totally the red.
"well not like i wasn't," johnny blinks, moves to the seat next to taeyong to take the glass out of his hand. he earns a whine. "but i thought you wanted to go through the motions first--you know--"
"youngho!" taeyong, both his hands free, cups johnny's cheeks.
johnny blinks, but does not protest against the sudden skinship.
"we're too old for this," taeyong squeezes his cheeks against his palms. "i like you, i love duckie, heck, i probably love you too. what are these motions you speak of?"
that's what johnny feels.
oh, and love.
definitely a lot of love.
"when you're not this drunk, yongie." johnny tips taeyong's chin up, lands a small peck on his lips. "besides, duckie would kill me if i proposed like this."
"absolutely right!" says a voice from behind the door.
there's a shuffling, then silence.
taeyong looks about ready to pass out the moment johnny turns his attention away from his son.
ah, yes. the l word.
"looks like duckie's not the only one who needs to go beddy bye"
"you haven't answered me about the motions!" taeyong protests, even as johnny lifts him up in his arms. "the motions, youngho!"
"tomorrow, baby" johnny nuzzles against his forehead, carrying him towards their occassionaly shared bedroom. "when you're sober."
there would've been more protests, but not when johnny's this good of a cuddle bug on a king-sized bed.
(in the morning, taeyong wakes up with two new things: a horrible wine headache, and an intricate silver ring on his left ring finger.)
(he'd check the other hand for more new discoveries, but all he really sees is a larger one intertwined with it, owned by a man whose face he has grown accustomed to waking up to.)
(he would've enjoyed the view a bit more--a sleeping johnny is a rare sight, the guy always woke up with the sun, after all--but there's a violent knocking at their door, followed by a whiney scream.
"YOU GUYS BETTER BE DECENT! DUCKIE COMING THROUGH!)
(the door bursts open, and in comes a waddling donghyuck, with a bad case of bed head and the cutest pair of bear-print jammies.
the eleven-year-old wedges himself easily between the two of them, claims it as his territory.
"i have come for cuddles.")
(his dad, half-asleep, is eager to oblige, arm immediately over his torso. taeyong, wine headache set aside, nuzzles against donghyuck's side, and returns to slumber.
taeyong dreams of a happy future, and wakes to a gleeful present.)
it's a family event.
the proposal was a bigger fiasco, timed during a back-to-back championship for johnny's team.
taeyong's crying face was the headline for a whole week.
("i know we've talked about going through the motions, but will you marry me, lee taeyong?")
(taeyong has been expecting this. they've talked about this. he already said yes, like a year ago.
so why on earth did he look like a fire hydrant in every damn photo dispatch took during that day?)
this time, the headline would have johnny's tearful close-up.
it's an elegant shot--a single tear running down on johnny's cheek. the hd shows endearment in his honey hues.
"crybaby," taeyong teases once he's done walking the aisle, ethereal in his cream suit.
"not like you're not crying" johnny banters, swipes at taeyong's wet cheek.
the vows come with hiccups, tears, and maybe a bit of snot.
("i will gladly go through every motion of life with you")
the kiss earns a standing ovation, with johnny lifting his now-husband into his arms, upping the ante for their still-chaste liplock.
donghyuck takes no time to run to the altar once the formalities are over, wedging himself between the newlyweds, and getting lifted by his taller dad for a better shot.
it's one for the books.
and the newspapers.
donghyuck succeeds, like he always does, and always will, in getting his dad a husband and getting himself a second, just-as-loving-but-totally-cooler dad.
he's born and raised to win.