PAUBAYA CHAPTER 8: JOHNNY X READER | DOYOUNG X READER
PAUBAYA (N) - A FILIPINO WORD WHICH MEANS TO ENTRUST SOMETHING OR SOMEONE TO ANOTHER; TO GIVE SOMETHING AWAY.
PAIRING: JOHNNY X READER, DOYOUNG X READER
Themes: angst, single parent au
TW: cheating, long chapters, slow updates (lol sorry)
Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7
I hummed softly to myself as I lazily moved around the kitchen, arranging my newly washed pans and mugs in their right places. A ballad was floating from my speakers like a gentle breeze, and I smiled to myself as I thought just how much it sounded like Doyoung singing. Usually, I would have internally slapped myself for acting like a schoolgirl crushing on someone, but I really couldn't care less right now, no matter how embarrassing I might be acting.
A sound of a door opening and closing came from the hallway, followed by padded footsteps that found their way to where I was. I didn't turn around to look, but a small grin did pull the corners of my lips when I felt arms wrap around my waist and gently pull me back. I felt some drops of water fall on my shoulder, which Doyoung quickly kissed away as he bent over me.
"Hey," he said as I silently noted the smell of shampoo from his freshly washed hair.
"I'm done with my shower."
"I could see that. From the looks of it, you didn't even dry yourself properly too," I lightly teased. I didn’t need to turn to him to know that he sassily rolled his eyes to me in answer.
"Your towels here are too small for me."
"Oh please, Doyoung. I know you've already brought your own."
It was the truth though. Ever since that night when he said those three words to me and I invited him to stay over for the night, I felt like something had shifted in our relationship. All of a sudden, it was like he was being more direct about things unlike before when we were still both trying to find our footing. He is still the same Doyoung that I have as my best friend, but it feels like he is not leaving any stone unturned when it comes to this new thing we have going right now. He feels more confident, more sure.
As for me, I am simply more than happy to follow his lead. After that first night, everything just seems to fall into its right places. He hasn't officially moved in with me yet, but it has become a routine for him to stay over, mostly during the weekends.
Whether I have already said those three words back to him or not... I haven't yet. Yes, everything may be going well between us, but I didn’t want them to be the only reasons to finally make that final step. Doyoung, as he promised me back that night, thankfully do not put any pressure on me when it comes to that aspect of our relationship, something I appreciate him even more for.
I turned in his embrace now to face him, my gaze meeting his hooded ones. I looped my arms around his neck, smiling slightly as I watched the droplets of water clinging from his damp strands.
"What time does Jiwoo go back again?" He asked with a low voice as I leaned back on the kitchen counter. He followed, arms still wrapped around my waist as if he’s adamant in not letting me go. I felt his thumbs slip under my shirt before slowly tracing patterns on the small of my back.
I raised my brow slightly at him in understanding.
"Johnny should bring him home in an hour. Why?"
He didn't answer. Instead he dipped his head down to press his lips with mine. I felt him nibble on my lower lip gently and I returned the gesture by pressing him closer against me.
"One hour is enough," he mumbled before kissing me again. I chuckled against his lips but didn't do anything to move back in any way.
"We just showered…"
"And we can shower again."
Doyoung's hands moved again to wrap on my waist, pressing gently on my hip bones. Getting the unspoken order behind it, I held onto his shoulder just in time for him to lift me into the kitchen counter effortlessly. Wasting no time, he easily closed the distance between us by settling between my legs as I buried my fingers through his damp hair. All throughout none of us broke the kiss, only stopping here and there to catch our breaths.
I felt his fingers ghosting up my spine as his lips travelled down the length of my neck. I returned the favor by arching my body back, eyes closed, and chest pushing against him. I could feel the temperature in the room slowly climbing despite the air conditioning but I didn’t pay it any care, not when his lips left behind goosebumps on my skin. I was about to whisper his name and ask him to do more when the sound of the doorbell suddenly echoed around the house, dousing us with awareness like a shock of cold water. The two of us froze, his lips still hovering the crook of my neck while I stared at the hallway. Not a few seconds have passed when I heard Jiwoo's giggles from the door monitor, followed by Johnny's voice.
"Mama! We're home!"
Doyoung and I exchanged glances, both at a loss of what to do first. Finally, he moved back and I sheepishly let myself down from the counter. I glanced at the clock on my ceiling and silently cursed Johnny for the perfect timing.
"I'll just—" I said, gesturing towards the door. He nodded and gave me an understanding smile.
I was at least able to make sure that I'm not as flushed as I was seconds ago when I finally welcomed the newcomers. Jiwoo greeted me with a wide smile the moment I opened the door, an expression that Johnny—who was carryin him— perfectly mirrored. The boy quickly raised his arms and I moved him over to my embrace with a grin of my own.
"Hello, sweetheart, you're back early," I said, smoothing down his hair. It looked windswept, a good sign that he had fun in his latest playdate.
"I got toys! I wanna play them with Uncle Doyoung!"
"He saw this big puzzle challenge at the mall and said he wanted to do it with Doyoung," Johnny interjected with a small smile. "Sorry we got home early. He really didn't want to wait."
I glanced at him now and gave an understanding nod. "No problem. It's good that he is also back early anyway," gently, I put my toddler down as he started wriggling in my arms. Once he's on the ground, he ran to Johnny and grabbed the shopping bag from his hand before running inside the house with excited giggles. I smiled as I watched him, not even minding that he hasn't even removed his shoes yet.
"Uncle Doyoung is in the kitchen, sweetie!"
I waited to hear my son's excited babbles and Doyoung's light-hearted laughs before finally turning back to smile at Johnny. He was also looking at the corner where Jiwoo disappeared, and for a quick second I thought I saw a look of pain flitter over his features. It was gone, however, the moment he blinked back to look at me.
"Thank you for taking him out today," I said with a smile which he returned with a nod. It's the second month since we've started this whole arrangement and so far, everything is still going well. If anything, Johnny has been more than helpful in the past few weeks because now, instead of stalking them on their playdates, I spend my free time with Doyoung or relaxing alone to recharge. Everything is going so well, in fact, that I would be lying if I say I don’t have those moments when I play around with the idea of not entirely shutting him out of Jiwoo’s life even after the three months are over.
"No problem. I hope I didn’t mess any of your plans. I didn’t have any time to send you a text because he wanted me to drive back as soon as possible.”
"Ah… no. That's fine," I replied and looked away quickly in an attempt to keep a wave of heat from crawling up my cheeks. None of us really spoke about it, but I do know that Johnny is keen enough to realize the implications of me allowing him to spend unchaperoned time with my son in exchange of free time spending it with someone else. He never brought it up, but we both know what it means for sure.
"By the way, how are your wedding preparations?" I asked to shift the conversation a little. I wasn't sure if it was just my imagination, but just like earlier when I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me, I thought I saw his jaw tighten a bit at my question. Johnny quickly smiled though and gave a casual shrug before I could even think too much about it.
"Great. We're just having a bit of a challenge with the suppliers but everything's moving well."
I slowly nodded, taking that in. I honestly haven't heard from his fiancee again after she called me, but I'm genuinely happy to hear that they are doing okay.
"Well, I'll have to go. I'll just send you a message again about Jiwoo. I might do something over the next weekend."
"Yes, sure. Don't worry about it."
I gave him a smile and waited for him to turn and go on his way but instead Johnny simply stared at me for a few seconds, the light in his eyes unreadable. I couldn't really place the emotion behind his brown orbs during that silence, but it did look like he wanted to say something for a moment. I was about to ask him if he's okay when he gently cut me off.
"Thank you again."
I followed his retreating form with a slight frown. There’s something about the way he looks that reminds me of something, but I couldn’t put my finger on it even if it was already in the tip of my tongue. I have already closed the front door when it finally dawned on me, my own realization shocking me a little.
I've seen that look on him before.
It was the same one he had when we said goodbye.
"Are you and Uncle Doyoung going to get married?"
I almost dropped the fork I was using to scoop the last of the bacon from the pan at the sudden question of my toddler. Slowly turning back, I found Jiwoo blinking at me innocently from his high chair by the kitchen island. Contrary to my shell-shocked expression, he didn’t look at all bothered by his question, his hand slightly playing with his bowl of cereal as he cutely dangled his socked feet from his chair. I kept silent for a bit as I scrambled to arrange my thoughts under the guise of picking up the plate of food I was working on and bringing it over to him.
Well of course I knew this day would come. Even though I haven't directly talked to him about it, I know my baby enough to expect that he has noticed things, especially now that Doyoung is spending more time with us. I guess... In a way, I have been stalling the conversation because I was afraid of its implication. Talking about it with Jiwoo is like metaphorically sealing the deal, after all. Like a final admission that this is something that will permanently change the dynamics of things. Doyoung, of course, has been a permanent figure in his life ever since he was a babyche practically helped raise him—but my son has always known him as "Mama's best friend." Nothing more, nothing less.
I carefully took one of his hands after taking my seat across from him and gave it a squeeze.
"I don't think we are getting married so soon, sweetheart, but… what do you think? About me and Uncle Doyoung, hm?"
It didn't even seem like Jiwoo thought of it at all when he gave his answer.
"I like it if Mama likes it."
That left me speechless. I don't think I will ever NOT be taken by surprise by my son's level of maturity—there are always moments like this when he just leaves me in utter awe. Of course, I love that he is such a smart kid, but sometimes, I feel a little worried about his emotional intelligence, too. Not that I think it is a bad thing, rather, I almost feel threatened by it because I do feel like he sees and feels things better than I do.
"You're okay with it? Really?"
Jiwoo merely took his wooden spoon again to scoop some cereal into his mouth with a nod.
"Mama smiles a lot and laughs a lot with Uncle. I like it when Mama is happy."
That shouldn't have made me that much emotional, but I couldn't help the stinging pressure that suddenly gathered behind my eyes. Even though I never had a shortage of support from the people around me ever since I had him, it has always been just me and Jiwoo, theoretically, at the end of every day. I know it and he knows it very well too, so to hear him say how open he is with all the changes that's been happening means the world to me. Before a tear could escape my eye, I quickly bent over to him to give him a kiss on the top of his head. He returned it with a smile and a peck on my cheek before I could move away.
"Thank you, baby. Mommy is happy to hear that," I said as I settled back into my seat. This conversation was definitely unexpected, but I'm still glad we were able to get it out of our way now. Jiwoo simply nodded as he continued digging through his breakfast bowl and I settled on watching him happily with a serene smile on my face.
"I hope Uncle Johnny smiles a lot too."
The expression I had slightly changed as I heard him say that. His words were so soft that it almost felt like he was talking more to himself, but there is no mistaking what he just said. With a slight frown, I leaned over a little to ask him more about it.
"What do you mean? Is there anything wrong with Uncle Johnny?"
Jiwoo pursed his lips together and puffed his cheeks out before answering.
"Uncle is a little sad. He doesn't smile that much," he said, and I was immediately reminded of the glimpses of the bothered look I thought I caught on Johnny the last time I saw him. If Jiwoo, who he spends most of his time with, noticed it, then I'm not so sure anymore about it being just a part of my imagination.
"Did he do anything else that makes you think he is sad?" I tried to gently push my son. He merely shrugged as he played with the last remaining spoonfuls of food left in his bowl.
"No. But he said he might leave next next week. I'm...sad. I will miss him. Uncle Johnny is fun."
Now that is something that definitely made me give my full attention. He was going to leave next next week? It was strange of him to say that with a full month left before he should fly back and say his goodbyes, so this is something that definitely sounds odd to me especially since he seems to be the one really set on making the most of his time with Jiwoo. Did something happen? He didn't mention anything about his change of plans when I checked up on him so to actually hear this from my son was sort of disconcerting.
I didn't want to make Jiwoo even more affected than he already is, however, so I tried my best to look assuring as I gave his hair a quick ruffle. About Johnny, I'm sure he would have shared it if something is up, so I figure he just isn't ready to talk about whatever it is for now. After all, by no means am I entitled to what is happening in his life right now.
"Don't think too much about it, okay honey? Maybe Uncle has something really important he needs to take care of so he needs to leave. I'm sure he will miss you, too."
"I won't see him again, Mama?"
I hesitated before answering. I didn't want to give him empty promises, and I would be lying if I say I am not affected seeing my son this attached to him. I knew this was coming as per our agreement, but this sudden update...well, it completely caught me off guard.
"I will… talk to him, okay? We'll sort it out."
That seemed to have at least calmed the boy a little. I watched, unseeing, as he finally finished his food before forcing myself to swallow back the hunch that has started to form at the back of my mind by turning to my own plate.
"Hey mom, sorry, I'm running a little late. Yes, yes I'm fine. I'm on my way to pick it up at the grocery now. Did Jiwoo eat already? Great, thank you. Do you need anything? I can get it for you if—"
I was in the middle of trying to rummage for my wallet from my purse that I didn't immediately notice the commotion that stumbled on my path at first. It wasn't that late into that night, with thirty minutes left before stores around the city start to close, but establishments that are more fit into the party scene are starting to pick up already. I was running late in grabbing some groceries that I almost casually side-stepped what looked like a pair of drunk men trying to throw fists at each other when my voice died as I caught sight of the one currently on the ground. I blinked, wondering if my eyes were just playing tricks on me, but there is definitely no mistaking that silhouette even from the mess of limbs.
"Mom, I'll—I'll call you later okay," I didn't even wait for my mother to answer before cutting the call. Without thinking twice, I ran towards the duo that were still fighting and pushed away some of the people who had already gathered around them in curiosity.
"Hey! Hey stop! Somebody grab them!"
My stepping in seemed to have shaken some of those who were standing over the pair because a few men from the crowd finally rushed towards the scene to pull the two away from each other. I quickly ran over to the side, putting my hand up over one half of the duo.
"Johnny. Johnny, calm down. Stop it. Stop," I tried my best to call out to him evenly but he barely even looked at me as he struggled to get out of the grasp of the men holding him back. His lip was bleeding and I am almost sure the skin over one of his brows broke, too. Still he didn't seem the least bothered by it as he continued glaring at the other man across from him.
"You—that asshole was trying to get to my girl!" The stranger snarled as he also tried to escape the grip of the bystanders holding him back. Johnny tried to lounge forward at his words and I had to try my best to push him back without toppling over.
"I told you, I thought she was someone else! I didn't even touch her, you fucker!"
A mix of yells and curses filled the air again as the two hurled insults and accusations at each other. My stress and anxiety was quickly climbing up at this point because they looked like they were abought to break free from the grasp of the people holding them back at any moment so I shouted the first thing that came to me before I could even think it over.
"Johnny! Stop! If you don't I'm going to call the police and have the two of you hauled off to the nearest station!" I quickly turned and glared at the other man. "You too! Walk away!"
That seemed to have rattled them. For the first time, Johnny turned to look at me, eyes glazed from alcohol. I heard the other man curse one last time behind me before shaking himself free from the and disappearing back into the club.
Slowly, the crowd that gathered around the fiasco dispersed. I waited for the last man holding Johnny back to move and leave before continuing with my tirade.
"What the hell are you thinking?! Why are you here trying to pick fights in nightclubs!"
Johnny simply tightened his jaw and quickly looked away instead of answering. He is still standing properly, but I could see from the way his frame slumped and the dullness in his eyes that he is intoxicated. His breath was also reeking with alcohol.
"I'm going," that was all he said before he tried to move away. And just like that, he was losing his balance, barely catching himself as I grabbed his forearm before he crashed to the ground.
"You are not going anywhere. You drank too much."
"I'm fine. My car is just parked across the street."
"What? There is no way you are driving in this state. You could barely walk!"
"Let go of me."
"Oh please, shut up! I'll take you home."
I didn't wait for him to answer and quickly raised my arm to hail a cab. There is no way I could lift him off the ground without him crushing me so I was more than thankful when the taxi driver who stopped at my call quickly went over to help. Even with the two of us, it was still a bit of a challenge to lift a six foot two man in the back of a car but we somehow managed after a bit of pulling and maneuvering. I had just slammed the car door after me and was about to give him home address when I felt a half conscious Johnny tug at my arm. I looked over to him, worried over the fact that he might vomit in the car.
I frowned in confusion.
"Not in that address."
I was terribly lost.
"What do you mean? Which address should I drop you off to?"
It took Johnny a bit to answer. The lighting inside the car was dim and it was obvious he was drunk, but the look in his eyes told me he knew exactly what he was talking about.
"Anywhere. Just not there," he said quietly now, eyes hooded from intoxication and...something else. I listened quietly, waiting for him to finish what he wanted to say.
"I don't live there anymore."
I don't really know how I managed to haul him into one of the spare rooms of my apartment, but somehow, I was safely able to guide him to bed without exactly breaking a bone. The fifteen minute drive to my home actually felt like it took an hour with me alternating between making calls to my mother and Doyoung and checking on Johnny to see that he won't vomit anywhere in the taxi. Fortunately, he was passed out for most of the ride, only mumbling broken words here and there.
Now he is snoozing peacefully in front of me, his legs dangling on the ends of the spare bed that was too small for his frame. I ran my hand through my hair with a sigh. I was lucky that Doyoung offered to pick up Jiwoo from my mom's house, but that doesn't exactly solve the problem at hand right now. I glanced at Johnny's sleeping form now, a frown creasing my features again. He rolled just a bit in his sleep, and that's when the full gravity of the situation hit me.
For heaven's sake. I have my ex in my home, passed out and drunk. The worst of it all? He just said he had broken off his relationship too.
At least that's what I could understand from what he said before he lost consciousness in the cab. I wasn't able to think too much about it back then because I was busy trying not to panic but I couldn't just ignore it now. It is very much unlike Johnny to carelessly get himself drunk, so I doubt that whatever it is, it isn't just a simple misunderstanding.
But what happened? He just said that things were going well that last time the two of us spoke. Even for me who didn't really have enough of a view of their relationship, this seems all too sudden and out of the blue.
I slightly shook my head now and forced myself to let go of my questions before I ultimately drowned in them. I really shouldn't involve myself in their personal affairs and focus on immediate actions instead.
Instead, I tried to squint at his sleeping form now to find where he had his phone tucked in. I know he didn’t drop it in the taxi but I was praying he didn’t lost it in the club because I do need to alert someone, anyone from his side about his state. To be honest, having him splayed on my bed is already bad enough in itself.
Fortunately, I saw the corner of his mobile glimmer dully in the dim light of the room when he slightly turned on the mattress. Moving over to the side, I slightly bent over, lower lip caught in my teeth as I tried to fish it out without disturbing him. I flinched when he moved again with a groan but he was out cold once more before I went on full panic. Wincing, I reached out again and gave another try.
"Excuse me… I'm just… going to borrow…" a sigh of relief escaped me when I finally managed to pull his phone out from his pocket. Feeling a little weak to the knees, I finally let myself settle on the side of his bed a good distance away from him to try and relax. I felt drained, but unfortunately for me, I'm only faced with a new dilemma now that I have his mobile in hand.
Who should I call? Should I… tell his fiancee about him?
I gave Johnny a quick glance before turning my attention back to his phone. He does seem pretty adamant about her earlier but it's not like I have any other choice here. She really is the only person I know who is connected to him.
Before I could even think too much about it, I already swiped the screen and went to speed dial. I was correct with my assumption. Her name and contact was what flashed there. Biting the inside of my cheek, I quickly pushed the call button.
It was on the third ring when I felt a gentle hand circle around my wrist. With a gasp, I looked back in shock to see Johnny staring at me, his features calm and resigned in the darkness. He wordlessly pulled on my arm and took his phone to cancel the call.
"How long—I was just trying to call to tell her about—"
"There's no need. She probably wouldn't pick up."
That made the words die in my throat. He still looked intoxicated but there was a certain awareness in his eyes that told me that he has a better grasp of his surroundings now. I moved a little to pull my arm away from him, not really knowing what to say.
"I… uh… I didn't know where to bring you so I just gave my address to the driver earlier. Is there anywhere you can go?" I asked softly. Johnny tried to sit up but winced and fell into the headboard to rest instead with a soft groan. I reached out for a glass of water from the bedside table and offered it to him.
"I'll just check in at a hotel…"
So it is that bad.
I stared at him for a bit, deciding on whether to speak out my next words or not. He did look like he needs it right now so I went for it.
"Johnny, what happened…?"
Now it was his turn to keep quiet. He didn't look at me, his gaze focused on the glass of water in his hands instead.
"You don't need to tell me but…"
"We broke up," he said all of a sudden before I could even finish. Silence rang between us loudly as I tried to process that properly.
Johnny ran his hand down his face and sighed. His eyes bounced all around the dim room, as if he was looking for comfort from its corners. Looking at him now, that's when I realized just how much in pain he is.
"Since today. But if you're asking when things started to go downhill then I don't know. I don't understand—I have so many fucking questions myself. I don't know where this came from."
I swallowed back the lump that had started to block my throat. As much as Johnny and I have our differences, I never liked it whenever I see someone in pain. My initial reaction was to reach out to him, but I held myself back.
"I'm sorry to hear that… I don't… know what to say…"
"I wanted to talk to her. But she didn't want to meet me after she said we needed to...end things. I don't even know where she is."
He continued as if he was talking to himself more and had forgotten that I was there in the first place. I let him, noting silently just how lost and confused he looked. In the years I have known him, there was only one other time when I saw the same expression on his face. It was the same way he looked the last time we talked before going our separate ways many years ago.
I let the silence settle over us for a good minute before finally deciding to break it.
"If you have nowhere else to go, then you can just stay here for the night…" I offered softly. To be honest, I still feel a little odd to have him here right now given the situation, but a part of me also didn’t want to leave him alone to fend off for himself at least for the night. My words seemed to have woken Johnny up from his thoughts and he finally looked at me again with attention. He didn't say anything but simply stared, eyes looking deep into mine as if there was a debate going on inside his head that he's battling on his own.
"I'll go and get you a blanket, but drink your water first—" I was in the middle of picking myself up from the bed to give him some time alone when he reached out for my arm again. My gaze fell on his hold on me in shock before glancing back at him. He still had that unreadable look on his face that left me pinned on my spot now. I frowned.
"Thank you," he said softly, eyes never leaving my face still. I know I should have pulled away but I was still processing what was happening that I couldn’t even move a muscle. My stomach slowly tied into knots and as if he sensed it, he gave a gentle reassuring squeeze to my arm.
"I was really glad when it was you who showed up…"
My lips have barely even parted to answer when light suddenly flooded the room. Turning around in surprise, the first thing that registered to me was Jiwoo sleeping in someone's embrace before my eyes settled on Doyoung's face. I watched as his gaze moved from Johnny, then to the hand he had over my arm, before finally meeting mine.
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