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A Kiss...out of habit

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“Keys?” Bin asked.

Dongmin patted himself down. “Check.”


Dongmin pressed a hand to his pocket where he always put his phone. “Check.”


Dongmin nodded, paused, cast about, then reached out and scooped his wallet off the kitchen table and tucked it into one of his other pockets. “Check.”

“ID badge?”

Dongmin’s eyes went wide. He patted himself down. He checked the kitchen table. He went to check the shelves by the front door where he was supposed to leave his wallet, badge, and keys at the end of the day for easy retrieval before work the next day. Bin let him flounder for a bit before he cleared his throat and pointed.

Dongmin looked down at himself and saw that he was already wearing his ID badge on its usual lanyard around his neck. He needed his ID badge to get into the lab at the office, and at least once a week he lost it and had to be issued a temporary one (he was on a first-name basis with the staff at the security office at this point; Bin was pretty sure the boys and girls at the security office had crushes on him).

“All right,” Bin said. “Have a good day at work.”

“Thank you,” Dongmin said, and he turned and dashed out the door to the garage.

A moment later he came dashing back in.

Bin, who’d turned to give baby Jisoo her breakfast, paused, startled. “Is everything all right?”

“Forgot one thing,” Dongmin said. 

He reached out and drew Bin into a kiss, long and slow and sweet. 

“Have a good day, too,” Dongmin said.

And then he dashed back out the door.

Eunbi, sitting at the kitchen table, kicked her feet idly and scooped up some rice. “Dad’s gonna be late to work again, isn’t he?”

“Maybe a little bit,” Bin said, smiling fondly.

“Does Dad have to kiss you goodbye every morning?” Eunbi asked.

“It’s kind of like a habit,” Bin said. “You have to have a bedtime story every night, don’t you?”

Eunbi considered, then nodded. “But sometimes kissing you goodbye makes Dad late for work.”

“Some things are worth it,” Bin said. “And he’ll only be a little late.”

“Maybe Dad would get to work on time if he was better at finding his keys and stuff.”

“True,” Bin said.

“Why doesn’t he put his keys and stuff on the shelf like you do?”

“Well, some habits are harder to build than others,” Bin said. “Now eat up. You have to get to school and Jisoo and I have to get to the dance hagwon with Uncle Minhyuk for work.”

“Yes, Papa.” Eunbi gobbled down her rice faster.

Bin managed to dodge a spoonful of flung porridge from Jisoo. He texted Dongmin, I love you, and then it was time to really face the day. 

At the end of the day, Dongmin would kiss him hello again, because that was another habit they’d built over the years, and it would be the perfect way to welcome each other home.