The virus first appeared on a bright Tuesday afternoon in the middle of May and by the following Monday, every major city was infected. The modern world crumbled, people fell and then they came back up. It was the stuff of fantasy, or horror movies and yet it quickly became their reality.
Min Yoongi had been home at the time the chaos hit. He had no one he was close to, no one to worry about since he distanced himself from his family and at the time he didn't think to worry about them. Evacuation was what the government demanded but there was no where to go. No place safe. Yoongi thought perhaps the North was finally attacking but there was never a solid answer for what was happening until he had to face it all head on.
Yoongi killed that day. And he would continue to do so for many years in order to survive.
For seven years the world crumbled. Communication ceased, electricity was a thing of the past and scavenging was the only way to survive. Yoongi worked himself up from the bottom, starting all alone in a world out to eat him until he met people he could trust. People who decided to follow him to the ends of the universe because he was smart, quick as a whip, and got them all out of trouble on countless occasions. Yoongi was a born leader, someone to be trusted, someone to be feared. For a guy who built shelves for a living before the virus, Yoongi became a leader with his natural streets smarts and ability to read people better than they could understand themselves.
The threat would always be the monsters lumbering about ready and willing to rip the flesh from their bones but as Yoongi learned over the years, humans could be even larger monsters. He became responsible for an entire town, a large group of people and he had to harden himself. People could not always be trusted. People could be worse than the monsters they were supposed to be united against. People were selfish, cunning and downright evil and Yoongi had to become one of them to protect the people he came to care for.
In the town renamed Bangtan, Yoongi had families to protect. He was responsible for them and if that meant he had to be harsh to outside people, so be it. He only became what the world demanded of him but he never lost his humanity, contrary to popular belief. Those who where close to him knew him best. Knew that the cold kind persona outsiders saw was not the real Min Yoongi. All Yoongi cared about was being feared by those who dared to try and hurt his people and if that meant killing a few people then so be it. He did what he had to do. It was the world they now lived in. Most strangers wouldn't hesitate to kill him on sight either way.
It was a normal day for Yoongi. He had a small breakfast of fresh fruit in his room, looking over a few maps before he set out to explore the grounds he called home. He liked to check in with the people, see how they were doing and if they needed anything in particular. The first few years after forming Bangtan had been rough but they had finally found a perfect flow. They had gardens and a constant water supply. They had groups of people to protect them, people to scavenge for them. They were a real town, about as civilized as they could be given the situation and Yoongi was proud of what he managed to create with a few close friends of his.
Speaking of close friends, Yoo Kihyun was the closest of them all. The man was the first person Yoongi ran into all those years ago when no one knew what was going on and were struggling to survive. Kihyun had been cornered by a group of five or six undead in the small convenience store Yoongi had come to raid. The man was trapped in a back store room and there was no way he would get out on his own without being killed. Yoongi had made his own weapon that was, essentially, a cross between a cross bow and a nail gun. It was silent and deadly and nails were much more available than bullets or bolts. He never had to worry about collecting the nails afterwards and they always got the job done when he aimed at the head. Kihyun had been forever grateful and they'd been together ever since.
Kihyun was Yoongi's right hand man, his most trusted and he managed to keep Yoongi in line as well. They always had one anothers back and there was no one else Yoongi trusted more. Said man was almost always by his side and they were both at the makeshift playground when one of their men ran up to them with news of a new capture. Yoongi had to put on his stone face and deal with whatever trouble had come to face them.
Bangtan had once been nothing but a large field of empty warehouses but now, it was home to so many people. Yoongi collected skilled people like a child collected the best pokemon cards back in the day and because of that, they built almost from the ground up. They had structures and a fence to work with. The fence was the first thing converted, using a fuckton of concrete and steel bars, they had a solid protection against any of the undead that tried to break through and it was also a rather terrifying tower of concrete to anyone who tried to attack them. The warehouse had been converted into small apartment like rooms, for families and people to live in. It wasn't the best, it wasn't no where near the comfort they had once known, but it was warm when it needed to be and it was safe. That was all people cared about. The concrete pavement all about the place had been mostly digged up for the soil beneath. They managed to create a large garden, farm animals and give the children a sense of stability. They were self-sufficiant and Yoongi couldn't ask for more.
But because of that, they were a target. People came to try and take what was theirs more and more often.
At the main entrance of the town was a small building that had probably been an office at some point but Yoongi converted into a meeting place. It was far away from the rest of the buildings and blocked off by another wall built out of random pieces of other walls. It blocked anyone from seeing what was truly inside of the town and that was all that mattered. It was heavily guarded and no one passed through without Yoongi's permission. The office was where Yoongi decided the fate of people who dared to double cross them.
Inside the small white building was only a small desk and an assortment of people Yoongi recognized as his recon group. The room was quiet when he entered and he bowed his head in greeting to the men who bowed in returned. Kihyun followed him to the desk, where Yoongi perched himself on the edge and awaited for whoever he needed to judge to be brought to him. Putting on a cold front was like slipping into an old pair of well loved jeans, so easy, so simple. He knew he looked rather terrifiying when he did so and he saw Kihyun's pretty face taking on the same facade. They had to be tough or they would be killed, it was obvious.
After a moment of tense hesitation, one of the recon men left the room, slipping out one of the back doors and then there was the sound of shuffling, like a small fight and Yoongi imagined whoever they caught was fighting against being dragged inside. Sure enough, when the man returned, it was with another recon member and what appeared to be another man, though smaller and fighting against the hold both men had on either arm of his. His arms were tied together behind his back, there was a strip of black tape over his mouth but otherwise, he was unharmed which meant the man hadn't fought them too hard when they found him.
"We caught him stealing from us." The recon member, Yifan, Yoongi was sure his name was, stated as both he and the other man dropped the wiggling man to the floor. He collasped on his knees and his chin nearly collided with the dirty concrete floor but he managed to turn his head in time so only his cheek scrapped the floor. Yoongi eyed the man cooly, taken in every part of him that he could. He was small, but there were coils of muscles under his over sized worn sweater that Yoongi could see through a few holes and the widened collar. When the man finally managed to sit back up on his knees, Yoongi finally had a good look at his face.
Pretty, was his first thought. His rounded cheek was red from hitting the floor but his eyes were a swirling vortex of emotion. He was brave to look Yoongi right in the eyes. His skin had a light natural tan to it but he was still pale in comparison to most people in the room and his eyes were strange. They were a dark brown, but there was something off about them that Yoongi couldn't quite put his finger on. Like maybe, they didn't see the sun all that much. His flop of jet black hair made his skin seem even more pale and jugding by the dips in his collarbones, he was more than thin under that sweater.
Whoever he was, he wasn't one of Yoongi's people.
"Stealing where?" Kihyun's voice was soft, but held authority because he usually spoke for Yoongi in situations like this. The less Yoongi spoke, the better. He wasn't actually that great at the speaking thing.
"From one of our dropoffs." Yifan explained, his face an expression of cold steel and he glanced down at the man with cold distain. "I thought it best to capture him and bring him back to you."
Yoongi nodded in understanding and watched as the man on the floor shuffled on his knees, his biceps straining like he was trying to pull free from the binds around his arms. Yoongi hummed and moved to his feet, approaching the man with his arms crossed over his chest. "Do you know where you are?"
The man shook his head frantically, his jaw straining like he wanted to talk but he was unable to do so.
Yoongi only perked a brow at him. "We don't take kindly to people stealing from us."
"I think the last man who did," Kihyun continued for him, stepping up to his side to stare down at the man on the floor, "became very acquainted with his own inner organs."
The man tensed then, his shoulders going stiff and his eyes going wide. And then, his eyes filled with tears and he quickly shook his head. He struggled on the floor, moving toward Yoongi only to be held back by Yifan's hands on his shoulders. He was making noise, something in his throat that couldn't come out and Yoongi watched him as he seemed to beg with his eyes.
"What should we do with him, sir?" Yifan asked.
There was something that stood out to Yoongi. Something important. He had dealt with more than enough people trying to do him and his people wrong. Sometimes they cried and begged for their lives, sometimes they didn't seem to care. But no matter what, Yoongi could always see the truth in their eyes. He could pick out the bad from the good and so he plopped down into a squat, startling both the man and Kihyun.
There was a moment of tense silence in the room as Yoongi leaned forward and peered into the man's eyes. His lashes were wet with unshed tears but he met Yoongi's gaze head one, without fear. It was there, flickering in the back of his eyes but Yoongi couldn't find anything else. Nothing that told him this man was trying to cause trouble or had some type of vendetta against Yoongi or his men.
"What do you have to say for yourself, hm?" When Yoongi reached forward, the man flinched out of his reach but otherwise didn't move. He let Yoongi cradle the side of his face with one hand and then pluck at the edge of the tape with his other. He was careful as he ripped the tape off the man's mouth and he half expected the man to scream at him but all he did once his plump pink mouth was free was take deep inhales of breath.
"I didn't..." His voice cracked and so he swallowed hard, licking at his dry lips and looked up at Yoongi with sparkling, begging eyes. "I didn't know it belonged to anyone, I swear that! The boxes were in the middle of no where, on the side of the road. I've run into other abandoned military supply drops before, I didn't think they belonged to anyone, I promise! Please, I didn't mean to steal from anyone. If I had know it belonged to someone, I wouldn't have touched it!"
His voice was light, almost airy and just as pretty as his face. Yoongi didn't notice any ticks on his face that proved he was lying but Yoongi had dealt with good liars before. The thing was, almost no one could hide the emotions in their eyes completely and from what Yoongi could tell, the man wasn't lying to him. But Yoongi still had an example to set. Still settled in a squat, Yoongi rolled up the sleeve of his blue and white flannel and held out his forarm to the man, showing off the black bullet inked into his pale skin. "Did you see this on the boxes?"
Brown eyes dropped to the tattoo and widened slightly. "Y-Yes."
"That meant it belongs to us."
"How was I supposed to know that?!" The man snapped suddenly, almost like he was frustrated but Yoongi could see the flash of panic in his eyes. "I didn't even know this place existed! I'm sorry, I am! I didn't mean to steal from anyone but you surely can't blame me for scavenging something that I thought was free to take!"
The man had a point and the hardness in his eyes proved he'd been through as much hell as everyone else. Yoongi let out a soft sigh and stood up straight, running a hand through his hair. He gave the man one last look before turning his back to him and leaning over to Kihyun. "Make it quick."
"Of course, Yoongi."
"What?!" The man screeched and Yoongi had to try hard not to flinch at the pain in his voice. "No, No, you can't!" There was the sound of shuffling, like he was fighting against Yifan dragging him to his feet. "Please! You can't! I have- I have, they're depending on me!"
"What?" Yoongi whipped around so quickly, everyone in the room froze. "You're not alone?"
The tension in the room spiked because it was such an important thing that Yoongi had managed to overlook. If the man had a group of his own, that made the situation worse.
"Please, they need me." He was crying now, fat tears rolling down his flushed cheeks and his throat was constricting with sobs. "Please, they're just children!"
Children. Yoongi nodded at Yifan so he released the sobbing man. He fell to his knees again, the impact rather jarring but he was crying too hard to even notice it. "What children?"
"I take care of t-them. They need me, please. I-I won't steal from you again. Please, let me go back to them. I-I've already been gone so long. They have to be so worried. Kookie must be so worried."
It could be a trick. It could be. But judging by the hard sobs rocking through the man's body, it was impossible to fake that kind of pain.
"Sir?" One of the recon men, the one with Yifan, spoke up and continued after Yoongi nodded at him. "The supplies he took... some of them were baby formula and diapers."
Well, that was a rather important detail.
Yoongi clicked his tongue and snapped open the folded knife hidden in his belt loop. He dropped to his knees beside the man who was crying to hard to even fight it when Yoongi grabbed his arms and cut the binds, freeing him. Kihyun called his name, questioningly and Yoongi got back to his feet, grabbing the man's biceps and dragging him with him.
"How many do you have?" Yoongi questioned, backing out of the man's personal space so he could calm down.
He took deep breaths to calm down, rubbing at his sore wrists before he was able to speak again. "F-Five, I have five of them."
"He could be lying." Kihyun pointed out.
"He could be." Yoongi agreed.
"I'm not!" The man snapped back, that fire of anger back and flashing in his glistening eyes. "Please, You'll never see me again, just let me go back to them. They need me. They're too young to take care of themselves." He was pleading again.
Yoongi glanced at Kihyun, who nodded in understanding. "It's not that simple." Kihyun explained softly, his stone cold expression melting only slightly. "We have to protect our own, you understand? You could be telling the truth, or you could be lying to run off to your group and then we pay the price for letting you run free."
The man opened his mouth before snapping it shut and dropping his head. He understood. His entire body seemed to deflate and the fight melted out of him instantly. He had no way to prove he had the children and he knew it. But Yoongi, he had faith. He believed this man, maybe more than he should but he'd been lied to before and there wasn't hint of deception in the man that he could find.
"What's your name?" Yoongi asked softly, making Kihyun stare at him incredulously.
"What does it matter...?" He mumbled in response.
"Because you're going to take me to these children and prove your innocence."
Both Kihyun and the man snapped their heads at him in surprise. Kihyun, in confusion and the man in surprise that soon morphed into distrust. Those eyes narrowed and his lips curled up into a soft snarl. "Why would I do that? Why would I trust you?!"
"Fair point." Yoongi nodded in understanding before turning back to Yifan. "Thank you for bringing him in. You may return to your duties."
Yifan paused, glancing from the man to Yoongi before nodding. "Yes, sir." Then he and his men filed out of the room, leaving Yoongi and Kihyun alone with the new man.
"Are you crazy? Actually, don't answer that." Kihyun sighed as soon as the door was shut and they were alone. "You're the most crazy bastard I know. What the hell makes you think I'll let you leave with some stranger?"
Yoongi waved a dismissive hand at him. "My name is Min Yoongi, this is Yoo Kihyun, we run this place."
The man glanced between them, distrust still in his expression but it was softening. "Park Jimin."
Great, his name was a start. "You have every right to distrust me, Jimin." Yoongi stated, his voice and expression softening. "But, there's something I want to show you that might change that. If you'd like. I can't let you leave alone, please understand. I have my own people I have to protect."
"I'm still confused why it has to be you who goes." Kihyun mumbled, agitated.
"I don't really have a choice, do I?" Jimin mumbled, his lips pouting out slightly but his eyes jumped all over the place. He was a survivor and his gaze was sharp, adapt, taking in everything around him out of habit. He didn't have any weapons on him, because Yifan's men had probably removed them and he wasn't a threat as far as Yoongi was concerned. He wouldn't do anything stupid when he had children on the line.
"Not really." Yoongi admited softly.
And that was that. Kihyun didn't seem very trusting but he allowed Yoongi to lead Jimin out of the office and into the cool fall air. Jimin made sure to stick close to Yoongi's side, his shoulders ducked in close as he glanced about frantically. He was scared but he wasn't letting it get to him, which was good. Kihyun followed behind them, his eyes never leaving Jimin and Yoongi supposed that was probably a good thing.
When they reached the inner wall gate, Yoongi waved up at the gate keeper and then they were let inside only a moment later. Jimin's steps were stiff but he followed along anyway. He flinched when the gate slammed shut behind them. The air was cool for an October afternoon but that didn't stop people from being out and about, taking care of their chores. Yoongi glanced at Jimin's face occasionally as they walked to see what he was thinking. They passed a group of people hanging up wet clothes to dry and Jimin watched them in confusion. They passed the sprawling gardens, where people were busy picking vegetables and preparing for the last harvest before winter and the tenseness in Jimin's limbs started to melt away.
It was the playground, however, where the man suddenly stumbled to a halt. Yoongi let him be, pausing with him as they over looked the playground that had an assortment of children crawling and playing all over it. Yoongi looked on fondly, his lips twitching into a soft smile.
"If what you say is true, then I'm inclined to help you." Yoongi stated softly. "We take care of our children. We keep them safe, make sure they grow up in a world that isn't as worse as it really is outside these walls. They're aware, they know how to fight, but they're only children and it is our duty to protect them." When he glanced at Jimin, the man had a fond look in his eyes. "Is it just you and your children?"
Jimin nodded slowly. "It's just the six of us. I promise."
"Here's my offer." Yoongi turned to face him and Jimin finally tore his eyes away from the playground to look at him. "I go back with you, wherever you are, with a few supplies we can spare for your children. Mainly so I know you weren't lying but also, because I need proof before I invite you to join us."
"Join you?" Jimin's lips popped in surprise and it was almost funny how wide his eyes went; cute even.
"We have the space and the ability to take care of you and your children. I'm not asking for you to join for free. We could use more caretakers of the children. We currently have two and both of them are running a little ragged. As you can see, we have many children. It is your choice, I will not make you join us. I'm only coming with you for my own peace of mind."
Jimin's brow furrowed and he glanced back at the playground, watching as one of the caretakers, Hoseok, picked up a crying girl to comfort her after she fell from the swing set. Jimin's eyes softened at the moment and then he dropped his gaze to the ground. "I have to think about it. Joining you... I'll have to see how the kids feel."
"Hoseok, the man you see there," Kihyun cut in, stepping up to Jimin's other side, "He teaches the children as well. He and Yoona take very good care of them but we could always use someone else who is good with children. Yoongi is great with them but he's too busy, you see. And your children would be welcomed here."
There was a moment where Jimin watched the children in the playground and Yoongi wasn't sure what would happen next. His face was hard to read. There was a fondness in his eyes but also something unreadable. Finally, he tore his eyes away from the children and met Yoongi's gaze.
"Can we leave soon then? They have to be so worried about me now."
It took a bit of time for Yoongi gather the things they needed for their trip. Jimin had absolutely no idea where they were so Yoongi would have to take him back to the supply drop where he was found so he could lead Yoongi back to where he was keeping the children. The supply drop was a good hour away and so Yoongi called for one of their vehicles to be brought out. They had a few, mainly for emergencies and Yoongi deemed this to be one. It was faster, and safter, than going by foot when it was just the two of them. Kihyun almost begged to go along but Yoongi convinced him someone needed to stay behind and take care of everything while he was gone. Begrudgingly, Kihyun had agreed.
"Won't this attract attention?" Jimin asked, eyeing up the black SUV that was currently being loaded with a few supplies in the back.
"She's not too loud and as long as we don't go too fast, it should be fine." Yoongi explained to him, checking under the hood to make sure everything was running properly. He didn't want to break down haflway out there and get attacked because of it.
"If you say so." Jimin didn't seemed convinced but he didn't fight Yoongi on it. His weapons had been returned to him and he seemed more relaxed with the weight of the shotgun and machete on him.
After everything had been double checked and Yoongi bid his goodbyes to Kihyun, he and Jimin climbed into the vehicle to leave. Yoongi agreed to drive because he knew how to get to the assigned supply drop without a map and they both strapped in out of habit. The gates opened easily for them and Yoongi didn't feel a bit strange about leaving Bangtan behind him. It was in safe hands, Kihyun's hands, and he planned on returning with or without Jimin. Even if this was a trap, like Kihyun feared, Yoongi was more than capable of taking care of himself.
"Why don't you tell me about the kids?" Yoongi questioned once Bangtan had disappeared in his rear view mirror and the silence of the car got to him. He figured conversing with Jimin was a good idea. If they got to know each other, then maybe Jimin would let Yoongi help him. Maybe Jimin would join them.
Jimin hummed softly, curled up against the passenger side as he watched the passing scenery. "All of them?"
"Sure. Tell me about them."
"Jungkook is the oldest." Jimin spoke softly. "He's eight. I found him first, about two years ago. I..." He paused, swallowing hard before he decided to continue. "I had just lost my little brother and I was all alone. I found Jungkook fending for himself at the age of six in a dumpster. He reminded me of my brother... even though Jihan was a teenager. He was scared and starving and... I couldn't just leave him there. We've been together ever since."
"What's he like?"
Jimin let out a soft hum. "He's tough. He doesn't talk much and I think that's because of the trauma. But he's fiercely loyal to me and the others. He protects them when I'm gone. He takes care of them and they all love him. He's important and I trust him to take care of them when I'm gone scavenging."
"He sounds like a great kid." Yoongi offered.
"He is." Jimin smiled fondly and settled more comfortably in the seat. "Jenni is the next oldest. She's six and she's a tough little cookie. She doesn't take anyone's shit and has probably seen more death than I have. She has nightmares, a lot but she never lets them get to her. She and Lisa, my other girl, are super close. Lisa is four and depends on Jenni like a sister. They take care of one another. Lisa is bright and optimistic and has yet to really see the bad in the world. Both me and Jenni want to protect her from that."
Yoongi made a soft noise, letting Jimin know he was listening but he was too interested in what he had to say to comment.
"Then we have Jihoon and Mingyu." Jimin shifted in his seat, folding his arms over his chest. "They're my youngest. I found Jihoon first, half a year ago. He's maybe.. two now? I'm not really sure. He doesn't talk though I'm not sure if that's a choice or because he's unable to do so. He can walk, however, and I'm still working on getting him potty trained. Like Jungkook, he's quiet. I've never heard him cry. I didn't... find him exactly." Jimin's voice dropped in volume and Yoongi glanced over to see his brow furrowed. "He found me. Well, his mother found me. I was in some town, searching for medicine because Lisa had a cold when this woman found me. She shoved Jihoon into my arms and just took off. It wasn't until later I realized she had been bitten, right on her arm." He shivered and hugged himself tighter. "Jihoon didn't even cry but she probably saved his life by doing that. She was young. Too young. Maybe seventeen?" He sighed softly. "Jungkook named him, because I didn't know his name. I worry about him more than the others honestly. He doesn't like to be touched by anyone, even me. He deals with it so I can feed him but beyond that, he prefers to be by himself."
"That.. doesn't sound good." Yoongi murmured, wondering what the little boy had managed to see. He might have even seen his mother being bitten and that was bound to scar him.
"I was worried until I found Mingyu." Jimin's tone took on something a little lighter. "Now, I found him because of his screaming cries. He had attracted a few undead with his screams but he was locked up a room with a metal door and they couldn't get to him. I'd just been passing by when I heard his cries. I was able to climb in through the second story window and save him. Jungkook named him as well. He's maybe only a year old and I found him a couple months ago. Jihoon changed when I brought home Mingyu. I don't know what happened, exactly. Maybe hearing Mingyu cry awoken something in him but now those two are inseparable. Jihoon lets Mingyu cling to him and cry on him and sleep on him. Mingyu is the only one Jihoon lets close but I consider that improvement. Maybe it's because they're close in age or something deeper only a child could understand but, I'm just happy Jihoon smiles now."
"Sounds like you have your hands full." Yoongi admitted, glancing at the man. The road was mostly clear but Yoongi didn't let his eyes stray from the road for long just in case.
"I do. Jungkook is a big help with the girls and I wrangle Mingyu and Jihoon for the most part. Divide and conquer kind of thing." Jimin's lips twisted up into a fond smile and Yoongi had no doubts that the man was telling the truth.
"We have a lot of families like yours in Bangtan." Yoongi said, adjusting his grip on the steering wheel.
"How..." Jimin paused, chewing on his lips before he started again. "Admittedly, I'm in my own world but I'm surprised to see such a self-sufficant town like yours. How did that happen?"
"Kihyun and I." Yoongi shrugged one shoulder when Jimin flashed him a confused look. "We met years ago. Maybe a year or so after everything went to hell. We've been together a long time. We collected a selective group of people and when he found the group of old warehouses, we decided to make home. It was a group effort, really. It wasn't easy, either. We've gone through hell to build and keep what we have. There's a lot of groups out there who want to take what we have, which is why I was so... when we met. I have to be like that. I have to protect my people."
"I'm beginning to understand that." Jimin's voice was so soft, so understanding and Yoongi's chest squeezed in relief. He wasn't a bad person, not really. He did bad things because he had no choice but deep down, he liked to think he was a good person. "What... What you're offering me, Yoongi, it's pretty big." He fumbled his his hands in his lap, glancing out the window. "Why? Why are you offering this?"
"Because they're just children and we have to take care of them. You're thin." Yoongi pointed out, glancing over Jimin's body. "You're sacrificing your well being for them and though I commend you for that, you'll die doing it and then they'll have no one. If you join us, you and your children will be taken care of. You offer your caregiving services to the other children in return and everything is fine. Jungkook is old enough to help in the gardens if he wants to, maybe even Jenni but I won't make them work. Not until they're older, to earn their keep."
"This is such a kind thing you're offering." Jimin still sounded unsure, like maybe he felt Yoongi was tricking him. "You must understand why I have reservations."
"I do. We weren't very kind to you in the beginning. Even if there was a purpose in that, you still have a right to dislike and distrust me. I won't force you to come back with me, Jimin. And if you don't come back with me, you'll never see or hear from me or my men again but our gates will always been open to you. You have my word about that."
"I... Thank you." Jimin ducked his head and Yoongi didn't respond because he wasn't sure how to do so.
Silence fell between them then but it wasn't uncomfortable. Jimin seemed content to stare out the window and Yoongi needed to focus on driving anyway. They remained in silence until they reached the supply drop. Said drop was already gone, seeing as Yifan's men collected it but Yoongi knew the coordinates. Jimin perked up when the SUV rolled to a stop and he looked around the road and the forest, narrowing his eyes like he was trying to remember.
"I came from that way." He pointed in front of them. "I follow the roads so I don't get lost and the forests are usually filled with undead. It's not safe."
Yoongi agreed and let off the break, rolling down the road at a slow speed so Jimin could tell him where to go. The man sat on the edge of his seat, rattling off which turn to take. He was rapt with attention, his eyes scanning every possible movement on the side of the road and they even passed a few stranglers who barely paid them any attention. It wasn't until they were rolling down a bare dirt road that Jimin ordered him to a stop.
"Here?" Yoongi questioned in surprise. They were in the middle of rolling fields and Yoongi couldn't spot a building for miles. Jimin only nodded at him and undid his seatbelt before reaching for the door. Yoongi grabbed his hand quickly, stopping him and Jimin glanced at him in surprise. "There's nothing out there."
Jimin pursed his lips before sighing. "It's in the field."
"Which way? That way?" Yoongi pointed out the window, in the direction beside Jimin and the man nodded. "Okay, fine. But we're not getting out." He settled back in his own seat and shifted gears on the SUV. "This thing has four wheel drive for a reason."
Jimin didn't argue with him when he twisted the steering wheel and pulled the car into the dirt. The field as rather bumpy but the four wheel drive made it easy to drive across. Jimin stayed on the edge of his seat, peering out through the windshield with his eyes narrow, like he was looking for something. After a good five minutes of bumpy driving, Jimin demanded Yoongi to stop again and this time, he was out of the car before Yoongi could stop him.
Cursing to himself, Yoongi cut the engine and jumped out, stuffing the keys in his pockets. Jimin was busy popping open the trunk to grab the supplies while Yoongi looked around them. They were out in the open, it wasn't safe. He couldn't see any immediate danger but he also couldn't possibly see where Jimin was taking him. They were literally in the middle of an empty field. The trunk slammed shut and then Jimin joined Yoongi, offering him one of the bags to hold.
"Jimin, there's nothing here."
Jimin blinked at him for a moment before a sly smile curled up over his lips. Yoongi's heart thumped at the smile. "That's what you're supposed to think."
Then, Yoongi watched in intrigue and surprise as Jimin walked a few feet in front of the SUV. He seemed to know exactly where he was going but then he came to an abrupt stop and bent down. He brushed away strands of dead grass, which covered the entire field and then opened a latch that Yoongi had not even seen. He hurried over to Jimin's side and sure enough, there was an opening in the ground. The latch was metal but the outside matched the dirt all around them. It was consealed so easily.
"What is this?" Yoongi questioned, peering down into the laddered shaft over Jimin's shoulder. It was lit up at the bottom, helped by the bright sun in the sky but all Yoongi could see was metal and dirt.
"An underground shelter." Jimin explained, shifting to toss the bag over his shoulder.
"How did you find this place?"
Jimin shifted to sit on the edge of the open latch and rested one foot on a ladder bar before he glanced up at Yoongi, squinting in the sun. "My appa worked for this company. They built all these nuclear shelters all over the place. He was convinced one day the north was going to finally attack with their nukes and he wanted a safe place for his family. When Busan was hit, he gave me the coordinates to this place and told me to take my brother. Jihan never made it, but I did. Do you want to go first?"
"No, you go." Yoongi was in awe but he still had to be smart about this. It could be dangerous for him to go in first so he let Jimin take the plunge. Jimin didn't seem to mind. He twisted around and then started to descend the ladder. Yoongi watched him, realizing it was deeper than it first seemed. It had to be at least twelve feet, maybe more. Jimin reached the bottom in no time and then turned back to look up at Yoongi.
"See, it's fine. Come on." He was getting impatient, Yoongi could tell, so he shouldered the small black bag like Jimin had done and he began his own descent. "Wait! Make sure to close the hatch." Jimin called to him. Yoongi had to climb back up a few steps to do so and it made a loud bam when it slammed shut. "Do you see the little button by the handle? Press it. That'll lock it up so no one can get in."
The button was hard to see in the dark but Yoongi managed to find it. The shaft was lit by small lights at the button and he wondered how the hell Jimin had electricity. There was a loud click sound, signaling the latch was locked and Yoongi realized there was no turning back now. When he reached the bottom, he shivered at how cold it was. But it was safe, from what he could tell. There was a small room with the metal ladder and then there was another door, large and metal as well. Jimin approached it and tugged off a panel, which revealed a numbered key pad.
"You said your father built this?" Yoongi questioned, coming up to stand beside him.
"His company did. I don't know how many vaults there are but this one was specifically for my family. Only I know the code." He glanced at Yoongi, his fingers hovering over the key pad and Yoongi looked away respectfully.
"How do you have electricity?"
"There's a solar farm not too far away. I check on it occasionally but it's not been messed with. It all works fine right now."
What a set up he had. Yoongi was impressed. Maybe Jimin didn't need to leave all this behind to come stay with his people. He wouldn't blame the man if he didn't.
Yoongi twisted his head back around when the door made a whooshing sound and slid open. He didn't even have time to react before Jimin suddenly had a young boy attached to his waist. Yoongi saw a head of fluffy black hair and thin arms but that was about it. Judging by his size, Yoongi had to guess the boy was Jungkook and he was hugging Jimin so tightly around his waist he might snap the man in two.
"Kookie." Jimin spoke softly, tenderly and tugged free from Jungkook's hold long enough to drop to his knees and pull the boy into a proper hug. "It's good to see you."
"You're late." His voice was soft, almost a whine to it and he had a slight lisp.
"Sorry Kookie, I'm okay though. I'm safe." Jimin pulled back to cup the boy's face and Yoongi could finally get a good look at him. He was cute, with a slightly large nose and large wide dark eyes. He was as pale as Jimin and considering they lived underground, it made sense. "How are things here? I know you took care of them."
Jungkook nodded, leaning into Jimin's touch like it was everything to him. "Lisa and Jenni are napping. But Mingyu was crying a lot. He's hungry and I don't have anything for him but Jihoon managed to calm him down and now they're sleeping. I don't know how long that will last."
"Thank you, Kookie." Jimin placed a soft kiss to Jungkook's forehead before he stood up again. "I'm proud of you. I brought food back so I'll feed Mingyu now." He slipped the bag free from his shoulder and unzipped it, digging through it until he found the sealed tub of baby formula. "He must be so starving." Jimin twisted around to look at Yoongi, offering him a soft smile. "I'm trying to get Mingyu on solid food but he's still partial to a bottle. Thanks so much for this." He motioned to the tub and then he slipped past Jungkook into the bunker, disappearing down a hallway.
Jungkook's eyes snapped to Yoongi and then he realized he was left alone with the kid. Before he could speak, Jimin returned, popping his head around the corner. "Jungkook, that's Yoongi. He's a friend. Be nice to him. Yoongi, come on in." He flashed them both a smile and then he was gone.
Jungkook glared up at Yoongi with all the force an eight year old boy could have so Yoongi decided to be respectful. He bowed his head in greeting, the proper way. "Hello, I'm Min Yoongi, nice to meet you."
Jungkook seemed stunned by this for a moment before he scrambled to bow his head too. "Hello, I'm Jeon Jungkook, please take care of me." Seemed that Jimin taught him proper manners at least.
"Jimin told me a lot about you." Yoongi offered. "Do you mind if I come in?"
Jungkook shuffled out of the door way so Yoongi could enter and then he pressed a button so the door slid shut behind them. Jungkook started walking down the hallway and so Yoongi followed. Now that he was inside, Yoongi noticed it wasn't as cold. In fact, the place looked more like an actual home than a bunker, he realized when they tured the corner of the hallway. The metals walls opened up into a large living area where he could see Jimin trying to rouse a young baby from sleep on the couch. Beside the living room was a kitchen and then another hallway behind the living room that probably lead to the bedrooms. It was so homey and it was obvious Jimin had worked hard to make the place as normal as possible for the children.
"I know baby, I know." Jimin cooed softly, picking up the wiggling baby with jet black hair. He was starting to fuss as Jimin cradled him in one arm and shook a filled baby bottle with the other.
Jungkook left Yoongi by the hallway and shuffled over to one of the two lounge chairs. He crawled up into it and plucked up the book left on the arm. He settled down comfortably and then he started to read. It was such a normal thing to do that it made Yoongi stare in surprise. He was shaken out of his daze when Mingyu started to screech but Jimin shut him up quickly with a bottle in his mouth. Jimin settled down in the rocking chair in the corner of the room and spoke to Mingyu softly as he fed him, nuzzling into his hair and giving him soft kisses. It was such a lovely thing to see. Jimin obviously cared deeply about the children in his care and Yoongi's heart squeezed at the sight. He almost had that man killed. He couldn't imagine the guilt if he had done so and Jimin left these poor children alone.
Quietly, Yoongi shuffled into the side kitchen where he dropped off the other black bag. There was a small assortment of canned food in it and he didn't feel like lugging it around the whole time. After that, he wasn't sure what to do, so he wandered around the living room for a moment before deciding to just stand out of the way. Jimin was busy with Mingyu and Jungkook was reading, even though he kept eyeing him up like he was trying to figure him out and Yoongi felt awkward. He was pleased to see Jimin had been telling the truth but now he wasn't sure what to do. Leaving didn't seem like a good option seeing as Jimin had yet to give his answer.
Then, there was a small tug on his jeans and Yoongi glanced down in alarm at the small little girl with her small little hand gripping the fabric of his jeans. She tugged once more, too busy rubbing a fist against her eyes to look at him. She had a head full of light brown hair and her face was puffy and red from sleep. After a moment, she finally opened her eyes fully and glanced up at Yoongi. She must have thought he was Jimin because her eyes widened in surprise when she saw him but her hand didn't leave his jeans.
"Who are you?"
"He's Yoongi." Jimin answered from across the room, gaining her attention. "He's a friend."
"Appa!" The girl squeaked in happiness only to be shushed by Jungkook who motioned to the still sleeping child on the couch. Jihoon, Yoongi assumed. She covered her mouth quickly, flushing before hurrying over to Jimin. He couldn't hug her with his arms full but he did bend down to kiss her cheek as she hugged him around the neck.
"This is Lisa." Jimin told Yoongi once the girl pulled away and made her way back over to him.
The girl was a cute little thing, with large open eyes and a pouty mouth. She stared up at Yoongi like he was something shiny and new. "Do you know how to braid?" Yoongi blinked at her. "Jenni was supposed to braid my hair but she fell asleep and appa's busy. Also appa isn't that good at it."
"Hey." Jimin laughed softly, a pretty little sound. He didn't even look offended.
"So can you do it?" Lisa hopped on her little bare feet. "Kookie's not good at it either."
"Yeah." Yoongi cleared his throat. "I could-"
"Yay!" She tossed her hands in the air and then her little feet took off running down the hallway. Yoongi was unsure if he should follow her or not but before he could decide what to do, she came running back with a brush in one hand and hair ties in the other. "I want pig tails! With braids." She shoved everything in one hand and then grabbed Yoongi's hand with the other, tugging him toward the small love seat beside the chair Jungkook was sat in. She dropped the brush and hair ties in Yoongi's lap and then crawled up into the cushions to sit down beside him, turning her back to him.
"Um, yeah, okay." Yoongi was used to little girls ordering him around so he didn't think much of it. When he glanced at Jimin, the man was smiling fondly at him and nodded in approval. Yoongi returned the nod, took the brush in one hand and began parting her hair. Lisa was a good little girl. She sat still the entire time and let Yoongi work without complaint. She liked to talk, he realized. She told him all about her favorite plushed toys and what their names where and who got along with who and which ones didn't like each other. She talked to him like they were already best friends and it warmed Yoongi's heart.
By the time Yoongi was done with her hair, Jimin was done feeding Mingyu and had him over his shoulder, trying to burp him.
"All done." Yoongi stated.
"Oh!" Lisa hopped off the couch and twirled around, reaching up to touch her tight braids and she bursted into giggles, waking up the sleeping baby on the couch. "It's perfect! It's almost as good as Jenni's! I'm gonna go show her!" And then she was off again, hurrying down the hallway.
"You're good at that." Jimin complimented, his eyes crinkling with his soft smile. "That was a heck of a lot better than I could do."
"The girls back home make me do their hair too. Say I'm the best because I'm gentle about it."
Jimin bit his lip with his grin. "Well, I think she loves you already."
Yoongi smiled softly but he was unsure how to feel about that. Of course he wanted these children to like him but what would it matter if Jimin didn't come back with him.
There was a soft noise and then Jihoon was sitting up on the couch, rubbing at his face with his hands. He had a mop of black hair on his head, sticking in all directions and there was a little dinosaur on his t-shirt. He had nothing else on but a diaper and the room was warm enough to keep him comfortable. As he woke up, he noticed Mingyu as gone from his side and snapped his head up, glancing at the rocking chair immediately where he saw Jimin. His little black eyes seemed to take everytihng in all at once and then he was slipping off the couch to get to his feet. He did stumble once and plopped down onto his butt but the diaper cushioned his fall and then he was on his feet again. His steps were a little wobbly but he took his time and he was careful as he approahced Jimin.
"Hi Jihoon, did you sleep well?" Jimin greeted softly, shifting Mingyu around to rest in his arms again. The baby was now fast asleep with a full belly. Jihoon didn't bother him when he came to a stop against Jimin's knees. He only reached up to pat Mingyu's hair softly, like he was making sure his friend was okay and then he was reaching up to Jimin. Jimin's arms were full with Mingyu but he leaned down like he did with Lisa and let Jihoon nuzzle their faces together. It was a rather cute moment.
Seemingly satisfied with greeting Jimin, Jihoon toddled away from him. Before he could do whatever it as he was going to do, he noticed Yoongi. Those small black eyes immediately locked on him and Yoongi's spine went straight. He witnessed something rather strange occur then. Jihoon's small, round, pale face, completely crumbled. He bursted into tears, sobs wrecking through his body and for a split second, Yoongi thought he fucked up and Jimin looked just as alarmed as he felt.
"A-Appa!" Jihoon's voice cracked and then suddenly he was toddling forward. He tripped over his own feet and Yoongi lurched forward, watching in slight horror as the boy stumbled forward and collided with the floor. He cried even more now, big loud sobs that woke Mingyu and startled Jungkook. Yoongi was on his feet instantly, hurrying to the boy's side and picking him up from the floor.
"Shh, Shh, it's okay." Yoongi shushed him, holding the boy tightly in his arms. Jihoon fisted his shirt tightly and buried his head into his neck, wetting him with tears and hard sobs. "You're okay."
"He called you 'appa'." Jimin mumbled, staring up at Yoongi like he was as confused and alarmed as Yoongi. "He's... He never cries." Mingyu suddenly bursted into tears as well at the sound of Jihoon's crying and it took a few minutes before either of them managed to calm down.
Yoongi paced around the room, bouncing Jihoon gently and murmuring softly to him. Jungkook watched on with wide, confused eyes but after a while, Jihoon finally managed to calm down. He took large deep breaths to ease out his sobs and his poor little body was exhausted with them.
"Shh, Mingyu, It's okay. Jihoon's okay." Jimin tried to get Mingyu to settle down but he was whining softly and wiggling in his arms.
"You're okay." Yoongi said again, holding Jihoon a little tighter against his chest.
"A-Appa, appa." Jihoon whined into his neck before finally pulling back. His face was a mess of tears and snot but he clung to Yoongi like he never wanted to let go.
"It's okay, Jihoon, you're okay." Yoongi's throat was tight with emotion and he wasn't sure what to do.
"See?" Jimin was close now, on his feet beside Yoongi with Mingyu in his arms. He was holding Mingyu the same way Yoongi was holding Jihoon. "Look Mingyu, he's okay."
Jihoon seemed to realize what was going on because he twisted around to see Mingyu. The baby was watching him with wide tearfilled eyes so Jihoon leaned over in Yoongi's arms and planted a big wet kiss on Mingyu's cheek. That made the baby start giggling and both Jimin and Yoongi sighed in relief.
"Wow." Jimin laughed softly. "I guess he likes you."
"I think he's calling me 'appa'." Yoongi stated, still in shock.
"Hmmm." Jimin leaned in closer, giving Yoongi's face a good look before looking at Jihoon. "Maybe you look like his appa. You two do look rather similar. To a little baby, that's all that matters."
Yoongi wasn't even sure how he felt about that but looking down at Jihoon, who turned those small dark eyes on him made Yoongi's heart thump and maybe it wasn't all that bad. Jimin was beaming at him, a beautiful kind of smile that made Yoongi's throat dry and Jungkook was watching them like he wasn't sure how to feel about what was going on but he didn't look upset.
"What's going on?"
The soft feminine voice made them all turn and Yoongi noticed a new little girl standing at the end of the hallway with a bouncing Lisa at her side. She was a little taller than Lisa, with a pretty round face, sharp eyes and waves of black hair falling around her. One of her hands was clutched tightly between Lisa's and her eyes were stuck on Yoongi, almost glaring at him because she didn't know who he was.
"Jenni, this is Yoongi." Jimin introduced, slipping away from Yoongi's side to greet the girl. Mingyu seemed upset at being taken away from Jihoon but it didn't stop Jimin from dipping down to plant a kiss on Jenni's head. The little girl leaned up on her toes to kiss his chubby cheek and then her eyes were on Yoongi again, the venom in them lessoning just a bit. "He's a friend."
Jenni hummed softly, ducking her head shyly in greeting. "Hello."
"Hello." Yoongi ducked his head as well and Jimin sure taught them all proper manners. He was pleased by this for some reason because even if the world was going to hell, these children would still be somewhat polite. It wasn't the most useful thing but it might save their life one day.
"He did my hair!" Lisa pointed out, tugging on Jenni's hand to get her attention and motioning to her head. "Isn't it great?" Jenni nodded in return but otherwise didn't speak.
"Well, now that you've all met," Jimin stated, gaining all of the children's attention, "Jungkook, I want you to take Jenni and Lisa into your room and pack all your things." Lisa went quiet, Jenni snapped her head up at Jimin and Jungkook jumped out of his chair, a questioning expression on his face. Jimin offered them all a warm, tender smile. "We're leaving, for good. We're going with Yoongi. He has a nice safe place to go."
"But it's safe here." Jenni argued gently, glancing between Yoongi and Jimin like she couldn't understand what was going on.
"We can't stay here forever." Jimin eased, squatting down beside her and though his expression was soft, his eyes proved he wouldn't be moved on this issue. "I've told you that before. Yoongi has a nice place, with other children you can play with. We'll be safe there."
"Other children?" Lisa perked up, her large eyes going wide and fluttering. She looked excited at the prospect. "Children like me?"
"Children of all ages." Yoongi answered, offering her a soft smile when she beamed at him hopefully. "They're all very nice. I think they'll like you."
"I know you don't have much but pack what you have in those emergency bags under your bed, okay?" Jimin pat Jenni's head gently and the girl nodded solemnly. She didn't want to leave, that was obvious, but she would follow Jimin no matter what. Pleased, Jimin stood up straight again and turned to Jungkook who was glaring slightly at the floor. Jimin crinked his nose at the boy and moved to Yoongi, offering him Mingyu and though it was hard to hold two babies, somehow, Yoongi managed it.
"Come on, Jungkook." Jimin held his hand out to Jungkook and it took a moment but the boy finally took it. He glanced at Yoongi, his expression unreadable and then he allowed Jimin to led him and the girls down the hallway, where Yoongi assumed the bedrooms were.
Yoongi let out a soft sigh and settled down in the rocking chair because holding two babies was a bit much for him. Jihoon was good, settling easily against his hip but Mingyu was a wiggler and gurgled up a storm like he was talking to Jihoon. Jihoon watched him like he understood what Mingyu was saying and maybe he could. Now that he was alone, Yoongi could take in all that just occured to him.
Jimin had told the truth about having children, which was a relief. Those children were nice, well behaved and a little mistrusting of him, which was a good thing. At least Jungkook and Jenni were distrusting and he didn't blame them. Jihoon called him 'appa' for some reason and Jimin trusted him enough to leave the two babies with him. Yoongi's heart skipped a beat in his chest and he glanced down at Jihoon.
Jimin told them to pack. Jimin and his children were coming back to Bangtan with him. Yoongi was both relieved and excited. He had been willing to leave them behind if that was what Jimin wanted but he was more happy to have them come back with him. They'd be safer, both he and Jimin knew that.
Yoongi was grinning softly to himself, bouncing both Mingyu and Jihoon on each knee, when Jimin returned alone. The man paused at the end of the hallway, looking Yoongi over like he was trying to figure something out but the expression was gone with Yoongi met his gaze. Jimin flashed him a pretty smile and motioned for him to follow him. Yoongi got to his feet, settled with both babies in his arms and followed Jimin down the hallway. It was a small hallway with a door at the end and two doors on either side. Jimin disappeared into the room on the left but Yoongi could see Jungkook, Jenni and Lisa in the room to the right. It was a small room, with a set of bunkbeds and the three children were busy packing their bags like Jimin had asked.
The left bedroom was obviously Jimin's, having only a queen sized bed, a small dresser and a few carboard boxes of things scattered about. It wasn't much but it was better than what most things had to offer these days.
"Just sit them down on the bed." Jimin motioned to it as he dropped to his knees and reached under it. "They sleep in here with me because I have no where else to put them." Yoongi noticed the boxes around the room had some diapers and other baby suppiles in them. "Jungkook and the girls share the other room. Jenni and Lisa sleep on the bottom and Jungkook takes the top. It's not much but it's a warm safe place to sleep."
Yoongi agreed, made a noise in his throat to show so and then carefully placed Mingyu down on the soft mattress. He fell over immediately and Yoongi panicked slightly, reaching out to set him back on his bottom and then he giggled, reaching for Jihoon who continued to cling to Yoongi. He murmured that it was okay to the child and tried to pry his little fists free from his jacket but the kid was having none of it. His face crunched up like he was going to cry and Mingyu's copied him and what a mess it would be if they both started crying again.
"I, uh, don't think he wants to let me go." Yoongi stopped trying to pry Jihoon's hands free of his jacket and stood up straighter just as Jimin's head popped up from the other side of the bed. He looked surprised, his pretty eyes wide but there was a smile of amusment on his lips.
"He really likes you." Jimin mused, biting his lower lip to hide his smile as he moved to his feet, revealing two duffle bags he pulled free from under the bed. "It's okay, just sit with them. I'll pack everything."
"I should help."
"You are helping by keeping them calm." Jimin pointed out, flashing him another smile before he dropped the bags on the edge of the bed and started tugging open drawers to packs some clothes away. "Should I bring everything we have? Even if it's not useful to us, it could be to your people."
"Sure. We can fit a lot in the back of the SUV." It took a moment to settle on the bed with Jihoon and Mingyu but by the time he did, he had a lap full of babies and Mingyu really seemed to love Jihoon judging by the way he curled up to his friend. Jihoon didn't mind, letting Mingyu collapse against his side as if it happened all the time. Jihoon finally released the tight hold he had on Yoongi's jacket but he didn't move out of his lap and he wondered why the baby was suddenly so attached to him. Did he really look like his father? They did have small eyes and the same facial shape, maybe, a rounded face with a small button nose. Yoongi definatly wasn't this child's father but he had to admit they did look a little alike and maybe that was all Jihoon needed. He wondered about the boy's actual father. He must have been around if Jihoon remembered what he looked like but Jimin said he only saw the boy's mother. He didn't want to think about what could have happened to Jihoon's parents. Or any of the children's parents.
"I have a lot of empty duffle bags." Jimin mumbled to himself, carefully folding up clothes to stuff into one of the bags. Some were adult clothes but most were children's by the look of it. "Like I said, this place was supposed to be for my family. There's clothes here for my parents and my younger brother that I don't need. Jungkook could fit into some of my brother's but a lot of it goes to waste. Since you're being so nice by taking us in, I feel donating all this to the town is the least I could do."
"That's thoughtful." And it was.
"We have extra blankets and pillows. I don't know if we'll be able to carry all this stuff."
"I can send the recon team to clear this place out." Yoongi pointed out and he noticed the way Jimin's shoulders went stiff. "It's kind of their job. Just pack what you need and what belongs to you and the kids. The rest will go to the town."
Jimin pursed his lips but nodded, turning away from Yoongi so he could continue to empty out the small dresser. His movements were a little stiff now and Yoongi wondered what he could have said wrong. And then it dawned on him.
"Recon wasn't very nice to you, were they?"
Jimin made a soft sound, like a scoff. "They thought I was stealing but they wouldn't even give me the chance to explain."
"They're trained to be like that." Yoongi sighed softly, glancing down to the precious babies in his lap. "We have to be careful. What we have, what Bangtan is, people want it. People will take it, ruin it, kill for it." Yoongi's voice curled into something deeper, a little darker. "We've been taken advantage of before by being too kind. I learned our lesson. We can't trust outsiders, no matter what their intentions may be. It's the way the world is now. I'm not risking the welfare of my people again. But, I am sorry they weren't good to you."
"I get it, Yoongi." Jimin murmured, pausing on the edge of the bed with a baby onesee in his hands. He was staring down at it, rubbing the soft fabric between his fingers. "I'd do anything to protect these kids, so I get it. I'm sure those recon guys are actually nice people but I'm still a little pissed about the whole thing."
"I don't blame you." Yoongi offered him smile and Jimin's lips twitched up in the corners. "Yifan is actually a nice guy. I trust him to do his job well without having to worry. He hand picked his men so I don't know them personally but we haven't had any problems for a while. I'm just glad they brought you to me instead of handling the situation then and there."
Jimin grimanced at the thought. "Yeah, me too."
They fell into a soft silence then, Jimin busy packing and Yoongi looking after the babies. It took almost on an hour for Jimin to pack everything away and by then, Jungkook, Jenni and Lisa were all ready to go, joining Yoongi on the bed to wait. Yoongi offered to take everything to the car first but Jihoon still wouldn't let him go so Jimin opted to do it instead. It took him three trips to pack the six bags away into the back of the SUV and he even had a one more bag full of all the food they had left that he stuffed into the trunk as well.
Yoongi left Jimin and the children to say goodbye to the home and waited by the ladder. Jihoon still wouldn't let him go so he had no choice but to hold the boy while he waited. He didn't seem all that interested in saying goodbye anyway so they waited patiently until the others finally arrived. Jimin locked the place up with his keycode which he promised to tell Yoongi later so he could pass it onto his recon group and then came the fun adventure of getting the kids up the ladder.
Jimin went first with Mingyu, holding the baby to his chest with a makeshift sling made from a blanket. It managed to work and then he waited at the top for the others, keeping an eye out around him just in case. Jenni climbed up first and then Lisa followed with Jungkook at the bottom, ready to catch her in case she fell. But she was careful and took her time so she made it to the top without a problem. Jungkook had no issues climbing the ladder and then it was Yoongi's turn. He made Jihoon wrap his arms around his neck and told him to hold on tightly. The boy's grip was firm and tight and though it was a little cumbersome to climb the ladder with a baby, Yoongi eventually made it to the top.
They were still in the clear at the surface and considering it was a large open field, they could easily see if anything was coming. But they didn't waste their time in piling into the SUV. Jimin strapped Jungkook, Jenni and Lisa into the back bench seat and considering they had no seats for Mingyu and Jihoon, they had no choice but to carry them. Jimin strapped Mingyu into his seatbelt with him and Yoongi did the same in the driver's seat with Jihoon. Again, it was cumbersome to drive with a baby in his lap but Jihoon was quiet and didn't wiggle much so it wasn't so bad. Jimin had offered to hold him instead but Jihoon whined at the idea so there wasn't much of a choice.
The drive back to Bangtan was rather uneventful. Lisa passed out in the backseat on Jenni's shoulder and Mingyu did the same in Jimin's lap. Jihoon remained alert in Yoongi's lap, staring out the window the entire drive. It was almost a relief for Yoongi to see the high walls of his town and the soft prickle on his skin didn't dissipate until they were past the gates. Bangtan wasn't 100% safe, it would be foolish to think so, but it was safe enough and Yoongi always felt a little bit better being behind the walls.
Kihyun was there to greet them when Yoongi pulled the SUV into one of the few garages where they kept the vehicles they collected. He looked relieved to see Yoongi alive and well and rushed over to his side of the car when Yoongi killed the engine and popped open the door.
"Sometimes I swear your instinct is going to get you killed and then you do stuff like this." Kihyun sighed at him, his eyes taking in the child in his arms but that didn't stop him from pulling Yoongi into a hug. "What am I going to do with you?"
Yoongi flashed him a soft smile and shrugged, adjusting his hold on Jihoon as Jimin went about getting the other children out of the car. "Kihyun, this is Jihoon."
"Hello." Kihyun ducked his head down to greet the baby and Jihoon just stared at him for a few seconds before burying his face in Yoongi's neck. Kihyun blinked but didn't seem to disturbed. "Well, at least I didn't make him cry."
"I don't really know how he is around strangers." Jimin was saying as he came around the SUV with his gaggle of children.
Kihyun's eyes widened and he let out a soft laugh, sounding both relieved and amused. "He seems to like Yoongi."
"He's attached." Jimin shrugged and adjusted the baby on his hip who was gurgling about something or other. "This is Mingyu, Jungkook, Jenni and Lisa. Kids, this is Kihyun. He's a friend too."
"Hello." Kihyun bowed his head in greeting and the three older children did the same, mumbling their hellos. "I suppose it's a good thing I took you for your word." He turned to Yoongi with a smile. "I've prepared a place for them to stay. Hoseok helped. It's not much but they should all manage to fit in the room."
"They share beds anyway, it's fine." Jimin flushed lightly, bowing his head at Kihyun. "I really appreciate it."
Kihyun waved a hand at him. "Don't worry about it." His smile was warm and kind, the kind of smile that had made Yoongi trust him in the first place and it seemed to make Jimin feel more comfortable. "I can take you there now. Or would you all like to eat first?"
"I think we should settle in and then we can eat." Jimin answsered.
"We bought a lot with us, but there's more back where they were staying. Get up with Yifan later, I want his men to retrieve the rest. We could use it." Yoongi informed Kihyun who nodded.
Kihyun called to a few of the men standing guard and they were more than willing to carry the bags piled into the back of the SUV. Kihyun even shouldered one and though both Yoongi and Jimin wanted to help, they had their hands full with children. Kihyun told them the children were more important and then he led them out of the garage. He had set Jimin and his children up in one of the warehouses where they placed families. There were plenty of other children in the building for them to play with and Yoongi made a note to thank Kihyun profusely later. The man had his reservations, and didn't always agree with Yoongi but at the end of the day he was a warm, kind and understanding human being who always had Yoongi's back.
The warehouse was set up like small apartments, little square boxes with roofs and doors but no windows. It wasn't that different to what Jimin and his children were already used to but with just way more people. The warehouse was, thankfully, mostly empty since it was dinner time and Kihyun led them to an empty room somewhere near the outskirts of the boxed maze. It wasn't very large but it was big enough to fit one full sized bed and a bunkbed set which Yoongi stared at before glancing at Kihyun in question who only smiled smugly and shrugged.
"We get bottom again!" Lisa exclaimed as soon as she saw the bunkbeds and she broke away from Jenni to run at them, jumping onto the mattress with bubbles of giggles. Jenni joined her after getting a nod from Jimin and then they all entered the room.
It was a small fit for so many of them but no one complained. Jimin set Mingyu down on the bed and Jungkook stepped around the room carefully, like he was checking it out to make sure it was safe. The two men placed down their bags gently and then left them alone, to return to their posts. Kihyun dropped the bag he was carrying to join the pile and watched as Yoongi tried to detach Jihoon from him so he could sit on the bed with Mingyu. It took a little effort but eventually Jihoon let go. It seemed he was fine now that he realized Yoongi wasn't actually going anywhere.
"What do you think?" Kihyun asked, sounded hopeful.
"It's more than we could have asked for." Jimin gave him a soft smile and settled on the edge of the bed beside Mingyu and Jihoon, reaching out to pet Jihoon's unruly dark hair softly.
"They were in an underground bunker." Yoongi explained. "You can show them the playground and everything else later. I think the kids will like the fresh air."
"I sure like the fresh air." Jimin pointed out with a soft smile than soon turned grateful. "Really, thank you Yoongi, Kihyun. This is so kind of you."
"The world needs more kindness." Kihyun mused, shuffling away from Yoongi's side to join Jenni and Lisa, talking softly to them and Lisa was more than willing to answer all his questions.
"This is where we're staying?" Jungkook asked. There was a slight frown on his face but he didn't look unhappy. Maybe that was just how his face was.
"Yes, Kookie. This is home now." Jimin answered.
Jungkook nodded, his shoulders slumping only slightly but he didn't whine or argue. He shuffled over to the bunk beds and carefully climbed the small ladder to the top bunk so he could check it out.
"Hello!" A warm bright voice called and Yoongi twisted around to see Hoseok popping his head into the room. His smile was bright and welcoming as he entered the room slowly, giving Yoongi a greeting nudge in the arm. "You must be the new family Kihyun told me about! I'm Jung Hoseok. I live across the hall and I help take care of the children. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask."
"Hello."Jimin got to his feet quickly to greet Hoseok, bowing his head respectfully and Yoongi noticed Mingyu and Jihoon were starting to doze on the bed. "I'm Park Jimin and these are my kids." He pointed to each one, rattling off their names and Hoseok smiled brightly at each one of them.
"Wow you have quite a lot!" Hoseok laughed, good naturedly. "They're lucky to have you. I have a boy of my own. He-" Hoseok cut off when he realized there was no one behind him and his brow furrowed. "Oh where did he..? Taehyung." Hoseok called, stepping back out of the room into the hallway. "Come say hi. There's a boy your age."
Jungkook's head popped up from the top bunk and he watched the door in curiosity. Less than a moment later, Hoseok reentered the small room with a young boy behind him. Yoongi was fond of Taehyung. He was a boisterous boy at the age of ten with tanned skin, dark brown hair and warm brown eyes. He always liked to make up stories with Yoongi when he had the time and he had quite the imagination. But he was always a little shy around new people so it was cute to watch him flush and hide behind Hoseok for a moment or two.
"Taehyung, this is Jimin, Jenni, Lisa, Jihoon, Mingyu and the boy up there is Jungkook." Hoseok's eyes twinkled like he knew something they didn't and then he carefully pushed Taehyung's shoulder. "Go say hi."
Jungkook was already climbing down the ladder when Taehyung worked up to courge to go over to him and there was a moment where they just stared at each other before Jungkook mumbled out a hello. That seemed to brighten Taehyung's demeanour and he grinned, a boxy little thing.
"I'm Taehyung. I'm ten."
"I'm Jungkook. I'm eight."
"Do you want to play? I have some really cool cars Hoseok-hyung found for me. We can share."
Jungkook perked up at the prospect of playing and it dawned on Yoongi that the boy probably hadn't played with a kid his own age... perhaps never. Jimin was watching so fondly, with a proud smile on his lips and when Jungkook glanced at him for permission, Jimin nodded his head eagerly.
"I'll play with you." Jungkook mumbled softly, his cheeks flushing ever so slightly but his lips curled into a smile.
"Awesome!" Taehyung snatched up Jungkook's wrist and tugged him toward the door. "We're just across the hallway. See?" Jungkook followed along without a fight, the flush on his cheeks deepening before they disappeared into the other room.
"I wanna make new friends." Lisa whined softly.
"I'm your new friend." Kihyun pointed out.
"Yeah, and I like you, but you're not a girl and you're old."
Yoongi and Hoseok snickered into their hands at her words while Kihyun looked offended. "Well, I was going to take you to the playground where you could meet other girls your age but, I don't know now."
Lisa gasped, her eyes going impossibly wide and she hurried into Kihyun's lap, clasping her hands together into a begging motion. "I'm sorry! You're not old! You're pretty and I like you and I'll play with you."
Kihyun's laughter was bright and he hugged the girl gently. "She called me pretty, did you hear that Yoongi?"
"Yes, a four year old thinks you're pretty." Yoongi drawled, unable to hold back his soft laughter.
"I think he's pretty too." Jenni added in, making Kihyun grin smugly at Yoongi.
"Are you going to take them, or not?" Yoongi laughed under his breath.
"We could go have dinner first." Kihyun pointed out, turning to Jimin who had setlled back on the bed with Mingyu and Jihoon.
"I don't want to wake these two."
"I'll go with them." Hoseok perked up. "I'm sure I can drag Taehyung along. You stay here and rest with the babies. Kihyun and I will take the girls and Jungkook. Don't worry."
Jimin looked unsure for a moment, like he wasn't comfortable leaving his kids in the hands of virtual strangers. But then he glanced at Yoongi and Yoongi nodded at him. Kihyun and Hoseok were two of the people Yoongi trusted the most and he hoped Jimin could trust them too.
"We'll bring some dinner back for you and the babies." Kihyun offered, getting to his feet and dropped Lisa back down to her feet.
"I suppose that's alright. If they're okay with it?"Jimin shifted his attention to Lisa and Jenni.
"Food!" Lisa exclaimed happily, making the adults in the room laugh softly.
"Alright. You can show me around later." Jimin agreed.
"I've got work to do." Yoongi told Kihyun. "You'll take care of the rest?"
"I've got it." Kihyun nodded.
"Kay. I'll see you all later." He flashed Jimin a smile, which was returned before he left the room behind.
Saying he had work to do wasn't entirely a lie. Yoongi needed to get a hold of Yifan for multiple reasons. There were things to discuss regarding the safe zones and Jimin's bunker. He spoke to a few people on his way back to the building he called home and managed to find out Yifan and his men had not left yet because he was waiting to speak with Yoongi anyway. It worked out.
The place Yoongi called home was a small storage building they converted into smaller rooms. Both Yoongi and Kihyun had their own rooms in the building, along with some of Yoongi's most trusted people, like Yifan and Seokjin, one of their cooks. Baekhyun and Chanyeol were responsible for the guards and slight military like group they had to protect the town and they also called the building home. There were two stories to the building and Yoongi and Kihyun both stayed on the second floor. There were more rooms, some of them empty that hadn't been fully converted yet because they didn't need them but Yoongi's room was rather nice, all things considering.
It was larger than the room Jimin had been given, by a good deal. It held a large king sized bed that he didn't need but Kihyun had insisted on because Yoongi was a bitch when he didn't sleep properly and no one wanted to deal with that. The entire thing had been a bitch to bring up the stairs and near impossible to take back down so Yoongi settled with it. He was a single man; he didn't need much so the large room was mostly sparce of furniture. There was the bed in the center of the room, near a window where Yoongi liked to be able to see over the double walls and there was a small dresser beside it. In one corner of the room was a closet Yoongi built himself, holding the small assortment of clothes he could call his own. It had a door on it because Yoongi thought it looked better that way and on the other side of the room was where Yoongi did his work. It was almost a completely separate area from the bed, with a desk facing the door and way too many maps for Yoongi to deal with.
He settled down at the desk as soon as he entered the room, leaving his door open because he was expecting Yifan and someone, probably Seokjin, to bring him something to eat. He spent a few minutes cleaning off his desk and organizing the multiple maps he had before figuring out which ones he needed. He was in the middle of searching for a map with Jimin's bunker on it when Baekhyun appeared in his doorway with his dinner. It wasn't much, just some beans and rice because Yoongi never ate much but Baekhyun had a grin on his face and Yoongi sighed, knowing what the man was up to.
Baekhyun drilled him for information on the new family, hoping for a new recrute but Yoongi had to disappoint him. Jimin would help Hoseok and Yoona by taking care of the children and though he did want Chanyeol to teach Jungkook how to use and hold a weapon, he still needed to discuss that with Jimin. Maybe Jenni too. She was old enough. They needed to know how to protect themselves but he wasn't sure how well that conversation was going to go with Jimin. It could wait for a little bit anyway.
After Baekhyun left, Yoongi was able to eat his dinner and find the map he was certain had Jimin's bunker on it. He was shovelling the last bit of rice into his mouth when Yifan appeared. The tall man had the type of face people feared but truthfully, he was kind. Yoongi trusted him quite a lot which was why he shared the secrets of Jimin's bunker with him, giving him the code Jimin had passed on to him and asking him to gather everything in the bunker with his men. There were beds and other things the town could use so it might take a few trips but it would be worth it. Yifan was more than happy to help. He didn't apologize to Yoongi for what he had done with Jimin but he did tell Yoongi he would apologize to Jimin, just to clear the air. That was all Yoongi could ask really.
They spoke a bit more about the safe zones Yifan and his men had scouted for. They liked to track some of the larger hordes just to make sure none of them were headed their way and Yoongi kept track of them on his maps. With Yifan's information, Yoongi dismissed the man to enjoy dinner with his men and a good nights rest before they would leave in the morning. Yoongi had to pull together a route for them so he settled down at his desk and fumbled with his pencil, scribbling about this safe zone and that horde.
Yoongi couldn't be sure how long he sat there, hunched over his desk with a pencil in his grip as he stared at maps. The giant red circles were concerning, considering how many there were and they were only growing. Their safe zones were starting to decrease and the undead would soon be on their doorstep. It might take a few months but one day, they would have a fight on their hands. They were prepared, had been for a while, but Yoongi made a note to beef up the training Chanyeol and Baekhyun were doing and for Yifan's men to focus more on finding bullets and weapons. Yoongi wanted to be cautious. He had people to protect.
He was in the middle of rubbing a hand over his face when he heard the sound of soft crying. He blinked in surprise at the sound and lifted his head, straining to hear where it was coming from. He was on his feet when he realized it was a child and it was coming closer. No one in his building had children, he was pretty sure, so why was there a crying child now coming closer to him. Yoongi moved to his open door and peered out into the hallway. A lump formed in his throat when he saw Jimin climbing up the stairs with a sobbing Jihoon in his arms. He was alone and Yoongi hurried out of his room to greet him.
"Oh thank goodness." Jimin sighed in relief when he saw him and hurried to meet him. "Kihyun told me you were in this building but he didn't say where and Jihoon's been sobbing like this since he woke up and I realized it was because you were gone." Jimin rambled, sounding almost panicked and he quickly held out the sobbing boy to Yoongi. He looked exhausted and Yoongi wondered how long the boy had been crying before Jimin decided to try this. "Please take him."
Yoongi jerked into action, taking the sobbing boy from him quickly. "Shh, it's okay." At his voice, Jihoon choked on a sob and snapped his head up at him. His little face was crunched into pain with his sobs but looking at Yoongi seemed to make it worse and then he was crying agian, clutching at Yoongi's shirt and calling him 'appa' over and over again, nuzzling into his neck. He seemed to settle down after a minute, his sobs turning into soft whines and whimpers as he clutched to Yoongi for dear life.
Jimin sighed heavily and collapsed against the wall, running a hand through his hair. "He started screeching as soon as he woke up and realized you weren't there. Which, of course, made Mingyu start sobbing. It was a mess but I couldn't come find you because I didn't know where you went. I had to wait till Kihyun came back with the kids. He's watching them now and Hoseok managed to get Mingyu to calm down but Jihoon wouldn't stop. I've never seen him like this." Jimin glanced up at him, through his lashes. "I told you, he doesn't cry. But if he can't see you, he's sobbing. I think it might be some trauma involving why his mother was bitten. He's decided you're his appa now and I think he's terrified of losing you like he lost his real father. So when you're gone, he freaks out."
"I'm sorry." Yoongi mumbled, unsure of what else to say. The little body in his arms was heaving with deep breaths but he was starting to calm down.
Jimin laughed, something warm and fond. "It's not your fault. He does look like you."
"I can assure you, it's not possible for him to be mine."
Jimin giggled softly at him and pushed off the wall, nodding. "I know. I was thinking, since he's attached to you, maybe you should..." Jimin trailed off, biting into his lip as he glanced away. "Maybe he should stay with you. If that's okay."
"What about Mingyu?" Yoongi wondered.
"Well, he'll be okay as long as you bring Jihoon to visit." Jimin smiled unsurely at him. "It's worth a try, I think. Jihoon should eventually calm down from this trauma after a while but it's fresh right now so he should be with you. If that's not too brothersome?" He looked worried, chewing on his bottom lip and eyeing Yoongi hopefully. "I know your busy."
"He can stay with me." The words came out of his mouth before he realized what he was saying. "I mean... if it'll help. I guess he's kind of my responsibilty now that he's attached. It's not like I've never taken care of a baby before. I'm just concerned about him and Mingyu."
Jimin hummed in understanding. "We'll take it day by day. I should have brought his bag but I didn't even think of this until I was halfway here. I realized there's no way he's going to let you go."
"Have you eaten yet?" When Jimin shook his head, Yoongi smiled softly at him. "I'll take you to dinner and then we can stop by to get his things."
Jimin stared at him for a moment, another one of those fond looks that Yoongi couldn't entirely understand before his lips split into a smile so strong it made his eyes crinkle. "Okay, that sounds great."
Yoongi's first night with Jihoon went rather well, all things considered. The bed was more than large enough for the both of them and Yoongi slept with the little baby curled up against his chest. They both curled into balls when they slept and Yoongi felt a little strange about the whole thing. It wasn't possible for the child to be his, considering sex wasn't a thing Yoongi did. But there were some similarities between him and Jihoon that were hard to ignore. Maybe it was just meant to be, Yoongi wasn't sure. But he did know he slept better with Jihoon at his side.
Yoongi's routine had to quickly change now that he had a baby to take care of. The positive thing was how good of a baby Jihoon was. He didn't cry unless Yoongi left him alone so Yoongi quickly learned to always stay somehwere Jihoon could see him and they were fine. As long as Yoongi was in his sight, Jihoon was fine. Course, that meant Yoongi had to take Jihoon everywhere. That wasn't a good thing and he knew that. One day he'd have to judge someone, like he had to with Jimin, and there was no way he could do that with a baby on his hip. He figured he would send Kihyun to handle it until they figured something else out.
Somehow, Jihoon settled so easily into Yoongi's life like the man already had a spot just waiting for him. Jihoon was quiet and easy to take care of. Jimin had mentioned trying to potty train the boy but Yoongi thought helping him get over his attachment was more important first. Yoongi changed enough diapers in the past few years so it was no problem. Jihoon never complained about being wet but he would tug on Yoongi's clothes if he was feeling uncomfortable and that was all Yoongi needed to know it was time to change him. He ate normal food instead of having a bottle and Yoongi's meals doubled in size just so he could share with Jihoon. Instead of taking his meals in his room, he joined Jimin and the rest of the kids in the cafeteria area so they could all sit down and eat together, like a family. It cut back on Yoongi's work time but it wasn't that bad. Mingyu always lit up as soon as he saw Jihoon and so Yoongi didn't mind escaping from his work for a while.
And the soft little buzz of warmth Yoongi felt every time Jimin smiled at him was just an added bonus.
Mingyu handled being separated from Jihoon pretty well for about a week before things went sour. Jimin mentioned he had trouble getting Mingyu to sleep the night before and when they met up for breakfast the baby cried when he saw Jihoon. Jihoon had hugged him and that seemed to be the end of that. Yoongi had work to do so he took Jihoon with him and Mingyu was sleeping at the time, not noticing his friend left.
Yoongi felt a bit of deja vu as he sat at his desk, scribbling away on some maps while Jihoon played on the bed with an old train set Baekhyun gave him. The man was completely enamored with the cute boy and Chanyeol dropped by just as often to nuzzle their faces together. It made Yoongi wonder when the two of them might adopt one of their own. There were plenty of children who would love to have parents but they were busy guys so it might be a while.
For a second, Yoongi thought the crying was coming from Jihoon but he noticed the boy was perfectly fine on the bed. He lifted his head when he heard the cries and Yoongi got to his feet, moving toward his door. It was shut so the cries were muffled but before he could open it, there was a series of knocks against it. Yoongi flinched and then gathered himself to open the door.
A haggered looking Jimin and a crying Mingyu was on the other side. "He won't stop." Jimin whined, pushing past Yoongi without a second thought and hurried to the bed where Jihoon was crawling to the edge. "Look, Mingyu, it's Jihoon, see, he's right here."
Mingyu cried even more at being put down but Jihoon tugged him into a hug and that made Mingyu blink his tearfilled eyes open. He whimpered and whined and fell into Jihoon, letting the boy hug him. Jihoon nuzzled into the baby's hair, patting at his flushed wet cheeks.
"Gu." Jihoon murmured softly, rubbing his face into Mingyu's hair. "Gu, kay, kay, gu."
Mingyu calmed down after that and Jimin sighed in relief, so heavily that he dropped to the floor beside the bed, knocking his forehead against the mattress. Yoongi winched at the sound of his knees hitting the concrete floor and shuffled over to him. Jimin looked exhausted and Yoongi couldn't blame him.
"Why don't you stay here and rest?" Yoongi offered, feeling friendly enough to reach out and rub Jimin's shoulders gently.
"Just for a little while." Jimin agreed, tugging himself up onto the bed. He curled around Jihoon and Mingyu and it wasn't long before they were all three asleep.
Yoongi watched them fondly, a warm bubble of something in his chest as he shuffled back over to his desk to continue working. Jimin sleeping shouldn't have been a distraction but it was hard not to notice how attractive the man was. There was a lot of good qualities about Park Jimin, aside from his face. He was warm, kind and protective. He got along with everyone he met in the town so far and the other children adored him. He even managed to warm up to Baekhyun who rarely let people become his friend because the only people he trusted were Yoongi and Chanyeol. Jimin had a way about him, a way that was so caring and he was good at reading people, like Yoongi was. He was a people person and Yoongi liked that about him. He fit into their town effortlessly and Yoongi couldn't imagine what it would be like without him.
It was a strong feeling that overtook him then. Something warm and buzzing, something that couldn't be ignored. But Yoongi pushed it aside for the time being so he could get some work done while Jihoon was busy sleeping. It was nearly dinner time when Jimin finally woke up again and he did so by sitting up abruptly and startling the living shit out of Yoongi, who dropped the pencil in his hand.
Jimin grumbled and rubbed at his face, waking up quickly and glancing out the window. His eyes widened when he realized it was starting to get dark and he glanced at Yoongi sheepishly. "I didn't mean to sleep so long."
"You needed it." Yoongi shrugged, picking up his pencil again. "It's almost dinner anyway."
Jimin nodded and glanced down at the still sleeping babies curled together. He looked almost sad for a moment and reached over to pet through Jihoon's unruly hair. "They're sweet when they're sleeping together."
"Do you miss him?" Yoongi asked the question that had been bugging him for a while.
"A bit." Jimin smiled sheepishly at him. "I think Mingyu misses him more."
Yoongi hummed and swallowed hard, tapping his pencil against the desk in time with his rapid heart beat. "I was thinking... maybe you should stay with me." Jimin head whipped at him in surprise, his plump lips parted in a perfect 'o'. Nerves bubbles up Yoongi's spine and he glanced away, pretending he was doing something important with the map laid in front of him. "I have the room. We could move the bunk beds up here and that way Mingyu and Jihoon aren't separated and Jihoon isn't separated from me. What do you think?"
"K-Kihyun won't mind?" Jimin sounded unsure and when Yoongi glanced up at him in confusion, he looked just as confused.
"No? I'm sure he'll help us move. It's just an idea. You don't have to."
"N-No." Jimin hurried to say, "It's a good idea. I didn't even consider it. Are you sure we won't be bothersome? I don't want to crowd you."
"I don't mind, really. I wouldn't offer if I didn't want it." Yoongi answered honestly, glancing at the sleeping babies. "They're a family. I think it's best to keep them together, don't you? And we're friends, yes? It shouldn't be a problem."
Jimin nodded his head in agreement. "As long as you don't mind."
"I really don't." Yoongi assured him, smiling fondly at the babies and he didn't notice Jimin smiled just as fondly at him.
"Okay. Let's do it."
Moving Jimin and his children into Yoongi's room was an entire affair that resulted in a bed being dropped on Yoongi's foot, Jimin tumbling down the stairs with a box in his hands, Lisa soon following him because she missed a step, Kihyun tripping into a wall and Jungkook and Taehyung laughing at them all. Truthfully, it was nice. Yoongi's room had never felt so lively before and it had plenty of room for all seven of them. With all their stuff in it, the room looked less empty and Yoongi liked that. They even ended up with a couch Baekhyun and Chanyeol said they didn't want so they had a small living space. There was a bathroom on the second floor that Kihyun and Yoongi shared and it was closer than the bathroom back where Jimin lived previously.
Like Jihoon, the rest of his family settled easily into Yoongi's life. It should have perhaps been concerning but Yoongi didn't think too much about it. He was attached perhaps the moment he climbed down into the bunker and there was no turning back. Lisa loved making him do her hair, Jenni liked watching and made him teach her how to be so good at it. Jihoon rarely left his side which meant Mingyu was always around as well, followed by Jimin. Taehyung managed to convince Jungkook that Yoongi was actually cool and the boy didn't glare at him anymore.
Jimin settled in a spot Yoongi didn't know he had available. They shared Yoongi's bed with Jihoon and Mingyu between them and there was something so utterly normal and domestic about the whole situation that made Yoongi's throat tight. Somehow, they learned how to work around one another. They went to breakfast together in the morning and then split up so Jimin could take the kids to the other children and Yoongi took Jihoon. Mingyu didn't mind being separated from Jihoon for the short period of time while the adults did their own jobs. They always met for dinner and then huddled back to their room for the rest of the night. Sometimes Taehyung would join them to play with Jungkook and then some nights Jungkook would stay with Taehyung. Sometimes Lisa's friends came to play and sometimes Jenni's did. The kids were settling so well into a normal life and Yoongi could tell Jimin was happy about it.
It took about two months before Jihoon finally started to ease out of his trauma. Yoongi could finally go to the bathroom without the boy throwing a fit but he would start to whine if Yoongi was gone too long. It was progress and they were proud of him. Sometimes, Yoongi could leave Jihoon with Jimin and the other kids at the playground but it was starting to get too cold to play outside and so they started to spend more and more time in their room. Yoongi grew used to having the chatter of children around him while he worked and Yifan managed to end up on Jimin's good side after visiting so often to check in with Yoongi.
Everything settled into place over time and Yoongi came to find he greatly enjoyed having Jimin to share his space with. The kids were great too, but sometimes it was just the two of them and the quietly sleeping babies and they'd talk, softly. About everything and nothing. They'd talk about life before. Jimin would tell him about his little brother, Jihan, and how he had been everything to Jimin. He told him how he died, a complete accident really, and how Jimin had known long before then that their parents never made it out of Busan alive. He went into detail about how he found each of the children and what they came to mean to him. He told him all about his life before the virus. How he was a trainee for some idol company and he had big dreams about singing and dancing on stage. His brother had been visting when the virus hit which how Jimin ended up responsible for his sixteen year old brother.
In return, Yoongi told Jimin all the things about himself he could remember. He talked little about the family who abandoned him long before the virus but he did talk about his life as a carpenter and how he would write songs on his piano in his free time because it was a hobby. Jimin asked him if he sang and when Yoongi snorted with a no, Jimin sang for him instead. He had a lovely voice, something light and pretty and Yoongi liked listening to him sing when he was feeling brave enough. He went in depth about how he and Kihyun had met and become so close. He explained how each person Jimin knew came to join the town, like Hoseok, Yoona, Seokjin, Baehyun and Chanyeol.
They talked a lot over the months, figuring out how well they fit together and Yoongi was surprised to learn how easily the kids listened to them. They were good kids but they were still learning and though Jimin was usually the one to correct them, they did listen when Yoongi did so. They made a good pair with the children, a good pull and give, and agreed on how to raise them. Yoongi listened to whatever Jimin wanted considering he was doing such a good job and Yoongi followed his lead. Jimin seemed like the type to spoil his children but he didn't. He was good to them, showered them with affection but he knew when to put his foot down and they usually listened.
The night things started to change was just another normal night for them. Spring was starting to make itself known and they had spent all day outside as a family. Jungkook liked helping in the garden and Jenni found a knack for throwing knives which Jimin was still not sure about. He had reluctantly allowed Chanyeol to teach Jungkook and Jenni because Yoongi was right, they needed to know how to protect themselves but seeing Jungkook hold a gun had been rather terrifying. Jungkook was good with the weapons, good with whatever weapon Chanyeol put in his hands but Jenni liked the knives. She could shoot but she liked the silent weapons she could use from afar. Lisa was too young to worry about weapons but she had an interest, like Jenni. She would learn someday.
But today was the first slightly warm day of the season and so everybody was out and about, soaking up the fresh warm air and sunshine. By the time they returned home, the kids were exhausted and so were the adults. Jenni and Lisa curled up in their bottom bunk together and whispered happily about their day until they fell asleep and Jungkook was spending the night with Taehyung so they didn't need to worry about him. Jihoon and Mingyu had been a little hard to put down because they were so excited but Jimin sang to them and they eventually fell asleep curled together in the middle of the bed.
Exhausted, Jimin and Yoongi collapsed together on the small couch so not to disturb the babies. They did it often enough; spent a lot of time leaning against one another on the couch and speaking softly so not to wake the children. Tonight, however, they were both pretty tired and they fell easily into each other. Jimin was warm pressed against his side and his head tipped on Yoongi's shoulder was a pleasant weight. Yoongi wasn't always open with his affections but it was becoming easier with Lisa always demanding hugs and Jihoon always wanting to nuzzle him. Jimin was an affectionate person by nature and Yoongi had grown used to the way the man touched people all the time. They were innocent touches, sometimes Yoongi was sure the man had no clue he was doing it and somehow Yoongi had grown to expect them. Jimin's touch was as familiar as the weight of his crossbow in his hands.
"They're doing so well." Jimin murmured softly, sounding sleepy as he curled a bit more against Yoongi's side. "I wasn't too worried about how they'd do here but I'm glad its working out."
"Me too." Yoongi admitted softly, humming under his breath as he glanced at the sleeping children in the room. There was a bubble of warmth in his chest that wasn't going anywhere anytime soon and he hoped it always stayed there. He was happy, Yoongi was happy, for the first time in a long time. The warmth in his chest bubbled up his throat, making it tight and when he turned his head, he found Jimin watching him, his chin resting softly on the ball of his shoulder and his eyes half-lidded. He looked so tired but all so pretty and Yoongi wanted nothing more than to kiss him.
It wasn't a startling revelation or anything. It was something that floated through his mind a few times. His fondness for Jimin morphed into feelings he had not been prepared for but didn't fight. It was so simple, so perfect, like it was supposed to happen that way. They were fond of each other, obviously, but Jimin's fondness seemed no different than his fondess for their other friends and so Yoongi thought little of it. As long as Jimin remained close, he didn't think there was a point to worry about the feelings bubbling through him. Not only were they both men, making him unsure if Jimin swung that way or not, but for a long time Yoongi had thought he was broken. Kihyun had managed to convince Yoongi that just because he had no sexual interest didn't mean he was broken but Yoongi felt no one would want him because of it. It was something he put on the back burner when the virus came and something he didn't think about until now. Maybe it still didn't matter. Yoongi wasn't sure.
Yoongi didn't realize how long he had been staring into Jimin's deep pools of honey-brown when the younger suddenly pressed forward. It wasn't the best angle, given that Yoongi was twisted to the side and Jimin was pressing into his side but somehow, someway, their lips brushed together. It was a soft kiss, something that didn't register to Yoongi for a solid twelve seconds and then he inhaled, sharply, and Jimin pulled back, panic flashing through his eyes and he shoved away from Yoongi.
"I-I shouldn't have done that." Jimin stammered and Yoongi's heart throbbed. Jimin looked terrified, and a little bit guilty and Yoongi reached out for him, snatching up his wrist before he could stand up and leave him.
"Why?" Was all Yoongi could manage to get out. Why did he kiss him? Why shouldn't he have done that? Why did Jimin look so terrified? Why did it hurt Yoongi so much to see him like that?
Jimin's pretty face contorted for a moment and he sunk into the couch beside Yoongi, letting those long pale fingers remain wrapped around his wrist. "You just, you looked so soft and I..." He hiccuped softly, rubbing his free hand over his face and he refused to meet Yoongi's eyes. "I won't do it again."
"But I wanted you to." Yoongi's lips were warm and tinglying and apparently had a mind of their own. It was the truth, however.
Jimin snapped his head up so quickly, his hair flew all over the place. His eyes were comically wide and the apples of his cheeks were a lovely pink color but there was confusion in the corners of his eyes. "W-What about... Kihyun?"
Yoongi flinched back in his confusion, like he'd been slapped. "What? What about Kihyun?"
Jimin's face darkened in color and he dropped his gaze to the grip Yoongi had on his wrist. "I thought... Aren't you two...? Are you not?"
Yoongi's brain spun with what Jimin was attempting to suggest and he sat up quickly, twisting on the couch to face Jimin completly, bringing a bent leg up on the cushions between them so he could do so. "What? You think Kihyun and I...? Why? Why did you think that?"
"I am I wrong?" He sounded almost hopeful and his free hand found Yoongi's fingers, playing with them gingerly. "You're close and the way he looks at you..."
"Have you met Changkyun?" When Jimin shook his head, Yoongi let out a soft sigh. "Right, he's in the recon group. You met him but not properly and Kihyun's private with his love life." He brought a hand up to ruffle his hair. "Jimin, they're dating. They've been dating for a while. Changkyun stays with Kihyun when the group is here. Kihyun is my right hand man, my best friend, my most trusted person, but we're not... We never have been."
"Oh." It was such a simple word but held so much emotion in it. Jimin was flushed all the way to the tips of his cute little ears poking through his thick black hair. "That's um, good. That he, um, has someone."
Yoongi was smiling, he could feel his cheeks straining with the force of it and he was kind of glad Jimin wasn't looking at him right now. "I'm going to kiss you now, Jimin."
Jimin made a soft noise and carefully lifted his head, finally meeting Yoongi's eyes and there was so much affection in them it made him ache. "O-Okay, please do that."
Yoongi was gentle as he cupped Jimin's cheeks between his palms and brought their faces close together. There was a moment where he paused, taking in everything about this man he had come to care for and he flushed with warmth. Jimin closed his eyes, expectingly and Yoongi pressed his lips against those plush plump pink pillows. They kissed softly, sweetly, like they had all the time in the world and nothing else mattered except for the way their mouths fit together. It was innocent, easy, and by the time they pulled apart, they were panting softly, a little overwhelmed about it all.
"I should have done that sooner." Jimin mumbled, his gaze a little dazed as he licked his lips, tasting Yoongi on them.
"We'll just have to make up for it." Yoongi smiled slowly, slyly and Jimin flushed but ducked his head and kissed him again.
They kissed for awhile, gently exploring this new venture in their relationship but it remained innocent. There were children in the room, after all but Jimin cupped Yoongi's neck like he was something precious and nothing else mattered for the time being. Their kisses eventually grew sloppy because of how tired they started to become so they pulled apart reluctantly. The way Jimin flushed was something Yoongi locked away into his memory bank and the way he looked at him, so full of emotion was everything.
They fell asleep together that night, bracketing the two sleeping babies in the large bed. Their hands curled together over Mingyu and Jihoon and Yoongi managed to reach across them and kiss Jimin goodnight. It was sweet, perfect, everything they couldn't have in such a hellish world but were finally gifted with. There was no saying how long it would last but Yoongi had hope. Jimin looked at him with stars in his eyes and it was enough. They'd talk about it, they'd figure it out but for now, Yoongi fell asleep to the soft singing of Jimin's lullaby and the warmth of the man's fingers curled through his own.
The shift between them wasn't anything over dramatic. In fact, for the most part, nothing much changed between the two of them. They still went about their days as normal with the children and doing their jobs. But they always came together at the end of the night, after the children were fast asleep and Yoongi could pull Jimin close to kiss him softly. There was something soft and special about being able to kiss him, about how Jimin made him feel when he kissed him. Yoongi allowed himself this, he allowed himself Jimin because the world had gone to shit and Jimin was one of the few good things left in it.
They never moved passed kissing. Sometimes, things would get a little heated when they found the time to actually be alone together because Kihyun was a saint and didn't mind watching the kids for them. But Jimin never pushed him, never made him feel like he had to do anything. Jimin was warm and understanding. He didn't look at Yoongi like he'd lost his mind when he said he didn't want to have sex. He didn't take it personally and kissed Yoongi like he was precious and that was the end of that.
Jungkook caught onto their relationship sooner than any of the other children but he never said anything directly. Yoongi would catch him watching them sometimes with this look on his face, like he was happy to see Jimin smiling but then that look would morph into a glare when he looked at Yoongi. He was sure the boy was telling him not to hurt Jimin and Yoongi never had any intention.
The days passed, the world turned and life went on. Months passed, people came and went, Yoongi kept his people safe and he held Jimin close to his heart. They had a fruitful summer and planned to have a bountiful fall. Winter was still a few weeks off and the town was hopeful that this one would be easier to handle than the last. Yoongi and Jimin had each other to keep warm, Jihoon and Mingyu still a bundle of joy between them every night and there was nothing more they could ask for.
They were happy and in a world like theirs, happiness was the most they could even dream for.
Even if it couldn't last forever.
The abrupt sound of an explosion was the last thing Jimin would have expected to hear. It startled him awake and he barely had his eyes open when he noticed movement in the room. He didn't hesitate to get to his feet but all it took was a glance for him to see it was Yoongi digging around behind his desk. It was dark in the room, the only light that of the moon shining in through the window and Jimin froze, watching as Yoongi frantically buckled a weapon belt around his waist. There was another sound, something larger, something more terrifying and coldness ran up his spine. He hurried around the room, checking on the children and only Jungkook was waking up, rubbing at his eyes and asking what was going on.
Jimin didn't have a chance to answer before he was grabbed by Yoongi. Jimin's heart stopped in his chest at the look on that beautiful face, covered in shadows. It was the same expression he saw when he first met Yoongi but he knew it was real this time. Yoongi's dark eyes couldn't seem to focus but he was shoving a pistol into Jimin's hands quickly.
"What's going on?" Jimin whispered, hurriedly, his own panic rising as he watched Yoongi flutter about. There was determination set in his expression, in the line of his shoulders but it scared Jimin even more. "Yoongi."
"I don't know." Yoongi grumbled, the words coming out in a rush as he hurried to load up his makeshift crossbow he kept under their bed. The sight of it shocked cold fear through Jimin.
The door burst opened abruptly and Yoongi turned the weapon on the door, only to pause when they saw it was Kihyun. He was panting, out of breath and searched the room frantically before his eyes landed on Yoongi. There was relief there for a moment before he ran to the man and tucked him in close to whisper to him. Jimin couldn't hear what they were whispering harshly and it was then that Lisa woke up too, whining that she was tired and it too early to be up so Jimin ducked down onto the lower bunk bed to shush her.
"I'm going with you!" Kihyun growled, a loud sound in the otherwise quiet room and then there was another sound outside, something unexplainable like a rumble of an earthquake.
Yoongi's mouth twisted up into a snarl but he caught Jimin's eyes and the fight seemed to drain out of him. He grit his teeth and nodded at Kihyun before hurrying to meet Jimin, who stood up and met him halfway. "I'm going to see what's going on. Stay here. Hide, just in case." Yoongi's words were quick and whispered.
"We're under attack." Kihyun explained, ignoring the glare Yoongi sent him. "Take the children and hide. We'll come back as soon as we can."
Under attack. Kihyun didn't say by what but that didn't even matter. The reality of the situation helped Jimin calm down a bit because he now had a job to do, people to protect. He nodded in understanding just as Jungkook climbed down from his bed. He was already moving to gather the small little pistol Baekhyun gave him and Jenni was up as well, collecting her knives. They were well trained now and Jimin wanted to be proud of them but there was too much fear for him to do much more than focus on getting their kids safe.
"Be safe." Jimin mumbled, grabbing Yoongi by the lapels of his jacket and pulling him in for a kiss. It was a little harsh, but Yoongi kissed him back fiercely and then he was pulling away. He and Kihyun rushed out of the room, shutting the door behind them and Jimin was left alone with their children, scared and worried to the point of shaking.
"Hyung?" Jungkook called softly, sounded unsure himself but there was a wrinkle of determination in his brow and Jimin knew what he had to do.
"Grab Mingyu. I'll take Jihoon." Jimin stated, keeping his voice low just in case. They didn't have a lot of options when it came to hiding but there was the closet. It had a door and that was the most they could ask for. Jimin didn't like the idea of being backed into a corner but he trusted Yoongi and Kihyun. He had to. They had weapons to protect themselves just in case but Jimin didn't know what danger was awaiting them. "Jenni, take Lisa. All of you, in the closet, now." His tone held no room for argument and the children understood, moving quickly to do as told.
The commotion didn't wake up Mingyu but Jihoon was awake, blinking his eyes at Jimin when he picked him up. He didn't cry anymore when Yoongi wasn't around but Jimin didn't want to chance it. He whispered to him that he had to be quiet, that they were in danger and Jihoon understood. Mingyu remained asleep when Jungkook picked him up and cradled him and Jimin was relieved by that. The boy was old enough to understood when they were in danger and needed to be quiet but Jimin still didn't want to chance it.
Jenni got to the closet door first and she ushered Lisa in quietly, telling her it was time to be a good girl and be quiet. Jenni shoved one of her knives in Lisa's hand and the girl curled her fingers around it, holding on for dear life. Jungkook followed them quickly, tucking the sleeping Mingyu against his chest carefully and Jimin hurried as well. The closet was a small space, something that had probably once been just an open space in the room but Yoongi had build it. The door was solid and would hold but there wasn't much room for all of them. Jimin settled down on his knees first, holding Jihoon tightly with one hand and the pistol Yoongi gave him in the other. Lisa and Jenni curled together in one corner of the closet and Jungkook and Mingyu in the other. When he shut the door, they were locked in darkness and Lisa whimpered softly.
They were terrified. Jimin could hear it in their heavy breathing. He dropped the pistol in his lap and reached around in the darkness to touch each one of them, softly telling them they would be okay, Yoongi would protect them. It didn't seem to ease their worries but Lisa stopped whimpering softly and Jihoon clung a little tighter to Jimin's chest. The metal of the pistol was cool in his hand but he held it tightly, ready to use it if need be. Jungkook was prepared too and he knew Jenni would be. Lisa was only just starting her training and she preferred guns to knives but all Jenni had was knives to share with her and it was better than nothing. They were trained but they'd never faced an enemy head on and Jimin's throat went tight at the thought.
It was quiet, too quiet, only the sounds of their soft breathing. Jimin's heart pounded in his throat, worry and fear crawling over his skin like tiny little spiders. He wondered about Yoongi, if he would be okay. If they were under attack, what did that even mean? He recalled hearing the explosion that woke him up and there was no way the undead did that. Were they being attacked by other humans? The thought made him sick to his stomach.
Jimin couldn't say how long they spent crouched in the closet before something happened. There was the occasional rumble from outside, and the distant splatter of gun fire but none of it seemed too utterly close to where they were. Which was a relief but also still a concern.
And then footsteps, hurried and thumping. Jimin went tense because they were coming toward them and he wondered if it was Yoongi, or Kihyun, or someone else they knew. He rose his pistol at the door just in case and waited with bated breath.
"Jimin?" A voice called out softly, tentatively and Jimin recognized it immediately. He shoved open the door and sprawled out of the closet, his wide eyes landing on Hoseok immediately. "Jimin!" The man looked panicked but he hurried over to him, taking Jihoon from him so he could get to his feet and Jimin noticed Taehyung grabbing at Jungkook and hugging him tightly.
"What's going on?" Jimin asked, rushed and scared.
Hoseok's face pinched but he tried to smile at the children. "We have to go. We have to leave now."
"W-Where?" Jimin took Jihoon back from him and cradled the boy close to his side.
"Kihyun sent me to collect you. There's an escape plan. Just follow me. There's somewhere safe to go. We've been attacked from the back, where we're the most weak so if we go through the front we should be okay." Hoseok hurried to say as he ran around the room, throwing diapers into a small bag.
"We're leaving? What about Yoongi? What about-"
"I have orders." Hoseok turned to him with a sorrowful look on his face. "The children are the most important, Jimin. Please, come with me. Don't fight me on this."
Jimin nodded quickly, in understanding but his heart throbbed. He hated the idea of leaving Yoongi behind but he had children he needed to protect. Yoongi wasn't alone. He had Kihyun and probably Baekhyun and Chanyeol. He turned to their children and smiled as softly at them as he could manage. "Follow Hoseok. Keep quiet and stay in a group."
They quickly gathered the few things they would need to take care of the children, mainly Mingyu who was still in diapers and then they were gone. They stuck together as much as they could as they escaped the building and Jimin could tell Lisa was doing her best not to cry. Jenni kept an arm around her to keep her close but she was on the verge of tears. Jimin didn't blame her. He felt like crying too but he had to look strong for them.
Chanyeol was outside when they slipped out a back door, waiting for them when one of the SUV's. His smile was forced but he hugged Jimin like they might never see each other again and ushered them all into the vehicle. For a moment, Jimin thought the man would be coming with them but he pushed Hoseok into the driver's seat and offered them a mournful smile. There were no words exchanged, just a soft wave from Chanyeol and then Hoseok was driving them away.
Jimin didn't have much of a chance to see what was going on but when he twisted around in his seat, he could see smoke and the light of flames in the distance, near the center of town and his heart clenched. If Hoseok and Taehyung got out, then there had to be others. There had to be. All those people, all those children. They couldn't be...
"Don't look." Hoseok murmured softly, his voice pinched with emotion and Jimin turned back around in his seat. He felt breathless but they weren't out of the clear yet. The gates were still shut when they approached them and there were only a few guards standing watch tensely. It was obvious they wanted to join the fight but they had to stay and protect the front. They let their SUV through and Jimin noticed they weren't the only car escaping. It was a relief to see other people getting out but Jimin couldn't fathom where they were going. The road was dark, the moon not enough light and Bangtan burned in the rearview mirror.
The farther they drove away, the more the children in the car relaxed. They were all huddled together in the back seat, Taehyung's arms wrapped tightly around Jungkook, who was still holding a sleeping Mingyu. Jenni and Lisa were curled around each other and from the look of it, Lisa was crying softly, her face buried in Jenni's chest as the older girl smoothed her hair. Jihoon remained quiet in Jimin's lap but the more they drove, the more anxious he started to become and Jimin had a feeling that had to do with the fact that Yoongi wasn't with them. He was anxious about it too.
"Where are we going?" Jimin finally spoke up just as the world around them started to turn to light, the sun barely rising.
Hoseok's face was a mixture of relief and anxiousness, a pinched expression that didn't match his usually sunny demeanor. "Yoongi had a plan. A back up plan. He always wanted to keep the town safe but he wasn't delusional. He knew things could happen. He knew people would want to hurt us." He swallowed hard, like he was struggling with his words. "He kept that plan between me, Kihyun and Baekhyun. My job has always been to get you and the kids out if anything were to happen. Baekhyun takes care of the other children, as many as he can and Kihyun... well, he says by Yoongi's side."
Jimin winced and dropped his eyes to Jihoon, who was watching the scenery pass them by with a pout on his lips. "And what is this plan exactly?"
"Yifan's men found something in your bunker. A map. Of all the bunkers in the entire country." Hoseok swallowed again, his fingers tigthening around the wheel. "Yoongi had recon explore them and they found some families. Some alive and some.... not. And they found some empty. Those bunkers have been reassigned. That's where we're going. Where we should meet up with Yoongi, Kihyun, Baekhyun, Chanyeol and recon. That's the plan."
"Why didn't he tell me about this?"
"He didn't want you to worry, I think. Things have been good." Hoseok smiled fondly. "Yoongi's always had back up plans. He always considers the worst outcome and figures out a way to deal with it. None of us expected this to happen but..."
"Was it... people?" Jimin questioned, hesitantly.
Hoseok sighed and rubbbed a hand against his face. "They blew a hole in the back wall, letting in a horde." Jimin immediately went tense. "It was... horrible. Taehyung and I barely made it out." The boy made a soft whimpering noise in the back and Jungkook shushed him gently.
"Shit." Jimin hissed, hugging Jihoon a bit tighter.
"I don't know what's going to happen." Hoseok admitted, looking worn and much older than he actually was. "But we go to the bunker and wait. That's all we can do right now."
Jimin had no choice but to agree. He thought, maybe, they would go to the bunker Jimin and his children once called home but no. Hoseok drove much farther then that, taking random roads that didn't seem to make much sense but it was obvious the man knew where he was going. He explained that there was a route Yoongi kept updated. A route the recon took because it was safe. They kept track of the hordes and other groups of people so they had safe zones. The bunker Yoongi assigned them was in a safe zone.
Like Jimin's bunker, this one was in the middle of no where. It was in a forest, instead of a field which made Jimin's skin prickle but it was harder to find that way. Forest spelled danger to Jimin but Hoseok assured him they were relatively safe, just keep their eyes open. The children were still terrified but remained quiet and close to the adults. The bunker was deep in the forest, in the thick of it but they managed to find it. It was exactly like the one Jimin's family had but the code was different. Hoseok knew it, however and the children relaxed as soon as they were inside. It was bigger than the one Jimin had before. There were four bedrooms, including the living area, bath area and kitchen. It was still fully stocked, like it had never been used and though the air was musky, Jimin knew what to do to fix that.
Finally feeling safe, the children seemed to relax. Hoseok took them all into one of the bedrooms to rest and when he came back, he was alone. Jihoon refused to leave Jimin's side and so the man had no choice but to hold the boy as he went about the bunker setting everything up. There were air hatches to open, energy reserves to adjust and a water reserve to check. Luckily, everything was set perfectly fine and Jimin noticed how much nicer this bunker was than his old one. It must have been made for some rich family, or some important family. Maybe someone in the government but Jimin didn't feel bad staking claim on it. It'd been years, if no one found it by then, no one knew it existed anymore.
For the first couple hours, Jimin made himself busy by running around the bunker with Jihoon in his arms, adjusting and checking everything to make sure they would be alright. But he evetually ran out of things to do and had no choice but to collapse on one of the couches with Jihoon. Hoseok had curled up on one of the large beds with Taehyung and Jungkook and was getting some well deserved rest. They could only wait, there was nothing more they could do.
Waiting made Jimin anxious. It made him worry and left him alone with his thoughts. Jihoon refused to close his eyes for longer than the time it took to blink but Jimin could tell the boy was exhausted. Jimin shared that with him, the exhaustion and the fear of closing his eyes. He was afraid of what he would find when he opened them again. So he relaxed back on the couch with Jihoon on his chest and sang to him, softly, gently, with emotion in his tone that made Jihoon start to cry softly against his collar.
Hours passed like that. Eventually, the children woke up and Hoseok made some food for them. Jimin couldn't eat, too anxious and worried, his stomach bubbling sourly and Jihoon refused to eat as well. The others were able to eat but there was still the tenseness in the air like no one had forgotten what was going on. Jimin was glad Jungkook had Taehyung. Taehyung smiled softly and kept speaking to him, keeping him occupied and it was good. Jenni and Lisa had one another and Hoseok took care of Mingyu until the boy cried for Jihoon. Jimin ended up with a lap full of the two youngest but he didn't mind. Their warmth and weight was a constant reminder that he was not alone.
It was a full day before something happened.
Lisa and Jenni were in the bedroom Jimin had claimed as theirs, Jungkook and Taehyung were on the floor of the living room sharing a book they found in one of the other rooms, Mingyu was sleeping peacefully in Hoseok's arms and Jihoon was fighting sleep in Jimin's lap. Jimin was starting to panic, having to hold onto Jihoon to keep himself grounded. It had been much too long for no one else to show up. It made him concerned, made him wonder if anyone else got out. Made him wonder if Yoongi...
The beeping from the door made everyone in the room freeze in what they were doing and then there was the whoosh of a door opening and Jimin scrambled to his feet. He skidded to a halt at the end of the entrance hallway and let out a soft sigh of relief. Baekhyun and Chanyeol were standing there, the taller cradling a small baby in his arms and Baekhyun had another child clinging to his legs, maybe three or so, looking like Jihoon's age. He recognized them as two of the children that joined them recently, brothers found on a recon trip and brought back by Yifan's men.
"Oh thank goodness you're okay." Baekhyun sighed out when he spotted Jimin.
"The others?" Jimin stammered to say, his heart leaping in his throat.
Chanyeol and Baekhyun glanced at one another, like they were discussing something silently and Jimin's knees buckled. "We don't know. Yoongi told us to take what we could and run." Baekhyun answered, carefully.
"So you saw him? You talked to him?"
"You must be tired." Hoseok spoke up, offering the couple a soft smile and motioning for them to enter the bunker fully. Jimin moved out of the way, clutching Jihoon to him tighter and realized the boy was crying softly so he tried to calm him down, rubbing his hair and whispering to him that it would be okay.
Chanyeol introduced the children with them as Jongin and Jongdae, Jongdae being the older one who looked terrified of anyone who even looked at him. He stuck to Baekhyun like glue and Jimin didn't blame the kid. They managed to settle down on one of the couches and Baekhyun left with Jongdae so he could change out of his blood stained clothes. Just seeing those stains made Jimin want to throw up and if Yoongi told Baekhyun and Chanyeol to run, their best fighters, then it was bad.
Again, all they could do was wait. Hoseok made the couple some food and Lisa became fascinated with Jongin, who smiled and giggled at her every time she spoke to him. Jongdae remained stuck to Baekhyun's side but when the man sat down with Chanyeol, he seemed okay with letting the taller man pet his hair softly. Jimin couldn't imagine what those kids saw so he was glad they had the couple but all he could think about was Yoongi. Where was Yoongi? When was he coming? He couldn't ask anything with the kids around and it didn't seem like Baekhyun or Chanyeol had answers for him anyway.
They lost the town, that much was obvious. Jimin could only pray they didn't lose Yoongi in the process.
It took another day before the door opened again. Jimin had been worrying himself sick and Jihoon was only sleeping fitfully. He was the first one on his feet, rushing too the door with Jihoon in his arms again. No one stopped him, no one joined him. They were just as afraid as him at what he would find on the other side of that door.
At first, Jimin didn't recognize the men who entered, shooting a spike of fear up his spine but then he spotted Yifan's tall ass blond head and he sighed in relief. It was recon. They looked tired, worse for wear and stank of blood. His throat went tight and he motioned for them to enter the bunker. They smiled in relief at him and as they passed him, he heard Baekhyun shout in relief, gathering a few of them up in tight hugs.
Kihyun was at the back of the group and Jimin's heart fell into his stomach. He pushed passed Yifan, barely noticing the sad glance the man gave him and he hurried to Kihyun who remained outside the door, in the small room with the ladder, another man at his side. It took Jimin a moment to recognize the shorter man as Changkyun, the man Yoongi told him was Kihyun's lover. He had an arm around Kihyun's shoulders and his face was tense, a bit of dried blood stuck to his exposed neck but all Jimin cared about was Kihyun. His shoulders were dropped, his head hanging between them and a violent bubble of sick surched up Jimin's throat.
"K-Kihyun!" Jimin called, sounding frantic as he hurried to the man.
Kihyun flinched at his name and Jimin watched in slight horror as Kihyun abruptly dropped to his knees, covering his face with his hands. Changkyun dropped down with him, worry written all over his face and he rubbed his lover's back soothingly but it didn't seem Kihyun even noticed he was there. It took a second of staring in horror for Jimin to realize Kihyun was sobbing. It was a silent kind of sobbing, but his entire body was shaking from the force and Jimin didn't notice his knees buckle until it was too late. He collapsed to the floor, holding onto Jihoon tightly and he let out a gasp when his knees connected with the concrete painfully.
"I-I'm so s-sorry." Kihyun's voice was a harsh grate against his vocal cords and he sounded like he had been crying for a while.
Jimin's heart sunk to the floor, against the cold concrete and he reached forward, grabbing one of Kihyun's hands. Tears burst into his own eyes but didn't fall yet, his entire body in too much shock to do anything else. Kihyun flinched when their fingers touched but he didn't fight Jimin from curling their hands together.
"I was supposed to p-protect him." Kihyun's voice burst, breaking right then and there and Changkyun whispered to him that it wasn't his fault, tugging him closer to his side and nuzzled into his hair.
"H-He's..." Jimin's throat tightened so much that it hurt and he found it impossible to breath. It was like he was suddenly breathing through a straw but he had to know. "H-He's g-gone, isn't h-he?"
"I'm so sorry!" Kihyun broke down again, this time his sobs louder and he hugged himself tightly, tipping over and if Changkyun hadn't caught him, he would have connected with the floor. Changkyun offered Jimin a sorrowful glance as he wrapped his arms around Kihyun and let the man sob into his lap.
For a moment, all Jimin could do was stare. He watched the way Kihyun's body heaved with his sobs and then his vision went blurry. He realized, belatedly, that he was crying. His throat was burning, his chest constricted and he was sobbing, his lips parting to let out noises he couldn't control. Jihoon whipped his head up at Jimin at the sound, his little face crunching up in concern.
"A-Appa?" Jihoon mumbled softly, his fingers tightening their grip in Jimin's shirt and his eyes went wide, watching as Jimin broke right in front of him. "W-Where's appa?"
That was all it took, really. Jimin broke then. He gathered a screaming Jihoon in his arms, squeezed him tightly and sobbed, his heart shattered on the dirty concrete floor. He would learn later that Jungkook had joined them, dropping down beside Jimin and hugging him as much as his little arms could manage, crying softly into his shoulder. He would learn later that Hoseok dragged Taehyung away from them to let them cry in peace. He would learn later that Lisa broke down into wrecking sobs when Hoseok tried to explain to her what was going on and Jenni held her tightly, fighting back her own tears but they eventually fell until Hoseok gathered them both in his arms, hugging them tightly as he fought his own tears.
Jihoon screamed and cried and sobbed in Jimin's arms, begging for someone who would never come. It broke Jimin's heart, it ruined him and the only ounce of comfort he managed to find was when Kihyun finally gathered himself enough to collapse on Jimin and hug him tightly. They cried together, mourning someone who meant the world to them but eventually, after what felt like an eternity, they got back on their feet.
Jimin would later learn that Yoongi had been bitten, while trying to save a few children. Kihyun had watched the entire thing and when Yoongi shoved him, demanded he run, Kihyun fought him. Recon showed up then and Kihyun was forcibly dragged away by Changkyun. Kihyun didn't know what happened after that but he said it was safe to assume Yoongi handled the situation himself. It was painful to think about but it was better than Yoongi stumbling around as an undead. They lost the town and many, many lives. But Jimin lost the man he loved, his children lost a parent and Kihyun, and many others, lost a good friend.
Jimin would never be the same. Jimin would never recover. But he had children to take care of and so, he had to move forward, for them. For the children he shared with a man he came to love deeply, passionately, desperately.
There was nothing else he could do.