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In the Dark Places, a Blue Flower

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It’s 6:15pm on a Thursday in the beginning of June and senior Park Jimin is still in the school’s dance studio, fogging up the mirror as he twirls for the millionth time. He’s been practicing for the past three hours--the first two hours with some other members of the school’s dance club and this last one by himself.

“You’re sure you don’t want to go out with us for dinner? We’re going to Port’s--they have good salads for your diet,” the club’s vice president asked him, just his head poking through the door frame. It had been a brutal two hours of dance practice and everyone was more than ready to hit the road.

Everyone except Jimin. “Yeah, you guys go on. I’ll see you tomorrow,” he said, smiling brightly despite the beads of sweat that were starting to form and drip from his temples.

“Alright, see you,” the vice-president said with a wave. He vanished from the door frame for a moment, but he came back almost at once, his voice proceeding the reappearance. “Wait, you’re coming to the party tomorrow, right?”

“Absolutely,” Jimin said at once, cracking another smile. He would never miss a party. He couldn’t get away with it even if he wanted to--he was too popular.

“Do you know what time it starts?” the vice-president asked. He was only a sophomore and he hadn’t been to too many school parties yet.

“Uhhhh,” Jimin rubbed a hand back through his hair and, realizing how sweaty he actually was for the first time, he made a little face and dabbed the sweat from his forehead and temples with the back of his hand as he thought. “Maybe ten o’clock?” he offered after a moment. “I don’t know; I usually show up to these things around 10. They can go until 2, maybe?”

“Cool, thanks hyung!” the younger boy said. He tapped the door frame with his fist one time in a gesture of thanks before heading out for real.

Left alone in front of the mirror, Jimin had only taken a moment’s rest to sip some water before getting back into it. Dancing was his one true love--he never felt more at peace or more right in the world than when he was deep in a dance routine--fully engaged in that flow state. He enjoyed being president of the school’s dance club. It was a great opportunity to pass on some of his knowledge to the younger students, it boosted his community service hours, and it gave him a chance to show off a little bit, too, which was a guilty pleasure of his. But most importantly, being in charge of the club gave him free access to a dance studio. He had been given the key to the room after being elected president last year and ever since then he spent every free period and a few hours after club meetings alone in his happy place. It was his personal paradise.

Sure, he was popular--who wouldn’t like the friendly, engaging, soft-spoken dance god among them? At first, he might rub people the wrong way by being too lovely or too talented. Some people could get jealous. But after a few moments with him, most people would soften at the genuine smile of his eyes or the playful curve of his lips.

If he had one flaw other than the propensity to overwork his own body, it was that he was a terrible flirt. He could flirt with anyone on the face of the earth--be it a guy or a girl--and come across as sincerely interested in them. Most everyone in the upper grades had come to the consensus that he was bisexual, but that hadn’t lessened his overall appeal to the school body one bit. In fact, it probably added to his popularity because no one felt completely out of reach when it came to the charming attention of Park Jimin.

And yet, no one had managed to capture his heart thus far. His romantic reputation far exceeded the reality of his encounters. Most of his experiences began with some flirtation and ended with a sexy dance and a make-out session at a school party. He tended to go home alone and wake up early to get back to the dance studio before class began again the next day.

Dah--Ding!

At the noise, Jimin pauses mid-twirl and glances back at his book-bag, lying discarded against the back wall. He had preset that specific text tone for Kim Taehyung--the newest object of his flirtation and perhaps his most serious crush all year. The boy is completely unique and quirky--totally different from everyone else that Jimin talks to and he finds the oddity extremely charming.

I’m pretty much done for today anyway. It’s gotta be almost 7 by now, Jimin thinks. He always has to rationalize with himself in order to stop dancing. He’s hungry and he’s sweaty, his muscles are tired and he’ll be sore tomorrow, but in the end it’s the desire to read Taheyung’s text that pulls Jimin away from his place at the dance mirror. He crosses the room in half a dozen steps and wearily droops into a squat in front of his bag. Reaching inside, Jimin feels around for his phone. He finds it all the way at the bottom and by the time he pulls it out and unlocks the screen, his stomach is audibly rumbling. A salad may not cut it today.

The text reads: “Wanna have dinner? I’m starving but I was waiting to hear from you ;P “

Jimin smirks at the screen. He’s hungry too and he’d love to eat with the other boy, but he texts back, “Can’t. I’m with some people right now, don’t know when I’ll be free. Ugh. See you at Yoongi-hyung’s party tomorrow?”

He sighs inwardly and gets up to leave, slinging his backpack over his shoulder. He might be interested in Taehyung, but he can’t jump into anything right now. What’s most important to Jimin at the moment is practicing his solo audition routine for the Dance department try-outs at the Performing Arts College next month. He can’t let anything get in the way of that. And getting involved with Taehyung could easily get in the way if Jimin allowed it to. For the first time in a long time, Taehyung is someone that he can seriously see himself being with--not just a fun fling.

Bing!

Dah--Ding!

Stepping outside of the studio at last, Jimin locks the door behind him and pockets the key before checking his phone again. There are two text messages and half a dozen other notifications from various social media platforms. The text from Taehyung draws his attention first, of course.

“Obviously. If you’re there, I’m there,” it reads.

A happy little flutter sweeps through Jimin’s insides and he smiles to himself. He’s so enamored with Taehyung’s simple words that he almost forgets to read the other message. It’s from an unknown number, which isn’t unusual considering Jimin’s level of popularity. New people are trying to get in contact with him all the time.

“I’ll see you at the party tomorrow,” it says, just like all of the other messages he’s been receiving all day long. But the end makes Jimin take pause. "Wear the black shirt that you wore last Tuesday. You look good in that.“

What the hell? His brow furrows in some confusion but he simply deletes the message and exits the school building. Must be some girl, he thinks flippantly, tucking his phone back into his pants pocket and heading home at last.


 

In an apartment on the east side of the city, junior Jeon Jungkook is sitting alone on a balcony, watching the sun set. It’s a run down balcony, not the type that you might find in the movies. The metal railing was once coated in a thick layer of white paint that has since chipped away or rusted in most places, leaving a dirty, molted looking appearance behind. The balcony’s floor is nothing more than a cement block--a long, thin crack running along the left side of it. But it’s stable enough to hold, so he sits there most nights and watches the sun slowly sink beneath the cityscape.

He’s tall for his age. His long, thick legs seem to splay across the entire balcony as he slouches low into the porch chair. He is a good looking young man, too. But despite his promising physical qualities, Jungkook has never been able to fit in at school. He’s quiet--mostly--but when he does speak up he tends to come across as insincere, or worse yet: aggressive. He’s terrible at expressing his emotions, so he has always found it difficult to make friends or join new circles.

And the problems didn’t end at school, either. Jungkook’s home life had never been peaceful--mostly because his father hit like a truck and his mother’s only shield was a rigid grip on the Bible.

“You don’t seriously think you’re leaving the house like that, do you?” his father snapped one day a few years back when Jungkook was on his way out the door, heading to school. The boy was wearing a black hoodie and tight black jeans. “Do you want people to think that your parents raised a suicidal fucking pansy!?” A slap on the side of the head and Jungkook was back in his room changing into quote-un-quote normal teenage boy clothes.

It was always like that--harsh words, harsh rules, and harsh punishments--until one day Jungkook decided that enough was enough. He spent his mid-teen years stewing in a dark, sweaty gym at the edge of town, training his body tirelessly with a plethora of gruff, manly men until he was finally too big to get hit by his father anymore. And as soon as he could work out the details, Jungkook moved out. He thought things would get better once he was away from his family, but that wasn’t the case. Even now, a year later, he hasn’t made any new friends and his family rarely reaches out to him. They’d certainly never come to him crying out apologies like he had fantasized about in the past.

And so, alone and darker than ever, Jungkook watches the sun set every day after he finishes his school work. He’s seventeen and a small part of him knows that he should be making friends at school and going out on dates to coffee shops in the cute parts of town, not lurking around in the crappy neighborhoods by himself. He likes working out, though. He likes being tough. He’s even gotten used to being an outsider--as hard as it is sometimes.

But the main problem that gets in the way of Jungkook being able to live the life his parents want for him is that he doesn’t like girls.

Not that he’s gay…per say. Although the thought had crossed his mind. But being a pansy is the last thing that Jungkook wants to be, so--no--he wouldn’t say that he’s gay.

He just doesn’t like anyone.

And he especially doesn’t like Park Jimin.

If anyone was ever a pansy, it was him. The guy had pink hair for god’s sake! He was president of the dance club, he flirted with anything that moved, and he was absolutely shameless about it.

When Jungkook was a freshman, Jimin was a sophomore and he was already popular with the upperclassman. At first, Jungkook had been intrigued by him. How could someone so atypical, so remarkable in every way, possibly fit in? Jungkook himself had been constantly berated by his parents for being even one degree off of the norm. And yet, here was this flamboyant, pink haired, pixie boy smiling at everyone he met and being sought after from all sides like it was nobody’s business.

Once, in that first year when they were in the same school, Jungkook had tried to reach out to Jimin. He had had a particularly bad week at home and he just wanted someone to talk to. As stupid as it was in retrospect, everyone else seemed to have an easy time talking to Park Jimin so Jungkook thought that it was worth a shot. He followed the older boy to the dance studio one day after school and found himself in the midst of ten or so other dancers. None of them were as bubbly or charming as Jimin, but they were all a little much for Jungkook’s taste. His plain clothes and straight face stuck out like a sore thumb and before he could say even one word to club’s president, everyone was staring at him.

“Uhhh,” Jimin had said, sensing the odd vibes in the room before he noticed the source of them. He looked around at the members of his club before finally seeming to notice Jungkook. “Hi,” he said simply, eyeing Jungkook like a fish out of water. “Are you here for dance club?”

The way he had said it--something in the tone of his voice or maybe the way that he looked at him--rubbed Jungkook the wrong way.

“Hell no,” the younger boy shot back, making a face. Dance club was the last thing he would ever join. His father had always made it abundantly clear that dancing was for women and faggots.

Jungkook remembers how Jimin’s puffy lips parted in surprise at his tone, how his eyes widened ever so slightly as he inhaled, how he said so softly, “Oh. Well, then…what can I--”

Jungkook remembers how his pulse started rising too fast and how he felt his own face getting red. He remembers that jolt of anger in his gut. “Forget it!” he huffed, turning away and leaving without another word.

That was the last time he tried to talk to Jimin face-to-face. But as infuriating as this was, Jungkook couldn’t get the older boy out of his head. Even now, almost two years later, he still finds his mind’s eye picturing the dancer’s face when he sits out here alone with the sunset.

And he hates it.

Sometimes, when he gets extremely lonely or down, he’ll shoot Jimin a quick text. The older boy’s number was easy to get considering his popularity. It started out with little things, like, “Hey,” or “What’s up.” Random texts. Jungkook never bothers to include his name--Jimin probably wouldn’t recognize the name anyway. But still, the fact that Jimin almost never answers him pisses Jungkook off.

Once and only once did Jimin actually text back. Three months ago, Jungkook was horny and lonely and completely miserable. The fact that Jimin’s was the only face he could see when he closed his eyes and tried to jerk off made him feel nothing but disgust for himself. And yet, the hormones seemed to win out. Overcome with arousal, Jungkook texted Jimin without thinking:

“I wish you were here right now. I want to see your pretty face.”

As soon as he hit send, Jungkook was consumed with self-hatred. He scowled at the shameful words he had typed and threw his phone across the room, burring his head in a pillow. What the fuck is wrong with you? he scolded himself. You're sick!

Shockingly, the phone didn’t break and less than a minute later Jungkook heard a ping!

As if he heard a ghost, Jungkook sat up straight in bed and dared a glance at the discarded cellphone. It hadn’t been his imagination after all. Jimin actually replied to his message! He could have fainted. He imagined the disgust Jimin must have felt at receiving a text like that. His cheeks burned with embarrassment even though he was all alone in the room. After about five minutes or so, Jungkook finally found the courage to see what it said. He was trembling as he crossed the room to retrieve his phone, certain that he was about to get cussed out via SMS for being a perv.

Instead, he saw a selfie from Jimin staring back at him.

Jungkook’s jaw dropped. The older boy was in a dim setting--perhaps his bedroom or a dimly light restaurant--gazing intently into the camera, his eyes half-lidded in a lusty stare and his perfect lips parted just a hair.

Jungkook couldn’t help it. He shut off his brain and stuck his hand down the front of his pants.

But as soon as his orgasm subsided, the selfie on the screen became repulsive. What a fucking slut, he thought in disbelief, scowling at Jimin’s sexy, unmoving face staring back at him. He texted that without even knowing who it was going to! All at once, Jungkook felt filthy, like he had been led on by the biggest playboy on the planet and was left sticky and alone.

Ever since then, when Jungkook sees Jimin in the hallways at school, he feels sick. He feels wronged by this bubbly little pansy who has everything. He feels angry that Jimin smiles at everyone except him. How many other people are stewing in their own juices, enamored with such a slutty little minx as Park Jimin? It's unfair.

But even now, sitting on his balcony like always, Jungkook still can’t help but wish that things were different. He still sees Jimin’s face when he closes his eyes. He still has that selfie on his phone. And tomorrow, he’s going to see Jimin for real at Yoongi’s party. Jungkook is definitely not the type to attend big social gatherings. He’s never been to a high school party before, but tomorrow will be the perfect opportunity, he thinks. Tomorrow, he’s finally going to act.

Tomorrow, Jimin finally gets what’s coming to him.

Chapter Text

Before Jungkook is even inside of the house where the party is, he can already tell that this is going to be something he absolutely hates.

Every spring at the beginning of June, the student body president traditionally throws a house party to celebrate the end of the school year. It’s mostly a party for seniors but some popular or brave underclassman manage to get in as well. This year, senior class president Min Yoongi is responsible for the gathering. Jungkook doesn’t know much about him other than the fact that he likes to get a little wild. And so, not surprisingly, by the time Jungkook makes his way into the party around 11:15pm, most everyone there is halfway to being smacked out of their right mind.

He slips unnoticed into the throng of people milling about in the front hall. It’s dark in the house--only a few lights are on--and the music is so loud that the walls reverberate with it. Jungkook scans the crowd as he walks, keeping his eyes peeled for Jimin. Instead, he finds himself lost in a crowd of familiar strangers. These people walk with him in the halls, some of the them are in his classes, and yet he doubts that any of them really know him. A few girls pause in their talking and take notice of him as he slips past, their tipsy, dilated eyes roaming over him without even a hint of shyness, but he ignores them and keeps pushing through.

Things start to open up a bit more as he makes his way further into the house. There is more room to walk now and the tone of the music has taken on a different quality in this larger space. Students are lounging on couches and plushie chairs, trying to talk over the music, holding red cups, and nodding along to the beat that permeates everything. There’s got to be four dozen people in this living room, but still--no Jimin.

He has to be here, Jungkook thinks.

So he moves on to the next room which is even more crowded than the one before. It’s packed with people dancing and drinking. There’s a girl three feet in front of him, twerking her ass on some guy’s crotch like the star whore from a cheap porno. Jimin is probably here somewhere doing the same thing, he thinks with a twinge of something like malice. But when he pictures the image in his mind’s eye, he feels a rush of heat instead. His dark eyes scan hungrily through the crowd--searching for that pop of pink hair, ready to find him grinding on some other guy, someone else’s tongue in his mouth--but still, Jimin is nowhere to be found.

Suddenly, Jungkook catches the smell of strong weed burning from somewhere off to his left and it makes his nose wrinkle. Jungkook doesn’t drink. He doesn’t do drugs. He doesn’t dance, and he definitely doesn’t do house parties. He feels so uncomfortable for a second that he almost decides to turn around and forget this whole stupid thing. He can’t find Jimin and he doesn’t want to be here for any other reason.

Fuck this, he thinks, scowling to himself. He turns to leave but a little tug on his bicep makes him turn back.

“Hi!” It’s a pretty girl in a tight, baby pink dress. Jungkook blinks at her, mildly annoyed and a little confused as to why she’s grabbing his arm. He says nothing, so she goes on, “I feel like I recognize you! You look so familiar!” Even though she has to shout over the music, her high pitched voice still sounds weak to his ears. “Are you in fifth period World History?”

“Yeah,” he replies with a nod, not really looking at her anymore. He doesn’t bother to raise his voice, either.

“Yeah?!” she shouts back, “Geez, sorry, it’s so hard to hear in here.” He just shrugs, his eyes scanning the crowd over her head again. “Do you want a drink or something?!” she asks, and he feels her fingers curling softly in his shirt sleeve. “There’s really good vodka punch!”

“Nah,” he shakes his head. “I’m leaving.”

“What?! Why?!” she gasps, taking another step closer to him. The material of her low cut dress brushes against the bare skin of his forearm and he glances down at her again. From this angle, he can see straight down the front of her body. If it weren’t so dark in the house, he could probably see her belly button in the gap between her small tits. He’s not interested. With a weak jolt, he pulls his arm from her grasp and starts back toward the door.

But then--

Fuck, “Hey,” he grimaces and turns back around. “Have you seen a guy with pink hair?”

To the girl’s credit, even shit faced, she can change gears fast enough. “You’re looking for Park Jimin?”

Jungkook frowns at the idea of even being associated with asking for the whereabouts of someone like Jimin, but he needs to find him--that’s the one and only reason he’s here right now--so he swallows his pride and nods, looking anything but friendly.

For the first time, something in the girl’s eyes seem to register that Jungkook is not someone she should be engaging with. A little wrinkle appears between her brows and she takes a half step away from him, saying, “I don’t know. I haven’t seen him in awhile. I think he went upstairs.” Then, with a half-hearted shrug, she scurries back to her friends in the dance crowd.

Upstairs? A little red light ignites in the back of Jungkook’s mind. He doesn’t know much about parties, but he’s seen a few movies and can formulate a guess of what ‘upstairs’ means. I should have guessed, he thinks angrily, making a b-line for the stairs.


 

When Jimin arrived at the party around 10pm, Taehyung was already waiting for him on the front stoop.

“You didn’t have to wait for me to go in,” Jimin laughed. He meant to sound kind of cool as he said it, but he couldn’t contain his happy smile so the words came out sounding cute and bashful instead.

Taehyung liked it. “I wanted to,” he said, rising from his seat on the porch steps. He tossed his long arm over Jimin’s shoulders and pulled him along as he started inside.

The thrumming of the base was all too familiar in Jimin’s ears, in his body. As soon as they were inside of the house, the music already had his middle finger tapping in rhythm on the side of his thigh. Taehyung, too, was a music student, and although he wasn’t a member of the dance club, his first chair spot in the saxophone section of the high school band proved that he had enough rhythm and musical talent to hang with someone like Jimin--at least for a little while. “Do you want to dance?” Taehyung asked. He had to bend his neck down to speak in Jimin’s ear.

“Uhhhh,” Jimin stalled as he thought, looking around. He hoped to find Yoongi so he could have an excuse to go say hello. Either that or some refreshments. “Let’s get a drink first,” he said at last, gently shrugging Taehyung’s arm off of him.

People who danced with Jimin had a tendency to fall in love with him and he was not quite ready for that yet. He had a big audition to focus on and he wanted to keep things light with Taehyung until then. Maybe after, though…Jimin nibbled on his lip, excited and nervous at the thought. He might have really found someone this time.

The pair weaved their way through the growing crowd of students until they found the table with drinks and snacks. There was a massive bowl of vodka punch, which Jimin insisted they try.

“How’s your routine coming alone, Jimin-hyung?” someone said, nudging Jimin from behind as they passed by. He swiveled his neck to catch sight of them and gave a thumbs up, saying nothing.

“Are all of the young guys in the dance club obsessed with you?” Taehyung smirked down at him when Jimin turned his head back around to focus on pouring a drink. Thanks to the blarring music, the younger student was already far from earshot.

“No,” Jimin mused,“he was just being friendly.”

“Sure~,” Taehyung drawled sarcastically.

“No, really! That’s just friendly--asking about my audition. It’s a big deal,” Jimin explained, growing a little defensive. He’d mentioned the upcoming audition to Taehyung a few times already in texts or prior conversations.

“I know, I know,” Taehyung said quickly. He laid an apologetic hand on Jimin’s upper arm. “I’m not knocking your audition. I’m just saying, I’d bet any money that half of the dance club is crushing on you.”

The thought was flattering, so Jimin let the playful little smile grow on his lips as he handed Taehyung the drink that he poured for him. “Oh yeah?”

“Sure, why not? You’re…” Taehyung searched for the words, caught in Jimin’s gaze as he did so. At last, he managed to get out, “…a nice guy.” Jimin snorted out a short laugh, both of them certain that Taehyung wanted to say a dozen other things but was trying to be reserved. This was still new.

A few minutes later, drinks in hand, the boys made their way to a comfortable spot on a couch where they could mingle with others. Jimin was constantly being greeted from all sides and Taehyung waited patiently beside him, drinking from his red cup all the while. By the time everyone had said their basic hello’s and the small talk was dying down enough for Taehyung to get a word in edgewise, he had already gone back to the refreshment table to refill their cups twice.

“You can drink a lot for a small guy,” Taehyung teased when at last Jimin had been left alone long enough to notice him.

“I’m not small,” Jimin shot back seriously, although he was still smiling. He elbowed Taehyung in the ribs for good measure and took another swig of the punch. Taehyung had made this one even stronger than the first two and they were both really feeling it by then. “Call me small again, I dare you.”

“Whoops,” Taehyung laughed, throwing his hands up near his shoulders as if to surrender. He made a funny face of apology and had Jimin laughing again in a second.

The way that Jimin looked when he was happy--when he was actually enjoying himself and not just smiling because that was his default face--that was what Taehyung loved. That genuine glint of unabashed pleasure in his eyes. The relaxed look of amusement that made his eyes squint almost closed in laughter. Taehyung was mad for it.

“Let’s dance now,” he said suddenly, leaning closer so that he could feel the brush of Jimin’s side body against his own.

The look on Jimin’s face changed ever so slightly, although Taehyung couldn’t understand why. “Uhhhh, I think I need another drink,” Jimin fibbed, rolling his wrist to demonstrate how empty the cup had become. He still wasn’t sure if dancing with Taehyung was the right move. If this was just a flirty, fun thing with no seriousness, Jimin wouldn’t think twice about it. But he wanted to keep Taehyung steadily interested without getting impatient for more until after the audition next month. A slow build would be better for the long run, he thought.

Suddenly, the class president was hanging over the couch and pulling Jimin into a near headlock, saying, “Jimin! There you are. They said you were here.” Taehyung had to lean back to avoid getting elbowed in the face as Yoongi thrashed Jimin around in some sort of wild embrace. “Why the fuck didn’t you come say hello?”

“Sorry, hyung,” Jimin laughed, back to his default smile. He grabbed one of the arms that was wrapped around his neck and pulled it off so that he could turn his head enough to look at the class president. As expected, Yoongi’s already heavily lidded eyes were slitted and relaxed, his pupils dilated. “How high are you?” Jimin asked with a chuckle. The pair had been close back in middle school, so although they didn’t run in the same circles now, Jimin felt comfortable enough to tease him.

“Tch. Not high enough,” Yoongi said. He released Jimin’s neck and dug something out of his jacket pocket, bringing it forward in a grand gesture. When Taehyung saw it, he bucked up at once.

“Oh, yes!” It was a fat joint, rolled to perfection and looking absolutely delectable.

“You want?” Yoongi smirked, producing a lighter from his other hand. “Light up, boys.” He turned the jay with a deft motion of his fingers, angling it toward Taehyung’s mouth. The younger boy took it between his lips and let Yoongi light it for him. A moment later, a small cloud of pungent smoke made the space between them hazy. “Jiminnie?”

But Jimin wasn’t sure. He had only smoked weed once or twice before and he was pretty tipsy at the moment--boarder-line drunk. In his hesitance, Taehyung spoke for him,

“Here, I’ll help you,” he took another hit from the joint, this one bigger than the first, and took hold of Jimin’s face, drawing him in as if for a kiss. Jimin knew what to do--he’d been to enough parties--he just wasn’t sure if he wanted to do it. But regardless, he wanted to offend Taehyung even less.

Shit, whatever, he thought, pursing his lips and reluctantly inhaling as Taehyung exhaled into his mouth.

“Shit boys, fuck!” Yoongi cried, clearly amused. “Hot. Very hot. Go get a room--get off my fucking couch with that shit.”

Jimin looked down, trying not to blush as the weed started to go to his head. This is the opposite of the plan, he thought. He wondered if Yoongi was serious--he sincerely hoped that he wasn’t--but when he looked up again, his vision starting to swim slightly, the class president had already changed topics.

“Shit, son, you smoke a lot?” He was talking to Taehyung, who was still making love to the jay. “We should cyph sometime. Without all this shit,” he went on, waving his hand around as if to indicate that the entire party was not to his liking.

“Sure,” Taehyung said as he exhaled another cloud of creamy smoke, this time through his nose. “I’m down whenever!”

Yoongi reached for the joint again. “Alright, sweet.” And then, directing his attention back to Jimin, “Come on, hit this again. Don’t be a pussy.” Jimin felt a little shaky but he didn’t know how to say no. He gingerly took the joint from Yoongi’s pale fingers and took one more pull before quickly giving it back. “That’s good bud, yeah?” Yoongi smirked. He took another hit himself and then waved again, turning to go. “Have fun guys, see you around. Find me if you need more.”

“Thanks so much, man!” As soon as Yoongi was gone, Taehyung was on his feet, pulling Jimin up from the couch cushions. “Come on, you, I wanna dance with you.”

Lurched to his feet, Jimin wobbled at once. His vision wasn’t quite right. Taehyung didn’t seem to notice--his arm was wrapped around Jimin’s shoulders again, steering him toward the room where most of the dancing was happening. “Uhhhhh--” Jimin tried to say something but it was hard to concentrate with the feeling of his heart pounding so rapidly in his chest.

Suddenly, almost as if by teleportation, Jimin found himself in the midst of a crowd of people. The music was louder. The lights were even dimmer. Time and space were off, he realized. A second ago he was on the couch and now he was in a different room. “Taehyung?”

There was no answer--no possible way Taehyung could hear him over the music. Jimin turned in a small circle--his head swimming--and found that Taehyung was behind him, holding onto him, long arms wrapped over his shoulders, hands hanging down on his chest. “Taehyung!?” he tried to yell over the music. Taehyung’s eyes were closed, thoroughly trashed and enjoying the music and the feeling of Jimin’s body so close to his. But Jimin was getting frantic. “Taehyung!” he reached up a shaky hand and watched it seemingly jerk through space as if in stop motion. Fuck, I’m too high. He felt the skin of Taehyung’s cheek under his palm before he saw his own hand there.

At the touch, Taehyung opened his eyes and finally saw Jimin’s predicament. His brow creased in worry at once. “Are you ok?” he asked, sounding concerned. One look at the shorter boy made it clear that he was too fucked up.

“I don’t know--I--uhhh--” Jimin wasn’t sure if he was breathing or not. “Can---I just--um--”

“Oh shit. Ok, come with me, it’s ok,” Taehyung said quickly, keeping Jimin close and helping him walk a little more steadily as he pushed his way out of the crowd and toward the stairs. Upstairs would be calmer.

Actually getting up the stairs was a challenge, though.

“Hoooooly shit,” Jimin gasped at the sight of the staircase, made impossibly steep thanks to his skewed perception.

“Come on, Jiminnie,” Taehyung prompted, pulling his along gently.

“No, no I can’t fall. I can’t--” His audition. Nothing could mess up his audition.

“You’re not going to fall,” Taehyung assured him, keeping his voice as low and soothing as possible. “I’ve got you, come on.”

Pain-staking step by step, they slowly made it up the stairs and onto the second floor landing. It took a few tries but Taehyung eventually found an empty room. He led Jimin inside and closed the door behind them, shutting out some of the loud music at last. It was hot in this room, so Taehyung took off the light jacket that he had been wearing and tossed it on the floor.

Throughout the entire journey up the stairs, Jimin had been watching his feet, afraid to trip and fall. His vision was whack and all stimuli was upsetting at the moment, but realizing that he was in a whole new place, he looked up again and the first thing he saw was an empty bed.

“Wait--” he said apprehensively. He took a jerking step back toward the door and nearly fell, but Taehyung grabbed his arm and kept him on his feet. “Taehyung, no,” Jimin tried again, turning his big brown eyes on the taller boy at last, “this is not what I--”

“Shhhh just sit down and relax, Jiminnie, you’re stoned. You gotta calm down.” Big hands slowly urged Jimin to the edge of the bed despite his resistance and he eventually sat down. Taehyung plopped down next to him and watched him intently, a hand on his knee.

After a few minutes of silence, Jimin finally realized why he was in this room and a wash of embarrassment swept over him. “Ohhhh my god, Tae, I’m sorry,” he groaned, bending low at the waist and dropping his head into his open hands. He had thought--for just a second--that Taehyung was trying to have sex with him! But really, he was just taking care of him because Jimin was too blazed to function in the party. “I’m really sorry. This is…oh my god, I'm so embarressed.” Jimin shook his head, totally humiliated.

“It’s ok,” Taehyung said with a small, half-hearted laugh. He was trying to be positive but he was still worried about his crush and his own high was thoroughly ruined at this point. When Jimin didn’t seem to register his words, Taehyung tried again. “Hey, it’s ok!” he said, sounding more sincere this time. “It happens.”

Jimin’s heart was still hammering away in his chest and his vision was still tracking, but he found he could make complete sentences again. “This has never happened to me before.”

Taehyung was rubbing small circles over Jimin’s right shoulder blade with his thumb, trying his best to be comforting. “How often do you smoke pot?”

“Uhhhhh,” does he smoke pot? He doesn’t think so. “Maybe like once?”

“Ohhhhh,” Taehyung chuckles, shaking his head at their obvious mistake. “Yeah, that’s my bad then. And you were drunk, too. Are you nauseous?”

“Yeah.”

“Dizzy?”

“Yeah.”

“Damn,” Taehyung sighed. He was just as disappointed in himself as in the situation overall. “You’re too high and you’re cross-faded. I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have made you smoke. I really didn’t know you were that drunk! You seemed totally normal.”

“You didn’t make me,” Jimin slurred out even though it was kind of a lie. He wouldn’t have started smoking if Taehyung hadn’t used it as an excuse to kiss him.

They sat there for awhile, Jimin being embarrassed and ill while Taehyung tried to make the most of the situation. Whenever Jimin seemed to come down for a moment, Taehyung made pleasant conversation. Whenever Jimin went back to bugging out, Taehyung tried to comfort him with soft words and polite yet tender caresses. That’s how it went for about an thirty five minutes until Jimin was finally starting to come down to a tolerable level.

“Are you starting to feel better, now?” Taehyung asked hopefully, the first real smile spreading across his lips. Jimin had laughed at a stupid joke that he made, which was a good sign.

“Yeah,” Jimin said, his laugh still trailing off. He was doing something weird with his mouth--smacking his tongue on the roof of his mouth. “My mouth is so dry, though.”

Taehyung hopped up from the edge of the bed at once. “I’ll get you a bottle of water or something.”

“No, you don’t have to--” Jimin started, but Taehyung’s strong voice cut him off.

“I got you, man, don’t worry about it. Be right back!”


 

Reaching the top of the stairs, Jungkook pauses to look up and down the second floor hallway. There are at least half a dozen closed doors and Jimin could be in any one of them. Should he try them all? Just crack the doors a hair and see what he sees?

Hurry this up, he tells himself, frowning at the first door that he comes upon. He wants to find him and get out of here. The knob turns silently in Jungkook’s hand and he cracks the door just enough to peer through. Leaning close to get his eye in the space, he scans the room, not really seeing anything. He can hear plenty, though. There must be a bed out of view someplace, because Jungkook can hear a girl moaning and groaning exaggeratedly.

Could Jimin be with her? It’s possible, but somehow Jungkook doesn’t think so. Whenever he pictures Jimin getting fucked, he pictures him taking dick, not giving it.

Next room maybe.

By the time Jungkook has peeped into three different rooms, his face is plastered with a grouchy, disgusted expression and he’s boarding on sheer anger. Just as he imagined, everyone is upstairs to fuck someone, and any second now he’s going to walk in on Jimin doing the same thing--he just knows it! And the thought makes his skin crawl.

But the thought also makes him a little bit hard.

Where the hell are you, bitch?

When the door a few paces in front of him opens, Jungkook takes a step back to avoid getting run into. A tall kid, almost his height, comes out of the room. Jungkook has seen him around but he doesn’t know his name. Without a word between them, the other boy closes the door that he came out of, walks right past Jungkook, and trots down the stairs.

Jungkook almost decides to skip the room that the other boy just left, but he changes his mind. Grabbing the handle quite a bit harsher than the ones before it, he opens the door all the way and simply walks in.

“That was fast.”

Jungkook freezes in his tracks at the sight of Jimin on the edge of the bed, the sheets wrinkled around his weight.

“Oh. I thought you were--” Jimin stops, blinking through his swimmy vision at this new face. “You’re not Taehyung.”

“No,” Jungkook starts, taking in the room in a split second. The bed, Jimin’s frazzled, semi-delirious state, the jacket discarded on the floor. He looks up again and realizes that Jimin--the fucking whore!--is wearing the black shirt Jungkook likes, just as he requested in the anonymous text yesterday. Jungkook swallows thickly and looks up from the shirt, steadying his gaze on the other boy’s face. He’s calm on the outside but burning up on the inside. “Taehyung sent me,” he says quickly, hoping he got the name right. “He’s waiting for you outside.”

“Outside? Why?”

“Yeah, come on, I’ll take you.”

Jimin looks confused. He glances around the room blearily, still too high and trying to come down safely.

“Get up,” Jungkook says, walking over to the bed to help him stand. When his hand finally grabs Jimin’s arm he feels a thrill in his gut, like he’s been on a roller coaster for months and now he’s finally falling.

Chapter Text

Getting Jimin outside without being noticed is easier than expected. Jungkook is mostly dressed in black and he’s physically large enough to shield Jimin from any prying eyes with the sheer size of his own body. Besides, the house is so crowded that it’s easy to get lost in the sea of people.

Getting Jimin into his car, however, is much more challenging.

“Where’d Taehyung go?” Jimin asks, looking all around at everything without seeming to notice Jungkook looming behind him. It’s almost as if he forgot he’s there, which has Jungkook’s blood boiling.

“Get in,” he says, his voice low and hard as he pulls the car door open and nudges Jimin forward with a hand on his back. Surprisingly, despite Jimin’s current condition, he does not stumble forward or get into the car. Instead, he turns all the way around and looks at Jungkook, perhaps really seeing him for the first time since their initial encounter in the upstairs room. His eyes--dilated and confused as they may be--are serious.

“Where’s Taehyung?”

Jungkook considers making up some other lie. Taehyung’s in the back seat, he could say. He’s just around the corner…but the serious look on Jimin’s face seems like a challenge that Jungkook’s doesn’t feel like tolerating right now. Besides, he needs to get them out of here before this Taehyung person actually shows up again.

Get--in the goddamn car,” Jungkook practically snarls, shoving Jimin backward with both hands. He pushes him so hard that Jimin’s head cracks against the top part of the car door frame as he falls into the passenger seat. As soon as his butt hits the leather, Jungkook throws his legs in after him and slams the door shut.

The noise of the door is loud enough to make Jungkook nervous. He looks over his shoulder, trying to see if anyone is paying attention to what’s happening here. Luckily, it seems as though no one has noticed. Good, he thinks, rounding the back of the vehicle to get in the driver’s seat. He made sure to park his SUV a few houses down from the party in the shadow of a large tree. If anyone was watching, the absence of street light glow in this spot should help hide their identities.

Before he even opens the driver’s side door, Jungkook can hear Jimin struggling with the passenger door handle. It won’t open for him. Yesterday, Jungkook made sure to turn on the child safety locks for every door in the car. Now that he is inside, the only way Jimin can possibly get out is through the driver door.

“What the hell, man?” Jimin asks incredulously as soon as Jungkook is in the car. He’s yanking on the passenger door handle--as if it will somehow open by magic on the one hundreth try--and Jungkook just rolls his eyes at how obviously trashed he is. “Where is he?” Without any reply, Jungkook buckles his own seat belt and starts the car. “Hey!” Jimin snaps, reaching across the cup holders to grab at Jungkook’s arm. The taller boy just swats his arm off and pulls away from the curb, jerking the wheel and stepping on the gas to peel out with a sense of urgency. “What--? --where are we going?” Jimin cries. He swivels around to look in that back seat, as if expecting to find some clue there, but the back is empty and Jungkook is driving further and further away from the party with out any answers at all. “He was just going to get water--”

“Shut up,” Jungkook says flatly. He’s sick of Jimin’s whining. And especially hearing him continue to ask about that other guy.

“No, I--where are we going? What the hell!?” By the way his tone steadily rises, it’s clear that Jimin is finally starting to realize that something is very wrong with this picture. “Let me out.” His hand is back on the handle, yanking at the door despite the moving vehicle.

“Stop,” Jungkook orders, but Jimin doesn’t listen for a second. “Stop doing that!”

“You stop driving! Let me out right now! What the fuck?!”

“Shut the fuck up and sit still--pansy ass bitch.”

At his words, Jimin freezes, eye widening in disbelief as he stares at the side of Jungkook’s face, perfectly straight and staring at the road in front of him. “What’d you say to me?” he slurs, too shocked to be offended yet. Another wave of high is pulsing over him and he can’t trust his perception right now.

“You heard me,” Jungkook mutters.

A sick thrill of dizziness rushes over Jimin’s upper body, forcing him to shut his eyes as Jungkook makes a wide left turn. Pansy ass bitch? Really? No one has ever talked to him like that before--he didn’t know people even thought like that nowadays--and it hurts more than expected. He’s suddenly embarrassed and afraid, his gaze trapped in his lap.

The silence is welcome to Jungkook. About time, he thinks, satisfied that his words seemed to make Jimin finally understand his situation here. The way that the shorter boy had recoiled into himself made Jungkook feel a little thrill of power. Now he can’t wait to get back home to finish the job.

He drives in peace for about ten minutes before Jimin speaks up again. Whether it’s because his high has temporarily waned again or because he realizes they’re getting very far away from the party, Jungkook can’t be sure.

“Where are we going?” The tone of Jimin’s voice is completely different now. He sounds serious and metered, like a has had the important realization that he is in danger and he needs to be careful with Jungkook.

Jungkook doesn’t answer right away. He glances sideways at Jimin, first, his gaze intense and openly predatory. “I’m taking you home,” he says at last.

His voice is so low that Jimin almost doesn’t hear him. “Home?” he repeats, confused. He blinks several times and looks out the window, trying to get his barrings. He’s not exactly sure where he is--none of the streets or land marks look familiar. He doesn’t know this part of town. “I live on the north side.”

“Tch.” Jungkook can’t tell if Jimin is pathetically naive or if he’s a passive-aggressive genius. “Not your house. You think I’m driving you home because you’re too trashed to take care of yourself?” His tone is so cold and mocking that Jimin can’t even look at him, he just keeps staring out the window, trying to determine where in the world he is.

“So…your house?” Jimin asks after a long moment of silence.

“Does it matter?” Jungkook snaps back at once. “Like you care where or when. Look at you for fuck’s sake.”

“What does that mean?” Jimin asks quietly, his head spinning again. He might be sick at any second; he’s not in any condition for this.

Just one block away now. Jungkook rolls his eyes and turns onto his street in the most remote, low income part of town on the east side. “Don’t play dumb.”

Jimin doesn’t know how to reply and he doesn’t want to ask the same question again, so he stays quiet and tries to sober up enough to cement the images outside the window into his mind. He doesn’t know where he is but maybe he can catch a street sign or two and call a cab.

Another three minutes and Jungkook is parking on the street in front of his apartment. As soon as the car is in park, Jimin is fiddling with the door again, trying to let himself out. “What the fuck did I say about that?” Jungkook demands suddenly. Before Jimin can answer, or stop, or turn his head a bit to look at him, Jungkook shoves him forward into the window with one hand so hard that Jimin yelps in surprise. “Wait there,” he commands, sounding annoyed, and then he gets out of the driver’s side door and makes his way over to Jimin’s side.

But when he opens the passenger door and finds Jimin frantically playing with his phone, Jungkook loses it.

Rather than snatching the phone away, Jungkook hauls off and punches Jimin squarely in the face, instead. Jimin’s head snaps back and drops his phone, both hands rising to cup his face reflexively. The phone falls to the curb and lands with a thud on the hard pavement. Jungkook reaches one thick arm into the car and drags Jimin out by the collar.

“Who did you call?” he demands. His voice is quiet but that just makes it scarier.

“No one, no one,” Jimin says quickly. He’s still holding his face with just one hand now. He glances at the other hand to check for blood but finds none. Still, the hit was very hard and in his high haze it likely feels even worse than it is.

Jungkook doesn’t buy it. He shakes Jimin by the collar twice and then shoves him up against side of the SUV, completely overpowering what little resistance he offers in his current state. “You texted someone, then. Who? Your little fuck buddy from the party?”

What?!” Jimin practically croaks. He’s caught in between Jungkook’s big body and the unforgiving frame of the car. He doesn’t know what to do or what to think, his face is throbbing, he’s still sick and high as a kite, and he wants to get out of here. “What are you talking about? Let go of me; you’re crazy!” he says, his voice beginning to rise to a yell.

“Shut your mouth,” Jungkook hisses, slapping his hand over the lower half of Jimin’s face and pressing his weight into him, pinning the shorter boy even more firmly against the vehicle. At the feeling, Jimin starts to panic. He bucks against Jungkook in earnest now, trying to break free, but Jungkook is so much bigger than him and Jimin is so fucked up that he can’t do much. Still, even with such a disadvantage, his fight is enough to bother Jungkook this time.

The taller boy retaliates without a hint of remorse--his knee connecting with Jimin’s groin.

Jimin’s cry of pain is muffled and quiet but Jungkook glances over his shoulder anyway. There’s no one watching but even if there were, no one would say anything in this neighborhood. Still, Jimin’s squawking is pissing him off. Jungkook would hate to be seen on the street with the likes of Park Jimin. “Let’s get you inside,” he mutters, mostly to himself. Keeping his hand firmly around Jimin’s jaw, Jungkook forces Jimin up onto the curb and positions himself behind the smaller boy, the other arm gripping onto his upper arm to guide him.

Jimin is subdued for the moment. He’s half doubled over from the low blow and his steps are very unsure as he goes. Bent forward in this position, his ass is rubbing against the front of Jungkook’s pants. When Jungkook feels the throb of arousal in his crotch, he shoves Jimin off. “You’re fucking ridiculous--get inside,” he says disdainfully, watching Jimin gracelessly stumble forward to catch his balance again. “Can’t keep your ass off someone for five seconds can you, you little slut?”

Mmm?!” Jimin squeals into Jungkook’s palm. He can’t believe this! He doesn’t understand what he’s hearing right now. Where the hell is this coming from?! He doesn’t even know who Jungkook is.

“Get inside,” Jungkook says again, reaching around the front of Jimin’s body to unlock and open the front door. He pushes Jimin forward again, shoving him through the door frame and into the darkness of the front hall. No one lives on the first floor. Jungkook has been leasing the upstairs apartment for about a year and not even one person has come to look at the downstairs area in all that time. The fact that the neighborhood is so undesirable is part of the reason why Jungkook was able to afford it here.

He’s walked through the dark, unoccupied downstairs so many times by now that he doesn’t need any lights to find the stairs or make it up to his own door, but Jimin is blind in the darkness. He squeaks in protest again as Jungkook tightens his grip on him and jerks him through the darkness. The stairs are difficult--they’re steep, Jimin is stoned and dizzy, it’s pitch black, and Jungkook has control of his body--so it takes a few moments and a lot of struggle to get to the top. He obviously doesn’t trust this person to lead him safely and he’s terrified to fall and break a leg--or worse. He needs to be in tact for the audition next month!

The audition…Above the haze of his terrible high, above the fear of what may or may not be happening to him right now, above everything: Jimin suddenly remembers that one, very important thing. The audition is the most important thing. Calm down. You’ll figure out a way to be okay.

Now that he has his wits together for a moment, this feels familiar. Wasn’t he just being led up the stairs a moment ago, someone else holding onto him? Time is incredibly strange. Everything is a blur. Where did Taehyung go? Did he leave him alone with this guy? Jimin honestly can’t remember.

He’s still thinking hard trying to piece everything together when they reach the top of the stairs and enter another room. Jungkook pushes Jimin forward again--this time hard enough to drop him on his knees--before flicking on the light and locking the door behind them. On the floor, Jimin blinks against the bright light. He raises his head to look up at Jungkook and gets his first well-lit look at him.

Jungkook is very tall and straight above him, his handsome face almost expressionless as he glares down at Jimin. He’s not thin--he’s obviously well built even with his clothes on, and that makes him an intimidating sight. He’s dressed mostly in black, too, which adds to the uneasiness that has been building in Jimin’s chest ever since he was tossed into the car. His jeans are tight on his thick thighs, but it’s the outline of a growing bulge in between them that catches Jimin’s fleeting attention and holds. His eyes widen and his breath catches in his throat. “What--?”

“You look scared,” Jungkook interrupts him. “What’s the matter? Are you all fucked out for the night?”

“What are you talking about?” Jimin asks, getting upset. He can’t believe that this person is actually talking to him like this. Who the hell is he?!

Jungkook ignores him completely and goes on mocking him, saying, “I thought people like you never got tired of all that attention.” Jimin opens his mouth to talk again but stops short when Jungkook grabs him and yanks him to his feet. “That’s why you’re wearing this shirt, right?” he snarls, eyeing the black button down that Jimin is wearing, as requested in Jungkook’s anonymous text from the day before. Further confirmation that Park Jimin is truly an incorrigible slut, just like Jungkook always imagined. “You love any attention you can get--right, bitch?” he spits.

There it is again. That word. Jimin’s gaze drifts off to the side, avoiding Jungkook’s mean expression. “Pansy ass bitch--” It hurt when Jungkook said it to him in the car but Jimin didn’t understand it then. Now he’s starting to get the big picture.

“I think you have the wrong idea,” he says. He tries hard to keep his voice low and calm because this person already hit him several times and Jimin knows that in his current state, he can’t win a fight with him. Still, his heart is hammering in his chest again and it takes everything inside of Jimin to avoid lashing back. He’s not weak. He’s not a bitch.

But the audition--

“No, I don’t think so,” Jungkook is saying. He’s walking Jimin backward into another room and Jimin’s whole body goes stiff, ready to get pushed over backward at any moment. “I think you’re a shameless, attention-whore, faggot who just loves teasing everyone until they’re dying to fuck you senseless. Right? That’s how you get your kicks? By making everyone else crazy for you?”

“No! That’s--”

“Don’t play dumb!” Jungkook shouts. Jimin can’t help but flinch at the sudden change in volume. This kid is scary. Jungkook shoves Jimin down on a couch in the new room and goes on shouting, saying, “Why the fuck are you wearing this, then? Huh?”

Jimin shakes his head slightly, totally at a loss. He gets texts from random people all the time and he doesn’t take any of it too seriously. The shirt text from yesterday was just an amusing suggestion, or so he thought. And Jimin knows he looks good in that shirt anyway, so why not wear it to the biggest party of the year? “It’s just a shirt,” he tries.

That only seems to anger Jungkook more. “Oh yeah?! Someone texts you telling you that you look good in something and you put it right on, don’t you?” Before Jimin even understands what’s happening, Jungkook’s big hands are on his chest, tearing the shirt off of him without undoing any of the buttons. They pop off and scatter across the floor as his shirt front is yanked completely open. “If I tell you that you look good naked will you strip for me, too?” Jungkook sneers. He jostles Jimin’s body around carelessly as he pulls the shirt down from his shoulders to remove it completely, throwing it in a crumpled ball on the floor. His hands fall on Jimin’s belt next.

“Ok, wait--” Jimin gasps. When he tries to push Jungkook’s hands off of him, he gets hit in the face again. “Ow fuck!”

“If I tell you you look good sucking my cock are you gonna get down on your knees, too?”

“No! Cut it out!” Jimin cries. A trickle of blood runs down from the inside of his nose and forms a bright red bead in his nostril. When he exhales out a pained huff, the bead rolls down his face and drips onto his bottom lip.

Jungkook hasn’t paused for a moment in removing Jimin’s belt and by now, despite Jimin’s half-hearted struggling, the belt is off and his fly is being forcibly opened.

Oh my god how is this happening right now? His mind is scrambling, he wants to fight this--

“Stop fighting it, slut, I know you want it.”

I’m not a slut--

“You’ve been teasing me for months!” Jungkook is pulling Jimin’s pants down over his thin hips, his finger nails scraping over Jimin’s skin as he peels the tight fabric off inch by inch. Jimin squirms backward into the cushions, keeping his weight down to try and keep his pants on, trying to delay the inevitable without inciting Jungkook to hit him again.

“How?” he asks, desperation creeping into his voice. Another wave of the awful high is hitting him and he’s back to seeing things in slow motion. “How--how have I been teasing you?! I don’t even know you!”

Crack!

This punch is the hardest yet and it breaks Jimin’s nose without a doubt. “Uhhhngg ahh! Shit!” he cries, nursing his nose with a trembling hand. It’s out of place and rapidly swelling up even as Jungkook takes this opportunity to yank his pants the rest of the way off.

When the pants are twisted around Jimin’s calves and he’s left solely in his boxer briefs, Jungkook swats his hand away from his hurt face and grabs him by the jaw. “I know that you don’t know who I am. And that’s how I know you’re a dirty, fucking whore.” To make his point, Jungkook holds his phone up right in front of Jimin’s face. It’s glowing dimly and it takes a few moments for Jimin’s swimmy, pain-dulled vision to focus on the screen’s image. But when he finally sees it, his heart sinks.

It’s a picture of him--gazing lustily into the phone--his lips parted ever so slightly in a sexy expression.

The selfie he never should have taken.

Chapter Text

Jimin isn’t a virgin. He’s had sexual encounters twice before--once with a guy, and once with a girl.

The guy was his first boyfriend, a sweet, thin-built teenager with glasses and very well organized school binders. He was a nerd, he was Jimin’s biggest supporter, and he became his first love. They were young--both of them only 16--and they just wanted to experiment. It was fun and sweet, they cared for one another, and when they mutually broke it off after the other boy’s family moved to a new school there were no hard feelings--only good memories between them.

An entire year after that breakup, Jimin was seeing a pretty girl from the dance club at school. He liked her well enough. She was funny and lovely and good at dancing, which brought them together on a daily basis. They’d only gone on a few dates but she was completely enamored with him--his movement, his body--and she wanted to have sex with him. She was really pretty--hell, she was gorgeous! So he was agreeable to that idea. She slept over one Saturday of his junior year when his parents were away on an anniversary trip and they had wildly athletic albeit juvenile sex.

But it was too soon. Jimin liked her but he didn’t have real feelings for her. He certainly didn’t love her. And when a new or more interesting specimen appeared for Jimin to flirt with, he couldn’t keep his attention on that girl any longer. He knew that he had hurt her and that made him feel like shit because he certainly hadn’t intended to do so. Still, he couldn’t stay with someone he wasn’t serious about just because they’d slept together.

But Jimin learned his lesson. After that, he understood what sex was all about--how it was supposed to cement a mutually romantic, serious relationship. He did his best over the next year to avoid casual sexual encounters at all costs. He didn’t want to hurt anyone else and he didn’t want to be hurt in that way, which is why he was doing his best to keep Taehyung at bay until the time is right.

Jimin isn’t a virgin. But he isn’t a slut, either.


 

“Do you remember this, or do you send this kind of picture to random phone-strangers all the time?” Jungkook asks, waggling his phone in Jimin’s face. The way that he says it, the tone of his voice--like he’s embarrassed, disgusted, and demanding all at the same time--is not lost on Jimin. Something is off with this guy.

“I remember. Of course I remember,” he hurriedly replies, blinking hard to focus on the regrettable image. “That was you?”

“No shit,” Jungkook bites back. His eyes are full of malice as he releases Jimin’s jaw only to grab him by both shoulders and press him down onto the couch cushions. He lowers himself onto the couch after him, straddling Jimn’s thin waist and leaning over him to glare hatefully down at his beaten face. The smaller boy wriggles in discomfort, trying to get out from under his weight, but he finds himself trapped for the moment. Physicality isn’t going to work in this situation, he realizes. He’s still too fucked up, he’s hurt now, and he’s much smaller than this guy. He’s going to have to go about this another way. Maybe he can talk him down. He licks his lips and tastes blood from his nose but he keeps his expression still in an effort to ignore it.

“Where do we know each other from?” Jimin asks, making his eyes as innocent as possible as he raises his gaze to meet Jungkook’s narrowed stare. “You look so familiar.”

“Don’t pretend like you care about that,” Jungkook returns, flat and hard.

“I’m just asking,” Jimin explains. “It’d be nice to know your name at least.”

To his surprise, Jungook just barks out a mean laugh. “Is this your normal pre-fuck routine? ‘Hey, at least tell me your name first~!’ Explain to me again how you’re not a slutty little twink, please.”

Jimin turns pink at his words, totally taken aback. He had no idea that anyone thought of him like this and it stings something wounded deep inside of him--something he never knew was there before. “I--I’m not!” he stammers defensively, almost choking on the building emotions. He knows that he needs to remain as cordial and unaffected as possible if he wants to get out of this without taking too much damage, but Jungkook is mean and it’s hard.

Again, Jungkook just ignores him. One of his big hands snatches a fistful of Jimin’s pink hair and he tears at it cruelly. “What the fuck is this?” he spits disdainfully, like Jimin’s hair is an unforgivable offense. The tendons in Jimin’s neck tense and pull as he strains to relieve some of the pain in his scalp. “If I even thought about pink hair for a second, my father would’ve kicked the shit out of me. But here you are, walking around with pink fucking hair and pansy ass clothes like you don’t even care!”

Jungkook is jerking Jimin’s head around by the hair as he speaks and the motion is only adding to Jimin’s nausea. “Stop--” he grits out, but Jungkook doesn’t listen.

“You don’t get to do that shit anymore without facing the consequences. Everyone has to face the consequences,” Jungkook snaps, giving Jimin’s head one last shove for good measure before letting go. When Jimin closes his eyes and makes no reply, Jungkook snaps his fingers. “Understand me, slut?”

I’m not a slut-- “Consequences? For having pink hair?”

Smack! “For being a fucking degenerate, that’s what!” Jungkook growls, his face very close to Jimin’s now. The backhanded slap snapped Jimin’s head to the side and now his cheek is just a breath away from Jungkook’s lips, curled back in a vicious snarl. “For teasing me with this shit all this time!”

“I’m sorry,” Jimin tries shakily. He’s angry now and he can barely contain it. This is insane! He’s done nothing wrong! And yet, despite all of the emotions that are building in the forefront of his inebriated mind, Jimin still knows enough to keep it together. “You’re right; I’m sorry.”

That seems to make Jungkook take pause, if only for a second. He raises an eyebrow just a hair and stares at Jimin, his frown deepening with uncertainty. “I had no idea I was bothering you. That picture…I mean, it was just a joke, you know?”

Jungkook’s expression hardens again instantly. “Yeah? Well, good. I’m gonna fuck you up just as a joke, too. How’s that sound?”

Shit.

Before Jimin can so much as utter a word in protest, Jungkook hops off of him and yanks him back up to his feet, spinning him around in a whirlwind of motion. Jimin struggles to stay upright throughout. His knees buckle and he wobbles backward, stepping on Jungkook’s toes. “Bend over,” Jungkook orders, shoving Jimin forward into the couch again.

Jimin argues as he falls, his hands just managing to brace on the back of the couch so that he doesn’t crash onto his broken nose. “No, come on! That’s not…I didn’t mean that--”

“Shut uuuuhhhhpp,” Jungkook drones, his words long and drawn out so as to drown Jimin’s voice out all together. “You’re just a liar, Jimin, I don’t want to hear you talk.”

Hearing this guy call him by his name feels wrong after all of the other names he’s called him so far. Jimin stills for a second and he feels his heart pounding in his chest. He’s scared, now.

“Just shut up and do what you’re good at.” The next thing he feels is a chill when Jungkook yanks his boxers down to the floor. He’s stuck frozen, his knuckles turning white on the back of the couch.

What can he do? If he decides to fight this guy, it’s going to be a brawl but he’s going to lose. And then he’ll get fucked anyway. And who knows if he’ll be well enough for his audition after that. He’s worked way too hard for way too long to let something like that happen.

“Oh my god, you’re so fucking slutty,” Jungkook is saying from behind him, bringing Jimin back to the present. He’s not doing anything, just standing still, slightly bent over the couch, letting this guy stare at him like a piece of meat. “You make me sick.”

“Let me leave, then,” Jimin mutters. His chest is starting to ache. This isn’t fair.

“No,” Jungkook reaches out a hand to touch Jimin’s hip but he can’t put it down just yet. It hovers. “No. You have to learn your lesson.” Part of Jungkook wants to caress Jimin’s ass--so pert and inviting, right there for the taking--but he doesn’t. He slaps it instead.

Jimin jolts forward from the blow. This is unbelievable. “Don’t do that. You wanna fuck me, let’s just fuck already,” he says through gritted teeth. He can only take so much, here.

“There he is~” Jungkook sneers. “Just like I thought.”

Fuck you, Jimin thinks bitterly. He’s dizzy again. He wants to scream. This isn’t fair!

Jungkook is still speaking, saying mean things that Jimin is trying to block out and bending his body down over Jimin’s. He can cover him completely with his large frame. Jimin’s body is relatively still underneath him but there’s almost a vibration to his skin, like he’s trembling on the inside. “Can’t wait to get fucked again, can you?--fucking whore.” He reaches around Jimin’s waist and grabs his thighs as he speaks, letting his hands trail all over the top of his bare legs and abdomen. “What kind of man gets topped twice in one night?”

“Twice?” Jimin repeats, lost again.

“That’s true, I guess I can’t just say ‘twice.’ Who knows how many people you fucked at that party. You’re so wasted; you probably wouldn’t even remember. Could be a lot more than that.”

Is he talking about Taehyung? Jimin can’t really remember the end of the party. He doesn’t know where Taehyung went, but he does know one thing: Taehyung didn’t try to fuck him. Taehyung took care of him.

“Fine, you want me to fuck you?” Jungkook starts again, interrupting his scattered thoughts. His hands coming back up to rest on Jimin’s lower back. He pushes down with a little more pressure to bend the shorter boy over even more and then drags his hands lower, his fingers spread wide to grope the entire expanse of Jimin’s fleshy ass. “How about this?” Jungkook grips Jimin’s ass even harder, spreading him apart to reveal his small hole. It’s dry and perfectly normal--no signs of having been penetrated early that day. But Jungkook pays no attention to that. Instead, he hacks up a wad of thick phelm from the back of his throat and hespits on Jimin’s ass. The frothy glob lands with a wet sound on the tell tale dimple over Jimin’s tailbone and dribbles down slowly.

“That’s…” Jimin is turning pink all over, his face distorted by disgust. It feels so gross and wrong. “That’s not going to work. We need--” His words are cut off and changed into a strangled cry when Jungkook suddenly crams both of his thumbs into Jimin’s hole and tries to pull his rim open with force. It’s a horrifying feeling and Jimin jolts forward to try and escape it.

“Stay still,” Jungkook orders.

“No, no it’s doesn’t-- it doesn’t work like that!” It’s so hard to talk while this guy literally tries to pry his ass open by force, but Jimin has to try. “Don’t you have any lube?” he dares to ask. He even risks a glance back over his shoulder, not bothering to hide the pain written all over his face.

Jungkook isn’t looking at Jimin’s expression, though. He’s concentrating on trying to separate his thumbs “What do you think? Do I seem like I would have lube here for your slutty ass? Hmmm?” He says ‘lube’ like it’s a dirty word. As if Jimin is being trashy to even ask about it.

The smaller boy swallows hard and decides to risk asking one more time. “Just use olive oil or something-- ahhhhh fuck!” It hurts bad.

Jungkook doesn’t care much about what Jimin is saying but he’s not having any luck. Jimin’s tight and Jungkook’s not small. As of right now, even with the frothy spit, he can hardly separate his thumbs at all. It might be impossible without some more lubrication. With a grunt of frustration, Jungkook gives in. He yanks his thumbs out and walks away.

As soon as he’s gone, Jimin collapses on the couch and curls up slightly, covering his front with his hands. Even though Jungkook’s fingers are gone, the pain remains--throbbing and burning like he’s still being carelessly pulled apart. He cringes at the feeling and leans more of his weight into the cushions. Fuck, this is awful. From across the room, he sees Jungkook rummaging through cupboards, tossing bottles around at high speed like a crazy person. There’s something wrong with him, Jimin thinks. He’s so scared that he feels like his guts are flopping around inside of him. He’s fucking nuts!

“Here,” Jungkook declares, grabbing something and stalking back over to the couch. He must have found some oil because he’s gripping a glass bottle with one hand and palming himself with the other. “What are you doing? Turn over.” Jimin is shaking his head subconsciously, staring off at nothing with wide eyes because he can’t look at Jungkook. “Turn over!” Jungkook practically yells.

He doesn’t give Jimin any chance to actually obey the order, he just grabs him and forces his body into the position he wants--face down on the couch cushions with his hips raised. Jungkook pushes his ass up even more, bending Jimin’s spine into a deep curve so that he can get a better angle as he spreads Jimin apart again, this time with one hand. With the other, he opens the bottle of cooking oil.

Jimin flinches when the dribble of oil lands in his crack. “Look, please--I just--”

“Why are you still talking? Shut up; I don’t wanna hear you.” Jungkook punctuates his point by pressing his fingers back into Jimin’s hole. This time it’s a little easier, thanks to the oil, but it still hurts Jimin and he’s breathing heavily into the couch, trying so hard not to groan out loud. Jungkook stabs two fingers into Jimin over and over again, not seeming to care about the way he catches and pulls on the rim each time. A particularly bad one makes Jimin whine from the discomfort. “This is a lot more than you deserve,”Jungkook mutters down at him, not stopping for a second even as Jimin squirms and wiggles his hips unconsciously, just trying to get some relief. “Look at you--fucking back on my fingers like a little slut…”

He’s not.

“You’re hungry for this, aren’t you?”

He’s not.

“Don’t worry,” Jungkook says, but his tone instructs Jimin otherwise. “I’ll fuck you like you deserve.” He draws his fingers out and smacks Jimin’s butt again. This time Jimin doesn’t argue--he’s too busy sniffling up the heavy drops of blood that are leaking from his nose. There is a soft sound when Jungkook places the bottle on the ground and then the rustling of clothing as he undoes the front of his pants.

A moment later, Jimin feels the fat head of Jungkook’s cock prodding at him--trying to get inside of him--and he shudders. He peels his arms out from under his own body and covers the back of his head, as if he could somehow hide from this, like it’s a hallucination and not reality.

How can this be real? How is this happening to me? 

But when Jungkook uses his thumbs to pull Jimin open again and fits the tip of his cock inside, Jimin can’t deny the reality of this. Jungkook makes a strange sound--something between disgust and pleasure--as he pushes himself inside deeper and deeper, his bare cock scraping and stretching Jimin’s hole wider than he’s ever experienced. His member is long and fat--nothing like Jimin’s boyfriend when he was younger. It’s hard to breathe with him inside, so Jimin struggles, his breath catching in his chest painfully every time he tries. “Ahhhh ha---owww--”

“Yeah, you love getting treated like you’re just a piece of ass, don’t you?” Jungkook jeers, pulling out. He has to push Jimin off of him as he pulls away because it’s such a tight fit, so he doesn’t bother pulling out all of the way--he stops with the head fit snuggly in the stretched O of Jimin’s hole. “That’s what’s wrong with you. Fucking filthy,” he says disdainfully.

Jimin can’t listen to this. The stretch feels too awful. “It’s too much--” he gasps. His insides are already sore and Jungkook only entered him once!

“Too much?” Jungkook lays his body down over Jimin’s, forcing his back to arch even more as he grinds him down with nearly all of his weight. As he goes, his dick presses back inside and Jimin hisses in pain,

Yes!

“Nothing is too much for a whore like you,” he contradicts matter-of-factly, beginning to move with purpose. His motion starts drawing staccato cries of pain from Jimin almost instantly. “Take it. You deserve it.”

He wants to talk back--he even considers begging--but Jimin can’t talk anymore because Jungkook starts railing him without mercy. All he can do is fight the scream that’s building up inside of him with every thrust. Jungkook’s pelvis is crashing into his ass hard enough to bruise him up but what he’s doing to his insides is so much worse.

Jimin has never even imagine being fucked like this.

Jungkook is pounding him at a horrifying speed--like Jimin is not even a human--just using his body as an object to get himself off. Jimin’s own dick is completely soft and hasn’t been thought about. He’s pressing his face into the cushions to try and muffle his cries of agony, smearing blood all over the place. All he can do is try to breathe and endure this, gasping and crying out, face down on the couch while Jungkook grunts over him. Other than that, Jungkook is completely silent as he fucks into him. No more words, no mockery--nothing to cover up the awful sounds of their bodies slapping together. Not even one harsh word or groan to help hide all of the little noises of anguish that Jimin is trying so hard not to make. 

Luckily it can’t last long at this pace. Less than three minutes later, Jungkook comes with a choked moan. His hips stutter against Jimin’s ass--sweaty now and buzzing with pain. Beneath him, Jimin’s breaths sound wet and miserable--teetering on the edge of tears.

“Ahhhh, fuck,” Jungkook says very low in his throat. He leans back onto his knees and pulls out in one slick motion.

The sudden feeling of emptiness is terrible. It shocks Jimin almost as much as the initial penetration--making him go completely still, like he hopes he won’t feel how stretched and hurt he is if he doesn’t move, doesn’t even breath. But even in the stillness, a trickle of semen comes running out of his reddened hole and Jungkook says, “Ehhh my god, that’s gross!”

It’s too much; Jimin huffs out a dry sob and buries his top teeth in his lip.

Jungkook actually laughs. “Are you crying?” He shakes his head in disbelief and reaches out his right hand to flick Jimin’s rim, just to watch another dribble of cum fall out of him. “You fucking disgust me, you know that? Sloppy ass fag like you…” Jungkook scowls down at Jimin’s clammy back, his face falling from orgasmic pleasure to a mask of disgust. When he speaks again his voice is hard. “Don’t cry; this is what you get. You could at least take it like a man. Fuck.” He quickly gets off the couch and rakes his hands back through his hair, suddenly becoming irritated.

“Are you done?”

Jungkook snaps back to attention, his eyes lasering in on Jimin’s face when the smaller boy rolls up onto his elbow. He’s not crying after all--not with tears at least--but he looks absolutely terrible. His nose and mouth are smeared with blood from the broken nose that sits at an odd angle in the middle of his face, very swollen now.

“What?” Jungkook practically whispers, staring him down with narrowed eyes and a mean wrinkle on the bridge of his nose, as if he can’t believe that Jimin is still talking to him.

“I said, are you done?” Jimin repeats flatly. He’s not trying to be sassy at all. He just wants to get out of here. He can’t lay here and think about this. He can’t soak it in and let his heart realize how hurt it is. He needs to get up and walk away right now, because the slightest thought that he may not be able to walk right--the slightest inkling that he might not be able to audition because of something like this--is pushing him to the edge of a panic attack.

Don’t think about it. Just get up and leave. You can do it.

So he holds all of his emotions down and pushes himself up a little bit more until he’s sitting up. He tries not to think about the repulsive feeling of more cum running out of his body. He tries not to think about how fucked up his ass feels.

Just get up. You can still get up and get out of here.

Only when he actually tries to get up on wobbly legs does Jungkook finally spring back to life. “What the hell are you doing?” he demands, roughly grabbing Jimin by the arm as soon as he’s back on his feet.

“Leaving.”

Jungkook scoffs in surprise. “No you’re not!” His eyes are wide now, a strange expression on his face--almost like fear. “You’re not leaving,” he says again.

Then he starts pulling Jimin away from the door by the arm.

“No, you’re done! Come on--” Jimin cries, his panic starting to rise to the surface. He can hardly balance and Jungkook is pulling him along violently, dragging him deeper and deeper into the apartment while Jimin struggles to keep his feet underneath him. It’s a whirlwind of motion--Jimin stumbling and trying to pull away from Jungkook’s grasp at the same time--but he’s too weak now. His head is spinning from the drugs and the pain--

He can’t get away from this.

They end up in another room and Jungkook opens a door on the far side of the wall. He swings Jimin’s floundering body around and pulls him up to his level, nearly lifting him off the ground so that he can growl into his ear, “You’re not going anywhere.”

Jimin’s mouth falls open and the pathetic little noise of panic that he had been desperately trying to keep down squeaks out. “No, let me go--”

“Shut up!” Jungkook yells. Without any warning other than that, he tosses Jimin through the small opening and slams the door behind him, leaving Jimin completely naked and completely alone in the darkness.

Chapter Text

Just like always, as soon as Jungkook came down from his orgasm he felt guilty.

Shit.

He stared down at the place where he and Jimin were connected as if seeing it for the first time. His dick was inside of Jimin’s ass--inside of a man! He pulled out at once, realizing that he had just given in to his most disgusting desires--

No. Jimin tempted him. Jimin said, “You wanna fuck me; let’s just fuck already.” And then the little shit had the audacity to try to just walk out, as if he hadn’t just aroused Jungkook’s worst qualities.

That’s a slut for you, he thought angrily as he dragged Jimin into the back room to keep him from going. Tease you, fuck with your head, get you to fuck them, and then vanish. Fucking unbelievable.

As soon as Jungkook slammed the door, Jimin was frantically yelling things and hitting the thick wood, trying to get out. But Jungkook just tuned him out. He needed to be alone. He had to think.

But thinking only made it worse.

You fucked a guy. Jungkook sat on the edge of his bed staring into his hands, completely horrified. You just fucked a guy! It was one thing to think about Jimin or to jerk off to his picture, but to actually fuck him?! Jungkook felt sick.

He had tucked himself back into his pants as soon as he was done, but now he realized that he was sticky and it made his skin crawl. He had to take a shower. He had to get the feeling of Jimin’s ass off of himself.

Oh my god, what did you do? He brushed the hair off of his forehead with a sweaty hand and made a grossed-out, shivery noise, shaking his head quickly, like he could snap out of it and pretend that he didn’t just engage with someone like Jimin in that way. He had to shower right fucking now.

He turned on the water to the hottest setting that he could bear, feeling the flow with his hand to test it. Once it was right, he let the steam fill the room before stripping down and stepping under the shower head. It was really hot but it felt good as it burned the sticky feeling away and Jungkook was finally able to relax his shoulders and huff out a long sigh of relief.

This didn’t make him gay.

He hadn’t made love to Jimin. The thought was actually laughable. If anything, the sex--if you could even call it that--was probably remedial for Jimin! It couldn’t have been enjoyable for him, Jungkook thought. It was more like a punishment than anything. Jungkook knew he was big and he had been rough. He gave Jimin more than he could handle--a ‘be careful what you wish for’ kind of thing to teach Jimin a lesson.

Although, it seems like Jungkook has more work to do before Jimin really learns.

By the time he got out of the shower, Jungkook wasn’t feeling as freaked out as before. He put the whole thing out of his mind and decided to get some rest. He could figure things out in the morning.


 

“Do you want to split an appetizer?”

It is an unseasonably warm night in the beginning of March and Jimin is out to dinner with a friend from the dance club. Port’s is busy tonight. At least three dozen people are seated all around them, minding their own business, eating their food. The delicious scents from other people’s entrees are wafting over to their table and the other boy is growing impatient.

“Hello? Earth to Jimin?”

“Hmm?” Jimin glances up from his phone in surprise, not having heard him the first time. “What?”

“You wanna split an app?”

“Yeah sure.” Just like that, Jimin is back to his phone.

The other boy leans a little closer to him, sounding snarky and put out as he asks, “What’s so all-consuming on there, huh? I’m not interesting enough for you today?”

Jimin's grip on the phone softens and he lets his wrists rest on the table, the phone hanging from his fingers. “Of course not,” he says, turning from the screen to make eyes at the other boy. His voice is silky smooth--ever the flirt. “You know I love you.”

The other boy sticks his tongue out playfully and then goes back to the menu. After a moment, he says, “You want the pretzel sticks or the artichoke dip?”

Jimin is trying to listen--really he is--but this text is too distracting. He knows that he’s being a bad dinner partner, so he might as well just put it out there. “Ok, so I got this anonymous message--”

“Oh my god.” The other boy has to chuckle. This is just like Jimin--too popular to know what to do with all of the attention. He is out with one person after turning down an invitation to go bowling with a group of girls and now he can’t even concentrate on ordering because he’s getting anonymous messages. “What’s it say?” he asks, shaking his head with a little smile.

“It’s kind of weird,” Jimin says, nibbling on his bottom lips. He’s a little embarrassed to read it out loud so he decides to just hand it over. “Uhhh. Here, just read it.” The screen was starting to shut off, so Jimin taps it again before passing it to the other boy.

Jimin can tell when he gets to the last part because his eyes widen and his lips quirk up into a scandalized smile. “’I want to see your pretty face?!’ Hot damn~” The boy gives an amused shake of his head and hands Jimin’s phone back. “So you have no idea who sent that?”

“Nope.”

“Well,” he muses, tapping his chin in mock thoughtfulness, “it’s gotta be from a guy, right? Sounds like something a guy would say.”

“Yeah, that’s what I was thinking.” Jimin’s eyes keep reading over the words on the screen, contemplating who might be on the other end. He can’t help but imagine that his secret admirer might be someone he knows--someone he recently met, maybe!--someone sexy who had seen him dancing and was totally smitten with him now…

“Are you offended?”

“What? No!” Jimin practically giggles. He glances at the other boy, looking a little shy now. He’s curious and flattered if anything. “No, I don’t get offended very easily about this stuff.”

The other boy looks relieved by that answer. A mischievous smile is growing on his face, making him look devilish, as he lowers his voice and suggests, “You should send him a picture of you.”

“What? Really?!” Jimin feels a nervous flip in his gut at the idea. His friend is serious, though.

“Yes, dude, please! You gotta do it. See what he says!”

So Jimin does--his cheeks turning a ruddy pink as he fits his face into the frame of his camera phone and snaps a flirtatious selfie. The restaurant lighting is dim and it does a good job of hiding the blush and making him look more alluring than he actually feels. His friend seems to enjoy it more than he does. “That’s too funny,” he laughs, sipping his lemonade and urging Jimin to hit send with a bump on the arm. He can’t stop chuckling even after Jimin has sent the photo and put his phone away--like it’s the funniest prank that he’s ever been involved in. “You gotta tell me if he texts back. I can’t wait.”

But no reply ever comes.


 

At first, Jimin couldn’t see anything.

When Jungkook threw him into the little room and closed the door behind him, Jimin crashed face first into the wall on the other side--the room was that small. But he didn’t feel it. He scrambled back around on his knees and pounded his fists against the door. “Let me out!” he shouted, hating the way that tears began to choke his voice and make it sound weak. He could hear Jungkook walking away, leaving the room, leaving him there alone, locked in the darkness. “Come back!” he cried, but the footsteps got further and further away until they were only a memory.

Still, Jimin stayed that way with his fists pressed against the door for several minutes. When he finally collapsed back against the far wall it was because the shock of what had happened was finally catching up to him. His heart rate slowed and a chill settled over his body, making him painfully aware of the fact that he was totally naked. He pulled his knees up to his chest and hugged them close, letting his head fall heavy and rest on his kneecaps.

Oh my god. He squeezed his eyes shut so tightly that it hurt. Oh my god, oh my god…what the hell just happened? At first he didn’t understand and then, just when things started to make sense, he was getting punched in the face and violently raped.

--raped--

Turning the word over in his head felt terrible. It made him nauseous all over again.

How the fuck did this happen to him?! He’s a man. He’s not weak, his body is strong and his mind is strong and his spirit is even stronger. He’s popular--he had people around him who should have protected him, people who should be looking for him.

But apparently none of that mattered.

I should never have sent that text, he thinks miserably. It was just a joke--just something funny to do to amuse his friend. How could it have gone so wrong? How could there be a consequence like this? How could something so small have turned into the biggest mistake of his life? And what would happen to him now? His bum was still throbbing with pain and he had no idea how hurt he actually was. What if he couldn’t dance right for his audition? Or even worse, what if he didn’t get to go to his audition-- period? What if this guy kept him locked in here forever? Where even am I? And the bottom line question that made his blood turn to ice: What if he killed him?

Oh my god…

The questions kept swirling around in his head, making him crazy until he was crying silently into his knees.

 

After two hours of that, he was done crying but he was still naked and cold and in pain. He was still scared, too, but had sobered up enough to think logically by then. And the first thing he realized when he came to his senses was that he was in a closet.

A closet with a lock, apparently. He couldn’t get out no matter what he tried.

He put me in a fucking closet, Jimin thought angrily. In the span of two hours he had gone from being extremely scared to righteously pissed off. Had Jungkook just locked him in the bedroom itself, Jimin would be much less offended, but this is just outrageous. It’s a slap in the face that he can’t bring himself to feel on an emotional level yet. It’s easier to just be livid.

 

And he managed to stay livid for almost three hours.

But he couldn’t sustain it forever. He’s been in the closet for five hours, he’s completely sober now, and it’s all flooding back. All of the words and all of the feelings that he put out of his mind before are rushing back over him.

“--pansy ass bitch!”

“You make me sick.”

“You’re a shameless, attention-whore, faggot--”

”You’re a fucking degenerate…filthy…sloppy ass fag.”

“You disgust me.”

He bites his lip and sinks more of his weight against the back wall of the closet. If only he could shut it out, or if it had just been a physical encounter and Jungkook had never explained anything to him, never said all of those horrible things! The words hurt the most because even though Jimin has never ever thought of himself in any of these terms, now he knows that someone out there does. Someone genuinely hates him enough to treat him like this, and if one person feels this way then who’s to say there aren’t more? How is he supposed to look people in the eye and know that this might be what they really think of him?

He sniffles sadly and raises a sluggish hand to wipe at the tears on his cheeks, a stray finger brushing against the swelling from his broken nose.

He broke my nose, Jimin acknowledges for the first time. Before, when he was high, it was hard to tell exactly what damage was being done to his body. It’s easier to tell now. Aside from his nose, the only other thing that still hurts is his ass. It feel weird and raw and when he moves it hurts--especially in a few certain positions--so he hasn’t been moving much, other than when he was initially trying to escape the small closet.

But he maintains hope. It’ll be fine, he tells himself over and over. You’re going to be fine to dance for the audition. It’s not that bad.

Which is true. He knows that it could have been so, so much worse. The olive oil and the fingering, as disgusting and humiliating as it was, may have saved him from severe injury. And you asked for the oil, he reminds himself. You asked for it and he did it. So he can be manipulated. That’s got to be the key. Jimin can’t necessarily fight his way out of this, but maybe he can manipulate this guy into letting him go without any more trouble. He has to try.

Still, it doesn’t make the current situation any more pleasant. Jimin is sitting in a small puddle of fluids--the combination of which he does not want to even think about. He feels repulsive and he wishes more than anything that he could just take a shower and put some clothes on right now. Being left like this for so long is almost as dehumanizing as the initial violation.

Suddenly a new thought comes to mind. This is a closet, after all. Maybe he can find some clothes.

Using a hand to help push himself up, Jimin manages to stand up and feel around in the darkness. His legs are slightly shaky still and the feeling of something dripping down his leg when he stands up makes him feel like shit, but when he bangs his head on a shelf, a little happiness creeps into his chest. His hands reach up to feel around on the shelf and almost instantly he’s touching fabric--thank god.

It’s hard to tell what’s what. He has to take each clothing item down, unfold it, and feel it in the darkness to determine what kind of clothing it may be. Eventually he puts on some kind of shirt and a pair of sweatpants--or extra large stretch pants. He really doesn’t know and he doesn’t care. Just being able to have clothes on is something that brings his spirits up a little.

Fix your nose.

The thought pops into his head out of no where, almost as if someone else said it. He grimaces at the idea, but its a good one and he has just enough willpower in him to get it done.

He can’t control much right now, but he got himself clothes and he can fix his own damn nose.

So he steels himself for some more pain--what’s a little more?--and lifts both hands to his face.


 

Jungkook is eleven years old when he learns his lesson.

Every Sunday his parents take him to church and every Sunday he sees Lee Hyosik sitting three rows in front of him. The boy is his age. They’ve been sitting three rows apart for their entire lives and they have a friendly rapport. So when Hyosik has a strange hunch to his shoulders one Sunday, Jungkook notices. He notices the way his parents sit extra-stiffly beside the boy--how his father is cold toward him. And young Jungkook definitely notices the black eye when Hyosik turns around to leave, his father’s heavy hand resting on the back of his neck, making him go stiff and look at the floor.

“What was that about-- with the Lee’s?” Mrs. Jeon asks her husband on the drive home from church. They weren’t speaking to Jungkook, but he could hear them. He was sitting right behind his father as he drove.

“You didn’t hear about that?” Mr. Jeon remarks grimly, frowning at the road. “They caught that boy playing with barbie dolls again.”

“Again? Didn’t they just find the princess dress-up clothes a few weeks ago, too?”

“Yup.” Mrs. Jeon shakes her head sadly. “I told him he’s got to take that boy to conversion therapy or something.”

Mrs. Jeon starts nodding instead. “Absolutely. He’s not three years old anymore, this is getting serious.”

“Well, Mr. Lee told me he locked the boy out of the house last night--left him in the backyard.”

“My lord.” Mrs. Jeon is back to shaking her head. But Mr. Jeon just shrugs his shoulders, both hands still on the wheel.

“Eh, the kid has to learn somehow.”

“The therapy would be better, I think. It’s not good having him show up to church with a black eye,” Mrs. Jeon says simply, like they’re discussing the weather.

“Wait,” Jungkook pipes up from the backseat.” He was a little confused. Hyosik was a nice enough kid--why were his parents punishing him like that? Dress-up clothes and barbies are just toys and Hyosik has a younger sister. He doesn’t get it. “What did he do that was bad?”

His parents exchange a serious glance. At first it seems like his father is going to say something, but Mrs. Jeon puts her hand on his arm and speaks up instead. “His parents are worried that he might not be a normal boy, honey. They just want to teach him act right in the eyes of the Lord.”

“So…they locked him outside to make God happy?” He’s trying to understand but it’s not making sense.

“That’s right,” Mrs. Jeon nods. “Better to be treat a child harshly while you have them than to let them suffer in hell for all of eternity when you are long dead and gone,” she says, like she’s reciting a wise old proverb.

In his own way, Mr. Jeon reiterates her point, “Faggots burn in hell,” he mutters with a scowl. Mrs. Jeon shows her displeasure at him words with a little noise, but it’s too late. Jungkook gets it already.

And from then on, Jungkook made sure to avoid Hyosik like the plague.

 

 


 

Jungkook wakes up around 7am. Even though school is over now, his body is still used to getting up early to go to class.

He slept pretty well all things considered--no dreams, no haunting thoughts to keep him awake--which is a relief. He hadn’t really eaten any dinner last night because he was so focused on preparing to go find Jimin, so his stomach rumbles noisily almost at once. Time to get up and figure all of this out.

He rolls over with a yawn and lazily reaches for his phone on the night table beside his bed.

The phone! Jungkook jolts up in bed, a spark of panic lighting up inside of him in an instant. I left Jimin’s phone outside!

He throws the blankets back and leaps out of bed. He has to find it immediately. If anyone were to find the phone when they were looking for Jimin--

He runs out of the apartment without even throwing on a shirt or a pair of shoes. His meshy night shorts are all that he wears as he tears out of the apartment at break-neck pace. The screen door on the first floor slams closed behind him as he darts outside, leaping from one cement block to the other as he navigates the choppy driveway on his way to the vehicle.

Where is it? Where is it?!

He knows that Jimin dropped the phone by the curb, so he rushes to the passenger side and crouches down to scour the area. It’s not on the curb or the pavement. He grinds his teeth nervously and runs his hands through the overgrown grass along the curbside until at last he feels the thin, hard surface of a smart phone.

Jungkook sags with relief and pockets the phone as fast as he can just in case anyone happens to be watching him.

Only when he gets upstairs again and locks his apartment door behind him does he feel comfortable enough to take the phone out.

He looks over the phone--Park Jimin’s phone, now in his hand! It’s almost surreal--and finds the front screen a little cracked. Other than that it doesn’t seem to have sustained any damage from the fall.

Durable little fucker, he thinks.

He presses one of the buttons on the side and the screen lights up. He scowls at the picture on the lock screen. It’s Jimin and that other guy from the party. But that’s not all that Jungkook has to scowl about. There are at least a dozen notifications on the lock screen from different social media platforms, but as he scrolls through them, he finds several text messages from Taehyung.

“Where did you go? I can’t find you?” 11:53pm

“You left meeeee :((((( Why?” 12:08pm

“Let me know you got home ok. I’m worried about you baby.” 2:34pm

As Jungkook reads his frown deepens and that familiar feeling of jealous anger starts to surface again--this time mingled with something else. Fist tightening around the phone and face hardening into a intimidating mask, Jungkook starts in the direction of the spare bedroom.

Chapter Text

Jungkook throws open the closet door so hard that it bounces off of the wall behind it and nearly comes back to hit him. He gets his foot in the way just in time, blocking it with a loud thud. On the floor below, Jimin shields his eyes from the sudden burst of light with his arm. He scrambles back against the closet wall and squints up at Jungkook.

“Get up,” Jungkook says at once, giving Jimin a swift kick to the thigh. The smaller boy is still blinking blearily into the light, trying to get his bearings. He had just fallen asleep a few minutes ago and the exhaustion is clear on his face.

“What time is it?” he asks weakly.

He never listens. “Get up, I said!” Jungkook snaps. He jabs Jimin with his foot again--and then again--until he finally starts moving. It takes the smaller boy a moment to get up to his feet. He’s very stiff from the night spent in the closet, among other things, and he’s moving slowly because he’s covering his head and upper body with cringing, bent arms, ready to be hit at any moment.

Jungkook had come into the room with the intention of addressing the phone situation first, but as soon as Jimin is standing before him, his thoughts all scatter.

Jimin is a mess. There’s old blood smeared all over his face, his eyes are a little red and swollen, his pink hair is tousled and oily--not to mention the funny way that he stands, like he’s sore and exhausted--ready to be blown over by the smallest breeze.  

Jungkook could almost feel bad for him. But he doesn’t.

“What---the fuck--are you wearing?”

Jimin visibly startles at the question. He drops his hands reflectively, clutching the precious garments that he had found in the closet to cover his nakedness. “I found them.”

“Take them off,” Jungkook hisses, his voice low and threatening. Jimin’s eyes widen and he shakes his head quickly. “You’re not allowed to wear my clothes. What do you think you are? My girlfriend?!”

When Jungkook reaches out a long arm to grab at the clothing, Jimin hops backward, barely evading his grasp. “Give me my clothes back, then!” he exclaims. “What was I supposed to do? You left me like that all night long.”

His accusatory tone does not sit well with Jungkook. “So?” He traps Jimin against the wall easily, one hand on either side of his shoulders so that he has no where to go but down--and he tries, but Jungkook yanks him back up at once, pressing him firmly against the wall with his own body.

 

--the feeling of Jimin’s body against his, his small muscular frame, the way he tenses up against him--

 

“Strip,” Jungkook says as he pushes Jimin back to arms length and shoves him against the wall one more time for good measure.

The look on Jimin’s face is priceless--so shocked and at a loss but pissed at the same time. The way only a guy could look, Jungkook thinks. He can’t decide whether to laugh at his miserable expression or let out the lusty groan that’s building up in his chest. 

He decides to just threaten him instead. “Do you wanna die? Take the fucking clothes off now. You don’t get to wear those.”

His resistance nearly palpable, Jimin grimaces and does what Jungkook says--pulling the shirt off over his head and dropping the large sweatpants to the floor, glaring down after them. His fists clench as he steps out of the discarded pile of clothes and scrapes them across the floor with his foot, kicking them in Jungkook’s direction.

Jungkook gaze shifts from the discarded clothes to Jimin’s scowl. “Don’t be such a pouty bitch,” he says. Jimin seems to stiffen even more at his words but he says nothing. In the silence, Jungkook sweeps his eyes over Jimin’s whole body--up and down--Park Jimin’s naked self, standing in front of him with his head down, completely at his mercy.

He likes it.

The way that Jimin covers his front with his hands is almost laughable. He’s so tiny compared to Jungkook that there really isn’t much to hide, and Jungkook is certain that he shows it to anyone who asks, anyway. Why is he trying to feign modesty now?

Maybe he’s learning.

“What do you have to say for yourself?” Jungkook asks solemnly. He sounds like a teacher or a disappointed parent about to lecture a naughty child.

Jimin glances up at him: angry, confused, and silent.

 

Jungkook lets the silence sit between them for a moment before shaking his head in mock disappointment. “Don’t tell me you have nothing to say. You’ve had a lot of time to think; you spent the whole night locked up.”

“What do you want me to say?’ Jimin mumbles at the floor. “I already apologized for the picture.”

“Don’t act innocent,” Jungkook sneers down at him. “You are the most shameless, pathetic slut I’ve ever seen. It’s more than just the picture.”

Apparently that strikes a nerve. Jimin’s head pops up at once, his brow furrowed angrily. “What are you talking about?” he cries, forgetting all about modesty to wave his hands around in a barrage of furious gestures as he talks. “Why do you keep calling me that? You don’t even know me!”

Jungkook laughs meanly, “I know you, whore.”

“Stop it,” Jimin snarls, baring his teeth in a furious expression for the first time. “Seriously, that’s enough; you’re pissing me off.”

“Oh really?” Jungkook raises an eyebrow sarcastically. He can barely keep himself from cracking a smile, this is so ridiculous. Does Jimin really think he’s buying this stupid act? Jungkook’s dick twitches in his pants as Jimin goes on, growing more animated by the moment.

“Oh really!?” he repeats in disbelief. “Of course! You raped me, you asshole.”

 

Now that’s just ridiculous.

 

“Raped you?” Jungkook takes a step closer so that his intimidating presence can loom over Jimin threateningly. He likes the way that Jimin tries to cover his naked body again, cringing against the wall even as he goes on scowling up at him like a defiant child. “I did not rape you. You were asking for it. How fucking typical. You people always do this--go around asking for it and then try to cry rape as soon as someone gives you what you want.”

Jimin’s mouth falls open, his lips working hard to form words for a second before anything actually comes out. He seems really upset but Jungkook knows better. The little queer is just trying to figure out some other lie so that he can pretend to be the victim again.  

 

Eventually, Jimin just manages to get out, “You raped me,” again. And this time he sounds sick when he says it.

“No. You said ‘let’s just fuck already,’” Jungkook reminds him, smirking.

“That doesn’t mean--!”

“Oh please, Jimin, come on,” he interrupts. His volume lowers dramatically as he bends his neck to whisper close to Jimin’s head, once again trapped against the wall. “Even you don’t believe that. Stop lying. You didn’t even put up a fight.”

Jungkook can feel Jimin’s jaw working. “You broke my nose,” he eventually grits out.

“So?” Jungkook draws back and holds Jimin’s face still with one large hand on his jaw. The smaller boy tries to pull away but with the wall behind his head and Jungkook’s big frame in front of him, he has no where to go. “It doesn’t look too bad,” Jungkook says, scrutinizing Jimin’s blood stained face. The nose is a little swollen and bruised along the bridge, but it’s remarkably straight compared to last night.

He must have set it, Jungkook realizes. His bottom lip juts out slightly: impressed. But then again, he probably couldn’t stand it if his face was fucked up. Without his looks, he’s nothing. So of course he would straighten it out.

 

In the silence of Jungkook’s examination, Jimin works up the courage to change the subject. He works hard to make his voice sound unaffected again as he looks past Jungkook’s head to some middle distance, “I gotta go. People are going to be looking for me.”

Yes. Right. That’s why Jungkook came in here in the first place. The text messages.

“Yeah, your fuck buddy is looking for you.” He produces Jimin’s phone from his pocket and shoves it in front of his face, pressing the side button so that the texts will appear on the screen. “Did I interrupt you guys before he got to get his dick wet? Or is he mad that he missed out on round two?”

Jimin’s eyes snap up from the screen to glare at Jungkook hatefully. “It’s not like that.”

“I don’t know who you’re trying to fool, baby,” Jungkook teases, his tone mean as he mocks Taehyung’s final text from last night. “I already know. You don’t have to keep trying to convince me that you’re something you’re not.”

“What do you want from me?” Jimin asks, shaking his head angrily, as if he has absolutely no idea how to respond or what to think at this point. Jungkook has to roll his eyes at the conjured drama.  

He roughly grabs a hold of one of Jimin’s hands--peeling it off of his bare body--and presses his palm against the hard on that’s been steadily fattening up ever since Jimin took his clothes off again. He waits to speak until he feels Jimin realize what he’s touching--until Jimin’s arm goes totally stiff against him. “I want you to learn your lesson,” Jungkook finally says. “If you want to bother every one around you by acting like such a slut all the time, then you better be ready for the consequences. Right?”

“Please,” Jimin practically whispers, trying to pull his hand away slowly, like he’s too afraid to make a sharp, jerking motion. The rubbing of his hand as he strains against the hold on him only makes Jungkook even harder. “I get it, ok? I’m sorry about the picture. I just--”

“Let’s send Taehyung a picture. I bet he’ll like that.”

“No,” Jimin groans. “It’s not like that between us. Please, just believe me! We’ve never--”

“So?” Jungkook snaps, growing louder again. He’s getting too hard and it’s making him feel uneasy, so he releases Jimin’s hand and shoves him back against the wall--hard. The shorter boy lands on his ass, his bare legs bending up at a strange angle underneath him. “I don’t believe you for a second, and even if I did--that didn’t stop you from sending pictures to me, did it?”

Jimin is wincing in pain on the ground--maybe from last night’s activities. Jungkook feels a pang of sick satisfaction in his gut at the way his face scrunches up and then relaxes, obviously trying not to show that he’s hurt. “That--” he struggles to talk as he works his way back back up, not wanting to be so vulnerable like this at Jungkook’s feet. “That was a mistake. I said I was sorry. And that was just a picture of my face! It wasn’t even like--some crazy sexual picture. It was just a selfie,” he argues.

“Let’s send him a picture of your face, then.”

With no warning other than that, Jungkook is hauling Jimin the rest of the way up to his feet by the armpits and dragging him along--floundering--out of the room. Jimin argues all the way, trying to pull free of Jungkook’s grasp and escape somehow, but there’s just no way. A second later, Jungkook throws Jimin through another doorway and this time he lands in a heap on a cold tile floor.

The bathroom.

“Wash your face,” Jungkook says simply, gesturing at the sink just in front of him. Jimin looks up at him, looking totally baffled. Jungkook rolls his eyes again. He’s so fucking dumb. “He’s going to have a hard time jerking off to this picture if there’s blood all over you.”

Jimin doesn’t move from his spot on the floor. “He’s not like that.”

“Why do you think he hangs around you?” Jungkook demands, getting impatient. “You seriously think anyone actually likes you? When you present yourself like needy little fairy? Hmm?” He musses up Jimin’s pink hair to make his point before slapping the side of his head in the direction of the sink.  “They just want to fuck you. That’s it. You’re easy.”

 Jimin seems to deflate slightly.

“Wash your face. Stop making me wait,” Jungkook commands, kicking at Jimin’s side again, and this time he gets up and obeys--his shoulders hunched in sadly and his face gone slack.

When Jimin stands, he comes face to face with himself in the mirror above the sink. As soon as he gets a a good look, he averts his eyes, embarrassed. Turning on the faucet, he uses both hands to splash the water over his face, resolutely rubbing the blood away with gentle motions because the flesh is tender. When it’s all clean he turns back to Jungkook, water still dripping from his face.

“Not bad,” Jungkook announces casually, looking him over again. It looks much better without all of the blood. The bridge of his nose is only slightly bruised and swollen, and since it’s straightened out it might not be too noticeable if he takes the picture right. “Get down on your knees.”

Jimin blows out a slow, heavy breath. “Please…can I just go? I promise I won’t ever bother you again. You won’t have to see me; I won’t say anything about this to anyone--”

Ha--right. No one would believe you, anyway,” Jungkook laughs, and then just as quickly as the cruel grin appeared, it is replaced with deadly seriousness. “No. Get on your knees, now.”

“I don’t want to do this,” Jimin says earnestly, even daring to look Jungkook in the face as he speaks. But his pathetically open expression only makes Jungkook’s dick spring to life again. He lets both of his hands fall heavy on Jimin’s shoulders and pushes him down to the floor in one smooth, controlled motion.

“Maybe you should have thought of that before, slut.”

 


 

He had meant to find some in--some possible way to manipulate his captor or even just appease him enough to get released. He was up for hours in the closet, brainstorming ways to do it, planning out non-confrontational lines that he could use to soften this guy up a little bit--and he’d felt reasonably prepared. So he waited. He sat determined and ready for hours--

--but Jungkook never came. He left him in the closet all night long and when Jimin finally started dozing off, it was after the sun had already risen.

And then Jungkook was bursting in and kicking him awake, yanking him out of the closet, yelling at him, making him strip naked again--

It was like Jimin never even had a chance.

And now he’s on his knees on the cold tile floor of a stranger’s bathroom getting a big, fat dick crammed down his throat.

“Someone like you should know better than to bite, right?” Jungkook had said after Jimin’s knees were solidly planted on the ground below. “But just in case you get any ideas--” He reached up above the sink to grab something from a shelf and then made a show of brandishing it before Jimin’s face. “I’ll make it messy. I’ll make it look like suicide,” he said, slowly and deliberately pressing the razor against Jimin’s wrist, trapped and helpless in Jungkook’s strong grasp.  

Jimin swallowed hard and put any thoughts of resistance out of his mind for the time being. He couldn’t die. Not because of this! He would re-focus later--plan it all again. And next time, he would be ready for anything, even if Jungkook woke him up from a dead sleep again.

“Uhhhhh fucking hell,” Jungkook is groaning above him. His hips are rocking forward over and over again without pause, his balls flapping against Jimin’s chin as he works his morning wood deeper and deeper into the smaller boy’s mouth. “You’re not even trying and you’re too good at this.” While his left hand holds the razor blade solidly in place against Jimin’s trapped wrist, Jungkook uses his right hand to twist Jimin’s head further backward by the hair.

Fuck-- This angle hurts his neck and opens up his throat more. He’s gagging in a second, his eyes welling up with unwanted tears.

“I hate that you’re so good at this--fuck!--your mouth is so…fucking slutty, oh my god--” Jungkook is grunting from above and Jimin is trying so hard to tune it out. His eyes are closed tight, trying to dissociate from this. Last night he was totally blasted and everything was a blur, but this--

“Open your eyes.”

This is so real and so wrong and Jimin just wants to curl up and cry. He can feel everything perfectly: every jab of Jungkook’s cock into his throat hurts him and every word Jungkook says hurts him, too, in an even deeper way.

The cock suddenly slides out of his mouth--a trail of thick saliva chasing it--and Jungkook’s huge hand slaps him across the face. “Look at me, bitch!” When Jimin’s eyes pop open from the strike he finds a camera phone in his face. He recoils at once, lowering his face to hide from the lens as best he can. “What’s the matter? I thought you love taking dirty pictures to send to people?” Jungkooks jeers, grabbing him by the hair again to drag his face back up.

Jimin’s eyes are closed again--he can’t help it. His face is turning pink and the reflexive tears are trailing down his cheeks in two perfect lines.

“What a pretty picture~” Jungkook coos mockingly. The sound of the artificial camera shutter on his phone makes Jimin flinch. “Open your goddamn eyes,” he hisses again, jiggling the razor menacingly against Jimin’s wrist. There is a slight stinging sensation as it snags his flesh.

Jimin sucks in a wet inhalation and reluctantly opens his eyes again. The camera starts clicking again at once.

“Look at the camera,” Jungkook is saying. His fat cock is twitching near Jimin’s face, still shiny with spit and fully erect. When the razor snags on Jimin’s wrist again, he just gives in. His glassy eyes lock onto the tiny circular lens on the back of his phone and he lets his brain shut down. It’s too painful to think right now.

 

There is a moment of confusion where Jungkook seems to be debating what to do with his ever-so-painfully-erect dick. He eventually decides to just jerk off over Jimin’s face. “Goddammit...just stay still,” he grunts as he tugs on his penis with a purpose. A moment later he’s spurting thick white cum all over the lower half of Jimin’s face.

Jungkook sighs heavily, sounding annoyed almost as soon as the pleasure fades. He frowns in disgust and takes a few more pictures, moving the camera around strategically to make the photos look like they were taken by Jimin himself. And all the while, the razor is twitching on Jimin’s wrist, keeping him still so that he can’t do anything. He just kneels--frozen in horror with his kidnappers hot cum on his face--gazing blanking into the camera.

“How’s that?” Jungkook chuckles after a while. He turns the phone over in his hand to show Jimin some of the photos.

Jimin is beyond blushing--he turns white. The photos are filthy. He doesn’t look like he’s been kidnapped and beaten--he looks lusty and wrecked--his face fitted neatly in the camera, lips parted just so, cum obviously all over his swollen lips…

 

He looks like a slut

 

“Please don’t send those,” he says solemnly. His eyes are swimming with unshed tears. He can’t stop looking at the awful image and imagining what Taehyung would think of him if he ever saw it.

“Why not? It’s just a picture of your face.” Jungkook finally removes the razor from Jimin’s wrist and sticks it back on the shelf high above. He uses both hands to work up a text message.

No, no, no, “Please don’t,” he gasps, reaching out a quivering hand to grasp at Jungkook’s meshy shorts. “I understand now. I really do--”

“Get off me,” Jungkook snaps, kicking Jimin away from him. He falls backward, sprawling against the porcelain tub, and all the while Jungkook is just focusing on typing on the phone. “Here: how’s this?” he asks a moment later. He’s smug as fuck as he crouches down over the smaller boy’s crumpled form and shoves the phone back in his face.

Jimin gives an almost imperceptible shake of the head. The glow of the phone is like a spotlight shining on him, revealing all of his filth and everything he’s ashamed of in it’s bright, bare light. The picture is accompanied by a text:

 

“Sorry, I left to have some fun without you. I’ll see you later ;X”

 

“Don’t send that,” he practically begs. His stomach is in his throat. Taehyung can’t see this. I don’t want him to think about me like this. Not him too!

Jungkook’s thumb ghosts over the touch screen. “Sent,” he says flatly, and Jimin’s face crumbles. “Now, you’re going to start listening to everything I say,” he goes on, ignoring Jimin’s weak, breathy gasps entirely. “I have a lot more of these pictures on here and there are a lot more people in your contacts. Understand me?”

Jimin is still too stunned to respond--even with a simple nod. He actually sent it. Taehyung is going to see it and he’s never going to look at me the same again. He’s going to look at me like he does. Jimin looks up at Jungkook and feels his heart constrict painfully in his chest. If Taehyung ever looked at him the way that Jungkook looks at him…

He can’t even bear the thought.

“Hello? Do you understand what I’m saying to you, you little faggot?”

Jimin visibly flinches at his words, imagining Taehyung talking to him like that. He’s probably looking at that horrible picture right now. He’s probably so disgusted with me--

Jungkook’s foot connects with Jimin’s stomach, bending him in half. “Answer me!”

“I get it,” he heaves when his breath comes back to him. He forces himself to look up at Jungkook--pleading with his eyes, “Don’t send any more, please.”   

Jungkook nods back at him but it’s anything but comforting. “That’s up to you,” he says. He’s so cold now. How is he so cold now? He was like a blazing fire of cruelty five seconds ago. “Now wash your face; you look pathetic.”

 

 

Chapter Text

This time, when Jimin gets thrown back in the closet, he doesn’t pound on the door or yell frantically. This time he doesn’t bother putting on the clothes that line the shelves above him.

No. This time he just sits down, buries his head in his knees, and cries as quietly as he can manage.

His eyes are closed but he can still see those god awful pictures. He never saw himself like that before--so filthy and slutty, just like Jungkook kept telling him. He does look like a fucking fairy--like a pansy ass bitch--just like he said! Jimin didn’t know that that was bad before. He had no idea.

The thought of Taehyung opening his phone and seeing that picture with those words--

He can imagine the look on Taehyung’s face: Those big eyes widening in surprise, and the surprise turning into horror, and the horror melting into a sneer of disgust.

All for Jimin.

And then maybe he would just feel betrayed. After he took care of Jimin and took things slow with him--

“Sorry, I left to have some fun without you. I’ll see you later ;X”

He’s gonna hate me.

Jimin bites his top lip to stifle a little sob. He doesn’t think Jungkook is still around, but just in case he is-- he doesn’t want him to hear him crying. He doesn’t need to give Jungkook any more reasons to call him a little bitch.

He didn’t know people were this mean before, either.

He thought he could manipulate this guy somehow but now he’s just scared. He’s afraid that he’s not going to get out of here alive, and even if he does, how much of his life is going to be ruined? There are dozens of pictures just like that one on his phone, now, and Jungkook has it. With the click of a button, Jungkook could change the way that everyone looks at him forever!

A swell of panic bubbles up to the surface so strong that his eyeballs ache and a rush of bile comes burning up his throat--

Stop! 

He can’t think about that.

Jimin sniffles resolutely and paws at his face, swiping the tears away in a less than gentle manner. Stop thinking about it. You have to get out of here; you have an audition.

It’s not just any audition. It’s the biggest audition of his life. It’s the culmination of thousands of hours spent practicing long into the evening or before the sun had even risen. It’s the pay off that he’s due after training his body and his mind to endure more than they should have been able to in the pursuit of artistic perfection.

If he is able to control his mind and his body to do that all of these years, then he should be able to stop crying and re-focus now, right? At least, that’s what he tells himself over and over again every time the panic and the heavy weight of sorrow try to take him over.

You have an audition. You still have that audition.

He just keeps repeating those words in his head as he waits in the closet for whatever comes next.

 


 

Perhaps three hours pass before the closet door opens again. Jimin isn’t asleep even though he wants to be. As soon as the light floods in, he glowers up at his captor suspiciously.

“Here,” Jungkook says simply. His tone is a little gentler than Jimin has heard from him thus far. Jimin furrows his brow in confusion. The taller boy’s arm is outstretched with a little box in his hand, just floating in midair for Jimin to grab. When Jimin hesitates to grab it, Jungkook jiggles the box in his direction. “Here.”

Jimin gingerly stands up first rather than simply taking the box. A hint of a frown ghosts over Jungkook’s face but he takes a step back to allow Jimin enough space to rise. At last, the shorter boy reaches out and grasps the small box. Just before he draws back, he notices something that he didn’t see before.

Jungkook is wearing a T-shirt and shorts like before, but now, with his arm extended for such a long period of time, Jimin can see fine, pink marks on his forearm. They are as thin as hairs and perfectly straight--scars in rows like roman numeral hash marks with no cross lines--maybe eleven or twelve of them.  

“Just take it, fuck,” Jungkook huffs, getting annoyed again. He shoves the box into Jimin’s small hand an pulls his arm away quickly, seemingly unnerved by the lingering gaze.

It’s a box of black hair dye. “What’s this for?” Jimin asks, turning it over in his hand.

“What does it look like?” Jungkook retorts. But he doesn’t sound quite as mean as before. “You’re going to dye your hair. Get rid of this pink shit.”

Why? Jimin wants to talk back. This is stupid. He can have whatever hair he wants. His pink hair looks good on him; he likes it. But then again, it’s just hair dye. This is nothing compared to what he’s already been through here, and it’s nothing compared to having more of those pictures released for disobeying. Still, he has to try, “If I dye it--you’ll let me go home?”

“If you do it, I won’t shave your head. How about that?”

Fine. “Ok,” he says, clutching the box a little more firmly as he raises his eyes to look Jungkook in the face. It’s hard to meet his gaze--it makes Jimin feel sick and small--but he makes himself do it anyway. Be a man, he tells himself. It seems like that’s what Jungkook wants of him, for whatever reason.

“You can go in the bathroom and use the mirror,” Jungkook tells him. Jimin freezes, totally taken by surprise at the sudden freedom. “There’s towels and stuff. Take a shower when you’re done.”

He finishes talking but it takes Jimin a moment to spring back to life--he’s too surprised. “Uhhhhh-- okay.” He’s going to let me wander the house? It seems unreal after spending two stints in the closet. Jimin doesn’t know whether to be happy or scared, so he settles somewhere around wary.

“Don’t do anything dumb,” Jungkook mutters seriously. He’s rubbing his forearm with other hand, perhaps subconsciously covering the marks that Jimin had been staring at. “I’ll be out in the living room. Come out when you’re all done.” When Jimin fails to answer again, Jungkook prompts him, “Got it?”

“Yeah…Yup, ok.”

Without another word, Jungkook nods and walks out of the spare bedroom.

Jimin doesn’t move for a moment afterward--stunned. What does this mean? What is his plan? His mind is whirling. He doesn’t understand. As he ponders the possibilities, he forces himself to walk down the hall to the bathroom like Jungkook told him.

Maybe he’s actually going to let me go! He didn’t seem as angry this time. Or…maybe he’s making me dye my hair because he doesn’t want anyone to recognize me--because he’s never going to let me leave!

Jimin swallows the lump in his throat and enters the bathroom--by himself this time. He tries not to look around or think about what happened in this room just a few hours ago. Turning to the mirror, he takes a moment to appreciate his pink hair before digging into the dye box.

It’s pretty. It stands out--especially when he’s dancing. He likes it a lot and it took a lot of time and salon appointments to achieve this baby pink color. Underneath the pink tint, his hair is bleach blonde. Black is going to be a shock.

Just do it. It’s gonna be better than having a shaved head.

Still, he feels a lump of dread in his stomach as he mixes up the chemicals and puts the cheap plastic gloves on. The fingers are much too long for his stubby hands, which makes handling things difficult.

He’s stalling, fluffing his pink locks with one poorly gloved hand and shaking the contents of the mixer bottle with the other. Just do it, already, he thinks, but then another thought stops him.

The razor.

 

Jimin glances over his shoulder at the bathroom door. There’s no sign of anyone outside--no footsteps or noises in the past ten minutes, at all. It seems like Jungkook is really waiting for him in the living room as he said. If he could get that razor, maybe he could escape!

With a shaky hand, Jimin slowly and quietly opens the cabinet beside the mirror. There are a dozen random things inside, but no razor. It’s gone.

Shit. He must have taken it out. Jimin shakes his head and internally scolds himself for getting his hopes up. He sets his jaw and gives his reflection a determined look before raising the bottle of chemicals to his hair.

 


 

 

It’s hot today. Jungkook is reclining on the couch in his living room. It’s too fucking hot in here. If only he had a fan or something. It’s only early June but the humidity and the rising temperatures have filled his second floor apartment with near tangible heat. Even wearing nothing but a pair of shorts and a thin t-shirt, he still feels an uncomfortable layer of stickiness on his skin.

 

--Jimin’s clammy back feels sweaty beneath him, his asshole is wet and sticky with Jungkook’s cum--

 

Stop-- He rubs his thumb over his forearm, feeling the delicate scars that Jimin had been eyeing before. The familiar texture is relaxing--something grounding that he can focus on in insecure moments like these. He’s going to have to add two more lines later.

He can almost hear his father’s condemning tone now. “You’re weak,” he would say. “You’re worse than him. You can’t teach this guy his lesson without sticking your dick in him?! What a disgrace.” Jungkook rubs the bridge of his nose and grits his teeth.

It’s true, though. He has no fucking self-control. He thought that moving out of his parents house would solve all of his problems, but instead it only made things worse. His twisted desires for men were only growing and becoming more difficult to ignore. Without his father here to beat it out of him whenever it threatened to surface, he ended up failing and then having to punish himself every time he fell off the wagon. Every guilty jerk off session to some guy’s picture, every rabbit hole that dumped him back into three straight hours of gay porn, and now every time he works his big cock into Jimin’s tight body--every time deserves a punishment.

But by now he’s learned that the razor isn’t enough to keep him from going back to it. That’s why he finally decided to deal with the source --and for the past year or so, Park Jimin has been the most identifiable cause of his problems.

The hair dye is a good idea, he tells himself as he waits for Jimin to finish showering and reemerge. It takes awhile to set so he has been waiting for some time now. The hair is a distraction that Jungkook can’t tolerate anymore. He hopes that Jimin will be a little less tempting without his flamboyant, baby pink locks.

Once and only once did Jungkook consider dying his own hair. It was back in his pre-teen years. He had seen some pictures of famous singers with different hair colors and he liked it a lot, so he walked to the drug store on the corner and bought a box dye set.

His father caught him in the bathroom just before he started applying the fiery red dye.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing, boy?” Mr. Jeon demanded, and not two minutes later he was watching with folded arms as Jungkook was forced to flush the contents of his precious bottles down the toilet.

“What kind of man dyes his hair? What’s wrong with the head of hair God gave you?”

Young Jungkook listened and nodded obediently with his head down, eyes fixed on the tiles of their bathroom floor as his father went of berating him.

“Now you put this shit out of your head and go work in the yard,” he concluded after at least five minutes of lecturing. “Mow the lawn and rake up the clippings, and when you’re done you go ask the neighbors what they need done outdoors. Don’t you dare stop working until I tell you that you’re done, do you here me, boy?”

“I’m done.”

At the sound of another voice, Jungkook looks up, not realizing that he had wandered off into a day dream. Jimin is standing timidly in the doorway with a towel wrapped around his waist. His hands are hovering over his upper body--like he’s not sure if he wants to cover himself up or try to appear confident instead.

But it’s the sight of his hair that absorbs all of Jungkook’s attention. It’s jet black and wet, hanging limply around his head. This look is one-hundred-percent different than before. He looks sullen and small like this--a little edgy, even.

“You missed a few spots,” Jungkook tells him after a few moments of examination. There are two or three orange-ish spots where the dye didn’t settle properly.

Jimin raises a hand to mess with his hair, looking subconscious. “Yeah I saw that. I’ve never actually done it myself before,” he admits. “I’ll have to get it fixed later.”

They stare at each other for a moment before Jimin pulls his gaze away.

“Are you hungry?” Jungkook asks, getting up from the couch to cross into the attached kitchen area. He glances back at Jimin as he goes.

“Uhhhhh…” Jimin hesitates to reply. He’s looking all around, trying to take in his surroundings and get a feel for the layout of the apartment. “A little bit. Can I have my clothes back? I have to get going.”

“They’re on the couch.”

Jungkook knows that Jimin is trying to leave but he decides not to let it bother him. The padlock on the door can only be opened by the key in Jungkook’s shorts pocket, so unless Jimin plans on jumping out of a window, he’s not going anywhere. Jungkook isn’t sure that he’s learned his lesson, yet.

 

Bzzzzzz! Bzzz!

 

It’s Jimin’s phone on silent, buzzing in his pocket. When Jungkook sees that Jimin is preoccupied with redressing, he pulls the phone out to check. There are a few messages from Taehyung on the lock screen. He must have missed the first few alerts.

 

“Shit Jimin…woah wtf…”  9:10am

“U don’t have to do that to get my attention. U already know I like u. Holy hell, bby.”  9:23am

“I’m kind of pissed tho tbh.”  9:24am

“Aight text me back plz.”  9:45am

“Jiminnie? Where are you? You’re ok tho right? I’m not mad anymore just text me back.” 11:37am

 

A funny feeling settles in Jungkook’s stomach. He doesn’t really know what to make of those responses, so he just opens the screen to clear the notifications and then shoves the phone back into his pocket before Jimin notices. With a quick glance in the direction of the couch, Jungkook sees that Jimin is fully clothed again.

“I’m going to make some breakfast. You should eat,” he calls out to him. Jimin startles at the sound of his voice. “You’re not allergic to anything, right?” He knows a lot of things about Jimin--he’s been watching him for over a year now--but this one fact has escaped him.

“No, no allergies,” Jimin says. He sounds very unsure, like he’s anticipating an attack at any moment but trying to stay relaxed.

“Good.” With that out of the way, Jungkook sets to work making food. He starts by whipping up some eggs in a bowl. “Come over here,” he says, raising his voice a little to make sure Jimin can hear him. Even from across the room, Jungkook can see how hesitant Jimin is to join him in the kitchenette.

Eventually he makes his way over to the counter where Jungkook is working. “What are you making?” he asks after what feels like a long stretch of silence besides the sounds of food preparation.

“Eggs and tomatoes,” Jungkook says. He takes out a small paring knife--the only blade in the drawer--and cuts into a fat tomato with too much force. A gush of seedy fluid squirts out onto the cutting board.

There is silence again. Jimin shifts his weight back and forth between his feet, unsure of what to do with himself as Jungkook works. Eventually he decides to try again. “I can’t stay much longer,” he says softly. “I have to get going; I have a family thing--”

“No you don’t,” Jungkook interrupts without looking up from the tomato. “It’s only noon the morning after a big party. No one is missing you yet.”

“Yeah, but I have this family lunch thing--”

“No you don’t.”

Jimin bites back his next words and settles firmly onto both feet, realizing that despite the guise of a shared breakfast, he is no equal here.  

“I know all about you, Jimin,” Jungkook says matter-of-factly, scraping the chopped bits of tomato into the frying pan along with the raw egg. “You’ve been fucking with my head for a long ass time and you don’t even know my name, do you?” He looks over at Jimin to find him staring back blankly. Nope. He smiles ruefully at the frying pan and shakes his head, “You don’t remember me at all.”

Jimin licks his lips to wet them before speaking. “Did we go to school together? You look familiar.”

It’s true--standing here talking, getting a normal look at Jungkook--he does seem familiar. Jimin could swear that they’ve met before, spoken even! He just can’t remember when or under what circumstances.

But the half-hearted revelation doesn’t improve Jungkook’s expression one bit. “It doesn’t matter now,” he says. “You’re done with high school and I’m done letting you get the best of me. All that matters at this point is that you learn your lesson.”

In stark contrast to his frightening words, Jungkook dumps some food out of the frying pan and onto a plate, sliding it across the counter in front of Jimin. The shorter boy eyes the plate warily. “I did,” he tries to assure him. “I get it now. I never meant to hurt you.”

Hurt me? Jungkook’s brow furrows at the pretentious words and he curls his lip contemptuously. “Don’t bullshit me,” he says, more harshly than before. “Just eat.” He jabs a fork in Jimin’s direction and they eat their breakfast in silence.

 

And then, suddenly, there is a knock on the downstairs door.

 

Both boys’ heads pop up from their plates at once. Jungkook’s heart leaps into his throat. Fuck--who the hell??! His eyes snap back onto Jimin and he points his finger at him threateningly. “Do not make a scene,” he hisses. His voice is barely above a whisper but the intensity makes Jimin’s eyes go wide. “Don’t make a sound, don’t do anything, just sit here and wait or I swear to god--”

The knocking starts again, even louder this time. “Jungkook?” someone calls from the front of the house. “Are you home?”   

Jungkook hops up from the counter stool and, stabbing his finger threateningly in Jimin’s direction once more, he heads for the door.

His heart is pounding as he leaves the apartment. He makes sure to lock the door behind himself as he goes so that Jimin can’t escape, and he rushes down the stairs. The worst timing ever! Goddammit!  What if someone really is looking for Jimin? That shouldn’t be the case--it’s way too soon for that!

When he opens the front door and sees his landlord, it’s all he can do not to openly scowl at him.

“Jungkook, hi. I’m glad you’re home.”

“Hi.” Jungkook rakes a fidgety hand back through his hair and tries to let some of the tension out of his shoulders.

“I just wanted to let you know that I have a tenant coming here on Wednesday to look at the first floor apartment,” the landlord says. He’s so pleasant and chipper. Jungkook wants to punch him in the face.

“Ok.”

“Ok, great. So we’ll be by Wednesday then. It shouldn’t affect your parking at all, so no worries there.”

“Great,” Jungkook says, but his tone is flat as glass.

“Do you need anything while I’m here? All the utilities are working good for you?”

This guy can’t take a fucking hint, Jungkook thinks. The annoyance is starting to show on his face. “No everything’s fine. See you in a few days.” He ushers the landlord off and shuts the door as fast as he can without being too obvious, and then he’s bounding back up the stairs.

It’s only when he’s digging through his shorts pockets for the padlock key that he realizes something is wrong. He hadn’t noticed the weight of Jimin’s phone missing from his hip before. It must have fallen out of his pocket onto the counter stool when he got up, and in his shock at hearing the knock he hadn't felt it!

He considers calling Jimin’s name while he’s still in the hallway, but he bites his tongue and fiddles with the key instead. Shit, come on already! With a metallic sliding sound, the key finally sinks into the hole and he throws the door open, bursting into the living room all in one motion.

Jimin yelps when he sees him, the phone falling from his hand and landing in the empty kitchen sink with a loud plunk! The visible wash off anger the comes over Jungkook’s entire form makes Jimin cower backward along the counter, his hip bumping against it as his only guide.

“You little bitch,” Jungkook snarls. He takes a few halting steps in Jimin’s direction. He looks ready to pounce-- large hands flexing by his sides like a wild man.

Jimin’s mouth is open, his lips quivering around words that won’t come out as he continues walking backward. He shakes his head and the rapid motion moves the wisps of black hair over his forehead and eyes.

“You never learn!” Jungkook growls. He lurches forward with arms outstretched, and Jimin grabs the knife.

Chapter Text

It takes every ounce of Jimin’s learned self-control not to look at the phone when he sees it slide out of Jungkook’s pocket and onto the chair. With his peripheral vision alone, he takes note of the slim black edge of his cellphone as it settles beside his captor’s thigh, unnoticed. He swallows the nervous lump in the back of his throat and keeps his eyes locked onto the eggs and tomatoes on the plate in front of him.

And then--just like magic--there is a knock on the door.

Jimin’s head pops up from his plate, eyes widening as Jungkook jabs a threatening finger in his direction. “Don’t make a scene,” he hisses, “You just sit here and wait or I swear to god--”

“Jungkook!? Are you home?” someone yells from outside. An adult man’s voice.

Jeon Jungkook? They definitely went to school together, although they couldn’t have been in the same grade because Jimin still doesn’t know him. He knows that name though.

The younger boy sticks his finger in Jimin’s face again and then charges out of the apartment without another word, the lock clinking shut behind him, and suddenly Jimin is alone.

He doesn’t waste a second. He’s shivering with urgency as he snatches up his phone--left forgotten on Jungkook’s chair. The lock screen is oddly clear of notifications, he notes. Jungkook must have been going through his messages all this time.

The pictures. The pictures. He should delete the pictures.

He should text someone and tell them where he is! That he needs help--

But his index finger hovers over the messages app icon and can’t press down. He doesn’t want to know what Taehyung thought--if Taehyung responded--or worse, if he didn’t even respond at all. Maybe he’s just done with him, just like that.

He represses a shudder at the thought. Hurry up. Jimin urges his body to stay calm as he pulls up his keypad instead. As he dials, he can hear Jungkook speaking to someone downstairs. He draws the phone up to his ear and realizes that he’s holding his breath.

 

Oh my god, come on, come on. Please answer. 

 

“Hi, you’ve reached--”

 

Jimin’s heart plummets into his stomach so hard that he has to clutch the counter to stay steady.

 

Beeeeeeep!

 

“Mom, it’s me. Please pick up.” He just manages to keep his voice low--fearing Jungkook’s return at any second. The words come out clipped and urgent. “You always have your phone on you--come on, pick up. Hello?”

The sound of the front door closing downstairs. Jungkook’s heavy feet start bounding back up to the second floor.

“Mom!” he gasps into the receiver, clutching his phone so hard that his knuckles start turning white at once. “I don’t know where I am. I’m really sorry. I’m somewhere on the east side I think--I just--send Dad or something! There’s this guy--”

His breath catches in his throat when the key jingles in the lock. “--fuck!” He hangs up without thinking when Jungkook bursts into the room like a beast, charging at him with more furiosity than Jimin could ever deserve.

“You little bitch!” he shouts at him, closing the distance between them in just a few strides.

Jimin skuttles back along the edge of the counter blindly. He yelps and the phone seemingly leaps out of his hand and into the sink. Shit! The feeling of fear that wells up in his chest is so strong that he can’t speak, can’t even argue as Jungkook growls, “You never learn.” All he can do it is reach out without thinking and grab the discarded paring knife as Jungkook closes in on him like an inescapable force.

He swipes the little blade defensively in front of himself--trying to ward Jungkook off more than anything, but Jungkook’s forward motion doesn’t cease and the knife slices across the front of his chest before Jimin can stop it.

 

They both freeze for a split second.

 

Jimin’s expression is one of horror--his eyes buggy and terrified at the sight of Jungkook’s cut shirt hanging open about an inch or so all along the front of his chest. The scratch beneath it is nothing, hardly bleeding at all. One single bead of red is collecting near Jungkook’s left nipple, not even enough to drip yet. But if he had been any closer--

“Are you fucking kidding me?!” Jungkook shouts. He’s beyond pissed off. He’s scary mad and Jimin’s trembling hand can’t hold the knife still. Jungkook flicks out his arm with lightning speed and grabs Jimin’s small wrist easily. “What are you gonna do? Kill me?” he sneers, yanking Jimin closer and prying the paring knife from his fingers. “You don’t have the stones, you little pussy.” He releases Jimin’s wrist and cracks him across the face without skipping a beat.

“Ugnnff!” Jimin groans into his palm. He’s cupping his face and leaning back against the wall. He speaks through his hands, “N-No, no, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to--”

Jungkook’s foot connects with Jimin’s gut and effectively bends him in half. “Shut the fuck up,” he orders, and then he grabs Jimin by the top of his hair and hauls him through the apartment with out even an ounce of mercy.

Jimin struggles to keep his feet under him as he stumbles along, effectively dragged behind the taller boy. He tries to pull away from Jungkook’s grasp on his hair but it’s painful, and the blow knocked all of the breath out of his body, and his knees scrap over the carpeted floor and burn every time he falls.

“I didn’t--”

“I told you to sit still and wait!” Jungkook shouts over his fledgling protests. “And what do you do? You steal your phone!?" he accuses incredulously, as if it's totally inconceivable that Jimin would do such a thing. "What? You need to call your fuck boy that badly? My cock isn’t enough for your slutty little holes? You need to kiss up to him so fucking bad that you have to pick my pocket and directly disobey me? Right after you swear to me that you’ve learned your lesson?”  

“No, I didn’t!”

“You didn’t learn your lesson, you miserable fucking prick!” Jungkook retorts. He swings Jimin’s body in a wide circle and tosses him to the floor in a new room. “It’s all bullshit with you. You’re so fucking pathological that you can’t even tell you’re lying and fucking around with people all day long, can you? You’re really that deranged that you honestly can’t even see how fucked up you are.”

Jimin has just gotten his bearings on the floor when Jungkook kicks him again--this time in the face. His foot cracks against Jimin’s jaw and the smaller boy falls flat on his back, eyes rolling. When he hits the ground his head bounces off the floor.

“If you think those pictures you deleted are the only copy that I have, then you’re even dumber than you look.”

 

Pictures? What pictures? Jimin doesn’t know where he is much less what the tall boy looming over him is talking about. Everything is blurry around the edges and his skull is pounding. What just happened? When he tries to get back up, he discovers that his limbs have turned to jelly.

“Now you really pissed me off,” Jungkook is saying, pacing around the room like a cloud of sinister activity. Jimin can’t keep track of his motions. It hurts to raise his eyes. “What am I supposed to do with you, huh?” He shakes his head and then halts in his pacing, fixating on the desk in front of him. After a moment of silence spent glaring at the desk, he swipes everything off with one smooth motion--tossing books and papers and even a lamp onto the floor. Some of the objects bounce off in Jimin’s direction but he doesn’t flinch away. The swimmy pounding in his head has him stuck sitting still on the floor.

Jungkook’s loud, stern voice cuts through the throbbing sensation and makes Jimin try to look up again at last. “Fine,” he says. “This way, then. Get up.”

Jimin obviously cannot get up yet. He can’t see straight.

“--the fuck up you lazy fucking--”

He’s hauled to his feet by one arm and then tossed face first onto the desk. His legs are noodles underneath him and he ends up like dead weight, bent over the desk limply. “Uhhhh no,” he groans, trying to push himself up even just a little bit. But Jungkook shoves him right back down, bashing his face down into the hard wood of the desk with a hand on the back of his head.  

 

 

 

He loses a few minutes.

 

 

 

When Jimin comes to himself again, he hears himself moaning. There is something sticky and hot all over the lower half of his face. He doesn’t know what it is until he manages to open his eyes again. The wooden desk top is red with fresh blood from his broken nose.

He tries to bring a hand to his face and wipe at the smear but finds that he can’t move. His arms are outstretched to each side and no matter how hard he tries to bend his elbows and ball up in a protective posture, he can’t. A little cry of fear squeaks out of his lips.

“What the fuck!” he gargles into the wood. And all the while Jungkook is behind him, fiddling around like Jimin wasn’t just unconscious on his desk.

“You want to act like a dirty whore, I will treat you like a dirty whore,” Jungkook says simply, but the bite in his voice betrays the fact that he’s still teeming with anger. “You want to sneak around and act one way and then trick me like the lying, degenerate, pansy fucking slut that you are? Hmm?”

When he smacks Jimin’s ass, the smaller boy finally realizes that he’s not wearing pants again. Jungkook must have stripped him from the waist down while he was unconscious. No, not again-- “Please,” he slurs. His mouth works slowly--his head is so fuzzy--but inside, his chest is constricting with fear again. He’s weak but he tries to struggle anyway. His wrists are firmly bound with thick ropes around the legs of the desk. He tied me down. Jimin can hardly breathe. What is he going to do to me that he had to tie me down? Oh my god--Jesus, please, no!

With heavy hands, Jungkook slaps both palms down on Jimin’s butt cheeks and spreads them apart. “You’re still loose from last night and you’re already calling your boyfriend for more cock? Fucking pathetic.”

He spits on Jimin’s hole again, just like last night, but this time Jimin isn’t frozen is disbelief. Instead, he twists his hips out of Jungkook’s grasp and kicks his feet back at him. His heels connect with Jungkook’s legs and make the bigger boy stumble backward a pace or two to catch his balance. “Don’t touch me!” Jimin manages to shout out in a relatively clear voice. “You need to let me go right now, Jungkook! This is insane!”

“Shut your fucking mouth, Jimin. You don’t say my name.”

“Let me go right now,” Jimin says seriously, his voice quieter now. “You really hurt my head, I need to go to the hospital.” 

“No. You don’t tell me what to do, faggot,” Jungkook spits. His voice rises as the anger threatens to cut it out all together. He makes a noise like an aggravated, animalistic growl and then he grabs Jimin’s ass again, forcibly twisting his hips back into a straight position for his use.

“I don’t want to have sex with you,” Jimin gasps through a sharp jolt of pain that tears through his scalp. He doesn’t know why Jungkook is so fixated on this imaginary version of him, but he can not make it any more clear than that. “I don’t want to have sex with you, okay? I’m serious.” he says again, closing his eyes and trying to breathe down the panic that’s rising up in his body like a tidal wave. He's seconds away from going under. 

“No, you wouldn’t. You just want to get fucked.” Jimin tenses up as Jungkook pushes two long fingers into his ass without any preparation whatsoever. “That’s how you got here--that’s why you’re tied down to a desk getting fingered like a worthless slut--this is how you like it right? No real connection, no relationship, just filthy, dirty, mindless sex for filthy Park Jimin.” He presses his fingers in all the way to the big knuckle on his hand and then twists them around with a deft motion of the wrist.

Jimin grits his teeth and closes his eyes, turning pink all over. He’s still sore from last night but the feeling of these fingers--these fingers that belong to someone who hates him, someone who wants to humiliate him--make him really feel filthy, just like Jungkook says.

The fingers twist around and then draw back for a moment, tugging cruelly on Jimin’s rim to make his hiss out a wince before penetrating him again. This time, the long digits easily make contact with Jimin’s prostate and he starts to squirm at once.

 

The first cut on Jungkook’s forearm is the biggest--the longest, the deepest, the one that bled the most. He cut it after he fell far enough down the rabbit hole to find the video that would imprint disgust in his mind forever--the video that convinced him once and for all that his father was right and that all of the gay whores were certainly hell-bound.

He tried to block it out after he saw it, but the images never really left his mind.

The way that the twinky whore shuddered against the chaise while the other actors took turns jabbing their fingers and toys deep into his ass, how he whined with a mixture of frustration and arousal as the others cruelly teased him and played with him, making him leak cum and piss on the floor until he had nearly lost his mind from it all.

And he loved every second of it, the goddamn skank.

 

“Stop it,” Jimin chokes out, writhing to try and escape the touch, but no matter how he twists his hips away, Jungkook’s long fingers stay inside of him and keep brushing against that sensitive spot easily. He wants to leave. He wants nothing more than to go home and go to sleep and pretend that none of this ever happened! It feels so disgusting, like he’s a bug under a microscope, being prodded and dissected with disassociated hands. He doesn’t want this. Jungkook is wrong about him!

But when a thick, pearly liquid starts to bead at the tip of his mostly soft cock, he chirps out a little cry of horror. “No~! No, stop!” he argues, squirming with a sense of urgency now. His guts are buzzing with mixed up sensations. It feels a little good but mostly he feels sick as the strange liquid starts to drip from his small penis onto the floor below.

“Why?’ Jungkook mutters, continuing to rub at that spot from the inside without any pause. “You obviously you like it.”

“No, I don’t!” Jimin cries. Jungkook must be seeing the shameful display as his cock goes on leaking freely without his permission. He’s beat red and trembling, he’s never been so humiliated in all of his life. And all the while, the pressure in his loins just keeps on building.

“Well that’s your problem right there, Jimin,” Jungkook scolds him, quirking his fingers pointedly inside of his ass as speaks. He smirks at the way the muscles of Jimin’s lower back twitch in response. “How can you learn your lesson if you’re still in denial about what you actually are?”

Jimin can barely listen to him--his head is throbbing badly from the brutal blow and his cock is steadily dripping and stiffening, much to his horror.

“You’re getting off to this. You’re literally dripping on the floor from getting finger fucked in the ass by a stranger while you’re tied up. What does that say about you?”

No, you’re wrong! This isn’t fair! “Ahhhh---fuck! Stop!”

Jungkook retorts back even louder to match Jimin’s increasingly frantic tone, “You’re a gross little faggot! A tiny little lying slut--just admit it!”

Maybe it’s the combination of the way Jungkook’s nails dig into his sensitive inner flesh just right and the sheer insanity of his words, or maybe Jimin’s just losing his mind from the blow to the head and the overwhelming and unfair stimuli. Either way, he can’t control himself anymore. He flails with all of his might, kicking his legs back defiantly to get the bigger boy off!

Jungkook grunts as Jimin’s barefoot connects with his groin. He stumbles backward and doubles over with a scowl. “Ohhhh you little--” He stumbles out of the room cursing as he goes.

Jimin’s eyes are wide as he sags against the desk. He plants his feet firmly on the ground and tries to stand, but the height of the desk makes it impossible for him to lift his chest up from the flat surface. His breath heaves in and out as the panic fully starts to overwhelm him. Breathe, breathe, fuck!--oh god please-- He can hear Jungkook swearing through gritted teeth, his voice getting closer and closer once again.

If only his mom had answered the phone, if only he had had a few more seconds to leave a better message, if only he hadn’t smoked that joint or gone to that party--

“Fuck you, Jimin!” Jungkook yells suddenly, bursting back into the room with force. Even when Jimin cranes his neck to look, he can't see Jungkook but he can hear him. His footfall is like thunder as he closes in on the shorter boy from behind. His huge hand lands on Jimin’s ass--smack! smack! smack!--each blow harder and louder than the one before it. They sting bad and the third strike makes Jimin yelp.

And then Jungkook crouches down and grabs him by the ankle.

Jimin stiffens up at once, his head popping up from the desk again despite the protest from his neck muscles. “What are you doing?” he gasps, as Jungkook makes quick work of binding his ankles to the legs of the desk as well. He is ignored and every time he squirms he is struck even harder. By the time that he’s fully tied down, the back of his ass, thighs, and calves are polka-dotted with vicious welts.

His eyes are darting all around the room, looking for some possible means of escape. His skin is humming with pain, his ass is pulsing with phantom discomfort from the absence of Jungkook’s fingers, his cock is disgustingly wet and--

“Try to kick me in the balls again, bitch. Just try,” Jungkook jeers, flicking the back of his hand at Jimin’s balls from behind. His fingers snap against the sensitive skin and Jimin barks out a sharp cry.  “You’re going to have to learn the hard way, now.” Jungkook grabs Jimin’s thin ankle again and pulls it backward the six inches or so that the slack in the ropes with allow, pinning Jimin’s foot between his own knees so that the sole is face up.

 

And then Jimin feels the edge of a blade--thin and sharp as a razor, pressing into his flesh.

 

His whole body goes stiff as a board. “What--Jungkook, don’t--” he stammers, eyes widening in terror just before the first cut of the little paring knife bites into the bottom of his foot. His mouth falls open, a shout of pain building, trapped behind the place where is throat has constricted totally shut.

But the second cut makes him scream.

“Ahhhhh-ha, AHH no, no, no! Stahhh-hap!” he cries. His toes tense and curl against Jungkook’s wrist, but the younger boy goes on slashing determined cut after cut across Jimin’s entire sole in some pattern.

It’s unbelievably painful--especially along the softest places in the arch of his foot. His whole body is shaking out of his control, trying to get out--to get away from the unbearable pain as the blood wells against the little blade and drips, hot and sticky on the floor--but he can’t go anywhere at all.

Jungkook ignores his shaking and screaming all together. He ignores the blood and the sick feeling of Jimin’s skin being pierced and split by each movement of the small knife and just keeps slicing through the flesh until he’s finished with his pattern. He heaves out a thick exhale and in the moment’s pause, he takes note of the fact that Jimin is crying.

 

And then he grabs the other ankle.

 

“Don’t!” Jimin jerks like a live wire. Even though his head knows that he can’t save himself by struggling, his body won’t quit trying to jerk away. Jungkook’s strong hands wrap around his other ankle without any trouble and pull it back between his knees again.

Jimin’s other foot has fallen uselessly in a puddle of blood. Every time he jerks, his toes skid through the red droplets and shock waves of pain shoot up his leg at even the slightest bit of pressure from touching the floor. There’s no way he can put weight on it.

“Jungkook, please!” Jimin begs when the prick of the blade tickles his other foot. His heart is pounding so fast he thinks he might faint. He’s desperate, now. He can’t afford to care how pathetic he sounds--he can’t afford to be proud. “Please, please don’t do this! You’re right!”

“Shut the fuck up, I know you’re lying.”

“No, no, no,” Jimin’s head is shaking, his eyes welling with fat tears as he stares down at the bloody table under his face, knowing that there’s a puddle just like it swimming around his left foot and getting bigger by the second. “That’s enough, really!” His voice is weak from crying and he can’t make it sound any less frantic than he feels.

“No, you’re not getting off that easy.”

Easy? His left foot is useless! He’s never felt pain like this! The tip of the knife pricks into the skin on his right foot and he blurts out, “Jungkook please, I’m begging you. Please don’t do this to me, I have an audition-----AHHHHHHHH!!!!”

The knife cuts as sure and steady as it did on his first foot, just the same.

“Noooo-ho noooooo no no-- ahhhh!” Jimin wails. He grinds his forehead into the hard surface of the desk unconsciously, alternating between screaming openly and grinding his teeth to stifle the sobs. It hurts so bad that he can hardly bear it. His left foot is skittering around through the blood, floating and flinching because every touch is a jolt of lightning. And now his right foot is being carved up just the same, about to join its mate in ruin.

 

“Oh my god,” Jimin sobs bitterly when it’s finally done and Jungkook drops his bloody foot to the floor like a piece of trash. His crying has quieted some, but the force of it is enough to strangle his words away. When he says, “I fucking hate you,” it’s barely a slurred whisper.

Jungkook doesn’t hear him. He rises from the twin puddles of blood and lets his hands fall back onto Jimin’s butt cheeks--now splotchy with welts. The sight of his firm ass still gets a rise out of Jungkook’s cock, though. He shakes his head and at himself and slides his fingers back into Jimin’s reddened hole instead.

As soon as the long, prying digits are back inside of him--pressing on his prostate so easily that it isn’t even fair!--Jimin whines sadly and twists his head to bury his face in the meat his shoulder. Within seconds, the frustrating pressure is back, building like static electricity in his groin until he can feel himself starting to stiffen again whether he likes it or not. “Please,” he moans, one last time before he just gives up--because there’s no way Jungkook is stopping. If he did that to his feet, Jimin knows that this guy doesn’t give one single fuck about him.

“No more struggling,” Jungkook instructs from behind--his voice confident and dripping with an air of finality. He knows that Jimin can’t struggle now. He can’t put weight on his feet, which means he can’t to kick or twist away anymore. The smaller boy’s chest and abdomen have melted into the desk and he just hangs there uselessly--crying miserably--while Jungkook finger fucks him into oblivion. “You’re confused, Jimin,” Jungkook says, purposefully retracting and curling his fingers over Jimin’s most sensitive place over and over again. “You’re sick.” Jimin is shuddering and dripping a line of fluid down his semi-soft cock just like the slutty twink in the video--absolutely disgusting.

 

My feet---oh my god-- my feet, my feet…

Jimin’s concussed brain is turning into a broken record. The knot of frustrating sensations in between his legs is rivaling the pain in his feet, but he can’t think clearly enough to separate the two tortures anymore. His feet are useless and on fire. There are a thousand nerves open and exposed to the world. There is an alien intrusion poking around inside of his body and he has no idea if he’s peeing or cumming. Maybe both.

He’s slack-jawed and wide-eyed, staring at nothing.

My feet--

The lovely features of his face collapse in on themselves, then--twisting into a mask of despair--and something Jungkook does to his insides makes him convulse. There’s a noise coming out of his open mouth, creeping up his throat without any conscious input.

“Shhhhh.” Jungkook croons, leaning over the thin expanse of Jimin’s back to pet his hair. His fingers never stop, though. “Shhhhhh… that’s right. You’re not going to want to take anything up your ass ever again. Not after this. I promise you that.”  

The fingers don’t stop. They never stop. They keep prodding around inside of him, digging through his ass and agitating his prostate until he can’t hear anymore. But Jungkook keeps talking at him all the while.

“Let’s get all of this filthy gay cum out of you, hmm? Every last drop.”

 

And they still don’t stop until the red puddles between his feet are overtaken by the puddle between his legs, and until the black rim around Jimin’s vision has overtaken him completely.

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

There is a metallic click in Taehyung’s ear and then,

“Hello?”

“Hey, Yoongi-hyung,” he says quickly, gripping the phone a little tighter now that the older boy has answered. “It’s Kim Taehyung, we met at your party last night? I have a quick question for you. Do you have a minute?”

“Sure, what’s up.” It sounds like he’s doing something else while he’s talking. Taehyung can imagine the older boy pinching a cellphone between his shoulder and the side of his head--preoccupied.

“Have you talked to Jimin at all?”

“What do you mean?”

“Like, have you heard from him since last night? Did he text you at all today?”

Yoongi snorts a half-interested laugh through his nose into the receiver. “No, I haven’t seen him or talked to him since ya’ll started boning on my couch.”

He’s kidding, obviously, and normally Taehyung would chuckle at that kind of humor too. But after getting Jimin’s picture message this morning, that type of word imagery just didn’t sit well with him. “Actually, I couldn’t find him after that. He got kind of stoned by accident and then I went to get him some water and he just vanished.”There’s an uncomfortable pause and Taehyung almost starts talking again in case Yoongi didn’t hear him, but then Yoongi’s voice returns, serious and flat,

“You haven’t heard from him at all since then?”

“Um…” Taehyung doesn’t want to alarm anyone for no reason and he doesn’t want to spread any rumors. He chooses his words carefully. “Uh, I texted him this morning but he never texted me back. I don’t know. Maybe he’s mad at me.”

“Why? Did you do something?”

That’s the thing that he’s hung up on. He’s been going over and over the events of last night all morning long and he just can’t think of anything--anything he may have done wrong, or any sign whatsoever--that could explain that text.

“Not that I know of,” he says at last, his tongue darting nervously over his dry lips.

“Hmmm,” Yoongi is musing on the other end of the line. “Well, do you want me to call his parents and see if he’s at home? I should still have his mom’s number if she has the same one from back then.”

Taehyung hesitates, the phone hovering a few centimeters away from his lips as he nibbles on them nervously. He really doesn’t want to cause any extra trouble for Jimin or make him upset by over stepping his bounds here. They aren’t really dating yet and clearly Jimin is seeing someone else, too. Getting his parents involved might be relationship suicide. He clears his throat and, hoping that Yoongi won’t think he’s nuts, and he asks, “Do you know how to do that ‘find my phone’ thing? Or just how to track phones in general”

The line goes dead silent and Taehyung presses his palm to his forehead. Shit. “I don’t really want to call his parents. I just want to make sure he’s okay, you know?” he adds quickly, hoping that it’s not too late to avoid sounding like a stalker.

“Uhhh yeah it’s pretty easy to track people’s phones,” Yoongi says slowly. He sounds like he’s really paying attention now, at least. “You think he’s in trouble? Are you thinking he didn’t make it home after the party or something?”

“I don’t know; he just took off on me and now I can’t get a hold of him,” Taehyung explains, forcing a little laugh to try and lesson the worry that he’s hearing reflected in Yoongi’s tone. “You know what--I’m probably just being sensitive. I’ll just keep texting him.”

Yoongi isn’t convinced. “You sure?”

“Yeah, yeah. I’ll let you know when I hear from him. Can you just ask around for me? See if anyone else saw him leaving the party?”

“Yeah…okay, I will. Definitely hit me back when you get a hold of him, yeah?”

“I will,” Taehyung says earnestly, nodding into the empty space in front of him as if Yoongi is there. “Thanks again. I’ll keep you posted.”

He hangs up before Yoongi says goodbye, feeling awkward and anxious all at once.

Sitting on his mattress, Taehyung sighs heavily and falls back onto the pile of pillows at the head of his bed. His phone is on and back in front his face in a split second--like a magnet that he just can’t stop staring at. It’s open to his message stream with Jimin. The picture that Jimin sent him that morning is mostly cut off beyond the top of his screen. He doesn’t scroll up to look at it again. He’s already stared at it long enough. All he sees on the screen now is Jimin’s last message--which was just as shocking as the image itself--and the five or six messages of his own that have continued to go unanswered.

Maybe if he keeps staring at it, he can will Jimin to reply. Ugh…god, Jiminnie, why are you doing this to me?

He must go back and forth for a good hour before he gives in, blocks out a little voice that accuses him, saying, “You’re just being a jealous stalker,” and googles, “how to track someone’s phone.”

 


 

Jungkook had to switch hands at some point because the tendons in his wrist and palm were cramping up.

He fully yanked his fingers out of Jimin’s hole for the first time in a quarter hour and curled his lip, repulsed by the sight of them. They were covered in a myriad of fluids--mostly blood and shit, he guessed--but he didn’t look long because the sight made him queasy.

“Look how fucking sloppy you are,” Jungkook sneered, speaking more quietly than before. He grabbed Jimin by the hair at the back of his scalp and twisted his head, pulling his face up from the surface of the desk. Then he shoved his disgustingly dirty hand in the smaller boy’s face.

Jimin’s eyes were glassy. They didn’t focus on the fingers or the hand or on anything at all.

Jungkook jiggled his hand in front of Jimin’s vacant eyes and then gave up. “So gross,” he muttered. He wiped his fingers off on the side of Jimin’s face--on his cheek, his forehead, by his eyebrow--but still, the smaller boy didn’t react.

Dropping Jimin’s head again, Jungkook went back to working on his ass. He had done an extremely thorough job, he thought as he let his eyes sweep hungrily over what was left of Jimin’s wrecked entrance. The rim was stretched out, swollen, and pink from abuse. When he prodded at it with the fingers on his left hand, Jungkook found that they slid in easily without any resistance at all. He scissored them apart in a wide V shape and marveled at the way that Jimin’s pink, mushy insides were exposed to the open air.

Just like a pussy, he thought, smirking at how absolutely filthy it looked. There was no possible way that Jimin could be in denial about his degenerate level queer-ness after this. His body was going to hold the signs of it for him forever--he would have to come to terms with it eventually and then maybe he would finally learn. Not to mention that he would certainly be thinking twice before engaging in any type of sexual activities from now on.

Jungkook pressed a third finger in along side the first two, just for the hell of it. It sank in without any trouble, so he tucked his pinky finger in along the line of his other digits and wriggled his wrist gently until all four fingers were tucked deep inside of Jimin’s hole.

The sight was kind of unbelievable. He was so tiny! It was almost laughable how easily Jungkook was able to reach his prostate. He had read that this was difficult to do--that it took years of practice and that even then it was a challenge to do just right in order to facilitate ejaculation. Yeah, right, he thought. If that were true, then Jimin was truly the biggest whore on the planet. He must have expelled half a liter of fluid from his penis in the past half hour and Jungkook wasn’t done yet.

He really meant to milk him dry.

He went on quirking his middle and ring fingers against Jimin’s prostate while he adjusted his hand one last time to try and fit his thumb inside, too. It was more of a challenge than adding the other fingers. He tried different angles--he even tried using his other hand to pull the rim open further from the outside--but before he could even attempt to make a fist Jimin started pissing on the floor.

“Goddammit!” Jungkook hissed. His floor was already ruined and he didn’t really care what Jimin did at this point, but when the steady stream of urine wasn’t quickly stopped, he furrowed his brow in disgust. He stared at the back of Jimin’s still head for a second, taken aback at the lack of movement from the boy while he was doing this--and then let go of his rim to smack the flat plane of his back, commanding, “The fuck?--stop peeing! You’re such a goddamn baby.”

Jimin didn’t make any obvious effort to try and control his bladder. He didn’t move or make a sound either.

Shit. Jungkook pulled his hands free and grabbed Jimin by the back of his arms instead, giving him a wild shake. “Jimin?” The boy’s body scraped limply across the desk as Jungkook moved him, but he was still. Fuck!

A thrill of panic welled up from the pit of Jungkook’s gut. He didn’t want to kill him! He didn’t want to have to take him to the hospital either! He shook his head at himself furiously--realizing with certainty for the first time that Jimin was legitimately unconscious again.

“Jimin, wake up,” Jungkook said, loudly, firmly. He continued trying to rouse him with his words while he frantically untied the ropes. They fell to the floor in coils, one at a time. “Hey! Can you hear me?” He picked Jimin’s head up once he was free and slapped his face gently, not trying to hurt him anymore, just trying to wake him.

Much to Jungkook’s relief, Jimin moaned and his closed eyelids tensed and wrinkled around the edges in a semi-conscious grimace. That’s when Jungkook finally noticed just how pale his skin had become. He bit his bottom lip and looked around, like he was suddenly afraid that someone else might see this. His eyes fluttered down to the red puddles on the floor that had grown underneath Jimin’s feet at an only slightly waning pace.

That must be the problem. Jungkook hadn’t expected him to bleed that much.

Guess I better fix that, he thought. A frustrated frown spread across his features as he swept Jimin’s body up into his strong arms.

 


 

Taehyung has just gotten the basic idea of cell phone tracking down thanks to the World Wide Web when his cell phone rings again. He answers it before it can ring a second time. “Hello?”

“Yo, it’s me.” Yoongi. “So I asked around and a bunch of people saw him leave with someone else--some guy.”

Taehyung purses his lips in the silence. Maybe he really did go off with another guy just for fun like the text said. Maybe they weren’t going to be as serious as Taehyung was anticipating.

“Do you know about anyone else?” Yoongi prompts after a moment. “You guys seemed close. I’m surprised he would leave with someone else if you didn’t get in a fight or anything. That doesn’t sound like him.”

He has to ask. “How…how well do you know him, though?”

When Yoongi speaks next, Taehyung can hear the frown in his voice and it makes him feel bad right away. “I’ve known him since we were kids. We haven’t been super close lately but--he’s not normally like that.”

“Sorry,” Taehyung mutters into the receiver, turning slightly pink. He shouldn’t have asked that, but he just can’t make sense of this sudden change in Jimin! He’s torn between not wanting to be a needy bitch who’s hurt after some guy flirted with him and then bailed, and being too casual about a potentially serious situation!

But then again, what potentially serious situation can be happening here? Does he really think that someone had--what?--kidnapped Jimin? Forced him to take those pictures?

It seems insane. Stuff like that doesn’t really happen.

“Did Jimin ever say anything to you about someone named Jungkook?” Yoongi asks suddenly, breaking through Taehyung’s wall of inner debate.

“Jungkook?” he repeats. “No, not to me. I’ve never heard him talk about that guy.”

“You know him?”

Jungkook? What the fuck? The creepy junior who always wore black shirts and gave everyone the side eye? Aside from rumors that the kid trained MMA, Taehyung didn’t know anything about him, just his name. “No I don’t know him. He goes to our school, though. Younger.”

“That’s weird. Someone I asked said this guy Jungkook was at the party asking around for Jimin.”

A strange feeling settles in Taehyung’s stomach. “Did he leave with him?” he asks. His voice has grown low and serious.

“I dunno; no one knows. Some tall guy. Everyone was fucked up by then. No one was paying attention.”

“Okay.”

Trying to be a little less ominous, Yoongi adds, “I think everyone probably thought it was you, dude!”

Taehyung is chewing on the inside of his lip, shaking is head ever so slightly as his mind races through the possibilities. Jimin most definitely had not left with him, and a few hours later Jimin was getting plastered with someone else’s cum--not his. Maybe something bad really did happen to Jimin. Maybe he should call his parents, or track him down or something.

Or maybe Jimin was just being a slutty drunk. He was pretty blasted after all. And he was a flirt, no doubt about it. He didn’t want to dance with me last night, Taehyung remembers. I kept asking and he kept saying no. Maybe he was already over me and he just didn’t know how to let me down easy. But then again, sending someone a post sex, cum-covered break-up text is probably the rudest thing that Taehyung can imagine, and Jimin just doesn’t strike him as that kind of person.

“Thanks for your help, man,” Taehyung finally says.

“Yeah, no problem,” Yoongi replies, back to sounding casual. “So you want me to call his mom or what?”

“Um…no, not yet. I’m gonna call him again and see if I can meet up with him later. If I can’t reach him in like--three hours or something?--I’ll call you back. He could still be asleep or hung over or something.”

“Alright, let me know if you need anything else,” Yoongi says, “Talk to you later.”

 


 

“Jimin. Jiminnie, it’s me, Taehyung. Look I’m--I’m just worried about you, okay? I’m not mad about the picture or anything. If you’re not into me, I totally get it. I’m not mad. Just call me back, alright? I’m starting to get really worried about you. I just want to make sure that you’re safe.”

Jungkook is sitting on the edge of the tub, holding Jimin’s phone up to his ear with one hand and squeezing cold water out of the rag with the other. What the fuck is wrong with this guy? he wonders, crinkling his nose doubtfully. This is the guy that he crossed paths with coming out of the upstairs room at the party last night? Jimin’s latest fuck partner?

Jungkook had expected a variety of possible responses from this Taehyung guy--but not this. He sounded sincerely concerned about Jimin’s well-being and sincerely non-offended by the extremely offensive picture and message that he had received that morning.

Like maybe there was really something serious between them and not just mindless, immoral, animalistic sex like he had imagined.

Impossible, Jungkook tells himself, deleting the voicemail from Jimin’s phone and going back to rinsing out the bloody rag. Knowing Jimin, this poor guy is  probably getting duped, too.

Tucking the phone back in his pocket, Jungkook makes quick work of rinsing the rest of the blood out of the old rag and ringing it out again before heading back into the room with the desk. This is his bedroom and the sight of all of his books and papers, his writing utensils, his lamp--all strewn about on the floor next to four coils of rope and three gigantic stains is suddenly unsettling now that Jimin is no longer present among them.

Jungkook has been working on the blood stains for the past hour, traversing back and forth between this room, the bathroom faucet, and the spare room to check on the other boy.

Now, as he stoops again to dab at the blood stains--this one from Jimin’s left foot--turning a ruddy brown as it dries--Jungkook can’t suppress the feeling of uneasiness that rises up inside of him. It really was a good amount of blood. He hadn’t intended to cut very deeply--just enough to leave scars.

Jungkook is used to punching, kicking, shoving, and that sort of violence. He’d gotten tuned up by his father and guys at the gym enough times to know how much is too much. So as far as that’s concerned, he is relatively certain that Jimin will be fine. But he had never taken a blade to someone before--other than himself, that is.

Maybe he went too far.

He wouldn’t stop struggling, Jungkook argues with himself, scrubbing the damp cloth over the stain. He kicked me a bunch of times; the little shit was asking for it. Besides, after Jimin passed out again Jungkook had made sure to control the bleeding.

He didn’t want him dead: that would defeat the whole purpose. He was just trying to teach him a lesson so that he wouldn’t pull this shit ever again. In the long run, Jungkook was doing everyone a favor--himself first and foremost, and then everyone else that Jimin was teasing into insanity, and then probably even Jimin himself!

“The kid has to learn somehow,” his dad would say.

Somehow that thought isn’t as comforting as Jungkook hopes. He flips the rag over and scrubs at the stain some more until it’s saturated with the bloody remnants once again and needs another rinsing.

Back to the bathroom.

When the tap water flows through the rag and sends gushes of red splashing onto the white surface of the tub, Jungkook has to repress a little shiver. He can’t understand why this is bothering him so much, now. The blood seeping out of Jimin’s feet didn’t make Jungkook feel any type of way whatsoever while it was warm, but now--cold and disembodied--the blood makes him feel a little nauseous.

He had no problem with Jimin’s screaming and crying while he had been doing it, but in retrospect it echoes eerily in his mind. The way he just kept saying “please” is ringing in Jungkook’s ears. He actually begged. Jungkook didn’t expect him to do that. He drops the rag into the tub and shakes droplets of pale orange water off of his hands. Goddammit, he shakes his head at nothing and pulls out Jimin’s phone again to try and distract himself.  

When the lock screen vanishes, Jungkook takes his time looking over all of the apps on Jimin’s home screen. It’s mostly basic things: a variety of social media platforms, a few stupid games, messaging, and some photo editing apps.

I bet he’s got a thousand slutty pictures of himself on here--just waiting to send them to anyone who asks. With a mean smirk at the edge of his lips, Jungkook opens up the photos application to have a look.

He fully expects to find all of the cum shots from the bathroom earlier that morning erased--so he’s shocked when they’re still there. All 30 or so images that Jungkook took. Jimin didn’t delete any of them.

What the fuck did he do if he didn’t text that guy and he didn’t delete the pictures? he wonders. He closes the camera roll and goes into Jimin’s call history instead. There’s a voicemail from Taehyung, of course, but no outgoing call to him.

The only outgoing call that this phone has made in the last 24 hours is to a contact named ‘Mom.’

Oh my god…he called his fucking mom?!

The knot that has been steadily growing in Jungkook’s gut feels like it doubles in size all at once. He can’t decide if he’s mad or scared, but underneath all of that, for the first time he feels a little bad.

Maybe he went too far.

Snap out of it, Jungkook, what the hell is wrong with you? He taps on the messaging icon and pulls up Taehyung’s messages. There were five or six of them in a row, all left unanswered. When he taps his thumbs on the screen, he hates the fact that his hands are trembling ever so slightly.

“ Don’t worry about me. I’m just fine. ;P ” he types. And then he hits send.

 


 

 

At 2pm Jimin is conscious and alone in the spare bedroom--the one with the closet where he spent the night and much of this morning. He’s not in the closet now, though. Jungkook put him on the bed on top of a dark green tarp that he’d hurriedly thrown over top of the sheets. The plasticy material feels cool and clinical underneath him. It’s exactly the same as the one that his parents have in their garage. They use it to cover up the bicycles so spiders don’t build nest or spins webs in the wheel spokes.

Why didn’t his mom answer the phone when he called for help?

He isn’t tied up. There would be no point in that. Jimin isn’t going anywhere unless he plans on crawling out of the apartment and down the stairs…or crawling off the edge of the balcony, maybe. He can’t walk; his feet are completely useless. They’re stiffening into blocks of pain--like he’s got throbbing, stinging bricks connected to his ankles instead of functioning body parts.

Why didn’t he just call 9-1-1?

Jimin peels his hands off of his face and stares down the length of his body to peek at his feet. From this position laying flat on his back, he can only see the tops of his feet. They’ve been wrapped in thick paper towels and taped up to stop the bleeding. Other than that, they look completely normal from the top, but the steady pulse of pain is always there to remind him otherwise.

He broke his ankle once--trying to do some ridiculous stunt for a dance routine. He had to wear a cast and it took 8 weeks to heal all the way so that he could dance properly again.

This is worse.

This is a different level of pain, like nothing he’s ever experienced or even imagined. Maybe that’s because this is a major, debilitating injury or maybe it’s just because the bottom of the feet are extremely sensitive. He doesn’t know.  

He knows that he can’t audition now, though.

No possible way.

He can’t even stand much less dance.

All of the hours and the years spent practicing, all of the applications--the fees, the postage, the essays he had to write for college entry--it was all gone, just like that.

Jimin presses the heels of his palms firmly against his eyes as a soundless sob chokes the breath out of him again. He’s been like this for hours, or so it seems. Jungkook has come in a few times to check on him. Only once did he actually speak.

“Here,” he said the last time he came in the room about fifteen minutes ago. He had a small glass bowl in his hands and a white rag hanging over his forearm. “Wash your feet up.” He placed the glass bowl on the bedside table beside Jimin’s head and put the washcloth down beside it and then he was gone again.

Jimin didn’t look at him. It was hard enough just to keep breathing.

Now he rolls his head to the side and eyes the bowl suspiciously. It’s a small little glass thing, like you might put out on the porch for a stray cat. You should try to wash them, he tells himself. It’s the first composed thought that he’s had in hours and he resents it instantly. The last thing he wants to do is obey Jungkook. But this one time, the younger boy is right. Jimin doesn’t want an infection. He doesn’t want this injury to leave him crippled for life! He has to wash it whether he wants to or not. So he sets his jaw firmly and props himself up in bed one elbow at a time until he’s nearly seated.

But being upright is even worse. It draws attention to his bum, which isn’t okay either. Every tiny movement Jimin makes as he tries to right himself brings a sharp wince to his face. His bottom lip is quivering and the tears that never really stopped flowing just keep rolling silently down his cheeks.

It feels like he has a hole in his ass. Of course--there’s always a hole there--but normally he doesn’t feel it. Not like this. It feels open and raw but so swollen at the same time. It burns from the inside out.

Just wash your feet, he urges himself. He can’t stop and let himself feel that right now. He can’t take the time to imagine what it might look like or what the long-term consequences might be. He just needs to focus on what he can do, which is to clean his wounds.

Finally he gets himself sitting up and manages to dip the cloth in the bowl of water without agitating his wounds too much. It’s a slow process, but he grits his teeth and breathes and moves forward.

Peeling off the make-shift binding that Jungkook put on his feet is like torture. He did this on purpose, Jimin thinks bitterly as his trembling hands work to pick piece after piece of blood soaked tissue bits out of his wounds. He had to switch into a cross-legged position to get at the bottom of his feet and now he can see the soles for the first time. There’s dried blood everywhere and little bits of wrinkled, saturated paper towel stuck all over the place--especially to the spots where deep red blood is still seeping out of the cuts. He’s afraid to touch it with the rag. Just peeling the bits of paper off of the wounds is painful enough.

Maybe this is all part of the plan, something in the back of his mind jeers at him. He wants you to man up. Are you catching on yet?

Jimin’s scowl deepens and he starts dabbing at his left foot with the rag. He lets out a hiss of pain through his teeth and narrows his eyes against the sharp jolts the travel through his foot and up his leg with every touch.

And then, as the mess of dried blood starts to go away, he begins to see it.  

The cuts aren’t random, they’re in a pattern. His heart starts thudding in horror as more and more of the blood is picked up by the rag and the pieces come crashing together all at once. Jimin’s mouth falls open and a heartbroken whine creeps up the back of his throat.

 

SLUT

 

No, no…no… His brain can’t think anything other than that over and over again. His eyes fill with tears until he can’t see through them. When he shakes his head in disbelief they come scattering out like raindrops all over his face. He’s scared to touch it again. It can’t be real! There is an ice cold fist in the middle of his chest, squeezing his heart so hard that it might explode at any second. No, no…no! God, no!

When he tries to wipe at it again, his arm twitches so bad that he gives up and moves on to the other foot. No, no…no, no, no, please-- There are a few spots on the right foot that definitely need stitches. He picks red globs of paper towel out of the wet places and tries not to blink the tears away because he doesn’t want to look.

But when the old blood is mostly washed away, there’s just no way to miss it.

 

FAG

 

A rush of bile comes up his throat before he can stop it, burning like fire. He heaves over the edge of the bed and the cry of pure anguish that is ripped from his lips is so low and deep that he can't recognize the sound as his own. He drops the bloody rag onto the tarp, shivering all over his body, and just dissolves back into the bed.   

 

Chapter Text

Jungkook comes back into the spare room after he hears Jimin throw up. He sticks his head through the crack in between the frame and the open door and takes in the scene with a sweep of his dark eyes:

 

Jimin: lying flat on his back with his arms folded up over his face and head.

A splash of vomit: on the side of the tarp that hangs over the mattress and on the floor.

The white rag that Jungkook had brought in fifteen minutes before: now red and crumpled up next to Jimin’s right thigh.

 

He crosses the room in a few strides and hovers at the edge of the bed, suddenly unsure. “Don’t fall asleep,” he says after a moment of awkward silence spent watching Jimin cry quietly--head tucked away in his elbows. “You probably have a little concussion; you gotta stay awake.”

He says it because it’s true, but in the back of Jungkook’s mind he is aware that there are several other reasons that Jimin may have fallen unconscious on the desk.

He looks the smaller boy up and down--a little too shyly for someone who just had their hand up his ass--and takes note of his current condition. He’s still pale and quivering. His feet have been unwrapped and partially cleaned. The hand-writing is messy, but it does the job.

The fact that a few of the deepest wounds are still bleeding is disconcerting though. He might need stitches, Jungkook thinks grimly. He could do it himself--he has fine, strong thread and needles in the apartment for fixing buttons on his clothes or things of that nature. He’s never stitched up flesh before but he could probably do it. It wouldn’t need to be pretty--the whole point was leaving scars. I’d have to tie him down again, though, Jungkook realizes, glancing back up at Jimin’s hidden face. He’s clearly conscious although he’s doing his best to pretend that Jungkook is not there. Or maybe he’s out of it--has no idea.

He decides to check. “Hey,” he says, nudging a bare place on Jimin’s thigh with the back of his hand. Jungkook had put the guy’s boxers back on him when he moved his body to the bed about an hour and a half ago, although he didn’t know why. “Say something. You understand me?”

Jimin wraps his arms a little bit more tightly around his head and his sniffles increase and suddenly drop in volume. He says nothing.

Jungkook frowns and a little bit of the pity that he was starting to feel creeps away. “I know you’re awake. Say something.”

Nothing. A muscle in Jimin’s forearm tenses and stays that way.

Jungkook narrows his eyes. He’s starting to get angry. “Speak.”

Jimin’s eyes suddenly appear from in between his forearms. “What? I’m a dog now, too?” Jungkook raises an eyebrow at the malicious glint in those swollen, red, tear-filled brown eyes--he didn’t think there would be room in those depths for any anger. But after a breath’s pause, Jimin keeps right on going,

“Slut? Fag? Bitch?… Whore?…What else? I’m sorry, I don’t have any more feet for you to write on, asshole.” He’s nearly choking on his anger--his words are quiet and strangled in the back of his throat--

“Watch your mouth,” Jungkook starts, but Jimin just keeps on talking through the cover of his arms, growing more volatile by the second.

“Why? Are you gonna beat me up some more? You gonna fuck me again?”

What the fuck? Where is this attitude coming from?! Jungook scowls down at him with all the patience he can muster, like he’s watching a bratty kid throw a tantrum.  

Jimin’s heavy, angry breaths devolve back into bitten sobs. When he talks again, his teeth barely open. “What? Are you gonna cut my face up, too, so you don’t want to look at it any more? Are you gonna kill me so you don’t have to think about me ever again? You want to kill me?!”

This arrogant, fucking--  Jungkook seriously considers sticking his thumb in one of the cuts that criss-cross over Jimin’s sole, but he manages to control himself for the moment. He’s delirious in pain, he attempts to console himself--only just managing to keep his body still at the edge of the bed.

“I didn’t kill you yet, did I?” he replies flatly after a moment.

Jimin retorts back at once. “You might as well have.”

He’s being dramatic. He’s going to be fine. Jungkook shakes his head angrily at the drama and grabs one of Jimin’s arms. The smaller boy flinches at the touch and puts up some resistance, but Jungkook easily overpowers him, pulling his arm out straight and shoving it down by his side instead. This way, his face is mostly exposed to Jungkook’s stern expression. He leans forward even more and hovers over the other boy threateningly. Jimin doesn’t blink and the tears keep on welling up over his glassy eyes.

Shit. “Did you learn your lesson yet or do I need to try harder?” Jungkook asks, ignoring the funny feeling of discomfort that swells within him now. He shouldn’t be bothered by Jimin’s swollen, miserable face or his open crying. Why should he care one bit? The guy deserved it. He’d had this coming for a long time.

When Jimin refuses an answer yet again, Jungkook presses a hand on his throat--not enough to choke him, just enough to make his position abundantly clear.

“I fucking hate you so much,” is all that Jimin mumbles. When he squeezes his eyes shut, two trails of tears come pouring down the sides of his face into his ears.

“Tch,” Jungkook snorts, but the disquieting feeling is rising up in his chest again. He glances off at nothing and mutters, “Join the club.”

For some reason, it seems like whatever strength was left in Jimin gushes out all at once. It just evaporates out of him like a breath in the wind. He literally deflates underneath Jungkook’s touch--the air sucking out of him in a series of strangled but controlled sobs. “You ruined my life,” he cries, mostly to himself, shaking his head as much as the heavy hand on his throat will allow.

He looks so devastated that Jungkook almost lets go of him in surprise but he manages to stay put. He blinks down at the smaller boy several times, almost at a loss as Jimin just goes on crying--the anger completely replaced with anguish, now. Jungkook actually feels Jimin’s chest constrict beside him right before he gasps in a wet breath. Jesus…fuck.

“You…” Jungkook lowers his brow and tries to steady himself. It’s hard to concentrate with Jimin’s pulse beating weakly under his hand--his throat constricting on its own as he weeps-- “You had this coming. It’s your own fault.” Jungkook finds he can’t breathe out of his nose all of a sudden. His lips part and he has to meter his own breathing as Jimin nods again and again…he just keeps nodding at nothing, his eyes closes, the tears rolling down endlessly.

Fuck--I hate you,” he moans into his elbow. “You ruined everything.

Jungkook is still trying to think of some inflated, biting retort when the phone starts vibrating in his shorts pocket. He startles at the sensation and sits frozen for a second before he finally comes back to life. When his shaky hand manages to produce the phone at last, the call has already gone to voicemail .

 

Oh, fuck.

“It’s your mother,” he tells Jimin without thinking.  

Jimin hiccups through his tears and peels his arms off his face again, staring up at him for the first time with wide eyes. He looks terrified, now--doubtlessly anticipating another bout of Jungkook’s fury to be forthcoming. Maybe he thinks I’ll really kill him now, Jungkook ponders as he gazes back into those frightened eyes. Somehow the idea of that doesn’t sit right with him either.

Killing him is not an option.

Jungkook thinks for a moment. Finally, he offers, “Do you want to call her back and tell her you’re still at Taehyung’s? Or do you want me to ditch your phone?”

Jimin’s lip move slightly--trying to form words through the haze of emotion--but nothing comes out. He eventually just shakes his head.

“You don’t think you can convince her?” Jungkook challenges, “You’re a good liar.”

Jimin’s jaw hardens just a little bit and his voice comes out steadier than expected. “Nothing I say matters,” he grits out. “Just do whatever you’re gonna do; stop playing with me.”

He always has to be so fucking difficult. Jungkook literally bites back a harsh comment and decides to try being civil instead--or at least, as civil as he can manage. He sticks his finger in Jimin’s direction and leans in close, lowering his voice to deadly seriousness,

“Listen to me--you fucking---arrhhhg ok shit. Just---” Jungkook flushes a shade of angry pink and recomposes himself at once. Fucking Jimin. “I’m not going to kill you, so unless you want to stay here forever, you’re going to either A: call your mommy and tell her that you got trashed and you slept with your boyfriend and you’re sorry you’re such an irresponsible little shit for making her worry. Or--B--I’m going to get rid of your phone and take a long ass time figuring out what to do with you. And your poor mother is going to be worried sick--calling the police--crying to your dad that her baby is probably dead in a ditch somewhere.”

Jimin is staring at his like he’s a monster--swimmy, wide eyes held completely still, like a rabbit in front of a wolf.

“Which do you prefer, asshole?” Jungkook prompts him pointedly after a second of glaring.

“You’re insane,” Jimin breathes out, shaking his head just a hair. “You’re fucking sick.”

“Okay.” Jungkook gets up in a sharp motion and abruptly turns to the door. He twists back around when he’s in the door frame, brandishing Jimin’s phone at him with a twisted frown. “Just remember, you could have put her mind at ease. You could have called her back, you selfish fuck. I gave you that choice.”

 


 

“ Don’t worry about me. I’m just fine. ;P “

 

Taehyung can’t stop reading the text--the same way that he poured over the initial, shocking messages from that morning. He just can’t accept that Jimin would completely dump him like this. Maybe he’s just being full of himself, or maybe he’s delusional--blinded by lust?--maybe. But something else, something deeper tells him that things aren’t right here.

He’s still staring at his screen when an incoming call appears, turning everything black. “Hello?” he answers at once.

“Dude, you were right. His mom just called me.”

As soon as he hears Yoongi’s stiff tone, his heart rate spikes and his gut twists within him. I fucking knew it.

“He didn’t come home last night and he left her a weird voicemail a few hours ago,” Yoongi is saying, rushing to get it all out at once. “She had her phone off. They were in the movies. As soon as she gets out, she sees he called, right? So the voicemail is super weird--she said he sounded really freaked out--and then when she calls back he doesn’t answer and now it just keeps going to voicemail.”

“Oh my god.”

“So they’re calling everyone--like to see if he’s with them, you know?”

“Did they call the police?”

“I mean--I don’t know, she didn’t say that. I’m sure they will if no one can get a hold of him.”

They should call the police right away! he thinks, but then, “Wait a second, though, he texted me like ten minutes ago.”

“What? What’d he say?”

“That he’s fine and I should stop worrying about him. I don’t know though, he texted me a few times today and it just---it’s not like him.”

“What do you mean?” Yoongi asks seriously.

Taehyung blushes a ruddy pink at the thought of sharing Jimin’s earlier messages. He’s not used to talking about himself and guys and he doesn't want to spread anything malicious about Jimin, but he brushes the awkward feelings away and focuses on the present importance. “Um…he sent me a…kind of a sexy picture and he insinuated that he was with someone else.”

“What the fuck? When did you get that?”

“This morning,” Taehyung admits sheepishly. “I kept messaging and calling him after I called you, just to see if he was ok because--like you said, I didn’t think that that was like him. But then he just texted me that he’s fine.”

“Hm.” Yoongi is quiet for a minute or so, thoughtful on the other end of the line. After what feels like a long time, he asks, “Did you track his phone?”

“Yeah, I did.” He had struggled with a variety of different softwares until he was able to find one that just needed a person's phone number. Highly suspicious, he thought. So he took a screen shot of the supposed location and did nothing. He was probably just being a crazy jealous prick.

At least that’s what he thought 30 minutes ago.

“Where is he on a map?” Yoongi’s voice cuts in.

“I don’t know, somewhere on the east side,” Taehyung replies.

“That’s what his mom said,” Yoongi agrees. “In the message, Jimin said he was over there or something. But now it’s just going to voicemail.”

Taehyung shakes his head at the wall, at a loss. “They should call the police,” he says again, “just in case.”

“Yeah, I’ll call her back and tell her what you just told me.”

“Okay.”

When it seems like Yoongi is about to end the call, Taehyung bursts out, “You think he’s gonna be okay, right?” He has to ask. He’s been in his room alone all morning obsessing over this and trying not to go too far with the wild fantasies. “He’s probably totally fine.” It was so unlikely that something bad had actually happened to him. Everybody liked Jimin! One look at his cute smile could charm the devil himself, Taehyung thought. No one would want to hurt him. Right?

“Yeah, I think so. Better safe than sorry though,” Yoongi says. He sounds mostly convinced, but there’s still a little hitch in his voice, like he’s worried anyway.

And that’s exactly how Taehyung feels when they’ve hung up: worried. He decides that he can’t sit around and stare at the phone anymore. He might as well go see what he can find.

 


 

At 3pm, Jimin is pretty sure that Jungkook is no longer in the apartment. He heard the door open a good half hour ago and ever since then there’s been silence all throughout the second floor. He must have left with the intention of ditching Jimin’s phone and with it really being gone, Jimin can’t stop replaying their last encounter in his mind.

 

“Call your mommy and tell her that you got trashed and you slept with your boyfriend and you’re sorry you’re such an irresponsible little shit--

“--your poor mother is going to be worried sick--calling the police--crying to your dad that her baby is probably dead in a ditch somewhere,

“You could have put her mind at ease. You could have called her back, you selfish fuck.”

 

Maybe he is being selfish. Maybe he should have made that call.

But talking to his mom--hearing her concerned voice on the other end of the line--there is no way that he could have held it together long enough to be convincing. He’s in too much pain, both physical and emotional. He’s a wreck and he knows it.

Besides, he couldn’t say he was at Taehyung’s. She didn’t know about Taehyung. He couldn’t talk about Taehyung. Even thinking about him is making Jimin cry harder. He can’t stand to picture Taehyung’s goofy smile or the way his eyes looked when he would gaze down at him, because when he goes there, images of Taehyung seeing that degrading picture are sure to follow.

“He’s going to have a hard time jerking off to this picture if there’s blood all over you.”

What if he really did that? Jimin pinches his lips together in a tight line, trying to make the nausea that builds at the thought go back down. Imagine he’s here getting tortured--literally tortured and raped and just destroyed--and Taehyung is at home getting off to it. What if Jungkook is right after all?

Or what if Taehyung hates his guts now, too?

It doesn’t matter, he thinks, rolling onto his side and curling up a bit more. Whatever Taehyung thinks of him, he’ll never know. There’s no way that he can face him after this. And maybe Jungkook took more pictures while he was unconscious. What if Taehyung saw him bent in half over the desk, fucked wide open and dripping all over the floor?

And who else did Jungkook send the pictures too? With his phone gone, now, Jimin will have no way of knowing who has seen him like this.

 

You can’t show your face after this.

Your ass is a wreck--who knows what that’s going to mean in the long run--but you’re not having sex with guys ever again--not with that mess.

You’re going to have those scars…can’t show anyone your feet. Ever. No beach, no swimming, no dancing barefoot. You can’t dance, period.

You can’t audition.

You can’t even go to the doctor--because how the fuck would you explain this without proving to the entire medical staff that you are exactly what Jungkook says you are?

 

He should have just killed you.

 

It’s like his old brain got murdered on that desk and now he’s got this other voice inside of him.

As harsh as it is, he knows the voice is right. It wouldn’t matter if Jungkook came back in five minutes and choked the life out of him. His life is over anyway.

Had he seriously thought that he could manipulate Jungkook into freeing him this morning? Did he really think that he could charm this guy into letting him go without any more trouble? Apparently Jimin was dumb--and a manipulative little flirt just like Jungkook said.

He knows better now, though.

You don’t want to be to here forever do you? the voice starts again. He’s crazy--he’s going to keep you here forever and keep torturing you and then he’s going to murder you. Move the fucking process along, already!

Jimin’s eyes float open. He takes a breath--the calmest one he’s managed in hours--and he ignores all of the pain the courses through him as he sits up again. He tenderly turns his hips and sweeps his feet off of the bed. They hover an inch from the floor boards.

Don’t be a bitch. 

He grimaces and gingerly taps his big toes against the floor, just testing. Nope. There’s no way he’s walking out of here.

Crawl, then. You don’t want to die in here. Let him kill you on the stairs while you’re trying to escape. Be a fucking man for once in your life.

It takes three whole minutes to rearrange himself so that he can lower his upper body to the floor first. He catches a whiff of vomit on the way down. When he’s on his elbows and knees on the ground--his feet carefully floating soles-face-up--he starts the long crawl to the door. Luckily, Jungkook left it cracked open when he left.

Jimin crawls across the living room space with as much determination as he can muster, keeping his face downcast as he passes the couch. He doesn’t turn his head to glance at the kitchenette to his left. His focus is on the next placement of his hand on the floor in front of him--on getting to the door.

Can he even open it? When he reaches the flat, wooden surface, Jimin’s red-rimmed eyes travel all the way up to the padlock and the door handle. It’s far above his head in this position. He’s going to have to get up. With a low groan, he manages to raise himself up into a high kneeling position. At full stretch--teetering on the balls of his kneecaps so that he doesn’t have to brace his toes on the ground--he can just barely reach the lock with his fingertips.

 

Click.

 

A swell of emotion bubbles up in his throat as the knob turns freely in his hand, the door swinging open behind it to reveal the steep staircase leading down to the vacant first floor. “Oh my god,” he blubbers, overwhelmed with the possibilities. He’s going to escape or he’s going to get murdered for this.

Who cares? Stay focused.

He sucks his fat bottom lip in between his teeth and nibbles on it, trying to control his emotions and temper the pain as he turns around and begins his decent. Going down stair by stair on his bum isn’t an option. The only thing he can do is crawl down on his knees backward, clinging to the stairs above like a nervous toddler.

The lower he gets the quicker his heart pumps within him. And then, just like that, he’s on the first floor only fifteen feet away from another door--this one leading him out of the house all together.

Keep going. Just end it, already.

At the foot of the stairs, he re-positions himself to crawl forward again. His arms and his thighs are shuddering as he goes. His feet are wet with blood and every motions reverberates through the wounds even though they’re not making contact with anything but air.

He’s five feet away from the door when the handle jiggles above him, being turned from the outside.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

The door handle jiggles for a moment and then there comes a series of knocks. Jimin is so frightened that it takes that critical piece of information a few seconds to register.

 

Jungkook would not be knocking.

He scrambles up onto his knees again and teeters dangerously, his weight falling against the door as he stretches out all the way to reach up and unlock the door--deadbolt and door handle--before drooping back down. His hand is shaking from exhaustion but he manages to twist the brass handle, anyway. He can’t pull it open more than a few inches because his own body is blocking the way, but that small crack is enough to see the long legs of someone waiting on the other side. Jimin’s wide eyes travel upward along the slit of the door until he reaches a face.

Oh my god…

“Hello?”

Oh no…

It’s unmistakably Taehyung, who is the absolute last person that Jimin wants to see besides Jungkook himself. He shrinks away from the door at once, his knees scrapping backward over the hard floor.

“Jimin?” Taehyung queries from outside. He pushes the door open a little further--there’s space now that Jimin has moved back--and when he sees the smaller boy he literally gasps. “Oh my god!” The bigger boy gives the door another push and now it’s swinging open against the far wall and there is nothing in between them.

Jimin must look as wrecked as he feels because Taheyung’s expression is horrible. His brows screw up in shock, his mouth falls open at an odd angle, and he takes half a step back before he can stop himself.

Jimin feels a flaming blush engulf his entire body all at once. It starts in his cheeks and works it’s way down until every bit of him is shrouded in shame. If he could only curl up and vanish he would, but his feet are too hurt and he’s stuck in this awkward kneeling position, rigidly upright for Taehyung to examine.

You didn’t even put clothes on, the mean voice inside of his head begrudges him. He’d crawled out of the spare room wearing nothing but his black button down--hanging wide open because Jungkook had ripped all of the buttons off last night--and a pair of boxers. You didn't even put socks on.

“What the hell--what?--are you okay?” Taehyung stammers. He looks hesitant as he lowers himself to Jimin’s level, offering his arms as if to help him rise. But Jimin doesn’t move at all. He’s just frozen on the ground. “What happened?” Taehyung is asking.

Ha, yeah, what happened to you? Jimin can’t possibly answer that question. He makes the mistake of meeting Taehyung’s eyes just for a second and the pulse of embarrassment that stabs him in the gut forces him to look away instantly.

It is then that he sees Jungkook’s car parked on the curb in view of the open door, and the silhouette that sits in the driver’s seat is unmistakable.  

Jimin’s eyes widen dramatically and his breath hitches in the back of his throat. He looks back and forth from Taehyung’s disturbed, concerned expression and the menacing car behind him a few times before finally Taehyung pipes up,

“Jiminnie, talk to me.”

Perhaps he had been speaking all along and Jimin just wasn’t hearing him? He shakes his head, pulse racing--

“Why are you here?” Jimin gasps.

If Jungkook is outside then he is seeing this. He is letting this happen. But how could that be? Maybe he asked Taehyung to come. Maybe he invited him, the voice suggests. It’s in the back of Jimin’s head and it sends a chill straight down his spine. Maybe they’re friends. Maybe Taehyung really did like your picture after all, like Jungkook thought he would.

“I’ve been trying to get a hold of you,” Taehyung explains. He seems uncertain--taken aback by Jimin’s sudden fear of him. “That picture this morning…I didn’t know what to think.”

At that admission, Jimin’s gaze crashes to the floor. So he had seen it. He bites his lip and hangs his head low, suddenly too exhausted to keep his chin up for another moment. Don’t cry--you knew he was going to see it.

“Are you all alone here?” Taehyung is asking. When he reaches out gently to touch Jimin’s arm, the shorter boy flinches away. He draws his hand back part way, leaving it hovering a few inches from Jimin’s arm. “Is anyone else here?”

Jimin doesn’t know how to answer that. Even with his eyes downcast, he can feel Jungkook’s presence looming by the road--just sitting there motionlessly like a phantom. Why is he just sitting there?

“Jimminie?” Taehyung prompts again when he gives no answer.

Jimin furrows his brow at the floor boards. “Why are you here?” he rasps out. He has to know. It seems more than plausible that Jungkook had sent him as some cruel trick--a truly heartbreaking finale--as if there was any place left in Jimin’s heart that hadn’t already been shattered.

Taehyung licks his lips and shakes his head. “Everyone’s looking for you, man. I know you said you’re fine, but…. I just…I had to make sure you were okay so I tracked your phone. I’m sorry.”

That’s good enough. Jimin dissolves into tears in an instant, much to his mounting humiliation. He can’t help it, though. It’s really over. Somehow Taehyung actually found him and is here to help him! The feeling of relief comes fast and hard and he sags forward, exhausted, his arms twisting protectively around his midsection as he droops, weeping in silence. Taehyung catches him before he falls over all together.

“I’m sorry,” Taehyung says again, but then he sees Jimin’s feet and he goes silent.

Jimin is hardly aware of where he is now. He’s crying into Taehyung’s shoulder--not because he wants the physical comfort but simply because the big body is preventing him from landing face down on the floor again. It’s over. He’s burning up with embarrassment at this weak display--he knows that Taehyung will remember him like this forever.

“Can we leave? I don’t wanna be here,” he mumbles through his tears. His fingers are clutching tightly onto Taehyung’s shirt without meaning to. He can’t stay upright on his own anymore.

“C-can you walk?”

Another pang of sorrow shoots through Jimin’s insides and he bites back a true sob. Fuck, stop crying about it. “No, I’m sorry,” he admits.

“Should I carry you?” Taehyung asks after an awkward pause.

“I don’t care, just get me out of here,” Jimin groans into the soft material that covers Taehyung’s shoulder. In this moment of relief, his body is finally realizing that it is completely sapped of energy. He can feel the pain in his feet and his ass more acutely now, too. And even more than that: Jungkook is just outside. He can’t dawdle here for another second!

“Okay.” The nervousness is more than evident in Taehyung’s voice and in the tense gait of his body as he rights himself and scoops Jimin up into his arms. He walks back out onto the porch--moving a little slower than normal under Jimin’s weight--and kicks the door shut behind him.

As for Jimin, he keeps his eyes shut and forgets to breathe as they cross the front lawn and make their way to Taehyung’s car. They pass by Jungkook’s vehicle but Taehyung is too focused on Jimin to notice. Only when Jimin hears a car door open does he dare to open his eyelids again.

“Ok, here we go,” Taehyung warns him before he carefully lowers Jimin into the passenger seat.

It takes every ounce of control that Jimin can muster to avoid hissing in pain when his butt makes contact with the seat. He doesn’t want Taehyung to know. That’s one thing that he can hide, at least--on the off chance that Taehyung hasn’t already seen pictures.  

He’s so busy thinking about that, that the thud of the door closing to his right makes him jump. He twists around in his seat, wide eyes searching the space around the vehicle, expecting to see Jungkook stalking around the back of the car to get in the driver’s seat as he had the night before.

But when the door opens it’s Taehyung who gets in, and he reassures him, saying, “Alright, don’t worry. Let’s…take you to the hospital. Right?”

“No!” Jimin returns, alarmed at the suggestion. He can’t go to the hospital. They’ll see everything, they’ll touch him in all the wrong places, and he’ll have to explain every painstaking detail. He just can’t. “Can you take me home?”

As soon as the request is out of his mouth, Jungkook’s words come echoing back. “Tch. Not to your house. You think I’m driving you home because you can’t take care of yourself?”

“To my house,” Jimin rushes to clarify. “Can you drive me back to my parents’ house?”

“Okay,” Taehyung quietly agrees. The look on his face betrays the fact that he clearly doesn’t like the idea of skipping the hospital, but he keeps quiet about it. He doesn’t say anything about the sprinkling of blood that is surely staining the passenger side floor, either. He just watches the road as he drives and waits for Jimin to speak.

Jimin cannot take deep breaths until they’ve pulled away from the apartment, driven around the corner and all the way down the block. It’s actually over, he thinks.

But the voice in the back of his head is more realistic. Don’t be so naive. You’re a complete mess and he has all of those pictures of you. This is never going to be over.

The pictures. Who knows how many other people have seen them, but Jimin knows for sure that Taehyung has. He shakes his head and glares into his lap, a flutter of something even darker than sadness stirring around in his gut. If only someone else had come to get him--anyone else! It’s almost like Taehyung was there the whole time, witnessing it all. He’s the last person that Jimin wants to be in a car with.

 

An awful, awkward, silent car.

 

The sound of the engine is the only noise between them now that Jimin has managed to stifle his tears again. I can’t believe you cried in front of him, too, the voice mocks him. You’re such a goddamn baby. 

“Where do you live?” Taehyung’s voice cuts in all of a sudden. He’s been driving through the city for a few minutes in silence but he needs directions at this point.

Oh right, he doesn’t even know where you live. You’re not really that close. You barely know each other and he’s already seen you butt-ass naked and slathered in cum. “North side,” Jimin grits out without looking up. “108th street.”

At the change in his tone, Taehyung glances over at Jimin for a second before turning back to the road. He doesn’t press him. In fact, no one speaks again until several minutes later when Taehyung swallows hard and ventures, “Do you want to call your parents? Tell them we’re on the way back?”

My parents? Jimin blinks down at his thighs. He’s going to have to face his parents like this…

“Your mom was looking for you, she might have called the police--”

“We’re almost there,” Jimin quickly cuts him off. His voice is comes out argumentative and gruff. He doesn’t want to hear about police. He doesn’t want to call. He doesn’t want to talk.

He doesn’t want Taehyung’s concerned glances or his nervous silence. He doesn’t want to be sitting upright in this seat--his ass on fire and aching deep into his guts. He doesn’t want to look up and see that the city has gone on like normal, totally unaware of what has been done to him. He doesn’t want to look down and see himself mostly naked, bruised, and bleeding lazily onto the floor.

He doesn’t want to be conscious anymore.

So he sits still and stiff, silent as a stone until they arrive.

 

As soon as Jimin’s house comes into view his guts turn to led. Whatever shame had been churning around within his body suddenly becomes a solid mass and it just sits inside of him like a weight. He can hardly get his voice to work when he finally speaks up again, telling Taehyung, “It’s the blue one--right there with the white mailbox.”

The other boy pulls over along the curbside and puts the car in park, turning the key in the ignition to silence the engine--all without a word. He must realize by now that Jimin does not want to speak to him. As soon as the car is off, Taehyung exits the vehicle and rounds the hood of the car to help Jimin disembark.

“I don’t want you to carry me in,” Jimin mumbles, his chin tucked low so that he doesn’t have to look Taehyung in the face as he is helped out of the passenger seat.

“You can’t walk,” Taehyung counters softly.

Still, Jimin stubbornly tries to stand. He holds onto Taehyung’s forearm, grinds his teeth together, and presses a foot down onto the pavement. He hisses in pain and his knee buckles as soon as he puts even a pound of weight on it, tearing an anguished cry from his lips.  

“Alright, stop,” Taehyung says, shaking his head. He looks grim but he takes Jimin back up into his arms anyway . “I’ve got you.” A bloody footprint is left behind on the curb.

Jimin thinks that the moment when they wait on the porch--just after Taehyung has knocked and just before the door has opened--must be the worst part of this whole, humiliating journey home. Being carried to his front door like a helpless infant by some guy that his parent’s have never even met…what could be more demoralizing?  

But he’s wrong.

The worst part is when his father opens the door and flickers of every emotional imaginable dance across his usually straight face. Shock, relief, disbelief, anger, disappointment…

The worst part is when his father has taken him out of Taehyung’s arms and carried him a few paces into the house, when his mother screams in horror at the sight of him--like he’s dead.

The worst part is how she cries and touches him like she’s touching his corpse. How her fingers dance over the marks that have settled into purple bruises up and down the backs and sides of his bare legs, how her lips tremble, open and gasping at the sight of his blood, effectively ignoring him as he lies through his teeth, “I’m okay, I’m okay.”

No, the worst part is when she finally comprehends what has been carved into his feet and she swoons against the kitchen table, white as a ghost and close to fainting.

 

“Thank you for bringing him home. I think it would be best if you go now, young man,” Mr. Park directs at Taehyung, gesturing toward the door with a small motion of his head. The other boy had been looming in the front hall a few yards away, unsure of what to do with himself. But now that Mrs. Park has taken ill as well, Jimin’s father doesn’t have time for guests.

Jimin doesn’t notice whether or not Taehyung replies, whether he goes out the front door, or whether he stays right there in the mudroom. He doesn’t look back at the other boy even once as his father carries him off into the back bedrooms--somehow managing to guide his woozy, weeping mother along as well.  

“Your poor mother--crying to your dad--you could have put her mind at ease, you selfish fuck.”

“Please don’t cry, mom. I’m okay, really,” he tries to say without sounding as weak as he feels. But she only cries harder at his words, grasping onto him and causing Mr. Park to stumble slightly. When at last they’ve made it into the back bedrooms, Jimin is placed down on his own bed and Mr. Park guides his mother off to their bedroom where she can lay down for awhile and calm her nerves.

 

He comes back before Jimin can even get seated in a comfortable position.  “Dad--”

His father cuts him off with a small wave of his hand and crosses the room to kneel before his son. Compared to his mother, Mr. Park is remarkably calm, but Jimin can recognize the complex web of emotions and questions that are clouding his metered expression.

Under his father’s gaze, Jimin straightens up a bit and folds his hands in his lap, trying to appear as put together as he can manage--trying to pretend that he was not just carried into the room like a child. He holds down his own emotions and simply waits for his father to speak, breathing in and out through his nose to quell the buzzing panic that has never truly subsided since the desk.

At last, Mr. Park says, “Why did this happen?”

He is not being mean or vindictive, he is not blaming his son, he’s just asking a simple question--but it cuts Jimin to the bone.

 

“That’s what’s wrong with you--fucking filthy.”

“You’ve been teasing me for months! Dirty, fucking whore.”

“You just want to get fucked. That’s how you got here--filthy Park Jimin.”

“You don’t get to do that shit without facing the consequences anymore. Fucking degenerate.”

“You were asking for it.”

“You had this coming.”

“Tell your mommy you got trashed at a party and you slept with your boyfriend--irresponsible little shit.”

 

There are a dozen reasons why--

--the restaurant selfie that he never should have taken, the party that he didn’t really want to go to, the black shirt that he shouldn’t have put on, the vodka punch that he couldn’t stop drinking, the weed that he shouldn’t have smoked--

There are a thousand reasons why, but he can’t bring himself to verbalize any one of them.

 

“I don’t know,” he mumbles into his lap after a long time spent nibbling on his bottom lip. He scrapes his teeth over the pink flesh until it stings, because he can’t look up at his father anymore, either, and that’s the worst part. “I’m so sorry, dad.”  

 

Chapter Text

As soon as he had hung up with Yoongi, Taehyung just couldn’t shake the feeling of unease any longer. He was worried about Jimin. All of a sudden it didn’t matter whether Jimin had gone off with someone else or not, whether he liked Taehyung back or not--it didn’t matter if he had sent those dirty pictures on purpose to be mean or to shock him or for whatever reason--none of that mattered at all compared to Jimin’s actual, physical safety.

If his mother couldn’t get a hold of him either then something was wrong.

Courage bolstered by that new piece of knowledge, Taehyung worked up the balls to go through with his reconnaissance mission. He had traced Jimin’s phone over an hour ago after that first phone call with Yoongi and--just as he had told the other boy--Jimin’s phone had pinged on the east side of the city.

He had taken a screen shot of the little red dot on the map at that time, which turned out to be great luck. When he searched the phone number again, the signal could no longer be found.

Holy shit, something is really wrong. Taehyung launched himself out of bed and threw on a pair of shoes on his way out the door, his heart rate spiking rapidly. He lived about 20 minutes away from the last place that Jimin’s phone signal registered. He had to get there as quickly as possible.

 


 

Standing on the edge of the canal, Jungkook felt a little pang of loss right before he pulled the battery out of the back side of Jimin’s phone, cracked the screen into splinters on the concrete at the edge of the bridge, and tossed the remnants into the water below. But as soon as the glint of gray disappeared into the depths, he folded his arms, satisfied.

With that done, he could figure out how to end this whole mess. He returned to his car and headed back toward his apartment, thinking about the next steps as he went.

Despite what Jimin might have been thinking, killing the little pansy had never crossed Jungkook’s mind. All he ever wanted to do was resolve the plague that had been stirring up his own sick desires for the past year or so. Jimin needed a swift and severe punishment--a spanking, if you will--and Jungkook had realized after months of suffering under the dancer’s spell that if he didn’t do something about it, no one else would.

So he had acted. And yes, he may have made a few errors along the way--actually, literally fucking him was never part of the plan, for example--but fuck! that was the whole problem, wasn’t it?! Jimin was like a magnet for him, like kryptonite. This was the only way that Jungkook could get the guy out of his system for good so he could move on with his life.

He had to do it.

And sure, maybe he went a little too far--made him bleed a little too much--but these things happen in the heat of the moment. Especially when the recipient of punishment is as adverse to learning their lesson as Jimin had been. He had fought Jungkook every step of the way in one form or another, and so things got escalated. It happens.

But none of that mattered now. All that he was concerned about was how to end this thing, because he didn’t want to kill Jimin and he didn’t need to punish him anymore, either. When he’d left to ditch the phone, Jimin had seemed thoroughly broken.

The biggest problem was Jimin’s feet. Since he couldn’t walk, Jungkook couldn’t simply let Jimin go away on his own. He was going to have to take him someplace and drop him off where someone else could help him get to a hospital without getting himself caught.

Which was the other thing. Jungkook really did not want to get in trouble with the law. Thinking back over the events of last night and this morning, it seemed more than likely that he could get in serious trouble for what had happened between them--particularly because of Jimin’s feet. He doubted that Jimin would complain to authorities about the sex stuff, being that he was so slutty in general and no one would really believe him. But the feet could be a problem.

He was still contemplating possible solutions to all of this when he parked along the curbside in front of his apartment and another vehicle drove around the corner and parked on the street behind him, a few driveways down. Jungkook waited in his car, not wanting to be seen, and simply watched in his rear view mirror as none other than Taehyung got out of the other car and walked tentatively up the driveway to the house next door.

What the fuck, how is he here?

Jungkook had his own phone on him, so Jimin couldn’t have made a call while he was out, and Jimin’s phone was dismantled and destroyed. No one should have been able to track it.

He watched with baited breath and mounting anger as the other tall boy from last night’s party knocked on the neighbor’s house again and again with no response. No one lived there. Much of this area was abandoned; it really was a shitty part of town. Eventually, Taehyung gave up and started back down the driveway toward the sidewalk.

Good riddance.

But Taehyung didn’t get back in his car and he didn’t give up. He went up the far side of the street, knocking on every single door to no avail.

At first Jungkook was pissed, but the longer he watched the other boy toil through his search, the clearer his exit strategy became. If somehow Taehyung were to find Jimin on his own without Jungkook even being in the house, then there would be no need for an elaborate plan to take Jimin somewhere else for quote-un-quote rescue!

It was almost too perfect.

Unfortunately Taehyung was going in the wrong direction. He had started with the neighbor’s house but now he was getting further and further away from Jungkook’s apartment. I need to unlock the doors so that he can get into my place, Jungkook thought, without being seen.  

He was about to get out of the car and stealthily do this last crucial step when Taehyung suddenly turned and began the long walk back to his vehicle. Dammit. The boy looked frustrated and grim, clearly having failed again and again and now he looked ready to give up altogether. But then, just as he reached his vehicle and seemed about to leave, Taehyung glanced back over his shoulder at Jungkook’s apartment.

Surprised, Jungkook followed his gaze. The way his head had turned so quickly seemed like he heard something coming from that direction. Jungkook lowered his brows, confused. He adn’t heard anything. His apartment looked normal--no sight of Jimin in any of the front windows.

But Taehyung looked resolute. He made one final walk up a driveway-- this time the correct one.

 


 

 

Within ten minutes of Taehyung’s departure, Jimin is being put in the back of the family car. He buckles his seat belt and shifts his weight onto one hip to lesson the pain he feels in his rear end. Outside the tinted window, he watches as his father guides his mother toward the car. She’s still deathly white and crying quietly to herself. He wishes that she wouldn’t come to the hospital. Given her nervous temperament, she should stay home and rest. Nothing that happens with the doctor is going to make her or anyone else feel better.

He doesn’t want to go but he asked once already and was denied, so he’s not going to argue. That’s the last thing his parents need right now.

As soon as Mrs. Park is settled in the passenger seat, they are headed straight for the hospital whether Jimin likes it or not. All he can do is sit quietly and steel himself for the discomfort to come.

“He’s here, he came home,” he remembers Mr. Park saying a few minutes ago before he felt ready to rouse Mrs. Park. He was on the phone with the police at the time--keeping them informed on the situation. Jimin had learned very quickly upon arriving home that his mother had indeed called the police just as Jungkook suggested, and they had been looking for him for about an hour. Apparently the officer who had taken the family’s statement left the house only moments before Taehyung pulled up with Jimin in tow. “Yes, we’re going to the emergency room right now. Thank you, officer.”

Jimin had wanted to argue more--no hospital, no police--all he wanted to do was be at home and rest and try to forget everything for a few hours. He needed a fucking break.

But he just apologized instead. “I’m sorry, dad.” He must have said it twenty times in those five minutes spent alone with his father in his bedroom, and every time Mr. Park would nod seriously and put a hand on his son’s shoulder.

The ride to the emergency room takes about ten minutes. Jimin could use the time to think over the events of the past 15 hours or he could spend the time preparing himself mentally--decide what he’s going to tell the doctors, the police, his parents--but he doesn’t. He closes his eyes and leans against the window.

Before he knows that he’s dozed off, they have already arrived.

 


 

 

After leaving the Park residence, Taehyung finds that he can’t go home.

“Hey…it’s me.”

“Hey--”

“Are you free? Can I come over?” he interrupts. He finds himself trembling in the driver’s seat of his car, still parked on Jimin’s curb because he can’t bring himself to turn it on and drive away. He knows he shouldn’t be calling--they’re not even friends, they literally just met--but he can’t help himself.

“Uh…yeah. What’s up?” Yoongi asks, “Have you heard anything about Jimin.”

Heard things, saw things-- “Yeah, he’s home with his parents. Are you home? Can I swing by?”

“He is? Dude…thank god,” Yoongi says, and his voice sounds far away for a second while he must be switching ears. He sounds totally relieved, like everything is okay now. That couldn’t be further from the truth. If anything, Taehyung is a thousand times more disturbed now that he found Jimin than he was when Jimin was still missing.

“So you don’t mind, right? I’m gonna be on my way over right now.”

Yoongi agrees without question and Taehyung finds the ability to move again after he’s hung up. He drives off in the direction of Yoongis’ house--the same place he drove to just last night. It’s hard to believe that it’s been less than 24 hours since this all began.

His mind is whirling as he drives, going over every detail of what he just saw.

He had gone up and down that street, knocking on every single door because there was no way to know where Jimin actually was. The red dot of his cellphone in the tracking image wasn’t precise--it was just a signal blur, encompassing a small circumference on the map that couldn’t necessarily be pinned to one house. Sure, if he had been actively tracing the signal on the app instead of looking at the most basic screen shot from the initial search--not zoomed in or anything--he may have had more luck finding Jimin faster.

But that moment when he did find him, well…he wouldn’t have been prepared for that no matter how much time he had.

Taehyung honestly didn’t recognize Jimin for a second when he first opened the door. His hair was black, not the lovely baby pink color that it had been only hours before. His face was puffy from obvious crying, his eyes were red, and he was bruised here and there--especially along the top of his nose and between his eyes where they were turning deep purple.

Jimin was on his knees on the floor--half naked and frozen and afraid at the sight of him. Taehyung definitely hadn’t expected that. Disinterest maybe, or relief if something bad really had happened to him, but not fear. Not of him.

And then when he finally noticed Jimin’s feet--

A disturbed shiver runs down Taehyung’s spine and he realizes for the first time that he is speeding. Despite the mounting frustration within his body, he forces himself to slow the vehicle down. Getting into a car accident right now won’t help the situation any.

They’d better take him to the hospital, he thinks. He should have stayed there and made sure that Jimin got the help he needed. He shouldn’t have left until he knew that proper actions were being taken! But at the same time, he isn’t a part of Jimin’s family. They aren’t even dating--they’re barely friends. He can’t fault Jimin’s parents for not wanting a stranger around at a time like this and he can't fault Jimin for being so cagey around him, either. 

It’s just that he’s never felt so fucking useless before and he can’t stand it.

He hadn’t even offered Jimin some clothes to cover up with before taking him home to face his family! What the hell was he thinking?

I didn’t have any extra clothes in the car, he argues with himself. If Jimin were his boyfriend, he wouldn’t have hesitated for a moment to give him the shirt off his back, but obviously Jimin had just been through something. Maybe he wouldn’t have wanted that in the moment. There were cuss words cut into his body for Christ's sake--there's no way he did that to himself. Maybe he'd had enough attention and he just wanted to be alone. 

Maybe Taehyung would have just made things worse if he stayed.

 


 

 

Jimin has been to the emergency room twice before.

The first time was when he was nine years old. He had been playing with the neighbors new dog--a rescued pit bull--and it got too excited at his attention and reverted to old ways, biting into the meaty space between his thumb and forefinger hard enough to puncture and draw blood.

The second time was after he broke his ankle dancing a few years back.

All three times, his injuries were not deemed ‘emergencies’ on the triage scale. He is not unconscious or bleeding out, he isn’t having a heart attack, he hasn’t been shot, and he’s not in labor, so he waits.

The nurse had given Jimin a wheelchair to sit in when they first arrived so that he wouldn’t need to be carried around while in the hospital. Now, his mother is sitting in a regular chair on the left side of him with both arms wrapped around his bicep as if he might vanish into thin air at any moment. On the right side of Jimin, Mr. Park is sitting still, hands on knees. He seems calm and passive as always, but he’s gotten up twice to ask the nurse if things can be sped along.

“My son needs stitches,” Jimin heard him say from afar even though he was keeping his voice low.

“We will get to him as soon as we can,” the nurse behind the desk returned. Then she slid her glass window closed once more.

Waiting in the emergency room is always unpleasant, but this time is particularly more so for Jimin. Even though he has socks on and he knows that no one else could possibly imagine what the bottom of his feet actually look like, he still feels the other patients’ eyes on him. He still feels sick to his stomach when they glance at the blood that slowly turns his socks red because he knows what’s under there.

Slut. 

He blushes every time that he has to readjust in his seat to take the edge off. In his peripheral vision he sees the man in the next row glancing at him every time he does it. Could he know what the problem is? Maybe he’s sitting there with his busted knee making unspoken judgments. It shouldn’t be too hard to make some guess--even without his pink hair, Jimin knows he probably gives off all of those queer vibes that Jungkook had condemned him for. Not to mention the way his face looks--smacked around and tear-stained--his eyes downcast and brimming with shame--

Fag. 

 

“Park Jimin.”

 

His dad pats him on the leg and rises beside him, grasping the handles on the back of the wheelchair in order to roll him into the medical rooms. Jimin is vaguely aware that his mother is walking next to  him, but other than that he’s starting to zone out. His eyelids settle into a relaxed position gazing at a low point on the floor a few feet in front of him. The floor tiles roll by--gray then white, white then gray--

“Alright, Mr. Park. Let’s take a look at your feet.”

He stares at the gray tile over the nurse’s shoulder as she crouches in front of him to slowly peel off the blood stained socks. He doesn’t look at her face even once and he tries to ignore the telltale stiffness that creeps into her posture when she examines the ugly words scrolled into his flesh.

“He’s going to need some stitches,” she says after a moment of loaded quiet. She looks up at his parents now instead of bothering with him. His eyes have gone vacant; there’s no use there. “Have you given your statement to the police yet?”

Statement?

“Not officially. We have been in contact with the police for a few hours, should I call again?” Jimin’s father replies.

“We have an officer on site,” says the nurse. “He can come take a statement. He’ll likely want to take some images, too, before we clean this up.”

“Images?” Jimin positively blanches, looking up at last. His eyes swerve around the nurse’s face and find his parents, having to twist in his chair to look all the way around. “I don’t want to do that.” One of their hands fall onto his shoulder but he doesn’t know which one--his heart rate is picking up at the idea of having to take more pictures.

“We need to do everything we can here, Jimin,” his father says seriously. Then he turns his attention back to the nurse, “Thank you, please call the police officers. He’ll give a statement now.”

No, no… Jimin’s eyes go wide and empty as he watches the nurse nod and turn away to fetch the police officer. He doesn’t want to talk about it. He doesn’t want to memorialize and fucking document this with any more pictures! He wants to get the stitches over with and go to sleep for a very long time. Why does no one get that?

But the police officer arrives a moment later regardless of what Jimin wants or how he feels, and his parents pat him lightly on the back.

“Hi there, Mr. … Park?” The officer is young--maybe 26 years old. He has blue eyes and he wears a blue uniform and when no one answers he looks back and forth between Jimin and his parents for a few moments before he tries again. “I’m here to take your statement and take some pictures for the official record. Can you tell me what happened?”

Before Jimin can decide whether he wants to even attempt speech or not, the policeman is trying to rearrange himself so he can get a good picture of Jimin’s feet. “We can move him to the table?” the nurse offers. She’s back in the room again.

“I don’t--”

“He’s okay here,” the officer interrupts. And then, to Jimin, “Can you cross your ankles for me?” He does as he is asked but he’s shaking. “How did this happen?” The tone of the policeman’s voice is removed and business-like. He’s just doing his job. When Jimin can’t bring himself to explain, the officer guides him, “What were you cut with? Do you know?”

“I--” he has to lick his lips and swallow a few times before he has enough moisture to speak. “I don’t know. A knife maybe?” His mother stifles a disturbed noise behind his back.

“You didn’t see?”

“No.” --all he sees is the wooden desk under his face, smeared red with his blood and his tears and--

The camera shutter moves and clicks beneath him as the officer examines his wounds through the lens. “Were you cut anywhere else on your body?”

“No,” Jimin answers at once. He doesn’t want them looking around under his clothes--if they try to take pictures of his asshole, well…he won’t be able to survive that. Even he hasn't seen it and he does not want to. 

“Are you injured anywhere else?” the officer asks. As he speaks, he stands again and raises the camera to Jimin’s face. “What happened to your nose?” Click.

Jimin blinks at the noise and leans back in his wheelchair. At least there’s no flash. “My nose is broken,” he says. “I tried to set it.”

Click.

“How did your nose get broken?”

Jimin shakes his head just a hair. He can’t do this. Not like this. His mother is behind him and he can imagine that every word out of his mouth is torture for her--her anxiety has been clinical for as long as Jimin can remember and she shouldn't be here! He shouldn't be upsetting her like this. And his poor father trusted him--raised him right and gave him the space and the freedom that he needed--

“I’m sorry. I can’t…”

“Son,” his father interjects when Jimin’s voice fades away to nothing. “You need to talk to the police. I know this is hard for you but it’s very important.”

Jimin’s eyelids flutter closed. His father hasn’t talked to him with this tone of voice since he was a child--protective, kind, slow, serious-- Fine. There’s no point in any of this other than to make him suffer further, but he’ll talk to appease his father. Just not like this. 

“Can I talk privately?” Jimin eventually rasps out.

 

Chapter Text

“I don’t recommend walking on your feet for four to six weeks,” the on-call doctor said after the nurse had finished with stitches and gone on her way. “These wounds need time to heal before you start putting weight on them. We don’t want them reopening over and over again because that will only make the scarring worse and up your chances of infection.”

Scarring. No one said anything in response because the idea of Jimin having those scars on him for the rest of his life was too all-consuming in that moment. Perhaps later on they could argue about plastic surgery--on the bottom of your feet? A waste of thousands of dollars and more time spent in a wheelchair for no reason other than vanity--or perhaps Jimin would work up the nerve to step on a skillet someday and fight scars with scars. But for now, the words would have to remain.

They were charged for the wheelchair and the visit, since Mr. Park’s company only offered high-deductible insurance policies, and by the time they were finally released from the emergency room it was already growing dark outside. As soon as they got back home on that first, awful night, Jimin went straight to bed.

 

And that’s exactly where he stayed for the next three days.

 

On the first day he squirmed in discomfort under the sheets all morning long, wishing that he was still unconscious. At least when he was asleep he wasn’t in all of this pain and discomfort. At least when he was asleep he didn’t have to keep replaying that interview over and over again.

“So explain to me how this all started,” the officer had said. His hands were folded together on the table, fingers interlaced and resting loosely just to the right of the black recording device that was set up to document everything that Jimin said.

Jimin licked his lips and stared at the table. It was the same shade of wood as Jungkook’s desk. “I was at a party.”

“Last night?”

“Yeah.”

“What kind of party?”

“Just a school party. End of the year party for seniors. They have it every year--the student body president is supposed to host it.”

“What was happening at this party?” the officer asked. His blue gaze was flat but he watched Jimin closely.

Something in the way that he said it alerted Jimin to his true meaning. Was there alcohol there? Drugs? What illegal shit were you kids up to last night?

“Just some dancing,” Jimin replies, keeping his tone even despite the trap. He doesn’t want to get anyone else in trouble--especially Yoongi. The student body president had recently been awarded a near full-ride to a good university. Jimin couldn’t be the one to mess that up. “Mingling. A normal lame party. I didn’t really want to go but my friends were going.”

“Was anyone doing drugs? Drinking?” the officer clarified, dissatisfied although his outward expression didn’t show it.

“Not that I saw.”

He nodded and his bottom lip jutted out just a tad. “Okay, so you’re at this school party with your friends. What happened next?”

How exactly did Jungkook get Jimin into his car? He honestly couldn’t remember, he had been way too stoned and too many other things had overtaken his memory since then. “I’m not…I can’t remember exactly what happened but the next thing I remember, I was in some guy’s car.”

“You can’t remember?” the officer raises a suspicious eyebrow. “Were you drugged?”

“I don’t know, maybe. I just can’t really remember.” Trauma can do that to people right? He desperately hoped so because the policeman’s quizzical stare was already making him sweat.

“Did ‘this other guy’ physically attack you at the party?”

“I don’t know, but I was in his car and he took me to another place. His apartment I think.” Was it Jungkook’s apartment? Would he actually take Jimin to the place that he lived? All of a sudden, Jimin decided that he couldn’t be sure. Jungkook was clearly capable of anything.

“Do you know what kind of vehicle it was?”

“A dark colored SUV? I don’t know what make or model, I’m sorry.”

“That’s alright. And do you know where he was driving or where the destination was? What part of town?”

That much he knew, at least. “The east side somewhere.”

The officer nodded again. “Did you recognize this guy? Any idea who he was?”

“I didn’t recognize him,” Jimin said without ever stopping to think. It was true. He hadn’t recognized Jungkook and he didn’t know who he was until the very end. He considered saying more--he nibbled on the side of his bottom lip and wrung his hands in his lap, wondering if he should bother saying Jungkook’s name--but the officer moved on in the space of his pause.

“It wasn’t someone from school?”

Should he just admit it? It was Jeon Jungkook--a younger guy from my high school--and he kidnapped me and he beat me up and he raped me and if I tell you any of this then he’s going to send those pictures of me to everyone in town and--

“I don’t know. I didn’t recognize him.”

“Alright, Jimin, then let’s move forward a little bit. You’re at a new location on the east side of town with this guy who you don’t know. Then what happened? Did you try to contact your friends and let them know where you had gone?”

“No. He took my phone.”

“And then what happened?”

“We…got into a fight,” Jimin said, because it feels better than, “he kicked the shit out of me and I didn’t really fight back.”

“Did he have any weapons?”

“There was a knife but that was later.”

“So the two of you got into a fist fight?”

Jimin nodded and then he said, “Yes,” when the officer gestured at the recorder lying on the tabletop.

“Did you have any idea why this was happening? Did he indicate what had upset him or what he was after?”

“Uhhhh…he--” Of course Jimin knew. He could still hear every word that Jungkook hurled at him but he decided to only share one. “He called me a faggot. So…” he trailed off, hoping the officer could fill in the blanks.

“So this was sexually motivated. Was he sexually aggressive toward you in any way?”

Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. “Uhhh…”

When he didn’t form any answer, the officer leaned back in his chair. “Take your time. Be as honest as you can.” His voice was softer now but that didn’t make Jimin feel any more comfortable. How was he supposed to talk about this to anyone, let alone another male--a straight male in a uniform not even ten years his elder? He shook his head, unable to speak for several minutes. But the officer let him sit and think. He didn’t press him.

 

Eventually Jimin managed to grit out, “He raped me.”

“Okay,” the officer nodded solemnly, indicating for Jimin to elaborate.

“He raped me,” Jimin said again, just a whisper that time. But he said nothing else.

“Okay.” The officer’s nod was different, then. More final. “That’s alright, you don’t need to go into detail right now; this is just a preliminary statement. When you’re feeling a little better later in the week, you should come down to the precinct and open a case with the Special Victim’s unit. This sounds like a hate crime, Mr. Park. We’re going to get to the bottom of this.” Jimin nodded into his lap, daring a little glance at the officer before his eyes fell again. “Have you had a rape kit done yet?”

That made his head pop up at once. “No.” No he hadn’t and he definitely didn’t want one.

“You should have one done before you leave here today. They take a long time to get processed through the system and if you go home and shower you may lose all of the evidence.”

He didn’t mention that Jungkook had forced him to shower after dying his hair. “I don’t…want…my parents to know about this,” he explained. It was true and it was easier to admit than trying to explain how much fear and shame he felt at the mere idea of someone else touching him down there.

“I understand. I realize that this is not a pleasant situation, but I want to see you get some justice,” the officer said, and his eyes gleamed with a particular sincerity that made Jimin’s guts ache. “I’ll get a nurse in here to do the procedure right away--before you go back to your parents. They don’t need to know right now, but this is important.”

Jimin could probably have refused and simply walked away, but he didn’t have the will-power to say no in that moment.

They concluded the preliminary statement and then the officer guided Jimin to another room away from his parents where a nurse conducted his rape kit.

That was almost as bad as the actual crime.

“Okay, Mr. Park, you’re going to feel some pressure. Try to relax as best you can.” The nurse’s jaw moved behind her blue paper mask as she spoke. She did her best to be gentle with his wounded opening as she inserted the long cotton swab into his body.

At least you’re not face down, he tried to console himself as the dry tip of the swab rubbed against places inside of him that were so sore, places that he was learning to hate. At least they didn’t ask for pictures of this part. But no matter how he tried to quell his emotions, he couldn’t help the streams of tears that fell down the sides of his face.  

The swab comes out a little bloody and a plethora of diagnoses follow. “Micro-tears in the anus, some bruising, likely experience minor disruptions in anal function for the next few weeks while you’re healing--take anti-biotics to try and get ahead of any possible STI’s, and pain killers for the time being. Come back if you develop any new or worsening of symptoms.”

 

 

On the second day of bed rest, Jimin took an extra one of those pain killers and it helped him sleep more. He was in and out of dreams all day long, and when he was awake he was trapped in a hazy old memory.

“You know that I love you no matter what. You’re my son. None of this stuff matters to me one bit, Jimin.”

His body felt heavy and dull, trapped underneath the haze of the painkillers and the weight of the memory--or was it the other way around? Either way, he could see his father sitting on the living room couch just like it was yesterday.

“You be whoever you are, son. Just…” Mr. Park pursed his lips and chose his next words carefully. “You just need to be careful. Be careful who you tell. Be careful how you act in certain…situations, you know? It’s not always safe to be different.”

At 14, sitting on that couch, Jimin thought that his father was a little embarrassed of him--telling him to watch how he presented himself--using safety as an excuse.

At 18 lying in the bed, smashed under prescription narcotics and shackled with shame, Jimin wished he was a better son.

 

 

On the third day of bed rest, Jimin’s mother came in and took the bottle of pills away. How she knew that he was over using them, he had no idea. Maybe it was just a motherly guess. But deep down he was a little glad that she knew enough to do what needed to be done without saying so much as a word about it.

“Do you want to watch a movie?” she asked. She had sat down on the edge of his mattress, dug his hand out from under the covers, and was holding onto it for dear life.

“Not really,” he mumbles.

“The Notebook? Or one of those dance movies you like?” She patted the top of his hand and forced a smile.

All Jimin could think about is what her face would look like if she knew half of what he’d been through--if she’d seen even a glimpse of what he looked like while Jungkook was systematically destroying everything inside of him--there wouldn’t be any more smiles.

“No, mom. I just wanna sleep.”

“Okay, baby, but you have to eat some dinner later on.”

When she went away, Jimin curled up on his side and stuffed the edge of his comforter into his mouth. Fuck. A shiver ran all the way through him at the realization that was finally hitting him.

 

If he went back to the cops, if he decided to press charges, then his mother would certainly learn every detail of the crime.

He would be forced to testify in front of a grand jury, and then a trial jury, and his father would hear every gruesome detail in the court room--would learn that he had been absolutely right--that it was not safe for Jimin to go around being himself when he was as big of a pansy as he was.

They would show the pictures in court as evidence, people would find the pictures online, the dance committee at the college would google his name if he tried to audition next year and they would find them. A Hate Crime: it would be on the news, it would be in the papers--

They would drag Taehyung into the court too--make him testify about finding Jimin, make him describe the state that he found Jimin in--and there was no way Jimin could stand listening to that.

And of course, he would have to face Jungkook in front of everyone. And Jungkook would make sure that everyone in that courtroom and everyone following the trial in the media would see him the way that he did.

Even if Jimin won the case, he would lose everything.

 

 

By morning on the fourth day, Jimin had decided not to press charges. He kept that decision to himself for the time being, but with the weight of that impending horror lifted off of him, he felt light enough to get out of bed at last.

He managed to get into the wheelchair and roll himself out into the living room all by himself. “Mom?” he called. Her head popped out from behind the kitchen wall. “Do you want to watch that movie now?”

“Oh, sure, honey!” she exclaimed happily. She was clearly shocked to see him up and about. “One second,” she said, and then she was speaking to someone else on the phone. Jimin hadn’t even noticed it in her hand at first. “He’s up,” she was saying. “Yes! We’re going to watch a movie now…Okay…Yes, I’ll tell him. Thank you, sweetie…Okay. Bye, now.”

Jimin eyed his mother warily as she hung up the phone and joined him in the hallway. “Who was that?” he asked. She had taken up the handles on the back of his chair and was wheeling him into the living room.

“That was Yoongi,” she said. Her voice was full of warmth but her words chilled Jimin all over. “He’s been so worried about you, hon.”

Had he seen the photos too, then? Maybe Taehyung wasn’t the only one after all.

“He’s been calling every day--asking about you.”

“Really?” he asked, only because he felt obligated to reply. She seemed so happy that he was out of his room, he didn’t want to squash her.

“Even before we found you, Yoongi was calling. He said he was trying to get a hold of you Saturday morning but you weren’t answering. That was when we were first realizing something was wrong.” She grew serious and bent at the waist to wrap her arms around his shoulders in a tight hug of apology.

Did she feel responsible? Did she think she had failed as a parent--not noticing that he was missing until Saturday afternoon? Jimin tried to wonder but he couldn’t focus on that. The only thing that his mind kept going back to was the idea that Yoongi was looking for him before his parents.

He obviously saw the pictures.

All of a sudden, his mom was crying on his shoulder, jolting him back to the living room. “I’m so, so sorry,” she cried.

“Oh mom, don’t--”

“We were in the movies. I had my phone turned off and I didn’t know you called until so much later.” She shook her head against the side of his neck, her tears wetting the collar of his pajama shirt. “I’m so sorry, baby, I should have made sure you came home at night.”

“No, Mom, come on, it’s not your fault. I stay out sometimes. That’s…not your fault.” Had she listened to his message? He can’t remember much of what he said in that moment but she must have heard the fear in his voice. No wonder her anxiety was so bad when he first got back--his absence, the message, the way he looked when he finally came home-- “It wasn’t your fault,” he repeated seriously, grabbing a hold of her shoulder to gently turn her body and look at her face. “It was my own fault, if anything. I don’t want you to blame yourself at all. You called the police as soon as you thought something was wrong, so…you did everything you could do.”

It took the frantic emotion in her eyes a long time to melt away under his gaze, but eventually she forced another small smile and hugged him again. “I’m just glad to have you back,” she breathed, her breath tickling his neck.

“Me too, mom,” he said. And he meant it, even if it didn’t’ make him feel any better yet.

 


 

 

On Thursday morning, five days after returning home, Jimin decides that it’s time to make some calls.  

First he calls the police precinct in his neighborhood. The officer who had interviewed him a few days ago gave him a card with the number to call. “Ask for Detective Foundry in Special Victim’s,” he had said.

Jimin does not. “Hi. I’d like to speak with Deputy Beadoux?”

“Deputy who?” the lady on the other end of the line asks. She sounds old.

“Deputy Beadoux?” he tries again, pronouncing it a little differently this time, just in case. “He took a statement from me on Saturday afternoon at St. Joseph’s Hospital, in the emergency room.”

“Name?”

“Park Jimin.”

He hears the woman clacking away on a keyboard for a moment before she says, “Alright. Well, Mr, Park, Deputy Beadoux works in the field. He does not have a private telephone line here at the precinct. I can connect you with one of our detectives instead. Would you like to be transferred?”

He bites back an aggravated sigh and digs his finger nails into the palm of his hand instead. “Okay.”

“Please hold.”

 

A moment later another woman answers the phone. “Detective Foundry,” she announces and Jimin’s nervous frown turns into a scowl.

So you’re already in the system as a Special Victim. Park Jimin: rape victim.

“Hi, Detective Foundry,” he tries to sound as pleasant as he can, “my name is Park Jimin. I spoke to Detective Beadoux in the emergency room at St. Joseph’s Hospital on Saturday.”

“I’m happy to hear from you, Mr. Park,” the detective says, sounding genuinely relieved at his call. “I’ve been waiting to hear from you for a few days. I have your preliminary statement here on my desk, as a matter of fact. When can we get you in for a some more questions? I want to get the ball rolling on this one as fast as possible.”

“Uhhhh…” he’s rubbing at the fabric on his pajama pants with the hand that’s not holding the phone. “Actually, I was calling to let you know that I don’t plan on pressing charges.”

“What?”

“Yeah, I don’t…want to go any further with this. I just need to move on.”

Foundry clears her throat, clearly disapproving of his decision. “Mr. Park,” she starts over, slowly, deliberately. “This seems to be a pretty clear cut case. A big case that you can win and that you absolutely should press.”

“You don’t know that,” he says quietly, because they don’t know the whole story. They don’t know about the selfie or the revenge blackmail pictures or that he was higher than a kite. “And regardless, I don’t want to go through a whole trial. I can’t do that, I’m sorry.”

She makes a little sound--somewhere between stunned and frustrated.

“Well…I have to say I am more than surprised to hear that. But, of course, this is your decision.” She sounds so disappointed in Jimin that he almost feels bad about it, but he’s made up his mind. Still, she goes on, saying, “Please take some time to really consider this and if you change your mind, give me a call anytime. There is a statue of limitations on these cases but you have a significant amount of time, really. Just don’t wait too long. Old cases are more difficult to prosecute for lack of evidence. Alright?”

“Okay,” he says, “thank you, detective.”

 

When he hangs up with the police, it’s time to call the university and cancel his dance audition, and that call feels even harder.

 

 

Chapter Text

Time passes and Jimin’s audition day comes and goes. Taehyung knows that because he still has the text from back in May when he and Jimin first started talking.

 

05/13  “I’d love to, but I can’t. I have an audition coming up. Gotta focus on rehearsing.” Jiminnie 5:13pm

05/13  “Booooo that’s lame I want to hang out with you! But really tho: Ooooo what audition??!” Taehyung 5:18pm

05/13  “For the Dance department at the Performing Arts College. *excited* *nervous* ahhhhh~” Jiminnie 5:19pm

05/13  “Hell yes ur gonna kill that audition. Forget bowling, you practice ;)” Taehyung 5:22pm

 

Jimin was always talking about that audition back then--using it as an excuse for turning Taehyung’s advances down again and again. Taehyung never really minded, though. He was a musician too and he understood the importance of an audition. He just didn’t understand why Jimin was so serious about keeping him at arms length through it all.

He had hoped that the party at Yoongi’s would be a big break for the two of them. He thought that he could finally get through to Jimin and put a stop to all of the careful evasions and just be together. But aside from a few moments of happiness on Yoongi’s couch, the party had been a complete and utter disaster--not only for Jimin individually, but also for their relationship.

When Taehyung left Jimin’s house the day of the rescue, he had been stunned by what he had just seen. He was stunned by the way that Jimin looked, stunned by the way he sounded--that he could barely talk to him, barely even look at him--and he was totally stunned by the feeling of separation that he continued to feel ever since then. He had heard that traumatic experiences brought people closer together and although Taehyung hadn’t been there with Jimin through his trauma, he had been the one to rescue him! And yet, Jimin basically refused to talk to him. It was like their relationship was just over with no explanation.

He had been messaging him throughout the two and a half weeks that passed between the rescue and the beginning of July but Jimin never replied. Then, about a week ago, he finally called and the robotic voice on the other end of the line informed him that the phone number had been disconnected.

Taehyung knew that he should just go over to Jimin’s parent’s house. It was the right thing to do even if Jimin didn’t want to see him and refused to come out. Just making the effort and showing up would mean something to them both. But somehow, every time he tried to work himself up to go over there, he chickened out.

July 3rd. That was the big audition day--or at least, it was supposed to be. On that morning, Taehyung finally decided to go over to Jimin’s house to see him. He had to do it. If he didn’t go on that day then he probably never would.

He got there around lunch time. His palms were sweaty as he knocked on the front door and waited for a response. It was Jimin’s mother who answered the door.

“Is Jimin home?” Taehyung asked her, twiddling his thumbs nervously. She did not seem happy to see him. In fact, the look on her face was similar to the one that he remembered seeing on Jimin that day--apprehensive and upset, like he was some kind of threat rather than a friendly face.

“Who are you?” Mrs. Park asked warily. Her knuckles were turning white on the door frame.

“I’m Kim Taehyung,” he said, forcing a little smile to try and seem less threatening. He didn’t understand why Mrs. Park was so concerned at the sight of him. Did his parents think that Taehyung was responsible for what happened to Jimin? Could they possibly think that he was the one who had hurt him? “I’m a good friend of Jimin’s from school. I wanted to come by and see how he’s been doing, I haven’t really heard from him since…that day. I’ve been trying to reach him ever since.”

Mrs. Park looked a little relieved at his sincerity. “I’ll go see if he’s awake,” she said. “Please wait out here for a moment.”

The wait felt like ages but when Mrs. Park came back with a smile and invited him in to the house, Taehyung’s nerves multiplied tenfold.

“He said he’d like to see you,” she told him quietly, keeping her voice low and soft as she closed and locked the door behind him. “He’s still not walking so he’s in bed right now, but he’s awake and he’s in a good mood this afternoon.”

“Okay.”

“Just…let him guide the conversation. Don’t ask him too many questions; he shuts down when I do that.”

“Got it,” Taehyung said, nodding emphatically as he internalized the important queues. And then just like that he was going into Jimin’s bedroom.

The first thing he noticed was the light blue paint on the walls--like a pale sky blue--and then he saw Jimin sitting up in bed with a book in his hands. “Jimin?” he called out tentatively, not wanting to startle him. Jimin looked up first and then folded the book shut and placed it on his lap.

“Hey,” Jimin said, lifting his face, and when Taehyung saw his expression his nervousness faded away a little bit. Jimin was as pretty and as lovely as he’d ever been. His huge brown eyes had some life in them--totally unlike the look in his eyes when Taehyung opened that door and found him bruised and on his knees--

“Hi,” Taehyung smiled, coming over to the bed. Jimin watched him every step of the way, his eyes never wavering as Taehyung drew closer. “How are you feeling?”

“Uhhhh…” Jimin shrugged, letting his eyes droop away from Taehyung’s face at last. “Yeah, I feel okay. Definitely better. I look better, right?” he said, cracking a cheeky little grin.

“Oh my god, definitely,” he chuckled, but it was insincere. Taehyung couldn’t believe Jimin was already up to making jokes. It had only been about three weeks and today was July 3rd. Jimin shouldn’t have had any reason to be smiling. “I’m so glad, I was really worried,” Taehyung admitted, looking at his feet for a second to collect his thoughts. How could he put this without sounding accusatory? “When you weren’t answering my texts…I thought maybe you got worse or maybe you wouldn’t want to see me or something.”

“Your texts? When were you texting me?”

“Oh all the time. The past few weeks. I didn’t know if you would want to see me, you know? I wanted to give you space. So I was just texting you and then I called a few times--”

“Oh no, I don’t have my phone anymore,” Jimin rushed to explain. He dropped the book into his lap and started speaking with his hands as he often did. “I never saw any texts. I wasn’t ignoring you or anything.” Then he reached out a small hand and bent forward to pat the sheets at the foot of his bed. “You can sit down, I’m not going to bite.”

Even though Taehyung was acutely aware that this must be an act--that Jimin could not possibly be back to his normal self--he still sat down on the bed. He didn’t want to offend Jimin by refusing and honestly he wanted to sit down. He wanted to be close to Jimin. He always had. So he sat down on Jimin’s dark gray bed sheets, making sure to keep a respectable distance, and he said, “That’s a relief. Well--I mean, I’m sorry about your phone!--but I’m glad you don’t hate me or anything. I was worried about that too.”

“No I don’t hate you,” Jimin said, more quietly then. “Actually, I have to thank you. And apologize to you.”

Taehyung assumed that he meant to thank him for the timely rescue, but apologize? “You don’t have to--”

“No, really. I know that you…saw that picture,” Jimin interrupted. He was not really looking at Taehyung anymore, just looking at the sheets covering his lap with a stiff, grim expression. “I never meant for you to see that. I’m really sorry.”

Taehyung swallowed thickly and shook his head a little. He didn’t know what to say, he didn’t know what really happened and he didn’t think he should ask, but he had a feeling that Jimin really didn’t have anything to apologize for. Still, the picture had been…shocking…to say the least. “It’s no big deal,” he eventually said.

Jimin looked up again and his eyes said that it was a big deal.

“No, seriously I don’t care,” Taehyung tried to assure him. But then again, maybe ‘I don’t care’ wasn’t the right thing to be saying. “I mean, like--” his struggled to find the right words. “It just doesn’t change my feelings for you at all. That’s all I’m trying to say.”

Jimin looked a little lost, like maybe he didn’t believe him, but there was some tentative hope in his expression, too.

“And you don’t have to explain anything to me,” Taehyung added, hoping to ease Jimin’s obvious trepidation even further. “You don’t owe me anything. I get that we’re not--” he lowered his voice just in case Jimin wasn’t out to his parents and his mom was waiting outside of the bedroom door, “--a couple or anything.”

Jimin nodded, “Yeah. Thanks.” His tapioca eyes met Taehyung’s again and he gave a small but genuine smile. “I appreciate that.”

They sat together for some time--sometimes awkwardly and other times it felt natural. They talked about mostly nothing. Jimin asked Taehyung what had been going on in his life rather than talking about himself and Taehyung was wise enough to take the hint. He distracted Jimin from what had happened to him rather than asking about it, and that strategy seemed to work. By the time Taehyung got the sense that he should leave, nearly 2 hours had passed.

“Can I come back next week?” Taehyung asked as he rose to go. He wanted to see Jimin sooner than that, but he was afraid to smother Jimin while he was healing. “Or you can come over if you’re feeling up to it. Or we can just eat somewhere?”

“Sure, that’d be good.” They shared one more smile and then Taehyung went on his way.

 

It wasn’t until he got back in his car and drove home that the sick feeling in the pit of his stomach became prominent enough to bother him. Fuck. He knew that Jimin wasn’t going to be alright, but it was even worse than he thought. No matter how normal they had tried to act with each other and no matter how normal Jimin had tried to seem--everything was different now. Half of Taehyung wanted to know what had happened to him but the other half was too terrified to even imagine.

He should have gone to see him sooner.

And with that in mind, it made it that much harder to wait an entire week before seeing him again.

But now, only five days later, it’s Jimin who contacts him first.

 


 

At first, the idea of seeing Taehyung was beyond anything that Jimin thought he could handle. Out of everyone in the world, Taehyung was the one person that he knew for sure had seen the picture--the one person who absolutely without a shadow of a doubt had seen him at his worst, battered and helpless on his knees in Jungkook’s apartment building.

Being that he’s trying to put the whole thing behind him, Jimin thought that seeing Taehyung would only make everything worse. So naturally, when he hadn’t heard from Taehyung for about three weeks following his return home, Jimin felt both saddened and deeply relieved.  

When the day of his audition came around, Jimin felt the pain of everything that had happened all over again--creeping into his every waking thought and making him bitter. He should have been dancing in front of a panel of judges at the college, impressing everyone and achieving his dreams! Not stuck in bed or in a wheelchair while his feet healed in grotesquely patterned scars. It wasn’t fair.

He probably would’ve spiraled further and further if Taehyung hadn’t showed up right after lunch.

Seeing him again after all that time and everything that had happened was like ripping off a bandage. It was awful for a brief moment and then afterward it wasn’t quite the same underneath-but it was no where near as unpleasant as expected.

“Seriously, I don’t care. It’ just doesn’t change my feelings for you at all,” he had said. It was too hard to believe those words. Jimin knows full well how he looked in that picture and how the message that Jungkook had typed must have sounded to Taehyung. There’s no way that Taehyung could still feel the same.

But then again, he’d also said, “You don’t have to explain anything to me. You don’t owe me anything. I get that we’re not a couple or anything.”

Which they weren’t. And he didn’t. And he hadn’t explained jack squat to Taeyhung or his parents or anybody in all this time--not even the police. They still called almost every day despite their initial reassurances that it was his choice whether or not to prosecute, and he’d been forced to come down to the station and answer a few more questions last week. But he always told them that he didn’t know. He didn’t know who Jungkook was. He didn’t know what the car looked like or where exactly the apartment was or how exactly he got there. He was vague on purpose and he certainly never mentioned the pictures or the blackmail or the drugs. He didn’t want an investigation.

But it’s been almost a month now and Jimin can’t stay so silent any longer.

 

“Hey, you wanna come over?” he asks flatly once Taehyung picks up the phone. It’s one thing to lie to the police as a means to an end. It’s another to hold the truth inside forever--like it never even happened. He can’t tell his parents and he wouldn’t talk to any of his other friends about this. But Taehyung already knows a little bit. Maybe he should be the one that Jimin tells, just for the sake of his own sanity.

“Oh, sure!” Taehyung exclaims. He sounds excited to hear from Jimin--he probably didn’t recognize the number on his caller ID since Jimin is using a home phone. “Right now?”

“Yeah, any time.”

 

Less than an hour later, Taehyung is in a lounge chair next to Jimin’s bed drinking a soda. Mrs. Park dragged the chair into the bedroom from the living room a few days ago. “So, you feeling any better these days?” Taehyung asks even though it’s a dumb question. At some point it has to be asked, and it has been a whole month. Jimin doesn’t answer straight away so he adds, “There’s a new salad bar place that just opened up. Down town, kinda. Like by the theater district.” He takes another swig of his soda and smiles broadly. “I remember you like salads. People give it really good reviews; we should go there sometime!”

Jimin chuckles softly, a forced laugh because his head is elsewhere. “I actually don’t like salads. I just ate that shit do stay skinny for the dance audition,” he muttered off-handedly.

“Oh, no way! What you’re favorite food then?” Taehyung leans forward in his chair like he sincerely cares to know.

“I don’t know,” Jimin says. He hasn’t thought too much about food lately. He just eats bits and pieces of whatever his mother brings him, now. What did he used to crave when he was eating a salad instead? “I actually like meat. Like, a lot.”

They share an amused smile before Jimin drops back into his thoughts again.

 

Speak.

 

“Listen, I know I apologized to you already,” he finally starts. It probably seems out of the blue to Taehyung but Jimin can’t pause to care or he'll abandon this all together, “but I just want to explain a little bit about what happened so you get the whole picture.”

Taehyung waves a hand dismissively, “You don’t have to--”

“--no, I do. I want you to at least understand what happened so you don’t have to keep thinking about it. Because you probably still are, right?”

A serious look comes over Taehyung’s face and he leans back in the chair, the hand holding his soda can falling to rest on the cushy arm. “A little bit, yeah,” he admits at last.

That’s all the permission Jimin needs to begin. He nods, mostly to himself, and explains, “So we were together at the party and then you left to go somewhere, right?”

“Yeah, I went to get you a drink of water. You had cotton-mouth,” Taehyung agrees at once. His brow is creased in a serious expression as he listens carefully.

Cotton-mouth? Oh yeah. Jimin had completely forgotten about that. “Well after you left, this other guy came in the room and he wanted me to come with him--he said he was going to show me where you went. So, I followed him.”

A burst of realizations lights up behind Taehyung’s eyes. “Was it that Jungkook guy?” he asks, and Jimin has to consciously keep himself from reacting to that name.

“Uhhhh…” Can he tell Taehyung that? What if it gets back to the police and then a whole investigation really opens up? It will be out of his control once they get enough evidence to form their own case. He chews on the side of his bottom lip and eventually gives a bobbly little nod, praying to God that he can trust Taehyung with everything he’s about to tell him.

“Dude…” Taehyung is shaking his head but the glare in his eyes looks more like an affirmation. “I saw him in the hallway when I was going downstairs to get you a drink!”

“Shhhhh,” Jimin urges him at once.

Taehyung lowers his voice, “And people were saying they saw you leave with him. Fucking hell, that junior from school?!” He’s shaking his head angrily now and Jimin feels the familiar thrill of panic rising inside of his core with every motion that Taehyung makes.

It’s too real all of a sudden. They’re talking about Jungkook--about the person who actually hurt him! Jimin feels his throat closing up to keep the words inside. He wants to talk but his body is trying to stop him, not to mention that Taehyung's building rage is interrupting him at every turn. 

Realizing that he has lost control of this conversation, Jimin gulps nervously to clear the lump in his throat and raises a hand. “Tae, stop. Listen to me.”

“I can’t believe he used my name, though. He said he was bringing you to me? Really?!”

“Yeah, I know.” At least, he thinks so. Otherwise, why would he have been following him? Jimin’s memories are blurry at best, but he distinctly remembers being promised that Taehyung was waiting for him elsewhere.

“That’s fucking nuts,” Taehyung hisses in a low whisper. He’s growing more upset by the second.

“He took my phone away from me. He’s the one who sent you that picture and wrote that text message. I didn’t do that,” Jimin insists. He has to get it out whether Taehyung is really listening to him at this point or not. That is the whole reason he’s doing this. He needs Taehyung to know that.

When that information sinks in, Taehyung gets stiff and quiet for a moment. His mouth falls open ever so slightly but it takes a moment before words come out. “Wait…did he…?”

Threaten me? Force me? Rape me? Beat me up? Kidnap me? Whichever one of those things Taehyung is implying, it’s all true, so Jimin just nods.

Taehyung’s mind is clearly reeling, the gears are visibly turning and he’s teetering between shock, horror, and anger all at the same time. “Did he…cut your feet like that? Was that him?”

Jimin nods again--blushing with shame at the confirmation that Taehyung had indeed seen his feet--and Taehyung explodes into a hushed fury.

“What the fuck?! Who does something like that?!” He leans forward in the chair again, fist tightening enough around the half empty soda can to dent it. “That’s so…so…”

Jimin sniffles a little to banish the tears that have almost formed while talking about this. He blinks them away fully and watches Taehyung, nerves on edge at the bigger boy’s obvious anger.

“That’s so fucked up!” he exclaims at last. “They better put his ass in jail for the rest of his life--that piece of shit! Oh my god, Jimin, I can’t believe this.”

“Yeah, well--”

“You told the police everything, right?” Taehyung’s insistence is borderline threatening, almost as if he’s interrogating Jimin or demanding that he confess, and whether he means to be so intense or not, it makes Jimin’s heightened sense of fear rise up in revolt. He leans back and away from Taehyung at once.

“I’m not pressing charges,” he returns flatly. “And you can’t tell anyone about this. Anyone, Taehyung. I’m dead serious.”

Taehyung mouth falls open again and his eyes go wide with disbelief. “What? You’re kidding me."

Jimin’s heart leaps in his chest. No, no, no, “You can’t tell anyone, please. I don’t want this to get out and I don’t want to have to go through a whole trial--it’s so--”

“But he needs to go jail, Jimin! You can’t let him get away with what he did to you! That’s crazy!”

Jimin sets his jaw and leans back a little bit further. He shakes his head and waits until Taehyung has quieted enough to listen before speaking again. “That is my decision. Not yours, not my parents, not anyone else’s but mine. And I don’t want to go through a whole trial. Period. End of story.”

“But--”

“No,” Jimin snaps. He realizes that Taehyung just wants to help him, but Taehyung doesn’t understand. No one could possibly understand except him because he’s the only one who had to go through it. “It’s my choice and you can’t tell anyone. You can’t say a word about this, or about the picture, or anything. Okay? Please?”

Taehyung’s expression of shock slowly devolves into an angry frown. “I haven’t shown that picture to anyone and I never would. You should know that.”

“Good,” Jimin mumbles, looking away. Great, now he’s mad at me, too. Jimin’s parent’s had not been thrilled about his lack of interest in working with the police, either.

He glances back at Taehyung a little sheepishly and softens some, “I’m sorry, Tae. It’s just…this is really private and it’s really embarrassing--” he admits, his voice rising in pitch and breaking on the word as a surprise wave of emotion bubbles to the surface. At the small crack in Jimin's facade, Taehyung’s anger seems to subside for a moment and his eyes go wide with sympathy. “I’m trying to move forward and going through a trial is literally the last thing I would ever want to do. Does that make sense?”

There is a long moment of silence between them where all Jimin hears is his own ragged breathing. Maybe he shouldn't have told Taehyung anything after all. Maybe he should have just kept it all inside forever. That would have been the safest thing to do--if only he wasn't so fucking weak that he felt he had to share something. Why did he want Taehyung to know that Jungkook forced him to take that picture? Did he really need to be liked that badly? 

"It makes sense, right?" Jimin asks again, trying to drown out the mean voice inside of his head. 

“Yeah,” Taehyung finally sighs, but there’s still a bite to his voice that he doesn't bother to hide.

 

 

Chapter Text

After Taehyung came and took Jimin away, Jungkook started to fear the worst. He’s going to be a little bitch as usual and go straight to the police, he thought. He had naively hoped that Jimin really learned his lesson, but when he saw him clinging to Taehyung’s body like a cuddly little koala bear and allowing himself to be carried off by his current fuck boy like a rescued damsel, Jungkook knew that he had failed. The cops would be coming any day and Jungkook couldn’t be in his apartment when they arrived.

He went back inside for a few frantic hours to clean up as best he could--wiping down every surface imaginable, flipping couch cushions and rearranging furniture to cover up the majority of the bloodstains that hadn’t come up, and rolling up the green tarp that Jimin had laid on in the guest bed to bring it out to his car.

He decided to hide out for a few weeks in some other place nearby. It was summer vacation, after all. His landlord wouldn’t find it unusual for a student tenant to go away after final exams had concluded.

From a nearby motel under a fake name, Jungkook could decompress while still keeping an eye out for any legal proceedings against him.

Who knows, he thought. Maybe things would just blow over. Unless Jimin decided to press charges for the injures to his feet, Jungkook felt relatively certain that he could get away with it. No one in their right mind would believe that Jimin had been raped. He had literally asked for it and his track record would more than support Jungkook’s side of the story. Not to mention that Jungkook was underage and Jimin was over 18. If it really came down to it, Jungkook could threaten to make claims of his own. And besides, Jimin had been higher than a kite thanks to illegal drugs and underage drinking. He’d left the party with Jungkook willingly and no one would ever be able to prove otherwise.

Still, there was no reason not to get out of dodge for a few weeks, which is exactly what he did.

He stayed in a motel about thirty miles out of town, coming back every few days to check on his place and see if any cops were poking around. He waited nervously for an inquiring call from his landlord. He watched the news every day, waiting to see a picture of himself or of Jimin, but nothing happened.

When July rolled around and--still--nothing has happened, he finally stopped holding his breath.

You did it, he told himself a little proudly. You actually did what needed to be done and you didn’t get in trouble like you were so worried about. What a waste of time, stressing out like that. Your gut was right all along.

He felt mostly better, then. He’d succeeded in his task and the fact that he had gotten away with it was validating for him. It reassured him that he’d been right to act as he had. He had legitimate reasons for punishing Jimin in that way and apparently the universe agreed with him.

So yes, he did feel mostly better and he moved back into his apartment on the 2nd of July to find it untouched and just as he had left it.

Some things haven’t changed, however.

For example, he still has the original selfie that Jimin sent him way back when in his phone and he still finds himself looking at it with mixed up feelings in his guts every few days. He knows that he should just delete it, but then again--if it does somehow come to a trial, shouldn’t he have that original piece of evidence?

He also still wonders about Jimin from time to time: How are his feet? Have they scarred up nicely? Is he walking yet? How must his ass be feeling? (Every time Jungkook wonders about that, he feels a little jolt in his groin that makes him shut down that line of thinking at once.) Is he still seeing that bastard Kim Taehyung, or is he too ashamed of himself to see anyone nowadays? Jungkook finds himself spending a lot of time sincerely hoping for the latter.  

Does Jimin ever think about him too?

Alright stop, he scolds himself whenever he gets to that point in his wonderings. He scowls at himself and rubs his thumb over the two new lines that he cut into his forearm. You should be better than this by now.

He has already done everything to Jimin that he can imagine. Jungkook had done his absolute best to degrade him and put him down so far beneath himself that he would never feel anything for him ever again--any interest in him, any desire for him, any anything.

 

 

 

 

So why is he still thinking about him?

 


 

Taehyung knows that he should just let it go. It didn’t happen to him. It isn’t his burden to bear. It isn’t his choice to make.

“I can sort of understand, but at the same time--don’t you want justice?” he had challenged Jimin,  back in the beginning of July when they first started discussing the events following Yoongi’s party. He tried his best to hide the righteous anger and replace it with a reasonable tone. No matter what he seemed to try, though, that anger was always in him now a days. It wasn’t okay that Jungkook was getting away with the things that he did!

“Theoretically, yeah. But I don’t want to tell the police because then there will be a whole case and a trial and it will be this big, awful, public thing. I can’t go through it all again…over and over like that. Okay?”

So Taehyung tries to move on like Jimin seems to be doing. Instead of thinking about Jungkook or the mysterious and disturbing events of what transpired between the two, Taehyung tries to focus on Jimin and his recovery instead.

He comes over the house at least twice a week throughout all of July. He’s there when Jimin starts walking again, in steps tentative and painful, like he’s afraid that his feet will burst open from the inside out.

They don’t. He waited the full six weeks to even try, which felt like an eternity. Still, there is pain with each step and Taehyung can see it in Jimin’s face even through he tries not to show it.

“Let’s go get some food,” he suggests after Jimin is too tired and hurt to keep walking around the house. He’d done well for the first attempt in weeks and they needed to celebrate.

“Uhhhh I don’t know--” Jimin grumbles. He’s not happy with the results despite his effort.

“No, come on. Drive-through. All you have to do is walk to my car in the driveway.”

Jimin sucks on his bottom lip thoughtfully, a frown etched into his brow. “I look like shit.”

“You look fucking hot, dude. As per usual.” He cracks a cheeky grin in hopes that Jimin will smile back at him, but this time he doesn’t. Oh well. He keeps his voice light and friendly, going on, “I’ll give you ten minutes to recover and then we’re heading out. We gotta get you out of this house.” While he waits for Jimin to recompose himself and tell his mom where they’re going, Taehyung goes off to the bathroom.

He doesn’t have to piss. He needs a break. Taehyung lets his hands fall on the marble edge of the sink and he slumps forward, eventually resting his forehead again the tall mirror.

It’s hard being around Jimin these days.

He can’t take a compliment, he gets cagey out of no where and usually can’t recover emotionally for several hours once it’s happened, he doesn’t normally want to leave the house, he gets discouraged about his progress very easily, and he isn’t nearly as charming or open as he had been in the past.

All of which, Taehyung expected. Of course Jimin would be a different person after what had happened to him, but that knowledge doesn’t make it any easier on the people around him. Taehyung feels like he’s walking on pins and needles around Jimin now. It’s exhausting.

He still likes Jimin as a person, he still cares about him so so much--otherwise he wouldn’t be here--and he still has deeper feeling for him, too, but nothing is the same anymore. It’s like Jungkook took Jimin’s whole life and put a tinted film over it, changing the color of every emotion and every landscape just a few shades.

Navigating the new landscape is a challenge, to say the least. It's easier with Jimin's parents. They are his parents no matter what. But for Taehyung…what the hell is he? Where does he fit in here? He wasn’t Jimin’s boyfriend when this whole thing started and he’s not his boyfriend now. He’s just some guy who hangs around all the time, trying to be helpful while hoping, wondering…

…waiting…

 

Fuck, he’s been in the bathroom too long. He flushes the toilet just in case anyone is outside listening, runs the faucet to insinuate that he’s washing his hands, and then heads back out into the living room.

“Ready?” he asks the back of Jimin’s head. The shorter boy is still sitting on the couch, right where Taehyung left him. He rises without a word, bracing himself against the back of the couch for support. “Where do you want to eat?” Taheyung makes sure to smile when he talks now, so that Jimin can hear it in his voice. The dancer doesn’t look at him as much as he used to; he tends to keep his eyes downcast most of the time.

“Burgers?” Jimin suggests, taking halting steps in the direction of the front door. “I feel like I haven’t had a burger in forever.”

“Burgers it is!” Taehyung agrees. He bounds over to the door and throws it open for Jimin. Together, they make their way to Teahyung’s vehicle and before long they are on the road.

 

Everything is going well until Taehyung tries to pay for Jimin’s meal. “Let me get mine,” Jimin interjects when Taehyung reaches out of his window to hand the uniformed worker a twenty dollar bill.

“It’s okay, I got it.” Taehyung has been working part time at the local Guitar Center for eight months and he knows that Jimin has always been too busy with dance to work.

“Here,” Jimin offers again, waggling a ten at the side of Taehyung’s face. When he doesn’t take it fast enough, Jimin huffs out an angry breath and leans all the way across the driver’s seat to stick the bill out of Taehyung’s window.  

The cashier makes a confused face at the pair of them and simply shrugs, saying, “You already gave me enough.” Then he makes change from Taehyung’s twenty and passes it back to them, ignoring Jimin’s ten dollar bill all together.

Jimin huffs again and retracts his arm, shoving the money into Taehyung’s hand instead.

Their food comes in little brown bags and Taehyung drives ahead to park the car. He divvies up their burgers and hands Jimin some change back. “Yours definitely wasn’t ten dollars,” he mutters awkwardly. Jimin is grouchy and quiet now but he accepts some change and rifles through the brown bag Taehyung put in his lap, making sure that everything he ordered is there.

They’re quiet for a moment--Taehyung wondering what he did wrong, what Jimin might be thinking, and what he can do to make it better. His smiles and jokes aren’t working at all today and apparently kind gestures are offensive now, too. But surprisingly, Jimin speaks up after a moment,

“I want to go to the school. You mind? We can eat in the dance studio. I still have a key.”

“Sure,” Taehyung agrees, starting to drive at once. It’s his turn to be cagey now. He keeps his eyes on the road and doesn’t say anything else as they go. He’s too stressed, worried that he’ll mess up again somehow.

When they roll up to the school, the parking lots are all empty. It is summer vacation and no one would be caught dead hanging around the school building at 2pm on a Saturday. Jimin directs Taehyung to the closest parking lot so that he won’t have to walk far to get into the studio. Carrying their fast food bags, the two make their way into the abandoned school at a slow pace. Jimin unlocks a door in a back wing of the building and leads Taehyung down a less traveled hallway to the school’s dance studio.

Taehyung had only been in this room one other time. He came in late May--maybe two weeks before Yoongi’s end of the year party--to ask Jimin to join him and some friends for an activity. He can’t remember what it was exactly, but he can remember very clearly what Jimin’s answer was.

“I wish I could but I have to stay and practice. I have the audition, remember?”

The clicking sound of the door latching shut behind them draws Taehyung’s attention back to the present. Jimin sinks to the floor with a wince, crossing his legs beneath him and digging into his food at last. Taehyung joins him, sitting down a few feet away to give him some space.

They eat in silence for a moment and Taehyung takes that time to look around and appreciate the little studio. The space is open and clean. There are mirrors covering the entire long wall on the far side of the room, a bar hovering about one third of the way up the wall, and a series of cubbies by the door for people to store their backpacks or jackets. It’s a peaceful place--especially with no other students milling about. He can see why Jimin likes being here.

 

“Tae.”

“Yeah,” he chirps, swiveling his head back around to meet Jimin’s eyes. The burger wrapper is crumpled up in Jimin’s small hands, the burger already devoured. Geez…well, at least he’s finally got a good appetite again.

“I’m sorry I freaked out before.”

“Nah, you didn’t freak out--”

“--I know I get sensitive about dumb stuff, now,” Jimin interrupts.

Yeah, no kidding. But instead, Taehyung says, “Well, I mean, it’s not dumb if it bothers you.”

Jimin seems to understand both thoughts by Taehyung’s tone. He blinks appreciatively and blushes a faint pink, looking at the wrapper in his hands. “I know I’m a pain in the ass now. You don’t have to hang around me all the time, you know.”

Now it’s Taehyung’s turn to blink in surprise. What? “I-I know that,” he stammers, his voice low and concerned. Why is Jimin saying this? “But I like hanging out with you. I wanna be around you. You know that.”

“How come?”

The simple question is so far from any response that Taehyung could have imagined that he freezes for a moment. “I…” He shakes his head lightly, his own burger forgotten in his hands. “I like you. You know that,” he admits after a while.

Jimin quirks his lips in some wry expression and nods. “I know. I liked you, too. I liked you a lot, actually, but I’m not looking for a relationship right now and it might…be a long time, I don’t know.” He shrugs apologetically and takes a sip of his drink. “I don’t want you to waste your time. I know you’re trying really hard and I appreciate it, but…it’s me. I’m in a different place, now. I don’t want a boyfriend.”

There are a lot of typical things that Taehyung should say. I understand. Anything you need. Take your time. I’ll be right here, regardless. But he’s frustrated. He’s not trying to be insensitive, but when he opens his mouth all that comes out is, “Why not?”

Jimin purses his lips together into a thin line. “Because I need to figure out my own life first. I have to start dancing again, try to get another audition scheduled for next semester, maybe get a job or something…” he trails off unconvincingly, his eyes slipping past Taehyung’s face to look at the mirrors behind him instead.

“Will you tell me the truth?” Taehyung dares. He knows that he’s pushing it, but he’s put a lot into this relationship so far and he needs to understand. “Are you saying this because you don’t like me anymore or because I’m being too clingy or something? Or it is something else?”

Jimin looks off at the mirrors, an uncomfortable grimace building on his face. He says nothing.

“You can tell me if I’m being too much,” Taehyung prods him, remembering to keep his voice calm and nonthreatening despite the emotional turmoil that has been building in him ever since he first rescued Jimin over a month ago. “It won’t hurt my feelings. You can just tell me the truth. If I’m bothering you or something--”

“--no, you’re not bothering me. You’ve been great, Tae, really.” Jimin scrubs his hands back through his hair and then over his face. “But I can’t…be…romantic with you. Or anyone else. I need space from that and I don’t want to piss you off.”

“Why would that piss me off?” Taehyung asks a little too harshly, because it does piss him off a little bit, if he’s being really, scathingly honest with himself, although he would never say this to Jimin. They liked each other before and they were going to get together! They had a special connection! They should be a couple. Why did this have to happen?

“Well, I mean, you’re trying to buy my food, you’re driving me around, hanging out with me, complimenting me, keeping secrets for me…you have that picture of me…” he adds, looking away again--turning his neck away about as far as he possibly can without being blatantly obvious. “That’s boyfriend stuff. And there are expectations that come with that. Right?”

Taehyung has to fill in the blanks a little bit, but he’s getting the idea. The physical expectations are too much for Jimin. Whatever happened with Jungkook must have to do with that. That asshole…

Taehyung knows that Jungkook coerced Jimin into some sex stuff despite his obviously inebriated state that night. He can assume that Jungkook is blackmailing Jimin with those filthy, porno, mock-selfies. And he knows for sure that Jungkook is responsible for the awful scars on Jimin’s feet.

Maybe it went even further than that. Maybe he--

 

“I just want to be really straightforward with you so you don’t get the wrong idea about me…or about us,” Jimin is saying. His big dark eyes are swimmy and wet, though he blinks the emotion away at once. “I’m not trying to be a tease. I think you’re an amazing friend, Tae, but that’s all that I want right now.” He sighs heavily, apparently done with his speech, and lolls back until he’s laying flat on the dance studio floor. Taehyung can imagine that he’s done this often--exhausted after a long practice.

“I hope you still want to hang around me,” Jimin adds after a few seconds of quiet. At the sound of his voice, Taehyung feels a pang of regret in his stomach.

Insecure. Hurt. Heartbroken…still. And probably for the foreseeable future.

Taehyung shakes himself out of his funk at once. What are you thinking, wallowing about your own wants after everything we went through? 

Everything Jungkook put him through.

Obviously I still want to hang out with you,” Taehyung assures him, reaching out through the space between them to nudge Jimin’s arm with his fist. “I’m not going anywhere.”

 

 

And true to his word, Taehyung continues to see Jimin a few times a week despite his own work schedule and preparation for his entry into the music academy in the fall. He keeps his own feelings of disappointment and frustration down. He never presses Jimin to do anything romantic or physical with him, and he tries to hide his anger at the thought of Jimin not pressing charges, too. Because he knows that showing it only makes Jimin feel bad.

“I don’t want to tell the police because then there will be a whole case and a trial and it will be this big, awful, public thing…”

So Taehyung buries the idea of justice deep in the back of his mind next to the thought of being Jimin’s one and only--his boyfriend, his lover--

But then, in the beginning of August, just when he was beginning to stop fantasizing about those things on an hourly basis, Taehyung sees none other than Jeon Jungkook filling up his tank at a gas station in town, and everything comes crashing back all at once.

 

 

Chapter Text

He was coming home from a six hour afternoon shift at Guitar Center when he had to stop for gas. The light came on--a little red beacon appearing from darkness--and he obediently pulled over at the nearest place. He filled up his tank on autopilot and was about to climb back into his car when a vaguely familiar face caught his eyes. 

No way.

It was none other than Jeon Jungkook himself, appearing out of the blue and turning a little red light on in the back of Taehyung’s brain in an instant.

Taehyung had been so zoned out--driving home, pumping gas--that he almost missed him entirely! His heart rate must have tripled in a second’s time, revving up within his chest at the same moment that Jungkook started the engine to his own vehicle and started driving off.

Oh no, you’re not getting away that easily, motherfucker!

Realizing that Jungkook hadn’t seen him, Taehyung jumped into his car and rushed to follow. He had to maneuver around a handful of other vehicles in the gas station parking and when he finally made it out onto the street, Jungkook’s car was already a few blocks away. He did his best to catch up to the other boy without being too obvious, making sure to keep a few cars between them at all times.

He wasn’t exactly sure what he was doing. He wasn’t thinking. He just knew that he couldn’t let Jungkook get away again--not now that he had him in his sights.

Still, that doesn’t mean that he has any sort of plan. And now he’s turning onto the very same street where he rescued Jimin almost eight weeks ago without a clue of how to proceed.

Eights weeks ago already and nothing has been done. It's a disgrace. 

Jungkook’s car parks in front of the familiar apartment and the tail lights go out. This must be his house, Taehyung thinks, a cloud of dark emotions swirling and building inside of him. It had sprung to life as soon as he caught sight of Jungkook at the gas station and had been growing exponentially as they drove. The fact that Jungkook has come back to this place only further confirms his guilt.

He should park around the corner and think of a plan. He should take a few seconds and think about what Jimin would want or how this confrontation might affect him. But he can’t. The little red light has grown too big and hot, now.

So Taehyung grabs the tire iron from the floor of his backseat and acts without thinking.

Jungkook is already half way to his front door when Taehyung comes at him, stalking across the front lawn with iron in hand. “Hey!” he shouts, and the way that Jungkook calmly turns his head just pisses him off more. “Hey,” he says again, more of a snarl this time. He’s within fifteen feet of Jungkook by the time the younger boy seems to notice what he has in his hand.

“The fuck do you--” Jungkook starts, but the wild swing of the tire iron cuts him short. He just barely gets an arm up to block it in time.

Taehyung can’t decide which is more satisfying: the way the metal sounds when it thuds against Jungkook’s forearm hard enough to fracture a bone, or the shout of surprise and pain that he makes.

Jungkook stumbles backward but Taehyung follows him step for step, bashing him two or three more times with the iron--in the side, on his hip--until he finally drops down to one knee in the grass. Taehyung raises his arm to bring the weapon down once again but Jungkook looks up at him imploringly and Taehyung’s arm locks up, elbow bent at ninety degrees.

He’s not a violent person--not really. He was just so fucking mad! The insanity of his rage fades away just as quickly as it was built. Goddammit. His heart is pounding so fast that his arm is shaking, the tire iron clutched so tightly that it’s grinding blisters into the pads of his knuckles.

And beneath him, Jungkook is coughing and clutching himself in a strange way, like he can’t decide which area hurts the most. He is upright but wavering on one knee, his dark hair falling against his forehead as he hangs his head and spits on the ground. Bloody phelm.

Oh geez, fuck-- “That’s for Jimin, you sick fuck,” Taehyung snarls, trying hard to keep his nerve. He’s livid, of course, but he has also calmed down enough to realize that he just assaulted someone with a weapon! He should have punched him or something. Shit! What was he thinking? He twists his head around to survey the area. Shockingly no one has come running. No one is even around. It’s either a really desolate or a really dangerous neighborhood, he realizes. No wonder Jungkook brought Jimin back here.

“What do you want?” Jungkook rasps up at him, snapping Taehyung’s attention back. His tone is remarkably aggressive for having just taken such a beating.

What does he want other than justice for Jimin? Where is he supposed to go from here? He didn’t think this through.

Taehyung steels his nerve and tenses his arm one last time, flicking the iron in Jungkook’s direction threateningly. Jungkook hardly flinches--just leans back a hair and glares at him. Taehyung holds back his surprise and musters up his anger again instead. “Get up,” he hisses, “We’re going inside.” He glances pointedly at the set of keys in Jungkook’s left hand.

Jungkook narrows his eyes at Taehyung and exhales slowly. It sounds painful. Perhaps he broke a rib. Once he’s got both feet underneath him, he rises to his full height in a steady motion and starts toward his front door without a word.

I must have really hurt him, Taehyung thinks. He’s being more cooperative than I think I would be. But then again, despite the harsh blows, Jungkook seems to be walking normally--only a slight hunch betrays damage to his midsection and he holds his right arm close to his body. Or maybe he’s scared shitless, he muses, liking the idea of that. But Jungkook doesn’t look scared. He looks pissed off, if anything.

Left to wonder, Taehyung follows Jungkook closely as he makes his way up the driveway to the front door, unlocks it, and heads inside. “Don’t try anything funny or I’m gonna have to hit you more. Got it?” Taehyung demands, roughly prodding Jungkook with the butt of the iron from behind. Jungkook jolts forward with a grunt and glances over his shoulder to scowl at Taehyung,

“If you would just tell me what the fuck it is that you want--”

Taehyung cuts him off, “Take me to where you hurt him." He keeps his voice flat and mean to hide the uncertainty that is building within. He’s never done anything like this before but Jungkook deserves it. He deserves to be punished--absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt--and the way that he had just appeared to Taehyung at the gas station was like an act of God.

So he holds onto that as a sign, a reassurance, a validation…

“Hurt him?” Jungkook echoes blankly. “He came crying to you, huh?”

Taehyung’s mouth falls open and an angry growl comes out. What an asshole! “Shut up!” he jabs the back of Jungkook’s shoulder again. Jungkook takes an extra step forward to compensate rather than full-out stumbling and then veers toward the stairs. “You took him upstairs?”

“I live on the second floor,” Jungkook retorts.

 

At the top of the stairs, Jungkook takes a moment to fiddle with his keys. He transfers them from right to left hand, grimacing as the motion jostles his right forearm. Dividing the keys to single out the correct one is difficult since he is right handed, but he manages to get the door open just a second before Taehyung was about to lose his patience.

As soon as the door swings open, Taehyung uses both hands to shove Jungkook to the ground. He’s big and he doesn’t go down easy--he sort of droops to his knees rather than truly falling. He doesn’t seem phased by the violence and he hadn’t panicked at all when he was suddenly attacked. What the hell? This kid is tough as nails. His one and only piece of knowledge about the junior is that he trains MMA outside of school. I’m surprised he didn’t fight back, he thinks, a flutter of nervousness getting the better of him again for just a moment. He clutches the tire iron a little tighter, now, just in case.

Jungkook turns around on his knees to face Taehyung, still holding his upper body a little awkwardly thanks to the pain. “You wanna tell me what you want now?”

“Shut up,” Taehyung deadpans.

“Really? You don’t want to ask me some questions?”

Taehyung’s spine stiffens up and he furrows his brow in confusion. “What questions would I possibly have for you?”

“Well,” Jungkook goes on calmly, a mean crinkle in his lip, “if you didn’t want to talk about it, then why are we up here? You could have kept beating me up in the lawn. No one was gonna stop you.”

True enough. Taehyung is mildly impressed at Jungkook’s wherewithal. It’s easy to forget that he’s a year younger than Taehyung and Jimin because he has such a confident air about him. But aside from that small, subconscious nod of respect, Taehyung is consumed with disdain for the younger boy. He’s cocky and cold and he clearly has no remorse over what he did.  

“Fine,” Taehyung finally concedes. He takes a threatening step closer to Jungkook and points the butt end of the iron at the space between his eyes. “Why did you do it?”

“Tch.” Jungkook shakes his head like he’s heard a cheesy joke. “I don’t know what you’re talking about, can you be a little more specific?”

“You know exactly what I’m talking about, dickhead! Just answer the question!” Taehyung demands, losing his cool a little. He doesn’t know how to do this and apparently Jungkook can see right through him because he doesn’t appear even a little bit intimidated.

“Come on, man, is that a serious question? That’s what you want to know?”

“Yes! Why? What the fuck is wrong with you? Why would you do something like that?!”

“Do what?”

“You know what you did!” he exclaims. How dare he pretend that he doesn’t even know--after everything he did--

“You don’t even know what you’re talking about,” Jungkook drones, leaning back just a smidge when Taehyung brandishes the iron at him again. “You weren’t here; you have no idea what happened.”

“Oh yeah?” Taehyung’s voice drops, low and brimming with barely restrained anger. “I saw the picture you sent me,” he growls pointedly, the memory of that shocking image making him turn pink. “And I saw how fucked up Jimin was after he was with you--so I have a pretty good idea of what happened, you psychotic fucking rapist!”

“Rapist?” Jungkook exclaims. “I didn’t rape him, alright? Geez, fuck!” He looks off like he’s agitated by the sentiment, but then just as quickly as it appeared, his scowl morphs into a wry smile. “You’d like to think that I raped him, wouldn’t you? Does it piss you off that he would bone someone other than you?”

The little bubble of indignation that has been building inside of Taehyung finally bursts. He lets out a vicious snarl and whacks the younger boy with the iron yet again, this time bashing it against his right shoulder. The blow is hard and it knocks Jungkook off balance, dropping him down onto one hip, his left hand braced against the floor. “There’s no way that he wanted to have sex with you--”

“He asked for it,” Jungkook grits out through his teeth, still contending with the pain from the strike.

“He was stoned out of his mind!” Taehyung remembers clearly how high Jimin was--his cross-faded, loopy eyes swimming around like a lost puppy, panic flickering behind them every time a new wave of the high made him forget where he was--there was no possible way that Jimin consented. And besides, “He doesn’t even know you! He wouldn’t have done that."

Infuriatingly enough, Jungkook just chuckles lightly, “You don’t know him at all then, lover boy. He asked for it. I swear to god.”

“No fucking way--” He cocks his arm again.

“Think about it!” Jungkook interjects, raising his voice for the first time. He had thrown a hand up to fend off the telegraphed blow and the tire iron stops in mid air. “You know how he is. If anything he seduced me, not the other way around. He’s been teasing me for months--”

Something about that strikes a cord with Taehyung. He had felt a little led on over the past months, too. But Jimin’s words from the day in the dance studio echo in his mind, “I’m not trying to be a tease.”

“I mean, come on, you know! He’s probably done the same thing to you. Flirting and then ignoring you, sending you pictures--”

You’re the one who sent that picture! He told me, so don’t even--”

“No, not that picture,” Jungkook shakes his head. “He’s sent me pictures in the past. That’s what I’m trying to tell you! I didn’t rape Jimin, he’s been begging for it. He’s a goddamn slut, and you know it!”

 

SLUT

 

The messy letters scrolled into Jimin’s soles, painted in blood, meant to stain him forever--

Taehyung isn’t going to stand here and let Jungkook talk about Jimin like that. Whether he asked for the sex in the moment or not doesn’t make any difference.

He brings the iron crashing down on top of Jungkook’s shoulder this time and it finally makes him cry out again. His upper body crumples under the blow, his shoulder turning in awkwardly. It might be broken or dislocated but Taehyung is too pissed to care. “I saw his feet, you bastard! He didn’t ask for that!”

This time Jungkook doesn’t reply right away. He’s still trying to settle into whatever happened to his shoulder--his breath hitching painfully in his chest as he readjusts on the ground to find the least agonizing position. “Yeah, well…” He trails off with a wince.

“Well, what?! What do you have to say for yourself? Why’d you do it!?” He just can’t understand! Regardless of Jimin being the occasional tease, there is no excuse for doing what Jungkook did!

“He had it coming,” Jungkook hisses out, still in pain. “You get it. He’s does this! I’m sure you fucked him good, too, and you don’t look like a little faggot, either.”

 

FAG

 

Taehyung blushes an angry shade of red and his hand flies up, ready to strike again. This time Jungkook flinches away, scurrying backward on his butt to evade the wild swipe. It just barely misses him. “No I have not!” Taehyung shouts. “And don’t you dare say that word to me! Not after what you did!”

Jungkook back peddles until he reaches the couch and then he uses that as a base to get back to his feet. “What word?” he asks. “And yes you have! I saw you coming out of the bedroom at that party, or don’t you remember?”

“That--” Taehyung could choke on his emotion, he’s that outraged. Being compared to this remorseless asshole makes him sick! “That’s completely different. We didn’t--” He would normally say ‘fuck’-- it’s a part of his basic teen male vocabulary--but the way Jungkook said it made it sound so filthy and mean and that he says, “we didn’t have sex,” instead. Not that it’s any of Jungkook’s business one way or the other, but he feels defensive! He’s nothing like Jungkook!

“What do you mean you didn’t have sex?” Jungkook sounds unconvinced.

“I mean we didn’t,” Taehyung snarls. It’s true. They didn’t, and now Taehyung will probably never get a chance to be intimate with Jimin in that way.

And if he’s being honest, that’s a big part of the reason why he’s so mad.  

“Oh wow, fuck okay,” Jungkook smirks, taking another few steps backward and around the couch. “No wonder you’re so pissed off.”

Taehyung glares at Jungkook hatefully, his chest rising and falling with each heavy, angry breath that builds within him. He knew he was mad on Jimin’s behalf, but goddammit he’s mad for himself, too, as selfish and wrong as that is.

“Take it out on Jimin, then, not on me,” Jungkook goes on matter-of-factly. “If he owes you something, that’s on him. Not my problem.”

And the way that he says it--the idea that Jimin’s attacker is actually giving him advice--makes that red light go on in Taehyung’s head again. He shouts something unintelligible, the scream building up in his chest and tearing out if him in a frightening burst as he leaps across the space between them.

The couch gets in the way.

Taehyung is thrown off balance and Jungkook grabs his arms instantly, twisting his upper body and wrestling him down. Even with his hurt arm, Jungkook is still strong and he knows what he’s doing when it comes to physical combat. He wrenches Taehyung’s arms with all of the strength and dexterity that he can muster and he manages to wrench the tire iron from his hand. He can’t keep a hold on it, though, and in the confusion of the scuffle it goes scattering away across the floor.

“Stop!” Taehyung yells, fighting back with fervor as he replants his feet on the ground and gets a better angle to work from. Jungkook gets a punch off with his left hand and it stuns Taehyung for half a second but he doesn’t fall again.

Nice try motherfucker. 

“What--are you trying--to do here--Taehyung?” Jungkook grits out as the struggle continues. He’s fighting in earnest now. Perhaps he had been simply biding his time before, waiting for Taehyung to make a mistake, drawing him upstairs into his lair--

But no. His arm and shoulder are actually hurt. He got a few good shots off and he took the tire iron out of the equation for the time being, but Taehyung overpowers him in a matter of moments. They end up in a tangle on the floor behind the couch and Taehyung’s knee is pressing down on Jungkook’s throat as he growls,

“I want you to go rot in jail, but Jimin doesn’t want to do the police thing--”

 

“I don’t want to tell the police because then there will be a whole case and a trial and it will be this big, awful, public thing…”

 

“--so I’m here in private to make you stop smirking about what you did to him! You don’t get away with this anymore, you sick fuck!”  

Chapter Text

Jimin has been walking around the house for a few days and it’s almost normal now. He even took a few walks around the block yesterday and nothing bled. The awful feeling of pain deep in his arches is diminishing as well, and as that hell fades away it makes room for other things.

“I’m going out, mom!” Jimin calls, wriggling his feet into soft shoes. He wears more comfortable footwear nowadays. What started out as necessity has morphed into habit.

“Where are you going?” she returns. Her head appears from around the edge of the kitchen wall but the sound of running water suggests that her hands are still in the sink washing dishes.

“To the studio,” he says and then he’s out the door in a flurry, snagging the car keys from their hook as he goes.

Jimin had spent so much time working on his dancing in highschool that he hardly had time for anything else. He’d never held a part time job, he’d never gone to youth retreats or joined any other clubs, but he did manage to get his driver’s license at the beginning of senior year. He was two months shy of his eighteenth birthday when he took the test.

“Don’t be nervous, sweetie, you’re going to be great!” he remembers his mother encouraging him right before she got out of the vehicle to make room for the test administrator to climb in. Although she tried to be comforting, the tone of her voice betrayed the fact that she was nervous for him. She had never been able to hide her anxious nature. But still, Jimin recalls feeling remarkably calm during that driver’s test.

Unlike now. Even though he’s just driving to the school’s dance room, Jimin has butterflies in his stomach. It’s been eight weeks since the last time he danced--the longest stretch of time spent away from dancing in his entire life--and he has been missing it like crazy! At night he dreams of dancing in front of the long wall of mirrors and seeing himself float through the motions like before: a vision of living art.

But what if that’s not what he sees? What if he can’t even twirl through one single pirouette properly? His body used to be his ultimate tool, his feet were masterful--their deft motions told stories and proclaimed to the everyone near and far that he was a dancer.

Now they say something very different.

 

By the time that Jimin arrives at the school and parks near the back hallway entrance, the nerves are getting the better of him. He’d finally gotten a new phone two weeks ago. It’s a brand new phone number and nothing transferred from his old phone, so as he goes into his contacts there aren’t many to chose from.

 

Mom

Dad

Taehyung :)

 

I wonder what Tae’s up to today, Jimin thinks, going into ‘messages.’ He knows that Taehyung has been working a lot over the summer to go toward his college tuition, but it’s almost dark now. Even if he were working he should be getting out soon. Maybe we can grab dinner after this.

If the dancing turns out okay, Jimin will need to celebrate. And if it’s a complete disaster, he’ll need something to distract him from that disappointment (more than a disappointment. It would be devastating,) so he types,

 

“Hey Tae where are you right now?”  7:01pm

 

He smiles hopefully at the dashboard and tucks his phone away once more. Taehyung generally gets back to him pretty quickly. While he’s waiting, he might as well do what he came here to do, and whether he succeeds or not, Taehyung will likely be waiting for him afterward.

With a resolved gleam in his eye, Jimin heads into the school at last.  

 

 


 

“Ugh you people are so fucking soft,” Jungkook mutters. Even pinned down and hurt, he still has a mean mouth. “He deserved it, dude, what part of that don’t you get?”

Taehyung presses his knee down on Jungkook’s throat with a little more force and watches his face start turning red. “The only one who deserves something is you!” God, that’s so true! And he’d like nothing more than to bash his face in here and now--although the actual thought of that is too hardcore for him. He’s no murderer. He should do to Jungkook what he had done to Jimin--isn’t that what the old golden rule said? Do unto others…? But Taehyung’s no rapist, either.

That gives him an idea, though.

He scrambles backward off of Jungkook in a flash and makes a mad dash for the tire iron. Spinning back around, he sees that Jungkook is slower to get up than before. His right arm seems to be completely useless from the shoulder down and he still curls his upper body inward--protective of some injury.

Taehyung comes back at him just as quickly as he left--arm bent to strike--and the younger boy flinches for real this time. He stumbles back against the couch with a glint of fright in his eyes, caught off balance.

“Since Jimin doesn’t want talk to the police and you won’t man up and turn yourself in, I’m gonna have to take care this myself,” Taehyung announces. He is stern and serious now, no longer flustered now that he has a course of action in mind.

Jungkook, however, has no idea what Taehyung is thinking and for the first time the uncertainty is showing clearly on his face. His eyes are a little wider than usual--whether from fear or from the pain of his injuries--the dark, wide orbs flicker back and forth between Taehyung’s two eyes, too nervous to settle.

“What do you mean?” he asks in the silence while Taehyung pulls a cellphone out of his pants pocket. Instead of answering him, Taehyung’s attention is drawn to the text message notification from Jimin that has appeared on his lock screen.

 

“Hey Tae where are you right now?”  Jiminnie 7:01pm

 

Jimin… Taehyung wants to text back right away because that’s what Jimin is used to, but he knows that he can’t tell him the truth and he’d rather not lie. He can choose to explain this to Jimin later or he can choose not to. Either way, Taehyung is the one that is here with Jungkook now and he’s the only one who can resolve things once and for all.

Swiping the notification off of the screen, he makes the necessary arrangements and then tucks his phone into his shirt pocket. He’ll call Jimin as soon as he’s done here. Shouldn’t take too long.

“Jimin’s wondering where I am,” Taehyung says in explanation. He’s noticed that Jungkook’s demeanor changes every time he says Jimin’s name. It would be easy to miss if Taehyung wasn’t paying attention so closely. “You really thought that you were gonna get away with this, huh?” he asks. The junior is leaning against the couch and watching him warily. “Tell me how exactly you thought that was gonna happen.”

“Tch,” Jungkook scoffs. It sounds a little weaker than before, though. “I told you already, asshole. He deserved it and he got what was coming to him. What’s there to get away with?”

Taehyung bites back a retort and asks, “So what was the plan? Sleep with him at the party?”

“No! Fuck, no. I’m not--” Jungkook falters over his words and has to restart, fighting to compose himself. “Somebody had to teach him a lesson,” he finally goes on, frowning at his own slip up. “I just wanted to confront him.”

“For what? Sending you some pictures?” Taehyung doesn’t know if he believes that part of Jungkook’s story, but he’s just playing along at this point. “He sends me pictures, too. And I send him pictures. Everyone sends everybody else pictures, dickhead! But you’re the only one kidnapping and raping people!”

Jungkook’s frown deepens and he shakes his head, but he makes no reply.

“So you admit that you kidnapped him, then?” Taehyung prompts. He takes another step in Jungkook’s direction and keeps the tire iron between them, ready to swing at any moment if Jungkook decides to attack again.

“He came with me willingly because he’s a whore and he was drunk and he wanted to fuck. He seduced me, don’t you get that?” Jungkook’s tone may be cold as ice but Taehyung notices the way he keeps his face tilted down to the floor, perhaps trying to hide the spreading blush that creeps over his cheeks.

No fucking way. Taehyung shakes his head, disgusted. “You came to that party looking for him so don’t try to be the victim.”

“It’s true, he--”

Taehyung leaps at Jungkook in one long stride and bashes the iron against the upper part of his right arm before he had a chance to react. “Aghh!” Jungkook crumples backward into the couch with a clipped shout, grasping his injured arm with the other hand. And Taehyung is poised to do it again when Jungkook gasps, “Stop it!”

The iron halts in midair, perhaps an inch or two from Jungkook’s skin. “Don’t lie to me again, then, you arrogant little shit!” Taehyung shouts. His face is only a foot away from Jungkook now, and every flicker of fear that he sees dancing across the junior’s face is a victory. “Jimin already told me everything,” he goes on, punctuating each syllable of his lie to try and sound more intimidating, “now I want to hear you confess.”

Jungkook lifts his eyes to meet Taehyung’s hateful glare and he swallows hard.

“Confess!” he yells, only a handful of inches from his face. “Tell me everything that you did or I’ll smash this arm to hell and then--I swear--I will do every single thing that you leave out of your story to you.”

Is it Taehyung’s imagination or has Jungkook gone completely white? A malicious sneer ghosts over Taehyung’s face at the idea before he quickly becomes hard and serious once more.

“Ok, fine,” Jungkook grimaces, looking away again. His body has gone rigid. “I’ll confess to you, but then we’re done.”

“That all depends on you,” Taehyung corrects him.

Jungkook exhales shakily and nods in the stretch of silence that follows. He leans back further into the couch to create more space between himself and Taehyung and then at last he begins. “Fine. I did go to the party to find Jimin. But not to…have sex with him. That was a mistake.”

Good, I got him talking. “So what was the plan, then?”

“I didn’t have any master plan,” Jungkook says bitterly, his eyes clouding slightly as he mentally goes back in time. “Maybe beat him up? Yell at him? I don’t know. I didn’t know.”

Fine. “How did you get him here?”

“We drove back here in my car.”

“And then you fucked him,” Taehyung supplies, sounding disgusted. And oddly enough the tone of his voice seems to deeply affect Jungkook. He curls up just a little bit more, his frame becoming smaller like he’s embarrassed. Good, Taehyung thinks, he should be. He decides to push it a little bit further. He keeps the mean sneer of disgust and goes on, “Did you take him to bed or did you fuck his on this couch?”

Jungkook flashes him an angry look. “Shut up! I didn’t mean to do it. I already told you that.”

Taehyung’s voice drops ever lower and he jabs the tire iron into Jungkook’s hurt arm. “Bed or couch?” he demands. “Don’t forget what I said.”

Jungkook pulls away from the pressure to his arm and groans. “Couch. Ahhh--shit! I think my arm’s busted.”

“Your arm, your shoulder, a couple of ribs,” Taehyung agrees nonchalantly. “I’m serious, I’ll do a lot worse if you don’t answer my questions.” He’s only posturing--the idea of all of that damage makes him a little queasy if he’s being honest--but hopefully Jungkook doesn’t know that.  

Breathing a little more heavily now, Jungkook just nods at the couch cushions. Acceptance.

“So you did it right here, huh?” Taehyung begins again. He gestures at the couch with his free hand.

“He asked for it.”

Jungkook keeps on saying that and it’s making Taehyung more and more angry each time, but he decides to let it go for the sake of time. He’s not sure how much storage he has on his phone. “So you had some steamy couch sex and then--what?--you had a sleepover and the next morning you decide you want a blowie for breakfast?”

Even Jungkook, hardened and cruel as he can be, visibly winces at Taehyung’s scathing tone.

“Did Jimin ask for that, too? Because he didn’t look to into it in that picture you sent me.”

“No.”

“No what?” Taehyung snaps, giving Jungkook’s shoulder another tap with the metal rod. It’s not very hard this time but it still makes him jump.

“No! He didn’t ask for it; he didn’t want to do it. I was mad and I made a mistake.”  

“No. A mistake is accidentally sending a selfie to the wrong contact--which is probably what Jimin did to you. Forcing your penis down someone’s throat over and over and over again is not a fucking mistake. We call that rape, motherfucker!”

Crack!

The sound that the iron makes when it cracks Jungkook’s shoulder is sickening. The younger boy falls onto his side and writhes against the cushions in agony, crying out a stream of curse words into the fabric. Taheyung steps back, repulsed.

He shouldn’t keep hitting him. He just got so mad thinking about Jungkook going anywhere near Jimin with his dick out, let alone fucking him twice--

“I’m answering your questions!” Jungkook is moaning frantically. Taehyung watches him coldly. The younger boy is still rolling this way and that on the couch, too hurt to sit still with the pain for the moment. His left hand is raised to clutch the right shoulder but he can’t touch it--his hand just hovers a centimeter away, curled up like a claw.

“And you better keep answering them or you’ll get worse than that!”

“Okay…okay. Jesus…fuck, man!”

This is a question he’s been wanting to ask for weeks even though he knows it’s selfish and unimportant. “Why did you send me that picture…huh? Did you send it to other people too or just me?”

“Just you,” Jungkook assures him at once, still panting from the shock of the blow. He pinches his eyelids shut and groans in pain. “Just you, I swear.”

“Why me?”

“B-because...” he shakes his head like he can’t think of a good enough answer.

“Tell me!”

“Because I knew he liked you. I saw you guys together at the party and I thought…I dunno I just wanted to hurt him however I could. It wasn’t even about you---ahhhgh,” his words choke away as another groan tears through him.

Of course he wasn’t thinking about me, Taehyung thinks bitterly, but then just as quickly as the selfish train of thought consumes him, it fizzles out with a pang of remorse. This is not about you, Taehyung, he has to remind himself. But it's difficult not to go there.

If only Jimin were here to get vengeance or even just some closure for himself…maybe Taehyung should have texted him back.

He draws his cell out of the shirt pocket and is relieved to see that the timeline of the voice recorder is still scrolling by. He hits the square stop button to end that recording and then saves it before going back into his messages.

 

“I’m at JJK’s and I want you to come meet me here asap.”  7:09pm

 

He hopes that Jimin will be able to make out the code name and realize where exactly he is.

“What are you doing?” Jungkook grunts, finally drawing himself up into a seated position again. He holds his broken limb close to his chest and his face is white. Taehyung looks at him with out any expression of pity.

“Jimin is coming.”

There it is again! A little flicker of mixed up emotions running across Jungkook’s features like over saturated water colors--excitement and embarrassment and fear and anger, all bleeding into one another--and all at the mere mention of Jimin’s name. He’s obsessed!

And with that realization, everything clicks into place just like that. “You’re fucking gay for him… aren’t you?”

Jungkook looks up at him in a panic--the flicker of vulnerability quickly covered with fury. “I am not!” he argues, a flush of color coming back into his pale cheeks. “I’m not a goddamn pansy; don’t you ever say that again!”

“A pansy?” Taehyung could almost laugh if he didn’t have so much hate in his heart--this guy’s worldview is so backward and convoluted. “Sure, okay, you’re no pansy. But you’re homosexual, that’s for sure.”

“Shut up, I’m not--”

“You fucked him twice!” Taehyung bursts out, holding up two fingers in the younger boy’s face, “Or, I should say, at least twice. You’re not done confessing yet, are you?”

Jungkook just glowers at him.

Bzzzzzz! 

Taehyung takes out his phone once more when the buzz of Jimin’s reply vibrates against his chest. He makes a show of texting Jimin back. It’s a good excuse to sneakily start another voice recording as well.

 

“Wait what?! Why? What are you doing????!!!!”  Jiminnie 7:11pm

“Getting some closure for you before he leaves town for good. Everything’s under control. Come asap. Please.”  Taehyung 7:11pm

 

Almost as soon as he’s tucked the phone away, though, it’s vibrating like crazy. He brandishes the iron at Jungkook to keep him in his place on the couch and looks at the phone again. There are a plethora of messages from Jimin. He must be frantic.  

 

“What are you thinking?! omg…”  Jiminnie 7:12pm

“Tae do NOT do anything ur going to regret!!!!”  Jiminnie 7:12pm

“Ur giving me a panic attack dude wtf”  Jiminnie 7:12pm

 

Shit. Taehyung bites the inside of his bottom lip, feeling bad. He didn’t mean to cause Jimin any more distress, but he’s pretty sure that this needed to be done. Jungkook can’t be allowed to do that shit and not face some consequences…right?

 

“Don’t panic, everything is okay I promise. Please just come asap.”  Taehyung 7:13pm

 

He tucks the phone back into his pocket and puts on his best calm face, turning his eyes onto Jungkook again. “He’s on his way,” he announces casually. Sure enough, the flicker of emotions sweeps over Jungkook’s expression yet again. “Now, tell me what happened after you sent the picture to me.”

“Jimin dyed his hair,” Jungkook deadpans.

“You made him dye it, you mean,” Taehyung corrects him angrily. He knows how much pride Jimin had in his lovely pink locks. There’s no way he would have just randomly dyed his head black.

“Yeah.”

“Why?!” There are a lot of parts to this crime that are beyond Taehyung’s ability to accept, but this part is even beyond the scope of his logic.

Surprisingly, Jungkook shakes his head and looks down a little bashfully, perhaps embarrassed to say. “I just wanted him to get rid of the pink hair,” he says. And when Taehyung raises the iron threateningly, he rushes to add, “It pissed me off, alright? I wanted him to have normal hair and that’s it.”

That’s insane. Taehyung can’t accept that answer so his mind reels to find the truth. After a moment or two he ventures, “You know what I think?”

Jungkook gives him the side eye.

“I don’t think his pink hair pissed you off. I think you liked it a little too much,” he accuses. “I think you liked his pink hair the same way you liked his dancing, and that’s why you made him dye it and that’s why you...you mutilated him and ruined his chances of getting into the dance school! Just because you couldn’t keep your dick in your pants because you liked him too much!” He had started out calm enough but his voice rises with each accusation and he can’t contain the wave of emotion that sweeps up over him and makes his eyes feel hot and wet with rage. “Big, fucking tough guy, yeah? How did you even do it? You tied him up?!

“No! He--”

“Did you tie him up?!” Taehyung demands, and his wild, open rage leaves no room for argument.

Jungkook’s tongue darts over his dry lips and his mouth stays open, too frightened to close. “Yes.” When the admission comes out it is barely a whisper.

How?

Jungkook’s eyes go wide, openly petrified now. His lips are open and trembling but he can’t get the words out. Only when Taehyung hits his arm again does he finally speak. The words come tumbling out along with his screams.

“AHHHHah ha owww ohfuck!---to the desk!!---there’s a desk--”

Where?

“--in my room!--”

Taehyung snags Jungkook up by the back of his shirt and hauls him off the couch. Jungkook is a little bit bigger than him but he’s nearly limp from the pain--wobbling on weak legs and gasping through groan after groan--

“Show me,” Taehyung orders.

The way that Jungkook teeters weakly as they walk betrays the severity of his injuries. His shoulder is likely dislocated and broken--shattered even--and his arm might be broken in several other places both above and below the elbow.

Too fucking bad. After what he did to Jimin, he should be able to take it.

With Taehyung’s hand on the back of his collar and the butt end of the iron digging threateningly into his side, Jungkook is sufficiently motivated to lead the way into the back bedroom. Sure enough, there is a desk along the far wall with the tall window above it. It’s covered in books and papers. There is a blue study lamp in one corner and an unfinished bottle of Gatoraide sits beside it, forgotten. It’s hard for Taehyung to imagine Jimin suffering over such a mundane looking piece of furniture. There’s no visual evidence of such a thing--no bloodstains, no marks on the desk, no signs of a struggle…

“That desk?” he clarifies, jerking Jungkook closer to the wooden item. “How did you do it?”

Jungkook seems completely humiliated to answer such a question, but he desperately does not want to be hit with the iron anymore. “I had rope,” he admits, head down.

“Of course you did,” Taehyung shakes his head, absolutely disgusted. “Go get it, I want you tied up before he gets here. You’re not going anywhere near him, you psychotic stalker!”

“No fucking way,” Jungkook mumbles through a grimace.

“You want me to break your other arm, too?!” Taehyung explodes. He’s thinking of Jimin’s feet--carved up and desecrated beyond repair right here in this very spot. Jungkook hadn’t been kind enough to stop after one so why should he? “Get the fucking rope, right now!”

Jungkook slinks away to do as he’s told, going into the closet with tender motions to retrieve a piece of rope from a shelf. When he comes back to stand a few feet away from Taehyung, the older boy snatches the coil from his hand and commands, “Sit on the floor, right there.” He points at a spot on the floor next to the corner of the desk and Jungkook slowly sinks down onto his bum where Taehyung indicated.

“Sit still and don’t try to fight me again,” Taehyung says, crouching down to restrain Jungkook. Then he quickly adds, “I’ll bash your face in--don’t try me.” He wouldn’t, but hopefully the damage he’s already done to the arm will be enough to make Jungkook believe it.

Sure enough, Jungkook sits still and lets his left arm go limp for Taehyung’s manipulation, staring off at nothing and metering his breaths to stave off a total loss of emotional control.

Meanwhile Taehyung is struggling to tie him up. He has never done this before and it’s not quite as easy as they make it look in the movies. After several moments of struggling with how to wind the long rope, he finally secures the wrist to a V made by the leg of the desk and a support beam underneath. That way, even if Jungkook were to flip the entire desk over, he still wouldn’t be able to slip free. It’s not pretty but it’ll do.

There, he inwardly sighs. Hitting Jungkook had felt good but tying him up just feels wrong. When he stands and takes a step back from Jungkook’s crumpled form, he has to repress a little shudder. The boy is trying to remain outwardly strong but in truth, he is just a kid. He’s hurt and helpless, now.

Taehyung never imagined doing that to someone before.

He had never imagined even wanting to.

But before he sinks too far into his own head, a vibration in his breast pocket brings him back. He grabs for his phone and makes to stops this second recording with a tap of his thumb, but Jimin’s text message on the screen makes the motion of his finger falter.

 

“I’m outside.”  Jiminnie 7:26pm 

 

Chapter Text

Jimin’s first attempt at dancing again is a miserable failure.

 

No that’s not true, he argues with himself, glowering at the unsatisfactory reflection that he sees in the mirror. Pretty good for--what?--just 8 weeks out?

Pretty good for a nube, maybe, but not for Park Jimin, president of the school dance club. He’d had an audition at the best performing arts college in the entire country for Christ’s sake! And now he is stumbling through his old routines with lack luster form at best.

Yeah, but this was just the first time. You’ll get right back into it after a little practice, he tells himself, trying to stay positive. Because if he's discouraged after just one try then Jungkook has really ruined him after all. Getting down so quickly would be like admitting defeat. He was used to practicing for hours a day, every day. He couldn’t really get upset after 20 minutes of dancing, could he?

 A faint echo of that same old, nasty voice rings in the back of his head. “Don’t be such a pouty bitch.”  

Scowling at the memory, Jimin decides to sit down for a moment and collect himself before starting again. His bum is feeling a little sore. It hasn’t been much of an issue after those first two weeks of healing passed, but some of the dance moves seem to be irritating it. So he walks back to the spot in the corner of the room where he placed his bag and makes himself comfortable on the floor.

I wonder if Taehyung texted me back. He reaches into his bag for his phone, hoping to hear that they can have dinner together in a bit, but instead he sees this:

 

“I’m at JJK’s and I want you to come meet me here asap.”  Taehyung :)  7:09pm

 

JJK’s? The strange acronym is lost on him for a moment, but when the idea finally forms he almost drops the phone. Jeon Jungkook’s?! What the hell is Taehyung doing there? Why would he ever want to be with him?!

Jimin’s tortured mind goes straight to the worst case scenario. Horrifying plots of betrayal rush into his thoughts in an instant, flooding his chest with a wash of nausea.  

 

“Wait what?! Why? What are you doing????!!!!”  7:11pm

 

What if Jungkook finally got to Taehyung--got him to change his mind about Jimin? Poor Taehyung has been doing his best to stay close to him despite Jimin’s disinterest in a relationship. He knows that Taehyung wants to be with him, but he can’t--he just can’t possibly be with anyone right now! Maybe Taehyung is secretly angry with him and that little seed of frustration is enough to make him turn against Jimin once and for all.

Maybe the two of them are at Jungkook’s apartment right now, looking at the dirty pictures Jungkook had taken, plotting to lure Jimin over there so that Taehyung can get what he wants from him just like Jungkook had done.

No. No way. Taehyung isn’t like that! Taehyung has always been so nice to him--so caring--! Even if they’re not a couple, Taehyung is Jimin’s friend!

 

“You think anyone actually likes you? They just want to fuck you. That’s it. You’re easy.”

 

Bzzzzz! Bzz!

Jimin almost doesn’t want to read the new text. He is too afraid to read it and discover a blatant lie. Don’t be a little bitch, the mean voice in his head sneers at him. He has to bite his bottom lip to keep it from quivering before he can bring himself to see what Taehyung wrote.

 

“Getting some closure for you before he leaves town for good. Everything’s under control. Come asap. Please.”  Taehyung :)  7:11pm

 

Closure? What the hell is that supposed to mean? Jimin shakes his head at the phone screen in disbelief. It doesn’t seem like a lie but that doesn’t make it any better.

 

“What are you thinking?! omg…”  7:12pm

 

Is Taehyung trying to seek some kind of revenge on his behalf? Of all the idiotic, quasi-romantic things that Taehyung has tried to do for him, that would be by far the stupidest and most dangerous--

 

“Tae do NOT do anything you’re going to regret!!!!”   7:12pm

 

Jimin knows first hand how violent and powerful Jungkook can be. He is big and mean and he had easily overpowered Jimin and hurt him without any hint of remorse. What if Taehyung underestimates him because he’s a lowerclassman? What if Jungkook hurts Taehyung really badly?

Or what if Taehyung goes overboard and really hurts Jungkook? Jimin has done everything in his power to hide critical information and keep the police from going forward with an investigation, but if Taehyung goes crazy on Jungkook and someone in the neighborhood calls the cops? Everything could come to light in an instant!

 

“Ur giving me a panic attack dude wtf”   7:12pm

 

Jimin’s whole body is trembling as he rises to leave the studio, slinging his bag over his shoulder and keeping the phone clutched tightly in his fist. He doesn’t know what to think or what he is going to do. All he knows is that he doesn’t feel safe enough to be alone here anymore.

The buzz of Taehyung’s text--expected though it is--makes Jimin flinch.

 

“Don’t panic, everything is okay I promise. Please just come asap.”  Taehyung :)  7:13pm

 

It’s impossible not to panic. He rushes back outside to his mom’s vehicle with an erratic gait to his step, like each placement of his feet is uncertain, like the ground he’s walking on could shift and swallow him whole at any second.

What the fuck is Taehyung thinking?! Jimin gets into the driver’s seat and slams the car door shut, breathing heavily as he twists the key and puts the car in reverse. He has to go--obviously. What if Taehyung is in trouble and he needs help? He had said “please come asap” several times in his messages. It could be a cry for help!

Or it could be a trap, that voice reminds him. Let’s say you go there willingly--you go back to Jungkook’s house on your own and you walk in on your own. Imagine what he’ll say about that! Maybe Taehyung isn’t even there. Jungkook could have somehow stolen his phone and used it to trick Jimin into returning for more punishment.

Jimin can already hear Jungkook calling him all of those names all over again. “You came here willingly, you’re asking for it…pansy ass bitch, filthy fucking slut, sloppy ass fag--”

“Ahhhh fuck! Stop, Jimin, get it together,” he yells at the steering wheel. The sentiment seems to reverberate through the empty cavity of the car but it doesn’t do much to steady the trembling of his hands.  

He’s on the street now, driving in a direction he never thought he would go ever again--straight to Jungkook’s place. His teeth are grinding together unconsciously, his heart fluttering madly in his chest. He wonders vaguely if it’s safe for him to be driving, considering how emotionally vulnerable he is at the moment.

Calm down, he commands himself internally. Be a man. He buckles down emotionally and tries to shut his fears off for the time being--as impossible as that may be.

But the deeper he gets into the east side of the city, the sicker he feels. He drives closer and closer to Jungkook’s place--shocked that he even remembers how to get there--and every landmark that he passes brings him right back to the hazy, drug-blurred night and the demoralizing drive home the next morning those eight weeks ago.

And then he’s parallel parking on the street two houses down from the place. It’s a struggle to get the wheels straight since he’s so rattled. After three failed attempts, he just gives up with one wheel on the curb. Turning off the engine, he texts,

 

“I’m outside.”  7:26pm

 

--and hits send before he can chicken out and drive straight home. Taehyung texts him back almost instantly.

 

“Come upstairs. Everything’s unlocked.”  Taehyung :)  7:26pm

 

Jimin desperately does not want to go in there but on the off chance that Taehyung is really upstairs and he really needs some help, Jimin knows that he needs to be there for him. When he tries to get out of the car, however, his body freezes up and he finds that he can’t bring himself to pull the door handle.

He realizes that he can’t go inside until he hears Taehyung’s voice--until he is certain that this isn’t just Jungkook playing some trick on him. Clicking on Taehyung’s contact information, Jimin hits ‘call’ and brings the phone up to his ear. It barely rings one time.

“Jiminnie?” It is Taehyung through and through but instead of soothing Jimin, he feels his heart sink at the familiar voice. This means he really needs to go up there.

When he opens his mouth to speak, the first thing that comes out is a clipped groan, “Shit Taehyung, why are you doing this?”

A pause--in which Taehyung’s exhalations are the only sound coming through the receiver. They sound a little more strained than normal, as if he’s undergone something although Jimin isn’t sure what. “What do you mean?” he returns at last. “Come upstairs.”

“Where is he?” Jimin half-demands. His tone is serious and quiet in contrast to the wild fluttering of his pulse.

Taehyung’s voice comes through flatter than it is reassuring. “He’s tied up in the bedroom, don’t worry. I have everything under control.”

Tied up? The image that comes to mind is not as relieving to Jimin as he once hoped it would be. Whether Jungkook is restrained or not, he’s still him. Jimin will still have to face him and that’s the part that is making him sick.

“Come on up,” Taehyung says again, and this time he sounds…mean? Jimin can’t put his finger on it but he doesn’t like it. Still, he has his proof and he came all the way here--he’d better get this over with, so he mutters his agreement and hangs up the phone. Straightening up, he slips out of the car and starts the walk up the driveway toward the front door.

A flood of memories wash over him with every step that he takes, slowing his stride and making his guts twist up within him. Wasn’t he just here moments ago, bloody and crying, the skin being scraped from his kneecaps as he crawled on the ground to escape? Why the hell is he back here?!

When he gets to the porch, Jimin finds that the first floor door is open just as Taehyung said. He holds his breath and goes inside, trying not to look around as he crosses the hallway to the staircase and begins his ascent.

 

--don’t think about it--don’t think about it--don’t think--

 

By the time Jimin reaches the door to Jungkook’s apartment at the top of the stairs, his brain has effectively shut down and he’s gone onto autopilot--or at least, as emotionally deadened of a state as he can possibly manage. With one last shaky inhalation, he steels himself and opens the door.

The front room is exactly the same as he remembers. To his right--the kitchenette where Jungkook made scrambled eggs and tomatoes. Ahead and to the left--the couch. Jimin lets his eyes scan over it for a brief moment before tearing them away. He can’t linger there or he will lose his autopilot and go back to panicking. “Taehyung?” he calls, announcing his presence as he turns to shut the door behind himself.

“Back here!”

The bedroom, Taehyung had said on the phone. Now Jimin knows that he meant the back bedroom with the desk, not the guest room with the closet.

You’re okay, he reassures himself. He goes straight to the back room without allowing his eyes to wander anymore. Don’t look back at the couch, don’t look around the room when you get in there, don’t look at the desk, just look at--

“Taehyung?” The angle of the open door is blocking Jimin’s sight of him, so the first thing that he sees--perfectly framed in the arch of the door frame--is Jeon Jungkook sitting on the floor next to the wooden desk.

All of the oxygen in Jimin’s lungs goes stale. He halts in the doorway.

At his appearance, Jungkook tilts his chin up a few inches to look at him. There is a dull flash of recognition in his eyes before they settle but nothing more. Still, as soon as Jimin finds himself caught in Jungkook’s dark gaze he looks away.

The room has been rearranged, Jimin realizes, his eyes sweeping every which way while avoiding Jungkook. The desk used to be on the wall to his left but there is a bed there now. He must have moved the furniture to hide the blood…? he wonders vaguely, trying not to let his emotions come into play but rather to coldly observe and nothing more.

It’s impossible, though.

The feeling of so much blood running out of him--out of his sight, out of his control--is a memory that makes his stomach churn. He can keenly recall the dizzying sensation that started in his lower body and worked its way up slowly, tingling and creeping over him, devouring him until he couldn’t even tell what was happening to him anymore--until everything went black and still--still--Jungkook never stopped--

 

“Hey.”

Startled, Jimin’s head snaps around to face the voice. Taehyung.

“You okay?”

No. Why did you make me come here? 

“Yeah,” he mutters instead, making an effort to settle back into his breathing. He steadies his gaze on Taehyung’s familiar face but what he sees there is unsettling. Taehyung looks reasonably calm now that he’s talking to Jimin, but underneath that there is a disquieting hardness than Jimin has never seen in him before. “What happened?” he asks, his tone guarded.

Taehyung jerks his head in Jungkook’s direction. “I saw him at the gas station. Followed him back here.” With a nagging sense of discomfort, Jimin urges himself to follow Taehyung’s gaze even if it means looking at Jungkook.

The younger boy is sitting on the floor at the corner of the desk with one wrist bound to it. His other arm, Jimin notices at last, is out of place and out of shape, held close to Jungkook’s chest in an obvious display of injury. “What did you do?!” Jimin gasps, shocked at the disturbing image. He had been so undone at the initial sight of Jungkook that he hadn’t even noticed it at first! It was clearly broken--more than broken--oh my god…

“I made him confess,” Taehyung says quite proudly, lifting the arm on the far side of his body up enough to present an iron rod of some kind. A crow bar? A tire iron? Jimin doesn’t know which is which but the viscious looking, long, silver rod must be responsible for Jungkook’s injuries. Then Taehyung’s fingers dip into his breast pocket. He pulls his cellphone up and makes a show of revealing the images on the screen to Jimin in such a way that Jungkook can also get the general idea.

The steady timeline tracker of a voice recording scrolls across the screen, only to be stopped by a quick tap of Taehyung’s thumb.

“What the fuck?!” Jungkook pipes up at once. The mean bite of disbelief in his voice makes the hair on the back of Jimin’s neck stand up. “You were recording this whole time? What a bitch, oh my god.” He shakes his head, eyes widening at the floor in shock as the realization of his so-called confession being documented sinks in.

“That’s right, I recorded everything,” Taehyung is saying. He sounds so menacing and hardened as he turns his attention to Jungkook that Jimin almost does a double take. “Now you listen to me very carefully, asshole,” he goes on, walking over to Jungkook and crouching down just a bit to get more level with him. “You are going to apologize to Jimin. You’re going to beg him for forgiveness. You’re going to delete all of the pictures you have of him--every single one--and then you’re going to leave town and never, ever show your face around here again or I will release this tape.”

At that, Jungkook turns an angry shade of red and narrows his eyes at Taehyung, his chest puffing up defensively. “You’re on that tape too, dumbass,” he snarls up at him. “You want the cops to know you did this to me?” He jerks his chin downward, indicating his arm.

To Jimin’s ultimate surprise, Taehyung just shrugs. “Who said anything about the cops?”

Jungkook is surprised too, his breath hitching slightly in his throat as he raises a questioning eyebrow. What is Taehyung threatening if not to take him to the authorities for his crimes?

“I’ll out you,” Taehyung says matter-of-factly.

What?! The sharp pang that jolts through Jimin’s guts is more than just shock. He’s confused, too, and that phrase doesn’t sit well with him. It’s…Crueler than expected somehow, although he doesn’t fully understand why. 

“What are you saying?” Jungkook more or less whispers through locked jaws. It’s like he can hardly speak all of a sudden which makes no sense to Jimin.

“You admit it yourself,” Taehyung explains, tapping the side of his cellphone like he’s brandishing a weapon, “on here. You might be in denial still, but this tape is incriminating as fuck--and very clear. You’re gay,” he jabs an accusatory finger in Jungkook’s direction and the younger boy literally shrinks back, much to Jimin’s disbelief, “and if I ever see you again after today, or if any of those pictures get around, I will make sure everybody and their brother knows what a fag you are.”

FAG--  Even though no one is talking to him, Jimin still feels the need to curl his right foot back around his left ankle, as if his shoes aren’t doing enough to hide the legible scars.

Jungkook’s sullen voice breaks through the silence again, asking, “Where the hell am I supposed to go? I still have another year of school.”

“I don’t care; go to a different school,” Taehyung returns flatly, and the tone he has with Jungkook is so markedly different from the care and concern he shows to Jimin on a day to day basis that it’s almost like listening to a different person entirely.

“But you guys won’t even go there anymore; you guys graduated--”

Taehyung cuts off his attempt before he can finish. “I don’t care! I don’t want to see you around town. I don’t want us running into you in the store, I don’t wanna catch so much as a glimpse of you driving on the same highway as us. You don’t show your face around here ever again after today. Period. Or else your little secret is going to get out.”

As crude and infantile as the threat is, it seems to be working. “Fine,” Jungkook grits out after a moment of deliberation.  

Jimin’s gaze had been slowly slipping back down to his feet, but at that his eyes pop up again--shocked. He expected more from Jungkook--more fight, more fire, more conniving--but the boy is just sitting there with his head down all of sudden like he’s been defeated.

He’s going to leave town? Just like that? Jimin doesn’t dare to believe it. That’s too good to be true. The Jungkook who attacked him wasn’t like this. He wouldn’t just back down.

Taehyung is closer to Jimin than before and his voice is louder when he suddenly says, “Good. Now--where is your phone and your laptop and whatever else you have those pictures on? You have a flashdrive or something? Hand it all over.”

Jungkook’s in-tact shoulder tenses up into a stiff hunch, like he’s humiliated to be submitting under these threats. He shakes his head at nothing--at himself--and then mutters, “My phone is in my left pants pocket and my computer’s right there.” He motions over his right shoulder with his chin to indicate the desk. “But there’s no pictures. I deleted them all.”

“Yeah right,” Taehyung retorts. He goes to Jungkook and he crouches over him, reaching around the shattered arm to pick his pocket, Jungkook simply allows it, tensing to protect his injuries and leaning away from Taehyung’s body.

“I deleted everything,” Jungkook says quietly when Taehyung pulls his phone out and rises again. He grabs the laptop from the surface of the desk as well and then returns to Jimin’s side a few feet back.

“We’ll see about that.”

Only once Taehyung starts to actually go through Jungkook’s phone does Jimin finally find his voice again.

“Taehyung.”

He doesn’t even look up from the screen. He’s going into images. “Hmm?”  

Taehyung,” Jimin warns--ten times more seriously--and at last, Taehyung seems to register that something is wrong with this. He raises confused eyes to meet Jimin’s gaze.

Jimin can’t bring himself to say it out loud--especially with Jungkook here--so he tries to communicate with just his eyes. Taehyung can’t look through Jungkook’s pictures! He know he's just trying to help, but if there were any images to be found it would be am awful breech of Jimin’s privacy for Taehyung to look at them!

Thankfully, Taehyung eventually seems to get the idea. His gaze softens and he relents with a nod, handing the items over to Jimin. Once he has them in his hands, a small amount of the anxiety he was feeling before is lifted from his shoulders.

“I want to talk to him alone for a second before we go.”

Taehyung looks at Jimin like he has horns growing out of his head. His eyes go wide in surprise and he opens his mouth to say something, but whatever it was Jimin will never know because he recovers quickly. Taehyung’s lips close and the stunned look twists into a satisfied grin. “Okay,” he says, giving one strong nod. He pats Jimin’s arm and gives him a lingering look of reassurance before he turns to face the door. “Five minutes and then let’s get out of here?” he suggests.

“Yeah.”

“Shout if you need anything. I’m just out here.”

 

Just like that Taehyung is gone, the door is shut, and Jimin and Jungkook are alone in the room together. Working up all of the courage that he can muster, Jimin shoves his emotions down and turns on Jungkook in one smooth motion. “What did you tell him?” he demands.

At the mention of Taehyung, Jungkook scowls up at him. “It’s all on that goddamn tape. Why don’t you listen to it yourself?”

Jimin’s frown deepens. Fuck, Taehyung, why did you have to interrogate him? The last thing he wants is for anyone to know the details of what happened to him. It is utterly humiliating and the idea that Jungkook may have detailed his methods of torture for Taehyung is unbearable. Even the knowledge that Taehyung saw one picture of him like that had kept Jimin from talking to him for weeks!

Don’t think, he reminds himself. Just don’t think about it right now. Do what you need to do and get the hell out of here.

Following his own advice, Jimin pours himself into examining Jungkook’s phone instead. If there are any pictures on there, he will get rid of them once and for all. No one else gets to see him that helpless.

Almost as soon as Jimin’s attention leaves him for the phone, Jungkook says, “None of those pictures are on there, so you won’t find anything.”

“Where are they, then?” Jimin returns, scrolling through the images now instead of looking at Jungkook.

The younger boy is glaring at the floor now, anyway, apparently still stung over having been bested so quickly in the blackmail field. He frowns at the carpet, muttering, “No where. I deleted them all.”

“I don’t believe that.”

“Well…it’s true. Look all you want. I got rid of them in case you did go to the cops. I couldn’t get caught with those.”

The tone of Jungkook’s voice, the way that he almost cringes at his own words brings Jimin right back to that night eight weeks ago. Something withers deep in his chest at that tone--as if the mere idea of being associated with Jimin is something truly repulsive.

And then--all of a sudden--a new thought comes to him. The embarrassed tone that Jungkook was always trying to hide, his violent homophobic language, employing various ill-conceived methods in hopes of forcing Jimin to “be more of a man,” the way that he had so quickly folded under the threat of being outed just now…none of those things made much sense to Jimin before but suddenly it all seems so obvious.

All of this has nothing to do with him. Not really.

He glances up from the phone mid-swipe and finds Jungkook peering at him from underneath a few stray locks of hair. “I didn’t ask him to come here or follow you or anything,” Jimin mutters.

Jungkook doesn’t make any reply. A jolt of pain must shoot through his arm at that moment because he winces.

“Can you even drive with your arm like that? How are you going to leave town?” He asks out of pure curiosity. He couldn’t care less about whether or not Jungkook has an easy time following these conditions. Regardless of whether Jimin meant for this to happen or not, Jungkook deserves to suffer.

“I’ll figure something out,” the younger boy says resolutely. The fact that Jungkook is still talking in logical sentences and isn’t openly crying over these injuries is almost mind boggling to Jimin. He could appreciate the boy’s toughness and resolve if he didn’t’ already hate him so much.

The fact that Jungkook can take all of that but shrivels up under Taehyung’s threats further confirms that he’s just a homophobic gay kid who hates himself first and foremost, and for that Jimin truly does feel a little bit sorry for him.

He’s nearly done scrolling through Jungkook’s camera roll when he comes across the selfie of himself taken in the restaurant all those months ago. Jungkook got rid of everthing else but he couldn’t bring himself to delete that one, huh?

Jimin does it for him.

He tosses the phone back in Jungkook’s direction when he’s finished. It lands on the carpet with a soft thud and slides until it bumps against Jungkook’s thigh. Next he goes through the laptop and once again finds nothing. Maybe Jungkook is telling the truth after all. The idea of walking over to that desk and touching its surface is too much for Jimin to handle, so once he’s finished with the laptop he closes it and sets it down on the floor instead.

Perhaps Taehyung looked satisfied upon leaving because he expected Jimin to take some sort of revenge on Jungkook while they were alone. But in truth, Jimin has nothing to say to him. He didn’t want to see Jungkook. He doesn’t want to be here and he’s ready to leave. With the pictures gone and Jungkook scared to come after them or even run into them again, Jimin simply turns to go.

“W-wait!” Jungkook exclaims softly from behind.

Jimin’s steps halt but he doesn’t turn back to face him.

“I’m sorry about your dance thing,” Jungkook mumbles after a moment of silence. He must be looking down into his lap again because his voice sounds muffled. Maybe he even had a hand over his face. “I didn’t mean to…like, I wasn’t thinking about that at all.”

He wouldn't put it past Jungkook to be faux-apologizing--especially since the younger boy obviously has no respect for dance or for the things Jimin had accomplished in that regard. Besides, Jimin might feel a twinge sorry for Jungkook’s mental emotional issues, but he doesn’t have enough room in him next to all of the hurt and all of the anger to find a space for forgiveness.

“Tae?” he calls, ignoring Jungkook's weak apology entirely. When he reaches out an arm to open the door again, Jimin finds that his hand is shaking. “Let’s go?”

“Yup!” Taehyung comes trotting back into the bedroom as soon as the door is open. “Did you delete them?”

“I didn’t find any,” Jimin tries to say, but then he notices what Taehyung has in his hand and he loses his train of thought. The pairing knife! Had Jungkook told him that that’s what he used to scar Jimin’s feet? Is Taehyung planning to do something similar to Jungkook before they leave him for good? 

Jimin raises a cautionary hand--a weak attempt to dissuade Taehyung from any more violence--but much to his relief Taehyung does no such thing. Instead, the tall boy simply places the knife on the ground a foot or so past Jungkook’s feet. It’s out of his reach currently but he will be able to reach it if he stretches out and then he can use it to cut himself loose.

“Wait twenty minutes and then get your gay ass out of town,” Taehyung practically growls in Jungkook’s face.

The younger boy has no more harsh words. He nods his acceptance and says nothing, staring at his feet with a bitter expression.

“Let’s go, Jiminnie,” Taehyung says then, straightening up and turning to leave. When he tosses his arm over Jimin’s shoulder triumphantly, Jimin tenses up just a bit. He lets the arm stay there until they are out of Jungkook’s view, until they have left the upstairs apartment and are all the way down on the first floor, but then he shrugs it off.

 

Chapter Text

Jungkook waits 15 or 20 minutes like Taehyung said before even attempting to cut himself loose.

It certainly isn’t easy. Leaving the small paring knife behind for him was more like a cruel joke than a kindness. His free arm is the broken one, and as tough as he is he can’t possibly use it with any dexterity at this point. In fact, it’s basically useless on a very real level, will-power and pain management aside. The thing just won’t work--it is smashed in many, many places and severely dislocated. His hand isn’t broken but it is numb and useless. So he will have to use his mouth to pick up the tiny knife and cut his other hand free, and that means lots of painful jostling around in weird positions.

A whole hour may have passed before the rope is finally cut--he loses all sense of time in the throws of his pain and by the end he is in tears.

This was never supposed to happen.

He was trying to get rid of his problem, not make it a million times worse! Jimin was supposed to vanish along with whatever misguided feelings that Jungkook was still harboring. But now it is Jungkook who has to vanish…How the fuck--?

Taehyung. This is all that Taehyung’s fault. If he hadn’t been in the picture then everything would have worked out as planned.

But as mad at him as Jungkook is, he can’t do anything about that. He has to get out of town.

He can’t have people the people in this city thinking that he’s gay. That would completely destroy him.

So he gets himself up and out of the apartment as quickly as he can, not bothering to bring anything along because he couldn’t carry it anyway. His wallet and his phone are the only things that will be coming with him into this new life.

Yes, a new life. He’s going to have to start over.

No more parents--fuck them, he’s always hated them. No more school. He won’t miss any of those assholes, either. He can drop out of high school and start working in another state where no one knows him and he has no reputation to worry about whatsoever.

Yeah. A fresh start under a new name. That’s exactly what he needs.

My arm though… he frets as he struggles to get in the car. He can’t go to the hospital while he’s still in town. He will need to drive over night and get a few states away before he can risk it. He does have a fake ID but just in case, he wants to get as far away as possible before going into any establishments with record keeping. It would be beyond humiliating to get found out and be sent back home.

He pops a few pain pills from the bottle that he keeps in his glove box--struggling to choke them down without any liquid--and then he starts the engine.

Might as well get on with it…there’s no turning back for him now.

 


 

 

When they first left Jungkook’s apartment, Jimin was so numb that he hardly knew what had happened. All he knew was that he had to get home and get away from everything that had anything to do with this stupid encore--

Everything including Taehyung.

He shrugged Taehyung’s arm off of his shoulders and made a b-line to his mother’s car without saying goodbye.

“Heh--wait!” Taehyung called after him. Jimin could hear his heavy footfall following close behind, practically chasing him to his vehicle. “Jimin, woah, wait!” As soon as Jimin felt the other boy’s hand on his upper back, he jerked away.

“I’m going home. I’ll call you later.” He hurriedly got into the drivers seat, not looking back to see how Taehyung was reacting. He didn’t care at the moment. He had to get home so that he could decompress in private.

Muffled through the glass of his window, he heard Taehyung say dubiously, “You will? Okay, call me tomorrow then.” He sounded so insecure and kind in that moment--a totally different person from the guy who was had been heartlessly threatening Jungkook just moments before.

He glanced out at Taehyung one last time and nodded at him before peeling out and speeding away.

 

The drive home was a blur.

 

Now, he parks in his driveway and rushes upstairs, not bothering to lock the front door behind him after throwing it shut. The sound of his mother calling his name from somewhere in the back of the house doesn’t register. He just goes into his room and locks himself inside.

The tears come up so fast--in a blink--pooling in his glassy eyes and spilling down his face silently as he falls face first into the bed sheets. The whole time he was there he was trying so hard to hold it together. Thank god he got home in time so that Jungkook didn’t get the satisfaction of seeing how much his mere presence could hurt him.

Jimin felt so small in that bedroom. Even sitting on the ground and restrained, Jungkook was this massive, looming presence that could make him shrink into himself. Jimin tried his best to act normal in the moment, but inside he just felt…worthless.

His tears are making the sheets wet and he sniffles, trying to get some control of himself. I’m being quiet about it at least, he encourages himself. His mom isn’t knocking on the door so he must be doing a good job of keeping his breakdown under wraps.

Taehyung hadn’t seen him cry this time either, which is a relief. The last time the two of them were at Jungkook’s apartment, Jimin had collapsed into Taehyung’s arms and sobbed like a baby. He had made a hundred promises to himself that he was never going to do that again and today he’d nearly broken them all.

You didn’t, though. You made it home first.

So what if you didn’t cry in front of Taehyung today? the mean voice pipes up in the back of Jimin’s brain. That doesn’t make any difference. Jungkook told him everything that he did to you. He told him. Taehyung knows everything, now.

Jimin can’t help but be angry at Taehyung for pushing things to this unnecessary extra level. If Taehyung had just left it alone, he wouldn’t have learned all of the horrifying, humiliating details that Jimin had been working so hard to conceal, not to mention that Jimin would not have had to go to that awful place and see Jungkook again.

He was trying to help, Jimin tells himself. For whatever reason, he cares about you a lot. He didn’t mean to hurt you.

And Jimin knows that--he really, truly does. But it’s still so hard. He’s going to have to call Taehyung tomorrow. Why did he say that when he was leaving? What was he thinking?!

One minute at a time, he reminds himself, taking a deep, deep breath to make himself stop crying. That’s tomorrow. Don’t worry about it right now. This has been his mantra every since the night of the party he’s managed to stay alive thus far. And sane.

Mostly.

 


 

When Taehyung wakes up that next morning, there is a voicemail notification from Jimin on his lock screen. Surprised, he pops up in bed and hurries to listen to it. He hadn't expected Jimin to call so early!

Shoot, I missed him!

He holds the phone up to his ear and stifles a yawn as Jimin’s voice begins speaking through the recording. He sounds just as tired as Taehyung feels right now.

“Hi Tae…” he begins softly. He sounds muffled, like he’s laying sideways on his pillow and the phone is half buried in blankets. “I know I said I would call you, so here’s me calling you, okay?” He chuckles weakly here--an embarrassed little laugh--before he goes on, saying, “I’m…I just don’t really want to talk about anything, though. And I’m busy tomorrow, so I guess I won’t see you again for awhile since you’re leaving for school and everything. But…um…”

The way that Jimin trails off is so awkward and so fucking lonely sounding that Taehyung’s chest aches in the stretch of silence. It lasts so long that he starts to fear the machine will cut Jimin off before he can finish, but at last, his quiet voice says,

“Yeah, so…give me a call in like two weeks...once you’re settled in. I want to hear how the dorms are, okay? Alright. Bye, Tae.”

There is a quiet click in his ear when the message ends.

 


 

 

 

Two weeks pass. They crawl by, the seconds ticking off one by one as each dull day rolls into the next.

 

Taehyung makes the two hour drive to the university on that first Saturday and he thinks about Jimin the whole way.

 

Jimin stays home for a few days. He watches a movie with his mom. He goes grocery shopping and he buys the kind of ice cream that he likes--the kind that he almost never eats because it’s not low fat--and he enjoys every bite of it.

When it’s all gone--maybe two days later--he goes back to the dance studio at the high school. He won’t be able to come here much longer. Once the new school year starts in the beginning of September, a new president of the dance club will be elected and Jimin will certainly have to hand over the keys. Besides, there will be students there and it won’t be a private place for him anymore. It won’t be his safe place.

He wishes Taehyung would call early. He said two weeks in the message but wow…two weeks feels like a very long time right now.

 

The dorm room that Taehyung finds himself in is pretty small--just two beds and two desks with a split closet on the far wall. His roommate is a short guy who plays the clarinet. He’s really nice, actually. He mostly keeps to himself but he always says ‘hello’ and ‘goodnight’ and he makes sure to turn his desk lamp off as soon as Taehyung gets into bed.

“You got a girlfriend from high school or anything? Anyone you miss?” he asks Taehyung on the fifth day. “Or is it too soon?” He chuckles lightly, flopping down backward onto the scooby-doo sheets of his freshman dorm bed. “I know for me it’s way too soon. I’m so glad to be away from home.”

Taehyung isn’t really sure how to respond. He doesn’t miss anyone except Jimin, but after everything that’s happened he doesn’t know if he has the right to talk to anyone else about him. So he just laughs along and shakes his head.

 

“Hey honey! I saw a hiring sign in the window of that little dance studio down on the corner. Did you see that?”

Jimin glances up from the kitchen table. His mother is a few feet away at the sink wearing big, purple, plastic gloves while washing the dishes as she so often does, talking over her shoulder. “Hiring?” he echoes, only half paying attention. His phone is on the table next to his plate and it’s occupying most of his attention.

“Yeah!” She sounds genuinely excited about it, like somehow being a receptionist or a janitor at a no-name dance studio is a good opportunity for him.

He should be away at school like Taehyung. Why didn’t Taehyung call him yet?

You basically told him to wait two weeks. He’s just being respectful, Jimin reminds himself. He flips his phone over so that the screen is face down. Maybe that way he won’t keep glancing at it.

“I don’t know if you’ve thought about looking for a part time job or not?” his mom chirps--trying hard to be bright and cheery. “I don’t know. Seems like a fun one, baby.” She’s been steadily hinting for weeks now that he needs to get out of the house more. Does she know that he will essentially be kicked out of the school dance studio next week? She is his mother after all, he has to assume that she knows way, way more than she lets on.

“Okay, maybe,” he says pleasantly, although he’s not really considering it. “I’ll see about getting an application.”

 

By the end of the first week, Taehyung is getting used to the routine of college life. He has class Monday through Friday--mostly in the afternoons with a few evening classes thrown in here and there. He learns that weekends are for partying not studying, and even his mild mannered roommate is heading out for some fun.

Taehyung tries to be excited about the festivities. This is, after all, most every 18 year old boy’s dream! He’s in college studying a field that he’s actually interested in. He’s going to a college party with college girls (and guys) who are more than open to getting some action. There’s good booze, good weed, and good music. What’s not to enjoy?

But somehow he finds himself on a couch with an empty feeling in the center of his chest. The last time he was a party like this, Jimin was beside him on the couch.

The last time he was at a party, the unthinkable happened.

Is anyone at this party harboring the same sinister intentions that Jungkook had had that night? Without even meaning to, Taehyung finds himself eyeing everyone suspiciously. He notices a frat guy grinding on a skinny little blonde girl with a beer in her hand maybe twenty feet away. How many other drinks has she had? Taehyung wonders. Could she even think clearly enough to defend herself if he turned out to be a monster?

When the weed comes around, Taehyung passes. If he gets stoned he might forget about keeping an eye on the blonde girl. Yes, he can see very clearly now that she is too trashed to be a help to herself if things go south. He’ll have to stay coherent just in case.

“It’s getting kind of dead,” his roommate says and hour and a half later, touching his arm. “You wanna take off?” Taehyung shakes his head. The little blonde girl is still here and by now she’s attracted the eyes of quite a few inebriated young men, not just the initial frat guy. “You want to stay?” his roommates double-checks, sounding surprised. “Really? Because you don’t look like you’re having any fun.”

That’s true; Taehyung is not having fun. But that’s not the point. He left Jimin at the last party. He’s not going to leave someone again, whether they know it or not.

 


 

 

Two days before two weeks will finally come to an end, Jimin decides he needs to get out of the house. He tells his mom that he’s going to get an application for that open position at the kid’s dance school on the corner. How bad would it be, really? At least he could make some money while he’s stuck in limbo between high school and a late audition for the spring semester…or fall.

He honestly intends to go get that application but somehow he ends up at the school instead. Jimin has been finding himself on autopilot a lot lately--maybe that’s why he made the critical turn towards his personal paradise and away from the sub-par establishment. Or maybe it’s because this is the last week before the students flood the hallways and take the last bit of old Jimin away from him.

Back when this nightmare first began, some of the more gossipy people from dance club called him to see what was going on. Understandably, he didn’t really want to explain anything to them. He was short with them--unintentionally--and he must have pushed them away because they stopped calling.

Would Taehyung call soon or did Jimin manage to push him away too?

He sighs and pushes the thought out of his head as he makes his way into the abandoned dance studio. The keys in his hand feel heavier than usual, turning slowly and definitively in the lock. He twists it open and goes into the school, then down the hallway and all the way to the back wing where the dance studio is waiting for him.

Inside, he paces back and forth in front of the mirror, his fist clapping mindlessly into the cup of his other hand. What to do? Jimin droops down in front of the center mirror and settles on the floor on his bum, frowning slightly at his reflection. His hair is still black although he did make a trip to the salon to re-touch the spots that he’d missed.

Did he really used to have pink hair? It was only three months ago but it feels like a lifetime away. Did he really used to dance in here--barefoot?

For some reason that idea strikes a chord with him today. I might never a get a chance to be alone in here again, he realizes with a pang. He eyes his shoes and starts to consider it. No one’s around. This could be his last chance to relive those happy moments.

With tentative fingers, Jimin bends over his outstretched legs and undoes his shoe laces. They fall loose on either side of his feet.

He knows that it’s going to feel different now. His feet don’t have as much feeling as they used to. There are a few numb spots on his soles--especially in places where the cuts crossed over one another.

Oh well. It will still be nice to do it one last time before this place becomes off limits to him. And so Jimin pulls his shoes off and strips his socks away from his feet as fast as he can, tossing them aside to avoid any second thoughts.

The open air on his feet feels oddly nice. He wears socks basically always now a days and the sensation of freedom on his skin is surprisingly wonderful. In fact, a hint of a smile even crosses his lips before he catches a glimpse of himself in the mirror and squashes it.

Sitting this way, with his legs flat and forward on the ground, the soles of his feet are directly reflected in the wall mirror ahead of him. Instead of looking away, Jimin sets his jaw and stares. The scars don’t look nearly as grotesque as they had when they were still bloody and scabbing. Now the letters are a pale pink color--not far off from that of his regular skin except that the scar tissue is a little shiny and much less flexible than normal.

He lets his gaze linger for awhile longer--not reading the words, just scanning the general looks of things--before he turns on one of the tracks that he used to dance to and rises. The familiar floor feels all new on his feet but the dance moves are like old friends.

And as he moves and twirls in the mirrors, he almost forgets about the sight of his feet.

He dances through this track and he lets the next one play, making up new moves as he goes. He dances until he’s sweaty and until the music swells in his chest like it used to, breathing life into the moves and creating a masterpiece. He keeps on dancing until the playlist ends and by then his chest is heaving from the lack of legitimate exercise over the past months.

Resting on the floor once more, Jimin brushes some sweaty locks of hair back off his forehead and then he swipes through his phone to read a notification from his mother.

 

“Hey honey, where are you? How did it go at the dance place? :D”  Mom 4:13pm

 

He smirks at the screen as he types his reply.

 

“Better than expected. I’ll be home soon. Love you!”  4:14pm

 

He’ll swing by that place now and grab an application on the way home. His mom is right; it won’t be the worst job and he’s waiting to get into school anyway. So he packs up the few things that he took out of his bag, slips his socks back on and shimmies back into the sneakers--ready to leave.

Just as he stands to head out, he hears a familiar voice call his name. It’s so familiar that he almost can’t place it for a moment.

“Jimin? Are you in there?” the voice calls again, closer now.

Someone is right outside of the studio door. Confused, Jimin goes to the door and opens it.

“Tae!” Jimin gasps at the sight of him. “Wha--what are you doing here?” He’s shaking his head in disbelief but the smile that grows across his features is uncontainable. He wasn’t even certain that Taehyung was going to call, let alone show up in person two days ahead of the imaginary timeframe!

The silly grin on Jimin’s face is mirrored right back at him from Taehyung’s as well. “Hey,” the tall boy says, rubbing a hand back through his hair awkwardly. “I went to your house but you weren’t there so I figured--”

“Good guess,” Jimin interrupts, impressed.  

Taehyung looks him up and down with one quick sweep of the eyes and for once, the attention doesn’t make Jimin shrink away. “Looks like you’re leaving?”

“Yeah, I just finished.” Jimin steps out of the room, causing Taehyung to take a step backward to avoid getting bumped into. He turns his back on the other boy and locks the door to the studio.

“What are you doing now?” Taehyung asks softly.

“Uh…” Jimin pockets the keys and turns back around to face Taehyung. He is so used to saying no to him that it’s hard to listen to his heart even when it’s poking and prodding him, urging him to just accept. He bites his lips and replies, “I was just going to go grab a job application and then go home.”

“Job application? Where? You know I can get you a job at Guitar Center if you want. They love me.”

“It’s a little dance studio by my house,” Jimin admits, trying to sound nonchalant about it. It feels like a lame job compared to the audition opportunity that he used to have, but Taehyung’s deep, happy voice halts his mental pity party in its tracks.

“Let’s get coffee after you pick up the application then? Or dinner or something?”

 

He should say no, right? He should just go home and let Taehyung go on with his life with someone else who’s not so…fucked up. 

 

“Jimin.”

He looks up at Taehyung in surprise when he feels him grab his hand--a warm and reassuring squeeze and nothing more--before he lets go and smiles kindly. “Let’s go somewhere and talk, yeah?”   

Jimin stares into Taehyung’s patient brown eyes, totally baffled as to why in the world he won’t just give up on him. Not that that’s what Jimin wants! But it’s the logical reaction. And yet here Taehyung is, physically here and smiling when he certainly doesn’t have to be.

Suddenly the idea of talking doesn’t seem as impossible as it once did.

“Yeah, okay,” Jimin agrees at last, “let’s just go to my house then.”

Chapter Text

“So how’s the college life so far?” Jimin asks once they’ve finished the home-cooked dinner that his mother made and settled comfortably in his bedroom. He’s sitting on the edge of his bed and Taehyung is reclining in the beanbag chair on the floor a few feet away.

“It’s good.”

When he doesn’t go on, Jimin jokingly pleads with him, “Well geez, come on. Tell me a little bit more than that. I want all the details since I can’t be there.” He doesn’t want to sound too pathetic so he makes sure to keep his tone light--but damn does he wish he could be at the Performing Arts College right now.

Taehyung looks at him out of the corner of his eye and sighs. He obviously does not want to brag but since Jimin is asking, “Yeah? It’s not that exciting but if you want to hear about it--”

“Yeah, tell me, tell me, tell me.” Jimin even goes so far as to bounce up and down on edge of the mattress in a cute little display.

Taehyung readjust his position to lay back even further into the pliable chair and gives in, grinning at Jimin’s silliness. He hasn’t seen any of that in quite awhile. “Alright well, first of all I have a roommate.”

“A guy?”

“Yup. He’s okay. Nice guy.”   

“Uh oh…” Jimin chuckles. “Competition.”

“What do you mean?” Taehyung asks. He props himself up on an elbow so he can see Jimin better, amused by the act. He can’t tell whether Jimin is genuinely in a great mood or if this is just an act to get them open and talking, but either way he likes it.

“I remember you trying to flirt with me by telling me what a nice guy I am,” Jimin supplies.

“Ohhhh yeah!” Taehyung laughs. It’s all coming back to him. That happened at the party back in the beginning of June. He remembers being so dorky and awkward trying to flirt with Jimin back then--trying to keep his attention when everyone else was after it at the same time.

That feels like forever ago.

None of those people from school are around now. Taehyung doesn’t’ have to fight for Jimin’s attention anymore, but he’s not happy about that fact. Aside from Jimin’s parents, Taehyung is the only one who stills make a point to talk to him after he vanished for all those weeks.

A bunch of fake assholes, the lot of them, Taehyung thinks. As much as he wanted Jimin back then, he wants him even more now. And Jimin needs him even more now, too.

“Don’t worry,” Taehyung says, meeting Jimin’s gaze. His eyes keep smiling but his voice is teeming with sincerity. “You have no competition, Jiminnie. Never.”

Jimin chuckles and looks away bashfully, brushing it all off as nothing more than a joke. “Okay, that’s good to hear. So how’s your dorm? Tiny?”

“Yeah, you’d love it.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Jimin laughs incredulously. “Are you calling me small again?”

Taehyung throws up his hands in mock innocence. “No way, never!” Narrowing his eyes at the taller boy playfully, Jimin shakes his head and relents.

“Yeah, alright. Better not be.” He scratches his temple and goes back to the questions. “So how are your classes?”

“Ehhh they’re okay. Some of them are interesting and some are boring as fuck.”

“Better than high school though, right?”

“Oh my god yeah! A million times better already and it’s only been like two weeks. You would definitely like it.” A little look comes over Jimin’s face at that. Shit. Was that too pointed? Taehyung nibbles on the corner of his bottom lip and tries to save it, “You’ll definitely like it when you go, I mean. Did you reschedule your audition for the spring?”

But that just makes the look grow worse. “Uhhhhh, no not yet. I don’t know if I’ll be ready by then,” Jimin admits. He doesn’t sound quite as down as he looks. “I haven’t been able to dance as much and I’m out of practice.”

Great job, dumbass. Way to kill his mood, Taehyung chides himself. He always says too much and goes over the line somehow. Just like--

Well fuck. Might as well talk about it now. It’s been on his mind for the past two weeks--ever since Jimin shrugged his arm off of his shoulders and ran away from him as soon as he possibly could. Taehyung can see now that he took that way too far and it almost tore them apart for good, so as much as he dreads the next words that are about to come out of his mouth, Taehyung works up the nerve to say,  

“Hey I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to bring that up.”

“That’s okay--” Jimin starts to interrupt but Taehyung is already on a path and he can’t stop now. So he goes right on, saying,

“And anyway, I owe you another apology. I understand if you don’t wanna talk about it, so I’m just gonna say this once and then we can drop it, okay?”

Jimin’s brow flickers upward in nervous anticipation. “Uhhh…okay.”

Holding onto Jimin’s gaze for once rather than looking away, Taehyung decides to just be straight about it. “I’m sorry that I went after Jungkook like that. I should not have done that without talking to you about it first. That was fucked up.”

He pauses nervously and in the silence, Jimin just stares at him, saying nothing.

“When I saw him I just went crazy, and I kind of thought--I mean, at least in the moment I told myself that I did it for you. Like I was gonna take care of some shit for you because I happened to be in the right place at the right time or whatever…” Taehyung trails off awkwardly and has to wet his lips before he can go on. Apologizing for real shit is hard. “But…I’ve been thinking about it a lot and now I realize that that whole stupid thing was pretty much for me.”

Jimin raises an eyebrow in surprise and then narrows his eyes in…disbelief? Taehyung can’t tell but it makes his guts flop nervously within him. Maybe he shouldn’t have brought this up.

No. You need to apologize like a man. So Taehyung keeps his eyes firmly locked onto Jimin and tries to finish strong. “I was being selfish and dumb and I was just thinking about myself. Right? I mean, if it was really for you, then I would have called you first. But I didn’t. I let my own issues get in the way and I put you in a situation. So I sincerely apologize.”

And he really, truly means it. He keeps watching Jimin--open and vulnerable, waiting for him to say something… anything!--but Jimin just keeps looking at him without a reply. Does he want Taehyung to say something else? Was the apology not good enough?

“I was just…” Taehyung shakes his head, struggling to translate all of his feelings into comprehensible word chunks. “After the party--when I left you--I felt like it was my fault.”

Finally, Jimin comes back to life. “It wasn't your fault.”

“Well…partially, yeah it was.”

“In what universe?” Jimin sharply shakes his head. He has thought about the share of blame again and again and he reserves it to two people: Jungkook and himself. Taehyung has no part in it. “You had nothing to do with it, okay? Just because you had to see that goddamn picture?”

What? No! “I left you alone at the party and I fucking saw him coming up that hallway and I did nothing.”

“Wait--you saw who?” Jimin questions. He looks alarmed as he leans forward, resting his elbows on his knees to get a bit closer.

“Jungkook.” Taehyung hates saying his name because he can see how much it affects Jimin, but he does it anyway for clarification. “I saw him walking toward the room you were in and I just left you there anyway.”

Jimin needs a moment to let this information sink in. But even once it has, it changes absolutely nothing. “So what? How were you supposed to know what he was up to. And you left to get something for me, right?”

“Yeah, but--”

“So it wasn’t your fault. At all.” Jimin slips off of the edge of the mattress and settles on the floor in front of Taehyung instead. “That’s between me and him. You did nothing wrong that night.”

Taehyung gives a faint smile but when Jimin’s semantics sinks in, the grin vanishes. --between me and him-- “You’re not still blaming yourself are you?” He had heard that victims tended to blame themselves but he assumed that it passed in time. Three months out, Taehyung had just taken it for granted that Jimin must be past that bit by now.

But when Jimin’s gaze shifts off to the side and he doesn’t immediately deny it, Taehyung realizes just how wrong he was.

“Jimin,” he says--softly, slowly. He reaches out a hand to touch Jimin’s thigh but that suddenly seems too sexual so he gently grabs his ankle instead. “Jiminnie, look at me, please.”

The smaller boy swivels his dark eyes back to Taehyung’s face. Jimin looks almost angry but Taehyung can see through it this time: He’s trying not to cry.

There are a lot of things that Taehyung could say: You did nothing wrong. You were the victim. You can’t blame yourself… But Jimin has doubtlessly been telling himself the same things for three months now and it’s not working.

So he rubs his thumb over the hard lump of Jimin’s ankle bone and says, “You did not deserve any of that.”

Jimin clicks his tongue weakly and gives a half shake of his head, beginning to look away again. But this time Taehyung follows the movement of his head and keeps in his lane of sight, not willing to lose him now.

“You didn’t deserve it. At all.”

“Did he tell you that I sent him a picture?”

“Yeah, he mentioned it,” Taehyung admits regrettably. “But so what? That means nothing. You didn’t deserve any of it.”

Jimin just shrugs.

At a loss, Taehyung just keeps taking pages from Jimin’s book. “In what universe could you possibly deserve that?--could anyone possibly deserve something like that?!”

The smaller boy rubs his forehead with his index finger and thumb, grimacing as he grits out, “Look, I know that I’m a tease. He was kind of right about that. I’m not saying I deserved it--that’s a big stretch, okay?--I’m just saying that I contributed to factors that led up to the attack. That’s all.”

Jimin has obviously put a lot of thought into this, but that doesn’t make it any less bullshit. “I personally like that you’re a little bit of a tease. And besides, saying that you being yourself contributed to what happened is just nonsense.”

“Well, that’s exactly what he said. So...”

Taehyung sighs sadly. Jungkook got inside of Jimin’s head and made him feel guilty just for being. He can’t even imagine how that would feel. He wishes that he could take some of this weight away from Jimin but it’s just not that simple. Supportive words and reassurances don’t work over night.

All he can do is pull Jimin into a tight hug and pray that this isn’t going too far too fast.

Thankfully, Jimin does not tense up or try to pull away. He lets Taehyung hold him tightly, resting his chin over the tall boy’s shoulder and exhaling softly. Taehyung pulls him in just a little closer. “Well, I like you for exactly who you are," he tells him. 

“Thank you, Tae,” Jimin breathes against his neck. He sounds so tired--like he’s just run a marathon and he can finally, finally sit down to rest for a moment.

Taehyung rubs Jimin’s back gently and then pulls away, not wanting to push his luck by elongating the embrace to the point of discomfort. “Yeah, of course. You know I mean that.” He desperately hopes that Jimin believes him. He’s doing everything he can to prove that to him, but is it enough?

Separated again, Jimin’s hands fold up in his lap and he smiles a little bashfully. “Yeah, I know. Thanks. And thank you for sticking around all this time.” He turns a little pink in the cheeks. “I thought for sure you’d be gone after everything that you saw. So…I really appreciate it.”

“No way, dude. You can’t get rid of me that easily.”

“Tch.” The way Jimin scoffs and looks away would almost seem rude, but Taehyung catches a glimpse of the wetness in his eyes before he swipes it away.

No way. I’m here for the long haul, baby. I’m not going to leave you again.  

 


 

Jungkook has always felt like a loner--moving out of his parents house at age 16, living alone, being virtually friendless--but this…?

This is a whole new level of loneliness.

He had to start over completely.

The name Jeon Jungkook is long dead to him now. He can no longer use it if he doesn’t want to be found and returned to his parents. Have they been looking for him? He honestly doesn't know, but regardless, nothing would be more humiliating and demoralizing than being returned to them and having everything that has happened over the past few months come to light.

The name on the fake ID that he brought with him that night when he ran out of town is dead to him, now, too. He had used it at the hospital when he finally stopped a few states away. He didn’t have insurance under that name so he couldn’t stick around for any elongated treatment plans. No, he had had the bones set and got a cast and a brace put on, but surgery wouldn’t be in the cards for him. He knew that he had to flee that state immediately if he didn’t want to get arrested for the fraud. And so, with a half-mended arm, he fled once again. 

Now he’s onto a third name in some state in the middle of the country where he’s unlikely to be found. He’s starting over here--completely from scratch, with nothing but a disfigured arm to remind him of who he used to be. He even ditched his phone when he discovered that the old picture of Jimin had been deleted. There was nothing left on there for him now other than traceable signals that could lead to his downfall.

Garbage.

At first, he was angry. He blamed Jimin for what Taehyung did. He blamed Jimin for what he did! But over time things started to become more clear to him.

It was mostly his own fault; he could see that now.

This was a fitting punishment, after all. He had been cutting this arm for years to try and make himself snap out of his disgusting ways but it was never enough, and now--that same arm permanently damaged--he has finally been forced to make some changes.   

So here he is--six states and two names removed from the old Jungkook--and he’s still all alone watching the sun set.

 


 

 

 

Working at the kiddie dance studio on the corner has it’s perks. Even though Jimin is just sitting at the front desk most of the time, he gets to see how much happiness dance brings to the little kids who come in and out for classes and it always makes him smile.

Plus he had to return his key to the high school dance studio back in the beginning of September, so this is as close to structured dance as he gets now a days.

That’s not to say that he isn’t dancing on his own, though. Jimin has been practicing at home at least five hours a week whenever he has spare time in between working, family time, and skyping Taehyung. The studio owners at work let him use the mirrored rooms from time to time, too, as long as he stays late to sweep up.

And most importantly, he was able to reapply for college and secure another audition spot in December.

But it’s currently October 31st and Jimin has something other than dance on the brain today. As soon as he gets out of work, he is headed upstate to meet Taehyung at the university for a Halloween thing in his dorm. Of course, Jimin could care less about some stupid party, but he can’t wait to see Taehyung again. It’s been over three weeks since the last time he came for a visit. Since he’s going to be there so late in the evening, they decided that he would sleep over in the dorm. At first, Jimin wasn’t so sure about that part, but then he bucked up and decided not to let his reservations mess up a fun trip. Hopefully it won’t be weird.

“Can you take the trash out before you leave?” the jazz instructor asks him as she walks by the front desk on her way out.

“Sure thing.”

“And can you text Hobi the alarm code, too? Ling said he’s going to be on desk duty for you this weekend.”

“Okay, will do.”

He waves goodbye as she leaves and then fishes around in his bag for his phone to do as she asked. There are a lot more contacts in his new phone now. He’s managed to make a few work friends and reconnect with a select few individuals from high school--like Yoongi, for example.

It was hard getting back in the habit of putting himself out there. Whenever he was starting to vibe with a person, he used to always hear Jungkook’s cruel words in the back of his head, haunting him--reminding him to think twice about everyone’s motives.

“You think anyone actually likes you? They just want to fuck you. That’s it. You’re easy.”

And sometimes, on insecure days, he still hears those words. But most of the time he hears Taehyung’s voice instead,

“I like you for exactly who you are.”

Jimin quickly texts Hobi the information that he will need to get into the studio tomorrow morning and then he begins cleaning up to leave for the day. He sweeps out the classrooms, puts a few forgotten items in the lost and found, and then ties up the over-filled bathroom garbage bags and hauls them out to the dumpster behind the building.

Finally finished, he locks up the building and trots to his car in a hurry. Today felt so long. He can’t wait to get there! As he pulls out and begins the long drive, he feels a happy little flutter in his chest--something he hasn’t felt in a long time.

 


 

 

 

The Halloween party turns out to be much rowdier than Jimin was expecting.

When he first arrived on campus, Taehyung had sprinted out to the parking lot to greet him. “Oh my god, you’re finally here!” he cried, waving his arms around in a wild, juvenile gesture to demonstrate his excitement. Jimin, too, was excited to be on a college campus--and more importantly, to be with Taehyung away from their hometown--but he kept his emotions bottled in and only gave a pleasant smile.

“Let me show you around.”

Thus began a two hour tour of the entire campus. Taehyung walked Jimin through his daily schedule, going to every classroom that he frequented, stopping in the student center and the dining halls--he even showed him the hallway where he would sit on the floor to do his history homework before class when he couldn’t find a free table.

“Really? You just sit on the floor and no one bothers you?” Jimin asked, surprised. He never saw students doing their work on the ground in high school.

“Yeah, it can get pretty crowded on like Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday when everyone has class,” Taehyung explained with a jovial grin. “It’s normal.”

Finally, at the end of the tour, Taehyung took Jimin to his dorm room. His roommate had an evening class so they had the room to themselves for the moment.

“Oh, it is small!” Jimin noted upon entering. They bantered about the size for a few minutes--Jimin asking where in the world he was supposed to sleep tonight and Taehyung vowing to make him comfortable in a corner somehow.

“There’s some space in the closet if you like having a door,” he joked.

At that, Jimin froze like a deer in headlights, turning white. His eyes went from playfully squinted to wide and shocked all in a matter of seconds, lasering onto Taehyung and staring at him like he had suddenly sprouted a set of horns.  

“I’m just kidding,” Taehyung clarified at once. He was not sure why exactly, but Jimin’s expression made it very clear that he said something wrong. He playfully swatted Jimin on the arm, trying to move past the awkwardness. “Nobody puts baby in the closet.”

Jimin recovered as quickly as he possibly could--forcibly pushing memories of Jungkook’s closet out of his head. He feigned a smile and turned away, pretending to look around the dorm room so that Taehyung wouldn’t have to watch him struggle to fix his face. “Don’t lie; you’ve never seen that movie.”

“Of course I have!”

“That’s not even the real quote,” Jimin chuckled. He started to rifle through the clothes in Taehyung’s closet, just to give his hands something to do, but then he changed his mind and veered away from the closet altogether. There was a desk nearby and he considered sitting on the corner of it, but he found he couldn’t do that either and he ended up standing uncomfortably in the middle of the room.

“I know,” Taehyung said. “I was taking a liberty with the quote to make it fit the situation! Of course, I’ve seen Dirty Dancing. Who the heck do you take me for?”

“Pffft,” Jimin snorted, starting to feel a little bit lighter. They chatted a bit more until Jimin was feeling comfortable again, and as hard it was for Taehyung, he never pressed Jimin to explain his reaction.

He could guess well enough, anyway.

 

Eventually they find themselves back in a mutually happy headspace and they make their way over to the Halloween party that is starting to form in the halls. There are flyers plastered all over the walls, plastic spiders and cobwebs hanging from the ceiling, and a bunch of small stereos plugged in throughout the building, blasting eerie noises and shrieks on repeat. At first the whole thing seems tame enough--just a bunch of college freshman playing Halloween themed games and eating candy out of pumpkin-shaped plastic buckets--but pretty soon people start showing up drunk and the crowd begins to thicken. It seems like everyone and their brother has been invited to the common areas.

“Are you having fun?” Taehyung leans down to say in Jimin’s ear. The two of them are standing around watching more adventurous types bob for apples in a basin in the middle of the hallway. Taehyung kind of wants to do it but Jimin isn’t interested.

“There’s a lot of people here,” Jimin notes. He has a half unwrapped candy bar in his left hand. It’s basically whole still. He took one little nibble and then lost interest. “I didn’t think it was gonna be a real party to be honest.”

Maybe he’s uncomfortable with parties now, Taehyung considers, glancing at Jimin to nod his agreement. It is getting pretty packed in these hallways. Most of the people are traveling in packs and almost everyone is at least a little tipsy thanks to a mystery supply of booze that Taehyung isn’t interested in finding at the moment. Personally, he’s enjoying the party but his biggest concern is whether or not Jimin is having a good time.

“Do you wanna go see what’s happening on the third floor? I think they set up a haunted house or something.”

Jimin mulls it over for a second. Then he crosses his arms and shakes his head. “Nah.” The previous apple bobber just popped out of the basin and he’s shaking his head like a dog, spraying water everywhere. The boys take a jerking step backward to avoid the rainfall. “Let’s see what’s going on downstairs.”

Downstairs? Of all the places Taehyung expected Jimin to want to go to, downstairs was going to be his last guess. The Halloween themed noises pouring out of stereos up and down the hallways of the second and third floor are doing little to hide the booming music that fills the first floor common area. That’s where the real party is.

Maybe Jimin is trying to face his fears? Or maybe Taehyung is over thinking this. Just because he’s a little wary of party atmospheres now doesn’t mean that Jimin has to be.

So rather than getting bogged down by the emotional what-if’s, Taehyung decides to just get excited about it instead. “Yeah, let’s go!” he exclaims happily. He loops his arm around Jimin’s and the pair worm their way out of the crowd in search of a stairway.

Before long, they find themselves melting seamlessly into the throng of bodies on the floor below. It’s a dance party through and through. There is a sea of freshman in front of them, all of them dressed in varying degrees of Halloween costumes--some much more shocking than others. There are scary ones, sexy ones, geeky ones…every kind imaginable. Some of the people upstairs were dressed up but not to this level.

“I guess we missed the costume memo,” Taehyung shrugs. He’s wearing all black but that’s the extent of his Halloween spirit. Would Jimin have been into dressing up if Taehyung knew enough to tell him beforehand? he wonders. He hasn’t been as flashy lately, but Taehyung remembers that Jimin used to enjoy dressing up for Halloween in high school if the teachers allowed it. But he’s so different now! Taehyung constantly finds himself wondering whether or not his old memories of Jimin hold any water. He’s so in his head that he almost misses it when the shorter boy says,

“I love this song. You wanna dance with me?”

“Huh?” Taehyung practically gulps. Did he hear that right? It’s so damn loud in here. The little flutter of happiness in his chest could just be a false alarm, another tease, and so he tries to push it away.

But when Jimin smiles up at him and repeats himself, saying, “I said, I love this song. Do you still wanna dance with me?” that tiny flicker of hope finally finds room to breathe within him again.

“Absolutely,” Taehyung beams. He doesn't bother trying to hide his moon-eyed expression one bit as he follows Jimin a bit deeper into the crowd before pulling him close.