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The Devil's Cut

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Jungkook has never been afraid of a loaded gun. 

 

He’s not even sure he’s ever been truly scared of anything he can touch or hold in his hands. He kind of likes the heavy weight of metal in his hand, the shape of the grip in his palm. There’s a sense of peace that comes with the methodical routine of disassembling, cleaning, re-oiling. He rather likes the smell of the oil, too, the same way he likes the smell of gasoline fumes or cigarette smoke. 

 

Taehyung would accuse him of liking things that are bad for him. 

 

His fingers glide over the barrel of his disassembled glock, spreading a thin sheen of oil over the sleek black metal. He sets it aside and dries his hand on the hotel towel, careless of the carbon fingerprint smudges that transfer onto the stark white material. He loads the barrel and spring back into the frame, snaps the slide in and tests it a few times. He picks up the magazine and slides it into place with a satisfying metallic click. 

 

His phone rings from the nightstand by the hotel bed. He sets the gun down where he was working and crosses the room to pick it up. 

 

“Hey.” 

 

I have a lead.

 

Jungkook grunts in acknowledgment. 

 

There was a report of an armed robbery at a gas station not far from where you’re staying. The perp in the security footage looks about the right stature, but he was wearing a mask. I can’t say for sure it was him, but I’ve got a gut feeling.”

 

“A gut feeling,” Jungkook mumbles. He appreciates Taehyung’s optimism. That’s how it’s been since the start - Taehyung’s boundless optimism and Jungkook’s foolhardy stubbornness. It’s gotten them through the past three years.

 

He walks over to the single window in the hotel room, parting the curtains with a hand. A sliver of orange light pours in from the only street lamp in the dingy hotel’s parking lot. 

 

It’s the best lead we’ve had in months.

 

Jungkook concedes with a sigh. He turns away from the window, moving to sink back down onto the edge of the mattress.“Send me the info. I’ll head out tonight and try to close some distance.”

 

There’s the faint sound of typing, then a released breath that crackles as static across the line. “Alright. Everything’s in your inbox and I texted you the address.

 

“Thanks. Call me if something else comes up.” 

 

Will do,” Taehyung says just before Jungkook ends the call. 

 

Dropping his phone onto the bed next to him, Jungkook turns to look through the window where the curtains are still parted a few inches. Sleep is rarely a luxury he can afford, anyway.  

 

He heaves himself up from the bed, zips himself into his jacket and tucks his helmet under his arm. He packs everything else to his name into his backpack and leaves the hotel room key on the dresser. Then he leaves, the slam of the door rattling the cheap glass window and echoing under the awning. The night air is on the balmy side, but it’ll get too brisk to ride without a jacket once he gets on the highway. 

 

Gravel crunching under his boots, he sidles up to his bike and pulls his helmet over his head. The leather seat creaks under his weight as he slings a leg over and settles in. After a glance at the directions Taehyung has texted him, he pockets his phone. 

 

The roar of the engine rips through the quiet parking lot seconds later, followed by the growing whine as he tears out of the lot and onto the open road. 

 

The harsh metal of his gun digs into the small of his back, an inevitability and a promise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

He’s at a shithole bar in the middle of nowhere, hand wrapped around a sweating glass of cheap whiskey and melted ice. Most of the patrons are engrossed in the football game blaring over the wall-mounted television, letting out groans of irritation when their team flubs the ball or the opposing coach calls for another timeout. The bartender has been wiping down the same beer stein for the past five minutes, oblivious to the drunk guy trying to flag him down for a refill. 

 

Jungkook wouldn’t go so far as to say he is angry. Annoyed, maybe. Mildly irritated. It’s yet another speed bump in the road, another minor setback in this self-imposed mission of his. 

 

The gas station robbery had been a dead end. He couldn’t get anything out of the store clerks and Taehyung had gotten nowhere with the police reports. The guy had only taken a few hundred dollars cash from the register and seems to have disappeared without a trace. 

 

This is typical, Jungkook thinks. They’ve been through this before. He’ll circle back to the hotel, tell the nice lady at the front desk he accidentally locked himself out of the room. She’ll remember him because she’d flirted with him at check-in. He’ll get back in bed, get some sleep, and they’ll regroup in the morning. 

 

Because if there is one thing for certain, it’s that there will be another lead. And he will follow it. 

 

“Ready for another?” the bartender asks, jarring Jungkook from his thoughts. 

 

Jungkook nods and watches as the bartender pours him another drink. He pulls out his phone, opening his photo gallery and pulling up a picture to full size. He ignores the pinch in his chest, tries not to look at the face too long. He turns the phone around and shows it to the bartender as he sets the glass down on the counter in front of Jungkook. 

 

“Have you seen this guy?” Jungkook questions, gesturing with the phone until the guy’s eyes drop to take a look. 

 

Rather than answer, the guy looks back up at Jungkook and narrows his eyes. “Why do you wanna know?” he asks with a challenging tip of his chin. 

 

Jungkook resists the urge to roll his eyes as he picks up the glass to take a drink. “Because I’m looking for him.” 

 

“You a cop?” 

 

A loud crack sounds through the bar. Several people turn from the TV, all training their eyes on Jungkook warily. 

 

Jungkook’s fist is wrapped tight around the glass where he’d slammed it down. Some of the whiskey has sloshed out onto his hand and the lacquered wood of the bar. At the hard look he receives from the bartender, he takes a calming breath. “I’m not a cop,” he says. “I’m just looking for a friend.” 

 

“A friend, huh?” the bartender says, lip curled in contempt. “Haven’t seen ‘em.” 

 

Jungkook stands up, draining the cold whiskey in one go and ignoring the burn. It’s cheap well shit, but it’ll blur the edges all the same. “Right,” he grumbles, digging in his pocket for his wallet. He slaps a few bills down on the countertop before heading for the door. 

 

Outside, Jungkook kicks the side of the building hard enough he can feel the sharp pain all the way up his shin to his knee. Then he flops back against the brick, letting his breath out in a huff. He pulls out his phone and calls Taehyung, not even bothering to check the time. 

 

Hello? Jungkook? Are you okay? ” 

 

“I’m fine,” Jungkook grumbles. “Were you asleep?” 

 

Taehyung lets out a breath, rustling noises flooding the line before he lets out a yawn. “No, no. I’m up. What’s going on? ” 

 

“Have you heard anything? Anything about that robbery or something else?” 

 

No,” Taehyung says, more air than a word. “Nothing new. I’m sorry.” 

 

Jungkook sighs. “Okay,” he breathes. “Okay, thanks. Sorry for waking you up.”

 

S’no problem,” Taehyung mumbles, already sounding like he’s drifting off to sleep. “We’ll talk in the morning, ‘kay? ” 

 

“Yeah. Yeah, okay.” 

 

Jungkook ends the call, cutting off Taehyung’s sleepy good night. The time glares back at him from his phone screen. It’s almost two in the morning now. It’ll be three or later by the time he makes it back to the hotel. Past four before he’ll manage to fall asleep. 

 

He drags himself away from the wall and trudges toward his bike. 

 

He makes it back to the hotel in one piece - physically, at least. As expected, the lady at the front desk kindly hands him a spare key without question at his feigned-sheepish smile. He heads back to his room, just enough alcohol in his system to make him feel tired and heavy but not enough to take the edge off like he needs it to. He showers off quickly, accustomed to the creaky pipes and shitty water pressure. Then he’s in bed, not so much as sparing a moment to catch the ending of a late night talk show. 

 

Sometimes he stares at the ceiling for a while, running the same details over and over in his head. The cities he’s scoured, news reports, crimes that seem to fit. A lot of dead leads and false alarms. He barely has a way of knowing if he’s even getting close. Only his instinct, mostly, and the pure, dogged refusal to give up. Tonight, he’s tired. Running on fumes and beaten down by yet another colossal failure. 

 

Tonight, he sleeps. And tonight, he has the same dream again.  

 

It’s not always this dream. Sometimes he has others. But this dream always feels different. He thinks it’s because it’s a memory and not really a dream. He’s in a car - a specific car, one he’d ridden around in for years and put a few dents in himself. Changed the oil and brakes and rewired the speakers. The passenger seat was practically molded to his body, broken down into the exact shape of his ass after how many times he’d hopped in. Reclined the seat the way he liked it, rolled down the window and turned up the stereo. 

 

That’s how he is now in his dream. Leaned back in the passenger seat, wind whipping through his too-long hair from a crack in the window. It had been too cold out to roll it all the way down, he remembers. It had been so cold that night - the second night during the first bad cold front of late fall. He even vaguely remembers someone telling him, probably Taehyung - be careful of black ice on the roads. Drive slow. Don’t rush, just get home safe.

 

It’s dark outside the windows. Too dark to see anything. It always is, no matter how many times he looks.  

 

He turns his head, chest and arms feeling heavy for some reason. He doesn’t remember that from that night. The heavy feeling, like his bones are solid steel and his muscles aren’t strong enough to lift him up, shift him around. 

 

He looks over, to his left, to the driver’s seat and - 

 

There he is. Shiny black hair catching the blue lights from the dash, skin pale with moonlight. This part of the dream always seems to take his breath away. He wonders if this is part of his real memory or not. If he were to wake up right now, would he be out of breath? Or is it because that’s what had happened that night? Had he looked over and seen that face, that profile - short, rounded nose and full lips and sharp jawline - and lost his breath at the sight? 

 

But he knows - 

 

He knows this part doesn’t last long because now - 

 

He tries to move, tries to stop this part from happening but it never works. His body is too heavy and he can’t move, can only sit and watch, same as every other time, as the face turns to him. 

 

It’s the eyes. Eyes that make his blood run cold, make his heart ice over and the breath in his lungs freeze. So cold it stings through his entire body, but his lungs the worst. So cold his chest burns and he can’t breathe anymore because the eyes - 

 

They’re solid black. Irises and whites entirely engulfed, pooling wells of jet-black ink bleeding behind the blink of his eyes, the flutter of his lashes. 

 

This is the part where he starts begging himself to wake up. It doesn’t work this time, because now it’s the smile. Not the smile he remembers. This smile is sick, twisted. Full of acid and venom, and it’s wrong. So wrong. The smile looks wrong on that face. 

 

And the voice - the voice is the same but it’s wrong, too. 

 

“What do you think you’re gonna do when you catch up to me, hm, Jungkookie?” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He jolts awake, bedsheet clinging to the sweat on his skin. The white curtain over the window glows with late morning sunlight, the room having grown uncomfortably warm as the afternoon closes in. He leans over to the nightstand and gropes for his phone, quickly checking the notifications and letting out a hissed curse when he sees several missed calls from Taehyung. 

 

Neither of them bother with greetings when the call connects. 

 

Jungkook, check your messages. I sent you links to a bunch of different news articles. I think it’s him.” 

 

Jungkook puts Taehyung on speaker as he taps open the links in separate browser tabs. His eyes narrow, brows drawing together harshly as he hones in on the headlines. 

 

Killing Spree Leaves 8 Dead, Killer Still at Large

 

Jungkook gives a mild cringe. “Eight people?” 

 

He’s racked up way more than eight on his rap sheet by now.

 

“Christ. This was a massacre,” Jungkook breathes.

 

I haven’t been able to find out much. Cops are probably going to keep the details under wraps until they start identifying suspects,” Taehyung continues. “No witnesses and no survivors, from what I’ve gathered. Might be worth looking into.” 

 

“What makes you sure it’s him?” 

 

Gut feeling,” Taehyung replies. “The media hasn’t said anything about it being a shooting. Makes me think they were killed some other way. That seems right up his alley.” 

 

“Good point,” Jungkook says. “How far away am I?” 

 

It’s about a five hour drive, give or take."

 

“Long way to go on a gut feeling.” 

 

You’ve gone further for a lot less.” 

 

Jungkook clicks his teeth together, jaw flexing as he processes all the new information. 

 

I’ll send you everything I’ve found so far,” Taehyung continues while Jungkook is silent in thought. “Be careful out there, though. The town is probably swarming with feds and law enforcement will be on high alert. Make sure you keep a low profile.” 

 

“I always do.” 

 

Fair enough,” Taehyung hums. “I’ll call you if I find anything else.” 

 

“You always do.” 

 

Bye, Jungkook.” 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The following hours of riding are draining. Long stretches of endless highway, miles of construction, rough patches of rush hour traffic. He’s used to it - used to the aches in his neck and limbs, used to drowning in his own thoughts so deep the only thing that pulls him out is his fuel light illuminating on his dash. 

 

He pulls off at the next exit into a gas station to fill up. As he’s standing at the pump, he feels his phone vibrating in his pocket. Expecting Taehyung, he hesitates when he sees a different name on the screen. 

 

“Hey, Hobi.” 

 

We had a deal, Kook.” 

 

“I know, I know. I’ve been busy.” 

 

Oh, I know, ” Hoseok states ruthlessly. “Taehyung told me you’re off gallivanting across the entire country again. When are you even coming back home? When was the last time you slept in your own bed? ” 

 

“I’ve got one more stop to make and then I’ll head back that way,” Jungkook says, a placating softness to his voice as he replaces the fuel nozzle on its rack.

 

What are you even expecting to find? ” Hoseok asks rhetorically. “It’s not him, Jungkook. We’ve been over this a million times -

 

“I’m too tired for this right now, Hobi. I gotta get where I’m going.” 

 

Right,” Hoseok breathes, all the heat leaving his voice and leaving nothing but years and years worth of exasperation. The trials of being the older brother of someone like Jungkook. “Too tired, too busy, too drunk.

 

Jungkook resists the urge to groan. “Alright. I’ll talk to you later.” 

 

God, I feel like Mom,” Hoseok practically whines. “Just - for fuck’s sake, take care of yourself. And call me like you said you would.” 

 

“Text or call at least once every forty-eight hours when I’m on a case unless I’m dead,” Jungkook says, well rehearsed. 

 

Or in a coma,” Hoseok adds.

 

“Yep. Got it.” 

 

Good,” Hoseok states. “Be careful. Please.” 

 

“No promises.” 

 

That’s not funny, Jungkook.” 

 

“Wasn’t a joke.” 

 

A long sigh sends a flurry of static across the line. “Whatever. Talk to you in forty-eight hours.” 

 

Jungkook hums an affirmative and pockets his phone after Hoseok ends the call.

 

Then, he sets back on the road. 





 

 

 

There’s a scared, bloody man tied to a chair in front of him. Both of his eyes are swollen shut, more ripe bruises and deep cuts than unmangled skin. Blood is splattered and dripping from his entire face, down his chin and onto his chest. The shirt he wears is blood-stained white, falling in shredded ribbons over even more gouges and slices down his chest.

 

The man is screaming at him, words muffled like they’re bouncing off the walls of a deep well on the way up. More blood bubbles from the corners of his mouth as he tries to talk, lips not quite able to form words. There’s nothing, though - only more unintelligible garble, like listening through a thick layer of cotton in his ears. 

 

He looks down and watches as his hand tightens around the hilt of a bloodied hunting knife. When he looks back up, the man in the chair is trembling - pleading in broken, incoherent sobs. 

 

“Is that you, Jungkookie?” 

 

He twirls the knife in his hand a few times, taps it against the palm of the other. 

 

“It’s nice to have an audience. Our guest of honor has arrived, Officer Lee.” 

 

His grip tightens around the handle of the knife as he leans over the man in the chair. His other hand reaches out and grabs the man’s hair, wrenching his head back until his throat is taut, adam’s apple bobbing as he swallows. He can feel the man quivering, smell the blood on his skin. He can feel the wet, matted hair between his fingers and see the sweat dripping down his forehead, mixing with the blood and tears streaking down his face. The crevices of his cuts are so deep the blood there looks black until it wells up and weeps over the edges. 

 

“Jungkookie, meet Officer Lee. Officer Lee, say hi to Jungkookie."  

 

The man in the chair just squirms, body racking with more sobs. 

 

“Mm. Almost forgot I already cut out his tongue. Such a shame you missed that part of the show.” 

 

He uses the tip of the knife to push the man’s hair out of the eyes, then trails it around his face, stopping at the bottom of his chin. He can feel the smile on his own face, can feel his body rumbling with laughter. 

 

“Officer Lee here was trying to play detective. Isn’t that right, Officer Lee? Thought he was gonna get a big break, gonna crack the big case. Now he’s just gonna die, hm? Throat slit like a little piggy at the slaughterhouse. Isn’t that sad, Jungkookie?”

 

With a sharp movement of his arm, he slices another cut into the side of the man’s neck. Deep enough that blood pours out, soaking into the collar of his shirt, but not too deep to grant him a quick death. 

 

He draws the knife toward himself, mouth falling open as he presses the tip of the blade to the flat of his tongue. He can taste the iron, feel the warm liquid on his tongue. His shoulders shake with another laugh. 

 

“Don’t care for the flavor much, but it always freaks ‘em out when I do that. What do you think, Jungkookie? Do you like the taste? Want some more?” 

 

Suddenly he realizes this is a nightmare. He wants to scream no, god no . He wants to do something - set the man in the chair free, drop the knife, fall to the floor sobbing. He can’t move his body, though, and his words and screams won’t come out. Just more laughter - growing louder. Bright, familiar laughter that once made warmth flood his entire body but now only makes his blood run ice cold. 

 

“Oh, no. Don’t go so soon, Jungkookie. Stay for the grand finale.”

 

He wrenches the man’s head back harder, positions the knife at the front of his throat. Gives one quick swipe of his hand and - 

 




 

 

 

Jungkook shoots straight up in bed, chest heaving as he gasps for air, hands scrambling over the sheets and across his own chest. His eyes dart down, expecting to see a knife and blood, so much blood, but only seeing his trembling, empty hands grasping at the air. He blinks, disoriented, and looks around the room. 

 

He’s in a hotel room. It was just a nightmare. 

 

He takes a few slow, calming breaths, fighting against the urge to rake in shallow pants. He swallows, throat tight with a lump as he consciously wills himself to unclench his jaw. 

 

In a bout of dazed panic, he snatches his phone from the nightstand and calls Taehyung. 

 

What’s wrong? Are you okay? ” 

 

“Fine - I’m fine,” Jungkook says through gritted teeth. He takes another deep breath, exhales silently so Taehyung can’t hear how shaky it comes out. 

 

You don’t sound like it. Are you drunk? Where are you? I’ll call -

 

“I said I’m fine, Taehyung,” Jungkook snaps. 

 

Alright, sorry. Jeez,” Taehyung says. “Then why are you calling? It’s like two in the morning.” 

 

“Have you seen anything online about a dead cop?” 

 

A - what? Why? ” 

 

“Have you seen anything about someone killing a cop, Taehyung? ” Jungkook says, much harsher than he’d intended. 

 

I-I don’t know. I’d have to look. Just give me a second and I’ll check.” 

 

After a few more breaths, Jungkook realizes how crazy he sounds. He heaves one last breath, shaking his head as he doubles over on the bed, hand rubbing at his face. “Sorry. I’m sorry. It’s nothing, Tae. Go back to sleep.” 

 

Are you sure? What’s the matter? ” 

 

“Nothing. Sorry for waking you up. I’ll call you tomorrow morning.” 

 

Okay, Kook. Good night.” 

 

“Yeah.” 




 

 

 

Sorry, I know you probably didn’t get much sleep, but I figured you’d want to know what I just found.” 

 

“It’s fine. What is it?” 

 

A cop was just found dead this morning. I already sent you everything I have so far. Jungkook, I just - what’s going on? You call in the middle of the night asking about a murdered cop, and now we have a murdered cop.”

 

“Just a gut feeling, I guess.” 





 

 

 

When Jungkook doesn’t find answers, he drinks. This means he ends up slumped on a stool at the nearest ill-lit dive bar quite often. When Jungkook doesn’t find answers, he drinks, and he thinks far too much. 

 

He’d spent the entire day on and off the phone with Taehyung, picking over every news article and police report Taehyung could scrounge up. Cops are saying the eight people who’d been killed - slaughtered, really, butchered even - had been meeting up for a poker game. Next thing they knew, their internal organs were being separated forcefully from their body with a chef’s knife from the kitchen. No suspects. No witnesses. Nothing. Jungkook hadn’t even bothered snooping around town much, knowing he wasn’t going to find anything. 

 

As for the dead cop - Jungkook has a sick feeling he already knows his name is Officer Lee - there’s nothing available to the public yet. He hasn’t allowed himself to think too much about the nightmare or the implications behind that can of worms. Taehyung is hard at work, though, and won’t drop it until he finds everything Jungkook needs to know. But the hunt is over for today, only leaving more questions than he’d started the day off with.

 

There’s no way to predict the next move. There’s no rhyme or reason, no pattern or trail of breadcrumbs. Just chaos, destruction, and carnage to chase around the country. 

 

This is the life he’s chosen to live. 

 

The bartender slides another open beer across the counter to Jungkook, exchanging it for the empty one on his coaster. Jungkook takes a long drink from it and sets it down, wiping the back of his hand across his mouth. 

 

Don’t do it, he tells himself. Don’t pull out that goddamn phone. 

 

His hand clenches into a fist where it lies on the counter. 

 

He does it anyway. 

 

Phone in hand, he goes to his photo gallery. He keeps the pictures in a specific folder, compiling them and adding new ones as he comes across them. He scrolls through the more recent additions - mugshots, grainy security footage stills. The older ones are different, pictures Jungkook had taken or saved and a handful of old videos. He pulls up one of the pictures - any one of them because they all do the same thing to him. 

 

The face on his screen is the source of the chasmic hole in his chest, the tight grip around each of his lungs as he forgets how to breathe. Plaguing his dreams, memories, nightmares - haunting him and stealing him away from sleep. He doesn’t know why he still does this to himself. Despite what Taehyung and his brother tell him, though, he knows he’s not stronger than this. He’s not better than this. He is exactly this - he is exactly this man, knowing he should let go but refusing anyway. 

 

He shoves the phone back into his jacket pocket the second his eyes start to sting. He closes out his tab, tossing a few folded bills on the counter and taking one last drink. As he stands up, the alcohol hits him a bit harder, the room turning in a slow carousel spin as he heads in the direction of the neon exit sign. 

 

Tonight is a cooler one, soothing on his skin as he makes his way to the edge of the road. He looks from one side to the other for cars, waiting as a blinding pair of headlights approaches. He closes his eyes at the bright lights, blinks the stars from his vision as the car whirs past. Then he crosses, headed for the hotel right across the street where he’s staying. His boots scuff across the cement, body swaying drunkenly as he rounds the corner of the building toward the side entrance.

 

He drops his keycard on the ground before he can get it in the scanner, bracing himself on the wall to pick it up and stumbling as he straightens back up. He takes a moment to let the world stop spinning before trying again, successfully unlocking the door and stepping into the hallway. 

 

The elevator ride up to the third floor nearly lulls him to sleep as he leans heavily against the wall. His bloodshot eyes snap open at the sound of the elevator’s ping and the doors sliding open. 

 

He shuffles down the hall to his door. Fumbles again with the stupid keycard. Gets the door open and shoves himself inside. Hip-checks the door handle on the way in. The door slams shut, a gunshot in the quiet hall. The room is pitch black, but he doesn’t bother trying to find a light switch in his state. 

 

He makes his way toward where he knows the bed is, boots heavy on the dense carpet. He grapples at his chest until he finds the sides of his jacket, peeling it back off his shoulders and letting it fall to the ground. As his eyes adjust to the streetlight peeking around the edges of the room’s single window, he can make out the vague shape of the bed and nightstand. He practically falls forward, catching himself with one arm on the edge of the bed as he works his boots off his feet and kicks them aside. 

 

He pauses for a moment as he stands up. He presses his face into his hands, rubbing them over his eyes and pushing his bangs out of his face. He could really use a shower first, but he doesn’t want to risk slipping and breaking his neck. He’d feel kind of bad for the cleaning lady walking in on that tomorrow. 

 

He reaches around his back, grabbing his glock from its place under his belt. The blurry red digits on the alarm clock read some time after midnight. He leans over, the gun clicking down on the cheap fiberboard surface of the nightstand. 

 

With a sigh, he rolls his neck around to stretch, clumsily reaching for the bottom of his shirt. 

 

The sharp edge of a knife presses against his throat. 

 

Jungkook freezes, breath caught in his chest and muscles tense. Swallowing, he slowly raises his hands in surrender. 

 

Jungkook shivers as the intruder steps closer, pressing his body tight behind his. He sobers quickly, mind still foggy but brain kicking into overdrive. He snaps himself out of the initial panic, starts trying to suss out how big the guy is, figure out a quick plan to get out of this alive. But he’s still scattered, severely caught off guard. His blood is rushing loudly through his ears, adrenaline spiking every raw nerve in his body. 

 

A mouth presses hot against his neck, mouthing up to his ear. Jungkook swallows down bile that threatens to rise in his throat, tries to keep from giving a full-body shiver. He resists the urge to flinch away as the person - the fucking creep - takes a long, deep breath. Sniffing him. God, this son of a bitch better slit Jungkook’s throat if he wants to make it out of this hotel room with his dick still attached. 

 

“Mm,” a voice comes from behind him, so close to his ear he can feel his hair flutter with his breath. “Fear smells so good on you.” 

 

That voice - it clicks in his brain so fast, the name is out in one breath before he can even stop himself. 

 

“Jimin.” 

 

“Mmhm,” Jimin hums. His free hand comes around Jungkook’s middle, flattening against his stomach and feeling around in broad strokes. He feels along Jungkook’s sides - checking for weapons - and makes his way down, patting quickly and clinically around Jungkook’s thighs until he comes up with nothing. “In the flesh, baby.”

 

Jungkook shakes off the speechless stupor as quickly as he can, jaw clenching as he works to control his breathing. All this time, all these years spent chasing the fucker across the country, and now he’s in Jungkook’s hotel room holding a knife to his throat. 

 

Jimin’s hand works its way around Jungkook’s shoulders, still carefully frisking him for weapons. His hand winds up and into Jungkook’s hair, snatching up a tight fistful and giving a sharp tug. “Hand me the gun,” Jimin hisses, tightening the knife against Jungkook’s neck as a clear threat. 

 

Jungkook, very slowly, reaches toward the nightstand. He picks the gun up, thumb through the trigger guard as he reaches back to pass it over his shoulder. 

 

Jimin snatches the gun away. “Got any other fun little toys on you?” 

 

Jungkook isn’t doing a great job of concealing the growing rage inside him. He answers through tightly clenched teeth, temples throbbing and jaw muscles flexing. “Right ankle.” 

 

“Atta boy,” Jimin chimes, sounding perfectly pleasant for someone fully prepared to slice Jungkook’s throat wide open and gut him. The knife disappears as Jimin kneels quickly, hiking up Jungkook’s pant leg and yanking the knife from its holder. Jungkook isn’t stupid enough to try to pull something, knowing full well he’s outmatched. Jimin gives a hard shove to Jungkook’s back as soon as he’s back up. “Now have a seat.” 

 

Jungkook takes a tentative step. Slowly turns around. It’s still dark, but he can make out Jimin’s figure, arm outstretched with Jungkook’s gun in his hand. Jungkook sinks down onto the edge of the bed, keeping his hands visible on his knees as he watches Jimin take a few steps back and switch the light on with the barrel of the gun. The light is harsh, but Jungkook keeps his eyes wide open. 

 

Jimin is here. Not his Jimin, though. 

 

The demon cunt that’s been riding Jimin’s body for the past three years is here. The real Jimin is trapped inside somewhere, probably screaming and begging to get out. 

 

That doesn’t stop Jungkook from staring, though.

 

The demon looks every bit like the Jimin he knew before. His hair is longer than Jungkook remembers it and jet black, parted off-center and falling past his brows. Heavily ripped jeans and a black leather jacket, silver hoops and spikes in his ears. Even his eyes look the same, dark brown and heavy-lidded as he gives Jungkook a sleazy once-over. 

 

“You look good,” the demon says, arms crossing over his chest but the gun still in his hand. 

 

Jungkook stares silently back. 

 

Jimin - the demon, not Jimin - feigns a disappointed pout. “Not going to talk to me, Jungkookie?” 

 

“Don’t call me that,” Jungkook snaps. 

 

“Sh-sh-sh,” Jimin hushes, wagging a finger as he saunters back over toward the bed. “Don’t be rude, Kookie. People are trying to sleep.” 

 

Jungkook doesn’t lower his voice any. “Why are you here?” 

 

The demon bats his eyes innocently, shaking his head in put-upon disbelief. “I thought you wanted to see me, Jungkookie. You’ve been following me everywhere for… oh, how long has it been by now? Two years?” 

 

“Three.” 

 

The leering grin that spreads on Jimin’s face makes Jungkook’s lip curl in disgust. “Right. Three years. I figured it was about time we caught up. For old time’s sake.” 

 

“That’s bullshit,” Jungkook spits. “Why now?” 

 

Jimin heaves a sigh, rolling his eyes. “I thought you’d be more fun than this. You’re just kind of pissing me off.” 

 

Jungkook narrows his eyes, teeth bared in a snarl. He doesn’t say a word. 

 

Jimin snorts. Then, in the blink of an eye, Jimin is across the room, face inches from Jungkook’s as he pushes into his space. “You think you’re some big bad demon hunter, don’t you?” He raises the gun and jams the barrel under Jungkook’s chin, shoving his face up harshly. “But you couldn’t even catch me first, could you? Here I am, Jungkookie. What are you gonna do about it?” He punctuates the question with another rough shove of the gun. 

 

Jungkook goes still, eyeing Jimin calmly as the metal pushes into his skin, neck craned uncomfortably.

 

Then, wild eyes searching Jungkook’s face, Jimin asks, “How are you doing it?”

 

Jungkook’s eyebrows knit together. “Doing what?” 

 

A resounding smack perforates the quiet hotel room. 

 

Pain splinters across Jungkook’s face where Jimin had just slapped him, chin tilted harshly to the side with the force of the blow. Jungkook rolls his lips between his teeth to wet them, anger coming to a roiling boil beneath the surface of his skin. He tests his jaw a few times, already feeling the tight soreness and the bruise blossoming on his cheekbone. 

 

“Surely you know better than to think I’m that stupid,” Jimin hisses. He grabs Jungkook’s jaw in his hand, forcing his head to swivel back and face him. 

 

Jungkook, relatively calm for the past few moments, goes shock still with fear. 

 

Jimin’s eyes are solid black, the ceiling light reflecting a single bright star on each. “I’m only gonna ask one more time. How are you doing it?

 

“I don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about.” 

 

Jimin laughs, then, arched eyes and bright white teeth. He pulls the gun away and taps it against the side of his own head. “Tapping into my mind, Kook. How the fuck are you doing it?” 

 

It clicks. Jungkook gives a contemptuous huff through his nose. “That what you came all this way and snuck into my hotel room to ask me about?”

 

“Figured I’d try it the nice way first,” Jimin says, sounding deceitfully pleasant. Jungkook knows what the not-nice way entails. 

 

“How considerate.” 

 

“How about,” Jimin starts, leaning back out of Jungkook’s space and cocking a hip, “I give you three seconds to answer before I start chopping off your toes.” 

 

Jungkook scoffs. “Considerate and creative.”

 

He expects it to get him another swift strike across the face, but the demon only gives a slow, sly smile. 

 

“Trying to act like you’re not scared shitless,” Jimin hums, tilting his head. “That’s so cute.” Then he’s back, looming over Jungkook as he leans in. His hands press into the mattress on either side of Jungkook, gun trapped under one of them.

 

Jungkook squeezes his eyes shut and turns his face away as Jimin closes in, mouth next to his ear. His tongue sours as Jimin breathes him in again, nose brushing along the side of his neck. 

 

“I can smell how scared you are,” Jimin murmurs, warm breath against Jungkook’s skin making the hair on the back of his neck stand on end. 

 

Jungkook fights the urge to reach up and shove him away, climb on top of him and beat the shit out of him. He doesn’t even know if he’s capable, physically or mentally, but he’s willing to find out. 

 

Jimin giggles softly. He mouths at Jungkook’s ear, nips at the lobe. Jungkook tries not to shudder. “Yeah,” Jimin says, pulling away as his eyes flash back to their normal color. “You’re disgusted. So terrified you’re about to piss yourself.” He gives a harsh laugh, brows drawing together disdainfully. Then his smile drops away, replaced with stoic ice. “Your three seconds start now.” 

 

“I don’t know how I’m doing it,” Jungkook admits. 

 

“Spare me the bullshit.” 

 

“I’m not lying,” Jungkook snaps. “It’s the fucking truth. I don’t know how I’m doing it. I just keep having these dreams.” 

 

“Dreams,” Jimin repeats, sounding skeptical. 

 

“Yes,” Jungkook breathes. “I just see the shit in my dreams. I don’t know how or why it’s happening.” 

 

Jimin raises a brow. “How long have you been having these ‘dreams’?” 

 

“Since the night you hijacked by best friend’s body and started a fucking bloodbath across the country,” Jungkook snarls. “I don’t fucking know how to tell the difference between the real ones and the fake ones.” 

 

Jimin steps back and leans against the wall, arms crossed over his chest as he seems to think this over. “That’s awfully convenient for you, don’t you think?” 

 

“Don’t you think if it was that convenient for me I would have found you before now?” 

 

Jimin scoffs. “You didn’t find shit.” 

 

Jungkook wants to roll his eyes, but that would require taking them off the demon across the room. “That’s not the point.” 

 

“I see the point, Jungkook,” Jimin snips, all amusement vanished from his features and voice. “I just don’t see the point in having a peeping tom watching my every move, tuning in like pay-per-view.”

 

“Trust me,” Jungkook says with a bitter laugh, “I don’t want it any more than you do.” 

 

“Let’s make a deal.” 

 

Jungkook scowls. “I don’t make deals with demons.” 

 

“An unofficial deal, then,” Jimin amends. “You stop chasing me around, and I’ll leave this room without ripping your arm off and beating you to death with it. Sound fair?” 

 

“Might as well kill me now, then.” 

 

“All in due time,” Jimin hums. Then he steps back across the room, and Jungkook lunges. 

 

Jungkook gets the upper hand initially, snatching Jimin’s wrist and snapping it down over his legs until the gun falls to the carpet with a dull thud. He throws a knee into Jimin’s chest, knocking the wind out of him for a split second as Jungkook reels back with his fist. 

 

But then Jungkook is upturned, full-body slammed down onto the floor face-first with Jimin’s knee in his back. Jungkook chokes, air knocked from his lungs and the weight on his back compressing his chest. He wheezes and scrambles, hands desperately groping around on the carpet for the gun, a knife, anything

 

The knee in his back digs in harsher as Jimin leans over, grabs Jungkook’s wrists tight and wrenches them behind his back. Jungkook fights, squirms and grunts, but he’s overpowered in this position, losing air fast. He doesn’t even hear the metallic click, barely registers the cold metal around his wrists as the blood throbs in his ears, pounds in his head. 

 

Then the weight on his back is gone and Jungkook sucks in air, coughing as his lungs burn and vision goes black around the edges. As soon as he can focus again, he yanks at his arms, hissing in pain as the handcuffs dig into his wrists. He rolls over onto his back, frantically looking around for where that bastard went - 

 

Another punch to the face snaps Jungkook’s head back and he collapses backward onto the floor, hands pinned painfully under his own weight. 

 

“Stay down,” Jimin snaps. 

 

Jungkook groans, but forces his eyes open. His eyes land on Jimin, watching with growing realization as Jimin picks up Jungkook’s backpack and starts shoving stray items inside of it. 

 

“What the fuck are you doing,” Jungkook practically yells, not really caring if someone calls the cops anymore. “Hey! Don’t take my fucking shit, you goddamn piece ofshit!” 

 

Jimin doesn’t even look at him as he shoves an arm into Jungkook’s back and digs around. He pulls out Jungkook’s keys and swings them around his index finger. “It was nice catching up, Jungkookie,” he hums, sing-song as he slings Jungkook’s backpack over his shoulder and turns around toward him again. “Don’t forget our deal.”

 

Jungkook kicks his legs out as Jimin steps over him, standing in a wide straddle over him. “You worthless evil bitch - ”

 

Jimin clucks his tongue, squatting down until his ass rests on Jungkook’s chest, hand darting up to grab hold of his chin. Then he purses his lips in a pout, his next words coming out in patronizing baby-talk. “Such a temper, Kookie. Better watch your mouth or I’ll cut out your little tongue like I did that squealy pig from the other night. You don’t want that, do you, little Kookie?” 

 

Fuck you,” Jungkook spits, trying to jerk his face from Jimin’s hand but his grip is too strong. “I’m gonna send you straight back to hell for what you did.” 

 

“What I did?” Jimin scoffs. He leans forward, eyes dropping to Jungkook’s mouth for a half-second before looking back up into his eyes. “It’s your fault I’m like this, baby. At least get your facts straight before you go around calling people worthless evil bitches.”

 

“What?” Jungkook splutters, face pinched in angry confusion.

 

“You heard me,” Jimin states, voice suddenly level and cold. He shoves Jungkook backward, then, and straightens back up. He gives one final, half-assed kick to Jungkook’s ribs, just enough to make Jungkook groan and writhe in pain, and then he’s gone. The hotel room door slams shut behind him, footsteps echoing down the hallway until they fade away. 

 

Jungkook lies still, trying to get his breathing back under control. Then he hears his bike engine roar to life outside, and he loses it. 

 

He screams, kicks, writhes around on the floor in a burst of anger, shouting every curse word he can think of until his voice cracks and throat goes hoarse. His face and body ache, throbbing from the blows he’d taken, but he can barely feel it underlying all the blind red rage. 

 

He eventually falls still, lying on his side with his cheek pressed into the carpet. 

 

Of all the shit that just went down, of all the new information he needs to process and sort through and deal with, one thing won’t quit clawing at the back of his mind. 

 

It’s your fault I’m like this…

 

 

 

 

 

 

“If you don’t get down from there, I’m gonna pants you.” 

 

Jungkook ignores him, just shifts his hands around on the tree branch he’s currently hanging from and goes back to doing pull-ups. Something hard hits him in the stomach and Jungkook lets out an exaggerated whine. “What the fuck was that?” 

 

“An acorn I found on the ground,” Jimin says sweetly, the picture of innocence as he saunters around under the tree, toeing at the grass and dirt. He finds another one and leans down to pick it up, adding it to the pile in his hand. 

 

Jungkook does another pull up, and another acorn hits him in the stomach. He ignores it and keeps going, trying to finish his last rep. “Thought you were gonna pants me, not annoy me to death with acorns.” 

 

“This is more fun,” Jimin says, squinting one eye shut as he rears his arm back to pelt Jungkook. 

 

It hits Jungkook hard. Jungkook pauses at the bottom of a pull-up, hanging loosely from the tree branch. “Throw one more acorn and see what happens, you little shit.” 

 

Jimin holds his hands behind his back, sending a coy grin up at Jungkook. The sun is setting, disappearing behind the car parked on the shoulder of the road up the hill a little ways. They’d stopped for a break to stretch their legs, piss behind a bush, work out their stiff muscles after a long day of driving. They had an even longer trip ahead of them, always driving across the country from one case to another. It’s Jungkook’s fault - he’s had an irrational fear of flying since he was a child. Not heights - not high places - just flying thousands of feet above the ground in a metal death trap. Jimin never seemed to mind though, took everything in stride. He seemed to enjoy traveling like this, even. 

 

The sneaky little grin on Jimin’s face stays right in place as he makes a show of moseying around slowly, legs swinging out and feet thumping loudly on the ground. He makes his way around in a circle as Jungkook continues his rep, disappearing out of Jungkook’s peripheral. 

 

When an acorn hits Jungkook hard in the asscheek, he drops off the branch and dusts his hands off on his pants legs. He turns around, head tilted to the side and a disapproving look on his face. 

 

Jimin bites his bottom lip, a giggle bubbling up from his chest. 

 

Jungkook lunges, but Jimin has always been faster. Jimin darts out of the way and makes for the car, but Jungkook’s longer strides cut the distance. Jungkook snags him by the back of his shirt, reeling him backward as Jimin screeches with laughter. 

 

“I didn’t mean it!” Jimin yells. Jungkook knows Jimin’s not putting up much of a fight - he’s playing right along, letting Jungkook drag him closer and trap him in his arms. “I’m sorry - Jungkookie, I’m sorry!” He doesn’t sound that sorry when every word comes out a laugh. 

 

“Your apologies mean nothing to me.” In one quick move, Jungkook stoops down and sweeps Jimin up, tossing him over his shoulder in a fireman's carry and giving him a hard smack on the ass with his other hand. 

 

Jimin kicks and squirms, balls up his fists and pounds at Jungkook’s back. “Put me down, you big dumb ape. Jungkook, puh-put - ” he can’t even get the words out through his breathless giggling. “Put me down!"

 

Jungkook marches up the hill, Jimin still kicking and squawling and calling him a lot of foul names, cursing his mother for ever birthing him and pleading for his life in the same breath. Jungkook can’t help the huge grin that spreads on his face, chest feeling full and skin warm. It’s probably from the pull-ups and the sun beating down on them. 

 

“I swear to god, Kook, if you don’t let go of me - ”

 

Jungkook missteps on a rock and stumbles, losing his balance and sending them both toppling to the ground. While Jungkook is groaning about his poor wounded ankle, Jimin seizes the opportunity and flops down right on top of him, grabbing his arms and pinning them to his chest. 

 

“Now look who has to beg for mercy,” Jimin says, brows quirking testily. 

 

Jungkook snorts. “Please. I could break out of this in my sleep.” 

 

“Is that so?” Jimin asks, narrowing his eyes playfully and tilting his head. His hair - bleached and dyed to light brown, shaggy from too long between cuts - falls around his face, mussed from the rough-housing. The way his eyes soften, catching the golden sunlight in his irises like warm honey, makes something squeeze inside Jungkook’s chest. 

 

Jungkook doesn’t remember what they were talking about. He just nods dumbly. “Yeah.”

 

The corner of Jimin’s lips twist into a teasing grin as he leans down to get a closer look at Jungkook’s face. Or maybe just to get closer in general - Jungkook could never really tell. “What’s that look for?” 

 

“Nothing,” Jungkook says too quickly. 

 

“Is this nothing, too, then?” Jimin asks, just as he leans forward. 

 

Jungkook lets his eyelids flutter closed, heart racing. His mouth softens, lips parting as he pants gently, struggling to keep his breath from betraying how much his stomach flips around inside of him and how much his fingers twitch nervously against his chest. He feels Jimin leaning closer, can feel his breath wash over his lips. He tilts his chin up, waiting, expectant. He wants - so bad. He wants

 

“You know this part didn’t really happen.”

 

The voice startles Jungkook, eyes snapping open.

 

A scream gets stuck in his throat.

 

Jimin looks down at him with a cruel smile and demonic black eyes. “Taking some artistic liberties with your own memories? Isn’t that just precious? ” 

 

Jungkook struggles against the hands trapping his own, kicks out his legs as he tries to get away. He fights and fights, but Jimin just pins him there and starts to laugh. 

 

The laugh carriers over the field, up the grassy hill to the car and back down to the oak tree. It rings out into the sky, cutting through the air and piercing the clouds. It builds in Jungkook’s head until his eardrums feel like they might burst, until the pressure inside his head feels like his skull will split open. 

 

Until he can’t hear the sound of his own screams anymore, only that stolen laughter. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jungkook wakes with a blistering headache and a sharp pain in his spine. He groans, brows furrowing in discomfort as he shifts around. He figures out he’s on a couch pretty quickly, which can only mean - 

 

“Morning, Kook,” Taehyung chirps, banging around in the kitchen with pots and pans. 

 

Jungkook doesn’t bother trying to give him an intelligible response. He sits up, stretching the crick out of his neck and rubbing the sleep from his eyes. He realizes the headache is from a hangover as the previous night seeps back into memory. Getting piss drunk at a bar, the bartender cutting him off after one too many, stumbling his way to the doorstep of Taehyung’s apartment. He vaguely remembers getting through the front door, Taehyung catching him before he gave himself a concussion, but the rest is blacked out. 

 

“Food’s almost ready,” Taehyung says. 

 

The smell of bacon and eggs makes Jungkook’s stomach give a queasy turn. He drags himself to his feet and shuffles through the efficiency apartment to the bathroom. He pries open the medicine cabinet, mostly blind as he squints against the fluorescent lights. He grabs the first bottle of aspirin he sees and dry-swallows two.

 

A few moments later, he steps out of the bathroom as he brushes his teeth with the spare toothbrush Taehyung keeps for him. He watches Taehyung fry the last of the bacon, toothpaste foam in his mouth and toothbrush in the side of his cheek. “Sorry about last night,” Jungkook mumbles, ducking back into the bathroom without giving Taehyung an opportunity to reply. 

 

That only works for as long as he can procrastinate in the bathroom. He eventually emerges, spotting a plate of food at the table across from where Taehyung sits with his own plate and a cup of coffee. 

 

Taehyung eyes Jungkook as he rounds the small table, dragging the chair out and depositing himself on the seat. He waits until Jungkook starts eating before he decides to strike up a conversation. 

 

“So,” Taehyung starts, Jungkook avoiding his gaze under the guise of shoveling down the food. “You were drinking again last night.” 

 

“Was that a question, or…?”

 

“No, it wasn’t,” Taehyung says evenly. He never stops eating, only glancing at Jungkook casually as they eat to fill in the awkward silences between their conversation. Taehyung finally pauses for a moment, picking up his napkin and wiping his hands. “I’m not accusing you of anything, Jungkook - ”

 

“Can we really not talk about this right now?” 

 

“Then when do you want to talk about it?”

 

“How about,” Jungkook takes a deep breath, considering for a long moment, “never?” 

 

Taehyung rolls his eyes. “Is that how adults deal with their problems?” 

 

“That’s how I deal with mine.” 

 

“I’m not saying you have a problem, and I’m not trying to diagnose you or anything like that, Jungkook. I care about you and I want you to be healthy and happy, but - ”

 

Jungkook is already standing up though, raking the scraps into the trash and setting the plate in the sink. At Taehyung’s last word, he turns and fixes him with a look. “Happy?” 

 

“Yes. Happy,” Taehyung states. “Even you’re capable of it.”

 

“Am I?” 

 

Taehyung sighs, glancing down at the table and looking a bit defeated. Then he seems to find his resolve, straightening back up and setting Jungkook with a burning look. “I know how much this hunt means to you, and that’s why I’ve always been here to help. But I can’t keep helping you if you’re going to keep digging yourself into this hole.” 

 

Jungkook scoffs lightly. “What does that even mean? Are you using a metaphor on me?” 

 

“You’ve been back home for almost a month and you haven’t even stayed at your own apartment. You’ve gotten drunk every night except, like, twice since you’ve been here,” Taehyung says. “You haven’t even called your brother. He’s been worried sick.” 

 

“I take it you talked to him,” Jungkook states. “So I’m sure you told him all about how I’ve been doing.” 

 

“I just told him you’re safe and you’re back in town. He’s trying to get a break from work to come see you.” 

 

Jungkook groans. “I don’t need him breathing down my neck, Tae.” 

 

“Maybe you need someone breathing down your neck!” Taehyung says in a huff, throwing his hands up in exasperation. “I mean, shit, Jungkook - Jimin found you and could have killed you -”

 

He didn’t do it,” Jungkook corrects with an accusatory gaze. “The demon wearing him around like a human condom did it.” 

 

“Okay, sorry,” Taehyung says, resigned. “I just - you could have easily died. We don’t even know how he found where you were staying. What if he comes back here? You said he threatened to kill you if you keep hunting him - ”

 

“I’d like to see him try.” 

 

“You’re not invincible,” Taehyung argues. “He’s a demon, Jungkook. He’s faster than you, stronger than you. And he can’t die, Jungkook. You can.” 

 

“I don’t want to kill him,” Jungkook says, arms crossed as he leans against the kitchen counter. “I’m gonna send him back to hell where he came from.” 

 

“Right,” Taehyung agrees, nodding, “but you have to be smart about this, Kook. You can’t just charge after him, guns blazing and expect to come out of that fight in one piece. We need a plan, and a backup plan, and a backup to the backup plan.” 

 

“No, we don’t,” Jungkook mumbles. “I just need a devil’s trap and an exorcism. Easy as that.” 

 

“And what about the real Jimin?” 

 

Jungkook turns his face down, chewing on the inside of his cheek. That’s been the big question haunting him since the second he’d realized Jimin had been taken away from him in the worst imaginable way. “I’ll figure it out.” 

 

“It’s been three years,” Taehyung says. “The odds of Jimin’s body surviving that long - ”

 

“I’ll figure it out,” Jungkook growls. He heads back to the couch, falling down onto the cushion and grabbing his boots to shove them on. He spares another look up at Taehyung as he’s adjusting his pants legs around his boots and sees him blankly staring at a spot on the floor.

 

“I got word from one of my connections last night,” Taehyung says, chest puffing and then collapsing with a sigh. “Someone spotted Jimin frequenting a neighborhood not too far from here. He still has your bike.” 

 

Jungkook bites back a flare of irritation. “Why didn’t you tell me about this first thing?” 

 

“Because I knew you’d run off as soon as I told you.” 

 

“Well, you were right,” Jungkook states. He stands up and walks over to the shelf in the kitchen where Taehyung keeps his keys. “I need to borrow your car.”

 

Taehyung doesn’t even say anything, just gives a weak, dismissive wave of his hand in answer. 

 

Jungkook tosses the keys and catches them in his palm with a metallic jingle. “Send me the info,” he says before walking out the door. 





 

 

 

He’s staked out in the area where Jimin was last spotted, making this his fourth consecutive evening spent watching stray cat fights and random cars creep by on the mostly desolate street. It’s some sort of abandoned shipping district, condemned and dilapidated buildings to one side and a dock on the other. He has no idea what business Jimin has in this part of town, but he figures with the lack of traffic, it makes the perfect hideout to get away with a murder or two. 

 

Jimin had caught him off guard showing up in his hotel room, but that won’t happen this time. Jungkook is prepared for this fight, and he won’t be made a fool again. Taehyung is right about a lot of things, including the fact that Jungkook isn’t going to win against a demon without some sort of upper hand. 

 

Taehyung isn’t always right, though. He thinks he knows what’s going on in Jungkook’s mind, thinks he has the general idea. He thinks Jungkook drinks to drown his sorrows or whatever. But the truth is that Jungkook drinks because it’s the only way to avoid the dreams. 

 

Taehyung has no idea about the dreams, though. Jungkook can’t even imagine telling him, doesn’t even like thinking about it himself. He’d always had a strange, niggling feeling about the dreams in his mind. But now Jimin has confirmed what he’d thought was too ridiculous to even let himself consider. 

 

They’re connected somehow - through the dreams. 

 

It’s not clear why or how. Probably has something to do with how close they were before, but it doesn’t make sense any way Jungkook tosses it. His dreams are connected with the demon, not Jimin. He’s looked into it as much as he dared, but he hasn’t found anything like it or even anything close. 

 

The familiar grumble of his bike’s engine snatches him out of his thoughts. He hunkers down in the seat, making sure he’s well out of sight as the bike approaches and passes. He sits up slowly, peering over the dash and spotting his bike down the street. Anger whips in his gut as he watches Jimin knock the kickstand back with his heel and then swing his leg over to dismount the bike. 

 

“Fucker,” Jungkook mumbles under his breath as he watches Jimin stride up the sidewalk and then disappear into a building. He pulls out his phone, eyes only tearing away from the building long enough to shoot a quick text off to Taehyung. 

 

Every pissed-off part of him wants to storm inside, but he’s reckless - not suicidal. He decides to wait it out, keeping a close eye on the building. He knows Jimin will come back for the bike. If he’s kept it this long - well over a month - then he’ll be back for it. 

 

Jungkook ponders the possibility that this is some kind of trap. Unless Jimin has been keeping tabs on them, there’s no way he recognizes Taehyung’s car since he only just bought it in the past year. It does ring suspicious, though, that Jimin has decided to pop up here of all places - less than an hour from where Jungkook lives. And after that run-in at the hotel, he knows Jimin has his ways of figuring out where Jungkook is. 

 

The question is still why. Demons aren’t exactly known for patient, long-term games of cat and mouse. They thrive on chaos, immorality, death. None of it really adds up, and none of it sits well with Jungkook. The dreams - the way Jimin had acted - the fact that Jungkook is still alive. And now this - this near painfully obvious set-up to lure Jungkook in. 

 

It’s your fault I’m like this…

 

Jungkook shrugs it off. He downs the remainder of the second energy drink he’s opened tonight and then tosses the empty can into the passenger-side floorboard. 

 

He’ll give it thirty minutes. 

 

He’ll be going in at a disadvantage. If Jimin’s been frequenting the place enough for another hunter to recognize Jungkook’s bike, then he knows the layout of the building. Taehyung had sent Jungkook a map and blueprints of the buildings in the area, but all that had really told him is that there’s an alley behind the place and then a seawall. There’s only this one street to get in and out of here, meaning they’re on a sure course for another meetup. It’s just a matter of when Jungkook gets tired of waiting around and decides to go play along with this little game. 

 

He’s also considered the possibility that this is a coincidence and that somehow Jimin has managed to slip up - that this is a rare opportunity to catch him off guard. But if he knows one thing about the demon he’s been hunting for the past three years, it’s that he’s smart. Almost as smart as the guy whose body he hijacked.

 

Jimin had always been the smarter between the two of them, always thinking two steps ahead. Jungkook had been the brute strength, the heavy hitter, the immovable object in the way of every demon scum they’d ever went up against together. Jimin had been quick, strategic, level-headed. As hunting partners, they’d complemented each other in the best ways. As best friends, they could have brought hell to its knees. Now, they’re both piss-poor reminders of who they used to be. 

 

Jungkook checks the time. Still another five minutes. 

 

He’s never been known for his patience, anyway. 

 

He secures his glock in its place, checks his pockets for his lock-pick, zippo, flashlight, other hunting odds and ends. As he pats his jacket pocket and hears the metallic jingle of a pair of metal handcuffs - the very same pair Jimin had used on him during their last meetcute - a disdainful smirk twitches at the corner of his lips.

 

He eases out of the car quietly, pushing the door until it clicks partially shut without having to slam it. Then he heads for the side of the building, skirting the building next to it and staying out of the line of sight of the windows he can see from here. He makes his way around the side to where he knows there’s a fire escape. He jumps for it and grabs it, pausing when it gives a creaky metal yawn and then quickly tugging it the rest of the way down. Then he climbs, swift and quiet until he pulls himself onto the second tier of the fire escape. 

 

The window is locked, but it’s just a basic window latch. He jimmies it easily with his knife and pops it open in a matter of seconds. He does a quick check with his flashlight. It’s just an empty room, maybe what used to be an office, broken sheetrock and some two-by-fours laying around on the floor from some sort of abandoned renovation project. He lifts himself through the window silently, only the rustle of his clothing and a soft, dull thud as his boots touch down on the floor inside. He could do this kind of breaking and entering blinded-folded with a hand tied behind his back.

 

He draws his gun, thumbs the safety off and aims it in front as he scans the room. Walking carefully and avoiding anything that might crunch under his boots, he makes his way through the room. The hallway is almost pitch dark without the light from the streetlamp outside. He takes this to mean it’s enclosed. He flashes his light down each side of the hall, gun aimed with the beam. 

 

Nothing. Empty halls both ways. He listens closely - no distant footsteps or rustling. He knows the building isn’t huge - only two floors and a basement level. 

 

That demon bastard is waiting somewhere in here for him. Probably already anticipating Jungkook coming in through a window or the rooftop. Probably not the least bit concerned if Jungkook’s armed or dangerous. Just waiting for Jungkook to stumble into his trap. 

 

Jungkook doesn’t really care. He’s not leaving this building without a fight. The prospect of dying in that fight has never really scared him that much. He’s faced death so many times it’s lost its touch. Guns don’t scare him, traps don’t scare him, demons don’t scare him. Sneaking into a building knowing full-well he’s waltzing right along to the tune of a demon’s clever plan doesn’t scare him - it’s just mildly annoying. He wishes this demon would be more straightforward with its murderous, conniving bullshit. 

 

He makes his way down the hallway and comes upon a stairwell. He slips through the door and rounds the staircase downward, flashlight off as he trusts his instincts and counts on a bit of luck. He makes it down no problem and finds the door handle without needing any light. 

 

He knows the first floor is open space, so he pushes through the swinging door and steps into the darkness. He can’t risk flashing his light. 

 

Then he can feel it. He can’t see it, can’t hear it. He just knows. 

 

Jimin is in the room somewhere. 

 

He takes a tentative step, mostly winging it and hoping he doesn’t stumble into anything. It doesn’t matter at this point, anyway, because whatever happens is about to happen right now. He’s at such an extreme disadvantage as long as it’s dark - he knows he needs to light the place up to stand a chance. Demons have an enhanced sense of smell, sharper hearing, better - but not perfect - sight in the dark.    

 

Jungkookie…” 

 

Jimin’s sing-song voice reverberates around the room, bouncing off the empty walls and making it nearly impossible to pinpoint him. Jungkook breathes slowly, gun in position and senses sharply honed. 

 

There’s a long stretch of silence. Utter silence - no muffled footsteps, no shuffle of clothes. Jungkook holds his breath, closes his eyes and waits. Listens past the thunderous pulse in his ears. 

 

This time when Jimin pulls a knife on him, Jungkook is ready for it. 

 

He senses Jimin’s presence immediately and dodges out of reach just as he feels the air move as Jimin brushes by. He quickly pivots back around and blindly fires off several rounds. The gunshots are loud, deafening in the quiet space, but he can tell they don’t hit anything. He sweeps around in a circle, but there’s nothing - just empty air in the space around him. 

 

“Why don’t you turn the lights on and make this a fair fight?” Jungkook calls out, taking quick but careful steps. His voice doesn’t seem to bounce off any furniture. He’s willing to gamble that the entire room is empty. 

 

A disembodied laugh floats throughout the room. “It’s cute that you think it’s a fair fight either way.” 

 

This time, Jungkook spins around in the direction of the voice. His eyes are starting to adjust - just enough he might be able to detect some movement and land a shot. He doesn’t want to use his flashlight, not when that only helps Jimin - simultaneously giving away Jungkook’s position and hindering his night vision even more. 

 

“Then it shouldn’t matter to you whether the lights are on or not,” Jungkook replies, keeping moving so it’s harder for Jimin to try to pull anything. 

 

He swings his arms around at a faint shuffling sound to his right. 

 

There’s the quiet whir of an electrical surge and then the lights click on in the room. 

 

He was right about the room being empty - it’s the main floor in an abandoned office building, stripped down bare to the sheetrock and concrete floors. Ceiling tiles hang from above over piles of crumbled sheetrock scattered around. Busted holes in the walls from miscreants stealing electrical wiring give way to pink, rotted insulation and wooden studs. Jungkook isn’t sure how he managed to make it to the center of the room without tripping or kicking around any debris. 

 

Jimin stands across the room, hand falling away from a light switch to dangle by his side. He’s wearing a flowing button-down that’s barely hanging on by a few of the bottom buttons, gaping wide open in the front so his cross tattoo is partly visible. The tattoo starts between his pectorals at the apex and then aligns with his sternum, all the way down the center of his stomach until the bottom tip of the cross nearly reaches his navel. Jungkook can’t see that much of it right now, but he knows what it looks like in near intimate detail. He was there the entire time Jimin was under the needle for it. It irks Jungkook that a demon gets to strut around in something so sacredly Jimin

 

Not only is he wearing the dressy shirt, showing off the tattoo with such vain audacity, he’s wearing black leather pants that look luxurious enough to be designer, paired with shiny ankle boots and a chic western belt. Sultry makeup is smudged around his eyes and silver earrings dangle and catch the light as he tilts his head to regard Jungkook with a condescending smile. If Jungkook didn’t know any better, he’d think this demon bitch dressed up for the occasion. 

 

It only serves to irritate him more when he comes to the jaw-clenching realization that it’s exactly something his Jimin would wear.

 

Jungkook keeps the gun leveled at him. 

 

“Not going to shoot?” Jimin questions, taking a few steps forward. 

 

Jungkook quickly lowers the gun and fires off two rounds at the ground in front of Jimin’s feet. 

 

Jimin doesn’t take another step forward but doesn’t step back, either. He only shakes his head and clucks his tongue. “You know that won’t kill me.” 

 

“Then you shouldn’t be afraid of it.”

 

Jimin’s smirk grows wider, almost giddy as his shoulders shake with a laugh. “You’re a shit hunter without me. Walking into a place like this all by yourself with no backup and no game-plan. That’s something only an idiot would do. I taught you better than that.” 

 

Jungkook feels a spike of rage. His index finger twitches at the trigger. “Don’t talk to me like you’re him.” 

 

Jimin’s laugh grows even louder, face contorting in sadistic amusement. “Awh, Jungkookie. Always so sentimental. Do you cry yourself to sleep over me? Sit and look at old pictures and mourn the good old days?” Jimin taunts, taking another step forward. 

 

Jungkook takes a shot at Jimin’s leg and hits his mark. 

 

Jimin lets out a jagged yelp of pain, weight giving out on that leg as he clutches at his thigh. His gaze snaps back up to Jungkook, black demon eyes burning with fury as blood starts gushing from his thigh and onto his fingers. 

 

“These were my favorite pants, you dick.” 

 

In a blur of movement, Jimin is on Jungkook before he can fire off another shot. 

 

Jungkook’s reflexes are no match and he goes down under Jimin, wind knocked from him with the force of the tackle. His back hits the floor harshly and the gun strikes the concrete beside him, misfiring off to the side. Jimin’s weight crushes down on his stomach, hands constricting around Jungkook’s wrist and prying at the gun in his hand. Jungkook starts swinging with his other fist, landing a solid hit to Jimin’s jaw that makes his head snap sideways with the force. It doesn’t stop his hands from clawing at the gun in Jungkook’s hand, nails raking into his flesh and drawing blood. Jungkook keeps throwing punches, more willing to let Jimin start snapping the bones in his fingers than to let go of the gun. 

 

But when Jimin gets Jungkook’s arm across his thigh, hyperextended and bearing down with so much searing pressure Jungkook instantly screams out, he lets go. Jimin takes the gun and pistolwhips Jungkook across his face, pain exploding in his head as his vision goes white. Before Jimin has a chance to do it again - or better yet, blow his brains out with a point-blank headshot - Jungkook throws him off balance and flips them over, caging Jimin to the ground and sending the gun clattering away. 

 

Jungkook throws his weight on top of Jimin, elbow crushing his windpipe as he grabs for the knife on his belt. Jimin’s hands scramble at Jungkook’s arm as he sputters and grunts, face turning bright red as he quickly starts to suffocate. Jungkook exchanges his arm for the knife, tip poised to stab straight through, and Jimin finally relents as he gasps for air.

 

After catching his breath, Jimin gives a weak, leering smirk. “I might like this better in a different context.” 

 

“Shut up,” Jungkook snaps, pressing the knife into the malleable skin at the hollow of Jimin’s throat. “How many times have you died in this body?” 

 

Jimin wets his lips with his tongue, mouth parted as he still works to control his breath. “Am I supposed to shut up or answer the question?” 

 

“Answer the fucking question.” 

 

“Hm,” Jimin hums, theatrically searching the ceiling for answers. “Funny, I just can’t seem to remember.” 

 

Jungkook withdraws the knife just long enough to punch Jimin hard across the face, then sets it right back in place. “Answer the question.” 

 

Jimin laughs. 

 

Another punch. “I can do this all night,” Jungkook states, breathless. The adrenaline pounding through him dulls the pain on his face and in his head, but he can feel warm blood running down his face. 

 

“But you won’t kill me,” Jimin taunts. “If you were going to, you would have shot me in the head, not the leg.” 

 

“I’ll make you wish you were dead,” Jungkook growls, watching as the point of his knife breaks skin and blood wells at the base of Jimin’s neck. 

 

“You’re trying to figure out if you’ll ever get me back the way I was before,” Jimin states, letting his arms fall to the side, palms facing up on either side of his head as he relaxes underneath Jungkook. “Let me just cut this short and fill you in on a little secret - that’s never going to happen. You can’t bring me back.” 

 

Jungkook punches him again, this time busting his lip. 

 

Jimin reaches for his own lip, lightly touching the spot where blood has started to bead under his lip. His finger leaves a blood smear on his chin before he drops his hand back down, not even bothering to fight back anymore. “I thought I taught you how to hit harder than that.” 

 

Jungkook’s blood boils beneath his skin, but this is going nowhere and even he can see that through the pure blind anger. He wraps his other hand around Jimin’s throat tight, just enough to keep him still as Jungkook lifts his weight from Jimin’s chest. Then he grabs his other shoulder, tugging sharply. 

 

Jimin doesn’t even fight it. He lets Jungkook roll him over, cheek resting against the floor. “I think when I get out of here, I’ll go pay TaeTae a visit and see how he’s doing.” 

 

Jungkook ignores him, focusing on the task at hand. He reaches into his jacket pocket and pulls out the handcuffs and slaps them around Jimin’s wrists, ratcheting them tight until the metal bites into the skin. Jungkook doesn’t have time to question why Jimin isn’t resisting. With a final shove at the back of Jimin’s head, Jungkook stands up and hurries to pick up the gun a few steps away. Jimin rolls over to follow Jungkook with his eyes but makes no move to get up. 

 

Jungkook shoots him in the other leg just to be sure he doesn’t get any slick ideas. 

 

Jimin screams, writhing on the floor and curling into a fetal position. It gives Jungkook a sick sense of satisfaction right up until the moment the screams morph into laughter. He watches with a deep scowl as Jimin rolls over into a seated position and then spits at the floor by Jungkook’s feet. “Then I think I’ll go pay Hobi a visit,” Jimin continues with a sneer. “He always thought of me as his second little brother.” 

 

Jungkook keeps ignoring him. He grabs his phone out of his pocket and palms it, gun positioned at Jimin as it rings. He puts it on speaker and holds the phone out as Jimin eyes it placidly, as if this whole ordeal just went from mildly amusing to a waste of his time. 

 

As soon as the call goes through, Taehyung’s voice comes through the speaker as he starts reciting a Latin exorcism rite. 

 

Jimin bursts into maniacal laughter, throwing himself back on top of his hands with the force of it. Jungkook stares expressionlessly, listening as Taehyung’s incantation is drowned out by the hideous cackling, waiting for the exorcism to begin. 

 

Jungkook’s eyebrows furrow as Taehyung makes it halfway through the incantation and nothing is happening. Jimin is still just laughing, lounging on the ground, smearing blood as it leaks from his gunshot wounds and pours from his split lip. He should be writhing in pain by now, fighting to keep his true demonic form inside his vessel. 

 

The nearer Taehyung draws to the end of the rites, the lower Jungkook’s hand sinks as the realization sinks it. 

 

It’s not working - the exorcism isn’t working. 

 

Nothing is happening. 

 

Jungkook’s mind goes blank - right as Taehyung finishes and Jimin seems to fall quiet, pinning Jungkook with a sardonic look. 

 

Kook? Everything okay? Is he - ” 

 

Jungkook ends the call, cutting Taehyung off. 

 

“Figure it out yet?” Jimin taunts with a wicked grin. He scoffs. “Guess you’re even stupider than I thought.” 

 

“Why didn’t it work?” Jungkook asks himself aloud. 

 

“Because you’re a fucking idiot,” Jimin screeches, no more humor in his voice. “You stupid, cockroach-brained idiot. Too goddamned stupid to understand what’s right in front of your fucking face. You wouldn’t get it if it bent you over and - ”

 

Shut up! ” Jungkook screams. “Shut the fuck up!”

 

He starts pacing around, only earning more taunting laughter and grating insults from Jimin. He blocks it out - blocks everything out. He can barely think with the sharp pain in his head, the dull ache in his face that’s still dripping blood and probably needs stitches. 

 

The exorcism didn’t work. There’s no point in trying again - there was nothing wrong with it the first time. He’s done this so many times - sent so many demons back to hell with that same exact exorcism. There’s no reason it shouldn’t work. It’s completely unprecedented, and Jungkook frankly has no idea what the fuck to do. 

 

He rounds on Jimin quickly, knocking him back with a boot to the chest and then kneeling over him. 

 

Jimin smirks up at him, lip flicking out to lick at the cut again. He’s struggling to breathe with Jungkook’s weight on his chest, arms trapped harshly under his back. 

 

“Why didn’t it work?” Jungkook demands, shoving the barrel of the gun against Jimin’s forehead. 

 

“Because I’m not possessed by a demon,” Jimin sneers, demon-black eyes glassy and sparkling with depraved mirth. “I am one.”

 

It’s your fault I’m like this...

 

“You’re lying,” Jungkook snarls, grabbing Jimin and shaking him so hard the back of his head cracks against the ground. 

 

Jimin doesn’t even flinch, keeps right on smiling. “I like it better like this. Watching you fall apart. Scrambling around, scared like a little mouse. Like a scared little bunny.” His laugh grows as he rambles on, not even stopping as Jungkook wraps his hand around the front of his throat in a wordless threat. He starts in with the fake pout and the baby voice again and Jungkook’s vision starts to cloud black around the edges with the pressure building behind his eyes. “Poor, scared little bunny. Too shit-for-brains to figure it out. Poor little Kookie - isn’t that sad? Gonna watch me slice up his little sidekick and his brother - ”

 

Jungkook’s mind is utterly quiet as his hands close around Jimin’s throat and squeeze. He can feel every muscle and tendon, flexing and popping under his hands as he bears down with his weight. He watches Jimin’s face flush dark with blood, blue veins straining under his skin and black eyes starting to bulge. Jimin struggles and kicks, but Jungkook’s ears are deaf with a high-pitched ringing. He watches almost curiously as a drop of his own blood splatters onto Jimin’s cheek, slides down his skin toward his ear like a scarlet teardrop. He didn’t know the human neck could compress to such a small size. 

 

Jimin’s legs finally still, jaw going slack. His black eyes flash away, leaving glass-brown, bloodshot eyes to stare up at Jungkook, completely void.

 

Several long moments later, after Jimin has gone completely slack underneath Jungkook, chest fully compressed and no longer breathing, Jungkook lets go. Looks down at his hands, distantly notices how hard they’re shaking. Looks down at Jimin and into his lifeless eyes, at the angry red and purple marks around his throat in the shape of Jungkook’s hands.

 

He falls off to the side, chokes on the air in his lungs. It hits him like a semi truck, sending him reeling backward as he scrambles away, staring at Jimin’s body in horror. Hot tears run down his face, stinging at the cut on his cheek and then rolling down, splattering onto his neck and his jacket. 

 

There’s no way for Jimin to come back now. His body has died - if the demon was lying about everything, if there was any chance at all for Jungkook to get Jimin back, it’s gone. Once the body dies, the only thing to keep it alive is the demon inside it. 

 

Jungkook gasps, chest feeling like it’s going to collapse around his lungs, cut off his air. He heaves a broken sob, presses a hand hard over his mouth to keep the rest from ripping out of him. 

 

He’s gone - Jimin is gone. It’s Jungkook’s fault - he’d done this. 

 

He crawls over to Jimin and reaches out with hysterically trembling hands, rolling his limp body over to the side. He digs the key out of his pocket, barely able to fit it into the lock on the handcuffs. He undoes them and sends them clattering off to the side. He rolls Jimin back over and drags him closer, up onto his lap. 

 

He can’t even speak. His throat feels like its in a vice grip, a hard knot at the very back of his tongue. “I’m sorry,” he whispers, raking a hand through Jimin’s bangs to push them off his face, “I’m so sorry.” He closes Jimin’s eyes with his fingertips, cups his face in his hand. Then he feels a wave of nausea and jerks his hand back like he’s been burned. With a shuddering exhale, he wraps his arms around Jimin’s chest, ducks his head and holds back the sobs that threaten to rack through him. 

 

In the back of his mind, he knows demons don’t stay down long when they’re knocked out. He knows, as he feels Jimin’s body give a subtle twitch in his arms, that he’s coming back. 

 

He still doesn’t let go, only holds tighter. 

 

Jimin sucks in a breath, entire body heaving with the sharp intake. He chokes, spluttering noises right next to Jungkook’s ear as his arms and legs spasm. 

 

Jungkook finally pushes Jimin away. He collects himself and gets to his feet to take a few steps back. 

 

Jimin rolls over onto his side, back to Jungkook as he gasps and reaches up to feel around his own neck. “M’gonna - gonna kill you for that,” Jimin rasps, voice so hoarse it’s barely even a whisper. 

 

Jungkook watches in a stupor as Jimin drags himself to his feet, shoulders slumped and legs unsteady. His arms feel too heavy to reach for his gun, too heavy to do anything but hang helplessly at his sides. He can’t do it - it’s too much, his arms are too heavy to lift. He watches, completely numb, as Jimin turns toward him. All he can really think, mind fuzzy and cottony, is that Jimin is just as beautiful as in his dreams.

 

When Jimin comes for him, he doesn’t move. He’s okay with dying like this, he thinks. Jimin’s hand closes around Jungkook’s throat as he backs him into a wall, shoving hard. This is fitting, Jungkook thinks. He closes his eyes, anticipating the crushing pressure.

 

Jimin lets go, stumbles back and lets out a scream. He falls to the floor and Jungkook opens his eyes to see Taehyung standing there, an empty canister of holy water in hand. 

 

“Jungkook!” Taehyung yells, running forward and steadying Jungkook as he stumbles forward. “Come on - we gotta get out of here. That’s not gonna last long.” 

 

Jungkook nods, letting Taehyung pull him away by the arm, watching over his shoulder as Jimin squirms in agony on the floor, skin boiling everywhere the water touched. 

 

Outside, there’s a car waiting and a driver in the front seat. 

 

“My bike - ” Jungkook mumbles, looking over to where Jimin parked it before. 

 

“Leave it,” Taehyung orders, dragging Jungkook along.

 

“What about your car,” Jungkook says emptily as Taehyung all but shoves him into the passenger seat of the car. 

 

“We’ll come back for it.” Taehyung slams the door closed and goes to get in the back seat. 

 

As the car pulls away, Jungkook watches for Jimin to come out, come chasing after them, but he doesn’t. 

 

He leans forward and throws up on the floorboard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

They'd gone back for Jungkook’s bike and the car, but the bike had been gone by the time they got there. Taehyung had been less than happy about the mess Jungkook had left in his car after his four-night stakeout and even less happy about having to drag a battered and shell-shocked Jungkook into his house to stitch him up. He’d been bitching about a plan they supposedly had - something about Jungkook only doing surveillance and calling for backup if he found Jimin. Jungkook conveniently does not recall any such plan. 

 

Jungkook has had nightmares every night since, but not the unexplainable ones. These nightmares start with his hands around Jimin’s neck until the life finally drains out of him and end with Jungkook startling awake in a cold sweat. Then he either tosses and turns in bed, gets up and starts cleaning his gun, or drinks. 

 

He’s at Taehyung’s place now. Another of Taehyung’s connections had spotted Jungkook’s bike - and Jimin, presumably - frequenting one of the downtown historic districts not far from where they live. This essentially confirms an idea Jungkook has been toying around with: Jimin is sticking close by, trying to lure Jungkook back out to fuck with him or - more likely - to kill him slowly and painfully. Jungkook won’t admit he’s rattled enough from their last encounter that he’s been procrastinating for the past week since they got the lead. 

 

“It’s not something that happens very often because the average person doesn’t know enough to get themselves wrapped up in it, but it is possible,” Taehyung is saying from his computer desk. They’re inside his home-office, Jungkook straddling the back of a chair and picking at the stitches on his cheek. “I’ve been asking around. There’s only a few documented instances of it, but most of them involve people who were familiar with the supernatural beforehand.” 

 

“What does that mean?” Jungkook mumbles, still scratching at the healing wound. 

 

“A human can become corrupted and turn into a demon,” Taehyung says. “At least, that’s what I’ve heard. But here’s the thing - ” He swivels around in his chair, eyes landing on Jungkook’s hand as he frowns. “Stop picking. It’s gonna get infected.” 

 

Jungkook waves it off. “Finish what you were saying.” 

 

“I don’t think a human can just turn into a demon out of the blue,” Taehyung says. “They’d have to make a deal with another demon for it.” 

 

“A deal?” Jungkook mutters in confusion. “Deals are for money, fame, success. And they’re rare - they’re basically a myth.” 

 

“That’s why mostly only hunters know demon deals exist,” Taehyung says. “We deal with demons on a regular basis. We handle cases of them wreaking havoc or snatching bodies or disturbing the peace or whatever. So we know all about the things demons are capable of - including the fact that some of them have the power to make deals.” 

 

“Is there a point I’m not getting here?” 

 

Taehyung takes a breath, lips pressing into a thin line as he looks off to the side while he comes up with his answer. Then, breathing out loudly, he makes a vague gesture with his hands. “Perhaps… Jimin made a deal and traded his soul.” 

 

“What?” Jungkook says, face scrunched in skepticism. “No. That’s not possible. He would never do that.”

 

“I mean - that’s how it’s happened. Historically,” Taehyung suggests cautiously. “Every case of a human soul being corrupted and turning into a demon that I’ve read about started with a demon deal.” 

 

“What kind of demon deal is that?” Jungkook questions in disbelief. “What does the person get out of damning their soul? That doesn’t make any goddamn sense.”

 

“I guess something they wanted badly enough to give up their own soul for,” Taehyung says. “I don’t really know. But it’s the only thing I’ve got right now.” 

 

“Then keep looking,” Jungkook states. “There’s no way that’s what happened. Jimin hunted demons - he hated them. He would never sell his soul to one. That’s not the right answer.” 

 

“Alright,” Taehyung concedes. “I’ll do some more research.” 

 

“I’m going out,” Jungkook states as he pushes away from the chair and heads for the doorway.

 

“To the bar?” 

 

“Yes. To the bar.” 

 

Taehyung sighs. 

 

Jungkook leaves, door slamming shut behind him on his way out. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This time, he knows he’s dreaming as soon as it starts. And it’s not a memory, either, because he’s never woken up next to Jimin like this in reality.

 

Jimin lies facing Jungkook on a soft white bed, dark black hair falling around his face and inky lashes fanned over his skin. He looks like he’s sleeping, breathing gently and eyes peacefully shut. His hands lay on the bed between them, fingers curled and relaxed. He’s wearing a white t-shirt that tempts Jungkook to touch just to see if the illusion will make it feel as soft as it looks.

 

Jungkook looks around, but their surroundings are all white and hazy. The only thing he can see clearly is Jimin across from him at arm’s reach. He wonders if this is a good dream for once, or if the nightmare will start any second now. 

 

Time is just as hazy as the rest of the world around them, and Jungkook isn’t really sure how long he looks at Jimin before the temptation overwhelms him and he reaches out. His hand hovers tentatively over Jimin’s face before he lowers it, brushing his knuckles over Jimin’s cheek. 

 

He can feel it, the soft skin. The warmth under his fingers. It sends an ache into his chest as his hesitation starts to dissolve, uncurling his hand and pressing it fully to Jimin’s cheek. He runs his fingers through the black hair, eyes wide with wonder at how soft and real it feels.

 

His hand trails around Jimin’s face down under his chin, thumb swiping up and underneath his bottom lip. God, it feels so real. His mind is really screwing with him, giving him these phantom sensations just to cruelly rip them away when he inevitably wakes up. But this is the first good dream he’s had in so long - so long. Weeks. Months. Years. 

 

He wants to stay here forever.

 

But then Jimin’s eyes flash open to liquid black, hand snatching Jungkook by the wrist and holding tight. Jungkook growls and fights against it, but Jimin lets go without a fuss. Jungkook’s body feels too heavy to move even as he wants to jump out of the bed, and he realizes with dread that he’s stuck here, just like in his other dreams. 

 

“Care to have a civil conversation, or are we going to strangle each other in your dreams, too?”

 

Jungkook almost laughs. Civil conversation with a demon. That’s the best joke he’s heard in a while. 

 

“It’s not like we can kill each other in here,” Jimin continues, shifting around and tucking his hands under his head like he’s getting more comfortable. Jungkook watches, confounded, as Jimin gives a sigh and closes his eyes again like he’s trying to go to sleep. Like he doesn’t even care about Jungkook’s presence, like he’s not bothered in the slightest to be separated by two feet of bed from the man that strangled him to death not even two weeks ago. 

 

Jungkook thinks about his priorities. Can he really confer with a demon like this? In a fake dream world, sharing a dream bed they both seem to be stuck in? It’s laughably ridiculous. This entire thing has gone from a regular demon hunt with a personal edge to outright absurd. 

 

“Why didn’t the exorcism work on you?” 

 

Jimin doesn’t open his eyes as he replies. “I already told you the answer to that.” 

 

“I don’t believe you.” 

 

At that, Jimin’s eyes slowly open, revealing their normal color. It’s only a small sense of relief, not having to stare into those consuming black eyes. “I don’t really care if you do or not,” Jimin states. “But maybe you should ask yourself - how does it benefit me to lie about this?” 

 

Jungkook hasn’t figured that one out, either. He can’t see how a demon trying to pass itself off as the real Jimin would help it in any way. They normally don’t care enough to play mind games to this extent - they’re cruel enough to fuck with people’s heads, but they don’t waste time on grand schemes like this. It’s completely out of character for any demon Jungkook has ever known. Then again, there haven’t exactly been any extensive studies into demon psychology. “I don’t know,” he finally admits, because he can’t see any way for Jimin to use that against him. 

 

“You don’t know much of anything, do you?”

 

“I know you’re not the real Jimin.” 

 

Jimin huffs, lips twisted in a sarcastic smile. “Where do you think demons come from? You think they’re breeding them down in hell or something? They've gotta start somewhere. Why don’t you let that sink in a bit, hm?”

 

“You’re lying.” 

 

“You’re in denial,” Jimin says right back. “You hate the idea that I turned into a demon more than the idea that I’m possessed by one. You’d rather imagine me trapped inside my own body, getting ridden around by pure evil and watching it butcher people with my hands.” 

 

“You’re right about that,” Jungkook states. “But why the fuck would your soul have been corrupted? It doesn’t make any sense.” 

 

“Neither does the fact that this conversation is taking place inside your head right now.” 

 

“Then why don’t you get the hell out?” Jungkook snips, scowling. 

 

“I don’t want to be stuck in here any more than you do,” Jimin states, rolling over onto his back and stretching, arms over his head like a cat as he lets out a big yawn. “I’m just along for the ride,” he adds as he settles back down on his side, propping his arm under his head. 

 

Jungkook is quiet, contemplating. 

 

Jimin lets out an exasperated sigh. Then he reaches out, and Jungkook flinches. Jimin’s hand stills in place for a moment, suspended in the air as his eyes dart up to Jungkook’s face. He moves slower this time, reaching out and touching Jungkook’s shoulder. 

 

Jungkook swats his hand away. 

 

Jimin giggles. “If telling you the truth doesn’t convince you that I’m the real deal, I don’t know what will.” 

 

“I thought you didn’t care if I believed you or not.” 

 

“Does it change things for you?” Jimin questions as Jungkook rolls over onto his back to stare up into the white nothingness. 

 

Jungkook doesn’t know the answer to that question because he hasn’t entertained the possibility that Jimin, his Jimin, is a demon now. Murdering people, damned to hell, the same evil pieces of shit he hunts down and exorcises. 

 

A thought at the back of his head, an itch he won’t scratch, says he already knows it’s the truth. 

 

“Shouldn’t it make you feel better?” Jimin hums, hand slithering across the bed and sneaking back over Jungkook’s side. He walks his fingers like two little legs across Jungkook’s chest, flattening his hand there. 

 

If Jungkook closes his eyes, he can almost, almost imagine that it’s really Jimin under all that malevolence and bloodlust. Really Jimin’s hand on his chest, rubbing in circles now almost gently. Demons don’t do gentle. 

 

“We could have a lot more fun than trying to kill each other,” Jimin says, voice bleeding with dark red seduction. 

 

“What could a demon possibly think is more fun than murder?” 

 

A low, dark laugh. “Oh, Jungkookie. You never were the brains of the operation, were you?” Jimin lilts as his hand slides lower, hot over Jungkook’s stomach. “I always knew you wanted me. But I could never figure out why you were so scared to make a move. Now I’m wondering if it was because you were just too dumb to see the elephant-sized hints I was throwing at you.” 

 

Jungkook snatches Jimin’s hand before it trails too low, holding it in place with a crushing grip. “You’re not him.” 

 

“I always wanted you, too,” Jimin continues, ignoring Jungkook. “Now I can’t tell what I want more - to fuck you or to break your neck. It’s a fine line between the two.” 

 

Some kind of blazing impulse shoots through Jungkook’s nervous system. Without thinking, he rolls over and then he’s on top of Jimin, pinning his hands to the bed over his head. 

 

Jimin laughs, tilting his chin back as his lids fall heavily over his eyes. He bites his bottom lip, white edge of his teeth sinking into the full, supple pink skin. 

 

Jungkook can’t look away, body suddenly heavy on top of Jimin - too heavy to move away, mind too heavy to think better of this. 

 

Jimin lets go of his bottom lip, rolling his tongue over the swollen skin. “Looks like you don’t know which side of that line you’re on, either,” he says, and then he rolls his body, chest and then hips arching up into Jungkook’s. 

 

And Jungkook - Jungkook has lost touch with reality somehow, mind floating around in empty white space and body wrapped in soft heat and skin, craving more. He wants, needs. He can feel the tearing fabric of his resolve, his sanity, threads drawing tight and snapping one by one. He’s tapped into some dark, rejected place in the furthest corner of his mind, buried under disgust and self-loathing and denial. 

 

Just as he feels the last shred pulling taut, getting ready to break, he wakes up. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s any other humid Saturday night at the tail end of the summer in the downtown bar district. The streets are closed off to thru-traffic, pedestrianized for the hoards of barely-legal college students and - apparently - demonic partygoers. 

 

Jungkook hasn’t been to this type of scene in years, not since before his life started revolving around hunting his best friend. He looks out of place - motorcycle boots and a leather jacket as opposed to chinos and button-downs. But it doesn’t phase him. He’s not here to get wasted and find a hookup, he’s here on a hunt. 

 

He’d ditched the car a few blocks away after tailing Jimin for hours. Most of his day had been spent staked out inside the garage of a ridiculously lavish hotel, watching his bike from afar and steadily growing more irritated by the minute. There’d been too many passersby to try to hotwire it, and he’d been reluctant to blow his cover just to get his bike back. Priorities, he’d reminded himself. There’s more at stake here than a goddamn motorcycle. When he figures out a solution to the Jimin problem, he’ll buy himself a new one. 

 

Finally, sometime in the late evening, Jimin had emerged. And Jungkook had watched - unable to tear his eyes away, seething and breaking out in an uncomfortable sweat - as Jimin had swaggered up to Jungkook’s bike looking like pure sin. Jimin had opted for a completely indecent mesh shirt, bare skin and black ink on brazen display. He’d apparently gotten a new pair of leather pants to replace the pair Jungkook had adorned with a few bullet holes, this pair as garishly tight as the last. Jungkook will never admit it, not to himself or anyone else, that watching Jimin spread his legs across the seat of his bike, ass straining against unholy black leather, had stirred something primal in the pit of his stomach. 

 

He’d stomped and burned that feeling the moment it hit him. Then he’d given Jimin a head start, easily following the sound of his own bike through the city streets. Demons, as it would seem, have a blatant disregard for traffic laws, which meant his discrete pursuit had bordered on a high speed chase by the time Jimin had reached his destination. 

 

Jungkook is now posted up a few buildings away from the one Jimin had disappeared into a few minutes ago. He’s been weighing his options - trying to figure out if it’s worth it to go in after him or not. He wonders what kind of shit Jimin would be willing to pull in a public place. 

 

He wonders even more so what their last dream exchange means for their real-life interactions. Jimin had wanted a civil conversation and he’d gotten the closest thing Jungkook is willing to give. He’s tossed around the idea of playing along with Jimin, setting his hostility on the backburner to milk more information out of him. He and Taehyung are out of their depth on this one - they know next to nothing about humans-turned-demons and have very little means to find out more. Jungkook has realized, begrudgingly, that Jimin is their prime source of information at this moment. 

 

It’s with this mindset that he heads for the entrance to the club. The bouncer at the door checks his ID - a new fake courtesy of Taehyung since all of his belongings had been stolen courtesy of a demon piece of shit - and waves him on his way. He half-expects Jimin to be waiting for him two steps inside the door with a shit-eating grin on his face, but Jungkook has no such luck. The bodies inside the club are tightly packed, thrashing to bass-heavy music, and highly intoxicated. Both bars in Jungkook’s line of sight are overflowing, people wedging themselves between each other to place their orders. 

 

Jungkook almost turns back right then. There’s no way he’s going to find Jimin in this messy crowd - if he’s even still in here and hasn’t slipped out a back door already. 

 

Then he spots him - skin cast in blue and violet club lights, lithe figure unmistakable even among a hundred others. Jungkook’s eyes fall to the tattoo below the base of Jimin’s neck - the circle and lines of a pentagram meant to ward off demonic possession. Jungkook has the exact same tattoo in the exact same place, the centerpiece of the pair of angel wings spanning across his shoulders. That should have been Jungkook’s first clue that something had been off, because no demon would be able to bypass an anti-possession sigil, but that’s all hindsight now. 

 

Jimin doesn’t seem to notice Jungkook as he turns to face someone who wants his attention. He’s holding a glass of amber liquor - top-shelf whiskey neat, if Jungkook had to guess. Jimin’s drink of choice for nights he wanted to treat himself after a long day on the road or a tough hunt. Jungkook watches curiously as Jimin talks to the person before turning away, uninterested or unimpressed. Then he starts heading the opposite direction, slipping away into the crowd. 

 

Jungkook follows, struggling to keep up as he side-steps through the middle of drunken conversations and narrowly avoids a collision with a man carrying a tray of empty glasses and beer bottles. He loses Jimin completely when he disappears around a corner far away from the main dance floor. He heads in that direction and rounds the corner, letting out a frustrated grunt when all he finds is an empty, dimly lit hallway. There are only two doors on either side, both marked with staff-only signs, and an exit door at the end. 

 

Jungkook checks the door on the right first. It’s locked, no light coming from inside. He heads for the door on the left next, hand reaching under the back of his jacket to settle around his gun instinctively. There’s a ribbon of light across the bottom of the door, and when Jungkook tries the doorknob, it’s unlocked. He eases the door open carefully as it gives way to some sort of private lounge or break area. As the door swings open the rest of the way, Jungkook realizes it’s empty. Just a few couches and some furniture, a wall-mounted TV flickering with a screensaver. 

 

Jungkook’s arm falls away from his gun as he lets out an irritated sigh. He’d managed to lose Jimin not even five minutes after laying eyes on him, and now he could be anywhere in this bar district or even back around to where he parked the bike by now. That or Jimin might be waiting right outside the exit door to jump Jungkook - still a distinct possibility. Jungkook lets the door swing shut on its own as he turns on his heel to leave.

 

He almost bumps into the man standing right behind him. Jungkook tenses up, ready for a fight, but quickly realizes it’s just some random club-goer probably looking for the bathroom. 

 

“It’s not a bathroom, I just checked,” Jungkook says, gesturing behind himself at the door as the guy doesn’t seem to want to move. 

 

“You sure that’s what you were looking for in there?” the guy questions, tilting his head as a hard look passes over his face. 

 

Jungkook stares at the guy for a moment. The guy’s got some balls, he’ll give him that. He’s a twig compared to Jungkook - just some scrawny kid in a flat-bill hat and skinny jeans. Some nerve he has squaring up to random strangers in dark hallways. Must be the liquor talking, Jungkook thinks. He’s not here to get into bar fights with drunk idiots. He takes a step to the side toward the exit door - 

 

His back hits the corner of the doorframe roughly as two fists grip the front of his jacket. Jungkook reflexively throws a punch but misses as he pitches backward into the room. He stumbles a bit, quickly locking his gaze onto the guy as he follows Jungkook into the room. 

 

“Look, fucker,” Jungkook starts, but then the guy’s eyes flash demonic black and he curses. 

 

“You’ve got a lot of nerve showing up here,” the demon says, prowling into the room as Jungkook reaches back for his gun. 

 

“Don’t bother,” comes another voice from the open door as a guy steps through with a handgun already sighted on Jungkook. Jungkook watches with rising adrenaline as three more goons file into the room, all wearing college-age meatsuits and blacked-out demon eyes. The last of the three shuts and locks the door behind him. 

 

“What is this, some sort of hellbitch get-together?” Jungkook questions, aiming to stall as he works to formulate a plan. He’s never taken on this many demons singlehandedly, always had Jimin at his side. He’s not panicking, though, because demons kill first and ask questions later - yet somehow he’s still standing here, jugular and vital organs fully intact. 

 

“How did you find this place?” the lead demon questions. Jungkook almost laughs - as if he’d crumple under that intense line of questioning.

 

“Had to take a piss,” Jungkook lies smoothly. “Looked like a bathroom. Maybe you should label your demon lairs more clearly.” 

 

One of the demons - the one holding the gun - snorts. It earns a slicing glare from the leader. Jungkook doesn’t have time for this. Jimin is getting further away with every second he wastes bickering with these piss-ants. 

 

“We could smell your hunter filth a mile away,” the lead demon says. “Now, why you walked right in here alone and thought you’d make it out of here alive is a mystery to me. I almost have a hard time believing you’ve made it this long in your line of business being that stupid.” 

 

“Are you gonna try to kill me, or are we all just gonna keep standing around jerking each other off?” Jungkook snips. 

 

The lead demon grins, shaking his head as his black eyes never leave Jungkook’s face. “You really are that stupid.” 

 

Just as Jungkook is ready to lunge at the demon to his right, there’s a loud crack and splinter of wood as the floor flings open. All four demons spin around into fighting stance. 

 

“Hi boys,” Jimin announces loudly as he steps through the doorway, face alight in a vicious smile and eyes full demon-black. “Hate to crash your party, but I’ve got dibs on this one.” 

 

“The fuck?” one of the demons says, looking confused as to who he’s supposed to be attacking as Jimin walks straight into the room. He looks less confused, though, as Jimin decks the first guy in his pathway and pulls out a massive hunting knife. 

 

Jungkook doesn’t waste any more time being surprised - he’s got his gun out and aimed at the back of the closest demon’s head in the next breath. He takes the shot, dropping the demon right in front of him with a spray of blood and gray matter across every surface in a five-foot radius. He realizes after the fact, as more demons flood into the room, that firing shots in a demon nest might not have been his most strategic move. It’s too late now, though. He downs two other demons with headshots as they lunge for him. 

 

Jimin is carving up every demon at arm’s reach, dropping bodies with terrifying precision and efficiency. Jungkook has seen him at work so many times, but it still makes him pause in surprise as he watches the slaughter. Jimin is so quick slitting throats and impaling people on his knife, he’s barely got any blood on him - just a few splatters and streaks up his arms, a stray drop or two as far up as his neck. 

 

In Jungkook’s split-second of hesitation, some bastard runs up on him and punches him twice in the stomach. Jungkook sends him reeling back with a hard kick to the chest before emptying two rounds into his chest to knock him out. 

 

With the last one down, the room is clear for the moment - at least until they start coming back to life. Jungkook looks at Jimin, who’s squatted among the bloodied bodies, wiping his knife off on some dead guy's shirt to clean it. As he finishes, he stands up and faces Jungkook, reaching up to wipe away a drop of blood from his face with the back of his hand. 

 

“Better get out of here before they wake up and start taking turns skinning you alive,” Jimin states, stepping over a body toward the door. 

 

Jungkook is about to tell him to wait or asking him why, but he suddenly can’t speak. A massive wave of dizziness hits him sideways, sending him swaying and almost losing grip on his gun. He feels something warm and wet sliding down his stomach and he gropes at the area, pulling back his jacket to get to his shirt. He touches something sopping wet with his hand and furrows his brows in confusion. 

 

He pulls his hand away and sees blood coating every fingertip. 

 

“What’s the matter with you?” Jimin questions harshly, but his voice sounds like it’s coming through a windstorm. 

 

Jungkook staggers forward as the pain hits - first a deep, dull ache and then white-hot, stopping his words short and punching the air right out of his chest. He feels the blood trickling out - gushing out, flowing from the wounds in his stomach and soaking through his shirt, down his pants. That’s a lot of blood. Too much blood - he can’t lose that much blood. He can’t die like this, stabbed to death by some demon thug with a pigsticker. He can’t die like this. He can’t - 

 

The world gives a hard, nauseating spin around him, knocking him off balance and bringing him down to his knees. He feels like he’s sucking in air in giant gasps but it only comes in short, quick little breaths. The edges of his peripheral start to creep in, dark and hazy as they close in around Jimin’s face. Someone is still talking - Jimin - saying get up and get up you dumb fuck but Jungkook thinks that’s probably his imagination, a memory, because a demon wouldn’t be saying those things. He’s hallucinating - this is like a dream - this is a nightmare he’ll wake up from any moment now.

 

Then Jimin’s face is in front of him, mouth moving like he’s talking, and then everything goes dark.

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

Brake lights cast red smudges on the windshield of the car, glaring at him in pairs of two as they bob and blink. His head rolls to the side and he squints against passing headlights as they flash directly into his eyes. Wind from the half-open window flutters his hair around his face, tossing shadows like bird wings. It feels nice, cool air on his skin, but it makes him ache somewhere with deep cold as he shudders. 

 

He blinks again and lifts his head, neck feeling weak and muscles inconceivably heavy. His gaze drifts around as he takes in images in photo-still blurs - blue dash lights, a rear-view mirror, hands wrapped around a steering wheel. He tries harder, pushing through the heaviness, squeezing his eyes shut before opening them again. 

 

Oh, he thinks. It’s the dream again. 

 

Jimin is in the driver’s seat, hands on the wheel. He’s not looking at Jungkook - they must not have reached that part of the dream yet. He feels oddly at ease, enveloped in a sense of calm as he tries to keep Jimin’s face in his sight. He wants to reach out, but his arms are too heavy and he feels too far away. Jimin comes in and out of focus, from unrecognizably foggy and fuzzy around the edges to high definition, crystal-clear enough to see the glisten of a drop of blood on his cheek. 

 

Blood? There hadn’t been any blood that night… Is this the part he’s forgetting? He can’t tell, can’t separate real from fake, present from memory. He can’t even focus on that drop of blood again to get a better look. His eyes aren’t cooperating, gaze sliding languidly around as his eyes roll up to the ceiling of the car. Just dark nothingness up there, no lights or faces or blood drops. He thinks he hears a voice from somewhere. Maybe even more than one - the sounds overlap, so vague and jumbled he’s not even sure they’re actual voices and not just random sounds. 

 

A hand on his chin tugs his face away from the nothingness of the car ceiling, and then he’s looking at Jimin’s face again. He only knows it’s Jimin’s face because he’s seen it so many times. Distorted in his dreams, captured in time in pictures. Staring back at him in the breathtaking clarity of reality. He would recognize Jimin’s face diluted in water colors, spliced into pixels and shuffled around like memory tiles, wavering far below the surface of the rippling ocean. He knows those eyes, sleepy lids and raw umber irises. And those lips, round and bite-pink, glistening at the fullest parts. They’re moving now as he stares at them, trying to match his memory of their shape with this reverie version instead of listening to whatever they’re saying. He likes the way they pucker on the first syllable of his name.  

 

Juh... Juh… 

 

It makes him smile. He should have kissed that mouth, should have felt the shape of his own name from those lips against his. He knows, knows , he’d be addicted as soon as he got that first taste of pure ambrosia. 

 

Jungkook. Jungkook. 

 

Keep saying my name, he wants to say. It doesn’t come out though, caught as a rumble in his chest, stuck at the back of his throat. He tries again, tries saying Jimin and only gets a muffled attempt that spills clumsily from his lips. He tries to reach out, but his arms are boneless, concrete sludge in his muscles as he sinks into the seat of the car. 

 

He can feel himself fading. He can’t hold his eyes open anymore. This must be the end of the dream. It must be time to wake up now. 

 

Goddamnit don’t pass out again you son of a - 



Jungkook wakes slowly as a full-body ache sinks into his bones like he’d been mowed over by a bus. A soft groan escapes him as he jostles around, tugging against wires and contraptions that tangle and pinch. 

 

“Hey, hey,” comes a soothing voice, and a hand rests on his shoulder. 

 

He peels his eyes open, chest heaving with rising anxiety as he struggles to remember where he is. There was the club - following Jimin down a hallway - looking through the rooms. He remembers getting shoved into one of the rooms and - demons. He’d been ambushed my demons. 

 

And Jimin - 

 

Jimin had rescued him? 

 

The thought crosses his mind less like a recollection of a fact and more like a giant, puzzling question. Did this mean Jimin was cured? Was he human now? No - there’s no way. He reels himself back to reality, grounding himself as the hand on his shoulder pats him reassuringly. 

 

“Hey, it’s okay,” says the voice again, and this time Jungkook recognizes it as Taehyung’s. 

 

Jungkook looks up and feels relief wash over him. Taehyung is right in front of him, reaching somewhere and picking up some sort of remote to push a button. With a mechanical whir, the bed Jungkook is lying on begins to rise, lifting him so he’s sitting up slightly. 

 

He’s in a hospital. He looks around - groggily checking out the room. He’s been in plenty of hospital rooms to know what they look like from this angle. The contraptions he’d been fussing with are the IV on the inside of his elbow, a pulse oximeter on his wrist, the ECG wires connecting him to the monitor. He paws at the ventilator on his face, yanking it until it comes off and tossing it god knows where. 

 

“Easy,” Taehyung warns gently. “Don’t break anything in here.” 

 

“The fuck,” Jungkook grumbles as he tries to sit up. He winces as pain shoots through his abdomen and decides against trying to get out of the bed right this moment. 

 

“You tell me,” Taehyung states. “You’re the one that showed up at my doorstep looking like Drew Barrymore’s boyfriend from Scream.” 

 

Jungkook’s face scrunches in confusion as he leans back against the pillows, exhaling as he finds a spot to rest that doesn’t hurt. He starts piecing the rest together. Wiping out the hoard of demons in the room, leaving all but one. 

 

Jimin had been helping him. Undoubtedly still a demon, and yet. 

 

Jungkook hadn’t been hallucinating or conjuring up some sort of wild dream scenario. Jimin had shown up in full demon grandeur, unmistakable black eyes and twisted smile as he slashed through what looked like the varsity soccer team. He’d helped Jungkook. Saved his life, even. 

 

It made absolutely no goddamn sense. Jungkook has been on the morphine drip too long to figure that one out.

 

“It was Jimin,” Jungkook mumbles. 

 

Taehyung is already seething, shaking through his head and murmuring through his teeth. “I knew it. That bastard.” 

 

“No,” Jungkook rasps, swallowing at the dryness in his throat. Taehyung immediately notices him struggling and grabs a styrofoam cup from a nearby counter, leaning over Jungkook and positioning the straw for him to drink. After downing a few cold mouthfuls, Jungkook clears his throat and tries again. “He wasn’t the one that stabbed me.” 

 

Taehyung sets the cup aside and sinks back down in the chair he’s pulled up by Jungkook’s beside. He sets Jungkook with an incredulous look. “You’re saying Jimin didn’t do this?” 

 

“Yeah,” Jungkook breathes. “Wasn’t him. I was following him last night.” 

 

“I figured as much.” 

 

“Walked straight into some sort of… nest of ‘em,” Jungkook continues, eyelids feeling too heavy to keep open as he talks. “In the bar district downtown. There’s a club there. I think there’s a bunch of ‘em camped out there.” 

 

“Okay,” Taehyung says skeptically, still not seeing where Jungkook is going with this. “So you got into it with one of them and they did this?” 

 

“More or less,” Jungkook says. “Got cornered by a few. But Jimin showed up.” 

 

Taehyung is quietly processing what Jungkook says, not offering any further comment as Jungkook sorts through his words and puts it together into something coherent. 

 

“He helped,” Jungkook mumbles, barely above a whisper.

 

“He what?” Taehyung blurts out then, voice rising. 

 

“He… busted through the door and started wiping them out.” Jungkook can’t even believe his own words. If he didn’t know for a fact that he had been completely stone-cold sober, wide awake in vivid reality, he wouldn’t believe it. 

 

“Are you sure?” Taehyung questions. 

 

“I’m positive,” Jungkook states. “He killed almost all of them himself. One of them got me. It wasn’t Jimin, though. I don’t remember anything after that. I passed out.” 

 

“So if you passed out, how did you get to my apartment?” Taehyung questions, baffled.

 

Jungkook opens his eyes momentarily, searching around the room for an answer that makes more sense than the only one he can seem to come up with. “It had to have been Jimin.” 

 

“What?” Taehyung practically laughs. “That’s insane. There’s no way.” 

 

“He was still there when I passed out,” Jungkook says. “I remember seeing him right before I blacked out. There’s no other explanation. If he had left me there at the club, I’d be dead.” 

 

Taehyung seems too shocked to speak. 

 

Jungkook grapples around at the side of the bed until he finds the remote and lowers it back. He’s too exhausted to think about this anymore, mind already drifting as soon as he shuts his eyes. 

 

“Jungkook?” 

 

He grunts in response. 

 

“How long are you going to keep chasing after him?” 

 

“Until I fix him or until I kill him.” 

 

“What if you can’t do either of those?” 

 

“Guess I’ll die trying, then.” The words don’t even take a second thought. 

 

He’s out before Taehyung can say another word. 



The dream starts how it always does this time. There aren’t any lights from the windows, only darkness as he looks through the glass. He’s leaned back in the seat just like that night, face turned to the cold wind. He can feel the rumble of the car engine around him, feel the faint rise and fall of the road. His head lolls over toward the driver's seat, knowing Jimin will be there. 

 

He’s right. Jimin is there, exactly as he always is. Every time he has this dream - dash lights casting a blue glow over his skin, dark hair falling around his face. Almost like he can sense Jungkook’s eyes, Jimin turns to face him.

 

Jungkook doesn’t feel anything when black eyes fall on him, regarding him with an indecipherable glint. Not fear or disgust - nothing. The eyes are almost becoming a part of Jimin in his mind now, merging the two images he has of his Jimin and this new Jimin. It feels like acceptance, like he’s finally submitting to the idea that this is the Jimin. Changed - twisted and broken. Irreparable. It should be terrifying, but Jungkook is past letting these dreams shake him, these deep-seated thoughts he won’t entertain in the waking world. 

 

Jimin smiles, a ghost of the one Jungkook knows. It’s not a very convincing replica, more like a shoddy remake. None of the warmth that used to settle in Jungkook’s heart at the sight. 

 

“I guess this means you’re still alive.” 

 

Jungkook can’t hide his surprise at the words. This is one of those dreams - the ones where he’s somehow connected to Jimin. “Why did you help me?” 

 

Jimin turns his eyes away to where the road would be if it wasn’t a black void outside the front windshield. “Why were you following me?” 

 

“Why didn’t you let them kill me?” Jungkook continues. “Why didn’t you leave me to die?” 

 

“I’m really starting to question my decision about that,” Jimin snips, shooting an acid look at Jungkook and then quickly shaking off the irritation. “I’m going to be the one to kill you. No one else is allowed.” 

 

Jungkook scoffs. “That so?” 

 

“Mhm." 

 

Jungkook looks around the car. It’s different from the others times he’s had this dreams. He feels more lucid, more aware. It reminds him of the dream he’d had of the white space, Jimin across the bed from him. This feels more like that. He wonders if it’s because he’s more self-aware, mind less muddled and confused, but none of it makes any real sense even with this new sense of clarity. “Why do I keep having this dream?” 

 

Jimin rolls his head toward him, brow raised in disdain. “Why the fuck are you asking me?” 

 

“Because you’re here, too,” Jungkook continues, brows knit together. “This is that night, isn’t it? The night you disappeared.”

 

Jimin huffs a laugh, shaking his head. “How should I know? That was years ago.” 

 

“You’re lying,” Jungkook mutters, more to himself than to Jimin. “Why are you lying about this? What happened? On this night - what happened?” 

 

“What is this - twenty questions?” 

 

“Something happened,” Jungkook concludes, eyes darting around the car for some sort of clue. It looks normal, just as he remembers. Every stain on the seats, every crack in the dash. This had been Jimin’s car - this had been the car they traveled around together in for years. Years, until Jimin disappeared and the car disappeared with him. 

 

Jimin’s laugh starts out low, then grows as he catches sight of the confusion on Jungkook’s face. “I’d put you out of your misery, but watching you suffer is so much more fun.”

 

“What happened on this night?” Jungkook questions with growing urgency. “What happened? Tell me.” 

 

Jimin’s laugh grows louder as he throws his head back. 

 

Something grips Jungkook’s lungs, claws sinking in. He tries to gasp, but he can’t get any air. He clutches at his chest, eyes squeezed shut and jaw hanging open in a silent yell. Pain starts in his lungs, first a prickle and then a spreading fire, molten and liquid like magma burning down his esophagus, into his lungs, down into his stomach. He can’t scream, can’t move. 

 

He can still hear Jimin’s laugh, thousands of miles away, through the wall of pressure bearing down on his ears, squeezing in around his head until it feels like every blood vessel in his brain will explode. Spots burst and float in his vision like tiny solar flares before his vision whites out. 



Jungkook gasps a lungful of air, vaguely registering a cacophony of mechanical beeps and alarms startling as he rakes in air. Hands close in around him and he instinctively fights against them, slinging elbows and fists and yelling until he can finally see - see who’s trying to kill him, what demon is about to get a hand around his throat - 

 

He flinches as he looks up into the face of a scared nurse. 

 

“He’s fine!” Taehyung is yelling over all the commotion. “I’m sorry - I’m so sorry. He gets night terrors. Jungkook. Jungkook. Calm down.” 

 

Jungkook blinks, going limp against the bed as he realizes he’s in a hospital and he’s almost assaulted a nurse. 

 

She’s eyeing him warily, hand hovering over the emergency call button. 

 

“S-sorry,” Jungkook mumbles, rubbing a hand down his face as he composes himself. His hair is stuck around his temples with sweat, hands trembling where he rests them on his thighs. 

 

The nurse nods and scampers away, probably off to alert the psych ward or something.

 

“Hey,” Taehyung calls softly, leaning over the bed and popping into Jungkook’s line of sight. “You okay?” 

 

“M’fine,” Jungkook slurs, blinking and giving his head one final shake to clear everything out. “Sorry.”

 

“It’s okay,” Taehyung reassures. “Were you having a nightmare?” 

 

“Something like that,” Jungkook grumbles. He looks around the hospital room, still groggy and disoriented but coming back down. “When are they discharging me?” 

 

“You didn’t need surgery,” Taehyung says. “The knife didn’t hit any vital organs, but the wounds are really deep. It’s going to take a while for you to recover, but I think they’re going to discharge you soon.” 

 

Jungkook nods as he processes the information. As he looks around the room, he sees the signs of Taehyung being there for several hours - crinkled protein bar wrappers, empty water bottles. His laptop, open and paused on a video stream and headphones tangled on the keyboard. He narrows his eyes at the other chair where a gray suit jacket lay neatly folded over the back. He points at it. “Whose is that?” 

 

“Oh, um,” Taehyung stammers, shuffling away from the bed and back over to his empty chair. “That’s, um - well.” 

 

“It’s mine.” 

 

Jungkook groans. 

 

Hoseok materializes in the doorway, winning smile in place and steaming cup of coffee in hand. “Glad to see you’re awake,” he chirps as he strolls inside, dress shoes quiet on the tiled floor. His white sleeves are rolled up to the elbow, first few buttons of his collar undone. He looks every bit the nark he is - complete with the standard issue sidearm nestled snug in his belt holster. 

 

“The fuck are you doing here?” Jungkook practically whines. 

 

Hoseok’s smile doesn’t even waver. “The fuck are you doing in the hospital, Kook?” 

 

Jungkook flops back on the bed, covering his face with an arm. “Go home, you annoying prick.” 

 

“I love you, too, little brother,” Hoseok says facetiously without missing a beat. “You look like death warmed over.”

 

“Yeah, well, I got stabbed,” Jungkook snips. “Twice.” 

 

“Uh-huh, and about that,” Hoseok starts in, and Jungkook gives a hard sigh that makes him flinch in pain. “How’d that happen? Tae says it wasn’t Jimin? Was that the painkillers talking, or - ”

 

“Jimin didn’t do it,” Jungkook states. “Trust me, I’m as confused about it as you are.” 

 

“So what happened?” Hoseok persists. 

 

“Can we talk about this later?”

 

“Yeah, no,” Hoseok states. “‘Later’ in Jeon Jungkook time is ‘never’ in everyone else’s time.” 

 

“I mean, he did just get stabbed,” Taehyung says in a mollifying tone. “We can talk when we get him home?” 

 

“What?” Jungkook blurts out, eyes cutting between the two of them. “‘We’ ?” 

 

“Yes, ‘we’,” Hoseok says, clipped. “I’m staying with you for a few days while you heal.” 

 

“Um, no you’re not,” Jungkook says. He’d laugh if the dull pain of the stab wounds in his gut didn’t sap the humor right out of him. 

 

“Oh, it’s not optional,” Hoseok says, grin finally slipping out of place to give way to one of his authoritative older brother faces. “You’re not staying alone, and Taehyung’s done enough as it is.” 

 

“It’s no problem, Hobi. I don’t mind,” Taehyung says. 

 

“Right, but he’s my brother,” Hoseok counters gently, sending Taehyung a tight-lipped smile. “I should have come sooner, apparently.” 

 

 

Jungkook seethes from where he sinks into the pillows, hospital gown disheveled and hair ridden with sleep cowlicks. He shoots another accusatory glare at Taehyung, who looks less than intimidated. “Why did you call him?”

 

“He’s your next of kin, Jungkook.” 

 

“I’m your literal flesh and blood,” Hoseok adds. 

 

Jungkook huffs. 

 

“He’ll be fine,” Taehyung hums. 

 

“Yeah, go back to sleep, Kook,” Hoseok says. “You were a lot cuter that way.” 

 

“God, why didn’t that demon aim a little higher and slightly to the left,” Jungkook groans. 



He’s on a fuzzy, warm hydrocodone high and he’s been banned from the beer in the fridge and grounded to the couch. Hoseok, however, gets free reign of the house and has been killing the six-pack he’d just bought while he paces around the house, on and off the phone, working cases and doing whatever law enforcement pricks do. 

 

Some procedural crime drama flickers on the television, volume barely up high enough to hear even from the couch. Jungkook is sunk into the right hand side, feet propped up on a pillow on top of the coffee table and remote control loosely clutched in his hand where it’s slung over the arm of the couch. He’s been dozing in and out for some time now, mostly only blinking out of half-sleep to the sound of Hoseok’s booming voice in his apartment, rambling on about his casework with some other nameless fed across the line. 

 

His apartment is exactly how he’d left it - not very lived-in and with very few personal touches. The living room is just that - a living room with a sofa set, a coffee table, a TV on a basic stand. A few assorted DVD’s from gifts of Christmases past, borrowed workout disks and old music albums. The table in the dining room is like Jungkook’s designated office. Maps, webpage print-outs, disassembled guns, boxes of ammo, hand-written scribbles and paper scraps. There’s even some sort of journal-type thing - a spiral notebook with a mish-mash of photos, sticky notes, phone numbers. Places he’s been, places he needs to go. Most of the research and lore and technical stuff is with Taehyung. But Jungkook has compiled years and years worth of history over time, previously intended for he and his partner - ex-partner - to eradicate demon-kind from the face of the planet. Now it’s been the roadmap of his tunnel-visioned hunt for only one demon, the demon, the one priority above all else. Taking precedence over the other hundreds of demons roaming free, wreaking their own worlds of havoc and leaving trails of bodies in their wakes. 

 

Jungkook wants to say he cares. He really does. He’d probably say he did if someone point-blank asked him about it. He should care. It’s his lifestyle, his path, his unspoken but sworn duty.  

 

He doesn’t. 

 

The kitchen had been mostly barren - beer in the fridge and a few frost-bitten bags of vegetables in the freezer. Hoseok had sniffed that out not even two minutes after showing up, rectifying it with an hour-long trip to the grocery store. Then Jungkook had watched boredly as his brother man-handled grocery bags into his cramped apartment and then struggled to find places in his limited pantry-space to put it all. But Hoseok had cooked, made Jungkook eat. Cleaned and rebandaged his wounds for him, made sure he took his medicine on time. Jungkook has a hard time being a total asshole to someone obviously trying so hard and who only takes his scathing remarks with an unyielding grin. 

 

Jungkook has decided he can be civil. He does love his brother. He just doesn’t love his brother nosing in his business. 

 

“Ah, sorry about that,” Hoseok sighs as he comes into the living room to have a seat on the other couch. He groans like an old man as he sits and stretches out, letting out an obnoxious yawn as he melts into the cushions. “My own brother gets stabbed and I still can’t get a break from work.” 

 

Jungkook makes a noncommittal noise in the back of his throat.

 

“You look like your pain meds have kicked in,” Hoseok comments. He leans over and adjusts the pillows under Jungkook’s feet, takes the remote out of his hand before he drops it. “Good?” he questions, gesturing to Jungkook’s general person. 

 

“Mm,” Jungkook hums. He lets out a soft sigh. “Isn’t that the life we both chose?” 

 

“Huh?” Hoseok leans back on the couch. “Oh, you mean how we’re both always working. Yeah, I suppose so.” 

 

“Always on a case,” Jungkook mumbles. “That’s the life of a fed and a hunter.” 

 

“No rest for the weary,” Hoseok muses. 

 

Jungkook suddenly giggles, pointing a lazy finger in Hoseok’s direction before his arm flops back down on the arm of the couch. “You’re what happens when someone raised like us turns out the right way,” Jungkook rambles amusedly. Then he jabs the finger at his own chest. “I’m the other path. The dysfunctional one. We’re like one of those ‘say no to drugs’ posters.” He laughs lightly, sloppy smile on his face as he looks over to Hoseok to see him join in on the joke. 

 

Hoseok isn’t amused, though. There’s a deep set frown on his face, forehead in wrinkles with the intensely regretful look. “That’s not true,” he says firmly, shaking his head like he’s scolding a child. “We just chose different paths. Neither one of them is better than the other.” 

 

Jungkook rolls his head back toward the television. “You think the path I’m on is comparable to what you do?” 

 

“I know it used to be,” Hoseok says carefully. “I don’t know what you’ve been up to lately, but I know you have good intentions. You’ve always tried to do what’s best.” 

 

Jungkook wants to scoff at that. If only his dear brother knew about what’s really been going on, chasing ghosts and consorting with a demon in dreamland. 

 

“You know, I keep telling you,” Hoseok starts, “if you wanted to come live with me and go to the academy - ”

 

At that, Jungkook does snort. “I have a criminal record.” 

 

“Maybe something else, then,” Hoseok insists with a delicate sense of hope. “Something less dangerous than what you’re doing now.” 

 

“What, and just live my life pretending like -” like my best friend’s soul hasn’t been damned to hell for all eternity  “- like I don’t know what’s out there?” 

 

“That’s what I do,” Hoseok says with a shrug. “Knowing about it doesn’t make it your responsibility to save everyone.” 

 

But Jungkook doesn’t want to save everyone. He wants to save someone. A specific someone, and his options are running out and getting less and less clear with everyone moment he wastes recovering from the two poke-holes in his stomach. 

 

“But anyway,” Hoseok cuts in through Jungkook’s thoughts, “I know you’re not going to stop. All I ask is that you please, for the love of god, stop being so reckless? Taehyung told me Jimin has almost gotten you killed three times now. That’s - ” 

 

“How is that?” Jungkook questions. “He had a chance to kill me the first time and he didn’t. And the other two times, I walked right into it.” 

 

“Would you have gotten stabbed if you weren’t looking for Jimin?” 

 

“I could get stabbed if I was a goddamn tax accountant walking into a coffee shop,” Jungkook argues, back going straight as he glares at Hoseok. “What’s your fucking point?” 

 

“My point is that you’re going to get yourself killed,” Hoseok states, barely raising his voice. In that aspect, the two of them are polar opposites. Hoseok has always had the long fuse, the unending patience and water off a duck’s back demeanor. Jungkook is the one with the incendiary temper, pent-up anger he refuses to deal with. “He’s going to get you killed.”

 

At that, Jungkook heaves himself to his feet. Hoseok meets up halfway, steadying him with a hand on his arm that Jungkook bats away. 

 

“Jungkook,” Hoseok calls after him as he shuffles down the hall to his room. “Jungkook, listen to me - ”

 

The door slams, cutting him off. 

 

Jungkook stops inside his room, hand gingerly pressed over the wounds on his stomach as he catches his breath. His bed is made thanks to Hoseok, clothes all washed and hung in the closet or folded and stacked away neatly in his drawers. His bedroom is just a queen-size mattress and boxspring on the floor, a dresser by the wall and a nightstand with a lamp on it. 

 

He rarely sleeps in here. 

 

He eases himself down onto the bed, switching on the lamp as he stares off into space at the floor. He used to drop by here now and then, get some alone time to recharge his batteries and not have to share a bathroom and breathing air with another person for a little while. He’d stopped sleeping here completely when the dreams started. Every night, he’d wake alone to his empty walls and think - he shouldn’t be here. He should be in a hotel room across the country, staked out in the car overnight, riding for miles and miles in the dead of night. Anywhere but here - he shouldn’t be here in an apartment, holed up in this room instead of out there. With him

 

Jimin would have hated this apartment, though. Jimin would have wanted more - more everything. More color, more furniture, more decorations, more noise. More pictures on the walls, more pots and pans in the kitchen to cook with, more friends coming over for movies and dinner. He would have wanted music blasting at all times, or his favorite television shows blaring from the television, or ruckus from the guitar he’d always wanted to learn how to play. Jimin had always said if he hadn’t been born into hunting, he would have been a rockstar. He’d always said life on the road was in his blood, but he’d always wanted somewhere to come back to. For a while that had been Hoseok’s apartment, and then when Hoseok left for work and Taehyung got into his own place, they migrated their operation over there. 

 

But then Jimin left, and now the walls are empty. The apartment is silent, barely alive. It feels the warmth of a human body inside its hollow walls every few months at best. 

 

Jungkook sighs through his hands as he scrubs them over his face. He’s trained himself not to think about this stuff when he’s sober. He can always steer his brain in another direction. Focus on the task at hand, focus on the hunt. Wallowing in self-pity doesn’t do him any good. Mourning what used to be won’t bring Jimin back, won’t find him a cure. 

 

He pulls back the covers and slips underneath, switching off the light before turning over to find a comfortable position. No position is particularly comfortable with stab wounds, but he settles for lying on his back and staring at the ceiling. 

 

I always wanted you, too

 

He hasn’t let himself think about that, either. If he’s accepting that the demon he’s been hunting is, in fact, the real Jimin gone dark-side, then he wonders how much truth there is to what he says. Jimin is still a demon, and a demon’s words can’t exactly be trusted. He wonders what angle Jimin is playing at, what he’s trying to get out of Jungkook by lying about this or, god forbid, even telling the truth. Jungkook can’t figure out how it benefits him either way.

 

Had he really missed the signals from before? Had Jimin harbored some sort of unstated attraction toward Jungkook while they were riding around together, working cases, spending practically every moment of their lives together for the sake of hunting? It seems unthinkable that Jimin would have been able to hide something like that from his closest friend, his partner, his right hand. Especially when coming clean wouldn’t have had devastating repercussions - it might’ve made hunting together and sharing a hotel room together a little awkward for a while. 

 

Then Jungkook realizes that that’s exactly what he’d been doing. 

 

Harboring an attraction, probably - definitely - more than that. He’d kept it all to himself, stealing glances and fighting back the urges that were constantly creeping up on him. Urges like wanting to reach across the car, set his hand on Jimin’s thigh and just leave it there. Standing outside together under the stars, wanting to press in close and let the night sky witness their first kiss he’d been waiting so, so long for. Watching Jimin come out of the shower wrapped in a towel and wanting to get up, slip his finger under the towel and pull it free and let it drop to the floor. 

 

And among those urges - the even scarier ones. Like the time Jungkook sat and thought about asking Jimin to quit with him. Quit this life, get away from it all. Let someone else handle the bad guys and the things that go bump in the night. Let it be someone else’s problem so they can find somewhere safe, settle in, be together. Or like the time Jungkook had almost told Jimin, after a bloody fight when they barely got away with their lives, that he would die for him in a heartbeat. 

 

Maybe falling down this rabbit hole of thoughts is why he starts dreaming the craziest shit ever.

 

In his dream, he’s at the club. The one where he’d been ambushed by demons. He walks right up to the front door, just like he had that night. The bouncer at the door regards him for a moment, and then his eyes flash to demon black. 

 

Jungkook keeps still, lucid enough to know this is a dream. He gets ready for a fight, ready to redeem himself for getting downed by a knife to the gut last time he went toe-to-toe with one of these bastards. 

 

The bouncer barely looks at him, though, and waves him inside. 

 

Oddly enough, Jungkook doesn’t question it. He pushes through the door and into the haze of the club. 

 

That’s when everything seems to slow down, drag a little slower like the deep bassline of the song pulsing throughout the club. The dancefloor ahead of him is a sea of swaying, writhing bodies, dragging hands and sweat-slick skin. Packed so close together they’re all sharing the same air, gasping in each others’ faces and grinding into each other with the music. They all seem hypnotized, all under the same spell as they share glasses of wine with each other, spilling the red drink into each others mouths and greedily gulping from each other’s glasses. 

 

It looks like a den of unfiltered sin. 

 

With nowhere else to go, Jungkook takes a slow step forward. The sea of bodies parts to make room for him, and he takes another step before stopping in his tracks. 

 

Every last person in the crowd is a demon - every single set of eyes on him shining dark black under the swimming red lights. He scans across their faces as they seem unfazed by him. Mostly young women and men, all in similar states of undress and intoxication. They keep moving with the music, only tossing glances at him as he approaches. 

 

He steps into the thick of the crowd and it closes around behind him, blocking him from where he came. Someone reaches out and slides a hand up his arm. And like a dam breaking, suddenly there are five, ten, fifteen hands on his body, sliding over him as he pushes past. One of the demons stops in front of him - a nondescript girl in a tight black dress, looking up at him through her eyelashes. She’s attractive, probably enough his type to coax a night in bed out of him if this were real life. She’s holding a wine glass in her hand, filled to the brim with dark red wine. She offers it up to him with a red-lipped smile. 

 

Something bends past a breaking point in him, then. A part of his mind detaches, flies off into another darker part on its own and takes his conscious thoughts with it. He feels like he’s departed from the thing inside him that tells him this is bad, that this is not right. Almost like when he’d been in the white place, lying in bed next to Jimin when that final thread frayed and snapped and he’d given in to one of those many urges. They’re still there - the urges. They’re always there, buried in that place so deep he doesn’t acknowledge it exists. 

 

He reaches out, closes his hand around the fullest part of the glass. He takes it and draws it to his lips, breathes in the sweet aroma. He looks over the glass at the woman again, at her watching him. She smiles when he tips the glass and takes the first drink. 

 

She seems pleased as he hands he back the glass, stepping out of the way for him to continue on. He has no idea where he’s going, letting the crowd part and guide him to his destination. A few other demons eye him with smiles on their faces, something like lust in their eyes as they part and guide him to a velvet settee, as dark red as the wine in their glasses. 

 

He goes to the seat, more demons materializing around him at every angle. None of them hurt him, only touching. A hand across his back, up his arm or over his chest. He takes a seat at the insistence of two hands on his shoulders, now facing the mass of demons still drunkenly undulating with the music. Hands offer him glasses of wine and he drinks from some, swallowing down mouthfuls and savoring the flavor. Someone strokes his hair, thumbs the corner of his lips to wipe away a glisten of wine. 

 

A hand pulls his face gently back toward the crowd. 

 

There, draped in a black silk robe that falls off one shoulder and cascades all the way to the floor, Jimin is walking toward him. His eyes glimmer like black jewels in the lights, edges smoked out in dark makeup and lips wine-red. As he walks toward Jungkook, his hands come up to the sides of the robe and let it part around his shoulders, and then it’s sliding down and off onto the floor. 

 

Jungkook sits back on the couch and waits, eyes half-mast and watching hungrily as Jimin comes closer. He takes in the sight - eye raking over smooth skin, black lines and curves of the tattoos on his body. The cross down his chest, the word wrapped around one side of his ribcage, the dense rose vine that wraps around his thigh and disappears beneath the scant hem of his shorts. A growl close to something feral rises in his throat as Jimin closes the distance, standing over Jungkook as their gazes bleed into one another. 

 

Jimin accepts a glass full of wine as it’s handed to him and takes a slow drink, column of his throat moving up and down as he swallows. He pulls the glass from his mouth then, licks the red stain from the seam of his lips. Then he lifts a knee onto the seat on one side of Jungkook, grabs the back of the settee with his free hand and pulls himself onto Jungkook’s lap. 

 

Jungkook breathes the name like a prayer on his tongue, hands closing around silk thighs and head falling back helplessly. Jimin’s body is hot, soft, solid on him. Legs spreading wider, hips pushing closer. He bucks against the rising want inside him, spine flexing to restrain the movement as he reels that want back in. 

 

Jimin presents the glass of wine to Jungkook, other hand coming up to Jungkook’s jaw to guide him. Jungkook looks at him, eyes locking with bottomless black framed in pretty lashes and sultry shadow, and then takes a drink. He downs the wine, can feel how much it pleases Jimin. Jimin’s hand strokes his cheek, trails down his neck and wraps around the back. By the time he pulls the glass away, Jungkook is drunk on everything. The lights, the music, the wine on his tongue and alcohol in his veins, the hands still rubbing up and down his arms and over his shoulders. Jimin’s body close to his, pressing closer. 

 

Jimin grips Jungkook’s jaw in his hand again, tilting his face exactly where he wants him. His eyelids fall over his eyes as he leans closer, cutting into the distance between their mouths. 

 

Jungkook closes his eyes, ready for everything, wanting everything. He feels Jimin’s tongue lick a hot, vertical line over his lips and Jungkook’s mouth falls open in invitation, begging for more. Jimin leans back, though, and Jungkook’s eyes slide open languidly to look at him. 

 

“This is what you want,” Jimin says, thumb sliding over Jungkook’s bottom lip. He leans forward again, this time ducking into Jungkook’s neck and drawing out a groan. His mouth seals against the skin there, teeth dragging and tongue soothing. 

 

Jungkook’s head falls to the side, hands sliding up Jimin’s sides. He digs his fingertips into warm skin, wraps his arms around Jimin and wrenches him in closer.

 

“Come with me,” Jimin whispers into his ear. 

 

“Anywhere,” Jungkook breathes right back, turning his head and pressing his face into soft black hair. 

 

Jimin’s teeth close around an earlobe, mouth hot as he sucks. He pulls away, kisses Jungkook’s cheek. Leans back in and whispers, “Say yes.”

 

“Yes,” Jungkook gasps. 

 

“Just close your eyes,” Jimin says, hands sliding up Jungkook’s chest, skimming down and dipping below his shirt. 

 

Jungkook does as he’s asked without question, arching into the hands that slide up his bare chest, gasping as nails rake down his stomach over the divots of his muscles. 

 

“Close your eyes,” Jimin whispers again. He pushes their bodies together and Jungkook wrenches him in even more, addicted to the feeling. 

 

When Jimin licks a long, wet stripe up his throat, Jungkook snaps. He grabs Jimin’s face in his hands, pulls him up. He drags him in, ready to taste, ready to drink him in, so ready - 



Jungkook wakes to the sound of voices in his apartment, tearing him from whatever the fuck kind of dream that was. He groans at the soreness in his abdomen and hopes it’s time for another dose of painkillers. 

 

After he finally drags himself out of bed, he finds Taehyung and Hoseok in the living room talking. 

 

“Hey, Kook,” Taehyung greets with an easy smile. “Did you sleep okay?” 

 

“Slept fine,” Jungkook grumbles, making for the kitchen. He pulls open the fridge door, going for a beer before remembering his brother’s rule. 

 

“Oh, I just put some food in there for you,” Taehyung says. “The blue bowl. Yeah, that’s the one.” 

 

Jungkook reheats the food in the microwave as Taehyung and Hoseok carry on with their conversation. Taehyung is filling Hoseok in on the Jimin situation, giving him a rundown of demon deals and soul-selling. At one point, he notices Jungkook staring at him and makes it a point to assure Hoseok this is all hearsay, rumors, possibilities but not facts. Jungkook goes back to eating as he leans with his back to the counter, chewing slowly and contemplatively. 

 

What he doesn’t think about is the dream, or the fact that he can still feel phantom lips on his neck, weight across his thighs, hands on his chest. It should sicken him, disgust him. But, as briefly as the failed click of flame on a lighter, a thought occurs to him: 

 

He can’t bring himself to be disgusted by anything purely Jimin. And right now, demon or not, the one he’s after is still Jimin. 

 

It unsettles him enough to lose his appetite. He returns the half-eaten container of food to the fridge and joins his brother and Taehyung in the living room. 

 

Taehyung immediately clears out of his spot for him on the end of the couch, scooting over to the opposite side and gesturing for Jungkook to sit. 

 

Jungkook sits with a sigh and carefully props his feet on the coffee table. He picks the remote up off the arm of the couch where Taehyung had been picking idly at the buttons and clicks the television off. 

 

“Hey, I was watching that,” Hoseok protests. 

 

“I need to talk to Taehyung,” Jungkook states. 

 

Taehyung shifts on the couch, drawing a knee up to face Jungkook. “About what?” 

 

“Updates on the case,” Jungkook states. “I’ve been benched for a couple days. There’s no telling how far he’s gotten by now - ”

 

“Are you kidding me?” Hoseok questions, eyes wide and incredulous as he tosses his glance between Taehyung and Jungkook. “You just got stabbed, Jungkook. For christ’s sake, give it a rest.” 

 

Taehyung looks less agitated and more confused when Jungkook shifts his attention over to him from Hoseok. “You’re not really in the shape to go out and find him right now, Kook,” he says placatingly. 

 

“It’s not like he’s gonna take a time-out and wait for me, is he?” Jungkook poses. When Hoseok and Taehyung say nothing but exchange a look between themselves, Jungkook lets out an irritated huff. “Tae, I need you to start looking into that club. There’s a whole horde of them hanging around that place - ”

 

“No.” 

 

Jungkook stops mid-rant, mouth parted around his last word as he stares at Taehyung. “What?” 

 

“I said no,” Taehyung states. “I’m not looking into the club or helping you track Jimin or anything else right now. Not until you’re better.” 

 

“I completely agree,” Hoseok chimes in. “Jungkook, you need to rest.”

 

“I really don’t give a shit what you two think is best for me,” Jungkook suddenly snaps. “I’ve sat around long enough. I’m done waiting around. If you’re not gonna help me find him, then fine. I’ll do it myself.” 

 

“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” Taehyung says gently. 

 

“It’s stupid,” Hoseok says, much less gentle. “This whole thing is stupid - ”

 

“Hoseok…” Taehyung warns carefully. 

 

“No, Tae,” Hoseok says, calm but firm. “I’ve held my tongue long enough on this.” He turns his attention to Jungkook, eyes hard and voice adopting the paternal tone he reserves for special occasions. Jungkook laughs, air through his teeth. “This entire thing - you chasing Jimin for the past three years - it’s gotten completely out of hand. It’s been out of hand. You can’t keep on like this. It’s unhealthy. It - it’s borderline obsessive, Jungkook - ”

 

“Fuck off,” Jungkook growls, moving to get to his feet. 

 

“I’m not going to fuck off,” Hoseok states. “I’m not going anywhere. You need to hear this from someone, and obviously Taehyung is too nice to tell you - ”

 

“It’s not my place,” Taehyung contends weakly. 

 

Jungkook is already up, heading for his room. 

 

“You need to stop,” Hoseok calls across the apartment. 

 

Jungkook spins around, fixing Hoseok with a heated look. “Would you stop?” he questions harshly, acid on his tongue. 

 

Hoseok pauses, mouth clicking shut. 

 

“Would you stop?” Jungkook repeats, louder. “What if it was me? Would you stop? ” 

 

Hoseok looks away. “I can’t answer that, Jungkook.” 

 

“No, answer it,” Jungkook demands. “Would you or would you not give up on me?”

 

“No!” Hoseok relents.

 

Taehyung looks pained. 

 

“No, I wouldn’t,” Hoseok says, voice softening. “But I - Jungkook, you’re my baby brother. It’s different.” 

 

“It’s not,” Jungkook states. “It’s the same fucking thing.”

 

“What if he can’t be saved?” Taehyung suddenly intervenes, standing up from the couch. “What if he’s a lost cause, Jungkook? Why are you so willing to risk your life - ”

 

“I don’t need this from either of you,” Jungkook states, about to turn away and head into his room.

 

“Why don’t you know the difference between what’s good and what’s bad for you?” Taehyung calls. “Why don’t you care?” 

 

“Because it doesn’t fucking matter,” Jungkook snaps. “Who the fuck cares if this is good or bad for me? Jimin is out there walking around like one of them. He’s a fucking monster. It doesn’t matter if it’s bad for me. It doesn’t matter if it’s healthy. It doesn’t matter if I get stabbed. It doesn’t matter if I die.” 

 

Taehyung and Hoseok are silent, just listening with matching disappointment on their face. 

 

“I have to fix him,” Jungkook says. “I don’t care what it takes. If it takes me another three years, or thirty more. I don’t care if I have to walk across the entire country on foot or if I have to kill every demon on the planet to get to him. If I have to go to hell and claw my way back with him, then that’s what I’ll fucking do.” 

 

By the time he finishes, he’s panting. The wounds in his stomach ache from the tension in his body as he rests a hand over them, slumping heavily as the energy drains from him. He spares one last look between Hoseok and Taehyung, shaking his head at the way they refuse to meet his eyes. 

 

“I can’t believe this,” Hoseok mumbles. He grabs his jacket and heads for the front door.

 

Taehyung flinches when the door slams. He turns his eyes to Jungkook finally, looking pained like he’s the one that’s been stabbed in the gut. He doesn’t say anything as he picks up his jacket from the couch and leaves. 



A few nights later, Jungkook stumbles into his apartment drunk off his ass. He slams his shoulder on the door frame on the way through and hisses out a curse, catching himself with both hands as the world gives an unpleasant spin. He uses his grip on the wall to work his way inside, fumbling in the dark to find the door and get it closed. 

 

Just as his drunken brain puts together where the light switch is in relation to where he’s standing, the living room light flickers on behind him. 

 

“Jungkook.” 

 

He turns around at the sound of his name, slumping back against the wall as he sees Hoseok standing in the living room, fully dressed and arms akimbo. The look on his face is hesitant, probably trying to determine exactly how drunk Jungkook is. 

 

“Hoseok.” Jungkook is still, letting himself be scrutinized. 

 

“You weren’t supposed to leave the house without me,” Hoseok says, narrowing his eyes.

 

“My balls dropped a long time ago. I don’t need a goddamn babysitter.”

 

Hoseok pays the comment no mind. “And you’re not supposed to be drinking while you’re on your pain meds.” 

 

Jungkook ignores him, pushing off clumsily and heading for his bedroom. He makes it a few steps before Hoseok is right behind him, stopping him with a firm grasp on his elbow. Jungkook doesn’t think, just roughly wrenches his arm from the grip and swings around, fists ready. 

 

“What the fuck - ” Hoseok sputters, just as Jungkook takes a swing at him. 

 

But Jungkook is sloppy, uncoordinated, and Hoseok easily evades the punch. He grabs Jungkook’s arm and twists it around, using his drunken momentum to send him crashing into the wall face-first. Jungkook struggles for a few moments, cursing through his teeth. It’s futile, though, because not only is Jungkook impaired, but Hoseok has years more training and very rarely loses these wrestling matches even if Jungkook has the advantage of his size and weight. 

 

Jungkook lets out a resigned huff and stops struggling, going limp against the wall. As soon as he does, Hoseok flips him around and grasps the front of his shirt, jostling him roughly until Jungkook looks up. 

 

Hoseok is upset. Even through the alcohol, Jungkook can see that. His eyes have dark circles underneath from late nights working and watching after Jungkook, hair mussed from running stressed hands through it. His mouth his downturned in a frown, none of the usual cheeky amusement glimmering in his eyes. He suddenly looks older to Jungkook, every bit the overworked thirty-year-old he is. 

 

“What the fuck are you thinking?” Hoseok demands. “What’s going on with you?”

 

“Fuck you, man,” Jungkook grumbles, hanging his head and looking away. A wave of nausea rolls upward from his stomach. As soon as he lets out a groan and starts dry-heaving, Hoseok is dragging him toward the bathroom and pushing him through the open door. 

 

Jungkook stumbles inside, collapsing to his knees at the toilet and emptying his guts with a string of awful retching noises. Hoseok switches on the bathroom light and stands in the doorway, arms crossed as he watches on with pity in his eyes. Jungkook’s head hangs as he blindly grapples for the toilet handle, flushing away the sick. 

 

“Get a shower,” Hoseok orders. “You smell like a fucking bar. And brush your teeth.” 

 

Jungkook grumbles something unintelligible to the back of the bathroom door as Hoseok pulls it closed. He’s not sure how - probably on autopilot - but he gets the shower running. Strips down, peels off the bandages and tosses them at least partially into the trash. The room starts to get muggy from the hot shower, the mirror over the sink steaming and slowly blurring his reflection beyond recognition. He steadies himself on the tile wall and drags the curtain back before stepping in. 

 

He washes himself as best as he can, wasting globs of shampoo and making a mess. He gets soap in his eyes that makes them sting with tears, but he barely notices. He turns around to face the spray, eyes closed at the water dapples his skin, beading up and running in tiny streams down his chest and back. Over the tattoo back there, the widespread wings and shaded black feathers. Angel wings. Jimin had helped Jungkook come up with the design. 

 

“Do you think there’s room in heaven for people like us?” Jimin had asked him once. 

 

“Heaven?” Jungkook had repeated, looking back at him from the passenger seat. 

 

“Yeah,” Jimin had said, sending a look over to Jungkook. “You don’t believe in heaven?” 

 

“No,” Jungkook had quickly answered, shaking his head.

 

“Then you don’t believe in God, either?” 

 

Jungkook had answered honestly. “Haven’t thought much about it.”

 

“You see all this evil with your own eyes, but you don’t believe there’s a good side to it all?” 

 

Jungkook hadn’t had anything to say to that. 

 

“It’s a nice thought,” Jimin had gone on. “To think maybe there’s something waiting up there.” 

 

Jungkook had snorted at that. “I don’t think I’d make the guest-list.” 

 

Jimin had laughed, too. “Yeah. Who am I kidding? My name’s not on the list, either.” 

 

“That’s why I don’t want any part of it,” Jungkook had said. He’d turned toward Jimin, catching his gaze for a fraction of a moment. “If you’re not there when I get there, then what’s the point?” 

 

Jimin had laughed at that, too, and reached across to smack Jungkook on the arm. “Don’t say stupid shit like that. Surely we’ve got some good karma headed our way eventually. I think we’ll make it.” 

 

“Yeah,” Jungkook had said, nodding as he’d forced himself to stop staring at Jimin. “Maybe we will.”

 

By the time the memory has finished playing through his mind, Jungkook is on the shower floor. His face is in his hands as his body racks with sobs. He thinks he’s crying, maybe hot tears trapped under the tight press of his palms into his skin, fingertips over his eyelids. He loses his balance where he’s hunched over on his heels and falls sideways, point of his shoulder crashing into the tile wall as he lands on his ass. 

 

It’s your fault I’m like this

 

He’d done this to Jimin. He doesn’t know how or why or what happened, but he knows . He did this. This is his fault. It’s all his fault - everything. Jimin is damned for eternity. If there is a heaven, Jimin will never see it and it’s Jungkook’s fault

 

He’d sealed Jimin’s fate the moment they’d met - so many years ago. He can’t even remember his life before Jimin, if there even was one. They were practically raised together. Jimin had been a goner since the very beginning, doomed the moment his fate intertwined with Jungkook’s. Because there was no way to stop Jungkook falling for him, no way to stop that forward-moving train, no way to hit the brakes. No way to stop the crash and burn, no way to drag themselves out of the aftermath. He couldn’t keep Jimin safe, couldn’t stop whatever happened from happening. He can’t even remember what happened. 

 

And now Jungkook can’t do anything. He can’t fix Jimin. He can’t even find Jimin. He’s useless. He is nothing - shit at this job, shit at trying to pull himself together. Shit at being a friend, shit at being a brother. He’s lost in the dark, stumbling around and chasing after an echo of the only voice he can still hear. 

 

You can’t bring me back

 

Jungkook has been reduced to a shivering huddle of naked limbs when the bathroom door opens and the shower curtain pulls back. He doesn’t look up even as he hears the water being cut off, a warm towel draped over his back. 

 

“Come on,” Hoseok is mumbling, pulling at Jungkook in a fruitless effort to get him to his feet. “Jungkook. Get up. You need to go to bed.” 

 

Jungkook conquers one thing at a time. First, getting to his feet. Hoseok is there for him to balance against, making sure he gets his footing on the bathroom floor. Then, the walk to his bedroom. Hoseok eases Jungkook through the bathroom door, tugging and pulling him where he needs to go until they’ve made it into the bedroom. Lastly, getting into bed. Hoseok makes him wait as he pulls back the covers, then motions for him to get in underneath. 

 

Once Jungkook is settled, bath towel discarded on the floor and wet hair soaking into the pillowcase, Hoseok sits down on the bed next to him. 

 

“Kook,” Hoseok mumbles like he’s about to say something and then stops. He presses his lips into a thin line and reaches out, pushing Jungkook’s long bangs out of his face and to the side. 

 

Jungkook looks up at him with eyes that burn from tears, a wrung-out frown on his lips. He closes his eyes, feels two more fat tears slide down his temples and disappear into his wet hair. 

 

“This isn’t what he would have wanted for you,” Hoseok says quietly. 

 

Jungkook doesn’t say anything. He turns away, chest hiccuping with an aborted inhale. 

 

“Jimin wouldn’t have wanted this.”



They’re spread out on the hotel room floor on their bellies, playing cards scattered around on the abominable paisley carpet. They’d been playing a game of hand and foot, but the conversation had somehow derailed and now they’re arm wrestling. 

 

“You’re cheating somehow,” Jimin says, eyeing Jungkook skeptically as he flexes his hand and readjusts the placement of his elbow. 

 

“How do you cheat at arm wrestling?” Jungkook questions, smirking as Jimin fits their hands back together.

 

“You tell me,” Jimin says, wrinkling his nose. “You’re the one cheating.” 

 

Jungkook doesn’t feel the pressing need to rush the next round, not with Jimin’s warm hand slotted snugly in his own. “You realize you’re the one that actually cheated at cards.” 

 

Jimin squints playfully, tilting his head to mimic a thoughtful expression. “Is it really cheating if I don’t get caught, or is it just strategy? You know, like if a tree falls in the woods and there’s no one around to hear it?”

 

Jungkook rolls his lips to keep from laughing. “But you did get caught.” 

 

“It’s your word against mine,” Jimin says, quirking his eyebrows in challenge. 

 

“Then let’s settle it. Right here, right now,” Jungkook says, squeezing Jimin’s hand to make his point. 

 

“Winner takes it all,” Jimin replies, shifting around and wiggling his shoulders a bit excitedly. 

 

Jungkook has to consciously wipe the endeared look off his face. “What are we playing for, again?” he questions with a raised brow. 

 

Jimin hums, inhaling deeply as he purses his lips in contemplation. Then he giggles. “World peace.” 

 

“Oh, is that all?” Jungkook says with a lopsided grin. 

 

“Mhm,” Jimin hums. He tightens his grip on Jungkook’s hand and sends him a stern look, pursed lips and narrowed eyes. “On the count of three.” 

 

Jungkook nods once, bangs falling in his face. 

 

“One,” Jimin says slowly, drawing out the syllable. “Two... three!” 

 

Jungkook feigns putting up a tough fight, biting his lip and scrunching his face in exaggerated effort. Then he gives in, letting Jimin slam his hand down on the carpet and take the win.

 

“You let me win,” Jimin says through a laugh.

 

“Who, me?” Jungkook questions, eyes wide and scandalized as he points to his own chest. 

 

Jimin laughs again, giving such a massive roll of his eyes it physically rolls his body over with it until he’s sprawled out on his back. Jungkook watches for a bit, lost on the way Jimin’s hair falls away from his forehead and his eyes flutter shut. 

 

After a moment, Jungkook rolls over onto his own back, staring at the ceiling. 

 

They lay there for a while, staring at the yellow nicotine stains on the old hotel room ceiling, not caring about the questionably sanitary carpet under their backs. Even if silence is comfortable between them, Jimin eventually tires of it. 

 

“Don’t you ever miss dating?” Jimin questions. 

 

Jungkook tosses a look at Jimin, but he’s still just looking straight up at the ceiling. He quickly averts his eyes before Jimin catches him. “Never really dated much to begin with.” 

 

Jimin lets out a huff of a laugh. “Okay. Don’t you ever miss sex?” 

 

Jungkook almost chokes. He manages to keep his cool by the slimmest margin. “Y-yeah, I guess.” 

 

“I mean, no one’s stopping you,” Jimin continues. “We can always get separate rooms if you wanna… you know. Bring someone back to the hotel one night.”

 

Clearing his throat and shifting around to release the growing tension in his limbs, Jungkook stares upward and adamantly keeps his eyes off the man next to him. “Nah, I think I’m good. We can if you want to, though.” 

 

“Why is that?”

 

“Why is what?” 

 

“Why don’t you want to bring anyone back?”

 

Jungkook can’t resist then. He turns his head to look over at Jimin, taking in the profile of his face and the serene expression. 

 

Sensing Jungkook’s eyes on him, Jimin turns to look. He gives a smile, face inverted from the way they’re lying but no less beautiful. 

 

Jungkook feels his heart give a hard twinge. This is where he’d cut off the conversation, chickened out and brushed it off. He’d taken one look into those brown eyes, peering back at him expectantly. Waiting for an answer or an explanation of some kind. His only explanation would have been because I only want you or something equally as ridiculous. 

 

He realizes now, though, reliving this memory in his dreams, that he should have taken the chance. Back then he’d never thought of the possibility that he would run out of chances. 

 

Now, just lucid enough to voice his own thoughts, Jungkook takes a breath.

 

“I should have kissed you.” 

 

Jimin - this dream version of him - only smiles, eyes gently searching Jungkook’s face. “Why didn’t you?” 

 

“I don’t know,” Jungkook lies. Because he knows he’d been too scared, too worried about messing things up. Too hung up on the what if’s. Too afraid to sabotage what they already had. 

 

“If you could go back in time and change it, would you?” 

 

Jungkook nods, brows furrowing with how much he means what he says. “I’d change a lot of things. So many things.” 

 

“Like what?” 

 

“Everything.” Jungkook swallows, feeling the frown tugging at his bottom lip.

 

Jimin’s smile softens. “You can kiss me now.” 

 

Jungkook’s chest aches. He inhales deeply, closing his eyes. When he opens them, Jimin is still there just the same. No black eyes, no cruel smile. Just the same smile he remembers, easy and warm. “You’re not the real you, though.” 

 

Jimin - dream Jimin, memory Jimin - doesn’t say anything to that. He just smiles, forever ingrained in Jungkook’s memory that way. 

 

Jungkook thinks about it. He thinks about how he could do this, indulge in these lucid dreams. There’s no one here to tell him what’s good or bad for him. He thinks this is just a memory, not one where the real Jimin is tuning in. Otherwise he’s certain it would have turned into a nightmare by now. He almost would prefer it that way - something to snap him out of this, put him out of his misery. Or he could lean over, press their lips together and suffer later when his imagination supplies him with how it might have felt. 

 

He tears his eyes away from Jimin’s face, rolling his head over to look back at the ceiling. He closes his eyes and counts to three. One… two… three.

 

When he opens them, it’s to the ceiling of his bedroom in his apartment. 



The drive to the airport to drop Hoseok off is uneventful, though there’s some underlying tension none of the three of them mention. It’s later in the evening, dark falling earlier in the day with the changing seasons. Taehyung is behind the wheel, navigating them to the terminal while Hoseok chatters from the passenger seat. Jungkook is somewhat relieved he’s been exiled to the back seat. Something about the idea of riding shotgun makes his stomach clench. 

 

He’s been dreaming the same dream every night for the past few nights. He and Jimin in the old car, the night Jimin had disappeared. He knows it’s significant somehow, but he’s been avoidant. He’s not even sure anything unusual had happened that night, not that he can remember. He has no idea why it keeps replaying every night. Why even Jimin seems to avoid the topic. 

 

He doesn’t have time to think about that now, though. Taehyung pulls the car up to idle along the curb as Hoseok gets out and heads to the trunk to unload. Jungkook pulls himself out of the backseat, still slightly sore but mostly recovered from his injuries. He lets Hoseok and Taehyung get the bags, though, and watches as Hoseok pats himself down to check for his essentials. 

 

“Got everything?” Taehyung questions, looking at Hoseok fondly. 

 

“Yeah!” Hoseok says, chipper as always. He drags Taehyung in for a hug then, giving him a solid pat on the back. As he draws away, they look into each other’s eyes and have some sort of unspoken conversation between themselves. Then Hoseok gives Taehyung one last firm clap on the shoulder and turns to Jungkook. 

 

Jungkook reluctantly ambles up to Hoseok before he makes a scene, letting himself get dragged into a crushing hug. 

 

“Please take care of yourself,” Hoseok says, voice low and close to Jungkook’s ear.

 

“No promises,” Jungkook mumbles. 

 

Hoseok pulls back, clamping both hands around Jungkook’s face and narrowing his eyes seriously. Jungkook reflexively tries to withdraw, unsettled by the close proximity, but Hoseok is steadfast. “No, I want a promise,” Hoseok states firmly. “Or I’m not getting on that plane.” 

 

Jungkook clenches his jaw, close enough to feel the near tangible heat from Hoseok’s intense stare. He wants to take a step back, let the moment fizzle out to nothing. But he doesn’t back down. 

 

“I’m serious,” Hoseok states. “Promise me.” 

 

“Okay,” Jungkook sighs, eyes falling and landing somewhere on Hoseok’s chest, the sidewalk behind him. Anywhere but his eyes. 

 

“Okay, what?” 

 

Okay, I promise.” 

 

Hoseok lets go of him then, inhaling deeply with his mouth pinched into a flat line. He sends one last smile and parting wave to Taehyung, and then he gathers his bags to leave. 

 

Jungkook doesn’t say anything, just heads back to the car. He gets into the passenger seat and tries not to imagine turning to see someone else on the driver’s side. 

 

Once Taehyung is in the driver’s seat, buckled in and turning over the engine, he casts a quick look over at Jungkook. “You okay?” 

 

Jungkook’s brows drop in confusion. “Why would I not be okay?” 

 

“That was just… intense, is all,” Taehyung suggests. 

 

“He makes me promise him shit like that all the time.” 

 

Taehyung is quiet, heeding the signs to guide them out of the airport and back to the highway. After a few more minutes, the car is humming along with traffic as Taehyung takes them on the route back to Jungkook’s apartment. They’re both quiet until they reach Jungkook’s apartment block and Taehyung pipes up over the din of the stereo. 

 

“I found you a lead,” Taehyung says. 

 

Jungkook doesn’t say anything, just turns to look at Taehyung expectantly. 

 

“One of my friends from a few towns over asked me for help tracking down a demon that possessed one of the students at the local high school - ”

 

“Why are you telling me this?” Jungkook interrupts. 

 

Taehyung doesn’t meet his gaze under the guise of carefully maneuvering the car along the sidewalk in front of Jungkook’s apartment building. He’s still quiet as he puts the car into park and slumps back in his seat, licking his lips nervously. “I thought you would be ready to get back to hunting by now.” 

 

“Yeah,” Jungkook states. “Jimin. Not some random pest control problem at a high school.” 

 

“It’s a case,” Taehyung says. “You haven’t actually worked one of those in a while.” 

 

“I’ve been working a case,” Jungkook contends. He shifts around in the seat so he can get a better look at Taehyung’s face as they talk.

 

“I thought maybe you needed a break from that,” Taehyung says, voice lowering as he averts his eyes. 

 

“So, what?” Jungkook questions impatiently. “Are you gonna help me find him or not?” 

 

“I don’t know.” 

 

“You don’t know.” Jungkook huffs. He goes to unbuckle the seatbelt but struggles for a moment, only getting more and more frustrated as he yanks at the clasp. He gets it free and the seatbelt retracts, metal latch banging noisily against the car interior. “Stop wasting my time, then.” 

 

“Stop wasting your time?” Taehyung says grimly, shaking his head but still not looking at Jungkook. “Wow.” 

 

Jungkook doesn’t bother responding. He gets the car door open, but Taehyung’s not done. 

 

“I feel like I don’t even know who you are anymore.”

 

It’s enough to make Jungkook pause, one foot on the sidewalk outside the car and back turned to Taehyung. 

 

“Hoseok was right,” Taehyung says. “This isn’t healthy. I shouldn't have even helped you get this far.” 

 

Jungkook feels his pulse spike, fingernails digging into his palms. He doesn’t want to fight - not with Taehyung. He pushes himself out of the car and slams it shut behind himself. He doesn’t look back as he hears the crunch of gravel under the tires as they turn and pull away from the curb, back out onto the street. 

 

Inside his apartment, he kills as much time as he feasibly can rummaging around in his belongings, sorting things on the dining room table and setting out on tasks to keep himself occupied. Finding that one set of brass knuckles he bought himself a few months ago, reorganizing his gun cleaning kit, sharpening his knife, restocking his supply of holy water. He can only procrastinate going to bed for so long, though. As much shit as he’d given Hoseok about being here, it had been a minor sense of relief having another person to divert the empty feeling that sinks in at full force now. 

 

He manages to pass a few hours like that. Eventually, though, it’s well after midnight and he finds himself sitting on the couch, nodding off every few minutes as he watches a game show rerun on TV. He wills himself up and off the couch, shuffling down the hallway and getting undressed down to his boxers for bed. 

 

As he crawls under the covers and settles in, he stares at the wall, suddenly wide awake. 

 

It must be psychological. He knows, consciously and subconsciously, that he’s going to have the dream again. He’d drank himself out of whiskey a few nights ago and hasn’t made a trip to the liquor store yet, and Hoseok had wiped out his stash of beer. Taehyung has prescription sleeping pills. However, that not only requires a trip to Taehyung’s apartment in the dead of night but also apologizing to Taehyung - neither of which sound particularly appealing. 

 

So he stares at the wall. Flips over, gets tangled in his blanket. Gets hot and kicks it off. Gets cold again and pulls it back on. This goes on for a solid forty minutes before Jungkook caves and finally pulls out his cell phone. He fully intends to scroll through some news updates, maybe go back and skim over some old attachments from Taehyung about the case. He even gets so far as to pull up an article to read, one of the many articles about the 8-victim murder from weeks ago. He knows there’s nothing there or else Taehyung would have brought it to his attention, but it’s better than the alternative. 

 

Which is opening his photo gallery and scrolling way, way back in time.

 

He’s doing it before it even fully clicks in his head that that’s what he’s doing. His thumb flicks across the screen, pictures flying in a blur in front of his eyes until he reaches the very bottom. Years and years ago. Pictures of his family and Hoseok, pictures of places and people all across the country. Pictures of Taehyung - a tiny grin actually plays at the corner of Jungkook’s lips when he realizes how young Taehyung looks in these pictures and how much he’s changed. 

 

And, scattered among all the pictures, blended right into this catalog of his adult life, are pictures of Jimin. Nearly every place Jungkook has ever been, every diner he’s eaten at or city he’s passed through or road-side stop he’s ever made, Jimin was there. Sometimes at the forefront of the picture, sometimes in the background, sometimes on the opposite side of the lens. Jungkook has always been tentative to take pictures of himself, but Jimin would grab his phone and squeeze them into the frame sometimes. 

 

He stops on an old picture of all three of them - he, Taehyung, and Jimin. Taehyung is pulling a face as Jimin is threatening to kiss his cheek with exaggerated puckered lips. Jungkook is off on the side, partially cut out of frame but held in place by Jimin’s fingers hooked on the collar of his shirt. None of them are smiling, really. Taehyung had been pretending he didn’t like the attention. Jungkook had been too busy trying to look annoyed but failing because the glint in his eyes is there and a faint smile crinkles at the corners of his eyes. He can’t even remember when or why this picture was taken. From the looks of it, it was years ago. He checks the date - 

 

His stomach turns over. 

 

The picture was taken just a few weeks shy of three years ago. Late autumn. He and Jimin had stopped by home on the way to another case. Taehyung had begged them to stop by - he hadn’t seen them for months by then. They’d gone out for drinks that night, started at the bar and ended up going back home just to drink even more. Jimin had been the designated driver - he had always known his limits and held his liquor well. He’d have a drink or two and then sober up, but he was never a buzzkill. He’d party right along with them, crank the music up and scream the lyrics to their favorite songs. Jungkook remembers that night a little better now - drinking games and rough-housing and the three of them getting rowdy enough to have the next-door neighbor banging on the wall. 

 

As it all slowly comes back to him, he barely registers the smile creeping onto his face. Jimin had taken away Jungkook’s phone after the fourth him he’d tried to look up the real rules to the card game they’d been playing. Taehyung had been fine going by Jimin’s game rules, but Jungkook had been skeptical that drink twice if your last name is Jeon was a real rule. Then at some point Jimin had flopped down on one side of Taehyung, snagged Jungkook by the shirt collar to keep him from escaping, and snapped the picture in a matter of seconds. He’d been about to take more, but Jungkook had wrestled the phone away from him and somehow succeeded. 

 

From there, things are fuzzy. Jungkook’s smile slips as he remembers just how drunk he’d been that night. He can’t remember much of anything that happened - so long ago and so much alcohol in his system. He remembers a glimpse or two. The sidewalk under his feet as Taehyung and Jimin had walked him to the car, one arm slung over each of their shoulders. Taehyung waving goodbye through the passenger window, cheeks flushed from the cold and the alcohol and a dopey grin on his face. 

 

Watch for black ice on the road

 

The car hadn’t made it fifteen seconds down the street before pulling over for Jungkook to shove open the door and throw up onto the asphalt. 

 

Just get home safe  

 

It’s with a sick feeling that he realizes the picture was taken the last night he’d seen Jimin. He closes out of the picture and pushes his phone away. He’s kind of known all along, somewhere in the back of his mind. He knows something happened that night that he’s not remembering. He also knows that maybe if he hadn’t been shitfaced drunk, maybe he could have stopped it. He tries to piece together what happened after his memory goes completely black, but it’s useless. He’s done this before to no avail. He’d spent countless hours every night for months trying to figure it out. 

 

All he remembers is waking up in the hospital the next day. The police had tried to slap him with a public intoxication charge after they found him passed out in a ditch somewhere, but Hoseok had been there to smooth things over. Jungkook hadn’t even realized Jimin was missing at first. He remembers that being the worst hangover of his entire life, but it still never stopped him from drinking after that. It took hours for them to realize Jimin was gone, too busy worrying about Jungkook’s sorry ass. 

 

By the time they’d figured out Jimin was missing, the string of murders had already started. The rest is history, documented and compiled in a thick stack on Jungkook’s dining room table. 

 

Part of him wants to call Taehyung and ask questions. The other part realizes he’s lost that privilege for the time being. He knows he’s been pushing it with Taehyung for a while now, and he wouldn’t be surprised if Taehyung means it when he says he doesn’t know if he wants to help Jungkook anymore. It occurs to Jungkook that he’s never once stopped to ask Taehyung how he feels about this whole thing. One of Taehyung’s lifelong best friends has turned into a murderous demon and the other one has been chasing after him relentlessly for the past three years, rarely saying thank you and taking Taehyung for granted at every turn. He’s about as good at apologies as he is admitting his feelings. 

 

Somehow, amidst the maelstrom of self-blame and regrets, he falls asleep. 



He can feel the dream before he sees it this time. The pur of the car engine, the white noise of the air through the open window. He’s ready for it when he opens his eyes, turning his head to the driver’s side. 

 

Jimin doesn’t look back at him right away. He’s facing ahead, hands on the wheel just like always. He doesn’t seem surprised when Jungkook speaks, like he’s been waiting. 

 

“Tell me what happened on this night.” 

 

Jimin turns his head then, apathy in the lax set of his mouth. “Figure it out yourself.” 

 

“I can’t,” Jungkook says, voice breaking. He wants to reach out, to grab hold of Jimin and shake him. Try to get him to understand - he has to know. He needs to know. But the heaviness in his limbs won’t let him, and he’s trapped inside his own useless body. “I can’t remember. I’ve tried.” 

 

Jimin barely blinks as he turns back away. “Why is that my problem?” 

 

“You want me to remember,” Jungkook argues. “You want me to know what happened or you wouldn’t be talking to me. It’s you, isn’t it? You’re showing me this, aren’t you?” 

 

Jimin stares out the darkened window for a prolonged moment, face and body relaxed like none of this even slightly bothers him. Like this is another waste of his time all over again. He’s either indifferent or he’s a master at pretending he is.

 

“Please,” Jungkook says, breaths coming quicker as his desperation starts to take over. “Please just tell me. I need to know. Tell me what happened.” 

 

A disdainful noise escapes through Jimin’s teeth as he shakes his head. “Pathetic,” he grumbles. 

 

“What, did it stop being fun already?” Jungkook questions, a challenging edge to his voice as he watches Jimin’s face closely. 

 

“It stopped being fun a long time ago.” 

 

“Then please,” Jungkook breathes. “Just tell me.” 

 

Jimin is silent, gaze steady ahead of him at the black nothingness through the windshield. 

 

Jungkook closes his eyes. He wants to wake up now. This is pointless. This is getting him nowhere. How much time has he wasted already on this, racking his brain and digging through every scrap of every memory he can conjure up? Hours and hours trying to figure it out, trying to understand, trying to remember. It’s been a waste of time. Maybe Jimin is just fucking with him now. Getting a kick out of watching Jungkook scramble and plead, watching him come apart at the seams every single night as this same fucking dream replays over and over and over. The car - the cold - the wind - the eyes - the smile. Every night. Every fucking night. If Jungkook could move, if he could only get past this incessant heaviness weighing down every part of his body, he might start pulling at his own hair.

 

“Jimin,” he pleads, barely a whisper that gets caught on the fluttering wind.

 

Jimin looks at him then and, stunning Jungkook into silence, smiles. “Oh, man, you’re so wasted,” he says, and Jungkook is floored, completely confused because he sounds gentle. His eyes are almost fond, smile softening as he begins to reach over across the center console toward Jungkook. He touches the side of Jungkook’s face, thumb sliding over his cheekbone. 

 

Jungkook leans into the touch and feels his eyes shut against his will. 

 

“We’re almost there,” Jimin says, barely loud enough to hear over the wind. Then he laughs softly, and Jungkook opens his eyes just in time to see him turn his smile away. “What am I gonna do with you? You can’t even walk straight.” 

 

“Jus’ carry me,” Jungkook finds himself mumbling back. 

 

Jimin laughs again, lower than his normal laugh, raspier. “How am I supposed to do that? You’re heavy.” 

 

“Princess style,” Jungkook answers through a rumbling chuckle. 

 

Jimin snorts. “As pretty as you are, you’re not exactly built like a princess.” 

 

“Y’think m’pretty?” 

 

At that, Jimin casts an unreadable look over at Jungkook. “I think a lot of things about you that I don’t tell you.” 

 

Jungkook hums and watches Jimin’s hands on the wheel, holding it steady like they’re headed down a long, straight highway. “Me too. Think a lot about you, too.” 

 

Jimin huffs, shaking his head. “Don’t say shit like that, Jungkookie.” 

 

“Why not?” 

 

“You’ll give me the wrong idea.” 

 

“Maybe s’not wrong,” Jungkook mumbles, rolling his head to look forward. 

 

Outside the window, he can see the road. Yellow and white lines flashing past, the jagged tree silhouettes gliding by on either side in the distance. The road seems to go on forever, stretching out for miles. There’s a bridge up ahead, approaching steadily but seeming to stay at a distance. A yellow caution sign approaches. Bridge Ices Before Road.

 

Without looking and without thinking - mind completely blank, Jungkook reaches over. Slides his palm over Jimin’s thigh and leaves it there. He either hears or imagines Jimin’s breath hitching, thinks maybe it did because when he turns to look, Jimin’s jaw is dropped in surprise.

 

Time skips a beat, making room for this second. Giving Jungkook just enough time to take it in, just a glimpse. Jungkook swears he’ll remember it, he’ll never forget this moment. Jimin’s face, eyes wide and face half-cloaked in shadow, mouth parted like he’s about to say something but can’t quite find the words. He’s going to remember this, Jungkook thinks. He has to remember this, because this is it. This is the moment - there’s no going back. Not tonight or tomorrow morning or the next day. It took all this ethanol coursing through his bloodstream, all these years of thinking about it, of cutting himself short before he said the words and stopping himself before he caved to the urges. But this is finally it. 

 

Jimin speaks, voice straining around his name. 

 

“Jungkook, what are you - ”

 

Jungkook pitches sideways as the car loses traction, spinning out of control. He claws at the seat, bracing himself against the momentum. In a split second, before Jungkook can even drag in a breath, the car crashes through the guardrail and flies off the bridge.

 

There’s a feeling of weightlessness for a moment, a feeling like he couldn’t scream if he wanted to because all the air gets punched right out of his lungs. The car nose dives and hits the water like a physical wall, throwing them both forward and slinging them around inside like ragdolls. 

 

Jungkook hears Jimin screaming fuck fuck and it’s flooding, get out, it’s flooding and he feels the car start to sink. The water is pouring in through the open windows, ice cold, so cold it aches but they’re both prying at their seatbelts in panic.

 

Jungkook is still yanking at his buckle, still gasping for air as the water fills up over the seat. His hands start going numb as the water keeps flooding in, rising higher and higher with every heartbeat in his eardrums. 

 

In seconds, the water is up to his chest. 

 

Then his neck. 

 

Then he’s choking, coughing up water before he sucks in one last breath, and he’s completely under. 

 

It’s cold, too cold to move. He holds his breath, pulse like thunder in his ears but starting to fade to background noise. 

 

He can’t remember what he was doing - he can’t remember how to get out or why he was trying to. His arms relax, floating out in front of him in the darkness. His entire body feels feather-light, mind softening to static.

 

He inhales. 

 

Water rushes down his throat and into his lungs, scorching hot, burning, burning, burning

 

Only for a second. Then it doesn’t hurt anymore. 

 

It doesn’t hurt. Everything just goes white. 



still there?

 

...still there, Jungkookie?

 

Are you still there, Jungkookie?

 

He gasps for air as he breaks through the surface, treading ice cold water. Something heavy drags him back down, but he lets out a scream into the black night and pulls against it. Pulling, dragging, still gasping. His feet finally hit the silty bottom and he turns to kick backward, push off. He loses his leverage and slips, plunging back beneath the surface. He shoves himself back up though, keeps pulling, dragging. Water burns in his throat and pours out of his mouth and nose as he coughs it up, blinding him as it runs into his eyes.

 

It’s so heavy. Whatever is pulling him down, whatever is dragging him back under, it’s so heavy

 

His entire body is shuddering hard, teeth clattering so loud he can hear it between every grunt and hoarse yell that punches out of his chest. He keeps pulling, hands clutched so tight it hurts, biting out another deafening grunt with every heave. It only gets heavier and heavier the lower the water gets until soon he’s on his hands and knees, sobbing but still going. Still pulling even as the water fights against him, even as it gets heavier and heavier, even when his muscles burn like they’ll give out any second. 

 

When he makes it out of the water, he collapses onto his stomach onto mud and grass. He drags in a few gasps and then pushes his trembling body back up. The thing he’s dragging is right beside him and he turns toward it, reaching for it. 

 

It’s a body. 

 

“N-n- no,” he stutters. His voice isn’t his - that’s not his voice it’s -

 

He grabs at the body, every breath bursting from him as a broken cry. He grabs at the soaking wet material on the person’s back - leather, it’s dark brown leather - and pulls hard. 

 

 “O-oh god. Oh god.”

 

The body rolls over. 

 

Jungkook stares down at himself - his face, his body. 

 

Oh god oh god - ” he’s screaming, over and over, but it’s not his voice. It’s Jimin’s. They’re not his hands that scramble over his body, they’re Jimin’s. 

 

Jungkook is watching, reliving, through Jimin’s eyes. 

 

He - Jimin - checks Jungkook’s pulse with a shaking hand. Nothing - no heartbeat. Not even the faintest flutter of a pulse. He leans over quickly, ear to his chest. Still nothing. 

 

“Juh-Jungkook, oh god, oh god no. No-no-no- nooo - ” Jimin’s voice draws the words out into a wail - a long, blood-curdling wail that rings out into the night. 

 

Tears cloud his eyes, pouring down his face as he sobs. He starts doing chest compressions, still gasping, still sobbing. His voice is hoarse, cracking on every prolonged cry. 

 

Jungkook watches as water gurgles and pours out of his own mouth with every chest compression, pouring out of the corners and running down. He can only watch, too shocked to process anything, as Jimin tries to resuscitate him. Can only listen to the sound of Jimin’s cries, the growing despair in his broken voice. 

 

It goes on for what feels like hours but could only have been a handful of minutes. 

 

Then, Jimin collapses on top of Jungkook’s chest, entire frame stuttering with full-body sobs. 

 

This only lasts a few moments. 

 

Jimin suddenly stops. Stops sobbing into Jungkook’s lifeless body, stops crying. There aren’t any tears blurring his vision as he draws back, drags himself to his feet. He stumbles a bit as he takes a few steps forward. He looks around frantically, barely able to see in the dark. 

 

He’s looking for something, but Jungkook has no idea what. 

 

Whatever it is, it strikes Jimin. He stumbles back over to Jungkook’s body, falling to his knees. He grabs for Jungkook’s right leg, struggling against the wet denim until he gets his pants leg pushed back. He claws the knife out of Jungkook’s ankle holster and then reels back, panting heavily through his mouth. He sets the knife aside as he works his jacket off his shoulders, letting it fall onto the muddy ground behind him. Then he’s grabbing the bottom of his shirt, yanking it off over head and snatching the knife back into his hand. 

 

Knife in his palm, he takes a few deep breaths. He holds his left arm out, wrist facing up.

 

Without hesitating, he makes a deep cut in his arm and watches the blood pour from the wound. It barely stings, barely registers as pain. Jungkook watches, horror encompassing the shock and taking over, steadily growing as a pent-up scream of no no no no in his mind.

 

Jimin drops the knife onto the ground. He wipes his fingers through the blood. Then he looks down at his bare chest, bringing his fingertips to the skin. 

 

He starts drawing shapes in the blood, sloppy and almost unintelligible. 

 

Jungkook recognizes them - 

 

No no no stop stop what are you doing Jimin stop

 

Jimin draws the sigils onto his own skin, finishing off the last one with still shaking hands. 

 

He takes a breath, swallows hard. Squeezes his eyes shut, hands tightening into bloodied fists. The cut on his arm weeps, blood oozing out and flowing down his wrist, dripping from his hand. 

 

Jungkook’s body lay perfectly still, eyes closed peacefully. Skin bone-white, color drained from his lips. Jungkook’s never seen himself asleep, never seen a picture of himself. He wonders if that’s what he looks like right now while he’s having this nightmare. He wishes it were just a bad dream. He wishes it wouldn’t be real when he wakes up. 

 

Sensing a presence, Jimin looks up. He looks around the area in front of him - the empty woods, the slope of the embankment leading down into the water.

 

He turns and sees a man standing a few steps away, looking curiously between Jimin and the body beside him. 

 

Jimin pushes to his feet. 

 

The man steps forward and Jungkook commits the face to memory. He’s a thin man in a black suit, white-blonde hair sweeping across his forehead. His eyes are narrowed in contemplation as he looks from the body on the ground to meet Jimin’s eyes. The shape of his eyes is sharp, distinct. It’s hard to forget what a person’s eyes look like when they flash to demonic black the way the man’s do.

 

“How can I help you?” the man questions casually, deep voice an unsettling contrast to the devastated screams still haunting the quiet nighttime. 

 

Catching his breath, Jimin points back at Jungkook’s body with his bloody hand. “Bring him back.” 

 

The demon looks at Jungkook’s body again, tilting his head and pursing his lips. “He’s already dead.” 

 

“You think I don’t know that?” Jimin snaps, voice so hoarse it cracks on every syllable. “I said bring him back.”

 

The demon doesn’t even blink. He fixes Jimin with a vacant look. “That’s a tall order.” 

 

“Do it,” Jimin demands. “I know you can.” 

 

“It’s going to cost you.” 

 

I don’t care,” Jimin screams, voice shredding and wrought with desperation as he drags out the words. His face twists in pain and he throws his arm out again, pointing at Jungkook’s body more forcefully. “Bring him back. I don’t care what it costs.” 

 

The demon slides his hands into the pockets of his dress pants, regarding Jimin with utter apathy. “Maybe you should care.” 

 

Jimin’s breathing is ragged as his hand falls back to his side. “I don’t,” he states. “My life for his? Is that what it takes?” 

 

“Not exactly,” the demon states, shifting his weight over to one hip. His eyes are bottomless holes in the dark as he traps Jimin with a look. “His life for your soul.” 

 

Jimin’s brows pinch in confusion, body suddenly giving a hard shiver. Water drips from his hair down his neck, sliding down and mixing with the blood sigils smeared on his chest. The cut on his arm starts to sting, lungs burning with cold air as his breath comes out in clouds of vapor. “What do you mean, my soul?” 

 

The demon rolls his eyes and lets out a sigh. “Do you want the deal or not?”

 

Jimin’s head drops, chin to his chest. He turns around to look at Jungkook’s body, still lying just a few steps behind him. Then he turns back, eyes squeezed shut tight. 

 

Jungkook is still screaming no a thousand times, over and over. Begging, pleading for this to not be real. For this to just be a nightmare. 

 

Jimin nods. He looks up into the demon’s black eyes and says, “Yes.” 

 

No -

 

The demon gestures for Jimin to come closer. “Do you know how this works?” 

 

Jimin shakes his head numbly. 

 

“A kiss to seal the deal,” the demon states. “And then it’s done.” 

 

“How do I know you’ll bring him back?” Jimin questions in the middle of taking a step forward. 

 

“We don’t go back on our deals.” 

 

“There’s no tricks?” Jimin demands, voice hard. 

 

The demon shakes his head. “His life for your soul. Simple as that.” 

 

Don’t do it, please don’t do it oh god

 

Jimin takes a step forward at the same time as the demon. 

 

It’s already done, Jungkookie

 

When they’re at arm’s reach, the demon reaches out. Jimin closes his eyes. 

 

This can’t be real, this can’t be happening  

 

Jimin sucks in a breath, and leans in. 

 

It is real. It did happen.

 

The kiss is over in a split second. When Jimin opens his eyes, the demon is gone.

 

Behind him, he hears Jungkook gag and throw up, water splattering onto the soggy ground. 

 

Jimin turns around and watches Jungkook heave, back hunched over as he coughs up more and more water. Then, after a few moments, Jungkook collapses onto his back. 

 

Jimin walks over, tripping in the dark and landing harshly on his hands and knees beside Jungkook. His hands find Jungkook’s neck, fingers pressing against his pulse. He feels a heartbeat, weak but steady. He lets out a sigh of relief. Jungkook is passed out, eyes fluttering behind his eyelids like he’s dreaming. 

 

A knot forms in Jimin’s throat. He swallows it down hard, body suddenly feeling too weak to hold himself upright. His head feels light as he reaches out for Jungkook, darkness creeping in around the edges of his vision. 

 

“Jungkook, I - ”



He doesn’t so much wake up screaming as he wakes up and then starts screaming. He’s up out of bed in an instant, thrashing the covers down behind him and knocking his nightstand over. 

 

“No, what the fuck, no,” he yells, nearly doubled over with an overwhelming sick feeling. Then he’s pacing the room like a caged tiger, fingertips digging into his scalp on either side of his head. His mind is racing too fast to string together two thoughts, too fast to really process everything that just happened. For a moment he starts convincing himself it was all just a nightmare - none of it was real. It was just a bad dream, all of it. There’s no such thing as dream telepathy bullshit, there’s no fucking way he and Jimin are somehow connected by their dreams. It’s absolutely fucking crazy. It’s impossible

 

And least believable of all - there’s no fucking way Jimin, his Jimin, who he’s known practically his entire life and who taught him more than half of everything he knows about hunting demons, sold his soul to become one. There’s no way Jungkook died that night. He actually laughs out loud - a sharp, harsh laugh in the dull quiet of his bedroom. He’d remember fucking drowning for fuck’s sake. Drunk or not, there’s no reason he would have just blocked that little detail out of his memory. 

 

But then - 

 

Jimin had known about the dreams. And as much as it had felt like a nightmare, it had also felt like a dense fog lifting from some part of his mind after years of being there. So long he’d gotten used to it, that he didn’t even really think about how that chunk of his memory was gone. Chalked it up to a rough night drinking. It adds up too well, though. The dream in the car, the conversations with Jimin. His definitive memories of that night and the morning after - the timing of it all. He knows denial better than anyone, but he can’t deny this. 

 

It is real

 

The acceptance of the facts brings him to his knees, like every muscle in his legs suddenly gives out at once. 

 

It did happen

 

As he’s crouched on the floor, hands clamped over his mouth to muffle his sobs, he looks up and spots his phone on the floor right beside him where it had toppled off the nightstand. His lamp is on the floor next to it, shade askew. He switches on the lamp and sets it up right with shaking hands, then grabs his phone. 

 

Taehyung answers after a few rings, humming sleepily. “Hello? ” 

 

“Tae,” Jungkook rasps, falling back to lean against the bed and pull his knees toward his chest.

 

Immediately, Taehyung registers something is wrong. “What’s wrong? Where are you?

 

“Home,” Jungkook manages. 

 

What’s going on?

 

“I - ” Jungkook sucks in a breath. “It was me - it was my fault. He did it because of me, Tae. He did it because of me.” 

 

Wh-what? What are you talking about, Kook?  Who?” 

 

He suddenly realizes he can’t tell Taehyung. He hasn’t even told him about the dreams. Taehyung might think he’s really lost his mind if he does. Maybe he has lost his mind. He swallows hard, pushing two fingers into his eyelids to smear away the tears. “Nothing. It’s nothing. Just another nightmare.” 

 

Taehyung falls into skeptical silence. “I’m gonna come over.” 

 

“No, no - it’s fine. I’m fine,” Jungkook says raggedly. Nothing about his tone is going to sell that lie to Taehyung, though. 

 

I’ll be there in a few,” Taehyung says before hanging up, leaving no room for further argument. 

 

Jungkook exhales as he drops the hand with his phone in it to his lap, sagging over his crossed legs as tears drip from his face to his bare legs. He lifts his phone again to check the time and another fat tear splatters on the front, blurring the numbers on the digital clock. As he’s wiping down the screen with the flat of his hand, he accidentally unlocks his phone. 

 

The same picture of the three of them is pulled up, having never been closed. His ribcage seems to contract, lungs and heart compressed painfully under the psychosomatic pressure. Everything rushes through him bodily all over again - the car wreck, the sinking, the burn of breathing in water. Staring down at his own dead body through his best friend’s eyes. The aching screams, the biting cold, the leaden agony in the air. It had been so quiet, somewhere deep in the middle of nowhere on a barren country highway where only the stars and shadowed trees could hear the pain ripping through the silence. 

 

He doesn’t even realize what he’s done before he hears the shattering of glass, shards falling onto wood and carpet. He doesn’t look up, doesn’t stop rocking as he buries his face in his hands. 

 

That’s how Taehyung finds him a few minutes later. He hears the unlocking of his front door and Taehyung calling out to him carefully. His bedroom light clicks on and Taehyung gasps and mutters an oh my god

 

“Kook, what the hell happened? Why is your mirror broken? There’s glass all over the place.”

 

Jungkook grabs the closest corner of his bedsheet he can reach and uses it to scrub his face dry. He doesn’t look up at Taehyung as he kneels beside him, hand coming to rest tentatively at Jungkook’s shoulder. “Think I threw my phone at it.” 

 

Taehyung doesn’t ask any more questions. He just squeezes Jungkook’s shoulder before standing back up and disappearing from the room. He comes back a moment later with a trash bag, a broom, and a dustpan. Jungkook sits, a defunct pile on his bedroom floor, as Taehyung gingerly cleans up the broken glass. 

 

As Taehyung is dusting up the last remaining flecks of glass, Jungkook abruptly stands up and leaves the room.

 

“Kook?” Taehyung calls after, quickly trailing behind and finding Jungkook at the dining room table, frantically leafing through papers and thumbing through notebooks. “What are you doing?” 

 

Jungkook doesn’t answer as he flips through his notes, brows deeply furrowed as he scans over the pages too quick to really register much of the scrawls and print. 

 

“Kook,” Taehyung repeats from next to him. 

 

“I need information on summoning a demon,” Jungkook grunts out, eyes never leaving the documents in his hands. 

 

Taehyung processes the question. “Um. Can I ask why?” 

 

“For a case.” 

 

“Which case?” 

 

Jungkook slaps the notebook down on the table and turns to Taehyung. “Did you come here to help me or not?” 

 

Taehyung’s eyes swim with concern, darting back and forth between Jungkook’s before he looks down, defeated. He starts shaking his head. “It’s dangerous and unreliable. Nothing good has ever come of summoning a demon. Not in anything I’ve ever read about it.” 

 

“So you’ve been reading up on it,” Jungkook states, not even slightly a question. 

 

“I read up on everything,” Taehyung says, sounding small. “Why are you wanting to know? You’re not going to try to summon Jimin, are you? That’s a really bad idea, Kook. I don’t even know if it’s possible since he’s - ”

 

“I’m not,” Jungkook cuts in. “Just tell me what you know.” 

 

“There’s a few ways to do it that I know of,” Taehyung explains, slipping into the role of dedicated researcher. “Different rituals for different types of demons. The most common that I’ve heard about are crossroads demons. You just need a box and a few things to summon them - ”

 

“A specific demon,” Jungkook states. “Is there a way to summon a specific demon?” 

 

“Um,” Taehyung says hesitantly. “I’m not completely sure. I know there’s a ritual that uses witchcraft and an incantation. There’s also a blood ritual that will summon one, but to get a specific demon I think you’d need its name - ”

 

Jungkook’s eyes snap up to Taehyung. “Its name?” 

 

Taehyung nods slowly, warily eyeing the way Jungkook latches onto the information. “I think no matter how it’s done, you need to know the name of the demon you’re trying to summon. Otherwise it… just either won’t work or might summon one at random. I’m not that sure, though. I haven’t really looked into it that much.” 

 

Jungkook is only half-listening, turning around to lean against the table with his arms crossed as he commits all the key information to memory. 

 

“Kook, can you please tell me what this is about?” Taehyung asks, pleading. “I know stuff is going on that you’re not telling me about, and I’m getting worried. I - I was already worried, but now I’m getting freaked out.”

 

Jungkook ducks his head, hair falling around his face to hide his eyes. He hates feeling like he owes someone an explanation. He’s apathetic about people worrying about him. He realizes that’s cold, to not give a shit if someone is worrying themself sick about his well being. In his line of work, though, worrying is a tedious, ceaseless task. Worrying about someone worrying about him is even more pointless. But, Taehyung has only ever been there for him. At his bedside in the hospital, at his every beck and call on every case he’s ever worked. Constantly making himself available, constantly sacrificing his time and devoting his stress. He heaves a sigh, rubbing a tired hand over his face, puffy and overly warm from crying. 

 

“Jimin sold his soul. That’s why he’s a demon now.” 

 

The information hits Taehyung like a physical punch to the gut, knocking the breath from him as he presses a hand over his mouth. Jungkook doesn’t want to look at him and see the tears he knows are rolling down his cheeks. He grits his teeth at the tremble in Taehyung’s voice. “H-how do you know for sure?” 

 

“I just do.” 

 

Taehyung breathes in a shuddering lungful. “Oh, god.” 

 

Jungkook lets out a bitter, humorless hiss of air through his teeth. “God didn’t have anything to do with this.” 

 

“Wait - ” Taehyung blurts out, hand suddenly clamping around Jungkook’s arm. “What are you trying to do? You’re not - you’re not thinking about trying to reverse the deal, are you?” 

 

Jungkook is silent. 

 

Taehyung shakes Jungkook hard. “No. No. You can’t do that, Kook. You can’t do that. That’s - that’s crazy. That’s - it’s insane.”

 

“Calm down,” Jungkook says, shaking himself from Taehyung’s trembling, iron grip. “I’m just gathering information right now.” 

 

“Please don’t do it,” Taehyung says. “Please don’t even think about it. You could - you could die. Look what happened to Jimin. You could become like him - you have no idea what could happen - ”

 

“Christ, Tae, calm the fuck down,” Jungkook snaps, pushing away from the table to get some space. 

 

“Then answer me. Say you’re not going to do it,” Taehyung says with rising panic in his voice. When Jungkook only stares at him with a reticent scowl, Taehyung starts shaking his head as his face crumples. “I - I can’t do this anymore. I can’t help you if you’re gonna do this. I don’t want any part of this if that’s what you’re thinking about doing.” 

 

“I’m not gonna do it,” Jungkook relents, voice harsh and exasperated. 

 

Taehyung visibly calms, tension dissipating from his shoulders and mouth relaxing but still downturned and quivering. “Okay,” he says, sucking in a shaky breath. “Thank you.” 

 

Mollified for the time being, Taehyung spends the next few minutes doting on Jungkook and insisting he can stay the night if he needs to. Jungkook assures him that he’s fine, thanks him for coming over, and sees him to the front door. Before stepping out, though, Taehyung turns to Jungkook and hugs him. 

 

“Can you just - ” Taehyung says, pulling away and looking down, unreadable. “Can you promise me you won’t do anything crazy like that?” 

 

Jungkook nods. “Yeah,” he mumbles, rubbing the back of his neck and taking a step back. “Yeah, I promise.” 

 

“Okay,” Taehyung says, offering a wilted smile.

 

Jungkook is already thinking about how he’s going to get that demon’s name before the door even shuts behind Taehyung. 




Jungkook is, predictably, at a bar.

 

He’s spent the past week grasping at straws trying to invent some way to figure out this demon’s name. He’d sketched out the sigils he’d seen in the memory on a notebook and researched them, figuring out exactly what type of blood ritual Jimin had used. It’s one of the messier ones that requires the blood of the person using it, but it’s one of the more straightforward ways to summon a demon. He hasn’t let himself delve into the realm of questioning why Jimin had the ritual memorized in the first place. 

 

He’s looked into other options, too, trying to see if there’s some other route around it or a loophole. Everything he’s found and everyone he’s talked to has given him the same thing, though: he has to confer with the demon that holds the original deal. No other demon will have any power to override or change it - at least, that’s what he has to assume from his extremely limited findings on the subject. Not all demons even have the power to make deals, much less the power to bring someone back from the dead. Whatever demon Jimin summoned that night - whether he fully knew what he was getting himself into or not - was one powerful son of a bitch.

 

For the first time in three years, the dreams have stopped. And, for the first time in three years, Jungkook really wishes they hadn’t. It’s frustrating how the one time he actually wants to have the dreams - to connect with Jimin so he can squeeze more information out of him - they’re gone. He’s been falling asleep every night since he remembered everything and waking up to nothing. Although - it has lent him to waking up more refreshed, mind clear and thoughts sharp, so he’s not complaining too much. This is the first night all week he’s had anything to drink, and even then, he’s more busy scrolling through some reading material on his phone than nursing the beer on the table in front of him. 

 

He reaches the bottom of his page of notes and decides to call it a night. He’s got a minor buzz coming on from the few beers he’s had, enough to make him feel too sleepy to finish what he’d been reading on his phone. He closes out of it and sets it aside, leaning back in the chair he’s in and taking a look around the bar. 

 

It’s a hole in the wall he’s been to plenty of times. As soon as he finishes off the last of the beer, a waitress sweeps by with a fresh cold one. She knows him by name and only has to ask beer or whiskey tonight, babe? as soon as he walks in the door. He doesn’t even think he could pick her out of a lineup of bottle blondes with sticky red lips. 

 

He feels oddly relaxed. Despite all the disturbing revelations he’s come to since he’d started tumbling down this slope, he feels calm. Maybe he’ll play a round of pool. Maybe go home and take a nice, hot bath tonight. Maybe tomorrow he’ll go get that haircut he’s been needing for months now. 

 

His phone rings. 

 

He glances at the caller information - Unknown - and ignores it, letting it buzz itself out on the table as he swirls the beer at the bottom of his bottle around absently. 

 

A few moments later, it rings again. 

 

On a whim, he answers. “Hello?” 

 

Miss me? ” 

 

Jungkook’s hand tightens around the back of his phone. “Jimin. How’d you get this number?”

 

A low laugh purs across the line, the breathy quality of Jimin’s voice right in his ear tightening something unexplainable in the pit of Jungkook’s stomach. “You sound surprisingly functional.”

 

“Why are you calling me?” 

 

Why does anybody call anyone these days? ” Jimin hums. “Maybe I wanted to catch up. Reminisce about the good ole’ days.”

 

Jungkook’s patience is thinner than ever. But he keeps it under wraps. “And you accused me of being sentimental.” 

 

Another laugh, even darker than the first. “You like playing with fire, don’t you, Jungkookie? ” he says, dragging out his vowels and putting an emphasis on his name that makes Jungkook shift in his chair subconsciously. “You don’t even care if you get burnt.” 

 

“Did you just call to be cryptic and annoying? I have shit to do, you know.” 

 

Don’t pretend like you wouldn’t keep me on the phone all night if you could,” Jimin says. “I know you like the sound of my voice.” 

 

“I like it better than the shit that comes out of your mouth,” Jungkook grumbles, hunching over to rest his elbows on the table. He glances around the bar just to do a quick check, always on guard. 

 

Jimin outright laughs at that. God forbid, it sounds flirty. Jungkook’s nostrils flare with irritation. “You’re so tense. When’s the last time you got laid, hm? Or have you been saving yourself for me?

 

Jungkook’s first instinct is to tell him fuck off and hang up on him. He suppresses it, telling himself it’s counterproductive. Jimin’s the best lead he’s got right now. Against nearly every fiber of his being, he plays along. “That’s a little presumptive, isn’t it?” 

 

Oh, sorry. I didn’t think it was a secret you wanted to fuck me.” 

 

Jungkook snorts. “How ‘bout dinner and a movie first, sweetheart?” 

 

Not enough blood and guts for my taste,” Jimin hums. “But I know somewhere we can go to have our little rendezvous.” 

 

A malicious smirk twists across Jungkook’s mouth. “Name the time and place, babe.” 



The time is well after midnight and the place is the sleaziest strip joint Jungkook has ever stepped foot in. He’d dropped Jimin’s name at the door and a tall brunette with plastic nails and plastic tits had taken his hand to lead him toward the back. Some sort of industrial metal garbage blasts through the massive club speakers as a gravelly-voiced man growls lyrics alongside a shredding guitar rift. Girls on the stage range in abilities from just standing there shaking their asses to climbing the pole and doing dangerous aerial stunts and death drops. It’s busy this time of night, all the armchairs around the stage filled and men gawking like starved dogs along the tip rail. A few guys are off in darkened corners getting extras with their full-contact lap dances. He walks by some guy with his hands mashed around a girl’s tits, thumb stroking a Daddy’s Girl tattoo on her chest. 

 

The brunette he’d met at the door is still tugging him along gently, bobbling along in her six-inch heels. She’s only wearing a thong and a frilly, matching garter around her thigh to stash her tips. Just as they reach a doorway to a dark hallway, the DJ switches the song over to some sort of brain-splitting electronic dance bullshit. Jungkook tries to push away the flashbacks of the last time he was caught off guard in a dark hallway inside the same building as Jimin. 

 

The woman leads him to a door and turns around. She eyes Jungkook up and down, hands on her waifish hips and crooked, cigarette-stained teeth gnashing a piece of gum. “You sure you don’t want a dance?” 

 

Jungkook shakes his head, not even bothering with a polite smile. “Just here to see an old friend.” 

 

She shrugs. “Suit yourself, hon. You know where to find me if you change your mind.” As she saunters away, she lets her hand drag all the way down his arm. He has half a mind to spin her back around and check for demon eyes, but he shakes it off. 

 

Jungkook pushes open the door to the private room, immediately laying eyes on a writhing pile of mostly naked women on a plush pink wrap-around couch. The room is cramped, not much other than the couch and some sort of dance platform with a stripper pole in the middle, a couple side tables covered in sweating drinks. The girls don’t acknowledge him as the door clicks shut behind him. He only knows Jimin is there when he sees one of his hands sliding around to cup a girl’s asscheek and hears his raspy voice murmuring from behind the wall of bodies. 

 

He clears his throat. 

 

“Hold that thought for just a second, baby,” Jimin mumbles to the girl straddling his lap as he pushes her to the side with a hand on her waist. He smirks at Jungkook, lounged back on the couch and hair mussed from girls running their hands through it. At least he’s wearing a real shirt this time, Jungkook muses. It’s half undone though, front gaping all the way down his chest as a tiny, long-nailed hand slides over his bare skin. 

 

Jungkook stares at Jimin impatiently. 

 

“Have a seat,” Jimin offers. Then, directed at the three girls crawling all over him, “Who wants to go get Kookie a drink?” 

 

“Tell them to leave.” 

 

Jimin tilts his head to the side testily, bottom lip popping in and out of his mouth. “Are you gonna get undressed for me instead, then?” 

 

Jungkook pulls out his gun and the girls scatter. One of them squeaks as she twists an ankle on the way out the door, limping away as her fake hair swishes behind her. 

 

That just leaves Jimin, melted into the couch like liquid and sending Jungkook a miffed look. “You know these rooms run by the hour, right?” 

 

Jungkook makes sure it’s clear on his face he doesn’t give a fuck. He takes another step into the room, gun swinging in his hand by his side. He feigns interest as he looks around to assess the place. Then he gets his eyes back on Jimin. “I don’t see any blood or guts in here.” 

 

Jimin’s eyes darken - not blacking out, but filling with so much wickedness Jungkook suppresses a shiver. “Not yet.” 

 

Unwilling to let Jimin see even the slightest sign of weakness, Jungkook makes it a point to ease himself down on the couch opposite of Jimin. Confident, spreading out like he owns the whole joint. He lets the gun rest on his thigh, index finger circling the trigger guard. He eyes Jimin with a derisive smirk at one corner of his mouth. “Figured you’d be able to afford something classier than this shithole.” 

 

“You’ve never been one for decadence,” Jimin says without missing a beat. He mirrors Jungkook’s posture, knees spreading wide and hips rolling as he shifts down lower on the couch. He tilts his head back, neck long and contoured in shadows from the dim, red-tinted lighting. 

 

“So why’d you do it?” Jungkook asks, gesturing with the gun to punctuate his question. 

 

“Do what? Sell my soul?” Jimin laughs. “I thought we went over this already.” 

 

“Humor me.” 

 

Jimin falls quiet for a moment, regarding Jungkook not unlike something he’d scraped off the bottom of his shoe. He rolls his eyes toward the ceiling. “Who knows what I was thinking? And who even cares? I’m glad I did it.” 

 

He can feel his blood pressure spike, headache drilling into one temple as he grinds his teeth. 

 

Jimin keeps talking, ignorant to the enraged steam practically rolling off of Jungkook. “I spent my whole life sad. Angry. Jealous. Scared. I don’t have that anymore,” he muses, dropping his gaze back down to Jungkook. “This is freedom. You should try it sometime.” 

 

“Not likely,” Jungkook grits out. 

 

“We’ll see,” Jimin says with a smirk. Then, switching gears, he says, “Can we just get on with whatever it is you came here for?” 

 

Breathing deeply to soothe his temper, Jungkook smooths his sweating palm across the thigh of his jeans. “I want to make a deal with you.” 

 

The grin that spreads across Jimin’s face is wolfish as he leans forward, interest piqued as he raises a brow to encourage Jungkook to go on. “What kind of deal?”

 

“I want the name of the demon you made the deal with that night.” 

 

“Oh?” Jimin says, both eyebrows raising in such contained surprise it seems completely contrived. His eyes fall down Jungkook’s body and then back up, fixing their gazes together and rolling his tongue out to lick his lips from one corner of his mouth to the other. “And what do you have to offer for that kind of deal?” 

 

Jungkook swallows. Sweat breaks out over his skin as his pulse jumps. Almost instantaneously, Jimin takes a deep breath, closing his eyes like he’s caught a scent in the air. Jungkook ignores it. Jimin is playing mind games, trying to ruffle him and make him squirm. 

 

“I’ll stop chasing you,” Jungkook offers. 

 

Jimin clucks his tongue, shaking his head slowly like he’s gently reprimanding a child. “You can do better than that, Kookie.” 

 

“What do you want? Money? You want to keep my bike? Information?” Jungkook fires off, leaning over as he starts to get antsy. 

 

“How about...” Jimin hums, mirthful eyes drifting sideways to stop on the pole platform at the center of the room, “a dance?” 

 

“Fuck off,” Jungkook spits, and Jimin laughs. 

 

Jimin waves it off. “I’m just kidding,” he says. His eyes suddenly go jet black, red neon lights reflecting in the dark pools. “It’s gonna take a lot more than that to get what you’re asking for.”

 

“Just tell me what you fucking want so we can get this over with,” Jungkook growls, hand twitching on his gun. 

 

Jimin smiles sweetly. “I’ll give you the name if you let me fuck you.” 

 

He lunges the short distance across the space and levels his gun at Jimin’s face, but Jimin only laughs and stares straight past it into Jungkook’s wrath-blazed eyes. 

 

“What’s the matter, baby? Don’t wanna spread your legs for a demon?

 

“How long does it take you to come back from having your head blow off?” 

 

Jimin looks up at him through his lashes, tilting his head slightly to look around the barrel of the gun. “As far as demon deals go, that’s a pretty easy one.” 

 

Jungkook shoves the gun closer to his face. “Fuck you.” 

 

Jimin just continues to grin, quirking one of his eyebrows. “That’s what I’m trying to get at, baby.” 

 

“Go fuck yourself.” 

 

Jimin grabs Jungkook’s wrist, easily overpowering him without even moving from where he sits. Jungkook grunts and pulls against the hand, but Jimin holds firm. He leans forward then, eyes trained on Jungkook’s, and pulls the gun in close to his mouth. Jungkook almost lets go and stumbles backward when he watches Jimin’s tongue slide out of his mouth, licking along the barrel of his gun all the way to the muzzle. When he’s done, he tilts his head back and pushes the gun under his own chin. Then he says, eyes and grin deranged but voice low and steady, “Where’s the fun in that?” 

 

Jungkook snatches his wrist away, but only because Jimin lets him. He straightens his jacket out, makes sure his breathing is steady. “What kind of fucking deal is that? You don’t get anything out of it.” 

 

“It’s the only deal I’m willing to offer.”

 

At that, Jungkook is done. He stalks toward the door, gun in his hand as Jimin calls after him. 

 

“How bad do you want that name, Jungkookie?” 

 

It makes Jungkook pauses for reasons unknown. He wonders in that split second of time, suspended between negotiating with a demon and getting the fuck out of there, if he could really go that far. If he’s capable of it. If it’s worth it. 

 

He shakes off the answer that pries at the back of his mind because it scares him. 

 

Jimin is laughing behind Jungkook’s back, bright voice carrying around the small room. “You won’t even want the damn name by the time I’m done with you.” 

 

Jungkook spins around and fires off three rounds straight into Jimin’s chest before the smile can even slip off his face. 

 

No noise escapes Jimin. His body lay motionless against the back of the couch, blood gushing out of the gaping bullet holes in his chest and splattered all over the pink cushions. Jungkook crosses the room back over to him, tucking his gun in the back of his belt. He leans over Jimin’s form, a grin splitting his face as he takes it in. 

 

Jungkook reaches up, palm to Jimin’s cheek, and pats it hard a few times and lets a small laugh escape him. Jimin’s face jostles with each light slap, head loose on his neck as it settles back at an awkward angle. His bewildered, sightless eyes stare back up at Jungkook, or maybe somewhere slightly to his left. More fuel for his nightmares. 

 

“How bad do you wanna fuck me, Jiminie?” he questions, smile on his face. 

 

He leaves the strip club, tossing the keys to his bike in one hand and catching them. He passes by the brunette from earlier on his way out. She doesn’t say anything about the blood on his hands or speckled on his shirt. He smiles at her and she waves back, a nervous jitter of her bony fingers. 

 

He settles onto the seat of his bike, hands stroking over the shiny black shell of the gas tank between his legs. He leans forward and starts her up, reveling in the sound that pours out into the quiet parking lot. He tears out of the parking lot, slinging gravel and burning rubber as the cold wind hits him and his smile never leaves. 



Jungkook arrives back at his apartment in surprisingly good spirits. He’s not questioning the unusual good mood, though. He parks his bike and heads upstairs with a nearly giddy pep in his step. He sheds his jacket carelessly on the living room floor and heads straight for the fridge. His phone vibrates in his pocket and he ignores it as he cracks open a cold beer and takes several big gulps. He rolls his shoulders a few times to stretch them as he heads for the couch, phone steadily buzzing away in his pocket. 

 

He eventually fishes his phone out and answers it. 

 

Did you forget I know where you fucking live? ” Jimin hisses as soon as the call connects. 

 

Jungkook hums, not even the venomous tone of Jimin’s voice enough to put a damper on his mood. “That’s not the best thinly-veiled threat you’ve ever come up with.”

 

A darkly amused laugh drifts across the line. Jungkook can picture the manic grin on Jimin’s face at the sound. “You don’t seem worried for someone liable to be butchered in their sleep.” 

 

“Not too convincing considering I’ve been in the same apartment for the past three years,” Jungkook says easily. 

 

As soon as this stops being fun for me, I’m done with you,” Jimin snaps. “Getting shot in the fucking chest is not fun.

 

“Well, I’ll be here whenever you get done sucking your own dick,” Jungkook says, unable to help the grin on his face as he takes another long drink.

 

Jimin lets out a bitter laugh. “That’s really cute, Kook. Getting cocky because you think you won this one. We’ll see how cocky you are when you’re bending over for me just to get that name you’re so desperate for. ” 

 

Jungkook stills at that, grip tightening around his beer bottle until his knuckles go white. 

 

You have one week or the deal’s off the table,” Jimin states. Then he hangs up. 

 

One week. 

 

Jungkook almost laughs. He still doesn’t really understand Jimin’s motives behind whatever game he’s playing with Jungkook. He’s having a hard time believing all Jimin has been after is sex, of all things. Even if Jimin has been hinting at that for a while now - the first dream in the white space with the bed, the dream at the club, and now this deal he’s offering. What could Jimin possibly get out of fucking Jungkook? Bragging rights? Some sense of superiority that he’d broken Jungkook down and drove him to that point? Was any of that worth all the effort and time Jimin has put into this? Was it worth keeping Jungkook alive when he’s had every opportunity to kill him?

 

He drums his fingers on the back of his phone as he thinks. One week. How bad does he want that name? He’s been at it for almost two weeks now, and he’s found nothing. He doesn’t have a way to find out anything. Jimin is the only person on the planet with the slightest clue as to which demon made that deal. And right now, it’s the only lead he’s got and arguably the biggest lead he’s ever had in this whole case. He doesn’t even know if he can keep calling it a case anymore. It never really was a case to begin with, as much as he’s tried to treat it like one. It’s always been personal. More than personal. It’s always been a part of him. 

 

And so, once again, Jungkook is left with more questions than answers. And once again, he drinks to drown it out. He hates the thoughts swimming through his mind about the deal Jimin offered. He hates the images of that night that plague him every time he shuts his eyes or lets his thoughts drift in that direction. 

 

He hates that, on the very edges of sleep - after hours of chipping away at a six-pack of beer and eventually fumbling his way to bed - he starts thinking about what it would be like to take the deal. 



The dream starts in glimpses this time. The white place. White everywhere - white flurries like downy feathers caught in still air and white sheets around him, cotton-soft. And black eyes, looking down at him. Black hair haloed from behind in soft white. A white t-shirt gripped in his hands, wrinkling as he bunches up the fabric. 

 

Hands on his waist. Pressure between his thighs, pressing him into the mattress.

 

“Jimin,” he mumbles, blinking until Jimin’s face comes into focus right in front of him. 

 

When Jimin laughs, it’s so close Jungkook can feel the breaths on his face. The laugh vibrates deep in his chest under Jungkook’s hands. “Is this what you fell asleep thinking about?” 

 

Jungkook has no answer for that. He can’t think past the aching need, deep in his lower belly.

 

“Is this what you want?”

 

Jungkook’s answer is a moan as he realizes Jimin is moving between his legs. Everything is vague, blurry, and he can’t really do anything but look around the white space in a daze. All he can really feel is Jimin - Jimin’s chest under his hands as he slides them over the same white shirt as last time, Jimin’s weight on top of him, warmth of Jimin’s body all around him. 

 

When he looks down at his hands, he realizes there’s something black on them, rubbing off onto the white shirt in fingerprint smudges like gunpowder. He lets go and turns his palms to look at them. Nothing - his hands are clean. There are still black handprints and finger smudges on the shirt where he’d fisted it in his hands, running in streaks up toward the collar in the same path his hands had made a moment ago. The stains must have already been there. Maybe he just hadn’t seen them. It’s not like anything in these dreams ever makes much sense. Like how Jimin leans down into Jungkook’s neck and Jungkook doesn’t hesitate to let him. It makes Jimin laugh again, warm breath on his skin and lips fluttering over his pulse. Jungkook is in that detached state, maybe lost somewhere in his subconscious. Maybe right at the forefront of his mind. He doesn’t really question it too much because the heat between his legs and the solid body on top of him is too much to comprehend and too little to be satisfied with. 

 

He turns his head as Jimin’s mouth pushes against his neck, making wet circles with his tongue. He can’t really smell Jimin’s hair, but his mind fools him into thinking he can feel it. He closes his eyes and reaches up to bury a hand in it, amazed at how real it feels on his skin, between his fingers. How real it all feels. Jimin’s body moving against his, hair soft on his cheek, breath bathing his skin. 

 

Jungkook’s hands find their way around Jimin and up his back, pulling him in instead of pushing him away. Right now he can’t remember a single reason why he’d ever push Jimin away. In the glimpses he catches while trying to keep his eyes open, he notices more of the black fingerprint smudges on Jimin’s shoulders. Everywhere he’s touched. Should he care about that? 

 

He reaches down to find the bottom of Jimin’s shirt to pull it off. When he gets bare skin under his hands, feeling every bit as real as his own or any other person’s he’s ever touched, he leaves more handprints. Smeared down Jimin’s spine, swiped across the back of his ribcage. 

 

Jimin leans back, head tilted to the side as he regards Jungkook a bit curiously. “I like you so much better like this,” he says. He reaches down and flattens a hand on Jungkook’s chest, and it’s the first time Jungkook realizes he’s naked under Jimin. Jimin’s hand moves down, his own eyes following the movement.

 

Jungkook looks down to see what Jimin is staring at - a giant black streak down the middle of his chest in the shape of Jimin’s hand. It’s hard to tell where exactly Jimin’s eyes are focused when they look back up at each other. His eyes are fully blacked-out. Jungkook thinks that should turn this into a nightmare, but all it does is make every raw nerve ending in his body burn hotter. On impulse, Jungkook reaches up and drags his hand down Jimin’s chest, leaving a jet-black handprint down the center, over the cross tattooed on his chest. Jimin takes the hand by the wrist and brings it to his face. Jungkook tests the tips of his fingers, letting them brush Jimin’s cheek. His fingertips leave tiny black smudges, dark as ink stains. Then he wraps his hand around the side of Jimin’s neck and slides it downward, leaving another black mark down his neck, over his collarbone. 

 

Jimin’s hands leave more dark smudges on Jungkook’s hips as he starts moving again. Jungkook can’t really feel exactly what’s happening. It’s just pressure, so much pressure, and heat. But it’s the idea that sears itself into his mind, sends him over the edge to a place where he doesn’t really care what it all means. In this place, he’s allowed to want this as bad as he wants it. As bad as he’s always wanted it. 

 

“Do you want to come with me?” 

 

Jungkook nods, eyes glazed over as Jimin pushes his legs apart wider, leaving handprints on the inside of his thighs. 

 

“Then say yes.” 

 

Jungkook licks his lips, mouth falling open to pant. His vision is getting blurrier. He thinks maybe the dream is starting to fade. He wraps his arms around Jimin, dragging him down on top of him and leaving smudges everywhere his hands touch. Jimin’s teeth sink into the crook of his neck and a choked noise catches at the back of Jungkook’s throat. 

 

“Say yes,” Jimin mumbles into his neck. 

 

Jungkook flips them over. Then it’s all him - his knees pressed into the mattress, his hands pinning Jimin down, leaving black fingerprints and streaks on his shoulders and down his sides. Jimin’s hair fans out on the sheets, a shock of ink-black on pure white. He takes over the movement of their bodies together, rolling his hips and wishing, wishing he could feel everything. Wishing he knew what it felt like to fuck Jimin and get fucked by him. Not really caring about anything else except exactly that. He likes this place they’re in now, where all he really needs to think about is how nice Jimin’s hands feel on his body and how pretty the tattoos on his back must look with Jimin’s handprints smeared all over them. 

 

He leans over and twists his hands into the sheets just to see the black marks it leaves when he does it. Jimin’s hands move down his back, fingers digging into the muscles along his spine and spreading wide at the base. Jungkook arches when Jimin’s hands slide down to his ass, moans when they make their way around. He wants Jimin’s hands on every square inch of his body, wants nothing but this - the two of them in this white space and their gunpowder streaks and their desecrated tattoos. Forever. 

 

Jimin catches Jungkook’s chin in his hand and locks their eyes. “Say yes.” 

 

Jungkook’s mouth is open to say it, but he wakes up before he can get the word out. 



To say Jungkook has never been very close with his family would be an understatement. He thinks about his parents little more than he thinks about the canned food at the back of his pantry. He’d had a mostly normal childhood, at least for the standards of those unfortunate few born into hunting families. His dad had been more of a picture-on-the-wall presence than a tangible one, always on the road and absent from every important event Jungkook can remember. At some point during Jungkook’s adolescence and Hoseok’s mid-teens, Hoseok had tried to step up as interim “man of the house.” Any flex of power in that self-appointed role ended in a fistfight and both of them getting chased into the front yard at the wrong end of a shotgun barrel to finish sorting things out. They’d be lucky if their mom let them back inside the house for dinner that night. 

 

His mom had been a hunter, too, up until she got pregnant with Hoseok by a man who took one look at her growing belly and vanished. Then she’d met Jungkook’s winner of a father through a friend of a friend. Hunting families tend to stick together. Settle down in the same areas. It’s hard to find other people who won’t call the police as soon as they walk into your house and find a loaded arsenal and satanic symbols on every book on the shelf. And misery does love company. 

 

At some unknown point during his distant memories, Jimin starts to materialize. He wishes he could remember the exact moment he met Jimin, but it was so long ago it’s like trying to remember the first time seeing a family member who’s been around forever. Sad to say, Jungkook learned everything he knows about hunting not from his own father but from Jimin’s. Hoseok had watched with a scowl from a distance for a while as the Park family took Jungkook under their wing before turning his back on hunting completely. It was never a surprise when Hoseok took the first opportunity to move out and go to college. It was less of a surprise that Hoseok never really looked back after he did. Jungkook doesn’t care to sit and reminisce about fond memories from his childhood because the only ones he has heavily feature the one person he can’t really think about without feeling a dull ache in his chest. 

 

He did learn one thing from his dad, though. It had been a rare occasion when his dad had bothered staying home for a week or so, and an even rarer occasion when he was in a good mood, albeit a temporary one. Jungkook thinks he must have been about fifteen or so. He remembers that night’s “family dinner” erupting into yelling and glass breaking and Hoseok stomping out of the house. Jungkook had been standing out on the front porch to watch him peel off out of the front yard in his beat-up truck, tires squealing on the asphalt and smoke burning off the tires. His dad had joined him out there, heavy boots on the creaking two-by-fours as he dug a pack of Marlboros out of his worn leather jacket pocket. He’d offered one to Jungkook. Jungkook had just stared at him until he shrugged and took the cigarette for himself. 

 

Then he’d told Jungkook in the type of wiser-than-thou tone that made his skin prickle with irritation, “Don’t ever let your guard down. Not even for people you think you can trust.” 

 

He’d pulled Jungkook into the only hug Jungkook can remember that night. Jungkook remembers him smelling like whiskey and leather and like he’d forgotten where the shower was located in their house. Then he’d pulled away and smiled. Jungkook remembers his smile - a few crooked teeth but still somewhat decent-looking. That had to be the reason their mom wanted him so bad, seeing as his other redeeming qualities were buried under all the unforgivable ones. The smile was actually more of a smirk that didn’t really reach his eyes. Then his dad had held up Jungkook’s wallet, lifted right out of his back pocket in the past few seconds, and proven his point right then. He’d pocketed the cash and tossed the empty wallet back at Jungkook’s chest before Jungkook could even put together that he wasn’t joking. 

 

That had been the last time he ever saw his dad. Hoseok and their mom prefer to think he died on a hunt. Jungkook isn’t so optimistic. 

 

As for his mom - the last time he saw her was lying in a casket at her funeral. He’d never really understood why Hoseok cried so much that day. Blubbered like a baby like she’d died in some kind of tragedy when really she’d drank herself to death. It did hurt, though, when Hoseok had collapsed in his arms and somehow pushed his heartache and pain right from his own chest and drove it like a wedge into Jungkook’s. And it had hurt when he’d been sitting on a church pew, listening to a bullshit eulogy delivered by some old guy that barely knew her, and he’d turned to look to his immediate right and seen tears sliding down Jimin’s face. He’d wanted to take Jimin’s hand and beg him not to cry. Instead, he’d sat silently and wondered why he seemed to be the only one not crying. 

 

So maybe he’d been predisposed to dysfunctionality. Maybe Jimin had been the only sense of consistency or balance he’s ever had in his life. Hoseok came close. Taehyung arguably came even closer, at least in the more recent years. Jungkook can count on one hand the number of people he trusts. The number of fingers standing up on that hand goes down, but it never goes up. He trusts them, and he thinks they probably trust him, too, even though they probably shouldn’t. 

 

“Are you listening to me?” 

 

Jungkook looks up from where he’s sitting at Taehyung’s kitchen table, sideways on a dining room chair with his back to the wall and arm resting across stacks of books. 

 

Taehyung sighs at the blank look on Jungkook’s face. He shakes his head and sets down the notebook he’d been reading from. “I know this stuff bores you, but you need to know it.” 

 

“I’m listening,” Jungkook grumbles, waving an impatient hand for Taehyung to continue.

 

“So where was the latest victim last spotted, then?” 

 

Jungkook purses his lips. “At the high school.” 

 

“Where at the school exactly?” 

 

“...In class?” 

 

“Wrong,” Taehyung states, hands on his hips. “She was last seen in the back parking lot.” 

 

“So then there’s probably CCTV footage,” Jungkook states, dropping his leg off from where it had been propped on the chair in front of him and letting it thump to the floor. “I break into the security office or whatever, watch the footage. If it’s a demon, I find it and kill it.” 

 

Taehyung’s lip twitches. 

 

Jungkook offers a tiny, fake smile. “Case solved.” 

 

“You know what mystery has yet to be solved?” Taehyung says, eyes narrowing. Jungkook is already up, brushing past and heading for the door. “How’d you get the bike back, Jungkook?” 

 

“Found it at the impound.” 

 

“Ooh, of course,” Taehyung says sarcastically. “Why didn’t I think of that? Oh, wait. I did. I’ve been keeping up with every repo and impound in the area.” 

 

Jungkook has already made it to the front door, digging in his jeans pocket for his keys. “Maybe...” he says quietly, turning to look at Taehyung as he goes to open the door, “you missed it.” 

 

Taehyung looks affronted as he follows after, watching Jungkook walk down the sidewalk from his doorway. “I did not. You’re just lying,” he calls after. Then, as Jungkook throws a leg over his bike, “Where are you going?” 

 

Jungkook sets his helmet on his lap as he fixes Taehyung with a look. “Do you want me to go take care of the pest control problem or not?” 

 

Taehyung seems less than convinced. “It’s almost midnight. The town is an hour away.” 

 

“Guess there won’t be any traffic, then,” Jungkook states, pulling his helmet on and starting his bike. 

 

Taehyung doesn’t get another word in before he’s rolling out of the parking lot and onto the street. 

 

He gets Taehyung’s concern. He gets why his brother forces him to make promises they both know he won’t keep. He doesn’t understand why they’re surprised, though. He doesn’t even surprise himself anymore. There’s a disconnect in his mind between the voice of reason and everything else. It hasn’t always been there, or else maybe he would have given into his impulses around Jimin before he lost the opportunity for good. Maybe it changed after that night. He wonders if demon deals are like wishes with genies - always a catch, always too good to be true. Maybe Jimin had sold his soul to bring back some broken version of Jungkook. 

 

When he reaches his destination, he walks into the building with his helmet tucked under his arm and smiles to the lady at the front desk. She’s too busy blushing and waving at him to question if he’s a guest or not. He makes his way straight through the lobby to the elevator and steps onto one as soon as the doors open and it empties. He punches the button for the right floor and leans against the wall as he waits. 

 

The doors slide open with a ding and he walks out into the hallway. The room he’s looking for is all the way down the hall to his left, second to last. He walks down that way, footsteps dulled by the carpeting. 

 

He stops in front of the door. Checks his phone to make sure it’s the right one. It is. 

 

He tries not to think about how easy it is to reach up and knock, back of his knuckles against dense lacquered wood. For a few moments after the soft knock, the hallway is silent. Most everyone is asleep by this time of night. He can hear the ticking from a decorative clock on the wall at the end of the hallway. There’s plenty of time between when he knocks and when he hears movement on the other side of the door. He could leave if he wanted to. There’s enough time, in fact, that it almost seems intentional. 

 

Then the door clicks open, swinging slowly inward. 

 

Jimin stands in the doorway, open bathrobe hanging from his shoulders and loose black pants barely clinging just below his hips. His gaze starts at Jungkook’s boots and slides up languidly, stopping at Jungkook’s eyes and holding him there. He steps to the side, dragging the door open wider with him. 

 

As Jungkook steps forward, never really hesitating, Jimin smirks. 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

 

 

 

“You seem tense.” 



Jimin saunters through the room past the king size bed, robe swishing at his back and slipping low on one shoulder. The demon ward tattoo at the base of his neck peeks from under the collar, stark against sunkissed skin and hotel-white fabric. His bare feet press silently into the carpet as he walks over to a small table at the far corner of the room and uncaps a bottle of amber liquor to pour two glasses. 



Whiskey filling the glasses and the whir of an air unit are the only sounds in the room for a few moments. Jungkook is just a single step inside, door securely closed and latched behind him. He takes a wary look around, hands twitching in the pockets of his leather jacket. It’s a nice hotel room - more lavish than the seedy places Jungkook usually stays at when he’s on the road. The bed is dressed in a downy white comforter and stacked with extra pillows. A flat screen television hangs on the wall across from it along with all the other standard hotel amenities. It’s strikingly plain, underwhelmingly normal. 



“But you’re always tense these days,” Jimin continues as if he never dropped off, screwing the cap back on with a flick of his fingers and then turning to Jungkook with the two glasses in hand. He walks back across the room toward Jungkook, robe parted wide across his chest. Jungkook tears his eyes from the detail work along the stem of the cross tattoo just as Jimin is saying, “It’s kind of your thing now, isn’t it?” 



“Can we just get this over with?” Jungkook asks, a bit defeatedly. He accepts a glass as Jimin hands it to him and ignores the electric feeling that courses from his fingertips and up his arm at the faintest brush of their fingers. He watches, back leaned against the furthest wall, as Jimin moves to sit on the edge of the bed. He only drops his gaze away from Jimin to eye the glass of liquor in his hand with thinly veiled suspicion. 



Jimin huffs a laugh through his nose before taking a long drink from his own glass, eyes on Jungkook over the brim. He licks his lips when he pulls the glass away. “When I get around to killing you, it’s not going to be by poisoning.” 



Jungkook sees the warped reasoning behind that and hesitantly takes a drink. It’s good whiskey, not the cheap shit he’s acquired a taste for. It’s smooth and barely burns as he swallows down more, draining nearly half the glass. His body heats up from the inside like turning the knob on a furnace. He blames it on the alcohol and not the way Jimin spreads his thighs wide and shifts on the bed, leaning back on one hand so his torso is stretched long and taut. 



Jimin swirls the amber liquid in his glass. His chest expands and nostrils flare as he breathes in deeply, eyes closing on the exhale like he’s savoring the breath. When he opens them, he’s staring half-lidded at Jungkook. “You don’t smell like you’re ready for a quick fuck,” he says, voice raking out of his throat and sounding almost feral. Jungkook suppresses a shiver, masking the urge with another drink from his glass as he pointedly ignores Jimin’s statement. “You got ready for this. Showered, put on some cologne. How romantic.” 



Back stiffening, Jungkook’s hand tightens on his glass. There’s no point in denying it or arguing. He’d taken the longest hot shower of his life just before heading over to Taehyung’s and then subsequently here. He’d been torn over whether or not he was going to show up, staring at the grout lines between the bathroom tiles and spacing out in thought until his skin was pink and heated, fingertips starting to prune. If he’s honest with himself, though, he’d been trembling with anticipation. Gut turning around in circles, teeth clenching and unclenching until he’d given himself a headache. Adrenaline thrumming through his bloodstream, winding up tight like a coiled snake inside him. It flares back up now as he realizes he hasn’t taken his eyes off Jimin since he’d opened the door, pulse drumming and skin heating up from the inside out, manifesting in sweat on his skin and short breaths through his nose. 



Jimin senses it immediately. He drags in another breath, head tipping back like whatever he smells is euphoria as he lets out a low, dark laugh from the bottom of his chest. “God, you’re like a bitch in heat,” he says as he shakes his head. 



The comment sends a violent urge like a whipcrack across Jungkook’s mind as he imagines himself pitching the glass across the room to watch it shatter on the wall, but it’s gone as he gets a handle back on his composure. He’d expected Jimin to play with him, try to get a rise out of him. Maybe he’d been hoping for that - a quick, angry fuck just to get this over with, get the name and get the fuck out of here. Maybe he’d never have to see Jimin again until he could figure out a way to turn him human again. 



Jimin smirks, obviously detecting Jungkook’s anger. Not that Jungkook had ever done a great job of hiding it in the first place. He spares Jungkook another comment, though. It seems like he’s toying with Jungkook, but not trying to set him off quite yet. He gestures with his now empty glass. “Another?” 



Jungkook nods, and Jimin rises from the bed to get the bottle of whiskey. Jungkook narrowly manages to keep himself relaxed as Jimin walks over to pour another drink, glass clinking and whiskey flowing out in a smooth stream. Then he brings the rim of the bottle of his mouth, taking a drink straight from it. 



“I thought this might help,” Jimin says after he swallows, borderline conversational. Jungkook can’t fathom why he sounds so goddamn normal. This isn’t how he expected this to go. He’d been riding a wave of nervous energy all the way here, legs bringing him here on pure impulse. He hasn’t even really allowed himself time to think since he’d left Taehyung’s. He needs the name. He’s just doing this for the name. It means nothing. It means nothing



“How does this work?” Jungkook questions, hoping to push things along before he loses his nerve.



Jimin points with his finger, hand wrapped around the bottle. “Finish that. Then we’ll talk.” 



“No,” Jungkook states. “We can talk now. What are your terms?” 



Jimin’s smirk falls off his face. “We do this on my time, how I say, or we don’t do it at all,” Jimin says darkly. Then his face lightens as he takes a step back, and Jungkook feels like he can breathe again. “So finish your drink. And then we’ll talk,” he reiterates, eyes lingering before breaking away as he turns to set the bottle of liquor on the nightstand. 



Red hot anger prickles under Jungkook’s skin, mixing with some sort of twisted arousal he couldn’t really explain if he had a gun to his head. He wants to say he’s an adrenaline junkie, or he just gets off on his own hatred, or maybe it’s that first glass of whiskey hitting his empty stomach. But he knows it’s not any of that. He knows it’s just Jimin, the man in front of him. Demon - but he barely remembers to correct himself. He tosses his glass back, gulping down the rest in one go. It burns this time - too much too fast. 



That ever-present condescending smirk is in place on Jimin’s plump lips as he takes Jungkook’s empty glass and sets it on the nightstand, too. “Atta boy,” Jimin hums amusedly, and Jungkook’s lip twitches with a spike of irritation. Then he reassumes his seat on the bed, regarding Jungkook up and down with heavy eyes. 



“Are we gonna do this some time tonight?” Jungkook bites out. 



“Depends on if you accept my terms,” Jimin purrs. 



Jungkook shifts from one foot to the other, hands not quite knowing what to do with themselves. He hasn’t been this shaken up in a long time, at a loss for what to do. It gives Jimin an edge in this situation that Jungkook hates. But it can’t be helped - Jimin holds all the cards right now. 



“What do you want, then?” Jungkook questions. It comes out even more civil than he’d expected of himself. 



“You have to let me fuck you,” Jimin states, but Jungkook isn’t remotely surprised. 



He takes a moment to pretend to consider. He can’t look like he was fully prepared to accept that fate from the get-go, even though he suspects Jimin is aware based on the annoying, crooked grin on his face. Eventually, Jungkook takes a deep breath, lets it out audibly, and says, “Fine.” 



“And you have to let me make you come.” 



The words send a jolt of electric want down Jungkook’s spine. “Why does that matter?” 



“Take it or leave it.” Jimin looks too cocky, like he knows this is all just for theatrics. 



Jungkook is afraid of his own mind at this point. Because the first thing he thinks when he realizes this is all just a game for Jimin, that he’s acting like he knows Jungkook will accept whatever terms, is that Jimin is right. “Okay,” Jungkook relents, wetting his lips. “Fine.” 



Jimin looks delighted. “That’s it?” he asks, punctuated with a bright laugh. “On second thought, make it twice.” 



“No. Fuck you.” 



“Then the deal’s off,” Jimin says, shrugging as his eyes gleam with unconcealed mirth. 



Jungkook seethes quietly, not letting himself react to Jimin’s breathy laugh and sardonic tilt of his head.



“Oh, don’t act like this is so hard for you,” Jimin says. “I can smell you getting turned on already.” 



“Is that it then?” Jungkook snaps. “Anything else you want to throw in while you’re at it?” 



Jimin hums, white edge of his top row of teeth digging into his full bottom lip. “Yes, there is one more thing.” 



“What?”



“You can’t pretend you’re not enjoying it.”



Jungkook huffs and shakes his head in disbelief. Never taking his eyes off Jimin, he takes a few heavy steps toward the nightstand and snatches the bottle of whiskey. He uncaps it in one quick motion and tips it back, throat bobbing as he takes a few big swallows. He pulls a face as the liquor burns down his throat, snapping the bottle back down on the table and sloshing the contents. 



“So,” Jimin starts again, voice cutting through the dense tension in the room. “Do we have a deal?” 



His hand lingers on the bottle, fingers curled loosely around the neck. They tighten around the glass when he hears the bed shift, and then there’s a hand sliding up his back, around to press flat over his chest. 



“Yes or no, Jungkook.” Jimin’s voice is right behind him. He’s close enough for Jungkook to feel the warmth of his body, but their only point of contact is still just the hand on his chest, hot even through the thick layers of cotton and leather. 



Jungkook turns around at the subtle bidding of Jimin’s hand, quickly losing his grip on all the anger and resentment he’s been clinging to like a lifeline. It’s slipping away, right through his fingers, and he almost lets it go entirely when his eyes land on Jimin’s face. 



Looking at Jimin right now is like looking at an old photograph of someone who passed away a long time ago. It feels about as real as that photograph would feel. It looks real. It brings back that same real ache inside him. If he stares long enough, maybe he can convince himself it is real - submerge himself and let it sweep him under. He knows his Jimin is gone. But, along with the pictures on his phone and the dreams that haunt him every night, the Jimin in front of him is all he has left. 



He doesn’t think Taehyung or Hoseok or anyone else would be surprised at his answer. He doesn’t even surprise himself. 



The yes falls from his lips without another thought, breathed onto Jimin’s lips as he leans in. 



The hand on his chest slides up, around his neck and into the back of his hair. Then it clenches tight, Jungkook’s head jerking slightly with the rough movement. His mouth parts with a soft gasp, eyes falling closed with the image of Jimin’s face moving closer to his burned into the back of his eyelids. 



“Pathetic,” Jimin mumbles, and then the deal is sealed. 



As many times as he’s imagined this, he hadn’t anticipated it to be like this. He’d imagined his Jimin smiling against his lips, melting in his arms. Throwing his arms around Jungkook’s neck and pulling him in, maybe mumbling something like it’s about time. And, as repressed as every other thing he’s ever felt toward this version of Jimin, he’d imagined something with him, too. Rough and biting, maybe even drawing blood. Slammed up against walls and hands ripping at clothing. He’d even thought maybe they’d seal the deal and skip all the foreplay, strip down and get straight to the fucking. Angry and hot, grunting in rage and pleasure in the same breath, bruising each other with their fingertips. 



He hadn’t anticipated this slow, wet slide of lips. Jimin’s mouth opens him up with deep and intentional movements, threatening to drag a groan from Jungkook’s chest that he barely manages to swallow back. Jimin kisses him like they’re trapped in their dream world, not subject to the constraints of time or circumstance. Like he has every intention of dragging this deal out, siphoning every last drop of Jungkook’s self control. Jimin’s mouth feels impossibly hotter than the surface of Jungkook’s skin, tastes impossibly better than any dream Jungkook’s imagination could have supplied. Jungkook only realizes how feverishly he’s kissing back when a low chuckle escapes Jimin in the short break of their lips between one dragging kiss and the next. The sound stirs the coil of heat in Jungkook’s lower gut, sends a pulse of want through his entire body. His hands snap to Jimin’s waist to yank him closer and Jimin gives, stepping into him and pushing hard until Jungkook’s back is against the wall. 



Jimin forces Jungkook’s head sideways with the hand wound in the back of his hair. His other hand flattens over Jungkook’s stomach, not so much exploring as pushing against him, keeping him pressed to the wall. He uses the new angle to slot their mouths together deeper, wet sounds and ragged breathing growing louder over the white noise of the hotel room. Jungkook’s pulse is a tide of whitecapped waves in his ears, adrenaline and lust running marrow-deep. His thoughts switch off, reducing him to his basic urges. Taste, touch, breathe, feel. Jimin’s tongue dips past his open lips and slides alongside his, just brushing by the first time but delving in and taking every time after that. 



Jimin’s thigh presses between his legs, shoving him harsher into the wall, and a strained moan leaves Jungkook’s lips. Jimin breaks the kiss and orders Jungkook’s attention with a sharp tug on the back of his hair. 



“I know how you want it,” Jimin says, gaze trained on Jungkook’s mouth, parted and panting. 



Jungkook can’t formulate a reply before Jimin leans down to his throat, hand pulling Jungkook’s head back until his neck is arched. Jungkook lets slip another soft noise as Jimin grinds his thigh against his crotch and latches open-mouthed onto his neck in the same movement, sucking and raking his teeth over the skin.



“You think you want it hard and fast,” Jimin continues, hissed against Jungkook’s neck in puffs of hot air. 



Lacking the coherency to do much else, he drags Jimin in tighter by the waist. He parts the robe with his hands and lets his palms sink onto warm flesh, fingers spreading wide to take in every inch he can get. 



“But you want it slow,” Jimin murmurs. His teeth nip at Jungkook’s jawline, tongue slides over his adam’s apple. He releases his hold on Jungkook’s hair and Jungkook’s head hits the wall behind him with a dull thump. Then his hand is cupping Jungkook’s jaw, coaxing him to lean into it as his mouth trails up to his ear, teeth clinking on metal earrings. “You want it to last because you might not get another chance.” 



Jungkook’s answer is a shuddered exhale, fingertips sinking into the skin over Jimin’s ribcage as he slides his hands up. 



Jimin pulls back, thumb stroking Jungkook’s cheek in a way that seems vaguely tender. Then he grips Jungkook’s chin harshly, surveying the mess he’s made already with dark mirth. “I’m gonna ruin you for every other cock or hole for the rest of your pitiful life,” Jimin says with a wolfish grin. His hand slides down to circle Jungkook’s throat, not squeezing but holding with a definitive pressure. “How ‘bout I give you something else to dream about at night, hm?” 



The fuck you on Jungkook’s tongue gets caught behind his teeth when Jimin suddenly grips him by the shoulders and spins him around, slamming his front into the wall. His face collides with the hard surface as the air escapes his chest in a rush. 



Jimin’s hands are all over his body then, sweeping along the planes of his sides and back and down around his thighs. He’s frisking Jungkook, checking for weapons, and Jungkook tenses when Jimin’s hands slide down his right leg to his knife. 



“Some things never change,” Jimin muses, tugging Jungkook’s pants leg up and removing the knife from its holster. He runs a last check over Jungkook’s other leg with his free hand as he straightens back up. 



Jungkook can’t see much over the bunched leather of his jacket as Jimin’s hand shoves between his shoulder blades. 



“Hands on the wall.” 



Against every instinct he’s ever developed as a hunter, Jungkook complies. He raises his arms along the wall, movements slow and docile as he plants his palms in a clear gesture of submission. He works to steady his heart rate as he takes slow, deliberate breaths. He reminds himself that they made a deal, and Jimin has to follow through with it. Jimin won’t kill him, he tells himself. Not yet.



He flinches as the knife stabs into the wall, inches in front of his face. 



“Hiding any other surprises for me, Kook?” Jimin questions, disappearing from behind Jungkook. 



Jungkook’s breath fogs the sleek silver of his hunting knife buried several inches into the drywall. He hears the creak of bed springs as Jimin presumably takes a seat. If Jungkook strains, he can partially see Jimin’s form poised on the edge of the bed in his peripheral. He closes his eyes as he awaits his fate. 



“Don’t turn around,” Jimin instructs. “Take your jacket off.”



Jungkook hesitates to obey, quickly trying to decide if this is some sort of trick. Then he pushes away from the wall just enough to shrug his jacket off. It lands somewhere on the carpet, clunking faintly from where the items in his pockets hit. 



“Now your shirt.” Jungkook immediately reaches for the hem of his t-shirt, but Jimin tuts, cutting him off. “Slowly,” he amends, drawing the word out. 



Jimin wants a show, he realizes. He bites his lip, whether out of irritation or lust, he’s not sure. But he does as he’s told, catching the bottom of his shirt with both hands and dragging it upward over his torso, arms uncrossing as he works it the rest of the way over his head. He lowers his arms, picturing how he must look in Jimin’s eyes right now. He’s standing in jeans and worn boots, upper half bared and muscles and tattoos on display in the lamplight. He’s doing everything Jimin tells him to do with little opposition, and if the way Jimin hums in appreciation is any tell, they both know what it’s doing to him. 



“Keep going.”



He kicks his boots off haphazardly, leaning down to shuck off his socks. Everything gets tossed aside and forgotten in a matter of seconds before he stands back up straight, eyes roaming the monochrome designs of the wallpaper in front of his face. 



Then Jungkook’s hands move to the front of his pants. At the first brush of his fingers over the front of his jeans, the muscles in his thighs tighten in anticipation. He presses the heel of his palm against his growing semi and it gives a throb behind the rough layer of denim. He undoes the front of his pants and hooks his thumbs in the waistband, pushing down at an agonizingly slow rate that he can only assume is acceptable to Jimin, who remains silent. Jungkook can practically feel the eyes burning over his skin as his pants slide past his thighs then fall loosely around his ankles. He steps out of them and discards those along with the rest of his clothes, leaving him naked save for a pair of boxer briefs and the hoops dangling from his earlobes. He wonders if Jimin’s eyes have gone black yet or not.  



Jimin must not see the point in giving him another order. 



Jungkook doesn’t need it. He hooks his hands in the sides of his underwear and pushes them down as slowly as he can tolerate. He stretches the elastic band over the front to keep it off his cock and lets it rake down his ass. They don’t fall down the way his pants had, stubbornly clinging around his thighs. Jimin is still quiet as he bends to push his underwear the rest of the way off and kick them aside. 



“Good,” Jimin says once Jungkook is fully stripped. Then, as curtly and simply as the previous directions, “Touch yourself.” 



Jungkook braces himself against the wall, pressing his forehead onto the back of his hand and squeezing his eyes shut. It’s disturbingly easy to forget about the reasons he probably shouldn’t be enjoying this. Shouldn’t be getting off on it. Shouldn’t be half hard at taking orders to strip down naked for a demon. 



None of that really bothers him when he gets a hand around his cock, letting out a noisy exhale at the familiar grip of his own fingers. He imagines black demon eyes tracing the lines of the angel wings on his back, following the dip of his spine and lingering on the swell of his ass. He gets harder at the thought that Jimin is probably wondering what his cock looks like, thinking about how big he is. Wondering what he tastes like. He’s wondering the same things, too, imagining that the rustling sounds he hears from the bed are Jimin stripping off his own clothes, getting a hand around himself as he watches the show. 



Without prompting, Jungkook moves the hand from his cock up to his mouth and sucks a finger into the pocket of his cheek to get it wet. He spreads his feet a little further apart and wonders if he’ll get in trouble as he bends over at the waist slightly, wraps his arm behind himself. He digs his teeth into his bottom lip so hard it hurts to keep from making any noise as he circles his wet finger around his rim. He can’t figure out if he’s playing right into Jimin’s game or if he’s gained some sort of control, taking hold of the wheel even if it’s just until Jimin gives him his next order. 



He switches his position so his head is against the wall, neck craned down so he can watch his other hand drop to wrap around his cock. At the same time he gives it a slow, torturous stroke, he pushes his index finger inside his hole, only giving himself enough that the muscles push it right back out. Spit isn’t nearly enough to get his whole finger comfortably inside, but he’s not really trying to. It’s more about the idea of it. Fucking himself on his own finger, jacking himself off for the demon sitting a few feet behind him. It should repulse him - he should hate this. At one point he definitely would have, but right now all he can really think about is how Jimin’s cock will feel a lot better. 



His left hand slides down his shaft to cradle his balls, rolling them the way he likes. He’s done this before, under the spray of a hot shower. He’d gotten impatient with the angles back then, ended up cutting the water off and spreading himself out on the hotel bed to get his fingers deeper, work himself open the way he usually does. He hasn’t let himself think about that kind of thing in a while, mainly because all his recent fantasies have started off normal and ended up corrupted by demon eyes and gunpowder smudges and black tattoos. 



“That’s enough.” 



Jungkook pauses, chest heaving and jaw hanging open. 



“Turn around.”



Jungkook chews at his lip, bringing his arms back down to his sides. He swallows once and then turns around. 



Jimin lounges on the edge of the bed, completely naked. One hand is braced behind him and the other is on his cock, head hanging sideways as he runs his eyes down Jungkook’s front shamelessly. His eyes settle on Jungkook’s fully hard cock and he licks his lips. “Now,” he says, eyes flashing upward to meet Jungkook’s. “Show me how you hold up your end of a bargain, Jeon.” 



Never once letting his gaze waver, he takes a few steps forward, and then drops to his knees at Jimin’s feet. 



Jimin hums as Jungkook’s hands wrap around the back of his knees, pulling him forward and spreading them apart in the same motion. His ass settles on the very edge of the bed as Jungkook’s hands slide up his thighs. He pulls his hand away from his cock, letting it sink into the bed behind him as he seems to await Jungkook’s next move. “You look good on your knees,” Jimin comments, smirking at the harsh look Jungkook cuts upward at him. 



“You looked better when I was facing the other way.”



Jimin grabs him by the chin, jerking his face upward. “I’ll keep that in mind when I’m fucking you later.” 



Jungkook pulls himself free and Jimin lets him, hand falling back to its place on the bed. He looks at Jimin’s body in front of him then, taking in the flat expanse of his tattooed chest and the slight dip of his waist. His skin is more tanned than Jungkook’s, long limbs trimmed with dense, wiry muscle. Jungkook’s eyes fall to Jimin’s cock where it’s lying off-center on his stomach, not yet fully hard but well on its way. Jungkook can imagine himself crawling onto Jimin’s lap and sinking down on his cock just as easily as he can imagine shoving Jimin back on the bed, folding his legs up to his chest and fucking down into him. He has imagined it - both ways, every way, so many times. For years. Even during the years after Jimin disappeared and he felt as turned on by his thoughts as he did guilty. 



Right now, he’s freed himself of all his own guilt. At least for the next few hours. Until sunrise, after the deal is done. He’ll reclaim that guilt later, after he’s fulfilled whatever sick desires have been festering in the darkest parts of his mind for however long. He thinks, as he takes Jimin’s cock in his hand and feels its hot weight for the first time, that there are only dark parts left in his mind now, anyway. 



He could moan as he leans down and mouths at the base of Jimin’s cock, but he keeps it in. At the same time he wants to look up, check if black demon eyes stare back down at him, he can’t keep his eyes open when he gets his first taste. His tongue peeks just past his lips to graze the delicate skin on the underside of Jimin’s cock, probably too light for Jimin to even feel but it floods Jungkook’s bloodstream with molten want. He can’t really stand having Jimin’s cock this close to him and not in his mouth for another second. 



He slides the head of Jimin’s cock past his lips and laps at it, tasting salty precum and failing to hold back the loud, needy exhale that comes out of him. Distantly, he realizes this isn’t even part of the deal. He doesn’t have to suck Jimin’s cock. Jimin never even suggested it outright. But he’s opening his mouth wider, flattening his tongue on the underside of Jimin’s cock and sucking his cheeks tight around its girth in the kind of filthy way that’s not fooling either of them. His cock throbs between his legs as he starts bobbing his head, guiding Jimin’s cock into his mouth with his hand until he works up to a rhythm, steadily taking more and more with each stroke. 



Jimin’s hand buries in his hair and then it’s messy, sloppy, wet. He’s taking more than he can handle and he wants it. Tears prick at his eyes when the blunt head hits the back of his throat and he just wants it again. He doesn’t hold back a moan this time when Jimin pulls his hair, wrenching him down on his cock until he gags, noisily dragging in air through his nose. Lewd, wet sounds of sucking and thick, throaty noises pour into the room, drowned out by his own racing pulse and low groans in his ears. 



“Look at you,” Jimin coos, stroking Jungkook’s hair in a mockery of gentleness. “Big tough demon hunter choking on my cock like a hungry little whore. Look at the mess you’re making.” 



Jungkook doesn’t have to look. He can feel the spit he’s worked up around Jimin’s cock, the way his hair is mussed from Jimin’s hands and damp with sweat. His cheeks burn and his eyes are watery, a lone teardrop squeezing out and welling at the outer corner of his lashes. His lungs burn from lack of oxygen and he pulls off with an obscene sucking noise, panting lightly as he dips down and begins to mouth at Jimin’s sack. 



It makes a laugh rumble in Jimin’s chest, and Jungkook knows he should be spitting out go fuck yourself but he’s sucking Jimin’s balls into his mouth one at a time and moaning around them and everything about it says fuck me instead. He turns his head to the side and presses his damp mouth into the soft flesh of Jimin’s inner thigh, parting his lips to suck hard enough to leave a mark. Jimin doesn’t even squirm, just cards his fingers through Jungkook’s hair to push it out of his face and then grips it with a firmness that reminds Jungkook of a dog owner with a leash. When Jungkook is satisfied with the burgundy mark he leaves behind, he sinks his teeth into it and earns a sharp tug at his hair. 



An urge crosses his mind to push Jimin’s thighs up, tip him backward on the bed and spread him wide for Jungkook to get his mouth all over his ass, fuck his tongue inside him and pry a moan out of him. But the strict hand in his hair and the recollection of Jimin’s steely voice ordering him to strip naked suggest he wouldn’t get away with it. He moves back to Jimin’s cock instead, palm on top of his length to pull it down to his gaping mouth. 



Just before he goes back down, Jimin stops him with a yank on his hair that makes him grunt, scalp burning from the abuse. He looks up to Jimin’s face and sees dark arousal - heavy, burning eyes and bitten lips and tongue pushed into his cheek. Jimin’s other hand bats Jungkook’s hand away and circles his cock instead, drawing Jungkook’s attention back down. As he holds Jungkook in place, he nudges the head of his cock against Jungkook’s mouth, smearing spit and precum across the swell of each lip. Jungkook’s eyes slide closed, tongue sliding out of his mouth for Jimin to do with as he pleases. 



“Filthy,” Jimin says, punctuated with a light slap of his cock against Jungkook’s tongue. 



Not having any argument against that, Jungkook gives a short moan in response. It seems to please Jimin, as he lets go of Jungkook’s hair and drops his hand away to rest on the bed. Jungkook sinks back down easily, everything still slicked up from before, and starts sucking so hard his eyes pinch closed in effort. With each drop of his head he takes as much as he can until his soft palate spasms around the head, still trying to get more of that stretch in his throat, salty wetness and velvet softness on his tongue. He goes until his jaw is aching, knees stinging from the carpet under them. Until Jimin’s hips roll upward into him, thighs flexing under Jungkook’s hands. 



The next time he comes up for air, Jimin pulls him upward. He pushes to his feet and knees up onto the edge of the bed, one leg between Jimin’s. They shift backward on the mattress as Jungkook crawls over Jimin, fists rooted in the comforter on either side of him. With a subdued growl through his teeth, he dips down and crashes their mouths back together, gasping into the kiss when Jimin palms his ass in both hands and drags him down. Their cocks slide together easily, Jimin’s slick with spit and Jungkook’s dripping with precum and throbbing with neglect. Jimin licks into his mouth like he wants to taste himself inside Jungkook, lapping at his tongue and the back of his teeth and roof of his mouth. Jungkook sucks at Jimin’s lips and tongue and ruts, hand bruising where it’s wrapped around Jimin’s hip to hold him down. 



He gets a hand under Jimin’s knee and pulls his leg around his waist. He’s surprised when Jimin lets him, even wraps the leg tighter and arches up into him. They part from the kiss, lips wet and glistening, and Jungkook drags his mouth over Jimin’s jawline and down his neck. The fluttering pulse under his tongue and the fingers digging into his back make him think maybe he’s not the only one getting lost in this. He clamps his mouth on the side of Jimin’s neck, toying with the give of the soft flesh under the ridges of his teeth, seals his lips over the skin and sucks hard. He wonders if any of the marks will stay or if Jimin’s supernatural powers will heal them before they’re even done for the night. He sucks marks into Jimin’s skin just to find out, all down his neck as they gasp and thrust into each other, claw at each other with blunt nails. 



Jimin takes it like that for longer than Jungkook expects. 



Jungkook grips Jimin’s hair, returning the favor, and moves his head so he can bite at his earlobe. “You’re acting like you’re the one who wants to get fucked.”  



His back hits the mattress with a bounce and he’s pinned down with Jimin on top of him before he can even register what’s happening. Jimin bears down on him, hips pinning Jungkook’s to the mattress and hands catching Jungkook’s wrists to pin above his head. Jungkook doesn’t stand a chance against Jimin’s speed and strength, barely has time to let out a surprised huff in the time it takes Jimin to render him helpless. It’s a stark reminder that any sense of control Jungkook may have had a few minutes ago was an illusion. His own vulnerability knocks the breath out of him as it sinks in: he’s naked, unarmed, underneath a demon who could kill him in seconds in an infinite number of ways. 



And - instead of shoving Jimin away, fighting for his life, scrambling for his knife or making a run for the door - he looks up in search of black demon eyes and waits, hopes, for Jimin to ruin him. 



Jimin’s eyes are still brown, human. Almost unsettlingly so because Jungkook has been anticipating the change since Jimin opened the hotel room door. It makes it that much harder to keep a line drawn in his mind. His Jimin. Demon Jimin. Two different entities, and yet. 



Jimin’s mouth on his neck tears him from his thoughts, searing hot and unforgiving on his skin. Teeth and tongue, marking him up and gnashing at Jungkook’s pulse like he wouldn’t mind breaking the skin there. All Jungkook can do is strain against Jimin’s hands and gasp into his hair, arch into his mouth as he makes a path downward. Jimin’s lips are as soft as the rows of his teeth are hard, borderline painful as he bites at Jungkook’s collarbone. He drags his mouth down Jungkook’s chest, over the hill of his pectoral until he latches onto a nipple. 



Jungkook inhales sharply through his nose and tries not to squirm. 



Jimin flattens his tongue, giving one last, long lick over Jungkook’s nipple before leaning back. “Don’t move,” he says, just before letting go of Jungkook’s hands and sitting all the way back on his heels. He smooths a hand down the center of Jungkook’s chest, straight down his belly over his tensed abs. He takes Jungkook’s cock in his hand and gives it a few lazy strokes, digs his thumb into the slit, smirks at the way Jungkook lightly thrusts upward into the friction. The overhead light casts a sheen onto his black hair, only somewhat messy from Jungkook’s hands and falling into his eyes. Even without the soulless black eyes, every inch of the man between Jungkook’s legs is blatantly demon. The sadistic glint in his eyes as he watches Jungkook bend to his will, the unfeeling smile on his lips, the lax yet calculated posture that emanates seduction and power. 



Jimin is, unfortunately, as visually breathtaking as a demon as he was as Jungkook’s friend. It doesn’t stir the same feelings in Jungkook’s chest, but it stirs others. Lust and want at the forefront, backseat contempt and the feather edge of fear. 



Jungkook can finally breathe freely as Jimin moves away from him, off the bed toward the nightstand. He lies still, shoulders bunched and hands still uncomfortably overlapped above his head. He hears the drawer close, then there’s the faint creak and dip of the mattress as Jimin returns.



Jimin tosses a bottle of lube off to the side as he settles on his knees back in front of Jungkook. 



Jungkook eyes the bottle, then looks back to Jimin. “Condom?” 



Jimin rolls his eyes. “Demons don’t get STDs.” 



The idea of having Jimin’s bare cock inside him makes his stomach clench with want. He rolls his lips, catching his bottom lip between his teeth and noticing the way Jimin’s eyes hone in on the movement.



Motioning with his hand, Jimin says, “Turn over.”



A flare of rebellion or recklessness makes Jungkook bite back a smirk. “No.” 



Jimin raises one brow, tilting his head as he seems to give Jungkook a few moments to reconsider. The look in his eyes is some muddled cross between hostility and amusement. “No?” he repeats after a heavy pause, letting out a vaguely condescending huff of a laugh. 



Jungkook shifts his arms down, propping them underneath his head and making himself more comfortable. Maybe Jimin hadn’t been too far off base when he’d accused Jungkook of getting a kick out of playing with fire. “I said I’d let you fuck me,” he states. “I never agreed to be your little bitch.” 



He’s a lot less surprised this time when two harsh hands grip him by the hips and flip him face-first into the mattress. 



Jimin’s body covers Jungkook’s, chest sliding against his back and cock settling in the cleft of his ass. His tongue traces the shell of Jungkook’s ear before he mumbles, “I’ll make you beg to be my little bitch,” and the comforter bunches in Jungkook’s fists. 



“I’d rather die,” Jungkook bites out, but Jimin only chuckles and mouths down the nape of his neck. 



“One thing at a time, baby,” Jimin says with a chuckle. His breath hits Jungkook’s sweat-damp skin on his upper back, trailing downward. Jimin’s hands stroke up and down his waist, thumbs digging into the muscles along his spine and nails raking hard enough to leave red marks. One hand under each hip, Jimin gives a hard pull to get Jungkook on his knees. When Jungkook tries to get his arms underneath himself to push up, Jimin shoves him down with a rough hand on the back of his neck. 



Jungkook suppresses a shiver, one eye squeezed shut against the mattress. All he can see with the other are the folds of the rumpled white comforter. A sudden feverish sweat breaks out on his body, every inch of his skin lighting up. He’s hyper aware as he focuses on Jimin behind him, feels every shift on the bed and every place their skin touches. Jimin works his knees further apart, decisive hands on the firm muscles of Jungkook’s thighs. Then he pushes a hand down in the middle of Jungkook’s back, molding him into an arch. 



“I know you’ve dreamed about this,” Jimin says. He spreads his hands over Jungkook’s ass, runs a thumb between his cheeks. 



“Not with you.” He bunches the comforter in one hand and pulls it to his face to bury his mouth in it. 



“One of the best things about being a demon,” Jimin muses conversationally as he rubs the pad of his thumb over Jungkook’s hole, tight and twitching, “is the sense of smell.”



Jungkook grunts, body lightly heaving with his unsteady breaths as he wills himself not to push back into Jimin’s hands. 



“I can smell everything you’re feeling,” Jimin continues. “When you’re angry. When you’re turned on.” 



Jimin’s mouth brushes his tailbone, slick of his tongue just barely grazing the skin. Jungkook can’t hold back a low whine this time, muffled into the comforter. 



“And I know when you’re lying,” Jimin says. “So why don’t you just cut the bullshit? It’ll make tonight a lot more fun.” 



Jungkook tenses in anticipation when he feels Jimin’s breath on his ass, feels the bed shift as he repositions himself lower behind Jungkook. 



“We don’t have to be a demon and a hunter right now,” Jimin is saying, voice honeyed and words calculated. His hands spread Jungkook’s ass, tongue swipes at the tender flesh at the top of his thigh. “You can just be the guy I’m gonna fuck tonight.” Another swipe of his tongue, closer to Jungkook’s opening. “And I’ll be the guy who’s gonna eat you out until you’re begging me to fuck you and let you come.” 



Jungkook has to clench his teeth to keep the word please from falling past his lips. Then Jimin’s tongue is hot and wet on his hole, circling deep and pushing against the muscles. A raspy groans forces its way out of him and he chases the heat of Jimin’s mouth backward, turning his face down into the bed. Jimin’s hands smooth over his body, along his flanks and down the dip of his back with a certain reverence Jungkook is too distracted to think about. 



Jimin works him open, nudging insistently with the blunt tip of his tongue and nipping at the skin with his teeth until Jungkook bucks from the sensitivity. He makes rasping, wanton noises against Jungkook’s soaked rim, mixing with the dirty, wet sounds of his lips sucking and parting. Jungkook can no longer contain the heavy breathing or the steady roll of his hips, trembling thighs. He wishes Jimin wasn’t so good at this, wasn’t making him fall apart in bed like this. He wishes he wasn’t putty in the hands of a demon, bent and shaped to Jimin’s liking and body begging for more. Groaning and leaning into it is too easy. Biting at the blanket and arching his back so deep it aches is too easy. Holding up his end of this deal is too easy. 



They’re at the stage where the sex gets loud, nasty sounding. The noises coming out of Jungkook aren’t even passable as just breathing anymore, each one more of a whine or moan than the last. Jimin’s mouth sounds absolutely filthy, feels absolutely filthy. He’s got Jungkook’s hole loose and relaxed, able to push his tongue in and fuck into him. The hot slide, in and out, circling and dipping back in, makes Jungkook so breathless he’s shoving the blankets out of his face to drag in air. Sweat sticks his hair to his neck and forehead, adds a saltiness to the air that’s sweltering around them. Jimin’s fingertips dig into the meat of his ass and thighs, wrench him backward to keep Jungkook on his mouth when he tries to rut downward for relief. Precum leaks from Jungkook’s cock, runs down the length and drips onto the bed. An orgasm has already started swirling in his lower belly, would probably just need a few good strokes of his hand, but he knows Jimin won’t let him yet. He’s getting to the point where he’s having to remind himself he’d claimed he’d rather die than beg with every long lick or hard swirl of Jimin’s tongue. 



Jimin licks downward, digging his tongue into Jungkook’s taint and lapping at his tightened sack. Jungkook lets out an embarrassingly loud noise, hips jolting. Then Jimin’s tongue makes a long line straight back up, catching on Jungkook’s rim and shoving past the tight ring to his inside walls. When Jimin’s finger nudges alongside his tongue, testing the give of his hole, Jungkook throws his arms over the back of his head to hide and struggles to keep from pleading. Instead, he bites his lip and pushes his ass back. 



“Tell me you want it,” Jimin says as he pulls away, voice husky and deeper than Jungkook has ever heard. His finger teases at Jungkook’s hole, slipping around in all the spit he’d left behind. 



Jungkook makes a muffled noise from under his arms. 



Jimin slaps his ass with his other hand, not hard enough to hurt but coming across as a warning. Jungkook groans at the sting, wishes he could see Jimin’s pink handprint disappear from his skin. “Say it.” 



Jungkook twists around until he can look over his shoulder. The angle is awkward, but he can see Jimin - lips wet and dark pink and parted to breathe, shoulders square and abdomen taut. The divots along the lean muscles of his shoulders and arms look carved out in shadow, thin sweat glistening at the high points. Jungkook strains to see the way Jimin’s hands curve over his ass, down the backs of his thighs. 



He’ll never be able to forgive himself for the type of want he feels when he looks at the demon kneeling behind him. 



Another smack, and Jungkook’s exhale stutters out of him. Part of him wants to provoke Jimin to do it again, but the other part is desperate to get something inside him. 



Jimin’s finger still toys with him, pushing just inside as Jungkook’s rim flutters. “I’ll make you do it yourself,” Jimin states. “I’ll go have a seat and you can put on another show for me. Is that what you want?” 



Jungkook lets out a frustrated huff. He shakes his head. 



“Then say it,” Jimin repeats. “Say ‘Jimin, put your fingers inside me. Fuck me open.’” 



“Just do it already,” Jungkook snarls, pushing back insistently. 



Jimin tuts. “Tonight could be so good for you,” he purrs, hands rubbing circles and soothing where his hand had struck. “I can make it so good for you, baby. Don’t you want that? Don’t you think… after how long you’ve wanted me, don’t you think you deserve that, Kookie? Don’t you deserve to feel good?” 



Any answer Jungkook might have had dies in his throat as Jimin leans over, warm skin flush to Jungkook’s back and mouth hot by his ear. 



“I want to make you feel good, Kookie,” Jimin murmurs, noses behind Jungkook’s ear and then nips at it. “Just tell me what you want and I’ll give you everything.” 



“Hit me again,” Jungkook blurts out, eyes snapping shut. Jimin hums in his ear, sucking at his lobe, and Jungkook leans to give him more room. Then, dry and choked, “Put your fingers inside me.” 



After one more growl and bite at the shell of Jungkook’s ear, Jimin leans back. His hand comes down on Jungkook’s asscheek in the next second, making Jungkook yelp and then give a full body shudder. One finger finds Jungkook’s hole, the other hand gripped on one cheek, and plunges inside, bottoms out. Jungkook hears and feels Jimin reach for the lube and add some, making the slide that much easier and feel that much better. It’s a sense of relief but it’s not nearly enough, really just makes him want more, bigger, thicker, deeper. 



Jimin doesn’t waste any time adding a second finger. That seems to be the moment when something snaps in Jungkook’s mind, when he finally detaches from everything that tells him to hold back, keep quiet, don’t give in. It’s the same as in his dreams - the moment he’d lost it and rolled over onto Jimin in the white space, that first sip of wine in the room full of demons, come with me and carbon black hand and finger smudges. He can feel it almost physically break inside him, and then he’s writhing, moaning, canting his hips back in time with Jimin’s hand. 



The words start falling out of him, “more, more, Jimin, please,” and Jimin laughs, gives it to him but the I told you so hangs in the air. Jungkook can’t bring himself to care, thoughts melting in the pleasure and raw need bubbling to the surface. Jimin gives him everything he asks for the second he asks for it - another slap across the ass when he gasps “again, hit me again and a third finger pushed inside him when he begs for another, adding more lube until it’s an utter mess. His back arches and his knees press open wider at the stretch so he’s splayed obscenely on the bed, cock drooling and mouth hanging slack. Jimin fucks him with three fingers, hard and fast and gripping his ass with one hand just to make it hurt a little more. 



“That’s enough,” Jungkook grunts. “M’good. Hurry up and fuck me.” 



Jimin laughs, thrusts his hand a little harder. He changes the angle and it puts pressure on Jungkook’s prostate, making him tremble. “Why should I hurry?” Jimin questions. “You think I want to rush through my cut of the deal?” 



“We’re doing it twice,” Jungkook says hoarsely. “Just do it now.” 



Jimin hums, contemplating. 



“You said you’d give me everything,” Jungkook states, looking over his shoulder and into Jimin’s eyes. He wants to see them blacked out, windows to look into the pure evil inside him, but brown eyes gaze back at him, somewhere between aroused and apathetic. It makes him wonder if Jimin is holding back on purpose. He wets his lips before he speaks, cracked and humiliatingly breathless. “So do what you fucking said you’re gonna do.” 



The corner of Jimin’s mouth lifts in a smile as he pulls his fingers out, leaving Jungkook empty. One hand sinks into the bed by Jungkook’s head, the other grips his hair. He kisses Jungkook, sloppy and at an awkward ankle with Jungkook’s neck turned as far as it can go. Jungkook moans as Jimin sucks on his tongue, trades it for his bottom lip and bites into it. Jimin pulls back, grabs the lube. He reaches down between them to palm his own cock, smear lube up and down the length. Jungkook feels the head of Jimin’s cock nudge his asscheek and closes his eyes to focus at the singular point of contact, practically vibrating as his body anticipates the stretch. 



“Say it again,” Jimin orders, voice close to Jungkook’s ear again.  



“Fuck me,” Jungkook breathes, no hesitation.



Jimin’s hand tightens painfully in his hair. “More.” 



Jungkook whimpers as Jimin rubs the head of his cock over his entrance. “Please,” he rasps. “Fuck me. Put your cock in me. Wanna feel it. Jimin.” 



It seems to be enough, because before Jimin’s name is fully past his lips, the head of his cock is pushing inside. Jungkook’s body is tense and thrumming like a bowstring, chest heaving and cock bobbing between his legs as he grunts from the pressure. Jimin leans away and braces a hand on Jungkook’s lower back to watch the slow slide of his cock. Jungkook lets out a noise as Jimin pulls out and pushes back in just once, getting deeper on the second try. 



“F-fuck,” Jungkook stutters. His hands are wound tight in the blanket, face shoved into the fabric and drool threatening to pour out of his gaping mouth. 



“You’re tight as fuck,” Jimin says, strained and sounding inconvenienced as he inches his cock inside Jungkook and pauses every few seconds to let him adjust. Jungkook hadn’t known what he’d expected for this - had tossed around the possibility that Jimin might just slam home, ignore any pain and fuck him until it stopped hurting. But Jimin is tediously slow, true to his word that he wants Jungkook to feel good. Jungkook is oblivious to the implications of that when he has Jimin’s thick cock splitting him open, hands on his hips and silvery voice in his ears as Jimin asks, “Is this your first time like this?”



Jungkook shakes his head, too incoherent to verbalize. 



“Did you think about me when they were fucking you?” 



Jungkook nods. 



Jimin makes a low, amused sound of approval. He gives another few shallow thrusts. If Jungkook weren’t already buckled over, he would have collapsed. He pulls out all the way to add more lube, wipes the excess on Jungkook’s raw hole and then guides his cock back inside.



Jungkook’s eyebrows bunch at the center, toes flexing as he digs them into the bed. 



“Relax, baby,” Jimin hums. “You can take it.” 



Jungkook listens, forcing the tension out of his muscles with a shaky breath. He starts to adjust to the burn and the slow rock of Jimin’s hips, only taking about half the length. In just a few moments, he’s relaxed completely and it starts to feel good, full. There’s the faintest pressure on his prostate, just an infinitesimal buzz of pleasure that starts drawing small moans out of him. His cock kicks where it hangs between his legs, having waned a bit during the adjustment period but now fully engorged and weeping.



“Good boy,” Jimin purrs, stroking his hands up and down Jungkook’s back. “You want the rest now?” 



“Mm, mn-yeah,” Jungkook mumbles. 



Jimin grabs Jungkook around the hips and bottoms out in one smooth motion, punching a loud whimper out of Jungkook. He doesn’t give Jungkook time to catch up and starts pounding, hips slapping Jungkook’s ass hard enough to rack his whole body against the mattress. 



Jungkook swears and claws at the comforter, Jimin’s name breathed from his lips as easily as air. Pain dulls to a superficial ache, second to the building pleasure pumping through him. He melts into it, upper body liquid on the bed, letting Jimin tug him into the thrusts as he lies there and feels. He could drown in it, in Jimin’s subtle breaths and the smack of their skin, in the feeling of being full and fucked. Three years diminishes in a haze and it’s just Jimin, Jimin, Jimin. Jimin’s hands, Jimin’s voice, Jimin’s warmth. His head is spinning, thoughts quiet. It’s a concept even his most basic instincts understand: he and Jimin, Jimin and him. 



Hands spread over Jungkook’s lower back, fingertips tracing an invisible design. There’s a twisted smile in Jimin’s voice when he says, “You’d look sexy with a tramp stamp right here.” He draws something on Jungkook’s skin with his index finger, but Jungkook is too lost to understand what it is until Jimin says it out loud. “J-I-M-I-N,” Jimin spells, tracing the last letter into Jungkook’s lower back. 



In his mind, clouded over with lust and sex, Jungkook can picture it tattooed on his skin. Can feel the prick of the needle, carving out a physical place as just a fractional glimpse of the space Jimin occupies inside him. 



“Mine,” Jimin says, punctuated with a hard thrust that knocks a cry out of Jungkook. “My little demon hunter. My little fuck toy.” 



Jungkook lets out a watery moan, bracing his fists in the mattress as leverage to meet each snap of Jimin’s hips. His entire body burns fever-hot, slippery sweat in the crooks of his knees and running down the divot of his spine. He groans, low and long, as Jimin starts fucking him slow and deep, deliberate thrusts of his full length all the way out and back in. Jungkook shakes from the ache of his pent-up orgasm, wound tight inside him nearly to the point of bursting. 



An arm winds around Jungkook’s waist, lifting him up off the bed as if he weighs next to nothing. Jungkook gasps at the new position, head rolling back onto Jimin’s shoulder. Gravity sinks him down even deeper onto Jimin’s cock, makes the sounds coming out of him cut through the air unhindered. Jimin maintains their pace with an arm around Jungkook’s front, lifting him up and down on his lap where Jungkook’s thighs tremble to keep up. Jimin’s other hand glides over Jungkook’s flushed skin to wrap around his throat, firm but nonthreatening. 



Jimin’s voice, even a whisper, is clear over the noise of their joined bodies and Jungkook’s unstifled moans. “You’d let me do anything to you, wouldn’t you?” 



Jungkook bites his lip, eyes closed tight. He answers with a weak nod. 



“You gonna let me come all over you?” 



Jungkook moans, head jittering in another certain nod. 



“You’d like that, huh?” 



Another nod, and Jungkook’s hand comes up to the back of Jimin’s head, fingers threading into silky, sweaty hair. He turns his head and drags Jimin into a kiss, groaning into his mouth at the way the hand on his throat tightens. Jimin kisses him back, slides the hand on his throat up to his jaw and tilts Jungkook where he pleases. Pulls him away to sink his teeth into the side of his neck, pulls him back to devour him in a sloppy, loud kiss. 



“You’d let me tie you up,” Jimin murmurs against Jungkook’s lips, and Jungkook just keeps nodding and moans. “You’d get on your knees and beg for my cock, wouldn’t you? Let me fuck your mouth ‘til I come all over your face.” 



Jungkook shivers as Jimin licks at his neck, gives his throat the faintest squeeze. 



“You’d let me choke you or slap you if I wanted,” Jimin rasps, voice menacing and dripping with sin. “Would you let someone else fuck you so I could watch?” 



“Yes,” Jungkook moans.



Jimin laughs, sinister and breathy. “Would you be my little cockslut, baby? That how bad you want it?”



Jungkook pulls Jimin by the hair to talk into his ear. “Shut up and make me come,” he murmurs, breath fluttering Jimin’s hair. 



Jimin throws him down onto his back like a ragdoll and the entire bed rattles, headboard cracking against the wall. He grabs Jungkook under the thighs and spreads him wide, muscles and tendons stretched taut until they burn. Jungkook catches his breath and loses it again in the matter of seconds it takes Jimin to line up and fuck back into him. He reaches overhead to grip the bed to keep from getting shoved backward from the thrusts, gasps at the pain of Jimin’s hipbones bruising his thighs. He can see and feel the demon in Jimin now, the snarl on his lips and the unforgiving roughness of his hands as he pins Jungkook’s legs, nails indenting the skin and fingertips leaving marks. 



Jungkook’s hand flattens on his lower belly, fingers twitching with the urge to reach down and grab his cock. He looks down between their bodies, licking his lips at the tight muscles of Jimin’s abdomen and the sight of his cock pumping in and out of him. He groans through his teeth, rolls his head back and squeezes his eyes shut. He could come any second now, just needs a few strokes or something to rut against. 



A finger traces the thick vein down the underside of his cock and Jungkook curls up into the touch. When Jungkook peeks through his lashes, Jimin is smirking at him. “You want to come, baby?” 



Jungkook nods, teeth digging into his bottom lip. 



“Then say it.”



“Wanna come,” Jungkook moans, need throbbing hard between his legs. “Please. Juh-Jimin, please. I wanna come.” 



Jimin stops teasing him, starts slamming his hips at a breakneck speed and wraps his hand around Jungkook’s cock. His hand slides easily, all but soaked from the precum oozing out of the slit. Jungkook thrashes, neck arched and helplessly rolling his hips up to meet Jimin’s. 



“Fuck, oh, oh,” Jungkook babbles, and Jimin answers with a hum of understanding. 



In a lapse of judgment, he reaches out and grabs Jimin, pulls him in. Wraps his arms around him and anchors him down, chest to chest. He breathes him in, his hair and sweat and skin. He moans, mouth crushed against Jimin’s neck and hands pawing at the muscles down his back. Jimin lands on an elbow to the side of him, caging him in as he grunts between thrusts, hand fumbling in the tight space between their stomachs to keep stroking. 



“Don’t stop, don’t stop,” Jungkook begs, breathless, barely a hoarse whisper. It’s too much, feels too much like a dream, feels too good to be real. He teeters on the edge for so long, feeling the way his orgasm builds and builds and he sobs because it’s just too much, he needs to come. Jimin feels so right in his arms, feels even better when Jungkook wraps his legs around him. 



Somewhere in the seconds between a long, shattered moan and when his orgasm finally hits, he forgets. He forgets three years of anguish and longing and loneliness. Forgets all the hatred and malice and torture. It all falls away, stripped away and dispersed into the air. All he can feel is electric pleasure coursing through his blood, all he can see is white static in his vision.



For those few seconds, for the first time in three years, he feels like his soul didn’t die along with Jimin’s that night. He feels startlingly alive, overwhelmed, trembling. His body rattles as it crashes through him, waves and waves, from the deepest part of his core to the tips of his fingers. Come splatters on his stomach but he barely notices, doesn’t even register how tight his legs are around Jimin’s waist, dragging him in deep and locking tight. His hand bunches tight in soft black hair, the other clinging to strong shoulders like he’ll die if he lets go. Moans pour loudly from his wide-open mouth, one after another for each wave that hits him. 



He clings to that feeling as he starts to come down, gasping and feeling the sting of tears behind his eyes as he realizes it’s over. His chest heaves between them, Jimin’s body pulled entirely flush against him at some point during his orgasm. Warm come is slippery between their skin as Jungkook’s legs fall back to the sides and Jimin resumes thrusting, slow but gaining momentum. 



Jungkook goes limp, arms falling to the bed and jostling bonelessly when Jimin’s hips connect. Everything that disappeared in that handful of seconds slowly creeps back to him, but he closes his eyes to stave it off. He wants to stay here, where he doesn’t care, where it doesn’t matter. Just the guy Jimin is fucking tonight and the guy that just made Jungkook come hard, just the two of them. Just Jungkook and his illusion of reality, not any more real than his dreams or relived memories. Shells of themselves passing as the real thing, both empty inside except what they evoke in each other. 



Jungkook is dragged back into his own mind as Jimin’s movements become more erratic, gravelly noises coming through his gritted teeth. He opens his eyes to watch as Jimin adjusts his position, scooping an arm under Jungkook’s lower back and balancing on one hand. The veins in his neck bulge against the flush skin, muscles of his jaw working as he finishes himself off. Jungkook reaches up and runs a hand down Jimin’s chest, thumbing at beads of sweat and watching the cross tattoo disappear and reappear between his fingers. Phantom images of blackened handprints flash through his mind, but he blinks and there’s only smooth, tan skin and ink lines. 



Beautiful, Jungkook thinks blearily as Jimin’s face crumples in pleasure and he groans. The sound is gorgeous, angelic, too sweet to come out of something so corrupt. Jungkook gives an empathetic groan along with him, nods in encouragement when Jimin pulls out to stroke himself through the rest of his orgasm. Jungkook tilts his head back in ecstasy, waits for Jimin’s come to paint his chest and gives a filthy moan when it finally does. The noises coming out of Jimin are almost better than his own orgasm, so good he could get hard again just listening. 



“There you go,” Jungkook murmurs, completely fucked out of his mind at this point. 



Jimin’s head hangs from his shoulders, slumped over with his palms on the bed as he collects himself. Jungkook takes the opportunity to run his fingers through Jimin’s hair again, marvel at the softness and the way it shines.



He kind of wants to thank Jimin for not letting this be the end of the deal. He’s delusional now, departed from reality in the afterglow of a good fuck. The soreness hasn’t hit him yet. He still feels so good, so warm and light. 



Jimin’s fingers slide through the slick on Jungkook’s chest, catching come on his fingers. He lifts his hand and Jungkook doesn’t hesitate as he grabs it and pulls it to his mouth. He sucks two of Jimin’s fingers into his mouth, tonguing at the wetness and lapping at them until the flavor is all gone. Jimin does it again, collects more come and then stuffs his fingers back into Jungkook’s mouth, watches with a dark look in his eyes as Jungkook greedily sucks them clean. He does it again, Jungkook’s mouth parted and ready, but takes them into his own mouth instead, sucking the come from them and popping them out of his mouth with a lewd noise.



Finished, Jimin ducks down and drags his tongue up Jungkook’s neck, bites at tender marks he’d left there earlier. Then, in a blur of superhuman movement, Jimin is gone. 



Jungkook is left to blink up at the ceiling, spots in his vision from the lights. Muscles and joints exhausted, an ache starting to sink into his bones, he rolls over onto his side and stretches out. He listens to Jimin in the bathroom and closes his eyes, hand curled near his face as he waits. He wonders if Jimin will come back and fuck him again right now or if he’s got some way in mind to drag this out even longer. Maybe Jimin is finished with him, no longer interested in the other part of their agreement. 



Jimin comes back into the room with a damp washcloth and tosses it to Jungkook before heading to the bottle of whiskey on the nightstand. As Jungkook takes the cloth and starts cleaning himself up, Jimin takes a long drink from the bottle, throat shifting up and down as he swallows. 



Once he’s as clean as he feels inclined to make himself, Jungkook throws the wet cloth across the room. It thuds wetly into the wall and falls to the floor. 



Jimin gestures to him with the bottle of whiskey, offering. 



Jungkook eases himself into a seated position and slides to the edge of the bed. He takes the bottle from Jimin and tosses it back, alcohol burning down his throat as he takes a few shots’ worth. The liquid sloshes as he hands it back to Jimin, who places it on the nightstand. 



Tension is thick and palpable in the air as Jungkook watches Jimin stand by the bed, wiping his arm across his mouth to dry it. 



Jimin turns to him, their eyes locking. “One down, one to go.” 



Relief floods Jungkook so fast it should terrify him. He moves backward on the bed as Jimin comes back to him, crawling to follow Jungkook. He parts Jungkook’s legs with a hand on each inner thigh, making room for himself. 



“I’m not gonna go easy on you this time,” Jimin states, face impassive but eyes blazing. 



“I don’t want you to.” 



Jimin presses his smirk into Jungkook’s thigh, trading it for the sink of teeth into skin. Jungkook writhes as Jimin sucks marks into his inner thighs, pinkish red to angry purple, patternless and artless. Jimin pushes up on his legs and Jungkook’s heart hammers behind his ribs as he realizes where it’s going and he’s getting worked up again already. 



Jungkook looks down to watch Jimin move between his legs and the air punches out of his chest at the sight. 



Jimin’s eyes are solid black, red lips stretched in a smile. His face disappears as he goes down between Jungkook’s thighs, hot breath and wet tongue and a low, sinister laugh. 



The moment Jimin’s mouth reaches him, tongue sliding over his over-sensitive hole, Jungkook lets out a loud, unfiltered and dirty moan. 



“Atta boy, baby,” Jimin says, and then takes his cut of the deal until Jungkook feels alive again, just for a few more seconds. 





Jungkook is bound and gagged, bleeding from shallow cut wounds and dizzy from a heavy blow to the head. The feeling has gone out of his arms and legs, fingertips tingling from lack of circulation. His muscles and joints have gone beyond protesting, beyond screaming out in pain to just numb, immobile and limp. His temple is pressed to an achingly cold tile floor in the empty kitchen of an abandoned house. 



He sighs through his gag. Typical Saturday night. 



He can’t wait for the bitching he’s going to get from Jimin for not sticking to the plan. To be fair, though, this time he really had gone with the plan. He’d been surveilling this demon den all night, waiting on Jimin to get back from a case that had turned out to be a false lead. He’d decided to get a closer look at the interior of the house, see what they were up against. And to be fair, he wouldn’t have gotten caught if Jimin hadn’t chosen the exact moment he was skirting underneath the living room window to call him. 



He’s not really sure why he’s still alive. They might try to get some information out of him. If they were smart, they might search his car. But he doesn’t think they’re smart because they didn’t even fish the keys out of his pocket before they tied him up and tossed him down on the kitchen floor. A swift knock to the side of the head with the butt of a gun and a few cracked ribs later and here he is. 



The demon goon assigned to keep watch over him leans against the counter a few feet away playing games on his phone. He barely notices when the commotion starts outside. 



“Hey, what the - ” comes a muffled yell, cut off mid-sentence. 



The other demons seated around the living room take a look at each other, grab their guns and then get to their feet. 



Jungkook shifts around, shoulder digging painfully into the tile so he can get a clearer view to the front door.



Then they all wait, Jungkook with a knowing grin and the group of demons posted up at the doors and windows. 



Glass shatters and something flies through the window, hits the floor and pops. The demons in the living room don’t even have time to turn before a mist of holy water assaults all of them. The room fills with screams and pained yells as the water blisters on their skin, some dropping their guns and doubling over on the floor. 



Then the front door bursts open, Jimin’s preferred method of entry. He takes out three demons with lethal shots at point blank range before the others can train their sights on him. 



The babysitter finally seems to get the memo, dropping his phone and procuring a knife from his pocket. He stomps over and grabs Jungkook by the ropes on his back, bullying him to his feet to use as a human shield. 



Jungkook grunts in pain, ropes biting into his wrists and ankles. He rolls his eyes as the demon get the knife to his throat, just in time for Jimin to make his way through the living room toward them, leaving a massacre behind him. 



Jimin barely acknowledges the demon holding a knife to Jungkook’s throat. “You didn’t stick to the plan,” he states, mouth an unamused line. 



Jungkook shrugs, unable to talk with the gag in his mouth. 



“Drop your weapons or I’ll slit his throat!” the demon bellows, right in Jungkook’s ear. 



Jimin’s eyes shift from Jungkook to the demon. He gestures with the point of his massive blade. “Let him go and we’ll give you a head start.” 



The demon laughs. Jungkook cranes his neck to get as far away from the guy’s rank breath as possible. 



“Let him go? ” the demon repeats, scoffing. “I’ve got a knife to his fucking throat and you - ”



Jimin’s gun fires and the demon flies backward, hitting a kitchen cabinet and then dropping to the floor with a dull thump. Without the demon holding him up, Jungkook drops weakly to his knees and lets out a groan. 



“They’re arrogant fuckers, aren’t they?” Jimin hums, sheathing his knife. “Hang tight. I’ve gotta do the exorcism before they start coming to.” 



Jungkook nods, and Jimin starts reciting the Latin rites from memory, words rolling off his tongue with well-practiced ease. He speaks loud enough for his voice to ring across both rooms. At only a few lines in, the bloody bodies scattered around the living room start to writhe and seize, mangled noises ripping out of their bodies like wounded animals. Black smoke starts to ooze out of their mouths and nostrils, tumbling down to the floor and sinking through. Presumably back to hell, if Jungkook had to guess. He doesn’t really care where they go, so long as it’s not here. 



Jungkook watches the demon next to him with morbid fascination as he writhes and groans, heaving smoke out of his mouth like he’s vomiting. When it’s all gone, right at the tail end of Jimin’s exorcism, his body goes still on the floor, boneless. The black has bled out of his eyes, leaving behind glossy whites and dull irises. 



Jimin crosses the kitchen in a few steps and moves behind Jungkook, tugging at the tight ropes binding him. “This is great knot work,” Jimin comments, slicing through the ropes with a few efficient flicks of his knife. “Do you think one of them was a former boy scout?” 



Jungkook, once again, rolls his eyes. 



Jimin giggles, setting his arms and legs free. While Jungkook groans and slowly brings his arms back to his front, Jimin finally unties the gag and tosses it aside. “Better?” 



“Took you fucking long enough,” Jungkook grumbles hoarsely, lips chapped and cracking. He can barely swallow around the dryness in his mouth. 



“You’d think you’d have learned your lesson by now,” Jimin chides gently as he lifts Jungkook under the arms and helps him to his feet. 



Every muscle in Jungkook’s body protests as he leans against Jimin, partly because he can’t feel his legs and partly because Jimin is warm. They stumble out into the chilled night, shoes scuffing along the concrete driveway toward the car.



“Can you drive?” Jimin asks. 



Jungkook probably could, given a few minutes to work the blood back through his arms and legs. He shakes his head, always preferring shotgun in Jimin’s car. The one he’d been cruising in was stolen, anyway. 



“Come on,” Jimin sighs, lugging Jungkook along. “You owe me dinner.” 



“Long as there’s beer,” Jungkook grumbles, and Jimin hums in agreement. They get to the car and Jimin deposits him into the passenger side before walking around the front to slide behind the steering wheel. 



The engine turns over, low music from the radio and redundant pinging from the dash complaining at them to buckle their seat belts. Jungkook reaches stiffly for his seat belt and tugs it around him, clicks it in place. 



He looks forward and an image flashes in his vision - car full of dark water, bubbles of air dancing upward, lifeless arms floating out in front of him. 



Lucidity sinks in and it’s not like a fog is lifting, but more like a fog is settling again. This memory had been crystal clear, every image and sound and touch. Now everything is slow and hazy again as he realizes it’s all in his head. 



He turns to Jimin, who’s still acting out the rest of the memory. Putting the car in reverse, looking over his shoulder to back up. 



“I’m dreaming.” 



Jimin turns to him, then. He smiles, nothing malicious in his eyes. Just empty.



“You’re in my head,” Jungkook says. He sinks back into the car seat, looks at the front window to see it’s all gone black. Shaking his head with disappointment in himself, he cuts his eyes back to Jimin. “So which one are you? The demon or the fake?” 



“It’s all the same to you, isn’t it?” 



After a heartbeat of shock, Jungkook’s mouth slowly turns down into a grimace. “No. It’s not.” 



“Are you sure about that, Kook?” 



Jungkook scoffs, turns his chin away. “So you’re the demon, then.” 



“I’m me,” Jimin states. “Jimin is Jimin is Jimin is Jimin.” 



“That’s bullshit.”



“Why?” 



Jungkook huffs in disbelief. “Are you fucking kidding me? The real Jimin would never torture and murder dozens of people. He’d never do any of the fucked up shit he’s done as a demon. That’s not the real him.” 



“Didn’t I save you?” Jimin questions. “Just like in this memory. I saved you.” 



“I don’t know why you did that.”



“Because I’m still me.”



Jungkook’s hand cracks into the dash. He doesn’t feel the punch because it’s not real, it’s a fucking dream. None of this is real. It’s all in his fucking head. “No. You’re not. Stop fucking saying that.” 



“I remember everything,” Jimin says. “Even things you don’t remember. I still like all the same stuff. I still look the same. I still sound the same, talk the same. I still wear the same clothes.” 



“None of that shit matters.” 



“I still want you like I did before.” 



“You can’t want me,” Jungkook argues. “You’re a fucking demon. You don’t have any - any fucking feelings. You don’t care if what you’re doing is wrong. You just fucking kill and steal and lie and hurt people.” 



“Can’t the same be said about you?” 



Jungkook looks at Jimin. This is all in his head, so this has got to be his own subconscious talking to him. He’s nothing like a demon. He hates demons. He hunts them and kills them. He - 



He fucks them? 



“And how do you know I don’t feel things?” Jimin poses. “How much do you really know about demons? How much do you really know about me? ” 



“You’re just fucking with my head,” Jungkook growls. “This isn’t even real.” 



“It’s real enough.” 



“You’re dead! ” Jungkook shouts. His fists clenched in his lap, he catches a few breaths. “You’re fucking… dead. You’ve been dead for three years.” 



“If I’m dead, how did I fuck you?” 



“You didn’t. I made a deal with a demon.” 



“I’ve changed,” Jimin says, “but I’m still me.” He taps on his chest, right where the cross tattoo lay underneath his shirt. “My soul is still in here. You can deny it until you die if you want, but it won’t change reality when you wake up.” 



Jungkook looks up, meets jet black eyes that seem to see straight through him.  



“You’ve changed, too,” Jimin continues. “You’re not the same person that drowned and came back to life that night. You’re not even the same person you were a few months ago.” 



“So, what?” Jungkook scoffs. He wishes this dream would end already. Usually it would have by now. 



“So come with me.” Jimin’s voice is soft as he says it,. “We can be together.” 



Jungkook barks out a bitter laugh. “What - come with you to hell?  You’re fucking stupid if you - ”



“No,” Jimin cuts in, shaking his head. Blue light captured in the black of his eyes disappears as his eyes arch into a smile, as close to the real thing Jungkook has ever seen in these dreams. “We can be alive together.” 



“No,” Jungkook says, shaking his head. “I’m gonna turn you back. I’m gonna make you human again.” 



“You can’t,” Jimin says, almost sadly. “You can’t have me like that anymore. You missed your chance.” 



“I know,” Jungkook says. 



“But you can have me like this now.” 



“I don’t want you if you’re like this.” 



It sounds like a lie even in the confines of his own dreams.





He wakes shrouded in a soft duvet that caresses every inch of his warm skin. He shifts around under the covers, pulls them up under his chin and turns over. He sighs, completely relaxed and on the fuzzy edges of sleep. He nuzzles into the pillow and stretches out so his feet reach the cooler parts of the mattress. 



He’s nearly lulled back to sleep before he realizes where he is. 



His eyes open to blink away the blurriness of sleep. He reaches up and rubs at his face, turning over onto his back. A single ribbon of sunlight peers through a slat in the heavy curtains, bisecting the hotel bed width-wise. He reaches out with clumsy arms and starts batting at the fluffy peaks of overstuffed pillows and blanket until he can see the glaring red digits of the alarm clock on the nightstand. 



It’s after eight in the morning. He must have dozed off after they finally finished last night. A stupid mistake, and a potentially fatal one at that. Somehow he’s not surprised to be waking up alive and well this morning, though. As many death threats and promises Jimin has thrown at him, he’s never even actually hurt Jungkook despite ample opportunities to do so. Logically, Jungkook shouldn’t find any reassurance in that - the fragile notion that Jimin hasn’t successfully killed him yet . But Jimin seems to have something else up his sleeve besides homicide where it concerns Jungkook. Probably something to do with all the not-so-subliminal messages he’s been slipping across their still-unexplained dream bond. 



As stupid as he feels for falling asleep afterward, he feels even stupider for looking around and halfway expecting Jimin to be there. It must speak to the level of exhaustion in him right now. Bone-deep tired, muscles just on the uncomfortable side of sore. His lower back aches when he sits up and the position puts pressure on the vertebrae. He looks down at his naked lap, traces a finger over one of the many bruises and marks dappled along his thighs. There must be marks all over his neck and chest after how rough things had gotten last night. Some of them are from Jimin’s mouth, some from his hands. All of them ache to the touch, whether imagined or real. 



He tries not to think about the events of last night any more than that. He’d only been buzzed from the alcohol, not even slightly enough to excuse his actions. The last thing he remembers is rolling over on the bed after their second round, grappling with the duvet to get it around him, and passing out to the sound of the shower running. 



When he gets his feet flat on the floor and he stands up, the soreness in his hips and thighs hits him. It’s barely noticeable - nothing in comparison to waking up after a tough fight, definitely nowhere near as bad as getting stabbed. But the idea that he’s sore from getting tossed around, manhandled, and fucked by a demon shaped like his dead best friend… 



More for him to not think about at this moment. 



As he scrubs the sleep out of his eyes and rolls the stiffness out of his shoulders, he squints at the nightstand once again. 



There’s a folded sheet of paper from the hotel’s provided notepad standing on the tabletop next to the half-empty bottle of whiskey. He plucks it from the table, turning it over in his fingers to read the writing on the inside. 



It’s the name. 



He folds the paper back into his hand and turns to get ready to leave. 





A visit to Taehyung’s place is in order to figure out exactly what he should do with the name now that he has it. If Taehyung notices the evidence on Jungkook’s neck where he’d been mauled the previous night, he doesn’t mention it. He is curious, however, about why Jungkook is needing a means to summon a particular demon by name. Jungkook had carefully constructed a lie to cover it up - something about needing to summon a demon for a new case. Then he’d patiently waited as Taehyung wrote him up some detailed instructions, assembled most of the necessary items into a shoe box, and then told him not to do anything stupid. 



Yet here he is, doing something pretty stupid. 



He parks his bike in his usual spot outside the empty building, some sort of condemned industrial mill. It’s fairly warm, sun high over head as noon approaches. He figures these things should probably take place in the dark, but he’s got more to worry about than an ominous ambiance for what he’s about to do. He tucks the shoe box of ritual items - some sort of ash-like dirt, tiny bones from some tiny creature Jungkook hadn’t bothered asking about, some sort of oil Taehyung had explained was rare and expensive, chalk and tealight candles. He slings his backpack over his shoulder, careful of the ceramic bowl stuffed inside, and heads for the entrance. 



This is usually the place he brings demons to store or interrogate, so it had been the natural choice. He puts in the code to the padlock and unwraps the heavy chain through the handles of the front door. Inside he has some shop lights and a small generator set up, although in the past they used to pull the car up to the door and shine the headlights inside. He doesn’t bother them now, as the sun filtering in from outside is plenty light for him to see. 



Tucked inside the dust-clouded light of the wide, empty room, he shucks off his jacket and sets to work. He meticulously replicates the sigil Taehyung had given him in chalk on the concrete floor. Then he sets up everything else - candles at the correct points on the sigil, the ceramic bowl and its contents placed in front of him. He checks and double checks over Taehyung’s instructions, making sure everything matches perfectly. If he fucks up, he’ll have to start all over and there’s no telling if Taehyung will have the ingredients for another summoning on hand.



Once he’s sure of everything, he kneels in front of the ceramic bowl at the bottom of the chalk sigil. A scattering of items lay on the floor around him at arm’s reach, some mandatory and some as a precaution. His glock is tucked safely in the back of his jeans like an extension of his own body, never very far away. He tugs his knife out of his ankle holster and douses it in the rubbing alcohol Taehyung had also provided, careful not to splash any into the bowl.  



He’s not even sure if this is going to work. Ritual summoning bullshit aside, all he really has is a paper with a demon’s name on it and a hunch. 



It’s worth a try, he thinks as he positions the knife and holds his hand out over the ceramic bowl. He drags the knife to make a shallow cut on the meat of his palm, finely sharpened blade slicing through the delicate skin like butter. It stings a bit, but he’s endured much worse. He squeezes his fist as the warm blood oozes out and drips quickly down onto the pile of ingredients in the bowl. With this, the blood of the summoner, he’s nearly finished. 



He grabs a clean cloth and compresses it on his hand to slow the bleeding, then grabs the cardboard box of matches. He plucks one from the box and strikes it, sets the box aside and watches the flame start to burn. In the other hand, still squeezing the cloth to his wound, he grabs the paper with the demon’s name scrawled in Jimin’s handwriting. 



He sets the match to the paper and it lights immediately. He drops it into the ceramic bowl with the other ingredients and watches as the small fire roars to life, flame catching the oil he’d poured over the rest. He shifts back from the bowl as the flame grows higher and hotter, burning bright orange and whipping at the still air. The sheet of paper burns away to nothing in seconds, dissipating to ash and embers. 



The small fire burns bright for a handful of seconds, and then, with a muted whoosh of air, it stops. 



A chill falls over the room, raising goosebumps on Jungkook’s arms. He pushes to his feet and takes a step back from the sigil, eyeing around the room cautiously. 



The room is still empty, no signs of life, demon or otherwise. He looks back at the ceramic bowl with the sinking feeling that the ritual hadn’t worked. Taehyung had warned him that he’s never done anything like this, so he hadn’t been so sure about the reliability of the instructions. Maybe the addition of the paper had nullified the spell. He could try again, but he has no way of summoning the exact demon he needs. 



“How can I help you?” 



Jungkook whirls around at the voice, gun up and ready. 



Standing directly behind where he’d performed the summoning ritual is the demon from Jimin’s memory of that night. 



“Yoongi,” Jungkook says aloud. The sound of the name feels cold and dangerous in the air. He wonders about the true power a demon’s name holds. 



The demon looks nearly the same as he had three years ago, the night he’d taken Jimin’s soul. He’s thin and sharp-boned beneath a well-cut black suit, a bit shorter than Jungkook from the looks of it. His hair is a dirtier shade of blonde, shaved short on the sides in an undercut, long and intentionally styled on top. Jungkook wonders if the business of soul-snatching makes for plenty of free time to preen and primp. Undeniably, however, the demon is handsome. Or at least the body he’s stolen is. 



At the sound of its name, the demon tilts his head and ever-so-slightly raises an eyebrow. “How did you get my name?” 



“Saw your profile on DemonMatch.com,” Jungkook states. 



Yoongi is clearly unamused. 



“Figured we could try to get to know each other,” Jungkook continues. “Why don’t you start by telling me about a deal you made three years ago.” 



The demon scoffs, huffing a contemptuous laugh through his nose. “I’ve made a lot of deals in three years. You might need to be more specific.” 



“You brought me back to life in exchange for my friend’s soul.” He takes his phone out of his pocket, screen already filled with a picture of Jimin’s face. He straightens his arm out, presenting the screen for the demon to take a look from where he stands a few yards away. 



Wearing his patience thin on his face, the demon’s eyes flit down to the phone. Jungkook can only tell he’s looking because he’s not sporting his blacked-out demon eyes right now. Yoongi regards the picture with an impassive expression and then looks back up to Jungkook. “Doesn’t ring a bell,” he states, pushing his hands into the pockets of his dress pants and shifting his weight over to one foot. 



“I want you to undo the deal,” Jungkook states. He pockets his phone and squares his shoulders.



“Not possible.” 



“Make it possible.” 



Yoongi inhales and exhales deeply, silent but visible from the exasperated way his shoulders move. “I’m afraid that’s just not how demon deals work.” 



“Then I want to make a new deal,” Jungkook says adamantly.



The demon taps his foot - once, twice. “Alright,” he says after a beat. “I’ll humor you. What is it you’re wanting?” 



“Give him his soul back,” Jungkook states without hesitating. “Take me instead.” 



Yoongi shakes his head, a sneer on his lips. “I don’t do charity work. What am I gaining in trading one soul for another?” 



“I’ll do whatever it takes,” Jungkook says, a near pleading edge to his voice. He takes a breath to collect himself, then tries again. “Anything,” he says. “I’ll do anything.” 



“You have nothing to offer me,” Yoongi states. “And I don’t have the power to make that kind of deal.” 



Jungkook lets out a short, bitter laugh, barely a hiss of air through his teeth. “So what, you can bring people back from the dead but you can’t override one stupid deal?” 



“I don’t hold the contract,” Yoongi says simply, as if this should explain everything. 



“So who does?” Jungkook persists. 



Yoongi sighs, eyes rolling heavenward. “I’m only humoring you because this time of day is slow for me,” Yoongi states. “There’s absolutely nothing you can accomplish with this information.” 



“Then it doesn’t hurt anything to tell me.” 



“Let’s make a deal,” Yoongi says. “An informal one. If I give you this information, you never summon me again.” 



“Fair enough.”



Yoongi nods. “My role is mediary. I merely negotiate and execute the contracts.” 



“So who’s on the other side of the deal?” Jungkook questions. Then, with an amused snort, “Satan?” 



A tiny, almost unnoticeable smirk twitches at the corner of Yoongi’s mouth. “Not quite the King of Hell himself, but someone much closer to that rank than myself.” 



“What’s their name?” 



Yoongi outright laughs at that, shaking his head. “We don’t speak his name. I shouldn’t even be speaking of him at all, much less telling you about him.” 



“So he’s got you by the balls, huh.” 



“I have countless better things to be doing,” Yoongi states. “If you don’t have an actual deal to offer me, then I’m leaving.” 



“Nope,” Jungkook states, shrugging. “Guess I’ve gotta go above your pay grade for this.”



Yoongi gives another incredulous shake of his head, amused at Jungkook’s apparent foolishness. “Maybe you should stop and ask yourself if your friend would really want to come back after everything he’s done,” Yoongi says. “Even if turning him back into a human were possible, he’s still spent three years as one of us. He won’t bounce back so easily from that.” 



“Thanks for the insight,” Jungkook says sarcastically. 



Yoongi gives a polite, dead-eyed smile. “My pleasure.”



Jungkook blinks and the demon is gone. 





Taehyung has been rattling on about a new case as Jungkook pretends to listen and offers a comment or hum at the appropriate times. Meanwhile, Jungkook is seated behind Taehyung’s main desktop computer, researching the information Yoongi had given him. 



He’s also learning about the many benefits and uses of devil’s traps, about which Taehyung has been extremely helpful and knowledgeable as well. Jungkook had mentioned wanting to implement traps more into hunts so he could perform exorcisms without harming the host body and Taehyung had latched onto the bait. Now Jungkook knows not only how to make them, but how they affect the demon inside and their limitations. 



Part of him is tempted to test one out on Jimin just for shits, but he doesn’t think Jimin would be such a willing participant in any of his experiments. He’ll have to learn on the fly, as one typically does when hunting supernatural entities humans know little to nothing about. Apparently demons have an entire hierarchy way downstairs, potentially even an entire government system, and hunters know nothing about any of this. He also has no way of knowing how well a devil’s trap would contain the alleged Voldemort of demons. Taehyung would have a field day with all this new information, but that would require Jungkook explaining how exactly he acquired it. 



“This demon’s behavior is unlike anything we’ve really seen so far,” Taehyung is saying, though Jungkook is only picking up about half of it. “Maybe he was someone with violent fantasies before he was turned into a demon…? Like a serial killer! Jeez, that’s terrifying.” 



“Uh huh,” Jungkook murmurs, closing out of a few tabs as he finishes taking notes on them. His notebook pages are filling up with his chicken scratch. Pretty soon it will either be another useless piece of history to add to the collection on his dining room table or it’ll be his ticket to getting his friend back from eternal damnation. 



Taehyung’s rambling goes on as Jungkook goes about his usual routine of checking local news updates and emails. 



He’s logged out and just about to back away from the computer when a notification pings on the screen. Taehyung doesn’t notice, too caught up in his rant, so Jungkook curiously clicks on the box to open the full email. Nothing out of the ordinary - just a jail registry notification Taehyung has somehow rigged to alert him of certain bookings. 



Except that, when Jungkook scrolls down a bit, Jimin’s mugshot is there, grinning back at him through the computer screen. 



“Holy shit,” Jungkook breathes. 



Of all times for Taehyung to decide to pay attention, it’s right then. “What is it?” Taehyung asks, walking around behind Jungkook to peer over his shoulder. Then, voice dropping to a foreboding octave, “Oh, no.” 



“He’s booked under an alias.”



“Aggravated assault and evading arrest,” Taehyung reads from the roster as he clicks around on the screen. “His bond is half a million. Christ, he must have fucked someone up pretty bad.” 



Jungkook pushes away from the computer desk and stands up. “Where do you keep the fake badges?”



“Are you going to go see him?” Taehyung questions. “I really don’t think that’s a good idea, Kook…” 



But Jungkook is already digging through Taehyung’s cabinets and drawers, looking for the box full of fake IDs - investigator badges, press passes. He and Jimin used to use them more often, but now Taehyung gets most of their intel by hacking. “He’s in jail. What can he possibly do to me?”



“I don’t know,” Taehyung mumbles, floundering. “Mess with your head or - or threaten you or something.” 



“I’ll be fine. I’m gonna go talk to him while he’s locked up. I can’t pass this up.”



“I thought you were done with him.” 



Jungkook pauses, looking up at Taehyung and pinning him with a look. “Did I ever say that?” 



“You’re working other cases…” Taehyung says, voice growing small as he slumps in disappointment. 



“So you think I should just give up on him completely?” It’s much more an accusation than a question. 



“I didn’t say that.” 



Jungkook continues to stare at him. 



“I guess it’s better that he’s in jail where there will be cameras and officers around,” Taehyung reasons. Then he straightens up, brows furrowed. “What are you even going to ask him about? He’s been off our radar for weeks. We don’t have any leads.” 



“I’ll figure it out when I get there,” Jungkook states just as he opens a drawer and finds the stash of IDs and badges. He sorts through them and finds one that will work, haphazardly slams the drawer back shut. “Text me.” 



“Sure thing,” Taehyung mumbles with an obvious frown on his face. 



The drive to the jail is short. The officer at the front desk eyes him suspiciously when he flashes his badge, but Jungkook knows it’s a good fake. The officer tells him to wait while they bring Jimin to the visitation room from his cell block. Jungkook takes a seat in the waiting room, which is empty except for a woman rocking a baby in a carrier. No one seems to be in a hurry except him, as it would seem. 



After half an hour of waiting around, an officer finally shows up to retrieve him. He’s escorted through the sally port and down a series of hallways, noise of inmates and slamming metal doors echoing down the masonry walls. They stop at a room and wait for security to unlock it remotely before the officer motions Jungkook inside. 



“Push the button if you need anything,” the officer says with a half-assed gesture at the call button on the wall by the door. “I’ll bring him to the last window.” 



“Thanks,” Jungkook states with a nod as the officer leaves, heavy door slamming shut and locking behind him. 



He walks down the row of visitation terminals to the last one. He’s been to jails before, but usually he’s on the other side and it’s either Hoseok or Taehyung on this side. The chair scrapes loudly on the floor as he drags it out to take a seat. In front of him is a heavy, welded metal barrier with lattice rebar slats to see through. On his left, there’s a window with a small door and latch to feed documents through to the inmate. 



They’d collected his phone at reception, so he’s left to his own devices. It’s even colder in this part of the jail than the waiting room, concrete walls giving little insulation. He waits to the tune of low-buzzing fluorescent bulbs and the clatter of high security doors opening and shutting elsewhere in the massive building. 



A few minutes later, a door on the other side of the barrier opens and in walks Jimin. The door closes and locks as soon as he’s on the other side. 



Jimin turns to Jungkook, a snide little grin on his pretty mouth as he takes a seat directly across from him. He’s dressed in the standard-issue tan inmate garb, free of all his usual jewelry and accessories. His face is washed clean of makeup but still his skin looks supple, only his lips slightly chapped.  



Jungkook regards him through the crisscrossed metal bars. “Nice jumpsuit.” 



Jimin leans forward, dropping his chin into his hand as his smirk only grows wider. “I knew you’d come see me.” 



“How are you gonna weasel your way out of this one?”



“I’ll manage.” Jimin’s teeth sink into his bottom lip before he lets it pop free. “I take it you didn’t come to post bail for me, then.” 



Jungkook snorts. “Not a snowball’s chance in hell.” 



Jimin fakes a pout, tilting his head in a way Jungkook supposes should be cute. Coming from a murderous demon, it’s kind of creepy. “But we had such a good time together, baby.” 



Leaning forward, Jungkook glares through the barrier. “I had a little chat with your friend Yoongi.” 



“Oh?” Jimin overacts a surprised face, straightens up with feigned interest. “How did that go?” 



“I have a feeling you know how it went.”



Rather than respond, Jimin’s eyes slide closed and he takes a deep, overt breath through his nose. Scenting the air, no doubt trying to get a read on Jungkook. As he exhales, he opens his eyes as his teeth show in a lazy smile. “I liked it better when you smelled like me.” 



“You knew he wouldn’t make a deal with me,” Jungkook states. “Didn’t you?” 



Jimin wrinkles his nose, almost like a playful flirt. Then, “Did you offer to fuck him, too?” 



Jungkook narrows his eyes, unflinching. “You already knew.” 



Jimin shrugs. 



“So our deal was bullshit, then.”



“You got what you wanted,” Jimin says. “And I got mine. What’s the problem, baby?” 



You’re my fucking problem.”



“Please,” Jimin sneers, rolling his eyes. “You wanted an excuse to fuck me, so I gave it to you. You’re welcome.” 



“Why are you doing this?” Jungkook questions, temper flaring. “What do you gain out of fucking with me?” 



Again, Jimin shrugs. “It’s kind of fun having my own little obsessive stalker. I like the attention.” 



“Bullshit.” Jungkook shakes his head. “Everything that comes out of your fucking mouth. It’s bullshit.” 



“And yet,” Jimin says, “you came looking for me to make a deal.” He leans back in his chair, one arm crossed over his chest and the other hand giving an indifferent wave. “You’re a complete moron. You can’t even tell when something’s too good to be true.”



“What the fuck is that supposed to mean?” Jungkook asks darkly, teeth clenching together. 



“It means,” Jimin says slowly, as if explaining to a child, “I don’t even have the power to make deals.” 



The admission hits Jungkook like a sledgehammer to the gut. His chin drops to his chest, hands trembling where they’re clenched into fists on his lap. 



Jimin laughs, a tinkling sound that bounces around the empty jail walls. “I don’t even need to smell you to know how pissed you are,” he says, still giggling. “God, I missed seeing you so mad at me. I love it.” 



Jungkook stands up, feet of the chair rasping on the floor. He leans over, as close to the barrier as he can get. “If I can’t turn you,” Jungkook says, “I’m gonna kill you.” 



Jimin grins up at him, cheeks pink from laughing and eyes sparkling brown. “Same to you, baby.” 



Without another word, Jungkook turns and heads for the door to press the call button. Jimin’s laughter carries through the empty visitation room. 



“You can die trying, but you can’t reverse the deal, Kookie.” 



The door slides open as the officer shows up to escort Jungkook out. 



Jimin’s laughter follows him down the hallway like a nightmare until it eventually fades away, but his words never quit echoing in Jungkook’s head. 





Usually he would be pissed enough to go break something or get blackout drunk and fight someone at a bar. He’s livid, but he’s got in under wraps for now. Whether or not Jimin knew Yoongi wouldn’t make the deal, Jungkook still has more information than ever before. The deal was a sham, but the information he got out of it was real. Jimin was right - he’d jumped at the opportunity and he should have been skeptical. Now he knows better. 



He’s on the roof at the old mill and the twilight sky is chasing the sun toward the horizon. The temperature is dropping rapidly, but he’s worked up a sweat getting things ready. He’d spun a story to Taehyung about needing to try the summoning ritual again. Taehyung had looked at him for a long moment, like they both knew he was lying, before he’d finally caved. 



Drawing a circle big enough was the hardest part. He’d opted for spray paint this time as opposed to chalk, hoping for something a bit more durable. He’d jerry-rigged a thin rope and a weight at the center for a makeshift compass, dragging it around in a wide circle a few times until the line was thick enough to his liking. Then he’d drawn the spokes of the inverted star shape. All that had taken him longer than he’d planned. The lines have to be relatively precise for the trap to be effective. He’ll have to talk to Taehyung about ways to speed up the process. 



He takes a look around at his handiwork. The devil’s trap takes up most of the roof except for the area he’s knelt in to draw the summoning sigil. He’s about as sure this will work as he was about the original summoning ritual, which only fifty-fifty. As a backup plan to keep from getting killed, he can always just walk into the devil’s trap and wait it out. 



It’s not foolproof by any means, but it’ll have to do. 



He lights the tealight candles and keeps a close eye on the tiny flames as they flicker in the wind. The rest of the ingredients are prepared in the same ceramic bowl as last time. All that’s left is the blood of the summoner, the demon’s name, and fire to bind it all together. 



He wastes no time making another cut on the same hand next to the other that hasn’t had much time to heal. He bleeds into the bowl until the blood stops free flowing, then wraps it in some gauze he has handy. This time he has a new paper with the name in his own handwriting. He can only hope it works the same as he sets it on fire and drops it into the bowl with the rest. 



Just like before, the flame burns bright for a few moments and then vanishes in a wisp of smoke. 



He shivers, either from the cold wind or the creeping sense of dread as he waits. He checks the roof behind him where the trap doesn’t reach to see that it’s all clear. 



When he turns back around, Yoongi is standing at the dead center of the devil’s trap. 



He doesn’t look happy. 



Yoongi’s eyes snap up to Jungkook and flash to black. He says nothing, upper lip curled in a snarl. 



“Glad you could make it,” Jungkook calls, projecting his voice across the roof.



“What’s the meaning of this?” Yoongi questions, impressively calm for the predicament he’s teleported himself into. 



“I have some questions,” Jungkook replies. “And you have the answers.” 



Yoongi stares back at him, perfectly impassive yet chilling all the same. He looks the same as last time - blonde hair, black suit, sharp eyes. Jungkook wonders if Yoongi is some sort of white-collar demon. Maybe they have a whole demon dress code and everything downstairs. 



“Tell me the name of the demon who holds the deal.”



There’s not even a hint of amusement on Yoongi’s face this time. His gaze and the dark energy lurking in the air are both cold enough to make goosebumps break out on Jungkook’s skin. “This isn’t a negotiation.” 



“Oh, I think it is.” Jungkook reaches both hands behind his back. In one hand, he pulls out his glock. In the other, he holds two fully loaded mags. He waves both pointedly in front of him, smirking at the way Yoongi’s jaw tenses at the sight. “I know these won’t kill you,” Jungkook continues, tucking the mags back into his pocket and then running the free hand along the barrel of his glock. “But I bet they sting like a bitch, huh?” 



Yoongi barely blinks. “Every year in hell feels like ten,” Yoongi says. “I’ve endured decades upon decades of inconceivable pain and extremely imaginative torture, and you think that is going to intimidate me?”



“Intimidate?” Jungkook repeats, frowning in consideration. “Probably not. I was thinking it might help open your mind to discussion.” 



Yoongi does laugh at that, a ridiculing puff through his nose. “If you think - ”



The gun fires twice. Yoongi’s body crumples to the floor, as easily as any other demon Jungkook has dropped with a headshot. 



As he waits for Yoongi to revive, he pulls up a chair and shrugs into his jacket. It’s getting a bit chilly up on the roof, and there’s no telling how long he’ll be here. He should have brought a snack. 



A disgusting gurgling sound escapes Yoongi’s body after a few minutes, the only signal that he’s coming back to life. The sound is so appalling Jungkook almost pops off another round just to put him out of his misery. He waits it out and watches as Yoongi twitches back to life with distinctly inhuman jerking motions. 



Eventually, Yoongi gasps a lungful of air and sits up. His face is a bloody mess, blonde hair caked and dripping with congealing blood and eyes wide with rage. He turns his black gaze on Jungkook and lets out a snarl. In a flash of movement, he’s at the closest edge of the devil’s trip to Jungkook, only a few feet in front of him. 



Yoongi opens his mouth to say something and Jungkook fires off another round at point blank range. 



This is how they operate for the next hour and a half. 



At least it’s good target practice.



Each time Yoongi gets up ready to rage and scream, Jungkook drops him with another headshot. Then he waits it out, scrolling on his phone or cleaning the dirt from under his nails with his knife. It’s dark out now, the roof lit by shop lights Jungkook had brought up with him. He hopes this doesn’t go on much longer because it’s getting pretty cold and he only brought one jacket. 



Yoongi is lying on the ground in front of him, close enough to see the blood and gore all over his face. His hair is soaked in it, white dress shirt drenched in deep red. He’s lying in a growing puddle of blood and brain matter and chunks that makes Jungkook dry heave when he looks at it. The smell is starting to get strong enough that he’s thankful when the wind starts to pick up, even if it’s so damned cold he has to fight off a shiver. 



Over the next handful of seconds, the wind picks up even more until Jungkook’s attention is drawn away from his phone. The wind grows strong enough to rattle the shop lights on their stands. 



When Jungkook looks around beyond the roof, he realizes the trees surrounding the mill site aren’t moving. 



“That’s new,” Jungkook mumbles, standing up and taking a step closer to Yoongi. He’ll have to make a note about this in his journal. The trap will keep Yoongi from vacating his vessel, but Jungkook had been under the impression it would render him powerless. Either his research had been wrong, or no one has ever been stupid enough to trap a demon as strong as Yoongi and lived to write about it. 



Yoongi is still lying on the ground unconscious, but he’s starting to show signs of reviving. 



The wind roars even harder, enough to blow his hair into his face and start pushing against his body. 



Then the ground starts to quake, a low shudder under his feet that grows in intensity so fast he has to take a few steps and catch his balance. 



“Fuck,” he breathes, locking his eyes on Yoongi’s body. 



Yoongi is starting to get up now, slowly raising into a seated position. His neck seems unnaturally loose, head hanging and swaying as he drags himself to his feet. 



A loud metal clatter from the other side of the roof makes Jungkook jolt and take aim in that direction. He watches as one of the shop lights teeters and then tips over, crashing to the ground with loud glass and electric pops as the light bulbs burst. 



When he looks back, Yoongi is facing him again. 



Jungkook freezes in place as he looks into Yoongi’s eyes. 



The veins under Yoongi’s skin have gone black with demonic blood, raising to the surface like they’re overfull and about to burst through his skin along his neck and around his temples. Blood oozes from his ears and eyes, bubbles out of his mouth and down his chin. His lips bare his teeth in an animal snarl, a film of black blood over his teeth and more gushing out as he opens his mouth to scream. 



The scream is nothing like any human or animal noise Jungkook has ever heard. His voice is the sound of nightmares and sheer terror, deep and filled with bloodthirsty rage. Jungkook’s hand shakes where he holds the gun as Yoongi screams again, the sound exploding in the air and sending tremors across the roof. 



“I’ll drag you down with me,” Yoongi snarls underneath layers of deep, infernal voices. “I’ll rip you open and skin you alive. I’ll make you taste your own intestines, you - ”



Yoongi drops as the gun fires and everything comes to an abrupt stop. 



Jungkook nearly doubles over, terror evaporating as he gasps for air. He hadn’t even realize he’d been holding his breath.



Yoongi shouldn’t have been able to do that. The trap should have disabled his powers according to Taehyung’s research. Jungkook has never even heard of a demon with power like that. He looks down at Yoongi and, for the first time in years, he wonders if he’s gone too far. 



He’s not sure he’s going to make it off this roof alive tonight. 



He probably has time to get to his bike in the time it takes Yoongi to heal. He doesn’t know how powerful Yoongi is, though. He can teleport, bring people back from the dead, control the wind and cause earthquakes… 



Jungkook lets out a shaky breath as he sinks back into the chair as far away from Yoongi as he can get. 



He’s not even sure the devil’s trap will hold. 



He needs to call Taehyung. 



Before he can, though, Yoongi starts coming back to life, faster than any time before. 



Jungkook watches with growing uneasiness as Yoongi convulses and splutters, rolls over onto his side and then vomits up a stomach full of black and red gore. It splatters onto the roof in a wet pile, spreading out across the white painted border of the devil’s trap. 



Just as Jungkook levels the gun at Yoongi’s head again, Yoongi raises up a hand. 



“Wait,” Yoongi wheezes. He coughs up more blood, drags his black suit sleeve across his mouth. 



Jungkook doesn’t lower the gun, but he waits. 



The wind stays calm. No unnatural earthquakes or impending sense of doom in the air. 



Yoongi heaves a few more breaths in and out. He looks up at Jungkook with human eyes, upper lip still curled in anger. He glances at the gun barrel aimed straight at him, Jungkook’s finger on the trigger. He gestures with a tired, bloodied hand. “You’d fit right in with us,” he says, lips splitting in a wicked smile. 



“I can keep going all night,” Jungkook states. “I brought plenty of extra rounds. Even have a double-barreled shotgun downstairs, if you’re interested.” 



Yoongi spits out blood and lets out a bark of laughter. “If you destroy my vessel, I’ll go back to hell.” 



Jungkook hums, filing the information away. “Good to know.” 



“Then when I get back,” Yoongi says, still smiling, “I’ll come deal with you.” 



“You could just tell me the information I’m wanting to know and we’ll both be on our merry way.”



Yoongi’s throws his head back, letting out a hoarse laugh into the air. He leans back on his hands when he settles down, narrowing his eyes at Jungkook. “I’m going to kill you anyway, so what good does the information do you?” 



Jungkook shrugs. “If you’re going to kill me, then it doesn’t hurt to tell me.” 



Yoongi’s smile melts away, leaving behind clear annoyance. The expression gets lost behind the gross layer of red and black demon blood all over his face. “I’ll tell you what you’re wanting to know,” Yoongi says slowly, tipping his head to the side. “And you’ll let me out of this trap.” 



“Are you offering me a deal?” 



“Yes.” 



Jungkook snorts. He points with the gun toward the devil’s trap. “I’m not coming anywhere near the inside of that circle.” 



Yoongi’s lip twitches. He seems to consider for a moment, eyeing Jungkook’s gun before looking back up into his eyes. 



Then, to Jungkook’s surprise, Yoongi moves to a kneeling position and starts drawing in blood on the ground. 

 

 

Jungkook is wary - worried Yoongi is drawing some sort of demonic sigil to get out of the trap or put some sort of curse on him. He stands by what Taehyung had told him - that demons don’t have the power to get out of traps - and watches with a gun pointed at Yoongi’s head as he draws symbols on the roof. 



A few minutes later, Yoongi leans back and looks up at Jungkook blankly. 



“The same as you summoned me,” Yoongi explains. “But this is the sigil you’ll need.” 



Jungkook warily nods, lowering his gun and switching it to his other hand. He retrieves his phone from his pocket and snaps a few pictures of the bloody drawing from afar. He makes sure he can see all the lines and details of the sigil in the photos before pocketing his phone. 



“You’ll need to light candles here, here, and here,” Yoongi continues, pointing to each place on the sigil.



“That’s it?” 



“Offer him plenty of your blood,” Yoongi states. “And he might come.” 



“Might?” Jungkook questions, raising a brow.



Yoongi sighs, getting to his feet and pinning Jungkook with an irritated look. “No being in heaven, hell, or any of the planes in between can summon him against his will.” 



“Great,” Jungkook mumbles. “So he’s even more of a pain in the ass than you.” 



“He is the one who holds every demon contract in effect,” Yoongi states. “It was his power that brought you back to life.” 



“You’re talkative all of a sudden.”



“You’ll be dead soon enough,” is all Yoongi says in return. 



Jungkook doesn’t respond. He tucks his gun into his waistband and gathers his things, stashing them away in his backpack. 



Yoongi follows with his eyes as Jungkook starts around the outside of the circle back toward the exit door. 



“You wouldn’t dare leave me here.”



At that, Jungkook pauses and turns back toward Yoongi. “You’re the one with all the crazy demon powers,” Jungkook says with a shrug. “I’m sure you’ll figure a way out.” 



The door slams shut behind Jungkook as he races down the stairs. Yoongi’s demonic screams follow him all the way through the empty building and to his motorcycle. He can still hear them even over the sound of the engine as he turns it over. He casts one more wary look toward the roof, thankful he can’t see Yoongi from this angle. Gravel spins out under the tires as he guns it out of the empty lot, rubber squealing on the road as he speeds away. 





The next evening he finds himself over at Taehyung’s apartment alone, lying on the couch and staring at the ceiling. He hadn’t slept the night before. Paranoia had been like a hit of amphetamines, keeping him wired and wide awake the entire night. He wishes he could say he’d been productive with his anxious energy, but he’d spent most of the night pacing around his apartment or staring blankly at the spaces on his walls. He’d wasted away the daytime driving around visiting some hunting contacts and gathering information, but nothing substantial. He’d gotten a funny look when he asked about a demon causing natural phenomenons like wind and earth tremors and decided not to bring that up again. 



By all logic he should be exhausted now, but if he is, he can’t feel it. He’s been thinking about when and where to summon a demon powerful enough that even Yoongi won’t speak his name. He’s also been checking over his shoulder every few moments, half expecting to see a blonde demon in a suit glaring back at him, ready to take him up on that threat to make him taste his own intestines. 



He hadn’t found anything he’ll need for another summoning ritual around Taehyung’s apartment. So now he waits for him to get home, not bothering with the television and fighting off sleep. Taehyung’s couch isn’t necessarily comfortable as much as it is familiar. Jungkook has passed out here many drunken nights over the years.



He hears Taehyung’s voice outside the front door before a key slides into the lock. As Taehyung enters, Jungkook starts to overhear his conversation with someone on the phone. 



“...course not. I don’t know why I ever believed he was,” Taehyung is saying, shuffling inside and shutting the door behind himself. He can’t see Jungkook on the couch. “He’s been up to something. I just don’t know what.” 



Jungkook rolls his eyes, even unseen. He has a feeling he knows exactly who’s on the other end of the call. 



“He’s not going to tell anyone, much less me,” Taehyung continues. “The only thing he didn’t hide was the fact he went and saw Jimin in jail the other day. And that’s probably only because I was standing right there when he found out.” 



Jungkook sits up on the couch, looking over the back. Taehyung is putting things away in the kitchen as he talks, phone pinched between his ear and his shoulder. He hasn’t noticed Jungkook yet. 



“He what?” Taehyung blurts out suddenly, freezing with a hand on the open fridge door. “You’re kidding me. How did he do that?” 



Another pause as Taehyung listens to the voice on the phone. 



“So now he’s running around free again,” Taehyung states. “Fantastic.” Taehyung turns around and sees Jungkook. His mouth drops open in surprise and his face fills with dread. His throat bobs as he swallows and then stutters for a moment. “Uh-um. I’ve gotta go. I’ll call you back later. Y-yeah, everything’s fine. Um, Jungkook is here. Yeah. Okay. Bye.” 



Jungkook stands up as Taehyung is wrapping up the call and makes his way around the couch to lean against the back of it. 



Taehyung’s eyes drop as he places his phone on the kitchen counter. When he looks back up, Jungkook can see the apology on the tip of his tongue. 



“Who was that?” Jungkook cuts in before Taehyung has a chance to speak. 



Taehyung bites at his lip for a moment. Lets out a sigh. “Your brother.” 



“Figures,” Jungkook grumbles, arms crossed over his chest. 



“He’s worried about you,” Taehyung defends. “We both are.” 



“When are you not?” Jungkook questions rhetorically. “Why are you talking to my brother about me behind my back? Did he ask you to keep tabs on me, or what?” 



“No,” Taehyung says, shaking his head. “It’s not like that.”



“Then what?” 



“I don’t have anyone else to talk to,” Taehyung replies, sighing loudly. He flops back against the counter, hand coming up to rub at his forehead as he stares down at the kitchen floor. “He’s the only other person who knows what’s going on. I just - sometimes I need to talk to someone. So I talk to him.”

 

“Me,” Jungkook states. “You can talk to me.” 



“No, I can’t.” Taehyung lets out a strange, defeated laugh. “You’re completely impossible to talk to.” 



“I’m here now,” Jungkook says, keeping his voice level. He gestures vaguely with one hand before it falls a bit helplessly to his side. “So talk. I’m listening.” 



“It’s not that easy,” Taehyung breathes. He looks up at Jungkook, mouth in a sideways frown. “What did you come here for?” 



“I thought you wanted to talk.” 



Taehyung looks away again, like he can’t stand to look Jungkook in the eyes for another second. 



“Well?” 



“What is it that you’re not telling me?” Taehyung asks. “God, I don’t even know if I want to know the answer.” 



Jungkook thinks it over, mentally omits the parts Taehyung doesn’t need to know about. “I found the demon Jimin made the deal with,” he finally answers. That gets Taehyung’s full attention. “I think I might know how to turn him back. I’ve been looking into it.” 



Taehyung processes the information with furrowed eyebrows as he chews the inside of his cheek. “That’s why you wanted the summoning ritual.” 



“Yeah.” 



“Okay,” Taehyung says, nodding calmly. “And then what?” 



“What do you mean?” 



“Did it work? Did you talk to the demon?” 



“Yeah,” Jungkook says. “I did.” 



“And?” 



“And nothing happened,” Jungkook says. “He wouldn’t take back the deal.” 



Taehyung sags with relief. “Thank god,” he mumbles. Then he looks back up at Jungkook, eyes narrow and intense. “Please tell me you’re not trying to make some other deal with him.” 



“I’m not,” Jungkook states. It’s not a complete lie. 



It seems to relieve Taehyung even further. “This is…” Taehyung breathes, blinking in surprise. “This is a lot.” 



“Tell me about it,” Jungkook agrees. 



“Now what’s your plan?” 



“I don’t know,” Jungkook answers, somewhat honestly. He hasn’t actually known what he’s been doing this entire time. “I need the stuff for another summoning ritual, though.” 



Taehyung gives him a wary look. “What for?” 



“To summon a demon.”



Rolling his eyes, Taehyung mumbles something under his breath that Jungkook can’t hear from across the room. “I don’t have all the stuff here,” Taehyung answers. “I’ll have to go pick it up tomorrow.” 



Jungkook nods. “Alright,” he says. “Thanks.” 



“You’re not going to make any deals, though, right?” Taehyung questions sternly. “You’re just talking to them?” 



“Right,” Jungkook answers with a nod. “No deals.” 



“Promise?” 



Jungkook huffs in disbelief, looking off to the side to hide his irritation that flares up at the word. “You pick that up from Hoseok?” 



“He said it doesn’t work,” Taehyung answers. “But it’s worth the try. He said… maybe there’s a chance you’ll keep your promise for once.” 



Jungkook nods slowly, mouth twisted down in annoyance. “Of course he did,” he grumbles. Then he shrugs one shoulder, gives his half-assed answer. “Yeah, I promise.” 



Taehyung looks unconvinced, but he doesn’t push it. Instead, he gestures at the grocery bags still on the counter in front of him. “Do you want to stay for dinner?” 



“No thanks,” Jungkook answers, pushing away from the couch. “I have some things to do.” 



“Okay. I’ll text you when I get the stuff you need tomorrow.” 



“Thanks,” Jungkook says as he heads for the door, pulling on his jacket. 



He almost gets the door open before Taehyung speaks up again. 



“Jungkook?” 



He turns back to see Taehyung standing at the edge of the kitchen counter, looking at him with woeful eyes and a frown that’s nothing short of sorely disappointed. 



“I know it’s not really something we ever say,” Taehyung continues. “But I love you. I just… I don’t want anything bad to happen to you. I already lost one best friend. I don’t - ” he cuts himself off, tears suddenly springing into his eyes as he chokes up. “I don’t think I can handle losing another.” 



Jungkook can’t find anything to say, so he doesn’t say anything. 



He turns and leaves, trying to shake the feeling that Taehyung’s words had sounded like a goodbye. 





His apartment, when he finally makes his way back to it after several beers and a cab ride home, is dark when he walks inside. He’s not drunk enough to be swaying around as he closes the door behind himself and then paws at his jacket. He’s just pleasantly buzzed, wearing the alcohol out of his system over time. 



He checks the time on his phone. It’s just after midnight - actually fairly early for him to be winding down after a night at the bar. He blindly tosses his jacket onto the couch as he walks by, knowing the layout of his apartment in the dark. He navigates his way to his bedroom door and fumbles with the doorknob to get it open. As soon as he’s inside the room, he starts unloading his pockets on his dresser. Shucks his belt and pants off and kicks them aside to become a future problem. 



He’s a step away from collapsing into bed when his bedroom light switches on. 



He spins around and realizes he’s not alone.



Jimin stands in his doorway, leaning against the frame and smirking at him. 



“What the fuck are you doing here?” 



“Hope you don’t mind I invited myself in,” Jimin says casually. 



Jungkook keeps his eyes on Jimin, but in his peripheral he’s measuring his distance from his gun. Unfortunately, it’s on his dresser about halfway between them. Jimin would beat him there before he made it two steps. “Yeah, I kind of fucking mind.” 



Jimin makes a quiet sound of disapproval. He gives Jungkook a slow and deliberate once-over, starting at his bare feet and making his way over Jungkook’s boxers and t-shirt. “So did you really not know I was here, or did you come to slip into something more comfortable?” he asks with a knowing grin and a quirk of his eyebrow. 



Decidedly not answering that, Jungkook checks Jimin out in return. He’s looking for weapons, but there’s not many places Jimin could be hiding one. The pants he’s wearing are way too tight from hip to ankle, exposing skin through a series of messy yet intentional holes and frays. The shirt is sheer and low cut, haphazardly tucked into his waistband at the front. Unless he’s got something behind his back, he’s unarmed. 



“I’m not here to kill you, if that’s what you’re trying to figure out,” Jimin states. “I can see the gears turning in your brain from here.” 



“What are you doing here?” It’s always been a matter of time, though, he thinks. Jimin has always known where to find him and how to easily break in. Jungkook has long since changed all the locks, but hadn’t gotten around to installing that security system Taehyung has nagged him about in the past. 



Jimin hums in feigned thoughtfulness, eyes roaming around the room as if he doesn’t already have some lie ready to spit out. “I can’t say I came to talk,” he says, drumming his fingers on his bicep where his arms are crossed. His nails are painted black with bulky rings on several fingers. 



“How’d you get out of jail?” He’s not sure if he’s buying himself time to get his ducks in a row or if he’s genuinely curious. 



Jimin shrugs. “I made bail.” 



“Where’d you get that kind of money?” 



A smile. “Oh, Jungkookie,” Jimin says, blatantly patronizing. “Money isn’t an issue for me anymore.” 



“So you broke into my apartment to brag about your stolen cash?” 



At that, Jimin pushes away from the doorframe and walks toward him. With Jungkook’s stubborn refusal to take a step back or shy away, they’re face to face in a few short seconds. 



He wishes he could say he didn’t like it when Jimin placed a hand on his chest. He wants to be pissed about it. Uncomfortable isn’t even appropriate, since that would imply he wants it to stop when Jimin runs the hand over his pectorals. Jimin smells freshly showered and doused in cologne, something crisp like air and snowy woods. His lips looks suspiciously red and shiny, like he might have dabbed on a tinted balm. 



Jungkook comes to a conclusion. It’s not a conclusion that makes much sense in the grand scheme, but it’s one that makes sense in the moment. Given the empirical evidence, he’s concluded that Jimin is here to seduce him. 



His conclusion is all but confirmed when Jimin’s hand trails down his stomach on a clear path south. 



Jungkook snatches the hand and yanks Jimin close enough to count the lashes on his hooded eyes. “Is that what you think you came here for?” he questions, voice so low only someone as close as Jimin could hear it.



“I can show you exactly what I came here for.” 



Jungkook wraps a hand around each of Jimin’s arms, drops his eyes to Jimin’s mouth. “Oh, yeah?” 



Jimin licks his lips. “Mmhm.” 



Jungkook shoves Jimin to the side and walks past him to the door. “I’ll give you two minutes to get out.” 



From the bed where he’d landed, Jimin huffs a laugh. “Still pretending you’re not that easy?” 



Jungkook’s answer is the slam of the bathroom door. He switches on the light and leans over the sink, shaking his head to clear his thoughts. 



He has a demon in his apartment. The demon is trying to fuck him. Again



“We can pretend if you want,” Jimin calls through the bathroom door. His voice is so clear he might as well be in the same room.



Jungkook turns on the water full blast. 



“Like role playing,” Jimin continues, still clear over the sound of the water. 



Jungkook starts brushing his teeth. He’s not going to let this get to him. If Jimin is here to rob him, he’s doing a shitty job at it. And if he’s here to kill him, he’s doing an even shittier job. So Jungkook figures he can wait it out. Jimin will eventually get bored and leave. 



Probably. 



Jungkook finishes cleaning up and cuts the water off, drying his face and hands on a towel. 



“How about this,” Jimin goes on as if there was never an interruption. “I’ll pretend to be the old Jimin, and you can pretend to be the old Jungkook.” 



Jungkook flings open the bathroom door. 



Jimin is standing exactly on the other side. He smiles. “I’ll tell you what I used to think back before… well, you know.” 



“Hard pass,” Jungkook grunts, shoving past Jimin and heading for the kitchen. 



“I used to think you were so strong,” Jimin says as he follows right on Jungkook’s heels. “Even when we were just kids, I thought we were perfect for each other. You were stubborn, and I was patient. You did stupid, reckless shit and I saved your ass every time.” 



Jungkook grabs a bottle of water from the fridge and finds a bottle of aspirin on the counter. He downs two pills and half the bottle. Out of some masochistic curiosity, he leans back against the kitchen counter and listens quietly as Jimin goes on. 



“I can’t really remember when it changed,” Jimin hums, back turned to Jungkook as he looks around. He glances over the cluttered dining room table, along the sparsely decorated walls. Peruses a few framed pictures and some maps tacked up with pushpins. He meanders into the kitchen, running his hand along the counter and stopping to look at the small collection of magnets on the fridge. “It was like one day you were just my best friend and hunting partner, and the next I had this annoying urge to grab you by the collar of that stupid leather jacket and kiss you.” 



Jimin reaches up to toy with a fridge magnet. Jungkook wonders if he recognizes it as the one he’d bought Jungkook years ago at a truck stop. From the way he slides the tips of his fingers over the surface, Jungkook thinks it must ring a bell. “Then it was all downhill from there. Suddenly I kept noticing things about you. How good you smelled. Like gun oil and leather and cheap cologne. And how good you looked naked.” 



Jungkook drops his head as he listens, hands clamped on the edge of the counter behind him. 



“After you got that tattoo on your back,” Jimin continues, turning around and facing Jungkook, “it took so much self control not to touch it.” He lets out a soft laugh, shaking his head like he’s been struck by nostalgia. It’s an Oscar-worthy performance. “God, it felt like torture every time you’d walk around the hotel room shirtless.” 



Jimin steps forward, reaching out and slipping a single finger under the hem of Jungkook’s t-shirt and tugging it gently. “It wasn’t just that, though,” Jimin says, voice dropping to a near whisper. “I used to wish it was just that.” 



Jungkook turns his face away as Jimin closes in, still only connected by the finger pulling gently at his shirt. 



“I wanted you,” Jimin says softly. “I wanted you so bad. I think…” 



The air gets trapped in Jungkook’s chest as Jimin leans in, presses his forehead to Jungkook’s cheek. He can feel Jimin’s breath, can feel where the lines of their legs overlap and press together in their proximity. 



“I think it’s obvious I was in love with you,” Jimin whispers, and Jungkook’s eyes close at the dull throb of pain in his chest. “I was too scared to tell you for so long. I didn’t want to ruin everything.” 



“Stop,” Jungkook manages, sounding wounded and far too vulnerable. 



“I would have done anything for you,” Jimin says, hands sliding up Jungkook’s chest to the sides of his neck, so gentle it doesn’t feel real. “I would have gone anywhere with you. I would have given up hunting for you or I would have kept going until the day I died. Just for you.” 



Warm hands cup his cheeks, turn his head until he’s facing forward. Jungkook can’t look up right now, can only keep his head dropped and eyes closed. Lips press to his forehead and he squeezes the counter so hard his fingers hurt, something the size of a fist lodging itself at the back of his throat. 



“I would have done it the same every time.” The words are whispers against Jungkook’s cheek. “I would have died for you a hundred times. I didn’t want to live in a world without you.”



“Jimin…”



Jimin presses a kiss to the corner of his lips. “I still don’t,” he says into Jungkook’s skin. “I still want you. I’m still in here.” 



Jungkook’s voice is a pitiful whisper. “You’re lying.”



“Then let me lie to you.” 



He feels himself slipping. Into the sublimity of Jimin’s fingers in his hair, breath on his skin. He can feel his resolve diffuse like a drop of wine into water with the subtle press of their foreheads together, tips of their noses bumping lightly. 



Jimin tilts his head and kisses him, so sweet and gentle it seems like there’s no way this isn’t a dream. It’s nothing like any other kiss Jungkook’s had before, just the chaste press of lips and the way they faintly stick together when they part. “It’s me,” Jimin says. Kisses Jungkook again. “It’s just me.” 



Another kiss, and Jungkook slips all the way out of reach. He grabs Jimin’s face between his hands and crushes their mouths together. He kisses Jimin with the heavy weight of everything he’s tried to keep inside, not even really caring anymore which version of Jimin kisses him back. It all tastes the same to him now. 



Jimin pushes and Jungkook pulls until there’s only clothes between them, only burning air between their mouths as they clash and part. Jimin robs the breath from his lungs until it stings but he doesn’t let up because the feeling is addictive. Urgency starts to build, teeth scraping until their lips are swollen. They’re making out like they’ve both waited years to devour each other, noisy with wet sounds from their lips and strained sounds from the backs of their throats. 



Jungkook’s blood feels hot under his skin, hotter where Jimin’s fingers touch. He drags in air through his nose, some gasps leaving his mouth straight into the kiss when he feels the insistent push of Jimin’s hands under his shirt. 



“Kook,” Jimin mumbles, tugging at Jungkook, urging him away from the counter. “Kook, please.” 



Jimin’s back slams into the refrigerator, Jungkook pressed flush against him. Magnets clatter to the floor as the entire fridge shakes with the force of their weight. Out of breath and panting, Jungkook mouths over Jimin’s jaw and down his neck. Jimin moans as Jungkook grabs his hips and grinds their bodies together, rocking the fridge and sending more magnets crashing to the floor. It’s messy like they’re drunk, but Jungkook’s buzz is long gone and he has no real excuse for the sloppy kisses he presses into Jimin’s smooth skin, the clumsy drag of his teeth. He mouths at the thin chain of a single necklace, its delicate pendant hanging over the hollow of Jimin’s throat. He dips his tongue underneath that, sucks at the jut of a collarbone. From this close, Jimin’s scent is intoxicating to the point of dizzying. He tastes too good, feels too good, sounds too good. 



Jungkook parts Jimin’s legs with a thigh and Jimin’s head hits the fridge as he groans. He kisses Jimin again, teeth and tongue, and swallows every sound he draws out of him with the grind of their hips. They part long enough for Jimin to claw Jungkook’s shirt off over his head, only to reconverge with the added desperation of Jimin’s hands on all the newly exposed skin. Jungkook does his best to leave a trail of marks down Jimin’s neck, as far down as he can get with the low-cut collar. Jimin’s chest heaves under him, soft sounds coming from his mouth right in Jungkook’s ear. 



“Are you gonna fuck me right here?” Jimin asks, completely breathless. 



The question sends a lightning bolt of want through Jungkook, snapping something feral inside him. He stoops down just enough to get his hands under Jimin’s ass and wrenches him upward. Jimin lets out a small noise of surprise but quickly recovers, wrapping his legs around Jungkook’s waist just as they pull away from the fridge. 



His path to the bedroom is all but blind, Jimin’s arms around his neck and lips sucking at his tongue and making the entire trip a hazard. Their collapse onto the bed rattles the frame and sends a lamp toppling to the floor, lampshade throwing skewed shadows onto the opposite wall. 



Undressing Jimin is a blur of two sets of hands and frustrated tugging, sporadic kissing somewhere in the midst. Jungkook’s frustration is loud and clear as he grunts to get Jimin’s criminally tight jeans off, overstretches the thin fabric of his top. Jimin doesn’t seem to care, and when they’re both finally down to their underwear, neither does Jungkook. As ironic as it is, Jimin’s thighs feel like heaven around Jungkook’s waist. His hair between Jungkook’s fingers and swollen lips caught between Jungkook’s teeth and warm skin wrapped around him at every angle all feel like heaven. Each sound he makes is an individual rush of dopamine in Jungkook’s bloodstream, each arch of his body into Jungkook’s its own tangible squeeze of want in Jungkook’s lower belly. 



Jimin doesn’t waste any time shoving Jungkook’s underwear down, grunting impatiently. Jungkook takes the hint and leans back, stripping both of them down naked in a handful of seconds before diving back down. Jimin drags him back in with hands gripped on his ass, feeling up the dip of his spine and fingertips digging into the tight muscles between his shoulder blades. They start up a rhythm, bare cocks captured between their bodies as they both swell to full hardness. 



Another fed up noise is Jungkook’s only warning before their positions are flipped, Jimin coming to rest in a wide straddle across his lap. Jungkook grabs Jimin by either hip and bucks up into him, reaches around to palm at his ass. Jimin rejoins their mouths in another sloppy kiss, open-mouthed and wet. Their teeth click when Jungkook turns his head to get deeper, filthier. Licking into each other’s mouths and groaning as they rut together, using each other for relief more than trying to pleasure each other. 



Without so much as a word or warning, Jimin slides down Jungkook’s body. He only pauses momentarily to run his tongue over the hills of Jungkook’s abs, suck a mark into the sensitive skin next to his hipbone. Jungkook can only watch through half-closed eyes and a thick haze of lust as Jimin’s face hovers over his cock, features hidden in shadows. Jungkook gives a small roll of his hips upward in invitation, not missing the way Jimin licks his lips at the sight. 



Then Jimin takes his heavy cock in the circle of his hand and goes down on him. He starts by lapping at the head, licking up and down the sides to get it wet. Jungkook thinks he can see Jimin’s eyes flash up to him as he does so, likely to see if he’s watching. And Jungkook definitely is - doesn’t think he could tear his eyes away if he tried. Jimin’s plush lips on his cock blur every line between pure heaven and pure sin that exists and his tongue defies any words Jungkook could possibly conceive to describe the feeling. He’s rendered a mess before Jimin truly gets his lips wrapped all the way around the head, gasping and physically refraining from bucking his hips upward. 



Watching his cock slide in and out of Jimin’s mouth and feeling the tight, wet suction is a full-body experience. Every nerve in Jungkook’s body is on fire with it, every muscle contracting and chasing the sensation. His hands wind around Jimin’s head, not pulling him down but dying to try. Jimin twists his hand around the base where his mouth doesn’t reach, eased by the saliva that runs down from his mouth. Jungkook’s eyes fall closed in bliss as Jimin’s throat flutters around the head, convulsing a bit when he takes too much. He lets out a low groan of appreciation and Jimin does it again and again, working him at the back of his throat and edging further and further down each time until Jungkook is panting in anticipation. 



Just before Jungkook’s low noises start turning into helpless whines, Jimin pulls off. The sound of Jimin’s heavy breaths and the filthy wet noises as he sucks and laps at the sides are so erotic they nearly short-circuit Jungkook’s brain. He rubs the pad of his thumb into the slit, collects a bead of precum and wipes it off on his tongue. He lets out a soft little moan as he runs his lips down the side of Jungkook’s cock and all rational thought evaporates because to Jungkook’s fucked-out brain the move seems like worship



“Don’t hold back,” Jimin says. Their eyes meet for a moment as understanding sinks in. He doesn’t wait for a response before he sucks Jungkook back into his mouth, tonguing at the underside as he builds his way back to his previous pace. 



This time when Jungkook buries his hands in Jimin’s hair, he holds him still and gives a tentative circle of his hips. 



Jimin’s answering moan is all he needs to let loose. He starts thrusting and Jimin drops down to meet him, choking quietly a few times before the back of his throat relaxes. And then Jungkook’s eyes nearly roll back in his head because Jimin takes him deeper, down to the root. Three or four bobs of Jimin’s head that deep and Jungkook is trembling, reduced to the primitive instinct to hold onto the back of Jimin’s head and fuck upward. He’s never been sucked so good before, never been deep throated and reduced to the point of needy, stupefied mumbling and helpless moans. 



Just when he thinks he might have to tap out as his orgasm starts rushing toward him too hard and too fast, Jimin eases off of him and lays another few messy, sucking kisses down the length. Jungkook takes the moment to come back to his senses, pry open his eyes and try to see straight. He looks down and expects Jimin to be smirking back at him, but even through the dim light and spots in his vision, all he sees is a dark shade of lust over Jimin’s face. 



Jimin crawls back upward and Jungkook pulls him back down into a searing kiss with a hand on the back of his neck. It only lasts a few seconds before his head falls back onto the bed to let out a groan as Jimin grinds down on him. Jungkook hooks an arm around Jimin’s back and grabs a handful of ass with the other, breathless at the way Jimin writhes right into it. Jimin’s mouth on his neck is an afterthought to the give of plump skin in his grip as he starts to feel around with the tips of his fingers. Jimin latches onto a spot on the side of his neck and sucks hard right as Jungkook finds his hole and strokes it, too dry to push inside the way he wants.  



“Where’s your lube,” Jimin pants into his neck, back arching and ass pressing back on Jungkook’s hand. His voice is raspy from taking Jungkook’s cock. 



“Right there in the nightstand.”



Jimin is gone and back before Jungkook even has time to miss his warmth. He seems too impatient to let Jungkook do the prep and instead opts to coat his own fingers in lube and snap the bottle closed. He leans over and reaches behind himself, balancing on an elbow dug into the mattress by Jungkook’s head. Jungkook takes the opportunity to fit his hands around Jimin’s waist to revel at how good they look there, how nice the slight dip of Jimin’s sides and smooth skin feels. He lets Jimin work while he explores, running his hands over lean muscles and palming at dense thighs. Jimin is mostly quiet aside from the occasional sigh into Jungkook’s ear as he opens himself up and rocks back onto his hand. Jungkook circles his thumbs around Jimin’s nipples, teases at them a bit to pass the time and occupy his antsy hands. 



“Fuck,” Jimin breathes into Jungkook’s neck. He turns and mouths at Jungkook’s ear, pinches the lobe between his teeth. Then he sits back and lifts up on his knees, hand wrapping around Jungkook’s cock behind his body. 



“That was quick.” He doesn’t really care one way or another how long it took. 



Jimin pours more lube in his hand to slather up and down Jungkook’s length. “I like it when it hurts.”



“That’s kinda messed up,” Jungkook mumbles absently, transfixed at the point where the head of his cock presses against Jimin’s hole. 



“Most of the time I can’t feel anything,” Jimin is saying, but Jungkook can barely hear him because as he says it, he starts to sink down. 



It takes Jungkook’s breath away when Jimin drops down fully onto his lap on the first go. Jungkook watches, speechless, as Jimin’s head tosses back and his mouth falls open, face contorting with some mixture of pain an ecstasy. 



“And then you came along,” Jimin gasps, and then he starts moving. 



Everything after that stretches into a timeless blur. They go for a long time, of that much Jungkook is certain. Jimin rides him until they’re both grunting and straining, until Jungkook gets too restless to lie still any longer and flips them over. Then time stretches even further, loses relevance entirely. Just Jimin underneath him, thighs around his waist and hands clawing at his scalp and shoulders. Jimin’s mouth is filthy, spitting out curses and speaking sin into his ears and letting out depraved sounds that echo through Jungkook’s apartment. 



Not once does Jungkook mistake the person he’s fucking for the man he’d loved before. Not once does Jungkook really care that it’s not him, either. 



He doesn’t even notice at first when Jimin’s eyes turn black. It looks like a trick of the shadows, but when he looks up through his bangs, he meets Jimin’s demon-eyed stare. He never slows down, hips not so much as stuttering once. He holds Jimin’s gaze, hypnotized. It’s a far cry from the first time he’d seen those eyes in his dreams and screamed himself awake in terror. Now he can’t deny the evidence of what those eyes do to him. Heat swirls inside him, his grip tightens on Jimin’s hips. He digs his teeth into his bottom lip and snaps his hips even harder, unable to look away. 



A slow, inscrutable smile spreads over Jimin’s lips. “You’re too easy, Jungkookie.” 



“Stop talking,” Jungkook grunts, punctuated with a rough snap of his hips. 



Instead of talking, Jimin starts to laugh, winded and staccato but incessant. He tosses his head back and keeps laughing as Jungkook keeps fucking him, patience getting thinner the louder Jimin gets. 



To shut him up, Jungkook pulls out, flips him over onto his front and shoves his face into the mattress with a hand on his back. Jimin cries out and spreads himself wider as Jungkook slams back in and sets an unforgiving pace. 



Whatever Jimin came here for tonight, Jungkook can only assume he got it. 





He’s standing in his own shower, and he only knows he’s dreaming because the hands washing the body he’s in are not his. He recognizes the hands, though. Black fingernails and silver rings on a few fingers. He pieces together much more quickly than usual that he’s seeing through Jimin’s eyes in his dream again. It’s been a while since this last happened. 



It’s hard to tell whether or not Jimin knows he’s tuning in. He doesn’t have much of a choice but to watch as Jimin rinses himself off. The dream goes dark for a moment as Jimin closes his eyes under the spray. He wipes the water out of his face before reaching over and twisting the faucet off. 



As he steps out of the shower, he catches a glance at Jimin in the bathroom mirror. He’s obscured by a layer of steam as he reaches for the counter and grabs a towel to dry off. Everything is shaky like home video footage as Jimin’s hands drag the towel over his body, toss it over his head to scrub his hair dry. He drapes the towel around his neck and then seems to take interest in his reflection, leaning over the counter so close his breath fogs the glass. 



From this close under the harsh fluorescent lights, Jungkook can see every detail of Jimin’s face even through the hazy vignette at the edges of his vision. Faint smudges of residual eyeliner around his lash line, the heart-shaped bow of his plush upper lip. 



His eyes flash briefly to black, there and gone with a single blink. 



Jimin turns away from the counter and heads for the door. Either he’s completely silent as he opens the bathroom door and switches off the light, or Jungkook can’t hear anything in the dream. 



After just a second or two of pitch darkness, Jimin’s eyes adjust well enough to easily navigate his way through Jungkook’s unlit apartment. Jungkook catches a short glimpse of himself lying in bed, but Jimin’s eyes don’t linger on him. Instead he starts picking up his clothes from the floor and dressing quickly, stepping into his pants and tugging his shirt overhead. He takes a seat on the edge of the bed to pull on his shoes, Jungkook lost in the covers somewhere behind him. 



When he’s dressed, he turns back toward the bed and Jungkook sees his own sleeping body. Jimin’s supernatural night vision gives him a clear image of himself. He’s lying on his back, tangled in the comforter up to his waist with an arm propped behind the pillow under his head. His hair has gone far too long without a cut and falls over his eyes, obscuring almost half his face. The rise and fall of his chest as he breathes doesn’t match up with Jimin’s in his dream. 



Jimin leans over the bed, then, reaching out with a hand toward Jungkook. He takes Jungkook’s face in hand, not at all gentle from the way his fingertips indent his cheeks, and turns his face toward himself. Checking to make sure Jungkook is asleep. He lets Jungkook go and turns toward his nightstand, stooping to a squat and grabbing his phone from where it lay face down on the surface. The phone comes to life at the press of the button and the digital clock tells him it’s nearly four in the morning. 



Then Jimin takes Jungkook’s hand, maneuvering his index finger to fit over the fingerprint scanner on his phone. The screen unlocks and blinks to his wallpaper, and then Jimin has access to the entire contents of Jungkook’s phone. 



Jungkook watches as Jimin flicks through his text messages and emails, runs a few searches of his own name and related words. He doesn’t seem interested in his findings until he pulls up Jungkook’s photo gallery. 



There, plain as day, are the pictures Jungkook took of the demon sigil Yoongi drew in blood on the rooftop at the old mill. Jimin takes his time looking at the pictures, zooming in on the symbols and tapping his fingers in thought on the side of Jungkook’s phone. He attaches them in a text message and sends them to a number Jungkook doesn’t recognize - no doubt a burner phone Jimin is using. 



Jimin goes back through Jungkook’s photos - all of them. All through his various albums, all through the copious pictures of himself. He sees every picture Jungkook has saved of him and every photo he’s ever taken while tracking Jimin’s whereabouts. It’s all there, time and date stamped and carefully sorted for convenience. 



After scrolling through Jungkook’s entire photo gallery, Jimin wipes the text messages he’d sent to himself and locks the phone. He places it back on the nightstand exactly how he’d found it and straightens to his feet. 



He steals away through Jungkook’s apartment. As he’s passing through the living room, he spots Jungkook’s leather jacket hanging over the back of the couch where Jungkook had tossed it on his way in. He switches course and walks over to it, running his hands over the smooth, worn leather and feeling around inside the pockets. 



Jungkook can’t figure out what Jimin wants with his jacket. Maybe he’ll steal it like he did the motorcycle and wear it around until Jungkook can get it back. It seems redundant to taunt him like that again, and if he really wanted, Jungkook’s keys are on his dresser back in his bedroom. 



He doesn’t end up taking the jacket. He turns away and heads for the front door, making it there in a few short steps. Then he’s opening it, stepping out into the brisk night and yanking it shut behind him. 



Jungkook startles from sleep at the slam of the front door. Groggily, he sorts himself out and looks around his room. Jimin’s clothes are gone just as expected. His phone is lying on the nightstand next to him exactly how he’d watched Jimin leave it in his dream. 



At least it explains the real reason Jimin decided to show up. 





Surprisingly, he’d fallen back asleep easily after Jimin had left. Rough demon sex must take it out of him, he supposes. That thought crosses his mind and it doesn’t even bother him like it should. Never in all his years of hunting would he have imagined he could be disarmed by sex so easily. In much the same manner as he handles everything else in life, he pushes the thoughts aside to deal with never



He’s more concerned with the fact that Jimin now knows what he’s up to. He has no idea how much Jimin knows about the sigils or what Jungkook intends to do with them. Jungkook will assume the worse - that Jimin knows exactly what his plan is and will be actively trying to derail it. 



This means, more so now than ever before, time is of the essence. Jungkook fires off a text message to Taehyung to check on the status of the items he needs for the summoning ritual. Taehyung doesn’t text back immediately, so he plugs his phone in to charge and goes to take a shower. 



Showering is accompanied by a sense of déjá vu after his real-time look through Jimin’s eyes last night. Each time he blinks, he sees flashes of Jimin’s painted nails, his shorter fingers and assorted rings. 



He sees Jimin’s hands holding a bloody knife to someone’s throat, hears a phantom echo of Jimin’s voice - Isn’t that sad, Jungkookie?  The images flash by as quickly as the click of a camera shutter, leaving him staring at his clean hands under the shower spray. 



He blinks again and sees blood running in thick rivulets down his hands, pouring over the sides and washing down the drain. 



He squeezes his eyes closed so hard blackness fades out of his vision when he opens his eyes. He quickly finishes up his shower, haphazardly rinsing off and raking his fingers through his hair under the water. He towels off outside the shower on autopilot, mind occupied elsewhere. He secures the towel around his waist and stands at the sink to brush his teeth, stringy wet hair dangling in front of his face dripping cold water onto his shoulders. 



He leans over the sink to spit and rinse and splashes water on his face to wash it. He fumbles for the hand towel and drags it off its rack to dry his face. 



When he looks up in the mirror, his eyes are solid black. 



He flinches away, gasping and dropping the towel. The whites of his eyes are completely consumed by bottomless black, white light reflections captured on the shiny surface of each eye. 



As soon as he blinks, his eyes return to normal. 



He rushes forward, leaning as close to the mirror as he can get and staring at his own eyes. He squeezes his eyes shut and opens them a few times, but they remain their normal shade of dark brown and faintly bloodshot. He sighs, fogging up the mirror with his breath. 



His eyes fall to three or four marks in a cluster on one side of his neck. There are a few more smaller ones scattered down his chest. He touches them delicately, tracing the outline of the largest one with the tip of his finger. The color reminds him of a glass of red wine he’d had at some sort of academy banquet for Hoseok years ago. Jimin had been there, too, back then. He’d taken a drink and turned to Jungkook with raised eyebrows and an impressed downward tilt of his lips. 



“Careful with this stuff,” he’d said to Jungkook, grinning. “You won’t realize you’ve had too much until it’s too late.” 



A loud knock at his apartment door shakes him out of his thoughts. He hurries out of the bathroom toward the front door, bare feet silent on the hardwood floors. He peers through the peephole and sees Taehyung on the other side, face warped by the fisheye lens. 



He unlocks the door and Taehyung floods inside, paper bags of groceries in his hands. 



“I grabbed you some stuff while I was at the store,” Taehyung says. “You look like you’re losing weight so I figured you haven’t had time to eat.” 



“You didn’t have to do that,” Jungkook says, although it looks like he doesn’t get much of a say in the matter. Taehyung is already unloading the items into his fridge - some produce, a carton of eggs, a gallon of milk. He stocks up the pantry with an assortment of instant noodles and dry goods, finds a safe place for a loaf of bread.  



Taehyung turns to him once he’s finished unpacking. His eyes immediately fall to the marks all over Jungkook’s skin, brows lifting in surprise. “Oh,” he says, meeting Jungkook’s eyes. “Is someone here?” 



“No, you’re good.” Jungkook walks into the kitchen and takes out the small bottle of orange juice Taehyung had just added, opening it and taking a drink. “They left a while ago.” 



Taehyung lets out a surprised laugh, leaving the kitchen to drop his backpack into a kitchen chair and unzip it. “Holy shit,” he says with an annoying grin, Jungkook rolling his eyes. “When was the last time you even got laid?” 



“Definitely none of your business,” Jungkook grumbles, leaning against the counter with his orange juice in hand as Taehyung continues beaming at him. 



“This is great,” Taehyung says as he pulls items out of his backpack and sets them on the dining room table. He has to push a pile of notebooks and papers aside to make room. As Jungkook looks closer, he realizes they’re the items for the summoning ritual. “Was it just a one-time thing or are you actually going to, like, date someone now?” 



Jungkook almost spits out his juice. He clears his throat, wiping his mouth with a hand. “You know I don’t date.” 



A flicker of disappointment comes and goes from Taehyung’s face. Then he’s back to smiling and absently rearranging and tinkering with the items on the table. “But you could, you know,” he continues. “Get yourself back out there, meet someone special.”



“Tae,” Jungkook warns. 



Taehyung pauses with one of his notebooks in hand, gazing at Jungkook expectantly. “So who was it?” 



“It was no one. Just a hookup.” 



“Twice in the last - what, like two weeks or so?” Taehyung questions incredulously. “Was it the same person?” 



“Is that the stuff for the ritual?” 



“You first.” 



Jungkook grinds his teeth, eyeing Taehyung with unconcealed irritation. It doesn’t faze Taehyung in the slightest. “Yes.” 



Taehyung’s eyes light up. “The same person? Both times?” 



“Yes, Tae,” Jungkook grumbles. “Now drop it. It’s not important.” 



“It is, though!” Taehyung exclaims, ditching the stuff at the table and walking toward Jungkook. “You’re totally seeing someone!” 



“It’s not like that - ”



“Who is it?” Taehyung questions. “Tell me about them!” 



“No, Tae - ”



“Is it because it’s too soon to tell?”



Jungkook slams the bottle of orange juice down on the counter and Taehyung goes still and quiet. Taking a deep breath, Jungkook lets it out very slowly and pointedly stares at the floor as he articulates his next words. “I don’t want to talk about it, Taehyung. Drop it.” 



When he looks up, he expects to see mild disappointment. He expects to see Taehyung deflated and maybe indignant, probably a pout on his face. 



He doesn’t expect to look up and see unquestionable fear in Taehyung’s face or the beginning of tears in his eyes. 



“Is it Jimin?” 



He tries to mask the surge of anger and fear at the mention of the name, but Taehyung latches on to it. 



“It’s Jimin.” Taehyung’s arms fall limp at his sides, jaw slack as he gapes. “Isn’t it?” 



Jungkook swallows and looks away, back to a spot on the floor he’d found some sort of peace in earlier. 



“Tell me it’s not him,” Taehyung pleads. When Jungkook doesn’t answer, only shakes his head, Taehyung steps closer. “Please tell me you’re not - ”



“It’s not him,” Jungkook states. “Calm down. It’s not Jimin.”



Taehyung is staring at Jungkook, emotions wild in his features and eyes glossy. He’s not crying yet, but Jungkook knows they’re headed that direction. Taehyung has always been an easy crier, always been far too gentle a soul for this line of work. It’s why he doesn’t do hunts. Just the thought of pulling the trigger on a living person - even one possessed by a demon - is too much. Jungkook has never understood it in the same way he doesn’t understand quite why Taehyung is ready to cry any second now. 



“Tae,” Jungkook says placatingly, pushing off the counter and stepping closer. “It’s not him, okay? I promise. Do you really think I’d fuck a demon of all people?” 



Taehyung steps back, a wounded look on his face and a lone tear sliding down the side of his nose. He swipes it dry with his fingertips before it reaches his upper lip. “Usually you’re better at lying than this.” He shakes his head, looking away and eyes landing on the table to his side. Something seems to click as he looks from the slew of ritual ingredients on the table back to Jungkook. He points to them. “What’s this stuff really for?” 



“To summon a demon.” 



“Does it have anything to do with Jimin?” 



“No.”



“Stop lying.” Taehyung lets out a bitter huff of a laugh, entirely devoid of humor. “All of this has been about Jimin. You never let it go.” 



“I was never going to.”



“What are you trying to do?”



Instead of answering, Jungkook leaves the kitchen to go get dressed. Taehyung follows after, standing in his bedroom door as he pulls on underwear and jeans. 



“Why are you trying to summon that demon?” Taehyung persists with increasing concern. “Jungkook.” 



Jungkook is adjusting the hem of his white t-shirt around his waist when he realizes Taehyung is headed back for the kitchen. He hears Taehyung sniffling and rustling around and follows after to find him shoving the items for the ritual back into his backpack. 



“What are you doing?” Jungkook rushes to Taehyung’s side and makes a grab for the small urn in his hand. 



“I’m not letting you do this,” Taehyung says, snatching the urn away. 



“It’s not up to you,” Jungkook states, reaching for it again, but Taehyung dodges out of the way. 



“No!” Taehyung yells.



Jungkook jabs his tongue into his cheek at a spike of irritation. “Tae,” he says, as calmly as he can muster. “I’ll pay you back for the stuff. Just leave it here so I can do what I need to do.” 



“What is it you think you need to do?” Taehyung demands, still holding the urn out of Jungkook’s reach and keeping wide, distrustful eyes trained on him. 



“I really don’t think you want to know.” 



“I want to know,” Taehyung argues, but he’s losing steam. Tears are streaked down his face now as he chews on his lip, fingers clamped tight around the urn he refuses to hand over. “I want to know what you’re planning to do.” 



“Give me the stuff for the ritual,” Jungkook says calmly, “and I’ll tell you everything.” 



“Tell me everything first.” 



Jungkook moves before Taehyung can even let out a yelp, grabbing him and spinning him around until he’s doubled over with his arms in Jungkook’s grip behind his back. Taehyung lets out a frustrated string of noises and fights back, but Jungkook grabs the urn and lets him go before he can break free. 



“Fuck,” Taehyung huffs, straightening his jacket and scowling at Jungkook. 



Jungkook sets the urn on the table and starts unpacking the contents of Taehyung’s backpack once again. Taehyung watches as he sets the items on the table one by one. 



When he’s done, he hands the backpack over, mostly empty without the ritual ingredients inside. 



Taehyung snatches the backpack away and hugs it to his chest. He ducks his head and wipes away more tears with the back of his hand, dries it on the thigh of his pants leg. 



Before now, Jungkook’s heart would have hurt at the sight. He’s not sure what to make of the current hollow feeling inside him as he watches one of his closest friends hurt because of him. Instead of guilt and remorse, he feels… impatience, maybe. Exasperation. He wishes Taehyung would just leave so he can get on with things before Jimin figures out how to stop him. He has other things to worry about aside from Taehyung’s hurt feelings. Much bigger things - things beyond anything he has time to try to explain to Taehyung or try to reason with him. 



It seems like Taehyung picks up on Jungkook’s line of thinking. He slings his bag onto his back and heads for the front door, footsteps heavy and hurried like he’s trying to get far away fast. The front door opens, but Taehyung’s voice carries across the apartment. 



“You don’t care about anyone but him,” Taehyung says. “Not me, not your brother. Not even yourself.” 



Jungkook doesn’t bother arguing. 





Hoseok had bought him his glock as a birthday present. Before that, Jungkook had been upkeeping some of the older guns his dad had left behind years ago. He’d been so used to getting his brother’s hand-me-down everything, it had taken him a minute to realize the gun was brand new. He’s worn it almost every day since then, tucked into the small clip holster he keeps on his leather belt and hidden underneath his jacket. He feels naked without it in public when he can’t carry around a weapon. Not many people even see it without catching a bullet from it a few moments later. 



As he cleans it now, he feels a sense of grounded reality. His gun is a heavy weight in his hands that feels so natural he may as well have been born with it. He disassembles it with more care than he gives any other task in the world, taking his time to pull it apart and set the items down carefully on a clean kitchen towel. 



For the twenty minutes or so it takes him to clean his gun, he’s utterly present. Here and now. He’s not in the past where ghosts and demons haunt his dreams and memories. He’s not in the near future where everything seems to look uncertain and bleak no matter which direction the universe takes. He’s just here, cleaning his gun. Oil and cool metal slipping under his fingertips, brows lightly drawn and lips slack in concentration. 



When he’s finished, he clicks all the parts back together as carefully as he’d taken them apart. He brushes the reassembled glock with the corner of the towel to dry up any residual oil. 



He stands up and reaches behind himself with both hands. One to push the tail of his shirt aside and the gun in his other, sliding it into place at the small of his back. It makes him feel as whole as he possibly can. 



It’s after ten in the evening. The summoning must take place at midnight. Everything is already gathered in his bag. His plan is in place. His gun is loaded. He pulls on his leather jacket and smooths the sides down his chest. The worn leather is soft from so many years of wear and cool to the touch after lying in wait over the back of the couch. 



All of the lights in his apartment are turned off. The heater and air unit have been cut off. There’s a note on the table in his handwriting. He makes one last sweep around the apartment with his eyes to make sure he hasn’t forgotten anything. It looks as foreign and dismal as usual, only tonight with the addition of godforsaken silence. 



He turns to leave without looking back. 



The engine of his bike growls to life and then unleashes as soon as the wheels hit the highway. The cold wind has a way of getting up under every vulnerable part of him, into the openings of his sleeves and his collar where his neck is exposed. His teeth are clenched tight, either from the cold or from the same tension that had settled inside him three years ago and never left. 



The ride to his chosen destination feels forgivably short. It’s a half-hour drive, but his thoughts had consumed his mind for the entire ride. He turns onto the long driveway and makes his way toward the vacant home nestled off in the woods, unseen from the main highway. He’d already scoped the place out earlier. It’s a large, run-down farmhouse. The sellers’ security system had been a labrador retriever when they lived here.  



He parks at the head of the large circle driveway, right in front of the path leading to the porch. He carries everything with him up the stairs and pulls the door open to walk straight inside. He’d already broken in earlier and set up a single shop light in the corner. He crosses the empty room to switch it on and cast a wide beam of light onto the floor. 



The hardwood floor is clear, only covered in a thin layer of dust. There’s a ladder folded against one wall, an empty five-gallon paint bucket upturned nearby. The open-concept kitchen along the opposite wall is covered in plastic drop cloth and blue painter’s tape. The home doesn’t smell like drying paint or carpet shampoo, only the must of stale air and old wood. It had been clear when he had first walked in that the renovations had long since been put on hold. 



He gets to work preparing the ritual. On his hands and knees, he draws the sigil in chalk using reference images on his phone and an old paint stir stick to get straight, crisp lines. He sets the candles - tall, heavy candles made from black wax - at the appropriate points on the sigil. He moves around the room and sets up other candles at particular points, having researched the uses of candles to channel energy and assist in summoning. He lights each of them with wooden matches, and when the glow from the candles is enough for him to see his way around, he switches off the shop light. 



He sets the ceramic bowl on top of the upturned bucket and kneels beside it to compile all the ingredients in the right order. He keeps up with the time on his phone as he works, watching the digital numbers draw closer and closer to midnight. 



Once everything is in place, he sets the bowl on the floor next to the sigil and pushes the bucket aside. He unsheathes his hunting knife from his ankle holster and lays it on the ground nearby. The candle flames are undisturbed plumes of yellow light casting quiet shadows on the bare, echoing walls. Dust motes flutter through the air, disturbed by his presence in the barren home. 



He rubs his palms over his thighs, chest swelling with the deep breaths he steadies himself with. He’s overly warm in his jacket, a thin layer of sweat starting to make his shirt cling to his skin underneath. His too-long hair falls in unruly waves into his face, sticky and damp at the roots but soft and clean at the ends where it brushes his cheeks. He knows his gun hasn’t budged from where he’d placed it earlier, but he trails a hand back and checks it just to ground himself. 



When he brings his hand back in front of him, his veins are black. His hands shake as he watches the black blood spread through the webs of tiny veins in his palm, overtaking the thicker blue ropes under the thin skin of his wrist. He rubs at it in panic, trying to scrub away the blackness, but it spreads to his other hand and starts making its way to all ten fingertips, down both wrists until it disappears under his jacket. He turns his hands over and watches them tremble as the black blood runs through the veins on the back of his hands. 



He rips his jacket off and throws it aside, but when he looks at his hands again, they’re back to normal. 



He’s already tossed around the idea that he’s going insane. That’s nothing new. Between everything that’s happened since the night Jimin disappeared - thinking he was possessed by a demon, looking at the evidence of the murders in his wake. Dreaming and remembering him every single night, drinking himself into oblivion to try to drown it out. Finally finding Jimin and eventually accepting the reality of what happened that night. Feeling himself plummeting over the edge into an abyss so deep, feeling himself detach from his old self so far that even fucking a demon didn’t bother him the way it should. Hiding away the part of him that wanted it, dreamed of it - still wants it, can’t stop thinking about it. 



So the hallucinations are happening, but they’re so far from the craziest thing going on in his life that they barely faze him. 



The alarm on his phone jolts him from his own thoughts. He silences it quickly. Five minutes until midnight. 



This could be a waste of time. There’s a good chance it won’t even work. Yoongi had acted like it would be a long-shot. Even if he succeeds in the summoning, there’s no telling he’ll survive ten seconds in the presence of a demon powerful enough to hold every contract in existence. Maybe even ten seconds is too generous. He won’t know until he tries. Nothing to lose and everything to gain - it’s the same type of gamble Jimin was willing to take the night he summoned Yoongi to make a deal for Jungkook’s life. 



Another alarm goes off on his phone. Two minutes to go. 



He turns his hand over to expose the underside of his lower arm. He grits his teeth as he holds his arm over the bowl. Offer him plenty of blood, Yoongi had said. 



He makes a deep cut, hissing in pain as his hands start to tremble uncontrollably. The blood gushes from the wound, some splattering in droplets and missing the bowl. His breathing is erratic as he squeezes his arm with the other hand, bleeding out into the bowl and drenching the other ingredients. The cut is deeper than he’d intended, but it’s not bleeding like he’d nicked an artery. His hands are a mess of blood as he waits it out, taking measured breaths through his nose to keep calm. When the contents of the bowl are swimming in a thick pool of blood, he grabs a clean cloth from nearby and compresses the wound. He grabs the medical tape he’d brought along for this reason and binds it, although he quickly bleeds straight through the white material. 



If he survives tonight, he’ll need stitches. 



He checks the time. It’s less than a minute until midnight. He picks up the box of matches and fishes one out, holding it tight between his index finger and thumb. He stares at the red phosphorus tip as he counts down the seconds in his head. 



At exactly midnight, he strikes the match on the box and drops it into the ceramic bowl. 



It catches light immediately with a massive blue flame, sending him reeling backward as it roars scorching hot. He gets to his feet and stumbles back further as the flame burns, growing even higher as he stares directly into it. Every flame in the room jumps toward the ceiling suddenly in blazing hot columns of bright blue fire that light the entire room. 



Then the flames all go out once, pitching the room into darkness. 



He blinks in the dark, heart thundering as he realizes he’s completely blind until his eyes have time to adjust. He stands still, listening for any sign of movement. Anything unusual or paranormal - sudden wind or tremors or a chill in the air. 



There’s nothing. Only silence and the gentle scent of smoke from the dying candles. 



He feels around in the darkness until he finds the shop light. He locates the power switch and turns it on, half expecting to see a stranger standing in the middle of the living room. 



The room is empty except for him. He waits a few moments, eyes sliding around warily. His boots creak the floorboards as he shifts his weight, and it’s the only sound aside from his labored breathing and a single, wet tap from a drop of blood hitting the floor next to his feet. 



Something had failed. Maybe it wasn’t enough blood. Maybe something Taehyung had bought was a fake. Had to be something wrong with the ashes or oil. He’d double and triple-checked the lines on the sigil. Unless Yoongi had given him a fake, it couldn’t be that. And if that’s what Yoongi had done, he has the materials for another summoning and paper to write that bastard’s name on. 



He turns around, rage blazing even hotter than the flames that filled the room a few moments ago. He kicks the wall so hard pain shoots up his leg. His hands are balled into fists, blunt nails cutting into his palms. Blood drips from his knife wound freely, soaking his hands and staining his white shirt and jeans. 



Tonight was supposed to be the night. This was supposed to be it. As much as he’d known that this could fail, he hadn’t prepared for that outcome. He’s at a loss. 



Just as he’s about to draw back his fist and let out his anger with a punch to the wall, he hears commotion outside the front door. 



He draws his gun and aims at the door just as it slams open. 



Jimin steps through the door, a wicked smile on his face and a massive knife in his hand. There’s a tiny bit of blood on it, a thin red film on the glossy metal. 



As Jungkook takes aim at Jimin’s face, Jimin wags the knife and tuts. 



“Ah-ah-ah, Jungkookie,” he calls. He leans over and reaches outside the door and grabs something where Jungkook can’t see.



Taehyung stumbles through the door, wrists zip-tied in front of him and a gag cutting into his cheeks, the material soaking up the tears that have rolled down his face. He looks up at Jungkook through his hair with terror in his eyes, brows pinched together. He lets out a low grunt as Jimin drags him in front of himself and kicks the door shut behind them. 



Jungkook doesn’t lower the gun, keeping his eyes on the glimpses of Jimin’s face he can see from behind Taehyung. 



“What do you think you’re doing here, Jungkookie?” Jimin sing-songs, knife coming around to press against Taehyung’s throat. 



Taehyung squeezes his eyes shut and lets out a whimper. Jungkook’s finger twitches at the trigger. 



“I could ask you the same thing,” Jungkook says. His eyes move to Taehyung, teeth clenching as he realizes there’s blood running from a shallow wound on his forehead. “How’d you find me?” 



Jimin taps the knife against Taehyung’s collar bone a few times. “Lucky for me, Taetae here always knows how to find you.”  



Jungkook should have known. Taehyung must have tracked his cell phone location or accessed his browsing history to find the address. He never would have considered it a bad thing for Taehyung to know his whereabouts, but now he realizes what a dumb mistake that had been. But, he considers as Jimin repositions the knife at Taehyung’s jugular, Taehyung’s usefulness may be the only reason he’s even still alive. 



“Is this how you think you’re going to turn me back?” Jimin suddenly yells, making Taehyung flinch. 



“Calm down,” Jungkook says. “It didn’t work.” 



What didn’t work?” 



“The ritual.”



“So you’ll try it again,” Jimin states. “And again. And again. Until you finally get it to work. Isn’t that right, Taetae?”



“Let him go,” Jungkook says, voice level. He makes a point of moving his gun away, slowly holding both hands up in surrender. 



“This isn’t your negotiation,” Jimin snaps. “It’s mine.” 



Jungkook nods, reaching behind himself very slowly and re-holstering his gun. He returns his hands to a stance of surrender, palms out in the air on either side of his head. “Okay,” he says carefully. “Tell me what you want, then.”



“Stop trying to turn me back,” Jimin states. “Don’t summon any other demons. Don’t try to make any more deals. No loopholes, no bending the rules.” 



Jungkook nods again. “And if I don’t?” 



“Then I cut his fucking throat - is that not fucking clear enough for you?” Jimin shouts, jostling Taehyung and tightening the knife to his neck. 



Taehyung sobs and keeps his eyes shut, trying to hold perfectly still. Just the slightest movement could cause the knife to break the skin, and there’s no telling what might trigger Jimin to make the cut. 



Jungkook opens his mouth to answer and a cloud of vapor comes out, goosebumps spreading over his skin as he’s hit with a sudden chill. His eyes dart to Taehyung, whose breath comes out in white puffs of cold as well. 



Jimin hesitates, knife falling away from Taehyung’s skin slightly as he looks somewhere behind Jungkook. Taehyung opens his eyes too, focusing on the same spot behind Jungkook and seeming to go shock still at whatever he sees. 



“What the fuck did you do?” Jimin mutters, and Jungkook finally turns around. 



White smoke pours from the center of the living room as if from a fountain at the center, billowing up in a short column and then falling to the ground. It spreads in a circle, crawling across the floor in a dense layer at the slow pace of a liquid spill on level ground. 



“What the fuck is that?” Jimin snaps from behind him. 



Jungkook takes a step back, eyes wide as he watches the room slowly fill with pure white smoke. 



“I-I don’t know,” Jungkook rasps, taking another step back as the smoke creeps toward his feet. 



The cold in the air snatches all three of them by the throat, paralyzing them with fear. Jungkook has no idea what he’s scared of or why, just that it grips him so tight he can’t breathe. He chokes and stumbles back another step, close enough to reach out and grab Taehyung, but he’s too overwhelmed to do anything.



He turns his head and realizes Jimin has let Taehyung go, but they’re all three overcome with some sort of palpable terror, cemented in place where they stand. Both Jimin’s and Taehyung’s eyes are locked on the center of the room, watching the thick smoke column rise higher and higher, reaching up for the vaulted ceiling. 



Jungkook startles as the shop light starts to flicker, creating a strobe effect in the room. It blinks in and out as its electric whir grows louder and louder. The entire house starts to tremble, first a small vibration no more than the force of a footstep and building rapidly to the intensity of an earthquake.



“What the fuck,” Jimin blurts out as the plastic tarps in the kitchen start to whip around, catching on gusts of unnatural air that sweep through the house.  



The cabinets in the kitchen clatter, doors flying open and banging in the wind. Dust and debris trickles from the ceiling as the entire house starts to shake so hard Jungkook has to grip the side of a counter to keep his balance. 



“It’s him,” Jungkook breathes, watching as the pillar of white smoke reaches the ceiling and falls downward, smothering the empty air between and swallowing the entire living room. “It worked.” 



The buzzing from the shop light gets even louder, until it overloads and the bulbs pop and spark, sending thin glass scattering. It’s too dark to see now, but he hears as the stand crashes to the floor, knocked off balance from the shaking house. Taehyung yells out from behind him and there’s a commotion between him and Jimin, but Jungkook doesn’t turn around. 



The tremors and wind stop. The room is still cold, only the sound of their ragged breathing as they wait in the darkness. 



Every light in the house flicks to life at the same time. 



Standing at the middle of the living room where the smoke has begun to clear is a man in a black suit. 



Taehyung gasps in fear, but Jimin and Jungkook remain quiet. 



The man is tall, even taller than Jungkook. His hair is silvery gray, swept neatly away from his forehead. He appears young, occupying a vessel in his early twenties, but he radiates an energy that Jungkook assumes is great, ancient evil. He looks between the three of them slowly with normal, human eyes. Then he blinks, and instead of the expected black, his eyes are completely white. 



“Which one of you summoned me?” the demon asks, deep voice raspy, a booming echo in the vacant walls of the home. 



“I did,” Jungkook says after a beat, taking a single step forward. 



The demon smiles, dimpled and full of gleaming white teeth. He tilts his head curiously. It’s impossible to tell where his pupilless white eyes focus. “Are you brave?” he asks Jungkook. “Or just stupid?” 



Jungkook shrugs one shoulder. “Still up for debate.” 



“Either way,” the demon says, “you are desperate.” 



“Guess you could say that.”



Behind him, Jimin and Taehyung are still. Jungkook can’t take his eyes off the demon in front of him to spare a glance, not even if Taehyung is already dead. Something tells him Taehyung is fine, though. The same thing tells him Jimin is even more terrified than he is to be standing in the presence of this primeval being.



“Why have you summoned me here?”



“Isn’t that kind of a dumb question?” Jungkook asks rhetorically, and the demon’s smile falters. “I want to make a deal.” 



“Wrong,” the demon states. “You want to break an existing contract.” 



“Word must get around fast downstairs,” Jungkook says. Then, as the demon seems to be waiting for him to make his case, “I’m open to negotiation.”



The demon laughs, then, low and dark. His voice carries through the entire room, seems to vibrate beneath Jungkook’s skin and penetrate deep to his bones. The demon starts walking toward him, and it takes every bit of self control Jungkook has not to back away. The demon’s long stride takes him across the expanse of the living room in a matter of steps, closer and closer, closing in on Jungkook and the two cowering behind him until - 



The demon stops abruptly like he’s run into an invisible wall. He reels backward just slightly, eyelids blinking over eerie white eyes as he comes to realization. He reaches out with one hand and tests the boundary, palm flattening on an invisible barrier. 



Jungkook can’t help but grin as the demon growls low in his throat, murder in his eyes as he glares at Jungkook. 



“I guess this means I’m not stupid,” Jungkook says, tipping his head back and smiling upward.



There, painted on the ceiling, is a massive devil’s trap over the demon’s head. 



“Shit,” Jimin breathes from somewhere behind Jungkook. “You fucking idiot.” 



“You think your little trap will hold me?” the demon questions, eyes narrowing.  



“I’m really going more for just…” Jungkook trails off, gesturing vaguely with his hand, “minor inconvenience?” 



The demon sighs, clearly impatient. “State your terms.” 



“I want you to break his contract,” Jungkook states, turning to point at Jimin behind him. “Three years ago, one of your guys made a deal with him. His soul for my life. I want you to undo it.” 



The demon’s head turns toward Jimin as he seems to regard him. Jungkook spares a look, too, and realizes Jimin is watching on with an unreadable look on his face. His hand still clutches the knife at his side, but he’s only holding onto Taehyung with a hand on his shoulder. 



“You want to give your life to cleanse his soul,” the demon surmises. 



Jungkook nods. 



Taehyung lets out a sob, trying to speak but his gag is too tight. He sucks in a breath as Jimin’s hand tightens on his shoulder. 



The demon turns his face back to Jungkook. “You don’t value your own life.” 



“Not much here worth anything,” Jungkook replies. He takes a step closer, looking up to gauge where the edge of the devil’s trap falls to make sure he doesn’t cross over. “Can you do it?” 



The demon regards him carefully, eyes falling to the bloody bandage on Jungkook’s arm and then glancing around the room as he considers. 



“Well?” 



“What you’re asking for is impossible.” 



It hits Jungkook like a punch to the gut that nearly doubles him over. He lets out a lungful of air, ignoring Jimin’s chuckle from behind him as he presses his hand over the cut on his arm. His hand comes away wet and red with blood. He smears it clean on the leg of his pants and looks back up at the demon. 



“So there’s nothing you can do.”



“I didn’t say that.”



“What can you do, then?” Jungkook quickly asks. 



“I can bring him back,” the demon replies, taking his sweet time to formulate the words and then tacking on at the very end, “temporarily.” 



“Not happening,” Jimin hisses. One look from the white-eyed demon shuts him up for good. 



Jungkook licks his dry lips, feeling his stomach roll over inside him with anxious hope. “What do you mean?”



“Demons don’t have the power to cleanse the corruption from a soul,” the demon explains. “But for a price, we can work small miracles.” 



“What kind of miracles?” Jungkook questions, brows drawn together and frown on his face as he absorbs every word the demon says. 



The demon points to Jimin, then lets his hand return to his side. “I can bring him back for a short time. He won’t remember anything he’s done as a demon.” 



Jungkook’s breath catches. “For how long?”



“One minute.” 



A laugh bursts out of Jungkook before he can stop it. “One minute?” he repeats, shaking his head. “Are you fucking kidding me? That’s the best you can do?” 



The demon tilts his head, brows raised. “I don’t see the humor in my offer.” 



Jungkook continues laughing, rolling his head back. He finally settles down and looks at the demon. “You think after everything I’ve fucking done to get to this point,” Jungkook says, shaking his head in disbelief, “that one fucking minute is even close to enough time?”



“How long did you have in mind?” 



Jungkook huffs. “Years,” he answers. “Not minutes.” 



The demon hums contemplatively. He looks overhead to the trap painted on the ceiling for a moment and then smiles at Jungkook. “The longer you want with him, the more it will cost.” 



“Name your price.”



“Your soul.”



Jungkook shakes his head. “You think I’m going to sell my soul for one minute with him?” 



“How about,” the demon says, pausing to let his smile grow even more, “I won’t take it from you now. I’ll allow you to live until the natural end of your life before I claim it.” 



Taehyung protests and Jungkook turns to look at him. He shakes his head, begging, pleading with his eyes, but Jungkook turns back around. 



“A day,” Jungkook offers. “I’ll take the deal for a day.” 



The demon shakes his head, smile never wavering. 



Growing more and more desperate, Jungkook swallows hard. “An hour, then. I’ll take the deal for one hour.” 



Again, the demon shakes his head. Lets out a short laugh like this is all a fun little joke to him. 



Jungkook hands tremble. His heart beats so hard it feels like it could crack the line of his sternum and burst out. Adrenaline is pumping through him. The demon was right - he’s desperate. Desperate and stupid, but not brave. He wants so badly, he needs to see Jimin. Needs to talk to him. The prospect alone is enough to squeeze like a vice grip around his windpipe, forcing the pressurized sting of tears at the back of his eyes. 



“Ten minutes.” 



The demon licks his teeth, eyelids lowering until half of his demonic white eyes are hooded. “I’ll give you five.” 



“Five minutes?”



The demon nods. 



Jungkook turns to look at Jimin, who’s still holding Taehyung hostage. He must look especially pathetic, because Jimin lowers the knife and pushes Taehyung away, sending him collapsing to the floor in a sobbing pile. Jungkook stares at Jimin, hoping to tap into some remnant of humanity that might lie deep inside him. The part of Jimin that had saved Jungkook after being stabbed, the part of him that had spared his life at every opportunity. 



Jimin stares back at him with his human eyes, mouth in a scowl but otherwise indiscernible. 



“I’ll stop,” Jungkook says weakly. “If you let me have this, I’ll stop. For good.” 



Miraculously, Jimin considers it. He looks from Jungkook to the white-eyed demon and back, mouth twitching like he’s figuring out what to say. He points to Taehyung where he’s curled up into himself against a counter, tied hands clutched to his chest. “If you go back on your word, he’s dead.” 



Jungkook nods at the same time Taehyung desperately shakes his head, crying out through the gag and trying to form muffled words. He turns away again and locks onto the demon’s gaze with a sense of resolve. 



“Five minutes,” he says once more.



The demon simply smiles back. 



“No tricks,” Jungkook bargains. “Five minutes. He doesn’t remember anything from the past three years. And when I die, my soul is yours.” 



“Correct,” the demon affirms. 



Taehyung cries out again, but Jungkook can barely hear him. 



“I’m only offering this once,” the demon says. “And as an added bonus, I won’t kill you as soon as I get out of this trap.” 



Jungkook swallows hard, hands trembling at his sides. He weighs as many possibilities as he can, considers the consequences of each as quickly as his mind can sort it out. He doesn’t know if this will give him some true sense of closure. Five minutes with Jimin will never be enough. A lifetime with Jimin wouldn’t even be enough. He’s too greedy, too selfish. Can he really stop? Can he really move on after this? 



“Make a decision,” the demon urges. 



Is this how Jimin had felt that night? When he’d dragged Jungkook’s dead body from that ice cold water and sliced into his own flesh, drawn the bloody sigils on his skin and summoned a demon. When he’d been offered a deal - the only deal that would bring Jungkook back, the only possible way to save him. Is this how Jimin had felt? 



Like there was no other possible answer except - 



“Yes.”  



“You accept?” 



Jungkook takes another step, crossing into the devil’s trap. He says it again, even firmer this time. “Yes.” 



The demon materializes an inch from his face, hand bunching the collar of Jungkook’s shirt as he lets out a startled gasp. 



“Then it’s a deal,” the demon hisses, and then leans in to kiss Jungkook. 



It lasts only a handful of seconds, ending with the sound of a loud crack overhead and splintering wood. When Jungkook’s eyes snap open at the sound, the demon has disappeared. His eyes dart to the ceiling to see a massive crack running through it, breaking the lines of the devil’s trap. 



Now that the white-eyed demon is gone, the air feels lighter, less dense. The white smoke has completely dissipated, leaving the living room exactly how it looked before aside from the overhead light that remains on. Jungkook blinks, wondering if it had worked. Nothing feels different. Nothing had snapped or clicked or changed inside him. 



His soul is damned now, but he can’t feel a difference. He wonders if that’s normal. 



Remembering that the clock is ticking, Jungkook turns around.



Jimin stands exactly where he’d been before, face downcast to the floor. 



Hesitantly, Jungkook steps toward him. 



Taehyung scrambles away toward the door somewhere in Jungkook’s peripheral, but Jungkook can only see Jimin right now. 



“Jimin?” Jungkook tries, voice cracking. 



Jimin raises his head at his name, blinking and looking around like he’s coming out of a daze. His eyes dart around like he’s trying to focus on one place and land on Jungkook’s feet. 



He looks up into Jungkook’s eyes, and Jungkook knows without a doubt - it’s him. It’s him



“Kook?” Jimin says, confusion clear in his voice and on his face. He looks around the room, trying to take it all in. 



“Yeah, I’m here,” Jungkook mumbles, stepping in closer until he could just reach out and touch him. Touch Jimin. His Jimin. “I’m here.” 



Jimin smiles faintly, still looking confused and dazed. “What’s going on? I-I can’t remember anything.” 



“It’s okay,” Jungkook says and steps forward, too close. Way too close. He can’t stop himself. “Hey, it’s okay. Don’t worry.” 



Jimin’s brows furrow in concern as he looks up, eyes shifting from one of Jungkook’s eyes to the other. “Jungkook? What’s - ”



Jungkook falls into Jimin, arms thrown around him and face in his hair. He clings tight because his life does depend on it, because he can’t live another second without this. It’s so much to take in, he barely registers Jimin’s arms coming around him, holding onto him in return. He definitely doesn’t notice the tears running down his face until Jimin’s hair sticks to the wetness, until he has to sniffle hard and choke back a sob. 



He wishes he could speak. He wishes he had something to say - thinks maybe he should have figured this out before hand. Maybe he’d never thought this would actually happen - that he would die trying and failing. 



But here Jimin is, in his arms. Mumbling something unintelligible into his shoulder, rubbing his back soothingly. He’s real, and warm, and gentle. He’s confused and oblivious to the past three years of torment, doesn’t know what kind of monster Jungkook has become. 



He’s Jimin. And Jimin is Jimin is Jimin is Jimin, and Jungkook will take him in any way, any shape, any form, any circumstance. In any universe and as any version of himself, Jungkook will have him. 



“What’s wrong?” Jimin is asking against Jungkook’s neck. “You’re freaking me out, Kook.” 



“Nothing,” Jungkook says, finally pulling back. He wishes it were possible to hold Jimin that tight and look at his face at the same time. 



Jimin’s hands come up to Jungkook’s face, wiping his tears away. “Now I’m really freaked out,” he says with a short, uneasy laugh, because Jungkook is smiling and he doesn’t even realize it. “I’ve never seen you cry before.” 



“I’m happy,” Jungkook says, though under the surface he doesn’t know how long it will last. “I’m just happy to see you.” 



Confused amusement passes over Jimin’s face, but he seems to take it in stride. “Are you okay, Kook? Tell me what happened.” 



“I’m fine,” Jungkook assures him, arms pulling him tight. “I’m just - I’m just really happy to see you. I missed you so much.” 



His last words seem to clue Jimin into something as he takes a look around, any trace of a smile falling away from his face. His eyes are on the blood-soaked bandage on Jungkook’s arm. “What’s going on? You’re bleeding.” 



“Nothing,” Jungkook says, pleading. He reaches up and pulls Jimin’s face back to him, hands cupping his cheeks. “It’s nothing. Don’t worry about it. Just. Jimin, I - I need to tell you something.” 



“Okay,” Jimin whispers, catching the urgency in Jungkook’s voice. “Anything, Kook.” 



Jungkook doesn’t know if he can get it out. He doesn’t even know what words are about to come out of his mouth. They get caught at the back of his throat behind a hard lump as more tears roll down his face. He licks his lips to catch the tears at the corner of his mouth. 



Jimin looks exactly the same as moments ago when he was a demon. His hair is the same, his voice is the same. His expression is different, though. So much softer, such a far cry from anything a demon is capable of mimicking. He looks at Jungkook and his sincerity is tangible, in his eyes and in the tips of his fingers as he touches the backs of Jungkook’s hands. 



“I’m sorry,” is all Jungkook can manage, because he can’t stop himself from leaning forward and kissing Jimin. 



He kisses Jimin, holds his face so gently in his hands, like he is the most precious thing in the world. In Jungkook’s world, as twisted and fucked up as it’s become, he is the most precious thing - the most precious soul, the single most important thing Jungkook has ever seen or touched or heard or held. The kiss is delicate, salty and wet from tears. 



Jimin kisses him back. Reaches up and slides his fingers into Jungkook’s hair, tilts his head to kiss him deeper. Jungkook feels so weak, like he could collapse at any second and the only thing holding him up is the need to keep kissing Jimin, to keep holding him close. Jimin’s lips press against his, kissing away his breath and reassuring him with each slide and part of their mouths. 



When Jimin pulls away, he presses their foreheads together. They pant lightly against each others mouths, eyes closed and chests nearly flush. 



“I’ve waited so long for that,” Jimin whispers with wonder. 



The words ache. “I promise I’ve waited longer.” 



“It’s okay,” Jimin says, kissing him again. “At least we finally figured it out, right?” 



“Yeah,” Jungkook says, arms wrapped around Jimin’s waist. “I wish we could have figured it out sooner.” 



Jimin smiles, hands sliding to Jungkook’s jaw. “Better late than never?” 



Jungkook can only close his eyes and lean in, press his face into Jimin’s hair. “We’re running out of time.” 



“What do you mean?” Jimin asks. “We have our whole lives.” 



“You have no idea how bad I wish that were true.” The pain is physical, such a deep ache he can hardly stand it. Jimin is still the only thing keeping him on his feet, keeping him from spiraling out of control. He tries not to think about the minutes - the seconds they have left. Ticking away with every heartbeat, every breath. 



“Jimin, I - ”



“Oh, no. No, no,” Jimin says, wrapping his arms tight around Jungkook’s ribcage and burying his face in his neck. “I can tell something’s not right. Something bad is about to happen, isn’t it?” 



“Something bad already happened,” Jungkook replies, smoothing his hand down Jimin’s back and kissing his hair. “It can’t possibly get any worse.” 



Jimin sobs softly, tears soaking through Jungkook’s shirt. 



“It’s okay,” Jungkook says softly. If only how tight he holds Jimin could protect him from something. If only how close their bodies are pressed could trade their places. If only the kiss he presses against Jimin’s hair would ease his mind. 



Fifty years from now or a day from now or an hour from now, it would still hurt the same. Their time would still come to an end too quickly. He would still have to say goodbye. He would still owe his soul to the devil. And he would still offer his life for another five minutes, offer anything for even just one more. 



“It’s gonna be okay,” Jungkook lies. 



“No it’s not,” Jimin says thickly, voice wet with tears. He pulls back just enough to look into Jungkook’s eyes, to show him his tear-streaked cheeks and the pained sadness on his face. He is and always has been the most incredible thing Jungkook has ever seen, beautiful beyond the confines of both the natural and the inexplicable. He manages a weak, pitiful smile, and Jungkook returns it by pure force of will. Then Jimin says, voice wavering and cracking and so devastatingly sweet, “If you’re not there when I get there, then what’s the point?” 



They kiss again, and Jungkook falls into it so deep he doesn’t feel the gun sliding out of his belt until it’s too late. 



Jimin pushes away from him, takes a few steps back. 



Jungkook stares down the barrel of his own gun, clutched in Jimin’s hand. 



Distantly, he hears Taehyung screaming. 



“Just close your eyes, Kook,” Jimin says, eyes demon black as he aims the gun at Jungkook’s heart. “This time when you wake up, I’ll be right there with you.” 



Jungkook closes his eyes, and the gun fires. 





He stands in the white place, hands at his side as he looks around. There’s no bed this time, just infinite white space in every direction. He looks down at his chest to his white t-shirt and sees the giant blossom-shaped stain over his heart, long red fingers of blood reaching down his stomach. 



“Did it hurt?” 



Jungkook looks up at the sound of the voice. His eyes land on Jimin, who stands a short ways in front of him in the white space. He touches the stain gingerly, looking down to see the red on his hand and realizing it’s perfectly clean. 



“Did it hurt?” Jimin asks again. 



Jungkook meets his eyes. He tries to focus on the question, but his mind can’t seem to reach out and grasp an answer. “I don’t remember.” 



“I don’t remember if it hurt when I died, either,” Jimin says. “I just remember this place.” 



Jungkook looks around. Still just endless white. “What is this place?” 



“What do you think it is?” 



He contemplates the question, mind turning it over and over. “This isn’t heaven, is it?” 



Jimin smiles. “Is this what heaven looks like to you?” 



Jungkook looks pointedly at Jimin, who is the only other thing or being in this space aside from himself. “I never imagined what heaven looked like,” he says. “But I guess if it existed, this could be it.” 



Jimin’s smile softens, morphing into something seemingly sad. “I’ve been here,” Jimin says. “This whole time. I’ve been right here.” 



“The dreams…” Jungkook says, trying to piece everything together. 



Jimin nods. 



“So all the dreams - that was you?”



Jimin nods again. “I couldn’t control it at all at first. I didn’t even realize what was happening. It just happened when I was thinking about you.”



“You were thinking of me every night?” 



“Dreaming of you,” Jimin replies. “Every night. I don’t know why.” 



Jungkook swallows, looking down at the endless white floor beneath his feet. “So you were trapped in there this whole time.” 



“Not exactly,” Jimin says, shrugging. “It’s complicated.” 



“So are you a demon right now or not? Or is this all in my head?” 



“Right now?” Jimin hums, thinking it over. “I’m just me, Jungkook. I don’t know how to explain it because I don’t understand it, either. Maybe this is my subconscious. I don’t know.” 



“Was this all part of some… plan you had?” 



Jimin nods slowly, eyes falling downward. 



“Why?” 



“I think,” Jimin says, pausing and trailing off. “I think maybe the real torture of being a demon is not being able to fully detach. You can’t let everything go. You still have some part of you that holds on to who you were.” 



“What part are you holding on to?” 



“The part of me that wanted you,” Jimin replies, as if it’s the simplest thing in the world. 



Jungkook doesn’t reply, letting the white space stretch out between them. He likes this place because for once, his mind is quiet. Everything he feels is so clear, everything he wants to say is as easy as breathing. “Okay.” 



“Okay?” Jimin questions. “You’re not mad?” 



Jungkook shakes his head. “No. I’m not mad.” 



“Your soul is damned because of me,” Jimin states. “You’ll go to hell. You’ll be there forever.” 



“I was already in hell.”



“Why didn’t you tell me how you felt when you had the chance?” 



“It wasn’t the right time.”



“When is the right time, then?” Jimin asks. “It was too soon before. It’s too late now. We’re both dead, and you still can’t admit how you feel about me.” 



Perhaps Jimin is right. Jungkook has never really been able to admit it - not to himself and not out loud. He has no way of knowing if this is all in his mind or if he truly is talking to Jimin’s subconscious like he says. But he supposes it doesn’t really matter if he says it out loud or if he can only say it in his dreams or if he won’t even let himself think it, because the fact remains. 



The Jungkook who died that night was in love with the Jimin who sold his soul. 



“I’ll tell you when I feel it again,” Jungkook says. “I promise.” 



Jimin smiles. “Deal?” 



Jungkook smiles back. “Deal.” 





He wakes in a hotel room, sprawled out on his stomach with a fluffy pillow bunched under his head. Sunlight filters in through a gap between the black-out curtains, spilling light across the bed. He groans and stretches out until he can reach the edge of the mattress with his hands, reveling at the softness of the sheets.  



He must have woken to the sound of someone at the door. A keycard slides into the reader on the other side as the handle clicks. 



The door opens and clicks shut and then it’s quiet. 



Something heavy lands on his back and giggles, pinning him against the bed. Jungkook huffs and grunts, fighting against the wriggling body weighing him down. 



“Time to wake up, sleepyhead,” Jimin sings, giving his ass a hard slap. 



Jungkook only groans in response. 



“Come on,” Jimin whines. “You’ve been asleep all afternoon. I’m hungry.” 



“Then go eat,” Jungkook grumbles. 



“Take me somewhere.” 



“Take yourself.” 



Jimin laughs, scooting down until he’s seated across Jungkook’s ass. He runs his hands down Jungkook’s naked back, thumbing at the bumps of his spine. “That’s not part of our deal, Jungkookie.” 



“What deal?” Jungkook grouses, yanking the pillow over his head. 



“You get to fuck me as much as you want, and in exchange, you do what I tell you to do,” Jimin states, matter of fact. 



“I never agreed to that.” 



“I thought it was a given.” 



Jungkook lets out a huff, pulling the pillow from off his head and trying to turn over. 



Jimin’s hand on his back holds him down. He clucks his tongue, hand trailing low down Jungkook’s back to the narrowest part. His fingers draw a familiar pattern, one Jungkook recognizes as the lines of the tattoo that’s there. Centered on his lower back below the tips of the angel wings, a single row of bold black lettering in the same swirling, gothic lines of Jimin’s cross tattoo. “Maybe you sold your soul to the devil, but I think we both know who really owns you.” 



When Jungkook turns over again, Jimin lets him and settles into his lap. 



Jungkook fits his hands around Jimin’s waist, fingers toying with the soft shirt and hem of his pants. His eyes flit up to Jimin’s. 



He can’t feel it, but he knows his eyes are the same when Jimin looks down at him with blacked-out eyes. 



“So,” Jimin begins, smirking and trailing a finger down Jungkook’s chest. “Who’s next?” 



Jungkook hums thoughtfully. He catches Jimin by the wrist when his finger trails too low, not in the mood for the tease. He pulls Jimin’s wrist to his mouth easily even as Jimin pulls against it and bites into the underside. Jimin hisses at the roughness but stops pulling away, only leans forward and lets Jungkook lick over the tiny indents his teeth leave behind. 



“How about your brother?” Jimin proposes with a sly smile. 



Jungkook shrugs, still occupied with Jimin’s wrist as he sucks a mark into it and watches it heal. 



“You’re so sentimental,” Jimin accuses. He reaches up and runs his fingers through Jungkook’s hair, pushing it out of his face. “I promise you won’t feel anything. It’ll just feel good.” 



Jungkook lets go of Jimin’s wrist, resting his head back on the bed. “Don’t you think it’s hell enough that he has to live knowing his brother is a demon?”



Jimin’s smile turns much darker. He bites at his lip and leans over, tilting his head and licking the seam of Jungkook’s mouth. Jungkook catches him in a kiss, biting at his smile and sucking at his tongue until Jimin pushes him back. “I love how you think,” Jimin says, smearing the pad of his thumb across Jungkook’s bottom lip. Then he sits back up, wiggling slightly in Jungkook’s lap. “We’ll leave him alone for now. Who else is there?” 



“He’ll be hard to track down,” Jungkook says, “but maybe my dad.” 



Jimin raises his eyebrows and makes an impressed noise. “You think he’s still alive?” 



“I know he is,” Jungkook states. “Everyone thinks he died in a hunting accident, but I know he just left.” 



Jimin runs his hands down Jungkook’s chest, palming his stomach. Then he hops up, leaving Jungkook alone on the bed as he goes to start throwing his belongings into his bag. “Well, come on then, Jungkookie,” he says, pausing to turn and look at Jungkook where he’s still lying on the bed. “Let’s go pay your old man a visit.” 



They leave the hotel without bothering to check out, Jimin sauntering ahead of him toward his motorcycle. It’s nighttime by now after he’d slept through the day, city lights and sounds all around them as they load their bags. Jungkook sits at the front, Jimin swinging a leg over and settling behind him. With a squeal of the tires, they take off down the street, Jimin’s laughter ringing out in their wake. 



He’s always had a tendency of liking things that are bad for him. 









THE END.