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runnin' round in circles (we're fools on top of the world)

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Recently, a gang of nobodies, most likely sent by the mafia, had been interfering with their hits. It had been two years since MOBB had put out their last masterpiece, enough time for the underworld to drag in new people that did not know of them. New blood , Minho thinks of the recent hindrances. Too ignorant, eager for money, for acknowledgement, for prestige. Sheep offered up by the wolves to God, in the hopes one of the sacrifices would deliver a lucky bullet that would answer their prayers.

 

The first time that the gang members had interfered was with their hit on some government official— not big enough to have any significant influence yet, but with enough potential that their client had felt their death necessary. Minho had had the perfect sniper’s vantage, but missed his shot because the mafia lackeys had started gunning at him from another building at the last second, forcing him to take cover. 

Bobby got the target in the end, but it was crude and messy, even by his standards, and scores of people were wounded or dead afterwards. As soon as the kill was confirmed, Minho wanted blood, wanted to hound them right up to the gates of hell.

C’mon, hyung , just leave them be,” Jiwon had cajoled, pupils still dilated, smelling of gunpowder, face bloody from where a stray bullet had grazed his cheek. “Did you see the one that was waving a shotgun around? He’s cute, I want to see him again. Alive ,” he’d added, when Minho opens his mouth.

He’d finally acquiesced when Jiwon pushed him against the wall and sank to his knees, pinned his hips to the wall and denied him repeatedly until he finally agreed, delirious with want by then, to humor Jiwon’s stupid whim.

 

The second time the lackeys interfere, Bobby almost gets his head blown off trying to point out Cute Shotgun Guy to Minho. 

There , look,” he’d said, poking his head out from behind their cover to point at a tall man with sharp features and dark eyes. Who shot at them the moment they looked out.

“Oh damn you’re right, look at that jawli— shit!” Minho had barely yanked Bobby back by his collar in time. The bullet came so close to its mark that it carved a furrow into Bobby’s hair. Cursing, Minho runs at them under Bobby’s cover fire with a murderous intent, Cute Shotgun Guy (who was using something more sensible like a semi this time, good on him) be damned. They take down about half of the group in a matter of minutes, but three others, Cute Shotgun Guy included, manage to run away. 

“...But he’s cute, right?” Bobby says, nudging Minho as he kneels down to carve their insignia, M-O-B-B, into the corpses. It’s nostalgic. They used to do this all the time when they were still fresh and nameless, when people would still dare to look at them with anything besides respect and fear, before their reputation had cemented their status as the hounds of the underworld.

“I’d tap that,” Minho agrees. If Cute Shotgun-Slash-Semi Guy got a haircut and cleaned himself up, Minho is sure that he’d look absolutely drop dead in a suit. 

“But if he shoots at us every time we make contact, we’re gonna have a hell of a time getting to know him.” High profile reconnaissance was their specialty.  Finding random nobodies shooting at them in secluded alleyways, unfortunately, was not.

“I’ll talk to Hanbin,” Bobby says. 

 

Hanbin is the link between the surface and the underworld. He is the messenger between the sheep and the lions. He is the person called upon by jilted lovers, by jealous businessmen, by emissaries sent by top-ranking government officials. Hanbin has an unrivalled network of information and contacts, affiliated with no one and everyone at once. 

Hanbin, when Jiwon talks to him, smacks him upside the head and calls the both of them idiots.

“You?? Break into my headquarters through the window when you could have just knocked on the door , take time out of my day—” he gestures wildly at the mountain of papers that are piled on his desk and the incessant ringing of his phone, which the three of them have been determinedly ignoring for the past five minutes, “—to tell me that the two of you want me to find some lowlife nobody from a nobody gang so you can use them as your latest boy toy —” 

For some unfathomable reason, Minho feels like a kid getting scolded by their teacher.

Hanbinnie ,” Jiwon whines, undeterred, and reaches out to wrap his arms around Hanbin pleadingly. “C’mon, do it for Jiwonie? Your childhood best friend? Light of your life? Your one and only?” 

“I thought I was your one and only,” Minho says.

“You are, too. I can have two one and onlys. It’s supported by science, haven’t you read about quantum theory, just look at wave superposition,” Jiwon rambles on as he massages the back of Hanbin’s neck placatingly. Hanbin almost relaxes before remembering himself.

“Shut up and get off me,” he says, pushing ineffectually at Jiwon’s head. Jiwon, in response, reaches up and boops him on the nose. Hanbin looks so genuinely offended that Minho snickers involuntarily, and Hanbin instantly locks on him. “And you , Song Minho, I had a higher opinion of you. I thought you were at least a little better than Jiwon but noooo, you couldn’t be, how in the world the two of you made it this far, I can never—” Hanbin continues ranting as he tries to walk across his office while dragging Jiwon, who is now holding his waist in a squid-like death grip, across the floor. 

Unfortunately, as amusing as the scene is, Minho would rather not have to bring Jiwon back home in a body cast. The man was heavy.

“Hey, Hanbin,” he says, interrupting Hanbin’s rant. Hanbin pauses from where he is trying to strangle Jiwon and looks over at him. 

“What.” he says flatly. Minho holds up a folder heavy with papers.

“Interested in records of the high secretary’s financial holdings and a copy of his black book?” 

What, ” Hanbin says again, disbelieving. “How did you even— ? The high secretary?

“We go high profile, remember,” Jiwon chokes from where Hanbin is still trying to flatten his neck.

Hanbin lets go of Jiwon and looks at the folder longingly, then looks at Minho, indecisive.

“And we have vodka,” Minho adds, holding up a Kors.

 

Cute Shotgun-Slash-Semi Guy’s real name is Jung Jaewon. Jung Jaewon, unfortunately, happens to have a girlfriend.

“He’s still in college,” Jiwon, who is draped halfway off their bed upside down, reads.

“He’s what ,” Minho says, and slides down the bed until he’s upside down next to Jiwon.

 “Chill, he’s a year older than me,” Jiwon says. Jung Jaewon is twenty-four, then.

“What’s his major?” Minho twists his body until they’re pressed together so that he can see the file. Computer Science and Electrical Engineering , the file reads. The two of them are silent for a few minutes as they scan the rest of the file.

“So he is with the mafia,” Minho concludes.

And he’s got a girl,” Jiwon sighs, disappointed. “I don’t wanna get involved in that.” 

“Eye candy then,” Minho says. According to Hanbin’s file, Jaewon’s laptop files had a lot of work with blockchain and cryptography, which is always useful in their field.

“Eye candy,” Jiwon agrees. “But no moves. Damn, aren’t we a pair of fucking saints. His girl should be so grateful that we’re nice.”

“We’re gonna have to talk to GD to get him out, then,” Minho says. Next to him, Jiwon visibly brightens.

“Ahh, I haven’t seen hyung in a while. I wonder how he’s doing!” Minho groans at that, and wriggles his body in a show of protest until his body is barely staying on the bed. 

GD had mentored Jiwon when they had still been in the mafia, and Jiwon looks up to him like an adoring younger brother. Minho just thought he was fucking terrifying. He had been the one who’d cultivated the outlet for Bobby’s bloodlust into something so brutal. He had also been the one to support their decision of leaving and moving solo. Minho had a lot of mixed feelings about him.

“Hyung’s not that bad,” Jiwon assures him, sliding down the bed even more to match Minho’s position. “He’s really nice! He just doesn’t smile a lot.” Minho wriggles even more in protest. His body finally slips from the tenuous equilibrium he had with the bed, and he falls headfirst onto the ground with a muffled oof .

“I once saw him make a flunkie eat his own tongue for talking back to him,” Minho disagrees from his new position on the ground. Jiwon tries to shrug, but that just ends up disrupting his own balance, and he falls down onto Minho with a yelp. The papers from the file flutter down onto them like a blanket.

“He’s still really nice once you get to know him,” Jiwon insists. Minho rolls his eyes, and shoves at Jiwon.

“You’re doing all the talking, then.”

“Hmmm,” Jiwon mumbles, burying his face into the crook of Minho’s neck.

“Get off me, we’re not sleeping on the ground again,” Minho protests, shoving again. “The bed’s literally right next to us.”

“You’re comfier though,” Jiwon says, and settles down even more comfortably against Minho.

“I will hit you.”

“Mmhmm.”

“Get off , you bastard.”

“.....”

“For the love of fuck—”

 

They sleep like corpses anyway.