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Being the heir to one of the most prominent mafia groups in the country doesn’t come easy, despite being the boss’ own flesh and blood. Kyungsoo’s compulsory self-defense lessons given by his father’s main bodyguard started before he ever step foot in his primary school. His first target practice was on the day of his tenth birthday. By his twelfth, he could hit the bullseye 9 out of 10 times for 15 kinds of handguns, shotguns and rifles. By his fifteenth, his father ordered him to shoot dead a mole they caught that day. Staring at the person with a bag over his head, his arms and legs tied to a chair, it took Kyungsoo half a minute to pull the trigger. His father was unimpressed, but at least he didn’t say it out loud.

Kyungsoo’s notes on the different types of weapons were thicker than all the notes he took for his Chemistry and World History class at school combined. He was tutored on human anatomy by their group’s doctor, on the body’s most vulnerable places, places that will slow a person down in combat if hurt, places that will lead to irreversible damage, places that will make a person faint, make them bleed out quick, bleed out slow. He was taught what angles are optimal for breaking each bone, which way to slice a muscle to make it the most difficult to move, which tendons to tear to make mobility impossible, which places you can slowly cut off to prolong the torture. This type of knowledge is only part of the reason why Kyungsoo would never fuck with Dr. Zhang. Another reason would be because he takes these tutorials with Dr. Zhang’s son, Yixing, who is the nicest yet most subtly sadistic person Kyungsoo has ever met. He would not want to be on the bad side of either of them.

The bodyguard assigned to him doubles as his mixed martial arts trainer. They switch all the time because of all the attempts that are constantly made on Kyungsoo’s life. The last one lasted 4 months before he had his brains sprayed across the sidewalk when a contract sniper got his eyes on Kyungsoo. Kyungsoo didn’t feel sorry for him; the bastard was as strict as his father and was a classic example of a thug jacked up on testosterone who can’t hold a conversation that lasts more than two sentences. His current bodyguard Minseok, however, is a godsend who lets Kyungsoo get away with things his father would order a beat-up on him for, like spray paint their group symbol on a wall in enemy territory for a dare. He also holds the current record of being Kyungsoo’s bodyguard for the longest period of time with 10 months under his belt and counting. Kyungsoo will miss him when he’s gone.

Hand to hand combat is what he enjoys most out of all the training that comes with being the son of a mafia boss. Boxing, kick-boxing, judo, tae kwon do, karate, you name it and he’ll probably have had at least a year’s training on it. His favourite however, is wrestling. He never misses a professional match, records them and replays them to his heart’s content during his free time, and asks his trainer to teach him the moves he finds particularly hard to figure out himself. Like with all of his other training, his trainers don’t fuck around. They break his bones and cut him up worse when school’s out because only then can he afford to look like he’s been run over by a truck without raising too much suspicion outside of their group. Kyungsoo knows his father ordered it, so he won’t crack easily if he is ever kidnapped and tortured. Kyungsoo doesn’t really mind, he knows what is necessary to be done, regardless of how painful the process is. He usually doesn’t complain as long as Dr. Zhang is on site to set his bones back the right way.

He was also force fed different types of drugs as soon as he was out of elementary school in order to slowly build up his tolerance for them. A few of them were literal poison made from snake venom. Those experiences he is less fond of, and would really rather live without. Like the feeling of an all-consuming pain and the primal urge to dig into his insides and rip something out, just to get rid of it, not knowing how long the pain would last. Dr. Byun said it depends on the person’s metabolism but who the fuck needs that kind of answer when he is literally writhing on the floor and feeling like he’s seconds away from passing out even if he doesn’t. Other experiences were less traumatic but no less unpleasant. He would be made to train under the influence of different kinds of anaesthetic, so he would at least be able to defend himself and hopefully escape if such unfortunate incidents ever happen to him.

The hardest thing to becoming the heir to the group though, was killing his older brother. If he hadn’t failed so hard at his training, in Kyungsoo’s opinion, then he wouldn’t have been so inclined to kill him. Unlike Kyungsoo, his brother was scared to death of pain, always made up excuses to be let out of training or asked his trainers to go easy on him. His brother clearly wasn’t leader material, didn’t understand that drastic measures are sometimes necessary to stay alive. His brother had a general distaste for hard work, yet he flaunted his status as if he’s done anything to earn it. He boasted, but never had any actual guts to risk anything. He was too timid and conservative to ever amount to anything great. If he had become the leader, it would certainly have taken a toll on the group’s business and reputation when the competition around them is so fierce. Too bad his father is a stickler for tradition and never entertained the idea of letting the heir be anyone other than his eldest.

His brother’s paranoia meant he was a complete bitch to kill. He rarely ventured outside their family house or the headquarters, and when he did, he made sure he had his three bodyguards surrounding him at all times. He even went as far as to make them check his food for poison before each meal, and installed infrared security beams around his bedroom. Kyungsoo swears that bastard was born paranoid and his paranoia was only made worse by all the training and their father’s constant reminder that he had to live up to his expectations. It took Kyungsoo a year of observing, planning and finding money from outside their group to hire the most skilled and discreet contract killer in the country for the job. If Kyungsoo thought he could get away with murdering him with his own hands, he would have. But this was too big to let himself indulge in a little self-satisfaction. His brother had never actually done Kyungsoo any harm, so he contented himself with just pulling the strings on this one.

His father did not look the least bit distressed when the news of his heir being found dead in a back alley in a rival group’s turf made its way to his ears. Kyungsoo was not surprised, he has an appearance to maintain after all, and he does still have Kyungsoo. But the look he gave Kyungsoo the moment he heard the news sent chills down his spine. Later, when his father didn’t make a single fuss over his dead heir when it was expected of him to do so, it makes Kyungsoo think he might have planned this from the very beginning. He supposes eldest son is a relative term.

-

 

His brother had died 2 months ago, which means Kyungsoo has been the official sole heir to their group for a full 2 months already. Frankly, Kyungsoo is rather disappointed that it took this long for his first assassination attempt to happen. Those people are getting sloppy. He has to give some credit to whoever the assassin is for making it through the fortress that is their family house and into his bedroom though. Kyungsoo thinks this as he ducks away from the knife aiming straight for his neck, and kicks out the chair he’s been sitting on backwards. His assailant easily dodges it and swings his knife to his side this time. Kyungsoo catches his arm with both his hands the second before it pierces his skin and twist. His attacker follows his motion and flips his body around so Kyungsoo won’t dislocate his joints. He takes advantage of Kyungsoo’s death grip on his right arm, grabs him under his arm and throws Kyungsoo to the other side of the room.

Fuck. Kyungsoo is so out of practice when it comes to fighting with tall guys. There aren’t many around in the first place, and this guy is tall. He’s going to make Minseok fight on stilts the next time they spar. Kyungsoo quickly stands up and takes the two seconds he has to look the guy over while he’s all the way across the room. Towering height, wild light grey hair with wilder eyes, and two lines of tattoo running up his right forearm. There’s only one person he’s heard of that suits that description. Those arseholes from Kalvosa are going to pay for this.

Chanyeol charges at him and Kyungsoo picks a thick book from the book shelf beside him. He pushes the book up with as much force as the knife has swinging down at him so it would be lodged deep enough inside. Kyungsoo rotates the book along with the knife to the right before Chanyeol has the chance to pull it back out and throws it to the far corner of the room. But Chanyeol doesn’t waste a single second and goes for a punch to the throat as soon as his knife leaves his hands. Kyungsoo wants to applaud him for his efficiency, but he ducks instead, and the fist goes through the wall behind him. He takes the split second chance to escape from between Chanyeol and the wall, and goes to find the closest weapon he can get his hands on. He’s got an Eickhorn strapped to his ankle, but he just threw away the guy’s knife seconds ago, it won’t be fair.

Before he made the decision between the desk lamp and the chair however, he has to dodge to the right, with Chanyeol's fist missing his face by just an inch. Kyungsoo makes use of their position to force Chanyeol down with an arm on the back of his neck and lands a harsh blow to Chanyeol’s back with his elbow. Chanyeol stumbles forward but plants his left hand onto the ground, flips and let his body’s downward momentum give his right leg all the force it needs to land square on Kyungsoo’s crossed arms, which he had put up just in time to protect his shoulder. Kyungsoo sweep kicks at his left leg, making Chanyeol lose his balance, but he somehow manages to kick out his right leg right onto the middle of Kyungsoo’s chest, sending him flying backwards. Kyungsoo doesn’t know what kinds of fighting reflexes those are, but he knows he wants them. Chanyeol, using his kick on Kyungsoo’s chest as a springboard, flips his body back upright on the other side of the room.

Well, the chair is now closer to Chanyeol. Kyungsoo takes his desk lamp by its plastic shade and swings its thick metal base at Chanyeol’s right knee. An opponent with a blown out knee is an opponent that won’t last much longer. Unfortunately for Kyungsoo, Chanyeol reads his minute movements and quickly shifts so it only hits his calf. As Kyungsoo ducks to avoid the chair flying at him with enough force to almost break the bulletproof window behind him, he feels so impressed that he doesn’t even know if he’s frustrated or excited that this fight has lasted as long as it has.

From across the room, Chanyeol is breathing heavily through his gritting teeth, he’s favouring his left leg and his eyes are gleaming. He looks positively feral. Maybe the rumours are true and Kyungsoo needs to end this fight as soon as possible.

Chanyeol flicks off the fabric lamp shade of the floor lamp beside him, picks it up by its base and holds it as if it’s a Taichi staff. Kyungsoo knew that had been a terrible choice of furniture, but it didn’t occur to him that it was because it has this kind of alternative use. At least Chanyeol hasn’t found the Daewoo K5 Kyungsoo has got stashed in the first drawer of his bedside table. A pistol in such close range with practically nowhere to run or hide would be an absolute pain to deal with right now. They barely have enough space to fight between his bed and his desk as it is.

However, the thing with large weapons is that you can see where your opponent is aiming from a mile away. Chanyeol runs towards him and Kyungsoo doesn’t even let him swing the lamp for more than twenty degrees before he sends a hard kick to Chanyeol’s spleen. Kyungsoo surges forward as Chanyeol drops the lamp and stumbles. He kicks at the back of Chanyeol’s left knee, quickly following it with a punch to the gut, then face, then boxes his ears before Chanyeol even has a chance to find his balance again. While Chanyeol is momentarily disorientated, Kyungsoo lifts him up by both of his legs and smashes him onto the ground. Kyungsoo swiftly flips him over, bashes his head on the ground once, takes both of Chanyeol’s arms, crosses it against his back and puts his full body weight on him.

At this point, Minseok casually saunters in as if it isn’t his job to fight Chanyeol in the first place. He whistles under his breath as he takes in the scene in front of him. “Is that Kalvosa’s hunting dog?”

Kyungsoo ignores the rhetorical question. “A little late to the game, don’t you think?” He breathes heavily next to Chanyeol’s ear as the man struggles vigorously from underneath him.

“I wouldn’t want to insult you by immediately coming to your aid. Besides, I know how much you enjoy a good fight.” Kyungsoo rolls his eyes in annoyance at how well Minseok knows him.

“How the fuck did you even get in here?” Kyungsoo emphasizes the fuck by pressing down harder on to Chanyeol’s crossed arms, which he knows for a fact is a very uncomfortable position to be in. Chanyeol hisses and arches his back in pain, but doesn’t answer.

“Do you just not want to answer, or are the rumours true? That you don’t speak?” Kyungsoo pauses to gauge Chanyeol’s reaction. Nothing.

“You don’t speak or you can’t speak?” Kyungsoo asks again, but Chanyeol remains silent. Kyungsoo thinks he has given him enough warning, so he takes Chanyeol’s left pinky in his hand and breaks it.

Chanyeol howls.

“So you do have a voice.”

“I heard he used to run his mouth so much that it pissed off a lot of people at Kalvosa, so they conditioned him with torture until he became mute. Don’t know if it’s true though,” Minseok interjected, leaning against the closed door.

Well, he’s always thought those dickheads from their rival gang are worse sadists than they are. Kyungsoo reaches into his pocket, takes out an injection bottle and tosses it to Minseok. “Get a syringe from my desk drawer.”

He then bends down next to Chanyeol’s ear. “Baekhyun just cooked up a new drug this evening. He says it paralyses the body from neck down but keeps the mind crystal clear. I told him I would help him find human test subjects, and look what I found.” Chanyeol starts trashing about and growling loudly. It’s no use, Kyungsoo’s restraint on him is impossible to break. He would know, since he’s been under one multiple times, trying to figure out a way to break it.

Chanyeol looks helpless and petrified as Minseok injects him on his arm. “Don’t worry, if it doesn’t work on humans and you end up paralyzed for life or something, I’ll kill you myself. Or maybe it’ll paralyze your heart or diaphragm and you’ll die within minutes.”

Chanyeol starts breathing heavily, as if to reassure himself that his diaphragm is still working. Kyungsoo is surprised by how well his fear tactic is working. Chanyeol looks too terrified to find a way to break Kyungsoo’s hold or formulate any sort of coordinated attack, but he continues to struggle until all his muscles relaxes under Kyungsoo a minute later. He appears to be quite alive, albeit breathing at a worryingly rapid rate. Kyungsoo shifts to sit on the ground next to Chanyeol and heaves a heavy sigh, relieved that it’s finally over. “Baekhyun is an excellent chemist when he’s not busy getting high on his own drugs, so I don’t know why you were so scared,” Kyungsoo grins at Chanyeol and nudges his motionless body with his foot. “Don’t worry. I won’t let such a great potential asset go to waste just like that.”

With the help of Minseok, Kyungsoo carries Chanyeol onto his bed and handcuffs both his hands onto the headboard, which conveniently is a row of thick metal poles. Looking over his tattooed right arm, Kyungsoo notices a very faint and short scar beside the first inked word. “Is that a GPS tracker?” Kyungsoo waits for a response but all he gets is more of Chanyeol’s heavy breathing and soul melting glares. Fine, then. He had been generous when he broke Chanyeol’s left pinky. Kyungsoo knows from the way he fights that he prefers using his right hand. He won’t be using it any time soon or at all if Kyungsoo breaks his right thumb.

Kyungsoo traces the fingers on Chanyeol’s right hand and asks again, “Is that, a GPS tracker?” The way Chanyeol looks at his right hand warily tells Kyungsoo that he knows full well what Kyungsoo intends to do, but he seems otherwise unfazed. As Kalvosa’s hunting dog, he probably went through more torture training than Kyungsoo has. That’s alright, it’s not like he really needs an answer anyway.

His brother’s arm had a scar like that. Their father had suggested putting one of those things in both of them once. They track the host’s location and vitals, so it serves as a perfect contingency plan if (when) they get kidnapped. His brother was more than happy to comply, but Kyungsoo told him he would rather die at the hands of his kidnappers than be tagged like a dog. His father didn’t insult him by insinuating he might crack before he ends up dead, and let him have his way for once.

Kyungsoo calls Yixing and asks him to come over. The young doctor knocks on his door less than three minutes later, and Kyungsoo was at the receiving end of a very raised eyebrow when he walks in. “Is that-“

“Yes.” Kyungsoo and Minseok answer in unison.

“Cut out his GPS tracker.” Kyungsoo nods his head towards Chanyeol’s right arm and gets up from his bed. “I thought you’d appreciate the practice. He’s paralyzed, so there’s no worry about holding him down.”

Yixing smiles sweetly at him and gets to work. He doesn’t use any anaesthetic throughout the whole procedure, from cutting Chanyeol’s arm open, to extracting the tracker and sewing him back up. Chanyeol in return, doesn’t make a single sound. Kyungsoo is maybe a slightest bit impressed.

He wraps the bloody tracker in a ball of tissue paper and tosses it to Minseok. “Don’t touch it directly. Attach it to something heavy and throw it in the river.” Might as well let them think Kyungsoo killed Chanyeol and dumped the body.

After Yixing has set a cast for Chanyeol’s broken finger, Kyungsoo crosses his arms and looks at both his friends. “I shouldn’t need to tell you to keep this a secret from everyone?”

Yixing does a zipping motion across his smiling lips and Minseok just smirks. “Of course not. Do you think I’d be spared if your father knew I deliberately let you fight one of the deadliest assassins in the country on your own?”

Kyungsoo gives them both a satisfied nod. “That’s what I like to hear,” He looks back at his captive consideringly. “I want to keep this a private project until I figure out what to do with him.”

Kyungsoo decides to leave Chanyeol handcuffed to his bed for the night and goes to sleep in the guest bedroom next door. Before he falls asleep, he sends a quick text to Jongdae briefing him on the situation and requesting a full background check on Chanyeol. He’ll deal with everything else in the morning.

-

 

The next day, Kyungsoo goes about his business as usual. He attends meetings with his father at their headquarters, goes to training, meets with Baekhyun about the recent shipment of methamphetamine from China and its purity compared to those they got from a North Korean source two months back, and reads through Junmyun’s financial reports about the various businesses their group runs in the capital. By late evening, he asks Minseok to deliver two portions of dinner to his room.

When the sun finally sets, Kyungsoo decides it’s time to visit Chanyeol.

The moment he opens the door, Chanyeol jumps up from his slouch and hisses at him. Kyungsoo is pleased to note that Baekhyun’s drug does not in fact induce permanent paralyses. There are dark circles under Chanyeol’s eyes and some awful looking bruises forming around his wrists. He’s probably sleep deprived, exhausted, dehydrated and starved. Perfect.

Kyungsoo takes out his keys and shows it to Chanyeol. “I’m uncuffing you so you can go to the bathroom, so don’t try anything with me. Ok?”

Not that his warning was of any use. The moment both of his hands are free, Chanyeol predictably goes for Kyungsoo’s neck. If Kyungsoo has anything to say about Chanyeol, it sure won’t be how he’s not trained by the book, in addition to being annoyingly persistent. But Chanyeol can’t utilize his arms to their full extent immediately after being locked into that uncomfortable position for more than a day. Kyungsoo is glad he judged the situation correctly, otherwise it would have been very embarrassing if he had to ask for Minseok’s help.

Kyungsoo easily blocks Chanyeol’s attack and pulls his arms at an angle he knows has to be painful after hours of restrain. Chanyeol, to his credit, endures the pain and pulls Kyungsoo right back and knees him at his side, pushing Kyungsoo onto the bed and ends up on top of him instead. Compared to last night, Chanyeol’s reaction time isn’t much slower, but it’s slow enough that Kyungsoo can land a palm heel strike to his already strained shoulder and knock him back against the wall with the push of both his legs. Kyungsoo wastes no time to charge forward, taking Chanyeol by the front of his shirt and trousers and throwing him bodily onto the bed. Before Chanyeol is able to recover, Kyungsoo lands several hard punches to his chest in quick session, and then takes the ends of the duvet Chanyeol landed on and wraps it around him once before straddling Chanyeol’s back.

Kyungsoo huffs in exasperation. “Just extrapolate from this, can we agree that I’m going to win every time?” Chanyeol snarls underneath him and continues to struggle.

“If you couldn’t win against me last night, what makes you think you can win against me now?” At this, Chanyeol finally deflates, but not before releasing a frustrated groan.

Kyungsoo gets off him and rolls Chanyeol out of the duvet. “I can do this all night, but I’d really rather you don’t piss on my bed. You’re the one who’s going to have to sleep in it.”

Chanyeol slowly climbs out of the bed, gives Kyungsoo a withering look before heading towards the en suite.

Kyungsoo had been worried that Chanyeol was going to try something stupid again and force Kyungsoo to monitor his movements at gun point, but thankfully, Chanyeol remains obedient when he tells him to brush his teeth, take a shower and change into the set of clothes he borrowed from Sehun. Kyungsoo unfortunately does get a full view of Chanyeol’s torso during all this, and he can’t help but cringe in sympathy at all the welts, cuts and burnt marks littered all across his chest and back.

When Kyungsoo instructs Chanyeol to get back onto the bed and takes the two pairs of handcuffs he left on the bed, Chanyeol looks like he’s considering fighting Kyungsoo again.

Kyungsoo purses his lips. “I can and will fight you. And after I win this time, it will be the basement cell that you’ll be spending your nights in.”

Chanyeol considers this for a moment. He looks back at the en suite, the bed, and then at Kyungsoo. He moves at a sloth’s pace, as if savouring the few treasured moments of freedom, but ultimately doesn’t struggle when Kyungsoo secures the handcuffs back onto his wrists.

On his desk are a bowl of prawn tempura ramyun, a plate of toast with a fruit salad on the side and a jug of water that Minseok must have put down while Kyungsoo was busy making sure Chanyeol doesn’t make weapons out of the shower pipe or his new tooth brush. Kyungsoo looks at the toast and fruit salad and internally curses Minseok to hell. Bastard must have known Kyungsoo was going to end up feeding Chanyeol.

Kyungsoo sits down at his desk and sulks as he starts on his ramyun. At least he gets to enjoy this before entering that specific piece of hell. Sometimes, he’s so glad being the mafia boss’ son comes with the perks of having a kitchen staffed with actual chefs. Chanyeol’s stomach growls behind him. Kyungsoo turns around in his chair with his bowl in hand. The homicidal maniac actually has the guts to look like he’s pouting.

“If I think you can manage having enough mobility to eat your own bowl of ramyun without trying to make another attempt on my life, then I’ll have the kitchen make you god damn hotpot for all I care,” Chanyeol’s eyes grow wide and he swallows. For a moment, Kyungsoo actually thought Chanyeol was close to putting being a psychopathic killer on a mission on hold for food. Kyungsoo has no idea what those scumbags at Kalvosa feed him, but judging from the amount of torture they put Chanyeol through, Kyungsoo can hazard a guess that it’s no feast. Eventually, Chanyeol turns his face away, so Kyungsoo shrugs and turns back around, pulling his phone out to entertain himself.

Feeding Chanyeol his meal turned out to be more of a pain in the arse than previously envisioned. Kyungsoo puts the buttered toast up to Chanyeol’s lips but he keeps turning his face away and shaking his head. Kyungsoo is this close to holding him down and shoving toast down his throat, choking hazard be damned.

“I know you’re hungry so why are you doing this? Are you worried that it’s laced with some kind of drug?” Chanyeol slowly turns to look at Kyungsoo, the toast in his hand and looks away again.

“I have you tied to my bed, do I really need to kill or drug you with food? You don’t think I can kill you with my bare hands right now or that I can make you smell chloroform and inject you directly with whatever hypothetical drug I have prepared for you?” Chanyeol turns to Kyungsoo sharply and looks very concerned.

Kyungsoo takes pity on Chanyeol and takes a bite of toast himself. He chews it slowly and swallows. “No one here is trying to kill you, okay? I only fight you because you are trying to kill me.”

When Chanyeol polished off all his food, Kyungsoo nods in satisfaction and goes to pull out the plate he’s got hidden from Chanyeol’s view behind his huge ramyun bowl. On it are two pieces of prawn tempura, still warm, crispy and untouched. Chanyeol’s eyes grow wide and his jaw drops. Kyungsoo can’t help but laugh at Chanyeol’s childishness when it comes to food.

Kyungsoo picks up one of the pieces by its tail and lifts it to Chanyeol’s waiting mouth. “For good behaviour,” All the psychology books his mother had forced him to read had better not be lying about the effectiveness of positive reinforcement.

The image of the psychopathic killing machine is hard to reconcile with the one that is currently literally eating out of his hand with the eagerness of a domesticated dog.

 

That night, when Kyungsoo is freshly showered and changed into his pajamas, he settles into his bed with his iPad to catch up on the day’s news.

He can feel Chanyeol’s eyes burning holes into his side.

“What? Just because you’re handcuffed to it, doesn’t make this any less of my bed, which I like sleeping in,” The bed in the guest room absolutely sucks. He thinks the soreness of his back he has felt all day wasn’t completely due to his fight with Chanyeol from the previous night.

“If you think I’m an easier target while asleep, you are very welcome to test out that theory tonight.” Kyungsoo looks at Chanyeol expectantly, waiting for any response. But none was forthcoming, so he turns back to his iPad.

-

 

The next morning when Kyungsoo wakes up, he finds Chanyeol fast asleep beside him. He holds out his hand to shake him awake, but Chanyeol’s eyes snap open before he was even close to touching him. Kyungsoo rolls his eyes and goes to take his keys out. “I guess we both aren’t easy targets while asleep.”

They still end up fighting once Chanyeol’s hands are free, but by now, Kyungsoo takes it more as combat practice than anything else. Chanyeol’s joints must hurt like hell and his pinky is broken and in a cast, so Kyungsoo doesn’t really know why he still tries.

Once they’re both done with their respective morning routine and Kyungsoo’s got Chanyeol handcuffed back onto his bed, with little struggle this time thankfully, Kyungsoo is ready to start his day. Minseok is waiting by his door when he leaves his room and hands him a plastic folder. Kyungsoo nods his thanks and heads to his reading room.

According to Jongdae’s report, Chanyeol was orphaned at three and recruited into a secret government training programme in the same year. The programme puts its subjects through all sorts of extreme training since a very young age in order to produce the best killers for the government to use either for war or assassination missions. His signature light grey hair is a product of all the chemicals that the government tested on him since he was a child. Chanyeol was their best pupil, but was ultimately rejected before the final stage of the programme could be completed due to his unpredictability during missions and love for messy violence, which meant piles and piles of cleanup had eventually outweighed his worth. He was supposed to be terminated but escaped the facility before the execution could be carried out. He was on the run from the government and lived on the streets for a year before he was picked up by the people from Kalvosa.

He’s skilled at absolutely everything that’s related to killing and torture. According to Jongdae’s sources inside Kalvosa, Chanyeol has never failed a single mission during his two whole years there. However, he is still prone to leaving behind a trail of collateral damage. When they send him to kill one person, a whole family ends up dead. Send him to kill a group, the whole neighbourhood either dies or comes out crawling on their hands and knees. Send him to torture someone, on a good day, the victim dies after giving them the information they need; on a bad day, Chanyeol gets caught up in the high and accidentally kills his captives before they give up anything useful. This is why people started referring to Chanyeol as Kalvosa’s hunting dog.

Jongdae’s analysis suggested that his tendency towards overkill is because of the way he’s treated at Kalvosa. They treat him worse than one would treat a dog. Chanyeol is only let out from his ‘room’, which is more like a cell, when there’s a mission, otherwise they neglect him completely. His missions become his only source of stimulation. Sometimes, they would deliberately lock him up for weeks when they have a big job coming up. When he’s released, all his pent up energy would erupt in one swift burst and he kills a church-full of people before anyone is able to dial 112. Sometimes not even that is enough to tire him out and they would need to send several lumbering thugs armed with tranquilizers to drag him back to their headquarters.

The report also says Chanyeol has never attempted escape during his time under Kalvosa, even though they conditioned him with torture until he became a mute and put him in living conditions worse than that of an inmate. Jongdae speculated that he doesn’t leave because it’s either that or going back to the streets. All he’s ever known was to kill and torture, he has no other marketable skills. He wouldn’t know how to get a job, or how to maintain a normal human relationship. He has no family, no friends, no casual acquaintances. And under Kalvosa’s protection, he doesn’t have to worry about being in the hands of the government again, or get caught by the police when his learnt instincts take over and he kills a person or two. The conclusion of the report, in Jongdae’s handwriting, written neatly on the very last printed page was Must terminate or recruit. The word recruit underlined three times.

Putting the report down, Kyungsoo stares unseeingly out of the window in front of him.

Someone certainly had a shittier time growing up than he did. Someone actually went through what Kyungsoo can only imagine to be a worse training programme than Kyungsoo’s, in much much worse conditions, was then rejected, escaped, hunted down and still came out alive. Kyungsoo is impressed and intrigued. No, obsessed. How did Chanyeol do it? What did he learn in the government programme? At what age did he first kill? When was the first time he saw a dead body? What chemicals were he forced to take? How has he not killed himself yet? People have killed themselves over less, yet reading through that report, Kyungsoo has never seen someone bear so much life in them. Chanyeol is like the walking embodiment of life, for both the living and the dead.

Kyungsoo knows Chanyeol gets it, gets the primal desire to survive, regardless of the hardship dealt. This intrinsic need to live has been the only thing that has kept Kyungsoo alive through all these years of training, missions and assassination attempts. They both have this hunger for life. To want to live just a little while longer, to take another breath, to hold onto the life that’s been given to them because they fucking deserve to live. Kyungsoo knows Chanyeol thinks the same. There’s no other ways to get through the shit that life has thrown at him so far. Chanyeol is only older than him by a month and a half. They’re the exact same age, they both went through some similarly brutal yet drastically different experiences, and they both persevered, both came out alive. They are both brought up and made to be as fucked up as they are, both forced to train and endure severe hardship until they became who they are today. Kyungsoo gets this feeling of connection with Chanyeol that he finds absurd yet comforting.

Chanyeol also seem to show an outstanding level of competence, and there’s nothing in this world Kyungsoo values more than competence. It is the main reason why his brother was at the top of his hit list. Two years without a single failed mission is incredibly impressive. Not even Sehun, their group’s most promising young assassin, can achieve a 100% success rate. As Jongdae suggested, recruiting Chanyeol should be his number one priority right now. Having Chanyeol on their side would be a huge tactical advantage, and losing him back to Kalvosa would definitely come back to bite them in their arses someday. Personally, Kyungsoo would love to keep Chanyeol. Having someone who shares his perspective on life, in addition to being as capable as he is, is like a dream come true.

But holding Chanyeol captive forever is not a solution. He wouldn’t be any different from those professional cunts over at Kalvosa. Kyungsoo has to let him go in order to keep him. Kyungsoo knows he’s being crazy. There’s no way of knowing where Chanyeol’s loyalties lie. Kalvosa may be absolute abusive dicks to him, but Chanyeol might still consider them his saviour for picking him off the streets, providing him with food and shelter for two years. No one ever said Stockholm syndrome doesn’t work on psychopathic killers. Chanyeol might try to kill him again if Kyungsoo releases him for good, or he might leave and return to Kalvosa. Just the thought of that makes Kyungsoo want to murder something. Kyungsoo isn’t sure what his plan is right now, but he knows he’ll have to keep Chanyeol secured to his bed in case he escapes back to Kalvosa, and in the meantime, also find a way to convert him somehow. Recruitment isn’t really his forte, but he reasons something is bound to come to him at some point.

-

 

Something turns out to include getting Chanyeol handcuffs with a longer chain in the middle. He thinks 30cm is a huge improvement from the 6cm that the original ones provided. Just looking at Chanyeol’s arms twisted at weird angles all day is enough to make Kyungsoo rub at his own joints sympathetically. He also starts uncuffing his right hand during meal times because he has had enough of Minseok’s smirks whenever he takes their plates to the kitchens. Chanyeol’s meals have been gradually upgraded to things like pastas and meat buns, just still nothing that can get very messy very quickly. Kyungsoo thinks these improvements are working, since Chanyeol seems calmer during his meals and is generally too distracted by food to fight Kyungsoo with his free hand. It’s hard to tell what Chanyeol really thinks, since he doesn’t participate in Kyungsoo’s most preferred form of communication.

Kyungsoo also finds out that Chanyeol has recurring nightmares. He didn’t notice it the first night probably because Chanyeol spent most of that night debating whether he should try killing Kyungsoo in his sleep. But after that, when he actually lets himself sleep, the nightmares creep up on him. The first time, Kyungsoo was woken up by Chanyeol’s screams. Without thinking, he takes his knife from under his pillow and is ready to stab, thinking Chanyeol has finally taken up on his challenge to kill him in his sleep. But all that is in front of him is air and Chanyeol is still handcuffed next to him. Chanyeol is struggling and making scared noises but doesn’t appear to be awake. Kyungsoo puts his knife back under his pillow and thinks about how he has really bitten off more than he can chew this time. He goes to hover a hand above Chanyeol’s chest. As Kyungsoo predicted, Chanyeol’s eyes snap open, but unlike during mornings, he looks panicked and disorientated. He doesn’t even look like he recognizes Kyungsoo in the dark.

Chanyeol starts trashing and grunting loudly as he yanks at his handcuffs with so much force that the metal of the headboard actually starts to creek behind him, and the handcuffs digging into his wrists are starting to draw blood. He looks like he really wants to fight Kyungsoo, like the first night when he slipped into Kyungsoo’s room with the full intention of murdering him. Kyungsoo is now infinitely glad that he kept those handcuffs on Chanyeol. He quickly puts his weight on Chanyeol’s legs because he doesn’t fancy getting knocked off his bed with a hard kick to the stomach. He puts a hand on the middle of Chanyeol’s chest, gentle but firm.

“Chanyeol,” Chanyeol doesn’t appear to have heard him, instead he surges forward to bite at Kyungsoo’s arm. Kyungsoo presses down hard so that he doesn’t get very far with his teeth.

“I’m not going to fight you, Chanyeol. No one’s going to hurt you, you’re safe here. Try to remember who I am and why you’re here,” But Chanyeol doesn’t even pause, he just keeps trying to throw Kyungsoo off and snarling at him. Kyungsoo settles in for a long wait because Chanyeol’s got to tire himself out at some point. He also tries to rub Chanyeol’s chest in what he hopes is a soothing manner and makes shushing noises at him. Kyungsoo is so out of his depth here that that’s all he can think of to do. He’s already having a difficult enough time trying to suppress his own instincts to fight against Chanyeol’s violent outburst, especially when Chanyeol almost throws him off his legs and nearly bites off the hand Kyungsoo shot out to balance himself with.

Eventually, Chanyeol does settle down and all he does is stare at Kyungsoo with his wide eyes, now filled with confusion and wonder rather than distilled murderous intent.

“Do you remember who I am?”

Chanyeol nods between laboured breaths.

“If I get off you, will you try to kill me again?”

Chanyeol shakes his head.

“Good,” Kyungsoo rolls off Chanyeol and flops back onto his pillow with a heavy sigh. He did expect something of this sort to happen when he chose to sleep in his own bed with a psychopathic murderer, but he didn’t expect it to happen quite this way. He looks back at Chanyeol and finds him still staring at Kyungsoo with the same curiosity in his eyes.

Kyungsoo pats Chanyeol’s chest conciliatorily. “Try to dream about something else, okay?” If dreams are based on a person’s reality, then Kyungsoo guesses that advice means jack shit to Chanyeol.

“I’ll be here if they ever come for you,” He mumbles into his pillow, the exhaustion of trying to keep Chanyeol contained finally catching up to him. Kyungsoo can still feel the burn of Chanyeol’s stare behind his eyelids, but decides that’s something that can be dealt with later.

 

Next morning, as usual, Kyungsoo is the first to wake up. He sits up and looks towards his right. Under the morning sunlight, Chanyeol’s white grey hair and light complexion make him look almost ethereal lying among the white bed sheets. However, it also makes the blood stains on the pillow case seem all the more glaring in contrast. Chanyeol’s wrists have stopped bleeding, but they probably need to get cleaned and wrapped. Kyungsoo pinches the bridge of his nose as memories of last night come flooding back in.

Now he knows what kind of beast truly lies within Chanyeol. The first time Kyungsoo fought him, he was too busy analyzing him as an opponent and fighting to stay alive. But last night, when he was able to sit there and witness the savagery, he can now better visualize all the case studies Jongdae had included in his report. All that murderous intent without someone like Kyungsoo on site to contain it, he can only imagine the gruesome and grotesque scenes Chanyeol leaves behind after every mission.

Kyungsoo slowly gets up and heads to the bathroom, deciding to let Chanyeol sleep for a little while longer.

-

 

They establish a routine of sorts. Every morning when Kyungsoo releases Chanyeol, they fight. He can tell Chanyeol is slowly losing his resistance. He doesn’t struggle as much, or kick as hard. It’s as if he’s fighting because he doesn’t know what else he’s supposed to do. Kyungsoo eats breakfast and dinner with him, and hands Chanyeol the remote to the television he has perched on his desk opposite the bed, so he can keep himself entertained while Kyungsoo is away and not decide to kill Kyungsoo out of boredom, as Jongdae’s report suggested. Kyungsoo knows he has to uncuff him from his bed at some point, but he still isn’t confident that Chanyeol won’t leave immediately to go back to Kalvosa.

Sure, Chanyeol seem to actually enjoy his treatment here (Kyungsoo can only speculate how truly awful he is treated over at Kalvosa if being handcuffed to a headboard and allowed little to no mobility every day is considered good), and only tries to kill Kyungsoo once a day (not counting the times when he wakes up from his nightmares and tries to kill Kyungsoo without recognizing him), but he has given no indication that he would stay if he isn’t physically made to do so. Kyungsoo feels like progress is being made, although he isn’t sure how he’s made those progresses so far, or how much progress he still needs to make before he can be confident that he can release Chanyeol for good. He wishes there is some kind of universal sign that indicates whether someone thinks you’re better than their previous captors and would now like to join you.

-

 

On Day 10 of Chanyeol’s captivity, Kyungsoo comes back to find Sehun in a figure-four necklock in between Chanyeol’s legs. Sehun’s body is half dangling off to the side of the bed and his hands are grasping blindly at Chanyeol’s calves and thighs. A movie is playing on the television in the background, the characters’ dialogues mixed with Sehun’s gasps and Chanyeol’s low growl. From the look of manic yet detached look in Chanyeol eyes, Kyungsoo knows Sehun is mere seconds away from his death if he doesn’t do something immediately.

With adrenaline rushing through his veins, Kyungsoo slips his Eickhorn out from his ankle holster, jumps on the bed and aims straight for Chanyeol’s heart. With his hands still bound to the headboard, Chanyeol has to choose between killing Sehun or be killed himself. Chanyeol’s legs let go of Sehun immediately and turns to kick at Kyungsoo, as Kyungsoo knew he would. The moment Sehun's body hit the ground, Kyungsoo backs away from Chanyeol and moves to stand on the side of the bed. He drops his knife to the ground, holding up his hands.

“I wasn’t going to hurt you, I just needed you to let him go and I wasn’t sure if asking nicely was an option.”

Instead of the determined and dangerous glint in his eyes that Kyungsoo had expected, Chanyeol looks at him and looks scared. His eyes don’t move from Kyungsoo’s right hand for several seconds, then he looks back down at his own chest.

Sehun is gasping and wheezing next to the bed. The hand he’s got supporting himself on the floor is trembling, but he’s still got enough survival instincts to crawl away from Chanyeol’s reach. Chanyeol no longer seems murderous, so Kyungsoo decides to deal with Sehun first. He goes to pick up the remote left on the bed and turns off the television.

“Sehun, what the fuck?”

Sehun flinches at Kyungsoo’s volume and takes a few moments to gather his breath before he answers.

“Minseok borrowed three sets of clothes from me but wouldn’t tell me why. I was just curious, so I asked Jongdae and he told me.”

“You asked Jongdae and he told you, or you tricked Jongdae into telling you?”

Sehun has the audacity to look caught. “I asked him… a trick question?”

“Of course. And after you knew, you decided to come in here and fight him? Are you crazy?”

“No! No, no, no,” Sehun defends. “I didn’t come here to fight him. I mean, you’ve got Kalvosa’s infamous hunting dog fucking chained to your bed! That’s awesome. I had to come take a look myself.”

“Not that you should have come in here in the first place, but how does taking a look turn into you almost being murdered?”

“I don’t know! I just… when I walked in, he already looked like he was trying to kill me! It’s not my fault!”

Kyungsoo looks worryingly at Chanyeol. So far, Minseok and Yixing are the only two people Chanyeol has seen, and both of them were seen in the presence of Kyungsoo. He probably did want to kill Sehun as soon as he walked past that door because as far as Chanyeol was concerned, Sehun could have been sent here to kill him.

“And you decided to walk towards someone who looks like they’re going to kill you because…?”

“I was just trying to calm him down! I told him I was your friend and everything.”

“Why would he believe you?” Sehun’s recklessness and stupidity are making it very difficult for Kyungsoo not to yell at him again.

Sehun, finally, looks appropriately chastised.

Kyungsoo sighs. “Meet me in the training room tomorrow at 9am sharp. I’ll deal with you then. Now leave.”

Sehun pouts at him. He scrambles to get up and leave, but not before wiggling his eyebrows at Kyungsoo and whispering “He’s fucking awesome,” next to his ears. God damn suicidal little bitch probably won’t even recognize death if it stared him straight in the eyes, much like Chanyeol did.

Sehun is always so reckless because he doesn’t think he’ll die. He’s too confident in his skills. He is after all the youngest person to have ever officially been made assassin in their group and his performance has been very promising so far. But Chanyeol, he beat Sehun while being bound to one spot and wasn’t even allowed to use his hands. Kyungsoo has to once again marvel at Chanyeol’s remarkable fighting skills. He has firsthand experience of it, but it never ceases to amaze Kyungsoo. Sometimes he can hardly believe he won against Chanyeol in their first fight. Kyungsoo suspects that had he fought Chanyeol during his prime, he would be dead within ten minutes. He should thank his lucky stars that the Chanyeol he fought was the one that hasn’t received any proper training or practice since he’s been rejected from the government programme three years ago. Kyungsoo can’t help but think how Chanyeol’s change of allegiance to them can do wonders for their group.

Not that any of that matters now, because Chanyeol is sitting with his knees drawn up close to himself and refusing to look at Kyungsoo. It looks like Sehun’s visit may have cost him all the goodwill he’s been trying to build in Chanyeol.

“Sehun is one of us. He’s an idiot, but he didn’t mean any harm, he was just curious,” Kyungsoo pauses, hoping to get some kind of response from Chanyeol. But just like he thought, Chanyeol gives him nothing.

“I wasn’t trying to hurt you, you get that, right? I only did it so you would let go of Sehun.”

Kyungsoo stands there in the unforgiving silence, unsure what else he can say to make Chanyeol be as cooperative as he was before. After a beat, he sighs and decides to head to the kitchens to fetch them their dinner.

The rest of the night passes in a tense silence. Chanyeol never speaks, so Kyungsoo doesn’t understand why the silence seems so obvious now. But Chanyeol is clearly upset, and Kyungsoo is busy imagining all the different ways he’s going to beat the shit out of Sehun tomorrow morning.

When the time comes for Kyungsoo to release Chanyeol for their nightly routine, he was fully expecting Chanyeol to try to run or fight him in earnest after what happened. Kyungsoo puts distance between them the moment both handcuffs are off and he is fully prepared to fight. But Chanyeol doesn’t make any attempts of that sort. Rather, he keeps looking at Kyungsoo warily as if he thinks Kyungsoo is going to initiate a fight with him.

Once they finish and Chanyeol climbs back onto the bed, the unsettled feeling still lingers in the pit of Kyungsoo’s stomach even though Chanyeol hasn’t shown any signs of aggression. If Kyungsoo doesn’t know better, he’d say he almost seems skittish.

“Chanyeol.”

Chanyeol turns on his knees to face Kyungsoo, who’s still standing by the bed. He slowly sits on the bed so that he and Kyungsoo are almost at eye level, with Kyungsoo standing slightly above him for once.

“Do you understand that I wasn’t trying to hurt you? That I didn’t send Sehun in here, nor was I ever going to stab you with that knife?” Chanyeol looks down onto the carpet and doesn’t respond. Kyungsoo doesn’t know how to fix this. Doesn’t even really know what Chanyeol thinks of the whole incident, or of him, of anything.

Does rebuilding goodwill even work when someone is still being held captive? Kyungsoo doesn’t feel like all progress is lost, because Chanyeol is sitting in front of him without any restrains, and that means something. But it also feels like he’s taken several steps backwards in a direction he never realized he took.

For a lack of any better ideas, Kyungsoo puts his hand on Chanyeol’s cheek to get his attention. A surge of warmth crawls up his body when Chanyeol leans into his hand and stares back up at him. He doesn’t know what this feeling is, where it came from or why it’s there. But Kyungsoo doesn’t spare it any thought, because when Chanyeol slowly nods against his palm, the relief he feels is too overwhelming.

-

 

Several days later, Kyungsoo comes back with his white shirt covered in blood. Chanyeol sits up straight immediately and stares at him, eyes wide. “I’m fine,” Kyungsoo says tersely and heads straight for the bathroom after picking out his night clothes from his drawer.

Kalvosa had tried to kill him again. They attacked Kyungsoo on his way back home from the headquarters. There were five people this time, but they were no match compared to Chanyeol. Plus, Minseok had actually decided to help this time, so it was a piece of cake. But one of the guys, who Kyungsoo assumed was the leader of the small group, kept saying things like how their boss is furious that Kyungsoo had killed their hunting dog, and how it would be impossible for them to find a replacement. As he continued to drone on about how they were going to make Kyungsoo pay for taking out one of their greatest assets, Kyungsoo can’t help but be a bit smug that his plan with the GPS tracker had worked out so well. As a personal celebration, he tried to prolong the fight for as long as Minseok would allow him.

It was a bit reckless of him though, he knows. He hasn’t had a good night’s sleep since he started sleeping next to Chanyeol, so he was not exactly in his top form. He received more punches and kicks than usual, and even suffered a cut on his right arm. It’s not deep, but it’s deep enough that it bled through most of their journey home. Minseok had told him to go to Yixing once they got back, but Kyungsoo didn’t want to bother him this late at night, and all he really wants after that fight is to go back to his room, wash all the blood of those fuckwits away and go to bed.

After a shower, Kyungsoo puts on a pair of trousers and forgoes the t-shirt, not wanting to stain it with his wound that might start bleeding again at any moment. When he gets out of the bathroom, it’s already quite late into the night, so he goes to release Chanyeol for his bathroom break. He’ll text Minseok about bringing Chanyeol his dinner later; he doesn’t really feel like eating tonight.

When Kyungsoo goes to take Chanyeol’s handcuffs though, he yanks his bound wrists away from Kyungsoo’s hands and nods his head towards Kyungsoo’s injured arm, demanding to know what happened. Kyungsoo sighs. Better to get this over with as quickly as possible.

“Kalvosa sent people to kill me again and they think you’re dead,” Kyungsoo throws him a Satisfied now? look and unlocks the cuffs.

Kyungsoo waits outside the bathroom while Chanyeol does whatever he does inside. When he emerges, he walks towards Kyungsoo instead of the bed, with his hand outstretched aiming for Kyungsoo’s injured arm. Kyungsoo jumps back two steps and instinctively drops to a defense position. He’s injured and exhausted from the fight, on the contrary, Chanyeol has been recovering well and he looks alert. If they fight right now, there’s a chance he’s going to have to finally make use of the Daewoo K5 or he’ll lose.

But the look in Chanyeol’s eyes doesn’t seem malicious, he actually looks concerned. Kyungsoo doesn’t know who or what that concern is for, but from his interactions with Chanyeol so far, Kyungsoo doesn’t think he’s particularly skilled at emotional manipulation. Based on this, Kyungsoo slowly relaxes, takes the leap and steps back towards Chanyeol. Chanyeol studies his wound for a moment, then turns back into the bathroom to take the first aid kit out of the medicine cupboard. “I can do it my–” the rest of that sentence dies in Kyungsoo’s mouth when Chanyeol gently takes his wrist and makes him sit on the bathroom floor.

Chanyeol meticulously applies antibiotic ointment onto his cut, then wraps it carefully with gauze. Kyungsoo is slightly too bewildered by what’s happening to think properly. But as Chanyeol goes on to apply salve on the bruises over his chest and back that have started to blossom after his shower, there’s that unidentified burst of warmth in his gut again. This is all so bizarre. Kyungsoo leans back against the bathroom wall and decides to give up.

Once Chanyeol is done, he doesn’t move from where he’s sitting next to Kyungsoo and continues to stare at Kyungsoo’s injuries with the same concerned look on his face. Kyungsoo takes a stab in the dark.

“Are you worried that if they think you’re dead, they won’t come looking for you anymore?”

The incredulity on Chanyeol’s face tells Kyungsoo how wrong his guess was. Did he not think Kalvosa was going to search through the whole city for him if they thought he’s still alive? Kyungsoo isn’t sure if he can interpret this as Chanyeol no longer wanting to return to Kalvosa.

“Then what are you upset about?” Chanyeol gestures at Kyungsoo’s arm, the first aid kit next to him, and at Kyungsoo’s body in general.

“You’re upset that someone who’s not you got to me? Because they didn’t get to me, they’re all dead and dumped in front of Kalvosa’s headquarters. This is just,” Kyungsoo gestures at his own body, but then catches himself. He can’t admit weakness to someone who can still potentially be his enemy. He can’t tell Chanyeol that he’s hurt because he hasn’t been sleeping well and was reckless during the fight. “This is just what it is.”

Chanyeol shakes his head and waves at Kyungsoo’s body with more vehemence than before.

“You’re –” Kyungsoo stops abruptly because it’s his turn to be incredulous. “You’re upset that I got hurt at all?”

Chanyeol finally nods.

The strongest assassin Kyungsoo has ever come across, who was sent to kill him, is now upset that Kyungsoo is hurt? Is this progress? Does this reflect goodwill? Kyungsoo feels a headache coming on. He can’t deal with this. He’s so tired that he doesn’t think as he opens his mouth.

“Worse happened to my brother when he was heir and what killed him wasn’t this kind of assassination attempt,” That only made Chanyeol look even more alarmed. Right, no one but the assassin he hired (and probably his father) knows which particular kind of assassination attempt he died from. Does Chanyeol even know he had a brother who died?

Kyungsoo sighs. “This literally happens all the time. Why do you think I’m so well trained? You work for Kalvosa. You should know you’re the best assassin they have. And I managed to beat you, didn’t I? I was never in any real danger.”

Chanyeol finally seems comforted by that logic.

Kyungsoo’s heart almost stops when Chanyeol crawls between his splayed legs and lowers his body. But then he lies down on the tiled floor and curls up into a ball, pillowing his head on Kyungsoo’s left thigh. Kyungsoo has even less idea what this means. He is also hyper aware that he doesn’t want to move a single muscle. This has to be progress, right? He supposes anything Chanyeol does that doesn’t include trying to murder him should be counted as progress. But this sort of physical contact is kind of nice.

Kyungsoo tentatively brings his hand up to pat Chanyeol’s head. He didn’t realize Chanyeol’s feral side includes… whatever this is. Chanyeol snuggles up closer to him when Kyungsoo starts combing his hand through his hair, and Kyungsoo thinks what the fuck. But he also thinks how he really won’t mind coming home to this every time he kills five people and comes back with a cut on his arm and a bruised chest.

As he sits there in the comfortable silence looking down at Chanyeol, Kyungsoo is overcome with a strong desire to keep him. If what that guy said is true, and that Kalvosa’s leader is that furious at Kyungsoo for killing Chanyeol, then they will definitely stop at nothing to take Chanyeol back when they find out he’s alive. Kyungsoo can only hope that when the time comes, Chanyeol won’t be trying to push Kyungsoo away and running back to them.

 

Later that night as Kyungsoo goes to handcuff Chanyeol back onto his bed, Chanyeol seems more reluctant than usual. But instead of yanking his arms away from Kyungsoo or trying to kick at him like he used to during the first few nights, he’s simply twisting his arms away from Kyungsoo and trying to pull Kyungsoo down onto the bed with him.

Kyungsoo stops him once he thinks he’s figured out what Chanyeol is trying to accomplish. “Your nightmares, Chanyeol,” Chanyeol looks up at him sharply and frowns, uncomprehending.

“I know sleeping with handcuffs on isn’t comfortable, but I can’t afford to let you sleep without them. Especially not after tonight,” Kyungsoo rubs Chanyeol’s arm appeasingly when he shakes his head. “You’ve been doing better lately, sometimes you even recognize me immediately and stop struggling. But I’m very tired and I’ve got a cut on my arm. If you have one of your bad episodes tonight, I don’t know if I’ll be able to contain you without them.”

Chanyeol looks at the handcuffs in Kyungsoo’s hands, then at Kyungsoo’s wrapped arm for a long while before offering up his wrists. Kyungsoo offers him a grateful smile in return. “Good boy.”

-

 

On the morning of Day 15 of his capture, after finishing their morning routine and having secured Chanyeol back to the headboard, Kyungsoo turns to climb out of bed. But before he can get very far, Chanyeol’s legs shoot out to lock him in between them. He twists them so Kyungsoo falls back into bed, face first. “Why you little shit…” Kyungsoo gets up and is about to choke Chanyeol into next Thursday when he freezes, because Chanyeol is smiling at him. Of course that smile drops immediately when Chanyeol sees how Kyungsoo is only staring blankly back at him. Kyungsoo corrects his mistake. “So you want to fight me while being handcuffed?” Kyungsoo grins, disbelieving. “Who am I to deny such a request?”

During their scuffle, Kyungsoo takes an elbow to the temple, loses his balance and accidentally lands his hand on Chanyeol’s crotch. He is surprised to find that Chanyeol is half hard. Kyungsoo’s brain short-circuits when Chanyeol tilts his hips up and moans. Kyungsoo presses down again, harder this time. Chanyeol hisses in pain but his eyes become unfocused with lust. “Does the pain turn you on?” Kyungsoo grinds his hips down on to Chanyeol and Chanyeol almost mewls, hands straining against the handcuffs, trying to grasp onto something. Kyungsoo does it again and is surprised when Chanyeol opens his legs further and shifts under him to get better friction.

Kyungsoo would be lying if he said he never thought about this. Despite being scarred, battered and bruised, Chanyeol is gorgeous. He’s got a pretty face, his body is lean and well-toned, and has legs that go on for days. It doesn’t help that Kyungsoo’s been sleeping next to him and engaging in close quarters combat with him every day. To make matters worse, he’s been too busy playing babysitter to do anything about his pent up sexual frustration. Kyungsoo slides his hand up to the back of Chanyeol’s head, through his grey strands and pulls, exposing the long line of Chanyeol’s neck. He bites onto the flesh underneath his teeth and grinds into Chanyeol the way he wanted. Chanyeol makes a choking noise that almost sounds as if he’s sobbing. Kyungsoo is addicted to it, wants to hear it again and again, wants to do anything that will make it happen again.

He makes quick work on opening Chanyeol’s trousers and takes his cock in his hands. Chanyeol makes a startled noise but then starts moaning in earnest when Kyungsoo starts stroking. The handcuffs are making a lot of noise as Chanyeol keeps yanking at them. His wrists are completely bruised, but the way Chanyeol is struggling to be rid of them is starting to reopen the cuts on his wrist. His hips jerk in tandem with Kyungsoo’s strokes, and Kyungsoo can’t help but bury his nose in the crook of Chanyeol’s neck and bites down on his shoulder to keep himself from moaning too loudly when Chanyeol makes that sobbing sound again. After a few more strokes, Chanyeol’s whole body tenses and he comes into Kyungsoo’s hand. Kyungsoo is rock hard in his pants but he lets himself catch a breather, take in the sight of Chanyeol’s post orgasm high. Kyungsoo sits back up and wipes his hand off on the sheet that’s hanging off to the side of the bed.

Looking down at Chanyeol, he lets his mind catch up to how submissive Chanyeol is being, underneath him with his legs spread around Kyungsoo, bearing his neck to him as he catches his breath. This hunting dog, this legendary psychopathic killing machine so feared by everyone, who endures the horrendous treatment given to him at Kalvosa and most likely from the government training facility as well, is now looking so vulnerable under him, so pliant.

Kyungsoo has never been so attracted to anything in his whole life.

He surges forward and crushes his mouth onto Chanyeol’s, hungry to touch, to claim what seems to be his to take at the moment. Though Chanyeol was able to smoothly reciprocate Kyungsoo’s actions earlier, driven purely by lust and instinct, he seems to stumble on an act of affection like a kiss. Kyungsoo pulls back, overwhelmed by all the emotions Chanyeol triggers inside him. Just the thought of that possibly being Chanyeol’s first kiss is enough to almost drive Kyungsoo over the bend. He takes deeper breaths to try and calm himself.

Kyungsoo’s eyes suddenly latch on to Chanyeol’s hands still handcuffed to the headboard. In his lust filled frenzy, he completely forgot Chanyeol’s still bound to his bed. The only reason he is here under Kyungsoo right now is because he physically can’t be anywhere else. The thought of having done all those things to Chanyeol just now when he might not actually have wanted any of it makes Kyungsoo sick. Especially when Chanyeol is already so damaged to begin with. He curses himself and quickly takes out the keys from his jeans pocket to unlock both handcuffs. The fact that Chanyeol can still choose to kill him at any moment once he’s released lingers at the back of his mind, but he reasons that if he’s too out of it to deal with a proper fight, then Chanyeol, who doesn’t seem to have ever had an orgasm in the presence of another person, is probably in even worse shape to start a fight with him right now.

Chanyeol rubs at his bloodied wrists once he’s been released and Kyungsoo heads straight for the medicine cupboard in the bathroom. He comes back with a bottle of antiseptic, cotton pads and gauze. He pours some of the liquid onto a pad and waits for Chanyeol to give him one of his wrists. Chanyeol eyes the bottle but doesn’t hesitate to put his left wrist on Kyungsoo’s waiting hand. And it’s this small act of compliance that Kyungsoo suddenly has a realization that hits him like a brick. It’s not goodwill that Kyungsoo has been building in Chanyeol so far, Chanyeol trusts him. Chanyeol actually trusts Kyungsoo will never hurt him, just like he’s been telling Chanyeol to do so all this time. The fact that Kyungsoo has just pretty much held him down and sexually assaulted him makes Kyungsoo want to throw up.

Once his wounds are wiped clean and wrapped in gauze, Kyungsoo scoots back to create some space between them.

This is it. He can’t put Chanyeol back into those handcuffs after this. Kyungsoo can’t shake the feeling of having taken advantage of Chanyeol. He seemed to have enjoyed himself, but does he even comprehend what that was? Based on Chanyeol’s reactions, Kyungsoo can be fairly certain that he’s never done anything of that sort with another person before. And how could he? Being locked up in government facilities and gang dungeons aren’t exactly conducive to one’s sexual exploration. He doesn’t want Chanyeol to leave, but Kyungsoo also knows he won’t allow himself to stop him if he chooses to do so. Kyungsoo doesn’t know when he’s become so desperate to make Chanyeol stay. So many thoughts and emotions have passed through his mind ever since he read Jongdae’s report, and he doesn’t really know how to express any of them out loud. He wants to say let me have you. Let me keep you. But he’s fairly sure if he were to say them out loud, it would sound like he’s offering Chanyeol the same deal he’s gotten from Kalvosa.

He looks up and finds that Chanyeol has been patiently waiting for him to say something this whole time. “Stay,” Kyungsoo blurts out. Chanyeol tilts his head to the left in confusion.

“I’m not going to handcuff you anymore. I’m not going to do anything to force you to stay here, but please, stay,” Chanyeol rubs at his wrist absentmindedly as he looks past Kyungsoo and at the door behind him. “Don’t go back to Kalvosa. Join us instead. If it’s protection you need, we’ll give it to you. We won’t let the government take you. And if the people from Kalvosa come for you, we’ll take care of them too. You can live with us here. We’ll treat you right,” Saying that, Kyungsoo can’t help but remember what actually happened in the past few days.

“I know I sound crazy because I’m the person who fought with you, injected you with some untested drug, broke your finger and locked you up in here for two weeks straight. But I promise, I’ll treat you right from now on. I’ll take care of you. I swear,” Kyungsoo cannot believe the words that are coming out of his mouth. He has never been one for sentiments, and the fact that he’s saying these things to Chanyeol after only knowing him for a couple of weeks, and under such peculiar circumstances, makes him further question his own sanity. Since he feels like saying anything more will just lead to him embarrassing himself, Kyungsoo stops to wait for Chanyeol’s response.

After a minute of tense silence, Chanyeol slowly leans forward and hesitantly brings his hand up to trace Kyungsoo’s jaw. His touch barely connects with Kyungsoo’s skin as he looks at Kyungsoo with the same kind of curiosity he’s been observing Kyungsoo with since that night with his first nightmare. Chanyeol inches closer to tentatively press his lips onto Kyungsoo’s. He jumps back when Kyungsoo takes his arm in a firm grip. Kyungsoo’s grip is unyielding, but it doesn’t stop him from struggling with a panicked look on his face. “Chanyeol, calm down.”

Chanyeol slowly stops and nods. Kyungsoo loosens his grip.

“Your stay is not conditioned on you being in a physical relationship with me. It’s conditioned on you wanting to be here with us,” Kyungsoo licks his lips, “with me. Do you understand?”

After a few moments, Chanyeol nods and moves towards Kyungsoo again. Kyungsoo’s whole body feels like it is on fire as Chanyeol’s hand slides down from his chest to his abdomen. Chanyeol timidly noses at his neck and flicks his tongue across his hammering pulse. Kyungsoo thinks he’s about to go insane. He pushes Chanyeol away and tries to keep his hands and mouth as far away from him as possible. “I don’t think you understand.”

All Chanyeol has known his whole life is people taking things from him, his skills, his service. Especially after Kalvosa, everything is like a tradeoff to him. His sexuality is just the newest thing he realized he can give away. Kyungsoo won’t forgive himself if he lets Chanyeol think that he needs to sleep with Kyungsoo in order to gain access to his protection, just because he had a lapse in judgment and did something to Chanyeol he shouldn’t have done.

Chanyeol bats away Kyungsoo’s hands and grabs at his shirt to pull Kyungsoo closer. He tries to kiss Kyungsoo again but Kyungsoo turns his face away so his lips land on his cheek. Chanyeol whines in frustration, whines like he is in need. Kyungsoo finds the second sound that Chanyeol makes that drives him nuts. Chanyeol yanks Kyungsoo forward by his shirt so he falls on top of him. Kyungsoo’s elbows land on both side of Chanyeol’s head to keep himself from faceplanting onto Chanyeol’s chin. Chanyeol’s hands come up to grasp onto both sides of Kyungsoo’s waist and thrusts his hips upwards. Kyungsoo shoots up into a sitting position immediately and leans as far back as possible.

“Holy shit,” Kyungsoo takes a deep breath. “It’s okay that you don’t get it yet. We can have this conversation at a different time. But I really need to leave. Immediately,” Kyungsoo tries to scramble out of the bed, but Chanyeol is up and on him in a flash, his hands gripping firmly at Kyungsoo’s collar.

“I can’t, Chanyeol. I really can’t. You don’t know what you’re doing. Please,” Kyungsoo is close to begging and he’s never begged in his whole life. Chanyeol just shakes his head and keeps trying to pull Kyungsoo closer. Kyungsoo covers Chanyeol’s hands with his and tries again.

“You don’t want this. You’ll regret it when you eventually realize what I’m actually offering you here,” Chanyeol shakes his head frantically and makes more of that whining noise.

Kyungsoo guesses he’s just going to have to do this the hard way.

He holds Chanyeol’s hands that are clutching onto his collar, slides his hands along Chanyeol’s arms until he finds the acupoints he’s looking for and presses down hard. Chanyeol lets out a grunt and his arms lose their strength immediately. Kyungsoo stands up from the bed and runs for the door. His hand was already on the door knob when he hears it.

“Kyungsoo.”

He freezes then whips his head around, stunned that Chanyeol finally spoke. His voice is raspy from disuse, and it’s also a lot deeper than his boyish appearance would suggest. Not to mention, the first word he said in probably more than a year is Kyungsoo’s name.

Chanyeol is similarly stunned, but in an entirely different way. He flinches as soon as he says it, as if waiting for the punishment that will never come. His eyes snap wide and suddenly, it looks like he’s not seeing anything at all. He starts hyperventilating and backing away towards the headboard, his face showing what Kyungsoo can only describe as pure unadulterated terror. Kyungsoo slowly approaches him, knowing any fast movements will only make matters worse. “Chanyeol, it’s okay. They’re not here. No one is going to punish you. You can say whatever you want,” but Chanyeol just keeps shaking his head and trying to present himself as a smaller target by curling into his folded legs.

This is worse than the nightmares. Chanyeol isn’t trying to fight him or escape, he is scared out of his mind and thinks he’s about to be tortured. Kyungsoo’s training never included how to comfort a distressed animal. He’s a little at a loss as to what he’s supposed to do, so he lets his instincts take the lead. “I’m going to put my arms around you, alright?” Kyungsoo announces his intent as Chanyeol’s face is buried in his knees and his eyes probably squeezed shut.

Chanyeol still makes a startled noise and flinches when Kyungsoo slowly slides his arm across his trembling shoulders, pulling him into his chest. But Chanyeol pushes Kyungsoo away weakly with his hands, unable to distinguish between his torture flashbacks and reality. He starts openly sobbing when Kyungsoo tries to grab at his shoulders to make him look at him. Kyungsoo quickly backs off then, understanding that physical contact seems to be the last thing Chanyeol wants right now.

Kyungsoo sits with Chanyeol on the bed, while he continues to shakes and sob into his own arms and knees. Kyungsoo doesn’t even want to imagine what is happening within Chanyeol’s flashbacks. He wasn’t even like this when Kyungsoo injected him with Baekhyun’s drug and told him he might die an agonizing death at any second. Kyungsoo can’t help the anger that lights up within him at the thought of all the possible obscene insanities Kalvosa must have put Chanyeol through to make him react like this.

Chanyeol’s bloodcurdling screams startles Kyungsoo out of his thoughts. His body starts to twitch erratically as if he’s being electrocuted and Kyungsoo can only look on helplessly. Out of nowhere, Kyungsoo suddenly remembers a line from Jongdae’s report. Chanyeol has never failed a single mission during his two years under Kalvosa. But he failed this one. Does Chanyeol still think those people are going to come and drag him back kicking and screaming eventually? That he’s going to be faced with torture worse than he’s ever experienced for not only failing to kill Kyungsoo, but also for submitting to him as well?

After what feels like an eternity of watching Chanyeol have the worst reaction to a flashback Kyungsoo has ever seen anyone have, and not being able to do anything about it, Kyungsoo’s breath catches in his throat when Chanyeol finally looks up and his expression turns into that of relief when he sees Kyungsoo.

Kyungsoo himself feels slightly shaken as he approaches Chanyeol. Very, very slowly, Kyungsoo brings his hand up to cup Chanyeol’s cheek, his thumb stretches out to wipe away some of the remaining tears still falling from Chanyeol’s eyes. Chanyeol turns his head to nose at his hand and leans into his chest. Kyungsoo takes this as an invitation to finally envelope Chanyeol into a crushing embrace. He can still feel Chanyeol trembling against him, and even though he has stopped crying, an occasional whimper and hiccup still escape from his lips.

“Shhh, it’s okay. No one will hurt you anymore, I promise,” Kyungsoo strokes Chanyeol’s back in soothing circles, his anger towards Kalvosa now turned into a slow simmering rage. He is best at planning revenge whenever he’s in this state.

“When the time is right, I’ll bring you over to Kalvosa to kill them all, okay?” That definitely got Chanyeol’s attention. “We’ll murder all of them for what they did to you, how does that sound?” Those abusive fucks have been trying to cut into their coke supply lately and were getting rather aggressive in their little turf war. A few punks even showed up to their businesses and caused a huge ruckus last week, so it shouldn’t be that difficult to convince his father that some action has to be taken. Plus, if he can take Chanyeol from them and get him to be on their side, they’re basically guaranteed a win in a fight, as his father would no doubt be delighted to know.

“I’ll bring all my boys with me and make an evening out of it. Doesn’t that sound fun?” Chanyeol doesn’t look up from his knees, but Kyungsoo can feel his slight nod against his chest. “Good,” Kyungsoo strokes Chanyeol’s hair and kisses his crown. “They’ll get to you over my dead body.”

They had to sit there for a long while before Chanyeol’s breathing finally evens out and he slowly extricates himself from Kyungsoo’s hold. Eventually, he just sits there with his back to the headboard, and plays with the folds of the bed sheet between them, seemingly content with staying here for as long as Kyungsoo will allow him.

“Hey,” Kyungsoo prods.

Chanyeol looks up, his eyes catches Kyungsoo’s before they flicker down to his lips. He quickly looks away, as if remembering what had led to his break down in the first place.

Kyungsoo smiles ruefully at himself.

“So maybe you do understand that you don’t have to make out with me to survive in this group. I was the one who was misunderstanding things and I’m sorry,” Chanyeol remains staring at a spot on the sheets next to his feet, and a bite on his lower lip is the only response Kyungsoo gets.

“But it’s important that we’re clear on this,” Kyungsoo puts a finger under Chanyeol’s chin to tilt his face towards him, “that we’re doing this because we both want to,” he closes his lips against Chanyeol’s.

He can’t help his chuckle when Chanyeol presses closer into him but doesn’t move his lips. Kyungsoo leans back and looks fondly at him. “We’ll work on that.”

-

 

Kyungsoo decides to wait a week before telling his father about Chanyeol. This cooling period allows Chanyeol to decide whether he really wants to stay with him. Kyungsoo tells him that he and Kalvosa aren’t Chanyeol’s only options, that he is willing to ask Jongin and Jongdae to forge documents and digital trails for a fake citizenship in America or Europe for Chanyeol to live a life without the need to look over his shoulders for the Korean government or Korean mobsters. Chanyeol only smiles at him and shakes his head. Kyungsoo tells him that the offer is on the table indefinitely.

He also offers Chanyeol his guest bedroom, but that only earns him an eye roll from Chanyeol. Kyungsoo thinks he knows the guestroom bed is uncomfortable.

When they’re alone in bed at night, Chanyeol is often the one who reaches across the small space between them to either wrap himself around Kyungsoo, or pull Kyungsoo on top of him to make out. Kyungsoo takes immense pleasure out of these moments, enjoys the reverence hidden under Chanyeol’s touch, the eagerness of his mouth, the quiet wonder in his eyes, all of which Kyungsoo reciprocates wholeheartedly. But sometimes, Chanyeol grasps onto him with a muted sense of desperation and longing that makes Kyungsoo’s heart ache.

It occurs to Kyungsoo that growing up in a secret government training facility, Chanyeol probably has severely disorganized attachment. This means he’ll attach himself to anyone who gives him even the slightest bit of positive interaction. Kyungsoo seems to be the only one around capable of dealing with Chanyeol’s chaotic violence, as well as willing to give him the positive touch that he craves, so it doesn’t take a developmental psychologist to know why Chanyeol is so ardent and receptive when it comes to Kyungsoo. Chanyeol is clearly touch starved and is making up for 22 years of deprivation.

In these moments, Kyungsoo looks at Chanyeol’s cautious smile and holds him even closer. For now, he can only hope that when Chanyeol is finally able to reflect on his own social deprivation after settling down into his new life and finding out how normal people interact with each other, he will still come back to him.

-

 

When Kyungsoo finally introduces Chanyeol to his father, the old man seems very pleased with Kyungsoo’s successful recruitment, as Kyungsoo thought he would be. He appoints Chanyeol as Kyungsoo’s second bodyguard, saying that he’s been thinking about upping Kyungsoo’s security for a while now. Plus, he’s heard how all Chanyeol does is hover around Kyungsoo and glares at anyone who even looks at Kyungsoo the wrong way anyway, so he thinks Kyungsoo will be in good hands.

After their meeting with his father, Kyungsoo brings Chanyeol to the lounge in their headquarters, where most of his friends hang out at this time of day. He’s sure most of them have already heard from Sehun about Chanyeol. And even if Sehun has miraculously kept his mouth shut, the others must have already sensed that something is up with Kyungsoo these days and have been badgering Jongdae, Yixing and Minseok nonstop. Nevertheless, a formal introduction is still required.

When they reach the mahogany double doors of the lounge, Chanyeol pulls at Kyungsoo’s sleeve, reluctance written all over his face. Kyungsoo is briefly reminded that Chanyeol has never really had friends before, and that Kyungsoo was his first… pretty much everything. Kyungsoo smiles encouragingly at him.

“Don’t worry, the guys will like you just fine. Mafia is a family business, so I’ve known all of them since we’re kids. We all grew up around plenty of fucked up people and are plenty fucked up ourselves,” Chanyeol looks unconvinced.

“Minseok already likes you if you can’t tell. Baekhyun will be over the moon to meet his human guinea pig,” At Chanyeol’s frantic shake of his head, Kyungsoo nods. “No more illegal human test trials on you, don’t worry. I have a feeling Jongdae likes you already as well. At the least he definitely thinks you’re worth keeping around. You’ll probably trigger Junmyun’s maternal instincts to a level that’s previously never been heard of. Jongin has anger management issues lately, but he’ll warm up to you once he realizes you’re terrible at video games. Yixing likes everyone so that’s not really a problem,” Kyungsoo takes Chanyeol’s hand in his, hoping his physical proximity will be of some comfort to him.

“As for Sehun,” Kyungsoo pauses and gives Chanyeol a once-over. Shaking his head at himself, he says “You probably don’t know this, but that little shit is already in love with you,” and pushes the door open.