Chapter 1: All My Own Stunts
Seoul is a city of great opportunities for anyone with a dream in their pockets. The sparkly, big city always had an alluring aura to Min Yoongi, a young boy from a city like Daegu, where the air felt too stifling to make his big, future projects breath properly. He had a plan: finish high school, pack his bags and finally move to the bustling metropolis, where he’d be able to make all his wild fantasies come true. He didn’t have a set idea on what to do, but he thought, naively so, that he’d eventually find something for him. Something that could bring out all that Min Yoongi had to offer.
Flash forward to five years later and here he is, black studded leather jacket on his shoulders, piercings lining his ears – the newest acquisitions that made him really proud were a metal ball on his tongue and a shiny bar in his eyebrow – and tattoos spanning his body like living works of art. Seoul had offered the young Min Yoongi the opportunities he was looking for, just not what a naïve, country boy like himself would have thought at first.
The man was striding the street like he owned it, his boots thudding against the cold, winter kissed asphalt. Well, he sorta owned it, just not in the strict sense of the term. Or at least, the gang he was part of did. In fact, little would the younger version of himself know how Seoul would have offered him the opportunity he had dreamed about. It may have not been entirely family-approved or publicly-endorsed if one really wanted to get into that sort of political shit stuff, but at the end of the day it had been what he needed. A sure revenue, a roof on his head, people he could count on and the whole city in his grasp.
How he entered a gang isn’t even that interesting of a story. He had started to look for some odd jobs at first, even the more shoddy ones – part-time cleaner, flyering, even that one as pet food tester. Money was hard to come by though, and the rents in Seoul were hellish, so he searched for a more profitable lane. Once, while working as a daily substitute at a bar, he spotted a small bunch of men obviously conducting some murky business in the darkest corner of the place. When his shift left off, he approached the bickering group, his eyes catching what must have been the thickest wad of bills he had ever had the grace of seeing. He interrupted their conversation, almost getting a bloody nose, but eventually, as one thing led to another, he found himself dealing drugs for a proficient gang called Bangtan. Yoongi’s hard-working disposition and his way to sweet talk more money out of his buyers, soon had him climb ranks pretty fast.
That is pretty much the story of how Min Yoongi became one of the leading figures of said gang, going from innocent country boy, to feared and respected badass. Reaching the top came with heavy responsibilities on his shoulders, but it brought him the privilege of managing his own time and daily occupations – no more being ordered around to do this or do that whenever word came.
He could get his mornings off, using the time to stroll down the streets, monitoring the people rushing past middle school students to get to work before their bosses chewed them off or shop keepers opening their doors to avid shopaholics. With his hands deep in his jeans pockets he marches on, head of dyed hair held high.
He reaches an intersection, eyes still glued to a group of boys, high school age, making a lot of noise near a coffee place. He fixes them with a level stare, asking himself what kids these days ate to become so fucking tall – Yoongi was not short, all the others were simply too fucking overgrown. While lost in his thoughts, he misses what certainly looks like a human sized bullet rolling his way and ultimately colliding into him.
The man is sent tumbling to the ground, butt violently crashing against the dirtied pavement. He groans, pain irradiating from his buttocks and up his back.
“I am so sorry!”
Yoongi vaguely registers a deep voice profusely apologizing. He blinks his eyes a couple of time to dispel the still lingering discomfort of his fall, when a weight shifts off his chest. He comes face to face with a boy wearing a black mask covering the lower part of his face, a snapback on his head pushing back his hair and his hand held out to help him up. What catches Yoongi the most off guard are the big, deep brown eyes that stare back at him with a look that would fit some modern day mermaid – attracting pirates, bewitching them to their deaths. He gruffly accepts the proffered hand, levering his body in a standing position. He dusts off his leather pants, pointing the kid with a murderous stare.
“Watch where you’re fucking going.” Yoongi snarls, teeth bared and eyes as piercing as daggers.
The clearly younger man bashfully scratches the back of his neck, shifting his stare to the ground. “Yeah, I’m sorry …” He repeats in a subdued tone.
Yoongi waves his hand, as to dismiss the other one, who rushes to grab his annoyingly red skateboard and proceeds to speed off in the opposite direction.
What a fucking way to start the day He thinks, already dreading how he’ll be having a hard time sitting down on any kind of solid surface for the following couple of days. Not only were kids these days too tall for their own good, they were also scatterbrained as fuck.
Picking up his pace again, he finishes his round of patrol – more like his daily stroll to channel the old-man inside of him – reaching the gang’s main headquarters a handful of minutes later than usual. He greets everyone who crosses ways with him, walking down the long corridors and taking the elevator at the far end of the building. He gets off at the 5th floor, knocking on a wooden door decorated with a nice, gold plaque proudly reading Main Room. From inside, someone beckons him to enter. Yoongi throws the door open, immediately spotting an acrid smell.
“Shit, Hoseok, are you smoking pot in the main room again?”
From the other side of the room, comfortably sprawled on a red couch, Hoseok lifts up his head, dumb smile on his equally dumb face. He lifts his left hand, showing off the joint securely held between his fingers.
“Nice to see you too, Yoongi.” He jokes.
“Fuck off. And open a window at least, Jungkook and Jimin are gonna be here soon.” Yoongi groans, falling on his favorite leather armchair, positioned right beside the bookshelf.
“What, afraid that Tweedldee and Tweedldum will pick up some bad habits?” Hoseok smirks, but nonetheless gets on his feet to go put off his personal coffee – Yoongi you know how caffeine really doesn’t cut it for me.
As if on cue, Jimin and Jungkook bustle through the door, cheerily greeting their hyungs. The two younger boys had entered the gang not too long ago. Namjoon had found them in a squalid alley off in the red light district, selling their bodies for a miserable sum. He took them in right away, offering them a safe place and a mean to escape their dirty lives. At first, Jimin and Jungkook mostly kept to themselves, hardly talking to anyone outside of each other. However, they eventually came around, opening up more and more, showing their true selves. When Yoongi looked at them he saw his old self, the country boy lost in the bustle of the big city and in search of something, anything to grasp in his awaiting hands. He felt like he needed to protect them, even if it sounded highly hypocritical coming from someone working for a gang. But that’s how he felt, and nothing would change that.
“Hello, Yoongi-hyung!” Jungkook approaches him, Jimin sitting down next to Hoseok, handing him a cup of coffee. Hoseok smiles, accepting the offer from the boy’s hands and taking a gulp of it (Yoongi knows how much Hoseok hates coffee, but still drinks it every time Jimin brings him some).
“Hey Jungkook. Do you know where Namjoon and Seokjin are?”
“Ummm… I’m not sure. I think they’re still sorting some kind of deal with a foreign patron.” The boy shrugs, taking his phone out of his pocket and proceeding to open one of his damned games.
Kim Namjoon is the leader of the gang, a feared individual, preceded by a notorious fame. Little do his enemies know that he’s literally useless if separated from his second in command, Kim Seokjin, child of a rich family and full-time Namjoon-sitter. It’s not like the leader didn’t know how to manage business and deals. Oh no, he was a damn genius, reason why he had risen to the highest position at such a young age. However, Bangtan’s leader was a certified danger for himself. He was able to handle a knife to threaten those who didn’t bring him the due payment, yet failed in using one to cut onions without promptly chopping his hand in half. And that is why Seokjin was there pretty much 24/7, by his side. He was a sweet guy, a face so beautiful it could have landed him a place in top entertainment companies, yet a ruthless gangster. He had shot at point blank more people than Yoongi could count, but he still baked cakes for everyone’s birthdays, insisting to have them wear silly party hats.
If Yoongi stopped to think about it, he’d realize how he was literally surrounded by the most demented bunch in existence. Yet he wouldn’t trade out Bangtan’s members for anyone else.
That morning, the air blew chillier than the day before. Yoongi was still wearing his leather ensemble – jacket, pants, boots – but had opted to tuck himself in a big scarf. Fuck if it was ruining his image, he didn’t want to die of hypothermia. He paces the street at the same leisurely pace, noticing how the cold weather had forced many people to give up walking to work, and instead taking their car. He owns a car, a nice one too, but only takes it out for important occasions – like showing off at a party.
He reaches the same intersection where the day before he had incurred in that god-awful collision with that tall, skater kid. He is still grieving about the condition of his butt when something like a déjà-vu occurs to him. A human bullet hurtles towards him, crashes into him and sends him to the ground. Again.
“Shit …” Yoongi is sure that if asses had bones he would have broken them by now.
“Oh my God, I’m so sorry, I swear I’m not doing this on purpose!” The same deep voice reaches his ears. He looks up from where his face was pushed up against a Thrasher sweater, recognizing the same damned kid as the day before. Was the world mad at him for some reason? Was it because, the week before, he had flushed Hoseok’s weed down the toilet?
The tall boy holds out his hand, but this time Yoongi swats it away. He pushes himself to his feet, looking the kid up and down: same snapback, same face mask, same detestable red skateboard. Same deep, unblinking eyes, too. There’s a backpack haphazardly slung over one of his shoulders, still half open with books peeking out of it. He must have been a college student or something.
Yoongi scoffs. “Get the fuck out of my face.” He really was not in the mood to deal with anything that morning. The cold was biting at his finger and now his backside felt frozen too. What a day.
The boy bows before him, throwing what Yoongi thinks is a smile his way, before speeding off pretty much in the same fashion as the previous day.
However, as the saying goes, bad luck always comes in threes. And he has a whole fucking shitload of bad luck the last few days, so it’s no surprise really when the following morning the same skater kid careens into him. Should Yoongi invest in a butt-insurance?
“I’m… I don’t… I swear… !” At that point the tall boy was just a stuttering mess, scrambling to help the other man to dust his jacket off.
Min Yoongi had had Enough. Capitalized E.
“Fucking…! Kid, do you have a fucking idea of who I am?!” He barks.
He is fuming. But the other has the audacity to stop his fussing with the man’s jacket, before lifting his head up, pushing his face mask down and smiling at him. He tilts his head to the side, grabbing the backpack strap with his hand.
“No, but you could talk to me about yourself over a cup of coffee.” The boy grins, flashing his white teeth.
Yoongi startles, the unexpected offer taking him off guard for a moment, before he’s back to positively skinning the guy alive with his stare.
“Fuck off.” He snarls. “You better watch your mouth.” He stomps away, wanting to put as much distance as possible between him and the source of all his pains when he sits down lately.
He marches on, legs bringing him back to the headquarters. He stalks down the corridors, up on the elevator and off into the main room.
“Woah, there. Someone left you at the altar?” Hoseok muses, hands halting from where he was polishing his favorite Remington magnum.
“Don’t you dare, Hoseok. Don’t you dare even start.” Yoongi accusingly points his finger against his friend, who puts his hands up with a meek grin.
“The fucking worst.”
Usually Yoongi would be someone who prided himself in being right most of the times. He was good at reading people, knowing when deals were going to go particularly well or would need more prodding; he was good in reading the weather, always knowing when to bring an umbrella with him or wearing lighter shirts. He was good, at that was why he was right.
But how could have he known that the worst day was yet to come?
While out on his morning stroll, once he reaches the infamous intersection, he makes sure to stop right before the corner of the building, peeking from behind it. No skater kid was in sight – even though the people walking past him were staring at him with a quizzical stare. He moves from the wall, deeming it safe to keep on going.
Not even a couple of steps in, a familiar sound draws near him. It’s the sound of small wheels rolling over the uneven sidewalk. Yoongi shudders when a deep voice resonates from behind his back.
“You still up for that coffee?”
He whirls around, coming face to face with the skater kid. That day he wasn’t wearing his usual face mask, but still sported his snapback and his baggy sweater. He was smiling a strangely, boxy shaped smile.
“Are you kidding me?” Yoongi was not one for jokes, at least not ones directed at him.
The other shakes his head, smile still in place and a mirthful look in his eyes. “Nope.” He makes the word pop with his mouth. “I wanted to apologize for… You know.” Yes, Yoongi knows. “So I thought about offering you some coffee? If you even like it? You look like someone who likes it though.” The kid was rambling at this point.
The older man knits his eyebrows, trying to register everything that was coming out of the skater’s mouth. “No.” He says, simply.
The kid stops in his tracks. “No? As in, you don’t like coffee? We can go for tea, I don’t really care –“ Yoongi cuts him off.
“No, as in, stay away from me or I’m burning your skateboard.”
And yet the threatening tone does nothing to dispel the boy’s musings. He smiles again. “Ah, that would be inconvenient, it’s my only means of transportation.”
Yoongi scoffs. He shuts his mouth, reply on the tip of his tongue. Better not to give the kid an excuse to keep on pestering him. He resumes his pace, heading towards the gang’s building as every other day, when a shout reaches him. “I’m Taehyung by the way!”
He doesn’t turn around, doesn’t even stop walking. The corners of his lips don’t turn upwards, either. And if they do, Yoongi sure as hell regrets it the morning after when Taehyung, skater and, in his opinion, part-time tormenter, rolls up to him, bombarding him with the dumbest array of questions the man had ever heard.
“Are your boots made of seal fur? You know that’s illegal, right?”
“Is that your natural hair color? I once read about this guy being born with purple hair, isn’t that freaky?”
“Is your skin so pale because you are secretly a vampire?”
Yoongi stops walking. For three days had the guy kept on harassing him with questions. Each day he would follow him for a couple of minutes before wishing him a good day and skating off, saying how he’d need to get to class on time.
He turns around, leveling Taehyung with an unimpressed stare.
“If I accept your offer for coffee” – Yoongi starts – “will you leave me the fuck alone?”
And as if he had just been told what gifts he’d get on Christmas Day, the boy’s eyes lit up almost in an endearing way. Almost.
“So you do like coffee?!”
Yoongi snorts. “Yeah, I do. Now lead the way or I’m going to change my mind.”
Taehyung scrambles to pick his skate up, securing it under his arm and leading the way towards a small coffee shop on the other side of the road. It’s a quaint, little place, something Yoongi had side-eyed more than once because of the copious amount of couples flocking inside it. He was feeling a bit nauseous.
“Here. Really?” He asks in a dry tone.
The other keeps the door open for him, Yoongi striding inside the shop. “What? It’s cute.”
The place is not as busy as it usually tends to be, making them the only customers at the counter – another couple chatting up at a table beside the window. Yoongi takes in the furniture, appraising the soft reds and browns of the tables and chairs. He directs his gaze towards the menu, spotting what is definitely something he likes and also perhaps the most expensive item on the list.
Taehyung is still contemplating the beverages when the barista behind the counter greets them, asking for their orders. He smiles at her, asking for something too sweet and sugary for the elder’s taste. When it’s Yoongi’s turn, the lady gazes at him with a look of worry in her eyes, having definitely spotted his outfit and various displays of piercings and tattoos. However, he doesn’t dawdle before placing his order, the barista ringing them up.
“Hyung, that’s too pricey! I’m a broke college student, not a loan bank!” Taehyung laments, scraping the bottom of his wallet before handing over the bills.
“Serves you right, kid.” The taste of revenge is as bitter as the most overly-priced coffee in that café’s menu, Yoongi muses to himself.
They sit at a table at the far end of the shop, waiting for their orders to be ready.
“You didn’t tell me your name.” Taehyung crosses his arms over the table, leaning in a bit.
“It’s Yoongi.” The man says, tracing his coarse knuckles with his fingers.
The other hums in understanding, leveling him with those dark eyes of his.
“What is it that you do in your life, Yoongi?” He asks, stare unwavering.
Taehyung hums again. He slightly kicks at his skate resting under his chair.
“Are you a gangster?” There is a glint in his eyes, a mix between glee and playfulness. Yoongi stares at him for a long time, playing with the piercings lining his right ear lobe. But, before he could open his mouth, the barista calls them to go pick up their orders. Taehyung stands up, signaling him to stay put. Then, he comes back, two cup of hot liquid held securely in his hands.
As randomly as the question came, it went, evaporated from the younger’s memory or purposefully dropped Yoongi doesn’t know. However the conversation seems to steer towards Taehyung’s interests and studies. He is majoring in Performing Arts, his dream is to become, one day, a great actor. He loves skateboarding, and got into it in high school, thanks to his friends. He plays the saxophone and adds milk in his bowl before adding cereals – at this Yoongi is beyond disgusted.
The conversation goes on for some time, Taehyung wildly gesticulating, explaining some random concept, and Yoongi either grimacing or keeping a neutral expression. At one point, though, he catches himself almost laughing when the boy starts recounting about a misadventure of his, a big, boxy smile on his face.
“Yeah, that’s why only now I’m allowed to keep a dog.” He finishes his story, a sheepish look on his face.
“Unbelievable.” Yoongi murmurs, twirling the long finished cup of coffee in his hands.
Taehyung eyes the time on the clock hung on the opposite wall. “Looks like I need to go. I have classes in half an hour.”
They move to throw their trash away before exiting the shop.
Yoongi stares at the boy for some time before speaking. “So, are you going to leave me alone from now on?”
Taehyung smirks, dropping his skate to the ground and stepping on it. “Mmm, who knows.” Then, he takes off, wheels rolling against the concrete and his laugh reverberating in the air.
“Oh my God…” The man drops his face in his hands, cursing the day he had met Taehyung and his stupid smile.
Indeed, true to his cryptic sentence, the boy rolls up to Yoongi even the following morning. The only difference is that he is carrying two cups in his hands, handing one to the other man.
“I didn’t know what to get you, so I got this. I hope you won’t dislike it too much.”
The elder gawks at Taehyung, numbly reaching for the proffered cup. He takes a sip, registering the hot liquid too sweet for his likings, but not too bad overall.
“… It’s sweet.” He mutters.
The skater laughs, shoulders shaking up and down. “Ah, I thought you would say that.”
And in some way, a strange routine between the two is born. Yoongi taking his usual morning stroll, boots stomping against the asphalt, face set in his usual scowl. He curses at the same too tall kids and rushing workers, arriving at the intersections. This time though, instead of making his ass get acquainted with the pavement, he finds Taehyung, waiting for him, two cups of overly sweet coffee in his hands and a big smile on his face.
Somehow, Yoongi doesn’t curse the day he met the kid as much as before.
That morning, gray clouds were hanging low, looming over Seoul in a murky bunch, rain cascading in a haste to reach the awaiting ground. Yoongi leans on the wall, leather-clad shoulder still registering the cold cement of the tall building. He had found repair by the Insurance Agency high-rise, its walls tall enough that if he just squashes himself against them in just the right way he can prevent getting wet. A small shiver travels down his back, raising goosebumps on his arms. He taps his foot in annoyance, boots thudding on the sidewalk. Taehyung was taking a damn long time, and Yoongi had stuff to do. He had to meet with Namjoon, who had requested his opinion about a new deal with a gang overseas. The leader always demanded punctuality, even though he had never, in all the years Yoongi had known him, been on time to anything ever. He sighs, checking the time on his phone. In that moment, a sound he had gotten so familiar with over the previous weeks reaches his ears. He looks up, eyes falling on a very wet and panting Taehyung. Very wet.
“Shit, Taehyung, don’t you even own a damn umbrella?!” Yoongi grumbles. His long sleeved shirt was clinging to him, hair drenched and pushed back from his face. He smiles, that boxy, full teethed smile of his.
“Good morning, hyung! Sorry if I’m late!” Taehyung huffs out, leaning heavily against the wall. He takes a moment to calm his breathing, Yoongi taking his ruffled look in. Fat drops of water were hanging at his hair’s endings, some of them rolling down his neck and exposed collarbones. Despite everything though, the boy’s eyes were still crinkled at the corners, a small smile playing on his parted lips. He turns his head to look at Yoongi, no doubt catching him staring. The man averts his eyes, fixing his gaze on the dry patch of asphalt in front of his feet.
The two had gotten into some kind of a routine, meeting up every morning before Taehyung’s classes and Yoongi’s tasks, talking about the previous day happenings – it was mostly the younger one doing the talking, while the other listened on in amusement to whatever eccentric story was being recounted with too much emphasis. Taehyung’s company wasn’t too bad, if one left out his annoying habits such as trying to master new tricks on his skateboard, promptly tripping and bumping against Yoongi, making him almost drop his coffee. Or that habit of sometimes getting too close to him, invading his very much loved personal space. Or how he’d often times look him in the eyes, never breaking eye contact and making the hair at the nape of Yoongi’s neck stand on end. He’d be damned if he was the first one to lower his gaze, so he’d consciously stare at those dark orbs, biting the inside of his cheeks. However, that led to some embarrassing moments, which were bound to happen when you were standing still, in the middle of the sidewalk, conducting a stare-down challenge – Yoongi believed it to be so – under the questioning stares and interspersed snickers from random passersby.
Taehyung ruffles his hair with his hand, sending small droplets flying, spraying Yoongi’s cheeks with rain smelling of smog and mud. The man dries it with the back of his hand. “What are you, a dog?”
Taehyung stops his ministrations to look at the other with a blank stare, before opening his mouth. “… Woof.”
Yoongi whacks him on the back of his head, clicking his tongue.
“I’m freezing my ass off, let’s go.”
The rain was now coming down a lot lighter, a thick drizzle making his hair soggy and unpleasant to the touch. The two enter the café, Yoongi going to take a seat and Taehyung walking towards the counter to rattle off their orders. He comes back a couple of minutes later, putting the two steamy cups on the table. The older man nods at the boy in thank, proceeding to take small sips from his hot beverage. Yoongi had burnt his tongue too many times already – to hell with his haste and need to always guzzle down everything, mornings were his moment of peace.
He looks up from the lid of his cup, staring at Taehyung, who was licking whipped cream off his fingers. That morning the kid had opted for a rather unhealthy dose of hot chocolate topped with a load off stuff such as colorful sprinkles and nuts.
They had been meeting each morning, getting coffee (or hot chocolate) from the same café, for almost one month, Yoongi thinks. And they hadn’t braced the subject of his job not even once. The man was more than ok with that, guessing Taehyung could come to his own conclusions. Certainly, his appearance could easily give him away, but he could also pass for the unusual whacko obsessed with tattoos, piercing and leather clothing. However, if people happened to see the small knife hid in his boot or the M9 hidden in the holster strapped at his side, covered by his jacket, then they’d get an exact idea of who he was or what he was capable of. But as things were, the two weapons remained hidden.
Taehyung looks up from his hot chocolate, upper lip covered in a thin, fake mustache of cream, staring quizzically at the pensive look on Yoongi’s face. He snorts, pointing at his own upper lip so that the other could get a clue about his own embarrassing look. Yet, Taehyung only cocks his head to the side, his still wet hair getting in his eyes.
Why was Yoongi still meeting with him? Why hadn’t he tried to drive the kid away? Why hadn’t he tried to truly show him his scary side, the one that had others cower before him, asking for forgiveness?
He reaches out to grab a napkin, pressing it to the boy’s dumb face. Taehyung squeaks in surprise, napkin hanging from where it had stuck to his lip. Yoongi laughs, banging his fists on the table, other customers turning to glare at him.
He could take out his knife or his gun any moment. Even then, in that quaint café that smelled like fresh brewed coffee and hazelnut. He could admire Taehyung’s wide, scared eyes staring back at the barrel of his weapon, figure trembling like a leaf left to the autumn winds.
The kid, in his haste to grab the napkin off his face, accidentally stabs himself in the eye with his finger, emitting another squeak of embarrassment. Yoongi laughs harder, upper body sprawled over the table and eyes close to tearing up.
He could have. But he chose not to.
After calming down (Yoongi) and regaining back even a small sliver of dignity (Taehyung) the two exit the shop, patrons huffing gratefully for their departure. Outside, they bid each other goodbye, before heading each his own way.
In the meantime, the gray clouds suffocating the city had eased their looming presence, allowing tiny rays of sun to cut in between them, casting shy lights on the tall, glass office buildings of Seoul. Yoongi arrives at the headquarter in a surprising good mood, waving back to those who were greeting him. He hums to the song playing in the elevator, making his way towards the main room. When he opens the door, only Namjoon is there, glasses perched on his nose, hands in his hair while he was undoubtedly trying to solve a business issue or some transaction terms.
“Yoongi, what’s a six word letter for harmless?”
“Good to see you always got your head in the important stuff, Joon-ah.” Yoongi scoffs, throwing himself on his armchair. He ruffles his hair, trying to get out the last droplets of polluted water clinging to it.
Namjoon looks up to glare at him, before closing his cross-words and standing up to go crash on the couch.
“Jin and I had to work all fucking night to get those damned foreigners to respect the fucking deadline.”
Yoongi smirks, covering his face with his hand. “Ah, that’s how you youngsters call it nowadays.”
The leader throws a menacing look at him, only making the man’s smirk grow even wider. “Shut up, I – Just –“ He was getting embarrassingly tongue tied, his face rivaling the shade of red of the couch he was lounging on. “… Shut up.”
“Ooh, real smooth Namjoon. If that’s how you threaten others, then it’s no surprise we’re such a respected gang.” Yoongi had dropped his hand, uncovering the full mocking smile painting his features.
Namjoon growls, ready to get up and, maybe, preferably, gently strangle his friend. When he takes a step towards him, hands itching to circle his neck, he stops in his tracks, sniffing at the air like a highly trained police dog.
“Have you been out for coffee?” He asks, his nose nearing Yoongi’s face. He drops his Cheshire-like smile, shoving back the other man’s approaching mug.
“The fuck, don’t act like a freak. What if I have?” He crosses his arms over his chest, upper body leaning back into the soft cushion of the armchair. Namjoon sits down on the edge of the couch, eyebrows knitted pensively.
“Are you still seeing that kid for coffee?”
During the month Yoongi and Taehyung had been meeting up after their first few incidents, Seokjin had started to question more and more the man’s shift in mood – which was non-existent in Yoongi’s book – and the smell of coffee he seemed to emanate – why was Yoongi working with a bunch of freaks? And when Seokjin had questions, he demanded answers, so the shorter man had to give them to him. Also, if Kim Seokjin knew something, for a fucking principle of quantum physics or something Namjoon had to know it too.
“It’s the kid’s fault.” Yoongi answer really wasn’t making a lot of sense, nor was it helping his case, but his mind was drawing a blank as to what kind of sentence to put together to let his leader know that Yes, he was seeing the kid, but only because he had been so fucking insistent, and he buys me coffee, how do I pass up something free; also his company is not that bad, even if I’d like to punch his nose sometimes.
Namjoon sighs, scratching at his temple. “Yoongi, what the hell man. You need to cut that out. We’re gangsters, not some… Nursery school teachers.”
He huffs, kicking his boot off the carpet. “Tomorrow. Tomorrow, I’m going to make it clear that he needs to back off.”
Namjoon nods, pushing himself to his feet, before making his way towards the papers haphazardly cluttering his desk.
Yoongi has a perfect conversation built up in his head, something that includes many stern words, convincing arguments and the usual back-up plan of whipping out the full weaponry if things need be. He was ready. His boots were perfectly tied, so that when his feet stomped on the ground, the strings wouldn’t fly every which way; his hair was consciously un-styled, to give him more of a dangerous air; lastly, even if the wind was chilling his whole face, he had bypassed the scarf. However, when a particularly cold waft of wind traverses his bones, making his shoulders touch his ears, he deeply regrets the last choice.
When he reaches the intersection he shakes his head, brain working in overdrive to put all the words surfing in it in a rational and logical continuous string. He looks up, mouth opening, when he is faced with nothing.
Taehyung wasn’t there. He looks left and right, trying to spot him in the morning crowd, yet he doesn’t catch sight of any annoying skater kid on a red board. He decides to lean against the wall and wait for him, maybe the kid had woken up late. Maybe he had realized how much of a fucking idiot he was for putting milk before cereal and precipitated in a mid-breakfast crisis.
Yoongi could wait, he didn’t have anything important to attend to that day. Yet, when the clock on his phone clearly signs that one hour has passed, he decides to heave himself off the wall using his foot as leverage. He guesses the conversation can wait for the following morning.
So he waits there, again, back to the wall, ears trained to catch the usual rolling sound of those tiny wheels on the cracked asphalt, or the deep voice calling for him.
Nothing. Another day had gone and Yoongi hadn’t been able to see Taehyung.
It’s not like he was worried. No, it was actually a relief. Two weeks without the tall annoyance and Yoongi felt peachy. He didn’t even had to spout out his well thought argument, saving the boy the obvious shame he’d have gone through.
Yet, what if someone had seen them talk? Maybe a guy from another gang. One of their old enemies. But Yoongi had been walking those roads each, damned morning and had never spotted suspicious activities or presences.
“Hey Hoseok.” He calls out for his friend, who was leaning over the main room window, vacant stare lost somewhere over the bleak buildings and hurrying pedestrians.
“Mmm?” He tilts his head ever so slightly to the side, glimpsing at Yoongi out of the corner of his eye.
“Eloquent today, I see.” The older jokes.
Hoseok scoffs, fully turning around to stare at his friend. “Better?”
“Better.” He smirks, before making his way toward the window and leaning on it, too. “During this period, let’s say, over the past month. Have you registered any kind of… off activity? Maybe from other gangs or something?” Yoongi keeps his eyes trained on a small speckle of dust floating before his eyes.
Hoseok squints at him, pursuing his lips. “… No. Nothing of the sort. Why?”
The shorter man shakes his head, hand ruffling his colored bangs. “No reason.”
Finally, his unfounded doubts are all ultimately swept away when the following morning, a warm, sunny day, a blinding smile greets him.
“Yoongi! I’ve missed you!”
A pair of arms circle his shoulders, the smell of a familiar cologne reaching his nose. His face is buried in a soft mop of brown hair, a warm body pressing up against him. He sighs, pushing the boy off of him.
The kid scratches at the back of his neck, before shoving a small bag in Yoongi’s hands.
“Hyung, I’m sorry, I know you must have missed me – the man scoffs – but I’ve been ill. I brought you some pastries to make it up to you.” His lips curve upwards, slanted eyes softening. Now that Yoongi looks at them, he can see the dark circles sitting under them, failing however to make them look tired. If anything, Taehyung looks his usual, cheery self.
“And here I thought I had been freed from a nuisance.” Yoongi fake-laments, opening up the deliciously smelling bag.
Taehyung whines and the man laughs.
Yoongi had gotten Taehyung’s number.
Next time you’re going to be missing, I want to be warned in advance so I can throw a party.
The boy had smirked. Sure, not because you are actually worried about me, hyung.
Taehyung had put his number into the older man’s phone under the name Taetae >:), begging him not to change it. Yoongi was looking at the message that the boy had sent to his own phone, a dumb emoji of a unicorn followed by a pair of sunglasses, when a voice jolts him out of his thoughts.
“So, did you cut it off with the skater kid?”
Namjoon was sitting on his spinny chair, spinning around while trying to solve Sudoku puzzles – what was up with Namjoon and puzzles?
“… Yeah, why.” Yoongi lies, but it was technically true. He hadn’t seen the kid for two weeks. If one excluded that same day, when they got to meet up again.
Namjoon scratches the tip of his nose with his pen, leaving behind a small, black smudge on it. “It’s kind of creepy seeing you smile so much.”
Leader or not, the man was gonna get it. Yoongi vows this on his grave.
He was still planning his friend’s imminent demise, when his phone vibrates in his pocket. He takes it out, finding one new message. He unlocks it, eyes falling on a text from Taehyung.
It’s a perfect day to take Soonshim out!
Attached to it was the picture of a white dog on a leash, the boy’s hand holding one end of it. Yoongi zooms in on the picture, admiring the big, fluffy dog and catching a glimpse of Taehyung’s skateboard popping out of the corner of the image. And that is how, not only does he meets the kid on a daily basis, he also receives texts updating him over his dog’s various snacks, his boring classes and his evenings out with his friends. Yoongi either tends not to answer them, or keeps his answers to a monosyllabic vocabulary made of No, Yes, Idiot.
One night Yoongi is in his bed, bored out of his mind, waiting for Jungkook to notify him over a drug deal, when his phone goes off, annoying beeping sounds making him groan against his pillow. He reaches out for the infernal device, squinting against the blinding light. A new text from Taetae >:)
L8 nite fun!
There’s a picture of Soonshim, snout on a patch of soft looking grass, and Taehyung, throwing a V sign at the camera.
Yoongi hesitates before shooting back a reply.
Where are u?
Not even a minute passes before he gets a reply.
Before giving himself the time to fully think the whole thing through, Yoongi throws on an old black hoodie and a pair of ripped off jeans, trudging down the stairs and towards the mini market at the corner of his road. He ventures the cold isle with all the damn freezers, picks up two popsicles – a blue one and a yellow one –, pays for them and marches towards the river bank. The first thing he sees is Taehyung, sitting on the grass, ruffling his white dog’s fur, face pointed towards the sky. He shuffles towards him, plopping down next to him. The boy lowers his head, hands still petting Soonshim, and fixes Yoongi with an indecipherable stare.
“This is my first time seeing you wearing normal clothes.” He says, smirking.
“Are you saying my usual clothes are not normal?”
Taehyung laughs, deep and low, his movements alerting his dog and making him waddle away, sniffing perhaps an interesting looking patch of mud. “Don’t worry hyung, you always look good.”
Yoongi casts his eyes downward, scrunching the plastic bag with the popsicles in his hands. He takes them out, offering one to the boy.
“I didn’t know what your favorite taste was.” He mumbles, shoving the blue one in Taehyung’s face, who plucks it out of his fingers, unwrapping it. Firstly, he gives it a tentative, kitten lick, then he sucks gently on its tip. Yoongi can’t seem to take his eyes off his wet lips and tongue, a drop of blue syrup trickling down his chin. He clenches his fist.
“I like whatever! This one is good!” Taehyung chimes, before proceeding to shove the whole thing in his mouth.
Yoongi unwraps his own popsicle, biting it, but suddenly regretting it. Shit, his teeth hurt. The other boy laughs at the distressed look on his face, licking at the wooden stick in his fingers. How had he managed to finish it so soon?
“Guess you can’t get brain freeze if your brain’s already frozen…” Yoongi mutters under his breath.
Taehyung gets on his feet, whistling for Soonshim to join them. The fluffy dog trots towards them, sitting at his owner’s feet, tongue dangling from his mouth. “Who’s a good boy?” The animal barks, making the boy smirk.
“Yoongi, this is Soonshim. Soonshim, Yoongi.” Taehyung gestures between the two.
The dog stares at Yoongi, who tentatively reaches out his arm to pet him. At first Soonshim sniffs at his hand, snoot tickling his skin, making him huff out a laugh. Then, he moves the top of his head under Yoongi’s palm, ready to be ruffled and complimented. The man smiles, gently carding his fingers in the soft tufts. Taehyung looks at the whole exchange with a fond look in his eyes.
They spend the night playing fetch with Soonshim, Yoongi throwing the stick more than once over the fence and into the river. Each time, Taehyung has him go look for a new stick, saying how sad Soonshim would be if they stopped the game so soon.
When he trudges back home, two hours and five missed calls from Jungkook later, he knows he’s going to get more shit from Namjoon, but he can’t bring himself to really care.
I'm not entirely satisfied of how the chapter came out, but I also can't seem to change anything in it.
The hotel room smells of dust and cigarettes. The bed covers are stained yellow and the adjoined bathroom is in dire need of a thorough cleanse – maybe some pesticide sprayed in the corners, just in case. The pillows are too hard and inclement on Yoongi’s stiff neck, the shutters rattling against the unforgiving wind blowing outside. He can hear howls and creaks coming from every which way, feet thumping on the floor overhead, making the plaster covering the bedroom’s ceiling flake and sprinkle all over his suitcase. He turns on his side, trying to catch a wink of sleep. He closes his tired eyes, feeling his right thigh hurt where that motherfucker had tried to stab him, but had fortunately only managed to graze him. The sucker had found himself with a bullet encased between his repulsive eyes, exit hole so outsized that only a gaping, blood-dripping void was left behind. The cretin’s brain had scattered all over the floor in gory clumps, his body sagging to the ground like a sad sack of potatoes. Yoongi smirks at the memory: his M9 never failed him.
Namjoon had been pretty clear when he had given Yoongi his mission: anything was fair game. He had sent him in Daejeon to clear up some misunderstandings with an uncooperative gang they’d happened to cross roads with more than once. The leader had looked livid when, after spending two sleepless nights, instant coffee filling him to the tips of his hair, he hadn’t come to any shared ground with Daejeon’s gangsters. Seokjin had put his feet down, compelling his friend to: “Do something, I don’t care if I have to cut their balls with my kitchen knife and feed them to my parakeets” – Seokjin had skipped the coffee and gone straight for the bottle of Smirnoff in the cabinet.
So, first thing in the morning, a still sleep laden Yoongi had been thrown on the first train to Daejeon – apparently Hoseok, Jimin and Jungkook were busy somewhere in Busan. Seokjin had graciously taken it upon himself to pack him a suitcase mainly filled with ammo, snacks and a toothbrush. The only change of clothes he had seemingly packed consisted of two pair of flowery boxers and a pair of striped, pink socks. Yoongi guessed he’d take care of the whole ordeal in more or less three days, so he wouldn’t have to wear the socks until his last day (small blessings). In the suitcase, he also found a file with the information regarding the gang, loads of pictures with faces circled in red and major meet-up points of all the main members listed on white papers. He took an attentive look at it, memorizing the significant facts and visages, before burning the file in a trashcan behind the train station.
Yoongi sighs softly, reaching for the phone on his nightstand. He checks the time: a little past 4 in the morning. He opens up the last conversation with Taehyung, scrolling back to the pictures he had received the previous couple of days. While on the train, Yoongi had texted him, letting him know how he’d need to be away for business for several days. The reply had been full of ugly, sad emojis with too many chins and winking eyes. So, in true Taehyung fashion, he had resorted to updating him about all the little things going on in his life, even more so than usual. For example, he had sent him a long spiel lamenting the decidedly different taste of the coffee from their usual place, blaming the evil-doing on a new kid that had been recently hired.
I’m sure he’s putting just one pump of vanilla ):....... stupid flathead D:
What’s with the insult? Yoongi reply reads.
He’s got this head that is a perfect landing field for flies :/ :P you should see it hyung! It’s a true battleship setup up in there
The man quietly laughs, reading the text again. He keeps on scrolling; the coffee fiasco is followed by a barrage of pictures of Soonshim lazily lounging in different places. Yoongi swipes back to the last message he had received from Taehyung, dated Yesterday 15:39. Strangely enough, he hadn’t contacted him neither in the late afternoon nor evening, which were Taehyung’s favorite times of the day to spam the older man with news regarding his classes. He guesses he’d just been busy, but so had been Yoongi, so it was fair. And it wasn’t like he needed to always receive texts from him.
He locks his phone, screen going black. He puts it under his pillow, turning on his back to try and catch some sleep. He would need to wake up in two hours and take care of just one last guy, before he could finally pack his things up and go back to his infinitely more comfortable bed in Seoul.
When his alarm goes off at 6am sharp, Yoongi groans. He smothers his face in the too hard pillow before reaching under it to turn it off. However, when he is blinded by the bright light of the screen, he sees how it wasn’t the alarm that was ringing. Apparently Hoseok was calling him. At 5:24 am. Yoongi was going to kill him.
He accepts the call, throwing an arm over his eyes.
“Yoongi, hey, is everything all right there in Daejeon? Found some company for the lonely nights?” Hoseok jokes, his voice grating on the elder’s nerves. He takes a deep breath in, releasing it slowly, before answering his friend.
“… What do you want, Hoseok?” His voice is scratchy from sleep, words coming out sluggish from his mouth.
“Just wanted to check on my favorite hyung! What’s wrong with that?” Yoongi can hear two other voices talking over Hoseok. “Oh, Jimin and Jungkook want me to say hi to you.”
Yoongi presses his palm over his right eye. “… Hi.” He just needs sleep, is that too much to ask?
“So, is everything all right?” Hoseok voice is still far too happy and cheery for it to be the ass crack of dawn, but it’s laced with an underlining seriousness.
Yoongi nods, realizing his friend can’t see him over the line. “Yes. Just had to repaint the interiors with some guy’s gray matter. Same old.” He imagines Hoseok smirking and his lips curve upwards in an involuntary response.
“Good to hear you had fun, hyung. But I’m curious about something …” He lowers his tone, sounds of a door closing behind him and the other voices quieting down. “Namjoon told me about… someone.”
Yoongi gulps. Shit, he knows where this is going.
“So, Yoongi-hyung, care to share with yours truly, your beloved dongsaeng, your new romantic escapades?”
He groans. He wasn’t running on enough sleep to deal with this.
“Come on Yoongi, Taehyung’s his name right? Is he cute?” The elder can hear the shit eating grin on the other man’s face. He was going to strangle Namjoon during one of his late afternoon naps. Then, he’d also be crowned king of the Snoring Association for finally being able to free the world from the rumbling, heinous sounds coming from the leader.
“Hoseok. I don’t know what Namjoon told you, but you need to wipe your underdeveloped brain from any kind of idiotic thought you might have come up with.” Yoongi warns, voice low and measured.
There’s static coming from the other line, before Hoseok hums. “I see how it is.” He adds, cryptically. “I need to be honest with you though. You do have an idea of what we are, right?”
Why was Yoongi always being reprimanded by those younger than him? Why had he to put up with such a shameful fate?
“I do have an idea, Hoseok.” He keeps his sentences short and snarky.
“Good. Then, please, know that I’m happy for you and your new flame” – Yoongi growls – “but I just want to make sure… You know...” Hoseok flounders, grasping for words, yet failing.
“I know.” Short and snarky.
There is a moment pause. “What if something happens, hyung?” The voice coming from the other side of the line takes up an authoritative tone, question stabbing at Yoongi’s conscience. He bristles, throwing his legs over the side of the bed and sitting up.
“I won’t let anything happen.” He angrily stubs his thumb on the End Call button, successfully cutting the very much unwanted wake-up call from Hoseok. He throws his phone on the pillow, glaring at it with a smoldering gaze.
Not even 30 seconds later, he receives an angry looking text, full of indecipherable faces followed by a See you soon hyung! ;). He wants to throw up. Or sleep into the next decade. The second one would be preferable. However he still needs to take care of some business, so he stands up, feet sinking into the fleecy carpet. He goes up to his suitcase, taking out the clean boxers and pink socks. He sighs, hoping the day will soon come to a close – how miserable had he to be to hope for something like that at 5.30 in the morning?
Another sigh escapes him while he picks up his gun holster. Better get a move on.
Seventeen terrible hours later, he’s on an express train for Seoul, eyes closed and head resting on the comfortable, leather clad seat in Business Class. The sky outside is dark, only lights whizzing by and leaving behind blinding spots in his vision. Yoongi had a hard time finding the last guy, hid away in some old, slimy bar. Fortunately, he had surrendered almost right away, getting away only with a few busted teeth from where Yoongi had bashed his head on the hard cement floor. He had promised to send them a goon with the money – interests added when Yoongi pulled out his knife – the following day. Such a satisfying way to end a day that had started so shittily.
He stirs in his sit, limbs heavy and tired, when his phone beeping catches his attention. He groans, praying for it not to be Hoseok bugging him again, reaching for the device in his pants pocket. When he unlocks it, he is surprised to see a text from Taehyung.
r u free?
Yoongi furrows his brows. Such an unconventional message from the usually hyper boy. He ponders over a reply before sending off something relatively simple.
The answer isn’t as instantaneous as what Yoongi is used to when texting with him. He is almost dozing off to sleep when his phone beeps a dozen of minutes later.
can we meet? same place as other time
Ok, Yoongi was positively starting to… worry. Maybe.
The train arrives at Seoul’s main station twenty minutes later. He picks up his belongings, throwing on his jacket, before getting off on the platform. He tries to orientate himself, before deciding to hail a cab; Yoongi feels too tired to be making the whole walk back to his apartment. The traffic of the city is not too infernal at that hour of the night, so it doesn’t take long for him to reach his place and leave his stuff in his room. He checks his phone one last time, to keep an eye on any new texts from Taehyung. Nothing. He exhales loudly, before taking the short walk to the river bank.
Yoongi reaches the place slightly out of breath. The street lamps cast a yellow light over the trees and grass, bathing the park in a eerie atmosphere. A beggar is sleeping on a bench, bottles of beer scattered around him. Yoongi trudges down the pebbled path, trying to spot Taehyung in the dimly lit surroundings. After some time, his eyes land on a hunched over figure, sitting on a low brick wall surrounding a droopy tree. He goes to sit right next to it.
“Hey hyung.” Taehyung’s voice comes out in a forced cheery tone, his eyes still fixed on the ground by his feet.
“Hey.” Yoongi greets back, eyes roaming over the boy’s figure, trying to understand what’s clearly wrong. He notices nothing of relevance .
“How was your trip?” He plays with the hem of his shirt, biting his lower lip.
“… Fine.” The man scoots closer to Taehyung, leaning forward to try and catch his eye. “Something’s wrong.” It’s not a question.
The younger one releases a strained laugh, eye twitching visibly. “Nothing is wrong, Yoongi, why would anything be wrong, come on –“
Yoongi catches his chin in his hand, forcing the boy to turn his face and look at him. Taehyung gasps, jerking back in an attempt to evade the hold; however the man’s grasp on his face reveals to be too strong, so he’s left staring at his smoldering gaze. He then tries to avert his brown eyes, but it’s too late.
“Who did this?” Yoongi’s voice is calm, oh so calm. He is clenching is teeth so hard he can hear his mandibular joint crack. A hot, burning feeling spreads in his chest, heating up his insides, making his heart rate pick up. Taehyung finally manages to free himself from the ferocious hold on his chin, hand flying up to cover himself.
“It’s nothing.” He whispers, breath leaving him in short puffs.
Yoongi snarls. “Oh no, it is something.”
Taehyung shakes his head. “I fell from my skateboard, you know, it – it happens.” He moves to adjust his hair, so it covers his eyes.
“Taehyung. I know how a fucking black eye look, don’t even try to fool me.” His voice feels like venom in his mouth. He can feel anger trickling in the tips of his fingers, his knuckles, his sinews. “Now my question is. Who did this.”
The boy opens his mouth to protest, but when he catches the look in Yoongi’s eyes he flinches. He hugs himself, brain clearly working a mile a minute. “… I –“ He breathes out in a feeble huff. “It… My ex, he – he contacted me, you know? Wanted to know what I was up to, wanted to check things in with me, or – something. Said he wanted to talk. We broke up six months ago, some of my friends caught the jackass with someone else at a dumb party or some shit, you know. I – I really liked him, but I’m not an idiot, I know what self love is, so I dumped him. But – hyung, he got so mad I don’t even fucking know why cause – he clearly cheated on me? So why? He – he… got violent. So I distanced myself, as best as I could.” Taehyung is biting the insides of his cheeks so hard, Yoongi is sure he must be drawing blood. His eyes were starting to get glazed over.
“So, yeah, well, I was doing good, you see? Got over him pretty well and all. So when he wanted to meet him I was like why not, we can still talk like friends. But I’m –“ He chokes back a sob. Yoongi can feel his nails digging painfully in his palms. He’s almost seeing red.
Taehyung takes in a deep breath before continuing. “We met outside his place, took a walk, chatted a bit. It was chill and all. I thought we were fine, really. But – he – started to suddenly throw insults at me, calling me – a – he… And then I tried to defend myself, got him good in the guts you see.” He chuckles, teardrops plopping on his thighs.
Yoongi moves his hand to touch the holster strapped at his side. He is seething, gaze stuck on a crying Taehyung who had covered his face with his hands, and who was breathing roughly through his nose. The man feels a familiar thrill, the one he feels whenever he is told he can Finish the fucker off. And he wouldn’t be satisfied until he saw blood pouring out of Taehyung’s shit ex.
“I’m sorry, Yoongi.” The younger mumbles, sniffing and drying his tears with the too long sleeve of his sweater. “I’m bothering you with my problems, I’m – I – I will just –“ But before he can stand up and leave, Yoongi catches him by his forearm. Taehyung looks at him with a mixture of worry and uncertainty. The man stands up, dragging the boy to the nearest vending machine. He purchases a cold canned beverage and hands it to the other.
“Put this on your eye.” He commands. Taehyung does just that, muttering a shy Thank you. “Where would you like to go?”
The younger one looks up, meeting Yoongi with a blank expression. “Uh…”
“Tomorrow. I will take you somewhere. Wherever you want to go.”
Taehyung lights up, his characteristic smile finally illuminating his features. “Really?!”
Yoongi smirks. “Yeah.” There’s a pause before he adds: “Not the amusement park, though.”
The boy laughs, warm and deep and so typically Taehyung that Yoongi can feel the venom inside of him slowly dissolve. “Don’t worry, I have an idea!”
Yoongi’s car is a black, sleek Lexus, and it is momentarily parked in front of Taehyung’s apartment complex. Taehyung gapes at it for a good ten minutes, skimming his fingers over the shiny hood, looking at his reflection in the polished rearview mirrors.
“Oh my God, hyung.”
Yoongi smiles proudly, arms crossed over his chest while he leans against the passenger door. He was aware of the fact that he had a pretty sweet car and he always appreciated people fawning over it. The younger is still cooing over the glistening wheel rims, when Yoongi opens the door up and gestures for him to hop inside. Taehyung nods and scrambles to get inside, his skate clutched to his chest while he fiddles with the radio.
“Don’t break anything.” Yoongi admonishes, but there’s a smile still dancing on his lips. Taehyung dumbly nods, before toying with all the other different buttons lining the console. Yoongi closes the door, climbing up in the driver seat. He put the key in the ignition, making his baby roar to life. When they’re zooming off in the highway, Taehyung looks over the moon, his window rolled down and wind playing with his hair. He has a pair of sunglasses perched on his nose, snapback secured safely on his head by his hand and a blue sweater flattering his skin tone. That morning Yoongi had opted out of wearing his usual leather jacket, going for a jeans one.
The two were headed east of Seoul, to a skate park Taehyung had chosen to visit.
”I’ve been meaning to go there, but I don’t own a car, so I wouldn’t know how to get there.”
When Yoongi pulls up in the parking lot of what looks like an abandoned building, Taehyung rushes to get off the car, eagerly begging Yoongi to “Hurry up, hyung!”
The shorter of the two smirks. “Calm down, the place ain’t going to run anywhere.”
Taehyung huffs, dropping his skate to the ground and wheeling away in the direction of the building. “I’m going then!” He singsongs, mocking smile on his lips. Yoongi huffs, breaking off in a light jog to catch up with the other. But when he’s at arm length from him, he zooms off, cackling. “Come on Yoongi, old men like you need to exercise more often.”
Yoongi’s eye twitches. “Exercise your ass.” He mutters.
They reach the towering warehouse, covered in colorful graffiti and crowded with a bunch of kids all with their skates or bikes. Taehyung immediately runs up to the ramps, getting the feeling of the place, simply skating up and down them. Yoongi seats near a bunch of kids smoking and drinking beer in a corner, eyeing Taehyung. He must admit the kid is pretty good, pulling off a lot of impressive tricks, kicking his board before falling back on it again. He’s got a big blinding smile on his face, his eyes crinkling at the corners.
“Yoongi.” He rolls up to him.
“You’re good kid.” He offers.
However Taehyung grins wickedly. “Come on.” He grabs Yoongi by his collar, pulling him to his feet. “I can teach you how to skate!”
The elder furrows his eyebrows. Fuck no. He wasn’t going to make an utter fool of himself in front of a bunch of strangers. Nope.
Taehyung pursues his lips. “You can sit on it if you are scared to stand.”
“No, you don’t get it. I’m not getting near that thing.” Yoongi takes a step back, but Taehyung still has a hold on his jacket collar.
“… Ok.” The boy deflates.
“… Shit. Come on, show me how to stand on this contraption.” Yoongi was weak. Old and weak. Jungkook was right.
Taehyung throws another one of his blinding smiles, before showing the other how to stand on the board. Yoongi tentatively steps on it.
“You need to move now, hyung.” A snicker comes from behind him.
“Shut up, I know.” He bites back. How does he move, though?
Then, a pair of hands lay on his hips, gently pulling him forward. Yoongi snaps his head back, catching Taehyung gently smiling back at him. He turns back around, clearing his throat. The hands on his hips are warm and he starts to feel too embarrassed for his own good.
Eventually Yoongi weasels his way out of the impromptu skateboard lesson, leaving Taehyung to his devices. He catches him talking up some other guys, asking for new tricks and using words like Shuvit or Fakie. Yoongi shakes his head. Youngsters.
Evening comes and goes and it’s suddenly dark outside. The two decide to head back home, stopping by a convenience store to grab something to eat. When Yoongi pulls up in front of Taehyung’s apartment complex, the boy turns around to look at him with a glint in his eyes and a half smile.
“Thank you. For today. It means a lot, so. Thank you.” Taehyung sounds surprisingly bashful and Yoongi wants to reach out to touch his red cheeks.
“Don’t mention it.” He mutters, hands falling from the steering wheel.
Neon lights from the shops cast pink and blue lights over Taehyung’s face, making his eyes shine in such a peculiar way. Yoongi feels like he wants to scream.
“I had so much fun… I’m really glad I met you.” The younger says, leaning slowly over the console, gaze set on Yoongi’s profile. The man casts his eyes to the side, catching Taehyung’s dark stare. Something flickers behind it, and the man inhales. He can smell his sweat, worked up from the day spent kicking on his board, and the sweet shampoo the boy used. It smells like grapes and vanilla. His gaze traces the slope of his nose, ending on the pink, full lips. There’s static in his ears, heart thudding rhythmically and reverberating in his empty mind. Not even the time for Yoongi to process a full thought, that Taehyung is smiling and jumping off the car. The man blinks, the warm temperature in the car raising heat to his cheeks. A knock on his windshield makes him turn around.
Taehyung waves at him from the other side of the glass, so Yoongi rolls it down. “Did you forget something?” He grunts.
The boy smirks, slanted eyes curving in mirth, before he drops a quick peck to Yoongi’s cheek.
“Bye, hyung. See you tomorrow.” His deep, rough voice rakes at Yoongi’s core, his eyes going wide and mouth falling open in muted surprise.
Taehyung waves one last time in his direction. He saunters up the building’s stairs, opens the main door and vanishes from Yoongi’s sight.
Stunned, the man stills a couple of minutes, raking his hand in his hair. He drops his head on the steering wheel, counting his breaths.
See you tomorrow.
This was a pain to write lol
Chapter 4: Why 'D You Only Call Me When You're High?
I'm tired. I'll go over this tomorrow.
For now i'll post it though.
NEWS: It's tomorrow and I've edited some minor things.
Yoongi empties his glass, lifting its bottom high up over his head, trying to catch the last drops of beer. He can hear Namjoon belching right next to his ear, followed by Seokjin hitting him on the back of his head. Jimin is sitting on his other side, busy arm wrestling with Jungkook, Hoseok laughing at how red-faced the youngest was getting. Muscle pig was finally getting a taste of his own medicine – Yoongi mentally pats Jimin on the back for deciding to join a Gym.
It wasn’t unusual for the whole gang to be out like this, enjoying each other company and downing a couple of beers. Lately however, everyone had been so damn busy with all those troubles down in Daejeon or minor hitches in Busan that it had been impossible to sit in a bar, getting rowdy and having fun. As Yoongi watches on at Jungkook slowly regaining dominance over Jimin, his biceps bulging and pumping trying to push the other boy’s hand over the table, he thinks back to his first days in Bangtan. How he had been so closed off, refusing any kind of activity meant for everyone to unwind and have fun. He smirks, dropping his face in the crook of his elbow. What a pompous asshole he had been. The first one to actually try to talk to him, get him into conversations and outings, had been Hoseok. The boy had been so obnoxious, so insistent. Always getting back to him, prodding him, provoking him until his breaking point. And Yoongi broke, he did. He had yelled at Hoseok, his voice meant to be hurtful and mean; the other boy had simply kept his usual smile on his face, not even batting an eye. The elder never forgot to show his distaste towards some (many) of Hoseok’s habits, but from that day on, the man still remained his closest friend.
Uh. Yoongi frowns, head slipping on the cold surface of the table. He dangles his arms at his sides, thinking. That story reminded him of something.
When lightning strikes, Yoongi grimaces. Taehyung. How could he not spot the similar pattern? Was he some kind of magnet for unconstrained tomfools? Maybe he really was weak to people with sunny smiles and unrelenting personalities. He also kind of hated them. How was that possible? He sighs. His life is hard. And he needs more beer.
He sits up, pushing himself off the table using his arms as leverage. His head feels a bit light, but nothing to worry about, he had gone through worse. He goes up to the bar, dodging a stumbling Seokjin who was giggling to himself while trying to get a very panicked Namjoon to go for karaoke – the man flailing his hand around and knocking over beer cans. Yoongi shoots a fast prayer his leader’s way: he knows the second in command is going to have his way, willing or not. Amen to that.
He leans over the counter calling over the barman with a wave of his hand. He asks for another beer, waiting for it with his head propped on his hand. The man behind the counter had almost filled the glass to the brim, white spume going well past it, when he feels an arm settling over his shoulders. Yoongi shoots a look behind his back to find Hoseok grinning back at him, a pink flush high on his cheeks.
“So, Yoongi-hyung.” He waggles his eyebrows in an exaggerated manner. “Did your prince contact you, yet? Are you planning to elope with him and leave us all behind?” Hoseok pouts, bringing the back of his hand up against his forehead, in a mock gesture of fainting. Yoongi snarls, grabbing his beer and handing the barista a scrunched up bill.
“It’s sad seeing you projecting your own delusional, non-existent love life on me, Hoseok.” Yoongi takes a swig from his glass, wet from the condensation created by the cold liquid clashing with the hot air in the bar.
Hoseok snorts. “Ah, well, I wouldn’t be too sure ‘bout that…” He slurs. “You should have seen how Jimin got down on –“
Yoongi slams his glass violently on the wooden counter, beer going down his wind pipe and almost choking him. He coughs and wheezes, thumbing a fist on his chest while Hoseok smirks at him, satisfied.
“Aish, Yoongi. I didn’t envisage you as a prude, but I guess even the best of friends still got things to find out about each other.” The younger man shrugs, stealing a sip from Yoongi’s drink.
“I cannot believe you told me that.” He shudders, mental image literally making him want to retch. Hoseok chugs down another mouthful of beer before patting Yoongi on the back.
“Too late. Now, d’you want to talk to me about your boy or do I need to talk to you more about how the lips –“
Yoongi slaps a hand over his friend’s mouth, slowly shaking his head in disbelief. “Holy shit. All that weed got to your brain.” He drops on a stool, retreating his arm from Hoseok’s smug smirk. “There’s nothing to talk about.” The counter was marked with wet circles from where people had set down their dripping bottles.
Hoseok hums skeptically. Then he nods, swooping in again on Yoongi’s drink. “Well, you already know what I think.” He adds, voice muffled by the rim of the glass. And as fast as he had appeared, he vanished, stalking off in the direction of the karaoke setup, where an intoxicated Seokjin was singing some off tune old trot song.
Yoongi sighs, hands going for his beer. At least he could spend the night not thinking about anything – neither the black and blue hues of a bruise left on an eye, nor the electric feeling lingering on his cheek when he laid down in bed, left over from a certain night. He grabs for air, eyes shooting an inquisitive glare towards the bar counter. There was no glass in sight. Hoseok, that fucker. Yoongi had paid that with his own money.
Irritated, he goes to grab for another bill from his wallet. When he puts his hand on his back pocket, he can feel something vibrating. He scrambles around, before taking out the buzzing device. His phone. He brings it to his face, squinting at the screen. Taehyung had changed his lockscreen with a picture of him holding Soonshim: they were both angled towards the phone camera, but the dog was clearly struggling in the boy’s hold, resulting in a rather blurry mess of fur and brown hair. Yoongi hadn’t changed it.
The man heads in the direction of a less loud part of the bar, which turned out to be the hallway leading to the restrooms. He drops his weight on the floor, head spinning lightly. The alcohol was starting to kick in, but his brain hadn’t yet quite registered said fact. He checks his calls: two lost from Taetae >:). Yoongi is still dumbly looking at the screen, eyebrows furrowed and lips parted, when the phone buzzes again. He rushes to answer it.
“Yeah?” His voice is unusually high.
A chuckle resonates from the other side of the line. “Hyung~” Taehyung melodiously singsongs. Yoongi can hear other voices, muffled by music playing at what he can only guess is the maximum volume. “How are you~”
Yoongi inhales deeply, head thudding on the wall behind him. “Taehyung, are you high?”
He hears a chuckle, followed by some rustling. “Mmm, I may be. What about it?” His tone had dropped, the sound low and echoing like silk in Yoongi’s ear.
“Nothing.” The man somehow can’t find his usual snarky self, lost somewhere in the buzzing tides of alcohol and something else he can’t exactly pinpoint. He needs some fresh air.
Taehyung laughs, high and amused before more rustling can be heard. The background noise grows dim, voices and music fading away. The boy’s breath sounds heavy and labored. “So, how’s your night going?”
Yoongi feels like he’s talking to some kind of stalker. “It feels like I’m talking to my stalker.” Looks like he was at the no brain-mouth filter stage.
“I was just thinking about you, hyung.” The voice on the other line purrs out.
There’s the loud bang of the bathroom door opening in front of Yoongi, two girls skittering past him, patting down their skirts and fussing with their up-dos. He can’t tell if the bass reverberating in the back of his head comes from his heartbeat or the music playing in the other room.
“Just thinking about what we could do, if you were here.” Taehyung’s voice sounded thick and Yoongi was going to slip in its bottomless depth.
He exhales sharply, he can’t think right. He scrambles to his feet, almost tripping over a stray beer bottle left rolling aimlessly on the floor. The back door isn’t too far, he can see it, green Exit sign flickering over it. While he struggles to push it open, Taehyung is still talking, through the phone and against his ear.
“Were you thinking about me too, Yoongi? Do you think about me?”
The back alley smells like spoiled food and piss, the stench burning his nostrils and clearing up his head. He grips the rusty railing with his free hand.
“Go to sleep Taehyung.” He rasps out. His voice feels raw, like he hadn’t been speaking for ages.
The boy wails, the background noise regaining strength. “Come on, why should I?”
Yoongi massages his temple. “You’re clearly not in your right mind.” He was trying to be the responsible adult here.
“Isn’t that what parties are for? Losing your mind?” He says it in a smug tone, lowering his voice on the last sentence.
“Taehyung…” Yoongi tries to reason, a headache pulsing behind his eye sockets. He is interrupted though by the boy, who keeps rattling on.
“And really, I don’t have anyone who can take me home. I’d have to crash here.”
An unpleasant sensation spreads in the man’s stomach, images of Taehyung sleeping at some stranger’s house (he hadn’t said if the one hosting the party was his friend or not, so Yoongi come to his own conclusions), memories of tan skin ruined by a dark bruise, tears collecting at his feet. His grip tightens around the railing, acrid smell throwing him off balance for a moment.
“Where are you?” Another pattern that reminded him of something (a night at the park, stars playing in Taehyung’s eyes, melting ice creams).
The line went silent for some time. No one dared to speak, no one dared to prod.
“… The apartment complex near my university. It’s on the main road.” The younger was the first one to break the thick silence; his whisper could have almost been lost in the loud music if Yoongi hadn’t been so focused on his careful voice.
“I’ll be there.” The line goes dead, Yoongi having cut it short.
Liquor was still navigating in his veins, but its effect was slowly dissipating, leaving behind an ebbing guilt playing at the corners of his mind. He doesn’t walk back into the club, deciding on navigating the alley in search of a secondary entrance to the parking lot of the bar. He finds it after a couple of minutes and he makes his way towards his black Lexus.
Yoongi puts the key in the ignition before speeding off in the direction he thinks the place Taehyung was talking about is. When he arrives on the main road leading straight into SNU, he spots a tall, new building. There are loads of cars parked everywhere, so he just decides to leave his car half standing on the curb. Who the fuck even checked the road of this time of the night?
He follows the sound of loud, electronic music that can be heard playing from a terrace on one of the highest floors. The bass thumbs low in his guts, accompanying him up the elevator and suddenly booming in his face once he reaches the right floor.
College students in various states of undress litter the corridor and the entrance of the apartment. The door is wide open, a throng of swaying bodies visible from outside. Yoongi feels a pang of regret: he hates crowds, in particular those made out of loud, disrespectful young students. He steels himself, a scowl set on his face, before trudging inside the place. Those who spot him step aside, getting out of his way. Yoongi smiles inside: smart choice.
There’s a couch occupied by a string of people busy pouring shots or sloppily making out. He hurries on, going in the direction of what he think is the kitchen. Instead, he ends up in a bedroom, decorated with unusual paraphernalia – clearly cheap knock-offs of African and Indian statues. It smells like incense and only a handful of people are inside. Some are laying on the bed, eyes closed and dumb smile on their faces; others are lounging on the bean bags against the wall. There, on the wooly carpet, he spots a familiar boy. He is sprawled on the floor, white shirt stained with what smells like wine and Vodka. Yoongi crouches beside him, stabbing his hip with his fingers. Taehyung squeaks, eyes flying open. He frantically looks around, stare eventually falling on the other man. He smiles then, boxy smile giving off its usual warmth.
“You’re here already.” There’s a vague slur in his tone.
Yoongi nods, grabbing him by the arm. “Yeah, looks like I don’t get a day off.” He pulls the boy to his feet, but he stumbles on the edge of the carpet. They both ends up crashing against the wall, wind knocking out of Yoongi’s lungs. Taehyung has got his face pressed against his neck, breath tickling the skin behind his ear. The boy chuckles and nuzzles further into it. “You smell really bad, hyung.” Another chuckle. His lips are ghosting over Yoongi’s pulse, right over one of his favorite tattoos.
The man stiffens, gripping at the other’s biceps. He pushes him away, cool air an unpleasant shock after the warmth of Taehyung’s body. “No shit. You too.” Again, his throat feels constricted, his voice raw. He feels out of his depth, he feels like his grip is giving out. His grip on what he doesn’t know, but he’s slipping.
“Let’s get you home.” Yoongi’s voice comes from somewhere inside his head and leaves his mouth in an unrestrained stream. “Come on.”
They wander out the bedroom that smells like a hippie hangout and into the dancing crowd. Yoongi’s got a solid hold on Taehyung’s bicep, squeezing hard enough to know he must be hurting him somehow, but the other boy doesn’t voice any kind of discomfort. They are almost out the main door when Taehyung stops.
“What the fuck, Tae, I told you we need to –“ Yoongi huffs out, turning back to level the boy with a nonplussed stare, when he catches sight of someone else. There’s a tall, slightly bulky man, fingers circling Taehyung’s forearm in a bruising grip. Yoongi clenches his teeth. There’s a fast, quite impolite – but who is he to care about something like that – remark ready to leave his mouth, when, from the corner of his eye, he catches Taehyung expression. The boy’s eyes are as wide as saucers; the lighting in the room is terrible, but he looks so much paler. Yoongi registers how the arm still in his hold is silently shivering, goosebumps evident under his fingertips.
Yoongi is not too good at reading many situations. He sees what’s obvious, he hears what’s being said. Unlike Seokjin, he can’t tell when someone is having a particularly bad day from the way they drink their coffee or from how they sit on the couch. Many things had passed over his head during the years he had spent with his gang – how could he have totally missed that his best friend and the short, red head were fucking? Seriously.
Yoongi wasn’t good at reading people, he wasn’t. But in that moment, someway, somehow, he knew who the guy was. He throws a fast glance at Taehyung’s right eye, almost completely healed from that night when Yoongi had been so close to kill another person, someone who had nothing to do with gangs or drug deals.
He pulls at the boy’s arm, trying to dislodge the fingers of the other man from where they were possessively digging into the soft skin. However, the attempt turned out to be useless.
“Taehyung, where are you going? Why don’t you stay?” The fucker speaks in a nasal voice, eyes casting a long look at Taehyung’s frozen expression, before setting on Yoongi like he had somehow just seen him. “Huh? Who’s the midget? Your new boyfriend?” There’s a sneer in his tone now, a grating sound chafing at Yoongi’s ears.
Taehyung opens and closes his mouth, unable to utter a word.
“Get your hands off him.” Yoongi can feel blood pumping fast into his heart and arteries. His senses are on high alert, eyes piercing like poisonous daggers. The man must be taken off guard, because his hold on Taehyung falters, enabling Yoongi to push him behind his back.
He shoots a short, charged glare the tall fucker’s way, before stomping off in the direction of the elevator. He hits the button, but the ding of the doors opening gets drowned by that same, nasal voice. “Does he know what a dirty slut you are?”
The lights inside the elevator are too bright. Taehyung is still trembling in his hold, eyes cast downwards, hair covering his eyes.
“He better know that nasty bitches like you need to be put in their place.”
Taehyung scrunches his eyes shut, shudders wracking his body in a way that reminds Yoongi of a flower up against the winter wind.
There’s a moment during which the air is still. The people in the hallway have fallen silent, only the music still pounding in the background. Yoongi’s instincts whir into action faster than his rational thoughts, overpowering his senses. He can feel the holster of his gun at his side, but he’s not so far gone that he’d whip his M9 out in front of such a crowd. Instead, he takes even strides towards the man who has a slimy grin on his face; he opens his mouth to talk: “Mad that your bitch got dirtied –“
Yoongi’s fist is like his remarks: fast, sharp and aiming to fuck shit up.
He can hear a solid crunch echoing in his ears and in the quiet hallway. His knuckles are wet, blood traveling down his hand and over the leather of his jacket. He retreats his fist, shaking it once, twice. The man collapses to the ground, a scream of pain leaving his ugly mouth. He is clutching at his face, a red stream flowing from his broken nose. Yoongi stares down at him, his eyes cold and burning into the man’s soul, trying to rip him apart simply with his glare.
“Consider yourself lucky that we had an audience.” Yoongi wipes his hand on his pants, turning on his heels and making his way back towards the elevator.
Taehyung is staring at him with wide eyes, eyebrows almost reaching his hairline. There’s fear seeping in his features, making his jaw clench and spine straighten. Yoongi doesn’t dare to touch him, simply nodding for him to get into the lift.
They reach the Lexus, which was still standing half on the curb, and get into the car. Once it’s rumbling to life, Yoongi turns on the heat at full blast. Taehyung is a shivering mess on the passenger seat. He hasn’t uttered a word yet, his arms hugging himself protectively, eyes cast out of the side window. Yoongi grips the steering wheel in his hands and drives off in the direction of the boy’s apartment.
The ride is silent and Yoongi can smell the wine and Vodka stains on Taehyung’s shirt. He stops the car once he reaches his destination. The boy doesn’t get off the car, doesn’t even make a move. The neon lights play on his profile, blues and pinks dancing on his skin. Yoongi feels like crying.
“You…” Taehyung’s voice is raspy, maybe a little higher than normal. “You should – shouldn’t have –“ He doesn’t finish his sentence.
“He was looking for my fist.” His voice was incredibly steady.
Taehyung shook his head.
There’s more silence, and then: “I’m scared.”
Yoongi turns to look at the other sitting beside him in the passenger seat.
“I don’t want to be alone.” A whimper; tears are collecting at the sides of Taehyung’s eyes. “Please, don’t leave.”
There are millions of reasons why Yoongi shouldn't accept. One thing is accepting coffee, buying popsicles, playing with his stupid dog; another is not leaving him.
“… I can’t.” He needs to sound convincing, but he knows he is failing.
An hiccup. “Please. Yoongi.” Another hiccup.
The car door flies open and Yoongi is out in a flash, opening Taehyung’s door too. He holds out a hand, the boy looking at it like some kind of lifeline. Yoongi knows that that look is wrong, he knows he can’t let Taehyung look at him like that, but for a moment he lets his worries go. He lets the sound of what reminds him of Hoseok’s voice dims in the far recesses of his brain. He concentrates on the heat radiating off of Taehyung’s palm, whose fingers still feel cold and clammy. He focused on helping him up the stairs, letting him lead the way towards his apartment. All his senses are abuzz when the boy opens the door, staggering inside and collapsing on the bed.
The place is dark, so Yoongi needs to pay attention where he’s stepping. He finds what he deems is the switch and turns the lights on. The room is small, cozy, kind of messy – he had seen Namjoon’s bedroom, so he knew what true messy looked like.
“… Ummph…” A muffled sound comes from Taehyung, who is curled up on his bed hugging his pillow.
Yoongi stares at him, taking in his ragged state. His hair is fanned on the bed, the brown contrasting against the red and blue covers. “Use your words.” He speaks as gently as he can, afraid to move from where he was standing.
“Turn ‘em off.” Come the much clearer words. Yoongi chuckles, going to turn the lights off. “… Better.” The boy sighs out.
At this point the man is ready to leave, hand poised on the handle, when something grabs at his wrist. He looks up to lock eyes with Taehyung.
“You promised you’d stay.” His voice is low, eyes hooded. Yoongi can’t do this. “I can’t.”
“… Until I fall asleep?” Here’s the purr again. It sounds less raw, less brave than what the man had heard already, but he still felt his lungs constricting in his chest.
Taehyung walks backwards towards his bed, eyes seeping deep through Yoongi’s soul. He feels naked, exposed on such a level he feels a deep need of turning his face away, heat creeping up the back of his neck. Taehyung sits on the bed, lays on his side and scoots back to make room for Yoongi. The man hesitates. What is he doing? He can hear his thundering thoughts traversing his mind, all too fast for him to catch them.
He kneels on the mattress, springs creaking under his weight. Taehyung is breathing so softly, lids low and hands clutching at the covers. Yoongi lays on his side too, facing him. The light of the moon looks like a celestial halo crowning him under the dark sky. Yoongi feels like he can’t breathe.
“… Thank you.” The words are ushered, leaving the soft lips of the boy. His hands reach out to intertwine with Yoongi’s ones. He closes his eyes, eyelashes fluttering shut.
Yoongi can breathe again.
There’s a buzz coming from somewhere in his dream. It prods at his subconscious, screaming for his attention. Yoongi cracks his eyes open. It’s still dark outside, neon lights of the shops flickering on and off. The buzzing continues, undeterred. He shoots out a hand, going for his phone. The clock reads 4.18 AM. Seokjin was calling him. He accepts the call.
“… Mmyes?” He croaks out.
“Yoongi, I need you here at HQ as soon as you can. Hurry up.” The line clicks and goes dead again.
He sits up, suddenly a lot more awake. He frantically looks around, unknown surroundings throwing him off. When his gaze falls on the spot on the bed next to him, memories from the previous night flood his mind. Taehyung is sleeping peacefully, mouth slightly open and eyelashes fluttering in his sleep. Yoongi stares at the still puffy area under his right eye, hoping that his ex was still wailing over his newly acquired broken nose, gentle concession of one unusually merciful Min Yoongi. He can still feel Taehyung trembling in his hold, face a ghostly pale while he wills himself not to cry (maybe not in front of the man throwing curses at him). But there, curled in his bed, under the kind lights casting shadows on his features, he looks serene, safe. His cheeks look so soft under Yoongi's scrutiny. Mindlessly, he reaches his thumb out to caress them. His fingers linger for a moment, before travelling up, over his nose, his forehead, stroking his soft hair.
He bites the inside of his cheek and slowly retreats his hand.
Careful not to knock into anything and wake Taehyung up, he exits the apartment. He feels cold, the morning (late night?) air chilling and unforgiving. When he arrives at HQ he stomps into the Main Room. When he opens the door, everyone aside from Jungkook and Jimin, is gathered around the office table. Namjoon looks stressed, hands flying over different files and papers. Hoseok looks pallid, biting his nails. Seokjin lifts his eyes from the sheets in his hands to greet Yoongi.
“Here you are. We have a problem.”
The man still feels out of whack from the events of the previous night, but nonetheless tries to even his breathing and manages to let out some words.
“What is it?”
Namjoon looks up.
“It’s the gang in Daejeon. Looks like they’re after us.” Then he shakes his head almost as to rethink his sentence.
“No, they’re after you, Yoongi.”
Chapter 5: Reckless Serenade
Don't hate me.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Namjoon stands from his chair, shuffling some papers in his hands, perhaps in search of something. He seems to find what he’s looking for because he slams it on the table, pushing it to face in the direction of Yoongi. The man nears the office desk, scribbled sheet face-up. He can see some pictures, faces marked with a black X on them.
“These are the guys you took care of when you were away in Daejeon.” Seokjin’s voice is smooth, relaying important facts and information. “As you can see we have already deleted them from our database, so clearly it's not them we should worry about.”
Namjoon pushes another paper towards him, this one with the pictures of three men, dressed in hoodies and baseball caps. “You know the man who said we’d have the money back? Looks like he sold us off to some minor gang. We did some research, but these three result to be the only members.” Namjoon is using his leader voice, authoritative and detached. “So, not only did we not get the money, we also have an unknown gang hot on our heels.”
Hoseok straightens his back, still nibbling at his thumb nail. “How do we know this? How do we know they’re after us?” He taps his fingers on the back of the chair on which he was leaning.
Seokjin closes the file in his hand, taking out his phone. “While they were out to run the regular check on our dealers, Jimin and Jungkook apparently got attacked by one of those guys.”
Yoongi’s breath catches in his throat. He can see Hoseok stopping his obnoxious tapping, hands gripping the chair so tight, his knuckles go white.
“What about them?” Hoseok eyes flash dark, eyebrows furrowing, mouth settling on an unusual scowl that doesn’t fit him one bit. Yoongi nods along, hoping to get some positive news. He can feel his teeth clenching in his mouth; there’s still dried blood left on his pants from when he had smashed that fucker’s nose – that slime that, at one point in time, had the fucking privilege to call himself Taehyung’s boyfriend.
Seokjin pulls up a chat on his phone, coversation littered with texts and pictures. “Jimin has – he has been shot. Jungkook was there when it happened.”
Yoongi can hear Hoseok’s nostrils flaring.
“They had been taken by surprise, neither of them expected anything to happen.” Seokjin locked his phone again, pocketing it.
“How is he? How is he, Jin?” Yoongi had never heard his friend sound so scared and enraged at the same time. He reached out a hand, wanting to put it on his shoulder, reassure him. Hoseok slapped it away taking a careful step in Jin’s direction. “Jin, you gotta tell me how he is.”
Namjoon intervenes, his arm grabbing at Hoseok’s shoulders. “Jungkook took him to a friend’s house. He’s getting treated right now.”
Hoseok spins, dislodging himself from the hold of the leader. He storms off the door, bumping shoulders with Yoongi, who can only watch on as his friend stomps his way out of the Main Room.
“… Let him cool off.” Comes Seokjin’s voice from behind him. Yoongi turns around, locking eyes with him.
“You said how they’re after me.” He needs to understand this mess. For everyone's good; for Bangtan’s good.
The oldest member nods. “While running away, the guy who attacked Jimin dropped something.” He takes a scrap of paper from his pocket. It’s a picture of Yoongi, clearly taken while he was boarding the train in Daejeon. “Looks like he was after you. Our sources tell us the three guys wants to get even with you for what you did to some of the members of the gang.”
Yoongi takes the picture in his slightly trembling hand. He blinks, brain trying to catch up with everything until now. But the more he looks at the crumpled paper, the more all he can think about is one of his friends being hurt, Hoseok’s rage oozing off of him in waves, the danger that everyone was now exposed to. Suddenly he thinks about Taehyung. What if somehow, something happens to him, too? He could never fully shake from his mind that conversation he had one restless morning with Hoseok – “What if something happens?” – and now it haunts him again, swirling black patterns in his conscience. Yoongi had promised he wouldn’t have let anything happen; he intends to keep his promise.
He crushes the picture in his palm, lifting his head and turning his eyes in the direction of the leader. “Is there a plan?”
Namjoon shakes his head in defeat, plopping down in his office chair. “Nothing for now. I wanted to hear your opinion on this.”
Yoongi nods, making his way towards his favorite armchair. He doesn’t sit down, only limits himself to skimming his fingers along the smooth leather. It’s brown and shiny, soft to the touch. “I know what I need to do.” His gaze settles again on the leader, who looks back at him with a stony expression.
“Are you sure about it Yoongi?” Namjoon had this ability to guess what others thoughts in stressful situations, such as the one the gang was going through right now.
The shorter man nods again, this time with more determination. He jerks his hand away from the armchair, distancing himself from it. He takes a sure step in the direction of the door, the sound of his boots echoing in the room that was only filled with a charged silence.
His apartment is dark, shutters closed, sink full of unwashed dishes. His bed is unmade, clothes from the previous days scattered all over the floor and hanging on his kitchen chairs. If Yoongi wants to be honest with himself it also smells terrible, like something had died inside his closet and had been left there to rot. He can’t bring himself to care about it, though, trudging in the direction of his bathroom to collect his toothbrush and body wash. He throws everything in his bag, filled with some clothes and underwear. There’s also his favorite book in there, and obviously his iPod.
His front door creaks open. “Are you all set, Yoongi?” Seokjin calls from the entrance to his apartment. “Oh my God, do you keep a dead body in here?” The voice sounds nasal, the man clearly pinching his nose closed to fend off the atrocious smell coursing through the room.
Yoongi exits the bathroom, bag slung over his shoulder. He nods, closing the door behind his back. Then, he slowly walks towards Seokjin, who’s eyeing him with a pitying stare. Yoongi hates it, hates to be pitied, especially when said look comes from one of his friends.
“Are you sure about this? You know, Namjoon and I could come up with –“ The taller man starts, words sounding so careful, like Yoongi was some kind of demented kid unable to grasp easy concepts. He hates it; so he growls, slamming the door to his apartment behind himself, walking past Seokjin.
“I know what I said. I know what I decided.” He can’t keep the venom out of his mouth, irritation pooling up in his jaw. He hikes the bag up higher on his shoulder, eyes cast downward, burning holes on the carpeted floor of the hallway. “Let’s get a move on already.”
Seokjin doesn’t say anything for a handful of moments, before he carefully rejoins Yoongi. He lays a hand on his shoulder, making him look up to his gentle features. There’s a sad look in his eyes now, the corners of his mouth pulling downwards.
“Ok, follow me. The car’s waiting outside.”
Yoongi nods, falling in step behind the man. They press the -2 button on the elevator, reaching the underground parking lot where a gray car is waiting, muffler releasing ill-smelling exhaust gas into the stuffy air. Yoongi feels nauseous; his grip on the bag tightens.
“So, the guy will drive up to Gwangju, Hoseok said that his connections are safe so –“ Seokjin repeats for the hundredth time, as his friend shucks his stuff in the truck of the car.
“– so I’ll just have to lay low for some time until you and Namjoon find more about the three shit stains and come up with a plan to stop them. Jin, I came up with this shit, I know this already.” Yoongi barks back, this time with less bite. Seokjin is a great friend, he feels guilty for being such a jackass to him today, but he really can’t help it. He really wants to throw up.
Seokjin smiles, that gentle smile of his where his eyes crinkle at the sides. “Yeah, you’re right, I’m sorry.” He briefly hugs Yoongi who stands there, arms limp at his sides. “Have a safe trip.”
When he gets in the car, the interiors smell like one of those horrendous air freshener and he grimaces. The guy sitting in the driver’s seat – he recognizes him being one of the drivers Seokjin has driving Namjoon around, refusing to let the leader drive himself into a precipice or something – asks him if he’s ready to leave. Yoongi shoots off a short affirmation, before the car in set in motion and they’re off in the direction of Gwangju.
The drive is not too long, but it is definitely long enough to enable him to close his eyes and think back to his decision. Leaving Seoul for a while, as drastic as it may sound, was the best choice he could come up with. Namjoon had left him the liberty to come up with a plan, and to him that sounded like the only logical thing to do. He couldn’t have someone find their HQ, and as long as he stayed there, he’d put not only his friends and the whole of Bangtan in danger, but also everyone who had a connection to him. Jimin had been hurt already, Yoongi couldn’t let someone else take literal bullets for him.
He takes out his phone from his pocket. Seokjin had provided him with a new one: new number, new serial code and not even one of his old contacts. He turns it in his hands. This had been his idea too. He presses a finger to the screen, making it light up. The lock screen is a blue and greenish starry sky. Yoongi closes his eyes, releasing a long exhale. What was he expecting? He brings his forehead against the cool surface of the phone, letting it soothe his overheated skin.
Yoongi must have fallen asleep at some point during the ride, because he can suddenly feel the car stopping. He opens his eyes to a deserted road, lined with tall, grey and brown buildings. He blinks twice, before stepping out on the curb at the side of the street. There’s a lady standing there, short and dressed in an oversized hoodie, cigarette in her lips. She waves him over; she must be one of Hoseok’s friends here in Gwangju.
“Hey there, nice to meet you, I’m Hani. You must be Yoongi.” She takes out a lighter from her pocket, twirling it in her hand. Yoongi takes his bag out of the trunk, the driver speeding off soon after. Hani tilts her head to the side, motioning for him to follow her up the emergency stairs of the nearest building.
“So, I’ve heard you guys up in Seoul got some problems.” She chews on her cigarette while speaking, an habit that always irked Yoongi.
“Sucks to be you.” Yoongi pulls a face. Yeah, sucks to be him. “Your girlfriend must be sad you’re leaving her behind.” A flash of brown eyes and bright smiles clouds his vision. There’s a strange whizzing sound, somewhere, that reminds him of a skateboard rolling on an uneven pavement.
They finally reach what he thinks is the seventh floor, and Yoongi is pulled out of his flickering thoughts when Hani opens a door. “Third door on the left. Here’s the key.” She presses the small, cold metallic object in his palm.
“See ya.” And with that, she leaves, her heels clinking on the stairs.
Yoongi looks on at the scenery. He can see the whole street from up here, roofs littered with dozens of antennae and fluttering laundry left out to dry. He decides to make his way towards his new, hopefully temporary, apartment. It’s small: a living room with a kitchenette, a door on the left leading to the bathroom, a door to the right leading to the bedroom. There’s even a tiny balcony where a lonely ashtray has been left behind, still full of cigarette butts. He throws his bag on the floor, letting himself fall face down on the mattress.
The days ahead of him suddenly look really fucking shitty.
Yoongi spends the night with his gaze stuck on his new phone, laying face up on the nightstand. He can’t seem to catch a wink of sleep, the idea of the screen lightning up with a new message keeping him awake. There’s some kind of hope buried deep, inside of him, a hollow voice saying unreasonable stuff like What if he writes you, but he knows it won’t happen. It won’t happen because Yoongi up and left, taking his things, changing his phone, quitting Seoul.
When morning comes, soft and bright, he’s still on his bed, and he remains there.
It’s the second night he’s spending in the new apartment that smells like cigarette and rust, the ceilings too low, closing up on him. He’s still in his bed, still dressed in the clothes he had on the day he left Seoul – a pair of sweat pants and a long sleeved shirt. His brain is muddled, hiccupping, tripping on so many memories. He needs coffee, something sweet. Yoongi stops to think about when his taste in coffee had changed: not black and bitter anymore, but sweet and with a pump of vanilla too. “The new guy still puts only one pump of vanilla in it. Damn flathead.”
Ah, this was not his voice was it. Yoongi chuckles.
“… A landing field for flies.” He whispers to the darkness in front of him.
The nausea simmering in his chest is so violent he sits up straight on his bed, clutching at his chest, searching for support from the near wall. His heart is beating out of control, his hands flying to the phone on his bedside table. Ragged breaths come out of his cracked lips. He puts a finger on the screen. The lock screen is still the damn starry sky, blue and green and it’s not what he want. It is not what he wants.
Yoongi takes a deep breath in, throat hurting. He can feel himself slowly cracking, his legs trembling. He cries. He cries so hard he is scared his eyes will bleed, scared that he’ll never be able to stop. He pulls at his hair, releasing choked sobs, his scalp hurting. All he can think about are deep, brown eyes; how he wishes he could be staring into them right now. His fingertips buzz where he had his touch linger on that soft face, cheeks of a warm, honey color. He can hear himself screaming, but he has lost contact with his body, his ears picking up only muffled sounds.
Time passes by so slowly and yet it flies away so fast; suddenly there are sun rays spreading tentatively inside the bedroom, illuminating the atmosphere. Yoongi is sprawled on the floor, arm slung over his face. His eyes hurt, cheeks crusty with dried up tears. There’s a bite mark on his hand, but he can’t remember when he did that. He can smell dust, he can feel it tickling at his nose. His stomach growls and he thinks how he hasn’t eaten anything in two days – was it really two days?
Yoongi stands up, slowly, legs so weak that for a moment he’s worried they won’t support him. But then he’s there, on his feet, in the middle of the small bedroom. He feels like dying.
There’s nothing much that one can do while on the run and pretty much caged in a small apartment. Yoongi passes his time listening to his iPod, revisiting his old playlists. He even picks up writing again. There was a moment in life, when he was still the naïve kid from Daegu, when he wished to become a famous musician. He would write pages and pages of lyrics, ink staining his fingers for days.
Therefore, he spends the day pouring over his notebooks, jotting down rhymes and rhythms. At night, he’d sit on the balcony, a glass full of hard liquor that he had found stashed away in a cabinet keeping him company. And he’d read over everything he wrote, last rays of the dawning sun illuminating the darkening sky. Many times he would find endless descriptions of mornings spent basking in the glory of a particular smile or nights spent at the river bank watching the moonlight shine on a profile Yoongi wished he could trace with his fingers.
It’s late evening when he gets a call.
“Are you still alive?” A solemn voice asks him.
“I wonder it myself, Joon-ah.” Yoongi has got a bottle of liquor in his hand (he had found it in the bathroom, behind the toilet). He is dangling it between his fingers, making the liquid inside splash against the tinted glass.
Namjoon snorts. “Wow, you’re doing even worse than what I’d imagined.”
What can he say? He’s been living the Shit Life.
Apparently the leader had called to inform him of the fact that they were still trying to find more about the identities of the three gangsters. Jungkook had managed to extract some information from some dealers from Daejeon, who had seemingly worked with them.
More days go by, though, and Yoongi can see the black bags under his eyes growing deeper, his complexion turning paler. He prods at his cheeks, inspecting them in the mirror of the bathroom. He’s leaning on the sink when he gets another call, this one from Hoseok.
“Namjoon said you sounded like you were ready to set up your funeral.” He is still his cheery self, voice high and obnoxious just like Yoongi remembered. The last image he had of his friend was a flash of anger, his nostrils flaring, his eyes wild.
Yoongi hums. “Maybe I am.” It sounds like a question.
The line goes silent, static the only thing that can be heard. “… You don’t have to do this, Yoongi.”
He bites down on his lower lip. “… Shut up.”
Hoseok laughs, something sad and melancholic. “Jimin’s all right by the way. Wanted me to tell you not to worry.”
Yoongi nods. He knows his friend can’t see him over the phone, but he can’t find his voice in that moment. He’s scared that if he says anything, it will inevitably crack.
“Bye, Yoongi. See you soon.” A click and then silence is all Yoongi is left with.
“… See you.” He whispers back.
Weeks are starting to pile up and Yoongi can feel himself ripping at the seams. Now, there’s no waking nor sleeping moment during which he doesn’t think about him. Every time Hani comes up to drop him some groceries he can remember her words. Your girlfriend must be sad you’re leaving her behind. He hadn’t said anything before leaving, deeming it safer to hide his traces and connections. A clean cut, as one would call it. A clean cut is said to be painless, it was supposed to be easy. So why does Yoongi feel like he has never suffered so much in his fucking life?
They weren’t even anything, they were not together or stuff like that. They were a dumb skater kid and a gangster who had met over a stupid accident. Yet, Yoongi’s heart was crying blood just remembering the day the boy had come up to him with a cup of overly sweet coffee and the most beautiful smile Yoongi had ever seen. He had been so stupid, letting himself get attached.
It’s evening out, dark clouds hovering over Gwangju, promising rain. Yoongi is sitting on his unmade bed, scribbling away on his notebook, lost in his thoughts, when a sound coming from outside catches his attention. It’s the loud voice of someone screaming, but it’s so far away that he isn’t even sure it’s coming from his road. He trails his eyes back to the inked pages, but this time he hears the voice louder. He jumps up, heart beating so insistently in his chest that it almost drowns out the screams coming from outside. Yoongi scrambles in the direction of his balcony, throwing the glass door open. He is hit with a light rain coming down from the sky.
Again, he hears the voice, but this time it’s clear in his ears, in his mind.
Yoongi throws himself on the railing, looking down on the main street.
There’s a figure there, a boy, snapback on his head, black sweater sticking to his chest. There’s a red skateboard under his feet. The boy is panting, hands cupped at the sides of his mouth.
“MIN YOONGI COME DOWN HERE AND FACE ME, YOU SON OF A BITCH.”
Time slows inside Yoongi’s mind. It is slow while he tries to process what is happening, it is slow while he runs back into the apartment and it is slow when he fumbles with the locks on the door. Then it stretches and morphs, and all of a sudden it is fast. It’s fast while Yoongi almost trips on his own feet flying down the stairs, while he leaps towards the boy standing under the rain falling from the sky.
There’s pain in his eyes, rage coming off of him in waves. Yoongi thinks he must be an apparition. The boy lifts his hand and grabs the man by his collar, pulling him in.
“You!” Taehyung screams. “You go, leave in the morning like – like it’s nothing! And for weeks you just –!” His chest is rising and falling to the rhythm of the drops coming down on them. His brown eyes are nothing like Yoongi remembered, his creativity clearly lacking in conjuring up their perfect slope and twinkle.
“You selfish mother–! You enter my life, you make me see your stupid smile and then you take it all away like I’m some –” There are tears now rolling down his cheeks, sticking to his dark eyelashes. “I’ve waited for you, every morning, every night, but you never said anything. You just left.” Taehyung releases his grip on Yoongi’s collar, bringing his hands to his face, pressing his palms into his eyes. For a moment all that can be heard are their ragged breaths and the pitter patter of the rain on the hot asphalt.
“… I missed you.” Taehyung whispers, voice deep and low, touching all the right places inside Yoongi.
Yoongi can’t think, he is stuck somewhere and can’t find his way back. “How did you come here?” Is all he can come up with.
Taehyung huffs out a nonplussed laugh. “On my skate. Look, now it’s ruined.” He gestures to the red board, its wheels worn out and tarnished.
“How did you find me.” It doesn’t sound like a question.
The look in the boy’s eyes soften. “… Jimin told me.”
Jimin. How did Taehyung know Jimin? Why had his friend told the boy his whereabouts? Did he really skate the whole way from Seoul to Gwangju just to see him? Yoongi felt something tug at his heartstrings.
Taehyung was wearing this pained expression, eyes so sad and focused on Yoongi that the man was starting to feel lightheaded. The rain was coming down a lot harder, soaking into their clothes and making the younger shiver.
“Come up.” Yoongi utters.
Taehyung stares at him unblinking, before nodding and following him up the fire escape. They reach the seventh floor and enter the building. Yoongi pushes the door open, having clearly forgotten to lock it in his rush. The boy enters the apartment, looking around. He doesn’t say anything though, which puts the other male off. Taehyung takes off his shoes, followed by his hat, ruffling his hair like a dog. Yoongi smiles, finding the habit endearing.
“Is this where you’ve been all this time?” Taehyung speaks carefully, gaze flying about, taking in everything.
“Yeah, couldn’t go out.” Yoongi stands awkwardly in the middle of the room, hand scratching at the back of his neck. “Thought I’d go crazy.” When he looks up, he locks eyes with Taehyung, who was slowly inching towards him.
He stops in front of him, their height difference making Yoongi tilt his head slightly upwards.
“Did you miss me?” Taehyung asks, deep voice low and so cautious.
Everything Yoongi can do is keep his gaze on those eyes, dark and mysterious, pulling him in. Was this his death?
“I missed you. So much.” The boy adds, hands cupping Yoongi’s face with so much tenderness, the man feels like crying.
It’s a moment, a flash of need shooting across his temples, but suddenly Yoongi is throwing himself at Taehyung, lips crashing so desperately against his that for a moment they lose balance and end up toppling on the floor. Their lips are still locked though, so famished for one another that the fall can’t seem to disrupt them. Taehyung opens his mouth, tongue darting out to prod at Yoongi’s upper lip. The man responds in earnest, deepening the kiss, feeling the velvet insides of the other’s mouth. There’s a hot feeling spreading in his bones, eating up at his limbs and pooling in his belly. Taehyung is so warm, yet his wet lips are cold and taste of rain and grass. Yoongi can feel his heartbeat under his palm, where it is spread over the heaving chest under him.
“I’ve – I’ve missed you so much.” Taehyung pants in between heated kisses, hands sneaking their way under Yoongi’s shirt. The man sits up, lungs heavy in his chest. He goes to take off his shirt, but Taehyung stops him.
“I want to do it.” Yoongi looks up and nods, letting Taehyung slowly lift his shirt up, peeling it off his heated body. There are drops of water traveling down his stomach and the boy catches them with his tongue, sucking gently on the sensitive skin. Yoongi takes Taehyung’s face in his hands, bringing it up again, kissing those pink lips. The boy under him mewls when he moves to trail kisses on his throat and behind his ear. He sucks on the beating pulse that he can taste on his tongue, leaving a mark on the tan skin. Taehyung lays his hands on Yoongi’s chest, pushing him off. He goes for his own shirt, chucking it off in a fluid movement before circling his arms around the other's neck and directing his face towards his collarbones. Yoongi bites down on them, hands already going for the fly on Taehyung’s jeans.
He has almost succeeded in unbuttoning them when the world around him tilts and he can feel his back hitting the floor. Taehyung is looking down at him, a sly smirk on his face, hair falling so sweetly over his features. He splays his hand on Yoongi’s stomach, slowly trailing his fingers over some of his tattoos. He reaches the button of his pants, playing with it, tongue sticking out of his mouth. There’s a smile in his eyes and Yoongi can feel his heart in his throat.
The hand on the rim of his trousers takes its sweet time to undo them, playing with the hem of his boxers. Yoongi almost screams in frustration, when Taehyung slides them down his legs, taking his underwear with them too. Yoongi lifts his hips up, feeling the drag of fabric on his thighs. His cock springs free, cold hair hitting his heated skin, raising goosebumps on his body. Taehyung slowly lowers his face towards it, nuzzling his nose in the soft hair at the base. Yoongi clenches his teeth; he can feel soft breaths hitting the sensitive underside.
Taehyung licks up his bony hips, sucking a hickey there, right over the tattoo of a black swallow. The man wants so badly to tangle his fingers in the younger’s hair, making him drag his mouth on more pressing matters. Taehyung though, has other plans, because he travels back up Yoongi’s body, planting a kiss on his lips.
Then, he’s gone, a chuckle resounding in Yoongi’s ears.
He opens his eyes, to find Taehyung sauntering in the bedroom, chanting something tremendously obnoxious like “Revenge!”
Yoongi growls, getting back on his feet. He removes his pants and boxers, storming into the other room.
“Taehyung, I swear I am going to murder –”
But there, on the bed, is the boy, lazily stroking himself. He’s fully naked, golden skin beautiful under the evening lights. His head is resting on the pillow, his hair splayed out on it. His pink tongue runs slowly over his lips. “So, what were you going to do, you said?”
Yoongi clenches his fists, striding towards the bed. He kneels down on it, bringing his face close to Taehyung.
“I’ll make you scream.” There’s an animalistic undertone to his threaten, something that ignites a fire in Taehyung’s hooded eyes.
“Let’s see you try, then.” Comes the whispered comeback.
Yoongi grabs the boy by his hips, grip tight on them. He dives in to bite at his thighs, eliciting moans from the other. His mouth licks and bite until he reaches Taehyung’s ass cheeks. The younger is a mess, panting and gripping at the bed sheets, when Yoongi lifts his head. “There’s lube and condoms in the last drawer.” He growls out, teeth poking out of his curled up lips.
Taehyung nods, reaching to his side to get to them. Meanwhile, Yoongi is back to marking up Taehyung’s sweet thighs, their taste so addicting he can almost lose himself in it. Lube and condoms are thrown on the bed and Yoongi reaches for the first one. He coats his fingers in it, shooting a glance Taehyung’s way: he is smiling, eyes crinkled up at the corners. He nods, indicating for Yoongi to continue. The man doesn’t need to be told twice before he slides a finger inside him. He tries to build up a rhythm, a slow beat cursing in his veins. It doesn’t take long before Taehyung asks for more, Yoongi complying and giving him what he begs for.
Taehyung is panting, hands scratching at Yoongi’s back, leaving behind red marks. “Come – Come on Yoongi.” He is trembling, awaiting for Yoongi to fulfill his threat – his promise.
The man nods, tearing off the package with his teeth, rolling the condom over his length. He uses more lube, heating it up in his fingertips beforehand. There’s a steady beat in his brain, something that prods him to look one more time in Taehyung's eyes. And he doesn’t know if he sees what he needs to, but he can see them open and trusting. And that's all he needs, really.
In a swift slide, Yoongi enters Taehyung, making him moan loudly. There is some stalling, some getting used to, before Taehyung is whispering at him to move, please. Yoongi complies, his cock sliding against tight, soft walls. The slide is slow, sweet, but it’s not enough.
“Give it to me Yoongi, weren’t – you going to – make me scream?” Taehyung is talking too much for the man's liking. So he stops his movements, hips flush against his ass.
Yoongi smirks, predatory and dangerous and Taehyung shivers. The man puts his mouth against the other’s ear, breath ragged and uneven. “I’ll eat you up.”
All of a sudden Yoongi lifts Taehyung’s hips up, shooting him one last look, before starting to pound into him so fast and hard that all Taehyung can do is grab at the bed covers, in hope for his sanity not to fail him. His mouth hangs open and when Yoongi hits that sweet spot just right, just perfectly, over and over, he can hear himself screaming, throat raw and abused. There’s a chant of Taehyung’s name coming from Yoongi’s lips, but they’re both too lost in their lust to register anything outside of the heated moment.
And then, Taehyung moans out, a long staccato that makes Yoongi want to replay it over and over. He comes over his abdomen and his chest, sweat matting his forehead. Yoongi opens his eyes, locking them with Taehyung’s sated gaze.
There’s a pause in time, a moment of truth making Yoongi's vision go white at the edges. Taehyung opens his mouth languidly, his lips pink and bruised. His eyes are glistening with unshed tears, a bright twinkle in them.
“I love you.”
And Yoongi loses himself completely.
Come yell at me.
I'm cyberpunkyoongi on tumblr.
Chapter 6: That's Where You're Wrong
I realized that this chapter was getting too damn long, so I had to cut it at some point...
Again, I'm sorry.
One more chapter to go then.
The room is hot, the previous day’s rain having brought heavy humidity to the atmosphere. It’s dark outside, night sky clear of the clouds that had vacated after their afternoon tantrum, pouring rain having soaked fields and coursed through streets. Yoongi lazily bats his eyelids, gazing on as the lights of passing cars whiz over his head, reflecting on the ceiling for a short moment and then disappearing. There’s a warm feeling spreading in his chest and all over his right side, where Taehyung is curled up in a ball, arm thrown over his torso and legs tangled together. Yoongi closes his eyes, inhaling the humid air in his lungs, the smell of something else mingling with it, something new, something he isn’t used to. He can feel his heart constricting, choking him up and forcing him to open his eyes again. He looks to the side to catch Taehyung looking back at him. The boy is breathing softly, mouth slightly open, pupils dilated under his hooded lids. His hair, reflecting the lights coming from the open window, lays over the wrinkled pillowcase.
Taehyung lifts his arm laying on Yoongi’s torso, bringing it up towards the man’s face. His fingertips gently trace the dark bags under his eyes, skimming over his eyebrows, down his nose, booping him on the tip of it with a dumb sound like “Doot” that makes Yoongi snicker. The gentles pads then continue on to trace the contour of his mouth, drawing the curve of his lips and poking at the upper one. Taehyung whispers something like “It’s soft”, but Yoongi is too lost in the lulling sensation of such a loving touch on him to register his words. He can feel his eyelids droop, his breath evening out.
When he opens his eyes again, Taehyung is still awake. The room is now bathed in a rosy light, golden flickers lighting up the corners of the dusty room.
“Good morning.” Taehyung whispers, voice deep, like a low purr.
Yoongi blinks away the heavy sleep, still pulling him under - sleepless nights had piled up for so long, he was scared they’d crush him at some point.
“... ‘Morning.” He mumbles.
Taehyung leans into him, kissing him slowly. Yoongi hums, pleased, kissing back in a languid push and pull. He’s soon cupping the boy’s face in his hand, stroking his cheek with his thumb. Taehyung giggles, pulling back from the kiss. He’s flushed, eyes sparkling in that way Yoongi had ever only seen Taehyung’s eyes do - like galaxies had gathered at the far ends of them, hidden away in the recesses of his soul.
Yoongi had spent too many days on end writing lyrics in his notebook, and now he sounded like some constipated poète maudi.
“I’m hungry.” The boy states, index finger tapping impatiently on Yoongi’s abdomen, occasionally tracing the tattoos spiralling under his belly button.
The man snorts, pushing away the hand from his most ticklish spots. However, Taehyung seems to register his squirming, eyebrows shooting up and lips curving in a mischievous grin. In the blink of an eye he’s looming over Yoongi, who doesn’t even have the time to register what is happening before he’s a laughing mess. He can feel Taehyung blowing raspberries over his stomach, making absurd noises that only fuel his laughter more and more. Soon enough, he has tears running down his face, cheeks hurting from the strain.
“S - Jus - Oh, God - Tae -” Yoongi wheezes in between his laughs. Taehyung pulls away from the other’s abused tummy, grinning so hard his eyes disappear in small crescents. He drops his chin on a bony hip, making a sound of distaste. He then proceeds to scoot a tad higher, plopping his chin on Yoongi’s soft belly. The man is still trying to regain back his normal breathing, drying at the tears that had left a track on his cheekbones. Taehyung stares at him fondly, hands caressing his trembling hips.
“God fucking - Taehyung, you fucking -” Yoongi can’t seem to form a coherent sentence, giving up on it soon enough and concentrating on the rise and fall of his chest. Silence falls for a couple of minutes, the only sounds coming from his still ragged breath and the chirping of birds coming from outside.
“You know,” Taehyung starts, his voice thick “I really do love you.”
Yoongi cracks one eye open, crusty from the leftover dried tears. He stares at the boy who is wearing a shy smile on his face, tips of his ears red. His hair falls so gently over his features that Yoongi feels a mysterious pull on his arm, begging for him to run his hand in it. He does just that, carefully threading his fingers in the soft tufts.
“You hair is lighter.” Yoongi marvels, realizing how the sun rays reflect on those golden locks.
Taehyung hums, moving his arm to mimic Yoongi’s motions. His hand is careful while it flattens the man’s rebellious hair.
“... Why are you avoiding this?” There’s a pensive lilt to the boy’s voice, a guarded sadness behind his words.
Yoongi stills, hand frozen where it was scratching at Taehyung’s scalp - the boy whines, tilting his head to the side, sounding like a disappointed cat. The man stares hard at the white ceiling, rolling his tongue piercing against his front teeth. All of a sudden he feels the need to go outside, breath in some fresh air. However, he stays right where he is, vision swimming and small sparkles dancing at the edge of his eyes.
“You don’t know anything about me.” Yoongi mumbles. “How can you tell someone you even hardly know anything about, that you love them? That’s so fucking ridiculous.” His voice trails off, last words lost in the silence of the bedroom.
Taehyung pushes himself up, using his arms as leverage. He hovers over Yoongi, invading his vision. Where the cold, bland ceiling stood before the man’s eyes, now a warm presence lingered.
“Min Yoongi.” He rumbles. “You always wear silly leather pants and probably boots illegally made with seal skin. You hate sweet coffee, but always drink it even if there are too many pumps of vanilla. You rarely laugh at my terrible stories, but when you do I’m sure a fairy is born. You’re literally an old man inside. Your upper lip is slightly bigger than your lower one. Soonshim loves you, and I have faith in my dog. You are one stubborn fucker who doesn’t want to learn how to skate, but never refuses to take me to my favorite parks. When I’m with you I feel treasured like I’ve never felt before and -” A tear escapes from his eye, falling on Yoongi’s warm cheek. “And if you try to tell me once more that loving you is ridiculous, I will fucking kiss you until you believe me.”
Yoongi freezes, shocked, staring at Taehyung who’s glaring at him, teardrops rolling down his face. He realizes that the boy has got a small mole right on the tip of his nose.
“Ok.” Yoongi blurts out, gaze still lingering on that mole that had been hidden from him for so long. Or maybe it was never hidden, he simply failed to see it.
Taehyung furrows his brows, mouth pulling downwards in a confused frown.
“... What?” He asks, lost.
Yoongi lips curl up in a half smile. He lifts his hand to tenderly cup the boy’s face, before repeating his words. “Ok. You can kiss me more.”
Taehyung still looks befuddled, head tilting to lean into Yoongi’s touch.
“I’m sorry.” The man murmurs. “I’m… A fucking hardhead. I’m also fucking terrible at…” He caresses Taehyung’s cheek with his thumb. “... This. How can I expect you to know about myself if I never even tried to open up first.”
The younger’s features smoothen out. He turns his head to plant a kiss in the middle of Yoongi palm.
“Does that mean I get to keep on loving you?”
Yoongi snorts. “What the heck does that even mean?”
Taehyung laughs, deep and rumbling, and Yoongi can feel it all in his bones and in his ears. There is a new quality to the other’s laugh. It sounds lighter, like he had finally been able to lift a weight from his shoulders. Yoongi has the sudden urge to curse at himself, because he knows that he’d been the cause of Taehyung’s pain; the reason why his laugh hadn’t been free and uninhibited like only now he heard.
There’s a lull in the conversation, the two soaking up each other’s presence, bodies warmed by the rising sun and still tepid bedsheets. Taehyung hugs Yoongi’s chest tightly, the elder stroking the boy’s back, mind stuck some place in between the present and the past. He can feel words crowding his mouth, trying to push their way out. So many things he wants to say, so many buzzing feelings humming under his skin. He parts his lips, yet nothing comes out.
Yoongi closes his mouth again, sight falling on Taehyung. “It’s ok, hyung. There’s time for you to open up. We have all the time in the world. Ok?”
The man nods dumbly, Taehyung smiling sweetly at him. “Cool. I’m hungry though, come on!” All of a sudden he jumps off the bed, throwing on a pair of boxers and a shirt before running off into the kitchen.
Yoongi blinks a couple of times before sitting on the bed. He stays there, listening to Taehyung tinkering in the other room, sounds of plates and cutlery being pulled out of the cupboards. He inhales deeply, concentrating on the hushed humming of birds outside, mingling with Taehyung’s off-key renditions of a Spice Girls song.
“Hyung! There are cereals! Do you want me to pour you some milk?”
Yoongi shoots up, almost losing his balance tripping on his boxers.
“Don’t you dare to fucking pour milk before cereal on my watch!”
Taehyung turns his skateboard in his hands, whining loudly. “Look at my poor board… You served me well, baby.” He puts a hand on his chest, drying a fake tear from his cheek. Yoongi elbows him in the side. Taehyung retaliates by trying to tickle the man again.
“Oh no, you don’t!” Yoongi yells, smashing a pillow on the other’s face. Taehyung growls playfully.
“My board is in this condition because of you! Respect its worthy sacrifice!”
Yoongi lowers the pillow, face suddenly going blank. “... Did you seriously skate all the way here.” It doesn’t sound like a question.
Taehyung straightens himself from where he’s half sprawled on Yoongi, both of them laying on the couch.
“That’s a long ass ride though.” Yoongi protests.
“It was worth it.” The boy states, deep tone unwavering.
Yoongi can feel his lungs constricting. He chucks the pillow to the side, diving to catch Taehyung’s lips in a kiss. They tumble backwards on the couch, feverish hands rushing to remove what little clothes they have on.
And if the first time it was a burning need spurring them on, making them give and take with no pauses in between, this time it is the gentle flicker of a candle flame imitating their careful touches. They move so carefully, not because they are scared, but because they know that this time they can trace their steps back to the bedroom without fearing of losing sight of each other. Ragged breaths and throaty moans wash over the silence of the apartment, lighting it up with life, hopes, promises.
Yoongi thinks he’s in love.
But it’s in the afterglow, when all Taehyung is wearing is a pair of Yoongi’s boxers and his golden skin, that their world so carefully built on coincidences and chances tilts off-balance, threatening to fall and shatter.
Yoongi is telling Taehyung some dumb memory about his childhood, one of those foolish stories that they will both forget in a handful of seconds; yet the way Taehyung is listening to him makes Yoongi feel like he’s recounting the greatest event in the whole of human history. The world around them is silent, except for the stray drip coming from a pipe leaking somewhere in the bathroom. Yoongi’s phone hasn’t received any new messages nor calls, laying forgotten under the couch.
Nothing, nothing. Not even one small, puny giveaway, could have alerted the man. Thinking back at it at a later time, Yoongi will rake his brain to try and find whatever could have helped him prevent everything. Yet, nothing came to mind. All he will be able to come up with is that he hadn’t been careful enough. He had promised himself - and Hoseok too - that he would have done anything in his power to protect what fragile thing he had with Taehyung, anything to protect him.
But when their idyllic moment of peace, the both of them bathed in the golden light of the setting sun, is broken by the loud bang of the main door getting kicked down, Yoongi knows he has fucked up. Big time.
There’s a moment in which Taehyung whips his head up, big, round eyes staring at Yoongi with uncertainty. He can see panic seeping into his features, tensing up his jawline. Yoongi doesn’t have the time to even set his thoughts straight that two figures dressed in black are entering the bedroom, ropes and baseball bats at the ready. His instincts kick in then, urging him to push Taehyung behind, shielding him with his body. There’s a gun hidden under the mattress, but before he has the time to reach for it, there’s a pair of arms lurching towards him. He manages to avoid getting punched straight in the stomach, but the grip of a gun hits him straight in the face. The man is sent tumbling to the ground, head colliding with the cold floor.
“Yoongi!” Taehyung screams, throwing himself at the elder. However, before he could even make it at the man’s side, he is grabbed by the hair in an iron grip. He cries out in pain, tears collecting at the side of his eyes.
Yoongi’s vision is blurry, Taehyung’s scream helping him regain some clarity. He blinks a couple of time, hands shooting out to get a hold of his gun still hidden under the bed. When he tries to stand upright, a kick at his back sends him tumbling to the ground once again. He can feel white pain shooting up his spine, where the heel of a foot is pressing down with force.
“Yoongi! No! Stop! Ju-” Taehyung’s voice is cut short by a thick rope getting pressed against his neck. There’s the sound of choking, his breaths coming out in short, agonised spurs. His hands are uselessly gripping at the rope, trying to ease its pressure on his throat.
“Motherfuckers.” Yoongi spits out, finally able to maneuver himself and direct a shoot at the guy stepping on his back. He misses, scraping him on his upper arm, but managing to free himself. He charges against the man holding Taehyung, a roar resounding in his chest. They all tumble in a messy heap on the floor, Yoongi delivering a punch at the intruder’s face. The man is masked, so he can’t see the damage he inflicted, but he’s sure he broke something. Yoongi smirks, immediately going for another hit, but a desperate scream makes him whip his head back.
Taehyung is once again being dragged by his hair. He is kicking and screaming, his tantrum cut short when he’s hit in the stomach by a baseball bat. He splutters, coughing in pain.
Yoongi sees red, his lips baring his teeth in a ferocious display. He growls, standing up and ready to kill the man who even dared to touch Taehyung. He cannot use his gun though and risk shooting the boy, so he readies himself for another charge. More banging sounds come from the living room then, one more figure irrupting into the apartment. This one doesn’t hesitate before hitting Yoongi square in the jaw with a crowbar.
The man kneels to the ground, tasting blood in his mouth. He is kicked repeatedly in the stomach and bowels, the force of the hits making him double over in pain. Yoongi feels nauseous, Taehyung’s ragged breaths scratching at the back of his brain like a haunted refrain. He throws up on the carpeted floor, blood and bile mixing up. He can’t seem to be able to keep his eyes open.
The three men gag Taehyung, who bravely bites the taller one in the forearm. However his stunt gets him a hard blow on the head, knocking him out. Yoongi can see a wide, gushing cut pouring blood from the boy’s forehead into his closed eyes. He throws up again, this time more blood.
There are no pauses in between as the attackers drag Taehyung all the way out of the apartment and out somewhere Yoongi can’t see. He bites his tongue, in a desperate tentative at spurring himself to stand up and follow the three. All he can think about is the sharp contrast between Taehyung’s light blond hair and the dark blood dirtying it. There’s an unknown strength pulling at his guts, making his arms push up against the ground, his heavy body following. He’s standing then, red drops dripping down his chin. He picks up his gun from the ground, limping towards the exit of the apartment complex.
The air outside is cold, biting at his overheated skin, making him shiver. From where he is standing, he can see what looks like a van speeding off in the distance, right down the main road. He grits his teeth, releasing a guttural scream into the dark, starless sky.
Yoongi doesn’t give up. There are too many sweet words echoing at the back of his mind, too many gentle kisses still lingering on his body for him to give up.
So he limps down the metal stairs, naked feet getting scraped. He spots a gray car parked at the side of the road. He uses his gun to break the driver’s window, shards of glass flying off and piercing his skin. He opens the door, remembering that old trick he and Hoseok used ages ago when they wanted to try the thrill of stealing sports car. The vehicle roared to life, Yoongi pressing his foot on the gas. He speeds off into the deserted road, hoping to somehow catch up to the van.
He doesn’t stop to think about what they could be doing to Taehyung. He needs to keep his mind clear, he needs to think logically. He can’t let himself get lost in desperation, even if he really fucking wants to. There’s the sound of cars honking somewhere in the neighborhood and he gets a hint of where the men may be. After a couple of turns he finally spots the white vehicle, cars dodging left and right to avoid colliding with it.
Yoongi puts all his weight on the gas pedal, engine whirring in an attempt at keeping up. His heartbeat is out of control, blood-stained hands slipping on the steering wheel. He is eventually head-to-head with the three attackers - they must be the gangsters from Daejeon. He swerves to the right, blocking their rush. The two vehicles collide, Yoongi bracing for impact. Smokes rises from where the car frame has been bent out of shape, wires hissing and sparks flying.
Yoongi gets out of the car, gripping the door handle when his knees buckle under him. He’s got his gun in his hand, held up and aiming at the guy sitting in the driver’s seat.
“Down.” He gestures, voice a dangerous whisper. The side door of the van opens up, one of the masked men jumping down on the street. Yoongi shivers when he realizes he’s still got Taehyung in a choke hold, shielding himself behind him.
The boy blinks his eyes open, dark orbs dazedly setting on Yoongi. There’s a hint of recognition in them, like he knows what the elder is thinking. Like he’s known for a long time.
“Min Yoongi. We finally got to meet.” The man in the driver’s seat drawls out. “Our friends in Daej said we had to look out for a scary man. Didn’t expect to find…” He looks Yoongi up and down. “... A midget.” He spits out. He then sends a quick look the other men’s way. “And a fag at that. What a fucking joke.”
Yoongi can feel the rage building up, hot and pulsing in his temples. “And I was expecting for you to be true gangsters. Not a bunch of running pussies.” He growls back. He straightens his back, ready to fire his gun.
“Oh no, I wouldn’t do that.” The masked man tuts. He slowly makes his way towards Taehyung, whose eyes are darting between him and Yoongi. “Wouldn’t want to risk damaging such a prized possession, now. Would you?”
Yoongi watches on as the man’s grimy hands grab Taehyung by the chin, turning his head left and right. He lifts his gun, using the barrel to move the boy’s hair out of his eyes. Yoongi’s teeth are grinding together, his temper rising, the grip on his gun tightening.
“Fucking bastards.” He can hear himself saying.
Taehyung’s eyes now are clear. Yoongi can see them shining under the streetlights. He gets lost in them for a moment, realizing how he can’t find any trace fear in them. Why? Why wasn’t Taehyung scared? He was staring at Yoongi with such strong determination, blood still spattering his brows and cheeks, that the man almost forgot the situation they were stuck in. Suddenly, his lips open, a weak rasp leaving them.
Yoongi’s breath hitches in his throat.
The goon holding Taehyung by his neck laughs, squeezing him painfully. The boy wheezes, biting on his lower lip to contain his pained sounds. “We got a tough kid here!”
The one Yoongi believes to be the leader turns his head towards him once more. The mask on his face covers the smirk Yoongi is sure is slowly making his way on the man’s lips.
“So?” He taunts. “What you gonna do?”
Yoongi hikes his gun higher, hands trembling for the first time since he started his damned career as a gangster. His fingertips are cold and clammy, eyes burning. He realizes he is holding back tears when a tormented sigh leaves his lips.
It’s a moment of clarity in his head, or maybe a reckless idea. Yoongi isn’t sure what it is that makes him lower the gun and subsequently point it at his own head. His hands aren’t trembling anymore, but he can feel his heart shivering in his own chest.
“Call me whatever you want.” He starts saying. “But I ain’t no fucking pussy.”
If revenge is what those guys wanted, Yoongi would give it to them himself. He throws one last glance Taehyung’s way: this time his eyes are wide, fear now oozing off of them in waves. And yet, they’re still beautiful, just like the first day he met him. The pirates who glance into those eyes truly have to face death, Yoongi thinks. He isn’t scared, though.
He really is in love, isn’t he?
Chapter 7: Suck It And See
So, as you can see this is the last chapter of Stuck On You!
I honestly hope you will like this, and I'm sorry if this took longer than expected!
I tried my best to wrap some stuff up, hoping it won't feel too rushed though!
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
It’s raining today too, droplets falling as heavy as the gray clouds hanging above him. He’s leaning against the same building they’ve been meeting at for the past...couple of months? Taehyung’s not that good at keeping track of time, the calendar he keeps in his room more of a pretty decoration than anything. Maybe that’s why his college career is marked by countless days of him arriving late, losing more than one lesson and needing to insistently ask for notes from Jinyoung or Mark. His friends aren’t too happy with his habit, but Taehyung really doesn’t do it on purpose.
Unfortunately, the day he ran - literally so - into Yoongi was the day his latecomer streak got worse. Taehyung would get too caught up in the other’s presence, soaking up every minute by his side. Yoongi had this thing where he tried awfully often to hold back his laughs. And Taehyung saw that as a challenge to just push him further, make him tip that upright head of his, have him show that gummy smile in sharp contrast against his numerous tattoos and piercings - Taehyung took a special liking to the one encased in his eyebrow. The challenge that is making Min Yoongi laugh is no easy task, the younger pushing the boundaries of how much time he can spend with him before he gets to class in time to hear the mocking “and that was all for today”.
He breathes loudly out of his nose, twirling his skateboard in his hands. Today he had remembered to bring an umbrella, but skating while holding it turned out to be quite hard. Taehyung may have scraped his knees a couple of times. So, there he is, black pieces of asphalt staining his bruised legs, waiting for Yoongi to arrive.
It’s wasn’t unusual for him to wait for the other, but today their meeting time was dragging on for too long. Taehyung twirls in his spot, scanning the people passing by, their faces hidden by their low-held umbrellas. He stands on his tippy toes, glancing at the bar they generally stop by. What if he was waiting inside, already?
The door to the coffee shop dingles when Taehyung pushes it open. There’s not much of a crowd at the counter, but the tables appear to be all full, customers either chatting animatedly or typing away at their laptops. He tightly hugs his board to his chest while he scans once again the various heads around him. The sea of dark colored hair hints him to believe that Yoongi is not there, either. Somehow, Taehyung’s heart sinks into his stomach, a sour taste on his tongue.
Never, not even once, had Yoongi ditched him. But maybe the man had been busy, Taehyung reasons. Maybe something had come up at the last moment and he couldn’t make it. For a second, he can feel hope filling his chest again. He takes out his phone from his pocket, checking for any message: no matter how grumpy Yoongi wanted to appear, he always made sure to stay in touch with Taehyung.
The lock screen, a picture of Soonshim staring right at the camera, informs him that there are no new texts nor calls. Nothing. Taehyung can feel his shoulders sagging, one of the straps of his backpack sliding off his right shoulder. He turns around to look out of the shop’s window. He can hear the voice of a server calling for his attention, asking him if he needed anything, but Taehyung’s head is somewhere else. He waves dismissively at the girl behind the counter, trudging back out into the pouring rain.
The raindrops are cold on his skin. His lips tremble, eyes still looking left and right for that familiar head of colored hair, that flash of shiny leather catching the lights of the passing cars. In an endless bout of hope, Taehyung sits on the pavement, right next to their usual spot. Sitting there, his hair wet and a look of utter sadness on his face, he must look like someone begging for economical help. All he was begging for though, was for a certain someone to show up.
If Taehyung was maybe, sorta worried the first day Yoongi didn’t show up, now he was a full-blown anxious mess. It wasn’t his thing, it really wasn’t. Most of the time he tried to keep a cool head in front of problems, turning to his most reasonable side. However, in this situation Taehyung can’t seem to calm his unrestful mind. He’d spent the last couple of days bombarding Yoongi with texts, snapchats, calls, anything; at that point, he knew by heart the other’s answering machine tone, mocking it each time it taunted him to “please call again”. Like Taehyung hasn’t been doing just that.
It’s late outside, the sunrays dimly lighting the darkening sky overhead. Soonshim is happily trotting about, sniffing trees and barking at bugs. Taehyung’s sitting on the grass, head in his hands while he stares off into space. There’s a feeling of helplessness brewing in his guts, mixing with the need to know that Yoongi is all right, that he’ll be able to see him soon, hear his tired drawl tell him that he’s just an annoying worrywart.
Taehyung blinks several times, eyes stinging. He bites on his lower lip to try and hold back what he knows are tears, threatening to spill out. A wet muzzle taps him on his cheek and he turns his head to catch Soonshim staring at him quizzically. The dog circles his owner, boofing a couple of times. Taehyung chuckles, finally patting him on the head, carding his fingers in the soft fur.
“I know.” He whispers, drying his glistening eyes. “I miss him too, Soonshimie…”
The dog cuddles close to him, whining sadly, almost in understanding.
“You say I shouldn’t give up?” Taehyung knows that’s not what Soonshim said - probably he’s just hungry - but he wants to tells himself that. The mobile phone sitting in his pocket feels like it’s burning a hole in his jeans. He whips it out, tapping on the same number he’s been calling for ages now. The mocking beeps are back again, Taehyung pulling a face at them. What was he thinking, hoping to-
Taehyung jolts to the sound of the unfamiliar voice. It’s nothing like Yoongi’s bored drawl, definitely pitched higher than his. The phone almost slips from his fingers, but he manages to press it excitedly to his ear.
“Yes?!” He stammers out.
“Ummm…” The person on the other line sounds further away, like they had distanced themselves from the small device. “Is…”
And then, Taehyung can clearly hear the voices of somebody else screaming in the background. He can make out a couple of different ones, words getting jumbled up in an unrecognizable mess.
“Ah, wait!” Taehyung begs. He had finally got an answer, and even if it wasn’t from the one he was waiting for, it was still something. “Wait, please!”
The background voices are now clearer, interspersed sentences that sounds a lot like Jimin, what the hell! and ...told you not to pick up that phone. Taehyung is confused: he knows he’s called the right number, but he can’t understand why someone else answered. Yet, he also knows that if he doesn’t say anything he could lose his chance.
“Please, can you tell me where Yoongi is?” His hands are grabbing at Soonshim’s fur, an anchor in the chaos. “I just need to know if he’s alright! Please, I’m Taehyung! Tell him I’ve called! I just need to know, please…” Taehyung’s breath is ragged, tears threatening to fall down his cheeks. He doesn’t care if he sounds desperate, he’s tired of not being able to reach out to Yoongi, hear his voice, see his grumpy face. He is so tired.
There’s a crackle on the other line, before it goes dead for good.
Taehyung is on his knees, muscles trembling and ready to spring into action. There’s nothing he can do though, no place to run to, no one to tackle. He’s like a coil of repressed tension, eventually crumbling on himself. The cell phone drops on the soft grass, while Taehyung collapses down on himself. Silent tears pool at the rims of his red eyes, plopping soundlessly into his hands.
That night, when he gets home, he turns his phone off for the first time in weeks, placing it under his pillow. Sleep falls on him like a gentle sheet, momentarily making him forget about his suffering.
A couple of days go by following that odd phone call, Taehyung struggling to concentrate on pretty much anything. His friends try their best to lift his mood, Mark even volunteering to accompany him to his favorite skate park. However, Taehyung declines all suggestions to go out, offering every time a weak I’m not in the mood. It’s in the midst of another one of his boring afternoons, that he receives a text. He’s brooding while doing his best to study for his exams, mindlessly twirling his phone in his right hand, when it vibrates to signal a new notification. For some reason, Taehyung’s head is so far lost that he doesn’t register the words he reads at first.
Yoongi is ok, you don’t have to worry - J
The boy blinks blearily a couple of time, before sitting straight. The wheels of his chair rolls gracelessly on the floor, making him almost lose balance. He hurriedly types in a reply to the unknown number.
Do u know where he is?????
Taehyung can see the speech bubbles appear and disappear, yet no answer is in sight. He’s biting hard on his lower lip, fingers twitching nervously. He decides to shoot off another text.
Is there a way for me to talk to him???
This time, not even the small dots signaling that the other is writing appear on the screen. Taehyung can feel once again his desperation getting the best of him.
Please, i don’t care about who he is what he does i just need to know he is alright i just need to see his face just once please i mis shmi som ucg it hrtus
Tears are fogging up his vision, making it hard to type in words. He endures.
I beg you
His heart is hammering in his chest, almost as if it wants to run and reach the place it belongs to. His head is spinning, only one thought clear in it. Taehyung can’t stop replaying in his mind the look on Yoongi’s face whenever he’d talk to him, how his lips curl tenderly every time he smile.
In a bout of rashness, he types in something more.
I love him
The barrel of his gun feels cold against his overheated temple. The air filling his lungs is thick with smog, throat burning with each intake of it. His jaw is set in determination, eyelids fluttering closed. He can feel the grainy asphalt rough under his naked feet.
Yoongi opens his eyes again. He wants to look at his face before pulling the trigger.
Taehyung is still there, in all his beauty, screams leaving his mouth. What is he screaming about? Yoongi wants to get a glimpse of his laughing face one more time. Now that he thinks about it, Taehyung really has got the most peculiar smile, what with the rectangular shape and all. Hoseok’s mouth resembles a heart when he smiles. Yoongi misses Hoseok, he hasn’t seen his best friend in so long. He hopes Jimin’s all right. Would Bangtan cry if he died? They would, wouldn't they? Those idiots.
Taehyung is crying, rivers cascading down his cheeks.
Yoongi exhales loudly.
A loud gunshot reverberates throughout the empty road. Birds flap their wings to get as far away as possible.
“Put that fucking gun away, you idiot.”
“I was wondering when you all were going to show up.”
“We’re fashionably late.”
Yoongi snorts, hand poised at his temple going limp along his side. Hoseok takes a step in front of him, pointing his own gun at the two remaining guys in front of them. From the corner of his eye, he can see Seokjin hovering beside the dead body of the guy that was keeping Taehyung hostage, a bullet hole traversing his skull. The boy is staring wide-eyed at the lifeless man at his feet, his legs visibly trembling and his hands covering his mouth.
“Lower your guns.” Seokjin says, voice authoritative and calm. The leader of the now two members of the Daejeon gang scoffs, inching his left hand towards the inside pocket of his jacket.
“I guess we will get even another time, Min Yoongi.” Something falls at Hoseok’s feet, the man not being able to take more than one step back before a cloud of smoke engulfs them all.
“What the fuck!” Yoongi exclaims. They all start coughing, the vapors emanating from the smoke bomb irritating their airways. Are they in a Ninja movie or some shit? If not for the situation they were in, Yoongi would laugh at the utter idiocy of his pursuers.
Hoseok suddenly grabs him by the arm, pulling him in the direction of Seokjin. Their eyes are watering, making it hard to keep them open, but Yoongi can see the tall man cradling Taehyung to his chest to protect him from the smoke. They all make a run for it, Hoseok pointing at his car parked at the side of a back road.
“Come on, get in!” Seokjin instructs, helping Taehyung to get into the back seat. The boy is still hacking vigorously, Yoongi crawling beside him, when the car roars to life, wheeling off to chase after the Daejeon gangsters.
“Yoongi, are you alright?” Hoseok asks, throwing glances at him from the rearview mirror. From the passenger seat, Seokjin is typing away at his phone.
Yoongi wheezes out a laugh, arms snaking around Taehyung to hug him tightly to his chest. “Could be better.” His voice is scratchy, throat burning.
Hoseok nods, before redirecting his gaze on the road.
“Thought you were going to blow your brains off.”
There’s a moment of silence, before Yoongi hums in agreement. Taehyung had stopped coughing, his fingers holding on tightly at the man’s stained shirt.
“I thought so too.”
“You’re an idiot.” Hoseok half laughs out, not even a hint of amusement in his voice.
A voice coming from Seokjin’s phone interrupts their conversation.
“You ok there, guys? We’re after the two now.”
Namjoon sounds collected, but Yoongi knows better. When it came to his members’ safety, Bangtan’s leader often lost his cool.
“Yoongi and Taehyung are with us.”
“Good to hear that. Hey Yoongi.”
Yoongi cracks a smile. “Hey, Joon-ah.”
“We missed you, bud.”
“You’re useless without me, that’s different.”
Namjoon laughs loudly, making the line crackle. He tells Hoseok their position, so that they can all meet up to discuss the situation. After the call ends, the car falls into silence, Seokjin going back to tinkering with his messages.
Yoongi can still feel his heart booming into his rib cage, the adrenaline having yet to dissolve from his blood. A soft whine catches his attention, and he moves his eyes downwards to catch Taehyung staring back at him. The boy is still covered in sweat and dirt, drops of blood smeared on his face. Yoongi frames his cheeks with his hands, drying the stains with his thumbs.
“... Yoongi.” Taehyung whispers. There are still fresh tears collecting at the corner of his eyes, his mouth slightly parted on small, ragged breaths.
“... I’m sorry.” Is all Yoongi offers back. That’s all that his brain seems to come up with, many other thoughts tangling in his head, yet all unable to congregate in something that even remotely makes sense. Taehyung buries his face in Yoongi’s neck, hugging him tightly as if he’s afraid the man will vanish again.
Hoseok stops the car at an intersection, Jungkook and Jimin waiting for them on their motorbikes.
“Guys! Finally!” Jimin pulls off his helmet. He gets off his bike, rushing towards them, red hair a mess. Yoongi is seeing him for the first time after his injury, but he can tell that the boy had fully recovered from it. His complexion looks particularly pale, but that could be linked to other reasons.
Jimin leans into the driver’s pulled-down window, shooting one of his brilliant smiles at Yoongi. “Glad to have you back, hyung.” His eyes then shift to stare at Taehyung. “How are you?”
Taehyung disentangles himself from the hug, smiling back at Jimin. “Better.”
Jimin nods, winking cheekily at Yoongi, before turning around to wave Namjoon and Jungkook over. When the whole group is reunited by Hoseok’s car, they compare opinions, deciding on their next move. Seeing as how the two gangsters are now on the run, they all agree on the fact that Yoongi - and everyone involved with him - is still not safe.
“But I’m not letting you out of my sight this time.” Namjoon says, crossing his arms on his chest.
Taehyung takes Yoongi’s hand in his, squeezing it. It was dark out, the headlights of the cars and motorbikes the only source of light in Gwangju's streets. Yoongi squeezes the hand back, staring at all his members. In his rushed idea of wanting to protect them, he actually ended up fucking things up even more. Leaving Seoul had sounded like the best option at the time, but Taehyung’s warm presence at his side makes him believe that maybe he wasn’t solely running away from Daejeon attackers.
Seokjin pipes up, stating how it would be better for them all to head back to their headquarters and patch up their wounds and bruises. Everyone agrees, setting off to their respective vehicles. Hoseok starts the car once again, humming a light tune under his breath. They are driving down the main road, streetlights whizzing by in a soporific dance, when Taehyung puts his head on Yoongi’s shoulder. The man can feel his breathing fanning over his neck, hair smelling of sweat and rust. In that moment, Yoongi realizes how the boy must have, at that point, realized who he was. After they would reach Seoul, they would probably part ways, Taehyung deciding for good that staying with Yoongi is too fucking dangerous. They lead two totally different lives, too incompatible to have them entangle further. Heck, Taehyung deserves so much better than what Yoongi could give him.
All of a sudden, Taehyung takes both of Yoongi’s hands in his, making him jerk in surprise. He doesn’t say anything, simply bringing them to his lap. Light patterns are traced on his palm, making goosebumps rise on his forearms. Yoongi gradually dozes off, head slumped back, when he realizes that Taehyung is writing something with his fingertips. At first, it’s hard to grasp what it is. It takes some failed guesses, before Yoongi can understand what the boy is saying.
He lets the meaning of the two words soak into him for a minute longer. It's like Taehyung was scared to break the silence, trying his hardest to use his actions to reassure him. Yoongi turns his face around, placing his lips on Taehyung’s forehead. They’ll have a lot to talk about, many things to settle, but for a moment - one fucking moment - Yoongi stops all of his thoughts, concentrating on the heat radiating off of the skin right under his lips. They both fall asleep like that, Seokjin shooting glances at the two and throwing satisfied smiles at Hoseok.
“They’re cute.” The elder says.
“You’re lucky Yoongi is asleep.” Hoseok chuckles under his breath.
The sun is unbearably hot from where it shines over the park. A light breeze is blowing through the trees, making the green leaves dance gently over their heads. Yoongi is snoring quietly, sprawled out on a bright yellow blanket. The shadows play on his peacefully sleeping face, rays of lights peeking from the fronds making it glow. He’s dressed in a simple t-shirt and jeans, the outfit making him appear somehow younger. Taehyung traces his features with his eyes, fingers playing with the now dark hair. He parts them from Yoongi’s forehead, leaning down to leave a kiss on it.
The man grumbles, swatting Taehyung’s face away. He laughs, only moving lower to place another kiss on each of his eyelids. Then, he scoots back to watch as Yoongi blinks his eyes open to stare at him with an unimpressed stare.
“What was that for?”
Taehyung plops his head down on Yoongi’s chest, playing with the grass peeking from beside the blanket.
“Nothing.” He says, closing his eyes.
Yoongi pursues his lips, ready to bug him for a more specific answer, when a wet tongue laps at his cheek.
Yoongi jolts upright, Taehyung rolling off the blanket while laughing hysterically.
“God, Soonshim…” Yoongi mumbles, glowering at the big dog sitting beside him and wagging his tail.
“Do you want to play?” Taehyung addresses the fur ball, reaching out to pet him.
Soonshim barks, circling the two in what appears to be a happy trot. Taehyung stands up, patting his jeans down to erase the stains of grass. He turns around, showing off his behind.
“Is there some on my butt?” He asks.
Yoongi hums, getting on his feet, before slapping his hand on Taehyung’s lower back. The younger yelps, Soonshim flocking worriedly to him.
“Yoongi… What was that for?” Taehyung pouts.
The man smiles, lips curling up in amusement.
“Nothing, I just like your ass.” He then reaches out to put his hand into Taehyung’s back-pocket.
“Do you, now?”
“What, have I made you believe otherwise?”
Taehyung smirks, pecking Yoongi on the lips. “You’re lucky you get to touch it.”
“I know.” Yoongi deadpans, tone a lot more serious than a discussion about butts would require.
It is much later in the day when the two tumble back on the yellow blanket, after Taehyung had to run after Soonshim to stop him from digging a hole right in the middle of the park and right after he had to drag Yoongi to get ice cream. They’re laying side by side, shoulders touching and fingers intertwined. Taehyung knows what kind of worries plague Yoongi’s mind, the man getting lost in them too often for his liking. So, he cherishes days like these; days during which they can be in each other’s company, without that dark look taking over Yoongi’s features.
After the events that took place in Gwangju, they didn’t have a lot of time to discuss what had happened. The whole thing hovers over them like a cloud, rain soon needing to fall from it. In his own small way, Taehyung has a vague (yet pretty clear) idea of what Yoongi is involved in - if the way he dressed hadn’t given it away all those months back when they had first met. In the meantime, he’s grateful about the fact that they can be together again, hearts breaths away from one another.
“Yoongi?” Taehyung says.
“Yeah?” Yoongi’s voice is but a whisper.
“... you still need to learn how to ride a skate.”
“... no way.”
Taehyung smirks, squeezing Yoongi’s hand.
He can feel the other squeezing back.
I want to thank every one of you who read this until the end. You are what made this possible and all your lovely comments made me the happiest person in the world.
This is the first sorta long-ish fic that I finish writing, so I'm definitely excited!
Special special special thanks to some special ppl that pumped me into writing more stuff: Preme, Ray, thank ♡
Lastly, thanks to Agata for being my rock in this sea of taegi feels ♡
Have a great day everyone ♡