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in the middle of the night

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It is past 5 AM and Hunchul’s phone is ringing.

Hunchul picks his phone up and squints at the screen. The contact name reads ‘honey bunches of oats’, and Hunchul groans and begrudgingly answers it.

“Hunchul! My buddy, my pal.” Siyoung sounds somewhat out of breath on the other end, and there is a slight laugh in his voice. “I need some, uh, some help.”

Hunchul is thinking of some way to tell Siyoung to fuck off and call Jihoon or someone instead of him, but then he hears gunfire in the background. “What the fuck have you gotten yourself into?”

“Well, you see , I was just being a law-abiding citizen, walking on the sidewalk like a normal human being, when this dude mugs the shit out of me. Like, stabs me in the gut and then takes my wallet. So, I was like, hell no! That’s my damn money-- and, like, my I.D. and my library card too but like, my money -- so I shot the guy in the face.”

“Jesus Christ,” Hunchul mumbles.

“That’s not all!” Siyoung says triumphantly, like a damn infomercial narrator. “Dude had some friends and now they’re trying to shoot me in the face. Laser guided karma. I’m getting my ass kicked here, Hunchul.”

“Why the hell is it always me?” Hunchul asks rhetorically as he throws back the covers and gets out of bed, finding his jeans discarded nearby. “Why can’t you call Daewoong, or Sungmin, or just like, anyone else .”

“Because you love me and you’ll do anything for me?” Siyoung offers. Hunchul sighs because he knows it’s true.

“God, fine. Where are you?”

“At the corner of 3rd and Main, hidden in an alleyway. They’ll probably find me soon, sucks for me, so can you hurry please?”

“Yeah, yeah. See you soon, dickweed.” Hunchul hangs up, quickly pulling his jeans on and running a hand through his tangled hair. He shoves his feet into his boots and hurries out the door, not even bothering to lock it behind him.

Before he even reaches the indicated intersection, he can both hear and see the gunfire. He knows that such a ruckus will soon attract the cops, which would add insult to injury, and he is not bailing Siyoung out of jail (again). Hunchul parks a block away and fishes out the pistol that he keeps under his car seat.

Why Hunchul still does this is beyond him. Siyoung is practically a magnet for trouble-- no matter if he’s just going to the gas station, or if he’s negotiating a weapons deal, someone is bound to get punched, or stabbed, or shot. In fact, Hunchul is probably about to get punched, or stabbed, or shot. Hunchul cannot count on both hands the amount of times he has ended up bleeding because he’s come to save his damsel in distress. They’re not even part of the same crew, for god’s sake.

Hunchul grips his gun firmly as he hurries down the street, slinking alongside a building and peeking around the corner. His adversaries have much bigger guns than he does, and it seems almost like it was a setup, because what group of muggers just walks around with assault rifles at 5 in the morning. It wouldn’t be surprising if it was, because what crew around here doesn’t want to assassinate Hong Siyoung? Hunchul’s own crew would probably off him themselves if it didn’t mean losing their resident mercenary, because despite any denials he can offer, Hunchul loves Siyoung more than anything else.

Hunchul evaluates his options, shoulder pressed against the damp brick wall. He could go in, .45 blazing, and try to take out as many as he can with the element of surprise. He could yell for Siyoung to run for his car and provide cover fire, then run after him. He could locate Siyoung and they could shoot their way out of here--

“You’re not helping very much,” says Siyoung, from behind Hunchul. Hunchul nearly jumps out of his skin, the feeling exacerbated by a bullet shattering the brick right above his head. Hunchul glances over his shoulder and can’t help but frown-- Siyoung’s lip is split and bleeding, and there is blood soaking his hoodie, but he is smiling that goofy ass grin of his. He looks like a mess and Hunchul wishes Siyoung could just stay home and go to sleep like a normal human being.

“Okay, so,” Hunchul says, turning his attention back to the people who have discovered that their target has moved, “I’m going to fire a few shots, okay, and then we’re going to run. Sound good?”

“Sure,” Siyoung agrees. Hunchul grits his teeth, steadies his aim, and fires in the general direction of their assailants. There is a muffled cry, and Hunchul prepares to duck away from retaliating bullets, but then there’s a siren blaring just a couple blocks away and curses coming from the darkness across the street.

“Okay, now! Let’s go!” Hunchul turns and sprints down the street, glancing over his shoulder to make sure Siyoung is keeping up. He is, though he has his hand pressed against his side and his face is twisted in pain. Hunchul reaches behind him and Siyoung grabs his hand with his free hand, grimace replaced with that goofy grin once more.

Hunchul shakes his head. He loves this fucking idiot.

They reach Hunchul’s car with little incident, panting for breath as cop cars race past them. Their eyes meet and Hunchul smiles, then, almost giddy.

“I fucking hate you,” Hunchul says as he turns the keys in the ignition. It’s a lie, and both of them know it.

“Sure. Take me home.”

“Does that mean your home?”

“What do you think?”

Hunchul rolls his eyes and drives to his own apartment complex. He helps Siyoung out of the passenger side, making a face at the blood smeared across the leather, and Siyoung throws his arm across Hunchul’s shoulders.

“But, really,” Siyoung says, turning his head so his face is pressed into Hunchul’s shoulder, “thanks, a lot, dude.”

“You know I’ll do it anytime,” Hunchul replies.

Once they get up to his apartment, Hunchul sits Siyoung on the couch and grabs the first aid kit from his bathroom-- always well stocked, because this is something of a regular occurrence.

Hunchul’s fingers go for the hem of Siyoung’s hoodie and he rolls his eyes when Siyoung giggles at him.

“Ulterior motives to fixing me up, huh? You get to see my hot bod.”

“Like your scrawny ass is anything to look at,” Hunchul retorts, pulling Siyoung’s hoodie over his head. Siyoung’s glasses come off in the process and Hunchul catches them before they clatter onto the floor, setting them aside for now in favor of examining the damage. “You said he stabbed you once,” Hunchul says, immediately going for the sutures in the first aid kit.

“I actually didn’t specify, I just told you he stabbed me.”

“You’re the worst.”

Siyoung grins, running a hand over his face. “I try my hardest.”

Hunchul sets about sewing up the deeper stab wounds, being as delicate as possible. Siyoung barely flinches, too used to Hunchul sewing him up by now as evidenced by the faint scars across his torso.

“So,” Siyoung says once Hunchul is finished suturing and has moved onto bandages, “how was your day? I haven’t talked to you all day.”

“It was okay, I guess. Ikje and Taegyun have a cool heist planned for next month and we got a new shipment of ammo today. And Donghyuk threw his empty Red Bull cans at me during the meeting.”

“Fuckin’ Donghyuk,” Siyoung remarks with a smile.

“Yep. How about you?”

“I dunno… Jihoon is sending me and Daewoong to talk to one of our allies next week, which is probably a horrible idea.” Siyoung shifts slightly after Hunchul has smoothed down the surgical tape holding the gauze on. “I ate Subway today and thought about calling you to see if you wanted a sandwich too, but then I was like, nah, he’s busy.”

“Dude, fuck my crew, I love free food.” Hunchul replies, smiling. “You wanna wear one of my shirts?”

Siyoung nods wordlessly, so Hunchul rises, taking the first aid kit with him to put up on the way. Hunchul comes back with a well-worn shirt, one that he’s pretty sure Siyoung has worn in the past, and helps Siyoung put it on.

“Sleepy?” Hunchul asks. Siyoung nods. “Come on, let’s go back to sleep.” He helps Siyoung to his feet and they walk down the hall to the bedroom. Siyoung kicks off his shoes and flops into bed, then immediately remarks that that was a bad idea. Hunchul laughs and settles himself under the covers after pulling his own shoes off, pulling Siyoung as tight as possible without hurting him.

“Hey,” Siyoung mumbles, nuzzling his face into Hunchul’s neck. “I love you, a lot.”

“I love you too,” Hunchul replies with a smile.

 

It started five years ago in the middle of a turf war. Daenamhyup is notorious for hating like, every crew within a ten mile radius, so it’s no surprise that they had some sort of minor beef with Just Music. To be honest, Hunchul had never paid attention during briefings about the rival crew, so he knew none of their faces and none of their names. He thought nothing of it when some nerdy looking dude with thick-framed black glasses sat down beside him on a park bench.

“Hey, dude,” the other man said, not looking directly at Hunchul. “I’m supposed to beat the shit out of you to send a message or something, but I didn’t know you were so cute. My name’s Siyoung.”

Hunchul didn’t really know how to respond, but Siyoung responded to his silence with a grin and a giggle. Hunchul couldn’t help but smile back at him and introduce himself as well.

So, Hunchul left that day with a new number in his phone. The contact was once labeled ‘Siyoung’, then ‘Si baby’, then the current ‘honey bunches of oats’. Si baby happened after the first time Hunchul saved Siyoung’s ass a mere five months after they met, and honey bunches of oats happened after Siyoung threw his arms around Hunchul’s neck and kissed him firmly, his way of saying thanks after sewing up a cut above his eyebrow. No kill like overkill for Siyoung.

Hunchul’s crewmates have a silent way of judging him for being involved with the enemy, so to speak, but he really does not give a shit. They know they can’t afford to lose him, so they can’t kick him out or anything, and it’s not like Taegyun’s gonna cut his pay. So, Hunchul loves Siyoung, and Siyoung loves Hunchul, and sometimes Hunchul has Siyoung’s blood all over his upholstery and furniture and clothes. That’s just how it is.

 

Hunchul likes waking up to Siyoung in his arms. Siyoung looks worse today, split lip scabbed over and a dark bruise forming on his jaw. He is still asleep, however, and has drooled all over Hunchul’s arm. Hunchul, oddly enough, does not find it that disgusting.

Hunchul would love to lay there forever, but he really has to piss, so he carefully extricates himself from the bed and goes to the bathroom.

He emerges to the sight of Siyoung sitting up in bed, rubbing his eyes sleepily. He smiles, coming to sit beside Siyoung and looping an arm loosely around his waist, careful of the bandaged side.

“Morning, darlin’,” Hunchul practically coos, and maybe any other time he’d think that’s fucking gross, but not this time. No, this time, he wants to fold Siyoung into his arms and keep him there as long as possible, let him know that for all Hunchul’s complaining, Hunchul would do anything for him.

Siyoung lazily returns Hunchul’s smile, laying his head over onto Hunchul’s shoulder. “Morning. I feel like I got hit by a fucking bus.”

Hunchul chuckles, kissing the top of Siyoung’s head and pressing his face into his messy hair. “I imagine. Are you hungry, do you want something to eat?”

Siyoung mumbles a negative, shaking his head slightly. “Wanna go back to sleep.”

“Rest will do you good. Got a lot of healing to do, you heathen .”

Siyoung smiles, tilting his head up so he can kiss Hunchul’s cheek. “You’re the best. I’m gonna go the fuck back to sleep, you can do whatever as long as you let me die in this bed.”

“Aye-aye, captain.” Hunchul pulls away so Siyoung can lay down, then, after a moment’s contemplation, tucks the covers around him. He expects some kind of snarky remark about him being too motherly, but Siyoung just snuggles down into the still-warm blankets and groans softly.

Hunchul, in all honesty, wants to lay back down too, but Ikje needs him to go pick up a shipment today and if Hunchul’s going to deal with sleazy dealers he needs food. So, he exits the bedroom and pulls the door shut behind him.

 

Hunchul doesn’t get back home until late, almost eight. Siyoung is curled up on the couch, watching some movie on TV, and he waves.

“‘Sup,” Siyoung says when Hunchul sits down beside him, looking over at him. “How’d everything go?”

“About as well as expected. I watched Ikje throw someone into a ditch, so that was pretty fun.” Hunchul wraps an arm around Siyoung’s shoulders and Siyoung settles against his side, laying a hand on his knee. “How are you feeling?”

“Alright, I guess. Found some cool gangster movie on TV, I’m thinking about employing some of these tactics in my own line of work.”

Hunchul looks at the TV screen, sees carnage and explosions. “Isn’t this already what you do?”

“Yes, but not with proximity mines. I have no fucking clue how I’d get a hold of a proximity mine, but wouldn’t it be cool? Blow a caravan sky-fucking-high. Wow.”

Hunchul snorts. “I guess.”

“I already fed myself,” Siyoung informs, fingers tracing idle patterns up the inside of Hunchul’s thigh. “Fuckin’ slapped some Hot Pockets in the microwave. Burnt my damn tongue on ‘em, but that’s the price I pay.”

“I’m proud of you,” Hunchul replies, to laughter from Siyoung. “Are you staying the night again?”

Siyoung shrugs, twisting so he can look up at Hunchul. “Do you want me to?”

“Yeah,” Hunchul replies honestly, kissing Siyoung’s forehead. Siyoung makes a gagging noise. “Oh, come on.”

Siyoung laughs, tilting his head so he can kiss Hunchul square on the mouth, albeit a lot gentler than he usually does. “You’ve been cheesy enough today, mister,” Siyoung chides, poking at Hunchul’s chest. “It’s time to stop.”

“Okay, what’s the opposite of cheesy? Not spicy,” Hunchul adds quickly. “No spicy. You’ll probably start bleeding again.”

“Well, you’re no fun ,” Siyoung complains. “Just be gentle, it’ll be fine.”

“No spicy,” Hunchul repeats.

“Fine. You better give me the dick down of a lifetime when this bandage comes off.”

“Oh, will do.”

 

So, Hunchul and Siyoung are not the best individuals. They’ve killed, stolen, lied and destroyed, but they love each other. Maybe that’s all that matters.