Jumin Han was having a very bad week.
It started out okay enough, Zen harping on and on about how he was excited to have a roll cast in the mountains. Jaehee was equally excited for him, no doubt saving up money so she would have enough for whatever special edition packages the movie would come out in. Seven was being Seven, and Yoosung was recalling a meeting he had with V fondly, surprising everyone at how happy he sounded.
The cacophony was Jumin's peace. Despite how he acted he looked forward to reading messages from his fellow RFA members and contributing to their chats.
Seven’s ridiculous banter.
Yoosung’s innocent remarks.
Jaehee’s witty comebacks as she scolded the two.
And Zen… no matter how much Zen would say the two of them didn’t get along, Jumin liked talking to Zen the most.
Watching Zen put him down with brutal honesty was refreshing in it’s own strange way. No one would ever backtalk him like that in the RFA or otherwise, and seeing that in the morning always put a smile on his face for some reason. Getting a rise out of him was fun too, and no matter how offended Zen seemed to get he always snapped back to his cheerful narcissistic self. When they were done with their spats the messenger would be flooded with his selfies and his flirty words to the other members.
Yes his week started out fine, but the week gave way to other things.
His father had a new girlfriend; Glam Choi, and she was adamant about meeting him.
Rescheduling to fit her sporadic needs for his father's sake was a pain, but he had endured this with his father's past lovers, so he persevered. This, however; left him little time for the misadventures of his RFA comrades.
He still checked in from time to time. Zen had gone to the mountains and hadn’t been back for a few days. Jaehee obviously missed his selfies, and voiced quite often she was upset he wasn’t updating his blog. Seven was spamming selfies of himself in various cosplay outfits to cheer her up, though it only seemed to be making her question Seven’s hobbies.
Yoosung was surprising him the most. V was spending more time with him, and the two were practically living together despite Yoosungs normal abrasion to the mint haired photographer. They were genuinely happy these past few days, and Jumin was happy for them in turn.
Still, appeasing his fathers new girlfriend was causing work upon work to pile up. Between keeping the company running and finding out his father had found him "The perfect Fiancee" he was exhausted. Checking the messenger every few days turned into checking it once every other week.
A little over a month passed, and he was finally able to find a small reprieve. His father and Glam were taking a holiday to the Bahamas, and he wouldn't be in contact with them for a while.
He saw his father off at the airport, finished work, headed home, and curled up with Elizabeth 3rd as he logged onto the messenger. He was happy to see that almost all the members were online today.
All except Zen.
What a shame. Jumin wanted one of their back and fourths to cheer himself up.
But Zen had found himself a lucky break. If he was that busy with work he supposed he could wait another day to play with him.
At least he thought he could, until he began to read the conversation in the messenger.
-Jumin Han has entered the chatroom-
Yoosung: Are you SURE there’s no trace of him? You can’t find anything.
707: ya, no trace at all.
707: I’m working on finding him but even looking into the movie he was talking about I can’t find any history of it at all. It’s as if all information about it got wiped clean. Even his posts about it were deleted.
Jaehee: It’s been almost two months since he left, and not once in that span of time has he said anything to anyone. His manager publicly stated he’s taking a break but when I called him he said that he has no idea where Zen is.
Yoosung: God… you don’t think he was kidnapped do you?
Jaehee: Don’t say that…
Yoosung: Yeah, V told me to calm down… we’re gonna go out to lunch in a bit. He wants to take my mind off it.
Yoosung: Seven find him!
707: Kay. Workin on it.
-Yoosung has left the chat room-
Jaehee: You don’t sound very enthusiastic…
707: GOD SEVEN IS ON THE CASE.
707: Hey, cat mom is here!
Jaehee: Mr. Han?
-Jumin Han has left the chatroom-
Jumin sat back in his chair.
Zen was missing?
He’d been missing for almost two months?
How had he not noticed? How had he gone that long without noticing that he was gone?
He knew he had been busy, but he always had time for his fellow RFA members… Was work really distracting him so much that he had failed to notice something so grave?
Then again it seemed like the others had just noticed his absence. Perhaps he was beating himself up too much. Now that everyone was aware of the situation, he was sure Seven and V would take care of it. They always found a way to turn unfavorable situations around after all.
Despite his positive attitude, the days passed without event. Seven couldn’t find anything, Yoosung was growing ever worried and Jaehee’s stress was beginning to affect her work ethic.
Jumin too was feeling the stress. Every day Zen didn’t show up was like heavy weight being piled upon him.
After a full week he couldn’t take it anymore.
“Assistant Kang, I’m taking the week off. You are to take a paid holiday as well.” Jumin announced at the end of a torturous day with no good results from either of them.
Jaehee gave Jumin a surprised look, “But Mr. Han, The Chairman is away." She bit her bottom lip, obviously wanting the time off but putting the company first as usual. "Do... you think that’s wise?"
Jumin sighed, “I can do most of my legwork remotely, and you have a team of assistants that can take over your work while you’re gone. To be honest this… issue with Zen I feel deserves both of our attention more.” He said quietly.
Jaehee smiled warmly at that. “You really care… it’s funny because you two always seem to be at each others throats, but the second he needs help you’re the first to offer a hand.” She chuckled, “Even if he slaps that hand away every time.”
Jumin returned her small smile weakly.
Jaehee cleared her throat, her stance shifting back to a more formal one as she nodded. “Anyway... understood sir. I’ll make preparations for our leave. Please have a good vacation.” She said quietly, bowing before leaving the conference room.
When Jumin got home it was late. He wasn’t expected to go to work, but he still felt stressed. Tomorrow he’d put his feelers out, see if he could pull some connections, get CCTV footage of everywhere around those mountains. He’d find Zen no matter how many of his connections he had to bend.
At least he would have, had his phone not started ringing.
He never answered a phone call faster in his life.
“J-Jumin?” Zen breathed out.
Zen was alive.
Zen was safe.
Relief washed over Jumin... and then he was upset.
“You’ve got a lot of nerve calling me at this hour. It’s late and you should be calling the other RFA members.” He scolded.
“Jumin listen, I need a favor.” Zen said quietly.
“A favor? After all the time the others spent worrying over you? You should do me a favor and sign onto the messenger so everyone stops thinking you're dead.” Jumin continued, still slightly upset at Zen’s disappearing act.
“Jumin-” He tried again.
“Honestly... and right after I gave Assistant Kang a week off because she was worried, what a waste of time and manpower-”
“Please.” Zen begged, sounding desperate. “For ONCE in your life just fucking shut up and listen.” He breathed out, his breath hitching as he swallowed hard. “I need you to come here… I need you to pick me up.” He forced out shakily. “I know how upset the others must be but right now I need help… I need your help so please… help me.” He begged, his voice quivering.
Jumin felt a knot form in his gut.
Something was wrong.
Whatever was wrong, it was bad. Really bad.
“Give me your location with your phone, I’ll have my driver take me there.” Jumin said quietly, pausing when he heard muffled sobs on the other end, “I’ll… get there as fast as I possibly can.” He murmured. He heard a hitched breath and he got out of his chair, slipping on his jacket as he clicked the button to have his driver and car ready on the side of his office phone.
“N-I-I sent it... “ Zen breathed out raggedly, a sound like him slumping over heard through the muffled line.
Jumin checked the gps data and raised a brow, his steps quickening as he made his way to the elevator “You’re not far but… why the hell are you under a bridge?” He questioned, hurriedly pressing the button to the garage and punching a number into the console to override anyone getting in with him.
Zen’s breathing slowly became a bit more even, “Its… just where I ended up when I got out.” He said tiredly, sounding about ready to pass out.
Jumin slid into the backseat of his car, announcing the name of the bridge before leaning back, “Shouldn’t you go stay in a building somewhere? Like a cafe or a-”
“No.” Zen interrupted him, pleading. “I need to be picked up here, I don’t want to be seen. Besides...I can’t walk very well.” Zen admitted.
Jumin’s blood ran cold.
Just how bad was the situation Zen was in.
“I’ll be there soon… Zen?” Jumin paused, biting his bottom lip as he tried to choose his words carefully, “Are you… alright?” He asked quietly.
Zen made a small noise in his throat. It was weak and sounded embarrassed, but more than that he seemed ashamed.
“I… To be honest if I didn’t need you I wouldn’t be asking for help but…” Zen let out a bitter laugh, “It’s not like your opinion of me was ever that great in the first place, so I don’t mind telling the jerk of our group.” He said quietly, trying and failing to joke about whatever situation he was in, “But…. I’m not okay.” He added, swallowing hard and sounding like he was trying to keep from crying again, “I’m really… not okay-”
Jumin clenched his teeth when the call dropped.
“Driver, step on it. I don’t pay you to dawdle.” He barked out, the car picking up speed.
When they arrived at the bridge, he stepped out of the car, frowning as he saw the long strip of grass leading down to the river as he stood before it. He usually wouldn’t be caught dead going down such a rural slope, but he’d have to bear with it.
He made his way down, stopping when he saw a figure under the shadow of the bridge and making his way over. “Zen, is that you?” he asked cautiously.
The figure twitched, and shakily used his hands to sit up. Long pale strands of hair spilled over his shoulder and Jumin’s eyes caught against familiar deep red ones.
Jumin sighed, “There you are. C’mon the car’s waiting.” He said as he walked over, his arms crossed in a huff, “Seriously making me come… all the way… here…” His words slowed.
As Jumin’s eyes adjusted, he noticed that Zen was a mess. His clothes were tattered, torn and littered with various red and dirty stains. From where the fabric was torn open cuts and bruises were easily visible on the man’s pale skin. Trailing his eyes down further, Jumin grit his teeth to keep the slight spike of anger he felt in check.
Between his legs, on his pale white pants was a large stain that covered most of his rear and front with deep red.
“Zen...” Jumin hurried over despite his calm voice, gently tugging the man up to kneel, “What happened?”
Zen trembled in his hold, letting out a soft sigh as he glanced to the side, “I was… ambushed by someone when I was walking up to my apartment to pack for my new role…they drugged me and hid me away somewhere, I don’t know…” He said quietly. “He... bound me and…. He... I was… Forced to act out various things. When I got things wrong or when I didn’t do things the right way I was... punished..” He forced out. “He did things to me.” He said with a shaky breath, his body beginning to quake. “Oh god… he did... h-he..."
Jumin rubbed small circles into Zen’s back, letting out a gentle sigh to calm himself, “It’s alright. Take your time, Zen.” He murmured out gently.
Zen nodded, taking comfort in Jumin’s touch despite his usual feelings toward the older man. “A-Anyway… today he was in the process of moving me I think… when the rope that was binding me came loose… I managed to jump out of the back of the van when it slowed to a stop and I don’t think he noticed me... “ He said quietly. “Since the idiot left my stuff near me and my phone still had charge from the external battery I got for my trip, I called you after hiding under the bridge...”
Jumin listened quietly. He felt upset, and wanted to know the extent of the damage Zen had accrued so he could plan a proper course of action. Getting emotional would be pointless, however; and he felt like he could guess from Zen’s words and state what happened. Badgering Zen about what happened when he was in no state to talk wouldn't do either of them any good.
Still, despite telling himself that, anger bubbled in his core when he pictured what most likely transpired.
“It’s… too dangerous to take you back home if that’s the case. You’ll have to stay with someone.” He said quietly, trying to help Zen up to stand, “We should get you to a hospital for now, your wounds need to be treated-”
“No!” Zen gripped Jumin’s arm, giving him a pleading look, “Please… no one can know about this… If something like this were to come out now I’d…. I don’t need that, not with my career finally reaching a positive peak…” Zen trembled, “I also…. I don’t want anyone worrying… I don’t want to be looked at differently because of this-”
“Well what do you want to do?” Jumin said in exasperation, helping the man stand. He was used to Zen refusing his advice, but this time he wasn’t having it. “you need medical attention and i’m not taking you home-”
“A private doctor then.” Zen begged, “I’ll do anything you want… just please… No one can know about this… it would ruin me…”
Jumin grew quiet as he locked gazes with Zen. The man looked so small, so lost compared to the confident proud man that the director was used to seeing. His eyes, usually bright and playful were dull and clouded with fear. He was vulnerable and open, and Jumin didn't quite know what the proper course of action was in this situation. His eyes trailed down to the large blood stain on Zen’s pants, glancing over the fresh cuts and bruises on his arms.
It tugged at his heartstrings, and left a strange vice-like feeling in his chest he wasn’t used to.
“Alright… c’mon.” Jumin said quietly, moving to go up the hill.
The second he let Zen go, however; Zen winced and fell down to one knee.
“Fuck… that hurts…” Zen breathed out, gritting his teeth before glancing to the side in shame.”I… I’m sorry Jumin but…” Zen choked on his words, shrinking timidly as he gripped the grass, “Please… I need help… I c-can’t-” A shaky breath left him as he tried to compose himself. “I can’t stand on my own.”
Jumin stared down at him, the vice in his chest tightening.
This wasn't the Zen he knew.
There were pieces there yes, little bits of his personality that shown through but it was all jumbled and the pieces he liked the most were missing.
Someone had broken Zen. Broken him physically and emotionally and Jumin hated it.
But if Zen was damaged, Then Jumin would just have to do whatever it took to fix him. Make him Zen again.
He owed it to his fellow RFA member.
He owed it to the ones he called family for not noticing one of his own was suffering for so long.
“Here.” Jumin said quietly, lifting Zen up and shifting him so he was straddling his back. “C’mon.” He said with a sigh, carrying him up the hill.
Zen flushed. Normally he’d kick and scream from embarrassment at this, but he was in no position to do so. Instead he just wrapped his arms around Jumin’s neck, squeezing his thighs gently around the other man’s waist as he closed his eyes, "I'm sorry about this, Jumin" He said weakly.
Jumin said nothing, humming a noise of acknowledgement instead as he made his way up to his car, signalling Driver Kim to take him back to his penthouse.
Zen dozed slightly, as he rested his head on Jumin’s shoulder. The platinum blonde looked absolutely exhausted. “Thank you for taking me in, Jumin.” Zen said quietly, barely above a whisper as he snuggled against the other man.
That strange pull at his heartstrings hit Jumin once more. “Don’t worry Zen… you’re safe now.” He breathed out quietly. “So long as you are in my care no harm will come to you, I promise.”
Those words seemed to put Zen at ease, and he slowly dozed off against Jumin’s side.
Jumin Han seldom made promises, but when he did they were promises he kept.
No one was going to lay a finger on this man, and if he found the one responsible for turning Zen into a broken remnant of who he once was, there would be hell to pay.