The rest of the dinner passes rather peacefully, Jungkook on the verge of falling asleep at any mastication now that his stomach is full, the comatose state often following a good meal overtaking him.
Namjoon and Yoongi are conversing about a matter Jungkook is not bothered with enough to listen until Yoongi mentions Taehyung’s name.
Jungkook peers at Taehyung then, noticing the knitted brows and twisted lips, along with the fatigue, evident the slow blink of his eyes.
“What’s wrong, Taehyung?”
“Everything went to shit,” Taehyung spits, Jungkook surprised at the scorn the boss is still able to muster. Taehyung exhales, elbows on the table and he rubs at his face only to let his hands push his hair backward, the frown deepening.
“I should have been more careful,” Taehyung resumes with a twitch of his lips and then clacks his tongue, his fist clenching and unclenching. “I fucked up, I should’ve listened to you when you told me to bring bodyguards.”
“What?” Jungkook says, lost to the unexpected agitation. “Why? What’s going on?”
“I shouldn’t have asked you to come get me,” Taehyung clarifies. “I don’t even know /why/ I did it and it doesn’t matter because it won’t happen again.”
Jungkook clamps his mouth shut, the shot of hurt in his chest similar to the one of his ribs, however, unlike the latter, this is one he can control, shove in that box of ‘Reasons Why I Don’t Try’ where other disappointments and upset clog it.
“Yeah, well, a bit late for that, isn’t it?” Jungkook says with contempt, supporting his head on the back of his right hand, turning his face away from Taehyung. “I guess I’ll leave you to die next time.”
“I didn’t mean it like /that/,” Taehyung rebuts. “And watch your tone.”
“There are a lot of things you don’t mean like ‘that’,” Jungkook quotes and glares at the boss, “so if someone should watch their tone it’s /you/."
"If you’re shit at feelings and whatnot, at least make an effort to express yourself better so that others don’t misunderstand you 24/7. It’d save us a lot of necessary arguments like right now," Jungkook finishes.
Nagging and rectifying a mob boss’ behavior is a feat Jungkook never knew he could excel at; yet Taehyung’s features smooth out as he huffs, picking at a cut on the table with his nail. “They saw you.”
“And?” Jungkook presses.
“/They saw you/.” Taehyung reiterates and Jungkook is about to ask what the problem is with that when Taehyung carries on.
“They’re aware of your existence. They saw /you/ protect /me/. Han knows about my participation in the tournament, he has one of his hybrids joining. Do you understand what all of this means?”
The realization is sudden and breathless. “They’ll think I’m your hybrid.”
“I was so fucking stupid but I guess potentially dying does that to someone,” Taehyung says with a mirthless chuckle. “I’m sorry Jungkook I— We’ll find a way out of this. I can lie and say that you were a bodyguard I temporarily hired, not that you’re my hybrid.”
“You still haven’t told me why you want to participate in the tournament,” Jungkook reminds Taehyung, one of the reasons why he has not accepted the deal yet as well as that ‘bonding period’ they agreed onto and have just entered.
“It’s…” Taehyung exhales through his nose, a hand cupping his cheek, similarly to how Jungkook is sitting. “I don’t agree with how hybrids are treated. I can’t tell you why I’m willing to go that far yet, but…”
Taehyung meets Jungkook’s gaze. “I will one day, if you give me time. I know we haven’t met long ago, but I’m asking you to trust me on this. If you can’t—”
“You want what’s best for hybrids?” Jungkook interrupts.
“I do.” Taehyung says, /states/, and there’s a sincerity in his eyes and voice, weaved with a firmness that does not tolerate any place for arguing.
“Okay.” Jungkook nods. “I still—” An obnoxiously loud yawn cuts him off, prompting tears in his eyes from its strength. “I still need some time to mull over it, we’re not talking about us sharing custody of my cactus here.”
“I know, it’s okay, as I—” This time, Taehyung is the one yawning, and once more Jungkook is left questioning his own sanity when the urge to coo at a /yawning mob boss/ threatens to spill out of his mouth.
“As I said,” Taehyung continues, “I can feed them some lies and say you’re a newly hired bodyguard of mine. I’ll deal with that clan either way and I’ll make sure you’re safe now that you’ve been associated with me.”
“M’kay.” Jungkook’s lids flutter and he wonders if he should just sleep right then and there, unsure on if he can bring himself to his bed or even his couch with how depleted of energy he is. “I’m sleepy.”
“You should head to bed,” Namjoon interjects and stands, rounding the table to reach Jungkook’s side.
“Can you carry me there bridal style? Like my knight in furry armor, Panda?” Jungkook pats himself on the back for his astute and hilarious quip.
“I’m amazing, aren’t I?" Jungkook rhetorically asks because he /knows/ he is. "Funny even when this close to pass out,” he says, pinching his thumb and index together to illustrate his point.
I’d be worse for your ribs if I carry you like that,” Namjoon points out.
“Yeah, true,” Jungkook says, allowing his best friend to guide him to his bedroom. “You didn’t say no though.”
“I didn’t say no,” Namjoon chuckles and it’s so fond Jungkook himself smiles.
A minute later they’re inside the bedroom, Namjoon helping Jungkook under the blankets like the perfect friend he is and /God/, Jungkook is lucky and thankful to have him in his life. “I love you Joon,” Jungkook slurs, feeling abruptly emotional and so /exhausted/.
“I love you too, Koo, sleep now.”
The last sliver of consciousness is enough to send in Jungkook’s brain the sensation of fingers brushing the strands of hair away from his forehead, followed by a whispered ‘Goodnight’.
Jungkook jolts awake, heart racing in his chest and a frozen shiver creeping on his back.
He cannot recall the dream — or nightmare, if it was one — but the jitters are there, mingling with the loneliness that wraps around him now that he’s faced with the absence of noise in his apartment.
It’s when cuddled up in his bed, alone and in a paralyzing silence, that all that occurred on Valentine’s Day downs on Jungkook.
The fear from earlier rises inside him, its cold tendrils coiling around his throat and he parts his lips to breath out, the darkness of the night he usually basks in suffocating now. He rolls on his back, a whined curse trailing the movement when it jostles his ribs.
There’s a knock on his door, distracting him from his growing anxiety.
“Jungkook?” Someone says that Jungkook recognizes as the mob boss. “I heard some noises. Everything okay?”
Jungkook hums, trying to level his respiration into something less ragged. “M’fine,” he rasps and turns on his bedside lamp, a faint, sunny glow ricocheting against the furniture.
“Can I come in?”
Jungkook almost denies the request, a little too vulnerable and high-strung for his taste but he’s lonely and apprehensive, so any kind of company is appreciated. At his cue, the door to his bedroom opens, revealing Taehyung who enters and pushes it ajar behind him.
The mob boss looks as tired as Jungkook feels and he wonders why Taehyung is still awake, when, if one of them should be resting, it's the man who lost a gallon of blood.
“Why are you still awake?” Jungkook asks and he shuffles to straighten up a little more, propping his pillow on the headboard to lay against it.
“We've been preparing to leave,” Taehyung says and walks next to the bed, poised there and it's awkward enough for Jungkook to mutter something about sitting on the mattress.
“Why are /you/ still awake?” Taehyung counters and he takes place by Jungkook’s side, a hand digging by Jungkook’s thigh to aid his descent.
“I don't know, I just woke up.” Jungkook tugs on the sleeves of his top, concealing his tattooed hands and fiddling with the ratty rims. “I think I had a nightmare,” he says and he doesn't even understand why because Taehyung does not care.
“About what happened today?” Taehyung inquires and at Jungkook’s shrug of the shoulder he says “It was a lot and it all went down only a few hours ago. If you're still anxious about it it's normal.”
“Were you scared at the beginning about things like those?” Jungkook can notice the way Taehyung's first response is an aloof muteness, the man clearly not the kind to openly share his own feelings that he seems to be alienated to in some instances.
However, Jungkook patiently waits, granting Taehyung the time to make a decision as he peeks at the boss’ hand next to his leg, the fingers adorned with a plethora of rings that he only notices now.
“I was. I still am,” Taehyung ultimately replies and the words are clipped, as though wishing to be reneged the second they tumble out of his mouth. “I simply have more control over it. Fear keeps you alive, but it can also make you reckless if crushing and untamed.”
“I don't think I associate well with anything remotely close to ‘taming’,” Jungkook says and, as per usual, his humor is impeccable because Taehyung puffs out an — albeit mocking — chuckle, the sounds solely audible because of the silence in the room. “You /laughed/.”
“I slightly humorously huffed,” Taehyung corrects like the pompous idiot he is.
“It's the same fucking thing, you laughed.”
“Stop fucking swearing.”
“Says the damn asshole while fucking swearing like a fucking sail—” Jungkook squeaks when Taehyung twists the back of his hand over the sweater and he swats at the boss’ chest in retaliation. “That /hurts/.”
“I barely twisted and the hoodie took the brunt of it, don't be so weak.” Taehyung discreetly rolls his eyes and it's so insulting Jungkook splutters in shock.
“I'm not weak, fuck you. I fought two wolf hybrids and God knows how many mobsters. A weakling wouldn’t be able to achieve half as much,” Jungkook retorts, offended.
“That's true,” Taehyung says. “You're strong.”
“Yes I am.”
There’s something in the way Taehyung says this, self-assured and confident, as though he is referring to his own power and not someone else’s. It’s comforting — /rewarding/ —, and it feeds that neglected part of Jungkook starving for appreciation and respect.
Jungkook draws his legs up and slouches further on his pillow, even if it hurts his ribs, but he needs to put some sort of barrier between himself and Taehyung, feeling a little too exposed.
When it’s not sufficient, he lifts one of his covered hands to hide the bottom of his face as he speaks, his voice as hushed as Taehyung's.
“I was scared earlier, that you and I would die,” Jungkook confesses, his gaze jumping from Taehyung, to his bedroom’s door and then window whose curtains are tugged, the moonlight caught by the fabric.
“And, I mean, I’ve fought before, a few times similar to this where I could’ve died. Maybe,” Jungkook dismisses, “but it was never this bad, and it never involved guns either.”
“Despite how unexpected and dire the situation was, you fought well and fiercely, which is a trait I’ll always appreciate in someone, especially if said someone is part, or may be part of my clan,” Taehyung says, leaning to the side to meet Jungkook’s shifting eyes.
“You protected me when you could have just ran away, and it’s a debt I intend to repay you for.”
“It’s not a debt, call it a… A favor. ‘Debt’ is too negative and feels like you have to give something back when you don’t,” Jungkook frowns and drops his hand on his clavicle, rubbing a soothing thumb across the bone.
“You saved my life, of course I owe you,” Taehyung insists and Jungkook relents for now, too winded to contest any more.
“Get me pastries for the next month and your debt will be paid.” Jungkook believes that his bargain is fair, a life for free sugary offerings.
“Why aren’t I surprised you’re asking for that,” Taehyung sighs and folds a leg on the bed, his knee knocking into Jungkook’s, and if the mob boss doesn’t appear to notice, Jungkook does, thankful for the layers of sheets separating them.
“Is that as yes?” Jungkook probes.
“Yes, it is.”
“Great, because I deserve those pastries,” Jungkook mumbles, the heaviness attached to that necessity to sleep dulling his mind and body.
“You do. You were brave and did really well.” Taehyung’s countenance always bears an irrefutable poise from what Jungkook has seen thus far, a certain preeminence that doesn’t leave room for much argument if anyone were to bring any forward.
Not that Jungkook wants to. Particularly not when a warm giddiness spreads within, pushing him to hide the smile he attempts to bite back, and he cannot recall the last time someone praised him /twice/ in the span of one day. If it ever happened. “Thank you.”
“Thank you too.” Taehyung’s voice is rough and Jungkook can’t really tell why, if it’s from disuse, pain, tiredness, or something entirely else. “Did you take some painkillers?” He asks and Jungkook is grateful for the change of subject.
“No, I went to sleep right away,” Jungkook says.
“Where are they?”
“On the sink in the bathroom,” Jungkook explains and the rest of what he wanted to add fizzles to nothingness when Taehyung hoists himself off the mattress to stride outside without a word.
Jungkook blinks once, then a second time, and at the third one Taehyung comes back, tossing him a container that flops on Jungkook’s lap. “You didn’t even sleep for ten minutes and you probably won’t at all without those,” Taehyung advises.
Jungkook murmurs a ‘Thanks’ and grabs the water bottle next to the lamp, opening then the flask to swallow a pill and gulp down the much needed water.
“Some of my men will keep an eye on your building for some time just in case, if that’s alright with you,” Taehyung says and he slides his hands in his sweatpants’ pockets, leaning against the door frame, a foot crossed behind the other.
“Yeah, I don’t mind.” It may help alleviate the feeling that something bad is right around the corner, and not solely linked to the tournament he may participate in.
“Do you want Yoongi and I to stay for the night?” Taehyung proposes, the light from the corridor and living room bouncing behind him and casting a shadow at the front softened by the golden lamp in the bedroom.
Jungkook shakes his head, contrary to what his heart snips at him. “No, it’s fine.”
“Are you sure?”
At the persistence, Jungkook nearly acquiesces but he’s stubborn, even more than his selfishness to ask the two busy mobsters to stay. “I’m sure, I’m okay.”
Taehyung is quiet, studying Jungkook, both of them aware of the lie but none making a comment on it. “Alright. We’ll be leaving then before one of my men loses his mind any more than he already has.”
“The hot-shot guy,” Taehyung says and Jungkook snorts. “He’s quite… protective of me.”
“Well, you should hurry up then.” Jungkook nestles himself underneath the blankets again, ready to sleep again now that the throb in his side is receding. “Can you ask Namjoon if he can sleep here tonight, please?”
“Yeah, will do.” Taehyung straightens and reaches for the handle while Jungkook turns off the lamp.
Lids shutting, Jungkook waits for the door to be almost closed before saying “Goodnight, Mob Boss V.” He turns on his good side and nuzzles his pillow, Taehyung’s ‘Goodnight Jungkook’ echoing in his head.
A/N: that was a pretty long update XDD Taekook are: trying to communicate even if it's hard and for one step taken forward, they take two more backwards, BUT they're opening up more and more (at night only for now)
A/N: as I said, tae didn't entirely ignore koo :D he was trying (in his own way), but still trying nonetheless, once again I teared at taejin conv's, idk bro I break my own heart writing those taekook for real it's
Hope you enjoyed it though hehe and thank for reading
A/N: shorter update today but I had a migraine that absolutely wrecked my brain for two days
(I'm good now)
Anyway, this update was... something else XDD Hoped you liked it though jhbshajb And I can safely say the d/s dynamic is: (unknowingly for taekook) slowly starting
A/N: also huh, that has come up quite a few times actually (surprisingly??
) but taekook (and every member) will have their happy ending y'all don't worry about it
This story won't have any mcd or sad/open ending at all but rather a very fluffy mushy ending, okay? Okay
Thirty minutes later, his lunch finished in a much slower way than usual, Jungkook removes his slippers and slides underneath the hefty covers of his bed, the painkiller thankfully having kicked in while he was eating, the pain a distant dull as he lays on his back.
He shuffles for a moment, struggling to find a comfortable position until he does, a pleased sigh tumbling out of his mouth as he reclines against his pillows. He plucks his phone from beside him, unlocks it, then with quick swaps he opens his and Taehyung’s conversation.
Interlaced between that want to text the man and the apprehension of being too pushy — clingy —, a certain blanket of comfort is draped around Jungkook, rendering him slow and sleepy, almost compliant but not quite,
that edge of defiance still present in the way he wants to tease Taehyung, perhaps even send another fun fact or even a photo of himself to obtain another one of the not so aloof mob boss.
Jungkook never really had much of a filter, a trait that has always been more of a hindrance than anything else, however with Taehyung, it doesn’t feel as such.
The mob boss appears uncaring of Jungkook’s bluntness and playful tormenting, he may even /like it/, an occurrence that Jungkook finds hard and nigh impossible to wrap his head around.
It’s that sense of tentative safety that has him typing a ‘I’m done eating, I took the painkiller as well’, hitting send without a second thought despite the nagging voice at the back of his head pestering him about how:
‘Taehyung doesn’t care’ or ‘Do you really believe it matters to him?’
He instead discards it, smothers the voice under the praises that still echo in his mind, even more as he scrolls through the messages and reread their discussion, the contentment so profound and palpable his tongue feels heavy in his mouth, akin to the rest of his body.
Alone in his bedroom with for sole company the binds he shut down and his fairy lights the only source of muted brightness, Jungkook does not bother repressing his smile, the giddiness too overwhelming to be contained.
He deserves those compliments and acknowledgment of his good behavior, even if most would deny it — have, in the past —, and if he screenshots some part of his and Taehyung’s latest chat — or perhaps all of it —, adding it to a ‘For bad days’ folder, no one has to know.
Not even the mob boss who flusters Jungkook out of his organizational process with a text, Jungkook immediately taping on the notification to reply, knowing the man can be impatient and not wanting to ruffle any feathers.
Particularly when a prompt reply can lead to a verbal — or typed — approval Jungkook has come to absolutely adore since he woke up earlier. He makes himself comfortable some more, the sleepiness coming back anew along with Taehyung.
A/N: I'm too sensitive for this shit man, and that update was haaaard to write idek why T_______T It was just about taekook and them needing to talk some things out without any external help because it had to be /just them/ (until jimin arrived) and yeah, hope you liked it hehe
This whole written part is from Jungkook pov who's on the phone with Taehyung, I usually add "//" to indicate which character is spoken to on the other side of the phone but it'd obnoxious af to read through all of it here
“Hey Mob Boss V.”
Some ruffling of clothes trailed by the sound of a door closing and muteness is the only answer Jungkook is granted at first, the quietness stretching for long enough to wonder if Taehyung hung up until it’s cut by a gruff timber.
Taehyung’s voice is gravelly and curt, as though tightened by a sense of too much, however it is also dulled down by an evident fatigue in the slurred words, and tug inside Jungkook strains with the want to help and make everything better.
So he speaks, not wasting another second as he says “Are you okay?”
The response isn’t immediate.
It rarely is with Taehyung, Jungkook has come to realize, as though the man always considers what to say, cautious yet thoughtful, where he seems to ponder what may be the best reply for each situation.
Jungkook wonders if there’s also an apprehension there, if Taehyung is afraid of being too candid and sharing too much, something that the mob boss may not be accustomed to.
Hence, when Taehyung rasps a ‘No, not really’, Jungkook has to fight back the urge to blurt out a ‘Thank you’ in return because he wants the man to know how thankful he is for giving him an honesty Jungkook hasn’t known very often.
“You sound tired,” Jungkook notes, a little dumb and out of wits, not familiar with taking care of someone that is not himself. Taehyung puffs a laugh, but it doesn’t sound happy and Jungkook yearns for something he cannot even grasp.
“I’m fucking exhausted,” Taehyung says.
“What happened?” Jungkook asks and at the lack of answer he continues. “You can tell me, it’ll stay between us.”
“I know it will, it's not that… One of my men, Jimin, he made a mistake and it’s the kind of mistake I’m not sure I can fix or get out of,” Taehyung explains and the ire flares anew in his inflection, even if tamed by the exhaustion. “The whole clan is at risk.”
“Can you tell me more?” Jungkook says and he shifts on his right side, snuggling the phone between his cheek and pillow.
“It’s about Han, Han Dong-hyun,” Taehyung begins. “He’s another clan that has been a pain in my ass for years now. He wasn’t a rival one, at least up till now,” he corrects, “but we never got along. His actions go against what I’m trying to achieve,
and I always intended to wipe him out eventually, however it’s not something that can be done recklessly or within a few months. The tournament is supposed to help with it but I’m not so sure anymore."
"Everything is a fucking mess right now," Taehyung says, "and my mind can conjure a single solution to get us out of this and it’s—”
There’s a long, drawn out sigh in Jungkook’s ear and he tucks the blanket further below his chin. “What’s the mistake Jimin made?”
“Neglect probably due to overworking,” Taehyung mutters. “Which is partially my fault. I should try to find a second security hacker to relieve some of the workload off Jimin’s shoulders but it’s not that easy.”
“I imagine it’s hard to find another person that works in that field and that you can trust with information regarding your clan,” Jungkook muses.
“Yes, that,” Taehyung says and he sounds relieved. “I’ll have to eventually. It’s definitely not a priority but… Yeah. As for the mistake, it’s related to Han and the attack on Valentine’s Day.”
“Is Han behind it?”
“He is,” Taehyung confirms. “Those who got to us were some of his goons, and one of the main issues is the plethora of underlings he has scattered across South Korea on top of his family he kept secret so far.”
Jungkook hums every now and then, hushed to not cut Taehyung in his explanation but also still loud enough to be heard, making sure that Taehyung knows Jungkook is not simply hearing but rather has his attention fully given to the man.
Jungkook is usually a passive listener, surprisingly, however here, he has an inkling making his presence known wouldn’t bother Taehyung, the opposite.
“This is when your neighbors enter.”
At Taehyung's declaration, Jungkook frowns. “What about them?”
“Han Chanbaek is Han’s nephew and Jisung works for Han.”
“/What?/” Jungkook exclaims. “I’m— What the fuck? How?”
“Jimin missed some information about your neighbors when he made a background check on them, some of them were also hidden. Han’s doings. They knew about us meeting because they must have heard you speak about it to Namjoon,” Taehyung says.
Recollections of Jungkook calling Namjoon, excitedly venting about a friendly date with a mob boss that was not a date but kind of a date flash in his head.
“This is also why Jisung knows about the tournament. Han told him. Why? I have no fucking idea and this what I’m trying to figure out.”
“This… This sucks,” Jungkook says, struggling to process the onslaught of knowledge.
“You don’t say,” Taehyung /dares/ sass.
“Don’t take that tone with me,” Jungkook snaps. “I know you’re pissed and I would be too if I were on the brink of a war with another gang but don’t even begin taking it out on me. It’s not my fault and Jimin made a mistake, a terrible one, yes, but still. It happens.”
“It happens?” Taehyung parrots and this time the edge of his voice is sharp with a swelling ire. “You know what else can happen?"
When Jungkook doesn't reply Taehyung says "My men dying, my family and I dying, my empire being gone in the blink of an eye. For all I know Han sent a raid to my headquarters that’ll barge inside and have us killed as we speak.”
“But we can avoid that,” Jungkook says and he almost stutters one the ‘we’, that fear of being rejected, potent and expected.
“You don’t know anything,” Taehyung exhales but it’s not exasperated, it’s something else that Jungkook cannot pinpoint.
“I told you,” Jungkook stresses and he heaves a deep sigh, the hesitation from earlier flickering back. “/Show me/.”
“You don’t understand what you’re asking,” Taehyung says and Jungkook has to lift his head for a second to amp up the volume at how quiet Taehyung’s voice is becoming.
“You have got to stop underestimating me and thinking I’m some sort of naive fool that cannot comprehend what the world you live in is like,” Jungkook starts and he should be annoyed,
he usually is when someone belittle him but he can feel Taehyung’s discouragement that he wants to fathom. “It’s like you forget about that fight—”