He was talking to me, and it sucks because all I can remember were just fragments of it. L-like, pieces of a broken puzzle that I have to collect and analyze for it to make sense, but right now I can't..." Taehyung says, +
pausing as he massages the temples of his head, then running his palm over his face. "I can't believe that I was out for two months..." Taehyung continues as he meets Jimin's gaze.
"And Jeongguk? Why'd you have to play that game, Tae? Why did you say that you've forgotten about him? I may be bitter, but I've seen how that guy went through hell and back after what happened to you in CC's. +
For a while, we even thought that he'd gone completely crazy... Then you wake up, pretending you have suddenly gotten some strange selective 'amnesia', forgetting only him— that's a bit overkill don't you think?" Jimin asks, +
sitting on the side of the bed, holding Taehyung's hand, making the latter feel that despite his blunt words, he will still try to understand him.
"I p-panicked... I just woke up and I didn’t feel safe— I didn't feel that he would be safe. I may not remember much, but I know that sick psycho is gonna cause trouble for Jeongguk..." Taehyung huffs out a lungful of air. +
"H-how do I even explain this, really? I don't know, Chim... I just feel like it would be best if I stay away from him— for now, at least, while I'm here— while I still won't be able to do anything." Taehyung says, clasping Jimin's hand tighter as he releases another deep breath.
"Jeongguk said that he will be back. Now we know the room's clean... You can tell him, Tae." Jimin says, now softly stroking Taehyung's hair, while the latter slowly shakes his head.
"No... I can't—"
"He doesn't even believe you... That guy is called a genius for a reason. You won't be able to fool him like this... Just tell him— tell him that you remember him." Jimin says, +
and Taehyung knows that it's true, that he won't really be able to fool Jeongguk, but at the same time he feels that this is what he should do.
"I know... But it's better this way... If I drop the act now, Jeongguk— that guy won't ever stay away from me... And I think I won't be able to stay away from him either... I was sleeping the whole time, so to me, two months should feel like only hours—+
but I miss him... God, I missed him so much... So yeah," Taehyung pauses as his lips curled up to a broken smile, tears brimming in his eyes. "I need to draw the line... I need to have a reason not to jump on him the next time I see him again... +
He might not believe me, but I'm still willing to try... I want him to be safe, Chim." Taehyung says, breathing in deeply as he wipes his own tears, averting Jimin's gaze for a few good seconds to compose himself.
"Now, can you tell me, what happened in CC's?" Taehyung asks, changing the topic, and from there, Jimin proceeds to tell him everything that happened within the two months that he was sleeping.
Jimin began by assuring Taehyung that they had successfully arrested Yoo Jae-Sung and that CC's was no longer in business. He explained to Taehyung what had happened to Jin, +
and how the prosecution's office had encouraged him and Joon to take an administrative leave due to the negative response they had gotten for their rash actions.
It has been chaos— two months of absolute chaos.
They were under fire once it was revealed that they had pursued the operation despite being totally unprepared, resulting in the m:assacre of four high-profile guests who weren't supposed to get caught up in the mess.
Now, since Jimin, Joon and basically Taehyung too is on administrative leave, the pursuit of the 'Seoul Slasher', as they call the psychopath has been temporarily postponed, +
meaning their hands are tied, which is also the reason why they cannot utilize their full authority to search and investigate further about the matter.
The truth is, Jeongguk had already alerted them about those flowers that none of them sent. They have gone through the hospital's CCTV cameras countless of times in the past two months, monitoring who's coming in and out of Taehyung's room after visiting hours,+
but except for Jeongguk— who's supposed to be the only one allowed, being Taehyung's emergency contact, they saw none but just some nurses and a few doctors, doing their rounds at night checking on their patients.
It's really not easy. It was as if they're playing hide and seek, trying to catch a mouse who's smart enough to disguise himself as a cat.
"*Sigh*... Well, at least Yoo Jae-Sung is caught. Where is that guy by the way? Has he been brought to trial?" Taehyung asks.
"About that... Not yet actually... The guy's basically crippled for good now, not to mention his dick has been literally blown off... Seokjin, that guy really did a number on him— thus affecting his mental stability. +
He's being detained in a psych ward as we speak." Jimin says, telling Taehyung what exactly happened to Yoo Jae-Sung.
"Tch. I would actually be more relieved if he's under the custody of the police, but at least he got what he deserved— physically, that is. +
I really can't wait to get out of here so I can see him— see him be miserable, I mean." Taehyung admits, not even bothering to sugarcoat his intentions.
"I know... That's why you have to recover quickly— be healthy and undergo therapy... But for now, at least try to relax,+
you just woke up babe... Let's take it one step at a time, yeah?" Jimin says, gently ruffling Taehyung's hair.
"Pfft, one step at a time? How can I do that, when right now I can't even stand?"
"You'll get there... One good thing about me being on leave is I get to be here... I'll be with you, Tae, so for now, try to not worry about anything else, okay?" Jimin says, getting up on his feet when they heard a knock as the door swung open.
"Wow, someone finally decided to show up, huh?" Jimin says, eyeing Joon who just stepped inside the room with Seokjin.
"Told him, I'll stuff him with twelve eggs tonight if he doesn't come with me, guess that did the trick—"
"Oh shut up! You know that's not true!" Joon whines, feeling both awkward and guilty breathing the same air as Taehyung.
"Pfft… Anyway, I'm so glad that you're up now, sleeping beauty. You really did scare us a lot." Jin says, walking towards Taehyung on the bed.
"S-sorry—" Taehyung then wasn't able to finish what he was about to say when Jeongguk stepped inside his room as well.
"*Sigh* So uhm... Yeah, we're all here, sans Yoongi and Hobi who haven't left the station in a week, I guess?" Jimin says, not really sure on how to act, knowing Taehyung's plan and how Jeongguk doesn't really buy that said plan.
"Yeah? I won't stay for long, though... I actually need to go. I just dropped by to check on Tae." Jeongguk says, glancing at Taehyung who immediately averted his gaze.
"*cough*Alright... Well, I think we'll just wait outside." Jin says, clearing his throat as he pulls Jimin and Joon out of the room, thinking it's best for them to leave Jeongguk and Taehyung.
[You can play this as you read.]
"So uhm... I'm back. How are you feeling?" Jeongguk asks, while Taehyung still refuses to look at him, eyes fixed on the window, thus making the bright and flickering city lights reflect on his face— beautiful, +
even if Taehyung had lost weight, Jeongguk still thinks that nothing could beat the sight of Taehyung's face now that the latter’s fully awake.
"Fine..." Taehyung dryly replies, balling his fists tightly under the blanket, gulping nervously when he feels the bed dip as Jeongguk takes a seat beside him.
"I guess Park had already checked this room when I left, so I'll speak freely now, yeah?" Jeongguk says, pausing as he gently places his hand over Taehyung's lap, smiling defeatedly when he feels Taehyung flich on his touch. +
"You just woke up and you're already scheming something... You really can't waste a day, huh? You know how much I missed you, Tae... C'mon, let's drop the act now, okay?" Jeongguk continues +
and Taehyung truly hates how soft, gentle and warm he sounds, for it's just making it harder for him to resist throwing himself into Jeongguk's arms.
"I-I have no idea what you're talking about..." Taehyung says, silently taking a deep breath before he turns towards Jeongguk. "It is what it is... I don't know you, Jeongguk-ssi." Taehyung adds, feeling his heart skip a beat when Jeongguk smiled, pushing a tongue on his cheek.
"You know, during a coma— although rare, I've read that sometimes it is still possible for the brain to pick up sounds despite the individual being unconscious... Judging from how guarded you looked like when you woke up earlier, +
I'm guessing that's what happened. I know you... Every damn bit of you. You can't lie to me Tae... That guy— he's been here, and you know it." Jeongguk says in a low voice, all while still putting emphasis on each of his words.
From there, Taehyung found his already unstable resolve crumbling. There's pain in Jeongguk's eyes, but there's also that unspeakable amount of need— longing, and it's starting to make Taehyung wonder if he could really keep on pretending.
Still scared and unsure, Taehyung decided to stay silent, looking away from Jeongguk, only for Jeongguk to gently hook his finger under his chin, turning him towards him again.
"Please... Tell me you remember me... Tell me you love me— that you still love me... Please, Tae... I just got you back. I'm going crazy here—mmph..." Jeongguk wasn't able to finish what he was about to say when Taehyung suddenly grabbed him by the collar of his shirt,+
smashing their lips together.
Taken aback, Jeongguk took a few good seconds before he could react. From there, he then started kissing Taehyung back—
He's kissing him back, relieved of all the damn fear he'd felt for the past two months, when he thought Taehyung might never wake up.
It was hell— and right now, Jeongguk can proudly say that he got out of it, because finally, his Taehyung is here, alive and doing well.
"F:uck... You scared the sh¡t out of me baby... You have no idea—.." Jeongguk was once again shushed when Taehyung pecked his lips.
"Not here... I still can't trust this place, so let's talk once I'm able to get out of here, alright?" Taehyung whispers in heavy takes of breath, brushing his fingers over Jeongguk's hair, while mentally scolding himself for caving in sooner than what he initially intended.
"Gotcha... Don't worry. I'll get you out of here— soon... But for now, you have to promise me that you'll do your best to recover quickly... Can you do that for me, baby?" Jeongguk asks, pulling Taehyung to a tight hug.
"Okay... That would be easy— I think."
"Good. That's my baby..." Jeongguk pauses as he kisses Taehyung's cheek. "After tonight, the next time you'll see me is when I'll be taking you out of this place. Don't worry about me, for I've been taking care of myself. +
I know that I need to be safe so I can keep you safe." Jeongguk adds, placing another kiss on top of Taehyung's hair this time.
"You better... Promise me too that you won't do anything while I'm still here. I'm telling you— if something bad happens to you, I won't survive it, Jeongguk." Taehyung says, pulling back slightly from the hug so he can look Jeongguk in the eyes.
"Ah... I know. I feel the same too, so yeah— I promise... I'll be waiting for you, so be well soon." Jeongguk says, now cupping Taehyung's face. "I know that you have a lot of other questions you want to ask me.+
I know that right now, you're still overwhelmed, confused— scared... But we'll get through this.” Jeongguk nods with a smile on his face, convincing Taehyung and also himself. +
“I'm not doing sh¡t without you... I'll be with you— fight with you. I love you... So please, trust me enough to do that too." Jeongguk adds, failing to stop himself from crying again as Taehyung, leans into his touch, slowly nodding his head in response.
"Okay... Okay... Let's do that. I love you too, Jeongguk... I can die, but I don’t think I’m capable of ever forgetting you." Taehyung says, lips curling up to a smile— a genuine one, something that he only shows to Jeongguk.
"Nope. No more dying. We'll live the crap out of this lifetime—you and I. Keep that in mind, yeah?" Jeongguk replies, and when Taehyung leans in to kiss him, he feels like the world has finally made sense again.
This fight is far from done.
It had only barely begun.
𝚃𝙸𝚃𝙻𝙴 : 𝟿𝟿%
I've been tailing this blasted car for almost an hour, just to discover that I've been wasting my time by following a dumb fcking stranger, a measly bodyguard to be exact.
The guy pulled over near the subway station, and normally—if I were in a better mood, I would leave it alone and try again another day, but I am enraged right now. I'm so furious that I want to scream, because seriously? How dare he?
How fcking dare that Jeon Jeongguk play me? How dare he squander my time? How could he make a mockery of me when he was supposed to d¡e tonight?
[You can play this as you read.]
Despite the risk, I gathered my stuff from the back seat of my car and parked in an area where I knew there would be no cameras. I wore my gloves, mask, and cap while keeping my gaze fixed on the guy making his way down to the subway.
With my thoughts filled with wrath, I took a deep breath and continued on my route, following the guy's tracks and sliding in between the massive crowd—I fcking hate crowds.
From there, I silently pursued him from behind, keeping my head down, holding my favorite pair of scissors under the sleeves of my jacket. +
This will undoubtedly create a buzz, but I am not one to be concerned with what happens afterwards. All I want to do now is get rid of this indignation— this insane rage that resulted from being mocked.
I crept closer to the guy, using the crowd I despise to hide my presence. I do not know him— no, no I don't, but still, I need him to make a statement.
I need him to set up an example.
I need him to give that fcker, Jeon Jeongguk a warning.
He is next.
To hell with everything else, once I plunge the blades of my scissors, it will be buried straight down his neck.
I counted my steps as I casually put my arm over the guy's shoulders, allowing us both to fit in between the throngs. I felt him flinch at my touch, but I'll be damned if I give him enough time to react. +
So, without wasting another second, I stabbed him on the neck with my scissors, twisting and screwing the metal over his flesh, piercing him straight into his veins,+
before pulling it out, calmly removing my coat, wrapping it around the blood-soaked scissors so no mess was spilled on the ground as I walked along the sea of people.
I smirked from a safe distance when I heard a faint thud on the floor, followed by a series of gasps that grew into violent shrieks of these individuals,+
who then began to swarm around the man I just k¡lled—without them realizing they're standing near the one who's responsible for it,
That's more like it.
Ah— this is what true power and control really is,
It is to inflict fear.
It is to take.
Take— without ever giving back.
It is to hurt.
It is to cause pain and despair.
True power is to take someone's life, that— without ever getting punished for it.
[END OF SOMEONE's POV]
Jeongguk is now in his new home in Cheongdamdong. He must give credit to Jin for choosing a place that perfectly meets his preferences. +
As he enters, he is greeted by pure white walls and tiles, with a few black and wood accents. Jeongguk hopes that Taehyung will enjoy it as well; after all, this isn't just Jeongguk's home; it's also for Taehyung.
Yet for now, Jeongguk understands that he has to be alone.
Truth is, Jeongguk has no solid plan. However, he knows that if he is to plan anything, then he must do it without being under the enemy's surveillance.
Clearly, they're up against a formidable foe; the psychopath they're after is someone who knows exactly what he's doing while also mastering the art of getting away with it.
Jeongguk had surreptitiously spent the last two months researching the 'Seoul Slasher's' known cases.
All of the 'slasher's' victims appear to be connected to the J group of companies in some way. They're all public figures, models, singers and actors, but one thing that Jeongguk noticed is how the slasher doesn't really care about his victim's gender.
The slasher's victims include both men and women who are neither too young nor too old. The victims are all clearly attractive. +
Sure, there are a few similarities, but the longer Jeongguk studies the victims' profiles, the more he comes to realize that they really don't look alike, and that's making it hard for Jeongguk to determine the slasher's exact type.
Now, in terms of him and Taehyung, Jeongguk is still unsure of who would be the slasher's next victim. According to Jeongguk's assessment, both he and Taehyung have been receiving the same bouquet of flowers, +
which could be interpreted to a number of reasons, the most notable of which is that the slasher probably hates both him and Taehyung, +
or he likes one of them and the slasher hates seeing them together. However, it all boils down to one fact— and that is they're both in danger.
Rolling the sleeves of his white dress shirt up, Jeongguk then poured himself a glass of whiskey, taking a sip as he stood by the glass windows, looking intently at the dim flickering lights outside. +
He took a deep breath, keeping all of his senses awake and alert, and from there, Jeongguk's lips curled up into a smirk.
Finally, Jeongguk feels truly alone.
'Wait for me baby... We'll be together again soon.' Jeongguk thinks as he takes a sip of his drink.
"Hello?" Jeongguk answers his phone, and when he heard what one of his body guards said, the glass he's holding slipped into his hold, shattering all over the floor.
He was indeed getting tailed earlier, and although Jeongguk escaped unscathed, someone else died at the hands of that madman.
"*Sigh* I see... Please send my condolences to Seo-an-si's family." Jeongguk says as he hangs up the phone, anxiously clutching his phone.
"There's no use. The station's completely packed. I couldn't even identify the victim from this angle," Hobi groans as he leans back in his chair, ruffling his hair as he & Yoongi continue to play the CCTV tape of the most recent incident that occurred in Seoul station today.
"I know, but we have to keep on trying. I've already requested a copy of the additional security cameras that surround the station. It might take some time, but the guy can't possibly disappear without leaving a trail behind. +
If we fail to get anything out of this, then he had just successfully mocked the police department. We've already taken enough damage, Hobs," Yoongi explains, replaying the video before the victim collapses.
Han Seo-an, age, 35, working as Jeon Jeongguk's personal bodyguard.
"Jeongguk's right, though. He was being followed— stalked, and by the looks of it, if he hadn't done what he did— if he hadn't blindly lured that sick psycho out using his bodyguards as decoys,+
then he's probably the one who's dead right now... I just don't get it though? What does that guy want from Jeongguk?" Hobi wonders, because no matter how hard he tries to think about it, he still wasn't able to come up with an answer.
"I'm not sure, but at this point, it seems like a sick personal vendetta or something. That guy is really messed up— I mean, why do you think he killed the bodyguard?+
Was it because he got pissed after being tricked into thinking he was following Jeongguk, or was it for another reason? I don't know, but before this, I really didn't take that psycho as someone who would kill in broad daylight." Yoongi asserts, while Hobi nods in accord.
"He threw a tantrum. He did something completely out of character— totally different from how we expected him to act and respond. +
He did it to warn Jeongguk that he's capable of pulling off such a stunt," Joon says, overhearing some of Hobi and Yoongi's conversation as he enters the latter's office here in the police station.
"Joon? Wow, I thought I'd never see you again, man!— Wait, are you done with your break? Are we back in action?" Hobi asks, +
welcoming Joon back to the workplace after the latter had essentially vanished from their sight for over two months following the incident at CC's.
"Not quite, but I'm planning on it. Taehyung's awake, by the way," Joon replies, causing the two cops to arise. "Really? Thank heavens!" screams Hobi, as Yoongi breathes a sigh of relief.
"Finally. How is he? I'm guessing he's seen Jeongguk already?" Yoongi asks Joon.
"Well, yeah... Though, according to Park, Taehyung's been insisting that he doesn’t remember Jeongguk since he woke up this afternoon. None of us bought it of course, not even Jeongguk." Joon says, taking a seat in front of Yoongi and Hobi's desk.
"Huh? Why though?" Hobi asks again.
"Guk told us he suspects Taehyung is up to something. Maybe he knows the psychopath has been visiting him while he's unconscious.+
I honestly have no idea what's going on inside their heads, but I know I can't leave them alone. They're both too smart— also too reckless for their own good.+
They're dangerous— and that applies to both the psychopath as well as Taehyung and Jeongguk." Joon says, sliding a folder on Yoongi's desk, with a rather firm expression on his face.
"What's this?" Yoongi asks as he curiously inspect the contents of the folder.
"A case study constructed by a stubborn spiteful genius. *Sigh* Basically, that's a daily diary of Jeongguk's observations while Taehyung was unconscious. +
He's been trying to figure out a pattern based on the times he and Taehyung received those petunia flowers. He also wrote all of the names and most of the accessible information regarding the doctors and nurses assigned to do rounds in Taehyung's room, +
as well as all of the delivery guys that sent the flowers to his Hannam-Dong home. There, you'll find that whenever Taehyung gets those flowers, Jeongguk will receive one soon after, +
and that the slasher has most likely been disguised as either a nurse or a doctor in order to freely enter and exit Taehyung's room. As of now, we still don't know how he's been doing it, but since Taehyung is already up, +
we don't have time to just sit and observe. Jeongguk is making a move, and Taehyung will follow suit shortly— that, I'm sure." Joon says as Yoongi and Hobi thumb through the folder.
"Tch, Tae just woke up. He's been in a coma for two months... Seriously, what can he do when right now I guess he couldn't even stand?" Yoongi remarks, furrowing his brows when he notices something.+
"Wait? 6'2? How did Jeongguk reach the conclusion that the slasher's height is around 6'2?" he asks.
"Apparently by meeting with all of the nurses and doctors assigned to check on Taehyung, the tallest of whom stands around 5'11, and when Guk checked the security footages,+
he noticed that there has been someone who appears to be significantly taller than the others, and that he stays inside Taehyung's room for no more than 5 minutes every time he pays Tae a visit—also, +
that someone only comes between 11:00 p.m and 4:00 in the morning." Joon says, turning from Yoongi to Hobi this time.+
"Anyway, I'm just here to pass on Jeongguk's message. He's planning to do something— and he needs our help. If you're both up for it, that is." Joon adds.
"It depends on his plan. Hobs and I narrowly avoided suspension due to our participation in CC's buy-bust operation, so if we screw up big time again, we might actually lose our badges," Yoongi states.
"Don't worry... This is something personal; we won't need anyone's authorization this time... It's no big deal... It's just that Jeongguk— is preparing to kidnap someone," Joon says before he proceeds to tell Yoongi and Hobi what Jeongguk has in mind.
[One Week Later]
Taehyung thinks that it's true, time really does pass by slowly when you're trying to rush. It's only been a week since he awoke and last saw Jeongguk, but Taehyung feels like it's been months.
He honestly cannot wait to get out of this damned hospital.
Thankfully, the therapy has been going well. He can now stand and walk slowly, but to say he's back to normal would be a stretch because he's still a long way from it.+
His limbs and joints are still stiff and aching, so he needs to limit his movements, which causes Taehyung to lose more patience.
"There you go... Sleep, okay? I'll be back here first thing in the morning." Jimin says after tucking Taehyung in bed. Jimin has barely left his side this week,+
accompanying Taehyung to every check-up and therapy session, so Taehyung is beginning to wonder if Jimin is getting enough rest to stay healthy.
"You don't have to, Chim. I'll be okay here. You should catch up on sleep, you barely go home, and I wouldn't like it if you got sick because all you do is take care of me," Taehyung says as Jimin gives him a weak smile.
"I'm here because I want to. Sure, you've already rejected me as a prospective boyfriend, but you can't truly cut me off as your best friend. So if you want to repay me, please focus on your recovery, okay?" Jimin asks, tenderly stroking Taehyung's hair.
"Mhm— I'll do that, then... Take care on your way home, alright?" Taehyung replies.
"Copy that... And uhm— I know you're still feeling anxious here in this room, but I can assure you, we've doubled your security... By the way, I'll be meeting Joon and Hobi at the reception. +
They said they have an urgent matter to discuss with me. I'm not sure if we can still see you later at this hour, but we'll be here for a bit longer, so you don't have to worry about that fcker... +
Good night, Tae." Jimin says as he kisses Taehyung on the forehead and walks out the door.
Although Taehyung clearly hates admitting it, he felt frigid the instant he was left alone.
<You can play this as you read.>
You should see me in a crown
"Come on, come on, come on... Just fcking leave already," I said, tapping on the steering wheel of my car as I waited for Park Jimin, the prosecutor, to leave the hospital.
I had a long, hard day, and it makes me want to visit my angel—my perfect muse—so I can at least try to sleep better tonight.
It's currently 10:58 p.m., which means visiting hours are over and Park Jimin should be leaving soon; once he's gone, I can go in. I can finally see my Taehyung even though he's probably still sleeping.
I hate that he's still not responding to me even after two months, but I have to admit that simply looking at his gorgeous sleeping face is growing on me.+
I could honestly stare at him all day. I'm wondering if I should just take him with me. Lock him up so that no one else can look at him except me.
Maybe I should...
"Pfft... B-but I don't want him to die? No, no, it will be a shame if he dies... What if he's one of a kind— ah! Of course, he's one of a kind... What I mean is, what if I'll never find something similar? +
Tch... Seriously? What's taking that fcker so long to head out?" I said, clicking my tongue in annoyance, wondering if Park Jimin had taken the back entrance.
Done waiting, I was ready to get out of my car, when I noticed two familiar faces arriving at the hospital. If I'm not mistaken,+
the tall one is Kim Namjoon, whom I frequently see with Jeon Jeongguk, and the other is Jung Hoseok, whom I've previously seen with Taehyung—but what the fck are they doing here at this hour?
Hmm... Never mind.
I know where my Taehyung is anyway.
He can never get away from me— no, no...
"He can't... I won't let him." I smiled as I glanced at the red blinking dot on my phone— something that's connecting me and my Taehyung— even if he leaves his hospital room.
I've had enough. I have been sitting here for more than an hour, and I'm not really a man that has a lot of patience.
I can't wait.
I have to move.
I have to see my Kim Taehyung.
I double-checked my phone to be sure the red dot hadn't moved before putting on my cap and mask, stepping out of my car, which was again parked in an area with poor surveillance.
Sneaking into the hospital is actually rather simple. Everyone here is either busy minding their own business or grieving.
Of course, I had to make an effort to change into something that didn't appear suspicious. It's fun, really. At times, I'm a doctor, then a nurse, sometimes a police officer. +
Yeah, it's been easy, especially considering I'm dealing with folks who like to think they have everything under control.
I sneaked inside the locker rooms in under five minutes, dressing myself as a nurse, making sure that my facemask was still on before nonchalantly heading towards Taehyung's private room.
Just a bit more.
Just a bit more.
I just need to take this damn elevator.
The elevator door then swung open, allowing me to board.
I was ready to enter with the other medical staff who were waiting beside me when the guy pushing a patient in a wheelchair whose face was wrapped in gauze bumped into me as they exited the same lift.
"*cough* Oh, I'm sorry, sir," the guy in a cap and face mask muttered, lowering his head, and while I despise needless touch with strangers, I know this isn't the place for me to lose my temper.
"It's fine. Take care," I replied as I entered the lift, my attention fixed on the white hospital walls as the elevator door closed.
[END OF SOMEONE'S POV]
Whenever the lights go off inside his room, Taehyung loses his sense of time. It's been a week and he hasn't gotten enough sleep, especially at night. If anything he prefers to sleep during the day because by then he can relax knowing that at least he'll be with Jimin.
Taehyung has no idea how long Jimin has been gone, whether it has been minutes or hours. He's closed his eyes, but his other senses are still on high alert. +
He can't explain it, but no matter how many times Jimin or Joon assure him that his room has been cleared of all surveillance or bugging devices, Taehyung still thinks—no,+
he can feel—that he's not really alone; that someone is watching him, knowing exactly where he is, and Taehyung doesn't like that feeling. It's making him terribly uncomfortable.
He'd been counting sheep in his head, trying to regulate his breath so he could relax—he was about to settle when he heard a subtle clicking sound from the doorknob.
It's definitely past visiting hours. His doctor has already made their rounds, so Taehyung has no idea who is paying him a visit now—or maybe he knows?
'Sh¡t.' Taehyung thinks when he hears another clicking sound.
The door has just been locked.
No, Taehyung understands that what he's experiencing right now isn't fear. He's not scared, nevertheless he feels helpless. He's aware that he has nothing on him that he can use to save himself, and that alone is enough to make him beyond frustrated.
The ticking of the wall clock now sounds like in those suspenseful films Taehyung used to watch before the villain appears on the screen, and it doesn't help that Taehyung can hear his uninvited guest breathing as he approaches him.
Taehyung remained motionless, ignoring the cold shivers that crawled all over him until he felt a subtle touch against his skin.
Someone is here— someone is definitely here, and he's touching him; on his face, lips, jaw, going all the way down to his neck, and Taehyung couldn't stand it.+
He knows it's risky and that he's still basically incapable of protecting himself, but he also knows that if he lets this go on, he'll be even more disgusted with himself.
Bracing himself for the worst, Taehyung took a deep breath and grabbed the man's wrist as he opened his eyes,
"Y-you?" Taehyung asks, surprised to see someone he didn't expect to encounter tonight.
It was said that stress is often caused by being 'here' but wanting to be 'there.'
As the fog of dread lifted from Taehyung's head, he began to feel relief, thinking that right now— there's no place he'd rather be than here, staring at the man in front of him.
"You... I was starting to think you dumped me because being in a coma made me look rather unsightly," Taehyung confesses as Jeongguk helps him sit on the bed.
"Don't be ridiculous. You know that won't happen," Jeongguk says, softly kissing Taehyung's hair as he sits alongside him on the bed. "Did you miss me?" he asks, his gaze fixed on Taehyung despite his playful tone.
"What do you think?" Taehyung asks.
"I did... I mean me— I missed you, every day, every second... Even now, I still miss you, Tae." Jeongguk says, tucking some of Taehyung's hair behind his ear.
"I might ask you to leave if you start crying... I'm not very fond of wailing babies," Taehyung says, stifling a smile as a faint flush of pink appears on his cheeks.
"Don't worry... Even if I wanted to, I don't have much time to cry... We're leaving, Tae... You and I," Jeongguk says, picking up his bag from the side of the bed where he had left it earlier and placing it in front of Taehyung.+
"I'm here to keep my promise; I tried waiting for a week, but I've run out of patience... I'm taking you with me," Jeongguk adds, opening his bag and pulling out the clothes he packed.
"Are you serious? I can't even walk on my own, Guk... Dr. Kang said I might need to stay here for another 3-4 weeks since I still have to undergo a few more tests, go to therapy, and—"
"And we'll do all of that... Just not here," Jeongguk says, softly cupping Taehyung's cheek. "Look at you. You look like you haven't slept in days. You haven't gained weight...+
I know you don't feel at ease here, Tae— I feel the same... That's why I'm here to take you away. You'll come with me, right? Do you trust me?" Jeongguk urges as Taehyung leans into his touch.
Taehyung then took a deep breath and shifted his gaze to Jeongguk's face. "Alright... Let's do that," Taehyung replies. He's still unsure, but he'd rather be anyplace else than here, where he keeps on feeling paranoid that somebody else is watching him.
"Good. Come now, we have to leave soon. I packed a few clothes for you. I'll help you change, yeah?" Jeongguk offers, sounding frantic as he pulls a shirt from the bag before he glances up,+
silently seeking Taehyung's permission to unbutton the latter's top. "We have to move fast—"
"Why?" Taehyung asks, causing Jeongguk to pause, averting his gaze as he takes a quick deep breath.
"That guy... If my deductions—"
"Deductions?" Taehyung asks, raising a brow, cutting Jeongguk off.
"*Sigh* Fine, assumptions. If my assumptions based from my observations in the past two months are correct, then that person—that madman will be here any minute now," Jeongguk says, heaving out a lungful of air before continuing to undo Taehyung's buttons. +
"Look, I'm not sure about anything, but there's this strange guy, around 6 foot or 6 foot 2 in height, who frequently comes here in your room between 1 and 4 a.m. I have no clear evidence yet to back up my claim, because every time I see him, he's dressed as a nurse, a doctor, +
sometimes he's even in a police officer's uniform—and he's always wearing a mask… But, even though I haven't seen his face yet, I'm pretty sure—no, my senses tell me that it's the same person," Jeongguk says, +
as he peels the shirt off Taehyung's shoulders. "Arms up, baby," he says, urging Taehyung to raise his arms so he can dress him up.
"W-wow... You've really done your research, huh?" Taehyung asks, unsure how to react because his head hurts and he's still having trouble digesting everything at once.
"I'll tell you more later... But now we have to go... I can't really function properly knowing you're awake and that he can come here whenever he wants... +
Don't get me wrong, but we both know that you and that lunatic are equally unpredictable; he's mentally unstable, and knowing you? Once you see him, you'll definitely fight him off even if you're aware+
that you're still not physically capable." Jeongguk says, done changing Taehyung's shirt, grunting as he slightly lifts Taehyung by the waist, moving the latter to the side of the bed so that he can change the latter's pants as well.
"Yeah? Well, I can't say that you're wrong," Taehyung says, averting his gaze from Jeongguk, feeling a little guilty because he can't deny that he was truly planning to confront that damn psychopath earlier.
"Of course, I'm not wrong. Can you lift your hips up, baby? You need to wear pants—thicker ones. It's cold outside." Jeongguk says, crouching down on the floor as he tugs Taehyung's pajama down.
From there, Jeongguk stills, clenching his jaws and closing his eyes for a brief moment, noting how much weight Taehyung has lost that even his legs have thinned to the point where it looks like they'll break if he puts the slightest weight to them.
"I-it looks bad, right? I— I'm working on it... I've been trying to eat more. It's just that Dr. Kang advises me not to rush it... I'm sorry—"
"Hush now... It's not that. I just— I'm sorry you had to go through all of that... I'm sorry I couldn't stop it even— even though I was just there... I was there, and I—"
"You did everything you could & more at the time; you don't have to apologize," Taehyung says, wincing slightly as he extends his stiff arm to stroke Jeongguk's hair lovingly.
"Does it still hurt?" Jeongguk says, softly placing his hand around Taehyung's wrist, kissing his palm.
"Not anymore... Just like magic— you're here and I'm not in pain anymore." Taehyung murmurs, his gaze never leaving Jeongguk's face, prompting Jeongguk to hiss, +
slamming his palm hard on the mattress as he pulls himself up, cupping Taehyung's jaw, claiming the latter's lips because it feels wrong not to.
"I love you..." Jeongguk exhales heavily, raking his fingers through Taehyung's hair, pushing it back, and when his fingertips brushed over beneath Taehyung's ear— Jeongguk felt something.
Something that doesn't seem to belong here.
"Why?" Taehyung asks, noticing Jeongguk's face hardens as he stares at him.
"Come here... I need to check on something," Jeongguk says, drawing Taehyung's head closer, pressing the latter's face against his chest to inspect the area behind Taehyung's ear.
There, Jeongguk found a slight protrusion buried beneath Taehyung's thin skin; it's shaped like a thick needle, and when he peered closely, he noticed that the spot was still red, with a drying wound on top of it.+
"Fck..." Jeongguk mumbled under his breath, clutching the back of Taehyung's hair, anxious to discover what the 'thing' really is.
"W-what is it... What—"
"Don't." Jeongguk says, stopping Taehyung from touching the back of his ear. "I'm not sure what this is, but I know you shouldn't have this... I'm going to remove it— it might hurt-.."
"Just take it off, Jeongguk... T-take it off..." Taehyung pleads. He's not sure why, but he's trembling right now, a thousand crazy thoughts racing through his mind. He's been unconscious for two months, and a cr¡minal has been frequenting his room all that time—+
who knows what that monster has done to him while he's still sleeping? Did he touch him? Kiss him? Did he feed him anything? Fck, Taehyung has no idea, but it causes him to feel dirty, tainted, and disgusting.+
He felt as if he had been exposed and exploited without being given the opportunity to say no and protect himself.
"Sshh... O-okay... Okay, I will," Jeongguk whispers, quivering as he carefully touches the damn thing behind Taehyung's ear, searching for the tip so he can pierce it out and completely remove it from Taehyung.+
"Bite me if it hurts," Jeongguk says, putting pressure on Taehyung's skin, holding his breath, chewing on his lower lip as he moves his thumb up, allowing the needle-like item to pop out of the same place it went into, +
pulling it out as Taehyung bites his shoulder hard, grunting in pain.
"F-fuck.. F:UCK!" Jeongguk screams as he steps back from Taehyung, flinging the item on the bed, staining the white linen with a bit of Taehyung's blood, and from there, they both notice a dim flashing light.
Taehyung then picks it up, noticing it resembles a PIT tag with a sharp tip—similar to an identification microchip affixed to family pets in case they get lost—but the wirings are different. +
It's not just an identification tag. Taehyung is sure since as part of his profession, he has seen a lot of these. It's a tracker—a customized tiny tracker inserted beneath his skin.
"J-Jeongguk... Please, please— get me away from here." Taehyung pleads, letting go of the item, feeling like he'll throw up at any second.
Taehyung is now fully dressed, his face bandaged in gauze, when they heard a knock on the door.
"Guk... We're all set," Hobi says as Jeongguk opens the door, allowing him to push the wheelchair he and Joon stole—well, borrowed earlier from the hospital's storage room.
"Thank you, Hobs. Make sure no one knows we're leaving; I think it's better if everyone except us thinks Taehyung's missing right now," Jeongguk says, guiding Taehyung to the wheelchair, before he puts his face mask and cap on.
"Don't worry, Joon briefed us properly... Just— just take care, okay? Call us whenever you can," Hobi replies as he leads Jeongguk out to the corridor where Joon and Jimin are waiting.
"Hyung..." says Jeongguk, looking at Joon.
"Take the lift and go directly to the back exit. Don't worry about the cameras... I managed to get into them, so you can leave undetected," Joon says as he turns to face Jimin, who is crouching down in front of Taehyung on the wheelchair.
"Come back soon, alright?" Jimin whispers, adjusting the gauze that's wrapped over Taehyung's head, concealing his face. "I'm sure you'll sleep better there—wherever you're going," he adds.
"I think so too. Thank you, Chim." Taehyung says, feeling Jeongguk's hand on top of his.
"We'll get going now. Keep your eyes open after we leave. If that fcker is here, he certainly wouldn't like this," Jeongguk says firmly to the other three, before walking away, leading Taehyung to the nearby lift.
[You can play this as you read.]
Edge or seventeen
Jeongguk would be lying if he said he isn't nervous right now. He's basically sneaking Taehyung out before he's officially discharged, but he'd rather go this route than endure another day without Taehyung by his side.
Even though he knows it's risky, Jeongguk thinks it's better for them to keep their every move a secret. Who knows if the psychopath is a guard or a member of the medical staff?+
If not then he's probably dressed as one, so Jeongguk decided to keep his plan known only by a few trusted individuals; Joon, Hobi, Jin, Jimin and Yoongi in particular.
With his heart beating fast, Jeongguk clutches the handles of Taehyung's wheelchair tightly, keeping a low profile until the lift reaches the ground floor. +
He was about to push Taehyung out when he accidentally bumped into someone. 'Sh¡t.' Jeongguk curses in his mind.
"*cough* Oh, I'm sorry, sir," Jeongguk says, his eyes fixed on the floor as he and Taehyung exits the elevator.
"It's fine. Take care," The man who appears to be a nurse says, and Jeongguk only lets out a breath when the elevator door closes. He hastened his steps until they reached the back exit, where he parked his motorcycle.+
He quickly takes the gauze from Taehyung's head, making him wear his spare helmet, hoisting him up, and securing him on the bike before hopping on himself.
"I didn't know you own a motorcycle?" Taehyung says, wrapping his arms around Jeongguk's waist.
"Oh, it's quite new... I went a little wild with my purchases after my license was restored," Jeongguk explains, also wearing his helmet. +
"Hold on tight, baby. We can't afford to take it slow," Jeongguk adds, his lips curling up into a smirk when he felt Taehyung tightening his grip on him as they fled the scene, feeling the cold breeze hit their skin.
'Check the cameras— the patient was just here an hour ago!'
I was walking through the corridors towards Taehyung's private room when I heard one of the doctors yell, +
and from there, I spotted a crowd gathering in front of Taehyung's door, including Hoseok and the two prosecutors, Jimin and Namjoon.
What the fck is happening?
I checked my phone and saw that Taehyung's tracker was still active and functional, so he should just be in his room—but he isn't, and apparently that's what's causing all of this fuss.
"What's going on?" I asked one of the nurses who is with Taehyung's doctor.
"I'm not sure, but from what I've heard, a patient is missing, and we don't know if he escaped or was taken away... Either way, this will be bad for us. +
That patient has been in a coma for two months—" The guy continues to blabber, but I can't afford to stay here. I balled my fists and began walking back to the lift.
No, this cannot be happening right now.
"F:UCK! F:UCK! F:UCK!!!!" I screamed, now in my house, thrashing my room because I can't contain my wrath.
Taehyung is gone. He's gone missing—no, someone took him, and I know who it could be.
I kept striking my desk until my knuckles were stained red and a dent appeared on the surface, but it wasn't enough.
No. No, it will never be enough until I get my Taehyung back.
"I'm gonna k¡ll you— f:uck... I'm gonna f:ucking k¡ll you..." I growled, crumpling the magazine I tore with Jeon Jeongguk's face on the cover.
[END OF SOMEONE'S POV]
[You can play this as you read.]
Taehyung held onto Jeongguk till they arrived in front of a nice big house in Cheongdamdong, surrounded by bricked walls and tall gates, that no one from the outside would be able to see the lovely estate.
"We're here," Jeongguk says, hopping off the motorcycle and removing his and Taehyung's helmets before helping the latter off as well.
"Wow... You're full of surprises tonight... Last time I checked, I was dating a rockstar. Now it feels like I'm with a business mogul or something— did you buy this?" Taehyung asks, leaning against the bike, still unable to stand for much.
"Mhm, yeah... Well, I've been in the biz for years, saved all my earnings, and now I'm able to purchase all of this... I'm looking for a sugar baby, by the way—+
by any chance would you be interested?" Jeongguk teases, nodding to his guards nearby to close the gates, then he turns towards Taehyung again.
"Well, I'm currently jobless-"
"On administrative leave... You're not jobless, Tae," Jeongguk clarifies.
"It's the same thing— at least for the time being... So yeah, you have bodyguards, a mansion, a Dyna Wide Glide Harley-Davidson bike, 2 cars—"
"Three. I have three cars, one of which is in the pound but still counts," Jeongguk says, smugly pushing his tongue on his cheek, playfully flicking Taehyung's chin.
"Right... You have three cars, not to mention you're young and also so devastatingly hot— I guess being your sugar baby doesn't sound that unpleasant," Taehyung says, looking behind them at the huge house.
"Good. Let's go in so we can talk about the perks and benefits of being my sugarbaby," Jeongguk says, scooping Taehyung into his arms and carrying him through the door bridal-style.
"Pfft... Stop— don't you dare drop me... Pfft..." Taehyung giggles as Jeongguk nuzzles his face against the crook of his neck while still carrying him.
"Pfft, as if I'd ever— so, uhm... Welcome home, Tae." Jeongguk says as he places Taehyung on the couch before turning on the lights, showing Taehyung the place they'll be calling home for the meantime.
"Oh... W-wow..." Taehyung is speechless as he scans the living room that extends to the kitchen counter, full glass walls that have a view of the back porch, +
neatly trimmed lawn, a swing, and even a little boat floating on the man-made lake that Taehyung assumes is also under Jeongguk's name.
"Tall gates up front, glass walls in the back. This place is mostly surrounded by water, so no one can easily sneak around... It's nice right? It's just the two of us here—sure, I hired a few guards outside, but—"
"It's perfect... I feel like I can finally breathe here," Taehyung says as Jeongguk kneels in front of him.
"I've been here for a week, but it's only now that I feel like this place is complete... I'm really glad you're finally here," Jeongguk adds, taking Taehyung's hand and kissing the back of the latter's palm.
"I'm happy to be here... With you, I mean." Taehyung says, reaching up to caress Jeongguk's face, smiling as the latter shuts his eyes and leans into his touch.
They've returned to the couch after giving Taehyung a brief tour of the entire house—of course by being carried in Jeongguk's arms. Taehyung's head lies on Jeongguk's shoulder, and Jeongguk's arm is around Taehyung's waist, both of them staring blankly into space.
"So, mind telling me what you remember while you're asleep?" Jeongguk asks, using his free hand to stroke the long strands of Taehyung's hair.
"Not much... But it's exactly what you said. I'm pretty sure he went to visit me... I can't remember what he told me, but he was there... He was talking to me. I heard his voice. I-" Taehyung pauses, +
swinging his arms forward, feeling the need to hug himself as if he's still exposed. "A-at times- well, it could just be in my head, but... But sometimes, I can still feel him. His hands— touching me, k-kissing me... I feel so dirty," Taehyung says,+
burying his face against Jeongguk's chest, feeling Jeongguk's arms wrapping around him as well.
"I'm sorry... I-I'm sorry..." That was all Jeongguk could say, feeling both enraged and ashamed.
"He even put a tracker on me, like I'm some kind of dog... Like he has all the rights to my body... And I hate it— I hate it so much because just the thought of it makes me feel so useless— completely unarmed...+
It makes me feel weak... And I hate being weak, Jeongguk." Taehyung says, gripping Jeongguk's shirt, biting his trembling lips, hoping to stop himself from crying.
"I know... It's over now... At least for now we can pretend that it's done. He won't be able to find us here. I won't let him." Jeongguk replies, tightening his grip on Taehyung, matching his stare when the latter tilted his face up, peering closely at his face.
"But it's not over... We can't just stay here while he's out there doing whatever the fck he wants... It's not over until we catch him." Taehyung says, a single tear escaping his eye.
"I know... I won't let us be his prisoner forever, Tae... For now, all I want is to keep you safe... Can you try to remember more? Tell me everything and I'll do the same." Jeongguk says, brushing his thumb over Taehyung's tears.
"Alright... But can I take a bath first? I meant it when I said I felt dirty; I can still smell the hospital on me—I can still feel 'him' on me," Taehyung says, licking his lips, averting Jeongguk's gaze, unable to explain why he feels so repulsed with himself.
"Okay— okay, I'll get the bath ready then. Just stay here." Jeongguk says, kissing Taehyung's forehead before he heads towards the bathroom to grant Taehyung's request.
[You can play this as you read.]
'Sh¡t. Sh¡t. Sh¡t... Calm down you piece of sh¡t.' Jeongguk thinks, scolding himself for he really felt like he was doing good until now that he's in the bath together with a naked Taehyung.
He knows they have a lot to talk about—a lot to discuss, but for now, Jeongguk couldn't think of anything else aside from stopping himself from getting so inappropriately hard under all the bubbles in this tub. +
It turns our that he had overestimated himself when he asked to assist Taehyung in taking a bath. He swore his intentions were pure, but for some reason now, his thoughts aren't anymore.
It has been two months, and Jeongguk is just a man who just got his lover back after a near death experience that none of them expected to happen. +
So seeing Taehyung— naked, after all the time he's spent missing him, almost believing he'll never be able to touch him again, is a tough problem for him.
Still, Jeongguk knows that this isn't the time for whatever the fck he's thinking.
Jeongguk is shampooing Taehyung's hair right now, brushing his fingers through the soft strands. Taehyung is sitting still in front of him, his gaze locked on the suds, completely unaware of just about everything that's going on inside Jeongguk's head.
Taehyung is here, naked and drenched in front of him. His damp skin looks even better than the most lusciously thick honey: his cheeks are slightly flushed from the steam,+
and his hair has gotten so long that Jeongguk wonders how it will feel if he grabs a hold of it. 'Sh¡t...' Jeongguk hisses, closing his eyes, trying to distract his own dirty mind.
"Thank you," Taehyung says, breaking the odd silence between them as he lifts his face, looking Jeongguk straight in the eyes, which made the latter flush even more, awkwardly looking away from him.
"*cough! * No need to thank me, Tae. I love washing you— I love it... I-" Jeongguk pauses, realizing how much he is stuttering, cheeks burning up, unable to look at Taehyung as he rinses the shampoo from his hair.+
"*Sigh* Please don't mind me," Jeongguk says, feeling bad for having such filthy ideas despite the fact that Taehyung is still physically unfit for any 'strenuous' activities like what he is currently imagining.
"Pfft... Are you blushing?" Taehyung teases, seeing how Jeongguk's face is flushed all the way up to the tips of his ears. There, Taehyung grinned, suddenly thinking of doing something.
"D-don't..." Jeongguk caught Taehyung's wrist when the latter tried to touch him. "This is harder for me than sneaking you out of the hospital, Tae... I swear. It's just... Never mind. +
Just stay here, I'll get your towel—nngh... F:uck..." Jeongguk couldn't help but curse out loud. He was about to stand up when he felt Taehyung's palm over his crotch, causing his eyes to roll back.
"You're hard." Taehyung says, his voice dropping a few octaves lower than normal.
"I'm sorry, T-Taehyung, please... I know, no— we both know we can't do this. At least not yet—"
"I can't, but you can..." Taehyung mumbled under his breath, silently reaching for the drain, pulling it to get rid of all the suds and water hiding both of their nakedness.
"Y-you can't even stand..."Jeongguk says, shutting his eyes, ashamed of how quickly Taehyung was able to stroke his c0ck to full hardness.
"I don't need to stand... You can help yourself, Guk... You can touch me," Taehyung says, freeing Jeongguk's shaft as the water continues to slowly go down the drain.+
"You can touch yourself too... I may not be able to do anything yet— but I can watch? I would love to watch." Taehyung says, losing himself in the notion of seeing Jeongguk, forgetting about everything else.
Truth be told, Taehyung thinks that no amount of washing can make him feel truly clean.
He needs more.
He wants more.
He needs Jeongguk to replace the filth that the madman has left on him.
"Tae, can you even hear yourself? Y-you don't have to feel sorry for me; this is merely a natural reaction... I'll cool down after a few minutes in the cold shower—"
"You will, but I don't think I will. I want you to touch me, Guk... I want you to make me forget that his hands ever touched my skin. Can you do that for me?" Taehyung says, looking away, fearful of appearing desperate—but he is.
Right now, Taehyung really is desperate to get rid of all the damn thoughts that have been consuming him.
"I— I know, I don't look the same... I've gone so thin, my skin looks dull and dry... I know I look bad, but can't you just close your eyes and touch me right now? I'll eat a lot—+
I'll be back to normal in no time- mmph..." Taehyung couldn't finish his rambling when Jeongguk pulled him closer, claiming his lips to shut him up.
"Stop. I won't let you talk bad about yourself— not when you clearly don't know what you're saying... Can't you see? You're already driving me crazy here— I'm seriously about to reach my limits." Jeongguk says, gritting his teeth as he speaks.
"Then do it... Please— just for tonight, I don't want to think," Taehyung says in heavy takes of breath, grabbing Jeongguk's shoulders, his nails leaving red scratches on the latter's skin.
"Sh¡t... You'll really be the death of me," Jeongguk sighs, leaning in for another kiss, laying all his inhibitions aside—because seriously? How can he possibly resist this?
[You can play this as you read.]
Every individual has basic human needs. When those needs are not met, our mental and at times even our physical health deteriorates as a result.
When we hear the term fundamental human needs, the firsts that often comes to mind are food, shelter and water, but surely, those three aren't enough to keep anyone satisfied, for those three only aids one's survival, it's not enough to guarantee a full and happy life.
Right now, Taehyung feels like he needs something else than food, shelter and water to survive tonight.
He needs Jeongguk, for Jeongguk is the only person capable of distracting his mind.
With just a kiss, Jeongguk managed to thicken the air that Taehyung breathes. He scooped him in his arms, carried him out of the tub and into the bedroom, leaving puddles of water on the floor. +
He draped a bath towel over Taehyung's drenched frame, drying him a little before he sat him on the bed, and from there, they kissed again.
It's amazing how Jeongguk's tongue on his, got Taehyung's heartbeat revving in such a steady fashion, that Taehyung thinks it was able to lower his blood pressure by dilating his blood vessels enough for his blood to flow in a good solid manner, thus making him feel better.
Jeongguk's tongue roams inside his mouth, causing Taehyung to feel as if he's melting like a soft serve ice cream in his tongue. Jeongguk is kissing him like he's savoring his taste, taking his time, refusing to waste a single second.+
He nibbled Taehyung's lower lip, biting it slightly, tugging it between his teeth as he pulled back for a bit, only to once again dive deep, coating the insides of Taehyung's mouth with his own spit.
He laid Taehyung down on the mattress gently, as if he'll break like some fragile being; and although Taehyung detest the feeling of being weak, he doesn’t seem to mind it so long as Jeongguk is the one doing it.
Taehyung closes his eyes and moves his mouth enticingly, following Jeongguk's lead, and when Jeongguk leaves his lips, Taehyung feels as though he's missing it almost immediately. +
He bit his lower lip, felt Jeongguk's lips travel to his cheeks, up to his ear, then down to his neck, kissing him so delicately.
In his condition, Taehyung wonders if he could even get hard, but right now it is not about that. He is not aiming to c:um. He simply wants to be in Jeongguk's arms. He wants Jeongguk to touch him all over, leaving no part of his skin unexplored.
The mind really is a fickle thing. Taehyung once thought that it is the heart that is fickle, but surely it is not, for the heart's only job is to pump out blood. +
It is the mind that controls everything from the head down. That's why Taehyung figured that in order to alleviate the heavy feeling in his chest, he needed to dull the thoughts that had been consuming his head.
And right now, Jeongguk is doing an amazing job of helping him do exactly that.
"Is this okay? Mhm?" Jeongguk asks, staring up at Taehyung as he gently brushes his thumb against the latter's nipple, circling the bud until it hardens under his touch.
"Nngh... G-go on. Don't stop." Taehyung murmurs, still with his eyes closed, squirming against the sheets, arms laid flat and pliant on his sides, his neck stretched back, exposing— revealing, surrendering everything in him.
Jeongguk then stills, taking a few moments to revel in the sight of Taehyung laying so acquiescently underneath him.
Taehyung might've lost a lot of weight, but that surely did not affect his beauty.
In fact, Taehyung's appearance right now may have done something inexplicable to Jeongguk. His frail stature and delicate features appear to have sparked a fire within Jeongguk, rousing his desire to protect Taehyung from any danger.
Taehyung will probably kill him if Jeongguk tells him this up front, because as Taehyung told him earlier, Taehyung abhors appearing weak in front of others.
But here’s the thing: even now, Jeongguk doesn't think Taehyung is weak; in fact, he's far from it.
Taehyung is still one of the strongest and most admirable men in Jeongguk's eyes, one who isn't afraid to accept that he has his own needs— needs, which Jeongguk is more than willing to meet.
"Hnngh... T-there... I like it there," Taehyung sighs as Jeongguk plays with his nipples, rubbing and slightly pinching them, taking one after the other, while Jeongguk maintained his gaze on Taehyung's face, +
watching as it contorted in pleasure, relaxing more as Jeongguk proceeded with his ministrations.
"Is it just me, or you've gotten more sensitive now? You're feeling this aren't you, baby? You love being touched—"
"By you... I love being touched by you— just you," Taehyung says as his eyelids flutter open, meeting Jeongguk's dazed gaze, causing Jeongguk to pause yet again, as if all the oxygen in his lungs had been knocked out of his system.
"Ah... Yes, me too. I love touching you too... Just you— only you." Jeongguk absentmindedly says, keeping his eyes on Taehyung as he slowly leaned down, pressing a soft kiss over Taehyung's nipple.
With their eyes set on each other, Jeongguk flattened his tongue over the perked-up bud, wetting it with his spit, swirling around the crown before sucking on it, feeling his own c:ock twitch when he saw Taehyung clenching his jaw while staring at him.
"You're not lying, aren't you?" Taehyung asks, now softly caressing the back of Jeongguk's hair.
"Why would I even lie—"
"A week ago, when I woke up... You were with that— nngh... woman," Taehyung says, suppressing his moans as Jeongguk tugs harder on his nipple before the latter pauses, pushing himself up, hovering over Taehyung's frame.
"Tae... T-that was nothing, okay? She's nothing." Jeongguk says with a firm look on his face.
"Akiko... That's her name, right? She was hosting in club FF before we first broke up. I know her... Yes I do— but I bet you also know exactly how I came to know her..." Taehyung says, his fingertips playing piano against Jeongguk's bare chest.
"Cool earrings... Thank you for your kind introduction. You adjusted our set, how kind of you... F:uck... Hmm, someone? I don't have anyone-.."
"Tae, s-stop... Wait, should we really talk about this right now? Trust me, baby, Akiko is the least of our concerns; she means nothing to me, I promise," Jeongguk says, a little panicked by the abrupt shift in the air.
Taehyung doesn't know why he's even bringing this up and that woman, but as soon as the thought of her crossed his mind, everything started pouring out like the damn curses inside Pandora's box.
"Rumor has it that you're a thing, in love and all that sh¡t... Hah, love? Bullsh¡t," Taehyung adds, recalling the 99 seconds he endured while watching Jeongguk f:uck the same woman he brought with him when he visited Taehyung in the hospital a week ago.
Akiko— the woman who's one of the main reasons of Jeongguk and Taehyung's break-up five years ago.
"Oh god..." Jeongguk chokes on his own breath as he scoops Taehyung up by the nape, pulling him in his arms again. "Tae... I—"
"I'm not mad... I know that we don't have time to argue about something or someone so trivial, but I've been out for two months and the first time I see my lover again, he's with the same woman he cheated on me with. +
I'm not sure why I'm remembering this right now, but I swear, just a few moments ago, I wished for nothing more than to be held by you...Then I remember her face. She was touching you, and for some reason,+
it made me feel worse than the idea of that psychopath taking advantage of me while I was unconscious," Taehyung says, not sure what type of expression he has on his face, but his tone is cold and flat, as if he's gone completely numb.
"She's just a coworker now; I wouldn't even call her a friend because we haven't seen each other in years, but the company had asked her to work with B-side,+
and I have no control over that, Tae... I'm sorry— I'm really sorry," Jeongguk says, feeling his heart breaking more for Taehyung as he speaks.
"Why do I feel like sh¡t, Guk? Why am I like this? What have those two months done to me?" Taehyung laments, nuzzling his face into Jeongguk's neck, unable to understand himself.
"What— what do you want me to do? Tae, what should I do? Tell me... I'll do anything for you," Jeongguk pleads as he carefully lays Taehyung back on the bed, putting his weight over his elbow, hovering over the latter's face, his fingers softly brushing Taehyung's hair.
"I wish I could answer that... I love you, I miss you, I want to be with you, be held by you... Though I'm not sure what can really make me feel better. My head keeps moving from one problem to the next...+
That lunatic, that woman—us, my lanky legs and thin arms... God, I'm such a mess." Taehyung says, burying his face under his palms, afraid that he isn't really making any sense right now.+
"Maybe I'm really sick— mentally, that is. W-what if that bullet did something to my brain? What if I'm becoming like him? Would that be the reason why he's suddenly taking an interest in me?" Taehyung asks, +
removing his hands from his face, staring at the ceiling with his lost eyes that look like he's seeing a different space.
"No, baby— no, that's not it. No matter how hard we try to figure out those types of people, we'll never be able to decipher them completely. You're not the problem. There's nothing wrong with your head. +
It is only natural that you get overwhelmed... You've been through a lot, Tae... It's not you, so don't let him consume you." Jeongguk says, aware that his words are easier said than done, but still, it pains him to see Taehyung look like he's about to fall apart.
"But right now, I feel like I'm a mess— I am a mess. I'm thinking of a lot of things at once and it's f:ucking up my head, yet at the same time, I feel numb to everything else.+
Isn't that what a psychopath is? Someone who isn't capable of feeling anything?" Taehyung asks, turning to Jeongguk with those glossy eyes of his.
"Wrong. They do feel. Rage, want, lust— everything, what they lack is sadness, anxiety, fear and empathy. They can feel things and other emotions, it's just that they don't believe that others do. +
In their world, nothing else matters but themselves and their own desires that trigger their compulsions... You're not like that, Tae... No, not even one bit. +
Why? Because what they lack is everything you're feeling right now." Jeongguk says, pressing a kiss on Taehyung's forehead.
"Surely, there's still something wrong with me... This isn't normal. I know—"
"You're overwhelmed, tired, scared— god, you just woke up from a coma, Tae. We don't need to rush... I'm here now— we're together now. So tell me— right at this moment, what do you want?" Jeongguk says, as he presses light and feathery kisses all over Taehyung's face, +
hoping that it will help distract Taehyung from his thoughts. "We can take things slow... There's still tomorrow, and the days after... You don't have to worry too much anymore." Jeongguk adds, whispering right against Taehyung's skin,+
feeling Taehyung's every breath, watching his chest dropping and rising again.
"Touch me. Distract me. Consume me— before my demons get the best of me," Taehyung says, closing his eyes once again, allowing Jeongguk to do the rest.
From there, things escalated without them needing to speak another word, while Jeongguk is doing all the work. He continued to caress and kiss Taehyung all over, letting his warmth seep through Taehyung's skin. +
He held him gently, taking his time particularly on Taehyung's chest, flicking and swirling his tongue around the latter's nipples, making them both appear swollen and somewhat red.
Then Jeongguk's mouth moved lower, kissing and licking Taehyung's stomach and sides, sliding his tongue into the dents of Taehyung's ribs, reminding himself to feed Taehyung properly so that the delicate structure of the latter's bones would soon be concealed.
He kisses Taehyung's hips, glancing at Taehyung's face. He runs his fingertips over Taehyung's waist, unable to stifle a hiss as he realizes how sinful it still is. At this point, Taehyung's c:ock is already lying heavily over his own stomach, +
which boosted Jeongguk's self-esteem, but then again, he knows that he still has to control himself, given Taehyung’s current state.
"You got hard, baby. Are you feeling good, mm?" Jeongguk asks, pressing a soft kiss over the wet tip of Taehyung's c0ck. "Am I making you feel good?" He asks again, now gently stroking Taehyung's shaft, lapping his tongue all over it, using his spit to ease the glide of his palm.
"Y-yes... Nngh... That feels good, Jeongguk... Nngh... I like it so much." Taehyung says, feeling like he's floating, head in the clouds, while all his other thoughts bubble up like smoke, disappearing in thin air.+
With his eyes all dazed, Taehyung peered down, brushing his finger over Jeongguk's hair. "Put me in your mouth... I want to f:uck your smart mouth." Taehyung says, which made Jeongguk's lips curl up to a smirk, doing that sexy habit of his, pushing a tongue on his cheek.
"Geez, language baby... I don't advise you to talk dirty to me right now... Told you I'm so close to reaching my limits." Jeongguk says, once again pressing his plump lips over Taehyung's tip, swirling his tongue around it, keeping his eyes on Taehyung as he slowly sucks him in.
"Nngh, f:uck... Ugh... F:uck your mouth... Nngh… Your mouth feels so fu:cking good... Ahhh, sh¡t... Nnngh... J-Jeongguk. Jeongguk... Ahh, Jeongguk—"
This might be the first time Jeongguk is hearing a series of unfiltered curses coming out of Taehyung's mouth, and surely, no amount of self control can make him deny that he finds it absolutely hot.
With a muffled moan, Jeongguk took Taehyung's c:ock deeper inside his mouth, hollowing his cheeks, bobbing his head back and forth, not even gagging even if Taehyung's tip continued to ram against the back of his throat.
Taehyung's legs are spread apart, he's arching his back, clumsily thrusting his hips up, and as much as Jeongguk is enjoying himself, he certainly cannot allow Taehyung to move too much. +
So with an audible pop, Jeongguk released Taehyung's c:ock from his mouth. "Easy there, baby... I'll let you finish. Just leave it to me, okay?" Jeongguk says as he brings his hand up to Taehyung's face. +
"Can you suck this for me? Let's make you feel even better." He adds, while Taehyung just gave him a small nod before bringing Jeongguk's fingers inside his mouth.
"Yes, that's it.. Ahh, you're doing good, love. Mhm.. So good." Jeongguk murmurs, unable to stop himself from stroking his own hard c0ck as Taehyung continues to suck on his fingers, humming seductively with his eyes closed, as if he's completely submitting to his carnal desires.
Once his fingers are fully coated with Taehyung's spit, Jeongguk pulled it out of the latter's mouth, bringing his hand in between Taehyung's parted legs, sliding it further down Taehyung's perineum until he reached his hole.+
"Just one... Can you take one, baby? Want me to finger you, hmm? I'll be gentle... Bet you'll feel even more good." Jeongguk says, rubbing the pads of his wet fingers around Taehyung's rim, enjoying the view of Taehyung, squirming impatiently over the sheets.
"F:uck yes, yes, yes... Nnngh... Give it to me… Please…" Taehyung moans, feeling Jeongguk's middle finger, poking past his rim, going in and out— in and out, making Taehyung's c:ock twitch excitedly.
"Nngh... Yes... Ahh, look at you— you're just sucking me in... Ahh, your insides feel so good, baby... So soft— so tight..." Jeongguk says, stroking his own c:ock faster while he continued to finger Taehyung.
"O-oh god—f:uck... M-mouth... Nngh... Put me in your mouth, p-please, please... Jeongguk, I need your mouth." Taehyung grunts, clasping the sheets in his tight fists, feeling Jeongguk's finger sliding even deeper inside of him,
Jeongguk is basically about to go feral right now, swearing he can actually come from just the view of Taehyung alone. It's just so sinful and hot— and f:uck, it's everything that Jeongguk wants. +
Without saying another word, Jeongguk then leaned forward, taking Taehyung's shaft deep inside his mouth. He bobbed his head up and down, swirling his tongue, swallowing each drop of Taehyung's thick prec:um, all while fingering Taehyung and stroking his own co:ck.
Taehyung’s already screaming, his voice breaking into one high pitched moan after another at being pleasured both from his back and front, not to mention how in this angle, he can see the way Jeongguk's flicking his wrist, +
strong hands wrapped around his thick, hard and already leaking d¡ck, with its tip brushing against Taehyung's thigh, wetting his damp honey skin.
"F-fuck... Fuck.... Arghhh... I— nngh... Coming... Coming... Ahhhh..." Taehyung moaned out loud,+
coming undone inside Jeongguk's mouth, causing Jeongguk to slightly gag without pulling back, still eagerly sucking Taehyung's c:ock, swallowing the latter's c:um— up to the very. Last. Drop.
"*gasp!*S-sh¡t, baby... That was a lot... Nngh..." Jeongguk grunts as he sits up, his finger still sliding in and out of Taehyung's tight entrance, flicking his wrists faster, stroking his c:ock harder,+
eyes fixed on Taehyung, watching as the latter slowly comes down from his high, face flushed, lips swollen, whimpering softly from being overstimulated by Jeongguk's eager finger.
"F:ucking pretty... God— you're still so f:ucking pretty, you're driving me crazy... Yes, yes... Nngh... Mine. You're f:ucking mine, Tae... Tell me... Tell me you're still mine." Jeongguk grunts in heavy takes of breath,+
finally pulling his finger out of Taehyung as he collapses beside the latter on the bed, moaning against Taehyung's lips, while Taehyung turns to his side and faces him.+
"Yours... I'm yours, Jeongguk. Only yours." Taehyung says, cupping the sides of Jeongguk's face, breathing laboriously with the latter, keeping his eyes open,+
watching as Jeongguk's face contorts in pure unadulterated pleasure, spilling his cu:m on his own palm, some of it shooting and landing over Taehyung's stomach.
There, they gazed into each other's eyes, their hearts pounding so loudly that they swore they could actually hear it. "I— I love you... I love you so much, Taehyung," Jeongguk muttered under his breath, closing his eyes as Taehyung moved in and softly claimed his lips.
"If you only know how madly in love I am with you— you might run for your life, Jeongguk; I love you so much, it's starting to scare me too," Taehyung confesses, and Jeongguk thinks it's the silliest thing Taehyung has ever said.
"As if I'd ever run... Your love doesn't scare me, Taehyung, but losing you does. Keep that in mind, okay?" Jeongguk replies, heaving out a lungful of air as he kisses Taehyung again.
<*Beeping sound… Line Busy…*>
“F:uck.F:uck.F:uck. F:uck! " I threw my phone to the wall. I've been calling Jeon Jeongguk's number for about an hour now and have gotten no answer.
“Fine. You go hide, and I'll come seek. Let's play this damn game till we meet," I said, swearing I'd get Taehyung back even if it meant burning in damn hell.
A person might become evil for a myriad of reasons.
Psychopaths, are they made or are they born?
A psychopath is often depicted as a cold, cruel, and inhuman being. Now, if we go by the book, psychopathy is distinguished by diagnostic features such as exterior charm, repartee, poor judgment, failure to learn from experience,+
pathological egocentricity, incapacity for love, lack of remorse or shame, impulsivity, grandiose sense of self-worth, pathological lying,+
manipulative behavior, poor self-control, promiscuous sexual behavior, juvenile delinquency, and criminal versatility, among others.
One common misconception about psychopaths is that they are this robotic-type of being who doesn't feel anything or have any negative emotions, which isn't that accurate.+
If anything, what makes such people even more terrifying is that they're shockingly human. They know what's right and wrong. They can experience the same range of emotions as normal individuals,+
but in different combinations of capacity and amount—and their ability to appear or act normal may be their most effective camouflage.
[You can play this as you read.]
Everything I wanted (slowed & reverb)
"I don't know. I've been trying to remember it— his voice, but I can't. There are bits that I do remember though? Like, I know that he loves what he's doing, but he hates his job. He's seen how his mother d¡ed, and now he's living with his dad.+
Of course, I'm not sure if these are true or if my memory has just been warped due to me being unconscious." Taehyung tells Jeongguk. It's now morning and they're having breakfast here on the back porch.
"It's okay... You don't have to force yourself to remember. We still have time— I mean, while we're here working on your recovery, we won't need to confront him any time soon." Jeongguk says+
as he slices the meat he cooked into tiny bite-sized pieces for Taehyung. "Here, it's soft, but chew it carefully, okay?" he adds as he lays the plate in front of Taehyung.
"Pfft, alright daddy," Taehyung chuckles, resting his chin on his palm, smiling cheekily at Jeongguk, who appears to be very serious about taking care of him.
"W-what? I— god, Tae... Don't call me that," Jeongguk blushes, clearing his throat, choking out a lungful of air, feeling his heart skip a beat after hearing what Taehyung had said.
"Why? You don't like it?" Taehyung continues to tease, loving the sight of Jeongguk's flushed cheeks.
"I do— so much! But you know what those pet names do to me, Tae... I don't want to be chastised by your doctor for-."
"Doctor? Do I have a doctor? Here?" Taehyung asks.
"Well, it's not Dr. Kang, but he's just as good. I had to get someone who wasn't from around here just to be careful. He'll be here in a few hours and he'll be staying with us until you heal completely," Jeongguk explains, now pouring Taehyung a glass of juice.
"I see— I mean, wow... How much money do you really have?" Taehyung couldn't help but wonder, knowing Jeongguk to be a frugal man.
"Mhm, I don't know? A lot? I wasn't checking my bank account that much before I felt the need to— before I had to." Jeongguk says, and it's true. B-side, his band has made enough of a name for themselves that the company has been paying for their living expenses, +
allowing Jeongguk to keep the most of his earnings for himself. He had also previously produced and composed a few songs for other artists, +
so he had made a lot from those as well, not to mention that he isn't a huge spender, so when he felt the need to spend, it turns out that he has a lot to spare.
"Should I just quit my job? I mean, becoming a rich man's lover doesn't sound so awful," Taehyung says, earning a playful roll of the eyes from Jeongguk.
"Well, if you want to, I'm not going to stop you; I did the math, and I believe we'll be able to live comfortably even if we both stop working now."
"Tch, I was just kidding, as if I'd ever resign..." Taehyung says, pausing when another thought strikes him. "Wait. Jimin told me that Hyun-Jung has been missing since what happened in CC's; do we have any news about him?" He asks.
"*Sigh* None. It's as if he disappeared from the face of the earth."
"He shot me... I saw him. He didn't need to run away because of that, though? I mean, it was definitely an accident. It's not like I'm going to press charges." Taehyung shrugs. +
He did see Hyun-Jung pull the trigger because he was in his line of sight at the time, but he also knew that they were in a critical situation where anyone could make an oversight.
"You won't, but I might." Jeongguk says, looking up at Taehyung with a serious expression on his face. "To be honest, it was a shock for us when we discovered that the bullet that grazed your head came from his gun.+
Yoongi and Hobi couldn't believe it, so they tried contacting him for days, and when they went to visit his apartment, he was no longer there. Turns out he left the morning after the incident."
"What do you mean? He deliberately shot me?" Taehyung asks, dropping his chopsticks on the table as he meets Jeongguk's stern gaze.
"I haven't told this to anyone, especially to Hobi and Yoongi hyung because they both knew Hyun-Jung from the academy, but looking back, there wasn't anyone to shoot in that basement, +
at least from his angle, except for us—you in particular," Jeongguk admits, unsure how Taehyung will respond.
"I don't get it. Guk, Hyun-Jung has no reason to do that. He's been a good officer—"
"Listen, Tae... I did a lot of thinking while you were in a coma... Sure, this all came from my head, and I have no evidence to back it up, but can you guess who else was at CC's that night?" Jeongguk stops as he takes another deep breath.+
"Four people were k¡lled in the encounter, not by gunfire, but by stab wounds to the neck. He was there, that psychopath was there. It will make sense once you see the autopsy results on those four and compare it to his previous victims.+
Their carotid arteries were specifically targeted," Jeongguk says, further perplexing Taehyung.
"W-wait... I don't understand. We're just talking about Hyun-Jung—"
"Have you ever wondered why the 'slasher' is still unapprehended despite the fact that most of his victims are high-profiled individuals? Why, for some reason, security camera footage is always distorted,+
deleted, or lost in areas where he could've been caught doing what he does? All previous investigations have worked conveniently in his favor—until recently, when he killed someone again in broad daylight at the train station. +
Sure, it was crowded, and his face wasn't seen on the tapes, but it's the first time in years that we haven't had a cut or damage on the surveillance cameras...+
It's his first kill since CC's—also, his first kill since Hyun-Jung disappeared," Jeongguk says, as Taehyung furrows his brows in disbelief.
"A-are you insinuating that it's Hyun-Jung? The psychopath?" Taehyung asks, feeling his stomach turning after hearing all this new information.
"No. It's not him, but my intuition tells me he could be an accomplice.—I mean, it just makes sense... Think about it. Even in the case of Kang Nari, despite the Kang family's influence, you haven't made any progress in catching the culprit, right?+
Why? I don't know, but I doubt such a feat could be accomplished solely by coincidence. That madman must have had someone on his side—someone whose job is to hide his tracks." Jeongguk says as he reaches out and holds Taehyung's hand.+
"I know this is a lot of information to process all at once, and as I've said, I have no evidence to prove this, I could be wrong as well, but I never liked that guy— Hyun-Jung, I mean.+
It's like, he has some kind of eerie air around him. *Sigh* I can't explain it, Tae. I'm sorry..." Jeongguk says, clutching Taehyung's hand tighter as he looks at him apologetically.
He's aware that Taehyung's emotions are still all over the place. It's difficult to wake up and realize you've basically lost two months of your life. He understands that right now, Taehyung wants to catch up+
and get involved with everything he left behind before falling into a coma, but his condition hinders him from doing so—and on top of that, Jeongguk knows how Taehyung isn't regarded as a patient man.
"No, no... Explain it to me. We're talking about a police officer here, and he's been with my friends Yoongi and Hobi since the academy, so are they involved as well? Who can we even trust at this point? Who the fck is that psychopath, and why the fck is he doing this—"
"Shh... Calm down, baby... I'm sorry, I shouldn't have brought this up... I'm sorry... I'm sorry..." Jeongguk then pulled Taehyung into his arms, rubbing soothing circles on the latter's back, sensing Taehyung's frustrations and fears building up.
"I hate this... That man—in my room... Although I don't remember much, I know he talked to me like we're friends and that idea just disgusts the sh¡t out of me... He even put a tracker—a fcking tracker inside my body! He was in CC's, had a killing spree, +
and now there's a chance that he had eyes within the police department? J-just... Just who the fck is he?!" Taehyung cries—yes, even though he doesn't weep easily, he's crying right now. +
He's irritated and enraged. He has no idea what to do or where to begin in order to capture the madman as quickly as possible.
"What. Why. Who. We still have a long way to go before we can expose that psychopath, and in order to do so, we need to know the answers to those three questions. We already know what he does—he murders people, so we're down to the next...+
Why? Why did he kill them? Why did he pick them? Why did he kill them in such a manner? Only when we've determined that will we be able to figure out who he is... If we're lucky, that is." Jeongguk says as Taehyung slowly pulls back from him.
Taehyung then stills as he tries to remember more of the voice he heard while he was sleeping.
"Tae?" Jeongguk asks, concerned because Taehyung is clearly straining himself right now.
"B-beautiful." Taehyung murmurs, pinching the bridge of his nose, feeling as if his head is ready to explode as he tries to recall more. His ears began to ring, his head pounded; everything's clouded and muffled, but still Taehyung managed to remember hearing the word beautiful.+
"H-he said his victims were beautiful... He wanted them— he wanted them because he thinks they're beautiful," Taehyung says, pressing his palms down the table, his legs trembling as he stands up, while Jeongguk holds him in worry and panic.
"Tae, it's okay... Calm down—"
"No, no, listen... I woke up— when I woke up, I don't know why but I got this sense that I wanted to protect you from him..." Taehyung rambles, his head spinning and throbbing, the images twisting into a jumbled mess. +
"Y-you're beautiful... Between the two of us— you're the beautiful one... What if he wants you? He only kills those who fall under his type... M-maybe he came to me because he despised that we're together— that he wanted you all to himself...+
We can't let that happen Guk-.." Taehyung pauses as Jeongguk pulls him closer, cupping his face, making him meet his gaze.
"Tae, hey... Do you remember what that guy Ki-Joon said before? I don't think it's me that he wants— if he does, then surely it isn't only me... Ki-Joon said that you're that psycho's—"
"No, no... I know what I heard... He wants you... He wants to take you away from me. I won't let him— I won't let him, Guk... You're mine. You're just mine, mine, mine..." Taehyung says, repeating the word 'mine' over and over again,+
tears streaming down his cheeks, gritting his teeth as he speaks, clasping Jeongguk's arms tight when the latter went ahead and hugged him.
"It doesn't matter." Jeongguk says, placing a hand protectively at the back of Taehyung's head. "It doesn't matter who he wants— either way, we won't let him get what he wants... Listen to me," Jeongguk paused as he pulled back and cupped Taehyung's face. +
"You will get better— stronger. Then we'll get him. We'll put an end to this. We'll catch him and make him pay for all his sins... No one— not even that damn psychopath can break us apart, I promise." Jeongguk says,+
swearing to god that he'll wage war even against hell just for him to make sure that he would never see Taehyung break like this again.
T/W: mentions of attempted suicide
Hyun-Jung then jolted out of his bed, after dreaming about Taehyung again. This has been happening since he left. He kept seeing red in his head.
The sound of the gun when he pulled the trigger has been tormenting him in his sleep, rendering him unable to rest.
He's been here in Suwon for two months, renting a cramped room , going out only twice a week to buy food and alcohol. It's strange because, even though he knows no one will find him here, +
he still gets anxious every time he shuts his eyes at night, fearing he won't wake up again in the morning.
He couldn't even turn on the lights without feeling like there were eyes on him, and when he turns them off, he sees shadows approaching him.
Hyun-Jung can't even remember the last time he bathed, he's grown a beard, and his room stinks of vomit, soju, and beer, but he's become immune to it. He grunted as he rolled down the couch,+
reaching for the bottle of soju he couldn't finish when he crashed last night. He gulped it down and turned on the television so it wouldn't be too quiet now that he's up.
For a few minutes, Hyun-Jung stared blankly into space, opening his second bottle of soju for the day. There, he wonders how long he will be able to live like this before passing away.
It's not like he hasn't attempted to put an end to his pain. He was so consumed by his own anguish and guilt that he had even attempted to kill himself, just to back out at the last minute like the coward that he is.
It won’t end.
Hyun-Jung believes that it will never end.
No amount of alcohol he consumes in an attempt to forget will ever change the fact that he has wasted years of his life chasing someone who is incapable of loving him back.
For that man, he had killed someone.
He k¡lled Kim Taehyung, but in the end, he still got none.
He was drowning himself in soju when he choked, hearing the news on television addressing what happened in CC's two months ago, as well as the ongoing investigations. It's been awhile, but they're only naming the victims now; +
four civillians that belongs to high society has been brutally murdered on the scene, together with the twenty eight others that worked under Yoo Jae-Sung.
"*cough* T-that's it? That's it?" Hyun-Jung exclaims, crawling towards the television and banging his palms on the screen as if the news anchors will hear him. "H-hey! HEY!!! N-no, no... That couldn't be it... What about him? +
He died too... H-he died too... I shot him... I shot him! I shot him in the head goddammit!" he screamed, perplexed as to why he did not hear Taehyung's name on the list of casualties.
"T-this is mad... I k-killed him... He couldn't have survived that... He couldn't... I-mppossible... I—" Hyun-Jung then froze as all the possibilities flooded his mind.
[You can play this as you read.]
Then, he picked himself up, his knees trembling as he walked towards the full-body mirror, staring at his own reflection.
**'You. Mean. Nothing. To. Me— so stop deluding yourself and fcking d¡e already... You hurt him. You hurt him... WHY THE FCK DID YOU HURT HIM?!*'
**DIE. DIE. DIE. DIE!!!**
As that man's voice and sharp cruel words echo in Hyun-Jung's head, he continues to stare at himself.
"I-if he's alive... If he's alive, then what the fck am I still doing here in this place? If he's alive— if Taehyung's alive, then maybe... M-maybe I wouldn't have to die?" He says, talking to himself. "No, no... He'll kill me as soon as he sees me... He'll kill me—"
"No." Hyun-Jung pauses as his lips twitches up before he begins laughing like a madman, feeling his own rage rush through his veins as if frying all the nerves inside his head.
"He won't be able to kill me— not if I beat him to it. He won't be able to kill me, once he's behind bars for all the things that he did..." Hyun-Jung muttered under his breath, deciding to stop hiding just so he can make sure that Taehyung's still breathing.
Then he'll be able to exact his revenge—not on Taehyung, but on the man who cursed him and turned him into the man he is today.
Oh, heaven has no rage like love turned to hatred.
[TIME SKIP— one month later.]
Days turned to weeks, weeks into a month and now Jeongguk is heading towards the gym in the basement after he woke up again in an empty bed.
"Mhm... Although I don't really mind seeing this view everyday, I would still appreciate it if you would at least kiss me good morning." Jeongguk says, smirking, pushing a tongue on his cheek as he leaned against the door frame.
"I did, but okay— come here and get your morning kiss then, sleepyhead," Taehyung says, dumping the weights he's lifting on the floor, wiping a bit of sweat from his brow as he smiles and turns towards Jeongguk.
They say that time can heal even the deepest of wounds. Well, that seems applicable if we're going to talk about Taehyung's physical condition— but what about everything else underneath?
It's been a month and a week since Taehyung woke up from a coma. He can walk now and do some exercises— hell! He can even lift a few light weights, and he's also able to gain back his normal weight. He looks—
Like nothing happened—on the outside, at least, but what about his mind? What about the nightmares that continue to torment him whenever he sleeps at night— nightmares that morph into traumatic flashbacks every time he wakes up?
Healing is good; it's good if it's not used as an excuse to make you forget about the pain you've gone through just because it's considered the righteous thing to do—+
as if you're the one who needs to forgive and forget, the one who's required to apologize and act as the bigger person even though you're the one who's been hurt, the one who's been scarred, the one who was wronged.
That kind of healing sounds like bullsh¡t to Taehyung.
True healing for him isn't just something that he can tell himself.
Healing for him will only come right after justice.
If only justice isn't just another form of bullsh¡t.
"There." Jeongguk smiles as he finishes tying Taehyung necktie. "You look— good. So good that I don't wanna let you leave-.."
"You're not letting me leave; you're coming with me, remember?" Taehyung says, brushing the nonexistent dust off Jeongguk's shoulder, while Jeongguk sighs, still clearly troubled.
"I know. Of course I'll be with you.. But are you sure you wanna do this now? Dr. Lee said that you still need to take it easy, and it's not like 'that' guy will be going anywhere... It's done. Yoo Jae-Sung is detained—+
and quite literally deranged, so why not just stay here a bit more? Maybe another week? A few days? I—.."
"I've wanted to see that man since I woke up, Jeongguk. I think I've waited long enough," Taehyung says, taking Jeongguk's hand in his.+
"Besides, didn't Jin hyung say you couldn't delay the release of your album any longer? It's about time, Guk... You know we can't play house here forever," he adds as Jeongguk takes a step back.
"I didn’t say that I want us to stay here forever..."
Jeongguk lied just now, because if anything, that's what he truly wants. He wants to keep on staying with Taehyung here away from everyone, away from the world— away from any hint of danger, +
but he also knows that this day is bound to come. The moment Taehyung was able to walk again without any trouble, Jeongguk knew that Taehyung's been itching to return to their normal lives.
He knows that Taehyung wanted to meet Yoo Jae-Sung in the psychiatric ward and he also wants to get involved again in the ongoing investigation against the psychopath.+
Still, Jeongguk wants to be selfish a little bit more— keep Taehyung all to himself a little longer.
"I just want you safe— and healthy, and well... Sorry... I'm sorry if a part of me still wants to keep you all to myself." Jeongguk admits, making Taehyung hold his hand tighter this time.
"You already have me, but I also want something for myself. I want to meet Yoo Jae-Sung, maybe try to get closure for whatever happened to my father, and I also want to catch that psychopath. I want to feel safe, Jeongguk.+
I want to feel safe without us needing to hide like we're the guilty rats." Taehyung says, pausing to cup Jeongguk's face. "I want our lives back," He adds, and Jeongguk doesn't have the heart to still argue with him about that.
"R-right... Okay, let's do this then— just like we planned," Jeongguk finally concedes, smiling at Taehyung defeatedly.
"Yes... Just like we planned," Taehyung says, leaning close and pressing his forehead to Jeongguk's own.
"Just promise me one thing, Tae... Promise me that I won't lose you again."
"Alright... I promise." Taehyung replies, placing a chaste kiss on Jeongguk's lips before they leave.
"Finally." Jimin ran to hug Taehyung as soon as he saw him with Jeongguk enter the psych ward where Yoo Jae-Sung is. "I missed you, Tae." Jimin adds, still not letting go of Taehyung.
"*Cough*" Jimin rolled his eyes when Jeongguk cleared his throat, slinging an arm over Taehyung's shoulder, pulling him away from Jimin's hold.
"I'm sure you did." Jeongguk says, which made Jimin scoff, clearly offended by Jeongguk's tone.
"You know I can't stand you—"
"Chim, Guk..." Taehyung warns, making the other two fling their sharp glares away from each other. "*Sigh* So, where is he?" Taehyung asks Jimin.
"Follow me," Jimin says as they proceed along the corridors, wrapping his hand around Taehyung's wrist, Jeongguk was about to protest when Taehyung stopped him by holding his hand instead. +
"Chill," Taehyung says, compelling Jeongguk to force a smile that immediately disappeared from his face, the moment Taehyung looked away.
Jimin, Taehyung and Jeongguk stood in front of the visitation room where Yoo Jae-Sung is, and from here, Taehyung suddenly felt as if his stomach was churning.
"You don't have to do this if you're not ready, Tae," Jimin says, handing Taehyung a folder as Taehyung looks away.
"This is one of the main reasons why I pursued law. Do you honestly believe that I'm not ready?" Taehyung asks, thumbing through the contents of the folder Jimin just handed him, +
noting his father's case profile. He flicked it shut and was ready to open the door when he felt Jeongguk's touch on his shoulder.
"I'll be here. If you feel that being around him is too much, just get out and— come to me. I'll take you away from here." Jeongguk whispers to Taehyung's ear before he leaned forward and turned the knob,+
opening the door for Taehyung, thinking that it will be better for them if they get over this sooner.
"Thanks," Taehyung says, taking a deep breath before entering the room, letting the door swing close, leaving him and Yoo Jae-Sung alone.
[You can play this as you read.]
Got you (inst.)
Taehyung is pretty sure it's all in his head, but the moment he saw the man in a wheelchair with handcuffs on, he swore he smelt something putrid in the air.
Yoo Jae-Sung's head is hanging low. He now only has one leg because the other has been amputated as a result of the injuries he sustained during the encounter three months ago.
He looks old, weak and vulnerable.
Right now, Yoo Jae-Sung, doesn't look like someone who has power.
Taehyung then pulled out a chair and sat there by the table in front of Yoo Jae-Sung. The air is thick, but oddly, Taehyung can still breathe, looking at the metal cuffs around Jae-Sung's wrists.
Taehyung has been waiting for this day to confront this man—this man who has led him to lose his only family—but now that he's here? Taehyung is at a loss for words and he doesn't know where to begin.
"H-how are you feeling?" Taehyung balled his fists, wanting to slap himself for starting a conversation this way with the man he claims to hate.
Yoo Jae-Sung didn't respond, but he did raise his head to meet Taehyung's hard stare.
Taehyung began to tremble for some reason, not because of fear, but out of the rage that was suddenly boiling inside him. As Yoo Jae-Sung continued to stare at him blankly, Taehyung felt a sudden urge to stick out two of his fingers and claw the man's eyes out completely. +
Thankfully, he managed to contain himself, knowing that it's unnecessary for him to get his hands dirty just because of a man who clearly isn't worth it.
Yoo Jae-Sung looks miserable, but he's alive while Kim Taejoo— Taehyung's father is not.
Yoo Jae-Sung is here, but Kim Taejoo is not.
"I don't feel bad for you, so don't expect me to pretend that I do. Let's cut to the chase now shall we?" Taehyung pauses as he opens the folder containing his father's old case profile and lays it in front of Jae-Sung. +
"Do you remember this man?" Taehyung asks, pointing to a photo of his late father. "Kim. Tae. Joo," he adds, emphasizing each syllable of his father's name, as Yoo Jae-Sung's eyes drop down to the photo.
"Tell me," Taehyung says, recalling his father's trial; how his father cried on the stand, begging everyone to believe that he's an innocent man.+
"Why him?" Taehyung continues to ask, knowing that he may never get the answer he seeks, while Yoo Jae-Sung raises his attention to him.
"Out of all the people in the world— why did you put the blame on him? Did you even know him? Or was he just unfortunate because he was the most convenient choice for you at the time to clear your name?" Taehyung asks again,+
unable to stop himself from shedding a tear, refusing to blink, but when he did, he saw his father's face staring back at him.
It's not real. Taehyung knows that the image he’s seeing now is not real; his father has long been dead, but for some reason he’s here again, standing behind Yoo Jae-Sung with a relieved expression on his face.
From there, Taehyung realized that he'd been a fool to even doubt his father's innocence. For years, he had convinced himself that in order to be a good lawyer, he should not be biased and should constantly keep an open mind— bullsh¡t.
Kim Taejoo has always been innocent.
"H-hah..." Taehyung's breath rattles as he chokes out a bitter chuckle, turning his face up to keep his tears from falling, for he refuses to display any signs of weakness in front of this man. "You're not going to answer, are you?" he asks, receiving only silence in response.
"Just so you know... This man— Kim Taejoo, has a son. His son only had a father, and you took that away from him just so you could extend your freedom for a few more years... Still— you ended up like this. It's funny, isn't it? +
You were so desperate to keep the power you thought you'd always have, but look at you now? Pfft..." Taehyung scoffs again, locking eyes with Yoo Jae-Sung. "Pathetic," he continues, noting Jae-Sung's hardening expression, which just made Taehyung laugh.
"I don't care if you're truly insane or just pretending to be... It won't change the fact that you'll be stuck here— till the day you die, you'll be here," Taehyung says, still staring intently at Yoo Jae-Sung, standing up, ready to depart.
"You little piece of sh¡t." Taehyung then pauses when he hears Jae-Sung speak. "I won't be here much longer—"
"So I'm right? You're just pretending to be insane so they'll give you a lighter sentence... What for? Don't tell me you still have hopes of getting out?— Pfft... Look, even if you manage to get out of here, what difference would it make? +
All your money can't make you grow a leg— pfft... You can't ever grow a cock as well." Taehyung cuts Jae-Sung off as he turns to face him again. +
"Your money can never buy back the things you've lost, just as your arrest can never bring back my father... We're even now, Yoo Jae-Sung-ssi. I won't let your existence burden me. You can live, die, or rot— I won't care anymore," Taehyung continues, +
grabbing the folder he left on the table, lightly tapping it on Jae-Sung's face, smirking when the latter tried to spit at him, only for him to evade it, making the filth land on the desk.
"Ahh... Kim. Tae. Joo... I remember that guy— that p:ussy, begging; please, please believe me, I've got nothing to do with it! I'm innocent... Please... I have a son... Please... Please your honor, believe me..." Yoo Jae-Sung says, +
mimicking how he remembered Taehyung's father pleaded innocent. "That, your old man? Pfft... I could tell you looked familiar. You're the spitting image of that miserable pathetic man," Jae-Sung smirks, infuriating Taehyung even more.
"I can reopen your case, you know? I can seize whatever's left of your remaining comfort, so I'll watch my mouth, if I were you," Taehyung says as he squeezes Yoo Jae-Sung's face so hard as if he's aiming for it to break.
"G-go ahead kid... P-pfft... Try it. Your words, not mine— what difference would it make?" Jae-Sung says, struggling to speak as Taehyung tightens the grip he has on his jaw.
"Lunatics like you think you can dominate the world, but all it takes is a bad lawyer and a good prosecutor to cause your downfall." Taehyung says, his gaze never leaving Jae-Sung as he drills his remarks into the latter's head. +
"Kim-Tae-hyung... That's my name, remember it well; I'm the one who'll make sure you never get to leave this place," Taehyung says as he harshly lets go, turning away from Jae-Sung.
"Kim Taehyung? Hahahaha! Kim Taehyung???" Jae-Sung chuckles as if it's the most absurd thing he's ever heard, causing Taehyung to pause again, but this time without turning back. +
"Pfft... Listen here kid, I don't need to get out of here to make you pay for what you and your friends did to me... From what I heard, the devil already has his eyes on you—+
poor old me, doesn't really have to do anything," Jae-sung says, and strangely Taehyung has an idea what he meant.
"So you know him, huh?" Taehyung asks, referring to the infamous psychopath dubbed 'slasher' these days.
"My, my... The devil's indeed one of my most loyal customers... Don't even try to ask me who he is; as you can see, I am not sane enough to aid the authorities." Jae-Sung continues to taunt, but Taehyung refuses to give a sh¡t anymore.
"Ah, I know. Don't worry, I have no need for the likes of you. I'll find him— and once I do, I'll have you locked up in the same cell as him. Who knows? Maybe he'll make you his last victim." Taehyung says, reaching for the door handle as Jae-Sung breaks into a laugh again.
"Hahahahaha! You'll never find him— he'll find you. Pfft… He’ll find you, do you hear me? That f:ucking boogeyman will be coming after all of you!" Jae-Sung exclaims as Taehyung steps out of the room with a dark expression on his face.
"Tae—" Jimin couldn't complete his sentence as Taehyung went past him and Jeongguk as if he hadn't noticed them standing outside Jae-Sung's room.
"Taehyung, wait!" Jimin was about to pursue Taehyung when he was stopped by Jeongguk.
"I'll take it from here, midget, you've done enough for today," Jeongguk says before following Taehyung outside the facility, leaving Jimin standing there.
Taehyung just let out the breath he had been holding when he stepped outside the building. He's breathing, but he still feels like he's choking. He was bent down against Jeongguk's motorcycle, unable to stand straight as if he's about to faint,+
when Jeongguk grabbed him by the arm and supported his weight.
"H-hey..." Jeongguk murmurs, placing his hands on the sides of Taehyung's waist, gently stroking the back of the latter's hair.
"I— I know I said I'm ready... B-but does your previous offer still stand? C-can we still go back and do this some other time?" Taehyung asks, hugging Jeongguk back, gripping onto the latter's jacket as if scared for his life, +
prompting Jeongguk to immediately pull out his phone and dial Seokjin's number.
'Jeongguk? What time are you coming—..'
"Cancel my schedule for today, hyung... Tell them I have other priorities," Jeongguk says, hanging up before Jin nags him again. +
Then he gently drew back from Taehyung, allowing him to cup the latter's face. "Let's go home now, baby... The world and everything else can wait." Jeongguk smiles, kissing Taehyung on the forehead before he puts on Taehyung's helmet, then lifts him onto the motorcycle.
[You can play this as you read.]
Once upon a dream
Taehyung cannot count how many times he stood here under this same shower and feel like he's still so goddamn dirty. He can't even tell exactly when it started— did it begin when he woke up, when he started walking again or was he always this filthy?
The more Taehyung's strength improves, the louder the voices in his head become, and what's terrifying about those voices is that he cannot determine who's voice it was— was it his or the psychopath's?
'He pissed me off so much...'
'I told him to shut up but he kept on wailing and wailing like a damn broken siren... So I stabbed him.'
'It was so satisfying...'
'The silence that followed those vexing screams sounded like music to my ears.'
'Don't do this— don't do that... Who does he think he is to tell me what to do? I hate being told what to do.'
'People are just like cattle, don't you think?— Arrogant but actually spineless cattle. They act so big and tough, yet they cower at the slightest sight of a blade, crying in fear of spilling a drop of their disgusting blood.'
'They fear death, unaware that the real monsters exist mostly when they're still alive and well.'
‘I hate them. I hate them. I hate them.’
'So I k¡lled. K¡lled. K¡lled. K¡lled— I k¡lled all of them.'
Taehyung felt his stomach turn as the distorted eerie voices continued to echo in his ears, making his head spin, prompting him to cover his own mouth, still under the hot shower. +
He bit his lower lip to keep his guts from spilling, but everything else kept spinning, the water kept running—dropping, swirling down the drain in shades of red in Taehyung's aching head.
He thought that seeing Yoo Jae-Sung miserable would make him feel better, but it only made him feel worse—it made him realize he'd made no progress at all.
Something has changed and Taehyung doubts that it's for the better, for he no longer feels like the same person he was before. It's as if he turned into a b:omb filled with negative emotions, threatening to explode.
He's scared and mad, and he doesn’t know what to do with himself anymore.
With a gasp, Taehyung turned off the shower and walked towards the sink, now staring at himself in the mirror.
Fear really is just another form of poison, for unsettled fear has the potential to turn into frustration and anger, and anger left unmanaged can grow and grow— and grow, until it fully consumes a person, gobbling up one's soul like one starving monster.
Even though he's still drenched from the shower, Taehyung still splashed his face with water—god, right now, he's desperate for any distraction.
Jeongguk is sitting on the edge of the bed, anxiously awaiting Taehyung, who is still in the shower. Don't get him wrong: he's relieved that Taehyung is nearly back to normal.+
Taehyung is now able to walk—hell! He can even jog and do some light workouts, but Jeongguk still feels that something is wrong—that something has changed.
Something doesn't feel right with Taehyung.
Jeongguk has been wondering if he's just imagining things for the past month, but Taehyung seems to be becoming darker— the way he speaks and his thoughts uttered out loud sometimes make Jeongguk feel like he's talking to an entirely different person.
Most often than not, Taehyung would wake up in cold sweat in the middle of the night, looking so damn terrified. His temper has gotten worse and Jeongguk had also noticed Taehyung washing his hands more than usual, taking longer showers.+
He'd come out of the bath with his skin flushed red not from the steam but from too much scrubbing— it's odd and Jeongguk is honestly worried, but every time he asks Taehyung about it, the latter refuses to tell him what's happening.
When the bathroom door slammed shut, Jeongguk raised his gaze from the floor to find Taehyung leaning against the wall, in nothing but his damp bathrobe. "Hi," Taehyung says, sultry voice sounding like a whisper.
"H-hi... Uhm, are you done? Are you hungry? Should I cook or should we just order something?" Jeongguk asks, watching as Taehyung slowly walks towards him, positioning himself between Jeongguk's parted legs, while Jeongguk remains seated on the bed.
"W-why?" Jeongguk asks, putting his hands on Taehyung's waist , stuttering, mesmerized by Taehyung's sensual gaze.
"It's been a while, hasn't it?" Taehyung asks, softly raking his fingers through Jeongguk's hair, drunk sexy eyes peering down at Jeongguk, who’s staring at him like a puppy being petted by its owner.
"B-been a while since— since what? W-what do you want, baby?" Jeongguk asks, as if he has no idea what Taehyung is on about. +
It's been a long time since he and Taehyung had any time to be intimate with each other, especially since Taehyung is still getting physical therapy and Jeongguk had to be considerate of his condition.
Taehyung is doing well on the outside, but Jeongguk isn't sure whether it's truly okay for them to do this because he has no idea what exactly Taehyung is thinking right now.
What does he want?
What does he need?
Will them being intimate really help him?
'Sh¡t... How can I think straight when you're staring at me like this? 'Jeongguk thinks, drowning in Taehyung's deep gaze, completely smitten by the latter's gorgeous face.
"Mhm... We're about to leave this place soon. I believe you already know what I want— but if you still need to hear me say it, then I want you fck me— fck me like there's an apocalypse coming. +
Fck me like it's our last... Hard, rough and raw. Fck me like there'll be no tomorrow." Taehyung says, grabbing a fistful of Jeongguk's hair, tugging the latter's head back, making Jeongguk grunt in response. "Can you do that? Can you save me?—
Because right now, I feel like if you don't hold me, I'm really about to go batsh¡t crazy..." Taehyung muttered under his breath, his face revealing how deeply he meant every word he had just said.
And what else can Jeongguk really do? Say no?— Hah, impossible.
"Su-jin-ah! Come here and have your breakfast first! I cooked your favorite."
"Really? Okay... I'll just set this up, appa!"
"Tch, you've been working so hard on those decorations; take a break, no one's coming in yet."
"Oh, appa. We just have to wait... Our first set of customers are undoubtedly on their way," Su-jin, a loving son, assures his father after finishing hanging up the sign for their newly opened coffeeshop.
Canceled? I was so looking forward to this day—I even dressed up in one of my nicest shirts—only to hear this damn manager declare that the schedule for today has been canceled?
Why? Why? Why?
He was coming. We were told that Jeon fcking Jeongguk is finally returning today after seemingly disappearing without a trace for a month, and I know— I know that if Jeon Jeongguk returns, he'll be bringing Taehyung with him.
So, why is he bailing now?
"I'm sorry. Jeongguk— well, we all know he's going through something, but he promised to come back soon. I'll talk to him. I'm really sorry again," Seokjin, Jeongguk's manager, says,+
apologizing to us and the other employees whose day is ruined because Jeongguk changed his mind about doing what was arranged for today.
"*Sigh* What's with that guy? He's not even answering any of our calls! It's been a month now and he's making it seem like he doesn't exist anymore...+
I know Taehyung is still missing, but he doesn't really need to disappear with him?" Jaehyong, B-side's drummer, tells Seokjin, and to be honest, if I wasn't in public, I would laugh out loud.
Taehyung? Missing? What nonsense—only an idiot would not realize that Jeon Jeongguk was the one who took him.
"Y-yeah... I know. I'll talk to him, Jae... He's having a hard time right now, you know that, right?" Seokjin replies, but I'm not in the mood to hear such poor excuses.
I can feel it—rage. I feel like I've been duped yet again.
Does that dirtbag know who I am? Is he doing this on purpose? No, no, he doesn't know, nobody does except Hyun-Jung, who is all but as good as gone at this point. So, for now at least, I believe that my identity is absolutely safe.
However, that doesn't change the fact that I'm out of patience right now.
It's been a month, and I'm sick of waiting and chasing.
If they don't want to come out, I'll have to make them.
"Excuse me, Jin-ssi?" I asked as I walked up to Seokjin. "I guess I'll have to leave early today... I haven't been feeling well since this morning; the schedule's canceled anyway, right?" I said, subtly cracking my knuckles out of habit.
"Oh—I see. Yeah, yeah, of course you can go home. I'm really sorry to have wasted your time. Let's just reschedule. I'll call you, okay?" Jin says, bowing his head politely to me again.
"Alright, thank you," I replied, bowing to the guy as well before informing the rest of my colleagues that I'd be going early today.
Because I can't stay here—at least not while in this state of mind.
[You can play this as you read.]
The secret history
Looking for a temporary fix to my troubles should be simple if that dirty geezer, Yoo Jae-Sung, hasn't been caught— he always provides a good selection.
I guess I'll just have to go back to my old ways. It's bothersome, but I really need to vent right now.
CC is no longer in business, thus I must look elsewhere. It's not that hard, especially considering I'm familiar with the area.
I parked my car somewhere along Itaewon's bustling streets. If I had more time, I wouldn't necessarily have this location as my first option, but this is where there are a lot of people—at least a lot worthy of my attention.
What am I looking for exactly?
Well, since this isn't for anything deep, it could be anyone as long as I can get them readily.
There are cameras everywhere, and if there's one thing that makes me miss Hyun-Jung, it'll be his ability and resources to clean up after me.+
Then again, I know the area, I know where to look, where to stay— where to hunt. I know where people can do whatever they want without anyone giving a fck.
The sun is close to set, and my remaining patience is running out. I'm staying in my car with my windows rolled down. I'm looking for someone who is alone, whether a man or a woman, but they have to be trusting— willing and naive. +
After all, an easy prey should not require much effort to capture.
I've been tapping my index finger on the steering wheel, my gaze fixated on the side mirror, watching whoever's approaching.
Then it came.
"Oh, sh¡t..." the guy who just dropped the stack of flyers he's carrying hisses, hurrying to pick up the papers that are now flying everywhere, one of which fell in front of my feet as soon as I got out of my car to assist him.
"Purple cafe? Well, this does look inviting," I said as I knelt down and handed the flier back to him.
"Huh? O-oh... Thank you," he said, lowering his head to express his gratitude.
He's polite, that's nice.
"Ah, you're welcome. You seem like you're having some trouble here... Do you need any help?" I inquired, scanning the area carefully to see whether the person I chose was with someone.
"Oh no... I'm good, sir. I'm just passing out some flyers for my dad's cafe down the street. Uhm— here. We just opened this morning," he says, handing me the same sheet I just returned to him.+
I took it and pretended that I gave a shit. Purple cafe—at least judging by the advertisement, the place appears decent, as does the sheepish smile on this guy's face.
He looks clean— maybe not perfect, but he looks innocent at least.
"I see. This looks nice? Hmm... I'm actually meeting with a few friends in a bit, I'll invite them to come by at your café," I smiled, trying to think of ways to prolong our conversation.
"Really? Thank you very much, sir! I really appreciate it—."
"You know what? Why don't you come with me? I'm actually on my way to the company where I work to go fetch my buddies. You can pass out more of your flyers to the other employees there.+
They're all a fiend for snacks and coffee," I offered, wondering if this guy would take the bait.
Oh, he will.
Based on the way his eyes suddenly sparkled bright, I know that he will.
"I'd love to, sir! People around here are so snobbish. They grab the flyers and toss them away the next second. These papers cost money, too, y'know? If they don't want it, they could just refuse it instead of wasting it," he said with a rather dejected look on his face.
"I know, right? Don't worry, coffee's like a drug for us working busy bodies. Let's go? Let's bring your dad more customers," I replied, smiling wider as I led the unsuspecting guy to the car, finally feeling a little better.
"Wow, you have a great car, sir," the man replies, admiring the interior of my vehicle.
Materialistic? Tch, what a shame, but it's okay, I already have my Taehyung, so this man doesn't have to be perfect anyway.
"Thanks. It's not mine though... It's my dad's.— Ah, what's your name by the way?" I asked as I started the car.
"Chang Su-Jin, sir."
"Precious and rare?" I said, knowing the meaning behind the syllables used in Su-jin's name.
"Yes! Pfft... My dad gave it to me, saying that because it took them 20 years to have me, I'm precious and rare to them." Su-jin smiles, gazing at fliers for his father's cafe— +
ugh, I want to wipe that smile off his cheeky face. It's just too bright, too happy—too obnoxious for my taste.
But I know how to wait.
Good boys know how to wait.
"You must be so loved by your parents, Su-jin-ssi... So loved," I muttered under my breath as I began to drive away, that familiar rush coursing through my veins.
"Huh? —Oh, well... I'm really lucky to have them both, sir."
"Mhm... Lucky you, indeed."
[END OF SOMEONE'S POV]
—Like there's no tomorrow...
"You don't want to?" Taehyung asks, letting go of Jeongguk's hair as the latter stays silent after being given a few seconds to respond.
"Not that I don't want to—of course I do... But can you tell me what's going on, Tae? What's bothering you these days?" Jeongguk says, his hands on Taehyung's waist.
Taehyung maintained his gaze fixed on Jeongguk, as though delaying his response to the latter's query. Taehyung isn't stupid, and he knows Jeongguk isn't either. He's aware that Jeongguk has noticed something wrong with him;+
in fact, Jeongguk has asked him about it several times already, but it's not easy for Taehyung to spill everything, especially when he himself does not really understand it.
[Please play this as you read.]
"Those nightmares..." Taehyung begins, tipping his head back, oddly ashamed to meet Jeongguk's concerned gaze. "They keep following me even when I'm awake, I've been hearing voices in my head, Jeongguk, +
sometimes they sound like me, sometimes they sound like one ravenous monster," Taehyung says, his lips twisting up into a pained smile as he stares down at Jeongguk again. +
"I've been telling them to stop— but they wouldn't... I just want them to stop..." Taehyung confesses, turning away and biting his bottom lip, refusing to weep.
"Tae... I think we should see someone... Y'know— someone who can help-.."
"Are you kidding me? I'm not insane, Jeongguk. Don't f:uck with me!" Taehyung isn't sure why he's snapping right now, but he is. "If you don't want to sleep with me, then don't... But don't you dare insinuate that I'm broken." Taehyung continues,+
pointing a finger at Jeongguk, gritting his teeth as he speaks, turning around which then prompts Jeongguk to get on his feet.
"Tae! You know that's not what I meant! I didn’t say that you're broken— I'm worried about you... God! You and I both know that you don't have to be actually insane to seek professional help-.."
"For my head? Why? Are you scared? Are you scared of the possibility of me becoming a murderous lunatic?! If so, then fine— I'll leave! You don't have to put up with me—" Taehyung was about to walk away when Jeongguk grabbed his wrist and pulled him into a tight embrace,+
placing his palm flat at the back of Taehyung's head, burying the latter's face against the crook of his neck. There, Jeongguk releases a rather shaky breath.+
"Shh... It's not like that. I'm sorry, baby. I'm sorry— please don't get upset with me," Jeongguk says, his tone soft and calm as he flicks his gaze upward, not wanting Taehyung to see that he's now crying.
"I just wanted— I just wanted to get-.."
"You want me to hold you?" Jeongguk pulled back a bit and cupped Taehyung's face. "Want me to distract you, mhm? That's all my baby needs, right? A little break? A little distraction?" Jeongguk asks,+
stroking his fingers softly across Taehyung's cheek before pressing a kiss on the latter's forehead, sighing when Taehyung slowly nods his head.
"Yes... Was it too much to ask?" Taehyung says, still clearly upset.
"No," Jeongguk says, kissing Taehyung on the cheek again. "No." — Then a kiss on Taehyung's eye, followed by another on his nose. "No, you can never be too much for me, Tae... +
Please trust me enough to believe that I'll stay. You're not alone. Broken or not, I'm with you all the way," Jeongguk says before eventually closing the gap between their lips, and when they break the kiss, Taehyung has a softer look on his face.+
"I'm not the enemy here... I'm not your enemy, baby. So let's not fight, okay? Remember that I love you, that's why I'm worried about you," Jeongguk says, feeling Taehyung clutch onto his shirt, then letting his head rest on Jeongguk's chest. +
"I'm sorry... I don't know what has gotten into me. -- Way to kill the mood, right?" Taehyung says, nuzzling his face against Jeongguk's chest as the latter rubs soothing circles across his back.
"Not even close... You know, I'm always in the mood when it comes to you," Jeongguk says, bringing Taehyung with him as he sits back on the bed, his hands again on Taehyung's waist, the latter standing in between his parted legs.
"Really? Then why haven't you touched me since the last time we did it when we got here? I kept waiting till I started thinking you don't like me anymore... Understable— I mean, who would want to f:uck someone who's practically as thin as a skelleton-.."
"Hush... Please don't say that. Don't talk about yourself like that, Tae... It was never about your weight or your appearance. I was holding back because I want you to recover fast... Sex— look, even if we try, we've never been a fan of just plain vanilla. +
I just didn't want to overdo it. I was scared— I didn't want to hurt you so I abstained." Jeongguk admits, keeping his gaze on Taehyung as he gently tugs the tie of the latter's robe, sighing deeply as the damp cloth unravels, hanging open and loose over Taehyung's frame.+
"Controlling myself around you must be the toughest thing I've ever done in my life— apart from when I first lost you," Jeongguk adds as he slid his hands through Taehyung's robe, huffing out a lungful of air again when he got to touch the skin of Taehyung's bare waist.
"Quit flattering me—"
"I'll take that as you not getting a good look at yourself in the mirror," Jeongguk says as he begins to rub his palms up and down Taehyung's sides, +
then placing them on his hips, unable to stop himself from biting his lips because of the tempting beauty in front of him.
"Look at you... It's as if god sculpted you himself— and he most surely took his sweet time in doing so." Jeongguk continues,
his words coming out in feverish whispers as he leans in, pressing his lips on Taehyung's tummy, feeling the way Taehyung's inhaling deeply from what he's doing.
"You have no idea how you affect me Tae... You have no idea what you're doing to me," Jeongguk says, dragging his lips across Taehyung's honey skin as he pushes more wet kisses over it, tracing an invisible map towards Taehyung's hip.
"Tell me... I want to hear you say it," Taehyung says, combing his fingers through Jeongguk's hair as the latter continues to kiss and lick him, making his c0ck throb harder and harder with each passing second from Jeongguk's sensual ministrations.
"You're driving me crazy... Every time I look at you, I want to pounce on you... I want to chain you up the bed, f:uck you senseless until we both can't... +
God— you have really no idea how hard it was for me to hold back... I'm still holding back," Jeongguk admits, closing his eyes and hissing as he tightly grips Taehyung's hips.
"Then don't. Don't hold back... I've been itching for you to fill me up," Taehyung replies, throwing his head back and shutting his eyes as he felt Jeongguk's lips graze over the tip of his now fully hard c0ck.
"Ah... Is that so? Can you take me, though? It's been so long, I wonder whether I can still fit in your pretty little hole," Jeongguk says, his hands gripping Taehyung's a:ss, causing Taehyung to part his mouth.
"T-try me..." Taehyung says with that sultry deep voice of his, pulling back a bit from Jeongguk so he can bend forward and claim the latter's lips as Jeongguk pulls him down, making him straddle his lap.
Taehyung then eagerly parted Jeongguk's mouth with his tongue, slithering it past Jeongguk's lips and tasting each corner of the latter's wet heat. +
They kept kissing, breathing through their noses and groaning as Jeongguk pulled Taehyung closer to him. At this point, one side of Taehyung's robe had dropped down his shoulder, exposing more of his chest, +
bringing Jeongguk's attention to Taehyung's nipples. Jeongguk breaks the kiss, tugging Taehyung's lower lip between his teeth, then latching his mouth on Taehyung's neck, sucking red and purple bruises on his skin.+
He licked and bit Taehyung's prominent collarbone before lowering his mouth and flattening his tongue on one of Taehyung's nipples. "Nngh... Fck, yes," Taehyung says, his hand clutching the back of Jeongguk's hair as if guiding him as Jeongguk sucks his chest.
Taehyung isn't sure if it's because it's been a while since he and Jeongguk were intimate, but he's suddenly become twice as sensitive as before. +
He's feeling more of Jeongguk's warm and wet tongue twirling around his nipple, while Jeongguk plays with the other one with his skilled fingers, stroking, squeezing, and pinching the bud, causing Taehyung to moan out loud.+
"A-ahh... That's it... Nngh... Feels good. Hnngh, that feels so good." Taehyung moans again, directing Jeongguk's head to his other nipple so it receives the same attention as the other.
Jeongguk isn't going to lie— he definitely loves what he's doing right now. Taehyung looks so good, he tastes so good and feels so good that Jeongguk couldn't possibly get enough, but at the same time, Taehyung's troubles are still bogging Jeongguk's mind.
He wants to help Taehyung but as of now, Jeongguk has no idea where to start. The last time he remembers Taehyung being on the edge like he is now is around 5 years ago when the latter has been stressing about his upcoming bar exam.+
Back then, they frequently clashed and fought over petty things that normally didn't bother them too much. It was bad— so bad, Jeongguk believes that sans the part where they both ended up cheating with each other, those little fights were the real reason for their separation.
Well, that was then and Jeongguk isn't the type to make the same mistake twice. So now, he's going to make sure that he'll be approaching things differently— instead of fighting against Taehyung, he'll fight alongside him this time.
Jeongguk is still doubtful whether what they're doing now can truly help Taehyung, but if this is what Taehyung wants, Jeongguk will gladly lay down all his cards, because—yes, he loves him that much.
Jeongguk gazed up at Taehyung's face, his tongue still busy on Taehyung's chest, feeling more eager to please the latter as he watched each expression Taehyung made. He sucked onto Taehyung's nipple more+
as he placed his hands back on Taehyung's a:ss, feeling it bounce and jiggle against his palm before letting his finger wander over Taehyung's entrance.
"Nnghh... T-there... Quickly— touch me..." Taehyung demands, arching his back and pushing his hips on Jeongguk's lap.+
"Lube. Wait, let me just get—" Jeongguk couldn't complete what he was about to say when Taehyung reached back and grabbed his wrist, putting three of Jeongguk's fingers inside his mouth, sucking on them, spit coating Jeongguk's digits.
"Ah, sh¡t... You won't even let me get up for a minute, huh?" Jeongguk asks, squeezing and pulling Taehyung's left a:ss cheek, the latter's hole twitching against his fingertips. +
Taehyung's mouth was stuffed with Jeongguk's fingers, so all he could do was hum in response while sucking, even rolling his eyes back as if trying to make Jeongguk visualize him slurping his c0ck.
"God, Tae... You're so fcking hot," Jeongguk hissed as he yanked his fingers out of Taehyung's mouth, hastily smearing the spit he had collected on Taehyung's entrance. +
"Am I?" Taehyung murmurs with his plump, glossy lips, tilting his head back again and exposing his beautiful neck, sighing as the pads of Jeongguk's fingers rubbed on his rim before gradually sliding in.
"Yes, yes—" Jeongguk pauses before inserting his index finger into Taehyung, going shallow at first to allow Taehyung to become accustomed to the sensation. +
"Yes, you are... I'm going to stretch you out, baby... Have you loosen up so I can stuff you full with my c0ck." Jeongguk says, his eyes darkening when Taehyung starts grinding over his lap, f:ucking himself with Jeongguk's finger, going in and out— in and out...
"Add more... I can take more," Taehyung says with his eyes shut, slinging his arms over Jeongguk's shoulders, whispering his moans right into the latter's ear before flattening his tongue against the shell of it, +
causing Jeongguk to grunt, bite his lips, and slide his finger deeper inside Taehyung.
"Nngh... Patience, baby. We don't need to rush anything," Jeongguk murmurs quietly as he continues to thrust his finger deeper, then adding another.
"A-ahhh..." Taehyung lets out a long sigh, feeling himself being stretched without enough lubrication, yet somehow, Taehyung loves the burn. "Lube?" Jeongguk asks, loosening Taehyung more, going slow and gentle.
"L-later... Nngh... Do that later." Taehyung says, pulling the hem of Jeongguk's shirt up. "Off with this sh¡t, please," Taehyung growls as he totally removes Jeongguk's shirt,+
causing the latter to giggle, pulling his fingers out of Taehyung so he can lift his arms up and grant Taehyung's request for him to strip naked.
"Alright, alright... Easy there, tiger," Jeongguk chuckles, tossing his shirt on the floor before lifting Taehyung from his lap and laying him on the bed.
"On your stomach, baby... Gotta use something else to keep you wet since you seem to be against using lube tonight," Jeongguk says as he playfully sticks his tongue out.
"Fine, give it to me then," Taehyung replies as he rolls himself over, going on his knees, pressing his face on the mattress, reaching both his hands back to spread his a:ss cheeks apart.
"F:uck..." Jeongguk couldn't help but cuss as he hastily pulled down his pants, feeling a frantic need to free his already throbbing c0ck. "God, f:uck!" Jeongguk growls again, shamelessly stroking his shaft hard and fast, +
unable to keep his mouth shut as he stares at Taehyung's tight and pink entrance. Then he put his free hand on Taehyung's hip, bringing him closer to his face so he could finally—finally—have a taste.
"Nngh... Yes! Aahhh... F-fck..." Taehyung's voice breaks as Jeongguk pushes his tongue inside him, diving deep as if aiming to scrape his insides clean, and Taehyung is loving every second of it.
Like a feral beast, Jeongguk ate Taehyung's hole like it was his last meal, whirling his tongue around, pulling it back just to lap it over the rim, sucking on it, inserting two of his fingers back in, +
scissoring Taehyung open, spreading it apart so he could add his tongue inside again.
"Nngh... Sh¡t!" Jeongguk isn't sure when the shift in the air began, but he's suddenly impatient, fisting his c0ck hard , feeling himself leaking out more prec:um.
He missed this.
He certainly missed having Taehyung like this, and he'll be a damn hypocrite if he tries to deny it.
"H-hurry... Nngh... I won't last long, s-so get the fck on with it..." Taehyung groans, going on all fours, only to be pushed down on the bed by Jeongguk. "On it." Jeongguk says, yanking his fingers out of Taehyung as he lays beside the latter. +
He then grabbed the bottle of lube from the bedside table near him, clumsily pouring a lot over his own shaft before he hooked one of Taehyung's leg over his arm, spreading the latter's legs wide apart, aligning his tip to Taehyung's twitching entrance.
"Don't worry... I won't be lasting long either." Jeongguk says, gritting his teeth as he speaks, doing one deep and hard thrust, penetrating Taehyung completely, causing them both to choke out a broken scream.
"G-god... A-ahhh... Nnngh..." Taehyung cries, grabby hands reaching onto Jeongguk's nape, pulling the latter closer to his face. +
"Y-you okay?" Jeongguk asks, his cheeks flushed red, feeling like he's about to melt upon entering Taehyung's tight heat that keeps on sucking him in.
"M-move... D-don't hold back," Taehyung moans, pressing his forehead on Jeongguk's and looking into his eyes as Jeongguk began to move, fcking him sideways, effectively hitting his prostate.
"I— I'm not planning to," Jeongguk replies, squeezing more lube between Taehyung's parted legs, keeping the latter wet as he continues to fck him—hard, rough, and raw, exactly like Taehyung requested.
Taehyung's c0ck swings heavily over his stomach as Jeongguk slams his length inside of him, as if pummeling his insides to mush.
This is it.
This is exactly what Taehyung needs.
Jeongguk teased Taehyung's nipple with his free hand, rubbing and squeezing it as they breathed into each other's parted mouths, his leg still hooked on Jeongguk's arm, dangling in the air while Jeongguk fcks him like a weightless doll. +
"T-this what you want, hmm? Can you feel me now, baby? Like it?" Jeongguk whispers, folding his knee and pushing his heel on the mattress to fck Taehyung in a better angle.
"Yes... L-like— nngh... I like it so much," Taehyung replies, bringing his hand down between his thighs, parting his delicate fingers into a 'V' to feel the base of Jeongguk's c0ck as it slips in and out of him.
"Y-you... You feel so good, baby... A-ahh... So tight... Nngh..." Jeongguk gasps as Taehyung leans in closer, filling the tiny gap between their lips, kissing him roughly, tongues flicking and swirling against each other. +
"Mine," Taehyung grunts, tightening his grip on the top of Jeongguk's hair as they detach, suddenly feeling as if he's floating, transported somewhere cold and dark.
"Mhm... Yes— I'm all yours," Jeongguk responds, his lips curling into a devil-may-care smirk before wrapping his free hand around Taehyung's waist, pressing Taehyung's back against his chest as he continued to fck him eagerly.
The voices once again began ringing in Taehyung's ears.
Why? Taehyung doesn’t know, but he keeps on hearing it— he can't stop it.
"I-I'm scared... A-appa, save me. Save me please. —W-why are you doing this to me?" Su-jin asks, his face now filled with both his blood and tears. He has been asking me that damn question ever since he realized that his end is near— in my hands, that is.
Why would I even bother to answer that, when I know that none of them will understand? So instead of replying, I just kept my mouth shut, taking my favorite pair of scissors out of my bag.
We're here in my usual spot in Gangwon-do. I got dear Su-jin tied up. Thankfully, he got quite cooperative after I hit him once. He was doing so good, just crying silently, curling and trembling like a cowardly dog, +
but now he kept on yapping nonsense again, asking me such useless questions that wouldn't even matter even if I decide to answer.
He's obviously scared of me, which makes me happy. I love how their faces contorted in panic the minute they realized I am the one in control here.
Humans crave control so much that they freak out at the slightest idea of losing it — myself included, and maybe that's why I'm doing this.
Something about dominating another person's entire being appeals to me.
It gives me the feeling that I truly own something.
"Hah... Su-jin-ssi... I just noticed you're actually pretty," I said as I ran my scissor along Su-jin's jaw, relishing the way he shuddered.
"Can I ask you a question?"
"Y-yeah, yes... Please, anything— I'll do anything, just please don't hurt me..." Su-jin begs on the ground, wiggling like a worm with his limbs all tied up.
"Do you love me?" I asked, moaning when I felt my c0ck twitch the moment the question rolled out my mouth.
[END OF SOMEONE'S POV]
"J-Jeongguk... Jeongguk, do you love me?" Taehyung asks, now straddling Jeongguk's hips, fcking himself on Jeongguk's thick c0ck while the latter’s on his back underneath him.
"Nngh.... F-fck, Tae... You already know my answer to that—"
"Tell me... A-ahh... Tell me, I wanna hear you say it." Taehyung says, his palms sliding all over Jeongguk's sweaty chest, going all the way up to the latter neck.
From there, Taehyung felt as if something had struck him. In their current position, Jeongguk is just laying pliantly under him, he's unsuspectingly baring his lovely neck, and it makes him look so vulnerable— so easy to k¡ll.
Suddenly, Taehyung wonders what would happen if he listened to those voices that kept whispering to him.
**'People are just like cattle, don't you think?— Arrogant but actually spineless cattle. They act so big and tough, yet they cower at the slightest sight of a blade, crying in fear of spilling a drop of their disgusting blood.' **
**'They fear death, unaware that the real monsters exist mostly when they're still alive and well.'**
**‘I hate them. I hate them. I hate them.’**
**'So I killed. Killed. Killed. Killed— I killed all of them.'**
**'On the neck... Isn't it funny that no matter how big or buff a person is, they will still die in seconds if you stab that one specific vein on the neck... They'll bleed, and it's just so damn arousing to see life leaving their body.'**
Taehyung's hands begin to tremble as he once again hears those damn voices ringing inside his head.
**'I love it... I love every bit of it. It makes me feel in that specific moment, I own them completely... Their blood, heart and even the air they breathe becomes mine— until they run out of it.'**
"A-answer me... Nghh... Fcking answer me already!" Taehyung suddenly exclaims, which took Jeongguk off guard yet Taehyung doesn't seem to care. +
He shut his eyes tight, his head spinning as the urge to wrap his hand around Jeongguk's neck grows stronger and stronger— but he can't. He shouldn't. He knows he shouldn't, yet why is he even considering it now?
"Shut up... Shut up... Shut the fck up!" Taehyung screams, and Jeongguk doesn't know what exactly is happening, but Taehyung kept bouncing on his c0ck tirelessly+
that Jeongguk couldn't help but grab his waist, guiding Taehyung up and down, thrusting his hips up, drowning in the need to chase their nearing orgasm.
**'It's just so fcking easy, don't worry...'**
**'C'mon, don't be a p:ussy...'**
"S-shut up... Please... Shut up..." Taehyung began to cry, his head lolling dizzy from side to side, and Jeongguk knows he needs to stop—they need to stop—but he doesn't know how because Taehyung appears to have no intention of stopping now.
"Nngh... Tae, wait..."
"Shut up... *sniff*... Shut up."
"Tae, baby... Nngh, oh god, fck..."
"P-please... I- I don't want to hear it... Nngh, please.."
"Taehyung..." Jeongguk says, trying to slow Taehyung down by tightening his grip on the latter's waist. "Tae— KIM TAEHYUNG!" Jeongguk didn't mean to yell, but he didn't have a choice but to do so in order to get Taehyung's attention.
Then finally— Taehyung opened his eyes and looked at him.
"Baby... Listen to me..." Jeongguk says as he pulls himself up and sits on the bed, taking both of Taehyung's hands, intertwining their fingers while staring into Taehyung's still disoriented eyes.
"I love you— Just you, only you." Jeongguk firmly says, meaning every word he just said, and just like that the voices stopped echoing inside Taehyung's head, pulling him back to reality again.
Taehyung then struggles for air while bathing in his own cold sweat. He has no idea what happened; it seems that he dissociated for a brief moment.+
He doesn’t even know how he ended up here in Jeongguk's lap, bouncing up and down but somehow he is, and he's also about to reach his release.
"G-guk... Guk... Nnngh..." Taehyung tosses his head back, still utterly perplexed as he c:ums untouched, his hole clamping tight around Jeongguk's c0ck.
"O-oh, f-f:uck..." Jeongguk grunts, failing to stop himself from moving his hips again, coming inside Taehyung within just a few seconds after the latter.
As they both came down from their high, Jeongguk wrapped his arms around Taehyung. He's still not sure exactly what happened, but he's absolutely terrified right now.
"W-what did I— What's happening to me... I-I don't understand..."
"Shh... It's okay, it's okay... I'm here, baby... I'm here, I'll keep you safe..." Jeongguk began to cry silently, burying his face against the crook of Taehyung's neck, trembling as Taehyung gradually lost consciousness.
<News today: December 30, 2021>
SEOUL — A 21-year-old man found dead early Wednesday morning. He was found by joggers along the Han River. He had a stab wound by his carotid artery and the death is being investigated as a part of a serial homicide, police authorities said.
The male was identified as Chang Su-jin, son of a new café owner in Itaewon.
Investigators said he was found at the riverbanks about 6 am—..
Joon just got in his office, about to pull his chair when Hobi suddenly came barging in, slamming a blood soaked letter inside a poly evidence bag.
"Fcking read this, man. He got another one." Hobi says, panting out breath as Joon carefully reads the contents of the letter on his desk.
"Let's play another game, Jeongguk-ssi. Hide and seek. Try to catch me before Seollal ends. Let's see the fireworks then."
<A/N: Seollal - Korean Lunar New Year, January 22-23, 2023>
It's now 7 a.m., and Jeongguk is at a complete loss after what happened between him and Taehyung. He can sense that something is awry. He'd seen it in Taehyung's eyes, heard it in his words, and felt it through his touch.+
It's strange, but even though Taehyung is just sleeping beside him on the bed, Jeongguk seems to have the feeling that Taehyung isn't here, that he's somewhere else—somewhere out of Jeongguk's ken.
It's been going on for quite some time now. Jeongguk would wake up at night to Taehyung's silent whimpers, he'd talk and cry in his sleep, and he'd jolt up screaming as if he was being chased by someone or something so frightening. +
Jeongguk would hold him, but Taehyung would not speak. He'll just hug him back as if nothing happened, and then they'll wake up in the morning, go about their day, and the cycle will start all over again.
It's like a never-ending chase, and it's frustrating for Jeongguk since he feels incapable of doing anything other than watch it all unfold— watch Taehyung crumble on his own.
Jeongguk took a deep breath and rolled onto his side, turning to face Taehyung, brushing some of the latter's stray hair away from his face. "What's going on with you, baby? I wish you could tell me,"+
Jeongguk whispers, tenderly caressing Taehyung's cheek. He was about to lean in and hug Taehyung when he heard his phone buzzing, Namjoon’s calling.
"*Sigh* Hello, hyung," Jeongguk says as he gingerly gets out of bed, only wearing his jeans, not bothering to put on a shirt— and as Joon tells him what happened, Jeongguk feels like a bucket of ice cold water has been dumped on his head, plummeting him into another nightmare.
—'Have you seen it?' Joon asks on the other line. Jeongguk is now here in the living room, checking the email Joon just sent him on his laptop.
"Y-yeah... Looking at it right now." Jeongguk replies, staring at the image of the blood-soaked letter with his name on it, a clear challenge from the lunatic they're pursuing.
—'I asked Hobi and Yoongi to keep the existence of this letter confidential, so you don't have to worry about it being leaked to the media... But you have to tell me, Guk. Don't keep me blindsided— what are you planning to do about this? Are you gonna tell Taehyung? Are you-..'
"No... Hyung. Tae— he can't know about this. At least not right now. He's been through so much. I don't think he can handle it just yet," Jeongguk says as he closes his laptop and walks towards the back porch to light a cigarette.
—'Didn't you tell me he's getting better? Jin said you were supposed to go back to the scene with him yesterday, but you backed out at the last minute. What happened?' Joon inquires, because truth be told, +
he was also anticipating Taehyung to return to the prosecution's office and speak with Jeon Jaeha to get his position reinstated, just as Joon and Jimin did around a month ago.
"Yoo Jae-Sung happened. Taehyung went to see him yesterday. I don't know what kind of sh¡t that dirty geezer had told him, but Taehyung wasn't okay after he had talked to him. We had to go home and postpone our return... +
Hyung, nothing else matters to me right now other than Taehyung. If you'd ask me, I'll book us a one-way ticket to god knows where and never come back, but I know Taehyung would never agree to that." Jeongguk says, +
taking a long drag of his cigarette, leaning his head back as he exhales the thin smoke up in the air. "I'm lost here, hyung... My name is the one that's in that letter,+
but for some reason, I have a feeling that I'm not the one he's after." Jeongguk adds, hearing Joon release a deep sigh on the other line.
—'Do you think he knows that you and Taehyung are together?' Joon asks.
"He's not stupid, hyung... He had his eyes on us before I decided to take action... He knows— and right now, that's what concerns me the most," Jeongguk confesses as he takes another deep breath, hearing the bedroom door click open and close.+
"I have to go, hyung. Talk to you later," Jeongguk says, hanging up the phone as he turns around to see Taehyung, who has just got up, wearing nothing except for the white sheets they slept in, draped over his naked figure.
[You can play this as you read.]
"H-hi..." Jeongguk says, choking on his own breath, tucking his phone into the pocket of his jeans, his gaze locked on Taehyung, who stands in front of him.
"Who was that?" Taehyung asks, his arms swinging up and over Jeongguk's shoulders.
"Joon hyung. H-he was just checking on us." Jeongguk says, gulping as Taehyung inches closer to him like the damn temptress in the flesh.
"Did something happen, mhm?" Taehyung asks, tipping his head to the side, batting his long lashes as if his mere presence isn't enough to knock all the air out of Jeongguk's lungs.+
"None," Jeongguk consciously lies through his teeth, despite the fact that he's unable to tear his gaze away from Taehyung eyes right now.
"Really? Then, what's wrong?" Taehyung asks, raking his fingers through Jeongguk's hair, causing Jeongguk to wonder if Taehyung is doing this on purpose, or if he actually has no idea that he's driving Jeongguk nuts.+
"Are you okay? You look like you've seen a ghost..." Taehyung asks again, his gaze shifting from Jeongguk's eyes to his lips, then back up as Jeongguk reflexively places his hands on Taehyung's waist.
"A very tempting one, I must say." Jeongguk absentmindedly says, tugging Taehyung closer, pressing both their naked chests together.
"Tempting you to do what?" Taehyung asks, his voice deep and breathless.
"To touch, to kiss— to love," Jeongguk responds, his eyes dazed as Taehyung wraps his hand around his wrist, pulling him back towards the kitchen until they reach the counter,+
prompting Jeongguk to lift Taehyung up, leading him to sit on the cold marble, then he stood in between Taehyung's parted legs, palms over the latter's thighs, their eyes locked onto each other.
"Do it then." Taehyung whispers, pulling Jeongguk's chin down with his thumb, parting the latter's lips, breathing heavily against his mouth.
Jeongguk's heart is racing right now, Taehyung just woke up and he's already coming for his sanity like a damn wild truck.
With the white sheets draped over his lithe frame, Taehyung looks like some sort of diety from above, yet Jeongguk knows that he cannot lose himself right now.
"You're scaring the sh¡t out of me, Tae..." Jeongguk says, sliding his palm on the dip of Taehyung's waist, causing the latter to arch his back.
"What do you want? Tell me." Jeongguk asks again, guiding Taehyung as the latter slowly lies on his back against the kitchen counter, folding one of his legs up, staring blankly on the ceiling.
"Beats me..." Taehyung replies as Jeongguk carefully lifts his ankle and softly kisses the top of his foot. +
"Should we just leave? Go to Hawaii, Paris, Greece— anywhere but here," Jeongguk pleads, marveling at Taehyung's bare skin, lying in front of him like a sinfully beautiful masterpiece.+
He is aware that the likelihood of Taehyung agreeing to what he proposed is close to nothing, but Jeongguk remains hopeful for Taehyung to consider.
"That sounds nice... But will we be alright?" Taehyung questions, turning his face to the side and gazing through the glass walls at the serene beauty of the man-made lake outside, while Jeongguk lovingly rubs his palms up and down his thighs. "We could try—"
"Something's wrong with me, isn't it? I don't feel like myself anymore, and I'm afraid these dark shadows will follow me no matter where we go..." Taehyung says, cutting Jeongguk off as he raises his hands up front,+
wrapping them around his own neck before he turns and faces Jeongguk again. "I had a very vivid dream last night," Taehyung continues, tightening his grip on his neck.
"You were under me... And I was doing this— to you... In my head, I was killing you, Jeongguk. I was scared... Right now, I'm still scared— so fcking terrified of my own self," Taehyung says, +
closing his eyes as he chokes himself harder, feeling his throat constricting under his own palms before Jeongguk grabs both of his wrists and pulls him up.
"Do it... To me, not to yourself— fcking k¡ll me, Tae. Do it," Jeongguk growls, gritting his teeth as he brings Taehyung's hands around his neck, pressing so hard that his face instantly turns red.
"S-stop... Jeongguk, stop..." Taehyung's voice rattles, his eyes wide as he tries to pull his hands back, but Jeongguk refuses to budge, instead staring him down.
"If you want to k¡ll me, then do it—but don't you dare do it half-heartedly... I'd rather die in your hands right now than watch you lose yourself completely," Jeongguk says, tears streaming down his cheeks.
"S-stop! Stop! J-Jeongguk! G-god! L-let go... Let go..." Taehyung sobbed, unable to watch Jeongguk struggle to keep air within his lungs, and that made Jeongguk let go of his hands, prompting Taehyung to hurl himself into Jeongguk's arms, crying louder, embracing him tighter.
"I'm sorry. I'm sorry... I don't want this... Not you—not you... I don't want to hurt you... I love you," Taehyung continues to sob, shaking his head frantically, burying his face against the crook of Jeongguk's neck.
Jeongguk instinctively hugged Taehyung back, tears streaming freely from his eyes as he rubbed soothing circles on the latter's back. "Yes, you're not okay. You're not okay, and we both know it— but you're not like 'him,' Tae...+
You're not him, so stop letting him screw with your head. Every time you think about him, think of me instead." Jeongguk says, brushing his fingers through Taehyung's long hair, till he felt a strange surge of rage flow through his veins,+
causing him to close his fist on Taehyung's hair, tugging the latter's head back so he could see his face. "Snap out of it, do you hear me? This isn't you, Taehyung... You're not this weak." Jeongguk continues, his jaws clenched tight. +
"Come back to me. Fcking come back to me right now." Jeongguk says, gripping Taehyung's hair harder as the latter shuts his eyes, sobbing even more as if he couldn't look him in the eye.
"I can't do this alone, Tae... P-please..." Jeongguk begs, gradually releasing his grip on Taehyung's hair as the latter opens his eyes and meets his gaze again.
From there, Jeongguk chokes out a gasp when Taehyung suddenly leaned in and claimed his lips, kissing him hard and deep, tongues instinctively delving inside each other's wet heat.
"Tell me... What the hell is happening to me?" Taehyung asks as they part. "Am I going crazy? I think I am— I feel that I am..." He says, breathing his words against Jeongguk's lips.
"So am I... So is every human alive... We're all a little crazy on the inside— so quit acting like a fool, as if you're the only one," Jeongguk says, cupping Taehyung's face as if drilling his words into the latter's head.+
"Every single one of us is a little mad, but that doesn't make us all murderous psychopaths," he adds.
"Will I be okay? Can I be okay?" Taehyung asks, his tears falling down again.
"God... I wish I could save you— but only you, can truly save 'you', Tae... It's perfectly alright if you're not okay, but please stop acting like you'll never be okay... I can't lose you like this— please, not like this... +
Don't do this to me, baby... Come back to me," Jeongguk pleads, wiping Taehyung's tears away. "You're stronger than this— stronger than him," Jeongguk continues, pulling Taehyung in his arms again as soon as Taehyung nods his head.
"R-right... Right... I'm sorry... You're right." Taehyung says, finding a warm sense of comfort from what Jeongguk has said.
He might be crazy, but he'll be even more crazy if he let that lunatic consume him like this.
It wouldn't be easy, yet he knows that he'll be damned if he won't snap out of it.
Feeling the warmth from Jeongguk's embrace, Taehyung finally started questioning himself.
Why is he even letting himself be controlled by someone else's dark thoughts?
It wasn't him. The one who k¡lled those people wasn't him. His hands aren't dirty, so he's not the one who should feel filthy.
He's not the one who's guilty.
"I'm sorry... You won't leave me, right?" Taehyung asks, wiping the tears off of his eyes.
"Shut up... You already know that I would never..." Jeongguk says, hugging Taehyung even tighter in his arms.
After a while, Jeongguk made them breakfast and now Taehyung's standing beside him, helping him clear up the plates.
Jeongguk is aware of Taehyung's keen perception, thus as much as he wants to protect the latter, he knows that he cannot keep everything a secret. +
He must involve Taehyung in some way if he is to prevent Taehyung from acting on his own. He needs to give Taehyung a sense that they will be working together.
"What's on your mind?" Taehyung asks, softly nudging Jeongguk on the side.
"*Sigh* I— I need to tell you something," Jeongguk says as he puts the plates in the sink and turns off the water before turning to face Taehyung. "What is it?" Taehyung asks again, and Jeongguk is at a loss for words—but he knows he must take action.
"Joon hyung called earlier, remember? H-he... He said that the slasher had killed another person." Jeongguk says, deciding to tell Taehyung about the situation, yet refusing to let him know about the letter.
"D-did he now?" Taehyung asks, averting Jeongguk's gaze.
"Yeah... 21- year old male. They found the body this morning." Jeongguk replies, watching as Taehyung turns away, taking the lighter and the pack of cigarettes on the counter with him as he walks towards the back porch.
"I know you think I'm still unstable—trust me, I know that more than anyone... But I honestly don't think we should just sit here and do nothing, Jeongguk," Taehyung says, lighting his first cigarette in months.
"It's actually funny to me that I already knew you’d say that, but still I'm not ready to leave..." Jeongguk admits, following Taehyung out on the back porch, lighting up a cigarette of his own.
"I'm sorry." Taehyung says, exhaling the thin smoke between his lips as he glances at Jeongguk beside him.
"Your sense of justice is just like smoking, don't you think? You know that it's dangerous and that it's bad for you, but still you cannot quit. +
You keep on gravitating towards it, inhaling it desperately as if it's the air you need to breathe." Jeongguk says, tasting the bitterness of his own words as he speaks.
"What should I do, when it keeps on haunting me? Every time I close my eyes— every time I sleep at night... I see blood in my hands. I can hear them scream, those people whom I haven't met even once in my life... I know, I know that my hands are clean, +
I am not the one who killed them, but I feel like I'll be as guilty as that lunatic if I stay here and do nothing." Taehyung says, taking another long drag of smoke before he turned and faced Jeongguk again.
[You can play this as you read.]
"There's really no stopping you, huh?" Jeongguk asks.
"I may not remember him now, but somewhere in the deep recesses of my fcked up-brain, I just know that I know him,+
as for my sleep— he already told me everything," Taehyung says, and Jeongguk knows by the look in Taehyung's eyes that he cannot delay this anymore.
Right now, they really have to go.
"Okay. Let's do it. Let's go back to wherever the damn mayhem is," Jeongguk says with a bitter smile on his lips, fully aware that by doing so, he and Taehyung may never be the same really.
"Thanks... I'll go get my suit and tie then," Taehyung replies, kissing Jeongguk again before going back inside to get dressed.
"That's not possible, Namjoon is already handling this case, you just woke up from a coma for god's sake!" Jeon Jaeha yells at Taehyung, who came to visit him first thing in the morning, requesting that his administrative leave be canceled.
It's nothing personal; it's just that the prosecution's office is still reeling from what happened in Yoo Jae-Sung's case, so involving both prosecutors, Namjoon and Taehyung in another high-profile investigation would be like suicide for Jeon Jaeha's position.
"I said no! My decision is final. Get out—.."
Jeon Jaeha was then interrupted when Joon suddenly knocked on the door.
"Sir... Someone here wants to see you." Joon tells Jaeha before he glances towards Taehyung.
"Joon, we're not done talking yet—" Taehyung was about to object when Joon opened the door wider, allowing Jeongguk, who had been waiting outside to enter, his gaze immediately locked onto his father.
"Y-you..." Jeon Jaeha stutters, his eyes wide in surprise, springing to his feet as if he's seen a ghost, for he hasn't seen his own son in person since Jeongguk left home seven to eight years ago.
"I was planning to simply wait outside and let Taehyung handle it... But I heard you screaming— and I'm not going to let anyone shout at my baby while I'm listening," Jeongguk says, motioning Joon to bring Taehyung out so he can speak privately with his father.
"*Sigh* Please leave, both of you Kims," Jeon Jaeha says, massaging the bridge of his nose as he drops on his swivel chair once more.
"Guk..." Taehyung clutches Jeongguk's sleeve, taken aback because Jeongguk barging in here wasn't really part of the plan.
"Go on now, Tae... I'll just have a chat with my 'dad,' okay?" Jeongguk says sarcastically, calmly releasing Taehyung's grip on him; and although hesitant, Taehyung submits, +
assuming that Jeongguk must have a good reason for finally talking to his father after all these years.
"Fine... I'll wait for you outside, then." Taehyung says, allowing Joon to escort him outside the chief prosecutors office.
"*Sigh* Alright, let's keep this short, old man," Jeongguk says, staring his father in the eyes. "Two things; First, cut my baby some slack, alright?+
Second, I'm here to tell you that with or without your permission, I'm going to catch that damn psychopath, so no matter what you do, I might still drag your precious name down the mud. I don't have a plan, but I have a little information, will you hear me out or not?"
A quote from the author Lisa Weed says that having a family means you will love and be loved for the rest of your life, but Jeongguk never felt that way his entire life.
Taehyung now is the only person Jeongguk can associate with the word love. He's been without his mother since he was a child, and the only family he has left is his father, who clearly has no concept how to love somebody right.
Growing up, Jeongguk only felt warmth when he did something worthy of acclaim, such as acing his exams, winning a few awards, or exhibiting his I.Q that is somewhat higher than what is deemed normal. +
He's never even received a hug from his father; the only affection he's felt is a modest pat on the back, accompanied by a few words—good job and that's my son—but everything returns to bland after that.
Jeongguk pursued music since that was where his heart was. Jeongguk was able to experience the high of having someone's eyes on him while performing in front of an audience, applauding him for what he enjoys doing rather than what others want him to accomplish.
Jeongguk is able to express his soul through music by writing his own songs and singing them in his own tune. It's a far cry from law school, where everything is strictly by the book.
Unfortunately, because of that same music, Jeongguk's father has labeled him as a fool.
"Hah. You think you can come here and mandate me on how I treat my people and how I handle the cases on my table? You have guts kid, I'll give you that." Jeon Jaeha says, leaning his back on the chair, puffing out his chest proudly like the king he views himself.
"I'm offering you a deal. I'm sure you've already seen this," Jeongguk says as he sets his phone on his father's desk, displaying a copy of the letter the slasher had addressed to him on the screen.+
"Clearly, he's referring to me. He wants 'me' to come and catch him," Jeongguk continues, waiting for his father's reaction.
"And you'll take the bait? How foolish—"
"Foolish, maybe, but if you really want to nab that cr¡minal, I suppose your useless foolish son would be your safest bet." Jeongguk pauses as he picks the whiskey bottle at the side of his father's table,+
pouring himself a glass before turning towards the windows. "So, what do you say?" Jeongguk asks, staring out the panes.
"Are you asking me to use my own son to lure—"
"Your son? Cut the bullsh¡t. You disowned me years ago when I chose to pursue a career in music; for you, it's only a lawyer for a son or no son at all." Jeongguk hisses after taking a sip of his drink,+
feeling the bitter heat travel down his throat, as if it'll help warm himself up because being in the presence of his father makes him feel strangely cold.
"Hah... If that's the case, then why are you here acting like you own my office?" Jaeha argues, standing up, pouring himself a glass of whiskey as well.
"Because, as you know, I utilize my head a little better than others... So I figured to finally put my last name to good use— unfortunately for you, that last name is something the two of us share," Jeongguk says as he turns to face his father once more.
"What do you want from me, kid? I thought you said you wanted us to go our own ways? I believe I upheld my half of the agreement." Jaeha replies, placing his glass back on the desk angrily.
"I need you to reinstate Taehyung's position, let him handle the slasher's case with Joon hyung as the brilliant prosecutor that he is, and I need you to give them your full support— +
budget, personal guards for their safety, the whole shebang, until they get to arrest the culprit. We have less than 3 weeks before Seollal, which is apparently our given time limit." Jeongguk says, +
raising his brows and his glass towards his father who's wearing a stone cold expression on his face.
"You talk as if it's that simple... Those two Kims have caused me a slew of problems since the stunt you pulled in CC's three months ago; my hands are tied—"
"And soon you'll be out of your seat once I decide to open my mouth— Dad... Do you honestly believe I didn't know why Yoo Jae-Sung's case has been basically swept under the rug? We both know that even though he's the club owner, he's not the one who calls the shots—+
if anything, he's nothing but a bottom feeder... It's a whole organization, a full blown cr¡minal empire that operates underground. Bank and hotel owners, mayors, governors, other members of the national assembly— the kings of the entertainment industry,+
they are all involved in that one huge business that provides them a great deal of benefits. Drugs, sex, power and money... For years, Yoo Jae-Sung has been untouchable— why?+
I bet you know the answer... After all, you've always been one of their most useful pawns." Jeongguk says as he finishes his glass, slamming it against his father's desk once he's done.
"JEON JEONGGUK, YOU SHUT YOUR F:UCKING MOUTH—"
"I'm not done yet... I was just getting started. I did my research, you know I'm good at that sh¡t. CC's might no longer be in business, but surely it did not end the whole thing. +
Yoo Jae-Sung is simply one of a plethora of individuals involved in the dark, mad games you're playing while feigning to be such good citizens. +
He's just one rotten apple among the many, and so are you, Prosecutor General Jeon Jaeha.” Jeongguk pauses, lips curling up to a smirk, while Jaeha looks at him in both anger and horror. +
"I was there at the auction. I've made a list of names that could land you and your bosses in hot water. At this moment, I'm the media's favorite cash cow, so anything that comes out of my mouth will make headlines across the world...+
I'm sure you won't let a mere serial k¡ller on the loose jeopardize your position, am I right? — Especially if you can dodge all of that by simply signing a few papers." Jeongguk says, walking towards his father, his head held high, looking Jaeha straight in the eyes.
"Without my name you'll be nothing— and you dare to threaten the same name that placed you to where you're standing? I did everything I could for you— sent you to the best schools,+
provided you with everything you need and more just so you wouldn't waste your potential and have something great in your life... I didn't even object when you opted to fck or be fcked by a man...+
So why? Why do you hate me so much? Why are you doing this when you know that all I made will eventually be left in your name if you stayed? +
This—this damn seat you abhor the most—will be the reason you'll be living comfortably once I'm gone," Jaeha says, gritting his teeth while staring down his only son—his only family.
"Well, I never asked for all of that. As pathetic as it may sound, all I needed was a father who would see me for me. I needed a father who would treat me like a son, not just as some kind of prodigy to be used as a tool to leave a legacy... +
So stop being a hypocrite, Dad. We both know you've always resented me. Nothing I've done has ever been enough for you... But don't worry, I need no father anymore." Jeongguk says, +
feeling an odd sense of satisfaction coursing through his veins the moment the words left his mouth in front of his father. "Let's not complicate things any further Mr. Jeon. +
Do us both a favor by just agreeing to what I proposed— then, all you need to do is sit back again on your precious throne." Jeongguk says, meeting his father's look with the same venom before he heads towards the door.
"I hope I have made myself clear, Joon hyung will tell you the rest... If you want to make it more dramatic, then I'll say for once, give your son the support that he needs." Jeongguk says before he slams the door shut behind him.
"Will he be okay?" Taehyung asks Joon as they wait here in the latter's office.
"To be honest, I'm more worried about the chief; they've never really gotten along, so whatever happens, I doubt it'll affect Jeongguk... *sigh*" Joon says as he settles back in his chair, +
reviewing some of the documents stacked on his desk.
Taehyung then took a deep breath, as though inhaling that familiar workplace air. It's been three months since the last time he's been here, and nothing has changed; +
everyone is still going about their business, minding their own cases, going about their days, and Taehyung feels that only he doesn't feel the same way.
It feels strange. Strange because he's here wearing his pin and suit but he's not really doing anything of good use.
"A-about the slasher's latest victim, that 21-year-old boy... Can you fill me in on the details?" Taehyung asks, hoping that Joon will be gracious enough to spare him at least some information about the new case they're working on.
"Of course," Joon pauses as he looks up at Taehyung, then takes a folder from the drawer and hands it to the latter— sans the information regarding the slasher's letter. +
"We'll be working together here, Taehyung; you don't need to ask my permission," Joon adds as he watches Taehyung thumb through the folder's contents.
"Will Jimin be here?" Taehyung wonders as he reads.
"We're a team, but he's in the station right now with Hobi and Yoongi to check the status of the autopsy report; it might take a while, but they'll be on standby," Joon responds, reviewing his copy of Su-Jin's file as well. +
"What do you think? This is a bit different from the others, isn't it?" he asks Taehyung.
"Yeah. Unlike the other victims, this one isn't a celebrity nor was he connected in the entertainment industry. +
Aside from the stab wound found on his neck, it might be hard for us to connect it to the slasher's prior cases." Taehyung says, pointing out the distinction between Su-jin's death from the others. +
"How can we even be positive that he did this?" Taehyung asks again, prompting Joon to bite his tongue, noting that Jeongguk does not want Taehyung to know about the letter they acquired when the victim was found.
"I— well, it was certainly him; we just need more evidence to prove it before we go public," Joon says, ducking Taehyung's eyes when the latter looks up. Taehyung was ready to ask another question when the door swung open. +
"Tae? Let's go?" Jeongguk asks as he walks into Joon's office.
"Already? What happened? Are you okay?— Wait, I still need to talk to the chief-.."
"Nope. We're good to go. You can set up your office tomorrow. For now we need to check your apartment and settle some of our stuff there, then later we'll have to meet with Jin hyung at J records." Jeongguk says, +
hands tucked in the pockets of his jeans as he casually walked towards Taehyung.
"What? But didn't the chief say that—.."
"It doesn't matter what he said; he's already changed his mind and is probably signing the memo right now. You, Joon hyung, and that other midget will be the prosecutors assigned to this case—+
plus myself, of course, as a concerned citizen," Jeongguk says confidently, prompting Joon to take another deep breath as he gets to his feet.
"I'm presuming you didn't give him any other option," Joon tells Jeongguk, referring to the latter's father.
"Well, I hate to give that man any credit but he did raise me. I simply did as he told me. Always bargain with a threat ready to pull out of your pockets in case you'll need it." Jeongguk shrugs as Taehyung stands.
"So, I just got reinstated? That's basically the gist of it, right?" Taehyung asks, brushing the nonexistent dust off his pants.
"Right. Then, welcome back," Joon responds, offering his hand to Taehyung.
"Thanks," Taehyung says, awkwardly shaking Joon's hand.
"Alright. We're back in business, then. I'll just email you the case profile. As of now we're still in the process of scheduling a meeting with Su-jin's family. +
They're having a hard time grieving... Su-jin's an only child." Joon says, recalling how he saw Su-jin's family broke down when they told them the news about their son's death this morning.
"Okay, let me know when. I'll come with you." Taehyung says before he heads out the door, missing the way Jeongguk exchanged knowing glances with Joon.
"Are you sure you're okay? I mean, you just talked to your dad— whom I believe you haven't seen in person for years." Taehyung says, now standing beside Jeongguk in the elevator going up to his old apartment's floor.
[You can play this as you read.]
Born to die
"It wasn't pleasant, but I've gone through worse, so I guess it wasn't all that bad," Jeongguk chuckles as he glances at Taehyung. "Will it be strange if I say it felt satisfying? +
Back then, I couldn't even look him in the eyes without feeling so little, but earlier I did, and I stood like this," Jeongguk added, turning to face Taehyung. +
"I stood my ground, stared him down, told him that I've been aware of all the dirt he's been hiding inside his closet while pretending to be clean on the outside all this time... +
Told him I'll tell the world about it if he continues to refuse to give your job back—"
"So Joon is right? You threatened him—your own dad?" Taehyung asks, finding Jeongguk's bravado amusing right now.
"Oh yes I did—and I'm not the least bit sorry about it; I'll do it again and again... Anything for my sugar baby," Jeongguk smirks, playfully flicking Taehyung's chin.
"And I'm guessing that's me? The sugar baby?" Taehyung asks, rubbing his chin and humming as if deep in thought. "I'm not sure if I want to keep being one, though? Thanks to you, I'm not jobless anymore." Taehyung teases+
as he softly straightens the collar of Jeongguk's shirt, his eyes turning to those of an apex predator—the sexy kind, if such a thing exists; if not, Taehyung would undoubtedly be the first of it.
"Oh? Wanna switch? Make me your own sugar baby? You know I can cook, I can clean, I'm in no rush for a damn ring— I can give it to you good, seven days a week." Jeongguk says, +
quoting that one song he often heard in the radio before whenever he's working out in the gym, only changing it a bit to fit his narrative.
"Will you sit on me then?" Taehyung asks, now grabbing Jeongguk by the collar as the elevator door slides open, pushing Jeongguk towards his flat.
"If you want me to? Lucky you, I'm quite flexible." Jeongguk teases, pushing a tongue on his cheeks, pulling both their suitcases with him as Taehyung draws him in.
"Tempting... But I don't think I'm built for giving... You've spoiled me rotten, I've gotten so used to taking," Taehyung says, feeling the door of his apartment against his back as he tugged Jeongguk even closer that their chests are pressed together.
"Mhm, I know right?" Jeongguk grins as he slides his knee between Taehyung's thighs. "Wanna give it a shot? I'm feeling pretty 'generous' right now," Jeongguk adds as he pulls Taehyung's apartment keys from the back pocket of his jeans,+
unlocks the door, and pushes them both in, laughing and kissing as if it's the most natural thing they're doing.
"Pfft... S-stop... That tickles..." Taehyung snorted as Jeongguk kissed his neck, and it wasn't until they stumbled down the couch that Taehyung realized they’re really back in his apartment.
From there, Taehyung stills, his smile slowly fading.
"W-why?" Jeongguk asks, noticing Taehyung's sudden silence.
"No— nothing. It's nothing, I think it just occurred to me that we're actually back here..." Taehyung says as he and Jeongguk sit up on the couch. +
"Isn't it strange that I lived here for what? Two, three years and didn't miss it? It feels foreign being here— not quite like home," Taehyung confesses as Jeongguk carefully tucks the strands of his long hair behind his ear.
"Mhm... Then where is 'home'? Cheondamdong?—.."
"No." Taehyung quickly answers which makes Jeongguk's smile fall.
"No? Then where?" Jeongguk asks Taehyung again, a bit disappointed because he would actually prefer if Taehyung consider Cheongdamdong as their home.
"You," Taehyung says, lovingly kissing Jeongguk on the cheek. "I'm not sure when it started, but every time I'm with you, no matter where we are or where we stay, I feel like I'm home... So don't ever leave me, Jeongguk.+
I don't want to lose my home, it scares me, but I don't think I'd be able to survive again on my own," Taehyung says, meaning every word he just said, prompting Jeongguk to immediately cage him in a tight embrace.
"Before you, I had no idea it was possible to fall in love with the same person over and over again... Take it easy on me, baby... My heart is about to burst here," Jeongguk says, nuzzling his face against the side of Taehyung's neck.
"Once all this is over... Do you think we can build a real home together?" Taehyung asks, closing his eyes, taking in Jeongguk's comforting warmth.
"Of course... We can do that— we will do that." Jeongguk answers as he pulls back to cup Taehyung's face, pressing their foreheads together. "But before all that, can you promise me one more thing?" Jeongguk asks.
"What is it?"
"Whatever happens once we step out that door... Promise me you'll trust me, Taehyung. No doubts, no questions. I know it seems selfish, but I need you to have faith in me... 100%, nothing more, nothing less," Jeongguk says firmly, his gaze locked onto Taehyung.
"Because once we go out there... We have to play the devil's game. A game of lies and deceit, mixed with a little hide and seek." Jeongguk says before he proceeded to tell Taehyung his plan— +
well, not everything, for he still excluded the details of the letter regarding the slasher and the upcoming Seollal.
"Do you understand, mhm?" Jeongguk asks.
"Wouldn't that be too risky? We still have no idea who he is... He could be anyone—"
"But we know that he'll be near. He's going to lurk around us, and I think— that alone is enough for us to take a risk... So, are you in?" Jeongguk asks, rising up on the couch and offering his hand to Taehyung in front of him.
"Okay... Count me in." Taehyung says, taking a deep breath and standing up, before he and Jeongguk walk out the door hand in hand.
As Taehyung's apartment door clicked shut, an unseen note came down from the counter, the wind causing it to slide beneath the couch:
"010-xxx-xxx7 Call me when you see this. -HJ."
Hyun-Jung's phone number.
[You can play this as you read.]
I really had no intention of coming to work today. I slept little because I got a bit busy last night—you know, it's never easy disposing of a dead body, even for someone like me.
It was fun though. It did make me feel a little better. However, I would still prefer to see Taehyung. It has been so long and I'm getting sick of only seeing his perfect face in photos.
I want to see him, touch him, feel him.
I'm so fcking tired of waiting that I did something rash. I typed out a letter for my muse's /caretaker/ to read. A challenge for him to come out of hiding.
Well, how am I going to kill him if I can't see him?
Still, just k¡lling Jeon Jeongguk would be too boring. Since he's so full of himself that he got bold enough to trick me, I decided to play a little game with him.
He doesn't know the rules, but I believe he'll figure it out soon— if— he’d show himself soon.
That's why, after receiving a text from Seokjin this morning, I'm back here in J records. He didn't say what for, but he requested our team to be present— so yeah, I guess today I will be functioning without any sleep.
"Thank you for your attendance despite the short notice... It's sudden, I know, but I was advised to gather you all to discuss a few changes regarding B-side's new album." Jin says as he goes around the long table, handing each one of us a folder.
"We'll start soon. We just have to wait for the other members—"
"We're here!" Jin was interrupted when Jaehyong entered the conference room that we're in, followed by the other band members, Dojoon, Hajoon, Woosung and—
Pfft... You gotta be fucking kidding me.
I didn't realize that my eyes had shot wide open as soon as I finally saw the next person enter the room.
It's as if the world has gone into full slow motion, something that I have never experienced before. I bit my lips, suppressing a wide grin, trying to ignore my heart that's now pounding.
Jeon Jeongguk is finally here— and yes, just as I thought, he had brought 'my' Taehyung with him.
Now, now... Let the games—really begin.
[END OF SOMEONE'S POV]
[You can play this as you read.]
It was once said that every face is born with a thousand masks to go with it.
Right now there are a total of 16 people in the room and Jeongguk and Taehyung are aiming to unmask them all.
As Jeongguk takes a seat, he quickly sorted everyone into three groups mentally, Green, yellow and red to be exact.
Green means safe, and those with the lowest possibility of being the lunatic they're pursuing. Taehyung, Seokjin, Akiko, Jaehyong, Dojoon, Hajoon, and Woosung are in the green category+
because Jeongguk has known them for years and he doesn't believe that any of them are capable of committing the slasher's atrocities.
Under the yellow bracket are most of the staff whom Jeongguk isn't familiar with the names yet. These are people whom Jeongguk doesn't know quite well so he'll be keeping them in close check.+
Jihye, Chung-hee, Seo-jun from S.I are in this list, together with the other staff that Jeongguk will try to know more about eventually.
So far, there are only two people in the red category, which means the most dubious individuals on the roster, and the first on Jeongguk’s red list is Choi Won-Jae. Although Choi Won-Jae of their rival band Cherry isn't here at the moment, +
Jeongguk still suspects him, owing to the incident in which he spotted Won-Jae prowling outside Taehyung's residence. To be honest, Jeongguk initially thought Won-Jae was obnoxious but harmless;+
however the latter spying on Taehyung only after seeing him once persuaded Jeongguk that Won-Jae isn't someone to be trusted.
The second and final person on Jeongguk's list may appear inconspicuous, and Jeongguk admits that he has no actual reason to be wary of this man, as it is simply based on his intuition— that person is the famous fashion designer, Song Iseul.
Don't get him wrong, Jeongguk has no personal issue with Iseul, it's just that the guy appears highly suspicious. Iseul is quiet and reserved, but also mysterious; he's over 6 feet tall; +
he's incredibly detailed and meticulous with his work; he's proud; he's an artist; and he appears to be a very intelligent person. Sure, having such qualities does not make one a psychopath, but Iseul was also present during the encounter at CC's,+
and perhaps that's why Jeongguk would like to stick with his intuition, because to him, out of everyone here, Iseul is the one who can most likely get away with murder while pretending he has nothing to do with it.
Here, Jeongguk subtly observed everyone in the room. Right now, they're all looking at them— at Taehyung in particular.
"Jeongguk-ssi! Taehyung-ssi! we're really glad to see you both again here... Y'know, Taehyung-ssi, boss and our team visited you at the hospital frequently while you were still unconscious.+
We were so scared, but now we're really so happy to see you're okay." Seo-jun, one of the tailors in Iseul's team says, welcoming Taehyung back with a bright smile on his face.
"Thanks," Taehyung simply replies. Well, not to be rude, but Taehyung is aware that he shouldn't trust anyone right now so he's keeping his walls intact.
"Gukkie! My gosh... I was so worried about you— you disappeared for a month! What happened to you?!" Akiko exclaims as she rushes towards Jeongguk, shoving Dojoon off his seat so she can sit by Jeongguk while Taehyung stands behind them.
"I'm fine Akiko." Jeongguk says, keeping his tone cold and flat, now aware of how Taehyung feels when it comes to Akiko and him.
"O-oh, and Taehyung... I'm really glad that you're okay now... Though I'm curious— is your memory okay?— I mean, back then at the hospital, it sounded like you had amnesia, right? You even asked Gukkie who he was," Akiko says, turning towards Taehyung.
"The doctors said that I'm experiencing some sort of temporary memory loss due to the head trauma I suffered. I feel okay now, but I still can't remember much." Taehyung lies, eyeing the way Akiko's hand is on Jeongguk's arm.
"Oh my, that's too bad... But why are you and Gukkie together if you don't remember him—"
"I'm his employer, Akiko. Tae is temporarily working as both a prosecutor and my bodyguard right now... +
Look, can we not talk about this now? We have other things to discuss," Jeongguk replies, releasing Akiko's grip on him and turning to face the others at the table with them.
"*Sigh* First, I would like to apologize for delaying this project. The past few months have been tough for me— I know at this point you're all aware of the reason... Anyway, I'm back now+
and actually, I was the one who requested Jin hyung to gather you all here to discuss the few changes I want to apply regarding B-side's new album." Jeongguk says with a firm look on his face.+
"Check the folders you're holding please." He adds as everyone thumbs through the contents of the papers he asked Seokjin to distribute earlier.
"You wanna change the whole concept?!" Jaehyong couldn't help but voice his shock out loud.
"Oh gosh... Are we gonna start from scratch? If we go through this, then how are we gonna meet the deadline, Jeonggukkie?" Woosung inquires as well.
"I created a timetable, which you can see on page 3," Jeongguk responds. "By following that, I believe we can still adhere to the timeline and release everything exactly on Seollal."
"*Sigh* I'm really cool with this, but may I ask why you basically want us to change everything? I mean, this? This is a whole new concept, Guk... You want us to go from just plain heartbreak to dark obsession—+
geishas, circus, Dir en Grey's obscure, blood and murder? Wow..." Dojoon shakes his head, turning his folder around to show everyone what he's talking about.+
"Plus, you want us to record another song cover... We have three weeks, Jeongguk. Do you think it's really possible? New set, new wardrobe... Will we even get enough time for sleep?" Hajoon, Dojoon's twin brother adds.
"Don't worry about the wardrobe. I honestly like this new concept more. I believe it's doable." Iseul suddenly speaks, earning everyone's attention.
"Are you sure boss? We're also the ones in charge of designing the sets for the music videos. Can we really pull this off?" Seo-jun asks, awkwardly scratching the back of his hair, looking obviously skeptical of this new idea.
"We worked on our whole line last season in under two weeks... Seo-jun-ah, you know this is no big deal." Iseul says, glancing at Jeongguk with a blank expression on his face.
"*Sigh* Right... Sorry boss. I'm just worried since you told us that these past few days you're having trouble sleeping again." Seo-jun says, looking apologetically at his boss.
"Again, it's no big deal... So— should we start discussing this whole new concept of yours Jeongguk-ssi?" Iseul asks, his eyes fixed on Jeongguk this time.
"Of course... I'll be co-directing the music video by the way... Now, if you would notice I have taken most of my inspiration from Dir en grey's music video for 'obscure.' It's dark and twisted, I know...+
We can tone it down, but I would actually prefer it to be as graphic. B-side hasn't tried this concept before, and I guess this will be the perfect opportunity for us to do so— why? Well, we're all aware of the slasher and his odd fixation on me, right?+
Everyone is terrified, but honestly? Not me... This might sound selfish of me, but I hope you'll allow me to relay my message to that lunatic through our music. +
I wanna tell him that even if he threatens me, cut every part of my body— even if he kills me, I'll fight back. The likes of him, doesn’t and will never scare me." Jeongguk says, his eyes lit with fire, meaning every word he just said.
"I think it's brilliant. Business wise, we can use Jeongguk's strange connections to the slasher to gain more views and new listeners. +
Words travel fast, and I can already imagine the public raving about the new album, creating theories, connecting the dots, and the likes. This will be beneficial for us," Seokjin says, supporting Jeongguk's idea.
"B-but Gukkie... This kind of concept scares me... Isn't this too graphic? I don't think our korean audience is ready for this—"
"It's their album Akiko, if you're uncomfortable with it, then let us know so we can find a replacement." Seokjin cuts Akiko off, +
for he knows how important this is to Jeongguk that's why they can't afford to harbor any doubts especially if they're aiming to get everyone's favor.
"I can take your place if you don't want it. I may have no experience but I'm actually a fan of this kind of concept." Taehyung suddenly says, making Jeongguk immediately turn towards him.+
"Taehyung..." Jeongguk whispers with a bit of warning because they certainly did not agree for Taehyung to volunteer.
"W-what? Who says I'm quitting? I'm doing it! I've always been in B-side's music videos. I won't be missing this." Akiko says, refusing for anyone to take her place.
"But aren't you scared? I mean, I doubt anyone here will take it against you if you back out now?"
"I said I'll do it!—"
"You both can be a part of it," Iseul says, his eyes fixed on Taehyung. "I'm sorry, but Taehyung-ssi's kind of visuals, as you can see, are incredibly rare these days... +
This is entirely self-indulgent, but as an artist, I wouldn't want to miss any opportunity to dress him up," Iseul admits, prompting Jeongguk to ball his fists.
"He's not an artist nor a model, Iseul-ssi—"
"I'll do it. If you'd take me, that is." Taehyung cuts Jeongguk's complaint, believing that if he had a legitimate reason to be part of this project, he'll have more excuse to keep Jeongguk safe.
Jeongguk then turned his chair around, grabbing Taehyung's wrist, and was going to reason with him when he realized how determined Taehyung's eyes are while staring at him.+
"F-fine... Do what you want," Jeongguk responded hesitantly, releasing Taehyung's wrist, sighing in defeat.
"Okay, it's settled then. Seo-Jun-ah, please take Taehyung-ssi's measurements later, and Jeongguk as well. +
He basically disappeared for a month so we have to make sure the sizes are updated." Iseul said before they all proceeded to discuss the other changes regarding B-side's concept.
As per research, the most typical characteristics of a psychopath are being manipulative, unremorseful, dishonest, egotistical, and exploitative. +
Promiscuity, criminality, and irresponsibility are also some of the traits that are usually connected with psychopathy. +
Given that, Jeongguk is aiming to lure out the lunatic they're hunting by basically sh¡tting on that one deed a murderer loves doing— and that is killing.
Taking inspiration from the visual kei used by the band Dir en grey for their song 'Obscure', Jeongguk came up with an idea to make the title track's music video as graphic and disturbing. +
[A/N: I don't advise searching/watching the mv. It's not for the faint of heart.
He intends to depict what the slasher has done to his known victims. However, the intention of the imagery Jeongguk has in mind isn't to patronize the psycho's criminality, but to mock it.
Taking thorough notes on how cleanly the slasher dismembers his victims, Jeongguk aims to spoof it by doing the opposite; that, without sacrificing his band's artistry.
The theme of their title track's music video will revolve around the different layers of obsession. The muck and grime derived from one's overwhelming need to claim and own someone or something he most desires.
Jeongguk wants to convey how disgusting it is to covet someone so badly that you end up dirtying your own hands.
Messy, disorganized, vile, taunting, and filthy, Jeongguk's goal is to irritate the slasher by ticking every box known to set off a narcissistic lunatic.
The problem is— Taehyung isn't supposed to be a part of it.
"Tae, why did you volunteer? We talked about this, didn't we?" Jeongguk asks, leading Taehyung away after the meeting, into one of the vacant corridors.
"By now, everybody knows I'm a prosecutor, not a bodyguard. If we don't want that psycho to suspect that we're investigating again, I need another plausible excuse to be here. +
We could have gotten away with it for now by playing the 'we're friends' and you needed an extra bodyguard act, but you know we can't keep doing that. I want to be here, Guk... +
I want to make sure you're safe, knowing the risk you're taking just to catch that lunatic," Taehyung explains, massaging the bridge of his nose, for his head is strangely throbbing again.
"You won't even have time to do this. Soon you will have to join the investigation with Joon hyung and the others. By participating here, you might be required to—"
"I can manage. Besides, I'm basically joining in as an extra. That woman, Akiko, still holds the bigger role. It wouldn't be a lot of work for me." Taehyung says, shutting his eyes, wondering why he's feeling dizzy all of a sudden, +
which alerted Jeongguk immediately after he noticed.
"H-hey... Are you okay? How are you feeling? Should we go home?" Jeongguk asks, supporting Taehyung up by holding both sides of the latter's shoulders.
"No. Our schedule is packed for today. I'm having a bit of a headache, that's all. It should be gone once I drink enough water." Taehyung says, taking a deep breath as he stands up straight again.+
Jeongguk was about to protest again when they heard a series of footsteps approaching their direction.
"Taehyung-ssi, Jeongguk-ssi, is everything okay? Can I go ahead and take both of your measurements?" Seo-jun asks with concern, and behind him there's Iseul.
"Yeah... Where should we go?" Taehyung replies, gently removing Jeongguk's hold on his shoulders.
"Let's head to the dressing room; I'll be helping Seo-jun so it'll be faster," Iseul says, leading the way as Seo-jun runs after him like a puppy chasing its owner.
Taehyung was about to follow the other two when Jeongguk grabbed his wrist and stopped him once more. +
"Fine, do this... But be wary of that guy. I have a bad feeling about him for some reason... I don't trust him," Jeongguk says, nodding towards Iseul's direction.
"Who?" Taehyung asks.
"Song Iseul. I find him the most suspicious," Jeongguk confesses, whispering so that only Taehyung can hear.
"Alright. I understand," Taehyung replies, albeit deep down, he had another person in mind.
[You can play this as you read.]
Hide-and-seek is a popular children's game in which at least two players conceal themselves in a set environment to be spotted by the chosen seeker.
In Jeongguk's case, he understood that this is the game that the slasher wants them to play, but instead of simply counting one to ten, the time limit will be until Seollal ends.
There are a few known tips and tricks for playing this game successfully. Jeongguk, as the one seeking, knows that the one hiding is most likely calculating how to effectively blend in with their surroundings. +
That guy must have scouted his area beforehand; he's probably staying low but still making sure he's taking an active role to avoid appearing suspicious. +
To maintain moving freely without being discovered, he must be peeping at each of Jeongguk's movements like a creep, which is why Jeongguk is keen about keeping his eyes alert like a hawk on a hunt.
— And as of now, he has his eyes set on someone: Song Iseul, after all, artistic minds are known to be the most dangerous kind.
"Oh my, I already noticed that you lost a lot of weight, but you've really grown thin, Taehyung-ssi." Seo-Jun says as he wraps the measuring tape around Taehyung's waist while Iseul does the same for Jeongguk beside them.
"Seo-jun-ah... That's not polite. We don't point out our client's sizes." Iseul warns, which makes Seo-jun's cheeks immediately heat up from being called out.
"I-I'm sorry, Taehyung-ssi.. Don't get me wrong, I still think you're really pretty. I was just feeling bad that you had to go through all that. It must've been hard—"
"It's alright, Seo-jun; you don't need to apologize," Taehyung adds, not taking offense at the tailor's remark.
"Still, pardon my employee's mouth, Taehyung-ssi. He's always been so unnecessarily opinionated. Trust me, he's working on it." Iseul says, listing Jeongguk's measurements after taking it.
Jeongguk then observes Iseul, noting how delicate the latter's hands are and how precise his every action and gesture was, and it is from this that Jeongguk realizes Iseul does, in some ways, resemble Taehyung. +
They're both calculative and careful, yet at the same time they're still somewhat crude. They're not afraid to speak their minds and call out people if they deemed it needed— Jeongguk wonders if it even makes sense, or does he need to be worried about those details as well.
Then, there's also the possibility that he's got it all wrong— that maybe he's suspecting the wrong person.
"You seem to have a lot in mind, Jeongguk-ssi. Is everything alright? You don't have to answer if you're uncomfortable... I'm just curious anyway." Iseul says, glancing up briefly at Jeongguk before he turns his attention back to his notes.
"Oh, I'm fine— but yes, I really have a lot in my mind right now..." Jeongguk says, unsure if it's just him but he's feeling an odd sense of tension building up in the air as he speaks.
"I might be overstepping my boundaries here, but as we know it's already all over the news. Is that slasher guy still bothering you?" Iseul asks, stretching the measuring tape over Jeongguk's chest.
"Bothering— I guess would be an understatement... I'd use the word aggravating, to be honest." Jeongguk says, eyeing Iseul sharply as the latter kneeled in front of him to measure the length of his pants.
"That bad?" Iseul asks, his tone clearly amused.
"Yeah... But I must say, I also find it— I don't know? Exciting?" Jeongguk says, his lips curling up to a smug smirk as Iseul wraps his measuring tape around his ankle.
Since Jeongguk and Iseul are just standing a few feet away from him, Taehyung couldn't help but overhear what they're saying. +
To be honest, Taehyung understands why Jeongguk is finding the fashion designer suspicious, but for some reason, Taehyung doesn’t feel the same way.
It's odd, but Taehyung doesn’t think that Iseul is someone who's capable of hurting anyone.
"Exciting? How so? Wouldn't most people find it scary? I mean, we're talking about someone who has killed and perhaps tortured a lot of people here," Iseul asks matter-of-factly as he rises from his kneeling position on the floor.
"Right... Most people will— but not me... Honestly? I find him pathetic. Like a kid throwing a tantrum because maybe—just maybe his own life disdains him, +
which is why he's been deluding himself that he's in control by killing innocent people," Jeongguk says, his eyes sharpening, tasting the bitterness of his own words.
"Well, you have a point... You're quite brave, Jeongguk-ssi. *Sigh* I guess we'll be working on a gory concept this new year. I'm not complaining, by the way.+
I kinda like this dark theme for a change." Iseul says before taking out his notepad and writing down Jeongguk's measurements again.
"Wait, new year? Sorry, what date is it today?" Jeongguk asks, strangely getting a sense that he's forgetting something.
"December 30, why?" Iseul asks, his brow furrowed, noticing Jeongguk's shocked expression.
"What?!— Tae! It's your birthday! Fck—"
"A— sh¡t..." Taehyung hisses when he suddenly feels the sharp metal lock of the measuring tape graze his neck, breaking a thin layer of his skin, causing both Jeongguk and Iseul to turn towards him and Seo-jun.
"Oh my god, Taehyung-ssi, I'm so sorry! I was shocked when Jeongguk-si raised his voice... A-are you okay?—Oh my god, you're bleeding!"
"Fck, back off!" Jeongguk growls, pushing Seo-jun to the side, about to check the scratch on Taehyung's neck when two hands suddenly grab his wrist— one feels cold, one has blood on it.
Han Seo-jun and Song Iseul.
Well, well... Can you guess who's who?
[You can play this as you read.]
Claro de luna
: The action or practice of deceiving someone by concealing or misrepresenting the truth.
Have you ever wondered who taught you how to lie? You may ask any parent in the world, and you can bet none of them will admit that they have taught their children to lie— lies.
Lying is only unacceptable when it does not appear socially permissible.
Based on various studies, there are many different types of lies: lying to shield another person's feelings, lying for self-protection or to avoid punishment, self-deception, and lying to harm others are just a few examples.
Even children understand how to change their facial expressions and voice to satisfy societal norms, which are taught to them either by their parents or their environment. Adults refer to this as "little white lies."
'Say that you like it, say thank you.'
'Say that it tastes good.'
'Do not cry.'
'It's just a scratch, no it doesn’t hurt.'
These are only a handful of the earliest lies that parents might teach their children in order to discipline them. No, it isn't bad; lying to show appreciation, prevent being rude, or avoid looking like a pussyfoot isn't bad; but, white or not— the thing is, lies are still lies.
Little white lies can evolve into bigger, darker ones depending on a person's state of mind, and they can even be lethal if they come from one's vile and selfish desires. +
Now, the problem often comes when those sorts of lies are told by someone who has been lying their entire life, those who have been lying for so long that they start believing their own lies.
The sound of flowing water echoes in a restroom as someone washes his blood-stained hands.
"Why did you do that? Who gave you the permission to touch him?"
"I'm sorry... I didn’t mean it. You know what the sight of blood does to me. It makes me feel queasy."
"Queasy? Don't f:uck with me... Do that again and see what I'll do to you next."
"I-I'm sorry... Really, I don't know what has gotten to me—"
"Wash your f:ucking hands and go out there to apologize. Do not touch him ever again... Taehyung is mine, and nobody touches what's mine… You know that, right?"
“Yes, yes, of course…”
"Are you okay?" Jeongguk asks Taehyung; they're here in his dressing room, fixing up Taehyung's wound.
"I'm alright, it's just a scratch," Taehyung says, gingerly touching the gauze on his neck, staring blankly into space.
"Tch— don't touch it? It might get infected? What the f:uck are those two on?" Jeongguk exclaims, recalling Seo-jun and Iseul's excuse for not letting him touch Taehyung earlier. +
"Song Iseul— I warned you that man is suspicious." Jeongguk adds, ruffling his hair in frustration, pacing back and forth in front of Taehyung. "Have you seen his face earlier? +
He was sweating like crazy and that lacky of his isn't any different! I mean, how could anyone wound someone with a measuring tape?— A f:ucking measuring tape! God!"
"Calm down... I'm sure Seo-jun didn't mean it; he already apologized... Maybe it's just an accident," Taehyung says, his hand still covering the patch on his neck.
"How can you say that? Tae, you know we're both in danger right now; the slasher could be anyone— and guess what, you just got cut! F:uck!" Jeongguk exclaims as he yanks Taehyung's hand away from his neck.+
"See? Why the f:uck does it have to be in the same spot all the time?" Jeongguk continues, his hands trembling as he delicately runs his thumb over the gauze.
"It doesn't hurt—"
"How many times does your neck have to be injured? Sh¡t— f:uck this, really..." Jeongguk's voice quivered as an uncomfortable feeling arose in his gut at the thought of Taehyung suffering something worse than a scratch.
"Guk..." Taehyung says as he takes Jeongguk's hand in his and stares him in the eyes. "I'm fine... Pull yourself together. I'm putting my trust in you— all of it— so make sure you don't crumble," Taehyung says, +
wondering if he meant it for Jeongguk or for himself, since the truth is, he feels like he's a second away from crumbling right now.+
The wound on his neck doesn't really hurt, it is indeed, just a scratch, but the thought that it could've gone deeper disturbs him so much that he wants to throw up— still, he knows that now isn't the time for that.
"Y-you're right... I'm sorry." Jeongguk says, dropping his head over Taehyung's shoulder as he takes a deep breath, feeling Taehyung's hands on his waist. "Just please... Please don't get hurt again." He says.
Jeongguk knows Taehyung is right; there's a lot at stake here, including both of their lives, so he cannot risk losing his focus now.
"Listen." Taehyung says as cups Jeongguk's face, lifting it up so the latter would look at him. "I understand why you're wary of Song Iseul, but I want us both to have an open mind about the possibility that the slasher isn't him. +
I've dealt with these kinds of cases and people before, some of them are obvious—yes, but most turned out being just right in front of our eyes. +
I think that a killer of the slasher's caliber knows how to blend in well enough to avoid detection," Taehyung replies with a hard expression on his face, keeping his voice low to keep their conversation private.
"You... You're suspecting someone too, aren't you?" Jeongguk asks, tightening his grip on Taehyung's hand.
Taehyung then pauses, thinking if he should tell Jeongguk who he has in mind, but he's also not sure about it yet, and he doesn't want to cause any additional worries on Jeongguk's part, so he decided to just keep it to himself for the meantime.
"No, no—I'm not. It's just that for now, I think it'll be best if we don't focus on anyone in particular so we don't miss those who are around us as well; +
as you've said, it might be anyone," Taehyung says, forcing a smile to avoid making Jeongguk even more anxious than he is now.
"*Sigh* Okay... I've been acting weird haven't I? I'm sorry, I—"
"Taehyung-ssi, Jeongguk-ssi..." Iseul says, peering from behind the door after knocking twice to announce his presence before he enters; then he went ahead and grabbed Seo-jun, both of them bowing apologetically in front of Jeongguk and Taehyung.
"We're truly sorry about what happened. I swear, Seo-jun didn't mean it. It's my fault, I failed to check our equipment. S.I will be shouldering Taehyung-ssi's medical expenses if needed." Iseul says, keeping his head low, his back bent forward.
"Y-yes... I'm really sorry, Taehyung-ssi—"
"Please, it's not a big deal," Taehyung replies, interrupting Seo-jun's apology. +
"There would be no medical expenses to cover, it's just a scratch, and it doesn't even hurt, so you both may relax now," Taehyung says, prompting the other two to lift their heads.
"R-really? Thank you so much, Taehyung-ssi! I—.."
"I'm curious though, why did you both stop me from touching my own bodyguard earlier? Like Taehyung said, it's no big deal— but I still found it a little offensive," Jeongguk says, rubbing his wrist as if it hurts while tauntingly staring at both Iseul and Seo-jun.
"O-offensive?" Iseul stutters, catching Jeongguk's attention and leading him to concentrate more on his reaction. "Please, don't misunderstand Jeongguk-ssi. My employee injured someone, believe it or not, it's actually a first on our end, +
which is why we didn't want to risk infection— it's our protocol... I apologize that our actions offended you, I'm a bit of a clean freak, y'see? Again, I'm sorry..." Seo-jun explains, as Jeongguk turns towards Seo-jun, glaring at him sharply.
"And you? What's your excuse?" Jeongguk asks, feeling Taehyung squeezing his arm subtly. "I'm alright, Jeongguk... You don't have to be rude—"
"It's really embarrassing for me to admit, b-but I'm actually afraid of blood, Jeongguk-ssi. I'm sorry if I acted inappropriately... I didn't mean to offend you at all, I promise," Seo-jun says, his eyes brimming with tears, making Jeongguk feel bad about talking rudely.
"Tch. Alright... I'll let it pass just this once, but since you're basically one of B-side's partners in this new album of ours, as the leader, I think it's only fair that I let you know...+.
I absolutely despise being told what to do— especially being stopped at what I want to do." Jeongguk pauses as he swings his arm over Taehyung's shoulders, lifting his chin up to look down at both Iseul and Seo-jun.+
"I know this guy volunteered to be a part of our project— but he signed no contract with S.I or J records. He's my bodyguard, my employee— he's mine, +
so I'll be the one to decide whether I'm going to touch him or not," Jeongguk says, not bothering to hide his rage, thinking he's speaking directly to the slasher himself.
Taehyung then took a deep breath as he removed Jeongguk's arm from his shoulders, knowing that no matter how much he enjoys seeing Jeongguk behave all possessive towards him, he cannot afford to revel in this feeling. +
Taehyung came to understand the psychopath's delusion that he's doing what he's doing out of love, from the few vague memories he has of the lunatic talking to him while he's sleeping; +
which then makes Jeongguk's choice of action right now extremely risky on their part, because they might already be provoking the slasher's psychopathic mind without knowing who he is and who he's after.+
"Is there anything else we should do here, Mr. Jeon?" Taehyung asks, taking a step away from Jeongguk.
"None. Iseul-ssi, Seo-jun-ssi, we're heading out first. Let's call it a night, yeah? See you both tomorrow," Jeongguk says, taking his bag and Taehyung's wrist before exiting the dressing room, missing the kind of look Iseul and Seo-jun have for each other.
"Why are you being so easy on those two? It's not like I'm doing anything wrong; you were injured, so it's only natural for me to be concerned," Jeongguk says as he drags Taehyung out of the building to where his motorcycle is parked.
"I've been telling you to cool down since earlier. What if your assumptions are right? What were you planning to do if Song Iseul was indeed the slasher? Anger him till he reveals himself? That's not going to happen, Jeongguk... +
We're talking about the slasher here—the same guy who has managed to avoid capture after killing probably more than ten people. +
That man has no plan of being caught— you, of all people, should know that," Taehyung says firmly, taking the helmet Jeongguk just handed him.
"The more irritated a person gets, the more likely it is that they will commit a mistake—"
"So you're really trying to aggravate him?" Taehyung scoffs, "Stop acting recklessly, will you? Do you even have any idea how dangerous the game you want to play here is?" Taehyung exclaims, +
unable to stop himself from raising his voice, enraged because Jeongguk appears to be blatantly ignoring the obvious danger that they're in.
"What do you want me to do then? Sure, we still have no evidence, but come to think of it— it all makes sense! Use your damn deductions, you and I both know that the probability of that lunatic being an artist is about 70 to 80% at this point,+
that psycho must be meticulous, precise, intelligent— surely he must be rich for him to avoid being prosecuted for years! Song Iseul is our guy—.."
"What if he's not?!"
"What if he is?! Why are you already dismissing the possibility of him being the slasher?" Jeongguk laughs bitterly. "Be honest, do you truly believe the slasher isn't him, or are you just afraid of confronting that lunatic? +
I asked you to trust me, Taehyung! Why can't you just do that?!" Jeongguk lashes out, his gaze settling on the gauze pad on Taehyung's neck, infuriating him so much that he throws his helmet down the ground.
Taehyung trembled as he took another heavy sigh before picking up Jeongguk's helmet off the floor and handed it back to the latter, facing Jeongguk's enraged glare.+
"S-so what if I am? So what if I'm scared? I could lose the only person who matters in my life right now— don't I have the right to be afraid?" Taehyung asks, his eyes welling up with tears.
Jeongguk then appears to come to his senses at that, taking both his and Taehyung's helmets and placing them on his motorcycle before pulling Taehyung into his arms, hugging him tightly yet again.+
"P-please... Please, just trust me, Tae... I know how horrible and terrifying it is to witness someone you care about be hurt— believe me, I will never do that to you. I'll never let you experience what I've gone through." Jeongguk pleads,+
pressing a soft kiss on the side of Taehyung's head. "Let's not fight anymore, please... It's your birthday, and I already hate myself for forgetting, so if I make you any more upset, I won't ever forgive myself."
"It doesn't matter... Birthdays are merely an annual reminder that you're still not dead," Taehyung says, hands fixated on his side, still annoyed that he couldn't find himself to hug Jeongguk back.
"Exactly, that's why we celebrate it... If you don't want to, just do it for me, because honestly? I'm really grateful you're born and alive... I'm the happiest because you're mine," Jeongguk says,+
resting his hands on Taehyung's shoulders, pulling back to look into Taehyung's eyes. "Let's do something nice and fun, alright? The night's still young," Jeongguk adds, watching Taehyung's expression soften as he lets out a long sigh.
"But I want to go home. I still don't feel safe outside Jeongguk," Taehyung confesses, taking one of Jeongguk's hands, rubbing his thumb against the back of the latter's palm.
"Then let's do it at home. I'll make us dinner, light a few candles— we can dance while I sing you your favorite song, call?" Jeongguk offers, +
lovingly beaming at Taehyung, who has no choice but to cave in, butterflies fluttering inside his stomach as Jeongguk continues to gaze at him.
"Can't help falling in love? You'll sing it for me?" Taehyung asks, sheepishly averting Jeongguk's gaze.
"Mhm-hmm— by Elvis, yes... A private show, all for my baby's special day." Jeongguk whispers with his deep voice, leaning in to kiss Taehyung's cheek, feeling it immediately heat up against his lips.
"W-we'll drink wine?" Taehyung asks, his heart beating rapidly again.
"Yes we will." Jeongguk chuckles, kissing the tip of Taehyung's nose this time.
"Jajangmyeon?" Taehyung asks again, his lips twitching up to a bashful smile as Jeongguk begins to pepper soft kisses all over his face.
"Of course... Two portions with steak on the side."
"Beef? But I'm craving pork..."
"Right, grilled pork it is, and cake—we should get you a cake as well."
"S-strawberry shortcake?" stutters Taehyung as Jeongguk's lips slide down to his neck.
"Mhm... Sure, yes, you can blow your candles and do anything you want," Jeongguk replies, putting his hands on Taehyung's waist, pulling him closer.
"What if I'd rather blow something else?" Taehyung asks, batting his long lashes at Jeongguk.
"Something like what?— Something big? Long? Thick?" Jeongguk whispers, giving Taehyung's waist a good squeeze.
"Yeah... That one thick slab of meat— the perfect birthday gift only you could give," Taehyung says, his tone dropping a few octaves lower than his already deep voice, taking Jeongguk's helmet and putting it over the latter's head before hopping onto the motorcycle.+
"You've got me excited now— let's go," Taehyung adds, making Jeongguk grin, rubbing his tongue against his cheek as he boards the bike as well.
"Tch, lucky you we're not in a car right now," Jeongguk replies as Taehyung wraps his arm around his waist.
"What if we are? What would happen then?" Taehyung asks, sliding his hand down in between Jeongguk's parted thighs.
"Then by now, you'll probably be riding something else." Jeongguk smirks as he ramps up the engine of his bike and drives away.
[You can play this as you read.]
Can't help falling in love : Elvis Presley
"Wise men say, only fools rush in... But I can't help falling in love with you... Shall I stay? Would it be a sin, if I can't help falling in love with you?" Jeongguk sings as the same song plays in the background+
while he and Taehyung's slow dance here in the living room of Taehyung’s apartment.
His arms are wrapped around Taehyung's waist, Taehyung's arms are on his shoulders, and the latter's face is pressed against the crook of his neck. +
Jeongguk ordered jajangmyeon as Taehyung requested, and grilled a few slices of pork belly as well; they had a few glasses of wine, while the flower candle burns slowly on top of the strawberry shortcake they got from the shop just beside Taehyung's place.
The room is orange-lit due to Taehyung's night lamp, and they're on their bare feet, feeling the plush carpet as they sway slowly in each other's arms. The full glass windows a few feet away reflect the city lights that are flickering brightly outside.+
Taehyung swore it was cold before they got here, but now he feels warm and comfortable in Jeongguk's embrace, feeling the latter's heartbeat against his chest.
It's now past eleven o'clock in the evening, just a few minutes before Taehyung's birthday comes to an end. They haven't done anything grand to celebrate, +
but Taehyung believes that this is the best birthday he's had in years, he wouldn't dare to ask for anything more than this tranquil and intimate atmosphere they're enjoying.
"Thank you," Taehyung says softly, kissing the cute little mole on Jeongguk's neck.
"Don't mind it... I could've done more if I hadn't been so preoccupied with everything that's going on— baby, I'm sorry..." Jeongguk says, his chin resting atop Taehyung's head, hugging him even tighter.
"It's perfect... Everything is just so perfect right now; I couldn't ask for anything else."
"I'm sorry for yelling at you, earlier..." Jeongguk says, pulling back a bit to kiss the tip of Taehyung's nose.
"It's fine... I yelled at you too, so you don't really need to apologize," Taehyung replies, pausing to look Jeongguk in the eyes. "Do you honestly believe it's Song Iseul?—The slasher?" he inquired.
"I— I don't know... He just rubs me the wrong way for some reason," Jeongguk says, sighing deeply, because if it's just up to him, he doesn't want them to talk about this.
"Is it because he's not particularly sociable?" Taehyung asks.
"Well, that's one of the reasons— but wait, can we drop the subject for now? I know you might think it's impractical, but it's your birthday today and we only have less than an hour left... +
Also, why am I shirtless again?" Jeongguk asks, changing the topic to something lighter by pointing out the fact that he's currently topless.
"As you said, it's my birthday today... So just let me have this, okay? Wanna see your tattoos on full display." Taehyung says, now massaging Jeongguk's bicep, then pressing a soft kiss over the tattoo on the latter's shoulder.
"Right, right... Touch and stare all you want... It's yours anyway— all of it... All of me," Jeongguk says, proudly flexing his arm, smirking when Taehyung lets out a not-so-quiet hiss in response.
"We really shouldn't be fooling around like this, y'know? We could actually use this time to plan our next move," Taehyung says, his gaze still locked on Jeongguk's tattooed arm, his free hand sliding down, feeling the hard muscles on the latter's broad chest.
"Forget it... Right now, let's just do whatever you want— what do you want?" Jeongguk asks as they both stilled, breathing right against each other's lips.
"A lot of things. As you know, I could be quite greedy, especially since you're here— looking like this." Taehyung says, his gaze shifting from Jeongguk's eyes to his lips.
"Then we should definitely get started now— see how many of your wishes I can grant before midnight..." Jeongguk says, taking in the thickening tension in the air as they both lean forward and close the gap between their lips.
[You can play this as you read.]
Can't help falling in love : Tommee Profitt, brooke
"Wise men say, only fools rush in... But I can't help falling in love with you... Shall I stay? Would it be a sin— if I can't help falling in love with you?" I couldn't help but sing along with the music that was playing in the background. +
My hands are raised in front of me as I sway on my feet, dancing alone here in my room.
To be honest, I'm feeling kinda crappy right now... I had no idea it was my Taehyung's birthday today. If I'd known about it sooner, I could've gotten him a more appropriate gift instead of something as rushed as the one I just prepared.
I hummed as I danced towards the mannequin that's wearing my gift to Taehyung, an emerald green robe made from the finest silk I could find in my stash and sewn with the world's most precious kind of thread—the kind that only I could get because I collected it myself.+
As I continued to dance, I picked up the robe and held it like an actual partner. I don't even know why I'm playing this song, but for some reason, the more I listen to it, the more I can picture myself with Taehyung in my arms.
I wonder what he's doing right now? He's probably with Jeon Jeongguk—that arrogant piece of trash who dared to claim Taehyung as his in front of me... But that's fine for now; +
I'll leave him be. It's a special day today, therefore I'm not going to let that guy spoil it... Today is the day my Taehyung is born solely for me. I should be thrilled.
I was about to close my eyes and feel more of the music when I heard my phone buzz, and when I checked the message, I smiled and ran to grab a ribbon, a card, and a box. I scribbled a letter, packaged my gift, and headed outside.
"Good evening... Here to pick up your package, sir," the courier says as I hand him the package.
"Thank you, please handle it with care; it's for someone's birthday," I said, beaming as the guy double-checked the recipient's name and address.
"To Kim Taehyung-ssi... Alright, sir, I got it; it'll be brought to him first thing in the morning."
"Great... Also— if he ever asks who it came from," I pause as I pull a few paper bills from my pocket, giving them over to the guy who took it with a knowing smile on his face. "It's a secret. Okay, sir, I understand. Thanks." He said, winking at me as he walked away.
Back in my room, I began cleaning up my desk, taking each strand of the precious 'thread' I hadn't gotten to use, carefully winding it around the wooden spool.
"I hope he likes our present...+
—Thank you, Kang Nari-ssi," I muttered gratefully, placing the spool of Nari's hair in front of her portrait, lined up in a row with the rest of my 'exes', here at the modest altar I built to remember the bitter love we all once shared before.
[END OF SOMEONE'S POV]
[You can play this as you read.]
It has been said that a kiss is a ruse devised by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous.
Taehyung now thinks that no amount of words will suffice to express his true feelings towards Jeongguk; he just loves him so much, he fears that 'his' kind of love would turn out to be poisonous.
Jeongguk is just here; their bodies are flushed together, lips pressed against each other, tongues inside each other's mouths, but Taehyung is still wondering if there's any other way for them to become closer—+
with that thought, he began to question himself; why does he crave so much love that it would be a lie to say he's not willing to die for it? —He is.
It's absolutely terrifying, but it's true, Taehyung meant it when he said that he feels like he wouldn't be able to survive again without Jeongguk. It's as if he's met his person, his other half, +
and that if he loses Jeongguk again, his existence would be nothing but hollow.
It's easy to lecture others on how to love; don't do this, don't do that, do not, do not, do not love someone too much.
Is there even a proper way to love? If so, then who made the rules? Are those rules absolute? Seriously, who gave anyone the right to judge another person based on how they love?
‘That kind of love is toxic.’
‘It's not right.’
‘You should love yourself first more than anything or anyone.’
Yes, yes, yes. Those are absolutely right, but would it really be so wrong otherwise?
He begins to question if the love he has for Jeongguk is the same as that of a psychopath: the sort that is so engulfed in greed that it destroys everything—the kind of love that kills. +
Since he woke up from his coma, Taehyung had that constant fear of him becoming like that lunatic, he's asking himself if it's even possible for him to ever move on from this.
Taehyung is just too in love that he fears so much— still, he couldn't get enough.
No matter how many times Jeongguk assures him that he is the only one he loves, his fear causes Taehyung to have doubts.
"W-wait..." Taehyung withdraws from the kiss as Jeongguk chases his lips, groaning when Taehyung detaches himself from him.
"Why?" Jeongguk asks, his brows furrowed, clearly displeased after being interrupted.
Taehyung pauses, huffing out a heavy sigh, cupping Jeongguk's face. "Tell me again, do you love me?" Taehyung asks, yanking his head back when Jeongguk hisses, lunging forward to claim his lips and shut him up.+
"Come on, Jeongguk, just answer me... Do you love me?" Taehyung asks again, noting how Jeongguk clenches his jaw and tightens his grasp on Taehyung's waist
"You know, I'm starting to find it incredibly insulting that you keep asking me this... You can take my heart out right now and you'll probably see your name engraved on it," Jeongguk says, removing Taehyung's hands off him so he can hold the latter's face himself.+
"I love you... Seriously, how many times do I have to say it for you to believe me?" Jeongguk pleads, looking Taehyung straight in the eyes.
"T-then..." Taehyung's voice rattles, his eyes open wide, lips quivering as he speaks. "H-how much? How much do you love me?"
"A lot." Jeongguk replies in a heartbeat.
"Really? Then what about that woman? She kept touching you earlier," Taehyung says, clutching Jeongguk's arm, recalling how Akiko touched Jeongguk earlier on the same spot he's holding right now.+
"Here... She touched you here," Taehyung continues, shifting his gaze from Jeongguk's arm to the latter's eyes.
"Tae, we— we've talked about this... Akiko—"
"Please don't say her name... I don't want to hear it," Taehyung says, turning away from Jeongguk, feeling guilty and ashamed for acting this way after Jeongguk has done so much for him today.
He has no clue why he's even talking about Akiko right now; it's as though the more Jeongguk makes him feel loved, the more Taehyung recalls how Jeongguk once touched that woman.
"In your songs— you said almost all of it was about me, but she's the one in every music video you release... I—" Taehyung pauses, realizing he's definitely not making sense and he probably looks insane right now for even bringing up this matter again.+
"S-sorry... Forget it. I guess we should just call it a night," Taehyung says, massaging the bridge of his nose, about to walk away when Jeongguk pulls him back once more.
"See? This is exactly the reason why I didn’t want you in this project. Aki— *sigh* That woman is signed with our label. I never chose her, but she has a contract with us that'll be active until next year." Jeongguk says+
as he brings them to the couch, pulling Taehyung on his lap. "She was already popular back when B-side was still starting. She's friends with the rest of the band, and she promised to promote us provided we sign a contract,+
allowing her to feature in the music videos for our title tracks... It was a win-win situation for us at the time. She'll always have a new project with us,+
and B-side will benefit from her fans." Jeongguk calmly explains as he wraps his arms around Taehyung's waist, pressing the latter's back against his chest.
"I-I said forget it... You don't need to explain; I'm already embarrassed enough for being upset about something as insignificant as this," Taehyung says, his hands now covering his flushed face.
"I know seeing what I did with her before is a memory you'll never forget—"
"Stop. Let's not talk about it anymore. sh¡t... I just did, I know... I'm the one who brought it up, but can we just drop it now? I really can't understand myself, Jeongguk," Taehyung says, +
leaning his weight onto Jeongguk, resting the back of his head on the latter's shoulder, his hands still covering his face out of shame.
"I really wish I could turn back time to undo the things I've done... I regret that to this day— but believe me Tae, if I was in my right mind that night, I wouldn't— g-god... I wouldn't have ever done that,+
because from then till now, it's just you that I love," Jeongguk says as he gently removes Taehyung’s hands from the latter's face, caressing his cheek, turning Taehyung towards him.
From there, as Jeongguk stares intently at him, Taehyung found himself calming down, drowning in Jeongguk's eyes again.
"If you don't want her in this project, just say it... It's no big deal, I can just pay the fines—"
"No." Taehyung shuts Jeongguk up with a soft peck on the lips. "I believe you..." Taehyung says, releasing a sigh, immediately feeling more guilty knowing he's still unsure if he meant what he just said. "I really want to." Taehyung relents, deciding to just confess.
"She's really pretty... She smells nice— earlier, she was wearing the type of perfume you like..."
"Hey." Jeongguk interrupts Taehyung as he softly nuzzles his face against the crook of the latter's neck. +
"You smell divine, baby. You smell like me, so your scent is my favorite." Jeongguk says, realizing that he shouldn't really have been surprised that Taehyung's acting this way now, because even back then five years ago, he's known Taehyung to be the 'petty' jealous type.
"I should really stop talking... I'm a grown ass man who just turned 30 for fck's sake..." Taehyung sighed deeply once again, knowing how foolish it is for him to be worried about such things at a time like this.
"You can point out everything you think is nice about her and I would still say that you're better— the best..." Jeongguk says, now softly pressing his lips against Taehyung's cheek. "She won't ever compare... To me, you're already the best."
"I'm sorry... I know I shouldn’t be this greedy for you... This kind of thing— it's smothering isn't it?" Taehyung asks, closing his eyes as Jeongguk's kisses slide down to his neck, making him tilt his head to the side to give the latter more access.
"Perhaps to some, but not to me... Call me toxic, but I kinda like you getting all possessive towards me— the only thing I don't like about it is you getting hurt as a result of it." Jeongguk whispers against Taehyung's skin,+
feeling Taehyung's fingers rake through his hair, drawing him even closer to him.
"I wonder when I'll be mature enough not to be like this..." Taehyung says, making Jeongguk chuckle as he continues to kiss him all over his neck.
"Pfft... Maturity doesn't make one less jealous, baby... All it does is make you more dishonest about your feelings... If you ask me, each of us is petty, it's just a matter of whether we let it show or not,+
and as for me, I'd rather you be honest with me," Jeongguk says, raising his face, lovingly rubbing the tip of his nose against Taehyung.
[You can play this as you read.]
Never tear us apart
"Then, can we resume what we're going to do before petty me decided to ruin the mood?" Taehyung asks, mentally chastising himself for swiftly flipping from hot to cold to hot again towards Jeongguk.
"You still want to, hmm?" Jeongguk asks, yet his sneaky fingers are already undoing the buttons of Taehyung's shirt.
"If you'd still take me, then yes..." Taehyung replies, leaning his head back as his shirt falls completely open to his sides while Jeongguk's free hand caresses his inner thigh.
"You know... I find it amusing how you seem incapable of believing that only you could drive me insane... You don't look human to me, Taehyung... You're like a deity sent from above," Jeongguk pauses as he moves his shoulder up, causing Taehyung's head to fall forward, +
allowing the latter to see both of their reflections in the full-body mirror in front of the couch. "Touching you like this feels like a sin," Jeongguk says, glancing at their reflections before undoing Taehyung's pants, +
causing Taehyung to reflexively raise his hips up, enabling Jeongguk to pull it and his underwear down, leaving his bottom half completely naked.
"If it feels like a sin, why do you still touch me then?" Taehyung asks, letting Jeongguk to part his thighs wide open, hooking his legs on both of Jeongguk's sides.
"Mhm... I'm not sure— maybe I've always been the rebellious type," Jeongguk says, his eyes now fixed on Taehyung's image in the mirror, adoring the sight of Taehyung sitting on his lap while he's rubbing his palms over Taehyung's thighs.
"Bet everyone would die to be in my place right now.. Have a guy as stunning as you sprawled over their lap, legs spread apart... You can drive anyone mad." Jeongguk says, one of his hands sliding up, cupping Taehyung's breast, feeling the latter's nipple harden against his palm.
"I'm tired, Jeongguk... I feel like I've gone from scared to angry then horny— and that's way too many emotions someone like me can handle in a day." Taehyung says, closing his eyes again as Jeongguk's hands continue to roam all over his body.
"You can just be horny right now, baby... I'll take care of the rest," Jeongguk murmurs, snuggling his face against Taehyung's neck, now more eager to make Taehyung feel better and remove any doubts from the latter's head.
"All I want is you—always it's been just you," Jeongguk whispers into Taehyung's ear, his hand now palming Taehyung's half-hard cock, prompting the latter to whimper quietly.
"Nngh... Really? Why?" Taehyung asks, licking and biting his lower lip when Jeongguk wraps his hand around his shaft, slowly stroking it up and down, making him squirm on Jeongguk's lap.
"You're so pretty— unbelievably pretty... I feel so lucky." Jeongguk says, catching some of Taehyung's seeping cumin on his palm before placing his hand in front of Taehyung's mouth.+
"Lick... I want to see you taste yourself, baby," Jeongguk commands, his gaze fixed on Taehyung, who yields almost instantly, flattening his tongue on his hand.
"H-hah... Fcking hell..." Jeongguk hisses as Taehyung licks his palm again, then sucks on his fingers, humming as he coated Jeongguk's digits with his spit. "God... How can anyone possibly compare, mhm? +
Just look at you— yes, yes... You're every man's fantasy, baby... Lucky me, you're my reality," Jeongguk rambles, his c0ck twitching inside his pants at the sight of Taehyung sucking his fingers.
Jeongguk's praises then made Taehyung more eager to do more, swirling his tongue around Jeongguk's fingers, his eyes drunk, drool sliding down his chin while Jeongguk's free hand teases his nipple, flicking it over and over, making Taehyung feel more tender.
"Now, now... I think that's enough." Jeongguk says, withdrawing his fingers out of Taehyung's mouth, getting more and more impatient. He then took Taehyung's hand, bringing it together with his towards the latter's entrance. +
"Need you to do something for me, baby..."
"W-what?" Taehyung asks, whimpering as Jeongguk rubs his spit coated digits all over his own, then using their index fingers prodding it against Taehyung's rim.
"Mhm... Nothing much... Try to keep your eyes open... I want you to see yourself, baby... See how I see you, and maybe then you'll stop doubting how I feel about you," Jeongguk says, +
hissing again as he pushed his and Taehyung's fingers inside the latter, causing Taehyung to throw his head back with a breathless moan, feeling both himself and Jeongguk inside his hole.
"O-oh god..." Taehyung breathes out, moaning loudly when Jeongguk's free hand once again plays with his nipple.
"Can you feel that, mhm? You're so tight— so soft and hot inside... How could I not lose my mind?" Jeongguk continued to tease, guiding Taehyung's finger towards that sensitive spot he knew Taehyung would like.
"T-this... Nnghh... This is so embarrassing... I don't— nngh... F-fck!" Taehyung cries as Jeongguk presses their fingers squarely on his prostate, causing him to leak more precu:m, his hips stuttering, seeking more of that unbridled feeling.
"There, there... Remember this place well, okay?" Jeongguk says, letting their joined fingers move in sync, now sliding in and out of Taehyung, all while he's feasting his eyes on Taehyung's reflection in the mirror, +
legs splayed wide apart, cheeks flushed, likewise gazing at himself and Jeongguk.
"This is where we become one... Here in this spot— I'm the only one allowed, got it?" Jeongguk groans,+
burrowing in deeper, sweating as he pushes his finger faster and harder into Taehyung, causing Taehyung's thoughts to go blank, +
coughing out one high pitched moan after another. He tried to keep his eyes open since Jeongguk told him to, but he couldn't; the stimulation was just too much for him, so he had to close his eyes and drown in it—be consumed by it.
Taehyung can't even remember the last time he touched himself, and he never imagined doing it with Jeongguk in this way, as that thought of it makes him feel incredibly ashamed—+
yet he doesn't seem to care right now. He's feeling so good that he doesn't give a fck whether he appears brazen.
Taehyung is pretty much gone in a few minutes; he has no idea what's going on or even when Jeongguk pulled out of him, leaving him masturbating by himself in front of Jeongguk. +
At one point, Taehyung felt himself getting moved from Jeongguk's lap to the couch, the latter lying him carefully on his back; Taehyung kept his legs spread apart, his index finger still inside his hole, abusing his prostate more and more.
"S-sh¡t..." Jeongguk lets out an impatient whistle, hastily yanking down his own trousers and wildly pumping his c0ck as he kneels on the couch, taking in the sight of Taehyung mindlessly drowning in pleasure.
"So pretty... It's laughable how you still have the audacity to compare yourself to others who aren't even remotely close to your beauty." Jeongguk grunts, wrapping his other hand around Taehyung's ankle,+
brushing his lips over the latter's curled toes, breathing heavily as he watches Taehyung finger himself, arching his back, screaming Jeongguk's name and other obscenities.
"S-so good.... Nngh... Feels so good, Jeongguk..." Taehyung babbles nearly incoherently, already floating in another headspace, sweet tears flowing down his cheeks, allowing the pleasure he's feeling to dissolve all his unspoken fears.+
With his dazed eyes, he noticed Jeongguk staring intensely at him—and weirdly, instead of shying away, it made him more hungry—more eager so Jeongguk would keep looking at him this way.
"Yes... You're doing good, love... So good." Jeongguk says, using his free hand to push Taehyung's hips up that the latter's knees are almost touching his own stomach. +
"We didn't get to unpack yet, I got no lube, so let's use something else to keep you wet." Jeongguk says, hungrily eyeing Taehyung's finger in the latter's throbbing hole.
"N-no... No, if you do that—if you do that, it would be too much... Nngh... I can't— A-ahhh!" Taehyung lets out another broken scream as Jeongguk flicks his tongue over the base of his index finger,+
then laps it sensuously over his rim, bringing more pleasure to what is already devouring him.
With the spit coming from Jeongguk's tongue, Taehyung then continued to finger himself, even adding another digit in, loosening his hole more, +
creating more room for Jeongguk to slide his tongue in, and when Jeongguk did, Taehyung immediately saw stars, screaming as Jeongguk slithers his tongue deeper and deeper inside of him, licking his insides clean.
"Ahh— ahhhh... S-stop... Nngh— too good... F-feels so good... I don't wanna-...*gasp! *" It's too late, Taehyung tried to protest but it's too late, he's already coming undone,+
his load squirting up like thin webs in the air, some of it landing on his own face, sliding inside his parted mouth, making him taste himself.
"H-hah... Crazy— this, nngh... Seriously fcking crazy." Jeongguk scoffs in utter disbelief, his mind muddled with lust, he couldn't get himself to stop.+
He yanked Taehyung's hand off of the latter, squeezing both of Taehyung's a:ss cheeks, spreading it wide, his whole body trembling as he lined his tip on Taehyung's still twitching entrance.
"F-forgive me..." Jeongguk says, grunting as he leaned down, pressing his weight on top of Taehyung, licking some of the c:um on the latter's face. "If this isn't me going crazy for you, then I wouldn't know what to do anymore. +
I'm seriously at my limit now, Taehyung." Jeongguk says, laboriously breathing into Taehyung's mouth, hissing as Taehyung grabs his face, then pushes his hair back.+
"Do it... Nngh... Prove it— it's still my birthday today, so fck me like you mean it," Taehyung urges, bringing his hand to his mouth, licking it, then sliding it down between their pressed bodies, +
wrapping his wet palm around Jeongguk's shaft, pushing the tip even more against his entrance.
"Seriously, you... Hah— you know I'll always mean it." Jeongguk sighs defeatedly, smirking as he shakes his head slightly before dropping his hips and sliding his c0ck inside Taehyung, going bit by bit. +
"A-ahhhh..." Taehyung shuddered, feeling his c0ck harden again as Jeongguk's length split him open.
"S-shit... You're still too tight— pardon me..." Jeongguk's voice rattles as he fights to go any farther; he spat on his hand and put more spit on the base of his shaft before snapping his hips roughly, +
causing the couch they're on to skid forward. "I've just run out of patience," Jeongguk groans, completely plunging his c0ck inside Taehyung.
"F-fck!" Taehyung then screams once again, his nails scratching the skin of Jeongguk's back. "D-don't... Nnghh... I'll fck you myself if you stop now..." Taehyung warns when Jeongguk pauses upon entering him.
"Pfft... I'm not opposed to that— but fine, it's not like I can stop myself either." Jeongguk responds with a breathless chuckle, squeezing the back of Taehyung's thighs and holding them up as he starts moving again, +
pounding into Taehyung hard and deep, raving at the sinful sound of Taehyung's broken screams.
Taehyung is too wasted in pleasure to say anything at this point; he's simply moaning, screaming, and even sobbing as Jeongguk continues to slide his c0ck in and out of him. +
He feels weightless, his legs caught on Jeongguk's arms, feet dangling in the air, one hand gripping the back rest of the couch, the other almost touching the floor, swaying back and forth while Jeongguk fcks him like he's his own toy.
This — this is exactly what Taehyung meant when he said that Jeongguk is the only one who can empty his thoughts.
"Nnngh... Look," Jeongguk says, dropping one of Taehyung's legs to grab Taehyung's face, turning his head to the side, making him look in the mirror once more.
"S-see? Nngh... See how I fck you, baby? Is this what you want?— I'm doing good, right?" Jeongguk asks, his gaze riveted on the mirror.
"Y-yes.. Nngh... Yes— the best..." Taehyung exclaims, oblivious to the fact that he's already smiling since he's entered a different headspace.
Taehyung quivered at some point—he could have came again, he doesn't know. Jeongguk's shaft has probably been inside his hole for about an hour already; they're kissing now, tongues dancing inside each other's mouths, until Jeongguk pulls back.
"I— nngh... I didn't get to sing you happy birthday..." Jeongguk says, glancing at the table, the already gone candles on Taehyung's untouched strawberry shortcake.
"F-fck... Seriously? Ahhh... You're thinking about that now?" Taehyyng exclaims, grabbing Jeongguk by the nape, wanting to smash their lips together again, yet Jeongguk resisted. +
"But it's still your birthday, baby..." Jeongguk says, his hips grinding slower this time, causing Taehyung's eyes to roll back, feeling Jeongguk's shaft throb feverishly inside him.
"A-ahh... F-fcking sing it then... J-just do it quickly... I feel like I'm going to pass out if you don't finish in the next minute," Taehyung says, grabbing a fistful of Jeongguk's hair, pulling it hard, showing the latter that he meant what he just said.
"O-okay... Okay— here we go... Nngh..." Jeongguk grunts as he pulls himself up, placing his hands on Taehyung's waist, lifting the latter's hips to a more comfortable angle for both of them.+
"H-happy birthday... Nghh... To you..." Jeongguk began to sing, snapping his hips, fcking Taehyung slow yet deep.
"Nnngh... Yes... G-god... H-happy birthday t-to me, indeed."
"Pfft... Happy— h-hah... Happy birthday, to you..." Jeongguk giggles, his eyes fixed on Taehyung, who shifts his head to the side, staring at their reflections in the mirror again.
"Nngh... H-happy birthday— my dear, Taehyung..." Jeongguk kept singing, tightening his grip on Taehyung's waist, now thrusting a little faster, sensing his impending release at any second.
"Happy birth— ah—aahhh!" Jeongguk let out a loud moan, throwing his head back as he came undone, riding his orgasm at a steady pace, letting Taehyung stroke his own cock. "-day... To you..." +
Jeongguk ended his song with Taehyung cumming for the third time, spilling his now almost clear load all over his stomach.
"I love you..." Jeongguk said as he slumped on top of Taehyung, kissing him slowly and passionately as they came down from their high.
"Pfft... You really sang," Taehyung laughs, wincing slightly when Jeongguk pulls out of him.
"That, I did... How was it? Are you feeling better now?" Jeongguk asks, running his fingers over Taehyung's damp long hair.
"I am... Thank you." Taehyung says, smiling sweetly at Jeongguk, closing his eyes when the latter leaned in and kissed his forehead. "Anything for you... I love you." Jeongguk says again as he gets up. +
"Stay here, I'll get something to clean us up." Jeongguk says, walking towards the bathroom in all his damn sexy naked glory.
While waiting, Taehyung turned to his side, looking at himself in the mirror again, his body glistening with sweat, his cheeks flushed red, his long hair a mess, yet he somehow feels his most beautiful this way.
"Pfft... I can't believe he really sang me happy birthday," Taehyung laughs to himself as he prepares to sit up when his gaze is drawn to the edge of a piece of paper under the couch.
010-xxx-xxx7 Call me when you see this. -HJ.
"HJ?" Taehyung muttered under his breath as he read the strange note that had someone's phone number. "Could it be... H-Hyun-Jung?" he wonders. +
He's not sure why, but as he heard Jeongguk's footsteps coming, he crumpled the paper and hid it in his hand.
"What's that? Did you say something, baby?" Jeongguk asks, walking towards Taehyung with two clean towels in his hands.
"N-no... No I didn’t." Taehyung answers, smiling at Jeongguk as he stands, taking one of the towels from Jeongguk. "I'll shower first, okay?" Taehyung adds, pressing a kiss on Jeongguk's cheek before he walks away.
[You can play this as you read.]
Dont hurt yourself (inst.)
It's now 6 a.m in the morning and Hyun-Jung didn't get any sleep again. He's been keeping his lines open, but he still hasn't heard back from Taehyung yet. He could probably wait a few more days if he hadn't been feeling on the edge,+
but he can't stay idle any longer, knowing that he's already walking half-dead now that he's back here in Seoul.
Aware of Taehyung's usual schedule, Hyun-Jung decided to make a move once more; keeping his head down and his face hidden, he crept into Taehyung's apartment building to leave a new note in case the first one was lost.
He was about to walk into the building when he ran into someone who was also going to enter. "Ah, sh¡t— watch where you're going, man! Look what you just did! What if the item got damaged, +
are you going to pay for it?" shouts the person in a courier company uniform as Hyun-Jung bends down, taking in the contents of the box that the other guy just dropped.
"S-sorry... I'm in a hurry—" Hyun-Jung wasn't able to finish what he was about to say when he held the silk robe as well as the card that also fell from the box.
'Happy birthday, my Taehyung. I hope you like my gift. I made it with love.'— Hyun-Jung silently read the note, immediately recognizing the handwriting.
"Hey, sir! Can you give that back to me now?" the courier asks, visibly irritated because Hyun-Jung is still holding the package with horror written all over his face.
"H-hah... No. This is for Kim Taehyung, right? That's me." Hyun-Jung lies, wanting to inspect the package more before he decides if he'll give it to Taehyung or not.
"O-oh, you're Kim Taehyung-ssi? Sorry, but can I see an I.D?" the courier asks, still a bit skeptical about letting go of the rather expensive looking item and box.
"I just got back from a jog, my i.d. is upstairs, apartment 423; you can come with me if you like," Hyun-Jung replies calmly, citing Taehyung's apartment number to seem more convincing, hoping the guy would take the bait.
"*Sigh* No need, sir," says the guy, pausing to verify the address on his files. "Please sign this, I have other things to take care of after this," he continues, handing Hyun-Jung the documents to sign.
"Thanks," Hyun-Jung says, hastily signing the receipt before entering the building and carrying the parcel with him.
Once inside, Hyun-Jung slid under the staircase, hiding, before pulling the note from the package again.+
"Stupid b:astard. Is he really going to expose that he's from S.I?" Hyun-Jung says, clicking his tongue in annoyance upon noticing the S.I logo printed at the bottom of the paper used by the sender.
[You can play this as you read.]
Fear really has the power to make anyone do stupid things.
Taehyung isn't sure why he kept the note he discovered under the couch from Jeongguk,
but he doesn't really want to involve Jeongguk in anything potentially dangerous again, especially when going up against the psychopath is already perilous.
Is Hyun-Jung even a threat? — At least, Jeongguk thinks he is, and Taehyung believes that if he informs Jeongguk about the note, Jeongguk's first inclination would be to turn it over to the police. Taehyung, on the other hand, cannot let it happen—at least not now.
Two things actually, the first reason is that Taehyung's father has been wrongfully accused before; Taehyung can still remember the fear in his father's eyes after being persecuted for a crime he did not commit,+
and Taehyung doesn't want to instill that kind of fear in anyone, so he's still giving Hyun-Jung the benefit of the doubt, considering the possibility that Hyun-Jung didn't really mean to shoot him that night.
Now, the second reason is actually trickier, because Taehyung understands that Jeongguk's supposition about Hyun-Jung is also plausible— that Hyun-Jung may really be the slasher's collaborator, +
which is more the reason Taehyung doesn't want to tell Jeongguk about the note, fearing that it would place Jeongguk in even more danger.
Don't get him wrong, Taehyung is aware that he and Jeongguk agreed to work as a team, but the bits he can recall from the slasher's stories in his sleep are enough to make him dread so much about Jeongguk's safety, that he refuses to take the risk.
"*Sigh* What will I do with this, really?" Taehyung questions himself, now alone on the balcony, staring at the note he found as he smokes a cigarette.
It's already past five o'clock in the morning, and Taehyung has hardly slept, unable to count how many times he tried to call the number in the note, just to hesitate and cancel it, and now he's trying to dial the number again.
"You're already up?" Taehyung closes his eyes and swallows his spit, hearing Jeongguk approaching him here on the balcony. "Did you even sleep, mhm?" Jeongguk asks, +
placing his arms around Taehyung's waist, huggung him from behind as Taehyung nonchalantly slips his phone and the note back into the pocket of his pants.
"A little... You? It's still early, so why are you up already?"
"Because you're not beside me... The bed felt cold, and I didn't like it," Jeongguk replies, kissing Taehyung's nape before gently turning Taehyung around and kissing the tip of his nose as well.
"You haven't brushed your teeth yet, have you?" Taehyung jokes, prompting Jeongguk to step back.
"W-why? Did it stink?" Jeongguk exclaims, blowing on his palm to check the smell of his breath. "It's not too bad? I gargled—"
"Pfft... I'm only kidding, so relax," Taehyung says, playfully squeezing Jeongguk's cheeks. "Anyway, what's our plan for today?" Taehyung inquires.
"Jin hyung sent me a message saying that they'll be preparing the set probably until 9 a.m., so we're scheduled to do the test shots around 10... We have a few more hours to spare," Jeongguk says,+
suggestively grinning at Taehyung, making Taehyung roll his eyes, but he still tilted his head back when Jeongguk leaned in and started kissing his neck.
"You're insatiable, really—"
"All because of you, baby... All because of you." Jeongguk whispers, before he naughtily licks Taehyung’s cheek. "Just looking at you makes me feel so hungry."
"You better unpack and find the lube first. My ass is starting to burn, I'm telling you—"
"Wait, it's Joon." Taehyung says, immediately checking his phone when it rang. "Yes, Joon... Why?" Taehyung asks Joon on the other line.
—'We're on our way to see Mr. Chang. He agreed to meet us at 6 a.m.... I'll send you the address.'
"OK. I'll be there," Taehyung says, turning his gaze to Jeongguk as he hangs up with Joon. "*Sigh* Looks like I'll have to go; Joon said Chang Su-jin's family is ready to talk now, but I'm not sure how long it will take, so I guess I'll just meet you at J records after."
"Can't I just come with you?" Jeongguk asks, his hands on Taehyung's waist.
"You have a schedule at 10, and we've dragged this project long enough, so I don't think we should put it off any longer. You'll have officers at your back, and so will I— +
just don't go anywhere alone while I'm gone, okay?" Taehyung replies, pulling away from Jeongguk's hold. "I'll just take a quick shower. Can you prepare me a sandwich before I go?" Taehyung asks+
with a smile, hoping to lighten Jeongguk's mood just a little, seeing the disappointment in the latter's eyes.
"*Sigh* Sure... Go ahead, I'll make it now," Jeongguk answers dryly as he tries to turn towards the kitchen counter when Taehyung grabs his arm, +
pulling him back to press a chaste kiss on his lips. "I'll be careful, I'll be safe... So don't worry too much, okay?" Taehyung says.
"Okay... I know you'll be worried about me too, so don't be... I'll do the same; I'll make sure to keep myself safe." Jeongguk says, tucking the strands of Taehyung's hair behind his ear.
"I love you." Jeongguk muttered under his breath.
"I love you too."
[You can play this as you read.]
Taehyung is now dressed for the day, wearing his normal black suit and glasses, his long hair brushed back and tied in a tidy bun, and his prosecutor badge fastened to his collar.+
It's been a while, but as Taehyung examines himself in the mirror, he feels relieved that he now appears close to normal.
"Tsk, tsk... You're really too sexy for a prosecutor," Jeongguk sighs, leaning against their bedroom door frame, scanning Taehyung from head to toe.
"Well, if you ask me, my profession ties it all together— makes me hotter, don't you agree?" Taehyung says as he turns to face Jeongguk and grabs his briefcase from the floor.
"Can't I just come with you? You look like a walking dessert right now, and it makes me feel uneasy to leave you alone," Jeongguk says, tugging Taehyung's wrist, drawing him closer to him.
"Hobi's picking me up, I won't be alone... He's probably already in the parking lot," Taehyung assures Jeongguk.
"Is he now? Okay then, I'll walk you there." Jeongguk says, grabbing his jacket from the hanger. "Don't try to stop me; I'm already letting you leave, so at the very least let me have this," Jeongguk says, noticing Taehyung's about to resist.
"Fine, let's go. It's 6 a.m., I'm already late," Taehyung says as he and Jeongguk walk out the door.
Hyun-Jung is already in front of Taehyung's door when he notices the knob twisting open, prompting him to retreat and hide in one of the floor's empty hallways.
"You'll call me, right?" Hyun-Jung clenched his fists when he heard Jeongguk's voice.
"Of course, ring me before you leave as well; I'll be keeping my lines open," Taehyung replies as he and Jeongguk walk by the corridor where Hyun-Jung is, back pressed against the wall, making no sound at all.
'Hah... Of course, he's with him,' Hyun-Jung thinks as he takes a deep breath and turns towards the nearby fire exit, bringing the package with him.
At this point, Hyun-Jung has no idea what he truly wants anymore. Just a few minutes ago, he's already decided to help 'that' guy one last time by replacing the note that came in the package with another note of his own,+
aiming to conceal the man’s identity for a bit longer, for doing so makes him feel that he's more in control; but after seeing Taehyung and Jeongguk together, he suddenly wondered if that cruel man is aware that his chosen muse is still with Jeongguk.+
It made him curious— more vengeful, that he wanted to know that guy's reaction if he sees the person he wants the most be with someone else, even more so wearing his proud creation. +
With that thought, Hyun-Jung entered his car and grabbed his bag from the backseat, pulling out a pad with the same paper he took from that man's desk before— the one with S.I's logo in it and wrote another letter.
He's helped that guy for years, Hyun-Jung even learned how to mimic his handwriting; with that he made another message, replacing the name in the original note.
—'handcrafted exclusively for Jeon Jeongguk.'
"Tch, now let's see how you react to this mockery... Have your precious creation worn by the person you despise the most— pfft..." Hyun-Jung laughs under his breath +
as he crumples the original note, tossing the package in the passenger seat before starting the car, opting to leave it in J records instead.
"It's good to finally have you back like this, Tae." Jimin tells Taehyung; he and Taehyung are now together with Joon, Hobi and Yoongi, walking towards the latest victim, Chang Sujin's cafe, where they'll be meeting the latter's family.+
"Though I must say, I'm a little shocked you don't have your bunny keychain with you today," Jimin adds, making Joon beside him giggle.
"He'll be releasing a new album soon, so he's also busy, and to be honest, I'm actually relieved that he's not here— I don't really want to involve him further into this," Taehyung admits as he types a message for Jeongguk, +
informing the latter that he's now with the investigation team.
"He's already involved more than he should be, but I do get what you mean." Joon says, checking the text he just received from Jeongguk, telling him to take care of Taehyung.+
"He's already decided to make me your new nanny." Joon sighs, showing Jeongguk's message to Taehyumg.
"Ignore it. I'm not a kid... I don't need to be looked after. If anything, he's the one who should have more protection. +
He's been acting too reckless lately, and it's keeping me on edge. I'm quite sure he's plotting to provoke the slasher on purpose," Taehyung says, pausing when he recalls the note still in his pocket. +
"By the way, has anyone heard from Hyun-Jung?" he asks, causing the other three to come to an abrupt halt.
"*Sigh* I haven't heard from him since what happened in CC's... I never really had the opportunity to properly apologize to you Taehyung... Hyun-Jung was in my team, so on behalf of him, I'm very sorry for everything," Yoongi says, dropping his head apologetically at Taehyung.
"Please, Yoongi-ah," Taehyung says, coaxing Yoongi to stand up straight again. "It's not your fault; I was just curious because Jeongguk has this theory that the slasher may have something to do with Hyun-Jung—+
that maybe he's helping that lunatic get away with all his mrders, I'm not sure," Taehyung confesses, wondering if he'll be able to get more information about Hyun-Jung from Yoongi or Hobi, +
given that the two have known Hyun-Jung for years and even attended the same academy.
"I—" Yoongi is stunned, nearly biting his tongue. The truth is, he's previously heard about Jeongguk's thoughts about Hyun-Jung being the slasher's accomplice,+
based on his theory that Hyun-Jung purposefully shot Taehyung back in CC's, but as police officers who have worked together for years, Yoongi is still skeptical.+
Hyun-Jung has been gentle—kind to him, and even though he's always been quiet, Hyun-Jung is considered to be good at his job, so losing a colleague like that makes Yoongi feel bad. +
"W-we're still looking into it, Tae... I'm really sorry for what you've gone through, but you know accidents happen in our line of work, so as Hyun-Jung's superior,+
I need to get more evidence regarding the matter before I jump to conclusions," Yoongi says, averting Taehyung's gaze, ashamed that he's allowing his personal emotions to interfere with his decisions.
"I understand, and I'm not taking it against you, Yoongi—"
"Wait, is this it? Purple cafe, right?" Hobi asks, realizing they've arrived at Su-jin's coffee shop.
"Ah, yes... I have things to say as well, but let's talk about Hyun-Jung another time," Joon says as he leads the way inside the cafe.
"I hate to admit it, but I want you to know that I'm siding with Jeongguk on this one, Tae... I don't know the guy personally, so I won't be biased like Yoongi— +
regardless, I was there standing behind you when it happened, and I don't want to judge, but I've been thinking about what I saw," Jimin says quietly, making Taehyung pause, grabbing him by the wrist.
"Tell me," Taehyung whispers with a firm look on his face.
"That guy... I have no idea what his intentions were, but at least from what I saw— he did aim at your head, Tae." Jimin answers, +
making Taehyung immediately realize if there's one thing he really shouldn't do, that'll be doubting Jeongguk's genius mind. "I see. Thanks for telling me, Chim." Taehyung says as they both proceed inside the cafe.
[You can play this as you read.]
"He's a good kid... O-our Su-jinnie... We both know we didn't deserve him, but we didn't expect to lose him like this... Our poor baby... I have failed him," Taehyung's chest tightened as Su-jin's father spoke about his late son.
Mr. Chang isn't crying right now, but Taehyung can still see the unfathomable pain in the poor man's eyes; the pain of having to mourn for his own child.
"We're deeply sorry for what happened to Su-jin, Mr. Chang... Please know that we're doing everything we can to apprehend the cr¡minal who harmed him—"
"Harmed? No... That devil did not simply harm our Su-jin... Geomsanim— geomsanim, have you seen what he did to our child? H-he was..." Su-jin's mother broke down in grief, +
sinking in her husband's embrace, unable to finish what she was about to say.
"I almost didn't recognize my own son... Do you know how that feels for a father? Su-jin... +
I have raised that child since he was born... I was there when he first cried, crawled, ate, and spoke... His first word..." Mr. Chang's voice quivered and broke as he wiped away his tears that threatened to fall. "H-his first word was 'appa'... +
Now— now I cannot hear it ever again... Nobody— nobody will ever call me that again... Geomsanim, I hope you pray that I won't find that bstard first before you, because if I do... +
With these hands..." He pauses, staring at his trembling hands. "With my own two hands, I swear— I'll make him pay for making me bury my own child..."
"We'll do everything we can, sir... We'll catch him and make him pay for what he did to Su-jin and everyone else who suffered because of him," Taehyung says, gently holding Mr. Chang's hands.
Mr. Chang then sobbed, expressing his grief over the loss of his only son. He wailed as he told stories about Su-jin, particularly the last morning they spent together before they lost him.
"*sniff* He was so excited for this new cafe; it was his idea, so he even spent the night before printing out flyers... We were just here— sitting at this very table before he left, telling us he'll be bringing in more customers... He never returned. +
The next time we saw him— our son, they're already announcing his death in the news," Mr. Chang says, breaking down again, causing Hobi and Jimin to cry silently.
"I see... I know it's not easy talking about this, but did he try to contact you in any way after he left? Any message or missed call—"
"He sent me a message... Here—" Mr. Chang says, showing the last photo Su-jin has sent him. "He's never been a materialistic kid, but he's easily impressed. I'm not sure whether this is enough, but will we be able to identify the owner of the vehicle in the photo?+
I asked his friends who attended the funeral, and they all said they don't recognize this car... So I was thinking that perhaps—perhaps the owner is the one...+
That slasher who killed my son," Mr. Chang continues, as Taehyung and Joon examine the photo, sending a screenshot of it to their own phones.
—'Appa, I'm in a nice car. Amazing, isn't it? I’ll work hard and buy you one of these, I promise.'— That was Su-jin's last message to his father and attached to it is a photo of the vehicle's dashboard.+
It's a tight shot, so it's really hard to tell what kind of car it was. They might have to bring the copy of the photo back to the station so they can run a more thorough investigation about the matter.
"Thank you for letting us know, sir... We'll have this checked and keep you updated." Joon says, sliding Mr. Chang's phone back to the latter.
"I-I was so busy setting up the shop that I didn't notice his message in time... I tried contacting him during lunch, but new customers began to flood in... That night, I tried calling him again since we were getting worried, but his phone had already been turned off…+
If I— if I was just able to check my phone and see his message... I could have warned him not to get into a stranger's car... Su-jin, our Su-jin... He's much too nice, far too trusting, far too innocent... +
Geomsanim, our son— he was just a child..." Mr. Chang sobs again, this time cradling his phone near to his heart, carrying the indescribable anguish and sadness of a father who was denied the opportunity to protect his own child.
[You can play this as you read.]
Now in J records, Jeongguk is getting his makeup done in front of the vanity table in preparation for his test shots.
"Jeongguk-ah, where's Taehyung? Is he not with you today?" Jin asks, approaching Jeongguk and handing him a short script covering the day's filming schedule.
"Ah, he'll be here soon, hyung. He just had to take care of some matters..." Jeongguk says, his eyes closed as the makeup artist applies his eyeliner.
"I see. Anyway, we might encounter a bit of delay... Apparently, Song Iseul is running late, and he's the one who has the band's wardrobe; y’know, your coats and other—"
"Jin-ssi!" Jin was cut off when Jihye from S.I screamed out his name, rushing towards him and Jeongguk, while carrying a package.
"Yes?" Jin answers, as Jeongguk opens his eyes and casts a subtle glance towards one of Iseul's tailors. "What is it, Jihye?" Jin inquires.
"I don't know what happened, but I guess we can start filming Jeongguk-ssi first. This is from the reception, and when I checked it seemed like the boss got one of Jeongguk-ssi's outfits here earlier than the others." Jihye says,+
pulling out the exquisitely crafted robe that's obviously made by their line. "It's just the coats that we're waiting for, but since this came, why not proceed, what do you think, Jeongguk-ssi?" Jihye asks,+
holding out the robe in front of Jeongguk as the latter gets on his feet, taking it from her together with the note that came in the package.
"Isn't this far too small for me?" Jeongguk asks, noticing the robe's size.
"Huh?— Pfft, that can't be... See?" says Jihye, handing Jeongguk the note she discovered in the package. "It says it's exclusively made for you,+
and as a member of S.I, I can assure you that we never mess up with our measurements," Jihye proudly says as she assists Jeongguk in putting on the robe, her smile fading as she realizes it's indeed a little tighter than she expected,+
but she trusts their boss, so she just stays silent, believing that it's meant to fit their client this way.
"No, I think it's too tight... I don't feel comfortable wearing this," Jeongguk admits, his gaze darting over the door to see those who have just entered—Song Iseul and Han Seo-jun, who are now both staring at him.
"J-Jeongguk-ssi, what are you wearing?"
"You've changed, are you aware?"
Jimin's tone inferred that he meant it as a question, but it came across more as a statement to Taehyung.
"Did I?" Taehyung inquires. After taking the testimonies of Chang Sujin's family, Taehyung is now here in Jimin's car; they've already parted ways with the others and Jimin offered to drive him to J records. +
"How so?" Taehyung asks again since Jimin is taking too long to respond.
"Well, normally— you're not one to empathize with the victim's bereaved families during investigations;+
you're more— I don't know? Uncaring? Cold? But earlier, you seem to have softened... You even held the father's hands— and we both know how you absolutely despise sharing any unnecessary contact with strangers,+
but back there, you initiated it, so to me that's something," Jimin admits, glancing briefly at Taehyung as he drives.
"Nothing can escape your eyes, huh? I don't really know what you're talking about." Taehyung says, not to mock Jimin's inquisitiveness and observation skills, but rather because he didn't notice the 'change' in him that Jimin is referring to, and so he doesn't know how to react.
"It's not that hard to miss, especially because looking after and at you has been something I've done for years," Jimin says, tasting the bitterness of his words as they leave his mouth.
"Are you still mad at me?— For getting back together with Jeongguk, I mean." Taehyung asks, keeping his gaze now on Jimin beside him.
"Y'know, I have no right to be angry about that since we were never in a relationship—at least not one that wasn't merely symbiotic, so you don't have to worry about my feelings," Jimin says, a faint smile on his lips.
"I'm serious, Tae... I knew where I should stand from the start; I was tempted to take a step forward, but failed before I could even begin... I'm okay now— even have my eyes set on someone," Jimin says, his smile curling down to a more sheepish one.
"Well— since we've been friends for so long, I'll let you in on something about my private life... It's not just someone," Jimin begins, peering at Taehyung to see how the latter reacts.
"Not just someone or not just one, you mean?" Taehyung asks, still unsure what Jimin meant.
"I may have spent a fair amount of time hanging out at Min Yoongi's office," Jimin admits, giggling as he notices Taehyung furrowing his brow, clearly trying to make sense of what he said.
"You're having an affair with Min Yoongi, head of the crime investigation unit?"
"Pfft... Was it really 'that' surprising?" Jimin laughs.
"W-well, uh... I mean— I'm not sure about this, but didn't Yoongi have a thing for Hobi?" Taehyung inquires, afraid that Jimin is getting himself into another unrequited-love-kind-of-relationship.
"Exactly... I find Hobi absolutely dashing as well, so I can't blame him— I'm actually planning on helping him," Jimin says, wriggling his brows teasingly at Taehyung, who coughed out a scoff in disbelief.
"Help him with what?" Taehyung asks.
"Chim, are you really some kind of masochist?" Taehyung couldn't help but question, causing Jimin to burst out laughing.
"Pfft... You had it all wrong, Tae. Those two are cool, Hobi isn't as oblivious as you think— not that innocent either," Jimin pauses, sighing deeply, knowing that Taehyung appears to be prepared to bombard him with questions.+
"Okay, I'm going to tell you this not because I don't want you to feel bad for missing on a 'catch' like me, but because, before all that baloney, you're my best friend, and I'm already so used to sharing everything with you—"
"Just spill, Chim," Taehyung interrupts Jimin, clearly intrigued in what's going on with the latter.
"First, promise me you won't tell anyone."
"It's not like I have anyone else to share secrets to besides you," Taehyung says, sassily rolling his eyes at Jimin.
"You have this bunny mascot that's always with you, so I'm not sure," Jimin retorts, prompting Taehyung to breathe out another scoff.
"You said he's a keychain and now a mascot? Tch, anyway, just get to the point— I know I shouldn't really meddle in your affairs, but you've been my only friend for years... +
I just don't want you doing something that'll make you hurt yourself in the end... Call me selfish, but my conscience wouldn't be able to take it," Taehyung says, shuffling in his seat and turning to face Jimin.
"Alright, I know... We don't have to be so serious here, you can rest assured that I'm doing well— especially lately... I— uhm..." Jimin appears to pause for a moment, unsure where to begin, but when he catches Taehyung's firm expression, he proceeds to spill it all.
"You know... After what happened to you, and while you were unconscious, I became closer to both Hobi and Yoongi, and we drank a couple of times— and... And I may have slept with them both... A-and I liked it. They seem to like me too, +
so much that it happened again—and again, and again—and now we're kinda in an exclusively dating-sleeping-with-each-other-about-to-move-in-together type of relationship." Jimin blurts out the last part without breathing,+
coyly scratching the back of his neck upon seeing the shock written all over Taehyung's face.
"WHAT?!" exclaims Taehyung, startling Jimin enough to hit the brakes.
[You can play this as you read.]
Sex with a ghost
"That's not what you're supposed to be wearing, Jeongguk-ssi," Iseul said calmly, his jaw clenched as he approached Jeongguk.
"Why?" Jeongguk inquires, noting Iseul's clearly disturbed expression.
"Here," Iseul pauses, pulling one of the coats from the paperbag he's carrying. "I finished making this all night to meet the deadline. This is what you're meant to wear. +
Please take that off—where did that come from anyway?" Iseul says, trying to strip Jeongguk off the robe, only for Jeongguk to jerk back, swatting Iseul's hand away from him.
"Have you gone mad, Iseul-ssi?" Jeongguk asks, scanning Iseul from head to toe, wondering what's causing the latter's fairly intense reaction, then realizing it could be due to the robe he's still wearing—but why?
“W-what did you say?-..”
"What if I want to wear this robe? It's still from your line, and this note says it's for me, so what's wrong?" Jeongguk asks, refusing to take off the robe, +
showing Seo-jun and Iseul the note that came with it; and judging by the look on Iseul's face, his assumptions appear to be valid after all.—It is because of the robe. +
"I'm going to wear this because I like it," Jeongguk says, his gaze fixated on Iseul as the designer massages the bridge of his nose and turns away from him.
"But Jeongguk-ssi, I doubt you'll be able to move freely because this one is smaller than your size. Boss really worked hard on your wardrobe,+
so let's just wear his designs, alright?" Seo-jun comments, coming in between Jeongguk and Iseul as he carefully peels the robe off Jeongguk.
"Please get dressed, Jeongguk-ssi, so we can see if we need to adjust anything," Iseul asks, preparing to leave the studio.
"Whose robe is this?" Jeongguk asks, leading Iseul to halt, his hand hovering over the doorknob.
"This looks like an unreleased design, Jeongguk-ssi; I'm not even sure how it got here," Seo-jun says as he inspects the robe he just removed from Jeongguk.
"I'll just step out for a moment, please tell the others to get ready as well." Iseul says, not bothering to spare Jeongguk another glance as he steps out of the door.
"What's with him? All that drama for a robe?" Jeongguk asks as Seo-jun assists him in putting on his new coat.
"Huh?— Ah, boss? Well, he's always had a bad temper, but I can tell you, he's not really mad. He'll cool down once he's had a couple of cigarettes... +
I believe he was just like that because he worked hard to finish your coats." Seo-jun says while inspecting if Iseul's design fits Jeongguk. "See? This looks nicer on you," Seo-jun says, fixing the collar of Jeongguk's coat.
"Wasn't that reaction too much just because I wore a different robe?" Jeongguk asks again, reluctant to leave the subject since he still finds it strange.
"*Sigh* Designers take pride in their work, Guk... Though, now I'm wondering where this one came from? It says your name here on the card," Jin says, picking up the note Jihye had earlier handed them.
"Mhm... I'm confused too, Jin-ssi; even the reception said the package was for Jeongguk-ssi," Jihye, who is still standing by them, says as she takes the robe and examines the stitching and the size of it.+
"Looking at it now, it does seem smaller for Jeongguk-ssi's build... And the color? Emerald green? To me, this suits someone with a tan or golden complexion better," Jihye adds.
"Tan? Golden, you say?" Jeongguk asks, snatching the robe from Jihye's hands. He doesn’t know why, but he was suddenly reminded of Taehyung.
"That's true. Bright jewel tones like ruby red, plum, or emerald green could bring out one's golden undertones, leaving the wearer looking more luminous." Seo-jun says as he gently takes the robe from Jeongguk, holding it up in front of the latter. +
"Jeongguk-ssi has a fair complexion— if anything, I think this robe will fit Taehyung-ssi better, not to mention the size? We all know Taehyung-ssi's on the slimmer side." Seo-jun continued, which weirdly caused a shiver run up Jeongguk's spine.
"This is mine," Jeongguk declares, seizing the robe from Seo-jun once more and throwing it over the vanity. "Nobody touch this, alright?" he adds as he reclines in his chair to get his makeup done again.
[You can play this as you read.]
I think I like when it rains
"Fcking arrogant—ungrateful ba:stard," Iseul spits under his breath as he lights up a cigarette here in front of J Records.
"Bad day?" Taehyung, who was smoking his own cigarette before entering, asks when he notices Iseul standing next to him.
"H-huh? Ah, Taehyung-ssi... I didn't notice you're here," Iseul says, slightly lowering his head at Taehyung, embarrassed to be seen in such a poor mood.
"I just got here a few minutes ago... It's raining so I felt like smoking before coming in," Taehyung replies, taking a deep drag on his cigarette.
"I see..." Iseul says, awkwardly averting Taehyung's gaze.
"Did something happen? You look like you're in a bad mood." Taehyung asks, knowing full well that he's talking casually to someone whom he doesn't really know personally; then again, +
he knows that Jeongguk has been suspecting Iseul as the slasher, so he figured to use this opportunity to get to know the guy more and maybe see if he'll be able to find anything that may support Jeongguk's claim.
"Oh— *sigh* I am..." Iseul admits, reasoning that there's no point in denying it when the look on his face probably says it all. "You're a prosecutor aren't you, Taehyung-ssi?" He asks.
"Mhm... Why?" Taehyung asks, side-eying Iseul, who seems to be staring blankly into space.
"You know, I still find it odd that even though you're already in the district attorney's office, you still have time to work part-time as Jeongguk-ssi's bodyguard... +
Are you a workaholic?" Iseul asks, leaving Taehyung wondering where this conversation is really going, but he chooses to ride along for the time being.
"You could say that." Taehyung replies.
"I am too... It's not a healthy habit, I must say, and on top of that, I'm a perfectionist, and I find it difficult to function when things are out of place," Iseul says, huffing out the smoke from his cigarette.
"Ah— I am too... I mean, I guess I'm like that too," Taehyung says, tossing his used cigarette into the bin and lighting another, hoping to keep their conversation moving.
"I thought so... I'm not particularly good at reading people, but I'm quite good when it comes to clothes, as I noticed the first time I saw you: your tie always matches your suit, as do your shoes... +
Sure, they're not all designer, but the way you dress up is enough for me to say that you're the type who pays attention," Iseul says, turning on his heels to face Taehyung.
"Pay attention to what?" Taehyung asks.
"Symmetry? Coordination? Things like that," Iseul says, mulling over Taehyung's clothes again. "Even now, you're wearing a plain black suit, and as always, you've chosen the appropriate tie to go with it.+
Plum necktie that matches your tan complexion," Iseul remarks, pointing to Taehyung's plum silk necktie. "You’ve chosen silk with a sheen on it over your matte black suit, +
which made your whole fit more elegant and chic without going overboard or appearing too boring. You're just in between, plus your face—which honestly ties it all together. +
Your visuals are really something, Taehyung-ssi." Iseul says, his expression softening as he stares at Taehyung—and oddly, Taehyung doesn't find that too uncomfortable.
"You think?" Taehyung asks again, this time really interested in hearing how a world-renowned fashion designer perceives someone like him.
"There's something about you—I don't know what it is, but there's some kind of mystery in your eyes—something that even I couldn't comprehend... +
I really couldn't wait for you to wear the clothes that I made," Iseul says, his lips curling up into a small smile as he looks away from Taehyung, taking another drag of his cigarette.
"If you don't mind me asking, how did you end up in this field? Fashion designing, I mean." Taehyung wonders why he's even asking Iseul these questions, but strangely, he feels like the fashion designer is somewhat similar to him.+
They both have an aloof and cold exterior, but they're not afraid to speak their minds to the point where others may find them a little tackless, all while maintaining a professional vibe,+
and perhaps the resemblance he found between himself and Iseul made it difficult for Taehyung to believe Jeongguk's assumption that Iseul is the slasher who does those horrifying things to innocent people.
"That question, all of a sudden? Pfft, isn't it too soon for you to be this comfortable with me, Taehyung-ssi?" Iseul laughs as he leans back and gazes at the dark gray sky above.+
"Well, it's not like I mind, so it's fine... *Sigh* Someone believed in me— and that may have been the reason why I made it to where I am now," Iseul says, smiling absentmindedly to himself.
"Someone you say?" Taehyung asks again, hoping Iseul will give him a more specific response.
"Uh-huh... Back then, I truly had no idea what to do with my life... I was taking business, which is a major I have no real interest in, so I usually spent my break time in the library doodling random things...+
One day, a person came to me and said that I'm good with my hands. He asked me if I'm interested in fashion... I'm not sure why I said yes, but I did. Maybe fashion didn't sound so boring to me back then. Our friendship— if we can call it that, began there...+
He asked me to draw anything for him and then offered to make it for me... I didn't give it much thought, so I compiled... The next day, he showed up with the clothes I had designed. I don't know why, but that made me happy—+
the rest was history after that," Iseul says, recalling a scene that is still fresh in his mind.
"So you found someone that made you want to turn your life around?" Taehyung asks,+
and once again he couldn't help but relate Iseul's experience to him and Jeongguk, because back then to now, Jeongguk is still the one who made him want to be something more than just being a decent lawyer.
"Pfft, you're making it sound romantic, but it isn't. Yes, that person opened the doors for me, but I'm doing this because I've grown to appreciate my craft. It gives me a sense of accomplishment to watch my designs come to life. +
I love it every time my creations are worn, because to me, it confirms the value of my labor... And I don't like it when my efforts are ignored," Iseul says, his mood flaking again as he remembers his encounter with Jeongguk just a while ago.
"Was that why you seemed a little grumpy earlier?" Taehyung says, watching as Iseul put out his cigarette.
"Mhm, maybe... Anyway— are you done now? I think we should head back inside." Iseul asks, his brows furrowed upon noticing the brand of the cigarette in Taehyung's hand.
"Menthol? Pfft... Guess I could come to you once I run out," Iseul says as Taehyung pulls a pack of smokes from his pants pocket.
"Do you want one?" Taehyung naively asks, offering Iseul the entire pack, mistaking the latter's question for one about if he still had a stick to spare, which caused the designer to snort out a laugh.
"Pfft, not now, silly; I may look like a chain smoker, but I'm really not—"
"What are you doing here?" Taehyung and Iseul both flinched as Jeongguk came behind them, grabbing Taehyung by the wrist, making Taehyung drop his cigarette as Jeongguk pulled him away from the designer.
"Jeongguk-ssi," Iseul says, acknowledging Jeongguk's presence, noticing that the latter is now wearing the coat he made. "See? That coat suits you better, don't you think?" he adds.
"Ah," Jeongguk taunts, his eyes piercing and sharp, aiming to intimidate the man in front of him. "I doubt it's because of the coat; it's just that I look good in anything," he says before dragging Taehyung inside, leaving Iseul alone, staring at their backs as they walk away.
T/W : mentions of cheating
It has been believed that pride is the root of all other capital sins. Pride, which also known as hubris, from the ancient greek word: ὕβρις or futility, is regarded the original and most demonic of the seven deadly sins on practically every list. +
Pride is described as dangerously rotten selfishness, placing one's own desires, wants, whims, and drives above all else. In fact, even Dante defined pride as "love of self perverted to hatred and contempt for one's neighbor."
If we analyze it, pride could lead to greed or covetousness; and if one is unable to satisfy their greed, their greed will eventually turn to envy;+
envy will turn to wrath; wrath will result in restlessness, making one unable to function normally; they'll feel lazy— lazy to put effort on something they want but can't have— sloth.
But what if they get a taste of it—that one burning desire for something they were previously deprived of? They'll become even more greedy than before.+
They wouldn't want anyone else to have what they have, so they'll hoard it and keep it to themselves,
Then, the more they consume, the more their desires consume them whole, corrupting them, turning them deviant, amoral, and perverted, drowning in the twisted ecstasy of giving in to their urges— thus turning to lust.
Taehyung and Jeongguk are both in the initial phase of that rotten process as they stand behind the camera, waiting for Jeongguk to be brought forward to take his test shots with Akiko.
Both their pride were bruised as Jeongguk saw Taehyung with the person he suspects of being the slasher, while Taehyung is about to watch Jeongguk get close to the woman whom the latter cheated on him with before.
"Tell me if you want me to back out, and I will," Jeongguk says, still plainly irritated despite not confronting Taehyung after having seen the latter with Iseul earlier.
"We're not in high school, Jeongguk. I'm too old to ban you from hanging out with your ex—especially if it's for work," Taehyung says, his eyes fixed upfront for he doesn't feel like facing Jeongguk.
"She's not my ex, and you know that." Jeongguk replies, fists clenched in his sides; he's not sure why, but Taehyung's assertion offends him.+
It may sound like bullsh¡t, but Jeongguk still has no recollection of ever touching Akiko on the night he and Taehyung broke up five years ago. It's as if he committed a sin and has no memory of it.+
Don't get him wrong, he's not denying anything, nor is he disregarding Taehyung's feelings, but it's difficult for Jeongguk to feel the appropriate degree of guilt without him remembering what he did.
"Ah— sorry, I forgot. She's only a one-time-fck... A one-time-fck that caused our break-up," Taehyung uttered under his breath; he didn't want to say it out loud, but this petty jealousy is gnawing him up.
"Are we really talking about this now? — Here? Do you want me to get on my knees again? Beg and make a scene? H-hah..." Jeongguk chuckles bitterly. "Have you forgotten that I wasn't the only one at fault back then? +
I wasn't the only one who cheated, so why does it feel like you're putting all the blame on me?" Jeongguk adds, internally scolding himself, knowing that this is a sore issue for both of them.
But he's upset. Yes, Jeongguk is upset right now because he saw Taehyung nonchalantly smoking a cigarette with Song Iseul earlier, despite the fact that he had explicitly warned Taehyung about the designer+
possibly being the slasher who had k¡lled and brutal|y mut¡lated his victims. It feels like Taehyung doesn't trust him enough to heed his warning, and that damages Jeongguk's self-esteem.
"Ah... Sorry— don't worry, I haven't forgotten about it," Taehyung says, taking a deep breath before turning to meet Jeongguk's gaze, staring him down with the same amount of pain. +
"For five years, now nearly six, I have never—ever forgotten what I've done—unlike a certain someone," Taehyung continues, as the world appears to come to a halt before moving backwards, transporting them both to the past.
"T-Tae... No, that's not it— I mean, we've already discussed this... I didn't intend to-."
"Go. She's waiting... You don't need to be concerned about my feelings.+
You know, whatever you're going to do with her now, I'm sure I've seen worse, so it's not a big deal for me," Taehyung says, gathering what's left of his pride so as to feel less pathetic.
"Guk! It's your turn, hurry up!" Jin exclaims as he calls Jeongguk to the set.
"We're not done yet," Jeongguk says, as Taehyung turns away. Jeongguk then clenched his jaw, hesitant to leave, but he did so and proceeded towards Jin.
[You can play this as you read.]
They say that jealousy is a disease, and right now, Taehyung is wondering if there's really any cure for it. It feels wrong to be upset since Taehyung knew that by choosing to forgive Jeongguk, he was also required to close his own open wounds;+
However, he never really expected to find himself in this same situation, standing in the back, watching Jeongguk with Akiko as he did five years ago.
Yes, Jeongguk is co-directing the music video, but he must still obey the creative director's instructions as well as the contract, which stipulates that his project partner is Akiko, not Taehyung.
Jeongguk and Akiko were asked to stand next to each other for the test pictures. They're only doing their jobs, Taehyung knows that—and perhaps that's the reason why he's starting to loathe himself more,+
because despite being aware of that, he couldn't take the thought of Jeongguk breathing the same air as that woman.
"Jeongguk-ssi, could you kindly put your arm around Akiko's shoulders?" the director asks as the cameraman clicks away. +
From there, Jeongguk's gaze was drawn to Taehyung, as if he was seeking permission from the latter. Now Taehyung wonders what should be his reaction.
'Why are you doing this to me? Shouldn't you already know what to do? Shouldn't you already be aware that this is hurting me? +
Why does it seem like you're expecting me to admit it? Can’t I have a bit of shame, really?' Taehyung thinks, silently gritting his teeth, feeling his chest tighten as he looks away.
"Okay, that's great! Closer— please look into each other's eyes," the director says again, and Jeongguk begins to doubt if he can still do this.+
It's as if being aware of Taehyung's pain is a curse that makes him dirtier by the second; he feels so small and ashamed of having to make the person he loves the most relive the nightmare that broke both of them before.
He hates it. Jeongguk hates both this situation and himself.
"Is there something wrong, Jeonggukkie?" Akiko asks as they face each other, her hands now in Jeongguk's waist.
"Don't get too close. It's uncomfortable," Jeongguk replies, his tone cold and flat, although he doubts it'll matter right now. He knows better since he has gone through it himself whenever he sees Taehyung close to Jimin; +
the only difference is that the nightmare Jeongguk recalls came from merely a kiss—a short one at that—unlike Taehyung, who had seen the worst someone could possibly see his lover do with someone else.
"Gukkie, that's mean... Tch, don't tell me it's because of Taehyung again—"
"It is... So if you're aware, then you should also know that right now, we're hurting him."
"Hurting him by what? Doing our jobs? Pfft— don't you think you're overreacting? Taehyung looks the same to me— bored, uncaring... I doubt he even gives a rat's as:s,+
which is probably why nobody guessed you two were in a relationship back then," Akiko says, leaning her face closer to Jeongguk per their director's order.
"Not everyone behaves as dramatic as you, Aki. We've slept together a few times, yes— but don't act as if you know everything about me and Taehyung. +
You're not even my friend to begin with," Jeongguk says, his eyes sharp as he stares Akiko down, hoping that the woman will back down— but no, Akiko is indeed one hell of a professional.
"Hey, you're being too cold now... I still don't get it— why him? Yeah, you could be gay, bisexual and all, but Taehyung? Don't you think he's way too basic for you? We had a lot more fun together, Guk... +
You even agreed for us to marry if we're still single when we reach the age of forty... I was waiting." Akiko shamelessly says, pertaining to that event when she and Jeongguk got drunk together with the other members of B-side and the others kept on teasing them+
to just be in a relationship given that they've known each other for years, so Jeongguk playfully and drunkenly agreed to marry Akiko if they're still single at forty.
"That was a joke— no, another drunken mistake on my part-.."
"Perhaps to you, but I was serious about that, Guk... By now you should know... I've wanted you since forever— and that's why I'm still here," Akiko says, playfully flicking her gaze from Jeongguk's eyes to his lips and back up again.
"Bad day?" Iseul asks as he approaches Taehyung, using the same words and tone Taehyung used on him earlier.
"Isn't every day a bad day? It's just a matter of what you're able to bear," Taehyung says dryly, his eyes fixed on the nearly non-existent proximity between Akiko and Jeongguk.
"Ahh, Jeongguk-ssi and Akiko-ssi definitely look good together... No surprise a lot of their fans are cheering for them to be a real couple," Seo-jun says as he inches closer to Iseul.
"You think?" Taehyung says sarcastically, looking Seo-jun up and down.
"H-hah... Yeah, they even have a fan club, y'know?— Anyway, it's time for you to get dressed, Taehyung-ssi. I'll be assisting you, alright?" Seo-jun says, smiling as he swings his arms towards the vanity table at the side of the studio.
"Are you planning on stabbing me again?— Try a different spot this time," Taehyung replies, pointing to the patch of gauze still placed over his neck. "This one hasn't healed yet." Taehyung continues, his gaze locked on Seo-jun.
"Oh," Seo-jun seems stunned, his mouth gaping like a fish as though he's suddenly unable to talk. "I-I would never... I'm really sorry—"
"Don't worry about it. I was just kidding," Taehyung replies, but his visage is stone cold, utterly contradicting what he just said. Taehyung then turned to face Iseul, shrugging his shoulders as he proceeded towards the vanity table.
"I'm warning you, Seo-jun-ah... Be careful this time," Iseul says as he walks past Seo-jun in the opposite direction of Taehyung to fetch the latter's wardrobe.
[You can play this as you read.]
Back to black
"Aren't you a tailor? Why are you doing my make-up?" Taehyung inquires as Seo-jun delicately dabs a touch of powder on his face.
"O-oh, the other make-up artists are busy fixing everyone else... D-do you not want me to proceed? I can switch with the others over there," Seo-jun replies, referring to the rest of B-side members being dolled up.
"Nevermind, it's no big deal; I just didn't expect you to know how to do someone else's makeup professionally," Taehyung replies, his attention fixed on his reflection in the mirror.
"Working in the fashion industry demands us to be flexible, Taehyung-ssi; we have to make sure that our clients are always pretty—thereby giving justice to our designs," Seo-jun explains, now adding some blush on Taehyung's cheek.
"Do you— by any chance, like pretty things, Seo-jun-ssi?" Taehyung asks, shifting his gaze to Seo-jun this time.
"Don't we all like everything that's pretty? Pfft... I literally make pretty clothes for a living, Taehyung-ssi," Seo-jun says, hearing Iseul's footsteps from behind them as Taehyung notices the emerald green robe resting on the side of the vanity table.
"Whose robe is this?" Taehyung inquires, picking up the fine silk garment.
"Oh, I heard that's Jeongguk-ssi's—."
"No one. That's not from my line." Iseul suddenly says, snatching the robe from Taehyung's hands, about to throw it away when Seo-jun stopped him by grabbing him by the wrist.
"Boss, wait!" pleads Seo-jun. "Wouldn't Jeongguk-ssi get angry? He did warn us not to touch that," Seo-jun asks, and Taehyung isn't sure whether it's just in his head or is Iseul really glaring sharply at his own employee right now.
"There's no need to make a fuss; if it belongs to Jeongguk, leave it alone—"
"W-would you like to try it on, Taehyung-ssi?" Iseul stutters as he cuts Taehyung off, his gaze riveted on Seo-jun.