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.
"What?" Taehyung asks, trying to assess the scene in front of him with Seo-jun still holding Iseul's wrist, then Iseul blinks, turning to face him warily. +
"I-I think the color will fit you better... Emerald green is known to enhance tanned complexions," Iseul explains as he holds the robe up in front of Taehyung, his lips quivering, twisting to a clearly forced smile.
"Did you make this?" Taehyung asks, sensing a shift in Iseul's demeanor as he recalls their earlier conversation, during which Iseul expressed his desire to have Taehyung wear his creations. +
"Iseul-ssi?" Taehyung asks again, this time staring Iseul in the eyes.
"What's going on here?" Jeongguk asks, followed by Akiko, who approaches Taehyung as soon as they finish their first set of test shots.
"Oh, wow! Is that a new design? It looks so soft, can I wear—." Akiko was about to grab the robe from Iseul when the latter snatched it back, also releasing his wrist from Seo-jun's grip. +
"No, this will not match any of your other clothes, Akiko-ssi," Iseul remarks, slightly startling Akiko.
"Woah— okay, i-if you say so?" She says, raising both her hands up, feigning surrender.
"Didn't I say that robe is mine?" Jeongguk asks, eagerly clutching the robe, but Iseul refuses to let go.
"Boss— Jeongguk-ssi, uhm... T-there's no need to fight, y'know? It's just a robe," Seo-jun says, awkwardly scratching the back of his neck, taking a step back when Taehyung abruptly pushes his chair back, standing up.
"I'm sure you wouldn't mind me wearing this, am I right? Like Seo-jun here said, it's just a robe after all," Taehyung says, taking the middle section of the robe, forcing Iseul to let go while Jeongguk holds on.
"You're being way too bratty right now, Taehyung-ssi. Are you testing my patience?" Jeongguk muttered under his breath, gritting his teeth as he spoke.
"I'm just doing my job," Taehyung says, staring at Jeongguk's eyes as he lets go of the damn robe, only to quickly unbutton his shirt, letting it drop on the floor,+
revealing his nude torso to everyone. "Do I need to wear anything underneath?" Taehyung asks, his face expressionless, his gaze fixed on Jeongguk.
"H-huh? Ah, no... I don't think so," Iseul answers, as if he's already forgotten about Jeongguk, because his—and everyone else's—attention is now focused on Taehyung.
"I'm getting cold, Jeongguk-ssi," Taehyung adds, feeling the tension between him and Jeongguk grow.
"T-Taehyung-ssi, I think you should wear something first—" Seo-jun was about to drape a scarf over Taehyung's shoulder when the latter smacked his hands away, waiting for Jeongguk's answer.
"So?" Taehyung taunts once more.
"Fine. Do what you want," Jeongguk says, shoving the robe against Taehyung's chest, leaning in closer to the latter's ear.+
"We'll talk later, Kim Taehyung," Jeongguk whispers as he walks away, pushing Taehyung back so hard that he almost falls, but he manages to hold his ground.
Taehyung is now sitting here under the bright studio lights, yet he still feels like he's in the dark—no, it's more like he's turning dark.
It's as if he's entirely drowned in murky waters, making him unable to breathe and think properly, getting more and more consumed within each passing second.
Here, Taehyung wonders why is he even doing this silly thing? Glammed up, hair done, ready to appear for the camera, wherein he knows that he doesn’t really belong in this world.+
Between him and Jeongguk— Jeongguk is supposed to be the only bright one, the star adored by everyone, but for some reason, Taehyung is here like a phony trying to appear as someone he's not.
"Can I still back out?" Taehyung asks quietly as Iseul and Seo-jun touch up his clothes and make-up.
"Pfft, why? Are you nervous, Taehyung-ssi?" Seo-jun asks, laughing off Taehyung's inquiry while fixing Taehyung's curls.
"No, but I'm sure I look ridiculous right now," Taehyung says, his expression blank.
"You look stunning, Taehyung-ssi," Iseul replies, taking a step back to revel in the sight of the beauty in front of them.
"Boss is right, you really look perfect right now, Taehyung-ssi... I must say—the color of this robe really suits you... You look magical—like a pretty fairy straight out of a story book," Seo-jun says, +
now securing the knot of Taehyung's robe. "I wonder why Jeongguk-ssi doesn't seem to appreciate you wearing this? I mean, it'd be a pity if you didn't, considering it appears like it was made especially for you," Seo-jun adds.
"You think?" Taehyung asks, his gaze drawn to Jeongguk, who is still standing behind the camera, still with Akiko.
"Mhm-hm..." Seo-jun hums as he pulls out his phone to snap a photo of Taehyung. "Look— you're not even posing yet, but you already look like a perfect doll... So pretty." he says, holding up the shot he just took to Taehyung.
"Seo-jun-ah, delete that." Iseul says with a hint of warning in his tone.
"Huh? But boss, why? I'm planning on making this my wallpaper—"
"You didn't even ask for Taehyung-ssi's permission. You took that photo without his consent, so delete it," Iseul says before turning towards Taehyung again. "I'm sorry Taehyung-ssi. I'll make sure he'll delete it." he continues, bowing his head apologetically at Taehyung.
"Ah, yes— please do," Taehyung says, pausing to look at Seo-jun. "I think it's creepy to just take someone's photo without their consent," he continues, leading Seo-jun to lower his head.
"I-I didn't think— *sigh* I'm sorry, Taehyung-ssi. It's now erased, so don't worry," Seo-jun replies after deleting Taehyung's photo from his phone.
"Again, I apologize, Seo-jun here can be a bit inconsiderate at times," Iseul says as he grabs Seo-jun's arm and pulls him back. "Then— I guess our work here is done; the rest is up to you now," Iseul states as he steps out of the set, dragging Seo-jun with him.
[You can play this as you read.]
As Jeongguk stands here observing Taehyung behind the scenes, he wonders why he is so upset; is it because he is outraged and hurt by Taehyung's open display of distrust for him? +
Was it due to Iseul? Was it because Taehyung just literally humiliated him— possibly in front of a damn m*rderer?
The thing is that Jeongguk has no idea why Taehyung doesn't seem to grasp the concept of them working together. +
He had previously warned Taehyung about Iseul, but the latter does not appear to care; instead of avoiding Iseul, Taehyung seems to be doing the opposite.
It doesn't help that Taehyung is looking absolutely stunning right now; his hair is tousled in a way that makes him look like he just stepped out of bed, there are faint glitters brushed over his skin, +
subtle shadows over his lids, his lashes curled, coral blush on his cheeks, pink on his lips— Taehyung looks like every man's fantasy, drawing everyone's attention to him.
"Wow, j-just wow..."
"Looking good, Taehyung-ssi!"
"That's it! Ah! Pretty— no, no, perfect! You look absolutely perfect!"
Jeongguk clenched his fists as compliments on Taehyung's beauty rang out around the room.
This— this is the kind of beauty that feeds Jeongguk's greed.
This should be exclusively for him.
Although it may appear excessively selfish, Jeongguk believes he should be the only one who's seeing this.
Taehyung is his, just his— supposedly.
"Fck this," Jeongguk growled, preparing to approach the director and ask him to stop filming Taehyung, maybe remove him entirely from the project if possible, when Akiko grabbed his arm and stopped him in his tracks.
"Where are you going? I've been talking to you since earlier; did you even hear what I said?" Akiko asks, her hand still resting on Jeongguk's arm.
No, Jeongguk didn't really hear or understand anything Akiko said or asked him.
"Let go, Aki," Jeongguk says, trying to free his arm from Akiko's hold, but it just makes her grip tighter, her nails digging further into his skin.
"You're scaring me, Guk... We weren't like this before I went to New York... Now—now you're staring at me as if I'm nothing but dirt," Akiko says, which enrages Jeongguk even more,+
not because he's actually angry—well, maybe he is, but there's certainly more to it.
Even with the distance between them, Jeongguk can tell Taehyung is staring at him.
He doesn't need to see it; Jeongguk just knows that right now, Taehyung is looking at him—him and Akiko, and it's rattling Jeongguk to his core, thinking about all the things that could be going through Taehyung's head. +
It's as if the five years Jeongguk has spent regretting their breakup and the last few months attempting to repent after having heard of his sin from Taehyung himself have all been for naught, +
because Akiko is here— she's close to him, and Jeongguk hates that he knows exactly what this will make Taehyung think.
Taehyung is going to hate him for making him remember the nightmare Jeongguk had dared to forget.
That could explain Taehyung's behavior. He's probably revolting against their plan to spite Jeongguk for not removing Akiko from his life—but Jeongguk wanted to. It may sound harsh, but Akiko is only a passing acquaintance to Jeongguk,+
a friend he and his bandmates see once or twice a year at most, but Jeongguk knows that no matter how much he tries to explain this to Taehyung, Taehyung will only think of the sin he has committed in the past— and that thought scares Jeongguk the most.
"I-I said let go," Jeongguk says, his voice quivering.
"Why? Why are you looking at me like that? H-hey—" Akiko freezes before scoffing all offended,+
"Jeongguk-ah, are you seriously doing this right now? What? You're looking at me as if I have some horrible disease— are you fcking kidding me-.."
“O-oh my god… d-did he just-..”
Loud gasps were followed by utter silence throughout the studio. Taehyung had left his seat under the bright lights, succumbing to the dark pits of anger that had returned to torment him from five years ago. +
Akiko is on the floor, trembling furiously as she rubs her now-throbbing cheek after being slapped by Taehyung so suddenly.
"Y-you... Are you crazy? Who the fck do you think you are— FU*CK!" Akiko had to pause, her eyes shooting wide open when Taehyung crouched down in front of her grabbing the back of her hair tight, tugging her head back.
"I should've done this back then, you little b¡tch," Taehyung whispers into Akiko's ear. "Tell me," he pauses, smirking when Akiko looks at him, enraged and afraid. "Do you have a de*ath wish?" Taehyung asks, his voice a little louder this time.
"Taehyung, stop," Jeongguk says, trying to pull Taehyung back and up away from Akiko after hearing what Taehyung just said.
"I'm asking you, do you want to di*e?" Taehyung asks, a dangerous type of rage racing through his veins the longer he stares at Akiko's face—in his thoughts, he's recreating those cursed 99 seconds when he wasn't able to do anything.
"G-get away from me..." Akiko stutters, grasping Taehyung's wrist, attempting to release Taehyung's grip on her hair. "I SAID GET THE FCK AWAY FROM ME, YOU FCKING CREEP!" yells Akiko, +
furious at being humiliated and threatened in front of everybody here in the studio. She shoved Taehyung back, forcing him to stumble down the floor. Taehyung immediately got up to charge at her again, +
but he was stopped by Jeongguk, who was grasping both his arms, Iseul, who was standing between him and Akiko, and Seo-jun, who rushed towards Akiko's side.
"Taehyung-ssi, stop," Iseul says calmly as Seo-jun assists Akiko to stand up. "Are you okay, Akiko-ssi?" Seo-jun inquires, gently brushing Akiko's now messy hair.
"Don't touch me, you fre*ak!" Akiko shouts, slapping Seo-jun's hands away from her, causing the man to raise his arms, feigning defeat.
"Hey! What are you guys doing there?! Taehyung-ssi, come back here!" shouts the director, but Jeongguk hasn't said anything; he's just holding Taehyung, keeping him still.
"Let go," Taehyung tells Jeongguk, gritting his teeth as he speaks. "Are you all ganging up on me now? That's how it's gonna be, huh?" Taehyung adds, coughing out a scoff, his gaze shifting from Jeongguk, Iseul, Akiko, and then Seo-jun.
"Y-you shouldn't hit a woman, Tae—" Jeongguk had to pause as Taehyung laughed bitterly and pushed him back as he stood up. "I shouldn't? Well, I just did. Sue me— you fcking hypocr¡te," Taehyung says quietly, +
his eyes welling up with tears, mentally chastising himself for losing control in front of everyone— but he couldn't stop himself. He saw everything— he saw everything that happened both then and now.
'She's always sought what should be solely mine... And you—you who told me you were mine, allow her to do whatever the fck she wants all the time. Now, I'm the bad guy? ' Taehyung thinks, his wounded gaze fixed on Akiko and Jeongguk.
Taehyung is fully dressed, yet he feels naked right now; he feels like he just bore his frailty, allowing everyone to throw stones at him— and he hates it, Taehyung hates it so much he just wants to disappear, let the ground swallow him.
"We should leave." Jeongguk pauses, seeing that Taehyung's clearly not well, he's even trembling. He grabbed Taehyung's wrist, then he turned to their creative director, bowing apologetically for the scene they just caused. +
"I'm sorry, I think we need to reschedule," Jeongguk says before dragging Taehyung out of the studio, disregarding Jin and the others who are all calling for them to return.
Out in the hallways, Jeongguk and Taehyung both did not say a thing. Strangely, everyone's eyes were on them until they reached the exit, and that's when Taehyung pulled his wrist out of Jeongguk's grip.
"Stop it, Tae. We’re going home—"
"I'm taking a cab," Taehyung replies, his tone hard and flat, stepping back when Jeongguk tries to touch him again. "I think we need some time apart... J-just a few minutes. Give me a few minutes to breathe, please." Taehyung pauses, +
now averting Jeongguk's gaze. "Being with you right now—it's suffocating." Taehyung says, waving his arms out the road, hailing and getting in the first cab that passed by,+
leaving Jeongguk standing alone at the sidewalk under the lamppost, lips quivering, watching Taehyung go, laughing— not knowing that in that same moment, they're both crying.
As Jeongguk speeds, revving up the engine of his motorcycle, he sobs, realizing that everything he's done to reclaim Taehyung's love and trust has been for naught, +
since the moment he witnessed the agony in Taehyung's eyes when looking at him and Akiko earlier.
It's useless— Jeongguk didn't have to remember what he did; the expression of betrayal on Taehyung's face was enough for Jeongguk to realize that no matter what he does, +
he would never be able to erase his mistake—it will forever be imprinted in Taehyung's head, just as Jeongguk cannot erase the image of Taehyung kissing Park Jimin back then.
Getting back together is like a double-edged sword that both Jeongguk and Taehyung knew would hurt them—might even k¡ll them; +
but like fools, they feigned to know nothing—too weak to resist, willingly swallowing each other's poison, just so they could stay together.
T/W// implied panic attack
"A-ahjussi... Can we stop by here for a second?" Taehyung says, telling the cab driver to pull over to the side of the road at Seongsu bridge. He's already alone, but still he cannot breathe.+
He got out of the cab, his legs shaking, as if disintegrating like soft jellies the instant he tried to stand up; he clutched the bridge railings, coughing, choking until his stomach couldn't take it any longer.+
Taehyung then sank to his knees, throwing up the bile from his guts, hoping that once it's over, he would feel at least a tad bit better—impossible.
"*cough... cough...* Who am I fooling?" Taehyung says, wiping some spit from his chin and peering down the placid river below the bridge, +
and there Taehyung suddenly pictured something— someone falling, the water bubbling, turning red— sinking, sinking down below before resurfacing.
In Taehyung's mind, Akiko d¡ed.
"Get a fcking grip." Taehyung tells himself as he stands up, leaning his head back aiming to stop his tears from falling, but it still did, streaming down his cheeks, pooling inside his ears, muffling everything.
Taehyung took a deep breath and entered his apartment, immediately noticing Jeongguk sitting alone on the couch, arms resting on his knees, eyes fixed on the floor, not bothering to turn on the lights, not bothering to look at him as well.
"Taehyung-ah..." Jeongguk breaks the silence that has been smothering him since he and Taehyung parted ways earlier.
"Why?" Taehyung asks dryly, now standing in front of Jeongguk.
"Y-you... You'll never forgive me will you?" Jeongguk asks, "No matter what I do, no matter what I say, you'll never forget about what happened— you'll never forget about what I did." Jeongguk continues as he lifts his face up, +
meeting Taehyung's dark eyes as if he's staring blankly into space, seeing nothing, not even him.
"You tell me... How can you forget that?" Taehyung pauses as he takes a step forward, his gaze fixed on Jeongguk, whose eyes follows his every move. +
"You also haven't forgotten what I did, so stop asking me questions you wouldn't be able to answer yourself," Taehyung says, and the longer Jeongguk stares at him, the more their cruel reality settles in.
There's really no such thing as forgetting when it comes to cheating.
Kintsugi— the Japanese art of putting broken pottery pieces back together with gold; Taehyung once thought that was applicable to both him and Jeongguk, but was it, really? +
Isn't gold too soft to withstand the rigors of daily wear? Isn't it too malleable, too weak? It may make the cracks look nice, but it does not mean that the damage has been totally healed.
"I asked you— over and over ,not only earlier but days before, I asked you if you'll be okay if-."
"Why would I need to answer? Aren't you the genius between us two?" Taehyung replies, his tone sarcastic, his expression frigid and rigid as stone.
"Y-yeah... That I am," Jeongguk answers gently, swallowing the lump in his throat as he rises up, just a few inches away from Taehyung. "But I am not a mind reader," he continues, +
looking Taehyung in the eyes, feeling so besieged that he had no other option but to fight back— fight for his own heart's survival.
"I should know— YES! YES, F*UCK YES I SHOULD KNOW! "Jeongguk suddenly felt the need to lash out, his voice roaring so loudly that Taehyung flinched, but the latter still refused to blink. "B-but what if I couldn't? +
What if I didn't want to be presumptuous? What if I was afraid to make assumptions? You— you can't just say one thing and expect me to do the opposite, Taehyung! If you don't want something—if you hate it, if it hurts you, if it's already k¡lling you, then say it!+
Fcking say it to my face! Earlier—" Jeongguk pauses again, turning away from Taehyung, pacing back and forth, ruffling his hair out of frustration. "Earlier, I asked you! I fcking asked you, and you told me that you're fine— it's fine, +
it's okay, fine, okay— BUT GUESS WHAT? IT'S NOT! W-why? Taehyung why? Why are you doing this to me? Do you really want me to go crazy? I-I'm already doing my best... I've been working so hard—+
so fcking hard just to make you happy— just to keep you safe, but you're making it hard for me! Yes, yes, you keep on making it so hard for me, not just about Akiko, but Song Iseul too! I already warned you, but you keep on sticking close to him! +
Fck! Smoking a cigearette with a damn psych0path— laughing? Fcking laughing with a m*rderer? What are you?" Jeongguk trembles as he laughs, his eyes unfocused, blurred with his own tears as he turned towards Taehyung again.+
"WHAT KIND OF F*CKING LUNAT|C ARE YOU, KIM TAEHYUNG?! LOOK AT YOU! LOOK AT WHAT YOU'RE WEARING? DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHERE THAT CAME FROM? WHOSE HANDS MADE THAT SH*TTY FCKING ROBE?+
IT COULD BE HIM—THE SAME FCKING PSYCH0 WHO M*RDERED ALL THOSE PEOPLE! HOW CAN YOU— h-how can you be so fcking reckless and stup¡d?" Jeongguk has no idea what he's saying anymore,+
the words just kept on spilling out of his mouth, going all out of control. "You called me a hypocr¡te earlier, but aren't you one as well?"
"This?" Taehyung finally speaks, gripping the front of the thin silk robe that he's wearing. "You're calling me stup¡d because of this? Yes, I called you a hypocr¡te, yes I might be one too, +
but between us, you're the bigger hypocr¡te, Jeongguk! You!" Taehyung's voice breaks as soon as he raises it. "I maybe stup¡d, but we both know that you're not...+
Not a mind reader my as*s— you already know that you being with that fcking woman would hurt me, but you're still asking me to say it? YOU STILL WANT ME TO SAY IT?!"
"YES! WHY CAN'T YOU JUST ADMIT IT?!?" Jeongguk cuts Taehyung off, still so enraged that he can feel his words burn his throat.
"WHY THE FCK DO I STILL NEED TO ADMIT IT?! IF YOU ALREADY KNOW, WHY DO I STILL NEED TO SAY IT? WHY? DO YOU WANT ME TO LOOK EVEN MORE PATHETIC? DOES IT BOOST YOUR GOD*DAMN EGO TO SEE ME HURT— JEALOUS? IF SO THEN YES! YES!"+
Taehyung's already losing it as well as he repeatedly slams his palm against Jeongguk's chest. "I hate it. I hate it. I hate it so much. I hate how even after I told you what I saw back then— how it k¡lled me when we broke up, you still can't get rid yourself of that woman. +
Was she that good? Did fcking her feel so good you can't just cut her off? I'm here—" Taehyung says, rushing towards the drawer at the side of the couch, pulling out the bottles of lube, throwing them on Jeongguk's face.+
"Do you want it wet? Then fcking use this! Use all of it! I can buy more until your d¡ck drowns in sludge, fu*ck me all you want! Fu*ck!" Taehyung tugs his own hair in anger, face so red, looking like he's about to explode at any second. +
"D-do you know how I feel every-fcking-time I see you with her? Do you know what I hear inside this fcked up head of mine?— Your voice... You... I see you, her, I can hear you telling her how our love was nothing to you but just bullsh¡t.+
T-the only love that I had a-after I lost my father—the only love I have been desperately clinging onto, apparently was nothing but bullsh¡t. Useless, invaluable. I feel like trash— so pathetic I wanna get gobbled up by the ground, +
and you want me to say that outloud? H-how low should I reduce myself to, Jeongguk? H-how much pitiful do I still need to appear for you to see that I'm hurting... I-it hurts so much—+
it hurts so much that I want that woman to be the slasher's next victim. I want her to just fcking d¡e already— maybe when she's gone— +
w-when she's no longer here, I won't be hurting like this..." Taehyung says, feeling cold shivers run up his spine when he realized what he just said, making him start to sob uncontrollably, falling on his knees, +
hands covering his face, wailing like a lost kid; and as much as Jeongguk wanted to hold him— he can't, for he feels so guilty, he might as well drop de*ad at the moment.
Jeongguk then found himself crying silently while staring at Taehyung, reminding himself that he's one who's responsible for this. He did this. +
He's the reason why the same man he swore to love and protect is here, screaming all broken with his bitter tears.
"S-someone like me— I don't deserve you, Tae..." Jeongguk's lips curl up to a pained smile.+
"Say… Should we just end this? I thought that I— no— why the fck am I still bothering to talk? Let's just end this. Maybe getting back together wasn't a good idea after all." Jeongguk says,+
dropping himself on the couch, sitting because he feels so weak he couldn't possibly keep on standing up.
Taehyung suddenly felt that familiar stabbing pain inside his chest upon hearing what Jeongguk just said.
The fragile little world he's been striving to build has just imploded once more.
Just like before, this is what happens whenever he allows himself to appear vulnerable.
"Y-yeah... I think so, too. This— this is a mistake from the beginning," Taehyung says, dragging himself up from the floor and slowly walking towards his room, only to come to a halt by the door, glancing back at Jeongguk.+
"If you want to leave, I won't stop you, but do it when the sun is up tomorrow.... Also, if you're still going to help the investigation, I think the guy isn't Iseul. +
I'm betting on Han Seo-jun— the tailor," Taehyung says as he enters his room, leaning against the door he just closed on Jeongguk.
[Please play this as you read.]
Taehyung has no idea how many hours have passed, but he's still crying, flinching at any random sound, wondering if it's the sound of Jeongguk leaving.
Jeongguk is leaving.
Again— he's leaving.
As his eyes grew tired of crying, the realization of what just happened and what he just said came into Taehyung. He sat up, getting out of the bed, rushing outside in panic.
No, he definitely doesn't want it to end like this.
There, Taehyung bit his trembling lips, stopping himself from making any sound as he slowly approached Jeongguk who's staring at the ceiling, lying on his back on the couch.
The place remains de*ad silent as Taehyung carefully crawls on the couch, resting his head on Jeongguk's arms, wrapping his arms tightly around the latter's waist.
After everything they heard and all the things that they both said, Taehyung realized that he's relieved Jeongguk is still here.
Thank god, Jeongguk is still here.
None of them is saying a thing, but they could feel each other tremble, crying silently. A few more minutes passed and Taehyung felt Jeongguk's arm looping over his back, +
holding him by the arm, pulling him closer, hugging him tighter, while Taehyung clutches on Jeongguk's shirt, burying his damp face over the latter's shoulder.
"I-I didn't mean it... Everything I've said about us being a mistake— I didn't mean it," Taehyung confesses, his voice shaking as he tightens his grip on Jeongguk's shirt. "I'm sorry... P-please don't leave me— I love you," he pleads, and that's all Jeongguk needed to hear. +
Swinging his free arm up, Jeongguk hid his face behind his palm, sobbing so hard and loud, finally letting himself bawl it all out.
“Me too… I f*cking love you too, Taehyung… You have no idea.”
T/W// mentions of death&murder
<News today: January 1, 2022>
SEOUL — As the world celebrates the New Year, 28-year-old model and actress Akiko was discovered de*ad early Monday morning, January 1, 2022.
Police officers patrolling along the Han River identified the actress. She suffered a sta*b wound to her carotid artery,+
while some words too profane and graph¡c to be revealed publicly are alleged to be brut*ally carved on the actress's back. According to pol¡ce authorities—
— Dirty B¡tch — (words that were carved on Akiko's back.)
It's now 5:30 a.m., and both Jeongguk and Taehyung are still sleeping on the couch, oblivious to the fact that Jeongguk's phone just lit up after receiving a new message.
: Tick tock, tick tock, Jeongguk-ssi. One down, two to go. I hope we can meet properly when the fireworks light up the Han River once more.
T/W blood and violence
Note: The POV you're about to read below is a part of a fictional story. It is from a fictional character that is written to be mad, murderous and psychopathic. Read with caution. Read at your own risk.
[You can play this as you read.]
Date: December 31, 2021
Time: 09:45 p.m.
I'm not sure whether it's just me, but everytime I'm on the verge of going batsh¡t crazy, my body communicates with me. It starts with a tightness in my chest,+
a churning sensation in my stomach, my heart racing, muscles tensing up, I feel hot—so hot that I start sweating even in a chilly room, at times I even get dizzy— then everything goes mad as the red mist consumes me.
Right now, I'm feeling all of those things.
It's the type of anger that isn't fun for me.
Ah sh¡t, this will surely be messy.
I had planned my day in advance, as I usually do.
Before I went to bed last night, I already envisioned what would happen when I woke up the next day, but for some reason, things didn't go as predicted.
The gift I sent to Taehyung somehow made its way to J records, and even worse, it made its way into the hands of Jeon Jeongguk, arriving with a note that obviously distorted my true motive.
Jung-hyun, that fcker. Did he really believe I wouldn't figure out it was all his doing? I know he's the only one sick enough to even mimic my handwriting.+
He's probably still around, feeling accomplished, believing he could get away with fcking me up— but that's fine. I'll deal with him later as I've been itching to punish someone since earlier.
Except for the incident involving my gift to Taehyung, everything was going swimmingly. I was able to stand at Taehyung's side, I was allowed to touch him, doll him up, and make him pretty to my liking, but it was all ruined by one dirty b¡tch.
How dare she?
How dare that harlot upset Taehyung in front of me?
Who does she think she is?
— Clearly, the woman has no clue, so I'll take matters into my own hands to make her realize where she truly belongs.
It's now almost 10 in the evening, and the b¡tch had the audacity to go out drinking. I've been sitting here in my car, waiting in front of the club where she's in.+
It's been hours, and I'm beginning to wonder if I should just rush in and haul her out myself—but I can't. No, no, no... I know I can't be reckless, so I opted to wring the last of my patience instead.
Then, it happened.
A grin then curled up on my lips when I saw the b¡tch stepping out of the club to light a cigarette— disgusting habit, really— smoking, I mean.
Whatever. Carpe diem, they say, but sadly for her, this will be her last day.
"Akiko-ssi," I said as I pulled in front of her, rolling down my windows, smiling to avoid looking suspicious. Fortunately, I'm familiar with the location, so I'm aware that the CCTV cameras in this area are just for show.
"You? What are you doing here?" She asks while taking a long drag of her cigarette, damn smoke getting inside my car, fck.
"*cough* Ah, I was actually looking for you. I was told that you'd be here. You see, there appears to be a problem with one of your outfits for tomorrow. One of our staff sadly lost your measurements,+
so we might need you to come by at the studio tonight— only if it's possible, of course," I said, scratching the back of my head to hide my fake smile, which had instinctively dropped due to my impatience.
"Seriously? How incompetent can you guys be?" she asks, rolling her eyes at me—fck this b¡tch, really. "Tch, whatever, wait here. I'll just get my purse."
"Ah! No need, please... We're in a hurry; the studio's just around the corner; it'll be quick, I promise," I said, refusing to waste another minute on someone who is clearly not worth it.
"*Sigh* Fine, you better drive me back, alright? I'm not done drinking," she says, stomping on her cigarette as she climbs into the back seat of my car like the damn diva that she is.
Hah, I seriously need more patience to deal with this woman— or maybe not. Pfft.
"You seem a little tipsy, Akiko-ssi... Would you like a drink?— Just to sober up a bit?" I asked, still smiling, as I gave her a bottle of hangover drink.
"Tch," She merely clicks her tongue, accepting the bottle; and from the rear view mirror, I smiled, watching her open the cap before taking one... big... gulp.
A few seconds later, b¡tch fell unconscious on the back seat of my car.
Date: December 31, 2021
Time: 11: 50 p.m.
The dark night skies are now flickering bright, sparks of colored fire and light exploding outside.
Blue, orange, gold— but right now, there's only one dark shade in my eyes.
Time: 11: 51
She screamed as I pushed her to the ground, forcing her to lie down on her stomach before stripping her naked, cutting off the back of the hideous, poorly made dress she was wearing.
No, I'm not interested in her body.
This isn't sexual at all—far from it actually.
It is to brand her outer shell, to put a label on it, before I completely free her soul. Then, once her soul gets liberated, she will be able to look back and see a clear example of what not to be if she is reborn as a different person.
Hopefully by then, she'll know better.
"S-stop... P-please, stop—"
"What are you?" I asked, but she refused to answer. She just kept on wailing and shouting, and I'm getting absolutely sick of hearing it.
Ah, how troublesome indeed.
"Dirty b¡tch." I said.
"Y-you're sick—" she pauses, eyes growing wider as I straddle her behind, pressing my weight onto her, keeping her pinned down on the ground.
"What are you?"
"S-stop! *sniff* p-please... D-don't do this..."
"I asked you a question, didn't I?" I tried again, still, I got no answer.
Tch, she's a hopeless case, really.
"You should repeat after me Akiko-ssi... Dirty b¡tch— that's what you are, okay? Dirty b¡tch. You're nothing, but a dirty b¡tch." I said, and again, she gave me nothing but her ear shattering screams echoing throughout the place.
Time: 11: 53
My black leather gloves are now stained red after I carved the first letter of this woman's ‘true’ identity.
Her screams are no longer discernible. She was lying on her stomach, fighting fiercely, attempting to escape, so I slammed her face on the floor. That appeared to finally silence her.
D. I. R. T. Y
Dirty— yes, that word suits her perfectly.
Letter by letter, she goes more silent by the second, her body turning weaker.
"W-why are you doing this to me?" She asks, lips trembling as he speaks.
"Why? Well—" I paused, thinking of where to begin.
"I d-didn't do anything to you... S-so why?" She asks again.
I have to laugh really.
"Why, you ask? Mhm... Let's just say that it's because I know this is what 'he' wants... I know, because I know him better than anyone." I said, recalling the look on Taehyung's eyes. "Fck..." I groaned, tilting my head back, feeling myself getting hard inside my pants.
"H-he? Who? Who are you talking about?" I heard her ask me again, but my mind is already wandering elsewhere, thinking of Taehyung again. "Who? T-tell me... Who made you do this? Who?" She says, but I'm really not in the mood to hear what he just said.
Taehyung, Taehyung— my Kim Taehyung.
I saw it.
His eyes— lost but sharp, full of pain and anger, hate and hunger— hunger for revenge.
Hungry to get even.
"P-please... Call him—whoever that person is. Call him... I'll apologize... I'll say sorry— you don't have to do this..."
God, this b¡tch just won't shut up.
"He won't talk to you." I said with a wide grin on my face. "He won't hear you... He hates you. Pfft..." I couldn't help but laugh, watching as Akiko's terrified eyes turned mad.
"W-why? Why?— WHY WHY WHY WHY?!!!!— LET ME OUT! G-GET OFF ME! LET ME OUT!" Akiko statted screaming again, fcking b¡tch, I'm now tempted to cut her tongue off and make her swallow it.
But I need to calm down.
Let's just think of Taehyung.
My, my Taehyung is just so fcking beautiful that I'd even give him the world if he ask me to.
But for now, this is the least that I can do.
"*Sigh* There, there... We're almost done, so quit asking, alright?" I said as I gently stroked her filthy damaged hair.
What a waste. Even her hair is useless. Poor thing.
Then, I started writing on her back again, blood splattering everywhere.
Time: 11: 58
B. ¡. T. C. H
I've finally finished carving the second and last word, cutting up her skin like a rough fabric, and Akiko-ssi is no longer making any sound at this point. She's just lying motionless under me.+
Her eyes remained half-open, her mouth agape, blood on her nose, her own vomit smeared under her cheek.
"We're done, so can you answer me now? What are you, Akiko-ssi?" I asked her one last time, expecting her to know the answer by now.
"D-dirty b¡tch," she finally said, her eyes dark and lifeless.
"Finally... Well then, good luck. I hope you try better next time— in another life." I said, graciously giving her my blessing as I gripped the handle of my scissors tight, swinging my arms up in an angle, before burying the sharp tip on her neck.
She let out one last strained grunt, then everything turned silent.
Silence that only lasted for a couple of seconds.
Date: January 01, 2022
The sound of fireworks began to explode, lighting up the night skies outside once more.
"Do you love me?" I asked as I rose to my feet, watching as her blood began to pool beneath her body.
"Pfft... It's alright; I don't really need someone like you to answer that."
[END OF SOMEONE'S POV]
[You can play this as you read.]
If you lie down with me
Jeongguk awoke with a weight pressing down his stomach, soft lips on his neck, leaving a cool damp sensation on his skin, luring him out of his deep sleep.
"Mhm... Morning." Jeongguk says, still half asleep, seeing Taehyung straddling his waist, sitting on top of him.
"S-sorry... Did I wake you up?" Taehyung asks, looking so innocent but still devastatingly stunning as well.
"I'm not complaining." Jeongguk couldn't help but smile, stretching his arm up, gently caressing Taehyung's cheek, tucking some strands of the latter's long hair behind his ear.
".. 'm just making sure that you're real—that you're still here..." Taehyung pauses, leaning forward, pressing his elbows at the sides of Jeongguk's head, hovering over the latter's face. +
"You didn't leave—why didn't you leave?" Taehyung asks, as if he still doesn't know how Jeongguk will answer that.
"Because you're here. Why would I— how could I leave?" Jeongguk sits up, taking Taehyung with him, softly chuckling when the latter wraps his long legs around his waist like a big baby.
"But last night—"
"Last night has already passed; it's all in the past... The sun is up now," Jeongguk says as he runs his fingers through Taehyung's hair.
"I'm sorry... I pretended I didn't know I was already hurting you," Taehyung confesses, recalling Jeongguk's anguished cries last night. "I was being difficult, wasn't I?" Taehyung smiles.
"A little bit, yes... Well, you had your reasons. I should've been more patient," Jeongguk answers, pressing a chaste kiss on Taehyung's cheek.
"You've been patient enough. It's me who's getting more and more messed up— I even hit a woman," Taehyung says, resting his forehead on Jeongguk's shoulder as Jeongguk rubs soothing circles on his back. "It's so embarrassing..."
"It was— so don't ever do that again," Jeongguk says, pushing back a little so he can cup Taehyung's face and make the latter look at him. "But thank you for sticking up for me. I should've been firmer with her over my boundaries—our boundaries. +
Although I do not condone violence, I'd really be a hypocrite if I say that she didn't deserve it— that slap, I mean." Jeongguk adds, rubbing the tip of his nose against Taehyung's.
"I really have no idea what's happening to me. I feel like I'm becoming more and more like a ticking time b0mb." Taehyung says with a pout on his lips and Jeongguk swore he's about to melt at how adorable Taehyung is.
"Pfft, I can't say you aren't. We need to calm down though... We can't afford to break right now... You need to trust me—I'll do that too. I'll trust you, Taehyung," Jeongguk says, +
shifting his gaze from Taehyung's eyes to the latter's lips, which Taehyung noticed, prompting him to lick his lips instinctively.
"I trust you— I think? Well, it's that woman I don't like. I can't stand her, Guk... I really can't," Taehyung says, taking another deep breath, leaning down, nuzzling his face against the crook of Jeongguk's neck, seeking to soothe himself using the latter's scent.
"I'll talk to her—no, we'll do it, you and I. If she still refuses to cooperate, I'll take her out of the project and just pay the fines for breach of contract. It's no big deal..." Jeongguk sighs deeply, +
feeling Taehyung's wet tongue swirling behind his ear before bringing his lips back to his neck, placing feather light kisses over his skin. +
"I should've done that from the start... I'm sorry," Jeongguk says, regretting allowing this to happen when he could've avoided it from the beginning if only he'd been sensitive enough to consider Taehyung's feelings.
"Mhm... You should've— yes... I was so upset," Taehyung murmurs, his deep voice vibrating against Jeongguk's skin, causing the latter to shudder involuntarily,+
dropping his hands on Taehyung's waist, clutching it hard as Taehyung began to rock his hips sensually on top of him.
"I'm sorry, baby... Please forgive me." Jeongguk whispers, breathing heavily as his eyes flutter close, now feeling Taehyung's lips on his own.
"This is silly—we are," Taehyung says, flicking his tongue over Jeongguk's lips, coaxing the latter to open his mouth, which he does, allowing Taehyung to slide his tongue inside.
They both exhaled a sigh of relief and kissed slowly, savoring each other's taste in their mouths, while Taehyung continued to move, grinding his hips in a circular motion on Jeongguk's lap,+
letting out a moan when Jeongguk's hands slid down from his waist to his behind, squeezing his a:ss hard enough to leave marks.
"You're distracting me," Jeongguk says in between kisses, pulling back after reminding himself that they shouldn't really be doing this— for now at least.
"Distracting you from what?" Taehyung asks, clicking his tongue in frustration, deciding to just unbutton his shirt because Jeongguk is now refusing to kiss him back.
"Fck, Tae," Jeongguk hisses, unable to stop himself from pulling one side of Taehyung's shirt off the latter's shoulder, his lips finding their way to Taehyung's nipple. "We— we have a lot to do today," Jeongguk whispers,+
his eyes rolling back as he carefully laps his tongue around Taehyung's nipple, getting it instantly hard while teasing the other with his deft fingers.
"Nngh... Like what? C'mon... We just made up, can't we play around for a while?" Taehyung sighs, grabbing Jeongguk's hair and pressing the latter's face more into his chest.
"W-we can... But we have to apologize to the staff and director for what happened yesterday, and then we also have to deal with Akiko," Jeongguk says as he continues to lick Taehyung's now hard nipple. "She's a spiteful woman, Tae. She might sue you—"
"I don't care. In case you have forgotten, I'm a damn good lawyer. I'm capable of defending myself," Taehyung replies, pushing his a:ss down and up, now bouncing on Jeongguk's clothed c0ck.
"Nngh... S-sh¡t... I know— but we also have Iseul to deal with—" Jeongguk continues, recalling what Taehyung told him last night during their argument.+
"And Seo-jun. You have to tell me about that guy, Tae. Why do you think he's the slasher?" Jeonggul asks, his boner entirely deadened by the subject. "Do you have any proof?"
"*Sigh*No, I don't," Taehyung responds, suddenly not feeling like doing anything naughty after Jeongguk mentioned Seo-jun.
"Then why him? I mean, I'm willing to listen, but isn't Song Iseul more suspicious?" Jeongguk says again, watching as Taehyung takes his hand and brings it over his neck, pressing it precisely against the plaster that's still there.
"Do you remember this?" Taehyung asks, pertaining to the wound on his neck.
"Of course, it's only been a few days... How could I forget?" Jeongguk replies as he softly brushes his thumb over the plaster.+
"Was it because of this that you suspected him?" Jeongguk inquires, concerned as to why Taehyung suspects Han Seo-jun more than Song Iseul.
"A part of it, yes— but there's something more... I couldn't really explain it, and to be honest, I'm still not sure if it was real or if I was just seeing things, but... B-but when he cut me here..." Taehyung says, now firmly meeting Jeongguk's gaze. +
"I think... I think I caught him smiling," Taehyung finally admits, although he's not sure if he should really tell Jeongguk about all this.
"W-what? He was what?"
"*Sigh* Smiling— it was just for a split second, but I swear-.." Taehyung gulped nervously, "No, don't mind me... As I've said, I'm not even sure about it. Y'see, something's been happening to me lately." Taehyung continues,+
now staring at his palm that's trembling all of a sudden. "Maybe I'm really going crazy... I don't know what's happening anymore, like I'm spiraling out of control... Jimin even told me that I've changed, that I'm expressing myself more now than before. +
I didn't mind it at first, but now that I think about it, he might be right. When we went to see Chang Sujin's family, I felt so horrible after hearing his father's story—I felt his rage, his desire for vengeance—that I wished I could do something right away.+
Then yesterday, when I saw you with that woman, I was so enraged that I felt like I could k¡ll someone... In fact, if you hadn't stopped me—if you hadn't restrained me—I would've-.."
"Hush now... You don't really need to explain to me now, Tae. I get it— I understand. You've changed? No, trust me, you haven't." Jeongguk says, cupping Taehyung's face. +
"You may not be aware of it because you've been striving to keep a certain kind of image for yourself, but you've always been like this, Tae." Jeongguk says, watching as Taehyung furrows his brows, trying to process what he just said.
"What do you mean?"
"You're human. You're capable of feeling— too much of everything sometimes, actually. You get sad, upset, angry, happy, horny, pfft... And, at least with me, you've never been shy about showing it." Jeongguk smiled as he leaned in and kissed Taehyung on the cheek.
"T-that's not true..." Taehyung stutters, averting Jeongguk's gaze.
"You don't believe me? Why? D'you think Park Jimin knows you better than me? Bullsh¡t." Jeongguk smirks teasingly, switching up the mood, hoping that Taehyung would stop over thinking.
"That's not it—.."
"Bet I can tell you what's running inside your mind right now." Jeongguk says, tilting Taehyung's face towards him again. "You're probably wondering how could I say such things when you've spent more time with that other prosecutor friend of yours+
than the time we spent being in a relationship before." Jeongguk says, grinning triumphantly when Taehyung's eyes grew wide, staring at him in shock.
It's true. That's exactly what Taehyung was thinking before Jeongguk mentioned it.
Mentally, Taehyung was doubting Jeongguk's claim, considering that he and Jeongguk had only been in a relationship for two years before they parted ways, while Taehyung spent a good five to six years being close friends with Jimin.
"So I'm right? Mhm... Let me try again— right now, you're probably wondering if I can actually read your mind," Jeongguk says, pressing his forehead into Taehyung's. "I can," Jeongguk says, looking Taehyung in the eyes. +
"By now you should know— that even though you may have spent more years together with other people, and we may have wasted more years being apart— still, no one knows you better than I do, Taehyung... I am the only one who knows you inside out, +
because whether you admit it or not, you and I both know that I am the only one you have allowed to get close enough." Jeongguk says with confidence— not the taunting kind of confidence, not even proud.+
He's confident because he knows and he's sure that he's right.
He is, and Taehyung knows that as well.
"So, you really don't think something is wrong with me?" Taehyung asks.
"Nothing's wrong with you, except that maybe you've been overthinking lately." Jeongguk says, pressing a soft kiss on Taehyung's lips, then he pulls back with a bright smile on his face— bright enough for Taehyung to believe him. +
"Nothing is wrong with feeling and expressing your emotions. Nothing's wrong with smiling, crying, getting angry— there's nothing wrong with having doubts or fears.+
To me, you're perfect, baby. So I hope you stop worrying too much about it." Jeongguk says, making Taehyung smile sheepishly at him, finally.
"Now, about Song Iseul, there's something I'd like to know... Why do you believe he's innocent?" Jeongguk asks once more.
"I don't know... He may appear austere and cold, but still there's warmth. He seem to be passionate about his job; and, while it may not be obvious at first glance, he is also quite considerate of other people-.."
"Tae, he could be faking it, y'know?"
"No... That's the thing— for some reason, I truly believe that he's being real. When he smiles, it doesn’t fade quickly... What I'm trying to say is that his emotions don't seem rehearsed. +
I think that he's simply the type of person who's not very expressive. I don't think he's psychopathic, he just has his own principles, and he seems to follow them religiously— just like me. +
Well, at least just like how I used to be." Taehyung said, which made Jeongguk be silent for a couple of seconds. "I could be wrong—"
"Or you could be right... For now, I still don't want you to get too close to that guy, but we'll keep a watch on Han Seo-jun too." Jeongguk sighs, realizing that Taehyung was right when he told him not to focus on just one person. +
He'd been so fixated on Iseul that he'd missed other people's actions; he hadn't even suspected Han Seo-Jun.
"I'm sorry... I should've listened to you from the start. I shouldn't have dismissed your ideas," Jeongguk says, his head lowering and resting against Taehyung's chest.
"Well, I should've been more upfront with you as well... A lot has been going on, and I guess we got too caught up in the middle," Taehyung says as he rubs calming circles on Jeongguk's back, drawing the latter closer to him as well.
"We're really bad at this, aren't we?" Jeongguk asks, raising his head, a resigned smile on his face as he meets Taehyung's gaze.
"Mhm... I guess we are." Taehyung replies, about to lean in and kiss Jeongguk again when they both stilled, hearing a knock on the door so early in the morning.
"Are we expecting anyone?" Jeongguk asks.
"Not that I'm aware of... Wait, I'll go check," Taehyung says as he fixes his shirt, gets off Jeongguk's lap and walks directly to the door.
"Who—" Taehyung freezes, realizing who is standing at his door with a group of other police officers. "Hobi-ah, what's going on here?" Taehyung asks, suddenly feeling uneasy after noticing Hobi's stern demeanor.
"Morning, Tae..." Hobi pauses as he forces a smile. "We're hoping to get your statement—this is over the incident yesterday at J records. +
We heard that you had a verbal altercation with the model/actress Akiko, and we'd like to invite you for questioning," Hobi says, making Taehyung smirk, choking out a taunting sneer.
"Wow, so she really pressed charges against me, huh? I—"
"No— no, she didn't... Shin Akiko is d*ead, Tae... Murd*red to be exact," Hobi stated, causing Taehyung's smirk to slowly fade as the latter realized what’s going on and why the pol¡ce are here in his apartment.
Akiko is d*ead, and now Taehyung’s a suspect.
TW // graphic description of violence, death and murder
[You can play this as you read this update.]
Take my Soul (inst.)
After hearing what Hobi said, Jeongguk feels as if a b0mb has just exploded in front of his face. Akiko is de:ad.
M:urdered—and the police are here to question Taehyung, most likely as a suspect.
"H-Hobi-ah... Hyeongsa-nim.... What did you say?—.." Jeongguk almost couldn't hear himself speak, feeling a huge knot forming in his throat. He was about to pull Taehyung behind him when Taehyung stopped him, placing his hand on Jeongguk's chest.
"It's okay, Guk. It's no big deal. They're just doing their jobs— following standard procedure," Taehyung says calmly before turning back to Hobi. +
"Do you mind if I get dressed first? As you can see, I'm still in my sleepwear," Taehyung continues, while Hobi simply nods his head, looking apologetically at both Taehyung and Jeongguk.
"By the way, you can go in; I'll be quick," Taehyung says again as he walks towards his room to change.
Hobi, who is now sitting on the couch with the other police officers on his team behind him, can plainly feel the tension in the room as he faces a clearly disoriented Jeongguk.
"Jeongguk... I know what this looks like, but please calm down. I also didn't want to do this, since I know that Taehyung's definitely innocent— I mean, he couldn't... I know he would never-.."
**'Do you have a de:ath wish?' ***
**'I'm asking you, do you want to d¡e?'**
Jeongguk then remembered what Taehyung had just told Akiko the day before; the look on his face, his dark, sharp, and vacuous eyes, the way he grasped her hair and yanked it back, desensitized to the other people around.
Cold shivers ran up Jeongguk's spine.
"Time of de:ath... What's her time of de:ath?" Jeongguk felt a wave of fear flood through him as a certain thought flashed through his head, making him quickly regret what he had just asked Hobi, for he knew what it implied in his mind, even if he doesn't voice it out.
'Fck... What on earth am I thinking?' Jeongguk muses as his own guilt for daring to mistrust Taehyung consumes him.
"Around midnight, according to the initial autopsy. Why?" Hobi asks, perplexed as to why Jeongguk appears to be somewhat guilty. "You were here with Tae at that time, right?" Hobi felt the need to inquire.
"I was. I got here around 9 p.m., we can stop by the reception to get a copy of the security footage from last night. I can also tell you my whereabouts yesterday before I got home if needed," Taehyung says, approaching them in the living room,+
now fully dressed, and for some reason Jeongguk couldn't bring himself to look at him; ashamed, knowing that Taehyung probably already knew what was running through his head when he heard him ask about Akiko's time of de:ath.
"*Sigh* Thank you, Tae..." Hobi exhales deeply, finally finding some relief.
"Don't worry, I understand— but just so you know, given our location, m:urdering someone and disposing of the body cannot be done in just under 2 hours.+
Now if you're coming with us, then we better get moving," Taehyung says with a rather sad smile on his face.
"Right, yeah, o-okay... I'll just get my jacket," Jeongguk replies, rising to his feet, ignoring his now unsteady knees and his heart that’s full of guilt.
Taehyung was eventually exonerated of any suspicion after nearly an hour. All it took was CCTV evidence of Taehyung arriving at their apartment building about nine p.m., +
without him leaving that night again, and Jeongguk's sworn statement that he was with Taehyung the entire evening.
"I'm sorry to have put you through this, Tae... Please know that we're just following protocol. When we interviewed Shin Akiko's acquaintances, they mentioned your name and what happened in J records yesterday," Yoongi, the one who interviewed Taehyung in this case, explains.
"It's okay, I know... Now, about that woman... How did she d¡e? Can you tell me more details?" Taehyung asks Yoongi, who is sitting between Hobi, Jimin and Namjoon, while Jeongguk stands behind Taehyung.+
"I'm still a part of the investigative team, aren't I?" Taehyung asks, feeling strangely as though everyone is staring at him, waiting for him to break and make a mistake.
"Of course you are. *Sigh* Well, she d¡ed basically like the others who were k¡lled by that blasted slasher— maybe with just a few minor differences in the injuries she sustained," Yoongi says, then proceeding to tell Taehyung more about their new case.
Shin Akiko, 28, had her face completely wrecked, broken nose, one of her front teeth missing, bruises and wounds on her cheeks, crushed ribs, limbs torn apart and crushed from the inside of her skin, +
a single stab wound on her neck precisely puncturing her carotid artery, and the words 'D¡rty B¡tch' brutally carved on her back like some sort of twisted label, with no signs of her being se:xually as:saulted.
Jeongguk felt his stomach churn upside down while listening to the details of Akiko's m:urder; cold sweat flowing from his head down to his back,+
and when they showed them some of Akiko's photos when she was found, Jeongguk found himself tearing up.
"E-excuse me. I think I need to step out for a moment," Jeongguk says, turning towards the door before Taehyung notices him crying for the woman who sparked their quarrel the night before.
"Is he okay?— Doesn't seem like it," Yoongi asks Taehyung concerning Jeongguk.
"H-he's friends with the victim... S-shin Akiko, I mean," Taehyung says, feeling like he's about to vomit the moment Akiko's name slipped past his lips.
"How about you? Are /you/ okay?" Jimin asks, noting Taehyung's face has turned pale.
"Of course I am," Taehyung says.
"Taehyung, can we talk outside?" Joon asks, getting to his feet with a serious expression on his face, walking out the door, urging Taehyung to follow.
'He's not here...' Taehyung thinks as he sees Jeongguk is nowhere to be found outside Yoongi's office.
"He's probably in the pantry. You can go to him after... I just need to confirm something." Joon says, noticing that Taehyung seems to be looking for Jeongguk, then he leads Taehyung inside the fire exit.
"What is it?" Taehyung said, taking his pack of cigarettes and lighter from his pocket and lighting a stick, craving a hit of nicotine.
"Don't misunderstand... I am certain that you had nothing to do with Shin Akiko's de:ath... But I know the story— from five years ago; Jeongguk told me all about it while you were in a coma...+
*Sigh* So, what I'm trying to verify, is that you are aware that Shin Akiko's m:urder will be probed as part of the Seoul Slasher case, correct?+
Do you think you can continue working on this case and seek justice for the m:urder of the woman who basically ruined your past relationship?" Joon asks,+
allowing Taehyung to hear the reality he's been subconsciously trying to avoid since learning what happened to Akiko this morning.
It was a hard pill to swallow, and Taehyung now feels as though the entire world is against him.
From there, a smirk then curled on Taehyung's lips.
"She's just another d:ead body now, isn't she? What's the big deal?" Taehyung asks, subtly hiding his trembling hands behind him.
"If you're worried that I'll botch this case on purpose just because I have a grudge against one of the victims— don't bother," Taehyung says, loosening his necktie because talking about it makes him feel somewhat stuffy. +
"I'm even more eager to find that psych0 now... I want to thank him personally," Taehyung adds coldly as he takes a step forward, halting just beside Joon, taking another long drag of his cig.+
"I didn't go through law school just to let my personal life interfere with my work, so don't worry too much— geomsanim," Taehyung says, talking to Joon formally, not to mock the latter with his sarcasm,+
but to stress that just like Joon, he's a graduate of law too— he is a prosecutor too.
And now, he has no time to think about such trifling matters and petty feelings.
With that thought, Taehyung dropped his cigarette and stepped out of the fire exit, while Joon massaged the bridge of his nose, shaking his head, trying to compose himself, knowing that everything could turn out to be a disaster.
On his way back to Yoongi's office, Taehyung noticed Jeongguk waiting by the door, his back against the wall.
"Where have you been?" Jeongguk asks, turning to face Taehyung, who is now standing just a few steps away from him.
"Just there... You?" Taehyung asks, and when Jeongguk lifts his gaze, he is struck by Taehyung's lifeless and empty visage.
"Let's not talk about it here... We have a lot of other things to do right now," Taehyung says, patting Jeongguk's shoulder before striding past him and straight into Yoongi's office.
In that brief silence as he stands alone by the door, Jeongguk knew— he fcked up once more.
"Fourteen. We have fourteen unsolved m:urder cases here so far— presumably done by just one person, at least based on our records," Yoongi says,+
projecting all the slasher's alleged victims from previous cases that are uncannily similar—that, based on the victim's injuries as well as their manner of death.
They all have a single stab wound on their necks, and the majority of them have a circular patch carved off of their scalp on the crowns of their heads.
"From Park Jihye to Chang Su-jin, the manner of de:ath and injuries are all the same, but Kang Nari, Han Seo-an, and the most recent victim, Shin Akiko, d¡ed in a slightly different way. +
[a/n: see photo for reference]
Kang d¡ed of asphyxiation despite having a stab wound on her neck; Han Seo-an was stabbed at the train station with nothing taken from his scalp; +
then Shin Akiko, who has the words D¡rty B¡tch carved on the skin of her back." Hobi says, directing the laser pointer on the projected image of the victims' names in front of them.
"Then there's the four who d¡ed during the encounter at CC's, which will be difficult to connect with the slasher's case given that their de:aths didn't seem well planned at all, but those four: Bae Ji-sub, Ha Seon-ho, Do Dong-seok, Ahn Si-won, +
all had the same stab wound on their necks, but nothing was taken out from the scalps of their heads, presumably because of the location and the situation back then." Jimin says, joining the discussion as well.
"I can't seem to find the pattern here— like how does he select his victims? Sure, most of them were public figures, but there were others who weren't. Chang Su-jin was just a university student, while Han Seo-an was a bodyguard.+
Speaking of Han Seo-an, I don't understand why the slasher would k¡ll him at the train station with all those people—." Taehyung pauses, feeling Jeongguk’s hand on his arm.
"Han Seo-an was my bodyguard, Tae," Jeongguk confesses. The rest of the investigation team already knows, but Taehyung doesn't, which explains the look of shock on the latter's face.
"What?" Taehyung asks, as Jeongguk has not mentioned this to him before.
"I did my own research on the slasher and all of his victims while you were in a coma. I've spoken with some of the past victims' families, but sadly I haven't found anyone willing to cooperate… +
I was aware that what I was doing was fraught with risk, and it still is, so as you know, I hired my own security team. Han Seo-an was one of the guards that worked for me. +
Considering how he d¡ed, I believe it was also because of me," Jeongguk says, lowering his head in shame and guilt. Shame for not telling Taehyung everything he knows from the get go, and guilt for Han Seo-an's m:urder.
"*Sigh* When did this happen, exactly?" Taehyung asks, taking a deep breath to relax.
"The day you woke from a coma, I left my previous home and used three of my bodyguards as decoys so I could move safely to Cheongdamdong.+
I guess the b:astard followed Seo-an believing he was me, and then k¡lled him out of wrath when he discovered he had been deceived," Jeongguk continues, still unable to meet Taehyung's gaze.
"Are there other things you're not telling me?" Taehyung asks again, his fists clenched.
"You two can talk about it later; for now, let's look at the map," Joon decides to step in to keep everyone on course.
"All right... The map," Taehyung replies, staring at Jeongguk for a few seconds before returning his attention to the screen.
"Most of the victims' remains were discarded over the Han River, including Kang Nari, Chang Su-jin, and Shin Akiko; Moon Gae-young in Sokcho, Gangwon-do, and Park Jihye in Samcheok.+
Lee Haru was found in Aeryeonji, Seoul, while Son, Kim, and Chang Hanbin were discovered floating in the waters of the Han River, also in Seoul. +
Han Seo-an was stabbed and left at the Gangnam metro station, while the other four were stabbed and left to bleed out in CC's," Yoongi says, tracing the map where the victims' bodies were discovered, showing the others where he will eventually dispatch his officers.
"If we analyze this, I think the Seoul Slasher is an organized serial k¡ller with tendencies to be disorganized or k¡ll impulsively as well. Now, if we want to figure out how he chooses his victims, we should start with those he has k¡lled in a strikingly similar fashion, +
because those appear to have been planned, not done on the whim of the situation." Taehyung says, switching the slide to the victims' profiles again.+
"Park Jihye, Chang Hanbin, Moon Gae-young, Kim Yejin, Son Ji-hyun, Lee Haru, Chang Sujin— I'll be adding Kang Nari here as well, despite her cause of de:ath being asphyxiation, +
for everything else from her injuries and the patch on her scalp was the same with the rest," Taehyung continues as Hobi updates the list.
"What about Shin Akiko?" Yoongi asks, causing Taehyung to clench his jaw, getting that unsettling feeling coiling inside his stomach once more.
"She's a public figure who was k¡lled in the same manner— I think we could add her as well," Taehyung replies, his gaze shifting away from Akiko's portrait on the screen.
From there, the rest of them continued the briefing by assessing the victimology of those on their updated list, highlighting the victims' similarities in order to determine how the slasher selects the majority of his victims.
"First, they're all visibly attractive people who have worked in the entertainment industry in some capacity—perhaps with the exception of Chang Sujin, who was still in university. +
Fair and unblemished complexion, long lashes, plump lips, a sharp and high nose bridge, and slender built, but apart from those, I can't really find any other similarities—."
"They all have long hair, even the males had hair past their shoulders," Jeongguk points out, drawing the attention of the others.
"You're right. They all have long hair, Chang Su-jin included." Joon says,
"Do you think that'll be the cause for the carved patch on the victims' heads?" Jeongguk adds, overworking the gears in his head once more.
"As a souvenir?" Hobi questions, noting that serial k¡llers are known to take something from their victims as a momento—like a trophy to remember the m:urders they committed.
"Perhaps, but why the scalp—or was it really the hair he's after?" Yoongi says, causing everyone to think carefully as they continue their discussion.
The briefing for the slasher's case went on until late afternoon before Yoongi decided to call it a day as they waited for Shin Akiko's full autopsy results.
Taehyung and Jeongguk are now back in their apartment, awkwardly treading carefully around each other.
"Tae..." Jeongguk says as he sits alongside Taehyung on the couch, breaking the silence between them.
"Hmm?" Taehyung replied with a dull hum, staring blankly into the wall.
"I'm sorry." Jeongguk says.
"It wasn't me... Shin Akiko, I didn't k¡ll her, Jeongguk," Taehyung says, leaning back on the couch and tilting his slightly to the left of Jeongguk.
"I know..." Jeongguk replies, inching closer to Taehyung , gently laying the side of the latter's head on his shoulder.
"But why do I feel like I did?" Taehyung wonders, sighing deeply and closing his eyes, reliving the darkness that nearly devoured him last night.+
"My hands are clean, but I still feel dirty," he adds as Jeongguk takes his hand in his and intertwines their fingers.
"Don't... You did nothing wrong—"
"I did... In my head, at least. I hate her so much, I wanted her to d¡e... Maybe that's why I'm feeling this way, because I c-can't..." Taehyung pauses as his voice breaks, +
prompting him to sit up, dropping his head, hiding his face behind his palms, as he feels like crying again.
"You know it, too; that's why you still asked for her time of de:ath despite the fact that we were together the night it happened; Y-you can read me like an open book, so I couldn't really deny it even if I wanted to," Taehyung says, +
his eyes glazed with tears as he glances at Jeongguk again. "I wanted her d:ead. I— I wanted her to d¡e, and now that she's gone, I don't even feel guilty about it... I-instead, I'm relieved...+
No, a part of me is actually happy that she's no longer here... I-I'm sorry," Taehyung confesses, ashamed by what he just said, even after knowing the details of Akiko's tragic and gruesome end.
Jeongguk found himself speechless. To be honest, he's still in shock at Akiko's d:eath, but hearing Taehyung's sentiments made him feel responsible as well.
Taehyung is clearly blaming himself, and as much as Jeongguk believes Akiko did not deserve such a dreadful d:eath, he cannot watch Taehyung in this kind of distress.
"You're not obligated to feel bad for everyone's d:eath. It wasn't your fault; you didn't k¡ll her—"
"I didn't, but I wanted to... In fact, if nobody stopped me yesterday, I would have definitely k¡lled her myself..." Taehyung trembles as he speaks, his eyes wide, pupils dilated, tears streaming down his cheeks.
"No— listen to me, Tae," Jeongguk replies, cupping Taehyung's face and wiping the latter's tears with his thumb. "It wasn't your fault... You didn't k¡ll her. +
Sure, you may have felt an urge to do so, but you didn't act on it... You went home— to me, here." Jeongguk says, taking a long breath before taking his phone, finally deciding not to keep anything from Taehyung.
"If anything... I should be the one feeling more guilty," Jeongguk says, showing Taehyung the first note and the text message he received— presumably from the slasher just this morning.+
"That b:astard believes this is a game, and I am the one he's playing with— not you, Tae... Not you," Jeongguk says, a dangerous type of rage coursing through his veins once more.
"Kang Nari, Lee Haru, Han Seo-an, Akiko—maybe even Chang Su-jin... Their d:eaths are all connected to me. They d¡ed because I was too arrogant to challenge the damn devil," Jeongguk laments, now crying himself, the victims' d:eaths weighing on him.
: Tick tock, tick tock, Jeongguk-ssi. One down, two to go. I hope we can meet properly when the fireworks light up the Han River once more.
Taehyung sat there, staring at the slasher's most recent message to Jeongguk, and from there, as if hearing a loud wake-up call, he began to realize something.
Jeongguk has been bearing all of this burden on his own, while all he's done is wallow in his own dark thoughts, allowing his demons to eat him little by little;+
doing nothing as Jeongguk desperately fights to save them both, going head to head against the psych0path on his own.
A bitter laugh then escapes Taehyung's lips as if he's just been woken up to this cruel reality, finally— truly realizing that the world doesn't revolve around his own fears— that he isn't the only one suffering.
"Is it too late for me to join the game? I hope not," Taehyung asks, looking straight into Jeongguk's eyes, "Tae—.."
"Use me, Guk... I'm sorry it took me this long, but I think I'm now done being afraid of my demons— I want to be friends with them instead." Taehyung pauses as he reaches up, caressing Jeongguk's face. +
"In our line of work, it was said that if you want to catch a psycho, you have to think like one as well, and fortunately for me, I'm already half-way there," Taehyung says,+
picking up all his broken parts, deciding to just embrace his fears and make use of the darkness he's already in.
[Three Days Later...]
Due to Akiko's sudden d:eath, the filming of Jeongguk's latest project has been postponed, and will only be resuming today.
With a stronger resolve and a new, more fearless plan, Jeongguk and Taehyung are now back in J records, prepared to finally— properly retaliate.
Akiko's d:eath confirmed that the 'slasher' they're looking for is indeed lurking around their workplace, and whether it's Iseul, Seo-jun, or anyone else, +
Jeongguk and Taehyung are now even more eager to coax him out of his hole and finally put an end to this madness he started.
Nonetheless, they chose to begin with the tailor and the fashion designer.
'We're all set,' Joon says over the radio, which is attached to Taehyung and Jeongguk's earpieces.
Jeongguk then looked around the busy studio, noticing Hobi and Jimin already in their assigned positions, before turning towards Taehyung, who was glammed up under the bright lights, facing the camera in front of both Iseul and Seo-jun.
"Ready?" Jeongguk speaks through the microphone, acting his role as the music video's co-director.
"Yes... 100 percent," Taehyung answers, his gaze fixed on the two unsuspecting men in front of him.
"Alright— roll camera. Mark. Background... Three, two, one— action," Jeongguk says calmly, prompting Hobi and Jimin to carry out their plan (courtesy of Taehyung);+
cutting the strings, causing the buckets of pig's blood they've secretly set up above Taehyung, Iseul, and Seo-jun to spill and splatter all over the three.
Soaked in blood from head to toe, Taehyung kept his eyes open, lips curling up to a sinister sneer, staring at the shocked and bloodied Iseul and Seo-jun.
"Tick tock, tick tock... Let's keep rolling—it's a good take, isn't it?" "Jeongguk smirked as he wiped a tiny drop of blood that splashed on his cheek.
[You can play this as you read]
Bloody mary (inst)
TW// mentions of blood
The stench of blood could be very polarizing. When it comes to animals, the mere scent of blood can turn some away from revulsion and fear, yet it can also send others into a hunger frenzy.
According to one study, these primitive reactions to blood in mammals are caused by a single molecule called E2D rather than the blood itself.
Animals, particularly apex predators such as wolves and lions, are lured to the smell of blood because it may indicate their next meal.
Humans, on the other hand, are not drawn to blood; in fact, we are usually repulsed by it. That is because our instinct uses scent to warn us away from blood, which can be a sign of danger—even de:ath.
Now, what does this have to do with catching a m:urderous psychopath?
To be honest, Taehyung isn't really expecting to make any substantial headway in identifying the slasher by showering himself, Iseul, and Seojun in blood.+
However, he still wanted to see something— a reaction, a small crack on the guy’s (whoever he is) deceitful mask, anything—anything at all other than just waiting to hear about the next victim on the news.
So Taehyung ended up choosing this rather unsightly route— not by preference but desperation.
There is this thing called the dark triad of malevolent personality traits in psychology: psychopathy, narcissism, and machiavellianism.+
Such qualities are measured together because they frequently coincide; for example, if a person has psychopathic traits, they are likely to have narcissistic and machiavellian traits as well.
Taehyung's goal for now is to disarm the narcissist in either Iseul or Seo-jun by soaking them in blood, believing that one of them is a psych0path. +
After all, Taehyung is aware that most, if not all, psych0paths are known for their inflated sense of ego, lack of empathy, and need to be admired by all; +
so Taehyung concluded that in order to at least make the psych0 take a blow, he could start by catching them off guard and making them appear a mess in front of others.
With blood, Taehyung wants to at least, just slightly, unmask the monster— the bloodthirsty predator hiding behind the visage of a seemingly innocent guy.
The scheme has now begun.
Taehyung sucks in a deep breath, acting according to their agreed to script, smearing the blood more onto his face as Jeongguk directed the cameraman to capture a tight shot of him. +
With his unfazed eyes, Taehyung watched how Seo-jun fell on his knees, trembling, staring at the blood dripping from his face to his palms, while Iseul's just standing frozen in place, clearly shocked from what just happened.
"E-excuse me... I need to clean up—"
"Cut!" Jeongguk exclaimed immediately when he heard Iseul's attempt to excuse himself.+
"Iseul-ssi, would you mind checking Taehyung's outfit? It looks a little out of place on the shoulders; is it supposed to fit him that way?" he asks, causing Iseul to pause,+
shifting his gaze from the floor to Jeongguk, as if mentally asking him if he's serious and if he can't see the blood dripping all over him.
"Oh— I'm sorry? I didn't know you two got soaked too... Well, don't worry, that isn't human blo0d, of course," Jeongguk says, his chuckle sounding more like a sly taunt than harmless humor.
"T-then what is this?" Seo-jun asks this time after overhearing Jeongguk and Iseul's exchange.
"Pigs blo0d," Jeongguk says, his gaze now fixed on Seo-jun, while Iseul remains motionless, his feet firmly planted on the ground.
"Oh my god, Seo-jun-ssi! Are you okay?" Jihye and the other staff raced towards Seo-jun, who had just thrown up, adding to the mess on the floor, while Taehyung walked towards their direction.
"There must have been a mistake; the blood should only have been on me, but it went all over you and Iseul-ssi as well," Taehyung says, his eyes sharp when Seo-jun looks up at him. +
"You don't look well, Seo-jun-ssi... Guess blood isn't your strong suit, huh?" he adds, drawing further troubled stares from the crowd.
"Taehyung-ssi, I'm sorry, but this isn't funny; Seo-junnie's really scared of blood," Jihye says as she helps Seo-jun get up.
"Really? Why, though? It's just blood?"
"I-it's dirty," Seo-jun muttered under his breath, his gaze now fixed on the floor, his teeth tensed when he spoke.
"Is it? Some people eat it, you know?" Taehyung refuses to back down, glancing surreptitiously at Iseul, who is still standing on the side.
"It's dirty," Seo-jun says again, a little sterner this time. "How could anyone eat—"
"J-Jihye-ah, please help Seo-jun out; I'll cover everything from here," Iseul says, taking a deep breath before lifting his gaze to Taehyung. +
"Y-your clothes are all messed up now... I didn't realize we'd be dealing with blood today," Iseul explains, his eyes out of focus as he tries to mend Taehyung's already soiled clothes.
"But sir, you're also—"
"I'm fine, Jihye-ah... P-please." Iseul says, forcing a smile at Jihye, watching as the latter leads Seo-jun outside the studio before he brings his attention back to Taehyung.
"I-I'm sorry... I know we've talked about the concept of this project already, but it turns out we're still not prepared." Iseul says, unsure on what to do with his trembling hands,+
he kept on brushing the blood off of Taehyung's outfit even though it did nothing to help. "T-this suit... I've sewn this by hand for days... It's one of the few pieces I was allowed to—+
*sigh* nevermind, i-it's all ruined now." Iseul says with a rather sad expression on his face.
"You look a little rattled up, Iseul-ssi; are you sure you don't also need a break?" Jeongguk asks, scrutinizing each of Iseul's movements to ensure none go unnoticed.
"Y-yeah... I'm sure. S-so what should we do next? Do we—"
"You're shaking," Taehyung notices Iseul's hands and his now incredibly pale face underneath the blood stains.
"H-huh?" Iseul clasps his own hand, as if to stop it twitching. "A-am I?"
"Let's take five. I think we should have someone clean this up first before we continue filming," Taehyung says, +
eyeing the mess Seo-jun left on top of the blood on the floor before he walked towards one of the vacant dressing rooms followed by Jeongguk.
"*Sigh* Look at you." Jeongguk says, clicking his tongue while eyeing Taehyung from head to toe. +
"How was it? Were you able to see the reaction you're looking for?" he asks as he picks a clean towel and dampens it with water before handing it to Taehyung to wipe the blood off his face.
"Pretty much? You? What do you think?" Taehyung asks as he tidies himself up.
"Well, from what I saw, Seo-jun appeared to be more afraid of blood than Iseul," Jeongguk replies, taking another towel and wetting it with water+
before helping Taehyung out of his top and cleaning the blood off the latter's torso. "But I need to know what you're thinking... What's going through your mind right now, Tae?" Jeongguk asks.
"I'd say one put on a better show than the other— yet both showed their actual reactions," Taehyung says as he meets Jeongguk's gaze, wiping some of the drying blood off the side of his lips. "I think one of them was disgusted, while the other was scared."
"I see... Good work then, tiger. Take a quick shower... We'll resume filming soon." Jeongguk says as he softly caresses Taehyung's face.
Sh¡t. Sh¡t. Sh¡t.
The cold shower douses me.
Damn pig's blood going down the drain, but I still can't get the stench of it off me.
I tried rinsing it with soap and shampooing my hair twice, but I can still smell it and feel it coating my body like some nasty and sticky sludge, no matter how hard I scrub.
I know I do have quite a 'hobby', but still, I absolutely abhor being filthy.
It brings back such ugly memories— memories of that woman and her incessant nagging.
'You're poor, but you don't have to look poor just because you are.'
'Wash your face.'
'Wash your hands'
'Brush your teeth.'
'You dirty kid.'
'Don't touch that!'
'Don't touch that!'
'Don't touch that!'
"F:UCK!" I slammed my palm against the cold tiled walls of the cramped shower room that I'm in.
Then I repeated it again and again—and again—until my palms turned bright red.
I am seeing red.
How in the world did this happen?
Was it on purpose?
Are they already on me?
Did they already figure out it was me?
No, no, that's not possible. I've always cleaned up well, with or without that b::astard Jung-hyun.
Could it be a mistake?
Was I merely standing at the wrong place?
No, I'm sure I wasn't crossing the line earlier—those buckets were really over my head, as if on purpose, knowing I'd be standing there.
"F:uck! This is driving me nuts!" I hissed, about to lather soap all over my body again.
Then, for a moment I froze; my eyes went wide when I heard someone snickering from outside the shower cubicle I'm in.
—"I must say, that was quite a sight. Isn't it ironic? despite all the dirty-dirty things you've done, you're still a clean freak. Pfft... T'was actually fun seeing you in your natural habitat."
"Was it? H-hah... Was it your doing, huh?" I asked as I slowly and carefully turned off the shower, my lips twitching in both thrill and rage at hearing that very familiar voice I hadn't heard in a while.
—"Well, if it was? What are you gonna do about it?"
"So it's really you?" I asked as I scan the cubicle to get a hold of anything sharp— but all I have is f:cking shampoo and bar soap, great.
—"Pfft... Relax. It wasn't me. Though, I might really do something soon."
"Hah... Are you threatening me? You?" I couldn't help but laugh. This guy can't be serious right now.+
"If I recall correctly, you made yourself a wanted man. You got too greedy, love," I said as I yanked my towel from the hanger, twisting its ends around my closed fists and then tugging it tightly as I stepped out of the shower.
—"Ah, I know, but I have no plans of getting caught... I have no plans of dying any time soon also."
I'm done listening to this piece of sh¡t.
"JANG HYUN-JUNG!" I screamed as I stepped out of the shower, ready to strangle that f::ucker Hyun-Jung, but I was greeted by an empty bathroom, the door slowly swinging shut.
"H-hah— hahahahahaha...." I don't even know if I'm really laughing right now. I'm so f::ucking mad it's starting to feel like I'm being tickled in the stomach.
I will definitely end that f::ucker soon.
You're next, Jang Hyun-Jung.
[END OF SOMEONE's POV]
"How's Tae?" Hobi asks as soon as he sees Jeongguk step out of the dressing room.
"Fine, I guess? He's cleaning up." Jeongguk replies, subtly scanning the studio to see if Iseul and Seo-jun are back already, but it looks like they're not.
"That stunt was something, I must say... Though, with what happened to Shin Akiko, I don't think it's helping Taehyung's image right now," Hobi tells Jeongguk, as Jimin behind him remains silent.
"You noticed it too, right? Everyone here is treating Taehyung coldly. Even though he's already been questioned and cleared of all suspicions about Shin's de:ath,+
I don't think the people here are convinced that he's innocent." Jimin says, leaning against the wall, eyes fixed on the floor.
"Right... I actually overheard some of the staff whispering about Taehyung threatening Shin before she d¡ed... +
Tae's still unstable—" Jimin pauses, pointing to his own head, "Up here, I mean. Are you sure he'll be able to handle it?" Jimin adds.
Well, Jeongguk knows that it's true. He's also overheard some of the crew talking about Taehyung and Akiko, which worries him that it may bring them trouble once more.
They've been moving so fast with no breaks, they couldn't even rest.
Every time they take a moment to breathe—just to fcking breathe—they'll wake up to the news that someone has d¡ed again the next morning.
At this point, the battle they're fighting isn't just for the sake of the victims or for their own safety. Jeongguk knows that they need to catch that lunat¡c soon, because the more this drags on for long, the more he and Taehyung will lose their sanity.
Each day wasted, they are chipped bit by bit, like fragile glass being pounded, eventually they will both shatter and break; when that time comes, Jeongguk's greatest fear is that it'll be impossible for them to reverse the damages.
However, they really cannot stop now, and Jeongguk is aware that Taehyung knows this as well.
"Don't underestimate him. My baby's not someone who'll easily break. I trust him— so should you. We're all in this together after all." Jeongguk says, pushing a tongue on his cheek as he forces a smile, patting Hobi's shoulder before he walks back to the set.
"mY bAby'S nOt sOmEone wHo'll eAsiLy bReAk— blah, blah, blah. Tch, as if I didn’t know that already, I've been with Tae for six years, did he hear me brag about it?" Jimin scoffs, feeling a bit petty that he mimicked the way Jeongguk talks.
"Pfft... Why? Park geomsanim, don't tell me you're still jealous?" Hobi says, making a sound as if he just giggled yet there's not even a smile on his face, his eyes sharp,+
voice dropping a few octaves lower than how he normally speaks, causing Jimin's face to immediately flush pink.
"H-hey... How come you're only like this to me? Does Yoongi even know you can look at someone like this?" Jimin asks, averting Hobi's gaze, because quite frankly, he's still not used to seeing Hobi look this— well, dangerously sexy.
"Of course he does... He likes it actually, but not in public— unlike him, /you/ don't look like you have a problem with it..." Hobi says, his hands on Jimin's waist, making the latter's heart race.
"N-not now. We have other tasks left for today... And I'm not jealous by the way, I just didn't like how that pr¡ck made it sound like I don't know my own best friend." Jimin says, in case Hobi gets the wrong idea about him and Taehyung again.
"At least they're holding up better than we thought," Hobi shrugs. "They've been through a lot in the last few months, I couldn't even imagine being in their shoes—targeting and being targeted by a psych0path," Hobi adds+
as he steps away from Jimin and switches his radio back on to contact Joon. "All 's good now, geomsanim. We'll head back to the station soon." He says, now back to his normal bright and chirpy voice again while his eyes are still fixed on Jimin.
"What exactly are you, Jekyll and Hyde?" Jimin couldn't help but comment on Hobi's unabashed show of duality in front of him.
"Pfft... Maybe?" Hobi says, playfully flicking Jimin's chin.
[You can play this as you read.]
Taehyung is back on set, in front of the camera, following Jeongguk's directions after a quick shower in his dressing room.
"This time we'll do it together, so relax, okay?" Jeongguk says as he assists Taehyung in lying down on the makeshift autopsy table they're using as a prop.
"Don't worry, I'm quite relaxed here... It's kinda cozy actually," Taehyung replies, now lying flat on his back.
"An autopsy table is cozy to you? Pfft... You're really something," Jeongguk laughs, brushing some of Taehyung's stray hair away from his face.
"The metal feels cool. I like it," Taehyung says, his smile soon fading as he caught a bit of what the others around them had been brazenly chatting about.
'Did you hear what he said? He likes the autopsy table?'
'He's hot, but he's really giving me the creeps now.'
'I can't believe we're working with him— I mean, shouldn't he be in ja¡l after what he did to Akiko-ssi?'
‘He looks so happy, taking the main role from Akiko-ssi.’
'Tch, I told you, he and Jeongguk are both weird.'
'Do you think he really k¡lled her?'
'I do— I mean, have you seen him with the blood earlier? So fcking creepy, man...'
"Don't mind them. They have no idea what they're talking about." Jeongguk says, hearing what the others have been talking about as well.
"They're saying that I'm creepy— if it's true, then good. That's what I'm aiming for actually." Taehyung says, keeping his eyes on Jeongguk even though he heard the studio door swing open and close.
"That's my baby..." Jeongguk says, smiling fondly at Taehyung before he peered behind the camera, seeing that Iseul is now back again with Seo-jun. "They're here." Jeongguk whispers.
"Then let's give them a show." Taehyung answers, his head spinning, but then again, he cannot let it show, he has to keep his eyes focused on their goal.
They waited for the other director's signal. Taehyung’s still lying on the autopsy bed, while Jeongguk's standing beside him, one hand clutching a pair of scissors and Taehyung’s arm with the other.
The background music began to play, the lights dimmed, followed by the cue and the sound of the slate snapping.
From there, Jeongguk yanked Taehyung up from the table, his hand squeezing Taehyung's face, staring directly at the camera before he aimed the tip of the scissors on the latter's neck.
I look inside myself
And see my heart is black
I see my red door
I must have it painted black
Jeongguk then mouthed the lyrics to the song they'll be covering— Paint it black, by The Rolling Stones.
"I'll just talk to Jin hyung, then I'll get the bike ready; see you outside, Tae," Jeongguk says while Taehyung is still changing his attire in the dressing room after today's filming schedule.
"Alright, I'll be out in a minute; I just need to take off all this makeup," Taehyung says, smiling as Jeongguk exits the dressing room.
Taehyung then grabs his bag, about to get his cleansing wipes, when a piece of paper slips out and falls on his lap.
010-xxx-xxx7 Call me when you see this. -HJ.
*Sigh* "I almost forgot about this guy." Taehyung mumbled under his breath, taking his phone and saving Hyun-Jung's number, reminding himself to call— maybe later.
A/N: Before we proceed, I would like to apologize for the slow updates here.
Some of you might already be bored with this story. I promise we're really close to the end now— probably 2 more updates to go before the epilogue. I really wish I could end this before christmas.
Anyway, for those who are still reading, do know that I truly appreciate you guys. I know I am behind on replying to your qrts. I'm still recovering from c0vid, but i'm doing my best to be back in shape.
Thank you for your patience.
[You can play this as you read.]
Enter sandman (inst.)
Right now, Hyun-Jung believes he has completely gone bonkers; he even dared to make his presence known to the slasher, who is undoubtedly Seoul's most wanted man at the moment.
Nonetheless, he couldn't stop himself. Never in his wildest thoughts did he imagine 'that' guy losing his composure in front of other people.
It was so amusing that Hyun-Jung almost blew his cover.
"Pfft... Pig's blood? Hahahahahaha! Serves him right." Hyun-Jung says, snickering as he starts his car.
Hyun-Jung, has actually been prowling around J records ever since he decided to come out of the shadows. Of course, he was terrified of being caught at first, but the more he gets away, the more confident he becomes.
Confidence doesn't usually cause problems— but too much of it could.
"You've worked hard today, are you hungry?" Jeongguk asks as they enter Taehyung's flat, strolling towards the kitchen while removing his jacket.
"A bit. Are you going to cook?" Taehyung asks, slumping on the couch, exhausted to the point of passing out.
"Mhm... To feed you, of course. What do you want to eat?" Jeongguk inquires, rummaging through the fridge for whatever he could prepare for Taehyung.
"Pig," Taehyung replies, staring blankly at the ceiling.
"Tch, y'know the more appropriate term is 'pork,' right? Even the word pig reminds me of the stench I've inhaled all day today," Jeongguk says, feeling a little queasy after being reminded of the pig's blood stunt they pulled earlier.
"Sorry." Taehyung says, still with a blank expression on his face.
"Are you still thinking about those rumors?" Jeongguk asks, closing the fridge before walking towards Taehyung and kneeling in front of the latter. +
"Told you, don't mind them. All they can do is talk; they don't really know anything— they don't know you. Trust me, they'll stop soon. They're only like that since the incident involving Akiko was relatively recent," Jeongguk says softly as he caresses Taehyung's face.
"I don't really mind them though?" Taehyung says, tipping his head to the side to face Jeongguk.
"Then what's on your mind, baby?" Jeongguk asks again, his fingers raking over Taehyung's long hair.
"I don't know... Maybe the slasher? Could that monster actually be either Iseul or Seo-jun?" Taehyung closes his eyes. "You think it's Iseul, I think it's Seo-jun, but what if we're both wrong? +
What if we've narrowed it down to nothing all along? That bstard said he's going to k¡ll two more— that'll be two more d:eaths for us to carry on our shoulders," Taehyung continued, +
keeping his eyes closed as Jeongguk let out a deep sigh, taking a seat on the couch, lifting Taehyung's head and gently placing it over his lap. "Then who's next? Me? You? Us?" Taehyung asks, loathing the aftertaste of his own remarks.
"We could be wrong, yes— but I'm choosing to believe our intuition, and to be honest, I have no one else in mind for potentially being the slasher except those two... I'll be damned if I'm wrong," Jeongguk says as he tenderly strokes Taehyung's hair.
"We have to be sure..." Taehyung blinks open his eyes again, meeting Jeongguk's gaze. "You mentioned before that Hyun-Jung could be the slasher's accomplice—+
I'm planning to call him, Guk," Taehyung confesses, pulling the note from his pocket and showing it to Jeongguk.
"H.J... Is this from him? Hyun-Jung?" Jeongguk inquires, noting that Taehyung had not previously mentioned this to him.+
"How long have you been keeping this from me, Tae? That guy shot you—I almost lost you! Why haven't you told me this sooner? We should let the police know-.."
"Because I knew this was going to be your reaction," Taehyung sighs. "I have no problem locking him up, but what if your assumption about him is correct? +
What if he really worked for the slasher? Do you think he'll tell us anything if we involve the cops?" Taehyung sits up, massaging the bridge of his nose.+
"I've dealt with matters like this before, so I know that if Hyun-Jung ever had the intention of coming clean, he would've gone directly to the station, he wouldn't just leave an ambiguous note. +
The guy has something to say— and in exchange, he surely doesn't want to get arrested." Taehyung says, prompting Jeongguk to get up, huffing a lungful of air, ruffling his hair out of frustration.
"And you're planning to let him get away?! Tae, which part of you-almost-got-killed don't you understand?!" Jeongguk didn't mean to raise his voice, but he's really having trouble understanding Taehyung right now.
"I didn't say I'd let him get away with what he did. *Sigh* Calm down for a minute," Taehyung says as he takes Jeongguk's wrist and pulls him towards him.+
"I just want to hear what he has to say first, so we can eliminate the possibility of him not talking; after that, I'll let you do anything you want with him—+
put him in jail or whatever, I don't really give a sh¡t," Taehyung says, staring up at Jeongguk, who stands between his parted legs.
"I'm not going to let you meet that guy by yourself," Jeongguk says as he takes the note from Taehyung's hand. "Don't you see how shady this note is? Where did you even get this?—+
Look, Hyun-Jung disappeared after basically shooting you, and now he'll reappear out of nowhere, leaving a note for you to call him? +
This is absurd, Tae. I'm not buying it," Jeongguk says, attempting to walk away, only to be stopped by Taehyung, who is now standing in front of him, cupping his face.
"I don't have to be alone. I'm not that dumb, believe me. — Well, maybe I am sometimes—a little bit—but not in this case. You are welcome to join me; we will even tell the others to stand by while we talk... +
I just want to hear him out before he changes his mind. If it's true that he's really the slasher's accomplice, +
then there's no one who could make our lives easier other than this guy, Jang Hyun-Jung." Taehyung says, trying his best to reason with Jeongguk.
Jeongguk then fixed his gaze on Taehyung. He understands Taehyung's point, and that they're desperate to make any progress in capturing the slasher right now, but he couldn't help thinking about the potential danger.
But Taehyung doesn't have to be alone, as they've already agreed to do this together.
It's a tough decision—risky and dangerous—but Taehyung already sounds determined, and Jeongguk is well aware that if he refuses to allow Taehyung to meet Hyun-Jung, Taehyung will most certainly do it on his own.
"Fine... But we're informing the others. Call him, but put it on speaker phone. I have to be involved in everything about this matter. If he asks to meet, tell him that you won't do it alone and that I'll be with you.+
If he says no, then we'll do it my way, and that is him sitting in the interrogation room with cuffs on his wrists," Jeongguk says, handing Hyun-Jung's note back to Taehyung.
"We'll be okay. Trust me, Guk." Taehyung firmly says before he went ahead and grabbed his phone, then he dialed Hyun-Jung's number.
Hyun-Jung had just arrived at the cheap motel where he was staying for the time being when he heard his phone ring. He didn't need to look for him to figure out who was calling because he was expecting only one person to contact him.
A smirk then curled up on Hyun-Jung's lips as he sat on the bed, staring at his phone that's still ringing.
"Took you long enough, Kim geomsanim." Hyun-Jung says, clearing his throat before accepting the phone call.
"Ah... Kim geomsanim. Finally, you decided to call." Hyun-Jung says, finding it quite amusing that he can talk to Taehyung now without caution— no masks, no pretending to be a different person.
—'Jang Hyun-Jung... I understood you wanted to talk.'
Hyun-Jung sucks in a deep breath; knowing how meticulous Taehyung is, he knows that the latter probably already has an idea that he isn't a good person.
"I do— very much, actually. I have a lot to say, but I hope you also understand that I wouldn't just mindlessly say anything here— on the phone, I mean." Hyun-Jung says, grabbing the half empty can of beer he wasn't able to finish last night from the table, then he takes a sip.
—'This phone call isn't tapped nor recorded, if that's what you're worried about, though I doubt you'll believe me, so yeah... Tell me when and where I'll be there.'
"Pfft... Going straight to the point now are we, Kim geomsanim? Well, I wouldn't expect any less from a prosecutor." Hyun-Jung pauses, hissing as the dry taste of his already warm and probably rotten beer fills his mouth. +
"I'm betting right now, you're not alone— your little rockstar boyfriend's listening to our conversation." Hyun-Jung continues, knowing full well that Taehyung and Jeon Jeongguk always come together like some sort of package these days; the two were never not without the other.
—'He is... And if you wanna talk to me, you would have to talk to him too. What is this all about, Hyun-Jung?' Taehyung asks and Hyun-jung has to admit+
that it's really commendable how Taehyung could sound so calm and collected at a time like this, especially since he's talking to the man that almost k¡lled him.
"Mhm... I hope you don't hold any grudges, Kim geomsanim, because I really tried to do a good job so we wouldn't have to talk like this—."
—'Because I was meant to be d:ead? Well, I'm not— I'm very much alive, and I'm frankly expecting you to explain yourself.'
"I have no intention of ever going to jail, geomsanim... I've been through enough sh¡t already; I can tell you everything you want to know, but if you don't give me what I want—+
which is your silence and cooperation—then you better forget that we're having this conversation," Hyun-Jung says, making sure that he sets Taehyung's expectations.
—'Fck you.' Hyun-Jung laughs, hearing Jeongguk's voice on the other line.
"Pfft... Well, that's cute. How are you, Jeongguk-ssi?" Hyun-Jung says, getting up on his feet while still holding his can of beer. "Anyway, just to be safe, I'm going to cut this call right here...+
I'll be the one to set up the time and place. Keep your lines open, I'll be contacting you again," Hyun-Jung says, aware that if he doesn't want Taehyung to track the call, he can't stay on the line for more than a minute. +
Hyun-Jung then ended the call, peering out the windows with a sly grin on his face, pleased that everything appears to be going his way.
"Hello? Hyun-Jung-ssi?— Hello?!" Taehyung groans, when Hyun-Jung abruptly ends the call.
"That bstard's too cautious; I was just about to get his location," Jeongguk says, pushing his laptop to the side after failing to track Hyun-Jung's current location using the program he privately got from someone+
while Taehyung is in a coma just in case the slasher calls him again. He genuinely thought he'd be able to use it now, but as one would expect from an ex-police officer, Hyun-Jung knows the drill, so he also knows how to protect himself.
"I told you, it wouldn't work." Taehyung sighs, sitting on the couch beside Jeongguk. "Well, at least he knows that we're willing to talk...+
Now we just have to wait for another phone call." Taehyung continues, leaning back on the couch, staring at the ceiling while massaging the bridge of his nose.
"I'm telling Joon hyung about this, Tae. You heard the guy, and I know that by now you know that he's dangerous. It'll be too risky for us to work on our own." Jeongguk says with much finality in his tone.
"Fine, but just so you know, I'll be insisting for us to meet Hyun-Jung's conditions, at least just until the slasher gets caught— if he's really connected to that person. Y'see, if you'd ask me, +
Hyun-Jung could be dangerous, but as of now, no one could beat the slasher up my list. Catching that guy is my top priority." Taehyung says, his gaze shifting from the ceiling to Jeongguk.
"I know... But I hope you won't try to do things on your own. I've already told you everything that I know; from my plans to the slasher's threats and notes.+
I trust you, Tae... So please trust me too. I just want this to be over— with both of us still breathing, that is." Jeongguk says as he holds Taehyung's hand, squeezing it tight.
"I have no plans of dying anytime soon, Guk. If I was planning on doing things on my own, then I wouldn't have told you about Hyun-Jung's note." Taehyung says as he intertwined his and Jeongguk's fingers.+
"I trust you— and now, I am learning to trust myself too. We can do this— we can end this once and for all." Taehyung says, swallowing each doubt he has of his own words.
"I'm sorry, sir... I really don't remember seeing anything unusual going on in this area that night."
"—I see. Please contact us if you remember anything," Hobi says as he hops back into the car with Jimin after speaking with one of the residents in Gangwon-do, one of the areas along the Han River where the majority of the victims were discovered.
Hobi then turned his radio on, and then contacted Joon. "We got nothing so far. I'll continue driving around." Hobi says, turning off the radio again as he drives, while Jimin sits on the shotgun seat, eyeing the area outside.
"What exactly are we looking for here again?" Jimin asks, shifting his gaze from the windows to Hobi.
"I honestly have no idea... Probably anything. A person, a place— there should be at least someone who saw something those nights when the victims d¡ed.+
Logistically speaking, the crime scene should be here— somewhere." Hobi says, scanning the area as well while he drives.
"So we need to find either a witness or the crime scene itself. Okay, got it— but how are you so sure that we'll find anything here?" Jimin asks as he turns his attention out on the road again.
"Well, my hunch has never been wrong before— and right now, it's telling me that this is the place where we should start our investigation." Hobi says, +
deciding to drive towards the area where they found the first pair of scissors back when they were initially investigating Kang Nari's m::urder.
Jeongguk is now filming one of the music video scenes together with his band. They're playing a song, Jeongguk's behind the drums while Woosung sings, and Taehyung's standing here behind the scenes.
"You're about to enter the next scene, Taehyung-ssi... Gosh, I still can't believe that a lawyer— someone as private as you is filming this sort of thing." Seo-jun says; he's standing beside Taehyung and Iseul.
"It's good money, so why not?" Taehyung says, subtly glancing at Seo-jun. "And I am a prosecutor, by the way."
"Pfft... I know, which makes it harder to believe. I really admire you, Taehyung-ssi." Seo-jun replies, his eyes fixed on the set as Jeongguk and his band plays,+
while Taehyung couldn't help but also notice Iseul who's been silent since earlier, looking somewhat uncomfortable.
"Are you okay, Iseul-ssi?" Taehyung asks, noting Iseul's pale face.
"Ah, y-yes... It's just that I feel like the theme of this music video is getting darker and darker as it progresses. I could never get used to it." Iseul says, his hand covering his mouth as if he's disgusted.+
Well, it's quite understandable, given that the set today was made to look gruesome, with red paint splattered everywhere to make it seem like blo0d, colored jellies to mimic a person's i:nnards, +
flickering red neon lights, like that of a horror film— this project is surely not for the faint of heart nor for someone with a weak stomach.
"Are you scared of blood, Iseul-ssi?" Taehyung asks.
"H-huh? Ah... A—a little, I guess." Iseul says.
"I see... Then you must've been shocked after yesterday's incident— y'know with the blood and all?" Taehyung inquires again.
"I had an uncle who runs a slaughterhouse... Me and my cousins used to help him out during summer vacations—"
"Boss, that's nasty." Seo-jun suddenly says, interrupting Iseul's story, causing the latter to chuckle rather awkwardly.
"Pfft... Is it? I-I'm sorry. Anyway, let's get you ready now, Taehyung-ssi... I won't be here starting tomorrow since I'll be preparing for the release of our spring collection.+
Jihye will take over for me here, so let me dress you up one last time, yeah?" Iseul says, leading Taehyung towards the vanity table on the side while Seo-jun follows them from behind.
"So you won't be coming by here after today?" Taehyung asks.
"Well, I actually just monitor the wardrobe at the start of each project before I completely endorse it to my subordinates; it's just my way of keeping the balance by being present while still allowing my juniors+
to have their own hands on experience with handling our clients," Iseul says as he selects one shirt from the hanger for Taehyung to wear, a black silk button up that matches what Jeongguk is currently wearing.
"Our boss is really admirable, isn't he? He's constantly working so hard," Seo-jun says, taking Iseul's shirt and picking up another from the rack, a ruby red robe with a little sparkle on the hem. +
"Boss, I think this will look better on Taehyung-ssi," Seo-jun says, attempting to grab Iseul's pick and rehang it on the rack, but Iseul refuses.
"I don't think so, Seo-jun-ah. There's already too much red on the set. It'll look better if Taehyung matches with Jeongguk and the rest of the band as well," Iseul says. Taehyung was ready to intercede when his phone rang, displaying an unregistered number on the screen.
"Excuse me, I need to take this." Taehyung says, walking a few steps away from Iseul and Seo-jun before he answers the call. "Hello." He says, expecting to hear Hyun-Jung.
—'Tomorrow, Friday, 10 p.m, Ichon park. No police... I'll meet you there geomsanim.'
"Tomorrow?— Wait, hello? Hello?" Taehyung says, yet Hyun-Jung already ended the call before he could even say anything.
"Taehyung-ssi, is everything okay?" Iseul inquires, noticing that Taehyung sounded a little more agitated when he answered the phone.
"Ah, y-yes... Is that what I'm going to wear?" Taehyung asks, pertaining to the black shirt in Iseul's hands.
"It is. Let's get you in this, okay?" Iseul says, handing Taehyung the shirt before turning towards Seo-jun. "Seo-jun-ah, get me the styling clips, please."
'Enjoy your last day of freedom. Before tomorrow ends, you'll be behind bars.' Hyun-Jung thinks, staring at 'that' man who's beside Taehyung right now. +
"That's what you get for disregarding someone's love." Hyun-Jung says, pulling his cap down as he exits the studio, deciding to grab a drink and have an early celebration.
[Please play this as you read.]
No time to die.
After a rather uneventful day of filming today, Jeongguk is now driving Taehyung's car back to the latter's apartment. "I'll be dropping by the station probably after dinner. Hyun-Jung already called, +
and I'll be meeting him tomorrow after work, so I need to notify Joon and the others," Taehyung says, staring out the window.
"I'm coming with you." Jeongguk simply replies.
"Do you still think it's Iseul?" Taehyung felt the need to ask.
"Why? Did either of them do anything while I was busy earlier?" Jeongguk asks, pertaining to Iseul and Seo-jun.
"Nothing much... I was just thinking that this hunt could probably end tomorrow once I get to talk to Hyun-Jung... Psychopath¡c ser¡al k¡llers really do often meet their end in a seemingly anticlimactic fashion..." Taehyung says.
"Well, that's true... Jeffrey Dahmer was arrested after his ostensibly next victim slipped from his clutches; Ted Bundy was nabbed for a misdemeanor; and John Wayne Gacy was caught after he was seen handling mar:¡juana while under surveillance. +
See the pattern? No matter how grand they thought their crimes were, no matter how much of an untouchable God they believed they were, all it took was a single error on their side and it was all over...+
That goes for that blasted Seoul Slasher as well... Whether Hyun-Jung solves the case tomorrow or not, that psych0 is still bound to go down," Jeongguk says, his eyes fixed on the road, stepping more on the gas since he couldn't wait to just rest at home.
"Once this is over... What will become of us then? How does healing and moving on actually start?" Taehyung asks, snatching the pack of smokes and lighter from the dashboard, lighting it up, and taking a drag as he rolls the window down.
"What do you mean, Tae?" Jeongguk asks, glancing at Taehyung on his side.
"We've been dealing with this guy for so long... More or less five months, maybe? It's probably the longest time I've spent trying to solve a case, +
yet the more it sinks in that we're approaching the end, the more I feel like I'm losing myself," Taehyung says, taking another long drag of his cigarette.
"We'll move on. Once this ends, it doesn't matter how, but we'll surely get over it. I'll continue making music, you'll be solving a new case, and soon, we'll probably forget about all this." Jeongguk smiles, gently wrapping his free hand on Taehyung's wrist, +
the one hand that's holding the cigarette so he could also take a hit of nicotine. "Then we'll go home to Cheongdamdong, I'll make dinner, you'll tell me that it tastes good; we'll down a bottle of wine after and then we'll slow dance to my unreleased songs...+
We'll be fine, you'll still be as beautiful as ever, and I'm going to love you forever." Jeongguk says, his tone hopeful and believable, but truth be told, right now— none of them feels like it's even possible.
It's like they're slowly being embraced by darkness; they keep on trying to fight it off, but it's the same as fighting the inevitable.
Their will is strong, but so is their exhaustion.
Like a roller coaster of emotions, going up, down and around, over and over— and over.
"That sounds nice... I would love that." Taehyung says, smiling fondly at Jeongguk before he brings the cigarette back into his mouth, his smile fading as he takes another long drag.
"I hope this ends soon— this long and seemingly never ending torture." Taehyung says, shifting his gaze up to the full moon.
"Nngh... F-fcking stairs... Goddamn fcking stairs..." Hyun-Jung groans, swaying and bumping into the walls as he climbs the stairs to his motel room. +
He drank a little too much at the nearby pub, ignoring Taehyung's calls to the point where he switched off his phone.
Hyun-Jung knows how police work, having gone through the academy and having years of hands-on experience; he understands how every call is an attempt to catch him, which is why he chooses to be careful.
The more he stays quiet and hidden, the better, for his silence is his way of establishing that he's the one in control— he's the one who calls the shots because he is the one with the information.
"It's him... Pfft... Geomsanim— you've been with him all along... That damn devil you've been looking for... He's been prowling around you all along..." Hyun-Jung chuckles as he crawls up the stairs, inebriated from all the liquor he consumed.
"Ah... Does he now?"
Hyun-Jung then froze, a cold shiver running up his spine as if he'd become abruptly sober at hearing that familiar voice. Hyun-Jung lifted his gaze with a gulp, his blurry vision becoming clearer by the second.+
"Y-you..." Hyun-Jung murmurs, peering at the man's cold, dark eyes, face just a few feet away, eyeing him down, towering two steps above him.
"H-how— how did you-..."
"How did I find you? Well, you're not exactly hiding, love... I can smell your stench even from a distance." The man says, causing Hyun-Jung's knees to tremble, going weak,+
that he was about to fall back down the stairs when the man suddenly grabbed him by the collar, taking most of his weight.
"T-they're already suspecting you... You'll be paying for all you've done soon," Hyun-Jung says, cold sweat dripping all over his now flushed face,+
still staring at the man while his entire existence flashes inside his head—for looking into this man's eyes feels like looking straight at d:eath.
Hyun-Jung tried to grab onto the railings of the stairs, yet the man caught his wrist, laughing before he kicked him hard on the shin, causing Hyun-Jung to gasp, unable to even remain standing.
"Who's going to pay for what exactly? Y'see... I did nothing wrong— my conscience is clear and my heart is pure..." the man says, his eyes wide open, a menacing sneer curling up to his lips,+
making it apparent to Hyun-Jung that this is the end of the line for him. "Guilt is only felt by the weak... I have none of it."
"N-no... No, please don't—"
"Game over, love... You've always been a lousy player to begin with." He says, before he completely lets go of Hyun-Jung, pushing the latter by the chest, watching as Hyun-Jung falls back down on the stairs.
Confidence doesn't usually cause problems— but too much of it could,
Sadly, Hyun-Jung failed to realize this sooner than he should.
TW// mentions of blood & violence
TW// thoughts of suicide
[You can play this as you read.]
Most people believe that men like me, who have already k¡lled a number of people, like torturing others—maybe some do, but certainly not me.
I consider it a rather troublesome chore; nonetheless, I do feel it is my obligation to ensure that the soul I'll be taking has learned its lesson, and perhaps that is why I'm doing this—but that doesn't mean I enjoy it.
As I sit here in front of the unconscious Hyun-Jung, who I've tied to a chair, I wonder how exactly did we end up like this?
Jang Hyun-Jung is someone I've known for years, and although I hate to admit it, he was once someone I adored. +
Hyun-Jung had always worked so hard to please me, to help me, and he was doing such a great job until he decided to act out and be greedy.
What a shame really.
"Hyun-Jung-ah... Wake up," I whispered, lightly tapping his cheek and feeling the warmth of his blood on his face through the latex gloves I am wearing.
It's been hours already, but Hyun-Jung is still not coming around. I'm certain he's not d:ead. Still, I checked his pulse again, and it was still going. That's good, because honestly? I'm still debating whether I really want him d:ead.
I wonder what this feeling is?
There's a dull ache in my chest while I'm watching how Hyun-Jung is bleeding.
His blood keeps trickling from his face to the floor, and for some reason, I don't find it 'that' repulsive.
"Why?" I asked quietly, even though I know that Hyun-Jung wouldn't be able to respond in his current state.
"Why?" I asked him again, because I just needed to hear it from his mouth—the reason he decided to wreck everything we've had.
'Do you really not know?— Y-you, all this time... After everything I've done... Have you ever felt anything towards me? Have you ever really cared about me? What I'm doing, what I'm feeling, am I hurting? Did you? At least once… Even a little, d-did you?'
Suddenly, Hyun-words Jung's resonated inside my thoughts, this damn bstard. Still, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't figure out what he meant when he said all that.
We were doing fine—the steady type of fine.
Hyun-Jung never got mad, even when I diverted my attention elsewhere. He's even supported me in getting things done my way.
What made this any different?
I don't get it.
"W-why?" My voice trembled as I shook him by the collar, his head lulling back and forth, his eyes still closed.
"Why? JANG HYUN-JUNG, WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY?!!!!" I found myself yelling at the top of my lungs. Yes, I was angry earlier—but right now I doubt that what I'm feeling is just anger.
There is more to this, I know, but I am not really well versed in this type of emotion.
The muscles in my body feel tight, my chest is pounding, there's a churning sensation in my stomach, I'm breathing rapidly and my vision is somewhat blurry.
What is this?
"W-what the fck..." I muttered as I felt something wet flowing down my cheeks from my eyes; I touched it with my quivering hands—tears?
Am I... Am I crying?
I don't like it.
"J-just k¡ll me a-and get it over with..." Hyun-Jung whispers, his voice nearly inaudible, causing me to feel that peculiar tightening in my chest once more. "I— I am basically— already d:ead," the fcker says, laughing despite his current state.
“T-those *cough! * Those people d¡ed because you loved them... Pfft... Ironic, isn't it? As I'm dy¡ng because I loved you, maybe—just maybe—this is truly my punishment..."
I hate it.
I hate this.
"T-this is your fault, you fcker... This is all your fault," I murmured as I took a step back—once, twice, then another and another—before heading out the door, leaving my private warehouse here in Gangwon-do.
I can't do this.
At least not yet.
I can’t breathe.
For now, I need to get out of this place.
[END OF SOMEONE'S POV]
[You can play this as you read.]
The secret history
"*Sigh* I can't believe it... I'm sorry," Yoongi says after hearing about Hyun-Jung from both Taehyung and Jeongguk. "I've known that kid since the academy; he's a hoobae I've personally taken under my wing, +
and you're telling me that not only did he shoot Taehyung on purpose, but he's also collaborated with the Seoul Slasher?" Yoongi continues, mentally replaying all of his and Hobi's interactions with Hyun-Jung.
"I know it's hard to believe, but I'll be meeting him tomorrow—later this evening, actually, because it's almost two in the morning now—+
and once I obtain the information that I need, you can ask him directly for the details. I'm sorry, Yoongi," Taehyung says, looking apologetically at Yoongi.
"I definitely will." Yoongi then breathed in deeply again. "So, Ichon park, 10 p.m.?" He says.
"Yes. He specifically instructed me not to bring the police; I can't afford to grant his request completely because he's already shot me once... +
I can't take another risk, so I'll be taking a few of your officers with me. Have 'em on standby until me and Hyun-jung finished talking, then you can do whatever you want with him... I suggest bringing him in for questioning," Taehyung says.
"I'll lead the team," Jimin says, nodding to one of the officers in the room, directing him to gather the others.
"How's Gangwon-do?" Yoongi asks Hobi this time.
"Well, I've got nothing relevant so far, though we passed by a place that— at least visually— struck me as a little strange," Hobi responds.
"What, another warehouse? Tch, how many times do I have to remind you that not every abandoned warehouse is a crim¡nal hideout?" Yoongi grumbles, aware of Hobi's continual skepticism when he encounters an empty warehouse or cabin.
"Why? Can you blame me? Those places always give me the chills, and I've never been wrong so far; I'm looking for the owner so we can issue a search warrant—"
"On what grounds? Because the detective has watched far too many dramas?" Yoongi rolled his eyes, which made Hobi choke out an offended scoff.
"I'm telling you, there's something fishy about that place; look!" Hobi whined, showing Yoongi the images he took on his phone of the warehouse they passed earlier. +
"I'll be damned if you tell me there's nothing eerie about it— poorly lit, empty warehouse in the middle of nowhere... Not to mention that the scissors+
covered in Kang Nari's blood were discovered near here, just a few blocks away," Hobi proudly says, pointing to the warehouse and the scissor's location on the map on the board.
"Then why didn't you say so earlier? *Sigh* You always do this man— making it sound like divine intervention or something." Yoongi pauses, glaring at Hobi who just chuckles as the others hide a grin.+
"Anyway, get the warrant ready as quickly as possible, see if we can uncover anything that we can connect to what Hyun-Jung's due to tell Taehyung later,+
and if we get none, we'll just continue our surveillance around the area," Yoongi says, giving Hobi the green light.
"About Hyun-Jung—I must say, I find it strange that he'll leave and resurface out of nowhere after the stunt he pulled," Joon turns to Taehyung.+
"Think about it, what could be his motive for shooting you? If he is the slasher's corroborator, was he really after you? Because, based on our analysis, Jeon Jeongguk is more likely to be the possible target... +
What good will it do him if he k¡lls you? Hyun-Jung knows that the ones in charge of this case are primarily me and Yoongi, so if he wanted to help the slasher, he should've shot either of us— or Jeongguk,+
since the slasher appears to have a rather odd fixation on him based on his previous atrocities," Joon explains, all while trying to figure out Hyun-Jung's motives.
"Whether that bullet was meant for me or not, it doesn't change the fact that Taehyung almost d¡ed and Hyun-jung— that guy was the one who did that," Jeongguk says, +
still a bit upset that Yoongi initially refused to believe him when he told them about what he witnessed that night at CC's.
"We'll get him to talk soon. Look, I apologize for being skeptical at first, but just like probably all of us here, I'm dying to hear Hyun-Jung's story— +
I want to hear what he's got to say and maybe get the answers to our questions," Yoongi says, now feeling somewhat guilty because, even if he denies it, he did previously blindly sided with Hyun-Jung even after what happened to Taehyung.
Their discussion was cut short when they heard a knock, followed by Jin peering from behind the door. "I brought dinner," Jin says, his attention turning to Joon. "I'm not interrupting something am I?" He asks.
"It's late; shouldn't you be home?" Joon inquires.
"Well, you haven't been home for days now, and I couldn't sleep, so I figured I'd drop by here and see if I still have a boyfriend," Jin says as he walks in with two boxes of fried chicken.
"*Sigh* Let's take a break first, all this talk has got me famished," Joon says as he walks over to Jin.
"Tsk, it's past 2 a.m., don't tell me you haven't eaten anything yet? C'mon now, you big baby." Jin says, leading Joon back to the desk.
TW // Thoughts about death/suicide
"Pfft—" Tied up on a chair, alone in the dark, Hyun-Jung couldn't help but laugh at himself. He has no idea how many hours have gone since he was abducted, but the sun has already risen and set, and the man still hasn't come back yet.
"W-why am I not surprised? He's left me here to quietly d¡e." Hyun-Jung muttered under his breath, tasting his own blood inside his mouth. His head is throbbing as if it's ready to explode, his body is aching all over, +
and he can't tell if there's still a part of him that doesn't have shattered bones; his mouth feels dry, his stomach grumbles, and he's beginning to think it would have been better for him to just d¡e.
He kept passing out and waking up, and each time he closed his eyes, he wished it was the last time. "Is this my sanction?" Hyun-Jung wonders, puzzled as to why that man hasn't k¡lled him yet.
It's strange, knowing that man doesn't normally just leave his victims alone and alive for this long after capturing them.
More time then passes by; seconds into minutes, into hours and Hyun-jung's body starts getting confused whether it'll just whither or recover.
"J-just k¡ll me... K¡ll me already... JUST FCKING K¡LL ME ALREADY GODDAMM¡T!" Hyun-Jung lashes out, thrashing on the chair, breaking one of its legs, causing him to crash on the floor, his arms and legs still tied against the now broken wood.
[You can play this as you read.]
In the end
At this point, Hyun-Jung began to wonder whether this was God's way of delivering him salvation—and if it is, Hyun-Jung will probably, shamelessly still accept it, no matter how cheap it seems.
Hyun-Jung started to laugh maniacally, coughing up more blood, but he can't stop since this situation is so excruciatingly humorous to him.
Until the bitter fun stopped and the pounding pain in his head revived his sanity.
Then comes the panic.
If that man returns and sees him in this condition, he may think that he is attempting to flee.
If that man comes back, he will hit him again—no, he will most likely k¡ll him for real.
No, Hyun-Jung does not want to d¡e just yet.
He has to escape, run as far away from this place.
He wants to feel safe— even if it’s just for one second.
He wants to live, even if it means that he'll spend his remaining life in jail.
Hyun-jung suddenly remembered he was supposed to meet Taehyung tonight—which he will do.
With the last of his strength and his own desire for revenge in mind, Hyun-Jung vowed to do whatever it takes to put a stop to this nightmare.
If he's really going down, then he'll better take that lunatic with him.
Rubbing the rope around his wrist against the sharp piece of broken wood behind him, Hyun-Jung managed to free himself. He crawled with his broken limbs,+
smashed the rusty lock off with a piece of metal pipe he found lying on the floor, and then he limped his way out the door.
Thankfully, Hyun-Jung is familiar with this place.
He'd been here many times before in this wretched warehouse in Gangwon-do, painstakingly cleaning up after the same madman who had now crushed his heart and bones.
He's got nothing on him except from his bloodied clothes, he doesn't even have his slippers on. It's cold, and the blisters on his feet burns, but Hyun-Jung kept running—+
running till he reached the main road, hailing the first cab that passes by, his heart racing, he can't tell if he's still breathing—but it's fine,
He was able to escape.
"Are you okay, Mister? Should we go to the hospital—"
"No... I-ichon park... Hurry— ahjussi, please bring me to Ichon park," Hyun-Jung says to the driver, checking the time on the cab's IVI screen.
It'll take him approximately an hour and a half to get from here to Ichon Park, depending on traffic; he'll be late, so Hyun-Jung hopes Taehyung has enough patience to wait.
"I already told you I'm not feeling well, so please quit calling, okay?" I said as I hung up the phone. I'm sitting in my room, staring blankly at the ceiling after squandering the entire day doing nothing.
The strange weight in my chest refuses to go away.
It's perplexing—annoying; I wonder when will this end?
It's making me antsy, and I hate it.
I left Hyun-Jung in that place.
He was bleeding—dy¡ng, or maybe by now, he's already d:ead.
That thought strangely made me jolt out of bed, biting my nails, pacing back and forth, feeling like my heart is about to burst out of my chest.
Will he really d¡e? What will happen if he d¡es?
What would I feel then?
Would it make a difference?
I don't know.
Right now, I can't understand myself at all.
I need to know.
He needs to tell me what the fck he done to me; otherwise, I might really go bonkers thinking about it.
Hyun-Jung, that f:uckwit... If he's going to d¡e, then he better just do it quietly.
But wait— didn't he promise me?
'Not me; I'll never abandon you... 'I love you.'
That's something he frequently tells me.
If he d¡es on his own, then that means he has chosen to betray me.
No, he cannot d¡e— without my permission, that is.
Because he told me.
He fcking told me he was mine.
Jang Hyun-Jung, I may not love you— but you are still mine.
With Hyun-Jung's voice reverberating in my head, I grabbed my keys and jacket and dashed out the door, ignoring my father who was feasting quietly in the dining hall.
"You poor— poor child."
I heard my father say, but whatever, I already stopped caring a long time ago
I raced back to Gangwon-do, only to slam on the brakes and pull over to the side of the road, seeing that my warehouse—my safe haven—was now surrounded by a swarm of police vehicles.
What the fck is happening here right now?
Did I get found out?
Hyun-Jung? What about Hyun-Jung?
—"Hyeongsanim! There's no one here!"
My eyes shot wide open when I heard one of the officers exclaim, then I saw a familiar face; that bothersome guy, detective Jung... How the fck did he find this place?
And again, what the fck happened to Hyun-Jung?
Did he escape?
This is getting out of hand.
I'm getting so anxious, I can't think straight.
But I have to calm myself down, that is if I want to remain safe.
"It's okay... It's okay... If Hyun-Jung isn't there, then I'll be fine," I told myself, knowing that I hadn't left anything at that place that would expose my name to the authorities.
I'm not sure how Hyun-Jung got away, but I need to find him soon—yes, yes, that's what I should do. So, with my trembling hands,+
I took Hyun-Jung's bag from the back seat of my car, turning on his phone and searching for anything that could lead me to Hyun-Jung's current location.
"Fck! That sneaky bstard!" I couldn't help but shout, seeing that the phone's as empty as a new one.
No call records
Where the fck would that guy be—
Wait, someone's calling.
Unregistered number flashing on the screen.
Out of dread, I began sweating profusely, biting my nails until I tasted blood when my teeth broke my own skin.
Who could this be?
"Fcking hell..." I don't have much choice. Either I answer and hope it leads me somewhere, or I reject it and drown in my own anxieties.
Sh¡t. Everything's in shambles already.
I took a deep breath and decided to take a risk by pressing the answer button to find out who's calling Hyun-jung.
—"Finally... I thought you'd never pick up. I'm already here. Where are you?"
I know this voice— it's him— Kim Taehyung.
Jang Hyun-Jung, you fcker.
"I'm running late... Where are you again?" I asked, making my voice sound a bit higher to emulate Hyun-Jung's tone of voice.
I may have no idea what the fck is happening, but whatever Hyun-Jung's planning to do with Taehyung— it's not happening.
—"Ichon park, just in front of the xx statue, why? Should I move somewhere else?"
With a grin on my face, my hands then stopped shuddering, my heart beating steadily once more.
"No... Just stay where you are, love... Just stay where you are," I said, turning my car around, ending the call as I drove to Ichon park.
[END OF SOMEONE'S POV]
It's been awhile right? I'm sorry for updating this so late. I'll try to write more so I can post updates regularly again. Also, if you can, please do read the note I'll be leaving at the end of this update.
Something feels wrong.
Taehyung has already lowered his expectations for his meeting with Hyun-Jung, which is slated to take place tonight, but for some reason, right now, he fears the worst-case scenario.
Taehyung was meant to meet Hyun-Jung at 10 p.m., but it's already after eleven o'clock and Hyun-jung hasn't arrived yet.
Taehyung and Jeongguk are waiting in front of the xx statue in Ichon Park, while Jimin and the other officers in the team are on standby. It's been about an hour, and the more they wait, the more Taehyung loses patience.
He had contacted Hyun-Jung earlier, and while the latter confirmed that he was running late, it didn't alleviate Taehyung's concerns about their meeting today.
"He's still not here... Do you think he changed his mind? Do you think he knew we were going to entrap him tonight?" Taehyung wonders, pacing back and forth, absentmindedly playing with his earring, becoming increasingly anxious by the second.
"That could be possible, but I'm not sure... However, I must say it's a bit odd that he answered your call— I mean, that guy never answered no matter how many times we tried contacting him before; think about it, +
after the first call you made, he's been the one contacting us while rejecting our calls," Jeongguk says, recalling Taehyung and Hyun-jung's brief conversation earlier, which Taehyung put on speaker phone.
"You think it's unusual?" Taehyung asks, although truth be told, he felt uneasy when he talked to Hyun-Jung earlier; it sounded like him, but for some inexplicable reason, Taehyung felt as if he was talking to someone else.+
There was an eerie calmness in Hyun-Jung's voice, and unlike before, when Taehyung could sense the animosity behind Hyun-Jung's tone, Taehyung heard none of that in their most recent conversation.
"Yes, I believe so. I didn't think Hyun-Jung was into pet names; also, he's the one who set up the place and time, yet he's late. I don't want to seem presumptuous, but I doubt he has any idea what we intend to do with him after this meeting…+
I mean, he answered your call and told you to just wait as if it's nothing... I don't have a good feeling about this, Tae." Jeongguk says, wondering if he's just overthinking.
"I don't have a good feeling about this as well, but he didn't totally cancel, so I think we should wait," Taehyung says before turning on his radio headset, informing Jimin and the others on standby that Hyun-Jung will be late.
Hyun-Jung can feel his death approaching him right now. Every second feels like an hour of misery. Due to his injuries, even breathing became arduous for him. Every time his lungs swell and deflate, he feels stabbed,+
and every move he makes feels like sharp needles are being buried into his flesh. He can't stop crying, making the cab driver even more concerned,+
but Hyun-Jung doesn't have the strength to speak—right now, he's simply running on pure adrenaline.
"A-ahjussi, step on it, please... *cough* I'm really in a hurry," Hyun-Jung says, conscious that he doesn't have his phone with him right now, let alone Taehyung's number, so he couldn't contact the latter and alert him of what happened.
Everything's a mess and Hyun-jung has no idea how this will end.
Hell, he might not even be alive to welcome the next day.
If that man had returned to the warehouse, he would have known that he had escaped and could check his phone for details, and even though Hyun-Jung made sure not to keep any information in his phone, he still couldn't be sure if there were any new messages from Taehyung.
Since he is late, Hyun-Jung is worried that Taehyung is already looking for him; he may have tried contacting him again, and if he does, that man will have answered it, and he will know what Hyun-Jung has been plotting.
Worst-case scenario: that man cancels Hyun-Jung's meeting with Taehyung, and Hyun-jung is now rushing to nothing.
But he cannot simply give up.
Hyun-Jung is willing to put everything on the line right now.
'If I die, I'll make sure you'll never be happy in this lifetime,' Hyun-Jung thinks, his heart fueled by his thirst for vengeance, all focused on the man who ruined his life and left him beyond broken.
"We're here... Are you sure you don't want to go to the hospital? You look like you're in pretty bad shape, kid— hey stop! You haven't paid yet!" shouts the driver when Hyun-Jung rushes outside the cab without paying the fare,+
limping to find Taehyung, even though he has no idea where he is at the moment.
"J-just so you wait... This will be the end—" Hyun-Jung whispers to himself, his eyes sharp as he recalls the scornful look on that man's face.
"Any updates, Tae?" Jimin asks over the radio to Taehyung.
—'None thus far. He's still not here.'
"Alright... We'll be on standby," Jimin says, taking a deep breath, already impatient because they've been waiting for Hyun-Jung for about an hour and have no idea whether or not he'll arrive.
—'Thank you, Jimin. He should turn up soon... I hope so,' Taehyung replies before turning off the radio.
If there's one thing I despise the most, it's not having complete control. I detest coming unprepared, I loathe surprises, and I abhor not knowing what to anticipate.
I often get the impression that I'm being duped at times when I have no idea what's going to occur. I want to always be two steps ahead, but that doesn't appear to be the case at the moment.
Where did I go wrong?
Should I have not touched Hyun-Jung?
Should I have not taken him?
No, that's not it.
I probably should have just k¡lled him.
I honestly have no idea why I teared up at the mere thought of it. I didn't know why I cried, nor why I ran away.
I shouldn't have left him alone in that place— alive, that is.
The problem with people is that they talk—and they can talk a lot depending on the situation and their desperation, and I'm now afraid because I'm aware that I've pushed Hyun-Jung to his limitations.
As I continued to step on the gas, I couldn't help but be furious.
Seriously? I have done this for so long, so why the fck did I mess up now when I'm so close to getting my dream— my Taehyung.
"F/uck. F/uck. F/uck. F//uck!!!!" I slammed my palms against the steering wheel, speeding up more, hoping I wouldn't be too late to reach Hyun-Jung.
I need to get to him.
I need to stop him.
I need to stop him, because I'm sure whatever it is that he's planning to tell Taehyung, it wouldn't be for my benefit.
I arrived near Ichon Park a few minutes later. I made a point of stopping in a poorly lit area with no visible cameras. There don't really seem to be any other people around, which is exactly what I need for me to do what I want.
To be safe, I parked my car a few blocks away from the supposed meeting place, then put on my jacket, a face mask, a cap, and my leather gloves; +
on the glove compartment, I then fished out my favorite pair of steel scissors, tucking it inside my sleeves before stepping out, making sure I remained inconspicuous.
Taehyung said that he's waiting in front of the xx statue. Luckily, that is quite near where I am currently, so I decided to stop by and from there, I saw him...
The reason for my insanity.
My perfect muse— Taehyung,
And he's with that pr¡ck— that goddmn pest, Jeon Jeongguk.
Here, hidden within the shadows, behind a tree, I balled my fists tightly, reminding myself that right now, I should stick to my priorities.
Jeon Jeongguk can wait— my ultimate revenge can wait.
Clicking my tongue in annoyance, I left, taking another route, hoping that I would soon run into Hyun-Jung.
[END OF SOMEONE’S POV]
Hobi then entered the basement of the seemingly abandoned warehouse while holding his g:un. The whole place is lit with just one old single flickering light bulb, Hobi directed his men to proceed after making sure that the coast is clear.
There's no one here— but someone surely has been.
"Jung Hoseok, police, is there anyone here?" Hobi yells, loudly announcing his presence, but receives no response.
Hobi and his colleagues quickly secured the basement, where they discovered a broken chair, ropes, and blood smears on the concrete floor.
"Take a shot of everything, and get whatever we can use for evidence," Hobi instructs the other cops.
'Watched too many dramas, my a:ss— I knew it... This isn't just an empty warehouse afterall.' He thinks, mentally preparing himself to tell Yoongi later that his intuitions are never wrong.
[Please play this as you read.]
Hyun-jung thinks that the path he is now walking on is endless. Every stride he takes hurts enough to make him feel as if he's only a few steps away from dying.
But he has no intention of stopping until he has exposed all of that man's crimes.
He kept coughing up blood, and he could feel his fractured ribs squeezing his lungs every time he breathed.
He also feels stupid, because he actually has no idea where to find Taehyung within this whole park.
"P-pfft... Why? Why am I like this, really?" Hyun-Jung couldn't help but laugh at himself, knowing that he had overestimated himself. He was far too complacent, +
believing that everything would continue to go his way, completely forgetting that he was dealing with the true human form of a monster.
And, as if to taunt him more for his mistakes, it began to rain, exacerbating his wounds and further affecting his already clouded vision.
Hyun-Jung found himself pausing there, falling to his knees, letting the rain wash his tears, and then he burst out laughing.
His body feels so weak and now, so is his will.
This might really be the end of it.
But then, as if he saw a light at the end of a dark tunnel, when he lifted his gaze, Hyun-Jung saw a figure standing a few steps away from him.
"G-geomsanim?" Hyun-Jung whispers, smiling in relief— a smile that quickly faded when he finally made off the man's face when the latter stood under the lamppost. A predator looking at his prey.
"No... No—" Hyun-Jung quickly got to his feet, limping away from the man that's slowly closing onto him.
"No... No— get away! GET THE F:UCK AWAY FROM ME!!!"
"Tae, it's raining... Maybe we should just leave; I don't think Hyun-Jung will come," Jeongguk suggests, persuading Taehyung to stop waiting for Hyun-Jung already.
"No... He's on his way—"
"What if he's not? What if he's already changed his mind? We're definitely wasting our time. We shouldn't have trusted that person," Jeongguk says, yanking Taehyung's arm, restless, concerned, and scared at the same time.
"Can you even hear yourself? This could be our last chance to catch that damn slasher once and for all, and you want me to just give up because he's a few minutes late and it's raining?" Taehyung exclaims, letting his own desperation get the best of him.
For weeks, they've done nothing except run around in circles, suspecting two people with little to no evidence to back up their accusations; it's as if they're playing hide and seek in the dark,+
hitting one dead end after another, and Taehyung is already running out of patience; he just wants it all to be over as soon as possible.
"Calm down, Tae... I'm worried about you. You'll get sick if—"
**"GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM ME!!!"**
"Wait... D-did you hear that?" Taehyung asks after hearing a faint sound of someone yelling from a distance.
"Yes, I did." Jeongguk responds, immediately grabbing Taehyung's wrist and pulling him back when Taehyung was about to run towards where they heard someone scream.+
"Let's call back up... We're not even sure if that's Hyun-Jung." He says.
"But what if it's him? It sounded like him—" Taehyung pauses before releasing himself from Jeongguk's grip.+
"Stay here, just in case Hyun-Jung comes; for now, it's better that we split up... Don't worry, I'd still contact Jimin for backup," Taehyung says, dashing away before Jeongguk can respond.
"T-Tae, wait!— Ugh! Fck this!" Jeongguk says, ruffling his damp hair, frustrated because Taehyung left him with no other choice but stay in place.
[You can play this as you read.]
Running up that hill
The rain doesn't appear to be stopping anytime soon, but Hyun-Jung is already out of breath. The man chasing him isn't even running, yet he's closing in, and Hyun-jung fears he won't be able to escape it—death, that is.
It's late in the evening and it's pouring, so the park is naturally empty, but as he limps away, Hyun-Jung wishes he could run into someone—anyone—but he's seeing no one, not a single soul around.
"You're just hurting yourself, love! Pfft..." The man laughs, as if he finds Hyun-Jung's plight amusing, but Hyun-Jung has no energy to respond; he just keeps hobbling, attempting to run, moving on sheer panic.
Like a rat being chased by a serpent on an open field, that's how hopeless Hyun-Jung's case is.
"Stop making things worse for yourself, love... Just give up," the man says mockingly as he walks towards Hyun-Jung, who has somehow made his way inside a public restroom.
'Get away.... Stop chasing me already...' Hyun-Jung thinks to himself as he drags his feet towards one of the empty cubicles. He's shivering, his face pale, +
aware that by running here, he's basically cornered himself like a defenseless prey, waiting to be devoured by the devil behind him.
As Hyun-Jung hugs himself, pressing his back against the cold tiled walls of the tight cubicle he's in, the sound of the door he just locked reverberated throughout the restroom.