“I left for a reason.”
When Yoongi opens the door, he doesn’t expect to see Namjoon standing at the entrance. He woke up with a throbbing headache today, decided to call in sick instead of heading down to his job at the local production studio, and was planning on spending the whole day rolling around in bed. And now, he has to deal with this.
“At least let me in, hyung,” Namjoon says. He’s clad in a hoodie and jeans, sneakers on his feet and a backpack slung around a shoulder. But Yoongi knows better; there’s a Beretta in the front pocket of his hoodie, a pocket knife lodged deep in one of his jean pockets, and he’s sure that in that backpack, there’s either a ton of cash or a ton of explosives.
Yoongi sighs, but stands to the side and allows his old partner to enter.
Yoongi sneers. He knows that his apartment is small by Korean standards. But he’s no longer in Seoul, no longer in Korea; he’s in Tokyo, the ever-changing, ever-moving capital of Japan, where it’s in some ways so similar to his old home and in some ways so different. He came to Japan for a reason, and to meet Namjoon again is not one of them.
Namjoon sits down on the couch and takes two seconds to survey the whole apartment. There’s only one bedroom and a tiny kitchenette; Yoongi doesn’t even have a television, instead installing a mini-music studio in its place, complete with a giant monitor and a synth. The window is large, though, overlooks the busy streets with a sort of quiet reverence that only someone who has been through city after city will understand.
“Why are you here?”
“You know why.”
Namjoon gives him a pointed look. In the two years he hasn’t seen him, Yoongi thinks, he really hasn’t changed. He looks the same, all lanky limbs and dyed hair, though said hair has since been shaved off, leaving only stubby strands in their wake. He carries himself differently, though, the arrogance dampened by an air of fatigue and burden, steps more cautious than before.
He digs through his backpack and takes out an envelope. The shape of the gun is obvious, strains against the paper.
“We want you back, Yoongi,” he says. “We need you back.”
Yoongi frowns. He pushes the (too) heavy envelope back to Namjoon, doesn’t even want to open it, doesn’t even want to see how many bills they’ve managed to stuff inside.
“When I said I was leaving, I actually meant it,” Yoongi says. He gets up to turn on the fan, more so to break the silence than anything. “I’m not going back.”
“You were the best we had.”
“If I go back, I won’t be the best anyway,” Yoongi points out. He might not be involved in their heists any longer, but he still manages to keep up via virtue of the Internet, and some of the tricks they’ve pulled off would have been impossible two years ago, even with the same technology. “You don’t need me.”
“It doesn’t matter. The new blood is good, but they don’t know their way around like you and me.” Namjoon places the envelope on the couch, right between him and Yoongi. Then he gives a pensive look. “One fuck up doesn’t mean you’re out of the business, Yoongi.”
He feels himself tense up, fingers curling into a fist and mouth tightening into a line. Before February 5th, 2013, Min Yoongi did not know the meaning of ‘fuck up’. But that day was a day of chaos, of fire and blood and tears, of regrets and silent apologies and the kind of pain that comes with knowing you’re the only one left. It was the kind of day that leaves scars on your heart and in your mind, even when the ones on your skin have scabbed over and healed.
The next second, he’s got a butterfly knife pressed up against Namjoon’s throat, the other hand wrapped around his throat hard enough to leave bruises.
“You mention that again,” he sneers. He presses the knife a little harder, watches as the skin almost gives way. “And I’ll make sure you’re the last fuck up I ever make.”
Namjoon’s still as calm as ever, one of the most admirable traits about him, Yoongi thinks. His face is expressionless as he gently pushes Yoongi’s arm away.
“I knew you would say that.”
He fishes something else out of his backpack, hands it to Yoongi. This is when a certain something finally flashes across his old partner’s face, when Yoongi finally breaks.
He lunges forward with a sort of ferocity he never knew he was capable of, presses the knife against Namjoon’s neck again, presses it hard enough that red begins to trickle out, enough that he actually sees the beginning of bruises form as he tightens his hold around Namjoon’s throat.
“You’re playing dirty,” he spits.
Namjoon sighs. “We have no other choice. We mean business, Yoongi.”
As he talks, his throat moves, and more blood leaks out, but it doesn’t seem to bother him. Yoongi knows it’s stupid to use a butterfly knife, of all things, to threaten Namjoon, who probably has on his body two different pistols, a knife of his own and a handkerchief laced with cyanide. Even if Namjoon’s not a combat specialist, prefers to sit behind a desk and plan out every last move, Yoongi has firsthand accounts of just what the young genius is capable of. But he’s not going down without a fight.
“I’m not coming willingly.”
He fingers at the photograph that’s pressed between his hands and against Namjoon’s throat, silently apologises to his brother that his face is being pressed up against the skin of a certified asshole, even if it is only a picture.
When he finally backs away, still fuming, still desperately wanting to punch someone, something, Namjoon hands the envelope to him. This time, he takes it.
“The tickets are in there, along with your pistol, fifteen rounds and one million won. We’ll give you your M16 once you’re back in Seoul.”
“Not yen?” Yoongi asks. His fingers tighten around the envelope, still tightly sealed. “No round-trip tickets?”
Namjoon gives him a pointed look. He thinks he sees pity, too, but Yoongi can’t be sure.
“I’ll see you back home,” Namjoon says, as he grabs he backpack and leaves.
He sends Yoongi a little mock-salute as he walks off, and Yoongi closes the door, turns back to look at his apartment. It’s almost as if no one had ever entered.
Seoul is familiar and alien, all at once. Stepping onto the streets is overwhelming; the heat, the humidity, the sheer number of people he knocks elbows with, all in the span of five minutes. It’s hard to hold your own when the people here don’t give two shits about anyone other than themselves.
At least in Tokyo, people were polite about it; a slight shove would be followed by a gomenasai, an accidental nudge by a sheepish smile and a quick bow. At least in Tokyo, the monotony of crowded streets was broken up by a high school couple trying to get away with riding on the same bike, by a random oyaji handing out free caricatures at Yoyogi Park.
Even though both places are as crowded and as full, the air in Seoul teems not only with the sterility of city life but also with a sort of discomfort, something that stifles him, something that makes his nose scrunch up in distaste. Everything he hates about people - and the list is long - culminates in one place called Seoul. It holds bad memories, people are rude, buildings are lifeless, trying to drive is laughable; life moves at a breakneck pace and leaves you in the dust.
The air tastes bad.
He tries to ignore the sour taste staining his tongue, the stench of the city, a potent mix of car exhaust and summer heat.
They’ve put him up at their safe house. He put up a valiant fight, insisted on his own place; this was going to be on his terms, and no one else’s. But Seokjin put his foot down, fingered the gun tucked into his pocket, outlined exactly what would happen to him and his family if he did not comply. In the end, Yoongi was dragged, kicking and screaming, to the front door of the headquarters of Bangtan.
It’s a fancy place. They’ve done pretty well for themselves, Yoongi muses. It’s located in Hongdae, a ten-storey building barely distinguishable from the rest that line the streets; that is, until you enter the lobby.
They have a fucking foyer. This is the most posh place he has ever step foot in, though that’s not saying much, since he grew up in back alleys and abandoned warehouses. It’s air-conditioned. There’s even a doorman.
“Hello,” he greets. Yoongi might be bitter but he’s still got manners. He clears his throat. “I’m heading to the library now.”
Seven words to grant him access to the tenth floor. The doorman smiles, nods, does this like he’s done so tens of dozens of times before.
The tenth floor is just like any other tenth floor, and he feels somewhat cheated. There’s only a single penthouse suite, and he assumes he will be sharing the place with whoever else Seokjin and Namjoon managed to pick up, the ‘new blood’ who should have known better than to join something like this.
He doesn’t bother knocking, merely swipes the key card and hears a satisfying click.
He grants himself the luxury of surveying the place. It’s large, much larger than he would expect, and this is only the living area. There’s no television, just like his own place, but the sofa is gigantic and there are small workspaces scattered across the corners of the room, wooden desks and stacks of paper and a gun or five. It looks surprisingly well-lived in.
“Suga,” someone says. An old, familiar face, one that he can hardly forget. “Never thought I’d see you here again without being gagged and bound.”
“Shut up, Hoseok.”
Hoseok merely grins. He’s always been an optimistic little shit, entered the organisation the same way Yoongi did - by pissing someone else off. He sits at one of the workspaces, tinkers with some gadget or another, a true weapons specialist at work.
“I’m surprised Namjoon managed to convince you,” Hoseok says. He gets up and walks toward Yoongi. “Thought it would take much more than one visit.”
“He played dirty, like always.”
The derision leaks through his voice. (It’s not like he tried to stop it.)
“No, he played smart.” Hoseok shakes his head. “Anyway, let me show you around.”
Yoongi learns that there are four bedrooms, shared amongst seven people, including himself. He learns that he will be sharing a room with one of the newer recruits, a boy two years younger than him, only twenty-two and fresh out of university. He’s thankful that no one else is around as Hoseok gives him the grand tour of Bangtan’s new headquarters. He doesn’t feel like dealing with any idiots today.
There’s also a decent-sized kitchen, a meeting room and a gym. There’s a firing range in the basement, should the snipers need practice, which also doubles up as a combat area.
When Yoongi asks where they got all the money, Hoseok gives him a smirk. (And Hoseok never smirks.)
“Yoongi,” Seokjin says, as he serves dinner. Yoongi still finds it weird that the big boss is preparing bibimbap for the group. “How nice of you to join us.”
He flashes a sarcastic smile.
The looks he gets around the table are curious, wary. He expected change, but Seokjin and Namjoon and Hoseok have always been creatures of habit, pulled taut by their inertia and steadfastness to what has always worked. Yoongi leaving changed that.
There are three faces that he doesn’t recognise. All are younger than his, features smoother and rounder, less worn by the demands of life.
He learns their names: Jeon Jeongguk, Kim Taehyung and Park Jimin.
Jeongguk has a sturdy build and wide, sad eyes, hair dyed a purple so dark Yoongi mistakes it for black, gauges on both earlobes. He looks more like a university student than a professional hit man. (“That’s because he is a university student, Yoongi.”) He is nothing like a gunman, who, in Yoongi’s experience, is usually brash and loud and impulsive. Instead, he carries himself in a painfully reserved manner, responses clipped and short. He’s only twenty, still scampers off to class every morning and does his homework in between practices at the firing range; Yoongi thinks he could have made better life choices.
The one with the large eyes and large smile is Taehyung, who grins and waves at Yoongi when they first meet, who would probably have pulled him into a hug had Namjoon not restrained him. His eyes dart left and right all the time, even when they talk, and Yoongi swears he can see the boy’s brain working overtime. He’s a bit of a genius, Seokjin says, though not quite the same kind as Namjoon. Taehyung lives behind computers, tinkers with code, hacks into even the most sophisticated of security programmes with practised ease.
And Jimin, Jimin is the one who beams at him when he enters. Yoongi thinks they must have made a mistake, picking up a kid who looks so fucking young and innocent and throwing him to the wolves. But no, Namjoon explains, Jimin is a close combat expert, likes to fight with his hands, though he doesn’t mind the help of a knife or two every now and then. And unfortunately, Yoongi can tell; the boy wears a muscle shirt that shows off his lean arms, courtesy of zero body fat, displays a body that doesn’t quite match the youthful face that looks even younger than Jeongguk’s.
As for the other three, well, Yoongi doesn’t want to dwell on them. Even after two years, he knows them like the back of his hand, can tell you every last detail of their lives, from the time they usually brush their teeth to the number of rounds they carry with them to the names of their very first guns.
“Yoongi-hyung, what are you thinking about?” Jimin asks, as he shoves a spoonful of rice into his mouth.
“How to dispose of all your bodies once I’ve killed you,” Yoongi deadpans.
The whole table erupts in laughter, but it’s something he is seriously contemplating. There’s a reason why he left.
A/N: title from skyfall by adele, thought it was painfully fitting. i make bad life choices, just like jeongguk. (i should really be studying instead of caving in to another au.) this was written on whim, and i’m not sure if it’s worth expanding into a chaptered story. do let me know if i should continue this!