Yoongi was running late. He knew he was running late because the little arms on his watch were blazing like fire at him, reminding him he wasn't where he was supposed to be and it was one of the things he hated more than anything. He ran on a tight schedule and when that schedule was thrown off course thanks to a meeting that ran thirty minutes longer than it was supposed to, he was bound to get frustrated. That thirty minute longer meeting caused him to miss his 4:15 bus, which meant he had to take the 4:45 bus, catching it by only a sliver and if there was one thing Yoongi hated more than running late, it was running period. He wasn't old, not really, but he wasn't the most athletic man and running was not his forte.
His thirty minute too long meeting caused a spiralling effect in his timeline and there was nothing he could do about it but complain silently to himself in that soft grumbling way people found cute on occasion.
The worst part of all, the absolute worst, was knowing he was late picking up his son.
Jungkook expected him at 4:30 on the dot, every weekday, without fail. But today, today Yoongi was late and he didn't want to think about the repercussions it could have on his son. Perhaps to an outsider, they would think Jungkook needed to learn balance, needed to learn that sometimes things happened that were out of people's control and they couldn't always be on time as they were expected to be.
But those outsiders didn't know Jungkook like Yoongi knew Jungkook. The boy was... sensitive, as his mother liked to put it. Sensitive was an understatement but Yoongi never argued it. He spent the last four years attempting to understand his son and there were still so many little things he had yet to grasp. He was trying though, and in the end, that was all that mattered.
When Yoongi scrambled off the bus in front of the building with the yellow sun and multicolored flowers across the top, he was far from the only parent picking up their child. But Yoongi was late, knew he was late, and as he hurried into the building, bowing to another parent who held the door for him, he could only hope Jungkook wouldn't be too frustrated with him. The last time Yoongi was late picking him up from his mother's, thanks to a road accident that derailed his path, Jungkook didn't speak to him for a week.
Course, Jungkook rarely spoke as it were but the whole thing still took a small chunk out of Yoongi's fragile heart.
Jungkook's classroom was down the left hallway, with all the other under school age children. Yoongi was careful as he passed by teachers, parents and children. He hugged his briefcase tightly to his chest, making himself smaller than he already was as he shuffled down the hallway. There was a papermache white cresent moon hanging above the 3-4 year old classroom and Yoongi hurried toward it, hoping, praying, that Jungkook wasn't upset with him.
"Min-ssi!" One of Jungkook's teachers, Kim Suchin, waved to him as he approached the door, turning away from saying her fairwells to another child. Her smile was soft, the type of kind smile children needed when left by their parents. "We were just about to call you, Is everything alright?"
"Meeting ran late." He rushed out, heart pounding slightly in his chest because he had moved faster than he normally did and perhaps he was bit more out of shape than he originally thought. "Where is he? Is he alright?"
"Oh, yes!" She bowed her head gently and ushered him into the room, stepping around a parent zipping up their child's coat. "When you didn't show up on time, I told him you must be running late so he went to-" She cut herself off, making a soft noise of surprise and Yoongi glanced up, following her gaze to one of the small tables that was empty. "Oh, he was right there, where did he go?"
Yoongi grit his teeth and carefully put his briefcase down on one of the child sized tables. It would remain undisturbed, he was certain. "I'll get him." He assured her, already knowing exactly where Jungkook would have gone to hide. He just hoped the boy wasn't upset. It broke his heart every time those fat tears rolled silently down his chubby red cheeks. He was so pretty when he cried but that didn't mean Yoongi liked seeing his son cry.
"I'll watch your things and get his things ready." She gave him a knowing smile before moving over to the wall of cubby holes, reaching for the things in the spot labeled "Min Jungkook".
Jungkook's classroom was a nice one, all things considered. The teachers were kind and understanding and the students were as well behaved as a group of 3-4 year old could be. This room, with all of its bright colors and toys, was one of the reasons Jungkook had stayed with Yoongi after the divorce. This room was the only place the boy felt safe outside of their apartment and the reason Jungkook called Seoul his home instead of Busan.
There were a few children lingering about, waiting for their parents but none of them were Jungkook. No, Jungkook liked to hide when he was upset, be it his face buried in Yoongi's neck, or in a small confined space that made him feel safe. There was only one place in the entire room that gave him such a feeling and that was the small built-in jungle gym at the back of the room. It was padded and as colorful as the rest of the room but void of any children from what Yoongi could see. That was okay though; He knew Jungkook had probably crawled inside toward the top area where it was dark and small.
Yoongi was dressed for work, in tailored black slacks, matching suit coat, white button down and tie. So he knew he had to look quite a sight when he shrugged off his suit coat, laying it over a childsized chair, and unbuttoned his cuffs to roll up his sleeves to his elbows. He could feel a few of the mother's watching him, perhaps judging or perhaps understanding, as he got down onto his knees and started to crawl through the entrance of the jungle gym.
"Jungkookie." He called softly, pausing with his hands pressed into the soft vinyl padding of the entrance, his knees still on the carpeted floor. "Jungkookie, Appa's here."
It took a moment, but after years of listening Yoongi was trained to here the small subtle sounds his son made. There was a faint whimper, barely enough of a noise to be considered a sound but it was all Yoongi needed to hear before crawling into the gym. The space was probably a tight fit for an average adult of his age but Yoongi was a little on the short and lithe size, which was why it was easy for him to fit inside. The female teacher's could likely fit easily inside as well, to chase down children who refused to come out.
There was a small rope bridge Yoongi had to cross and he silently cursed to himself as he struggled over the knots that dug into his knees. He could only crawl and he knew he had to look a sight from the outside but he was going to get his son no matter what. A series of multicolored padded stairs led up to the next floor and Yoongi had to wiggle his way through them, wrinkling his shirt and musing his naturally fluffy black hair. He managed to get to the top floor after a moment and crawled toward the other side where he knew a small red cube sat at the top of the structure, with a small port hole to over look the room.
The hole to get inside of the cube was small, too small for Yoongi to fit completely through but he did manage to get his head through and he wasn't all that surprised to find his son curled up in the corner of the padded cube, legs hugged to his chest and head buried in his arms, as far away from the port hole as he could be.
"Jungkookie." Yoongi called softly, sweetly, a sad smile curling to his lips when the boy flinched at his voice. It was a careful process and as much as Yoongi wanted to reach out and gather the boy into his arms, he knew he had to take it easy and gentle. He curled his fingers over the opening his head was through and gently rested his chin on the smooth padded vinyl. "Jungkookie, I'm sorry. I know I'm late, I didn't mean to be."
Jungkook looked so small curled up like that. He was a small child for his age to begin with, perhaps cursed with Yoongi's small genes, but when he curled up like that, like he was trying to protect himself from the world he didn't understand, and in turn didn't understand him, it broke Yoongi's heart. He was still wearing the soft blue overalls Yoongi had dressed him in that morning, a bright red shirt beneath because it was Jungkook's favorite color and no matter what he was always wearing something red. His black hair was a mess, perhaps from tugging on it and Yoongi hated that Jungkook felt stressed enough to tug on his hair again. He'd pulled strands out once before, though luckily, this time it appeared as though he had only played with it in his anxiety.
"Kookie." Yoongi called his special nickname softly, oh so gently, and Jungkook glanced up slowly, revealing the top part of his face and the slight curve of his nose. Yoongi was relieved to see the boy's eyes weren't red, which meant he hadn't been crying. His cheeks were flushed lightly but that was rather normal. "Appa's sorry. Appa's very very sorry."
Sparkling dark brown eyes searched all over his face slowly, taking in each every feature as if he was trying to make sure the man before him was actually his father. After a patient minute, Jungkook slowly uncurled from himself but made no effort to move toward Yoongi.
"Mhm, that's good baby." Carefully, Yoongi slipped his hand over the padding, palm up in offering. "You ready to go home? I bet Iron Man really misses you right now since we're both late coming home. Oh!" Yoongi smiled, wiggling his fingers a little bit when Jungkook's eyes dropped to them. "And we still have to pack, hm? Remember, we're going to see your eomma tomorrow."
Jungkook perked up at the mention of his mother, his too large for his face eyes widening all the more. His lips moved, mouthing out the word 'eomma' without actually speaking it and then he was shifting onto his knees, crawling to Yoongi eagerly.
"That's a good boy." Yoongi's heart fluttered when that tiny little hand curled into his own, squeezing tightly because Jungkook loved Yoongi, he loved him so very much, he just didn't know how to show it sometimes. "Think you can show appa how to get out of here?"
Jungkook nodded enthusiastically and waited for Yoongi to move out of the way before he slipped down the hole. The boy gave Yoongi a soft smile, just the slight upturn of one corner of his mouth before he started crawling the way Yoongi had come. Getting out of the gym was a little bit harder than getting inside of it but by the time Yoongi stumbled out onto the carpet he was more than relieved to be free from the gym.
"Oh, wonderful!" Suchin smiled warmly at the two of them and offered Yoongi his suit jacket with a bow of her head. "Not many father's I've seen would crawl in there to get their son. So lovely, Min-ssi."
Yoongi shrugged because he would always do what he needed to do for his son. Jungkook pressed into his leg, little fingers clutching the fabric of his pants as he waited for Yoongi to button up his sleeves and pull his jacket back on. Suchin had Jungkook's little red Iron Man back pack in one hand and his red puffy jacket in the other so Yoongi took them both with a soft smile and a polite bow.
"Jungkook-ssi told me he's going to see his mother tomorrow." Suchin spoke softly, watching with warm eyes as Yoongi dropped to his knees to slip Jungkook's coat on over his small shoulders. "Or, rather, he drew it."
Yoongi hummed as he carefully zipped up the red coat, smiling once he was finished because Jungkook was watching him with wide eyes. "I think he's excited." He spoke softly, reaching up to carefully ruffle black strands of messy hair. Jungkook preened slightly at the touch, leaning his head into Yoongi's hand and the man was more than happy that his son wasn't upset with him. "We're going to the aquarium, aren't we Jungkookie?"
Jungkook nodded his head enthusiastically, letting Yoongi lift his arms so he could slide on his backpack.
"That sounds lovely." Suchin smiled big just for Jungkook and it made the boy drop his head shyly and press into Yoongi's chest. "When shall we expect him again?"
Yoongi hummed as he wrapped his arms around Jungkook and stood up, his knees protesting for only a second. Jungkook wrapped his legs around his waist, holding on while Yoongi took most of his weight with an arm under his bum. He was getting heavier and yet the doctor said he was still slightly underweight. It was something they were working on.
"We're staying through the weekend. Jiae insisted we spend his birthday together and I didn't argue."
"That's so very wonderful of you both. I know... it perhaps has not been easy. Forgive me if I'm speaking too familiarly." She bowed her head politely and Yoongi just nodded at her because this was the same woman Yoongi met almost two years ago when Jungkook was difficult to work with and had been brushed off every other daycare they could find. She took a chance on Jungkook and Yoongi would forever be grateful. "Jungkook-ssi has been doing very well, however."
"I'm glad to hear that." Yoongi adjusted his hold on the boy and smiled softly when that little nose nuzzled into the side of his throat. "Jungkookie, say goodbye to your teacher. You won't see her again till Monday."
Carefully, slowly, Jungkook untucked from Yoongi's neck and bowed his little head at Suchin. She smiled sweetly and bowed her head in return. "Have a good birthday, Jungkook-ssi. We look forward to seeing you soon." Jungkook flushed all the way to his nose and buried his head in Yoongi's neck again, causing both adults to chuckle softly.
"Thank you." Yoongi bowed his head to Suchin before picking up his briefcase.
"Thank you." She bowed her head in return. "Have a safe trip. Take care, Min-ssi, Jungkook-ssi."
Yoongi bowed once more in farewell before tucking Jungkook close to his chest and leaving the classroom. Jungkook was a warm welcomed weight against his side and chest and the boy remined tucked into his neck all the way. From the walk to the bus stop, the ride on the bus and the treck up to their fourth story apartment, Jungkook refused to leave Yoongi's grasp. It was heartwarming to say the least, but as soon as they were through the apartment door and Yoongi locked up behind them, Jungkook was wiggling to be free.
Yoongi removed Jungkook's backpack, coat and shoes before his own so the boy could scurry off into the apartment, weaving his way through the living room before disappearing down the hallway to his bedroom. Yoongi smiled softly to himself as he removed his shoes and coat. He set his briefcase down carefully because there was still work he had to do even when he was technically on holiday but he hoped to get most of it done tonight before they left in the morning.
Yoongi was shuffling into the kitchen to prepare dinner when Jungkook waddled back out into the living room, hugging the brightly colored Iron Man plush that was almost as big as he was. A gift from both of his parents after the finalisation of their divorce. A guilt present, if anything, but Jungkook loved it with his entire being. He waddled over to the couch with the plush in hand before crawling up onto the cushions, sitting Iron Man down gently before leaning over to its head to whisper softly to it about his entire day.
Yoongi smiled fondly and turned to start dinner, a warm feeling settling in his chest. When Jiae had decided the two of them were better off separated, they had both been worried about how Jungkook would adjust. He was sensitive, as she would say. As far as Yoongi was concerned, his son was just different. He thought different, cared different, worked differently and there was nothing wrong with that. All it took was a little patience and understanding and Jungkook was the most loving child they could have ever asked for.
The divorce had been tough, on all sides. It had blindsided Yoongi but that was over a year ago and now...
Now they had figured out how to make it work, for Jungkook.
His parents didn't love one another anymore but they loved him above all else and because of that, they worked out a system. Jiae moved back to Busan to be with her mother after they separated and Yoongi remained in Seoul because his job and Jungkook's daycare was there. Neither of them wanted to pull Jungkook out of a place he finally felt safe and comfortable in so it only made sense for Jungkook to remain with Yoongi full time.
And as much as Jiae loved Jungkook, she had a harder time understanding him than Yoongi did. Jungkook absolutely adored his mother, loved her with everything he had, but Yoongi was a whole other ballpark. They both knew it, as much as it pained them to admit. Yoongi was softer, easier and more patient with Jungkook. Which, considering why Jiae left him, because he was "closed off" and "cold", still boggled his mind.
Jungkook's attachment to his father was one of the only things keeping him grounded and Yoongi intended to continue being that rock for his son. Living with him, taking care of him, as a single father wasn't easy but Yoongi wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.
With every soft grasp of that little hand around his, every pursed wet kiss to his cheek, every nuzzle into his neck and every rare soft word whispered into his ear, Yoongi knew what true love felt like. True love was his son and Yoongi would protect him with his very last breath.
Softly, Jungkook's voice floated into the kitchen, a lovely warm tone to it as he sang to his plush quietly. Yoongi smiled to himself, pausing in pulling down plates from the cabinet to listen to his son sing an old lullaby his mother sang to him when he was just a baby. Rarely did Yoongi get to hear Jungkook sing and when he did, it was a blessing. He listened quietly and intently, shifting on his feet to prepare dinner with a tender smile on his lips.
Taehyung was up before his 6:30 alarm out of pure excitement. His body was completely buzzing with it so when his eyes opened before the sun rise, he was up and out of bed ready to get his day started. He showered, messed with his hair a little bit before giving up because the coordi noona's would deal with it later. He left his face bare for the same reason, hoping to give it plenty of time to breathe before they had to leave. He was in the middle of shoving all his electronics in his carry-on messanger bag when the alarm on his phone went off and he let out a squeal of excitement.
"Jiminnie!" Taehyung called out loudly, tossing his phone back on his bed before he hurried out of his room. His heart was pounding out of pure excitement and his socked feet made soft thumps against the hardwood floor as he ran down the hallway. "Jiminnie! It's time to get up!" He nearly slammed into the closed bedroom door at the end of the hallway after skidding to a hault. He knocked on the door once before twisting the door knob. He was pleased to see his friend was already sitting up, fluffy white blankets pooled around his bare waist and fists rubbing at his sleep puffy eyes.
"Christ, what time is it? Oh my god, you're so loud." Jimin mumbled to himself, delicate fingers rubbing at his sleep swollen face. It was flawless as usual and Taehyung was flooded with affection for his long time friend so he didn't hesitate to jump onto the king sized bed and tackle his friend with a good morning hug. "Oh!" Jimin burst out into soft giggles, letting Taehyung sprawl out all over him, the both of them falling back into the piles and piles of pillows Jimin had scattered about his bed. Unlike Taehyung, he was a peaceful sleeper, hardly moving so all his nice pillows stayed in place while Taehyung's ended up sprawled all over his room.
"Busan, Jiminnie!" Taehyung burst into giggles himself, sliding his fingers along his friend's bare ribs until the smaller was giggling and wiggling beneath him and begging for him to relent in his tickling.
"Oh god, Tae, get off!" With a good shove to his shoulder, because Jimin was probably twice as strong as Taehyung, he rolled off to the side, giggling to himself as Jimin tried to catch his breath. "Christ, it's too early for you right now." His voice held no venom in it, his lips curling up into a bright smile as he sat up to rub his fingers through his messy hair. It was currently a pretty pink color, pastel and soft and Taehyung loved it. It brought out Jimin's eyes and the natural soft curves of his face. Jimin wasn't fond of it. Said it made him look smaller than he already was but Taehyung disagreed. Jimin fit their new concept a lot better than Taehyung did but that was okay. "What time is it anyway?"
Taehyung blinked, not all ashamed of his staring of his best friend when their eyes met. "6:30ish. Hyung said he's picking us up at seven and the train leaves at eight."
Jimin pursed his lips and dropped his hands into his blanket covered lap. "Remind me why we're taking a train again?"
Taehyung gasped and sat up quickly, his pastel lilac hair bouncing all over the place. "Because trains are fun, Jiminnie."
"So is riding in a car without being disturbed." He let out a soft sigh even though he didn't actually seem all that upset and tossed the blankets off his body so he could get to his feet. He stretched his arms above his head and didn't seem to mind Taehyung's obvious staring. He couldn't help it. His best friend was an attractive man. Sure, Jimin worked his butt off to have the coils of muscles around each and every limb but it was nice to appreciate. He was shorter than Taehyung by a good amount but he made up for it in the thickness of his muscles and the natural golden glow to his skin.
"Yeah, Okay, but a car takes almost five hours and KTX takes a little over two. It's quicker. And more fun."
Jimin rolled his shoulders, tilting his head from side to side as he moved toward the bathroom connected to his bedroom. Taehyung could remember a time when they weren't so blessed to have their own rooms, their own bathrooms. He could remember curling up in a twin sized bed with the other man because it was better than sleeping on the floor and all the other beds in the room were full. He could remember sharing a bathroom with fourteen other young men and trying to navigate how to shave his face without cutting himself because the last thing he wanted was to get scolded by the coordi noona's again.
They were lucky, though perhaps that was a matter of opinion. They had both worked so hard to get where they were. Through blood, sweat, tears, sore muscles and broken bones to get their own apartment in Gangnam where they had their own rooms and their own bathrooms. It wasn't just their own blood sacrificed. There were others. Too many others and it hurt Taehyung's chest just to think about.
There had been sixteen of them and now...
Now there were two.
Only a week ago there had been three but Minghao went back to China to be with his family permanently and his empty bedroom was a constant reminder of what they'd lost even when they had gained so much.
"Tae?" Jimin's voice was soft, knocking him from his sad thoughts and when he glanced up, his best friend was peering at him from the bathroom doorway. He had a certain look on his face, a look that told Taehyung he knew exactly what he was thinking and he felt the same way. "I'm going to shower real quick, okay? Are you finished packing?"
"Almost." He slid along the large bed to hop to his feet and planted a wide, boxy grin on his lips to ease Jimin's worries. It didn't do much but the soft frown on his plump lips lessened and that was enough for Taehyung. "I'll go finish up."
Jimin nodded, giving him one more once over before disappearing into the bathroom, shutting the door with a soft click.
Taehyung hummed to himself as he left his friend's bedroom, strolling toward his own and ignored the closed white door he passed. Perhaps they should move soon. A two bedroom apartment instead of a three because that room would be a constant reminder of what they lost and wasn't good for creative flow. Taehyung knew if he brought it up to their manager the man would understand. But moving again sounded like such a pain. He'd worry about it after they came back from Busan.
As excited as Taehyung was for Busan, he was also slightly worried. Just because another member left didn't mean their activities were going to be put on hold. They'd known about Minghao's leaving months ago. Long before they started this new comeback and after the release of their new MV, the entire country knew. He'd seen the comments, seen their fans reactions and it wasn't all that good. But Minghao had made a post on his Instagram almost immediately after the MV drop throwing tons of love and support their way and Taehyung didn't want to admit how he had cried into Jimin's throat after reading it.
With Minghao's support, and the support of a lot of their old members, the two of them were topping the charts and preparing for a massive comeback that was going to take over the scene. That was the plan anyway. Now that they were down to two, their fans didn't have to worry any more. Neither of them were going anywhere. They'd made promises to one another back when they were broken and sweaty trainees to never leave each others side and they intended to keep those promises.
HEX was starting over anew and their fans were excited for it. The song was all kinds of amazing. Jimin's choreography was the best he'd ever made and Taehyung's voice was at the top of his game. They could do this, just the two of them. The company had confidence in them and Taehyung knew, with Jimin at his side, they could accomplish anything.
Busan was the first stop in their venture as a duo and Taehyung could only hope it went well. It was a mini fanmeet planned months in advance but back then there had been three and now there were two and he hoped the fans wouldn't be disappointed. He'd received so much love and support from the fans lately and he hoped Busan would be filled with just as much love.
Taehyung let out a heavy sigh as he plopped onto his bed, picking up his phone from where he had thrown it and unlocked it with his thumb. Yesterday was their MV release and though they'd already broken records with the view count, he needed to see what the fans were saying. It was early but internationally, it was still yesterday and he wanted to see what international fans had to say too. He hoped they weren't too sad Minghao was gone. He hoped they weren't as heartbroken as he was.
HEX debuted six years ago, with sixteen members, one of the largest male groups at the time. Taehyung had been eighteen but trained since he was fourteen. At the time, he thought he might never debut but he had Jimin at his side and that was all that mattered. They joined the company at the same time, trained together, hit it off and were inseparable ever since. They were lucky to be put into the same group and tossed into the korean pop world with nothing but hope and their years of training.
HEX was successful right off the bat. With their variety of members, sharp choreography and phenomenal vocals they gained attention at a quick pace. They weren't the only self-produced idols at the time but they did become the most sucessful group. For two years they won awards, music shows, and hearts. For two years they had everything they could ever dream about.
But then, the members started dropping like flies. Contracts were up and the company was more than happy to renew every single one. HEX was successful, they were finally making their own money with their own music. Taehyung and Jimin signed their lives away once more because they had no reason not to and though they weren't the only ones to do so, there were a few members who decided HEX wasn't where they belonged anymore.
It started with Luhan. A visual with a honey voice from China who decided to go back home. After him, the members started dropping. Taehyung and Jimin watched in horror as their group of sixteen dropped to ten, and then eight, and then three and now, two. Just the two of them.
There were always rumors as to why the members left. Mistreatment from the company, disagreements with other members but none of it was true. The company treated them like princes and though there were disagreements, the members all go along. It was just, sometimes, members wanted to go down a different path or found that the idol life wasn't for them as they originally thought. Whatever their reason, they left and Taehyung was left alone with Jimin.
Sometimes Taehyung still heard from their old members. Sometimes he saw them releasing their own music or posting on their social media, living normal happy lives. He was glad to see most of them happy now. It made the sting of leaving hurt a little less.
Taehyung was scrolling through their twitter feed when he saw a few posts from old members. Minghao's post was still the most popular, his words kind and filled with love and Taehyung's throat closed up tightly in emotion after reading it for the hundredth time. Luhan had made a post supporting them as well, along with a picture of him smiling, holding one of their old lightsticks and it made Taehyung grin. He held his thumb over the picture until an option came up to save it and he clicked it. There was so much love and support, so much excitement for the meeting in Busan later that day and Taehyung's chest swirled with warmth. He took a deep breath and nodded to himself, knowing they could do it. With the support of their fans and old members, they could do this.
Taehyung locked his phone and moved to his feet to finish packing up, grabbing his phone charger from beside his bed to tuck that away in his bag. His clothes for the three day trip were already packed but those were just his personal items. Their stylists would have everything they needed to wear for any events they were going to. As far as Taehyung was aware they had the fanmeeting later that day and an interview the day after but then the rest of the time was for them. He was excited for Jimin to show him around his hometown.
He was in the process of dragging all his stuff out into the main living room when the apartment door clicked opened. He paused, fingers still curled around the handle of his suitcase as their manager shuffled into the apartment, eyes a little puffy from sleep and lips pursed.
"Hey, hyung." Taehyung greeted softly.
Seokjin stood up a little straighter upon noticing the idol and gave him a soft, warm smile, shutting the door behind himself. "Good morning, Tae."
Kim Seokjin was the kind of guy that could have been an idol, Taehyung thought. He was pretty, with his plump lips and smooth face and bright eyes. He could also sing, much to their surprise but he was satisfied being their manager and Taehyung never thought to question that. He took great care of them, always by their side even after losing so many members and Taehyung was grateful for him.
"Morning!" He greeted brightly, dropping his suitcase to rest against the white leather couch along with his messanger bag.
"Are you ready? And Jimin?" He glanced around the open apartment before his eyes trailed down the hallway.
"He's up. I think he'll be ready soon. Hey hyung, did you see twitter?" Taehyung hopped on his feet once as Seokjin entered more into the apartment.
"I did." Seokjin reached out to smooth chunks of Taehyung's hair, pursing his lips as he did so. "Good things so far. There's always the occasional bad comment but so far the good outweighs the bad."
Taehyung hummed and tilted his head so Seokjin had better access to fixing his naturally fluffy and messy hair. The coordi noona's would fix it properly once they got to Busan but Taehyung was still an idol and he had to look his best at all times. "Did you see Luhan-hyung's post?" He asked timidly.
Seokjin's lips pursed a bit more but he nodded. "I know having his support means a lot to you."
"Most of them have given their support."
"Tae!" Jimin called from the hallway and just as Taehyung moved to find him, the shorter male came into the living room with hurried steps, a backpack over his shoulder and his suitcase rolling behind him. He had his phone clutched in his hand and his eyes were wide as he stared at it. "Did you see- Oh good morning hyung." Jimin greeted Seokjin as soon as he looked up from his phone.
"Did I see what?" Taehyung slipped out from under Seokjin's hands, ignoring his protests that his hair was still a mess and saddled up to Jimin, peering down at the phone in his hand.
"Oh." Jimin released his suitcase to light up his phone again since the screen went dim. "Luhan-hyung."
"Yeah!" Taehyung buzzed with excitement as Jimin brought up the tweet he was referring to. "I saved it."
Jimin smiled prettily, his plump lips pulled up over his teeth and his eyes crinkling in the corners as he nudged their shoulders together. "I was going to message him and thank him. He's busy with his own music at the moment, you know? So it was really nice of him to take the time to notice ours."
"He still cares." Taehyung confirmed with a grin, tossing his arm around Jimin's shoulders to tuck his best friend against his side. "A lot of the others sent us messages too!"
"Are you two ready to go?" Seokjin spoke up, brushing off invisible dirt from his stylish jacket. "You'll have time to check up on everything on the train."
"Yeah, hyung, we're ready!"
After a too long process of shoving all of their things into the back of Seokjin's car and a short game of rock, paper, scissors to see who would sit up front, they were finally ready to leave for the train station. They were on time, thankfully, and Taehyung curled up in the back seat of the luxurious car, buzzing from excitement while Seokjin and Jimin settled in the front. The drive to the station shouldn't take too long but Taehyung still pulled out his phone to wander around social media.
Their MV was all over the place and he couldn't help but feel a proud buzz through his body because this was the first song he and Jimin wrote all on their own and it was pretty damn good in his opinion. He had been worried how well they would do without certain members musical abilities but between the two of them, they had enough years of training to skillfully develop a song that was bound to top the charts. So far, it was going as well as they could have hoped. It was the first time Taehyung ever took on a rap part for a title song as well and he was pretty proud of himsef for that. They were both vocals, always had been but Taehyung had always loved the rap parts of their songs and he was happy to finally have a chance to do one.
The song their company chose for their comeback was soft, pretty and heartfelt. It spoke from their hearts of how much they missed their old members and how different life was going to be for them from now on. But it was also full of hope and wonder. Just as the winter will melt away into spring, life will move on and they'll be okay. "Spring Day" was their song and with their heartfelt lyrics and well sculpted choreography thanks to Jimin, they would top the charts as a duo and prove all of the nay-sayers wrong.
"Holy mother of all snap dragons!" The car lurched forward all of a sudden and Taehyung glanced up in alarm, wincing at the seatbelt snapping against his ribs as the car came to a sudden halt.
Seokjin mumbled under his breath, eyes wide and Jimin was leaning forward, hands curled over the dash board as he looked down the road they were about the cross. Alarms started ringing and Taehyung leaned forward as well just in time to see a flash of black and white fly by the front of the car. Police cars, sirens blasting, followed by ambulances and even a firetruck. It was loud and abrupt and Taehyung snapped his head to the side to see where they were going.
"Oh my god." Taehyung gasped, sitting up suddenly and pushing the button to roll his window down.
In the distance, perhaps a few blocks over, the top of a burning building could be seen over other buildings. The dark smoke was turning the sky black as flames burst into the air and Taehyung's throat went tight.
"That's an apartment building!" Jimin gasped out, rolling his window down as well to peer out of it and get a good look. "Oh my god, hyung, that's an apartment building!"
Seokjin made a series of noises under his breath before the car started moving again. "I saw at least two fire trucks fly by us, I'm sure it's going to be okay."
"But, there's people in that building, oh my god." Jimin gasped, clamping a hand over his mouth and Taehyung knew exactly how he felt. "Oh, I hope they're okay, oh my god." He settled back in his seat and Taehyung saw him clasp the silver pendant around his neck in a tight fist, a soft silent prayer that those people would be alright.
Taehyung closed his eyes and wished for the same thing before rolling up his window. There was nothing they could do. The proper authorities were already on the job and Taehyung hoped no one was hurt. He tried not to think about how early in the morning it was and how people might have still been sleeping peacefully before the building was engulfed in flames. He shook his head violently to rid himself of such thoughts and picked up his phone, scrolling through to find more positive things to think about. He made a mental note to look at the news later about the fire just in case.
The train station was rather packed when they arrived and so Taehyung stuck by Jimin's side, soft black masks over their faces just in case they were recognized. Jimin had most of his pink hair hidden by a white snapback and though Taehyung's was free to the world, he figured it would be fine. People were too busy moving about to worry about the two of them and they waited patiently for Seokjin to handle everything for them. Taehyung felt eyes on them, as he always did no matter where he went and he hoped his hair wasn't that big of a mess just in case.
They boarded the train together and Taehyung was pleased to see they had the highest train car. The one directly behind the conductor's car and just like a plane, they had first class seating. The seats were large and plush, settled two in a row and Taehyung didn't hesitate to sit beside Jimin after stuffing their suitcases away in the upper compartments.
"Are you going to sleep the whole way?" Taehyung asked, settling down in his plush seat as Jimin leaned against the window.
"Your face'll get puffy."
Jimin crinkled his nose at him and plucked the sunglasses off his face. "The noona's will take care of it."
Taehyung whined softly. "Jiminnie, don't leave me alone."
"Oh my god, I'm going to sleep. Not abandon you." Sadly, Jimin was immune to Taehyung's pouting after years of friendship so he just rolled his eyes at Taehyung's pursed lips and folded his arms over his chest, tilting his head to rest against the window. "Wake me up when we get there."
"You're no fun."
"You love me."
Taehyung huffed and grabbed at his messanger bag to pull out his tablet. "Yeah, somehow. Who knows why." He laughed at the soft punch to his arm but Jimin was smiling when he closed his eyes and that was all Taehyung would ask for. They settled down together and Taehyung hoped they had a safe trip for the next three hours.
Getting Jungkook out of bed every morning was a task all on its own. The boy never liked getting up and Yoongi was pretty sure he got that trait from him. Neither of them were morning people but their train left at eight and they had to make the bus by 7:15 if they wanted to get to the station on time. So Yoongi got up an hour and half early because he knew it would take a chunk of that time just to get Jungkook out of bed.
He started slow, giving Jungkook's shoulder a soft shake and his head a kiss, mumbling to him that it was time to wake up. Ten minutes later, he repeated the process to a soft whine and his son rolling over under the covers. Yoongi took the time to shower and dress himself before he went back to Jungkook's room and tugged the blankets off him, his voice a little louder and more firm when he said it was time to get up. Jungkook whined more, curling up into his pillow but he made no effort to drag the blankets over himself. Yoongi left him to finish packing up the rest of their things and gathered everything in the living room so they would be ready to leave once Jungkook was up.
Jungkook finally sat up, rubbing at his eyes on Yoongi's sixth attempt at getting him up. Then came the process of brushing his teeth and combing his hair and getting him dressed. Luckily, Jungkook was too groggy to fight Yoongi on his choice of clothing for the day, simple jeans and a red t-shirt. He made the boy's bed while Jungkook took one last trip to the potty and after he washed his hands, they were ready to go.
"Are you bringing Iron Man?" Yoongi asked softly, glancing at the large plush resting against the boy's pillow.
Jungkook blinked slowly at the plush, his rounded cheeks flushed from being washed before he reached out to snatch up a smaller Iron Man plush in his fist. This one was travel sized, so to speak and Yoongi smiled at him, nodding in approval. Jungkook clutched the baseball sized doll in his fist and followed his father out into the living room where Yoongi took the time to put the boy's shoes and coat on.
"Are there any other toys you want to bring? The train ride will take a little while."
Jungkook shook his head quietly and let Yoongi slip on his Iron Man backpack that held the toys and books he had picked out the night before to bring with them. Yoongi hummed at his son, still on his knees in front of the boy as he gave him a good once over. His messy black hair was barely controlled but that wasn't all that uncommon. Jungkook looked sleepy but his eyes were sparkling with excitement and that was enough for Yoongi. He gave his son a soft kiss to his forehead before getting to his feet, moving to shove on his boots and coat.
"Think we have everything?" Yoongi pondered aloud, glancing around at the one suitcase that held both of their clothing and the messanger bag that held his work and personal items.
Jungkook nodded firmly, clutching his plush to his chest tightly as he waited by the door patiently.
After a quick check to make sure they had everything, Yoongi gathered Jungkook up in his arms, tossed his bag over a shoulder, grabbed the suitcase and left the apartment, locking up behind. They made the bus stop right on time and Yoongi was relieved to see the area mostly empty so he could sit down with his son, the suitcase resting between his legs. Jungkook had his own seat for once and leaned against Yoongi's side, fiddling with his plush in his hands as the bus started moving once again.
At this rate they would be on time for their train and Yoongi was grateful. He thought to text Jiae to let her know they were on the way but it was probably best to wait until they were actually on the train before doing so. He couldn't say he was looking forward to the weekend. It'd been a while since he last spent more than a few hours with Jiae and now he was going to spend the entire weekend with her. Not to mention she was seeing someone. That didn't bother Yoongi too much. What did bother him was the possibility of him having to meet this man and Jungkook's possible reaction to seeing his mother with someone who wasn't his father.
Yoongi could only hope Jiae would wait until she was certain about the man she was dating before introducing him to her son.
The bus lurched to a stop suddenly and Yoongi's arm tightened instinctively around Jungkook, his head snapping up to see what the problem was. The bus had stopped on the side of the road and the other few passangers also glanced out the windows to see the problem. Loud sirens suddenly reached them and Jungkook ducked his head, burying it in Yoongi's side as they grew louder and louder.
A series of police cars flew by the bus, going around it so quickly they were practicably blurs. Yoongi furrowed his brow and watched in interest as the cars took a sharp right down the next road. The bus rumbled all of a sudden and a firetruck flew by as well, taking the same turn the police cars had. In the distance, over a series of buildings, Yoongi saw smoke rising into the sky. Something was on fire by the looks of it but they were too far away to see what exactly.
After a moment, the bus finally started moving again and as they passed the road the police had whizzed off in, Yoongi twisted around to see what was going on. He couldn't see much, just more smoke and more flashing lights in the distance. It looked like an office building was on fire but he couldn't tell. He sighed softly to himself and twisted back around in his seat, pulling Jungkook a little closer.
The bus came to the train station stop right on time and Yoongi gathered Jungkook in his arms once more so they could step off. The station was buzzing with people which was only to be expected for a Friday morning. People had places to go, people to see and work to be done. He knew plenty of people who took the train daily for work, commuting a few hours a day into the city. He was glad to not have to do that. He could only stand to be in a moving vehicle for so long as it were.
Yoongi cradled Jungkook to his side with an arm under his bottom as he went about the motions of getting their booked tickets and buying some food for them. They didn't have breakfast yet and as much as Yoongi hated to feed Jungkook processed fast food they didn't have much of a choice. He would rather his son have a full belly than an empty one. Jiae promised home cooked food when they got there so lunch was something to look forward to.
Their tickets called for a car near the middle of the train and though it was rather full, they had two nice sized seats all to themselves. After being put down, Jungkook immediately crawled into the window seat and got comfortable while Yoongi stuffed their suitcase into the overhead compartment. The train was leaving soon and they only had a few minutes to spare so Yoongi sat down beside his son and reached over to clip the seatbelt on over Jungkook's waist.
"You want to take your coat off?" Yoongi asked softly. "And your backpack?"
Jungkook shook his head, eyes focused on the platfrom outside his window and plush clutched to his chest. Yoongi relented, nodding and sat back in his seat, clipping on his own seatbelt. If Jungkook wanted his coat off, he'd take it off later and he didn't feel like arguing with the kid so early in the morning. Jungkook could be stubborn when he wanted to be and oh, where he could have possibly got that from?
Yoongi pulled out his phone to send off a quick message to Jiae, letting her know they were on the train and about to leave before stuffing it back in his pocket. He was tempted to pull out his laptop and get some work done but after a glance to Jungkook and seeing the light excitement on his face, Yoongi felt he would rather watch his son then work. Or sleep. Sleep would be nice. The seats were pretty comfortable all things considered and the train car was rather quiet even when it was so full.
The speaker system crackled and a male voice started to speak over it. "Please take your seats, We will depart shortly."
Yoongi closed his eyes with a soft sigh, his head tilted back on the head rest and he thought perhaps sleeping for the entire ride would be nice. Jungkook was quiet at his side and if the boy needed anything he would be sure to let him know. They had a breakfast to eat but perhaps they could get started on that once the train was at top speed. It was always hard to eat during the initial take off anyway so Yoongi settled down and allowed himself to rest his eyes for just a few moments.
Jungkook cast his father a slight glance, taking notice that the man was more than likely going to nap so he turned his attention back to the view outside his window. The platform was bare of any people since the train was going to leave soon, according to the man on the speaker and Jungkook's little body buzzed with apprehension and excitement. He knew the ride was going to take a lot of time, three hours according to his father and so he had so much time to occupy himself with. He planned to watch the scenery they passed for most of the time because he liked to. He liked seeing the different things they passed because the landscape was so different from his home. More green and less concrete.
His mother was waiting for him and Jungkook was excited to see her. It was his birthday and they were going to see the sharks and stingrays and fish and he was excited. He was excited to see both of his parents together again. He was excited to be a family again even if it was temporary. He was a child, yes, but he understood when his father said his appa and eomma didn't love each other anymore. He didn't understand why but he understood that was just how it was and so he could only accept it.
He still had their love and to a four year old, that was all that really mattered.
The train rumbled to life beneath his seat and Jungkook sat up in excitement, his lips twitching into a soft smile as he peered out the window. Movement along the platform caught his attention and he turned to see someone stumbling through the glass doors they had come through from the inside of the station. It was a man in a blue uniform, dressed like all the people who worked at the station. His face was twisted in a strange expression, like he was scared and Jungkook vaguely wondered why. And then the man was suddenly running toward the train. He didn't move toward the cars but instead hurried toward the front of the train, waving his arms about frantically and yelling something that Jungkook couldn't hear.
And then, he saw it.
The glass doors of the station suddenly busted free just as the train started rumbling loudly, moving slowly to build up momentum. Jungkook could only watch in shock and confusion as a crowd of people fumbled all over one another to get through the door. Some people looked scared and others looked panicked and he was sure some of them were screaming but he couldn't see why. There were so many people, too many people for him to understand what was going on.
And then something sprinted across the concrete platform, a person, Jungkook was sure, but there was something... wrong with them. They moved all wrong, twitchy and robotic and he could only watch in confused horror as the man in the blue uniform was suddenly pounced on. There was a burst of something red and Jungkook snapped back from the window, a gasp slipping past his lips as the two people fell to the concrete. The uniformed man was... He was being eaten and Jungkook's throat closed up around a scream that didn't come out.
Suddenly, the train lurched forward and off they went, speeding through the rest of the platform and Jungkook could only stare out the window with a whirlwind of emotions flowing through him. Quickly, he snapped his head to the side to see his father sleeping peacefully. He glanced around the car quickly, curious to see if anyone else had seen what he saw but everyone seemed as calm and peaceful as always.
Did he... Did he have another bad daydream? He had them, sometimes. Saw things that weren't real because his father said he had a very active imagination. Maybe he had imagined that. But he'd never imagined something so... scary before. He swallowed hard and held his plush tighter to his chest. It was just a dream, it wasn't real, it wasn't real. He repeated the mantra over and over in his head and took deep breaths like his father taught him to.
By the time he opened his eyes again the man on the speaker said they were free to move about the train and Jungkook had the sudden urge to go to the bathroom. His hands were shaking slightly as he unclipped his seatbelt. He slid off his seat and carefully moved around his father so not to wake him. He knew there was a bathroom on the train because he'd taken the train many times before. But he wasn't sure where it was because they were always in different cars when they traveled.
Jungkook shuffled toward the back of the car, ducking his head shyly when the pretty blond lady beside their seats smiled softly at him. Her belly was very round and he knew there was a baby growing in there. He was stopped by a man in a blue uniform just as he tried to pass through into the next car in search of a bathroom.
"Well, hey there little guy." The man in the blue uniform had a friendly smile so Jungkook stopped, tucking his plush under his chin. His cheeks were heated from embarrassment but he needed to find a bathroom. "Do you need something?"
Jungkook nodded his head but the words were stuck in his throat. They were always stuck in his throat and he had a hard time using them even with his parents. Iron Man was the only one he could speak freely to but he was trying. He was trying so hard because everytime he said a word aloud his father smiled that pretty gummy smile and Jungkook wanted him to smile like that more now that his mother was gone.
"Hm, maybe the bathroom?" The man asked and Jungkook nodded quickly, his eyes wide in awe because the man knew exactly what he was looking for. "You're close." He smiled warmly at Jungkook and pointed down the walkway. "Just two more cars and you've found the bathroom. Two more, okay?" He held up two fingers. "Would you like me to show you?"
Jungkook shook his head firmly because he was a big boy and he could go to the bathroom all on his own. Two cars. He could do that and find his way back. He bowed his head politely in thanks and the man laughed softly at him as he shuffled away. Luckily the man didn't follow him so Jungkook hurried down the walkway toward the bathroom, hoping to be back before his father woke up so the man didn't panic that he was gone.
"I'm bored." Taehyung let out a soft whine, sinking in his plush seat and dropping the tablet into his lap.
Jimin groaned from his side and shifted in his seat to press his forehead against the side of the train. "It's been ten minutes.
"Seven, actually." Seokjin called from the seat in front of them.
Taehyung pursed his lips into a pout and locked his tablet before shoving it back into his bag. Jimin had the window seat so Taehyung couldn't even enjoy the view they passed if he wanted to. He thought the train would be more fun than flying but they had only just begun and he was already starting to feel anxious. He never was the type to sit still for too long so he shifted to his feet, stretching his arms above his head. Their train car wasn't empty aside from them but there were only a few other passengers. In fact, after a glance around the car, Taehyung noted there were two other guys side from them. One was curled up near the front with buds in his ears and the other almost looked like a model, near the back closed door with his face buried in a book.
"I'm going for a walk."
"Wear a mask." Seokjin twisted around in his seat, levelling Taehyung with a serious look. "We can't afford for you to cause a scene on a train because you showed your face."
Taehyung clicked his tongue and dug around in his bag for a moment before pulling out the black teddy bear mask he liked to wear. Jimin tossed him his white snapback as well because his lilac hair was a sure give away too.
"I am sure there are fans on this train going the same place we are so for goodness sake, Taehyung, please be good." Seokjin sounded exasperated and he hadn't even done anything yet.
"I'm always good." He mumbled, petulantly, shoving the snapback over his hair and hooking the straps of the mask over his ears so only his eyes could be seen. If there were fans on the train they were bound to recognize him even with the things covering his face but he was okay with that. Fans would give him something to do, people to talk to and it wouldn't be the first time he'd sat down with some fans on a plane or train to converse with them. He liked talking to them. They were always so polite anyway.
"Come back in the next hour or so for breakfast."
Taehyung gave his manager a faux salute and a grin hidden behind his mask before he left down the walkway, sliding open the train car door to slip through before closing it behind him. He had thirty or so train cars to walk through and he smiled softly to himself as he strolled, careful not to bump into anyone.
Yoongi awoke with a start. He wasn't sure what woke him, maybe a bad dream, maybe his body telling him it was time to get up. Whatever reason, Yoongi sat up quickly with a start, his eyes snapping open even though his vision was blurry. He'd managed to fall asleep but he wasn't sure for how long. The train was still moving, he could feel it rumbling beneath his feet and after glancing out the window he could see they were out of the city at least. He let out a soft sigh and relaxed back into the seat, rubbing a hand over his flushed face.
He snapped back up after a second because Jungkook wasn't in his seat. It was completely empty, no sign of his plush or his backpack or the boy himself. Unease crept up Yoongi's throat and he jumped to his feet, glancing around the train car frantically.
"He went to the bathroom." A soft, feminine voice spoke from his side and Yoongi glanced down to see a pretty blond woman smiling up at him, her eyes twinkling.
"The boy with you." She shifted in her seat and pointed behind them. "He left less than ten minutes go for the bathroom."
Oh, the bathroom. Relief flooded his system and he bowed his head in thanks to her. He'd have to talk to Jungkook about going off on his own like that. He should have woken Yoongi up and let him know he had to go to the bathroom. He nearly gave the man a heart attack.
"He's very cute. Is he yours?"
"Ah, yes, He's mine." Yoongi shifted out his seat and he noticed the woman's rounded belly, very much pregnant and like she might pop any day now. There was a man in the seat beside her, his head resting on her shoulder with his eyes closed. Yoongi couldn't get a good look at his face but it didn't matter anyway. She dropped her hand to her stomach when she noticed him looking and she smiled proudly.
"Your only? This is our first."
Yoongi smiled politely at her. "Yes, my first and only."
She hummed. "Well, I know you're dying to go get him so shoo, I won't keep you." She smiled knowingly and waved her perfectly manicured hand at him.
"Thank you." He bowed his head quickly to her before shuffling down the walkway.
He entered the next car quickly, the door already opened and hurried toward the next one. The door was closed so he was carefully quiet as he opened it to not distrub other passangers. Yoongi wasn't even sure where the bathroom was but he knew he'd find one if he continued forward. Shutting the door behind himself he hurried toward the next car. This door was closed as well so he popped it open and moved into the next car. It was as he closed that door that he noticed something... strange.
This car was empty. He narrowed his eyes in confusion but found a bathroom. He quickly knocked on the door, calling Jungkook's name but there was no response. In fact, it was empty. Dread filled his stomach and he turned toward the door to the next car. It was closed but he could see movement in the next car so he moved toward it. As soon as he slipped the door open, he was smacked in the face with sound before he even entered it.
This car was also empty of people but the door to the next car was wide open and filled with people. He hurried forward, confusion filling him and why the hell were people screaming? His feet moved quickly beyond his command and when he came to the open doorway, they suddenly frozen beneath him, rooting him to the floor.
It was like the world slowed to a stop and the only thing Yoongi could do was watch in shocked horror.
People, so many people. Screaming, moving, fighting over one another and Yoongi saw flashes of red but in the middle of it, his eyes locked on Jungkook. To his right there was a lady being pinned against the side of the train by a school girl and Yoongi was certain there was blood pouring down the front of her shirt from the bite the young girl was sinking into her neck. It was near chaos, screaming and gasping but Jungkook was standing in the middle of the walkway, his back to Yoongi and his head tilted up toward the crowd of people at the back of the car.
Hot blazing panic seized Yoongi like a vice grip around his heart and his feet refused to move forward. He could see blood, could hear snarling and chaos and Jungkook was in the middle of it.
All at once, time starting moving again and Yoongi's jaw fell open, a scream ripping through his throat. "Jungkook!"
Everyone rounded on him at the scream, including his son and the utter despair and pure fear in those eyes made Yoongi's body lurch forward, his hands held out for his son who seemed to be frozen in place. It happened so fast. One moment people were fighting one another and the next they were scrambling over each other to get toward him and Jungkook, no, Jungkook was in the way, he was going to get trampled! What the fuck was going on?
"Jungkook! Here! Now!" He called again but the boy didn't move, was too frozen in fear to do anything. Big fat tears were forming in the corners of his eyes and Yoongi could see his face starting to crunch up. Yoongi didn't want to yell to him, knew the boy hated being yelled at but he was in danger.
There was a flash of movement to the left and Yoongi watched with mixed emotions as a figure launched over some empty seats. He moved quickly and skilled, hands curling over the back of the seats as he tossed his lithe body over them. He was moving in a way much different than the people around him and Yoongi nearly yelled in alarm when he suddenly dipped down and gathered Jungkook up in his arms. His face was covered with a black mask and his eyes were hidden by the snapback on his head but Jungkook didn't even scream when the man picked him up.
It took Yoongi a moment to realize the man was running toward him and yelling, "Go! Go! Go!" repeatedly. The young girl who had pinned the older lady against the wall turned around suddenly snarling with blood dripping down her mouth and Yoongi could see there was something wrong with her. The masked man nearly avoided her grasp, long blood stained nails snatching at the sleeve of his shirt and Yoongi moved out of the doorway as quickly as he could just as the man ran through it.
"Close it!" His voice was muffled by the mask but Yoongi's body moved without thought. He slammed the door shut before the crowd of people could reach them and the next thing he knew he was being shoved forward by the masked man. "Go! Go! Move, move, move."
Heart pounding in his chest, flurries of emotions smashing against his body, Yoongi's feet starting moving. With the masked man's encouragement they both took off running down the empty walkway into the next car. Yoongi heard the door slam shut behind them but he kept moving because that man had his son and something crazy just happened and he knew they had to get as far away as possible. They hurried through the next car and the next, the man yelling over his shoulder for the passangers to, "close the fucking door or they'll get you too!"
Yoongi skidded to a halt once he reached their car and the man slammed the door shut behind them, gaining the attention of everyone in the car. "No, go, go, keep going!" The masked man said in a slight panic, cradling Jungkook to his chest carefully while shoving at Yoongi's shoulders with his other hand. Shaking, Yoongi snatched up his messanger bag and started moving again.
"What's wrong? What's going on?" The pregnant lady from before asked softly, her eyes wide as she moved to stand up, disturbing her sleeping husband.
"It's bad. So bad." The masked man was mumbling and Yoongi could see a hint of his wide eyes under the brim of the cap. "Don't open the door. Don't do it. Move, move, keep moving." He gave Yoongi's back another soft shove and so he started moving again.
By the time they reached the next car, the masked man took the lead and hurried forward, glancing over his shoulder a few times to make sure Yoongi was following. His heart was pouding, his throat was burning but he kept moving because this man had his son and he sure as hell wasn't going to leave him. Jungkook's face was buried in the man's shoulder so he couldn't even see if he was okay.
Finally the man came to a stop in one of the first class cars, demanding Yoongi shut and lock the door because the first class doors had locks. He turned to do just that only to pause in surprise seeing the pregnant lady hurrying toward them with her husband fast on her heels.
"I don't know what's going on but we're sticking with you." She stated firmly, her face twisted into a frown that demanded obedience and behind her, her husband looked much too confused to argue.
Yoongi nodded and shifted into an empty seat so the two of them could pass.
"Taehyung? What the hell? Whose child is that?"
Yoongi hurried to shut the door and lock it up like he was told to do, his fingers aching from how bad he was shaking.
"Jiminnie, oh god, Jiminnie, it's bad, it's so bad."
Yoongi turned around to see the masked man had collapsed against the side of one of the seats, hugging Jungkook to his chest like an anchor. There was a handsome pink haired man at his side, his eyes wide in confusion and his lips parted as his hands moved over the masked man to check for injuries.
"Whose kid is that? What did you do, Taehyung?" The pink haired man gasped out, reaching out to touch Jungkook's hair gently.
"He's mine." Yoongi spoke up finally, his voice almost cracking from his tight throat and he stumbled forward until he reached them. "He's mine."
"Sorry, I'm sorry." The masked man hurried to say, lifting his head toward Yoongi. His eyes were wide and glistening and after shifting Jungkook into one arm, he reached up to tug off the mask on his face. His lips were red and trembling, his cheeks flushed from their running and when the pink haired man took the snapback off his head, soft waves of lilac fell into his face. He looked as terrified as Yoongi felt. "I didn't- Here, I'm sorry." He shifted to offer Jungkook to him but Jungkook was clinging to him, little fists holding tightly onto the white long sleeved shirt the man was wearing.
"It's okay. It's-He's okay." Yoongi licked at his dry lips, his eyes probably as wide as the other man's. "You... Oh god." Yoongi stumbled backwards until his knees gave out and he collapsed in an empty chair, hands buried in his hair.
"Taehyung, what the hell happened? You both look like you've seen hell."
"We did. Oh god, Jiminnie, we saw hell." His name was Taehyung, Yoongi gathered. "I saw... Oh , we're not safe. Hyung," he shifted toward the brunet man now standing in the walkway, "We're not safe on this train."
"Taehyung, please, calm down and explain what happened."
"You saw them, didn't you?"
The new voice made Yoongi glance up and he watched as a man near the front shuffled out of his seat. His hair was blond, strangely enough and earbuds hung around his neck but his face was slightly grim. Everyone turned to him in confusion so he continued.
"The zombies? You saw them right? I knew this was going to happen." The man hissed softly, his brow furrowed as he glanced out a window.
"Z-Zombies?" The pink haired man nearly choked on the word and turned on Taehyung quickly. "What is he talking about?"
"I saw them." Taehyung's voice was light and airy as he sunk against the side of the seat. His eyes were so wide they looked like they would pop out of his skull as he stared at the pink haired man. "I saw, god, it was so h-horrible." He shivered violently and cradled one hand over the back of Jungkook's head. "I-I was just walking, you know? I went through all the cars but when I got toward the lower ones... there was fighting. I didn't know what was going on but I saw..." He paused, closing his eyes tightly. "One of the attendants, he was jumped. S-Some kid, just a student, he ripped his teeth into the attendant's throat. Fuck."
"It's because of the nuclear leak." The man at the front of the car spoke up again. "It was on the news this morning. I knew it was gonna be bad. That's why I got on this train. Fuck, we're too late."
"Would someone with actual sense explain to me what the bloody heck is going on here?" The brunet demanded.
"I-I don't know what's going on." Yoongi spoke up, carefully getting to his feet. "All I know is people were attacking people and there was a lot of blood and..." He let out a puff of air and reached for Jungkook, sliding his palm over the boy's shaking shoulders, locking eyes with the man known as Taehyung. "You saved him. T-Thank you, you saved him."
Taehyung looked at him with wide eyes but he nodded, his lips slack. "He-you called to him and I was stuck but he's just, fuck, he's just a kid."
"Let me get this straight." The brunet spoke up. "There are people attacking people in the lower cars?"
Both Taehyung and Yoongi nodded and the blond man let out a curse under his breath. He shoved a hand into his neatly styled hair and collapsed against one of the seats. "We are so fucked. If they're on this train, we are so utterly fucked."
"Language." The brunet snapped softly. "There are children and a lady present."
"Language is the least of our fucking worries right now." The blond snapped back. "People are eating people at the back of this train and it's only a matter of time before they get here."
"Oh, god, Jiminnie." Taehyung suddenly snatched a handful of the pink haired man's shirt, tugging him close and looked up at him with violent terror in his eyes. "T-The attendant, h-he got back up. He got back up with his throat ripped out."
"T-That's not possible." 'Jiminnie' whispered softly, eyes impossibly wide and lips trembling.
"But he did. I saw him with my own eyes, Jiminnie. They're zombies, they have to be."
"You do realize how... impossible that sounds, right?" A new person spoke up from the back of the car. He was tall, very tall, with fluffy dark hair and sharp features. He looked confused, and slightly scared, standing near the door. "I can't be the only one finding it hard to believe."
Abruptly, the speaker system crackled and the room went silent.
"This is your conductor speaking. Due to an emergency, we would like to advise you to not leave your current train car for any reason and please keep your doors closed and secure. There is no need to panic but we are being redirected to Daegu for emergency reasons. Please remain calm and we should arrive on time. KTX apologizes for the delay to your schedule."
"Daegu?" The husband of the pregnant woman spoke up. "What is going on?"
"It's the end of times, I'm telling you." The blond spoke up. "Shit's hitting the fan and we're stuck in the middle of it."
"You are not helping." The brunet deadpanded.
"Is he okay?" Yoongi leaned in close to the lilac haired man, ducking down in an attempt to see Jungkook's face but it was buried in the tanned skin of the man's neck. "Is he crying?"
Taehyung swallowed hard and nodded. "He, oh god, the things he probably saw."
"Jungkook." Yoongi called softly, slipping his fingers into soft black hair. "Jungkookie, baby."
Perhaps it was his soft voice but Jungkook snapped his head up, wide eyes landing on Yoongi and, oh god, he was crying. Big fat tears pooling down his flushed cheeks and his bottom lip trapped between his slightly too large for his mouth teeth. He was sobbing quietly, his throat constricting with each spasm through his little body.
"A-Appa!" He cried suddenly, the word a wrecked sound through his throat and he lunged to Yoongi who was ready for him. Yoongi caught him effortlessly, cradling the sobbing boy to his chest. He felt wet tears against his neck but he didn't mind in the least, holding his son tightly because he couldn't believe he might have almost lost him. It was an impossible thought and his brain was having a hard time wrapping around the things he just witnessed with his very own eyes.
"You're okay, You're okay. Appa's here. Appa's got you." He pet through black locks softly, more so for his own sanity than to comfort Jungkook.
Taehyung's shoulders dropped in relief now that his hands were free and he gave Yoongi a soft smile when their eyes met.
"Are we safe here?" The pink haired male mumbled out.
"It's the first car. It's the safest we're going to get." The blond spoke up.
"Kim Taehyung." The lilac haired man introduced himself, bowing his head respectfully to Yoongi who bowed in return.
"Min Yoongi. And this is Jungkook."
"P-Park Jimin." The pink haired man called out, shifting to lean against Taehyung's side.
"Oh! I thought I recognized you!" The pregnant lady spoke up. She was sitting now, her legs in the aisle, a row behind Yoongi. Her husband was at her side, his small eyes narrowed and his plump lips pursed tightly. "I'm Lee Amy, and my husband, Lee Jihoon."
Both Jimin and Taehyung bowed their heads, mumbling their thanks to her for recognizing them. Yoongi was confused for a moment, glancing between them before Amy spoke up again.
"I was watching an interview just this morning! I do love your new song."
"Thank you so much." Jimin offered her a soft, warm smile that she returned, the corners of their mouths twitching only slightly because the air in the room was still tense.
Idols. They were idols. Of course. The strange hair, the pretty faces. It made sense and after a little thought, Yoongi did find both of their faces familiar. Maybe from one of the few music shows he would put on for Jungkook after dinner. He never watched them with his son but he had heard the music from the kitchen while he was cleaning up from dinner.
"Kim Seokjin. I'm their manager." The brunet bowed his head in greeting before turning to the blond expectingly.
"Oh, uh Kim Namjoon, writer."
"Kim Mingyu." The man at the back spoke up, shuffling forward until he was arms length from Jihoon. He bowed respectively.
"Well, looks like we're all stuck together until Daegu." Namjoon dropped into one of the seats, rubbing a hand over his face.
"Why Daegu?" Jimin wondered aloud.
Yoongi bit into his lower lip and shifted to sit down in one of the empty seats near a window, Jungkook cradled carefully in his lap. The boy was finally starting to calm down, his silent sobs now soft hiccups. After settling down, his bag on the floor between his legs, Yoongi dug around for his phone. He was from Daegu. His parents were in Daegu. Maybe they would have an idea of what was going on.
Jimin and Taehyung settled down in the seats in front of him and so everyone shuffled about to get comfortable. Mingyu choose to sit near Amy and Jihoon, speaking softly with them while keeping an eye on the door. The car behind them didn't seem all that panicked so they thought they would be safe for the time being. Yoongi had no clue where they were but if they were being rerouted to Daegu, they still had an hour into their trip at least.
Before placing his call, Yoongi gave Jungkook the biscuit he had bought for his breakfast, whispering softly to him that he needed to eat. Jungkook took it in his little hands, letting his plush rest carefully in his lap. He didn't want to eat, Yoongi could tell, but he took a small bite from the biscuit and chewed slowly, his wide glossy eyes focused on nothing but air. His rounded cheeks were flushed and tear stained but he chewed like he was supposed to and Yoongi couldn't ask for more from him.
Yoongi scrolled through his phone to find his mother's number and pressed send, sighing in relief when the call connected. It rang once, twice, and then the line clicked.
"Eomeoni." He greeted softly, relief filling him at her soft voice.
"Yoongi-yah. Where are you? There's so many crazy things on the news."
Her sigh of relief crinkled over the line and Yoongi didn't have the heart to tell her they weren't as safe as she was assuming. "Jungkookie, is he with you?"
"Yes, he's with me. He's fine, eomeoni."
"Eomeoni, what's going on out there? They're redirecting our train to Daegu."
"Oh.. Yoongi-yah. The news is saying Seoul is in chaos. Riots, people attacking people. We're being told to stay in our homes. There's military out there, Yoongi-yah. I think the north has something to do with this."
The north. Yoongi didn't know, nor did he care. "Is it safe there?"
"I believe so. We're watching the news now. There's military everywhere, Yoongi-yah. I think they'll be at the station. You'll be safe with them. Oh, what's that?" Her voice drifted off and Yoongi waited pateintly, hearing his father's deep voice in the background. "Oh, dear. Your appa says they're.. Quarantine? Why on earth would they-What do you mean nuclear disaster?!" Her voice rose in slight panic and Yoongi winced slightly.
"Eomeoni, are they going to quarantine us?" He could feel eyes on him but now was not the time.
"Yes, yes they are. You'll be safe, Yoongi-yah. The military knows what it's doing. There will be soliders at the station. You listen to them and do as they say, okay?"
"What is going on?" Yoongi mumbled to himself, pressing his free hand into his face.
"We'll meet you there, okay Yoongi-yah? We'll come get you."
Something sharp sparked through Yoongi's chest. "N-No. No, eomeoni. Stay home. Stay where it's safe. It's, it's really bad out there right now. Lock the doors and don't open it for anyone you hear me?"
"Please, listen to me. I-I saw things, things I can't explain but it's not safe out there okay? Stay home. I'll come to you if I can, okay? And if not, I'll call, I'll let you know but please don't leave the house." His hands were shaking again, his entire body feeling jittery, and he clenched his fingers into fists to get them to stop. He couldn't show Jungkook that he was scared, he couldn't give the boy more to worry about.
His mother was quiet for a moment, allowing him to catch his breath that had suddenly escaped him. "Yoongi-yah. What did you see?"
"I can't explain it."
"Is it... Is the train not safe?"
Yoongi tilted his head back and swallowed down the lump in his throat, curling his hand around Jungkook's waist to keep himself anchored to the ground. "No, Eomma, it's not."
"We're safe right now. We'll make it to Daegu. I'll call you okay, I will."
"Be safe, Yoongi-yah. Please be safe."
"We love you."
"I-I love you too." His throat tightened painfully with emotion. "Stay safe, eomma."
He ended the call with shaking hands, holding down the power button to turn it off in order to save the battery life in case he needed it. After stuffing his phone back in his pocket, he quickly wrapped Jungkook up in his arms, hugging him to his chest tightly and burying his nose in soft black hair. Jungkook didn't fight him, just let him do as he pleased as he continued to slowly chew the rest of his biscuit. Emotions rolled over Yoongi in waves and his mind was still having issues coming to terms with the things he witnessed.
It had all happened much too fast for his brain to comprehend but he had know Jungkook was in danger and Taehyung saved his life. Taehyung threw himself over the seats, barely avoiding hands and teeth snatching at his clothes and skin and snatched up Jungkook. Jungkook clung to him, let Taehyung pick him up and carry him and that was miracle all on its own. Jungkook still had issues with his own grandparents picking him up and yet he let a stranger hold him. It was out of fear, Yoongi was sure, but still.
There was movement beside him and Yoongi glanced up in time to see Taehyung sheepishly smiling at him as he settled into the empty seat beside him. Carefully, Yoongi unravelled himself from his son and leaned back in the plush seat. Taehyung had an unopened juice box in his hand and he offered it quietly to Jungkook after glancing at Yoongi.
"I thought he might be thirsty. After all that happened." Taehyung spoke softly, his voice a deep honeyed roll that made Jungkook glance up. He eyed the offered juice box before reaching forward and taking it in his small hands. Taehyung smiled happily while Yoongi plucked the plastic straw off the side of the box, popped it free from the clear plastic and stuck it into the box. Jungkook pursed his lips around the white straw and took a large swallow before leaning against Yoongi's chest, letting his head rest against the curve of his shoulder.
"Thank you." Yoongi let out softly, his voice a deep gravel of a rumble that didn't sound anywhere near as pleasing as Taehyung's.
Taehyung hummed in response and for a minute, Yoongi thought the man was going to leave but instead he made himself comfortable in his seat, sinking down slightly and peering at Jungkook through his bangs. "How old is he?"
"Four. His birthday is tomorrow." Jungkook slumped slightly in Yoongi's lap and he could tell the boy was likely falling alseep after so much crying, his little body so very tired after feeling so many emotions at once.
Taehyung blinked in surprise, his eyes jumping from Jungkook's face to Yoongi's. "Really?"
"Mhm." Yoongi shifted to curl an arm around Jungkook's body, hugging him close in case the boy did fall asleep. "We were going to Busan so he could spend it with his mother." Talking was good, talking meant Yoongi didn't have time to think about what he saw. Besides, Jungkook always found it easier to fall alseep to his deep rumble of a voice.
Taehyung glanced down, discretely eyeing up Yoongi's fingers but they were bare of any ring. "We have a fanmeet in Busan."
"So you are an idol."
Taehyung ducked his head shyly and offered him a soft smile. "I'm from Daegu though. And you are too?"
"Yeah. My parents live there."
"Are they... Okay?"
"Yeah, I think so. I think we'll be okay there."
Taehyung fiddled with his fingers in his lap for a moment. "I called my appa and they're safe too. He said it seems to be mainly in Seoul, so, we'll be okay, right?"
Yoongi furrowed his brow and shifted to glance out of the window, taking in the green they passed by. "We're not the only train on these tracks. There's planes and buses, all leaving Seoul this morning." He swallowed hard, a sharp lump suddenly forming in his throat. "I'm... not sure anywhere is safe right now."
"I... I'm not crazy right?" He asked suddenly, glancing at Yoongi with wide eyes. "You saw them too. I didn't... imagine it did I? Jiminnie says I have a wild imagination but, I know what I saw."
Yoongi bit into his lower lip, his arm going around Jungkook a little tighter at the soft hiccup he released. "If you're crazy, then I am too."
Taehyung hummed softly and sunk in his chair a little bit more. "Is he going to be okay?"
"He's a tough kid. And thanks to you, he's okay."
"He was so scared... and so was I." His voice faded into a soft whisper by the end of his sentence, like he was still in as much disbelief as Yoongi was.
"We all were." Yoongi mumbled in agreement. That fear was still floating through his system like a river of cold ice.
It seemed Taehyung had nothing to say to that so they settled into comfortable silence. Occasionally, Taehyung would reach over to brush soft hair out of Jungkook's sleeping face but other than that, he stayed in his own space. Yoongi didn't mind his presence. He was peaceful, calm even when it was obvious he was terrified. Jungkook liked him, that much was clear and if Jungkook was okay, Yoongi was okay. He just hoped they got to Daegu before the back of the train overtook the rest of the train.
In the span of the hour or so it took for the train to get near Daegu, Yoongi learned a great deal about his fellow train car passengers while Jungkook slept peacefully against his chest.
Amy and Jihoon were newly weds, as told by the pretty blond with a warm flush on her cheeks. They dated for years and for a long time it was a thorn in their parents side because Amy was a good six years older than Jihoon and her parents thought she could do better. As far as she was concerned there was no one better for her than Lee Jihoon and when they moved in together, the woman's bold decision, her parents stopped speaking to her. They were the traditional sort and having their oldest daughter move in with a younger man out of wedlock was the worst possible thing.
Then she got pregnant.
It wasn't a mistake or accident by any means. They wanted children. Amy wanted to start trying and by then they were already engaged. Amy had lit up like the stars when she rambled about how sweet and romantic Jihoon had proposed to her while he mumbled that it wasn't really all that special. It was sweet, Yoongi thought. The two of them were sweet. The way Amy lit up any time she spoke about her husband and the way Jihoon ducked his head shyly with a warm flush on his cheeks but he always smiled. It was soft, in the corner of his mouth, but he looked at her like his world was built around her existence alone and that was the kind of love Yoongi didn't think existed in real life.
Now married and eight months pregnant, the couple were on their way to Busan because it was Jihoon's home town and they wanted one last holiday before the baby was born. A boy, Amy exclaimed excitedly. Names were still being tossed around but they were thrilled parents to be and Yoongi knew that feeling, hoped it never left them. Hoped they made it because they were happy and that kind of happiness was hard to find these days.
Mingyu was a twenty-two year old son of some electronics company CEO that he refused to name. Rich, well bred, but very humble all things considering. He stuttered over his words occasionally out of his own shyness of having people's attention on him and he played with his hands a lot. But he had a smile like starlight that lit up his entire face, which was handsome enough to be put into any fashion spread, so Taehyung pointed out. His skin had a natural golden tan to it, like Jimin's and his sharp features and dark styled hair stood out against a normal citizen. Next to Jimin and Taehyung, he looked like he belonged. He was going to Busan at demand of his father for a meeting he had no interest in. He didn't want to take over the company. He wasn't entirely sure what he wanted to do with his life but he was certain business was not it.
Namjoon was a twenty-six year old writer from Ilsan with a masters in philosophy who apparently knew this entire thing was going to happen. He didn't have any extra inside knowledge or anything but he was very well-educated and put pieces together a bit more quickly than most. He said he'd always had a feeling something tragic was going to happen soon. The earth had been trying to tell them with all the recent natural disasters. When word of the nuclear power plant shut down reached him, he packed up and got on the first train out of Seoul that he could. He didn't completely imagine zombies but the option had been there and he wasn't all that surprised to find it to be true. He called it the end of the world before Seokjin smacked his shoulder and told him he was being much too grim when they were trying to stay positive.
Seokjin was a well mannered man in his early thirties with a warm smile and a spark in his eye that said he was not to be messed with. He'd been managing Taehyung and Jimin for over six years, ever since HEX debuted, but he'd been in the company much longer than that. He admitted to being a trainee in his youth, which surprised the idols under his care, but he found that world wasn't what he wanted. He liked taking care of people, had a knack for intimidation and organization and so he became a manager. The best one the company had, he boasted.
Jimin and Taehyung were a package deal, as Taehyung said. They'd been glued to the hip since they met at the tender age of fourteen as exhausted trainees. Jimin was a dancer, thrived on the feel of the beat thumping through his body and twisting his limbs round. The slight muscles curved over his arms and legs were proof enough of that, though a good deal of it was hidden beneath the oversized red sweater he wore. Taehyung loved to sing; had always loved to sing since he was three years old and he became a trainee the moment his parents felt he was old enough to give it a try. Both Jimin and Taehyung had supportive parents. Parents who were proud of the accomplishments of their children and supported them from the beginning. They were lucky, Yoongi thought.
It was a sore subject to speak of the members they had lost. Yoongi had no knowledge about HEX but Amy knew a great deal and spoke softly about how sorry she was for their recent loss. A sixteen member group down to two and Yoongi was floored. How were they still floating? It was obvious Taehyung and Jimin were close and that was enough to keep their heads above water. Apparently, their most recent comeback was already a massive success and both boys were excited about it considering they both had complete control over the song they released. It was something to be proud of and according to Amy, Jihoon and Mingyu, it was the best song HEX had released yet.
Neither boy got too personal about their lives. Jimin was from Busan but lived in Seoul since he became a trainee. He was scouted from Busan Arts and with his parents support he began his journey. It hadn't been easy. There were many times he thought of giving up but Taehyung was always at his side, a boxy grin on his face and warm encouragement at the ready. He said some days he still woke up in complete shock about how far they made it together but he wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.
Taehyung was from Daegu and he had a large family that still lived there. Mother, father, two brothers, a younger sister, and a gaggle of younger cousins that he adored which was perhaps why he was so good with Jungkook. He worked hard and played even harder. He'd written most of the lyrics and melodies for their new song and he was proud to say he finally got to give a rap part a go and he was pleased with the result.
They were going to Busan for a mini fanmeeting that was more than likely already canceled.
Yoongi didn't have all that much to talk about when it was his turn. He was a twenty-eight year old recently divorced architectural designer with a four year old son and a decent apartment. Jungkook took up his free time so he didn't really have hobbies. He had work and he had Jungkook. He explained tenderly that Jungkook was a special kid, that he worked differently than a lot of other children. He was shy, reserved, and rarely liked to be touched by anyone other than his father. There wasn't any particular reason Jungkook was the way he was. Nothing developmentally wrong with him. And Yoongi would know because he'd taken the boy to all kinds of doctors after he'd tried to claw his own skin off when an old teacher grabbed his arm.
The doctors never found anything that stood out. He worked differently than others and that was fine. Yoongi came to understand that and learned how to work with him. Even if Jungkook rarely spoke words, the boy was easy to read and they had managed to form a bond that was unbreakable. Amy said she thought it was sweet and Jimin agreed. Taehyung had glanced between Yoongi and Jungkook a few times before giving a soft smile, just the upturn of his lips in the corners and it was a pretty smile, something that made Yoongi's stomach swirl for a bit before Taehyung said Jungkook was lucky to have such a wonderful understanding and accepting father.
That smile made heat curl to the curves of his cheeks and Yoongi wasn't entirely sure why. Seokjin steered the conversation away into another topic and Yoongi was grateful for that. But Taehyung remained by his side, flashing him soft smiles every time their eyes met and Yoongi, he squeezed Jungkook a little closer each time, his own lips twitching in the corners in an attempt to return those pretty smiles out of natural politeness.
Jungkook was just starting to stir awake when the momentum of the train began to slow down. They were approaching their Daegu stop and the anxiety that had melted away thanks to warm conversation was suddenly back tenfold. Yoongi's heart lept into his throat and remained there, a quick throbbing against his skin as he held his son close. He'd managed to eat his breakfast during the ride, splitting his bagel with Amy because the woman was pregnant and needed the nourishment a lot more than he did. But now, he was starting to think eating had been a bad idea because his bagel was swirling around in the pit of his stomach ready to come back up.
The platform was bare of any sign of life when the train finally rolled to a stop and Yoongi wasn't sure what to think about that. He had the sudden thought that the doors would slid open and the things at the back of the train would spill out and, oh fuck, that wasn't good. He hurried to his feet, cradling Jungkook to his chest as everyone else moved to stand as well.
"There's no one out there." Namjoon pointed out, leaning over a row of seats to peer at the platform. "There should be people, shouldn't there? Military. Where's the military?"
"Maybe they're inside." Seokjin pointed out softly, moving to help Jimin adjust the snapback on his head so most of his pink hair was hidden. "Maybe they're waiting to make sure this entire train isn't infected."
"As soon as those doors open, we're fucked." Jihoon spoke up, earning a soft glare from his wife and a pat to his shoulder. "What?" He turned his wide eyes to her in confusion. "Whatever is at the back of this train is going to get out and we'll be in danger."
The air in the car went stiff when the doors made a loud clicking sound suddenly but after a moment, they didn't open. Instead, a soft warm voice came over the speaker system.
"Due to emergency protocols the automatic doors have been disabled."
"Oh thank fuck." Taehyung breathed out, holding both hands clutched to his chest tightly. He had that mask on his face again, a white printed bear nose on the fabric making him appear a bit cuter. His eyes were wide, brows hidden in his bangs, unease and nervousness flashing across his features and Yoongi felt the same.
"We apologize for the inconvience but there is an emergency manual lever at the top of the door allowing you access to open it. Please exit in a safe and pleasant manner and again, KTX apologizes for the inconvenience."
"Well, at least they're smart." Namjoon puffed out, shuffling around until he could reach the door. He peered at it for a good minute while everyone else got themselves together.
Yoongi bounced Jungkook in his arms a few times to make sure the boy was wide awake just in case. Large dark eyes blinked slowly at him and Yoongi was relieved to see whatever fear the boy had felt was gone for the time being. He seemed peaceful and calm, as he usually was in his daily life so he held him a little closer, one arm under his bum to secure him against his hip. Taehyung leaned over a for minute, his lilac hair now pushed back from his forehead with a backwards black snapback. His eyes crinkled when he smiled at Jungkook and the boy stared at the idol for a minute before he lifted a hand to poke one finger against the white bare nose. Taehyung chuckled softly and used the back of his fingers to brush stray strands of hair away from Jungkook's cheek. It was sweet and made warmth curl up Yoongi's stomach even when there was a lingering fear in the air.
"People are already leaving." Jimin pointed out, peering over Namjoon's shoulder to look out the window.
Yoongi twisted around to look out on the platform and sure enough, there were crowds of people peacefully exiting the train. There wasn't any sign of chaos and Yoongi wondered if maybe the infected couldn't open doors.
"Maybe the zombies can't open doors." Namjoon voiced aloud before letting out a noise of accomplishment, his fingers wrapping around a small yellow lever that he then pulled down. The doors popped open but didn't open completely. Namjoon had to wrap his fingers around the edge of the door and shove it open manually. Cool air swirled into the car and it smelled of fresh rain.
"I don't like this." Yoongi spoke up, holding Jungkook by the back of his head. "This doesn't feel right."
"Yeah, I got that too." Namjoon let out a sigh and popped his head out of the door, glancing along the length of the platform. "The doors past... car 12 aren't opening at all. Holy fuck it spread that far?"
Something cold settled in the pit of Yoongi's stomach and he glanced over to meet Amy's eyes at the same time she looked at him. They had been in car seventeen. If they'd stayed... Yoongi couldn't bare to think about what could have happened.
"As long as the doors stay closed we should be okay, right?" Jimin questioned, his voice wavering slightly.
"Yeah, I think so." Namjoon brought his head back inside the car. "But stay sharp. I'm with Yoongi-hyung. This doesn't feel right. Even now with people entering the station, there should be military coming out."
"We won't accomplish anything just standing here." Seokjin stated and they all knew he was right.
It took a moment before Namjoon stepped through the door, pausing to wait for the others. Jimin snatched up Taehyung's hand, his small fingers curling tightly around his and he tugged until the two of them stumbled out onto the platform. Seokjin was quick on their heels and after glancing at Amy and Jihoon, Yoongi slipped through the door.
Daegu air was cool and crisp in his lungs, smelling of rain that had yet to fall and the platform was peaceful, all things considered. A glance down the train told Yoongi Namjoon had been right. None of the doors past the twelfth car opened and that could only mean they were all infected. Including the car he and his son had been in. Yoongi shook his head and hurried after the rest of his group with Amy, Jihoon and Mingyu right behind him.
The inside of the station was quiet with only the low murmur of soft converstation but there was still a cold crawling feeling spread out over Yoongi's skin so he stuck close to his group, eyes glancing around frantically for any sign of danger. They followed the rest of the passengers, down a long open hallway toward the staircases that led down into the main area of the station where ticket booths and concessions would be waiting. And the military, presumably.
"I'm starting to feel that bad feeling." Taehyung saddled up to Yoongi's side, his hand still curled tightly in Jimin's grasp. He ducked his head to whisper into Yoongi's ear, so not to distrub the other members of their group. "I don't like being out in the open like this."
"It's fine. Everything's fine. It's going to be fine." Jimin mumbled to himself, his eyes wide as he stared straight ahead and his grip was so tight on Taehyung's hand that his knuckles were turning white. And yet, Taehyung said nothing, just let his friend crush his hand to death.
Yoongi grit his teeth and felt the muscles in his arms tense. Namjoon and Seokjin were leading the group, highly alert to anything around them and Yoongi trusted them to call out the first sign of something wrong. Their footsteps echoed through the hallway, an ominous sound and soon the ceiling opened up into something higher and the walls faded into railings to show off the open bottom floor. There were people everywhere, in front of them, behind them, on either side of them and Yoongi could see military uniforms but they were near the entrance of the station.
Their group was just heading down a set of stairs when a ear splitting scream broke out across the station. Yoongi froze, his limbs locking up in fear and everything happened much too fast for him to process.
A group of survivors near the front had approached the military men near the entrance, calling out softly to them and then everything was a blur. There was blood, a scream and the next thing Yoongi knew, he was being shoved back up the stairs by Taehyung while Namjoon was yelling, "They're infected! The military are infected!"
There were too many people all trying to go in the same direction in a panic and Yoongi's feet couldn't seem to move fast enough. He nearly tripped on the stairs if not for Taehyung's strong hands on his arms, pushing and shoving him until he kept moving.
"Train! Back to the train! Now, go! Go!" Taehyung yelled out over the chaos, letting out a grunt when a man in a business suit shoved past him, separating him from Yoongi.
There was screaming and inhuman gurgling sounds and the dread of what was behind them was the only thing moving Yoongi forward. He wouldn't let Jungkook get hurt, he couldn't let Jungkook see. He stuffed the boy's head into his neck and moved his feet as fast as he could manage, following the sight of Mingyu's tall fucking head over the crowd.
Crowds of people spilled back out onto the platform and Yoongi was nearly shoved to the ground by a group of young girls screaming their heads off. He cradled Jungkook to his chest safely and a hand curled around his bicep, tugging him forward. It was Namjoon, a frown on his face but Yoongi followed as quickly as he could manage. The train was still there, waiting patiently and the doors were open from before.
Yoongi never thought he would be so relieved to see a train in his life.
"Amy!" Jihoon's voice boomed over the sounds of screaming and running and Yoongi twisted his head around to find the pretty blond was no where to be seen. "Let go- Fuck, Mingyu, let go of me! Amy-"
Mingyu had a tight hold around Jihoon's wrist, practically dragging the man toward their train car but Amy was no where to be seen. Burning concern seized up Yoongi's chest and he glanced around franticly in search of her.
"Hoonie!" Her scream was loud, and piercing, and Yoongi snapped his head to the side in time to see her being shoved into a train car three or four down from their own by a crowd of panicked people. She was furious, the look on her face enough to kill before she disappeared into the car.
"Let-Fucking let me go!" Jihoon twisted around in Mingyu's grip but the man held on tightly, his face one of fear and panic.
"It's okay, it'll be okay." Mingyu promised.
"The car! Get in the car!" Taehyung's voice called out and Jihoon was shoved into the train car. Yoongi was dragged inside as well by Namjoon and then the man twisted around, grabbing at the door and slammed it shut until it clicked. It was a good thing too, because as soon as Yoongi turned around, he saw the unthinkable crash through the glass doors on the platform.
"Oh god." The words tumbled free from his lips and he held a hand tightly over Jungkook's head so the boy didn't look.
"What the fuck, Mingyu!" Jihoon screamed and there was a meaty sound of fist connecting with skin. "My wife! She's my wife you can't just fucking- what the hell you bastard!" Yoongi was shoved out of the way so Jihoon could get to the door but no matter how hard he tugged it wouldn't open.
Yoongi grabbed his shoulder tightly, shaking his head. "The platform's not safe."
They had a good look at what they were dealing with now. Stumbling and practically crawling over one another were creatures foaming at the mouth. They had been human once but now, with their whited out eyes and bloodied mouths, they were anything but human. And there were so many of them. They moved unnaturally, with twitches in their limbs but they still moved quickly. They didn't quite run but they moved faster than one would think and that was a downfall for a lot of the people still scattered about on the platform.
Yoongi watched in horror as a woman was snatched by the arm by a bloodied military man and tackled to the ground. Before Yoongi tore his gaze away he saw teeth sink into her shoulder, through the fabric of her dress and her screams of agony shook Yoongi to the core.
"Fucking, She's my wife." Jihoon's voice was weaker now, strained, his hands curled tight against the door as he dropped his head. Yoongi couldn't imagine what he was going though but he kept his hand on the man's shoulder for support. It wasn't brushed off and after a few seconds, those shoulders started to shake.
"She's with other survivors." Namjoon spoke softly, his eyes wide as he watched the chaos on the platform. "She's safe, I'm sure she is."
"Where's Jimin?" Taehyung's voice cut through the car like a knife and a sickening bubble burst in Yoongi's stomach. "Hyung." He clutched at Seokjin's arm, who was glancing around the train car in utter confusion. "H-Hyung, where's Jiminnie?"
He wasn't there. Namjoon, Jihoon, Seokjin, Taehyung, Yoongi, Jungkook and Mingyu. Amy was missing but they knew that already and Jimin with his pretty pink hair and red sweater was no where to be seen.
"Hyung!" Taehyung's voice broke on the word and Yoongi watched with wide eyes as Taehyung stumbled back until he hit the wall near the front of the car. "W-Where-No, please-Where is he? Where's Jiminnie?" His eyes were impossibly wide, despair cracking across his face like lightning and the tears fell without caution, slipping over his tanned cheeks to sink into the fabric of his mask. He looked utterly devastated and Yoongi winced, clutching his jaw tightly as he hugged Jungkook a little tighter to his chest.
"I don't see him on the platform." Namjoon pointed out, hunched over a seat so he could see properly.
"Where-Jiminnie-Not, please, not him, please. Please." Taehyung's voice broke before his knees gave out and he collapsed onto the floor, his hands knocking his hat free before burying deep in his hair as sobs wrecked through his body. They were awful sounds. Sounds of a man on the brink of agony, ripping through his throat uncontrollably as emotions crashed through him.
"Shit, shit." Seokjin hissed, his face contorted in a twist as he fell back against one of the seats.
"This isn't happening, this isn't fucking happening." Jihoon ripped away from Yoongi and stalked over to Mingyu who flinched once he got close. He didn't hit the man again and instead shoved him into one of the seats before sitting down with him, whipping out his phone from his pocket in quick planned movement. "She's my wife. You didn't get to decide that, Mingyu."
"I'm sorry, hyung. I panicked." He whispered faintly, his voice shaking.
Jungkook started to wiggle in Yoongi's hold and he realized he was squeezing the boy much too tightly. He released his grip and glanced down to make sure Jungkook was okay. His face was flushed but he wasn't crying so that was a good sign. He continued to wiggle and kick his legs and Yoongi knew he wanted to be put down but he had a hard time doing so. They were safe for the time being, the infected on the platform currently having no interest in the train but it still terrified Yoongi to release the boy on his feet.
Jungkook made soft whining noises in the back of his throat and if he kept wiggling, Yoongi was bound to drop him so he carefully set him down on his feet. Jungkook huffed softly, giving his father a pleased look before he shuffled off toward Taehyung. The man was still crying, Jimin's name escaping his lips every so often and he was a wreck, a complete and utter wreck. Yoongi was tempted to reach out to him but he wasn't sure if it was appropriate. He didn't even know what to say, no one did.
But Jungkook seemed to know what to do. He shuffled up to Taehyung and stopped at his feet. His little red and black sneakers bumped gently into the toes of Taehyung's boots but the man didn't seem to notice. Jungkook shifted his weight from foot to foot for a moment and Yoongi could tell he was both nervous and worried. After another moment, Jungkook took the chance and reached forward, splaying his open palm on Taehyung's head like Yoongi would do to him when he was crying.
Taehyung sucked in a harsh breath and glanced up, his eyes red and puffy from crying. Yoongi couldn't see Jungkook's face but he thought perhaps the boy smiled because Taehyung's face broke all over again and in the next second he had Jungkook cluched to his chest, long arms wrapped round him tightly. Yoongi stepped forward in worry, afraid Jungkook might start screaming because he was being touched but the opposite happened. Jungkook wrapped his arms around Taehyung's head and patted his hair gently.
"Be okay. It be okay." His little voice mumbled loud enough for Yoongi to hear and his heart burst in his chest. Taehyung was essentially a stranger and yet there Jungkook was, hugging him and consoling him and it brought a stinging sensation to Yoongi's eyes because Jungkook couldn't even hug his own mother like that and there was truly something special about Kim Taehyung.
"We need to get this train moving." Namjoon spoke up suddenly, leaning away from the window." It's a mess out there and it's only a matter of time before they try to over take the train."
Seokjin stood up suddenly, his eyes dry of tears but they were red around the edges. "We're not leaving without Jimin."
"Hyung." The word sounded a little broken and wounded coming from Namjoon's mouth, like he knew what Seokjin was thinking but he also knew the logical outcome of what had happened to Jimin. His mouth was a thin line, a sharp line that showed he was upset with the outcome as well but he had to keep it together for the rest of them. "I think the conductor might have left. I could figure out how to get this train moving." He suffled past Seokjin toward the door at the front of the car, where Taehyung was still clutching Jungkook on the floor beside it.
"And where are you planning on going, Namjoon?" Seokjin's voice was sharp, his arms folded over his chest.
"Right now, anywhere but here."
Before Namjoon could make an attempt at opening the door, it slid open all on its own and he stumbled backwards in surprise. A man stood in the doorway, with fluffy dark hair, sharp eyes and a bright smile that quickly faded when he noticed the state of the people inside the car. He was wearing a blue inform and he had to be the conductor; he had to be.
"Oh. My." He mumbled softly, his voice light as he glanced around at all the grim faces. His eyes lingered on the shaking Taehyung just by the door and his lips pursed into a frown. "I'm sorry, I am. They told me Daegu was supposed to be safe. I'm so sorry about all of this. I didn't realize it was so bad."
"Are you the conductor?" Namjoon asked, sounding hopeful.
The man nodded and bowed his head in greeting. "Jung Hoseok."
"Can you get us out of here?"
"I've been keeping in touch with the military on the radio but they have so many things to keep track of right now, Daegu slipped through the cracks. I've been informed that Busan is the safe zone at the moment, quarantined off. Nothing is gettting in or out without being checked first and they are prepared for whatever is going on. They've given me limited information but I've been told we are to go there. I plan to keep in touch with them the entire way so," He glanced out the window and winced, tearing his eyes away, "so this doesn't happen again."
"Okay, what are we waiting for, let's get moving." Namjoon stated.
"She's in train car seven." Jihoon suddenly shot up out of his seat, his phone held tightly in his hand as he hurried down the aisle. He looked frantic for a moment before his face settled and he leveled Hoseok with a blazing look. "Do you have any weapons?"
"W-Weapons?" The man's eyes went wide. "I-What? Why?"
Jihoon grit his teeth. "I'm going after my wife."
"H-Hyung that's crazy." Mingyu was on his feet, worry written across his face.
Jihoon spun on him with a blazing fire in his eyes. "She's my pregnant wife."
"Okay, wait, let's discuss this-"
"I don't give a flying fuck what the rest of you do." Jihoon cut Namjoon off, his pretty face contorted in a tight glare that dared anyone to argue with him. "I'm going after her."
"You can't go alone." Yoongi mumbled through numb lips.
"There's a fire ax." Hoseok spoke up, suddenly moving back through the door he came through. He returned less than a minute later with an ax in one hand and a small black bag in the other. "And a first aid kit."
Jihoon snatched the ax from the man's hands and furrowed his brow at the weight of it. It was hard to carry in one hand so Yoongi took it from him, earning a grumble for it.
"You're not going alone." Yoongi stated, holding the ax tightly in his hands. It was heavy and would manage to do some damage if need be. Jihoon looked like he was going to argue that but his phone lit up in his hand and he quickly dropped his attention to it.
Seokjin took the first aid kit from Hoseok with a soft thank you and put it aside in case they needed it. He unzipped the bag and started to go through it, taking note of all the things they had available to them.
"There's emergeny food rations and blankets in the overhead compartments." Hoseok tapped his hand against the mentioned compartments at the front of the car. "We have another hour or so before we get to Busan."
"There are infected in the car with her." Jihoon mumbled out, his voice a whisper in the wind. "She can't tell how many but she swears the doors on either side of the car were shut. She's huddled in a bathroom with other-Fuck," He inhaled sharply, "Jimin's with her."
"What?" Seokjin's head snapped up.
Jimin couldn't wrap his head around what had happened. One minute, he had Taehyung's warm long fingers wrapped tightly around his own and then the next, his shoulder was colliding painfully with the wall. There was screaming and shoving and the only thing Jimin could do was move as quickly as he could in the direction he was being shoved so he didn't get trampled. He was a dancer, had been since he was eight years old, so his body moved fluidly and luckily, he didn't trip over his own feet.
Taehyung was no where to be seen. In fact, Jimin couldn't see anyone that he recognized in the chaos. His heart squeezed into his throat tightly and his feet moved quickly, shuffling against the floor until he spilled out onto the concrete platform with the rest of the crowd. He had no idea what was going but he did know that when a crowd of people started running, it was only smart to follow along.
Now on the platform, Jimin stood up on his tip toes and tried to look over the crowd of people, carefully avoiding being bumped into as people ran about. But people were panicking and the next thing he knew, he was being shoved forward again by a crowd of people and there was no escaping it. Someone's shoulder went hard into his ribs and he choked out a gasp, nearly tripping over his own feet as bodies shoved him forward.
He was being pushed toward the train, which was probably a good thing but it took him a moment to notice he was being pushed in the wrong direction. He was certain Taehyung would go for their train car but he was being shoved much too far down the platform. Jimin twisted his body, using the muscles he'd trained hard to have and slipped free from the crowd, stumbling toward a brick wall to nearly collapse against.
Everything was happening so fast but he had to move. Shoving off the wall, Jimin fought his way through the crowd. It was nearly impossible, like swimming against the strong current in a river but he had to get back near the front of the train. A cold sweat was starting to curl against the back of his neck and brow and with it came the impending fear of what was going on around him. He managed to find a break in the crowd and stumbled to the side, his sore shoulder connecting with the brick wall of the station and now that he was out of the way he could quickly figure out a solution to get to the other side of the platform toward the train.
Just as he was about to sprint across the platform, a break in the crowd giving him the perfect chance, he noticed something red and gold sparkling in the middle of the platform. He recognized it almost instantly and then he was moving without thought, sprinting across the platform to dip down and snatch up the object before it was completely trampled.
The Iron Man plush was soft in his hands and still a little warm from where Jungkook must have clutched it tightly to his chest. Something sharp cut through Jimin's chest and he stood up quickly, holding the plush tightly in one hand as he whipped his head around in search of the little boy and his father. The crowd was too large and Jimin was too short and he cursed softly under his breath for the height he had been left with. He shoved the plush in the pocket of his sweater and twisted on his feet to sprint toward the front of the train.
Something hard slammed into his already sore shoulder, making him stumble to the side and then he was stuck in the middle of another group of people, shoving him forward and screaming at him to move. He had no choice but to move or be trampled and no amount of wiggling or shouting was going to get them to stop shoving him forward. There was too much fear on their faces and they had obviously seen something he had not.
"Hoonie!" The shout was loud, cutting across the platform and Jimin snapped his head up just as he was shoved against the side of the train, wincing at the pain in his shoulder. His shoulders were grabbed and he was tugged from the train to be shoved through the open door.
"Son of a bitch!" A woman cursed loudly but there were hands on his back and Jimin could only move forward. "You assholes! If you stopped shoving for one solid fucking minute- Hey, stop that!"
Jimin knew that voice. He wipped around just in time to see Amy's golden hair before the woman was suddenly shoved against him. She was speaking, much too fast for Jimin to keep up with and he realized she was shouting in english before the both of them were shoved toward the front of the car.
"The door!" Someone screeched. "Shut the door, oh god they're coming!"
"N-Noona." Jimin choked out, grabbing onto Amy's shoulders to steady her.
She twisted around so fast, and with so much fury, Jimin thought he was going to get smacked. But as soon as their eyes met, her fury lessened and relief peppered across her features. "Oh, Jimin, thank goodness."
"The front, we can-"
There was an ear piercing screech near the open door and Jimin watched in horror as one of the passangers was grabbed by the hair and snatched back out the door. There was a solid second of silence before Amy grabbed his shoulders and whispered to him to, "move, oh god, move."
The open bathroom door was near the front of the car where a man was struggling to open the door into the next car. There were sounds, strange sounds that Jimin couldn't explain behind them and it made his skin crawl and his heart pick up. Danger, they were in danger. They were in danger and Amy was pregnant and he couldn't let her or her unborn child get hurt.
Swallowing hard, Jimin grabbed Amy's hand between his own and twisted around, moving so she was in front of him and then ushered her toward the open bathroom door. They stumbled inside quickly and though the space was small, barely enough room for two people to stand, there were hands on Jimin's shoulders and he was being shoved further into the small space.
By the time the door shut with a hard snap behind them, Jimin was shoved between the wall and another person he didn't know. There was panting breath around him but he could see Amy perched on top of the tiny little sink, her legs hugged to her swollen belly to make more room for the five of them. The door was shut and locked, nice and secure but that didn't mean they were safe. Jimin wiggled his way out from between the wall to get as close to Amy as possible.
"Are you hurt?" He asked her softly, his eyes wide and his breath coming in hard pants.
They reached out for each other, hands curling together and the corner of the sink dug hard into his thigh but he paid it no mind. There were warm bodies pressed up against his own but Amy was safe and unhurt as proven by the subtle shake of her head.
"Assholes. I saw the others get into our car before I was forced in here. They're okay."
Jimin wanted to cry in relief and now that they weren't running, now that there wasn't chaos all around him, he felt his eyes start to sting and his face flush with heat. Amy looked alarmed for a second before she smiled softly in understanding and reached out to wrap an arm around his waist. It was comforting, burying his face in her soft hair but it wasn't Taehyung and...
"Shh." One of the other passengers suddenly said softly, his ear pressed to the door. "They're out there. I can hear them. No one speak."
Terror crawled up Jimin's spine like the cold fingers of death and he sunk his teeth hard into his bottom lip to keep from sobbing. Amy's grip tightened around his body and Jimin tried to wrap his mind around what just happened. One minute they were going into the station and they next everyone was running back to the train. He could remember Taehyung's shout, telling them to run but then Jimin was shoved to the wall and he didn't see his friend again.
A crowd of terrified people were just as dangerous as what they were running from and Jimin couldn't bare to think about what they had been running from. He'd believed Taehyung when he told him what he saw because the terror in those eyes had been much too real. Taehyung always had a great imagination but he never lied to Jimin and his fear was much too real to take as a joke.
But this. This was too much. Jimin could handle himself pretty well physically. Out of the two of them, Jimin was definitely the strongest in terms of physical strength but he wasn't nearly as mentally strong as his best friend. Taehyung wasn't the one to break down in tears every time some stranger on the internet pointed out he'd put on a little weight. Taehyung wasn't the one to bury his face into his pillow in the middle of the night to stuffle the sobs coming from his mouth because he missed his family and couldn't bare missing his younger brother's birthday for the seventh year in a row. No, that was Jimin, it was all Jimin. Sure, Taehyung had his moments when he broke down, when he collapsed in the studio because they'd been dancing for twelve hours and tears sprung to his eyes from pure exhaustion but Taehyung was strong. He was ten times stronger than Jimin ever thought he would be and right now, right now he needed him.
Taehyung had taken charge. He'd grabbed at Jimin's hand and Yoongi's shoulder and told them to run. But none of them could have predicated being forced apart. Oh, Jimin couldn't bare to think about how Taehyung was feeling. His throat burned at the idea and his stomach jumped with a new series of sobs.
Taehyung was strong but he was dependant as well and if he thought Jimin was... if he thought Jimin was hurt, he was bound to lose it. Sometimes, Jimin was the only thing grounding Taehyung and they were much better together than apart.
"They're coming for us." Amy whispered softly, so softly Jimin thought he had imagined it so he rose his head and rubbed at his tearfilled eyes with the sleeve of his sweater. Amy had her eyes locked on the phone in her hand, the small light casting a white glow across her pretty face. "Hoonie, Taehyung and Yoongi. They're going to come get us, Jiminnie."
Jimin could have cried in relief but there were infected outside their door and the idea of Taehyung facing that made his body lock with cold fear. "W-We're not safe."
Amy gave the man by the door a heated glare while patting Jimin's back gently. "Have faith. Hoonie's tougher than he looks and something tells me Yoongi could handle a group all on his own."
Jimin knew Taehyung would bulldoze his way through an entire town if it meant getting Jimin to safety but that didn't mean he was okay with it. The last thing he wanted was for Taehyung to get hurt for him but...
But Jimin needed his friend, so he kept his mouth shut and nodded, taking deep breaths to calm the emotions slamming against his bones. Taehyung was coming for him. Taehyung and Yoongi and Jihoon. Jimin understood why Taehyung and Jihoon were coming but Yoongi...
The man's entire world revolved around the fluffy haired boy he kept glued to his side and yet he was coming to rescue them. Jimin's heart swelled at the thought and his hand dropped in his pocket to wrap small fingers around the soft plush resting there. He'd get to return it to its owner really soon and he tried to smile, closing his eyes to send a soft prayer to whoever was listening for their rescue team's safety.
"Jimin's with her!" Jihoon was shaking, his fingers tight around his phone. "He was shoved into the crowd with her when we were separated. He's in the bathroom with her."
"Taehyung, Taehyung, Jimin's on the train." Seokjin called, his voice a mixture of relief and anxiety.
"Jimin's..." Taehyung's voice was light, a soft hopeful whisper and then he was suddenly on his feet, bringing Jungkook with him. "We're going after him." Determination settled firmly on his face and there was a blazing fire in his eyes that dared someone to fight him. He settled Jungkook down on one of the seats carefully and held his hands out for the ax in Yoongi's hands. He passed the weapon over to him without a fight, knowing Taehyung was strong enough to do some real damage with it. "We'll save Jiminnie and Amy-Noona. We're in this together."
Yoongi nodded in agreement and tipped over the seats, snatching up the first aid bag. He dug around in it for a minute before finding what he was looking for. Scissors. He dropped the bag into a seat and twisted the glistening sharp metal in his fingers for a moment before shoving them into his pocket. They were better than nothing for a weapon.
"Hyung, you don't have to come." Taehyung stated, his eyes settling on Yoongi's hip where the scissors rested. "Jungkook needs you."
"I can help so I am." Yoongi turned toward Mingyu who flinched under his gaze. "Watch him for me. You can do that, can't you?"
"Yeah, you. Watch him." Yoongi's voice was firm and Mingyu nodded vigorously. "You too." He turned on Seokjin who nodded in agreement. Satisfied, Yoongi dropped down to the floor in a squat beside the seat Jungkook had settled himself into. "Baby, Appa will be right back." Jungkook looked up in alarm, his eyes wide and his lip trembling. "No, shush, it's okay." He slipped his fingers into his hair gently. "Appa will be right back. Appa's gotta go get Jimin, you remember Jimin right? And Amy? We're going to bring them back."
Something crossed Jungkook's features, something like understanding and then he nodded his head firmly. His fingers were twitching for something to hold on to and it was in that moment that Yoongi realized his Iron Man plush was nowhere to be seen. They must have dropped it in their rush to leave the station but Jungkook wasn't crying for it and that was a good sign. He was just a child but he seemed to understand how severe the situation currently was.
"Appa be safe." Jungkook reached out with both hands and cupped Yoong's cheeks in his palms, a concentrated expression on his face.
"I will baby." Yoongi's heart swelled as he tipped forward to press his lips to his son's nose. "Be good for your hyungs okay?"
"Good boy." Yoongi gave his soft hair one more kiss before he got to his feet. Leaving Jungkook behind almost felt like a mistake but Yoongi had skills that could be useful and he wanted to do something to help. Taehyung had broken in half when Jimin went missing and Jihoon was barely holding it together. Yoongi could help, so he would.
"Yoongi." Taehyung's voice was soft, bubbling with emotion when he stepped up next to him. "You..."
Yoongi shook his head. "Don't worry about it. Let's go get your best friend and Jihoon's wife."
"You have fifteen minutes." Hoseok spoke up. "And then we'll start moving. Be safe." He called before hurrying back into the engine room and shutting the door behind himself.
"This is a suicidal mission, you know that right?" Namjoon spoke up, surprise evident on his face.
A solid loud click echoed through the train car, signaling all the outside doors were now shut and locked.
Yoongi grit his teeth and moved past Taehyung and Jihoon. The car behind them wasn't empty but the handful of people inside weren't infected from what he could tell, so he opened the door with a hard tug. "Suicidal or not, they'll die in that bathroom if we don't get to them." Yoongi cast Jungkook one last glance. He had his teeth sunk into his trembling lower lip, his cheeks red like he was about to cry but he was being strong and Yoongi was so proud of him. He smiled softly at his son before turning his back on him, hurrying through the door with Jihoon and Taehyung hot on his heels.
Thanks to the utter chaos on the train platform all the cars they passed through were either completely empty or only had a handful of survivors inside of them. Yoongi was determined to get to the seventh train car because Jimin and Amy were part of their group and as far as he was concerned, no man or woman was going to be left behind on his watch. Besides, he didn't want to see Taehyung and Jihoon hurt because they tried to saved their loved ones and Yoongi wasn't there to help.
The sixth car was completely empty so Yoongi sprinted for the door, coming to a sudden halt to peer through the small window into the next car. His breath caught in his throat and his fingers wrapped around the handle of the scissors in his pocket. He could see the bathroom right at the front of the car, the door shut but he could count four infected lumbering about the car, one of them awfully close to the bathroom door.
"There's four infected." He stated softly to the other two. "Two by the back, one in the middle and one a few steps away from the bathroom."
"Shit." Jihoon cursed under his breath. "Shit, shit, okay, let's do this." He had nothing but his bare hands yet he was buzzing with anger and bravery and even though he was small, Yoongi was certain the man could do some damage all on his own.
"Let's be smart about this. Four of them, three of us. The door to the other car is shut. If we can get this door opened without them noticing, I can get the one closest to us. That will draw the others attention though."
"Can we kill them?" Jihoon asked.
"If this is like every damn zombie movie I've ever seen, aim for the brain." Taehyung grumbled, his voice a low rough growl. His red rimmed eyes were narrowed in determination and his knuckles were white around the wood handle of the ax. "I can take one down with this but it's heavy and will take a wide arch."
"Not to offend you," Yoongi mumbled softly, glancing at Taehyung over his shoulder, "but killing something isn't as easy as that."
Taehyung grit his teeth. "I know. I-I know. I've never-but Jiminnie's in there and I'll burn down a whole fucking city just to save him okay. I can do this."
Yoongi believed him. "I'll take that one down as quietly as I can. Jihoon, get to the bathroom and get them out. I don't think we can kill all four but if we can keep them at bay until we can escape back through this door we should be okay."
"Got it." Jihoon nodded, understanding his part in their plan.
"Taehyung, don't do anything rash." Adrenaline was flooding through Yoongi's system and he was reminded of when he was a teenager on the streets of Daegu, thinking he was hot shit and getting into fights becuse he was too bored to do anything else. He could do this. It'd been a while, but his muscles were already twitching with the familiar movement, coiling up tightly and ready to strike. "And stay quiet."
There was a murmur of agreement so Yoongi ducked down, wrapping his fingers around the handle of the door and slowly clicked it open. The sound was soft and as he slid the door open, it barely made any sound at all. He sighed faintly in relief and carefully tucked the door into the wall where it belonged. The soft grumbling sounds of the infected made his skin crawl but he had a job to do. He took a deep breath, held it and started moving forward, crouched down low with his fingers wrapped tightly around the scissors.
God, she was a high school student. Yoongi grit his teeth and paused by the bathroom door, watching with hawk like eyes as the infected girl shifted from side to side, her glazed eyes focused on the side of the train. She didn't have her back to him but she was turned partly away, her mouth hanging open. There was a gnarly bite on her arm, still dripping blood through the fabric of her school uniform to plutter on the floor and her dark hair was plastered with the stuff. Her eyes were empty, void of life and Yoongi knew she was gone. He tried to let that knowledge make this a little bit easier.
Yoongi crouched down a little more, feeling his muscles coil up tight like a tiger ready to strike. It had been so long and yet his body remembered the motions. His breathing went soft and even and he waited for the opportune moment. The less noise he made the better. He had a feeling these creatures were blind because otherwise, he was sure one of the ones in the back would have noticed them by now considering it was looking right at them.
He felt movement behind him, Jihoon pressing up against the bathroom door with his phone in his hand. He was texting quickly, letting Amy know they were right outside the door but to remain quiet. They weren't alone.
The infected girl shuffled suddenly, twisting around toward them and Yoongi's breath caught in his throat. Her white glazed eyes didn't even move, settled right on Taehyung behind him who tensed up before she shifted again, turning her back on them. Relief flooded through him and his muscles snapped into action.
One arm went around her shoulders, the other snatched hold of her hair, ripping her head backwards so he had access to her face. It took more will power than Yoongi thought possible but as soon as she started to thrash in his hold, her mouth dropping to let out an horrible sound, he shoved the sharp point of the scissors right through one of her eyes. He grimaced at the splurt of blood but she immediately stopped moving and she was nothing but dead weight. He dropped to the floor with her, teeth sunk hard into his bottom lip as he let her lifeless body slump to the floor quietly.
Jihoon didn't need a signal. He wretched open the bathroom door to the relieved cry of his wife. Yoongi tensed at her cry of her husband's name because it was loud. One glance forward told Yoongi it was time to run, the infected turning toward them.
"Go." Yoongi stated, soft and firm. "Run, now."
"Hoonie, oh god."
"Move, go, baby, run, now."
Yoongi heard hurried footsteps behind him, he heard Jimin's soft relieved call of Taehyung's name, but so did the infected and now they were moving toward them. Yoongi snapped forward, tugged the scissors free from the corpse at his feet and shot up, spinning around quickly. Taehyung was there, shoving Jimin through the door with one hand and reaching out to Yoongi with the other. They moved quickly. Yoongi's fingers clenched tightly around Taehyung's and he was tugged forward, forced through the door before Taehyung could slam it shut just as an infected ran into it.
"Go, Go, toward the front." Jihoon barked out to the other survivors. There were five of them shoved in that little bathroom somehow. "The front of the train is safe, move, now!"
"Taehyung." Jimin twisted around for his friend, his cheeks flushed and his eyes red from tears. Taehyung was busy trying to shove the handle of the fire ax through the door handle but once Jimin's small fingers clutched into the sleeve of his shirt, he paused.
"I don't think they can open doors." Taehyung mumbled, his eyes wide as he glanced from Jimin to the window where an infected was shuffling about. His eyes were pure white and his face was half missing from a well timed scrape of fingernails against his cheek. "I think they're blind."
"Taehyungie, please, let's go."
Taehyung nodded, clearly in shock but he left the ax where it was, partly through the handle of the door just in case. Jimin wrapped his arm around Taehyung's tightly and started to tug him down the walkway. Yoongi moved to follow at the back of the pack, his heart thundering hard in his chest. He barely noticed when Taehyung's pinky wrapped around his own, pulling him forward but he didn't mind in the least. He was in a bit of shock himself, the memory of the rancid scent coming off the infected girl still trapped in his nose.
"Oh, thank god!" Mingyu's voice was filled with relief and he didn't hesitate to gather Amy up in a hug that the woman laughed at, patting his back gently. She whispered to him that it was fine, it was alright even though he continued to cry apologies into her shoulder. Jihoon rubbed the man's back, his own form of forgiveness now that his wife was safe and it was a relief to see.
Yoongi snapped out of his daze as soon as his eyes landed on Jungkook. His son was right where he left him, standing on one of the seats and peering over the back of it. When their eyes met, Jungkook let out a soft cry of happiness and Yoongi hurried past the rest of the group to gather his son up in his arms, the bloodied scissors clattering to the floor.
"Appa! Appa!" Jungkook's voice was soft and he clutched at Yoongi's shoulders and hair, hugging him tightly.
"I told you I'd be back." Yoongi's voice was shaky and he swallowed a few times to sooth his worn throat.
Jungkook nodded quickly and planted a few wet open mouthed kisses to Yoongi's cheeks. "Appa, appa."
Yoongi laughed softly, warmth filling him full to bursting as he hugged his son tightly to his chest. "It's alright baby, everything's going to be alright."
"Hyung." Jungkook's lips pursed around the word and he leaned slightly out of Yoongi's hold to reach a hand out to Taehyung. The idol noticed with a crinkled eyed smile and pulled his mask down under his chin.
"Hey there, Jungkookie." Taehyung wrapped his long fingers around Jungkook's offered hand and stepped closer, a warm smile on his lips. "We're back. We saved Jiminnie."
Jungkook made a confidant noise in the back of his throat and he pointed at Jimin with his other hand. Yoongi twisted around so the boy had better access to the both of them. Jimin smiled warmly and stepped forward, reaching up brush his fingers over Jungkook's hand.
"Jiminnie-hyung. Safe?" Jungkook leaned over in Yoongi's hold and plopped both of his palms against Jimin's flushed cheeks, earning a soft laugh from the pink haired idol.
"Y-Yes, Jungkookie. I'm safe. Thanks to your appa. Your appa saved us." His bright eyes danced with happiness and Jungkook nodded.
"Appa strong." Jungkook leaned back against Yoongi's chest. "Appa strong, Kookie be strong too."
Yoongi laughed softly, leaning forward to nuzzle into soft black hair. "You are. You're my good strong baby boy, Kookie."
Jungkook preened at the praise. "I was good boy for hyungs."
"He was." Seokjin spoke up, a relieved smile on his face when his eyes met Jimin's. "He didn't cry once."
"Not once." Jungkook agreed with a proud nod, his cheeks flushed. "I be strong for appa and hyungs."
Yoongi felt close to tears because it was the most Jungkook had ever spoken in one sitting and he could hardly believe it. His son, his wonderfully precious special little boy was opening up because he knew he had to be strong. Yoongi couldn't be more proud. He buried his face into soft black hair to keep himself from crying and Jungkook's little fingers patted his head gently.
"Like Iron Man, huh?" Taehyung said with a soft chuckle, reaching out to ruffle Jungkook's hair.
"Oh! That reminds me!" Jimin dug round in the large pockets of his sweater before pulling out the small plush Jungkook had dropped back at the station.
Jungkook's gasp was loud and filled with awe. "Iron Man!"
"I saw it on the platform. It, uh, might be why we got separated?" Jimin said sheepishly but he offered the toy out to Jungkook who took it between his little fists, his eyes wide in wonderment.
"What do you say, Jungkook?" Yoongi murmured softly.
Jungkook glanced down at the plush in his hands and then up to Jimin before a bright smile split acorss his face. It was wide, so wide, from ear to ear, showing all the teeth he had, too large for his mouth but still absolutely endearing, his eyes disappearing into curved crinkles. "Thank you, hyung!"
Jimin and Taehyung burst into giggles, cooing over how cute Jungkook was and Yoongi could only smile, his heart light with how happy his son was.
Shortly after returning from their saving Jimin and Amy adventure the train started moving again so everyone settled down in their seats for the hour and half ride to Busan. Considering the circumstances, the air in the car was calm and pleasant. Now that everyone was safe and accounted for the tenseness in the air was gone and replaced with a soft understanding.
They were all in this together now. No man, or woman, left behind. If they were going to get through the choas they would do it working together because the group of them were better than being on their own. Namjoon and Seokjin had the book smarts to get them out of any situation while Yoongi and Jihoon both had the street smarts. They could work together and get anywhere safely as long as they worked together. It was a quiet understanding among them.
Now that the train was moving, the door to their car locked up nice and tight, the adrenaline from running and being in danger was flooding free from their systems. Namjoon and Seokjin had settled down together, to speak softly about all their options once they got to Busan. Jihoon and Amy were in the seats directly behind Yoongi, their hands curled together tightly. Mingyu was beside them, his head resting on his shoulders as he took a few minutes to rest his eyes. Jimin and Taehyung were in the seats directly in front of Yoongi, Jimin curled up against the window with Taehyung's head on his shoulder. Their hands were clasped together tightly as well, a reminder that they were together and alive.
Jungkook sat quietly in his seat beside Yoongi, the window seat as always, his iron man plush hugged tightly to his chest. He still had his coat and backpack on and Yoongi didn't see a reason to take them off him. His eyes were focused on the passing scenery they sped by and Yoongi was happy to see him so calm and at ease considering the things he had seen in the past few hours. Jungkook was strong. Perhaps he was sensitive, like Jiae like to say, but he was also strong. So very very strong.
As he was looking his son over, checking for anything out of place as he was prone to do no matter what the situation was, he had the thought of calling his mother back. He promised her he would call and he thanked his forward thinking of telling her to stay home. If she had come to the train station to pick them up as planned... Oh he couldn't think about stuff like that. After reaching over to brush back a few strands of Jungkook's hair, the boy leaning into the touch, Yoongi dug around in his pocket for his phone.
His fingers brushed against the cold sharp metal of the scissors in his pocket and he shivered at the memory of what they'd done. Seokjin had picked them up from the floor, cleaned them off without question and returned them to him. He disinfected them with cleaning alcohol and made sure Yoongi cleaned his hands as well. The scissors were in his pocket as a just in case but Yoongi prayed he would never have to use them again. His hands shook at the thought of what he had done so he focused on turning his phone back on.
After a moment, his phone lit up to life and he was relieved to see he still had a signal. And then it started to vibrate violently in his hand, message after message popping up. From his mother and from Jiae. He cursed under his breath softly and pressed his thumb over his mother's number, calling her first because he had promised.
She picked up after the first ring.
"Yoongi-yah! Yoongi-yah, baby, are you alright? Oh it's horrible, we saw the news, the station-"
"Eomma." He spoke softly, so not to distrub those resting around him. "Eomma, we're okay, we're safe."
"Oh, Oh thank baby Jesus." She sighed in relief, whispering a soft prayer that made the corners of his lips curl up. She had always been so religious, even when he wasn't, and he appreciated her devotion. "Where are you? What happened? Is Jungkookie safe?"
"Jungkookie's okay." Yoongi turned toward the boy who glanced up at him. "Halmeoni's on the phone." Jungkook pursed his lips and nodded, making grabbing hands for the phone. "Eomma, he wants to talk to you."
"He-What? He does? Oh-" Yoongi smiled as he pulled the phone away and passed it to his son who cradled it carefully against his ear.
"Halmeoni." His voice was soft but a smile curled to his mouth at whatever she said on the line. "Appa keep me safe." There was still a lot to work on when it came to Jungkook's speech patterns but Yoongi was much too happy that the boy was talking freely now to worry about that. "Appa and my hyung's keep me safe." He paused to listen to whatever Yoongi's mother was saying and then he nodded, even if she couldn't see him. "Love you too. Appa phone now."
Yoongi smiled at his son, taking the device back and when he pressed it to his ear he could tell his mother was crying. "Eomma?"
"Oh, Yoongi-yah, that's the most he's ever said to me."
"He's being really brave right now. He saw a lot of awful stuff but he's being so brave."
"That's your boy, that your Jungkookie." She sniffled a few times, trying to get herself under control once more. "I'm so happy you're both alright. Where are you now?"
"We're back on the train. Daegu was chaos but the conductor says he's been told Busan is safe."
"Oh, yes, we heard on the news. They've quarantined the entire town. They're starting to evacuate our neighborhood to relocate there."
"You're coming to Busan?"
"Do you think we should, Yoongi-Yah? You know best what's out there."
Yoongi paused, glancing around the train car in thought. He didn't want his family in danger but if they were evacuating... "I think you should do what the military tells you to. If they want you to evacuate, do it. But keep your eyes open and stay safe. Tell appa to bring his hunting equipment."
"Hunting-Oh, Yoongi-yah you don't think..."
"Just in case. It's bad out here, eomma. I can't... even explain how bad it is. The infected are quick and dangerous and the infection spreads much too quickly to be contained right now. Busan is lucky because it's so far from Seoul and they probably caught it before it became worse. But Daegu is infested so please eomma, protect yourselves."
"I'll meet you in Busan. I'm going to keep my phone off to save the battery but I will call you when we're safe in Busan."
"Okay, we'll meet you there. Stay safe, Yoongi-yah, we love you so very much."
"I love you too, eomma. Take care."
Yoongi ended the call with a heavy heart. He had to have faith that his parents would listen to his warning. He knew his father was capable of protecting both of them as long as they didn't let their guard down. He could only hope they would make it safely to Busan.
His battery was at 73% so Yoongi ignored all of the frantic text messages and voicemails from Jiae and chose to call her instead. Jungkook had settled back in his seat now, his plush tucked under his chin as he stared out the window. He might want to speak to his mother but Yoongi was unsure. So he waited to ask him until he had spoke to Jiae. The line rang twice before she answered frantically.
"Yoongi? Oh god, Yoongi is Jungkook okay? The hell is going on?"
"Hello to you too." He greeted softly.
Jiae sounded out of breath but she paused at his voice before her sigh crackled over the line. "Oh, thank fuck. I've never been so happy to hear your voice."
"Is that a good thing?" Yoongi mused.
"Oh shut up. Where's Jungkook? Is he with you?"
"Of course he's with me. He's right here. Jungkookie." He placed his hand on the boy's head softly. "Do you want to talk to your eomma?"
Jungkook nodded and like before, he passed the phone to his son who cradled it to his ear. "Eomma. Appa keep me safe." Yoongi could hear Jiae's cry of relief upon hearing her son's voice. "Appa keep me safe. Don't worry." He went quiet as he listened to her voice, his nose crunching up with emotion while tears formed in his eyes. "Miss eomma too. See eomma real soon. Appa promised. Appa phone now." Jungkook hurried to pass Yoongi the phone and then he buried his head in his arms, trying his very hardest not to cry. Yoongi's heart clenched at the sight and he rubbed his hand soothingly over Jungkook's back while bringing the phone to his ear.
"He's being very brave, Jiae. You'd be proud."
She sniffled over the line and Yoongi thought it best to not point out that she was crying. "Where are you now? Tell me what's going on."
Yoongi hummed and leaned back in his seat. "We're still on our way to Busan. We took a side stop in Daegu but it wasn't safe there. We're an hour or so out from Busan."
"They've blockaded the roads, shut down the train system. Nothing's coming in or out without being thoroughly checked."
"We've been told it's safe there."
"As far as I can tell, it is. There's a bit of panic but the military is everywhere and they're handling it."
"Where are you?"
"I'm home. Yoongi, there's tanks in the streets. We had uniformed men come into our home and check for infection. We're clean, of course, but it was one of the most terrifying expeirences of my life."
Yoongi sighed in sympathy. "Trust me, it's better than what's out here."
"How bad is it?" She sounded like she was afraid to ask.
"Bad, Jiae, real bad." He shifted his hand over Jungkook's shoulder once the boy tipped into his side, burying his face into the fabric of Yoongi's shirt. "We're safe for now."
"Call me as soon as you get to Busan."
"I will. Stay safe, Jiae."
"You too, Yoongi... You too."
The call ended and Yoongi dropped his head back against the seat, the exhaustion of the day finally catching up to him. His muscles were still thumping with a hint of adrenaline but now that they were safe, now that they were calm for the time being, all he wanted to do was sleep for a minute or two. He wouldn't, couldn't even dream of doing so, but it was nice to just sit there for a minute and breathe.
"Everything okay?" Taehyung's voice was a soft deep rumble that Yoongi was certian he could fall asleep to. Instead of doing so, he sat up a little straighter and turned his head to see the idol sitting across the aisle, his legs bent in the walkway as he leaned toward him.
"I think so. My ex-wife says Busan is safe so we should be okay there."
Taehyung let out a sigh of relief and leaned his shoulder into the back of his seat. His mask was gone, and his lilac hair fell in soft waves over his brow. The stress of the day was still clear in the curves of his eyes and the pout of his mouth and the clenching of his fingers told Yoongi he was ready to jump to action at any moment. And then Yoongi remembered Taehyung's family. They lived in Daegu.
"Have you talked to your family? Mine are being evacuated to Busan."
Taehyung shook his head, dropping his eyes to the phone resting on Yoongi's lap. "My phone's disappeared and Jimin's is dead."
Yoongi offered out his phone without hesitation. "Call your family, Taehyung."
Those warm brown eyes widened considerably at the phone in Yoongi's hand, held out over the aisle. "B-But, you should, um, save your battery."
"It's at 70%. One call to your family will be fine." He shook the phone, encouraging him to take it. "I know you're worried about them. Call them. I know mine are safe. Go on."
"T-Thank you, hyung." He took the phone from Yoongi's fingers gently, his hands shaking just slightly but when their skin brushed, Taehyung felt so very warm to the touch. "Thank you so much, I'll be quick, I promise."
Yoongi waved a hand at him and dropped his head back into the seat. He let his eyes slip closed and listened to Taehyung call his family. From the sound of their converstation, his family was being evacuated as well. They were safe, though, and Taehyung said he knew his father would protect everyone. He sounded happy and relieved when he ended the call, promising to meet up in Busan.
Taehyung didn't distrub him, just turned the phone off for him and slipped it to rest gently on his thigh. "Thank you, Yoongi." He whispered softly, reaching out to give his hand a soft squeeze. In a moment of involuntary body movement, Yoongi's hand twisted around to grasp onto Taehyung's tightly. The idol let out a soft noise of surprise but then his fingers curled with Yoongi's slipping into the spaces between until their folded hands settled on Yoongi's thigh. A small hand patted against theirs and Yoongi peeked open an eye to see Jungkook patting at their folded hands. He had a warm expression on his face, his cheek smushed against Yoongi's ribs. Taehyung laughed softly and twisted their hands so Jungkook could curl his fingers between theirs. He made a happy sound in his throat at being included and then he closed his eyes, nuzzling into Yoongi's side with a pleasant hum.
When Yoongi met Taehyung's eyes, the idol grinned prettily at him and Yoongi did his best to smile in return.
Losing Jimin had always been Taehyung's biggest fear ever since he was sixteen years old and realized he couldn't live without the other. It wasn't a fear he thought about often because Jimin made it clear very early on, after Luhan left and their members started to trickle away, that he wasn't going anywhere. He came to Seoul for a reason and the only way he was leaving HEX was in a fucking body bag. Morbid, perhaps, but Jimin was serious. Taehyung shared his sentiment and because of that, he didn't worry too much about Jimin leaving his side like the other members.
Sometimes, he had the 'what if' thoughts. What if Jimin's parents made him come back home? What if the company decided they didn't want to pour more money in a dwindling group and they were all let go? What if Jimin went back to Busan and Taehyung never heard from him again? What if Jimin choked on his chicken sometime? What if someone ran that red light and slammed into the side of the car Jimin happened to be sitting on?
Taehyung hated those thoughts so he buried them up deep inside the back of his mind and tried not to think about them. Jimin was with him. Jimin would always be with him so there was nothing to worry about. He didn't need to stress out over things that weren't worth stressing out over.
But then Taehyung had glanced around that train car to find Jimin no where in sight and his entire world crashed around him like shattered glass. The what if's came flooding back to the front of his mind, overwhelming him to the point of collapsing. Jimin was his everything. Without Jimin, how was he supposed to keep moving forward? How was he supposed to get up without Jimin's warm, small hand tugging him forward?
No, No, No, Jimin was too good. He was too good for his life to end on a train platform in Daegu in the middle of chaos. Taehyung didn't realize when their hands had been ripped apart. He'd been in too much of a panic to realize what was going on. He thought Jimin was behind him, always at his heels because the man would follow him to the ends of the universe.
Guilt and agony crashed through his body in thrashing waves and Taehyung could only let them out in sobs because he was incapable of doing anything else. He should have bashed his way out that door and onto the platform to find his friend but he couldn't even stand up. Besides, Jimin would be upset with him if he threw himself into danger like that for his sake.
Jungkook's hug had helped. The soft words the little boy whispered to him as he choked back sobs helped a little bit. Jungkook was a sweet kid. He was sweet and his small hands were warm against Taehyung's skin but they weren't Jimin and his heart split into tiny little pieces.
The moment Jihoon said Jimin was alive and safe, Taehyung's world started to piece itself back together again. He had a destination, a confirmation that his friend was alive and okay and that was all he needed. He'd run through a blazing fire if it meant Jimin was on the other side of it.
He didn't expect Yoongi to help. Jihoon had a reason, he had his wife waiting for him at the end of the line and Taehyung had Jimin but Yoongi... Yoongi had Jungkook. Jungkook with his soft hands and softer smiles. Jungkook who obviously meant everything to Yoongi and yet the man was willing to leave him behind to help save Jimin and Amy. That spoke volumes to Taehyung. He didn't understand why but he understood that Yoongi was determined and nothing was going to stop him.
He didn't expect Yoongi to be so skilled. Yoongi was unalarming in his dark jeans and white t-shirt. He looked like every other tired father Taehyung had seen over the years and yet...
There was a fire in his eyes that was always blazing, sometimes dim, but always sparkling to life anytime Jungkook was involved. He had a past, that much was obvious, but he knew what he was doing and without him, Taehyung wasn't sure how successful they would have been in saving their friends.
Yoongi killed someone. Okay, maybe it wasn't someone anymore but at one point in time, that high school girl had a life. A family, maybe a boyfriend or girlfriend, and friends who cared about her. To watch as Yoongi took her down almost effortlessly was almost terrifying, sending a cold shiver of realization over Taehyung's spine. Had Yoongi.... killed before? He didn't look like the type, he really didn't, but the thought was there because for a man with sticks for arms, he moved like a fucking tiger stalking his pray.
In the end, all that mattered was seeing Jimin's tear stained face again. All that mattered was those warm strong arms wrapping tightly around his neck and Jimin's soft voice in his ear, "you came, oh fuck, I'm so happy to see you."
Now, Jimin was curled up in his seat, legs brought up to hug against his chest as he leaned against the window. His eyes were shut but Taehyung knew he wasn't sleeping. He'd seen too much horror to get any proper sleep, his eyes flickering about frantically behind his lids. Taehyung reached out occasionally to brush soft pink hair off his brow and Jimin always seemed to calm down a bit when he did that.
They were headed to Busan again and Taehyung didn't know what to expect. He was relieved that Jimin was okay, that all of his friends were okay but they didn't know what they were going to find when they got to Busan. Thanks to Yoongi's kindness, Taehyung knew that his family was safe and sound, being evacuated to Busan like Yoongi said his family was. Taehyung hoped to meet them there but it was hard to stay positive when he knew the dangers that were outside of their train. Hell, the danger was inside their train but he tried not to think too much about that.
The train car was quiet aside from the occasional murmur of conversation. Seokjin and Namjoon were setting next to each other, on opposite sides of the train with the walkway between them. They made light conversation about things Taehyung didn't care to listen to. He and Jimin were directly behind Seokjin's seat and behind them were Yoongi and Jungkook. Amy was curled up asleep against her husband near the back of the car while Jihoon spoke softly to Mingyu across the aisle. It seemed they made up from their little fight and Taehyung was glad for that. He felt they had to stuck together in order to survive this.
They were better as a tight group than every person for themselves. If they worked together, maybe they could all get to Busan in one piece.
Taehyung leaned over, checking to make sure Jimin was alright before he shuffled up onto his feet. He glanced around the train car as he stretched his arms above his head. No one was really paying him any mind but when he twisted around, he saw Jungkook's large eyes staring at him from under Yoongi's chin. The boy was curled up in his father's lap, thumb in his mouth so his lips pouted out while he used Yoongi's chest as a pillow. Yoongi had his head tilted against the side of the train car, near the window so he could watch the scenery pass them by.
He looked calm almost, sitting there with both of his arms wrapped loosely around Jungkook's body, holding the boy in place so he didn't slip off his lap. There was a curl in the corners of his eyes, a slight discoloration beneath them that showed he was perhaps as stressed as they all felt but he looked okay for the time being. Taehyung could only imagine what he was thinking.
Yoongi had killed someone. And as easy and effortless as it appeared, Taehyung had seen Yoongi's eyes directly after. A slight glance that proved Yoongi wasn't even close to being okay with what he had done as he appeared. That dispair was comforting in a way and brought a faint smile to Taehyung's lips.
"Hey, Jungkookie." Taehyung spoke softly, dipping his head down to rest against the back of his seat. Jungkook shifted under his father's chin, his messy black curled strands of hair brushing over Yoongi's jaw. Those eyes held a universe within them and they were almost captivating in a way, so large for his face and yet so perfectly him. "How you holding up?"
Yoongi glanced at him, seemingly undisturbed by his soft talking and Jungkook popped his thumb free from his mouth. He gave a soft nod, which was maybe the only answer Taehyung was going to get for now. He looked tired, exhausted even, but he was wide awake. He was comfortable curled up in his father's arms and Taehyung could remember how safe and secure he always felt wrapped up in his own father's arms, so he could understand.
"You mind if I sit with you?" The seat beside Yoongi was empty because the man had shuffled over toward the window once Jungkook crawled into his lap.
Jungkook nodded at the same time Yoongi murmured a soft, "sure" and so Taehyung slipped out of his seat and plopped down beside the duo. He had no real reason to sit with them aside from just wanting to. Jimin was resting as peacefully as he could and Taehyung didn't want to bother him. He was right behind him if he needed him but Yoongi was wide awake and Taehyung thought, maybe, they could talk for a little while. Talking was always nice, he was good at talking.
Jungkook reached out toward him with one hand, the one that hadn't been in his mouth and Taehyung offered his own in return. Small fingers curled around two of his own and then Jungkook let their hands rest in his lap. He seemed content with that and nuzzled more into his father's chest before slipping his eyes closed.
"He likes you." Yoongi mumbled, his voice low and soft, causing tingles to spread over Taehyung's skin. The man was attractive, it was totally a thing, a thing that Taehyung was trying not to focus on because now was certainly not the time. But he was attractive. With his small sharp eyes and rounded button nose, plump pink lips and pale skin. Taehyung could see where Jungkook got his cute looks from. They had the same nose, the same mouth, and the same ears and hair. His eyes were probably from his mother but he looked so much like his father it was kind of adorable.
"I like him too." Taehyung answered softly, the corners of his mouth curling up as he shifted to rest his temple against the back of his seat.
"He never took to people well." Yoongi spoke like he was telling a secret, soft and low and Taehyung dipped his head a little closer to hear properly. "Hell, he barely let's his own mother hug him half the time and you..." He trailed off, closing his eyes for a moment and Taehyung was smacked in the face with how pretty the older man was. He shoved that thought away as quickly as it came and Yoongi opened his eyes again, leaning back off the window until their shoulders brushed together. "I don't know, he's taken with you."
"I've got a bunch of younger siblings." Taehyung reminded him. "I'm good with kids, maybe that's why?"
Yoongi hummed like he wasn't sure if that was the answer but he didn't argue it. His dark eyes glanced down at the hand Jungkook had curled in his lap and they flickered with something, something warm and affectionate and made Taehyung's stomach swirl. Yoongi looked at Jungkook like his universe was built around him. Like Jungkook was the sun to his universe, his soul purpose and reason and there was something so utterly precious about that. Taehyung wanted kids someday and he could only hope he would be as good of a father as his own, or Yoongi.
They fell into soft silence after that and Taehyung was okay with that. Part of him wanted to reach out and take Yoongi's hand again because the man had large warm hands and they felt nice between his own. Taehyung was an affectionate person, as Jimin liked to point out and holding hands was one of his favorite things to do. But Yoongi had his hands linked together behind Jungkook's back and Taehyung already had one hand trapped between Jungkook's. So he settled for shifting in his seat, resting his head gently on Yoongi's shoulder and he was pleased the man didn't shove him off.
Taehyung couldn't say why he wanted to be near Yoongi and Jungkook, he just did. And he never had any issue doing whatever it was he wanted to do. As long as Yoongi was accepting of his affections, Taehyung would give them happily and maybe sometime soon, Yoongi would reach for his hand instead of Taehyung always reaching for his.
When Yoongi was eight years old, he finally gained the courage to crawl onto the black leather padded seat and poke gently at the ivory keys of the brown grand piano that had sat in the corner of his living room for as long as he could remember. His mother always told him to be careful around it because it was old and considered a family heirloom passed down generation after generation through her family.
It always sat in the corner of the room, calling to Yoongi like a string attached around his heart, tugging and tugging until he could no longer resist it. When he poked gently at one of the keys, a high note coming from beneath the wood, he snatched his hand back in surprise, afraid he would get in trouble for touching it. But his father was at work and his mother was in the kitchen singing softly to some trot song on the radio and Yoongi, being only eight years old, couldn't resist the urge to make more pretty sounds.
He wasn't sure how long he sat there, his thin pale legs kicking to a soft rhythm as he poked gently at the keys. The sounds were loud, echoing through the living room but he was careful as he pressed the keys. He didn't bash at them like he might of when he was smaller. He understood the importance of the piano. He understood it was old and meant a lot to his mother but as he sat there and played the keys so a soft melody started to form, Yoongi came to find it was important to him as well.
He didn't know his mother was watching him from the doorway of the kitchen until he took a break, curling his fingers against his stomach because it was swirling with feelings he couldn't understand. It felt like a storm was raging inside of him, slamming against his insides and urging him to keep going. His heart was pounding so fast, like it was trying to tell him something but he was too young to understand. When he noticed his mother watching him, his heart leapt in his throat and he quickly jumped off the bench, bowing his head and shouting out apologies for touching something he wasn't supposed to.
But his mother, beautiful and understanding, smiled fondly at him and patted his head gently.
"Play something pretty for me, Yoongi-yah."
It felt so nice to sit there at the piano and poke at the keys, figuring out which one made what sound. Sometimes he made bad sounds, making both him and his mother flinch but usually, he found pretty sounds and the gummy grin that curled to his mouth brought tears to his mothers eyes. He didn't understand then why she was crying, but she hugged him tightly and promised he could play with the piano any time he wanted.
Yoongi fell in love with music that day. His mother had the piano properly tuned after almost ten years, bought him many music books and signed him up for piano lessons. He learned how to play the piano properly and by the time he was tweleve, he was an experienced player. It was only a hobby, something he liked to do in his free time after his school work was done but as he grew older, he came to realize music was what he wanted to do.
When Yoongi was thirteen he discovered a new genre of music and fell in love again. Hip-hop was so vastly different from classical and yet it was just as nice. Yoongi fell in love with the beats and the messages hidden in fast spat lyrics. The lyrics spoke to him, a teenage boy struggling through life as teenagers were prone to do. Yoongi had been writing lyrics for years but nothing ever fit properly with the classical music he was used to playing. Hip-hop became his outlet for his well written lyrics and his mother supported him all the way.
By the time he was sixteen, he was sneaking off to underground rap shows to watch and learn. By the time he was seventeen, he was up on that stage spitting his own lyrics and developing a following because his lyrics were witty and his delivery was sharp. There was a certain type of thrill he felt being up on that stage, watching the crowd bounce to the rhythm of his hand. He felt in control, he felt powerful, and it wasn't something he ever wanted to give up.
When the topic of college came around, Yoongi wanted to study music. His parents weren't against it but his father convinced him to take a few side courses, in architectural design like he'd wanted when he was younger. Yoongi agreed because he knew his parents worried. They worried about his future, worried that being an underground rapper wouldn't fill his belly and because they were always so supportive, Yoongi agreed to ease their worries.
He never expected to need the degree.
When Yoongi was twenty-one and in his final year of college, he met a pretty girl with vibrantly dyed pink and green hair, bright eyes and long legs at one of his shows. She wasn't a fan, not really. She only came becuse one of her friends was a fan of the scene and she didn't want her going to such a place alone. Jiae was soft, and pretty, and warm but she didn't take anyones shit and had the type of wittiness that reminded Yoongi of himself.
It was history after that, so to speak. They fell in love. Yoongi had dated before that, been with multiple people, of both genders, but love was something he only felt for his family and his music. Jiae was warm and kind in a way he had never felt before and she fully supported his passions. According to their friends, it was only a matter of time until they did the typical thing and married and had children.
They were both twenty-two when Yoongi popped the question, fumbling nervously and nearly dropping the ring but Jiae cried and he figured that was a job well done. She said yes, after all. The wedding was a small ceremony, with just their family and a few friends and Yoongi finally came to understand what it meant to be happy.
He could remember as clearly as the sun in the sky the night Jiae told him she was pregnant. It was an earth shattering revelation because it was two months after their wedding and she was five months along, which meant she was pregnant during the wedding. It wasn't that they didn't want children, it was just too soon. They were barely out of college and Yoongi was struggling with his musical career.
Jiae sat him down on the edge of their bed, curled her fingers around his and told him she was pregnant with slight tears in her eyes. She was happy, they both were, but they were also terrified. They were barely making ends meet between the two of them, how the hell were they going to afford a baby?
Yoongi made one of the hardest decisions of his entire life. He dropped his mic and got a desk job at a local Architectural company and never looked back. It was a good job, with benefits and a salary and it was everything they would need to raise a family together. He was determined to be a good father, like his own, and being a good father meant sacrifices.
Seeing Jungkook for the first time made everything worth it.
Yoongi could remember the night he was born so vividly. Jiae started feeling contractions at about three in the afternoon so they headed for the hospital. She was admitted and while they waited for her doctor to arrive, Yoongi called her mother and his own. They wanted to be there for their first grandchild and by the time Jiae's contractions were only a few minutes apart, the waiting room was full of people on their behalf. Even Yoongi's older brother was there, giving him gentle pats of congratulations on the back, excited for his niece or nephew.
Yoongi had to admit the entire birthing process wasn't the most pleasant thing he'd ever seen in his entire life and Jiae nearly smashed his hand to pieces from how tight she squeezed it. But he took the pain without complaint because she was birthing their child and there was nothing more amazing then that. Her mother was with them, whispering words of encouragement to her daughter while Yoongi gave the quiet support he was known for.
Yoongi's entire world squeezed down around him and focused entirely on the tiny crying human being the doctor was passing off to a nurse. Jiae was crying too, but Yoongi hardly noticed as he was motioned forward by a nurse. The being was so tiny, barely large enough to fit in both palms of his hands and covered in red. While the nurse cleaned it up, Yoongi got to cut the little cord with shaking hands and once the baby was wrapped up in soft wrm blankets, it was passed to him and he didn't know what to fucking do.
It was a boy, the doctor announced and Jiae cried in relief. But Yoongi, his entire focus was the small fragile little being cradled carefully in his arms. The baby was calm now, wrapped up tightly in the blankets so only his face and full head of black hair could be seen. It was the piano all over again. Yoongi's universe suddenly centered around the baby boy in his arms, his heart thumping hard in his throat and his stomach swirling with a storm.
Yoongi fell in love that moment and made a soft silent promise to always protect the small human being in his arms.
They named him Jungkook because Jiae's family name was Jung and they both liked the way the name sounded.
"We can call him Kookie." Jiae had said with a bright smile.
From that moment on, Yoongi's entire world focused on his son. Jiae's friends praised Yoongi for being such an involved father in his son's life and the only thing he could think was, why wouldn't he be?
It didn't take them long to realize there was something special about Jungkook. He was quiet, crying only when he was hungry or uncomfortable. As he grew older and he made it more obvious that he didn't like to be touched, Yoongi started to wonder if that was normal. And then, when he reached the age to talk and he didn't, they both started to wonder if everything was okay. Jungkook was a tiny child as it were but he wasn't a premature baby. He was just small and the doctor always gave him a clean bill of health.
He potty trained easily, he figured out his little block puzzles instantly, he figured out how to draw before he could even walk and he was walking before he was barely over a year old. But he didn't talk. And they tried, they tried so hard, to get him to speak. But nothing ever worked. Yoongi wondered if maybe Jungkook couldn't speak but the doctor assured them his vocal box was developing just fine. After all, he had no issue crying when he needed to.
Yoongi started to learn that Jungkook didn't need words to talk. He used his facial expressions and his hands. Pointing, motioning, frowning, pounting, smiling. Yoongi came to learn what his son needed without being told and Jiae had a hard time grasping what Yoongi found easy to understand. It didn't help that Jungkook cried every time his mother picked him up and Yoongi could tell a lot of it had to do with the fact that Jungkook could feel how uncomfortable she was.
Jiae never said she didn't want to be a mother but she had never said she wanted children either. She was awkward around her own son at times but she tried. Yoongi loved her for trying so hard even if it didn't always work out in the end. She never gave up though, not on Jungkook.
Jungkook's first word was 'appa'.
Jungkook was three years old and had yet to speak a single word no matter how many doctors and therapists the boy saw. He was perfectly healthy, physically and mentally, and Yoongi figured his son would speak when he felt it necessary. Jungkook was walking and potty trained and Yoongi couldn't be more proud. Jungkook was so expressive with his face, his large eyes being the main source of his communication. He was the cutest thing ever, in Yoongi's opinion.
Jiae wasn't home when Yoongi and Jungkook came back from the store but Yoongi didn't find it all that odd. She spent a lot of time outside the house lately and Yoongi didn't want to smother her with questions. They'd been together a long time. He thought, if something was wrong, she'd let him know. He never thought to ask because he didn't want to bother her.
Jungkook waddled into the living room to play with his toys while Yoongi put the groceries away. They'd picked up the mail as well so Yoongi was going through that in the kitchen doorway to keep an eye on Jungkook. He was a good kid but sometimes he got curious and wandered over to touch things he shouldn't so Yoongi liked to keep an eye on him.
The divorce papers were like a hard slap in the face. He wasn't meant to see them, he was certain. Jiae wasn't the type to blind side him like that. He was sure she had plans to talk to him about it but the envelope from their laywer had both their names on it so Yoongi opened it without thinking.
Divorce. Yoongi staggered on his feet and didn't have the chance to catch himself when he tumbled to the floor. His ass hit the kitchen floor hard but the jarring thud didn't matter. The papers in his hands were proof that he was an actual failure as a husband and he couldn't fathom why. He took care of her, he loved her, he tried his best even when he knew it was hard and... Oh god, what about Jungkook? What was Jungkook going to think? He was just a toddler. Yoongi didn't want him to grow up in a broken home. He wanted his son to have the same stability he had growing up.
Yoongi didn't realize he was crying until little soft hands were cradling his face. Jungkook looked scared, his eyes wide and his lips trembling with his own tears because he'd never seen his father cry and it was making him upset. Yoongi hugged him tightly to his chest, as tight as he could without squishing the boy and buried his face in his soft black hair, trying to stop himself from crying but he been blindsided and he didn't know what to about it.
"Appa." Jungkook spoke softly, his voice cracking on the word from disuse and Yoongi's breath caught in his throat. "No cry."
The first time Jungkook ever spoke was an attempt to stop his father from crying but in the end, it only made Yoongi cry harder.
Jiae was set on the divorce and nothing Yoongi said was going to convince her otherwise. She was right, of course, about them falling out of love. Jungkook was the glue that kept them together. He still loved her, still cared about her well being and he tried. He kept trying for Jungkook because he wanted his son to have something stable in his life. But Jiae couldn't do it anymore. She moved back to Busan and left Jungkook with Yoongi because they were closer and the daycare Jungkook loved was in Seoul.
Yoongi's heart was broken but he had Jungkook. He had sweet little Jungkook who smiled at his father with all his little teeth and squeezed his cheeks when he knew Yoongi was feeling a little more sad than usual. He had Jungkook who called him appa and spoke a little more sometimes because it made his father smile. It was just the two of them and no matter what happened, Yoongi promised to give Jungkook a happy stable life because the boy deserved that more than anything.
But how was Yoongi supposed to give Jungkook a stable life when the world was starting to burn down around them?
As a father, Yoongi thought about the what if's often enough. What if Jungkook started to choke on his lamb? What if he went to pick him up from daycare and he wasn't there? What if the bus they were on was struck by another car? What if Jungkook wandered off in the store and Yoongi never found him? All the small little negative thoughts that were completely normal for Yoongi to have. He knew so because his mother told him she always had the same thoughts. She said they never went away. She still worried about her children even though they were grown and living on their own. It was a parents thing to worry about their children because they loved them so very much and wanted nothing but the best for them.
Looking down at the child sleeping peacefully in his arms, Yoongi couldn't help but question what they were going to do now. The train car was peaceful on their way to Busan and Yoongi had the time to sit there and really think about what was going on around them. Before Daegu, he knew things weren't okay. He nearly lost Jungkook and that was a feeling he never wanted to experience again. Like his heart was being ripped from his chest with pin sharp claws, ripping at the viens and tendons until he bled out. It was a horrible, devestating feeling nd Yoongi would never allow it to happen again.
But, did he even have a choice in the matter?
Yoongi didn't know what the future held for them. He didn't know if Busan would be safe or if they would have another incident like Daegu.
Brushing soft black hair away from Jungkook's brow, Yoongi's heart thumped painfully in his chest because he didn't know what was going to happen to them. He had spent the entirety of Jungkook's life protecting him, keeping him safe, loving him and working hard to give him a place to feel safe. A home. But now, that place was falling apart. They might never return to that place.
What kind of future was awaiting Jungkook now? He was just a boy. A little boy with small understanding of the world and yet he was so strong and brave. There were monsters out in the world now. There had always been monsters but Yoongi could protect him from those. Now, there were infected on their train and who knew what the rest of the country was looking like and Yoongi couldn't fathom how he was going to protect Jungkook from it all.
He'd always wondered what would happen to Jungkook if something were to happen to him. Jungkook had his mother of course but their relationship was tittering on a fence compared to the strong connection Yoongi and Jungkook shared. Yoongi never liked to think what Jungkook would go through if something were to happen to him. It was always a possibility in their normal day to day life but now, given the crumbling of the world around them, it was a much stronger possibility.
Jungkook was bright, and beautiful, full of life and energy and had so much to share with the world. Yoongi hated to think of that life being cut much too short. The thought brought tears to his eyes and he had to quickly shut them down in case he worry Jungkook, or Taehyung who was sitting at his side, listening and watching intently as Yoongi spilled the dark secrets from the depths of his mind.
Yoongi couldn't say why, but when Taehyung asked him about his life, for something to pass the time, Yoongi spilled everything. Taehyung was easy to talk to, listening intently and asking questions when appropriate. He listened quietly as Yoongi admitted he was utterly terrified of what was going to happen to Jungkook now. What if Busan wasn't safe? What if no where was safe and he spent the rest of his life running with Jungkook in his arms? What if humanity couldn't contain the infection and it spread? What if it spread to Jungkook? God, what if it spread to Yoongi and he had to leave his son behind?
"Hyung." Taehyung's voice was soft, so utterly soft, in the quiet of the rumbling train car. His head was dipped low, sharp jaw resting against the curve of Yoongi's shoulder and when the older dared a glance, those brown eyes with flecks of green were filled with understanding and sympathy. Yoongi was shaking slightly and he tightened his hands together on the small of Jungkook's back in an attempt to ease the waves of emotion rolling through his body. "I know it's hard... But you have to think positive."
Hard was an understatement. Yoongi wanted to sneer at the younger man but, deep down, he knew his words to be true. Thinking negatively would get him no where except more and more upset and he needed to be strong Jungkook.
"I know..." Taehyung trailed off for a minute, taking a deep breath and fluttering his eyes closed. Their faces were close, closer than Yoongi realized through their converstation and he could see each and every long dark eyelash brush against tanned cheeks. "I know I'm not a parent." He continued, opening his eyes after a moment and meeting Yoongi's gaze confidently. "But, I have siblings Jungkook's age and I... I have those thoughts too." He swallowed hard, his throat clenched around the swallow and Yoongi could see flickers of worry in those pretty eyes. "I think about... Jimin." His teeth sunk into his plump bottom lip and the glanced way to the seats in front of them where Jimin was resting peacefully. "I thought I lost him. It was a horrible feeling. I never want to feel that again."
Taehyung sounded so broken and Yoongi's heart clenched tightly in his chest. He turned away to press the bridge of his nose against the curve of Yoongi's shoulder and squeezed his eyes shut tightly. It was no secret that Jimin meant the world to Taehyung. It was plain as day to see in the way he looked at the pink haired man. Yoongi understood that feeling. It was the same way he looked at Jungkook and his heart felt heavy for the other man.
All things considered, Kim Taehyung was a stranger. A stranger who saved Jungkook's life without being asked. A stranger with warm hands and a warmer smile. A stranger who held Yoongi's hand gently and smiled at him even more gently. A stranger who cared, who tried hard to keep them all safe. A stranger who had no reason to care about their well being but he cared, oh he cared so very much.
Kim Taehyung was a stranger but he looked at Jungkook like he'd scorch the crust of the earth for his saftey. Kim Taehyung was a stranger but he looked at Yoongi like maybe, possibly, he was something special and even though the world was crumbling around them, especially because the world was crumbling, Yoongi couldn't ignore that. His heart thumped in a familiar manner when he looked at Taehyung's eyes screwed shut tight because he couldn't bare to think about losing his best friend. Yoongi cared and that spoke more volumes than anything else ever could.
"Tell me about him." Yoongi murmured, tilting his head slightly until his lips pressed ever so gently into the softness of Taehyung's lilac colored hair. "Tell me the good things. Like I did with Jungkook. It helps." And it did. It helped Yoongi a lot to have Taehyung listen quietly while he spilled all the small things about his son he loved and adored. It helped to put it all out in the open, his thoughts and his fears, to bounce of someone he didn't know a few hours ago. It was a form of therapy, Yoongi supposed.
After taking a deep breath, Taehyung pulled away from him. There was a soft smile curled to the corner of his mouth and he didn't seem as upset as he did before. Yoongi was glad for that.
Jungkook slept peacefully against Yoongi's chest, his hands still curled loosely around one of Taehyung's and the idol didn't seem to have any intentions of pulling his hand free anytime soon. He just smiled softly to himself, glanced to the seats in front of them and told Yoongi, in a soft voice, about how he had met Park Jimin.
Taehyung came to Seoul with nothing but a bag of clothes and a dream. He came from a family rich in love but poor in money and his mother had been worried about him fitting in so she spent too much money on a name brand coat for him under the guise that Seoul was a lot more cold than Daegu and she wanted to make sure her fourteen year old son would be warm when she wasn't around to make sure he wore his coat. Nervous and slightly terrified, Taehyung entered the practice room filled with other young men and was overwhelmed.
They were all talented. They could all sing, most of them could dance, and a few of them could play instruments. Taehyung could sing, and dance a little bit, and sometimes he wrote lyrics. He had a pretty face and a nice smile but so did every other boy in the room and it was until that moment where Taehyung came to think perhaps he wasn't as special as he once thought. They all had the same dream as him and they were competing from that day forward. They were supposed to work together but they were also fighting for a spot in a new group to debut and Taehyung didn't know what to do with himself.
The first few days were utter hell. They survived on three hours of sleep a night, water, chicken breast, and vegetables. They stumbled through multiple classes throughout the day. Dance lessons, vocal lessons, english, japanese, and chinese lessons. They started to learn how to speak, how to rid themselves of their hometown accents and in the middle of it all, Taehyung felt lost and a little homesick. He was a friendly person by nature, and most of the boys were rather nice but a lot of them also considered him a threat, what with his shinning personality and pretty face.
Taehyung never had problems making friends until he became a trainee. He went about his days from class to class, working hard until he was a sweaty mess and his muscles hated him. He refused to give up because he had left home for this and he wanted to make his parents proud. He wouldn't be there if the company didn't believe in him. He just needed to work hard and be himself, even if he didn't have anyone to rely on.
He was feeling extra emotional the day Jimin introduced himself. Taehyung knew of the boy with the smooth moves and bright sunshine smile. He'd seen Jimin float around the dance room like his feet were on air and he envied him just slightly for his dance skills. He knew his name in passing but they never spoke because they never had a reason to.
It had been an extra hard day for Taehyung. It was two in the morning and while the rest of the trainees were sleeping away while they could, Taehyung was down in the dance room. There was a routine they were learning in groups to show off their dance skills to the company but there was a particular move Taehyung couldn't get down. It involved spinning and rolling his hips and he couldn't quite get the beat down properly and kept stopping on the wrong foot. It was frustrating to say the least and only piled on top of the list of things he was starting to find negative about what he was doing.
He missed his family. He missed his mother's warm smiles and his father's hugs. He missed his siblings support and his grandmother's wrinkled hands patting his cheeks. It was hard and he was failing and the last thing he wanted to do was let his team down. There were ten of them in a group and Taehyung was the only one struggling with the move and he could tell they were getting annoyed with him. He was trying but it didn't seem to be enough.
Taehyung was dripping sweat when he collapsed against a mirrored wall in frustration, grabbing at his dyed brown hair much too tightly. He couldn't get the move down no matter how many times he tried and his knees were bruised and sore from the amount of time he fell, tripping over his own feet. He was a decent dancer back home but here, in Seoul, he was average and the pressure was starting to crush him.
Jimin entered the studio with plans to practice on his own but he was surprised to find the tall lanky boy curled up in the corner of the room. Later on in their friendship, Jimin had told him he reached out because Taehyung reminded him of himself. A near perfect mirror of all the times he got frustrated at himself and curled in the corner of the room with tears on his lashes.
Jimin touched him with soft hands, tugging his hands free from his hair and giving him one of those small smiles, that barely showed his teeth and introduced himself. Taehyung was too tired to fight him, too tired to ignore him and after a little coaxing, Jimin got Taehyung back on his feet and he agreed to help him with the move he was having issues with. Jimin explained things differently than everyone else. He touched carefully and moved Taehyung's body in the proper positions.
By the time the sun was up and the rest of the trainees were stumbling into the dance studio, sleep still clinging to their eyes, Taehyung had gotten the move down. Jimin was on an opposing team but took time out of his own precious practice time to help Taehyung and after that, as Taehyung put it, they were meant to be.
From that moment on, they were glued to one another's side and Taehyung finally had a friend. He had someone to push him, someone to give him a reason and that was all he had needed to keep moving forward. They were one another's support, one another's rocks which was why when HEX was formed, they were picked to join together. They were better together than apart and the compnay recognized that. Even the fans knew how close they were
Sure, there were rumors floating around about the 'true' relationship Jimin and Taehyung shared. The mear mention of the rumors had Taehyung giggling softly into Yoongi's shoulder because they were so ridiculous. People thought they were secretly dating or something. Which, okay, they did once when they were sixteen and didn't really understand what was going on between them. They shared a few soft kisses but quickly realized whatever was between them had nothing to do with romance.
Platonic soulmates, Taehyung called them with a proud smile.
"He's closer to me than a brother but not like a lover." Taehyung explained softly, a tender expression on his face as he brushed his thumb over the back of Jungkook's small fingers. "I can't live without him."
"I think I understand that." Yoongi nodded slightly, watching Taehyung's hand move slightly over Jungkook's. "Sometimes we meet people who come to mean more to us than we can explain. Just because blood isn't involved, or romance, doesn't make the feelings any less valid."
Taehyung hummed. "I like the way you think."
"Love is love." He stated with a shrug of his shoulder.
"You think you'll love again, hyung?" It was an innocent question, one Taehyung asked with curious eyes and a warm curl to his mouth.
Yoongi took a moment to take in his question. Looking at the man beside him, his eyes sparkling with emotion and his lips tugged into a light hopeful smile, showing off parts of his top teeth, Yoongi thought, maybe, someday, he would love again. Jiae may have broken his heart but that didn't mean it didn't function anymore. It was sore, and still healing, but it beat just as hard as it ever did when Taehyung smiled at him and Yoongi thought, someday, he could definately love again.
"I'm not counting it out."
Taehyung smiled happily, his lips spreading out into a boxy grin that showed off all his teeth and turned his eyes into slits. "Good." Yoongi's heart thumped a little harder.
Yoongi was certain he must have dozed off because when he opened his eyes again, Taehyung was no longer beside him and Jungkook was wide awake in his lap, singing softly to the Iron Man plush in his hands. His voice was soft, barely a whisper but he was singing. Yoongi didn't recognize the song but he usually didn't when Jungkook sang to his plushes. A warm feeling curled tightly around Yoongi's heart and lingered there, squeezing ever so slightly as he watched Jungkook pat at the plush's head like it was something precious to him.
The train car was quiet for the most part aside from the soft constant rumbling and the murmur of light conversation. Taehyung had returned to his seat, Yoongi noticed, his head dipped down close to Jimin's as the two of them whispered to one another. Yoongi couldn't make out what they were saying but it wasn't his business anyway. They looked relaxed and that was enough for him.
Not wanting to disturb his son's soft singing, Yoongi stayed put, moving only to rest his hand against the small of Jungkook's back. The boy stuttered in his song for a moment, snapping wide eyes at Yoongi in surprise but he continued once Yoongi gave him a gummy smile. Jungkook had a lovely voice when he choose to use it and anytime he sang, Yoongi felt like it was a privilege to listen. Maybe his son would grow up to be a singer one day, maybe he would accomplish the dreams Yoongi had to abandon. Or maybe he'd want to do something else with his life. Whatever he wanted to do, Yoongi would support him completely.
Of course, that was only if there was a world left for his son to enjoy.
It took Yoongi a moment, but he came to realize exactly why he woke up. The train was slowing down. He could feel it in his body, in the way he lurched forward only slightly and his head had knocked against the side of the window. It was a barely there sensation but he had felt it and he glanced out the window in confusion. He saw fields and a couple buildings but he didn't see what he considered to be Busan. The Busan train station was in the busiest part of the town and they weren't anywhere near that. So, why were they slowing down?
"Do you feel that?" Namjoon's voice was loud enough to carry over the entire train car and then he was moving to his feet. He stood there for a moment, everyones attention on him as he shifted on his feet. And then he bent down to look out the window on the opposite side of the train car that Yoongi was sat on. "I think we're slowing down."
So Yoongi wasn't the only one to feel it. Jungkook stopped his singing and glanced up in curiosity, shifting on his father's lap so he could peer over the back of the seats.
"It's only been an hour." Seokjin pointed out, shifting to glance out the window as well. "We couldn't be in Busan already."
"Maybe there's like, a check point stop or something." Jimin spoke up. "For the military. Checking the train before we get near Busan. Precautionary."
"That's possible." Namjoon nodded his head and then the train lurched forward, the breaks hitting hard and the man stumbled back into his seat.
Yoongi's arms snapped around Jungkook quickly, squeezing him against his chest before he tumbled to the floor. There were noises of alarm all around the train car before the entire thing came to an abrupt stop a minute or so later. Yoongi snapped back in his seat, eyes wide and Jungkook let out a soft noise of complaint, shoving gently at Yoongi's chest because he was squeezing him too tighty.
The speaker system crackled as Yoongi loosened the hold on his son so he didn't smother him.
"I apologize for the abrupt stop." Hoseok's voice floated over the system but he didn't sound as calm and professionally happy as he did the previous time they heard him speak. "But there's... debri on the tracks preventing us from moving forward."
"Oh shit." Namjoon hissed a curse, earning a soft smack from Seokjin.
"Is debri keyword for infected?" Mingyu pondered aloud.
"I have managed to stop us near an old station and I can see another train with a cleared path. The issue being that it is an older train, coal powered. I can drive it but it will take a few minutes to fire up properly. Not to mention the... dangers in crossing the tracks to get toward it. I am willing to chance that for us to continue forward to Busan. All passengers are welcome to join me for there are many old box cars attached to the engine that should hold everyone. By all means, you are welcome to stay on this train and we will send help once we reach Busan if you do not wish to risk yourselves."
The speaker crackled for a moment, like Hoseok was taking a pause and Yoongi saw Taehyung glance at him from over the back of his seat, a silence question passing between them.
"Once I start the train, I won't be able to stop it. You'll have fifteen or so minutes to climb on board before she starts moving, and then, she'll accelerate at a moderate speed. She should reach a speed too fast to catch on foot after twenty minutes from start up, so I advise you to hurry if you can. I promise I will send help back as soon as we reach Busan. For those who chose to follow me, please be careful. It is dangerous on the tracks. Be safe, and god bless."
The speaker crackled with the end of the announcement and Yoongi could feel his throat tighten so painfully he could barely breathe.
"There are infected on the tracks." Namjoon stated, leaning over the seats to peer out the window. "Not a lot, but enough. Where the fuck did they come from?
"A-Are we going?" Jimin asked softly, his sweet voice carrying over the tense air.
"I can see the train he was talking about." Namjoon frowned just as the outside doors made a sudden clicking sound. They were unlocked and free to open now. "It's not too far away and there's a clear path. I think we could make it if we wanted to." He pulled away from the window to glance over the rest of them. "But we could stay here and wait for help."
Something cold pulsed through Yoongi and he cradled Jungkook to his chest, getting to his feet without a word. He left his bag on the floor and shuffled toward the door on the other side of the train, peering out the small window to get a good look at what they were dealing with. He saw a few infected farther down the train, toward the back and he counted seven before he gave up. There weren't any near their car and he could see Hoseok's figure already crossing the tracks carefully toward the other train. He was safe, from the look of it, and if he could make it, Yoongi was certain they could.
"I'm not waiting here like sitting ducks until one of those things busts through the door." Yoongi stated firmly, adjusting his hold on Jungkook so he could reach for the emergency handle above the door.
"W-Wait, hyung!" Jimin lurched forward. "It's not safe out there!"
"It's not safe on this train either." Amy spoke up, shuffling to her feet carefully, looking more tired than she had hours ago. "If we go, we go as a group."
"You're all crazy." Jimin mumbled, breathless, his eyes wide as Taehyung's fingers wrapped around his bicep and pulled him to his feet. That was enough of a sign for everyone else to start moving as well.
"If we stick together and remain quiet we should be fine." Yoongi tugged the lever until the door popped open and then carefully slid it to the side. Fresh cold air smacked him in the face but the outside was clear and quiet.
"Here, Hyung, let me." Namjoon shuffled passed Yoongi and then sat himself on the floor, dangling out the door. He pushed his hands against the floor to jump down and he landed on the soft ground with a thud. He glanced around to make sure the coast was clear and then reached his hands up for the next person.
They let Amy go first because she was pregnant and even though she grumbled that she was fine, she let Namjoon take her waist and Jihoon hook his hands under her arms to help her out the steep door. Jihoon followed his wife, jumping out easily enough and Mingyu wasn't far behind them. Seokjin went next and then Taehyung, his long limbs helping him land effortlessly on his feet.
"Here, pass me Jungkookie." Taehyung turned back to the open door and held his arms up for the young boy. Yoongi dropped down in a squat and passed his son to the idol who took him carefully in his arms. Jungkook watched Yoongi with wide eyes, never letting his father leave his sight but Yoongi didn't jump down yet.
"Jimin." The pink haired man was still standing in the aisle, his eyes wide and fearful, his lips bitten red and his hands twisting tightly in the fabric of his sweater. He started shaking his head frantically and Yoongi understood his apprehension. He'd been separated from them before. So Yoongi held his hand at him in offering. "We'll hold hands, okay?"
Jimin's eyes dropped to his hand and he took another minute chewing on his bottom lip before he wrapped his small fingers around Yoongi's. The pink haired idol didn't need much help in jumping down from the door but Yoongi kept his hands on the man's shoulders just in case until his feet landed on the ground. And then Jimin turned to him expectingly, holding his hand out to him in offering. Yoongi ducked down, planting his ass on the floor and then pushed forward, wrapping his hand around Jimin's until he could jump down to the ground. It was a steep drop and his knees protested but he landed without falling on his ass and that was an accomplishment.
Yoongi took Jungkook back from Taehyung's arms, smiling when the boy nuzzled into his neck happily. The coast was clear for the time being and as long as they were quiet, the few infected stumbling about near the next train car wouldn't notice them.
"Stick together." Namjoon said softly, taking Amy's hand in his own. "Hold hands like this," he lifted their hands to show how their fingers were linked tightly, "and follow the person in front of you."
Jihoon took Amy's other hand, then Mingyu took his, Seokjin next, then Taehyung, Yoongi and Jimin. Yoongi had to hold onto Jungkook with one arm and he linked his fingers with Taehyung's which meant Jimin had nothing to hold.
"Hold my waist." Yoongi tossed over his shoulder. "Hold on tightly and don't let go." Jimin was terrified, his eyes glued on the infected near the next train car. "Jimin." Yoongi snapped softly, gaining the man's attention. Taehyung glanced between them worriedly and shifted to move toward his friend. "Take my waist. Hold on. Bury your head in my back and don't look, okay? Just don't look."
Slowly Jimin nodded and licked at his dry lips before he reached out with both hands to curl his fingers tightly into Yoongi's hips. He felt the man bury his face between his shoulder blades but he didn't mind in the least. Jungkook reached behind him to pat Jimin's pink hair softly and that seemed to help the idol ease the shaking of his body. Taehyung gave Yoongi a thankful smile and took Seokjin's hand again. Once everyone had a good grip, Namjoon started moving and their own human train started to shuffle across the tracks.
The sound of the engine sputtering to life caught their attention but it also caught the attention of a few of the closer infected. The sound was loud, making a few of them shuffle closer and Namjoon picked up his pace, pulling them all along at a fast walk that made a few of them stumble. If they could run without catching attention, they would reach the train in only a few minutes but they had to walk to be safe because the sounds of their heavy fast footfalls were bound to catch the attention of the infected around them.
Yoongi couldn't be sure how long they walked but the closer they got to the train the heavier his heart beat. A loud screeching sound echoed across the train yard and Yoongi winced, glancing up in alarm as the wheels on the train started moving. Namjoon let out a curse loud enough for Yoongi to hear and the next thing he knew, he was being jerked forward because they were running to catch up with the slowly rolling train.
"Appa, Hyung." Jungkook mumbled in Yoongi's ear but the man didn't have time to process it, too focused on getting his feet to move quickly without tripping. By the time Taehyung finally slowed in front of him, they'd reached the train and there was a calm sigh of relief. Namjoon was already helping Amy inside of an open car when Jungkook grabbed at Yoongi's hair tightly and stated "Jiminnie-hyung" firmly.
It was then that Yoongi realized there was no weight against his back, no small hands curled tightly in the fabric at his waist. He snapped around so quickly he nearly dropped Jungkook.
"Jimmmmm-" Taehyung's yell was cut off by Seokjin's hand clamping down hard over his mouth.
"Shh, don't yell, Tae, they'll come running." Seokjin whispered harshly in his ear, his own eyes wide in concern.
Taehyung wiggled in Seokjin's hold, screaming behind his hand as he clawed at it with his nails, struggling to get free because Jimin, Jimin wasn't with them.
Jimin was frozen in the spot they had left him, a good deal away from the train because his grip had slipped when Yoongi was forced to run. His eyes were wide in terror, silent tears slipping from the corners because his gaze was locked on an infected making its way toward him. He wasn't making a sound, but the train was and the infected was being lured toward it. Yoongi's throat tightened around a shout, wanting to tell the man to run but he was sure even if he did Jimin wouldn't move. He was frozen in his fear, his bones locked tight in place.
"Fuck." Yoongi cursed under his breath and twisted back away, prying Jungkok's hands from his hair so he could shove the boy into Taehyung's chest. The idol took Jungkook instantly, his eyes nearly popping out of his skull but he didn't drop the boy. Seokjin removed his hand from Taehyung's mouth and the idol was shaking, his lips trembling as he cradled Jungkook against his hip.
"Shh. Get him on that train." Yoongi stated firmly, giving Jungkook's hair a gentle pet even when his brow was furrowed heavily.
"A-Appa." Jungkook stuttered, his eyes wide and already starting to fill with large tears.
"Appa will be back. Get him on that fucking train Taehyung or so help me." Yoongi grabbed his shoulders and shoved him toward the train, eyes connecting with Seokjin who nodded, grabbing at Taehyung's arm to pull him forward.
"Appa!" Jungkook's call was more of a whimper than a shout and Seokjin shushed him gently.
Yoongi turned way from him, nearly breaking his heart in the process and took off running across the tracks toward Jimin. It was his fault the man was stranded in the middle of the yard. He was supposed to look after him, make sure he kept his grip. It was his responsibility to bring him back. His feet clamped hard against the ground and he noticed a few wandering infected turning toward him at the sound but he didn't have time to worry about it.
He slowed his pace once he neared Jimin to a careful crawl because the infected man was much too close and Jimin looked ready to scream. Yoongi approached carefully and quietly, his fingers curling over the handle of the scissors still tucked away in his pocket. When he was close enough, he wrapped his hand around Jimin's mouth from behind, muffling the scream that poured from those plump lips as he quickly pulled him backwards.
"Shh, Shh, Jimin, it's me." He whispered harshly in the idol's ear. Jimin relaxed slightly in his hold but he was shaking like a leaf in a hurricane and he couldn't tear his eyes away from the infected coming toward them. "I need you to run." He slipped his fingers over the man's mouth to tilt his chin in the direction of the train, his own eyes never leaving the infected lumbering towards them. "Now, Jimin, I need you to run."
But Jimin didn't move. His limbs were still locked tight and Yoongi wasn't strong enough to toss the man over his shoulder and just fucking run.
"Appa!" Jungkook's scream ripped across the train yard like a lightning bolt and Yoongi snapped his head to the side to see Jungkook trying to wiggle free from Taehyung's arms, the idol standing inside the open train car door with his own mixture of fear and tears on his face.
There was a snarl much too close to Yoongi's ear and using all the strength he had, he shoved at Jimin's shoulders until the man stumbled in the direction of the train. It happened so fast, much too fast for Yoongi's brain to catch up so his limbs moved on instinct. Cold dirty hands suddenly wrapped around his arms and Yoongi was shoved roughly, tripping over his own feet until his back hit the ground hard.
Jimin called out to him in alarm but all Yoongi could hear were the inhuman sounds coming from the man atop of him. He struggled for a moment, his feet kicking and his arms struggling against the hold the infected had on him. That rotting mouth opened all of a sudden and Yoongi panicked, knowing exactly what was about to happen to him. He struggled hard, thrashing his smaller body until he got a hand free and wrapped it around the man's neck, holding his head away so his teeth couldn't sink into the flesh of his arm.
They were drawing attention, Yoongi knew they had to be drawing attention because Jimin was sobbing loudly somewhere to his left and Jungkook was still screaming for him, even louder now. The creature on top of him smelled of death and decay and snarled harshly in his face, his teeth snapping violently as he tried to get a bite. Yoongi's heart was in his throat because he couldn't die. Not like this, not with Jungkook watching
Yoongi couldn't let this fucking happen.
Using strength he didn't even know he had, Yoongi tightened his hand around the infected's throat tightly and shoved, using all of his weight until he manged to flip them both over. His fingers scrambled for the handle of the scissors in his pocket. He nearly dropped them with how frantic he was moving and the infected beneath him was thrashing much too violently for him to keep a grasp on him for long.
All Yoongi needed was a second to plunge the sharp points of the scissors through the soft whites of the man's blind eyes until his fist hit bone and the point hit the back of his skull. Blood splattered against Yoongi's chest but the man stopped thrashing beneath him, falling deathly still in an instant. Panting, Yoongi sat up, straddling the corpse's hips in shock because he killed again but he was alive.
Not today, motherfucker.
"Hyung!" Jimin's hands grabbed at his shoulders suddenly, tugging and pulling until Yoongi was on his feet. "T-The train, oh fuck, I'm sorry, the train, hyung!" His words were frantic and Yoongi only had a few seconds to realize the train was actually moving.
"Go." Yoongi shoved Jimin's shoulders at the same time he started moving his feet. "Run, Jimin, fucking run!"
Infected were starting to move toward them, some faster than others but Jimin was a well trained idol and Yoongi pumped his legs as fast as he could, adrenaline pumping through his system like a drug. Jimin was quick, a little too quick for Yoongi to keep up with but that was okay. Jimin reached the slowly increasing train just in time for Taehyung to grab his hands and tug him inside the open door without a problem.
"Hyung!" Taehyung popped his head back out the door, grasping onto the side of the door so he could lean out and reach a hand for him. "Come on, come on, you can do it!"
Yoongi grunted and forced his legs to move quicker, faster, picking up speed. He caught up enough to reach out for Taehyung's hand and their fingers brushed together before the train suddenly lurched forward, increasing speed. Yoongi cursed under his breath, slowing down slightly because he wasn't made to run like this and he wasn't even sure he could do it.
"Don't give up!" Taehyung snapped out, his eyes wide with panic and he dropped to his knees, reaching out with both hands. "Come on, Yoongi!"
"Appa! Appa!" Jungkook's voice was breaking from somewhere in the train, slicing through Yoongi's chest like a blade and he picked up his pace, using every ounce of energy he had left to catch up.
"Jump! Yoongi, jump!"
"Are you nuts?" He snapped, his throat tight from how hard he was breathing but Taehyung was reaching for him and his face was so fucking worried for him.
"Trust me, Yoongi, trust me! I'll catch you!"
Yoongi didn't really have much of a choice in the matter. He grit his teeth and dug his feet harder into the ground to move himself forward faster. Once he was sure he was close enough, he spread his arms out and shoved off the ground, jumping the extra space he needed. Taehyung's hands wrapped tightly around his biceps and tugged him hard. His side slammed into the side of the train car with a painful crack and Yoongi was pretty sure he might have just broken a rib or two but Taehyung grabbed at his shoulders and back and hooked his fingers into the belt of his pants, managing to pull him into the car.
For a moment, all Yoongi could hear was his own panting and racing heart. Strong shaking arms were wrapped tightly around his shoulders, hugging him to a broad strong chest and there was warm breath coming hard against the side of his neck. His knees ached painfully from slamming into the bottom of the train car and his side was throbbing with a fire like pain but he could feel the rumbling of the train beneath his hands and knees and his breath came out of him in a hard sigh of relief.
"Holy fuck, Holy fuck." It was Taehyung's breath against his neck and Yoongi realized he was kneeling over the man's body, straddling one of his legs while on all fours.
"Appa!" Jungkook's voice was thick with his tears and Yoongi felt his little hands clasp onto his bicep tightly and his face nuzzled roughly into his arm, wetting his sleeve with heavy tears. His little body was shaking with sobs and Yoongi wanted to scoop him up and hug him tightly but he couldn't move with Taehyung's arms wrapped around him.
"Holy fuck you saved him." The words came out in a rush of air as Taehyung pulled back, scrambling to gather Yoongi's face between his large palms. "Y-You saved Jiminnie, you-Yoongi!" His eyes were wide enough to pop out of his skull, tears clinging to his pretty lashes and his cheeks were flushed, his red lips plump and trembling.
Yoongi swallowed hard, finding his mouth much too dry. "You saved Kookie. I just returned the favor." It was more than that and everyone knew it but Taehyung gasped out a sob and brought Yoongi's head closer until their lips smashed together.
Jimin squeaked in surprise to their left and Yoongi's body jolted at the feeling, warm chapped lips pressing hard against his own, almost enough to bruise and all he could do was stare with wide eyes at the parts of Taehyung's flushed face he could see. Taehyung held his head tightly, almost desperately and when he pulled apart he looked as surprised at his own actions as Yoongi felt.
"S-Sorry." He stuttered, heat curling to the tips of his ears. "I-"
"Appa!" Jungkook was demanding attention, wiggling his way into Taehyung's lap so he could grasp at Yoongi's front. There was blood there, Yoongi knew there was, so he grabbed Jungkook's hands quickly and tugged them free. It nearly broke his heart at the way his son looked at him when he did.
"Shh, it's okay baby." He grasped Jungkook's little hands tightly in his own and leaned down to nuzzle their noses together. "Appa's here."
Jungkook crunched his face up tightly, little sobs hiccupping through his mouth and his little body was shaking roughly. "H-Hurt, Appa, hurt!"
The blood. Jungkook saw the blood. Yoongi ducked his head and planted a kiss to Jungkook's head, ignoring the straining in his ribs as he did so. "It's not mine, shh, baby, it's okay, Appa's okay." His entire body ached but he wasn't going to let Jungkook know that. The important part was the blood wasn't his and that was the thing making Jungkook shake with emotion.
"H-Hyung, oh fuck." Jimin dropped to his knees harshly beside Yoongi and the next thing he knew, he was being wrapped up in strong warm arms, his face tucked into a shoulder. "Thank you, fuck, I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry."
"It's okay." Yoongi breathed out, bringing up a hand to smooth over Jimin's back. "We're okay, it's going to be okay." He didn't realize his own body was shaking violently, his chest still heaving with pants because he couldn't seem to catch his breath.
Jimin's arms tightened around him and then Jungkook was pressed into his side, the pain splattering over his body, while Taehyung wrapped his arms around all them. Pain coursed through his body but, it was okay. It was going to be okay. Jungkook was safe. Jimin was safe. Taehyung was safe. They were safe. It was okay. They were going to be okay.
The empty train car wasn't the most comfortable thing in the world but it was better than nothing. The floor was hard and cold and there was no where to sit but the floor. Jihoon and Amy curled up in one corner of the car, the woman in her husband's lap to remain warm and comfrotable and Mingyu was beside them, his head resting gently on Jihoon's curved shoulder.
Namjoon and Seokjin were sitting by the mostly closed door, open only a sliver so they weren't left in complete darkness. But the sun was starting to decend in the sky and Taehyung wondered if they would make it to Busan before dark. This train moved a whole lot slower than the other one and he had no idea how far they were from the town.
Taehyung was settled on the floor, against one of the walls and though the cold floor was sinking into his pants, he still felt warm. Jimin was curled up in his lap, using his thigh as a pillow while Taehyung pet softly at his pink strands of hair. Yoongi was on his other side, wrapped up warmly in Jimin's red sweater because the man had blood on his shirt and he couldn't hold Jungkook like that. Jimin had a black sleeveless top on under the sweater so he gave it to Yoongi to wear, a small thanks for saving his life. It was a large piece of fabric on Jimin and it nearly swallowed Yoongi up whole.
It was cute. Yoongi was cute in it.
Taehyung's face flushed at the thought but he didn't tear his eyes away from the man using his shoulder as a pillow. Yoongi was in pain, he could tell from the slight curl in the corner of his eyes and the way his lips grimaced every time Jungkook pressed too hard into his chest. He could remember the hard thud Yoongi's body had made when he connected with the side of the train and Taehyung could imagine he was bruised up pretty nicely, maybe even broken a rib in the process. When he'd ripped his bloody shirt off, revealing soft pale skin and subtle muscles, his side was already blazing red before he covered it up with Jimin's soft sweater. But he wasn't complaining in the least. If it weren't for the subtle changes of his face, no one would know he was in pain at all.
Jungkook was curled in his father's lap, cheek resting against his collarbone so his hair brushed under his chin. He had one hand curled tightly in the fabric of Yoongi's sweater, like he was terrified of letting go and he had the other hand near his lips, one thumb in his mouth to suck on gently. His eyes were wide open, staring off into space and Taehyung wondered what he was thinking about. His cheeks were still red from his crying but his eyes were dry, no tears in sight.
It chipped something in Taehyung's heart to pull a crying Jungkook away from his father. He had known what Yoongi was going to do and he trusted the man to do it. Yoongi trusted him with Jungkook and Taehyung could only return the favor by trusting him with Jimin. But it was terrifying to watch from afar as Yoongi was slammed to the ground and struggled for his life. Taehyung had shoved Jungkook into Seokjin's arms so the boy didn't have to watch but he'd seen anyway and his wails could be heard across the entire train yard.
Yoongi killed again for the sake of Jimin and Taehyung could only imgine how his friend was feeling about that. Jimin wasn't sleeping, his eyes wide open as Taehyung smoothed through his strands of hair. He was lost in thought, his lips pursed ever slightly and Taehyung wanted to talk to him about it all but now probably wasn't the best time.
There were a lot of things Taehyung wanted to talk about.
Like, maybe, the kiss he gave Yoongi.
His heart kicked up at the memory and he wanted to shove his face in his hands in embarrassment but one hand was busy in Jimin's hair and the other was curled up loosely in Yoongi's. He flushed even more at the sight, the way their long fingers curled together, pale and tan, contrasting nicely. Yoongi's hand was warm against his own, holding on loosely but tight enough for Taehyung to know the man didn't want him to let go.
Taehyung couldn't say why he kissed him. It was a heat of the moment kind of deal. Yoongi had just nearly died saving Jimin and almost didn't make it on the train. He had trusted Taehyung enough to catch him and Taehyung had caught him. Yoongi had been shaking and panting in his hold and his lips were plump and red and for some reason, Taehyung's body had thought it to be a wise thing to kiss him, hard. Perhaps it was more Taehyung's heart than his body but he wasn't sure. He had just been so relieved that Yoongi was okay and the only way he thought to express that was to kiss him.
Yoongi didn't kiss him back but he didn't shove him away either. He was as surprised by the kiss as Taehyung was and Jungkook shoved his way between them before they could say anything about it. Considering Yoongi was curled up at his side and holding his hand, Taehyung was sure the kiss wasn't a problem. There were more important things to worry about aside from a kiss. Like were they going to make it to Busan? And if they did, what would be waiting them there? Not to mention Taehyung had almost lost Jimin a second time and he really needed to keep a fucking leash on his friend because they couldn't afford to lose one another.
Honestly, thinking about the kiss was easier than thinking about those things though.
Yoongi's mouth had been soft, surprisingly so. His lips were naturally plump and a little pink but Taehyung didn't expect them to be like little warm soft pillow. They were a little chapped from how hard he had been biting them through the day but they were warm and soft and Taehyung liked them. He liked them a whole lot.
He liked Yoongi. Yoongi was strong and brave, never afraid to stand up and do what needed to be done. But he was also soft and kind, kissing Jungkook's head so tenderly and holding Taehyung's hand like it was something precious. He was full of mysteries and wonder and Taehyung wanted to know everything about him. Was that weird? It was probably a weird time to be having such thoughts but, he couldn't help it.
Yoongi was pretty. It was one of the first things Taehyung noticed about the man and then he had such a nice personality to go along with it.
Jimin was the only other person on the planet Taehyung had kissed and that was out of pure curiosity than anything else. They had been teenagers at the time and though Jimin's lips were warm and soft like pillows, Taehyung never felt anything from it. His heart didn't skip like it did when he kissed Yoongi and, oh, wow, this was what attraction felt like huh?
Now was not the time, he told himself. Yes, Yoongi was pretty and kind and warm and all the things Taehyung liked about a person but they were kind of running for their lives and it wasn't the time nor the place to develop feelings for someone he barely knew. Crushes happened, he knew that, but now was not the time. It was okay. It would be okay. Yoongi was essensially a stranger. A warm, kind, thoughtful stranger who saved his best friend's life twice and smiled softly like the sun peaking out from the clouds on a rainy day but still a stranger.
Taehyung was screwed.
Looking back over the events of the day, he found it hard to believe what was happening and he had experienced it himself. He saw the infected, he saw someone get their throat ripped out and he saw that same person stand up not even a minute later. He saw crowds of people turn into monsters and he saw one of them slam Yoongi to the ground while he watched on in horror. He couldn't explain how the people he cared about were safe and sound around him.
Jimin's shoulder was bruised and Yoongi's ribs might be broken but they were alive. They were more alive than they'd ever been in their entire lives and the infection was a reminder of how small they were in comparison to the rest of the world. Was it just their country effected or was it the whole world? Were there safe places they could go if it was secluded just to South Korea? Or was it spreading much too quickly? People flew from Seoul every single day to thousands of places all over the world. If one infected person made it to another country... they could all be doomed. It could effect the entire plant and then what? With how quickly the infection spread, it was only a matter of time before...
No, Taehyung couldn't think like that.
He had family out there. Family he wasn't sure was safe and he couldn't think negative things. He had Jimin, safe and sound beside him and that was good enough for right now. He had Yoongi and Jungkook and Seokjin and that was enough. They would make it to Busan together and figure out what to do next afterwards. Taehyung didn't want to leave Yoongi and Jungkook behind, he wanted to stick together because they made it this far together and it made sense to stay together. What if they jinxed the good vibe they had going on by spiliting up? Oh, no, Taehyung wasn't willing to risk that.
There were so many questions and not enough answers and the only thing Taehyung could do was hope. Hope that they were going to be safe. Hope that they would stick togeter. Hope that Busan was the safe place they were promised. Hope that Yoongi wanted to stick with him as much as Taehyung did. Hope that he was as special as Yoongi was making him sound because Jungkook let him hold him even when he had issues allowing his own mother to.
With a soft sigh, Taehyung tipped his head to the side and buried his mouth in Yoongi's soft jet black hair. He smelled of flowers and sweat and Taehyung let that scent rest in his nostrils, savoring it along with the softness of his hair sticking to his lips. Yoongi let him do as he pleased, shifting only slightly against his shoulder to press a little closer. Taehyung had to believe they would make it to Busan safe and sound. He had to believe. He had to have faith because otherwise, he would have nothing but a pile of doubts and that was asking for trouble.
The exhaustion of the day was catching up with everyone and by the time the train started to sputter to a stop, they were all in some stage of sleep. Amy was sleeping peacefully against Jihoon's shoulder while Mingyu dozed on his other one. Jihoon's head was tilted forward, his eyes slipped closed as he caught a few winks of sleep as well, his head resting against his wife's. Seokjin's eyes were open but only by a hair while he rested against the side of the car by the door, arms folded over his chest and chin propped on his own shoulder. Namjoon mirrored him at his side but his eyes were completely shut and he was letting out soft little snores.
Jimin was still in Taehyung's lap, using his thigh as a pillow and the soft rumbling of the train beneath his body lulled him into a between state. Taehyung had his cheek pressed against the top of Yoongi's head and his mouth was open just a little as he slept, soft puffs of air coming from his lips. Yoongi couldn't sleep, too much throbbing pain in his side every time the train jolted but his eyes were closed and he was about as relaxed as he could get considering the situation.
Jungkook was the only one awake. He was awake because he was terrified to close his eyes. Every time he closed his eyes he saw scary things that made him want to scream. He saw his father being tackled to the ground by a man, he saw a little girl's arm being bitten into, he saw Jimin crying and Taehyung sobbing. He saw things he didn't want to see so he kept his eyes wide open, staring off at a spot on the floor as he tried to think happy thoughts.
He'd been so scared when his father passed him off to Taehyung. He thought he wouldn't come back. He thought his father was going to leave him. He struggled so hard in Taehyung's hold but his father was going to save Jimin and Jungkook tried to be brave. He tried to be brave because the last time Yoongi went to save Jimin, he came back safe and sound. Jungkook knew his father was strong and brave, so he tried to be strong and brave for his father.
But then they were on the train, and it was moving slowly, and Jungkook panicked, thinking they were going to leave his father behind. The scream ripped through him hard enough to damage his throat and he saw, just before Taehyung shoved him into Seokjin's arms, his father being tackled to the ground by someone. All he could do was scream and cry and claw at Seokjin's arms to put him down because his father was hurt and it was the station in Seoul all over again and Jungkook didn't know what to do.
His appa, he just wanted to see his appa, where was his appa?!
There were one too many emotions for a four year old to understand but he did understand, once Yoongi was pulled back into the train that his father was safe. He cried and cried because he didn't know what else to do with his emotions and when he saw red, he thought his father was hurt. Blood was bad. Blood meant really bad boo-boos and maybe Band-Aids or even stitches like that one time his mother sliced her finger open making dinner.
But the blood wasn't his father's and Jungkook was so happy to see when he took his shirt off, that there wasn't anymore blood. His father was so brave and so strong and he loved him so very much. He clung to Yoongi the moment he changed into Jimin's red sweater and he absolutely refused to leave his side. He'd let go if he had to. If Yoongi had to go and be strong and brave again but for right now, Jungkook was going to cuddle with his father because it had been a very crazy day and all he wanted to do was curl up in bed with his father and his new hyungs and sleep the rest of the day away.
Also he was hungry, but that didn't matter as much right now.
Somewhere between getting off one train and getting on another, Jungkook had lost his Iron Man plush. He was a little sad about it, because he worried that maybe Iron Man would get hurt out there all by himself. But then he remembered it was Iron Man and he could protect himself. He still felt a little bad, especially since Jimin had gone through all that trouble of saving him for him but, Jungkook had been too upset when Yoongi passed him to Taehyung to realize the plush slipped through his fingers.
Jungkook had a much smaller Iron Man plush in his backpack, still secured on his shoulders so he knew he would be okay. Besides, he didn't need Iron Man. He had his appa and appa was much stronger and way more brave than Iron Man. Jungkook let out a soft pleased noise and nuzzled his cheek against the soft fabric of Yoongi's borrowed sweater. It was warm and smelled of something really nice and Jungkook hoped Jimin didn't catch a cold because he was wearing a thin sleeveless shirt and it was cold in the train car. He didn't look cold but the tip of Jungkook's nose was cold so he was certain the man had to be a little chilly.
Shifting slightly in his father's lap, Jungkook leaned over to pat soft pink hair carefully. He liked Jimin's hair. It was pink and pretty and he wondered if his father would ever let him have pink hair. Maybe when he was older. Yoongi was always supportive of everything that Jungkook wanted. Taehyung's hair was nice too, a very light purple color but Jungkook liked pink the most. Actually, he liked red, but pink was very close to red and Jimin's hair was very pretty.
Jungkook was sure he had seen Jimin and Taehyung on the television before. Their faces were very familiar and he thought maybe he had seen them on the music show his father put on for him after dinner when he was good. Jungkook liked the music shows. All the people were pretty and usually very colorful and the music made him sway from side to side. Sometimes he would sing along if he was feeling brave enough and he thought his father couldn't hear him.
Jungkook liked to sing but he was scared. He was scared people might think he wasn't very good at it because he was so little and would laugh at him. Like the kids at his old daycare. They laughed at him when tears whelled up in eyes, calling him a crybaby which only made him angry and cry even more. He cried a lot and he didn't like that. He cried when he was angry and he cried when he was sad. Yoongi told him he was very pretty when he cried and though Jungkook liked being pretty, he didn't think crying could make him pretty. It also didn't feel nice when kids made fun of him for crying. No one laughed at him at his new daycare but he cried a lot less than he used to. Being laughed at didn't feel very good so Jungkook sang to himself softly and sang to Iron Man sometimes because Iron Man would never laugh at him. He loved Jungkook, he would never be mean to him.
Jungkook knew his father would never laugh at him either but he always felt a strange warm feeling that made him want to wiggle and hide anytime he sang around him. Yoongi always encouraged him with soft smiles and warm pats to his head and sometimes, Jungkook would keep singing because he loved it when his father smiled like that and he wanted to keep him smiling for a very long time. Anything to make his father smile because ever since his mother left, his father smiled a lot less.
Even though there were monsters around now and they had to keep running, Yoongi had smiled an awful lot at him that day. He smiled every time Jungkook spoke and that made him want to keep speaking, even when he felt that same strange bubbling feeling in his stomach. He wanted to be brave and strong like his father because it made Yoongi smile and there wasn't much else a four year old boy could want from his father.
Jungkook loved his father more than words could ever express. Yoongi was his entire world and even though he was starting to enjoy Taehyung's and Jimin's company, his father was still the most important person in the world. His appa was so brave and so strong! He would always protect Jungkook and give him hugs and kisses anytime he asked for them. Jungkook had the best appa in the world and he wouldn't trade him for all the candy at the store, or the world even!
Jungkook was starting to like Jiimin and Taehyung too. He didn't mind so much when Taehyung touched him and held him and he couldn't really find a reason why. His skin didn't crawl like it did when strangers usually touched him. Plus Taehyung's touch was soft and warm, like his father's and he smiled at Jungkook in a very sweet way that made him feel safe. Taehyung was the person to grab him and take him away from the monsters and for Jungkook, that was enough to give him a chance. And Jimin was sweet too, like Taehyung. He had pretty smiles and soft touches and a small part of Jungkook's tummy swirled everytime the pink haired man looked at him. He didn't know what that meant but he didn't feel like it was a bad thing.
A sudden thought popped in Jungkook head and a slight fizzle of excitement curled around the back of his neck. The man on the speaker said they were still going to Busan. His mother was in Busan. Did that mean he was finally going to see her soon? Jungkook wanted to hug her. He had such a very strong urge to hug her because he had spent most of the day scared and in tears and he wanted to hug his mother. She had sounded so sad on the phone so Jungkook wanted to hug her to make sure she knew he was okay. He didn't hug his mother often and he never wondered why. He didn't have the urges to curl up against her chest like he did with his father.
It wasn't that she wasn't kind or anything. She was very nice. She was never mean to him but sometimes she didn't seem to understand his weird moods and that made Jungkook feel bad. She tried, he knew she did, but he was just a little kid and sometimes he had a hard time understanding her in return. There was a small part in the corner of his heart that wasn't happy with his mother. The dark sharp feeling lingered there and sometimes bubbled to the surface when he saw his father leaning against the wall for support with his face in his hands. Yoongi didn't know Jungkook saw those moments. Jungkook knew those moments were because of his mother and that small dark part didn't like her for it.
He was little, he knew there was a lot about the world he didn't understand and he really didn't understand why his mother left them. Yoongi had spent too much time trying to convince Jungkook that his mother didn't leave him behind. He said that sometimes, parents fell out of love but that didn't mean they loved him any less. Jungkook wasn't worried about his mother loving him. He knew she loved him. She'd never given him a reason to believe otherwise. She called to speak to him all the time and even when he barely spoke back, she tried. He went to see her almost every other weekend and she was always so bright and happy to see him. She loved him, Jungkook never doubted that.
What Jungkook didn't understand was why she decided she didn't love his father anymore. Yoongi was great. He was warm and soft and kind and he had the best kisses in the world and gave the best hugs so why didn't she love him anymore? He couldn't understand it. Especially when his father loved her so very much. Maybe not as much as he used to because he didn't cry anymore but Jungkook could clearly remember the day he first saw his father cry and it was all her fault.
Jungkook was no stranger to tears. He cried at least once a day for some reason or another but never in all of his years of life did he see his father cry. It scared him. Yoongi didn't cry big fat tears like Jungkook did. His tears were smaller and lingered in his lashes. He was a quiet crier, cupping a hand over his mouth as he tried to hold back the tears. Jungkook had felt so bad in that moment. His skin crawled, his chest hurt and he starting crying too because he was scared and worried and didn't understand what was going on.
It was later, when his mother came home and he heard them yell at each other for the first time that Jungkook realized it was a lot worse than he could have expected. She left them a few days later and she never came back. Jungkook went to see her but she never stepped foot in their apartment again. Jungkook knew his father cried for a while in secret but he didn't cry much anymore. Or at least, Jungkook didn't catch him crying anymore. It had already been a while since his mother left and his father was starting to look happier.
All Jungkook wanted was for his father to smile more. Yoongi was pretty when he smiled and his smiles always made Jungkook feel all bubbly and warm inside.
There was a loud clattering sound that snapped Jungkook out of his daze and when he glanced up, he saw it had also woken his father from whatever stage of sleep he had been in. The rumbling beneath them had stopped and Jungkook glanced around the car to see everyone shaking themselves awake. Yoongi was shaking gently at Taehyung's shoulder until the man's eyes opened groggily and then he was shaking Jimin's shoulder until the man was sitting up and rubbing at his eyes.
"Are we here already?" Namjoon asked aloud, his voice rough from sleep as he rubbed at his face.
There were footsteps outside of the cracked door and both Namjoon and Seokjin scrambled way from it just in time for it to be wrenched open hard and fast. Jungkook's eyes widened at the man standing outside the door. He was the train conductor.
"Everyone safe and sound?" Hoseok asked, a smile on his face but it was strained, the corners of his mouth twitching ever so slightly and he looked exhausted with dark circles under his eyes.
"You could say that." Seokjin answered, glancing around the car before getting to his feet. "Are we in Busan?"
Hoseok shook his head. "We're a few miles out. The train just kind of... gave up." He grimaced slightly, rubbing at the back of his neck as he glanced around outside. "It's old and I wasn't sure how far we would make it. I had to try anyway."
"A few miles out?" Taehyung spoke out, his voice deep and rumbling while he rubbed at Jimin's cold bare arms.
"It's getting dark." Hoseok let out a soft sigh. "Are there more people in the other cars?"
"We don't know." Seokjin answered.
"I didn't see anyone else leave the other train but, we were kind of in a hurry." Namjoon moved to his feet as well, stretching his arms above his head.
Hoseok hummed and glanced to his left, narrowing his eyes slightly. "The coast is clear. I haven't seen any infected for a while, not since we left the train yard but it's best to be safe and quiet. I'm planning to walk the rest of the way to Busan, if you all would like to join me? I can't... guarantee it would be safe." His hands were shaking slightly as he tugged the sleeves of his uniform between his fingers nervously, glancing about. "You can stay here and I'll send help, if I make it to Busan."
Jungkook was jostled about in his father's lap and he glanced up in slight alarm as his father tried to sit up properly. He noticed the slight wince in his face and Jungkook wondered if his father was hurt and hiding it from him. There wasn't any blood but that didn't mean his father wasn't hurt somehow.
"We're going." Yoongi spoke up for himself and Jungkook, adjusting the boy in his lap carefully.
"We are too." Taehyung agreed with a nod. Jimin didn't look so sure, his lips pursed and his nose crinkled but he didn't speak up to disagree with Taehyung.
"Then I guess that means we're all going." Amy spoke up, crawling out of Jihoon's lap carefully until she could get to her feet, using Mingyu's broad shoulder as something to push herself up with. Her hands cradled her swollen belly carefully and though she looked worn and tired, her smile was pretty on her face. "Personally, I'm not fond of just sitting around and waiting."
"Okay. Okay." Hoseok nodded, his eyes slightly wide. "We'll leave in a few minutes. I'm going to check the other cars for any other passengers." He bowed his head quickly and scurried off out of view.
"Can you walk?" Taehyung's voice was soft, quiet in the murmuring of the train car as everyone got to their feet. His head was dipped down close to Yoongi's ear and Jungkook glanced up at them in confusion. Taehyung's face was strained, worry and concern stitched into the curves of his face as he glanced over Yoongi's face. "It's a few miles, can you do it?"
Yoongi let out a puff of air. "I'm fine, Taehyung." He was not fine. Jungkook could tell because his smile was wobbly and he had trouble getting to his feet with Jungkook in his lap. Quickly, Jungkook got to his feet and stood off to the side, watching his father with wide eyes as Taehyung grabbed his arms and helped him to his feet carefully.
"You are not fine." Taehyung breathed softly, nibbling on his lower lip as he steadied Yoongi with a hand on the small of his back.
"I can walk." Yoongi's voice was solid and stern, the voice he used when Jungkook was about to do something he wasn't supposed to be doing, His brow was furrowed too, in that way it did when he was serious. "I'm not staying here and waiting for death. I'm not risking that for Jungkook."
"It's a risk out there too." Jimin spoke up, shuffling close to them so he wasn't heard over everyone else. He looked as concerned for Yoongi as Taehyung did and Jungkook's stomach started to swirl.
Was his father badly hurt? What was wrong and why wasn't anyone telling him? He felt his throat start to tighten up, a sure sign of tears on the way and he stumbled forward, clasping onto the fabric of his father's jeans tightly and burying his face against his leg. Why was his father lying to him? If he was hurt he should tell him! Jungkook could take it.
Warm hands hooked under Jungkook's arms and then he was lifted upwards. He knew it was his father without having to look, quickly wrapping his legs around the man's waist and burying his face in his neck. He smelled like spring flowers and Jungkook inhaled deeply, savoring the scent and letting it calm his racing heart.
"It's a risk I'm willing to take." Yoongi stated firmly, his voice shaking only sightly as he adjusted his hold on Jungkook. He had both arms wrapped around his underside to keep him up right while Jungkook kept his hands curled tightly in the red fabric around his father's collarbone.
"You can't run, hyung." Taehyung's voice was shaking with worry.
"If we have to run, you'll take Jungkook and run."
Jungkook shook his head quickly, nuzzling further into his father's neck and feeling that burning fire crawling up his throat. His eyes were stinging because he didn't want to leave his father. He didn't want Yoongi to shove him into someone else's arms and run away. He couldn't do it again; He couldn't.
"You're upsetting, Jungkookie." Jimin's voice was soft and the hand petting at the back of his head was just as soft. "I'm not fond of going out there either but... I think hyung is right. We should try. If we stick together and stay quiet, I think we'll be okay."
There was a moment of silence, one Jungkook was sure included a stare down between his father and Taehyung before the lilac haired man backed down with a heavy sigh. "Fine, but I'm not leaving you behind hyung. If we run, we run together. I bet Jimin could carry you on his back."
Jimin made a soft high pitched noise of surprise and Yoongi grumbled in the back of his throat. "He's not carrying me, I can walk just fine."
"Okay but Jiminnie's really strong hyung, he could totally run with you on his back." He sounded proud, like a parent almost.
"H-How about we deal with that if the time comes?" Jimin mumbled shyly.
"Are all of you ready to go?" Hoseok's voice picked up again. "You're the only ones on the train from what I could find. I'll have to send help back to the other train."
Yoongi started moving and so Jungkook clung to him a little tighter just because he felt like it. There was a cold nip to the air as they neared the open door and Jungkook could hear people jumping down to the ground. With a bit of effort and fighting, Jungkook was passed to Taehyung so Yoongi could get out of the train car. It took a lot of effort, Jungkook noticed, for his father to get down onto his bottom. He kept wincing and then he wrapped an arm around his torso, his fingers clutching as his side before he pushed forward to land on the ground with a soft thump. He bit hard into his lower lip and Jungkook reached out to him in concern. His father was in pain, he could tell. He didn't know what was wrong but he knew something was wrong and it concerned him greatly.
Yoongi took him back into his arms without complaint, letting him curl around his body, legs around his waist, arms around his neck, face buried in his throat. There was a murmur of conversation for a moment before they starting moving. Jungkook could tell it was getting dark and that the sun was melting in the sky. He didn't like the dark. He had a pretty blue nightlight in his bedroom because he didn't like the dark and Yoongi always slept with his desk light on just in case Jungkook wanted to curl up with him in the middle of the night. Which happened a lot because Jungkook didn't always sleep very well and he slept much better in his father's arms.
Jungkook's little body felt so heavy and tired. It was telling him it was time to sleep but he refused. He didn't want to sleep. He had to stay awake and make sure his father was okay. He had to be strong and brave because Yoongi was strong and brave. But his eyelids were so heavy and before he knew it, he was slipping into dreamland, the soft bouncing of his father's footsteps and his warm breath in his hair lulling him to sleep.
When Jungkook opened his eyes again, his body being unexpectedly jostled, it was pitch black outside and a cold chill ran up his spine. Yoongi's arms were still tight around his body and after blinking a few times, his eyes adjusted to the dim moonlight. They were still walking and he couldn't be sure how long they hd been walking. But Yoongi's breath was a little tight and heavy in his hair and Taehyung had a hand on Yoongi's back like he was afraid Yoongi might collapse at any moment.
They were still grouped together, Jungkook was relieved to find. They were following the train tracks and even though it was dark, there was enough moonlight to see vaguely. He knew that Namjoon, Seokjin and Hoseok were at the front of the group and Amy, Jihoon and Mingyu were in the middle. He was at the back with his father, Taehyung on one side and Jimin on the other. He could see lights in the distance and he wondered if that was Busan.
They weren't walking very fast. In fact, Yoongi was barely shuffling along and Jungkook looked up at his father's face to see it flushed with color and his eyes narrowed slightly. His lips were twisted in slight pain and Jungkook wondered if maybe he should get down and walk on his own feet. Would that help? He wiggled slightly, a signal to his father to let him down but it backfired. Yoongi let out a hiss of pain between his teeth and gripped him tighter, making Jungkook freeze in his hold.
"Hyung." Taehyung's voice was laced with concern and his hand slipped up to grip at the back of Yoongi's neck. "Let me carry him."
"I'm fine." It was a strained sentence.
"You are so not fine." Jimin mumbled softly, his hand coming up to grip Yoongi's elbow gently.
"We're almost there. I can make it." His father was stubborn, Jungkook knew that and it seemed neither Jimin nor Taehyung had the heart to fight him at the moment. They were all exhausted and tired. Jungkook could see it in the downward slope of their shoulders and the slow blinking of their eyes.
"Okay, hyung." Jimin sighed, rubbing his hand up Yoongi's arm in a soothing motion before he dropped it back to his side. Taehyung looked like he wanted to argue it for a moment, his face crunching up but he let it go, a soft sigh coming from his chapped lips and he let his hand rest over the back of Yoongi's neck.
They were all so tired but they were so close. Jungkook could tell his father was having trouble keeping him upright because he kept adjusting his hold on him and every time he did, he let out a soft wince and Jungkook's heart thumped hard in his chest. Yoongi wouldn't give up, Jungkook knew that but he wanted to help. His father's energy was fading, his grip loose but tight enough to keep him upright and his steps mere shuffles of his feet. He was sweating slightly, around his brow and collarbones but it was freezing outside. Jungkook hoped he wasn't sick. Sick was bad. Sick wouldn't be good at all.
He needed to cheer his father up. He needed to do something that would lift his spirits so he could make it the rest of the way. Yoongi would keep going until his legs gave out, Jungkook knew that. But he wanted to help, he didn't want his father to hurt himself further because of him.
So Jungkook did the one thing he could. The one thing he knew would bring a smile to his father's face because it did every single time. But it was hard, because there were people around that could hear him and it made an unpleasant fuzzy feeling in his stomach and his face flush with heat. But his father was strong and brave and Jungkook could be brave too. He could do this for his father.
Jungkook took a deep breath, steadying his nerves the best he could and curled his hands tightly in the fabric around his father's collarbone. He coughed a few times, clearing his throat and he noticed all three of them glance at him in concern but he wasn't sick. He was fine, he was tired but he was okay. When he stopped coughing softly, they turned their gazes away and Jungkook felt a little more confidant without them looking at him.
After a moment of mentally pumping himself up, Jungkook parted his lips and started to sing.
"Amugeodo saenggakhaji ma. Neon amu maldo kkeonaejido ma." His voice was soft, like a whisper on the wind but Yoongi heard him, his arms tightening around him a little bit more and when Jungkook dared a glance up at him, taking a breath, his father was looking down at him with wide eyes. Emotions flickered across his gaze like a hurricane but he was listening so Jungkok continued, feeling a little more brave. "A-yo, oh, geunyang naege useojwo, yeah." His voice grew in confidance, getting just a little bit louder so it was less of a whisper.
"Nan ajikdo mitgijiga anha." Jungkook's head snapped at Taehyung, his heart thumping hard in his chest because the man was smiling tenderly at him and his voice. It was soft and deep and familiar. "I modeun ge da kkumin geot gata. A-yo oh sarajiryeo hajima."
Jungkook throat was much too tight and he couldn't sing anymore because Taehyung was smiling tenderly at him and Yoongi was watching him with wide eyes. After a moment of silence, Taehyung let out a soft laugh and reached over to ruffle his hair gently.
"Did you hear that Jiminnie? Jungkookie knows our song."
Jimin let out a soft laugh. "I heard. You're really good, Jungkookie. You sang my part better than me."
It was their song. Jungkook's breath caught in his throat because of course. He did recognize them. He did see them on the music shows because they were idols and Jungkook loved them. He absolutely loved them. He let out a noise of excitement and reached out for Taehyung, eyes wide in awe.
"Hyungs, sing." Jungkook spoke in a whisper, smiling when Taehyung slipped his hands under his arms and took him carefully from Yoongi's loose grip. "Butterfly. I love butterfly."
Taehyung laughed warmly, hooking his arm under Jungkook's bottom to hold him against his hip. "Yeah? I love Butterfly too. It's one of my favorites."
Jungkook bounced excitedly in Taehyung hold and grabbed at his shirt, tugging at the fabric gently. "Sing, hyung. Sing please."
Taehyung glanced over at Jimin who was wrapping an arm around Yoongi's waist, pulling him in close so he could lean on him while they walked. "Shall we sing with him, Jiminnie?"
"I'd be honored." Jimin stated with a bright smile, tugging Yoongi's arm around his shoulders so the man could walk a little easier now that his hands were free.
"Cheer up, appa!" Jungkook said with a firm nod.
Yoongi let out a rumbled laugh. "He watches all the music shows after dinner. He must have seen you a time or two."
"We have the cutest fan ever." Jimin said with a laugh while Taehyung hugged him a little tighter to his chest.
Jungkook tugged at Taehyung's shirt impatiently and then pointed a finger at his father. "Cheer up, Appa."
"Ahhh." A smile curled to Taehyung's lips. "You want to sing and cheer up your appa? Okay, Jungkookie, we can do that. You know the chorus, right?" Jungkook nodded firmly, his eyes narrow with determination. "Let's sing it together then, okay?" Taehyung and Jimin glanced at one another and nodded before parting their lips and harmonizing almost perfectly.
"Butterfly, like a butterfly." Taehyung's deep soulful voice blended so perfectly with Jimin's high pitched softness and Jungkook wiggled in Taehyung's hold in excitement, parting his lips to join in on the next part. "Machi butterfly, bu-butterfly cheoreom."
It was such a pretty sound, echoing over the train tracks until Amy joined in with their singing from the front. Her voice was soft and sweet and then Jihoon was singing with her, a little shyly but pretty nonetheless. Jungkook wiggled happily, a grin curling to his lips that spread across his face until his eyes crinkled and all his teeth were on display. Yoongi was smiling, his father was smiling, bright and beautiful, his lips spread out across his face to show off his gums and that was Jungkook's favorite smile. It was Yoongi's happiest smile and he wanted to reach out and kiss his father but he was comfortable in Taehyung's arms and he wanted to keep singing with them.
A young soldier in his early twenties by the name Kim Myungjun spotted a group of figures through the scope of his sniper rifle about five minutes ago along the train tracks and he followed them slowly as they approached the tunnel in apprehension. His heart was heavy in his chest, his eyes narrow as he tried to make out if the group of people he was following were infected or not. He was too far away and it was too dark to tell for sure. But the closer they got toward the tunnel, the more he came to realize he had to tell his commanding officer.
"Sir." He called quietly in the still of the night, pulling away from his rifle for only a second to search for the man. They were settled a top a business building a bit away from the tracks, stationed there to keep an eye on anything and anyone attempting to enter Busan through the tunnel. "I have motion."
His commanding officer, intimidating in his uniform but gentle in the face hurried over to his side, catching attention of a few other soldiers around him. "Show me." He shifted out of the way so his commanding officer could peer through the scope. After a minute, the man clicked his tongue and pulled away. "It's too dark to tell if they're infected or not."
Myungjun bit into his lower lip a little roughly, concern splitting across his chest but he stood firmly, prepared to do whatever his commanding officer demanded of him. "Sir?"
The older man, graying around the brow, took a deep breath and turned toward the edge of the roof, his eyes overlooking the train tracks. "We must be vigilant. We must take the necessary precautions. That is a large group. Men," he called out toward the other soldiers, "prepare your weapons."
There was a steady call of understanding and then Myungjun was moving back to his rifle, shuffling back on his knees so he could hold it properly. He peered through the scope once again to see the group was still moving, albeit rather slowly. It was too dark to make out much more than a few shapes and he sent a soft prayer to God above to forgive him for what he was about to do. Infected or not, they were still people and no one deserved to die by a shot to the head from far away.
"Ready!" The officer called over his group of soldiers and Myungjun curled his finger over the trigger, hovering but not touching until the call was given.
There was a stiff moment of silence, like his commanding officer was rethinking his decision. Myungjun was aimed at the back of the group, toward a smaller figure that looked to be wobbling only slightly. The steps it took screamed infected to the young soldier's mind so he intended to take that figure out first.
But then, strangely enough, there was a sound that echoed off the concrete walls that started to ramp up on either side of the tracks, signaling they were closer to the tunnel. The rooftop went deathly quiet and they listened to the sound, trained ears honing down on the sound. It was soft at first but then it grew louder and in that moment, the young soldier knew it to be singing and there was only one place that sound could be coming from. The group of people below on the tracks.
"Christ in heaven, they're alive." His commanding officer let out a sigh that sounded like relief. "Hold your fire!" He called out and the young soldier pulled way from his rifle quickly. The singing was strong, like a small chorus of people, bouncing off the concrete walls so it was hard to tell exactly where it was coming from but it had to be from the group of people. This area had been cleared out and evacuated hours ago and they'd been keeping an eye out for signs of life ever since.
"For goodness sake, recon, drop your weapons and go help them."
"Sir!" There was a call of agreement among the soldiers and the few of them that had been ordered beforehand as a recon unit dropped their rifles and hurried to their feet. Myungjun was one of them, passing off his rifle to another soldier who would take over for him.
There was a lot of movement for a few minutes, the recon soldiers gathering equipment and weapons just in case. Myungjun carefully slipped on a backpack full of supplies before taking his rifle from another soldier. Once they were ready to go in the matter of minutes, their commanding officer sent them on their way.
"Take them to the quarantine building. Be quiet and swift about it and then return here."
The building was four stories tall and the recon group of soldiers, about seven of them, took to the stairs in a hurry. They were careful as they moved but they were trained to be quick and efficient. The dirt road outside of the building was clear of any movement and so they hurried across, jumping a chain link fence to get onto the stone covered tracks. Their feet crunched against the stone and they hurried forward to cut off the group before they reached the tunnel. Not willing to scare them, one the soldiers hurried toward the front of the group to cut them off and inform them of the situation.
The singing was louder down on the ground but it was beautiful almost and made Myungjun's heart tight and warm. He followed his fellow soldiers, keeping the group nice and tight as they hurried down the tracks.
"What the fuck is that?" The singing cut off abruptly at the loud, deep voice that echoed over the tracks. Myungjun sighed in relief because they were people and he was so glad he didn't have to take someones life yet.
"Do not be alarmed!" The lead soldier in their group called out, approaching the civilans. "My name is private Jung Hongbin! We are here to escort you into town."
"Oh thank goodness! Real live actual soldiers." A woman's voice called in relief and as Myungjun drew closer, he could finally make out more details about the group.
There were about nine of them all together, eight men and one woman. A pregnant woman, he realized with a slight gasp. There was also a young child, clinging to one of the men in the back and Myungjun realized, with slight horror, that the child was beside the figure he was going to shoot. Oh, thank god for their singing because Myungjun would never be able to live with himself if he ended the life of a child.
The recon group split up and Myungjun hurried toward the back of the group, putting on his professional soldier face even when he was close to tears with the fact that he had almost killed a child. The staggering man was hurt, Myungjun could tell before he even approached them and he was relaying on a pink haired man to keep him upright. Myungjun hurried to them, his lips pressed into a tight line. They weren't out of the field yet.
"Was he bitten?" Myungjun asked firmly, moving to shove the backpack off his shoulders while watching the black haired man with sharp eyes.
"Bitten?" The man holding the child looked surprised before quickly shaking his head. "No, we think he broke a few ribs. But he wasn't bitten."
Myungjun tried to not sigh in relief as he unzipped the back and quickly started pulling out wool blankets. "Were any of you bitten? They will check you in quarantine."
"No." The pink haired man answered with a strained voice, carefully adjusting the man in his hold. "Is it really safe here? We came through Daegu..."
Daegu. Myungjun had heard about Daegu. If these people went through Daegu then they'd seen a lot of bad things. He could only imagine. He moved quickly, wrapping one of the wool blankets around the man holding the child and then doing the same to the pink haired man. He was in nothing but a black tank top, he had to be freezing. None of them showed the signs of infection so Myungjun was hopeful for them.
"Busan has been blocked off. No one comes in without being checked and no one leaves, at all. The town is safe and clear because we had time to prepare." He shifted on his feet as he talked and ducked down to inspect what he could see of the black haired man. "You will go into quarantine as a group and the doctors will look over all your wounds. Once you are given the all clear, you are free to leave the building but you must remain in Busan. As I said, no one leaves."
"Why would people leave?" The lilac haired man said in disbelief. "It's absolute hell out here."
"Not everyone has seen what we have." Myungjun spoke softly, taking a few steps back to dig through his bag again and offer them water bottles which they took with soft thank yous. "Some of the civilians don't believe what is happening out here. The good thing is there are cleared zones miles out from the limits of Busan and there are soldiers keeping them clear. You will be safe, I am sure of it."
"Thank you." The pink haired man gave him a soft tired smile and Myungjun bowed his head in return. "Really, thank you. It's been..."
"A really fucking stressful day." The black haired man grumbled, wincing slightly from the pain in his side.
"Do you need help?" Myungjun stepped forward, looking the man over worriedly. "I can see you're all very tired, I can take him for you if you'd like."
The pink haired man smiled sheepishly. "If you don't mind..."
There was a bit of shuffling around and Myungjun had to lift the man's red sweater to be sure there were not bite marks to be found before he took the man into his arms. There was a nasty bruise covering most of his left side so Myungjun believed the idea of possible broken ribs. He was careful as he slipped an arm around the man's waist, holding onto his injured side so the man could lean his uninjured side into his, making it easier to walk.
"A-Appa." The little boy called softly and Myungjun tilted his head to the side to see the boy as reaching for the black haired man in his arms. Oh, oh goodness. Oh, Myungjun almost killed the boy's father right in front of him, oh what a horrible thing. He tried not to think about it.
"Shh, it's okay Jungkookie." The lilac man bounced the boy in his hold slightly. "Appa's gonna be okay. See, the soldier man is gonna take care of him. I know the last time you saw soldiers it was bad but this one's good, okay? You can trust him."
The boy, Jungkookie, nodded his head but refused to take his wide, glistening eyes off his father. Myungjun swallowed hard and offered the boy a soft warm smile. "Your appa's going to be okay. Let's take him to a doctor."
The boy nodded again and after another soldier hurried by to pick up Myungjun's backpack they all started toward the tunnel. What a relief it was that they hadn't shot all these poor people. They'd already been through so much, it was clear all over their faces and in the sagging of their tired bodies. They would be safe in Busan and Myungjun was determined to make sure they got into the town safe and sound. It was his job and his duty but also his honor.
The quarantine building was really just the bottom floor of a large company building converted into a medical area. There were different sections with the rooms split off into areas of medical procedures among other things. As soon as they entered through the glass doors, they were forced through a metal detector and then a full pat down. The soldier, Myungjun as he told them, stuck by their side, giving Yoongi the extra support he needed to stay on his feet. But once they were passed off to the doctors for check ups, the man left with a soft smile and a wish of good luck. He had his own duties to attend to and Yoongi was grateful for his help.
The lobby of the building was bustling with people; doctors, nurses, soldiers. Yoongi was ushered into a seperate examination room from the rest of their group but after a good loud cry from Jungkook, he was allowed to bring his son with him. The nurses were sympathic to their situation so they took the time to check both of them over together. Jungkook was quickly given the all clear but Yoongi wasn't as lucky. He wasn't bitten, obviously, but his left side was a gnarly mess of blue and purple and he didn't realize it was so bad until the nurse was pressing gently with her fingertips. He needed x-rays done but they didn't have the equipment available in the building. Yoongi was signed off for the hospital when he was ready, a small yellow card on a string put around his neck so the soliders knew he was approved to go.
In the mean time, the nurses wrapped up his chest tightly to prevent his ribs from jostling about too badly and gave him a few pain pills to take the edge off. Yoongi was grateful for them because even though they made him more tired than he already was, they eased the pain enough to allow him to pick Jungkook up. The nurses advised him against heavy lifting but Jungkook was much too uncomfortable in the strange area for Yoongi not to carry him. His ribs would have to deal for the time being.
After receiving the all clear and a small blue stamp on their hands, Yoongi and Jungkook were free to go. There was a large waiting area in the lobby of the building where the nurses told them the rest of their group was bound to be. It was littered with people in various stages of emotions and wakefulness. There were cots and folded chairs scattered about but there was enough room to find a secluded area near the back. Most of the people were sleeping or resting, waiting for family members to come pick them up.
Yoongi found a few empty chairs near the back of the area, beside the large staircase that was blocked off by some soliders. There was a woman wondering around the area with a clip board and though she looked just about as stressed as everyone else, she was busy trying to get accommodations for those who had no where else to go. Every civilian in the building were people from out of town. Trains, buses and planes. So they needed places to stay for the night and she was fluttering about to make it happen. She passed by Yoongi once he plopped down in a hard chair, asking if he needed help or a room but he shook his head because Jiae had a place for them to stay.
The area wasn't exactly quiet due to the murmur of conversation but it wasn't loud either. Yoongi settled as carefully as he could in his chair with Jungkook in his lap and the pain in his side was starting to lessen thanks to the pain medication. He would need to go to the hospital soon, to get his ribs taken care of properly but he needed to get up with Jiae before he bothered doing that. But when he went to find his phone, his pocket was empty. He must have dropped it at some point and well, wasn't that fucking great.
Jungkook curled up against his chest, little hands curled into fists tucked under his chin and he wrapped one arm around the boy tightly. Finally, finally, they made it to Busan. They were relatively safe as far as Yoongi could tell and they were both given the all clear. That meant they could leave anytime they wanted. He knew how to get to Jiae's home so he wasn't too worried about it all but he wasn't sure how he was going to get up with his parents. Perhaps Jiae would let him use her phone. Well, of course she would, they were his parents. Either way, Yoongi wasn't moving until he was certain the rest of his group was given the all clear. He was sure they would all go their seperate ways now, but he wanted to at least say goodbye and thank them for sticking with him and his son.
Yoongi was dozing lightly with his nose buried in Jungkook's soft hair when he heard familiar voices approaching. He blinked himself awake to see Namjoon coming toward him with Jihoon and Amy following him. The blue stamps on their hands made his shoulders relax in relief and he tried to offer them a soft smile as they neared him.
"All clear." Amy announced with a grin, quickly dropping down on the empty cot near Yoongi and tugged her husband to sit with her. "How are your ribs? Did they check them?"
"Pretty sure I broke a few but they don't have the equipment." Yoongi flicked at the yellow card around his neck. "This is for the hospital. But we both got the all clear."
"That's good." Namjoon sighed in relief and dragged a chair over so he could plop down in it, his bones practically melting. "I'm so freaking relieved Busan is actually safe."
Amy hummed in agreement. "Have you seen the others? They are meeting up with us, aren't they?"
"Mingyu will." Jihoon said with a soft nod.
"Seokjin-hyung said he'd gather Jimin and Taehyung too."
Yoongi relaxed back in his seat and let his head drop back in Jungkook's hair. Now that he knew they were safe and didn't have to worry about infected beating down the door, his body was giving out on him. He needed sleep and maybe some food, but he really needed sleep. The pain had zapped all his energy.
"Hyung!" Taehyung's voice called over the room and a few people grumpled in annoyance but a fond smile curled to Yoongi's lips as he lifted his head.
Taehyung zipped around people, careful not to knock into anyone as he hurried over to their little corner. His face was filled with relief and the smile on his lips was bright and beautiful. Jimin was hot on his heels, followed a little more slowly by Seokjin. They all had blue stamps on their hands and Yoongi was relieved.
"Are you okay? Did they look at your ribs?" Taehyung skidded to a halt and dropped down in the empty chair beside Yoongi, his hands hovering in the air like he wanted to touch him but afraid to hurt him.
"I'm fine, Taehyung." He laughed softly, his nose still buried in Jungkook's hair. "They gave me some medicine to ease the pain but I need to go to the hospital to be treated properly."
Taehyung's shoulders dropped in relief and he reached out to grasp Yoongi's hand resting in his lap. He curled their fingers together and squeezed gently, his thumb brushing over the blue stamp on the back of his hand. "I'm so glad you're okay."
Yoongi hummed fondly and reached out with his free hand to brush a few strands of stray lilac away from Taehyung's brow. "I told you I was fine."
Taehyung's face crunched up for a minute and alarm shot through Yoongi because he was pretty sure the man was about to burst into tears. He didn't, thank goodness because Yoongi never really knew how to deal with crying adults, but he did tip forward, pressing his face into Yoongi's shoulder and squeezed his hand tightly. Adjusting slightly, Yoongi tugged his hand free from Taehyung's so he could hold onto Jungkook's back and then shifted to run the fingers of his free hand through lilac soothingly.
"We're okay, Taehyung. We're okay."
Somehow, someway, Yoongi managed to fall asleep. The exhaustion finally caught up with him and paired with the pain medicine, he didn't stand a chance. He tipped his head onto Taehyung's shoulder and dozed off into dream land even when his ribs protested the position. The atmosphere was too calm and warm and he felt too safe to fight the sand in his eyes any longer. They were waiting for Jihoon's parents to come pick him and his wife up anyway, so they could take the time to rest as they saw fit.
The question of what they were going to do next lingered in the back of Yoongi's mind but he was too tired to deal with it before he passed out.
When he awoke again, it was to Jungkook yelling "Eomma" and scrambling out of his lap. Yoongi snapped his head up, sitting up much too quickly and his ribs screamed in protest. He hunched over in the pain and a warm hand rubbed over his spine, a deep voice whispering in his ear to be careful.
Yoongi prided his eyes apart to watch as Jungkook's little legs hurried across the floor toward Jiae. She was hurrying toward him as well, her pretty face a mixture of happiness and relief. She dropped to the ground once she was close enough and Jungkook ran right into her open arms. It was a lovely reunion and it warmed Yoongi's heart to see Jungkook hugging his mother tightly around the neck willingly. There were tears in Jiae's eyes when she closed them and nuzzled against his hair.
Carefully, Yoongi shifted in his chair and clasped a hand over Taehyung's shoulder so he could use it as leverage to push up. Taehyung grabbed at his arm and waist quickly, careful of his bruised side and helped him to feet. Yoongi only stumbled slightly but once he was solid on his feet, he brushed off Taehyung's worried hands and shuffled his way over to Jiae. He noticed an older couple sitting with Jihoon and Amy, who he assumed to be the man's parents but they didn't seem to be leaving any time soon.
"Appa!" Jungkook called, his face bright and sparkling in happiness. "Eomma's here!"
"I see that, baby." Yoongi laughed softly and shuffled to a stop as Jiae cradled Jungkook against her chest and moved to her feet carefully. "How did you know we were here?"
She shook her head, her eyes wide. "I didn't. I came to check." She stepped toward him and before Yoongi could stop her, she wrapped her free arm around him tightly, squeezing his ribs and burying her head in his neck. "Oh, Yoongi-ah, I was so worried."
Yoongi tensed at the hug, his heart skipping slightly in his chest and he ignored the pain for just a moment to wrap both of his arms around her in return. "I told you I'd protect him."
"God, I was worried about you." When she pulled back, her hand curled tightly in the fabric of the red sweater around his waist, there were tears in her eyes. "I was worried you'd do something stupid to keep him safe." Well, she wasn't wrong. Yoongi would do anything to keep Jungkook safe. "I'm so happy to see you." Her face crunched up in that ugly way it did when she was crying and a few tears slipped down her rounded cheeks before she buried her face in his chest again.
Yoongi never thought he'd hear those words come from her mouth again but he had to admit, he was glad to see her too. It was good to know she was alive and safe. Divorce or not, they still cared about each other's well being. They were friends, to say the least.
Yoongi let out a gasp of pain when she squeezed his ribs a little too tightly. "S-Shit, careful."
Jiae pulled back quickly, her eyes wide as they flicked across his body. "You're hurt? What happened? They told me at the desk that you've been given all clear, they didn't say you were hurt."
"I might have broken a rib or two." He admitted softly.
"You might have? How the hell did you manage that?" Her eyes bounced all over his body, checking for any visible injury.
"It's a long story. I'm tired, Jiae, can we talk about this later?" He pressed the back of his hand to his temple, the pain already starting to come back.
Understanding flickered across her face and she nodded. "Of course. Let's go home. Eomma made dinner and I bet you're both starving."
"Uh-" Yoongi glanced over his shoulder to see Taehyung sitting back down in his chair, playing with his hands awkwardly.
"Eomma." Jungkook spoke up, his eyes twinkling with happiness. "Down." He wiggled in her hold until she put him back on his feet but then he grabbed her hand and started to tug her. "Hyungs, meet my hyungs and noona."
"Oh? That's right, you said something about hyungs on the phone." She smiled warmly at him and let him tug her over toward Amy and Jihoon, who happened to be the closest, introducing his mother to the smiling couple.
Yoongi curled a hand around his bruised ribs and shuffled his way back over to Taehyung. The idol glanced up at him in surprise when he sat down carefully beside him, his hands reaching out to help him but freezing in the air like he was suddenly afraid to touch him. Yoongi narrowed his eyes at him in confusion but Taehyung just offered him a soft smile like nothing was wrong.
"That's Jungkook's eomma, hm?" Taehyung asked softly once Yoongi was settled in his chair. The, 'and your ex-wife' was left unspoken but Yoongi could see the way Taehyung's hands were clawing at his own thighs in anxiety. Yoongi hummed his answer and sunk down in his seat until their shoulders were pressed together. "She's pretty." It was a soft observation and Yoongi glanced over to see Jiae shaking hands with a smiling Amy.
"What happens now?" The question slipped free from Yoongi's lips without thought because it had been at the forefront of his mind since he sat down hours ago.
Taehyung glanced at him in confusion. "I was going to ask you that."
Yoongi pursed his lips for a minute before reaching out to grasp Taehyung's shaking hand in his own, squeezing his fingers reassuringly. "Jiae has room for us. You, Jimin and Seokjin-hyung can stay with us till you figure out what to do next. We'll find a way to get up with your family too. We have to find mine."
"I-I don't want to be a burden, hyung." Taehyung's eyes were wide, emotion flickering across them that Yoongi couldn't quite catch.
"You don't have to come if you don't want to."
"I-I didn't say that." He hurried to correct him, ducking his head down close so no one else could hear their conversation. "I-you don't have to feel responsible for us or anything. Seokjin-hyung was already talking about finding us a place to stay."
Yoongi narrowed his eyes and dropped them to their intertwined hands. He didn't like the sound of that. Jiae's house was huge and could house all of them without much of a problem. Amy and Jihoon had the man's parents to go with and by the look of it, Mingyu was going with them. Namjoon didn't have anywhere to go so he was bound to stick with Seokjin and the idols and there was room for him as well. Jiae owed Yoongi this. She wasn't unkind enough to say no. She would willingly open her home up to the people who helped keep her son safe.
"I-We don't want to..." Taehyung glanced over at Jiae, nibbling on his bottom lip. "Burden your family."
Yoongi's face twisted into a soft scowl when he realized the train of thought Taehyung's mind was taking. It was easy to piece together all things considered. Taehyung had kissed him after all and ever since then, the man had yet to leave his side. It was easy to see Taehyung was an affectionate person by nature but he was extra touchy with Yoongi and he honestly didn't mind all that much. It was nice, even. And sure, they barely knew one another and who knew how much longer they would be safe but Yoongi wanted to stick together damnit. Jungkook would be heartbroken if they split up.
"Jungkook adores you." Yoongi pointed out. "It'd break his heart if you and Jimin left."
Taehyung swallowed and tore his eyes way from Jiae to meet Yoongi's gaze. He must have seen something there, because the line of his mouth relaxed and his eyes softened. "Just Jungkook?"
And okay, maybe Yoongi wasn't as inconspicuous as he thought he was at times. He rolled his eyes and lifted a hand to cup Taehyung's jaw, the skin soft and warm beneath his fingertips. "Alright fine, I want you to stay too." He pressed closer, just enough for the tips of their noses to brush and a flush of pink curled across Taehyung's tanned cheeks, his eyes lighting up with hope. "Brat." He murmured tenderly.
A flash of a smile curled over Taehyung's lips and it was enough of an answer for Yoongi to close the distance between them. The kiss was soft, barely the press of lips but it was a silent promise. A promise that they would stick through this together because they'd already made it this far. It was a promise for many more things, a possible future, but for now it was a soft kiss that made Yoongi's skin buzz to life and his heart patter in his chest. When they pulled apart, Taehyung was grinning, bright and beautiful and Yoongi kind of wanted to kiss him again.
"Hyung, hyung!" Jungkook called, his voice coming toward them so they pulled apart.
Taehyung's grin remained and he held out his free hand to Jungkook. "Hey, Jungkookie!"
The boy grabbed Taehyung's offered hand and tugged him, bringing Jiae closer. "Hyung, my Eomma."
There was a moment where Yoongi wasn't sure what was going to happen. Jiae had a strange look on her face, something uncomfortable and maybe she'd seen them kiss, he couldn't be sure. But then Jungkook tugged her hand and the expression disappeared. Taehyung got to his feet, releasing Yoongi's hand so he could bow in greeting properly.
"Jung Jiae." She answered softly, glancing between Taehyung and Yoongi for a moment before putting on one of her pretty smiles.
"Hyung, my Eomma!" Jungkook pulled away from them to crawl up into Jimin's lap, who was sitting on Yoongi's other side, peacefully asleep. Jimin grunted at the boy crawling into his lap and since he didn't wake up, Jungkook patted at his rounded cheeks a few times. "Wake up, Jiminnie-hyung."
"Ahh~." Jimin whined softly, lifting his head to glare playfully at the boy. "It's sleep time, Jungkookie."
Jungkook shook his head firmly and shifted to point at Jiae. "My Eomma."
Jimin blinked a few times, waking himself up. "Oh." A warm smile curled to his lips and he moved to his feet, letting Jungkook slid back to the floor. "Sorry, ah, Park Jimin. Nice to meet you." He bowed his head respectively and Jiae did the same.
"They're coming back with us." Yoongi stated, shifting around until he could sit up properly without feeling pain in his side. Both Jiae and Jimin snapped their gazes to him but he just brushed it off, letting Taehyung help him to his feet. "Those two, too." He flicked his hand at Namjoon and Seokjin a few steps away who weren't paying them any attention.
"We wouldn't want to be a burden." Jimin said quickly with wide eyes, glancing at Taehyung for help. "Right, Tae?"
"Hyung said he wants us to stay with him." Taehyung said proudly, earning Yoongi a flush to his cheeks and a knowing look from Jimin. "Besides, I think Jungkookie would cry if we left him. What do you think, Jungkookie?" Taehyung dropped down to Jungkook's level and reached out to ruffle his hair gently. "You want your hyungs to stay with you?"
"Hyungs stay with me." He nodded his head firmly and glanced up at Yoongi for permission. Yoongi just smiled softly at him and that made Jungkook grin, his eyes sparkling.
"Well," Jiae sighed softly, "It's not like we don't have the room." She shrugged, a warm smile curling to his lips. "You are all welcome to stay as long as you'd like. My eomma will be happy to have the company."
Jungkook made a noise of happiness and quickly ran off to tell Seokjin and Namjoon the good news. Jimin followed after him with a bright smile and latched onto Taehyung's hand, dragging him along because Jimin was pretty good at reading the atmosphere and he could tell Yoongi and Jiae needed a moment to talk alone.
"He's attached to them, isn't he?" Jiae asked softly, her eyes following the movements of her son as he patted his hands over Seokjin's.
"Taehyung saved his life." Yoongi pointed out. "And where Taehyung goes, Jimin goes. He likes them."
"And so do you." Jiae said with a knowing gaze.
Yoongi crinkled his nose and moved to sit down again, his side throbbing slightly in pain. Jiae moved to help him, her hands gentle on his arms as he lowered down. She settled down beside him, her hand lingering on his arm and her face was open, a mix of emotions flickering across it.
"You know I don't mind, Yoongi-ah. We have the room." He had a feeling she was talking about more than strangers staying with them when she said she didn't mind but he decided not to point it out.
"Yeah, I know." He relaxed back into the chair, his shoulders dropping. "We should probably stop at the hospital though."
"Probably." Jiae let out a sigh and mirrored his position, pressing their shoulders together gently. "I'll call eomma to bring her car. Mine's too small for all of us." Yoongi made a noise of agreement and they both watched as Taehyung picked up Jungkook into his arms, nuzzling their noses together while the boy giggled softly. "Hmm, he's good with him."
"He's handsome too."
Yoongi crinkled his nose but Jiae wasn't teasing him even though there was a smile curled to the corner of her mouth. She was watching them fondly, like it made her happy to see Jungkook being so open with someone that wasn't Yoongi. Honestly, it made Yoongi happy too.
"I take it he'll sleep with you."
"Both of them." Jiae shifted her eyes to him in slight alarm but Yoongi just shrugged. "They're a package deal."
"Interesting." She mused, her smile twitching to grow larger. "I really am glad you're okay, Yoongi-ah."
Yoongi nodded, shifting his eyes over to see Taehyung looking at him. When their eyes met, the lilac haired man perked up, giving him one of those soft boxy grins that made Yoongi's heart putter. "Me too, Jiae. I don't know what's going to happen but we're together."
"Right now, that's all that matters."
Yoongi knew she was right. There as still the issue about his parents, and Taehyung's parents. Not to mention the infection spreading outside the walls of Busan but there was time to take a few minutes and breathe. When Jungkook wandered back over to them, complaining that he was hungry, they knew it was time to go. Jimin took the boy into his arms without complaint, smiling at the way Jungkook nuzzled into his neck while Taehyung helped Yoongi to his feet again. He let the older man lean on him for support and his body was a warm solid pillar that Yoongi felt lucky to have.
Their future wasn't entirely bright, but it wasn't bleak either. They were a group now, a family almost, and as long as they worked together, Yoongi was certain they could make it far. For now, he needed some more pain medicine, maybe a bath and some food and he'd let Taehyung cling to him, fuss over him, because it made him feel cared for. Yoongi didn't know what would happen next but, that was okay.
They were going to be okay.