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walk the deck my captain lies (fallen cold and dead)

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Hoseok sometimes remembers sitting in front of the crown prince's window after shaking himself out of a dormant state, staring into the murky colors of the first twilight hours in the morning. Purples, pinks, oranges and yellows would assault his vision, and he'd blink rapidly to clear his mind of the flashing dots. Yoongi would subsequently wake up and drape his arms around the strategist's waist, pressing soft, kitten kisses to the planes of a smooth, slightly-tanned neck.

Min Yoongi had been and still is an overly-complicated man. Hoseok experiences the exertion his lover puts on himself first-hand on a daily basis. When not creating battle tactics and advantageous positions for battle, he devises schemes from time to time to get Yoongi to relax. Most of the time, it works. Other times, not so much, although he does get the prince (aka the army's 'beloved general') to loosen up at least a little bit. It's a difficult task, but Hoseok enjoys it because, after all, Yoongi is his only, and he is only Yoongi's, so he manages to deal with it.

A strong, blinding light flickers behind closed eyelids and Hoseok is hurled out of his daydream unceremoniously. It's a rude awakening, the normally bubbly strategist thinks, a graceful downturn of the mouth showing on his soft face. He turns his head slightly to see who disturbed his inner workings, his usual bright smile and scrunched crescents swapped for a thin frown and glaringly irritated grey slits.

In the corner of his eye, he notices a shaking figure. His previously uncaring demeanor shifts to an easygoing one. It's his apprentice (of sorts) shivering in the hallway.

Although not a highly experienced strategist and still very much a novice mage, Jeon Jungkook works very diligently at getting better and keeping up with his bouncy mentor. As a plus, the kid already handles most tomes and can wield light-weighted swords. Hoseok likes him and his presence – it calms him, much like Yoongi's. (Perhaps even more so – but Hoseok imagines the crown prince's jealous face and just smirks.) Lately, however, Hoseok hasn't seen much of his student around the camp. 'Must be making some friends,' he thinks, absentmindedly brushing dusty pink hair out of his face.

The young mage looks like he's about to say something, but Hoseok beats him to it.

"Hey there, Kookie! Need something?"

The other bites his bottom lip, and Hoseok immediately knows Jungkook is nervous. He acted like this when he was first admitted into the army, which had been expected at the time. He still is anxious, almost all the time. He doesn't talk much to the specialized brigade, and even less to the whole army.

Jungkook had been through very much to cause this much anxiety, and Hoseok knows this. What he doesn't know are the details of his apprentice's puzzling past. He finds that Jungkook dislikes speaking about it, though, so he keeps his mouth shut.

"I-I... um..." Jungkook's eyes shift to the left slightly, and Hoseok becomes a little worried. "T-the general is looking for you."

Hoseok's eyebrows quirk upward, and he wants to ask for a reason, but because of the nineteen year-old's evident jitters at the moment, he decides against questioning the younger. (Hoseok then moves on to decide that the main thing his apprentice should work on is confidence, and maybe socializing a tad better.) "You mean Yoongi?"

"Y-yes, Min Yoongi. I mean, the general is looking for you – M-Min Yoongi is asking for your presence in his quarters."

Hoseok chuckles slightly and nods in acknowledgment. It isn't uncommon for Yoongi to call for him – it meant he was stressed, work-wise or sexually, or he just wanted to cuddle and complain about the things that seemed distasteful to him in the camp. Everyone in the brigade knew of their relationship, ever since they'd seen lengthy scratches and healing scabs on the crown prince's back and a few bite marks straying too high on their strategist's neck and the obvious limp in his step.

"Tell him I'll be there as fast as Taehyung is at slicing up the Risen." Which, in Hoseok's opinion isn't very fast, but compared to almost everyone else in the brigade, might just be considered speedy. After all, Taehyung was an 'ex-thief', or so Jungkook continues to adamantly call the man, emphasizing the 'ex'.

"O-okay, Hoseok." The strategist thought he could see red tinting the ivory skin of Jungkook's ears, but before he could take another look the boy was gone as quickly as he had entered. Hoseok grinned.

"As expected of him."

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The silver sword was sharp and slightly bent. The iron axe was dull, and a local alchemist had found traces of blood on it. The bronze lance was broken around the sharp part.

"Perhaps all of them were used for killing the general?"

Seokjin looks up through thin glasses from his book when he hears heavy footsteps outside of his tent and sends daggers via his glare at the opposing distraction. He hears the sound stop. He resumes reading.

A few minutes later of wracking his skull for a possible answer, because damnit this should be a piece of cake for him, the healer (war monk, specifically, because clerics are titles reserved for the women) looks up into twinkling brown eyes and a small grin.

It's Kim Namjoon, your local archer. You know, the 'archest of archers' or that annoying saying he picked up from a friend in another country when he used to travel. Seokjin thinks Namjoon is naturally talented at what he does, and harbors no bad feelings for the other, save the fact that sometimes Namjoon's intellectual prowess agitates him greatly. Why, out of all the things he could have been, did Namjoon choose to be an archer? Sure, they were helpful, but they weren't the main driving force of an army. Normally, it was the general or the strategist. Or both, like their own army. (However, Seokjin thinks that Hoseok and Yoongi get along too well sometimes.)

Seokjin believes that Namjoon would have made an excellent strategist, not that Hoseok underperforms at all (although the crown prince's lover does create very reckless plans sometimes).

"Whatcha doing, Jin?" Seokjin wants to sigh at the nickname reserved specially for him.

"Solving a riddle out of my book. It's puzzling." Namjoon cocks his head to the side, an interested expression in his features.

"What's it about?"

"Something you shouldn't concern yourself with." Namjoon looks slightly hurt and Seokjin curses himself for sounding so harsh.

"I could help solve it with you, if you want."

Seokjin ponders. It's no secret that Namjoon is more intellectually blessed than he himself is, and the healer embraces that. It hurts, sure, but it's the truth. So Seokjin nods a curt fine and Namjoon grins the grin he had on earlier. It looks nice on his face, Seokjin thinks.

"Can I see?" The archer is holding up a callous-ridden outstretched hand, reaching for the crimson book in Seokjin's hands.

"Sure."

Seokjin grins back.

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Jimin curses out loud as his legs shake slightly and he almost trips. He doesn't fall, but he can't say the same for the plates he'd been carrying. The rookie mercenary hadn't thought that camp life involving chores, more specifically carrying items to and fro from the storage tent to the kitchen area would be the worst part of his day.

He winces at the obscenely loud crash that vanishes quickly in the open air. He hears a bang in the distance and very loud cursing. 'Must be Taehyung,' Jimin thinks, an apologetic frown on his face.

It isn't until Jimin picks up six of the twenty four plates he had been carrying with confidence earlier that he notices Jungkook standing awkwardly next to a makeshift seat near the table their little brigade uses to eat on. The mage notices that he's being stared at, and blushes a bright pink.

"U-um... D-do you need any assistance?" he mumbles out, fidgeting with his thin, bong fingers. Jimin notices that the boy isn't wearing his usual hat but still has his white robes on with a small, golden-embellished book sticking out of one of the pockets.

"Sure! Could you help me pick up the plates?" Jimin is lucky that the plates aren't made of ceramic, porcelain or glass because if they had been, Yoongi and Hoseok both would have relentlessly scolded him and replaced his free time with as many chores as possible.

"Okay." The mercenary barely hears Jungkook, and smiles slightly at the boy's timidity. Come to think of it, Jimin never really interacted with the youngest of them much.

"How's your training with Hobi going?"

"I-it's going smoothly... But it's a little difficult keeping up with him though."

"I wish I was as talented as you sometimes, Jungkook! It's like you can do everything." Jimin chuckles. He's concerned when he gets no reply, so he looks over his shoulder and finds that the mage has his head bowed and his shoulders are tense. "Jungkook?"

"Oh! Y-yes?" Multicolored doe eyes stare at him, and Jimin is partially shocked but not wholly, since he'd heard about the strange trait from Taehyung. Jungkook's eyes are breathtaking, Jimin thinks.

"You alright? Is it too much to carry? I can carry the plates the rest of the way, I mean–" Jungkook cuts him off, a small smile on his lips. "No, it's alright Jimin. I space out frequently, so I apologize for that."

"Well, if you say so – say, about your eyes–" Jimin continues to chatter all the way to the kitchen, and he receives different answers or silence to the questions he asks. It doesn't feel too long of a walk for Jimin, and he gets to the kitchen in record time.

Jungkook gingerly places the plates on a wooden surface after clearing away some dust with his loose, flowing sleeves. Jimin just unceremoniously drops his stack into a box. He hears the satisfying thump and hums a folk tune to himself.

"I'll be taking my leave now, if that's alright..." Jimin hears a small voice titter out, and grins.

"Alright." The mercenary sees Jungkook's white robes almost float behind him, and gives it a perplexed stare. "Wait!" He steps forward when the other turns his head.

"I'll be seeing you around, right?"

Jungkook smiles, and Jimin feels like it's sun shining in his eyes.

"Of course. You're in the brigade, aren't you?"

Jungkook exits the kitchen area, and Jimin stares at the makeshift door the other exited out of.

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"Oh, shit."

Taehyung mumbles a few more choice words to himself when he finds that he's somehow misplaced Jungkook's neat notes on battle tactics. Earlier he had offered to take the slightly creased papers back to their shared tent, but somewhere in the process of cleaning his sword, feeding the horses, washing plates and handing a grocery list with sloppy handwriting to Jimin, he must have let go of them.

Taehyung's never cursed himself to high hell this much before (besides the other numerous times he's lost Jungkook's things), but he hates that he forgot to do one simple thing. Also, Jungkook's sad bunny-like expression reminds him of a kicked dog, and Taehyung feels absolutely terrible for being the cause of that kind of face.

He manages to retrace most of his steps, but just when he's reminded of where he last put the notes, Jungkook briskly walks past him tightly gripping thin sheets of parchment in his thin, bony fingers. Taehyung knows a soft voice will scold him later, once the brigade falls asleep in the silent hours of the night. He wants to make it so that he bears the brunt of the wispy words now instead of later. He feels guilty.

"Hey, Kookie?" He sees the other stiffen at the nickname. Taehyung doesn't understand; Hobi's allowed to call the mage that, but Jungkook always seems so uncomfortable when he calls him by his nickname.

"Yes?" Jungkook turns his head slightly.

"I'm," He spares a glance at the parchment in the other's hands, "really, really sorry that I misplaced your notes because I didn't mean to, I really didn't and I feel really, really bad about being careless and–"

"Alright!" Taehyung shuts up, surprised by the increase of volume in Jungkook's voice. He'd had his baby blue eyes shut when he rambled on about how sorry he was, and now he opens them to analyze the mage's pale, pretty face to check if he's irritated or angry. He finds a bunny smile and scrunched vibrant eyes.

"Alright, okay? It's alright. I'm not angry, id that's what's bothering you. I found out you misplaced them earlier, anyway. Jimin helped me look for them, and he found them with him, actually. They were with the grocery list you gave him when he went to the market."

Taehyung grins, but it's not his usual one. "Thank the gods, Kook! I thought I lost them for good, and I don't think I'd hear the end of that. I'm glad you found them." with Jimin, Taehyung wants to add bitterly. Yes, Park Jimin, the mercenary Min had appointed in this elite brigade three years ago, is his very close friend, as they'd been drafted into the army together and were inseparable during the first year. However, Taehyung can't help but feel the boiling jealousy burning up his sternum.

He likes Jeon Jungkook. He really, really, really likes – no, loves – Jeon Jungkook, and Jimin knows that. He's known that for a year. Taehyung told him when he realized what he felt when he looked into the hazy, bright sunshine eyes of his roommate. The ex-thief feels betrayal and jealousy when he realizes this fact.

So when Jungkook leaves, waving his delicate hand in goodbye, definitely less tense than before, Taehyung doesn't do anything. He doesn't wave back, and he doesn't smile. Jungkook doesn't look back and Taehyung watches as he stumbles over a twig lying haphazardly on the ground. The ex-thief almost chuckles, but he doesn't. He frowns, the first sign of anything unhappy on his face since the year began, and no one needs to see it. Taehyung turns swiftly and walks in the opposite direction of where Jungkook left.

He goes to his tent and sits on his makeshift bed. He rests his head on his hands and thinks for a really, really long time.

Jungkook doesn't arrive until Taehyung has long been asleep, with slightly bitten lips and a healthy blush on his cheeks.

He doesn't know everything. He doesn't have to know everything.

Taehyung isn't sleeping.