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March 2017. Somewhere in the Swiss Alps

 

He wakes up slowly. Calmly. He’s lying on his side on a bed in a room that looks unfamiliar. And with a jolt, he realizes he doesn’t remember.

He doesn’t remember anything, not even his own name. Nothing but a faint voice repeating over and over in his head. Min Yoongi . Somehow he knows that’s not his name.

He gets off the bed and looks around as his bare feet hit the cold floor. Everything is polished wood and smooth chrome and quiet. He notices the quiet because it strikes him as strange. The only sounds he can hear are the sounds he makes himself. It’s like there are cotton balls stuck in his ears.

There’s a window next to the bed and he walks closer to it, moves the gray curtains to the side.

Outside everything is white. Without exception. Like someone just taped a piece of printer paper over the glass. As far as he can see, the flat stretch of land that doesn’t seem to end is covered in snow. No hills or buildings or even trees. The sky is just as white and featureless, and maybe just a shade grayer.

So he’s in the middle of nowhere and he doesn’t remember anything. But then, there could be things worse than this.

He doesn’t panic.

He leaves the room and walks out into the hall. It’s dim and the walls are polished wood like the bedroom. It leads to some open living space, he thinks. There is also a door to the right.

He opens it.

It’s a bathroom. Spacious with a chrome sink, a bathtub, a toilet, and a wall-wide mirror. No rug, gray towels.

He catches his reflection in the mirror. The soreness on his face that he’d been feeling at the back of his mind is now explained.

There are yellowing bruises all over his face. Cheekbones, chin, forehead even. Dark eyebags. Bloodshot eyes.

He touches his face. Gingerly. These are not injuries from a fight or from taking hits. These are heavy plastic surgery after effects. He’s not sure how he knows it, but he does.

His fingers trace his jaw and feel the back of his head. There are stitches there. His hair is cropped short to his head, army buzzcut style. He must’ve had some kind of brain surgery or something.

But he doesn’t remember. His mind is a cloud: white and smoky and empty. White staticky noise.

He also just now realizes he’s absolutely naked. His skin is a fading gold, turning a little ashy. There’s something on his chest. A patch of slightly raised skin with a grayish tint. Laser tattoo removal.

It’s barely visible and no matter how close he looks, he can’t make out what it was.

He leaves the bathroom and walks to the living area, which is significantly lighter due to the big observer windows. The couches are white. There is a chrome coffee table in the middle. Other than that, it’s just space. Smooth wooden walls and floor and nothing else.

There’s a kitchen space to the right and all the appliances, the sink, are muted chrome. It’s spare and minimalist, like the rest of the house.

He stands in the middle and just takes it all in. The weirdest thing so far is that he’s not freaking out. He wakes up in a strange house in the middle of nowhere without a name or memories, but there is no panic. Like this is all supposed to happen, like it’s the typical turn of events.

There is a note on the fridge, held up by a silver magnet.

He takes it into his hands. It’s written in hanja and the handwriting feels familiar, although he doesn’t remember ever seeing it.

“Your name is Kim Taehyung. That’s all you really need to know right now. Call this number and they’ll take you to your house.”

There’s a number printed at the bottom and Taehyung promptly picks up the phone attached to the wall. 

 

September 2013. Seoul, South Korea

Yoongi had worked years for this one moment. For the moment he earned V’s trust. V, Seoul’s most wanted and most elusive crime boss. Yoongi had lived undercover for years to get to this point. He’d joined the lower ranks of his organization as Kwon Jinsoo, and was finally able to get the attention of Jeon Jeongguk.

And he was here now.

He was here, pointing a gun at a police detective who was starting to ask Jeongguk, V’s right hand man, a little too many questions.

They were in a dark alley, behind a club. The garbage dumpsters were giving off a foul smell and the walls were grimy. The piss-yellow streetlight made the detective’s skin look sickly.

Yoongi knew him. This was Lee Minhyuk and he was known for being reckless and stubborn. Yoongi remembered how they even made a bet a few years ago on who would catch V first. Yoongi went undercover and Minhyuk took the Sherlock Holmes route.

And now, three years later they were staring each other down in the back of some filthy alley while Jeongguk looked on suspiciously.

Minhyuk’s arms were up in surrender and Yoongi was holding a revolver with both hands, unwavering.

“I’m an officer of the law,” Minhyuk said, voice echoing a little. “If you shoot me, there will be an investigation that’ll just help me get V a lot easier.”

“There is literally nothing connecting this to V and you know it,” Yoongi replied. “It can easily be blamed on some small local gang. So you better back off before I actually shoot.”

Minhyuk smirked. “Try me.”

So Yoongi pulled the trigger. The bullet buried itself in Minhyuk’s lung somewhere and there was blood. Yoongi looked away. Jeongguk sighed and power-walked to their getaway car around the block. Yoongi followed him, trying to get away from the rasping sounds Minhyuk was making on the ground.

“I’m gonna fucking get him first,” was the last thing he’d heard from Minhyuk. “Fucker.”

 

 

March 2017. Los Angeles, California

Taehyung sits in an armchair and stares through the bay windows. It’s dawn and the sun is starting to rise above the ocean.

It’s been a week since a helicopter picked him up from that cabin in the snow. He’d been taken to an airport and guided to a private jet which took him to Los Angeles. To this gorgeous beach house.

He found another note on a desk in the study. Same handwriting. In English this time. It explained where everything was, his bank account number and password (he was loaded apparently), and all the other necessary details.

And for the past week since he has got here, every day felt like it was wrapped in fog. Everything was mechanical. He ate, he slept, he walked around a bit. His mind was blank.

His hair grew out a bit. His bruises are almost all gone.

But now, as he stares at the sunrise, something in him starts to stir. Something that feels a lot like waking up from a deep slumber.

And as the sky gets lighter, this deep-set feeling of panic starts to well up. His breathing gets quicker. His heartbeat speeds up. He springs up from his chair and starts to pace. Lets out a scream of frustration.

It’s refreshing, in a way.

All these questions start to flood in, like some kind of dam breaks inside him.

What the hell happened? How did he end up like this and why doesn’t he remember anything? Who did this to him?

There were no notes that explained these parts.

And who the hell wrote the notes anyway?

He grabs his phone (which was wiped clean of any personal data) and starts a new note. He writes down all the things he knows and all the things he suspects.

 

-cabin in europe (??)

-plastic surgery

-possible brain surgery

-tattoo removal on chest

-notes (familiar handwriting)

-korean

-kim taehyung

-house in malibu where no one supposedly knows me

-way too much money in bank account

 

He pauses, looks through his calendar. It’s March 11, 2017. That means he woke up on March 4th. A Tuesday. He writes that down, too.

He stares at the list for a long time, but no matter what scenario he comes up with in his head, it makes no sense.

The most logical solution is to go to the police. He knows this, but something, some kind of leftover subconscious from the person he used to be, is firmly against it. He knows he shouldn’t go to the police just like he knows how to speak and read both Korean and English, just like he knows the handwriting is familiar.

But then something else pops up in his mind.

Min Yoongi.

The name that’s been floating in his thoughts when he woke up.

He types it into Google but nothing familiar or relevant comes up. It’s the only clue that can lead to something, though. Maybe this Min Yoongi is the author of the notes. Maybe he knows something.

It’s a long shot, but Min Yoongi is a Korean name and so is Kim Taehyung, so he goes to the desk in the study and takes out all his documents. He books a flight to Seoul and packs everything he thinks would be useful.

 

 

September 2013. Seoul, South Korea

Yoongi had seen V before. On grainy CCTV tapes, on badly-angled surveillance photos. Sometimes he’d catch a blur of him when he was with Jeongguk. But they’d never seen each other face to face.

V in real life was a lot different than the V on a screen. He was a lot more scary.

His dark eyes were sticky tar. Yoongi felt uncomfortable staring into them for too long but V wouldn’t let him look away.

When he pulled his top lip in between his teeth, his lips looked like they were made of stretched rubber.

V was gorgeous in the scariest way possible, with smooth golden skin and hair that was messily perfect. Yoongi was starting to think about regretting this.

They were in V’s apartment, which surprisingly wasn’t all that luxurious. Jeongguk was sitting on an armchair to the side. Legs crossed and examining his cuticles, like all of this was very boring. Yoongi was sitting on a chair in the middle of the room, interview style.

And then there was V, crime boss supreme, sitting cross-legged on a fuchsia couch, wearing sweats and a vintage band shirt, propping up his face in his palms.

Gun by Siouxsie and the Banshees was playing softly in the background and added onto the whole unsettling aura of the situation.

“Looks like you really wanted a meeting with me, Kwon Jinsoo,” V finally said after staring him down for a few minutes. “Shooting a detective couldn’t have been easy, right? Or did you enjoy it?”

Yoongi shrugged, going for his signature cool and unaffected facial unexpression. “You gave me your price and I paid it.”

V was chewing on his lower lip, amusement flickering somewhere in the shadows of his eyes. Yoongi wasn’t sure what he found so amusing.

“Why did you want a meeting with me anyway?” he asked. “You can just ask Jeongguk things, he knows everything I know.”

Now this was the important part. The part his whole career hung on. This was a door. And with the right answer he would be able to open it.

Yoongi was now staring V down instead of the other way around. “Because if you want to move up in the business, you have to talk to the boss.”

V looked satisfied but also weirdly sad. “Aha.” He pointed his finger at Yoongi. “You’re saying you want to join my inner circle.”

Yoongi nodded.

V continued. “Kwon Jinsoo. I’ve heard of you. You doubled our weapon clients in just two years. Raced your way up the ladder pretty quick. You deserve a promotion for your efforts, my man.”

And that was it. He was in.

 

 

April 2017. Seoul, South Korea

It’s been a week since Taehyung has gotten to Seoul. He lives in a hotel suite for now in the middle of the city. He went through a handful of private detectives who weren’t very helpful or wanted to involve the police. He has one other one to go to but he’s not pinning much hope on it. This search looks useless. Maybe this Min Yoongi doesn’t even live in Korea, or at least not Seoul. Taehyung plans to leave for Busan next.

He almost skips the last PI and gets on a plane, but he wants to be thorough about this.

So he takes a taxi to Hyehwa-dong and stands for a few minutes staring up at a theater sign. A strange place to have your PI office, but Taehyung isn't one to judge.

Inside there is a small dark lobby lined with posters on the walls. Someone is sitting in the box office booth, a laptop screen illuminating his face.

“Hello?” Taehyung asks as he comes closer.

The man looks up. Round dark eyes, fluffy brown hair, chubby cheeks, full lips. Probably some young student working part time. But, when Taehyung squints closer, he notices the sharp line of his jaw, the hardness in those adorable eyes. Like one of those murderous teddy bears in horror movies.

“I’m looking for the PI office? The address led me here.”

Murder Teddybear gets up from his chair and sends him a charming little smile. “Just a moment, sir.” He takes his laptop and gets out of the booth. “Right this way.”

He leads Taehyung to a black door (painted to match the walls) on the side with a sign that says “Not the Bathroom.” Inside, it’s a small office with an oak desk taking up most of the space and all the walls are lined with bursting bookcases. Murder Teddybear pulls up a guest chair to the desk and gestures for Taehyung to sit.

“I’m Park Jimin,” he says, stretching his little palm for Taehyung to shake. “How may I be of service?”

Taehyung shakes Jimin’s hand but doesn’t sit down. “Kim Taehyung. I’m afraid my case is a little strange.”

“I’m all for strange cases, Taehyung-ssi.” He smiles again and walks over to sit on his leather chair. “Those are the most fun.”

Taehyung likes this Jimin already. Normally, he would be a little skeptical, but there is something unnamed in his mind, an instinct?, that tells him he can trust Park Jimin. He’s glad he didn’t leave for Busan yet like he wanted to.

“Well, here’s the thing, Park Jimin-ssi,” Taehyung begins, resting his hands on the back of the chair. “I have amnesia, I think. Of some kind. I don’t have any medical terms for it, I’m not even sure if it’s amnesia. But the point is that I woke up a few weeks ago and I didn’t remember a single thing, not even my own name. I found a note and it told me my name was Kim Taehyung and then I was taken to a house in California and given documents and passwords to my bank accounts and things like that. So I’m here because I want to know what happened to me, or even just who I am. And I was hoping you could help me out with that.”

Jimin is listening intently and when Taehyung is finished, he opens his mouth to speak. Taehyung interrupts him before he can.

“I don’t want to go to the police,” he says. “I feel like this wouldn’t go over well. I mean, I just feel like there are some things I wouldn’t want them to discover.”

Jimin nods, a knowing look in his eye. “Okay, well this case sounds kind of incredible. I don’t take too much for my services--”

“Money is not a problem,” Taehyung interrupts. “Just write down your account number and the amount.”

“Alright.” Jimin picks up a blank card and scribbles something on it. “I guess we can start now, I have the whole afternoon free.”

Taehyung pockets the card when Jimin gives it to him without looking. “Sounds good.”

Jimin opens up his laptop again and clicks a few things. “So you said you don’t remember anything.”

“I don’t.” Taehyung nodded. “Nothing except a name.”

“A name?”

“Yeah, it’s--”

He gets interrupted when the door opens and someone walks in. His face is instantly familiar, just like the handwriting was. Black bangs almost obstructing his eyes but not quite, because Taehyung can feel himself being pulled into them. He’s shorter and he’s wearing a beat up leather jacket and Taehyung finally finds his voice again.

“--Min Yoongi,” he finishes.

The newcomer gives him a strange look. “Do we know each other?”

“I--” Taehyung furrows his brows. “I don’t know.”

“Well, you know my name at least.”

Taehyung’s breath leaves his lungs sharply. He’s not sure if he should be relieved he found him or scared. At that moment Taehyung feels both.

“Hyung, this is one of my clients, Kim Taehyung,” Jimin says as he gets up from his desk. “Taehyung-ssi, this is Min Yoongi, a close friend and a former client.”

 

 

Year of 2014, (September 2014). Seoul, South Korea

Promotion meant going to meetings with important clients, giving orders to underlings and the club owners. It meant spending way too much time with Jeongguk and Taehyung. It became harder to stay in touch with the NIS and send his bimonthly reports. It became a nightmare.

Jeongguk became the closest thing to a friend. With his bored facade and eagerness to please V, Yoongi was starting to find him endearing. But Jeongguk was V’s right hand man for a reason. He was cold, vicious, calculating on the job. When things went to shit, Jeongguk was the one to go to.

V, on the other hand, was just a stone throw away from psychotic. He scared the shit out of Yoongi. He hoped with all his heart that this undercover mission would succeed and V would go down.

But then even that started to change.

The thing about being undercover for so long was that Yoongi started to become the person he was playing, he was becoming Kwon Jinsoo. He would catch himself worrying about the little things on the job like they really mattered. Like he genuinely cared about the state the organization was in. He started to think more like a criminal and not like an NIS agent.

Minhyuk’s face hadn’t haunted his dreams in a long while. He forgot how to feel remorse after shooting a random person point-blank. They became paper cut-outs for him. He was forgetting that Jeongguk, who ate lunch and talked strategy with him was a criminal. That they were selling illegal weapons and covering for drug cartels and forging so many documents. That they were swimming in dirty money.

It wasn’t to the point where he felt guilty for the bimonthly reports yet. But he was rapidly getting used to things. And only a year had passed.

Spending evenings in some vintage bar or another that V frequented became a regular thing. Sometimes they’d go to one of the loud clubs because V knew the owners and wanted something from them, but that wasn’t very often.

One evening, V had been in a particularly bad mood. Not an angry psychopathic mood, that one everyone knew how to deal with. But a quiet depressive mood where he smiled a creepy sad all-knowing smile whenever anyone tried to talk to him. Jeongguk didn’t look particularly happy either, but he held himself together. Yoongi could tell something was wrong.

The three of them spent that evening in one of V’s favorite Jazz bars where they had an open mic night. V disappeared at one point and Yoongi turned to Jeongguk.

“Is he okay?” he asked and then bit his lip. “I mean, did someone die or something?”

Jeongguk gave him a look that could freeze hell. “Literally someone dies every day in this business. With these kind of questions you’ll be one of them.”

Yoongi turned his gaze into his scotch tumbler and sighed.

Jeongguk took a sip of his drink and made a small frustrated noise at the back of his throat. “He just. He lost something--well, more like his whole life--a few years ago on this day. Let him grieve. God knows he doesn’t get to do as much of it as he should.”

This sudden honestly startled Yoongi into widening his eyes up at Jeongguk. Before he could say something, someone came up on the little raised stage in the corner of the bar. Which shouldn’t have been all that surprising since it was open mic night, but it was because it was V with a guitar.

For the next five minutes, Yoongi sat in his barstool, absolutely transfixed, as V sang The Killing Moon in his deep haunting voice like he wrote it himself.

Yoongi didn’t sleep that night, V’s voice echoing off the walls of his skull and unsettling him to the very core of his existence.

When he thought of it, he didn’t even hate V anymore. He was still scared of him, but in a different way. In a way that when V kissed him on the rooftop of a skyscraper in Busan a few weeks later, Yoongi kissed back.

 

 

May 2017. Seoul, South Korea

Yoongi doesn’t recognize him, which is slightly disappointing. It’s not like Taehyung expects everything to be solved the moment he finds him, but he had hoped he would get at least some answers. He gives Jimin all the information he has and Jimin promises to update him with the progress. They also make some medical examination appointments to see what was wrong with his brain.

Taehyung asks Jimin for Yoongi’s phone number and that’s how they end up sitting in a tiny cramped coffee shop, sipping on their iced americanos. Now that Taehyung is over the initial shock, he takes in Yoongi’s appearance with a little more attention to detail.

The older has stale dark circles under his eyes, like he’s used to not sleeping. He’s wearing a loose t-shirt today, tucked into blue jeans. His finger keeps tapping on the table, a slow lazy beat that should be annoying but isn’t.

The way his lips are pulled into a slightly apathetic frown is so familiar that it drags an ache through Taehyung’s heart. He’s not really sure what to do. How do you tell someone you know them when they don’t know you and you don’t remember them?

“You think I’m crazy, right?” Taehyung asks, leaning forward. “Or you think I’m lying.”

Yoongi shrugs. “I’m honestly not really sure what to think. But Jimin believes you and I trust him.”

Taehyung dares to feel a little hopeful. “Does that mean you’ll help me?”

Yoongi takes a leisurely sip from the black straw. He considers Taehyung’s pleading eyes and checks his his phone.

“Were you some kind of criminal or something?” he eventually asks.

“I don’t know,” Taehyung replies, hesitant. “If I was, I don’t remember.”

“I’m a former NIS agent and I’ve collected quite a few enemies,” Yoongi says. “Maybe you’re just one of them and you got amnesia and forgot everything except my name because you hated me so much.”

Taehyung considers this theory, but something still doesn’t fit. “Maybe.”

“In that case, wouldn’t it be in my best interest to make sure you don’t regain your memories?”

“You’re scared I’ll kill you?” He sticks out his pinkie. “Here, let's promise that no matter how this turns out, we won’t hurt each other.”

Yoongi stares at his pinkie with a very genuine look of bewilderment. “Are you… seriously?”

Taehyung wiggles his pinkie finger. “I take my pinkie promises very seriously.”

“How do you know that?” He’s still eyeing Taehyung like he’s escaped from an insane asylum. “I thought you didn’t remember anything, how would you know if you’re the type of person to take pinkie promises seriously?”

“I don’t.” Taehyung shrugs. “But if I forgot the old rules, doesn’t mean I don’t get to make up new ones.”

Yoongi shakes his head, like he can’t believe he’s doing this. “Fine.”

Taehyung hooks Yoongi’s pinkie through his and seals it with a thumb print. Yoongi looks on a little blankly.

Yoongi doesn’t look like a happy person in general and Taehyung wonders what life has done to him. Taehyung is not all that happy himself and he’s not sure if he used to be happy before. But he has things to do, he has a goal, so he doesn’t have time to be sad. He’s not really sure what would happen once (or if) he regains his memories, but that’s not something he has the privilege to worry about right now.

So he doesn’t. Instead he smiles at Yoongi, teeth and all, and prays to every god out there that they get through this in one piece.

 

 

October 2014. Busan, South Korea

They’d just pulled off a huge deal and V had come up to the rooftop for a smoke break. He pulled Yoongi along with him.

It was windy up here, and it was dark in that way cities got at night. There were still lights everywhere, twinkling traffic. But up here, it felt like they were on top of the world with the wind stealing air from their lungs. Yoongi’s skin formed goosebumps underneath his long-sleeved shirt.

V held an unlit cigarette in his fingers, arms draped over the railing. His sweater sleeves were too long. He looked over at Yoongi, who wasn’t even sure what he was doing here.

V’s eyes reminded Yoongi of the first time they met. Dark and sticky like tar. Yoongi pulled his coat closer to himself.

“I know who you are,” V said.

Yoongi’s blood ran cold. He stared right back. “You do?”

V didn’t say anything for a while, regarding Yoongi curiously. He flipped his cigarette between his fingers and suddenly grinned. “You’re trying to take over my position. There’s no way you wouldn’t, not with your ambition.”

Yoongi relaxed his clamped teeth and managed a weak smirk. “You’d have me killed first before I could get anywhere close to stealing your position.”

“True.” V flicked his cigarette down and watched it drop forty stories below. Then he turned his body to face Yoongi, inducing another one of their many staring matches.

This was one of their main ways of interaction. They just stared at each other without words across rooms, in backs of cars, during meetings. It was a strange uncertain kind of tension that Yoongi wasn’t sure what to do with.

And here they were once again.

But this time V moved closer. And closer. Until his lips met Yoongi’s. So surprisingly soft and gentle that Yoongi jumped a little.

But he kissed back as hard as he could. He snaked his arm around V’s waist and pulled him closer. He was backed against the railing and V’s fingers were gripping his hair and his entire being was screaming in big flashing letters, WHAT THE FUCK and STOP .

But V tasted like mint and gunpowder and it was intoxicating.

V pulled away when they were running out of air. “I can fucking kill you,” he whispered, tracing Yoongi’s jaw with his finger. “I should’ve killed you when I first saw you.”

And Yoongi shuddered because V was right, he was so right. He was heaving the same air as the man who turned out to be a lot more influential and dangerous than he initially thought.

“But you didn’t,” he replied. His voice shook and his lips brushed against V’s. “And you’re not going to kill me now.”

When they got back from the rooftop, Jeongguk gave them a look like he knew. Their stare-offs escalated in intensity after that, making everyone around them uncomfortable, until Jeongguk snapped and locked them up in their hotel room’s bathroom a few days later.

V put down the toilet seat cover and sat down on it. Yoongi leaned back against the plushy towel hangers.

“Okay, Gukkie is right,” V said after they spent a few minutes avoiding each other’s gaze. “I’ll go first.”

Yoongi looked down at him. His green Pokemon sweatshirt (Yoongi had stopped questioning his wardrobe choices a long time ago) clashed with the pale pink walls.

“I don’t know why I did that,” he continued. “I don’t know why I kissed you. I just felt like I needed to do something, you know?” The way V talked, like he was his friend or something, it still unsettled Yoongi. “But then you still kissed me back.”

Yoongi wasn’t sure what to even say but he squared his shoulders and decided that this could be a good thing. The closer he got to V, the easier he would get information. This is what he was here for anyway.

“I did,” he replied. “For similar reasons that you did, I guess.”

V gave him one of his soul-piercing stares. Sometimes, Yoongi felt like Taehyung knew everything, but he knew it was just paranoia. There was no way. Or he would be scattered dead in a ditch by this point.

“So.” V smiled, almost unhinged. None of his smiles ever did what smiles were supposed to. “It won’t happen again. And it will not affect either of our work performances.”

It wasn’t a request but an order, a seamless switch from friendly to “I’m your boss and I’ve killed many people.” Yoongi nodded. V got up from the toilet seat and came up to the door.

“Jeongguk, open the door.” He was using the voice that Jeongguk never dared to disobey.

The door opened and V walked out. Yoongi stayed inside for a while, trying to get his cool and unaffected poker face back.

 

 

June 2017. Seoul, South Korea

Taehyung moves to the same apartment building as Yoongi and tries to pass it off as a coincidence. He’s not sure if Yoongi believes him but he doesn’t care because he wants to be close to the only clue he has to this big mystery that is himself.

It’s a quaint little place, simple and small, on the fourth floor. Taehyung likes it. He could have easily gotten a luxury condo but he likes this better. It helps that Yoongi is on the same floor, two doors down.

Taehyung comes over at least a few times a day for stupid things. To borrow some sugar, to ask about what wifi plan he should get, to ask Yoongi to accompany him for blood tests because he has decided he’s scared of needles. If Yoongi is annoyed, he doesn’t show it on his flat mask of indifference. Sometimes Taehyung can get a glimpse of slight exasperation.

But Taehyung can’t help it. When he’s around Yoongi, the world seems to slow down a little, his thoughts stop swirling inside his head like they’re on the fastest spin cycle.

Yoongi, as Taehyung finds out, works night shifts at a local radio station. When Taehyung first finds out, he goes home in the evening and tunes into the station. By the time Yoongi’s voice comes on, it’s well into the night and Taehyung is laying on his bare mattress in the dark, staring at the patterns car headlights make on his ceiling. He’s only wearing a pair of boxers because his apartment doesn’t have AC and lately even the nights have been getting too hot.

“It’s a hot night tonight, isn’t it?” Yoongi’s voice greets over the slight static of the radio. Taehyung’s eyes slide closed. “Welcome to Station Green, all you night owls and insomniacs. This is your after-midnight host, Suga. If you’re just waking up or about to fall asleep, thank you for tuning in. The first song on today’s playlist is a song I haven’t heard in over a year. It’s scary listening to it again, but I’ve heard that facing your fears can be healthy. Here’s The Killing Moon by Echo and the Bunnymen.”

The guitar opening fills Taehyung’s apartment, spreading through the air and settling into his skin. There is something familiar about it but he shrugs it off because it’s just a song. That faint feeling of familiarity, the one that’s just out of his reach, it’s been driving Taehyung insane. He hates it. He needs something concrete and solid. At least one tiny thing. That’s all he needs.

Taehyung focuses on the rhythm of his own breathing, focuses on the singer going on about fate like it’s a person. If fate is a person, Taehyung wants nothing more than to come up to him and punch him right in the face. He’s also not even sure if fate exists. He doesn’t remember if he ever thought it did. Maybe he just ended up here because of the choices he had made. And that’s all he really wants to know. What choices had led him here?

The song ends and Yoongi’s low grainy voice comes on. Taehyung is relieved to hear it.

“Sometimes I wonder, does anyone hear me?” He chuckles like he made a joke. Taehyung bites his lip. “I sit in the dark and speak into a microphone at godawful times of the night. I’d like to think this music helps someone get through their own nights. It’s a strange time, the night. It’s so easy to feel alone, isn’t it? I hope tonight we don’t feel as alone as we usually do. Here’s The Greatest by Cat Power.”

Taehyung cries to the mourning voice of Chan Marshall and he doesn’t know how to stop.

 

 

November 2014 - September 2015. Jeju Island and Seoul, South Korea

V’s orders from that hotel bathroom didn’t hold up for long. Because a week later, they ended up fucking in a Jeju hotel suite. Yoongi wasn’t even sure how it happened. One moment Yoongi was pouring orange juice into a glass, watching V humming a Television song under his breath. Yoongi said something that made V laugh. His Loch Ness Monster genuine laugh that was so rare it became a myth. It got cut off the moment V realized he let it out. There was a second that felt frozen in time as their eyes met. Two deer caught in headlights.

And the next moment, the glass shattered to the ground, spilling orange liquid on the edge of the white carpet. V’s lips were on his and Yoongi forgot how to breathe for a little bit. Feeling as V’s heart fluttered hummingbird beats under Yoongi’s palm, he thought it was a dream. Not a good dream, but something on the verge of a nightmare. And when they both fell into the bed, lips still sealed, Yoongi had a vague revelation that he’d gone insane.

Touching so much of V’s skin felt like a religious experience. Being so close to something so dangerous but awe-inspiring, like he was daring to touch a deity. He expected lighting to strike him down any moment. He’d never heard V’s voice like this: completely wrecked and vulnerable. He never wanted to hear it like that again. And he wanted to listen to it on repeat every night he couldn’t fall asleep.

When they snapped out of it, they were lying naked and exhausted on crumpled white sheets, trying to catch their breath. The vision of V’s flushed face and slick lips was burned to the back of Yoongi’s eyelids. It kept on replaying over and over in his mind and Yoongi was terrified of how much he liked it.

“Well, shit,” V said and flipped over onto his stomach, shoving his face into the pillows. The come on his stomach now stained the sheets.

Yoongi ran a frustrated hand through his hair. “So. It happened again. Only a lot more of it happened and it wasn’t just kissing.”

“Yeah.” V turned his head to the side. “This is your fault,” he monotoned. “This is all your fucking fault.”

Yoongi blinked at him, incredulous. “It takes two to tango, you know.”

V sighed and scooted closer to rest his cheek on Yoongi’s shoulder, warm and pliant and a little clingy. “You’re not wrong there.”

Yoongi was getting the feeling that V wasn’t just talking about the sex. He hesitantly let his fingers run through V’s hair.

V hummed, a long note of defeat. “This is going to happen again.”

Not a question, not an order. Just a resignation.

And it did happen again. And again. And again. It wasn’t even mindless sex. It was something very close to making love, if you were into romantic terminology. Which Yoongi wasn’t.

Half of the time there would be some kind of post-punk vinyl playing in the background. And every time V would kiss Yoongi like he was the world and make him come so hard he saw stars. Yoongi was so fucking scared every single time. He made him feel like dropping everything and moving to some obscure island in the middle of the ocean.

They never said it in words. They didn’t talk about how they felt about each other, let their bodies do the talking. They didn’t acknowledge it out of the bedroom, either. Jeongguk knew what was going on because he wouldn’t be Jeongguk if he didn’t know everything. But no one else knew, especially not the NIS.

Yoongi’s reports became a lot shorter than before. He didn’t even notice it happening, didn’t notice himself crossing sides until it was almost too late.

V was magnetic and dangerous and Yoongi had always been unhealthily attracted to danger. But V was becoming a little deeper than that. Being around him was like being constantly high on adrenaline, there was nothing predictable about his nature. Which was starting to turn ironic because lying there side by side, either at V’s apartment or at some hotel room in the early hours of the morning or the late hour of the night, Yoongi felt safe. Watching as V either lit a cigarette and hummed to the music, or as his chest rose steadily up and down, eyes not quite closed all the way, Yoongi had thoughts, bad thoughts. Bad thoughts like wanting the world to stop so he could stay in those moments forever. So he could look at V and lay in the same bed and breathe in tandem.

But V would always turn back into boss mode at some point. And Yoongi would turn back into a miserably failing undercover NIS agent. A breaking point was inevitable.

 

 

July 2017. Seoul, South Korea

Taehyung has this theory. He can’t vouch for its accuracy, but that’s why it’s only a theory. Yoongi was his lover. Or ex-lover. There’s no better explanation for the way Taehyung is so drawn into Yoongi’s voice, the way the world seems to calm around him when Yoongi rests a hand on his shoulder.

But it’s just a theory and he knows Yoongi wouldn’t be very excited about it.

One night, they end up at the rooftop of their apartment building. The air is suffocating with the heat, but the slight breeze makes it bearable. The distant sounds of the cars on the nearby expressway reaches their ears, creating a lulling soundtrack. Yoongi is leaning on the railing and fiddles with an unlit cigarette, staring at it like it’s offended him. He doesn’t have work tonight and Taehyung is not sure how they ended up here.

He stares into the night. It’s not very dark, considering all the light pollution of Seoul. The glow illuminates the edges of Yoongi’s face, making it look like a greek sculpture. That’s when that theory starts to float its way into Taehyung’s consciousness.

“Who are you?” he asks.

Yoongi turns to give him an unimpressed frown. He gave up looking at Taehyung like he’s crazy after the first few weeks. Took up too much energy, probably.

“I mean, like, who are you as a person?” Taehyung explains. “I don’t know much about you except that you’re a former NIS agent and that you work night shifts at a radio station.”

Yoongi gives him a wry smile. “I don’t know much about you either other than the fact that you don’t remember shit and believe in pinkie promises.”

“That’s unfair.” Taehyung tries not to pout, but judging by Yoongi’s expression he fails. “I didn’t choose to get amnesia.”

Yoongi shrugs. “Have you considered that maybe you did? What if you made yourself like this? What if you wanted yourself to forget?”

Taehyung had entertained that thought at some point but he had dismissed it. Why would he ever do something like that to himself?

“What would have happened that was so horrible that I’d want to forget my whole entire life?” he asks.

“Maybe you did something really bad?” Yoongi supplies, dropping the cigarette onto the rooftop floor. “Or something really traumatizing happened.”

Taehyung looks down to the street below. “That would suck.”

“I kind of wish I was able to do that.” Yoongi’s voice is so quiet Taehyung barely catches it. “Forget the last couple of years. Even my whole entire life, it’s not like there’s anything good to remember.”

“What?”

“When a caterpillar turns into a butterfly, it forgets its old life, it becomes a new being,” Yoongi says, a little louder. “Metamorphosis. But that only happens to certain caterpillars. Not everyone can do that. So code green is a lie.”

Taehyung blinks at him a few times. “Code green?”

Yoongi shakes his head. “I’m just saying you’re lucky you can forget things.”

Later that night Taehyung will stare at his chest in the bathroom mirror and think that the disappeared tattoo might have looked like a butterfly.

But now he looks at Yoongi and can’t help but regret forgetting if it meant he forgot Yoongi.

“What makes you think the butterflies forget their lives as caterpillars?” he asks. “They transform, yes, but they still have the same body. They just get a pair of wings.”

Yoongi smirks. “I bet you were a pain in the ass before you forgot everything.”

“Maybe.” Taehyung returns the smile. “What about you? Were you a pain in the ass before you got all gloomy?”

“Gloomy?” Yoongi scoffs. “I was always like this, it’s a resting gloomy face.”

Taehyung searches Yoongi’s stony face for any cracks, and finds some kind of amusement glimmering through. It’s enough for now, he supposes.

They fade into companionable silence after that, watching the cars flowing along the expressway like blood through veins. Yoongi is quietly, and most likely unknowingly, humming a melody under his breath. Taehyung instantly recognizes it as Fade Into You by Mazzy Star even though he doesn’t remember ever hearing it.

Taehyung mulls his theory over some more. And then he does a very selfish thing.

He turns to Yoongi and takes a step. Yoongi looks up. And Taehyung leans closer, so close his vision involuntarily unfocuses. Their lips touch, softly. Once. Twice.

It feels like someone sits on Taehyung’s chest because it suddenly feels too heavy. He doesn’t kiss Yoongi. He leans away and clears his throat.

“Sorry,” Taehyung whispers. “I-- sorry.”

Yoongi turns away but not quick enough that Taehyung doesn’t notice a glitter of moisture in his eyes. He feels stupid. The silence is not so peaceful anymore.

 

 

October, 2015. Seoul, South Korea

That breaking point happened just a month before the end of their fiscal year in December. It was so cold outside.

Yoongi was bringing over some files over to V’s apartment in the evening. He technically didn’t have to, it wasn’t even his job. But he hadn’t seen V in almost a week because he was in Japan for a deal and Yoongi had to stay and help run things at homebase. So technically he had a good excuse. Reporting for the time V was gone.

He punched in the door code with frozen-stiff fingers and stepped inside to a much warmer air. As he was closing the door behind him and taking off his shoes, V walked out of the bathroom wearing only a pair of sweats and toweling off his hair. He stopped in the middle of the living room when he saw Yoongi in the doorway. There was only one light on in the corner, giving the whole apartment a soft warm glow.

Yoongi waved around his bag in indication of his purpose here.

V smiled. An i-hate-everything-right-now smile. “If you have any form of bad news for me right now, spill it out so I can go and kill someone faster.”

Yoongi raised an eyebrow and walked a little closer, leaving the files behind. “Sorry to disappoint, but no bad news that I know of. What happened? I thought the deal went through.”

V draped the towel around his neck and walked to the kitchen counter where he poured himself a glass of water. “It did, just barely. But we also just lost our accounting department.” He took a few gulps, adam's apple bobbing. “I should just kill those fucking bastards.”

Yoongi bit his lip. Went over to the vinyl collection by the window. He put on a Mazzy Star album as V watched him from the kitchen island, leaning on his elbows. He huffed when the first sounds of Fade Into You came on.

“Since when did you start putting on my favorite albums when I’m upset?” he asked.

Yoongi turned to meet his gaze across the room. A low burning started in his gut. Slow and quiet but there. “It’s not that hard to figure out how to make you feel better.”

“You’re trying to make me feel better?” There was something strange in the way V put down his glass and walked around the island closer to Yoongi.

“You think better when you have music on.” Yoongi shrugged. “So I’m trying to help you fix your problems. Which are also my problems since I work for you.”

“You should work as a radio host. I bet you could pull it off.”

Yoongi scoffed and leaned back against the windowsill. “As long as I work for you, I don’t think I’ll have any luck as a radio host.”

V took a few more steps until they were a few inches apart, just close enough to be invasive of personal space but not any closer. “I missed you.”

Yoongi looked up, startled at the sudden change in V’s voice. The burning in his gut got just a little bit louder and he surprised himself by saying, “Take me with you next time then.”

V looked down at Yoongi’s hand resting at the edge of the record player. He picked it up with both hands and wrapped their fingers together.

“Why the fuck is winter so cold?” he asked, still looking down. “Or do you always just have really cold hands?”

The heat was coming up now, up to his chest, and it was that nervous fear that always came around when V was there. It was so familiar and still so frightening and Yoongi wanted to puke at how relieving it was at that moment.

“I don’t know,” Yoongi replied because he wasn’t even sure what the question was.

V brought Yoongi’s hand up to his warm lips and held it there for a few seconds. It was so intimate and it made Yoongi want to cry or scream or punch someone.

“V.” Yoongi’s voice was such a low whisper that V probably didn’t hear it over Hope Sandoval’s echoing vocals. It was a warning, maybe to himself, before he pulled down their hands and kissed V on the mouth.

V responded instantly, their lips molding together. Yoongi couldn’t count how many times they’d done this. Having V this close after a week was such a relief. And it wasn’t until they were crashing into V’s bed, limbs tangled, panting into each other’s skin, that Yoongi realized: with the adrenaline and the fear rushing through his veins, the strongest was desperation.

This time, V left a lot more hickies than he usually did. He kept kissing Yoongi long after they both finished; his neck, his shoulder, his hands. It wasn’t sexual. It was a rare display of adoration.

Yoongi traced the tattoo on V’s chest, right above his heart. He’d seen it before, a meticulously detailed dark-green butterfly with its wings spread, but he’d never asked what it meant. It was the only tattoo V had so it had to mean something.

Yoongi gently pushed V’s face away so he could look at him. “Why do you have a butterfly on your chest?” he asked, feeling bolder than usual.

V looked down at his tattoo, at Yoongi’s fingers tracing it. “It’s just a reminder. That no matter who you are and what you’ve done, you can always transform into something else.”

“That’s a little idealistic, coming from you especially,” Yoongi commented.

“Not idealistic.” He grabbed Yoongi’s hand and held it still against his chest. “Realistic. You can always start again if you have the right resources. If you’re the right person.”

Yoongi got the feeling this was a lot more specific than he’d originally thought. “Are you the right person?”

“Sometimes.”

Do you think I could be the right person? Together with you?

The city lights and the moonlight cast stripes of illumination on V’s face, on the smooth stretches of his skin. Yoongi watched it, his body starting to feel more sleepy. His mind wasn’t anywhere close to falling asleep though, swirling with so many conflicted thoughts, an absolute mess of all kinds of emotions.

He closed his eyes. “We have an early day tomorrow,” he mumbled and scooted closer into V’s arms. He wasn’t sure how much time had passed before V’s breathing started to even out and deepen. He was starting to fall asleep, which meant Yoongi could fall asleep soon, too.

But then, “I love you,” whispered into the quietness of the room, right into Yoongi’s skin.

Yoongi’s eyes snapped open. His breathing stuttered to a halt. V’s eyes were open and boring into him. Glinting in the dark, just as terrified as Yoongi felt.

“What?” Yoongi whispered. Something switched inside him at those words. Like a light went on, suddenly illuminating everything around him.

V closed his eyes. “I won’t say that ever again.” He unwound his arms from around Yoongi and turned onto his other side.

Yoongi buried his face in the pillows and tried to suffocate himself. But everything was clear now. He was in too deep. He was at the point where if he went any deeper, he would never get out.

That night, his frantic brain strung along a plan. He managed to get out of bed earlier than V in the morning. The NIS was ecstatic with the new turn of events and the plan began rolling.

Yoongi referred V to one of the NIS undercover black market accounting firms, and they took the opportunity hook, line, and sinker.

With this, everything would go down. This nightmare would end.

 

 

August 2017. Seoul, South Korea

Taehyung is trying to figure out how to fix the clogged shower drain (because the landlord doesn’t give a shit) when he gets a call from Jimin. The point is that Taehyung is having a normal day. It’s been a few months, almost half a year since he woke up in the snow cabin. He’s had time to get used to his amnesia. He’s had time to slowly build a new life. There are plants on his balcony that he tries to keep alive. There are dramas and variety shows that he follows on TV. He’s invested into four different fans to keep the heat at bay in his matchbox apartment. He brings Yoongi coffee every evening before he goes to the radio station. Mundane routines had lulled him into a false sense of normalcy.

But then Jimin calls and the sound in his voice is anything but normal.

Taehyung meets him in the cool darkness of the theater. Yoongi is already sitting in the office. Once they’ve exchanged greetings and some random small talk, Jimin leans on his elbows behind his desk. Taehyung gets the faint feeling of being in a doctor’s office, about to be on the receiving end of bad news.

“There are a lot of things to say,” Jimin begins. “And I guess I’ll start at the beginning. Taehyung-ssi, are you ready?”

Taehyung nods. He’s actually not ready at all. He’d been waiting for this moment, but now that it’s here, he’s the furthest thing from ready.

“Yoongi-hyung is here, too, because it involves him as well. Or-- I guess you’ll see.”

Yoongi is sitting next to Taehyung, his guard up and ready to shield him from anything that comes his way.

Jimin takes a breath and opens one of the files in front of him. “Kim Taehyung. That’s your birth name. You were born in Deagu to a single mother who died when you turned sixteen. Then you moved to Busan to live with your aunt and uncle. And then at seventeen you joined a gang. Eventually you formed your own with two friends. Not a gang, but more of an organization. White collar crime mixed with swindling and eventually weapon trading.” Jimin chewed on his lip for a little bit. “You called it BTS. I, um, I was in it. I was B, you were T, and someone else was S. Everyone knew us only by our one letter nickname.”

Taehyung lets that sink in for a moment. He stares at Jimin. “What?”

“Please, let me finish the whole thing,” Jimin asks, looking a little nervous but determined. “There are bigger things that you’ll have to freak out over so you should probably save it for that.”

There had been that faint familiarity when Taehyung had met Jimin the first time. It hadn’t been for nothing.

“A few years later and BTS was one of the biggest criminal organizations in Seoul,” Jimin starts up again. “The NIS was going after it with guns blazing. They almost got them. Us. And then you decided to go code green.” Taehyung startles at the mention of the term and looks over at Yoongi, but the latter’s expression is stone. “I left. I won’t get into the reasons. But you and Jeongguk went all metamorphosis transformation shit that you always talked about, changed your names, forged documents. You started from scratch and raised an even bigger empire than BTS. Yoongi hyung went in as an undercover agent from the NIS.” Jimin sighs and runs his fingers through his hair. “I’m not sure what happened with that, but Yoongi almost succeeded. But not quite, because then you disappeared. And everything disappeared with you. The whole empire vanished into thin air. That's when Yoongi came to me, because he wanted to find you, but I couldn't. Until now, that is.”

Taehyung stares at his hands. He still doesn’t remember anything, but everything Jimin has been saying so far feels like the truth. He can feel it somehow with whatever is left of his subconscious. It feels like everything is falling into place, almost like he’d expected Jimin to say all these things.

Jimin opens another file, clearing his throat. “From all the medical tests, it looks like you had total facial reconstruction surgeries. Your tattoo was removed. Even your fingerprints were somehow tampered with.” He takes a breath. “You also had brain surgery. To induce pure retrograde amnesia. So basically you can’t recall any events before the surgery but you can easily make new memories. And Taehyung, the handwriting on the notes? That’s your handwriting. Everything points to the fact that you did this to yourself.”

There is silence after that. Taehyung is not sure what to think. He’s in shock, a little bit. And maybe Yoongi was right, maybe it was better that he forgot everything. What a mess. It hurts a little, though. He can’t believe his old self fucked everything up and instead of dealing with it, he ran away and tried to lie to himself that it never happened.

“Taehyung…” Jimin says, voice soft.

“It’s okay.” He looks up and tries a wobbly smile. “Thank you, Jimin. I knew I could trust you.”

“If you’d like to look over the files, they’re all here.” He picks up a pile of yellow file folders.

Taehyung gets up and takes them. “Thanks.”

He leaves the office without looking at Yoongi.

 

 

December 2015. Seoul, South Korea

It was almost two months later and the plan was finally showing fruits. V and Yoongi never talked about that night. Mostly because everything suddenly became a lot more busy and all three of them, including Jeongguk, would pull all-nighters going through their books that would be going to the fake NIS accounting firm.

One particular Wednesday, as the aftermath rolled in one big tsunami, Yoongi was left alone with V in the fuchsia couch apartment, watching as V paced back and forth.

Unlike Yoongi, V had no qualms over showing his weaknesses or fears when he felt it. That’s what made him so strong and undefeatable. It was the strangest thing.

“How could they mess up so badly?” V repeated for the nth time that day. “We’re never outsourcing our accounting ever again. Yoongi, write that down in huge neon letters and put it on my office door.”

Yoongi sighed. “I’ll have one of the secretaries do that.”

V stopped in his tracks and turned to face Yoongi. “I’m being stupid, aren’t I? I can hear it in your voice.”

Yoongi bit his lip. “I just think you should calm down a little. They’re fixing it. We have our best people fixing it. It’ll be okay.” The last part was a lie. Yoongi was used to lying, his whole life at the moment was a lie. But something in his voice wobbled this time.

V nodded once. And then a few more times. He walked over to his desk and picked up the phone.

“Take every single document out of there,” he spoke into the receiver, confident authority in his voice. A complete 180 degree turn from the pacing worrying mess he was just a few seconds ago. “Every single person who even so much as looked at a page, have them gone. Change the name and close all the shell companies. We can open new ones but at a different pace. This is code green, we’ve done this before. I trust you.”

He hung up and dropped down on the couch next to Yoongi, who was trying very hard to mask his dread as curiosity.

“What’s code green?” he asked.

They had all kinds  of codes, but Yoongi had never heard of a code green. There was code red, for when someone important got shot, code yellow for when there were serious run-ins with the law, (unofficial) code black for when Jeongguk went on a murderous rage, code blue for when a deal went wrong. Code green was a new one.

“Code green is for when someone fucks up so bad that we have to Phoenix our whole organization,” V said, huffing in annoyance. “We have to burn everything and start all over again. Happened once before.”

Yoongi gaped. “Are you serious? Everything?”

“Yep.” He popped the ‘p.’ “Even my name. What do you think about W? It’s like V, but doubled. V 2.0.”

Yoongi began to laugh but it petered off when he realized V wasn’t kidding.

“Don’t look at me like that. How do you think I’m still alive and not behind bars?” V leaned his head back on the couch.

“You said this isn’t the first code green?” Yoongi asked, muscles rigid.

“Do you remember around six years ago there was a group called BTS?” V asked, shifting his head to look at Yoongi. His bangs slid to the side. “They basically owned the entire foreign weapons trade.”

Yoongi nodded. That was when he’d just joined the NIS. BTS was the biggest target they had. But just when they’d thought they got some small shred of solid evidence, it disappeared into thin air like the whole group didn’t exist in the first place. A few years later, V rose into the ranks of the NIS blacklist.

“That was the first time I used code green.”

“What do you mean?”

“BTS was me and Jeongguk and Jimin,” V explained, expression suddenly turning melancholy. “Jimin left. Jeongguk and I changed our entire existence. Names, birth certificates, everything. No one can trace us back.”

The butterfly tattoo conversation suddenly popped into his mind. To say Yoongi was in shock was an understatement. He tried to cover it, but V rolled his eyes. “You know, I don’t tell this to just anyone. In fact, I haven’t told anyone, ever. Except you. Why do you think that is, Jinsoo?”

The way he said his fake name made Yoongi do a double take. V was grinning, like a cat who just caught a mouse. Yoongi could count on one hand how many times V had called him by name.

“I don’t know,” Yoongi replied. Everything that V had just told him changed things. The NIS either had to move right now or they would lose V forever. And then they’d have to start everything all over again. Unless Yoongi stayed with V and whatever he planned next. “I don’t know why you’d tell me this at all.”

“I know.” V’s voice lowered and he shifted from his laid back position on the couch to climbing onto Yoongi’s lap and straddling him. “Why would I tell you something like that? Why would I give you power to destroy me?”

“Why would I destroy you?” Yoongi asked after swallowing a lump in his throat.

“Because that’s what you came here to do, didn’t you, Min Yoongi?” He whispered the last part and Yoongi got goosebumps all over his skin. V knew. V knew all along and he was going to kill him. That’s why he was saying all of this. For some reason he wanted it to happen, he wanted to die.

“You did well,” V continued, stroking Yoongi’s cheek. “You got me this time. Which kind of sucks, you know? I mean, no one lasts very long in this line of work. But I thought I still had some time left.”

He leaned down, capturing Yoongi’s lips in his. Yoongi wasn’t sure why he was feeling such a piercing stab of guilt and regret. But he kissed back. V cupped his face with both hands and deepened the kiss, sliding his tongue into Yoongi’s mouth. Something wet dropped onto his cheek and it took Yoongi a moment to realize that V was crying. And that he himself wasn’t that far off either.

Yoongi reached over to the coffee table and picked up a revolver. He took one of V’s hands off his face and placed the revolver there. V pulled back and stared at it. Then he stared at Yoongi. And then he started laughing. A choked up miserable kind of laugh that physically hurt Yoongi.

“Oh, no,” he said between laughs. “No, no, you don’t get to get out that quickly. You get to deal with the shit you created. And I won’t make it any easier for you.”

He swung the revolver at his record player with all his might and a loud crack resonated through the apartment as a vinyl shattered and the needle arm broke in half. The revolver bounced to the wall and to the floor.

Yoongi closed his eyes. Mostly just because he couldn’t look at V’s face anymore.

“I knew the whole time,” V said after he dropped his head on Yoongi’s shoulder. “Another reason I don’t get caught is because I have inside men in the NIS, too. You guys are not that special with your undercover missions. So I knew you were Min Yoongi the moment you sat on that chair and said your name was Kwon Jinsoo. I looked into your eyes and there was so much determination and confidence. And I thought it would be fun. To watch you squirm.”

“Why are you..? Stop.”

“But somehow you ended up holding all the cards. With that stupid little frown and your goddamn unaffected staring.” V huffed a laugh against Yoongi’s collarbone. “I wasn’t supposed to fucking kiss you that first time. Or any times after. Jeongguk told me it would end this way. And I knew it, too. But I still let it happen.”

“V, please.” Yoongi wanted to run. As far away as he could get away with. “Stop talking.”

“I knew what I was doing, I knowingly walked into the trap you set for me. But why does it still feel like this? Why do endings always feel this way?”

 

The next morning, Yoongi woke up on the floor of the apartment, but it was empty. All the furniture was gone, the curtains, the things in the cupboards. It was like everything evaporated into thin air. V was gone and so was Jeongguk and everyone else. All the offices were empty, all their accounts didn’t exist anymore.

And just like that, it was over.

 

 

August 2017. Seoul, South Korea

Taehyung takes all the files that contain his life up to his apartment rooftop. He methodically reads through every page, like every one of them is hiding a secret. He finishes with the last one when it nears midnight. His eyes hurt from squinting in the semi-darkness.

He’s not sure what to do, still. Before, he thought that when he finally finds out the truth, he’d know exactly what to do, he’d know exactly who he is. But now Taehyung is even more confused than when he woke up as a blank sheet of paper.

The files only show outside facts. They don’t show Taehyung’s personality or what he ate for breakfast or how he went about making decisions. This is so much more frustrating because he knows all these things about himself, all these events that happened to him, but he doesn’t remember them. And a small selfish scared part of him hopes he never does.

Making a split second decision, he takes the papers in his hands and starts tearing them to shreds, watching as they dance through the night air down onto the streets below.

“Are those makeshift confetti for the celebration of getting your memories back?”

Taehyung jerks at the voice from behind him. It’s Yoongi. Hands in jean pockets, thin t-shirt fluttering in the breeze.

“I didn’t get anything back,” Taehyung says, ripping up the last of the pages and throwing it to the wind with a flourish. “I feel like I just read a book about a character who’s supposed to be me.”

Yoongi walks closer to stand next to Taehyung and watches as the pieces of paper fall down like snow.

“I told you I knew you,” Taehyung says eventually, forcing a laugh. “But I guess I was wrong with my theories. We were enemies, not lovers.”

Yoongi laughs, too, but it sounds surprised. “Do you know why I finally set you up with the NIS after years of being uselessly undercover?” He holds Taehyung’s gaze as the smile slips off his face. “Because you told me you loved me. I think it might have fucked me up.”

Taehyung frowns at him. “That’s rude.”

Yoongi raises an eyebrow. “I was an NIS agent. I wasn’t supposed to fall in love with you.”

“But you did?”

“You knew the whole time, by the way,” Yoongi says. “That I was an undercover agent. And you only told me at the end before disappearing into nothing. Now that’s rude.”

“That’s messed up.” The white noise of the expressway was getting louder in Taehyung’s ears. He couldn’t look away from Yoongi’s eyes.

“Yeah.”

"Jimin said you tried to look for me."

"I did."

“I’m sorry.”

“Yeah. Me too.” Yoongi places his palm against Taehyung’s cheek. Traces his thumb over Taehyung’s cheekbone. “I think I like you better this way, though.”

“What way?” Taehyung whispers. “Confused and amnesic?”

“Not a boss of a criminal ring way,” Yoongi replies and leans in to kiss him.

And just like that, it begins.