“Sloppy.” Zico commented, nudging the body with his foot. There was blood staining the carpet, not to mention, it was white, the crimson contrasting against the pure fabric in a way that was beautiful only to dark souls. The darkest of which, was standing quietly behind Crush, staring at the red fluid in such a way that could only be seen as unsettling.
“Sorry, he pissed me off, son of bitch deserved every second, more even. That girl we found dead, on the street. It was him. Had some fun with her before he cut her throat like an animal.” Crush said, spitting on the man’s bloated body. Zico cast a disgusted glance at the corpse before a soft voice came from behind them.
“You should have given him to me.” Dean noted quietly. Zico shook his head in disagreement.
“That would have taken too long, and anyway, we needed you working on the prisoner. Speaking of, have you gotten any information out of him?” The leader asked, turning to Dean with a raised eyebrow.
“He sells guns to Russia but he isn’t the only one, they have prostitution, drug rings, they’re even selling to the American government. Says that providing weapons to those two countries will hurry the war along.” Dean said simply with a bored expression.
Zico and Crush blinked at him in surprise, they just captured him not even eight hours ago, it usually takes a day or three at least to break someone into spilling that much information, so either he was weak, or Dean was frighteningly good at what he did.
“Wait, back up. What war?” Crush asked. Dean looked to Zico to explain but he shook his head, throwing a glance at the body.
“I’ll explain on the way, we need to get this cleaned up. Dean, you got this?” He asked, looking back toward the dark haired man with perpetually creased eyebrows.
Dean quietly assessed the scene. Cleaning the carpet would be surprisingly easy, but their DNA was probably everywhere, Crush was messy, his knuckles were split which meant his blood was in the house. They had to destroy all the evidence, body could just go in The Stew, but this house was huge, the only way to destroy it was-
“Get the body put it in a bag, this place is about to burn.” He said, walking away to get the gasoline.
The light from the flame was shining brightly off of Dean's eyes, black and deep, impossibly deep for someone so young. Yet here he stood, eyes as black as his heart, watching the house burn with the evidence inside.
There was beauty, in the burning of the home, elegance in the way the smoke billowed into the sky and artistry in the way the home collapsed into itself, an abstract work that could never be contained in a museum. Symbolism that only he could see.
“Dean. Come on before the police show up.” Zico said gently, placing a hand on his friend's shoulder.
Dean stood there for another moment, observing quietly before nodding and turning around, getting in the car. Back to business.
“Alright, the war, explain.” Crush said when Zico started the car, backing out of the driveway.
Dean blinked, clearing his head of the rest of the existential emptiness that he felt while watching his artwork.
“The Cold War, between America and Russia, long time ago. The were ready to wipe each other off the map, everyone else with them, lucky for us they didn’t. Rumor has it that those missiles are still pointed at each other, all they need is to be provoked, then it's doomsday.” He answered simply, looking at Crush.
Crush would never admit it, but Dean unnerved him, always had, since they were kids. His eyes were so empty, lifeless. Even as a child Dean had some sort of detachment to him, a coldness that was so evident that Crush could nearly feel it, that wasn’t the part that scared him the most. It was like he wasn’t all the way there. That's what made his stomach knot and heart hammer. And it wasn’t like he wasn’t smart or he was slow, the man was brilliant, but that was about it, in the years he had known Dean he was almost certain a corpse had more life than he did. Zico he could understand, Zico was his best friend, he liked girls but also guys, when he’s nervous he yawns, when he’s pissed he gets twitchy and he knows without a doubt Zico would kill and die for them. But Dean.. He had never shown any interest in anyone, like no one else really existed except for them, he never showed signs of nervousness or fear and if Crush was being honest he didn’t know if the younger would die for them or if they would die from him.
But no. Crush frowned. He did show signs sometimes. Occasionally he would look at them and Crush could see something, just a glimpse, for just a second that reminded him that while Dean could care jack shit about anyone else, they were his family he never had the luxury of having, and that would never change. And some days Crush wondered if Dean actually didn’t feel anything or if he just couldn’t understand his own emotions. One time he just started crying, out of nowhere, tears dripping down his face onto the cold ground and when he asked what was wrong all he got was an ‘I don’t know’. Maybe Dean was as much of a mystery to himself that he was to them.
“Crush, you there buddy?” Zico asked with his eyebrow raised. Crush was pulled back into reality to realize that he had, in fact, been staring at their youngest wordlessly for a good thirty seconds. Dean had long since averted his eyes, he already had a hard time maintaining eye contact for more than a moment, this was more than he could handle so he just stared at the ground. It didn’t help that Crush looked like he was angry most of the time, as he was but that went without saying.
“Yea sorry, I was thinking about something.” He said, shaking his thoughts off, returning back to the conversation at hand.
“So, war between Russia and America, why do they want that? You said it would wipe everyone off the map, even if it didn’t, it wouldn’t benefit them.” Crush noted, confused as to why the prisoner would say such things.
Dean, finally, looked back up, not eye contact but it was progress.
“But it would, that would take two major crime families out of the picture. Of course, that would leave the Yakuza and the Italian mob, but if they’re partnered with them..”
“If they partner with either of those two snakes they’re fools. The Yakuza and the Italians care for nothing else except family, partnering with either of them would mean marriage. And if they think either of those families would dirty their lineage with Korean blood they are asking for it. The Yakuza will only wed Japanese and the Italians only wed Italians, it is the way of the world.” Zico said, rolling his eyes at how idiotic those men must be.
Zico, unsurprisingly, was correct. Most crime families never formed permanent ties with anyone outside of their culture. Ones who did were considered weak and diluted, more often than not those crime families fell before even being noticed. Maybe it was old-fashioned, but it was the only way to survive in this world. Purity sells.
“You’re right. So maybe he was lying? Did you get his name yet?” Crush asked, turning back to Dean.
Shaking his head the youngest frowned. “No he wasn’t lying. I think we just have the motive wrong, I haven’t gotten further than that though, ran out of time. But yes, his name is Zhang Yixing, but he goes by Lay. Belongs to the X family, no further relations with any other crime family but i've heard of them before. Like I said before, they control most of the weapon selling-”
“Wait-” Crush interrupted, “that's Chinese not Korean.”
Dean rubbed his eyes in frustration. “Yea, he used to work for Luen Tei Ying, a subgroup of the Luen Group along with three others, Wu Yifan, Lu Han and Huang Zitao. They all moved back to China after being double crossed by the former leader Kim Yung-Min, also known as SM. All of them left, except Yixing, who stayed when Byun Baek-hyun took over.” Dean said blandly, throwing up the information that he got out of the main annoyingly easily.
Crush frowned. Baekhyun, god he heard that name before, it made a cold pit form in his stomach and he didn't even know why. Baekhyun, Yixing, SM. Those words circulating his mind like an unsolved puzzle.
The car stopped and Zico got out, looking at Crush oddly. He knew that name from somewhere before too, he just couldn’t quite place it.
“Come with me to see Yixing, see if we can get any more answers out of him.” Dean said, getting out of the car, heading toward the basement where they kept the room where Dean did his work.
Dean didn’t even spare them a second glance, he just kept walking.
“Dump it in The Stew while I warm up Mr. Zhang.”
“Jesus kid what did you do to him?” Zico asked with a small gasp. He wasn’t a squirmish man, never was, but this scene before him could and would put horror movies to shame.
Dean hadn’t been simply cutting Yixing or hitting him until he said something. He took his time, he sliced off little bits of skin and, from what he could see, burned it. Smart in terms of getting information and keeping him alive long enough to get it, but even he felt a twinge of sympathy from the broken man chained up against the wall.
“What was necessary.” He said blankly, his eyes boring into to the Chinese mans. The only time they had ever seen him fully maintain eye contact with any living being was after he had broken them down until their eyes were dead even though their hearts were still beating. Psychiatrists would have a field day with him.
“Ask whatever you want, he’ll answer.” Dean said quietly, stepping back and waving them forward. He could feel their leader looking at him in masked horror. He hated how they looked at him sometimes, like he was some monster, he couldn’t help that he was like this, it wasn’t his fault. Yet. Whenever he caught their eyes he could see the distrust, he could see the wariness from them expecting him to snap one day. That was the only thing that has ever genuinely filled him with sorrow, the fact that the only two people he had ever cared about saw him as some sort of ticking time bomb.
And, well. He supposed maybe he was.
“On Saturday when you were captured, there was another one with you. Who was he?” Crush asked, bending down and looking at Yixing.
The other man smirked and looked up at Crush with a newly sparked confidence that Dean swore out died within the first hour of his interrogation. Hope was a bitch huh?
“His name is Kim Minseok, but you might know him better a-” Yixing was cut off abruptly by a loud curse from Zico. “Fucking Xiumin, we got Mr.-fucking- X’s partner we gotta get the fuck out of here right now.” He hissed, snatching a knife from a standby table and plugging it into Yixing’s chest.
“Who’s Xiumin and why do we have to leave?” Dean asked, squatting down and softly caressing the side of Yixings face. An odd gesture of sentiment to someone he had been torturing that didn’t go unnoticed by Crush.
“He’ll kill all of you.” Yixing choked out, the blood starting to flood his lungs. “He’ll chain you to the wall and make you watch while he kills the people you love-” He stops to cough up some blood. Zico and Crush stood there, watching in horror because it wasn’t an empty threat towards all of them, it sounded chillingly truthful, and he was staring straight at Dean. Crush started to back up, something was wrong, something was very, very wrong.
“Baby…” Dean started, a chuckle touching his lips but his eyes remaining empty.
“I don’t even love myself.”
Suddenly the alarm in the house went off and Yixing began laughing. Zico shoved Crush toward the door and grabbed Dean, pulling him away from the choking man toward the exit so they could get the hell outta dodge.
As they ran down the hallway they could still hear Yixing laughing, something that chilled Crush to the bone, and nothing scared him.
As they reached the entrance to the garage there was a small puff of air and then a thud. Zico turned around and saw Dean collapsed on the ground, groaning. Crush immediately moved to grab Dean and keep going but Dean shouted a mangled mess of words.
“No, go. You don’t need me.” He said, his words slurring together. Crush stepped forward again but Dean yelled out in protest again. “Leave me. Zico g-Hyung please stop him.” He breathed, unconsciousness taking over his body. Crush glanced back at Zico who passed a pained glance toward his childhood friend who was sprawled out on the floor.
“Come on-” Zico ordered before being cut off by Crush.
“Zico we can’t just le-”
“I said come on!” Zico shouted angrily, shoving Crush into the garage and getting in the driver's side. Crush looked at Dean one more time before seeing a small figure standing behind the youngest and getting in the car, Zico hitting the gas immediately.
----Back at the House---
“Oh..” Xiumin said quietly, squatting down next to Dean’s unconscious face.
“I'm going to have so much fun with you.”