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Beep. 

 

The sound is loud, somewhere close by. Yoongi tries to turn around to face it. Nothing happens. His head, his neck, his shoulders. They all ache. Feel far too heavy.

 

Beep.

 

The noise sounds again. Yoongi tries to open his eyes this time. Finds it just as much of a struggle as moving his head. He manages to blink them open, groggy with sleep. Everything’s blurry but bright. It takes some time for them to adjust, his will to keep them open dipping low. He forces them wider. 

 

Beep. 

 

Things start to come fully into focus. A white machine, unknown numbers flashing on the screen. Another machine next to it, holding a clear bag, suspended in the air. The urge to fall back to sleep presses heavy behind Yoongi’s eyes. He doesn’t give into it, but it takes great effort.

 

Beep.

 

Moving his head is still a struggle, so Yoongi casts his eyes along the room instead. Down the bed he appears to be laying in. His heart begins to race when he spots someone sitting next to the bed. The sight chases away a little of the grogginess. It’s Jungkook. Yoongi goes to speak but nothing comes out despite parting his lips, his mouth unbearably dry.

 

Jungkook’s holding one of Yoongi’s hands in both of his own, playing gently with his fingers. Yoongi can just about feel the warmth of it, though his arms, his legs, everything, feel oddly disconnected from himself right now. Jungkook’s gaze is cast low, watching their hands with an unusually blank stare.

 

Yoongi swallows thickly. Wets his parched lips. Tries again to force out some sound.

 

“Kook?”

 

His voice is barely above a whisper, slurred and scratched. It immediately gets Jungkook’s attention though. His head jolts upright and he turns to face Yoongi, eyes comically wide. Yoongi feels a surge of affection cut through the haze he seems to be currently stuck in. Jungkook squeezes his hand so hard that Yoongi definitely feels something this time.

 

“Wha-“

 

Yoongi barely manages to rasp out the first word of his question. He’s cut off by Jungkook standing up so quickly that it sends his plastic chair toppling to the floor. Shaking hands find their way to Yoongi’s neck, his cheeks, before Jungkook kisses him with a force that takes Yoongi aback. Yoongi tries to lift his hands, to hold him too, but he struggles. There is something attached to a finger on his right hand, a sharp pain suddenly in his left forearm.

 

A pained noise escapes him. Jungkook springs back, terrified. As he moves away the pain in Yoongi’s arm lessens. Jungkook holds up his hands, as though worried he’s going to hurt him again.

 

“What is it? Did I hurt you?” he rambles. “Fuck, sorry, I-“

 

“’’m okay,” Yoongi says, though his words still come out slow and thick. “My arm.”

 

“Oh shit, your drip,” Jungkook mumbles nervously. He looks down at Yoongi’s arm, brow pinched in concern. “I’ll get a nurse.”

 

“It’s fine now,” Yoongi repeats. Jungkook seems unconvinced. “Honest.”

 

Jungkook nods though he still looks anxious. Yoongi feels a bit more alert, consciousness slowly coming back to him. He tries to process his words: drip, nurse. The steady beep beep beep of the machines. He finally realises that he’s in a hospital. A few other things seep back into his mind too. Namjoon, a gun, a house. It all feels dreamlike. Like the images don’t quite piece together right.

 

Jungkook keeps staring, eyes shining. Yoongi only now notices the redness to them, the dark circles underneath. His cheeks are puffy, tracked with old tear marks. Yoongi feels a mild nausea. He reaches out, far too clumsily, for Jungkook’s hand. The younger notices straight away, and easily laces their fingers together.

 

“Why are you upset?” 

 

The words are still tough to get out but it’s becoming more natural again. The volume louder, syllables a little clearer. Not quite normal yet, but getting there. Jungkook lets out a laugh of disbelief. 

 

“Why am I upset?” he smiles, sad and warm at the same time. He shakes his head as though finding the question absurd. “Why the fuck do you think?”

 

Yoongi just blinks at him. He’s figured out that he’s in hospital but exactly why, he can’t quite recall. Jungkook watches, first surprised, then confused. 

 

“Do you- do you not remember?”

 

Yoongi gives a tiny shake of his head. Jungkook looks pained. Clutches Yoongi’s hand tighter. He sits on the edge of the bed. Yoongi can feel the gentle roll of the mattress as he does so.

 

“I got a call from Jin this afternoon. He said-”

 

Jungkook’s voice catches, eyes shining more and more. A stray tear falls down his check. Yoongi’s throat feels tight, hot. He tries to squeeze Jungkook’s hand enough for him to feel it. He thinks Jungkook notices, by the way he draws in a steadying breath afterwards. He takes a moment before continuing.

 

“He said that Joon was driving you to the hospital. Said that you’d been stabbed and had lost consciousness. I thought-“ Jungkook cuts off again, bringing the back of his free hand across his cheek to wipe away another tear. “Fuck, I thought I’d lost you. I thought you were gone and-“

 

Another tear escapes, Jungkook’s voice wavering. 

 

“It’s okay, it’s okay,” Yoongi says, even though it’s not. The words bring everything back in horrible clarity, like the fog of confusion has been suddenly cleared. Images come flooding through his brain. Namjoon tied up. A man attacking Yoongi. Yoongi shooting him. Sitting in a car, blood seeping slowly through his shirt. “I’m here.”

 

Jungkook nods, trying to gather himself. He smiles a watery smile.

 

“You’re here,” he repeats.

 

There is silence for a few long moments, broken only by Jungkook’s quiet sniffles. Everything begins to piece together again. It’s slow, but Yoongi’s starting to process it all. He killed a guy; he was stabbed himself.  The danger Namjoon and he were in seems brutally stark; the danger, too, that they might all still be in.

 

“Someone had attacked Namjoon,” Yoongi says, a slight questioning lilt to his words. He’s not entirely sure that he can trust his memories right now. Everything still feels somewhat cloudy.

 

Jungkook nods. “I know. Things seem to have stepped up with Hyunwook.”

 

Jungkook drops his gaze, fingers fiddling with Yoongi’s own. Anguish colours his features. He frowns, blinking hard.

 

“I’m so sorry for bringing you into this. If I hadn’t asked Jin to give you this job, you never would have got hurt. If you never got involved with me-”

 

“Kook, don’t,” Yoongi replies, as stern as he can manage with still-drowsy speech. “I love my life with you. I’m happier than I ever remember being.”

 

There is a tiny tremble to Jungkook’s lower lip. Yoongi wonders how many hours he’s spent by Yoongi’s side, alone with these thoughts. Blaming himself for everything that has happened. Yoongi wets his lips again, throat still painfully dry. He keeps talking though.

 

“Getting stabbed is just- a setback.”

 

Jungkook huffs out an unhappy laugh, smacking Yoongi’s hand with the very gentlest of touches. Yoongi knows it’s much more than a setback. That he’s minimising the severity of the situation. But he can’t bear seeing Jungkook in such turmoil.

 

Jungkook looks as though he’s about to speak again, no doubt to blame himself some more. Yoongi jumps in before he can. Tries to divert the conversation away from his injuries and where blame may lie.

 

“How is Joon anyway?”

 

Jungkook chews on his lower lip but eventually nods. 

 

“He’s okay. He mainly had bruising, and some of his teeth needed fixing. It seems like he was hit pretty hard in the head. They checked him out for concussion, did scans and shit. He’s fine though; looks worse than he is. Thank fuck.”

 

Despite his words Jungkook’s eyes widen slightly as he recounts Namjoon’s wellbeing, fear still obvious in them. Fear rises in Yoongi too. Not for himself, or even for Namjoon, but for Jungkook. If Hyunwook attacked Namjoon then he was clearly trying to target those close to Seokjin. What if Jungkook is next?

 

“Kook, should you really be here?” Yoongi asks softly.

 

Jungkook’s expression turns defiant, shoulders raising. 

 

“Why the hell wouldn’t I be?”

 

“I mean- shouldn’t you be somewhere safe? After what happened.”

 

A little of the aggression eases out of him, shoulders visibly relaxing. He shakes his head. 

 

“I’m safe here. It’s a hospital.”

 

“People could still get in here.”

 

Yoongi’s heard about it before. Gang members coming into hospitals to finish what they started against rivals. It was always the stuff of urban legend; now Yoongi worries that it could actually be a reality.

 

“I’m safe,” Jungkook repeats. When Yoongi doesn’t look convinced he sighs and adds, “there’s someone stationed outside your room. They look like a member of the public but they’re armed just in case. We’re okay.”

 

“Police?”

 

“Not exactly.”

 

Yoongi nods, and wets his lips again. His throat is unbearably dry. He looks around for something to drink. Jungkook somehow knows what he’s after before he asks. Grabs a plastic cup of water and holds it to his lips. The water is slightly too warm, as though it’s been sitting out waiting for Yoongi to finally wake up. 

 

Yoongi contemplates the person stationed outside as he drinks. Most likely one of the Kims, sent here to protect Jungkook. And Yoongi supposes, perhaps himself too. It’s a strange thought, to imagine himself important enough for any protection at all.

 

“Speaking of police-“ Yoongi begins, tentative once he’s finished drinking. His voice is a little clearer now, most of the raspiness faded. “What have we told the hospital staff about how I got like this?”

 

“We told them the truth. You were stabbed by a stranger.”

 

“But won’t the police want to follow up on that? Check out the house and-”

 

“Jin will sort it,” Jungkook assures him. Yoongi persists.

 

“But Kook, I-“ Yoongi’s eyes dart round the room, as though expecting to suddenly spot someone eavesdropping. They finally focus back on the younger. “Fuck, I killed someone. If they go to the house and find the body-“

 

“Don’t worry about it.” Jungkook tells him. ”You just need to rest.”

 

“But how? What if-“

 

“It’s sorted. Rest,” Jungkook tells him more sternly.

 

“I’m fine.”

 

Jungkook scoffs. “You’re far from fucking fine. The knife might have missed your organs, but you still lost a lot of blood. You had to have a transfusion. Go through surgery. You need to fucking rest.”

 

Although Jungkook tries to talk with sternness, the wobble in his voice returns. Yoongi wonders exactly how many hours he’s been here for, terrified of what might happen. Yoongi grips his hand back to let him know that he understands. Tries to make himself relax. He supposes Seokjin is used to murder. Knows how to cover people’s track. At least that’s what he forces himself to believe.

 

“Okay. Okay.”

 

Jungkook still looks tense, but he calms a little. He’s on edge though. Yoongi hates seeing it; hates seeing such worry etched into his features. Yoongi tugs gently on his hand, pulling him down. Jungkook follows cautiously, but there is the faintest curve to his lips as they meet Yoongi’s.

 

Yoongi sighs softly into the kiss. It doesn’t deepen much, only the lightest flick of their tongues together. But it’s enough to make the last remnants of bleariness fade; to remind Yoongi with clarity what he still has. He lifts his arm up, fingers cradling Jungkook’s jaw. It makes him wince, the drip sharp in his arm, but it doesn’t matter. They pull apart barely an inch before their lips meet once more, the touches gentle but holding so much.

 

“I love you,” Yoongi whispers when they pull apart again. Another soft kiss before continuing. “So much. Thank you for being here.”

 

Jungkook shrugs, a failed display of nonchalance. His cheeks flush pink. It makes something clench hard in Yoongi’s chest. It’s so familiar, so Jungkook. Seeing it again means more than Yoongi ever imagined it could.

 

“Is that the drugs talking?” Jungkook mutters, bashful.

 

Yoongi chuckles quietly. “Fuck. If I can’t say I love you after this, when can I?”

 

Jungkook smiles, though his cheeks still burn a light pink. He leans down. Kisses Yoongi again, still soft, still slow.

 

“I love you too,” Jungkook whispers against him. 

 

Yoongi smiles as well. Brings his lips up for just one more kiss before relaxing back against the pillow. Kissing Jungkook is wonderful, but every action feels exhausting right now. The need for rest overtakes him. Jungkook seems to understand.

 

A knock sounds at the door to the private room. They share a brief look before Jungkook stands up, walking hesitantly towards it. The door opens. There is some hushed talking that Yoongi can’t pick up. He almost feels like he could drift off to sleep again. Keeps his eyes open, though, when he sees Namjoon walking in. He gives Yoongi a tentative smile in greeting. 

 

He looks terrible. The bruising on his face has turned to deep purples and blues. His lip is cut, swollen too. There are bandages on his wrists; Yoongi imagines there must be marks from the bindings.

 

“Hey,” Namjoon says. “How are you feeling?”

 

His words are thick and slurred. Yoongi remembers Jungkook telling him that Namjoon had to go through some dental work. Perhaps the anaesthetic is still at work.

 

“Like shit,” Yoongi answers. Namjoon nods, a knowing bob of his head. “How about you?”

 

“I’ll survive.”

 

Namjoon picks up the fallen plastic chair and sits down on it. Jungkook takes his spot from before, sitting on the bed beside Yoongi. Immediately takes Yoongi’s hand into his own once again. Namjoon’s gaze flickers down briefly, soft smile still gracing his lips. Quiet fills the room, no one quite sure what to say. Where do they even start? Eventually Namjoon makes the first move.

 

“Thank you, Yoongi. For what you did. It was reckless but- I’m so grateful. Fuck knows what they would have done if you hadn’t gone in after me.”

 

“It’s fine.”

 

“No, it’s not,” Namjoon replies with a sad shake of his head. “You went way above and beyond. Risked a whole lot to help me. Maybe too much. If that knife had-“

 

A familiar look crosses his face, much like Yoongi saw on Jungkook’s earlier. Guilt, anguish, sadness. Yoongi wants it erased. No one needs to blame themselves for choices he’s made in his life. He wanted to work for Seokjin; knew what it could entail. That should be on his shoulders, and his alone.

 

“But it didn’t,” Yoongi interrupts. “I’ll be okay.”

 

Yoongi doesn’t wish to appear blasé. He really doesn’t. He knows full well what might have happened had that blade driven into him a little higher, lower, a few inches to the side. He might not be waking up at all. He’s in no way dismissive of it; all the same, dwelling on that fact is not what he wants. The thought of it leaves him cold and sick, to know how easily his life could have ended.

 

Namjoon looks as though he wants to protest further. He glances from Yoongi, to Jungkook, then down to his lap. He nods to himself, drawing in a breath.

 

“Okay,” he says. Yoongi’s sure he wants to say much more, but doesn’t wish to upset either of them by going over the events again. “Well, thank you all the same. I owe you a huge amount."

 

Yoongi stays quiet. He doesn’t quite know how to respond. It was just instinctive. He’s certain that Namjoon would have done the same for him.

 

“Have they said when you can go home?” Namjoon asks, noticing Yoongi’s discomfort with the current topic.

 

“They want to keep him in tonight and tomorrow night for observation,” Jungkook answers on his behalf. “Then they’ll assess him.”

 

“Thanks for that, nurse Jeon,” Namjoon grins warmly.

 

“Hm. Maybe I should get a nurse outfit,” Jungkook contemplates aloud. 

 

Namjoon grimaces. Yoongi feels affection flood through him. Maybe it’s too early to joke around given the situation, but he likes it. Likes hearing Jungkook talking somewhere close to normal, rather than with tears and quivering words.

 

“I’d like that,” Yoongi replies, quiet and a touch teasing.

 

“I did not come here for this,” Namjoon sighs, but it’s playful too. The tension that filled the room seems to lift a little. Joking around is more comfortable for all of them than reliving what happened, or considering what might still be to come.

 

“What is the time by the way?” Yoongi asks after quiet settles again. “I feel like I’ve lost all concept of it.”

 

“It’s around midnight I think,” Jungkook tells him. 

 

Yoongi nods. It explains that serene, almost surreal edge to everything, the lack of noise coming from the hospital corridors outside. The blinds in his room are closed, blocking off any view of the outside world.  

 

They all chat for a little while. The topics stay light until Yoongi asks for more information about what’s happening with the Kims. Jungkook looks wary, as though he doesn’t want Yoongi to hear too much. But he doesn’t stop Namjoon when he starts to give some background. 

 

Seokjin has apparently been in talks with his dad and other close top members of the clan for most of the afternoon. It seems as though Hyunwook is behind this. Was intending to use Namjoon as a form of blackmail to force Seokjin to step down as heir. 

 

He tells them too that things are gathering pace faster than expected. Two key members of the organisation were missing from Seokjin’s meeting yesterday; it’s feared that they are now siding with Hyunwook, keen to taste more power than they currently enjoy. Seokjin hasn’t been able to get hold of them since he left the meeting to attend the hospital. 

 

Out of curiousity, Yoongi asks if it was Hyunwook he saw at the house but Namjoon shakes his head. Just another lackey.

 

“There’s going to be extra protection for you and Jungkook, at least for the next few weeks. You probably won’t notice it but they’ll be there,” he explains. “Neither of you should let your guard down though. Keep yourselves armed, just in case.”

 

Yoongi’s not entirely sure what good a gun will do if someone knocks him out cold like they did to Namjoon, but he doesn’t argue. He supposes it came in useful when he shot one of the attackers. Or more precisely, when he killed him.

 

Yoongi wonders if he should feel worse, or more troubled, by what he did. He doesn’t feel any of the regret he was expecting to experience. Perhaps it’s the drugs, numbing him. But he’s not sure that’s true. He can’t help but feel it was deserved. He understands a little more now what drove Seokjin to kill Jaesung. Yoongi was simply protecting himself and Namjoon. The man’s death was necessary.

 

Eventually there is another knock at the door. A man Yoongi vaguely recognises steps in; perhaps from one of Seokjin’s meetings that he’s attended, he’s not sure. 

 

“Namjoon, your car is outside. Jin is requesting you at home.”

 

Namjoon rolls his eyes, but there is fondness in there too. He sighs.

 

“I have a feeling Jin’s not letting me out of his sight for a while,” he chuckles. He stands up, placing a hand carefully on Yoongi’s shoulder. “I’m really glad you’re okay, Yoongi. I’m sorry I got you into that mess in the first place but- well, I’m lucky you were there for me.”

 

Yoongi gives him a smile, a nod, in return. Namjoon gives Jungkook a hug farewell, before turning and walking out into the hospital corridor. The man closes the door behind them. Yoongi wishes that he could remember his name.

 

Now that Namjoon’s gone the drowsiness from before slowly takes hold again. Yoongi's eyelids grow heavy, the beeps of the machines becoming less irritating and more soothing. He squeezes Jungkook’s fingers lightly.

 

“Do you mind if I sleep for a while?” he asks gently.

 

“Of course,” Jungkook replies, nodding eagerly. “Rest up all you need. I’ll be here.”

 

“You should get some rest too. I’ll be okay here,” Yoongi tells him. “Joon said there was protection outside.”

 

“No fucking way. I’m staying.”

 

Yoongi knows better than to argue, especially when he recognises the glint of fiery defiance in his eyes. Yoongi holds back his sigh. Simply nods and lets his eyelids drop closed. He finds himself falling asleep within minutes, his fingers still tangled together with Jungkook’s.

 

*

 

“Careful. Careful.”

 

“I think I’m capable of opening a door, Kook.”

 

Yoongi hears Jungkook tsk behind him as he pushes open the door to their apartment. It’s unnerving, leaving the safety of the hospital. Namjoon told them that they have unseen protection for the foreseeable future but still- Yoongi already misses the presence of bright lights, of doctors and nurses, and a man sat armed outside his room. There was a security there that left him with a certain confidence. Now, he feels suddenly and intensely vulnerable.

 

Jungkook shuffles in behind him, laden with Yoongi’s overnight bag, a bundle of medication, and his own day bag. Jungkook barely left the hospital while Yoongi was in there, a day longer than initially expected. He had returned home just twice; once to pick up clean clothes for Yoongi, another time because he’d looked ready to pass out from his constant watching of the elder.

 

Jungkook dumps all the stuff in the hallway as they enter, immediately by Yoongi’s side to help him walk through to the lounge. Yoongi resists the urge to roll his eyes. He remembers the tears spilling from Jungkook in the hospital, the way he struggled to keep himself together. Yoongi knows how much the younger only wants to care for him.

 

Yoongi reaches the couch, settling down into it. He looks around the room, breathing out a quiet sigh of relief. He feels nervous being out of the hospital but fuck, is it good to be back here. The familiar surroundings bring him a huge sense of comfort, as though the events of a few days ago could almost have never happened. It takes Yoongi a few more seconds of looking around to realise that something’s different.

 

“Have you unpacked my stuff?”

 

The stacks of boxes from before are gone, the empty spaces on shelves now filled with Yoongi’s belongings, mixed in seamlessly with Jungkook’s. Jungkook shrugs.

 

“I might have.”

 

“I sent you home to rest,” Yoongi huffs.

 

“I couldn’t settle,” Jungkook tells him. Leaves a short pause before asking, “does it look okay?”

 

“It does,” Yoongi smiles. “It looks like home.”

 

Jungkook stares for a beat before letting out a burst of laughter, cheeks flushing.

 

“You’re so fucking corny,” he mumbles.

 

“It’s the drugs.”

 

“You can’t keep blaming everything on them,” Jungkook sighs, though he’s smiling too. 

 

Jungkook fusses around him all day. Makes him drinks, brings him food, keeps him on schedule for his medication. Much like he did in the hospital. Yoongi snaps at him occasionally, when the fussing becomes too much. He can’t help it; he’s an independent person, and being made to feel weak and unable to care for himself is not enjoyable for him. 

 

Ultimately, though, Yoongi lets Jungkook do what he wishes. Lets him fuss and fret. He knows that somehow it makes the younger feel better about things. More in control of a situation that is way out of either of their grasps.

 

It’s around 2pm when Jungkook gets a series of messages, his phone beeping incessantly. He looks at them, huffs, then pockets his phone. Yoongi doesn’t ask what they’re about, currently caught in the hazy stage between napping and waking. He spots Jungkook taking the phone back out a few minutes later though, chewing thoughtfully on his lip as he looks at the screen

 

“What is it? Is it Jin?”

 

Jungkook startles. Probably assumed that Yoongi was still asleep. Yoongi waits curiously for the answer. He hasn’t heard from Seokjin since the attack. Hasn’t heard from anyone, actually, aside from Namjoon’s brief visit in hospital. Jungkook’s holding his phone hostage, as though fearful that Yoongi will start trying to plan a counter attack as soon as he can contact the outside world. 

 

He’s not entirely wrong. The initial fear when Yoongi woke up in that hospital bed has slowly subsided, replaced with anger, a need to retaliate. Hyunwook can’t get away with hurting him and Namjoon, with trying to unseat Seokjin. He of course says none of this to Jungkook; the younger is already upset enough about involving Yoongi in this world to begin with.

 

“No. It’s-“ He stops, tentative. Sighs softly. “It’s Hoseok. He wants to see you.”

 

Yoongi blinks in surprise. That he wasn’t expecting.

 

“And he can’t?”

 

“Well, I mean, you should be resting,” Jungkook huffs again. “Not having to deal with Hoseok.”

 

“I don’t mind,” Yoongi tells him. “If he wants to visit.”

 

Jungkook glares, clearly not happy with the answer. Jungkook would never have been keen on a visit from Hoseok even before the attack. Now, even less so.

 

“You should rest.”

 

“Kook, I’m doing nothing but resting. It would be nice to see him.”

 

Jungkook still glares, caught between not wanting a visitor – especially Hoseok – and wanting to fulfil Yoongi’s wishes. Finally he sighs and types out a response.

 

It's only moments before a message pings back. The stormy look on Jungkook's face lets Yoongi know that it’s Hoseok's response without even needing to ask.

 

"He'll be over in an hour," Jungkook mutters. 

 

If Yoongi thought Hoseok looked terrible when they last met, this time he somehow looks even worse. His eyes are tired, his skin pallid. There is a visible tremble to his hands. Even Jungkook is shocked into polite friendliness when he catches sight of him. He offers Hoseok a coffee when he enters the lounge. Hoseok shakes his head, asking only for a glass of water.

 

Yoongi wonders if he might be suffering from withdrawal. During their last meeting, Hoseok had said that he needed to sort himself out; perhaps kicking the dependence on drugs is his first step. Yoongi doesn't ask though, and Hoseok doesn't bring it up. Just tries to smile bright, giving Yoongi a hug in greeting. Jungkook doesn't even glare this time, simply hands over the glass of water to Hoseok with a stunned look on his face.

 

"How are you feeling?" Hoseok asks, sitting down on one of the chairs. 

 

Yoongi goes to sit up, not wishing to appear rude, but Hoseok waves for him to lay back down. Normally Yoongi would protest, but his body does rather ache still. He settles back into the cushions, head propped up on a pillow against the arm rest.

 

"Surprisingly okay," Yoongi tells him. "Kind of tired and sore but not too bad."

 

"Not too bad," Hoseok repeats, incredulous. He chuckles to himself before his expression turns more serious. "I couldn't believe it when I heard. I'm so glad you're okay."

 

"Did Jin tell you about it?" Jungkook asks, curious.

 

"Nah. I don't think he wanted to bother me while I’m-" He pauses, catches himself before saying too much more. Smiles, a touch embarrassed. "It was Jimin.”

 

"Oh," Yoongi says, surprised. 

 

He didn't know that Jimin was aware of what had happened. Taehyung must be too, then. Perhaps Jungkook had messaged them. Yoongi wonders what they must think. They warned Yoongi that this world was dangerous. He supposes he's proved their fears correct.

 

They chat about this and that. Nothing is mentioned of stabbings or shootings, and the whole ordeal with Hoseok isn't mentioned either. They stick to safe subjects even though all of them know that much bigger things hang over them. It's a refreshing and much needed couple of hours to forget about the far more troubling areas of their lives. Yoongi feels that might apply to Hoseok as much as himself.

 

Eventually Hoseok checks his watch and sighs. 

 

"Hey, I'm really sorry but I have to go," he tells them. "And I'm guessing you need to rest up without me wittering on."

 

Yoongi dismisses the notion with a wave of his hand, but in all honesty, he is feeling a new wave of tiredness start to wash over him. He didn’t expect to find talking quite so exhausting. Hoseok brings his hand down carefully onto Yoongi's shoulder as he leaves, giving it a light, reassuring squeeze.

 

"Seriously, Yoongi. I'm so glad you're okay. We all are."

 

Yoongi nods, not really knowing how to respond to that. 

 

“Thanks for visiting. It was really good to see you.”

 

Jungkook walks him to the door. Yoongi closes his eyes, more than ready to give into the weariness starting to build in his muscles once more. The doctors did warn him that this would happen, a mixture of his body trying to heal itself and the potent painkillers that he's been prescribed.

 

Jungkook wanders back into the lounge, alone this time. He sits down in one of the chairs. Props his elbows on his thighs, rests his chin in his hands. He looks over at Yoongi.

 

"He really looked like shit."

 

"Yeah. I think maybe he's trying to kick the drugs."

 

"Really?" Jungkook replies, curious and cautious all at once.

 

"I don't know for certain. But I think so."

 

Jungkook doesn't say anything, just stares at the floor. Yoongi's closed his eyes again when he finally speaks.

 

"Good for him."

 

Yoongi opens them again, looking over at the younger. He gives him a soft smile.

 

"Thanks for letting him visit."

 

Jungkook shrugs, a small twitch of his shoulders. Yoongi keeps smiling. Reaches out a heavy hand in his direction. Jungkook takes the hint. 

 

He walks over and kneels by the side of the couch, his head now on Yoongi's level. Their fingers link. Jungkook leans in. They kiss soft and achingly, perfectly slow. Despite his sleepiness, Yoongi's heart thumps ridiculously hard. He meant what he said earlier. It may have sounded corny, but this really does now feel like home. And it hits him then just how truly happy he is to be here.

 

*

 

The next day passes much the same. But there is a new edge of brightness growing in Yoongi, gradually beginning to edge out the sluggishness and the dull aches. 

 

He still needs help standing up from a sitting position, but he starts attempting to move around more, much to the irritation of Jungkook, who immediately makes him stop whenever he catches the elder trying to do anything for himself. He concedes, eventually, to let Yoongi get his own glasses of water, and to change his dressings. 

 

Alone in the bathroom that day, Yoongi for the first time gets a proper look at the wound on his side. It's angry and inflamed still, though Yoongi imagines it’s faded from how it initially looked. He observes the delicate stitches holding him together, the dark stain of iodine against his skin. It feels surreal looking at the spot, as though he’s witnessing someone else’s body instead of his own. He finds himself letting out a breath he didn’t know he was holding when he covers it back up again.

 

Yoongi almost loses his new-found privileges later that day when Jungkook leaves him alone for a few rare, unattended moments, returning to find Yoongi out on the balcony with a cigarette between his lips. Jungkook is entirely unimpressed. His fussing is even more difficult to tone down after that. Yoongi decides to wait until night-time to try to sneak out for another one.

 

It's late in the afternoon when Taehyung and Jimin unexpectedly turn up at the apartment. Yoongi's not sure which of them contacted Jungkook, but when they walk into the lounge, Yoongi doesn't care. He's just happy to see them. Jungkook had kept it a surprise; he lingers back as he walks in behind them, smiling shyly.

 

The pair of them approach Yoongi with worried frowns, which soon fade when he smiles at them both in greeting, even giving them cautious and careful hugs from his spot on the couch.

 

"Fuck. I still can't believe it," Taehyung mutters once they sit down. Him and Jimin in the chairs, Jungkook by Yoongi's side on the couch. "When Kook called me, shit-"

 

He shakes his head, clearly unable to express his emotions adequately. Jimin nods, chewing on his lower lip.

 

"It was a real fucking shock," he agrees. "How are you feeling?"

 

Yoongi talks them through the same spiel as he did with Hoseok. Doing better than expected, still not 100% but slowly working his way there. They both nod along, both seeming as unconvinced as Hoseok but trying hard to not let it show.

 

"So, uh- can I ask how it happened?" Taehyung says, hesitant, voice low.

 

Yoongi sighs softly. They're his friends and he trusts them; but he knows, too, the amount of trust that Seokjin places in him. There's no way he can be completely open about what happened. He gives them just enough information to placate their curiousity.

 

"I don't want to say too much. But it was a stranger. I'd never seen the guy before."

 

"Hope he gets locked up and they throw away the fucking key," Jimin tells him, eyes blazing.

 

"Yeah," Yoongi agrees. 

 

Hopes that his expression doesn't give too much away. Like the fact that locking the guy up doesn't seem especially likely given that he's dead. By Yoongi's hands, nonetheless. Yoongi wonders if he will start feel bad about that any time soon.

 

"Was it- was it to do with your job. With Jin?" Taehyung presses, staying careful. Knows that he's probably treading on thin ground by asking too much. 

 

"It was," Yoongi nods. "I honestly can't say much more though. Sorry."

 

"I warned you that it would be dangerous," Taehyung says quietly, brow pinched. 

 

"I know," Yoongi nods. "Believe me, I know. But it's my choice to work with Jin. I'm fully aware of the risks. This is on no one other than me."

 

Jungkook looks away. Yoongi knows that he still feels guilt over the whole incident. Still feels somehow to blame for ever introducing Yoongi to this world. Jimin looks concerned. Taehyung just stares, trying to read Yoongi. Realises pretty fast that any serious pleas to reconsider his line of work won't fly. Resorts to humour instead.

 

"Well, there's still another spot open on my team if you want to come back to the office."

 

Yoongi lets out a quiet chuckle. "You know, I think taking a knife is somehow less painful than dealing with Kook's dad again."

 

Jungkook lightly slaps his knee in protest, but Yoongi can see the small smile threatening to pull at his lips. Perhaps Yoongi’s humour is edging a little too far towards the morbid side but it's better than dwelling on things too large to comprehend. Like what could have happened this time, and what could still happen in the future.

 

“Leaving me with Donghyun. Cruel,” Taehyung sighs dramatically. Yoongi smiles. Steers the conversation onto easier ground. 

 

“How is the job going anyway?”

 

Taehyung looks conflicted, as though fearing his work life is not worthy of discussion when such huge events have happened. But he sees the quiet plea in Yoongi’s question, his wish to speak of less heavy topics. So he indulges him.

 

“Much better, thanks. Found my feet a little more now, filled some of the vacancies on the team. I’m getting there, slowly.”

 

“Glad to hear it,” Yoongi nods. 

 

“His hours are ridiculous though,” Jimin adds. “I thought it was bad enough before.”

 

Taehyung furrows his brow, as though upset. Yoongi tenses. He’s been caught up in enough of their arguments before now; he really doesn’t want this to descend into another one so quickly. Thankfully, Jimin sends a soft smile in Taehyung’s direction.

 

“Least it means I get the place to myself to do my daily stretches without getting judged.”

 

It takes a few moments for the implication to sink in. Jungkook’s head whips between the two of them.

 

“Wait. Are you living together now?”

 

Jimin nods, lips pressed together happily. He lets them break into an easy smile. 

 

“Yeah. My landlord decided to sell the place I’m renting. When I got given the notice Tae suggested that I just move in with him. I mean, we’d, uh, talked before about living together and had our reservations. Well, I did at least.”

 

A guilty looks flashes over his features.

 

“But so far, it’s working out.”

 

“Yeah,” Taehyung adds, smiling. “It’s taken a bit of settling into but- so far, it’s good.”

 

Yoongi imagines that they’re smoothing over some of the difficulties. He knows how much they have argued in the past over commitment like this; knows of Jimin’s reluctance to feel too dependent on Taehyung. He supposes they must have worked out a compromise. He’s glad that for now they seem happy at least. Hopes that it works out for them. 

 

“That’s great news,” Yoongi tells them. “Congratulations.”

 

“When exactly were you planning on telling me this?” Jungkook huffs in Jimin’s direction. Jimin grins, bashful. 

 

“Well, we kinda wanted to see how it went first. You know we’ve sort of- well, it’s not always been smooth sailing with us.” He bites on his lower lip, then shrugs. “But it’s going really well so far. We were actually going to invite you guys over last weekend until we heard about Yoongi.”

 

Jungkook seems to relent somewhat at this. His shoulders soften, smile gracing his lips. He nods.

 

“I expect an invite soon then.”

 

Jimin laughs, shaking his head. The thought of leaving this place right now seems somewhat daunting to Yoongi, but he hopes that it does happen at some point. He’s glad to see them so happy together after all of their ups and downs.  

 

The pair of them end up staying for far longer than planned. They order in takeout, eating it still sat on the couches. The pizza slices are hot and greasy and good, exactly what Yoongi was craving without realising it. He wolfs down three slices, not missing the way Jungkook watches, pleased, out of the corner of his eye. It’s the first day that Yoongi’s really shown any signs of an appetite.

 

It’s late when they both leave, exiting with promises of help if ever Yoongi needs it, and that he only need call them if he wants some company. Yoongi feels exhausted by the time they’re gone, but it’s pleasant and satisfying. He lets Jungkook curl up against his good side on the couch afterwards. Presses a kiss into his hair.

 

“Thanks for inviting them, baby,” he says softly. “I had a really nice night.”

 

“I’m glad,” Jungkook mumbles.

 

Quiet settles over them, warm and relaxing. Yoongi almost feels ready to drift off. That is, until Jungkook suddenly sits bolt upright before dashing out of the room. He returns with a small tub of pills.  A stark reminder that as enjoyable as the night was, far more sinister things are still at play in their lives. Yoongi knows that they will have to face up to it soon. For now, though, he pushes it aside.

 

“Thanks nurse.”

 

“You’re gonna have to stop fucking calling me that,” Jungkook sighs. Hands Yoongi his glass of water and two of the pills before arching an eyebrow. “Unless you really are angling for me to dress up for you.”

 

Yoongi grins, swallowing the pills before clutching playfully at his chest.

 

“Don’t tease me like that. I’m still weak.”

 

Jungkook just shakes his head, eyes sparkling. Something glints in them though, a little of the usual mischief returning to them. Yoongi has a feeling that one day, when things are better, Jungkook might just make good on that.

 

*

 

Yoongi wakes up the next morning to an empty bed, same as the day before. Jungkook normally loves to laze in bed, but Yoongi doesn't do much more than sleep at the moment. Apparently there is a limit to lazing even for Jungkook. 

 

Yoongi enjoys the warmth of the covers for a while longer. Enjoys them a little too much, as he soon finds himself drifting back to sleep. He tries his hardest to not give in, forcing open his eyes. He really needs to get back into some sort of routine. Back to normal, as much as possible. He feels utterly useless at the moment, still so slow and weak. Laying in bed isn't going to help him build his strength back up.

 

With a yawn, Yoongi rolls onto his good side. Pushes himself up to sitting with one arm. He winces still, the stretch a little painful against the wound. It feels especially tight this morning, hot and itchy too. Hopefully all signs that it is healing. Yoongi shuffles around on his ass until his legs swing off the mattress. Gives himself another minute to blink himself further into consciousness before finally standing up.

 

There is no sign of Jungkook. Yoongi hears the faint clink of weights from behind the closed guest room door. He shakes his head, heading into the lounge. Jungkook's been staying away from the gym these last few days, apparently afraid that Yoongi will keel over if left alone. He's taken to lifting weights in the guest room instead while the gym is off-limits.

 

Yoongi shuffles through into the kitchen area. Takes out a bowl from the cupboard, the milk from the fridge. He's just about to seek out a box of cereal when he hears soft footsteps approaching. He turns just in time to see Jungkook ambling up behind him, before feeling a soft kiss get pressed to his shoulder through his t shirt.

 

"Morning," Jungkook mumbles, kissing Yoongi's neck this time. It draws a small smile to Yoongi's lips.

 

"Morning," he replies. Twists his head enough so that their mouths meet, a gentle, sleepy kiss. 

 

When they break apart he sees Jungkook looking at the bowl and the milk. Sighs as the younger suddenly darts around him, taking hold of them.

 

"Here, let me make this."

 

The moment of quiet happiness soon disappears. Yoongi tries his best not to snap, but he's struggling. Jungkook's efforts are well-meant, but the more days that pass, the more that Yoongi is feeling babied, treated too carefully as though he's entirely incapable of looking after himself. It's not a pleasant feeling.

 

"Jesus, Kook, I think I can handle making a bowl of fucking cereal," he mutters. Shuffles over and takes the items from Jungkook's hands. The younger glares.

 

"I'm just trying to help," comes the response, grit out quietly. "You don't want to exert yourself."

 

"By making myself breakfast? I'm not that fucking helpless."

 

Yoongi can feel Jungkook's pointed glare as Yoongi heads over to one of the cupboards. The boxes of cereal are kept up high. Yoongi stands on his toes, but it's not quite enough. He has to reach.

 

As soon as Yoongi lifts his arm, a flash of pain shoots along his side. He flinches but tries not to let it show otherwise. Jungkook just keeps watching him. Yoongi's anger rises, not only at the constant observation but the stark reminder that the pain brings. The reminder that Yoongi's really not okay. That the person responsible is still out there.

 

He finally takes hold of the box. Slams it onto the counter with more force than necessary. It's more as an outlet for the pain now throbbing in his side than anything else. Jungkook seems to take it as his cue to leave. He storms out of the lounge without a word. Yoongi waits for a few moments. Eventually the sound of running water travels through from the bathroom. Yoongi guesses he's taking a shower and trying to calm down.

 

Yoongi pours the cereal into the bowl. It almost over-fills, Yoongi too caught up in his irritation to notice. He pulls the box away quickly. Adds the milk. He sits down at the kitchen table, anger simmering as he plunges the spoon into the bowl.

 

He honestly doesn't mean to take it out on Jungkook. But he's feeling useless and low, frustrated with being injured and unable to take action over what's happened.

 

Because he knows that Seokjin must be forming plans, deciding on his next steps. Yoongi wants to be there by his side; wants to make sure that Hyunwook doesn't get away with hurting him and Namjoon. Make sure that Seokjin keeps a firm grasp on his place in the organisation. He knows what it could mean if lost; for Seokjin, Namjoon, Yoongi too, but ultimately Jungkook.

 

And yet Yoongi isn't helping. Instead he's stuck here, slow and weak, apparently so incapable that his own boyfriend doesn't even trust him to make a bowl of cereal. Yoongi sighs, slamming the spoon into the bowl. He's not in the mood for eating anymore.

 

When he started feeling brighter yesterday, Yoongi saw it as a positive step. And yet it feels like the opposite right now. The more energy he has, the more drive that returns, the more frustrated he feels by his condition. He's restless. Yoongi can't remember the last time he spent so many days doing absolutely nothing. 

 

Yoongi gets up. Starts to head back towards the bedroom to find his cigarettes and lighter. A knock at the door stops him in his tracks. He expects the hear the sound of hurried footsteps as Jungkook rushes to answer it before Yoongi remembers that he’s in the shower. Probably can’t hear it over the stream of water.

 

Yoongi waits. Another knock sounds. He walks into the hallway, hesitant. A voice calls out, muffled through the door.

 

“Guys? Are you home?”

 

It’s Seokjin. Yoongi feels his shoulders relax, tension easing out of them. He walks up to the door and opens it. Seokjin stands in front of him, smiling, though his eyebrows raise a little.

 

“Yoongi,” he greets. “I’m surprised to see you up and about. Jungkook not looking after you?”

 

Yoongi bristles slightly at the question. “He is. We just-“ He pauses and stops himself. “I mean he’s in the shower.”

 

Seokjin seems to notice the edge to Yoongi’s words. Nods with understanding. “Bit of cabin fever, huh? Guess that’s to be expected.”

 

“Kind of,” Yoongi shrugs. He doesn’t really want to start discussing their odd little disagreement this morning. “Anyway. Come in.”

 

Seokjin does so, following him through into the lounge. He takes a seat on the couch, Yoongi on one of the chairs. Seokjin smiles over at him.

 

“It’s really good to see you,” Seokjin tells him. “Sorry I’ve not visited sooner but Kook said you weren’t really up to having visitors whenever I’ve messaged him. I was actually just swinging by to see him today, but this is a nice surprise.”

 

“Oh,” Yoongi blinks. “Well, I’ve had Hobi, Tae and Jimin over to visit the last few days. Not sure why he’d tell you that.”

 

“Oh,” Seokjin echoes, brow creasing slightly. “Well, you seem to be doing well. I was imagining much worse I had to say, especially after how Joon described you in the hospital.”

 

“Yeah. I was still kind of out of it then. I’m feeling okay now. Not amazing but- better.”

 

“I’m really glad to hear it,” Seokjin tells him, words genuine. He pauses, looking down at his hands folded together in his lap. He lifts his gaze after some time, smile faded from his lips. “Yoongi, things could have gone a lot worse for you. I’m sure you know that.”

 

“I know,” Yoongi nods. It’s not something he tries to focus on too much, but he’s well aware of it.

 

“You took a big risk, which obviously from the standpoint of your friend, I’m not going to encourage,” he sighs. There’s another pause, shorter this time, before he continues. “But as Joon’s partner, I just wanted to say thank you.”

 

Yoongi feels a heat in his cheeks. He shrugs lightly. 

 

“He would have done the same for me, I’m sure.”

 

“That may be,” Seokjin replies. “But still- I’ve no idea what could have happened to him if you hadn’t gone after him. He might drive me crazy sometimes but- fuck, I love him. He’s the most important thing in my life. And the thought that he could have-“

 

He cuts off, shaking his head. No doubt he’s dwelled on all the possible alternatives far too much over the last few days. He blinks hard, draws in a deep breath. Yoongi stays quiet.

 

“Just- thank you.”

 

Yoongi tries to not immediately protest the gratitude this time. Simply nods in acceptance.

 

“How is he doing?” Yoongi asks.

 

“He’s doing well,” Seokjin tells him, hint of a smile returning. “The bruising was mostly superficial. He got a couple of chipped teeth from one of the hits to his head but they’re fixed now. He just can’t eat very easily which he’s hating.”

 

Yoongi huffs out a quiet laugh. “I can imagine.”

 

Silence settles over them. Seokjin doesn’t seem to be offering up much information about what’s happening with the organisation, with Hyunwook. Perhaps there’s a reason for that, a reason why Seokjin’s keeping him in the dark. But Yoongi has to ask. 

 

“What’s happened with Hyunwook?”

 

Seokjin stares for a moment, then sighs, shaking his head. 

 

“I don’t want to stress you out, you know. You should be focusing on recovering.”

 

“Believe me, Kook’s got me focused on that,” Yoongi tells him. “I can’t lift a finger without him knowing about it.”

 

“Glad to hear it.”

 

“I’d like to know what’s going on though. I could have died thanks to that guy. I deserve to know what’s happening.”

 

“You do,” Seokjin nods in agreement, smile turning bittersweet. “Believe me, I wish you were around right now to help me though this.”

 

Yoongi opens his mouth to speak, but is immediately cut off.

 

“Don’t you dare suggest that you start working again already. You need to rest.”

 

Yoongi stays silent. He doesn’t want to start an argument, but the frustration inside of him grows even more. First Jungkook, now Seokjin; treating him like an invalid. He tries not to think of the pain in his side from earlier. Doesn’t want to be reminded that perhaps their fussing is justified.

 

“Can you at least tell me what’s happening?” he asks eventually.

 

Seokjin presses his lips together in a tight line but he nods. 

 

“Hyunwook really seems to be trying to seize his moment. From what I can tell, he was planning on moving Namjoon elsewhere after capturing him at the house. Try to blackmail me into stepping down, no doubt torture Namjoon until I gave in. Kill him if necessary.”

 

He visibly shudders. A mild nausea creeps up Yoongi’s throat, hot and cloying.

 

"He's a horrible bastard. He's unnerving, for the way he goes about things. Acts without thinking through fully, which makes him dangerous. It’s hard to predict his moves."

 

Seokjin stops. Sighs before continuing. 

 

"But it also makes him weak. He has very little loyalty from his men; doesn’t arm them too much for fear that they could turn on him. Me and dad have a lot of loyal support though, men who’ve worked for us for years.”

 

“Joon mentioned that some didn’t turn up to your meeting the other day. Thought they might have defected.”

 

Seokjin nods sadly. “That is true. They’d always been more favourable to my uncle than my dad but- yeah, it was still a surprise to lose them. A few more people have started dropping off my radar this week too. It’s turning into more of a split than I ever would have expected.”

 

“Shit.”

 

“Yeah, it’s not good. We’ve got something of a fight on our hands it seems. Hyunwook may be weak and reckless, but I imagine he’s promising a lot of power to people who’ve been seeking it for years. They’re seizing the opportunity, just like him.”

 

“Jin?”

 

Both Seokjin and Yoongi’s heads whip round at the sound of Jungkook’s voice. He’s stood in the doorway to the lounge, hair damp, towel tied around his waist. There’s irritation in his gaze, though the overall effect is lessened by the fact that he’s nearly naked and dripping wet.

 

“Hey, Kook.”

 

“I told you that Yoongi needed to rest,” is the only response.

 

Seokjin frowns. “And he told me that he’s had a fair few visitors already. Any reason you keeping him from seeing me?”

 

Jungkook looks caught off guard. Flusters slightly. He looks down at the floor before lifting his eyes back up to Seokjin’s, challenging.

 

“I wasn’t lying. He needs to rest. The others were- friends. It’s different.”

 

“Are you saying I’m not Yoongi’s friend?” Seokjin replies, fire in his words now. 

 

“I’m saying that you’re not going be here just to have a friendly chat. You’re going to start talking about work, and shit that Yoongi doesn’t need to be involved in right now. Or ever, actually.”

 

“Look, I just thought I’d take the opportunity to thank him for what he did while I could. It was Yoongi who brought up Hyunwook, not me.”  

 

“And let me guess, you told him everything?”

 

“Of course I did,” Seokjin bites back. “It’s his right to know. He was almost killed because of him. He’s going to have to deal with the fallout whenever he’s ready to come back to work.”

 

Jungkook crosses his arms over his chest, eyes sparking. “He’s not coming back to work. Not for you.”

 

There is stunned silence in the room. Despite Jungkook’s show of determination, there is a slight tremble to his lower lip. Yoongi expects he’s not used to standing up to Seokjin so forcefully.  It reminds him of when he tried to block Yoongi from giving a false statement to the police.

 

“Excuse me?” Yoongi says quietly, once Jungkook’s words fully sink in. The defiant look weakens even more under Yoongi’s gaze. Jungkook refuses to meet his eyes, keeping his own firmly fixed on Seokjin.

 

“Yoongi won’t be working for you anymore.”

 

Seokjin doesn’t reply straight away. Seems to be collecting himself before speaking. When he does, his words are slow and pointed.

 

“And is that your decision or Yoongi’s?”

 

“He just can’t work for you okay?” Jungkook exclaims, words taking on a strange edge of desperation. Fully ignores Seokjin’s question. 

 

“Kook, you-“

 

Yoongi’s words have barely left his lips when Jungkook turns to face him, eyes blazing with an unsettling mix of anger and fear. 

 

“You can’t,” he says, voice strained. “You could have died. You can’t go back.”

 

Yoongi wants to feel angry. Jungkook has no right to make such decisions on his behalf. To act like he can determine what Yoongi is and isn’t capable of. But he sees the anguish in his features, the way that his eyes shine. Sees how terrified that Jungkook truly is. 

 

“Kook,” Yoongi begins, keeping his tone deliberately soft and careful. “That’s not your decision to make.”

 

“Why not? You only work for Jin because I suggested it. It’s all because of me and- fuck, you just can’t go back okay.”

 

Yoongi’s chest clenches. He knows exactly why Jungkook doesn’t want him to go back. Thinks himself responsible for what happened. If Yoongi gets hurt again, Jungkook will imagine that to be his fault too no doubt. But Yoongi knows there’s no way that he’s not returning. He enjoyed his work. Perhaps enjoyable might not be the word for it now; he knows, though, that there’s no way he’s going retreat and let Seokjin struggle alone.

 

“Let’s talk about this another time, okay?” Yoongi suggests to him. “Jin just wanted to see how I was doing.”

 

“But ultimately- you want Yoongi to keep working for you, don’t you?” Jungkook counters, turning back to Seokjin. Seokjin shifts, uncomfortable. “Well, don’t you?”

 

“Kook, look, I honestly didn’t want to discuss anything to do with work. I only want Yoongi to focus on getting better. Then we can discuss about- what the next steps are for Yoongi.”

 

“Next steps?” Yoongi asks quietly.

 

Seokjin’s eyes dart between him and Jungkook, seeming conflicted. He sighs softly.

 

“My dad and the other higher ups, they- well, they’re impressed. Helping me out with my arrest, and now this. They really appreciate your loyalty to me. As do I, of course.”

 

He trails off, saying no more. Casts a nervous glance in Jungkook’s direction. 

 

“They want you to join the organisation. Properly.”

 

Yoongi blinks hard, shock flooding him. It takes a few moments to truly process the implications. He already works closely with Seokjin but he’s an outsider, always staying on the edges. To actually be a member of the organisation; that’s a huge fucking deal.

 

“No,” Jungkook says, so quiet it’s almost a whisper. He repeats himself, louder this time. “No. No fucking way.”

 

His voice is edged with panic, with fear. Yoongi’s own stomach churns. It’s a hell of an ask. It’s a commitment that he would be tied to in so many ways, inescapable, unavoidable.

 

“It’s Yoongi’s choice,” Seokjin says gently. “And I of course don’t expect an answer until he’s well enough to properly consider the offer. But- there you go.”

 

Yoongi’s gaze drifts around the room, bewildered. Seokjin looks caught between hopeful and pained. Jungkook-

 

Jungkook’s still not wearing any fucking clothes. Yoongi stifles the bizarre urge to start laughing.

 

“Kook. Why don’t you go and get dressed?”

 

“What, so you can give Jin an answer behind my back?”

 

Yoongi gives a small shake of his head. “No. Of course not. I- god, I’d need to seriously think about that.”

 

“Take as long as you need to think it over,” Seokjin reassures. “If you decide you want things to stay as they are, then I completely understand.”

 

Jungkook runs a hand through his damp hair, expression one of extreme anguish. If he was worried about Yoongi before, no doubt this has amplified his fears even more. The anxiety slowly turns into something more challenging, more defiant.

 

“Fine. If you’re gonna keep Yoongi working for you, then can you tell me your decision about me?”

 

Seokjin frowns. “About you?”

 

A little nervousness seeps into Jungkook’s face but he stays determined. Clears his throat, looking pointedly only in Seokjin’s direction.

 

“About what I asked for at the hospital.”

 

It takes a few moments but comprehension finally dawns on Seokjin’s face.  He shakes his head. 

 

“I didn’t think you meant it seriously. I thought you were just angry and upset.”

 

“I was angry and upset,” Jungkook retorts. “But I still meant it. I want that guy to fucking pay. Let me help you.”

 

“What, you think you’re just gonna track Hyunwook down, someone no one in the organisation has been able to locate in days, and what- kill him?”

 

“Give me a job. Let me help you find him. And when we do- yes, I’ll fucking kill him, and anyone else who gets in my way.”

 

Yoongi’s eyes grow wide. It’s unnerving to hear Jungkook talk like this. He’s been so calm and patient these last few days, focused entirely on Yoongi’s wellbeing. Yoongi had no idea that such anger was simmering beneath the surface. He finds himself shaking his head without realising it. 

 

“No way.”

 

Jungkook turns on him, eyes blazing. “What, so you can tell me what I can and can’t do, but I can’t do the same to you?”

 

Yoongi closes his mouth. What Jungkook says is true, of course; Yoongi can’t expect to decide things on the younger’s behalf, but not allow it the other way around. But this idea- it’s absurd.

 

“Kook. I know you’re angry about what happened. We all are. But you can’t get involved in this. The others wouldn’t accept it for a start; as close as we are, you’re not a Kim. You’re no one to them.”

 

“Neither’s Yoongi, and you’ve just offered for him to fucking sign his life away to you.”

 

Seokjin flinches slightly at the bluntness of his words. Doesn’t chastise him for it though; seems to understand that emotions are running high. 

 

“He’s proved himself. He works hard, he’s shown he’s loyal.”

 

“And I haven’t? How many people have come to me for information about you in the past and I’ve never let a single thing slip,” Jungkook argues.

 

“Yes, but-”

 

“You know me. Your dad knows me. I’d be a hard worker if you gave me a chance. I can take a guy out with a few kicks. I can use a gun and use it well. I’m even fucking better with knives, ask my teacher. You’ve sent me to training since I was thirteen fucking years old. What’s the point if I never use it?”

 

“That’s what you do at training?” Yoongi mumbles quietly. It goes ignored by the others. 

 

“The point is to learn how to protect yourself,” Seokjin grits back.

 

“But I could easily use it to attack too, couldn’t I?” Jungkook presses. Seokjin doesn’t answer. “Couldn’t I?”

 

Seokjin stares, still not answering. Silence grows heavy in the air between them until after an excruciatingly long pause, Seokjin finally replies.

 

“Yes, I suppose you could.” He keeps speaking, stopping Jungkook from jumping straight on his admission. “But I won’t allow it. I can’t let you get hurt. Sorry, I just can’t. You mean too much to me.”

 

“And what about how much you all mean to me? You, and Namjoon, and Yoongi. I’ve just got to sit back and watch you all get hurt, do absolutely nothing when I know I could help? How is that fucking fair?”

 

There’s a plea in his voice, desperate to convince Seokjin to see things from his side. Yoongi feels utterly conflicted. He understands what’s driving Jungkook, same as what drives Yoongi; he wants to fight for those he cares for. Wants to make a difference. Yet, it’s selfish of him, but he can’t bear the thought of Jungkook deliberately putting himself in danger like that.

 

“It’s a lot to consider,” Seokjin eventually says, voice unusually timid. It doesn’t suit him. Yoongi imagines he’s going through the same dilemma as Yoongi; wanting only to protect Jungkook, and yet understanding his plight too. “I’ll think about it. Properly. I promise.”

 

Yoongi feels his stomach sink. Jungkook seems surprised by the response, blinking rapidly before nodding.

 

“Thank you.”

 

Silence returns, pressing and awkward. No one seems to quite know what to say. Yoongi’s mind is spinning.  A quiet, incessant beeping sounds from their bedroom. It takes a while but Jungkook suddenly startles, as though only just hearing it.

 

“I need to get your medication,” he mumbles, glancing in Yoongi’s direction. 

 

This time Yoongi doesn’t protest about the fussing. Just nods and lets Jungkook sort out what he needs to. He disappears into the bedroom. Seokjin clears his throat.

 

“Yoongi, I’m sorry for springing all of that on you. I honestly didn’t want to put that on your plate quite so soon.”

 

“I know,” Yoongi tells him. “And- I will let you know. About what you offered.”

 

“Take your time,” Seokjin reiterates. “And don’t feel pressured to accept. It is a big commitment, I’m well aware of that.”

 

Yoongi nods. Lets the quiet settle again for a few moments before next speaking.

 

“Jin. At the house. I- well, I kind of-“

 

“You killed that guy,” Seokjin nods with a sad smile. “I know. How do you feel?”

 

“Kind of- blank, I guess. I thought it would affect me a lot more. I was fucking terrified when I first got my gun. Was fucking terrified that whole time in the house to be honest. But that guy- maybe I should feel worse but- I can’t help but feel like he deserved it.”

 

“He did,” Seokjin replies without hesitation. 

 

Another silence. Yoongi feels unsettled, not so much by the thought that he killed a guy, but by how little it seems to have impacted him. 

 

“Can I be linked to it?” Yoongi checks. “If the police-“

 

“We’ve asked the police to stay away from there. And everything was cleaned up. You won’t be linked to it.”

 

“There was another guy,” Yoongi tells him. “He left the house when I went in, but what if he went back? What if-“

 

“It’s sorted.”

 

“What do you mean?”

 

“He did come back to the house,” Seokjin tells him. “But we were waiting for him.”

 

Seokjin’s tone leaves no doubt about the implications. Yoongi swallows heavily.

 

“I see.”

 

Yoongi doesn’t get to ask much more because Jungkook’s walking back into the room. He’s now dressed in jeans and a t shirt, pills in one hand. He passes them to Yoongi, then walks into the kitchen. Pours him a glass of water. Yoongi notes the way his eyes flicker to the discarded cereal bowl still sitting on the counter, untouched.

 

“You should eat something too,” Jungkook says as he hands over the glass. “Keep your strength up.”

 

“Sure,” Yoongi nods. Lets Jungkook fuss about him; knows that the younger only means well. Of course he does. Yoongi just needs to remember that the next time he’s about to snap.

 

“I’ll make you some lunch,” Jungkook tells him. Glances over to Seokjin tentatively. “Will you be staying?”

 

“Thanks, but I should probably get going. Got to meet with my dad later.”

 

Jungkook nods. Seokjin stands, walks over to Yoongi. Squeezes his shoulder lightly. 

 

“I’m really glad to see you doing well, Yoongi. Keep resting up, okay?”

 

“I will.”

 

Seokjin disappears out into the hallway with Jungkook. Yoongi swallows down his tablets. The sound of the door closing drifts through into the lounge.

 

When Jungkook comes back through, he immediately heads into the kitchen. Yoongi clears his throat. Reaches out his hand. It catches Jungkook’s attention. He looks at the kitchen counter, then walks over to Yoongi. Lets the elder tug him gently down next to him on the couch.

 

Yoongi leans in. Rests his chin on Jungkook’s shoulder and presses a gentle to the side of his neck. It draws the smallest of smiles from him. Yoongi sighs quietly. He takes Jungkook’s hand in his own, planting another stray kiss against his neck. Hopes it gets across what he’s trying to say. That he does appreciate everything Jungkook’s trying to do for him.

 

“So,” he begins softly. “I always thought when you went to training you were just doing like, a martial arts workout or something.”

 

The small smile grows wider on Jungkook’s lips. 

 

“I mean, it’s kind of like a workout,” he grins lightly. “But you know, like, learning to kill a guy at the same time.”

 

Yoongi smiles back, even though his stomach knots. He’s pleased to find out that Jungkook is so well-equipped to protect himself. But Jungkook’s request to use it to help the Kims weighs heavy on his mind. He tries not to focus on it for now; at least not until Seokjin gives Jungkook an answer.

 

Jungkook tilts his head to the side, nudging it against Yoongi’s. He looks down, watching their entwined fingers. Squeezes them gently.

 

“About what Jin offered,” he says, tentative. “What are you going to tell him?”

 

“I really need to think about it properly,” Yoongi tells him. “Consider all the possibilities. It’s a huge decision to make.”

 

Jungkook nods. Asks quietly, “Do you have any idea? You know, if you think you’ll do it or not?”

 

“I need to consider it, like I said. But honestly-“ Yoongi pauses. Lets his own gaze drop down their hands too. “-something in me deep down kind of knows my answer already.”

 

Jungkook sighs, soft and sad. “You’re going to do it, aren’t you?”

 

“Probably,” Yoongi tells him.

 

“I fucking knew it.”

 

Unlike earlier, the anger in his words has faded. It’s more subdued, more resigned. Yoongi hates making him sound like that but he knows, truthfully, that’s where his heart is tugging. He wants to make a difference; wants to help bring down Hyunwook, and keep Seokjin’s place assured.

 

“I’m sorry, baby.”

 

Jungkook sighs again. He looks down at his lap, blinking hard. Yoongi’s sure his eyes are shining more than before. 

 

Yoongi’s gut twists hard, feeling sick at causing such distress in the younger. But he can’t help what he wants, what drives him. Bringing things back into order not only for Seokjin’s sake, and for the sake of revenge; but also for the fact that if Seokjin’s position remains secure, then Jungkook suddenly stays a whole lot safer too.

 

“I’ll sort your lunch,” Jungkook says eventually. “What do you want?”

 

“What can you make?”

 

“Whatever I can find a number for on Naver.”

 

Yoongi smiles, and slowly, one returns to Jungkook’s lips too. Yoongi tilts his head just enough so that their lips meet. The kiss is slow and tender, holding so much love alongside their fears. For a few blissful moments, Yoongi pushes aside everything that’s happened, focusing fully and entirely on the man who makes it all worth it.

 

***

 

“Will you stop touching it.”

 

“I think the dressing needs changing.”

 

Jungkook sighs.

 

“The dressing does not need changing. Leave it another couple of hours at least. Then it can be changed.”

 

Yoongi rolls his eyes but accepts the advice. He lays back against the covers, looking up at Jungkook. The younger smiles down at him, fingertips running along the length of his jean-clad thigh. Yoongi reaches out, his own fingers drifting along Jungkook’s forearm.

 

“Since when did you get so knowledgeable?”

 

“Nurse Jeon, remember?”

 

Yoongi lets his smile relax into a grin. He squeezes his fingers on Jungkook’s arm, lets his voice drop a little lower.

 

“Oh, I remember.”

 

It had been sometime last week. Jungkook hadn’t gone all out with the outfit. Said he felt too self-conscious in an actual dress, and so Yoongi didn’t press him on it. He never wants to make the other uncomfortable for his own pleasures. Jungkook did, however, make sure to wear long white stockings, and perfectly fitted white lace panties for the entire day, bending over deliberately to give Yoongi a good view every time he prepared his medication or brought him a drink.

 

Yoongi’s side still hurt too much to do anything as strenuous as sex, so it became a frustrating tease, Jungkook working him up without Yoongi being able to do a thing about it. Jungkook seemed to enjoy it immensely, seeing Yoongi getting more and more desperate as the hours passed by. Eventually he took pity on the elder. Got down on his knees and wrapped his lips around Yoongi’s aching cock, sucking him off and taking him deep into his throat until Yoongi was cumming with a heavy sigh of his name.

 

Jungkook grins. “That was fun.”

 

“It certainly made me feel a whole lot better.”

 

They share another long look, both of them smiling. Yoongi’s glad that he’s in a good mood. He was a little worried about how things might go today, but Jungkook seems to be a lot calmer now.

 

Jungkook’s hand drifts up, fingers ghosting past scarred skin. Takes care to avoid the healing wound itself. Yoongi flinches even though it doesn’t hurt that much, not anymore. It’s more the memories that it brings back. The reminder of why he’s made the decisions that he has. Jungkook’s eyes linger on the spot, no doubt reliving his own memories of that day.

 

“Can I see it?” Jungkook whispers after a while. “When you change the dressing?”

 

Yoongi nods. “Of course. If you want to.”

 

“I do,” Jungkook tells him, even though his voice still sounds uncertain as he speaks.

 

His fingers drift up to the new dressing, now covering Yoongi’s other side, an almost mirror reflection. Only touches the edges. It still hasn’t fully sunk in for Yoongi what’s underneath, and he’s sure that it hasn’t for Jungkook either. It’s a lot to take in. That the ink might one day fade but it will never disappear. That as of today, the Kim insignia will be imprinted on his body for life.

 

Yoongi remembers making the call to Seokjin a few days ago. Despite feeling deep down that he wanted to take up Seokjin’s offer when first asked, Yoongi certainly hadn’t made his final decision lightly. He spent a long time considering the implications, for if he took up the offer, and also for if he didn’t. He talked it through with Jungkook too, wanting to gain his support, even though it was difficult.

 

Eventually though, Yoongi went with his heart. Meeting Jungkook has given Yoongi a life he never could have dreamed of, in so many ways. He’s experienced a love he was never expecting, a circle of friends that have come to mean a lot to him in a short space of time. A drive to his life, something that motivates him every day. 

 

He recalls a conversation that he had with Taehyung not so long ago over lunch. When the younger asked if he ever dreamt of escaping it all, of disappearing off the map and living out a simpler life. He feels the same way he did then. That existence may work for some people, but not for him. Yoongi craves making an impact, to hold onto responsibility, to earn respect. A life away from this city may bring peace, but he's not sure it would bring happiness. 

 

He understands the risk that comes with his decision too of course. He's not naive. Knows the increased danger being a true member of such an organisation brings. Knows that getting deeper into this makes it impossible to ever get out. But he feels it's worth it. It may be a frightening world, but it's one where he finally feels like he belongs.

 

Jungkook's gaze stays fixed on the new dressing, as though if he stares long enough he'll be able to see the tattoo beneath it. Yoongi reaches up, pads of his fingers pressing gently under Jungkook's chin. It draws his eyes up, meeting with Yoongi's. Jungkook smiles, a hint of bashfulness in there.

 

Yoongi cocks his head, silently asking for Jungkook to come closer. He does so automatically, crawling up the covers by Yoongi's side. Yoongi's fingers stay against his chin, all the way until Jungkook's dipping his head, their lips meeting easily. The kiss is languid, lazy, but with a familiar heat behind it. Yoongi's tongue licks softly inside the younger's mouth, Jungkook's own tongue soon meeting it in a deep, slow slide. Yoongi sighs into it; feels Jungkook do exactly the same.

 

"Has Jin said anything about Hyunwook?" Jungkook asks as they break apart.

 

He props himself up on an elbow, stretched out next to Yoongi. Gets a shake of the head in response.

 

"Still no sign of him. A few people's apartments were broken into the other day though, probably a scare tactic to warn them away from Jin." 

 

Yoongi pauses, wondering whether to tell Jungkook the rest of the news. He decides to; there's very little that he keeps from the other. 

 

"Your dad has pledged his loyalty to Jin's dad by the way. We were unsure if he would but Jin told me the news today."

 

Jungkook sighs and nods, odd little grimace on his lips.

 

"Dad always went to Hyunwook when he needed stuff doing but in the end, he looks out for himself. He knows Hyunwook's unpredictable, knows that Jin and his dad have the balance of power. Whatever loyalty he pretended to show Hyunwook won't matter now. He'll always back the stronger side."

 

"Hm. Least it's good to know we're perceived as the stronger side."

 

"For now," Jungkook smiles grimly. "Hyunwook's planning something big, I'm sure of it."

 

"He's gonna have a battle on his hands," Yoongi assures him.

 

"I know," Jungkook replies, eyes turning steelier. "I fucking hate that guy for what he's done. I wish Jin would let me help."

 

"He might do still," Yoongi tells him. "He just wants you to be safe."

 

Yoongi doesn't say how strongly he feels the same way. Jungkook huffs.

 

"Well I'm not safe sitting here on my own every day either," he protests. "I'd rather be unsafe and doing something, than waiting around for something to happen."

 

Yoongi's stomach churns at the thought of something happening to Jungkook. It reminds him sharply of one of the reasons he's so committed to the Kims, to helping Seokjin rid the organisation of this new faction. 

 

"He'll let you know soon, baby, I'm sure," Yoongi says. 

 

Jungkook makes a dismissive noise in response but otherwise stays silent. Curls up against Yoongi's side, head resting on his shoulder.

 

Yoongi presses a light kiss into his hair before turning his head, looking out at the city through the floor to ceiling windows. Lights blink on and off in the towers along the sky line. The sky turns inky blank, illuminations from the streets below casting a soft glow. Yoongi watches quietly, never growing tired of the scene. This is the city where he first found his way in life; where he's finally finding a place that he's happy. 

 

Jungkook's hand rests over Yoongi’s chest. Yoongi wonders if he can feel the thump of his heart beneath it. He lifts his own hand, covering Jungkook's with it. Links their fingers loosely together. He feels the contented sigh that escapes Jungkook more than he hears it.

 

Yoongi lets himself sink into the stillness of the moment. Watches the chaos of the city, strangely silent through the glass. The only sound in here is the soft breathing of Jungkook, warm against his neck. The only light is glowing softly from the lamp by the bed. It's peaceful, serene; Yoongi lets himself get lost in it.

 

He knows that there is chaos to come in his own life, but he's prepared for it. He won't back down from it. There have been a few times since meeting Jungkook when he's had the choice to fight for what he has, or to flee to save himself. Every time he's chosen to fight. This time is no different.

 

Hyunwook is out there somewhere, along with his growing band of supporters from within the organisation. Perhaps some from outside too. Plotting his next attempt to steal power from those currently have it. Yoongi will not let that happen.

 

This city isn't Hyunwook's to take. This city is Seokjin's, and Namjoon's, and perhaps now, Yoongi's too. He refuses to sit back and allow it to be lost. It's theirs to keep, and to defend. 

 

Jungkook stirs next to him. Presses a sleepy kiss to Yoongi's shoulder. Yoongi’s heart thuds hard as he slips an arm around him. Holds his hand tighter with the other. His cheek presses into Jungkook's hair as he gazes out at Seoul spread out before them.

 

A fight is coming.

 

And Yoongi's ready for it.