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keep me safe (keep him warm)

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a few hours later, the police station is bustling with life again. pretty much everyone has dropped their cases to assist jeongguk, who in the meantime spent his time carefully coaxing the rest of the story out of taehyung. the report from detective santiago turns out to be pretty useless too, since apart from taehyung and the employee that found the body while taking out the trash, there seem to be no other witnesses.

identifying the victim without any id turns out to be tricky, but jeongguk has been through this multiple times; they’re just going to have to wait for the lab results.

“it can’t possibly have been a simple robbery right? i mean, his wallet and phone were gone by the time the coroner picked him up.” hoseok, jeongguk’s colleague, muses as he inspects the report again.

jeongguk shakes his head firmly. “no. taehyung said that they were fighting before it happened. and look at how many times the victim got stabbed—11 times. that’s not how a robber would proceed.”

they’re sat at the younger’s desk, looking at an awfully empty crime board. the when and the where are the only things that they can rely on at the moment.

jeongguk is about to speak up again when his phone rings. he checks the caller id and hurriedly accepts the call when he sees seokjin’s name.

“dr. kim? have you identified the victim yet?”

“as a matter of fact, i have. his name is brandon walker and he is, well, was 39, would have turned 40 in a few weeks. weapon was obviously a knife, one and half inches wide and five inches long.”

jeongguk nods as he scribbles down the name. “okay great, thank you.”

“found something?” hoseok asks after jeongguk has set aside his phone. he nods and stands up, writing down the name onto the whiteboard.

“attention! this is our vic’s name. i want you to find out as much as you can about him. finances, private life, work etc. all that jazz. in the meantime tell me what you’ve found already.” he orders before sitting back down. officer park hesitantly walks up to his desk, a file held tightly between his small and shaky hands.

“t-these are mostly just screenshots from all the traffic security cameras within a radius of about 5 blocks from the crime scene. there’s one camera that actually did r-record the stabbing, although the quality is unsurprisingly very b-bad. tech couldn’t get us a good look at the attackers face b-but we’re hoping on an id on the car that we suspect to be the killer’s by morning.” jeongguk acknowledges him with a glare that makes the officer gulp nervously and flips through the blurry prints. the pictures of the crime scene are, like jimin said, exceptionally shitty, but jeongguk can recognize a few things anyways. his heart hurts when he gets to the picture of the offender holding taehyung by the front of his shirt, fist raised. he sets down the stack of pictures and grabs the piece of paper attached to the file by a paper clip to inspect both sides.

“did peralta and santiago go out to question the neighborhood again?” he asks, eyes flying over the paper in search for anything important.

officer park nods. jeongguk sighs. “please tell me that they at least found something useful this time.”

“i think they did, actually.” jimin leans forward and carefully plucks the paper from between jeongguk’s fingers to turn it around and point at a few sentences on the bottom. “they, uhm, interviewed a homeless guy. he said that there was a bald guy running past him at around ten thirty. apparently he also looked very distressed, kept checking if someone was following him.”

jeongguk smiles, happy that they found another witness. the more, the better.

“great, thanks. could we see the videos?”

jimin nods. “yeah, just go into the briefing room, it should still be displayed.”

“okay. hey, could you please check on taehyung for me?” jimin smiles, so jeongguk considers it as a yes. “and tell me if the forensic artist is still there?”

hoseok and him go to the briefing room to watch the videos simultaneous to jimin setting off to look for taehyung. the officer was right, the computer is still connected to the overhead projector, ready to be used.

“this is the first traffic camera that recorded the car.” hoseok reads from the bottom of the screen and hits play. a black SUV races out of the shadows from a dark side street and onto the main road, causing several cars to hit the brakes and honk wildly.

they watch as the car races through brooklyn until there’s no more video tapes to watch. hoseok sighs and reluctantly pulls up another video from a different folder, glancing at jeongguk hesitantly before playing the video.

jeongguk tenses when he recognizes the street, a vacated one with nothing but a few dumpsters and a door, apparently the back door of the restaurant mentioned earlier.

they watch the tape in silence, the two men on the screen screaming at each other aggressively. hoseok draws in a sharp breath when taehyung appears on the left bottom corner of the screen. the boy pulls out his earphones in wonder, slowing down his pace. when the smaller one of the two men suddenly grabs a knife from his pocket, he startles and presses himself against the wall. his curiosity seems to take over him again when he leans forward to look around the corner.

jeongguk can see taehyung’s body tensing at the picture presented to him: the smaller one of the two men pulling his knife out of the other’s stomach just to ram it back in seconds later. when about four stabs are delivered, the man drops to the floor lifelessly, but the other guy holding the knife doesn’t relent, kneeling down to assault his body with five quick and successive strikes.

when the deed is done the bald headed man stands up, wiping the blood off the knife and pocketing it again. he looks around frantically, looking for anyone that might’ve seen what just happened. his eyes roam around the alley until they spot taehyung, the teen frozen in place from the shock. he doesn’t hesitate before storming over to him and grabbing him by his shirt.

jeongguk is fuming, hands curling into fists as he watches the man deliver blow after blow to taehyung’s face.

the boy is released when the man whips his head around violently and let’s go of his shirt, the boy’s back sliding down the wall until he drops to the floor. jeongguk remembers taehyung telling him that police sirens resounding in the distance saved him from further bruises. the man squats down briefly, pulling his knife back out to deliver a quick slash towards taehyung’s stomach area, making taehyung choke on air in the process. the boy’s hands fly up to press into his left side just as the man takes off, face twisting in pain.

jeongguk springs up from his seat, heart beating faster by the second. he doesn’t remember taehyung telling him about this.

suddenly, the video is over. it’s quiet.

“did he just... stab taehyung?” hoseok speaks up worriedly. jeongguk nods, lost for words.

and then he takes off, running out of the room before hoseok can say anything else.