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keep me safe (keep him warm)

Chapter Text

there’s a few things in this world that jeongguk is absolutely sure of:

1. drinking six cups of coffee every morning is not healthy

2. there will never be enough donuts in the morning to feed the whole department

3. sneaking out to get something to eat at the nearest bakery during his shift is not something that he should ever repeat, even if his stomach has been growling for two hours

4. paperwork, while being an absolute necessity, is boring and makes him regret ever enrolling into the police academy

5. there’s a boy sitting in the chair next to next to his desk. again.

 

he sighs as he approaches his desk and puts on his best ‘i’m not in the mood for any of your bullshit’ expression. kim taehyung himself is a great kid, but having him sit in that very spot for the fifth time this week is a tad bit too much for the young detective’s liking.

“so tell me. what’d you do this time?” he asks teasingly, making himself comfortable in his seat.

there’s no answer. the younger boy’s head is hung low, his bangs making it impossible for jeongguk to make eye contact with him, or even see his face for that matter.

“see you’ve really gotta stop getting into shit. i’m tired of all this paperwork.”

jeongguk frowns. he would have expected a snarky remark or a boxy grin by now. he leans forward, trying to get a better angle on taehyung’s face, but to no avail.

“hey kid, you okay?” he asks tentatively, slowly but surely getting worried.

when three seconds go by and taehyung still hasn’t answered, nor moved, he reaches up under the boy’s chin and lifts it up. jeongguk is out of his seat within seconds, kneeling down in front of taehyung whose face is a bloody mess.

his eyes are hooded, blood dripping out of a big gash adorning his left cheek, his bottom lip is split and his jaw is decorated with multiple purple splotches. jeongguk can feel his heart rate pick up when taehyung’s eyes shift to meet his, the dark orbs that had previously been unfocused and lifeless are now filled with panic. taehyung’s hand grabs jeongguk’s wrist, not to push him away, but to pull him closer.

“jeonggukie”, the boy whimpers, his nails digging half moons into jeongguk’s flesh. the officer winces but doesn’t remove his hand from the tight grip, instead calling out for a colleague without ever taking his eyes off of taehyung’s face.

“detective jeon?” he hears a familiar voice above him, forcing jeongguk to look up.

“what the fuck happened park? why did no one notify me about this?” he’s still crouched down in front of taehyung, not daring to break away from the teen who’s holding onto him so desperately. he sends the officer his darkest glare, making the man flinch and stutter.

“i- we-, sir, i tried but i couldn’t find you. he hadn’t been here for long, m- maybe ten minutes? was refusing to- to talk to me, to tell me what ha- happened to him. he kept insisting that- that you’ll take care of him.”

“oh, so you decided to leave a beaten up teen alone at my desk? for ten whole minutes? what the fuck?” jeongguk knows it’s his fault. he let the poor boy wait in favor of getting himself some food, but right now letting out his anger at the younger officer feels way better.

“sir, with all due respect, he was refusing any help or medical attention and-“

jeongguk is positively fuming. “if a bleeding kid who looks like he’s been through hell and back walks in here, you don’t sit around and wait for the big boss to arrive, you act, even if-“

a pained whimper from taehyung cuts him off. “i’m- not a kid.” the boy whispers, one side of his mouth quirking up, despite his wobbly bottom lip.

jeongguk smiles gently, all anger gone from his voice. “yeah you are. c’mon let’s get you somewhere else.”

he stands up, pulling the boy onto his feet and supporting his weight by slinging an arm around his waist carefully, not sparing officer park another glance. he walks towards the break room slowly, making sure that taehyung is able to keep up the pace and settles him on the couch. once the boy is comfortable, he wanders back to the door and gives a few officers and detectives that had been standing around lazily a hard look before closing it.

jeongguk stalks over to a stack of blankets on the other side of the room and tucks taehyung into one. taehyung’s eyes are quick and restless now, but he doesn’t talk once when jeongguk sets on preparing him a hot chocolate.

“here, i put cinnamon in it. that’s how you like it right?” jeongguk asks tentatively, placing the cup between the younger’s hands. taehyung nods and eyes the beverage appreciatively before taking a sip.

jeongguk watches him with his wide and concerned doe eyes for half a minute before remembering that he should be tending his wounds. he grabs the first aid kit and gets to cleaning the gash on taehyung’s cheeks and his split lip. the antiseptic stings and there are tears in taehyung’s eyes but he doesn’t say anything, not once.

when jeongguk is done, he disposes of the dirty tissues and patches the boy up. taehyung has finished his hot chocolate, so jeongguk takes the mug out of his hands softly and disposes it in the sink.

“are you ready to talk now?” he asks, voice as soft as he can manage. taehyung nods, wincing when he tries to sit up. jeongguk is with him immediately, placing a hand on his thigh and on his shoulder.

“you okay? did you get hurt anywhere else?” he presses, but taehyung shakes his head quickly.

“i- i saw it. on warren street. corner to smith street. i saw it jeongguk. i can’t get it out of my head-“

“what? what did you see taehyung?” jeongguk panics, the younger’s voice broken and raspy from disuse.

“there was- it was-“, the boy stutters, but a police officer storming into the room interrupts him.

“oh. i’m sorry for interrupting”, the officer says upon seeing the pair, in what jeongguk must admit, probably looks like quite the intimate position, “but there has been a murder on warren street. the victim has been stabbed several times and disposed in the dumpsters behind a restaurant.”

jeongguk’s breath gets stuck in his throat. he turns back around to taehyung, the younger’s eyes fixated on the floor.

addressing the officer, jeongguk’s says “i’m busy. send detective santiago out, i want a full report on my desk as quickly as possible.”

the man nods and hurries down the hallway, the door shutting behind him slowly. it’s quiet. taehyung isn’t looking at him.

“taehyung. look at me.” jeongguk orders, his tone indicating that he’s not playing around. taehyung looks up hesitantly, making jeongguk cringe at his own harshness. the boy is scared out of his mind, he should cut him some slack.

“i need you to tell me what happened. was that what you saw? i can’t help you if you don’t talk to me.” jeongguk reasons, brushing taehyung’s bangs away from his eyes.

“y- yeah. that’s what i saw. and he saw too.”

“who? who saw what?”

“he- he saw me. the man that stabbed the other one.”

jeongguk frowns. “he did this to you?”

a nod.

“c’mon, i need more. tell me everything. please taehyung-ah, let me help you. i want to help you.”

taehyung’s eyes water but he nods nonetheless, taking a deep breath before talking. “i was getting a couple chores done, since i don’t have school today and i was- i was walking down smith street in direction of the carrol gardens when i- i heard these shouts. i didn’t think any of it, because people fight in public all the time, but then i heard this...scream. it was horrible. it was so horrible.”

taehyung voice quivers, and all it takes is for jeongguk to pull him into a hug before he starts crying. jeongguk’s heart gives a painful pang at the sobbing noises emitting from taehyung mouth. he strokes the other’s back, hoping that it will calm him down enough to breathe properly.

“it’s okay, we’ve got time. breathe taehyung, breathe.”

five minutes later, taehyung’s asleep on the couch, nestled into the blanket jeongguk gave him. his face looks peaceful, his softened features reminding jeongguk how young and innocent taehyung is. this taehyung is a complete opposite from the sobbing mess he was not long ago, fear and pain clear as day in his eyes. it pains jeongguk to know that he’ll return to that state as soon as he wakes up, but it pains him even more to be unable to change anything about it. the primal urge to go out there and kill the guy who hurt taehyung is strong and he has to stroke taehyung’s intact cheek to calm himself down, to keep himself grounded. he’s a man of the law after all.

“he’s just a kid,” jeongguk whispers to himself in disbelief, rage from earlier bubbling back up. he stands up and walks back to his desk, raising his hands to his mouth to imitate a speaker.

“listen up. i’m sure you all heard what happened on warren street. i know for you this is just another case, just another murder to solve. but to me, it’s not. i have a teen in the break room that is scared for his life, so i want all of you to work as efficiently as possible, got it?”

every detective and officer present nods their head quickly, because although jeongguk may not technically be their superior, his solved crimes count is higher than all of the other detectives’ combined.

“all right. now let’s catch this son of a bitch.” jeongguk nods appreciatively at his colleagues who immediately break out into action before turning around to keep taehyung company until he wakes up.

officer park and detective jung exchange a suggestive gaze at the other’s dedication to protect the kid, but get to work nonetheless.

Chapter Text

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.

Chapter Text

taehyung is sitting next to the forensic artist when jeongguk storms into the room all while stumbling over his own feet. taehyung smiles at the sight of jeongguk, but that smile quickly fades and turns into a frown when he notices the distressed expression on the elder’s features.

“are you done?” the detective’s question is directed towards the police artist, who stutters out a positive answer and fumbles around with his stuff before leaving the room hurriedly.

when the door falls into its lock, quiet descends upon the room.

“guk? what’s wrong?” taehyung asks, moving to stand up but is quickly stopped by the other.

“no, sit down.” jeongguk’s tone is authoritative enough to make taehyung obey for once. “show me.”

“show you what?” the younger’s eyebrows knit together, hands fidgeting in his lap and betraying his calm exterior as he watches jeongguk grab the fist aid kit for the second time that day.

“the knife wound. i saw the tape, so don’t try to lie to me again.” jeongguk snaps as he kneels down in front of taehyung, who instinctively spreads his legs to make space for him.

he swallows hard. “i- i’m fine, jeongguk. he didn’t even strike me properly. it’s barely anything, really.”

“doesn’t matter. take off your jacket.” jeongguk commands and watches as the younger obeys wordlessly, face heating up upon being caught.

the detective takes ahold of the boy’s black shirt to lift it up and is immediately met with a sticky substance.

taehyung hisses when jeongguk peels the shirt from his upper body and proceeds to gawk at the sight of the cut adorning taehyung’s side. there’s streaks of dry and caked up blood running down taehyung’s torso, and by the looks of it, there’s still some fresh blood spilling out of the wound.

“i’m gonna call an ambulance.” jeongguk states before reaching behind himself to grab his phone from his back pocket.

“guk, no! don’t, please don’t.” taehyung pleads, looking at jeongguk with big and desperate puppy dog eyes.

“you’re hurt! we need professional help!” the elder tries to argue, but lets taehyung pluck his phone out of his hands anyways.

“see this is why i didn’t tell you. i knew your worried ass would call an ambulance on me.”

“but why-“

“i’m not insured okay? now patch me up hotshot.” taehyung cuts him off, but his tone is gentle as he shoves the antiseptic and bandages into jeongguk’s hands.

the elder sighs but gets to cleaning the wound anyway. he endures taehyung’s hisses and hands clawing at his shoulders like a champion, telling him to stay strong and whispering encouraging words every few seconds.

“thank you.”

taehyung watches as jeongguk nervously checks the bandages around taehyung’s torso over and over again, running his hands along the fabric at least ten times before taehyung grabs him by his wrists.

“guk, i’m okay. it’s okay.” he tries to soothe the elder but is met with a frantic shake of jeongguk’s head.

“what if he hadn’t missed? what if he seriously hurt you? and what if i didn’t see that damn tape? would you have kept lying to me? when did you plan on-“ taehyung shushes him by pulling him into a soft hug, mirroring jeongguk’s actions from a few hours ago by rubbing his back comfortingly with one hand and running his other one through jeongguk’s soft strands of hair.

the detective is shaking in the boy’s hold, winding his arms around his waist carefully, as though as he could break any second.

“i’m okay, jeongguk-ah. really.” taehyung whispers into the man’s hair.

“i’m going to make him pay for everything he did. i promise, taehyung. i promise.” jeongguk’s voice is shaky, but the determination in it makes taehyung’s heart beat a little

“i’m sure you will. thank you, jeongguk.”

“why are you thanking me? i did nothing. i didn’t do anything.”

“you were here for me when i needed you. you didn’t hesitate to help, you took care of me, in more ways than one.” he presses a kiss to the top of the elder’s head. “you care about me, and that is enough to be thankful for.”

jeongguk nods, closing his eyes and taking a deep breath.

if taehyung notices a single tear slipping down his cheek, he doesn’t say anything.

 

“c’mon, i have a spare sweater in my locker. it might be a little too big on you, but it’s better than this shirt.”

taehyung follows jeongguk and watches as the elder retrieves a grey nypd sweater from his locker. jeongguk gives it to him and suddenly, the air between them is awkward.

“uh, i’ll just, wait outside.” jeongguk turns to leave but taehyung prevents him from doing so by grabbing him by the sleeve of shirt.

“cute, but you’re not going anywhere. i need help, you big idiot.” jeongguk smiles to himself at taehyung’s snide comment, because for once, everything feels normal. then, when he realizes what taehyung is asking him to do, the smile falls from his lips.

“no, taehyung-“ he tries to protest but taehyung just rolls his eyes and takes a step closer.

“guk, please help me. you’re the only one here that i trust enough to undress me.” jeongguk blushes and he tries not to show taehyung how much that statement pleases him.

jeongguk also tries not to stare too much as peels taehyung’s shirt from his body and helps him into the hoodie, but it’s hard to look anywhere else when taehyung’s smooth and tan skin is right in front of him.

“thank you guk.” taehyung mumbles before yawning and covering his mouth with his sweater paw. he looks so cute and fragile in this sweater that is practically swallowing him up, and jeongguk can’t help but pull him into a hug.

taehyung indulges the other and let’s himself be cuddled. “i’d like to go home now please, i’m tired.”

“of course,” jeongguk releases him from the hug and smooths taehyung’s bangs to the side. “i’ll drop you off.”

 

“thanks again. i really mean it. i don’t know where i would be without you, so...” taehyung picks at his nails shyly, suddenly at loss for words.

“in juvie, probably.“ taehyung snorts and looks up at jeongguk, who’s sporting a shit eating grin.

they’re standing in front of the orphanage that taehyung lives in, because after driving him there, jeongguk had also insisted on walking him to the door. jeongguk rings it and patiently waits for either one of the kids or mrs. winter herself to open the door.

“taehyung! there you are boy, where have you been? i was worried sick!” jeongguk smiles, mrs. winter has always treated taehyung like her own.

the elderly woman ushers the teen inside and looks at jeongguk apologetically. “i’m so sorry, what’d he do this time?”

“nothing, actually.” jeongguk smiles. “i’m just here to drop him off this time, but i’m sure he would like to tell you about the details himself.”

mrs. winter smiles gratefully, patting taehyung’s cheek, the boy playfully sticking out his tongue in return.

“well. i have to get back to the precinct. have a nice evening.” jeongguk bids them goodbye and catches taehyung’s gaze from behind the old woman. the younger winks and jeongguk finds himself smiling back before turning around and getting into his car.

 

later, when he’s alone at his apartment, his thoughts wander back to taehyung and the orphanage.

the boy had been hopping from one family to another ever since he first got into the orphanage at the age of six. the people always found a reason to bring him back; too loud, too hyper, talking too much, getting into too much trouble.

jeongguk has never understood how anyone would ever give up someone so precious, but then again, he didn’t have to to live with the guy, so he couldn’t possibly be sure of how he acts all the the time.

a few months ago, taehyung’s closest brother in the orphanage turned eighteen, meaning that he had to move out and get his own place. apparently he moved far away to get into a good college, which means that he and taehyung barely get to see each other anymore.

it must have had been rough for taehyung, considering that his visits to the precinct almost doubled at the time. apparently his brother must’ve been some sort of anchor, someone to keep him grounded and in check.

but now, jeongguk has promised himself to be taehyung’s new anchor.

someone that he can trust, someone that he can rely on, someone that he can love.

Chapter Text

jeongguk, like every other sane person, hates monday’s. monday’s are boring and dull and- okay never mind that, taehyung is sitting at his desk.

jeongguk smiles for the first time that day when he spots the boy sitting in his desk chair, a cup of what’s probably hot chocolate in hand and a bright boxy grin on his face.

“what are you doing here? aren’t you supposed to be in school?” he asks as he ushers taehyung out of his chair and plops down on it. he’s not sure whether to be appreciative or weirded out about the fact that his chair is already warmed up by the younger’s... butt.

“no, officer. i’m right where i should be.” taehyung quips and jeongguk is about to argue but is cut off when the other shoves the starbucks cup he’s been holding into his hand.

jeongguk arches one eyebrow, eyeing the cup suspiciously. taehyung scoffs.

“it’s just coffee. two pumps hazelnut, whole milk and a bit of grumpiness. just how you like it.”

jeongguk grumbles but accepts the coffee anyways. he eyes the stack of files on his desk with a sigh, setting down the hot drink to flip through each file quickly. he stops upon seeing a report from seokjin, undoubtedly placed on his desk yesterday when he had his off duty day.

he forgets about taehyung’s presence until the younger leans over the desk and rests his chin on jeongguk’s shoulder. the detective freezes when he registers taehyung’s hot breath on his face, smelling faintly of chocolate and mint. he whips his head to the side and suddenly finds himself staring right into taehyung’s surprised eyes.

when too much time passes by without either of them pulling away, jeongguk clears his throat, tearing his gaze away from taehyung and back to the documents at hand.

“what’s that?” taehyung finally asks, pointing at a picture attached to the report, curious as ever.

“a foot.”

taehyung snorts. “i can see that. mind filling me in on that tattoo though?”

“it’s a tattoo...on a foot.” jeongguk replies reluctantly, trying to set down the file so taehyung won’t get involved, making the younger frown. it’s not a good look on him, jeongguk realizes.

“stop bullshitting around,” he snaps as he grabs the documents from jeongguk’s hands, “and show me the fucking thing.”

the detective is, as usual, powerless under taehyung’s scrutinizing gaze and sharp tongue, so he doesn’t bother taking the file back.

“seokjin thinks it’s a gang tattoo. i’m going to have to agree with him.”

taehyung hums, taking his time to study each picture individually. “what gang do you think is it? we got quite a few in brooklyn, no?”

“why don’t you tell me? you grew up in the streets, you should know this kinda stuff.“ if it were anyone else, taehyung would probably be offended, but this is jeongguk, so he knows the older means no harm to taehyung’s feelings.

“you got me there, hotshot.” he leans forwards on his chair, the little distance left between their faces leaving jeongguk fidgeting in his seat nervously. “i’ll tell you what. you go make me a hot chocolate, and maybe i’ll consider spilling some info.”

jeongguk laughs. “you know i could just do a bit of research and find out myself?”

“damnit, i sounded so cool.” taehyung whines. “make me some hot chocolate anyway?”

jeongguk knows he shouldn’t. he’s a working detective that has got better things to do then run around and play servant for a seventeen year old boy. too bad said seventeen year old boy is also a pro at making jeongguk heart do somersault’s in his chest with his pleading eyes and blinding smile.

“okay.”

taehyung makes a noise of victory and leans back in his chair, shooting jeongguk a smug look before the latter takes off for the break room.

“hey tae. you good?” taehyung cranes his head to the side to look at the owner of the voice that just greeted him, happy to find jimin smiling at him.

“jimbles! i’m doing good. what about you?” jimin gives a quiet groan, trying his best to explain his current dilemma in a few short sentences.

“-and this is why i haven’t slept in like three days.” he finishes with a sigh and giggles when taehyung just stares at him, eyes comically wide open.

“wow. jeongguk really puts you through a lot, huh?”

“i guess. it’s fine though, i want to be as hardworking as him. i survive mostly because someone bought a new coffee machine for the precinct that makes coffee that doesn’t taste like ass.”

taehyung laughs. jimin frowns when he notices the younger shivering a bit.

“are you cold?”

“yeah, a bit. i’m okay though, don’t worry.”

“i heard a couple radiators fell out, nothing bad. do you want my jacket? i have a spare one.”

“actually, that’d be great.” taehyung nods enthusiastically, sighing contently when he slides his arms into jimin’s preheated jacket.

“now you’re officer park.” jimin smiles, eyes crinkling up cutely.

“i guess i am. oh, there comes the grumpster. you should probably get out of his way right now. i think he’s still mad at you.”

jimin blanches at the mention of jeongguk, nodding quickly and shooting taehyung a grateful glance before taking off to his desk.

“what was he doing here? and why are you wearing his jacket?” jeongguk asks with a slight pout as he sits the hot chocolate down on his desk and pulls his chair back to sit on it.

taehyung breaks into a brilliant smile after he’s taken his first sip, the image pleasing jeongguk greatly despite the jealousy burning in his gut. he’s well aware of what he’s feeling when someone else takes up on all of taehyung’s attention and takes care of him. he’ll just have to deal with the details later.

“i was cold. he offered.”

the detective’s eyebrows draw together. “you could’ve said something. i could’ve given you my jacket.”

taehyung merely laughs at the other’s words, the sound making warmth spread in jeongguk’s stomach despite the circumstances.

loud footsteps rip the two out of their bubble.

“yo guys. tech gave me the results concerning our suspect. haven’t looked yet, but i think we should fill the others in.” hoseok wags a file in front of his own face before handing it to jeongguk. the detective nods and loudly claps his hands a few times, successfully attracting every officer’s attention.

“we got progress on the stabbing case.”

a few seconds later the crime board is surrounded by his colleagues, all eager to take notes. jeongguk opens the folder, visibly tensing upon seeing the finished product of the forensic artist’s work. he doesn’t say a word when he grabs a magnet and sticks the picture to the whiteboard.

quiet descends upon the crowd.

“dude... he’s fucking ugly.” hoseok comments after a few silent seconds, making taehyung giggle, who in turn sparks the rest of the attendant crowd’s laughter.

“hoseok! what the fuck?” jeongguk spits, but his partner only grins back.

“what? i just said what everyone here is thinking.”

the younger would like to chastise detective jung for his remark, but he can’t find it in himself to deny the statement. the man’s nose is crooked in a way that indicates that it was broken at some point, his left eyebrow almost completely burnt off his face and yellow teeth hide behind chapped lips.

“we’re professionals, act like one.”

the laughter dies down quickly, so jeongguk resumes trying to do his job.

“here it says that his name is hunter williams. he used to work for the fbi, but quit about ten years ago due to unknown reasons. apparently there’s also a couple sealed files about him. a few months after his notice he had his first disagreement with law enforcement and was arrested for driving under the influence of cocaine and speed. later he was also charged for breaking an officers knee while trying to escape. never went to prison though.”

a murmur of voices echoes through the room.

“there’s more...he’s also been arrested for attempted robbery, death threats, personal injuries and car thefts. oh and he was involved in a bar fight downtown.”

“damn...that’s a delinquent if i’ve ever seen one.” hoseok says, gesturing to the paper in jeongguk’s hand.

“hey, don’t forget about that serial killer that jeongguk caught last year!” taehyung pipes up. jeongguk’s head snaps up, making eye contact with the younger who only stares back with a proud look on his face.

“how do you know about that?” jeongguk inquires, earning himself a scoff.

“please jeongguk. basically everyone knows about it. you’re like the department’s superhero.” hoseok answers instead and jeongguk flushes under taehyung’s gaze.

“okay. going on,” jeongguk points at hoseok and jimin, “you two are going to check his last known residence and see if you can find anything there.”

the two nod and grab their jackets from their desks on the way out. the rest of the group listens carefully as jeongguk gives out directions, scattering back to their desks when he dismisses them.

“so, what are we doing?” taehyung asks with a bright smile as jeongguk sorts a few reports into his self made filing system.

“i am going to pay the deceased’s wife a visit. we only just got a hold of her, apparently she spent the weekend at her sister’s house in new jersey.”

“great, let’s go.”

“i never said you were coming with me though, did i? twist it any way you want, this is still police work. i can’t let you come with me.”

taehyung pouts. jeongguk’s eye twitches.

“don’t do that.”

the younger blinks innocently, shifting closer to jeongguk. “do what?”

“taehyung, as much as i appreciate your company, my statement stands. i could get fired for taking you with me.”

taehyung tilts his head cutely, sticking his bottom lip out even further.

“fine. let’s go.”

Chapter Text

“he was a good guy. always trying to help others.”

jeongguk winces as they watch mrs. walker pace around the living room, snot and tears running down her face, some of it even dripping down her chin. taehyung searches the room for some tissues, letting out a quiet sigh of relief when he finds a box sitting on top of the windowsill and offers it to the woman who accepts gratefully.

“i’m sure he was. did your husband act weird or out of the ordinary the last time you saw him? and while we’re at it, when was that?” jeongguk asks, pulling out a pen and a notebook from his pocket to write down anything important.

mrs. walker sniffs. “i saw him before i got off to work around seven thirty on friday morning. ever since he quit his job as a fed he’s been working past time jobs, and on friday’s he works at a coffee shop. his shift starts at ten thirty, so i went to work while he was still asleep.“

jeongguk nods, pen flying over the paper in his haste to write everything down.

“and, to answer your first question,” the woman hesitates for a second, “he’s been acting weird for a while now. years, probably. ever since he stopped working for the fbi, he’s been acting more distant. it always felt like the calm before the storm.

“the last few weeks, he was especially giddy, always on the loose. at first i thought he was cheating on me, but after a long conversation between the both of us, i was convinced that he wasn’t. he told me that he was ‘doing research’ and that he had ‘something big’ going on, but i never got to find out what it was.”

the woman is crying again, jeongguk obviously uncomfortable and overstrained by the situation. he’s never been the type to comfort family members of a victim and he’s not planning on being the type now, but it turns out he doesn’t have to, because taehyung appears from somewhere behind him and pulls her into a hug.

it’s a bold move, but the woman’s cries start to subside after a few minutes, taehyung’s gentle rocking calming her down quickly.

“let’s sit down, how about that. i gave myself permission to make you a cup of tea, i hope that’s alright.” ah. so this is where he went the whole time jeongguk was questioning that poor woman.

“it’s fine. thank you very much officer.” taehyung smiles, boxy grin on display once again, and the woman can’t help but smile in return as the boy guides her towards the couch. he glances over to jeongguk for a split of a second, the elder nodding at him slightly, a sign to keep going.

“is it okay if we ask you a few more questions? if you don’t want to, it’s fine, but we really want you to get some closure for this case.” the boy asks carefully, handing the woman a piece of sugar for her tea.

“you can. i really want to be a help.”

“you’re being a big help mrs. walker. you’re going great so far.”

the woman manages a watery smile.

“okay,” jeongguk speaks up again, successfully drawing both their attention on him, “could you think of anyone that might’ve wanted to harm your husband? as in, did he have any enemies?”

“i mean...” she begins, looking over to taehyung who gives her an encouraging nod. “there’s surely some people that he has put into jail and are seeking revenge now but aside from that... i can’t think of anyone, sorry.”

“okay. i’d like to show you a picture of someone and check if you know this person.”

the woman nods and watches as jeongguk pulls out a picture from his pocket. her face immediately falls when she gets a closer look at it and taehyung looks over to jeongguk in alarm.

“are trying to tell me that-“ she chokes out, trembling fingers reaching out for the picture, “that this man is the man from the tape?”

jeongguk frowns and nods, leaning closer towards the woman. “do you know him?”

“it’s been years but...i’m pretty sure that this is brandon’s old colleague hunter. hunter williams, was it? he looks so different, almost... rudimentary. i guess he really let himself go after what happened.” the woman shakes her head in disbelief and hands the picture back to jeongguk, who’s staring at her wide eyed, processing all the new information.

“excuse me, but what exactly are you referring to?” jeongguk asks, checking taehyung’s facial expression to see if he missed out on something the other one hasn’t but sadly, the boy looks just as clueless as him.

“to the death of their shared partner of course! his name was jordan archer. the three of them were inseparable, even called themselves the golden trio, like in harry potter, you know?“

taehyung nods enthusiastically. she smiles.

“and what happened after he died?”

“well, all i know is that brandon left the fbi. haven’t heard of hunter ever since. well, until now. are you absolutely sure that it was him? i mean, why would he do that?” she’s breaking out in tears again, pressing the heels of her palms against her eyes. taehyung is with her in a second, rubbing his hands up and down her back, his worried eyes racking over her slumped down form.

jeongguk clears his throat. “thank you, mrs. walker. that will be all for now.”

 

“you know you did great in there, right?”

they’re back in the car, taehyung turning around from where he’s been staring out of the window to look at jeongguk with wide eyes.

“you think so?” taehyung asks shyly, a light flush grazing his cheeks at the elder’s compliment. he knows that jeongguk means it because he’s always been an honest man, a feature that taehyung appreciates about him greatly.

“i do.” jeongguk affirms as he reaches over the console and takes the younger’s hand into his, a comforting gesture. “tell me what’s on your mind.”

taehyung smiles to himself. he’s never really been able to hide anything from the elder ever since he first got escorted to the police station many moons ago. he squeezes back, a sign to show that he’s okay, but the other doesn’t relent and squeezes a second time, teasing. taehyung grins openly now, receiving a fond smile in return.

“c’mon, what’s up?”

“i just,” he rubs his palm over his face tiredly, “i really hope that she’ll be okay.”

jeongguk hums. “i’m sure she will be. you were a big help.”

“that’s different! she just lost her husband and i’m just a fake police officer that made her tea.” taehyung pulls his hand away, a pout on his lips. both actions make jeongguk’s stomach churn uncomfortably.

“i think you underestimate the effect that you have on people.” jeongguk says as he parks the car and unbuckles himself. the way he says it makes goosebumps arise all over taehyung’s body and he doesn’t
manage to look the elder into the eye until they’re back inside the office.

hoseok gives them a brilliant smile as soon as he sees them round the corner. “you’re back! how was it?”

“amazing! well, the tears and snot not so much, but we found out a lot!”

jeongguk smiles fondly at taehyung’s puppy like excitement, letting him recount the whole thing to hoseok and jimin, who joins them halfway through the story.

“-but i think, the best part was when officer sexy over there said that i did well.” the words rip jeongguk out of his trance from watching taehyung wildly gesturing around and laughing all while talking, and he curses himself for blushing. hoseok coos at him, but he lets it slide. just for once.

“shut it or you’re going to school.” jeongguk grunts, trying to distract himself by fiddling with the files on his desk, praying to god that the boy won’t notice his brightly colored cheeks.

taehyung merely laughs, the threat not really threatening at all.

“please tell me you found anything useful at the suspect’s place.” jeongguk sighs, pinching the bridge of his nose between his thumb and index.

there’s a quiet exchange between hoseok and jimin where the both of them stare at each other angrily until he older sighs and directs his attention back to jeongguk. “unfortunately, no. we took a few pictures though, you can take a look at them yourself later. the search warrant hasn’t been approved yet but as soon as that’s done, we’re searching the place.”

jeongguk nods in understanding, opening their case’s file and updating it with new information.

“here,” a voice resounds next to him out of nowhere, making him jump just a little bit, “drink this. you look exhausted.”

a steaming cup of coffee is planted in front of him and he can feel taehyung ruffling his hair. he groans and leans back into the touch playfully but taehyung only giggles and starts scratching at the base of jeongguk’s hairline for real, drawing another, much quieter moan out of the man.

“have you been sleeping alright?” taehyung asks worriedly, continuing to massage jeongguk’s head, unbothered by the looks he’s getting from fellow officers.

the elder only hums, not able to form coherent words. taehyung’s heart skips a beat at the thought of a restless and tired jeongguk who still tries his best to take care of him. he takes his hands away from jeongguk’s head, making the elder whine.

“c’mon grandpa, drink your coffee, finish this up and take me home.” taehyung commands as he plops down into the chair next to jeongguk’s desk.

“one minute i’m officer sexy, the other you’re calling me grandpa. you’re being unfair.” jeongguk pouts but does as he’s told and chugs down the hot coffee. “i’m almost done by the way.”

“well, life’s unfair. keep up.” taehyung barks. it’s quiet, the sound of the keyboard under jeongguk’s fingers distracting taehyung from talking. he eyes the elder and his eye bags, gnawing on his bottom lip as he wonders if this is his fault. a faint rush of guilt overcomes him.

“hey, guk.” jeongguk hums, but doesn’t take his eyes off his computer. “you’re not this exhausted because of me right?”

jeongguk smiles gently, pushing his hair back with his left hand. “of course i am.”

“what?” taehyung screeches, sitting upright in his chair. “why would you say that? now i’m going to feel guilty forever!”

the elder laughs, making a show out of pressing the ‘enter’ key on his keyboard to show taehyung that he’s done.

“i just worry about you, taehyung. there’s nothing wrong with that. i’m surviving, i promise. now grab your stuff, i’m driving you home like i promised.”

“i can walk, you know. you didn’t promise me anything and you don’t have to.” taehyung mutters quietly, looking down at his feet guiltily. jeongguk tuts and pulls him up by his wrist.

“nonsense, i’m driving you.”

his words are indicating that he won’t take ‘no’ as an answer, and taehyung practically melts under his big and caring eyes.

“fine. but please promise me that you’ll take care of yourself. i’m sorry for causing you so much trouble.” taehyung takes a step closer to jeongguk, who nods slowly.

“you being safe is my top priority, taehyung. you’ve got nothing to be sorry for.”

taehyung isn’t sure if he should be worried about the amount of butterflies that erupt in his chest at jeongguk’s words.

Chapter Text

“i honestly love this case, it’s getting spicier day by day. i mean, an ex-fed with a gang tattoo is weird enough, but him being assassinated by his old colleague is really something else.” hoseok chirps, groaning in delight as he stuffs the rest of his bagel into his mouth. jeongguk grunts in response, trying to tune out the obnoxious noise of hoseok’s chewing.

“i like nothing about this case. not as long as taehyung is involved.” he replies, flipping hoseok off when the elder wiggles his eyebrows suggestively.

hoseok hums, not minding the obscene gesture at all. “he’s really important to you huh?”

“of course. it’s my duty to protect him.”

“that’s not what i meant and you know it.”

jeongguk sets his pen down with a resigned sigh, directing his attention to hoseok who apparently so desperately wants it.

“i’ve grown fond of him, yes. he’s a good kid.”

hoseok furrows his brows. “is that really all he is to you? a kid?”

when jeongguk is too baffled to answer, he sighs and picks up a file, thrusting it in the younger’s face.

“remember that sealed file about williams?”

jeongguk gives a nod.

“we gotta hack it.”

jeongguk gives another nod and takes a sip of his water. he spits it back out once hoseok’s words sink in.

“hack it? are you crazy? what if we get busted?” he whisper-yells at hoseok who laughs out loud, startling several officers working at their desks a few feet away.

“don’t worry about it. i know a guy.”

 

“i still can’t believe that that ‘guy’ is namjoon. as in kim namjoon, our boss. as in, the captain of this precinct.” jeongguk grumbles, peeking over namjoon’s shoulder to at least get a good look at what he’s doing.

hoseok barely snorts as he too watches namjoon’s every move closely, but over his other shoulder.

“i almost got it.” namjoon speaks up, probably more to himself than anyone else. jeongguk sighs in relief, straightening up and wincing when a flash of sharp pain runs through his back from being bent over for too long. taehyung must’ve been right with calling him a grandpa.

“should i read it to you or send it over to your computers?”

“just give us the short version please. i don’t wanna get involved into this more than i already am.” jeongguk groans, throwing a quick glance out of namjoon’s office window to check if anyone is watching them. his heart melts when he spots taehyung sitting at his desk, head pillowed onto his arms.

“got it. basically it says that walkers accused williams of archer’s death.”

“that’s all?” hoseok frowns, eyes quickly scanning over the screen. “you forgot to mention the part where they had an argument at the fbi headquarters that escalated so hard that williams ended up in the hospital with a dislocated arm.”

namjoon hums. “oh yeah. that.”

jeongguk snorts but catches himself after receiving two halfhearted glares. “interesting. if you don’t mind me, i have to go. fill me in on anything else that comes up.”

“where the hell do you have to go?” hoseok asks, cocking his hip in a way that reminds jeongguk starkly of his own mother.

“to do important stuff! i’m a detective, don’t question me!”

 

“taehyung. wake up. i made you some hot chocolate.”

taehyung slowly raises his head from his arms, blinking sleepily against the blinding station lights. jeongguk gasps when the boy’s hair falls to the side, a black eye on full display.

“before you go crazy on me, i promise that it’s nothing serious. i just got into a fight at school.” he’s quick to explain himself but doesn’t resist when jeongguk starts fawning over him. he watches as the elder pulls the second chair closer and pushes taehyung’s bangs out of his face to get a better look at his eye.

“who did this to you? and why?”

“just a guy from my class. we’ve had a couple disagreements before.” taehyung assures him, accepting the hot chocolate gratefully when jeongguk pushes it closer to him.

“tell me what happened.” his voice is harsh in a way that taehyung knows all too well; the detective won’t rest until he finds out exactly what he wants to know.

“he called me a fag and started beating me up when all i did was try to protect a classmate from getting that exact treatment.”

“taehyung...” jeongguk whispers, harsh lines wiped away and replaced by a soft expression, “i’m sorry.”

sometimes he seems to forget that outside of all this crime and murder drama, taehyung has normal teenage things to deal with. it breaks his heart.

taehyung waves him off nonchalantly, grinning after taking his first sip of the drink prepared exactly to his liking. “it’s okay. i look pretty badass, right?”

“of course.” jeongguk presses a kiss to his forehead and for a second he thinks that he may have gone too far, but taehyung only purrs and snuggles closer to the elder who wraps his arms around him protectively. they don’t move for a good twenty seconds, too wrapped up in each other to care about anything else.

“i think what you did was really brave.” jeongguk whispers into the younger’s hair.

“thank you gukkie.” taehyung says like it’s the most natural thing ever, and thinking about it, it might just be.

“what do you say i drive you to school with the patrol car tomorrow?” jeongguk asks, gauging taehyung’s reaction to his proposition carefully. he isn’t disappointed when the younger breaks out into a huge smile.

“really? you’d do that for me?”

jeongguk grins at the boy’s infectious smile and his excitement that resembles a six year old’s. “i’d do anything.”

 

while the two of them are unaware of their surroundings, two people watch them from behind the half closed blinds of namjoon’s office window.

“whipped.”

 

“okay guys, get a move on, i found something.”

the fully occupied table in the break room gives a collective groan but jeongguk dismisses them with a wave of his hand, ordering the officers and detective to follow him into the conference room.

“the search warrant we’ve requested for williams’ apartment still hasn’t been approved, so i took a good look at the pictures that detective jung and officer park took, and notices this.” he grabs the remote for the lectern next to him and zooms in on a picture of a wall.

“here. the gang sign that we found on the victims foot reappears in the offenders domicile. i think it’s worth looking into. for those that weren’t present last time, we’re dealing with the brooklyn basilisks. there’s a few files on them if you have any questions.”

the meeting ends rather quickly and everyone, including jeongguk who makes a tiny detour to the break room, scatters back to their desks. when he rounds the corner with a donut and a cup of coffee in hand, he sees hoseok, jimin and taehyung all seated at his desk, whispering to each other ominously.

“hey, what’s going on here?” jeongguk asks with a frown, ushering hoseok out of his chair so he can sit down himself.

“i’ll tell you if i get a bite of your donut.” taehyung grins, making grabby hands toward the pastry in jeongguk’s hand.

jeongguk snorts and hands it to the boy unceremoniously. “you seem to be very keen on making deals with me huh? i brought it for you anyway.”

“that’s how you survive in the streets.” taehyung simply states before taking a bite and throwing a wink jeongguk’s way, the man too busy grinning at taehyung to notice the two other people present exchanging quick glances.

“back to why we’re here.” hoseok interrupts them curtly, leaning forward and lowering his voice so no one else will hear what he has to say. “we talked about it, and we think that we should go search williams apartment, search warrant or not.”

jimin stifles jeongguk’s outraged squeak with his palm before anyone can hear it. he retracts it quickly when jeongguk glares at him, mouthing a quick ‘sorry’ that the detective ignores.

“are you out of your fucking mind?”

“the search warrant will be here soon anyways! it’s better if we go search the flat now, work with what we find there and reveal our results later!”

“then why can’t we just wait for a little bit? you said yourself that the warrant won’t be long anymore!”

“jeongguk! we’ve done this before, don’t back out here!”

taehyung and jimin gasp dramatically, and even though jeongguk is pretty sure that they’re just messing with him, he blushes furiously. “that was once and we almost got caught! i’m not doing it again.”

hoseok sits up and crosses his arms over his chest with a dark expression on his face. “we’re doing this for taehyung. as long as the killer is out there, he’s not safe, and you know it.”

jeongguk wants to scream again, but he pulls himself together and looks over to taehyung who stares at his feet guiltily.

“i hate you.” jeongguk spits and hoseok grins, knowing that he’s succeeded.

Chapter Text

“i still think that this is a very bad idea.” jeongguk grumbles, watching hoseok’s nimble fingers fiddle with apartment 304’s door lock. the elder gives a quiet ah when the door clicks open seconds later and he straightens up to push it open slowly. the flat, as expected, is dark and messy, the parquet groaning under their feet, clothes randomly strewn over the floor, half eaten food laying forgotten on the kitchen’s countertop. jeongguk scrunches up his nose, throwing a dirty look hoseok’s way, the other too occupied ruffling through a drawer to notice anything.

“you never mentioned that it smells like something died in here, asshole. my nose is delicate.” jeongguk spits, leaning forwards to inspect the bookshelf in front of him, the title of one specific book catching his attention.

“woah, dude.” hoseok turns around, slamming the drawer he’d been occupied with shut with a bit too much force. jeongguk holds up the book for hoseok to see, the elder gasping when he manages to make out the title as well.

“‘the art of kidnapping.’ they make books on that shit? and call it art?”

a shiver travels down jeongguk’s spine, taehyung’s smiling face appearing before his inner eye.

“put that thing away before you bail out of here. you promised to help two days ago.” hoseok commands, snatching it from jeongguk’s hand before he can dispose of the book himself. he glances at it one last time before grabbing his flashlight and making his way into the hallway, looking out for the snake motive that he saw on the pictures jimin took.

it doesn’t take him long to find it and he beckons hoseok over with a wave of his hand. hoseok looks at the print carefully, watching as jeongguk runs his hand over it. suddenly, the younger halts. closes his hand into a fist and knocks against the wall. the sound it makes is hollow. jeongguk turns around and knocks against the wall on the other side of the hallway, this time receiving a dull sound.

“you thinking what i’m thinking?” jeongguk asks, hoseok nodding hesitantly in response, baffled.

it takes them a few minutes, but eventually they manage to crack open the wall where the wallpaper has already been torn though. what they see when the path is clear takes away their breath.

a little room is revealed, the walls littered with pictures, maps and multicolored strings. it looks like hours and hours of hard work.

“woah, this dude has skills.” hoseok states as he inspects the words scribbled on yellow post it notes attached to almost every picture.

“he was a fed ten years ago, don’t forget that.” jeongguk muses. “you think all this is related to his gang activities? and to walker? he has the tattoo too.”

“possible. hey, we should take pictures and get out of here.”

“sure let me-“ jeongguk is interrupted by the loud scrunching of paper under his feet and he bends down to pick it up. his blood runs cold when under a few newspaper articles and files, he pulls out a candid picture of taehyung walking out of his school’s front gate, a little kid on his arms and a bright smile on his lips. the leaves by his feet and his haircut both indicate that the picture couldn’t have been taken too long ago. bile rises up in jeongguk’s throat when the next picture of taehyung is crossed out with a huge red x.

“what the fuck?” hoseok breathes, pocketing his phone when he’s done taking pictures.

jeongguk’s answer doesn’t make it past his lips, a panicked whimper taking its place.

“okay, let’s go. let’s get out of here.” jeongguk let’s himself be pulled away, nodding numbly and helping hoseok put everything back into place without saying a word. he notices hoseok throwing him worried glances all the way back to the car, but he couldn’t care less, pressing the pictures closer to his body with trembling hands. he accepts hoseok’s offer to drive and gets into the passenger seat, frowning when the elder grabs jeongguk’s phone from the console and pushes it into his hands.

“call him.”

jeongguk furrows his brows together even further. if taehyung were here he’d reprimand him for always frowning and smooth out the harsh lines with his fingers. “and tell him what exactly?”

“you don’t have to tell him anything yet. just call him, talk to him, listen to his voice. i’m sure you’ll feel better afterwards.”

“i- okay. yeah, okay.” he dials taehyung’s number by heart and listens to the beeping noise patiently until taehyung picks up with a shout.

hey- stop that! jisung, i swear to god!” taehyung yells into the receiver, jeongguk holding the phone away from his ear in fear that it might permanently damage his hearing. he can faintly make out the slam of a door and suddenly everything is quiet.

hello?” taehyung’s voice asks tentatively.

“hey, it’s me.” jeongguk smiles although he knows taehyung can’t see it.

guk-ah! god, i’m so sorry, the kids were acting up and i had to fight them for my phone. anyway, what’s up?

jeongguk sighs nonchalantly, pretending to not have a specific reason to call the younger at this late hour. “oh not much, just the usual stuff. haven’t seen you all day so i figured i might as well check up on you like this.”

aw, missing me already?

jeongguk splutters and hoseok starts the car with a snort, the sound of the engine hopefully distracting him from what taehyung is saying. “i never said that!”

don’t worry, i miss you too.

jeongguk’s cheeks burn at the sudden confession, his heart skipping a few beats in his chest.

“that’s good. i don’t feel as stupid then.” he admits.

taehyung coos. “no need to feel stupid. if i were you, i’d love to spend time with me every day too.

“very funny. hey, shouldn’t the kids be in bed already?” jeongguk tries to change the subject hastily and is relieved when taehyung just goes with it, happily rambling about the kids, donghyuck and his ear infection, mark’s perfect grades, daisha’s new glasses and sofie’s first time sewing a dress for her doll. by the time he’s done jeongguk and hoseok have long since arrived at the precinct.

anyway, it’s late and i’ve got school tomorrow, so i’ll see you after school? i can drop by?” taehyung’s voice tips up at the end, almost like he’s unsure if jeongguk will agree.

“of course. don’t let me hold you back. good night.”

good night, guk-ah. be safe.

“i will.”

jeongguk hangs up with a sigh, stepping out of the elevator and making his way towards his desk to complete some leftover paperwork.

“better?” hoseok suddenly reappears next to him, startling a quick yes out of jeongguk. the elder winks at him once before turning around and bothering jimin, who looks engrossed in his paperwork as well, dark circles under his eyes sticking out like a sore thumb from his otherwise unblemished face. the smile of jimin’s features when he sees him kind of makes up for it, he thinks as he sits down next to him with a cup of coffee on his hand.

“jeongguk still putting you through hell?”

jimin sighs. “it’s fine hyung, really. he’s an emotional wrack, i should do as he says.”

“maybe so,” hoseok ponders, stealing a little sip of jimin’s drink, “but i still think he’s being mean about something that happened so long ago.”

“i think he’s got enough on his plate as it is. we’ve gotta take it step after step.”

“and what do you think is the first step?”

jimin grins mischievously. “him realizing how whipped he is for taetae.”

Chapter Text

jeongguk is worried. he’s worried, and he doesn’t know what to do about it.

the pressure and tension at the precinct seem to have increased ten folds ever since the incident a few days ago, and now everyone is inevitably pent up by jeongguk’s erratic behavior. the only one who doesn’t let himself be swayed by jeongguk’s mood swings is of course taehyung, who manages to make the detective smile even after he’s been spending the whole day frowning at anything and everything. the boy has officially been declared a saint by jeongguk’s coworkers.

despite the younger’s efforts to keep him eating and sleeping regularly, jeongguk delves deeper into his work, working as many cases as he can and filling out as much paperwork as humanly possible all while doing secret research concerning the photos they took of williams’ secret hideout.

the pictures jeongguk took with him are safely tucked away into one of his desk drawers, their weight pressing down harder on his chest every time he looks at taehyung’s face. he tries to distract himself from it by working harder and even hoseok, who is usually all over jeongguk, maintains distance from him. his mood seems to have dropped considerably too, but thankfully, no one is able to put the dots together.

no one, except jimin, of course.

“okay, that’s it. i’ve had enough. you’re telling me what happened, now.” jimin demands as he plants himself in front of hoseok’s desk, crossing his arms in front of his chest in determination. the elder looks up innocently, but grimaces as soon as he realizes jimin didn’t come to joke around.

“listen. i can’t tell you. i’d really like to, but jeongguk still hasn’t given me the green light.” hoseok sighs, leaning back in his chair as he gestures for jimin to sit down next to him. the other obeys begrudgingly.

“since when do you even need his permission?”

hoseok glares at him. “we’re not having this conversation again. i trust him, and that’s all you need to know.”

“fine. does it have anything do do with taetae?”

there’s a pause, but hoseok’s exasperated eyes tell him more than enough.

“if it’s about taetae, then i think i have the right to know too.” jimin argues. “my job is to help and protect others and i want to keep doing it. if anything, i’m the only person that you can tell because the others don’t even know about your little break-in mission from a few days ago.”

hoseok pinches the bridge of his nose in despair. jimin is right and they both know it, which makes a question pop up in hoseok’s head. why hasn’t jeongguk acted on the matter at hand yet?

he glances over to jeongguk quickly, the younger too occupied with a heated phone call to notice anything.

“fine.” hoseok finally gives in and pulls his phone out of his pocket. “here. this is what jeongguk found in the hallway.” he quickly swipes through the pictures he took. “as you can see he was probably plotting something, gathering information. i’ve tried to make some research about the things he wrote down but that didn’t work out quite as well as i had expected. got a couple leads on half-assed thugs and drug dealers, illegal heavy weapons and such. there’s meeting points outside of brooklyn and dates for possible rendezvous, but unfortunately they’re all over already.”

jimin squints at the screen. “that’s it? he looks pretty involved, but what is his motive?”

“good question. and no, sadly, that’s not it. we found some pictures of taehyung in there too. pretty recent ones i might add.”

jimin squeaks in shock and clasps his own hand over his mouth.

“not only that,” hoseok continues, “there was one picture of him that was crossed out with a red marker, which usually means...well. you know what it means.”

jimin nods slowly, turning his head to look at jeongguk, who has ended the phone call and is now back to typing away at his computer hastily. “and he hasn’t said anything about it?”

hoseok shakes his head. “no, not really. knowing jeongguk though, it’s eating him up alive right now.”

jimin leans forward on his chair until his elbows are resting on his knees and he can massage his temples with his pointer and index finger rhythmically. “we should tell taehyung.” he declares after a short moment of contemplation, making hoseok hiss.

“are you crazy?” he screeches, checking if anyone paid attention to them. he’s relieved when that isn’t the case.

“he deserves to know! he’s in some serious danger!”

“jeongguk will skin you alive!”

“i don’t care! this is taetae we’re talking about!”

“what’s going on?”

the two officers startle away from each other when a third voice suddenly pipes up behind them. jeongguk, who had been sitting at his desk not ten seconds ago, stands behind them, hands on his hips and face set with a deep frown.

“uh-“ hoseok begins, but jimin interrupts him before he can start explaining himself.

“you should tell taehyung what’s going on. he deserves to know that killer is after him. and namjoon should be informed too. to be safe. he’ll know what to do.” he declares before he can think to do otherwise.

jeongguk glares at hoseok as if he’s telling him that we’re talking about this later before turning back to jimin.

“do you know how much this has affected taehyung? have you even noticed how scared he is already? how he always talks one of us into bringing him home? how he spends every free second of his time here?” hoseok and jimin exchange a look. “telling him this would only make it worse. as for williams. the guy moves fast. if he catches wind of what we’re doing, this is going to be over real soon.”

silence settles over them as reality begins to sink in. no one wants to think about what ‘over’ might mean.

“but there has to be something that we can do! i know you don’t want to freak him out, but no precautions would be stupid. no offense.”

jeongguk sighs. “none taken. what do you suggest we do?”

jimin smiles, happy that jeongguk wants his advice. “well, first of all, i really think we should talk to namjoon, maybe request some personal supervision for taehyung.”

 

“i don’t think that’s a good idea.” namjoon taps his chin pensively, rocking back and forth on his chair. jimin raises his eyebrows in shock and quickly looks over to jeongguk, who doesn’t look nearly as defeated as him.

“why?” he prods, raising his chin in determination, eyes narrowing into tiny slits.

“think about taehyung’s place of domicile. the other kids won’t be safe with him there and police officers guarding the house would make them uneasy.”

jeongguk nods. he’s got a point. “we should transfer him somewhere safe.” he concludes, receiving an approving noise from namjoon, who’s tapping his pencil again the table to stimulate his thinking.

“where?” hoseok, who’s been silent the whole time, asks.

a pause.

“what about your place?” namjoon suggests, pointing at jeongguk. the detective squeaks, looking absolutely out of his element for the first time in- forever.

“what- no!” jeongguk splutters, turning around to hoseok in search for help, but the older only shrugs.

“why not?” namjoon asks, looking at jeongguk questioningly. hoseok sports a mischievous grin as, he too, asks, “yeah, why not jeongguk-ah? would you rather he stays at mine?”

jeongguk looks almost offended.

“it’s settled then.”

 

“i mean, i still don’t understand why i’m here, but hey, if that means that i’ll be around you 24/7, then i guess i can’t complain. right?” taehyung giggles as he sets down his stuff and looks around jeongguk’s apartment. it’s big and has a great view on the street down under, but taehyung forgets about all that as soon as he sees the couch. he gives a delighted squeal before climbing it and jumping up and down repeatedly, crying out for jeongguk to join him.

jeongguk, who’s still standing in the doorway with a gentle smile on his lips, sighs softly in exasperation.

yeah, this going to be a lot worse than he’d initially thought.

Chapter Text

living with taehyung turns out to be both a blessing and a curse.

a blessing, because taehyung is easy to take care of, satisfied with watching tv or playing games with jeongguk whenever he’s home and he also doesn’t complain when the elder insists on driving him to school and picking him back up afterwards.

a curse, because jeongguk fears that he’s getting too spoilt by taehyung’s constant presence. the younger is there with him when he wakes up and goes to bed, when he eats and relaxes on the couch. it’s not like they didn’t spend seventy percent of their time together before anyway, but now that taehyung is an addition to his household, jeongguk gets to discover taehyung’s weird but adorable personal mannerisms like the way he wets his toothbrush before and after putting toothpaste on in. they’ve visited the orphanage several times in the past three weeks in which the boy has been staying with him, because apparently, taehyung just can’t seem to stay away from his brothers and sisters. jeongguk kind of envies him for it, since nor he or his older brother ever held a strong desire to spend any quality time together.

but jeongguk can’t lie to himself. no matter how well this is going, if they don’t find the killer soon, eventually taehyung will grow restless and start asking questions. jeongguk doesn’t like it when he does that, because the younger always makes sure to get every bit of information out of jeongguk that he can get, and he knows exactly how to achieve his goal. of course, the other option is the killer finding taehyung first, which in itself is so horrible that jeongguk doesn’t even want to think about it.

“guk? are you okay?” taehyung asks, staring up at jeongguk with his sparkling doe eyes that make jeongguk so so weak, his head nestled into the elder’s lap. jeongguk shakes his head briefly, as if trying to get rid of the train of thought he’d previously entertained. he nods, smiling down reassuringly and resumes to card his hands through taehyung messy and damp locks. taehyung had taken a shower before they started their weekly movie night, the younger now lounging around the apartment in his pajamas and fluffy woolen socks like he belonged there. well, who knows. maybe he does.

looking at the both of them, jeongguk can’t help but notice how extremely domestic the whole situation is, and the realization that soon all of this will be gone is making his heart ache.

“peachy.” he mumbles, suppressing a sigh. they’re watching a late night comedy show that jeongguk has forgotten the name of, his eyes and thoughts always trailing away from the british guy in a suit ripping jokes on the screen.

his phone rips him back out of his thoughts and he curses under his breath as he leans to the side and stretches his arm out as far as humanly possible, still not able to reach it. taehyung whines a bit but eventually lifts his head from jeongguk’s lap anyway, jeongguk smiling at him apologetically before scooting over and grabbing his obnoxiously loud phone.

“what?” he’s a bit breathless as he accepts the call and the person on the other side of the line snickers.

“am i disturbing anything?” hoseok teases. jeongguk groans, waving taehyung off when the boy looks at him questioningly. he fast paces his way into his bedroom, closing the door behind him carefully.

“what do you want?”

the elder, who was laughing and teasing jeongguk not ten seconds ago, suddenly turns serious, and jeongguk can practically hear his smile falling from his lips over the phone. “i know you’re not going to like this, but namjoon and i deliberated and decided that we need taehyung for something kinda dangerous.”

“something dangerous as in...?” jeongguk trails off, sitting down on the edge of his bed rather aggressively.

“going undercover?”

“no.” jeongguk replies, already on his way to hang up, but hoseok’s high pitched screeching holds him back.

“listen to me! this is really important. namjoon found an underground club that walker was supposed to attend tomorrow evening. taehyung knows the streets better than any of us, he’ll be able to fit right in. we’ll provide a sufficient amount of protection and backup, don’t worry.”

“when did you even find out about that? i’ve been gone for a day.”

“jeongguk, be realistic. you know i’m right.” hoseok ignores him in favor of getting his point across.

jeongguk sighs, pinching the bridge of his nose exasperatedly. “he’s a kid. no matter how experienced he is, he’ll stick out like a sore thumb amongst all those gangsters.”

“he won’t. c’mon, give this a chance. we really have to know what’s going to go down over there.”

it’s quiet and jeongguk is trying to ignore the obvious elephant in the room. hoseok is right, and he hates it.

“fine. but i’m going with him. no discussions.” jeongguk replies curtly, not waiting for hoseok’s answer before hanging up and throwing the phone on his bed. he lets himself fall backwards, his upper body thudding against the mattress with a dull sound. he throws his arm over his eyes, sighing out in desperation. hoseok is right, taehyung is their best option, but it’s so dangerous that it makes jeongguk’s stomach twist, a sour taste invading his mouth.

the door creaks open slowly, and jeongguk can practically sense taehyung’s hesitation when the younger enters the room and pads over to where jeongguk is still dramatically thrown over his mattress.

the bed dips next to jeongguk. “gukkie? are you okay?”

jeongguk feels taehyung’s index poking at his arm, so he pulls it away begrudgingly. this time it’s him who looks up at taehyung like he hung the stars. “yeah.” he whispers, awe-struck by taehyung’s soft features looming over him.

“do you want a hug?” taehyung, the absolute angel, smiles and soon jeongguk finds himself nodding. he expects taehyung to curl up next to him like he always does, but what he doesn’t expect is taehyung throwing a bare leg over his hip, straddling jeongguk’s waist within seconds, thighs bracketing his torso. he lets himself fall forward, warm chest pressing against jeongguk’s. the elder is sure he must feel how hard his heart is beating.

“whatever it is, i don’t want you to worry about me too much. as long as you’re by my side, i’ll be okay.” the boy hums as he nestles his face into the crook of jeongguk’s neck.

jeongguk’s breath gets stuck in his throat, because this means that taehyung definitely heard his fight with hoseok. “hey, taehyung, i shouldn’t make this decision without you, and if you’re doubting our plan for just a second i’ll-“ he rambles, but taehyung takes mercy on him and shushes him with a quiet giggle.

“jeon jeongguk.” he says as he sits back up, strands of hair flying around his head delicately. jeongguk’s breath gets stuck in his throat. “i’ve said it before and i’ll say it again. i trust you. i trust you to take care of me and protect me. those people have nothing on us. we’ll be fine.”

jeongguk nods enthusiastically, trying to convince himself of taehyung’s words. taehyung cocks his brow and nods back mockingly, making the other snap out of his trance and laugh. his hands travel up taehyung’s thighs on their on their own accord, and he grips the firm flesh as if to reprimand the younger for making fun of him.

it’s when they’re done laughing that the realization that jeongguk’s hands are on taehyung’s thighs kicks in. a light flush settles on taehyung’s cheekbones and he looks down on jeongguk’s big and possessive hands.

jeongguk goes red immediately, pulling his hands back like he’s just burnt himself.

taehyung throws his back and laughs, and suddenly jeongguk knows they’re going to be okay.

Chapter Text

in retrospect, jeongguk should’ve known that letting taehyung pick his own outfit would be risky. not for the boy or any other officer really, but for jeongguk himself. the constant exposure of taehyung’s smooth skin whenever his silky shirt slips over his shoulder is enough to distract jeongguk from doing literally anything at all. they’ve gone over their plan at least a hundred times, been through all the preparations, but he still feels uneasy. taehyung has been wired up as professionally as possible with his shirt slipping around his upper body and his ripped jeans clinging on to his legs for dear life.

jeongguk isn’t very religious, but he’s really considering praying right now.

“alright, we’ll be in this truck right here, about two blocks away, and namjoon will-“

“be listening and recording everything, i know.” taehyung sighs, interrupting jimin who looks equally as tired of this as he is. he pats jimin’s shoulder appreciatively, smiling at him in a way of thanking the man for his efforts, because he’s just doing what jeongguk ordered him to do, which is repeat the plan. it’s like a mutual understanding when jimin nods and shoos him off, and taehyung can’t help but cackle. he goes to namjoon’s office where he last saw jeongguk, but it’s empty, so he turns on his heels and starts searching the precinct until he finds jeongguk alone in the briefing room, bent over the table as he studies the map laid out on it.

“stop being so tense. i don’t like it.” taehyung says as he walks up to the detective and pushes the map to the side, taking its place on the table by hopping on it.

“wait-“ jeongguk arches one eyebrow up comically, “are you actually worried? for me?”

taehyung hits his front playfully, but his warm hands never leave jeongguk’s chest, which is by the way covered in a beautiful black button up dress shirt. “no, i’m just worried it might rub off on me.” he states matter of factly, smiling to himself when jeongguk laughs and finally looses a bit of tension in his shoulders.

“you’re a pest, do you know that?”

“so i’ve been told.” taehyung teases, but his smile morphs into a more gentle one when he leans forward and carefully presses his face against jeongguk’s chest. the elder, pleasantly surprised by the sudden affection taehyung is showing him, steps backwards and grabs taehyung’s knees, maneuvering them so he can settle between the boy’s legs. taehyung welcomes the new and more comfortable position with open arms, quite literally, and hooks his arms and legs around jeongguk, clinging to him like a human koala. jeongguk smiles at his antics, wrapping his arms around taehyung’s shoulders loosely.

“careful, i don’t want to smudge my already smudged eyeliner.” taehyung warns but snuggles closer anyway, if that’s even possible. jeongguk chuckles, but taehyung can feel that he’s somewhere else in his mind right now.

“c’mon, whatever you want to tell me, spit it out.”

at this point, jeongguk has given up on trying to figure out how taehyung always manages to read him like an open book.

“you know me, i’m just-“ jeongguk pauses.

“worried.” taehyung supplies helpfully, the detective smiling bashfully.

“i know i’m being annoying, sorry.” he sighs, but taehyung only detangles his hands from behind jeongguk’s back and leans back so he can look him in the eyes.

“jeongguk-ah.” his voice is all serious now, something that catches the elder’s attention. “i know i’m always making jokes about your worried ass, and i’m sorry for giving you the impression that you’re annoying. but the truth is, i really appreciate it, so thank you. for worrying about me, i mean.”

“yeah. okay.” jeongguk smiles genuinely. he cards his hands through the sides of taehyung’s perfectly styled hair, and if it were any other situation, the boy would’ve probably given him hell for it. but this isn’t any other situation, so taehyung lets jeongguk tug him closer. for a moment, peace descends on the both of them, like the quiet before the storm.

too bad jung hoseok is having none of that.

“c’mon lovebirds, let’s go.”

the two detangle themselves from each other slowly and with burning cheeks, tiptoeing around each other until they’ve reached the car and hoseok is setting the mood by babbling about a movie he and jimin watched. from the back seat, jeongguk and taehyung look at each other, a timid smile settling on both their features. and if taehyung reaches out to squeeze jeongguk’s hand, well, then that’s their secret.

 

as they’re standing in front of the club’s entrance, jeongguk’s heart is beating faster than ever before. he glances at taehyung, who looks like the epitome of easiness, wondering yet again how the boy is now beyond freaked out right now. their plan is risky.

they’re both waiting to be let in by the bouncer, who has gone inside to check if they’re allowed to enter.

either the bouncer gives them the benefit of the doubt and lets them in, or their mission ends here.

“you’re good to go.” jeongguk tries to not look too relieved as they walk past the bulky man and find themselves in a tiny, obscured room that seems to block out the sounds coming from the adjacent room. the elder takes a deep breath, but before he can step forward, taehyung grabs him by his bicep, making him look back in wonder. taehyung looks at him fondly, leaning forward to press a lingering kiss to the corner of his mouth.

jeongguk’s mind is reeling. it could’ve been a simple mistake, a poorly thought through and spontaneous kiss that landed so close to jeongguk’s mouth on accident, or it could be a teasing, extremely thought through kiss. either way is possible with taehyung, who laughs and pulls him forward by his wrist without any comment.

as soon as the door opens, a deep and quiet melody reaches their ears, smells of all sorts invading jeongguk’s nose, dark and heady, making the kiss slip into the back of his mind. now is not the time to be unprofessional.

the main room is, unexpectedly, much tinier than jeongguk would’ve anticipated, but still big enough to comfortably fit a few pool and gambling tables, as well as a little bar to their left. jeongguk isn’t fooled by the first glance anyway, because he’s immediately spotted the double doors at the back of the room. light chatter and laughter float though the room, the music that had seemed so loud just seconds ago now nothing less than an afterthought. the air is thick, smelling of smoke and alcohol, cologne and perfume, and something very distinct that jeongguk doesn’t recognize.

taehyung elbows him lightly, subtly nodding to the right when he has jeongguk’s attention. his eyes follow taehyung’s sign, his sharp intake of breath luckily going unnoticed by the room.

there’s a huge snake on the wall, an exact replica of the tattoo on walker’s foot and the picture in williams’ apartment.

“jackpot.”

Chapter Text

jeongguk and taehyung exchange a suggestive look, and if they were anywhere else, taehyung would probably high five him. it’s not two seconds later that a voice calls out to them, or rather, to taehyung.

“yah! kim taehyung!” the both of them startle, two pairs of panicked eyes searching the room for the origin of the voice. taehyung chokes on his own spit when he spots a black haired man standing behind the bar, looking ready to jump over the counter. jeongguk’s pretty sure that’s not a good thing.

“y-yoongi hyung?” taehyung asks in disbelief, pulling jeongguk with him as he stalks over to the barstools and plops down on one. the man, presumably yoongi, is still frowning, looming over them dangerously. the raggedy piece of cloth hanging from his shoulder that he surely must be using to dry dishes makes him seem less intimidating, jeongguk notes duly.

“you bastard, what are you doing here? don’t tell me you joined this fucking shithole of a club.”

much to both jeongguk’s and yoongi’s surprise, the boy merely laughs, seemingly unbothered by the threatening tone directed at him. the barman cocks a brow, leaning back until his behind is pressed against a cupboard. he crosses his arms over his chest, waiting for taehyung’s laughter to subside.

taehyung wipes an imaginary tear from the corner of his eye. “me? hell no.”

yoongi nods, his face expressionless for the first time this evening. he nods towards jeongguk. “who’s this guy?”

“my name is jeongguk. jeon jeongguk.” he pipes up, earning himself a head to- well, waist- inspection from yoongi, who grunts in acknowledgment.

“jeon jeongguk, huh? the police officer?”

jeongguk’s eyes widen and he glances over to taehyung, whose cheeks are dusted in a light shade of pink. yoongi in turn doesn’t look too alarmed at all, which is extraordinarily unnerving, considering the circumstances they’re in.

“taehyung right here has told me so much about you.” the man teases, emphasizing his words with an eye roll that results in a strangled hyung! from taehyung. it’s a sensitive topic, jeongguk has gathered that much.

“uh-“ he interrupts their staring contest with a cough, “i’m sorry but how do you know each other? and who even are you?”

“this old man?” taehyung laughs. “he used to be a very good friend of my hyung until that idiot moved away.”

“i still am a good friend of his. and sadly, i’m still here. name’s min yoongi.”

jeongguk nods. the two of them look at each other, and suddenly he feels like he’s intruding something very private. there’s a bit of history to them, the way they’re treating each other simultaneously as best friends and enemies says it all.

“okay, now tell me what you’re doing here. and most importantly, what he’s doing here.” yoongi grabs the cloth from his shoulder and begins to methodically dry off a few newly washed glasses. taehyung glances at jeongguk, who gives him an approving nod, before leaning forward to speak, not wanting anyone to hear what follows.

“we’re here because an undercover mission. actually, maybe you can help us. ever heard of a guy called brandon walker?”

yoongi sets down a dry glass, face scrunching up as he thinks about it. after letting the name roll off his tongue a few times, he shakes his head. “doesn’t ring a bell. do you have a picture?”

taehyung shakes his head, the corners of his mouth turning downwards. jeongguk smiles and quietly slides a picture that he had printed out a few hours prior to the start of their mission over the counter. he knew it would pay off at some point.

“now i recognize him. he used to come here a lot. every thursday, i think. he always sat at one of the tables at the very back of the room. why’re you asking?”

“he’s dead.” jeongguk answers, voice stern and face set with determination. “and we need your help to get some info.”

yoongi’s face remains emotionless. either stuff like this happens all the time around here, or he just really doesn’t care. “i’ll help you.”

taehyung and jeongguk breathe a sigh of relief.

“but you’re going to have to tell me everything you know.”

half an hour and two drinks later finds them still sitting at the bar, having recounted the whole story to yoongi who had listened attentively while preparing drinks. jeongguk had almost forgotten they were still on their mission. the man nods when taehyung concludes the story with the reason they’ve joined the club today. yoongi snatches both their glasses from their hands and rinses them off thoroughly before setting down everything (including the wet cloth) and drying his hands.

“what i’m about to show you has to absolutely stay between the three of us. if anyone finds out about this they’ll have my head. and i’m not joking.” taehyung nods surreptitiously, eyes wide because he himself didn’t expect to yoongi to agree so easily. he had mentally prepared himself for his best puppy-eye look, because no matter how tough his hyung pretends to be, he’s never tough enough to withstand taehyung’s pleading eyes.

the raven haired man leads them to a back room and pulls a bunch of keys from his back pocket and fiddles with them until he’s found the key he’s been looking for. he unlocks a small, inconspicuous drawer and carefully retrieves a thick leather bound book from it.

“this is where the boss keeps all his information. literally, everything. money laundering and receipts, interest rates, statistics and all that jazz. you’re lucky he’s not here tonight.”

jeongguk accepts the book carefully when the elder holds it out to him, wrinkling his brows in confusion as he processes his words. “how come someone with such a high status trusts you with the keys to this room and the location of the book?“

taehyung perks up and nods his head in agreement like he’s been asking himself that as well. “yeah hyung, why?”

“some questions better remain unasked.“ he mutters suggestively and it’s clear that he doesn’t want anyone prying any further. jeongguk nods slowly and directs his attention back to the book in his hands.

“amazing hiding place for the book by the way. no burglar would suspect something this important to be in a random desk drawer. risky though.”

yoongi nods absentmindedly, watching jeongguk flip trough the book with attentive eyes. the officer feels taehyung sidle up to him and his presence is calming, but it’s also quite distracting. he starkes when taehyung suddenly grabs his wrist to stop him from turning the pages. they look at each other and it’s a quiet understanding when jeongguk hands him the thing to let him do as he pleases. worry flashes over yoongi’s features, but it’s so quick that jeongguk wonders if it ever happened.

“here. see this?” taehyung speaks up, pointing at various entries concerning something called ‘MD’. “they’re everywhere, always on tuesday’s and thursday’s. a pattern.”

jeongguk nods proudly at taehyung’s deduction and squints at the repetitive letters scribbled in a black marker. he turns to yoongi, tapping his pointer finger against the page. “any idea what that is?”

the man bites his lip pensively. “i’m not sure if it’s true but,” he takes a deep breath, “rumor has it that there’s a new drug going around. it’s called meridati and it’s a hallucinogenic, but that’s about all i know about it. i’ve heard people say that it’s the new cocaine, so i’d imagine it has the same powdery consistency.” jeongguk nods, soaking up the new information and storing it away into the back of his brain for later use. this could be of great importance.

“have you heard of someone dealing or buying it within the club?” jeongguk asks, handing him the book back when he senses the elder getting restless. the man locks it back into its confines carefully, ushering them out of the room before anyone can catch them red handed with something so precious and confidential.

they receive a few suspicious looks when they reenter the main room and hurry back to the bar where a small crowd has gathered. yoongi quickly fulfills all their orders, apologizing for his absence. once everyone is satisfied with their drink and they’re alone at the bar again, yoongi addresses jeongguk’s earlier question.

“sadly, no. there’s only a few people here that i would suspect of engaging into this drug affair, but they’re the ones that don’t really talk to me. most of them sit at the table a bit far back.” he nods towards a table occupied by six people, men and women alike. they’re laughing and talking, occasionally sipping on their drinks, but they’re being much less noisy than all the other tables. a few stacks of cards have been spread widely over the table, discarded without a second thought in the middle of a game that jeongguk doesn’t recognize. “it’s hard to get any information out of them,” yoongi continues, “believe me, i’ve tried. this job isn’t really exciting and sometimes i talk to the customers, but these people seem to be really tight lipped. to outsiders, at least.”

jeongguk nods, brain working on full speed, but he feels like he’s just run against a wall. the bar stool next to him scrapes against the wooden floor and before he can pull him back, taehyung has pranced over to the table that yoongi was referring to. yoongi hisses loudly, but it’s impossible to call taehyung back without attracting too much attention, which is exactly what they don’t need right now. jeongguk watches with both amazement and something akin to jealousy as taehyung joins the group of people with a bright smile. they look at him, confusion written over their faces and jeongguk can see them sit up straighter, guard up. his heart is hammering in his chest as he helplessly watches taehyung talking to the woman sitting next to him, hands flailing animatedly and eyes sparkling with excitement. she laughs and shoves him playfully, and jeongguk’s feels like fainting from relief. yoongi is muttering something unintelligible behind him, but his tone is one of pure disbelief.

jeongguk couldn’t agree more.

ten minutes later, jeongguk watches taehyung excuse himself from the table and walk back to the bar. yoongi looks like he’s out for the kill, hand raised warningly as he reprimands taehyung for being so careless and fucking stupid, you absolute idiot.

taehyung only smiles in response and grabs jeongguk’s hand that’s hanging loosely by his side, intertwining their fingers and squeezing reassuringly. “we need to leave.” the youngest informs him ominously.

“why? did something happen? did they say something to you?” yoongi asks, dropping a glass into the sink, a few heads turning towards them at it clatters against the metal noisily. taehyung is quick to shake his head, but he looks persistent and his hand is starting to sweat against jeongguk’s.

“i just told them i needed to leave and if we don’t do exactly that they’ll get suspicious.”

they say goodbye to yoongi, taehyung squeezing the man as hard as he can with one arm, telling him to call him sometime. yoongi nods, and even though he would probably never admit it, he looks sad to see taehyung go so soon. jeongguk thanks him for his help and lets himself be tugged away by taehyung, who throws a smile towards the strangers sitting at the table.

“hey, jeon!” yoongi calls. “you take care of taehyung, you hear me?”

it feels like a stamp of approval and jeongguk couldn’t be more honored when he nods and receives a small smile in return.

Chapter Text

they hurry back to the van a few blocks away, bypassing the bouncer without a word. the back doors of the car are already open, jimin and hoseok sitting on the edge, letting their feet dangle. behind them, detective diaz and boyle are sitting on the chairs, headphones still on and connected to the computers in front of them. upon noticing jeongguk’s and taehyung’s arrival, they slide their headphones off and sit up cautiously.

it’s quiet for a few seconds, until hoseok jumps to his feet and towers over taehyung with a dark look. “what in the hell where you thinking?” he asks. “acting on impulse like that can get you killed, you know that right?”

taehyung opens his mouth to answer, but jeongguk is quicker. “please, let’s discuss this later. i wanna know what you talked about with those people.” he directs the second sentence at taehyung, who smiles at him gratefully before reaching into his pocket and pulling out a little plastic bag about the size of his palm. the club’s logo is printed on the front, and in it is a small amount of a powdery yellow substance.

the crowd around him gasps, and hoseok is quick to snatch the bag from his fingers.

“what?” jeongguk whispers, intrigued.

“i got it off the woman next to me. it was in her back pocket.” taehyung grins, giving them a few seconds to inspect the plastic bag before explaining. “to be honest, i didn’t expect my plan to work either, but when i asked them about this ‘meridati’ thing, they were so eager to answer my questions.”

“what did they say?” jimin asks distractedly, nudging detective diaz so he can take a close look at the baggy too.

“well, they told me about the guy who sells it to them. or sold, apparently he’s not in the business anymore. i did get a description though, in case i wanted to look out for him, you know?”

“okay,” jeongguk nods, processing taehyung’s words, “so what did he look like? anyone we might know already?”

“better.” taehyung says, reaching into jeongguk’s pocket to retrieve walkers’ picture, holding it up and wiggling it around in the air so everyone can see. “it’s our vic.”

“really?” detective boyle asks, eyes widening comically. taehyung nods triumphantly, basking in everyone’s awe.

“how are you so sure?” jeongguk asks, skeptic.

“they told me his name. mans wasn’t exactly slick. why would an ex-fed go underground with his real name? that’s dangerous.”

jimin huffs, staring off into the distance. “he had nothing to lose, that’s why.”

it’s quiet. he’s right.

“okay but,” hoseok breaks the silence, “what the hell? selling drugs is something, but making them yourself? since when is that dude such a genius when it comes to chemistry?”

“since always, actually. he won a few awards in high school for his chemistry projects.” detective diaz speaks up. they all turn to look at her, and she shrugs.

“i was bored so i read his file all the way back to kindergarten.”

hoseok nods slowly. “good. great. there is our explanation. the more important question is: why was he dealing in the first place?”

“i think i know why.” taehyung whispers ominously, but jeongguk cuts him off before he can finish his thought.

“let’s go back to the precinct first, okay? i don’t want to stay here any longer.”

they all nod and he ushers them inside, allowing jimin to assume the position behind the wheel. jeongguk jumps into the van quickly, extending his hand to taehyung who grabs it and lets himself be hauled inside even though he could’ve made it on his own easily. the younger smiles gratefully, squeezing jeongguk’s hand in thanks.

neither of them let go of each other, not even after they’ve sat down.

“okay, taehyung. spill. why was our innocent mr. walkers dealing drugs?”

“it’s an underground club thing. most people that don’t have any direct relations to the club must prove themselves worthy enough to join it. i’m assuming this is the case here.”

“hold on,” jeongguk sits up, “you’re saying he pulled this whole stunt to get closer to williams?”

taehyung gnaws at his bottom lip, suddenly doubting himself. “i mean, it could be, right?”

hoseok nods slowly, agreeing with what taehyung is getting at. “that’s a hell of a stunt though. why do all this? there must be a bigger picture we’re not seeing right now.”

it’s quiet again, gears turning in everyone’s heads as the van smoothly navigates through the streets of brooklyn. the street lamps flashing by outside reflect in taehyung’s eyes and illuminate his skin, and jeongguk can’t help but think how beautiful he is. warmth spreads in his chest at the thought of finally getting to go home and cuddle taehyung until they both fall asleep in each other’s arms.

sadly, none of that seems to be happening any time soon.

“there’s reportedly been signs of activity at williams’ apartment. the landlord called about twenty minutes ago saying other tenants heard noises coming from inside.” detective santiago informs them barely a few minutes after they’ve all filed into the precinct.

“you think it’s the man himself?” jeongguk asks, already sliding his jacket back on with a disgruntled expression. couldn’t this man have waited until tomorrow morning to suddenly resurface?

“there were no signs of a break in. the door is intact, as well as the lock. i don’t think he would’ve left his key with someone else.” santiago answers before spinning around in her chair and rolling back to her desk.

“well, it’s definitely worth checking out. i’ll go. you guys write down everything we’ve learned tonight. namjoon is going to want a full report as soon as possible.” jeongguk instructs the team and they nod, each going back to their own desk.

“you coming?” he asks taehyung, the boy still perched on top of his chair. he jumps to his feet with a satisfied smile on his face, extending his hand towards jeongguk so the officer can take it.

“of course. wouldn’t want you to go spy on that guy alone.” he winks. jeongguk frowns.

“hold on, what?”

“what, what?”

“you’re not coming with me!” jeongguk exclaims, gripping taehyung’s fingers tighter unconsciously.

taehyung clearly takes offense. “then where were you going to bring me?”

“home?”

the younger’s heart skips a beat.

home, as in jeongguk’s apartment. the elder probably didn’t
mean it to sounds so domestic, but taehyung can’t help but blush either way.

“you’re not going alone.”

“and you’re not going with me.” taehyung stomps his foot in annoyance, and jeongguk has to fight off a grin at how unintentionally cute the boy is. “taehyung, i’m serious, you have to go home and rest. this could be dangerous.”

“what, more dangerous than using me for an undercover mission?” jeongguk winces. he walked right into that one. taehyung mumbles something unintelligible, his head hanging low and his gaze fixed on his own shoes.

“what was that?”

“i said,” taehyung huffs, but his expression softens back out immediately upon catching jeongguk’s worried gaze, “i wouldn’t be able to sleep without you anyway.”

jeongguk is silent, obviously stunned at the sheer amount of honesty in taehyung’s voice. it’s like the younger had allowed him a peek right at his soul.

“oh.” he chokes out, embarrassed at how much the statement affects him.

taehyung is biting his lip again, a telltale sign that he’s either embarrassed or insecure about something. the last thing jeongguk wants is to make him upset.

“okay, i’ll ask namjoon. if he says yes, you can come, but if he says no, you’re going home without any more fussing.”

taehyung nods excitedly, and it’s like a flip has switched inside of him. the sad and pained expression in his eyes is gone, and in its place is the excitement and eagerness taehyung never quite seems to lose.

jeongguk feels a tad bit guilty for giving him hope, but on the other hand he’s relieved taehyung will be going home soon, seeing as namjoon would obviously never agree to this.

 

“taehyung? sure, he can go.” namjoon says, not even looking up from his notebook.

“what?” jeongguk gasps at the same time as taehyung throws his fist into the air, yelling out in victory.

“please, be quiet. people are working.” namjoon berates the boy, who quickly lowers his fist, opting on grinning widely. jeongguk still hasn’t moved an inch, frozen in place from the shock. there is no way he can tell taehyung to go home now.

“c’mon, guk.” taehyung pulls at his sleeve excitedly. “let’s go. namjoon said i could.”

jeongguk doesn’t acknowledge him, instead stepping closer to namjoon’s desk. “are you insane? this guy is dangerous. i don’t want taehyung anywhere near him!”

“whose idea was it to bring taehyung to that club again?” namjoon counters, leaning back in his chair.

jeongguk huffs. “this is different and you know it. taehyung is one of his targets and we really shouldn’t be taking any risks here.”

“wait, what?” taehyung suddenly pipes up.

jeongguk bites his tongue. damn it. he shouldn’t have let that slip.

“taehyung, listen-“

“is this why i’ve been living at your place?” he’s met with silence. “when exactly were you planning on telling me that?”

he’s fuming, jeongguk can tell, but he finds himself incapable of responding. his throat closes up, and he realizes he’s fucked up. big time.

“taehyung, please, just listen to me-“

“no you listen to me!” taehyung interrupts him, voice raised, “you risked my life over a mission and now you’re trying to tell me that i can’t accompany you because the guy we’re searching for is out to kill me?”

“oh come on! the mission turned out to be completely harmless!” jeongguk counters. “stop trying to make me feel guilty for trying to protect you right now!”

“protect me? you fucking hypocrite! protecting me is not dragging me out to an underground club just to start preaching about not taking any risks on the same night!”

“are you hearing yourself right now? this is not some random guy we’re talking about, this is a fed turned rogue who’s out to kill you! you should be scared for your life!”

“i am!” taehyung yells back, “i fucking am!”

silence. absolute deafening silence.

jeongguk blinks, his heart shattering to pieces in his chest when he sees the tears slipping down taehyung’s cheeks. he takes a step forward and tries to wipe the tears away, but taehyung flinches away like he’s been burned. he sniffles quietly, throwing a last glance at namjoon before storming off, letting the door slam into its lock behind him.

“namjoon, i-“

“just go, jeongguk. take care of him, okay?”

the officer nods and turns on his heels, running after taehyung who’s fast pacing down the hallway on his way to the elevator.

“taehyung.” jeongguk tries, but the younger only leans forward to press the elevator button quickly. he wipes his face with his sleeve, but even from where he’s standing jeongguk can see fresh tears glistening in his eyes.

“taehyung, please.”

the elevator doors open and they both slip inside. taehyung is still not looking at him.

jeongguk steps closer to him, catching his chin between his thumb and pointer finger, tipping his head up as gently as he can. taehyung meets his gaze reluctantly, and jeongguk can feel the tension melting off of him immediately.

his chin wobbles and the tears that have been collecting in his eyes spill over, running down his cheeks. jeongguk doesn’t say anything when he pulls him into a hug, and neither does taehyung when he slings his arms around jeongguk’s waist and squeezes him tight.

“i’m so sorry.” taehyung sobs, allowing jeongguk to pet his hair and soothe him with hushed whispers and calming words.

“don’t apologize. it was wrong of me to keep all of this from you. i’m sorry.”

“you wanted to protect me. i get that. but from now on, don’t keep things from me anymore, okay?” taehyung asks, nuzzling jeongguk’s jaw. his scent is comforting, and the younger finds himself longing to curl up with him and watch one of those ridiculous netflix series the elder seems to love so much.

but none of that, not tonight.

tonight they have to catch a criminal.

they’ve reached the car when taehyung speaks up again. “so... am i allowed to come with you?”

jeongguk sighs in resentment. he nods, even though his face says the contrary. “i promised. i won’t break my promises anymore.”

taehyung smiles, his puffy eyes and red nose making him look so adorable that jeongguk’s chest hurts. they get inside the car, and the detective watches with an unsettling feeling in the pit of his stomach as taehyung buckles up and puts on some music.

let’s hope this ends well.

Chapter Text

jeongguk still remembers the day he met taehyung like it was yesterday. it had been cold and rainy in brooklyn that day, and taehyung’s hair had been dripping wet when he was escorted to the police station, his older brother in tow. jeongguk had wordlessly handed him a towel from his own locker, earning himself a blinding smile in return. from that day on, the only officer that was in charge of taehyung when he was doing his biweekly visits, was jeongguk. it was weird, at first, being around taehyung and having to admit that the boy, while still being an offender that should be anything but jeongguk’s friend, was a joy to be around. his crimes were never ill-natured and the charges were often dropped, sometimes thanks to the boy’s own charm and sometimes because jeongguk can be really persuasive when he wants to be. of course, taehyung didn’t need to know that. it didn’t take long for all the other officers to warm up to the teen—it happened in the time span of a few weeks actually—and soon he became a much appreciated visitor, no matter if he showed up in handcuffs or was just dropping by voluntarily. sometimes he’d bring jeongguk coffee, if he was lucky even a bagel or a donut, but most of the time he just came by to sit in the chair next to jeongguk’s desk and talk for an indefinite amount of time, about anything and everything that came across his mind. one time, when his job took every last ounce of energy out of jeongguk’s body and he’d taken the liberty to crash on the couch in the break room, he’d woken up with a blanket draped over his body and a cup of cold coffee standing on the ground next to the couch. the smug gazes his colleagues gave him when he exited the break room was enough to confirm his suspicions of taehyung’s visit.

in retrospect, falling for him was the easiest thing jeongguk had ever done.

now, almost a year and half after they’d first met, taehyung is still just as thoughtful, bright and warm as before, if not even more. he’s grown into himself, gotten more confident and mature, but in moments like these jeongguk remembers that he’s still just a kid.

taehyung is singing along to asia’s ‘heat of the moment’ as they’re cruising down the streets of brooklyn on their way to hunter’s apartment. jeongguk grins smugly, allowing himself a couple of glances at the hyped up boy whenever the traffic allows it. taehyung is out of breath when the song finally stops, chest heaving and eyes sparkling excitedly.

“guk! this is going to be so much fun!” taehyung exclaims as they pull up to hunter’s apartment complex, close enough to be able to spy through his window but far enough so hunter won’t see them in case he’s really in there.

jeongguk snorts. “you know that being on watch really isn’t all that fun? we just sit in here and wait for something to happen. music has to be off so we can hear announcements from the radio scanner. sometimes one of us falls asleep. i don’t know why anyone would prefer this over an actual, comfortable bed.”

he gives taehyung pointed look. the younger pouts, but stays adamant about not leaving jeongguk’s side. “i’m safer with you. are we still allowed to talk?”

“of course.”

jeongguk’s heart should not be beating this fast.

taehyung’s head lolls to the side, on his shoulder, and they make eye contact. the air shifts. the calm, comfortable atmosphere is gone, replaced by something more dangerous. the air is heavy, and taehyung is not supposed to look this beautiful, the street lamps outside casting alluring shadows over his face.

“why didn’t you tell me?” taehyung mutters. his voice is close to a whisper.

“would you believe me if i said i just wanted to protect you?” jeongguk says, a smile playing on his lips. taehyung chuckles, reaching over the console between them and grabs jeongguk’s hand, intertwining their fingers easily.

“i would. but i know there’s not all there is to it.”

jeongguk’s gaze falls down to his lap, his thumb stroking the soft skin of taehyung’s hand. taehyung shifts in his seat, moving one leg under the other until he’s facing jeongguk.

“remember a few months ago, on my parents death anniversary, when you took me to this really good pizza place downtown and let me eat so much that i almost fainted?” taehyung asks, laughing at the last few words. jeongguk joins him when he recalls the day at the pizza joint his own parents used to take him to. he had wanted to share the special place with someone equally as special. “you were so worried about me that you even drove us to the hospital.”

“you looked like you were on the brink of death! don’t joke about that!” jeongguk defends himself, but he’s wheezing too, gripping taehyung’s hand harder.

“what about that time we had a bowling match in the precinct and broke namjoon’s office door? remember that?” taehyung asks and doubles over upon seeing jeongguk’s disgruntled expression that softens back out after a few seconds. seeing taehyung laugh always makes butterflies erupt in his stomach.

“i had to do so many long hours because of that.” jeongguk groans.

“oh come on, i was right there with you for most of them! it couldn’t have been that bad.”

“all you did was sleep and drool on my desk!”

“yeah, but there was an attempt!” taehyung defends himself halfheartedly. he knows jeongguk would never hold a grudge against him. it’s quiet in the car, a comfortable but heavy silence settling over them.

“why are you telling me this? i mean, why are we talking about all of that?” jeongguk asks, breaking the subtle tension. “not that i don’t appreciate you refreshing my memory.”

taehyung sighs, leaning back in his seat like he’s been caught. he eyes their intertwined hands, squeezes comfortingly.

“i don’t know, i just.” he throws his head back, creating a dull thud against the headrest of his seat. “i wanted to remind you of the good times. i wanted to remind you that i’m not just someone you need to take care of.”

“taehyung.” jeongguk says, almost exasperatedly, but with a hint of a smile playing on his lips. “you’re not a burden to me. i promise. if anything, i really love taking care of you, protecting you.”

his voice is soft, tender. it sounds like home.

“you make it worth my while.”

taehyung has always been impulsive, but he doesn’t know what possessed him when he surged forward and pressed his lips against jeongguk’s. they’re warm and velvety smooth, exactly like taehyung expected them to be. jeongguk startles, giving a small oomph sound before coming back to his senses and kissing back. he raises his left hand to the back of taehyung’s neck, pressing him closer, playing with the strands of hair that meet his fingers. when taehyung pulls back, jeongguk’s eyes are still closed and he’s chasing after his lips subconsciously. he looks adorable.

taehyung catches some air, tiling his head forward until their foreheads meet. they’re practically breathing each other’s air.

“was that okay?” he whispers, nipping at jeongguk’s bottom lip. it feels like a huge weight is lifted off both their shoulders, a weight that has been piling up for months.

“very,” jeongguk smiles, stroking the skin at the back of taehyung’s neck, “but if you want a second go, i won’t be opposed.”

he closes the gap between their mouths before taehyung can, kissing him more fervently than before. taehyung gives a breathy moan, opening his mouth and allowing jeongguk to slip his tongue in. the hand that has found its way to the front of jeongguk’s jacket twists and pulls him closer by the sturdy fabric.

“you know what?” taehyung grins against jeongguk’s lips, “stakeouts aren’t as boring as i thought they would be.”

jeongguk chuckles, detaching himself from taehyung to look at the building they’re supposed to keep watch of. his heart skips a beat.

“fuck, how long has that light been on?”

taehyung goes rigid in his seat, eyes zeroing in on the illuminated window on the third floor. williams’ window.

“why put on the light now? if santiago’s suspicions are true, he must’ve been in there for at least an hour.”

“fuck if i know.” jeongguk mutters, unbuckling his belt and requesting for backup over the police radio before giving taehyung the most serious look the boy has ever seen on him. “i’m going up there. you stay in the car. and don’t even think about arguing me on this.”

taehyung nods hesitantly, watching him check his holster for his gun. jeongguk reaches out to the door handle, but taehyung holds him back by his collar before he can actually open the door.

he places a quick kiss to jeongguk‘s lips, his dark eyes shining with worry. “be careful, okay?”

jeongguk nods, pecking the tip of his nose before exiting the vehicle and sprinting across the street without paying attention to the traffic. luckily, he makes it to the entrance of the apartment building unharmed, but not without being honked at by several annoyed drivers. he holds up his badge so the doorkeeper won’t alert security and allows him to sprint upstairs without any fuss. he practically flies up the stairs, taking two steps at a time. his heart is beating uncharacteristically fast. when he’s almost reached the third floor, a tall figure appears on the top of the staircase, seemingly in a rush. it takes jeongguk approximately three seconds to realize that he’s face to face with the hunter williams. the man growls and turns on his heel, running down the hallway towards the emergency door, jeongguk hot on his heels.

“nypd! stay right where you are!” he yells, but williams doesn’t listen. of course. jeongguk, gun already in hand, briefly considers shooting, but then a door opens and a mother with a child on her arm steps out into the hallway and blocks the way. she screeches loudly and raises her hand to her child’s head protectively, almost colliding with jeongguk who hasn’t stopped running. he lowers his gun and manages to sidestep her just in time, but it slows him down, and when he looks back ahead, williams has disappeared behind the heavy metal door with the glowing green exit sign over it. jeongguk swears under his breath but keeps his gun in hand, hoping to be able to catch up to williams. he can hear the man’s aggressive footsteps under him, but he can’t seem to catch up to the man. the door at the bottom of the stairs leads to a small and inconspicuous street, and jeongguk can barely catch a glimpse of williams’ long legs disappearing behind a corner. by the time he’s reached that very corner, williams has climbed into a black sports car and is already steering out of his parking space. he groans and watches desperately as williams’ car speeds down the street, taking a moment to breathe in before falling back into a jog and making his way back to the car.

“what the fuck happened?“ taehyung asks as soon as he’s slid into the drivers seat.

“williams got away. we need to follow him.” jeongguk grunts, obviously not happy with the outcome of his trip inside. maybe if he had been just a little bit faster...

jeongguk puts on the siren and maneuvers his car into the fast paced traffic, following the exact way he saw williams’ car go. “attention to all units in the area, the suspect is on the run. i’m on franklin ave, heading north. suspect is driving a black camaro, license plate unknown.” he announces over the radio, a frown etched deep into his features. his fingers are drumming an erratic beat against the steering wheel, his leg is twitching uncomfortably. he knows he shouldn’t get this worked up, but with taehyung on the passenger seat, every passing second feels suffocating.

“don’t worry, you’re gonna catch him.” taehyung tries to soothe him. jeongguk doesn’t respond.