Actions

Work Header

in spades

Work Text:

 

There’s nothing more satisfying than closing a case. Seeing the look on someone’s face when you figure them out, when they can no longer spin their lies well enough to fool you, is so utterly fulfilling. Jungkook loves the feeling of clapping a pair of cuffs around a criminal’s wrists and shoving them in the back of a car.

And there’s something exciting about walking up the driveway of possibly the most famous movie star of their time to solve his next crime. Not that Jungkook is as childishly obsessed with fame as his coworkers seem to be. He harbors no idol worship for Park Jimin, but he does love film and, admittedly, just enough drama to keep the station talking over coffee everyday. What’s more dramatic than a dead body showing up in the pool of a star’s mansion?

He stretches his legs as he steps out of his car, the door slamming shut behind him before he straightens out the cuffs of his jacket. Police cars surround the mansion, parked along the street and in the driveway, neighbors standing in their nightgowns as they answer questions.

Beside the wrought iron gates stands Jungkook’s partner, Kim Taehyung, chatting with a beat cop and catching up on what they’ve found out so far. Poor guy had been just about to take a vacation when he was called in for this case. Jungkook would have been fine handling it with someone else, but Taehyung refused to pass up the chance at investigating a movie star.

“What have I missed?” Jungkook asks as he approaches his partner, tipping his hat back.

Taehyung looks stressed as he looks up at Jungkook from the notepad he had been jotting notes down on. He flips it shut and slips it into the front pocket of his jacket. “A lot of shouting and very few answers,” he says. “The neighbors have been more helpful than Mr. Park. He—”

There’s a crash from inside the house and the two detectives glance at each other before pivoting and running up the driveway. They dart in through the front door to find a vase lying broken on the floor, a baby-faced cop staring down at with frightened eyes.

“Are you kidding me?” comes a musical voice, immediately drawing Jungkook’s eyes up to find a face he’s only seen on the screen until now. Park Jimin closes his eyes and takes a deep breath before staring down the young cop again. “You barge into my house with your filthy shoes, accuse me of murdering someone, and then you start breaking my things. Get out!”

“I didn’t— It was an accident—” The cop looks to Jungkook, eyes widening further until they look like they might pop right out of his skull. “Sir—”

“Why don’t you step outside?” Jungkook says, keeping his voice low as he places a hand on the young man’s shoulder. He knows this kid’s face from the station but he’ll be damned if he remembers his name. “I think we’ll get more cooperation out of him if you’re not here.”

“Yes, sir,” the cop says, ducking his head in an apology to the scoffing movie start before rushing outside.

Taehyung just sighs, rubbing his fingers over his brow.

“This is ridiculous,” Park Jimin snaps, spinning to take in the sight of the cops swarming his foyer; a sprawling room decorated in white and gold and shades of red, dark mahogany banisters running up the stairs. “You can’t just waltz into my home and start questioning me. There was a stalker and a murderer running around my yard and you’re questioning me. Who’s in charge here?”

Jungkook and his partner cast each other a glance, and Jungkook clears his throat. “That would be me,” he says, holding back a roll of his eyes as Jimin turn to face him with burning eyes. “I’ll be heading this investigation—”

“Well, you’re late,” the actor says, and that’s when Jungkook notices his clothes. Unlike his neighbors outside, he’s dressed head to toe in a tailored suit, his hair looking a little mussed as if he’s been out and about quite a lot already for so early in the morning.

“There really isn’t a specific time I had to—” Jungkook starts, but Jimin interrupts him.

“Tell your boys here that questioning me is a waste of time. I wasn’t even home when it happened.”

Well, that answers Jungkook’s first question before he even has to ask it. “Did you tell them that?”

“Yes!” Jimin snaps.

“That’s why they had to question you, to find that out,” Jungkook tells him. “If they don’t ask, they can’t clear you as a suspect. We’re just doing our jobs.”

Jimin scoffs, the sound fading into a laugh as he shakes his head. His arms fold stubbornly across his chest and he frowns back at Jungkook. “Why am I even a suspect? You really think I would be stupid enough to shoot a man in my own backyard?” He jabs a finger at the door. “You should be out there, searching for the real killer.”

“Well, we have to start here to get leads. Since this is where the murder happened. So…” Jungkook reaches into his pocket, pulling out his notebook and pen. “If you could answer just a few questions so we know where to go from here, we can get out of your hair.”

Jimin stares at him, then glances at Taehyung. At first, Jungkook worries he’s going to refuse to answer, but then the actor closes his eyes again and sighs. “Fine,” he says, then points at Taehyung. “But I’m not answering a damn thing in front of him. He’s the one who sent that stupid boy in here who broke my vase.”

“I did—” Taehyung looks over at Jungkook, the two of them watching each other for a long moment as Jungkook works out how to fix their current mess. Then Taehyung throws his hands in the air and heads for the door. “Fine. Fine, I’ll go look at the body again. It’s more interesting anyway.”

Jungkook turns to Jimin again, holding back a sigh as he watches the actor narrow his eyes at Taehyung’s back. He’s dealt with difficult people on his cases before, but he has a feeling Jimin is going to be a whole new level of challenging for him.

“Is there somewhere you would be more comfortable answering questions?” Jungkook asks, gesturing around at the mess of cops milling about his house. “Somewhere with fewer distractions.”

Jimin, arms still crossed, trails his narrowed eyes over Jungkook from head to toe. The tension in his shoulders seems to dissipate just a tad, the frown on his face evening out. With another dramatic sigh, he waves Jungkook through a doorway behind himself. “In here. My lounge.”

Jungkook follows as Jimin leads the way into the other room, leaving the door open in case the others need to find him easily. As he steps inside, he looks to his right and jumps, his heart accelerating at the sight of another man standing there in a black suit. “Jesus,” he breathes, looking to Jimin, then back to the man. “You are?”

“This is Yoongi,” Jimin says with a wave of his hand as he drops onto a sofa, Jungkook following after him, his eyes on the stranger. “My butler.”

“I’ll have to ask you to take a seat, too,” Jungkook says to Yoongi, pointing at the seat beside Jimin with his pen.

“No need. Everything he can tell you, I can tell you first,” says Jimin, leaning back in his seat, one leg crossed over the other. Jungkook looks back to him now, almost forgetting the silent butler once his eyes meet Jimin’s. He has a captivating pair of deep, dark eyes that seem to hold an entire night sky when you look right at them. “Yoongi was with me. He drove me to a cocktail party last night.”

“Can anyone confirm seeing you both there?”

Jimin shrugs. “Most likely. Everyone there knew me.”

“Where was this party?”

Jimin leans forward now, a smirk curling the corners of his lips. Jungkook narrows his eyes in suspicion, wondering just what has the actor so amused all of a sudden. “You have a very, very serious face, Detective. Do you ever smile? You’ll wrinkle, making that face all the time.”

Biting his tongue, Jungkook tilts his head just a touch and pushes a fake smile onto his face. “Answer the question, Mr. Park.”

“It was at Kim Seokjin’s home.” Jimin leans back in his seat again, his smile disappearing, clearly disappointed by Jungkook’s response. “He’s just a few blocks away from here. Say, you didn’t tell me your name, Detective.”

“Jeon.” Jungkook jots down Seokjin’s name. He knows it. He’s seen it in the credits of a number of films. “Did you know the victim?”

“I did, actually.”

At that, Jungkook looks up from his notepad. “How?”

Jimin stares at his nails, idly fidgeting with them, foot bouncing. “He was a stalker, known to prowl about star’s yards and peep in their windows, trying to get pictures of them to blackmail us with or sell on the streets. He was despicable and lately I’ve been his target.” He turns his gaze on Jungkook again. “He was probably prowling around when someone saw him and realized he would be an easy target for a mugging. The streets in this damn city are dangerous, even in the nicer neighborhoods like this. You see? Case closed. I should be the detective here.”

Jungkook feels his lip curling down, a bad taste in his mouth. He despises brats like this, thinking they know how to do his job better than him. “What time did you leave for the party?”

“6 P.M.”

“And what time did you get back?”

“1:30 A.M., roughly.”

“And when you returned…”

“There were already people peeking over here from their windows or trying to look over the fence because they heard the gunshots. Yoongi and I instantly realized something was wrong so we started looking around, assuming there had been a break-in.” Jimin shifts in his seat, arms stretching across the back of the sofa behind him. “I came out to the backyard and saw something floating in the pool. I didn’t realize it was a body until I was right over it. I shouted, Yoongi ran to find me, and then we called you unhelpful fucks. Confirm with my neighbors, they’ll tell you what time we pulled into the driveway and when I shouted for Yoongi.”

Jungkook purses his lips together as he takes down his notes, nodding along with Jimin’s words. From the doorway, someone clears their throat and he looks up to see Taehyung beckoning him over. “Outside, please,” Taehyung says, and Jungkook gives him a nod.

“Well, Mr. Park,” Jungkook says, eying the actor carefully. He seems calm. Almost too calm for finding a body in his own home. But if the neighbors can confirm what he said then there isn’t much reason to suspect him. For now. “I think that’s all for the moment. We’re still going to have to ask you to come down to the station for fingerprints and the like, just in case.”

Jimin scoffs. “In case of what?”

“In case we find a murder weapon,” says Jungkook, slipping his notepad back where it came from. “Just protocol. You are still a suspect until we can absolutely prove you were not here at the time of the murder.”

Jimin rolls his eyes, turning his head away in a childish act of defiance. “Fine, fine. Whatever you need, detective. Run along and have fun fishing that body out with your partner.”

Stopping in the doorway, Jungkook turns just long enough to give the actor another forced smile, his blood boiling while he remains calm on the surface. “I will,” he assures him, and then his smile grows genuine and just a little devilish as he matches Jimin’s gaze. “Shame he landed where he did. It’s such a a nice pool but…were I you, I think I’d have a hard time swimming in it again.”

He swears he sees Jimin’s eye twitch at that, so he turns away before the actor can see his smirk widening. Taehyung catches sight of it, though, and he has a hard time holding back a snort as they both turn to leave the room, side by side as they make for the backyard.

 

 

As it turns out, Park Jimin’s story really can be confirmed by both his neighbors and those at Kim Seokjin’s party. His car pulled into his driveway between 1 A.M. and 1:30 A.M., though none of the neighbors could see who got out of the car, it was unmistakably his.

The partygoers confirmed seeing Jimin there, though most didn’t remember Yoongi. A few said they remember seeing him around midnight, others said they don’t specifically remember him but they knew he was there. He’s never far from Jimin’s side, apparently.

That leaves Jungkook with no suspects but some random mugger that no one saw a single sign of. He refuses to believe that, though. A known stalker of movie stars, mugged in the backyard of the very man he was stalking at the time.

There were no signs of a struggle. It seemed that he was just shot in the back for no reason. His valuables were missing, which would make him inclined to believe it was a mugging or that someone wanted it to look that way.

Petty crime like that doesn’t happen on those streets often, and if it does it’s usually one of the rich folk around there being targeted. Why attack a random peeping tom? Why chase him from the streets into a yard to kill him rather than just shooting him on the street.

Jungkook leans his head back on his chair, eyes closed as he tries to connect invisible strings to each other inside his head. He must be missing something. He has to be. It just makes no sense, and something about Park Jimin and his butler just rub him the wrong way. There’s something they’re not being completely honest about.

“Are you still worrying yourself over that dead stalker?” Taehyung asks, and Jungkook cracks one eye open to peer at him as he leans against Jungkook’s desk, a mug of steaming coffee in his hands. “Stop it, man. As much as I hate to admit it, it really does look like it was just a random mugging. A strange one, yes, that’s all. It’s really no loss, anyway. The man was a cretin.”

Jungkook sighs, his feet propped on his desk, his arms folded behind his head as he shakes it. “That’s exactly why I don’t think it was.”

Taehyung cocks a brow at him.

“People despised him,” Jungkook says with a shrug. “There were likely tons of people who wanted revenge on him for peeping and selling private photos of them. If you were a victim of his stalking and you saw him prowling around someone else’s house, wouldn’t you take the chance to shoot him in the back?”

Taehyung nods thoughtfully, staring off in the distance as he considers it. “Maybe so. So you think we have some big screen star out there with the murder weapon tucked away in their underwear drawer?”

With an unamused frown, Jungkook looks up at his partner. “You’re just hoping you get to dig through a movie star’s underwear.”

Taehyung feigns an innocent little smile as he spins away from the desk. “So, who do you think it is?”

“Not a clue.” Jungkook lets his feet hit the floor, then stretches his legs out and stands. “I need to find out more about the victim before I can figure that out. I’m going back to Park Jimin’s house to ask him more questions.”

“Uh, is that such a good idea?” Taehyung asks, dropping into his own chair now. “Last I heard, he was threatening to sue us because Lee broke something else in his house.”

Jungkook rolls his eyes and chuckles. “It’ll be fine.”

“I’m not sure you should go poking around there again. Park’s pretty pissed. You don’t want to stir the pot anymore than we already have.”

“My case, my choice,” Jungkook says as he throws his jacket around his shoulders and drops his hat onto his head. “Go home, get some rest. I’ll call you if I find anything out.”

Taehyung sighs, raising his hands in defeat. “Our case, but okay, suit yourself. Don’t come crying to me if that psycho castrates you for accidentally brushing against one of his paintings or something.”

Jungkook laughs. “I’d like to see him try.”

“Ooh, tough guy,” Taehyung says with mock fear as he looks up at Jungkook passing by him. “Good luck.”

With a wave to his partner, Jungkook heads back out onto the bustling streets and into his car, double checking the address in his notepad before driving off to question the one and only Park Jimin.

 

When he pulls up to the mansion, it’s only to be stopped at the front gate, a man in the little building beside it leaning in the window to call to Jungkook, “Mr. Park is not seeing guests right now.”

“I’m not a guest,” Jungkook says, leaning in the window of his car. “I’m leading the investigation into the murder that took place here. Let me in.”

“Thought that was all settled,” the man says, and Jungkook bites back a snide remark. He doesn’t appreciate his work being hindered.

“Until the killer is found, nothing is settled,” Jungkook says, then repeats, “Let me in to see Park or I’ll consider what you’re doing to be obstructing justice.”

He’s well aware of the fact that he can’t lawfully do that, considering the man is just doing his job and Jungkook technically has no official business here. The guard just needs to be scared enough to let Jungkook in. Which he is. And he does.

The man steps out of his building, standing at the inside of the gate and tugging it open for Jungkook to drive on through and up that long driveway. He comes to stop directly by the front steps, climbs out, adjusts his hat, and heads for the door.

His knock on the door is answered almost immediately by the butler, Yoongi, whose usually stoic face flashes with fear for the briefest of moments when he sees Jungkook.

“Detective,” he says, only to be cut off by a shout from somewhere inside the mansion.

Jimin rushes into the room, frantic, not seeming to notice Jungkook yet as he moves vases and statuettes and various other things as if searching for something. “I can’t find it, Yoongi. It’s gone. Fucking gone. It must have—”

Yoongi clears his throat, stopping Jimin in his tracks. The actor spins around, the silk robe he wears draped loosely around himself, his eyes widening when he sees Jungkook. He pulls the robe tighter and forces a smile.

“Hello, Detective,” he says, sounding almost breathless as he moves his vase back into place. “What are you doing here? How did you get in? I told him not to let anyone—”

“I insisted,” Jungkook interrupts, then steps inside without waiting to be invited. There are two way to get what he wants out of someone like Jimin: being disgustingly polite and catering to the man’s every want and need or outdoing him at his own game of nerve and wit until he respects Jungkook.

And Jungkook is not about to bow down and kiss Park Jimin’s boots for a few answers.

“After all, you’re not yet cleared from our suspect list yet, meaning we’ll continue to have questions for you until you are.” Jungkook smiles, making sure the sweetness behind it is obviously faked. “Aren’t you going to offer your guest a drink?”

Jimin licks his lips, clearly annoyed, and Jungkook feels a little thrill at knowing that. “Of course. Yoongi.”

The butler just nods before heading toward the kitchen, Jimin waving Jungkook into the lounge. Jungkook follows him, a bit hesitant to shut himself in a room alone with the man. He’s not sure what it is about Park Jimin that sets him on edge but he just feels like there’s something to be wary of.

Maybe it’s just because of his obnoxious behavior or because he’s still a suspect no matter how unlikely it is that he’s the murderer. Maybe it’s actually the butler that makes him nervous. Yoongi certainly is a strange one.

Jungkook sits across from Jimin, who crosses his legs just like last time, keeping his robe pulled tight around himself so it doesn’t fall open. Judging by how much of his bare leg is exposed and how far down his chest Jungkook can see, Jungkook can only assume he’s wearing nothing beneath it.

He tries not to let his eyes wander too much, though it is very, very tempting.

“I wanted to ask you more about the victim, Kim Wonhyo, and your relationship to him.”

“There was none. He existed, I hated him just like everyone else, now he’s dead.” Jimin throws his arms up in an innocent shrug. “That’s all there is to it, Detective.”

Jungkook holds back a huff. “Could you name anyone, specifically, who hated him maybe more than most? Anyone who hated him enough to want him dead or someone under severe threat from him?”

“There are a number of people who would have wanted him dead, including myself,” Jimin says, and Jungkook can’t help but be shocked at the brutal honesty. Most people would be afraid to say such things in this situation. “But I don’t like the idea of blood on my hands, so…”

“Why did you want him dead?” Jungkook asks. “Because he took a few pictures at some point?”

Jimin’s jaw goes taut, his foot shaking anxiously. He stares back at Jungkook still, no fear or worry in his eyes. He mostly just looks irritated. “It was more... the nature of the pictures.”

“Meaning?”

“I’ve already said too much.” Jimin looks away just as Yoongi enters the room with a tray, two cups and a fancy little teapot resting on it. He sets it on the coffee table between them. Jimin thanks him, excuses him, and he leaves.

Jimin keeps his silence for a moment longer as he mixes himself his own cup, Jungkook doing the same. Jungkook leans back in his seat, watching Jimin, unblinking, waiting for any kind of sign that he’s about to break, that he could be hiding anything.

“The nature of my pictures shouldn’t matter,” Jimin says after taking a taste of his tea. He relaxes back on his sofa, legs still crossed. “Because you and I both know I didn’t kill him.”

Jungkook lifts a brow. “Do we now?”

“We do.” Jimin takes a deep breath, sips on his drink, and then leans forward to set it down. “I didn’t kill him and you know it. I know you don’t think I did it, so I’m not sure why you think I have the answers you need.”

Jungkook sets his cup down, then props his chin on his fist as he matches Jimin’s gaze. This man is challenging him and he’ll be damned if he backs down. “How would you know what I think?”

Jimin’s lips quirk up in a smirk. “Because I’m a psychic,” he says, and the stoic confidence on Jungkook’s face falters for a moment, caught entirely off guard by that. Jimin taps the side of his head. “I know what goes on up in there. At least somewhat. I know you have another reason for coming back here that even you haven’t realized yet.”

At that, Jungkook sits back in his seat, a frown creasing his face as Jimin stands. He watches the actor waltz across the room to lean against the window, staring out at the garden, and beyond that, the pool.

He hates that Jimin is right. Not completely, but enough. Jungkook did come back for a reason he doesn’t quite understand, but the more he thinks about it the more it makes sense. It’s not that Jimin sets him on edge when he’s around him, it’s that Jungkook is intrigued by him, and he doesn’t like that. He doesn’t like that his curiosity is piqued with every smirk from the other man, every wishy-washy answer he gives.

Park Jimin’s quite the mystery for someone who makes a living out of making himself known to the world around him. Jungkook has always been a sucker for a good mystery.

“Park—”

“We’re done here.”

Jungkook’s jaw snaps shut, brows furrowing as he stares at Jimin, who still doesn’t turn away from his window. He would pry some more but he feels that that would hinder him more than help. Maybe he took the wrong approach to this after all. He’s done nothing but successfully shut Jimin down from possibly ever helping the police in this investigation again.

“Very well,” he says as he stands, and he swears Jimin casts the subtlest of glances at him in the reflection in the window. “I’m sure I’ll be seeing you again soon, Park.”

“Looking forward to it,” Jimin says, though his voice sounds less than excited. “Yoongi will show you out.”

“I know my way,” Jungkook insists, his eyes meeting Jimin’s in the reflection now. “Have a good day.”

Jimin doesn’t respond, just watches as Jungkook leaves, though he seems on the verge of saying something just before he steps out of the room. There’s certainly something that he’s hiding, though Jungkook feels in his gut that it’s not for any malicious reasoning.

He will find out, though. That’s just his job.

 

 

Jungkook startles awake to the sound of his phone ringing in the early hours of the morning. He rolls over in bed, grasping in the dark and knocking the phone off the hook. The cord catches it and it hits the side of his nightstand a few times before he finally gets his hands on it.

“Detective Jeon. Tae, if this is you, it better be good.”

“Oh, it is. We found Kim Wonhyo’s apartment.”

Jungkook rubs at his eyes, shaking himself awake. He must have heard that wrong. “What are you talking about? We already searched his apartment.”

“Not his second apartment.”

Now Jungkook is awake, perking right up and shooting out of bed.

“That key we found in his apartment was for another place. I sent a couple of guys down to check it out and they said it’s full of evidence. All the pictures he’s ever taken, all the blackmail, it’s there. So get dressed and get your ass down here.”

Jungkook grins. “Give me the address.”

 

Jungkook speeds down to Kim’s apartment, nearly crashing into a hundred lampposts along the way. He’s up those stairs and digging through the victim’s belongings in no time, excitement building inside him with every second that passes. This is the break he needs. This place holds everything. He knows it.

“No pictures of Park Jimin here, yet,” Taehyung says. “Either he sold them or never got around to taking them. Hope you weren’t betting on nailing him for this.”

“Not really,” Jungkook says, though it’s a lie to say he isn’t interested in finding out what Kim had on Park. Whatever it is, just the mention of it had Park falling silent, anxious.

Park doesn’t seem the type to be easily silenced, even by a potential scandal, so Jungkook doubts it’s anything to do with a secret lover or photos of him changing in his bedroom. He would more than likely own up to anything like that and wear it around as a badge of honor, flaunting how many people bought nude images of him.

Jungkook’s curiosity is getting the best of him and he can’t even bring himself to mind. He just needs to know.

“Has anyone checked in there yet?” Jungkook asks, pointing at what looks to be a very unused bedroom.

“Not yet.”

“I’ve got it,” Jungkook says, giving his partner a pat on the shoulder before walking away. He has a feeling. He just has that feeling. It’s the same feeling he always gets just before he cracks a case.

The moment he steps inside the room he feels like he’s been transported somewhere else entirely, namely into the mind of a mad man.

Photos of a number of familiar faces line the walls or stack high on the desk. The bed is covered in pictures, all laid out rather neatly, seeming to be organized in some pattern Jungkook has yet to puzzle out.

His feet carry him forward, his hands reaching for the nearest picture. He recognizes the woman in it. She’s a new, up and coming star. Her name escapes him in the moment but he knows she’s young. Too young for pictures like this of her to surface.

He scans the other photos, listing off names in his head, then heads for the desk, sifting through piles after pile. He sees pictures of Jung Hoseok, a bright-eyed star revered for his upbeat personality and somewhat crude sense of humor. He finds Lee Minho, an actor just as famous as Jimin, in a rather compromising position with a shadowy figure in an alleyway.

Most of the blackmail seems to be of female stars, and Jungkook supposes they would be the best targets, considering the world seems to less forgiving of women who sleep around than they are of men who do the same. In a way, they have more to lose were any of this revealed, so Kim must have focused on them for easy money. These women stood no chance. They would have lost their careers had they not cooperated.

Jungkook shoves aside a stack of photos of who he recognizes to be Choi Boram and his heart stops at what he sees next. His hands hover over the photo lying on top, not quite sure he believes his eyes.

What he finds are images of Park Jimin, as flawless in black and white as he is in person, in bed with someone. But not just anyone.

In the first photo he grabs he sees Jimin in the arms of someone else, straddling their lap with his face buried in their neck, his fingers digging into their back hard enough to leave marks.

It is undoubtedly Park Jimin in the throes of passion with another man. Not one he recognizes, but just the fact that it’s a man is compromising enough. He understands now why Jimin hated Kim so much. If anyone saw this not only would his career be over, but he would never be able to show his face in this city again.

Jungkook’s eyes snaps to the door when he hears someone approaching.

Footsteps echo down the hall, closer and closer, and Jungkook doesn't know why he does what he does, but he gathers every picture he can find of Jimin, folding them up and shoving them into his jacket just in time to keep Taehyung from seeing then.

“Any luck nailing your man?” Taehyung asks, and after what he just saw Jungkook really wishes he had phrased that differently.

“Nothing in here.” Jungkook shakes his head, hoping his shock isn’t obvious. He can feel the lightest sweat breaking out across his skin as Taehyung stares at him. “Just more photos of stars but nothing of Park. He must not have gotten pictures of him yet. I don’t think Park’s our killer. He was under no real threat.”

Taehyung nods, glancing around the room, then his nod turns into a back and forth shake of his head. “Insane,” he mutters. His eyes drift back to Jungkook. “Maybe the world is better off without this freak running around.”

Jungkook is inclined to agree but he keeps that to himself. “Better off or not,” he says, “it’s still our job to find our who killed the bastard. So let’s gather everything up and get it down to the station. We need to question everyone in these photos.”

“You got it, partner,” Taehyung says with a lazy salute before pushing away from the doorway and heading back out to where the rest of the cops mill about.

Jungkook touches his jacket where those pictures sit, his heart feeling heavy in his chest. This certainly would give Jimin motive to kill Kim, but it doesn’t convince Jungkook that he did.

It does, however, explain his strange behavior the other day. He wasn’t being stubborn or ornery, he wasn’t giving Jungkook a hard time just because he could.

He was scared.

He was scared of this.

 

Getting through the gate of Park Jimin’s residence isn’t hard this time. The gatekeeper once again tries to deny him but Jungkook insists that Jimin will want to hear what he has to say. He lets him through after a short argument, and now Jungkook finds himself waiting on the front step of that mansion once again.

When the door swings open he expects to see Yoongi, but is instead greeted by a frazzled looking Jimin. His eyes look bleary as if he just woke up and he wears that silk robe once again. It gives Jungkook a view of his legs. And a nice view, it is.

“Good morning,” Jungkook says.

“It’s definitely morning,” replies Jimin with a quirk of his brow, “but it’s a bit too early to being calling it good.” His eyes dart over Jungkook. “You look… dead. Long night?”

Jungkook smirks. “Early morning. Just like you said.”

“Well, I suppose you’re here because there’s been some break in the case,” Jimin sighs and takes a step back to let Jungkook in, “which means I won’t be rid of you anytime soon. Come in, I’ll have Yoongi start us some coffee.”

“Appreciate it,” Jungkook says with a nod as he steps in and the door slams shut. As always, he follows Jimin to the lounge, the actor calling for Yoongi to get them their drinks.

Jimin drops into his usual seat, legs crossing. “So?” he asks, hands waving for Jungkook to speak. “What is it? Did you find the killer? Was it Lee Haeri? I never did trust her. She has those beady eyes and that little—”

His words drop away when Jungkook reaches into his pocket and drops the photos onto the table before him. Jimin stares at the images, unmoving, unblinking, his face unreadable, though Jungkook swears he detects a hint of fear there.

Yoongi comes in with the coffee before Jimin even utters a word. The butler is actually the first to speak. “Jimin, what—” he starts when his eyes find the pictures. Then he looks to Jungkook, his jaw clenching. “Where did you get those?”

“Yoongi,” Jimin calls, holding a hand up to silence his butler. “Set the coffee down and leave, please. I need to speak with the detective alone.”

“Jimin—”

“I’ll be fine, Yoongi,” Jimin says, eyes snapping to the other man now, a sense of finality in his tone. “Please.”

Yoongi glances from Jimin to Jungkook and back, then sets the coffee down. He looks reluctant, staring at Jungkook, before he finally turns and leaves. The door closes and Jimin still doesn’t meet Jungkook’s eyes.

“I assume you found these in Kim Wonhyo’s residence,” he says, leaning forward to pick up the first image, taking a deep breath and swallowing. “Is this all of them?”

“Yes.” Jungkook takes a seat, reaching for the coffee and stirring cream and several sugars into his own. Jimin doesn’t even seem to have noticed the drinks yet as Jungkook starts sipping at his.

“Who else has seen them?”

“No one.”

Jimin’s gaze flies to Jungkook and his brows furrow.

“I took them all before anyone else could see them,” says Jungkook, Jimin dropping the photo and sitting upright in his seat, ever curious as he stares at Jungkook. “I know what this could do to your career, so I wanted you to see them and know they existed before anything could happen, in case there are other copies out there somewhere. Someone could have them. We don’t know for sure.” He shrugs as Jimin looks down at the pictures again. “Who is he?

“An old flame,” says Jimin, sifting through the pictures now. He fidgets with his lips, licking and biting at them. It seems to be a nervous tick of his. An attractive one. The way it makes his lips shine and swell red has Jungkook enraptured. He glances up at Jungkook. “You don’t seem bothered by this.”

Jungkook hesitates. He feels inclined to be honest with Jimin, but just because he isn’t in the spotlight the way Jimin is doesn’t mean there’s no risk to him as well. People around here don’t take kindly to men like them. “Believe me, Park, a lot of men around here are hypocrites,” he says as Jimin peers up at him over a photo. “Anyone who served in the army knows you take what you can get when you’re out there. To be bothered by you bedding another man would make me just as hypocritical as the rest of them.”

Jimin lets the picture slip from his fingers and float back to the table, his eyes narrowing just slightly. “You served in the war?”

“You didn’t?”

“I was exempt from the draft,” Jimin says, finally reaching for his coffee and mixing in significantly less cream and sugar than Jungkook had. “Complications with my health.”

As much as he would like to, Jungkook doesn’t pry. He just watches as Jimin raises the little cup to his lips, eyes never leaving Jungkook’s, and takes a taste of the coffee. He smiles.

“Are you... telling me you used to fuck other men in the army?”

“I’m not denying it,” says Jungkook, feeling himself leaning in closer before he realizes. There’s a sudden pull between the two of them; maybe it was always there and he’s only just now recognizing it.

“Was is just because there was no one else or were you actually attracted to them?” Jimin asks as if he’s the investigator now, the one interrogating Jungkook rather than the other way around.

“A little bit of both,” answers Jungkook, his hands gripping tight around his cup as if letting go might allow him to reach out and touch Jimin the way he’s so tempted to. “Mostly, I just went along with whoever was willing.”

Jimin’s grin widens, head shaking slowly back and forth and a funny sort of fondness in his eyes. “I knew there was something about you, Jeon. I didn’t want to like you at first but there was just… something.” His hand splays across the table, his lower lip catches between his teeth. And then he leans back, sudden and quick, his coffee balanced precariously. “So, exactly how much are you risking by bringing these to me?”

Jungkook looks down at the photos as Jimin waves a hand at them, his nonchalant demeanor returning. “That shouldn’t matter. It’s already done. No turning back now.”

“I’m free to do what I want with them?”

Their eyes meet again and there’s a sort of desperation in Jimin’s eyes. Well-hidden, but still visible. He wants to appear calm on the surface, like this is nothing to be worried about. Jungkook can sense the turmoil inside of him, the fear.

“It’s your body,” Jungkook says around the rim of his cup, “your private life in those images. It should be your choice. They never should have been taken in the first place. Had I found this while Kim was still alive, I would make sure he got locked up for good. Get rid of them, if that’s what you need to feel safe again.”

Jimin breathes in deep, holds it as he stares down at the pictures, then exhales softly. Setting aside his coffee, Jimin stands, taking the photos with him as he crosses the room.

Jungkook turns in his seat to watch as he stops beside the fireplace, devoid of fire at this time of year, and takes a lighter from atop the mantle. He stands there for a curiously long moment, staring at the pictures as if hesitant to rid himself of the memories. Jungkook wonders if it’s the man in the photos he’s afraid to let go of, and then he flicks the lighter on and lights one corner of the stack.

As they burn, Jimin drops them into the fireplace, then returns to his seat, lighter still in hand. He doesn’t speak, reaching over to snatch up a tin from beside his sofa. He flips it open, taking out a cigarette and offering it to Jungkook, who simply shakes his head. So Jimin lights it up for himself, leaning back in his seat as he takes a drag.

“Thank you, Detective,” he says around a cloud of smoke, his gaze on the ceiling. “Though, maybe it’s too soon to thank you. I suppose this puts me higher on the suspect list, doesn’t it?”

“Unfortunately,” Jungkook says, and Jimin’s eyes drift back down to him. “Speaking as a detective, you certainly would have more motive than anyone else whose photos I found. They all risk a scandal, but those can all easily be overlooked with a well-timed publicity stunt. Yours, though, could completely ruin you.”

Jimin nods along, a vulnerability in his eyes as he listens. “Then maybe you shouldn’t be seen here. Not without your partner. If there are other pictures out there that you didn’t find and they get revealed, people might start talking about the detective who keeps coming around on unofficial business. It could ruin you, too.”

Jungkook sets his coffee down, clasping his hands in front of himself. He looks over at where the pictures shrivel up into nothing more than black, charred debris. He takes a deep breath, then forces himself to meet Jimin’s gaze again despite how much temptation it holds within it.

“Or maybe,” Jimin purrs, leaning forward again, his cigarette dangling between delicate fingers, “maybe I am the killer. You could be sitting in the house of a murderer right now. A murderer who might be getting desperate. What if I order Yoongi to kill you while you’re distracted by me? You’re taking more than one small risk being here right now.”

With his lips curling into an amused smile, Jungkook leans forward to match the challenge in Jimin’s eyes. Jimin likes to play games, but there’s nothing genuinely dark or threatening about him. “I think I’ll be just fine,” he says. “Because, all police training aside, my gut tells me you may have been frightened of what Kim had on you, but you were willing to face it had he ever revealed it. You’re far too proud to give into his demands or sink as low as murdering him.”

Jimin chuckles around his cigarette, blowing rings of smoke into the air. As he reaches over to smother the cigarette out, he lifts a brow at Jungkook, giving a tantalizing lick to his smirking lips. “Are you certain of that, Detective? You should be careful not to let your personal feelings interfere with your work.”

“They never have before,” says Jungkook, though he knows Jimin is right. Being here right now is an enormous risk and maybe he is letting his own fascination with Jimin influence his decisions on this case, but he trusts his gut. Jimin’s not guilty.

“Well, then,” Jimin tilts his head to one side as if trying to size Jungkook up, to get a look at him from all angles, “stay awhile, Detective.”

 

 

“Why are we spending so much time on these photos?” Taehyung asks as he pins another up on their board. “You really think the killer is in one of them?”

“Whether it’s one of the stars or one of their lovers, someone made Kim’s murder look like a mugging by taking his valuables.” Jungkook hands a photo over to Taehyung. “Jung Hoseok. Put him in the bottom right corner. He’s not likely. He has an alibi, but he hasn’t told me who that is in the photo with him, so they’re not cleared yet.”

Taehyung snatches the photo and stabs a pin into the top, straightening it out and stepping back to admire his work. He sighs, shakes his head, and turns to his desk to chug down a mug of black coffee. Jungkook grimaces at the sight. “I compiled a list of all the addresses of the stars that live in the area around Park’s mansion so we can cross-reference them with those in the photos.”

“Good. Thank you, Tae,” Jungkook mumbles, setting aside a stack to focus on one picture in particular. He holds it up, eyes narrowing, and then holds it up to his partner. “Does this look like Kim Seokjin to you?”

“Uh,” Taehyung takes the picture, holding it up to the light as if that will somehow makes the man’s face clearer to him, “couldn’t say. It does look like him but…” He casts Jungkook a sideways grin. “I’d have to have more than a bare ass to figure that out.”

“I don’t see any other pictures of him here. Put him up towards the top, write his name with a question mark.”

Taehyung does as he says, tongue between his teeth as he meticulously writes the name on a sheet of paper and pins it up as well. “What are you thinking?” he asks. “That maybe he killed Kim and got rid of the rest of the pictures of himself?”

“Maybe,” Jungkook says with a shrug, sifting through stack after stack, eyes peeled for any signs of Kim Seokjin elsewhere in this mess. “Anything is a possibility. If whoever killed him did it because of these pictures they may have tried to find his stash and get rid of their own photos. Both to keep them from being leaked and so we wouldn’t suspect them to begin with.”

“So…” Taehyung comes to a stop beside Jungkook’s desk, hands planted atop it as he leans down. “Don’t you think that we should keep pursuing the idea of it being Park himself, then? He said that Kim had been stalking him but there are no pictures of him anywhere. Maybe he got rid of them.”

Jungkook tries to remain casual as he reaches for his own mug, frowning when he finds it empty. He sets it back down and spins his chair to face Taehyung. “I haven’t written him off as a suspect but my gut tells me he wouldn’t be stupid enough to kill the man in his own backyard.”

“Unless he did that specifically so we would think that.”

“That’s why he’s not off the list yet.” Jungkook stands, eyes locking in a challenge with Taehyung as he grabs his mug. “Trust me, Taehyung. When have I ever led us astray on a case?”

Taehyung watches him as he walks away, off to refill his drink. “That time you insisted the murder weapon had been discarded in a sewer so you sent me in to find instead of some gumshoe. Surprise, the weapon wasn’t down there, it was in a dumpster. Which you then made me dive into.”

Jungkook shrugs, glancing back at his partner as he pours his drink. “We made a bet. You lost at pool which meant any of that kind of dirty work was your duty for our next case.”

“The point is,” says Taehyung, grabbing a stack of photos and plopping down at his own desk with them, “you have been wrong before.”

“I know,” says Jungkook, sighing when he finds no cream anywhere in sight. He makes up for it with a gratuitous pile of sugar. The coffee is lukewarm against his lips and it tastes like shit, but at least it will keep him awake. “Trust me, Tae. I’m your partner.”

Taehyung stares at him across their desks, finger tapping idly against on of th photos. “I do trust you,” he says, then points up at the board where Jimin’s name sits, no picture beneath it. “It’s him I don’t trust. He rubs me the wrong way.”

Jungkook keeps his silence, biting his tongue and sipping on his black coffee—disgusting—to keep himself from saying anything foolish. He can’t let Taehyung know he went to see Jimin again after finding Kim’s stash. Jungkook knows what he’s doing, but he can’t have Taehyung doubting him now.

Their partnership has always been a bit rocky, despite them being the best duo in the city. They have very different styles of investigating and differing views on the world. It’s no secret there’s a constant tension between then two of them, but they always manage to work through it for the sake of not ruining their combined genius.

This city would be lost without their minds working together.

As day fades into night and the station slowly empties of their fellow detectives, Jungkook and Taehyung find themselves with nicely organized stacks of photos according to the celebrity starring in them and every single individual’s face plastered across their board of suspects.

They stands side by side in nearly identical poses, arms crossed over their chests as they stare at the board. “That’s a lot of suspects,” Taehyung says, shaking his head.

“Give me that list of Park’s neighbors.” Jungkook holds out his hand, Taehyung slapping a sheet of paper into it. “Did you map out where they live exactly?”

“Of course,” Taehyung says, the map already in his hands. He steps up to an empty spot on the wall, pinning it up alongside their suspects. “I’ve gotta say, I’m surprised at how many of these stars you recognize just from glimpses of these pictures.”

Jungkook shrugs. “I’ve always been a fan of movies,” he says. He misses what Taehyung says next, mind drifting to the last time he visited Jimin, when he brought him those pictures.

They had sat and talked as Jungkook finished his coffee and Jimin asked him questions. He had asked Jungkook if he liked film or not, and Jungkook admitted he had once wished to become a cameraman until he was drafted into the military as a teenager. That dream fizzled out quickly as days passed him by out in the field.

“It’s never too late to try,” Jimin had told him, but Jungkook just shook it off. He knows he’s still very young—the youngest detective on the force—but he doesn’t see himself restarting his life at this point.

After being drafted at eighteen and serving three years, the police station was the place he felt the most at home in, it was the job he felt himself most capable of. It isn’t so different from being in the army. He feels like he knows what he’s doing here, and he flew through the ranks in such a short time that giving that all up for some silly old dream of his would be idiotic.

He didn’t say any of that to Jimin, though. Jimin is a dreamer. Jimin never had his life—his whole future—stolen from between his very fingertips. He wasn’t thrown into a battlefield, had a gun shoved into his hand, and spent his years following every order given to him even if he knew they would likely get him killed. Even if Jungkook tried to explain to him, he wouldn’t understand.

Strangely, Jungkook’s career is his place of comfort after what he survived. Some people would shy away from more guns, more violence, more adrenaline. But for Jungkook, it keeps him calm. He can’t imagine living a cozy little life without any risk, settling with a family and puttering around a home garden, sitting down to eat dinner with the kids.

Maybe once upon a time, but that’s no longer the life he craves. Everyone always tells him it’s because he’s still got that young blood in him and he just hasn’t found the right person yet. It makes his skin crawl when they say that.

“Jungkook,” Taehyung says, snapping his fingers in front of Jungkook’s face until his partner looks at him. “Focus. We’ve got a lot of work to do.”

“Right,” Jungkook says, closing his eyes and rubbing his thumbs over his brow. He tries to clear his mind of Park Jimin but no matter what he does, he can’t. That man has worked his way into every crevice of his mind and made himself at home. “Right, the suspects…”

Taehyung leans back, looking Jungkook over from head to toe as if puzzling out what’s going on inside his head. “You doing okay?”

“I’m fine,” Jungkook says, pushing off from the desk and stepping up to the board. “Let’s get back to work.”

 

When Jungkook finds himself sitting in his car just down the street from the crime scene, he tells himself it’s to get an idea of the nightlife around here; how busy the streets are after midnight, whose lights stay on the latest, which stars are the night owls of the neighborhood.

It is not, he swears, because he was on his way to see Park Jimin before he talked himself out of it. He’s not foolish enough to let himself become infatuated with his suspect. Especially not with Taehyung breathing down his neck and pointing every finger in Jimin’s direction now.

Besides, if there’s anything this case should teach him it’s that being involved with someone as famous as Jimin is a huge risk. Kim Wonhyo isn’t the only person out there snooping around for blackmail material. It would be only a matter of time before someone found out. Jungkook doesn’t think his coworkers would take kindly to him hanging around after that, especially not in the station’s communal showers.

He sighs, leaning his head forward on the steering wheel and closing his eyes. However hard he tries, he can’t seem to curb his need to go see Jimin again. How had he gone so fast from being so utterly irritated by the man to being so absolutely fascinated?

Jungkook taps his fingers against the wheel as he sits back again, staring down the road at the wrought iron front gate of Jimin’s home, that little outbuilding where a guard always waits to stop anyone from entering.

How did Kim even get into that yard uninvited? If Jimin and Yoongi weren’t there, Kim would had to have climbed in from somewhere else and whoever shot him would have done the same, meaning they must have seem him on the street and followed him in. If Kim had been running from a mugger he wouldn’t have chosen Jimin’s yard—it’s one of the least accessible—and a mugger wouldn’t go through that much effort just for a bit of cash.

With an irritated huff, Jungkook throws open his door and steps out to stretch his legs. He leaves his hat resting in the passenger seat as he walks down the street, toward Jimin’s house.

He avoids the front gate, convincing himself there’s absolutely no temptation for him to go inside, no desire to go visit that silk-clad movie star in his plush lounge, alway bare-legged, luscious-lipped.

Jungkook banishes those thoughts from his mind as he heads for a corner of the brick wall that surrounds Jimin’s property, the tops of plants poking over it from inside. There doesn’t seem to be anything along the front that would be easy to grab onto for the sake of climbing.

He continues along it, hands in his pockets, shrouded in the darkness as he goes. His eyes dart across every window that has any kind of sight on him at any given time, taking mental notes on which houses would have seen Kim depending on where he was when he entered.

By the time Jungkook has circled all the way around the property, he can find nothing that would have allowed easy entry into the property—just a locked and rather solid wooden gate behind a mess of bushes. Either Kim is some kind of unbelievable climber or he had help getting inside.

Jungkook reaches for his pocket as he steps back onto the main street and realizes he didn’t bring his notepad with him. He must have left it on his desk.

Another sigh. He reminds himself to question all of Jimin’s night security once more. They may not have been completely forthright the first time around.

He’s just about to head back to his car when he sees a figure down the street, their head down as they walk, all dressed in black. They’re heading straight for him, straight for Jimin’s. Jungkook straightens his jacket and slips his hands into his pockets.

“Excuse me?” he calls, and the figure stops, looking up at him with wide eyes. “Yoongi?”

“Detective Jeon,” Yoongi says. He gives Jungkook a smile as he approaches, leaving a solid ten feet of space between them. He slips his hands into his pockets, mimicking Jungkook’s posture. “It’s late. Are you here to see Jimin?”

Jungkook shakes his head, eyes drifting over Yoongi’s person, checking for any suspicious movement. “No. I was just in the area. Why are you out so late?”

“Needed some fresh air,” says Yoongi, then waves a hand toward the mansion. “Why don’t you come inside? Jimin’s been hoping you’ll visit.”

“Isn’t he asleep?” Jungkook asks with a glance toward the front gate. He wishes Yoongi had never made the offer. At least then it would be easier for him to just walk away.

Yoongi takes in a deep breath of cool night air, staring up at the top of the brick wall, then to the moon. “Jimin doesn’t sleep so well anymore. He hasn’t for a long time. I’m sure he would appreciate your company, even if it’s just for a short time.”

Jungkook bites back a sigh, staring at the front gate, then looking to his car. He really can’t. He really shouldn’t.

There’s no harm in just visiting, is there? Maybe he can get some more answers. Maybe Jimin or Yoongi know how Kim could have gotten into the yard or at least have some inkling.

“I suppose a short visit couldn’t hurt,” Jungkook hears himself saying before he can bite his tongue. Idiot. What is he thinking, getting involved with a murder suspect?

Yoongi smiles. “Perfect. I’ll have the gate opened for your car to come through,” he says with a gentle wave of his hand toward the vehicle. Jungkook doesn’t get a chance to ask how Yoongi knew which car was his before the butler walks away.

Jungkook jogs back to his vehicle, suddenly eager as he starts it up and rolls down the road, the gate already open wide for him to pass through. He glances in the rear view mirror but sees no sign of Yoongi. He had planned to offer him a ride up the driveway, letting his car stall near the gate for a moment. When the butler doesn’t step back out of the building, Jungkook assumes he’s busied himself with something else and continues up the drive.

This is such a terrible idea. If Taehyung ever finds out that he came here. If anyone at the station finds out.

If the paparazzi see him…

If another cop sees him…

If a nosy neighbor who loves gossip sees him… Even that is a terrible risk he shouldn’t be willing to take. But then again, Jimin seems to have this spell over him that he can’t quite shake. It’s that air of mystery surrounding him, how he always keeps his cards held close, revealing just enough to make someone curious but never so much that he becomes predictable.

He would make a difficult murderer to nail if he ever decided to take that route. Jimin might even be capable of running Jungkook and Taehyung in circles for awhile.

Jungkook shakes his head at himself. He has a bad habit of dreaming up dark and morbid scenarios like that. Jimin, he’s certain, wouldn’t much appreciate someone telling him he would make a good killer. It’s not the most flattering of compliments.

Then again, maybe he would appreciate it. He certainly seemed to enjoy crafting that little story of ordering Yoongi to kill him when Jungkook visited just days ago. Maybe Jimin is just as morbid as he is.

When Jungkook walks up the front steps of the mansion, his head now settled atop his head, he finds himself unsure whether or not he should knock. Against his better judgment, he simply opens the door and steps inside.

He takes a glance around inside the foyer, eyes immediately drifting to the doorway to Jimin’s lounge; a room he’s grown all too familiar with. Part of him expects to see Jimin waltz out of there, all smirks and silk robes, but it seems to be devoid of life right now. He suddenly feels as though he’s walked into one of those horror films that seem to be all the rage lately.

To the left, he hears the sound of whistling, but not that of a human. A tea kettle, screaming for someone to remove it from the burner but no one answering.

It feels like an invasion of privacy, but Jungkook can’t stop himself from heading into the kitchen, eyes falling instantly upon the stove and striding over to it. He hates that sound, that high pitched screeching. Any loud noises these days set him on edge, even the sound of his own work car’s sirens. He can’t stand it.

“Sorry, Yoongi, I didn’t mean to leave you to do that,” comes Jimin’s voice from the foyer. Jungkook turns just in time to see him tying up his silk robe, his hair wet as though he had just stepped out of the bath. “I got distracted with— Detective.”

His eyes go wide as they meet Jungkook’s, his hands still on the belt of his robe, now fully tied and shut. Jungkook didn’t get much of a glimpse of anything, though his mind runs wild with possibilities if Jimin hadn’t been quite so nimble and quick to tie.

“Sorry for just walking in,” Jungkook says, his hand extended toward the door as though to signify that he’s willing to leave at any given moment, should Jimin ask. “I came in with Yoongi but he seemed to be busy with something else… so I… let myself in the house.”

Jungkook realizes how obnoxious that sounds. He just let himself in. No one in their right mind just lets themselves into someone else’s home. That’s what sick bastards like Kim Wonhyo do. That’s what got him killed.

But Jimin smiles, the shock flitting away from his face as he crosses the room. “Not a problem,” he says as he grabs two cups and pours them both some tea. Jungkook hadn’t even asked but he assumes Jimin know just as well as he does that he’s not leaving right away. Who is he even fooling at this point? He wants to be here. Park Jimin has him wrapped around his finger.

They don’t speak as Jimin finishes up their drinks, picking up both before before gesturing which way to follow. Jungkook expects him to lead the way into the lounge, but he heads for the stairs. When Jungkook doesn’t follow, he turns to him with a smile.

“I was joking about ordering Yoongi to kill you while I distract you,” he says, taking a few more slow steps up. “Nothing to be afraid of around me.”

He doesn’t wait for Jungkook to follow, just continues on up the stairs and expects him to. Jungkook supposes Jimin is used to getting his way, but he also supposes he shouldn’t assume so much. He doesn’t actually know Jimin’s history or how he got where he is today.

Jungkook follows Jimin up and through a short hallway, into a room that looks like a combination of a bedroom and an entire second lounge. This room alone is bigger than Jungkook’s apartment.

As Jimin takes a seat, Jungkook takes in the sight. It’s similar to the lounge downstairs, the same kind of atmosphere, the biggest difference being the bed, thick curtains covering the windows for privacy, and a piano in the corner. Funny, an instrument like that is something he would have expected downstairs instead, where it could be used for entertainment. He wonders why Jimin keeps it tucked away in his room.

“You can leave your hat and jacket by the door,” Jimin says as he tugs on his robe to keep it from slipping off his legs. Jungkook wouldn’t complain if he just let it.

Then he silently chastises himself for even thinking that way. This is a suspect. Even if he doesn’t believe that Jimin is guilty, he still has to remain impartial until the case is closed. If anyone were to find out about this it would be an instant scandal, whether or not they involved themselves romantically or sexually. No doubt the tabloids would say he’s being bribed into covering up a murder. This town loves to talk.

Shucking off his jacket and hat, Jungkook makes his way across the room, still taking in the sight. One thing in particular catches his eye. He would have to be blind to miss it; the giant camera standing in the corner near the sofa. As he sits down, staring at it, he asks, “Please tell me you have a wild story of stealing that from the set of one of your movies.”

Jimin chuckles, a sound Jungkook quickly decides he likes. “Unfortunately, no. Nothing that exciting. A cameraman from one of my earlier movies gifted it to me from his personal collection. It was when I had my first lead role when I was seventeen.”

“Only a man who has gotten too used to being rich no longer finds a story like that exciting,” says Jungkook as he sits across from Jimin. As he reaches for his tea, Jimin hooks his finger around the handle and slides it away from Jungkook, closer to himself. “You don’t have to sit so far away, Detective.”

“I really think I should keep my distance,” Jungkook says without missing a beat, though he does consider for the briefest of seconds moving to sit beside Jimin. He reaches out again, his fingers brushing over Jimin’s hand as he moves it away from the tea, then slides the cup back to his side of the table.

The entire time, their eyes never leave each other, Jungkook trying to solve the mystery hidden with Jimin’s. A multitude of emotions seem to fly by in an instant and Jungkook can’t pin a single one down. To make this easier on himself, he tells himself it’s only lust, that there’s nothing real here. Jimin just wants a good fuck and nothing else. Not worth risking everything for.

It’s easier to resist if he thinks of it that way. As curious as he is about Jimin’s body, the hopeless romantic hidden somewhere beneath his heavy heart can’t bring itself to sleep with someone just for the sake of sleeping with them.

“You said you used to have an interest in cinematography, right?” Jimin asks, his tongue running over his teeth as he leans back in his seat. He looks frustrated, irritated enough that he can’t meet Jungkook’s eyes. “Have a look at the camera if you’d like. It was top of the line at the time.”

Jungkook takes a sip of his tea before standing. He’s not that interested, but he feels he needs distance between himself and Jimin. The closer he is, the longer he looks at him, the easier it is for him to do something stupid. “He must have really admired you,” he says as he moves around the camera, “to give you something so expensive.”

Jimin smiles, lifting himself from his seat to lean against the back of the armchair instead, just in front of where the camera stands. “I was his muse.” His fingers run along the seam of his silk robe, head cocked to one side, and Jungkook finds himself rather captivated by the sight. “Go ahead. Have a look. He used to say he saw magic whenever he looked at me through that camera.”

Jungkook moves around behind the device, trailing his hand over it as he watches Jimin. Something stirs inside Jungkook, an anticipation of sorts, though he has no idea what he’s anticipating. He leans down, eye pressed to the camera to find Jimin through it.

His tongue slips out over his lips, his mouth suddenly feeling very dry as he stares at the star before him, Jimin’s hand traveling further down and further down until it tugs at the tie around his robe. Jungkook stands frozen in place, unable to look away as the material slips aside, Jimin shrugging it off his shoulders.

Suddenly Jungkook doesn’t care that Jimin is still a suspect, that he barely knows the man and is already utterly infatuated with him. There’s something here, between them, something a touch too powerful for Jungkook to ignore any longer. He almost has to admire Jimin for taking this risk. Jungkook knows he never would have had the guts to make the first move.

Jimin wears nothing beneath his robe, his body bare, toned and lithe, and he’s not afraid to put it on display for Jungkook. His hands slide over the back of the chair as he leans, his body forming a beautiful arch, and Jungkook’s fingers tingle against the camera as he drinks in the view.

Jimin says nothing, knowing he doesn’t need to in order to draw Jungkook in. Jungkook can’t resist at least one touch. He knows he shouldn’t give in to temptation, but Jimin is so blindingly stunning even on screen. To see him like this, in person… Thousands upon thousands of people would kill for this opportunity, and here’s Jimin just handing it to him. What a fool he would be to keep his hands to himself.

“Is this your ploy to make me stop investigating you?” Jungkook asks, letting his fingers ghost across Jimin’s cheek and up into his hair. Jimin smiles at the contact, looking almost accomplished as Jungkook touches him. Jungkook has already made up his mind about Jimin’s innocence, but the detective in him won’t let him take this any farther until he asks.

He’s just about to reach up and tilt Jimin’s head back so he has to meet Jungkook’s eyes as he answers, but there’s no need when Jimin does it himself. There’s no hesitation in matching Jungkook’s gaze, no lack of confidence and almost certainly no dishonesty when he speaks. Jungkook feels his heart flip at the words as they tumble from his lips.

“I have no interest in interfering with your case,” he says. “My only interest is you.” His smile grows when Jungkook’s other hand comes up to caress his face, leaning in close to leave just inches between their lips.

Jungkook swallows hard, his Adam’s apple bobbing, eyes peering down as his hands explore. They ghost along Jimin’s arms, then to his hips, thumb rubbing over his right hipbone.

“I know what a disaster this could be if anyone found out,” Jimin murmurs, his hand taking hold of Jungkook’s wrist. “But I’m willing to risk it… if you’re willing to take a little chance on me.”

As Jimin leans in, Jungkook’s eyes drift shut. He feels his hand dragged away from Jimin’s hip, down further, and Jimin guides his fingers to curl around his cock as their lips meet.

Jungkook has kissed plenty of people in his life and he always laughed at everyone who would use cliche metaphors like “feeling fireworks” when talking about kissing someone.

He’s never had such a poignant reaction to kissing as he does now. Maybe it’s the fear of being caught in the middle of something dangerous or maybe it’s the hardening cock in his hand, but Jungkook can quite literally feel sparks dancing their way across his lips.

Jimin’s hand travels from Jungkook’s wrist and up his arm, curling over his shoulder. He gasps slightly when Jungkook swipes a bead of precome down the length of his cock and flicks his wrist up. His lips part, their kiss pausing and foreheads leaning together as Jimin runs his fingers up the back of Jungkook’s neck.

As he strokes Jimin’s cock at a pace too slow for either of their liking, Jimin works at the buttons of his shirt, dotting soft kisses on Jungkook’s lips and along his jaw. Any strength Jungkook had to resist, he relinquishes it, letting himself be drawn into the crook of Jimin’s neck, latching his lips over soft flesh.

Jimin pushes Jungkook’s shirt off over his shoulders and he tosses it away, continuing his trail down Jimin’s neck, long fingers working wonders around his length, now hard and glistening in his hand. Jungkook sinks slowly, pecking Jimin on the lips once more before his knees hit the floor.

How he caresses every inch of Jimin’s body, how he kisses at all the right spots to make Jimin gasp, how he hitches Jimin’s leg over his shoulder and drags a smooth hand over his thigh; if anyone were to see this they could only assume Jungkook is worshiping the man in front of him right now. And maybe he is as he takes his time to let his lips familiarize themselves with Jimin’s skin.

He feels a hand in his hair, not tugging but gently coaxing him around, silently begging him to lock his lips around his cock. Jungkook looks up at him through his lashes, watching Jimin watch him as his tongue presses against the tip, the tiniest promise of more to come, and even that makes Jimin close his eyes and shudder.

Jimin runs his fingers through Jungkook’s dark locks, fingers pressing lightly against his scalp as Jungkook licks along the underside of Jimin’s length, all the way from base to tip, then lets his tongue dip into the slit. Jimin’s head tips back, hands holding tighter, the leg over Jungkook’s shoulder tensing to try pulling him in.

He’s enrapturing like this, but Jungkook can’t wait any longer. He wonders how Jimin’s holding together, as hard as he his, his dick twitching in his hand, he’s amazed Jimin is so well-composed.

That doesn’t last once Jungkook finally wraps his lips around him, tongue still working in slow circles or massaging along the length as he sinks his mouth down on it. He tightens his hand at the base, giving shallow pumps, letting him adjust to this sensation he hasn’t felt in quite some time.

Jimin’s composure snaps, a long moan slipping from him as one hand snaps back to grip the armchair, the other tightening in Jungkook’s hair. He takes in a shaky breath and looks down at Jungkook, a blissful smile on his lips as he watches Jungkook move his head in time with his strokes, finding the perfect pace to have Jimin unraveling, aching for more.

Lyrical moans fill the room, the wet slurping of Jungkook’s mouth hungrily taking him deeper and deeper trailing after them. Jungkook lets his hand slip away, his cheeks hollowing, and he closes his eyes as Jimin’s cock hits the back of his throat. He almost gags, pulling off to stop himself, then drawing Jimin’s length in again as his hand finds grip on his ass cheek.

Jungkook feels his own cock straining against his pants but he tries to ignore it, intent on getting Jimin off before he worries about himself. He just wants to hear more of those wanton moans, feel that hand tugging at his hair. He hums when he feels the muscles of Jimin’s leg go taut under his hand, flexing over his shoulder. His hand slides along Jimin’s thigh, both of them kneading at the flesh of Jimin’s ass.

“J-Jesus, Jungkook,” Jimin gasps, bracing himself against the chair to jerk his hips forward. He stops himself when Jungkook chokes and pulls off, and his hand goes lax in Jungkook’s hair. “Sorry… Sorry.”

Jungkook stares up at him, catching his breath as Jimin’s eyes drift shut for a moment before meeting Jungkook’s gaze. “It’s fine,” Jungkook tells him, hand sliding up his chest now. “Don’t worry about me. Just trying to make you feel good.” He extends two fingers with a smile. “Suck.”

Jimin leans down, tongue circling Jungkook’s fingers before closing his lips around them, much like Jungkook did with his cock. As he coats them, moaning around them, Jungkook sucks at the tip of his cock again. He teases the head, making Jimin twitch, making him release Jungkook’s fingers to ask for more.

Had Jungkook known this was going to happen, he would have come prepared. All he can think about as his arm circles around Jimin’s waist for his fingers to prod at his hole is how bad he wishes it was his cock pushing past the tight ring of muscle instead of just his fingers tonight. But maybe that’s too much, too fast, anyway. Jimin seems to be perfectly content with this for tonight.

He feels Jimin tense as he pushes his middle finger inside of him, hand flattening across his ass as he sinks knuckle deep. Jimin closes his eyes, his tongue curling around a soft moan and a trembling “oh” as he tries to get more of Jungkook’s mouth on him, but Jungkook holds back for now, just suckling at the tip of Jimin’s cock, teasing him. He likes the way Jimin’s face scrunches up and how pliant he is, how he just lets Jungkook do what he wants, at whatever pace he wants.

In the past, everything Jungkook had done had always been rushed; a quick fuck behind an outbuilding, a sneaky hand job in the showers. He never really got to take his time, watch how everything he does can make a man fall apart at his very touch.

“More,” Jimin whispers, lashes fluttering, head tipping back again. “More— Jungkook—”

Jungkook can’t deny him that, slipping in his other finger, a careful, slow slide until his fingers are seated deep inside Jimin, long enough to reach for that spot inside that will have him melting in Jungkook’s hands.

As he searches, fingers scissoring inside Jimin, he takes his cock into his throat again. His lips wrap tight, tighter than before, his other hand moving to unbutton his own pants and slip inside them, jerking his own cock.

Above him, Jimin bites down on his lip, his breathing unsteady, hands in Jungkook’s hair, one moving to caress the side of his face as if praising him when he sucks harder.

Jungkook bends his fingers, the tips curling against his prostate. It tears an exhilarated cry from Jimin, making his hips jerk forward and gag Jungkook, nothing to hold him back now. But Jungkook fights down the urge to pull away, takes the full length as it slides along the back of his throat. He keeps his cool, hollowing his cheeks, letting Jimin fuck forward into his face as he searches for release.

His fingers thrust up inside Jimin, massaging at those nerves that have him shaking and grasping onto Jungkook like his life depends on it. He jerks forward again, Jungkook taking it without hesitation this time. He’s ready, swallowing around Jimin’s cock, his throat constricting around it and sending waves of ecstasy rolling up his spine.

Jimin’s voice cracks, his breathing ragged and a hint of sweat shining on his skin now. Jungkook’s cock throbs at the sight of Jimin completely coming undone because of him, because his mouth and his hands and just him. He pumps his own cock faster, feeling Jimin clenching around his fingers, suddenly incapable of uttering a coherent word with Jungkook’s long fingers relentlessly pressing against those nerves.

There are few choked words he manages to get out, his thighs quaking on either side of Jungkook, his hands growing weaker, toes curling as he purrs Jungkook’s name.

Jungkook barely flinches when Jimin comes, only slightly surprised by the splash of sticky warmth down his throat. This, he’s never done before. He never swallowed a damn drop of come in his life, but Jimin has a pleasant bittersweetness that Jungkook feels he might be enjoying a little too much.

It’s messy, come dribbling from the corners of his mouth, most of it sliding down his throat. Jimin’s hole clenches tight around his fingers, fluttering slightly, and Jungkook slowly slips them out.

Jimin stares down at him, taking in ragged breaths. His eyes drift to Jungkook’s hand where it strokes his own cock, still hard. Jimin pulls him up from his knees, one hand cupping his nape again, the other taking over the job of fisting Jungkook’s cock.

Lips meet in sloppy kisses, hot breaths panted between their mouths. Jungkook trails his hands everywhere. He could sit here and touch Jimin all night, memorize every centimeter of his body, every little mole, and he would never tire of it.

Jimin’s hand feels hot around his length, pumping his faster and faster, Jungkook’s lips growing unsteady against Jimin’s as that hand drags him closer and closer to orgasm.

It hits him like a train when it finally comes, his head falling forward onto Jimin’s shoulder and hands clinging to the other man’s arm hard enough to bruise. His hips jerk up, cock pushing through the tight ring of Jimin’s hand, splattering white between them. He feels kisses dotted across his own shoulder as his teeth sink into Jimin’s skin.

They stand still for a moment, Jungkook feeling too dizzy to move, then he leans back as Jimin’s hand leaves his cock. He watches the other man raise his hand, soiled, wet with Jungkook’s come, and Jungkook has no idea what possesses him to reach out and Jimin’s wrist but he does.

He pulls that hand closer, letting one finger slip into his mouth as he stares into Jimin’s eyes, lapping up his own come before moving onto the next finger. Jimin watches with a dazed smile, watches him clean his hand of any evidence. That smile grows when Jungkook leans in to kiss him again, one long, open-mouthed kiss, tongues curling around each other, tasting. Tasting everything. Tasting Jimin’s come on Jungkook’s tongue, a slight hint of sweetness on Jimin’s from his tea and the even fainter taste of his cigarettes.

Their bodies move flush against each other, relishing in the aftermath of everything that just happened. Jimin is the first to end the quiet, lips tickling at Jungkook’s ear as he whispers to him.

“Stay the night, Detective. Your case will still be there in the morning.”

His fingers dance along Jungkook’s arms, and already Jungkook has no plan to walk away from this. Not now.

“Stay with me.”

And Jungkook does. For tonight, he stays.

 

 

Jungkook stares up at the off-white ceiling of Jimin’s room, his arm folded behind his head, the other stretched alongside his torso. Beside him, Jimin lies on his stomach, his arm right alongside Jungkook’s, their hands tangling, finger tickling each other’s palms or intertwining for a moment, only to flatten out, palms together as if comparing the sizes of their hands.

They’ve been doing this most of the morning, just allowing themselves a lazy moment before it’s back to the hustle and bustle of the station for Jungkook and the chaos of a movie set for Jimin.

After their moment last night, Jungkook had feared he would wake up and regret it, that suddenly a pile of evidence would fall into his lap and Jimin really would turn out to be the killer he’s been searching for.

But it all been so peaceful after Jungkook joined Jimin in bed, both of them cozied under the sheets with nothing else separating them. So peaceful, in fact, that Jungkook had almost felt uneasy. Peace and quiet allows the memories creep in, and sleep conjures those memories up in the form of night terrors. He hadn’t slept much, instead just watching Jimin or staring up at the ceiling. It wasn’t so terrible.

He is tired, though. It seems like today will be another coffee-fueled suspect marathon at the station with Taehyung. That is, if Jungkook can force himself to get out of bed and leave Jimin’s side.

“You’re so tense all the time,” Jimin murmurs from his side of the sprawling mattress. He lays with his cheek squished against his arm, head turned to face Jungkook. His hair hangs in his eyes, a little tousled from sleep, and he looks just as stunning as always. “Don’t you ever relax?”

“I am relaxed.”

Jimin chuckles, his fingers trailing up Jungkook’s arm now, then over to his chest. “You look like you’re ready to launch out of bed and fight someone any second now.” He scoots a little closer, kissing Jungkook on the shoulder before rolling away to the edge of the bed. “Take a breath for once, Jungkook. The circles under your eyes are black as coal. You’re running yourself ragged with this case.”

“Have to find the murderer somehow,” Jungkook says, eyes drifting over little shapes in the marbled ceiling. “Doesn’t matter if Kim was a sorry excuse of a man or not. There’s someone out there who was willing to kill him, they could be willing to kill someone else who may or may not deserve it. I’m just doing my j—”

Jimin silences him by shoving a cigarette between his lips. He hovers over Jungkook, smiling down at him. “You talk too much,” he murmurs, then flicks the lighter on as Jungkook props himself up on his elbows. The cigarette flickers to life between them, Jungkook taking a drag before Jimin takes a turn.

“I guess I do,” Jungkook says as smoke drifts from his lips, filling the air and giving Jimin an almost mystical appearance, surrounded in white as it swirls around him. “I’m always thinking…”

“That’s what I’m talking about,” says Jimin, shifting around to lean back against the headboard, Jungkook joining him so they sit shoulder to shoulder. “You never relax. Every time I see you, you’re so rigid and regimented. You and your partner. Are all you detectives like that?”

Jungkook reaches up as Jimin holds the cigarette out to him, brushing his fingers over the back of Jimin’s hand as he catches the cigarette between his lips. When Jimin pulls it back, he leans in, ghosting his lips against Jungkook’s to take in his secondhand smoke.

They linger close for a moment, Jungkook closing his eyes and just enjoying the sparks that crackle across his skin when Jimin touches him. He plants a small peck on Jimin’s lips, then leans back.

“Not all of us.” Jungkook grins. “Just the best ones.”

Jimin laughs, though it sounds like more of a scoff before he takes another drag of his cigarette, shaking his head at the ceiling. “You’re certainly not lacking confidence, Detective.”

“You really don’t have to call me that anymore.” Jungkook slips a hand beneath the sheets, running his hand up and down Jimin’s thigh as the other man turns his head to smile at him again. “Just Jungkook from now on. At least when we’re alone.”

Jimin’s eyes dart to Jungkook’s lips and back up, staring at him with an intensity that Jungkook fears he could never match. “Does that mean you’re planning on paying me another visit?” he asks, arms extending out to his side to flick ashes into the tray on the nightstand. “Sooner rather than later, I hope.”

One hand still on his leg, Jungkook curls the other under Jimin’s chin. “Is ‘later’ even truthfully an option?”

“Am I really that hard to resist?” Jimin asks with a chuckle. He leans forward, just enough to bump his nose against Jungkook’s and then he moves away, smothering his cigarette out before shifting around to settle against Jungkook’s chest.

Jungkook smiles as he envelopes Jimin in his arms, marveling at how perfectly they seem to fit together like this. “Don’t act like you don’t already know the answer to that.”

“But I don’t,” Jimin says. He scoots down a little ways, letting his head rest against Jungkook’s chest. He laces their fingers together, lifting Jungkook’s hands into the air, turning them over, just fidgeting with him for no reason other than it feels good when they touch. “Honestly, I’ve never fully understood what people see in me. There must be something. You know, I didn’t even try to become an actor. It was sort of dropped into my lap.”

Jungkook flips his hands palm up, letting Jimin’s flatten against them, then curling his fingers between Jimin’s and giving him a gentle squeeze. “I don’t believe I’ve ever heard how you became an actor, now that you mention it.

“I was thirteen,” Jimin says as he pulls Jungkook’s hands close, cradling them against his chest. “A friend of a friend of my mother was a big time producer and there was a casting call for kid about my age. He said I fit the role so well I seemed to be born for it. It took him days of begging my mother before she was convinced to let me audition. I didn’t know a damn thing about what was going on. I just heard something about movies and meeting all the stars I had been so fascinated by while growing up. Of course I took the opportunity.”

“And clearly you got the role,” Jungkook says. He nuzzles his face into Jimin’s hair, breathing in that summery scent that seems to follow him everywhere. “I remember watching that film. You were the up and coming talent. Everyone had your name in their mouth, even me.”

Jimin chuckles, his smile growing sly. “Infatuated with me even back then, I see.” He inhales deeply as Jungkook’s hands leave his to massage up his sides instead. “Fame seemed to seek me out. I was baffled by how quickly everyone began to recognize me. My agent was overwhelmed with offers. I didn’t know what I was doing. I just pretended, both on screen and off. Maybe that’s why I’m so good at what I do. I was always acting, even in my personal life, too.”

His eyes drift shut and he looks so calm with Jungkook’s hands on him. Jungkook almost feels a swell of pride that he can bring so much peace and pleasure to the Park Jimin. It’s not idol worship, per se, but more that everyone else who does worship Jimin and wishes they could do this will likely never get to, and he does.

“When they started drafting people into the military, I had fans writing me letters about how they feared for my life, how they couldn’t bear the thought of me being shipped off to war.” Jimin rolls his eyes with a laugh. “Silly, really. I was no more special than any other man being sent away. But lucky for them—not so lucky for me—I suffered from epileptic seizures. They didn’t want me in battle.”

Jungkook’s arm slide around Jimin’s torso to fully envelope him, lips playing across his neck as Jimin’s head lolls to one side. “I’m… no doctor,” Jungkook says against his skin, “but aren’t all those lights on set dangerous for you? Couldn’t they trigger more seizures?”

“My personal doctor called it childhood absence epilepsy and said that I outgrew it by the time I reached my teens, but he still fought tooth and nail to keep them from drafting me. He said it was too much of a risk.” Jimin sighs when Jungkook’s hands begin trailing over him again, down to his hips. “They agreed. Suppose it was too dangerous to have me out there trying to watch another soldier’s back and then suddenly just…” He gives a dismissive wave of his hand.

“Believe me, you didn’t miss anything good by not being out there,” Jungkook murmurs, breathing Jimin in, soaking up the feeling of soft skin against his own. The sun rises higher and higher. He’ll need to leave soon, though he would be perfectly happy to just stay right here for the rest of the day.

Jimin looks over at where the sunlight streams in through cracks in the curtains. He must sense the restlessness in Jungkook as he wills himself to leave Jimin’s side for the day. “Do you need to leave soon?”

“I should…”

“But,” Jimin continues for him, chuckling.

“But,” Jungkook agrees, “I’d rather not.”

Jimin shifts around, Jungkook’s hands easing off of him as he turns to straddle the detective. Settling onto Jungkook’s lap, Jimin smooths his hands up along his arms, up to circle behind Jungkook’s neck. He pulls Jungkook in close, lips hovering centimeters apart as he whispers, “You can always come back to me tonight.”

“I just might,” Jungkook says before leaning in to lock lips with Jimin, hands continuing their massage down his waist until he reaches his ass, kneading at it and earning another chuckle from Jimin.

Jimin trails his lips along Jungkook’s jaw, kissing up to his ear. “For now, I can send you away with a little gift. If you have time.”

“I’m sure I do,” Jungkook says, suddenly very uninterested in going to work once Jimin’s hand begins venturing down his abs.

With a smirk, Jimin shifts his way down Jungkook’s body, pushing the sheets back as he goes. His hand strokes Jungkook until his cock stands at the ready, and Jungkook is in heaven once Jimin sinks down between his legs.

Work can absolutely wait for this.

 

 

The phone slams back down on the hook and Taehyung sighs, head landing in his hand as he stares down at his desk. Jungkook is late and he won’t answer his phone. Taehyung doesn’t typically worry for his partner’s safety, knowing that Jungkook is more than capable of taking care of himself. But he’s been off lately, not acting like himself since this case started.

Taehyung can’t be sure what it is but this case sets him on edge. Park Jimin hasn’t been entirely honest with them since the start, and his shady butler knows more than he’s letting on, too. Jungkook is usually so good at seeing right through liars, but something about Park has him baffled. He can’t see past that movie star charm.

At first, Taehyung didn’t think much of it, but once they found Kim’s apartment things started falling into place for him. It infuriates Taehyung that Jungkook can’t see what’s happening here, how he can overlook such obvious clues. Kim showing up dead in Park’s pool, all pictures of Park missing from Kim’s apartment, that fact that the people at Kim Seokjin’s party only think they remember seeing Yoongi there.

Even if neither of them killed Kim with their bare hands, they were involved somehow. They know more than they’ve let on. The worst part isn’t even about them, though. It’s the fact that Jungkook himself seems to be keeping something from Taehyung. It’s not like him to ignore such glaring details. For some reason, Jungkook doesn’t want to solve this case.

“Morning, Tae,” someone calls from the doorway, and Taehyung jolts up, expecting to see his partner standing there, but finds himself staring back at Kim Namjoon instead.

“Morning,” he grumbles, turning his attention to the photos atop his desk now. He slides one off to the side, then looks to the box of photos that are too dark or too blurry to recognize the individuals in them. He doesn’t know why Kim even bothered to keep them around. They’re useless.

“Jungkook’s not in today?” Namjoon asks as he makes his way over to Taehyung’s desk, sitting halfway on Jungkook’s to look over at him.

Taehyung shakes his head, fidgeting with the box. “Not yet. I’m not sure where he is, to be honest,” he says.

Namjoon peeks over the edge of the box curiously, sifting through a few of the photos. “What are these?” he asks as he digs through them. “Duds?”

“Yeah, photos where you can’t really tell who’s in them. Or sometimes it’s the partner of whatever star he was stalking, but the partner is a nobody so it tells us nothing.” Taehyung shoves the box away with a frown. “We just need to toss them out.”

Namjoon shrugs. “You never know what you might find if you look at them again, though. Let me. Sometimes fresh eyes can help.”

Leaning back in his chair, Taehyung waves a hand, then crosses his arms. “Have at it.”

As Namjoon rifles through the photos, Taehyung eyes drift to Jungkook’s chair, staring at it, wondering where on Earth that idiot is right now. He tries not to jump to any irrational conclusions and tells himself he likely just overslept. Though not a day has gone by since they started working together that Jungkook has ever shown up late.

Something isn’t right. Taehyung can feel it in his gut.

“That’s interesting,” Namjoon mumbles to himself, Taehyung’s eyes snapping up to him. He tries not to get his hopes up, but Namjoon is very, very clever. He’s the only other person in this place beside himself and Jungkook that he would trust to touch this case.

“What is it?”

Namjoon flips a photo around for him to see. Taehyung takes it, staring down at the image and shaking his head. He’s familiar with it. He’s seen it plenty of times, but whoever the celebrity in it is, he can’t tell. They’re too far in the shadows and the angle only shows the face of a man Taehyung has never seen before in his life.

“This guy is a nobody, Namjoon,” he says with a shrug, handing the photo back, but Namjoon pushes it toward him again.

“Look closer at the person he’s with,” he says, so Taehyung does as he says, squinting down at the image, tilting his head this way and that.

At first, he’s not entirely sure what he’s supposed to be looking at, but as he stares at it, the shadowed figure becomes less abstract. There’s still no way to identify who it is, but he can tell by the legs, by the physique, that this man’s partner is not what he would have assumed.

“That’s another man,” he says under his breath, Namjoon nodding along proudly.

“Are there any other pictures of men with other men?” the other detective asks, and Taehyung shakes his head, still staring at the photo as if that will suddenly make the other man come into focus.

“Not that we found, no.”

“Then this man or his partner could very well be your killer. I can’t imagine your victim would have taken only one shadowy photo of something this scandalous. Meaning someone got rid of the others. I mean, the subject of the photo could also have just paid Kim to destroy the rest, but maybe not.”

“Maybe not,” Taehyung parrots, taking the picture from Namjoon, his eyes glued to it as he stands. “Thank you, Namjoon. I’m going to go find Jungkook, see if he overslept or something. This could be big.” He waves the photo at the other detective. “Thank you, again.”

“Anytime, my friend,” Namjoon says before pushing off the desk. He gives Taehyung a wave as he walks away, Taehyung already gathering his hat and jacket and rushing out of the station.

This may not be what finally brings a close to their case but it could be. Taehyung has a feeling. Something in his gut says this is what they need. If they find this man, they’ll find their killer.

Or maybe all they have to do is prove the mystery man is someone they’ve already found. Someone who has been there all along.

 

There was a point that Taehyung genuinely thought that Kim Wonhyo’s death was indeed a random mugging, that Park Jimin was just unlucky in that the murder happened in his backyard.

But then things stopped adding up.

The strange location of the murder.

The lack of witnesses of Min Yoongi’s whereabouts.

Most of all, the fact that Jungkook suddenly stopped caring about solving it the more he went around Park’s mansion to question him. The most he was alone with the man, the more he leaned toward a mugging, the less he obsessed over it.

If Taehyung knows anything about Jungkook, it’s that the man will obsess over a case and overwork himself until he’s reached the point of fainting from exhaustion. For him to have so quickly given up, something or someone must have swayed him.

Taehyung wonders as he bangs his fist on Jungkook’s front door what Park could possibly have that would make the justice-obsessed Jeon Jungkook turn a blind eye.

The picture in his pocket, if it is indeed Park Jimin in the throes of passion with that man, may very well hold the answer to that. He wouldn’t be surprised to find out Park is just as morally bankrupt as every other star out there, willing to use his body to get what he wants.

Would Jungkook be foolish enough to fall for that, though?

Taehyung raps his knuckles against the door again, shouting Jungkook’s name before pressing his ear to the door to listen for any sign that he’s inside. He wiggles the handle, checking that it’s locked, then turns to lean beside the door.

What if Jungkook got too close to solving the case? He has a bad habit of striking out on his own when he finds a good lead, too impatient to stop and fill Taehyung in on anything. The number of times Taehyung has walked into the station to find Jungkook hauling in a suspect infuriates him.

Still, in a strange way he and Jungkook are friends, even if they’re often at each other’s throats, and he’s still a fellow detective. Taehyung would never leave a fellow man of the law to fend for himself against a murderer.

He turns to knock on the door against when the front entrance opens up at the bottom of the stairs, sunlight and city noise spilling in. Inside steps Jungkook, still in the same clothes as he was yesterday, minus his hat, his hair a bit tousled. Taehyung watches him ascend the stairs, staring down at something in his hands. Whatever it is, Jungkook shoves it in his pocket before Taehyung gets a good look.

“Long night?” Taehyung asks as Jungkook reaches the landing, startled as their eyes meet. “I’ve been calling you for hours. I was starting to think you were going to be the next dead body we’d find.”

Jungkook won’t meet his eyes as he moves for his door, fumbling with his keys as he unlocks it. “I couldn’t sleep last night.”

“Yeah, I bet,” Taehyung says, stepping back, eying him from head to toe. “Namjoon found something in the pictures we thought were useless.”

Jungkook stops, slipping his keys into his pocket as he turns to Taehyung, a sudden hopefulness in his eyes. So he hasn’t given up on the case just yet. Taehyung wonders how quickly that will change when he shows him the photo.

“There’s one photo—only one—of two men together, but we can’t recognize the other.” He tugs it out of his pocket, unfolding it and holding it up for Jungkook to see. “Is this man Park Jimin?”

“What?” Jungkook’s eyes flicker from the image to Taehyung and back again, genuine confusion on his face. “No. It’s obviously not. Look at him.”

“Not the one whose face we can see,” Taehyung says, pushing the photo closer to Jungkook. “The other one. Is it him?”

“How am I supposed to know?”

“Do you think it could possibly be Park Jimin?”

“I don’t know.” He can see Jungkook growing more and more angry by the second, his voice clipped, his eyes no longer looking at the picture but burning into Taehyung now. “If you can’t tell, I can’t tell.”

Taehyung snaps, shoving Jungkook back with one hand and pressing the photo to his chest with the other. “Is it him?” he half shouts, pushing Jungkook again until his back hits the door. “Jungkook, tell me right now if this is him.”

“I said I don’t know!” Jungkook shouts back, swatting Taehyung’s hand away from his chest.

“Do you think there is even the slightest chance it is him?” Taehyung asks, stepping forward, leaving just inches of space between them, his jaw clenching. “Tell me right now, Jungkook, or I swear—”

“Maybe!” Jungkook snaps, throwing his hands in the air in frustration. He shoves Taehyung back. “Maybe. I don’t know, Tae. I can’t see his face any better than you can, so why would I know?”

“You tell me, Jungkook,” Taehyung says. “Would it have anything to do with why you’re wearing the same clothes you wore yesterday?”

Jungkook’s face pales and he glances to his right as another door opens, his neighbor stepping outside. He reaches back, opening his own door. “Inside, Taehyung. We can’t talk about this out here.”

They step inside, the neighbor eying them curiously as the door closes in his face. Jungkook turns and leans back against it, head hanging as he sighs.

“Are you involved with Park Jimin somehow?” Taehyung asks, not bothering to hide the distaste in his voice. He’s not even sure what bothers him more, that it’s Park Jimin or that it’s a man Jungkook might be sleeping with. All that matters is that it’s a suspect, and said suspect is using Jungkook to get away with this. If Taehyung wasn’t certain of that before, he is now.

“I’m not—”

“Be honest with me, Jungkook,” Taehyung growls, the picture crushed in his hand now. “Because if you and Park Jimin are… together… you’re compromised. You can’t be on this case anymore. And… this makes him look a lot more suspicious. We’ll have to bring him in for questioning—”

“No.” Jungkook looks at him now, desperation in his eyes, and it makes Taehyung feel almost sick. Park has his mind totally twisted. This isn’t the Jungkook he’s worked with for years now. “Don’t. It wasn’t him, Tae.”

“Then he’s covering for his butler—”

“He’s not! He’s not a fucking murderer!”

“Listen to yourself!” Taehyung shouts, stepping forward. He pushes Jungkook back again, a loud thump sounding as Jungkook’s back crashes against the door. “Someone removed every other picture of these two men from Kim’s apartment. Whoever that was probably killed him.”

Jungkook purses his lips together, still refusing to look Taehyung in the eye. If that isn’t enough to confirm Taehyung’s suspicions, he doesn’t know what would. Jungkook has completely shut himself off, staring into the distance.

“Now, I don’t know that it’s Park in this picture but judging by the way you reacted, I’m going to guess that it is. For some reason, you recognize the other man in this picture. Jungkook, tell me you did not remove those pictures for Park Jimin.” Taehyung waits. Jungkook doesn’t respond. “Because if you did, then you are admitting his guilt. Why are you protecting him?”

“If who he was sleeping with got out to the public, he would have been ruined.”

Taehyung steps back, swallowing hard as Jungkook’s eyes finally meet his. He looks vacant, like something is missing from his very soul, and it makes Taehyung sick to think that it’s Park Jimin who took it from him.

“Those details never had to make it to the public,” Taehyung says, trying to hold Jungkook’s stare. He won’t back down. All he has to do is make Jungkook come to his senses, then they can bring Park Jimin in for questioning and clear this up, whether or not he’s guilty.

Jungkook laughs a bitter, pained laugh, and shakes his head at Taehyung. “You don’t understand. If anyone at that station saw those pictures— Taehyung, they never would have kept their mouths shut. That’s too good of gossip for them to pass up. Because men like myself and Jimin have always been a joke to everyone else.”

Like myself and Jimin. Is Jungkook really admitting to what Taehyung thinks he is?

“We could have kept it quiet—”

“We couldn’t have,” Jungkook says, disturbingly calm now. He seems almost defeated. “It would have gotten out. I wasn’t trying to protect him because I was infatuated with a guilty man, I was trying to protect someone from being destroyed because of who he’s loved in the past.”

“It is Jimin in the photos, then.”

“Yes.”

“So… you… got rid of the pictures from Kim’s apartment?”

Jungkook nods, and Taehyung hangs his head as he sighs. This isn’t good. Jungkook knowingly obstructed an investigation. His own investigation, and he sabotaged it for some movie star he can’t actually prove is innocent.

Taehyung takes a deep breath and looks his partner in the eye again. “Jungkook… Do you genuinely believe Park is innocent?”

Jungkook opens his mouth to answer, staring at Taehyung for a long time before any noise escapes him. It’s hesitation enough for Taehyung. Whatever Jungkook’s answer, even Jungkook himself doesn’t believe it. “Yes.”

“Alright,” Taehyung says, waving Jungkook out of his way. He reaches for the door as Jungkook steps aside. “You’re off the case.”

“What?” Jungkook grabs him by the arm before he can step outside, spinning him around. His eyes go wide and he shakes his head. “No. No, I need to be on this case. I can prove that he’s innocent. You can’t do this—”

Taehyung curls his hand around Jungkook’s wrist and the other man goes silent. He shakes his head. “You can’t be involved in this, Jungkook. I’ll come up with another reason why so no one finds out about you and Park. But I am going to have someone posted outside of Park’s mansion. You need to stay away from him.”

“Tae—”

“Just let me solve this case, Jungkook,” Taehyung insists, pushing Jungkook’s hand away from himself. “Stay out of it. Stay away from Park. I’m trying to help you.”

Jungkook doesn’t speak as he turns again, the photo still crushed in his hand. Taehyung grinds his teeth together as he rushes back down the stairs and out to his car. This whole case is fucked but he’s not giving up on it just yet. He wants to believe Jungkook, wants to trust him, but today has only confirmed what Taehyung already suspected.

Park Jimin is guilty.

 

 

Jungkook rubs at his temples, sitting at the end of his bed in his cramped apartment. He’s barely moved since Taehyung left, his head pounding. He had bathed, hoping the heat of the water would sooth him, but he couldn’t bring himself to eat. Even the thought of eating makes him sick.

Taehyung’s wrong. Jimin isn’t guilty. He can’t be. Jungkook has seen sides of Jimin that no one else has, he’s looked into his eyes as he said he didn’t kill Kim. He wouldn’t. He wouldn’t lie. Not to Jungkook.

Would he?

They haven’t known each other long but Jungkook feels a connection he’s never had with anyone else. He understands Jimin, Jimin understands him. He can’t believe that Jimin would lie to him. They found each other in a world that condemns people like them, they can trust each other in way they can’t trust anyone else. Jimin wouldn’t break that trust.

He wouldn’t.

Jungkook stands, crossing the room to where he left his jacket and fishes out a slip of paper, turning it over to find Jimin’s number on it. He knows Taehyung said to stay away from him, that the house would be watched, but he needs to see Jimin. He needs to know.

He holds his breath as he dials, spinning the rotary, painfully slow as he waits for an answer. It can’t come fast enough and he doesn’t breathe again until he hears Yoongi’s voice.

“Yoongi,” he says, “it’s Jungkook. Put Jimin on the phone and go upstairs. Look out the window and see if there are any unfamiliar cars on the street. My partner is sending someone to watch the mansion.”

There’s no acknowledgment from the quiet butler, just a light thud as he sets the phone down and the distant call of Jimin’s name. Jungkook waits, leaning his head against the wall, eyes closed.

Jungkook?”

“Jimin,” Jungkook sighs in relief. He doesn’t know why he felt so anxious, as if Taehyung would have already dragged Jimin off for questioning. “Listen to me, I need to come see you but the police are watching your house—”

What—”

“Just listen. Taehyung, my partner, thinks you or Yoongi killed Kim. I don’t think he’s going to let it go. He knows about us, about your pictures… Is there any way to get into your house besides the front gate?”

There’s an entrance by the garden. I’ll send Yoongi to unlock— Hold on.” There’s a pause and Jungkook can hear faint voices. “There’s someone watching the house. Yoongi can see them from upstairs. Jungkook…

“Don’t worry, Jimin. I won’t let them pin this on you. Just… do what you always do. Just go to work the way you normally would, I’ll meet you at your place tonight when it’s dark.” Jungkook takes a deep breath. “We’ll be okay. You— You’ll be okay. Taehyung’s smart. He’ll figure it out. He’ll find who really did it and then it’ll all be over.”

Jimin doesn’t respond. There’s only the soft sound of his breathing as Jungkook waits, white-knuckled as he grips the phone. His heart races, anxiety bubbling up inside of him. If Jimin’s innocent, why is he so frightened?

No.

No, Jungkook won’t let himself start thinking like that now. Jimin is innocent and Taehyung will find that out soon enough.

“Jimin,” he says, keeping his voice low and soothing. Jimin hums in response, quiet, almost too soft for Jungkook to hear. “Call me after you get back from set tonight and I’ll come to you. I promise.”

Okay. And, Jungkook…” Jimin sounds scared, a slight tremble in his voice as he speaks. “Be careful. Don’t do anything rash just to protect me. Take care of yourself first. Please?

Jungkook holds the phone tight, both hands gripping it. He stares down at the floor, his heart clenching. No one in his life has ever cared for his safety before; not even his own family when he was drafted. Jungkook has always been overlooked, always pushed to the side, always treated like cannon fodder thrown on the front lines.

“I will,” he promises, though it’s hard for him to speak. “I will, I promise, Jimin. I’ll be safe and then I’ll come find you. Now, go. And whatever you do, if any cops or anyone approaches you, don’t answer any questions. Just refuse them and walk away. Okay?”

Okay. Okay, I’ll see you tonight.

“Okay. Bye, Jimin.”

Bye.”

The click of the phone is the loneliest sound Jungkook feels he’s ever heard. For the smallest moment he had Jimin in his hands, someone he could truly trust, that he could be himself with, that understood him. But this case, and Taehyung, and this whole world is trying to tear them apart before they even have a chance.

He hangs up, runs his hands over his face. He has all day to sit and worry over Jimin. It’s best for him to avoid the station today and just let Taehyung do what he has to do. Jungkook can come up with an excuse tomorrow for why he didn’t show up. For now, he needs to lay low. If anyone finds out he destroyed those photos for Jimin, his career will be ruined.

Jungkook sinks down the wall, resting on the floor with his head in his hands. He doesn’t care what Taehyung says, Jimin is innocent.

Jimin is innocent.

Jimin is innocent.

 

The day passes slowly, the clock ticking loud and angry in his ears, until the phone rings. Why he’s relieved to hear Jimin again is a mystery. He knows there’s no way Taehyung would have been able to work fast enough to blame Jimin, so of course he’s still okay. And he will be. Always. Jungkook’s won’t let him go down for something he didn’t do just because of some weird vendetta Taehyung suddenly harbors.

He stops at the door at the bottom of the stairs, eyes narrowing as he stares out the window. Across the street sits a car, a man lounging in the front seat, reading a newspaper. If Jungkook wasn’t trained to notice little things like that he might not have realized.

Taehyung has someone tailing him, too.

Which means he must have told someone at the station he has reason to suspect Jungkook. They wouldn’t have approved this without some sort of proof. Taehyung has the standing that could get his request approved with just his good word.

Jungkook backs up, out of sight of the window and takes a deep breath.

This is insane. Taehyung’s taking this too far.

He breathes in again, curbing the anger swelling up inside him and heads for the emergency exit past the stairs, easing it open and peeking at the back alley. No one seems to be watching it. Relief spreads through him at the reminder that even Taehyung makes mistakes sometimes.

Jungkook darts down the alley, pulling his hat low before moving as casually as he can across the street, the cop sitting just around the corner from him. He can’t risk going to his car since it sits just across from the man. His only choice is to sneak a block or two away and hail a taxi, so that’s exactly what he does, letting him blend in with the rest of the nightlife.

His heart pounds at every sighting of a car following them. He knows there’s no way anyone would have spotted him, he was too careful. Still, it’s hard not to worry.

The driver drops him off a block from Jimin’s and he makes his way to the back gate, leaning back against the brick wall and rapping his knuckles on the wood. He waits a moment, chewing on his lip as footsteps approach. When the gate opens he expects to see Yoongi there. Instead, he’s greeted by a smiling Jimin. Worried, but smiling.

“Hi,” Jimin says softly, holding his hand for Jungkook to take. He guides him inside, latching the gate and then spinning around to throw his arms around Jungkook, one slipping around his waist and the other cradling his neck.

“No one bothered you today, right?” Jungkook asks, wrapping Jimin up in his arms, his face buried into his neck where he plants gentle kisses.

Jimin shakes his head. “No. No one.” His finger stroke through Jungkook’s hair as he leans around to kiss him, and Jungkook feels as though all troubles drain away in an instant, falling into the sensation of warm lips, soft against his own.

Jimin kisses with a gentle passion like no one else, holding Jungkook’s face between his hands, fingers dancing over his cheeks and jaw as he pulls away.

“Let’s go inside,” he says, taking a few steps back, hands intertwined with Jungkook’s to pull him along.

They walk in silence to the mansion, Yoongi waiting inside and greeting Jungkook with a smile. It catches the detective off guard. Yoongi always remains so stoic, but tonight he’s friendlier than usual and Jungkook isn’t sure why.

A heaviness sets in the air around them as Jungkook and Jimin head upstairs together. Jungkook wishes he could be here on better terms, that there wasn’t this worry gnawing at the backs of their minds. But he’s determined to put that worry to rest as they step inside Jimin’s room, immediately swooping in to embrace Jimin from behind.

He settles his face into the crook of Jimin’s neck, hugging him tight. When he peeks up to see Jimin’s reflection in the mirror across the room, Jimin is smiling. But the smile fades as soon as it came, Jimin trailing his fingers over Jungkook’s arms.

“Jungkook,” he whispers, turning around. He cups Jungkook’s face in his hands again, thumb brushing over his lips. “We’ll be okay, right?”

Jungkook stares back at him, unblinking, lost for words. He doesn’t know how to answer because he can’t know for sure, especially when he’s not certain what Jimin is asking. Okay from what? The investigation? Being two men obviously falling very quickly for each other? Living in this world that doesn’t want them together?

“I didn’t care much before. I knew Kim had those photos of me but I wasn’t afraid of what he would do with them—”

“Wait.” Jungkook reaches up, fingers curling gently around Jimin’s wrists. “You did know about them?”

Jimin nods. “I knew. He told me, tried to make me pay to keep them hidden. I refused but he kept coming around. I think he must have been coming here to demand money from me again.” He glances around, then moves to pull Jungkook to the bed. They sit down on it, facing each other, Jimin curling one leg beneath himself. “Kim was desperate. I think he was in some sort of trouble and he needed money. A lot of it. He knew he could get more out of me than he could by selling those photos to the tabloids. That’s why he kept trying instead of taking them elsewhere, and why I knew I could keep playing him awhile longer.”

Jungkook lets that sink in, their hands curling together between them, Jimin pulling them into his lap. “Whoever killed Kim could have been doing it because he owed them money. If he took too long and they knew they weren’t going to get anything out of him, maybe they just ordered a hit on him.”

“Maybe—”

“This is good, Jimin,” Jungkook says, a smile curling his lips as he raises a hand to caress Jimin’s face. His heart skips when Jimin leans into the touch. “This is good. I can take this to Taehyung in the morning and maybe it’ll make him stop looking at you.”

Jungkook darts forward, planting a solid kiss on Jimin’s lips, holding his face with both hands now. He feels lighter than air, hopeful for the first time since this case started, and it’s obvious in the vigor of his kisses, the tug of his hands as he pulls Jimin in. As he presses forward, the kiss deepening, he feels a hand curl around his bicep and squeeze.

“Wait, Jungkook,” Jimin whispers against his lips, and Jungkook instantly leans back, staring into Jimin’s eyes.

“What?” he asks, sliding his hand behind Jimin’s neck in a comforting gesture. “What’s wrong?”

Jimin opens his mouth, staring at Jungkook with big, round eyes. He looks almost sad, but that fades away and he smiles, shaking his head. “Nothing. Just me being silly and worrying. I’m glad… I’m glad that helps you. I hope it helps your partner, too.” His fingers curl into Jungkook’s shirt. “Just kiss me again.”

Jungkook pulls him close again, running his fingers through Jimin’s hair and smiling when he feels Jimin smile. They fall together onto the bed, Jimin rolling onto his back to make Jungkook straddle him, working at the buttons of his shirt and pushing it away.

Jimin, of course, wears nothing but his silk robe, as he likes to at night. It takes Jungkook but a second to undress him, letting the robe flow out around him on the mattress, pooling in silky smoothness, outlining the perfect form of his body. Jungkook can’t resist leaning back to admire him from above, running his hands over his torso.

All the worries and fears of the day melt away as Jungkook dives down, kissing Jimin slow, letting the smooth fit of their lips burn itself into his memory. He’ll be damned if he ever lets himself forget how Jimin feels, how Jimin kisses him, how Jimin sounds. People like them don’t get to stay together in a world like this, so he’s taking whatever chance he gets to make sure he remembers, and make sure Jimin never forgets him either.

Jungkook gasps when he feels a hand suddenly palming at his cock through his pants, their breath mingling between his parted lips. He reaches down when he feels Jimin working his pants down past his hips, helping to remove them and kick them aside.

The second they’re gone, Jimin’s hands grab his shoulder, pushing him as he rolls over, and suddenly Jimin sits over him with a smile on his lips. He leans down, his hand curling around Jungkook’s cock and stroking him, thumb massaging the tip as their lips meet again, this time letting their tongues twist around each other.

Jungkook trails his fingers along Jimin’s sides, light as feathers, making Jimin shiver, and snakes one around to take hold of his cock. The other hand finds grip on his ass cheek, dragging him closer, and then he takes both of their cocks in his hand. Jimin shudders on top of him at the feeling of their lengths pressed together, held tight by his hand as he pumps them.

With his voice cracking over little moans, Jimin manages to croak out Jungkook’s name. “Wait— H-Here, Jungkook,” Jimin says, righting himself and reaching for the nightstand.

Jungkook watches at procures a little tub, popping the lid off, and Jungkook doesn’t have to ask what Jimin wants. He props himself up on one elbow, his hand leaving their dicks to dip his fingers into the tub, lubing his fingers up as Jimin watches him.

Jimin leans down again, his hand holding Jungkook’s wrist as he kisses him, and he guides Jungkook’s hand around behind himself, letting wet fingers graze across his ass until they reach his hole.

There’s a shaky breath from Jimin, his body trembling with anticipation as he kisses Jungkook, and Jungkook makes him wait. He likes the way Jimin quivers at every little tease of his fingers against his entrance, how he whines when Jungkook trails up along the cleft of his cheeks and back down before finally, finally sinking one finger in.

And it feels so good, even to Jungkook. He revels in the way Jimin’s warmth just pulls him in and the vibration of his moans where he nuzzles into Jungkook’s neck.

“More, Jungkook— Just—” Jimin sighs as he rocks back against Jungkook’s hand, his own clinging onto Jungkook’s shoulder. He snaps his hips, rubbing their cocks together in a desperate need to feel everything he can, to feel all of Jungkook all over him, all at once.

Jungkook shivers at the way Jimin gasps as he presses a second finger into him, the way his body goes taut for a moment and clings on tight, the tiny “yes, yes, just— just like that” that escapes him, barely audible.

Everything Jimin does, even the way his breath hitches every time he fucks himself back onto Jungkook’s fingers, is utterly breathtaking. When he braces his hands on Jungkook’s shoulders and pushes himself upright, the way his eyes close and his head tips back as he takes them deeper inside.

His eyes ease open as he looks down at Jungkook and a dazed little smile appears on his lips. He slides one hand over Jungkook’s chest as his fingers scissor, stretching him open. Jimin curls his hand lightly around Jungkook’s throat, just enough to send a thrill down his spine but not enough to cut off his air.

Jungkook would be perfectly happy just watching Jimin like this for the rest of the night, eagerly taking his fingers in, touching him everywhere, throat exposed and body trembling over him, thighs gripping tight around Jungkook’s hips.

But Jimin decides when they’re through, his hand moving back to Jungkook’s chest as he gasps out that he’s ready. The heat of his body vanishes for just an instant as he moves for the nightstand again. He unwraps a condom as he returns, settling over Jungkook to roll it carefully onto his cock.

Part of Jungkook can’t believe that this time it’s actually happening, that he finally gets to feel what it’s like to fuck Jimin, to feel that tight warmth engulfing his cock.

Jimin tugs him up by his hands, kissing him again as he shifts their position, turning them around until he’s leaning back against the headboard. His hand searches for that little tub again, slicking up his hand to stroke Jungkook, coating his cock.

He catches Jungkook’s chin with his clean hand, holding him just inches away from his own face, leaning forward to briefly bump noses. His breath feels hot against Jungkook’s face, his lips soft as they brush together, and then he turns around, one hand gripping the headboard and the other reaching back to trail over Jungkook’s hip.

Jungkook fits his body with Jimin’s, his thighs fitting on either side of Jimin’s, his cock sliding between his cheeks. Jimin sighs at the feeling, head lolling against the wall.

As much as he wants to fuck Jimin until he can’t walk, Jungkook holds himself back. He has to remind himself that, again, this isn’t a quick fuck in the military where they have to worry about being caught. He can take his time, truly feel Jimin, just meld with him.

So he does. Steadying his cock, Jungkook eases his way in, the tip pushing past that tight ring, Jimin gasping at the sudden intrusion. He waits, letting Jimin adjust and peppering kisses over his shoulder before pushing further in.

“Relax,” he whispers, lips ghosting over Jimin’s ear, and the other man lets out a breathless laugh, seeming almost embarrassed.

“Sorry,” Jimin says, but the tension in his body instantly fades away, his eyes closing as Jungkook massages up his side. “Just— Just been awhile… since anyone…”

Jungkook kisses along his jaw, waiting again, though it’s so so hard to. “Do we need to stop?”

No.” Jimin’s hand tightens against his hip, fingers pressing into Jungkook’s flesh. “No, don’t. I’m fine.”

“You sure—”

“Yes, please— god, just—” Jimin takes a deep breath, turning his head for his lips to catch Jungkook’s. “Just… please, Jungkook…” He sighs again as Jungkook’s hand trails over to where Jimin’s rests on his hip, lacing their fingers together.

Jungkook pushes forward again until he’s bottomed out inside Jimin, fully seated, and he lets Jimin adjust again. Guilt gnaws at him as he watches Jimin press his forehead against the wall, because all he feels is pleasure from the tight squeeze around his cock, the warmth that surrounds it.

It doesn’t take long, though, for Jimin to relax again, giving a subtle roll of his hips, his hole fluttering around Jungkook. “Okay,” he says, giving a squeeze to Jungkook’s hand. “Move.”

Jungkook drops another kiss to Jimin’s shoulder before he slides out of him, Jimin sucking in a shuddering breath and writhing back against him. There’s nothing like the feeling of pushing back inside Jimin, so tight that it send waves of pleasure through Jungkook. But he’s determined not to get so caught up in his own pleasure that he forgets Jimin’s. He won’t stop until Jimin feels just as much, just as good.

He keeps one hand on Jimin’s hip, the other sliding over his stomach and chest to grip his shoulder, holding him steady as he thrusts into him again. It doesn’t take long before Jimin’s completely turned to putty against Jungkook, lips parted in lyrical moans as he rolls his hips back to meet Jungkook’s, taking every inch of him in with every snap forward from Jungkook.

Jimin looks beautiful beyond words as he trembles against the headboard, both hands planted on the wall now, his head tipped back. Jungkook kisses along his neck, lips attaching to the soft flesh of his throat to leave little bruises, love bites decorating him from jaw to shoulder. He laves his tongue over the marks, tasting the salt of Jimin’s skin.

Ah— f— J-Jungkook,” Jimin sighs, his words fading away with a moan, his eyes shut tight. There’s no discomfort on his face anymore, just pure bliss as he leans his forehead against the wall, his lips actually curling up at the corners when Jungkook slams into him again.

The cry of pure ecstasy that suddenly rips itself from his throat almost startles Jungkook, Jimin’s body jerking forward, his hand curling against the wall. His nails scrape over the surface, lips parted in broken moans.

“Harder, Jungkook— harder, please, oh my god—”

Jungkook feels shivers cascading down his spine at the sound of Jimin begging for more, begging for him, knowing that he’s the reason Jimin’s falling apart against him, cock twitching and hole clenching around him. His face is so screwed up in pleasure, eyes shut tight, and his hair sticks to the side of his face.

He’s gorgeous like this. He’s always gorgeous. But, goddamn, Jungkook simply can’t breathe when he sees him this way. The image scorches itself into his brain and he’s not sure anything—anything—in the future will ever compare.

Jungkook keeps the exact angle that had Jimin crying out for more, thrusting into him again, harder, just like Jimin asked. He holds him tight, both hands on his hips to keep him steady as he picks up his pace. His thighs burn and he can feel himself getting closer but he doesn’t relent, kissing up Jimin’s spine and ordering him to touch himself.

Jimin slides one hand away from the wall, fisting at his own cock in time with Jungkook’s hips. At least, as best as he can with how weak he feels, the feeling of Jungkook ramming into his prostate over and over again too overwhelming for him to hardly even remember where he is right now.

Somehow, even through their moans, through the gasps and shaky whimpers, Jungkook manages to tell Jimin just how good he feels, whispering to him that he’s about to come. Because of Jimin. Because of how tight he is and how beautiful he looks and how much Jungkook loves the sound of his voice, especially when it’s his name tumbling from Jimin.

Those sweet nothings push Jimin to the edge, face scrunching up again as he sobs Jungkook’s name one last time, coming over his own fist and clenching around Jungkook again. His hips stutter, then stop, only moving when Jungkook slams into him once more, Jimin’s tight ass pulling his orgasm from him.

He spills inside the condom, though he so wishes he could have painted Jimin’s insides with his seed. How he would love to see his come dripping down those pretty legs. But maybe someday. Someday. For now, he revels in what he has; the harsh beating of his own heart against Jimin’s back where they’re practically molded together, the fiery heat radiating from Jimin, the soft pants as they both catch their breath.

Jungkook lets his head rest on the back of Jimin’s, eyes closed, and he feels Jimin shiver at the tickle of his breath over his neck. He smiles, trailing his fingers up Jimin’s sides.

“You okay?” he whispers, feeling Jimin nod.

“Perfect,” Jimin sighs, and Jungkook reaches up to take hold of his hand where it rests against the wall. He slips his fingers between Jimin’s, lips dotting along his spine, and Jimin smiles up at their hands. “Beyond perfect, actually.”

Jungkook feels weak, too weak to move right away, so he doesn’t bother for a bit, letting himself enjoy to simple pleasure of just have Jimin close. Eventually, they split apart, cleaning themselves and the headboard up before slipping under the covers together.

A drowsiness overtakes them both fairly quickly, but not before Jungkook gets the chance to whisper once more how stunning Jimin is, making the other man smile sleepily.

“You’re a real charmer, Jungkook,” Jimin murmurs, snuggling close to him, pecking across his face. “Good thing I’m good at reading people, otherwise I would think you just wanted a good lay from me with the way you compliment me.”

Jungkook chuckles, arms curling around Jimin, fingers drawing patterns over his spine. “The whole world should be lining up to compliment you for no other reason than you deserve it. You’re absolutely stunning, Jimin.” His hand comes around to brush away a strand of hair from Jimin’s eyes before returning to their patterns. “I always knew that just from the screen, but seeing you up close, in person, like this… it’s unbelievable. You… are unbelievable. I’ve never seen anyone as beautiful as you before.”

“Clearly you’ve never looked in a mirror,” Jimin says with a laugh.

Jungkook falls silent, swallowing hard, suddenly unsure how to respond. He’s never been called beautiful before. Or handsome or anything of the sort. The closest he’s ever gotten is a “you would be more handsome if you stopped frowning so much” and it’s not something that ever particularly bothered him, but hearing someone compliment him like this still throws him off balance.

“Don’t look at me like you don’t believe me,” Jimin says, trailing his fingers over Jungkook’s face. He traces his nose and lips, then over his jaw. “You’re amazing, Jungkook. You’re the one who belongs in front of the camera. The first time I saw you I was shattered, knowing that you would probably never look twice at me. You were the handsome, unobtainable detective who was investigating me and I was utterly infatuated from the very start.”

With an embarrassed chuckle, Jungkook rolls onto his back, looking away from Jimin. But Jimin just follows, stretching his arms across Jungkook’s chest.

“Honestly, Jungkook, I was truly upset that I would never get a chance with you because I just knew… I knew the second we met that you were special.”

Jungkook looks over at him again, pulse racing at the sight of Jimin’s smile. There’s no dishonesty in his eyes and that almost scares Jungkook more than anything else ever has. He’s used to being lied to, abandoned, left behind, but Jimin stares back at him with absolute certainty in his own words, unyielding in his gaze until Jungkook accepts them.

“Now, hold me and go to sleep,” Jimin demands before Jungkook can say anything in response. He moves closer, holding Jungkook tight, lashes fluttering closed. “You look tired, Jungkook. Just rest for once… Stop worrying so much.”

Jungkook rolls onto his side again, returning Jimin’s embrace, listening to the soft sounds of his breathing. Jimin may say he’s the special one, but in comparison to the man beside him Jungkook feels like little more than a peasant.

Jimin is beyond words, grandiose, meant for the screen, for the stage, for the spotlight. He was born to be admired, and admired he will be, by some from afar, but from Jungkook up close. Hopefully for a very, very long time.

Because after tonight, no matter how this world condemns men like them, Jungkook is certain he could never just give Jimin up. Let it try to tear them apart, Jungkook will hold on until the very last moment.

 

When Jungkook stirs awake it’s to find the bed beside him empty and a cool breeze blowing in from the balcony. He jolts upright, confused and concerned about why the balcony doors are open, feeling a little panicked by the images that had been creeping into his dreams. Thankfully, the cold air woke him before the nightmares took form.

Squinting through the darkness, he can see Jimin curled up in an armchair on the balcony, smoke rising around him as he stares up at the moon. Jungkook throws back the covers, pulling on a pair of pajama pants Jimin had offered him earlier and moving to stand beside the doors.

“Jimin,” he calls, peering out to see if that car is still parked out on the street. It’s not likely the cop is watching anything besides the front gate, but Jungkook still doesn’t want to take that risk.

Yet when Jimin looks at him, Jungkook can’t resist. There’s a shine to his eyes, fear written all over his face. He looks away from Jungkook, reaching over to smother out the cigarette. Jungkook throws aside all worries of being seen to rush to Jimin’s side. He kneels down in front of him, their hands meeting in Jimin’s lap.

“What’s wrong?”

“Jungkook… When we first met…” Jimin takes a deep breath, turning Jungkook’s hands palm up. He curls his fingers around Jungkook’s, and Jungkook can feel him shaking. “I should have told you earlier but I didn’t know what to do. I was terrified you would— Please, just… Please, listen to everything I have to say before you decide to hate me.”

Jimin leans forward, resting his head on their hands, holding tight onto Jungkook. The tighter he holds, the more Jungkook’s heart clenches with fear. There’s no need for Jimin to speak; Jungkook feels as though he already knows what he has to say. Still, he should hear it and Jimin needs him to listen.

“When you first came here for the investigation, I was telling the truth that I didn’t kill Kim and I didn’t know who did. I came home when I said I did and I wasn’t lying when I said Yoongi was with me at Seokjin’s party. But I wasn’t completely honest… Yoongi hailed a taxi back here because I had forgotten something I owed to Seokjin, so he came back to get it. But he never returned to the party. I came home later and asked why he didn’t come back. He said the driver took him to the wrong address and had to reroute and that he only got home just minutes before I did. I kept that to myself when you were questioning me because I didn’t want the police pinning it on him just because he got here first. I never even thought he might have actually done it.

“When I got home, I knew something was wrong because the neighbors were wandering around and trying to see in here and Yoongi acted as if he knew nothing as we looked around. He acted like he hadn’t seen Kim in the pool earlier but… Jungkook, he told me just days later that he had only been pretending. He knew Kim was there because when he came home Kim had broken in through the back gate and was looking for me. He needed money and he was getting desperate and, Jungkook, he wouldn’t have let it go. He was following me everywhere.

“Yoongi did what he had to do. He got Kim to walk away eventually but he knew he would just come back soon enough. He never would have given up.” Jimin stops, his hands shaking as he breathes in deep again, tears leaking down his cheeks. “He didn’t want me involved. He didn’t want me to know what happened so he pretended like someone else did it. But he he couldn’t bring himself to lie to me. Please, Jungkook, don’t hate me for keeping this from you. And, please, please don’t take Yoongi in. He was just trying to protect me.”

Jungkook takes a moment to let it all sink in. It’s a lot to process, but not so hard to believe. Somewhere inside, a small part of Jungkook always doubted, always wondered, but he pushed it down because he wanted to believe that Jimin is a good person. And he is. This isn’t his fault, it’s isn’t Yoongi’s. If anyone is to blame, it’s Kim.

“Please, Jungkook,” Jimin says again, practically begging, pulling his hands further into his lap. “Please, Yoongi is my friend. He’s been with me since I was a child. He was only protecting me because I refused to pay Kim, because I was too stubborn. He didn’t do it just to kill someone—”

Jungkook silences the other man with a thumb to his lips, brushing it across, and Jimin freezes in place.

“As far as I’m concerned,” Jungkook says, “Yoongi was seen at that cocktail party with you and you both arrived home after the murder happened.”

Jimin stares at him, puzzlement dancing through his dark eyes. “Jungkook—”

“He didn’t kill him, Jimin,” Jungkook stands, pulling Jimin to his feet as well, “and neither of you saw who did. It was a random mugging, just like we suspected. Someone chased him into your backyard, shot him, and took all his valuables. I’m guessing,” he gives Jimin a very pointed stare, “that his belongings are long gone now. No one… will ever find them?”

Jimin straightens up, swallowing hard as he nods at Jungkook. “Whoever took them probably already pawned them off for cash.”

“That’s exactly what you say if anyone else asks. Now, tell me, is there anything that can link you to the murder? Anything at all?”

The hesitation in Jimin’s answer tells Jungkook what he needs to know before he even speaks. “My ring. I helped Yoongi dispose of Kim’s belongings. He had them buried in the garden at first but we dug them up and disposed of them in a junkyard. I haven’t seen my ring since then—”

Jimin chokes back a sob. It kills Jungkook to see him like this, to be so afraid because of something that should never have happened to him. He never should have had to deal with Kim, he never should have had to help cover up the murder.

“Jimin, look at me,” Jungkook says, waiting until Jimin wipes away his tears, putting on a stoic face to look at Jungkook. “I will do whatever it takes to keep you safe. Kim was a danger to you. You never would have lived in peace again had he revealed those photos. I’ll make sure no one else finds out.”

“Jungkook, you have done… more than enough,” Jimin says, stepping close, his hand cupping Jungkook’s jaw now. “You don’t need to do anything else. Just… pretend like I never even told you. I don’t want you going down for this, too. I only told you because I couldn’t bear to keep it in anymore. Please, don’t…”

Jungkook reaches up, fingers curling around Jimin’s wrist, thumb brushing over the back of his hand. He turns his head to press a kiss to Jimin’s palm, and a sad, tiny smile appears on Jimin’s face.

“Please don’t risk anything for me. If they find out just… let me go.”

“Now that,” Jungkook says, arms curling around the other man, one hand cradling the back of Jimin’s head as they embrace, “is asking too much of me.”

They hold on like that for as long as they can, until the cool breeze starts to chill them and they return back to the warmth of the bed. As Jimin huddles close to Jungkook, a little voice screams in the back of Jungkook’s head that this is reckless, that he could lose everything by helping Jimin and Yoongi this way. Yet something inside him argues back that he always knew it would come down to this.

And maybe it is insane and reckless and maybe he is a fool for falling so fast. He doesn’t care about any of that as he holds Jimin. All he cares is that his heart says he’s doing the right thing, his heart says Jimin is worth risking it all.

For the first time in his life, Jungkook would rather believe his heart than his head.

 

 

Days pass without incident. Taehyung has either hit a dead end or abandoned his vendetta against Jimin. He shows no sign of pursuing him as the main suspect anymore, though he could just be doing everything he can to hide his progress from Jungkook or anyone else he no longer trusts.

It’s been almost too silent lately. Jungkook wishes he could just believe that it’s over but he knows Taehyung. There’s no way he’s given up on the case, and Jungkook can’t help but feel there’s some reason Taehyung and Namjoon have both been carefully eying him in the station.

Jungkook waits until the station begins to clear out, parked inside the alleyway beside it. He leans back against the wall, a cigarette between his lips as he watches Taehyung climbing into his own car, distracted with a small stack of papers.

The second he drives away, Jungkook darts back around the corner, slipping inside the station. Only a few of coworkers remain, all tired and yawning and ready to go home. He nods to one as he passes him, making a joke about knowing he’s getting older everyday because he forgets his hat more and more often.

He heads for his desk, glancing back to make sure no one sees him spin around to Taehyung’s desk instead. There isn’t much time before someone else wanders by and spots him, so he makes quick work of sorting through the papers on the surface, carefully putting them back where he found them.

His eyes drift to another room, the blinds blocking his view, but he knows that’s where Taehyung and Namjoon have been working lately. With another glance around, Jungkook rushes toward the room, testing the handle. He’s not surprised to find it locked, but he finds himself lucky as the janitor passes by.

Jungkook clears his throat. “Sorry, my man, I left something in here and my partner locked it up behind him. You have a key for this room?”

The janitor nods, mumbling something that Jungkook doesn’t quite catch, but he doesn’t care about much besides seeing what’s inside that room.

He gives the man a quiet “thank you” before darting inside, letting the door click shut behind him. Thankfully, he’s familiar with how Taehyung works so he knows exactly what to look for first, passing over the evidence he’s already seen and zeroing in on exactly what he needs.

A folder sits neatly on one corner of the table in the center of the room, closed and stamped with today’s date, and Jungkook moves straight for it. He flips it open, eyes scanning over what looks like notes Taehyung took about the photos inside. One words catches Jungkook’s eye in particular and makes his stomach twist anxiously.

Ring.

He almost doesn’t want to flip through the images inside, but the moment he does he knows he has to get back to Jimin.

What he sees are pictures of a wallet, dirtied and lying amid scrap, a pocket watch, and several other things he can guess were Kim’s belongings. The image that sends his heart racing is a picture of Jimin’s ring.

Anyone who has ever looked at a tabloid would recognize it. He wears it everywhere. The ring itself is almost as famous as Jimin.

Jungkook slams the folder shut, sifting through other nearby papers, panicked as he finds Taehyung’s notes, two prints they pulled from one of the items, as well as a print from the ring, all matching the prints they got from Yoongi and Jimin at the beginning of the case. With these prints, they should have managed to get a warrant for Jimin’s and Yoongi’s arrests approved within hours. Why haven’t they arrested them yet?

He steps back, taking a deep breath to try clearing his mind. He needs to thinks through this carefully. Acting out of fear will get them all caught. If he wants to keep Jimin, Yoongi, and even himself safe, he has to plan with a clear mind. With those prints, Taehyung can take them down in a second. What is he waiting for?

Jungkook leans against the table, bowing his head and steadying his breathing. He feels like he could pass out, but he needs to get back to Jimin. Now.

He rights everything on the table again, making sure to leave it as he found it, then darts out of the room, snatching his hat from his desk as he leaves. No one sees him as he rushes from the building and jumps into his car, hands shaking slightly.

He gives himself ten seconds to calm down, pressing his head against the steering wheel as he counts, and then he focuses on the road. Whatever happens, he’ll keep Jimin safe.

Whatever happens.

 

As much as Jungkook wants to just come crashing through the front gate of Jimin’s mansion and rush to him, he lays low, waits until he’s certain no one is following him, and enters through the garden gate again. They have to be more careful than ever now. But as he’s behind those bricks, he runs for the front doors, bursting inside and startling Yoongi and Jimin all the way in the kitchen.

“Jungkook?” Jimin reaches out as he rushes into the kitchen, and Jungkook takes Jimin’s hand in both of his.

“They found Kim’s things in the junkyard,” Jungkook explains, and he sees Yoongi go rigid. “They found both of your fingerprints and your ring. They know you were both there and they’ll probably have a warrant for your arrests by tomorrow.”

He expects worry or panic or fear but all he sees is defeat. Jimin glances over at Yoongi, then back to Jungkook. He must have known this was coming someday. They all did, but Jungkook refused to believe it.

“I suppose you should be the one to take me in, then,” Jimin says, and Jungkook stares at him, dumbfounded, at a loss for words. It takes him a long moment to even process what Jimin is saying before he can reject it.

“I’m not sending you to prison,” he says as Jimin’s hand slips from his grasp. He can’t seem to make himself move as Jimin steps away from him, leaning against the counter and dropping his head into his hands.

“I didn’t sleep with you to gain your favor, Jungkook.” Jimin pushes a hand through his hair and looks away, but not before Jungkook can see the shine in his eyes.

“This isn’t about favor, it’s about your life,” Jungkook snaps, finally moving forward to grab hold of Jimin. He spins him around, hands cupping Jimin’s face so he has to meet Jungkook’s eyes. “I’m not locking you up in that place, you wouldn’t survive a day. Those men in there would tear you apart. They would break you, body and soul.”

“We’ll tell them Jimin had nothing to do with it. It was all me.”

They both look at Yoongi, a protest already on Jimin’s tongue until Jungkook steps in first.

“They found Jimin’s ring with his prints on it,” Jungkook says, head shaking.

“I’ll say I took it or something. I’ll turn myself in—”

“Yoongi, no—” Jimin starts, but Yoongi cuts him off.

“Jimin shouldn’t be punished for this. He didn’t pull the trigger. I did.”

“Whatever you do, Taehyung won’t stop until he takes you both down,” Jungkook says, his hand sliding over Jimin’s back until the other man finally leans into his touch. “They don’t care about who pulled the trigger. Jimin helped you dispose of the evidence. As far as they’re concerned, you two are equally guilty.”

Jimin takes a deep breath, staring down at the floor, and Yoongi crosses his arms. Neither of them speak, neither of them know what to do. Hell, even Jungkook doesn’t know what to do except run. At this point, that’s their only choice.

“Neither of you deserve to be locked up for this,” Jungkook says. “We don’t have time to argue about it. You need to leave. They could be here first thing in the morning.”

“Leave?” Jimin asks, eyes widening as he glances between Jungkook and Yoongi. “What, run away? Leave the city?”

“Probably more along the line of leaving the country,” Yoongi says, staring out the window now. They all fall silent, watching him as he chews his lower lip, then he looks to Jungkook. “I could leave tonight. Is there any chance you could convince them it was all me? If you could do that—if you can convince them to clear Jimin’s name—then I could leave and Jimin wouldn’t have to.”

Jimin starts to protest, but Yoongi silences him once again.

“Please, Jimin, let me do this. One last favor to the only person who has stayed by my side all my life.”

Jungkook feels Jimin’s vice grip on his hand, his heart breaking when Jimin leans his forehead against his shoulder, eyes shut tight. He almost feels as if he can hear Jimin praying in his head that he won’t be parted from his friend.

“I’m sorry, Yoongi,” Jungkook says, and he truly means it. “If I could, I would but… it’s Jimin’s ring, his fingerprints, alongside Kim’s belongings. Even if he wasn’t the one who killed him, he was still involved. That much is obvious.”

Yoongi closes his eyes, a sigh slipping from his lips as he turns his back to them. A hand cuts through his hair. “Very well.” He spins back around to face Jimin. “I’m leaving it up to you what we do. As always, I go where you go.”

Jimin purses his lips, staring down at the floor, the wheels turning inside his head. Jungkook wishes he could do something to help him, to comfort him. God, he wishes he could do anything. He’s so utterly useless. All he can do is warn them. He can’t fix this, and Jungkook desperately feels the need to fix everything around him.

“Go gather what you need, Yoongi,” Jimin says, before turning to Jungkook. “I’d like to speak to Jungkook alone for a moment.”

With a nod, Yoongi steps out of the room, Jimin sighing before taking Jungkook’s hands in his own. There’s no pause before pulls Jungkook close and speaks. “Come with me, Jungkook. We could go somewhere far away—to some countryside around the world, if we wanted. With my money we could buy our own estate and live away from everyone else. We could be together. Say yes, Jungkook. Please, say yes.”

“Jimin—”

“Please, Jungkook. We could be so happy together. I know it.”

Jungkook doesn’t speak at first, holding onto Jimin and looking into his hopeful eyes, a hint of fear there as he waits for Jungkook’s answer. He would have to be crazy to say yes. Maybe he is, because he wants to. He wants so badly to say yes.

Could he really leave everything behind? What would he be leaving behind? Jungkook doesn’t have much to stay for in this city. His career. That’s about it. He hasn’t spoken to his family in years, his only friend despises him now, and his lover is being forced into hiding on the other side of the world to escape conviction.

Jungkook wouldn’t be leaving anything behind, but he will certainly be left behind if he says no.

He slips away from Jimin, searching and retrieving a pen and paper before returning to Jimin. He can feel Jimin’s eyes on him as he scribbles across the paper, can feel how nervous he is as he waits.

“Meet me at this address,” Jungkook says, pressing the paper into Jimin’s palm and curling his fingers around it. He engulfs Jimin’s hands with both of his and holds tight. “An old military friend there can get us a private plane away from here. We can go anywhere you want. They’ll never find us.”

A sigh of relief escapes Jimin before he launches forward to kiss Jungkook, crashing against him. He buries his face into Jungkook’s neck as they embrace, and Jungkook can feel tears soaking into the collar of his shirt.

“I promise I’ll come find you,” Jungkook whispers, fingers stroking along Jimin’s spine. “I promise. I’ll go back to my place and get what I need and then I’ll find you there, okay?”

Jimin nods, slowly forcing himself away from Jungkook, hands sliding over his chest before finally leaving him. “You better show up, Detective,” he says through a teary-eyed smile.

He almost looks genuinely happy. If not for the circumstances, Jungkook thinks he would be ecstatic at the idea of running away with Jungkook. It makes him wonder if escaping this place has been a desire hidden somewhere in the back of his mind. Jungkook knows he’s fantasized of leaving behind the cramped city streets. Ever since being out in the wilderness as a soldier, he’s found no comfort in the chaos of the city.

“I will,” he promises, catching Jimin’s chin with his hand and pecking him on the lips. He leans back just enough to look Jimin in the eyes, repeating the promise just one last time, just to make sure Jimin believes him. “I’ll be there.”

 

Jungkook slips into his building unnoticed. The cop Taehyung had posted outside seems to have been called off, which should be a comfort to Jungkook, but it only makes him more anxious.

Rightfully so, it would seem as he reaches his front door, finding it blocked by a figure leaning back against it.

Taehyung looks up at him as he approaches, arms crossed over his chest. His eyes dart over Jungkook, all the way down to his feet before flying back up to his face. “You were with Park,” he says, pushing away from the door. Jungkook doesn’t speak as Taehyung works his lower lip between his teeth, head shaking. “You think I would be stupid enough to actually leave the station before you? I know you went back inside. You saw what we found.”

Still keeping his silence, Jungkook circles around his partner, Taehyung moving with him until he’s no longer positioned between Jungkook and his apartment.

“Just tell me why,” Taehyung says. “Tell me why he did it and why you’re protecting him.”

Still, Jungkook says nothing.

“Is it just because of what would happen if they found out he was sleeping with another man? Are you doing this because you’ve fallen in love with him?” Taehyung’s hand cuts through his hair, agitated. “Was it even him or did the butler do it? Please, Jungkook, I just need answers. If you’re about to help him escape, I just need to know that I was right. You saw our proof. We know he was involved somehow. Your silence now does nothing.”

Jungkook matches his stare, holding it for awhile before taking a deep breath. Taehyung is right. There is no protecting Jimin except getting him away from this place. Telling Taehyung the truth does nothing but admit his own guilt.

“It wasn’t Jimin. He found out later and helped dispose of the belongings. Kim was demanding money but Jimin refused to give in. Yoongi shot him because Kim was becoming obsessive and stalking Jimin. He was afraid he would never stop. I protected Jimin because his life would have been destroyed by those photos.”

“And?”

“And…” Jungkook closes his eyes, head shaking slightly at himself. He knows it sounds ridiculous because they’ve known each other such a short time. But it’s the truth, and Taehyung asked for the truth. “Because I’m falling for him, yes.”

He turns to his old partner, holding out his wrists for Taehyung to cuff them. There’s no going back now. He has to trust that Yoongi will get Jimin away from here safely. At least this way he can keep the cops busy, maybe mislead them to buy Yoongi and Jimin some more time.

Jungkook hopes that Jimin won’t be too stubborn about leaving him behind.

Taehyung sighs, staring up at the ceiling, arms still crossed tight. “Put those down,” he says, “and get the hell out of here.”

“What?” Jungkook asks, hands retreating to his sides. He has to be imagining this.

“I can’t just… suddenly throw the case out the window without raising suspicion but I can buy you a few extra hours. I already did by waiting until morning to request the warrant,” Taehyung tells him, their eyes finally meeting again. “I also can’t just condemn a friend to misery in prison. So leave. We never saw each other tonight.”

Jungkook can only watch as Taehyung turns away and heads for the stairs, hands slipping into his pockets. He almost doesn’t manage to conjure up his voice in time, but he does. He calls him back and says with a smile, “Thank you, Tae.”

There’s a sigh, and then Taehyung shakes his head at Jungkook. “You better hope he’s worth it, Jungkook,” is all he says before he leaves, disappearing out the front door and leaving Jungkook alone with those words echoing around in his head.

 

 

The relief on Jimin’s face when Jungkook finally showed up at the address he gave pales in comparison to the look on his face as they step off the plane. It’s only the first leg of their journey, but they’re safer now and that’s what matters.

It’s pouring rain as they wait for their train, Yoongi standing beside the tracks and staring down them, toe tapping impatiently. Jimin remains huddled on a bench near the entrance to the train station, his hat pulled low and a scarf around half of his face. At some point they’ll be far enough away from home that it will be unlikely anyone will recognize him. For now, he has to be careful.

Jungkook feels the train before he hears it, and he moves to Jimin’s side, holding his hand out to him. “Let’s go, love,” he murmurs, and Jimin lets Jungkook pull him to his feet as the train arrives.

They walk hand in hand into their train car, ignoring the steady stare of the man who takes their tickets. Jungkook certainly doesn’t give a damn what these people think of them anymore, they’ll be far from this place soon enough.

Yoongi sets about pacing the train, anxious as he goes, so Jungkook settles into a compartment with Jimin. He sits beside the window, across from the other man, but Jimin doesn’t look at him.

“Jimin,” he utters, waiting until he hears a hum in response. “Are you okay?”

“Just feels strange,” Jimin says, staring out the window. “I hope it’s all worth it.”

Taehyung’s words fill Jungkook’s head again. You better hope he’s worth it. Jungkook suddenly feels sick. “You mean…” He can’t even bring himself to ask.

Jimin looks at him, eyes narrowing in question, then widening when he understands. “No. No, no, Jungkook. Not you. Of course you’re worth it,” he says, holding his arms out to beckon Jungkook to his side. He waits until Jungkook settles down beside him. “I would sacrifice the world for you. I just mean… running away. I hope it actually keeps us safe.”

“It will,” Jungkook says, leaning back as the train rumbles to life along the tracks, chugging forward. He tucks Jimin close to his chest, arms wrapped around him. “We have to believe that.”

With tired eyes drifting closed, Jimin nods, and that’s the last thing he does before he falls asleep. It’s relief to see him finally drift into a slumber. He hasn’t slept a bit since they left home and it was beginning to wear on him, his usual confidence and energy dwindling, dark circles decorating his eyes.

He finally looks peaceful. It’s a sight Jungkook could get used to.

And he does.

Beyond the train, beyond the cities, somewhere far in an unknown countryside, the sight of a smiling, carefree, happy Jimin graces Jungkook’s future every waking moment.

It wasn’t ideal how they got there and it takes a long, arduous journey to get used to such a new and different life. But it’s safe, and it’s home to them now.

It’s home.