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his body aches. cold fingers push over his, tightening their grip on his forearms to bind them above his head. he grunts as he’s pushed back toward the brick, head smashing against the wall. everything is blurry, but he hears them speaking lowly, searching his pockets quickly while he desperately tries to escape their grasp.

“hey!” he hears someone yell in the distance. the men freeze momentarily, giving jungkook one last look before reluctantly dropping their hold on him and bolting away. jungkook’s body immediately crumbles to the floor, his hands shaking. he supposes a combination of the brisk cold and the adrenaline rush from running for his life don’t mix all too well. his head throbs as he clenches his teeth, ducking his head when the officer approaches him.

you see, jungkook is careful about how he conducts his business, and that means never coming into contact with officers. under any circumstances. this mission has been one disaster after the other (or at least right now it seems to be), and jungkook feels rather stupid. he bites down on his trembling lower lip, trying to ease his anger, trying to calm himself to look less suspect. but when he raises his eyes to meet the officer’s for just a split second--

“holy shit,” he mumbles incoherently. it’s much harder to speak with a fucked up lip than he thought. and yeah, maybe his voice sounds kind of awful, but it’s definitely not as bad as his face probably looks right about now. this officer is fucking gorgeous. his dick sucking lips are ones people would risk their lives for--plump and red and ready to be bitten. his head swims with thoughts of this officer bringing him to the station and locking him up in cuffs if it meant his hands would be on jungkook even for just a moment. his annoyance subsides, only briefly resurfacing when he realizes that this particular officer is seeing him at his absolute worst. everything smells like sewage and dirt and grime.

cool, cool, cool...not ideal, jungkook thinks as he considers the blood smeared across his face and the dark bruises he must be bearing. the smugglers really got him good this time. he smirks when he realizes that his assailants probably have it a lot worse. hopefully this whole look won’t ruin his chances with this fucking mountain-shouldered god. 

“are you alright?” the officer moves his face closer, worry etched on his expression as he shines a flashlight close to jungkook. jungkook tilts his head, squinting his eyes to get a better look at the man. jungkook admires his clear, perfect skin. he looks like he stepped out of a GQ magazine. he's definitely wearing concealer, but jungkook is totally into that. he loves a man who takes pride in his appearance.

jungkook straightens his back and tries to crack a toothy smile, but realizes blood is probably all over his teeth when disgust flashes over the officer’s features for a split second. it takes a moment for jungkook to register that those plump, plump lips are moving.

“yoongi, we need back up! i think he needs medical attention!”

jungkook’s eyes widen.

for a criminal barely scraping past the eyes of the law, this situation is approaching dangerous levels. he hisses. namjoon and hoseok are going to have my ass on a fucking silver platter when they find me. he can’t risk being questioned, he can’t risk this officer finding out any information about him. hospitals are an absolute shithole, and besides, he has namjoon to fix him up.

jungkook shakes his head quickly, figuring the worried look on the officer’s face is probably an indication for him to speak--bad idea, he’s sure he’s concussed and now he feels like whiplash is a very possible occurrence for him. he pretends to be dizzy for a moment longer, stumbling forward to catch a whiff of the officer, falling into his chest easily. he feigns a pained groan, whimpering when he recognizes the smell. rainkissed leaves, a classic bath and body works scent.

jungkook knows what he'll be using to whack his meat on his next day off. finally, something good to come out of this situation. he internally fist pumps then moves away, placing his hand on the officer’s shoulders. jungkook wonders if he realizes that he’s very much feeling the defined muscles of his back.

“i’m fine, now that you’re here.” he means to sigh out the words smoothly, but they come out garbled and slurred. the officer doesn’t look all too convinced, but when he opens his beautiful, angelic mouth to speak, he’s quickly cut off. sirens blare in the background, and suddenly an ambulance parks haphazardly over a curb.

a figure rushes out of the vehicle. the ambulance blasts high beams in jungkook and the officer’s direction. the officer turns his head, covering his eyes with his hand. a man bounds up to the scene of the crime, a gurney pushed right in front of him.

“we’ll take it from here,” the EMT says, and although jungkook can’t particularly make out any of the features on the man’s face, he would recognize that voice anywhere. jungkook visibly swallows, feeling hoseok’s piercing stare.

the officer looks taken aback at the ‘EMT’s’ sudden arrival. “did yoongi call the ambulance already? where is the rest of the squad--”

“we received a code 245 from dispatch and we were in the area.” a taller EMT comes up from behind, shushing the officer. namjoon. he gives jungkook an even look before turning to the police officer. “this kid is in good hands, don’t worry.” the officer’s mouth snaps shut. hoseok makes a move to check jungkook’s vitals, pushing the officer out of the way.

“he seems to be in shock. we should get him to the hospital, i think his ribs are fractured.”

jungkook tosses hoseok a skeptical look, but the glare hoseok sends him when he’s close enough speaks for itself. blow our cover and i really will fracture your ribs. the message is clearly received.

and then yoongi rounds the corner, breathing labored and eyebrows drawn together. “i saw the perps run into the back entrance of city hall, seokjin, we gotta go, now!”

seokjin looks between yoongi and jungkook, then gets up to chase after the perp. “i need to get a few bits of information off you when i come back, got it?” he says to jungkook quickly.

“you can get me off anytime you please, officer.”

“excuse me?” the officer raises a brow. 

jungkook reaches out and tugs gently at his sleeve. “what if i don’t comply?” he says lazily.

seokjin narrows his eyes at jungkook, then blows him a kiss. “a little taste of what you’ll get for being a law abiding citizen.” he tosses jungkook a sleazy grin then quickly runs off in the direction of his partner.

jungkook nods his head stupidly, catching the flying kiss in the palm of his hand, his gaze trailing longingly after seokjin’s retreating figure.

“shit. i think i’m in love.”

hoseok and namjoon roll their eyes and lift him up onto the gurney carelessly. jungkook hisses in pain as he’s dumped onto it, looking to his leader, hoping for some sign of emotion, but namjoon’s eyes are trained on their escape route.

to a passerby, it may seem like an ordinary ambulance, its flashing lights and alarm nothing but a nuisance. however, through the years, they’ve found it to be a perfect guise.

jungkook finds himself letting out a relieved sigh when they open the back of the vehicle to see their mobile hideout. jimin and taehyung are waiting inside. both of them give him matching sympathetic looks before hoseok and namjoon toss jungkook into the back seat. jimin and taehyung pointedly look away, taehyung going back to forging a signature and jimin pretending to work on a coding assignment for their upcoming mission. hoseok flicks jungkook’s forehead in annoyance.

“ow! what the fuck?” 

“we told you not to pursue those smugglers, jungkook.” hoseok looks down at him with unprecedented anger in his eyes. “and what did you do?”

jungkook sighs in defeat. “i couldn’t just let them go, they stole our monet! do you know how much that’s worth?”

“do you know how much you’re worth?” it’s namjoon this time. and jungkook hates when they tag-team him like this. it’s like coming back to his parents’ house for the holidays; endless nagging and criticism. it’s not often that namjoon and hoseok breathe down his neck, but he supposes it’s different this time. jungkook thinks it’s much like what happened when they first started doing these runs together, their ragtag team of inexperienced conmen all trying get some sort of rush from stealing from the morbidly rich.

he can still taste the air from his first run, the adrenaline pumping through his veins and the glory he felt when they pulled it off. it was the first time he’d ever been injured, but he hardly felt the bullet graze his skin as he handed the klimt off to taehyung to forge. mistakes were made, and namjoon kept a close eye on all of them, but especially jungkook.

he’s the youngest, most unpredictable. his constant need to put himself in jeopardy for the sake of the rest of the team was careless and backfired on missions that could have completely blown the foundations of their plans apart. he was a liability. but jungkook swears he’s changed. he’s turned his liabilities into assets, and they’ve had it good, so far. minimal injuries, near perfect success rates.

except namjoon and hoseok are suddenly needling their way into his life and they’re kind of his bosses, so. they really own his ass.

 “i know what i’m worth.” he rolls his eyes. “listen, i’m not a kid anymore. you can’t monitor every single detail of my life, that’s not what this team is about.”

namjoon looks down, his eyebrows furrowing. he lets out a long sigh. “three days, jungkook--” his voice cracks, “--we didn’t know where you were for three fucking days, you asshole.”

“anyone ever tell you you’re pretty soft for a criminal, joon?” jungkook jokes, suddenly taking interest in the wounds littered over his body. he strips his clothes off, biting his lip at the sting of air hitting raw flesh.

namjoon scoffs, grabbing his antiseptic and spraying it onto an open wound. jungkook lets out a yelp but namjoon only shakes his head. “we’re family. you’re family to me, to us. you can’t… you can’t just run off like that. we’re a team, you have to trust us.” 

jungkook’s lips fall open. “you think i don’t trust you?” he pauses, before he shakes his head.

“to be fair, you did go behind all of our backs for this solo heist, so yeah. it’s a valid deduction to say that we think you don’t trust us.” it’s jimin who says this from the other side of the van. he’s leaning on taehyung, not looking up from his laptop as he types away on his keyboard.

“we’ve been a team for years--”

“oh yeah?” hoseok glares at jungkook before stepping into the driver’s seat and starting up the engine. “act like it then. how about next time you plan on being kidnapped you give us a bit of a heads up, that’d be cool.” 

“hey,” jungkook whines, reaching toward the driver seat to paw at hoseok. okay, so maybe he’s starting to feel a little guilty. it’s hard to be apathetic when hoseok and namjoon look like wounded baby animals. “i made a mistake. i made a mistake the last mission and i was just trying to fix it for all of us.”

“that’s not something you should keep from the rest of us. you shouldn’t have to shoulder the burden when we’re all accountable for what happened.”

jungkook shuts his eyes, letting out a tired sigh. “it was a poor decision, i’m sorry.”

hoseok seems to take the apology, going silent for a few moments. “not only did that decision cost you a concussion and our time, but also those pigs know what you look like now.” or not.

“they don’t necessarily know he did anything wrong though.” jimin makes a noise of disagreement. “plus, jungkook looks pretty fucked up right now. change his hair color and slap a bit of makeup on him for a few months and he’ll be unrecognizable. he’s got an okay face, maybe he could pretend to be an idol. like hide him in plain sight, those officers will never remember it was him.”

taehyung nods his head. “sounds like a solid plan. or hey--a better idea: we can all do a run in drag. i feel like that would really boost team morale.” 

“hell no. you’re just using that as an excuse to try and get jimin into those spandex shorts you always talk about.”

a dopey smile breaks across taehyung’s face as he looks at his other half. “yeah, it’s true.” 

jimin smiles, not-so-subtly running his hand over taehyung’s thigh as he leans in. “all you have to do is ask, you know?”

taehyung’s voice dips low as he looks up at jimin through his lashes. “where’s the fun in that though?”

jungkook gags, pulling namjoon closer. “just kill me. i know you have cyanide in your med kit, please. i don’t want to live if those two are what i have to deal with every day.”

namjoon swats jungkook’s hand away, finishing up bandaging one of the gashes on his side. “one: stop moving, you’re going to exacerbate your injuries. two--” he turns to taehyung, “--don’t ever let your voice get to that octave, it’s nasty. please keep it in your pants. three: jimin, i’m going to set those spandex shorts on fire if taehyung brings them up one more goddamn time.”

jimin’s jaw drops. “why am i being punished for tae’s weakness? i need those shorts for my volleyball sessions!”

hoseok brakes hard, the van coming to a stop. he turns to all of them. “we all know adult volleyball practice is code for you and taehyung having public sex at the recreation center. get real.” he turns his eyes back to the road, happy at successfully shutting everyone up.

“wow, where is that trust you were talking about?”

“jimin, there’s a zipper on the back of those shorts.” 

jimin’s mouth snaps shut.

...

their hideout is in the inner city, nestled between a small donut shop that only a handful of regulars go to (i.e. taehyung, their best customer) and a bookstore run by an old couple.

(“why a flower shop,” namjoon groaned when they’d first moved in, sneezing into the corner of his elbow. “you know i have pollen allergies during the spring, hobi.”) the flower shop they bought was pretty inconspicuous, if you ask jungkook. no one would ever think that the men running it were hiding some of the most valued pieces of art known to the world. jungkook touches the petal of a hibiscus, breathing in the floral aroma drifting through the room as they push their doors open. hoseok parks the van a few blocks down the road in an abandoned parking lot. he always makes sure to cover his tracks to make sure no one is following the van while the rest of the crew takes a different path toward the back entrance of the building.

jungkook paces the facade of their small shop, checking for any breaches in their security before shuffling toward his room. he figures he should decompress a little before hoseok and namjoon come in to question him.

he looks around his room, wondering where the time has gone. he traces his finger over the top of his wooden desk, to see the dust that’s collected on it. the plants he keeps by his lamp are wilting, but the succulents by the windowsill are faring much better. he tidies up the papers strewn across his desk, scanning all the pictures and blueprints he’d collected leading up to their heist. he shuts his eyes and groans. it’s been two weeks since he’s been home, but it feels like a lifetime. he supposes between running a mission and being kidnapped, it kind of has. too much has happened, he thinks, falling onto his hard mattress.

he furrows his brows. oh yeah, he left a painting under his bed. whoops.

he leans over the side of his bed to pull it out, inspecting the painting carefully. to the blind eye, it would be an o’keeffe, but jungkook knows that this was one of taehyung’s practice paintings that jungkook had taken a particular liking to. he runs his hands over it before placing it neatly at the side of his bed. he notes the giant pile of clothes near his closet and glares at it for a moment, wondering what he should do about the smell, when he remembers: rainkissed leaves.

he vividly recalls broad shoulders, pink plush lips, and flawless skin. he thinks about long, slender fingers and form-fitting uniforms and handcuffs and --

“hey, can we talk for a minute?”

jungkook’s head snaps up to meet namjoon’s worried eyes. “yeah, no. yeah. uh. yes, come in.” he shakes out those thoughts and saves them for when namjoon makes his exit. “is it about what happened while i was kidnapped? you going to lecture me about talking about my feelings?”

namjoon hums. “your lack of communication is a problem, but that’s not what i want to address right now.” he pulls jungkook’s wooden chair away from his desk to bring it toward jungkook’s bed. he plops down in it, rather clumsily, before turning to jungkook. “tell me everything you found out about these smugglers. i want names, i want bosses. don’t spare any details.”

and this is why jungkook joined their group. he loves this side of namjoon--the no bullshit, fearless and ambitious leader he practically drools over. he smiles, nodding his head as he tries to conjure up everything he can remember, besides the interrogation. he hesitates when he speaks about it, and namjoon understands. “they didn’t do anything too bad, right?”

jungkook shakes his head. “nah, just left me in a cellar for a while, they were rough when catching me though, i struggled so they had to knock me out. don’t remember much else after.”

namjoon grimaces. “got it. we’ll find them. but for now, i want you to take your time and rest up. no missions for you for a few weeks.”

“weeks?” jungkook squeaks out. “how many weeks are we talking? like...two?” he winces.

“at least six weeks, jungkook.” 

“six. weeks. you want me off of missions for six weeks? joon, c’mon, i’ll go out of my mind. i’m bored as fuck on stakeouts as is. please, let me at least come on reconnaissance missions with hoseok. i can grift, i’ve been practicing my acting in the mirror.”

“you’re not going to grift.”

“please. it’ll be better for me, i can get better at grifting doing a low profile case. plus, hoseok can watch over me and make sure i don’t do anything stupid.”

namjoon considers this for a second. “three weeks rest then you can start grifting with hoseok until you can come back as security and extraction. got it?”

jungkook groans exasperatedly. “fine. i’ll take it.” he knows namjoon won’t budge, not about things regarding safety.

a smile appears on namjoon’s face as he ruffles jungkook’s hair. “get some sleep now, you gotta be tired.”

jungkook chuckles lowly, waiting for namjoon to leave the room before he rushes over to his bright yellow backpack on his desk.

“c’mon, c’mon,” he murmurs as he rummages through it. he finds the box, a hand lotion gift set from one of the regulars at the flower shop. he pops open the box and his eyes practically sparkle. jungkook jumps onto his bed and slips under the covers skillfully.

jungkook uncaps the bottle, taking one giant whiff of the scent as his eyes roll back. thick, thick, lips... he figures he should pick up where he left off.

ii.

grifting isn’t so bad, if you know a lot about your target. which jungkook doesn’t. he’s in the middle of some upper crust party and he’s sticking out like a sore thumb. hoseok was blatantly flirting with their mark just moments ago, but they seem to have lost each other in the sea of overly-dressed people.

his eyes gloss over sparkling dresses, diamond encrusted swiss watches, and more name brand clothes than jungkook has ever seen in one place in his entire life. jungkook coms hoseok over his ear piece, but reaches nothing but the sound of static. it must be something on the other end. his com is broken and he has no way of contacting namjoon, jimin, and taehyung until they figure out how to fix the connection.

he huffs, then looks down at his scuffed up dress shoes and sighs. maybe namjoon was right, he probably wasn’t ready to grift for an actual heist.

he figures if he can’t really be useful to this mission, what the hell? he might as well enjoy it. the entire gala is some grandiose overt expression of the upper class’ wealth. there’s no purpose for this gala, he’s sure, and if there is one it’s probably just a ruse to flaunt people’s wealth.

he looks above him, watching the chandelier high up toward the ceiling dangle with what he guesses must be hundreds of swarovski crystals. the ceilings are painted as if they were in the sistine chapel, the walls decorated heavily with intricate details on a pure white background.

it’s stuffy.

it’s filled with the exact kind of people jungkook works against every day of his life. this gala makes him absolutely sick.

jungkook scoffs, quickly making his way toward the table piled with food. the center of it bears a giant glass display with sample-size prosciutto laying neatly for people to take. a waiter passes by with champagne options, which jungkook readily snatches up. he smirks to himself, didn't even card me. he’s draining his glass of champagne and stuffing his mouth with prosciutto when his heart nearly stops altogether. on the other side of the food table, equally stuffed with prosciutto, is the love of jungkook’s life.

“officer…” he whispers, eyes wide with wonder as the handsome officer (and star of every wet dream and jerk off session he’s had since they met) takes some caviar off the table. then, like clockwork, his brown eyes meet jungkook’s.

jungkook chokes on his food, lurching forward as the officer rushes over to help.

“you okay?” he asks carefully, patting jungkook’s back. “god, please don’t tell me i need to give you the heimlich maneuver, i’m so bad at it i’ll probably end up crushing your ribs instead.” 

jungkook raises his hand, shaking his head. “i’m good, i think. just a little surprised to see you.”

the officer tilts his head. “surprised to...see me?”

jungkook stills. of course he doesn’t remember jungkook, he’d been covered in blood and bruises the last time they met. shit. shit. “uh,” he looks up at the officer, who’s donning a sleek blazer and very, very fitting slacks--he’s not in his uniform, but jungkook still thinks he looks good enough to give up his own left nut for, so he lets it slide. “you’re just. you’re just so beautiful, like. the most beautiful person i’ve ever seen, sorry.” and he’s not lying. not even a little. he rubs the back of his neck bashfully, a pink hue taking over his face as he watches the confusion on the officer’s face dissipate into a pleased smile.

“i get that a lot, don’t worry about it,” the officer waves his hand dismissively. jungkook breathes out, unevenly. “i’m kim seokjin, you are?”

he knows he’s not supposed to give out his real name. he knows. grifters are never supposed to give people their real names, especially when they’re not about to pull off a heist. “jeon jungkook,” he says, like the fucking idiot he is. he can already hear namjoon’s frustrated groan in the back of his mind, but buries it quickly, because he got the name of the hottest man alive, so he figures namjoon can suck it.

seokjin reaches down for jungkook’s hand. “jungkook, what are you doing at the gala today? you’re pretty young, you definitely must be someone’s date, right?”

jungkook’s slight panic eases back into a comfortable zone. this he can deal with. hoseok prepared him for questions like these.

if someone asks where you’re from? louisiana, visiting a cousin who’s a curator at the broad.

if someone asks who you came with? my cousin who is a curator at the broad, i seem to have lost him though, do you mind keeping me company?

why are you here? i’ve been eyeing the renoir for quite some time now and i’d like to add it to my collection.

he’s got this. he already has his answer formulated, his words on the tip of his tongue. but when he looks at seokjin again, who runs his tongue over his bottom lip agonizingly slowly, jungkook’s brain completely fries. he’s blanked out. jungkook feels like he’s at a shoot out with an empty gun--completely vulnerable, unable to move. he flops like a fish out of water. “i’m no one’s date. i came with my cousin...but…” he shrugs. “yeah, i’m not too sure what to do with myself right now.” real smooth.

seokjin nods his head, pressing his lips together. “if you don’t mind, i would really love to hang around with you here. i’m not exactly crazy about these events but my family always forces me to go to them.”

jungkook’s eyes literally turn into stars. of course he’s rich. jungkook nods his head, albeit a bit too enthusiastically, as seokjin takes his hand to lead him to the next corridor over, where the art pieces are being viewed.

they make their way around the gala, avoiding the large crowds by staying close to the art pieces, mostly. they stop in front of a large sculpture; two bronze pillars curved outward, meeting together at the both bottom and top tips.

“what do you think about this one?” seokjin asks, eyeing jungkook curiously.

jungkook stares at it for far too long. he’s not the art expert, that’s more taehyung’s field. ask him whether the painting on the wall behind him is real, and he can tell you the exact medium and date it was painted and can deduce that it’s fake. this? this sculpture in front of him is probably by someone new to the artworld. he squints his eyes, inspecting it. “is...it supposed to be a vagina...?” 

an older couple next to them shoot jungkook a dirty look, scoffing as they walk away from jungkook and seokjin quickly. jungkook sucks in a sharp breath.

“it is! it represents female empowerment, it’s a pretty interesting piece, actually.” seokjin tosses his head back, laughing. “i didn’t think you’d actually get that.”

“if i’m speaking honestly, this sculpture comes off a bit...terf-y?” jungkook turns to look at seokjin, who gives him the gesture to elaborate. “it’s a bit close-minded to make the assumption that all women have vaginas.” 

seokjin raises a brow, his mouth quirking into a smile. “color me impressed, jeon jungkook.” 

someone bumps into jungkook, roughly, nearly making him spill his champagne all over himself. “my mistake, jungkook.”

hoseok’s smile practically oozes cyanide. jungkook feels the hair on the back of his neck stand up when namjoon’s voice pierces through his earpiece, finally. “we leave you alone for ten minutes and you gave him your name? you gave him your real fucking name? a cop? are you out of your fucking mind?

jungkook paints on a wry grin as he ignores namjoon’s shouts. “it was all me, don’t worry.” 

he takes seokjin by the hand and quickly leaves hoseok before he blows both of their covers. seokjin doesn’t seem to mind being whisked away, in fact, he seems rather overjoyed.

“you good? you seemed spooked by that guy.” seokjin places his hand on jungkook’s shoulder. “do you know him? is he bugging you? i’m a cop, if he was being a creep, just let me know.”

jungkook feels his heartbeat pick up as he laughs awkwardly. “no, thank you though. i can handle this.”

seokjin shrugs. “suit yourself, a lot of my past boyfriends felt emasculated when i’d ask them if they needed me to handle something, i guess. but know that it’s okay to know when to ask for help. it’s better to stay safe and let a professional handle things than to let them escalate, you know?”

jungkook thinks he’s sweet, really. but jungkook has also choked multiple men out with his bare thighs and can fire a gun so accurately it would put most hitmen to shame. he thanks seokjin regardless, leaning into the officer. he can play damsel in distress if it means seokjin keeps resting his hand on his hip, no doubt. “it’s not a masculinity thing--well, for me at least. fragile masculinity is a plague among men, i’m well aware.”

seokjin leans in. “then what is it? pride?”

jungkook shakes his head. “nah, i think the officer thing is kinda hot, handcuffs and all.” it wasn’t supposed to come off as sexual. okay, it was.

seokjin looks away from jungkook for a second, letting out a slow breath, his hands running over his face. “you’re too much. i usually save that talk for at least the third date.”

jungkook smirks. “let’s count the food table as our first date, the giant vagina as our second, and let’s say...running away from an awkward situation as our third?”

“very unconventional, yes. but where’s the bed?”

jungkook double takes. “i mean...we could--the bathroom?”

seokjin sputters, “jungkook, i was joking. we met an hour ago, i’m not that easy. i don’t even know what you do for a living.” of course he wasn’t serious, why would he be? “what do you do by the way?”

jungkook bites his lip, his mind going blank.

tell him you’re an art museum technician,” comes jimin’s voice in his ear.

“i’m...an art museum technician. aspiring curator, though.”

“never would have guessed,” seokjin says with surprise. “you look more like a gym fanatic, if anything.” he squeezes jungkook’s biceps playfully, drawing a laugh out of him. “which museum do you work for?”

not the MET, do not tell him the MET --” it’s taehyung this time.

“i work at the MET,” jungkook supplies. he hears the groans of his team members over the com.

you had one fucking job !” taehyung screams into the piece. jungkook flinches. he panicked, what can he say?

seokjin looks interested, apprehension clear in his expression. “the MET’s been having a few security breaches recently, what’s that been like?”

recover quickly. our next hit needs a handprint for the DNA scan, we need someone to disengage the security system, and this cop is our best bet; he’s the lead detective on the case. kim seokjin--lieutenant. get in with him and we could get the security level we need to break in .” jungkook hears the sound of jimin hacking away at his keyboard.

every wire in his brain is short circuiting, telling him to back out of this conversation while he still can. jungkook settles on feigning nonchalance. “it’s been rough, we’ve got a rembrandt in one of our exhibits, so we have to bulk up our security, especially with the holidays coming up.” jungkook rolls his shoulders back, the epitome of indifference.

easy there, make sure you’re expressing emotion. you look too laid back for someone who might have their shit stolen,” hoseok murmurs into his earpiece. 

“i feel like all my hard work in restoring pieces and doing all this research is at risk; i’ve poured everything i have into focusing on these art pieces and some...” he searches for the words, words he himself has been called and tries to hide his laughter. “...some lowlife is trying to take it all away from me. it’s infuriating, seokjin.”

“y’know, i’m not really supposed to be telling anyone this,” seokjin looks around, before he’s stepping closer to jungkook, “but i’m actually working the MET case.”

jungkook’s eyes spark in interest. “reel him in, jungkook. get all the info you can.”

“my partner and i are good at what we do, jungkook. we have a feeling it’s someone...someone who i’ve been trailing after for quite some time now.” 

his curiosity has piqued. “it’s a serial art thief?”

seokjin sighs. “unfortunately, the breaches have followed a few of the same patterns as before. a few malfunctions in security along with a few punctures to the exterior of the museum’s buildings, probably for surveillance. it’s precise--it’s...calculated. this thief is an expert, i’ve read up on a bunch of his cases, but i can feel it. this time i’m going to catch him.”

this guy’s not an idiot. be careful, jungkook,” namjoon speaks up. “he’s hot on our trail, let’s not get too wrapped up in this.” 

“a bit late for that, don’t you think?” jungkook sighs.

“what?”

jungkook coughs. “nothing, just. what makes this time different from the rest? how can i trust you to make sure the painting won’t be stolen like the rest of your cases?” 

seokjin gives jungkook a slow once-over. “i’ve got intel, jeon jungkook.”

“intel?” hoseok asks.

“intel?”

seokjin nods his head, then leans in. “it’s confidential.”

“the smugglers...those fucking--”

jungkook tunes the rest of his team out, then lets out a fake sigh of relief, smiling at seokjin. “glad to know i’m in good hands.”

seokjin hums. “seeing as though you’re working at the MET, i was wondering if maybe you and i could talk more about it? maybe over coffee...or dinner?”

“jungkook. don’t do it. don’t say yes.”

his heart pumps wildly in his chest, his mouth swimming with unspoken words. he doesn’t even hesitate. “i’d love to,” jungkook says instead.

“i’m not even a little surprised.”

they’re all in the common room at their base; namjoon figuring out their next heist in just a few hours, jimin working on some code for the security system, taehyung huffing, frustrated over his painting, and hoseok napping (“don’t criticize the way i get into character, alright?”). their base is just a converted basement linked to their rooms upstairs and the adjacent flower shop. nothing big, they’d hate to draw attention to themselves.

“how’s the cézanne coming along?” jungkook asks taehyung, who’s hunched over his work table, paint brush hovering over the canvas as he stares at his stokes intensely.

“it’s good, actually.” taehyung smiles, “how’s fucking the enemy going?”

“bite me, bitch.”

namjoon watches jungkook step out of the work room, sliding on a pair of shoes.

“you sure you know what you’re doing, jungkook?” namjoon asks for the hundredth time this morning.

”no,” jungkook smirks, “but he’s worth the risk.”

namjoon snorts. “he’s worth risking all of our lives for? what if he finds you out and we can’t bail you out of jail? what then?”

“just trust me, if you had seen his lips… it's like they were made to be wrapped around a cock. almost as juicy as yours, i swear." namjoon looks affronted, unsure whether to be flattered or offended.

hoseok punches jungkook rather hard, a dark look in his eyes. "careful," he says sharply.

jungkook raises a brow. "i told you, i'll take care of seokjin. or were you referring to something else?" jungkook’s eyes flick between hoseok and namjoon.

namjoon, completely unaware, gives jungkook one questioning look while hoseok ducks his head (though it does nothing to hide the blush quickly rising up his face). "just go." hoseok pushes jungkook out the door.

and now it's time to work his magic. he’s been stealing art pieces for years now, he’s pretty confident. jungkook is kind of a jack of all trades in the crew. he can grift, and forge, and plan, and he can even assist with a bit of hacking.

("yeah...jack of all trades." he can hear jimin and taehyung's voices in his head sometimes. "but he's king of none of them, am i right?")

he tries to focus on being the brawns for the most part--extractions, getting the artwork out of the designated area at the exact time. he replaces paintings, knocks people out if he has to, but ultimately, he brings the pieces back with him to the hideout. it's what he's the best at. the rest of his crew begged him to reconsider doing this--it was dangerous, gathering information from a cop, but he couldn’t pass this opportunity up--not something as rare as a rembrandt. he likes seokjin, but he also needs him for their heist.

maybe it’s for the best that this happens , jungkook thinks. he’ll find out i’m a thief eventually. but i can have my fun, just for a little while.

jungkook rounds the corner, catching the bus to the cafe seokjin asked him to meet him at.

maybe he’ll gather information on what seokjin already knows.

maybe today is the day kim seokjin falls madly in love with him.

“you’re stunning.” jungkook admires seokjin as he steps out of his car. he sends jungkook a blinding smile, then notes his choice of clothes. a simple giant white t-shirt tucked into a pair of jeans

“oh, i’m very well aware,” he winks. jungkook nearly throws himself into traffic because nothing could ever compare to that moment alone. “should we go?”

“where exactly are we going, mr. officer?”

seokjin cackles, before his expression turns slightly nervous. “well, it’s not the MET, but i know you enjoy art-gazing so i got us tickets to the museum of modern art. then we can catch a lift to central park? we can picnic, if you want.”

jungkook loves the MOMA; he briefly reminisces on how he replaced one of dali’s paintings with one of taehyung’s forged ones. to this day, people have yet to figure out the persistence of memory is hanging in their living room. “yeah, sounds good, i love the MOMA.”

“perfect!” seokjin claps his hands together.

they step into the MOMA, flooded with people. jungkook’s favorite will always be the ongoing exhibition, 1880’s-1950’s work that have priceless masterpieces. jungkook recalls how taehyung desperately wanted to steal the starry night ; he’s forged it hundreds of times by now, never entirely satisfied with his strokes. jungkook looks at it from afar, a crowd of people surrounding it, as always. if he replaced it with one of taehyung’s copies, no one would be the wiser.

seokjin knocks his elbow playfully into jungkook’s side. “you a fan of van gogh?”

“he’s not my favorite, but i like him.” jungkook stares at the painting, moving closer to it as people filter out the room and into the next. “when i think about him too much, i just get sad; he was never recognized for his work in his lifetime, but now it’s one of the most well-known pieces of art in history. funny how no one really appreciates things until they’re gone. i wonder what he’d say if he saw how famous he’s become.”

“morbid thoughts, jungkook. didn’t he cut his own ear off?”

“common misconception, since he had depression,” jungkook explains. “he got into a fight with paul gauguin, his best friend--who also happened to be a fencer.”

seokjin raises his eyebrows. “no shit.”

“they stopped talking after that day, even though van gogh tried so hard to reach him. the rumors about van gogh cutting his own ear off came from himself, to keep gauguin from getting in trouble with authorities. they made a silent pact; taken to the grave, i guess.”

“damn, i wonder what happened to push gauguin into cutting his best friend’s ear off.”

jungkook thinks quietly, betrayal .

they finish walking through the exhibits, the two of them finally exhausting every event at the museum.

“you hungry yet?” seokjin asks. “we can grab a sub and head over to the park?”

jungkook snickers. “did you bring a basket and a blanket or something?”

seokjin looks away bashfully. “should i have?”

“oh bitch, that’s cute.” jungkook clicks his tongue, pushing down his nerves and taking hold of seokjin’s hand, like he’s wanted to do all day. “what happened to all that confidence, seokjin?”

“what! i’m confident in myself, but i am human-- despite looking like a god-- thank you very much.”

at least he knows.

“yeah, alright.” jungkook snorts instead, disbelief in his voice.

but the two of them come to an abrupt stop. it’s raining when they step out of the museum.

“so much for that picnic,” jungkook mumbles.

seokjin covers his head with his jacket, making room for jungkook next to him. “come in?”

jungkook laughs, “this is some shit out of an anime.”

“not gonna lie, i’m pretty sure i got this idea from one, so. you’re not wrong.”

jungkook wants to scream. seokjin is the perfect human specimen.

he really wonders how long it’ll take him to fuck things up.

but then seokjin is pulling him toward his warmth, their fingers tangling together as they try to hail a cab.

“we can grab lunch and then maybe you can come back to my place?”

jungkook is taken by surprise. “really? on the first date? thought you said you weren’t that easy.”

“technically, since we established that the gala was our first, second, and third date, this is our fourth. i should have already fucked you senseless by that logic.”

jungkook’s lips fall open. “oh, okay...that’s... pretty sound judgement.”

the cabs are all taken, none coming down the busy street. rain pours down on the two of them as they quickly look for shelter. they walk a few blocks, huddled together with the other bustling cityfolk trapped by the rain. their cheeks press against each other as seokjin tries to yelp a place that’s open.

“it’s just a few more blocks, i think,” seokjin reassures him. jungkook nods, his socks soaked from stepping in one too many puddles.

when they arrive at the restaurant, seokjin nearly tears his hair out of his precious head. “it’s closed. okay. uhh, we can still go to…um.” he fumbles with his phone, rain water dripping on his screen. he lets out a frustrated groan. “well, this sucks. i’m sorry, i didn’t think to check the weather report.”

jungkook shrugs his shoulders. “no worries, i know a place that’s always open.” 

seokjin gives jungkook a look, squinting his eyes before jungkook starts walking again, needling his way through the thicket of people seamlessly. seokjin struggles to keep up, but grabs onto jungkook’s hand so as not to lose him. jungkook tosses him a sly grin over his shoulder and tugs seokjin closer and closer.

“two-bit’s retro arcade?” seokjin’s eyes turn to stars as they enter the arcade room, jungkook laughing to himself as seokjin immediately heads over to one of the games. “oh my god they have lord of the rings. i’m never fucking leaving.”

jungkook covers his mouth with his hand, thoroughly endeared. “i’m glad you like it. my friend’s the owner, so we can get free drinks too, if you want.”

seokjin raises a brow. “none for you, you’re not twenty-one just yet.”

jungkook pauses, narrowing his eyes. “how do you know i’m not twenty-one?”

“i’m a cop, i know a lot of things, jungkook. especially when there are things called the internet. maybe you’ve heard of it, i don’t know. keep up.” he winks at jungkook before rushing to the arcade game.


he knows a lot of things, huh? jungkook shakes his head, a light chuckle escaping his lips. sure.

jungkook watches seokjin pressing away at the buttons on the old arcade game, eyes flitting over the screen as flashes of colors appear, monsters decorating his vision as seokjin fights them off with his pixelated character. his grip on the controls are tight enough to break them right off the machine as he moves the avatar for a final kick that sends the monster fading to its death. jungkook’s eyes are locked on seokjin’s concentrated face, the way his lips are parted and his eyebrows are knitted together, the way he lets out a shout in the shape of a curse, the way he bites down on his bottom lip, and how his cheeks flush pink from frustration when he’s getting so, so close--

“jungkook?”

jungkook breaks out of his thoughts. “huh?”

seokjin looks at him, completely amused. “you just going to stand there thinking about me or did you want to have a go on this?”

“YOU LOSE” flashes in big, blocky letters over the screen and jungkook thinks fate is playing one great fucking game with him, because he definitely feels like a loser right about now.

“bet you can’t beat this game. if i couldn’t, there’s no way,” seokjin says confidently.

“and if i win?”

seokjin contemplates this for a moment, humming as he thinks. “if you win, which you won’t, i have to tell you a secret. a big secret; something no one else knows about me.”

jungkook doesn’t even hesitate. “you’re on.”

he takes the challenge in stride. he knows this game like the back of his hand. after all, he was the one who set almost all the records in this place. besides ms. pacman, that shit is all namjoon.

seokjin goads him on as he flawlessly takes down monsters one by one, collecting items needed to continue his quest. he watches in agony as jungkook collects the ring and ultimately finishes the game with a record breaking high score.

seokjin looks on as it prompts jungkook to enter his name, then his eyes widen when he sees the high score list. “they’re all you. these are all you.”

jungkook shrugs his shoulders. “like i said, my friend owns the place. i come here pretty often.”

seokjin pouts, and it’s...genuinely the cutest thing he’s ever seen on the hottest person he’s ever seen, so you can imagine what it does to his chest.

“i bet i could beat your highest score,” seokjin says finally. “double or nothing.”

“what?” jungkook looks taken aback. “so i share two secrets with you instead?”

“one secret and one question you absolutely have to answer.” seokjin raises one finger in front of jungkook’s face as a warning. “and you can’t lie.”

something in his gut tells him to say no; to turn back; to leave, get away from seokjin as fast as possible. something tells him that this is all a mistake. it sounds a lot like his team calling him back home.

jungkook ponders this for another moment, before he nods his head. “fine. double or nothing. shouldn’t be too bad since this game practically slaughtered you.”

seokjin licks his lips, eyes on jungkook before he pushes a coin into the slot of the machine and presses begin.

his fingers fly over the buttons on the game, toying with the joystick expertly; a masterful display of what he could be doing to jungkook’s joystick, but jungkook tries not to think about that right now. not when he realizes how seokjin just played him like a fucking fiddle. him. a conman. jungkook scowls, throwing seokjin a dirty look as his score jumps higher and higher and he destroys the monsters that dance across the arcade game screen. each passing moment feels like an eternity, and all jungkook can do is watch helplessly as seokjin surpasses his highest score just minutes later.

seokjin’s avatar grabs hold of the ring and raises it to the air triumphantly, and the metaphorical confetti rains down from the ceiling, crowning him king as “WINNER” blinks over the screen.

jungkook stands back, shocked and awed. if he weren’t so concerned about how he was duped (by a cop, no less), he would consider running down to a local jewelry store and buying that man a ring because by god he kind of wants to propose right now. “i’m slightly upset, but also kind of turned on.”

“concerning, but understandable.”

jungkook slow claps, shaking his head. “can’t believe i was bested that easily.” if the rest of his team find out, they’ll never let him live it down. but if they find out exactly what jungkook had bet, well.

they would call him a fool.

which he is, of course, but he doesn’t like admitting.

seokjin nods his head toward the bar and jungkook rolls his eyes in response. there’s no way seokjin’s going to let him escape that easily. jungkook quickly conjures up some lies, wondering what exactly seokjin’s going to ask. criminal record? he is a cop. that could be something worth asking. drugs? a possibility, but it’s not like jungkook even dabbles in the hard shit. an edible every now and then is fine, but he can’t say his tolerance is as high as namjoon’s or jimin’s.

they sit at the near empty bar, seokjin drumming his fingers against the counter as he stares idly at the wall of drinks behind it. “there’s something about you, jeon jungkook.”

jungkook rubs his face self consciously. “it’s the nose, isn’t it?”

a flick hits him right on the forehead and he flinches. “your nose is cute how it is, i promise.” seokjin says, a soft smile on his lips and his voice serene in only a way seokjin’s could be. “it’s...more like. i feel like i’m meant to know you. maybe this is an unconventional thing to say on a first date, but what the hell, y’know?”

jungkook feels like he should be more weirded out than he is, but considering the fact that he’d been planning his wedding with seokjin literally half an hour ago, he surprisingly finds himself agreeing. “me too-- i want to get to know you, seokjin. i want this to happen more. a lot, actually.”

“we’ll get to that, but for today we’ll start with you.” seokjin looks at him slyly. “a deal is a deal.”

jungkook groans. “you’re really holding me to that bet?”

seokjin shrugs.

“fine, but you’re buying me a drink.”

“i’m buying you either uh…” seokjin squints his eyes at the menu in front of him, “...hot chocolate or orange juice. take your pick.”

jungkook sends him a deadpan look. seokjin only returns the stare, searching for jungkook’s answer expectantly.

“hot chocolate.” 

“called it.”

they wave the bartender over, jungkook grinning from ear to ear as his old friend sees him.

“jungkook,” yugyeom leans over the counter, sending jungkook a flirtatious smile. “haven’t seen you in a while.” yugyeom eyes seokjin, raising a brow. “who’s this?”

“his hot date, obviously,” seokjin shoots back easily. there’s a fire in his eyes, jungkook can feel it.

“alright, alright, i get it.” yugyeom backs away. “what’ll it be?”

“one hot chocolate and one gin and tonic on the rocks, please.”

yugyeom stage whispers to jungkook, “a real charmer you got there.”

jungkook pushes yugyeom away with the roll of his eyes, turning back to seokjin. “what’s up with that look?”

“you used to date him,” seokjin states simply.

jungkook smirks, propping his elbow up on the countertop. “and if i did, lieutenant? what then?” a slip up. he doesn’t see the way seokjin’s face twists in confusion right before yugyeom comes up to them with their drinks.

jungkook nearly spits his out. “it’s not hot. and it’s not even chocolate!”

“this is a bar, idiot. why would you think we serve hot chocolate?”

seokjin sips at his drink, his mouth twisted into a wry smile when yugyeom walks away. jungkook looks at him curiously.

“tell me, jungkook.” seokjin pauses, eyeing him carefully. “tell me your secret. the biggest one you have, don’t hold back.”

seokjin is a demon in disguise, and jungkook is willingly playing his game. jungkook cracks his neck, a sigh of relief escaping his lips when he hears the loud popping of his joints, a terrible habit he’s picked up. it’s a luck thing, he’s always done it when he needs to focus, concentrate, win. he may be playing seokjin’s game, but he thinks he may have the best hand.

“well, i don’t really know my parents. my aunt would just tell me that they were gambling addicts. it was kind of difficult growing up and not having parental figures. my aunt would always be working, going out at odd hours of the night, until one day she just. she just didn’t come back,” jungkook starts. “didn’t really--”

“bullshit.” seokjin smiles. and his smile… his smile could kill a man in the best possible way. “i know your parents are investment bankers from seoul. tell me a real secret. it has to be a secret no one knows. no one. not another soul on this planet. try again.” he adds on tactfully, “and if you’re going to lie, at least make it convincing, sweetheart.”

“okay, jesus.” jungkook visibly swallows. he looks around the room one, twice. “take this to your grave, seokjin.”

seokjin’s eyebrows shoot up. he picks up his glass of gin and tonic and clears it with ease. seokjin raises his crooked index finger to his heart and traces a simple symbol over it.

“cross my heart.”

and hope to die.

jungkook looks down at his glass of tepid milk, then back at seokjin. “it started back in high school.” his face burns with shame. “my friend, my oldest friend. he was the first openly gay man i’d ever met. and he liked me--not in the way i liked him, but he cared about me. it was a foreign feeling at the time, but. for years, i was like smitten over him.” he covers his face with his hands. “one time i-” he pauses.

“go on,” seokjin says.

“one time he left the bathroom door open when he was jerking off. i walked into his room to ask him a question and hid on the other side and listened and i...i did it too and i felt so sick. i got off to him jerking off and it felt so good but so, so wrong.”

seokjin hums. “do you still have feelings for him?”

jungkook shakes his head with a scoff. “nah, namjoon. he’s...we’re not like that. he’s liked someone else for quite a while now.”

“and you? do you have feelings for anyone?”

jungkook looks up at seokjin through his lashes, a shy smile blossoming over his lips. “we’ll just have to wait and see, i guess.”

“i can’t believe your deepest, darkest secret was a schoolboy crush,” seokjin groans. “i wasted my chance.”

jungkook chuckles back, “do you really not believe me?”

seokjin pauses. “oh no, i definitely think you’re telling the truth. especially the jerking off part; you look like the type.”

“hey, i resent that.”

they spend what feels like hours sitting at the bar, jungkook teasing seokjin and asking him about his job and the various cases he’s been on with his partner, yoongi. seokjin talks about the serial art thief (jungkook) and how well thought out his plans have been, how seokjin feels like he’s on the verge of finding some breakthrough lead on where to find this mystery swindler. jungkook leans in. “sounds like you kind of have a crush on this guy, should i be jealous?”

seokjin guffaws. “please. i admire his cunning skills, but i’m going to take him down. it’s been one hell of a thrilling chase, that’s for sure.” then he reconsiders, leaning in a little closer. “we might have a bit of hate sex when i finally catch him red handed though.”

jungkook bites his lower lip, rolling his eyes back sarcastically. “sounds hot.”

over seokjin’s shoulder, jungkook sees the skies clearing up, the rain simmering down to a light drizzle.

“wanna head out?” seokjin asks. “rain’s clearing up. maybe now is our best bet to get out of here in case it picks up again.”

jungkook agrees, the two of them standing up. “so is this goodbye for now?”

seokjin shrugs. “we could go over to yours? it’s close, right?”

jungkook makes a face. “let’s go to your place instead, mine’s a bit far from here.”

the lie slips off his tongue easily, and seokjin buys it. there’s no way seokjin could ever step into his apartment, not with a room filled with stolen paintings right under his nose.

they catch a cab, both of them recoiling at the repulsive smell, tattered leather seats and broken rearview mirrors. the two of them sit close to each other, their thighs touching the whole ride back.

they pay the cabbie quickly, then rush out of the cab, shutting the door behind them.

it’s nerve wracking, stepping into seokjin’s spacious apartment. it’s an apartment for someone well off. someone who’s got his life in order. it’s not that jungkook isn’t well off, it’s just that he’s never had the luxury of spending any of the money he’s made. at least not yet. he has a plan, someday he’ll buy an island off the coast of monaco. he wonders if seokjin would be willing to come with him.

hm.

jungkook inspects the finer details of seokjin’s apartment; his medal of valor, showcased right by his television set in the center of the living room. it’s pretty neat, all things considered. his couch is comfortable and plush, and his body practically sinks into it. he watches seokjin walk over to the kitchen, pouring two glasses of water before making his way back to the living room.

“you cook?” jungkook asks, suddenly feeling more hungry than he was before.

seokjin smiles. “yeah. what do you want for dinner?”

“well, what can you make?”

“i have mastered the art of unseasoned chicken, overcooked pasta, and scrambled eggs. take your pick.”

jungkook snorts. “i’ll pass. can we order doordash or something? i might starve.”

they agree to sift through their food options together before deciding on fried chicken. (“from where?” jungkook asks and seokjin answers just as easily. “doesn’t matter, all fried chicken is good fried chicken.”)

while they wait for the chicken, seokjin turns on his tv, the screen already popping up what jungkook had been waiting for this whole date. “are you really challenging me to mariokart right now?”

seokjin eyes him. “well, i did crush you at lord of the rings so. yes, i am. nothing turns me on more than winning.”

“god, you’re so hot it’s insufferable,” jungkook hisses. “i’m in, toss me a controller.”

seokjin throws it from his spot near the television then jumps onto the sofa, his knees knocking against jungkook's as he presses the start button. they criticize each other's choices of characters ("really? i would have never figured you'd go for wario," jungkook goads, laughing as seokjin customizes his cart. "you look like toad, you little shit.")

they race, the two of them going neck and neck on rainbow road. jungkook tries not to let the colors of the game distract him, or seokjin for that matter. he needs a win, he needs to redeem himself for that embarrassing loss back at the arcade. he focuses his concentration on winning; on beating seokjin; on proving his worth.

he takes the lead against seokjin, watching as seokjin falters just a bit when he realizes jungkook actually has a chance. his laid-back demeanor shifts and his voice raises as he shouts out a string of curses that sound a lot like jungkook's name. jungkook manages to get a huge lead on him, scoring a hit on seokjin with a blue shell, sending seokjin veering off the road and into the dark abyss.

seokjin screams all while jungkook laughs, overlapping seokjin entirely before seokjin succumbs to his inevitable defeat. the screen flashes and toad stands on his pedestal of victory, seokjin a sour second place with wario. jungkook turns to seokjin, sated. "god, that was sexy. wanna go again? i don't mind doing charity work, y'know?"

seokjin tosses his controller to the side, and presses his finger to jungkook's chest, a smile cracking over his face. "you so cheated."

jungkook snorts. "how? you definitely would have blueshelled me given the chance, don't act like you're fucking innocent. i saw you leaving that banana peel."

"yeah, but i wouldn't have if you hadn't inked me."

jungkook rolls his eyes. "just admit that you lost because i'm literally just a better player than you. i beat you at your own game."

"well, i think you're just upset because i beat you at yours."

jungkook whips his head away, sneering, "lord of the rings was dead to me the second you touched the start button on that game. i no longer claim it."

"rematch. i can't let you win like this. not like this."

"nope, i'm retiring with my winnings. you can't fool me again, demon," jungkook says, eyes on seokjin as he deflates.

"ugh, fine," seokjin groans. "tell me about some boring art stuff then."

"boring? you think art is boring?" jungkook clicks his tongue. in all honesty, jungkook does find a lot of artwork boring; drab. but he doesn't voice that aloud, he'd blow his cover entirely. he knows enough about art from the many art history classes he was forced to take with taehyung and hoseok. he and hoseok took it to gain more background knowledge on what they were dealing with, and of course taehyung tagged along for fun.

seokjin makes a noncommittal noise. "yeah? i mean. it's a bunch of dead people's work. i guess, i don't know maybe i just need to find something interesting out. like that van gogh story you told me. that was really, really cool."

"oh," jungkook lets out. "uh, yeah, that was pretty wild, actually."

"who's your favorite?" seokjin wonders.

"francisco goya, a master painter," jungkook barely hesitates, "he made that one piece, saturn devouring his son, you may have heard of it."

seokjin stares at him. "are you, like, into vore by any chance?"

jungkook pushes him playfully. "shut up, you weirdo."

seokjin shakes his head. “you’re one to talk, seeing as though you’re so clearly into it. that telltale blush is what gave it away. so obvious. not the best actor, are you, jeon jungkook?”

god, the irony of it all makes jungkook want to come clean then and there. and now, there’s a sinking feeling in his gut that jungkook can’t place. he tries to think nothing of it. he shrugs instead, leaning back into the couch, folding one leg over the other while placing his elbow over the armrest.

it’s a power move, he read it in a book namjoon was reading once.

“maybe that’s the point. maybe this horrible act is just a ruse to cover up something even more sinister than you originally thought,” he smirks. “who knows.”

seokjin’s mouth falls open. then, with the roll of his eyes comes, “yeah, likely story.”

seokjin asks jungkook to see more of goya’s work, which jungkook graciously supplies him with.

“i studied this one carefully, it depicts the spanish inquisition and has a lot of historical background. i really like it, hopefully i can see it up close one day.” (he wants to steal it. he wants to steal it so bad, it’s worth so much fucking money he wouldn’t even know what to do with it.)

“wow, it’s...really powerful.” seokjin nods his head, zooming in on the picture jungkook has procured from google images. “his brush work is incredible too, very unique. i can see why he’s your favorite. makes me feel kind of dumb for picking mine.”

“yours? you mean your favorite artist?”

“yeah, it’s cezanne. i remember my parents taking me to art museums when i was younger. i picked some random painting off of the wall that looked the coolest to me to impress my parents’ friends.” seokjin ducks his head. “i just stuck with him as my favorite as time went by so i don’t feel like an idiot at those art galas.”

“well, i mean he is famous for a reason.” jungkook grins wildly. “his work was stolen a few days ago from the MOMA, so i mean, must be worth something.”

seokjin’s eyebrows draw together. “stolen?”

the knock on the door cuts their conversation short. “must be the chicken,” seokjin smiles, albeit a bit unsurely, before standing up to get to the door.

jungkook pouts, wondering what he said wrong. he fiddles with his fingers while seokjin opens the door.

the voice on the other side of the wall is a deep timbre, one recognizable almost immediately. jungkook whips his head up and sees seokjin digging around his pockets in search of his wallet. namjoon stares daggers at jungkook from his spot outside the door. jungkook wants to shit his pants. he can already hear namjoon chiding him.

you’re on a date with a cop, that’s already pushing it, but you’re in his home.

you’re on a date with a cop, in his home, and you’re unarmed and without any help from your team.

you’re on a date with a cop.

jungkook winces as namjoon’s nostrils flare, disappointment evident in the firm set of his jaw. “ah, i’m so sorry, i misplaced my wallet… probably in my jacket,” seokjin mutters, rushing over to his bedroom.

jungkook shoots up and out of his spot on the couch. “why did you follow me,” he hisses. “you’re going to blow my cover.”

“you’re going to blow your own cover, jungkook. leave before this gets messy,” namjoon grits back. “i get it, you’re all about anarchy and rebellion, but you can’t do this. you can’t...compromise the secrecy of our team.” he leans in closer, jungkook’s eyes widening as namjoon’s voice lowers, “this is a dangerous, dangerous path you’re treading.”

with a huff, jungkook grabs the bag of chicken and pushes namjoon out of the doorway. “i know what i’m doing. just,” he glances towards seokjin’s room, “trust me, alright?”

namjoon hesitates, eyes firm on jungkook before an inevitable sigh escapes. “have it your way then.” namjoon passes him one last look of disapproval before rolling his eyes. “it’s hard to stay mad at you, but be careful. seeing you hurt again is the last thing i want.”

jungkook sputters, “oh my god, you really want to have this sentimental talk now? get out of here i can’t deal with this sappy shit.” he shuts the door, namjoon chuckling behind it before his footsteps fade.

jungkook steps back into the living area, food in hand as seokjin comes sauntering out, his wallet ready as he searches through the extra bills. his eyes meet jungkook's then dart back to the food. he pouts, "i said i'd pay."

grinning, jungkook says, "make it up to me some other way then." the insinuation is there, and he kind of hopes seokjin will take him up on the offer.

"oh," seokjin smiles, slithering over to the couch. "yeah i can definitely do that, but i typically don't make payments that way, just an fyi."

"i'll be your exception then?"

seokjin snatches the food out of his hands, the bag crinkling as he rummages through it.
"we'll see."

jungkook's heart thumps. a dangerous path he's treading, huh? whatever path jungkook needs to travel on to get seokjin's dick in or around his mouth is a dangerous road worth taking. he slides onto the couch, reaching into the bag as seokjin takes his first bite. he moans around a drumstick and jungkook swears this is the first and only time he's popped a semi from watching someone eat. he swears. and no, that time he saw hoseok practically rim a donut does not fucking count, no matter how much shit taehyung and jimin give him for it.

"enjoying the show?" seokjin wipes a bit of oil off his lower lip. it shouldn't be sexy. it's not, it really, really isn't.

jungkook makes a gurgling noise low in his throat. "mmyeah. i love this channel," he says, looking back at the television, now realizing that the screen is black, turned off a bit ago.

seokjin snorts, "god, i swear, if you weren't so cute..." 

jungkook winces. okay, so maybe he deserves that. his nose scrunches up, before he reaches back into the bag to grab another piece of chicken. sweet, fried honey sesame goodness.

seokjin cuts him a break, asking him about his childhood, what his life really was like now that he blew his cover about his parents dying. the thing though, was that jungkook was somewhat telling the truth.

they're pretty much dead to him, calling him once or twice a year, perhaps thinking he's off at some office job after sending him to america to study.

little did they know he staged his graduation pictures; photoshopped his degree, and never once stepped foot on the university campus he told his parents he attended.

the perks of having con-artists for friends. he leaves that part out, however, when he tells seokjin about himself.

they finish their food in comfortable conversation, continuing to speak long after their takeout is gone. they talk more about jungkook's friends, jungkook giving them fake names and altering their stories just a bit. seokjin laughs high and loud, and if jungkook could tattoo any sound onto his body, it would be that. 

but as the night progresses, the more jungkook realizes he really doesn't want to go home. like at all. he looks at the clock and all he hears are namjoon’s words repeating in his head.

"ah, jungkook," seokjin starts teasingly, startling jungkook out of his thoughts, "i...do owe you for the food, right?"

jungkook's skin feels like it's burning. he didn't think seokjin was serious, not even a little. he had his hopes up, he won't lie. his throat bobs as seokjin stands up from his spot on the couch. he walks toward the hallway, only pausing to give jungkook a look of appraisal, before gesturing for jungkook to follow after him.

jungkook takes a minute to gather himself. he takes in this moment, holding it in, the scent of it; fried chicken and honey--the feel of it; oil on his lips and a grease stain on his shirt-- then all at once, he lets everything go in one giant breath.

seokjin is waiting for him by his bedroom, and it's been a minute but he already smells like roses, coming out of his bathroom and letting himself fall to his bed, bouncing up and down a bit as his body hits the mattress. jungkook watches as seokjin bites his bottom lip, white teeth digging into plush, pink lips. "how do you wanna do this?"

"any way. i don't care like. at this point i would literally be up for anything. with you, i mean." jungkook feels himself stumbling over his words, eyes glossing over as seokjin slowly peels off his sweater, the smallest sliver of exposed skin enough to make anyone's mouth water. but jungkook's mouth isn't just watering--no, his tongue is practically hanging out of his mouth, his eyes bulging out of their sockets like a fucking old school cartoon character; this unquenchable thirst for seokjin has him panting like he's just finished running a 5k.

seokjin slips off his shirt, eyeing jungkook, who stands stupidly by the doorway. "you okay there?"

jungkook nods his head fervently, eyes blatantly raking over seokjin's broad torso. "yeah. good, so good. yeah," he bumbles out like a damn idiot.

seokjin pats the spot on the bed next to him. and that sends jungkook's mind into overdrive. he rushes over to him, clumsily falling onto the bed beside seokjin. seokjin leans over, his breath hot against jungkook's skin. "can i suck you off?"

jungkook thinks this is what heaven is like. he doesn't know what he's done to deserve it, but nothing on earth could possibly stop him from enjoying this. he whimpers as seokjin's hand brushes over his growing erection, eyes rolling back as seokjin applies just the right amount of pressure. "god, yes."

seokjin's laugh pierces through the heavy thrumming of blood pumping and not long after, he's pressing sickly sweet kisses to jungkook's neck, sucking lightly on the delicate skin. jungkook presses his thighs together, but they're slowly pushed apart inch by inch by seokjin's hands. "don't get all shy on me, we're just getting started."

jungkook's eyes shut tight, his body suddenly pliant as soon as seokjin works over the button on his jeans. "jesus, your thighs are thick," seokjin's voice dips low, he clicks his tongue. jungkook watches with fascination as seokjin struggles to get his pants off, finally pulling them off completely with a triumphant grin. he makes a whooping sound then chucks the jeans off to the side.

jungkook rolls his hips involuntarily, drawing a gasp from seokjin's lips. his eyes never leave seokjin's lips, shining as he runs his tongue over them then ghosts his fingers over jungkook's navel. jungkook shivers, his muscles tightening when seokjin's fingers hover right over his crotch. his briefs do nothing to cover his obvious erection. "this okay?"

"more than okay, fuck. can you...just touch me already?" he manages to groan out.

seokjin breathes out unevenly. "don't rush perfection. alright? i got to get into the proper dick sucking mindset. it's been a while, i don't want to suck at this." 

"sucking is kind of the point of a blow job, wouldn't you say?" the fact that he still manages to say that snarkily while desperately rutting his hips against seokjin is baffling to them both.

seokjin glares at him. "watch it, or i won't let you come." 

jungkook's eyes widen, practically sparkle, his breath hitches and heat rushes to his face. he can see the synapses connecting, the way seokjin's eyes go from scolding to incredibly intrigued. "oh."

jungkook grabs the nearest pillow and covers his face with it, he hears seokjin's soft coos. "it's okay, that's really cute jungkook. you're really cute."

jungkook launches the pillow directly at seokjin's face. seokjin dodges the pillow, knocking it away, laughter bubbling out before going completely serious. "but we'll save that for another time, yeah?"

jungkook shudders when seokjin finally leans down and breathes hotly over his clothed cock. mouthing over the fabric, he hums, locking eyes with seokjin through his thick lashes. jungkook squirms under him, eyes downcast and filled with nothing but want. seokjin tugs down on the waistband, sliding the briefs off. the cold air hits jungkook's cock, and it springs upward, a bead of precum already at his tip. he covers his face with his hands, only to have them pulled away after a second.

"your face is way too pretty for you to hide." seokjin moves up, grabbing jungkook's wrists lightly and pinning them above his head. "c'mon, wanna see what it looks like when you come. can you do that for me?"

jungkook groans. he wants to make a comment, a snarky comment about being a law abiding citizen, but he's literally breathless. seokjin has done nothing to him yet. he's had nothing more than deft fingers ghost over his skin and seokjin's breath against him, yet he's already feeling wrecked.

seokjin tightens his hold, just a bit. his voice comes out more stern this time as he repeats the question. "can you, jungkook?"

jungkook gulps, "yes, officer."

if any of his friends knew those words came out of his mouth, they would give him shit for the rest of his life.

seokjin smirks, satisfied. he releases his grip on jungkook's wrist then slinks down onto his knees. jungkook moves so his legs hang off of the bed, his thighs shaking as seokjin wraps his hand around his leaking cock. his hold is firm, just the right amount, as he flicks his wrist up just the way jungkook likes it.

he looks down for a second, right when seokjin's lips finally graze over the head of his dick, tongue running alongside a vein before working his way back up to tongue at jungkook's head. he wraps a hand around the base of it, jerking him off slowly. seokjin locks eyes with jungkook, then he takes him deeper in his mouth, bobbing his head excruciatingly slow.   

jungkook tosses his head back, a low moan forcing its way out his mouth. he lets out a curse, then a few more, until seokjin's pace is just too much for him to handle. he whimpers, his fingers tugging at seokjin's hair. "fuck, f-fuck, w--" he sputters, eyes clenching shut as the tight coiling feeling in his gut tightens more and more. "wait, i'm. i'm gonna come, seokjin."

seokjin's lips come off jungkook's dick with a loud pop, but he jerks his hand quickly, and jungkook is so, so wet--the noises alone are enough to drive him mad, but it's not what makes him come. he glances down one last time to stare at seokjin's lips, raw and pink and glistening with his precum and saliva and that. that does it for him. he comes hard with seokjin's name on his lips.

he pants, eyes blown wide. "holy shit."

seokjin laughs, but it sounds much more gravelly, breaking at the end. "i'm gonna go get you a towel, then we can really get started." he winks over his shoulder before stalking off to the bathroom. 

holy shit. holy shit. jungkook doesn't even know his mouth is moving until he registers that he replied to seokjin's comment. 

he waits for a bit, then a bit more. his legs feel like jello, but he's kind of excited to see what seokjin has in store for him. and then seokjin comes out, fully dressed. jungkook looks at him in confusion, then sees the handcuffs in seokjin's right hand. "this...is so kinky."

"is this...alright?" seokjin smiles at him shyly. 

jungkook nods his head. "i told you i think this is hot right? like before? at the gala."

"have you ever roleplayed before?"

jungkook shakes his head. and seokjin makes a hum of appraisal. "well, let this be a learning experience for you. first i'm gonna cuff you to the bed, got it?"

jungkook's breath hitches. "right."

"and then i'm gonna ride you until you cry..." he looks at jungkook through hazy, lust-filled eyes. "got it?"

jungkook makes a low whining noise, "yes."

seokjin cracks a grin. "good." his face is absolutely glowing.

jungkook eagerly makes his way up the bed, pressed against the headrest, and seokjin cuffs one of his wrists to the bedpost, then the other. he feels so, so vulnerable. he kind of loves it.

seokjin crawls up to him, sitting on his lap. jungkook hisses at the friction on his still sensitive dick. he runs a finger over jungkook's jawbone. "let's get started then."

"jeon jungkook," he says once. and then seokjin's face turns dark. he scowls at jungkook, sinisterly, sadistically. "you're under arrest for armed robbery."

... 

jungkook's breath hitches. for a moment, he contemplates whether or not they're still roleplaying, but by the look of scorn seokjin is passing him, he figures it's the latter.

"what?" jungkook tries to laugh it off. wrong move. seokjin narrows his eyes with malice.

"don't play stupid, you knew that i'm a lieutenant." 

jungkook's eyebrows draw together. "what do you mean?" he plays the innocent card, sending seokjin the strongest puppy dog eyes he can muster. "you mentioned it when we met."

"no, i didn't." seokjin shakes his head. "i hadn't been given back my test results from the lieutenant exam when i'd met you. i literally found out that night. try again, sweetheart." 

shit.

"i...swear you've mentioned it before. why would i lie?"

seokjin rolls his eyes. "do you take me for a fucking idiot? my partner told me there was no possible way you could have known about the cezanne; it happened last night, undisclosed to the public.

"jungkook, i know you're not working at the MET. how long were you going to keep lying to me?"

jungkook tugs at his cuffs. there's no way out of this one. god, he really can't go to jail, namjoon will kill him.

"i..."

"save it. you're under arrest." seokjin cuts in, his tone deathly sharp. he recites jungkook his miranda rights before uncuffing him from the bedpost to cuff him again.

"can i at least get dressed?" he huffs, suddenly exhausted

seokjin pretends to consider it as he hums. "no. no the fuck you may not. you're the serial art thief. you brought up art pieces that we hadn't even known had been stolen yet, you snake."

jungkook looks away, burned. "i deserve that."

"were you just using me to get more details on your next robbery? i can't believe i was that dumb." 

"okay, please. i don't need to sleep with someone to get information," he laughs. seokjin fumes, his nostrils practically flaring before jungkook frantically shakes his head. "no! i didn't mean it like that. i swear. i just...wanted to get my point across. i wanted to date you because i like you, and i have ever since you found me in front of those smugglers last month." confusion passes over seokjin's face, then recognition, before hardening once again. "but why the fuck would someone like you go out with someone like me?"

seokjin says nothing for a moment. and then there's a knock at his door. seokjin looks at jungkook suspiciously, who's found interest on the scratch on his bare thigh. seokjin roughly drags him toward his living room, shoving him down onto the couch before peeping through the door. jungkook knows it's yoongi, seokjin called him not too long ago for back up.

or so he thinks. 

the thing about being part of a team is that when plans are well executed, they happen rather instantaneously. in and out; a routine where everything happens quickly.

so when seokjin opens the door only to be knocked flat on his back and jungkook whips his head between his assailants and his handcuffs, he knows he and seokjin are fucked.

he hisses, jumping to his feet only to frantically backpedal as a masked man throws a tear gas grenade onto the floor. jungkook raises his arms to cover his mouth, but it's too late. he hears seokjin struggling against someone, until a gunshot slices through the air, making everything silent. he feels himself screaming out seokjin's name, but he can't be sure as the tear gas fills the room. his breathing grows labored as he desperately squints through hazy vision, and he watches a familiar figure kneel down in front of him before a blunt object renders him unconscious.

 ...

"jungkook!" he doesn't want to open his eyes. his head is throbbing, his body cold as ice, and his wrists sting. "wake up, jeon jungkook. you can't let me do this alone," the voice huffs out, clearly annoyed.

jungkook blinks his eyes open. it's a dark and dingy cellar, but eerily familiar. it takes a moment, and he hacks up a bit of blood before he understands his predicament. he looks up, attempts to break free of his shackles, but ultimately he's tied up. the chains have dug into his raw skin. jungkook curses under his breath. he's still fucking naked, dick out and everything. but at least he knows exactly where he is and he might have made it out alive of this place before, but it won't be as easy this time, that's for sure. 

he turns his head to see seokjin. angry and beautiful, glaring his way. "how was your beauty sleep, princess?" he asks sarcastically. "now that you're awake can you please help me think of a way to get out of this mess?"

jungkook huffs. "give me a second, my head is spinning."

"good. when we get out of this cellar you're going to wish it was just spinning."

jungkook goes silent for a moment. "if we get out of this cellar."

seokjin stills. "what do you mean 'if', jungkook? we're getting out. i'm not dying in this shithole. have you seen my face? it's too beautiful for a pathetic death."

jungkook snorts. "i made it out of here last time by pure luck, who knows what kind of security adjustments they've made."

"that time when yoongi and i were chasing those smugglers--that man i found in the alley... that was you?"

"yeah. i looked pretty fucked up, right? let's try to not let that happen again."

seokjin seems to contemplate something for a moment and then he nods his head, determined. "okay, so how did you break out last time?"

jungkook looks around the room. it's dimly lit, but he still remembers every detail of it, solely because he'd spent 72 whole hours here, unable to sleep and bored out of his fucking mind. "the guards would come by every two hours or so to check on me, unless they heard me screaming, then they waited until i couldn't scream anymore. so i played them. i screamed until my voice was raw. my wrists got fucked up, but i managed to slip out of the cuffs and climbed out through the vent. but they seem to have patched up the vent now," jungkook trails off, looking at the metal board screwed into the wall. “they'll stop by soon enough. maybe we can take out a weak link."

jungkook sighs. "yeah, that'll be easy."

seokjin rolls his eyes. "don't you dare give me attitude right now. you got us into this mess--"

"i got us into this mess? you're the one who handcuffed me, i could have fought our way out of here if you hadn't!"

seokjin sputters, "you're a criminal, i've been chasing you for years! what did you expect? for me to fall in love with you after one date and let you go free?"

kind of yeah.

jungkook looks away. he tugs at his handcuffs again, once, twice. "spit on me."

"you're really choosing now to get kinky?"

"fuck off. i need you to spit on my wrists, i'm gonna try to slip out of these cuffs."

seokjin practically gags. "are you serious?"

"have you ever broken out of this particular cellar in these particular chains? no? fucking spit on me, seokjin."

seokjin barely hesitates, missing completely and hitting jungkook square on his face. jungkook snarls. "what the fuck."

"oops." seokjin shrugs, or at least he tries to. he aims again, and again, straining his neck to turn toward jungkook's body completely until he starts landing his target. saliva drips down jungkook's wrists as he tries to pry his hands out.

"keep going, i think i got it soon."

seokjin rolls his eyes. "it doesn't look like it."

jungkook sighs, pausing to give seokjin the nastiest snarl. "well do you have any other ideas? i'm trying here--"

the door to the cellar swings open. seokjin and jungkook's mouths snap shut, they send each other looks of apprehension before turning to look at their captor.

the man takes steps down into the open space, walking right down in front of them. "jungkook," the gravelly voice comes out, "great to see you again, love what you've done to your pubes. how've you been?"

jungkook's eyes go dark. "hyosang."

seokjin freezes, then leans in toward jungkook as much as he can to stage whisper awkwardly. "did you just say 'hyosang'? the druglord?" seokjin stares up at the ceiling, shaking his head. "we're fucked," he says in defeat.

shut up, jungkook mouths as hyosang steps closer. "this cop the new addition to your little group?"

jungkook's mouth tightens into a thin line as seokjin perks up in intrigue. seokjin doesn't know about the rest of the team. he can't know.

seokjin whispers, "you were never working alone... fuck, i should have known."

hyosang comes closer, tracing his finger over seokjin's cheek. "he's cute, jungkook."

"hey, hey," seokjin growls, turning his face sharply in attempt to escape hyosang's grasp. "don't touch the goods unless you're paying."

hyosang raises a brow. "is that what jungkook did?"

"what the fuck do you want, hyosang?"

"watch your mouth, brat." hyosang turns to jungkook, hand darting out to grip jungkook by the chin roughly. "where is the cezanne?"

"the one you stole from us? hold on, let me just pull it out of my ass," jungkook snorts. "i have no clue. why don't you tell me?"

"don't play coy. i know your game, jeon jungkook. tell me where it is and i might let your boyfriend out of here alive."

"leave him out of this."

seokjin turns toward hyosang. "yeah, leave me out of this. i'm not even sure if i like him, considering he lied to me."

jungkook rolls his eyes. "would you have gone out with me otherwise?"

"no, but that's not the point!"

"so you're saying you wouldn't mind if i shot him right now? in cold blood?"

"whoa, slow down. i mean, i'm still a cop, how bout we leave violence out of this? get something to drink, bond over our hate for him..." seokjin laughs, nervously. his eyes dart back and forth between hyosang and jungkook.

"or, i could end both of our problems right here, lieutenant." he pulls a gun out of his suit jacket. "i don't need jungkook, i'll just find one of his friends. get the painting off of them." hyosang lifts the gun up, aiming directly at jungkook's head.

"hey seokjin." jungkook looks at seokjin one more time. "for what it's worth, i'm glad i met you." hyosang cocks his gun, and jungkook's eyes fall shut. 

"no!" seokjin screams. "d-don't shoot him."

"oh? a shocking turn of events," hyosang lowers his gun. "thought you hated him?"

"hate is a strong word," seokjin sucks in a breath. "he has a really nice dick though. so, i mean there's one redeeming quality."

hyosang blatantly stares at jungkook's dick. he squints. "really? it's not that impressive to me."

"hey!" jungkook squawks in protest.

a barrage of gunshots come sounding from outside the cellar. hyosang looks over his shoulder. "guess your cavalry's arrived, huh? it's too bad they'll be a little late."

and with that, he pulls the trigger.

seokjin shrieks as the bullet pierces through jungkook's shoulder. jungkook lets out an ear-piercing scream.

"holy fuck. holy fuck." seokjin jerks his chains. "jungkook, are you alright?"

"i just got fucking shot, what the hell do you think?" he grits out.

hyosang pulls their attention back to him as he takes aim once more.

and then, as hyosang so wonderfully put it: his cavalry arrives.

the door to the cellar flies open, hoseok being the first one through, his rifle in hand, pointed and aimed directly at hyosang. ("you're working with the guy from the gala, jungkook? are you serious?")

namjoon bursts through the air vents with his arms outstretched, gasping loudly as he coughs up some smoke.

"this building isn't properly ventilated!" he screams out. everyone watches pityingly as namjoon struggles to bust out of the vent, the lower half of his body still stuck inside of it.

"so glad you all could make it." hyosang smirks. "but where are the other two idiots?"

"fucking, probably," namjoon answers honestly. "but who knows with them, they're wildcards."

right on cue, a low rumbling noise is heard in the distance, and then they start to feel it all around them.

the sound alone is deafening. they all hear the loud crash coming from upstairs, hoseok's face turning white as a sheet.

"if those fuckers crashed my van i will personally end their lives," he says under his breath.

namjoon finally manages to pry himself out of the vent, falling face first onto the hard concrete floor. he groans as he lands, hyosang facing him now. "listen, hyosang, we know why you're after us. let's just talk this out--" 

"i told you that you would regret the day you cut me out of your profits, namjoon. now perish." hyosang whips his gun around and takes aim at namjoon, but hoseok is quicker. hoseok shoots, hitting hyosang straight in the chest. hyosang falls to the floor, but they know their fight isn't over. he’s still breathing, but they pay him no mind. he’s not going to be hurting anyone anytime soon.

("who the fuck actually says 'perish'? was this guy for real?" seokjin snorts.)

hoseok and namjoon rush over to jungkook and quickly work at breaking his chains. when jungkook is successfully free of his bonds, he limps over to seokjin, his vision blurry as he bleeds.

hoseok grabs him by the arm. "what are you doing? jungkook, we need to leave him. he's a cop, he'll send us all to jail."

"'m not going without him," he mumbles.

namjoon sighs. "hoseok, take him back to the van. i'll get seokjin."

hoseok groans. "are you kidding?" but namjoon doesn't look like he’ll budge on the subject anytime soon. with the roll of his eyes, he heads upstairs with jungkook leaning heavily on his shoulder.

seokjin barely says a word while namjoon tries to break the chains using a fine tip laser, one that jimin had made 'just for situations like these!'. 

"thank you, for helping me."

"save it," namjoon snaps. "your words mean nothing when i know you're still going to keep looking for us after this."

seokjin pauses as namjoon's hand slips. it cuts through the epidermis of his wrist, but he only winces to conceal the pain. "then why? why are you helping me?"

"because i care about jungkook." namjoon rolls his eyes. "and jungkook would be really upset if something happened to you."

namjoon cuts through the last bit of seokjin's chain. seokjin looks over at namjoon, curious now. "so he really was telling the truth about liking me?" 

"is now really the time to be asking about this?" he asks sarcastically, pointing up to remind them of gunshot sounds from upstairs and wretched screams ripping out of people's mouths. "he hasn't stopped talking about you since you rescued him. it would be kind of sweet, if he didn't talk about your lips in graphic detail." namjoon says with a sigh. 

"he does love my lips..."

namjoon ignores his comment and drags seokjin up the eerily quiet stairs and through the house. the van is gone, but hoseok conveniently left a note on a nondescript gray car. 

hotwired it for you. -hobi

namjoon smiles. seokjin just snorts and rolls his eyes at another reason to charge them all for felony. he steps into the passenger seat and they drive in awkward silence.

seokjin grips onto the door handle as namjoon swerves right and left through the traffic. “holy fucking shit, you’re awful at driving.” seokjin thinks he actually might have fared better being left at hyosang’s. “who the fuck gave you your license?”

“no one,” namjoon replies curtly.

seokjin’s brows draw together. “what do you mean?”

“i don’t have my license.”

“holy shit.”

seokjin attempts to direct him toward the police station but namjoon stops the car. “i will make you walk. don’t test me.”

with a scoff, seokjin guides him a few blocks from his apartment.

namjoon drops him off, driving onto the curb.

“thanks,” seokjin says. but namjoon is already driving away, swiveling around down the empty street.

 ...

 

iii.

they've been out of commission for a while, but it's time to get back to work. honestly, jungkook has been waiting for this. he's been working his shoulder, doing his stretches and remedial therapy to help with his gunshot. he's prepared to come back--full force this time-- to be their team's extractor. they need him to do this. namjoon's not exactly the most nimble, and hoseok is their best grifter. they can't risk putting him on the line for menial grunt work.

they're about to make their hit. hoseok is in place, chatting up the curator, and it's near closing time. namjoon, jungkook and jimin hover around the monitor, watching as the curator powers on the security system--except he doesn't. hoseok's slipped an emulator into their system, one that jimin designed just weeks before.

("it basically tells the security company that the system is up and running, and puts on this facade. but get this--" jimin types in a string of code, disabling the system without triggering the alarm. "--we could walk right in and take it and they would be none the wiser.")

while jimin was disabling alarms, hoseok was venturing in other territories. conveniently, he 'bumped' into the MET's curator at his 'favorite' coffee shop just off of broadway. the curator, gong jichul, was enamored instantly,  and now it's apparent even through the monitor that hoseok has him wrapped around his finger. he's leaning into the curator's space with purpose. jichul isn't even looking at the security cameras anymore, his eyes focused on the way hoseok is running his tongue over his bottom lip.

namjoon tenses up next to jungkook, eyes unable to rip away from hoseok's hand running along jichul's bicep. 

jungkook pats namjoon's shoulder. "you... alright?" 

"yeah, peachy. why? did hoseok say something?"

jungkook arches a brow. "no, i mean...i just know that you and hoseok--"

namjoon makes a low rumbling noise in the back of his throat. he clicks his tongue. "well, it's not like we're together." 

jimin turns the monitor off, swiveling around in his chair. he brings his hands up to his mouth before he whispers gleefully, "oh bitch...it sounds like someone's jealous."

"cut down on the drama please. i'm trying to concentrate, but it's hard to when all i wanna do is slurp up some of this tea!" taehyung has his tongue poking out as he swipes his brush over the canvas. he’s got specks of paint on his chin that no one has bothered to tell him about. 

"don't worry, i'll fill you in, tae." jimin winks at his boyfriend, who smirks in response.

"fuck yeah, you'll fill me--"

"enough. hoseok and i are fine, let's just focus on the mission right now. jungkook, you're in as soon as taehyung puts the finishing touches on the painting. you remember the plan, right?"

jungkook nods his head curtly.

namjoon gives him a stern look. "let's keep our mistakes to a minimal. your lieutenant is hot on our trail, so we only have one shot. let's make it count."

"got the painting ready, we're good to go."

namjoon gives jungkook the signal, and he quickly takes hold of the painting and sneaks along the perimeter of the building.

"disabling alarm of the southeast entrance now. there are two guards ten paces from the exit. once you're inside, hold position by the gateway."

jungkook enters, closing the door behind him as quietly as possible.

"clear. head down the southeast corridor and head left. the piece is in the room for transfer, in the excavations section."

he stealthily makes his way down the hallway, in the clear. so far the mission seems to be going smoothly. but jungkook knows better than to believe things are that simple. so when hoseok's voice comes in through the coms, he knows he's about to hit a roadblock. 

"watch out. we've got company."

there's a strangled noise coming from namjoon's com, a gasp from jimin and taehyung's simultaneously, and hoseok's is making weird smacking noises.

"you did not have to stick your tongue down his throat," namjoon hisses through his mic.

hoseok snorts. "and risk having seokjin see me? seokjin knows what i look like. there's no chance in hell i'm going to blow our cover."

"seokjin's patrol car pulled up to the other side of the fucking museum!"

"oops."  

"this is a family friendly chat, guys. let's keep the hostility to a minimum," taehyung chimes, probably just trying to get in on the conversation.

jungkook rolls his eyes, turning off his com device. it'll serve more of a distraction if he has to listen to them bicker any longer. 

he makes his way to the transfer room, and pulls out the copy of the key hoseok had printed for him.

he enters it easily, looking around the room for the excavations shelf. jungkook huffs after a few minutes of frustration. it's got to be hidden somewhere else, or under sturdier lock and key. 

he searches the depths of the room for a few minutes, pacing through rows of seemingly endless artifacts. "where is it?" he sighs exasperatedly.

"you mean this?"

jungkook whips around to see seokjin, sitting casually in a 15th century solid gold throne. the painting rests in his lap, his fingers tracing over its frame lightly. jungkook visibly gulps. "seokjin."

"you're not leaving here with this pollock. there's no way i could let you."

jungkook rolls his shoulders back. "i don't want to fight you, seokjin. can we talk? things ended really bad between us."

seokjin's eyes practically bug out. "you--" he stifles a laugh. "you want to talk? okay, let's talk." he stands up, putting the painting down. his first mistake.

jungkook makes certain not to look down at the painting, which isn't too difficult with the most beautiful man alive coming toward him.

"you lied to me, jeon jungkook. you neglected to tell me, a cop, that you're the criminal i've been searching for for years. did you really just expect me to accept that?"

jungkook's demeanor falters. "well...i'm a pretty optimistic guy?" he offers lamely. then he puts down the faux painting, hoping he passes it off as nonchalant. he chances a glance at the painting when seokjin sniffs, shaking his head. "listen. in an ideal world, i wouldn't have lied to you. and i wouldn't be an art thief, but that's not who i am. and i--" he searches for the words. "--i like who i am, and what i do. in the grand scheme of things, it's not that bad. we steal from the grossly rich. i mean, all of these paintings, all these artifacts, they were all stolen. how do you think they ended up here? people weren't just about to donate priceless pieces to museums."

"that doesn't mean you have to perpetuate crime."

"i know. i know we're on opposite ends of this metaphorical spectrum. but, for what it's worth, we give it back."

well, they give some of the money back. but he keeps that tidbit to himself.

"what do you mean you give it back?"

"to the communities where the art originated from. we make hefty donations to people who actually need them. the forged paintings we make are just as perfect as the originals. no one knows--except for us. and the grotesquely rich fucks who buy the paintings off of us, of course." 

seokjin drops his guard, his shoulders a little less tense as realization settles in.

his com sends a high pitched screech through his ear. he can't help but wince. "---up! set up! jungkook get the fuck out of there he's setting you up!"  

jungkook tries not to let his nerves take over his face, but by the looks of it, he doesn't succeed. "i like you." fuck it.  "i'm sorry it had to be this way."

"i'm sorry too, jungkook."

the two of them make a grab for the pollock, jungkook kicking the fake painting toward the original in attempt to confuse seokjin. for a moment, they squabble, both of them kicking and grabbing at each other in attempt to grab hold of the pollock. then jungkook's arms are restricted by seokjin, his wrists pinned above him as he tries to wrestle jungkook to the ground. when seokjin reaches for his cuffs, jungkook flips him over, pushing him to the side. seokjin hits a shelf hard, shaking artifacts off of it. they both cringe as century old pieces shatter to the ground.

"not my fault!" jungkook yells out hastily as he reaches for the painting. he holds onto it, swooping down and darting out of the room quickly. he almost wants to check and see if seokjin is okay, but the man's tough. he can handle himself. that and he's sure that, if given the opportunity, seokjin would just handcuff him again, and he's not exactly prepared for a repeat of last time (even if he does have his clothes on this time).

"nice! i was scared you guys would start fucking."

"now is so not the time, taehyung," jungkook pants as he struggles to find a way out of this place.

 

"take a right," comes namjoon's collected voice. "go down the northwest exit. we'll pull the car up on the side. min yoongi is stepping out of his car heading toward the south wing. make sure he doesn't see you."

"i'm holding a fucking pollock in my arms, how the fuck will he not see me?"

"you!"

jungkook rolls his eyes. speak of the devil.

min yoongi chases him around the corner, gun out as he aims at jungkook. jungkook raises the pollock in front of him, running toward the designated exit while trying to block himself. he hears yoongi behind him, but his desperate attempt at escape keeps him from turning to look back.

jungkook doesn't hear yoongi behind him as he darts around a corner.

he heads toward the exit, faster, his legs straining as his destination comes into sight.

right as he reaches the doorway, he hears a yell. he chances a glance and sees seokjin, arms outstretched with his gun out. he pulls the trigger, missing jungkook by about a yard. 

and that's when jungkook knows. 

jungkook slows to a stop then looks over his shoulder. his team members are all shouting in his com piece, but he plucks it out of his ear and tosses it to the side. his eyes dart back and forth between seokjin and the bullet hole. his mind is in overdrive, and his heart is thumping so heart he feels it might actually shoot out of his chest and smack seokjin in the face.

kim seokjin isn't going to hurt him.

seokjin cares about him too much.

and jungkook knows it shouldn't be making his heart swell with elation, considering seokjin's shaky hands has a gun pointed directly at him.

the two of them stand there unmoving and unsure, just evaluating each other from their spots. seokjin drops his gun to the side, turning his head away, his face twisted into a grimace. jungkook wants to go to him, but their heads turn when they hear yoongi coming up the corridor. 

"you helped me once before. now go," seokijn says. "before i change my mind."

jungkook hesitates then decides against moving closer to seokjin. instead, he blows seokjin one obnoxious flying kiss. "sorry i couldn't be a law abiding citizen."

and with that, he's gone.

jungkook slips into the van only to be flicked on the forehead by each and every member of his team. he's bombarded with questions about what happened, why he took out his earpiece and what happened those minutes they were disconnected. he only shrugs in response, unable to keep the dopey grin off his face.

...

iv.

seokjin feels like he's being made a fool of. okay, sure, the little notes jungkook has been leaving behind at the scenes are pretty sweet. he leaves them with a pleasant, subtle floral smell and a tiny flower pinned to each letter.

he looks down at the most recent one left in the kinetic arts exhibit, near one of the stolen pieces--seokjin almost missed it, just barely. the blue flower peeks out of the letter.

i don't want to forget.

-jk

seokjin stares at the flower for a minute; it's bright, small and pretty. delicate. he huffs, pulling out his phone before doing a reverse image search.

forget me nots: remembrance during partings; reminders of your favorite memories or time together with another person; growing affection between two people.

seokjin ducks his head, a reluctant smile toying on his lips. he can feel his cheeks heating up, he should definitely go to the bathroom and freshen up before yoongi gets to the museum and notices something. but seokjin would be lying if he said covering his good mood has been easy.

years on the job together have made yoongi and seokjin attuned to the other's feelings; as if they had been molded into one. when yoongi sneezes, seokjin says 'excuse me'--so yeah, they get each other. and he feels bad for lying; he knows yoongi's been more than frustrated with the fact that they haven't caught this art thief that's been plaguing their district for literal years.

it's like seokjin almost wishes jungkook was an asshole.

well, he is, but not the way he thought he'd be. he's sarcastic, but sweet and admirable. he's strong and fiercely loyal. he's adorable. his cheeks are full and his smile-- god, seokjin curses the day he let himself be hypnotized by that smile. he knew he was a goner with one fucking look.

he looks down at the letter before stuffing it in his pocket and placing the flower delicately in the front pocket of his jacket so it won't be crushed in his jeans. he'll take it home and place it in his journal along with the other ones he's drying.

seokjin looks around the room, the crime scene investigators slowly filing in as he crouches down, inspecting the piece that's been replaced. half of him knows that he's being a bad cop, keeping secrets from his partner, but another half of him wants to keep this for himself--keep jungkook to himself.

just a little longer.

seokjin knows that when the time comes, he won't be able to push back jungkook's wrongdoings. he'll have to make his arrest or compromise the safety of his career, something he's worked long grueling hours for in order to make it to his rank. it's been too long, too much is on the line to be fucking up this badly. he can't do that. not for jungkook, not for anyone.

but for now...

he makes sure he's always the first at the scene to pick up anything jungkook may have left behind before anyone else does. the string of theft from museums has increased, but little clues, details that jungkook would leave behind him are somehow nonexistent now--save for the letters--but it's like jungkook and his crew figured out exactly what they were doing wrong. their heists are cleaner, more pristine.

but something about it all is really, really off. seokjin stares at the exhibit, walking around the room. nothing seems out of the ordinary and that's what's wrong about it. unless of course--

yoongi claps a hand down on his shoulder, startling him. "so, that guy still hasn't called you back?" 

seokjin smiles tightly. "nope."

yoongi sends him a soft, sympathetic hum. "it's alright, you're probably too good for him anyway." yoongi walks around seokjin, leaning in to get a better look at the art piece in question.

seokjin rolls his eyes. you have no idea.

he hasn't necessarily told yoongi the entire truth, but to be fair, yoongi would never let him hear the end of it if he found out seokjin had been played like a damn fiddle by his arch nemesis. not to mention the fact that seokjin had been kidnapped, shot at and nearly died.

yeah, he'll keep it to himself.

"that's rough. but hey, don't let that get you down on the job." yoongi scoffs at the look of indignation that crosses over seokjin's face. "we've got a lead."

now this gets his attention. seokjin's brows draw together in muddled confusion. "a lead?"

yongi nods.  he begins walking out of the exhibit, gesturing for seokjin to follow him. they pad through the museum, trailing along until they reach the security room.

the guard lets them in with a curt nod, moving out of their way to step into the small room. it's overcrowded in the room, air tight and humid. seokjin scrunches his nose in disgust at the smell of moldy cheese and sweat. yoongi gags, pushing away the stack of papers in front of the monitor. "apparently the regular museum art handlers both received a call from their curator saying they had yesterday off." 

"gong jichul...he didn't make those calls though, did he?" seokjin assesses, popping up a surveillance footage yoongi's acquired. "so the art handlers were our thieves."

it's insulting, he thinks. he grinds his teeth together, shaking his head. "run the plates and we'll go from there."

"already did-- the plates are a dead end, but you'll want to see this."

he zooms into the footage of the handlers loading and unloading their vehicles. one handler in particular stops for a long time, before turning to look up at the camera. and in the footage the man waves. then he packs up the piece and they drive away.

jeon jungkook.

the two of them stuff the tapes in their evidence bags, thanking the guard as they step out the room. the guard nods his head, happy to be of assistance.

"by the way," the guard smiles, "the flower in your pocket is awfully pretty. i only know one flower shop in the city that sells forget me nots. they're really rare around here, i guess."

seokjin turns and looks at the man curiously before a smile blossoms over his face. "oh, thanks!" he says, turning up his charm. "it was a gift, so i'd love to return the favor. would you mind telling me the name of the shop?"

the guard looks starstruck, nearly stumbling over his words as he tells seokjin the shop name and directions. seokjin thanks the man graciously, pulling yoongi toward the exit.

"what was that about?" yoongi asks. "someone gave you flowers?"

"don't ask," seokjin begins as they step out the doors of the museum, "but i think i know where to find our guy."

seokjin makes his decision now.

he let jungkook go one too many times. this time, he has a plan.

...

"you sure this is the place?" seokjin eyes the shop with scrutiny. it doesn't seem to be off, or particularly sinister in any way.

they’re stopped in front of a flower shop. it's cute, in a weird, hipster-y way; an array of flowers hang off the awning, the windowsills are decorated with potted plants and garden accessories, and the window has a neon pink sign illuminating the dark insides of the store. in bloom, it reads.

he knows he shouldn't be judging it by its facade, but he can't help but feel like it lacks a lot of red flags.

 

"should be. i mean, that's what the guard said." yoongi shrugs, opening the passenger seat door to step out of the car. "the van was spotted a few blocks down too. can't hurt to check it out."

seokjin tries to ease the uncomfortable feeling in his chest with deep breaths before following his partner out.

yoongi passes seokjin a raised brow, pushing open the door as the open sign swings delicately from its spot. a little bell chimes softly and the shop smells fresh and fragrant, floral and wonderful. just like the scent sprayed across the many letters jungkook's left for him. he feels sick.

"hello?" yoongi calls out as they traverse up to the cash register. he manages to snap seokjin out of his thoughts.

"i'll be right there," the worker calls from the back room. the voice is a deep baritone, but pleasant and friendly. seokjin lets out a breath of relief to see the man. he's unfamiliar, not anyone from jungkook's gang that he's seen. 

his nametag reads 'tae :)' with a little poorly drawn heart attached at the end. his apron is a little dirty and he has a few yellow petals scattered over his fluffy hair. he attempts to brush them out quickly, but fails, mostly just brushing more hair into his face. he smiles at them sweetly, approaching them as he carries a pot of hydrangeas up to the cash register.

"i'll be right with you." tae rushes out to the back room after placing the hydrangeas in the front by the register. 

"does he seem suspicious?" yoongi gives seokjin a look. "you're the lead detective. so it's your call what we do next."

licking his lips, seokjin thinks about his situation. it doesn't seem to be an out of the ordinary shop. maybe jungkook just likes coming here. he wants to give this place the benefit of the doubt. 

he doesn't.

"we have a warrant to search the perimeter. you head toward the back exit. i'll check the employee room."

yoongi nods, turning around to scope out the back area.

seokjin steps through the flower shop, searching around and recognizing some of the plants here-- from sweet peas to jasmine to the blue hyacinth running across the walls of the shop-- all of them were flowers jungkook has given to him.

the more he recognizes the more he wants to bury himself, right here in this shop.

right here in this moment.

and when he approaches the back room tae had disappeared to, all he wants to do is turn back. he wants to tell yoongi this lead is a dead end, that there's nothing out of the ordinary here. that it's just a quaint little shop. but when he steps through the employee room in the back, he hears voices arguing. a few, just a few.

"you have to leave, right now, taehyung." 

the sound makes seokjin freeze in his spot.

seokjin knows that voice. he's dreamt about it every night this week.

he doesn't know what's wrong with him or why it's jungkook that's making his heart race this way. he's usually so sure of himself, so confident. he hasn't felt this way since he was a teenager, and he never figured he was one to be love struck. but jungkook makes him stumble over his thoughts, reevaluate things he thought he was so certain of. and it's not fair how he's just come into seokjin's life, turning seokjin into this bumbling fool.

seokjin wants to seethe, he wants to yell and scream at jungkook for making him feel like a damn idiot. and he will. not yet, but soon.

he draws out his gun, sneaking through the hallway toward their base. the voices are louder now that he's closer. he peeks through the door at the end of the hallway and immediately lets out a whimper. tae is holding an original klimt, the exact one that's been stolen. he's pushing it into jungkook's hands. jungkook shakes his head, but tae is rolling his eyes.

"they don't know what i look like, but seokjin knows you. don't you get it? you've been lucky in the past, you can't be caught again."

jungkook groans, "you two are more important than me right now, alright? the team can't survive without you, we're not risking it."

"you don't get to decide what the team needs, jungkook!" it's then that seokjin notices the third person in the room. shorter than the other two, but more muscular. he's wearing an apron that matches tae's, and a ring that matches tae's as well.

jungkook clicks his tongue, frustrated. seokjin figures it's time to make his move. he steps out of his spot. "NYPD, put your hands up where i can see them."

tae looks like a deer caught in headlights, but jungkook just. he stares back, mouth hung open, his eyes practically glittering. "seokjin--" 

"shut up," he snaps. 

jungkook has the nerve to look crushed, his entire body deflating by just hearing seokjin's scalding tone.

"you've made me feel like an idiot, jeon jungkook. did you think it was cute? leaving me all of these clues at the scenes all this time...and you did it on purpose, right?" he snorts, trying to keep the hurt out of his voice. "like i wouldn't have figured it out without your help."

jungkook ducks his head. "that's...that's not what i meant--"

seokjin shakes his head. "you're under arrest."

taehyung shifts in his spot. and then he's moving, pushing the painting into jungkook's hands and yelling, "jungkook, go!"

jungkook takes off, sprinting toward the back exit. seokjin curses, radioing yoongi. he stays on these two, his gun cocked as he corners them. the two of them slowly put their hands over their heads, staring at seokjin sympathetically.

it's tae who opens his mouth first. "honestly, he's a cool guy, once you put aside the fact that he's a wanted criminal."

seokjin's mouth falls open. "you...really want to play wingman right now? while my gun is pointed at your skull?"

tae shrugs. "worth a shot."

"he likes you a lot," the other pipes up, and now seokjin can clearly read his nametag. 'jimin (:' with little hearts dotting the i's. "we can tell you like him back, too. you're all he ever talks about."

seokjin's heart feels like it's soaring. he shakes the thoughts out of his mind. "what do you suppose i do? visit him in jail?"

"well there's a thought! you'll have crazy date stories to tell your kids."

seokjin rolls his eyes. “you know none of you are getting out of this, right?” 

“that’s alright, we’ve planned for this.” taehyung says it smugly. “once jimin and i have our own cell, it’s over for you bitches.”

“whoa. you think you’ll be going to the same prison?” seokjin questions, eyes narrowing. “there’s no chance in hell that would happen. after what you've done, you probably won’t even be sent to one in the same state.”

taehyung’s eyes widen, his face pales. 

and then he faints. jimin lets out a yelp, crouching down to fan him with his hand. 

“oh my god, you sent him into shock! what the fuck is wrong with you?” he screams at seokjin, sending him the most accusatory look he’s ever seen.

“what? i was just being honest!” seokjin sputters, eyes going wide as he racks his brain for what he's done wrong. he rushes over to help jimin fan taehyung, desperately trying to wake the forger up.

yoongi chooses that moment to radio in. “seokjin, bad news. there was no sign of anyone at the back entrance." great. "and worse news, the van is gone.”  

seokjin looks up toward the ceiling, before letting out a pained sigh. he had jungkook right where he wanted him and he knows he could have done it too. it would have been easy arresting him, taking him back to his precinct. he shakes his head, burying the thoughts. but he knows what he's done. he's letting his feelings for jungkook get in the way of his job. 

jimin sees it. taehyung sees it. yoongi will probably see it too once he makes the connection.

seokjin feels everything crumbling around himself, but he's not going to give up. when taehyung's eyes start to blink open, he reads them both their miranda rights before handcuffing them, escorting them to their cop car where yoongi is waiting with a triumphant grin.

they search the small house and acquire a few stolen paintings, which is apparently their saving grace. they’re greeted with praise when they arrive at the station, their superior officers clapping their hands down on their backs, a job well done. but seokjin knows they haven’t even scratched the surface of what the crew has stolen. not by a long shot.

they place jimin in the holding cell and take taehyung to an interrogation room. taehyung practically cries the entire time, begging to be sent to the same prison as jimin. "we had plans, okay!" taehyung's head falls forward as he sobs onto the table.

"plans for what? another heist at the MOMA?" yoongi moves forward, eyes wide and searching.

"the MOMA? what?" taehyung hisses. "jimin and i had plans for when we were in jail! all of our plans revolved around us being in the same cell. we'd start our domination of prison off by selling various versions of top ramen, trading them for--" 

"you're not going to the same prison, taehyung," seokjin groans, reiterating the same fact that he's mentioned to the forger at least five times in the past hour.

taehyung whimpers, turning to seokjin this time, who stares at him uncomfortably. "pull some strings for me, seokjin!" the hair on the back of seokjin's neck rises, because he knows exactly what taehyung might say next. you dated my friend! that has to mean something.

yoongi cuts him off sharply. "if you tell us the names of your other accomplices, we might help meet your demands."

taehyung goes silent for a second, his brows scrunching together. he looks between yoongi and seokjin, before a wicked grin cracks over his face. his crocodile tears gone, replaced with a smug, knowing look. he leans in closer, more amused than anything. 

"oh my. you really don't know, do you?"

"know what?" yoongi asks.

taehyung guffaws, tossing his whole body back in a freakishly chilling howl. "why don't you ask your partner?"

yoongi turns to seokjin with a hard look.

seokjin glares daggers across the table at taehyung. "keep this up and you won't see jimin until you're both bald."

taehyung's eyes bug out as seokjin and yoongi stand to make a beeline for the door. even out of the interrogation room, they can hear his screams.

"what was that about?" yoongi asks when they get back to their desks.

seokjin shrugs. "y'know criminals, they always try and get into your head."

yoongi gives him a skeptical look. "but the way you reacted says otherwise." he scrunches his nose and shakes his head, then lets out a tired sigh as he runs his long fingers through his dark hair. "seokjin, you've been my partner for years. if there's something you're keeping from me, i want to know. and i want to know why." yoongi looks exhausted and seokjin knows he owes him the truth.

but he can't tell him yet. not yet, and most certainly not here.

they send jimin and taehyung to jail, each of them in separate prisons across the state.

seokjin feels bad about it, especially after watching them say goodbye to each other. it’s gross (taehyung makes way too many ass eating references) but he's made it a point not to let himself feel bad for law breakers.

and he especially doesn't feel bad when he finds out just a few days later that taehyung broke out of his prison and was found in jimin's cell not long after.

he decides to pay them a visit.

"so let me get this straight," seokjin starts, frustrated. "you broke out of prison just to go back into... another prison? are you serious?"

taehyung looks at him from the other side of the glass, nodding his head vigorously. he speaks into the phone, his voice way too loud for seokjin’s sleep deprived self. "yeah, jimin has the connections here. he's, like, king of jail or some shit. apparently everyone is scared of him but now i get the ultimate protection rights! and way more arts and crafts time at this prison. please tell me i can stay, i'm a good person, i swear." 

"you have 57 counts of forgery and 104 counts of theft," seokjin deadpans.

"holy shit, it's that low?" taehyung yells. “or have you idiots just not figured out how many paintings i’ve forged?”

seokjin shakes his head, grating his teeth. he immediately starts motioning to the guard to take taehyung back before he loses his shit and breaks through the glass to throttle him. taehyung is ushered out of the room, a shit-eating grin on his face as he waves goodbye to seokjin.

jimin comes out next, his face impassive as seokjin asks him questions. his dark hair is bleached blond, wavy. he looks tougher, more masculine than he did when seokjin literally saw him last week. "you look...different."

jimin stays silent, only opening his mouth to say, "jungkook is going to break us out of here, and word around here is he is mad, seokjin. he's really mad at you."

seokjin double takes. "wait. you've heard from jungkook? how? and why is he mad, he's the criminal." he says it defensively, and by the way jimin’s mouth twitches upward, seokjin figures he isn’t keeping low-profile about his feelings.

jimin throws him an unsympathetic look. he leans in closer to the glass, his voice dropping just a bit lower as he speaks into the phone. "do you think we haven't prepared for this? you can't be that naive--” he chuckles, “--we've done hundreds of runs, kim seokjin. we've pulled heists beyond your wildest dreams. this is child's play, but you've definitely set us back with this little stunt. not only that, but you crushed jungkook's heart."

"so even in prison you can contact him... how--" seokjin hates that he asks. he hates that he desperately wants to know more about jungkook. "how is he?"

jimin hums. "besides the fact that he’s moping over you? don't know. that's all i've heard so far. i would just watch your back if i were you." jimin stands up to take his leave, the guards parting for him instantly, like they're scared to upset him. seokjin doesn't want to know what that's about.

he thinks about what jimin's said for about a week, replaying the thoughts of the past few months over and over again. yoongi's grown distant, he supposes it's his fault. he should tell him, sooner than later. he looks at yoongi over his massive stack of reports, about to open his mouth when he receives a text from an unknown number. 

seokjin looks down at it curiously.

come outside in five minutes. don't bring yoongi. -jk

his blood runs cold. it might be because the air conditioning is on high right above him, but partially because he's nervous to see jungkook after all that's happened. he's mad at seokjin. he's mad at seokjin and seokjin still has a sickeningly huge crush on him. 

he sighs, trying to calm down his racing heart. he needs to be collected when he sees jungkook. he looks up at yoongi, who's preoccupied looking up pictures of kumamon. "i'm gonna head home for today," seokjin says after a few minutes. 

yoongi makes eye contact with him for a second before nodding out his typical parting phrase, 'don't die'.

seokjin salutes him dramatically before walking out the station. he makes it to his car, pulling it open and stepping inside, when there's hands on him pushing him against his car. 

"jungkook?" seokjin asks with his face pressed against cold metal.

"no, it's the hamburglar," the younger replies sarcastically. then after a beat comes the soft, guilty little, "yes, it's jungkook." 

seokjin tries not to smile. jungkook releases him from his grasp and seokjin turns around to look at him. they stand there, staring at each other, a thousand questions in their eyes but none of them coming out just right. seokjin bites his tongue. instead, he crashes his lips against jungkook's. it's a bold move, reckless, actually, but he can't bring himself to care. he can't bring himself to think he's wrong.

jungkook's lips are chapped and cold but the way they move against seokjin's sends hot bursts of want in seokjin's gut. he runs his tongue over seokjin's lower lip, biting down on it playfully. seokjin cups jungkook's face with his hands, parting their lips for a second to press kisses over his face. jungkook's eyes are rimmed red, his nose and cheeks dusted pink.

"you arrested my friends," jungkook croaks out. it's not an accusation, it’s not laced with malice or contempt, but hurt, shock.

"i did, but i should have arrested you instead."

"bet you'd love that." jungkook sniffs, unshed tears welled in his eyes. "you totally missed your opportunity to fuck me while i was cuffed."

seokjin laughs into jungkook's hair, pulling him closer. "what were you going to say to me out here anyway?"

"was going to kidnap you. i made a powerpoint presentation on why arresting my friends was a dick move on your part. was going to force you to watch it for hours."

"a whole presentation?" seokjin giggles. "jungkook. you're a criminal, what did you expect me to do?"

"dunno," he shrugs quietly, falling against seokjin's chest. "didn't think you would actually do it."

they pull away from each other, detaching entirely. "it's my job, jungkook."

"i know that," jungkook raises his voice, much louder than before. then he shakes his head. "i know. and i'm sorry for this."

seokjin looks down at jungkook, his brows drawn together curiously. jungkook shakes his head.

and then he's out cold.

...

when he wakes up it's to the sound of his phone ringing. the contact name flashes over his screen. an enlarged picture of yoongi with that god awful triangle hair he had when he first joined the force appears and it snaps seokjin back into reality.

seokjin looks at his surroundings. he's in the driver seat of his car with ropes tied around his wrists and ankles, he's parked in a forest, badly he might add, and the sun has yet to rise. someone needs to give jungkook a driving lesson, because this is awful. he quickly attempts to pick up his phone, moving his wrists together to press the green button that appears over his screen just to hear yoongi's shrill voice shrieking at him. he immediately regrets it. "the evidence is gone, seokjin."

"what evidence?" seokjin blinks blearily. "what--"

"all the evidence. all the paintings we checked into the station from the loft are gone."  

seokjin's mind goes blank. "what...?"

"that's not all. jimin and taehyung escaped. they're gone. no forced signs of entry. nothing-- they've vanished. this is a fucking mess." he hears yoongi curse under his breath. "just...get down to the station, now."

jeon jungkook.

a thorn in his side.

...

v.

it's been months since jungkook has done anything interesting around here. namjoon and hoseok (those fuckers) have banned him from the outside world, limiting him to trips to the mcdonalds drive thru only with supervision (mostly jimin and taehyung). he's pretty much on probation after the whole seokjin ordeal.

sure, he jeopardized the team, he'll admit that. 

and sure, because of him jimin and taehyung ended up in jail, but they were there for like a week, in his defense. and they enjoyed it! so was it really a bad thing?

he blows his hair out of his face, slipping on one of namjoon's headbands. he feels bad stealing it for a split second, but remembers that he's a fucking thief for a living, so it doesn't really matter all too much. he does a few push-ups to pass time before the rest of the crew comes back from their most recent run. it's the first one they've done in a while, out of state, as to not cause another uproar. not to mention most of the museums have bulked up security. it'll take jimin a few days to crack their systems again.

but this alone time has him thinking a lot. mostly about seokjin, but also about himself. he sighs, staring up at the ceiling and the dark spot on the wall that he's actually not sure is black mold or not. jungkook can't remember the last time he got a decent night's sleep. between moving from place to place and living in hiding, it's taking an obvious toll on him, on the rest of the team as well.

"jungkook!" hoseok calls from the living room. "we brought something back for you!"

jungkook's head snaps up to greet the rest of the crew, who come shuffling into the apartment, looking completely drained. "what is it?" 

taehyung and jimin carry a giant painting, struggling to fit it through the doorway. when they finally manage to snake it in, their eyes shift nervously before ripping off the tarp that covers it. jungkook stares at the masterpiece, in all its glory, his eyes widening as the realization hits him.

he goes up to it, brushes his fingers ever so gently over the painting. "the third of may, 1808...an original goya? why?"

they all look at him guiltily. "you should sit down, we've got something to tell you."

jungkook's breath hitches. "are...you kicking me out?" 

namjoon's jaw drops open. "no, of course not."

jimin says it first. "we don't want to do this anymore, jungkook. after taehyung and i were in jail, i realized how lucky we were. we weren't hurt, but there were so many times where we could have been. it's not worth the risks anymore, and we can retire strong. we have enough saved up to live comfortably, let's take it while we can."

"that's it?" jungkook's voice breaks. "were you all thinking this?" 

his insides feel rotten. jungkook feels like his entire being might burst, break into a million pieces and ooze out onto the floor. his eyes are stinging, but he bites back his tears. 

none of them say anything, but look away guiltily.

"it's time, kook. we've had good runs but--" 

"but what?" he groans. "you all have someone you can be with, but what about me?" he points at taehyung and jimin, then glares at namjoon and hoseok. "you guys are my family, this is all i know. and you finally drop this shit on me now? why didn't you--" he cries. "--why didn't you tell me?" 

"you were going through so much with seokjin. we didn't know when to bring it up," namjoon sighs. "listen, we're not leaving you, okay?"

jungkook doesn't make eye contact. he feels hurt. hurt that he's been kept out of their discussions, but he deserves it. he went against them when they warned him about seokjin, and now he has the nerve to be angry. god, he feels like a kid. he feels like he's being treated like one too. 

"yeah, okay that's fucking rich," he sneers at namjoon. "you're the one who turned me into what i am. you made me a criminal, and now you're just abandoning me like this?" the words come out of his mouth like vomit. he doesn't mean it. he doesn't mean the angry look he's shooting namjoon, not even a little. and namjoon stands stock still, pale as a ghost. 

"oh fuck no. you don't speak to him like that." hoseok steps up in front of namjoon, glaring at jungkook. "that's so unfair. you made your own decisions, jungkook. sorry your little crush on joon led you to this awful life. but none of that is on him. that's all on you. so quit throwing your little bitch tantrum and grow up."

jimin and taehyung's jaws have dropped to the ground. namjoon's hand is on hoseok's arm, his grip vice-like. and hoseok's eyes shine with instant regret, like he's already opening his mouth to let out a swarm of apologies, but it's too late.

jungkook is already storming out of their apartment, ignoring all of their cries for him to come back.

"well," taehyung says after a beat. "that went better than i expected."

hoseok sighs. "not helping right now, man."

"i'm going to go after him," namjoon says after a moment to collect himself. "he's going to do something stupid." he rushes out the door, stumbling down the stairs, almost tripping twice. he scours the streets for jungkook, sighing in relief when he sees the retreating figure just down the block.

he catches up to him quickly, out of breath when he finally reaches him. "jungkook, you know hoseok didn't mean it. please, just come back inside so we can talk about it." namjoon tugs at jungkook's sleeve, but is immediately slapped away.

jungkook's not a loud crier. his sobs are soft, noiseless. more like endless tears and sniffles than heaving. and it breaks namjoon's heart. "i can't believe you knew all this time."

"what?" namjoon asks quietly. his shoulders drop. "about your crush? jungkook...you're not the most subtle person in the world. besides, it was years ago."

"i just feel so stupid." jungkook shrugs. "i feel so untrustworthy, like i'm not even a part of the crew."

"jungkook, that's not true. we all care about you so much, we just want you to be happy. and telling you this...we didn't mention it because we knew this would happen. i'm sorry it happened the way it did, but all good things come to an end. and they come to an end for a reason. you'll be okay. it's not like we're leaving you, we love you."

they sit down on the curb of the dirty urban street. there's a few passing cars, but they pay the two thieves no mind. "i know. it's just...i've never done anything but this. you guys are my world. this was my world. now what?" he cradles his head in his hands, his voice quakes. "i feel like i have nothing."

namjoon sighs, tossing his head back to stare up at where the stars should be. it's hard to reach the stars out here in the city.

"now you do whatever you want. you're a smart, talented guy. can't say that about many other people."

jungkook just cries and namjoon lets him. he pats his back until the sobs are dry and there are no more tears for jungkook to shed. "can you leave me alone? please? i've had enough humiliation for one night."

namjoon nods his head reluctantly. "sure. i'll see you at home?"

jungkook shrugs his shoulders. he thinks it hurts more that namjoon is just so understanding of his feelings and tries not to dwell on it. namjoon figures it's a good enough answer. jungkook listens to the quiet pads of namjoon's footsteps, until he hears nothing at all. he stands up after a while, wandering aimlessly through the city until he reaches a familiar destination.

the warmth of the arcade greets his skin in a chaste kiss. the thick, smoky air curls over his body, enveloping him entirely as he falls into a bar chair. yugyeom's not here tonight, but he comes here regularly enough for the next guy to know his order. he slides him a cold one before jungkook treads toward his favorite machine.

he makes his way through the familiar path, destroying all kinds of monsters that attack him, from the giant spiders to golem, he makes his way through the rounds unflinchingly, not bothering to look at the score. when the winner sign flashes before his eyes and the high-score list comes out all he sees is one name. jin. jin. jin.

jungkook squints his eyes at the screen, and then it dawns on him.

“jungkook.” 

the name on his lips sounds like a prayer. jungkook turns around slowly, but he knows what’s coming. seokjin’s eyes are tired, with dark circles under them. his complexion is bad and his hair is a wreck. it looks like he hasn’t seen a bed in weeks.

“jungkook, i need your help.”

… 

they decide to hold a meeting at a coffee shop. when seokjin came to jungkook asking for help, he figured it was a ploy to send all of them to jail, until he heard seokjin out.

("it's hyosang," seokjin uttered. "he and his gang have gotten out of hand; he's been selling military grade weapons and spreading them all throughout the country." he whipped out his phone to show jungkook grainy pictures of hyosang in seedy parts of the city, with giant suitcases and heavily armed men who barely concealed their weapons. seokjin sighs, "arms dealing was something we never figured he would touch, but it seems we were mistaken. people have been losing their lives in the fight to take his team down, and even more people are losing their lives in the crossfires. he's a murderer and we have to stop him."

"so why do you need me? what can i even do to help you?" jungkook asked, confused and weary of the whole situation.

"there's just too many different branches he's in charge of, not just the drugs or the art smuggling. we want to know why he's doing all of this and how to stop him. you know him, you've been in the art dealing scene. we need you to help us infiltrate his base.")

which is how he ends up in this too-crowded, moderately loud, coffee shop, yoongi bickering with hoseok over which strain of coffee is the best, their faces red with annoyance. jimin and taehyung keep things to themselves, tame, for them at least. taehyung sits in jimin's lap, playing with his hair as seokjin tries to get them to focus on the mission. 

namjoon and hoseok flat out refused to reveal their new headquarters and allow them to set up a meeting there, and the police station was out of the question. yoongi and seokjin compromised, settling for a well-lit coffee shop that was just busy enough that no one would really be paying attention to them. it helps that yoongi and seokjin are in civilian clothes, blends them in better.

after ten minutes of everyone settling in (quiet down the arguments), seokjin coughs loudly, getting everyone's attention. "the plan, guys? the plan? what we're all here for? can i start with it?" 

namjoon leans in, folding his hands together as he sets seokjin with a stern look. "you don't make the rules here, alright? you ask for our help, we make the plans."

yoongi's brows draw together, clearly upset by this change in dynamics. "watch your mouth, brat," yoongi snorts. "you're lucky we're not arresting you on all accounts of grand theft." 

hoseok guffaws sarcastically. "who was it who came to us for help again?" he says sharply, "and what are we getting out of this by helping you? you've done nothing to earn this."

seokjin thinks for a second. "we'll cut down your sentences. instead of five years, you each have to serve one year of jail time."

(jimin leans over to namjoon, eyebrows raised. he stage whispers, "god, they obviously don't know how many van gogh's tae's been keeping..." 

"shut the fuck up," yoongi groans. "you don't have a fucking van gogh, there's no fucking way--" 

"vase with poppies has been unrecovered for years, explain that, bitch.")

"no deal," namjoon concludes. "we want full pardons; records wiped completely clean."

seokjin leans in. "this isn't a bargain--"

"--oh but it is. you see, you need us more than we'll ever need you. you’ve never caught us once in all our years of thievery--you never even came close."

yoongi opens his mouth to protest, but seokjin shuts his eyes. seokjin knows the truth, he pats yoongi's thigh in defeat. yoongi's mouth falls shut. the only reason why they ever saw jungkook and the rest of his crew at the MOMA was because jungkook wanted seokjin to find him.

"you don't get to bargain with us, lieutenant. we make demands and you meet them," namjoon states with a finality in his tone that commands both seokjin and yoongi's attention. like a hunter circling around its prey, he finally pounces, putting them out of their misery. "or we could leave and hyosang can continue his killing spree. will that sit well with your conscience?" he leans back in his chair, the epitome of unbothered. 

checkmate. 

seokjin and yoongi caught themselves in their own little trap.

yoongi grates his teeth, shaking his head. seokjin looks down at the table, biting down on his lip before he reaches his conclusion. "fine. deal, we'll pardon you fully." 

yoongi whips his head to give seokjin an incredulous look. "you're serious?"

"what choice do we have?" seokjin asks. "i'm lead detective, it's my decision to make." seokjin turns to look at the whole crew, but his eye contact is set on jungkook's quiet figure. "you have my word. full pardons for all of you." 

"we get our pardons and we’re doing things our way," hoseok clarifies, sending yoongi a pointed look. 

seokjin nods while yoongi groans next to him. 

jungkook's eyes light up, his mouth falling open as his lips curve into the cutest smile. seokjin pretends like it doesn't affect him. 

(yoongi actually baulks. "oh my god, i get it now. he's the guy you were seeing.")

...

it takes a while for decisions to be made, but once seokjin and yoongi relinquish control to the crew, it’s easy for them to work together. it’s surprising how well they all mesh together. jungkook is glad he finally has assistance in the retrieval operation aspect of the job, but now, things are a bit more heated. 

this tension between all of them has been pushing jungkook over the edge. any time jungkook so much as approaches seokjin, yoongi watches him like a fucking hawk. it's nerve wracking. not to mention, he's never performed a heist with arms-dealers. he warily watches yoongi load his gun, bullet cartridge resting heavily on the table as he inspects his weapon. it gives him a very unsettling feeling in the pit of his gut.

"what's the objective?" namjoon asks. he's doing a hell of a great job acting like this isn't his first rodeo. it is. they've stuck to art pieces, it's what they're good at. this heist, however, seems to be a felon's dream.

drugs and weapons all smuggled in with priceless unrecovered works of art that would have museums worldwide drooling for a chance at them. this is the real deal, it's just a shame they won't be able to keep any of the earnings. 

(or so yoongi and seokjin think, jimin's already ID'd some of the paintings and taehyung's already started forging the tower of the blue horses, but they try to keep it on the down low.

"thought you were giving this life up?" jungkook had asked, amusement in his voice as jimin and taehyung frantically hide their activities from seokjin and yoongi--who have, of course, made themselves comfortable in their new home base. 

"yeah, we are. but this is our last heist ever, let's go out with a bang, yeah?" 

"wait, so, namjoon lifted the 'no banging on missions' rule?")

seokjin motions for jimin to pop up the blueprint of hyosang's hideout. he turns back to the rest of the crew, who watches him carefully zoom in on the master bedroom of the apartment. "the objective is to capture the base. we want a full arrest of all the accomplices to hyosang's mission. apparently, he has an outgoing shipment--our sources have confirmed that it's allegedly filled with twenty million dollars worth of illegal firearms, narcotics, and unrecovered works." 

namjoon nods. "so we stop the shipment. track the cargo and bust hyosang."

"won't be easy," yoongi starts.

"yes it will be," jimin rolls his eyes.

seokjin and yoongi pass each other a glance, then they look at jimin's monitor. the screen shows the interior of hyosang's hideout. they don't know how that's possible, but jimin's done it. "bypassing their firewalls using a modified VPN isn't that difficult, you're all just stupid," jimin mutters. "there are multiple shipments; seven, to be exact."

seokjin's eyes gloss over as jimin begins telling the rest of them about the details, only regaining focus when he sees jungkook slink out of the room.

yoongi heads over to pick up the names of the buyers from jimin and hoseok, who seem to be tracking each of them individually. which seokjin figures is the prime time to sneak away.

he follows the path jungkook took, making his way through the small apartment until he reaches a room-- he has the bright neon light from the flower shop hung up over his bed frame. in bloom. he lays on his bed, arm thrown over his face, the window allowing the brisk autumn wind to blow in.

"can i?" he pauses in the door step when jungkook notices him, sitting up in his bed quickly. he looks like a daydream; his hair tousled, cheeks red and oversized shirt hanging loosely to expose his collar bones. his jeans are tight, solid black and showcase the definition in his thighs. seokjin stands stock still. too much beauty in one picture could disrupt the balance of the universe, he reasons.

jungkook nods his head quickly. "yeah, sure."

"you're shy on me now? thought you would be all over me now that you're not a felon."

jungkook rolls his eyes, a blush rising on his cheeks. "just because my slate is clean doesn't mean i'm suddenly not a criminal, seokjin." 

"your slate isn't clean just yet though."

"oh yeah," jungkook notes. "you did mention you wanted to have hate sex with your arch nemesis. wanna cross that off your bucket list before the title expires, huh?"

seokjin sputters, recalling the night of the gala. he pinches the bridge of his nose in embarrassment. "oh my god. i can't believe i said that to you."

jungkook shrugs, feigning nonchalance. "nothing i've never heard before." 

seokjin snorts. "yeah, alright. i bet your virginal ass was practically trembling when i said it, pretty much gave yourself away right there." 

"i'm not a virgin!" jungkook voice raises defensively high.

seokjin giggles into his palm. "there's no shame. it doesn't matter if you are or not." 

jungkook is silent for a few moments, before seokjin finally settles for sitting on his bed along with him. jungkook's mouth opens, a barely audible gasp falls off his lips when seokjin places his hand on his thigh. he stumbles over his words for a moment before he musters the strength to look at seokjin again.

seokjin is clearly flattered at the effect he has on jungkook, he knows he makes the kid nervous, but this is outright hilarious. "we've only been on one date. and it wasn’t even valid, technically."

"incredibly astute observation there." seokjin smiles. "sorry our interactions have been limited to kidnappings and notes. the price of living in the real world, i guess."

"maybe we can change that though?" jungkook bites down on his lip to keep his grin from showing.

seokjin fucking swoons. jungkook’s bright, hopeful eyes stare at him expectantly, his tongue darting out as his eyes flick to seokjin's lips for a moment too long. seokjin thinks jungkook cannot possibly be real, before he's leaning in, heart beating fast like a lovestruck teenager. 

"how about we change the fact that you two idiots aren't working on our mission?" 

seokjin and jungkook practically jump away from each other, their faces heating up when they whip around to see yoongi leaning against the door frame, looking less than enthused.

jungkook stands up quickly. "uh, yeah. sorry, i'll go talk to namjoon about, um. about. mitochondria," he says in his confusion. jungkook salutes yoongi awkwardly before rushing out of the room, only stopping briefly to look at seokjin one more time before he's gone. 

"wow," yoongi deadpans.

"shut the fuck up, and don't say a word," seokjin hisses, covering his face with his hands. "...how much did you hear?" 

“i’ve been standing here since he brought up hate sex.” yoongi's face cracks, his grin spreading over his features before he's laughing. "i would be mad that you lied to me for literal months, but i kind of understand why you'd wanna keep that from me. you guys are pathetic." 

seokjin lets himself fall back onto jungkook's pillows. he sighs, pulling a pillow over his face to let out a muffled "i know."

yoongi chuckles to himself. "you know what'd help you get your shit together?" 

"what?" comes another muffled response. 

"you could fuck."

seokjin throws the pillow at his partner. "and you were the one on our asses about workplace productivity!" he yells. 

"i meant after the heist, you moron!" yoongi laughs, dodging seokjin's attack with a yelp. "think about it! but don't think too hard because i'm not sure how jungkook would like it if you started things...." he looks at seokjin laying on the bed pointedly, "...without him." 

seokjin tilts his head to the side in question. "what?"

"don't jack off in your boyfriend's bed," yoongi says. then he runs out of the room when seokjin starts launching everything in his general vicinity directly at yoongi's face. 

when seokjin is sure yoongi is gone, he lets himself lay down again. he takes in the area around him-- the billowing curtains, the city air filtering into the room with a touch of floral spray to mask that god awful smell of the dumpster right outside, the laundry basket filled entirely with white shirts and black pants, the small, wooden ikea table pushed up against the wall, only halfway assembled. seokjin smiles. it's a temporary home, but jungkook's managed to leave his soft footprint here. it smells like him too, he thinks as he buries his face in plush pillows. and then he feels it.

he furrows his brows, feeling the hard spot right under jungkook's pillow. seokjin looks around to make sure no one is looking before he lifts the pillow up. seokjin reads over the bath and body works label and smirks. a bottle of lotion...okay jungkook, he chuckles. and it's my favorite scent too? huh.

...

the next few days are a flurry of planning and practicing. they've gone over their parts of the mission for what feels like an eternity, and jungkook is tired. he's exhausted. he's spent more hours working out for this mission than he ever has in his entire existence. which is saying something, because he never misses leg day.

he feels like a noodle as he collapses onto the floor.

"you alright there?" seokjin's voice comes lightly from the doorway. "scratch that, i know you're not. you look fucking atrocious." 

jungkook lets his eyes shut tightly. "gee, thanks. tell me how you really feel."

"i just did."

jungkook sits up and begins stretching out his legs. "i need constructive criticism. please fuck off and keep all other negative comments to yourself."

seokjin goes to jungkook. he's wearing skinny jeans but he still sits down on the yoga mat next to jungkook. their legs are stretched out in front of them, feet touching and jungkook tries not to blush when seokjin grabs hold of his hands, interlacing their fingers. 

"sorry, my hands are clammy," jungkook says, ducking his head.

"they're always clammy." seokjin raises a brow. "i don't mind though." jungkook watches seokjin struggle to stretch in his tight-fitting apparel, smiling when seokjin groans as he helps jungkook do his stretches. jungkook pulls seokjin forward, immediately drawing out a yelp from the older.

"oops, my bad. sorry, i forgot that i have to be delicate with you in your advanced age." 

seokjin glares at him, before grabbing onto him and pushing jungkook's back onto the ground. he lands with a loud thump that has seokjin's eyes widening in concern. but the look of concern is quickly replaced with a look of scorn as jungkook pulls him down along with him. seokjin falls on top of him, their chests pressed together as jungkook panics beneath him.

seokjin stares down at him for a while, unmoving. jungkook's hand shakes as he reaches up to cup seokjin's cheek. "i'm really sweaty right now."

"oh, i'm aware. my entire chest is soaked from just laying here. feels like i jumped into a pool."

jungkook groans. "get off then?"

"you wanna get me off?" seokjin asks instead. jungkook's throat bobs when seokjin finally ducks down to press those pillowy lips against his. god, i missed this, he thinks. a low moan sounds throughout the room as seokjin works his body against jungkook's.

jungkook strains his neck to get a better angle, tilting his head back to let seokjin take control, and god, seokjin's hands are all over him, hot and big and feeling him in all the right places. it should be gross with how sweaty he is, but when seokjin is peppering kisses over his neck, sucking light bruises over him, he feels fucking mindless. 

he's pliant in seokjin's grasp, whimpering softly as seokjin's hand caresses his thigh. one hand is firmly at the back of his head, holding him while he nips lightly at jungkook's collar bone. and fuck, if it isn't the hottest thing ever that anyone could walk in right now and see them--

"oh my fucking god, this is a communal space!" hoseok cries as he walks into the room. "you two are almost as bad as tae and jimin. i swear to god, i live in a house of horny teenagers," he mutters as they scramble off of each other. "anyway, stop dicking around and get to the living room. namjoon's starting the meeting."

they glance at each other once more, but something in seokjin's expression tells jungkook that this isn't over. it sends chills down his spine and heat straight to his cheeks. seokjin helps him off the floor and they walk over to the living room, seokjin's hand on the small of jungkook's back the entire time. 

taehyung and jimin wolf whistle obnoxiously when jungkook and seokjin walk in. namjoon, yoongi and hoseok all look like they would rather be lighting themselves on fire right about now, but it does nothing to keep the grin off of jungkook's face. 

namjoon clears his throat and they finally stop, giggling to themselves. "jimin's intercepted a message from hyosang's team to their buyers. we have a lot less time than we anticipated; hyosang is making his shipments tomorrow night." 

everyone in the room seems to grow more serious, their backs straightening as namjoon pulls up the monitor for them all to see. hyosang's people are all in motion, going room to room with packages and filling giant shipping containers with their goods.’ 

taehyung lets out a gasp as three men haul one giant painting toward a crate. "oh my god," he whimpers. "that's a fucking degas. they have a fucking degas. how did that little bitch hyosang get his fingers on that masterpiece? i've been looking for it for years--"

"taehyung, focus." unsubtly glancing at yoongi and seokjin, namjoon reminds him, "we're not to take any of the art pieces, that was a part of the agreement."

taehyung's expression turns into a childish pout as he tosses his hands in the air.

"fine, whatever."

"we're making our move as soon as sun sets, does everyone know the plan?" he looks directly at jungkook while he speaks.

jungkook looks around the room, before pointing at himself. "me? of course i know the plan." namjoon raises his brows. jungkook furtively glances away as he thinks up some bullshit response. "uhh, just...knock people out and stuff."

"yeah, seokjin's turned his brains to yolk," jimin assesses.

"hey!"

"oh, it was mush before i was in the picture," seokjin snorts. jungkook groans as namjoon begins to reiterate the plan for what seems like the billionth time this week.

they've finally gotten their roles down, all of them filtering out of the living room after namjoon's made his point to get enough rest before making their strike.

seokjin's hand is suddenly on jungkook's wrist as they make their way back to their rooms. "...do you wanna?" seokjin asks lowly, his eyes mischievous as the heat trails back up jungkook's skin. 

jungkook is nodding his head fervently, not even the least bit embarrassed at his eagerness. 

he wants seokjin to make a mess of him. jungkook trembles when seokjin shuts the door behind him, eyeing him curiously as the back of his knees hit the edge of his bed. seokjin barely presses his finger against jungkook's chest and he's falling back onto his mattress. 

he scoots himself higher up on the bed, watching as seokjin lifts his shirt off and shucks off his pants gracelessly, tripping on his pants when his feet don't go through the holes. jungkook grins at the way seokjin awkwardly maneuvers his way through his room, chuckling but feeling hot all the same.

jungkook waits impatiently for him to get all of his clothes off, lube and condom already placed neatly by his side. seokjin looks at him curiously when jungkook pats the spot next to him.

"you look like the snot-nosed teacher's pet that everyone hated in school."

"you into that?" jungkook's eyes darken, his voice dipping a little lower as he waggles his eyebrows.

seokjin bites down on his lip, trying to contain his laughter. "we'll save roleplay for another time." 

"what makes you think there'll be more times? very presumptuous of you, lieutenant." jungkook tosses him a scandalized look that has seokjin giggling. he comes onto the bed, the mattress dipping just a bit under his weight.

"so," seokjin says, "why am i the only one who's naked?" he lays on his side next to jungkook, his elbow propping his head up. the lighting in jungkook's room is awful, but seokjin still manages to look ethereal. jungkook swallows thickly, before his hand pushes seokjin onto his back. he climbs on top of him, straddling his hips. this has seokjin a lot more interested. jungkook can feel his semi against his clothed ass, and he can't help but grind down on seokjin, drawing out a low hiss.

seokjin licks his lips, his eyes going glossy as he forgets what he even asked jungkook. jungkook swears he's going to make seokjin forget his own name. jungkook takes seokjin's hand, lacing their fingers together. he leans down and presses his lips to seokjin’s, deepening the kiss as seokjin's entire body relaxes under him. jungkook smirks into the kiss. he does it quickly, so as not to be noticed, but by the time seokjin's eyes fly open in realization, he's already cuffed, his hands pinned up above him.

"how did you--"

"under my pillows the whole time. how does payback taste?" jungkook laughs, triumphant and cocky as he moves his hips experimentally over seokjin's

seokjin's expression turns confused, his mouth falling open. "what are you going to do now? leave me here?" jungkook can hear the hurt in seokjin's voice that has him recoiling.

jungkook stops completely, his eyebrows furrowing. "no, i'm going to ride your dick," he says, like it's the most obvious thing in the world. "did you really think i'd leave you here when you look this good? unless you don't want to, of course." panic is in jungkook's eyes, the question hanging stagnant in the air before seokjin shakes his head.

"i want that, yeah. sorry, just thought you meant that..."

"that i would do what you did to me the last time we used these cuffs? i'd say i'm not that cruel, but honestly i thought about it. figured it wouldn't bring me nearly as much joy as fucking you right now."

seokjin's body relaxes, his mouth quirking upward as jungkook goes back to peppering kisses over his face. "really can't resist me, huh?" seokjin smirks. "i have that effect on people." 

"god, you're so much more beautiful when you're not talking," jungkook sighs against his skin with a light chuckle. seokjin wants to smack jungkook's ass, and tries to tug out of the cuffs. but he's locked in real good.

he curses under his breath when jungkook snakes his hand down over his erection, fingers barely ghosting over sensitive skin. "what's the matter? not used to being the one cuffed up, officer?" 

"fuck off," seokjin blushes when jungkook wraps his hand around his dick loosely, pumping him in a slow, lazy pace. "m-make it wet," seokjin groans out.

jungkook's dick twitches in his pants. his eyes lighting up in interest. "thought you wanted me to fuck off?" 

seokjin looks like he wants to scream, but he's also trying to get his dick wet here. jungkook does a piss poor job of hiding his mirth. he's clearly amused at seokjin's expense, biting his lips playfully as he finally undoes his belt and tugs his jeans down. he climbs off of seokjin to rid himself of his pants, then turns around to yank his briefs off, his dick springing free. jungkook watches the way seokjin's throat bobs, his eyes glassy as jungkook makes his way back to him wearing just his oversized white t-shirt.

he rips open the condom and slides it over seokjin's cock, then uncaps his bottle of lube, squeezing a generous amount onto the palm of his hand. he reaches over and slicks seokjin up, his wrist flicking as he jerks seokjin's cock. seokjin lets out a loud moan. his hips thrust up in time to match jungkook's pumps, his cheeks burning when jungkook draws a whimper out of him when he digs his nail into the slit.

"i'm gonna ride you now," jungkook says. his voice is thick with want and his own cheeks are flushed. seokjin watches jungkook's pink dick bob, flushed against his own stomach as a bead of pre-cum drips down it. his mouth falls open as jungkook climbs on top of him, his thick, bare thighs flexed right in front of seokjin as he aligns himself with seokjin's cock. it's a sight that he genuinely wants to tattoo to the back of his eyelids.

jungkook bites back a groan when he finally sinks down onto seokjin. his eyes lock with seokjin's as he slowly slides down until his ass presses right against seokjin's pelvic bone. he takes a minute to get adjusted, his brows furrowed together, mouth letting out soft pants, before he lifts himself up, his thighs trembling slightly when he comes back down. "thought you did squats?" seokjin's voice comes out unsteady, his breaths uneven. 

"i do, you moron. you don't get thighs like these from sitting on the couch all day," jungkook hisses. "it's just. you're bigger than what i'm used to." he mumbles out the last part reluctantly and seokjin feels like cupid just struck him with an arrow.

seokjin coos. "how did you know the one way to my heart is complimenting my dick?"

"it's a nice dick, seokjin," he manages to get out as he works up the pace, drawing long moans out from both of them when jungkook finally finds his sweet spot. "it's...a. god. it's a really nice--" he lurches forward. his hands find purchase on seokjin's chest as he rolls his hips, his lips parting in a small 'o' shape as he fucks himself open on seokjin's cock.

their paces are mismatched, but seokjin figured he wouldn't be able to keep up with jungkook the second he started moving. his body moves like a dancer's, precise and fluid and so, so, good. seokjin groans at the way jungkook squeezes around him, his bangs matted against his forehead after a while until his chest is pressed against seokjin's.

jungkook mouths at seokjin's skin, his breath hot as he lifts his head up and pants into seokjin's ear. he wraps his arms lightly around seokjin's neck, pulling them closer so he can bounce properly on his dick. jungkook feels so fucking full, he can feel himself getting closer and closer. he slows down his thrusts and seokjin makes a noise of confusion, low in his throat. jungkook presses a kiss to the side of seokjin's mouth. "wanna last."

seokjin raises a brow. "if you think i'm letting you off the hook after one round, you're  mistaken."

jungkook shakes his head. "my ass is gonna be so sore after this, don't think i can take you again."

a grin stretches over seokjin's lips, he runs his tongue over them once. it's subtle enough that seokjin wouldn't be surprised if jungkook didn't catch it, but by the way jungkook's breath hitches and his eyes widen, he figures he got the point.

jungkook leans in, his palms cupping seokjin's face. "really? you'll--" jungkook whispers softly, "you'll do that?" 

"hell yeah, your ass is fat." seokjin laughs, "make my face your fucking throne."

"ruined it," jungkook deadpans. "you killed it. never speak to me or my son again. i can't believe you have your dick in me right now." 

seokjin giggles into the crook of jungkook's neck. "i'm a catch, jeon jungkook."

jungkook sighs into seokjin's hair, his hips slowly grinding against seokjin's. he hums gingerly. "you are." 

and it's a tender kind of tone. seokjin thinks jungkook's never sounded sweeter. he keeps his face buried in jungkook's neck, moving his hips lazily to meet jungkook's. they spoke about hate sex, the tension was thick just an hour ago. but as always, jungkook never fails to surprise him. the sex is incredibly intimate, jungkook presses wet kisses against him constantly, eyes filled with something akin to love and seokjin doesn't know what to make of that.

"thought this would be hate sex," jungkook groans out.

"i think," seokjin says, his voice catching in his throat, "i like you too much for that."

a beat passes. seokjin thrusts up hard, and it takes so much energy out of him but it's worth it when jungkook's eyes fly open. he lets out a whimper, his head tossing back as he steadies himself on seokjin's knee.

"you don't hate me then?" jungkook asks, his expression wavering.

then seokjin leans forward to press a kiss onto jungkook's chest, his tongue darting out to tease jungkook's nipple. he takes pride in the way jungkook shivers.

"no," seokjin shakes his head, sweat beads drop from his forehead as his hips smack against jungkook's ass. jungkook groans, falling forward once more, pressing soft kisses onto salty skin. "couldn't hate you. not even if i tried, and believe me i have."

jungkook bites down on seokjin's neck. it's light, but hard enough to sting.

"fuck," jungkook cries, his face scrunched up. his thighs shake as he drops up and down over seokjin's cock. "touch me, please. i want your hands on me so fucking bad."

seokjin wants to laugh. he would if he weren't balls deep inside jungkook. "i would, sweetheart, but you fucking handcuffed me." 

jungkook whimpers against seokjin as he quickens his pace. he's so, so, so close, seokjin can tell. it takes everything in jungkook's willpower to stop bouncing on seokjin's dick to grab the key off the nightstand, and it's then seokjin wonders how flexible jungkook really is--but he'll test out his theory another time.

he manages to get the cuffs off, tossing them to the side along with the key. and that's all it takes. seokjin rolls them over, pushing jungkook down against the pillows with a loud flop. jungkook's hair splays across it, haloing his head. and he looks so perfect like this, flushed from his neck up, eyes wide and hopeful and his lips slicked with spit.

seokjin pushes jungkook's thighs against his chest--okay, so pretty flexible-- and fucks into him in earnest. jungkook lets out a string of curses, babbling to himself as seokjin fucks him open. his legs fall apart easily, his dick bouncing between them as seokjin takes him. he reaches up to pull seokjin closer, moaning seokjin's name next to his ear. and that's enough for him.

he reaches his hand between them, rubbing over the tip of jungkook's cock and jerks him off tight and fast. jungkook lets out a cry, his head tossing back against the pillows as hips slap against seokjin's with equal vigor. his body tenses, jerking up a few times until he finally cums all over seokjin's hand. seokjin slows down just a bit, when jungkook mewls quietly.

"sensitive?" seokjin asks, out of breath and hips coming to a halt.

there's sweat dripping down his forehead and he feels disgusting, but his dick is throbbing so hard inside jungkook he might actually die if he doesn't come soon. jungkook nods his head and seokjin pulls out carefully.

he's about to stand up and finish himself off in the bathroom when jungkook moves off the bed, falling onto his knees easily. he waggles his brows at seokjin, who only laughs in response.

seokjin tilts his head back when jungkook works his tongue over the tip of his head. the way he sucks dick is so like him. teasing and playful, but right when seokjin thinks he has jungkook all figured out, jungkook takes him all the way in, up to the hilt. his eyes are watery but he's looking up at seokjin with mischievous eyes and seokjin thinks he's a little bit in love. he lets out a loud moan, his fingers tangling up in jungkook's hair for a moment.

jungkook wraps his hand tightly around seokjin's base, jerking him off while moving his mouth down his shaft. seokjin feels the tight coiling in his gut and jungkook's hot breath over the tip of his dick and it's just so fucking much. he taps jungkook's cheek and jungkook pops off his dick easily. he jerks seokjin off quickly, his tongue toying with seokjin's tip until seokjin is cursing out jungkook's name. he cums right over jungkook's lips and smears it onto jungkook's cheek.

"classy," jungkook snorts.

"watch it or i won't eat your ass."

jungkook's mouth quickly snaps shut. seokjin just smirks cockily, getting up to grab a washcloth from the bathroom. he comes back and wipes the cum off of his hand and off of jungkook's face. the younger stays quiet the whole time, his eyes burning with questions. 

"lay on your stomach for me, yeah?"

jungkook immediately hops onto the bed, his face giddy as he presses his cheek to his pillows. he's sticking out his tongue at seokjin until seokjin brings his hand out to smack jungkook's ass roughly.

seokjin runs his hands over jungkook's body for a bit, teasing him, drawing out low, guttural groans that have seokjin's mind in a lust filled haze. he lays a kiss on jungkook's shoulder before he's moving down the bed. he cups jungkook's ass and laughs to himself. god, he could make all the ass eating jokes in the world now. the look jungkook throws over his shoulder tells him otherwise. 

seokjin opens his mouth to speak but jungkook cuts him off. "i swear to fucking god, don't say a word."

seokjin spreads jungkook's cheeks apart, jungkook's legs spreading apart as seokjin licks a stripe over his hole. jungkook lets out a sharp gasp. he shudders, letting out a subdued moan when seokjin traces his tongue over his rim.

jungkook's moans grow louder and louder with each passing minute. seokjin's jaw is straining, but he continues to thrust his tongue into jungkook, drawing out whimpers until jungkook's thighs are struggling to stay up. seokjin takes pride in the way jungkook's entire body seems to go pliant as he whines into his pillows. "please, seokjin..." he begs over and over. seokjin works faster, harder. his hands come up to touch jungkook's hardening cock.

jungkook cries out when seokjin rubs his thumb over his slit, dick still wet from earlier. seokjin just listens to the sound of jungkook's wanton voice and it drives him up the wall. jungkook pushes back against him unabashedly with each thrust until he's a sobbing, shaking mess. he looks back at seokjin, face completely pink with tear streaks staining his cheeks. seokjin wants to kiss him so badly.

so he does. 

jungkook rolls onto his back and stretches his arms out. seokjin easily falls onto him, with jungkook's legs wrapping around seokjin's waist. seokjin leans in to kiss jungkook, who makes a disgusted face when seokjin pushes his tongue into jungkook's mouth. seokjin almost pulls away until jungkook is opening his mouth, moaning softly against seokjin's lips.

he laughs when they pull apart.

... 

it's the break of dusk, hoseok making sure they have everything they need as each of them filter into their van. the ambulance has been converted to a house cleaning service, taehyung more than happy to do the detailing of the exterior as jimin modified some of their equipment on the inside. namjoon runs over the plan one last time when everyone's finally loaded up into the vehicle. jungkook yawns against seokjin, leaning into him to rest his eyes for a moment.

seokjin tilts his head down and whispers lowly, "shouldn't have kept you up so late last night, huh?"

jungkook bites down on his lower lip and looks up at seokjin through his lashes.

"hey, so like," namjoon stops in the middle of his speech, looking pointedly at the two of them with a death glare. "our lives are actually on the line. you get that right? instead of being so up each other's dickholes, you could focus on our mission, yeah? thanks." 

hoseok gets out of the driver seat and rushes over to namjoon. his hands come up to rest on namjoon's shoulders, which immediately relax. hoseok sits namjoon down next to taehyung, as he looks at seokjin and jungkook. "okay, yes. let's focus on the mission and try not to give namjoon an aneurism in the process." 

"remember your cues, everyone," namjoon says tiredly. hoseok comes up to whisper something in namjoon's ear as the rest of them pretend to focus on their own tasks. namjoon smiles up at hoseok and presses his forehead to hoseok's chest for a brief second before hoseok walks back to the driver's seat with the most obvious blush ever seen by human eyes. 

he nearly hisses at jimin when he passes him a shit-eating grin.

"i fucking hate upper-east side, it's filled with such snobs," hoseok grumbles when they finally encroach on the destination. "they’re all the most pompous motherfuckers i have ever met."

seokjin wrinkles his nose. "i live here."

"that's his point, dumbass," yoongi rolls his eyes.

"we're almost there," jimin reminds them. "taehyung, seokjin. get in your disguises."

taehyung slips on an oversized hawaiian shirt, slaps on a straw hat and dark sunglasses. then he hands over the same pile to seokjin with a smile.

seokjin stares down at his disguise with raised eyebrows. "are you for real?"

"it's all i had!" taehyung rolls his eyes.

"and it's wonderful, babe," jimin adds, tossing seokjin a stern look that has seokjin automatically agreeing.

("why am i in a disguise again? i mean i get it. my looks can be distracting--" everyone in the van groans, "--but wouldn't i be more useful at jungkook's side?"

"thought about that, but jungkook needs someone as back up, just in case," namjoon explains.

"also, we didn't want you guys sneaking off to fuck.")

yoongi has his rifle loaded. hoseok gives him his signal and namjoon opens the back door for yoongi. 

"don't die." yoongi nods to all of them, before hopping out of the moving van. 

"what a touching send off," jungkook remarks, watching yoongi's figure retreat to the shadows.

"jungkook, go," namjoon commands. jungkook looks at seokjin once and presses his lips to his cheek. he waves at everyone before throwing the back door open. hoseok doesn't slow down to stop, but jungkook hops off a few blocks away from hyosang's complex. just enough to not be suspicious.

the air is dry, but the wind is relentless. jungkook paces himself, sticking close to the dark areas. he decides to comm yoongi. "winds are strong, so take that into account when you're making your shot."

he can almost hear yoongi roll his eyes when he comms back. "winds are strong, so take that into account when the bullet goes through that thick skull of yours instead of hyosang's."

jungkook deserves that one, probably.

he’s made it to the destination, it’s going to be a high climb, but jungkook’s climbed higher before. he scales the building, careful to repress his grunts as he works his way up the side. jungkook discreetly comms jimin as a passerby looks his way. jimin gives him the go to sneak into the building. “are you at the top floor?” jimin asks him.

jungkook rolls his eyes as he grunts back his response. “why would i be comming you if i wasn’t?” 

“i don’t know, jungkook! maybe you just wanted to ask me about my day? everyone asks what i’m doing but no one ever asks how i’m doing--”

“just get me inside this fucking building!”

jimin makes a noise of disapproval before he says, “it’s unlocked, but i won’t forget this.”

jungkook ignores him and pushes himself inside the apartment.

“jungkook,” it’s namjoon’s voice this time. one thing jungkook knows about his boss is the calmer he sounds, the more nervous he is on the inside. right about now he sounds like a lazy river in the middle of summer. jungkook pales. “there’s a few guards coming down the corridor and they’re armed. you have fifteen seconds to find a place to hide.”

thanks for the heads up, he thinks to himself before he quickly enters the nearest room.

it’s mostly empty, save for a few crates. he peeks around, waiting for the men to walk past the room. only they don’t.

“you gotta get out of there,” namjoon says. “i think they’re coming into your room.”

jungkook’s eyes widen as the door handle begins to turn. he grabs the lid of the crate and hops into it, covering the top with the lid just as the men clamber in.

“please tell me you didn’t just jump into a shipping crate.”

jungkook’s mouth is sealed. it wasn’t his brightest idea, but it’ll suffice. the men are speaking lowly to each other, but he can only hear namjoon and jimin yelling at him through his ear piece. he takes it out for a second and presses his ear to the side of the crate.

it’s a bit difficult, but he catches a few words here and there through the crate. he starts to tune out when they start comparing dick sizes. jungkook waits patiently until one of them approaches his crate. “hey, which one of you idiots forgot to take this one down to hyosang’s room?” 

there’s a few words of confusion before jungkook feels the crate lifted up. he scrambles for his earpiece only to have it fall through one of the cracks of the wood. jungkook stares at it forlornly.

if he doesn’t die by the hands of hyosang, namjoon and jimin will definitely kill him.

jungkook waits until they drop him off in a separate room, as he’s counted, about seventy paces from the last room. the room is hot and stuffy, but silent. he takes his chance to pop off the lid of the crate and steps out. he inspects the place around him, a room filled with crates. jungkook opens one closest to him and grins down at his findings.

he has an idea.

hoseok snorts at the disguises taehyung’s brought. “wow. you two look… uhh…”

seokjin holds his hand up in the air. “i could be wearing a paper bag, and still be the most handsome person in the room. don’t even go there.”

“alright,” namjoon claps his hands together to get everyone’s attention. “so we lost contact with jungkook.” 

“and he’s in a crate,” jimin adds on helpfully, his voice much too cheery for their predicament.

seokjin tenses. “well, what can we do to get him out?”

“plan b.”

(“not the day-after pill, tae.”)

“we’ve updated yoongi and he’s in position. seokjin and taehyung will be the distraction. but we’re not letting you two go in unarmed.”

“i’ve got my vest on underneath this atrocity of a shirt. i’ll be fine,” seokjin nods.

taehyung’s brows furrow, his mouth hanging open. “what the fuck? what about me? did you just expect me to go in there with any proper gear?”

seokjin cracks an awkward grin. “i’ll protect you?” he answers unsurely. 

taehyung gives him a deadpan look. “i get why jungkook likes you. you’re both little shits.” 

jimin procures a vest from his duffle bag and presses a kiss to taehyung’s cheek. “don’t worry babe, i got you covered.” then he winks at seokjin, “we stole this from the police station after taking everything from the evidence room.” 

seokjin’s mouth turns into a thin line as taehyung and jimin high five each other in perfect unison.

“enough. taehyung, seokjin, it’s your turn. head up to the building. you’ve got your stories straight?” 

“we’re both gay, namjoon. of course we don’t.” 

namjoon looks up to the ceiling and sighs. “just go.”

they head up the building, acting natural as taehyung hums a beach boys song quitely. seokjin hears jimin hum the song right back at taehyung through their earpieces. seokjin smiles. it’s sweet. but even this soft moment shared between taehyung and jimin can’t help the growing pit of fear in seokjin’s gut. where’s jungkook? is he okay? these men are heavily armed and jungkook--jungkook went in with nothing .

he tries to keep his fears locked away, but he doesn’t do a very good job. “you alright?” taehyung whispers to him.

“worried,” seokjin admits, a bit ashamed.

"jungkook has been trained for this. even though we don't engage in hand to hand often, he's ready. he can take care of himself," taehyung reassures him. "the best thing you could do for him right now is worry about yourself. he'd be crushed if anything bad happened to you."

"yeah, i know. and thanks." seokjin nods. "y'know, for being nice to me even after i arrested you and hunted you all down for years."

taehyung shakes his head. "we're cool as long as you make jungkook happy."

they approach the elevator, both of them snorting at the happy tune that plays as they make their way up to the top floor.

they reach their destination, miss the door on accident and pretend to fiddle with the door across from hyosang's. they know the apartment is empty, but jimin says they have a security camera that shows the rest of the floor. better sell this ruse as best as they can. 

they pretend to argue for a minute before heading over tentatively to knock on the door to hyosang's apartment. 

they insist on knocking for a solid two minutes before a burly man throws the door open. he stares at them with anger and confusion in his eyes, not bothering to hide his annoyance. "what?" he says. 

taehyung and seokjin look at each other. "would you mind letting us use your toilet please? we seem to have lost our keys to our apartment, and my friend here ate a bad hotdog from off the corner of broadway? you might know the one, but it's really bad, trust me." taehyung leans in toward the guy. "i was in the elevator and he may have shat his pants."

the man looks between them for a second. "why didn't you just call the front desk?"

taehyung panics, his grin faltering just a bit. and then seokjin grates out, "lunch break." he holds onto his stomach, doubling over. "i think--oh god, i think it might come out."

the man's eyes widen. he ushers them inside. the two of them grin at each other as the man leads them through the apartment. there's so many people, looking at the two of them strangely. "don't say a word, this man is about to drop the largest shit of all time," taehyung says as they pass, holding his arm out to guard everyone from seokjin. "don't come too close either, you can practically smell it steaming--"

seokjin elbows him in the side. "they get it."

more and more people filter into the living room to see the commotion. armed men, popping in to see what's going on. "oh," taehyung says, eyes locking on a gun. "going to the shooting range together? this some kinda party? whose birthday is it?" he asks happily. "is it yours?" he asks a random man, staring at him blankly. "i bet it's yours."

seokjin uses this time to head over to the bathroom. he enters and immediately locks the door behind him. he turns on the lights and vents to cover his sounds, then quickly climbs onto the top of the toilet and reaches up to unscrew the vent.

it's big enough for him to fit in, thankfully. he pushes himself inside. "jimin, i'm in," he whispers.

"great, let's get you to hyosang's room as fast as you can. it's been moved to a room without any windows, but it should be right next to the fire escape."

"got it. i'll figure it out." 

"head straight and when you reach the fork, turn left." jimin instructs him as he squirms his way through the vents. they grow tighter and tighter around his shoulders as he worms his way through but he manages to reach the separation of the vents. he goes left. "incredible. talented. never before seen," comes jimin's sarcastic voice.

"you're doing amazing sweatie," namjoon adds on.

seokjin huffs through strained breaths, "please just get me to hyosang's room."

"wait. seokjin you're making too much noise, you need to stop." it's namjoon now. his voice is hushed. "they're looking up at the ceilings."

"tell taehyung, he needs to keep distracting them!" he whispers his shout before he continues crawling his way through the tightening vents.

jimin and namjoon go silent, their communications crackling before they're just white noise. he tries to contact taehyung, to no avail. his forehead hits the bottom of the vent as he groans.

... 

"--and that's when i told him there's no way that bottle of tequila could fit in my asshole. but really, we should definitely go out for drinks after you guys are finished with work," taehyung smiles. the men around him are all looking at each other before one of them tilts his head suspiciously.

"your friend's been in there for quite some time now. haven't heard anything either." 

"oh." taehyung nods his head understandingly. "he's a notorious silent shitter. that's actually his nickname, funnily enough." taehyung laughs. he hears the brief white noise signaling the disconnect and figures he should stall more. 

that's when he sees the door from across the room slip open. and out comes none other than one jeon jungkook, dragging a giant bag behind him. his eyes widen in shock, his mouth dropping open in confusion. jungkook gestures for him to keep talking as he snakes his way up toward a vent down the hallway. he climbs into it easily, and puts his fist up to his mouth. 

taehyung coughs loudly as jungkook pulls the bag inside the vent. he throws a thumbs up at taehyung, closing the vent behind him. one man sitting closest to him turns his head to look behind him but taehyung grabs his face. 

"but what about all of you?" he asks hastily. "got any cool nicknames?"

...

seokjin goes down the vent. but reaches another turn. one wrong move and he could end up in a completely different apartment. and backtracking seems nearly impossible with how tight these vents are around his shoulders. he keeps going, and trusts his gut.

after a few minutes of crawling, he figures his gut apparently lead him in the wrong direction. he hears someone approaching him through the vents. seokjin reaches for his gun, but it's a struggle. he's not sure if he has time to get it out and he's not sure if he'll make it out of this vent alive. what a way to go.

the person approaches him when he finally grabs hold of his gun right as the other figure rounds the corner. he fires without hesitation but misses. the bullet goes straight through the vent.

jungkook's wide eyes stare up at seokjin with fear. "did you just try to shoot me?"

"oh my god, i'm so sorry!" seokjin apologizes profusely. "i thought you were one of hyosang's."

"jesus, i can't believe you just openly shot without even seeing who it was. i could have been anyone."  

"okay but what sane person climbs through vents on an average day? namjoon and jimin told me they were onto me before my earpiece cut out," seokjin argues. 

"their communication system is down. someone's probably tampering with it. and if that's the case, taehyung is in trouble too. we gotta get this shit out of here. "

seokjin peers behind jungkook. "what's in it?"

"the drugs. i'm trying to figure out how to get them all into the apartment over."

"too risky. we don't want to get civilians involved." seokjin shakes his head.

"that's what i thought, but my second idea was to store it all in the vents and let you call for backup from the police station."

"smart," seokjin assesses. "we'll head out through the fire escape and give yoongi the signal to take his shot with hyosang." 

"oh, i love a man with a brain." jungkook pretends to swoon as much as he can in the cramped space.

seokjin laughs as jungkook pulls the bag over himself and pushes it toward seokjin. "i'll help you get the stuff back up into the vent." 

"no, i think taehyung needs you more than i need you right now, kept saying something about you being a shitter or something. get back to him for now."

seokjin looks at him determinedly. "be careful." 

"are you worried about me? kim seokjin, self-proclaimed adonis, cares about little ol' me?" jungkook smiles at him, lopsided.

seokjin rolls his eyes before crawling over to press a kiss to jungkook's cheeks. "whatever helps you sleep at night," he whispers sweetly. and then he backtracks away until all he sees is the cold metal. 

...

taehyung is in the middle of his speech about capitalist propaganda when hyosang's men begin to get restless.

"enough," comes a voice from the hallway. it's hyosang. code red. code red. taehyung sweats. he knows hyosang's never actually seen his face before, but he's still terrified. taehyung gets a good look at him. his hair is slicked back and he sports a sleek black suit, a typical mobster look for the grimiest man in the city. "we need them out. we're making our shipments soon. if he doesn't leave in the next ten minutes..." hyosang's voice rings through the room. he doesn't need to finish his sentence to get his point across.

the man who spoke stands up, his gun cocked as he walks toward the bathroom. he knocks on the door. 

"what's going on in there?"

from the other side of the door there's nothing but silence. he reiterates the question, but not a single sound can be heard. 

taehyung can't do anything. he closes his eyes as the man kicks the door down. 

"did your mother not teach you how to knock?" seokjin answers. his pants are hanging around his ankles and his face is completely red as he snorts.

"how bout we just...um. grab a plastic bag and you can finish up in the hallway." taehyung lets out a sigh of relief. hyosang turns around to walk back down the hallway. "i think they really got to get their party started, right seokjin?"

"seokjin?" hyosang stops in his tracks. "as in kim seokjin?" taehyung's eyes widen as he steps in front of the door to block seokjin from sight. he closes it quickly. "i'm sorry, it smells so awful. i just...can't let another human live through the kind of trauma it would cause--" 

hyosang shoves him out of the way, but this time, seokjin has his pants up and gun out. "lovely to see you again, hyosang." he grins, as hyosang's mouth turns into a grimace. he pushes hyosang outside, further into the living room. 

seokjin inches closer to him, but hyosang shouts out an order and his men start moving. a few aim at seokjin, while he hears the footsteps of others rush around the rest of the apartment.

"boss, the crates are all empty!" some men shout from the outside. hyosang curses, "where are the shipments?" he hisses at seokjin.

seokjin looks up toward the ceiling, as if in thought. "they're long gone by now." 

hyosang screams, his eyes nearly bulging out of his head. seokjin corners hyosang against the window while all his men have their sights on seokjin. 

"what are you waiting for?" hyosang growls. "kill him, now."

and right before they take their shot, a crash comes from the window, piercing the glass. a thick fog begins to build up in the room. but seokjin's prepared. he smirks as hyosang's body collapses to the floor. he lifts up a face mask he's procured from under his giant hawaiian shirt and whips out his handcuffs.

...

yoongi is waiting at the fire escape with a giant shit eating grin on his face. he breaks what's left of the glass to step into the apartment. "did you like the tear gas?" he asks amusedly. "you’re welcome for saving your sorry asses." 

seokjin doesn't entertain yoongi's adrenaline high. "what happened to namjoon and jimin over the devices?"

yoongi waves his hand dismissively. "hoseok had the van parked in a tow away zone and the earpieces went out of range for a bit. i came closer but i didn't hear anyone over the mics after a while. so i just watched everything happen from hyosang's balcony.”

"you watched while the rest of us risked our fucking lives?" jungkook's head pops out of a vent.

"oh my god." yoongi practically wheezes. "have you been in the vent this whole time? i thought hyosang took you captive."

jungkook pushes himself out of the vent. he looks around the room before he asks, "where is taehyung?"

seokjin points toward the bathroom, where taehyung's body lays unconscious.

"did you forget to tell him to bring his mask?" jungkook asks in monotone. 

seokjin sucks in a breath in response.

they manage to bring hyosang down to the police vehicle along with all of his henchmen after seokjin's called for backup. yoongi's instructing subordinate officers where the shipments are hidden and jungkook makes a futile attempt at kicking taehyung awake.

"so," seokjin comes over to him. he exudes confidence as he states, "you're just a regular civilian now. with no criminal record."

jungkook looks up at him with a grin. seokjin can't help but smile back. he wants to reach out and poke the little mole under jungkook's lower lip. "i guess i am. is it socially acceptable for you to date me now?" jungkook's eyes are shining. he runs his tongue over his lips, a nervous habit, seokjin has noticed. (he later finds out it's just jungkook's way of driving seokjin a little bit crazy.)

seokjin leans down for a kiss. "maybe."

jungkook wraps his arms around seokjin's neck, and falls into seokjin. he presses his forehead against seokjin's and smiles. "all apart of my plan."

seokjin pushes him back playfully.

...

they regroup with namjoon, jimin and hoseok at the towing lot after yoongi leaves to fill out the police report.

("you've got a month’s worth of vacation time built up and a really hot boyfriend, seokjin. use it wisely. and remember my advice." he winks as he mouths the word 'fuck'. he drives away when seokjin flips him off.)

"i can't believe you got the van towed," seokjin comments.

hoseok shrugs. "it's all good. she's going into retirement anyway. won't be much use to us since we're law abiding citizens now." he looks pointedly at seokjin.

"rip," jungkook salutes.

"glad everyone is safe," namjoon smiles. "we all did a good job."

taehyung scoffs. "uh, you're forgetting the fact that i got knocked out! i could have gotten a concussion, namjoon. all you did was sit in a van and go for a joy ride."

jimin takes taehyung's hand and rubs his back as he whispers words of praise. that seems to appease taehyung well enough.

jimin turns to all of them proudly. "how about we all go out and celebrate?"

seokjin turns to jungkook, his heart full and eyes bright. jungkook looks at him curiously, before a grin breaks over his face. "y'know what?" seokjin says, "i think we'll pass. we've got a flight to catch." 

...

"i think," jungkook whispers into seokjin's chest, "this is the wildest thing i've ever done. and i've stolen 17th century masterpieces before."

seokjin snorts, earning himself a glare from a passing flight attendant. "well believe it."

"our real first date," jungkook breathes out. his fingers trace over the pamphlet. "i've never been to the prado. i've never been to spain."

"you're going to see more of goya's masterpieces than you've ever seen in your life."

their fingers interlace and seokjin swears he can feel jungkook's heart beat. or maybe it's his own.

it doesn't matter.

what matters is the way jungkook's breath feels on his skin and the way he giggles excitedly next to seokjin.

seokjin figures that itself is a masterpiece.

end.