He’s been watching nothing but the hand for nearly thirty minutes. Only part of it is in use, the pads of the fingers drumming softly against the wooden table, nails just long enough to click faintly. The room itself, however, is so quiet the ticking sound of nails on wood echo off the walls and across the floor. Every now and then, the hand rises, hovering over the table top as if preparing to slam back down and rattle the glasses perched there. But after a few moments, the hand simply lowers itself to rest quietly on the left side of a half-empty bottle of bourbon.
A single bead of sweat slips out of Jimin’s hairline, sinking down the back of his neck and underneath the collar of his shirt. He clenches his own hands tighter behind his back, fighting the urge to shiver as he feels another droplet chase after the first, and regrets his decision to keep the windows shut. Usually, during the summer, the temperature cools along with the disappearing of the sun. But an exception has clearly been made for tonight. If he squints, Jimin believes he can see a faint fog hanging over the men sitting at the table, hot air making it harder for everyone to breathe.
If he were to look to his right, he’d be able to look out the windows and see the light of the moon reflecting off the harbor water. The docks are farther in the distance, flat rows of cement and sturdy wood that serve as stations for the massive ships parked there. In the dark, Jimin can only ever make out their outlines from the windows of the bar, the Agust. The Agust itself is seated on the backside of East street, bar room windows aimed at the Port of Busan and Bangtan’s empire.
Min Yoongi’s empire.
Glancing up, Jimin catches Hoseok licking his lips before swiping the back of his hand over his mouth. The movement, though no more excessive than Yoongi’s fingers drumming on the table, causes the two Rusha bodyguards to flick their eyes in Hoseok’s direction. He raises his eyebrows expectantly, a silent dare, then resumes a neutral expression once they divert his gaze.
Yoongi sighs, the sound so loud in the otherwise silent bar room it startles Jimin. Carefully, he shifts his weight from his right to his left foot, hoping to jumpstart a wave of blood flow and keep his toes from falling asleep. The night has barely begun; he's become accustomed to these meetings enough to understand that by now. Hopefully, the only things in sight will be the skin of their hands and faces and the darkness of the men’s fabric. Nothing metal has made an appearance yet, but there are still many hours before the sun rises.
As if reading his thoughts, someone finally speaks.
“I don’t have all night.”
Yoongi’s voice is cold enough to send a chill up Jimin’s spine, despite the heat. He digs one fingernail into the palm of his hand and keeps his attention on the space underneath the table, knowing full well not to look directly at any of the men sitting or standing in the room. Then again, his curiosity has always been his greatest weakness, and Jimin can feel his eyes drifting higher as Yoongi waits for a response.
The tall man sitting across from Yoongi nearly gets away with his blank expression. However, the corner of his right eye twitches, something so subtle yet still so visible to Jimin from his place behind the bar. He knows Yoongi will spot the sign as well, knows the elder has a keen talent for unnerving whoever sits in the chair opposite him.
“What a coincidence,” the man drawls. “Neither do I.”
His hands are folded neatly in his lap, legs crossed at the knee and he’s leaning too far back in the chair, putting himself in a position of confidence and authority he has no right to be seated in. Jimin is surprised Yoongi has allowed the man to sit in such a manner for so long, normally a nose would have been broken by this point, but the leader of Bangtan is letting the cocky attitude slide thus far.
“Min,” The man says now, cracking a wide grin. Jimin tries not to flinch at the sight of it. “You promised to be fair.”
Hoseok scoffs next to Yoongi, his shoulders jostling slightly through his laughter. One of the men flanking the Rusha leader’s shoulder shifts his weight around, obviously flustered by Hoseok’s abnormal demeanor.
“I promised to listen,” Yoongi replies. He blinks once, then twice, and then lifts his hand off the table. Everyone stills, waiting, but the hand simply lowers down to the wood after a few moments. Jimin lets go of a breath he was unaware he’d been holding. “And I have fulfilled that promise.”
The Rusha leader frowns and looks unimpressed. Another man is sitting next to him, broad-shouldered and beautiful, and he has been keeping his eyes on Hoseok since the start of the meeting. Jimin has dubbed this man with the name ‘Pinkie’, due to the baby pink pin stuck in his white collared shirt, somewhat hidden behind the man’s jacket. Hoseok hasn’t been paying Pinkie any mind, too busy surveying the two bodyguards standing stiffly behind the Rusha leader. That, and picking at his nails. Jimin overheard him earlier tell Yoongi he didn’t see the point of this particular meeting, claiming he and Namjoon never got along anyways and it was all a waste of time.
Yoongi hadn’t listened.
Now, Jimin watches as Yoongi addresses the leader of the Rusha gang with words coated in bored indifference.
“I postponed my departure to Singapore to meet with you, Kim.” Yoongi pitches forward in his seat, forearms settling on the table as he leans in. “And yet instead of gratitude, you’ve shown nothing but disrespect in my own bar. If you’ve got nothing further to add, you can take your toy soldiers and leave.”
“I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings,” Kim Namjoon replies sarcastically. Jimin swallows upon hearing the childish teasing, knowing it was a habit Yoongi hated being the recipient of.
There were two Bangtan men standing behind Yoongi and Hoseok, and they quickly exchange a glance before bringing their hands to the front of their hips rather than behind their backs. Namjoon notices the movement and rolls his eyes, waving a hand absentmindedly.
“Tell your dogs to relax, Min. I’m being genuine.”
“And I’m giving you a final warning,” Yoongi replies, though he still nudges Hoseok with his knee beneath the table. His right-hand man nods at the two bodyguards, who cautiously return their hands to a neutral position. “Either stop wasting my time or get out of my sight.”
“We have obeyed by the rules of the original contract for five years.” The man sitting to Namjoon’s right speaks up for the first time. Jimin’s eyes snap to him, startled by his random interjection, and more than a little curious to see where the conversation will now be heading.
“Your point?” Hoseok prods, arching one brow in an amused manner.
“Five years is a long time,” Pinkie continues. “And so much has changed.”
Yoongi’s fingers cease their drumming and a silence stretches across the table. Jimin waits anxiously to see if the Bangtan leader will speak or raise his hand again. Thankfully, Yoongi chooses to reply. “I don’t follow you.”
“We want to redraw the boundary line.”
Hoseok, to everyone’s shock except for Yoongi’s, barks out a laugh, head tossed back in delight. He chuckles lowly afterward, one arm looping around the back of Yoongi’s chair as he centers his attention back on the Rusha men. “What a show we’ve got tonight, huh, Min? Redraw the boundary line, you must be out of your fucking minds.”
Jimin can see just how tightly locked the jaw of Pinkie is as he restrains from biting back at Hoseok. Both of his fists are clenched under the table, hidden from the Bangtan men but clearly visible to Jimin from fifteen feet away. He swallows quietly, afraid to disturb the thick tension hanging over the members' heads.
Yoongi, on the other hand, is tilting his head just to the side, a look of plain boredom on his face. Namjoon is doing well to meet his gaze from across the table, one hand rubbing the top of his knee as he waits. After another full minute of silence, Yoongi tips his head forward in an encouraging nod.
Hoseok scoffs again, a sound Jimin is all too familiar with and still hates every time he hears it slip from his friend’s mouth. It’s always startling to see the juxtaposition between Yoongi and his second in command, especially during meetings such as these, when Yoongi is one degree colder than ice and Hoseok can barely keep a smile off his face.
“You can’t be serious,” Hoseok says now, rolling his eyes at Yoongi, an act only he is allowed to commit. Anyone else would probably have their eyes gouged out. “We’re not doing shit to our boundaries.”
“Of course we’re not,” Yoongi retorts, voice void of emotion and eyes still trained on the Rusha leader. The faint tinges of hope snap out of Namjoon’s eyes instantly, replaced with barely contained anger. “But I did promise to listen.”
It's an insult, a direct hit to Kim Namjoon's pride, and it seems to be enough to snap him.
“Fuck you, Min,” Namjoon spits out.
The hand moves so fast Jimin almost misses it. It’s off the table and hovering near Yoongi’s head within half a second, palm curved inward and poised, and Jimin sees the middle finger meet the pad of the thumb just before he drops to the ground. His knees hit the floor first, right as the sharp snap of Yoongi’s fingers reverberates around the room.
Jimin covers his eyes first, a creature of bad habits always, and his ears suffer the consequences as a loud shot rings out in the bar. Flinching in fear, Jimin is quick to slam his hands over his ears even though he’s too late to protect them from the immense pain that runs through his eardrums from hearing a gunshot fire off so close to him.
There is a grunt, another horribly loud gunshot, and then a series of clattering noises. Then there’s silence. Heavy, heavy, silence.
Jimin pushes a shuddering breath out of his lungs. A vault of fear is overflooding in his mind, jamming his nerves and senses and making him lose feeling in his fingers. He lowers them from his ears to look and make sure they’re still there, but the terror in his chest doesn’t sway even after he confirms that yes, he still has all ten fingers, and yes, he’s still alive. He waits a moment, and then another, failing to get his heart rate to return to its normal rhythm.
Petrified, he racks his brain in an effort to remember Yoongi’s rules, the ones he’s supposed to follow in situations like these.
“You’re not listening to me.”
Yoongi looks stoic as ever, pointedly ignoring the fingers that Jimin is using to tickle at the skin under his chin. He waits another ten seconds before snatching Jimin’s hand and yanking it away from his face, raising his eyebrows at the blonde.
“Maybe,” Jimin finally says, cocking his head at the elder. “Maybe not.”
“If you’re not going to take this seriously, I’ll stop now.” Yoongi lets go of Jimin’s hand and settles into the mattress, his head falling gracefully to the pillow. There’s enough sunlight coming in through the far window to create a blinding white streak over the lower half of his face, forcing Jimin to squint as he looks down at him. “I was trying to do you a favor.”
“Oh?” Jimin questions as he leans forward. His hand, now free of Yoongi’s grasp, drops to Yoongi’s bare chest, one finger teasing at a nipple. Slowly, he slides the hand down, keeping his touch light, until it meets the growing hardness between Yoongi’s legs. Palming gently, Jimin gives the elder a sly grin while asking, “Was this part of the favor, too?”
Yoongi all but throws himself at the younger, somehow moving fast enough to trap both of Jimin’s hands in one of his above the pillow, straddle Jimin’s thighs with his own, and put his face an inch away from Jimin's. The younger curses himself and his slow reflexes, straining half-heartedly against Yoongi’s hold on his wrists.
“Let go,” He whines, wiggling slightly under Yoongi’s weight. The heat rushing to his face derails his protests, as does the smirk playing on his lips, and Yoongi turns his face to nudge his nose against Jimin’s cheek.
“If you can tell me all the rules, I will.” Yoongi lowers his face to bite down on Jimin’s earlobe and then growls when Jimin lets loose a startled gasp. He shifts his lower half clumsily, using his free hand to help adjust himself so that the elder is seated between Jimin’s legs, Yoongi’s hard cock rubbing on the inside of Jimin’s thigh. Jimin bucks his hips weakly, annoyed that his own cock is now lying untouched on his stomach.
Immediately, there’s a set of nails scraping down the side of his waist, grabbing his ass harshly and tugging his hips higher into Yoongi’s lap.
“Fuck,” Jimin moans, eyes fluttering shut as another snarl echoes in his ear.
“The rules, Jimin.” Yoongi’s nails dig harder into the soft flesh of his ass and Jimin chews on his bottom lip to the keep the mewl from spilling out. Teeth nip at his neck, hard enough to startle him but not hard enough to hurt. Not yet at least. “Tell me what they are.”
Panting, he arches his back and dares to meet Yoongi’s gaze before answering. There’s a fire in his dark eyes, a hunger dancing behind those irises that makes Jimin’s heart stutter to a stop in his chest. He’s so powerless in the presence of Yoongi, so weak to deny the elder anything he asks of Jimin that it should be worrisome. It should have Jimin questioning his values, and doubting his intentions, and finally packing his bags. But instead, he’s rushing to answer Yoongi’s requests, desperate to hear a whisper of praise or receive a bruising kiss as a reward.
“Make…” His voice cracks and he stops, licking his lips as he prepares to try again. “Make sure I wasn’t shot.”
Jimin pats down his body frantically, his movements fast but silent. Yoongi had explained to him that sometimes people don’t realize they’ve been shot the second it happens. The bullet doesn’t always make itself known right away, sometimes adrenaline and other senses are rushing through the body too fast for the person to register the blood pouring out of them. They get dizzy, and then their vision blurs, and then they get cold, and then they realize they’ve been shot.
Satisfied that he’s not wounded, Jimin runs down the list of rules in his head. He glances around the corner of the bar to look at the set of stairs that lead to the street outside, nodding to himself when he sees they’ve not been blocked off by something or someone. Craning his neck back, he attempts to look at the window on the other side of the bar to see if anyone from the Port heard the commotion and is running towards the Agust to aid. There’s nothing to be heard, but it’s the silence that makes Jimin’s blood run cold.
There hasn’t been any other noise in the bar since the last series of loud banging, which to Jimin had sounded like a body cascading over a set of chairs. No one has spoken, no one has moved; he never even heard a scream.
It takes him another minute to finally clamber his way back to his feet, mentally preparing himself for whatever sight he could possibly be met with. Once, he raised his eyes to look across the bar after hiding behind it for ten minutes, and saw only Yoongi and Hoseok still standing, the rest of the scene gruesome enough to send him back to the floor in an unconscious heap.
Thankfully, the state of the bar is nowhere near as catastrophic as that past occasion.
Jimin looks for Yoongi first, his heart giving a thump of approval when he spots him sitting in the same position he’d been in when he first lifted his hand. He no longer looks bored, though Jimin is not the first to understand the expression currently resting on Yoongi’s face is not to be taken lightly. Jimin has known the Bangtan leader long enough to gather that a face as stoney as Yoongi’s is one to fear.
Hoseok is now rubbing the side of his neck, grim annoyance clear in his features, and for good reason. It doesn’t really matter which Bangtan man standing behind him and Yoongi fired his weapon, they’re both close enough the blast of the gunshot could nearly burst Hoseok’s eardrum and leave him deaf for a few minutes.
And then there’s the left side of the table. Namjoon and his right-hand man have remained in their chairs, obviously still alive, but their heads are swiveled backward to regard the bodies now lying on the floor behind them.
Both of the Rusha bodyguards have been gunned down.
“The mind will play tricks on you,” Yoongi says sternly, though he is looking down at his shot glass instead of meeting Jimin’s eyes. “You’ll see the color leaving their skin and the life going out of their eyes and you’ll suddenly feel like it’s your blood spilling on the floor.”
“Are you telling me this because of last night?” Jimin asks quietly from his place behind the bar. He rubs a washcloth around a wine glass and hangs it on the racks above his head. “I told you I was fine.”
“You didn’t look fine.”
“I…” Jimin sighs, runs a hand through his hair, and pulls the shot glass out of Yoongi’s grasp. There’s a memory poking at the back of his head, an image of one lifeless man being dragged across the wood to be dumped in the channel with a bag of stones tied around his wrists. The blood had already been mopped off the floor, but the gargled, desperate gasp for breath still rings through Jimin’s ears. “I don’t want to talk about this.”
“I’m not trying to—”
“I said drop it, Yoongi.”
Normally, a finger would be pulled back until it snapped. Normally a knife would be brandished and a palm would be stabbed through. Normally a glass would be shattered and the shards would be shoved down a throat. Normally. If it had been anyone else, something normal would have happened.
But Yoongi had never even raised his voice against Jimin.
“Alright,” He concedes. He settles into the bar stool, propping one elbow on the countertop and resting his chin on top of his fist. “Just don’t look at a body for too long. That’s all I’ll say about it.”
Jimin had been following this advice for two years. Now, however, his resolve is cracking, and it’ll all due to the color orange.
It had been the first thing he noticed when the Rusha men came in. Not the height of their leader, not the glowing skin of his second in command, Pinkie, not the matching black and blue ink tattoos on each of their necks.
No, Jimin had spotted the vibrant orange colored hair of the first Rusha bodyguard immediately and had struggled to look away. He was a beautiful man, and Jimin drank in the rest of him like a glass of water as he stepped further into the room. Tall, wide shoulders, almond eyes, pink lips, large hands, and so, so young. The tattoo looked fresh on the side of his neck, swirls of black lines intertwined with dark blue, resembling a wave of water likely tinted with black oil. There was a brushing of raw red flesh around the tattoo, and Jimin had guessed the new branding was no more than a week old. The contrast of the dark tattoo against the golden skin and the bright tangerine locks had Jimin reeling a little from behind the bar as he collected four glasses and the bottle of bourbon. Yoongi distracted him fast when his hand started twitching on the table near the start of the meeting, but Jimin’s stomach churned with longing to stare at the bodyguard’s gorgeous hair, the color no less faded than the sun.
Now the orange has been painted with red.
The Rusha leader’s voice snaps Jimin out of his trance. He looks away from the dead bodyguard to see Namjoon turning back to face the Bangtan men.
“Rather excessive, Min.”
“I’m sure you have extras.” Yoongi runs the pad of his finger around the rim of his empty glass. “Are you going to be civil?”
“It was my intention,” Namjoon says. His expression holds no more anger, the bite gone from his tone. He sighs and reaches for the bottle of bourbon, the only thing in the room unfazed by recent events. “Another.”
Jimin, though he takes half a second to check if he’s pissed himself, swipes a second bottle of alcohol from behind him on the shelf. Snatching a corkscrew, he makes quick work of opening the bottle before stalking over to the table, now divided with two men across from four. He keeps his gaze high, vision trained on the darkness of Yoongi’s hair to distract himself from noticing the lifeless forms lying two feet away, a pool of blood still expanding and inching towards the side of Jimin’s shoe.
Jimin is lifting the bottle to refill Yoongi’s glass when the leader raises a finger to stop him. Immediately, he halts his movements, only tilting the bottle back slightly so as to keep alcohol from spilling out of its neck onto the table. Moving his eyes alone, he questions Yoongi’s pointed finger. But the man does nothing except gesture for him to place the bottle on the table without pouring anything.
Doing as instructed, Jimin sets the bottle down obediently and retreats to his sanctuary behind the bar. When he turns around, he sees Yoongi staring at Pinkie with icy eyes.
“If you wouldn’t mind.”
There’s a beat of hesitation, during which Jimin’s intestines turn to rubber, but then, blessedly, Pinkie reaches out and picks up the bottle. Cautiously, he tips the neck and pours brown liquid into Yoongi’s glass, stopping when it reaches a height of two fingers. Hoseok nudges his glass forward, bottom scraping loudly as he inches it toward the still raised bottle in Pinkie’s hand. He looks positively delighted at this development, grinning unabashedly as Pinkie also refills his glass; then Namjoon’s, then his own.
“Patience is running real low, Kim,” Yoongi says, glass already lifted a lick away from his lips. “If I were you, I’d end the games here.”
“All I wanted was a conversation.” Namjoon watches Yoongi evenly, glass left untouched in front of him. “Half a decade I’ve obeyed by the contract, kept to my territory but no one in Busan is blind to your expanse. The Port used to bring in half a shipment every month; now it’s up to two every day. That’s quite an increase.”
“I’ll take that as a compliment.”
“You should take it as a warning.”
“You’ve only got one man left tonight, Kim,” Hoseok chuckles, using a finger to point at Pinkie even as he holds his drink in his hand. He downs the contents of the glass in one gulp and practically drops it back onto the table, causing Jimin to wince in anticipation of it breaking. “It would be a lonely ride home.”
Pinkie, to his credit, does no more than blink silently at Hoseok, and the Bangtan member breaks out in cheery laughter.
Jimin glances at the orange again. Only a small section of his actual face is visible, too gray in the dim light and also stained with red. Jimin suddenly has a foolish desire, an explainable yearning to drag the body out of the blood and down to the piers; hug the dead bodyguard over his shoulder and jump into the ocean. Maybe the water, now black from the lack of light and cold from the absence of the sun, would somehow have the ability to wash the red away. Maybe the water would be able to take the bullet out of his head and bury it in the sand and seal the hole in its wake and maybe— maybe —the ocean would let orange glow again.
Yoongi has a target sighted. He cocks his head at the Rusha leader, lips pursed out in exasperation. “I’m waiting.”
“I want one of the docks,” Namjoon says, all signs of casual conversation vanishing. “Warehouses are gettin’ a little overcrowded, and the distance between your loading center and my shop on Dawn street is too damn long. I’ve lost four cases already and I’m not about to lose another.”
“Then don’t.” Yoongi takes another sip from the glass, pauses for too long before continuing on with his thought. Jimin can feel another bead of sweat marking a path down his spine, the urge to throw his hand back and press his shirt against the wetness nearly enough to make him twitch. “I’ve got no problem with one of yours driving a truck.”
“I don’t want to drive the truck. I want to call one of the docks mine.”
“That’s rich,” Hoseok snickers. He turns and lazily slaps one of the Bangtan muscle men on the hip, nodding his head at Namjoon. “Did you hear this fucker? He wants a dock . A full fucking dock.”
“What the fuck did you just call me?”
Yoongi stops the brewing argument between Hoseok and Namjoon with a sigh. “One dock averages around seven shipments every thirty days.” Yoongi finishes his drink. “That’s a lot of income for someone who told me to go fuck myself not ten minutes ago.”
“I wasn’t so flamboyant.” Namjoon furrows his eyebrows at Yoongi’s accusation for a brief moment, then smooths out the creases and smiles tightly, dimples marking crescents on his cheeks. “We’ve known each other for years, Min. It’s been nothing but peaceful between our two operations for half a decade. We can work something out.”
“Nothing but peaceful,” Yoongi echoes. “And yet we’ve never ended a meeting without ruining my nice hardwood floors.” Yoongi sounds almost disappointed, the first emotion to be presented by the Bangtan leader tonight. Jimin tries not to shiver. Emotions mean the night is coming to a close. “Shame, really. Getting hard to explain the stains to customers.”
“If you won’t give me one of the docks, at least give me the Agust.”
Jimin comes awfully close to choking on thin air. His heart hammers painfully in his chest, but before he even has a chance to check Yoongi for a reaction, Hoseok is breaking back into the discussion.
“You want the bar?” He asks, incredulous, his eyes narrowing at the Rusha leader. “What the fuck for?”
Namjoon simply shrugs, but a sly grin squirms its way onto his face. “I don’t intend to leave you empty-handed, of course, Min. What kind of businessman would I be if I wasn’t negotiable?”
Yoongi only stares, expression so cold it has the floor swaying under Jimin’s feet. He doesn’t nod, doesn’t give Namjoon any indication he wishes for him to continue, but the Rusha leader barrels ahead with his proposition.
“I got three full loads rolling in tomorrow. All MI6A grade levels. Top 5. You give me the Agust, I’ll give you the first load. Give me a dock, I’ll give you two. The whole order can be yours if you’re feeling generous and you wanna pass both off to me.”
“Guns?” Hoseok repeats, throwing in another eye roll for good measure, in case Namjoon couldn’t read his response and gage his own decision. “That’s all you have to offer. Why the fuck would you think we need more guns?”
“I think you’re a forward-thinking man,” Namjoon says, sidebarring Hoseok’s words but still addressing Yoongi. “I think you, more than anyone, Min, has reason to fear the insanely underestimated growth of the Port. Whatever you’ve got coming in those boats, whoever you’re sending it to, it doesn’t fucking matter cause everyone has their eyes on the water. Everyone wants a piece. And most aren’t going to ask as politely as I am, and none will offer you something in return. Bangtan wasn’t always on top, you, sir, got lucky. This all comes down to geography. You’re sitting on a mountain right now, but soon you’re gonna realize how trapped you are.”
“Careful, Kim,” Hoseok seethes. Jimin catches sight of his hands balling into fists around his empty glass. His words are paid no mind.
“Bangtan won’t remain untouched for another five years.” Namjoon leans forward over the table, hands perched on the smooth wood. “Others will be coming to collect what they feel is there’s. Are you ready for that? Are you ready for war?”
Jimin counts the seconds, and then the minutes, as they tick by in silence. Heavy, tense, tormented silence, because Yoongi’s fingers are no longer drumming, nails no longer clicking on the hard surface. His lack of idle movement is a clear indicator that he’s actually thinking. Whether over Namjoon’s offering or his warning, Jimin isn’t sure. It’s a loaded deal, tying bonds with the Rusha gang, who is overly known for their habits of deceit and gold-handled knives twisted in spines. Jimin has heard Yoongi curse Kim Namjoon’s name enough times to know he’d be risking quite a lot if he shook hands with the Rusha leader. But to hand over part of the Port? Such an act had always seemed unimaginable to Jimin.
Then again, if Yoongi agreed to give Namjoon the Agust, what did that mean for Jimin?
“You’ve been real quiet over there,” Yoongi finally says, his chin cutting out towards Pinkie, still seated next to Namjoon. The second in command, pink pin still peeking out from his jacket, raises an eyebrow at Yoongi. “Had a lot to say a while ago.”
Pinkie doesn’t respond, an act daring enough to earn him a look of warning from his partner.
Yoongi, always one step ahead, cocks his head to the left, almost dropping it far enough for his ear to touch his shoulder. Jimin realizes with a well-hidden startle he’s looking at the bodies decorating the floor behind the Rusha men, the stench of their spilled blood growing closer to Jimin as time passes on.
“Friends of yours?” Yoongi questions, his eyes expertly remaining on the dead bodyguards, but Jimin knows he’s really waiting for a reaction out of Pinkie. “Surely not just another member. You haven’t spoken a word since they hit the ground.”
Jimin swallows, forcing the lump down his throat, struggling immensely to not stare at the color orange. He’s cracking, heart straining to turn and look upon the man that he’s sure, he’s absolutely positive now, could not be older than him.
“A brother perhaps?”
There’s a stuttering, a whisper of a gasp as the breath cuts short in Pinkie’s chest and he obviously attempts to cover up the shudder that racks up his spine. Jimin catches Namjoon squeezing his eyes shut in disappointment, raw shame at his right-hand man failing to hide a truly shattering secret.
“Ah,” Yoongi sighs, returning his head to a stationary position and meeting Pinkie’s eyes. “I see. A bond with a brother is unquestionable. How unfortunate to lose family to a bullet."
Pinkie lets one arm slip off his lap carefully. His arms are nearly long enough to touch the ground, and Jimin witnesses the fingers of his hand stretching backward, as if trying to reach the body behind him, as if trying to card his fingers through orange locks.
Yoongi must see this movement but doesn't acknowledge it. "What’s your name again?”
“Needed?” Namjoon asks.
“He can either give me his name or he can give me his life,” Yoongi replies, flat tone making the statement ten times more frightening. His statement holds too much truth, too much promise for it to be brushed aside.
“Kim Seokjin,” the Rusha members says, voice blatantly altered from when he first spoke at the meeting.
“Kim Seokjin.” Yoongi picks up the bottle of bourbon, tips it so the neck makes a loud crack against the rim of Seokjin’s glass, and together they watch the alcohol pour out heavily. “I’m sorry for your loss.”
And Jimin could cry, could grab every bottle of Soju he has behind the bar and send it sailing at the window in frustration. Because Yoongi means it, there’s genuine remorse in his words and Jimin hates how he’s tied his life around someone who believes there’s justification in stolen life.
“You can have my bar,” Yoongi says suddenly, as soon as the bottle is brought back down the table.
Jimin, though he curses himself and wills his body to stop betraying him, begins to shake. It starts in his knees, rubbery joints vibrating wildly as the tremors creep up his limbs and into his chest and then his fingers are shivering as if fighting off frostbite.
“Excellent,” Namjoon marveled.
“Though,” Yoongi continues, his eyes never leaving Seokjin’s tense frame. “I’ll need all three MI6 loads.”
“All….” The Rusha leader is slower to finding joy in this alteration to the deal. “All three.”
“All three.” Yoongi goes back to his previous fiddling, finger running the circle of his glass rim. “Even my generosity has its limitations.”
“Alright.” Jimin barely has time to process Namjoon’s words, and certainly doesn’t have time to think about how easy Namjoon gave in to Yoongi’s request, when he hears the Rusha leader press on with his bargaining. “The bar will be handed over with all its…inclusions, of course.”
“Inclusions.” Yoongi’s movements stall. He glances at Namjoon under the fringe of black hair.
Jimin feels a pit of worrying snuggle deep in his gut, sprouting a thick stem of fear as Namjoon turns his eyes onto him, dark and piercing and breeching over with another thing Jimin can’t place.
“Yes. Inclusions. A bar could never serve its own liquor.”
The bruises are small and perfectly circular, round and all lined up nicely. It looks as though a row of red grapes have aligned themselves along the underside of his forearm, soft, pale flesh now tainted with the memory of a grip that was too hard, of fingers that dug too harshly into his skin and demanded he follow their lead despite his whiny protests.
Yoongi is still whispering in his ear, mostly mumbling to himself, but Jimin is too fascinated by the rich color of the bruises to pay attention to the elder’s words. They’re mostly incoherent anyways. It isn’t until Yoongi pauses in his rambling and nudges Jimin twice that he realizes he’d been asked a question.
“Do you want me to kill him?”
“No,” Jimin says softly. He tips his head back to rest it on Yoongi’s shoulder, feels a set of lips immediately attach to his neck and press aimless kisses up to his ear. “But you will, won’t you?”
Yoongi is silent, too occupied with licking a line along Jimin’s pulse point. Jimin closes his eyes, presses his other finger against the bruises, and hisses at the combined pain of that sting and the sting of Yoongi’s teeth raking on his sensitive skin, actions turning brutal as he notices Jimin’s interest in the bruises.
“Don’t you fucking dare.” Yoongi snatches Jimin’s hand and wrenches it behind his back, earning a breathless whine from the younger. “If you get off on someone else’s marks I’ll fuck you till you black out.”
Jimin yelps as Yoongi pulls his arm further back, hand sneaking down to press the heel against Jimin’s bulge. He hears a growl right before his body pitches forward, landing so his cheek is pressed against the bedsheets. Yoongi snakes an arm under Jimin’s waist and lifts his hips up, hastily pulling his sweats down and then shoving him back onto the mattress.
“You goddamn slut,” Yoongi snarls, sounding angry, but Jimin can hear his praise underlying his insult, can feel his arousal pressing against Jimin’s thigh. “You didn’t wear sleeves at the bar tonight, you wanted me to see them.”
“I told him to let go,” Jimin pleads, falling into the role easily cause it was fucking made for him. “I told him you’d be mad.”
“I’m gonna slit his fucking throat.”
“Don’t.” Jimin wiggles under the deathly tight grip helplessly, already knows his begging is worthless. Yoongi was livid when he saw the bruises, had already fucked Jimin roughly in the storage room not ten minutes after he’d walked into the Agust and saw Jimin’s marked arm. He pressed Jimin against a shelf and pounded into him relentlessly, hissing filth into Jimin’s ear and rattling the stacks so hard a few bottles rained off and shattered on the floor.
“You’re mine,” Yoongi says now, voice low next to Jimin’s temple. “Anyone lays a hand on you, they’re fucking dead.”
“I love you.” Jimin somehow finds the strength to twist slightly in the hold and crane his neck to the side, watching Yoongi’s hard face as he leans back to tug the sweats completely off. “Yoongi.”
“I know, baby,” Yoongi replies. The pressure eases off a little, Jimin swallowing his cry of protest even after he feels Yoongi kiss the small of his back sweetly. Then it’s back in full force, Yoongi grabbing his other arm and pulling that back as well, giving Jimin no chance to hold up his own weight. He collapses onto the mattress, face pressed into the sheets, hips still lifted off the bed. He moans, struggling a little to suck in air with his nose and mouth smothered by silk sheets, and feels his heart rate pick up considerably. “Now be a good boy and spread those pretty legs for me.”
“Don’t get greedy now, Kim,” Hoseok says slowly, though his eyes have also drifted over to Jimin. He grabs onto the edge of the bar top to ground himself, knees becoming more and more unstable, weight teetering to the side. “You wouldn’t want to push your luck.”
“He’s been here for years,” Namjoon presses on, though he gracefully returns his gaze to Yoongi. The Bangtan leader has frozen on sight, spine as stiff as a board and hands dangerously still on the table. “It would feel so wrong to not have him here. And then I could finally learn his name.”
It had been Yoongi’s only rule about keeping Jimin at the Agust. The only part of Jimin he hadn’t been forced to give up in order to stay with the Port and with Yoongi. His name was his and his alone, given only to Yoongi and Hoseok, and one other trusted member of Bangtan. Everyone else simply referred to him as the Bartender. Or the Whore.
“Give me the bar, or give me the docks.” Namjoon cracks another coy grin, the very sight making bile rise in Jimin’s throat.
Yoongi is a stone. He stares at the Rusha leader with an unreadable expression, features not giving way to any indication of what is running through his mind. Jimin, though he often prides himself on being able to slip through the seams and gage Yoongi’s next move before anyone else, is lost, so unused to the look on Yoongi’s face he’s terrified of what could possibly happen.
In the end, it’s nothing more than an order.
Namjoon clicks his teeth once, then leans back in his chair to resume his original arrogant posture. “Min, come on.”
“Fine, fuck the bar. The dock , Min. You can afford to give me one, it’ll barely put a dent in your income.”
In what Jimin considers close to the speed of lightning, Yoongi reaches into the fold of his jacket and produces a steel Beretta, safety already flipped off and trigger finger ready. He fires off in the direction of the space between Namjoon and Seokjin, and the bullet rips through the bottle of bourbon still on the table. It ruptures in slow motion in Jimin’s eyes, microscopic shards of glass and brown liquor firing off in a million directions. The neck of the bottle stays somewhat intact but breaks into several more pieces when it hits the table, most of the bottle reduced to nothing but splattered drink and glass dust. In his head, Jimin curses out Yoongi, throwing every disrespectful word he can imagine in the direction of the Bangtan leader. Because if nothing else, that bottle had been expensive. And the sound of it all shattering petrified Jimin.
“God damn it,” Hoseok swears, brushing some of the glass off the table. He shakes his head and glares at the Rusha men. “I was hoping to save that for later.”
“Next one goes up your ass,” Yoongi says, though he sets the gun down calmly. “Get. Out.”
Namjoon gets to his feet without another word, and without another breath of hesitation, for which Jimin is thankful for. He knows the Rusha leader will be calling back tomorrow, knows Yoongi will face threats and minor repercussions for not only shooting both of Namjoon’s bodyguards (orange orange orange orange) but also for denying him all requests for part of the Port.
“We’ll be speaking shortly, Min,” Namjoon says, doing his best to step around the lifeless bodyguards whilst maintaining eye contact with Yoongi. “After all, the night is young.”
“The night is dead.”
Nodding curtly, Namjoon and Seokjin stride across the floor of the bar, steady in pace until they reach the stairs leading up to the street. Their footsteps are heavy from their shiny black shoes, which leave stamps of dark red in their wake where their feet had accidentally stepped in puddles of blood and was carried by the soles of their shoes. Jimin stares at these imprints, half expecting some of them to be the same color as the hair, as the sun. He waits for the classic click of the door from one flight up, holds his breath, then lets it out once he hears the door shut firmly behind them. As if on cue, his knees finally give out, forcing him to brace an arm on the counter to keep from collapsing to the floor again.
Hoseok is in front of him in the same second, reaching over the bar to grab a hold of his sleeve in a poor attempt to keep him upright.
“Shit, kid, you alright?”
“M’fine,” Jimin mumbles instinctively, though he still can’t find his footing. “Where’s…where’s—”
“Yoongi’s gotta head out,” Hoseok says, shifting his body so Jimin is unable to see around his frame. “Gotta find out where those loads Kim was talking about are coming from. Not gonna be fun if another crew has three rolls of military grade weapons.”
“He didn’t take the deal.”
“Course he fucking didn’t,” Hoseok confirms, a heavy dose of pride in his voice. “No one’s taking a slice of our fucking empire, that’ll be the fucking day.”
“I want….” Jimin manages to push himself up with firm hands on the counter. He cranes his neck sideways. “Where is he?”
Jimin snaps his head around to see the two extra Bangtan men stepping around the table, making a move for the dead bodyguards with haste. Yoongi wouldn’t want the blood seeping too far into the wood, so they have to work fast. One of them is grabbing the first bodyguard under the shoulder, waiting for his partner to reach for the legs. The man closest to the bar is nodding his head in the direction of the Port.
“Went to smoke a cigarette.”
Jimin bleats out a ‘thank you’, tugging himself out of Hoseok’s grasp and flitting around the bar. He dashes past the tables, pointedly not looking for orange as he stumbles into the back door and shoves against the handle. Pushing with a soft grunt, he swings the door wide and practically falls into the street. The hot summer air hits him with full force, has him wincing against the stings of heat and the smell of salt. Water is slushing against the cement somewhere in front of him, distracting Jimin for a moment in his mission to find Yoongi as he recalls his earlier dream to drag the color orange into the ocean and wash away the red, the sin. He walks forward to the edge of the boardwalk, leaning over to peer down at the murky, near black water. It’s too dark to see the bottom but that’s what Jimin loves; the idea that he could jump and no one would be able to see him, no one would walk by and attempt to pull him free because no one would even fucking know he was there.
“Hoseok will take you home.” Jimin looks away from water, desperately trying to find the source of the voice. It’s not until the smoke tickles his nose that the spins and sees Yoongi with his back pressed against the brick, burning cigarette dangling pretty from his slender fingers. “I’ll try to stop by tomorrow.”
“Not tonight,” Yoongi says, not even bothering to look at him as he raises the cigarette back to his lips, drawing out the smoke like it was holy to him.
Jimin dares to creep closer, his bold steps bringing him directly in front of the elder. Yoongi doesn’t flinch, doesn’t raise his eyebrows in surprise because they both know it takes a few tries to get Jimin to do as he says. “They’re gonna figure it out.” Jimin clenches his jaw tightly, breathing in through his nose before repeating himself. Yoongi still says nothing, but that only infuriates him more, brings his anger to a level high enough to knock the cigarette out of Yoongi’s hand.
He doesn’t feel the hand curling into his shirt, or the rush of wind as he’s spun around, but he did gasp at the pain that sprouted in his back as he’s slammed against the wall, head banging on the brick.
“I’m not in the mood for games tonight, Jimin,” Yoongi whispers, his face already tucked into Jimin’s neck, lips brushing against the shell of his ear. “‘Specially not the ones where I don’t get off after.”
“It’s not a game.” Jimin lays one hand on Yoongi’s shoulder, trying to remember the last time they were in a similar position and whether or not he was strong enough to push Yoongi off. “You know I’m as good as dead if they find out about us.”
“Kim already knows,” Yoongi scoffs, pulling far enough away to raise an eyebrow at the younger. “It’s been two years, baby, you really don’t think he’s connected the dots yet? Really don’t think he knows I’ve been fucking you sideways since the day you got here?” Jimin is too shocked to reply, but thankfully Yoongi is still rolling, so he has time to come up with a response should the Bangtan leader expect one from him. “That fucker knew it’d fucking rattle me to call you out, he just overestimated. He’s right that others have been eyeing the Port but nobody else is stupid enough to ask me directly. Probably thought I’d hand over the docks just to get him out of my sight, even after we dropped two guards.”
Jimin shivers at the mention of the bodyguards, a flash of orange passing in his vision, and Yoongi lets go of his shirt.
“Who…” Jimin shakes his head. “Who else knows?”
“Doesn’t matter.” Yoongi brushes something off the sleeve of his jacket and rubs his hand over his jaw, massaging it from the tension it most likely held during the meeting. He opens his mouth, rocks his jaw back and forth, and then says, “None of them know your name and none of them care to ask. Even Kim thinks you’re one of dozens so he doesn’t give that much of a fuck.”
Jimin has to physically bite down on his lip to keep himself from asking his desperate question, “Am I?” Really, it wouldn’t matter to ask, considering Jimin already knows, always has. He clenches his hands into fists, feeling his nails dig crescent moons into his palms as he watches Yoongi pull a pack of cigarettes from his jacket pocket. Flipping open the lid, Yoongi eyes the younger under his fringe, silent warning loud in the night air, and pulls out another stick with his teeth. Jimin waits until a lighter is produced and the tip of the cigarette is burning red before opening his mouth to quietly ask if Yoongi is scared.
“Of some fucking goonies? No, baby, I’m not scared.”
“Kim sounded serious,” Jimin presses. “Sometimes they just say shit to scare you—” Yoongi throws Jimin a look like he can’t believe the younger is bothering to voice something they both already know. “—but if he’s really got three loads heading into town, what are you going to do? You don’t have the firepower to compete with that.”
“I don’t need firepower.” Yoongi puffs out another cloud of gray smoke. “I need everyone to shut the fuck up.”
Jimin tries not to let Yoongi’s words make the aching in his chest grow larger. He sniffs and turns his head to the side, gazing down the skinny boardwalk. The Agust is the only bar on the street with direct access to the Port behind it, and Jimin has never taken it for granted. When he’s not needed behind the counter, he spends his time sitting here, right on the cement, staring at the water that’s perpetually tainted with oil from the massive carrier ships lining the docks.
Yoongi wraps a hand around his neck, fingers grabbing the hair at the nape and harshly wrenching. He gasps, head yanked back to the side and then Yoongi is covering his mouth with his own, prying open his lips with an expert tongue. The smoke hits him immediately, pushed from Yoongi’s mouth into his lungs, and he grimaces through the kiss. It’s disgusting, the smell and taste of tobacco on his teeth and in his throat but he can’t bring himself to pull away. Instead, he settles his hands on Yoongi’s hips and gently tugs the elder closer to him, until his body is flush against his.
“Careful,” Yoongi murmurs. Jimin glances through hooded eyes to see the cigarette dangerously close to Jimin’s cheek. Its heat is orange now, and the sight of that color suddenly has terror racking through Jimin’s veins and he startles, flinching away from Yoongi.
“I’ll go,” He says as evenly as possible. But he doesn’t move, because leaving means going back into the bar to get his belongings and if he sees the dead bodyguard again he might get ill.
Yoongi only nods and steps back, believing Jimin’s sudden decision to leave is due to the flame so close to his face.
“Get home safe,” Yoongi says, taking another hit. He’s not looking at Jimin, a fact that has the younger thinking his nickname is rather fitting after all.
“One of your guys called me a slut.”
Yoongi doesn’t even look up from his phone. “You are.” That sends Jimin reeling, literally, and his hip slams into the side of the dresser in his retreat. It’s that noise that actually causes Yoongi to raise his eyes. “What?”
“What did you just call me?”
“A slut,” Yoongi repeats without hesitation, and Jimin makes a small sound in the back of his throat, immediately averting his eyes. “Jimin?”
“Don’t,” Jimin says stiffly, trying to leave the bedroom. Yoongi, who is known for having inhuman speed, gets off the bed and plants himself in Jimin’s path. “No.” Jimin shoves him aside, only for a hand to wrap tightly around his wrist.
“You’ve never been offended at me calling you that before,” Yoongi says, so casually Jimin feels tears prickling the corners of his eyes. “You’ve asked me to call you that.”
“That’s different,” Jimin croaks, his hand falling limp in Yoongi’s grip.
“I have to fuck you for it to be okay?”
Jimin squeezes his eyes shut in response and a rebel tear streaks down his face. He doesn’t bother trying to get rid of it, Yoongi will see anyways, and he says it shows weakness to hide. So he lets the tear fall silently, knowing without seeing that Yoongi is watching it track down his cheek. " I didn’t mean to make you cry.”
Yoongi leans in and kisses the tear away, an action that threatens to break Jimin entirely. “I don’t care what they call you as long as they know you’re mine.”
Jimin takes a breath before replying. “I assumed you’d be angry.”
Yoongi pauses. Jimin can feel it even with his eyes closed, can feel the stiffness of Yoongi’s stance and the tiniest hitch of breath in Yoongi’s chest. “I thought you hated it when I got angry.”
“I hate when you get angry at me,” Jimin says, one finger darting forward to touch Yoongi on the chest. Yoongi guides the hand still in his grip to his shoulder, then lets go, and Jimin decides to keep his hand there. He waits a moment, then slides his palm up towards Yoongi’s neck.
“Do you want me to be angry?” It’s a loaded question, one that won’t bring resolution no matter what Jimin says. He waits, pretending to think about his answer, then shakes his head. It’s too lovely a night for Jimin to set off the fire in those dark eyes.
Jimin can’t go back into the bar. He won’t, not tonight at least. So while he still has time, he takes an extra second to look over Yoongi. His hair ruffles just a little in a summer breeze, no shine in it to reflect off the moon. If Jimin wanted, he could raise his leg and kick Yoongi square in the chest, barrel him backward off the boardwalk and into the water. He realizes, with a huff of disbelief, that he doesn’t know whether or not Yoongi can swim.
He shouldn’t, he really shouldn’t, but his mind has been mixed and scrambled so much in the last few hours, he needs a simple truth to ground himself before he attempts to go home. But instead of kicking Yoongi, like a part of his brain still urges him to, he raises his voice.
“Do you love me?”
The cigarette hovers, balanced precariously over Yoongi’s bottom lip. There’s no emotion in his features, the walls are back up, and he blinks once.
Jimin nods, expecting this, and genuinely feeling relief at the confirmation. At least one thing has not changed. At least he can forget about the color orange for a just a moment as he swallows Yoongi’s words and accepts them as he always has.
He gives no reply. Yoongi’s not looking for one. The scruff of his heel turning on the cement is hidden by the sound of water smacking into the side of the boardwalk. He walks away without looking back.