Jimin is sprawled out on his and Jungkook’s couch, looking bored as he reads some ‘health science’ magazine. He turns the page after skimming a stupid article about some self-proclaimed ‘miracle abs sculptor’ belt, muttering under his breath that ‘it costs zero dollars to lay on the floor and do some sit ups but whatever.’ His eyes freeze on the title of the next article, which is obviously meant to be the highlight of the magazine. His expression morphs into something unreadable; it’s akin to a blend of disbelief, anger, and fear. He doesn’t understand why he’s still disbelieving at this point in time, but the anger and fear are at least justified.
Jungkook hears the quiet scoff from Jimin and turns to look at him questioningly. Then he sees the magazine his boyfriend is reading, and he knows.
“Babe, why are you reading that? Most of it is propaganda,” Jungkook states. He doesn’t want Jimin to make himself unnecessarily stressed. But all Jimin does is snort and shove the article in his face with a “yeah, no shit.” Jungkook ignores Jimin’s attitude at that moment because he knows his baby is stressed out. Really, they all are. Their entire country is. So Jungkook just backs his head up a little bit so his eyes can focus on the words in the title of the article. His eyes go wider than they ever have before.
“ADDITION TO NEURAL IMPLANTS GIVES USERS ABILITY TO CONTROL ON/OFF FUNCTION”
“What a load of fucking horseshit!” Jungkook exclaims, “when was this article written?!”
Jimin turns to the cover for the publishing date and rolls his eyes, “6 months ago.”
The article was published half a year ago, and clearly states that this function was already in the newest devices at the time of publication. Which means that plenty of people should have the new implants by now, yet none of them are using any such function. It’s all lies- in actuality the devices can do no such thing and there is no on/off function. But the public, they don’t have to know that, right? As long as the government gets what it wants and retains its power, the officials don’t give a shit about the people of this poor country. The magazine itself was made as a propaganda tool and only masquerades as a health science magazine. The government thrives off lies and manipulation. What’s truly sad, is that the lies and manipulation ended up getting the leader elected by the citizens themselves, fair and square.
Prior to their current president, there was a man by the name of Jung Saejoon. Saejoon was a terrible man. He was filled to the brim with nothing other than malice, and he had no qualms about showing it. He would starve areas of the country solely because he thought it was an interesting experiment to see how long people could go without food. He would bomb parts of cities merely because he thought explosions and collapsing buildings were entertaining to watch. He had taken over Korea when he decided one day that he wanted more power than what he had as a CEO; he was no longer satisfied making his company employees’ work days a living hell. He had decided that turning the entire country into a living hell would be a much more enjoyable use of his time. His company worked closely with the government back then, and it made it easier for Saejoon to bring the president down. He framed the president who was in office at that time, for some crime he didn’t actually commit but Saejoon had arranged it to appear as so. That president, who really was a wonderful person and led the country quite well, ended up being thrown in a jail cell only to never be let out again. Saejoon took over as the new president, and there began Korea’s descent to doom. Dragged to the depths of despair by a (more than) likely undiagnosed psychopath.
A lot of people died during Saejoon’s time as president. ‘President’ had become synonymous with ‘dictator’ shortly after he took over office. He killed civilians, but his own officials that fought back against him were mercilessly disposed of as well. As a result of the unnecessary deaths, the lack of food, the fear he instilled in every single person, emotions were uncontrolled and rampant. Tension was thick within the air. Anger was a predominant emotion amongst citizens. Sadness was another. Many people experienced the grief of losing loved ones. This all caused tensions to rise and rise until people were snapping at each other over insignificant disagreements, or even a small bump into someone while walking was often taken wrongly as a threat. Civilian to civilian murder rates skyrocketed, and burglaries did as well.
Everyone knew who was at fault and everyone felt an incredible hatred toward him, yet no one had been brave enough to act on it after seeing him slaughter his own officials like pigs in a row. Until some random kid, who looked to be barely a teenager, assassinated Saejoon as he was giving a speech. He had just finished a line in his speech in which he unabashedly referred to the public as his ‘pawns’ and the next thing everyone knew the man was slumped over the blood-splattered podium with a hole through his cranium.
The kid who fired the bullet didn’t even run. He just stood there when many shocked heads turned to him, looking satisfied with himself and said in a completely calm voice, “the motherfucker had it coming.” The kid clicked the gun’s safety on and pocketed it, and then he just turned and strolled away like nothing out of the ordinary had happened.
No one cared to arrest the kid.
He had just done what they had all been wanting to do for a long time.
However, then people had to decide what to do. Saejoon hadn’t appointed anyone to take over if he died, because he was concerned that in itself would be incentive for that person to kill him. So the public decided to hold elections again, like they did before Saejoon took over. In theory, it was a wonderfully normal idea and should have worked out. In practice, it did not work out so well for the citizens, yet again.
The thing is, when tensions are high throughout a country it is the perfect time for the citizens to be manipulated into believing a certain candidate will be the best choice for them. It’s the perfect opportunity to lie, gain their trust, and rip it out from underneath the unsuspecting citizens. No one saw it coming.
There were two candidates in the race. One of them, Choi Minho, seemed very warm and he was reportedly very polite when meeting other people. He had a great smile and his eyes showed compassion when he heard the citizens’ personal stories as he met them. He genuinely wanted to get to know the people of the country. Kim Jaehyuk was the other candidate in the running. It wasn’t known where Jaehyuk came from or what he did before running for president but it didn’t end up mattering to anyone. Jaehyuk was the definition of a smooth-talker. He knew what to say and when to say it. Jaehyuk always gave off an aura of high confidence- overbearing confidence at times- but his confidence was also quite attractive to the public. He was firm in his statements to the citizens, without any sign of hesitance or waver. He clearly outlined to the people of Korea what he had planned for his presidency if elected. Promises such as sending aid to the areas struck hard by poverty and lack of food, and reconstruction of demolished buildings, were made. He was very skilled in reading people’s personalities, and knew how certain people tend to react to his words based upon their personality aspects. He was also a very polished actor; he knew how to use body language to accentuate his sincerity. He was a mastermind when it came to conjuring a new determination amongst Koreans.
Kim Jaehyuk appeared to be a new hope to the Koreans. Sure, Choi Minho was kind. He was sympathetic and he held a lot of genuine care for humankind as a whole. But he wasn’t confident or concrete like Kim Jaehyuk in his personality or plans. He didn’t know how to rile up a crowd with his speeches, he didn’t know how to use his body language as effectively. That’s not to say he was a bad speaker, but when placed alongside Jaehyuk, there was an obvious gap between the two candidates. And so, it really was no surprise when Kim Jaehyuk won the presidential election by a landslide and Choi Minho was never heard from again.
To an extent Jaehyuk kept true to his promises. For a while, at least. He had promised aid to impoverished areas. He did follow through with that. He designated funds to help those areas, and sent food to parts that had been cut off from food supply as part of Saejoon’s fucked up experiments. He reserved funds for rebuilding, and creating apartment complexes for those who had been left homeless by the ruthless bombings.
Jaehyuk had lived up to his main promises in a short amount of time as president, and as a result he had gained the trust of most people in Korea. And that makes sense, of course. Why would anyone have reason to distrust him or think anything was off about him? They didn’t, and that was the problem, even though everything was off about the man straight from the beginning.
Jaehyuk was really good at manipulation. He was really good at telling straight up lies to peoples faces as well, without giving any hint that his words would turn out to be false eventually. So when he started claiming that he was working with doctors to find a method of improving people’s mental states, most people were overjoyed. After so many people endured so much trauma and maltreatment, they were left with PTSD, depression, anxiety, and anger. Of course, many of these feelings persisted despite Korea seemingly beginning to mend itself. Jaehyuk promised that he was working hard at this because he cared so deeply about the happiness of his citizens.
Eventually he introduced a device meant to be implanted into the brain by a neurosurgeon. This device, he boasted, eliminates all negative emotions from a person’s mental state and instead only allows for positive emotions to remain. He delivered an entire speech on the pros of having this surgery, both on an individual level and at a national level. He claimed that every person who got the surgery would live happy lives the rest of their days and never have to worry again. That sounded like a dream come true for the Koreans! Jaehyuk set up many departments in hospitals, and he built new clinics for the sole purpose of performing this type of surgical implantation. Naturally, tons of people absolutely flocked to get this surgery done.
How truly unfortunate it was that Kim Jaehyuk was such a skilled liar.
And how dreadfully heartbreaking it was that he never once had the public’s wellbeing in mind, but his and his only.
The implants not only took away negative emotions; they took away positive emotions as well, leaving the recipients as blank slates of scarily minimal executive mental function. Yet, people didn’t realize the situation at first. People who hadn’t gotten the surgery yet saw their loved ones acting oddly dull and unresponsive to things that used to excite them or even anger them. Many settled on believing that it was a side effect and it would go away soon. Some worried citizens called up the doctors, who stated that it was indeed a side effect of the surgery and they can expect their loved ones to gain positive reactions in a week or so. Even though the ‘side effect’ was rather prominent, the doctors’ confirmations weren’t questioned and people kept going to the hospitals to get the surgery done.
As some more time went on, people started to catch on that the ‘side effect’ wasn’t disappearing and that it wasn’t really a side effect at all. Suspicions regarding Jaehyuk himself arose, and they were confirmed when he ordered everyone in the entire country of Korea to get a device implanted. It became a mandatory order. Just like that, those who were still capable of emotion, became terrified yet again. Somehow, they had found themselves in the hands of another crazy leader. Willingly, at that. Jaehyuk may have not been a psychopath like Saejoon, but no one would be surprised if he was a narcissist and a pathological liar, consumed by greed and a thirst for ultimate control.
There were a lot of people that accepted their fate and followed the mandatory orders. Those were mostly the people that felt they had nothing to lose, like no family or significant other that they feared losing their affection for. There were also a few brave ones who tried to run from the government, but they were always caught. They were apprehended rather swiftly too, since the government had taken the precautions of monitoring phones and installing a copious amount of surveillance cameras around the city.
The ones that had tried to run were the ones that had love to lose. The people whose brains remained unaltered ended up figuring out that the reasons Jaehyuk had done all of this. Rendering everyone emotionless made them uncaring of anything he did...and it was this apathy that kept him in complete control. He especially began to target those who he could figure out were in serious relationships first, to eliminate the threat love brought to him.
People who feel a strong love, especially romantic love, for another person are more likely to feel intensified anger and a need to protect.
Those people are the ones that are most likely to stage a revolt against him.
And Jaehyuk, being the mastermind of emotional manipulation that he is, realized that love in particular would probably be the cause of his downfall if he ever has one. There were no second thoughts or looming guilt over the decision he made to wipe love off the earth. Best to rid everyone of it, he had thought.
He had come to despise that feeling anyway, about 20 years ago.
Jimin seems to have gone back to brooding over the magazine in silence while Jungkook’s mind begins to wander. Jungkook’s eyes flitter around the room as another wave of anger washes over him, with anxiety succeeding it right after. He takes in his and Jimin’s surroundings. They don’t have much in their tiny Busan apartment. What they do have, Jimin has arranged nicely so it looks welcoming enough. They have a tiny round kitchen table that Jimin found cast away to the side of the road with one of the legs half missing. Jungkook stares at the table a little while, replaying fond memories in his head of Jimin trying to repair the busted table leg. A frustrated Jimin cursing at a table while it repeatedly collapses is an oddly cute sight, even though Jungkook got major attitude from him about it later (it was worth it).
His gaze moves over to the bookshelf that they have over nearby the corner of the room. Jimin loves reading; in fact they didn’t even bother saving up for a TV because they knew neither of them would use it. Jimin would much rather bury his nose in a book, and Jungkook gets bored watching TV anyway. Everything broadcasted is controlled and of very limited content, so there really is no point for them to ever get one. To be quite blunt, Jungkook would rather have viewing choices other than propaganda, and reality shows that if he turns on the channel he swears he feels his brain cells disintegrating within the first 2 minutes. Jungkook didn’t used to like reading before he met Jimin, but the way that the older was so adorably animated when recounting a great book he read...it made Jungkook want to start reading more. When he’d read one of Jimin’s recommended favorites, he’d imagine Jimin reading it too, all curled up in a blanket with a mug of warm tea and those cute glasses resting on his nose. He’d imagine how he probably smiled or giggled at parts, or maybe even cried at the sad parts. As Jungkook fell more and more in love with Jimin, he loved reading more and more.
His boyfriend has a lot of quirks and one of the funniest ones to Jungkook is to do with his book collection, of course.
Jungkook has always been amused at how his boyfriend has his multitude of novels organized. Jimin probably has enough books sitting on that shelf that he could read for 3 months straight if Jungkook let him. And he has every single book placed exactly where he wants it. He has the top shelf filled with his favorite books. The middle shelf holds books Jimin considers his ‘almost favorites’ and the bottom shelf houses the books that he has deemed ‘pretty damn good reads but not close to favorites.’ Jimin then has each shelf divided into moods for each book. Jungkook remembers asking Jimin one day as he reorganized his bookshelf if he has ever had obsessive compulsive disorder because this is really stressing you out, Jimin . He remembers Jimin gaping at him like he suddenly sprouted 2 extra heads before his expression turned scandalized and he was giving Jungkook an earful. You- the audacity! No, Gguk I don’t have OCD, maybe I just like my shit really organized so if I’m feeling, oh I don’t know, ANGRY AT YOU -for example- I know where I can find a book to help me feel better, but YOU KNOW WHAT! Maybe I should put the really fucking romantic books right in the very front so when you piss me off again it’s RIGHT THERE for me to grab and remind myself love is a wonderf-
A laughing Jungkook had shut up his ranting boyfriend by pulling the smaller onto his lap and kissing him breathless.
On top of the shelf there’s a framed picture of the both of them. Jungkook recognizes it to be from closer to the time they first met. Jimin was different then. He had tangerine orange hair, as opposed to the light pink he has now. The Jimin back then was a firecracker of a guy, who dressed more in leather jackets than the fluffy sweaters he does now, styled his hair up instead of letting it fall forward, and lined his eyes heavily with black kohl. He was rebellious back 2 years ago and sometimes he’d even seek out the thrill of a confrontation, especially because he knew he was fast enough to sprint away if he needed. He went out to cause a storm, only to outrun the consequences; a self-coined adrenaline junkie who didn’t care to die but didn’t care to live either. Jimin had changed a lot over the two years of dating Jungkook; he became more subdued, careful, and his appearance turned softer. Jungkook fell in love with the dangerous firecracker Jimin, but he loves softer Jimin just as much.
Sometimes he wonders if he will ever see that feisty side of Jimin again. He hopes to see those sparks flare once more. Just with less risk involved, that would be desirable.
Jungkook studies the picture more and thinks it doesn’t look like he’s changed much from 2 years ago. Even his wide-eyed expression of total awe by Jimin’s mere existence next to him probably hasn’t changed much.
The more Jungkook looks at the picture, the more he begins to feel unease creep into his mind.
He turns his gaze to Jimin, who is laying back on their couch just staring up at the ceiling. He looks worried. He’s biting his lip, and it looks like he’s thinking about something sad. He seems to be trying really hard not to cry. But Jungkook notices the unshed tears glistening in his eyes and threatening to spill over at any moment. Jimin has always had beautifully expressive eyes, even when they’re showing only a deep sadness.
In Jungkook’s opinion, Jimin has always been a perfect mixture of everything breathtaking and wonderful. He’s everything that could be right in this world, if the rest of the world modeled after him. This world doesn’t deserve a soul like Jimin, not after all of this. He’s too good for it.
Suddenly Jimin sits up and leans forward, tilting his head up to lock eyes with Jungkook as a tear slips down his cheek. The droplet lands on the magazine article he must have set on the floor at some point, probably when Jungkook was deep in the throes of his memories.
Jimin opens his mouth and pauses a second to lick his lips before he asks Jungkook, “Do you think they’ll force us?” His voice is so quiet and it’s shaking. Jungkook hates how sad and broken he sounds when he continues voicing his fears, “What if I lose you?”
This is probably the only situation in which Jungkook will ever say that he hates how expressive Jimin’s eyes are, because how hard this is for them both is so unbearably visible. It’s so heartbreaking, it truly is, to see his boyfriend and the love of his life so scared that their love will die. It wouldn’t just die though, it would be downright murdered. The thing is that despite the question being so ominous, Jungkook doesn’t really have any good answers he feels he can give to it. He knows what the answers to both questions are, and he knows Jimin does as well because Jimin is far from dumb. He knows Jimin’s reason for asking is that he feels sad and vulnerable, and he’s scared just like Jungkook. As much as Jungkook wants to provide comfort for his baby, he can’t lie either. He can’t just lie straight to his boyfriend’s face and say with certainty that they will be alright, that no one will hurt them. It’s not fair to himself and it’s not fair to Jimin. If they catch Jimin, he doesn’t want the last thing Jimin feels towards him to be terrified betrayal. So, Jungkook just opts to break their eye contact in favor of turning his head downward to his lap, where he’s wringing his hands out of nerves. An expression of silent despair is painted on his face; he doesn’t utter a single word but a small pained sigh escapes him.
The harsh sound of the magazine ripping fast is heard and then the shreds of paper are landing scattered around the floor. Jungkook’s head whips up in alarm, eyes wide.
Something has snapped within Jimin. Gone within an instant is the soft Jimin. This Jimin is angry, he is livid and his chest is heaving after destroying the magazine. The pastel pink of his hair no longer fits him. His eyes are piercing, sharp with the anger but there’s something different that’s added into them too. His voice no longer shakes and it’s actually rough when he speaks now.
“No, fuck this. I’m not putting up with it! What is this world?!” Jimin sounds exasperated. He’s louder than usual. He pushes his hand through his hair, “It’s fucking insane , that’s what.”
Jungkook nods, because he wholeheartedly agrees. This world is so wrong in so many ways.
“Jungkookie, baby. I love you so much. I’m not letting our love go. I’m not letting you go,” Jimin swallows hard and his lips tremble with overwhelming emotion when he utters the next sentence, “And I will die knowing that I still love you, before I let anyone take that away.”
Jungkook feels so much love for his amazing boyfriend at that moment, and he smiles fondly. Yet his eyes are alight with a bit of a challenge when he asks, “Well then, what do you suggest we do?”
Oh yes, soft Jimin is definitely gone. Maybe past the point of return, because the smirk that makes its way onto his face is that of unadulterated mischief and rebellion. Jimin might as well have ‘fuck the system’ tattooed large and dark onto his forehead, seeing the expression that’s fallen upon his face. And Jungkook, he is really, really liking this demeanor change. It’s laced with something so dark, and Jungkook is willing to bet it’ll lead to something exciting. He doesn’t have to wait long for his answer.
“We call Taehyung and we run.”
Jungkook finds that a similar lopsided smirk makes its way onto his face too, and it just loads Jimin with more ammo. Jimin’s own expression morphs even further into something that is dangerous. He looks determined to unleash the entirety of hell back upon the government. He sounds so sure, so fed up with the situation, that Jungkook doesn’t have any doubt in his mind the other will follow through with his next threat:
“And if they catch us, we make sure to fuck ‘em up good.”
Jungkook chuckles, “I fucking love you.”
- ☾ -
Jimin never anticipated that there would come a day when his stupid high school antics would actually prove useful to him. Never has Jimin been more grateful that he bitched out his teacher in front of the entire class for saying he had the wrong answer and to ‘actually think before answering,’and his best friend Taehyung cackled at the entire exchange (Jimin did actually have the right answer- the teacher just hated him). Jimin’s disrespect (‘Are you kidding?! That bitch disrespected me !’) and Taehyung’s inability to restrain himself from laughing like a maniac landed them both in 3 days in a row of detention. They were bored out of their minds only 5 minutes into their first day of it, so they told the teacher that they were in a group project with each other for another class and were going to work on it. In reality, there was no group project. They just wanted an excuse to hang together and be able to talk. They weren’t banking on the teacher buying their story, but she did and they spent the time making up a secret written language. Why did they choose to create a written language of all things to do? Jimin can’t remember, but knowing how mischievous he and Taehyung were back then... the probability of it being so that they could pass secretive notes to each other during class is pretty high.
It’s been a long time since he’s talked with Taehyung. It’s a really sad situation and Jimin feels the empty spot in his heart where Taehyung used to feel so close, but it’s how things have been and they can’t really avoid it. He knows they’re still the platonic soulmates they’ve always been, but Taehyung has changed a lot over the past year and withdrawn pretty far from Jimin. He worries for his best friend; he wants to be close again. But he also knows that there’s multiple reasons for Taehyung’s withdrawal from his life. The biggest reason Taehyung has is protection. He’s not doing it for his own protection, because he’s one of the few people in this country that is actually safe from the government. He’s protecting Jimin, and Jungkook by extension.
How did Taehyung get to be one of the few Koreans safe from the government?
The simple answer is that he is the government. Or rather, he’s a part of the government.
Jimin wonders if Taehyung will even remember the writing system they created, but it’s worth a try and he knows that at this point if anyone is going to be able to help them best, it’s going to be Taehyung.
For one, Taehyung never could lose his heart. He has had a wonderful and kind personality ever since the day Jimin met him and he hates to harm even a bug. He’s the kind of guy that will capture an annoying bug with gentle care so as to not hurt it, and he’ll then bring it to safety outdoors. He may have a horribly shitty job that he didn’t want at all and even fought hard against taking, but he never lost that compassion.
The second advantage is that Jaehyuk himself unknowingly placed Taehyung in the perfect position to help Jimin and Jungkook escape.
“Ggukie, I’m going to text Tae, okay?” Jimin calls out to his boyfriend who is in the kitchen making tea for the both of them. Jungkook knows Jimin is stressed, and when Jimin is stressed he chugs green tea like there’s no tomorrow. Neither of them know why he downs mugs of green tea one after another. It can’t be healthy at that point, but Jungkook automatically makes the tea anyway the second he senses Jimin’s stress building because it avoids arguments and tears. And both of those are unpleasant.
Jungkook saunters back to the couch holding two mugs of steaming tea. He sets them down on their makeshift box-turned-coffee-table and leans over to peck Jimin on his lips. A fond smile grows on his face and he hums a short note in approval of Jimin’s statement then adds, “You do that, baby.” He plops right on down to the couch next to Jimin and hugs the smaller into his chest, “And I’m just going to cuddle you while you do that.”
“I can deal with that.”
Jungkook frowns at Jimin, who sounded so unenthusiastic just now about the prospect of cuddling with him! He nudges Jimin, pushing him a little bit away. He isn’t actually offended at the lack of enthusiasm, but is he going to play it like he is? Of course he is. Any chance he gets to tease Jimin, he takes. And so he s the drama, scoffing, “Only deal? Jimin, please. You live for this. My cuddles are the best.”
He’s only met with silence, however he catches the small but knowing smile on Jimin’s face when he bends down to pick up his phone off the floor. It makes him grin a little to himself in response, and when Jimin pushes himself back up into Jungkook’s chest, he just pulls him closer and leans his chin right on Jimin’s head. He breathes in the scent of the shampoo Jimin used earlier- it’s Jungkook’s favorite because it smells like rose petals and it’s so inherently Jimin- and watches Jimin open his texting app. Taehyung’s name is actually not that far down the list of messages, but it’s not like Jimin has many people around to text with anymore so that makes sense. Considering that the last time he texted Taehyung was a year ago and he’s only the 2rd name from the top...it looks lonely and both Jungkook and Jimin feel it. They never really comment on their loneliness anymore but instead they remind themselves that they still have each other at least. Jungkook moves forward a little so he can better peer over Jimin’s head to read the texts that he is sending. He knows the other doesn’t mind, and it’s not like he can even decipher what they’re writing. He just wants to watch the exchange of messages in this constructed writing system of theirs, for the pure amusement. The two friends really must’ve been quite the pair in high school and Jungkook kind of wishes he was there to witness it (also, the thought of an infuriated Jimin bitching out a teacher is kind of attractive to imagine- angry Jimin is hot). Jimin sends the first text and receives a surprisingly fast response after only a few seconds.
chim! what’s wrong are you ok?
that’s a loaded question lol
a lot is wrong
but are you still working?
hAH ur tellin me
yes i am
so..my wonderful taetae
my soulmate forever♡
if we needed to maybe skedaddle :)
right on outta here
you could help us right?
you and jk?
i mean it’s likely that i could
we gotta think up a good plan
and really fuckin quick
plans are useful things yes
and you two don’t have long
you and jk are 3rd on the list
of targeted couples
y’all got lists over there
oh yeah it’s a fuckin J-O-Y
i love waking up every morning
only to cause multiple people misery:)))
life is grand, ain’t it
life is a merciless bitch
Jungkook hears Jimin snort loudly. He wonders what was so funny.
now there’s some truth
maybe the only truth we got
in this country
you and jk have such pure love
i can’t NOT do anything
and fuck this government anyway so
so how we doin this?
i want you both to do these things:
- dye your hair black
- wear face masks, if anyone asks you
to take them off, cough on them :)
- don’t walk too close w jk, no PDA ya hear
- act numb
- get to my apartment at 6pm this evening
- apt 305
ok but cameras…?
there’s none inside the complex yet
not high on the list of priorities
since i live here
they trust me to report anything weird:):):)
tae bby thank u
so so so so much
we’ll get ready
you owe me chim
i take payment in the form of hugs
you got it bby♡
Jimin tosses his phone down on the couch. Jungkook eyes him wearily because he’s not really sure how to interpret the look on Jimin’s face. The other is silent for a second, appearing deep in thought. Suddenly Jimin’s eyes light up like he had just remembered the answer to whatever he was mulling over in his brain, and he speaks up.
“Ggukkie, is that hair dye still in the bathroom cabinet?”
Jungkook just nods and his grin spreads wide. He understands now.
- ☾ -
“Good thing I wanted to dye my hair black anyway, right?”
Jungkook chuckles and mutters a soft ‘I guess so.’ He has just finished applying the hair dye into Jimin’s hair and is now just making sure it is evenly spread throughout. He’s running his fingers through the strands of hair that used to be pastel pink, and wondering how far his world is going to tilt on its axis when they’re done and Jimin’s hair is jet black. The pastel pink made Jimin look cute. The tangerine orange he had before was a vibrant kind of sexy. But jet black...Jungkook really doesn’t know how he’s going to deal with that. His imagination already created an image of Jimin sporting a head of black hair that is difficult to handle. And if Jimin starts wearing thicker eyeliner? Jungkook is done for.
“The coloring looks evenly spread through. Not a sign of pink,” Jungkook states matter-of-fact and proud of his work.
“Great!” Jimin smiles brightly, “How long did the box say to let the dye sit in my hair?”
“Uh,” Jungkook picks up the box and turns it to the back. There’s instructions and he skims the words until he comes across what he needs, “it says 20 minutes.”
Jimin nods and sets a timer on his phone for 20 minutes. He hears Jungkook ask if he wants him to make them tea and Jimin, never one to turn down a steaming cup of tea, hums in approval. Jungkook smiles softly and says he’ll be right back, and then he walks off to make the tea while Jimin stays sitting on the side of the bathtub. He decides to play his favorite game on his phone for a little bit while he waits for his boyfriend to come back. It’s a game that Jungkook found randomly when he was bored, but neither of them anticipated how addicting that game would turn out to be.
“Ggukie we are literally tapping the screen over and over to get a flying corgi through the galaxy without crashing. A flying corgi, in Outer Space. Why are we taking this so serious!?” Jimin had asked one day when they kept getting stuck on a level and Jungkook was getting frustrated because goddamnit I’m going to get this corgi through this level aliv- shit- fuck! He whacked his head!
Jimin had just watched as Jungkook’s shoulders slumped in (yet another) defeat and he had to kiss the pout away when he couldn’t stand the sight anymore.
Now, Jimin is playing this frustrating game because it allows his mind no opportunity to wander, and as a result he’s left with no opportunity to worry. His corgi has already died 3 times and he’s starting to get pissed at it; he kind of really wants to smash his phone to smithereens down on the tile floor...but at least he’s not thinking about everything else that’s wrong right now.
Jungkook walks back into the bathroom right as Jimin’s corgi dies for the 4th time and he’s sporting a deep scowl, muttering disgruntled curses under his breath.
“What’s up buttercup? Corgi bit the stardust?” he strolls in with a chuckle at his own joke. He holds the mug out to Jimin, who takes it carefully yet also snorts at his boyfriend’s behavior.
“I thought so.”
It cheers him up though. Jimin smiles around the mug while he takes a sip, because yeah, his boyfriend is a complete dork and he loves that. He will never admit it to Jungkook, but he did have to suppress a laugh.
There’s comfortable silence and Jimin is absentmindedly sipping from the mug but then-
“How much longer is left on the timer?” Jungkook’s voice startles the other at the exact moment he’s swallowing another sip of the tea and he chokes, the liquid burning his tongue and throat. He’s still coughing and manages to barely sputter out a “5 minutes” to a very concerned and apologetic Jungkook. The younger has started rubbing his back calmingly and Jimin leans into the touch, finally getting himself together after a minute or so.
“Sorry,” Jungkook looks sheepish but continues rubbing Jimin’s back tenderly. Jimin just shakes his head. He’s already over it and animated about the next topic.
“I’m excited to see how the black will turn out, Gguk. Did you know the last time I had black hair was when I was in high school? I think I was maybe 16,” Jimin states. The younger notices that he really does look so excited, and it’s so endearing. Jimin’s eyes are sparkling with the anticipation of having newly black hair and he continues his statement, “I don’t even remember how I looked with black hair back then. I mean, I’ve changed of course, gotten older and stuff.”
“I’m excited too Jiminie. You’re going to be beautiful no matter what, of course. Black might be a nice change though!” Jungkook supplies his own opinion void of doubts.
But then, Jimin looks sideways at Jungkook, and there’s a sly smirk set upon his face. Jungkook swallows and he almost doesn’t want to look into Jimin’s eyes because Jimin is way too alluring and he still needs to wash the dye out of his hair, so they can’t get caught up in anything right now. Still, Jimin is Jimin and he’s decided he doesn’t want to make this easy for the younger man. His voice is lowered and sultry sounding, he’s brushing his fingers lightly down Jungkook’s chest. He knows what he’s doing, saying “I think I’m going to be hot as fuck, you’ll want to pin me against the wall right away.”
Jungkook doesn’t even think of denying that, because if the timer didn’t sound through the bathroom at that very moment, he likely would’ve pinned Jimin against the wall- dye washed out or not. But the timer is loud, and Jimin jumps up from the side of the bathtub. He claps his hands and exclaims “Well look at that! It’s time to wash this dye out! I’ll get in the shower now. You should go pack up stuff we will need to take with us.” A split second later he’s pushing a stunned Jungkook out of the bathroom saying “go, go!” and closing the door hard. The younger just stares at the door and shakes his head in wonder. Jimin never fails to astonish him. One minute he was acting seductive, the next he’s clapping his hands like an excited kid and shoving him out the door. There’s truly many conflicting sides to his boyfriend.
Jungkook thinks it keeps things interesting. Which side of his boyfriend will he encounter on any given day? Will he get his dick sucked or will he be banished from their room so he doesn’t distract Jimin while he reads a new book? It’s always a toss up.
Jungkook hears the water turn on and tries to compile a list of necessities in his mind. How much is truly necessary? And now that he thinks about it, they’re probably just going to have to pack everything they need into their backpacks- the ones they used to take to the college classes they had together. It’ll probably be difficult, and they will have to narrow it down to the very most necessary items, but he starts laying out things and clothes he thinks Jimin will want to take with them the most. He lays out a sweatshirt, sweatpants, a pair of jeans, underwear, some socks...some toiletries, too. He remembers that there’s a necklace that is very important to Jimin- something to do with his mother but he’s never fully disclosed the story and Jungkook never pushed it. It’s just a chain with a silver feather charm dangling off of it, but its simplicity adds to its elegance. Jungkook picks it up gingerly, and places it into a plastic bag because he doesn’t see a box for it. It’s the best he can do at keeping it safe. He grabs Jimin’s eyeliner pencil and some of his concealer, and he also grabs Jimin’s phone charger and headphones. He lays all of them out on his bed in a neat row, hoping to appease Jimin’s Not-OCD-But-Probably-OCD tendencies. Afterward, he starts to pile up his clothes and toiletries, his charger. He decides to grab a notebook and pen. He’s not sure why he feels compelled to bring those items, but he grabs them anyway. He’s got all of his things in his backpack and moves to the kitchen to start setting aside some things they’ll need- he knows hydration is maybe going to be the main issue and so he packs 4 bottles of water. He hopes they’ll be able to fill the bottles somewhere when they need to. He lays out some nutrition bars they have laying in the pantry- it seems like most people ate nutritional bars instead of actual food recently because their so-called ‘President’ Jaehyuk hasn’t been so great at keeping the food supply steady anymore. They have a bag of carrots and 2 apples in the fridge so he grabs those too, but it’s really a sad sight. He also decides to pack Jimin’s green tea bags, because Lord help Jungkook if he forgets those. He’d be fucked, and definitely not in the way he wants.
The water suddenly clicks off and Jungkook feels his curiosity spike. He’s really looking forward to seeing a Jimin with jet black hair. He sets everything down on the counter, knowing he can just come back to it in a little bit. The new visual takes precedence over packing at this very moment. He’s about halfway to the bathroom when Jimin calls out in a sing song voice.
He sounds happy. This is a good sign.
“Yes baby? You’re done~?” Jungkook sings back to him through the door. He waits for affirmation before opening the door.
Jimin is fully clothed and towel drying his hair. He turns and shakes his head to move his hair around a little and out of his shining eyes and he smiles wide at Jungkook. Meanwhile, Jungkook is frozen in place; he is shocked. Mouth wide open, eyes unblinking. A person isn’t supposed to look that fucking good. Is his boyfriend still a human?
He’s pretty sure the pink fairy from before has now evolved into a sultry sex demon.
And aforementioned sex demon is slowly walking toward him, eyes trained on Jungkook and totally loving the younger’s shocked reaction to this. Jimin is amused. He thought he’d be hot, but was he expecting this reaction from his boyfriend? Not at all.
“How do I look?” he asks, a deceptively innocent smile on his lips. But they both know it’s far from innocent, and it’s totally readable from his eyes.
“Like a wet dream,” Jungkook replies, and lifts his hand to stroke through Jimin’s still kind of damp hair. Teasingly he adds on, “Literally.”
The other just sends a light swat his way and bursts out laughing, but Jungkook moves in to softly capture his lips. Jimin obliges for a gentle peck, but then pulls his head back to look at Jungkook straight in his eyes. “You are so annoying, you know that?” Jimin tells him without any real bite to the insult. The glint in his eye gives him away.
Jungkook just inches closer though. He keeps his eyes gazing into Jimin’s and his voice drops deeper when he asks, “You think so?”
Jimin breathes out, “Yeah.”
“Yet,” Jungkook pecks his lips quick, “we’re about to,” another peck , “run away,” a little longer kiss, “together.”
“Mmm, yeah. I guess we are,” is all that Jimin answers before he’s wrapping his arms around back of the younger’s neck and pulling him in to connect their lips harder. Jungkook backs them up so he’s pinning Jimin against the wall like he wanted to do so badly earlier. He moves his lips against Jimin’s with more intensity and deepens the kiss when he feels Jimin’s hand running through his hair and then pulling a little on the strands. Not enough to even sting, but he really loves it when the other grabs onto his hair and it just serves to rile him up a little more. He runs his tongue along Jimin’s bottom lip and the older responds by parting his lips, sighing and allowing Jungkook’s tongue entry. Jungkook wastes no time exploring Jimin’s mouth. He hums when their tongues brush. He’s pushed Jimin even further into the wall with his own body, one arm on the wall above him and the other wrapped on his bicep. Jungkook detaches himself from Jimin’s lips and starts pressing kisses along the other’s jaw and down his neck, sucking and licking at his skin. Jimin, whose hands have moved to his shoulders and already had a tight hold on the younger, suddenly grips his shoulders even tighter and moans lightly. The sound that Jungkook loves so much. But it’s as he’s mouthing up Jimin’s neck again and on the sensitive spot underneath Jimin’s ear, that Jimin moans louder and suddenly he’s pulling away panting.
“G-gguk we can’t right now,” he breathes heavily, “Tae.”
Jungkook is just as worked up as Jimin is but they back away from each other, knowing it can’t continue. As disappointing as it is, he knows Jimin is right. Taehyung said to be at his apartment at 6pm, and it’s currently 4:45pm. Jimin still has to look over the items he needs to bring, and it’ll probably take them about 10 minutes to walk to the station, and then it’s a 20 minute subway ride to Taehyung’s apartment on the other side of the city.
They both scurry out of the bathroom, hormones forgotten after realizing the time. Jimin does a quick once-over of everything his boyfriend laid out for him, saying it all looks great after making sure he grabbed the feather necklace. He stuffs it all into his backpack and they make their way to the kitchen to look over what he’s got laid out food-wise. He peers into the pantry in hopes that they can bring along some more sustenance than what Jungkook has packed, but he just ends up disappointed.
“We really don’t have a lot, do we?”
Jungkook shakes his head, “Nope.”
“Alright then I gue- ah wait there’s a bag of crackers! I’ll grab those,” Jimin exclaims and forces the crackers into the stuffed backpack that can now barely be zippered.
“Jimin! You’re going to crush them.”
“We can still eat crumbs, Gguk.”
Jungkook admits he has a point there. If they don’t take them, they’d have no crackers at all. Crumbs are better than air. So, he shuts up quick and just lets Jimin do his thing. His eyes follow the older as he makes his way over to the knife drawer and opens it. Jungkook watches Jimin stare into the drawer seemingly lost in this thoughts, while Jungkook is wondering what in the world he’s doing. He feels a jolt of anxiety run through him seeing Jimin pick up a knife and examine it in thought, pushing his finger carefully against it to test the sharpness and deciding with a wince that yes, that knife is definitely sharp. It’s a shocking sight to see Jimin holding a knife like that, and even more concerning is the little drop of crimson blood oozing out of his finger.
Jimin’s still holding the knife when he twists his head back to send the younger an inquisitive look.
“Why are you holding a knife and why are you testing it with your finger?”
Recognition washes over Jimin’s face. Then he states completely nonchalant, like it’s the most normal thing in the world, “We’re taking them as weapons.” With that he turns his gaze back downwards into the drawer and picks up another medium sized knife to examine. There’s an awkward silence that ensues and it has Jimin looking up at a wide eyed Jungkook appearing rather unnerved.
Jimin just stares him down incredulously, “Did you really think we were just going to flee from an oppressive government that wants to slice into our brains, without any weapons on us?”
“Jungkook, when I said that we fuck them up if they catch us, I meant we fuck. them. up. As in, we fight for our lives and that will most likely involve use of a weapon.”
They stare at each other as they wait for Jungkook’s brain to catch up to the implications of Jimin’s words.
“Well fuck,” Jungkook breathes, “I guess there’s not really a choice in that matter.”
Jimin laughs as he places the sheaths over the blades to the 4 knives he’s chosen. It’s not really a laugh though; there’s a dark undertone of nothing but contempt. “Isn’t it sad though, that this here is the closest thing we get to an actual choice in this shithole of a country?”
Jungkook is stunned in place, thinking about those words his boyfriend just uttered so bitterly. He’s watching Jimin pull his trench coat over his shoulders, too harsh in his movements. It all hits him at full force when he observes Jimin slip two of the knives into an inner pocket of the coat. Jungkook’s heart beats faster and his palms start to sweat because Holy fucking shit, Jimin is right.
And also, if they’re confronted they may have to become murderers. That possibility in itself is terrifying to them both, even if Jimin appears to be handling it better than Jungkook at the moment. Jungkook feels queasy, but then he downright wants to puke his guts when Jimin hands him the other two covered knives to place inside his coat.
Jimin hands Jungkook a black face mask and his cap to wear under the hood of his jacket.
“Tae said that if anyone tells us to take off the face mask, we should just cough in their face,” Jimin says lightly chuckling, “We can say we have some incurable, very contagious infection. Hopefully it would send them running from us before they can even get a good look at our faces.” Jimin pulls on his own face mask and loops it behind his ears. He places his own cap on his head and pulls the hood of his jacket up. His entire outfit is black (as is Jungkook’s) and it looks reminiscent to that of a serial killer’s attire.
Jungkook smirks at Jimin, “you’re looking only a little like a serial killer over there.”
“Oh, really? Maybe it was the two knives that gave me away,” the other jokes cracking a wide smile on his face. “Anyway, we’re dressed pretty similar and I’m pretty sure I handed you two knives to put in your jacket too. Hypocrite,” he says this, all the while laughing.
Jimin ends his joking abruptly though, citing the need to master their expressions. Taehyung had said in his texts that they needed to do their best to portray emptiness in their eyes while on the street and riding the subway, and so he thinks it’s best that they practice it a little before they head out. They decide that Jungkook will attempt it first and he actually does alright, Jimin thinks.
Jimin’s turn is now and he closes his eyes to try to rid himself of thoughts for a second. He breathes, and when he opens his eyes they look so, so frighteningly devoid of emotion. His face is set in a neutral expression. His eyes are simply staring unfocused. It’s like he’s seeing everything, but also seeing directly through it. But then he’s snapped himself out of it and back to normal so quickly, and it’s so relieving to see Jimin acting like himself again.
“Did I look dead inside?” Jimin asks.
A shudder racks through Jungkook’s body at the thought of how dead inside Jimin truly did look only moments before. He hates that look on him; it’s so wrong . The older probably doesn’t even realize how horrific that sight was to Jungkook. Jungkook merely swallows his nerves down and nods.
“Yeah, you did. Let’s go.”
- ☾ -
The second they both step out onto the street they feel a wave of uncertainty. Any sense of security they had left in their lives dissipates when they’ve been walking a minute down the street. They do their best not to walk too close to each other- Taehyung had said absolutely no affectionate looks or gestures where they can be seen- so they stay further apart to cut down the risk of making that mistake. However, they’re also trying to appear as if they’ve already been operated on, so it makes sense to stay further away from each other anyway; people with the implants don’t want to walk close to each other. The unfortunate surgical recipients don’t have attachment to anyone- so why would they walk together?
Jimin is about 10 steps ahead. Jungkook has kept a watchful eye on him, ready to jump into protection mode if anything goes awry. Right now, things seem decently safe though.
This part of the city of Busan looks the type of disastrous that can only culminate from unending apathy. There’s garbage everywhere, smells emanating from God-only-knows-what in that dark alleyway. Dead rodents lay in the street. Jungkook almost steps on one with his foot but luckily misses it, albeit barely. For the second time this evening, he feels like he’s going to empty his stomach everywhere.
It’s getting dark now too, and no one has bothered to replace the bulbs in the streetlights. Soon all the light that street will have to work with is intermittent flickering of every 3rd streetlight.
The most eerie aspect of Busan is the way that the people around them look more emotionally devoid than Jimin did earlier. They just walk around, dull and staring through everything. Jungkook doesn’t want to think about this, and he definitely doesn’t want to think about his boyfriend potentially becoming like that. He tries not to notice the other people as much and just bores his eyes into Jimin’s figure ahead of him.
It’s when they’re about 1 minute away from the subway station that they get a scare.
Jungkook watches as Jimin gets closer to the stairs of the station. There’s a uniformed government official leaning against the wall and Jungkook’s heart skips a beat in fear when the official squints his eyes at Jimin. The official pushes himself off the wall and leans in Jimin’s direction in an attempt to get a better look at him. He’s looking at his eyes like he thinks they look familiar, but when he catches view of Jimin’s hair he seems to relax and he leans back into the wall. It seems like the official then gets a text and turns his attention away from the street and completely onto his phone. Jungkook feels the adrenaline in his body decrease and his heart rate slowing back down to normal once he sees Jimin make his way down the stairs. The official’s eyes are still glued to his phone, and Jungkook slips by without any issue.
He realizes that the officials probably know of Jimin as having pink hair- that’s probably one of their main methods of identification- because it’s not like pastel pink is a popular hair color in this area, especially amongst males. Taehyung was sly having them dye Jimin’s hair black. Most people here do have black hair, so he blends in quite perfectly.
And as Jungkook can attest to, Jimin with black hair has a very different appearance from the Jimin with light pink hair.
The official probably thought he recognized the eyes, but then the lack of pink hair threw him off and he probably decided it actually wasn’t Jimin he was seeing. They were pretty lucky there.
Jungkook sees Jimin waiting at the bottom of the stairs off to the side. He makes his way down to his boyfriend, and they see that the next arrival is in 2 minutes. They rush in the direction of the platform, swiping their passes to get through and the train arrives just as they reach the platform. There’s not many people getting on this train, but that’s probably better for them. They both take a seat, but leave 2 seats space between them.
The next 20 minutes go by in a blur. The subway cars stop and go, stop and go. Jimin and Jungkook just do their best to not pay attention to anyone- and that basically entails them boring their eyes into nothing in particular for the entire ride. They don’t even bother to hold themselves still when the train stops and starts. Their nonexistent attempts to halt their bodies’ swaying just completes their apathetic façade. The stop closest to Taehyung’s apartment finally is next up, and Jimin stands up to go hang out by the door. Jungkook decides to wait for just a little bit longer before he’ll get up and move to the door- he thinks it’s better if he waits until he hears the automated voice say that they are arriving at the next stop, before he moves to follow Jimin out of the train. Of course, subways are fast so he doesn’t have to wait long at all. The speaker sounds, and he gets up. Jimin walks out, and up the stairs, and Jungkook follows him, eyes still (subtly) on the lookout for any trouble that may be brewing.
They both reach the top of the stairs and the first thing that Jungkook notices is that this side of the city is much nicer. It’s cleaner. Where are all the smells? Where are the dead rodents lining the streets? And functioning streetlights? Preposterous. The obvious gap in sanitation and quality between the two areas of the cities is astounding, and Jungkook makes a mental note to ask Jimin later how the hell that happened.
He’s still reeling in this absurdity when he notices that Jimin has stopped in front of an apartment complex. The complex looks nice. It’s tall, and looks sturdy. Well built. Luxurious, in contrast to Jimin and Jungkook’s shared apartment. Jungkook feels kind of awkward when Jimin just walks in like he belongs there, but he follows his boyfriend because he trusts him.
Jimin moves the mask down a little so he can talk, “Tae said there’s no cameras in this complex, Gguk. We just have to be careful if we run into people.”
Jungkook nods, “so what floor is he on?”
“Third. He’s number 305. There’s an elevator over here so we should probably take that up. I’m too exhausted to climb 3 flights of stairs.”
“Sounds good, let’s go.”
They don’t have to wait long after pressing the arrow up button for the door to the elevator to open with a loud ding. There’s no one inside luckily when the door opens, because neither of them want to deal with anyone right now; especially not anyone who could recognize them potentially. Jungkook presses the button for the 3rd floor. It’s only 3 floors for the elevator to go up but it suddenly seems to feel like forever passes between each floor. Jimin is jittery off to his side too, and that definitely doesn’t help his nerves at all.
Finally, the doors slide open and Jimin hops out. He’s almost running down to the door that has a 305 plated on the outside. He’s knocking probably a little frantic, but he’s both so nervous and excited to see his best friend for the first time in a year. The door cracks open just as Jungkook reaches it.
The next thing they both know, they’re being whisked inside the apartment and Jimin is being enveloped by a brightly grinning Taehyung. Taehyung picks him up and spins him around, Jimin is elated and giggling, and Jungkook is finding this interaction so adorable he can’t even find it within him to be the least bit jealous.
He’s glad they both look so happy. Jungkook can admit, he doesn’t know Taehyung as well as Jimin, but he’s also missed him. So he’s pretty happy to see the guy too. Taehyung wraps his arms around Jungkook and gives him a big squeeze, before he turns to the both of them.
“I’ve missed both of you so much, you have NO idea. Even though it’s my fault and I know it,” Taehyung starts saying. Jimin tries to cut him off in objection but Taehyung doesn’t allow it. “Park Jimin, don’t even. ANYWAY, we will of course get time to catch up. I’ll make sure of that.”
Jimin and Jungkook both nod.
Taehyung continues, and there’s a more serious edge to his voice now.
“But first and foremost, we have to figure out how the hell we are going to pull off this little stunt of yours.”