The platform of Seoul’s train station had always been a bit too loud for Jimin’s liking, but when boarding a train at three in the morning, things seemed to be a bit slower. There was barely another person waiting near the florist, save a few men to his right in their pristine business suits, clicking the heels of their brown polished shoes as they walked past him in a line; barely sparing him a glance. Jimin supposed it wasn’t personal, they must be busy.
Seoul’s train station was beautiful at this time of morning, light streaming through the windows to create spotlights on the parts of the track that were inside it’s walled area, illuminating the specks of dust floating through the air like spring snowflakes. The faint hum of the lights flickered as the neon sign above Jimin’s head changed the status of each trains arrival. Far off to the side, a short, stubby man sat in a boxed office, head lolling to the side as he dipped in and out of slumber. Cheerfully, Jimin skipped up to the dirty glass and gave it three small taps, giggling sharply as the man sat bolt upright, almost falling off his chair in surprise.
“Eh? What do you want?” He spoke in a gruff voice, breath fogging a tiny part of the glass.
Jimin held a hand in front of his mouth, trying to hide the upturned corners of his mouth. “I have a ticket to Busan, sir?”
“Well that’s all fine and dandy, what does that have to do with an old man like me?”
Jimin giggled again. “You have it, sir. An envelope, under the name Park Jimin?”
The man's eyes lit up slightly in recognition. “Ah yes, a nice boy left this for you yesterday. Bit of a crazy character; bright orange hair. Always smiling.”
“Yep! My Hobi-Hyung is brighter than the sun…” Jimin launched into a small story about the older male, pausing during it’s funniest parts to see the man’s reaction. They chatted for a small while, only pausing for short fits of laughter as Jimin revealed the punchlines to a few jokes his friend Taehyung had left for him on a small piece of paper in his coat pocket.
“So what brings you here this early, my boy?” The man was fully awake now, shifting in his seat to adjust his posture.
“I’m a florist, you see, of a beautiful little shop on the coast of Busan. It’s been a few years and business has really been booming, so we’re expanding our greenhouse. I needed some special seeds to start growing some more specialized flowers, and the shop said they couldn’t import, so I gladly made the trip.”
The man hummed. “Good for you, son, making an honest living. Stay hard working; stay safe. You don’t want to end up like me.” His tone softened in sorrow.
Jimin frowned. “What’s so bad about being you?”
The man slowly looked up to meet his gaze. “All sorts of folks come up to me each day and don’t pay me any more attention than you would a common computer; simply asking for what they desire and leaving without another word. It’s all the same; one monotonous chant of businessmen and women, hitting the heels of their shoes onto the concrete. Always have somewhere to be,” He paused, drawing in a slow breath, “And it’s only beauty is the morning; mornings like these, where the sun lights up the tracks and for a moment in time it seems that nature and man have finally become one again. But as soon as the first polished shoe hits the floor, it becomes ugly once more.”
The man’s tone saddened Jimin as he continued to describe his job, each negative word making the bags under his eyes more noticeable.
“Would you mind closing your eyes for a moment?” Jimin asked quietly, digging a hand around his large coat pockets.
The man shrugged. “Sure, son. I’ve got nothing else to do at this time of day.”
When the man’s eyelids were firmly shut, Jimin slid a small package through the half circle hole in the glass.
“Ok, you can open your eyes now!” Jimin kept his voice cheerful, as the man slowly opened one eye, unsure what to expect. A smile grew on his face when he saw the item.
A pile of lavender seeds were kept together by a small cellophane bag, tied carefully with a purple coloured string. The man picked up the bag with shaking fingers, inspecting it closely, pushing his glasses further up his nose.
“They’re flower seeds; lavender, to be exact. A bit cliche, I know, but I think that with where your office is in here, you’ll get just the right amount of heat and sunlight for them to flourish. And, in a few weeks, you’re little area of the station will be smelling of the best lavender South Korea has to offer!” Jimin was beaming at the man, proud of the small seeds in the other’s hands.
A tear had come to the man's eye, threatening to spill over at any given moment. “Thanks, kid. I’ll get a flower pot for them as soon as I go home today,” He reached his hand under the glass’ half circle to grip Jimin’s fingers as a sign of thanks, “You’ve made this old man happy.”
Jimin smiled, kindness flooding his features. “Of course. It’s my job.”
The man let go of his hand. “Alright, you better run along now. Your trains’ just pulled up to the platform.”
Sure enough, when Jimin turned around, he could see a column of smoke rising to the sky as a train was chugging its way into the station, slowing to a stop under the shelter of the high roof. Jimin grabbed his envelope off the desk with renewed energy, waving frantically back at the man as he dashed to the large engine, wincing slightly as it sounded it’s horn loudly; an unspoken celebration of reaching its destination.
As Jimin climbed up the stairs to the box cars he held out his ticket to be punched, then proceeding to push open the car’s double doors and walking slowly past the booth-like benches, where a small line of steam and a sweet aroma filled his nostrils. He nodded at the chefs as he passed, who smiled in return, flipping a pancake up into the air and landing it back in the pan as Jimin clapped. He spotted another door and gripped it’s handle loosely, walking a bit more briskly now. His bubbly friend, Hoseok, had happened to get him a first class ticket on the vintage looking train; courtesy of his family’s friend that conducted at the station.
“Thirty one, thirty two, thirty three…” Jimin mumbled the numbers of the private rooms in the elongated boxcar, trying to find his own. While looking down at his paper, he bumped into a figure not much taller than himself, clad in a long black coat that’s bottom nearly touched the floor. Jimin mumbled an apology as backed himself up against the wall, trying to avoid the couple just behind them. The man grunted slightly but said nothing, walking in the opposite direction. He almost looked like a reaper as he moved, coat swishing just above the floor, hiding his feet from Jimin’s view. He had a surgical mask over his mouth and a hat on his head, covering most of his face. Jimin was only able to see a flash of platinum blonde hair and cat-like brown eyes that had seemed to bore into him just moments before. He seemed so...established, yet so mysterious. Unreadable.
Shaking the man from his thoughts, he continued on his journey and finally found the fruits of his labour, a small booth of the boxcar, sectioned off into a room of sorts, fit with an overhead luggage rack and a small seating area. Jimin gently placed his briefcase next to his feet and slid the door shut, positioning himself on the plushy cushioned seat near the window, fogging the glass with his breath and engraving it with swooping flowers. He brushed off a section of it with his arm, reducing it to condensation as he carved himself a tiny viewing spot in the window; watching the faintest bits of the sun begin to peak over the horizon line, brushing the edges of the lightened sky with a radiant pink. He nuzzled into his corner, pulling his phone out of his pocket and a trusted pair of earbuds, popping them in his ears gently as he queued up his roadtrip playlist, settling deeper into the cushions and focusing his gaze on the scenery around him.
The soft strum of a guitar filled his ears as he pressed his cheek to the cold glass, closing his eyes and enjoying the soft stream of sun beaming onto his face. His body shook slightly as the train’s constant lurching motion grew a little stronger.
“Would you mind if I sat in here?”
Jimin’s head snapped up as he registered the voice at the door. It was the young man from earlier. He had taken off his jacket, now sporting a soft looking grey turtleneck and a pair of glasses as he held a book in his right hand, carrying a briefcase almost identical to Jimin’s. He had taken his hat off, showcasing the rest of his white blonde hair. His face mask had been pulled down as well, showing a pair of thin lips and full cheeks. Jimin could see bits of silver hanging off his ears, twinkling in the sunlight. His face was rounder than Jimin had originally thought, giving balance to his naturally narrowed eyes.
Jimin nodded, gesturing for him to enter, taking out his earbuds. The man gave him a small smile of gratitude, sitting on the opposite seat and pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose, settling them back into proper position. He set his briefcase down next to Jimin’s with a soft thunk.
“If you don’t mind me asking, sir, why did you choose to sit with me?” Jimin rested his head to the window once again, making hesitant eye contact with the man across from him. The man barely looked up, casting a shadow across a part of his face as he turned away from the harsh light Jimin was basking in.
“To be quite frank, that couple on the train with us is currently engaging in some...intimate actions and my section of the boxcar is far from soundproof. I’m taking refuge in this one, I suppose. I tried to take the matter to the conductor, but apparently I’m only important enough for the kitchen staff to entertain. They said that technically they aren’t breaking any rules of being in their personal section of the boxcar, so I was a bit stranded. But then I walked by and saw you, and well,” The man scratched the top of his head, “You seemed very kind when you bumped into me earlier, so I thought I’d ask rather than suffer.”
The man’s sheepish smile was broken by Jimin, who couldn’t contain his snickers any longer.
“What?” The man frowned slightly as Jimin continued to let out tiny bits of laughter in his direction.
“Nothing, I suppose. It’s just,” Jimin paused, regaining his composure, “When I first bumped into you, I’d assumed you were the cold, stoic type. Not disturbed by anything. Guess I was wrong…”
“Well you’d be a bit right with your assumption,” The man set his book down on the seat next to him, flashing the title into Jimin’s view.
“I’m usually not bothered by much, to be completely honest. The world hasn’t kept many of its secrets from me. I do, however, have roommates that go at it like jackrabbits,” Jimin snorted at that, “So I’d prefer my time off to be blissfully away from the matter.”
“That’s quite valid.” Jimin gave one final chuckle before dismissing the matter. “What are you reading?”
The man glanced back at his book, picking it up and studying the title. “A book written by my friend Kim Namjoon. Maybe you’ve heard of him?” Jimin shook his head. “No matter,” the man continued, “Anyways. He’s one of said jackrabbit friends, and even though he’s an absolute pain in the ass when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep, he does have an amazing talent for writing. This was his work for his Master’s degree final. A fictional setting; soulmates, fantasy worlds, medieval era. Royalty based. The main character is the first in line for the throne, and sets off to complete a quest before he becomes king; one more title to add to the endless list, somehow better than all the others and that will set him apart from every other king before him. However, along the way, he realizes that he isn’t the strong, metal sword he thought he was. After a major accident, he finds himself viewing his person as a glass vase rather than a sword as he is forced to return home. And his entire world crumbles,” The man paused, drawing in a breath, “But then he meets his one true love, and finds that the cause that he’d been fighting for all along wasn’t a worthwhile one to begin with. Through a series and trials with said lover, he finds himself in the middle; neither glass nor metal, but a even mix of both. A glass sword.”
Jimin pursed his lips. “That sounds quite lovely. I love romance,” He gazes dreamily out the window, “But you don’t seem the type to want to read any sort of fantasy book…” He trailed off for a moment, “You seem more calculating, one for a nonfiction novel?”
The man smiled, nodding his head with a large, gummy smile adorning his face. “You’d be right about that...um...?” The man waited for Jimin to finish his sentence.
Jimin stuck out his hand for the man to shake. “Jimin. Park Jimin.”
The man shook his hand. “You’d be right about that, Jimin. I am one to enjoy more of nonfiction work. Luckily for me, this is.”
Jimin frowned. “I thought you said it was a fictional novel?”
The man shook his head. “Fictional setting . This story is very much real, depicting my friend’s very own love life behind the facade of a fictional book. It’s undetectable to someone who doesn’t know the story of his love; but I do, so I understand that beneath every fairytale-like land is a very real place in a time not long ago. His boyfriend likes to tease him about it all the time.”
“B-Boyfriend?” Jimin gapes in surprise.
The man sits up a little straighter. “Yes. Boyfriend. I hope you don’t mind?” His tone was slightly darker than how he had been talking before. Sensing his sudden hostility, Jimin quickly explained himself.
“Oh no, please don’t think I’m like that! I have a bit of a preference to men myself, so it’d be very hypocritical of me to be saying such things,” He giggled, “It’s just, I’ve never heard a stranger talk about it so openly before...you caught me off guard.”
Immediately, the man’s features softened. “Ah, thank you for explaining. I was just mentally preparing myself for an extremely heated argument.”
“No worries, I should have made myself clear,” Jimin leaned forward and placed his elbows on his thighs, his hands supporting his chin. “So, what bringing you back to Busan?”
The man tilted his head. “How did you know I was going back to Busan?”
Jimin giggled. “Easy, silly. We started in Seoul, a hefty distance from major city in this direction. You’re dressed in business casual, which means you came from some sort of business meeting in the city. Yes, came, because you’ve already taken off your coat and loosened your sleeve buttons. If you were heading to a business meeting, you would have kept them tight to give a good first impression. And no one has such important meetings in the part of Busan this train goes to, for that matter. We’re a quaint little town. Furthermore, you’ve been reading a book for your own leisure. Most likely because you have no business left to do until you get back into the swing of things at your office; or wherever you work. To support that, you also decided to switch boxcar’s and come to mine. If you were preparing for a business meeting, you’d never have come into a boxcar with an easily recognizable chatterbox type like me. It’d be far too noisy. Therefore, you’re travelling back from Seoul to local Busan after some sort of business trip,” Jimin took a deep breath, “How’d I do?”
The man blinked for a few moments, then applauded lightly. “Pretty spot on, flower boy.”
Jimin tilted his head. “Flower boy?”
The man nodded. “You own a flower shop, don’t you?”
Jimin nodded slowly. “Yeah, how’d you know?”
The man gave him a small smile. “I saw you give that man a packet of flower seeds, most people aren’t just carrying those around. And even if I didn’t, you do carry the faint smell of roses and seem to like basking in the sun, so you might be picking something up from your plants.”
Jimin blushed. “I just like looking at the scenery, the ride back to Busan is beautiful. And the sun’s so nice and warm…” He yawned slightly, flutter his eyes shut for a moment.
“Tired?” The man huffed a bit of laughter as Jimin snuggled deeper into his corner.
“Yeah, didn’t sleep last night; I went around the city taking photos; I like to put them up on the store’s walls,” Jimin opened his bag to show the man a few polaroids he’d taken of Seoul’s city lights near dusk, sitting atop a couple roofs, or simply a neon sign from a quaint little shop. “And then the train ride was so close to when I got back to the hotel, I spent the entire time packing the flower seeds so they didn’t get damaged on the ride. Didn’t even get a bit of rest…” He yawned.
The man pursed his lips, sparing a glance out the window at the rising sun. “Why not sleep now?”
Jimin sighed. “I...it’s a bit embarrassing, but can’t sleep unless I’m cuddling something. And my briefcase isn’t the best contender for the job.” He looked back to the sunrise outside, counting the electrical posts along the way.
“I think it’s cute.”
Jimin blushed at the compliment, tucking his chin and glancing at the floor. “Thanks.”
There was silence in the boxcar, for a moment, until the train slowed to it’s first stop and the man rose from is seat.
“Is this your stop?” Jimin looked away from the window.
The man hesitated between the two benches before sitting next to Jimin. “No, but I don’t mind if you want to use me as a pillow. You seem very tired.” He scooted closer till their shoulders were touching, taking his arm and loosely looping it underneath Jimin’s arm, beckoning him to lean on his shoulder.
Jimin smiled, and wrapped both his arms around the strangers’ arm, snuggling into the crevice of his shoulder. “Thank you...if by any chance I’m still sleeping before the third to final stop, could you wake me up?”
The man smiled as Jimin popped his earbuds back into his ears, letting Troye Sivan’s soft vocals sing him to sleep.
“Of course, angel.”
When Jimin felt a gentle touch shake his shoulder, he was reminded of where he was. Eyes fluttering open, his vision blurred for a moment as he stared directly into the harsh light of the window. Faintly, he heard a whistle sound over the light notes of piano music as the outro to one of his songs came to a close.
“Angel? I think this is your stop…” The man gently shook his shoulder again.
Jimin nodded and rose groggily, grabbing his briefcase off the floor. He hesitated at the door, turning back to smile at the kind, stoic stranger.
“Thank you; I know that you didn’t want to be disturbed before going back to your home…”
The man waved a hand. “It’s quite alright. You were good company; awake or not.”
Jimin felt his cheeks flushed. “T-Thanks...c-can I get your nu-?”
The whistle sounded again and the train lurched slightly, causing Jimin to shake his head quickly, snapping out of his post-sleep haze.
“I- uh, bye!” Jimin dashed out the door, feet flying down the steps, racing to get back to the familiar platform before the train continued its journey. A few people turned to stare as Jimin jumped from the train to the station platform, almost dropping his briefcase in the process. He turned, dazed, and waved back to his section of the boxcar, seeing his newfound friend smile out the window and raising a hand to wave back at Jimin, shooting him an adorable gummy smile as the train started up again.
He sighed, continuing to wave until the train was out of sight. He’d really wanted that guy’s number.
Setting his briefcase down to re-adjust his grip, he found a refreshed smile come to his face as he picked it up again, skipping to the exit and attempting to call for a cab on the street.
“Chim, don’t bother!” A voice called out to him from behind, causing Jimin to whirl around.
He almost snorted at the sight. His co-worker and resident best friend/soulmate, Kim Taehyung, was dashing towards him with a sparkly pink sign, letters messily taped on; a thoughtful, but poorly made chauffeur sign.
“Do ya like it, Chimmy! Jeongguk helped me make it!”
“That explains a lot.” Jimin giggled as a ‘C’ fluttered to the ground.
“Hey! Kookie and I put a lot of work into this. Respect your employees. I can sue you!”
“Like you’d win,” Jimin flipped his hair, “I’m very persuasive. And also in charge of your paycheck.”
“Damn. True.” Taehyung cursed, but smiled nonetheless. He gestured to Jimin with his free hand, waving him towards the exit. “C’mon, Kookie is waiting for us, he’s gonna drive us to the shop!”
“It’s like a fifteen minute walk from here?” Jimin laughed inwardly. “If I couldn’t get a cab in like, the next five seconds, I was just gonna walk. You couldn’t be bothered to walk here for me?”
Taehyung wrinkled his nose. “This early in the morning? It’s only like,” He checked his watch, “five in the morning. Far too early to be using my legs that much.”
Jimin rolled his eyes. “Whatever.”
Walking up to the car, Jimin pulled open the door to the back of the car as Taehyung jumped into the passenger seat, giving his boyfriend a quick kiss on the cheek.
“Gross. Couples.” Jimin teased, catching Taehyung’s gaze through the rearview mirror.
Jeongguk, his tall, muscular boyfriend, turned his head around and stuck his tongue out at Jimin. “Gross. A man that can’t get a boyfriend.”
Jimin crossed his arms. “Do you want a cut in your salary?”
“Do you want to walk for fifteen minutes?”
Jimin considered it for a moment. “No. Carry on.”
Jeongguk smiled, reaching up a hand to adjust the mirror. “Thought so.”
“Don’t get cocky. I can still cut your lunch break time in half. Then you won’t have time to fuck off to whatever fast food place you want, and you’ll have to make your own lunch every day. You wanna live like that?” Jimin raised an eyebrow.
He could see them both visibly gulp. “No, Hyung.”
Jimin smiled. “Better. Now let’s get to it, opening time starts pretty soon, and I’ve got to store these seeds in a safe place and tidy up before we do. Tae, you’ll be on broom duty again before we open. As soon as we open, Jeongguk, you’re on cash duty while Tae helps me in the back. ”
“Aw, why am I always on broom duty?” Taehyung pouted as they drove.
“Because the last time Jeongguk held a broom, he swung it around like a baseball bat and knocked over three expensive vases and two pots of flowers. Then he tried to suck up the dirt with the vacuum.”
“Not my fault the vacuum is faulty.” Jeongguk made a harsh left turn, pulling into the one of the three parking spaces of the shop’s back entrance.
“Jeongguk, there was nothing wrong with the vacuum. They just aren’t build for dirt.”
“Same difference. If I built vacuums, I’d make it so they could suck up dirt. That seems like it should be an important feature.” Jeongguk stepped out of the car, stretching his arms.
“Well, you’re not a vacuum inventor, you’re employed under a florist,” Jimin got out of the car as well, throwing the keys to an unsuspecting Jeongguk. “So let’s get to work. Guk, go start turning on the lights,sweep up a little bit and count the cash; Tae, come help me put the seeds away.”
“Yessir.” Jeongguk mockingly saluted Jimin before heading to the back door, unlocking the shop and flicking on the lights, illuminating the small flower shop. It wasn’t the biggest place, but it was all Jimin could afford the years prior. It had the standard two panels of glass in the front that showcased the growing botanicals inside. Along the wall near the cashier held Jimin’s polaroids, carefully dated and labeled with the location they were taken at, giving the shop a vintage and comforting vibe. Outside the store there was a pink and teal neon sign hung above the entryway that proudly shone the store’s name into the thicket of the cold Busan nights.
Soigné. A nifty word he had picked up from his trip to France, meaning ‘to take care of’. Jimin though it was a nice message to display before any customer walked in the door; a silent promise for each and every plant to be well cared for.
Jimin grabbed the briefcase out of the car, slamming the door shut. He fished another set of keys out of his pocket for the small greenhouse adjacent to the flower shop, fiddling with the gate. Jimin opened the door and Taehyung skipped inside, visibly content with the warmer air.
Jimin laughed. “I was like that on my train ride this morning; we were facing the sun and it was so nice and warm.”
“Oh, yeah!” Taehyung sat on one of the gardening stools as Jimin shut the door. “How was your trip?”
“It started off pretty normal; gave some lavender seeds to an old man while I was waiting for the train. Then a stranger came into my boxcar, seeking refuge from his own because the people next to him were...y’know…” Jimin made a lewd hand gesture, “So he asked to stay in mine. I didn’t really mind, so we had a it of a chat.”
“That’s cool! Did you get his name?”
“No…” Jimin sounded disappointed. “I had seen him earlier, though. Accidentally bumped into him when we were first boarding. He had platinum blonde hair, dressed in all black, with the most piercing brown eyes. He looked pretty stoic and cold when I first stared at him; even dubbed his as the ‘grim reaper’. But he was very handsome...”
“Keep it together, Jimin Hyung, this is a workplace environment.” Taehyung teased.
Jimin made to shove him off the stool. “He was cute, but nothing happened.” A blush came to his cheeks.
“Those rosy cheeks say otherwise, Park Jimin. Spill. What happened?”
“He noticed I looked tired; I pulled an all-nighter because I went out to take some new photos for the shop wall. So he...let me cuddle him so I could sleep.”
Taehyung squealed, clapping his hands. “Aw, that’s so precious. Not so cold after all?”
“No.” Jimin giggled. “He was like a little plushie of a shark.”
Taehyung laughed, almost falling off the stool himself. “That’s pretty funny, hyung. Did you get his number?”
Jimin shook his head. “No, by the time he woke me up, I wouldn’t have missed my stop if I’d stayed any longer.”
“Forbidden love; so sad.” Taehyung swooned, then grimaced as Jimin threw a dirty gardening glove at him.
“Don’t make fun of your hyung.”
Taehyung nodded, but Jimin caught him rolling his eyes slightly.
“Jiminie Hyung, can I open the briefcase? I wanna see the seeds before you plant them. Kook and I have a competition to see who can find the most deformed seed that looks like a face. So far he’s winning with the tulip bulb that looks like if Danny Devito was a head of garlic.” Jimin hummed in affirmation, preferring to ignore Taehyung’s strange antics, setting the briefcase down on the table before disappearing into the back room to go get his gardening tools, working the hardened rectangle of soil, making it soft and malleable.
He raced out of the little shed area once Taehyung made a screeching sound followed by the slamming of an object. It could only mean one thing. Intruder, danger, injury or mouse. Or, quite possibly, all four.
“What?” He rushed to Taehyung, pulling him up off the floor where he had fallen. Taehyung pointed a shaky hand to the table where the briefcase lay. Lifting the lid carefully, he gasped at the inward contents.
The briefcase was divided into two sections. On the left, sitting neatly above a few folded shirts was a compact laptop; a much newer model, slim and expensive looking. On the right side, next to a couple very thick stacks of cash were two small handguns, packed neatly beside a couple magazines of ammo to accompany it.
.” Jimin’s eyes grew wide. “That’s...that’s not my briefcase.”
“NO SHIT DUDE.” Taehyung stumbled past Jimin, grabbing the laptop and opening it up, furiously pressing the enter button. “This doesn’t really look like flower seeds to me!”
“Tae, what are you doing?” Jimin watched as his best friend switched to tapping furiously on the laptop screen as it glowed to life.
“It’s still on, so I’m hoping whoever this dude was happened to be confident enough in not losing his briefcase to not log out.”
Taehyung cheered as the screen stopped glowing a dull black and changed to a couple secure windows on a search engines Jimin had never seen before. A line of code was continuously running down the screen in a fast yellow font. At the very top of the window, it had a title in very clear, large letters.
Project 2756 . Category: Shoelaces
“Great,” Taehyung threw up his hands, “Just great. You picked up the briefcase of some sort of drug dealer mob boss mafia gang leader. And now we’re in the possession of most likely illegal weapons and a computer that can be easily tracked by any amateur hacker that they probably have.”
“M-Maybe it’s just a misunderstanding? Maybe it’s an undercover police ring that is busting a...shoelace factory?”
“Jimin.” Taehyung put his face in his hands. “Do you remember when you used to drive around places as a kid, and there’d be shoes hanging off power lines?”
“Oh, yeah! Why?”
Taehyung sighed. “Well, most kids do it to just be dumb now, but back in the ‘olden days’ that used to mean that there was a drug dealer nearby. Judging by what’s in this briefcase and how many cop movies I’ve watched...this is most definitely a drug deal.”
“...Oh…” Jimin was silent as Taehyung shut the laptop, placing back in the briefcase and locking it shut. “Sorry? It was an accident…”
“How the actual shit did you manage to confuse a briefcase of flower seeds for a one with TWO FUCKING COMPACT SEMI AUTOMATICS, A LAPTOP FILLED WITH ENCRYPTED FILES AND A SHITLOAD OF CASH.”
“And a couple dress shirts.” Jimin pointed out.
“NOT THE POINT, HYUNG.”
Jimin ran a hand through his hair, exasperated. “I got my briefcase specially weighted because I kept knocking it over when I placed it on the ground! Plus, I had to get special metal containers to keep the seeds from overheating in the case. This one weighs about the same as my own, I didn’t know!”
Taehyung shook the closed briefcase, which emitted a loud clanking sound as the metal of the guns and the laptop inside bumped into each other, most likely messing up the neat folds of the dress shirts as well. “DOES THIS SOUND LIKE FLOWER SEEDS TO YOU?”
Jimin smiled weakly. “I was listening to Troye Sivan?”
Taehyung’s voice only grew louder. “HOW DID YOU NOT NOTICE, THAT BOY MAKES THE SOFTEST MUSIC IN THIS ENTIRE UNIVERSE!”
“I-I had the headphones on full volume and I had just woke up…” Jimin looked down to the ground, embarrassed.
Taehyung groaned. “Fuck, now whoever this belongs to is going to hunt us down and I’m going to fucking die because my prints are all over that laptop. That’s how it always happens. The innocent best friends always gets knocked off first. And it’s gonna be all your fault.”
Jimin crossed his arms. “You go parkouring with your muscle pig of a boyfriend every day. Face the facts; if this dude doesn’t kill you, your own boyfriend will.”
“Hey! Our mutual love for jumping off weird shit from ridiculous heights will not be shamed by you, Park Jimin! The boy who just accidentally stole from a mob boss who’ll probably burn down the building
with us in it!
” Taehyung put his head back in his hands, sitting on the floor of the greenhouse. “What are we gonna do?”
Jimin sat down next to him, looking just as defeated. “I don’t know Tae. I don’t know.”
“Good to see you back, Yoongi. How was the trip?” A tall, lanky man opened the door to Yoongi’s study, flashing him a teasing smile as the man was almost fully slumped over his desk, writing something illegible onto a paper.
“Fine, Joon. Didn’t get much sleep, is all.” Yoongi rose his face sleepily off the desk, flinging the pen to an unknown part of the office.
“Why? Don’t you usually fall asleep on train rides?” The man, Kim Namjoon, Yoongi’s best strategist and hacker, sat down in front of him.
“Yeah, but I had an important job this time around. Don’t let the angel miss his stop.” Yoongi waved a hand, but widened his eyes as soon as he realized what he had said. He whipped his head up to take it back, but judging by the knowing smirk on Namjoon’s face, he was too far past the point of return.
“An angel, hm? What did this angel look like?”
Yoongi sighed. “A cream coloured sweater that was way too long on him, making little sweater paws around his hands. Jeans that should be illegal. The cutest face with the the plumpest lips. Golden blonde hair.”
Namjoon whistled. “Damn. You’re already whipped for this kid, and you don’t even know what his name is.”
“Jimin. Park Jimin.” Yoongi took the paper off his desk and crumpled it up, throwing it into the trash. “And he’s not a kid. I could tell, he’s at least twenty three.”
“Two year difference, not bad. So what was so important about his kid that involved you?” Namjoon inquired, leaning forward slightly on the desk.
“H-,” Yoongi was hesitant to reply, but Namjoon gave him a pleading look. “He looked so tired, and when I asked him about it he said he had pulled an all-nighter and that he couldn’t sleep without cuddling something and all he had was his briefcase, so he couldn’t sleep. So, I, uh, offered my services. His stop was before mine so I stayed awake while he slept.”
“You cuddled a complete stranger? You, Min Yoongi? The Min Yoongi, one of the most feared mob bosses in the country and the man incapable of all and any emotion?” Namjoon’s tone was so gleeful.
“First of all, I am the most feared mob boss in this country. Secondly, shut up, Joon.” Yoongi made to smack Namjoon’s head lightly, but the younger male ducked quickly.
“You’re so whipped. I can feel it.” Namjoon was giving Yoongi a wide smile. Yoongi didn’t like that.
“At least I’m not as disgusting as you and Seokjin.” He shot back, hoping to gain a reaction.
“At least my feelings are reciprocated.” Namjoon retorted, making Yoongi huff.
“Whatever. You’re here for something, I assume?”
“Yeah,” Namjoon straightened his back, becoming serious. “You have the laptop for me?”
“Yep, it’s in my briefcase, over there,” Yoongi pointed across the room, “Don’t break anything while you get it?”
Namjoon gave him a look. “Haha. Funny.” Namjoon had come to be known for his susceptibility to accidents, having met Yoongi after walking straight into him while chasing a squirrel that had stolen a piece of paper from him.
Namjoon walked across the room, setting the briefcase onto the desk and flicking the clasps up and opening the lid. He snorted immediately, closing the case with a bit of laughter and a poorly veiled look at Yoongi. “Wow, Hyung. I didn’t even do anything to you before the trip and you decide to prank me?”
Yoongi frowned. “What do you mean, prank? You know I’m not capable of those…”
Namjoon laughed. “Yeah, this one is pretty shitty. I mean, what’s so funny about flower seeds?”
Yoongi’s eyes widened. He grabbed the briefcase, quickly spinning it around and scanning the contents.
Roses, Carnations, Lavender, Tulips, Daisies, Aloe Vera Plant.
Sure enough, there were tens of little packets. Yoongi dug a hand in the case, sifting around for something, anything else. At the very bottom, his knuckles hit something harder. He pulled it out.
How to Make Flower Crowns - A Guide from International Professionals
“Wow, Yoon. Didn’t know you’d taken up a hobby,” Namjoon’s laughter faded. “But I really need to take a look at that tracker; re-hacking is a bitch to do and we don’t have that kind of time. Where’s the real briefcase?”
Yoongi gave Namjoon a solemn look. “Joon...uh, this was the briefcase…”
Namjoon’s face slowly fell as he registered the lack of humour in Yoongi’s tone. “What do you mean?”
Yoongi ran a hand through his hair, cursing. “That guy I sat next to on the train...he’s a florist. This must be his briefcase; he had one just like mine.”
Namjoon leaned back, assessing the level of severity in Yoongi’s voice. After a few moments of silence, he realized Yoongi wasn’t kidding. “Fuck.”
“Yeah. Poor kid’s gonna have a heart attack at what’s in that briefcase once he opens it.”
Namjoon pursed his lips. “Hopefully he haven’t called the cops.”
“Hopefully,” Yoongi agreed, “But that deal goes down tonight. If we’re not at the right location to stop it, everything we’ve worked for in the past three months goes to shit. We need to find them.”
Namjoon nodded. “You said his name was Park Jimin? And he lives in Busan?”
Namjoon shook his head. “That’s just about the most common name in South Korea, not to mention there could be thousands of them in Busan. Do you know anything else about him? I’ll need a bit more info to narrow down my search...”
Yoongi sifted his hand through the briefcase again, fingers stilling over a sharp point of familiar sized cardstock. Grinning, he pulled the business card out triumphantly.
Soigné Flower Shop - For all your botanical needs; trees, flowers and other assorted plants!
Busan: 38746, 742 St. Open Mon-Sun, 6AM to 10PM
@soignéflowers | www.soignéflowers.kr | 051-212-3456
He held up the card for Namjoon to read, smiling. “Don’t think you’ll have to, Joon,” He tucked the card into his pocket, throwing Namjoon a set of car keys from his desk drawer. “It seems we’ll be taking a field trip to the Soigné Flower Shop.”