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go hard or go home

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The news spread like an untamed wildfire across the vast racing world and sent shock spiraling down the spines of the loyal fans who had looked up to Jungkook since his rookie days. His social media was going crazy with activity, a seemingly never ending stream of notifications being sent to his overflowing inbox. Diehard fans, news reporters, and anyone who wanted answers were desperately trying to reach him; but he really didn’t plan on answering a single question.

He didn’t need to.

He hadn’t expected such a reaction out of everyone if he were honest. Maybe a big commotion from some of his fans, but that was about all he thought of coming about if this. He figured it would be a quiet, quick goodbye, and then he could easily slip under the radar and go undetected. Obviously, he misjudged and underestimated the power of the media.

Jungkook lethargically sighed, and took another smooth sip from his cherry cola, comfortably humming at the delicious aftertaste. He debated whether he should just shut off his phone for a while and obtain some peace, but he knew that it would be pointless in the end. The stream of notifications didn’t plan to stop any time soon, if his rising number of notifications had anything to say about it. He would have to turn it back on and face the world eventually.

So he settled for resting on the couch in his living room, feet kicked up onto the wooden table in a relaxed position. It was all stressful, needless to say. His (now old) manager had warned him of the sort of backlash he could receive from suddenly dropping out, but he hadn’t taken it seriously, figuring it was just some over exaggeration to try to scare him into staying in the industry. Boy, was he wrong.

He had the TV remote in his other hand, mindlessly channel surfing, searching for anything to get his mind off the crazy amount of people wanting some sort of statement from him. Nothing really seemed interesting, but switching the channels alone was enough to occupy his mind for a bit. He set his cherry cola down on top one of the little coasters that sat on the side table, silently hoping that the reaction would eventually pass. It had to, right?

Eventually, he found that he had landed on a news channel, and his eyebrows scrunched up in disgust to see that they were reporting about him. He curiously glanced to the clock to see that it was indeed time for five o’clock news, and wondered just how many stations were going to report his story.

“Professional race car driver, Jeon Jungkook, has mysteriously dropped out of the racing world after winning his final race on Saturday night. The race driver has had many wins under his belt and for the past three years, has rose up to a surprising popularity. It seems that fame is possibly coming to an end, however,”The woman on screen had reported in that classic reporter voice, confidently looking into the camera as she spilled the information out to the world.

Jungkook couldn’t help but find himself watching, interested in just what the media had to say about him. In the racing industry, he was known as the golden rookie at first, remarkably showing what he was made of during his first couple of races. It wasn’t long before he had a sizable following behind him, people cheering him on with passion and fire. People seemed to like his attitude; competitive, a little cocky, but still humble if he ever lost or fell behind.

He was a rising star, interviews, magazines, any other media outlet wanting to get a scoop of his story. A true rookie to legend story, that what it was. It was only something you saw in movies, or works of fiction, and he was living proof that it was indeed possible. He had obtained his professional (legend) status in only the short time of three years too, which meant all the more to his achievements.
Racing fans loved him, his rivals hated him, it was perfect.

Until it wasn’t.

 

“The consecutive champion resigned from his position without explanation shortly after the race, sending race fans into a devastating frenzy. A few speculations have popped up as to why this reigning champion would give up his title, but the reason for his resignation is still unknown. We reached out to Jungkook himself for a statement on the situation, but unfortunately haven’t gotten word back,” The woman continued, turning to her co-reporter to talk about the situation.

Jungkook had ultimately decided that professional racing was boring. Yes, his childhood dream had unfortunately become repetitive and tiresome. When he realized that he was losing that spark for racing he had as a kid, he was deeply saddened at first. But he pushed through a few more races, hoping that small, burning ember in his chest would ignite once again.

But it never did.

Eventually, he was so bored with the idea of showing up the next race that he thought about quitting. It was once exhilarating; the rumble of the engine, the force of speed being put on his body, the sound of tires squealing against the pavement.

But it had all become nothing but boring tasks, racing the same tracks, over and over. That wasn’t racing to him anymore, it was more like; follow the leader in a fast circle and hope that someone ends up passing first place.

He didn’t let these worries go unheard though, a couple of weeks ago, he let his troubles spill. He had a friend, Park Jimin, whom he actually expressed his feelings to. The bubblegum haired man had eagerly been there to listen, trying his best to give advice on the situation. It was a long night of genuine words shared over expensive alcohol and cold fried chicken. They had played Mario Kart as well, making small bets for pieces of chicken over who would win the next round. It was a fun night, and Jungkook hadn’t had that much fun with a friend in ages, he was sure he wouldn’t forget it.

After a while they had considerably calmed down, and were lazily lounging on the couch of Jimin’s small apartment. It was a contrast the the somewhat expensive lifestyle of Jungkook, his own apartment was luxurious, one of the larger ones which occupied the city. But, he looked past the money and fame, he didn’t let it get to his head. Jimin was his best friend, and there was no way he would ever treat the man any differently.

He had met Jimin a long time ago, both graduates from the same high school. They had expressed an interest in cars back then, which is the only reason they had begun to talk with each other in the first place. A shy Jungkook had approached Jimin during class, to which Jimin immediately took the younger under his wing. They used to sit at their own lonely lunch table, and bring old magazines full of pictures of the top quality cars that were on the market. They would ogle at them like the starstruck teenagers they were, and claim they would own at least one some day in the future.

Jungkook had followed his dream to become a race driver, and Jimin-

He honestly didn’t know what Jimin did for a living, but he didn’t think it was any of his business. It was never a conversation that had come up before, and he didn’t want to question it.

Jungkook remembers looking at the other male that night; his pink hair was neatly styled, his black jeans were tight against his skin, and his rugged combat boots were resting against the carpeted floor. He had always put some sort of effort into his appearance, which is something that normally managed to confuse Jungkook. He didn’t think Jimin needed to primp himself up, especially when it was just him visiting.

But if it made his friend happy, he had no right to judge.

Jimin had opened his mouth to speak after an uncomfortable silence, wanting to at least give some sort of comedic relief to the tension in the air. Jungkook had just finished ranting about how boring his job was becoming, and there was a heaviness in the air that followed his words.

“I still can’t believe that you’ve even raced for as long as you have, I mean, how fun could it be playing ring around the rosie for three years straight?” Jimin had asked him with a cute giggle, looking at him expectantly with crescent eyes.

Jungkook had laughed at that, finding the question amusing. Sadly, his longtime friend’s description of professional racing was pretty true. It was nothing more than a justified game of ring around the rosie, but with fast cars.

“It was fun at first,” Jungkook said with a sigh, leaning back on the couch,”But now? Nah. I’d rather do something else, there’s no adrenaline anymore, no real purpose to race.”

Time seemed to sit still for a moment, neither of them knowing what to say to that. What was there to say after all? Jungkook was losing hold of his lifelong dream, the passion now crumbling and turning into dark ashes in his hands, escaping into the thin air. There was nothing to be said to make the situation better. But Jimin, he had broken the silence once again, this time with a mischievous gleam in his eyes.

“You know how you’re always asking why you can’t show up on Friday nights?” Jimin hastily sat up, his bubblegum pink hair now messy and sticking up in all sorts of directions. His hair style ruined, but he didn’t mind. There was a certain energy radiating from him, like he was excited; like he had just come up with an idea.

Jungkook nodded in response, a brow raised in curiosity. But he decided that he would hear Jimin out, and sat up, giving the bubbly male his full attention.

“I may have something in mind that you might like,” Jimin explained slyly.

“What?”

Jimin laughed,”Show, never tell, hasn’t anyone taught you that? It ruins the surprise.”

“Well, I’d at least like to know what you’re trying to get me into. Is this another one of those weird cafés you like to drag me to? Please say no, I don’t think I can handle-“

“I thought I told you not to mention that! Besides, it was only one time,” The other had quickly hushed him, obviously not wanting to relive the time they had went to a cat cafe only for one of the cats to piss on Jungkook’s designer jacket. The smell wouldn’t disappear for weeks, even after profusely washing and bleaching it. Jimin had apologized for the situation even happening in the first place, but Jungkook had found it hilarious, using it as a new way to banter with Jimin,”If you trust me enough, let me pick you up on Friday, I’ll show you a world you’ve never even heard about.”

“Is that a sexual innuendo that I’m just not getting? Because it isn’t working for me, no offense,” Jungkook replied, a little bit cocky, a noticeable half smirk on his face. Jimin had merely rolled his eyes, used to the younger male’s teasing and antics.

“I’m trying to help if you haven’t noticed,” Jimin pointed out, his eyes narrowed in clear annoyance. Jungkook hadn’t found this intimidating, knowing his friend all too well to find anything about him dangerous or scary. He knew Jimin was too sweet to hurt him, so if they ever bantered like this it was usually all in good nature.

“I noticed,” Jungkook said, letting a small chuckle escape his lips,“and I appreciate it, just don’t bring me to your grandma for knitting class or something.”

“Hey, don’t bring my grandma into this, she’s a good lady,” Jimin cracked a smile, unable to hold back just how amusing he truly found the conversation.

“Fine, just tell me when you’re going to pick me up, you know that I trust you.”

“Next Friday night around 8pm? Sound good?”

“Yeah, sounds good. I’ll make sure to translate that to ‘Jimin time’ though, since you’re always late, so that would actually be 9pm, right?” Jungkook teased.

“Shut up,” Jimin wholeheartedly giggled, throwing a playful punch to the side of Jungkook’s arm. Jungkook acted as if he was in pain for a few seconds following, happily playing along with the act. This started an entirely different conversation about how Jungkook needed to show some respect and stop bullying Jimin, but they both knew they would never stop teasing each other. It was just how their friendship was, and they wouldn’t change it for anything.

The next Friday had come faster than Jungkook had anticipated, rushing to get ready after he finally realized what day it was. He had fallen asleep in the afternoon after lazing around for most of the day, completely forgetting that he had plans for later that evening. So when he weakly checked the time on his phone after he woke up, there was an initial shock that caused him to quickly sit up and let out a string of curses.

He didn’t know what to dress in, as he had no indication as to where they were going, or what they were doing. So he settled for a casual outfit, figuring there was no way he could go wrong with that. He frantically ran around his room looking for a clean pair of pants, slipping on some black jeans with holes in them in the end. A simple black, button-up shirt had accompanied the pants, tying together the look into something rugged but stylish. He hastily made his way the bathroom, fixing his hair in the mirror and making sure it looked like he hadn’t just woken up from a lazy power nap.

It seemed like by some magical string of luck he had made himself presentable just on time, his phone lighting up with a text message, indicating that Jimin had just arrived. On the way out of his apartment, he instinctively went to grab his set of car keys from the kitchen table, but stopped himself midway into reaching for them. He usually was the one driving when they went places, so it was understandable that he would’ve wanted to grab them. He felt a little bit embarrassed, but was happy that no one was around to witness his short moment of stupidly.

He swiftly exited his apartment, a little annoyed that it had taken forever to call the elevator, and happily stepped out onto the rough pavement of the sidewalk. He normally would’ve went to the parking garage to avoid any paparazzi sightings, but he figured that he didn’t have to worry about anything of that nature, since it wasn’t like he was going to stay outside of the building for long.

He looked around for sight of his friend, and wasn’t disappointed when his gaze fell across the street. The first thing he noticed was Jimin’s car parked there, a slick looking, customized, baby blue Lamborghini Aventador. He remembered helping his friend pick the car out a few years back, one of the three that the other man now proudly owned. His eyes lit up at the sight of the car, feeling rather fond of it since it had stuck with them through a lot.

The second thing he noticed was Jimin, leaning against his car with the skimpiest outfit he had ever witnessed his friend wear. He seemed to be confidently owning the look though; wearing black latex boots on his feet, fishnet stockings and a pair of tiny shorts adorned his legs. His top half was a lot more covered, wearing a simple blue shirt and an old leather jacket. It was... interesting to say the least. It wasn’t like Jimin hadn’t worn similar clothing before, but it was definitely the first time Jungkook had seen him go all out.

He looked good.

“Where are we going? A strip club?” That was Jungkook’s initial reaction, causing Jimin to snort out a laugh.

“Get in and you’ll find out,” Jimin had replied smoothly, moving to the driver side of the car, swinging around his set of keys on a finger like they were a toy. He knew Jimin didn’t need them for this particular car, but the older male seemed to be attached to his set of keys, not wanting them to get stolen or lost. He understood that sort of mentality, after all, he was rather fond of his own set of keys. Cars are like children. You have to take good care of them and their belongings.

Jungkook looked both ways before running across the street, and pulled open the passenger door. The then plopped down into the comfortable passengers seat. The interior was almost as nice as the car itself; all customized to Jimin’s desire. The car faintly smelled of rose petals, and with a quick look, Jungkook had found the scent’s source to be coming from a rose shaped air freshener hanging from the review mirror.

“Rose? Really?” Jungkook asked.

“It’s nice, shut up,” Jimin had rolled his eyes, and pushed the button to start up the engine, a satisfying hum following shortly after.

“So where are we really going?” Jungkook finally asked as Jimin began to drive off, his anticipation practically eating him alive to the very core of his being. He surprisingly didn’t feel nervous, or scared; as he had a lot of faith in his friend. He knew Jimin wouldn’t purposely do anything to endanger him, which was reassuring.

“Didn’t I say show, never tell the other day? You must have a horrible memory,” Jimin reminded him, his speed just a little above the speed limit. He didn’t comment on it, knowing well that Jimin was a little speed demon.

“You’re a menace,” Jungkook responded.

“You’re telling me? Take a look at yourself in the mirror sometime,” Jimin said, his eyes clearly focused on the road and nothing else.

The conversation had died after that, turning into a comfortable and nice silence that sat between them. Jimin seemed to grow tired of it, and opted for switching on the radio. A recognizable hip hop song began to play at a soft volume, one that Jimin seemed to have a liking towards. He found it amusing as the older male decided to start humming along, and let out a quiet chuckle at the sight.

Jungkook wasn’t really paying attention to which direction they were headed, staring out of the side window, watching buildings and people pass with an interested glare. The city was massive the the point it almost seemed as if you never saw the same thing twice. It was always changing, expanding, morphing into something better and bigger. That’s what he loved about Seoul, the city life never failed to surprise him. Every now and then he seemed to grow a bit homesick, longing for the streets of Busan instead. But he never let the homesickness deter him, and stayed in his lane, pushing to an unknown finish line.

He wouldn’t trade his life for anything else.

After a while, Jungkook had noticed they had traveled to the outskirts of Seoul, a quiet and underdeveloped area. If he recalled correctly, a few old friends had told him to never go out that way, claiming it was full of nothing but drug addicts and homeless people. But now that he looked at it; there seemed to be nothing out that way except empty roads and shut down buildings, desolate and abandoned. It was nothing more than a ghost town. In the darkness of the evening it almost felt a little eerie. The area was dim, as only a few street lights lined the road, lighting it up every so often. Jungkook scrunched up his eyebrows, turning to Jimin to speak.

“Don’t tell me that you’re taking me out here to murder me or something,” Jungkook said, which had only made Jimin laugh in response.

“Murder you? Do you think I’d really do something like that?” Jimin still had a smile on his face, clearly amused and excited. He seemed to be full of anticipation, happy to show Jungkook something new.

“No, but it’s creepy as hell out here,” Jungkook replied, sluggishly leaning back in his seat like a disappointed kid.

“Cheer up Jungkookie,” Jimin said with a hint of cheerfulness, the tone of his voice warm and sweet,”We are almost there.”

Jungkook hummed in acknowledgement, and impatiently crossed his arms over his chest as he waited. As if on queue, a vast and mostly empty parking lot came into view. With a little bit of inspection, it seemed like the area was going to be used for a large shopping mall at one point. But it was now abandoned, and only a large slab of concrete was left behind in the aftermath.

It was all uninteresting at first, but then Jungkook spotted a row of high dollar cars parked together, and groups of people gathered around them. They either were talking or partying, both types of people obviously having a good time in their own ways. His mouth fell open at the sight, the amount of expensive cars in one place alone was enough to feel like a wet dream for him. On top of that; all of them seemed to be customized in some way, suggesting that these people were well off when it came to money. He didn’t know what kind of gathering it was, but he already took a liking toward it.

Jimin had looked over to see his reaction, and laughed when he saw the awed and starstruck expression Jungkook was sporting.

“If you think that’s cool, you might faint when you see the juicy stuff,” Jimin commented, obviously in a teasing nature. But Jungkook couldn’t come up with a response, completely taken aback and speechless by the sight before him.

They pulled into the lot and had found a parking spot next to a flashy, bright red sports car. Jungkook had taken his time to ogle at it from the passengers seat, because no matter how many times he had cool looking cars in front of him, it would never get old. He may have lost his passion for racing at that point, but cars? No way.

Jimin switched off the engine, and gave Jungkook a bright smile, a sparkly look in his eyes,”You already like it, don’t you?”

“Yeah, just- woah,” Jungkook said, staring at the many cars around them from his place in the passengers seat.

“Come on, I want you to experience this all for yourself,” Jimin motioned for him to get out of the car, which he did, gently closing the door behind him. Now that he was actually outside of the car and could focus, he could hear loud music blasting from one of the vehicles in the area. He felt the bass reverberate throughout his body, noting that it was a rap song that had recently grown in popularity. A small group of people were dancing together, giggling and laughing about whatever conversation that had going on. He felt a little bit out of place in situation, but nonetheless was excited. He was like a kid in a candy store, wide eyed and energetic, wanting to try everything at once.

“Jiminie!” A deep, yet cheerful voice brought him out of his thoughts, and he caught sight of a blue haired man running towards Jimin. They met in a tight hug, to which the blue haired man picked up and had spun Jimin around like they were in some sort of Disney movie. Jungkook watched the scenario, making a connection that the two obviously knew each other. He examined the stranger, to find that the man’s hair seemed to match his outfit; a loose fitting blue coat, a white dress shirt, and some jeans. Jungkook thought that he was a perfect mix of causal and expensive.

“Hey TaeTae,” Jimin had responded, a bit out of breath, but giggling happily after their encounter.

“Ah, you don’t even know how happy I am that you showed up, you know we couldn’t start the night off without our favorite starter,” The blue haired man had explained, before catching sight of Jungkook. The stranger seemed to be confused for a moment, the smile dropping from his face as he examined Jungkook. He felt a little embarrassed, disliking the sort of attention he was receiving. He didn’t like when others were obviously judging him, as no one really did.

“Taehyung, this is Jungkook,” Jimin introduced the two, slicing through the tension that sat between them. He tightly gripped onto one of Jungkook’s sleeves and pulled him over. He lost his footing and tripped in the tug, but quickly recomposed himself, giving Jimin a subtle little glare.

“Uh, nice to meet you,” Jungkook said to the stranger, unsure of what else he should say to him.

The man, who was now known as Taehyung, seemed to have a thought process before shooting Jungkook a friendly smile,”So you’re the one Jimin always talks about! You’re cute.”

“Thanks?” Jungkook didn’t know how to respond, as he wasn’t ever in a situation where someone he just met had called him cute. But nonetheless, he wasn’t going to dwell on it for too long. He had bigger questions on his mind that he still wanted answers to.

“Don’t worry about Taehyung, he’s just friendly,” Jimin explained, before switching the topic. He turned back to Taehyung to speak, his weight comfortably shifted onto one side,”Who is going first tonight?”

“I think it’s Hoseok and RM, but I’m not sure,” Taehyung replied, scratching his head in thought,”I wasn’t paying attention when everyone talked about it, I was a little preoccupied with someone.”

Jimin seemed to understand immediately, and asked no questions. Jungkook stood there in the midst of it like a stray puppy, confused and lost. He had absolutely no idea what the two were talking about, their words almost seeming like a foreign language to him. He could only hope in that short moment that Jimin would actually take time to explain something to him sometime that night.

“So why’d you bring him?” Taehyung asked, making a subtle gesture in Jungkook’s direction. He frowned, disliking the fact he was talking about him as if he wasn’t right there.

“He needed a change of pace, and I’m helping him out,” Jimin replied.

“You know RM isn’t going to like him being here, right?” Taehyung asked, to which Jimin just smiled and gave him a knowing look. There was obviously some unspoken words between the two, which made Jungkook feel a bit uneasy. He shifted his weight, and sheepishly scratched his head. He felt awkward and a little shy. He was confused too, and the confusion only grew more as the other two continued to speak. A few unanswered questions popped up in his mind, and he desperately wanted to get some answers. He opened his mouth to speak, wanting to first of all question who ‘RM’ was - because the idea of someone disliking his arrival was frightening - but before he could say anything, he was interrupted by another voice loudly calling for Jimin.

“Jimin! You finally showed up, get your ass over here, they’ve already lined up,” A random man yelled from a large group of people, hurriedly motioning for Jimin to come over. Jimin quickly glanced to Jungkook before dropping his shoulders in defeat. Taehyung seemed to suddenly panic when he heard the words from the random stranger, and quickly scrambled to recompose himself,”Shit! I’m on lookout tonight I forgot, bye Jiminie, and Jungkook, I’ll see you later!”

Taehyung quickly rushed off in the direction of one of the parked cars, a fancy looking sapphire one. A lone, dark haired male was leaning against it, looking a little bored and uninterested. But his face seemed to light up at the sight of the blue haired man approaching. He eventually figured it was none of his business to be watching them. So Jungkook took his focus off of them, and payed attention to Jimin instead.

Jimin wiggled his finger in a way that said ‘follow me’ and walked in the direction of the large crowd which had accumulated. Jungkook looked around, and took notice that a majority of the people who had been partying or talking before were all now centered in one area. The soft rumble of a couple of car engines could be heard through the cheers and chatter, which was enough to peak his interest. Jungkook gave Jimin a look, to which the older male huffed out a quiet apology,”Sorry, I’ll explain later.”

They pushed through the crowd, to which Jungkook politely mumbled out apologies to anyone he may have bumped into. It didn’t seem like anyone cared though, barely even paying any attention to him as he slipped through. Once he made his way to the front, Jimin stopped him, putting his hands up and telling him,”Stay right there, this will only take a second.”

He was confused - a prominent and reoccurring emotion it seemed - but nodded in understanding. Jimin flashed him a smile, before continuing forward.

Then Jungkook noticed the cars, two of them lined up next to each other. Their motors were purring like happy cats, the soft rumble sounding like beautiful music to his ears. Both of them were high dollar cars; one was a simple matte black, it looked sleek and elegant, almost like it had been made to be shaped in perfection. The other one was a bit more wild, a flashy neon green, with white stripes painted across the body. Each had their own sense of style, both looking eye catching and unique in their own respective ways. It was almost as if he could feel the owner’s personalities radiating from the vehicles simply from the customizations alone, which was a magical feeling. Jungkook felt like his eyes were bulging out of his skull, and only then had he realized that his jaw had dropped open with unfiltered shock and awe. He closed it, hoping he hadn’t looked like an idiot who was ready to catch flies or something.

He noticed Jimin had taken a place in front of the cars, in the center of the thin strip of road. Finally, Jungkook’s brain started to catch up with his eyes. His mind finally put pieces together of the scattered puzzle as he watched Jimin raise both of his hands, and send a flirtatious wink to one of the drivers.

They were about to race.

Illegally.

He felt adrenaline and fear rush through his veins like a vengeful tsunami, his eyes wide as Jimin announced what was happening. He didn’t know why he felt so nervous though, it made him feel many unpleasantly mixed emotions. Was it the fact that this was very much illegal, and he was scared of the cops? Was he worried that someone might get hurt?

Jungkook had no idea, but even through his initial nervousness, he was still interested.

“First round of the night! RM and Hoseok!” Jimin proudly announced to the crowd, to which loud cheers and hollers followed. Jungkook watched, completely frozen in the moment, his mind feeling like it was about to short circuit.

“Ready! Set!” Jimin took a step back, showing off his graceful stride. The cars engines revved up, ready to step on the gas the moment the indication to go was there. The rumble was so monstrous that he felt it hum throughout his body, just like he had experienced before when attending his first professional race many years ago. It was like deja vu, but this time around, the anticipation was heavily amplified. Finally, after much anticipation from the crowd and racers alike, Jimin waved his arms down and yelled,”Go!”

Both cars speed off, dangerously passing close by Jimin on either side. He didn’t seem scared though, actually, he looked like he was on an adrenaline high. He giddily bounded back to Jungkook, clapping his hands as he watched the racers disappear in the distance.

“Where are they going?” Jungkook felt himself ask, speaking his thoughts before he could process them.

“Seoul,” Jimin answered, pulling onto Jungkook’s sleeve and leading him to the back of an SUV which everyone had gathered around.

There was four flat screen televisions mounted in the in the back, and the trunk was wide open, allowing full access to view them.

“This is where we watch them when they are out of sight, there’s two cameras on each car, one on the dash, one on the side,” Jimin finally explained something for the first time that night, pointing to each screen respectively. Jungkook mindlessly nodded along. His brain felt like mush; he had a complete sensory overload, feeling and thinking too many things all at once.

“Street racing?” Jungkook asked, the facts were right there in front of him, but he still felt the need for a conformation. He also wanted a better explanation of everything he had witnessed that night, unable to think straight for the time being, his mind going haywire. It was like his whole thought process turned into nothing but a sloppy mud.

“Yes,” Jimin affirmed, smug as ever,”Thought it only happened in movies, huh?”

“Yeah, I can’t believe- how did you- what-“ Jungkook stumbled over his words like a drunk maniac, which was unusual for him. He closed his eyes for a brief moment, and took a deep breath to calm himself down. He did his best to gather his thoughts together and actually form proper sentences. Jimin noticed this, and let him breathe before he tried to say anything else. After a bit of his, he finally deemed himself calm enough before asking another question,”Explain all of this, please?”

“We meet up here on Friday nights, it’s away from the main city, which means it’s easy to avoid cops,” Jimin started, and Jungkook listened intently, not wanting to miss one word,”I prefer being a starter compared to anything else. Being a nice piece of eye candy is fun. Anyways, we always have an assigned lookout. They listen on a police scanner to make sure they haven’t caught onto us, as well as look out for any cops approaching. That’s what Taehyung’s job was tonight actually.”

“Does Taehyung race?” Jungkook asked out of pure curiously, tilting his head like a curious puppy.

“Yeah, he’s pretty damn good at it too. His boyfriend helps out with that though,” Jimin pursed his lips before speaking again,”We have about five races a night, people place bets on winners, and there’s cash prizes. If you can win, it’s big money. But if you’re against RM for the night, it’s a lost cause. Barely anyone can beat that guy.”

“RM?”

“He’s in the black car tonight, best street racer in Seoul if you asked me,” Jimin said, and pointed to the screens which the black car’s point of view was situated. He seemed to be ahead of the green car at the moment, rushing through the crowded streets of Seoul, dodging traffic while maintaining a good speed.

“They race in the city?”

“Yeah, there’s always a set route that the racers are given, it’s pretty thrilling,” Jimin explained,”You’ve never experienced a true adrenaline rush until you’ve raced through the streets of Seoul. The footage on the TV’s is live, so it’s almost like experiencing it for yourself right now, but really, it isn’t the same as being there.”

The look on Jimin’s face was one of awe and nostalgia, a happy smile stretched across his features. Jungkook couldn’t think of anymore questions at that moment, and instead opted for watching the television screens, in front of them like an enamored kid. It was like he was a child again, back in his parents living room floor, watching professional racing on their small television. He watched as the two racers rounded a corner, and drifted smoothly with no problems around the curb, all while avoiding a bit of traffic that was in the way. The sight was breathtaking, it was like Jimin had said, you could almost feel the excitement just from watching. A few shouts emerged from the crowd, cheering on either one of the racers.

“Who is in the green car?” Jungkook finally piped up as he watched the driver finally pass up the black car, RM. Hyped yelling came from the group in response to it, people who were obviously wanting the green car to win now feeling hopeful.

“That’s Hoseok, a good friend of mine actually,” Jimin explained with a fond smile,”He’s good at tricks and stuff, but falls behind when it comes to actually racing. I’m surprised he has even kept up, much less passed RM.”

Jungkook felt a little pang in his heart when he heard ‘a good friend’ being used to describe someone else. Nasty feelings emerged in his mind; jealously and the feeling of being left out, abandoned. He was Jimin’s BEST friend, yet he had no idea about this life he was living. No idea about the other friends Jimin had accumulated. It was like the man had become a stranger in front of him in that moment. He went silent, but politely nodded at Jimin’s words anyway, letting him know that he was listening.

He decided he would talk about it with Jimin later.

The thunderous sound of engines roaring had gradually grown in the distance, to which Jungkook realized that the racers were approaching the empty parking lot once again. The finish line, he helpfully supplied the words to himself after a bit of rational thinking. The green car, Hoseok, was still in the lead. Jimin was growing equally excited as the crowd around them, practically buzzing in his shoes as he energetically whispered out,”Yes! Hoseok hyung!”

There was a few statements yelled out by other people too, stuff like;

“Yeah, show RM he isn’t all that!” and “Fuck yeah Hoseokie! You got this!”

Right before they turned into the parking lot; the black car punched the gas hard, and took a dangerously fast left turn in, almost hitting the green car in the process. A few gasps sounded around them, a few people seeming to collectively hold their breath. The racers had only a bit more to go, as Jungkook had figured out from intuition that the finish line was marked where they had initially started the race.

A few groans of disappointment fell from the crowd as RM passed the finish line first, zooming past them at a high speed, declaring his win for the night. The other half of the crowd seemed excited, and Jungkook heard a few phrases similar to things like, ’the champion still reigns.’
It somewhat reminded him of himself. People cheered for the underdogs any time he raced, merely because they had a small hope that he would finally get his ass handed to him, and a few people couldn’t stand winners for some reason. But the underdogs never did win; Jungkook was the golden rookie after all.

The reigning champion of the professional racing world.

Jungkook continued to watch the chaos erupt around them as a simple bystander, Jimin confidently sticking right next to him. A few people rushed over to RM’s car after he put it in park, giving thumbs up, words of congratulations and other positive words of endearment and encouragement.

“Hey,” Jungkook said in order to get Jimin’s attention, still keeping his focus on the black car that was a short distance away.

“Yeah?”

“Didn’t Taehyung say something about RM not liking it if I came around? Why is that?” Jungkook asked, finally able to get a question that he had been meaning to ask off of his chest. It seemed like the right moment anyways, not knowing when a better time to bring it up would be.

“Oh, that’s a difficult story,” Jimin replied, seeming hesitant,”I would just stay away from him if I were you. He doesn’t like ‘professional’ racers to begin with.”

There was one problem with that, though, Jungkook wouldn’t ever admit it to Jimin in that moment. He didn’t know how in the world he was going to be able to stay away; because number one, he was already addicted to the adrenaline that street racing seemed to bring. Even from simply watching it play out, he felt like he was buzzing, floating on a high of excitement. and number two?

The moment RM had stepped out of his car, with a dimpled smile and messy blonde hair; Jungkook’s brain immediately said, ’Shit, he’s hot.’

The night continued on without a flaw, Jungkook happily watched the rest of the races, and even got a little hyped up and rooted for anyone he thought had a cool car. Jimin had started each one of them, and even boldly pointed out when someone had started too soon, making them line back up and fairly start over. Jungkook even let out little cheers here and there when a racer did something he considered awesome; fancy drifts, taking short cuts, dodging traffic etc. Jimin watched him with a fond smile, clearly glad to see that his friend was having a good time after all.

So back to the near present; that’s how Jungkook ended up on his couch at the moment, receiving backlash and heaps of questions after quitting his professional racing career that Saturday afterwards.

Jungkook ignored all of the notifications, and grabbed his phone to open his text conversation with Jimin. It hadn’t been touched since that Friday night, (so about three days) and he wondered if the other male had even heard of the news. It would surely be shocking if he didn’t, and the more Jungkook thought about it; Jimin probably just didn’t want to bother Jungkook when a lot of people were already doing that to begin with. He contemplated over what he should say in his message for a minute or two, the news on the television still providing some background noise as he thought to himself. He didn’t know if he should go for small talk first, or just get straight to the point.

He opted for the second option, deeming it to be easier and less time consuming. So he sent the text message, and waited for an answer.

Jungkook:
I want to race on Friday.

Jungkook watched as the three little dots showed up, indicating that Jimin was in the process of typing a response. It invoked somewhat of an anxiety in him, and he silently wondered if Jimin would take something like that well. He seemed to be enthusiastic about the whole ordeal previously, so he hoped that Jimin would support his decision.
Finally, after a bit of dreadful waiting, he received an answer.

Jimin:
are u sure about that ?

Jungkook:
of course I am sure, otherwise I wouldn’t have said something like that

Jimin:
hm

Jimin:
it’s dangerous you know

Jungkook sighed expectantly, placing some fingers to the bridge of his nose. He felt like something like that would be coming in response. Jimin always was sort of protective over Jungkook. They were like brothers, the good kind, always looking out for each other. So, he ultimately knew that Jimin didn’t have any ill intentions with his cautiousness. But he was a grown man and could make choices for himself, and this was his decision.

Jungkook:
You don’t seem to have a problem with it yourself?

Jimin:
but that’s me, and you are you.

Jimin:
i’m worried about you.

Jungkook:
I’ve been in two wrecks before, I think I could handle this

Jimin:
this is different

Jimin:
you have cops to worry about

Jimin:
and innocent people

Jimin:
so let me ask you again.. are you sure?

 

Jungkook took another sip of his cherry cola, noticing that it was about empty. He made a mental note to himself to grab another one when he got up, and contemplated over his racing decision once more for good measure. He wasn’t dumb, and he knew what kind of risks went into something as crazy as street racing. But that Friday night: it was the first time he had felt a true adrenaline rush in ages, and he wasn’t even driving the damn cars. Even if he didn’t like it after one race, he knew he wanted to try it at least once. He wanted to experience the real adrenaline for himself, get high off of the feeling of blasting through the streets of Seoul. Jungkook confidently confirmed his feelings, and made sure Jimin understood that as well.

Jungkook:
positive

Jimin:
alright then.

Jimin:
pick me up friday, bring your best car

Jimin:
i’ll be happy to see who you’re up against :)

So the plan was set; Jeon Jungkook, a now FORMER professional racer, was going to be street racing by the end of the week. Hell, he even thought the situation was insane, but he wasn’t going to complain about it. He was in it for the fun, nothing more or less. But god, did he have a lot to learn. What were all of the rules? Did they even have any? He was glad Jimin was there to somewhat guide him in the whole fiasco. He didn’t know what kind of situation would come from this; but he silently hoped for only the best to come.

Oh, if he only knew.