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Hidden behind masks

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Taehyung knew the moment Hoseok looked at him with those big puppy eyes of his, he'd be screwed. They've known each other for years and, if by their playful banter and excessive cuddling, its clear to see how close they truly are. And with those years, Hoseok has near to PERFECTED the art of melting peoples hearts and convincing people to do as he pleased. Especially Taehyung. So when Hoseok comes to his apartment one afternoon, with a pace of determination and a hop of excitement, Taehyung knew, he KNEW, there'd be trouble.

,,Nope"" said the back currently making a cup of well earned hot chocolate, ignoring Hoseoks clasped hands.


,,You don't even know what i was going to ask yet!" he whined, following Tae to the living room, who had one hand holding his cocoa, while the other was pressed to his brows in frustration. Ignoring him,Taehyung carefully placed his drink on the ebony table and looked around in hopes of finding the remote, determined for his plans on watching the rerun of his favourite drama while drinking his favourite drink not to be ruined.


,, just listen to what i have to say and make of it what you wish.. please?". letting out a sigh of frustration and a mumble that sounded similar to a damn those puppy eyes, Taehyung finally turns to Hosoek and nods.


,,so.. you know how my work place hosts weird themed parties every year as requested by the eldest son of the CEO?" he starts, keeping eye contact with Tae throughout. ,, Well, this year the theme is a masquerade party. Apparently something about the mystery and anonymity sounds appealing to the son. We're all allowed to bring a plus one and I thought, since its been so long since you've gone out out to have fun, and you can keep your face covered... perhaps you could be my plus one?" he asked, sounding unsure and a little nervous at the end.


His cocoa long forgotten, Taehyung looked down, the white noise of a random drama (not his favourite he notes) playing at the back, a little shocked at the request. What shocked him more was the fact that his mind was actually contemplating on going even though, usually he would have rejected the idea as soon as his friend stated it. Maybe it was the almost desperate tone of voice his friend spoke with, guilt flooding his mind over how much he's probably worrying his best friend. Or maybe its the fact that he hasn't been out to a social event in two years and missed the overriding joy and elation that came with meeting new people. Either way he shocks not only himself but his friend and nods.


,, I'll go" he whispers, nervousness evident in his voice but a small smile blossomed and grew further at the look of pure happiness his friend seemed to wear.

 

However, He wasn't expecting to see the uncovered face of a strikingly familiar looking young man at the event constantly watching him ... nor did he plan to have his heart flutter, be it due to shyness or curiosity, at every small smile and rushed glance given his way.

 

۩ ۞ ۩

 

as the night went on and the constant buzz of the crowd became too stifling, Taehyung decided to leave, not used to being so exposed to people, not since before the incident.

Before he could leave however, he felt a hand gently grab onto his arm.

,,I've been wanting to talk to you for the entire event, it's sad that I only got to you just as you seem to be leaving" a soft voice whispers, barely heard when surrounded by such a crowd.


Shocked, Taehyung turns his head to see the oh so familiar face, yet no name came to mind. Noticing Taehyung's flickering glance to his hold on his arm, the man let go, tilting his head, looking slightly curious? Taehyung couldn't tell.


,, you still haven't said anything pretty, what's wrong? Cat caught your tongue"


Rolling his eyes at the cockiness, Tae looked around in hopes of finding Hoseok to drive him home, not too keen on the idea of walking at night nor at entertaining the young man with a reply. Defeated, he turns to see the unmasked man still standing there, seeming to not have understood his intent of ignoring him,

,, are you honestly going to continue to stand there and stare at me because it's highkey creeping me out" he drawled.


Amused by his reply, the man laughs, eyes glittering and voice melodic

,, aah so you do speak, not gonna lie, for a minute there I thought you were mute and was really worried I was being rude, phew. Wait, wow your voice is so pretty and deep, speak some more?"


Shocked and rather confused by his... rush of a kinda cute, kinda weird reply, Taehyung tilts his head causing the man to laugh some more.

,, sorry for being a mess, I get all weird when I talk to pretty people" he says almost shyly.


,, How would you even know that I'm pretty when I got a mask on? Also why aren't YOU wearing a mask?" Emphasising the 'you' with a jab of his finger and wow, this guys is built. Said guy looks at him a little teasingly as though he knew what Tae probably thought at that moment, spilling confidence in waves. 


,, hmm it's actually quite complicated so let's just say I forgot my mask". Sensing Taehyung's curiosity he continues ,, I just... had an issue in the past with a mask and ever since got hella spooked out by them. But hey, most people already took their masks off at this point,why haven't you?"

Caught off guard, Tae struggled to think of a good enough excuse that could save his ass and not make him seem like a fool but just before he could answer, a voice interrupts.


,, heyyyy jk, j to the k, Jung the kook, junglebook, how are you my man!" exclaimed a weirdly awkward looking Hoseok.

Confused by... whatever it was he just said, Tae turns to him, hoping to get an answer of where the hell he was that whole time and what the hell that whole mess of a greeting was.


"J hoooooooope how are you dude! wow I haven't seen you in ages" replies, Jungle book? Seemingly unconcerned by Hoseoks exaggerated smile and protective arm resting around Taes shoulders.


,, Do you guys know each other?" Tae asks looking between the two curiously.


,, yeah this is Jungkook, a friend of mine who I haven't seen in agesss. He used to work here but stopped around two years ago" Hoseoks says in a rush making Tae nervous with how nervous he seemed. ,, How have you been jk how's life been going for you in Tokyo? Did your brother invite you to the party?" Looking a little overwhelmed, Jungkook (which although his face seemed familiar, his name didn't) bit his inner cheek, probably a nervous habit of his.

,, I've been... fine. Better than before but could be better" with that he laughs an almost bitter laugh ,, Tokyo though has been absolutely amazing. low-key got me regretting not becoming a Photographer. And no Jinnie hyung didn't invite me that jerk I had to ask Park hyung where hyung was going and told me, honestly I wasn't even supposed to come, I just wanted to surprise him" with that Hoseok seemed to loosen up and laughed along with Jungkook making Tae feel a little left out but honestly not that bothered.


,, you know Taeh-Taejoon here is a photographer" Hoseok says with a proud smile but nervous eyes. With a tilt of his head, Jungkook looks his way

,, but a pretty man like you should be in front of the camera not behind it" he says with a sweet smile.


,, number one, again, how would you know I'm pretty with a mask on? And number two, that doesn't make any sense, how does me looking a certain way mean that I can or can't enjoy what I'm passionate in!" Taehyung says a little too loudly, causing a few heads from people near by to turn, who were also trying to enjoy the calmer atmosphere closer near to the open doors than in the middle of the sweaty mass of people at the centre of the hall.


Confused and a little hurt looking by his outburst Jungkook shakes his head ,, I didn't mean that, I was just tryna compliment you sheesh! And as to why I say you're pretty.. hmm you just seem to give off a pretty aura. The aura a pretty man would give off" he shrugged nonchalantly.

Hoseok, again looking a little tense turns to Tae ,, should we go home now? You look a little tired."


Still a little flustered by Jungkooks reply Tae looks back at Hoseok and nods, not trusting his voice after being complimented, for the first time in ages may he add.


,, I'll go start the car, it's a little cold outside so you stay here and I'll call you when I'm done ok?" Tae nods and watches as his friends walks away submerged by the darkness surrounding the building lit only by the blinking shine of the pretty stars adorning the night sky.


,, soooo, Taejoon is it? That's a nice name, are you and Hoseok dating by any chance?" Jungkook says trying to look as unbothered as possible, swinging his arms and honestly Taehyung thought it was cute... but you didn't hear that from him.

,,Oh no no no we're just friends. Best friends actually, knew him since  we were seven when our umm p-parent introduced us as kids at the park" Tae replied back hoping the other didn't catch on to his stutter. Unfortunately it seemed he had and just as he was about to reply back, the soft sound of the notes of a piano playing für Elise hung around them. Looking down to his phone and seeing Hoseoks number, he sighed thanking Hoseok mentally for saving him once again, and turned getting ready to leave finally but before he could, he felt another tug at his arm causing him to trip a little, exhausted and so so tired. He just wanted to sleep, the skin underneath the mask irritated from leaving it on for so long and the velvet of his pink sleeves getting a little too hot, even near the open doors.


,, woaw are you alright? You seem a little tipsy there" Jungkook says, worry evident in his voice. Resisting the urge to roll his eyes and praise him for his astute observation, Taehyung shrugs.

,, 'm very tired is all. Is there a reason as to why you're holding on to my sleeve like a five year old?" he says feeling slightly guilty for being so mean. Only slightly.


Laughing at that, Jungkook replies ,, awww is the little baby grumpy? It's okay I won't hold you back for long, I just wanted to say that it would be a shame if you left without me seeing that face hidden beneath the mask not even once" he said with a slight pout to his lip.


Missing the almost seemingly hopeful look in the other mans eyes Taehyung looks down contemplating the pros and cons of doing so but his mind was so fuzzy and his thoughts were clouded by the strong need to go home to the comfort of his bed and oh no, his baby Tannie was left for so long, so he shrugged and looked up.

,, Would that make you leave me alone" he says with a small smile at his lips. With that, jungkooks face broke out into a big grin, pretty eyes twinkling and cute cheeks bunching up ,, wow I feel so hurt" emphasising the hurt with a press of his hand to his heart ,, but I guess sacrifices must be made right? I'll have to stop nagging and let a pretty boy go and you have to take off your mask which you seem to have a strong attachment to" Taehyung giggled, sleep clouded mind barely registering the light of Hoseoks car coming from down the road closer to the entrance where they stood nor the fact that he just agreed to taking off his mask, something he hasn't done in public (not on purpose that is) for the past two years.


Looking down, suddenly feeling shy, he nods in agreement, reaching for his mask, not missing the worried glance to his shaking hands and watering eyes, and held on, a hand on each side. With a deep breath he brought the mask down, the royal blue contrasting strongly with the pink outfit he decided to wear and looked into the others eyes. Looking suddenly panicked but quickly masking it with a smirk Jungkook tilts his head, dark soft hair falling into his eyes


,, see I knew you were a pretty boy, but wow didn't know people can be THAT pretty" he says confidently and even though panic was clear in his eyes, Taehyung, who only had the though of how liberating it felt to finally take off his mask in public for once, completely missed it. Blushing at the response, he looks outside suddenly feeling a little awkward.

,, I think I need to go now, I don't want to worry seokie too much.. umm it was nice meeting you?" He said unsure of how to end their conversation.

,, it was a pleasure meeting you too Taejoon" Jungkook replied taking a step back, his smirk reducing to a small sweet smile. He smiled back and with that, waved and turned around, remembering to put on his mask again before anyone else saw him, but as he walked down the stairs that led to the pavement he thought he heard a whisper.

 

,, I bloody knew it was him oh my god it's actually him!"

 

 

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my twitter

Chapter Text

,,it was him I'm sure!"

 

The bitter smell of dark coffee, the overly sweet scent of sugary caffeinated drinks and the loud clutter of a cafe full of stressed college students, deadlines and tests tightly coiled around their necks, hung heavily around the pair.

"Jungkook... please just... are you sure? You said it was dark, and the only time you saw him was that one time that night and only for a bit so you could be mistaken"

Somewhere, on the other side of the little local cafe, an agonised girl spills her drink on another student near by, tissues and apologies thrown rapidly and haphazardly between the two. Behind the counter, two tired baristas lower their heads down to the cool marble surface, hoping for the ruckus to calm down before it all got too much. It always got too much.

,, yes but I saw pictures of him, You've shown me pictures of him! Pretty eyes, strong nose, a little beauty spot at the tip of his -" but the distressed boy interrupted Jungkook, a strong sense of sadness clouding his voice ,,Please! Stop. I get it, it's him. But If it's truly him then we gotta get to him, make sure he's alright and that nothing's going to happen to him"

Not being able to bare seeing the void of empty emotions, Jungkook looked away from his friends eyes down to the crushed napkin held between his clutched hands.

,, Jimin... we'll do our best. I'm just a little confused why Hoseok didn't tell you anything before" he said, unsure of how to approach the issue without saddening his friend any more.

,, I'm pretty sure he had his reasons" he answered, taking a sip of his bitter beverage, face scrunching up in disgust at the lack of sugar, ,, as long as he's safe and alive that's fine. It's fine."

Jungkook knew jimin knew it was not fine, but at least they're one step closer to finding him.


۩ ۞ ۩


Quiet. Peace and quiet. That's all Seokjin needed after a day packed with panicked conferences and torturous meetings and unfortunately, there were still more to come. Resting his head back on the leather backseat of the car, that probably costed no less than a fortune, he sighed. Slicked back hair, pressed black suit and shining silver cuffs. He reeked of riches and money. Although, it could have been the Versace perfume he wore. Either way, his prestige was evident but honestly, he didn't care for all that, all he wanted was rest.

,, oh my gosh, sorry I'm late sir!" The loud clutter of a bag thrown to the passenger seat, the clinking of keys and the slam of a door closing abruptly broke the tranquility Seokjin was chasing after.

Opening one eye, he sighed at the distressed state Jimin was in, panic carved into his features.

,, Jimin, calm down, I've told you this before. One, don't call me sir when it's just the two of us and two, although you're my driver you're also my friend so calm down. I needed the rest anyways" and with that he closed his eyes turning his head to the side trying to find the most comfortable position in which he can rest.

Jimin looked back at him through the mirror, worrying his lips at the tired state of his boss-no friend.

,, I brought you the blueberry muffin and coffee you asked for si-I mean Jin hyung. Jungkook also asked me to tell you that he's going to be home late tonight so don't stay up for him". Not bothering to wait for a reply, fully knowing that Seokjin himself wouldn't be home early either due to the crazy amount of work he gets, he starts up the car and Drives in the direction of the company building.

Gazing out the window, watching the shops and apartment building go by, Seokjin laughs, suddenly remembering the flurry of events from last night.

,,I heard Jungkook went to the event yesterday. He didn't even come wearing a mask, aish that kid ruining the mood wherever he goes". Jimin laughs along, relaxing at the playful rant and happy vibes Seokjin gave off.

,, I didn't know you never told him about it, I thought he was invited! He kept nagging and nagging until I couldn't take it anymore". The loud beeps of angry drivers worried about coming in too late for work, playing out in the background.

,, aaah don't worry, I knew he would find out somehow, he always used to love helping me choose the themes before he left for Tokyo.".

Outside the car, a tired looking old man walked out of a little rundown looking news agency, a stack of newspapers held in his arms and an oversized neon bag weighing down his back. "Burning Passion" Jin mumbled, reading off the title of the agency. ,, what a weird name but oddly, sounds very familiar"

Jimin froze, trying hard not to let Jin notice his panic.

Oh ,, it's just a small news agency that always tries to find corruption within big companies. They're absolutely hated by rich businessmen, obviously, so you've probably heard people ranting about it"

,, hmmm, I guess so" Jin replied half heartedly with a shrug, mentally preparing himself for his upcoming meeting, thoughts triggered by the sight of the tall overlooking building up ahead.

,,ugh I hope Namjoon actually got the documents ready and didn't instead watch another documentary on the importance of penguins" he grumbled knowing all too well that that the possibility Could be a reality. Giggling at his friend, jimin rolls his eyes finding Namjoons obsession with documentaries on cute animals adorable.

,, I'd hope not or else Yoongi hyung would NOT be pleased"

,, well we'll soon find out won't we" and with that Seokjin opens the door once the car was parked and grabs his heavy brief case. Bending down, he knocks on the window near Jimin, indicating that he wanted to talk.

,, make sure kookie is eating well and doing alright... ever since he came back he seems... distracted. Please, I beg you to do this for me" He says, once jimin rolled down his window.

Shocked at the pleading tone of his friend, Jimin nods "I'm sure he's just tired, no need to panic too much" not wanting to mention Taehyung, who Jin probably didn't even know, nor the fact that they finally found him after two years, he acts nonchalant.

,, I guess so. Well, see you later, I gotta go or else Namjoon wouldn't be the only one at the receiving  end of Yoongis anger" they both smile at that and part.

As Seokjin walks up the steps, pass held in his hand, manager Kim Seokjin written in bold bright letters on it, he stood to think aloud.

,,hmmm Burning Passion huh. I'm sure I know someone who used to work there but who"

 

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my twitter 

Chapter Text

The warm softness of the aged familiar blanket draped over Taehyung, engulfing him in much needed comfort. cough after cough, his permanent pout barely able to compress the endless loop, all the while, tissues piled up around him like jagged mountains of snow. The thought of snow felt repulsive in his sad state of flu, cold, bitter and harsh. The cup of cocoa doing no good in bringing up his depressed mood.

,, I'm dying seokie, dying. Just do two last things for me before I part this world, add my unreleased photos to the gallery and tell tannie bub I love him" he sighed with a theatrical press of his hand to his head.

,, no one wants to see your nudes Tae and stop being so over dramatic" hoseok, who just entered the stuffy bedroom that tae hadn't left (unless for a toilet or snack break of course) for at least three days, retorted with a roll of his eyes.

Spluttering at the thought, Taehyung grabbed the closest cushion and threw it, albeit weakly due to his ill state (or maybe due to the fact that exercise isn't his "forte" as he'd say, a common response to when Hoseok asks him to accompany him to his biweekly trips to the gym).

Dodging the cushion aimed for his face, Hoseok looked around, bunching up his sleeves. The room looking more and more of a mess the more he looked around. Underneath a pile of clothes he noticed a lump of black ,,hey is that... my headphones! What are they even doing here when you have your own! Ugh Tae this place is a mess ". Shaking his head, he starts to pick up the lone pairs of socks and plentiful, numerous ties, ranging of all colours, off the floor.

,, I'm ill Hoseok, ILL, I get a free pass on not having to tidy up my room" Taehyung answered back, punctuating "ill" with a cough or two. ,, also, for your information, it's an ORGANISED mess. Everything is where I'll find them" and with that he shrugged and looked around, hoping to find tannie amidst the "organised mess" to cuddle. Shaking his head with a fond fond smile, Hoseok turns around, already having formed a pile of washing and collected a few of Tae's stray sketch doodles off the floor.

,,go have a shower while I tidy up some of this mess then find tannie to cuddle with him after in the living room. I'll stay over tonight and make you dinner, hopefully you'll heal up slightly. Ima have to leave early though, I can't be late for work again or else manager Kim might get mad". Feeling the coil of warm arms circling his waist from behind, he heard a soft ,,thankyou" and a ,, what would I do without you" before he felt the heat go and the footsteps fade out in the direction of the bathroom. Sighing again for what felt like the a hundredth time that evening, he continued on his mission of making his friends bedroom as liveable as possible.

And finally, after what felt like ages, Hoseok had managed to tidy up what he could. Picking up the last pile of clothes, he moved towards the last draw on the right of taes wooden cupboard, matching the mocha green tea, brown coffee aesthetic of the room. As he opened the draw he noticed a black, stuffed box taking up most of the space. Putting the pile down, Hoseok bent down to rest on his knees, and nudged the box out. Wary of what he might discover ( hoping not to find anything... explicit) he lifted the lid with a tilt of his head. There in the box was a pile of mismatched items; many photos, some very old looking and others not so much, news paper articles cut out at weird angles, a necklace and a watch. Her necklace and his watch. Lifting up the photo that was placed at the top of the pile, Hoseok felt across the smooth surface, the familiar face of the Kim's looking up at him through eye smiles and fits of giggles, sitting in the setting of what seemed to be a picnic. Flipping the photo around, a message written in faint purple ink read ,,my last spring break with them both, my mum begged me to go on the picnic with them, thank god I did".

Guilt seized his heart, Hoseoks mothers voice rang through his mind.

Holding up one of the articles, the bold letters of the title ,, an affair with the mafia?" Glared back at him. 8th of May 2017, journalist Kim Dong Sun. He remembered the article and the outrage that swept across the city that came along with its release. It was written two days before the incident.

,,Seokkie can you please pass me another towel? the one in the toilet got wet by accident!" An echo-y voice exclaimed from the direction of the bathroom.
Quick to hide all traces of interference with the box, Hoseok placed the clothes in haphazardly and closes the draw, albeit a bit harshly.

,,coming taetae" and with that he left.


۩ ۞ ۩


,, Good afternoon" the cheery voice of Seokjin said quite loudly to the office empty bar two men.

,, Good afternoon, manager Kim! Good news, penguin boy here did NOT forget to print off the documents as we all thought he would" replied a gummy smiling yoongi.

,,Hey! You all have little trust in me. I do my work perfectly fine and would never, NEVER, forget to print off such important documents" exclaimed the frowny faced namjoon. Shuffling the papers and stapling them together, he placed them in a plastic wallet, all the while ignoring the pointed looks of both Yoongi and Seokjin.

,,ok ok but it was only one time! One! And it was all about baby tiger cubs and their struggles in survival! I couldn't just stop the documentary to print off some random papers on stocks and what not"

Laughing at his friends obvious annoyance, yoongi shook his head, very fond and very much thankful for the joy Namjoon brought to the dull office.

,, manager Kim, the CEO asks of your presence. You've arrived quite late Kim, you don't want to give you and your co workers a bad image do you?" A mocking voice warned, entering uninvitedly along with the owner of that voice.

,, manager Choi, it's been a while since I heard your wonderful voice, how are you?" Turning around to collect the pile of papers not necessarily caring for a response from said man.

Choi Jung Hwa, manager of the media team, mocking, too confident and disliked by many if not all at the office. All except for his small team of minions and the CEO, surprisingly.

,, I'm perfectly fine, happy in fact, and you getting in trouble with the CEO made my day all the nicer so thank you for that." Laughed Jung Hwa.

Rolling his eyes at such a childish response, seokjin laughed along. " choi, you seem to forget that he's my father and not just some random man who bosses me around. Unlike you, I'm irreplaceable at the office so I'd hold my tongue if I were you" and with that he slid past him in the narrow corridor and left.

Struggling not to laugh, especially with Namjoon struggling even more to keep in his laughter right next to him, Yoongi turned to manager Choi, frowning in mock sympathy. ,, is there anything else you need sir" he asked innocently.

With a grumble and a prominent frown, Jung Hwa turned to look at him. ,, watch your self Min, I'm still at a higher position at the office than you,,

Unable to hold himself anymore, Namjoon laughed as manager Choi stormed out the office. Wiping a stray tear or two, both indicating how hard he laughed at the hilarious exchange, he sighed turning to Yoongi with the widest of smiles. ,, I love manager Kim I truly do"

Smiling back at his friend, yoongi nodded ,, me too joonie me too"


۩ ۞ ۩

 

Later in the evening, Seokjin found himself at the door of his apartment, 10 floors up the fancy apartment complex his father owned. Unlocking the door, he shuffled out of his shoes, placing them on the black metal rack to his left. A dull yellow light shone from the direction of the kitchen, soft clutter indicating Jungkooks presence.

,, I'm home" he said, elongating the "home" as one would do in all those American family dramas.
As he walked closer to the kitchen, taking off his tie as he was doing so, the strong smell of ramen and absolute unhealthiness greeted him.

There sitting at the kitchen island, mouth stuffed of ramen, Jungkook looked up, waving his hand. ,,you're late hyung" he stated mouth still stuffed full of food.

,, and you're disgusting. Finish eating whats in your mouth then talk to me, gosh you weren't raised in a barn jk" Seokjin replied with a scrunch of his face.

Swallowing down all that's left in his mouth, jungkook smiled, rolling his eyes playfully. ,, aaah the opportunity to call you an animal was right there and calling for me but you don't seem to be in the best of moods so what's up"

Punching Jungkooks arm as he passed by him (ignoring his little ,,ow hyung!"), scooping a bowl of ramen and looking around to find a pair of chopsticks, Jin frowned slightly, worry evident in his eyes.

,, Nothing much. Works a little stressful and... father said earlier that mums health doesn't seem to be getting any better. Just a little worried is all" he replied carefully.

The atmosphere turned tense, Jungkooks eyes glaring holes into the marble surface next to his empty bowl at the mention of their father.

,, with all the money he has and the connections he's made you'd think he'd be able to help her" he replied sourly, hatred clear and anger rising.

,, regardless of the situation, I'm going to visit her tomorrow. would you like to come? She... she missed you a lot Jungkook. Doesn't stop talking about how she wants her kookie to visit her" Jin replied softly, warily. Sensing his brothers distress he quickly added ,, you don't have to though, of course" but they both knew it would be for the best if he did.

With a deep sigh, Jungkook looked up, sadness echoing in his eyes ,, I'll go, I missed her too" he said quietly. Then, as though realisation just dawned on him, his eyes grew. ,, I do hope she doesn't blame my absence on herself? she does know I love her just as much as I always have right?" His voice raising more and more in worry.

Jin smiled sadly at him shaking his head. ,, sadly she doesn't and although I constantly tell her that she's not to be blamed for anything she doesn't seem to believe me"

With a long groan, jungkook placed his face in his hands.

,, I'll go tomorrow and talk to her. Hopefully that will relieve some of the stress she's holding and hopefully, she'll get a little better" he whispered, hopeful wishes weakly draping the air around the two.

,, all we could do is hope and pray at the moment" Jin replied, sudden rain hitting the window causing the atmosphere to feel even colder than it already was.

,, let's hope and pray then"

 

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my twitter

Chapter Text

Ticking of a clock ticked and tocked solely in the empty 'office slash studio' . Threads upon threads of wire and string hung around the walls, covered with photos, paintings, some finished whereas others were left incomplete to their demise, art types of all forms creating an atmosphere of creativity. Most surfaces were covered in art equipment if not parts of cameras. The dim lighting coming from the ceiling window gave the whole place an aesthetic mood that anyone would have loved to work within.

Although the room was not too big it was also not too small. A large wooden desk sat at one side of the room with two chairs on either side, official paper work and what not sat forgotten on top of the surface next to the silver plaque that read Kim V in bold black letters.

The rest of the room was lined with table tops and canvases and in the middle sat a comfortable sofa and coffee table that faced the wooden door that led out to the main hall of the gallery. The main hall displayed Kim's prized photographs whereas the other hall, that he added as of recently, was where he had some of his art displayed, none made with serious intent but for the sake of enjoyment and pleasure.


No one could have predicted that the son of a secretary and a reporter, one who worked due to a passion, the other due to a debt, both of which paid to the minimum, could have gotten to this stage of fame within the photography world. Especially as he never revealed his face nor his name, had no connections nor made an active effort to achieve such a thing, especially only within two years.


And as he sat there in the corner of his gallery, watching college students and art lovers alike enthusiastically wonder around, eyes absorbing scenes upon scenes of photographs, he thought to himself, was it really worth their death?


Because it was only after the death (murder) of his parents did he fling himself into the endless pit (aka his dark room), at first producing the most saddest of images, capturing the emotions of sorrow, misery and grief so well. It was those photos that got him to a good start in his career. Without them he wouldn't have any of this.


But Taehyung would have traded all of it for his parents return.
,, I think of all V's photographs, these two images best convey the feeling of abandonment" said a soft voice nearby.


He looked to his left to see two women, probably in their mid twenties, looking up to two framed photos, frames connected by a looped thread.


,, hmmm, I guess so but it's a bit... immature shall I say? The whole concept being the abandonment of a tree house doesn't have as much of an effect on me because of course at some point we all grow up and abandon the childish aspects within us" the less enthusiastic one of the two replied.


Looking quite offended, the other shook her head, bangs swaying vigorously as she did so ,, no but you don't seem to get it sooyoung. The feeling of abandonment in itself is a little childish. That doesn't make it any less valid! The want to be cared for and looked after and entertained and acknowledge as seen by the first image when V's friends and him used to use it probably is something we all long for. You can see personal items of all types showing that not only one person used the place but many such as that designer bag and that painted customised jacket. But at the span of a few years maybe even less, all of that can go and we can feel hollow, dark and damp, as seen by the photo of when V returned back to it. I think that's why they have this thin thread crossing between the two, probably symbolising the little time it took for such a drastic change to occur"


Shocked at the accuracy of the description given by the first girl, it being the first time he heard someone care so much for those two particular photos, Taehyung got up, hoping to converse a bit with the girl before she left and pretend that he too was just an avid fan of his work, but before he could, the other replied back to her.


,, I can see where you're coming from but in my opinion abandonment incorporates pain rather than hollowness. But no yeah sure, I understand your point. Wow honestly I didn't expect our trip on our random spontaneous free day from the office granted to us by the best manager in the world, to take such a turn Momo" Sooyoung laughed.


,, aaah but I honestly love coming to this gallery, the art pieces and photos always convey so much emotion! Plus, I think the whole idea that V is some mysterious guy that no one truly knows, but is always here at the gallery when it's open is kind of hot. Also, you're just saying that because you miss manager Kim " Momo replied wriggling her eyebrows with an exaggerated wink at her friend.


Coughing slightly, noise muffled by the face mask he wore, still a little unwell even after two days of care from Hoseok and his delicious soup (or maybe due to the fact that he was just called hot indirectly), Taehyung looked away quickly, only then realising that he's been listening on to their conversation for too long.

Grabbing his bag that was left at his feet, leaning on to the chair, he strode to the office, the voices of the two conversing and giggling dying out the further he went, remembering that he had to call Hoseok to update him on his health or else Hoseok would " drag him out of there by the ear and sit his sorry ass on the sofa while he stuffed him with more medicine and get well soon soup", which as ... pleasant as that sounded, Taehyung could not afford to miss any more days of work, not due to money but because he himself couldn't stand staying away for too long from his canvases and cameras.


Entering the office, he took off his face mask and sat at the desk with a slight huff, opened his phone and clicked on one of the few contacts he had left since his life drastically changed and waited.

 


--------

 


,,Aah mr Kim and mr.. Jeon, I didn't know we were to expect your arrival!" A surprised family maid exclaimed at the presence of the two brothers at the door of the manor. Struggling to see them due to the intensity of the sun outside, (the weather absolutely beautiful, the perfect time to have a picnic, she thought) her eyes grew in


shock at how much the youngest of the two had changed in looks within those two years of his absence. Noticing his discomfort she looked away quickly and moved to open the door wider.
,, ah don't worry about it too much, we haven't mentioned that we were coming, I apologise. It was quite a spontaneous decision, I'm sorry if that was too cause any issues?" Jin asked smiling softly at the poor old woman who seemed to still be in shock and slight panic.


,,no need to apologise! Just got a bit worried master Kim mentioned something about it and I didn't hear is all. Come in come in, hurry dears you don't want to get a heat stroke standing there!" She said as she rushed them in through the doors.


,,I assume you're here to see ma'am?" Whispered her careful voice as she walked ahead, back facing them leading them down the hall way.


Nodding, then realising she can't see them, Jungkook cleared his throat and replied with a reserved ,,yes" while keeping his eyes down the whole time, thankful that he wasn't asked any other question and that he was only answered with a thoughtful ,,hmmm" .


As they neared the end of the hallway, two familiar doors faced them all, one closed while the other was partially opened.
,, she's quite... tired so please be careful with her. I'm going to go continue cooking her lunch and I'm sure she'll insist you stay for lunch too so I'll have to go now to make sure I can make enough food, I do hope you'll both still enjoy my cooking" she said with a laugh ,, walk yourselves in but do announce your presence before doing so" and with that she turned to go, not without quickly mentioning ,, it was nice seeing you again mr
Jeon" and walks off in the general direction of the kitchen.


Sensing his brothers nervousness, Jin turns to Jungkook, placing his hand on his shoulder giving it a reassuring squeeze before letting go to grab the cold metal door knob while his other hand nocked firmly on the white wood of the door.


The Knock knock knock echoed through the hall way, too loud and too harsh in Jungkooks opinion but his thoughts were interrupted by a soft "come in" that came from within the room. Looking a little panicked, eyes a little frantic, Jungkook hid behind jin, a habit of his since they were younger.


Jin laughed at his brother antics, shaking his head as he opened the door to see his mother sitting on her wheel chair facing the floor to ceiling windows that looked out to the extensive garden, Slightly greying hair shining at the reflection of the sun.


,, seokjinnie is that you darling? I didn't know you're coming to visit today" she said as she made a move to grab the wheels and spin around,but before she could, two hands held on to the wheels from behind, one adorned with rings, fingers stubbier looking, rougher than what she remembered jins hands to look like.


With a frantic heart, Seoyoon looks up swiftly, eyes watering slightly at the sight of the boy she missed so much.


,, kookie darling is that you?"
Holding on to his mums hands that stretched to reach for his face, Jungkook smiled, albeit a bit sadly, at her, nodding in response. He placed her hands on his cheeks and turned his face to give them a little kiss.


Jin, who stayed near the entrance throughout the exchange smiled, elated to see his mother so happy and his brother back home. He decided to give them some privacy so he cleared his throat as softly as possible and mentioned that he'll be going to the toilet and that they should catch-up, and turned to go back down the hall way the came through to get there.


As he neared the bathroom, seokjin heard an angry shout and what seemed to be the sound of ceramics breaking from his fathers study. Alarmed,Jin walked as quietly as possible towards the door and placed his ear, hoping not to get caught by any of the maids or worst, his father.


,,you can't even do the simplest of things can you!" The angry growl of his fathers voice came from within the locked room.


,, s-sir it's not my fault, I TOLD the media team we had to get it sorted and keep things quiet but they kept-"


,, Choi Jung hwa... you're a smart man aren't you jung hwa? Young, talented, and at such a great position within a top company. A company owned by me. remember how you got to where you are. Wasn't a simple matter was it? Quite a hassle but you took a strange route to get to your place, no? You wouldn't want... any of your ordeals to slip would you?" A sour voice asked loud enough for jin to hear through the thick doors.


,, n-no sir-"


,,than make sure mine aren't either!"


,, y-yes sir I'll-"


,, mr Kim? I never knew you were coming today?" The soft voice of the family butler said to a surprised jin.


,, ah I came unannounced with my brother, he wanted to visit mother and only arrived back from Japan recently, sorry if it caused any trouble" he replied, as quietly as could be deemed not suspicious.


He was answered back with a soft chuckle and a shake of the head ,,don't worry sir, ma'am quite missed the both of you, I'm sure this'll do her good"


,, I'm sure it would too. Aah if you don't mind, I'm sorry to cut this conversation short but I need to go check up on kook and mother" he all but whispered back, worried that his fathers silence meant that he heard the exchange between him and the butler.


,,of course sir, you should get going" and with that Jin left not without giving the butler a nod of the head and small "goodbye"


As he turned the corner of the hallway, he looked around, hoping to find an empty room to make a much needed phone call. As he reached the end of the hall, he opened the door to his left that opened to a small storage room where all the cleaning equipment was held. Taking out his phone, he pressed on the last called number and waited for a response, the beeping call sounding too loud in the right space of the small room.


,, hello?"


,, hi Namjoon? Ima need you to check on some data from two years ago for me"

 

 

————

Chapter Text

Four years ago

"Tae tae"

"Yep?"

"Did you remember to bring the snacks"

"What do you take me as?! Of coooourse i did!"

"Taetae"

"Yeaaah?"

"Should I tell Hoseok to bring snacks with him"

"...yeah"

"Taetae"

"Yep yep?"

"Did you design the jacket I found in the box outside my house? It's adorable...You're adorable"

"y-yes but you can't say stuff like that!... but you're adorable too"

"Taetae"

"Yesssss"

" I'm happy we're friends"

"I'm happy we're friends too"

"Hey hey hey why do I hear someone flirting with my boyfriend!"

"Seokie you're heeeeeere!"

 

Present time

 


,, hi Namjoon? Ima need you to check on some data from two years ago for me"

Looking to his side where Yoongi sat at the adjacent work desk in their teams office looking ever so sleepy failing time and time again to insert his correct password on to the computer in front of him, Namjoon pressed on the speaker, increasing the volume for the both of them to hear what seokjin had to say. He himself moved slightly to the left, taking out his laptop from underneath the desk. Perhaps they might need it today.

,, Data as in stocks and marketing data or data as in DATA data? As in what I'm actually here for data?" Yoongi replied to the static with his own sleep drenched voice. Both of them were supposed to be on a break but were both sent emails earlier that day, oddly from the CEO himself, something to do with a Japanese deal. Damn those insistent Japanese deals that the CEO seems to love to involve his company in.

An audible sigh rang through the speaker.

,, manager Choi... check his profile. What's his relation to my father, how did he join the company and and anything you can find about his past"

,, woaw there sir, slow down, I still have to log in to my account, wait a minute"

As Seokjin waited on the other side of the line hidden in the room he was in, he could hear the tapping of the keyboards ringing loudly through the speaker and could almost envision how the pair would look in the office; yoongi slouched over the desk, the flashing lights from the screens reflecting on namjoons glasses. If he wasn't mistaken, to Namjoons left, Yoongi would set about to opening up application documents, while Namjoon himself would look into the database, inserting the name of the man in hopes of finding any other background information. Two years of working together closely and he could almost always accurately predict their next moves.

,, Guys, I'm in a bit of a rush here, did you find anything?"

,, That's strange. It doesn't seem like there was much going for him in his application. It just seemed like your father really wanted him to join the company. He also joined three days after he sent in his application? on the 12th of may? No training and an amazing position at one of the best teams as well?"

,, Oh? Do you by any chance have the name of where he previously worked and for how long?"

,, It just says that he worked for a few months at a small news agency but it doesn't even mention the name of said agency. It also says that he was only an intern there... this seems quite fishy" Yoongi mumbled, his face contorted in confusion and suspicion.

,, Okay, I got in! I'll look for any background checks, or if he's ever gotten in trouble before."

Looking at the laptop Namjoon had been working on, Yoongi remembered how much he'd missed this. Actually working on something he signed up for and not worrying about whether those charts had jagged lines going upwards or downwards and what that would mean for the companies stocks. It's all a part of capitalism in the end of the day. And Yoongi HATES capitalism.

,, Wait... can you check that this is the same Choi Jung hwa that we're talking about?" Namjoon whispers to him, breaking his train of thoughts on capitalism and what not. Looking at the picture -a mug shot?- on the screen, he nodded, even more confused than what he was before.

,, yeah it is him, same birthday as that on the application and I'm sure that's him in the photo"

,, Choi Jung hwa, arrested for shoplifting in 2007, arrested for a fist fight in 2006, arrested for destroying property in 2006, arrested for attacking someone in 2008... the list is endless?"

,, He's had more than three arrests.. and was hired by my dad?"

,, Way more than three sir. The oldest being in 2005 when he was only 13 and the most recent being three years ago in 2016 for stealing from Mr Jongs , who owns Jongs and co. Law firm, property. Surprisingly, it says that he was bailed out by a Mr. Kim? Is it your dad sir?"

,, I don't think so, I doubt my dad would want to cause an issue between himself and a lawyer, especially one of that prestige, but then again, you never know what my dad would do"

Just as Namjoon was about to answer back, be heard the clicking of a door and the sound of heavy footsteps coming from the direction of the opposite end of the corridor leading to their office.

,, Sit I think we need to end it here, someone's coming in"

,, Of course. talk to you later, there seems to be a lot to discuss"

,,Indeed"

--------------

As he ended the call, Seokjin looked down to see the time on his phone screen, wary of how long he's been gone for. As he left the small room worrying whether he's left Jungkook alone for too long, an unfamiliar maid walked up to him.

,, Where are you heading sir?"

A little confused as to why she would ask and why she had to know, Seokjin tilted his head.

,, Back to my mothers room, why?"

She looked at him, her face void of any emotions, before answering, ,, would it be alright if you told ma'am and your brother that food would be ready in five minutes?" But before Seokjin was able to answer, she walked away.

Confused and a little annoyed at the rudeness displayed by the maid, Seokjin looked around to see if anyone else witnessed their exchange but the hallway was empty. He made his way toward his mothers bedroom and stood outside her door, but before he entered he heard the soft voice of his mother seeming to somewhat enthusiastically try to convince Jungkook into opening up about something.

,,But I'm sure something happened while you were there darling"

,, Even if something did happen it doesn't really matter. She spent years not caring where I was, why would it matter now?"

,, But of course it matters, finding your roots does matter!"

,, It's more complicated than just going there to meet her and introducing ourselves! There are reasons as to why this hasn't happened before"

Seokjin hated how sad and sullen his brothers voice sounded, especially as this was meant to be a happy reunion, not a reminder of painful memories and betrayals. But he didn't want to intrude any longer.

Sighing loudly, He knocked on the door hoping to distract them both from whatever it was they were discussing. Too much happened today, too much.

,,Sorry for interrupting your conversation but I'm sure we're all hungry and a maid just told me the food is done, should we get going?"

Looking happy at the source of a distraction, Jungkook nodded and grabbed the handles to their mothers wheel chair. ,, let's get going"

-----------

,, Good afternoon gentlemen! Sorry I'm late, I had to make breakfast for a sick friend of mine and drop them off to work"

Looking up to the source of intrusion, Namjoon smiled, happy that it wasn't anyone unfamiliar.

,, ah, Hoseok,how are you? No don't worry about being late, we haven't done much since barely anyone is here and manager Kim said we could slack off if we wanted to"

Yoongi laughed before adding ,, he didn't actually say that but I'm sure he wouldn't mind if we did"

Hoseok smiled at the pair sitting at their two adjacent desks before noticing the emptiness of the room.

,, Oh? Where are the others? Sooyoung? Momo? Manager Kim? "

,, Momo and sooyoung were both given a day off for over working yesterday and manager Kim is dealing with family affairs. As Namjoon said, I don't think he'd be too bothered by any lack of work produced today, but keep in mind the weird Japanese deal CEO Kim Woojin sent us emails about this morning which is probably supposed to be dealt with before the end of this week so the sooner we sort it out, the better" yoongi replied, all the while looking through stacks of folders, piled to his left on top of a small cabinet, a frown embedded in the slight pout his face formed.

Dropping his bag on to the side of his desk, Hoseok nodded as a response and sat down, ready to deal with his work load for the day. As much as he complained about how much he hated his job to tae and all those who would listen on twitter, he learnt to tolerate his job. The pay was good, amazing even, he was rarely over worked and worked with an amazing group of people in his team with a great manager leading them all. Perhaps he was forced to work here due to past choices, predetermined before he even reached puberty, but what could he do? His only choice is to go with it, for the sake of him and his mother.

Noticing Hoseoks zoned out face, Namjoon wondered what could be troubling him. But he too was troubled. Troubled by the issues with manager Choi, troubled by whether this had any connection to their main issue, troubled by whether they'd finally be able to bring light to the mess they're trying so hard to figure out.

,, Wow I said we could slack off but I didn't think we'd end up with the both of you looking like you're going through an existential crisis all the whilst looking severely constipated" yoongi retorted, eyes flickering between the two, giving them a judgemental glance each but before Hoseok or Namjoon could reply, Hoseoks phone rang loudly.

Holding a finger out to Yoongi, Hoseok mouthed a threat or two, something along the lines of ,, I'll deal with you later" than got up and left the office to answer his call. Namjoon on the other hand set about to punching Yoongi's arm mumbling ,, just because you got your life sorted out, doesn't mean we all do" but Yoongi just smiled, enjoying their embarrassment.

Climbing up the stairs, leading up to the rooftop balcony, Hoseok looked down to see the call was from Taehyung. Finally.

"Hello? Tae?"

"Hi seokie"

"Oh my god, I told you to call me as soon as you arrived! Why did you reply so late?"

"I got ... distracted sorry, I didn't mean to worry you. I was looking through some of the photos in my gallery and I saw a few that reminded me of... the past. remember the tree house?"

"yeah we used to go there all the time! it's been a while since we've been there"

"Yeah. Hoseok? I miss us. I miss the fun we had and our childish banter... I miss him"

I miss him too more than anything tae bub"

Painful silence rang loudly between the two, feeling ever so slightly suffocating.

"are you feeling better, did you take your medicine? Are you coming over tonight for dinner?"

"Yeah thanks to you I feel better. I just wanted you to know I apreciate everything you've done for me Hoseok. I'm sorry I ruined everything"

Pain. It felt like a knife to the heart but Hoseok has to endure it for the sake of his friend.

"You did no such thing tae, it was for the best"

"You don't have to lie to me seokie. I think I need ... to go for a little breather. Maybe go on a road trip or something"

"Yeah? that's a great id-"

"by myself"

Pain. Hoseok has to endure it, he tells himself.

"Oh"

"You too Hoseok you need time away from my annoying nagging"

"It's not annoying tae when will you understand!"

"I'm sorry seokie"

The beeping sound coming from
The phone indicated the end of the call but Hoseok wasn't finished. He had more to say, had things to apologise over, had thoughts he wanted to discuss.

Looking out to see the busy city of Seoul, still in its bustling hours,  people swarming the side walks and climbing onto any available bus they could spot, business women and high school boys, old pensioners and newly married couples, walking side by side in the diverse city. Details of the city Hoseok adored started to blur, tears welling up. Hoseok scoffed. Pathetic, he thought.

"When will you understand that I owe you at least this much. If not for the sake of our friendship than for the sake of my mothers conscience. Please"

 

 

 

------------

Chapter Text

6th may 2017

,, Dong Sun you know this is risky! I supported you throughout your career here but this... this is too much son, it could be dangerous!"

The urgent voice of the desperate looking man echoed in the small run down meeting room. The only two present in said room were facing one another, each on the verge of jumping up and urging the other to understand their views on the subject at hand, one that could not only destroy a career but maybe end a life.

,, sir, with all due respect, you know how much of my life I've invested in this story. Years of underpaid long shift hours, of seeing my wife suffer at her work place, of seeing my son having to be put aside so many times just so that we can make ends meet, this story means much more than "just a scoop"!"

Panting rugged breaths, hands clutched to the edges of the cool wood of the table, nails dug in, Dong Sun glared at his manager.

,, I need to do this... for closure."

Defeated, the elder man wiped the beading sweat off his forehead, eyes held shut, and mouth set in an exaggerated frown. Shaking his head, he looked up to the slightly deranged other.

,, okay. You win. Write it, type it, publish it but don't say I haven't warned you! Not only are you involving a big business company but a mafia? A yakuza at that?! Do as you wish but do keep in mind your family"

,, it's for my family that I am doing this... for my wife" dong Sun replied all the while getting up from the chair and grabbing his bag. As he walked to the door he looked back at his manager, guilty for the way he shouted but still too frustrated to apologise, he bows his head and whispers a "thank you".

As he made his way out of the meeting room and in to his office space shared with four others, he noticed the absence of one of his co workers. Looking to his right, Dong Sun asks the nameless individual, a colleague he never really bothered introducing himself to before nor vice versa, where his colleague was only to have them respond with a scoff.

,, I honestly don't know how you stand that man? All he does is complain and ruin everything!"

A co worker nearby spins on their chair, face evident of detest, rolling their eyes before adding to the conversation ,, are you talking about Jung Hwa? Did you know that the other day he spilled his coffee all over my notes? That took forever to collect?"

A scoff from a man standing near the door was heard.

,, heard he had a rough past? A trouble maker and that. Got in trouble with the police a few times"

,, guys, guys, please. Have some respect for those who are absent and let's stop this unnecessary gossiping" Dong sun replies, unamused.

Nameless number one rolled her eyes at the comment and turned around, acrylics tapping away at her laptop irritatingly. The chewing noises of the gum currently being chewed by nameless number two getting louder and louder in the awkward silence blanketed around the office.

Two firm knocks later and a man, short in height and wiry in frame barged in, cups of coffee in hands and clothes untucked.

,, sorry I'm late sir, traffic was bad! My turn to get the coffee so here you go" he said, rushed and rugged, just like his appearance.

looking at the cup of strong black coffee, obvious from its blatant bitter smell, Dong Sun smiled at the man, trying his best to hide the wince and pain of knowing that he had to drink the beverage he detested so much. He'd much rather some hot coacoa but woe is the life of a nice man.

,, thank you jung hwa. Did you by any chance get the package I asked you to get from the post office?"

,, nah I was too busy. I'll get it later" replied the younger man, legs stretched out, shirt still untucked and work not even taken out, too busy scrolling through his phone to notice the five pairs of eyes all zoned in on him.

,, don't be too harsh on him" mocked nameless number two, hands moving to mimic him talking. Nameless one and three laughed while Dong Sun sunk his head to his desk. Woe is the life of a nice man.

,, I needed that package. Now. For the work I was supposed to complete two days ago. But I haven't been able to because you keep delaying it!"

Jung Hwa finally looked up, face contorting in frustration, jaw clenched, before dropping his phone to the desk with a clatter.

,, Why don't you get it yourself then if it's so important!" He exclaims, fist hitting the desk.

Shocked, Dong Sun grabs his arm, anger slowly rising.

,, number one; don't raise your voice at me, number two; respect your bloody elders and number three; I asked you because I'm too busy to go myself" he seethes.

The sound of a phone ringing, coming from the direction of Dong Sun's back pocket quietens them all. Jung Hwa grabs his bag and leaves in a hurry while the others turn around in a rush. Dong Sun grabs his phone and answers the call.

,, hello?" He answers, voice uncertain.

,, oh no what happened this time darling?" The voice of his wife replied back knowingly, worried.

,, Chun Hei, darling is everything okay? are you calling from your work desk phone?"

,,yes I am and hey, I asked you first!" She giggled bringing a smile to his face.

,, don't worry about me, just some co worker not doing their work properly"

,, is it the intern? Are they up to no good again?" Her voice raised, concern evident in her tone.

,, no no don't worry, I'll deal with them later. How are you though? Why are you calling from work?"

,, aah darling I'm sorry but I can't come home on time tonight." She replied, Voice clouded with disappointment.

,, again? Is he over working you again?"

,, unfortunately yes. Me and mi mi have to stay late so I won't be able to make dinner. Is it okay if you could possibly make some food for tonight?"

,, of course! I was thinking of going home early to greet him anyways"

,, that's great! Remember to make three servings! Good luck at work baby, fighting!"

,, bye darling" he replied as he ended the call.

Looking up to the door way, he sees Jung Hwa standing there, looking ever so slightly apologetic.

Sighing, he beckons him in. It's going to be a long day, he thought.

 

17th April 2019, present day

 

,, Jimin... Jimin... wake up dude!"

The blaring voice of Jimins flat mate, Yixing, grew louder and louder as Jimin eventually woke up, his alarm doing nothing but strengthening the growing headache causing his head to pound and ache.

,, stop stop stop shouting, I got a headache!" He groaned, blanket wrapped around his head, body cocooned and eyes shut closed.

An arm snaked in, yanking the blanket off. The light shining down from his open windows blinded him but the glare his friend gave was enough to get him to sit up in the unkept mess of blankets.

,, you complain when I don't wake you up and you complain when I do wake you up, make up your mind dude, make up your mind" the now turned back grumbled, picking up clothes and what not from the floor and throwing them to the corner of the room. Jimin will sort it out later. Hopefully.

,, 's cuz I have a free day today so I don't have to go to work and wake up early" he mumbled, voice a slur, mind a little foggy and thoughts else where.

,, lucky, I gotta go out in twenty minutes or else my manager is gonna grill my ass" Yixing responded to the still half asleep, messy bed haired Jimin.

,, well tell him you need your ass to model, also i don't know why you're complaining -"

,, not this again"

,, - you're a model! You get paid for standing there looking like your pretty self, meanwhile I have to drive a grumpy 27 year old dude who can't make up his mind over coffee choices!" Jimin retorted, arms flailing and lips set to a pout.

With a sigh, Yixing moved to the door, hands patting down his clothes hoping not to have crumpled up his outfit before he even left the front door of their shared apartment.

,, I made breakfast before you woke up. Eat up, have some paracetamol and I don't know, go on a walk or play with a ball, do something"

Narrowly missing the flying cushion aimed for his face, he ducked, laughing at jimins offended expression.

,, I'm not a dog dude, you honestly need to work on your people skills"

,, I also gotta really leave right now, your turn to make dinner tonight, remember! See ya later" and with that he left not before throwing a wink at his still annoyed flat mate.

Groaning, Jimin got up, walking to the bathroom. His muscles were tense and legs a little sore. Peeling off his clothes, Jimin looked at the mirror, chiseled abs from the dancing he done in his free time at the dance academy and tan honey skin glowed but his eyes narrowed down to the reflection of the scar on his chest. Finger feeling the slight raise of the mark, he grimaced, memories flashing of the night it happened. The images of the man in the mask, bright blinding lights, heavy rain shooting down like bullets drenching his cut bloodied clothes, Jungkook in the car driving past in the shadows and Kim Woo Jin pushing him to his knees. Two years working for his family, sworn to keep his mouth shut or else.

Time for a shower.

Turning the water on, steam fogging up his vision, Jimin clenched his hands, fist punching the wall, pain momentarily ignored. Softly placing his forehead to the cool surface, he sighed.

Lies. He had to live the past two years of his life in lies. All triggered by the first lie he said that night,

,,he's dead, I'm sure he's dead"

Massaging the shampoo, steam becoming ever so suffocating, Jimin continues the shower, trying to ignore the painful thoughts. He finally has a free day in which he can relax and go out, maybe to the park, maybe to explore. Isn't that what they used to do before?

Towel draped around his waist, he enters his room, contemplating on what to wear.

Suddenly the sound of ringing interrupted his train of thoughts. Looking around, he spots his phone at his bedside table, screen on and vibrating from the constant rings. Looking down he sees that it's Jungkook, confusing Jimin as to why he'd call so early in the day when he had just spoken to him the night previously.

,, hello? Kook you alright?" He asks, worried for his friend but slightly annoyed that the call didn't occur after he got dressed up.

,, yeah I'm just bored and heard from hyung that there's a famous photographer's exhibition nearby that I wanted to visit. I just wanted to ask if you wanted to come along with me to visit the place?" Jungkooks voice replied, a little groggy as though he too just woke up.

,, yeah of course, your bros busy today so I'm free. When do you wanna go?"

,, I was thinking... now? I heard that the photographer doesn't have a specific schedule he follows by, he opens it whenever he wants."

,, how is he successful if he doesn't even have a schedule?" Jimin thought aloud, phone held between his shoulder and ear as he tried to pick out an outfit that would work for both the current weather and occasion.

,, heard his photographs "express sadness and emotions in ways never seen before" or something... I mean that's what one of the reviews said about it, I'm sure they're exaggerating. But also, I heard he paints? And has a whole hall for his paintings and art? I think that's really cool"

Jimin hummed back, too busy trying to fit his legs into his tight jeans that he loved to wear to reply properly. Shirt unbuttoned and hanging off his shoulders, he presses the speaker button on his phone, needing both hands to continue dressing up.

,, okay when will you arrive?"

,,in around ten minutes, maximum twenty minutes if there's traffic I think. My bros apartment isn't that far from yours so hopefully it won't take long and I'm already dressed"

,, well I'm in the process of changing so I'm nearly done, text me when you arrive and I'll come down" he said, not before releasing a sigh of satisfaction at finally wearing his trousers properly.

,, okay, I need to concentrate now so I'll text you soon, bye"

As the call ended, Jimin looked back at his reflection in the mirror in his spacious bedroom. With his shirt now half buttoned up, his scar was hidden away. The thought of how nerve wracking it was, constantly convincing his friends at trips to the beach or when dance practice got too stuffy, that he couldn't take off his shirt, often crossed his mind. But the thought that Taehyung, who seemingly vanished from the face of the earth, must have it much harder, always follows. Taehyung, who he thought he knew so well, vanished from his life just like that.

Well... he thought he knew Hoseok pretty well too.

It seems not.

Before his mind could spiral down hurtful thoughts that weighed him down like tonnes of bricks, the ting of a text message broke his thoughts.

Wearing his shoes, grabbing his phone with one hand and slightly parting his soft hair out of his eyes with the other, Jimin walks out of his shared apartment hoping his mind could be distracted, at least for today.

Photography was his thing though was it not?


---------

 

,, So, Namjoon it's been a while since I've last seen you, how are you? How's life been?"

The clinking of glasses and the strong smell of Italian presto overtook Namjoons senses, glasses, fake may he add, digging into his nose after wearing it all morning before manager Kim dismissed them, at work. At first it was annoying but now he's used to it, what, with it being nearly two years.

,, I'm fine, things could go a bit better but I think... we started to get somewhere?"

His company looked at him, interested, head nodding as if to tell him to carry on. Men and women in black, hair slicked back and tied down, flittering between grand tables, carrying trays and over topped plates could be seen in his peripheral vision. Busy lunch hour working the employees to their limit it seems.

,, Seokjin over heard something at his fathers office which led me and yoongi to check somethings out. I don't know if it links to our main case at hand but for sure... there's something fishy" Namjoon replies, legs bouncing in both nervousness and somewhat excitement, hands fiddling with the cards on the table.

,, what would you like sirs?" The waiter of the restaurant interrupts unintentionally.

,, looking down at the menu clasped in his hands, Namjoon order the first things he sees. He isn't that attuned with Italian cuisine and even less so with the language.

,, umm id like a Ai frutti di mare please. What about you Jaebum?" He says, nervous of his pronunciation, hoping to not have said anything rude by accident.

His friend looks at him quizzically before looking down at his own menu to see what he wanted to eat.

,, id like a Fettuccine Alfredo? With a glass of wine please" Jaebum answers.

Once the waiter leaves with the menus in his hand Jaebum turns to to look at Namjoon, expression amused.

Confused, Namjoon asks what's wrong, anxiety not helping in his stressful state.

,, I thought you disliked sea food?" He replied, a little smile playing on his lips.

Still confused, Namjoon nods, not getting where he was getting at.

,, you just ordered a sea food pizza" Jaebum explains, laughing at the face of realisation then red tint of embarrassment his friends face exhibited. ,, that's why I ordered what I did, so that you can have my pasta instead" he adds to the still embarrassed Namjoon.

,, wow it's the first time we see each other in ages, it's only been ten minutes in and I've already found a way to embarrass myself" he groans, hands hiding his face but still smiles to the sound of his friends laughter.

,, don't worry about it. What we should be worrying about is our main issue; Kim Woo Jin and his company"

Nodding, noting the serious turn to their conversation, Namjoon sits up, the sound of people around becoming a little too much.

,, not only that but we now have another problem, Choi Jung Hwa. Although we don't have any solid proof, a lot of weird coincidences seem to point out that there's something strange with his employment at the company, be it his application or past issues, there's something seriously wrong" he adds, fingers tapping at the table and legs still shaking underneath.

Jaebum hums aloud, eyes looking to his side, unfocused. He seems to be deep in thought, taking in everything Namjoons said and what they already know, trying to connect the dots.

,, send me what you found out and I'll try do my own research as well. You never know, my position may give me an advantage" he mentions, rushing in his reply as he sees the food they ordered come closer to their table.

,, let's continue after we eat, the food seems to be on its way"

Mind still in thought, Namjoon agrees half heartedly, appetite not as strong as before at the thought of all the work they still had to do and all the issues they still had to uncover.

 

------------

 

Walking through the crowded streets of gangnam was near to impossible this time of year. Tourists swarmed around in crowds like herds and businessmen rushed around in attempts of getting a snack for their breaks before the end of it in time. The weather was absolutely amazing, not too hot where the body heat of the mass of people becomes too stifling but not too cool where your one true desire is to stay at home huddled up on bed thus another reason as to why everyone was out and about.

Lining the roads were blossom trees painting the entire city a pretty pink, red, white and occasional yellow of gorgeous flowers and petals, showering those who walked underneath whenever a soft breeze blew through the branches.

Currently waking underneath a row of cherry blossoms, Jimin rushed in an attempt of not losing sight of where Jungkook was going, people swarming his vision left and right and flower petals cascading down, not aiding him in his mission of not losing his friend.

They were lucky enough to find a parking spot close enough to where the exhibit was located but still, the walk there was slightly confusing and honestly, Jimin couldn't understand jungkooks attempt at explaining the directions for the life of him so he just nodded throughout it hoping Jungkook wouldn't get to far, which leads to his issue at hand.

Jungkook's getting too far.

Slightly panicking, Jimin runs a little faster, anxiety peaking due to the crowds and the thought of getting lost in said crowd. Yes he could call Jungkook and ask him to send his location but with a stress clouded mind, he'd much rather be shoved and pushed around by the faceless individuals surrounding him too reach Jungkook then and there then to be left alone. Again.

He notices Jungkook stopping at the entrance of a large building, large glass windows positioned on either side of the marble entrance reflecting the sun light that was strongly shining down, almost blindingly.

Finally reaching up to him, they enter the building, shivers running up their spines at the cool air plummeting down at them from the air conditioners situated on top of them at the entrance.

Eyes wide, mouthes agape, both boys turn around feeling a little overwhelmed at the sight before them; a main large hallway with a fountain centre piece, shaped to look like a banyan tree, surrounded by exotic looking potted plants that then branched out into three halls connected by three extravagant archways, each decorated In a different manner. The ceiling of said hallway was not bare but painted to mimic at one corner the night sky, with stars and constellations mapped out across that side of the hallway fading into a soft blue that was decorated with pretty looking clouds of all shapes on the other side.

Looking down, Jimin notes the design of the arch ways. One was made of dark glittering marble, shining as the sunlight coming in from the large windows lit it up. The other was a soft blue but had streaks of white marbled in and the last was made of a sea foam-green surface.

It was evident that whoever the photographer was, cared greatly about this exhibit and that a lot of money was invested into it. Not only that but it seems that said photographer was famous enough to have crowds of people, migrating from hall to hall, all looking very interested in their work.

,, we haven't even taken two steps in and I'm already wowed by this place" Jungkook whispers to Jimin, eyes wide with wonder as he looked around himself. The click clacking of soles and heels and insistent murmur of critiques and fans forming a white noise in the background.

,, what was the name of the photographer again?" Jimin asks. Surely he would have heard of someone this famous, no?

,, that's another weird thing about him, they call themselves Kim V, no one knows their real name nor have they ever met him. All we know is that he's a guy and that he's always present in the exhibit when it's open."

Finally moving more In to the hall way, Jimin ponders on what Jungkook has told him. Surely if he's here all the time someone would have noticed him by now? How can someone hide themselves that well in broad day light? Turning to Jungkook he asks him just that.

,, I don't know honestly. I read that it's usually quite busy all the time and that most people respected the fact that he doesn't want to be seen." He replies with a shrug, eyes still wondering around him trying to take in everything he can.

,, most people? Hmm would have thought that a lot of people would have taken it more as a challenge to find him but I respect that. Anyways where should we go first?" He asks but before Jungkook could reply, he notices a note stuck on at every entrance. Grabbing jungkooks arm, he walks towards it to read what it said.

,, it's a good thing we came reasonably early, it looks like it's going to close in half an hour." Jungkook sullenly says, crestfallen face evident of his disappointment at having to leave this magical place so soon.

As they entered the first and largest exhibition, they notice the mismatched arrangement of photographs, some large while other were small, some framed while others were left bare, giving a unique but tasteful appeal to the hall.

Wondering away from Jimin, Jungkook looks to the first photo to his right which depicted a couple holding hands with light shining down on them in black and white, "spectator". Another, showed somebody lying down in the middle of the road, hand stretched out holding a hat, also black and white, " distance".

Walking along his current path, Jungkook strayed further and further away from Jimin up until he was faced with two frames, attached together by a looped piece of thread. Both frames showed a picture of what seemed to be a tree house, one inhabited and seemed homely, the other abandoned and run down. In the, or at least what he assumed was the, inhabited version, Jungkook noted all the little details that made up the cosy atmosphere; clothes and belongings scattered about the fluffy carpet placed on the hard wood of the floor, paints and papers placed haphazardly across the surface of the small table in the corner of the space, customised denim jacket draped over the back of the small chair tucked in. But as he looked closer, something seemed to have caught his eye; a customised phone case lying on the corner of the small table ... or what he was sure was jimins phone case.

Jimin on the other hand decided to migrate to the arts hall, one that was a lot smaller than the other two but magnificent nonetheless. Looking at all the paintings of sad bearded shirts to abstract colours, he begins to feel a strange feeling. Somewhere between the feeling of deja vu and reminiscence. Strokes looking ever so familiar, characters looking back at him quizzically, almost as though they are asking him if he recognises them or if he remembers them from somewhere, colour schemes and lettering all too familiar but from where? Jimin can't seem to place his finger on it.

Just as he was about to leave, feelings of frustration and awe all swirling up a tempest inside of his mind, he felt a gentle shove as someone scurried passed him in a rush, Hands fiddling around with a ring of keys and phone held between their shoulder and head, mask looking ever so suffocating at the temperatures they were in.

,, yes, yes, I got my bags ready... no don't worry there's no need to pick me up nor drop off anything I'm prepared for my trip... yes I prepared all my meals and have my money somewhere safe, all I need from you is to stop worrying so much about me and have a rest" the deep familiar voice said to whoever it was they were calling.

Eyes widening, Jimin took a sharp turn, frantically searching for the owner of the voice once more but said person seemed to have drowned in the sea of people, hidden from jimins sight, far from Jimins reach and with the clock ticking and the time of the closing of the exhibition nearing, Jimin ran to the centre in hopes of having a better view of the whole exhibition but unfortunately, he had no luck.

Spotting Jungkook walking towards him, Jimin deflates, tempest stirring, waves crashing in his mind as his emotions seemed to have changed once more.

,, I think I know who kim V is!" - ,, I heard him!"

,, wait what?" - ,, what!"

Both stood there, face to face, mouths agape trying to process what the other just said.

,, you first" Jungkook whispers cautiously, nervous but excited.

,,I.. I think I heard him. Taehyung. I think he was here-no I'm certain he was" Jimin replies, looking as though he was on the verge of tears, panicking Jungkook didn't know whether to hug his friend or pry more.

,, what... what do you mean? How do you know?"

,, I .. he was calling someone, something to do with a trip or something, I don't know. he didn't mention who he was calling but he seemed to care about them a lot? I'm sure it was his voice but as soon as I turned around he disappeared in the crowd. He left. Again" Jimin answered, voice wobbling as a lone tear ran down his cheek.

Just as Jungkook stepped forward to hug his crying friend, he looked up to notice that everyone was leaving, only then remembering that they had to leave early that day.

Grabbing on to Jimins hand, Jungkook gave it a comforting tug, pulling him towards the exit.

,, it's okay hyung, we'll find him soon. Don't forget that he probably is trying his best to stay hidden for a reason, no?"

,, that doesn't make it hurt any less" Jimin replies.

 

 

 

Little did he know that sitting on the floor behind his offices door, shaking with every drag of breath, Taehyung was also hurting, sobs racking through his body.

 

,, I'm so sorry Minnie so so sorry"

 

 

Chapter Text

28th of November 1996

The suns setting rays of gold and a shimmering orange shone down through the open ceiling-to-floor windows of the secretaries hallway in front of the ceos meeting room. Sparkling marble floors and pristine potted plants, pretty flowers of all types, lining the glass walls, barely reflected the current mood of annoyance and frustration felt by those sitting in the said hallway. The time was getting late yet both secretaries sat at their desks, ordered to wait until the never ending meeting finished.

Feeling her swollen belly, the heavily pregnant of the two secretaries heaved a sigh, trying her best to ignore the ache in her legs and the pounding of her ongoing headache.

,,Jung Kyung Mi I swear to god if this meeting carries on any longer I'm going to pass out here and now and mr Kim is going to have to deal with a passed out pregnant lady" she exclaimed in midst rolling her neck, eyes shut in an attempt to soothe the pain her head harboured. The chair was barely comfortable, poking into her back at different angles, but what could she do? A job was a job.

,, poor thing, why didn't you ask for a longer maternity leave? No one would put it against you" kyung Mi, the other secretary, asked sympathetically, eyes scanning through the documents on her computers screen, voice sounding slightly distracted.

Sighing out loud, the pregnant secretary rolled her chair back as quietly as possible, stretched her legs before getting up to move around in an attempt to circulate her blood. Didn't her nurse say that that would help?

,,i have my reasons Mimi, I have my reasons. Who's in that meeting room anyways?"

,, hmmm, honestly I don't know, all I know is that she must be someone quite important for she had, what? Two? Three? body guards walk along with her? Does it say anything about her in mr Kim's schedule?" The still distracted voice questioned.

Walking back to her desk, the pregnant secretary looked through the clip board that held the CEO's important documents and his schedule for the day. ,, hmm it says her name is Jeon Hana? The only other thing written about this meeting is that it's for a Japanese deal so I'd assume she's a Japanese business woman, but with a Korean family name?"

,, she could be half Korean or maybe a Korean raised in Japan? In the end of the day I honestly don't care where she's from, I just want her to leave so I can go back home to my baby" kyung mi mumbles back.

Silence engulfed the two friends, awkward, bordering slightly painful.

,, is he any better?" The pregnant secretary asks, cautiously, hoping not to sadden her friend any more than her current emotional state.

Noticing the absence of an answer and that the clicking of her friends keyboard has stopped, she turns around to check on her friend only to see her close to tears.

,, he's ill chun hei and I don't know what to do? my mum could only do so much to help me and this is honestly getting so hard" glassy eyes and trembling lips looked up to the pregnant secretary, scared and worried for her baby boy that she was struggling to provide for. ,,and his jerk of a father would not acknowledge his existence regardless of how hard I try to convince him to come see him, to come visit him, even if I hate that man, he just wouldn't listen"

Moving to hug her crying friend, struggling in the process due to her pregnant state, chun hei wonders what have they done to deserve the lives they were living. Both of them forced to work for their current boss due to circumstances that involved people they knew but in the end, they were the ones to face the consequences. Both of them struggling to make ends meet and both of them struggling to look after those they love. ,, there there Mimi, why don't you go home now to go check on him, I'll finish off the last of the documents I need to clear for Mr Kim"

Shaking her head, Kyung Mi moves out of her embrace, brows furrowed in frustration. ,, no Chun Hei I can't just leave you here, especially with how pained you seem to be"

,, it's okay, I'm okay. Plus, Dong Sun is coming to pick me up later so don't worry about it. Come on, let me help you pack up your stuff so you can leave as soon as possible", sensing her friends upcoming complaint she continues ,, and don't worry about Mr Kim, I'll deal with him".

Giggling at the idea of her pregnant friend, who was only but a secretary, "dealing" with the CEO, Kyung Mi nods and starts to pack her things, grabbing her friends hand and giving it a firm squeeze, a silent thank you. Looking down to her desk she smiles at the picture frame, silver in colour and decorated with blue baby dummies and bibs, reaching out to stroke the baby picture framed.

,,I'm coming home seokie baby"

 

 

 


Ten minutes left on her own, With the sky darkening from a mirage of purples and pinks to a darkening blueish black, Chun hei completes the last of her tasks for the day. Sighing for what felt like the hundredth time that day, she opens her emails, noticing that her husband had sent her one asking when he should come pick her up. Pressing a hand to her head, again attempting to soothe the headache that just won't go away, she thinks of what to tell him but as soon as she stretched her arm in hopes of sending her response, she hears an escalation of shouts coming from the direction of the locked meeting room.

Moving closer, chun Hei subtly leans forward, hoping to not be seen through the translucent glass of the door.

,,This is business and business only" a somewhat pained voice says.

,,come on darling you and I know that it's proceeded that at this point, don't we?"

,,shut up, shut up, shut up! Just leave, we'll carry on later"

silence, a cough, a sigh, the sound of clothes ruffling as movement occurred, A kiss?

,,don't make me sad darling or else my father would not be too pleased, hmm?"

The door opens with a sudden slam, shocking Chun Hei and causing her to gasp, spinning on her chair and moving forward, she tries to conceal her eavesdropping but to no avail, she was caught.

looking up to the source of the shadow darkening her desk, Chun Hei notes the raven curls framing a sharp round face, the button nose and doe like eyes, innocent features juxtoposing the look of malice and slyness in the woman in front of hers eyes that shone with mischief. She tilts her head at the worried secretary, bending forward ever so gracefully, ever so slyly, and whispers "not a word".

scared and very confused, Chun Hei nods, not sure of what to say nor of what to think of the situation she found herself in. She just wants to go home to her husband, was that too much to ask?

she quickly looks down, praying that Mr Kim doesn't talk to her or that he had noticed her snooping.

Unfortunately, her prayers were left unanswered, walking out and nodding at Hana, as though telling her to go, eyes set hard and brows furrowed with stress, Mr Kim stops. Looking down at his secretary sitting by herself, he clears his throats awkwardly.

,,where's miss Jung?", awkward? Since when was Mr Kim awkward?

,,She had to go home a few minutes ago for a family emergency"

,,oh. Okay well you could go now I'm done with my meeting", calm? Is he not going to ask any more questions?

,,do you need me to file the minutes?"

,,none were taken. Just go... now"

without much thought, Chun Hei stands up, ignoring her abdominal pain from the fast movement, logs out from her computer, not wanting her boss to see her personal emails, and moves to the door, grabbing her fur coat and bag. She looks back at the CEO standing by the window, mind whirling as one risky thought grabs her attention.

,, send my regards to Mrs Kim" she whispers almost too quiet to be heard. Almost.

Eyes widening, and face contorting in clear panic, the CEO turns to face her, but before he could reply she closes the door.

She knows what she needed to know.

hoping that her husband would come soon without her having emailed him, as the sound of standing in the snow covered, cold winter night streets was not in any way appealing to her especially in her pregnant state, Chun Hei shakes her head.

,, Poor Mrs Kim"

 

 

-------------------

 

 

Present day, 17th April 2019

 

After what felt like an eternity, Taehyung finally calmed down from his panic attack, vision blurry and legs cramped as he sat, small and venerable, at the floor near the door. Taking deep jagged breaths, he stood up, wary of how weak his legs held him up and moved towards the two computer screens at the corner of his office that showed footage of the cctv. The halls were clearing up, only two or three people walking to what seemed to be the direction of the exit were left, none of them possessing Jimin like features.

Wide eyes looking around, hurt looking, mouth open agape, unshed tears glistening-

grabbing his bags in a hurry, taehyung scurried towards the exit, not forgetting to close the lights to his office. Mind whirling, moving at a speed he could not seem to fathom, he opened the door slightly, still wary of there being any last minute visitors and that they might notice him in his mind absent state, entering the seemingly empty hall.

Locking the glass doors to his exhibit, hands shaking, anxious and worried that he'd be spotted, more now than usual, Memories of the events that just occurred flooded his mind. The expression on jimins face, his voice as he talked to Whoever he was with, how close he was to getting caught. Two years of hiding, of protecting, nearly having gone to waste.

Stop.

Starting up the engine to his car, looking back to make sure he had all his packed bags and that he hasn't forgotten anything as he promised Hoseok earlier, tae gently pressed his head to the steering wheel, exhausted even though he hadn't even left for his trip yet. Exhausted. Constantly exhausted. Two years of exhaustion.

Finally leaving the parking spot he usually parked in, a spot at a road hidden behind some trees ten minutes away from the exhibit, taehyung tried to clear his mind. Focus he told himself, focus. At least until we arrive at clear ground in which you could let your mind go loose.

It seems that he indeed needed this trip now more than ever.

 

 

---------

 

 

Jimins voice ran through Jungkooks mind, hands clenching and unclenching sporadically at the wheel as he drove back from dropping Jimin off.

,,I think I need to talk to him"

Now the prospect of Jimin talking to Hoseok has come to mind many times before, however he was always too worried that he might Sadden his friend if he ever mentioned it, Jimins face dropping, brows furrowed and eyes so so sad, whenever he brought up Hoseok seemed a clear enough indicator that the topic was quite a touchy one.

Which is why Jungkook found himself currently so confused. Why would Jimin want to go talk to him now, especially after the events that just occurred? Jungkook didn't know Hoseok that well, only seen him in the few meetings that he went to before he left for Japan and in the company cafeteria but he seemed like a pretty nice guy. Jungkook would never have thought that he would have hurt his best friend that badly.

But... to a certain extent he understands. If Hoseok did what he did to protect taehyung, the pretty pretty boy from the party who seemed so sad, the boy who cried in his embrace that night, then perhaps Jimin could forgive him too.

But how would Jimin bring it up after not talking for nearly two years? Oh me and you mourned Taehyung assumed death, and became so distant due to it, yet you knew where he was all along? My "dead" best friend? What could Jimin say?

Beeeeeeeeeeeeeep beeeeeeep

Sudden noises flooding his senses brought Jungkook back to the present, cars honking their horns angrily, aggressively, at him as his car stood still at the green light.

Releasing a sigh, frustration only rising, Jungkook drove on, conflicted on whether to go home just yet or drive for a little longer to clear his mind.

Making up his mind, not ready yet to face his nosy brother nor face the empty quietness of his barren room that he had yet to decorate and make it more of a bedroom than a spare room, he took a left turn driving in the direction of a place he knew so well. A place that felt more like home than his fathers mansion ever did, filled with memories so precious of a child so young and a mother so happy.

It was only but a simple park, in a simple neighbourhood. His mother said that that was where she was raised before her arranged marriage to his father and whenever she mentioned her previous simple life style, there was always something akin to longing, lingering in the shine of her eyes. A lifestyle where she could continue to bake and paint, a life style where she could raise her children as children should be raised, surrounded by others their age without the prospect of them becoming heirs to a multi million company weighing down on their small small shoulders, a lifestyle where she could give her husband a genuine smile and not fear his anger at the simplest of mistakes she makes.

A lifestyle where her depression and anxiety doesn't cripple her, where she doesn't become dependent on a wheelchair she detests and maids that shoot her with pitying looks whenever they think she's not looking.

A simple lifestyle where she can take her sons to the small hidden park, inhabited by only a small swing, a rusty slide, and a small fox family.

Regardless of how many times she says she doesn't regret the marriage, Jungkook always senses the partial lie.

Finally parking his car a street away from the hidden park, Jungkook grabs on to his phone and wallet, not before turning it off, not wanting to be distracted.

Absent for two years and he still remembers the way to it, sure that he would be able to find his way even with his eyes closed (although he doesn't advise it).

He never really enjoyed going to the park as a child, at some point he got fed up as any child would with how insistent his mum was with going so often, but ever since he got back from Japan, he tried to go whenever he could, although he never mentioned it to his mother, who seemed so saddened by the fact that now in her ill state, it would be hard for her to go to visit it. Especially with how she'd have to bring along at least two maids ruining the secrecy aspect of what made that park so special. He'd never want to sadden her, especially after all she's been through.

Sitting on the lone swing, with only the sky to keep him company and the breeze encompassing him to sooth his heart, Jungkook tries to ignore all that's going on, all that happened in Japan and everything else that's been discovered and uncovered ever since that night two years ago on the 10th may, 2017.

Tries to forget the glare and cold stoic face that woman gave him as he arrived to her house, no emotions, no empathy, nothing you would have expected her to show after not seeing him for 21 years.

,, oh you're here?" Her soft, airy voice said, body draped in a silk gown, hair held up in curlers, silky looking, very fine. ,, didn't think I'd see you again. Didn't want to see my biggest mistake again, no, not after all the complications you've caused." She carries on, all the while her eyes were narrowed down to her finely manicured nails, unbothered by the look of absolute devastation and heartbreak he wore. ,, but hey, I might find a use for you here I guess, come in, I'll ask one of my butlers to fix you a room, carry your own bags" her slightly accented voice said again, with no remorse, no care for the tears pooling in his eyes. "Come on then jeon" she whispered, a tilt to her head with her back to him, playfully cruel, teasing at his pain.

,,come on jeon" he whispered to himself, sitting all alone in the park, trees lashing out, wind pushing strong.

,, come on"

 

 

---------------

 

 

,, mum, no, no don't worry, I didn't anger my boss he's just having some family issues and thus gave his team a break."

Steam rising, water boiling, the potted mint plant sat at the window sill, fresh and smelling so nice.

,, of course I asked if I can stay at home, stop worrying so much, I don't want you getting more ill than you already are over me and my work!"

Clinking of a tea spoon to a mug, dark swirls of tea captivating, sugar sprinkled in to the cup.

,, tae? Tae is good, he's.. a little stressed but that's natural, anyone working as hard as he is would be as stressed. He's planning on releasing a new line of photographs after his break and so he's been quite caught up with work"

Door bell ringing, The swirling stops. Phone held away, Hoseok stands up, confusion etched in to the furrow of his brows and the frown plastered on to his face.

Walking to the direction of his apartments door, his mums voice quietly calling out to him from the speaker of his phone, Hoseok looks at the screen situated near the entrance, wanting to see who it was that was ringing the bell. He rarely has any visitors over besides Taehyung but Taehyung had a spare key so he never bothered nocking, let alone ringing, and Hoseok knew he was on his trip at the moment.

Squinting at the pixelated screen, shock strikes through him as he recognises a face he missed so much, a face he saw so rarely, accidentally passing by, awkward random moments (such as when he walked his boss to his car where he was standing there to open the door) a rarity in itself, a face that currently looks so sad through the pixelated unclear screen but within the deep pools of Amber and autumn leaves, his eyes hid a certain anger to them, anger so strong that even he, an angel sent to earth, could not completely hide.

,, mother I'll call you back!" He mumbled quickly, desperate to open the door to his visitor, desperate to find out what he was doing at his apartment after months of not seeing him.

throwing his phone to the table near his shoe rack, Hoseok grabbed for the door, the swift movement startling the man standing before him.

,, Jimin " he whispered softly , too afraid of breaking the delicate peace surrounding them.

,, we need to talk" Jimin replied almost painfully, eyes red rimmed, face a little puffy, all leading evidences to him having previously cried.

,, um yeah of course, come in, come in. Would you like some tea?" Hoseok asked in an attempt to hide his panic.

,, no, just need to talk" Jimin answered somewhat robotically.

As the pair walked down the hallway, Hoseok was very aware of all the little bits and pieces and novelty that were left from before they stopped talking that were scattered around his apartment, a picture frame of the three, a jacket gifted to him by Jimin hung up, heavily worn, the prospect of Jimin seeing them all causing a blush to shade his neck, cheeks and ears, heart pounding a little too loudly. There goes his "I'm over you" act.

Reaching the sofas arranged at the centre of the living space, Jimin sat opposite to where Hoseok was, eyes not meeting his but looking down to his fingers that were clutched shut in his lap.

,, so, how have you been" Jimin said, almost too quietly to be heard.

Hoseok, quite confused, choked on the tea he made, not because it was still too hot but at how random the question was. Was Jimin really here just to ask him such a trivial question?

Regardless of if he was or not, if it meant having him back near him, in the same room, in his apartment, he'd take it.

If it meant that maybe Jimin still cared for him, he'd take it.

,, I've been alright, works been okay, just a little bored, nothing much has been happening to be honest" he replied, punctuating the end with a shrug. ,, what about you?"

Finally looking up from his hands, Jimin looks into his eyes, head slightly leaning to the side, questioning.

After what felt like an eternity ( but was most likely only a minute or two) Hoseok shies away from jimins intense glare. ,, is there something wrong?"

,, I don't know, you tell me?" Was the reply he got.

This was not how he envisioned their reunion to be like.

,, pardon?"

,, you say you're bored, that nothing much is happening, you're... you're lying". His voice sounded so empty and very tired. So so tired.

Confusion increasing ten folds, Hoseok sat up, ears ringing and heart racing, fear suffocating him in ways it hadn't in a long while. ,, I don't get what you mean?"

,, be honest . Why did you break up with me"

Pin drop silence resonated around the room, the only sound was the loud pounding of Hoseoks heart and the rush of blood to his ears, over powering him in such a painful way, he thought he was going to pass out.

,, I... we... we agreed that it was mutual! We were both mourning and work became-"

,, I said don't lie to me!" Jimin yelled, body shaking in anger, tears falling down in rivers down his plump cheeks.

,, I said.. I said don't lie to me. I said at the start don't. Don't lie. You can't do that". Sob after sob racked through his body, shaking his delicate frame, and hoseok... Hoseok has no idea what to do nor what was going on.

Does he go hug the crying boy and comfort him? Would he even want that? Or does he keep his distance and press on? Hoseok had no idea.

,, I honestly don't know what you're talking about min"

Taking a sharp intake of breath, Jimin squinted at him through his tear soaked eye lashes.

,, is this some sort of sick joke? A comeback at me for never telling you that I harboured a crush on tae for years before I met you and even at the start of our relationship? I told you! I told you that I got over it and that I genuinely fell in love with you so why would you do this?"

Voice suddenly so soft, so delicate " why wouldn't you tell me he's alive?"

Hoseoks shock from before stood nothing next to his face of pure confusion and terror then and there. Speachless, he shook his head, vigorously, violently.

,, Jimin, don't. You can't say stuff like that. That's unfair on me. You just can't!".

,, fine, if you're not going to tell me anything that's fine. Your reaction said enough" and with that Jimin got up forcefully, storming his way to Hoseoks apartment door, slamming it as he left.

As Hoseok stood there, still in shock, eyes tearing up, one thought took over the rest fogging up his racing mind;

 

 

 

What the hell was he going to tell Taehyung?