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house of narcissus

Chapter Text

Yoongi cupped Jimin’s chin, the softness of his fingers a stark contrast to the strength of his hand. It was this feeling that both intrigued and terrified Jimin, and perhaps his eyes betrayed his desire to not let his weakness show.

“What’s with that look?” Yoongi snarled, his eyes gleaming with a crazed look of power. “Fear looks so... Delicious on you, Jimin.”

Jimin felt his fingers inadvertently curl into tiny fists at his side. He was on his knees, completely helpless - and he hated that feeling. With a small swallow, he remembered that he couldn’t even begin to overpower Yoongi.

“Never forget,” Yoongi’s deep voice had dropped to a raspy whisper as he pulled Jimin’s face closer to his own.

“No matter where you go or who you become, I will always find you.”

 

***

 

Jimin watched his reflection visibly shudder as he willed the haunting memory out of his mind.

Three months ago. That was the last time he had seen Min Yoongi.

Min Yoongi.

The harbinger of his destruction.

“Meeeeeeei!” A sing-song sounding shout snapped Jimin out of the lingering visions clouding his mind. He rubbed absent-mindedly at his chin, swearing to himself that he could still feel Yoongi’s touch. “We have clients waiting, what the hell is taking you so long?”

Jimin turned away from the mirror just as Hoseok burst into the room. As usual, he was awash with brightly colored (and somewhat miss-matched) clothing. He towered over Jimin in his platform boots, the rhinestones glittering in the harsh dressing room lights.

When Hoseok noticed Jimin’s lack of makeup, he frowned. “I’m not paying you to sit back here and waste time,” he huffed, snatching a makeup brush off of the counter next to Jimin. The sudden movement made him flinch. “Close your eyes; I’ll finish your face.”

“Sorry, Hoseok,” Jimin muttered, but Hoseok simply clicked his tongue at him dismissively.

“You might be our best dancer, Mei, but you sure are a nightmare to get ready. Pucker your lips for me.”

Jimin obediently did as he was told, feeling as Hoseok generously applied a thick, sticky gloss to his lips.

“That should do it,” Hoseok said after a few minutes of silence. He spun Jimin around in his chair to face the mirror.

Jimin couldn’t help but smile at the baby pink eyeshadow adorning his eyes and the small, golden star stickers bordering his lower eyelids. His lips shone brightly as they stretched over his dizzyingly white teeth. He almost looked... happy.

“I love it,” Jimin breathed.

Hoseok simply snorted, trying to remain irritated with Jimin for allowing his mind to get stuck in the clouds - but the hint of a smile playing on his lips gave him away.

Jimin internally scolded himself for daydreaming yet again. He quite literally owed Hoseok his life. In his mind’s eye, Jimin could still see those same glittering platform boots running toward him as he lay broken on the asphalt of a back alley, beaten just inches from his life.

“Earth to Mei,” Hoseok’s voice jolted him from another fleeting memory. “Are you done zoning out? I need to make sure you’re ready for these clients. Specifically, these well paying clients.”

Jimin blinked, confused. Hoseok was always a stickler when it came to the quality of his dancers, but he was never this much of a total helicopter. “Is someone new coming in tonight?”

Hoseok’s eyes practically shone with dollar signs. “Not just someone new, but someone very rich. He also requested you by name.”

Jimin felt a twinge of anxiety in the pit of his stomach. “Which name?”

Hoseok glanced around the empty room before leaning in to whisper his response. “Your dancer name, of course. You know I wouldn’t let anyone in who knows who you really are.”

Jimin nodded with relief. He wasn’t Park Jimin here. Perhaps he wasn’t Park Jimin anywhere anymore. He clung desperately to his pathetic dancer name, Mei - a cute, fluffy-sounding name. A name that still couldn’t make him forget the past.

He couldn’t shake a small part of him that was infinitely afraid. “If they’re a new client, how did they know to request me?”

Hoseok rolled his eyes. “Our club isn’t located under a rock, dumbass. Word gets around.” His voice dropped once more to a sudden whisper. “If I were you, I’d be honored to be requested by someone so handsome and rich.”

Handsome. Rich. Min Yoongi was both of those things.

Hoseok could almost see the ghost lingering in the back of Jimin’s mind. “It’s no one dangerous, I promise. Now get dressed. You have two clients waiting before you meet our special guest.”

With a small wink (and a corresponding glint from his nose stud), Hoseok disappeared from the dressing room.

Chapter Text

Taehyung was waiting outside of Jimin’s dressing room when he finally emerged.

It had taken a few extra minutes for Jimin to steel his nerves. After sliding into the golden hot pants and frilly, pink crop top, he stared at himself in the mirror for what felt like a long time. His once-dark hair was now bleached into a shock of blonde, but he knew deep down that some cheap hair dye wouldn’t stop Min Yoongi from noticing him. He nervously fingered the gold chain sparkling against his throat until he found his touch creeping up to the small tattoo behind his left ear. He could feel the shape of the lily in the slightly raised lines adorning his skin.

“No matter where you go or who you become, I will always find you.”

It had been three months, but Yoongi still hadn’t found him yet. He could possibly be in the clear. He was safe here with Hoseok.

“A little birdie told me that someone special requested you,” Taehyung’s sudden deep voice made Jimin jump.

“Holy fuck, Tae, don’t scare me like that,” he hissed.

Taehyung eyed him suspiciously in return. His chestnut brown hair was growing long enough that it threatened to fall into his eyes; the familiar eternally blank look on his face studying Jimin intensely. “Why are you so on edge? I thought you would be excited.”

Jimin shrugged, feigning confidence as the two made their way down the hall. Taehyung casually tugged at his red fishnets as they walked. “I’ve come to realize that pain really is beauty.”

Jimin smiled slightly at his friend’s comment. Taehyung was the only dancer who bothered to befriend him - the other ones were too busy eyeing him with jealousy because of his talent for dance. He always tried to ignore it, but the whispers from amongst his coworkers were constant.

Hoseok’s fairy boy. Showed up out of nowhere one day. He really isn’t that great at dancing, so why does he always get the best clients?

“How did you hear about the client?” Jimin asked Taehyung, trying to collect as much information as he could before walking into a room with them - alone.

Taehyung rolled his eyes and abandoned his attempts to make fishnets feel more comfortable. “This place is practically a den for gossip. You know how it is.”

“Does anyone know who the client actually is?” Jimin sighed. “Even Hoseok didn’t tell me.”

Not liked he had asked. He had been too busy frozen in fear at the chance that the client could be Yoongi.

Taehyung shook his head. “No one knows. He’s already here though. He was escorted into the VIP room…” he leaned in closely before adding the next part, “surrounded by bodyguards.”

VIP room? Body guards? This was sounding worse and worse.

Taehyung stopped in the middle of the dimly lit hallway and placed his hand on the doorknob. “This is my client’s room. Make sure you tell me all about yours later.”

He flashed a boxy grin and straightened his posture, then pranced into the room with an air of walking sex.

Jimin sadly watched his friend go. He wasn’t ready to face whoever was in that VIP room. The two clients he had before didn’t seem like enough. Maybe if he had three - or ten - first, he could mentally prepare himself.

Groaning quietly to himself, he concentrated on building up a wall in his mind. Hoseok had taught him that in order for a client to have a good time, the dancer had to have a good time as well. Sometimes, that meant shutting off the outside world. For Jimin specifically, it meant shutting off his thoughts - and forgetting that he was Park Jimin. He liked to think of himself entering a snow globe as he entered a client’s room. Once he was in the snow globe, that was the only world he knew. Everything else had to disappear.

Two clients. Two clients, then he had to face the VIP guest.

He could do it.

He had to.

***

Jimin closed the door to lounge room behind him and came face to face with Hoseok, who was waiting with a small towel and a tube of lipgloss.

“How was Mr. Lee’s weekly visit?” Hoseok asked, dabbing the glistening sweat from Jimin’s neck.

Jimin forced a smile. Mr. Lee was an older client - a widowed man, to be precise. In his grief, he had taken to... Indulging.

Jimin never admitted that the older clients made him feel slightly uncomfortable, because money was money - and Mr. Lee always tipped graciously.

He adjusted his top so that Hoseok couldn’t see the extra cash he had shoved into it. He didn’t like lying, especially to Hoseok… but money was tight. “Same as always.”

Hoseok nodded and began to apply the tube of lipgloss to Jimin’s lips, clearly not interested in his response. “I’ll ask you about your other client later - I hear Byun Baekhyun is a very beautiful man. But for now, we have to make sure you’re ready.”

A sudden spritz of perfume in his face made Jimin cough, grabbing onto Hoseok’s arm for support. Once the stinging had left his eyes, he glared at up at his boss.

“Sorry,” Hoseok smiled sheepishly. “You smelled a little like... other men.”

Jimin waved the cloud of perfume away with his hand. “Why are you fussing over me so much? This guy can’t really be that important, we’re just-“

Hoseok raised his hand sharply to cut him off, and Jimin couldn’t help but flinch. “I don’t care how deplorable you think your job is,” he huffed, “at the end of the day you all get paid - all thanks to very, very wealthy men.”

Jimin began scrambling for an apology. “Hoseok, I didn’t mean-“

Hoseok rolled his eyes and made a “shoo”-ing motion toward Jimin with his hands. “Apologize to me later. Mr. Jeon is waiting.”

He suddenly realized they had made it to the end of the hall, and he was standing before none other than the VIP room.

“Show him what Sensation’s best dancer can do,” he distantly heard Hoseok’s voice call out.

Mr. Jeon...

Certainly, it couldn’t be Yoongi under a different name.

Right?

Jimin winced to himself as he remembered his own “new” name. Mei.

He suddenly wanted to kick the thick, velvety curtain separating him from the guest on the other side. It was ridiculous that Hoseok was sending him in alone without telling him anything. This man could be dangerous. This man could be-

The curtain suddenly rustled and two tall, broad men in suits emerged from the other side, catching Jimin off guard.

“Mr. Jeon is ready for you,” the taller one of the two said. “Mr..... Mei, correct?”

Jimin could’ve sworn that the second man - the one with broader shoulders - snickered slightly at the mention of his name.

“Yes, that’s me,” he replied quietly, ducking his head.

The two men nodded to each other and lifted the sides of the curtain. Jimin hesitated.

“You may enter,” the broad-shouldered man coaxed.

Right. He had a job to do.

Jimin quickly nodded and stepped into the VIP room.

Chapter Text

The curtains came crashing down behind him, forcing him into the room the rest of the way.

The VIP room was a spectacle. Pure black leather sofas were adorned with gold and blood red pillows, and Jimin’s feet sank into the plush of the red carpet. Despite the luxurious flat screen televisions and giant speakers adorning the walls, the loud music that was characteristic of the club had faded into an eerie silence. A lone, gothic-looking chandelier lit the room with a strange glow. He had never been in here.

No client had ever been rich enough to rent out this room.

“Park Jimin, correct?”

The mention of his real name made Jimin jump out of his skin. His eyes went wide as he stared at the person who had called him by his birth name.

“Jeon Jungkook,” the young man offered, a sly smile playing on his lips. His eyes gleamed with mischief, and a small scar on his cheek stretched as he smiled. His slim, yet muscular figure laid out across one of the black leather sofas as if he were posing for a painting.

Jimin watched, frozen in fear as Jungkook swept a wave of dark brown hair out of his eyes. He wasn’t even wearing a suit, but instead a black leather jacket clung to the curves of his biceps.

He was wearing acid wash skinny jeans, for God’s sake.

And he looked good in them, an unwanted part of Jimin’s brain chimed in.

“How do you know my name?” he managed to choke out, shoving all of the racing thoughts out of his head.

Jungkook shifted on the couch, crossing one leg over the other and surveying Jimin curiously. “I guess I should have started with my own name.”

That wasn’t good enough for Jimin. He needed answers. “Tell me why you know my name.”

Jungkook sat back and uncrossed his legs, but crossed his arms.

“I think you and I may have some similar enemies,” he suggested cooly.

Jimin’s blood ran cold. He had lived a quiet, normal life… before Yoongi. He couldn’t think of many people who had disliked him before he met Yoongi. No one - no one but Hoseok - knew about his past, and even then, he only shared bits and pieces in passing. He had gone so far as to fabricate a backstory to tell Taehyung after his persistent questions grew to be too tiring to sputter over.

Jimin needed to keep his wits about him. He was determined not to be found by him... The fucking permanent stain that was Min Yoongi.

Jimin also crossed his arms in a slightly mocking way, and Jungkook quirked his eyebrow in amusement. He finally stood up from the sofa and quietly made his way over to Jimin - each step confident and calm. Jimin flinched when he came to a stop before him, instinctively noticing how Jungkook stood a good few inches over him.

“Listen, man,” Jungkook said finally, dropping the attempt at formalities. “I’m not here to scare you. I don’t want to hurt you, either.”

“Well, clearly you’re not here for a fucking lap dance,” Jimin scoffed, “which actually is in my job description. Tell me what you want or I’ll have security escort you out.”

Jimin was playing a dangerous game.

Not only did Jeon Jungkook have his own security separated from them by only a curtain, but Sensation didn’t even have security. (Which, come to think of it, was extremely unsafe for the dancers.)

“I mean, you could always give me a lap dance,” Jungkook replied with a small smirk, unfazed by Jimin’s attempt at being intimidating. “I wouldn’t say no to that offer.”

In this proximity, Jimin could smell Jungkook’s cologne - a fresh, forest-y smell, with an underlying tone of cinnamon. He took a step back, swearing to himself not to fall for seduction. He was normally a sap, but not today.

Jungkook took a step forward in response, regaining the same threshold of space between them. He reached up, and before Jimin could swat his hand away, Jungkook’s soft touch fell directly behind his left ear.

Right on top of the lily tattoo.

Jimin bristled like a cat beneath Jungkook’s fingers, his pupils dilating in pure terror.

“Like I said,” Jungkook’s voice was now a whisper.

“You and I may have some similar enemies.”

Chapter Text

Jeon Jungkook could clearly sense Jimin’s fear. He carefully took a step back from the smaller boy, knowing he had to be smart about how he approached him.

“Listen,” he started quietly.

Jimin stared, wide eyed and frozen, as Jungkook reached for his hip. A total deer in the headlights… Which could end badly.

You never know which direction a scared deer could run in.

“I have a gun,” Jungkook confessed, pushing back his leather jacket to reveal a small handgun attached to his waistband.

Jimin was still frozen as Jungkook removed the gun from its holster. The small boy began to scramble for words, ready to plead for his life. “W-What are you-”

Jungkook held up a hand in a motion to silence him, then slowly squatted down on the floor. The next thing Jimin knew, the gun was placed on the ground… Near his own feet.
He found himself studying it, trying to convince himself that the gun was fake and that this was all a dream. Wake up, Jimin.

“The power is in your hands here,” Jungkook said calmly. “I don’t want to hurt you.”

Jimin tore his eyes away from the weapon and timidly peered back at the other boy. “What do you want from me?”

“Would you like to sit down?” Jungkook attempted to ask, a sheepish look on his handsome face. “We can talk - calmly - on the couches over there.”

Jimin took a step forward, the tip of his shoe resting on the grip of the gun. He swallowed deeply, desperately searching within himself for strength.

He had a weapon. He could use the weapon.

Jungkook stared at Jimin’s foot with a strange look on his face - a look that almost resembled admiration - like somehow, he was proud of Jimin for being brave.

“You said the power was in my hands,” Jimin finally said, his voice trembling slightly. “You’re going to tell me how you know who I am, and what you want. Now.”

Jungkook studied Jimin’s face - a baby face with pleasantly round cheeks, but sharp, intense eyes. The small star stickers below his dark eyes caught the light in a way that betrayed the boy’s attempts at seeming fierce. He resembled a tiny, scared fairy.

“You know Min Yoongi,” Jungkook started.

“What’s it to you?” Jimin snapped.

Jungkook chuckled in response, which threw Jimin off. How could someone be laughing while knowing that a total stranger had the power to take his life?

“I told you already. We have some similar enemies.” Jungkook replied.

“I need information,” Jimin hissed, his eyes narrowing. “How do I know you’re not working for him? How do I know that this isn’t one of his schemes?”

Jungkook sighed, a hand reaching up to rub at his temple. Jimin struggled to not stare as the boy’s bicep flexed generously underneath his leather jacket.

“Honestly, I somehow wish that I was involved with him. That way, none of this would’ve happened.”

The pain was evident in Jungkook’s voice. Jimin saw the look in his eyes change ever so slightly, as if a sliver of pain managed to cut through his calm expression.
Jimin was no stranger to that pain - that deep, raw agony caused by the uprooting of his entire life - taking his sense of self along with it.

That kind of pain could only be caused by Min Yoongi.

“I’ve been… observing you,” Jungkook admitted after a moment of silence. “I’ve gathered enough information to know that you can help me.”

The two boys eyes met, a strange feeling flowing between them - a feeling that whispered, “somehow, I know you”. Jimin felt oddly unafraid.

“I’m… a part of a group,” Jungkook began, the mutual feeling encouraging him to explain further. “We’re called Ares Anonymous. Basically, we’re hackers.”

Jimin cocked an eyebrow. The name sounded familiar, as if he had heard it before in passing.

Jungkook scratched at his head as he continued. “I know that hearing the word ‘hacker’ might make you… uneasy… but we actually help people.”

“You help people?” Jimin asked, still airing on caution. “Help them with what, exactly?”

Jungkook shoved his hands into his pockets. A small, red blush was spreading across his cheeks, making him look less intimidating. “Listen, I honestly can’t tell you everything. It’s… confidential.”

Jimin crossed his arms. “So basically, you’re telling me that you’re a member of a group of internet nerds who want to take down Min Yoongi due to some personal vendetta that you have?”

Jungkook winced. His calm yet intimidating demeanor was completely gone. “Not exactly.”

The emotional link connecting the two boys snapped as Jimin pressed the toe of his shoe into the grip of the gun on the floor. “I told you that I wanted information.”

“I’m trying to give you all that I can,” Jungkook started. His eyes settled into a far away look as he added with a whisper - “but I can’t risk his life by saying too much.”

“Who’s life?” Jimin pressed.

Jungkook blinked in surprise, as if he thought that he hadn’t spoken out loud. He waved his hands, feigning a dismissive tone. “It’s not important right now. Look, Ji - Mei - whatever you want to be called. I know that Min Yoongi is a menace. I also know that you know that, too. Don’t you want to see this guy taken out?”

His voice seemed to drip with increasing venom as he continued. “I have information. I know about what he’s doing - what he’s forcing people to do, and it’s absolutely fucked.”

Jimin fought against the tightly locked away memories that were resurfacing in his mind. He had been working so hard to forget, only to have some handsome stranger waltz into his safe haven and reopen his wounds. He frowned. “Yoongi has ruined so many other people’s lives, not just mine. Why can’t you go bother someone else?”

Now it was Jungkook’s turn to frown. He weighed his options carefully. How much information was he willing to reveal?

“You’re… different.”

“What?” Jimin snorted.

Jungkook shifted his weight uneasily. “You’re still alive.”

Chapter Text

A sob threatened to leap from Jimin’s throat.

“You’re still alive.”

Alive. Using that word was a stretch. Was he truly alive anymore? The floodgates opened and all of his repressed memories came flowing forward.

Blood.

Lots of blood.

Yoongi laughing in a way that made Jimin both disgustingly aroused and endlessly afraid.

Yoongi’s hands on him, leaving traces of gunpowder. Who knew how many people had died because of those same hands?

“I want to forget,” Jimin whispered. “I might have made it out alive, but just barely. If Hoseok hadn’t found me, I would’ve died in an alley three months ago.”

Jungkook blinked as if he were processing something strange. “The owner of the nightclub found you?”

Jimin nodded. “I owe him my life.”

“I don’t think it's safe for you here, Jimin,” Jungkook blurted out.

“It’s not safe for me anywhere,” Jimin replied, looking down at his foot that still lingered over the loaded gun that was sinking into the carpet. “Yoongi swore to me that he would always find me.”

“I want to put him behind bars. I want to break up his whole fucking operation,” Jungkook said, his hands curling into fists as he continued. “I know this is sudden, and I know you don’t trust me for shit - but I know that you can help me… and that I can protect you.”

Jimin took another look at the gun then glanced toward the curtained entrance to the VIP room, where he knew that Jungkook’s literal bodyguards were waiting. Maybe, just maybe, Jungkook could protect him.

The indescribable feeling from moments earlier suddenly flowed into Jimin once more. His fear melted away. He bent down and picked up the gun. “Teach me how to use this.”

Jungkook broke out into a small grin. “Done.”

“Promise me that everyone at Sensation will be protected, too.”

The smile on Jungkook’s face didn’t falter. “I promise. Do you want money, too? I can sort something out.”

Jimin’s grip on the gun tightened. He felt more powerful with it in his hands. “How fast can you secure a million?”

Jungkook suddenly broke out into laughter - a deep, sincere, belly laugh. His entire look softened to the point where the leather jacket looked out of place on him. “Anything you want, darling.”

Darling.

***

Min Yoongi flopped onto the couch as a snarl left his lips.

“How long ago did they leave, Hoseok?”

Jung Hoseok sat across from Yoongi in the VIP room of Sensation, one platformed boot nervously crossed over the other. He suddenly became very interested in counting all of the rhinestones on the toes as he pulled his rainbow shawl tighter around his body. “About an hour ago. How was I supposed to know that you knew a Mr. Jeon?”

Yoongi’s hooded eyes met Hoseok’s. He was the kind of man that made a constant lack of sleep look intimidating. “I gave you one fucking job, Hoseok - to watch Park Jimin’s every move.”

“I wouldn’t have let him leave if I thought that you would have an issue with it,” Hoseok insisted.

Yoongi suddenly shifted so that he sat forward on the couch, leaning over his scrawny knees. His bleached hair fell into his eyes, but Hoseok could still see the demented glint in gaze. “Let me see your hand,” he demanded.

Hoseok hesitated then slowly held out his right hand, palm facing upward. As Yoongi grasped his wrist, he noticed something catch the light.

The slender blade of a knife.

The slice was quick. It was so fast that Hoseok barely registered what had happened until he saw the first droplets of blood rush angrily to the surface of his palm. With a small squeak, he pulled his wrist from Yoongi’s grasp.

“Fuck,” he whispered, tears pricking at the corners of his eyes as he cradled his bleeding hand against his chest. “I’m sorry, Yoongi. I shouldn’t have let him leave.”

Yoongi’s face broke into his signature gummy smile, showing the true happiness that he was only able to feel in connection with causing others pain. He sat back and reached up to toy with his eyebrow piercing, as if he hadn’t just mercilessly sliced someone’s hand open. “I sent him here to be broken, Hoseok - broken down into exactly what I want. But since he’s decided to take a…” he paused, searching for the right word, “detour… I guess I’ll let the games begin.”

“Please, don’t hurt him. Haven’t you done enough?” Hoseok pleaded.

“Don’t fucking tell me that you actually care about him,” Yoongi snapped. “Park Jimin is my property — don’t forget that. You were only supposed to keep track of him, but now your dumb ass can’t even do that.”

Hoseok sighed and shakily ran his uninjured hand through his orange hair. “Yoongi, maybe you should just let him go. There are other men out there, right?”

Yoongi was on his feet in an instant. Even though he was fairly small in stature, his personality made him appear menacing.

“I don’t mind slicing you to pieces right here and right now,” he growled. “I give you a job, you do the job - no questions asked. Do you fucking understand?”

Defeated and fearful, Hoseok nodded. The pain in his hand had settled into a pulsating sting. Taking off his shawl - which was actually his favorite - he began to wrap it around the deep slice in his palm. The fabric would be ruined for sure.

Yoongi watched him for a moment, then turned towards the door.

“Don’t let anything else get fucked up,” he muttered. “In the meantime, I’m going to go clean up the fucking mess you’ve made.”

Chapter Text

Jimin was still surprised by his own lack of caution as he found himself sitting in the backseat of Jeon Jungkook’s car. The two bodyguards - now introduced to him as Kim Seokjin and Kim Namjoon, sat up front. Namjoon, the taller of the two with a mop of blonde hair, casually drove along the back alleys of New York City that Jimin never even knew existed.

He stared out of the tinted windows as they sped along, unable to shake the feeling that he was still being watched from somewhere outside of the car. Jungkook, who had been continually glancing over at Jimin, had noticed his unsettled expression.

“Did anyone give you a hard time when we left?” he asked.

Jimin jumped slightly at the sudden interruption to his thoughts. He shook his head, hoping that his ability to lie wasn’t too terribly bad.

After agreeing to leave with Jungkook, he had gone back into the dressing room to gather his few belongings that were stashed there. Hoseok was tidying up as he had entered.

“Go, quickly. Don’t look back - not even for a second. Don’t worry about me and go.”

The urgency in Hoseok’s voice lingered in his mind. Why was he so eager to send him on his way?

“That’s good,” Jungkook nodded, and Jimin sighed with relief. He hadn’t been caught. The taller boy sat back in his seat and spread his legs casually, taking up almost all of the space between them.

Jimin fought the small blush that threatened to creep into his cheeks.

“I’m surprised that you agreed to go with me without even knowing where we were planning to go,” Jungkook said after a moment of silence.

Jimin blinked. Well, fuck. “Where are you taking me?’

Jungkook placed a protective hand on Jimin’s shoulder and the blush returned. He silently stared at the veins that made a small network across the back of Jungkook’s hands.

“I promised you I’d keep you safe. Unfortunately for you, that means you’re stuck with me,” Jungkook said simply, tracing Jimin’s gaze with his own.

With a small squeak of embarrassment, Jimin quickly returned to looking out the window. “What do you mean, ‘I’m stuck with you’?”

He could feel Jungkook’s confident smile even though he could no longer see it. As if on cue, the car rolled to a stop.

“We’re here, Mr. Jeon,” Seokjin’s voice announced from the passenger seat.

“Time to find out,” Jungkook whispered to Jimin, and reached across him to open the car door.

Jimin obediently exited the vehicle and immediately became confused. He was standing in front of a 7-Eleven convenience store.

“Thanks for driving, Joon. Park in the usual spot,” Jungkook’s voice ordered from behind him.

“Wait,” Jimin panicked. “This can’t be right. Did the GPS take us to the wrong place?”

He whirled around to face Jungkook, who was standing there casually with his hands in his pockets. He looked too clean to be standing in a 7-Eleven parking lot. Why the hell were they at 7-Eleven?

“What, am I not allowed to stop for a snack?” Jungkook questioned with a small smirk.

“Are you fucking with me?” Jimin demanded.

“Aish, don’t curse,” Jungkook scolded softly, putting his arm around Jimin’s shoulders to steer him towards the door. “You’re too pretty for that.”

Jimin chose to ignore the flirty comment as the pair walked into the convenience store. A small bell overhead jingled as Jungkook pushed the doors open, and the girl behind the front counter immediately looked up and smiled.

“Hey, Kook,” she said. “Who’s that?”

“Hey, Seulgi,” Jungkook replied warmly. “This is my friend, Jimin.”

He pulled Jimin closer, almost tucking him into the crook of his armpit. Jimin was too confused to protest the mention of his real name.

“Hi, Jimin,” Seulgi chirped. She seemed nice enough. Jimin smiled weakly in response.

“Anything unusual happen while I was gone?” Jungkook asked the girl, who had swung her legs over the counter and was now perched on the side.

“Honestly, the place has been pretty fucking dead.”

“No news is good news,” Jungkook shrugged. “We’ll be downstairs if anything happens.”

Seulgi made a small saluting motion toward them in response.

Downstairs?

What?

“Where the hell are you taking me?” Jimin hissed as the two were out of Seulgi’s earshot, snaking their way between aisles of junk food. Jungkook released him from his grasp.

“Wanna grab a snack? It’s on me.”

Jimin wanted to scream. He needed some kind of answer - literally any sort of explanation would suffice. “If you’re pranking me, this isn’t fucking funny.”

Meanwhile, Jungkook was pleasantly ignoring Jimin's panic and filling his arms with bags of chips. “I think I’m in a salt and vinegar mood.”

Jimin stomped his foot like a child throwing a tantrum. “Tell me where we’re going, or I’ll start screaming.”

Jungkook paused, the signature smirk returning to his lips. “Patience, darling. You never know who could be listening to your conversations.”

“That doesn’t mean you should leave me in the fucking dark!” Jimin exclaimed, earning a small curious glance from Seulgi, who was now standing behind the register reading some sort of girly magazine.

“Sorry,” Jungkook mouthed in her direction, then motioned for Jimin to follow. “Come on, let’s go.”

Jimin followed Jungkook toward the back of the store to a door with a bright red “EMPLOYEES ONLY” sign on it. He didn’t even protest as Jungkook barreled his way through. Beyond the door, the signature red, orange and green of 7-Eleven disappeared, replaced by dank concrete and metal shelves full of overstock. Obviously a back room of some kind.

A perfect place to have some sort of hidden murder dungeon, Jimin’s mind warned. He suddenly wished he had insisted on holding onto Jungkook’s gun.

A loud grinding noise brought Jimin back into reality.

“What the fuck-“ he breathed as one of the metal shelves pushed backwards into the wall, revealing stairs descending down into darkness.

“After you,” Jungkook smiled, gesturing for Jimin to go in.

“Are you kidding me?” Jimin hissed incredulously. “You think I’m going to willingly walk down there?”

Jungkook shrugged. “I mean, I could just carry you down there, but that’s really not polite of me.”

Jimin peered down the staircase, the darkness greeting him. Was that a draft coming from down there?

“I cannot believe this,” he whispered to himself, but still found himself stepping down onto the first stair.

“I promise you that this isn’t as ominous as it may look,” Jungkook reassured, his bigger body suddenly close to Jimin’s. The grinding noise returned, startling Jimin and making him stumble. A small yelp escaped his lips as the darkness enveloped him. Just when he expected to start tumbling down the rest of the staircase, strong arms wrapped around him and pulled him safely back to his feet.

“Jesus,” Jungkook’s voice whispered, dangerously close to Jimin’s ear. They were now both standing in pitch black darkness - the secret door had shut again. “Try not to kill yourself while I find the light switch, okay?”

A sudden burst of bright light shocked Jimin’s pupils. Once his eyes refocused, he almost stumbled again. Jungkook was so close that his nose was almost touching Jimin’s.

“I’m supposed to be protecting you, but I think you have a death wish,” Jungkook said softly, looking Jimin directly in the eye.

Jimin quickly turned away before the heat in his cheeks became evident, suddenly ready to descend the rest of the stairs as quick as possible. “Well, maybe if you would actually warn me before any more crazy shit happens…” he muttered, taking in how the staircase looked pretty normal now that it was bathed in light.

He heard Jungkook chuckle softly behind him as they reached the bottom of the staircase, a giant metal door blocking their way forward.

“Alright, let me open the door,” Jungkook announced, brushing past Jimin. As if on cue, a small blue laser seemingly appeared from out of nowhere and scanned Jungkook’s eye. After a moment of mechanical whirring noises, a loud click echoed through the staircase and the door fell open.

Jungkook turned to Jimin and smiled at his look of shock. “In order to keep you safe, I need to keep you in the safest place I know of. Mi casa es tu casa."