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maybe it's in the gutter (where i left my lover)

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“Jeon Jeongguk, eighteen years old,” Im Jaebum reads from the file in his hands, “Wanted for killing his best friend, Kim Yugyeom.” Jaebum puts the tan-colored folder down on the steel table. “ Why ?”

 

No answer. 

 

Jaebum sighs. Not all criminals are compliant . “Ok, so after you killed Yugyeom you came into contact with six men,” the officer states, pacing back and forth, “Also known as the Bangtan Boys .” Jaebum stops walking and observes the boy.

 

He hasn’t moved an inch

 

“Kim Namjoon, Kim Seokjin, Min Yoongi, Jung Hoseok, Park Jimin, and Kim Taehyung. Recognize those names?”

 

The boy continues to stare at the table. Jaebum tries a different tactic to get the boy to talk. “Kid, you’re gonna get twenty years in prison if you don’t talk. You could get your sentence down if you, well , tell us information,” he persuades.

 

Nothing, nada . The boy continues to stare, his eyes lifeless

 

“Jeongguk, second-degree murder is a big deal. You’ll be in prison till you’re thirty-eight, or maybe even longer.” Jaebum sits down in the blue plastic chair. “ Say , if you tell us information about your little friends, you’ll get ten years reduced.”

 

Most people would gasp in excitement or maybe even smile. They would whoop in excitement and would blurt out all of the information right away. But this boy isn’t like most people. 

 

He continues to keep his head down, his expression still. Jaebum huffs in frustration, standing up from the chair. “Well, fine with me!” he exclaims, “Your court case is in 10 days. Better get your lawyers ready.”

 

As the officer exists, the boy gives a knowing smirk. 

 

Police Officers are fucking stupid.

 

//////

 

Sitting all alone, mouth full of gum, on the driveway.

My friends aren’t far, in the back of my car, lay their bodies.

 

Jeon Jeongguk hates his life. He hates his family, he hates his friends, he hates his school, he hates his little house, he even hates himself. Everyone is weirdly cheerful. It’s so boring to Jeongguk. 

 

Oh, how he urges to run away from the little town he lives in. 

 

Jeongguk’s house, is simply, not working. The electricity is cut off and no water runs from the faucets. There are multiple water leaks on the ceiling and mold grows on the walls. He lives with his mother, who simply doesn’t give a damn about life. She sits on her recliner chair in the living room, drinking multiple bottles of soju a day, leaving Jeongguk to do all her work.

 

When Jeongguk goes to school, he has to pretend to be normal. A normal , happy teenager, when he’s really not. Jeongguk doesn’t have many friends, but he has some at least. He hates all of them, except for Kim Yugyeom. 

 

Yugyeom is extremely different from Jeongguk. He’s smart, friendly, rich, kind, and happy. But he understands Jeongguk (though he doesn’t know much about the boy). At least Yugyeom makes an effort to be a good friend.

 

When the final bell rings, Jeongguk rushes out of school to go to the gas station to do his job. He’s the clerk, the one that sells alcohol to all the bums and vapes to all of the teenagers. Jeongguk thinks himself as the devil, the kind that sends everyone to their deaths. 

 

After his shift is over, he runs over to a twenty-four-hour diner. The place isn’t bad: he gets free dinner from the head cook and there aren’t many customers. It’s just that the boss is a bitch. He gets mad for the pettiest things, and he throws things around.

 

Jeongguk usually comes home around five am, with bruises, a busted bottom lip, and a meal (for his mom). He covers up the purple marks with foundation (which he stole) and some concealer (also stolen).

 

He always tells himself, “One more year.” He’ll leave for University after his senior year, and hopefully leave his past behind him. But each day, it just keeps getting worse. He’s three months behind house rent, he failing a few classes, and he can’t handle more abuse.

 

He’s going to break soon, he can feel it. 

 

The school cafeteria is filled with teenagers all eating lunch talking to one another either about two topics: sex or drugs. It’s one of Jeongguk’s most liked and hated time of the day. He hates his “so-called friends”, but he loves talking to Yugyeom. 

 

Jeongguk is sitting by himself today outside on a picnic table, working on an extra credit Chemistry packet. Hopefully, it’ll bump his grade up to something better than an F. 

“Ay Jeongguk!” a voice calls enthusiastically. Just by hearing the voice, Jeongguk know’s that its Yugyeom.

 

“Hey Yugyeom,” he greets back, looking up from the packet. Yugyeom smiles and sits across from Jeongguk.

 

“Why aren’t you sitting with us? We’re missing you!” he says with a teasing pout on his face. Jeongguk knows they aren’t. They don’t care about him.

 

“I-I have to finish this Chem packet,” Jeongguk answers, “For extra credit…”

 

“Ahh, you know I can always tutor you if you want?” Yugyeom offers with a smile. Jeongguk desperately needs tutoring, but he doesn’t have time for it, with his two jobs taking up most of his time.

 

“Thank you, but I’m fine.” 

 

No, you’re not.

 

Yugyeom nods, and then frowns. “Are you not hungry?” he asks, referring to Jeongguks non-existant lunch. Jeongguk never eats breakfast or lunch, only dinner, unless Yugyeom buys lunch for him. “You’re so skinny Ggukie! There’s no need for you to diet anymore..”

 

Right. Jeongguk explained to Yugyeom before that he’s doing a diet when the boy asked him about his lack of food. “Um, well I like dieting,” Jeongguk quickly defends, “And I eat plenty of food for breakfast and dinner!”

 

Lies.

 

“Well fine. I’ll buy something for you!” 

 

“No, No!” Jeongguk interjects, “M’ not hungry!” His stomach is grumbling . Yugyeom quirks up an eyebrow.

 

“Well, I-I guess I’ll leave now and leave you to your chem..” Yugyeom stands up from the bench, “Call me if you need any-” He suddenly pauses. Yugyeom reaches over the table and pulls the collar of Jeongguk’s jacket to the side. “What’s that?”

 

He points to the bluish-purple bruise near Jeongguk’s collarbone. Fuck , he forgot to put makeup over it. “Is s-something happening at home?” Yugyeom asks, concern laced in his expression. 

 

A lot of things are happening, not just at home.

 

“N-nothing's happening!” Jeongguk doesn’t want Yugyeom involved in his issues; he wouldn’t understand.

 

To Jeongguk’s surprise, Yugyeom scoffs. “Nothing’s happening?! You come to school with bruises all over your body and nothing’s fucking happening!?” Jeongguk gasps quietly. Bruises all over your body? “Yeah, this whole month I’ve been seeing bruises, all over the place. A-and I just can’t help to think that I’m a bad friend…”

 

Jeongguk almost laughs. A bad friend?! It must be some kind of joke. “You know what?! You’re coming home with me today.” It’s been almost three years since he visited Yugyeoms house (it’s probably too big to be called a house). 

 

“W-what no!” Jeongguk can’t afford to skip work. The landlord is coming tomorrow to collect the rent, and Jeongguk is still behind the pay, by a lot

 

“Jeongguk, you’re coming with me,” Yugyeom says sternly, “No excuses whatsoever .” Jeongguk wants to tell Yugyeom about his hardships, and the work he has to attend but Jeongguk is afraid to. 

 

He doesn’t want Yugyeom to pity him even more. 

 

“I’m just trying to be a good friend to you Ggukie…” he says, gazing at Jeongguk with big eyes, “I-I just can’t continue to see you like this anymore.” Yugyeom’s voice cracks while saying that, and his eyes start to water. “O-ok? I’ll pick you up, a-after school?”

 

Yugyeom walks away from the picnic table leaving Jeongguk to his chemistry packet and his thoughts.

 

I don’t deserve Kim Yugyeom.

 

As the final bell rings, Jeongguk rushes out of art class, trying to escape school so he can go to his job. He really needs the extra won. Just as Jeongguk steps out of the school grounds, Yugyeom appears in front of him. “Ah there you are!” he says, out of breath, “I’ve been running all over school, looking for you!”

 

Jeongguk swears under his breath.

 

Yugyeom literally drags Jeongguk to the black mini-van parked in front of the school and pushes him inside the backseat. “Hey Youngjae-hyung, remember Jeon Jeongguk?” The driver turns around and looks at Jeongguk.

 

“Jeongguk!” Youngjae exclaims with a huge smile on his face, “Long time no see? You’ve grown so much!” he starts to gush.

 

Jeongguk remembers Youngjae as the friendly driver (that the Kim’s have no reason to hire). He’s a friendly man, he doesn’t talk much, but his smile would light up Jeongguk’s day. Jeongguk was always envious of the older man though. He makes money for driving the Kim’s around. A lot of money

 

How much money would I make if I robbed him?

 

“Good to see you, Youngjae-ssi,” Jeongguk greets back with a smile, shaking off his thoughts. Youngjae is too nice to rob.

 

“Aish, stop with the formalities! Call me hyung!”

 

Yeah, way too nice.

 

Youngjae suddenly pushes on the acceleration pedal, jolting Jeongguk forward, making the boy pull on his seatbelt. It’s been almost a year since Jeongguk’s been inside a car. He uses his rusty bicycle to travel around. 

 

The car ride is silent, the two boys too worried to say anything. Countless thoughts fly through Jeongguk’s mind about the day after him, while Yugyeom stares at Jeongguk’s concerned face. Soon the car stops in front of the gate, and Youngjae rolls down his window.

 

Yugyeom lives inside a gated community. It’s filled with huge mansions towering on top of hills, his house being the biggest of them all. Jeongguk doesn’t know how the Kim’s are so rich. He assumes it’s family money.

 

Youngjae types a pin on the keypad and the gold gate opens. The car jolts forward and it slowly rolls forward into the neighborhood. It’s exactly the same as Jeongguk remembers. Huge houses standing on top of green lumps, at least a half kilometer distance between each house. 

 

Jeongguk can’t help but feel envious of his friend. He’s so lucky to live such a privileged life. Soon, they arrive in front of Yugyeom’s huge house. It’s ginormous. It looks almost like a castle, no it is a castle. 

 

“Thank you Youngjae-ssi,” Jeongguk says, after Yugyeom hops out of the car. The driver quirks up an eyebrow.

 

Hyung.

 

“Uh, thank you Youngjae-hyung,” he repeats, correcting himself. 

 

“No problem Jeongguk. Have a good day.” The younger gives a nod, and steps out of the car onto the driveway. The Kim’s garage is huge: It can fit nine cars in total. Yugyeom’s family owns six, all of them being luxury brands. 

 

“C’mon Ggukie!” Yugyeom calls. He’s already at their front door, which is standing in front of him, at least twenty feet tall. Jeongguk nods and runs on the sidewalk which leads to the front door. The Kim’s put bushes and shrubs around the path (a new addition to the house). “My parents are so excited to meet you!” Yugyeom tells Jeongguk as he presses a button to ring the doorbell. The doorbell is one of those expensive ones which comes with a camera. Jeongguk wonders how much it costed for the Kim’s.

 

The large door suddenly opens, and Mrs. Kim greets them with a smile. “Jeongguk! Oh my, you’ve grown so much since I last saw you! Aish , and you’re so thin!” She frowns as she looks at Jeongguk from head to toe. “Well come on in, and I’ll get you something to eat.”

 

At one point, Jeongguk was so close to the Kim’s that he considered them his second family. He would visit Yugyeom’s house, playing Overwatch and Call of Duty and sleeping over. That was before Jeongguk graduated middle school and before his parent’s divorced. 

 

Jeongguk takes off his shoes and backpack and follows Yugyeom through the house to the kitchen. The house is beautiful: It has a crystal chandelier in the opening with marble pillars and shiny wooden floors. It’s exactly how Jeongguk remembers it. 

 

They enter the kitchen (which is huge). Yugyeom gestures Jeongguk to sit on the high chairs with him, placed near the island covered with white marble. Jeongguk thinks it’s funny that the Kim’s own a big kitchen. They don’t even cook in it!  

 

“What do you want to eat Jeongguk?” Mrs. Kim asks, leaning on the marble countertop. 

 

“Um, well, I’m not hungry ,” Jeongguk lies, to be polite. 

 

“He’ll have some ramen, your special kind mom,” Yugyeom suddenly interjects, answering yes for Jeongguk. “It’s amazing Ggukie! You’ll love it…” 

 

Jeongguk notices several things about their kitchen. They have four ovens, two fridges (how much food does one need?), and multiple displays of their china plates and teacups. But what stands out to Jeongguk is the pile of cash sitting right on their wooden dining table. Looking at it, Jeongguk estimates it being about two million won, his rent for five whole months. 

 

It’s so tempting . Jeongguk licks his dry lips. How easy would it be to grab the cash and run. 

 

No, the Kim’s are good people… I think.

 

Jeongguk hears a cough, and he swirls his head around to face Yugyeom. “So, did you finish that Chem packet or do you need help?”

 

“U-uh, yeah I finished it. I gave it to Mrs. Lee after lunch,” Jeongguk answers. 

 

“Ah, you should’ve given it to me so I could check it!” The two continue to talk like this, useless bantering about random shit. Jeongguk can’t help but think what he could’ve been doing. He would be at the gas station selling beer to drunkards. At least he made money while doing it. 

 

Mrs. Kim finishes the ramen and puts the red pot in front of the boys along with two bowls. “Help yourselves. I’ll be upstairs in my office!” The spicy scent fills the airs, rushing into Jeongguk’s nostrils. God , it’s been so long since he’s ate food. Yugyeom seems to notice Jeongguk’s facial expression. “Smells good, huh?” Jeongguk nods, using chopsticks to serve himself and Yugyeom a portion. “Don’t you ever starve yourself again.”

 

If only he knew.

 

As the ramen enters his body, Jeongguk’s demeanor changes. It must be the magic of the Kim’s house. He feels happier, lighter . Yugyeom’s stupid jokes start to be not-so-stupid and more-so-funny. He laughs, for the first time in months. 

 

They go upstairs to the second (out of three) floors to the huge flatscreen TV to play Pubg. Jeongguk used to be amazing - or as he used to say, a god - but now he’s terrible. He gets killed quickly, every single time . Yugyeom just laughs as his team wins. 

 

After a few games, Yugyeom goes to the bathroom and comes back with two bottles of beer. Jeongguk starts to chuckle as he looks at them. “ Seriously Yugyeom ?”

 

“What!?” Yugyeom says, slumping back down on the leather couch, “I wanted to have a fun time!” Jeongguk rolls his eyes.

 

Alcohol and drugs , that’s all everyone's obsessed with,” he scoffs. 

 

“C’mon, once you try it, you won’t be saying that anymore.” Yugyeom pops his bottle open and takes a swig. “Wind down Jeongguk, live a little !” He leans closer to Jeongguk. “We’re teenagers Gguk. Ever heard the saying, YOLO?”

 

Jeongguk groans. He doesn’t want to make the same mistake his mother did, but at the same time, Yugyeom won’t stop until he takes a little sip. “Fine, but only for you Yugyeom. If something happens, it’ll be your fault!

 

Yugyeom chuckles. “That’s my boy!” he exclaims, opening Jeongguks bottle and giving it to him. “Is it your first time?”

 

“Well, if you’re not counting the time when I ate rum-ice cream, then yes , it is my first time.” The other snickers. 

 

“Awh… you really need to go to Bam Bam’s parties with me.” Yugyeom brings the bottle to his lips. “You’d like it.”

 

Jeongguk nods, directing his eyes back to the bottle in his hands. He doesn’t like Bam Bam: he’s too wild, and he wears too much flashy jewelry. Jeongguk has the urge to snatch his gold chains from his neck whenever he sees the boy.

 

“Are you gonna drink, or are you gonna just stare at it?” Yugyeoms bottle is finished, and he’s obviously a little tipsy, his speech slurred. 

 

Jeongguk brings the bottle to his lips, and he takes a big swig. The bitter liquid rushes in his mouth causing Jeongguk to have the urge to spit it out. But Jeongguk gulps it down, pursing his lips in disgust. “It’s nasty isn’t it?” Jeongguk nods, gagging at the aftertaste. “You’ll get used to it.” Yugyeom gives a reassuring smile. “Now let’s play more Pubg!”

 

As more games of Pubg pass, Jeongguk and Yugyeom consume more beer. They drink until they can’t see their characters on the screen. “Jeonnn~” Yugyeom slurs, putting his arm around Jeongguk. Jeongguk is too drunk to talk. “Y-You’re - hic - my favorite f-friend…” Yugyeoms mouth starts to move more, but Jeongguk can’t hear his words. 

 

Darkness slowly consumes his mind, and he slumps down onto the couch in a coma.

 

///////

 

Jeongguk blinks, his surroundings coming into focus. He’s lying on the couch, his feet in Yugyeom’s lap. His eyes are closed, and he’s sleeping peacefully, beer bottles at his feet on the floor. The sky is dark outside, it must be about eleven. Thoughts come rushing into his head: he’s going to be dead tomorrow. 

 

Jeongguk’s throat feels itchy; he feels the urge to get a glass of water. Jeongguk slowly swings down his feet from the other’s lap, and gets up from the couch. He tries to walk, but he ends up swaying left to right, his feet in a trance. 

 

Jeongguk manages to get himself downstairs to the kitchen. He sees a cup, right next to a pile of won . His thoughts are scattered, but there’s one clear thing in his mind.

 

Money.

 

He creates a plan in his mind, with the little logic he has: Backpack, money, and run . Jeomgguk runs as softly as he can to the front door, to grab his backpack. It’ll be big enough to fit all of the money. He runs back faster, the floorboards creaking at each step, and he opens his backpack and slides the bills in.

 

“J-Jeongguk?”

 

Yugyeom. Of course . His situation doesn’t look good: He has bundled wads of cash in his hands and in his opened backpack. Money is pouring down from the opening of his backpack. Though Yugyeom is drunk, he can’t be that stupid. 

 

“Wh-what are you doing?” Jeongguk turns around after dropping the wad of cash in his backpack. The other seems to be shivering, in his Adidas sweats, at least a few meters away from him. He seems to be scared .

 

If Jeongguk weren’t intoxicated, he would reply with a “ Nothing ,” but he has plenty of alcohol flowing through his bloodstream right now. “What do you think I’m doing?” Jeongguk scoffs, crossing his arms across his chest.

 

Yugyeom seems dumbfounded by Jeongguks response. “I-I… this isn’t you ! You aren’t the type to s-steal!” he exclaims. Jeongguk bursts out laughing, dropping some of the cash in his hands. 

 

Yugyeom flinches: This doesn’t sound like Jeongguk’s laugh at all.

 

This isn’t me ?” Jeongguk takes a few steps forward towards Yugyeom. “Gee Yuggie, I thought we were friends ,” he taunts, taking another step forward. “You should know me better..”

 

“K-Know you better?” Yugyeom gazes down at his feet. “I know almost everything about you.”

 

“Everything?!” Jeongguk snorts. “That’s so fucking funny, Yuggie! Your humor is getting better and better each year!” There’s something malicious in Jeongguk’s eyes. It makes Yugyeom want to run away, but he can’t .

 

Jeongguk is his best friend.

 

“Do you know the countless times I’ve gotten beaten up, o-or when I was starving to my death?” Yugyeoms breath hitches. “Exactly, you don’t.” Jeongguk takes a deep breath. “A-and my mother? She’s a fucking drug and alcohol addict! I-If I don’t come home with a b-bottle, she’ll k-kill me..”

 

Jeongguk… ” Yugyeom murmurs taking a step forward. “You should’ve told me.”

 

“What difference would that make?” 

 

“I-I could help you Ggukie…”

 

Jeongguk snorts again, playing with the money in his hands. “Yeah, well you can’t.” He drops the money in his backpack, and zips up the bag. “Nice talking to you, but I have to go now.”

“Wha-what?” Yugyeom’s eyes are wide, and he’s shaking.

 

Jeongguk grits his teeth. “ I said that I need to leave now, so get out of my way.” 

 

Yugyeom gulps. He can’t let his bestfriend go out drunk on the streets with a backpack filled with won. “I-I won’t let you!” He steps in front of Jeongguk, blocking him from leaving. “C’mon, lets go to sleep, and w-we’ll talk in the morning!”

 

Jeongguk’s hands ball into fists. “Really Yugyeom? Just fucking let me leave.”

 

“I-I can’t, p-please Gguk!” 

 

Bad move.

 

“Well fine, have it your way.” 

 

It all happened too fast.

 

There was a knife, so delicately placed on the counter next to Jeongguk. 

 

How convenient. 

 

“I’ll just have to make you get out of my way.”

 

Suddenly, the knife was forcefully jammed through Yugyeom chest, piercing through his heart. His reddish blood squirted everywhere, onto the shiny wooden floors and on Jeongguk’s white shirt. 

 

He screams.

 

As Jeongguk pulls out the knife from his chest, he stabs the other once again, and again, and again, till his screams dim and his eyes close. Blood covers Jeongguk’s chest, and his mouth and hair. He can taste the metallic, copperish flavor in his mouth.

 

Then the reality hits him. 

 

His best friend, Kim Yugyeom, lying lifeless, on the floor, over a puddle of blood. Jeongguk widens his eyes.

 

What happened?

 

Tears start streaming down, and he helplessly cups Yugyeom’s face in his hands. “W-wake up Yuggie!” he cries out, leaning his head on the lifeless body of the other. 

“Jeonggukie, Yugyeom?” a voice calls from upstairs. Fuck, Jeongguk forgot. He needs to get out of the house as fast as he can, he can’t get caught.

 

You deserve to get caught.

 

There’s a backdoor behind him. He can exit out quickly, and run a kilometer until he gets onto the streets. It’s too dark outside for anyone to see his bloody appearance. 

 

“Is everything ok? I heard screaming...”

 

Jeongguk can hear the thumping of someone walking down the stairs. He needs to leave. Jeongguk looks down at Yugyeom, and he squeezes his eyes shut.

 

See you in hell Yugyeom.

 

And Jeongguk darts out the backdoor, with his backpack on his shoulders. 

 

He can’t go home. By tomorrow, the police would already be looking for him. He needs to get out of Busan, fast

 

But who would help a boy covered with blood?

 

//////

 

He’s been running for an hour now. He’s well out of the urban area of Busan, and he seems to be in the middle of nowhere. It’s just vast countryside, and it seems like it’ll never end. There’s no one, and it’s a good thing. 

 

Jeongguk has at least an hour till sunrise, and he’s decided that he’ll just surrender himself to the cops. There’s no point of running endlessly. 

 

Instead of running now, he’s walking, cash in his hands, a huge smile on his face. Though he just killed his best friend, and he’s covered in blood, he’s at the highest point in his life. He finally feels, light, burdenless .

 

He’s happy, or somewhat happy. 

 

Jeongguk stares out at the countryside, seeing the sun at the horizon. He beams. 

This is the end.

 

Or so he thought… till he heard the dreaded sound of the Ice Cream truck anthem.

 

That’s when his whole life changed.

 

//////

 

Where's my mind…?

 

The lights of the truck suddenly turn on, and the backdoor bangs open. Jeongguk squints his eyes from the light, but he sees three blurry figures. They seem to all be wearing black, with colored hair. The edgy types. 

 

“Aish! Look at him!” The man with blue hair jumps out of the truck and prances towards Jeongguk. The man is wearing a crop top, or a really really short shirt. It exposes his stomach, tan and toned, and he has a fucking blue belly ring , which matches his blue hair.

 

Jeongguk has never been more turned on and scared in his life.

 

The man suddenly uses his index finger and thumb to grip on Jeongguk’s chin. Holy shit… the man has long ass fingers. “He’s so cute!” the man cooes, forcing Jeongguk’s head up. 

 

“Let go of the poor boy, Taehyung! You’re scaring him,” a man from behind him says. He’s shorter than the brown-haired man beside him, and he has light-purple hair. 

 

The blue-haired, Taehyung, rolls his eyes and lets go of Jeongguk’s chin. Jeongguk exhales in relief. “When did you start caring about feelings, Yoongi-hyung ?” Taehyung snarks, crossing his arms. 

 

“Since I was born.” Yoongi steps out of the truck onto the rocky pavement. “Unlike you sick psychos .” Psychos? Jeongguk’s hand trembles. Who are these people?  

 

The brown-haired man whistles. “That was rude hyung!” he pouts. “I feel so offended!” The man jumps out of the truck as well, right next to Yoongi. 

 

Yoongi rolls his eyes and walks towards Taehyung, shoving him out of the way. “Your name?” he asks Jeongguk, raising an eyebrow. 

 

“J-Jeongguk..” He’s is smart enough to not tell them his last name and to tell them a fake name. They seem like the type to know if you’re lying or not. 

 

“Check his bag,” Yoongi commands, waving the other two off. Suddenly two hands grab at Jeongguk’s bag, and they practically rip it off Jeongguk. He knows well not to fight, though he wants to defend himself.

 

Damn !” the brown-haired marvels as he zips open the backpack, “Jeonggukie knows how to steal!” The three look into the bag, and they all acknowledge the amount of money stacked in the bag. 

 

I love a man who can do it all… ” Taehyung rasps, looking directly at Jeongguk, licking his bottom lip. Jeongguk’s stomach flips as he gazes at the other. He’s never felt this way before. “ Killing and stealing? He sure is a great catch Yoongi.” 

 

Hyung ,” Yoongi grumbles correcting Taehyung, still looking through Jeongguk’s bag, “Yoongi hyung .” 

 

“You and your hyung kink!” 

 

“He actually has an oppa kink ,” Hoseok informs with a scoff.

 

Yoongi’s ears are red . “ Aw Hobi, look! Our Yoonie is flustered,” Taehyung cooes, scratching at Yoongi’s ears like he’s a cat .

 

“S-shut up!” he splutters back, slapping Taehyung’s hand away. Hoseok chuckles.

 

“Don’t pretend that you don’t like it.” He grabs Yoongi’s chin, forcing him to look up. “You’re our little slut, right? ” 

 

Jeongguk gulps at this. His insides keep tossing and turning, and sweat keeps pooling from his palms. Is he getting aroused? Taehyung suddenly coughs, tapping Hoseok on the shoulder. “Oh yeah. Him .”

 

Hoseok approaches Jeongguk. “Who’s blood is that?” Jeongguk stiffens from the question, grabbing onto his shirt.

 

“I-I…”

 

“Hoseok, it’s probably Ketchup!” Taehyung cackles in the background. He suddenly starts singing the Amazing Tomato song.

 

“Oh shut the fuck up would you Taehyung?” Hoseok snaps. Taehyung stops, after mumbling “Oof, Daddy.” “Answer me Jeongguk, or we’ll just kill you, and trust me, it’ll be painful .”

 

“M-my best friend,” Jeongguk mumbles. He’s not your best friend anymore. “K-Kim Yugyeom.”

“See he killed his best friend! Can we keep him???”

 

“Hm, maybe.” Hoseok nods once at Jeongguk’s demeanor. “He seems a lot like Minnie..”

 

Taehyung scoffs. “That fucker? I don’t think our little Jeonggukie is on meds.” 

 

“We’re literally all on meds,” Yoongi deadpans. 

 

“Let just take him inside!” Taehyung suggests, jutting his bottom lip out. “We’ll just take care of him for a while, and then we’ll let him go!”

 

Yoongi rolls his eyes. “Fine, but we have to check with the rest.”

 

The rest?

 

Jeongguk is then forced inside the ice cream truck, and they push him all on the green run-down couch. “Jimmy?” Taehyung calls, knocking on a door, leading to the front of the truck. “You there?”

 

The door suddenly opens. “I told you to stop calling me that,” the man, Jimmy, grumbles. He has ash-black hair, and he’s wearing a black hoodie, like the rest. They seem to follow a black aesthetic. 

 

“We have a visitor!” Taehyung explains, wiggling his eyebrows. “Would you like to have some fun with us?”

 

“I’m down!” Hoseok says in the background while Yoongi grumbles under his breath (probably a bunch of curse words). The man turns his head to Jeongguk, whose sitting wide-eyed back at him, shivering. 

 

“Have fun by yourselves.” And he’s gone into the front of the truck.

 

“Ugh, he’s on his man-period,” Taehyung groans. 

 

“He’s taking his meds,” Yoongi states, “ That’s good.

 

“Yeah, whatever. I like him when he’s all…” Taehyung wiggles his eyebrows while licking his lips, “You know what I’m talking about.”

 

Yoongi rolls his eyes as he looks at the golden Rolex on his wrist. “Where’s Namjoon and Seokjin?”

 

“They booked a motel! They’re fucking each other!” Taehyung answers, rather too enthusiastically. Jeongguk wonders how Taehyung can talk about sex so freely, especially with a haunting smirk on his face.

 

“No, actually .”

 

“Taehyung’s telling the truth, hyung,” Hoseok says, scrolling through his phone uninterestedly. “Seokjin wanted to relieve some stress.”

 

Jesus , do y'all just run on sex and drugs,” Yoongi grumbles, leaning farther back onto the counter, “ Animals .”

 

“And murder!” Taehyung adds, a huge smile on his face. Goosebumps appear over Jeongguk’s arms, and he suddenly feels scared sitting next to Taehyung, a murder (and potential psychopath). 

 

The blue-haired man suddenly turns towards Jeongguk. “Do you like murder, Kookie?” he asks. His tone sounds like he’s taunting Jeongguk.

 

“Don’t fucking ask him stupid questions, Taehyung!”

 

“Hey~! I’m just trying to make conversation!” Taehyung whines at Yoongi. The purple-haired man snorts. “ Unlike your unsocial ass.. ” he adds under his breath, loud enough for Jeongguk to hear. “I just have a hard time communicating, with normal people , of course.”

 

Normal?

 

“Our Jeonggukie isn’t normal though,” Hoseok says looking up from his phone. “He murdered his best friend, isn’t that right ?” Jeongguk’s stomach tosses and turns. He feels the urge to throw up.

 

Mmhm… I almost forgot about that. It’s hard to believe that someone like Jeonggukie could murder someone.” Shivers run down the boy’s spine. He almost forgot about his actions earlier. “He’s too cute…”

 

“It’s always the innocent ones, right Taehyung ?” Hoseok comments, a sickening smile plastered on his face.

 

Taehyung nods, a devilish smirk on his face. “ Bingo.

 

“Hoseok, Taehyung, shut up,” Yoongi hisses, somewhat like a cat. “Namjoon and Seokjin are gonna arrive in five minutes.”

 

“So wh-”

 

“And, they’re not happy,” Yoongi adds, with a menacing glare. Their smirks are knocked off their faces. Taehyung gulps. All of the boys stare at each other, eyes widened. The silence is so unnatural ; goosebumps form all over Jeongguk’s arms.

 

“Gosh darn it… looks like Namjoon didn’t fuck hard enough,” Taehyung suddenly says, breaking the silence. 

 

“What the hell do you mean?! Seokjin is the one who fucks. Namjoon is a bottom.”

 

“Oh my gosh, not this again,” Yoongi groans. “We all know that they’re switches !” The three start to yell at each other, the ice cream truck shaking from their loud yells and screams. Jeongguk sits on the couch wide eyes; they’re aruging about sex

 

“Shut up!” a voice suddenly screams. The man, Jimmy, is standing by the door, his arms crossed, something in his hand. The three men stop yelling at each other and turn their glares towards him. 

 

“Y’all are fucking stupid.” The man lifts his hand up, and points a white gun towards Jeongguk. He pulls on the trigger fast , so that the younger doesn’t have time to move. The bullet pierces Jeongguk’s blood covered T-shirt, and his vision goes dark.

 

//////

 

Jeongguk groans as bright piercing lights suddenly flood his vision. He stares at a gray ceiling as he hears faint voices.

 

“Namjoon? A bottom?”

 

“Yeah, I know right, hilarious!”

 

“No he’s not! He’s submissive as hell!”

 

“W-wait guys shut the fuck up! Jeonggukie is awake!” A figure appears by the edge of the bed, and taps on his shoulder. “Jeongguk? You awake?” Jeongguk nods his head - or at least tries to. He can’t seem to move his joints.

 

“No shit Sherlock! His eyes are open, Hoseok,” someone deadpans, who Jeongguk presumes to be Yoongi.

 

“Hey, I don’t know! Some people sleep with their eyes open!”

 

“Mmm, yeah..”

 

As the two bicker back and forth, Jeongguk wonders how they could be murders. Cold, ruthless, heartless, murders. Then again, he did kill his best friend. He can’t seem to breath, thinking about Yugyeom. 

 

“He’s awake?” a man questions, from the door. His voice is unknown, not deep enough to be Taehyung or high enough to be Jimmy’s (though he hasn’t heard Jimmy that much). 

 

“Namjoon! Yeah he’s awake.”

 

“Sit him up.”

 

Hoseok quickly rushes towards Jeongguk sides, and places his hands on the younger’s waist to help him up so he’s sitting upright on the bed. The man has blond hair, his shoulders broad, and prominent eyebrows. He’s wearing a white Gucci shirt with the multi-colored logo on it paired with black leather pants. The pants enhance his legs, mostly his thighs

 

Thighs… ” Jeongguk murmurs sleeply under his breath, his eyes drooping. “ Mmmmm…. ” 

 

“Looks like the effects are still there,” Yoongi states, sitting on a counter, next to a sink. “Why did Jimin have to fuckin’ tranqulize him?” he then whines, jumping off the marble onto the tiled floor. “That kid has no social skills whatsoever.” Jeongguk stills. The pretty man with plump lips is not named Jimmy , his name is Jimin. It makes sense though as Jimmy isn’t exactly a Korean name. 

 

“He’s loud in be-”

 

“Oh shut up Hoseok,” Namjoon snaps, glaring menacingly in his direction. Hoseok puts his hands up surrendering, grinning cheekily. 

 

“It’s true though.”

 

“We have other things to think about Hoseok,” Namjoon coughs, gesturing towards Jeongguk, who’s staring at the two with big-doe eyes. 

 

To be honest, Jeongguk has no idea what he’s doing here. The tranquilizer might of botched his memory - or something - because he can recognize the men in the room, but he can’t seem to figure out exactly who they are , and how he ended up here in the first place. 

 

But what he does know is that they’re all hot, and he probably is gay, expecially for the man in the leather pants, Namjoon’s thighs

 

“What’s your name, Jeongguk?” Yoongi asks, speaking up from the back of the room. Jeongguk shakes his head, did he hear that right ? Apparently he did, because Hoseok starts to die in laughter. 

 

“B-Bitch - hah - you just fucking said his name!” he says through his laughs, pointing at Jeongguk in amusements. Even Namjoon seems to be chuckling softly, a smile evident on his face. 

 

Yoongi’s face turns red in embarrassment. “Hey! I meant to say that!” He curls his lips into a pout. “I-If his brain is working, then he’ll figure out that I-I said his name,” he defends, awkwardly averting his eyes to the floor, obviously coming up with an excuse. 

 

“Hyung, sometimes you’re so stupid ,” Hoseok breaths out, wiping tears coming down from his face. Yoongi squints his eyes at Hoseok and gives him the middle finger. 

 

Namjoon coughs loudly from the door, averting everyone's gazes to him. “ Er , lets move onto more, important topics, shall we?”

 

Namjoon turns towards Jeongguk, his gaze slowly changing, making him more intimidating. Jeongguk fidgets in his spot nervously, playing with the hem of his shirt. “Jeon Jeongguk, seventeen years old, a boy from Busan,” he states, listing the information from his head with a piercing glare, “Am I right?”

 

Jeongguk has a hard time getting the words out from his throat. He tries to answer, but the words get stuck on the back of his throat. “Y-yes,” Jeongguk coughs out, his voice quiet and raspy. 

 

“You seem to be the talk of the town in Busan - you’re all over the news.” Namjoon pauses.

 

Talk of the town?

 

“Kim Yugyeom? The heir of Kim Enterprises? Man, you scored a Jackpot right there!” Namjoon chuckles, his laugh low and menacing. “And then you show up with two million won, in cash ?” Jeongguk’s stomach flips upside-down. 

 

I’m such a monster. 

 

“Mmm, it isn’t that much, but the fact you stole that much, all in cash? And then you show up in front our truck, not knowing who we are ?” Namjoon’s voice becomes cold as he speaks the last part. The hairs on Jeongguk’s arm stand up.

 

I’m gonna die. 

 

Namjoon slowly walks foward, one step at a time, towards the bed which Jeongguk is sitting on. He crouches down, so he’s eye level with the boy. His glare is cold and calculating; shivers go up Jeongguk’s spine.

 

The man grabs Jeongguk’s chin with his index fingers, forcing him to look into his eyes. “Have you ever heard of Bangtan ?”

 

Bangtan,

 

Bangtan,

 

Bangtan?

 

The name rings a bell in Jeongguk’s mind. He remembers a while ago when his mother was watching the news in her recliner chair. 

 

“Bangtan?” she snorts at the TV screen, “A bunch of no good fuckers. Stealing and roamin’ around Korea like they own it.” She takes another swig of the whiskey bottle sitting on her lap. “But they smart as ‘ell though. Rich as fuck.” She then points her old, gnarly finger at the sixteen year old boy sitting on the couch. 

 

“If only you were like ‘em. We wouldn’t be dyin’ here because your lazy ass can’t find a job.” She brings the bottle to her lips, finishing up the liquid with an “ah”. “Make yo ‘self useful and get me some cigs and more bottles, or I’ll kick yo’ ass outta this house for good!”

 

“But we can’t aff-”

 

“Don’t give me those shitty excuses. Go, now!”

 

The memories of his mother causes tears to fill Jeongguk’s eyes. The boy mentally slaps himself though. 

 

Be strong Jeongguk. You don’t want to cry in front of these men!

 

“Y-you steal…?” he answers uncertainly, his voice still a little raspy. Namjoons mouth upturns in a grin, and he can hear the loud laughter of Hoseok. 

 

“We do steal, Ggukie… ” Namjoon nods, but his voice hints that there’s something more to Bangtan. The way the man says Ggukie makes him want to throw up. 

 

“Namjoon, just tell ‘em!” Hoseok says through his hoots of laughter. “Just tell him that we are a bunch of murderous psychos!” 

 

The room goes silent.

 

Psychos?

 

Murderous?!

 

His whole body starts to tremble as he stares at Namjoons taunting grin. He seems to know his fate now, as the three men stare at him like a piece of meat. He’s going to die. 

 

Hoseok suddenly gasps dramatically . “Wait…. I just told him, shit!” he exclaims, clutching his mouth. 

 

Wait, what? 

 

The room then erupts in laughter. Yoongi starts hitting Hoseok on the back of his neck, yelling cuss words, as Namjoon falls on the ground in amusement. Jeongguk is the only one left, his hands and legs shaking.

 

The way they’re laughing, it’s so scary to Jeongguk. How are they so free-spirited after telling him that they’re murderous psychos?

 

Oh, wait, it’s because they are psychos….

 

He needs to run. The three men seem busy in their laughter, if he can just sprint out the door and find his nearest exit. Jeongguk quickly jumps off the bed and runs through the door frame. He looks back in the room to see the men still laughing.

 

He feels accomplished.

 

Until he runs into a wall

 

Jeongguk falls flat on the carpeted floor, emitting an “oof”. “Are you o-, wait! Who the fuck are you?” The wall, crouches down on the floor. He pokes at Jeongguk’s cheek. He has broad shoulders and plump lips, the epitome of Korean beauty.

 

“Seokjin-hyung!” someone calls from behind Jeongguk’s head, presumably Yoongi, from his deep raspy voice. “You got ‘em?”

 

“Yeah…?” the wall, Seokjin-hyung answers, still poking at Jeongguk’s cheek. “Is this the boy Tae was talking about?”

 

“That’s him.” Seokjin helps Jeongguk up from the floor, sitting him up on his butt. “He just tried to fucking run away from us.” Seokjin raises up his eyebrow, staring at Jeongguk like he’s a piece of trash.

 

“Wow, he has some guts.” Seokjin scoffs, “Pretty stupid to think he can escape, but he’s cute though.” 

 

“Yoongi-hyung!” Namjoon calls, running with Hoseok towards the three. “He didn’t escape, did he?” 

 

“Nope, Seok caught him.” The four men tower over Jeongguk, glaring at the young boy. Jeongguk shivers, knowing his fate. 

 

“You really thought…. you could escape us?” Namjoon taunts, his lips curling into a deadly smirk. “Cute.” Jeongguk’s hand trembles, as he looks around his surroundings. The men are surrounded around him, he wouldn’t be able to escape. “So, guys..” Namjoon pauses, “What should we do with him?”

 

Hmmm ,” Hoseok hums a little too enthusiastically, “Weren’t we going to spare him? Drive him to Seoul, and drop him off there?” Fuck, Jeongguk would’ve loved to go to Seoul. 

 

Why the fuck are you so stupid?  

 

“But, shouldn’t we kill him now?” Hoseok suggests, a taunting smile plastered on his face. Jeongguk’s breath hitches. Gosh , he should’ve never ran away from the Kim’s house. He should’ve just spent his life in jail instead. Now, his life is in the hands of these men, 

 

Bangtan

 

“Good idea, Hoseok,” Seokjin grins, forming his hands into finger hearts. All of the boys seem amused, except for Yoongi, who seems to be squirming in his stance, fiddling with the end of his sweatshirt.

 

“W-wait guys..” Yoongi speaks up softly. The men turn their gazes towards the smaller. “We shouldn’t kill him, he’s only seventeen! A-and he’s innocent.”

 

Seokjin scoffs. “When did you ever care about innocents, Yoongi? Last time I checked, you’re the one who killed the most out of all of us!” 

 

Yoongi flinches. He starts chewing on his bottom lip. “Well, Yoongi-hyung does have a point,” Namjoon nods, “M’ not the type to kill innocents.”

 

“I can kill him!” Hoseok volunteers, excitement bubbling out of him, raising his hand up, “I looveee killing innocents!” 

 

Namjoon shrugs wearily. “Sure, I guess. You can kill him, if you want.”

 

Tears threaten to fall down from Jeongguk’s eyes. His whole body is shaking now, he doesn’t want to die like this. P-please…” Jeongguk pleads, tears slowly falling down his face, “Du-Don’t kill me…I’ll do anything ..”

 

Namjoon’s demeanor changes as he quirks up an eyebrow. “You’ll do anything? Anything ?” he questions tauntingly. Jeongguk looks up to meet his teary eyes with Namjoon’s cold brown orbs. 

 

“I -I’ll do anything …” he begs, stumbling upon his words. The men standing around him look at each other, smirks plastered on their faces. Jeongguk can’t help but think he made a deal with the devil - or even worse than that. 

 

“Well Jeongguk, you got yourself a deal.” Namjoon puts his hand out in front of Jeongguk’s face. “Shake on it?” The smaller nods, reaching his pale one to clasp Namjoon’s. The two shake their hands once, and let go.

 

Namjoon then gives the younger a grin - a cold, scary grin. And from that, Jeongguk knows he’s fucked up.