“Yah, yah!” Yoongi called over his shoulder. “Yah!” He shouted again when no one responded to him, he tore his eyes away from his screen to look back at the room behind him, he found it annoyingly empty, the three occupants who had recently been sitting around the table had at some point vacated.
Apparently, he had been so involved in what he had been doing that he had completely missed them leaving.
“Fuck,” he muttered quietly pushing himself up from the battered office chair he’d been sitting in. He trudged across the room to the beaded curtain that separated their back room from the laundry service beyond.
He found both Hoseok and Hyunah bent over the incredibly old arcade game that stood in the corner.
They were cursing at it, violently hammering the buttons.
The machine had been in the store since they had rented the rooms behind it, and for the past six years they had come in and out of intense phases of interest with it. It always went the same way, when they first moved in, they had tried desperately to keep beating each other; the bets getting more and more outrageous as they went along. Yoongi had ended up with many idiotic tattoo’s because of that stupid game. But when they had gotten as good as was possible, they had abandoned it. Until one night probably after a few drinks, they had decided to try and beat it again, and the cycle would begin anew.
“Yah!” He called, standing in the doorway, pressing the beads to the side, “Am I interrupting?”
“Yep.” Hoseok grunted, not looking away from the screen.
Yoongi raised an eyebrow, watching the two of them battle it out, against his will he felt his interest rising and took a few steps closer to the machine, bowing slightly to the ahjumma who was tutting at them as she collected her laundry off a rack.
Hyunah was winning, which explained Hoseok’s determination to not look away from the cracked screen.
Hoseok was repetitively hissing ‘fuck,’ as Hyunah blocked and countered his every hit, pushing his flat character back and back, the green in his life bar slowly dropping down to orange, and inevitably to red.
As she delivered the fatal blow Hyunah shouted, “Yes!” and pushed herself back from the machine her hands in the air, earning herself a very audible scoff of disgust from the woman behind them, shaking her head over the plastic garment bags filling her arms.
The string of profanities that followed from Hoseok’s mouth did nothing to help, and with a grin Yoongi ushered them back into the apartment, Hyunah still celebrating, pushing Hoseok along mockingly.
“—you’re just not enough of a man, Hoseok-ah,” she laughed, dropping back down beside the low table, crossing her legs easily.
“Not enough of a man!” Hoseok exclaimed, “No, you just have smaller fingers, it’s because my fingers are too manly, I can’t hit the buttons fast enough!”
“What are you talking about, look at your hands, they’re so beautiful and slender,” Hyunah mocked, taking Hoseok’s hand in hers to examine his truly very feminine fingers.
“Fuck off!” Hoseok snarled snatching his hand back.
“Don’t be a sore loser,” Yoongi chuckled, “Listen, if either of you care, I finally finished.”
“Oh? Really?” Hyunah said quickly, standing up again to follow him over to the frankly outrageous setup of monitors with their vast cooling system. “You didn’t even need me,” she said disbelievingly.
“I am capable you know, I’ve been doing this for a long time,” Yoongi frowned, pulling up his recent finds.
“Of course,” she nodded, patting him condescendingly.
“Just look!” he snapped, gesturing at the screen.
“Huh? Is that the ID?” Hoseok asked, frowning, looking at the meaningless mess of text on the screen.
“Yeah, once it’s all decrypted,” Yoongi grinned, looking back at his friend.
“Well, move over, that’s my job,” Hyunah smiled, rubbing her hands together mischievously, “let me turn this into an identity for you.”
Yoongi clapped happily, stepping away from the chair to let Hyunah drop into it.
The plan had been in the works for weeks, and they stood to make a lot of money out of it; more money than any of them had ever seen before.
“Where did Taehyung-ie go?” Yoongi asked, sitting down at their table, pulling a banana over to himself.
“Work,” Hoseok shrugged, with a slight look of distaste on his face.
“Which reminds me, should we go over there?”
“Hmm?” Hoseok asked, looking up from his phone.
“To have a word with the manager?” Yoongi continued.
“Ohh, yeah we should,” Hoseok nodded, “We could do that now, while noona works on…whatever that is.”
“You feel a bit useless don’t you,” Yoongi smiled with a raised eyebrow.
“Wow!” Hoseok scowled, though his face changed immediately as he put on a pout, “Unnie,” he whined to Yoongi, “Don’t tease me.”
Which earned a hard kick and a quiet profanity from Yoongi and much laughter on the behalf of Hoseok.
“You were the one that said that we should try and scare Taehyung-ie’s manager, didn’t you?” Hoseok pressed. Yoongi nodded, having another bite of his banana, “Well then, don’t be an ass and let’s go do that instead of sitting here doing nothing.”
“You feel useless,” Yoongi repeated with a snigger.
“I’m losing my mind,” Hoseok muttered shaking his head to renewed laughter from Yoongi.
“Okay, okay, let’s go,” Yoongi finally said clambering to his feet, dropping the banana peel carelessly in an abandoned cup of ramyun.
“Thank you,” Hoseok snapped, dragging his oversized bomber jacket towards him, pulling it over his skinny arms.
Hoseok made a concerted effort to appear tougher than he actually was; the jacket in place he slid on a black cap, pushing his pink hair away from his face, making his features seem far more severe than they had a moment ago.
“Ooooh, Hoseok-ah,” Hyunah crowed from the computers, “Fire!”
“Hmm?” Hoseok asked, looking down at himself, his eyes flicking up to Yoongi to confirm if Hyunah was teasing him or not. Yoongi who was not known for getting people out of shit, just shrugged, and let Hoseok struggle under the compliment.
“Thanks,” he settled on uncertainly, slapping on a black face mask. “Hyung, are we going,” he urged, shepherding the shorter man out through the beaded curtain. “That was weird right? Since when does that noona ever compliment me?”
“Maybe she’s in a good mood after defeating you so thoroughly?” Yoongi suggested adjusting the bucket hat he was wearing so that it covered his eyes, his voice muffled by his own face mask.
“I let her win,” Hoseok snapped.
“Hoseok-ah, I don’t believe that even slightly, don’t try and lie, it’s a bad look on you.”
“Even if I was telling the truth you’d never fucking believe me,” Hoseok cursed, stomping along beside Yoongi.
“It’s hard for me to disprove what I’ve seen with my eyes, and you definitely didn’t lose on purpose,” Yoongi countered as they both turned abruptly, and started to jog down the steps between the buildings that separated one street from the next.
They took the fastest route to Hannam station, their apartment was about a fifteen minute walk away, but by making smart choices and knowing which buildings you could easily get through, they could manage it in just over five.
They stood close on the subway, the incredibly smooth ten minute ride to Hongdae on the GJ line passing quickly.
“So what are we gonna do?” Hoseok asked, “If we actually hit him, we’d probably drop Taehyung in it?”
“Nah, I think we should just… ask to speak with him?” Yoongi suggested.
“That’s only the first step, what do we do next?”
“Just scare him a bit, you know? Taehyung-ie said he’s a fairly young guy, it should be easy enough; the two of us,” Yoongi shrugged, gesturing between them.
They did look a little unsettling, with their overlarge clothes and obscured faces, add to that the messy stick and poke tattoo’s that covered Yoongi’s hands, they painted an imposing picture. They had done this numerous times before, though it had been a while, Yoongi figured they'd just go with the usual formation.
“Problem is, the manager doesn’t run the club,” Hoseok pointed out sagely.
“Obviously, but if we get the manager to start looking out for Taehyung, taking a few hits for him with the owner, then life will be better for everyone.”
“True,” Hoseok nodded, going back to inspecting the pattern of an ahjumma’s wheelie bag.
“Should we eat after this?” Yoongi asked as they emerged once again into the grey light of of Seoul in October.
“Yeah, what do you want?” Hoseok asked, matching step beside Yoongi; who had distinctly shorter legs.
“So, Chinese?” Hoseok laughed.
“Yeah maybe. I want something really delicious and greasy.”
Hongdae was a very trendy area, made notable by the universities in it’s proximity. It was much nicer than their corner of Yongsan-gu that was for sure, and the clubs and bars were far more upmarket than the DJ booths cramped into soup shops, and underground noraebang parlours with leaky ceilings that they were used to in their neighbourhood.
However, what made this area appealing as a worker at a gay host bar, was the fact that the largest demographic was wealthy and attractive young men, who were generally weak and pleasant. Initially Taehyung had gotten a place at a host bar in Gangnam, on the outskirts of Yeoksam. It had paid extremely well, but old drunk businessmen were much less easy to contend with than shy liberal arts types.
However it seemed that recently, the host bar, White Lotus, had been branching out their marketing, and suddenly there had been an influx of really unpleasant clients.
The final straw had been when Hyunah had walked in on Taehyung crying in the bathroom, nursing a bruised wrist and a bloody lip. After some prodding, she had learnt that it had happened because he had refused to let the client touch his cock.
If the manager wasn’t going to do anything about it, then Hoseok and Yoongi had decided that they would.
Taehyung hadn’t told them anything about it, he had passed the split lip off as the byproduct of a very casual fight he had had while out on Friday, and Yoongi hadn’t thought to question it. He couldn’t remember Friday very well, but he didn’t remember Taehyung being with them the whole time, so it was completely possibly that he had stumbled off and got himself into a fight.
However, after a few days, Hyunah had eventually confided what she had seen to Hoseok who had passed it on to Yoongi.
Trying very hard to control his fury, Yoongi had decided that he and Taehyung needed to go and eat. They had left Hyunah and Hoseok at the apartment, working on some malicious software they were going to need to bug the server that was going to get him his precious ID, Yoongi giving Taehyung very little choice but to follow.
They had braved the cold, sheltering under overlarge coats, and with hoods pulled up, had run through the rain down the street to the little jjigae kitchen. It sold huge bowls and unlimited side dishes for only 2500 won; Yoongi wouldn’t go anywhere else, frugal to the last.
Taehyung had seemed a little confused about why only he and Yoongi had come to eat; it wasn’t that Taehyung and Yoongi weren’t close, they were, but even after all they’d been through together, they tended to only interact within their group.
If they were alone, conversation tended to get stilted; he wasn’t sure what there was between he and Taehyung that was stopping them from being comfortable. Though Yoongi suspected that, with everything he knew about the man, Taehyung still felt ashamed at how they’d met.
There was a second, more deep seated reason that Yoongi tended to avoid being around Taehyung alone; but it was one that he didn’t really like admitting even to himself.
He had endured a lot of winks and sly comments off their friends when Taehyung had moved in with them; basically, boiling down to the fact that it was inevitable that Yoongi and Taehyung were going to hook up at some point. In fact, Taehyung was about the last person in their small queer circle, that Yoongi had not fucked around with at some point.
He liked it that way, there was too much history between he and Taehyung, too much that none of their vapid friends knew about.
They had sat in silence for a few minutes after Taehyung’s groaned exclamation of—
“Ahh this looks so good!” As he had picked up a spoon and started slurping, bowing to the ahjumma who had brought their meals. People just seemed to love Taehyung, he had the sort of charm that made people want to care for him; and the ahjumma smiled at him fondly.
Yoongi had none of that charm, and undoubtedly if he had bothered to look up from the bowl, he would have found the ahjumma fixing him with a dirty look, since all he had given her was a grumbled ‘thanks.’
“Hyung?” Taehyung had said eventually once he had inhaled half of his bucket sized bowl, and two trays of rice, each spoonful pilled with banchan.
“Yeah?” Yoongi asked.
He had known what Taehyung was implying from the quiet tone alone. He wanted to know why Yoongi had brought him out by himself, and what was going on, but he wasn’t going to supply the reason, he wanted Taehyung to get there himself.
“Did noona…she told you right?” Taehyung asked finally, breaking the silence between them.
“She did,” Yoongi nodded, “I wanted to talk to you first, but me and Hoseok are gonna go and talk to your manager.”
“Hyung, you can’t!” Taehyung had protested.
It had taken a good deal of convincing, and grand statements of duty; that Taehyung was Yoongi’s dongsaeng and he was responsible for him.
At the end of the day, Yoongi didn’t like Taehyung working at the host bar, but if he was going to, Yoongi was going to make sure that the cunts in management were keeping to their contracts.
Taehyung was there to serve drinks, talk, sing and whatever the fuck else, but he wasn’t a rent boy. There were places you could go for shit like that, and it wasn’t a host bar in Hongdae.
As they had discussed on the walk, Yoongi and Hoseok went in through the back. It wasn’t easy to get to, the bar and a seafood restaurant shared a kitchen between them; you had to go through the front of the restaurant at one side, battle your way through the kitchen, avoiding the eyes of the staff, and into the back of the bar.
Yoongi had no idea who he was looking for, and he had only been to Taehyung’s work a few times. That was enough, however, for him to know that he hated the shit bamboo patterned wallpaper, the garish overblown images of white lotus’ that broke up the pattern.
He hated the shiny black floor and the hot pink doors.
He didn’t exactly know why, he’d been in worse places, with worse people, and had a fine time; but he really did hate it.
Hoseok nudged him, nodding down the hall at a young guy who had just appeared, he wasn’t the manager thought, that much was almost certain. He was handsome, in a smug sort of way, with high cheek bones and double eyelids. Yoongi could tell by the way his jeans fit him and how sheer his shirt was, that he was definitely a host.
“Hey!” Yoongi called down at him, the man startled and spun to face the barked voice, “Where’s your manager?” Yoongi spat, not giving the man much room to refuse him.
“He’s…there,” he said pointing at the door at the very end of the hall.
“Thank you,” Hoseok drawled lazily as they passed the guy who had pressed himself back against the wall a little to avoid them both.
Yoongi stood in front of the pink painted wood and wondered if he should knock, was he going to bow as he entered? No, he was just going to walk in and simply state why he was there, that was probably easiest.
It probably wouldn’t be that complicated, he knew he was quite intimidating.
Many people had told him that he had a permanently filthy look in his eyes, like he was a second from hitting the person in front of him, even when that person was someone he cared about very much. There was again, the matter of the tattoo’s, which he had been accumulating since his discharge from the army six years ago.
Many of them fell in places that were impossible to hide without the use of gloves or a high collar, they gave him an added edge without him even having to open his mouth.
He pulled off his face mask and shoved it in his pocket, looking over at Hoseok, giving him a small nod before he pushed the door open.
The manager, if that was in fact who he was looking at, was sitting at the table of an empty booth, perched on the pink cushioned seats, his phone in hand, books in front of him, clearly working out finances.
“Hello?” he asked politely, “Can I help?”
“Mmm,” Yoongi nodded, sitting down in the booth next to him, Hoseok taking the other side, still masked, his eyes glinting. “We wanted a word,” Yoongi continued.
“Who are you, do we… owe you money?” The manager asked, his eyes going wide.
Taehyung was right, this guy was young, certainly younger than Yoongi and Hoseok, possibly even younger that Taehyung himself, Yoongi would have put him somewhere around twenty three.
“Not us, no,” Hoseok muttered. “We need to talk to you about your…moral conduct?” Hoseok looked up at Yoongi who nodded with an appreciative hum.
“Moral conduct—that’s good,” he agreed. “Yeah, your moral conduct. Look kid, I don’t know what your circumstances are, I don’t know what sort of corporate pressure your under, but you’ve been put in charge of these guys, and it’s your duty as a manager, and a man, to make sure they’re safe, right?” Yoongi asked, laying a supportive hand on the guys shoulder, trying not to laugh as he shrunk away from the touch, the dark messy ink on Yoongi’s fingers standing out in stark relief on his pale skin.
“Yes?” The manager said uncertainly.
“Yes,” Yoongi repeated for him with more surety, “so you need to do your job, if there’s a patron who for example tries to force himself on one of your hosts, what do you do?”
“I…I tell them to leave?” The manager replied.
“Yep,” Hoseok nodded, patting his forearm.
“What you don’t do, just as an example, is tell your hosts to just deal with it to get a bigger tip,” Yoongi continued, tightening his grip on the manager’s shoulder slightly. “Bottom line here, is don’t ask your hosts to do anything that isn’t in their contract,” Yoongi finished sternly.
“If they want to that’s on their heads, but do your fucking job kid, look after your workers,” Hoseok laughed brightly, his smile concealed behind the black mask, but yoongi could picture it perfectly.
“Who sent you?” The manager asked, looking between them.
“No one, we’re just a concerned party, we have our sources, so we’ll find out if your being a dick again,” Yoongi assured him.
“That’s all we came for though, have you got the point?” Hoseok asked, sliding back out of the booth, adjusting his cap and pulling his hood up.
“Yeah, yep, got it,” the manager said quickly.
“Why are you speaking informally,” Yoongi laughed, squeezing his shoulder one more time, before he slid out after Hoseok.
“I’m sorry, sir,” the manager said, standing to bow a full ninety degrees, the top of his hair brushing the books splayed on the table in front of him.
“I think that went well you know?” Hoseok said as they slipped back out through the kitchen, avoiding the CCTV.
“I think you’re right, we should eat,” Yoongi smiled.
☾ ☾ ☾
“Noona!” Hoseok called, pushing back through the bead curtain dramatically, a few sealed bowls of jjajangmyeon tucked under his chin, “Here you go,” he grinned, dropping a bowl in front of Hyunah who was still hard at work, squinting at the computer monitors.
“Cheers, Hoseok-ah,” she mumbled, opening a new blank window her fingers a blur, code appearing in a continuous line as she typed.
“Are you wondering how Yoongi-hyung and I went?” He asked, dropping down to the table, pulling a cushion under his arse.
“Nope, I’m busy.”
“We did well,” Yoongi said, also appearing in their small apartment, sliding the door between them and the shop closed.
“Great, do you want to know about the ID?” She asked sharply finally looking up as Yoongi stepped in.
“Yeah, sorry, how’s it going?” Yoongi asked, dumping his food on the table, and coming to duck down behind Hyunah, his eyes scanning over the screens. “Are you programming decryption?” He asked.
Hyunah nodded, her eyes flicking from the program she was using as a base to the new code she was typing as they spoke.
“And it should get it all up and ready to go?”
“Very soon, if I get this right. You should probably start looking for your decoy,” she added.
“Come on, there’s plenty of time for that, besides, the decoy needs to be completely perfect if this is going to work alright? Things like this take time.”
“Fuck off,” Hyunah snapped, waving him away.
Yoongi shot her a dark look but dropped down to the table to eat his food anyway.
He pulled off his hat, scrubbing a hand over his head, rubbing his eyes tiredly, he had been up nearly all of the previous night, installing malicious software, re-routing IP’s throughout the whole damn world, managing to get all the data they were now in possession of without getting caught. He had then sifted for hours, finding the exact data he needed, and after their little trip to Hongdae, his exhaustion was beginning to set in.
“I should sleep after I eat,” he mumbled, grabbing mix matched chopsticks off the table in front of him, rubbing them on his pants to clean them.
“You look fucked, hyung” Hoseok nodded, leaning forward to look at Yoongi more closely. Yoongi clicked the chopsticks in his face, nearly catching his nose.
“Don’t look at me,” he muttered.
“Unnie, don’t be like that,” Hoseok whined, laughing into his sweet and sour pork.
“Shut up,” Yoongi muttered, before shovelling noodles into his mouth. He had never been a very tidy eater, and people had said his whole life that he ate incredibly well, that he made the food look more delicious. But really, he was just impatient, and tried to fit as much as he could in his mouth, barely stopping to taste it.
He finished his bowl and swiped it clean with one grimy finger, dropping it back on the table and letting himself flop back on the floor, his hands falling on his now bloated stomach.
“That was good,” he mumbled to himself, “I ate well.”
Hoseok snorted, shaking his head at his oldest friend who was now rubbing his stomach contentedly, his shirt pulled up for optimum effect.
“You should go and sleep, hyung,” Hoseok said, “You seem delirious.”
“Yeah, I feel pretty out of it,” Yoongi agreed, and rolled onto all fours, awkwardly getting to his feet, “Call me when you get it, noona,” he said as he passed Hyunah, who nodded but didn’t say anything.
He pulled the back door open and stomped out into their messy courtyard. The back of the shop was a converted hanok; the utility buildings and courtyard remaining of the old house.
He mounted the steps to the two rooms that sat to the side of it, sliding open the old fashioned hanji door to the one he shared with Hoseok.
Hoseok it seemed, had rolled up his mattress for him the day before and set it in the corner of the room, making the space seem slightly tidy, when really it was anything but.
Their combined clothes littered the floor, along with many empty bottles of beer and soju, which Hoseok had decided to line up against the wall. Beside the door was the incredibly full ashtray they used when they needed a cigarette at night. They would slide the door open a little and puff out of the crack, so they didn’t fill the room with smoke.
It stunk regardless, however, thanks to the fact that the ashtray lived inside now; it had kept filling with water, which had driven Hoseok insane.
With a sigh Yoongi pulled his bed roll over and flopped it out in front of him. He lifted his thin blanket around his shoulders and sank to the ground.
His head had barely hit the very thin pillow before he was already snoring, his face squished into an ugly expression as he slept.
He felt like he’d only been asleep for minutes, but suddenly he could hear something. He blinked his eyes open groggily and realised that the light had changed in the room, it was dark; definitely after five.
“…hyung,” came the voice again.
“What?” Yoongi mumbled, rolling over to bury his face back in his pillow.
“Hyung, can I come in?”
This time Yoongi recognised the voice as Taehyung.
“Yeah,” he grumbled in response, and listened to the sound of Taehyung climbing into the room; crawling awkwardly, trying to feel for sharp objects or obstructions.
The door slid closed again.
“Hyung, where are you?” Taehyung asked, his hands patting the floor trying to find Yoongi.
“Here,” Yoongi said, reaching out a hand to hit the floor next to his head so that Taehyung could follow the noise.
“Ahh,” Taehyung muttered, feeling his way over to Yoongi’s side. “Yoongi-hyung,” he started, “Thanks… for coming to the club,” he said awkwardly.
“What else should I have done?” Yoongi asked, reaching out for Taehyung’s hand. He managed to find it and laced their fingers together.
“You didn’t need to though,” Taehyung urged, “But you did, I still don’t know how to get used to…to having someone—,” he mumbled, clearly struggling to express his feelings. Yoongi, was equally uncomfortable with the sudden earnestness and decided to put an end to it.
“Come on Taehyung-ie,” he said, giving Taehyung’s arm a tug to pull him down onto the bed roll. “Was work better today?” he asked, wrapping an arm around Taehyung’s middle, patting his stomach.
For a few months after Taehyung had moved in, they had often found themselves laying like this. Due to some extenuating circumstances he had refused to sleep without Yoongi wrapped around his back. So, finding the position was almost second nature, though it had been a while since he’d found Taehyung in his bed.
“Yeah,” Taehyung nodded.
“That’s what matters then, don’t worry about it,” Yoongi grumbled, his face pressed against Taehyung’s shoulder blades, sleep very quickly creeping its way back behind his eyes.
“Noona said you’ve nearly got the thing you were looking for, right?” Taehyung asked quietly.
“Mmm,” Yoongi agreed, his lids dropping easily, feeling much warmer now that there was a body next to his. Usually on nights like this he and Hoseok would put aside their pride and lay as close as they could while still maintaining Hoseok’s often fragile masculinity.
That wasn't as much of an issue with Taehyung.
Yet another reason Yoongi often found himself uncomfortable, he was always quietly aware that Taehyung felt very easy in his arms. And that was a situation he was never going to look at too closely.
“Hyung,” Taehyung said quietly after a while, shaking his shoulders a little to try and rouse Yoongi. “Hyung,” he tried again.
“What?” Yoongi mumbled around a yawn.
“Your phone is ringing,” Taehyung said, nodding at the beam of light that was now illuminating the small room.
“Oh, give it me,” Yoongi grumbled, opening the hand that was still resting against Taehyung’s stomach.
Taehyung passed it across, settling back against Yoongi’s chest.
“Yeah?” Yoongi asked as he answered.
“Yoongi-yah!” The voice said, drawing out the affectionate syllables.
“Are you coming out tonight?”
Yoongi pulled the phone back from his ear to look at who was calling him, Kim Seokjin, of course.
“Yeah, hyung, I might,” Yoongi answered, rolling onto his back, displacing Taehyung. He rubbed at his eyes picking at the crusty residue that had collected in the corners.
“You should, we’re eating now, but then we’re singing, and then, probably Wang-jan?”
Wang-jan was a gay bar in Itaewon, there were many gay bars in Itaewon in fact, it was one of the district’s many charms, along with kebabs and cheap jjigae. Yoongi loved Itaewon, he preferred its griminess over the much more refined queer scene in Jongno-gu.
“I just woke up hyung, I’ll probably need an hour or two,” Yoongi mumbled.
“Sure, sure, we’ll still be out,” Seokjin agreed.
“Hyung, can I come?” Taehyung whispered in the darkness, his face only slightly illuminated by the phone which was pressed to Yoongi’s ear.
“Hyung, can Taehyung come?” Yoongi asked, knowing already what the answer would be, the gays loved Taehyung.
“Taehyung-ie! Of course! Everyone—“ Yoongi listened to the crackle as the phone was taken away from Seokjin’s ear slightly, and the sound of many voices, along with the ambient clinks and chinks of bowls and cutlery was made audible, “Taehyung-ie is coming too!” A resounding cheer went around whatever table Seokjin was sitting at, and Taehyung laughed, holding his cheeks to hide a nonexistent blush.
“Listen, text me locations,” Yoongi grumbled.
“Cheer up, Yoongi-yah,” Seokjin called before Yoongi disconnected the call.
“I don’t know that I want to go out,” Yoongi groaned, stretching his arms and legs, arching his stomach up off the bed with an over loud groan, wincing as he felt the bones in his back crack ominously.
“I can’t go out without you hyung, they don’t like me as much,” Taehyung said sitting up, pouting slightly.
“Are you kidding, you’ve slept with half of them!”
“I haven’t slept with any of them!” Taehyung defended quickly.
“Fuck off!” Yoongi hissed, “Taehyung…I was in the room once, remember?” he said, rubbing his eyes again.
“Oh yeah, thought I could get away with that one,” Taehyung laughed shamelessly, ducking his head against Yoongi’s navel as he chuckled to himself.
Yoongi ruffled Taehyung’s long hair good naturedly, Taehyung was young still, when Yoongi was twenty-six, he was out every second night, bringing guys home at all hours, sometimes not even bothering to bring them home at all; when you’re twenty-six, a public toilet can seem as good as a bed.
But now at the ripe old age of twenty-eight, everything seemed a little more difficult, a little more tiring and just not worth it. He had other things to be doing, like making money, keeping all of them safe, and providing for his fucking saint of a mother.
“If we’re going out, I need to get ready,” Taehyung said suddenly.
“You’re already ready! You just came from work!”
Taehyung’s job obviously required him to look attractive, so Yoongi had no idea what he was talking about.
“I hate my work clothes,” Taehyung grumbled, looking down at the thin tank top he was wearing, which had been draped artfully across his tanned torso.
“They look pretty stupid,” Yoongi agreed, earning him a light slap on the thigh.
“You’re supposed to tell me how good I look, Yoongi-hyung.”
Yoongi sighed, “You look fine obviously, just the clothes aren’t…my style.”
“They’re not mine either, and they do absolutely nothing to keep me warm. Come back inside hyung?” Taehyung asked.
“Let me smoke first,” Yoongi said, pulling himself up and shuffling over to the door. He slid down against the wall next to it, cracking it open enough for him to fit his hand through.
He dug in the pocket the coat he was still wearing, retrieving a crumpled packet of cigarettes, he lit one with a groan, turning to blow the smoke outside.
“You can go inside if you want, Taehyung-ie,” Yoongi said, narrowing his eyes at the man sitting in the middle of his room, fiddling absently with his hair.
“Hmm? Nah, I’ll wait,” Taehyung shrugged, “What should I wear tonight?” He asked.
“Knowing those friends, less is more. What’s the smallest pair of shorts you have?” Yoongi asked seriously.
“Hyung!” Taehyung exclaimed.
“Sorry, serious answers only?”
“Okay, well, it’s cold, wear something warm?”
Taehyung nodded, wrapping his arms around his long legs.
“Hyung,” he said after a moment, “I meant like, what sort of style?”
“Oh,” Yoongi hummed, “Well in that case, you really shouldn’t ask me, ask Hoseok, he’s better at that sort of shit.”
“Yeah but that hyung isn’t… I mean, I want to look good, for other guys, and I don’t think Hoseokie-hyung has any idea about that,” Taehyung pointed out.
“Come on,” Yoongi grumbled, “You think I know what other guys look for.”
“More of an idea than that hyung at least!” Taehyung laughed.
“Taehyung-ah, when was the last time you saw me with anyone?” Yoongi asked, having a deep draw on his cigarette, twirling it absentmindedly between his fingers.
“A while I guess.”
“Mmmm, I’m not exactly good at that…whole thing, much better at computers and shit.”
“We should try and find you someone, hyung!” Taehyung said suddenly.
“I think not,” Yoongi countered quickly, “I’m too busy right now.”
“Hyung, I meant like a one-night type thing,” Taehyung laughed, “you don’t need to marry the guy.”
“A one-night type thing? I share this room with Hoseok, I don’t think that would go down well,” Yoongi pointed out.
“But you used to bring guys back, right?” Taehyung asked curiously, leaning his chin on his knee.
“Well, what did Hoseok-hyung do then?”
“He’d take his bed roll inside,” Yoongi shrugged.
“He could do that again!” Taehyung said perking up a little.
“You could try Taehyung-ie, but I just don’t see it happening.”
Yoongi wasn’t very approachable, he was sullen and sour, he was intimidating and unpleasant to look at. He doubted very much that Taehyung’s dreams of finding love for him would come true.
“Don’t talk like that, we’re gonna go out, and it’s gonna be amazing,” Taehyung decided, standing up in one swift motion. “I think you underestimate your charm, hyung, you have that thing, like deep fried ice cream.”
“Huh?” Yoongi questioned, endlessly endeared by Taehyung’s often abstract explanations.
“Hard on the outside, sweet on the inside,” Taehyung smiled, almost visible in the light from the courtyard.
Yoongi sighed shaking his head, he felt incredibly middle aged, and not at all like delicious dessert items. He stubbed his cigarette, letting Taehyung pull him to his feet. “This will work out, it can be my thank you for helping at work,” Taehyung smiled, wrapping his arms around Yoongi’s neck, looking down at the shorter man.
He shook his head, patting Taehyung briefly on the back before ducking out of his arms.
“Come on,” he grunted, sliding the door open, urging Taehyung out of it.
Taehyung disappeared into his own room with a grin on his face, the paper of the door lighting up with the warm glow from his lamp.
Yoongi chaffed his arms as he hopped back down into the courtyard and hurried across to the apartment, kicking off his shoes and sliding on his slippers quickly, closing the door behind him.
“How are you doing?”
Hyunah looked up, she seemed somehow invigorated.
“Very, very, good,” she grinned, turning back to the screen. “I’ve got everything; citizen identification, and national records; I’ve already set up dummy emails and applied for a few different credit cards. You were right though, this is a completely dead name, he didn’t even have an email address or a bank account, nothing,” she said with wide eyes. “How did you know?”
“I told you I can just see things sometimes, you never believe me,” Yoongi shrugged.
“That’s because it’s bullshit,” Hyunah said shaking her head, going back to organising files.
“It’s not,” Hoseok chimed in from where he was sitting, leaning against the wall watching the TV.
“It is,” Hyunah countered.
“Honestly, it’s from Jiwoo-ahjumeoni,” Hoseok said earnestly, not taking his eyes off the screen.
“I admit that your eomma is a very gifted mudang, Yoongi-yah…and a total charlatan. The only gift you got from her, is the gift of convincing people to do stupid shit,” Hyunah grinned, leaning back happily in the office chair they had found on the side of the road.
“Don’t talk about my eomma,” Yoongi threw back.
In a way they were both right, Yoongi, though he didn’t like to dwell on it often, occasionally saw things he didn’t want to; and he had gotten that particular gift from his mother; just as he had gotten the information about the ID from her…but they didn’t need to know that, let them believe he'd had a vision.
“What are you watching?” He asked, dropping down beside Hoseok.
“Home shopping,” Hoseok grinned, looking back at the TV, where they were being sold pore packs by comedians in wigs.
“You gonna buy some?” Yoongi asked.
“Might do, my pores could use some help,” Hoseok said, rubbing his shiny nose, self-consciously.
Yoongi nodded in agreement, though it wasn’t as though he could talk, he treated his skin like trash, never washed it, he was pale, sallow, and grimy ninety percent of the time, the other ten percent he was just pale and sallow.
The door behind them slid open again and Taehyung lumbered in, carrying with him his vast cosmetics case, he trudged over to the other two men and dropped down next to them.
He looked at the television as he opened the case and started picking things out.
“Hyung,” he said, looking sideways at the two of them, “It’s 7:30…can I watch my drama?” He asked.
Yoongi was sure that Hoseok was planning on saying no, Hoseok loved to watch the shopping network, and this broadcast was genuinely quite funny, all the skits were landing and Yoongi had almost forgotten they were selling pore packs.
However, Hoseok sighed and handed the controller over to Taehyung who grinned, thanking them both profusely and changed it over quickly.
They sat and watched Taehyung take off the makeup he was already wearing, going through a whole skin care routine, before carefully applying a whole new layer, never once taking his eyes of the TV.
Yoongi didn’t think he’d actually looked at the screen once since Taehyung started, he was way more interesting then whatever shit was happening to the beautiful woman in the show.
He’d sat and watched Taehyung get ready many times, every time it was a joy, Yoongi always felt bad that he really couldn’t see that much of a difference between Taehyung’s bare face and his face after makeup. But that almost made it even more interesting, because it was like the products disappeared, there were so many of them, but they all disappeared as he applied them.
“Should we have drinks now?” Taehyung asked, looking across at Yoongi.
Yoongi grunted his approval, and watched Taehyung pull himself lithely to his feet. He was provided with a beer and leant back happily against the wall to drink it.
He enjoyed these times, when they were all together, the tiny heater keeping their small apartment bearable.
“You know, hyung—” Taehyung started, pausing for a mouthful, “—if you had a shower, you might be even more likely to pick up tonight.”
“Wait, where are you going?” Hoseok asked, turning to look back at the two men.
“Out with Seokjin-hyung,” Yoongi nodded.
“Ahhhh,” Hoseok smiled knowingly, “Is this the night, hyung, the night you finally send me back to the lounge?”
Yoongi didn’t bother answering, he just fixed Hoseok with a dirty look,
“I’m going to find hyung a man,” Taehyung grinned, fussing with his hair, “it’s my mission.”
“What will you do if you fail?” Hoseok asked, “Slap bet?”
“Slap bet!” Taehyung agreed, reaching out hand covered in hair product, to shake Hoseok’s.
Hoseok removed his fingers distastefully.
“You’re going to get slapped, Taehyung-ie,” Yoongi taunted.
“I don’t think I am, never before have I truly set my mind to trying to find you someone, but today is that day.”
Yoongi sighed, shaking his head, it had been a while, sure, but he really didn’t need sex to get by, he was just fine without it.
“Noona?” Taehyung said, ignoring Yoongi’s grumbled noises of displeasure. “You said you’d set up accounts, do you think we could have money by tonight?”
Hyunah looked up curiously, “Hmm, maybe, I have some other scams running.”
Taehyung held up his beer to her in a solemn salute and had a long pull on it.
“Taehyung, go and get dressed, if we’re going out, we should go soon,” Yoongi groaned, tapping his arm, trying to push him slightly without having to exert any effort.
“I have a few things, but I don’t know what to wear, I’ll show you, and you guys can decide,” Taehyung smiled, pulling himself up.
“No! Just get dressed—“ Yoongi started, but Taehyung was already out the back door and gone. “—fuck,” he grumbled, closing his eyes.
“What’s all this about?” Hyunah asked, looking over at him, “Taehyungie’s being weird.”
“Cos of today,” Yoongi supplied, not looking up, enjoying the blackness the inside of his eyelids provided.
“With the manager?” Hoseok pressed.
“Yeah, I think he feels like he owes us.”
“He doesn’t though!” Hoseok laughed.
“I know that! I tried to tell him, but you know what he’s like. Just get ready to slap him, because there is no way I’m picking up tonight.”