Taehyung never feels at ease when he’s on land. Mostly because he was born to be in the open sea, with the cool breeze of the ocean hitting his face, but there’s another reason, at every port, doesn’t matter if he’s at the coast of Korea or the coast of Brazil, he will see his face with black bold letters reading “Wanted dead or alive” and an unmeasurable amount of money written under it. Every man, pirate or not is always keeping a keen eye on the horizon for a familiar blue-haired captain.
“We’re making port.” he says out loud while he is lying down next to Jimin in the captain’s quarters. “We just did, we’re out of food already?” the other one asks. Taehyung takes a moment before he clarifies “We’re making port in Busan”. Jimin stands up, looking down at Tae. Worry written in his every faction. “Are you sure?” Taehyung just nods, it looks like Jimin is about to retaliate but decides against it. “I’ll tell Kang to set the course then”. And with that, he leaves the room.
It had been at least four years since he had made port in Busan and now that he is back, he doesn’t just see his face on wanted signs but also Jimin’s, the only difference is that the later has a way smaller reward. ‘Fucking disrespectful, Chim is way more dangerous than me’ he thinks as he passes in front of one of them and rips it off the wall.
He knows he brought Jimin into this world of blood and crime, if his face is on those signs it’s Taehyung ‘s fault alone. However, he can’t bring himself to feel guilty, the blond pirate is the best thing that could have come his way, Taehyung would never understand how he got so lucky.
Tae walks in the busy city between dirty alleyways and long shadows with a hood covering his distinctive blue hair, trying to go as unnoticed as possible. When he arrives at the center, however, he can just mix in with the crowd. ‘All these people are here just to see pirates hanged, disgusting’ he thinks as the people cheer around the gallows. Tae looks between the crowd until he spots a familiar blond head who just happens to be looking his way, Jimin makes an encouraging nod that he reciprocates. They are saving someone from the rope today.
The Republic of Korea Navy, KOR for short, appears. There are forming two lines, those supposed pirates are walking between them with their feet and hands cuffed. Taehyung watches intently, studying every prisoner very well, none of them look worthy, old rotten souls, useless. He’s just about to abort the mission when he sees the last of the prisoners, its a young beautiful boy with back hair. The captain can not take his eyes away from him, he looks dirty and a bit weak but there's no denying his beauty. The boy is walking with his head low and Tae thinks he can even see tears.
“Him.” he says out loud but with all the noise the people around him are making, his words get lost in the crowd. Taehyung then looks for Jimin, who is looking back at him, they nod again, no words needed. Jimin has always been like that with him, they just understand each other, he says they are soulmates, Tae believes it too.
The KOR is making the prisoners step on top of the wooden surface where five ropes are hanging ready. Tae watches as they all walk to their death, the executor puts the ropes as if they were necklaces, so meaningless. Taehyung will never understand how can they do it without a care, don’t get him wrong he would cut through a man’s chest is they even look at him wrong but there is just something so twisted about killing this way.
When the executor is about to pull the lever, two shots go out. The whole crowd goes silent, the man is falling, blood coming out of his head. The people are screaming in horror. In unison one of the prisoner’s ropes falls, it had been cut with a clean shot. The whole town is in shock, no one is moving a muscle except for two young pirates in the crowd running towards the gallows.
Jimin and Taehyung get on top of the wooden floor and they go to both sides of the prisoner that had been cut loose, the pretty boy from before. He looks scared and confused “Don’t worry” Jimin whispers to him as Taehyung starts talking to the crowd. “It's been a while...” he starts, every gun is now pointing at them “Sadly I don’t have time to catch up. However, I am happy to inform you, today no pirate dies” just as he finishes, as of cue, Jimin jumps off with the boy behind him and starts running through the terrified people, Taehyung does the same but heads to the other direction.
The majority of the guards follow the captain, his blond-haired companion is nowhere near as important for them.
Taehyung has had his fair share of persecutions and loses at least half of the guards in the first three minutes by running through alleyways and jumping over fences. They try to shoot at him but none of the bullets are even close. About ten minutes in, the pirate just has after him two guards left, so he turns around and shoots them both on the leg before he runs away towards the shore.
He runs towards a spot under a bridge he had agree with Jimin beforehand, their ship just a couple of miles into the sea. There’s already a small boat there, ready to take them to her. Tae sees Jimin is already at the agreed spot with the boy who looks scared shitless, curling unto himself on the ground. It looks like the pirate is trying to calm him down, but it doesn’t seem like he’s making any progress whatsoever. Taehyung approaches them, the blond pirate looks relieved to see his captain is here, he gestures to the boy curled up in a ball beside him
Tae kneels before him “Hey, kid, what’s your name? I’m Taehyung, but by the looks of it, you knew that already” the boy doesn’t react, it doesn’t even seem like he’s listening. Tae continues to talk but with a certain edge to his voice “Listen boy, we just saved you from the gallows, the least you can do is-“ He gets cut off “I didn’t ask you to save me” the boy murmurs under his breath. “What did you just say?” Taehyung is feeling on edge, he just risks his life for this boy, and he is not one bit thankful “I said, that I didn’t ask to be safe, I don’t owe you anything”
The too pirates are speechless, they are about to regain their breath when the kid stands up, Taehyung follows his lead “You know I could just turn you both in, I’m sure they’ll spare my life, plus the sum they are offering for your heads is very, VERY, tempting”
The pirates are perplexed and remain silent for a few seconds until Jimin laughs “You can try” The blond-haired pirate has, in the blink of an eye, a gun pointing between the boy’s eyes. “There’s a reason why they are being so generous, you know?”. The boy is shaking, clearly not expecting this.
Tae is amused by the exchange but eventually decides to jump in “Why would you betray the people that just saved your life?” The kid looks scared, its clear he doesn’t want to show it but he’s doing a damn poor job at that “I don’t like pirates, you deserve the rope” Jimin tightens his grip and loads the gun as Taehyung smirks “Well, kid, according to them YOU are the one who does” The boy looks disgusted at this “Me being up there was a miss understanding, I am no pirate”
Tae is about to retaliate when they hear shouting that they can only guess comes from the KOR. Jimin looks at Tae who regains his voice “Well kid, you gotta do a decision now, you either come with us or you stay and wait for them” The boy looks down biting his lip “There's nothing left for me here” he says almost like a whisper. “It’s settled then” Jimin says as he grabs the boy’s arm and pulls him to the boat. Tae goes after them. Jimin takes one set of oars for himself and then gets another one for his captain.
They are about half a mile away from the shore when the young boy murmurs something under his breath. “Listen, kid, you gotta speak louder here.” Taehyung says mildly irritated. “I said my name is Jungkook, so stop calling me ‘kid’, I’m 21” Taehyung just nods, Jimin, however, smiles brightly. “Well gorgeous, welcome to the crew, I am Jimin and this here is our captain Taetae”. The later doesn’t look amused “Taehyung, call me Taehyung”. Jungkook nods in agreement.
Just as they are getting acquainted, they hear a fuss coming from the shore. A big group of Korea’s navy is standing there, pointing their guns at the small boat. “I told you we should have brought Hoseok” Taehyung annoyingly says looking at Jimin. “I am a good shot you know? Against everyone’s beliefs.” the blond pirate says as he starts paddling faster.
Tae looks for a long-range gun inside the boat that hands it too Jungkook. The later just looks at him, not moving a muscle. “Fucking take it!” The captain is angry with this kid’s god damned attitude already. “I ain’t taking shit” the young boy says firmly looking back, Tae knows he can’t argue with Jungkook, at least not right now. “Fucking fine.” he says as he hands the oars to Jungkook who surprisingly takes them without resistance and starts paddling.
Taehyung goes to the edge of the very narrowboat and begins shooting. Before Jimin does as much as reach for his gun Taehyung is already shaking his head “It’s okay I got it, stay behind me and continue paddling we need to get to her fast”
They are almost at the ship when a shot gets Taehyung straight on the chest and makes him fall back. Jungkook screams in horror but it dies out in his mouth when he realizes there is no blood, Taehyung is not wounded at all. “B-but how...” he trails off but before he can even conjugate a proper sentence the captain is already standing up and shooting the guards.
Jungkook is astonished, he doesn’t understand a thing. How could this guy receive a direct shot and be left without a single scratch? “Come on gorgeous, start paddling we need to get to the ship before one of us is the one that receives the bullet” Jimin says, but as soon as he finishes his sentence, a gun is fired and gets his arm, it nearly touches it but in a matter of seconds the sea around them is already red.
“Fuck, Tae it got me. Take over for me I´ll shoot” The captain, without even looking back, shakes his head “Listen Tae, we need to get to the ship as soon as possible and I can’t paddle with one arm” Taehyung wants to deny but he knows his friend is right. “Get them Chim” They switch positions, Jimin gets at least two guards while shooting with his left hand alone. Jungkook is in shock looking at the whole exchange.
After what feels like an eternity, they make it, Jungkook is taken aback by the size, it looked way smaller from shore. “Welcome to ‘the Leviatán’. Isn’t she beautiful?” Jimin says enthusiastically, Jungkook just nods with the mouth wide open. The captain then grabs a rope from the side of the ship and starts climbing to the top. “I hope you know how to climb!”. He shouts as he goes up.
“Oh my god, you made it!” An enthusiastic voice shouts as soon as Tae gets on deck, before he can even turn around there's a body against him, pulling him into a tight hug. “Hoseok I swear to god if you don’t get off me-“ Hoseok lets go as he sees a familiar blond head peeking from the side of the ship “Jiminie! Oh my god, what happened to your-“ he gets cut off as soon as his eyes land on Jungkook. “Well, just who do we have here?” He starts getting closer, but Taehyung gets ahold of his arm “He’s Jungkook” Jimin answers joyfully “Well hello Jungkook, my name is Hobi and I’m the cook of this ship!” Hoseok says as he bows, Taehyung exhales as he looks at the cook “Hoseok before you start thirsting over our soon to be quartermaster, set the course we need to start moving and show the kid around. In the meantime, I’ll take Chim to Joon, we need to prevent an infection” he nods firmly “Aye cap” and with that Jungkook is left with the red-haired cook.
Hoseok is analyzing the maps spread in front of him in a focused silence. Jungkook feels at ease with the pirate, he is the only one so far that has been nice to him and hasn’t threatened him with a gun yet, he regains the courage to break said silence.
“Hoseok...” the younger trials off “Call me Hobi” the other corrects “Hobi, could I ask you something?” The pirate just hums “Back there...they shot Taehyung, but he didn’t get a scratch. At first, I thought it was because of the distance but then Jimin got hit and well...Why is that? Is he some kind of vampire or-“ He gets cut off by a very tense Hoseok
“No. Tae...he is something very rare. Some kind of water spirit” Jungkook is now even more confused “What exactly is he?” The pirate exhales “I'm sorry Kook” The younger blushes slightly at the use of the nickname. “He doesn’t talk about it; you would have to ask Jimin or him although I doubt Tae would tell you anything. All I know is that for the time being, he is immortal”.
If Jungkook was confused before, now he is utterly lost “What do you mean ‘for the time being’ ?” Hoseok finally looks back at the younger “Like I said, I’m not the man to ask” Jungkook knows better than to keep on pressing the red-haired pirate, so he decides to change the subject.
“What did he mean by ‘our soon to be quartermaster’?” the younger asks, Hoseok visibly relaxes, obviously happy to talk about something else. “Jin, our actual quartermaster, has been bitching about how he can never keep up with the supply inventory AND his other responsibilities as quartermaster” Hoseok is now facing Jungkook “Yeonjun has been helping him lately but, being the gunner, inventory is far from his responsibilities. I suppose Tae wants you to help Jin out”
Jungkook is not very comfortable. He was wishing he could stick to Hobi a bit more. This Jin person, whoever he is, sounds like a handful is he complains about something so trivial as inventory. Hoseok seems to notice his nervousness “Don’t worry Kook, everyone is very nice, if you don’t cross them that is. Jin is very funny and sweet, you will be fine” Jungkook feels a little better by that.
“Okay, come with me, we need to turn her starboard” The pirate leaves the room, Jungkook following him close behind “Starboard?” He asks, clearly not knowing any aeronautical terms ”Yes, we have port and starboard, left and right respectively. I hate the terms personally; you know in Spanish they are babor and estribor? Aren’t those way cooler?” The younger simply nods “I’ve told Tae we should use the Spanish terms instead, but he says it would be confusing, I suppose he’s right.
They are going towards the back part of the ship, the quarterdeck, on top of the stairs. There is, behind the helm, a very young looking pirate, maybe even younger than Jungkook. “Hey, Kang” Hoseok greets “Hi, Hobi” the other answers with a smile “Tae wants to get out of here as soon as possible. We need to turn starboard” the other nods and starts steering the helm.
“Since we’re here, I suppose introductions are needed.” the older says “Jungkook, this is Kang Taehyun, our helmsman. As you can tell, he has a very similar name to the captain, therefore we call him Kang to avoid confusion.” Jungkook nods “Kang, this is Kook, he will be helping Jin” the younger pirate smiles “You’re the new Busan boy.” Jungkook is confused but nods, nonetheless. “Well I will continue to show him around, you just turn her starboard” Hoseok says leading Kook towards the stairs to get down from the quarterdeck “Aye Hobi!” Kang shouts back as he focuses on his task again.
“What exactly is a hellman?” The younger asks, Hoseok starts laughing loudly “Helmsman!” The pirate corrects “Well it’s exactly what the name says, helm’s man, he is the one that steers the helm” Jungkook makes an ‘oh’ sound. “And what are you? Like the cook but also the right hand of the captain or...” Hoseok chuckles “No no, I’m just the cook. Jimin is ‘the right hand’ as you call it. We refer to him as the first mate.” The younger nods trying to store all this new pirate terms in hopes of not forgetting them.
“Then why are you the one telling Kang where to go and not him?” Hoseok looks at Jungkook in disbelief “Well if he wasn’t at the nursery with a bleeding arm he would be the one doing it” The younger flushes in embarrassment “Oh sorry yeah...I forgot” The pirate shakes his head “No need to apologize” he keeps walking on the ship towards the kitchen to show Kook where he works when an idea pops into his head “Actually, we could go there to see how he’s doing, that way you meet Joon as well”
They go down a set of wooden stairs “This is the second floor, as you can see there are quite a few bunk beds, this is where we sleep” The younger nods “Which one is Taehyung’s?” Hoseok laughs “Oh my god you really don’t know anything about this life, do you? The captain has his private quarters, he doesn’t sleep with the rest of the crew. His room is right under the quarterdeck where we were. Before you ask, no, Jimin doesn’t sleep here either he has a small room on the third floor, being the first mate and all”
The younger keeps looking around with curious eyes “Well, which one is yours then? Or does the cook have his private room too” Hoseok chuckles and Jungkook thinks he sees him blush a little, but it could just be a trick of the light “I...I do have my bed here. That doesn’t mean I sleep on it...” Before the younger can ask anything else the pirate is already pulling him to another set of stairs. Here we are, the third floor. The nursery is at the very back.”
They start walking, Jungkook notices there isn’t much on this floor, a couple of rooms and some wooden boxes, the cook tells him those are filled with food. The younger realizes he will probably spend a lot of time down here since, apparently, he is now in charge of the inventory.
“Here we are, the nur- Taehyung?!” The captain is sitting on the floor in front of what Jungkook thinks is the nursery. He appears to be crying, all curled up in himself. “Hey, Tae, what is going on?” The red-haired pirate asks as he kneels in front of the captain. “He...Oh, Hobi he...” is all Tae manages as he starts sobbing. Taehyung grabs Hoseok’s white shirt and pulls it as close as possible, it looks like he is trying to ground himself. The older wraps his arms around him. “Just breath okay?” Jungkook feels like he is intruding, that this is something he is not supposed to see. Still, he doesn’t leave, he wouldn’t know where to go if he did.
After a while, Taehyung stops crying and it looks like he’s breathing normally again. “What is it Tae?” The captain raises his head, his eyes are red and puffy from the tears. He looks at the other pirate with what Jungkook can only recognize as guilt.
“Joonie can’t stop the bleeding. The bullet reached a vein” The other pirate doesn’t seem worried at all after hearing this information “We’ll just throw him to the sea. He’ll be cured in no time” Jungkook is speeches, did he just hear right? They want to throw him off the ship into the ocean? That would be a certain death.
“No Hobi, remember where we are, these are shark waters. The smell of blood is going to lure them in seconds.” Hoseok’s face then turns dark as the words sink in “So what you are saying is...if we don’t get him off the boat, he dies but if we do, he also dies?” Taehyung then starts crying again, ducking his head towards Hoseok’s chest.
“Then we fill the tub and we put him in” the other says firmly. The captain, however, is shaking his head “He almost killed you and Namjoon last time” he says between sniffs. “I can’t risk that, not again” Hoseok then starts crying too.
“I fucking told you! I told you I should be the one going to Busan. But you didn’t listen Taehyung, you had already decided without even asking me. I should be the one with a bleeding arm, not him!” The captain then looks up at the cook, he is not crying anymore, something else is written in his features, something Jungkook can’t read
“Don’t do this Hoseok. You know he was the one who had to go. He missed Busan I could tell, I just wanted him to see it again” Hoseok gets visibly angry at this “Oh...so that’s what this is about. You wanted him to remember, didn’t you? To see the pirates at the gallows so he would be reminded of who was the one who saved him. Who should he own his heart to.” Taehyung is shaking his head furiously, more tears threatening to spill.
“You are so fucking selfish; you want him to love you even though you don’t reciprocate the feeling. You thought bringing him there was going to make him have a change of heart?!” The captain is frozen, pure desperation in his eyes as he meets the cook’s gaze.
“No, Hobi, I do love him” Hoseok scoffs “Yeah, but you are not in love with him” he then gets on his feet, leaving the pirate sitting on the floor. Fresh tears rolling down the later’s cheeks. “I’ll go see what I can help Joon with” The older says coldly. Jungkook is frozen, it is until now that he notices the tears running down, he doesn’t know when he started crying.
The younger stands there for a while, not knowing what to do or say until the captain breaks the silence “You think I’m selfish?” he asks keeping his head down “I think I am. Hoseok was right. I wan- I need Chim to be in love with me even though I could never return those feelings. That HAS to be selfish”.
Jungkook doesn’t know what to say but before he can think of something the other continues “No, I’m sorry I shouldn’t be saying this, especially not to you” that’s when the younger intervenes “Listen, I don’t know you, so whatever it is that you want to say, I won’t judge you”
The captain is shaking his head “Thank you, but I really can’t, not to you” Jungkook nods and makes his way to the captain, sitting beside him on the floor “What if he doesn’t make it?” The pirate asks almost inaudible
“I’m sure there’s something we can do. I don’t know why is it so imperative for him to be in the ocean but, if you can’t throw him off the ship or fill in a tub for him, what if you damp his clothes in seawater? Would that help?” Taehyung slowly looks up at Jungkook with a shock expression “We have never tried it but...that...I think that could work” Jungkook can see a glimpse of hope in the pirate’s eyes.
The captain gets up with a start and runs into the nursery, the younger follows him close behind “Namjoon! What if...what if we damp his clothes in seawater? It was Jungkook’s idea, but I think it could work”
The doctor, who the younger assumes is Namjoon, is standing in front of a passed out Jimin, applying pressure on his arm. Jungkook can see Hoseok next to the bed, silently crying as he grabs Jimin’s other arm. “Damp? I don’t know if that would be enough, but we can try.” The captain nods firmly “We will be out of shark waters in about five days, so he just needs to resist until then” Namjoon nods “He’s strong he’ll make it” Taehyung looks determined “I’ll go for his clothes” with that, he leaves the room.
Since that day Hoseok stood with Jimin without leaving his side. Jungkook decided he would walk around the ship in hopes to meet everyone on his own now that his guide only leaves the nursery when he needs to cook. Jungkook completes his task in the span of two days, he writes everyone’s name with their respective role on a piece of paper that Namjoon kindly gave him. He still needs to go through his notes now and then when he forgets something, but he is learning them surprisingly quick.
「The Leviatán’s crew
2. Hobi hyung- cook
3. Jimin hyung- right hand of Taehyung
(first mate according to Hoseokie hyung)
4.Joonie hyung- Doctor
5. Kang- Helmsman (he steers the helm)
*NOTE* it’s not called hellman
6. Jin hyung- Quartermaster (like me!!) he gives orders and bosses people around, the most important after Jimin hyung.
7. Navigator- Soobin
*NOTE* he is very young despite his height
8. Beomgyu- Gunner (he looks out for the weapons but when we don’t need them he helps Hobi hyung in the kitchen)
9. Kai- Crow nest (shouts when he spots land)
10. Yeonjun- Boatswain (not sure what he does but, he is always on deck supervising?? ) 」
Is the fourth night after his arrival and Jungkook can’t fall asleep. He has been sleeping on Hoseok’s bed, the cook told him to take it since he doesn’t use it anymore. Jungkook is looking at the sealing, he has tried everything, but he can’t keep his eyes close. In the end, he decides to take a walk, he has never been at night in the sea, the stars must look so pretty, and the night’s breeze must smell so fresh. He gets up and tiptoeing, trying to not disturb the rest of the crew, he climbs the stairs and get’s on deck.
When he gets there, he can hear someone singing, it is very soft, almost inaudible. The voice is low but beautiful, Jungkook follows it, lost in the melody. “You know that I can't. Show you me. Give you me” the voice sings. He follows it, it comes from the top of the quarterdeck. “But I still want you~” it continues as Jungkook climbs the stairs “want you, want you” it sings with an even more quiet tone. When he gets on top of the stairs, he sees him, the captain is on the edge of the ship, looking at the ocean.
“Are you singing to the sea?” Jungkook asks softly. The older turns around abruptly and looks a bit uneasy “I- No, not exactly. You shouldn’t be here” Jungkook feels his cheeks burn, was he not supposed to leave the cabins? No one told him about that.
“Oh! I’m sorry, I couldn’t sleep” The pirate exhales “Besides Chim, no one has heard me sing before...” Jungkook is surprised at that, with such a voice is almost a crime not singing for others to hear. “You have a beautiful voice” he ventures “I came here following the sound because I thought the owner must be just as beautiful” That’s when he knows he has said too much but before he can try to correct himself the other is already smirking.
“And were you right?” Jungkook is blushing, he can feel it. God, he must be so red. “I…no, I mean yes but…I” the captain starts to laugh, he turns around looking at the ocean again. “I’m just messing with you” the younger gets beside him, but instead of looking at the sea he is looking at the captain. He really is beautiful, the younger thinks. Almost impossibly gorgeous.
After a while, a thought pops into his head, Hoseok´s words about Taehyung being some kind of water spirit, about him being immortal resonate in his mind. “Why didn’t that bullet hurt you like it hurt Jimin?” he asks softly. The captain turns to look at the younger, it’s not until now that he notices the pirate is crying.
“I am not human, Jungkook” the younger is not surprised, he had figured that out already. “I know, but what exactly are you then” The captain smiles sadly “I am an Undine” this doesn’t tell Jungkook anything new, he has no idea what an that is.
“I am immortal because I lack a human soul, until I acquire one, I remain like this” Jungkook thinks about it for a while. “How do you acquire one?” Taehyung shakes his head “I’m sorry, that I can’t tell you” Jungkook nods and the pirate speaks again “Just…when the time comes, if the time comes, you will know”
They stay looking at the horizon in a comfortable silence for a while until Jungkook brakes it. “Where did you learn to sing?” he asks, “You sing so beautifully” Taehyung smiles and Jungkook swears he even sees him blush “Chim taught me”.
“Does Jimin sing too?” Jungkook asks as he is looking at the pirate’s profile, the latter chuckles “Yes, yes he does” he then shakes his head “But if you know what is good for you, you won’t ask him to show you” the younger smiles “Is he that bad?”
Taehyung suddenly looks very serious “Oh no, that’s the problem, his voice is too beautiful. It’s even dangerous” Jungkook wants to ask the captain what does that mean but before he can even open his mouth Taehyung is already walking away.
“I will try to get some sleep, you should too” he stops walking and, giving his back to Jungkook, he murmurs “It was nice talking to you. Maybe, I have finally found it” with that, he gets down from the quarterdeck and disappears.
Is the middle of the afternoon and Jungkook has finished with Seokjin’s tasks, he just had to count some supplies and write the numbers down, he was done in a couple of hours. Now he’s sitting on deck on top of some old barrels looking at the horizon.
“We should be out of these waters in about one hour” he hears someone say behind him “Tell Namjoon to get Jimin ready, then. He has been able to make it this far, but we can’t lose any more time” Jungkook turns around and he notices that the voices are Taehyung’s and Hobi’s.
The pirates are walking beside each other on deck, they don’t seem to realize Jungkook is there as well. “Oh Tae, I’ve been meaning to tell you…” the cook starts, he looks very nervous “I’m sorry about the other night, I shouldn’t have snapped like that, it was wrong of me. I am also sorry for calling you selfish, you are the complete opposite, you are the most caring person I know” Taehyung is looking at the floor, he shakes his head.
“You were somewhat right though…Sometimes I do believe I’m selfish when it comes to Jimin” his gaze is towards the ocean, but he seems to be looking at something else, very far away, maybe, Jungkook thinks, a memory.
They stay silent for a while until the captain speaks up again “Please tell Soobin to get ready, we are heading east after we drop Jimin in the ocean.” Hoseok furrows his eyebrows “But we never head that way after Busan. Not that we come to Busan that often though but…” Taehyung averts his gave from the sea and looks at the cook.
“I believe the KOR is still after us, we need to shake them before we set the right course” The cook nods firmly and walks away, probably on his way to tell the navigator.
The mere mention of Busan has Jungkook tearing up silently. Hoseok said they don’t go that often; he realizes it might be years since he goes back. He was never really happy there though, but his whole life is in between those alleyways. He looks at the captain who is facing the other way, unaware of the younger’s presence.
He had seen him before, his face was all over Busan. In some way the captain reminds him of home. It's strange, he thinks, if this ship ends up becoming a new home then…he is always going to be a part of me.
Jungkook will see the place where he came from and the one he arrived at every time he looks at the captain. ‘If I don’t want to forget about Busan, If I want to remember who I am, I have to remain by his side…If that’s the case, I never want to lose him’ he thinks.
Suddenly a heavy wave of feelings hits him, it feels like a mix of different things; melancholy, heartbreak, loneliness, sadness, and raw pain. He feels it come out of nowhere from the pit of his stomach, it’s overwhelming. But something is not right, he thinks, this is someone else’s pain.
He starts crying, loudly this time, the sorrow is taking over him. Jungkook has never experience such hard emotions, he starts to scream as he falls on the floor. Before he knows it a couple of arms are already around him “Hey, Jungkook, what is happening?” says a very rushed and worried voice, and then, as suddenly as it came the wave of feelings disappears. “He is so sad” is all he manages to say as he clings onto the captain’s shirt “…so sad”.
It takes several hours for Jungkook to calm down. The captain carries him into his private quarters and leaves him on the bed. The younger wants to protest but he can’t seem to find his voice so in the end he just gives up. The captain leaves after making sure he is okay. Jungkook is left alone in the big room, curled up on bed. ‘They must’ve already sent Jimin into the ocean’ he thinks ‘That’s a shame, I wanted to see that’ with that thought, he falls asleep.
Jungkook is standing on the edge of the ship, Busan’s shore is visible, it doesn’t feel like Busan though there’s something dark, almost foreign about the whole place to Jungkook. “You are going home.” the captain’s voice says
“But I just got here” the younger protests. His voice feels far away as if he was talking underwater. The captain laughs coldly “You have been here years, Jungkook. And I have finally realized you were never the one, therefore, I don’t need you. I’ve never had.” He says as he pushes Jungkook off the edge.
The younger is sinking, he tries to swim, but when he notices it’s not working, he stops trying. He just lets the ocean take him into the abysm. A shadow is suddenly in front of Jungkook “They threw you too?” Jimin asks and the younger nods.
“You can’t go back to Busan anymore, that’s not your home” Jungkook knows this, his home is somewhere else, someone else. “He pushed me off the edge,” he tells Jimin as he keeps sinking, the older has stopped following him. “Well, then you are just going to climb back up”
The younger is being swallowed by darkness, all he can see is Jimin, far away in the distance “But I can’t swim” he says desperately “Of course you can! You have to stop crying first, you are just making the ocean deeper this way”. The older says before disappearing into the dark.
Jungkook can’t, he is not able to stop crying and that mere thought just makes him cry even harder. He can’t stop because he is so sad, so so sad. Not him though, someone else. ‘He is alone or at least he feels alone. If I don’t cry for him, who will?’ So, he doesn’t stop the tears, he lets himself sink “You won’t cry alone, not anymore” he shouts into the void, but no one hears him. He is just as lonely, and for all he knows, no one is crying for him.
Jungkook is pulled out of his dream, or nightmare he is not so sure, by shouting “Land! There’s land ahead” he recognizes the voice, its Kai’s. Jungkook hasn’t actually talked a lot with the pirate, he has watched him a bit though. Kai is handsome but also very lively and he seems like a genuinely caring person, Jungkook has been meaning to talk to him but the pirate is always busy, sitting on the crow nest.
There’s quite a fuss going on outside, everyone is probably getting ready to hit shore. Jungkook sits on the bed, acknowledging his surroundings for the first time. He remembers the captain carried him here, this is probably his room. Jungkook thinks it's lovely, there’s a big wardrobe at one corner and next to it two bookshelves but apparently, they haven’t been enough since there is also quite a bit of books stored in piles on the floor.
A golden light coming from a huge circular window behind the bed is coloring the room. Jungkook then spots a messy table that has papers and books on top, it also has a rather ugly oil lamp. Jungkook chuckles, there’s no way that is Taehyung’s style, must have been a gift or something.
He then looks at the nightstand that’s sitting beside the bed. There’s no harm in snooping a bit, right? It has three drawers. He opens the first one but all he finds are a couple of old broken gold watches, he opens the second one just to find a small bottle of what looks like oil, he moves to the third one, inside he finds a leather notebook and a small black box.
He takes the notebook and opens it without a care. It looks like some personal notes. He flips to the pages until something catches his eye. This is the first page with a title, the rest had been just some random notes about coordinates and some pirate stuff that Jungkook doesn’t care about like the most important currents and the most dangerous ports. The page that peaks his curiously has the word “Stigma” written at the top. it looks like the lyrics of a song, it has a lot of corrections and looks a bit messy, like he wrote it in a rush. Jungkook starts reading
I’ve been hiding it
I tell you something
Just to leave it buried
Now I can’t endure it anymore Why couldn’t I say it then
I have been hurting anyway Really, I won’t be able to endure it
“Who did you write this to?” He asks out loud
It’s only that I’m very sorry towards you Again, cry
Because I couldn’t protect you
Deeper, deeper, the wound just gets deeper Like pieces of broken glass that I can’t reverse
Deeper, it’s just the heart that hurts every day You who was punished in my stead
You who were only delicate and fragile
“What happened to you, Taehyung?” The younger whispers already feeling a tight not in his throat. He reaches the chorus again and the song continues.
I’m sorry I’m sorry
I’m sorry my brother
Even if I try to hide it
Or conceal it, it can’t be erased. Are you calling me a sinner?
What more do I have to say?
I’m sorry I’m sorry
I’m sorry my sister
Even if I try to hide it
Or conceal it, it can’t be erased. So, cry
Please dry my eyes
There’s only a little bit left but he can’t keep on reading, Jungkook suddenly feels like he’s intruding. Taehyung’s song is not for him, he should not be reading such intimate things. But his mind can’t help but wonder ‘Who broke Taehyung so much? Was it an old lover? Or is Taehyung singing about himself? Who is he apologizing to?’
He closes the notebook already feeling guilty for opening it in the first place. He then looks at the small dirty black box sitting in the drawer. Jungkook feels like it’s shouting him to open it. He has already crossed a line by reading the song, he might as well do this too.
He grabs the box, it feels velvety, Jungkook thinks that if it wasn’t dusty it would look very fancy. He opens it carefully. He can’t help the tears from falling when he sees what lies inside. He wants to shout in pain and sorrow that once again, is not his. Because inside is a wedding ring and it’s beautiful, it really is. It has a diamond of a deep blue but its shattered and Jungkook feels the pain of a broken heart.
He has never been in love with anyone, he has never known the pain of being heartbroken but right now that’s what he’s feeling and he is sure of it, as he looks at the shattered crystal he feels his own heart breaking in two and he can’t take the pain because it feels too real and yet to foreign. This is not his cross to bear he should not be the one balling over a lost lover, this sorrow doesn’t belong to him. He closes the box and the pain is stored away with the ring.
He tries to leave everything as he found it, Taehyung can’t know he’s been snooping, he closes the drawer. He decides on going outside, telling himself it’s because he feels weird by being inside the captain’s quarters but deep down, he knows it’s because he wants to get as far away from the ring as possible.
Everything on deck is a mess, everyone is running around. Jungkook can see land on the horizon already, he goes to the edge of the boat. It’s tricky since he has to avoid the pirates that are running around. He is pretty sure he steps on someone on his way.
From the ship, he can see the shore and he’s about to turn around when something catches his eye. He notices something is behind some huge rocks on the sand. He squints his eyes to try to make out what it is but with no luck. He turns around looking for the crow nest and he spots Kai on the top.
“Huening!” he shouts, the younger looks down at him surprised “There’s something behind the rocks!” The pirate looks confused but reaches behind him for what looks like a small telescope. Jungkook remembers Hoseok referring to it as a ‘spyglass’. The younger looks through it before he turns around horrified.
“It’s a shipwreck!” he shouts. All the pirates that were frantically running on deck stop in shock. “Are you sure” Soobin asks looking up at Kai. “Yeah, I can see the mast from here” the latter answers. Jin talks next “Beomgyu, go get Tae” The pirate runs away following the Quartermaster’s orders.
In a second the captain arrives. “It’s a shipwreck, cap.” Huening says. Tae gets out his own spyglass and looks at the shore. “Hoseok!” the cook runs to the captain’s side who is still looking through the telescope “Call for Jimin” the other nods “Aye cap!” he says before leaving.
It takes a while until Hoseok is back with a very wet Jimin wrapped in a towel “What is it Tae? I’m still very tired and not completely healed I need a bit more ti-“ The captain cuts him off, looking at him “You need to sing” Jungkook feels the air shift, like everyone is holding their breath. Every eye in on Jimin now.
“Shipwreck?” the bond pirate asks carefully and the captain nods. “Okay” as on cue everyone turns to Hoseok who just nods and is about to leave when Jimin calls for him. “Wait!” he says “You’re gonna have to take Jungkook with you” the cook looks surprised but nods. “Kookie, come with me” the younger is confused but follows the cook, nonetheless.
Hoseok walks towards the stairs and starts going down, they get to the last floor. Jungkook has never been this low before. This is where the brigs are, basically a jail in the ship. The cook walks to the very end of the hall, on both sides, there are metal bars. Hoseok gets to the last brig, takes the keys that are hanging on the wall and opens the door of the very last brig “After you” he says. Jungkook just looks at him in utter confusion.
“Come on get it! We don’t have much time, the Leviatán is about to reach shore” When he notices the younger is still not moving, he grabs his arm and shoves him inside. Hoseok gets in with him and closes the door using the key that he then throws far away into the hall.
“What did you do?!” the younger shouts horrified “We will never get out now!” The cook lets go of his arm and sits on the floor, his back against the cold bars “That’s the point”. The younger is utterly lost. One second he is on deck waiting to reach shore and the next he’s trapped in a cell without the key.
“So, are you going to explain?” he asks the cook, the latter pats the space beside him inviting the younger to sit down. After debating for a bit if he should or not, he finally gives out.
Hoseok speaks up after a while “Jimin’s singing is dangerous” he starts, the younger interrupts him “That is what Taehyung said but I don’t understand how is that possible” the cook looks down at his hands “Do you know why we had to throw him into the ocean when he got hurt?” Jungkook shakes his head “Jimin is a-“ he gets cut off because suddenly there’s singing. Even though they are at the farthest place in the ship they can hear it as clear as if Jimin was singing right outside their brig.
When you see me
When you touch me
The voice sings and Jungkook feels the sudden urge to follow the voice. He looks at Hoseok, the cook looks lost, with hunger in his eyes. Jungkook knows the pirate feels the pull as well.
His brain is screaming at him, begging him to follow the voice. “Hoseokie I think I’m in love” the words are slurred as if he was drunk “Please hyung, open the door I need to go, I need to go to Jimin”
'Cause you love me, and I love you
Jungkook feels like he is burning, something in the pit of his stomach hurts. “Please Hoseok hyung” he begs as he grabs the bars as tight as possible, his knuckles turning white.
Love me now
Touch me now
Jungkook nods furiously because that’s exactly what he wants, to love Jimin, to touch Jimin
Just let me love you
The younger is losing his mind, he wants to break the bars and run, find the owner of the voice. ‘Jimin let me love you’ he thinks ‘Please Jimin, I love you, please’
Let me love, let me love you
Jungkook starts screaming in pure desperation because all he wants is to follow the song all he wants is to…The voice suddenly stops singing as it reaches the end of the song. The younger feels like he can think again, like a dense fog that was covering his mind slowly leaves. His knees give out and he falls to the floor panting.
Hoseok is hugging his knees still on the floor. “Hyung what…what happened? What was that?” he asks frenetically “Jimin…is a mermaid, Jungkook” it takes a while for the younger to process the information.
“As you probably already know, a mermaid’s singing compels the humans who hear it” the younger nods “But, why are we the only ones here then?” Hoseok looks at Jungkook with an expression the younger can’t read.
“The singing only compels those who the mermaid doesn’t care about” Jungkook is listening intently “However there’s an exception if the mermaid is in love with a human and that human is in love with the mermaid then the singing will compel the human” The younger nods along.
“Jimin doesn’t really know you which means he doesn’t care for you yet” Jungkook understands this, ignoring what he thought earlier, he doesn’t care that much for Jimin either, he barely even knows the pirate.
“Okay, but then you…” the cook blushes and realization dawns on Jungkook, he widens his eyes “YOU ARE IN LOVE WITH JIMIN?!” He shouts, “IS THAT WHY YOU DON’T SLEEP ON YOUR BED ANYMORE?!”
The cook goes impossibly red at this “Yes” he says so soft Jungkook almost misses it. “That is so cute, hyung, why didn’t you tell me anything?” the cook chuckles “Everyone knows, I just assumed you did too”
Jungkook thinks about it for a while before he speaks again “Is that…is that why you got so angry at Tae?” the pirate expression shifts into guilt and sorrow, he nods. The younger wants to ask more but he feels like he might be pushing his hyung too much, so he decides to change the subject.
“Why did Jimin had to sing?” he asks instead, Hoseok looks relieved “Every time there’s a shipwreck he does that, if there are any survivors, they will follow Jimin’s voice. Otherwise they might be too afraid to get close to a pirate ship” he explains.
“Why do you need survivors? I mean, if they don’t want to come to the ship, why force them?” the younger asks confused “Well, sometimes shipwrecks are the doing of pirates, we need to know if that’s the case, and if it is, we have to know which pirate did it. These are our waters; other pirates shouldn’t be here” the younger nods in understanding.
They stay silently in the cell for a while, Hoseok said one of the pirates would come back for them, Jungkook didn’t expect that pirate to be Jimin. Thankfully he is dressed now. “Hi Hoseokie hyung and Jungkook, I will get you out now” the blonde pirate looks agitated.
“What is it Jimin?” the cook asks, concern evident in his voice. Jimin is trying to open the door but his hands are shaking so much he can’t get the key in the lock “N-nothing hyungie don’t worry” It is evident he is trying to appear as relaxed as possible but his voice breaks.
“Don’t lie to me. What happened?” Jimin starts crying silently and it looks like his legs are about to give out but Hoseok grabs him through the bars to prevent him from falling “I…Hobi hyung-“ Hoseok is looking at Jimin patiently, giving him time. Jungkook once again feels like this is something he shouldn’t be witnessing. “Jimin, breathe” the blond pirate tries to do what the cook is telling him, but it takes him a while to start breathing normally again.
“Okay.” the older says “Now, what happened, Jiminie? Any survivors” the other is looking at the floor, silent tear running down his cheeks, he nods “Survivor, it’s just one” Hoseok is caressing Jimin’s hair through the bars.
“I thought it was gonna be like the other times, some random people would get on the ship, Tae was gonna question them and that’s it but…” Jimin pauses before continuing, it looks like he needs some time to say what comes next, the older gives him all the time he needs.
“Turns out I know him, after all this time I still care about him” Hoseok is nodding along, listening “And at first I was happy to see him again, it has been so long, but he hurt me so bad. But then I realized…” it looks like Jimin is brazing himself for what comes next.
“Hyung I care for him, always have always will but…if I just cared about him he wouldn’t have come, he wouldn’t have been drawn by my voice” Hoseok’s features are hardening “Who is he, Jimin?” he asks so seriously Jungkook has to take few steps back, suddenly scared of what will come next.
“Min Yoongi” The second those words leave his mouth Hoseok retreats his hands from Jimin “So he’s still in love with you” he says “Otherwise he wouldn’t have come” The other is crying even more now “And this means you haven’t stop loving him either” Hoseok says and his voice cracks.
“I’m sorry” Jimin whispers but Hoseok shakes his head “I know it’s not your fault, I just wish your whole heart was mine as my whole heart is yours, but I supposed there’s a piece of it that will always belong to someone else”
Something inside of Jungkook breaks because that is exactly what he felt when he saw the shattered diamond. That is what Taehyung felt or feels towards the owner of the ring and for whatever reason Jungkook can feel it now too.
For the second time that day his heart breaks into a million pieces and he comes crashing into the floor, a hand pressed to his chest. ‘The ring’s diamond can’t be fixed, Taehyung, but I will heal your broken heart myself even if I have to give up mine in the process’ he screams in his mind.