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Bonded Souls

Chapter Text

“Bonding will commence in”

               Jungkook took a deep breath and faced the large round steel door adorned with symbols humans have come to learn and study. The symbols were meant to draw forth a demon from the underworlds. Jungkook was in the Demonic Military Service, and he was summoning a demon, using his aura and presence to bond with said demon. For eternity. It all felt unreal.

               He took another deep breath. The doors began to open, emitting a fiery orange essence into the darkened room. Jungkook stood in the middle of a circle outlined in symbols. The windows surrounding him were blackened, but he knew that his commanders were standing just beyond them. Watching and waiting.

              Heat began sweeping throughout the room, and beads of sweat pooled onto Jungkook’s forehead. The dark grey jumpsuit he was required to wear at the academy began to feel too heavy and too tight. Jungkook was praying to the higher gods that an earth demon would become enraptured with his aura and drawn out of the underworld. Earth demons were the lowest level, he could easily take control and power over an earth demon.

              The doors fully slid open, revealing nothing but smoky swirls of oranges and reds and yellows. Jungkook stood mesmerized by the swirls of color, occasionally he would see shadows begin to approach but then quickly be pulled out of the colors as if they were being dragged out. Jungkook did not know how long it took but soon a black silhouette walked through the smoke and stepped out into the lab. The doors quickly slid shut as the demon emerged from the underworlds. The demon stared back at him. Jungkook gripped the knife tightly, his knuckles turning white. He lifted the knife to the palm of his hand and slowly sliced open a clean thin line. Blood dripped down his wrist and into the circle.

              Jungkook held his hand out to the demon.

Chapter Text

Name the four main classes of demons:

                             Earth, water, air, and fire.

              Name the rarest class of demon, and explain why it is rare:

                             Demon of Death, no soldier within the Demonic Military Service has ever bonded with a Demon of Death. The Demonic Military Branch has never been capable of capturing a Demon of Death. It is expected that no human will be capable of bonding with a Demon of Death due to their power and stature.

              Which is the highest-class demon? Why is it the highest-ranking?:

                             Demon of Death, which not only is the rarest class of demon but it is also the highest-ranking. Demons of Death are the most powerful of demons, their powers have never been fully recorded but many theorists hypothesize that Demons of Death can possibly control more than one element. The last encounter humans had with Demons of Death was in the Demon War of 2034, nearly a hundred years ago. Demons of Death are capable of wiping out entire cities and civilizations. One Demon of Death is able to kill over 200,000 civilians within seconds.

              Name the three rankings of demons:

                             Warrior, Magician, and Incubus.

              What is the most powerful combination of demon?:

              A Demon of Death Warrior is currently known as the most powerful demon.

              What was the Demon War of 2034?:

                             The Demon War of 2034 was caused when a fissure in the earth’s crust allowed a portal from the underworlds to open. This occurred due to immense damage demons had caused in the underworlds. It is believed that the Demon War had already been ongoing in the underworlds before it breached the human world. Demons of all classes and rankings escaped through the portal, and they continued fighting against each other; but their immense powers had caused millions of human casualties and dismantled cities. Due to the Demon War of 2034, the United Global Military were able to capture and successfully study these creatures.

              How did the Demonic Military Service begin?:

                             Three years after the United Global Military were able to subdue the Demon War of 2034, the United Global Council unanimously agreed that the world needed a branch of military that specialized in the understanding and fighting of demons. The Demonic Military Service quickly grew into an organization under the United Global Council, and it took another decade for scientists to be able to create technology to allow a safe and secure passageway for demons to enter into our world.

              How many students in the Pre-Demonic Military Academy are accepted into each Demonic Military Academy?:

              On average there are 300 students entered in the Pre-Demonic Military Academy, they go through three years of training where they are educated on everything demonic. After a final exam the Demonic Military Academy takes the first 100 highest scoring students and then take into consideration their physical training. By the end of the process only 12 students will be accepted into the Demonic Military Academy, 6 trainees per team.

              Jungkook put his pencil down and stretched out his arms, cracking his knuckles. The sound of pencils scratching against paper filled the silent room. The lecture hall was filled with students, the whole campus body focused on this one final. This final would determine whether they’ll be accepted into the Demonic Military Academy. Only ten minutes had passed, yet he was a quarter way through the exam. Every question was easy, too easy.  Jungkook had been studying and preparing for this moment since he was young. As a kid, he would peer over his older brother’s shoulder as he prepared for the entrance exam into the Pre-Demonic Military Academy. He would sneak the lengthy textbooks away from his brother’s sleeping form and read them under his covers with a small dingy flashlight.

              Jungkook was prepared. He was ready. This was all he wanted in life.

              It took him another hour to finish. He stood, the chair scraping against the floor. He walked to the front of the lecture hall, the heels of his boots clicking loudly in the silent room. He was the first to finish. He passed Namjoon and Taehyung, their faces buried in the exam and their fingers blistering from how tightly they held the pencils in their hands. He dropped the exam on the front desk, bowed to the professor who paid him no mind, and left the hall.

              In two days’ time, the results will be in. In those two days the students will be required to continue their physical regime as well as packing either for transfer to the Academy or the departure back home.

              Jungkook was running laps around the run-down track field with his two friends when the trainer blew his whistle and loudly shouted that results were in, and that he was allowing them to stop early to see their results. The fifty students in his regiment scurried to the main building where the results were posted upon the bulletin board outside the Dean’s office. Taehyung grabbed his arm, looking at him with wide and terrified eyes. Namjoon nodded one stern nod and lead them to the building. Dozens of students were waiting for their turn at finding their name.

              There were already a herd of students with silent tears streaming down their faces. They weren’t accepted, and are given a half hour to say goodbye and collect their belongings. Many of them have hours to travel back home to face their disappointed or relieved families. Jungkook pushed his way through the mass of students, his heartbeat echoing in his ears. He hears a small group of students congratulate someone on getting accepted, the name Jung Hoseok ringing slightly familiar to Jungkook, although he doesn’t remember their paths having ever been crossed.

              Jungkook pushes his way through to the front. He can see the bulletin board and the Dean of the Pre-Demonic Military Academy sitting through the small window of his office. He was watching the students with a blank stoic look on his face. Jungkook reached the list with the names of students who passed. He took a brief moment to pause, close his eyes, and pray to the gods above him. He opened them and scanned the small list of 12 students.

              Team 1:

                             Jeon Jungkook

                             Kim Namjoon

                             Kim Taehyung

                             Kim Seokjin

                             Jung Hoseok

                             Park Jimin

              Jungkook sputtered out a wet laugh, tears welling up in his eyes. Years of studying, years of training, years of staying up until the late hours of the night, years of pushing and pushing and pushing himself to the edge. Everything has paid off. He made it. He made it.

              Namjoon pulled him and Taehyung into a crushing hug, Jungkook pressed tightly against his friend’s side. Taehyung was clutching onto Namjoon, his tears staining the elder’s jumpsuit. His friends had not only made it into the Demonic Military Academy, but they were placed into a team together. The Academy had deemed their skills and intelligence to be compatible. It was too good to be true, he felt like he was dreaming.

              “We did it,” Namjoon said, a wide smile adorning his face, “we made it.”

              Jungkook nodded, a wide smile to match his friend’s, “We did, we made it.”

              Jungkook glanced back into the window, the Dean was watching him. The two made eye contact, the Dean nodded his head. Just once, a small brief nod. He looked away, back to the pile of papers on his desk. Jungkook had made it.

              Professors and commanders ushered the masses of students, telling them to hurry and collect their belongings. A voice spoke through the loudspeakers that were placed throughout the campus, “All students reported for deportation, buses will be provided at the west side gate. Buses A, B, C, and D will take you to Seoul International Airport, and Buses E, F, and G will take you into Seoul Train and Bus Station. All students reported for transfers, a bus will pick you up at the east side gate. All buses will be leaving in approximately 15 minutes.”

              The three rushed to their barracks. They carefully placed their belongings into their state-issued duffle bags. Each trainee was allowed three civilian outfits and two personal belongings. Jungkook had a picture of his family, depicting his mother holding a young Jungkook in her lap and his father standing behind his older brother. His brother was in his own Pre-Demonic Military Academy Jumpsuit. He also had his older brother’s journal, each page filled with detailed entrees, some were about his experiences in the Academy, and others about his own bonded demon. Half of the journal his brother had not been able to fill, where Jungkook began writing his own notes. He often sat at his desk flipping back and forth between one page, seeing the drastic changes of penmanship. His brother’s script was soft with the worlds curling into each other exactly like their mother’s own writing. His sharp and rushed like he cannot get the information written down fast enough.

               They quickly changed out of their Pre-Demonic Military Academy jumpsuits and placed it on their beds, alongside the other two jumpsuits, and put on their civilian clothing. It was mandatory to leave behind their jumpsuits and boots, for they would be washed and given out to the new set of trainees currently on their way here. They would be issued new jumpsuits and boots when they reach the Academy. Jungkook would no longer be Trainee 3850. He will finally be known as Jeon Jungkook, he won’t be just another number. He is no longer a trainee, but a cadet. And now, he had a purpose.

              Jungkook slung the light duffle bag over his shoulder and waited for his friends to finish. They were the only three out of their barrack of fifty trainees to have been accepted. The barrack was cleared out, the rest of the trainees rushing to get off base. The long rows of beds, for once, looked abandoned. The crack in the ceiling was still leaking drops of water into the metal bucket, dust filling the stuffy air. But the beds were no longer occupied, the laughter that filled the nights as trainees told stories from their childhood long since faded. The faces from his barrack were already slipping from Jungkook’s mind. Two years he had lived here, 730 days, 17,520 hours he had spent here.

              “Let’s go,” Jungkook said. He walked past the never-ending row of beds, each one adorned with three identical jumpsuits and a pair of boots at the end of the bed. Jungkook lead with Taehyung and Namjoon following behind. There was one bus waiting for them. Only twelve trainees were there, and two commanders will be accompanying them to the main base. One stood by the door of the bus, checking off names and asking for identification. The other sat in the front seat, a gun slung over his back.

              Jungkook flashed the commander his Pre-Demonic Military Academy ID, a picture of him from two years ago when he was first accepted into the program alongside his trainee number, date of birth, and blood type. The trainees will continue using these ID cards until they bond with their demons. Their Demonic Military Academy ID will contain the same identification, but alongside the class and ranking of their demon.

              The bus was buzzing with excitement and anxiety. Jungkook, Namjoon, and Taehyung sat in the back of the bus. A moment later three other trainees boarded the bus and headed towards them. Jungkook surveyed them, his eyes scanning for potential strengths and weaknesses. A short man was first to reach them, slender but muscular; he was most likely agile and quick, but lacked brute strength. He introduced himself as Park Jimin. Jungkook bowed.

              The next one had a cunning look in his eyes, and a Cheshire cat smile. He was taller in stature than the previous man, but still seemed slender; Jungkook thought he looked like one who did best with stealth attacks, a Magician ranking demon probably being the perfect match for him. He introduced himself as Jung Hoseok. Jungkook bowed to him as well.

              The last man seemed older than all of them, despite his youthful face, for the intelligence and wisdom shone in his eyes. He was tall with broad shoulders, and without a doubt was strong both physically and mentally. Jungkook knew this one was analyzing them just as Jungkook was doing to his group, even as he introduced himself as Kim Seokjin. Jungkook bowed hesitantly, still caught in his gaze.

              Jungkook heard his friends greet back and state their names. Jungkook licked his lips and bowed when it was his turn, “Jeon Jungkook.”

              Hoseok and Jimin sat in front of Namjoon and Taehyung in one seat, Seokjin sat in front of Jungkook. Seokjin twisted his body around and slung an arm over the seat-back, “So you’re the infamous Jeon Jungkook, I’ve heard a lot about you. The youngest trainee of our year, but the smartest.”

              Jungkook smirked, “I wouldn’t say the smartest, that must go to Namjoon.”

              “Don’t be so modest, Jeon,” Seokjin winked at him and turned around, no longer interested in engaging with his future team members. Jungkook couldn’t deny the older man was intimidating, his looks comparing to no other. If he dared, Jungkook would compare him to an Incubus demon.

              “Man, I can’t wait to be bonded,” Hoseok sat leaning against the window. He had his arms slung over the backs of the seats on either side of him, the Cheshire cat grin having never left his face. He was a man who knew how to control his presence, Jungkook presuming he could make his aura seem smaller or larger than he actually is. Combined with the other potential specialties he’s speculated with Jimin and Seokjin, Jungkook knew that no others could compete with Namjoon’s intelligence and strong stamina as well as Taehyung’s quick-witted tricks and fast-paced hand to hand combat.

              With Jungkook’s far-stretched intellect and his uncanny strength, he knew they were going to be a powerful team. They will easily out-rank the second team that sat in the middle of the bus, quiet and reserved amongst each other.

              “What type do you want?” Taehyung asked, “I would be fine with any class, but I don’t want an Incubus ranking.”

              Seokjin turned around to face Taehyung, smirking, “Why not? I think they’ll be fun.”

              “Don’t be stupid, hyung,” Jimin leaned over and smacked the elder’s knee, but Jungkook knew there was no menace behind the action if Jimin’s small soft smile had anything to say by it. Seokjin just winked. He was an interesting character, and Jungkook was looking forward to working with him. Jungkook knew these three must have grown close during their time at the academy, though they were an interesting trio.

              “Demons are attracted to our aura. They speculate that our auras, which is just an extension of our personalities and mentalities, are what draws out certain class and rankings,” Jungkook spoke, the words easily rolling off his tongue.

              Jimin nodded and smiled encouragingly at Jungkook, “I agree, I believe I fit with a water class but I’m not too sure what type of ranking.”

              Jungkook can see himself potentially growing close with Jimin, for despite the hardness within his eyes, he can see a childish innocence that the Academy was never able to break. Jungkook respects that. He had lost his innocence a long time ago. “I think I would work best with a fire warrior, but an earth class would be better.”

              “Why an earth class?” Seokjin asked.

              Jungkook shrugged and leaned back against the leathery seat, “They’re powerful, but also reported to be the easiest to take control of.”

              “So, you want an easy fight, huh?” Hoseok said, a small laugh escaped from him.

              “This isn’t about a fight with your demon, it’s about gaining control over a demon so you can easily use its power in battle. This isn’t about proving ourselves, it’s about protecting our world,” Jungkook replied. From the corner of his eye Namjoon grinned and ducked his head into his chest. Hoseok’s never wavering smile faltered just a bit.

              “I like you Jeon,” Seokjin laughed loudly, an obnoxious sound like squeaky window wipers. Hoseok quickly recovered and rolled his eyes, Jimin smiled fondly at Seokjin as he continued to laugh. Taehyung quietly watched the three but there was a new gleam to him, Namjoon looked over Taehyung’s head and nodded at Jungkook. He nodded back. They knew they had a good team. Jungkook knew that when the time comes, he could trust them with his life. Just as he hopes they will trust him with theirs.

              The sun was beginning to set when they reached the Demonic Military Academy base, far off into the countryside of South Korea where there was no occupied town within a hundred miles. It gave the base acres of land and ragged mountains and steep rolling hills, providing enough environmental factors for cadets to train in any terrain with their demons to give the cadets an ability to scope out their strengths and weaknesses due to their surroundings, as well as with their demons. But as well for research buildings to be far enough away from the main central point of base, those buildings cadets will never be able to enter without strict and rare permission. The closest cadets usually get to a research lab is the one designed for the bonding.

              The new cadets will go through two weeks of lectures on what to expect from the bonding; they will be taught how to correctly bond, the physical changes they will experience once they bond, as well as more deep and intense knowledge on the class and rankings of demons. Towards the end of the second week the cadets will go through a form of role-play, to put their knowledge to use. Then, they will finally be cleared to begin the bonding ceremony.

              The bus pulls through the opened gates, the base waiting and expecting their new cadets. The bus pulls up to the main building, which Jungkook could only assume the secretaries for the higher ups and those who handle the paperwork of the base are kept. A man stood at the edge of the steps leading to the building, two men stood behind him. The bus stopped right beside the man and the doors clattered open. The two soldiers who accompanied them ushered them off the bus with a wave of the hand. They filed into a line in the aisle of the bus and as each one stepped off, they bowed deeply to their new commander.

              Jungkook stepped off the bus and bowed deeply, his hands clasped respectively in front of him, then stepped to the side and fell into line. Once every cadet was off the bus and in line, the man stepped forward and spoke, “I am Lieutenant General Song, I will be overseeing your training for the next four years. Behind me is Sergeant Dae and Sergeant Pyo. Sergeant Dae will be working with Team 1, Sergeant Pyo will be working with Team 2. They will guide you to your housing. I expect to see you all in the morning for your daily run.”

              He stepped back and dismissed the teams, they all bowed in sync and followed their assigned sergeants. Team 1 was led to the right, Team 2 was led to the left. The six huddled around Sergeant Dae as he began explaining rules and regulations, “You are all given your own room, a bed, desk, dresser, as well as a small bathroom, with only a toilet and sink. There are communal showers in the hall. When you first walk in there is a communal lounge you all share, the basic couches and television set provided. These will be your living quarters for the next four years. Every morning you are required to run a two-mile course with your teammates, you must be at the track to meet me at exactly 5 in the morning. Breakfast is from 6 a.m until 7:30 a.m. First lecture occurs at 7:45 a.m. The next two weeks you will be required to attend the daily lectures, the lectures will end roughly around 4 in the afternoon. During the hours between the end of class and dinner, which is served at six p.m., you are expected to either attend the gym or the library for studying. Dinner finishes promptly at 7:30 p.m., and you are given free time after.”

              “If I may ask, where’s your demon?” Namjoon asked, peeking the others’ interests.

              “I had placed it in confinement,” the sergeant replied, “once you’re bonded, you’ll be expected to place your demon in confinement every night, but during free time and meals you are allowed to have your demon with you, but most place it in confinement. Though I recommend for the first two or so days during meals and down time you have the demon with you, it helps build the strength of the bond.”

              They reached a small building; three identical buildings sat every hundred feet or so of each other. Their building was labeled building X. The sergeant pulled his ID from his pocket and pressed it against a small scanner next to the front door, “For now your pre-academy IDs will work, you will need them to access every accessible building on campus. But only your IDs work for this living area. Some buildings are off limits to cadets, steer clear of those, they are mainly located on the edge of the perimeter just south of here.”

              They all nodded, exchanging silent look with one another behind the sergeant’s back. Namjoon spoke up, “Then how does your ID have access to our living quarter?”

              The metal door slid open and revealed a warm yellow light, “I am your assigned sergeant. Your training commander also has access to your living quarters. There is a button located on the wall in the common area, if pressed it indicated danger and it then alerts security and every high-ranking officer and every id will then be allowed to access the building.”

              They followed the sergeant into the building. There was a shoe rack to the right of the entrance. They all slipped off their boots and placed them into the compartments, though Jungkook usually liked to keep his boots and shoes in his own room. The entrance opened into a medium sized lounge. The room showed the bare minimum of any life, a dingy greying couch was placed in the middle and a TV was pinned to the wall. There were two love seats on either side of the couch and a coffee table in the middle. A bookshelf was pressed to the corner of the room, and Jungkook could easily spot every demonology text and journal adorning the dusty shelves. There was a corridor leading to the left and a corridor leading to the right.

              “Three rooms per hall, the left hall contains the showers as well,” the sergeant explained, “get settled in, you can choose your own rooms, but they’re all the same, so there’s no worth fighting over them. I will see you on the field.”

              With that he left, and the six were alone. They stood dumbfounded, none wanting to make the first move. Occasionally they would make eye contact as they took in their new living arrangements. Taehyung, Namjoon, and Jungkook huddled close to the left hall, and Seokjin, Jimin, and Hoseok huddled close to the right hall. That takes care of the bedroom arrangements. Hoseok was the first to speak, “He never told us where the tracks were.”

              It broke the tension and they all laughed and smiled. For the first time since meeting him, Jungkook saw a genuine smile on Hoseok’s face. They all agreed they were tired and quietly said awkward goodnights and went their separate ways. Taehyung wanted the first bedroom, Namjoon took the second, and Jungkook took the last. He opened the door and stepped into his new privacy. He sat on the bed, it was stiff and hard underneath him. There was dust collected on the desk and dresser. The door to the small bathroom was opened. There was a window looking out into the small cluster of trees behind their building.

              He laid down and stared up at the ceiling, his arms underneath supporting his head. He made it.

              Two weeks quickly passed in a blur, each day the cadets grew more anxious and excited as their bonding ceremony approached them. Jungkook spent his time back and forth between the library and gym, his desk soon becoming cluttered with his collections of notes. A stack of borrowed books from the library stood in piles on his desk, atop his dresser, and there was a small stack forming on the window ledge. He has read all of them, often cross-referencing new terms and information with similar concepts in different books.

              Taehyung had peeked his head into Jungkook’s room one late night and saw the younger hunched over his desk, a small lamp illuminating the book propped open against the wall. Taehyung could tell the boy was asleep, soft deep breaths coming from his body. He knew Jungkook didn’t like to be moved when sleeping, he learned that the hard way when he had woken him one night back in the Pre-Demonic Military Academy and had to spend the next two days in the infirmary for a possible concussion and fractured wrist. So, he draped Jungkook’s blanket over his shoulders and switched off the light.

              The next morning Jungkook thanked the boy by sliding him his orange. The large appreciative grin Taehyung had as he ate the fruit set Jungkook’s heart at ease.

              But as the eve of the bonding ceremony arrived, the six cadets found it difficult to get the sleep they needed and desired. For the first time in the two weeks they had been here, they all were sharing the same space in the lounge. Namjoon and Taehyung sat on one loveseat, with Jungkook sitting on the ground pressed against their legs. Hoseok took up the other loveseat, and Jimin and Seokjin sat at opposite ends of the couch. They sat in silence, the room being filled with the heavy beating heartbeats and the occasional anxious foot-tap. As the hours slowly ticked on, they all began to drift off. Jungkook was the last awake.

              When the digital hands of his watch positioned themselves at nearly five in the morning he stood and walked to the showers. They were given the day off from training. He stripped off his clothing at the edge of the shower stall and stepped in, a new fresh towel already hanging on the hook. He turned the shower on and turned the handle as far as he could to the right, hot steaming water washing over him. He stood under the harsh pressure of the water, his head ducked and his arms hanging by his side. He watched as the endless stream of water rushed to the ground and was quick to be sucked into the drain.

              He rubbed his hands over his face and pushed his hair out of his eyes and forehead. He lazily rubbed the cheap bar of soap over his skin, soapy lines trailing over his arms and stomach down to his legs. He skipped washing his hair when he began to hear his team members begin to stir and wake. His own alarm on his watch began blaring in the pocket in his jumpsuit. An hour had passed already but to Jungkook, only a few short moments had passed.

              He twisted the shower knob off just as he heard Seokjin’s high pitched whistle enter the showers. He wrapped the towel around his waist, grabbed his pile of clothing, and stepped out. Seokjin looked at him and winked as he unzipped his jumpsuit. Jungkook nodded, “Morning to you too.”

              He passed Taehyung and Jimin in the halls as they made their ways to the showers as well. Jimin smiled to him in greeting, “You’re up early.”

              “Couldn’t sleep,” Jungkook replied walking to his door. The two nodded and offered him looks of sympathy. Jungkook never appreciated it when someone took pity on him, but he knew they did it out of relatability. Taehyung and Jimin had matching dark circles underneath their eyes.

              As Jungkook began dressing in a fresh jumpsuit (the Academy had been gracious enough to have given them five pairs and two sets of boots, Jungkook had gotten tired of constantly doing laundry) a message had pinged on his watch. He tapped the small black screen and his agenda was projected into the air, his bonding ceremony had been scheduled for 12:10pm. Jungkook placed his palm on his watch and the projection receded.

              Jungkook closed his eyes and counted to ten, he took deep and drawn out breathes. He could do this. He has worked endlessly for this. He will make it.

              “Kook, we’re going for breakfast,” Namjoon spoke through the door, his voice slightly altered.

              “Coming,” Jungkook replied, to his own ears his voice felt soft, and he wasn’t sure if Namjoon had heard him, but a moment later he heard his friend’s heavy steps retreat down the hall. He met the others in the lounge, each adorning a false image of courage. Jungkook knew they were all scared. It was one thing learning about demons and hearing stories about the bond, it was another thing to actually be bonded with one. After today their souls will no longer be connected to one vessel, but two. After today they will have a larger and more powerful entity forever attached to them. “Let’s go.”

              Sergeant Dae was waiting for them outside their housing, his demon stood behind him. Over the last two weeks he had begun to bring his demon during their runs and their lectures to get them used to its presence. But no matter how many times Jungkook saw it, the blue and green scales patching over its arms and necks never sunk into his mind. Jungkook could not deny it was an exquisite creature, it was tall and lean with feminine features, their purple eyes made the light hues of blue and green on their body illuminate. The demon was a water incubus.

              Breakfast was quiet. And that is when Jungkook is reminded that they are all still young and afraid. Jungkook himself only being twenty years old, he will soon have lived more years than his brother. Everything here seemed to become a grim reminder of their youth but also of their mortality. It is rare, but there have been occurrences of cadets dying during the bonding ceremony.

              Seokjin was the first to leave to have his bonding ceremony at 9:30am. The team was still sitting in the cafeteria, their lectures ended yesterday and they were given the weekend to cement the bond before training and new lectures pick up again. Sergeant Dae suggested they all go back to their housing or to the library, they nodded in agreement but no one made the move to go.

              Jungkook was sitting across from Sergeant Dae, his demon stood compliant behind him. Never moving. It was like a watchful guard. Jungkook titled his head towards the demon, “Do you train them to do that?”

              The sergeant glanced over his shoulder and shrugged, “No, they all seem to do that with no demand. We always just thought that from the bond they knew what we wanted them to do. Some do act up or misbehave but it’s usually done at random and we don’t know what caused them agitation.”

              “My father’s demon was a water incubus,” Namjoon spoke, his eyes locked on the demon. The demon never looked at the cadets, its eyes stayed focused forward except for the occasional glimpse at its master, “He brought it home once, when I was real young, maybe 5 or 6. I don’t remember much, I didn’t have the full grasp of what it was. I used to try and talk to it, but my mother used to scold me, she never wanted me near it. She fought with my father for a week straight after he brought it back to confinement. The demon never talked back anyway.”

              “Yeah, well don’t get your hopes up that your demon will talk to you,” Sergeant Dae said, “they don’t talk. We have recordings of them making grunts or growls or hisses, but nothing more intelligent than that.”

              “But they understand spoken commands, that means they understand our language,” Jungkook said, looking at the demon, “if they understand it, shouldn’t they be able to speak it?”

              The sergeant shrugged again, “Researchers think they aren’t capable of speaking, that they don’t have the vocal cords or whatever it is we need to speak.”

              Hoseok leaned forward, “Besides, what would happen if demons were capable of intellectual speech?”

              No one spoke after that, they continued to sit in silence until they left one by one. Taehyung was next, he stood on two shaking legs but he managed a smile as he walked off. Then went Hoseok. Jungkook was next. Jimin and then Namjoon would follow suit. There was still no sign of the others by the time 12:00 had come. Jungkook left the three and the demon in the abandoned cafeteria.

              The bonding ceremony takes place in Building 5R, a medium two-story building. It’s where most of the researchers and scientists commence low scale experiments. Most of the rooms were large white labs. Two guard were stationed out front, Jungkook flashed them his ID and one guard escorted him into the building. Sergeant Dae told the team that cadets were only allowed in the building during certain occasions; the bonding ceremony and monthly check-ups.

              The guard led Jungkook to an elevator, and once in they pressed a button with an arrow pointing down. Jungkook glanced up at the guard and then quickly looked away. He was never told the building had a basement. The metal doors slid open into a large dank room. Four scientists were sitting behind a panel, the panel lit up with blimps of colors and decorated buttons and levers. Lieutenant Song was standing in the middle of the room, his hands placed behind his back. He was waiting for Jungkook. Just beyond General Song, there was a single door and a large one-way window.

              “Jeon Jungkook,” General Song announced to the room. Jungkook stepped out of the elevator and slowly walked to the general, observing the room around him, “do as taught and there will be no issue.”

              A scientist came over, holding two chokers. One was a darkened grey, the other a solid black. Each one was engraved with the same symbol stamped in the middle, “the grey choker represents the master, you will wear this at all times. The black represents the demon, they will wear it at all times. If ever removed, by force or voluntarily, it will permanently break the bond resulting in the death of the demon and the possible death of the master. But don’t worry, it takes a lot of power to remove a bonded choker. Once the demon enters through the vortex and submits to becoming your property, place this choker around its neck. Here is a knife, you must draw blood and smear it over the symbol on the demon’s choker. They must do the same to yours.”

              Jungkook kept nodding along, his head swimming. He could hear his blood rushing through his body, his heart felt like it was in his throat. He could do this. He could do this. The scientist unclicked the grey choker and placed it around Jungkook’s neck. He handed Jungkook the black choker, unlocked and a simple pocket knife, “Ready.”

              He was not talking to Jungkook, he was talking to the other scientists. Jungkook had to be ready, whether he truly was or not. One of them pressed a button and the door surrounded by the large windows opened. He was motioned to go inside. Every hair on his body stood. Lieutenant Song was watching his every move. He had to be brave, even if he feigned it.

              The door locked behind him, a series of three heavy-armed locks in total. Jungkook was alone if this were to go wrong. The windows on the inside were blackened out. He no longer could see Lieutenant Song or the scientists monitoring him. It was just him, and the metal door engraved in every demonic symbol he has ever encountered.

              “Bonding will commence in”

               Jungkook took a deep breath and faced the large round steel door adorned with symbols humans have come to learn and study. The symbols were meant to draw forth a demon from the underworlds. Jungkook was in the Demonic Military Service, and he was summoning a demon, using his aura and presence to bond with said demon. For eternity. It all felt unreal.

               He took another deep breath. The doors began to open, emitting a fiery orange essence into the darkened room. Jungkook stood in the middle of a circle outlined in symbols. The windows surrounding him were blackened, but he knew that his commanders were standing just beyond them. Watching and waiting.

              Heat began sweeping throughout the room, and beads of sweat pooled onto Jungkook’s forehead. The dark grey jumpsuit he was required to wear at the academy began to feel too heavy and too tight. Jungkook was praying to the higher gods that an earth demon would become enraptured with his aura and drawn out of the underworld. Earth demons were the lowest level, he could easily take control and power over an earth demon.

              The doors fully slid open, revealing nothing but smoky swirls of oranges and reds and yellows. Jungkook stood mesmerized by the swirls of color, occasionally he would see shadows begin to approach but then quickly be pulled out of the colors as if they were being dragged out. Jungkook did not know how long it took but soon a black silhouette walked through the smoke and stepped out into the lab. The doors quickly slid shut as the demon emerged from the underworlds. The demon stared back at him. Jungkook gripped the knife tightly, his knuckles turning white. He lifted the knife to the palm of his hand and slowly sliced open a clean thin line. Blood dripped down his wrist and into the circle.

              Jungkook held his hand out to the demon.

              The demon cocked its head as if it were studying Jungkook. A brief moment later it stepped forward, into the circle. It looked at the black choker in Jungkook’s hand, and bowed its neck in submission. Jungkook let out a deep shaky breath and stepped forward, closer to the demon. He placed the choker onto its neck and clicked its lock, as he was sealing the lock he wiped his hand over the symbol.

              A wave of unexplained emotions swept over him. His body and mind were stunned. It was something he had never felt before. It was as if he was feeling every emotion at once; anger, happiness, sadness, jealousy, rage, lust, love. Jungkook choked, his throat closing in and tears welling in his eyes. And then it was over, completely gone from his body and nothing around him had changed, but the demon staring at him with, dare Jungkook say, curiosity in its eyes.

              He felt a small touch, a ghost of a touch, ruffle his jumpsuit. He looked down and saw the demon had raised its own hand and was offering it to Jungkook. Jungkook hesitantly grabbed hold of the hand. A cold shiver went down his spine and his heart stopped for a moment. Jungkook slid the knife across its palm, a thick black liquid began to slowly stream out of the wound. Jungkook knew demons healed fast, he had heard stories from cadets about how they had to rush the process so the wound wouldn’t heal. Some said they had to cut several times before managing to coat the symbol in blood.

              Yet the cut on his demon never healed. Jungkook was taking his time. The demon was withholding it’s healing for Jungkook.

              He guided the hand to his own throat and the hand pressed right on the symbol. The demon looked up at him, locking eyes, and held the gaze until Jungkook took the hand away. The doors were unlocking just as another wave of unexplained emotions swept over him, this time more intense. Jungkook felt like he could not breath. The room began to swim, dots clouded his vision and choked on the smell of sulfur. He thought he heard his name being called out before his vision gave and he blacked out.

              When he woke with a loud gasp of air, it had felt as if he were drowning. His chest heaved, his throat burned and his lungs felt weak. He was lying on the ground, Lieutenant Song and the scientists were surrounding him, two were checking his vitals, the other two discussing with Lieutenant Song in frightened and hushed voices.

              The demon was standing at his feet, if Jungkook focused he could feel the demon’s own toes press against the bottom of his boot. And that was when Jungkook realized he never fully captured the image of his demon. It was a good height, but shorter than Jungkook, with a slim build. It took on masculine features. The skin was a deathly pale and Jungkook could see black veins coursing through its body. It had white hair and dark blood red eyes. But that was it. It showed no other inhumanly features. It was dressed in black cloth that wrapped around its waist and thighs to mimic trousers, but its chest was bare.

              The demon stared him down, no emotions letting way. Jungkook stared back.

              “Jeon,” Lieutenant Song touched his shoulder gently. This will probably be the only time the old man shows any form of kindness towards him, “let’s sit you up.”

              The Lieutenant and the scientist who gave him the chokers each grabbed on to an arm and helped him into a sitting position. Never once did his eyes leave his demon’s, nor did the demon’s eyes leave his new master’s. One of the scientists who was checking his vitals spoke to him, “We believe we should break the bond. The bond has just formed, it hasn’t been given the time to concrete itself, now would be the best time.”

              Jungkook looked at her, “Why would we do that? I just fainted, I’m sure it was nothing serious.”

              “That isn’t it,” she continued, “we ran a quick scan of your demon while we were waiting for you to regain consciousness.”

              No one seemed to want to explain further. They continued to give each other skeptical looks, a few mouthed words ushered. They didn’t want to tell him. Something’s wrong. “Your demon, it’s, well, it is a warrior ranking.”

              Jungkook looked back towards the demon. It had never taken its eyes off Jungkook, “That’s a good thing, warriors are powerful, good for battle.”

              “The ranking is not the problem,” Lieutenant Song said, “It’s the class. Jeon, your demon is a Demon of Death. But under my orders I will not have your bond broken. This has never happened before, Jeon, but think of the research and knowledge we could learn from it.”

              Jungkook felt like he might faint again. He stared in shock and disbelief at the demon. He swore he thought he saw a smirk, just a quick flash of it. Like he wanted to show Jungkook, but none of the others. His demon is a Demon of Death. No one had ever been bonded to a Demon of Death. Most feared Demons of Death, they were what caused the most damage and destruction of this world during the war.

              No one had ever bonded with a Demon of Death. Until now. Until Jungkook.

              “There must be a mistake,” Jungkook whispered.

              “The scan we ran is outdated, but it has never been wrong before,” a scientist said, “if you are capable, we wish to move onto the scans to measure your bond and the demon’s strength and abilities.”

              Jungkook nodded. With the help of a scientist he stood up, his knees felt weak like he would not be able to hold his own weight. The demon never moved away, when Jungkook stood he was only a few inches away from the demon. It was shorter than him. But Jungkook knew his physical appearance must be a coy to try and hide his true form and ability. Jungkook didn’t know when they called in for a technician, but when he left the small room there was one waiting for him. There were also three armed guards standing behind the technician, “She will bring you over to our medical facility.”

              She smiled warmly at Jungkook but it quickly dropped and a look of fear washed over her when she spotted the demon over Jungkook’s shoulder. They must have told her. She gestured for Jungkook to follow him. He took a few steps and stopped and turned around. The demon had been following him without any commands. The guards closed in behind the demon, their fingers ready on the trigger.

              The medical exam took a half hour at total. It confirmed everything they already knew. His demon was in fact a Demon of Death with a warrior ranking. Right now, its power range is at a 67, the highest power range a cadet had ever been bonded with. But their bonding compatibility was at another record, it was at 84%.  

              “I’ll write the report, you can go back to your housing,” she spoke to Jungkook, “they’ve decided to keep your bond intact. During the next three days, spend as much time with the demon as possible to let it solidify. This bond is something we have never seen before, something no one has seen before. We will be watching your progress more closely, Jeon. The demon has posed no threat, and we do not detect any possible incoming threats. But you must be careful,” Jungkook bowed and thanked her.

              While she spoke with Jungkook his demon dressed itself in a black jumpsuit that the technician had provided for him. Out of the corner of Jungkook’s eye he could see his demon struggling with putting on the ankle high lace up military boots, there was a small pout on his demon’s face. It looked so human. The technician explained that the demon would have two extra jumpsuits and an extra pair of boots that would be held in his cell in confinement.

              On the way back to the housing he often would turn around and see if the demon was still there. It always was. He wasn’t sure how to explain this to his teammates. By the end of the day the whole base will most likely know. They must warn the other cadets and faculty that a Demon of Death has been bonded and is on premises. And that was what it was, a warning.

              Everyone, including Jimin, Namjoon, and Sergeant Dae were waiting for Jungkook in the lounge. They all stood when he entered, “I thought you had your bonding ceremonies?”

              “We did, nearly two hours ago,” Namjoon said, “they took us to an older building to commence the ceremony. The guards said something had gone wrong. We thought you had died or something. We’ve been sitting here worried sick.”

              Jungkook toed off his boots, “What? What time is it?”

              “Almost six,” Jimin replied. He wasn’t looking at Jungkook. He was looking at the demon behind him. They all had their demons with them, but they stood with their backs against the walls, right behind their masters. None looked like his own demon. They all showed more demonic traits. But as Jungkook was scanning the new additions to his team, he could not help but think how beautifully rare his demon was.

              “What happened? They wouldn’t tell me anything,” Sergeant Dae asked. He, too, was watching his demon. Jungkook looked over his shoulder. His demon was standing just two feet away, still in the archway of the lounge. His eyes were trained on Jungkook. He looked at no one else. Jungkook had noticed the other demons taking quick sneaky glances at the cadets and the other demons. Jungkook’s demon did no such thing.

              Jungkook licked his dry lips, “There was a bit of an issue during my bonding. I fainted after it was completed, they never told me why. Though I have a few suspicions of my own.”

              They all sat back relaxed. Hoseok spoke, “That’s it? Thank the gods above, fainting isn’t that serious during a ceremony. My sister fainted when she first saw her demon, gods it’s the ugliest thing.”

              Jungkook measly laughed along with the others, “Yeah, I didn’t faint because of his appearance.”

              “A bonding ceremony is tough, there’s a lot of changing going on,” Seokjin winked at him, “don’t be so embarrassed.”

              Jungkook walked around the love seat and sat down next to Taehyung. His heard his demon walk forward, his steps were light and feathery, not making a sound, but Jungkook knew exactly where he was in the room. His demon stopped right behind Jungkook. Everyone was watching his demon, they all expected it to find a position against the wall just as theirs did. Jungkook was expecting that too, “I-I believe I fainted because of its class.”

              “What’s its class?” Taehyung asked. He was taking turns glancing up at the demon and back at Jungkook, like he was trying to somehow form a connection in his brain towards the two.

              Jungkook glanced at everyone in the room and all the demons. He could immediately tell what some of them were based off the demonic traits they had. But he knew that no one could decipher what type his demon was. “My demon, it’s, well, it’s a Demon of Death.”

              Hoseok scoffed and crossed his arms over his chest, “Funny joke, what is he? Water? Fire? With that pale skin it could possibly even be air.”

              Jungkook glanced up over his shoulder at his demon. He found bold red eyes, his demon hadn’t taken its eyes off him since they were bonded. A quick rise of the corner of its mouth, a small smirk. Jungkook himself had barely caught the movement. It fuddled with Jungkook’s piece of mind, but it seemed as if these smirks were directed towards Jungkook, and Jungkook only. “I’m being serious. We went for testing. He’s a Demon of Death Warrior with a power ranking of 67. Our bonding percentage is at 84%.”

              The room fell silent for a brief few seconds before Seokjin let out a low whistle, “Well fuck me.”

              Sergeant Dae stood and walked towards Jungkook, never once looking at Jungkook’s demon. It seemed as if they all refused to look at the demon anymore, “That cannot be possible.”

              Jungkook jumped slightly, flinching at the sudden touch of a hand being placed on his shoulder. His demon. The touch was frozen, Jungkook could feel his bones and muscle begin to freeze over with an icy chill. Jungkook stared down at the hand, up close he could see that the black veins that were visible from beneath the pale skin moved, they pushed and pulled against the demon’s skin like waves.

              The demon stared ahead at Sergeant Dae. The whole positioning seemed as if the demon was daring the Sergeant to take another step forward, another step into its and Jungkook’s space. His demon was challenging Sergeant Dae, the demon thought he was a threat to Jungkook. The demon was protecting Jungkook. Jungkook felt his breath hitch and dizziness wash over him, for the third time that day he felt as if he might faint.

              But it seemed as if the cold that was burying itself deep in Jungkook’s body was soon beginning to melt as a sudden warmth of heat pulsed through him from his demon’s hand. Jungkook breathed in deep, clearing his head. He felt the demon slowly shift its thumb up and down the back of Jungkook’s shoulder blade. It was mesmerizing, up and down up and down up and down. It seemed as if the demon was comforting him, he knew that the cold that was seeping from its touch was affecting Jungkook and in a second it had turned to warmth. It seemed as if the demon could sense Jungkook felt on edge and uncomfortable and began trying to provide Jungkook with a form of human comfort.

              What scared Jungkook was that it was the same movement his brother had done to him when he was younger. Whenever Jungkook felt anxious or scared his brother was there, with a hand on his shoulder and his thumb messaging his tense muscles.

              His teammates were struck dumb at the hand on Jungkook’s shoulder, they could all clearly see the thumb moving. Demons very rarely touch their capturer, only during times of sexual intercourse that possibly could occur between a demon and their master. But demons very rarely become attached to their capturer.

              But here their teammate was, not even a full day into being bonded and his bond and his demon have already broken several records. And Jungkook, nor his teammates, could figure out why. Why was he so special? How was he able to bond with a Demon of Death Warrior, the most feared demon in history? While his teammates continued with these thoughts, Jungkook’s began to shift to thinking what else his demon was capable of.

              With this touch came a newfound experience. Jungkook felt a deep-rooted connection pass between them. He could almost feel what his demon was feeling; its hatred for Sergeant Dae, its complete lack of emotions towards the other demons and teammates, but he could also feel the demon thriving off the tension and fear in the room.

              Sergeant Dae took a cautious step back, “It has been a long day for everyone, I think we should call it for the night. I will speak with the kitchen staff and arrange for dinner to be delivered. I suggest you all allow your demons to spend the night, to allow the bond to cement itself. But after tonight you are expected to place your demon in confinement before you retire.”

              Slowly the room began to disperse. With one last glance at Jungkook and his demon, they motioned for their own demons to follow them into their private bunkers. He heard small conversations being exchanged, Namjoon told Taehyung he was going to shower, Seokjin told Jimin he needed a nap with Jimin agreeing, Hoseok was complaining about spending time with his demon with the whole team instantly agreeing. They were told countless of times that their demons physically and mentally could not harm or kill their capturers, but he knew some of his teammates did not believe it.

              Jungkook knew the group would not have dispersed after being dismissed. They would have sat collectively together sharing stories about how their own bonding experience went and what ranking and class their demons were. He could even hear Namjoon began to plot possible advantages due to the types of demons. But no one stayed. They didn’t want to be in the same room as his demon.

              Once the common area was cleared Jungkook stood, slightly shrugging off the demon’s hand. Jungkook walked to his room knowing his demon would follow without instructions. He opened the door and ushered the demon in, closing it behind them. The emotional and physical strain of the day quickly caught up to him, the adrenalin of the bonding ceremony finally fading from his body making it drop to his bed in exhaustion. He lazily toed off his boots. He stared at his demon who stood against the wall across from Jungkook. His eyes were fighting to stay open, but he wanted to watch his demon out of curiosity of what it would do.

              The demon cocked its head to the side as it watched Jungkook fight for consciousness, as if the act was foreign to him. But soon Jungkook quickly gave in. But just as he slipped into a deep slumber, he heard a soft whisper of words reach his ears.

              He dreamt of his brother, as he often does. They often were memories replaying themselves over and over again throughout the night. Jungkook often woke never remembering what he dreamt of, but with cheeks coated in tears and an ache in his heart. He dreamt this time, of when the two soldiers came to his door one late afternoon as he waited for his brother to come home for a family visit. The loud booming knocks of the soldiers’ rapping at the door woke Jungkook up. For a moment he was disorientated and thought he was back in the small one room apartment. He bolted into a sitting position and looked about his room. He was in his bunker at the military academy. With his Demon of Death Warrior staring at him, where he sat at the end of Jungkook’s bed. And he decided he was too tired and worn out to fret over that.  

              The smell of food caught his attention and he forgot about the dream. He rubbed at his face, wiping the sweat from his forehead. His room was dark but through the window the brightness of the almost full moon and the stars provided a shimmer of silver light. He swung his legs over his bed and stretched, his body cracking and stiff muscles aching. He hit the light switch beside his bed and groaned as the room lit brightly.  He glanced back over at his demon, who watched him with what seemed like amusement in its eyes. It nodded towards Jungkook’s desk, Jungkook followed and saw a plate of food sitting there and waiting for Jungkook. Sergeant Dae or Namjoon must have made him the plate.

              “I made the plate, don’t worry, I gathered it when no one else was in the common area,” the voice was deep and raspy, as if it had not been used in quite a while. Jungkook was about to thank the voice when he realized his demon was the only other being in his room.

              Jungkook snapped his head towards the demon and stared wide eyed at it, “What the actual fuck.”

              The demon shook its head and tsked at him. His demon is talking and serving him attitude. Jungkook still must be sleeping, “Don’t be so shocked, Jungkook.”

              His name rolled easily off the demon’s tongue, its voice changed to an airy and light tone when it said Jungkook’s name. Jungkook slapped himself in the face, “This isn’t real. Demons can’t talk.”

              The demon smirked at him. Again. Jungkook felt a sudden urge to slap the demon next, “Lesser demons cannot speak,” his demon tilted its head, as if curious to see Jungkook’s response. But when he received just a blank stare he continued speaking, “greater demons are able to properly communicate. Though it often takes centuries to perfect the human language.”

              “Greater demons, centuries,” Jungkook repeated dumbly, “right.”

              The demon sat there for a few moments, just looking at Jungkook, “So it is true, the human world has never been able to contain a greater demon before. Interesting.”

              And within that moment Jungkook felt small. He had felt a safe and secure place beside his demon believing himself to be higher and in control. But that all came crashing down around Jungkook. He literally felt as if he was shrinking as he sensed the presence of the demon grow larger. It felt as if the earth beneath his feet was slowly slipping away from him. Jungkook caught the sight of the clock, the hands had stopped moving. But after what should have been a few seconds, the hands began moving again.

              Jungkook looked back over at his demon. And he noticed a difference in its eyes. There were now swirls of black mixing with the pools of red. And it dawned on Jungkook that his demon had released a portion of its power. They had studied how demons were able to contain their powers, and when they are bonded, they go through more intense training on how to properly manage them. Most newly bonded demons have yet to even unlock their full potential of powers. But Jungkook’s demon, it just stopped time. His demon has already unlocked its powers and has complete control over them.

              And Jungkook could tell that what the demon had just shown was just a fraction of what its true powers are. And that was when Jungkook also realized why Lieutenant Song did not allow for the immediate unbonding between them.

              “You are troubled, anxious, but” the demon leaned forward, “you are not scared.”

              Jungkook turned to completely face his demon, there were only a mere few inches between them. His demon looked small with its arms wrapped tightly around its torso and its knees drawn up to its chest. He did not feel threatened by the demon, not once throughout the day since the bonding ceremony had he felt threatened by the demon. Dare Jungkook say, he felt a sense of protection and possession wash over him. Jungkook now knew the endless possibilities his demon could present. His demon is a Demon of Death, he could bring the death and destruction to all of South Korea if so, and it was foolish of Jungkook to not realize it at first. But something within him has awakened, and he knew that no matter how powerful his demon was, his demon would never bring harm to him.

              “Should I be scared?” Jungkook asked.

              His demon leaned closer, “You are not the one who needs to be afraid of me.”

              “Why did you allow yourself to be bonded with me?” Jungkook asked, his voice low and breathy, his words hitched in his throat. He could still see the black swirls in the demon’s eyes. They matched the ones in his skin. And it made Jungkook wonder if it is a source of power.

              The demon quickly snapped back, “You must be tired. You should sleep some more. You can eat when you wake again.”

              Jungkook was about to respond that he felt fine when a sudden and unexpected feeling of extreme drowsiness overcome him. He struggled to stay awake again. He felt a pair of hands gently push down onto his shoulders and he lightly bounced as his body hit the mattress.

              He woke to his alarm blaring.

              There was no plate on his desk and the demon was not sitting on his bed, but leaning against the wall across from him. Jungkook couldn’t figure out if what had happened truly was a dream. As Jungkook got up and readied for the day, his demon did not speak to him, just eyed him as he moved around.

              Today his team is scheduled for more testing, they are to be run through the tests again to see if their demon’s power ranking and their compatibility is accurate. Starting tomorrow his teammates will go back to their usual routine, starting with their physical training in the morning followed by a lectured class in the afternoon. Their demons will train separately, guided by a coach and their bonded demon, as well as for researchers to conduct more experiments to gather more data. By next month their demons will join them for their physical training in the mornings, but it isn’t until their second year at the academy that they allowed to begin power training. First years used to power train, but too many incidents have happened where the students weren’t properly ready and tried to harvest more power than they could handle. Though Jungkook is unaware whether his special circumstance will follow the normal procedure.

              Namjoon knocked on his door, Jungkook knowing it was his by how his foot falls and the sharp quick rap of the knuckles. Jungkook zipped up his grey jumpsuit, “Almost ready.”

              “I’ll meet you in the common area,” Namjoon said, and a few seconds later Jungkook heard the same rap of the knuckles on Taehyung’s door. Jungkook soothed down his wrinkled jumpsuit and sat back on his bed to pull the heavy sweat socks over his feet. The whole time his demon was watching him.

              His teammates and their demons were waiting in the common area. They had not sensed his presence yet, but their demons stood watching Jungkook’s own demon. Jungkook eyed the room, noting how close his teammates have become over the past few weeks living and training together. But also, how their demons were adapting. They were a wide range of class and rankings, Jungkook could easily spot the weaker ones and the ones who came through with a decent power range already.

              Unconsciously, he felt the journal he kept in his jumpsuit pocket. The pages his brother had left empty were quickly filling, most of them Jungkook had used throughout his Pre-Academy Years but he had left the last twenty pages empty for in case he was accepted in the Demonic Military Academy. And now that he is here, they were quickly being filled. Most of the notes detailed his own teammates, listing their strengths and weaknesses, stating who Jungkook believed worked better together. Things to keep in mind for when they graduate and are given their tasks and missions.

              And the few pages left were not enough to properly write accurate detailed accounts to come of his demon. He knew he was going to need a new journal soon, but he had already begun feeling a sense of abandonment and guilt. He knew he will always keep the journal, but soon he will replace it with a new journal to carry around to take notes.

               It was all his brother had left behind for him. Jungkook feels as if he learned more through this journal than he has through his lectures. While his lectures state the facts, his brother’s journal states the emotional and personal experiences of bonding with a demon and fighting beside it.

              “Jungkook? Kook?” Seokjin called out, pulling Jungkook from his daze, “You gonna stand there all day? It’s almost 8, we have an hour for breakfast before we are expected at building 5R.”

              “Yeah, yeah, I’m coming,” Jungkook mumbled, walking from the hall to the doorway. He slipped his feet into his boots and pulled the laces tight to tie them. As the team walked to the cafeteria, he noticed how the demon’s stuck to their owner, but still kept a good few feet of distances between them. His teammates every so often checked over their shoulder to keep track of their demon.

              But for Jungkook, he feels as if he constantly knows where his demon is without searching him out. If he closed his eyes and concentrated, he could feel just a slight pull to his demon where he stood at least one foot away from Jungkook. His demon stood closer to its owner than the others.

              His team has talked about bonding with a demon since they arrived, always discussing what they thought it would feel like. What would happen when they bonded, what their demons would look like, how would act. Most of his teammates enthusiastically talked about how they couldn’t wait to bond, but now that Jungkook looks at them he can easily see the facade they were pulling. His team felt uncomfortable and awkward, some even feared their demons just a bit.

              Especially Taehyung. Jungkook knew his friend is tough, he has been training with him since they were put in the same unit in the Pre-Academy. He knows how smart and tactful he is, but Jungkook also knows how he personally feels about demons. His mother worked for the Demonic Military Program, he wanted to follow in her footsteps. But since his mother lost her sight due to a fire demon when a mission went wrong, he knows his friend has harbored a fear of the creatures.

              Taehyung’s demon is an air warrior demon with a very low power range. Last night he overheard Taehyung tell Namjoon how thankful he was that his demon was of air class. Air demons can be powerful when need be, but most are used to fight on the sidelines to protect the main players.

              Jungkook slowed down to fall into step with Taehyung. Taehyung immediately clutched onto Jungkook’s arm, “Hey, Tae, how’s it been?”

              Taehyung shrugged sheepishly, “I’ll get used to it, it’s just weird, you know?”

              Jungkook offered him a small smile, “You’ll be fine, you’re strong.”

              Taehyung ducked his head and mumbled a thank you. They reached the cafeteria and Jungkook opened the door and held it open as his teammates walked in. His demon had stepped to the side to wait for him. His team loaded up on the bland food being served, bowing respectively to the workers as they dished out bowls of rice and plates of meat. At the end of the line they each grabbed the mandatory energy drink laced with vitamins and energy boosters.

              Hoseok was the first to speak when all the team members were seated, “so what are the odds that your demon isn’t really a Demon of Death?”

              “The tests being conducted today isn’t for that, idiot,” Seokjin spoke through a mouthful of rice, “he’s a Demon of Death.”

              Hoseok rolled his eyes, “but what if there was a glitch?”

              “There wasn’t a glitch, there’s no way for it,” Namjoon rolled his eyes back at Hoseok receiving a look of disgust in return, “the only tests that could provide a glitch is when calculating compatibility and power range.”

              Seokjin nodded in agreement, “maybe if you spent more time studying than trying to build up your muscle mass, you would actually remember that from last Thursday’s lecture.”

              Hoseok threw an orange peel at Seokjin, “Whatever.”

              “Can we talk about how Jungkook bonded with an actual Demon of Death, instead?” Jimin asked, “No one has ever done that before. What does this mean for our team?”

              “It means we’ll be undefeated, of course,” Seokjin replied, looping an arm over Jungkook’s arm.

              “Be serious, Jin,” Jimin said.

              Jungkook looked down at his plate and emotionlessly picked at his food. He blocked out his teammates bickering, because in truth Jungkook doesn’t know how this will change the course of his team. They have allowed him to stay bonded, no doubt they will still be required to go through all the training. But Jungkook has also felt like he hasn’t had the proper time to process everything. He has thought endlessly about the demon, its ranking, its class, its power, but he hasn’t thought about how he is the first person in history to bond with a Demon of Death.

              And a part of it frightens Jungkook. There’s nothing in his brother’s journal about Demons of Death, other than what is already basic knowledge collected through the years. But a part of Jungkook is also ready for the challenge.

              While they finished eating breakfast Jungkook collected the rest of the information about his teammates’ demons. Taehyung has an air warrior demon. Namjoon bonded with an earth warrior demon. Seokjin with a fire incubus demon. Hoseok got an earth magician warrior. And Jimin bonded with a fire water demon.

              “It’s ten to nine, we should go,” Namjoon clapped Jungkook on the back as he walked past to dump his breakfast tray. Jungkook was quick to follow him, his demon as always following closely behind. Not much was said as they made their way to the south side of the base towards building 5R. Testing yesterday was done privately, right after the bonding ceremony commenced. Today they would be tested one after the other, with permission from the member, they were allowed to stay within the room to see their results for themselves.

              As they were walking towards Building 5R they crossed paths with Team 2. They haven’t had contact with them since the bus ride here. They were trained on separate track fields, they were given different professors, and even their meal times were slightly different. Jungkook just faintly remembered the faces, remembering a few from studying with them at the Pre-Academy. The teams respectfully bowed their heads and mumbled greetings. But as soon as formalities were given, their eyes snapped immediately to Jungkook’s demon.

              It seems the warning has been stated. Jungkook was unsure as to whether the Lieutenant added that the Demon of Death belonged to Jungkook, but it seemed as if everyone knew by now.

              The testing went by fairly quickly. Most of his teammates’ compatibility and their demon’s power range were fairly accurate, as expected there was a bit of a decrease in the power ranges due to them no longer in their realm. Experts have theorized that demons often derive their powers from their homes, it could explain why their power seems to diminish a bit when in the human realm. It was why they go through training for the next four years along with cadets, to gain back the power they lost and to build it up.

              Jungkook was last to go. His team had an unspoken agreement to stay in the lab with each other. Jungkook felt a spike in his nerves rise, the conversation from breakfast had been weighing on his mind. Was it possible that his demon was not actually a Demon of Death Warrior?

              Jungkook stepped forward when his name was called and bowed in greeting to the technician who had tested him the day prior. She smiled softly and grabbed his file from the table, “For you, we are going to recheck your demon’s class and ranking. If you could please have him step into the scanner?”

              Before Jungkook could even look at his demon, it was stepping out from behind Jungkook and into the glass container. It was a small clear box, only about five feet wide and seven feet tall. The walls appeared clear, but when a technician placed their fingerprint onto the lock it lit up with a screen for the workers to begin scanning. It made no sound, but a small green laser traced his demon’s body. It was over in a few minutes.

              The door slid open and his demon stepped out. It took a few more minutes for the technicians to conclude the results, “If you two could please enter the compatibility chamber.”

              The compatibility chamber was large enough to fit both of them. They were forced to stand with their arms pressed together. It was another clear box that worked the same as the demon analyzer. But as the green laser began to trace their bodies, the symbol on their chokers lit a dim green as well. It was over just as quickly. When they stepped out, the results from the first testing was back. They were waiting until Jungkook was done to announce it to the group. His teammates and Sergeant Dae were all watching him.

              “So, the results from the first round were true,” the technician said, reading from the file, “your demon is of the Demon of Death class, with a ranking of Warrior. But there is something else, that is a bit strange.”

              “What is it?” Jungkook asked.

              “It appears as if your demon also has traces of Magician and Incubus ranking,” she replied.

              “I’ve heard of a demon having traces of one other ranking, but is it possible to have two?” Sergeant Dae asked.

              “There have been theories done that demons are able to change their rankings, though it is thought to be extremely difficult and only powerful demons have the power to do so,” the technician answered, “it’s why most demons don’t alter their rankings, or if they do they are only able to do so once in their lifetime. Based off the results though, it seems as if Jeon’s demon was originally created as an Incubus ranking, then altered to a Magician ranking, and then altered again to the Warrior ranking. But the demon still does have traces of the other two prior rankings, meaning it is most likely to still use some of those specialties.”

              Seokjin let out a low whistle, “Well fuck me twice.”

              Jimin lightly smacked Seokjin’s arm, “Please take this seriously.”

              Jungkook ignored them, “What does this mean?”

              She looked at their team and then back at Jungkook, “To be honest, we aren’t sure. We have a meeting scheduled with Lieutenant Song after this to show him the results from your team and Team 2. But he seems adamant on keeping you two bonded. All that I could guess, is that you two continue on with regular training. But I am sure Lieutenant Song will require an audience with you soon.”

              Jungkook nodded, “Thank you.”

              “Before you go there is one more thing, that is a bit unusual” she said, Hoseok groaning in response in the background, “Your demon’s power range did not decrease, unlike other demons. In fact, it increased by four percentages, your demon is now at a 71-power range.”

              Seokjin let out another low whistle, “Well fuck me three times.”

              “Seriously,” Jimin hissed.

              “And for your compatibility,” she continued, “it has jumped as well. You and your bonded demon are now at max compatibility of 100 percent.”


Chapter Text

              “These confinement chambers were built with the knowledge of what we have on demons and research we have conducted.  Due to the lack of information in regards to Demons of Death, we are currently unsure as to whether this particular chamber will be able to securely hold your demon,” a guard instructed Jungkook as he led him and the demon to a secluded wing in the building. Each team is given a wing with six chambers built in a circle. The chambers have been modified over years of intense research until scientists have concluded that these chambers will perfectly hold any demon of any ranking and class. Except for a Demon of Death. “A team is currently in the process of an early blueprint design for a chamber that can hold the aura of your demon. But for now, your demon will be placed in what we call solitary confinement. These chambers were built to hold unsteady demons, usually placed here after they unexpectedly lashed out. These chambers are able to hold auras stronger than regular confinements, but like I said we are unsure as to whether it will be able to hold your demon.”

              They stopped at a wing on the farthest right side of the building. The wing was labeled 7B. In solitary confinement wings there are only one chamber per wing, the idea was made up with the want of keeping demons apart when unsteady, “and what if it doesn’t hold it?”

              The guard tapped on the screen implanted in the wall next to the chamber and began entering his access code, “once the door is closed it is sealed shut and only those who finger prints and face recognition is entered in the system is allowed to open it. These doors cannot be open from the inside. The door is equipped with sensors, we will immediately be alerted if the demon even touches it. There are also cameras with no blind spots, we will have eyes on the demon at all times while it is placed in confinement.”

              Jungkook processed every bit of information the guard told him. He knew this technology is incredibly well designed and advance, he has never heard of a demon being able to escape confinement. But yet Jungkook could not help but feel uneasy, he has witnessed and felt just a mere percentage of his demon’s power and there is no logical way to believe this will hold it. Yet, Jungkook could not bring himself to tell this to the guard, or to anyone else.

              “Place your thumb here,” the guard instructed. Jungkook followed procedure and listened carefully as the guard explained on how to open the chamber door with the thumb print and face recognition. If done incorrectly more than two times guards are alerted and sent to the chamber to investigate, he has been advised numerous times to never allow this happen as it is a serious offense for someone to try and steal or make contact with another’s demon, “try it yourself.”

              Jungkook entered his ID number and placed his thumb on the scanner and stood perfectly still has his face was scanned as well. The computer immediately confirmed his identity and opened the chamber door. Jungkook peeked inside and noticed it was slightly larger than the usual confinements, but decorated just the same. A single bed and a single chair occupied the room and nothing else. Demons do not have the need to use the bathroom or to shower. Demons do not technically need rest or sleep but researchers have witnessed that demons do seem to enjoy sleep even if it not required of them to survive. They have yet to understand as to why demons seem to enjoy it.

              Jungkook stepped into the confinement chamber. He did not hear his demon follow him in but instead he felt his presence grow closer, “this is where you will be placed every night or when not needed.”

              His demon didn’t move. Jungkook turned around and his breath caught in his throat, his demon was standing right behind him. Their noses were close to touching. Jungkook stared into its eyes, mesmerized with the way the red in his eyes seemed to swim. Jungkook could not help but compare the demon to the ocean, from the veins pushing and pulling against his skin to the red laps of water in his eyes. There were too many similarities and it confused Jungkook. It brought back too many memories of hearing the waves crash and waking to the smell of the sea of his early childhood.

              The demon blinked up at him and Jungkook stepped back, “tomorrow morning you will be collected to begin training with the other demons bonded to my teammates. After my lessons and training I will come collect you during my free time.”

              Jungkook ducked his head under the gaze of his demon and left the chamber. He pressed the close button on the monitor and the doors slid and locked shut. The monitor switched frames and displayed the inners of the chamber. His demon stood looking at the door not moving.

              “You don’t have to explain things to them,” the guard laughed, “it doesn’t matter what we do to them, don’t waste your energy on meaningless manners.”

              “Sorry, I have forgotten myself,” Jungkook heard himself respond.

              “It must be harder for you, your demon is the most human looking demon I have ever seen,” the guard led Jungkook back through the maze of units to where Jungkook would meet up with his teammates at their assigned wing, “but that just what it is, a demon.”

              “Right,” Jungkook felt blood rush to his cheeks. He felt ashamed. Jungkook has already clearly noticed differences in his relationship with his demon compared to others. Demons are not human. They don’t show any indication of emotions. They don’t show any indications of coherent thought. They are meant to be treated as a weapon or as a guard dog. But the memory from last night kept reoccurring in his mind. The words uttered from his demon’s mouth echoing in his ears. The more he thought of it, the more Jungkook doubted he dreamt it all.

              “Alright, Jeon?” Hoseok asked when he spotted Jungkook turning around the corner into their assigned wing. The team were gathered waiting for Jungkook to arrive.

              Jungkook nodded, “All good.”

              The guard dismissed them. The team saluted him and waited for him to leave before relaxing and heading their own way. Seokjin walked up beside Jungkook and clapped him on his back. The team laughed and joked amongst each other. According to Taehyung one of the guards helping them didn’t have a clue what he was doing and accidently set off the alarm on Taehyung’s assigned chamber. The words blurred in Jungkook’s ear, they felt distant.

              He let his legs and the Seokjin’s warm guiding hand on his shoulder lead him back to their dormitory. Black spots clouded his vision. He felt a bead of sweat slid down from his hairline. He tasted the creeping acidic bile in his throat. His body collapsed on the nearest sofa in the common area. He had not even realized he toed off his boots at the doorway. His teammates flung themselves down across the common area. Jimin sat next to him and flung his legs over Jungkook’s lap. But Jungkook couldn’t concentrate. He couldn’t concentrate.

              “-kook? Jeon Jungkook?” Namjoon’s voice pulled Jungkook back from the depths of his thoughts.

              He snapped his head up and gasped for air. He hadn’t realized he could not even focus on breathing on his own. His mates sat facing him, smiles and jokes falling off their face, “what?”

              “Your forehead is warm,” Jimin whispered softly, his small hand pressed to Jungkook’s temple, “are you feeling okay?”

              Jungkook nodded too quickly and a sharp pain shot through his head, “y-yeah.”

              “No, you aren’t, come on I’m taking you to the infirmary,” Hoseok said sternly and stood up, Taehyung following his lead.

              “It just must have been something I ate for dinner; I just need to sleep. I’ll be fine in the morning,” Jungkook slurred his speech. With every word he gasped for air.

              “I think you should listen to Hoseok, Kook,” Taehyung peeked from behind Hoseok, worry frowned on his face. He was gnawing on his lip, Jungkook could smell the tinge of cooper as Taehyung bit too hard. Jungkook felt like he was losing his mind.

              “I’ll be fine,” Jungkook stood and wobbled on his feet. Jimin stood with him and wrapped his arm around his waist, “just let me rest please.”

              Jimin helped guide him to his room. Jungkook ignored Jimin’s concerned gazes and his worrying glances back at their teammates. Jimin opened his bedroom door for him and laid him down on his bed, “I’m going to get a cold towel.”

              The yellow light from his bathroom bled into his dark room. Jungkook hastily stripped out of his jumpsuit, stripping down to his undershirt and his underwear. He threw the jumpsuit to the ground and flopped back down onto the bed. He could hear his teammates hushed whispers and the water dripping in the faucet. He could hear his own heart pump and the rush of the blood in his veins. The darkened room was too bright and the blankets itched at his burning skin.

              He shook when Jimin laid the cold and wet towel over his forehead and hair, “I left some water on the desk. We’re going to be checking on you every so often. If it gets worse Hoseok’s taking you to the infirmary.”

              Jungkook doesn’t remember if he answered back but soon, he was bathed in complete darkness as Jimin turned off the bathroom light and closed the bedroom door behind him. Jungkook pulled his knees to his chest and lay fetal-positioned, shaking from the shivers his fever sent through his body. There was no explanation as to how he became so ill. He felt fine until the moment he stepped out of the confinement building. He naively continued to believe that something he had eaten during dinner had upset his stomach. In his moment of weakness, he sobbed and cried for his brother, for his protector and his solace.

              Throughout the rest of the evening and into the night he slipped in and out of delirious consciousness. Every so often he woke believing he was back home in his childhood bedroom only to hear his teammates’ voices surrounding him. He couldn’t make out what they were saying it felt as if they were speaking a foreign language. When he was awake everything felt so foreign and uncomfortable.

              In a brief moment of awareness, he felt his blanket pull over his frame and covered his cold frame. His fever seemed to have sweated itself out. The cold towel was removed from his forehead and a warm steady hand felt around his forehead and temple. Jungkook first thought it must have been Jimin come to care for him as the older boy had seemed to taken the role of the motherly caring figure. Jimin- or whomever it was- sat next to him and soothed his sweat-soaked hair. The movements seemed to ease every ache and pain in his muscles and bones.

              They began singing softly, the voice just barely above a whisper. Jungkook still was too delirious to be able to make sense of the words. But the words were beautiful, they came from low and deep in the throat and seemed to fill the room with warmth. They lulled Jungkook and set him at peace. Jungkook moved slightly, pressing his stomach closer to the hip and leg on the edge of his bed curling into them. He sighed and sunk into the comfort of his bed. As the song continued the better Jungkook began feeling. And the more aware he was. The voice was too rough to belong to Jimin nor was it from any other teammate.

              Jungkook blinked heavily into the darkness of the room. He caught the attention of two blood red eyes shining brightly. Jungkook blinked one more time and then closed his eyes. The hand petting his hair slid down and cupped his cheek, “sleep.”

              Jungkook woke startled by his alarm blaring. He stretched out his arms and legs feeling the heaviness in them. He rubbed his face and lightly picked at his sleepy eyes dreading the two-mile run he has to do in a matter of an hour. He looked about his room and immediately noticed his demon sitting at the end of his bed staring back at him. Neither moved for a few long seconds. Jungkook blew out a hot breath of air, “shit.”

              His demon tilted his head and smirked. Jungkook blinked and the demon was sitting as it was with no movement or facial expressions. He stood and his knees buckled underneath him, he reached out and clung to the desk but he also felt a pair of hands grab his side. Jungkook allowed the assistance and stood straight, slightly clinging to his demon, “we have to get you back into confinement before anyone notices.”

              Once Jungkook seemed to be stable on his own his demon stepped back and watched as its master sluggishly moved about the room shedding his clothes and exchanging them for a jumpsuit. He was usually the first one awake, his teammates preferring to sleep in as late as possible before hastily getting dressed and rushing down to the track field. He quietly opened his door and peered down the dimly lit hallway. He could not hear anyone in the showers nor did it seem like any of the bedroom doors have been opened.

              With a quick wave of his hand he indicated for his demon to follow. Jungkook slipped past the bedrooms and common area with his demon trailing behind. The sun had not yet risen over the horizon, the stars and crescent shaped moon lit up their path. The confinement building was about a five-minute walk from their dormitory building. He walked with a careful foot afraid of snapping any twigs and alert the guards patrolling the base. He heard muffled voices from behind him and the thick thud of boots hitting the ground.

              Jungkook wrapped his hand around his demon’s thin wrist and dragged him through the field when he heard footsteps appear closer. He raced towards the entrance of the confinement building. He pulled open the door to step into the reception area but instead stepped into a wing of the building. Jungkook’s head spun slightly. The symbol 7B coated the wall. Jungkook was still holding his demon’s wrist. He was breathing heavily. It has only been a short weekend yet Jungkook felt as if he has lived a thousand lives and every moment with the demon began a new life.

              He couldn’t face the demon. He entered his access code and allowed his thumbprint and face to be scanned. The doors clicked unlocked and slid to open. He felt his demon walk past him and into the chamber. Jungkook kept his head ducked, “I cannot worry about how you were able to escape confinement, to be quite honest I had a feeling it would not be able to contain you. But you cannot be caught walking around without me. It could put both of us into immense trouble and danger.”

              Jungkook clasped his hands behind his back, staring at his boots. He hadn’t laced them up, “please wait here for the trainer to come collect you. I will come for you when I am done with my own training.”

              Jungkook licked his lips. He has to hurry back to his dorm before his teammates wake. Jungkook looked up and stared at his demon staring back at him. Jungkook placed his hand on the monitor ready to close and lock the chamber door. Jungkook licked his lips again. They were dry. “Hey, thank you. For last night, I mean.”

              His demon stepped forward and cupped his cheek, “walk freely back, no guard will notice you.”

              Jungkook stared at the mouth as it spoke. Jungkook could no longer pass it off as just a dream, “thank you.”

              The demon stepped back into the chamber. Jungkook pressed the button and the door began sliding closed. The demon tilted its head and said, “Yoongi. Call me Yoongi.”

              And the door locked shut.

              Jungkook made it back to his dormitory and collapsed on the nearest couch just as he heard his teammate’s alarms began ringing. Hoseok was the first to be dressed and out his bedroom. He stopped in the entrance of the common area and leaned against the wall with his arms crossed, “hey Kookie, how are you feeling?”

              Jungkook closed his eyes and leaned his head against the back of the couch, “I’m fine.”

              “That’s a load of demon shit,” Seokjin sat down next to him and practically dragged Jungkook into sitting into his lap, “your fever is gone.”

              “Hey Jungkook,” Taehyung and Namjoon entered next, Jimin soon after. Their bombardment of questions both bothered him and filled Jungkook with warmth. Since he was young, he has been treated as a weakling, his sudden and near-death illness permanently planting a small and fragile image of him into everyone’s mind. It grew worse when the report of his brother’s death came in. He secluded even more into himself, avoiding the pitiful eyes and whispers of what a poor and unlucky child he was.

              His teammates did not know the story of his sick childhood or even of his brother. He knew they weren’t being hypocritical his townspeople. He knew they actually meant well for him. But the negative memories and thoughts were hard to overcome, “I’m fine.”

              “Are you sure? You’re still a bit pale,” Jimin spoke softly.

              The name Yoongi flashed in his mind and he choked out a weak ‘yes’. They gave each a glance and collectively decide to leave him alone. They knew if something was truly wrong, he would let them know. Or at least they hoped so. They hoped Jungkook trusted them enough to share personal details and life-encounters with them. And Jungkook wished that as well. He really truly wished that. But yet he did not understand as to why he has never even told Taehyung and Namjoon his closest friends since the beginning of the Pre-Academy and now his teammate for life, that he had a brother. He knew they believe he is an only child.

              He could not understand why he never leant on his friends they lean on him during even minimal hardships. Why he never slept on Taehyung’s shoulder during long-nights of studying like Tae does with him. Or why he never confided in Namjoon’s wisdom and advice like he does with Jungkook. Or why he doesn’t allow Jimin to mother and care for him. Or why he refuses to allow Seokjin to message his tense and sore muscles after a long and difficult day of training. He doesn’t understand why he doesn’t go to Hoseok’s bed in the middle of the night to be held and comforted like the rest of the team does.

              He doesn’t know why he has yet to tell them of his demon. That his demon has shown him incredible and immense powers. His demon has been able to stop time, something that has never been recorded of a demonic ability before. That he can feel exactly where his demon is just by closing his eyes and concentrating. He physically feels like he cannot tell them of how close and personal he has grown to his demon in just a matter of a few days, something that is highly frowned upon.

              He doesn’t know why he cannot tell them that his demon has spoken to him. That his demon is coherent and understanding of the Korean language they speak and is even able to speak it as well.

              He wants to be able to tell his teammates information like this but for some unknown reason he never is able to tell utter the words.

              But he realized he was going to have to tell them eventually. Possibly sooner than he is comfortable with because as he was nearing the end of the 2-mile run his fever and aches began again. Jungkook was scared for once in his life he was scared. He was started to believe that the illness of his childhood that had unexpectedly become dormant after his brother’s death has awoken again. He was scared, terrified even. If it is his illness Jungkook is immediately off the team and out of the academy. He will be forced to go through the un-bonding ceremony even if it meant the demon and his own death. And all Jungkook could think of was he needed his demon, he needed Yoongi near him. Then he blacked out onto the track field.

              He woke in the infirmary. His teammates surrounded by his bedside. Off to the side was General Song and Sergeant Dae conversing with the nurse. Jungkook was beginning to become tired of fainting. Jungkook hasn’t fainted this much since he was young and severely ill.

              “What’s wrong?” Jungkook asked, his voice rough and hoarse.

              “What’s wrong?” Seokjin laughed, “this is like what the fifth time you’ve fainted since the bonding ceremony on Saturday?”

              “You seemed better this morning,” Taehyung mumbled, “last night around 3 a.m. I checked in on you and your fever had broken and you actually seemed to be sleeping well. But then on the way to practice you began looking ill again.”

              “Jeon, did you take anything that may have caused these symptoms?” the nurse came to his side and began writing down his current statistics off the monitor.

              “I’m not sure, I originally thought it was something I had to eat,” Jungkook responded. He gratefully accepted the cup of water the nurse poured for him.

              “Your symptoms aren’t consistent with food poisoning, we’ve ruled that possibility out,” the nurse began reading off a list of symptoms and had Jungkook answer which ones he has had within the past 24 hours. Jungkook experienced nearly all of them, “we aren’t entirely sure as to what it is. Your symptoms do not match one single disease.”

              Jungkook closed his eyes. He could hear the doctor from his village’s voice tell him the same sentence when he was young.

              “Did you take any medicine around the time of 3 a.m., your teammate says he noticed some symptoms has disappeared?” the nurse asked.

              Jungkook shook his head, “no, but-” he caught himself. But it was evident he was hiding something.

              “Jeon, whatever it is you must tell the nurse. If you had taken a drug that is prohibited or illegal on military grounds, I am willing to exempt you and give you a warning. But the medical staff must know in order to better treat you,” General Song said, his voice as always firm and never wavering nor showing emotion.

              Jungkook sat up straighter and nervously picked at the lose threads on the thin blanket covering him, “I didn’t take anything.”

              “There are some diseases where the symptoms seem to be more prominent at specific moments such as under intense stress or change in diet, but I have not heard of an illness like this,” the nurse continued scribbling notes. And that’s when it occurred to Jungkook. His childhood illness was different than this. It was similar symptoms but it never stopped and started just like it is now. It began with a few symptoms until it grew worse due to not being treated until one day it disappeared and never returned,

              “I’m afraid if we cannot diagnose and treat the illness your position on the team and in the academy may have to be terminated,” Sergeant Dae said and was met with loud shouts of disagreements from the team.

              General Song held his hand up and the room immediately became quiet, “Sergeant Dae is correct, they are the rules of this academy. I will allow Jeon to be monitored for one more day but if the medical staff cannot diagnose the illness he will have to go through the process of military academic removal. We also have to consider the thought that this may be due to his bond. If it is due to his bond it will be best for him and for us to terminate it.”

              Jungkook’s heart could break his rib-cage and burst out of his chest with how hard it was beating. His eyes were wide with fear he felt tears prickling at the corners. Just as General Song and Sergeant Dae turned to leave Jungkook shouted out, “wait! I- I think I might know what it is.”

              The General and Sergeant stopped and looked at him, as well as everyone else. Jungkook knew he was going to have to tell them, he had to let aspects of the secret go. Even if it wasn’t the whole story they were going to know. Jungkook took a quick sip of water and cleared his throat, “I’m, I’m not sure if it just a coincidence or not but, but I might know why I am sick some moments and not others.”

              The group waited for him to continue. Jungkook was stalling as much as he could. He cleared his throat again, “last night, if I remember correctly, I woke for a moment and saw the time on my clock which said it was just a little before 3 a.m. so Taehyung had not checked on me yet, but I was already feeling better.”

              “Do you know why?” the nurse asked. He had to add more sheets of paper to his clipboard as he ran out of space for notes.

              “Yes,” Jungkook breathed heavily, “my demon. He- it had escaped confinement and came to my room. I don’t think my demon healed me, but I think being physically close to it stopped whatever was happening. I felt fine the entire time my demon was with me. This morning I snuck my demon back to confinement, but the symptoms slowly began again just aches and pains the farther I got from him. The longer and farther I was away from it the worse my symptoms became.”

              The room was silent. He looked at every shocked and confused look on every persons’ face. The only one who showed no reaction was General Song who just stared at him.

              Seokjin was the first to speak, “if I keep saying fuck me, I’m going to end up raw.”

              “Will you please take this seriously,” Jimin hissed and pinched the elder’s side.

              “Are you sure this is what happened?” the nurse asked, trying his best to maintain professionalism.

              “I’m not sure if the demon’s presence is what helped but I just was able to connect the two,” Jungkook spoke, his voice becoming quiet.

              “But how would it explain right now? You seem to be better; your fever is down and you aren’t shaking from the chills,” Namjoon asked.

              “Joon,” Hoseok whispered, “the field where the demons train are right next to the infirmary. If you look out the window all our demons are out there.”

              Sergeant Dae went to the window and peered out of it. He grabbed his walkie talkie and spoke in code to an officer on the receiving line. General Song walked over and they began speaking in low voices while they looked out the window. Jungkook heard some commotion out the window and a moment later a sharp pain shot across his head and black spots reappeared in his vision.

              “Jeon, I am going to lie you down now okay?” the nurse spoke out loud everything he was doing, “you suddenly clutched at your head, are you having head pains right now?”

              Jungkook was barely able to shake his head in agreement.

              “General, I think Jeon might be right,” Sergeant Dae said. He spoke into his walkie talkie again and then received a confirmation for his order. Jungkook closed his eyes and shielded them from the bright piercing white light of the infirmary. He curled into a fetal position, it seemed to be the most soothing and comforting position for him when he felt like this.

              The pain in his head slowly began to decrease but Jungkook stayed in his position, afraid it might come back suddenly. But then he heard the door of his infirmary room open and footsteps enter. A second later there was a soft hand soothing down his hair and brushing softly over his forehead and temple. And Jungkook knew who they called in.

              He opened his eyes and was met face to face with his demon. His demon was squatting beside his bed, leaning lightly against the bed. His left hand petting his hair and his right hand slid between the pillow and Jungkook’s cheek. Jungkook let out a deep breath and tentatively reached out and clutched at his demon’s jumpsuit. His demon smiled at him. It wasn’t a quick and sharp smirk that disappeared as soon as it came. It was a soft and shy smile. Jungkook could not help but twitch his lips up. His body was filled with warmth. It was the first time Jungkook reached for his demon with purpose, not out of an accident or unconsciously. Jungkook was unsure what it meant, but he could feel it meant a great deal to his demon. To Jungkook it felt like acceptance and the confirmation of something unsaid.

              Whatever it is, it is so much more different than any other bond. It is so much stronger. It is so much more intimate.

              “We need to run tests now,” General Song said.

              “Sir, we do not even know what to look for,” Sergeant Dae spoke softly, “we have never seen anything like this before.”

              “Do not talk back to me, Sergeant,” General song said, “I will speak with my top team of researchers. I will inform you once a plan has been legitimized.”

              “Excuse me, General Song, may I have permission to speak?” Namjoon stood up.

              General Song looked at Namjoon, “make it quick.”

              “I respect your superiority as well as your decision to run tests on the bond, I would agree with that,” Namjoon stood straight at command with his hands collapsed respectively in front of himself, “but if I may suggest, I believe research and tests should not be run so hastily. We have just figured out this unique bond, but we also saw the damage and severity of them just being too far apart from one another.”

              General Song gazed upon Namjoon, with dare Jungkook say admiration, “what do you suggest?”

              Namjoon turned and looked at Jungkook still clutching at his demon. For once, Jungkook could not read his facial expression. But Jungkook knew once the team was back at their dorm away from all personal, they were going to have a serious team discussion. And the thought did not settle well with Jungkook, “I suggest we wait until Jungkook rests and heals, the past few days as been incredibly harsh on his body and mental state. Since bonding with his demon, he has become physically ill multiple times, and I cannot vouch for what his mental state must be. But he must heal, if tests are run immediately after this something serious or fatal may happen. Allow Jungkook and his demon to concrete their bond and relationship more, it may allow them both to better cooperate with the research. Please consider my offer, Sir. And I hope you do not take any disrespect from my opinion.”

              General Song nodded, one quick affirmative nod, “Kim Namjoon is it?”

              “Yes, sir,” Namjoon responded.

              “I’m afraid you have been more reasonable in this aspect than I have,” his teammates shifted uncomfortably on their feet, never hearing the General become so open like this, “I will consider your advice. I become to emotional in the information we could gain from this, I admire your strength to stand up to your superior. After a meeting with my people, Sergeant Dae will inform your team on what plan we have come to.”

              With that General Song left the room with the nurse trailing behind him to provide him copies of his medical notes. Jungkook let out a shaky breath and loosened his hold on his demon. His demon paid no attention to his team nor the conversation that just took place. Jungkook knew he understood everything, knew he felt every emotion Jungkook felt during the past few minutes. But his eyes never left Jungkook and his hand never stopped petting Jungkook’s hair.

              “Are you okay?” his demon spoke. The rasp and croaks of the voice never became familiar to Jungkook but it never startled him. But then Jungkook realized he spoke in front of his teammates and Sergeant Dae. Jungkook shot up in his bed and turned to his team to explain only to notice that everyone has frozen. He looked at the clock on his wall, the hour and minute hands were frozen as well, “I have already revealed too much to them too soon into the bond. They cannot know any more. Not right now.”

              “What does that mean?” Jungkook said. He was watching the visible black veins on his demon’s neck and hands and face grow darker and move quicker. Jungkook wanted to know more.

              “I will explain everything soon, but not right now,” his demon cupped Jungkook’s face. And Jungkook didn’t know how a demon so powerful and intimidating like his own can be so soft and comforting towards him. Jungkook needed answers, Jungkook was waiting to speak with his demon but that time has been sped up, “I promise, I will explain everything but not now.”

              “Why not?” Jungkook asked.

              “Like I have said, I cannot explain everything right now. Soon everything will come to surface. I can tell you certain things, but not the whole story,” his demon sat back with one last pat to his cheeks and then stood.

              “My teammates they are going to want to know, they’re going to ask questions,” Jungkook felt himself hyperventilating.

              “Shh, it is okay,” his demon said, “I feel that there are some things you do not wish to tell anyone. And you cannot understand why you cannot tell others. But like I said, you will come to understand everything.”

              “What? I don’t know what that means?” Jungkook shook his head. He never liked not knowing, he never like not understanding something. He used to stay up all night stressing and worrying over notes and articles whenever a professor or trainer told him something that he immediately did not know. It was an obsession of his. And he has met his match.

              “Be patient with me, Jungkook.” Jungkook noticed it was the first time he heard the demon utter his name. Every word the demon has spoken felt unfamiliar like it did not belong here on earth. But when he spoke his name, when he said ‘Jungkook’ it felt like everything. Like in that moment that was the only sound meant to be heard. And Jungkook could not help but believe that he has heard it before.

              “What can you tell me? What should I tell my teammates?” Jungkook muttered. So many questions already rolling through his mind.

              “We will speak later,” his demon said, “it is better you only know what you know when you speak with your teammates. But when you do speak with your teammates, do not speak with your General or any other superior in the room. Promise me.”

              Jungkook eyes flickered from his demon to General Song, “I promise. I promise you.”

              “I am going to continue time,” his demon said, “be prepared you may become disoriented for a few moments.”

              Jungkook reached out, “wait. Can I ask you one thing?”

              His demon thought for a moment and nodded. Jungkook licked his lips, “Yoongi, is that your name?”

              His demon snapped his eyes up to Jungkook’s, for a moment they shone darker for a moment it appeared as if his eyes were made of blood, “yes.”

              “I didn’t know demons have names. I-”

              “Not now, be patient,” his demon- Yoongi said, “I am going to continue time now.”

              Jungkook blinked and he heard the commotion and movement of his teammates. He met eyes with Namjoon. Seokjin spoke first, of course, “so who is gonna fuck me? I keep saying fuck me but no one is fucking me.”

              Jimin punched him in the shoulder and hissed, “seriously, Jin.”

              “No wonder your demon is an incubus,” Hoseok laughed at his joke.

              “Can we please be professional in this matter,” General Song coughed and caught their attention.

              Seokjin winked at him, “sorry, sir, I like to use humor to hide my emotions.”

              “Jungkook?” Namjoon stepped forward and then took a step back, looking at his demon, “are you okay?”

              “I’m fine, truly this time,” Jungkook responded, “and thank you, for before.”

              “You’re my mate,” Namjoon said like that was supposed to explain everything. But Jungkook knew when it came to them, it did.

              “Dinner time has passed, your teammates had eaten while they waited for you to come through,” General Song stood at command, “are you hungry?”

              “No, I don’t think I can stomach anything right now,” Jungkook knew he should eat, but even drinking the water upset his stomach.

              “Then let’s get you back to your dormitory. Namjoon was right, it has been a rough and interesting few days. I am not going to question you; I am in charge of your team but this is something that my superiors must deal with and then they are the ones who decide what I know or not. You may voluntarily tell me what you wish but I cannot ask you. And I know you Jeon, you won’t tell me. I am not blind I see the why your demon looks at me, I’m going to be honest it frightens me. But I trust you that you have it under control,” Sergeant Dae said, he went and opened the infirmary room door, “I know you all will be having a meeting amongst yourselves. But I advise that you do not tell anyone else. No one must know about this connection until General Song allows it to become public knowledge. Do you understand?

              “Don’t worry, I won’t allow a anyone to touch a pretty little hair on your pretty little head,” Seokjin winked again and left the room. Jungkook stood shakily and slipped his feet into his boots. He followed his teammates out the room, his demon following behind him.

              “Your team missed an entire day of training and classes. Tomorrow I advise to make up for it during rest time. Your professors and trainers have been made aware there was an issue but of course they do not know the details of it. They have also agreed to work overtime with you tomorrow evening to catch you up,” Sergeant Dae wished them a goodnight and watched them exit the infirmary and head in the direction of their dormitory.

              Taehyung fell into step with Jungkook and held onto the sleeve of his jumpsuit, “is it okay if I tough you?”

              Jungkook felt his heart drop, “you’ve never asked before.”

              Taehyung looked at his demon, “yeah, I know.”

              “Don’t mind him, don’t act any differently,” Jungkook said.

              “Him?” Taehyung cocked his head, “never mind. From what I’ve seen and from what I know, your relationship with your demon isn’t going to be welcomed. Especially with how you seem to be treating him like an equal. But just know we won’t ever judge you, our team I mean. We know you Jungkook, we trust you and if that means we trust your demon too then so be it. But just don’t expect me to treat my demon the same.”

              Jungkook smiled and laughed in what it seemed like years, “I didn’t expect you to, but thank you.”

              Taehyung nudged his shoulder, “you don’t think every demon can do what he does, right?”

              Jungkook shook his head, “no, don’t worry you don’t have to worry about your demon becoming like this either.”

              “Okay, good.” Taehyung smiled his boxy smile and set Jungkook’s heart at ease, “I never believed in treating demons like trash, you know how some abuse them and a lot of people think it is okay to use them for sex and stuff, and like you shouldn’t do that, but being friends with one is a bit too much for me.”

              “Tae?” Jungkook laughed, “you’re rambling.”

              “Sorry,” Taehyung sheepishly laughed and Jungkook knocked their heads together lightly.

              “Thank you,” Jungkook said.

              The team entered their dormitory and filed into the common area. Taehyung spoke, “but can I ask, why didn’t you tell us?”

              His teammates settled themselves on the couches and floors, waiting for Jungkook to answer. They had no where else to be, they were all excused from classes and training to be with Jungkook in the infirmary. And due to that as well the demon trainer assigned to their team graciously offered to secure their demons back into their confinement chambers. Of course, except for Jungkook’s own demon.

              Jungkook sat down next to Taehyung. He glanced over his shoulder at his demon who came and stood behind him. He was always there, standing behind Jungkook. Even when they were apart, Jungkook often felt his presence. Physically they could be separated but never mentally or spiritually, “I don’t know. I really don’t, it’s still all new to me. Half the time I do not even realize anything is different.”

              “Why is that?” Namjoon asked. Namjoon had settled down next to Seokjin, and it pleased Jungkook to see his friend slowly become so comfortable with the others. Namjoon was his first friend at the Pre-Academy. In fact, Jungkook even considered him his first true and real friend. But he knows how hard opening up to others it is for the elder, which possibly explained why they were able to become so connected so quickly. They’re similar in those regards. Namjoon knows Jungkook does not like to be pried open. But Jungkook also knows that unknowingly his friend has taken the role as team leader, and he needs to know about information that could be in anyways beneficial or detrimental to their team.

              “I don’t know how to explain it,” Jungkook felt Taehyung’s fingers grip at his wrist. But he also felt his demon place his hand on his shoulder. Jungkook knew it was both for comfort but to also keep him in place. Jungkook had to be careful about what they had spoken about earlier, “it just feels like second nature, I suppose. I have questioned it; every second I question it. Part of me wonders why this is happening, why it is happening to me, but another part of me just feels like this is how it should be. There is no actual why to describe this feeling.”

              “Since you bonded has your demon been like this?” Hoseok asked.

              “The physical touches? Over the past few days it has progressed, started off small but then grew into something bigger,” Jungkook explained, trying to answer as vaguely possible without his members catching onto it.

              “Is your demon going to have to live with us?” Jimin whispered, as if he were trying for the demon to not hear.

              Seokjin barked a laugh, “unless you want dear Kookie to descend into the depths of fiery sickness, I believe so. But Jungkook could always just move into the confinement chamber.”

              “It’s not funny,” Jimin leaned over Hoseok and tried swatting at Seokjin, his fingers just barely grazing the other’s arm.

              “For now, I think it is best that we stay together,” Jungkook said, “tomorrow we should know more.”

              Seokjin raised his hand, “I have a question.” He waited until Jungkook sighed and gave him permission to speak, “are you going to fuck your demon?”

              “Jin!” Jimin screeched. Seokjin had a twinkle in his eye. Jungkook ignored him and judgingily looked at Taehyung who gagged and began to cough loudly.

              “Be serious, guys,” Namjoon spoke, authority rolling from his words. He turned to Jungkook, “is there anything else we should know about?”

              Jungkook felt as if the last few days has passed in a blur. He could barely recall the minor details of what had occurred. He felt like he was losing track of time and losing track of himself. Something was changing and stirring within himself. Instead of two souls joining together, it felt as if their soul was becoming one of itself.

              Jungkook felt the weight of Yoongi’s hand on his shoulder, “no, this is the only thing that’s happened.”

Chapter Text

The master and the demon sat quietly in the bedroom. Jungkook leaned against the wall. The demon stood against the opposite wall. There was everything and nothing going through Jungkook’s mind. He had so many questions burning on the tip of his tongue for days but as Jungkook led Yoongi to his bedroom as his teammates quietly said their goodnights, they all seemed to disappear with each step. And as Jungkook leaned against the wall his mouth refused to open.

              Since the end of the Demon War came to an end decades ago no researcher or scientist has ever had this given opportunity. For years the Demonic Military Service has long desired to capture and study a Demon of Death, no matter of its class. And yet here Jungkook was bonded with a Demon of Death Warrior, the highest ranking and most powerful demon. Not only did Jungkook have questions for his demon but he had questions for the Academy. As Jungkook sat in the living room prior with his teammates he was both grateful for General Song for letting him rest but he was also confused. Confused as to why they did not run tests and questions as soon as they classified his demon.

              The Demonic Military Academy should have jumped at this opportunity. And that was the first question out of Jungkook’s mouth, “why hasn’t the government stepped in? why haven’t they done anything?”

              His demon looked up at him, his eyes flashing, “you are finally questioning them?

              The response shocked Jungkook, “what?”

              “You’re smart, Jungkook,” his demon said, “I’m surprised it has taken you this long to question it.”

              Jungkook ran a hand through his hair, ruffling his usually clean-cut style. And Jungkook knew the demon was right. He prided himself on his intelligence, he always was the one to notice the oblivious the hidden messages. Jungkook has not been thinking properly these past few days, his attention has been rendered to his demon and nothing else. It was as if nothing else had room to occupy his thoughts. Jungkook knew he has not been himself, knew that his body and mind were changing since the bonding ceremony. Jungkook knew it was affects of the demon. Jungkook could feel pieces and bits of the demon entering into himself.

              “Most masters acquire slight changes of the psyche when bonding with a demon, it is just a side effect,” his demon answered as if he read his mind, “our bond, it is not like other bonds. It is stronger. More powerful. It is only natural that you would have a heavier effect.”

              “Does it not affect you?” Jungkook asked.

              “No, demons can control it,” Yoongi answered.

              “How?” Jungkook bounced lightly on his feet.

              “Naturally, we do not need to think to do so. Most demons are not intelligent nor powerful enough to hold a personality or specific characteristic traits,” his demon coped his movements and bounced on his feet, “as for me it is all natural. My body rejects what it does not identify as my own. Humans are more susceptible towards influence.”

              “I don’t want to be influenced,” Jungkook’s lip quivered and his voice shook, “these feelings, these changes. What are they doing to me? I am not acting how I usually am.”

              His demon stepped forward, “you will get used to it. Any trait you acquire from me, it is meant to better you. A human soul searches and scourges the bonded demon for any potential trait that will be beneficial towards the human.”

              “How come we never learned about this in classes?” Jungkook asked. What he asked himself was how come his brother never wrote about it? His brother had written information and possible facts about bonding that his classes has never taught him. This was something it appeared even his brother had not known.

              “Like I said, most are not noticeable. Most are not bonded to a Demon of Death,” his demon answered. Jungkook bounced lightly back against the wall and then moved to sit on the bed. He was beginning to feel anxious. He had to move around, “eventually they will begin to simmer down and you will return to as you were.”

              “How do you know all this?” Jungkook asked. He looked up and stared into his demon’s eyes. He knew what his demon was going to say.

              “I cannot tell you that right now.” It was what Jungkook knew he was going to say.

              “Can you answer my original question? Why have the government not stepped in?” Jungkook played with his fingers, cracking them and pulling at them. His demon stepped forward and then stepped back, backing into the wall.

              “I can’t,” his demon said. For a moment, Jungkook believed he was going to answer him. But Jungkook knew most of the questions he has for his demon, the demon will not answer. Jungkook just nodded his head and looked at his hands playing in his lap.

              “Do you not know? Or can you not tell me?” Jungkook continued pester. His demon stepped forward again and walked closer. His legs hit Jungkook’s knees, “I can’t say.”

              Jungkook choked on some laughter, “of course.”

              His demon reached out, small and hesitant touches trailed down Jungkook’s temple to his jaw, “remember what I said, Jungkook. You have to be patient. All will come to light.”

              Jungkook nodded his head again and licked his lips, “I don’t know what questions to ask where you won’t just tell me that you cannot say.”

              The delicate fingers stopped moving briefly and then began trailing his features again, “there is not much I can say. This is a difficult and delicate situation.”

              “It’s beginning to frustrate me; I feel like I’m trapped and I don’t know how to get out. I don’t like not knowing. I don’t like being left in the dark, especially when it pertains to myself. It has not even been a week. But it seems as if it has been centuries, I can feel every single second pass by. I don’t know what is going on. Why is it we cannot be separated? Why do I feel death’s oncoming when I am not near you? But why does it not affect you?” Jungkook voice began rising. He harshly knocked away his demon’s hand and stood pushing the demon back, “why can you not tell me anything? I am your master and you are my demon; we are supposed to work in union together. You cannot bond with me and then not tell me anything. Why are you able to speak but no other demon can?  Why are you the only Demon of Death to bond with a human? Just exactly how powerful are you? Why did you bond with me? Huh? Why did you bond with me?”

              The demon cupped his jaw and pressed his forward onto Jungkook’s. Jungkook was breathing heavily, his chest heaving up and down. He felt tears pool into the corner of his eyes and the blood rush to his cheeks. The demon’s eyes were the brightest red Jungkook has ever seen, every black vein was coursing violently through the demon’s body. He held tightly onto Jungkook, refusing to let go as Jungkook thrashed in his grasp choking out sobs and tears, “why did you bond with me? Yoongi?”

              “Shh, it is okay,” Yoongi whispered, “you have to trust me. Please, I beg of you, trust me. The government, the Demonic Military Service, there are things they have not told you things they have kept secret for years. I am here to unveil them. But you cannot know the specifics now, I am sorry Jungkook. I am sorry, my dear Jungkook.”

              Jungkook stopped moving, he stood still. His eyes searching his demon’s. He reached up and clutched at the demon’s elbows. He felt a rush of calmness surge through him and he knew it was the demon’s doing, “why do I trust you so easily? Why do I feel safe with you?”

              Yoongi lightly rubbed their foreheads together, their nose brushed against each other, “we are more than just bonded, Jungkook.”

              “Let me guess you cannot tell me,” Jungkook whispered. His demon smiled softly and sweetly. And dare Jungkook say, his demon was beautiful. He was ethereal and unique. Like nothing Jungkook has ever seen before.

              “At least I can say you catch on quickly,” his demon replied, his voice lathered with kindness. It was a new side Jungkook was seeing of him. Every situation Jungkook saw a new side to him. And Jungkook continued to want to see every side.

              “I’m sorry I yelled, I do not know what overcame me,” Jungkook gripped tighter at Yoongi’s arms.

              Yoongi shook his head, “there are new emotions and feeling swirling inside of you, you have some of my own emotions. Your body and psyche are confused, you have had these bottling up inside you. It was bound to come out. Please, Jungkook never apologize to me, never keep anything from me. I know it is hypocritical for me to say, but what I am keeping from you is for your own protection.”

              “This was not how I imagined tonight going, I pictured a calm and serious conversation between a demon and a human,” Jungkook voice felt hoarse. The early night began closing to an end. Jungkook was irrational and irresponsible. He let his façade fall in his moment of weakness. He was having too many moments of weakness. It left him feeling fragile and vulnerable. No one has ever witness him become like this. Like a scared young boy. Only his brother has. But his brother has long since been gone and Jungkook never allowed himself to show how he truly felt inside again. But his demon brought it out in him whether he wanted it or not. And he was going to continuingly slip up in front of his teammates, he had a deep feeling in the pit of his stomach that it was going to continue to happen. And it was the second time since the bonding ceremony that Jungkook began considering telling his teammates of his backstory. The whole of it.

              “You must be afraid; you must be terrified. But I see how strongly you try to hide it,” Yoongi said. Jungkook fluttered his eyes closed, “I know that you want to, but you have been hurt so many times Jungkook. I can feel the lingering pain and trauma. It is okay, I will always be by your side.”

              “How do you know everything?” Jungkook opened his eyes. The black veins had begun to simmer down and the brightness of his eyes dimmed.

              “I can feel everything you feel Jungkook, feel every thought you have,” his demon replied, “it has been a long night, we have eternity to talk.”

              Days upon days have passed. His team quickly and swiftly fell back into their normal regime. Wake up, run, breakfast, lectures, lunch, fitness training, library or gym free time, dinner, relax, sleep, wake up. The only difference this time was Jungkook’s demon constantly at his side. The Academy had to alter arrangements due to the issue at hand. Demons in training had their own training grounds separated from their masters training grounds until they were prepared to begin training together. Now, his teams demons practice on the same grounds as the team. They were still separated, with their trainers focusing on different techniques. But Jungkook was always close enough to Yoongi to constantly feel his presence. The Academy made a makeshift training ground outside his teams classrooms. Jungkook and Yoongi were only separated by windows and walls, there were times were Jungkook felt a pit in his stomach tugging and searching for Yoongi. It only lasted a few moments before his demon finished an exercise and moved closer to the building for Jungkook.

              Yoongi now lived with his team in their dormitory. His teammates have yet to grow accustomed to it, more than once Jungkook has seen a teammate glance over at his demon in shock that he was there only to remember the circumstances they were in. His teammates often try their best to ignore the demon in the room, try their best to continue laughing and joking with one another after a long day of training and lessons.

              Every night when Jungkook said goodnight to his teammates his demon faithful as always follows him into their now shared bedroom. They don’t speak much. It was something Jungkook has noticed, his demon only talks when he feels it is necessary. The first few nights Jungkook tried to make polite conversation, the words often coming out awkward and jumbled. His demon never responded. Jungkook has since stopped trying. He has since stopped trying to ask questions. But he has noticed pieces of paper slipped into his brother’s journal. During the night when Jungkook was asleep and resting, the demon would read Jungkook’s brother journal scribbling down notes and facts to fill in the gaps of information, nothing life altering nothing that Jungkook could not have learned on his own. Jungkook never asked the demon about it and the demon never brought it up.

              Jungkook had pushed his desk to the corner of the room, removing any books or papers that littered the right side of the desk. He had also discovered that his demon most liked to sit on the desk cornered into the wall. Though on occasion he will wake in the middle of the night and see the demon sitting on the ledge of the window staring out into the night sky. It was another thing Jungkook never mentioned to the demon.

              Days upon days passed like this. The Academy has grown quiet. News of the Demon of Death has long since lost its initial affect, though it does not make any cadet less terrified of being in Yoongi’s presence. Jungkook and his team have often made a habit of taking their dinner back to their dormitory, dinner was the only time the entire campus shared a time period together. It was against policy, but no one made a move to prevent them from continuing it. The comfort of the usual routine put Jungkook at ease. Except for one thing.

              There has been no move on researching his demon nor their bond. Jungkook knew General Song agreed to allow Jungkook to rest after the last incident. But weeks have passed since that day. And he has not heard a word from the General. Nor has any cadet seen him. There have been rumors that he was off base, attending to matters elsewhere. When Namjoon asked Sergeant Dae about it the man was quick to change the topic of discussion. His team had shared a look and never spoke of it again to their Sergeant.

              No scientists at the base nor any academic researcher has come forward to question or test the pair. Nothing has happened. And it often made the hairs on Jungkook’s arm stand up in warning. Something was going to happen. Jungkook could feel it. His team could feel it. His demon could feel it. Though Jungkook suspects his demon may be anticipating what is to come.

              His team is currently making their way back to their dormitory, dinner’s in hand. Taehyung and Jimin were walking a few paces ahead of the rest of the team, talking in hushed whispers. Jungkook looked over at Namjoon catching the man’s eye. They both were questioning what had gotten into the two. He could hear Seokjin and Hoseok mention it to each other as well. Taehyung and Jimin have been kept to themselves, only talking to each other when they know no one can hear what they are saying, since they returned from their free study period at the library. They were the only ones from their team to attend the library instead of the gym on this particular day. They had rushed the team into gathering their dinner and have since rushed back to their dormitory.

              It was not until after they finished eating their dinner around their makeshift table in the common area they spoke up. Jimin spoke for them, “guys, we accidentally overheard another team in the library having a discussion.”

              “You mean eavesdropping?” Seokjin asked.

              “Not important right not,” Jimin said, “but something’s going on.”

              Taehyung nodded, “we aren’t sure of the exact details, but the group we were listening to they’re our seniors. They are in their third year of cadet training. And they were discussing it amongst their team no one else, so I think its plausible to believe them.”

              “Okay, but what is it?” Hoseok asked. Jungkook looked over his shoulder at his demon. For once, his demon did not keep his eyes trained on Jungkook. For the first time, Jungkook saw Yoongi looking at his teammates. His eyes never wavering from where Taehyung and Jimin sat at the end of the table together.

              “So, we were sitting in a corner of the library studying our lessons from today together, it was isolated not a lot of people there except for the other team. We got there just in time to hear them begin the conversation,” Taehyung started, his hands flaring about, “so we chose the closest table to study at where we could hear them but not to make it too obvious. To be quite honest we did not feel like studying.”

              “Understandable,” Seokjin nodded.

              Jimin picked up the story, “so we sat there pretending we were studying and that’s when we heard the whole thing.”

              “Can you please get on with it,” Namjoon said, blowing out a hot breath of air.

              “Okay, okay,” Taehyung fiddled around, “so one of the teammates was explain to his team that she wrote a letter to her older brother a few weeks ago, her brother is currently a Sergeant working at the Demonic Military branch in Hong Kong. She wrote to her brother when it was released to the base that Jungkook had bonded with a Demon of Death. She told her brother about the phenomenon, looking to discuss it with him and learn of the governments and the United Global Military were planning on doing about it.”

              Taehyung paused and Jimin started again, “she sent out the letter to him. A few weeks have passed and she was wondering what was taking so long for him to reply. She said she checked her assigned p.o multiple times and never received anything. She began writing another letter, to follow up with her brother. She said while she was writing it she figured she should check with the post office on base first to see if there was a possible mix-up or a delay in mail. So, she stops writing and goes to the post office before it closed for the day-”

               “She gets there and they ask for her I.D to check their system,” Taehyung continued. Jungkook saw Seokjin begin to fake snore and Hoseok lean onto Namjoon as he grew tired, “they put her I.D into the system to check and immediately red flags beginning flashing on the screen alerting security. She nor the workers at the post office knew what was happening. But due to protocol she was required to remain at location until security came. They wait a few moments before the entire place is raided by security. But it was not just security, General Song’s closest ranking personnel showed up as well.”

              “When you mail anything you first have to plug in the senders I.D into the computer and then go from there to select what they are doing whether receiving mail or sending mail or making any other inquire. Before the post officers were even able to click what she was there for, just the I.D alone caused this,” Jimin said, moving to sit on his hands, “she did not say who the high ranking personnel were, but one of them pulled her aside as the others talked with the post office workers. He told her that she was currently under their surveillance and on prohibition. She was not allowed to send or receive mail or any outside information until they see fit.”

              “She asked about the last letter she sent, and they told her the letter was confiscated and never sent out. They did not say anything else. Her demon is able to change shape and size, a rare ability truly, but she commanded the demon to change shape to appear smaller and she placed a listening device on the demon and hid behind the building listening to the conversations that took place afterwards. She learned that since Jungkook bonded with his demon no letter or information as left the base without being read and searched. Any mail that even remotely mentioned a Demon of Death being bonded with a human and on earth was taken away, and the people who sent the letters were being watched.”

              Taehyung and Jimin finished their story and sat back to watch their teammates reactions. There was a long pause, no one knew what to say or do. Jungkook looked at his demon, the demon stared back. Jungkook was shocked, but he could tell the demon was not.

              “They’re hiding information regarding Jungkook and his demon,” Namjoon stated bluntly, “they have not made the information public. Only this base knows about it.”

              “Are you sure about that?” Hoseok asked, “what if they did not want cadets spreading rumors.”

              Namjoon shook his head, “The United Global Council has a decree saying that the general public should be informed of information, such as this, in order to protect themselves. Someone has made this information regarding Jungkook confidential. They had to inform everyone on base, but they do not need to inform the public. Something is going to happen, something they want kept hidden from the public and possibly from other branches.”

              “It makes since, especially with how serious they are taking the situation. Rumors are just rumors, people will gossip and create stories to fit their fantasies,” Seokjin agreed, “nothing has ever come from rumors.”

              “But why wouldn’t they tell the Demonic Military Service?” Hoseok asked, his voice growing softer. Hoseok once told the team that he thought that General Song had bugged every cadets’ dormitory. He often spoke softer thinking it would prevent any listener from hearing him, “is that not against the rules and guidelines? I mean, the entirety of not only the Demonic Military Service but the Untied Global Council has been waiting for this opportunity. Studying a Demon of Death will finally complete what we don’t know, it could provide us with all the information we need to properly control them and to prevent another possible demonic war.”

              Jungkook sat there listening to his teammate discuss what could possibly be happening. He looked at Yoongi. His demon shook his head. Jungkook turned back to his members, “what do you think it means?”

              They all shrugged, no one had an answer. No one could even think of an answer. Jungkook could see Namjoon was trying to come up with theories, he could see the faint lines creasing at his forehead and his fingers scratch the back of his neck. They were habits Jungkook has come to identify as Namjoon’s thoughts projecting into a physical embodiment. He has come to identify numerous and various ticks and movements his teammates do. It has been only a few months with the other three teammates but he has already become so accustomed For Taehyung and Namjoon he has become so familiar to them that they often seem like his own, he has noticed a few of their traits picked up by himself. He was taking some comfort in them, although he has distanced himself from them emotionally and mentally, his physical movements mimicking them made up for it.

              But now since his demon’s presence has entered into his thoughts and emotions Jungkook was feeling even more unlike himself. It seemed as if nothing he did now was of how own originality, everything he felt and did was due to another external force. Jungkook told himself it was because he did not want to be anyone but himself, that he took comfort in his own body. His body and thoughts are something he is familiar and comfortable with; he knew how they both worked. And he never liked not knowing something. But as he spent more nights rereading his brother’s journal, studying his brother’s thoughts he realized that his brother’s journal was not the only thing he had to remind himself of his brother’s existence.

              But Jungkook himself was a reminder. His brother raised and nurtured him. Every piece of moral and faith he had was embedded in him by his brother. He grew up knowing nothing, nothing of only his brother. There has been times where Jungkook has gazed upon himself in the mirror and feel his heartbeat skip thinking he was staring at his brother instead. The way he was so dedicated to his work and his future career, how he spends nights studying until his body caved into sleep (now Yoongi often will nudge his shoulder and Jungkook knows he should go to sleep), the way he has physically exerted his body until he woke with pains and ache, how he loves so painfully and deeply, how he wishes he could put everyone above himself. Everything. Every single thing Jungkook does because he grew up watching his brother do the very same thing.

              It was not Jungkook scared of just losing himself but losing his brother as well.

              “What are you thinking about Kook?” Namjoon asked. Jungkook had caught off his teammates’ discussion, he did not hear anything they spoke of within the past ten minutes.

              “What?” Jungkook said dumbly. He felt dumb when his mind wondered so far into itself that it focused on nothing else.

              “Do you have any ideas as to why General Song has not told any other base?” Namjoon rephrased the question.

              Jungkook shrugged and licked his lips, “for once, I do not know. I do not understand why he would hide this information, considering how critical and important this is. I mean, to be quite frank I am the only person in history to bond with a Demon of Death. Even until now researchers have never been given the chance to experiment or run tests on such a demon nor its bond. This has been the exact thing the Demonic Military Service has been waiting for. General Song must have an alternative motive. I just do not know if it good or bad.”

              “You don’t think General Song is actually like a bad guy, do you?” Taehyung asked.

              “I do not know, the more I think about the entire situation the more unclear it is,” Jungkook answered, Namjoon nodding in agreement, “just a few mere weeks ago he was so ready to run tests right then and there on Y- my demon and I. He agrees to allow me to heal, but since then there has been no word from him nor any other scientists on base. Now there are rumors that he has not even been on base since then, and even if he has been on base no one has seen him.”

              “Jungkook’s right,” Hoseok mumbled, “I completely forgot about the experiments and such General Song wish to run. But something is clearly off, especially if we take into account what Jimin and Taehyung have just told us. He has the whole of security and his closest ranking personnel watching out for any leaked information regarding Jungkook and his demon. I can understand not making the fact public nor allowing any civilian to know for now, but the girl was writing to her brother who is a Sergeant in Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s demonic military base is one of the largest in the world. Almost every important and ground-breaking experiments done within the eastern hemisphere are conducted in Hong Kong. Why would they not allow them to know? When they above everyone else would be the most helpful and guiding in this situation.”

              Seokjin looked at him, “damn where has this been hiding this entire time? Over three years I have known you and I didn’t know you were smart.”

              “Are you only good for witty and inappropriate comments?” Hoseok bickered, immaturely sticking his tongue out at the elder.

              “I’m the comic relief of this tragedy,” Seokjin smirked and winked. Hoseok, as well as everyone else, just simply rolled their eyes, “but what Hoseok said is correct. But also, let’s remember, she was writing to a Sergeant. Yes, technically they are officials but they are not generals nor commanders. We do not know if the higher-ups have been informed or not. The entire Council may have been made aware.”

              “He hasn’t notified anyone besides this base.” For a brief moment Jungkook panicked believing Yoongi to utter those words to his teammates. He did not know how to respond, how his teammates would respond. But his teammates did not react, they just simply stared at Jungkook. He had heard Yoongi’s voice and thought in his head but he was the one to say the words aloud.

              “How do you know?” Jimin asked.

              “The council, whether it be the United Global Military or the United Global Council, neither would have allowed General Song to sit idly by while he has a Demon of Death so easily accessible within his reach. They would have declared and forced the base to run experiments and tests, they probably would have even flown and stationed experts from around the world to come and study this phenomenon to get as much information as they can. I and my demon would not be allowed to continue attending lectures and training. Technically, General Song allowing me and my demon to maintain normal routine since the beginning of the bond should have been incredibly unlikely. The only people informed of this information are those on base, no one else. And everyone and everything is being monitored closely,” Jungkook spoke the words but everything was from his demon. Jungkook could not even stop himself from speaking if he wished. Another trait and power that his demon has unclassified for Jungkook. Manipulation of the bodily actions.

              “Jungkook, I think you’re right,” Namjoon said, his eyes slightly widened in shock, “I believe none of us wanted to admit that you should have been temporarily removed from the group and all group activities for the government to focus on the bond and your demon. But you are right that is how it should have happened. General Song is hiding something.”

              For the first time since Jungkook has known Seokjin, he saw the man serious. His face was devoid of emotion, not a crease or hint of his usual slyness presence. Jungkook has never seen the elder like this before. He could feel the common area filling with his presence. And that was when Jungkook knew never to mess with Seokjin, the man radiated unpredictable rage. His teammates all noticed it. Seokjin spoke, menace and rage filling his voice, “whatever General Song is hiding we will uncover it. Whatever General Song is planning whether malicious or not we will put an end to it. General Song is up to something, he is planning something, and it is clearly will not pass ruled and regulation if he is trying this hard to put a hush to it. General Song will not lay a dirty little finger on Jungkook’s pretty little head. He is not only our teammate but our brother. He is our family. And we protect our family. I do not care that going against one’s superior is punishable by federal imprisonment. I have not trusted General Song with Jungkook since I met the man. I will not hesitate to cut a bitch.”

              Tears were beginning to brim in Jungkook’s eyes. The last statement by Seokjin allowed him to smile and laugh softly. He was sure that if he looked himself right now, he would see nothing but love and admiration in his eyes towards Seokjin. He knew the elder cared for him, cared for them all, intensely but hearing it spoke out loud was something else. Something special.

              “What do you mean you have not trusted General Song with Jungkook?” Jimin asked. Jungkook was so immersed with a feeling of love and acceptance that he has put that statement to the back of his thought process. But Jimin was right in asking that question. How has he known since the beginning?

              Seokjin looked away from Jungkook. It was one of the traits Jungkook has picked up on from Seokjin, whenever he offered negative feedback or talked about something that was not entirely pleasant in regards to someone Seokjin was never able to look at said person when saying his mind. One thing Jungkook admired about him, he was snarky and sly but he was conscious of other’s feelings. Seokjin instead spoke to Jimin, “when we stepped off the bus, when we first arrived here, I was behind Jungkook getting off the bus. When Jungkook stepped down and bowed, I saw the way General Song looked at him. It was brief, but it was there. I knew I was not seeing things. He looked scared as if he had seen a ghost but then there was like this lusty greed filled grin on his face. It made me feel uncomfortable just seeing it. I did not say anything because I was unsure as to what it meant. I mean I do not blame the man for finding Jungkook attractive, but it was just simply put weird.”

              Jungkook felt shivers run down his spine. Every hair on his body stood up, there were goosebumps lining his arms. Yoongi placed a hand on his shoulder and dug his fingers slightly into the skin. Jungkook knew the prints were going to bruise but he did not shake the demon off. He felt the overflowing sense of the need and want to protect Jungkook oozed from the demon. Seokjin laughed, “same demon, same, I want to protect Jungkook too.”

              Every teammate snapped their head up to look at Seokjin, including Jungkook and Yoongi. He was the first member to talk to his demon. He was the first to even acknowledge the demon’s existence. Even now, after weeks of being bonded, his teammates still have a sense of wariness when with their own demons. Trying their best to pretend they were not there and go about their own business. Seokjin simply rolled his eyes, “punish me for talking to a demon. I just said what we were all thinking.”

              His demon did nothing, said nothing, but stared at Seokjin for a few brief seconds and then looked away. His hand never loosening its grip on Jungkook.

              Taehyung was visibly paled, “are you sure?”

              Seokjin nodded, “I can never forget it.”

              “Okay, ignore him being a creepy pervert for a moment,” Namjoon said. Hoseok snickered and muttered ‘creepy pervert’ under his breath, “why would he look scared upon seeing Jungkook for the first time unless they have met before?”

              “We haven’t,” Jungkook clarified.

              “Exactly, so why did he appear scared?” Namjoon asked.

              “The more we discuss General Song and everything that has happened and it happening, he truly seems like a frightening man,” Jimin spoke softly, his eyes wide, “and to think I respected him.”

              “You only respected him because he is a senior,” Seokjin said, pushing away Jimin’s outreached hand before it could pinch him.

              “Unless he can tell the future,” Taehyung spoke, blinking.

              “Sure, maybe. We’ll take it into consideration,” Namjoon said, patting Taehyung on the head as the boy’s lips spread into a boxy smile.

              “I do not believe there has been any incident where we crossed paths, but I know for certain we have never met face to face before that day,” Jungkook said. His mind was coming up blank. Everything was so new and so strange. He could not understand anything. Nor could he come to any possible explanation to anything.

              “At this point can we just question his status as well?” Jimin said, “I mean, when Jungkook was in the infirmary and he discovered how strong their bond was he became overly ecstatic and wanted to run tests right then and there without any preparations or thought to it. For a general he was extremely uncalculated and explosive. Namjoon, a cadet, was the one to bring and show reason and explanation to him. It was the only moment I have seen him behave so, but it is worth noting.”

              “How are we all just noticing these traits now?” Taehyung asked, “when so much time has passed for us to think and process it.”

              Hoseok shrugged, “we have been working from dawn until evening, by the time we retire to our dormitory at night I am too tired to be able to think clearly.”

              “Same,” Jimin replied. Namjoon and Seokjin nodding as well. Jungkook was tired as well, but he still expected better from himself. He should have noticed something. He should have at least questioned something, questioned anything. But he did none of it until of late. But Jungkook knew he was not going to allow this to happen again, he knew amongst his studies at night he was going to be kept awake thinking and rethinking everything that has been confessed and questioned in tonight’s discussion. Everything, every flaw and concern they had in regards to General Song it all came back to Jungkook. Jungkook was the root of it all. And apparently so long before he had bonded with his demon.

              “We have to keep our guard up from now on,” Jungkook spoke, “listen out for any rumors or gossip other cadets are saying. Even the most ridiculous of them, we should be prepared for anything. I am assigned to this team, you are my teammates, you may be caught in the cross-fire and I do not want that happening. But you should be cautious of anything.”

              “Shut up, Jeon,” Namjoon sighed, “we’re going to be caught in the cross-fire but because we choose to be. We aren’t leaving you to deal with this on your own so please do not even fight about it.”

              Jungkook nodded, “but if you hear anything, if anyone tells you anything, act surprised. Do not show that you know, do not show that you have thought about it. Play dumb, it does not matter right now. Until this gets resolved we should stick together, we already do but more closely now. Pay attention to surroundings, pay attention to anything. From everything that has been discussed we cannot predict what General Song will even remotely plan on doing.”

              His teammates all cheered in agreement, Hoseok imitating a battle cry common. Jungkook felt his cheeks blush and heat. Everything he said he agrees with, but he knew it was once again Yoongi speaking through Jungkook. Yoongi was warning his teammates to be careful, he was showing an interest in their well-being. Until now his demon did not care for them, ignoring them just as they ignored him. He paid them nor their demons any heed, Jungkook often could tell that Yoongi felt superior towards them. But over the course of the discussion Jungkook could feel his thoughts and opinion of his teammates slowly alter from indifferent to a slight heave of protectiveness and caring. Jungkook knew his demon was never going to out-rightly admit to it nor will his feelings probably progress more than so. But it made Jungkook’s heart flutter in appreciation.

              He often wondered what would happen if his teammate came across Yoongi’s path, came across his powers. Jungkook knew he would be able to protect him teammates and put a stop to Yoongi. But it was a worry he often thought about. Since his brother’s passing his teammates have become the closest thing to a family. And it was Seokjin’s speech tonight that finally made that thought jump over the barrier and labeled the team as his true family in Jungkook’s mind. And Jungkook knew that his own demon was close to joining his teammates in that category.

              “It has been a long day and an even longer evening,” Namjoon said while standing up, “we should call it a night and get some rest. It is nearing ten o’clock and I know some of us will be tired if not received a decent amount of sleep.”

              Seokjin stood and walked to his room, he called over his shoulder, “just call me out next time.”

              Jungkook bid his teammates goodnight and watched as the tiredness finally dawned upon them and stumbled their way to their respective beds to rest before they begin their day again. Jungkook waited before all the bedroom doors were closed before Jungkook himself stood and wondered down the hall to his own bedroom. He opened the door and allowed his demon to enter first, closing it firmly behind him.

              He quietly went about his usual night routine of quickly washing in the sink in his bathroom, brushing his teeth, and dressing in his sleepwear which just consisted of boxers and an old over-sized shirt. His demon has taken his usually spot on the desk with his back pressed against the cool wall. He watched Jungkook quickly clear any mess in his room. Jungkook is never able to sleep in a messy room, the thought of mess piled up keeping him awake until he got up and cleared it. Jungkook sat on his bed and stared at his desk chair. He was physically and mentally tired, a slight headache was beginning to form behind his eyes.

              “Don’t, not tonight,” his demon whispered, “you need rest.”

              “I should write down what we spoke about down, I want it penned down while fresh in my mind,” Jungkook replied. He wanted to study and prepare but he was finding it difficult to remove his body from the comfort of his bed.

              “I can do it for you, I remember every word,” Yoongi said, his red eyes shining, “sleep Jungkook.”

              Jungkook felt his body lie down, he was not sure whether it was of his own doing or the works of his demon. But he knew his body would not allow him to move from his spot. He felt so warm and comfortable. But Jungkook was stubborn and he refused to give into sleep for now.

              “How did you know those things? Like how General Song did not tell anyone off this base?” Jungkook asked, his questions coming out simple and unlike his usual professional tone.

              “I can tell you another day.” It was another way for the demon to say he cannot tell Jungkook right now.

              “Thank you for thinking of my teammates,” Jungkook mumbled, his eyelids feeling heavy and he struggled to blink them open.

              “They care for you; they want to protect you. Especially Kim Seokjin, he is a character, but I respect him,” Yoongi said. Jungkook felt him move noted and books away from his desk. Jungkook could feel him moving closer to him. Jungkook smiled softly.

              “Go to sleep, Jungkook,” Yoongi said. The demon reached out and began petting at Jungkook’s hair. Long and soft strokes. The repetitive movements lulling Jungkook further into sleep.

              “I’m not tired, I really should study,” Jungkook moved around a bit and scooted under the covers, pulling the blankets up to his chin and his feet seeking the cool spot at the end of his bed. Yoongi paused as he allowed Jungkook to rearrange himself. With a flick of his hand the lights in Jungkook’s bedroom went out, “maybe I can sleep a bit.”

              The sound of Yoongi chuckling quietly. Jungkook began sleeping into slumber.

              “You remind me so much of him.”

Chapter Text

              “Jungkook… he’s my everything. Always has been, always will be. Even though I am nearly ten years older than him, I don’t remember my life before he was in it,” Junghyun laughed softly. His voice was soft. His face was soft. He never showed an ounce of hardness. He was pure white energy, “I remember first meeting Jungkook. My father had picked me up after grammar school one afternoon and brought me to the hospital to visit my mother. And there he was, a small pink fluff,” Junghyun laughed again. Junghyun always laughed. It was never an obnoxious laugh; it was always quiet and breathy. It was soft. It was comforting, everything about Junghyun was comforting.

              “He was sleeping wrapped in a blanket, one of my baby blankets, in mother’s arms. I was terrified to touch him let alone hold him. He just looked so fragile, like he could break at the slightest of touch. I didn’t hold him that day, or the day after. In fact, I do not think I held him until he was at least a month old. Our parents used to joke with friends that I must be jealous of having attention taken away from me after being an only child for song long,” Junghyun shook his head, his eyes staring off into the distance. He eyes filled with memories from long ago, “but it wasn’t true. I was just scared of hurting him, because the very moment I walked into that hospital room I knew. I knew I was going to love and protect him no matter what. That was my baby brother. He still is, he will always be my baby brother.”

              Junghyun laughed again, “though he gets mad when I call him that now, but he’s at that age. I remember not wanting to come off as anything but an adult. Though he still lets me pinch his cheeks and ruffle his hair. He won’t ever admit it but he loves when I baby him. Especially now. Jungkook- he isn’t doing so well. He’s been sick for a while. The doctors do not know what is wrong with him. They’ve treated him for everything, given him every type of medicine. Nothing works. We’ve even tried traditional medicinal herbs, but nothing. We can’t afford much; the government sends a check back to my Uncle who is raising him right now as I have him listed as my dependent. But it isn’t much. The amount of times I almost quit the Academy, countless. I feel guilty, I should be the one with him. I should be the one comforting him and caring for him. But I know that if I quit, I won’t find a job suitable enough to properly care for him. The benefits and pay for becoming a Demonic Military Officer is the only thing keeping me going, knowing in the end it will pay off and hopefully I will have the resources to get Jungkook treated. Plus, if I quit I don’t Jungkook would ever forgive me.”

              Junghyun back up lightly from where he was sitting. The room in which he sat was dork, he had a mere flashlight on and pointed into the air but all one could see was the shadows and outlines of the room. He was searching from something on the ground, his wands aimlessly waved through the air until it caught onto what he was looking for. He moved forward again and continued what he was doing.

               His knees were pressed against another pair of knees. He was holding a bandage and, in his lap, appeared to be a sewing kit.

              “But from Jungkook has written to me in his letters Uncle is caring for him and that he feels better every day. Though I know even if he was not feeling well, he would never tell me. He never wants to worry me; he’s always telling me to focus on my studies and to graduate soon so I can come home.” Junghyun faltered a bit, “let’s hope we both make it out alive.”

              Jungkook woke in a cold sweat, his chest heaving but it felt as if no air was coming into his lungs. He had bolted into a sitting position, disoriented and confused. His throat burned with every inhale of the cold night air. His hair was plastered to his forehead and his night shirt clung to his chest. There were tears spilling from his eyes but he had trouble distinguishing the tears from the beads of sweat on his face. His hands were shaking where they sat in his lap.

              Within a second he had rushed from his bed and into the bathroom, just barely reaching the toilet before he threw up the contents of his stomach. He leaned against the toilet dry heaving. A hand reached out and flushed the toilet for him. Yoongi shifted him carefully to lean against the wall instead of the basin. In his hands he had a new spare night shirt and a towel. He swept the hair out of Jungkook’s eyes and began dabbing lightly at the build-up of sweat.

              The demon helped Jungkook shed the soaked night shirt from his body. Yoongi cleaned and cared for Jungkook. Carefully wiping the towel down his neck, his chest, down each arm. Jungkook followed the wipes, trying to match his breathing to the rhythm. Yoongi wiped a clean strip, Jungkook inhaled. Yoongi removed the towel towards a new spot, Jungkook exhaled.

              “I should shower,” Jungkook spoke. His voice hoarse as if he had been screaming. But he knew he didn’t. The whole of his team would have barged into his room if he had.

              “You should sleep,” his demon said, his voice just above a whisper, “I’ll clean you enough to be comfortable. I changed your bed sheets already.”

              Jungkook stared at the demon as the demon continued cleaning the sweat and stress from Jungkook’s body. Jungkook licked his lips, “I had, I had a dream.”

              Yoongi’s hand stopped for a moment before continuing. It let Jungkook know the demon was listening to what Jungkook had to say. Jungkook licked his lips again, “it was about my brother. I’ve, I’ve had dreams about him before. I dream about him all the time. But this, this time it was different.”

              Yoongi placed the dirty towel to the side and picked up a new one. He began patting dry Jungkook’s neck again, “a dream?”

              Jungkook hummed, “yeah.”

              “How was it different?” Yoongi asked, his eyes just briefly contacting with Jungkook’s as if he was asking permission to be intrusive. As if he was asking Jungkook if he was comfortable with being asked. Jungkook simply twitched his lips up into a quick smile. Yoongi looked away and back to his neck.

              “When I dream of my brother,” Jungkook said, “they’re all my memories. They are what I remember of my brother. But this time. I don’t remember being present for it. He was talking about me. About how much he loves me. About my illness when I was a child. How he worried about me. He was talking about me. He was saying my name. He wouldn’t have said my name if he was directly talking to me.”

              “Do you think this memory is a real one?” Yoongi asked.

              “I- I don’t know. I’ve never had this type of dream about him before,” Jungkook said, his voice deflating, “In the dream, it seemed like I became who he was talking to or I was the one he was talking to. There defiantly was someone else in the room. And I think I saw it from that person’s perspective. He- Junghyun mentioned that he has not graduated yet. It was when he was in the Academy. He was in a dark room; I couldn’t see much. But it looked like he was mending to someone? He had a roll of bandage and a sewing kit, maybe one of his teammates got hurt? I- never mind. I do not know why I am analyzing it like it actually happened. It was just a dream.”

              “Continue,” Yoongi said.

              Jungkook looked at him but continued without question just a slight frown to his face, “he was mending someone, I think. I couldn’t see much. I do not even know what part of the body he was mending to. But he was talking to the person, probably to distract them as he cared for them.”

              Yoongi looked up at him. There was a distance to Yoongi’s eyes. His eyes had dimmed in color and the black coursing veins slowed, it looked for a moment as if they had stopped moving completely. Yoongi took the corner of the towel and wiped Jungkook’s face, “seems familiar.”

              Jungkook felt a rush of heat to his face. He had not made the connection before, but Yoongi was right. It was similar to what occurred in his dream. Only this time, Yoongi took the place of Junghyun. Yoongi spoke again, “continue.”

              “That was mostly it, Junghyun was just talking to the person about me. About seeing me for the first time to how he cared for me now, then,” Jungkook whispered, his throat closing.

              “What is it?” Yoongi asked, never faltering from cleaning Jungkook’s face.

              “He said- Junghyun said something strange before I woke,” Jungkook said. Yoongi looked into his eyes, “Junghyun said that he hopes they both make it out alive.”

              Yoongi wiped Jungkook’s forehead and then tossed the towel onto the other one. He helped Jungkook slip the fresh night shirt over his arms and head, “you should sleep.”

              The demon helped Jungkook to his fit. He intertwined their fingers and lead Jungkook to his bed. With a blink he turned the bathroom lights off. He lightly pushed Jungkook to sit on the bed, urging his lie down, “sleep.”

              “Wait,” Jungkook grabbed at Yoongi with two hands. Jungkook quickly recovered from the desperation he had indulged in and let his demon go, “it’s nothing.”

               Yoongi’s eyes flashed red before dimming down again. He softly nudged at Jungkook’s shoulder. Jungkook’s eyed widened when he realized what his demon meant. He nibbled at his lip shyly when he realized his demon understood what he wanted. Jungkook scooted over and pressed up against the cool wall. The coolness soothing his scorching skin. His demon hesitantly sat down on the bed and lied down next to Jungkook.

              Jungkook lied there facing his demon, pressed as tightly against the wall as he could. His arms were crossed and his chest and his hands clutching his shoulders. In a moment of weakness, he had reached out to the demon with the desire of being held. Of being coddled and protected while he slept. Knowing that he was wrapped in the arms of someone who cared for him. The last time he allowed it to happen was with his brother, the night before he was leaving for the Pre-Academy. The last time he wanted to be held was with his brother, when he knew he was not going to see his brother for a long time.

              He did not expect the demon to understand what he wanted, that even despite being able to feel a sliver of what Jungkook was feeling Jungkook did not expect the demon to know what it was. Records prove that some demons, especially Incubus demons enjoyed sexual pleasure. But there are no records nor any proof in regards to demons enjoying compassionate touches. Compassionate touches such as cuddling. Such as what the demon was doing right now.

              Jungkook tells himself this now.

              But it had not been the first time he asked for the demon to share the bed with him. Nor had it been the first time Yoongi had accepted his request. It was a new occurrence. Something Jungkook had only noticed it begin happening within the past two weeks. Jungkook had been having restless sleeps, leaving him tired and annoyed praying for sleep to finally come to him. When the time on the clock started nearing early in the morning and Jungkook was still awake did Yoongi come to him. Jungkook often would just look at his demon, a simple pleading look in his eyes as he begged for the demon to provide a form of comfort. Jungkook would watch the red eyes slowly grow closer until he felt another body wrap around his.

              It was only then, did Jungkook find sleep.

              Yoongi reached out, his arms carefully sneaking around Jungkook’s waist. He pulled his master closer, away from the wall and closer to his chest. He tucked Jungkook’s head under his chin. His arms wrapping tightly around Jungkook. He slipped his knee between Jungkook’s knees and lightly scratched at Jungkook’s nape. His fingers played and twisted Jungkook’s short hair. Jungkook let out a shaky breath and closed his eyes. His fingers clutched at his demon’s jumpsuit, brushing lightly against the bare skin at the base of the demon’s neck. The demon was cool to the touch, soothing and comforting the heat pooled at the surface of Jungkook’s skin.

              Jungkook soon fell asleep to the feeling of tight powerful arms securing him in an embrace. He fell asleep to his hair being played with, the light scrape of nails sending shivers down Jungkook’s back. He fell asleep to the voice of his demon, “sleep Jungkook, and tell me of your dreams.” He fell asleep to the smell of coopery blood mixed into the sea-salt ocean of his home.

              “What they are doing to you is not right,” Junghyun spoke. His voice cutting through the rolling clouds of mist and fog. Jungkook knew he had fallen back to a dream induced slumber. He had never had the experience of knowing when he was dreaming. His body and mind felt weightless. He felt small in the never-ending scene of black. He did not know where he was but he was not afraid. He felt warm and content. He saw he was dressed in the fresh pair of night clothes his demon had provided help getting him into.

              “I promise, I’m going to get you out of here,” his brother spoke again. Jungkook tried following the voice. He wondered for what felt like eternity but nothing but the black backdrop and the mist swirling at his feet came to view.

              “Hyung! Please!” Jungkook shouted, his voice echoing and bouncing back to him. Jungkook shook his head, tears streaming down his cheeks, “please, I do not understand what you mean.”

              “You were brought here harmless and now you grow weak and weary. Your wounds consume all your energy.”

              “He questioned me yesterday, he brought up how your energy levels continue to decrease yet your wounds have been healed. I do not believe he suspects anything, or me, but he is growing too agitated. I am afraid he will worsen your torture.”

              “I wish there was more I can do. I’m sorry.”

              “I received another letter from my brother. I had rushed to come here after… after his session with you. I forgot the letter. I noticed how when I read my brother’s letters you seem to heal just a bit faster and seem to calm just a little bit. He had always had a way with words.”

              “Please, do not look at me like that. It is just a cut lip. I got it from my training session today. Nothing happened to me. I promise.”

              “I… I might have an idea. I do not know if it will work.”

              “Here is another letter from my brother. I will read it to you; it is quite short this time around. ‘Dear Hyung, my birthday is approaching soon. I do not feel comfortable asking for much. I never had, though you never seem to fail to spoil me. For this year, I wish to see you. I do not wish for any books or any materials. I only wish to see you. I understand that a departure from base form takes long to be filed. Even if you visit long past my birthday, it will be enough. I know you will be urged to write back your intensive amount of questions. So, I will answer them here before you get the chance. Yes, I am doing fine. I truly do feel better, Uncle has been feeding me this broth filled with herbs; an ancient medicinal thing I do not know much about. Uncle is doing fine as well, he always is.

              School will begin again soon, the summer break coming to an end. I have not received my classes yet, but I will be sure to let you know if I have a class with an old teacher of yours. Though I already know, school will be boring. Everything I have been taught already by you. Yes, I have grown. Only a few centimeters but the Grandma next door believes I am going to grow to be even taller than you! I have gained some weight as well. The doctor believes it is a good thing, I suppose it is as well my appetite is stronger now. Please do write back about everything happening on base! And please, try to receive permission to leave base. Like I said, I do not care if it two months after my birthday it would be enough. It has been quite some time since I last saw you. Stay healthy and happy, Hyung. I’m always here supporting you! Love Kookie.’

              Knowing Jungkook is getting better warms my heart. I can tell it warms yours as well. But I am afraid I will not be able to visit him for quite some time.”

              “What happened? Please, stay with me. That’s it, keep your eyes open. Stay awake, listen to the sound of my voice. My gods, what have they done to you.”

              “I do not know how you withstand this. I do not think I could ever endure pain for this long.”

              “It has been a year since we met. To celebrate, I am here to tell you what I have been working on.”

              “He… he did not do anything to me. It is okay, I know how to get away. You show no emotion, but I know what you always seem to be thinking. So please, I do not need your pity.”

              “Jungkook has written again, his handwriting is shaky. He has fallen ill again, I know it. I worry for him so much.”

              “Sometimes, I feel like I am as captive here as you are.”

              “I think… I think Jungkook would like you.”

              “It is almost ready, just a few more weeks. I need to make sure it is stable. Just a few more weeks. You can do that right?”

              “This, friendship? Alliance? That we have built, it is quite unique. Never would I have imagined my life would turn in this direction. But I am thankful, it has opened my eyes to the true colors of the world.”

              “It is a picture of my hometown from the top of the hill. I used to take my brother up there late at night when he couldn’t sleep. It’s beautiful. You can see everything from the houses and shops to the vast ocean. You can keep it if you like, I’m sure my brother would not mind. He is an amazing artist is he not?”

              “Something is wrong, I do not know what it is, but there is a storm coming.”

              “I’m almost finished with it. You can go home soon.”

              “I wonder what our lives will be like when this is over. I wonder if we will ever meet again.”

              “I have worries, I have so many worries. My brother often gets annoyed with my constant freighting. But I cannot help but overthink. But I am terrified. I will be honest. I am scared he will find out what I have been working on. He does not suspect anything, yet. But I can see the way he has been behaving. He is turning into a wild boar and I am afraid I will not be able to contain him any longer.”

              “All I have ever wanted was to protect my brother. He is the light of my life.”

              “I cannot be here long, it is daytime. I know I only visit at night once the building is cleared out. But it is finished. I finished it. Everything is ready. I will comeback tonight. You can go home.”

              “Go! Go! I promise I will be fine. You must leave! The portal is ready you must let go!”

              “Get away from him, it is me you want!”

              “Jeon… Jungkook… I’m sorry….”

              Jungkook fell to his knees, pressing his forehead against the cool floor. Sobs and shakes racked his body. He screamed and he screamed and he screamed. He choked on air and swallowed blood. He coughed and he cried until every tear in his body had left. He screamed out his brother’s name until his voice was gone. He scratched at himself, tearing at skin and hair until he felt his own blood mix with his tears. Anything to take away the pain pounding away at his chest. Because for the first time in a long time he felt the desire for the stillness and nothingness of death.

              That was how he came back to consciousness, screaming and crying out. He struggled and fought against himself against everything. He was restrained. He felt a pair of arms wrapped around him, fighting to keep Jungkook’s arms at his sides. He felt the skin on his forehead and neck raw from his scratching. He could smell blood under his nose and taste the tears upon his tongue. A pair of hands grabbed his ankle, preventing him from kicking out and moving. He heard a voice urging out to him, calling his name. Another voice shouted out that they needed to wake him, that Jungkook needed to wake up.

              He was consciousness but he could not will himself to open his eyes. He could not will himself to be brought back to the present and bear witness to what he has done. He wanted to his brother. He wanted the safety of his brother and the security of their childhood home. He wanted his mother and his father he prayed to them, begging and pleading to be reunited with his family. He prayed and begged the gods to have mercy on him because he has grown weak and he cannot will himself to move forward.

              He felt as if he had received news of his brother’s passing all over again. A wound. He thought this was a wound that has long since healed. But he knew it was no longer true. It never healed. It merely turned to scar tissue and attached itself to Jungkook’s heart. The pain always there, always constant. He cursed the world, the gods, himself. He cursed the day his parents died; their bodies being crushed against the strong metals of their car. Cursed the ocean who swallowed them up when his father lost control. Their car flipping and tumbling down over the cliff and into the rocky shores beneath. Cursed how long he had to wait to bury and pay proper respect to his parents. Two months. The first two hours the search and rescue team had searched for his parents. After that they handed it over the water police.

              Two months to the date the police showed up on their doorstep again. This time telling his brother that the bodies had been discovered. They died on impact. There was no water in their lungs. They were dead before they even reached the ocean. It had awakened the scar in his heart and he cried and screamed for his parents to come home. He cried in his brother’s arms. He cried for days and for weeks.

              And then he thought he healed.

              Six years later, this time it was a pair of demonic military sergeants who showed up on his doorstep. His brother died. His anchor and his hope were gone. They said it was routine drill. They received word that a fire incubus had broken through the earths crusts and was causing havoc. His team was deployed. Only their third off-base mission. They thought they had it under control. But another demon, a water magician, had appeared out of nowhere. His brother was caught in the crossfire. He was the only causality.

              That was what they told him. Before turning and leaving Jungkook alone. They thought an Uncle had been caring for him. The Uncle only showed when he received word that Junghyun would be visiting. He paid for the house and bills with the money Junghyun sent so Jungkook could stay there, but the rest of the money he took for himself to drink himself away. Jungkook cared for himself. He comforted himself and cared for himself when he grew ill. He made the bowls of broth filled with medicinal herbs. His Uncle had not even shown to Junghyun’s burial.

              Every memory he had stored away came rushing at him. He felt every emotion, he was angry he was sad he was happy he was depressed he was content. He was all of it and none. The last memory was of blood-red eyes and hands coercing with black veins steading him and grounding him back to himself.

              He woke with his brother’s name on the tip of his tongue.

              He flinched at the sudden brightness. He was in his bedroom. Still on his bed. A pair of arms with black veins held him crushed against a certain demon’s chest. Taehyung and Hoseok were still holding his ankles and legs down. Namjoon sat with his hands on Jungkook’s stomach, where it is said the soul lies. Jimin was crying and sniffling against the wall where he was clutching onto Seokjin.

              Jungkook let out a shaky breath and then doubled over. Yoongi reached for the bin beside Jungkook’s bed and held it up to his mouth as Jungkook puked. There was nothing left in his stomach from earlier that night. All that came up was white clear spit. But he could not stop dry-heaving. The demon took the bin away and rubbed his back. And Jungkook would kill to hear the comforting words of his demon right now.

              Jungkook’s breath was labored, his throat burned with every chill intake of air. His head was pounding and he felt the banging of his heart against his ribcage. Jungkook closed his eyes, momentarily erasing the pain of the brightness. Jungkook had long grown tired of feeling and becoming sick and ill. Since he had joined the Demonic Military Academy, he has become ill over and over again against his will. It brought back the helplessness of his younger days. Over the weeks Jungkook had grown so incredibly tired. He had become anxious and paranoid waiting for something to happen. For General Song to come barreling in and demanding Jungkook and his demon be taken for testing. To figure out if General Song had been keeping the fact that they had a Demon of Death contained on his base. To connect the pieces of everything that has slowly been unveiling for him; from what his friends have told him about containing all information in regards to Yoongi to what Seokjin has said about how General Song had first looked at him. For the whole world to discover what has truly been happening.

              Because Jungkook was getting tired of everything becoming bottled up inside him. He was tired of not knowing anything, not being able to connect anything. He was tired of feeling useless over and over again. He needed to do something. These memories

              Jungkook opened his eyes slowly. His teammates had not spoken but they still kept their eyes on him. Yoongi had not loosened his grip on Jungkook.

              Taehyung spoke first. He lightly rubbed his thumb over Jungkook’s ankles, “Jungkookie, who is Junghyun?”

              Jungkook felt Yoongi stiffen behind him. Jungkook had not heard anyone utter his brother’s name in so long. It felt foreign hearing someone say it.

              “You, you kept shouting the name,” Taehyung muttered, forcing his voice to come out calm and collected.

              Jungkook knew it was time. He no longer could hold everything back. He needed to trust his team, his members, his friends, his family. He could not do this alone anymore. Yoongi placed the palm of his hand over Jungkook’s chest, over his heart. Jungkook knew Yoongi was feeling everything Jungkook was feeling. Yoongi knew what Jungkook needed to do. He was giving Jungkook his permission.

              When Jungkook spoke, it came out harsh and shaky, “Junghyun, he- he’s my older brother.”

              Jungkook reached up and took Yoongi’s hand. He kept it over his heart though, he liked the weight of it on his chest. It was the one thing keeping him sane in this moment. His teammates waited for him to speak. They did not ask him anything, “He raised me after our parents died in a car crash. He taught me everything I knew, everything I know. He joined the academy, he made it his goal to become a soldier. To get the pay and coverage he needed to care for me.”

              And Jungkook spilled everything. He told the room of his life, his beginnings and his present days. He told them of his parents, of his death, of his brother and how he raised him, he told them of his illness. He told him of how scared he was thinking his illness had come back before he figured out how intense his bond with his demon was. He told them of how an Uncle was meant to care for him but never came around, how Jungkook never told his told his brother afraid of causing him to quit and come home.

              He closed his eyes when he got to his brother’s death. He gripped Yoongi’s hand. He spoke of how his illness seemed to be cured on its own after his brother had died. He told them everything. He told them of the dreams he had throughout the night, of everything he remembers his brother had said and done. Telling them how they felt real, how he felt like they were his brother’s real memories.

               Yoongi was rubbing circles into the back of his shoulder, Yoongi comforted him in all the simple gestures that his brother used to.

              “Jungkook, I, why-” Namjoon did not know where to begin, “how come you never told us?”

              Jungkook shrugged, “I don’t know. It made me feel weak, vulnerable. I did not to appear that way, I did not want people to judge me based on my past. I- I felt like I could handle everything on my own. I don’t like- I don’t like sharing my emotions.”

              “But Jungkook-” Seokjin let go of Jimin and came out, placing one hand on Jungkook’s leg and another on Namjoon’s shoulder.

              “It’s fine, I’m fine. I’m sorry I did not tell any of you sooner,” Jungkook said, his voice soft.

              “If, these dreams, if these memories from your brother are real something was going on,” Namjoon said, “you said they were just phrases, it means they technically weren’t spoken during the same time. They could be fragments of separate memories.”

              “It sounded like he was caring for someone, he- your brother mentioned that someone was getting tortured,” Jimin spoke, fiddling his fingers together.

              Hoseok nodded in agreement, “it also felt like he was building something. He was trying to help whoever it was to get home. He mentioned that several times as well.”

              Yoongi flattened his chest against Jungkook’s back and leaned his forehead onto Jungkook’s shoulder. Every so often he squeezed his arms around Jungkook, letting him know he was there that Jungkook was safe. And Jungkook has never felt so comfortable in someone’s arms before.

              “What do we do?” Taehyung asked, “do you think everything is connected?”

              “Your brother mentioned something that frightened me,” Namjoon said.

              Jungkook nodded, “when he mentioned another man, he never said his name. He just said ‘he’ but he said that he did not hurt Junghyun. But something did happen, someone messed with my Hyung.”

              “We cannot be sure if it was the same man he kept mentioning, but from how it seems to me I think it is the same man,” Namjoon said. His teammates agreeing.

              “I think your brother was trying to warn you, he sent you these memories,” Jimin said. Jimin came from a spiritual background, Jungkook had often seen the boy praying and bowing to the heavens for his ancestors. It did not surprise or shock Jungkook that Jimin was the one to initiate this possibility, but Jungkook had stopped believing in the higher gods once his parents were taken from him.

              “It’s not conclusive,” Seokjin said, offering Jimin a small smile, “but we still cannot rule it out either.”

              “There’s something else,” Jungkook said, “my brother, he studied at this facility.”

              “Are you suggesting that whatever happened and whoever he was talking about and whoever he was talking to, could still possibly be on base?” Namjoon asked.

              Jungkook nodded, “it was a few years ago, they could have left, they could have been transferred to another base. But it allows us to begin somewhere.”

              “But how are we going to do it? I doubt if something illegal was happening that there would be a paper trail nor would someone involved want to admit to their faults,” Hoseok asked, “we’re first year cadets, we are the low of the low status ranked on base. We have no permission to enter half the buildings on campus. None of us have the technology skills to infiltrate the computers on base without getting noticed and discovered.”

              Jungkook sighed and closed his eyes. Yoongi sensed his distress and ran his fingers through the ends of Jungkook’s hair at the base of his neck. But Jungkook felt something else to. He felt a foreign sense of worry and confusion. And he knew they were not his emotions. They were Yoongi’s. He could not read his demon’s mind but he wished he could. His demon was swirling with a pool of emotions Jungkook has never felt before from the demon.

              Jungkook reached up and grabbed his demon’s hand, intertwining their fingers together again and bringing the hand to rest back on his chest. The feeling and intimacy comforted Jungkook. He does not know why nor does he understand why. Over the long weeks since their bonded their physical contact has gradually and slowly increased. Jungkook often found himself reaching out, seeking the simple touch of his demon, as if making sure he was still there. That the demon was still by his side. Once he felt the cool touch radiating from his demon did his heart seem to simmer down.

              Jungkook has never felt this way towards someone prior to the bonding. He often realizes and compares the comforting touches from his demon to his brother. But in the dark pit of his stomach he knew the feelings were widely vast and different. But it just became another list of things Jungkook was terrified of knowing. Another list of things Jungkook was scared of admitting.

              He came to ignore his teammates looks of confusion and furrowed brows when they witnessed Jungkook actively seeking for the demon. But he was thankful that none of them had come to address him about it. He had just gained the confidence of finally telling his tragic life story, a story he had overthought and told himself nearly every day for the past few years. There was no possible way Jungkook could function if confronted as to what his relationship with his demon was. And it terrified him. It truly did. Because he knows whatever he is feeling is not normal.

              “Can I have some alone time right now?” the words that left Jungkook was not his own. Before his teammates could answer a message appeared on all of their watches, alerting them to an incoming message from the central command on base.

              “The base is closed today,” Namjoon said, “all lectures and training will be canceled, but that they still urge us to use the time to study and train on our own personal times.”

              Since they arrived months ago there has never been a cancelation notice nor has the base been closed the entirety of the day. Jungkook does remember hearing that it has happened upon certain occasions, but it was rare. Most closing are pre-scheduled due to national or global holidays.

              “It does not say why, but it mentions to actively pay attention to any further messages. There is a possibility that base will be closed tomorrow and future dates,” Taehyung said. He lightly clapped his palm over his watch to switch the message off.

              “We’re all staying here, in the dormitory today. If you wish to study or train due it here. But I do not have a good feeling about this. I may be paranoid due to everything that we have been discussing and guessing over the weeks,” Namjoon stated, “but it would make me feel better if we were all together.”

              “Let’s give Jungkook some privacy,” Seokjin said as he began herding the teammates together to lead them out the door, “it’s 3 in the morning, let us get more rest and we can regroup after we wake again.”

              Jungkook could see in their eyes that they did not wish to leave Jungkook alone. He smiled and nodded at them. They slowly filed out the door, with Seokjin waiting for them all to leave. The older man hesitated briefly before walking over to Jungkook, “get some rest, please. You need it more than all of us combined. Do not hesitate to come get me if you need me, even if you think it is something stupid and little if you need me there, I will wake and come.”

              “I know,” Jungkook said, smiling gratefully up at the man. Seokjin looked at his teammate, wrapped securely in his demon’s arms. Not once as the demon looked at the team while they were here. He never does. His eyes only ever seem to notice Jungkook. To Seokjin, it seemed as if the demon was afraid to look away, that if he did Jungkook would disappear. He has heard his other members pass whispers amongst themselves as to what the true relationship between Jungkook and his demon were. The whispers had been increasing as of lately. He knew it did not sit well with the others; but he also knew it was all new and foreign. It had never happened before, not to their knowledge. And they only ever want is for Jungkook to be happy and healthy. They did not appreciate how Jungkook grew deathly ill if out of reach with the demon. They were afraid there was other instances such as it that would cause more harm to their member. But Seokjin knew they would never dare to say any of this to the young boy in case it made him upset or felt different and isolated.

              To Seokjin, he never questioned it once. Whatever Jungkook told him, he would accept it with open arms and an open heart. Especially now. Jungkook needed a substitute older brother to protect him.

              Seokjin smiled, hoping the smile met his eyes. He reached out and ruffled Jungkook’s hair. He looked at the demon sitting behind Jungkook. He reached out, slowly. He lightly touched the demon’s shoulders, feeling the curious look of Jungkook watching him. The demon snapped his head up upon feeling the foreign touch. Seokjin’s dark brown eyes met cold-red ones. Seokjin offered the demon a smile, “please, watch over him for me. Jungkook is stubborn, if anything happens please come get me. Or even throw something against the wall, loud enough for me to hear, if you do not wish to leave his side.”

              Seokjin heard Jungkook catch his breath. But Seokjin looked at the demon, waiting for anything. One simple curt nod. Seokjin left swallowing thickly. Pushing his thoughts to the side that a demon had communicated back to him.

              Jungkook watched as Seokjin left closing the door behind him. Jungkook was lost for words. So was Yoongi. It was the second time Seokjin had spoken towards his demon. This one more direct than the last. Jungkook waited a few moments before he tried escaping Yoongi’s arms. But the demon pulled Jungkook back to his chest and tightened his hold.

              “Yoongi,” Jungkook sighed, “why did you want them to leave?”

              Jungkook lightly shivered as he felt the tip of Yoongi’s nose trail against the back of his neck and ear. His breathing became labored and deeper. He felt his heart stop and then begin again. His mind clouded mind became even more fuzzy. Every discussion he has had with his teammates, every little piece of information he knew, the dreams that occurred that night, and the way he could feel the small ripples of black veins pressing against his own skin.

              Jungkook thought that the demon was keeping his hold on him to bring solace and comfort to Jungkook. But as the seconds and minutes passed by Jungkook could also feel his demon’s emotions creep into his own. He knew that Yoongi needed this comfort more than Jungkook did.

              Jungkook used to have to focus extremely hard to be able to separate his emotions with his demons. But lately Jungkook has been able to separate the two. He still had to concentrate. But if he closed his eyes and concentrated on his soul, he could almost see the distinguished lines of the golden string of his and the dark shadowy string of Yoongi’s. And when he closed his eyes now the immense power and strength Yoongi’s string connected to his overwhelmed his own.

              His demon was in intense distress.

              Jungkook pushed out of his demon’s arms and turned around. Yoongi’s red eyes were dark, nearly black. His pale skin was extremely translucent. His veins were prominent, pulsing against his skin. Jungkook could see the ripples of his skin trying to contain the black veins. Jungkook crossed his legs, still sitting in the small proximity of Yoongi’s spread legs. Jungkook cupped his demon’s jaw, just as his demon has done to him so many times.

              “Yoongi, what is wrong?” Jungkook asked, his voice falling to just above a whisper. Yoongi was always able to control his temperature. He knew when Jungkook was cold, his touch became a comfortable warmer; if Jungkook was hot Yoongi would cool him with soft touches. But he was unable to control the temperature now. His skin was ice cold, colder than Jungkook ever felt it. His fingers burned. The tips of his fingers turning a light blue. But Jungkook never let go, “please.”

              Yoongi leaned forward, resting his forehead against Jungkook’s. Jungkook suppressed the hiss he wanted to let out at the burning cold touch. His demon’s fingers gripped at his knees. Desperation oozing off him. His nose just briefly grazing against Yoongi’s, “please what is it?”

              Yoongi reached up and cupped Jungkook’s jaw as well, “when… when I was created, I was an incubus demon.”

              Jungkook just nodded, telling Yoongi he was listening. Telling Yoongi to continue. Yoongi pressed forward as if he wanted slowly inch his way into Jungkook’s body, “I am a warrior demon now, but I still have strong connections to my original powers. I still feed off it.”

              “What is it? Yoongi?” Jungkook whispered, curling his fingers.

              “I do not know why I am so… so shaken… so emotional over this,” his demon said. And Jungkook knew it. He believed him.

              “It’s okay, it’s okay,” Jungkook said, urging him to continue.

              “Jeon Jungkook,” Yoongi whispered his name like it was sacred to him. The way he breathed the name out sent shivers down Jungkook’s spine, “I was created as an incubus demon.”

              “I know,” Jungkook said, his eyes searching and pleading.

              “Jeon Jungkook,” Yoongi said again. Closing his eyes, “kiss me.”

              Jungkook’s breath hitched. His eyes growing wide. He could not speak; no sound would escape his throat. But he did not even know what to say. Yoongi was created an incubus demon. They feed off intimacy and sexual contact. Many soldiers with incubus demons have sex with their demons, many saying they do the act before going into battle or on a mission. And Jungkook knew he was trying to calm his mind with facts and information. To make sense of everything happening at this moment. Jungkook had never thought about ever going as far as to kiss his demon. Light subtle touches had kept him content. But now his mind and heart were racing.

              “Kiss me,” Yoongi whispered.

              And Jungkook surged forward.

              Pressing his warm lips to cold ones. Jungkook clutched and grasped at Yoongi’s jaw. His demon’s hands slid from his jaw into his hair, nails lightly scratching at his scalp. Yoongi moved his mouth against Jungkook’s. It was fierce and competitive. Teeth scratched against lips. Tongues licking and searching. Jungkook burned everywhere. There was no air left in his body and he kissed Yoongi like he could suck the air from his demon’s lungs instead. His demon bit Jungkook’s bottom lip. He could taste a trickle of blood in his mouth. His demon could taste it too, and he urged for me. He kissed and licked at the wound. Pulling Jungkook onto him by the collar of his shirt. Jungkook slid his arms around his demon’s thin waist. Their chests flushed together, trying to become one.

              It was not Jungkook’s first kiss. It was not Jungkook’s first kiss a male, or of the male appearance. But if was his first kiss where it meant something to him. his first kiss that left him breathless and pooled a warmth in the low of his stomach.

              Jungkook pulled away, gasping for air. He felt his cheeks flushed. His lips tingled and he knew they were going to be red and bruised. He felt the ghost touches of his demon everywhere. His body was on fire and the cool touch of Yoongi excited his skin. His demon opened his eyes, the emotion of lust swirling in his eyes. The kiss was meant to center Yoongi, to bring him back to reality. But for Jungkook it sent him off balance. He never thought of kissing his demon before. He wanted to believe that he never felt that way. But he could not deny the way he was feeling right now.

              “Yoongi what is this feeling?” Jungkook asked, his mind speaking out loud.

              “I do not understand it either,” Yoongi said, for once his voice unnerved, “Jungkook, Jungkook, Jungkook.”

              Jungkook closed his eyes and breathed with every utter of his name. Yoongi nuzzled his nose against Jungkook’s, “Jungkook there is something I must tell you.”

              “So, you can tell me something now?” Jungkook asked, trying to make light of the situation.

              “Jungkook, your dreams, these memories,” Yoongi spoke lightly, treading lightly, “I do not believe you received them from your brother.”

              Jungkook leaned back, but never letting go., “what do you mean?”

              “I think they came from me,” Yoongi said, loosening his grip as if he was waiting for Jungkook to leave.

              “What do you mean?” Jungkook asked.

              “I do not remember much. I did not remember much. But I was brought here once before. I do not remember how. I do not remember what happened. When I was sent home, my memories were left here on earth,” Yoongi spoke, “but there were two things I could never forget. The sound of your brother’s voice and your name.”

              Jungkook did not say anything. Could not speak.

              “I could never forget your name,” Yoongi said, a small soft genuine smile on his face, “I knew I had to come back here. I knew I had to settle affairs here. It was the mantra I told myself as I was sent home. Whenever you asked me questions. Whenever you needed me to fill in the blanks as to what is happening. I told you I could not answer because I did not know. But when you had those dreams tonight. I saw them. I was there. It was me.”

              “The person my brother was helping, was you?” Jungkook asked.

              “I believe so, yes,” Yoongi answered, “it brought back memories, only certain memories. Not all of them. But the most prominent ones were of the ones your brother mentioned you. What he said was true, when he spoke of you, I felt a warmth fill inside me. And when you began your bonding ceremony. I heard your brother calling out your name. And I felt that warmth again for the first time.”

              “I… I do not know what to say about this,” Jungkook said.

              “I’m sorry,” Yoongi whispered, “I should have told you from the beginning but I could not find the words for them.”

              “Do you know what happened to my brother?” Jungkook asked. Closing his eyes, not ready to hear the answer.

              “No. I don’t remember. I’m sorry,” Yoongi said. The words were so soft Jungkook could barely hear them.

              “You don’t remember anything else?” Jungkook asked.

              “I’m sorry,” Yoongi apologized. Jungkook could feel the fluctuating of his demon’s emotions.  Could feel the fluctuating of his own emotions, “now was probably not the best of times to tell you. But I did not wish to lead you on.”

              Jungkook flushed an even deeper shade of red. His head was beginning to swim, “you knew my brother.”

              “I’m sorry,” Yoongi apologized again.

              “There is no need to apologize. It’s just unexpected.” Jungkook said softly, rubbing circles into his demon’s hips. It felt like things were beginning to fall into place yet all the pieces were still scattered and some missing. His demon knew his brother. His demon knew what the dreams and memories meant, even if he could not remember as of now. Jungkook had a million more questions going through his mind. Jungkook wanted to know if Yoongi remembered anything regarding General Song. Anything regarding why General Song apparently has not told the United Global Military Council. But Jungkook held back. He knew he should not pry further. At least not right now.

              Yoongi hesitantly reached out. It was the first time Jungkook saw the demon hesitate over anything. Jungkook immediately laced their fingers together and squeezed tightly, “it’s okay. We’re okay. We’re going to figure it out.”

              “Jungkook,” Yoongi started, “everything… I want you to know that none of this dictate how I feel.”

              “And what is it that you feel?” Jungkook asked.

              “A feeling I have never felt before,” Yoongi answered, “whenever your brother talked about you, I saw flashes of orange and red and everything warm. When I saw your soul enter my realm, I saw flashes of orange and red and everything warm. When I see you here now, I see flashes of orange and red and everything warm. Everything you are. It has only been a few months since our souls have bonded, but Jungkook I have known you my entire life. It has only ever been you. Only ever will. Your brother cared for me but he led me to you. He spoke about you to me like he could see the future. It has only ever been you.”

              Jungkook knew he should not do it. Should not do it again. But he hears the ghostly whisper of his brother caring for someone, caring for something that had been tortured. He hears his brother spend his time and energy healing wounds and comforting them with words and stories of Jungkook. He hears the frantic voice of his brother calling out for who he was healing to stay with him, promising that he was going to send them home. Promising that who he was caring for would be safe. Promising that Yoongi would be safe. Jungkook closed his eyes and he could see his golden string intertwined so tightly with the shadowy black string. They curved and twisted around one another.

              Jungkook breathed out, “Yoongi, you were born an incubus demon. I was born a human. Then again as your master. Kiss me.”

              And Yoongi did.