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“You’re only making this harder on yourself, Johnny,” Bora, Johnny’s lawyer who had been specially appointed by his family, told him with a small sigh, shaking her head. Johnny only took a sip of the coffee she had brought him, wincing a little at the harsh taste. He had never really been a fan of black coffee but would take it, considering that it would probably be some of the last sips he’ll ever take of the drink. 

Bora said that a lot. Said that he was making everything harder than it had to be, that he was making her job more difficult with his stubbornness. Part of him felt a little bad but it wasn’t enough to get him to budge. It never would be and Johnny wasn’t going to change his mind anytime soon. 

These last couple of weeks had been pretty hard for him. Ever since being separated from Taeyong back in Fukuoka, there hadn’t been a single moment where he wasn’t struggling with something. Whether it be the relentless media hounding him, asking why he had murdered her older brother, the pain that came with not having Taeyong anywhere near him or the guards who were assigned to keep him safe in protective custody but went out of their ways to do the exact opposite Johnny hadn’t been given a single break since the moment he had been shoved into the back of that cramped police car, neck straining because apparently, Japanese authoritative vehicles weren’t built for someone of his stature.

He had last seen Taeyong in court only a few days ago. To be blunt, Taeyong looked like shit, but Johnny still thought that he was easily the prettiest person in the room. His jumpsuit didn’t fit him quite right but his hair had gotten a little longer since the last time Johnny had seen him and it really did suit him. Johnny didn’t really like his own and desperately needed a cut but Taeyong? He looked fucking ethereal, even with those dark circles underneath his huge eyes and almost deathly pale skin. Taeyong had blinked over at him and frowned a little for a reason that Johnny didn’t know but his face almost immediately softened once he had smiled over at him. The bailiff had made it a point to step in between the both of them after noticing the small interaction, growling underneath his breath at Taeyong, voice too low for Johnny to make out what he had said.

He saw Bora once or twice a week to talk about his case. She always brought him coffee and some kind of a breakfast sandwich for him along with her which Johnny appreciated. The food in prison wasn’t as terrible as everyone tried to make it out to be but Johnny still preferred the outside food Bora gave him more. While Johnny was extremely thankful for Bora and all she was doing for him —between her food deliveries and how much of herself she was putting into his case—there wasn’t even a small part of him that was ready to do what she wanted him to. 

“You’ve said that, like, twelve times already,” Johnny mumbled, placing down his cup of now–lukewarm coffee.

“I keep saying it because I’m hoping you’ll finally decide to listen to me,” Bora quipped in response, sighing as she started to rustle through the stack of files in front of her. “I’m sure he’s somewhere with his lawyer right now ready to blame everything on you.”

Johnny truly did doubt that. Taeyong wasn’t the type of person to flip everything on another person to save himself. He could have done that when they were still together and hadn’t. In fact, Johnny was the one who had been fully prepared to hand Taeyong over to save face and make it out without being caught by the police. He hadn’t gone through with it but the point still remained. He was the narc, not Taeyong.

“If this is some kind of a tactic to get me to break, it’s not gonna work,” Johnny said simply. 

“I didn’t think that it would,” Bora muttered, shaking her head. She blinked up at Johnny behind the thick lenses of her clear glasses, her gaze lingering a moment before she was frowning softly. “They’re still beating you?”

It took Johnny a moment to understand what Bora was referring to. When he finally did, he raised a hand to the ugly, purpling bruise that had taken up almost the entire lower half of his face and let out a small laugh, shaking his head. Those were old. They still hurt to touch but old nonetheless.

“Not since last week,” Johnny shrugged, lowering his hand back down to grab hold of the cup of coffee in front of him, stopping to take a sip. “Think they might have finally lost interest in me.”

Johnny had said that with confidence but wasn’t really sure. In all honesty, everyday that those men didn’t storm into his cell and beat him stupid he only felt more and more nervous. He liked it better knowing when and where they would strike. Them not doing anything over the past couple of days left Johnny completely in the dark which he didn’t like. His anxiety about it had actually gotten so bad that he was starting to have trouble sleeping at night.

“They would stop hitting you if you just said that you didn’t kill your brother, Johnny,” Bora told him softly.

“But I did,” Johnny responded, his voice coming out a little bit sharper than he had intended it to. He cleared his throat, looking away from Bora’s wide eyes. “I don’t know what to tell you, Bora. I did it. I’m not gonna lie about it.”

“The prosecution team is trying to give you a death sentence,” Bora said bluntly. Hearing that didn’t surprise Johnny all that much. He knew from the beginning that his sentence would be harsh due to the sole fact that people wanted justice for Matthew’s death. The media was painting him as the jealous, overzealous little brother who had wanted to bring down Matthew’s empire since as far back as a year ago when he had broken into his company building turned murderer. They wanted him to suffer, to get what they felt that he deserved. This being said, he didn’t think that they would decide on death. That seemed a little harsh.

“Aren’t you supposed to be doing everything you can to get my sentence lowered?” Johnny pointed out, raising an eyebrow. 

“I am,” Bora defended. “You have to admit that it’s a little hard for me to do that when you won’t budge on this kid who you barely even know."

“He’s my Omega,” Johnny hissed, a little tired of Bora trying to undermine his relationship with Taeyong. 

“The court doesn’t care about that, Johnny,” Bora snapped harshly. “All they care about is getting justice for what both of you did to what they think is an innocent man. I  don’t get why that’s so hard for you to understand.”

It wasn’t hard for him to understand. Johnny got that everyone wanted justice and that reason alone was why he was being thrown under the bus. It still didn’t mean that he was going to drag Taeyong down with him. Taeyong was young and stupid and didn’t deserve to spend the rest of his life in prison because of a couple of mistakes he had made. Johnny had known what he was doing when he had done it. That was the clear difference between the two of them. 

“You think you could bring me iced coffee next time?” Johnny asked, shaking his coffee for emphasis.

Bora blinked at him for a long moment, clearly debating on whether or not she was going to keep pushing him to do what she needed him to. She must choose against it in the end, as she was sighing for what had to be the fiftieth time before nodding slowly, running a hand through her dark, short hair. 

“Caramel or vanilla?” Bora questioned and Johnny took some time to think about it. 

“Caramel,” Johnny finally decided, sitting his coffee back down. 

“Caramel it is then,” Bora said, starting to look through all her (Johnny’s) files again with somewhat of a defeated look on her face. Johnny would have to remember to suggest to his parents to start paying her more than what she currently got the next time that they visited. She at least deserved that much. 

 


 

Taeyong hadn’t slept at all last night. So many different possibilities of what could happen to both him and Johnny ran through his head from the darkest hours of the night to the moment that the sun started showing face through the tiny window on the furthest wall of his cell. While happy that he no longer had to be seperated from Johnny, Taeyong couldn’t help but be even more anxious knowing that anything could happen to him and that there would ultimately be nothing that he could do about it. If Johnny had been hurt sometime during the night, he wouldn’t know a thing about it until he made his way into the cafeteria for breakfast and heard another inmate gossiping about what had happened.

It was that and the mere fact that Taeyong now feared for his own safety. He knew that Johnny had promised him that he would protect him but Taeyong wondered how much he could really do. If someone decided to take him out when Johnny wasn’t around—which would be often, seeing that they were in prison after all—there wouldn’t be a thing that Johnny could do about it. It was that Johnny didn’t trust Johnny’s intentions, he just knew that there were limitations on what all he could do for him and that was what scared Taeyong the most. 

Fortunately, as dawn came and a loud, familiar shriek of a bell rang throughout the air, Taeyong was able to come to the conclusion that nothing would probably happen to him. Sangwon had made a comment about Taeyong looking a little bit more chipper now that his mate was back around and Hongsuk had grunted in response while rolling up his mat. Taeyong had only blinked at the both of them, not at all in the mood to defend himself from their inability to mind their own business. 

Soon enough, they were pushed out of their cell and told to move along for breakfast which Taeyong couldn’t have been more eager for. He walked a little faster than normal and was almost immediately chastised by a nearby guard who warned him to slow down or face getting a shot. Taeyong’s jaw had clenched a bit at the man’s harsh tone but forced himself to walk alongside all of the other inmates on their way to the cafeteria nonetheless. Getting himself into trouble over something as small as talking back to a guard was the very last thing Taeyong needed right now. 

When he got into the cafeteria and retrieved his tray, Taeyong didn’t see Johnny. He sat down at a faraway table in the very corner of the spacious room and looked around, chewing on the inside of his mouth and bouncing his leg out of nervous habit. It looked like almost everyone was there but Johnny was still nowhere to be seen. Had he gotten in trouble sometime during the night? Even worse, had something happened to him? Taeyong scanned the cafeteria again only to find absolutely nothing, cursing sharply underneath his breath. 

He noticed the man who had been staring at him not too far away from him, taking a sip from the cup of water they all were given after getting their trays. The sleeves of his jumpsuit had been pushed up past his forearms, revealing a whole new plethora of tattoos that Taeyong hadn’t noticed the day before. There was something about him that was inherently threatening. Taeyong couldn’t put his finger on exactly what. Either way, he didn’t like this man. Something about him was off. 

“Am I gonna have to beg you to eat again?” Taeyong’s head shot up from where he had been staring at the man eat to see Johnny standing above him, holding a tray of his own. His body immediately sagged with relief at the sight of Johnny and he shot up from his seat, ready to embrace the older. Strangely enough, before he could even touch him, Johnny was pushing him away.

“What the fuck?” Taeyong said, allowing Johnny to guide him back down into his seat.

“Not here,” Johnny responded quietly. 

Although Taeyong didn’t initially understand why Johnny didn’t want to have any contact with him, he hesitated only a moment before nodding slowly, tucking his legs back underneath the table. Johnny did the same and went to crack open his carton of milk, laughing a little and causing the milk to sputter up around his lips at the sight of Taeyong’s frown. 

“What?” Johnny asked, wiping at his mouth with the back of his hand. 

“Milk is gross,” Taeyong muttered.

“You don’t drink milk?” Johnny questioned and Taeyong shook his head. He had never liked milk and never would. The whole concept of it was disgusting. Johnny chuckled lowly to himself and took another sip before sitting the carton back down on his tray. “That’s why you’re so short now.”

Taeyong immediately smacked Johnny’s arm with the back of his hand, causing Johnny to wince loudly in pain and pull away from him. How loud he was caused a couple of people to glance over in their direction including a guard or two but nobody said anything. 

“Fuck you,” Taeyong snapped and Johnny couldn’t help but smile at that, a particuarly big one where his eyes would turn into little half–crescents and these lines would appear on his cheeks. Taeyong would never dare to admit it but he really did think that Johnny looked the cutest when he smiled like that. 

“I didn’t realize how much I missed hearing you say that,” Johnny sighed, moving to pick up an orange from his plate. Taeyong glanced down at his own, realizing that he hadn’t grabbed one. All he had was a small scoop of rice, some soup and his own container of milk. 

It was nice to hear that Johnny had missed him, mostly because Taeyong had been slightly worried that Johnny had forgotten all about him or was frustrated with him in some way, shape or form but Taeyong couldn’t help but feel like he didn’t have room to be happy about that right now. He found himself glancing back over at the table that man was at, his gaze lingering for a moment before focusing back in on Johnny. 

“We need to talk,” Taeyong said and Johnny blinked at him, both cheeks packed with rice like a squirrel. It would have been enough to make Taeyong smile if he wasn’t so anxious. 

“Not here,” Johnny responded after swallowing, shaking his head slowly. He looked over at the man’s table and stared for a moment before diving back into his rice.

“Then where, Johnny?” Taeyong hissed, a little tired of how suspicious Johnny was acting. He didn’t get to hold back on things if Taeyong’s life was in danger. It wasn’t fair. “You don’t get to put the idea that I’m three seconds away from being killed in my head and then not fucking tell me why.”

Johnny swallowed again, looking back over at that man’s table once more before turning his attention over to Taeyong. He seemed very visibly irritated with how loud Taeyong’s voice had gotten although it looked like no one had heard him through the general chatter of all the inmates in the enclosed room. Taeyong didn’t care regardless. He wanted to know. As a matter of fact, he needed to know, for both Johnny’s sake and his own. 

“You gotta keep it down,” Johnny said as quietly as possible. Taeyong immediately rolled his eyes in response because a large part of him just knew that Johnny was going to say that exact thing to him. He looked around the room again. “Listen, I’m only not telling you to keep the both of us safe, okay?”

“When are you planning on telling me then?” Taeyong countered. “We’re in fucking prison, Johnny. We don’t have privacy anymore.”

“I know that,” Johnny retorted sharply before inhaling quietly through his mouth, exhaling shortly thereafter as he ran a hand through his hair. He was obviously very stressed about something and Taeyong would bet good money that it had something to do with their situation which is why he didn’t understand why Johnny wouldn’t just tell him and get some of the load off of himself. He was sure that the two of them would be able to think of some sort of a solution together. “Can you just—Taeyong, I just need you to trust me.”

And Taeyong did trust Johnny, to a certain extent. There was part of him, though, that couldn’t trust Johnny completely. Johnny often had the right intentions but didn’t know how to execute it without everything turning to shit and that was what made Taeyong uncertain. He knew that Johnny couldn’t figure everything out by himself. He just wasn’t built that way. 

“I do trust you, Johnny,” Taeyong said, a little softer this time. “I’m just scared, alright? You came here out of nowhere when I wasn’t even supposed to ever see you again and tell me that the fucking dude that was killed still has goons in here and it’s—John, it’s a lot. Even for me.”

“I know,” Johnny sighed. “And I’m sorry about that but you really have to trust me when I say that I’ve got shit handled.”

Johnny having shit handled seemed very far from the truth. Or maybe it was the truth, but it was Johnny’s truth. His perception of having shit handled was definitely much different from Taeyong’s own. Still, Taeyong blinked back at Johnny for a long couple of seconds before ultimately giving in with a small, defeated exhale, nodding slowly. 

“Okay,” Taeyong said, not because he fully believed Johnny, but because he didn’t know what else he could do in this particular situation. It seemed like his only choice was to sit back and hope that everything didn’t go to shit even more than it already had. 

Johnny looked down at Taeyong’s tray again, reaching over to pick up his small container of soybean sprouts and pour it into the bowl of rice. Taeyong watched him as he did so, already more than aware of what Johnny was going to bring up next. 

“I’m not hungry,” Taeyong spoke up before Johnny could say anything.

“You’re really fucking small, Yong,” Johnny said, picking up Taeyong’s spoon and placing it inside the bowl. 

“I’ve always been really fucking small,” Taeyong grumbled, pushing the bowl away from him. It wasn’t that he was trying to be difficult but ever since entering prison, Taeyong genuinely hadn’t had much of an appetite. It might have had something to do with the fact that he was barely sleeping at night and now had worsened with the lingering threat of someone bringing harm upon him or Johnny but either way, Taeyong wasn’t in the mood.

“I’m telling you to eat,” Johnny said, his voice going an octave lower in a way that made Taeyong flinch a little in response. He pushed the bowl back in front of Taeyong and picked up the spoon, handing it to him. 

And Taeyong knew that Johnny was using his stupid fucking Alpha voice on him, knowing that he would ultimately be left with no other choice than to give in. He grimaced to himself but took the spoon from Johnny nonetheless, forcing himself to dig to poor excuse for metal into his bowl and take a bite. It definitely wasn’t all that bad going in but Taeyong still didn’t feel like eating. There were so many more important things for him to be worried about at the moment and none included sitting down and enjoying a meal in the cafeteria. Besides, it wasn’t like he wasn’t eating at all. 

“Nobody has bothered you since you’ve been here?” Johnny spoke up, watching as Taeyong went in for another bite of his stiff rice.

“I already told you they haven’t,” Taeyong spoke with his mouth full, shrugging a little. “Why?”

“Because I wasn’t even here for five minutes and somebody already tried to start shit with me,” Johnny muttered, glancing around the room for a moment. Taeyong watched him as he did, still holding his spoon. Johnny was different. He couldn’t figure out how or in what way but something about him had changed since Taeyong had last seen him and Taeyong wasn’t sure if that was good or bad. Johnny’s gaze finally landed on him and Taeyong could tell that he was searching him for any sign of injury. “It doesn’t make sense.”

“Shouldn’t we be glad about that?” Taeyong questioned. “I mean, not getting my ass beat isn’t really the worst thing that’s ever happened to me.”

Johnny opened his mouth to respond to Taeyong but stopped himself, his gaze shooting up behind Taeyong. Taeyong noticed quickly and turned, only to see the man who had been staring at the both of them yesterday standing right in front of him. His entire body went stiff almost immediately and Johnny was quick to pull him closer to him on the bench they were sharing, fitting an arm around his waist.

“Whoa,” the man said, smiling and showing off two dimples on either cheek. “Aren’t you two cute?”

“Fuck off,” Taeyong hissed sharply. He felt Johnny’s hold on him go a bit tighter with his bluntness but Taeyong didn’t care. If this was one of people who Johnny feared would try and mess with him then he needed to let him know that he wasn’t going to deal with the bullshit. 

The man seemed a bit taken aback by Taeyong’s harsh response, clicking his tongue in defense, still smiling. Taeyong could feel Johnny’s breath fanning over his neck. This guy felt like trouble.

“I’m not here to start any trouble,” the man promised and Johnny scoffed from behind Taeyong almost immediately.

“Oh, bullshit,” Johnny seethed. “I’m not fucking stupid, Jung. I know who you are.”

Taeyong frowned at that but didn’t move or say anything, waiting for the man—or Jung, apparently—to respond to what Johnny had snapped at him. He glanced at the table that Jung had come from and saw that a couple of the men were turned around watching all three of them. What the fuck was going on?

“I didn’t think you remembered me,” Jung said, still grinning. He ran a hand through his dark hair and Taeyong couldn’t help but notice the two bold eyes tattooed over the back of his large hand. “How come you didn’t come and say hi, man?”

Johnny didn’t say anything in response to that. Taeyong could tell that he was becoming more and more frustrated with Jung’s presence and the fact that he seemed to be so unbothered and entertained by what was going on in front of him. He wanted to turn around and tell him to calm down a little, that it wasn’t worth getting into trouble over but also didn’t want to look away from this strange man in front of him. 

Seeing that Johnny was refusing to say anything, Jung sighed in defeat before turning his attention over to Taeyong. “You’re all anyone can talk about lately,” he said and Taeyong snorted in response. 

“I’ve been here over three months and haven’t seen anyone show any interest in me,” Taeyong quipped. It wasn’t that he wanted the attention, more that he wasn’t stupid enough to fall for whatever trick Jung was trying to pull on him. 

“Really?” Jung asked, tilting his head a bit to his left. Taeyong kept his mouth firmly shut. “Weird.”

“Is there anything that we can help you with?” Taeyong questioned because this whole interaction seemed wrong and he wanted it to end as quickly as possible not only for his sake but Johnny’s too, especially considering how tense he had gotten behind him. 

Jung cleared his throat before reaching out a hand in Taeyong’s direction. Taeyong blinked down at his tattoo but didn’t take his hand, eventually looking back up at Jung. “I’m Jay,” he introduced, his hand still outstretched. Taeyong glanced back down at the eyes etched in permanent ink against his tanned skin and it didn’t take too long for Jay to notice where his attention had flickered down to. “It’s from the Great Gatsby. Dr. TJ Eckleburg,” he explained, finally pulling his hand back to get a closer look at the design. “It’s supposed to represent God and how he’s always watching us. Judging us for all the shit we’ve done, you know?”

“I don’t believe in God,” Taeyong back quickly, causing Jay to raise a brow in amusement. He blinked at Taeyong for a moment or two before breaking out into a soft smile. 

“Well,” Jay said, still grinning down at Taeyong. “To each their own, right?”

“You need to go,” Johnny finally spoke up, his voice low and threatening. 

Jay’s gaze switched behind Taeyong to look at Johnny. His smile faltered a little but never once fell. He hesitated for a slight moment before nodding, fitting both hands behind his back. Taeyong felt Johnny dig into his waist even tighter than before and had to swallow down a small wince, keeping quiet nonetheless.

“That’s alright,” Jay said. “We’ll talk later, John.”

Taeyong watched as Jay reached over to give Johnny’s arm a friendly pat. After pulling back, he offered Taeyong yet another smile before turning around and walking back to his table. When he made it back to the men he had been sitting with, someone threw him an apple and he caught it, causing the table to cheer loudly until a nearby guard shouted at them to quiet down. 

The entire interaction had been so strange. Jay hadn’t said anything that was even slightly threatening but Taeyong couldn’t get past the idea that he was up to no good. After all, why else would Johnny be so tense? He spoke to Jay with such hatred and venom in his voice. Taeyong didn’t understand it. 

“Hey,” Taeyong muttered, turning around to grab hold of both of Johnny’s hands. “Calm down.”

“I’m calm,” Johnny said darkly, clearly lying. His eyes were still focused on the table that Jay had gone back to. 

“Hey,” Taeyong repeated, a little sharper this time around to get Johnny’s attention. Johnny blinked over at him. “I don’t give a shit about any problem you have with him. Don’t fucking get in trouble.”

Johnny stared at him for a long moment before sighing, deflating with the exhale of air. He definitely didn’t look any less tense but Taeyong could tell that he was at least trying to calm himself down. Jesus Christ. What had Jay done to Johnny that the mere sight of him got him this worked up? 

“I really can’t fucking be in here,” Johnny mumbled, shaking his head.

Taeyong didn’t know how to respond to that. He didn’t want to be in prison either. There was virtually nothing that he could do about what was happening to the both of them. It sucked and Taeyong had no doubt that it all was so much worse for Johnny. Unfortunately, he’s never been all that good with words and couldn’t even begin to think of something that might have made Johnny feel even the littlest bit better.

“Who is he?” Taeyong decided to ask.

“Used to fucking work for Matthew,” Johnny answered, glancing back over at Jay’s table again. “Was one of his top men until he got arrested for some Ponzi scheme.” He forced himself to exhale slowly again. “Matthew was part of it too but him and, like, six other men had more means to defend themselves so Jay ended up having to take the fall.”

Taeyong wasn’t really surprised by that. Hearing that Matthew had fucked over yet another person. After his death, Taeyong found out a lot about Matthew that he hadn’t known before. His attorney told him about all the rumors and gossip that surrounded the entrepreneur since he had started to peak back in 2019. All the people he had apparently ruined and scammed. It only made Taeyong feel even less guilty—if that was even fucking possible—about his involvement in Matthew’s death, though he’d never say that out loud. 

He still didn’t quite understand why Johnny had been so wary of Jay’s presence. It was true that Jay was a definite douchebag and Taeyong didn’t trust him as far as he could throw him but that was as far as it went. After all, why would Jay give a shit about either of them? There was no reason for him to try and enact his revenge—not when Matthew had basically ruined his life and got away with it. As a matter of fact, Taeyong didn’t doubt that Jay hated the man as much as he and Johnny did. 

“Matthew fucked him over,” Taeyong pointed out quietly. “Why would he still have any loyalty to him?”

Johnny paused for a moment, seeming to take what Taeyong had said into consideration. He sighed once again, pulling away from Taeyong to run a hand through his hair. “I don’t know,” Johnny admitted, biting the inside of his mouth. “I just—Something’s not right here, Yong.”

“Stop expecting disaster to come for us at any second,” Taeyong said. “We’re together again, yeah? This is literally the best thing that could have happened to us.”

Johnny looked like he wanted to say something but was interrupted by a guard approaching their table. Taeyong looked up at the man, frowning at how he had come up to the both of them. His heart started to beat a little faster. Was this it? Was this the moment that someone came to him and told him that he had been requested for a transfer? Wouldn’t that be fucking ironic?

“Inmate,” the man said in a stiff voice, very obviously directing his attention over at Taeyong. “You’re wanted in the warden’s office.”

“Why?” Taeyong asked, frowning.

“Because I fucking said so,” the guard growled, reaching down to snatch Taeyong out of his seat. Taeyong made a shocked noise in the back of his throat, stumbling to keep himself from falling. Johnny shot up the second that Taeyong had been grabbed but stopped moving altogether once the guard moved a hand down onto the baton on his waist.

Johnny looked over at Taeyong whose face had gone scarlet with anger. He didn’t even have to say anything for Taeyong to understand what he was silently telling him. Don’t get in trouble. We can’t help each other if we get in trouble. It’ll be okay.

With that in mind, Taeyong straightened up a bit and exhaled quietly before turning back to the guard. The man looked at him with clear amusement on his face before gesturing for Taeyong to start walking in the opposite direction. Taeyong glanced at Johnny for one last time before following the officer’s command, unable to swallow down the dread that had built up in his throat. The warden? He had been in this prison for almost half a year and had never interacted with the man in charge even once. So why now? What had changed?

As the guard got in front of him and started to direct him out of the cafeteria, Taeyong couldn’t help but look back over at Jay’s table, only to find that Jay was looking directly back at him. It was almost like he had been waiting for him to turn around, waiting for him to catch his eye. Taeyong only blinked back at him for a second before turning back around, keeping his focus ahead of him.

 


 

“You want a cigarette?”

Warden Lee was an older man. He was probably in his early fifties with short, salt–and–pepper hair. The lines on his face were many but gave him a kinder, more trusting look. This was the first time that Taeyong was seeing him. For some reason, he had been expecting him to look mean and intimidating, someone who would make him shrink into his seat once he got too close. It was relieving to see that the man in charge didn’t look much different than his grandfather.  

Taeyong was sat down in the chair across from the warden’s desk, his hands placed carefully in his lap. He hadn’t been in there for too long. The guard had led him into the room and gestured for him to sit down in the plush seat before disappearing and Warden Lee had come in not too long after, offering him a small smile as he sat down across from him. 

He blinked at the pack of cigarettes that Warden Lee was holding out towards him, unsure of what to do. He had smoked before and found himself missing that sensation no matter how unhealthy it might be but didn’t trust the man’s kindness. No matter how friendly he may have looked, Taeyong knew that the man had to be some kind of a hardass if he was in charge of an entire fucking prison. Taeyong kept his hands clasped together in his lap, deciding not to reach out for the pack. 

“Go on,” Warden Lee encouraged, shaking the pack. 

“What’s the catch?” Taeyong finally asked, raising an eyebrow. 

“None,” Warden Lee promised. “I’m not your enemy, Taeyong. I’m just here to make sure that everything stays in order.”

It was clear that the man wasn’t going to let it go until Taeyong did what he wanted him to so without hesitating any longer, Taeyong reached over and took the pack from him. He popped it open and pulled out a cigarette before handing the carton back over to Warden Lee, placing the long stick in between his lips. He stood from his chair and leaned forward to let Warden Lee ignite the end of it with a lighter he had pulled out from his pocket.

Taeyong sighed a little when the first rush of smoke entered in his lungs, breathing it out slowly. This really was what he needed, especially after the last couple of days. It obviously wasn’t enough to take the load off of him completely but still let him breathe a little bit easier. 

“I don’t me and you have met before and I apologize for that,” Warden Lee said, sitting back down in his chair. “I’m sure you know that you coming to this prison brought a lot of publicity.”

Taeyong didn’t doubt that. There had been a lot of publicity going around from the very moment that he was arrested and even while first going into the prison, Taeyong had seen a couple of lingering reporters and journalists all wanting their money–garnering shots of what would probably be the final images of the man who had evaded the police for over three months. However, he had never once considered all of the trouble he had probably brought to the people in charge. 

He didn’t respond to that, only took another drag of his cigarette. At the moment, Taeyong didn’t quite care about anything this man had to deal with because of him being there. The only thing he cared about was why he had been called in after all this time and for some reason, he just wasn’t able to believe that Warden Lee had made him come all the way down there to his office because he wanted to meet him. 

“It’s a good thing that only a few people know about your little partner being here,” Warden Lee continued, shaking his head. “If this got out, you wouldn’t even able to see me right now, I’d be so drowned in paperwork.”

Taeyong didn’t really care about that either. It wasn’t like Warden Lee didn’t have a choice in allowing Johnny to transfer over to his prison. He had done it out a greed and if it did somehow get leaked to the media, the man deserved all that was coming to him. This all being said, Taeyong couldn’t help the way that his heart sped up with the mention of Johnny. He still didn’t understand why he had been called there in the first place and was nervous as to what the end result of it all would be. 

“I mean, I could get into a lot of trouble, Taeyong, accepting a bribe,” Warden Lee explained softly. “Especially when it was explicitly written out for the both of you that you were strictly forbidden to have any sort of contact with one another until you were finished serving your sentences and seeing that Mr. Suh’s ruling is for life, the overall decision was that neither of you would be allowed to see each other ever again.”

Taeyong knew that. It was why he hadn’t understood how Johnny had managed to get himself a spot in the same prison as him in the first place. He didn’t get why Warden Lee was telling him all of this but then again, part of him had an idea. Was this building up into some kind of a threat or even worse, the man informing him that he was going to be transferred to another prison far away from Johnny? His stomach went tight at the thought. What the fuck was he going to do? 

“Is there any reason why I’m here?” Taeyong finally asked, wanting to get it all wrapped up. If he was going to be moved, he didn’t want it to be dragged out any longer.

“Of course,” Warden Lee said, smiling again. He reached underneath his desk and pulled out a small tan file, placing it down in front of him. Taeyong felt like he could vomit. This was it. This was what he had been waiting for. And to think he had thought the outcome would be any different because this asshole had given him a cheap cigarette. “I wanted to offer you a job, Taeyong.”

Taeyong blinked back at Warden Lee, then down at the file that he had opened up on his desk. He could barely read it with how small the text had been printed but it was obvious that any sort of document about a transfer would look a lot more official than what was in front of the man. What the fuck? There was no fucking way that Warden Lee had summoned him all the way down to his office for a job offer. It didn’t make any sense. 

“What?” Taeyong finally asked, frowning. “You’re not—I mean, you’re not gonna transfer me?”

“I didn’t have that in mind, no,” Warden Lee shrugged. “Did you want to be transferred?”

“No,” Taeyong said, a little sharper than he had intended. That was the very last thing he wanted and he didn’t want Warden Lee to think that it was what he had on mind. “It’s just—I’m just confused is all.”

“Confused about what?” Warden Lee questioned, tilting his head a bit to the side. “It’s as simple as it sounds, Taeyong. I’m offering you a job.”

Taeyong could have questioned why. Sangwon had told him not too long ago that only people who had been in the prison for a long while or had certain connections to those in charge were able to land jobs. He had only been there for a couple of months and had no link to anyone who had the power to give him one. So why him? Why him out of all those other people who actually had the means to get it? He didn’t understand. 

The thing was that he didn’t want to. He didn’t want Warden Lee to think that his suspicion towards his offer ultimately meant that he was turning him down. From what Sangwon had told him, working in the prison was one of the best things that one could do for themselves. It would give him relationships that would be helpful for him in the future and could prevent any upcoming conflict that was set to happening for both him and Johnny due to what they had done. This was it. This was how Taeyong could help them stay out of trouble. 

“A job where?” Taeyong asked, completely having forgotten about the still–lit cigarette in his hand. “Doing what?”

“You’ll be everyone’s personal librarian,” Warden Lee said simply. “Every other afternoon, you’ll be required to get up and go around each cellblock with the book cart and help inmates check out whatever they need to check out.”

Taeyong snorted a little, shaking his head. “Are you kidding?” he said incredulously. “I’ve been here over five months and I haven’t seen a single person pick up a book.”

“That’s because you’re in the younger cellblock,” Warden Lee responded, completely unaffected by Taeyong’s blatant disbelief of the system. “You’d be surprised how many people are itching to get their hands on a book in A and C.”

Taeyong really wasn’t sure if he believed that but wouldn’t argue about it any further. He looked down at his cigarette before lifting up his foot and putting it out against his boot, plucking it into the trash to the right of Warden Lee’s desk. This whole thing was strange. Was he getting special treatment because of what he had done? Was this some kind of respect thing? No, that couldn’t have been it. Nobody respected him in that place. 

“What’s the catch?” Taeyong asked again, reminiscent of when his conversation with Warden Lee had first started. “I mean, there has to be some kind of a catch.”

“There’s no catch as far as I know,” Warden Lee said. “If you agree, you’ll be expected to do your rounds as scheduled and the money you earn will either be deposited to your commissary account or to your bank account outside of here. That’ll be your choice, of course.”

“Are you offering the same thing to Johnny?” Taeyong questioned bluntly. 

“Well, that wouldn’t make too much sense, would it?” Warden Lee retorted, raising an eyebrow. “I’m sure you know that Mr. Suh isn’t really all that popular. There are a lot of people that aren’t exactly happy that he’s here.” He picked up a pen from a cup on the left side of his neat desk, clicking the nib out. “I’m trying to get my inmates their books, not start a riot in one of my cellblocks.”

Taeyong hated that. He knew that people disliked Johnny a lot more than they did him and whether it was because of the fact that Johnny was an Alpha and he was an Omega and they felt threatened by that or or because it was widely believed that Johnny was the sole person who had killed Matthew it still didn’t feel fair. Johnny didn’t deserve all the shit that he got. That thought was more of a reason for Taeyong to take the job, though. If he did all that he needed to do, maybe he could stop people from fucking with him. 

“Fine,” Taeyong finally said, huffing. Warden Lee grinned at him before leaning over his desk and handing him the pen, pushing the file in front of Taeyong. 

“Just sign on the line on the bottom and you’re all set,” Warden Lee told him, Taeyong swiftly doing as he was told. He gave both the pen and the file back to the man, sitting back down in his seat. 

“Is that it?” Taeyong asked, his arms folded across his chest. Despite his agreement, he still didn’t trust what was going on. He simply couldn’t grasp why Warden Lee was giving him a job. It wasn’t like this was some kind of reward for him because he had managed to stay out of trouble for the entire time he had been there. There had to be something more behind it, something that he would have to figure out later. 

“Yep,” Warden Lee said easily. “Just report to the library after lunch on Wednesday and Kim will be happy to get you all set up.”

Taeyong nodded before pushing himself up out of his seat, taking one last glance at the man behind the huge mahogany desk before walking out of the room. The door shut with a slam once he was out, causing him to flinch a bit. The guard who had escorted him down to the office was no longer there. Taeyong hesitated for a moment before walking out the same way that he had come from, uncertainty growing with each step. 

The cafeteria was empty once Taeyong came back around but he could hear the familiar sound of commotion coming from the common area. He almost never went in there, preferring to spend most of his time in his cell by himself but wanted to look for Johnny and knew that the first place to find him would probably be in there.

The room was crowded with people. Some were at the metal tables, playing cards or talking amongst themselves. Others were in chairs in front of the TV, arguing about what to watch while a guard stood not too far away from them, silently warning them not to go too far. Taeyong didn’t see Johnny which caused him to frown. Where was he? Why would he have left without knowing what had happened to him?

He turned around to go look for Johnny in another room but was stopped by a guard who moved in front of the entrance. Taeyong stared back at the man, his face going a bit hot with irritation before forcing himself to turn back around. He would have to go and find Johnny later. 

Taeyong hadn’t made it too far into the room when someone called out for him. He looked over to see Jay sitting there, surrounded by some of the same men as earlier. Taeyong hesitated, uncertain about following the man’s call. If Johnny was around, there was no doubt that he would have told him to keep walking. But Johnny wasn’t there and Taeyong didn’t want to call more attention on himself by not answering. 

“Come on, Yi, move,” Jay said once Taeyong had approached, shooing the man in front of him out of the spot. Yi glanced behind him at Taeyong before sighing, placing down the stack of cards he had been holding before getting up out of the seat. Once he was gone, Jay gestured to the empty spot. “Sit down.”

“I’m good,” Taeyong shook his head in response, not seeing any reason why he should have to sit down. 

“Suit yourself,” Jay shrugged, placing down a card in the pile in front of him. He turned to the man to his left who stared at his own stack before putting one down himself, humming quietly. “How’d your meeting with Warden Lee go?”

Taeyong wasn’t at all surprised to hear that Jay knew that he had gone to visit the warden. He seemed like the type that knew what all was going on in the prison. Taeyong wasn’t sure what kind of power Jay had within the facility but knew that it had to be something of substance, especially with how easily that man had gotten up and left when instructed. 

“Fine,” Taeyong said. “Is there something that you need?”

“Just wanted to welcome you to the club,” Jay responded, smiling up at him. Taeyong frowned at that. The club? What the fuck did that mean? “You’re welcome for the job, by the way. Pulled a lot of strings to get you that.”

Jay had gotten him the job. That was how he had gotten it. That was why he had been randomly offered the position as apposed to all these other people. Taeyong blinked back at Jay, watching him put down another card—a queen of spades. It still didn’t make any sense. Why had Jay picked him out of everyone else? What could he do for him? Why not Johnny who could offer much more for him as a person?

“Don’t worry,” Jay reassured him quietly. “We take good care of each other here.”

And something about that didn’t feel good to Taeyong. He couldn’t quite grasp it but Taeyong didn’t like it. It wasn’t right.

“We’re doing a sweep!” a guard shouted, the sound of his voice causing everyone to stand and spring into action, the men in front of him at Jay’s table groaning before all doing the same. “Everyone back to your cells!”

Jay made sure to scoop up all the cards before standing up himself, tucking them into the side pocket of his jumpsuit. He noticed Taeyong still standing there and came around to put a hand on his shoulder, not seeming to be at all bothered by the way Taeyong flinched at the sudden contact. He smiled down at Taeyong, exuding the pure scent of an Alpha that Taeyong hadn’t noticed until now.

“I’ll make sure you’re all taken care of,” Jay reassured him softly, giving him a shoulder one last pat before walking off, disappearing into the crowd of the men.  

Taeyong didn’t know what that meant. He didn’t know what that was going to entail or why Jay had gone out of his way to recruit him. All he knew was that he stood there for a couple more seconds before a guard was redirecting him the opposite way, hissing at him to keep it moving before he got a shot.

Chapter Text

The second that Taeyong had left the room, Johnny couldn’t help but notice how Jay’s gaze had lingered on him for a moment. It bothered him. There was no way that Taeyong could have been called back for something he had done on his own and how random it had been made Johnny suspicious. Seeing Jay stare at his retreating back didn’t help either. Something was going on and he didn’t like it.

Johnny pushed himself out of his seat and made his way over to Jay’s table without hesitating, ignoring how the men surrounding Jay looked up at him as he approached. It took Jay a moment to acknowledge his presence, blinking over at him with an unimpressed look on his face. Johnny really couldn’t fucking stand him. Out of all the men who he had seen Matthew take under his wing, Jay had to be the worst. He would even go as far as to say that Jay was just as bad as Matthew. The only difference between the two of them was that Matthew was smart enough to not get caught and Jay had never had that working for him. 

“What the fuck did you do?” Johnny asked bluntly, causing a couple of the men at the table to scoff in disbelief. Johnny didn’t care what kind of respect Jay had gotten himself in this shitty prison and he wasn’t going to adhere to it either. 

“What are you talking about?” Jay asked boredly, only barely glancing up at him as he picked up his spoon and took a small bite of his rice. 

“Why is Taeyong being taken back to the warden’s office?” Johnny spat, irritated with how Jay was playing dumb. There was no way that he had nothing to do with what had just happened. Johnny wasn’t stupid. 

Jay laughed quietly, shaking his head. “Why the fuck would I know that?” he questioned, raising a brow. “Am I the one who called him back?”

Johnny wasn’t crazy. With the way Jay had approached both him and Johnny, there was no way he had nothing to do with what had just happened. If Taeyong had been there for close to half a year and hadn’t gotten himself in trouble, what sense did it make that he was randomly being called back to the warden’s office right after having a strange conversation with the man who could easily make something like that happen? Jay was bullshitting him and Johnny knew it. If Jay wasn’t going to confess, he wouldn’t have any proof but Johnny still knew. Jay was fucking up to something. 

“I swear to God if you do something to hurt him—,” Johnny started, only to be interrupted by Jay’s cool voice.

“You know, you have a lot of nerve coming over here accusing me of being the reason that your little boyfriend is being called down to Lee’s office when you have no proof that I have anything to do with that,”  Jay said. “Your boy has a smart mouth, John. Maybe that’s what got him brought down there.”

Johnny still didn’t believe that. Taeyong had been going out of way to stay out of trouble since the very moment he had gotten there. He had seen Taeyong stop himself from talking back to the people in charge. It simply didn’t make sense for him to have spazzed on someone enough to warrant a visit to the warden’s office. Plus, when would he have done that? Nothing about it added up. 

“Just leave both of us alone, okay?” Johnny hissed, done with the conversation. If Jay wasn’t going to be truthful, there was no point in the two of them talking to each other any longer. 

“Maybe I will and maybe I won’t,” Jay snorted, tilting his head a little to the left. “All I know that the way to keep out of trouble in here isn’t to come up to people threaten them, John.” His mouth curled up into a small smile, one that made Johnny’s stomach turn in pure disgust. “Just a little bit of advice that I’d keep in mind if I were you, yeah?”

That was a threat. Johnny was smart enough to see that clearly. Jay was telling him to watch his back. He was fucking with him on purpose. Unfortunately, there was nothing that Johnny could do about it in that moment, nothing that wouldn’t end up with him in segregation or injured. He would have to wait. He wasn’t afraid of Jay in the slightest but the most strategic way for him to do this would be to walk away. 

And that’s what he did. He could hear Jay and his men start to talk about him as he made his way back to his table. Taeyong might not have thought that Jay was of any danger to the both of them at the moment but Johnny knew better. He picked his and Taeyong’s tray and dumped both of them in the trash, placing them on the metal cart in the very front of the room. 

Jay was gonna be the main issue for them and it bothered Johnny to no end that he couldn’t go and figure out why Taeyong had been called away from him. What the fuck had Jay done and why? Why had he hated until Johnny come to start fucking with Taeyong? He couldn’t have known when and if Johnny was going to be arriving. It just didn’t make any sense. He would find out why, though. The last thing Johnny was going to let Jay do was make Taeyong’s life harder than he already had himself. 

“Suh!” someone suddenly called and Johnny looked up to see a guard looking back at him, gesturing for him to come over. He glanced over at Jay’s table one last time before walking over, making sure to keep his head down while he did. There was no fucking way that Jay was exacting his revenge right then and there. It was too quick. He needed time to do any real damage.

“Yes?” Johnny asked once approaching, causing the guard to snort quietly to himself.

“Back to your cell,” the man said simply. Johnny frowned a little. Why was he being sent to his cell? Breakfast hadn’t even finished and after that was supposed to be recreational time.

“Why?” Johnny questioned which definitely might have been a bad move. Luckily for him, the guard in front of him didn’t seem to be as violent as the one who had taken Taeyong away. If anything, he only seemed irritated with Johnny’s inability to simply do as he was asked. 

“New inmate,” the guard responded with a small sigh. “You’re part of the welcoming community.” After that, Johnny still didn’t move. He couldn’t comprehend why a new inmate required him to return back to his cell. Would the man be his new roommate or something? If that was the case, how come his other cellmate wasn’t being summoned back with him? “ Move it or you’re getting a shot, Suh,” the guard continued, giving Johnny a shove in the direction of his cell. 

Johnny’s jaw went tight at that. He really didn’t want to leave. Taeyong could have been back at any moment and he didn’t want him to return and see that he was nowhere to found. Unfortunately for him, it seemed that he didn’t have a choice. This man was persistent and seeing that people had started to look on, Johnny didn’t want for him to feel like he had to prove himself and get violent. 

“Fine,” Johnny finally said sharply, slipping around the guard to make his way back to his cell, unsure of what was about to happen to him. 

Once at his cell, Johnny noticed someone standing there in the ugly gray jumpsuit that they gave people who had just been either transferred or sent to the prison. He turned back to look at the guard but the man only blinked back at him, pushing past him to unlock the sturdy door. Johnny stepped inside after that, hearing the metal slam shut after him as he waited for the inmate to turn around and greet him. 

“Holy shit,” Johnny breathed once he saw who it was, the other inmate immediately dropping his things with a smile of disbelief steadily growing on his young face. They hugged tightly, Johnny practically picking up the other with how ecstatic he was to see him. “What the fuck are you doing here, man?” Johnny asked as he pulled back, still smiling as he held onto the other Alpha by his broad shoulders.

“Turns out the police don’t particularly like being lied to about two fugitives,” Mark explained sheepishly, shaking his head. “Plus they were able to figure out that I had held you two at my house for a little bit. Could’ve lied and said that you forced me but I figured a life sentence was already enough for you.”

Despite Mark’s nonchalance about it, Johnny couldn’t help but feel a bit horrible about what had happened. He hadn’t even thought about Mark getting in trouble. Even then, he hadn’t expected for Mark to be sent to fucking prison. A wave of guilt ran through him with the thought that he basically helped ruin Mark’s life. Even if his sentence wasn’t very long, it would still be on his record until the moment that he died, preventing him for getting certain jobs, living in specific places and much more. On top of all of this, Mark was only twenty –one. This was fucking terrible.

“I’m so sorry,” Johnny finally said, looking down at the bag Mark had been holding. “Christ, Mark, I’m so fucking sorry, man.”

“Come on, dude, stop it,” Mark interrupted before he could say more, giving Johnny’s shoulder a gentle shove. “I could have said no when you asked me to help you and I didn’t. I knew what could have happened to me and I still decided to so this is on me, alright? Don’t feel bad because I’m the dumbass that decided to help two men on the run.” 

As much as Johnny knew that was true, he still couldn’t help but feel bad. After all, Mark had only agreed because of their relationship. Sure, it had ultimately been his choice to let them in and call attention off of them later but part of the reason why Johnny had asked was because he knew that Mark wouldn’t turn him down. He had absolutely taken advantage of Mark’s soft spot for him and that was what Johnny felt the worst about. 

“How long?” Johnny decided to ask and Mark shrugged, running a hand through his soft, black hair. 

“Eight months,” Mark answered. “Could be worse, couldn’t it?”

Johnny knew that he had said that in reference to him and his life sentence. Still, to him, Mark’s sentence seemed a bit harsh. An entire year for holding someone he shouldn’t have? Then again, he couldn’t help but wonder if that would have been his sentence had he not gotten involved with Matthew? Could his sentence have been as lax as a year if he had never taken his brother’s life?

“You look like shit, man,” Mark muttered, reaching out to pull at a piece of Johnny’s hair. “They let you have clippers in here?”

Surprisingly enough, they actually did. Johnny had seen his one other cellmate shave his face every other morning with a pair of clippers. The sight of it had surprised him, especially considering that someone couldn’t even begin to dream of a luxury like that at the last prison he had been at.

“Yeah,” Johnny said, nodding slowly. Mark hummed in response.

“Cool,” Mark mumbled. “Remind me and I’ll try to get my hands on some and fix this fucking mess on your head.”

“It’s not that bad,” Johnny muttered, frowning a bit. He genuinely didn’t think that it was. Sure, he preferred his hair a little shorter but he didn’t think that it looked absolutely terrible right now. 

“It really is,” Mark chuckled. It went quiet between the two of them for a moment. Then, “How you been, man?”

“I’ve been better,” Johnny admitted because he had. These past couple of months have been fucking brutal for him and he honestly didn’t think that he would ever been at a point where he could say that he was good ever again. He wouldn’t say that to Mark or anyone else for that matter, though. He didn’t need anyone to feel sorry for him. “I’ll be alright, though.”

Mark shook his head again and muttered something under his breath, sighing. He sat down on the floor, picking up his bag and pulling it open. Somehow, Johnny knew what Mark had said before he even opened his mouth to confirm. That was Mark’s issue. He liked to find someone to blame in bad situations and when he couldn’t find fault himself or another person, he would go onto the next.

“It wasn’t his fault, Mark,” Johnny said quietly, causing Mark to look up to where he had started to pull out the thin palette they had given him.

“It had to be someone’s fault,” Mark said with a small snort. 

“Yeah,” Johnny agreed, nodding. “And it was mine.”

“That’s bullshit and you know it, Johnny,” Mark retorted, his voice going a bit sharp with Johnny’s response to what he had originally said. “I mean, Matthew didn’t even have any beef with you until he realized that you were with that asshole.”

“That asshole is my mate,” Johnny hissed, irritated with the conversation because the very last thing he needed right now was for Mark to come in and try to convince him he had done the wrong thing when it came to him having decided to help Taeyong. He already had plenty of people on the outside doing that and didn’t need one of the few he could bring himself to trust to judge him as well. 

“Mate or not, he got you put in here for life, Johnny,” Mark snapped. “How the fuck are you still defending him? Do you know what he got?”

“It doesn’t matter,” Johnny seethed before Mark could continue.

“How does it not matter, Johnny?” Mark exclaimed, laughing incredulously. “You’re in here for the rest of your fucking life! I don’t understand how that doesn’t matter to you, man.”

It did matter to him. The last thing Johnny wanted was to spend the rest of his life in a fucking cell but he had done what he did and this was the punishment. Taeyong hadn’t forced him into doing anything. He could have easily let Matthew kill him and moved on with his life and he had chosen not to. That had been his decision and his decision alone. He couldn’t blame anyone else but himself for it. 

“Why do you hate him more than I do?” Johnny asked. “If I can get over it, why can’t you, Mark?”

“Because I’m not fucking blinded by what I think is love,” Mark answered easily. “I haven’t been looking at your relationship through rose–colored glasses like you have. I see the type of person he is and I fucking hate the fact that you can’t and you’ve ruined your entire life because of it.”

Johnny didn’t know what to say in response to that. Him and Mark would never see Taeyong in the same light. Mark had only gotten to see the sharp, abrasive Taeyong that he showed to everyone he wasn’t comfortable with. He didn’t get to see the Taeyong that said that he cared about him, that had almost sacrificed himself for his own safety, that had smiled back at him before he had been whisked away by an aggressive officer. Mark couldn’t speak on their relationship because he didn’t know anything deeper than the surface. His problem was that he couldn’t see that. 

“Well, there’s nothing we can do about it now,” Johnny muttered, sitting down on the ground next to Mark. “You’re gonna spend the next year in here with me so either you sit there and be bitchy about my decisions until your release date or you fucking get over it like I have.”

Mark blinked at him for a long moment after he had finished speaking. Slowly his stoic face transformed into a small smile. He shook his head once again and continued to lay out his pallette, sighing quietly underneath his breath. Johnny could tell with that one little gesture that he had chosen the latter like he knew he would. Mark had never been one to keep quiet about his opinion but he would be respectful of the people he cared about.

“This isn’t gonna be the last time you hear about it,” Mark warned him and Johnny laughed softly.

“Didn’t think that it was,” he said in response. 

Mark opened his mouth to say something else but was interrupted by the cell door opening again. Both him and Johnny turned and looked, being met with the sight of their cellmate, Jihun, walking into the room. He stared at Mark for a moment before sighing shortly. 

“I get the bathroom first in the morning,” Jihun warned. “I don’t care if you have the worst stomach bug our country has ever seen. If I find you in the bathroom before me, I’m gonna fight you.”

It was the same thing Jihun had said to Johnny the moment that he had come in. Johnny hadn’t taken his warning too seriously. Jihun looked around about Mark’s age but was Beta and barely a couple centimeters taller than Taeyong. That being said, Johnny had never dared to go to the bathroom before Jihun was able to in the morning out of sheer respect for the other. It would be silly for him to start trouble over something so small.

“Hello to you too,” Mark mumbled sarcastically, placing his pillow on the floor. 

“That’s Mark,” Johnny introduced and Jihun hummed, moving to start rummaging through his things in the little cubby next to the bathroom door. 

“I’m Jihun,” Jihun said, picking out a small razor and tucking it into his pocket. “Don’t use the bathroom before me in the morning. I don’t want my day to be ruined by having to smell another man’s shit the second that I wake up.”

“I don’t shit in the morning,” Mark scoffed, looking up at Johnny in disbelief. Johnny only chuckled.

“Did they send you in here to introduce yourself too?” Johnny asked. Jihun glanced back at him, snorting quietly. 

“No,” Jihun said, shaking his head. “They’re doing a sweep.”

A sweep? Johnny couldn’t fucking stand those. At his last prison, the guards who did those always made it a point to trash his cell as much as they possibly could, leaving him to clean it up once they were finished. He had called them out about it the first time they had done it and had gotten a hard baton to his stomach in response. His cellmate absolutely loathed him because of their tendency to ruin their small little place of residence and made sure that he knew it. 

He looked over at Mark who only shrugged at him. Mark didn’t have anything to be worried about. He had just gotten there and hadn’t had any time to get much that belonged to him out other than somewhere for him to sleep. He knew for a fact that Jihun had plenty of contraband scattered throughout their cell but was smart enough to dispose of it, as he was doing right now. There wasn’t any reason for him to go searching himself. He didn’t have much on him other than an orange he had brought back to his cell on accident the day he had went into rut and a couple of pairs of socks. 

“Why aren’t you getting up?” Jihun questioned, pushing his cubby back in the spot it had been sitting in. 

“I don’t have anything that could get me in trouble in here,” Johnny explained.

“That’s what I thought during my first week here,” Jihun said, tucking some nail clippers into his boots. “Turns out my cellie had planted a shiv in my shit to test me and I ended up spending the next month in segregation.”

“Are you saying that you planted a shiv in Johnny’s stuff?” Mark spoke up, causing Jihun to look down at him. 

“Nope,” Jihun promised, stretching his arms high above his head. “That’s not something I’d do unless he used the bathroom before me in the morning and he hasn’t done that yet.”

“I thought you said you’d fight him if he used the bathroom before you,” Mark pointed out and Jihun paused, thinking about it for a moment. 

“Well, if you use the bathroom before me I’ll either fight you or plant something in your shit so that you’re sent to segregation for contraband,” Jihun reworded in which Mark nodded in response to. 

If Johnny hadn’t been so thrown by what Jihun had said, he would have laughed at his and Mark’s little interaction. He pushed himself up from the floor and walked over to his cubby, pulling it out of the slot. It felt silly for him to be looking when Jihun had said that he hadn’t done anything but something told Johnny to get up and check. 

There wasn’t much in his cubby. He had a couple pairs of socks and the stuff that he used in the shower but other than that, the small box was empty. He was about to push it back in when he noticed something small and shiny at the very bottom. Johnny frowned and picked it out, holding it in front of his face. 

“What the fuck?” Mark said from the floor, standing up to walk over and get a closer look. 

It was a knife. It wasn’t much bigger than Johnny’s index finger but was still undoubtedly a knife. Someone had put a fucking knife in his cubby. It wasn’t his and definitely hadn’t been there this morning when Johnny had first woken up.

“Did you put this in there?” Johnny asked Jihun who immediately threw his hands up in defense. 

“I didn’t, man,” Jihun swore, shaking his head. “I promise.”

Johnny could hear the guards start to come closer, having finished searching through one cell and ready to go through another. He couldn’t still be standing there holding a fucking weapon when they came around. That would mean trouble for him and would ultimately mean trouble for Taeyong. He had to figure out what to do with it. 

“No,” Jihun muttered, coming closer to him as he bent down to push the knife into the side of his boot. “I can do it because they trust me but you? They’re gonna search you for sure.”

“Well, what the fuck am I supposed to do with it?” Johnny hissed, the panic starting to build up in his throat. 

“Put it in your mouth,” Mark cut in quickly.

“Are you fucking insane?” Johnny questioned. “It’s a knife.”

“No, he’s right,” Jihun said, nodding. “They’re not gonna check your mouth.” 

Johnny looked between Mark and Jihun. Were they seriously expecting him to put a fucking knife in his mouth? It would cut and scar the inside of his mouth the moment that the blade made contact. Unfortunately, with this all being said, Johnny couldn’t really think of another option. The men were drawing closer with each passing second and hiding the knife somewhere in the room definitely wasn’t an option anymore and neither was putting it on his person. 

He could hear the footsteps walking straight for their cell and cursed loudly before pushing the blade into his mouth, flinching at how it immediately cut him. He forced himself to tuck it underneath his tongue, hoping that the thick muscle would be able to take at least some of the damage without scarring him for good. Mark looked at him and winced quietly to himself, clearly going to say something before being interrupted by the sound of the cell door being pushed open. 

“Come out, inmates,” the one guard said, gesturing for all three of them to step outside of the cell. Jihun moved first, then Mark, then Johnny. Johnny made sure to keep his eyes focused on the ground, not wanting to draw any attention to himself. 

Mark caught his gaze as they stood on the outside of the cell. The contact between them only lasted for a moment before the other guard stepped in front of Mark, muttering for him to put his arms up high above his head. Mark obeyed quickly, focusing his attention down on the floor. Johnny watched out of the corner of his eye as the man felt over Mark’s body, making sure to run his hands over every nook and cranny. Once finished, the guard glanced over at Jihun who offered him a bright smile.

“Nothing over here, sir,” Jihun promised happily. The guard stared at him for a long moment before sighing, shaking his head as he moved over to Johnny. 

Johnny kept still the entire time that the man felt over him, smacking his hands over either side of his leg and flattening out each spot that his jumpsuit lifted up from his body. He made sure to keep his mouth as natural as possible, doing his best not to cringe in pain each time that the knife would dig into the underside of his tongue. The man pulled up, staring intently in Johnny’s face. 

“All clear out here!” the guard finally called, his breath warm against Johnny’s face. 

Once the guard had gone and joined his co–worker inside of the cell, Johnny quickly spit out the knife and bent down to push it into the side of his boot, almost immediately tasting the blood that blossomed on the underside of his tongue. A bit dribbled out over his lip and he was quick to wipe it away, not wanting any evidence of what had just happened to slip out before the two men were gone. 

Why was their search taking so long? Johnny couldn’t help but be worried. Had someone placed something else in along with his stuff that he hadn’t noticed? What the fuck would he do if they did? There was no way that they would simply believe that another person had set him up? He couldn’t leave Taeyong out there by himself while he was forced into segregation, not while Jay was so clearly up to no good. 

He couldn’t think too much longer about it, as both men were coming out from the cell. The one who had searched him personally gave him a long look before following behind his partner to the next cell. It was quiet for a moment. Johnny didn’t feel like he could exhale yet. His mouth was still steadily squirting out blood from where the knife had pressed into and Mark still hadn’t moved, stuck in his spot on the opposite side of the cell door. 

“You can both breathe now,” Jihun said to the both of them before making his way back inside their small dwelling, walking back over to his cubby. Mark hesitated a moment before following after him, Johnny slipping inside close after him. 

“What the fuck was that?” Mark whispered at him.

Johnny didn’t know. He didn’t have an answer. What he had done had not only been unsafe, but it was completely unsanitary. What if there was some kind of disease on that blade that was currently intermixing with the blood that had seeped out from his wounded tongue? The whole thing had left Johnny’s skin crawling. He hadn’t even been there for a full two weeks and there was already someone out there trying to set him up. Fortunately, he had a pretty good idea who it was. After all, who else would have the power to get something planted on him and a search done in the same day?

“He’s got some enemies is what it is,” Jihun answered before Johnny could, placing everything that he had taken out back into his cubby. 

“He just fucking got here,” Mark responded, completely dumbstruck by what had just happened. 

“Impressive, isn’t it? Being able to make someone that mad so quick,” Jihun chuckled, pushing his cubby back into place. He turned to look at Johnny, casually leaning against the wall behind him. “All I know is that you might wanna watch your back, my man. You better hope that this was just a warning.”

Johnny did. He really fucking did because the major similarity between here and the outside was that being in power put you above most everyone else. Matthew had used his power over him to make sure that he kept quiet about what was going on with his business and if shit continued to go on like this, someone would use their power to make sure that he learned his place and fast. 

Without another word, Johnny pushed past Mark and walked into the bathroom, kicking the door behind him as he brought a hand up to his mouth, wiping away the blood that continued to steadily leak out over his lower lip. 

 


 

Working the library cart wasn’t really that hard.

Johnny had been acting sketchy from the moment that they had met up again the following day. He wasn’t talking all that much and didn’t really react when Taeyong had told him that his visit with Warden Lee was because he had been offered a job. He kept staring over at Jay’s table which frustrated Taeyong because while suspicious, Johnny really had no reason to dislike Jay and no proof that he was up to no good. Taeyong didn’t trust him all that much either but up until this point, he hadn’t done much to him other than offer him work and a form of protection. Plus, he simply didn’t like the fact that Johnny wasn’t paying much attention to him. They were in fucking prison, for Christ’s sake. What else did Johnny have to focus on other than him?

After breakfast, Taeyong made his way over to the library. The room, while big, was old and decrepit. Most of the works were printed in either Chinese or English, letting Taeyong know that they had probably been donations from other countries. It was a bit sad that whoever was running the prison from the outside couldn’t shelf out enough money to buy a few books in the language that majority of the inmates spoke in but Taeyong hadn’t really been expecting much. He noticed a book that discussed the history of Chicago and some influential people who had grown up there and made a mental note to grab it for Johnny. The thought occurred to him that he didn’t even know if Johnny liked to read, which led to him thinking about how truly ridiculous their relationship was. They were mated for life and had basically gone to prison for one another and he didn’t even know something simple like whether or not reading was something Johnny enjoyed to do. What bullshit.

Park was a very old, very quiet man. Sangwon had warned him that he had been in prison since the early eighties because of a gruesome murder he had committed which had admittedly spooked Taeyong but seeing the short, wrinkled man up close, hunched over a cart, Taeyong couldn’t bring himself to be fearful. Whoever this man was in the past, he certainly wasn’t anymore. He walked Taeyong through what he needed to do very slowly, to make sure that the younger understood each and every action. If it had been anyone else, Taeyong definitely would have grown irritated and somewhat offended but again, it was hard for him to be anything but patient with such an elderly man. 

What he was being asked to do truly wasn’t that hard. He would stop in each cellblock with the cart and the guard would call anyone who wanted to check something out down. He would hand them the book that they wanted —they weren’t allowed to get more than one, that was the rule—and they would sign the little journal that Taeyong handed them, vowing to return the book the following week that Taeyong came back around. Taeyong had never worked a real job a day in his life but this seemed like something he could do very easily. 

He went to Cellblock C first. It was mostly filled with people who looked around about Park’s age. It took him awhile to get through all of them, seeing that the turn out had been exactly as Warden Lee had described and almost every single inmate in the block came down to grab something from him. A few complained about the choices they had been given that week and ended up not taking anything back with them but a lot were content, picking up whatever they could get their hands on. Someone tried to take the book about Chicago and Taeyong was quick to hide it behind his back, telling the man that another person had requested it specifically. The man huffed at him but didn’t make a fuss, simply choosing another novel printed in Chinese. 

In B block, not a lot of people came up. A couple people laughed at him which Taeyong had promptly ignored. He tried leaving but the guard that was assigned to follow him around told him that his job required him to stay there for ten minutes. Taeyong had huffed at that, ready to throw a fit to himself until his gaze landed upon Johnny in the middle of the crowded room, sitting at a small table with one other person. He frowned at the sight of him, wondering who Johnny could have befriended in such a short amount of time. 

The man who was sitting with Johnny turned around upon feeling Taeyong’s gaze on him, immediately causing Taeyong to deflate upon realizing who it was.  Johnny looked up as well, leaning in to murmur something to the familiar face before pushing himself up from his seat to make his way over to Taeyong. 

“You weren’t gonna tell me that he was here?” Taeyong said once Johnny had approached, irritated that it seemed like Johnny was holding something so huge back from him.

“I didn’t think you’d care,” Johnny muttered in response.

“You didn’t think I’d fucking care about the fact that I helped get someone put in prison, Johnny?” Taeyong hissed sharply through his teeth because he simply couldn’t believe that Johnny had said something so stupid to him.

“You didn’t,” Johnny promised, shaking his head. “It’s not your fault.”

That frustrated Taeyong. Ever since they had been arrested, Johnny had gone out of his way to make sure that Taeyong knew that nothing that had happened had been his fault and that simply wasn’t true. This was his fault. If he had never passed out in Yuta’s car, Johnny would have never had to stop at Mark’s house to begin with. If he had never gotten shot back in Namwon, Johnny would have never had to call Mark up to get the attention off of the both of them because he was too worried about ensuring that he wasn’t dead. A lot of what happened on the outside had been Taeyong’s fault and he only wished that Johnny would realize that and stop treating him like he was so fragile. He was allowed to be frustrated with him. He was allowed to blame him for shit that was undoubtedly his fault. 

“Nothing is ever my fault, right?” Taeyong questioned and Johnny’s face almost immediately fell, more out of confusion than hurt or irritation.

“Why are you getting mad at me?” Johnny said back, frowning. 

Taeyong didn’t know how to explain it. He didn’t know how to tell Johnny to him internalizing every single bad thing that either happened to him, the both of them, himself or even to Mark hurt him. It made sense in his head but Taeyong knew that he wouldn’t be able to get it out the same way if he actually spoke it and that made him want to cry. All he wanted was for Johnny to stop blaming everything on himself and realize that most of what had happened with them was his fault. He wanted Johnny to stop treating him like some kind of saint who could do no wrong, who had been a victim of a bad upbringing that ultimately led to him doing certain things that he couldn’t help.

But he couldn’t say that out loud. He wouldn’t say that out loud. Taeyong glanced over at Mark who had his head down looking at something he couldn’t see before turning his attention back to Johnny.

“Just—forget I said anything, okay?” Taeyong muttered, leaning down to look for the book he had been saving for Johnny. Once he found the thick, rectangular work, he picked it up and handed it to the taller, his heart starting to race a bit when Johnny looked down to see what he was being given. 

“Oh, wow,” Johnny said quietly, taking the book from Taeyong with a small smile. “Where’d you find this at, Yong?”

“Most of the shit in the library is printed in English,” Taeyong explained, watching as Johnny flipped through the book, turning it over in his hands. He looked at it like it was gold which Taeyong couldn’t have been more grateful for. “I didn’t know you if you read or not but—.”

“—Yong,” Johnny interrupted, looking up at him. “It’s perfect, alright? I love it.” He glanced down at the cart Taeyong was leaning on, biting his lower lip out of habit. “When do I have to give it back?”

Taeyong looked over at the guard who was supposed to be watching him and make sure that he did everything right but was instead flipping through his own book that he had picked out before they had started their rounds, undoubtedly not at all listening to the conversation happening not more than a foot or two away from him. He scoffed a little before turning back to Johnny who was still staring at him expectantly, waiting for some kind of an answer. 

“You don’t,” Taeyong finally said, smiling a little. “I don’t think they’ll miss it.”

“Are you sure?” Johnny asked, frowning again. “I don’t want you to get in trouble because of me.”

“I just started doing this, like, an hour ago,” Taeyong explained, shrugging. “They’re expecting me to fuck up on my first day. If anything I’ll just get a shot.”

Johnny seemed a little uncertain about that but still nodded, very obviously quite thankful for what Taeyong had gotten him. Taeyong was happy that he didn’t argue about it any further. He couldn’t stop himself from looking over at Mark one last time before focusing back up at Johnny who had started to flip through the book again. 

“Thank you,” Johnny thanked him again, still looking through the book. “I really fucking wish I could kiss you right now.”

“Why can’t you?” Taeyong asked teasingly, gesturing over to the oblivious guard with his chin. “He’s clearly not paying any attention.”

“Because if I kiss you I’m gonna wanna do way more to you,” Johnny said back and Taeyong couldn’t stop the blush that crept up his neck. He thought about it for a moment before groaning, causing Johnny to raise a brow in question. 

“How are we gonna fuck anymore?” Taeyong said, a whine stretching out his voice. “There’s no fucking privacy in here.”

“I mean, you have the whole library to yourself now,” Johnny hinted, smiling a little. “I’m pretty sure they’d let me down there if I asked nice enough.”

Taeyong’s stomach did an excited flip at the idea. He didn’t think that he was obsessed with sex but this had definitely been the longest that he had gone without it since the moment he lost his virginity. To say that he didn’t miss having sex would be a lie but to say that he didn’t miss having sex with Johnny specifically? Taeyong couldn’t even bring himself to think of such a thing. 

“Are you asking me to let you fuck me in the library, Johnny?” Taeyong grinned happily. 

“I’m 100% asking you to let me fuck you in the library,” Johnny answered honestly and Taeyong couldn’t stop the laugh that bubbled out of him at that. 

“I work again on Friday,” Taeyong said and Johnny hummed. He went to respond but was interrupted by the guard stepping over, having finally put down his book for long enough to pay attention to what Taeyong was doing. 

“Time for the next block, inmate,” the man said and Taeyong huffed a little, frustrated that his conversation with Johnny had been stopped. 

“I’ll see you on Friday,” Johnny muttered to him, low enough to where the guard couldn’t overhear what he had said. 

“Let’s go,” the guard repeated, pointing to the exit of the block. Taeyong sighed before turning his cart around, moving to make his way out before the man looking over him at a stroke out of anger.

The trip to cellblock C was as busy as cellblock A. Taeyong stood there leaned against the metal cart, waiting for everyone to get through collecting what book they wanted and signing the journal that he had laid out not too far away from his elbow. Now that he had something to look forward to during his next shift, Taeyong wanted this one to end as quickly as possible. Luckily enough for him, only a couple more inmates were able to approach him before the guard was shooing him out of the area once again. 

He was ready to go back to the library and return the cart so that he could go back to his cellblock but as he stopped in front of the rickety old library doors, the guard looked at him in confusion. 

“What are you doing?” the man asked and Taeyong couldn’t stop himself from snorting in response. He couldn’t tell whether the guard was fucking with him or not. 

“Putting the cart back,” Taeyong said back. “What, do I need to ask for permission or something?”

He said that last part a little smarter than intended which definitely didn’t sit well with the guard. The man scoffed and jerked the metal cart back to the front with one arm, almost causing Taeyong to fall with how he had been leaning on it. Taeyong caught himself at the last minute, his entire face immediately starting to heat up with anger.

“You’re not fucking done,” the man hissed at him, pointing down the dark corridor they were in. “You’ve still got to visit the illegals.”

Taeyong didn’t back down even after being told what the issue was. He glared up at the man, fucking furious that he had done what he did in such a disrespectful manner. Shit like this was the worst part of being in prison. People could treat him however they wanted and he wasn’t allowed to act out in response. It was bullshit.

“I’m not gonna repeat myself, inmate,” the guard told him sternly, gesturing down the hallway once again.

Talking back would be stupid. All it would do was get himself in trouble, hurt or both. What he needed to do was calm himself down and do as he was asked. He wouldn’t win in this situation or any situation like it. It wasn’t worth the distress that would ultimately accompany it.

With this in mind, Taeyong sucked in a sharp breath of air through his nose before beginning to push the cart again, down the hallway like he had been asked to. The guard followed closely behind him, undoubtedly trying to get him riled up if the way that he came less than an inch away from scuffing the back of Taeyong’s boots with each step was any indication. The whole time, Taeyong had to think of the fact that him working this job would give him so many advantages in the prison to stop himself from spazzing at the man who was trying his very hardest to get him to crack. 

The room was strange. It didn’t look much like any of the other cellblocks Taeyong had gone in that day. In fact, Taeyong didn’t really know if it could even be called a cellblock with how utterly tiny it was. He pushed the cart inside, walking in the middle of the room as the guard buzzed the door shut behind the both of them. People milled about, some talking to each other in the high bunk –beds scattered throughout the room, some using the computers on the opposite side of where Taeyong was standing. There was an old TV hung up on the painted white brick walls to his left and a couple of metal tables to his right. In a way, it was like someone had tried to condense an entire cellblock to one small room.

Upon seeing him, another guard who was in a different uniform than the man who had been looking over Taeyong put two fingers in his mouth and emitted a shrill whistle that stung Taeyong’s sensitive ears, causing almost everyone in the room to look up. The man silently gestured over to where Taeyong was standing and like they had in every other block, the inmates pushed themselves up from where they had been resting and walked over to the  small cart. There wasn’t much left after going through almost every section of the prison but the men still seemed to be thankful, commenting on what was inside the cart in languages that Taeyong didn’t recognize.

It didn’t take him long to figure out that this was the unit of the prison was the part that was specifically reserved for people who were arrested only to be found out that they weren’t citizens of South Korea. Taeyong had heard about these people from both Sangwon and before he had ever even thought him being thrown in a cell was an option for him from Yuta. A large part of him pitied them. It sucked to be in prison but to be in prison in an entirely different country? That had to be terrible. 

Taeyong had just finished accepting the journal back from an older inmate who might have been Japanese when he looked up to see a familiar face standing in front of him, smiling patiently back at him. 

“What the fuck?” Taeyong breathed, frowning. “You’re —?”

“Don’t rub it in,” Ten said, running a hand through his short hair. 

“What are you doing here?” Taeyong questioned, a bit scared to hear the response. Ten only shrugged, pouting a little. 

“Well, I was particularly inspired by you and decided to try to make a career out of scamming people with more money than me,” Ten answered, bending down in front of the cart to start looking through the four or five books that were left. “Turns out I’m not as good at it as I thought I would be.” He hummed, hesitating a moment before pulling out a book. “Was gonna be charged with a misdemeanor but they found out that I’m fucking illegal so,” Ten placed the book on the top of the cart, sighing quietly. “Here I am.”

Taeyong didn’t feel too bad about that. Ten’s situation wasn’t really the same as Mark’s. It wasn’t his fault that Ten hadn’t been smart enough to steal the right way. That being said, it was still strange to see him. It was like everyone from his and Johnny’s trip across Korea were finding some type of way back into their lives. 

“How come they haven’t sent you back to Thailand?” Taeyong questioned, handing the journal over to Ten. 

“Thailand doesn’t want me back either,” Ten muttered, scrawling his name down into the book. “Can’t send me back to a country that won’t agree to it.”

“Can they do that?” Taeyong asked with a small snort because he had never heard anything like that before.

“They have and they are,” Ten said, pushing the journal back in front of Taeyong. “I was supposed to be transferred over to gen –pop but these assholes are quote unquote “having trouble with the documents”.” He made a small incredulous noise in the back of his throat, leaning in a bit closer to Taeyong. “I know they’re just keeping me here because I’m the only one in this place that can speak Korean, Chinese and Thai which is more than half of the population in here and they’re too fucking cheap to hire a real translator.”

Taeyong closed the journal and pushed it in a slot by itself, figuring that it wouldn’t be used again since Ten was the last person in line. He glanced back over at the guard who was back to not paying him attention, this time talking with the other guard in the room. In front of him, Ten had started to look through the book he had chosen. It was in English with a picture of a young boy on the cover.

“How’s your boyfriend?” Ten asked, raising an eyebrow. 

“Why do you care?” Taeyong muttered, unable to swallow down the jealousy that immediately built up at Ten’s mention of Johnny. 

“Still defensive, I see,” Ten chuckled quietly, causing Taeyong’s face to go hot. 

“Fuck off,” Taeyong hissed in response.

“You’re so cute,” Ten grinned, completely ignoring the way that Taeyong was currently glaring up at him. He lifted up his book and shook it. “I have to give this back by next week, right?” Taeyong decided not to answer that. He didn’t like Ten as much as he hadn’t back in his stupid little car and didn’t particuarly want to talk to him any longer. “Right,” Ten muttered at Taeyong’s lack of response, still so frustratingly unbothered by him. “Well, tell Johnny I said hi! Hopefully we all get put in the same cellblock whenever these pricks decide to transfer me, yeah?”

Ten left after that, joining another inmate that looked around about his age on the bottom bunk of a nearby bed. Taeyong rolled his eyes at his retreating back, coming around the front of the cart to slam the door shut. The very last thing he hoped was that Ten got transferred to the same block as him and Johnny. What a fucking asshole. 

Once confirming that he was finished, the guard led Taeyong back to the library. He pushed the cart in a small corner of the room and walked over to the desk that Park had led him to when he had first stepped inside earlier that day, sitting down in the stiff chair behind it. He wrote down all of the names of the people who had checked out a book from him in another crumpled notebook, doing his best to ignore the broken English singing of the guard not too far away from him.

After Taeyong had shown the proof that he had finished up everything, the guard excused him with a quiet grunt which Taeyong couldn’t have been more grateful for. He liked his job a great deal but didn’t exactly enjoy having to travel the prison which this asshole of a man. He walked out of the library without another word, finding Johnny being the first thing on his mind. On this way, Ten crossed his mind again. It felt stupid for him to be worried about the possibility of Ten being transferred into their unit, especially when his interaction with Johnny had been so small and insignificant. That being said, Taeyong had no intention of telling him. If Johnny could keep the fact that Mark was there, he was allowed to keep Ten’s presence to himself. 

He had barely made it back into the common area of his cellblock when he heard the familiar commotion of fighting. It happened often, enough for Taeyong to get bored with the sound of it. Ever since he had been there, he had to have witnessed at least six or seven fights. It wasn’t entertaining as much as it was dangerous and always got everyone sent back to their cells for lockdown for twenty–four hours as punishment. Taeyong sighed and turned around to make his way back to his cell when someone rushed up behind him, pulling him back. He whirled around, frowning at the feeling of an unfamiliar hand on his shoulder. It was Mark and his entire face was red, like he had just gotten finished running a lap on the track outside. 

“There’s a problem,” Mark said, panting and out of breath.

“When people fight, I usually just leave,” Taeyong muttered, watching a few guards close in around the crowd of people in the middle of the room. He definitely didn’t want to be there when they started to break it up. He went to leave, only for Mark to stop him again. “What the fuck is your problem, man?” Taeyong hissed, irritated by not only Mark’s presence but also the fact that he wouldn’t let him leave.

“It’s Johnny, asshole,” Mark snapped back at him, pointing at the crowd. Taeyong’s stomach dropped almost immediately. Johnny? That couldn’t have been right. The two of them agreed not to get in trouble.

“In the fight?” Taeyong questioned which might have been a stupid question but he just wanted to make sure that he had heard correctly and it was a little hard for him to believe when Johnny had been so adament in him not getting himself in trouble.

“Yes,” Mark seethed in response, annoyed with the fact that Taeyong still hadn’t moved yet. 

“Well, why didn’t you try to break it up, dumbass?” Taeyong growled, pushing past Mark to bring himself closer to the commotion.

He couldn’t fucking believe this. Him and Johnny had agreed that they wouldn’t get in trouble, that they would keep quiet and make it through this shithole to the best of their abilities. Taeyong had been biting his tongue not only for himself, but more for Johnny since he had arrived and Johnny didn’t even have the decency to keep his fucking hands to himself? He was fucking pissed. This was so selfish of Johnny. Who could he have been fighting? Who was worth possibly being thrown into segregation for however long?

As it turned out, Taeyong didn’t have to wonder about that last part for too long. Even though the guards had moved forward like they were going to break the fight apart, all they were doing was standing outside of the violent confrontation and watching, laughing amongst themselves. They were fucking enjoying the sight in front of them and that realization made Taeyong feel sick to his stomach. He pushed through the crowd of people until he had made his way up to the front, jumping back right in time for Johnny to go slamming into the dirty linoleum floor at his feet. 

Johnny was fast enough to dodge a punch that was supposed to be delivered right to his face, pulling whoever had tried to hit him down onto the floor with him. It wasn’t until Johnny had flipped over and straddled the other man that Taeyong finally realized who he was fighting, recognizing his face almost immediately.  He looked up at Taeyong, easily finding him in the crowd of people and his face twisted into a bloodied smile that only lasted for half a second before Johnny’s fist was slamming into his face, snapping his head the other way. 

“Johnny!” Taeyong shouted, moving forward to try and break it up. Johnny didn’t seem to hear him, punching the other in his face again, blood spitting out of his mouth with the sheer force of the hit. “Johnny, fucking stop!”

Johnny wasn’t listening to him. He pulled up the other by the collar of his blue jumpsuit and punched him again, so hard that Taeyong could fucking feel it. He bent down to try and pull Johnny off of him, only to be pulled back by a guard who decided that they didn’t want him to try and ruin their fun. Seeing Taeyong getting yanked away was enough to distract Johnny for a moment, unfortunately giving the man underneath him time to flip the both of them over and punch Johnny. Taeyong could see the blood spilling out from Johnny’s nose, could see the man gearing back to hit him again and he couldn’t fucking stand it. The wrong thing was so violent, so brutal that Taeyong thought the two of them might actually kill each other if it went on for any longer.

Fortunately for him, the guard must decide that enough was enough and pushed him forward, letting Taeyong stumble ahead and immediately push the man on top of Johnny off, the feeling of someone else’s small hands stabbing into his side enough to startle him away and onto the floor. Still fuming, Johnny tried to move past Taeyong and continue the fight, stopped only by Taeyong shoving him away with everything he had in him. 

“Stop it!” Taeyong screamed when Johnny tried to get back up again. “Fucking stop! What is wrong with you?”

“No, fuck that,” Johnny snapped back at him, his entire mouth soaked in blood. “I’m gonna fucking kill him!”

“No, you’re not, you fucking idiot!” Taeyong shouted, pushing Johnny again. It was starting to get hard for him, what with Johnny being more than twice his size and still furious, undoubtedly using his Alpha strength. “Stop!” Taeyong tried, his voice strangled. “Johnny, stop it!”

“Yeah, Johnny,” a familiar voice snarled from behind Taeyong, causing his head to whip over in that direction. “Fucking bitch.”

That only made Johnny even angrier than before, slipping out of Taeyong’s grasp only to be pulled back by Mark who seemingly had appeared from nowhere but who Taeyong couldn’t have been more grateful to see, breathing out a sigh of relief at the sight of Mark holding Johnny back with a firm arm around his middle.

“If you were a real fucking Alpha you’d finish what you started,” the same voice snapped from the ground and Taeyong finally decided that enough was enough, especially after seeing how worked up every word that came out of his mouth got Johnny. 

“Shut the fuck up, Jongin,” Taeyong spat. “What the fuck is wrong with you, you fucking psychopath?”

Unfortunately, Jongin didn’t have any time to answer that, as Johnny was getting out of Mark’s hold and tackling him to the ground again, punching him clear in his nose. It was the only hit he was able to get in before a guard was snatching him up along with Jongin, ignoring the blood that seeped into the fabric of their ugly uniform shirt from either Alpha.

“Off to solitary until the both of you can calm down,” the guard who had Johnny muttered over Johnny’s growls of anger. Taeyong had never seen him so furious before. It was almost scary. 

“Wait!” Taeyong tried, opening his mouth to say more, only to be pulled up from the ground himself. He turned back to see a guard behind him, causing him to whine loudly in pain when both of his thin arms were screwed behind his back so hard that he thought they might break. “What the fuck?” Taeyong breathed, trying his best to get out of the man’s hold to no avail, practically screaming when the grip on his arms went even tighter, causing something to pop in response. “What are you doing?”

“You’re going with them,” the man hissed, causing Taeyong’s stomach to drop.

“I didn’t even fucking do anything!” Taeyong shouted, seeing Mark being snatched up out of the corner of his eye. What the fuck was going on? “I didn’t do anything! I was trying to fucking break them up, asshole!”

“I’d shut up if I were you,” the guard growled back at him, his grip on Taeyong’s arms going even tighter if that was possible.

“Fuck you,” Taeyong snapped in response, causing the guard to chuckle darkly.

“You know what?” the man said, starting to lead Taeyong out of the room because no matter how much Taeyong struggled, he was still notably stronger than him. “I think a week by yourself will really give you the time to learn how to respect the people in charge, yeah?”

As the guard waited for the door that led out of the cellblock to be buzzed open, Taeyong turned around to see another man still struggling with both Jongin and Johnny. It felt like some kind of a sick joke. First Mark, then Ten and now Jongin? Was this the universe’s way of punishing him for what he had done?

He wasn’t able to think about it for much longer, as the guard behind him pushed him hard out into the hallway. It was then that Taeyong realized that his main issue wasn’t Johnny or Ten or even the man who was partially the reason why he was even in this situation to begin with anymore. It was the fact that he was going to have to spend the next week by himself in a small, warm room and that thought alone made him almost immediately regret stepping in to begin with.

Chapter Text

Johnny had been on his way back to his cell with Mark when someone had tapped on his shoulder, causing him to turn around. He was still holding the book that Taeyong had given him, frowning back at the man who had touched him. His face wasn’t familiar but Johnny didn’t think much of it, figuring that he hadn’t really gotten accustomed with the faces of most of the people in the prison seeing that he had barely been there for two weeks. The man’s hair was dark and his skin tanned, not much taller than Mark who was standing diagonal to him. 

“Can I help you, man?” Johnny asked, glancing down at the man’s blue uniform. He must have been new. That didn’t confuse him all that much. If Mark had been transferred, there had to have been at least a handful of other newcomers along with him. 

“Are you Johnny?” the man said back and Johnny went a bit tense with the question. Every time someone asked him that at the last prison he was at, it had always ended in a confrontation that he simply didn’t sign up for. He looked over at Mark who had gone somewhat stiff along with him, one of his rounded eyebrows raised. 

“Why?” Mark questioned.

“I wasn’t asking you,” the stranger responded easily, still focused in on Johnny.

“Well, I’m asking you,” Mark muttered, moving forward a little. He was smaller than most Alphas but still knew how to hold his own. The only thing was that Johnny didn’t want him to have to do that. If Mark and this man ended up getting into a fight, he would have to step in and that would ultimately break the promise he had made to Taeyong about not getting himself in trouble. It would also make him a hypocrite, seeing that he had constantly been silently chastising Taeyong, telling him to calm down and not make a scene every time that someone pissed him off.

“Are you Johnny?” the man repeated, deciding to ignore Mark. Johnny could tell that had pissed Mark off by the way that his face had unconsciously gone dark. 

He decided that the only way to keep Mark out of this and stop him from getting himself into something that would do nothing but fuck him over in the end was to answer this man’s question, hoping that it wouldn’t escalate to anything bigger than what was currently happening between the three of them. 

“Yeah,” Johnny finally answered. “Why?”

“Aish,” the man said, laughing a little. “This is who he picked out?”

Johnny frowned upon hearing that, unsure of what it could actually mean. Who could he have been talking about and why did Johnny get the feeling that this man was insulting him? He looked over at Mark again who had an identical frown on his face, clearly confused as to what was going on. 

“Listen, I don’t know what you’re on about, man,” Johnny sighed, shaking his head. “You probably have the wrong guy.”

He went to leave and Mark followed after him but was stopped by the sound of the man’s deep voice once again. “You’re Taeyong’s mate, aren’t you?”

Johnny turned around quickly upon hearing Taeyong’s name. The man had an eyebrow raised at him, frustratingly smug about the fact that he definitely had known that mentioning Taeyong would get Johnny to listen. It wasn’t what he had said that had made Johnny feel so on edge considering that many people knew of his and Taeyong’s relationship but how he had said it. He referred to Taeyong like he was someone that he h knew. Johnny didn’t like it.

“Why do you care?” Johnny asked, his voice a little sharper than it had been. 

“Where is he at?” the man questioned, ignoring Johnny’s question entirely. 

“Again,” Johnny spat, “I’m not sure why you give a fuck.”

“I give a fuck because that bastard named me to get time off of his sentence,” the man growled.

It still didn’t make any sense to Johnny. Who could Taeyong have named? Who had anything to do with what they had done together? Johnny hadn’t even known that Taeyong had given a name to begin with. He figured that his sentence was so short because he wasn’t being pinned for the murder of Matthew.

Still, Johnny knew that this man was up to no good and clearly wanted some kind of revenge on Taeyong. No matter what he had done, Taeyong was his mate and Johnny had an obligation to protect him from anyone or anything who was trying to bring him harm. 

“He’s not around,” Johnny said darkly. “I don’t know what you have against him but you need to leave him alone.”

“Yeah, fuck that,” the man snorted, shaking his head. “Me and him need to talk.”

“You’re not talking to him,” Johnny seethed.

“I get that you fucked him once and made the mistake of mating him but I know more shit about him than you could even think of,” the other inmate told him. “Hence I’m not gonna fucking ask you for permission to talk to him.”

This guy was starting to piss him off. He clearly was trying to start trouble and didn’t respect the fact that Taeyong was his Omega. Johnny didn’t understand what this guy was talking about, what the fuck he meant by knowing shit about Taeyong but at this point, he didn’t care. All he wanted was for him to go away and to leave both him and Taeyong—but especially Taeyong—alone.

“Listen, man,” Johnny started, moving a bit closer to the man. “I don’t want any trouble but I promise you that if you try to start anything with Taeyong, there’s gonna be a problem.”

“Well then I guess there’s gonna be a problem,” the man said back, raising an eyebrow in response, very clearly not intimidated by Johnny. 

“Johnny, come on,” Mark muttered, doing his best to intervene. “It’s not worth it.”

And it probably wasn’t. He had promised Taeyong that he wouldn’t get himself in any trouble and the same went for Taeyong. But this was different to him. This wasn’t some petty confrontation over something stupid. This guy was openly threatening Taeyong and if Johnny were to walk away, he, in turn, could possibly be putting Taeyong’s life in danger.

“If there’s a problem, you can take it up with me, not Taeyong,” Johnny told the man who scoffed quietly. 

“Fine,” he said and that was the only warning Johnny got before being struck directly in his face. 

The next couple of minutes went by in a blur. Johnny could remember Mark shouting at him to stop, for the both of them to stop and putting himself in between them to try and break up the fight, only to be pulled back by another inmate who Johnny didn’t recognize. He could remember the man getting on top of him and punching him so hard that it made his head spin. More importantly, Johnny could remember Taeyong appearing out of nowhere and doing his best to stop the two of them, calling the other man by name in a way that let him know that he wasn’t lying, that him and Taeyong definitely knew each other in some way which only pissed him off even more. He had never in his life been so fucking infuriated, filled with so much anger that it would have scared him had he been in the right headspace. 

Someone pulled him off of the man, wrestling both of his arms behind his back. He could see Taeyong struggling with another guard, screaming at him to let him go, only to be cut off by a gut –wrenching cry as the man did something to him that Johnny couldn’t figure out. He could taste the blood in his mouth and feel how his eye had started to swell shut, his entire face throbbing in pain. There was so much going on but yet and still, Johnny couldn’t focus on anything other than fucking mauling the other guy’s face off because not only had he disrespected him , but he had disrespected Taeyong and Johnny was so angry that he couldn’t think straight. 

He ended up being thrown into solitary confinement. He figured that was the same place they had brought the other man but after being in there for what had to be an hour could hear nothing but the sound of his own breathing, heavy from how he was still seething with anger about what had happened. This was bullshit. Why was he being punished because he had defended himself? Where the fuck had they taken Taeyong and Mark? How fucking long was he going to be stuck in here? He was in excruciating pain and wanted out. 

A day turned into a week and so on. Johnny started to lose count after the third day. It was terrible in that fucking cell. It was barely even a room and had no sunlight, no schedule. Johnny never had any idea what time or even what part of the day it was. He couldn’t even rely on when the tray of food was slipped in through the small rectangular slot at the bottom of the door enclosing him in to give him an idea, seeing that it was brought to him whenever someone finally felt like it.

In there, Johnny had a lot of time to think. He thought about who the man possibly could be and how Taeyong knew him. He thought about him saying how Taeyong had named him and gotten him sent in there with him. He worried about how he had reacted and how incontrollable his rage had gotten. Was that the new normal for him? He wasn’t the type of person who got angry easily. Even when he did, he had a tendency to internalize that anger. But this time, he couldn’t. After the man had punched him, he couldn’t stop himself. If no one had broken up the fight, he didn’t know what would have happened and that was what scared him the most. He couldn’t even find solace in Taeyong’s wellbeing, seeing that he didn’t know where he had been taken after being scooped up by the guard. It was like Hell in there. 

And then one day, a guard opened up his cell. Johnny hadn’t been doing anything but laying back on the thin mattress atop the metal frame, tossing his balled –up socks up in the air and catching them. He had been doing that for what had to have been the past hour, squinting against the light of the hallway as it spilled into the tiny room.

“Come on,” the man said in a gruff voice. “Punishment’s over.”

Johnny had never gotten up faster in his entire fucking life. He practically stumbled off of the bed, barely remembering to stop and slip his socks and boots back on. He needed to see if Taeyong was okay, if Mark was okay, what fucking day it was. He needed to get the fuck out of that cell and interact with someone, anyone. 

As it turned out, it was around lunchtime. Everyone was scattered around the cafeteria, talking to each other loudly. Johnny didn’t see Mark anywhere and couldn’t find the man who had started it all either. The guard behind him encouraged him to grab a tray and Johnny did so, idly filling up his cup with some of the lukewarm tap water on display while he looked around the room for Taeyong. It didn’t take him long to find him, halfway across from where he was with a tray of untouched food in front of him sitting next to someone whose back was turned to Johnny. Johnny quickly dropped his cup on his tray and walked over to where Taeyong was sitting, his heartbeat starting to pound loudly in his ears. 

The second he had approached, Johnny’s heart sank. He dropped his tray on the table, startling Taeyong who had flinched with the sudden noise. He looked up at Johnny, opening his mouth to say something but was interrupted by Johnny speaking to the man across from him. 

“What the fuck did I tell you?” Johnny hissed, causing Jay to blink up at him, sighing boredly. 

“John—,” Jay started, only for Johnny to cut him off sharply. 

“I told you to fucking stay away from him,” Johnny hissed through gritted teeth.

“Hey,” Taeyong snapped suddenly, quickly pulling Johnny’s attention off of Jay and onto him. “Don’t you think you’ve caused enough fucking trouble?”

Johnny knew it. He knew that Taeyong was going to be upset with him. Why wouldn’t he? He had gone against their promise of staying out of trouble. Still, that didn’t mean that Johnny couldn’t be upset about him talking to someone who was very clearly untrustworthy. 

Jay made a small noise in the back of his throat before pushing himself up from the table, running his tattooed hand through his hair. “You two clearly have some shit to get through,” he said, picking up his tray from where it had been sitting in front of him. “I’ll talk to you later, Taeyong.”

“The fuck you will,” Johnny seethed. Jay only raised an eyebrow before moving past him, returning to his usual table of men. 

Johnny watched him sit down, exchanging a small handshake with a man across from him. A click of Taeyong’s tongue caused him to turn back around, hesitating a moment before sliding into the spot that Jay had previously occupied.

“Are you fucking kidding me?” Taeyong spat at him, Johnny unable to stop himself from flinching a little at Taeyong’s harsh tone. 

Looking at Taeyong dead –on, Johnny realized that something was different with him. He still looked exhausted, still looked devastatingly little but there was something else that had changed since the last time he had seen him. It didn’t take him long to figure out that Taeyong’s mousy brown hair had been cut. It no longer grazed the back of his neck and covered both of his ears. Instead, his bangs stopped right above his dark eyebrows, cut choppily and uneven. Johnny frowned a little at the sight. 

“You cut your hair?” Johnny questioned, suddenly forgetting about the whole scene with Jay that he had just intervened. Taeyong stared at him for a long moment, clearly dumbstruck with the fact that Johnny hadn’t acknowledged what he had said to him even a little. He laughed to himself, muttering something under his breath that Johnny couldn’t make out. 

“No, I didn’t cut my hair, Johnny,” Taeyong hissed. “Why the fuck is that the first thing you say to me?”

“I don’t know what you want me to say,” Johnny muttered in response because he genuinely didn’t. He understand why Taeyong was upset with him but wasn’t going to apologize. He had to realize that the only reason why he had done what he did and broke the promise solidified by the both of them was because he was protecting him. Taeyong glared at him for a long moment before shaking his head. 

“You wanna know who cut my hair?” Taeyong asked. Without waiting for Johnny to offer up a response, he continued. “A guard down in segregation didn’t like my tone when I was talking to him and got three of his men to pin me down while he cut my hair with an old fucking knife. That’s what happened to me.”

Johnny went quiet at that. He figured that Taeyong had been taken down to segregation by the way he had been yelling and screaming at that guard after the fight but hadn’t considered the fact that he was definitely more prone to be fucked with. A big ball of anger started to build up in the pit of his stomach at the thought of Taeyong being wrestled down against his bed, probably terrified of what was going to happen to him because his tone hadn’t been what someone else wanted it to be. But more than that, guilt hit him like a fucking brick. He hadn’t meant for Taeyong to get involved in what had happened and definitely hadn’t meant for him to endure the same —or notably worse— bullshit than he had down in segregation.

“I’m sorry,” Johnny said quietly. “I didn’t mean for you to get involved.”

“Well, you fucking did,” Taeyong mumbled, scoffing. “What were you thinking, Johnny?”

“I was thinking that I needed to protect you,” Johnny answered honestly. 

“Protecting me is getting in a fight?” Taeyong snapped quickly. “I’m not helpless, dude.”

And that simply wasn’t fair. Taeyong was making it so much more juvenile than it actually was. It wasn’t like Johnny had approached the guy and punched him because he stole something off of his tray like a lot of these other men tended to do. The man had openly threatened Taeyong. He had done it with reason. 

“I’m not saying you’re helpless,” Johnny sighed, starting to feel himself grow frustrated with Taeyong’s blatant refusal to listen to him. He ran a hand through his hair, ignoring the way that Taeyong rolled his eyes at his response. “Who even was that guy?”

Taeyong hesitated a moment before reaching over to pluck Johnny’s bowl of rice off of his plate. Johnny didn’t say anything, glad to see the other finally making an intentional move to eat. “My ex,” Taeyong finally mumbled, grabbing Johnny’s spoon and pushing it into the stiff pile of rice in front of him. 

“Your fucking ex?” Johnny questioned which clearly wasn’t the right thing to say if the way Taeyong’s face had immediately soured was any indication. 

“Yes, my ex, Johnny,” Taeyong hissed. “Believe it or not, I was with other people before you decided to go and mate me.”

That hurt. That had definitely struck a nerve in Johnny. You decided to go and mate me. Taeyong clearly was still viewing their relationship as something that he had been basically forced into and not something that he was willingly taking part in. He thought that Taeyong had gotten past that but it was very clear that he hadn’t. Johnny didn’t say anything for a long while after Taeyong said that in which Taeyong didn’t particularly seem to care about, waiting for Johnny to speak up for only a moment or two before scoffing again and forcing another spoonful of rice into his mouth. 

“You named him?” Johnny finally said, thinking back to what the man had said to him before the fight between them had broken out. 

“He told you that?” Taeyong asked and Johnny hesitated a moment before nodding slowly. Taeyong shook his head. “Yeah, I named him,” he admitted with a shrug. “Why?”

“How was he involved in anything that we had going on?” Johnny questioned. 

“He wasn’t,” Taeyong muttered. “I did what I did since I was fucking seventeen, Johnny. I wasn’t just charged for what I did to your shitty brother.”

Johnny made a face. “How old were you when you met up with Matthew?” Taeyong paused, thinking back to it. Johnny thought that it was kind of ridiculous that he had to think about it. How did he not know when he had his first encounter with the man who would go on to try and take his life?

“Eighteen,” Taeyong finally said, taking another bite out of his rice.

Johnny hadn’t expected anything different from Matthew. It was almost exactly like him to go and fool around with someone underaged. It wasn’t even like Taeyong looked older than he actually was. Even sitting here in front of him, Taeyong looked at least a year younger than nineteen. He had to have known that he shouldn’t have been fooling around with someone like Taeyong and simply didn’t care. Matthew was fucking disgusting. 

Johnny couldn’t bring himself to acknowledge that, didn’t want to face that yet. “How long were you with him?” Johnny asked, causing Taeyong to sigh quietly, putting down his spoon. 

“Two years,” Taeyong said, the irritation leaking out into his voice. “Why do you care, Johnny? What does it matter?”

“It matters,” Johnny retorted. 

“No, it doesn’t,” Taeyong snapped angrily. “Why would it matter when I’m with you?” Johnny didn’t say anything in response to that, couldn’t really think of anything coherent. Taeyong picked up his spoon again, shaking his head as he went for another bite of his rice. “He’s all talk anyway,” he muttered.

“He punched me in the face,” Johnny pointed out. 

“He started it?” Taeyong asked, seeming surprised by what Johnny had said. 

“I don’t just go around starting fights with people, Taeyong,” Johnny mumbled, picking up his cup and taking a small sip of his water. “He punched me and I retaliated. That’s it.”

Taeyong went silent at that. Johnny couldn’t tell if it was because he was rethinking something or because he simply didn’t feel like responding to what had been said. He watched Johnny raise his cup up to his mouth again, quietly observing him. 

“I’ll deal with him,” Taeyong finally said, giving Johnny his bowl of rice back. Looking down at it, Taeyong had barely eaten half of what was inside. Still, Johnny kept quiet about it, figuring that it was more than he had seen him eat since the moment he got there. 

“I really don’t think you should,” Johnny told him, doing his best not to work Taeyong up again. Clearly someone being protective over him wasn’t really Taeyong’s thing. 

“What, you think he’s gonna kill me or something?” Taeyong snorted sarcastically. “Listen, Johnny, I know him and he’s easily one of the biggest pussies I’ve ever met. If anything, him punching you was his way of trying to protect himself from getting his ass beat by someone else.”

Johnny really didn’t believe that. He didn’t know why, couldn’t put his finger exactly on it, but wasn’t so ready to underestimate this man. It was like Jay —something was off about him, something was suspicious but Johnny ultimately had no proof or reason as to why. He watched Taeyong run a hand through his choppy hair and thought back to what he had walked up to not even ten minutes earlier. 

“Why were you talking to Jay?” Johnny questioned, easily changing the subject. 

“Because he came over and started talking to me,” Taeyong muttered. That was annoying. Taeyong had to have some kind of idea why Johnny was asking him.

“I could see that,” Johnny said. “Taeyong, I told you that you shouldn’t trust him.”

“And why shouldn’t I?” Taeyong asked sharply.

Because Johnny knew something wasn’t right with him. Because Johnny had seen all the shit he had done on the outside with Matthew and knew that he wasn’t a good person. Because someone like him never gave without wanting something in return and he couldn’t understand why Taeyong wasn’t getting that. Taeyong was ignorant but he wasn’t stupid and Johnny hated that it seemed like he was willingly turning a blind eye to what was very obviously wrong with this guy. 

“You know that they were gonna keep you in segregation for another month, Johnny?” Taeyong continued before Johnny could respond, before he could explain. He frowned at what Taeyong had said. Another month by himself in that tiny room? What had encouraged Warden Lee to spare him from that? 

“What?” Johnny asked, frowning. Taeyong laughed a little, leaning forward on the table with his elbow, resting his cheek in the palm of his hand. 

“I was gonna be in there for another month too,” Taeyong revealed, causing another bolt of guilt to strike Johnny. He forced himself to swallow it down, shaking his head. 

“When did you get let out?” Johnny asked and Taeyong shrugged. 

“Tuesday,” Taeyong said. Johnny considered asking exactly how long the both of them had been in there for but ultimately decided that wasn’t important in the moment. 

“And how are we out right now?” Johnny pressed even though part of him already had an idea. With how much power he had in that prison, it wouldn’t be a surprise if he had something to do with the fact that Johnny wasn’t still rotting away in that cell. Taeyong glanced over at the table not too far away from them and hummed quietly.

“Jay did it,” Taeyong answered and Johnny couldn’t help but be frustrated with Taeyong. 

This wasn’t good. He had never asked for any sort of favor from Jay. If he had a choice, he would have easily chosen to stay in segregation than to have anything to do with Jay. He hated that Taeyong had made that decision for him and in turn undoubtedly got him wrapped up in Jay’s bullshit. He groaned quietly and ran both hands through his hair, feeling that familiar bubble of anxiety build up in his chest. He couldn’t understand why Taeyong would do something so stupid. 

“Why the fuck would you ask for a favor from him?” Johnny questioned and Taeyong immediately frowned, his eyebrows furrowing. 

“You’re seriously getting pissed at me because I got you out of solitary?” Taeyong said back. “Would you have rathered for me to let you stay in there?”

“Honestly, Taeyong, I would have,” Johnny snapped and he genuinely didn’t mean to get upset with the other but he couldn’t help it at this point. Being in prison was going to be extremely hard for the both of them if Taeyong kept choosing to be so openly ignorant. 

“Well, why don’t you go fight another inmate and get sent back?” Taeyong muttered, clearly angry with Johnny’s lack of graciousness. 

“Can you just listen to me for one second?” Johnny asked and Taeyong blinked up at him, face still resting in the palm of his hand. “You shouldn’t have done that, Yong.” Taeyong snorted again at that, rolling his eyes. “I’m being serious,” Johnny hissed. “He’s not gonna do anything for you without expecting something in return.”

“Oh, my God,” Taeyong breathed. “This isn’t some fucking American drama, Johnny. I know that we’re in prison but not everyone is out to get you in here.”

Johnny could cry with how frustrating Taeyong was being. He wasn’t saying that everyone in prison was a bad person and knew that compared to the shit that went on in America and many other places for that matter, the way that they lived was way, way better than a lot of people. He was saying that every place had bad people and in here, Jay was undoubtedly one of them. He wasn’t being overly suspicious or anxious. The only reason why he was even wary of Jay was because of his prior knowledge of how the man was. 

“Do you not trust me?” Johnny finally questioned and Taeyong scoffed. 

“Yes, I trust you, Johnny,” Taeyong answered, sighing. “It’s just that—I don’t know, John, you’re so anxious about everything and you act like I have no clue what I’m doing and it’s like you’re forgetting the fact that I spent five whole months in here by myself without getting into any trouble.”

That was true. While Johnny had struggled at his last facility, Taeyong had managed to stay to himself and keep out of harm’s way. He functioned on an everyday basis without any problems. In fact, now that Johnny thought about it, Taeyong had basically lived in peace up until the point that he got there. Still, that couldn’t be right. It didn’t make sense that Jay would suddenly take interest in him the moment that Johnny got there after basically ignoring Taeyong’s presence for almost half a year. 

Something wasn’t right. Johnny knew that. But he also didn’t have anything to back him up other than how he had seen Jay act way back when. If Jay wanted to bring harm to either of them, he probably would have done it by now. The one thing Johnny knew about him was that he never hesitated before striking. That being said, Johnny simply couldn’t bring himself to trust this man. Not the way that it seemed like Taeyong was. 

He knew that pushing Taeyong further on the subject would only irritate him more than he already had and really didn’t have the energy to argue with him so Johnny decided that it would be best for the both of them if he stopped talking about it altogether. He could keep the fact that he didn’t trust Jay to himself and still make sure that the other wasn’t trying anything without bringing Taeyong into it anymore than he already had. 

“Okay,” Johnny muttered, shaking his head. “Fine. I’m sorry.” Taeyong nodded and he hesitated a moment, thinking about what he had said about his ex. “Do you know how much time he ended up getting?”

“No,” Taeyong answered. “And I don’t give a shit. He deserves to be in here as much as I do.”

“What did he do?” Johnny couldn’t stop himself from asking. Taeyong sighed loudly, very clearly extremely frustrated with Johnny’s prying.

“I’m not talking about this with you,” Taeyong muttered, picking up his cup of water and taking a sip. 

Johnny didn’t understand that. They were mated and not only mated, but mated for life. He wasn’t saying that he had a right to know every single detail of Taeyong’s life before him but at least wanted to know a little bit about his past, especially seeing that it now involved him. It didn’t feel fair that Taeyong was refusing to tell him. 

“Why can’t we talk about it, Taeyong?” Johnny pushed. “It’s not fair that you’re—.”

“—I don’t want to fucking talk about it,” Taeyong snapped at him, pushing his tray away from him and suddenly standing up from the table. Johnny flinched a little, not having expected for Taeyong to react this way. “Jesus Christ, Johnny, take a fucking hint for once in your life.”

Taeyong went to pick up his tray, informing Johnny that he was about to leave. “Wait,” Johnny called and Taeyong sighed in clear irritation, looking back at him. “Where are you going?”

That probably wasn’t what Taeyong had wanted him to say. Watching his reaction, Johnny could definitely tell that Taeyong wanted him to say something else. He didn’t know what. Taeyong stared at him for a long moment before scoffing quietly, shaking his head. 

“I’m going to fucking work,” Taeyong mumbled, throwing down his tray. Johnny could only sit there and watch as the food he still had on top of the plastic toppled over, spilling messily onto the table. He looked up to see if any guard had noticed the commotion, knowing for certain that if they had it would be a definite shot for Taeyong. Fortunately, it seemed like no one had been paying attention. “If that’s okay with you,” Taeyong continued sharply, voice dripping with venom. 

“Taeyong, wait,” Johnny tried but Taeyong was already gone, walking off angrily in the opposite direction. 

Johnny sighed, watching Taeyong slip out of the cafeteria and into the corridor that would lead him into the library. He knew that Taeyong was young and that he had deep, personal problems he had struggled through in the past that were still affecting him and how he reacted to things but it all was starting to get a little frustrating for Johnny. He wasn’t trying to control Taeyong’s life. All he wanted him to see was that he needed to be more aware of the people around him and realize that not everyone wanted the best for him. Unfortunately for him, Taeyong didn’t seem to be open to that idea. 

He glanced over at Jay’s table. Maybe Jay really wasn’t up to no good. Maybe prison had changed him for the better and him helping out both him and Taeyong was his way of trying to retribute for what he had done to him in the past. People could change, right? 

No, Johnny thought. Fuck that. He wasn’t fucking stupid. He knew that something wasn’t right with Jay and wouldn’t trust him with a gun pointed to his head. He started to gather up all of the food that Taeyong had basically thrown at him, placing it all on his own tray before picking up Taeyong’s discarded one and stacking it underneath his. He walked over to the trash, dumping what was left on his out before placing both back down on the metal cart.

He was going to get to the bottom of this and when he did, Taeyong would realize that he had been right the entire time.

 


 

Johnny was frustrating him. 

The second he had gotten released from solitary, it had only seemed like he wanted to start trouble. First, he had started up with Jay and then he had gone in about Jongin. It was too much for Taeyong to handle. He had only just gotten out of segregation himself and still wasn’t in the right headspace. 

Segregation had been terrible for him. He spent a lot of his time by himself in that tiny room, left alone with his own thoughts and worries and boredom —definitely his boredom—and it was easily one of the worst experiences of his life. He couldn’t stop himself from thinking about Johnny, about what had happened to him after that guard had taken him out of the room and if he had gotten into more trouble than him. He couldn’t stop thinking about Jongin and the fact that he was there, in that prison with not only him but Johnny too and that thought bothered him for than anything. After revealing to his lawyer that he had only been working by himself for less than a year before everything had blown up in his face, the man had heavily suggested for him to give a name, telling him that the judge would appreciate that and him revealing that he hadn’t worked alone would almost definitely get time off of his sentence. And why wouldn’t he? Jongin deserved to be punished as much as he did. 

During Taeyong’s first week there, after being taken to the shower, a guard made a comment about his body. Taeyong had let out a sarcastic little laugh before turning and spitting directly in the man’s face which then resulted in him being literally kicked to the wet ground, his face mere inches away from a dead roach. After that, each guard that visited his cell made it a point to fuck with him. The worst was when they had burst into the room during the middle of the night and brought a knife up to his throat before using it to slice through his hair. He had cried, fearing for his life, fearing that they would take it a step further and hurt him in a way that he wouldn’t be able to come back from. Fortunately, they had taken pity on him after seeing him curled up in a ball in the corner of the room, sobbing loudly and left, leaving with a flurry of insults.

And then one day, a guard had come in. He wasn’t one that Taeyong had ever seen before. Taeyong flinched at the sight of him, moving away as the man came over and sat next to him on his bed. He was almost certain that the guard was going to do something to him, was going to hurt him, but the man only cleared his throat before telling him that someone was working on getting him out of there. It didn’t take long for Taeyong to realize who. 

Not even a full day later, Taeyong was being told that he was being returned back to general population. He cheered internally, swearing that he would never put himself in a situation where segregation was an option for him for the rest of the time he was in that shitty place. He was pushed back into his cell, where Sangwon lifted his head up from his mat and offered him a small smile, letting him know that he had kept his spot warm for him. Taeyong had smiled back and laid down, curling into the flat excuse of a bed.

That following morning, Taeyong made it a point to find Jay. He spotted him almost as soon as he walked into the cafeteria, seeing him fill up his small plastic cup with water. He walked over, picking up a tray on his way.

“I need you to get Johnny out,” was the first thing that Taeyong said. Jay looked up at him, raising an amused eyebrow at his forwardness. 

“And why would I do that?” Jay questioned, turning to face Taeyong. “I think he’s made it pretty clear that he doesn’t want anything to do with me.”

Taeyong cursed internally to himself. Of course Jay was going to be hesitant about getting Johnny out. Why wouldn’t he? Every single interaction that he had ever had with Johnny was the other either threatening him or roughly telling him to fuck off. Still, that didn’t matter right now. Taeyong wanted Johnny out and with him—no matter how fucking pissed off he was at him for doing something so stupid.

“He’s not asking,” Taeyong pressed, shaking his head. “I am. It’s for me, not him.”

“Kinda sounds like it’s for him,” Jay pointed out, turning and starting to walk over to his table. Taeyong huffed before following after him, picking up an empty water cup on his way. 

“Aren’t you supposed to help me?” Taeyong questioned from behind Jay. “Aren’t we on the same team?”

“We are,” Jay said, glancing over his shoulder to look at Taeyong. “And I did help you.”

Jay arrived at his table and set his tray down, sitting. Taeyong hovered over him, not quite wanting to make himself comfortable in a place he wasn’t familiar with. A couple of the other men at the table glanced up at him but didn’t say anything, greeting Jay quietly, exchanging their own personal handshakes. 

“What the fuck do you want me to do?” Taeyong questioned, ignoring how more of Jay’s men looked up at him at the sound of his voice.

“Appreciate that I got you out of solitary and go to work when you need to,” Jay responded easily, thoroughly frustrating Taeyong. He didn’t understand how the other could claim that he had his back but wouldn’t do this one thing for him. 

“I need him,” Taeyong deadpanned. “If I don’t have him then you don’t have me.”

With that, Jay looked up at him, clearly entertained by Taeyong’s bluntness. For a moment, Taeyong was almost fearful that Jay was going to do something to him for basically threatening him in front of his men. Surprisingly enough, Jay only smiled at him, staring at him for what felt like forever before nodding. 

“Alright,” Jay finally said, turning back around to pick something off of his plate and toss it into his mouth. “Give me until Thursday.”

“Yeah,” Taeyong responded breathlessly, nodding. “That’s fine.” He glanced up at the man sitting across from Jay, noticing how intently he was staring at him. “Thank you, Jay.”

“I don’t like being threatened, Taeyong,” Jay warned, his voice still as pleasant as it had been from the moment Taeyong had walked up to him. “I’m letting you make it this one time.”

Even though Taeyong didn’t like what had been said to him, he nodded again, thankful that Jay had even agreed to begin with. He hesitated for a moment before turning around and walking off, stopping at the front to fill up his water cup and moving on to sit with Sangwon not too far away from where Jay’s table was. Looking up, he could tell that they were talking about something, probably him. He watched them for a moment before picking up his cookie and handing it over to a gleeful Sangwon.

Two days later, Johnny was butting into his and Jay’s conversation about how Jay was in the middle of convincing Warden Lee to let Taeyong keep his job, considering that most people who got thrown into segregation were immediately demoted from whatever position they had been given inside the prison. It frustrated him that Johnny had come over so hostile, especially considering that the only reason he had been able to force himself in between the two of them was because of Jay.

It also frustrated him that Johnny didn’t seem to be all that apologetic about getting himself in a fight. Not only would he had never been sent to solitary if Johnny hadn’t been fighting, but there was also the promise  that the two of them had solidified with each other. How could Johnny try and excuse his behavior when not even an hour before the fight broke out, he had been the same one to silently chastise Taeyong about wanting to talk back to the guard who had been watching over him during his shift. It was bullshit. 

He also didn’t like the way that Johnny had questioned him about Jongin and his part in getting him sent to prison. He had said everything in such a judgmental way, probably forming his own silent opinions about him and what he had done before they had run into each other. Mated or not, Taeyong felt it wasn’t any of Johnny’s business who and what he had been involved with before they met. Plus, he just didn’t want to talk about it. Jongin was an asshole and a coward and didn’t deserve a second of his time, that including him talking about him to another person.

Johnny was fucking smothering him. He had been since the moment he got there and Taeyong was starting to feel suffocated. He didn’t need anyone to fight for him, didn’t need someone other than himself to protect him and that was what Johnny refused to understand. He had survived by himself for almost half a year before Johnny had gotten transferred there. Why did he suddenly thinking that now that he was there, Taeyong suddenly didn’t know right from wrong and how to make it through difficult situations?

Taeyong sighed loudly, pushing yet another book back atop the large bookshelf in front of him. He really did like his job. When he had to stock everything back from what had been given back to the library from the people who made it a point to come down and push it into the makeshift slot themselves, Taeyong was given a certain amount of trust to complete what needed to be done without supervision. Within the next half an hour, a guard—probably the same one as the last time Taeyong had worked—would come and escort him around the prison but until then, Taeyong had time to simply be by himself. It was nice. He hadn’t been able to do that for a long, long while.

He hadn’t been in there long when he heard a noise, causing him to turn around with the book he had still in hand, waiting to see who it could be. His heartbeat picked up a little with the knowledge that it probably wasn’t the guard coming for him, considering that he still had to have twenty –five minutes or so to himself. He contemplated it possibly being Jongin but quickly decided against that. If he and Johnny were going to be given another month in segregation, there would be no reason for Jongin not to have the same punishment. 

He settled upon realizing that it was only Johnny, sighing quietly before turning back around, pushing the book he had been holding back where it belonged. He didn’t feel like talking to Johnny right now and was irritated that he had even come down there during the short amount of time that Taeyong had allotted to himself.

“What do you want?” Taeyong muttered.

“To apologize,” he heard Johnny say, causing him to snort quietly. 

“What, you want me to say that it’s okay so that you can go back to treating me like I’m a fucking child and pry into my life?” Taeyong countered sarcastically, in which Johnny sighed quietly in response to. 

“Yong,” Johnny called and Taeyong hesitated a moment before turning around, leaning his back against the bookshelf behind him. He raised an eyebrow, silently telling Johnny to continue before he lost interest. “I’m sorry, alright? I didn’t mean to make you feel uncomfortable.”

Taeyong looked at Johnny for a moment. His gaze lingered down at the mark on his neck, still slightly bruised from where his teeth had sank into Johnny’s sink. It was weird to see. When he had mated with Jongin, it had been so intimate. Taeyong remember the feeling of Jongin’s teeth piercing his skin and the blood spilling down his neck, staining the collar of the shirt that he hadn’t had time to strip out of before Jongin was pinning him to their bed. It had hurt but he had loved it, loved the thought of the fact that the two of them would be together forever with that one bite. He could admit now that he had been painfully stupid back then but the thought still lingered. If Johnny was supposedly his true mate, how come he hadn’t felt that with him? When Johnny had mated him, he had been out of his mind from having recently been fucked within an inch of his life and when he had mated Johnny, it had only because he was one more shuddery breath away from dying. What if Yuta had been wrong? What if they weren’t meant to be together? After all, Yuta wasn’t an expert. He did all of his shit illegally and under the table. Him having come to the wrong conclusion about everything wasn’t unthinkable.

“Taeyong?” Johnny said, effectively snapping Taeyong out of his own head. Taeyong blinked up at him and hummed quietly, taking a breath before forcing himself to nod. 

“It’s whatever,” Taeyong muttered with a small shrug. 

“I feel like you’re only saying that so you don’t have to talk about it anymore,” Johnny responded softly, his voice very clearly uncertain. 

“I am,” Taeyong admitted. Johnny nodded, running a hand through his hair. 

“That’s fine,” Johnny said, moving to where he was standing next to Taeyong, looking over at him. “You mind if I sit in here with you for a little?”

When Johnny had first walked in, Taeyong was weary of the sight of him. He didn’t want to be anywhere by him and most importantly, wanted to be by himself. But now, in that moment, Taeyong couldn’t really bring himself to care.

“I don’t care,” Taeyong said and Johnny hummed, slipping down onto the floor. Taeyong followed suit, kicking his legs out in front of him. 

“Your haircut isn’t all that bad, by the way,” Johnny pointed out, giving Taeyong a small smile. “It’s actually kind of cute. Shows off your ears.”

Taeyong scoffed quietly at that despite the fact that Johnny saying that did help to make him feel a little better. Ever since he had caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror in his cell after being released from segregation, Taeyong had been feeling a bit off. Hearing another person reassure him about something he didn’t really like about himself at the moment really did make a huge difference. 

“You always lie to me about my hair when it’s fucked up,” Taeyong snorted, shaking his head. 

“I’m not lying,” Johnny laughed, reaching over to pull at a piece of it. “It’s cute.” He paused a moment, still softly carding his fingers through Taeyong’s hair. “You’re cute.”

With that, Taeyong looked over at Johnny. They stared at each other for a little while until Taeyong leaned in forward, hesitating for only a second before closing the gap between them, pressing his lips against Johnny’s. 

They kissed like that for awhile, slowly and surely, Taeyong leaned over Johnny’s front. At one point, he slipped his arms around Johnny’s neck, getting more comfortable in the position that they were in. He really had missed kissing Johnny and being able to feel the other’s mouth against his own, moving over his gently was easily the best thing that had happened to him in awhile. 

Johnny moved both hands down to Taeyong’s waist, coercing him to climb into his lap which Taeyong did without hesitating, not breaking away from the kiss for a single second. The embrace deepened the moment that Johnny pushed his tongue into Taeyong’s mouth, licking and nipping at him so softly but with so much dominance that it made Taeyong’s head spin. He couldn’t stop himself from moaning quietly against Johnny’s pouty lips, suddenly surrounded only by Johnny’s familiar fir scent, easily drowning in it.

Johnny went to grab at his ass and Taeyong broke the kiss with a small gasp, letting Johnny’s fingers bruise his sensitive skin underneath his thin jumpsuit. The first wave of slick rolled out of him, Johnny taking notice almost immediately and growling darkly, pulling Taeyong back in for another rough, biting kiss. Taeyong barely reciprocated in the kiss, letting Johnny do all the work as he started to grind down into his lap, feeling Johnny harden slightly underneath him.

“Fuck me,” Taeyong breathed into Johnny’s mouth, so desperate for it that he could literally fucking scream.

“Come on,” Johnny muttered before wrapping both arms around Taeyong’s tiny waist and picking him up, causing Taeyong to gasp loudly.

“Don’t fucking drop me,” Taeyong hissed as Johnny carried him around to the other side of the bookshelf where the both of them would be out of sight if someone happened to walk in.

“Shut up,” Johnny said, letting Taeyong back down onto his feet. “Trust me.”

Taeyong could have rolled his eyes but instead decided to kiss Johnny again, standing up on his tiptoes to reach Johnny’s mouth. He hummed in content the moment that Johnny pushes his tongue into his mouth again, more slick leaking out of his cunt. How annoying, clueless and an overall mess Johnny was, he still knew how to kiss Taeyong in a way that made him feel like the world had stopped spinning.

He whined when Johnny pulled back to start nipping at his neck, sucking dark bruises into his pale skin. Every single second made him feel more and more impatient. Taeyong needed Johnny, more of him than he had right now.

“Alpha,” Taeyong mumbled, gasping quietly when Johnny’s teeth passed over the mark on his neck. “Please.”

“You want Alpha’s cock, sweetheart?” Johnny questioned and Taeyong nodded immediately because yes, he wanted Johnny’s cock so bad that it hurt and didn’t think that he could stand another second without it. Johnny chuckled softly at his eagerness, his breath hot and heavy against Taeyong’s skin. “Let’s get your pants off then, baby.”

Taeyong tingled at Johnny calling him such a sweet name, lifting up to slip out of those thin, ugly pants. His panties are practically sticking to his cunt with how wet he had gotten, skinny little thighs trembling with want. He knew that they probably didn’t have time for Johnny to eat him out but the thought of it was so delicious. Johnny’s tongue was so thick and skillful and he always sucked his clit into his mouth in the most beautiful way, causing Taeyong’s breath to hitch, his stomach flipping.

“God, you’re so fucking pretty,” Johnny said, pulling Taeyong back onto his lap to reach in between his legs, pressing the fabric of his panties hard against his clit, soaking it in Taeyong’s slick. Taeyong gasped, his hips bucking up into Johnny’s hand, the feeling of him using those ugly fucking panties to circle his clit so, so welcome.

“We— shit —J–John, we don’t have a lot of time,” Taeyong whimpered out, his pussy literally fucking trembling with how much he wanted Johnny’s cock in him.

Johnny hummed but slipped his hand out from between Taeyong’s thighs nonetheless, leaning back to start to slip off his own pants. Taeyong could feel how hard he was underneath him, the full length of Johnny’s cock throbbing against his pussy. He did his best to help Johnny rid himself of the pants, barely letting him pull them over his ass before leaning forward to kiss him again.

“Shit,” Johnny breathed into his mouth when Taeyong took hold of his cock, using the pre–come that had collected on the head to start stroking him, kissing the other frantically as he worked him steadily. “Fuck, Yong.”

“Missed your cock so much,” Taeyong said back, his hand still moving over Johnny’s cock quickly, pussy leaking at all the pretty noises that Johnny couldn’t stop himself from letting out.

Something must snap in Johnny because he’s panting into Taeyong’s mouth for only another second longer before pulling up and pushing Taeyong’s hand away from his cock, easily switching their positions by shoving Taeyong down on the hard floor. Taeyong made a small noise of pain at how rough his head had collided with the floor but couldn’t dwell on it too long, as Johnny had pushed both of his legs open and started to strip him of his panties, tossing them haphazardly behind him.

He whimpered at Johnny took hold of his cock and started to drag it over his wet pussy, flinching as the head caught against his clit, sending a shock of pleasure running up his spine. Johnny grinned at his reaction, soaking his cock in Taeyong’s slick before deliberately smacking the head against his clit, causing Taeyong to gasp noisily. He kept doing that, stimulating the small bud of nerves with the hard drop of his cock, making Taeyong feel like he was going fucking insane with how good it felt.

Right when Taeyong thought that he couldn’t take it anymore, he felt the head of Johnny’s cock push against his hole, pressing against it, stretching the thin skin. He moaned wetly, moving his hips down, so eager to feel Johnny inside of him, filling him up, reshaping him around his thick cock. He opened his mouth to beg, ready to say whatever he needed to say to get Johnny to finally fuck him, only to be cut off by the feeling of Johnny pushing slowly inside of him, stretching him out with each and every inch.

“Oh, fuck,” Johnny groaned, bracing a hand against Taeyong’s stomach. “Forgot how fucking tight you were.”

Taeyong couldn’t say anything in response, moisture drawing to his wide eyes as Johnny finally bottomed out inside of him, filling him so much that Taeyong swore he could feel him in his fucking throat. It was so good, so fucking good, he didn’t know how he had gone this long with Johnny inside of him but knew that he never wanted to wait that long ever again.

He looked down to see Johnny fully sheathed inside of him, his cunt stretched around his cock, all pink and shiny with slick. Johnny leaned down to kiss him, giving Taeyong time to adjust around his cock, slowly rocking his hips into him without pulling out. Taeyong barely kissed back, only panting into Johnny’s mouth, slick practically dripping out of him.

“Please,” Taeyong finally gasped and Johnny pulled back, nodding against his forehead as he inhaled quietly before drawing his hips back, causing Taeyong to whine as he started to pull out of him before slamming back in.

Johnny didn’t waste any time before starting to steadily fuck him, burying his face into Taeyong’s neck to tongue along his bond mark, huffing with each thrust. He fucked him in a way that let Taeyong know that he had missed him, the head of his cock dragging against that spot inside of him, making him go stupid with pleasure. He could hear the sound of his pussy squelching with each thrust, wet and noisy as Johnny fucked his slick back inside of him. 

“So fucking wet for me,” Johnny growled into his ear, causing heat to travel all the way up from Taeyong’s neck to his cheeks. “Such a good little pussy, baby. Love it so fucking much.” Taeyong couldn’t help but clench around Johnny at his words, so fucking turned on by it all. “Shit,” Johnny cursed, pulling up to continue fucking into Taeyong without abandon, loving the way that Taeyong was biting his lip underneath him, his eyebrows drawn together as he tried his best to keep quiet.

“J–Johnny!” Taeyong gasped when Johnny moved a hand down to start toying at his clit the same time that he thrust into him particularly hard, causing him to momentarily forget about the fact that they needed to be quiet.

“Shh,” Johnny chastised him darkly, moving his other hand to press his thumb into Taeyong’s hipbone, undoubtedly bruising it. He was still fucking Taeyong hard, the smack of his hips against the other’s little ass loud and apparent in the otherwise silent room. 

When Taeyong didn’t respond, Johnny moved his hand up to grab at either side of Taeyong’s face, forcing him to look up at him with glassy, unfocused eyes. Taeyong whimpered helplessly, hiccuping when Johnny fucked into him again, chafing his back against the rough carpet underneath him. His pussy was throbbing, clenching and unclenching around Johnny’s length, clit twitching desperately.

“Gotta be quiet, Yongie,” Johnny muttered down at him. “Don’t want a guard to walk in and find you getting fucked stupid like the little slut that you are, huh?”

Taeyong couldn’t help but moan at that, more slick dripping out of him at the thought. He didn’t want to get in trouble but the thought of someone walking in and seeing him being stretched out on Johnny’s cock, probably seeming so tired underneath the Alpha, his face all red and delirious, drool dripping down his chin. His pussy clenched tightly and Johnny groaned, pressing harder against his hip.

“Fuck,” Johnny groaned, gritting his teeth together. “You gonna come, baby? Get Alpha’s cock all dirty the way he likes?” Taeyong nodded eagerly but that must not be the response that Johnny wanted, his fingers pushing deeper into Taeyong’s cheeks, halting the continuous grind of his hips. “Answer me,” he demanded, causing Taeyong to whine impatiently.

“Y–Yeah,” Taeyong breathed, nodding again, feeling so, so relieved when Johnny started to fuck him again, pulling his cock almost the whole way out before slamming it back inside, punching a slutty little noise out of Taeyong with the motion. “Want you to knot me, Alpha, I—I need it, Johnny, please.”

“My pretty little whore,” Johnny muttered, bending down to kiss Taeyong again as his hand let go of his face and traveled back down to his swollen clit, getting his fingers all dirty with Taeyong’s slick before starting to rub his clit in tight circles, fucking him all the while.

The feeling of it was too overwhelming, too much for Taeyong to handle and it couldn’t help it as his body reacted, his legs trying to close around Johnny’s hand, doing his best to force him out. Johnny only huffed before shoving his thighs back open roughly, pushing both knees up against his chest. The position made everything feel so much tighter and Taeyong’s back arched high off the ground, a high–pitched squeal leaving him as Johnny smacked his pussy again, drops of his own slick landing on his thighs.

“Gonna come,” Taeyong warned breathlessly, feeling like he could pass out at any second. Johnny only fucked into him harder, causing Taeyong’s eyes to roll back. “Alpha, I—Alpha, I’m gonna—Gonna come, Johnny, p–please.”

“Let Alpha come first, yeah?” Johnny muttered, still rubbing Taeyong’s clit in small, slow circles. His knot had started to swell inside of Taeyong, stretching him out deliciously. “Let Alpha fill you up, baby. Let Alpha get you all swollen with his come.”

Taeyong nodded, forcing himself to hold out despite how much he wanted to make a mess of himself. He couldn’t stop himself anymore, letting out a breathy little moan each time that Johnny fucked into him, pressing into his clit harder and harder the closer Johnny got to his own orgasm.

“Jesus, Taeyong,” Johnny groaned heavily, his hips starting to slow a little. “I’m so fuckin’ close.” 

“Please,” Taeyong garbled out, his throat thick, like it was lined with cotton.

“Only Alpha can fuck you like this,” Johnny slurred, almost there, his knot catching on Taeyong’s little hole with each small thrust. “Feel so fucking good around me.” 

“Yeah,” Taeyong mewled, so fucking dumb, unable to think of anything coherent to say that was more than one word. The pressure was growing and growing in his stomach, almost too much for him to handle. “Oh, f–fuck , Johnny.”

“Yeah, say my fuckin’ name,” Johnny growled and Taeyong did, breathing out his name again and again and again until Johnny couldn’t stand it anymore, his knot popping, filling Taeyong’s tiny pussy with his come. “Shit.”

It was so fucking amazing, the feeling of Johnny’s cock pumping come into him, filling him up so much that he could feel it in his stomach. He wanted to come so bad, needed to come so fucking badly and luckily, Johnny answered his call, starting to rub his clit harder as he continued to come in him, groaning quietly with every other pulse of his cock.

“Nnh—A–Alpha,” Taeyong hiccuped, shying away from Johnny’s touch again, his clit throbbing relentlessly. Johnny forced him to take it, pushing his knees back open, circling his clit roughly, moving it up and down, making Taeyong feel so, so fucking stupid. “I’m gonna come, Alpha, gonna come, please, please, I’m—!”

With a sharp inhale, Taeyong was clenching hard around Johnny’s cock, his pussy throbbing heavily. Johnny continued to rub his clit through his orgasm, causing him to whine loudly, reaching up to grab at Johnny’s arm that was still steadily working him, hips bucking up against Johnny’s hand until he was squirting, making a mess of both himself and Johnny. Johnny fucked him all the while, only causing the stream of slick to shoot out harder, soaking his arm and his shirt. He kept going until Taeyong couldn’t take it anymore, his body shuddering as he tried to roll over onto his side, whining relentlessly as Johnny rubbed at his raw clit, using a weak hand to try and push him away. One last pathetic stream dribbled out of him before Johnny finally decided to let out, giving his fucked–sore pussy one last slap, cock still pulsing come inside of him.

Taeyong accepted it at Johnny pushed two of his fingers into his mouth, moaning softly at the taste of his own slick. He waited for Johnny to finish off, the steady stream of his cock slowing, whimpering quietly as Johnny rolled his hips into him, pushing his come even further inside him. He blinked up at Johnny, mouth still stuffed with his fingers.

“Christ, you’re so pretty,” Johnny muttered, shaking his head. “Like a fucking dream.”

Taeyong hummed in content at that, letting Johnny slip his fingers out and drag them down his lip, leaving behind a warm stain of his own saliva. He inhaled Johnny’s scent, eyes rolling back a little at how good he smelled on top of him.

Soon enough, Johnny’s knot had gone done enough to safely pull out of Taeyong. Taeyong shines as a cloudy mixture of both his slick and Johnny’s thick come gushed out of his pussy, slowly sinking into the floor underneath him. Johnny groaned, unable to stop himself from pushing the same two fingers that had been in Taeyong’s mouth into his pussy, coercing more of his come to go dribbling out, scraping gently against Taeyong’s soft inner walls.

“Johnny,” Taeyong whined, squirming at the feeling of Johnny’s fingers inside of him, much too sensitive. Johnny clicked his tongue before pulling out, sucking the mixture off of his fingers with a gentle hum. Taeyong’s pussy clenched weakly at the sight of it. 

He opened his mouth to say something but was interrupted by the sound of nearby footsteps. Both him and Johnny shot up, glancing at each other in panic. It was Johnny who sprung into action first, picking up both Taeyong’s panties and loose pants, tossing them over at him.

Taeyong got dressed as quickly as he could, stumbling to his feet. Once up, he looked over at Johnny, noticing what an absolute mess he was. His hair was messy, a blush high on his face, neck lined with sloppy, dark bruises. It was almost funny until Taeyong realized that he probably looked much, much worse.

“Inmate?” a voice called, the voice of the guard who had supervised him last time. “You in here?”

“Y–Yeah!” Taeyong said back shakily, cursing to himself at how unsteady the single word had come out. “I’m almost finished restocking!”

“You were already supposed to be finished before I got here, Lee,” the man groaned, clearly frustrated with Taeyong’s lack of readiness.

Taeyong looked over at Johnny. If the two of them were caught together, there was no telling what would happen. Luckily, him and the guard would be leaving soon if everything went smoothly. All Johnny had to do was keep out of sight long enough for him to coerce the man out of the room.

“Go,” Taeyong mouthed, causing Johnny to frown a little in response. 

“Where?” Johnny said back and Taeyong had to force himself not to groan. They didn’t really have time for Johnny’s stupidity at the moment. 

“Anywhere but fucking here,” Taeyong hissed, pushing Johnny off in the opposite direction. 

He managed to get Johnny on the other side of the bookshelf that they had been standing in front of just as the guard came around the corner. Taeyong pulled a book out and pushed it back in to make it look like he truly had been finishing up right as the man had walked in, turning around once finished with a small, nervous smile on his face. 

The guard stared at him for what felt like forever and for a moment, Taeyong thought that he might have realized what he was trying to pull over on him. Before he could become too worried about it, though, the man was sighing and gesturing for Taeyong to follow after him. 

“Make sure you’re finished by the time I get here next time, inmate,” the man muttered and Taeyong nodded, taking a moment to glance behind him. If he squinted, he could easily see Johnny’s shadow lingering on the other side of the shelf. Due to his lack of response, the guard stopped suddenly and turned around, Taeyong tripping over his own two feet to prevent himself from colliding straight into the other man’s chest. Again, Taeyong thought that he might have figured out, that he was going to confront him about what had happened. “Do you hear me?”

It took Taeyong a moment to realize what the man was talking about but when he did, he nodded once again, forcing out a breathless, “Y–Yeah.”

The guard blinked down at him for only a second longer before continuing on, Taeyong huffing a bit to himself before stumbling to follow after him. 

On his way out with the cart in his grip, Taeyong noticed Johnny peeking his head out on the furthermost side of the bookshelf. He was holding up a book, another one printed in English that Taeyong didn’t recognize. 

“Can I take this?” Johnny mouthed at him and Taeyong hesitated, in genuine awe that Johnny was risking the possibility of them getting caught for a fucking book. Still, he had started to slow and didn’t want the guard to notice.

“I don’t fucking care,” Taeyong said back to him and Johnny grinned in response, moving to tuck the book underneath the waistband of his pants, pulling his shirt down to cover it. 

“Let’s go,” the guard hissed out from in front of him, causing Taeyong to flinch at the sudden sound of his voice echoing throughout the otherwise quiet hallway that he had stepped out into. Taeyong couldn’t help but frown at the man’s tone but obeyed his order regardless, doing his best not to focus on the feeling of Johnny’s come still steadily dripping out of him.

He needed a fucking shower.