The inspector sighed vigorously as he rushed his sweaty hand through his hair. Long hours, he had been there for way too many and way too long hours. It was absolute chaos in the police station as soon as the reports came across it,and the noise that slipped through his door could prove it very well.
Taeil flipped the pages of the file one by one, carefully reading all the information.
The papers notified the police’s intervention over a fight in the public swimming pool. The Town's pool had been closed for at least ten years and the neighbors around had the hypothesis that the not-very-nice face of the city used the abandoned land for turbid motives. They told that to the police and they believed it easily, since the tall row of hedge covered the enclosure to everyone’s eyes, and made it a good place if you want to hide.
So Taeil had sent a patrol to watch out the pool on Friday and Saturday nights. Everyone had setted their hopes high with that movement because, although it was a comun acknowledgement of every netizen of that town that there were people in charge of moving drugs and black money, no one ever got close to stopping them.
There was suspecting, researching and investigations, but however, things didn’t go beyond speculations of who they were and where they moved. Taeil was so tired of the investigation at that point, but he was commanded by higher ranks, he just couldn't drop the case, he had to keep playing Risk with a blindfold.
Every week that passed without news from the swimming pool brigade made him fall deeper in desperation, it made the looks of the other policemen grow more judguing to him, it was a nightmare itself. The Days Repeated with a common pattern, one like the previous, without any change.
Until Saturday night at 1:32 am.
It was that day that a fight broke out of a sudden, confronting a few kids from the ugly part of the city and some individual that they should have left alone, for their good. Whower those kids doing there was another mystery but for now, Taeil at least had in his hands a good upgrade of the information regarding how they were moving, and that’s what he wanted. Now the mafia team could run and play it off to hide it but the police had the advantage of knowing what they were after.
“We have to intervene!”
Taeil rubbed his temple trying to get rid of the acute pain pounding his brain “No, this is not how it works”
“Are you suggesting that we let them escape now that we have a clue!?” The insistence of the office’s rookie took him out of his nerves, driving him to smash his palm over his table “We have to act carefully, damnit, Donghyuk, if this is what we think it is,we have an issue with major criminals!”
“Yeah, Donghyuk, Taeil is the inspector, I think he is acting for the best” cooed Mark, yet another rookie of the police station.
Taeil looked out the window. He knew that both of them kids were doing their best and using all their youthful energy to wrap up the case with him.
And he was glad they were, if it wasn’t for them there won’t be any volunteers to work in the case. But their inexperienced way of acting didn’t help very good to his irritated state with work, it triggered literal anxiety in him how rushed they were. Donghyuk, in particular, thought he was a superhero rooting for everyone’s safety and the law to be strictly obeyed. Luckily, Mark was just a tiny bit more organised and hesitant about stepping up in plans, which made the other slow down at times. If it wasn’t for how Mark was full of conscience, Donghyuk would have walked in a party to punch a capo in the face and would have ended dead.
“So what? We have made an advance in the investigation but we are going to sit back and watch? That’s your plan?”
“No. You two are going to go and arrest the kid who started the fight” estated Taeil, calmly. He started packing the reports in his drawers in front of the astonished gaze of Donghyuk
“Donghyuk, listen to me, don’t you expect me to send you or Mark to fight an organized monopoly of criminality out of the blunt” the inspector stood up from his chair to emphasize his speech “Firstly because you have barely fired a gun in your life. Second, because we need to identify people before we can confront them. Find that brat, arrest him and interrogate the shit out of him. And then, maybe, we can talk about whether or not you should play the Hawaii 5.0 character.”
Taeil exited the office leaving the two rookies behind. He didn’t worry,it had no point. Even if Donghyuk was extremely passionate about fighting ‘evil forces’, he knew he wouldn't rage because he was harsh on him telling him what to do. Instead, he was 93% sure that the pupils would make an effort to be better at it, he knew they’d understand. After all they trained in the Academy like all of them did and knew the rules.
Taeil walked down the stairs saluting one and another work partner that carried their steamy mugs full of coffee ready to stay awake for their turns at night, approaching fast. Maybe he could grab one of those later, it would be good for his system.
But before, he had more important issues. He opened the door, not bothering to knock or wait for the answer to come from behind it, he was already coming in Jaehyun’s office.
Jaehyun was someone of a great value for the police department. He was a lawful guy with clear mindsets, kind too. He graduated after Taeil did, but the inspector had considered him a friend, someone to trust. And that’s the reason why he wasn’t being able to sleep tight at night lately. When Taeil saw the opportunity, and after considering the innumerable combinations of options to operate, he became conscious of how Jaehyun would be his best candidate. Jaehyun was tall and hardy and he had a nice aiming rank. But most importantly,he had the ability of giving a fake facade, he was capable of pulling up a theatre and fooling people. Taeil had tried to convince himself that sending him to a pitch black hell was the best for everyone. That he would made it, that he could make his way through it unnoticed.
That’s why Taeil, two months ago and with very few officers knowing, assigned Jaehyun to be the undercover policeman who was sent to one of the directions they managed to get from the criminal group, not without a crazy amount of effort.
His objective? Getting information and useful identifications of the subjects.
It would become easier for them to know how their plan worked from the inside, making it crumble like a deadly poison spreading from the inside out, but a piece of the inspector wished for Jaehyun to get scared and say no to such an assignment. But instead of that, he had to see how the young man, in the middle of the night, went in a club with bright lights and loud music, dressed like he never saw him before.
He truly looked reckless, like a boy who crushed down in highschool and never rose again, if that description is even valid. His hair was pushed back, a white shirt that made his body shape look quite delicious and a denim jacket. He was ready to sympathize with a certain guy called Doyoung, and he made it look easy. That day, he approached Doyoung convincing himself to look like an aggressive and tough man, offering him this and that falsificated documents to get free access to this or that business.
In a week he was in, and Taeil lost his trace.
He had to cut all his contact with him for the lie to be credible and he could not risk the life of his partner calling him to search for him. His office was empty, his house abandoned for a new one who won’t put him into links with the department, his phone canceled and Taeil had no idea of what his new locations were.
But he was far from being dead, he was more than present when the door burst open to let Yuta walk in the base. Trouble was tangible in the air and it was not because of his solid presence and fluent personality. It was because of the gathered minutes of waiting for him they had to do for two days in a row.
He too knew what was going on and he just came in in a deep silence, his sight was lost on the floor tiles and his lips pressed in a thin line. As soon as he closed the door, Taeyong was already stumbling through the room like a furious freaking typhoon.
Yuta flinched a bit but he stood still and looked the pink haired boy in the eyes.
“How dare you?”
Jaehyun had his eyes fixed over them, wanting to show no fear to the confrontation of the two boys, but the truth is that his tongue dried and the hairs of his arms bristled, as that was the first real messed up situation he was going to live in his flesh since he started hanging out with the group.
“I’ll fix it, man, relax” said Yuta. In those very few words the rage was still so present on them, it was overcharged, like a string that is about to break from tension.
In comparison with Yuta, Taeyong was a short boy and not only that, he was thin too, but Jaehyun already learned that he was powered by a strong fuel made by decision and bad temper so he was not underestimating him at all, not either he underestimated how bad the mood could go in a second.
Taeyong took Yuta by the collar of his worn out jacket and yanked him towards his own.
“Oh, bet you will” he spat with a dark tone and pushed him back making Yuta stumble back a bit. Jaehyun could see the fire in his eyes arising more by the second “You lost a load of drugs, there were 24 fucking pounds of meth, Yuta! You better get it back, you better do it, because that was about 3K dollars worth.”
Jaehyun blinked slowly at the mention of such an important quantity of drugs and money in his fucking face. Two months ago he wouldn't have imagined that he would be involved in a case like that, and suddenly he was watching two boys discussing it just like it was nothing. True that they considered it an important sum of ganancies but it was just a little part of their business. A tiny part of it.
A proof of that was Ten, who was sitting right next to Jaehyun on the black leather couch of the office, with his balletic legs crossed and scrolling through god knows what content on his phone, giving the smallest attention possible to the other two’s argument.
A quotidian scene for him.
Reached that point, Jaehyun tried to make tiny notes in his brain of the information that may be useful for him but it was hard contemplating the concerns that the environment was giving to him.
“I told you I didn't have another choice! I went to the pool, like you told me! And I was waiting for that guy who was supposed to take the drugs to sell them. I was ready to make the exchange when these kids came and tried to steal it from me!”
“And you let a bunch of unarmed nerds steal twenty four pounds of…?!”
“No, shit, I never said that! But i had to fight them”
“Well, I thought you knew how to shot a man down”
“Tae, they were literal kids. They were not past 17, dude, and I know I’m rotten but not enough to shoot down a child” Jaehyun waited three seconds for Taeyong to clap back with a cruel answer but instead, he let Yuta keep going “And then the motherfucking police came out from nowhere! I had to run, okay? How do you want me to sell it in these conditions? I hid it. Since I don't think you want the police to put their noses in our thing!”
Jaehyun gulped. That was, for sure, a work of the patroll that Taeil sent to the pool. He thought the police were handling that with a little bit more care, minding the situation he was in.
“Okay so you didn’t lose it… entirely.”
“That makes me want to punch you a little bit less. What about the police? They saw you?”
“Nah, i don’t think they could identify me, I was gone before they could blink tho. After that I waited to come here, so in case they followed me then…”
“You could fall without taking us all down” murmured Ten as Yuta didn’t put an end to the sentence. The undercover police tried to figure out what Ten was trying to imply with that sentence but any of the options that crossed his mind carried an evil life motive behind. “What a detail, baby”
Taeyong’s severe pupils nailed in him. He was enraged, furious, and not with Yuta. Or at least not only with Yuta, it was something deeper, something that escaped from Jaehyun’s considerations yet.
“We are fucked up, you all must know. But nothing we can’t fix” he collapsed on the armchair that was sitting near the couch where Jaehyun was, also covered in black leather. Sitting all wrong, like always, with one feet over the cushion and one over the armrest he rubbed his hands together like a fly, he became thoughtful. “Now they are sure that there are drug business going down.We need to wash our hands asap or they will end tracing us. Where did you hide the load?”
“The tunnel on the east road, there’s a fire exit aside”
Taeyong huffed “We need a plan. A good one. I don’t want or need to throw everything overboard and we had been this fucking close”
Jaehyun was dead silent.
He had always been a good strategist but now that he was inhibited, he was not able to think straight. Whichever the plan ended being, he couldn’t formulate it taking the police into much account; if he minded them a lot, Taeyong would become suspicious of him and if he didn’t mind them at all, the plan would come out to sound suicidal.
The pink haired boss looked at him, his eyes full of presence were able to take Jaehyun’s breath away for an instant.
When the young officer first came deeper into the criminal circle, he didn’t want to give credit to who was on top of every operation. He was young and small, which made Jaehyun wonder what kind of twisted mastermind he had to have to make a whole town fear his invisible existence, the police being totally knocked out for his discretion being just Jaehyun himself the one who got to take a look into the deep cesspit that was his life. Maybe it was the fact that, despite how hard Jaehyun looked, searched for it, he wasn’t capable to find any flaw on him. No, he had everything pinned down, like butterflies nailed on a cork and Jaehyun just couldn’t stand that, he needed to break that perfectly handsome porcelain mask to see if there was something else or if he was just empty from any feeling.
“Anything to suggest, newby?”
He said breaking the flow of his thoughts.That was shitty luck for him because, now that the leader asked, he needed to answer something bright and become trustworthy if he wanted to succeed.
“Key, what ‘bout this? If they know there are drugs but they don’t have us targeted yet we can take just a pack of meth... like 5 pounds and dump that shit to any of the kids.They’d be registered anytime soon, right? So they’d came out guilty… we take the rest of the load and sell it once and for fucking all”
There was yet another dense silence.
“How in hell do we crush in a house without destroying everything with us?” Questioned Yuta. “We’d let clues that’d point at us behind”
“No, no, shut up” said Taeyong raising a finger to quieten Yuta down, earning a confused look from his partner. Then, his gaze weighed again on Jaehyun. “That plan can make it if we fix the holes. Ten, I can count on you to force the door open, right?”
“With a picklock? That’s easy”
“Okay, newby. Explain further” said Taeyong.
He hated the manner in which Taeyong treated him, still so distant to call him by that name, the way in which he looked down at him made him mad, like as if he was a helpless child.
“The boys needed a motive to be so late in an abandoned place. If they find drug evidence in their home, that comes to be their motive. If they find that, they'd make up something like they were fighting for money or for the division of the meth, according to the proof they have. Nothing else but addicts tearing each other apart.”
“Let’s say that would do… for now”
“I’m in” said Ten finally discharging his phone aside “But this is not a hit and run mission, we need calm, okay?” he said looking at Yuta, especifically “And latex gloves… that’s a key”
“Okay, you all heard. And, newby…” Jaehyun looked at his leader, unraveling a grin with a tint of danger “...you are coming with us this time. You plan, you execute. The house’s rules”