“What’s that?” Yoongi startles on his seat, so caught off guard by the sudden noise somewhere from the back that he almost ends up kneeing Jimin in the gut. “Sorry,” Yoongi apologises, catching the surprised look on Jimin’s face – and the almost insulted one that he’s sure would have come had Yoongi actually gone and hit him.
Jimin rakes his fingers down Yoongi’s arm, purses his lip, and focuses his attention back on the boring movie, “Did you hear something?” He asks, a little distractedly (Yoongi hopes to god Jimin isn’t invested in this terrible excuse of a movie – it’s the same damn romantic comedy equation done the millionth time, and god, Jimin is invested in it already, if the all too eager look in his eyes is anything to go by – and the fact that he sounds like he’s not concerned at all that something just went bump at eleven twenty-eight in the evening.).
An uneasy, unsettling feeling washes over Yoongi. He can’t quite put a name on it yet, or the why of it, but it’s there, creeping over the edges. Like a predator just waiting for its prey to pounce. He ignores it, tries to push it back, and distracts himself by distracting Jimin from the godforsaken romantic comedy he’d been conned into watching.
Drawing closer to Jimin’s side, Yoongi fashions himself comfortably beside him, one arm absentmindedly playing with the fingers of Jimin’s hand. For now, Yoongi will be settled – he can forget about whatever noise that had been because Jimin’s hand is soft, and Jimin might have terrible taste in movies but that doesn’t mean Yoongi has to watch all of them together with him, which is why, forty seven minutes into the movie, Yoongi successfully manages to tear Jimin’s gaze away from the TV (and he didn’t even have to resort to pleading, just pinching Jimin’s cheek is enough for the other boy to snap his gaze away from the TV.)
The best friend and the second guy are about to battle it out in the movie, and Jimin is squirming on the couch, equally devastated to be missing his movie but at the same time all too eager to tilt his head up to meet Yoongi in a kiss, Yoongi’s hand already creeping under Jimin’s shirt, fingers splaying on the soft skin of his stomach.
“But the movie,” Jimin whines, dodging away from the kiss.
Yoongi knocks his forehead on Jimin’s shoulder and slumps weakly against him, “What about the fucking movie?”
“I’m watching it,” Jimin consoles Yoongi by rubbing small circles down his back. He even kisses Yoongi on the cheek once (very distractedly, if Yoongi has anything to say about it) before turning away from him.
“Come on,” Yoongi tries, tugging on the hem of Jimin’s shirt. He’s met with a roll of the eyes and a light squeeze around his shoulder.
“After,” Jimin appeases him by draping an arm around his shoulder and Yoongi takes what’s given for now. He doesn’t take it very quietly, though, because he huffs, a little bit frustrated, but what can he do, really? Jimin’s already back to focusing on the damned movie and Yoongi’s eyes are suddenly so heavy – is it getting late, did work completely knock him out, or is the movie just insanely boring? Whatever it may be (it could be all three, Yoongi doesn’t even care), Yoongi doesn’t fight it.
He’s not even aware that he’d fallen asleep until Jimin shifts from under him, the boy’s breath suddenly coming in quick – a gasp, Jimin’s shoulder stiffening.
“Hyung?” Jimin says quietly, his fingers digging gently into Yoongi’s sweater. “Yoongi, wake up,” Jimin tries again, his attempt at waking Yoongi up the second time a little bit more effective because Yoongi starts to stir.
His neck is a bit stiff and the static from the TV is eerie, as is the sudden quiet. It’s too quiet and Jimin isn’t saying anything else, but when Yoongi lifts his head off Jimin’s shoulder, he finds that the boy is pale, his eyes wide with shock.
“What?” Yoongi yawns, pushing himself off of Jimin. “Sorry I fell asleep, you have lame taste in movies,”
Jimin doesn’t even take offense, which is the first sign of something being very off.
“I think I heard something,” Jimin mutters, straightening up as well. He drops his arm from around Yoongi’s shoulders and starts to get up, only to be pulled back down on the couch, Yoongi’s fingers latching tightly around his wrist. “What?”
“Are you joking right now?” Yoongi’s brows furrow, his eyes narrowing suspiciously at Jimin who’s looking a little bit pale (and Jimin is never the type to lie to him, or orchestrate pranks that require massive acting skills for the sole reason of him not knowing how to act, like, at all, even for ten seconds). He rules the possibility of this being a prank out when the unsettling feeling (accompanied by a cold sense of dread that somehow manages to fit itself in the corners of Yoongi’s bones, like where did you come from, Dread and Terror?) dawns on him – and on Jimin, too, if the boy’s stiff shoulders and wide eyes are anything to go by.
Jimin shakes his head “no” but doesn’t make to move off of the couch, “I think a car just parked outside,” He does look over his shoulder, though, and reach his hand out to pull at the heavy curtains behind them. Yoongi follows his every move, and even when Jimin leans over the couch to pull at the curtain, Yoongi doesn’t let go of his hand.
It’s past midnight already and the static from the TV is not helping at all, also, why the fuck are all their lights off? What were they even thinking? Right, bed time, cuddles, kisses, bed time, not this, surely?
A palm slaps harshly against the window pane and Jimin lets out a shrill yell and stumbles back, falling off the couch and dragging Yoongi with him. They fall to the floor in a mess of limbs and a lot of cursing, mostly on Yoongi’s end. The slapping against the window doesn’t stop, and it’s only after ten seconds of complete silence on their part do they hear an all too familiar voice –
“I know you two are in there, I saw Jimin, and I hear Yoongi hyung, and fuck, fuck, let me in,” It’s Taehyung, his voice higher than usual, panicked, somewhat. “Let me in, let me in, let me in,”
Not five seconds after, incessant, loud knocking follows.
“It’s just Taehyung,” Jimin says, but he doesn’t sound very convinced, or even less scared (and Yoongi can finally put a name on the look on Jimin’s face, the wide eyes and the pale face, scared, freaked out, god, maybe even terrified?). Yoongi watches as Jimin starts for the door, steps short and his pace slow. He gets up, too, and follows quickly after him.
(Yoongi is definitely ignoring the sudden coldness that he feels, because this is all silly, it’s just Taehyung, probably drunk off his ass, yeah, probably.)
They both stop a few steps away from the door to watch, in silent shock (and obvious horror) as the lock clicks to an open, and the doorknob slowly turns. Yoongi’s hand quickly shoots out blindly after Jimin, his fingers clutching clumsily at the hem of Jimin’s shirt.
“What the fuck?” Yoongi whispers, eyes transfixed on the doorknob.
They should be calling the police or shit, because the door is opening and why the fuck is it opening when they’re the only ones with a key and they own the damn house, don’t they, so why the fuck is the doorknob turning, and why is Jimin frozen solid, isn’t he supposed to be putting all those extra hours at the gym to use? (Yoongi’s joking, of course, because he’d sooner run in front of a car than risk Jimin actually confronting a burglar, or worse, a serial killer. Or shit like that.)
The door flies open and two people stumble forward, their voices rising by the second. It’s only by the soft glow from the TV behind them that Yoongi manages to make out their features.
“Holy fucking shit,” Hoseok curses, slamming the door behind him to a close. He quickly locks it, triple checking by shaking the knob frantically before turning back to look at Yoongi.
“How the fuck did you even get in? Did you pick our lock?” Yoongi finally breathes a sigh of relief, his posture relaxing a tiny bit at the realisation that it had only been Hoseok and Taehyung, and not some mass murdering serial killer, or whatever, ghost, zombie, whatever –
Taehyung shakes his head, “No, no, Hoseok hyung has a key,”
At the mention of the said key, Hoseok brandishes it in Yoongi’s face, his grin smug. It’s a short lived little grin because Hoseok’s face falls and turns dark a second after, his voice low and expressing deep concern when he says, “Listen, listen, I was just about to park, yeah, cause I was closing at work, today, and literally the second after I unlocked the car, Taehyung climbs in, and it was a fucking heart attack, I tell you, I thought I was about to get robbed –“ Hoseok pauses to catch his breath, and in the dim light, Yoongi notices just how pale he’s gotten, too.
At least the colour has managed to slowly return to Jimin’s face.
“Are you okay?” Jimin asks, eyes flitting from Taehyung to Hoseok. “You two look like you’ve seen a ghost,”
The mention of a ghost has Taehyung laughing nervously, “No, no, not a ghost, but – “
“Let me finish my fucking story, god damn it,” Hoseok shoves Taehyung away and takes a step closer to Yoongi and Jimin, hands moving animatedly as he retells the story, picking up from where he’d left off –
Taehyung had apparently gotten into the car so quickly that he’d almost given him a heart attack. Didn’t even give Hoseok an explanation, had just yelled at him to drive, because, apparently, “Someone had been following him around the entire evening, and I was telling him that’s fucked up, why would anyone be stalking Taehyung, right? But then I saw it – him, her, it, whatever, in the rearview mirror. Just someone, a guy, I think, from the looks of it, standing a few cars back and looking directly at us, and hyung, I’m not even joking when I say how fucking terrifying that was,”
Which still doesn’t explain why the two had thought running to their place was a good idea, a thought Yoongi expresses with a little scoff.
“That’s stupid,” Yoongi says, trying to shoot the idea of a stalker (or a serial killer, his mind tells him) down. “And if it is true, then why the fuck are you here?”
Hoseok and Taehyung both shrug their shoulders, their sheepish smiles identical. It’s Hoseok who says, “Well, we didn’t know where else to go, and we wanted the company, just in case, you know,”
“Just in case it’s an actual serial killer on the loose,” Jimin supplies for them, his tone oddly contemplative.
Yoongi doesn’t like that tone because it means Jimin is completely buying into their story, which means he’s going to start getting scared, too, and Yoongi really can’t have that, not when Yoongi’s no better (but he won’t admit that, honestly, he’ll just square his shoulders and pretend that the doorknob suddenly turning hadn’t just sent his soul flying).
“Don’t be absurd,” Yoongi repeats, rolling his eyes. He reaches behind Hoseok and flicks the light switch on.
He tries again.
“You must be fucking with me,” Yoongi steps closer to the light switch, annoyance replacing the underlying fear and worry. “Didn’t we just have the TV on –“
A quick glance over his shoulder tells him that no, the TV isn’t even on anymore.
Jimin visibly swallows. “Is it a blackout?”
Taehyung is by the curtains, peering out into the street. “No, it doesn’t look like it. Your neighbour’s houses, they’ve all got their lights on,”
“We’re all going to fucking die,” Hoseok proclaims, pulling Taehyung away from the window.
A car flashes its lights as it drives by, and Taehyung squints at all of them from his place across the room.
“We’re not going to die,” Jimin tries to sound convinced, but Yoongi can tell from the tone of his voice that he’s (a lot) freaked out by the whole situation. “This is funny,”
“No, this isn’t funny,” Hoseok has his phone out and the flashlight on, and he flashes it harshly on Yoongi’s face. “Someone’s been stalking Taehyung the entire day and we drove here thinking we could crash for the night, but your place is deciding to do some haunted house exorcism shit, and I know you two have no problem with money and bills so the electric company didn’t just cut you off, so that only leaves us with,”
Hoseok doesn’t continue, and Taehyung is back to looking out the window, peering through the thin slip between the curtains.
Jimin steps closer to Yoongi, his fingers finding hold of Yoongi’s even in the dark. He slips his fingers in the spaces between Jimin’s and holds on to it, and allows himself to be tethered to the realest and safest thing right now.
“Don’t say we’re going to die, Hoseok, I swear to god,” And Yoongi would’ve followed through on his threat but before he even finishes it, Taehyung lets out a surprise little yelp, scrambling away from the window in surprise.
“What?” Jimin tugs on Yoongi’s hand, dragging him closer to where Taehyung and Hoseok are. “What the hell’s going on?”
Taehyung’s eyes are large, the harsh light from Hoseok’s phone making him look even more pallid, “I think I saw someone staring at us from across the street,”
“If this is your excuse of a prank, I’m going to bury you both alive,” Yoongi watches as Hoseok plops himself down on the couch, taking note of how Hoseok’s foot is tapping against the carpet (a clear sign of unease), his hands gripping his phone tightly. White-knuckled, almost.
It’s enough for Yoongi to calm down, if only slightly.
He settles a hand on Hoseok’s shoulder, gives it a squeeze, and then forces the younger boy’s head up to meet his gaze, “You can’t seriously believe someone’s out to get us,” He gives Hoseok’s shoulder another squeeze, this second time a little bit gentler. Whatever Hoseok had seen in the rearview mirror, it must have been something if he’s this shaken up about it.
“If I find out this is just a prank,” Yoongi warns again, but his voice is barely serious anymore. It’s not that obvious given the lack of lighting, but he’s smiling. Behind him, Jimin laughs (not that nervously anymore, too), and Taehyung shifts. “Who in their right mind would want to stalk Taehyung, anyway?”
“Plenty people,” Taehyung interjects, not at all helpful. “But he’s got a point,”
There’s quiet for a few moments, Hoseok’s sharp intake of breath the only sound in the night.
Yoongi hopes to god he’s not the only one in this room who thinks that whatever it is, it’s all just a joke.
He can’t even check to see if Jimin is looking shifty because of how damn dark it is, “But fuck’s sake, what’s up with the lights?”
“I told you,” Hoseok shrugs his shoulder, “Someone else is fucking with us,”
It’s Jimin’s turn this time to shoot that idea down, “It’s just a thing with the wires, probably, and you honestly don’t think someone would go through all this effort, unless,” He lets the word hang in the air between them, and just when Yoongi had thought Jimin had let go of the idea of some creepy, psycho murderer or stalker out on the loose, he comes back with this.
Blindly, Yoongi reaches for Jimin’s hand in the dark, and after a few seconds of groping at thin air, he finds it. It’s a bit clammy. “Babe, you’re not helping the situation,”
“Unless,” Taehyung echoes, a little bit late.
“Jesus fucking Christ, all of you,” This is getting so absurd already – the lights are off, electricity is down, Hoseok is as pale as a sheet, Taehyung is scared out of his wits, and Jimin’s no better. Yoongi’s about to go into another round of how all this isn’t possible, how it’s just all of them overreacting to some fucking shadow or something that Taehyung had mistaken as somebody, when a car horn blares loudly from the outside.
Without even thinking about it, Yoongi shoves Taehyung out of the way and makes his way to the window, annoyance clear on his face. This is hilarious and somebody’s version of a sick joke, because how else will you explain this kind of shit, really?
(And Yoongi definitely doesn’t think about two hours ago minutes before he’d fallen asleep. Cuddled on the sofa with Jimin and startling because of a noise, something falling dully on the grass – it had come from outside, now that Yoongi thinks about it.
Which is really why he shouldn’t be thinking about it, because it doesn’t help. None of them are helping, and if Yoongi starts jumping the stalker wagon, then that would mean no sane person would be left in this god damned room.
“What is it?” Taehyung looks over his shoulder, one hand clamped tightly around Yoongi’s elbow. “Hyung, is it – what’s going on?”
Drawing away from the windows and pulling the curtains shut tight, Yoongi shakes Taehyung’s grip around his arm and huffs, “Nothing, just an obnoxious driver,”
The lights are off and static fills the air. Hoseok is quiet on his seat on the couch and Jimin is unmoving, while Taehyung’s breathing is hard, coming in cold puffs.
Great, the heater’s down, too.
Just when Yoongi thinks this couldn’t get any more terrible, Yoongi hears it.
Soft padding of feet on the carpet and what sounds like something heavy being dragged in its weight.
Hoseok darts his light at Yoongi’s face, and Yoongi squints, scowling, “Who is that?”
Jimin is beside him in a second, fingers circling tightly around Yoongi’s wrist. “Not me,”
“Not me,” Taehyung choruses, voice oddly high pitched.
“Fuck,” Hoseok lurches off the couch and joins them by the window, his laugh coming out forced and fake, “That’s not me,”
“If that’s not us,” Jimin points out, his voice low and quiet, down to a whisper now that Yoongi has to strain his ears to catch, “Then who is it?”
The footsteps stop but they hear a creaking of floorboards – the only part of the house that isn’t covered with carpet are the kitchen and the small study room upstairs, and the footsteps had sounded faint, far away, which only means that whoever that had been, they’re upstairs.
“Is Namjoon here?” Hoseok asks because he wants to make sure, but he already knows the answer, knows that Namjoon had made it all too obvious the whole morning that he’d be out for the rest of the evening, dinner with Seokjin, or something, and god, who the fuck is that?
“No,” Yoongi doesn’t even know why he had to answer, but somebody had to point it out. “He’s out,”
“Oh – “
“Holy shit,” It’s Taehyung who curses because whoever it is upstairs, they’ve started moving again, this time not even concerned anymore of keeping quiet. It sounds like they’ve completely given up on the concept of quiet, but it doesn’t sound like they’re making their way to the stairs, which is good because the staircase is literally right in front of them, and they’d see, and why aren’t they calling the police, Christ?
“There’s a fucking stranger in the house,” Yoongi fishes for his phone in his pocket, cursing under his breath when he doesn’t find it. “And we’re not doing anything, somebody call people,” By people, Jimin had probably thought their other friends, because the next thing Yoongi hears is Jimin whispering furiously at Seokjin, asking him where he is and if he could please, please, please, hyung, come over right now.
Jimin pauses, brows furrowing, “What do you mean you’re already here? Where are you?”
“Here,” Seokjin’s voice pierces through the quiet, the calm obviously forced. “Your kitchen door is open,”
At that very second, Hoseok’s phone dies, the only light they had disappearing. Again, the room is basked in complete darkness. Yoongi would pull the curtains open just for the streetlamps outside, but who knows what that would bring?
No good, he decides.
“We locked it, didn’t we?” Yoongi makes his way to the front of the room to meet Seokjin right by the landing between the kitchen and the living room. “What do you mean it was open?”
“Hyung, we mean it was hanging open,” Namjoon emerges from the dark, his voice familiar and calm. Freaked out lies underneath his words, though, and Yoongi knows that he’s playing at nonchalance, would probably laugh at any second now, like, one, two –
There it is. Namjoon laughs, loud and booming, “We got a text twenty minutes ago from you, you said to come back home,” Taehyung flashes his light at their direction, and Yoongi breathes out slowly. With the light, it’s obvious just how strained Namjoon is, just how fake that laugh of his had been.
“I didn’t text you,” Yoongi realises only too late that the last time he’d seen his phone was just before dinner (he doesn’t point that out, though, because now there are six of them and all six of them are equally freaked out, and they really don’t need another reason to be freaking out even more, do they?)
“Where’s your phone?” Jimin tugs on his hand, the minute movement comforting to Yoongi.
He has to come to terms with it now that Jimin had asked, because avoiding the question would be bad, and Hoseok will panic even more, and Taehyung – Christ, that kid doesn’t stay still, does he?
His voice is low and quiet, and Jimin leans in even closer just to hear him when he says, “I can’t find it,”
All hell breaks loose at that.
Taehyung runs to the door and Hoseok quickly follows, the both of them slamming harshly against the wooden frame. Yoongi cringes inwardly and Jimin jumps, surprised.
“It’s locked,” Hoseok hisses, pulling at the doorknob.
When the two idiots start attempting to kick the door down, Yoongi yells, “Stop, stop, stop, fuck, don’t destroy the door,”
“But we’re trapped,” Taehyung yells back, frantic. “The door is locked and there’s no way out but the windows –“
“The kitchen door is locked, too,” Seokjin muses, joining the three of them by the front door. “We locked it when we came in, but now we can’t unlock it, and,”
Namjoon’s whole façade at normal and unconcerned shatters then, “And we can’t open it anymore, either,”
“The windows,” Jimin points at the living room windows, and Yoongi knows without even knowing how that that would be locked, too. “They’re locked,” Jimin confirms, voice hallow. “The windows are locked, too,”
Yoongi is done, at this point.
So done that he can’t help but laugh, high and shaky, “This is a fucking joke,”
“Shut up,” Namjoon hisses, the urgency ringing loudly and sending shivers down all their spines.
They hear it again, light footsteps and the floorboard creaking up on the second floor. There’s six of them and only one (possibly, nobody’s gone up to check and Yoongi doubts anyone will be willing to check, too) of whoever is up there, but here they are, rooted to their spots and their bones cold from the fear; ten minutes ago it had all sounded like a fucking joke, but now, trapped in a house with the windows and doors locked and no way out, Yoongi is starting to believe that something is indeed Very Wrong.
“Someone’s up there,” Seokjin whispers, taking a step forward. “There’s an intruder in your house, why hasn’t any of you called the cops yet?”
A shrug of the shoulder from all of them (and Yoongi has to divert his eyes away from meeting any of theirs in this dimly lit room, because for some reason, Yoongi has the vaguest and strangest idea that Seokjin and Namjoon hold him accountable for being lured into this death trap. Hey, it’s not Yoongi’s fault a fucking lunatic had managed to snatch his phone right from under his nose.)
A phone rings and they all pretend they didn’t just jump (Hoseok wants to reiterate that he didn’t scream, that’s absurd.)
“It’s Jeongguk,” Taehyung is surprised, a feeling he quickly shakes off before he answers his ringing cellphone. “Wait, wait, slow down,” Taehyung says, and in the dimly lit room, Yoongi can see the colour slowly draining from the younger boy’s face. “No, what the hell? Stay where you are – we’re all at Yoongi hyung’s place, but stay where you are, okay? And just wait for our call, we’re gonna call the cops, there’s someone upstairs and no way out – Okay?” A lot more mumbling and Taehyung constantly reminding Jeongguk to stay wherever he is, because barreling into this house won’t do him any good (would probably add to their number, but if it’s just one more scared boy, then Yoongi would rather he stay where he is. An overprotectiveness that comes from Jeongguk being the youngest, something that surprises Yoongi – not Jeongguk’s age, but the fact that Yoongi is somehow overprotective over that little brat, especially when all Jeongguk ever gives Yoongi is a headache.)
With a final “I’ll call again”, Taehyung ends the call and relays everything Jeongguk had told him – he’d stopped by Taehyung’s place but found it empty, and for forty minutes, all his calls had gone to voice mail. He’d gone home after ten minutes of waiting outside and did they need him, he had asked – because he can hop on a bus and catch up, and yes, hyung, it’s a bad idea, but I can’t just – okay, fine.
That had been that.
And like a cliché in a classic horror movie after a very important phone call to a friend and before an even more important phone call to the police, Taehyung’s phone dies.
“My phone is dead,” Taehyung states, voice deprived of its usual amusement. “Hoseok hyung’s phone is dead, too, and Yoongi hyung’s phone is in the hands of a possible axe-wielding serial killer,”
“There’s no such thing, fuckin’ Christ,” Yoongi pinches the bridge of his nose between two fingers, an effort at trying to keep his cool.
Jimin notices because he wraps his hand around Yoongi’s and holds onto it, hooks his chin on Yoongi’s shoulder and loops an arm around his waist, pulling him back against his chest. It’s hardly the right time to be cuddling, but this is Jimin, and Yoongi, if anything, is a fool for the boy.
“Hey,” Jimin whispers, lips brushing softly against the exposed skin of his neck. “D’you really think somebody’s upstairs? This could just be a joke,” His hold around Yoongi’s waist tightens, and Yoongi gives in to his touch, leans back, and closes his eyes.
Soft, warm, and comforting – a true constant and like a boulder out at sea, staying its ground and braving the harsh currents and waves, that’s Jimin. It’s always going to be Jimin, and even with a possible axe wielding murderer upstairs (fucking Kim Taehyung, he’d put the idea in Yoongi’s head), Yoongi will indulge him, put him first, and –
And this is exactly how couples die in movies. They either get too distracted together or are busy having sex at a god damned haunted house, which leads to the killer walking in and just slashing their throats – and god, that’s not a very pretty picture, is it?
“One way to find out,” Yoongi squares his shoulders, extracts himself out of Jimin’s hold, and takes the first step towards the stairs. “Let’s go,”
A panicked, frustrated noise erupts out of Seokjin – like he’s choking on air and sputtering out water, all at once. “But the cops,”
“My phone’s dead,” Hoseok says.
“Mine, too,” Taehyung adds.
“Mine is – “ Jimin glances down at the phone in his hand, widens his eyes, and then curses, “Just died,”
“Mine isn’t,” Namjoon takes his phone out of his pocket and, after exactly three seconds, blanches, “You’ve got to be fucking with me,”
A chorus of “what” rings around the room, only to be followed by a long string of curses from Namjoon and a very frustrated, “There’s no fucking signal, what the fuck is this?”
Seokjin gasps, Taehyung shrieks, and Hoseok cries (well, he doesn’t, but he might as well be crying because this is a terrible version of a joke and just what the fuck, honestly?)
Hoseok tries to rattle the doorknob, teeth biting down on his lower lip. “We’re going to die and Yoongi hyung is offering himself as sacrifice,”
“Shut up, shut up, shut up,” Namjoon raises a hand in the air, waves all the oncoming complaints from everyone – shoots down Yoongi’s dirty glare with an even dirtier glare – and then says, “Nobody’s going to die, Hoseok, and Yoongi hyung’s not a sacrifice,”
“He’s not?” Surprisingly, it’s Jimin who asks, sounding equal parts relieved and scared. With good reason.
“No,” Namjoon says, walking over to the staircase. “We’re all going upstairs.”
Which is why, after approximately seven minutes of climbing the stairs (agonisingly slow, each step taking a lot of coaxing from the boy behind him, Yoongi cursing after every minute, Hoseok refusing to take a step up, Taehyung not even moving, and Jimin just clutching onto the bannister.
Surprisingly, it’s Seokjin who pushes past everybody, leading the way upstairs and stopping when he finally gets to the second landing.) they’re all standing on the second floor and staring down a long and eerie corridor that shouldn’t even be eerie, because if the lights were on then all the picture frames lining the walls would be visible, and there’s nothing eerie about years of photos and memories plastered on these walls, especially when half of these photos are of all of Yoongi’s friends, making one ugly face after the other.
“Do you hear it?” Hoseok whispers, standing to the very back.
“I can’t hear myself think, you’re breathing too fucking loud,” Namjoon barks, a little bit too loudly because they all cringe at the sudden volume. “Sorry,” He apologises, this time in a whisper.
(“At least I’m still breathing,” Hoseok says under his breath.
Taehyung bumps their shoulders together, “For now,”)
In the span of only twenty short minutes, Yoongi has lost count of how many times he’s wanted to both laugh and cry, all at once. Twenty one minutes after he’d woken up and now Yoongi can add one more thing to that list – run at a window and just break through the glass, fall out the second story floor, and fall into the bushes, hope to god that there aren’t any skunks or thorns in their garden, and just hope for the best.
Of course, he rules all three of those out (and refuses to even think about it), because that’s not important, Yoongi isn’t scared, there’s six of them, and only one lunatic in the study at the other end of the second corridor to their left.
“You should’ve gotten a smaller house,” Seokjin mutters, if only for the comedic value (there’s no comedic value at all, Yoongi would like to tell him). “This house is like the, y’know,” He gestures vaguely (something Yoongi doesn’t even catch because it’s so fucking dark, and why had it been so damn convenient for all their phones to die at the exact same time, and for the damn signal to just get cut off like that?)
“A perfect setting for a horror movie,” Jimin provides very generously, leaning against Yoongi. “I’m just saying what everyone else is thinking,” In the dim light, Jimin catches Yoongi’s glare (and feels the pinch to his arm, too.)
Namjoon hushes everyone up at that moment (and Yoongi suspects that he had to resort to a little bit of foot stomping because Taehyung is wobbling around unsteadily but at least he’s finally quiet.)
“Let’s go,” Namjoon mouths, pointing down the second corridor with two fingers. He cocks his head to the side, meets Yoongi and Seokjin’s eyes for the briefest of seconds, and then starts.
Great, at least Namjoon isn’t a cowering mess throughout this whole ordeal (though Yoongi suspects that Namjoon just wants to get this over with, there’s six of them, after all.
Belatedly, Yoongi realises that none of them have any weapons whatsoever just in case the worst happens.
Wonderful, truly wonderful.)
They set off down the long corridor, Namjoon in the lead, Seokjin following close behind, Yoongi and Jimin walking beside each other with their hands held (is Jimin’s hand cold or is it cold because Yoongi’s hand is cold? Questions of the universe none of them have the time to contemplate and brood over, they’re sort of busy right now.), with Hoseok and Taehyung bringing up the rear (and possibly ready to bolt and maybe jump down the second story window if any of them are open. That’s not very reassuring, but given the fact that it had been the both of them who’d seen first-hand the stalker – axe wielding murder? Lunatic? Some bored teenager? Whatever, whoever it is – then their fear is reasonable.)
Standing outside of the last door at the end of the corridor, Namjoon stops just a few steps away from it, motions for everybody to do so, and then, very slowly, reaches his hand out to grasp at the doorknob.
This is it, this is the moment of truth. Taehyung’s stalker could be in there, an axe wielding murderer, a homeless person, a total lunatic, just somebody else who’d broken into their house, and they’re all either going to die or wake all their neighbours up with their screams; something’s going to happen once this door swings open, and Yoongi waits with bated breath and holds onto Jimin’s hand tightly (vice like, almost, but Jimin must be too freaked out, too, because he doesn’t even squirm away or shake his hand out of Yoongi’s.)
The door swings open the exact second that they hear soft knocking downstairs.
One, two, three, four soft knocks against the wooden panel of the door and –
And then a slamming of fists, harsh and loud, the sound flooding the whole house and sending them all in a frenzy.
Namjoon jumps away from the door – the room is empty; Seokjin stumbles back into Yoongi and Jimin, and Taehyung and Hoseok almost fall into each other at the sudden noise, Taehyung’ yelp an octave higher from his usual pitch.
There are many things about Kim Seokjin that would stir panic and concern in his friends, and Kim Seokjin cursing (in a rather vulgar way, too) is one of those things, “What the fucking fuck,” Seokjin hisses, twisting around to squint at the darkness.
Like a scene from an actual horror movie, all six of them stand as still and as quietly as they can, their breaths held, and their hearts beating like hummingbirds in their cages. They listen as the doorknob slowly twists open, and it’s so fucking quiet they can even hear the door creaking open, can hear the soft shuffling of boots against the entryway, and when the footsteps start, they can definitely hear that, too.
“How’d he get down there?” Namjoon whisper-hisses into Yoongi’s ear. He’s darting frantic looks over his shoulder, still unbelieving at how somebody could’ve moved from the study and then back down to the front door.
The study is empty but one of the windows hang open. When Seokjin darts his phone’s flash into the empty room, Yoongi can see his phone just beside his laptop.
Very quietly, Yoongi walks into the room, heart beating so damn loud he can hear his own blood rushing in his ears.
Unlocking his phone leads him instantly to his most recent message – a text message to Jeongguk asking him to come over right this instant. A reply the younger boy had sent two minutes ago says that he’s already on his way.
“Jeongguk’s on his way,” Yoongi slips his phone into the back pocket of his jeans and winces when he sees the looks of shock reflected in everybody else’s faces.
“At least you found your phone,” Hoseok says, rather weakly.
Seokjin shuts him up with a glare (and a very pointed, “Thank you, Hoseok,”).
“Do we have cell signal again?” Namjoon asks, scrolling through his phone. “Fuck, no, it’s gone again. Whoever it is, they’re jamming up the signal. What kind of fucking joke?”
Yoongi’s exact same thoughts, and judging by the look on everyone else’s faces, Namjoon isn’t alone in thinking so.
“And someone’s downstairs,” Taehyung walks back to the open door, peers out into the darkness, and is pulled back into the room when they hear it again – footsteps and the sound of wood creaking under somebody’s weight.
Someone’s climbing the stairs.
“Holy shit, holy shit, holyshitholyshitholyshit,” Hoseok isn’t even cursing anymore as he’s just chanting. He latches tightly on Namjoon’s hand, fingers digging into his skin, and it’s a show of how terrified he actually is because he doesn’t shake Hoseok off or even tell him to quit it or shut up.
Aside from the heavy footsteps, they hear the sound of metal clinking against metal.
“We need to get out of here,” Seokjin’s doing nobody any real favours by stating the obvious, but Yoongi keeps that little thought to himself (Seokjin’s already cursing, Lord knows what else he’s going to do if Yoongi decides to attack sensibility with snark. Possibly throw him over the stairs. Possibly.) “He went through the front door, if we could just find a way back down, then I’m sure – and I didn’t hear the door close, did you?”
“No,” Jimin says, voice small. “I didn’t,”
None of them did, which means that it’s still hanging open, which also means that they can still get out of here alive (hopefully, if they ever manage to duck out and away from the intruder who’s currently climbing the fucking steps and every second they waste just staring blankly into the darkness is a second wasted, god.)
“Okay,” Hoseok, despite being scared out of his wits, makes his way back into the corridor. “Let’s just – barrel down,”
It’s not the most brilliant of ideas Yoongi’s ever heard of, but who ever said they were a bunch known for brilliant ideas?
To say that they barreled down the corridor is an understatement because that’s not what happened. This is what had happened:
Hoseok takes a deep breath, clenches his fingers into a fist, and then runs.
Taehyung, seeing the sudden surge of energy, follows, but not before he trips on the carpet first.
Jimin hauls him back up to his feet and gets up from the ground only to start running again.
Yoongi gets a none too gentle shove on the back from a none too gentle Kim Namjoon, who hisses in his ear and tells him to get a fucking move on.
Seokjin brings up the rear, muttering under his breath about the whole inconvenience of this god damned house – it’s too big, the corridors too damn long and wide, it’s taking them forever to even reach the stairs, and –
And he stops abruptly in front of Namjoon, face hitting the back of the younger boy’s head.
Hoseok stands three steps away from the staircase while Taehyung grips tightly at the bannister, darting looks to his side at Jimin, the both of them contemplating just jumping.
Yoongi holds them back by pulling on the back of their shirts and yanking them both away.
From where he’s standing, Yoongi can see a man, hooded and his face masked in shadow – behind an actual mask, too, because there’s no way somebody could look like that (all twisted and grotesque, and this is happening, this is happening, they’re all going to die, and is that a -)
“It’s a fucking axe,” Hoseok actually shrieks, voice incredibly high pitched.
“How are we supposed to just barrel down – “ Taehyung points at the man by the second landing and then turns to look at Seokjin. “Hyung,”
Seokjin yanks Namjoon back by the hood of his sweatshirt and they both scramble away, running back down the corridor.
Hoseok backpedals straight into Yoongi, the both of them falling onto the floor with a loud and painful crash.
The boy runs right down the stairs so fast Yoongi wonders why he hasn’t tripped yet and –
And there it is.
Taehyung shoves harshly past the hooded man (and the axe, a fucking axe, he’s carrying a fucking axe, and centimeters away from him, he raises it, as if it’s his fucked up version of a greeting to Taehyung) and leaps down the rest of the steps. He’d overestimated the jump because he lands on the third step from the bottom, slips and falls down painfully on his ass (and then on his face).
“Holy shit,” Taehyung breathes out, eyes wild.
He looks over his shoulder at Hoseok and Yoongi, still on the floor, at Jimin, who’s seriously contemplating just leaping over the bannister, and then screams, “I’m going to call for help!”
And he’s gone.
Yoongi, Hoseok, and Jimin watch as Taehyung zips across the living room, tripping on the mess of shoes and slippers by the front door, before disappearing in the darkness.
No second left at all.
The hooded man starts to make his ascent, the heavy metal weapon in his hand swinging lightly, as if it weighed next to nothing.
“Don’t do it – “ Yoongi hisses, reaching out just in time to wrap his fingers around Jimin’s leg. “Don’t fucking jump, what the hell is wrong with you?”
Hoseok is yelling, and it’s hard to listen to Jimin’s explanation when Hoseok is a panicked little mess, scrambling to get up on his feet and damn near close to breaking through the window and jumping out into the night, too.
Yoongi manages to successfully drag the two of them away from the stairs. They run down the length of the opposite corridor, and for a split second, Yoongi wonders about Namjoon and Seokjin, wonders how they are, where they’d went, and why did Taehyung just leave them here like this?
“We need to get down,” Jimin is yelling right into his ear, and if Yoongi didn’t love him, then he would’ve yelled back, too.
Actually, Yoongi loves him enough to yell right back.
“How the fuck do you suppose we do that?”
Jimin pulls him by the elbow and the three of them stumble into a bedroom, Hoseok slumping weakly against the door as soon as it closes with a loud shut.
They’ve barely had five seconds to catch their breath when they hear it – a distinct yelp that sounds oddly like a certain Kim Namjoon (any other day and Yoongi would be ready to tease him to hell and back for screaming like that, but there’s literally an axe-wielding murderer roaming the second floor of their house, and they are going to die.)
“Why is this happening?” Hoseok could be crying, but maybe it’s the cold that’s causing the sniffling. “What the fuck did I do in my previous life to be subjected to this?”
Yoongi wants to know what he did wrong, too, but it’s too late for that.
“Open the door,” He whispers, pulling Hoseok out of the way. “It sounds like he went the other way,”
“What about Namjoon and Seokjin hyung?” Hoseok looks like he wants to stop Yoongi, but all three of them know that if they have to do anything at all, then it’s to find their way out of this damned house.
“We’re better off to them alive than dead,” Yoongi slowly opens the door, leans out, and then reaches his hand out for Jimin to take.
When Hoseok holds onto his hand, Yoongi rolls his eyes and groans, “Not you, my boyfriend,”
“Oh, right,” Both Hoseok and Jimin say at the same time, and Yoongi would have laughed if the situation permitted it, but it doesn’t, and really, he just wants to hold Jimin’s hand while they run across the house with a murderer on their trail, is that too much to ask?
“But,” Hoseok whines, tugging on the sleeve of Jimin’s sweater. “I don’t want to die,”
(“Alone,” He adds, under his breath.)
“Fine,” Jimin sighs, pulling Hoseok beside him.
Three grand idiots ready to run to their deaths with their hands held between them.
All they really need now is the sunset background setting, a powerful, hopeful score that will express just how willing they are to get through this whole ordeal, and flowers.
Too bad what they have right now is the chilling cold of the night and a spine-shivering terror, courtesy of their axe wielding murderer.
They’ll take what they can get.
“On the count of one,” Yoongi instructs, looking over his shoulder to meet their eyes.
He receives small nods and an even smaller okay, and without even another thought, Yoongi tugs on Jimin’s hand, takes the first step out of the bedroom, and says, “One.”
Holding hands while running might look idyllic and wonderful, especially when it’s a couple or just a bunch of happy people running into the sunset, with soft, slow music playing in the background, and the rest of their movements coming out in slow-motion.
Holding hands while running in the dark with a murderer in the house (on the same floor as the rest of you) isn’t as idyllic and wonderful, because there’s a lot of cursing and hitting each other, and it was just a bad idea, overall.
They all give up on it the second they reach the stairs, Yoongi dropping Jimin’s hand and Jimin extracting his out of Hoseok’s painfully tight grip.
They don’t hear Seokjin and Namjoon anymore, and Yoongi hopes to whatever deity that actually exists and is currently sitting pretty in the middle of the cosmos is paying attention, because he really, really doesn’t want his house haunted by his idiot friends, so if the deity could just do him a favour and maybe not kill his friends, thanks?
A door slams open behind them (and Yoongi cringes because this house is expensive and that impact would have left a fucking dent in the walls, Christ, think about the wallpapering) and Hoseok yelps.
“Move,” Yoongi hisses, hurriedly making his way down the stairs (and thinking about Taehyung the entire time. He makes sure to push any and all ideas of leaping straight down to the bottom landing out of his head, because look at what it had done to Taehyung – landed painfully on his ass, but he’s outside of the house and hopefully still alive, which is good, now that Yoongi thinks about it.
But still, there’s no way in hell he’s going to take a screaming leap of faith and just hurtle down the stairs only to fall painfully and maybe, possibly twist his ankle.
That would make running away from the lunatic with the axe impossible.)
Jimin and Hoseok are behind them, Hoseok screaming the whole way down now, indistinct, words Yoongi can’t quite figure out because they’re all mushed in between the long string of “fucks” Hoseok’s not running out of anytime soon.
Only too late does Yoongi realise exactly what Hoseok had been screaming about, “He’s after us!”
Yoongi makes the wrong mistake of stopping in the second landing of the stairs to look at Hoseok.
And yeah, he’s right, the hooded man is directly on their trail, and with the dim light (or none at all), Jimin fails to notice that Yoongi had stopped, which leads to a very painful fall, the both of them tumbling down the rest of the steps and falling very painfully onto the main landing, their heads knocking together.
Hoseok leaps over the both of them, yelling the whole time, and up above the second floor, Yoongi hears Namjoon screaming, “Jin, watch out –“
What happens next is something Yoongi will never be able to forget (okay, maybe it’s possible to forget, give or take a couple of days of sleep).
Taehyung’s back up on the second floor, and where Jimin had failed to see Yoongi, Seokjin had failed to anticipate Taehyung literally bulldosing down the stairs.
Namjoon watches, eyes wide and mouth hanging open, as Taehyung barrels straight into Seokjin, who bumps into their hooded assailant, and Yoongi and Jimin watch, from the foot of the stairs, as the three of them tumble down.
(Yoongi files the image away for next time, something to laugh at because not only had Taehyung slipped and fallen off the stairs, he’d done it twice, which is a comical occurrence, whichever way you might look at it.)
“Holy shit,” Namjoon hurries down the stairs, his stride careful because there’s no way he’s going to be adding another body in that painful pile of mess and bruises (like falling down the stairs is a walk in the park, it’s not. It hurts like a motherfucker and Jimin has a thick skull, and their foreheads knocking together had made Yoongi see bright white bursts of stars.)
Jimin manages to drag Yoongi away from the other three, the boy’s deft fingers clamping gently around Yoongi’s shoulders. He allows himself to be hauled up and as soon as he manages to get to his feet, Yoongi falls back against Jimin.
“Holy shit,” Jimin echoes, winding his arms around Yoongi’s chest in a back hug. A little bit less scared and a whole lot relieved. Through the thin layer of clothes separating them, Yoongi can feel the beating of Jimin’s heart – a loud thud. He can almost hear it, too.
By the foot of the stairs, Seokjin groans, and Taehyung rolls over to the side, coughing.
Namjoon joins the rest of them back on the first landing, the boy’s face pale. He blanches at the sight of the hooded figure, though, who’s desperately trying to wiggle out from under Seokjin and Taehyung’s legs, and –
Yoongi recognises it easily, as do the rest.
Suddenly, bright light fills the room and the TV hums softly back to life.
Hoseok stands just behind Yoongi, eyes completely wide and his eyebrows raised so high up Yoongi’s concerned they’re going to get lost in his hairline.
“Holy shit, is that – “ Hoseok sounds astonished, but underneath it, Yoongi can hear the small river of anger bubbling.
There are many ways Kim Seokjin can call your name –
When you’d spent the rest of the night drinking, wake up the next morning only to complain about the hangover, Seokjin will look over your poor soul, and say, his voice amused with no hint of concern whatsoever, “What did I tell you, Park Jimin?”;
When you finally get your midterms grade and yell out in surprise at the grade you’d gotten from that subject you thought you were going to fail, Seokjin will look over to you, smile proudly, give your shoulder a squeeze, and say, “Jung Hoseok, I knew you could do it.”;
When you break three of Seokjin’s expensive plates and then spill the expensive wine he hides from reckless hands like yours, he’ll look over at you, hopelessness clear in his eyes, pinch the bridge of his nose, shake his head, and just say, “What will I do with you, Kim Taehyung?”;
When you’d ran away from an argument, cursing and utterly helpless, but still knowing you’re in the wrong, Seokjin will lay a hand on your shoulder, force you to look up at him, and say, the smile on his face soft and tender, “Yoongi, you need to go back home.”;
And when you stumble home after a particularly bad day, spent and tired, Seokjin will pull you into a hug, hide his smile in your shoulder, and say, “Welcome home, Namjoon.”, his voice gentle and welcoming.
When Seokjin rips back the hood and snatches the mask off of the intruder, the way he says, “Jeon Jeongguk,” is so bone-chilling and terrifying that all five of them are thankful at that very second that it wasn’t them at the receiving end of such a cold tone.
Jeon Jeongguk emerges out of the baggy black sweatshirt, hair a mess, and a very pained expression on his face.
“Fuck, that hurt,” Jeongguk curses, pushing Taehyung off of him.
He seems to have forgotten where he is, because Jeongguk’s movements are slow, the boy even taking the time to dust at his pants and fix his shirt. When he finally finishes, he looks up, meets all of their gazes one by one, and then offers them a smile, his grin wide and utterly feral, “Hi, hyung,”
Behind him, Namjoon picks up the axe he’d been carrying around, and blanches, “This is a real axe. It’s fucking real, what the fuck, Jeongguk?”
Jeongguk’s grin transforms from feral to angelic all in a span of seconds, and any other day they would have let it go (they’ve all got a weak spot for the little idiot, however regretful it may be), but not tonight.
“What the fuck?” Yoongi repeats, taking a step forward.
“Happy April Fools’?” Jeongguk provides, his smile sheepish.