It starts with a loud bang, followed by the all-too familiar sound of explosives going off, loud and deafening as it screeches through the commlink, and Yoongi knows they're definitely fucked.
Through the building's surveillance system, Yoongi can see the aftermath of the explosion — the rubble and strewn debris, the shattered windows, the thick smoke billowing out and blanketing most of the security cameras. Yoongi flits his gaze from the array of monitors he'd set up earlier and frowns when he realizes that some of the screens have already died out while the remaining few have started flickering on and off. Still, Yoongi deals with what he has in hand, vigilant of even the slightest movement that the surveillance may catch.
"You okay?" Yoongi asks.
The transmission is silent for a while and Yoongi's about to get worried when he suddenly hears a faint rustle from his earpiece, followed by— "Still alive and kicking, hyung." His voice is hoarse, scratchy, and Yoongi swears he hears Jeongguk faintly cough at some point in the background.
"Good. Now, I need you to get your ass out of there," Yoongi says. They don't have much time; roughly seven minutes left before security manages to round up the floors and block all their possible exits. "Continue walking and then turn right when you reach the end of this floor. There’s a fire escape fifteen meters ahead, on your left," he instructs into the mic.
The red dot blinking on the grid indicates Jeongguk’s position and Yoongi watches as it keeps on moving, as Jeongguk makes his way down the hallway of the 4th floor and eventually comes into the picture of another camera. Jeongguk manuevers his way through seemingly endless corridors, before he finally reaches a corner and turns left as per Yoongi's instructions.
Yoongi curses under his breath when the movement from one of the other cameras catches his attention. Shit. "Make it fast, you've got company. Three guards. All armed."
Yoongi sees him nod before Jeongguk takes off to deal with them. Once within shooting range, Jeongguk draws his own pistol from its holster — the very same one that Yoongi has coded to his palm print so only Jeongguk can use it — and snipes one of the guards neatly between the eyes. He picks the other guard off with a round to the shoulder, before kicking his gun away and finishing the last one off with a straight bullet to the head.
The red dot continues to cut a frantic line through the map on Yoongi's screen as Jeongguk resumes his search for an escape. "There's a black car parked at the west gate of the building. Hoseok and Taehyung are already waiting there." The clock's still ticking — two minutes and thirty seconds. "Thumb drive still safe with you?"
"Yeah. We'll send the files to HQ and have them thoroughly checked."
Yoongi manages to give a short response and is about ready to sign off when Jeongguk's voice filters through his earpiece once more. "Hyung?" It can entirely be Yoongi's imagination, but he thinks Jeongguk sounds deeper and huskier than just a few moments before. "I'll see you soon."
At his words, Yoongi can't help but sigh. It sounds a bit like a promise, and the tension bleeds out of his shoulders at the knowledge that Jeongguk and the others will make it back safely. "Yeah. Try not to get any more injuries on your way out."
The transmission goes quiet after that and Yoongi is momentarily left with nothing but white noise in his earpiece. He clicks on one of the programs on his laptop then and, immediately, it sets off the bomb Taehyung had planted on the far most eastern side of the building. Yoongi keeps an eye on the monitors before him, watches as the remaining guards scramble and locate the source of the explosion. It'll probably take them ten minutes tops to investigate Yoongi's distraction — maybe seven, if they're not too stupid to activate the other bombs Taehyung had left behind.
There. That should give Jeongguk and the others enough time to slip away without anyone tailing their car from behind.
He spends the remaining of his time putting out fires. Yoongi's fingers fly over the keyboard as he taps away and hacks into the security cameras, erasing any and all traces of Jeongguk’s presence as quickly as he can.
It doesn’t take long before everything’s cleared out and Yoongi slumps into his chair, exhausted. It's not exactly the most clean-cut mission he's ever handled, but they've managed to acquire what exactly they were after — a couple of highly classified documents on nuclear war defenses that would've been up on the black market if not for their interception — so Yoongi supposes he can still consider this as a success.
Maybe, if they can willfully disregard the fact that Jeongguk almost blew his cover halfway through completing the mission and barely escaped unscathed. Not to mention, the kind of damage they've caused on public property that obviously needs to be covered up once media gets wind of this (and they will, they always will).
Yoongi groans, runs a frustrated hand over his face. He's definitely not excited with the prospect of seeing Seokjin for his debriefing next week.
It's not going to be fun, that's for sure.
It all started with a rumor, one that easily circulated within their division because the people Yoongi worked with day in and day out couldn't keep their mouths shut about anything even if they tried — and, really, most of the time, they didn't.
Somebody new was being transferred from another branch, they said. Personally handpicked and invited by Seokjin himself, they said. Young and handsome and quite possibly one of the best and the brightest field agents the organization had ever recruited, they said.
Admittedly, there were a lot more things Yoongi had heard during the past week — so much more than Yoongi would ever care to know, most probably — but he had all but brushed them off and didn't listen to a single thing. Yoongi had never been one to believe in hearsay unless he'd seen and proven them with his own two eyes, so when he first met Jeongguk, Yoongi wasn't really sure what to expect.
Yoongi had come in with the sole intention of filing in the report of his latest mission, definitely not one he was looking forward to because explaining why he'd found the need to leave his post and go into the field to save another agent's ass when it clearly wasn't part of the plan was really a conversation he wouldn't mind having ever, when Seokjin called him up.
When he walked through the door and saw someone else — someone new, young and handsome and, quite possibly, one of the best and the brightest field agents the organization had ever recruited — sitting on one of the plush chairs inside Seokjin's office, Yoongi couldn't help but raise an eyebrow in curiosity.
"Take a seat, Yoongi," Seokjin said. Yoongi knew Seokjin's never been one for stiffling formalities but hearing his name easily rolling off Seokjin's tongue like a familiar syllable still caught Yoongi off-guard, somehow, even up to this day. Yoongi did as he was told, taking the only vacant seat in front of his desk.
At first, Yoongi thought he'd get another one of Seokjin's usual lengthy lectures about the importance of smiling and exerting a little more effort into being more personable for the team. Or, more likely, a directive that he’s being relocated to another division since the latest field agent Yoongi was partnered with had, apparently, requested to be reassigned, just like the few others before him have.
What Yoongi got, however, was this: "I'm assigning you your new agent, Yoongi."
Yoongi expected someone else, maybe another person to walk in through that door and come join them, but nothing of that sort happened. It took him quite a moment to catch on and, when he finally did, Yoongi felt like he was in on the biggest joke of the century. Yoongi turned to incredulously stare at the boy — young man — whatever — sitting right next to him, eyes wide and disbelieving as he quickly took in the features of his future partner: high nose, plump lips, bold eyes.
The guy was staring at Yoongi in return. There's an unspoken challenge in his gaze that Yoongi could easily recognize anywhere.
"Okay, so what's the damn punchline?" was all Yoongi could say because, honestly, was this some kind of joke? This kid didn't even look old enough to drink!
Yoongi could see the exact moment the guy went from barely holding himself back to full-on defense mode. "Is there a problem?" he asked. His mouth was tight and determined, chin jutted out in defiance.
"First of all, I'm pretty sure I'm a lot older than you, so it would do you good to have some manners," Yoongi said, teeth gritting in annoyance. This brat. "Second, are you sure you're in the right place? You look like you're not even out of high school yet."
Seokjin spoke up before the kid could even get his tongue to work. "Yoongi," he simply said. He appeared calm, not even the slighest bit ruffled, but Yoongi could clearly hear the distinct undertone of warning in his voice. "This is Jeongguk and you're going to be his handler from now on."
"Why me?" The question slipped right out of Yoongi's mouth before he could even have the chance to consciously ponder over it. "Why not Namjoon? Or someone else?"
Seokjin only leveled a look at him. "Because Namjoon has Jimin, and it won't make any sense to separate them when they're clearly working well enough together."
Yoongi grimaced because, while that's nothing but a hundred percent true, it was obviously quite a sensitive subject to touch for Yoongi. Ultimately, that was the problem, wasn't it? No one could stand Yoongi and how he'd deal with things sometimes. He was intimidating, rough, ruthless with his words — there was always one reason or another why an agent would rather be relocated to another department, reassigned to someone else, than have Yoongi as their handler. Hell, Yoongi couldn't even remember the last time he had a permanent field agent under his care.
Seokjin must have also sensed his mistake in bringing it up; he threw an apologetic look at Yoongi and sighed. In all the years that Yoongi had worked under him, there was always one thing that Yoongi both loved and hated about Seokjin: he'd always been too damn perceptive when it came to his operatives.
"I believe in you, Yoongi. And I know I'm making the right decision to put Jeongguk under your capable hands," Seokjin said with confidence. Too much confidence, Yoongi thought with a scoff. "You might not realize it now, but this can be something good for you and Jeongguk. Maybe both of you can learn a thing or two from each other."
Yoongi would bet his life that there wasn't even the smallest chance of that happening, not even in the foreseeable future. It was ridiculous, and Yoongi would've already snorted out loud if it wasn't for the fact that he was practically sitting in front of his boss. Truthfully, he could stay here and defend his stance about this partnership being one of Seokjin's many Terrible Decisions, but Yoongi would really rather not. He'd wasted enough time as it was. There were much more worthwhile things for him to do on his downtime. Like sleeping.
When Yoongi shifted his glance in Jeongguk's direction, he was a little surprised to find him already looking back at Yoongi. His gaze was intent, calculating, unwavering. It wasn't something articulately expressed, but Yoongi knew he and Jeongguk shared the same sentiment with each other, if his pinched tight lips and rigid posture throughout their short meeting were any indication.
At least they're on the same page.
"I'll be depending on you from now on. Please take care of me," Jeongguk eventually said. And then, as though a belated thought, he added, "hyung."
"Yeah. Me too." His response was a little lackluster, but Yoongi supposed that would have to do.
Seokjin only looked at them, and it didn't even take him more than two seconds to figure out what was really happening. He sighed. "At least try not to give your teammates too much trouble by killing each other on or off a mission, alright? I'm not too keen on explaining myself to my superiors why I'm suddenly short of two excellent agents in the near future."
Well. Yoongi could try, but he absolutely couldn't promise.
When Yoongi's finally buzzed in, the first thing he notices is the frown of distress on Seokjin's brow. He's sitting behind his desk like usual, glasses perched high on his nose as he rummages through a thick folder with a rather intense kind of concentration. It's a sight Yoongi has gotten so familiar with in the years that he's been working under Seokjin and, yet, it still manages to draw curiosity out from Yoongi all the same.
Yoongi lets himself slump down into the comfortable leather seat opposite him. It should be enough to rouse Seokjin from whatever daze he's caught himself in — but, surprisingly, it isn't. Seokjin doesn't even look up nor does he stop from thumbing through the numerous files on his desk, too preoccupied on whatever he's reading. Up close like this, it's easy to see how tired Seokjin is, his shoulders a little more slumped than usual, the shadows under his eyes a little darker. Yoongi briefly wonders if Seokjin even sleeps properly these days.
Yoongi raps his knuckles against Seokjin's desk and, almost immediately, the sound has Seokjin clutching at his heart and jumping a mile high on his seat. Yoongi shakes his head; if he wasn't so terribly jetlagged right now, he probably would've found amusement at the look of surprise written all over Seokjin's face.
"Yoongi," Seokjin says, stunned, as though he's only just registering the fact that Yoongi's in his office. "When did you get here?"
"A few minutes ago. You were pretty busy reading, probably why you didn't even hear me come in." Yoongi squints. "Is that a report on our last mission?"
It's a little funny how Seokjin's expression immediately shifts into one of resigned satisfaction as soon as those words leave Yoongi's mouth. "It's not, but good job on your latest assignment. We had to think of a plausible excuse to cover up the kind of damage you caused on public property, but good job all the same."
Yoongi makes a face. Taehyung's affinity for blowing things up is slowly but surely rubbing off on him. In Yoongi's defense, though, he had triggered most of the explosions just so Jeongguk and the rest of the team could escape without anyone else following them.
"However, I didn't exactly call you up here for your debriefing." Yoongi's brows draw up in a fleeting moment of curiosity. "I want you to take a look at this." Seokjin slides a folder across his desk, placing it right in front of Yoongi to read.
"A new mission?" Yoongi asks, somewhat confused. Not that he minds, of course; for Yoongi, anything that keeps him occupied is good. It doesn't, however, change the fact that it's rather unexpected, considering it hasn't even been a full day since his plane landed in Seoul and he's not supposed to be assigned on a new assignment just yet. Everyone knows that agents get at least three days, even a week at most, of downtime before their next operation — something about ensuring an individual's optimum mental health and situational awareness in the field — but Yoongi's barely halfway through one.
"Two years ago, we got a tip off about a bunch of strange activities going on in North Korea. Of course, as soon as the Intel came in, the government got all up in arms and started an undercover investigation," Seokjin starts. "We were able to catch some of the small fish, but none of them would really talk. And if they did, we couldn't pull anything useful from them. A whole year went by and not a single supporting evidence was found to prove that North Korea was planning an attack. Eventually, the operation hit a dead end, swept under the rug and forgotten."
Yoongi looks up from the report he's been skimming when Seokjin hands him another one to read through. It's much shorter this time, a little more eclectic than the first. "Just lately, we've received an interesting report from some of our agents residing in the North — it seems like the daughter of the head of military is planning a trip to Russia in a few weeks. And while that may not sound like a big deal, our agents also confirmed a fancy socialite ball that will be happening there during the time of her vacation."
Ah, there it is. "And you think there's a larger scheme behind this? That it's more than a simple socialite ball?"
The knowing smile that immediately pulls the corners of Seokjin's lips is pretty telling; Yoongi doesn't really need anything else to confirm his suspicion. "We both know it's not always just a simple socialite ball, Yoongi."
And, of course, Yoongi knows. In his line of work, it's pretty foolish and careless to take anything at face value. The last time he and Jeongguk had gone undercover at a charity event — certainly not as fancy and ostentatious as a ball but still just as good as an avenue for exposure — they'd discovered a ton of illegal firearms smuggled into the storage room where most of the dry ingredients were being kept.
Yoongi's eyes scan through the documents again. The signs are definitely there: profiles of the daughter, a young beauty by the name of Bae Suzy, a guestlist which boasts some of the biggest and most powerful people both in the military and the government. They aren't too hard to miss because Yoongi's seen them all before in his past missions, can practically recognize them with just a glance.
"It hasn't been confirmed yet but Intel says this might be a big haul," Seokjin continues, catching Yoongi's attention again. The almost unnatural sternness of his voice is enough to clue Yoongi in on the severity of what he's about to involve himself in. "Don't screw this up, Yoongi. I need our best men there and, well, that's you and Jeongguk."
Their first official mission together should've been an easy one: get inside the building, hack into the main server and have Yoongi intercept the virus from the outside, get out in one piece with zero civilian casualties involved.
It should've been one hell of a cakewalk, really, because Yoongi had dealt with the same kind of assignments in the past and had always managed to finish them with no mishaps or fuck-ups. There was absolutely no reason why it should be any different now, not when Yoongi had planned everything like he always did — carefully, meticulously, taking into consideration every single thing that could possibly go wrong during the entirety of their mission.
Unfortunately, Yoongi had overlooked one crucial flaw in his otherwise flawless plan: his new partner. Who, much to his frustration, turned out to be an even bigger surprise than Yoongi had initially thought (more like, an even bigger pain in the ass, honestly).
They were sent to New York after the agency received intelligence about a sophisticated strain of malicious software currently running on a large-scale server. Apparently, the virus was tailor-made to attack specific financial institutions and already infected more than a million computers worldwide, enough to steal an absurd amount of money in people's online bank accounts.
It gave Yoongi all the more reason to finish the mission as soon as they could, knowing one more day of slacking meant a few more millions being stolen under people's noses.
Yoongi steadily kept his eyes on the screen as Jeongguk navigated his way towards the main server room. It's empty, just as Yoongi had predicted it would be at this time of the night. Jeongguk then went up to one of the computers and plugged the thumb drive into a data port, letting Yoongi do the rest from here on out.
"The thumb drive is in," Jeongguk announced. Once the firewalls were down, a window full of scrawling code popped up immediately. Yoongi didn't waste a second and decrypted the commands surrounding the virus, lines and lines of data spooling out on the screen as Yoongi worked and took it down with almost minimum effort. In, literally, two minutes or less, the malware was gone, and so were the rampant malicious activities of the threat.
"Done. Good job," Yoongi said. He kept a watchful eye on Jeongguk as he removed the thumb drive from the port, as he retraced his steps and listened to Yoongi spill out directions into his ear.
Yoongi felt a presence sidle up next to him and didn’t have to look up to know exactly who it was. "For a first mission, you two sure are doing well together," Namjoon said, settling on the desk next to Yoongi with two mugs in his hands. Yoongi grabbed one without looking when it was extended to him, mentally promising to himself to treat Namjoon one of these days just for his generosity.
He wouldn't openly admit it if anyone asked but — yeah, sure, Yoongi could say he was a bit impressed with how quick they were able to stop the virus, given their limited time to complete the assignment. It hadn't even been that long since Jeongguk infiltrated the building but, now, he was already on his way out, with most of the security personnel still walking their usual layout and almost giving Jeongguk a hassle-free escape.
So far, everything was going smoothly.
Too smoothly, perhaps, that Yoongi should've known it could all go to shit at any given second.
Yoongi looked up at his screen, just in time to see a new notification flashing red. "You’ve got five coming in from the left entrances," Yoongi spoke into his microphone, watching as the heat sensors displayed an alarming horde quickly converging on Jeongguk's position. "If you slip out from the right entrance now, you’ll probably go undetected. Turn around and move back about fifty feet—"
"You said this was the quickest route," came Jeongguk's voice in his earpiece.
Yoongi continued to search the small monitors, unfazed. "I know what I said, but I also know it's pretty idiotic to head straight into danger when we obviously have other options." Yoongi busily typed on his keyboard while scanning Jeongguk's feed. There weren’t nearly enough cameras to cover all the blind spots, and the heat sensors could only do so much to help him. "Hold on, I'm trying to find you a detour route."
For a moment, there was unsettling silence on Jeongguk's end. It was probably a bit naive to think that Jeongguk finally had the sense to keep his mouth shut and listen to Yoongi's instructions. So when Jeongguk spoke again, his voice startling Yoongi out of his concentration, Yoongi quickly realized how wrong he'd been.
"We don't have time for this."
Yoongi didn't even have a second to ask what he meant; Jeongguk was already drawing his gun just as Yoongi was about to open his mouth, his other hand reaching up to take hold of his earpiece.
"What are you—" There’s a distinct rustle as Jeongguk took it out and harshly thrusted it into his pocket.
When a door broke down and two shots suddenly rang out, Yoongi's first instinct was to stare at the monitor, open-mouthed. His second was to frantically tap away at his keyboard and locate any speaker within hearing range so Yoongi could shout at Jeongguk in full volume as he simmered in anger.
"Are you out of your goddamn mind!" Yoongi raged, even though he knew fairly well that Jeongguk couldn't hear him. The radio’s still on and, while the noise was a little muffled, he could still hear quick, loud footsteps, followed by the familiar sound of gunfire as each shot was made. There were people shouting and moaning in pain right after, as faint as they were, and Yoongi couldn't do anything but watch and listen and hope against hope that Jeongguk wouldn't be the next one to drop.
Everyone in the same room as him stopped with their own work to stare dumbly at the screen, feeling just as shocked and helpless as Yoongi. Even Namjoon, who would usually nod and sympathize with Yoongi and all his handler woes if only because his own field agent had the tendency to give him a fucking heart attack whenever Jimin's on (or off) the field, could only sit there beside him and gape, watch everything unfold with wide, disbelieving eyes.
And Yoongi — Yoongi just stood in the midst of it all, still angry and shaking and powerless. This was seriously a whole new level of ignorance and recklessness. Yoongi couldn't believe he had to deal with a partner — a kid — who possessed a shitty measure of danger for his next future missions.
It didn't take a while before the noise finally died down, Jeongguk's labored breathing now filling his ears. A glance back into the room showed Yoongi a sight that wasn't at all foreign to him by now: a couple of wounded bodies sprawled across the floor, bloodied, unmoving. Yoongi, feeling as though he just aged ten more years within the hour, collapsed on his chair and let out an exasperated sigh.
"Is there anyone else coming or am I good to go?" Jeongguk asked after a few beats.
Yoongi looked at the monitors before him. The heat sensors showed no one approaching and stats told him they still have enough time left before the rest of security could pinpoint the exact location of the scuffle that ensued earlier. Jeongguk's in the clear.
For now, at least.
"Your exit is down the corridor to your left," Yoongi said, pinching the bridge of his nose with cold fingers. "Try not to stupidly throw yourself in harm's way again or I'll kill your fucking ass myself once you get back here."
Somehow, Yoongi swore he could hear the smirk on Jeongguk's face through his voice. Jeongguk's just lucky Yoongi took the high road and ignored it.
Yoongi is so close to losing it.
He’s been stuck at HQ for a full week now, napping on nearly every flat surface in the office in between constantly reviewing the files Seokjin has given him and devising plan after plan after plan for their mission. Sure, Yoongi's pretty known with his tenacity and adeptness when it comes to work, but it's never been this bad before. Yoongi can't even remember the last time he's closed his eyes without seeing his blueprints plastered to the back of his eyelids.
Clearly, he needs a drink and he needs it now.
"Hyung? You're here?"
Yoongi slightly lifts himself off the couch where he's currently sprawled on and sees Namjoon staring at him from the doorway, a confused look painted on his face. Yoongi grunts. "Where the hell did you expect me to be?"
"At your flat? Sleeping on your bed?" Namjoon answers, the 'duh' in his tone unmistakable. "When was the last time you even went home?"
Yoongi purses his lips, not because he's trying to figure out when, exactly, was the last time he even left his office, but because he actually knows it's been a while since he did and he doesn't really want to give Namjoon the satisfaction of letting him know he's right. Everyone who's somewhat close with Yoongi knows that he's not much of an outdoors kind of person, but he's literally holed himself up in his office for days now that he can't remember what the sun looks like anymore or what it feels like to have the wind brush his skin.
Namjoon strolls inside the office as though Yoongi's invited him in, even plops down and occupies the little vacant space by Yoongi's feet. "Okay, you know what, scratch that — when was the last time you even cleaned yourself up, hyung? You're still wearing the clothes I saw you in three days ago!"
Alright, so it's also been days since he last took a bath. But who the hell cares, right? It's not like Yoongi goes in and out of HQ to smell good for anyone. "Piss off, Joon-ah," Yoongi drawls. He follows it up with a soft, half-hearted kick against Namjoon's thigh for good measure.
Namjoon just laughs. "Do you need me to drag your ass back to your flat?" He wraps his fingers around Yoongi's ankles, and Yoongi's just a tad bit alert to try and free himself from Namjoon's grip. "Because you know I will. I've done it before and you know I can easily do it again, hyung."
It takes Yoongi a whole minute of useless struggling to know that Namjoon is actually damn serious with his threat. Any other time and Yoongi would've easily terrorized Namjoon with a bigger threat of his own, maybe even kicked him out of the couch and forced him out of his office, but Yoongi's tired and sleepy and frustrated as hell right now. The exhaustion is rooted so deep in his bones that Yoongi would much rather spend what free time he has lying motionless on the couch instead of, well, basically doing everything else but that.
"Can't go home yet," Yoongi mumbles. There are still things he needs to do, blueprints to finalize, codes to decrypt — going home does sound heavenly, but Yoongi knows he can't really afford to slack off. Not when the weight and significance of this mission is a lot heavier than all the ones he's managed to handle before. "I could definitely use a drink or two, though."
That earns Yoongi a raised brow from Namjoon. "Right now?"
"What better time to get completely wasted than today," Yoongi says in lieu of an answer. Sluggishly, Yoongi hoists himself up from the couch with a slight groan. Stretches a bit to release some of the tension in his body. Levels a look at Namjoon right after. "And you're coming with me."
To Yoongi's surprise, Namjoon lets himself be tugged out of the building and into the streets without much protest. Usually, Yoongi would hear a thing or two about poisoning and intoxication and how alcohol abuse can lead to erectile dysfunction and infertility, hyung! and all the other health-related bullshit Namjoon liked to spew at him whenever Yoongi so much as mentioned drinking or going out.
Today, however, Yoongi gets none of that.
Today, Namjoon just tries to match Yoongi's pace as he walks beside him, silent and brooding, completely the opposite of what Yoongi has expected him to be tonight. He hasn't uttered a single word ever since they've stepped out of HQ and Yoongi would've gotten concerned about Namjoon's sudden somberness if he didn't know Namjoon as long as he did.
Yoongi doesn't really care much either way, honestly — he hasn't had a proper nap in over forty hours now, and if Namjoon does start lecturing him again, Yoongi can probably pass off his educational speech as a lullaby droning in Yoongi's ear. The awful kind of lullaby maybe, but still a lullaby all the same.
It doesn't take them long before they reach the bar. The place is nothing big or fancy; just a humble establishment they've always frequented even back when they were still young and bumbling newbies in the organization. It's a bit empty, with only a few patrons occupying the seats at this time of the night.
Eventually, they decide to settle by the bar, sitting side by side with their ties loose and suit coats thrown over the back of their chairs. The bartender asks for their orders just as soon as they've settled and only takes a little while before he comes back with two glasses of whiskey, one for each of them to take. Gingerly, Yoongi lifts the glass to his lips, unable to mask his grimace as the liquid burns its way down his throat.
Yoongi swirls the drink in his glass, watching the ice cubes tumble into the whiskey then bob to the surface. At the corner of his eye, he can see Namjoon sitting beside him, looking decidedly more relaxed this time around. "Something up?"
Namjoon only spares Yoongi a momentary glance before he takes a big, hearty gulp of his own drink. And then— "What do you mean?"
"You're usually not this quiet when I'm around. Always have something deep and philosophical to say or talk my ear off about." Yoongi snorts because it's true. And Namjoon seems pretty guilty of that as well, if the shake of his head and the rueful smile on his lips are any indication. "You didn't even stop me from drinking tonight so that's definitely something." Silence still drifts between them. Not even a single attempt to discredit Yoongi's words. "Is it Jimin? Did the little shit give you a heart attack again?"
Jimin is Namjoon's partner — has been his partner ever since Yoongi can really care to remember. Unlike Yoongi, Namjoon has only been assigned with three people in the past before Seokjin paired him up with Jimin to work on a classified mission in Sicily. In the end, they've managed to get the job done with a resounding success, even got along well enough with each other that Seokjin didn't hesitate to assign them with three more assignments after that. The rest is history, as they say, and they've been pretty much inseparable ever since.
Yoongi would've thought he'd gotten his hunches wrong if he didn't catch the sudden flicker of emotion on Namjoon's face. Bingo.
Namjoon laughs, a tired sound ringing under his breath. He leans back on his chair — practically collapses on it, as though something other than exhaustion and lack of sleep is wearing him down. "You know him, always seems to attract danger because of his pretty face."
Yoongi hums, then tosses his drink back for another gulp. It burns a little less this time and creates a pleasant warmth in his middle. Yoongi doesn't ask Namjoon to elaborate; he knows Namjoon will, eventually, if and when he decides to do so.
Yoongi doesn't really need to wait that long. "He almost got busted in our last assignment," Namjoon starts, jaw tensing as he recalls how their plan had looked so perfect and seamless from the get go. How Jimin had easily, too easily, charmed the pants off their target with his sweet-talking and flirtatious glances and a few wayward touches here and there. The operation had been running smoothly — at least until Jimin had stopped in the middle of his snooping to tell Namjoon about the sudden numbness from his waist down, that the scotch he'd been offered and downed moments ago had probably been spiked without any of them noticing.
Namjoon closes his eyes and heaves a deep breath. "If I was even a second too late. If-if I hadn't been there on time to rescue Jimin, he would've gotten caught, maybe even killed, and compromised the whole mission."
It's not about the mission, though. It isn't always about the mission. Yoongi's been friends with Namjoon long enough now to know that Namjoon will always prioritize Jimin's safety over the success of any operation, his job as an agent be damned.
"I swear he's trying to kill me," Namjoon groans, chugging the last of his whiskey. "One day, Jimin's just going to stop thinking with his brain altogether and do something stupid, I just know it."
Yoongi can't help but laugh at the distress in Namjoon's voice. Well, this is kind of a refreshing sight. The Namjoon he knows is always calm and level-headed, infuriatingly has his shit together most of the time. Namjoon is none of those things right now, however. He's stressed. Ruffled. Worked-up like hell. And it's all because of one Park Jimin. Damn.
(Yoongi's tempted to give Jimin a pat on the back for this rare kind of accomplishment but, knowing Jimin, he'd probably just hate himself for worrying Namjoon again. So. Probably not a good idea.)
Namjoon gives him the stink eye. "I don't remember laughing at your pain when Jeongguk ended up being bugged after he tried to flirt with the General's young girlfriend the last time, hyung."
Yoongi immediately grimaces at the memory because, well, that did happen and he'd really like to forget how embarrassing it had been to have their covers blown just an hour into their mission, thank you very much.
If there's anyone else who can truly and genuinely sympathize with Namjoon's handler woes, it's Yoongi. Looking back at all the missions he and Jeongguk have completed together, Yoongi supposes he has enough firsthand experiences to counter Namjoon's own terrible stories, anyway.
It's ridiculous and Yoongi's never thought he'd eventually grow to enjoy doing this with Namjoon every once in a while. Yoongi knows it's because he understands how Namjoon feels, somehow. He's gotten pretty used to the familiar surge of worry and frustration and anxiety and worryworryworry running in his veins whenever Jeongguk's on the field, sometimes great but most of the time careless.
"Goddamn, these field agents. Can't really trust them to keep themselves in check," Yoongi grumbles under his breath. He takes a swig of his drink again, his earlier frustration now starting to wane to a slight buzz at the back of his skull.
It's Namjoon's turn to laugh this time, the truth in Yoongi's words hitting a little closer to home. "You gotta admit, though, Jeongguk's a lot better now, isn’t he?" Namjoon asks, raising an eyebrow and grinning. "You’ve kept him in check."
Yoongi thoughtfully peers into his glass, thinks about the number of times he and Jeongguk have actually fought and argued with each other in the past because of Jeongguk's tendency to ignore the instructions Yoongi gave him and Yoongi's refusal to back down and let Jeongguk have his way. Thinks about Jeongguk constantly getting on his nerves with his sheer stubborn focus to complete a mission in whichever way he could, even if that meant putting himself in awful positions and giving Yoongi a mild heart attack each time. Thinks about Jeongguk and his brilliance and efficiency and recklessness.
Admittedly, it hadn't been easy — even now, they still find themselves getting into arguments every now and then, mostly because Jeongguk has no sense of self-preservation and has found a rather perverse amusement of getting a rise out of Yoongi — but, eventually, they managed to learn how best to work with each other.
It had been a slow learning process but, surprisingly, Yoongi had found that he didn't mind. No, not at all.
"Maybe," Yoongi eventually concedes, shrugging. "Still a brat, though."
Namjoon hums. There's an indulgent smile threatening to break out on his face and, really, it doesn't take a genius to figure out what Namjoon's really thinking behind the quirk of his lips. "If you say so."
Nobody but Yoongi and Jeongguk would probably count their second mission as a success.
It might have something to do with Jeongguk's cover being blown and getting injured after barely escaping a terrible car chase, all of which Yoongi had actually predicted the second Jeongguk went off a tangent and refused to listen to what Yoongi had to say. Despite the accompanied danger of his plan, it was pretty clear Jeongguk was determined to see it through the end so Yoongi just stepped back — more out of forced resignation than anything else — and allowed things to unfold.
When the mission eventually went south and Yoongi ended up leaving his post to go into the field and rescue Jeongguk, he had to pointedly stop himself from saying "I told you so!" a couple of times, preferably right at Jeongguk's face. Yoongi may be blunt, had no qualms whatsoever when it comes to expressing his opinions, but he wasn't a complete asshole, not really. Jeongguk already looked worse for wear — the last thing he needed was his partner calling him out for the consequences of his stubborness.
Yoongi could recognize the gradual loosening in the set of Jeongguk's shoulders as he helped Jeongguk hobble to the van just parked a few meters away from their target's hideout, a rundown house in the suburbs of Birmingham, mindful of the gashing wound on Jeongguk's thigh that needed stitching.
"Thank you," Jeongguk suddenly said, breaking the silence with his voice. It was grave and sincere; Yoongi knew the single word held a certain weight to it.
"Yeah," Yoongi grunted. "No problem."
Yoongi’s pretty sure they need to stay on the down low for this mission. It's imperative that they be subtle, careful, keep things under wraps until they finish the job and things finally blow over.
They're not supposed to attract any attention on themselves — being discreet is part and parcel of being a spy, after all.
But as Yoongi stares at the scene unfolding before him, he can't help but wonder if the person who merited these two kids the right to become field agents was drunk or just plainly out of his damn mind. He briefly ponders if it's too late to ask Seokjin for a separate flight. Preferably one that won't have Jeongguk and Jimin on it.
“Yah! Jeon Jeongguk, give that back!” Jimin cries. If the hilarious, almost pitiful image of Jimin standing on his tiptoes to grab whatever it is in Jeongguk's hand isn't enough to have people within a five mile radius immediately turn their heads towards their direction, then his loud, almost bordering on a whine, voice definitely does the job.
If it was someone else, someone nice and kind and maybe with an actual heart, they probably would've given in by now because Jimin positively looked like the picture perfect of a little kid whose toy had just been rudely taken away by the Big Bad Bully.
However, Jeongguk is definitely none of those things. This, Yoongi would know because he'd been on the receiving end of Jeongguk's mischievousness far more often than Yoongi could really consciously count. In true Jeongguk fashion, he only grins impishly at Jimin's ridiculous (yet futile) attempts to grab the spy gear in his hand and lifts it up even higher, rendering it out of Jimin’s reach even more.
"Just let me use it for a day, hyung!" Jeongguk says, almost screams, completely unmindful of the people staring amusedly at them by now. "I promise I won’t break it!"
"No!" Jimin screams just as loudly, "just ask Hoseok hyung to make you another one!"
"You know he won't! You're his favorite!"
"Too bad for you, then!"
It doesn't take long before the screaming turns into a full-out running and chasing around, with Jimin finally, finally getting a hold of his spy gear and Jeongguk quickly tailing after him to get it back. Jimin tucks it into his chest — it's one of Hoseok's newest inventions: a remote-controlled spy video car which allows him to sneak around and see everything with real-time video displayed directly on the screen at the same time — and loudly vows to keep it as far away as possible from Jeongguk's Evil Hands.
Really, it would've been cute if they weren't at a crowded airport right now, with their respective luggages in tow as they waited to get on a flight to Russia for their mission.
"These kids," Yoongi sighs, shaking his head. He elbows Namjoon beside him, not too hard to make it hurt but just enough to catch his attention. "Make them stop before airport security drags their asses out of here."
If there's some kind of reaction that Yoongi's expecting from Namjoon, it's definitely not just a mere grunt of acknoweldgement. But that's what Yoongi still gets for his efforts, anyway.
By now, Jimin has caught Jeongguk in a headlock, arms secured firmly around him while Jimin ruffles his hair into a mess. Their laughter is loud enough to have people blatantly staring at them, a mix of amusement and interest clearly displayed on their faces. Yoongi turns to Namjoon, mouth already poised to complain to him again, only for a loud snort to slip out instead.
"Stop looking at them like you'd rather be in Jeongguk's position," Yoongi teases.
This, for whatever reason, manages to pierce through whatever weird bubble Namjoon is in, and he turns to Yoongi with a scowl and a faint hue of pink rising high up on his cheeks. "Shut up, hyung."
Yoongi laughs because it's never not funny to see Namjoon so flustered like this. Call him an asshole of a friend, but Yoongi definitely gets a kick out of teasing Namjoon and how obviously smitten he is with Jimin. It doesn't really help that Namjoon's so obvious about it, has completely given up on masking his affections for his own partner.
The huge departure board overhead catches Yoongi's attention as it clicks through announcement after announcement. Their scheduled flight to Sochi is in a little over two hours and while the agency has made sure to keep everything in check so they can avoid any kind of travel problems, Yoongi supposes checking in this early is still a must.
So Yoongi gets up and grabs his luggage, motions for Namjoon and the two playfully squabbling children to follow suit. They each go through the check-in counter with relative ease, presenting all their passports and tickets one by one before the airline staff hands them their own boarding passes. It isn't long before they're easily walking inside, passing through security with absolutely no hassle or delays, and then navigating their way towards their respective boarding area.
It's a long flight from Seoul to Sochi and Yoongi's already thinking about taking the aisle seat the moment he steps inside the plane. Yoongi knows Jeongguk's tendency to doze off at the most random moments, has seen him always prefer the seat closest to the window because seeing the world descend into something smaller, something the human eye can barely see, as the plane takes off distracts Jeongguk from the ringing in his ears.
"Jeonggukkie's sitting with me," Jimin suddenly singsongs. He brushes his way past Yoongi, fingers wrapped around Jeongguk's wrist as Jimin tugs him towards the opposite end of the aisle. Jeongguk only manages to throw an apologetic look right at Yoongi's direction before Jimin finally pushes him down into the seat next to him.
Yoongi swallows down the words threatening to leave his mouth as he settles down in his own seat. He tries to school his face into one of indifference because, really, it's not a big deal right? Jeongguk and Jimin can go sit anywhere they want to and Yoongi has absolutely zero reason to care because—that's right, it's not a big fucking deal. Yoongi takes one deep breath at a time, reminds himself over and over again that this fine, this is okay, this is—
"You look like you want to murder somebody, hyung."
So maybe it's a bit out of line when Yoongi directs an icy glare at Namjoon, considering he hasn't done anything at all to warrant such hostile reaction from Yoongi. It's definitely not Namjoon's fault that he's made an observational point at a rather bad time as well.
"Just tired," Yoongi mumbles as soon as he's got a firm hold on his emotions. He inwardly berates himself for acting so irrational. "Wanna go the fuck to sleep."
Namjoon hums. "It's a long flight," he reaches up and opens the overheard compartment, dumping his additional carry-on inside because only God knows what kind of stuff Namjoon keeps on bringing for these missions that a single luggage isn't even enough for all his things, "try to make the most of it, yeah?"
And Yoongi does try. He really does but, for some reason, Yoongi suddenly finds it pretty difficult to go to sleep just by sheer will alone. He's physically tired, can practically feel the fatigue wearing him paper-thin, yet his mind can't seem to find any peace with the overwhelming number of things running inside his head.
On most days, music is enough to calm his thoughts down, lull Yoongi into the deep throes of unconsciousness. Today, however, even the gentle voice crooning softly through his earphones can't bring Yoongi closer to sleep. He tries switching gears, tries to read a magazine or watch a movie to mentally exhaust himself, but none of those attempts still seem to work.
Yoongi scowls and runs a hand over his face. He's still very much awake, probably more so than when they'd first set out to the airport hours ago, and Yoongi figures it's only a damn waste of time if he continues to force himself into sleeping. He looks around the plane cabin, taking in the sight of the different passengers around in an attempt to distract himself. There's an older gentleman vomiting into a bag just a few seats down and Yoongi can't help but grimace and feel sorry for the woman sitting right next to him, her nose crinkled in obvious disgust. He notices two more passengers — a woman busily crocheting across the aisle and a young girl animatedly telling her dad stories as she settles on his lap (this one makes Yoongi smile despite himself, soft and fond) — before he eventually sees them.
Jeongguk's slouched so low in his seat, head resting comfortably on Jimin's shoulder as he dozes off. Jimin, on the other hand, is sleeping pretty soundly as well with his head leaning against Jeongguk's, bright orange hair falling over his eyes. It doesn't seem comfortable at all; Yoongi himself has slept almost similarly in that positon for a couple of times now to know that Jeongguk will surely have his neck hurting by the time he wakes up later. Half of Yoongi wonders how the two were even able to sleep like a log in an awkward position like that.
The other half, though, feels like he's just been suckerpunched in the gut with an emotion he can't quite place. It would've been an awe-inducing sight maybe, how their bodies are pressed so closed together, chests rising and falling in steady, even breaths as Jeongguk and Jimin appeared dead to the world, if it didn't make Yoongi feel strange and sad and angry and—and oddly jealous.
Yoongi's so preoccupied in trying to wade his way around his current mess of emotions that he almost starts at Namjoon's voice whispering softly, teasingly, in his ear, "now look who's staring." Even without turning around, Yoongi's pretty damn sure Namjoon's sporting one of his shit-eating grins again — Yoongi can almost hear it in his voice. "Stop looking at them like you'd rather be in Jimin's position, hyung."
Yoongi immediately glowers at Namjoon because 1) there really is that shit-eating grin pulling at the corners of his mouth and Yoongi would very much like to wipe it off his face with a punch right the fuck now and; 2) a warning siren blares in Yoongi's head, along with a niggling voice at the back of his mind that tells him that Namjoon's maybe, quite possibly, most definitely right holy fucking shit.
It takes a while for Yoongi to recover from his epiphany and, when he does, the only coherent response he finds himself spitting is, "fuck off, Kim Namjoon."
And, like usual, Namjoon just laughs it off, entirely used to Yoongi's sharp mouth and acerbity. "That's okay, hyung," Namjoon whispers conspiratorially, completely disregarding the Glare of Death being thrown his way, "you don't have to pretend like you don't have the hots for Jeongguk when you're with me."
If Yoongi ends up really punching Namjoon square on the face, then that's not entirely his fault anymore, is it?
It's two in the afternoon when they finally touch down in Sochi and Yoongi thinks he can, quite literally, fall asleep standing. He's managed to get out of the plane and walk through immigrations like a dead man on his feet before Yoongi feels a hand on his lower back, guiding him and keeping him close to a warm body among the bustling crowd.
When Yoongi turns to his side to look at the owner of that same hand, Jeongguk only offers him a smile and a, "you look like you're going to keel over anytime soon, hyung."
Normally, Yoongi would dignify that with a response, tell Jeongguk that he's fine and can walk on his own without anyone's assistance, but Yoongi finds that he's not at all in the mood to argue with Jeongguk. He's too sleepy to do anything else but grunt and revel in the warmth radiating from Jeongguk's hand, really.
It's hot when they eventually manage to step outside the airport. The sun is bright and the sky is this beautiful shade of crystal blue that Yoongi doesn't think he's actually seen before. There's a car waiting for them at the parking garage, one that's owned by the organization to bring them to the hotel where they'll be staying at for a couple of days. It's a black Mercedes, slick but simple, untraceable and equipped with enough hidden mechanisms that can give any TSA agent a fit.
It's a real beauty, enough to have Namjoon letting out a low whistle of appreciation under his breath.
The whole car ride from the airport to the hotel is a serene affair. They're all exhausted, a little irritated, but Yoongi supposes traveling for sixteen hours tends to do that to a person.
Yoongi gets in almost an hour of naptime before he finds himself being shaken awake by Jeongguk, hauled out of the car and steered towards the grand hotel's entrance. Honestly, Yoongi should've been bothered by Jeongguk's presence hovering so close to him, cautious, alert, worry radiating off of him in waves, but, strangely enough, it only makes Yoongi shake his head and smile in resignation.
Yoongi reaches out and fondly ruffles Jeongguk's hair. It's as much of a thanks, as it is his way of telling Jeongguk not to worry about him too much. To Yoongi's surprise, Jeongguk just moves even closer to him in return — it's not really something that Yoongi had intended to happen when he acknowledged Jeongguk's concern for him but, well, okay. Yoongi supposes their close proximity isn't too bad.
Once they're inside, it's Namjoon who steps forward to talk to the woman sitting by the front desk, the Russian consonants flowing so naturally from his tongue like it's his primary language. As per usual, their living arrangements have already been fixed, with rooms already reserved under the name Min Suga, so it's anything but a surprise when Namjoon returns with two key cards in hand and a teasing, "so who's rooming with who?"
It shouldn't even be a damn question. Yoongi grabs one from Namjoon's grip, only faintly hears Namjoon's protests as he makes his way towards the elevator. "Come on, Jeongguk-ah."
It's only when he's finally getting out of the elevator, with Jeongguk trailing behind him with his own luggage in tow, does Yoongi remember Namjoon's words back at the plane again.
You don't have to pretend like you don't have the hots for Jeongguk.
Yoongi clearly doesn't have to because what he feels for Jeongguk isn't anything like that at all. Jeongguk's his agent, someone who Seokjin had entrusted to him years ago with so much confidence and faith in his abilities. In some way, he's also family, a younger brother that Yoongi's never had. So it's only natural that Yoongi wants him safe and close and by his side all the time, right?
There is definitely nothing surprising with an agent and his handler rooming together, right?
Yoongi doesn't necessarily know why he's trying so hard to convince himself. This isn't exactly the first time that they're sharing a room while they're on a mission — in the past, they've even had to fit themselves on a single bed for nights on end and Yoongi couldn't remember a time back then when he'd felt so confused like this.
Yoongi growls in frustration. Honestly, Kim Namjoon should just fuck right off the face of the planet for putting strange things inside his head.
"Are you okay, hyung?"
Yoongi blinks, and quickly realizes that Jeongguk's looking at him intently from his side of the room. Jeongguk's sitting on his own bed, head cocked to the side in question. His hair's gotten a little longer, fringe falling over his eyes, and Yoongi feels the strange itch to sweep it to the side with his fingers. He'd have to tell Jeongguk to get his hair cut soon.
"Yeah," he grunts. He lies down for a while, the bed dipping with his weight. Still, the worry he'd seen in Jeongguk's eyes is proving to be extremely distracting. "Call Namjoon and Jimin, will you? We have to go through the plan today to make sure everything's being taken care of."
"Don't you want to sleep for a while?" Jeongguk asks. "I can just call them later—"
"It's fine, Jeongguk. We need to get on with the plan in a few days — we can't exactly waste any more time than we already did," Yoongi says. He feels a little bad for thwarting Jeongguk's efforts, really. But while it's cute and endearing that Jeongguk's fretting over him like his own mother, Yoongi can't really let that affect him too much. He's not really one to put off a day of planning, especially when he's assigned to handle a mission so big and important like this.
Jeongguk doesn't say anything. It's only when Yoongi hears the slight creak of the mattress and the telltale sign of the door opening then closing does he realize that Jeongguk did follow his order to fetch Namjoon and Jimin from the other room.
When Jeongguk returns a few seconds later, with Namjoon and a sleepy-looking Jimin hot in his heels, Yoongi sits up in bed and takes out his laptop and a folder brimming with files from his bag. They proceed to discuss the plan in detail, taking into account every possibility and loophole that they can foresee.
"The daughter of North Korea's head of military is arriving tomorrow," Yoongi starts. He already knows all of this by heart, as do the other three, but this is routine and it's easy. "We'll be following her for a few days to know her entire schedule, hopefully get a lead to whatever plan is being put into action before the socialite ball happens next week." Yoongi glances over at Jimin, gaze critical and calculating. "Jimin, I trust that you can handle this part?"
Jimin grins, and makes a gesture of salute at Yoongi. "I'll do my best!" Beside him, Namjoon is just shaking his head in amusement. Yoongi would've been worried at how carefree those two were being if he didn't know them well like he did.
"The rich people party will be taking place on a Friday, just a week or so from now. We managed to acquire an exact copy of the entire guest list," Yoongi pulls up a list of names on his computer screen, and turns it around for the other three to see, "and the plan is to get an invite, in some way or another, from any single one of these people."
"Time for some old fashioned O.S.M. then," Namjoon grins, dimples showing. "Operation Smooth Moves."
Yoongi rolls his eyes at Namjoon's lameness but doesn't say anything. Essentially, because it is true — they do have to seduce some dumb, unassuming guest just to get into the ball. "Namjoon and I will be dealing with security and the rest of technicalities for this mission. Jimin will do the tailing for the next few days, provide us with the essential information we need before the ball." Yoongi shifts his gaze to Jeongguk then, sees him tense up almost hilariously at the implication of Yoongi's plan. "That means you'll be responsible for getting us an invite, Jeongguk."
Jeongguk groans, the sound almost drowned out by Namjoon's snicker and Jimin's bark of laughter. Everyone in the room knows Jeon Jeongguk's comical weakness, knows that if there's one thing Jeongguk is less than stellar with, it's definitely dealing with the opposite sex.
Yoongi, however, is a hundred ten percent sure that Jeongguk will be able to do it. He's done it before, on so many of their past missions, and he doesn't doubt that Jeongguk will be able to overcome his shyness and general awkwardness to do it again.
And Jeongguk knows it, too, knows the vote of confidence Yoongi all but has for him, if the recognizable hint of determination in his eyes is any indication.
The rest of their discussion goes smoothly, with all four of them understanding fully well what their roles and responsibilities are. Yoongi's damn well aware that he's been given a great team to work with and, right now, he can't do anything but hope for a positive result in the next few days.
Sleep is still a little hard to come by for Yoongi that night.
But, surprisingly, more so for Jeongguk.
Yoongi literally can't count the number of times Jeongguk has tossed and turned on his bed for the past few minutes. He's seen Jeongguk sit up and grab his pillow, fluffing it up and adjusting it this way and that, has seen him do it almost obsessively for a few more times before Jeongguk eventually gives up and tries to sleep without a pillow cushioning his head.
When Jeongguk pulls the blanket over his body and completely covers himself from head to toe, only to uncover his face and let out a groan a few seconds later, Yoongi finally snaps.
"Do you at least plan on going to sleep or are you just going to toss and turn on your bed all night?" Yoongi grouches. It's probably already way past midnight and they have a long ass day tomorrow; the last thing Yoongi needs right now is for Jeongguk to stay up all night for some reason.
Jeongguk turns to his side one last time before the constant rustling finally stops. "I'm sorry, did I wake you up, hyung?" Jeongguk asks, his voice echoing incredibly loud in the silence of the room.
"Not really. Can't fucking fall asleep with all the noise you're making," Yoongi answers. He turns his head in Jeongguk's direction, squints until he can at least make out anything else other than the slump on Jeongguk's bed. "You alright?"
Jeongguk hums. "I guess—I think everything's just starting to dawn on me. How crucial this mission is, I mean," Jeongguk hesitantly admits. He sounds unsure, vulnerable, fear barely masked in his confession; if Yoongi didn't know any better, he'd think he was holding this conversation with someone else.
"Feeling scared all of a sudden?" Yoongi asks. It's only meant as a joke — a horrible one, maybe, because Yoongi has a morbid sense of humor like that — but the silence that follows on Jeongguk's end tells Yoongi that he's being taken seriously with that question.
The unadulterated silence stretches on for a few more seconds. Just as Yoongi wonders if Jeongguk has finally gone to sleep, Jeongguk suddenly surprises him with a, "not everyone gets the heavy burden of saving the whole of South Korea, hyung."
That means yes, then. Yoongi doesn't really know what to say to that; he's never really considered the possibility of Jeongguk admitting his fear out in the open, never really expected that level of honesty from him, and Yoongi's somewhat thrown off kilter if he's going to be honest with himself.
Thankfully, Jeongguk saves his speechless ass before Yoongi can even embarrass himself and say something stupid or, worse, completely useless. "I have you as my partner though, hyung, so I'm pretty sure we'll be fine."
And there goes Jeongguk again, saying stuff so painfully genuine like that without even thinking about how it sounds. Those words really shouldn't make Yoongi worry about the condition of his heart, but it's incredibly hard not to do so, especially considering how hard and fast it's currently beating against the bones of his ribcage.
It takes a second or two before Yoongi recovers and finds his words. "Go to sleep, kid."
"You too," Jeongguk whispers. "Good night."
Yoongi would've tried to wish Jeongguk a good night as well, but he's too busy feeling warm and off-balance and so angry with himself to even bother.
Almost everything went to shit on their third mission.
Their job was fairly simple: protect the President while he delivered his speech to the public, deal with anyone who would try to attack him.
Unfortunately, things didn't end up as easy as they seemed. None of them had taken into account the idea of North Korean guerillas charging in the middle of the President's Liberation speech, causing a huge, gaping loophole in their otherwise straightforward plan. Most of their men had to engage in a gunfight with authorities in the streets near the Presidential Palace, resulting in quite a handful of South Korean casualties by the end of the attack.
The scuffle was too extensive that Seokjin even had to send Hoseok and Taehyung for back-up. By the time they got back to the agency, physically wounded but mentally tired, Seokjin was already ready to rip them a new one, and most of the armed guerillas had been shot to death by the authorities. The only one they've managed to arrest had gunned himself down on the head before they could even get any valuable information out of him.
It was a huge mess, one that definitely took so much out of Yoongi and, right now, he wanted nothing more than to bury himself in his couch and sleep for the next hundred years and just forget — even for a litle while, at least.
When Yoongi opened the door to his office, it only took a second for him to know that something was definitely amiss.
"What the fuck?"
Jeongguk whipped his head at the direction of Yoongi's voice, eyes marginally widening as soon as he recognized the figure standing by the doorway. "Hyung," Jeongguk said, his voice catching on that undertone of surprise, pitching a little higher than usual. It was subtle but Yoongi didn't miss the way Jeongguk quickly kept his arm away from Yoongi's line of vision. "What are you doing here?"
"This is my office, kid," Yoongi deadpanned. He flicked the light switch on before strolling inside, eyes quickly darting around the room. A momentary glance at Jeongguk, at the apprehension so clearly written on his face, at the damp spot on the fabric of his shirt that only kept on growing darker by the second, confirmed his suspicion the moment he'd found Jeongguk inside: Jeongguk was injured and, judging by the looks of it, the wound was, thankfully, just a bit shallow. "You’re bleeding through your shirt."
Jeongguk looked at his arm and grimaced at the patch of crimson staining his sleeve. For a moment, he didn't do anything, just stayed in his seat and stared intently at Yoongi, almost as if he's somehow expecting Yoongi to step out of the room. When it became pretty apparent that Yoongi didn't have any plans but to stay, however, Jeongguk let out a sigh before finally, defeatedly, pulling his shirt over his head.
It wasn't very pretty; the gash ran from Jeongguk's shoulder down to his elbow, and blood continued to escape from his lacerated flesh. It kind of alarmed Yoongi to see Jeongguk so naturally rummaging under his desk to find his first aid kit, yet he still caught himself unable to say anything about it, just kept his mouth shut and watched as Jeongguk started sewing an uneven line of stitches across his arm with his good hand.
"Namjoon told me you do that once in a while," Yoongi said casually. He could remember Namjoon rehashing all of Jimin's secondhand tales about Jeongguk getting injured during missions before, how he didn't report back immediately after but took a day off to patch up his own wounds. Jeongguk, apparently, wasn't a big fan of hospitals — something about the blinding white washed walls and the smell of disinfectants have Jeongguk's skin crawling, anxiety and fear clogging up his throat.
"Had to learn when I kept getting injured during missions," Jeongguk answered distractedly, dropping the needle and thread and letting it dangle from the half-stitched wound.
Yoongi wrinkled his nose at Jeongguk's rather half-assed attempt at mending his shallow but still incredibly disgusting open wound. "Your sewing job is shitty at best." Yoongi slapped Jeongguk's hand away and carefully poked at his wound. "Let me."
For a brief second, Jeongguk looked startled, almost in disbelief at the words that came out of Yoongi's mouth. He still ended up handing the bloody needle over, anyway. "I thought you mostly deal with the technical stuff, hyung," Jeongguk said, lips twitching into a smile.
"I do," Yoongi grunted. "Doesn't mean I don't know how to do this, though. First aid training comes with a career in espionage, apparently." Without hesitation, Yoongi cut the thread and removed it, then proceeded to dab the wound with an antiseptic cotton. Before Jeongguk could even blink, a needle already broke through his skin, the jagged edge of his flesh catching on the first stitch Yoongi made. "How did you get this?"
Jeongguk didn't even flinch despite the fresh blood oozing from the wound. "One of the guerillas pulled a hunting knife on me when he got too close."
Yoongi hummed, letting Jeongguk know that he was actually listening. That he wasn't entirely too preoccupied in fixing Jeongguk up, hands steady and lower lip worried in concentration. It didn't take too long; two minutes later, Yoongi's done and Jeongguk's wound looked a hundred times better than any of the ones he’d ever stitched up himself in the past.
Jeongguk looked at his wound in awe, cleaned and covered up with a nice dressing that Yoongi had put after he was done. "Thank you, hyung," he breathed.
Yoongi shrugged. He didn't know what prompted his next words — maybe it was actually seeing Jeongguk hurt and wounded and bloodied, or maybe it was the grateful smile on Jeongguk's lips after Yoongi had tended to his wounds, or maybe it was just Yoongi's unconscious want to take care of Jeongguk, like how a handler should be to his own agent, maybemaybemaybe — but he found himself still telling them to Jeongguk, anyway.
"Next time, look for me if you need any more wound stitching to be done. Wouldn't want to find you breaking into my office again and bleeding all over the floor," Yoongi said as he busied himself with the first aid kit. "That'd be a pain in the ass to clean up."
Jeongguk smiled like he knew that's not exactly what Yoongi wanted to say and just responded with, "I'll make sure to take you up on that offer, hyung."
And, true to his word, Jeongguk really did.
It didn't take long before it became a thing between them. A regular thing. Yoongi would come back to his office after a particularly gruelling mission and, almost religiously, find Jeongguk already comfortably settled on his couch, shirt covered in red and another graze marring his skin. It didn't happen that often, not really, but Yoongi supposed it was often enough to establish a clear pattern.
Yoongi would spend a few minutes lecturing Jeongguk about needing to be more careful and looking after himself, and Jeongguk would just respond like usual, throwing an apologetic smile in Yoongi's direction while swearing to everything that he's going to try and not get hurt anymore in the future. They're empty promises, of course, something that Yoongi's pretty sure Jeongguk wouldn't be able to keep in the long run because Jeongguk was more reckless and stubborn than anything. Still, he'd indulge Jeongguk and nod at his words every now and then, make Jeongguk think that Yoongi believed them even when he actually didn't.
Yoongi would then take out his first aid kit under his desk, patch up Jeongguk's scrapes like how he did that very first time — thoroughly, cautiously, with a kind of comfortable silence hanging between them. He'd put a clean dressing right over it after he's done, maybe a bandaid if it was tiny enough to be covered by one, and send Jeongguk on his way with a pat on his shoulder and a reminder to be safe. Always be safe.
Playing doctor wasn't exactly included in his job description as Jeongguk's handler — there's a reason why Medical division existed in the organization in the first place — but Yoongi still found himself doing it with no complaints, anyway.
Jeongguk trusted him enough to let Yoongi see him in his most vulnerable state and, really, Yoongi figured that's definitely more than what he could ask for out of this whole thing.
The plan is going along pretty smoothly, if Yoongi may say so himself.
Jimin has followed Suzy for a few days now, long enough to figure out the things she likes to do, the places she often frequents, even the people she comes into contact with on the daily. Jimin's task is pretty crucial at this point, but while Yoongi's thorough enough to consider every and any detail a vital component to their job, none of the information they've managed to dig up so far is helping them move things forward a little quicker than usual.
It doesn't really help that Seokjin's been checking up on them pretty often lately, asking Yoongi for something, anything worth reporting to the higher ups because they've been pretty up on his case as well.
They're not exactly given a lot of time in the first place and slacking is definitely out of the question.
Yoongi's about to suggest shifting into Plan B when a familiar name in Suzy's recent call log catches his attention (it was surprisingly easy to bug her phone despite the ridiculous number of guards escorting her everywhere — all thanks to Jimin's charm and wit).
Yoongi quickly pulls up their copy of the guest list on his laptop and, true enough, he sees the exact same name registered on the file. He grabs his headphones and clicks on their tapped conversation, feeling curious and hopeful at the same time.
The whole phone call is a little close to three minutes; just Suzy and Hyejin checking up on each other and chatting like normal friends do. They seem genuinely close as well, if the rather affectionate undertone in Suzy's voice as she calls her Hwasa instead of Hyejin's proper name is any indication. But then again, Yoongi won't be surprised if this turns out to be some sort of friendship born out of convenience. After all, Yoongi has seen enough in the past to know that this is how social circles in the society work — people of power just usually flock with their own kind, don't they?
There's a talk about a little gathering being thrown somewhere in the middle of their conversation, one that's apparently going to happen tomorrow night with three of their other friends. Yoongi takes note of the time and place as Hwasa dictates them, opens a web search to find out the exact address of their meeting spot.
The line eventually ends and Yoongi smiles down at the piece of paper in his hand.
Bar London. 8PM.
Well, looks like they just found their opening.
The place was already teeming with people by the time he and Jeongguk arrived almost an hour ago.
Bar London, as it turns out, is the poshiest bar in Sochi, attracting a rather glam crowd of local businessmen and foreigners alike. The venue is outfitted with plush leather seats and marble tabletops. Mirrors also line up the high ceilings, and an array of bookcases situated against the walls are brimming with Faulkner novels. It's classy and exudes such a high-end feeling, a perfect spot for socialites to hang out at, but it's certainly not a place Yoongi would voluntarily spend his time in if given a choice (this is more in tune with Namjoon's tastes, honestly).
Yoongi just lingers by the bar, letting his drink get filled over and over again as he surreptitiously watches Jeongguk from a distance. The soft piano jazz carries over the murmur of the crowd, and Yoongi briefly thinks it's the perfect mood music to what they're set out to accomplish today.
He can see their target right across the room, talking and laughing and sipping her own drink with three of her other friends: Kim Yongsun, Moon Byulyi, and Jung Wheein. Turns out Hwasa isn't the only one born from a powerful kin, with his father a known rank-4 official in the military. Yongsun is the granddaughter of a court minister and both Byulyi and Wheein are daughters of high-ranking officials of the Royal Secretariat and the foreign ministry respectively. They all came from prominent families, which also means they'll all be attending the ball in the next few days.
Not getting an invite from anyone of them is definitely not an option.
Yoongi observes as Jeongguk slowly sidles up to Hwasa, the physical distance between them growing smaller. It's a little terrifying how it only takes half a second for Jeongguk to turn on his most charming smile like a switch.
"Hi. It might be a little forward of me to ask but," Jeongguk scrunches his face in a flawless imitation of confusion, "have we met before?"
Hwasa looks absolutely stunning in her gold halter dress. It fits her like a glove, accentuating her waist and hips just right, with the cut short enough to display the fullness of her thighs. She looks around, and then raises an eyebrow at Jeongguk. "I don't think so?"
Jeongguk hums in Yoongi's earpiece, still looking a little contemplative. Yoongi knows it's all an act, though, knows that the sly look that proceeds to take over Jeongguk's face only means that he's about to hammer it up with his next words. "Yeah, we probably haven't," Jeongguk says. He smirks then and, while it may appear like a nonexistent effort on Jeongguk's part, Yoongi can still tell it's pained and awkward on the edges. Like Jeongguk would rather be somewhere else, doing a hundred and one other things than this. "Because I'm pretty sure I would have remembered someone with your face."
Jeongguk deliberately lets his gaze sweep over her with an appreciative glint, head slightly tilted and eyelashes sweeping long and dark over his cheeks, "or your body."
Yoongi mentally groans, just as Hwasa smiles at the implied compliment.
Smooth ass motherfucker.
Honestly, Yoongi isn't at all a stranger to that look. He's already seen a couple of men and women alike fall victim to Jeongguk's charm and have their lives literally ruined right after, in some way or another. But to see it up close and personal, not just behind a computer screen or captured in a still shot — Yoongi just finds himself letting out a full-body cringe.
Why in the godforsaken world must Yoongi be the unfortunate soul who needs to sit through this?
His silent bemoaning is quickly answered when Hwasa's voice drifts through his earpiece. "Well, you don't look too bad yourself," Hwasa flirts back. She stares at Jeongguk with a hooded gaze, her smile a casual, teasing thing on her lips. "Actually, you're really hot."
"Tall and gorgeous, too," Wheein breathes, dimples showing as she smiles salaciously. She rests her chin on her hand as she looks over Jeongguk from head to toe. "Exactly like my type."
"That's fast. Are you calling dibs on him already?" Moonbyul asks, amused.
Before Wheein can even answer, Yongsun suddenly laughs on the side, the beautiful sound diffusing the tense atmosphere around them. "You guys, you're making him nervous."
And, true to her word, Jeongguk definitely looks like he'll just fucking take off at the first opportunity he can get. Jeongguk's gone almost motionless as a rock, and the smile on his face is big and very, very fake. Yoongi facepalms; if there's one thing Yoongi has learned in all the years that he's worked with Jeongguk, it's that Jeongguk is the absolute worst with receiving compliments. He may be a flatterer, exceptional when it comes to dishing out remarks to lure a person into a false sense of attraction, but turn the situation the other way around and you'll get a fumbling, blushing, stuttering Jeongguk.
Wheein hums, and it makes Yoongi turn his focus back to their conversation. "Hwasa has her eyes on someone else, anyway." She shifts her gaze to Hwasa for a moment, head cocked to the side in question. "Don't you?"
As if on cue, Hwasa looks around the bar for a few seconds, brows slowly scrunching in impatience until she finally catches Yoongi's gaze and smiles. She turns around in her seat again and looks at Jeongguk imploringly. "He's your friend, right? I saw you two arrive together earlier." Hwasa chances another glance at him again and immediately frowns when she sees Yoongi looking at anywhere but their direction. "What's his name?"
"Suga," Jeongguk croaks out.
If Yoongi thought nothing else could be more terribly surprising than a woman taking notice of him when he was really doing anything but try and gain attention for himself, then he probably didn't consider the idea of the aformentioned woman getting up from her seat and strolling towards his direction, all with the intent to catch his name and toy with Yoongi for a little bit.
But that's exactly what happens — Yoongi gets the surprise of his life as soon as he finds Hwasa standing before him, all seductive smiles and alluring stares. She's beautiful, definitely knows how to enthrall a guy with what she has, and Yoongi would've probably fallen for her appeal if he found himself attracted to the opposite sex like that.
The thing is, he isn't and Yoongi thinks that won't change anytime soon, most especially not because he needs to please some unsuspicious woman for a mission. Still, Yoongi's not an inconsiderate asshole — or, well, not enough of one to blatantly ignore her, at least. He gives it his best effort to hold a conversation with Hwasa, despite most of his answers being the usual monosyllabic words.
By the end of the night, it's Yoongi who surprisingly manages to score an invitation from Hwasa herself. "You're interesting," she simply says as she hands a fancy-looking envelope to Yoongi, "there's going to be a huge party in the next few days and I'm really hoping I can see you again. Maybe we can continue this little talk we have?"
Yoongi doesn't really know how his complete disinterest and apathy came off as interesting to Hwasa but, well, he's not about to complain when he's practically holding the very thing they were looking for tonight.
"Sure," Yoongi says. He attempts a somewhat convincing smile, hopes against hope that it doesn't look like a twisted grimace or something even close to it. "I'll see you then."
Yoongi doesn't miss the suggestive wink Hwasa throws at him before she leaves the bar with her friends.
Nor does he miss the sulky look on Jeongguk's face, displayed for him and probably for all the world to see.
Yoongi can't help but laugh at the grand turn of events.
It took Yoongi a total of ten missions before he could even acquire a video proof of Jeongguk actively avoiding any and all interactions with the female specie to gain access to whatever piece of information he needed.
For someone who's pretty reckless and bold, who wouldn't even think twice about diving head first to any and every dangerous situation he would encounter on a mission, Jeongguk turned out to be surprisingly and hilariously terrified of dealing with girls.
It was ridiculous because, more often than not, Jeongguk would much rather crawl across a heavily-secured building and fend off twenty or so armed guards than take the easier route and break a few smooth moves. It had happened before, on so many occasions, and Yoongi had found most of them a little comical, if not sometimes frustrating because of Jeongguk's stubbornness.
Today, though — today, Yoongi would've found everything amusing if it wasn't for the fact that it's definitely anything but. That Jeongguk's completely deviating from the original plan and was currently suspended on a goddamn rope, instead of just stepping inside the building and using the elevator like a normal, unsuspecting person.
"If you'd flirted a little bit more with the receptionist, you could've just taken the elevator, and then you wouldn't have to literally pull yourself up the building to get to the 15th floor," Yoongi said, a little unhelpfully maybe because Jeongguk's already dangling off the side of the building and he probably didn't need Yoongi's nagging right the fuck now.
But Jeongguk definitely deserved an earful, especially after this kind of stupidity. The kind of ridiculous stupidity that could get Jeongguk injured — or, worse, killed — before they could even properly start the mission.
"Hyung," Jeongguk whined. Which kind of surprised Yoongi, honestly, because Jeongguk sounded like he'd been struggling for a while now, his labored breathing echoing in Yoongi's earpiece. He didn't know Jeongguk could even afford to whine when he's practically a hundred or so feet away from the ground. "You're really not helping me right now."
"I would have, if you only listened to me and went on with the plan," Yoongi spat out, his cheeks flushing with anger. He's frustrated because he couldn't even see Jeongguk, could only pacify himself with the fact that Jeongguk's voice was still coming out in his earpiece.
"Stop worrying. I can do this, hyung."
Yoongi grimaced at the screen. He'd been able to bug the security cameras on every floor so he could keep an eye on Jeongguk, but this would definitely only prove to be useful if Jeongguk's actually inside the goddamn building and not hanging off the side of it. "Trying to convince yourself now?" he grumbled.
"No," Jeongguk simply said, "I'm just saying you need to trust me more."
Before Yoongi could even open his mouth to say something, there's another voice filtering through his earpiece. "Settle down, you two," Hoseok piped up. He's in an empty room on the 24th floor of an abandoned building two blocks south, his long range rifle already assembled and positioned by the open window. "Really not the time to be fighting each other right now, you know."
"Fighting," someone else echoed, his voice almost coming out like a scoff. It's Taehyung. "More like their own weird way of flirting."
Hoseok cracked up and Yoongi felt his face get hot despite the absolute ridiculousness of their teasing. Yoongi closed his eyes and, for the umpteenth time today, desperately wondered what kind of crime he'd done in his past life to deserve this kind of suffering. Yoongi fought to remind himself that murdering one of their agents wasn't really going to benefit anyone in the long run (except him, maybe, but that's an entirely different story).
"Really, hyung, you two should talk this out properly. Everyone can practically feel the maddening sexual tension between—"
"I'm going to leave you two to fend for yourselves here if you don't shut your mouths, don't fucking test me," Yoongi bit out. If the threat wasn't enough to shut Taehyung up (because, sometimes, they really weren't. — Taehyung could really be impervious to verbal threats if he wanted to), then the clear warning in Yoongi's voice most certainly was.
"I'll square them both on the nose for you once we're all back at the base, hyung," Jeongguk promised. There was a childish kind of excitement in his voice, like Jeongguk couldn't actually wait for the chance to hit both Hoseok and Taehyung, and Yoongi supposed he really should be feeling anything other than sheer amusement at the idea.
Jeongguk's own threat of bodily harm was quickly met by Hoseok's indignant "we're still older than you, you brat!" and Taehyung's rather surprising amused laugh. Yoongi snorted. "Talk about punching when you're already inside the fucking building, kid."
Jeongguk just hummed in response and, despite everything, the quiet sound was almost enough to keep Yoongi's worry at bay.
"Do I really have to wear this?" Jeongguk asks.
This, being the suit Namjoon has dropped in their hotel room earlier. It's a deep navy blue, cut to precision and bold across the shoulders, gentle lines fitting around the waist. Jeongguk continues to look at it in obvious distaste, like the fancy piece of clothing personally offends him in some way, and it takes all of Yoongi's self-restraint not to laugh at him.
"Don't be such a baby about it," Yoongi says, which quickly earns him an insulted glare from Jeongguk. Yoongi rolls his eyes. "It's a fancy ass party, of course you need to be in a goddamn suit."
Jeongguk already knows this — it's always been a part of the plan since day one but he still makes it a point to whine at Yoongi about it. Honestly, it was pretty cute and amusing ten minutes ago, but Jeongguk's been doing nothing but stare holes into the suit now, burning it with his intense gaze, and they nearly don't have enough time to waste for this.
"If you don't get into that suit in the next fucking minute, I'll strip you naked and force it on you myself, Jeon Jeongguk, I swear to—"
"Whoa, who's stripping who?" The door suddenly opens and, of course, it's Namjoon. It's always Namjoon who finds the most impeccable timing to walk through the door, in the middle of whatever existensial crisis Yoongi's going through at that moment. Fucking lovely.
"Wait, what?" Jimin's only a step behind Namjoon and, really, Yoongi shouldn't even be surprised anymore. Where Namjoon is, Jimin is sure to follow. And vice versa. "Is Jeonggukkie finally making a move on Yoongi hyung?"
Jeongguk chokes on nothing but his spit. Jimin, on the other hand, just shifts his gaze from Jeongguk to Yoongi and back again, realization slowly dawning on his face when he sees the two of them in nowhere near the state of undress. "Oh," he says feebly.
Yoongi shakes his head in exasperation, but not before making a mental note to interrogate Jimin about whatever that shit is later, preferably when they're out of Namjoon's hearing range. "We'll stay outside for a while. Call us back in once you're done," Yoongi says. He all but pushes Namjoon and Jimin out the door, but turns to look at Jeongguk one last time to add, "and don't take too long, alright? We don't have all night."
Once the door closes, Namjoon's all but immediately onto him, a shit-eating grin on his lips. "So. You were planning on stripping him naked, huh?" Namjoon proceeds to wiggle his eyebrows suggestively and he looks so stupid Yoongi can't help but want to sock him on the nose.
Yoongi groans. "Jesus, Namjoon. Can you take your mind off the fucking gutter for once?"
Namjoon laughs like the complete asshole that he is, always so ready to find amusement in every single one of Yoongi's Jeongguk-related distress. "I was only asking!" he exclaims. "No need to act like we caught you doing something you've probably dreamt about for years now or something."
"If we came by a little later, though, we probably would have, hyung," Jimin muses out loud, smirking.
Murder. Yoongi's really going to murder these two, possibly in the slowest and most painful way known to mankind.
"Anyway, we just stopped by to tell you that almost everything's ready," Namjoon says before Yoongi can even come up with their extermination plan, his tone a lot more serious now, "I'm already piggybacking on the venue's security feed, so we’ve got eyes."
Yoongi hums. The last phase of their plan is going to be in full swing tonight. Yoongi has taken it upon himself to revise their strategy and include a couple more precautionary measures than usual, especially after Jimin had reported about Suzy suspiciously going in and out of a bank vault the last few days. There must be a huge package in there, maybe something of utmost importance that needs to be heavily secured, and Yoongi will be damned as hell if he takes any chances tonight.
"Alright, I'm just gonna check up on Jeongguk real quick and head over to look at the feed myself," Yoongi says.
"Nah, I think you should stay for a while, hyung. Jimin's gotta prepare for tonight, too, anyway. And I guess I could start setting the rest of the monitors up early as well." There's a beat then, followed by a fleeting moment where Namjoon just gives him that smirk and Yoongi swears he can almost hear the next words Namjoon's about to say before they can even leave his mouth. "Besides, we wouldn't want to impose on your private time."
The door to his room opens before Yoongi can even say something, not too wide but just enough of an indication that Jeongguk's finally done with dressing himself up.
"I think that's our cue to leave," Jimin says, grinning. He wraps his fingers around Namjoon's wrist, and it's almost laughable how Namjoon instinctively moves even before Jimin can pull him closer. "Fighting, hyung!"
Yoongi makes a face at Jimin before he finally pushes the door open and walks into his room. The first thing Yoongi registers in his mind as soon as he's inside is: Jeongguk cleans up good. Real good. He has the slacks, shoes, and dress shirt on, already looking more than the lanky kid Yoongi remembered seeing the first time Seokjin introduced them to each other in his office. Yoongi can't really recall how many years ago that must have been, but he knows pretty damn well how those exact same years haven't been all that good and easy for the both of them.
There's a noise of appreciation that suddenly echoes in the room and it takes quite a few seconds for Yoongi to realize that it actually came from him. That, for one unguarded moment, Yoongi has let himself be shaken by the image of Jeon Jeongguk in a suit, who absolutely looks so sleek and crisp and damn gorgeous for all his worth.
It takes Jeongguk's worried whisper of his name to bring Yoongi embarrassingly out of his daze.
When Yoongi blinks, he immediately sees the bowtie hanging limply in Jeongguk's grip. "Here, give it to me," Yoongi finds himself saying, palm outstretched in Jeongguk's direction.
Without a word, Jeongguk hands over the bowtie, knowing he can't really refuse Yoongi even if he wants to.
Yoongi pushes Jeongguk back a step, slides himself into what little vacant space there is between Jeongguk's body and the full length mirror. Yoongi's fingers move with such levity and ease as he fixes the bowtie around Jeongguk's neck. It's incredibly easy and, yet, so hard at the same time, feeling Jeongguk's gaze on his face, knowing that Jeongguk can closely see the concentrated glint in his eyes, the furrow of his eyebrows. Yoongi notices Jeongguk glancing at his hands for a quick second, pale skin marked with a few cuts and bruises that never healed quite right — all consequences of their job.
It takes too long — or maybe not entirely too long — before Yoongi's done, before he's adjusting the bowtie and tugging its ends, straightening the center knot right after to make it look even more presentable. Yoongi makes sure to check the transmitter in Jeongguk’s watch one last time as well, fiddling with the gadget this way and that to make sure it's working.
"Are you worried?" Jeongguk suddenly asks.
There's really no point in lying right at Jeongguk's face, not when Jeongguk has gotten so good at reading him lately, at listening to all the things he isn't saying. (Yoongi thinks they both have.) So Yoongi doesn't even consider trying, "of course, I am, brat."
"Oh," Jeongguk says. Yoongi knows it's not so much a surprised response, as it is a breathe of realization, and he waits — just patiently waits for Jeongguk to get it, waits for him to stop nervously toying with his cuffs, waits for him to say something.
"I'll be fine, hyung," Jeongguk eventually tells him after a while. This close, Yoongi thinks he can almost feel Jeongguk's heartbeat thundering steadily inside his chest. “I always am. I know I never fail to give you a reason to worry about me because I keep on getting hurt but," Jeongguk continues to hold Yoongi's gaze, his eyes unnervingly intense, "I'll be okay. I don't plan on breaking my promise tonight, not this time."
There's a knot of something that slowly uncurls in his chest — worry? fear? resignation? maybe something that resembles all three? — and Yoongi finds himself exhaling a touch too loud at Jeongguk's words. A part of him wants to shake his head, maybe scoff disbelievingly at Jeongguk while he's at it because the probability of Jeongguk staying away from danger, from being hurt or gunned down or wounded while on a job, is most probably next to none.
But there's another part of him, a bigger part that stupidly hopes and hopes and hopes for Jeongguk to come out safe and alive and unscathed after all of this.
"You better not," Yoongi says with a final pat on Jeongguk's wrist. "I'm already old as it is; I don't need you taking another ten years off my life after tonight."
"Jimin, how are you doing?" Yoongi tunes in from where he and Namjoon are currently settled in a news van, parked just a few feet away from the hotel where the socialite ball is taking place. There are monitors all around them, with different surveillance panels pulled up and running, and Yoongi makes sure to oversee each one with a quick but careful kind of attention.
"I'm in," Jimin says. He's dressed like one of the waiters for the event so nobody even spares him a second glance as he makes his way through the kitchen.
"Just got in too," Jeongguk says, glancing at the nearest camera. Yoongi sees him walk into the venue easily, with absolutely no hassle coming from the security after Jeongguk manages to flash them his own invitation — the same one that Yoongi had miraculously managed to get his hands on thanks to Hwasa.
The hotel foyer has been decorated lavishly for the event in various tones of gold and white. There are golden curtains near every window and golden vases of varying size and shape set as centerpieces in every table. Crystal cups with rims are also covered in gold paint, as are the plates and all their cutlery set. As if those aren't grand enough, the whole place is only made even more glamorous with glitzy chandeliers and polished marble floors.
"This is ridiculous," Jeongguk grumbles into his earpiece as he slowly looks around. Jimin suddenly passes by him, grinning, and Jeongguk takes this chance to grab a champagne flute from the tray he's holding. "Is everything gold-plated around here?"
Yoongi hums noncommitally — it would appear that's the case but, honestly, Yoongi can't even find it in himself to be surprised. Yoongi easily recognizes most of the guests from their briefing and from watching the news. They're all important people, rich and prominent and powerful in the government and military, so it only makes sense for the host to throw quite an ostentatious party like this.
The event is already in full swing. People are already bustling around, drinking, socializing, talking about whatever it is rich people talk about these days. Jeongguk merges into the scene in no time, an air of confidence and bravado surrounding his form as he walks around in his Tom Ford suit like he's a goddamn royalty himself.
Jeongguk could've effortlessly fooled anyone, really. He's got the honey trap down to a T — the ardent gaze, the seductive smirk, the clever tongue. Has more than enough charisma to sweep anyone right off their feet if Jeongguk so much as pleases to do so. For a second, Jeongguk almost succeeds into tricking Yoongi that he's got this one in the bag.
Until Jeongguk nearly trips himself silly when he tries to swerve and avoid a couple of ladies heading in his direction. Yoongi doesn't even look them up, doesn't even attempt to find out who they are or whose family they came from; he's pretty busy laughing and feeling the secondhand embarassment to even bother.
He can see Namjoon glancing at him from the corner of his eye, looking for all the world amused yet resigned at Yoongi's apparent inability to take pity on Jeongguk's general awkwardness. Yoongi just ignores him, though, and focuses instead on the surveillance panel where Jeongguk can be seen crossing the room in long, hurried strides.
"Stop making fun of me," Jeongguk whines low into his champagne flute. He's leaning sulkily against the bar now, and Yoongi's pretty sure Jeongguk would've been pouting petulantly in public if he wasn't so busy occupying his mouth with his drink.
"Then stop acting like every girl here is out to give you fucking cooties," Yoongi tells him. He sounds fondly exasperated. "Just relax, okay? No one's going to approach you if you look like you're going to flee from the goddamn party any second."
"I don't need anyone to approach me," Jeongguk sniffs, "I just need you to tell me where our mark is, hyung. Have you found her yet?"
Yoongi squints at the small monitors. The hotel's security is pretty tight but they've managed to hack enough cameras to keep the whole floor under surveillance for a while. "I'm still looking for her."
"Gotta look harder, hyung," Jeongguk says. Yoongi knows he's only teasing, knows that Jeongguk's definitely trying to rile Yoongi up because that's kind of, well, their thing. And really, any other time, Yoongi would've probably humored Jeongguk and threw him a cheeky response in return.
But the thing is, Yoongi's already doubling his efforts to try and find Suzy in the crowd. It's getting harder and harder to painstakingly scan every camera panel, though, especially now that the pictures are starting to come out a little grainy and Yoongi doesn't even have a single idea why. Namjoon's been trying to figure out what's interfering with their system as well, but he still comes up short with every attempt.
Yoongi's about to tell Jeongguk to wait for a little more while when he suddenly spots something strange in one of the surveillance camera panels. He checks the screen, tries to make out any familiar face in the crowd, and—
"Found her," Yoongi announces. "Five o’clock relative to your position, in front of that fancy ice sculpture. She’s talking to the daughter of Russia's head of military."
If that doesn't already scream definite trouble for their team, then Yoongi's honestly not sure what else does.
Jeongguk hums. "Sounds like a conversation I should definitely interrupt."
"Act normal and try not to freak out like last time, yeah?" Yoongi reminds him. "Can't have you freezing up like a stupid statue again."
"Hyung, stop. Just let it go, oh my god," Jeongguk groans. Yoongi can't help but cackle to himself because, as mean and heartless as it sounds, he does enjoy watching Jeongguk melt into a puddle of awkwardness and embarrassment sometimes. It's quite hard because Jeongguk is confident and self-assured more often than not — because that's exactly what's espionage is about, right? Fooling people into thinking that you're too damn comfortable in your own skin, that is — so Yoongi finds immeasurable pleasure at seeing him whine and squirm uncomfortably whenever he can.
It also doesn't really help Yoongi's amusement that Jeongguk's so adorable when he's embarrassed as hell. So fucking adorable, in fact, that Yoongi just actually ends up groaning in disbelief and judging himself right after.
"Fine, fine," Yoongi concedes. He's still smiling and Yoongi's tempted to just place his hand over his mouth already because Namjoon's starting to give him those weird, knowing looks again. "Remember what I told you?"
"You wound me, hyung," the faux sadness in Jeongguk's voice is doing absolutely nothing to lessen the upward quirk of Yoongi's lips, "of course I do. You know I always keep in mind all the things you tell me for my missions."
"I would love to hear you two flirt and tease each other all day like little kids, really, but the mark's already walking towards the exit and you really need to intercept her now, Jeongguk," Jimin suddenly says from where he’s on the prowl somewhere in the venue, subtly circling Suzy and making sure he won't lose sight of her.
Yoongi watches as Jeongguk does just that, walking towards the other side of the room and pretending to accidentally bump into Suzy on his way out.
"Oh, sorry—" he starts automatically, only to break off in the middle of his sentence to gape at Suzy in a perfect imitation of a guy who's just seen the prettiest girl at the party. And, maybe, she is, with her pretty brown eyes and pale, creamy skin and a wave of shiny black hair that cascades over her shoulder. She's wearing a pleated mini dress that falls just a few inches above her knees, tied in a criss-cross fashion around her waist. For someone as well-off as she is, Suzy doesn't really strut her family's fortune around unlike the other guests, opting to just keep it simple with a pair of stud earrings, a simple bracelet, and a rather unique glass vial necklace hanging around her neck.
Jeongguk then lets his face relax into its usual disarming smile, the same one that has never failed to charm both men and women within a fifty mile radius before. "It's completely my fault for not paying attention to where I'm walking."
"No worries. I think I'm partially at fault, too, for not watching out," she says, smiling, seemingly unfazed by his gorgeous looks. But then, she holds out her hand in Jeongguk's direction, and Yoongi swears he can almost recognize the flirtatious tilt of her lips. "I'm Suzy, by the way."
"Jun," Jeongguk says, taking her hand in his, "Jun Stark."
Yoongi snorts so loud, it has Namjoon grimacing at him again. They totally would've gone for Tony Stark tonight because Jeongguk is a kid whose love for Iron Man apparently knows no boundaries, but there's approximately seven out of ten chances that people know exactly who Tony Stark is, so Yoongi had to put his foot down and reject any and every single one of Jeongguk's appeals to be named as such tonight.
Suzy, however, doesn't seem to suspect a single thing. Yoongi isn't sure if she's just terribly dumb or if she's already caught up in the trap that is Jeon Jeongguk's Charm Extraordinaire. "Enjoying the party so far?"
"Yes, very much so," Jeongguk beams. "It's really great. I rarely attend events like this though, mainly because I don't like the idea of just going by myself. I mean, parties like this are much better enjoyed with someone else, aren't they?"
"Look at you being all smooth and shit," Yoongi coos in Jeongguk's earpiece. Jeongguk quirks another smile and, this time, Yoongi knows it's for him and him alone.
"Well, yeah—" Suzy worries her lower lip in hesitation before she lets a shy smile pull the ends of her lips. "—I don't mind accompanying you for a little while if you don't have anyone?"
Jeongguk smiles back. "I'd be honored to be in your company."
Yoongi grins, big and wicked. Hook, line, and sinker.
Yoongi wasn't sure how, but Jeongguk had managed to creep up on him job after job after job, dug a space so deeply under Yoongi's skin and proceeded to make his own nest there.
Despite getting on the wrong foot on their first meeting, Yoongi and Jeongguk have learned how to deal with each other. It wasn't easy, not at all; Yoongi always knew it'd take some time to learn how best to work harmoniously with someone. But, eventually, they did — they both learned what each other liked, and how they worked, what kind of information they needed to hear and when they should keep their mouths shut.
Eventually, they knew each other so well that they could work properly as one unit. They made a good team, even despite their constant bickering on and off the field, and proved this to everyone time and time again, mission after mission, day in and day out.
If there was one thing Yoongi's pretty sure of, it's that their partnership definitely took everyone by surprise. Before Jeongguk, it was anything but a secret that no operative had managed to fare well with Yoongi long enough to be his permanent partner. It wasn't something he had a problem with, really. Yoongi had worked well enough on his own during the entirety of his first year in the division and, honestly, he didn't have any qualms about continuing to do so if it wasn't for Seokjin's insistence to find someone to pair him up with.
Enter fastball Jeon Jeongguk from left field and, suddenly, Yoongi couldn't even remember why he'd been so adamant on working alone before.
Nobody could pinpoint out how it happened, or when exactly things have started to change — Yoongi supposed it just did, without any prior warning or headstart about Jeon Jeongguk burrowing his way into Yoongi's side and carving a Jeongguk sized hole in his chest, just fairly close to his heart. At some point, Yoongi didn't really question it when he woke up one morning and just realized that Jeongguk had suddenly become a constant in his life. The kind that would always leave a warm feeling in his gut whenever Yoongi would so much as think of Jeongguk, and not in the same way thinking of Namjoon or Jimin or anyone else in the division would make him feel.
It had surprised him at first, of course. Almost scared himself shitless, even, when Yoongi realized just how awfully familiar he'd ended up being with Jeongguk. The only other agent Yoongi knew as well as he had gotten to know Jeongguk over the course of several missions was Namjoon, and that was only because he and Namjoon have both been fresh from the academy when they started working in espionage.
Namjoon had always been his go-to person when Yoongi needed someone to vent to. He'd been there when things have gotten rough at some point in Yoongi's training, had convinced Yoongi to take a breath and not do something stupid like quit and leave the organization. He'd stayed when Yoongi failed his first ever mission, kept Yoongi company and offered his silence as a means of comfort when Yoongi received his first letter about getting reassigned. Namjoon was there, always there, and he eventually turned out to be the one person Yoongi could trust with his life.
They were good friends. There was no way they weren't.
Yoongi supposed the same thing could be said about him and Jeongguk. Only, unlike with Namjoon, Yoongi knew way too many things about Jeongguk. All the little, subtle things — the good, the bad, even the weird.
Like Jeongguk's unconscious tendency to wriggle his fingers and stomp around when he's feeling antsy or excited about something. The huge, almost childish tilt of his lips whenever Yoongi allowed him to play and tinker with the gadgets in his office sometimes. The distinct frown of his eyebrows when there's a part of a plan he didn't like or agree to. The way he'd always try to look strong even when he's wounded and could barely walk because of a leg fracture, or how he's loud at times and then quiet and reserved the next, or that he's probably ten different kinds of terrible when it came to expressing his feelings.
Yoongi shouldn't know that the other reason why Jeongguk wouldn't let himself get patched up by anyone other than Yoongi was because of his ridiculous aversion to medical staff, who were, in his own words, too overbearing. That Jeongguk had once dreamt about being an owner of a duck meat restaurant or a tattoo artist when he was young, back when he'd been so naive and clueless about all the bad things in the world. That he already possessed an overflowing amount of passion and a strong sense of pride at such a young age. And, despite wanting to appear manly all the time, Jeongguk's still undeniably an actual ball of fluff and cute.
Yoongi didn't knew such a thing was possible, how one person could just push him over the edge and, still, make him want to spontaneously combust with so much affection and appreciation. But it was and, day after day, it was only proving to be a big problem for Yoongi.
Or maybe it wasn't a problem as much as it was an inconvenience, a possibility for a handicap, because they've been taught and reminded over and over again about the dangers of letting people get too close to you. Emotional detachment was the very first lesson they had to learn if they wanted to be a spy, and Yoongi used to pride himself for his discipline about not getting too attached to anyone around him.
Now, though, as he watched Jeongguk bring him his fourth cup of coffee, black and steaming hot, the little paper cup carefully cradled in his hands; watched as Jeongguk leaned too close to put it down and remind Yoongi that this was going to be his last shot of caffeine for the day because he's starting to scare the other agents with his dead stare and the rings under his eyes—
Now, Yoongi wasn't so sure anymore.
"I think I know what the problem is," Namjoon suddenly tells him.
Yoongi turns his gaze away from one of the monitors to look at Namjoon, half of his attention still focused on the scratchy conversation echoing in his earpiece. It's been almost an hour and Jeongguk's making a rather nice job of baiting Suzy with shallow, pointless banter. She's softly giggling under her breath at every joke, brushing her hair away from her face and throwing Jeongguk coquettish glances every now and then — the plan is obviously going along just fine and Yoongi thinks it won't be too long now before they have Suzy eating right out of Jeongguk's palm.
"There’s a pretty strong signal coming from somewhere in the venue and it’s interfering with our communications," Namjoon explains. He continues to tap away at his laptop, mouth firmly set into a downturn. "I've tried to block it out, but it's continuously transmitting a lot of data and breaching our system. I don't think the firewall I've put up will be able to hold out for long, hyung."
"So we need to move a lot faster, is what you're saying," Yoongi clarifies.
"Yeah," Namjoon says, grimacing because this isn't part of the plan — losing their eyes and ears on the venue will definitely make it a lot harder for them to finish the job.
Yoongi pinches the bridge of his nose, hard. Okay. So they're on a time crunch. This is fine; they've dealt with worse things before, been on assignments that required them far lesser time to accomplish.
Everything's going to be just fine.
In his earpiece, Yoongi can hear Jeongguk rehashing some fabricated tale about his recent trip to Africa and how he almost couldn't get back home because he'd lost his passport for some reason or another — "Travel is an attraction trigger. Women are naturally attracted to men who travel a lot, makes them seem worldly and slightly out of reach or some shit," was what Yoongi had advised him. Jeongguk had dutifully taken pointers back then, as though his life depended on it. — can hear Suzy telling him about her past travels as well, and how some of them weren't even planned as a trip for her own enjoyment.
"Jeongguk, ask her something about this trip. Bring it up in your conversation," Yoongi says. He hears Jeongguk hum and Yoongi isn't entirely sure if that noise of acknowledgment is for him or Suzy.
"What brings you here then?" Jeongguk asks. He puts his drink down, cushions his chin on his hand as he looks at Suzy with purpose. "Any particular reason why you chose to fly to Sochi for a vacation?"
It's a tricky question, one that can either bring them closer to their goal or propel them further away from it. It's essential to take risks in every mission, however, and if they play their cards right, if things move along according to plan, they might even be able to wrap everything up with just enough spare time to boot. Yoongi crosses his fingers.
There's a moment's hesitation on Suzy's part, like she's carefully trying to figure out the next words she's about to say. "Actually," Suzy starts after a while—
And then there’s static.
It's the exact, same time that their feed suddenly dies down, their monitor screens turning pitch black one after the other. Yoongi hears Namjoon cursing loudly beside him, his fingers flying over the keyboard again with an alarming speed. A slow, kind of dread curls in the pit of Yoongi's stomach as soon as he realizes what's happening.
"Fuck, come on," Yoongi whispers under his breath. He bites his lip in worry; the connection's still distorted as hell and he can't make out a single thing in his earpiece anymore.
"Jimin, can you hear me?" Namjoon asks into his mic. He patiently waits for a response and, honestly, Yoongi probably would've too, if only every ticking second of silence wasn't enough to drive him closer and closer to absolute madness.
Just as Yoongi's about to repeat the same question to Jeongguk, his phone rings. He chances a quick glance at the screen, blood suddenly running cold when he realizes who's calling — it's Seokjin. Yoongi immediately picks up the call and puts it on loudspeaker, setting it down near him as his hands continue their frantic typing.
"It's not a bomb," is what Seokjin immediately greets him with.
Yoongi arched a brow in confusion. "What?"
"It's not a bomb, Yoongi," Seokjin repeats, the urgency in his voice clearer and louder this time. "It's not a kind of firearm or deadly weapon like we all thought it was. Earlier this morning, we received intel about an underground facility in Sochi that's being funded by their government for years now."
"A facility? What do you mean—"
"A biological warfare facility. It was initially intended as a research center for chemical and biological weapons back when it was first established but, apparently, they've also been trying their hand in creating a couple of bioweapon programs of their own in the recent years," the screen before Yoongi is a mess, with a dozen of codes spooling one after the other to get the video feed back on line, "and, eventually, they succeeded — a new strain of virus was developed out of years and years of large funding and experimental studies. It's great potential to eradicate half a nation's population caught North Korea's interest, and they arranged a private deal to get a sample of the virus for themselves."
"So," Yoongi trails off, his mind running a hundred miles per minute at the sudden influx of new information, "so what the hell does this mean?"
"We’re not looking for a bomb, Yoongi. Someone in that room is carrying a vial of that virus. And if we don’t find it, every single guest in that hall could die today.”
It's not so much a surprise as it is a fact that Yoongi can survive on the field just fine.
Despite it not being universally known to everyone in the organization, Yoongi can hold himself up in a fight pretty well. He's trained to handle guns and explosives and even do hand-to-hand combat. He can scale a three-storey building in the dark, crack a safe, and get back out again with no one the wiser. It's a bit safe to say, then, that the probability of Yoongi's survival when he's sent out on the field is not much different compared to, say, Jimin's or Jeongguk's.
Yoongi's never been a big fan of physical violence, however, especially when he's involved, always prefers to be a bit farther away from the action.
But now, right now, Yoongi’s running as fast as his legs will take him, towards that function hall, right into the fray.
“Fuck,” Yoongi curses out loud, grazing his knee on the asphalt as he stumbles. The lines still haven’t connected and the loud thumping of his heart is almost enough to drown the constant static in his earpiece. He has to tell Jeongguk about the virus. Jeongguk needs to know.
Yoongi's memorized the entire blueprint of the hotel that he manages to get inside without any trouble. He barges into the hall where the event is taking place and immediately tries to search to Jeongguk out. It isn't easy, though; Yoongi knows the extensive guest list by heart and, judging by the number of people in attendance for the party, locating Jeongguk won't really be a piece of cake like he'd hoped.
There are too many people, too many guests, too many faces that Yoongi can't even be bothered to spend more than a second to look at (at one point, Yoongi swears he even chances a glimpse of Hwasa's coquettish smile). But none of them is Jeongguk.
Yoongi's about to give in to desperation and ask someone of Jeongguk's whereabouts when he feels a sudden tug at his hand.
"What the hell are you doing here, hyung?" Jimin hisses into his ear.
"Jeongguk," Yoongi wheezes. He continues to turn his head this way and that, practically ignoring Jimin's concern in his frantic attempt to find Jeongguk's familiar mop of black hair. "Where's Jeongguk?"
"He's with Suzy," Jimin's already dragging Yoongi to a corner of the hall — away from everyone's prying eyes, away from potentially compromising the mission by alarming every single guest within hearing range — before Yoongi can even open his mouth, "hyung, you shouldn't be here—"
"I need to see him," Yoongi urges, panic-stricken. "I need to warn him about the virus."
"I don't have much time to explain but—there's a vial of virus out there that's fatal enough to kill everyone in this hotel and we have to find out where it is before it's too late," Yoongi says in a rush. "Jeongguk's life might be in danger and I'm not just gonna let my ass sit in that van and wait when I know I can fucking do something."
It doesn't take long before the severity of the situation eventually dawns on Jimin. "Shit," he curses under his breath. Yoongi's sure he's mirroring the panic clearly reflected in Jimin's eyes. "Shit. Jeongguk just left the premises with Suzy, hyung. I-I think they went into the back room."
If there's another moment in his life that Yoongi has moved infinitely faster than today, then Yoongi clearly doesn't remember it — he's already heading towards the back room as quickly as his legs can manage, not even giving a single fuck about bumping or sidestepping into anyone who gets in his way.
It's only when he's finally a step away from reaching the back room that Yoongi actually remembers the mechanics of breathing. Yoongi isn't even give a chance to take one full, successful breath, however, because the sight that welcomes him as soon as he gets inside only turns his blood cold, makes it even harder for Yoongi to draw a gulp of air.
There, already lying on the ground is Jeongguk. He isn't moving, nor is he conscious, his body slumped on the floor like a rag doll. He seems like he's in pain, with his breaths coming out in harsh puffs, but the lack of expression on his face says otherwise. Yoongi doesn't know what to think, doesn't know what to make of Jeongguk's condition. He isn't entirely sure what to do anymore.
Yoongi's too preoccupied in his own thoughts that he barely even notices Suzy standing a few steps away from Jeongguk. When he does, though, it's her necklace that Yoongi's eyes catch first. Or, well, what actually remains of it, that is. The odd looking vial hanging around Suzy's neck is gone, now replaced with jagged shards of glass in its wake.
Yoongi closes his eyes and feels his heart trying to beat its way out of his chest. It's too late. He's too fucking late.
It all happens so fast — one moment, Yoongi has Jeongguk cradled in his arms, shaking him, repeatedly calling his name, trying in vain to wake him up. Then he finds himself being held back by Jimin the next, forcefully keeping him in place as several people haul Jeongguk onto a stretcher to take him away.
There's a voice that continuously whispers assurances in his ear, arms that tighten around his waist as though Yoongi will suddenly puff into thin air at any given second. Yoongi stays despite how badly he wants to duck out of Jimin's touch, if only so he can borrow some time to steel himself and finish what they've started.
Still, for one precious second, Yoongi allows himself to feel really, really scared.
When Jeongguk's transmitter suddenly blipped out ten hours into Operation Titan, Yoongi tried his best not to panic, to remain calm and just keep the comms open for Jeongguk.
It wasn't a huge issue; agents falling off the grid in the middle of their missions wasn't something unheard of. Jimin once went missing for a whole week before he managed to catch on a signal strong enough to contact Namjoon and tell him his whereabouts. Hoseok went for days at a time without keeping in contact with anyone after a job, too busy and caught up with inventing and tinkering and revising gadgets to even eat, much less to pick up the phone and let anyone know he's still well and breathing. Taehyung was just completely shit at keeping in contact with his handler and it had driven Sungjae off the fucking wall way too many times to count.
They’re spies. It was only expected that these things would happen at some point in their jobs.
This was totally not a huge issue. It was okay. It was fine.
Only, it really wasn't.
It had been more than two weeks since the red dot on Yoongi's screen died out and, by day eighteen, Yoongi was just about ready to tear his hair out in worry and frustration. Namjoon had been concerned enough to remind Yoongi that this wasn't the first time Jeongguk went MIA during a mission, that this was disturbingly similar to their last assignment where Jeongguk had lost all communications with Yoongi for a solid seventy-two hours and that, just like last time, he'd always find his way back, maybe in a few days or so with a cheeky smile and a new bruise or wound or scar to show off to everyone.
But the thing was — Yoongi already knew all of that, could vividly remember all the other times Jeongguk suddenly vanished off the face of the Earth and made Yoongi a fucking mess of nerves and anxiety and fear.
Still, it didn't stop Yoongi from worrying his ass off about Jeongguk. It didn't stop Yoongi from pacing back and forth in his office, hands wrung in impatience and bottom lip caught in between his teeth. It didn't stop Yoongi from tapping away at his laptop in a fervent attempt to find anything that could help him track where Jeongguk was. He'd been so stressed and upset and bothered out of his goddamn mind that Yoongi didn't even notice how he'd been affecting everyone with his own disposition.
"Go home, Yoongi," Seokjin said. He sighed and, for one surreal moment, he looked about as tired as Yoongi felt. "You're not helping anyone with your constant worrying. Just. Go home and—"
Yoongi just stared at him. "Go home?" he repeated, incredulous. Yoongi tried not to cringe at the hysterical tone he heard in his own voice. "The fuck do you mean I should go home? You honestly expect me to go home and just do nothing?"
"Yes," Seokjin's answer was clipped and final; it didn't leave Yoongi any opening to argue his case, "go home, take a shower, and get some sleep. Stop throwing everyone off balance with your presence. Jeongguk will report in due time once he's back."
And, just like that, Yoongi was forced out of HQ after God only knew how many days of panicking and miraculously surviving without any sleep.
After hours of being in his flat, though, Yoongi couldn't say he was any better. He wasn't driving people crazy with his presence anymore, maybe, but he was still just as anxious as he had been back in his office. Taking a hot shower helped a little in calming his frantic nerves down, but that's about the only thing he could manage to do. Yoongi couldn't make himself eat anything for fear of chucking it back up and just wasting it in the end. And sleep was definitely out of the question — he couldn't even close his eyes for a second without seeing Jeongguk's face behind his eyelids.
Yoongi had just sat back down in front of his laptop to try his hand at tracing Jeongguk's steps once more when he suddenly heard the telltale sound of his living room window being opened.
Yoongi froze and tried to force his heart to stop beating like it'd fly right out of his mouth any damn second. Slowly, Yoongi reached for the handgun he'd stashed under his study table and approached the living room, making sure to keep his steps light and quiet. He'd all but intended to move as smoothly as possible, keep everything under control. When the sound of a body hitting the floor reached his ear, however, Yoongi just found himself rushing out the door with his gun held tightly in his hand.
Yoongi had been ready to shoot — his gun was already trained on the face of his intruder and he'd been so damn ready to pull the trigger, kill whoever had the guts to break in to his house. But then, realization hit him like a freight train as soon as he recognized who it was and Yoongi just had to stare, stare and stare some more, his breath catching painfully in his throat.
"What the fuck—"
"Hi, hyung," Jeongguk interjected. There's a grin on his lips, easy and bright, as though he was simply greeting Yoongi on an ordinary day. As though he hadn't been missing for more than two weeks now and being a pain in Yoongi's neck for just as long. "Sorry for barging in unannounced like this. I wanted to use your front door, but I was too tired to figure out how to get in without triggering your alarm system."
Yoongi had installed any and every security feature he could think off the top of his head and he always took pride on the fact that his apartment was probably just as secure as the Blue House itself. But still— "What the fuck, Jeongguk," Yoongi clicked the safety on and quickly placed his weapon on the coffee table, "where the hell have you been?!"
Jeongguk laughed, and Yoongi noted the wince taking over his face just as soon as he did. "I could tell you, but it's a rather long story. Do you have the time, hyung?"
Yoongi bit his tongue, stopped himself from telling Jeongguk that, yes, he did have the time to listen to all his stories. That, after pacing around and waiting for Jeongguk to come back after an excruciating two whole weeks, Yoongi was all but willing to give Jeongguk all the fucking time in the world right now.
Instead, Yoongi just grunted and helped Jeongguk up from the floor, his arm going around Jeongguk's waist to keep him standing. He deposited Jeongguk on the nearby couch, slowly and carefully, because as much as Jeongguk liked to pretend that everything's fine, that he wasn't hurt or wounded, Yoongi could clearly see through him and his facade.
It had always been that way, and Yoongi supposed no amount of distance and time away from each other could easily change that.
Yoongi sat on the couch opposite him, and took this time to really look at Jeongguk. He watched Jeongguk twitch uncomfortably under his gaze, watched as Jeongguk tried to make himself seem small and invisible, as though doing so can stop Yoongi from noticing the shadows under his eyes, the bruises on his face, on his arms and legs, down the side of his neck. There's also a patch of crimson slowly blooming on Jeongguk's shirt and Yoongi cursed at himself for not spotting it sooner.
Wordlessly, Yoongi got up from his seat and trudged towards the bathroom to get his first-aid kit. Frankly, he didn't have any reason to own one, considering he was always behind the safety of a computer screen and was just rarely seen on the field to save some agent's ass or another. But, well, he's still a spy and Yoongi figured there was no harm to keep a well-stocked first aid kit for himself, just in case.
Yoongi couldn't be more thankful now for that decision, honestly.
When he returned to the living room, Jeongguk was still in the same position as Yoongi left him, only now he's gone completely shirtless as he settled more comfortably on the couch. Any other time and Yoongi would've probably sensed that familiar heat creep up his neck from the sight of a half-naked Jeongguk, but Yoongi couldn't even feel properly flustered at seeing Jeongguk's well-toned chest again because there's a nasty cut right below Jeongguk's ribs that clearly needed his attention and Yoongi's really more concerned for Jeongguk's well-being than anything else.
After pulling out the things he needed, Yoongi moved closer and started cleaning Jeongguk's wound with water and antiseptic wipes, trying in vain to ignore the hot breath brushing against the side of his neck as Jeongguk constantly pulled in stuttering breaths through his nose.
"You were wounded," Yoongi started when he couldn't stomach the silence between them anymore, "and you've been missing for only God knows how fucking long. Everyone was worried about you, Jeongguk. Everyone." Yoongi breathed in, deep and slow and only a little bit raggedly. He kept his gaze on Jeongguk's wound, kept his hand moving as he patched Jeongguk up with all the care and concentration in the world. "You should've gone straight to headquarters to report to Seokjin, not—"
"I had to see you first, hyung," Jeongguk blurted out, and then winced once more at Yoongi's particularly hard press of the antiseptic cotton to his wound. "I wanted to see you first."
Yoongi couldn't get himself to speak after that, the words helplessly stuck in his throat. Jeongguk only took this opportunity to continue, "I came here as soon as I could. It hasn't even been a full hour since my plane landed but I needed to head straight to your house to tell you something."
"I wanted to make sure you knew I was okay," Jeongguk continued in a rush, not even giving Yoongi a chance to speak. "I know how much you worry about me and I'm sorry that I couldn't check in with you any sooner but—but I wanted you to be the first person to know that I'm safe, hyung."
Yoongi slowly straightened up and stared at Jeongguk with wide eyes. There's a part of him that refused to believe and eat up Jeongguk's words because if he did — if Yoongi gave in and stopped listening to the rational part of his brain, the only part that continuously reminded him about office romances never being a good thing, especially when one of them could just die at any given second, then all of his efforts would just have been for naught.
But the bigger part of him just longed to completely trust Jeongguk because he knew Jeongguk more than anyone else, didn't he? Knew that, while Jeongguk was pretty horrible at expressing himself, he'd never really found it hard to be genuine with Yoongi.
And, suddenly, it didn't matter that Yoongi's suffered so fucking much in the entire two and whatever weeks that Jeongguk had gone missing. It didn't matter that Yoongi felt that familiar frustration crawling under his skin because Jeongguk had broken his promise yet again, had gone home with another wound when he swore that he'd take better care of himself. It didn't even matter that Jeongguk apparently knew where he lived, that he'd probably gotten Yoongi's address from Namjoon or Jimin or Hoseok despite Yoongi's strict instructions not to give it to anyone else without his permission.
Suddenly, nothing else mattered anymore because Jeongguk's here and alive and breathing and he looked somewhat okay and whole that Yoongi couldn't help but let out a breath he didn't realize he’d been holding since Jeongguk's signal disappeared more than two weeks ago.
Yoongi shook his head and smiled. Until now, Yoongi couldn't figure out how Jeongguk could easily affect him like this. But, then again, he wouldn't be Jeon Jeongguk if he didn't drive Yoongi out of his fucking mind.
"Honestly, what am I going to do with you," Yoongi sighed.
The rhetoric question managed to put a smile on Jeongguk's face, tired and small as it may be. Jeongguk then rested his head on Yoongi's shoulder, and the gesture was so sudden and intimate that Yoongi found himself slightly tensing at the contact. "For starters, you could let me sleep here tonight?" Jeongguk asked. He was obviously trying his luck, skittering past the boundaries of whatever he and Yoongi have. "I'm so tired, hyung."
"This brat," Yoongi said, with no real bite behind it. Hesitantly, he lifted his hand and carded his fingers through Jeongguk's hair, smoothing out all the tangles in the process. "Let me finish cleaning your wound first and then you can sleep, alright? Can't have you walking around injured in my apartment."
Jeongguk hummed and it took all of Yoongi's self-restraint not to shudder so violently.
Yoongi knew there were still so many things they needed to talk about but they're both exhausted, weariness seeping into their bones and reflecting in their actions. It was fine, though, because Jeongguk's finally here. Because Jeongguk's safe and alive and well.
Anything else could wait.
Yoongi can't even remember the last time he's felt so drained like this.
He hasn't eaten yet, has barely slept in over three days, hasn't even had the time to clean up or even attempt to make himself look at least a little more human in front of other people. He's tired and scared and worried out of his damn mind and all he wants to do right now is go home and maybe sleep the entire year away.
But, he can't.
He can't, not when Jeongguk's still lying on his bed, oddly subdued and quiet, hooked up to a million wires and a row of fancy looking machines. He can't, not when Yoongi had already vowed to himself that he'll be here when Jeongguk finally opens his eyes. He can't, especially not when Seokjin already slipped and told him about the possibility of Jeongguk waking up today because he's looking a lot better and some of the tests they've done to him are apparently turning out okay.
The steady beeping of the heart monitor continues to cut through the silence in the small room. Yoongi can't get himself to sit still, despite trying his hardest to direct his attention to the flowers, the fruit baskets, and the ridiculous pictures on the ‘Get well soon, Kookie!’ cards all piled on the nightstand next to Jeongguk's bed.
He's been so preoccupied with keeping himself sane and awake that he almost jumps right out of his seat when he suddenly hears the weak sound of his name being called.
Yoongi glances around the room, thinking that someone else might have stepped inside without him really noticing it. However, upon seeing that no one else is actually around apart from him, it takes Yoongi another heartbeat or two to realize that it was Jeongguk's voice that he'd heard.
That Jeongguk is actually awake now, thank fuck.
He stares at Jeongguk with the kind of intensity that makes Jeongguk's stomach drop and says, "about time that you wake up and stop scaring the shit out of me."
Jeongguk laughs, just the softest sound of amusement that fills Yoongi's chest with relief. "Hello to you, too, hyung."
Yoongi frowns. "How are you feeling?"
"Dead," Jeongguk croaks out. It's not a good joke — doesn't even come close to being one, goddamn it — and Yoongi makes sure to frown hard at him, let Jeongguk know of his disapproval about making fun of something like that. "What happened?"
"You've been under observation for three days now." At this, Yoongi sees Jeongguk immediately make a face and he catches himself reaching out to softly pat his hand before Yoongi's even conscious of what he's doing.
"The mission?" He asks. Jeongguk's eyes suddenly widen. "What about Suzy? And the virus—"
"Suzy's in custody, as all the other significant people involved in this case. Taehyung and the rest of the research team are still trying to look into the genetic composition of the virus that Suzy was in possession of. Not sure how that's going, however. Haven't heard a single news from them yet," Yoongi says, and then his brows draw up in a moment of curiosity. "How did you know about the virus?"
Jeongguk nibbles on his lower lip. "That night...something was going on with the comms right?" Yoongi nods. "When I asked Suzy about her trip to Sochi, it didn't really take me too long to make her talk. I acted as soon as I figured out what we were really after, tried to grab the necklace from her without breaking it and then—" Jeongguk trails off, as though he can't clearly remember what happened after that. "And then—"
"Suzy smashed the vial right on your face," Yoongi continues, his gaze focused anywhere but at Jeongguk.
"Are you okay, hyung?" Jeongguk asks.
Yoongi can't help but grimace at the question. "I should be the one asking you that. You’re the one in the hospital bed, not me."
"Well. I'm alive," Jeongguk answers, shrugging. He then stares at Yoongi, long and intent, and Yoongi feels so damn thankful that he's not the one attached to the heart monitors right now — he probably would've alarmed every single health personnel in the Medical wing with how fast and strong his heart was thudding against his ribcage, honestly. "What's bothering you?"
A whole fucking lot, Yoongi wants to say.
But, in the end, this is what he tells Jeongguk: "I was so fucking scared, Jeongguk-ah."
Yoongi runs his hand over his face, the bone-deep exhaustion prominent in the way he slumps against one of Medical's awful chairs. "When Seokjin told me about the virus, about how potent it is to kill half a country's population in a snap, I went into the field to try and warn you. I couldn't just sit down and wait for the comms to be back up, I knew I had to do something to let you know. But when I got there, it was already too late and I couldn't save you," Yoongi closes his eyes, the horrible images of seeing Jeongguk lying on a heap on the floor, unconscious, unmoving still flashing behind his eyelids, "I thought the virus had you infected. Hell, I thought you were even dead at one point because you weren't responding to anything when we brought you to Medical. I just—" Yoongi visibly deflates then, as though all the fight just went out of him. "I was so scared."
"Yoongi—" Jeongguk starts, stricken.
"You're fucking important to me," Yoongi says. He doesn't care that he sounds so vulnerable at this point, so open, so damn scared like he needs to get the words out before he can’t. "Do you understand?"
Jeongguk only nods and grabs Yoongi's hand. It's only then that Yoongi realizes how badly he's shaking, his fingers twitching in cancelled movements. Jeongguk holds it against his wrist, his pulse point, and Yoongi has to let out a ragged breath when he finds it beating so steadily and reassuringly under his touch.
"I'm alive," Jeongguk repeats, softer this time, gentler, as though he knows how frail and important this moment is for Yoongi. For the both of them. "I'm here."
It takes quite a while but Yoongi eventually nods, his body seemingly able to relax after that. His hand stills. "Yeah," he says, "you are."
Yoongi lets the silence take over for a minute. He can hear the steady rhythm of the heart monitor echoing against the four walls of the room, almost as though it's constantly reminding Yoongi that Jeongguk is here. That Jeongguk's heart is still beating. That Yoongi can stop being afraid now because, yes, his partner is okay and very much alive.
"Come here, hyung," Jeongguk says. There's a weak tug at his hand, once, twice, only becoming more persistent on the third time. When Yoongi still refuses to move from his place by the side of Jeongguk's bed, Jeongguk almost whines. "Come here."
"Since when did you learn to be so damn pushy with your hyung." Yoongi's almost back to himself now, enough for him to grouse at Jeongguk disapprovingly like usual. He eventually allows Jeongguk to pull him closer, nonetheless, moves around the bed until he's within Jeongguk's grabbing range. Jeongguk then reaches out and curls his fingers into the front of Yoongi's shirt, needy and persistent.
"You're gonna have to iron this for me again," Yoongi tells him gravely. Jeongguk only grunts, not exactly a sound of acknowledgment or refusal, before tugging Yoongi down to kiss him.
It’s not the greatest kiss Yoongi's ever had, honestly — one of them is stuck in a hospital bed, for one thing, and the person who wasn't actually exposed to the virus is the one trembling in his own skin, fine little tremors shaking through his body. Jeongguk's lips are chapped, the angle over the bed is awkward, and it's generally pretty uncomfortable with Yoongi leaning his head forward and tilting his body at an arc.
It’s not the greatest kiss Yoongi's ever had but, fuck, if it didn't just take Yoongi's breath away.
When Jeongguk pulls back, Yoongi surges forward for another chaste press of their mouths again before he can even second-guess himself. It's soft and sweet, and it does nothing but make Yoongi shiver when Jeongguk meets him halfway.
"Closer," Jeongguk whines — actually whines this time — right against his lips, and it takes all of Yoongi not to outright laugh at Jeongguk's cuteness. He feels inexplicably giddy, like everything's just too much and not enough, like his heart is just about ready to beat itself silly right out of his ribcage. It's a nice feeling.
Just as Yoongi's about to plant a knee on the edge of Jeongguk's bed, his desperate fingers still bracketing Jeongguk's face, the door suddenly opens. Seokjin immediately stops dead in his tracks, eyes comically wide at the scene that welcomes him. Thankfully, Namjoon has the sense to close the door behind them at the very least.
Yoongi groans. Cockblocks. Fucking cockblocks, all of them.
"I think we're interrupting something, hyung," Namjoon says, smirking. The rosy blush on Jeongguk's cheeks is a rather pretty color on his skin and Yoongi wouldn't have turned his gaze away from Jeongguk to direct a glare right at Namjoon's direction if he didn't find it completely necessary to shut Namjoon up first.
Seokjin clears his throat, but there's no denying the beginnings of a knowing smile currently trying the pull the corners of his lips. "We have good news and bad news," he says, like Namjoon never even opened his mouth earlier. "What do you like to hear first?"
He and Jeongguk share a brief look. "Well, let's hear the good first."
"The virus isn't lethal," Seokjin starts, and just those words alone has Yoongi breathing out a huge sigh of relief. "I've read Taehyung's report about its genetic composition and, as it turns out, what Suzy had was a dupe. But while it's definitely not as dangerous as the real virus, we've decided to keep Jeongguk here for a few more days for further observation," Seokjin's expression then turns steely, like that of a parent who's about to scold his child, "don't give me that face, Jeon Jeongguk — it's for your best interest."
Yoongi resists the urge to laugh. "What's the bad news?"
Seokjin turns his attention back to Yoongi. "The real virus is still out there. We're not entirely sure just yet, but there's a big possibility that it's still in the possession of Bang Sihyuk." Seokjin hands him a new file folder — inside are a bunch of classified information regarding Russia's head of military, and it's thin enough that Yoongi can probably read the entire thing in one seating. "I'll be giving you more details about your next mission the next time we meet. For now, you two should rest. You've both been granted a week or two to recuperate before your next assignment starts."
Just as Seokjin's about to step out and close the door behind him, he turns around once again and peeks his head into the room. "Oh. And Yoongi?" Yoongi perks up at the sound of his name, naively thinking that Seokjin must have forgotten to tell him something important about their new mission. "Jeongguk's not supposed to participate in any strenuous activities for the next few days, so please try to keep both of your hands to yourselves until then, alright?"
Yoongi groans again as soon as the door shuts with a soft click. God. God, he's never wished for the ground to swallow him whole up until that very moment. As if Seokjin's teasing isn't enough to make Yoongi want to burrow so deeply into his own skin, Namjoon's completely useless advice to "use protection if you can't keep it in your pants, hyung!" isn't really helping Yoongi much with his mortification, as well.
While Yoongi almost feels like he's dying from embarrassment, the same thing can't actually be said about Jeongguk.
"Should we continue where we left off, hyung?" Jeongguk slyly asks. He's slowly reaching for Yoongi's hand, fingers already on their way to wrapping themselves around Jeongguk's wrist. Honestly, if Yoongi wasn't so dead set on Jeongguk's fast recovery, he might've jumped on the opportunity (to jump Jeon fucking Jeongguk) right there and then.
"Later," Yoongi says instead. It's not exactly a yes but, then again, it's not really a no either. "More sleep, less sucking each other's face. C'mon, you need to rest up."
Jeongguk's face falls, but he recovers fast enough from his disappointment and pats the empty space beside him on the bed. "Cuddle with me so I can rest better then, hyung."
It's very tempting but— "No." Yoongi's answer is hard and definite. Like a stone.
Jeongguk's frown becomes even more pronounced, if that's even humanly possible. "Is this any way to treat a bedridden patient," he grumbles. When Yoongi doesn't budge from his position, Jeongguk just sighs in defeat. "Fine. At least just let me hold your hand while I sleep?"
Yoongi snorts. "What are you, five?" Still, Yoongi holds his hand out for Jeongguk to take, and Jeongguk immediately grabs it, doesn't waste a second to grip Yoongi's hand with his own. Jeongguk smiles at him like he's just won the fucking lottery and Yoongi finds that he doesn't really have it in himself to feel annoyed at how ridiculous Jeongguk is behaving. If this is what it takes to make Jeongguk sleep so he can recover quickly, then Yoongi supposes it's fine. It's okay. Yoongi is totally cool with this.
He doesn't have any other plans for today, anyway.
(Jeongguk's hand is surprisingly warm and his grip on Yoongi's own is tight and secure, like he's afraid of Yoongi pulling away once he's asleep. Yoongi thinks it's silly — after all, there's really nowhere else in the world he'd want to be right now but by Jeongguk's side.)
Yoongi has had a number of pleasant experiences throughout the course of his entire life — getting scouted for basketball in middle school, graduating from the academy, getting into the organization primarily as a tech specialist.
Yoongi may have quite a list, sure, but he also thinks everything pales in comparison to the sight of Jeongguk above him, with his arms securely caging Yoongi in, holding him tight up against Jeongguk. Nothing can even come close to the wonderful feeling of Jeongguk's body so warm and firm against his own as he presses close, close, closer still.
Jeongguk always kisses like he only has one chance, like there's no greater opportunity to express his affections for Yoongi than right here, right now. He presses his lips to Yoongi's a little more fervently, a little more desperately, making his whole body feel electric, everything thrumming and buzzing and sparking. Jeongguk kisses him deeper, sucking lightly at Yoongi's bottom lip, and Yoongi can't help the noise he makes against Jeongguk's mouth, breathy and pleased. Yoongi can feel him grinning, delighted, in the space and seconds between where their lips meet, soft for only a second before Jeongguk surges in again and kisses him long enough that Yoongi's lungs almost burn.
It's been almost two months since they officially got together, since Yoongi had sucked it up and returned Jeongguk's confession with his own, and he still isn't used to this. Yoongi doesn't know if he'll ever get used to this. He's been unconsciously, and yet unsurprisingly, in love with Jeongguk for quite some time now, probably even long enough that Yoongi still finds himself reeling from the fact alone. This is all new to him, to both of them maybe, and the idea that he can feel so much, so intensely, for someone still shocks Yoongi up to this day.
Just as things are beginning to grow heated, their movements gaining a purpose and leading to more, Yoongi's phone suddenly rings. The ringtone Yoongi's set specifically for Seokjin's calls is currently blasting in the air and, really, as terrible and douchey as it sounds, it just gives Yoongi all the more reason not to pick it up.
It rings and rings and rings, and if Yoongi wasn't so preoccupied with tangling his fingers through Jeongguk's hair, making him moan and gasp into Yoongi's mouth with every pull and scratch against his scalp, he probably would've taken the time to reach over the table and chuck his phone far away. Far, far away where no mobile gadget can disturb and annoy the fuck out of him.
"Leave it," Yoongi whines when he suddenly feels Jeongguk shift, as though he's planning to do exactly what Yoongi should've done the moment his ringtone blared a few seconds ago. Meanwhile, his phone continues to trill obnoxiously.
"Might be important, hyung," Jeongguk mumbles, the words soft between their lips. He pulls back a little, just enough that Yoongi can drop another kiss and taste the smirk on Jeongguk lips if he so pleases. Which Yoongi does, anyway, just because. "Who's the older one between the two of us again?"
Yoongi tsks, then proceeds to duck his head to hide his quickly reddening cheeks. It's really difficult to stay annoyed at Jeongguk, not when he's smiling so brightly down at Yoongi, trying to hide his teeth and failing. "Fine."
Jeongguk softly laughs under his breath. He presses a quick kiss on one of Yoongi's cheeks before feeling for Yoongi's phone and answering it. He sets it on loudspeaker and places it back on the table, clearly with all the intention in the world to continue where they left off.
"Hey lovebirds, we have a new mission for you," there's a collective groan that follows as soon as they both hear Seokjin's horrible excuse of a greeting, "remember the virus? Well, we were finally able to track down the dealer after weeks of searching and you two are expected to fly to Hong Kong in a few days."
Jeongguk's head immediately finds purchase in the crook of Yoongi's neck and the groan that slips past his lips only reverberates against Yoongi's skin. "That soon?"
"There's no time to waste. We can't risk another possibility of anyone getting a hold of that virus before us again," Seokjin explains, "I'll explain the rest of the mission at the headquarters tomorrow. I'm expecting to see the both of you in my office at nine."
"Alright," Yoongi says. Their conversation ends after that, with the implication of Seokjin's phone call thick and hanging in the air.
It's silent for a while, and Yoongi would've thought Jeongguk was fast asleep if it wasn't for the brief press of lips against his neck, right above one of his scars, where there's a fading hickey — the spot Jeongguk damn well knows makes Yoongi shiver. He cards his fingers through Jeongguk's hair, feels him relax and settle comfortably against his chest.
"Guess it's time to kick some ass again, babe," Yoongi eventually says, unable to hide the excitement in his voice even if he tries. Going back to normal, to laying their lives on the line just to finish mission after mission after mission isn't exactly a pleasing thought — but Yoongi lives for this shit. He lives for this kind of thrill. "You ready?"
Jeongguk hums. He lifts his head then and smiles, and if Yoongi wasn't already in love with him, he's pretty sure he would have immediately gone head over heels with Jeongguk right at that very moment.
"As ready as I'll ever be."