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desperate hope

Chapter Text

Having to point to his nose going through metal detectors was a pain, but it was preferable to getting a pat down when he inevitably set off the contraption.

"I still don't see why those are fucking necessary," he grumbles into the wire hidden in his jacket.

"They're to keep people safe," came Gwangseok's voice in his ear piece. "Which is why they annoy you so much," he says, his voice breathy with laughter.

"Fuck off," Sungjun grumbles, going to the stairs and heading up to the roof. "Are we sure my stuff is up there?"

"Sunwoo said he dropped it off, and my sources confirm it."

"So you still don't trust us, huh?"

"You're a group of assassins. Forgive me for keeping my options open," comes the grumbling through the earpiece.

"You were one too," Sungjun counters, still climbing the stairs. "You'd still be one now if you weren't reckless."

"I know," Gwangseok snaps, then sighs. "It's why I'm extra careful now. And why I make sure your ass is covered."

"My ass is fine," Sungjun laughs. "You should be more concerned about Minsu's."

"Suwoong has that covered." Gwangseok's eye roll is practically audible. "Besides, Minsu is good at what he does."

"And I'm not?"

"You know that's not what I mean Sungjun," Gwangseok sighs. "This is my way of paying you back."

"Whatever," Sungjun says, pressing a button on his jacket to open up the comm to the entire team. "I'm in position," he says as he opens the door to the roof.

The sky is cloudy and grey. It seems as if it'll rain soon. Sungjun hopes it happens after he's done. Singing in the rain? Great. Shooting in the rain? Not so much.

Walking across the roof, he grabs the suitcase there, opening it as he starts to assemble his rifle.

"Sungjun," comes Gwangseok's voice through the comm again, "be careful, okay?"

"I don't know why you're worried. I'm as far from the action as I can get while still making my shot," Sungjun grumbles back.

"I've looked into these guys, they're scary. Not just your usual. Just be safe," he says before the line goes silent.

Good. Sungjun can't focus with noise anyways.

He assembles the gun quickly, easily adjusting the lens and taking his aim. Checking his watch, he sees he has time. About two minutes.

"There's a problem," comes Wonjun's voice over the comm.

"No there's not," Minsu argues, sounding breathless and staticky over the line.

"Yes. There is," Wonjun says, calm as ever. "There are more people than we thought there would be. It's a meeting. Not just one guy to take out."

Sungjun stares at his watch. Thirty seconds. "What are the orders," he says through the comm. "I can take out more than one, and Suwoong is on the ground with Minsu."

"Minsu's injured," comes Suwoong's voice. He sounds shaken, as he always does when Minsu even gets a paper cut. Sungjun isn't all that worried.

"Your orders hold," Wonjun says. "Sungjun, you know your target. Take him out and rendezvous with the rest of us. Be careful, they may know you're there."

"They what ?" Sungjun grits his teeth, looking around him before back down at his watch. Two minutes past. Leaning down, he looks through the scope of his rifle. There's nobody in the room.

"We have another problem," comes Sunwoo, breathless over the intercom.

Sungjun's getting tired of this. "For fuck's sake, what now?"

"They're onto us. They moved the meeting to the other side of the building. Sungjun, disassemble your gun and hide the case and get the fuck out of there. Now ."

Groaning, Sungjun disassembles his gun at top speed, putting the pieces back in the case and hiding it under the vent. "Now what," he grumbles into the wire. "The fucking roof door locks from the inside, that's why we had the extraction plan with the zip line."

"Zip line is a no go with Minsu out of commission," Sunwoo says.

"No fucking shit Sherlock," Sungjun growls. "How the fuck do I get out of here?"

"Ok, I hate to add to the bad news," comes Gwangseok's panicked voice, "but Sungjun, you have guys headed your way. They're at the thirteenth floor."

"It's a twenty story building," Sungjun hums, looking over the side, "so I can't jump." He stands, rolling his shoulders back and cracking his knuckles. "My best bet is to rush them when they get up here, make a break for the door and haul ass."

"No unnecessary risks," comes Wonjun's strict tone.

"Fuck off," Sungjun smiles, pulling out his earpiece and putting it in the pocket of his jeans.

He walks to the door, waiting.


Sungjun is going to fucking kick somebody's ass. He got to the rendezvous point, beaten and bloody to find Sunghak waiting in a car, saying everyone had gone back to base. Throughout the drive Sungjun was stewing in his own anger.

"What the fuck was that," he shouts as soon as he gets back to their base, which is basically a nicely furnished penthouse with several rooms and fancy gadgets, courtesy of Wonjun's suspiciously acquired inheritance.

He stops in his tracks when he sees Minsu on the couch in the center of the living room, his shirt off with Himchan on his knees in front of him, stitching up a gash that's so bloody Sungjun can't see where it starts and ends. Suwoong is holding Minsu's hand and running fingers through his hair.

Wonjun walks up to Sungjun, and the sniper turns to their leader and narrows his eyes. "What happened?" His voice this time is lower, but no less angry.

"Information got leaked. Sunwoo is talking to Gwangseok," he says, his voice even.

"You WHAT," Sungjun shouts, making Himchan turn to give him a withering glare. He quiets himself, turning back to Wonjun. "Talking as in talking, or talking as in interrogating?"

Wonjun rolls his shoulders back and gives Sungjun a look. "I'm pretty sure you know the answer to that."

"If you hurt him," Sungjun starts, but shakes his head. "You know what I'll do. I'm going to see him." It isn't a question, and Wonjun doesn't try to stop Sungjun as he storms off in the direction of Sunwoo's interrogation room.

The door slams open with a bang, and Gwangseok is sitting at the table alone, looking down at his hands.

"Where's Sunwoo," Sungjun says as he moves towards Gwangseok, getting on his knees to the side of him, wincing at the pain of it.

"I told him, th-that I think we might've been hacked. He's checking to see if I'm lying," he says shakily, not looking at Sungjun. "He thinks I leaked our information. I didn't, I swear, I wouldn't-"

"I know," Sungjun cuts him off, and Gwangseok finally looks down at him.

"You're hurt," he gasps. Now that they're looking at each other, Sungjun can see that he's been crying, his eyes red and wet. "I-I'm sorry, oh my god, if I had just-"

"I'm fine," Sungjun says. The door opens behind them and he stands, turning towards Sunwoo.

Walking forward, Sunwoo looks from Sungjun to Gwangseok. "Your conversation over the intercom was recorded."

Sungjun narrows his eyes. "And?"

Sunwoo rolls his eyes, sitting at the table across from Gwangseok. "You said you'd checked with your own sources to be sure I set things up correctly. Who did you speak to."

Gwangseok looks confused. "Jude. He's undercover in the building. I've known him for years, he wouldn't-"

"Jude would do anything to cover his own ass," Sunwoo interrupts. He stands and nods at Sungjun. "We're done here. Take him back. I'll discuss further plans with Wonjun."

The door closes behind them, and Sungjun looks down at Gwangseok. He's shaking. "It's not your fault," he reassures, even though it is. It's completely Gwangseok's fault. He's too trusting. Too easily fooled. It's why he isn't in the field anymore. It's why he has a bullet lodged in his hip that nobody can get out.

Standing up, Gwangseok side steps Sungjun. "It is." He goes to the door. "And you got hurt because of me." His voice is tight, and he leaves the room.

Sungjun feels throbbing in his chest, and he's sure it's from the hit he took there earlier.

Chapter Text

When he gets out of his own head and makes his way back to the living room, Minsu is gone. Suwoong and Himchan are there cleaning up the blood on the floor and the sofa.

They look up when Sungjun comes in, and Suwoong's fist tightens around the cloth he's using before he goes back to scrubbing at the couch.

"If you're mad at me, get it out," Sungjun says. He's tired and in pain and has no fucking time to beat around the bush.

"Minsu got hurt because of your fucking boyfriend. Forgive me if I'm a little pissed off," he spits out.

Sungjun rolls his eyes, not even about to dignify the boyfriend comment with a response. "He knows the risks of missions. So do you. Fucking get over it or leave."

He doesn't know why there's a defense for Gwangseok at the tip of his tongue, because Suwoong is right. Gwangseok fucked up. He got Minsu hurt, inadvertent though it was. "He just wants us all to be safe," Sungjun mutters under his breath.

"Well he's doing a great fucking job," Suwoong says bitterly.

"Both of you shut up," Himchan says. "This is petty. Suwoong, your boyfriend got hurt. So did Sungjun. Lots of people are at fault. Shit happens. Shut the fuck up if you're just going to bitch at each other."

They both shut up. Himchan does know best, after his last team treated him like shit and betrayed him. Suwoong was friends with the first one that left Himchan to rot. The two of them working through that wasn't very pretty.

"You look like shit," Himchan says after giving Sungjun a once over. "Go to my room and wait. I'll patch you up when I'm done cleaning over here."

"I'm fine," Sungjun rolls his eyes.

Himchan glares at him. "My room. Go."


They sit in relative silence as Himchan dresses the gash on Sungjun's cheek.

"Shirt off," Himchan says, standing to throw out the bloodied gauze.

"If you wanna get me naked you could just say so," Sungjun grins, then winces at the pain in his cheek. Himchan rolls his eyes. Looking down, Sungjun lifts his shirt up and off his head, groaning at the pain that shoots through his side.

"You're a fucking mess," Himchan sighs, looking past the scars on his chest to the bruising on his ribs. "I recommend that you rest, but I also know you won't listen to me."

"I can rest when I'm dead," Sungjun replies, flinching as Himchan probes at the center of the bruise.

"That's gunna be sooner rather than later with the way you're going," Himchan shoots back, leaning back on his knees in front of Sungjun. "Not much we can do about the bruise, but your rib isn't broken." He slaps Sungjun's thigh, making him groan again. "Pants off."

"You're forward today," Sungjun mutters as he lifts his hips to wiggle out of his jeans. "I know I'm hot, but really."

"You're too young for me," Himchan rolls his eyes, running his fingers over the scraping on Sungjun's knees.

"I'm only two years younger than you," Sungjun says through gritted teeth as Himchan disinfects a gash on his leg.

The conversation dies off as Himchan works, Sungjun having to scoot off the bed somewhat so a bandage could be wrapped around his thigh. As Sungjun is getting dressed after being given permission, Himchan cleans up his supplies.

"You should talk to Gwangseok," he says.

"I always talk to him," Sungjun replies, his brows furrowing.

Himchan gives him a withering look and sighs. "Okay. Come back later tonight so I can redress your wounds."


Sungjun is less than surprised to see Gwangseok pacing when he gets back to his room.

"You have your own room," Sungjun mutters as he slips off his jacket and throws it over the chair at his desk.

"I-I know, but I wanted to apologize for-"

"Don't," he cut Gwangseok off. "If you wanna apologize, go see Suwoong. He's more upset than I am."

"But it's different," Gwangseok huffs out, crossing his arms and looking at Sungjun. "It's different because it's us."

Rolling his eyes, Sungjun sits down on his bed. "What the fuck do you mean by 'us'?"

Something flits across Gwangseok's features, and Sungjun is too tired to try and decipher it. "I mean I've been friends with you for years Sungjun, and I know you aren't taking this as well as you want everyone to believe."

A laugh fills the room, tired and broken before Sungjun speaks again. "Gwangseok, I hate to break it to you, but I don't think you know shit about me anymore."

"Look," the other starts, moving to the foot of Sungjun's bed, "I know that you like to pretend you're some hardcore badass assassin who doesn't feel anything, but Jun, it's okay. It's okay for you to be upset. To have feelings for once in your fucking life."

Sungjun looks up at Gwangseok. He sees those eyes, open and honest and practically pleading despite the frustration in his voice. He almost chokes, looking down and away. "I'm not mad about today Gwangseok. We're all alive, if a little worse for wear. We've had worse days," he inadvertently looks at Gwangseok's jean covered hip as he says it.

Thinking back, Sungjun remembers how he'd found Gwangseok that night. A bullet in his knee to accompany the one in his hip. His eyes were red and wet but he'd managed to tear off his shirt to tightly wrap around his knee, and he was pushing down on his side to try and slow the bleeding.

Everything around him had been a mess of blood and shell casings. Sungjun remembers going to him, kneeling in front of him. He remembers Gwangseok looking so relieved. Sungjun had tried his best to make sure Gwangseok felt safe and secure, even as he drifted into unconsciousness from the blood loss. That was the last time Sungjun remembered crying.

"I miss you," are the words that snap Sungjun back to the present.

"We see each other every day," comes the deadpan response.

Sitting onto the bed next to him, Gwangseok keeps talking. "I mean I miss Sungjun, my best friend. Not Sungjun the super special spy assassin dude."

"I'm still your best friend?" Sungjun can't keep the surprise out of his voice. He hasn't exactly been avoiding Gwangseok, but since the incident that put him out of commission, the only alone time they got was over comms before missions. Sungjun has distanced himself for reasons he isn't quite ready to look into yet.

"Yeah, dumbass," Gwangseok says, a soft smile gracing his features as his tone quiets. "Best buds forever, remember? I think our initials are still carved into that tree outside our old dorm building."

Sungjun can't help but laugh a bit, smiling and shaking his head.

"There it is," Gwangseok hums. "That smile. I missed it."

Feeling his chest pound, Sungjun shoves Gwangseok. "I'm only smiling because you're being stupid."

"I'll be sure to be stupid more often, then," he smiles.

"Get out," Sungjun laughs, pushing Gwangseok off the bed and throwing pillows at him until he leaves the room.

His chest is pounding again, and Sungjun doesn't know why the hit from earlier keeps bothering him when there isn't even a bruise.

Chapter Text

Sungjun tries to avoid Gwangseok less, he really does. At least, he tries to convince himself that he’s trying. There’s a lot of trying involved in this, in his whole life. It’s always trying not to punch that asshole in the face. Trying to get his shit together so his parents won’t be disappointed in him. (That one he’s pretty much given up on at this point, not even sure if they care where he is at this point.) Trying to figure out what the fuck he’s going to do with his useless fucking studio art degree.

Trying to avoid Gwangseok. Trying to keep him safe.

And that’s what it really comes down to. Gwangseok was so happy back in college, when he and Sungjun did a ridiculous amount of body shots and went to too many parties and tried too many homemade hangover remedies. They were happy, but Sungjun doesn’t think his own emotions are that important in the grand scheme of things. He’s more concerned about his friend.

It’s weird, still calling Gwangseok a friend when Sungjun has fucked him up ten ways to Sunday. Sometimes he feels the need to apologize, to get on his knees and tell Gwangseok how fucking sorry he is about everything. About Gwangseok’s injury, about the fact that they’re both criminals, about the fact that Sungjun is too much of a coward to say any of this.

Every once in awhile Sungjun’s guard goes down. It’s always an accident, but it’s always around Gwangseok. Usually, it happens when he smiles or laughs at something that someone says. He usually doesn’t laugh because of Sungjun. Not anymore, anyways. Sungjun likes to pretend that it doesn’t affect him, but it does. Makes him feel empty, and more than a little bit useless that he can’t fucking make his once-best-friend laugh anymore.

He only lets himself think about it in the dead of night, staring up at his ceiling unable to sleep. Only when he’s half unconscious does he think about it. Lying there, he thinks about the way Gwangseok used to smile at him. The way he used to move like he could do anything. The injury has changed that, and that’s Sungjun’s fault. It’s always Sungjun’s fault.

Now that isn’t self-pity, Sungjun convinces himself, it’s fact.


Their next mission isn’t planned for yet. Since the last one went so wonderfully, Wonjun has decided they all lay low for awhile. Besides, Minsu is still on the mend.

Sometimes, while Sungjun is just strolling their little compound, he walks past the medical room, called such only because it has the best light, therefore the best place for Himchan to work. (It also has the most room for his medical equipment.)

Looking in through the doorway, Sungjun can see Minsu on the bed, Suwoong on a chair next to him, their fingers intertwined. Feeling sick to his stomach, he looks away and walks back from where he came.

The sickness in his gut might have something to do with the fact that Suwoong and Minsu look at each other the same way Gwangseok looks at Sungjun. Instead, he chalks the nausea up to having had fast food for dinner the night before. All is well when you avoid what's wrong.

However, it's hard to deny that sometimes Sungjun stares at his own hand, wondering if Gwangseok's fingers would fit between his like a missing puzzle piece. It’s a silly thought, always quickly brushed off. Sungjun has a difficult time believing that his fingers will fit with anyone else’s. He knows he doesn’t deserve it.

Chapter Text

Sungjun is sitting in his room. On his bed, he’s got a book open in front of him. There’s no real reason for it to be there, considering the fact that he’s been on the same page for roughly an hour. For some reason, his mind won’t process the words. There’s so much running through his head, and the effort of ignoring that is too great to be able to focus on anything else.

The noise of his door opening and closing registers, but he doesn’t look up. This is, all in all, the worst possible decision considering the fact he kills people for a living and shouldn’t let his guard down ever, but he can’t be bothered at the moment. If anyone coming into his room is coming to kill him, he’s ready to welcome it.

“You look tired.” It’s Gwangseok, of course, it is. Nobody else comes into Sungjun’s room.

“That’s just my face,” Sungjun mumbles, keeping his eyes on the book in front of him and turning the page. It’s all for show, he barely read a paragraph on the last page.

“You know I don’t buy that,” it’s said with a soft mirth in Gwangseok’s tone, and Sungjun can feel the weight shift as he sits down on the bed. “You have soft eyes but they don’t always have so much blue under them you could apply for the blue man group. You need sleep.”

Shock makes Sungjun finally look up from his book, looking with furrowed brows at Gwangseok. “I have soft eyes?”

“I mean, yeah,” Gwangseok mutters, immediately avoiding eye contact as his hand goes to the back of his neck.

Oh fuck. Oh god fuck no.

“Don’t do that,” Sungjun says, and leans forward to grab Gwangseok’s arm and pull it down. “That thing. With your arm don’t do that.”

“Why?” Gwangseok seems genuinely confused, if a little upset. He probably didn’t even realize what he was doing, fuck.

“Just, don’t.” Sungjun looks back down to the book on his lap, still not processing the words.

It’s probably because he’s busy processing the fact that he only sees Gwangseok get nervous and rub the back of his neck when he’s talking to someone he likes. Sungjun remembers that look from when he tried to convince Gwangseok to ask out the cute girl who modeled for them in art.

Sungjun, of course, being a good friend, would watch on the sidelines as Gwangseok’s fluffy blonde hair and gorgeous smile along with his shy posture got the number he was looking for. His mannerisms were the same then, avoid eye contact a bit, blush, and rub the back of his neck.

One time Sungjun mentioned it in passing, telling Gwangseok it was a good strategy to seem easier to approach and trust. To that, he had gotten a confused look. Apparently, Gwangseok didn’t know what he was doing. “I just get nervous,” he’d say.

“Why nervous?” Sungjun would scoff at him. “You’re great.”

And then Gwangseok would smile, averting his eyes and rubbing the back of his neck.


“Sorry,” Gwangseok says now, looking down at the comforter on Sungjun’s bed, playing with a loose thread coming out of it.

“I didn’t-” Sungjun huffs, crossing his legs underneath him and setting the book down. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it like that it’s just,” Sungjun groans, “it’s a thing you do when you like someone, and it’s weird that you do it with me.”

“I what?” Gwangseok’s eyes practically shoot up into his hairline, his cheeks going bright pink.

“Nevermind,” Sungjun sighs, leaning further back, slouching, looking away from Gwangseok. “You should go,” he says under his breath. He can practically feel Gwangseok’s sadness.

“You know I don’t blame you, right?”

Sungjun’s head whips back around to look at Gwangseok. “Why not?”

“Because it wasn’t your fault.”

“It was,” Sungjun says, adamant and certain. “I didn’t get there fast enough. If I had gotten to you, I could’ve-”

“Gotten your ass kicked,” Gwangseok sighs, sitting on the edge of the bed. “Then there wouldn’t have been anyone conscious to help me. Sungjun,” he sighs, “you saved my life. If you hadn’t gotten there when you did,” he takes in a shaky breath, “you saved me.”

“But,” Sungjun lifts his hand to gesture at Gwangseok’s hip, and he grabs Sungjun’s hand, lowering it back down to the bed.

“I have trouble walking now, and I can’t go out in the field. That makes me safer, Sungjun. I prefer it this way.”

“Then why are you still here?” Sungjun is looking directly at Gwangseok again, searching his eyes for a reason. “You have the chance to leave, why don’t you?”

“I need to be here for you,” Gwangseok says, softly, his hand still wrapped around Sungjun’s forearm. “You saved me, and now I look after you. It’s what friends do.” His voice trails off, sounding sad, and Sungjun suddenly can’t breathe.

“Would you leave? If I left with you?” Sungjun is terrified by this idea. He thought he could never get out, he’d never be able to stop this. What job could he get? Where could they go?

“Of course,” Gwangseok says, like it’s the most obvious thing in the world.

“I,” Sungjun sighs, his head falling back. “Why? You know, Gwangseok, we’re friends, you know you don’t have to be here just because I am.”

“I know,” Gwangseok hums, his hand trailing down to drag a finger in swirling patterns around Sungjun’s knuckles.

Now or fucking never, he supposes.

Sungjun surges up from where he’s reclined on the bed, grabbing the back of Gwangseok’s neck and pulling him in for a kiss.

It’s less of a kiss than lips smashing against lips, but Sungjun sighs, pulling back to look at a fairly shocked Gwangseok.

“You,” he says, and Sungjun leans back in, properly kissing his friend this time. His friend, his best friend, the man who’s been by his side through so much garbage and Sungjun cannot fucking believe it’s taken him this long.

When they pull apart again, Gwangseok’s eyes are closed now, and both of them are taking labored breaths.

“I,” Sungjun sighs, and it’s his turn to get cut off as Gwangseok cups his cheeks and leans in to kiss him again.

“Don’t talk,” Gwangseok says against his lips, peppering kisses around the corners of Sungjun’s mouth as he speaks. “Just, don’t talk. Kissing. Kissing is good.”

Sungjun sighs happily, leaning back in and tangling his fingers in Gwangseok’s hair, nonverbally agreeing.

Kissing is good.