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29 December 2016 @ 10:39 pm
[FIC] Burner: Part Nine  
Title: Burner
Series: The Syndicate
Pairing: Yunho/Jaejoong, Jungkook/Taehyung
Summary: Jaejoong is the leader of the widespread syndicate that runs underground Asia, and Yunho is his top agent and right hand man whose skills and composure are terrifying. The Korean Syndicate is under heat from the American company's invasion, and Jaejoong has his hands full, with protecting his people, and trying to control Yunho, the man that cannot be controlled.



*
PART NINE
~ Illogical ~



Some twenty years ago

“I can’t believe that you made me skip school for ice-cream,” said Jaejoong, tossing his backpack onto the table. Yunho apparently didn’t care that they were recognizable as students, even with uniform jackets stuffed in his bag. Yunho didn’t always bring his new leather bag to school. He came to school wearing his uniform and his company watch, and his wallet and phone. He kept a hardcover notebook and pencil case stuffed under his desk. Jaejoong couldn’t understand how it hadn’t gone missing as yet.

“It’s ice-cream,” Yunho replied, leaving after Jaejoong sat to go to the counter. Jaejoong watched as he chatted up a young woman, and from her broad smiles and Yunho’s small ones they knew each other. Yunho was probably a regular here.

It was more than half a year now that Jaejoong started hanging around Yunho (or Yunho started hanging around him and would not leave him alone). Yunho was odd. Not the bad kind of odd but neither was it the good kind. Yunho didn’t purposely ignore the other students in their class. It was like he didn’t see them.

He knew all about his work at the car shop and that he was learning to fight. That he lived with his uncle and that his parents were dead. Yunho didn’t know about the Syndicate, or that he was part of it. Forced to become a part of it.

“I know you like chocolate, so I ordered you a chocolate sundae,” Yunho told him as he took his seat. The table was varnished hardwood and the chairs carved out of the same-varnished wood.

“What did you order for yourself?”

“Salted caramel,” Yunho grinned. “It’s not a favourite to many.”

Jaejoong looked down at his hands. He didn’t have the well cared hands that Yunho did. Underneath his nails were black with grease no matter how many times he scrubbed them. His uncle wanted him to stop working at the mechanics shop, but Jaejoong was stubborn to keep it. Working with engines and grease made him forget. And it was becoming easier to forget that he was now a criminal.

Youngwha had him learning how to fight from one of the gang members, a solid man more than six feet, with muscles that Jaejoong felt every time he got his ass handed to him. He had a punching bag strung up in the living room, and he was practicing every evening, after working at the café and shooting at the gun range with his uncle.

It was fear driving him. Fear of death. Fear of going to jail. Fear of being eaten alive by gang men and criminals who were accustomed to this life. He hadn’t been exposed to the darkness of it yet, only seeing what his uncle allowed him to see. The café was relatively safe. There were spats and fights between members, and sometimes he saw the scuffles when he went on errands with his uncle. And there was three weeks ago, when he had seen his uncle shoot a man, right through his forehead. Jaejoong had gone home and attacked the punching bag without gloves.

“Your ice cream.”

“Thank you, Luna,” said Yunho.

“Just don’t make this a habit. Your mother will kill me if she finds out that I’m condoning this.”

Yunho’s smile was thin, dipping his small silver spoon into the glass bowl of ice cream. Jaejoong’s was topped with whipped cream and syrup. There were a few berries to the corner, and he ate the fruit first, looking over at Yunho whose interest was to his ice cream.

“What do you do when you finish school? I always wondered that.”

“I have tutors that come to my home,” Yunho answered, eating the thick stream of sticky caramel. “Different languages. Business. Fighting. And I help out at the company.”

“You’re learning how to fight?” Jaejoong asked, looking up from his ice cream.

“It’s boring. The trainers are afraid to teach me properly. They fear my father. They fear hurting me. That isn’t the way to be taught how to fight.”

“No it isn’t,” Jaejoong agreed.

“Why are you learning to fight?”

“Because I want to be able to protect myself.” It was the truth. He had to be able to protect himself from the other Syndicate members. From other gang members.

“You do need protecting,” stated Yunho dryly.

Jaejoong nearly cursed him, but he held back, and ate his ice cream. Yunho was right. The way he was now, he did need protecting. He was at the dregs of the Syndicate, only elevated through the shit pile because of his uncle. He was only there because of his uncle.

He still wanted to cry and curse because he didn’t want this. He didn’t want to be stuck with his uncle as his provider, a man that was the right hand man to a crime lord. He could have run away. But that was before he killed a man. Before other gangs knew his face. His connection to Youngwha.

He thought through all of his options. And staying was the only way he could live. He hated it, but he had no other available options that could keep him alive.

And he wanted to live. For his father. For himself.

“Have you ever fucked before?”

Jaejoong stuck his spoon inside the bowl, startled by Yunho’s question.

“No. Have you?”

“No.”

“But you want to?” Jaejoong asked, “I mean, since you brought it up.”

“I do. It’s a form of human pleasure. I want to find out what’s so pleasurable about it.”

“Did anyone ever tell you that you’re fucking weird?”

Yunho stared at him with disinterest.

*


Jaejoong was stuck washing wares. His fingers and palm were wrinkly from water and soap, and he may have passed his wet hands through his hair too many times from heat and exhaustion that his hair was probably wet too. He was on wares duty instead of waiter duty because one of the main workers had the flu, and he was the youngest, the most inexperienced.

They had told him he would have had the chance to make coffee. The manager had told him that. But the manager was there once a month, and the other men liked to treat him exactly as he was, a kid without status.

There were some members that knew he was Youngwha’s nephew. The inner circle of the Syndicate knew because they had to. The other members, the ones that did the dog work and ran the low level businesses, knew him because he was new. And a kid. The Syndicate only took kids in under special circumstances, and those special circumstances occurred almost never.

“The shop’s closing up. Sweep the front up when you’re done.”

Seungjoon was the only one in the shop that spoke in proper Korean. And didn’t treat him like shit. He didn’t stick up for him, but he gave Jaejoong free coffee and dessert and Jaejoong was grateful for it.

He wiped his hands with a murky looking cloth, and grabbed the broom from the narrow cupboard that held the cleaning supplies.

“Lock up tonight,” said Seungjoon, tossing him the keys. Jaejoong fumbled to catch it.



*

A couple days later he was working the cashier. Seungjoon was the acting manager for the manager that was never around. And after hours of wares duty he was back out in front, fingers dry and handling money instead of soapy cups and plates.

“Blended caramel coffee please.”

Jaejoong took the bills and gave the change, passing on the little chit to the man working the machines. It was how his afternoon went by, nodding to customers and smiling if he had to, ignoring the jabs on his age. It slowed down by evening, and Jaejoong was on his phone, manning the empty counter.

“You work here.”

Jaejoong turned off his screen, and stared over at Yunho. Outside was dark, and Yunho was a long way from where Jaejoong knew his father’s business was situated. And his house.

“What the hell are you doing here?”

“Americano,” Yunho told him. Yunho’s face was blank, and Jaejoong hated that it was. They were something like friends, and he wanted more from Yunho than forced expressions and blank looks.

“Why are you in this neighbourhood? You don’t live anywhere near here.”

“Neither do you,” replied Yunho, leaning lazily on the counter as he handed him the money.

“Only place that’ll hire me at this age.”

Jaejoong knew that Yunho knew it was a lie.

“I’m taking a walk. I’m bored.”

“Rich people have the luxury of boredom,” Jaejoong muttered to him. He was cared for well enough, under his uncle. Now that his uncle’s profession was known to him, he understood just how much money Youngwha possessed, filthy money stacked up in offshore accounts and safe houses throughout Korea.

Yunho was from a different kind of money. The top 0.01% of rich that was near impossible to attain without business power and rigid rule. From the little Yunho spoke, his father was a total asshole, but a great man to have amassed such fortune during his years.

Yunho’s boredom was also different. He was bored of life. Of every day things like school and social normalcy. Yunho did not play games or go out with groups. Neither did Jaejoong, but Yunho didn’t actually enjoy anything, besides eating sweets and talking to him.

They hadn’t even exchanged cell phone numbers despite becoming acquaintances for months.

“Probably,” agreed Yunho.

There was no one else out front – Seungjoon left with the truck to pick up the order of coffee beans and milk cartons, and the other worker had taken off from his shift for date night with his girlfriend. It was seven in the evening, and it was nearing closing hour.

Jaejoong went to work on making the coffee. He had never actually done it before, but he had seen it done so many times that he had practically done it. Yunho stood from his slump against the counter to walk around the empty shop, fingers tucked into his jeans pockets.

Jaejoong was still in his undershirt from this morning, and school trousers. Yunho had changed, into distressed jeans and black t-shirt, and a suede jacket with an embroidered collar. He rarely saw Yunho out of his school uniform. The outfit made him look older than his actual age.

“Here’s your Americano.”

Yunho took the paper cup, staring at Jaejoong as he did so. Jaejoong hoped that he would leave before Seungjoon returned. He didn’t want anyone from the Syndicate finding out that he knew the son of Jung Industries.

“I might be late tomorrow,” he said suddenly, and with that he left. Jaejoong watched the door close, and sighed, picking up the damp cloth to wipe down the counter.

Youngwha was on a mission out of the country. His shooting practice was on hold until he returned. He had become so accustomed to his new life that having an evening to himself was foreign. The man who was teaching him how to fight had gone along with Youngwha.

It was quarter past eight when Jaejoong left the shop, pocketing the bundle of keys in his pants pocket, backpack stuffed with a notebook, his uniform jacket, and pencil case. He had a pocket knife in his other pants pocket, small wallet, his phone. He had another knife tucked beneath his socks. The paranoia had never left him, since that night.

There was a comfort in the night. His father used to tell him that there was nothing to be afraid of, in the darkness. Man only feared the unknown, and the night hid what day could not. So Jaejoong reveled in it, enjoyed the sweet smell of evening air, the sprinkle of stars above him. The streets were dusty and smelt of exhaust fumes, but at night it was less musty, and it smelt of stars and quiet, of calmness as Jaejoong walked the pavement next to the passing vehicles.

Out of practice he kept his hand in his pocket, close to his pocket knife in case he needed it. Syndicate members did not have a brand, or a sigil like the other gang members. They knew each other. It was a smart way to blend into society.

Youngwha had warned him about them. They had a picture of him, of Jaejoong, strung up next to Youngwha. An affiliation, a weakness, one that Youngwha did not bother to coddle. His uncle did not offer him bodyguards, but instead taught him how to handle a gun and sent him to learn how to fight. It was Jaejoong’s own money that was used to buy a pocket knife, the best one he could buy with the money he saved from working at the mechanic shop on mornings and the café on evenings. The other knife was given to him by his uncle. A present, for staying out of trouble for nearly a year.

On a night like this, Jaejoong was left to his thoughts. About what it would be like when he graduated, and thrust fully into the inner workings of the Syndicate. He would no longer have the safety of high school classes, of hours a distance away from men who were vastly different from him. It was difficult sometimes to remember that the men he worked with at the shop, that his uncle were all murderers. Killers. His uncle had congratulated him for killing a man.

Jaejoong stopped to cross the road. He could take a taxi home, but he had nothing but time and he preferred to walk.

There was something strange about tonight. Jaejoong couldn’t tell if it was his own paranoia, or because he was nothing but a coward who was still afraid of the darkness he had come to love, but he was on edge. His thoughts did nothing but dull that feeling, so he stopped thinking. He crossed the road, fingers gripped around his pocket knife. He could feel it. There was a tremble to his hand and that tingle of fear running up his spine. It couldn’t be just paranoia. He felt something.

He kept his pace steady. He wasn’t going to run. Running would not help him. His backpack jostled with every step he made, finger rubbing the edges of his pocket knife, eyes trained on the glass walls of the shops he passed.

The street lights were becoming more sparse. Jaejoong wanted it that way. He was sure of it, sure of the gut feeling and the cold against his back that someone was following him.

He stopped walking and turned around. The sidewalk was empty. There was no else walking behind him, or even to the front. This was gang area. Civilians stayed away from these parts. The Syndicate had keenly bought land to build the café in an area that could be accessed by the other people, normal people. But here, here was where the fights happened, where territory was marked and the low level Syndicate members fought and drank and did their underground business that Jaejoong was kept from.

It was a shorter walk home from here. And he was a Syndicate member now. He could walk through Syndicate land.

He gripped his pocket knife and the stiff metal decorations on it grated against his fingers. He walked up to the narrow corner bordered by walls. He could smell the cigarette smoke as he approached, the scent of piss. The cigarette smoke was fresh.

Seungjoon stood there, smoke in his mouth, gun in his hand. His eyes traced Jaejoong’s steps, reaching up to hold his cigarette in front of his lips.

“You did good, figuring out I was following you. Most of the men I’ve killed never realized they were being followed.”

“Are you going to kill me?” Jaejoong asked slowly, voice low. It was frightening that he was not scared. There was peace in knowing that his feeling was correct, that he had killed a man before and he could do it again.

“I heard that you’re Youngwha’s nephew. I’m surprised Youngwha didn’t kill you himself. He’s a bastard without a heart. Imagine my surprise when my source told me he had family besides his brother. And was raising the little shit. He brought you into a world of blood and shit. Like him.”

“When did you find out?”

“Today. I didn’t think that the kid working under my jurisdiction would be Youngwha’s little brat.”

“Yeah, I didn’t think I’d be working for a crime organization either, but here we are.”

Seungjoon laughed. “I do like you. I don’t know if killing you would hurt Youngwha. Killing his brother didn’t.”

There was a few moments, seconds, a minute or maybe two, that Jaejoong did not breathe. There was that sinking revelation, that came to him so quickly that he nearly reached for his chest to scrape at the flesh there, because it was too much. But he didn’t. He didn’t move. He could only stare at Seungjoon. This was the man. This was the man that had murdered his father.

He pressed the switch on his pocket knife. The blade shot out, and Jaejoong felt his mouth tremble. Seungjoon smiled.

“You didn’t kn–”

Jaejoong shot forward and jammed the tip of the blade through his throat. He felt it cut through his trachea, up through his vocal chords. He saw the surprise in his eyes, and Seungjoon choked, a sick gagging sound muted with the blood trickling from the corner of his mouth and down his bottom lip.

He was a kid. Youngwha hadn’t told anyone about what Jaejoong did that night. No one else knew that he had killed a man. Just Younghwa, and himself. And the leader of the Syndicate.

Jaejoong stared at Seungjoon, watched him with enough intensity and hatred that he jammed the knife further up.

“Fuck you Seungjoon. I don’t give a fuck about my uncle, but my father was a great man. A better man than all of you.”

He yanked out the knife, blood squirting on his cheek and lips. He closed his eyes to it, heard when Seungjoon slumped to the dirty ground. There was a fleeting moment of pleasure. And then there was nothing. He couldn’t feel it, the guilt, the remorse. He had expected years of searching and begging to find out who had killed his father, expected the pocket of revenge to fuel some part of him. But it was gone.

He looked down at his hand. There was blood on it, dark red blood. His mind sent him back to that night, with his hands just as blood stained. When he had hyperventilated and stood in shock at what he had done.

But there was no guilt.

Jaejoong swallowed, bent down, and wiped his blade against a clean area on Seungjoon’s pants. The blade returned when he pressed the switch. He pocketed it. He wiped his hands on his t-shirt, and took it off, shivering. He wiped his face. He unlatched his backpack and took out his uniform jacket. He zipped it up and grabbed his undershirt, tossing it into one of the side street dumpsters.

He could still smell Seungjoon’s blood as he walked home.

He locked the front door as he came in and toed off his sneakers. He needed to wash off the smell. He wanted the heat of a hot shower, hot enough to burn and give him some form of remorse for taking a life.

Jaejoong had reached the kitchen when his cell phone rang. He grabbed a mug from the cupboard as he answered it. It was from an unknown number.

“Did you enjoy my gift?”

It was Youngwha’s voice.

“Your gift,” Jaejoong responded flatly.

“I hope you did.”

Jaejoong poured himself coffee, trapping the steam with his fingers and palm. “You knew it was Seungjoon that killed my father.”

“I did.”

“You lied to me.”

“You must not trust anyone Jaejoong, not even me. I wanted you to have your own revenge. And you did. A pocket knife to the throat. Well done.”

“You had me followed?”

“I’m always watching you. Seungjoon was greedy. He’s wanted my position for a long time. Him and his followers within the Syndicate. You killed a traitor Jaejoong. You will be rewarded greatly.”

“You set it all up,” spoke Jaejoong, “You were the one that leaked the information about me. You were his source.”

“Very good. You are smart after all.”

“Fuck you,” said Jaejoong through gritted teeth. He ended the call and carried his coffee to his room. He stripped and shoved the clothes in the washer. He held his wallet and pocket knife in his hands.

He took his pocket knife with him to the shower.
*



Jaejoong went to school with a bottle of strawberry milk and a chicken sandwich put together with the day old barbeque he had in the refrigerator. He didn’t wake up early for his morning run, and he didn’t head to Sun’s mechanic shop. He texted one of the workers to say that he wasn’t coming in.

Yunho was right about coming late. He showed up after the first period, a few minutes after the teacher left the classroom. He had a busted lip and horrendous bruise over his eye, swollen, blackish-purple.

Everyone was staring at him. He was smiling with his busted lip, allowing the few worried questions and the touches to his back from male students who valued fighting. Jaejoong wondered who dared to touch the Jung heir.

Yunho had his bag this time. He came to his seat, just in front of Jaejoong’s. He bent down, strap of his leather bag falling to his wrist, hanging there. Jaejoong wasn’t expecting the kiss.

Yunho’s mouth was on his, and he could feel the cut on his lip, the softness. Yunho kissed him hard, what he thought was hard because he had never been kissed before now.

Jaejoong hated losing. He kissed him back.

He could hear the jeers and catcalls when Yunho pulled away, grinning down at him with a smile so genuine that Jaejoong didn’t bother to punch him. Hell, he was gay. He wanted a boy to kiss him.

But Yunho? He wasn’t sure even Yunho knew what he wanted. Besides, Yunho would probably like it if he punched him.

“Why did you kiss me?”

Yunho sat down, accustomed to the stares of other students, other people. “Because I felt like it.”

“Of course you did. Who fucked up your face?”

“Some guy,” answered Yunho. He seemed excited. Yunho never got excited. Yunho never actually showed emotions other than interest.

“Did you enjoy getting your ass kicked or something?” Jaejoong had to ask. He could still feel Yunho’s mouth. It was horrifying that he could smell Yunho, his perfume. He was always aware of it, but he never really smelled it. Yunho was only fifteen anyway. What the hell was he doing wearing perfume.

“The pain felt good.” Yunho held up his knuckles. There were bruises, reddened from impact and scattered with dark lines.

Jaejoong didn’t know how to reply to that. He handed the half a bottle of strawberry milk to Yunho. He pretended that he hadn’t only drunk half because he was saving the rest for the other boy.

*



The café had a few customers when he entered, school kids, Syndicate men whose faces looked vaguely familiar. They stopped talking when they saw him. Jaejoong went into the back and tied the apron around his waist. He shoved his backpack in the usual corner.

The kitchen was quiet.

“Seungjoon’s dead,” said Mino. “Heard you killed him last night.”

“Yeah I did.” Jaejoong held back the “so what”.

“We heard news that he was a traitor. That he had plans to kill Youngwha. Youngwha’s the one that brought you into the Syndicate. You protected him. Us. We respect that. Traitors don’t belong in the Syndicate.”

“I can agree with that.” Jaejoong was uncomfortable with the attention. “I’m just gonna take my shift at the cashier,” he mumbled, grabbing a clean cloth from the folded pile.

The guy in his mid-twenties who had been working the cashier grabbed his hand. “You did good.”

“I guess.”

“You did. Be proud man. You fucked a traitor. Best thing you can do to move up this long ass ladder.”

Jaejoong took orders numbly, on autopilot. Everything was going how his uncle wanted. This was what his uncle had wanted. An elaborate plan for him to become assimilated into it. The only way to gain respect as a kid was through death. Righteous death in the eyes of the Syndicate. Youngwha had made sure of that.

It was ingenious. He was one of them now.

“Lemme show you how to work those coffee beans,” offered Mino.

“Yeah.” Jaejoong hauled over the bag of coffee beans, and refrained from mentioning that he had worked the damn coffee beans last night. He was one of them now.
*


I just want to say that Jaejoong is returning in a day and I'm so fucking excited y'all I just T___T I may be obsessed with BTS now but Jaejoong is my booboo and I will sob to see his lil face again T_____T
 
 
 
demonshide7demonshide7 on December 30th, 2016 04:03 am (UTC)

OMG!!! Background info!!!!! Whoooooo! Babeh!!!!!
And hoot hoot hoot!!! For Jaejae coming back! I kinda hope that a drama was his first project, but a concert is good, too.

kattan69: Hotness overloadedkattan69 on December 30th, 2016 08:12 am (UTC)
Yes, JaeJae is back!!! Horray!!!

And thanks for the update...to see them when they were young and how they turn up like when they are older....especially Yunho.
hyunnybhyunnyb on December 30th, 2016 11:56 am (UTC)
I liked this blast from their past. It's nice to see how this complicated relationship started.
I've also been losing my mind waiting for Jaejoong to come back! I see that he's got another mysterious tattoo, maybe we'll get a better look at it tomorrow. I didn't know you liked BTS. I worked as a volunteer at a concert they did in Houston. They sure are cute in person and their stage performance was excellent.
samo99rosamo99ro on December 30th, 2016 05:08 pm (UTC)
Wonderful chapter. Knowing more about Jae's past means understand him better. How he made it to the top.

Today he's already home.!

Happy New Year! <3
shinchul303shinchul303 on December 31st, 2016 08:04 pm (UTC)
Great update. Loved the parallels between young Jaejoong and young Jungkook. I can see why Jae took him in. And Yunho's way cool! It's fun to see these nascent personalities when you already know what they become later.
songbird52317: Lady Claresongbird52317 on January 1st, 2017 12:32 am (UTC)
This was an amazing chapter. Lyrical, even though the subject matter was grim. Such a feeling of being trapped, manipulated. Amazing.
s'echapperschloupen on January 1st, 2017 05:28 pm (UTC)


So that's how he got up the ladder. I wonder how he got to the top... and the kiss 😗 for some reason, i find this chapter fluffy


Love this chapter 😌

sunhineonusunhineonu on January 2nd, 2017 05:51 am (UTC)
HAPPY NEW YEAR HON
came home to see an update what a way to start my new year ..
to read the backstory of how it all started ...its good
jejungoppa: pic#121352640jejungoppa on January 2nd, 2017 06:32 am (UTC)
I simply love this chapter ... like really I got goosebumps cuz of the sudden kiss
marslokaretmarslokaret on January 2nd, 2017 06:28 pm (UTC)
well shit! That was one hell of a chapter! (i mean it in a good way of course)

it's always refreshing to have a badass jaejoong! like in a snap of a finger he could kill a man like Seungjoon (which i presume a very skilled killer).

Thank you so much for this update. And Happy New Year!
東方神起kikite_dbsk5 on January 4th, 2017 02:58 am (UTC)

Ahhh, I feel like crying xDD i was checking if you updated but somehow I didn't see your update until now 😦😦


YES!!! I'm so in love with this chapter, it was nice to see more YunJae's relationship back in school days. Yunho very a very blunt one hahah.


I really can't wait for your next update. Seriously, I love this fic, Thank you for writing and sharing it. Looking forward to your next update ❤


Happy new year !!

Sheva E.: pic#113634063kpopxgirl on January 5th, 2017 03:03 pm (UTC)
The story about their past is very intriguing. I cannot get enough of this, especially at this moment when I was actually deprived of YunJae fics. But I wonder what happen between Yunho and Jaejoong, how Jaejoong ends up as the head of Syndicate (although I bet his uncle must be the brain of it) and how come Yunho works together with Jaejoong in Syndicate. Hope the chapters after this will unveil my curiousity. 😊
Aiara Mesina GuintoAiara Mesina Guinto on January 10th, 2017 12:04 pm (UTC)
i think yunho's love to kill is already showing here....wish at the present time he truly loves jaejoong...and well their first kiss kinda romantic....doing it infront of their classmate...when will be their 1st time hahahaaha
vanilaz_w: pic#124750151vanilaz_w on February 12th, 2017 04:21 pm (UTC)
wow the first kiss. i think Yunho just got himslef freed. free of being treated like porcelain and free of being held back from loving a guy.
vanilaz_w: pic#124750151vanilaz_w on February 12th, 2017 04:22 pm (UTC)
wow the first kiss. i think Yunho just got himslef freed. free of being treated like porcelain and free of being held back from loving a guy.
東方神起kikite_dbsk5 on March 21st, 2017 12:27 am (UTC)

Aww I miss this fic ❤ pls update soon! I hope you are doing well^^



Edited at 2017-03-21 12:27 am (UTC)