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thetaintedblade
06 June 2014 @ 08:11 pm

So I've found a list of prompts online, and I figure, the only way to try to jumpstart myself back into writing, is with a prompt or more a day, until I catch myself. I'm not working for the holidays (even if I could do with the darn money) since I want to work on myself and figure out what I want in life and well, exercising.


The Original List

1. Introduction
2. Complicated
3. Making History (TBW)
4. Rivalry
5. Unbreakable
6. Obsession
7. Eternity
8. Gateway
9. Death
10. Opportunities
11. 33%
12. Dead Wrong
13. Running Away
14. Judgment

15. Seeking Solace (TBW)
16. Excuses
17. Vengeance
18. Love
19. Tears
20. My Inspiration
21. Never Again
22. Online
23. Failure
24. Rebirth
25. Breaking Away
26. Forever and a day
27. Lost and Found
28. Light
29. Dark
30. Faith
31. Colors
32. Exploration
33. Seeing Red
34. Shades of Grey
35. Forgotten
36. Dreamer
37. Mist
38. Burning
39. Out of Time
40. Knowing How
41. Fork in the road
42. Start
43. Nature’s Fury
44. At Peace
45. Heart Song
46. Reflection
47. Perfection
48. Everyday Magic
49. Umbrella
50. Party
51. Troubling Thoughts
52. Stirring of the Wind
53. Future
54. Health and Healing
55. Separation
56. Everything For You
57. Slow Down
58. Heartfelt Apology
59. Challenged
60. Exhaustion
61. Accuracy
62. Irregular Orbit
63. Cold Embrace
64. Frost
65. A Moment in Time
66. Dangerous Territory
67. Boundaries
68. Unsettling Revelations
69. Shattered
70. Bitter Silence
71. The True You
72. Pretense
73. Patience
74. Midnight
75. Shadows
76. Summer Haze
77. Memories
78. Change in the Weather
79. Illogical
80. Only Human
81. A Place to Belong
82. Advantage
83. Breakfast
84. Echoes
85. Falling
86. Picking up the Pieces (TBW)
87. Gunshot
88. Possession
89. Twilight
90. Nowhere and Nothing
91. Answers
92. Innocence
93. Simplicity
94. Reality
95. Acceptance
96. Lesson
97. Enthusiasm
98. Game
99. Friendship
100. Endings









Find your key emotion; this may be all you need to know to find your short story. ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald








The Emotions List
1. Birth
2. Enthusiasm
3. Love
4. Hate
5. Triumph
6. Feel
7. Wrecked
8. Soft
9. Cold
10. Without
11. Inspiration
12. You
13. Confused
14. Affection
15. Joy
16. Horror
17. Acceptance
18. Sympathy
19. Holding (TBW)
20. Defeated
21. Pride
22. Knife
23. Overwhelmed
24. Depressed
25. Adoration
26. Worship
27. Zeal
28. Light
29. Exhaustion
30. Obsession
31. Rage
32. Empty
33. Anger
34. Fury
35. Delight
36. Submission
37. Infatuation
38. Anticipation
39. Pessimistic
40. Jolly
41. Grasping
42. Agitation
43. Calm
44. Astonished
45. Loneliness
46. Lust
47. Longing
48. Tender
49. Hard
50. Rebirth
51. Amused
52. Broken
53. Abused
54. Tranquil
55. Composed
56. Glad
57. Stress
58. Serenity
59. Colorful
60. Coping
61. Boisterous
62. Placid
63. Tired
64. Bliss
65. Neglect
66. Fine
67. Question
68. Energetic
69. Noble
70. Disgust
71. Lively
72. Power
73. Pity
74. Humiliation
75. Satisfied
76. Thankful
77. Hyper
78. Goosebumps
79. Worthless
80. Remorse
81. Degraded
82. Revenge
83. Fulfilled
84. Shame
85. Graceful
86. Shining
87. Content
88. Feelings
89. Pleased
90. Relief
91. I
92. Zest
93. Tears
94. Building
95. Optimistic
96. Thrilled
97. Dealing
98. Reflect
99. Embarrassment
100. Death

Tags:
 
 
thetaintedblade
29 November 2030 @ 12:06 am








Name: Kimmy-chan
Age: 25
Nationality: Trinidadian







ABOUT ME:

I love coffee and green tea, and salted caramel chocolate.
I spend too much time doing nothing, reading fanfiction, watching tv series, dramas, anime, and somehow within all that manage to be a doctor.
My purpose, I'm not sure, but I do know that I want to become a writer.

Current Read List: Baker on the First Floor | Unordinary | Noblesse | Tower of God | Killing Stalking | Adekan | Circle | Caste Heaven | Lover Boy | 19 Days | Blood Bank | What Lies at the End | Lookism | Legendary Moonlight Sculptor | Raven Cycle |









  ~   ) \\\\\ o ///// (  ~


PAIRINGS LIST:
Harry/Draco
Yami/Seto
Tom/Bill
Duo/Heero
Matt/Mello
Ichigo/Uryuu
Kenpachi/Byakuya
Gin/Kira
Naruto/Sasuke
Xanxus/Squalo
Dino/Hibari
Yunho/Jaejoong
Suzaku/Lelouch
Allen/Kanda
Eren/Levi
Sihzuo/Izaya
Jungkook/Taehyung
 
 
 
 
thetaintedblade
10 October 2018 @ 12:52 pm

Title: Burner
Series: The Syndicate
Rating: NC-17
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. There's Yoochun wtih a background as shrouded as his words. And Junsu the civilian cousin working as a hacker. And the new kid, Jungkook, off the street and into Jaejoong's home, put to work under cafe owner Taehyung. The threat looming stems from foreign invasion, the American Company that threatens, and is already taking over Asian soil. But there's an unknown group after the Syndicate, more personal, and directed against Jaejoong.



PART FIFTEEEN
~ Acceptance ~
Changmin hesitated in front of the Syndicate building, unwilling to look at Yoongi who would have seen the look of complete fear on his face. They had hung out an hour longer in the park, went for a late lunch and snack and then bought coffee on their way to Changmin’s new home.

It had felt odd saying that, or even thinking it.

Gone was his apartment, already sold off by Yoochun. And his old phone, leaving him with no reminders of his old life, of his parents missed calls – if there were any. If he thought about it, Changmin didn’t have any other close friends besides Yoongi. There was just Yoongi. He was never the popular guy. He just got along with everyone enough to go out for a quick meal or drinks or finish up work projects. Yoongi was the only constant for him, the only one he shared drinks with at four in the morning even though he had work and they were talking about which web comic was better.

And the street racing. Changmin had participated a few times, but he felt it was better left for the professionals. Yoongi always cursed him many a times saying that he was too insecure. Too foolish. Yoongi thought he could be a street racer too. But what his friend thought and what he thought of himself were two different entities.

Junsu met him as he walked in, taking in his expression, and Yoongi’s presence. He rubbed his temples with his knuckles, almost dragging his bag as he walked to the elevator.

“Just come on up and talk to Jaejoong. I figured this would happen.”

Yoongi sent him a look asking ‘Who’s he?’

“Yoongi, Junsu. Junsu, Yoongi. He’s the guy I saved like a dumbass.”

“Thanks again,” said Junsu dryly.

Changmin beamed. “You’re welcome.” Standing close to Junsu and Yoongi in the enclosed elevator helped ease his nervousness. Not settle, but ease. He was in fucking shambles inside, wondering what Jaejoong was going to say, what he was going to do. He wasn’t the one to seek out Yoongi, but he was the one who babbled everything to him – mainly everything – because he couldn’t tolerate being so alone anymore.

He wanted to tell Yoongi that he didn’t have to come. That they could pretend and forget that he had ever told him. But he couldn’t. He couldn’t lie to the head of the Syndicate. Common sense told him it was better to tell the truth and face his own stupidity again, even if it could lead to both he and Yoongi dying.

He hoped that it didn’t lead to that – dying.

“Stop thinking so loud,” Yoongi muttered, as the elevator stopped.

“Right? I’m already fucking tired and I can hear him think,” said Junsu. “Jae’s in his office.”

Yoongi followed them in, past the living room and kitchen, the enormous glass wall that brought light into the level. He took it all in, the modernized get up, the technology.

Junsu didn’t knock before he entered Jaejoong’s office. He walked right in, expecting them behind him.

“Here Shim, you can explain yourself to Jaejoong. I just want to nap for an hour and get rid of my headache. Jae, wake me up.”

Junsu left the office as quickly as he had entered it. It was the first time since they had met that Changmin had experienced him in such a foul mood. He must have really had a shit headache. Jaejoong thought so too. His gaze lingered on the closed door.

He leaned back on his chair, watching Yoongi. Jaejoong had his bleached hair swept back, and it made his face look gaunter, narrower than it already was. After two minutes of absolute quiet, Changmin realized that Jaejoong was waiting for him to explain himself.

“I met him in the park,” he started suddenly. “I was…sitting there. Yoongi’s accustomed to my habits so he found me. And well…honestly I missed him. I don’t miss my old life too much but I missed him. And you’re all friendly enough but I missed the only friend I have and I couldn’t not tell him. He would have gotten it out of me anyway.”

Changmin had to sit down to breathe. “I know it was stupid. I got him into this mess also. And I’m sorry.”

Jaejoong opened one of the drawers, and tossed a manila folder on the table. “That’s for you, Min Yoongi. Inside it is your life. Who you were growing up, everyone remotely related to you, who you’ve become. You swear your life to me now. Your life is no longer your own. You work for me. The small time street racing that you’re known for is not for leisure anymore. The money you make will be Syndicate money. Big money. And you’ll finally get time to see your friend.”

“I don’t have parents,” shrugged Yoongi, and it was true. But Changmin knew he had a younger brother, one he wasn’t close to, but still loved. He was giving that up for him.

“There’s another building owned under the Syndicate where you can stay. You may go back downstairs and someone will direct you to your new living arrangements.”

Yoongi nodded.

“Your phone,” said Jaejoong, and Yoongi handed it to him. Changmin was surprised he didn’t throw it. “Another one will be provided for you.”

“So my job will be the same? Participating in street racing just under the Syndicate name?”

“And other jobs that may need your services. Like getting to places quickly if the need arises.”

“Okay.”

“You may leave. Changmin stay.”

Yoongi nodded in respect, and placed his hand on Changmin’s shoulder, squeezing it briefly. He had told Yoongi all about the leader of the Syndicate, that it was Jaejoong, and that he was young. And Yoongi had just accepted it, without question, meeting him, his appearance, never doubting that this was the man that led nearly quarter of South Korea.

Changmin winced before Jaejoong could speak.

“I know I fucked up,” he said.

“You did,” said Jaejoong. “But your friend was the one that came looking for you. I expected that. You are my responsibility Changmin. You protected Junsu and I will forever be grateful for that. That is why when I tell you to do things I tell you them to protect you and to make sure that you don’t end up dead, or the ones you care for. Yoongi, is not my responsibility. He is yours. I expect you to remember that.” He didn’t look angry, and Changmin found that he could breathe now. “He is, however, a good friend. And I respect that. He accepted that he would have to work under the Syndicate without question, because you were here. I admire loyalty his loyalty.”

“Yeah, he’s like that,” Changmin mumbled.

“He wouldn’t stay here, but you can now at least meet him when you want, when you aren’t training, or performing your duties.”

“Yes Leader Jae.”

“You can leave.”





Yunho smoked a lot more often these days. He was on his fourth cigarette for the day, and his limit was three. The heel of his boots thudded against the stone ledge, tipping ash off the balcony into the depths of the late afternoon city. He had always preferred the night, when the sun dipped and the blue turned to grey, slathering the city in darkness and speckled artificial lights. In the evenings, he could smoke his cigarettes and drink coffee, kill and fight because the thrill felt better, sweeter, and sex – he looked up at the waning sun – was always better in the dimming light.

He finished off his smoke, letting the shriveled remains fall into the sidewalks and congestion below. He remained outside for a while, until Jaejoong was behind him, barefooted on the cold stone, slathered in a large robe and most assuredly with nothing underneath. There was a leather band lined with velvet on his ankle. Inside the seams, were tiny collapsible knives, precise little devices that were deadly with Jaejoong’s touch.

“Junsu painted your nails,” Yunho observed, rubbing at the black painted toes. Jaejoong sat on the ground next to him, fixing his robe underneath him, legs hanging over the ledge. The front of his robe parted, the ridges of his chest and collarbones stark white under the mid evening bright.

“He’s de-stressing. He had a headache and he’s barely been getting sleep. So he did his nails and my nails. And then left to go buy himself some fried chicken before he holes himself up in his room again.” Jaejoong showed off his fingers.

“I heard about the street racer,” he said. Jaejoong nodded, scratching at his scalp. He had just come out of the shower. His hair was freshly washed.

“I anticipated it.”

There was still splotches of red on Jaejoong’s neck and chest, left there from last night, from Yunho’s mouth and teeth and his sharp kisses.

There were other people he could have sex with. He liked sex for the pleasure, the look of unabashed undone and want on the expression of his partner. He liked squeezing his fingers into flesh and keeping it there. But sex with Jaejoong was different. It was a long while since he had had sex with someone that was not Jaejoong. The last time had been a few months ago, sent on a mission to Europe and he had wooed the Finance Minister and his wife on separate occasions.

Jaejoong had stopped asking about his other men and women. And Jaejoong had also, for many years, stopped having sex with any one else but him.

“I don’t know who was the traitor.” Jaejoong drew his legs up, propped on his palms and stretching his back. “Ken Joss is an ideal person to buy over. He’s head of the shipments between us and Yamapi. But he’s also never stepped foot in the Syndicate building, or has he ever met Junsu. Kim Kibum, he’s an infiltrator. He could easily be the traitor or seen Junsu around, and told off the information to his friends at the American Company.”

Yunho resisted the urge to light up another cigarette. He settled for the smell of drying nail polish, still heavy on Jaejoong’s skin.

“Or maybe it was Kibum, and he went there trying to buy off Joss, and ended up shooting him because Joss was trying to fight back – thus the marks on his neck. Joss shot back at him before he died, and Kibum tried to run away, dying in the process.”

“Where there any shipments that day?”

“Heroin. Shipped into ramen packets. Yoochun’s down there checking. So far nothing’s missing.”

“Why target the shipment? They have their own heroin. It has to be something with the shipment.”

“I’m waiting to find out if anyone else was there. Who handled the shipments. Who was on the liner and who was there on the docks. This is becoming a problem, and I don’t like problems.”

“It’s figuring out what happened, and why it happened. We don’t know either. Other than that two of our men are dead. And they could both be traitors.”

“Or they…” Jaejoong laid his fingers on top of his resting hand, skinny ice blocks that cooled his skin. “Yunho, what if someone attacked both of them and then got away. It still doesn’t explain why Kibum was there, though.” He sighed, gripping down and squeezing his hand.

“What makes it harder to get to the bottom of this is that there’s another group out there. If the man that shot at me, is from that unknown group, then this new player, is only after me.”

“Something from your past,” said Yunho.

“Of course it is,” Jaejoong laughed.

Overhead was a deepening grey-blue, and Yunho looked to his phone, checking the time. “I have to go,” he said, using his free hand to touch Jaejoong’s face. They were settling into this lull, something he couldn’t describe, something that was different from how they were when they were younger.

“Fighting ring. Of course. I’ll be heading to the docks to meet Yoochun. I want to see what happened for myself.”

Yunho nodded, kissing his mouth goodbye.

“Don’t die Leader Jae,” he murmured.

Jaejoong’s lips curled, and he got up, leaving the balcony past the open glass doors. He put on his newer pair of gloves, gold encrusted knuckles, and grabbed his gun that went on his waist, checking to see if his short swords were secure. Most of the times – meaning mostly all – he didn’t need them. But he didn’t like being under prepared.

The nights were better to walk, forgoing his car and his driver, and heading down the streets in the damp chill and lessening exhaust fumes. The location he’d sent Jungkook was a different one, closer to the café, well known to Syndicate members who tried their hand in becoming better by underground fighting, and those who tried to impress him by winning.

He’d purposefully chosen this location. Most of the members didn’t like him – Jungkook. He was a kid who in his first day got two Squads punished with a pay cut and demerits, and was cozying it up to the Leader that was untouchable to everyone else in the organization.

It was going to be a long night for the kid.

The fighting was going to be endless. Fighting rings had that luxury of no rules. No restraint in the number of fighters or fights to bet on. When there were no more fights to be had, that was when the fighting rings split up, and the money was shared out.

Yunho gave into buying a cup of cheap black coffee from a street shop. It was better than delving into that fifth smoke.





Taehyung had two mixers going, whipping up the batches of cream cheese frosting for tomorrow. He dusted powdered sugar on the completed strawberry cake, and then straightened, his back grateful for the last bit of leaning forward for the day. He really hoped that AJ was back by tomorrow. Otherwise he was going to have to get someone else – or two – to come help with the baking and decorating.

He also couldn’t remember the last time he got more than three hours of sleep. Ever since he took over running the shop, with the promise to Jaejoong that he would make it into a thriving, civilian friendly profit, he was waking up at four in the morning, on lucky days, half four, to stretch, drink his two cups of coffee and then start pre-mixing everything fresh for the day.

He opened up the box, slipping in the cake and locking the side, making sure that the decorated top was seen underneath the clear plastic. Carefully, he carried it outside, where the customer who had ordered it in a rushed phone call last night, a fourty something woman, was ready to cry.

Taehyung hoped that she didn’t.

“One strawberry cream cake,” he said, smiling at her as she gripped her pair of brown gloves, gasping down at the box set on the counter. Hoseok and Jungkook were finishing cleaning up, and the next few hours would be a dwindling crowd for food, and a steady stream yet for evening coffee requests.

“It’s beautiful!” She said, paying Jen who was working the cashier, lifting it up and watching it again. “My daughter would love it! Thank you so much. I’ll definitely put in a word for you with my parent circle. No other shop wanted to do a cake so last minute, but when my baker friend got sick, I had no choice but to beg. Thank you for this.”

“I’m happy to help,” he beamed, waiting until she left to slump over the counter. Hoseok came over to rub his fingers into his hair.

“You look dead Tae.”

“I am dead,” he complained. “My back hurts. My feet are giving up on me. AJ needs to come back to work or I’ll cry tomorrow. Help me Hoseok.”

Hoseok laughed heartily, pushing him off the counter to wipe it down. “You’re leaving early aren’t you? Me and Jen can manage the next few hours by ourselves. Jungkook has his other job to go to.” He glanced over at Jungkook who was cleaning off a table, where the high school students had just left, leaving a sticky trail of fingerprints and coffee stains.

“He does. I’m going to change.” Jaehyun was in the kitchen cleaning down the tables and counter, and he would wash the utensils and pack away the cream cheese frosting and what was left over from the day’s cooking. Taehyung would still double check when he got back in.

His home was upstairs the café, just the right size, the right style for him and his necessities. The four windows were covered with thin, purple curtains. There was a separate coffee machine upstairs, timed to make him coffee at four fifteen every morning. The kitchen where it was set up was small, a large enough fridge, coloured pots and pans done in lime green and rose gold because Taehyung hated the plain looking ones. A sofa that was made to sleep on, jammed close to the foot stool and flat screen television that Taehyung had spent a guilt-free fortune on. The Playstation on the television stand was permanently connected to that guilt-free flat screen.

He barely got chance to play a game from his ever-growing stack.

Taehyung washed his face and put on slacks and a baggy shirt, forgoing a bath because he didn’t have the time. When he came back, he wanted a long soak with bath salts, and a big glass of pink moscato to ease his aches. He slipped in his handgun with a silencer attached underneath the waist band of his slacks, and went downstairs.

Jungkook was by his locker, dressed in a white hoodie and his bag already strung up on his shoulder and back. He looked good today, cheeks with some colour with the rush of working, forever forcing Taehyung’s fingers to itch with a need to touch his mouth and his face.

The kid – only three years younger than him – had forced him to break his code. It was his own fault, really, his own damn fault because he hadn’t been this attracted to anyone in a long time, or maybe this was the first time he couldn’t control himself. But there was something about his face, his aura, his –

Taehyung groaned. He was being silly. He sounded like an idiot.

“Ready?” asked Jungkook.

Hoseok poked his head out from behind the barista station. “You’re walking him to his work place Tae?”

“I am. It’s my job to protect my workers, you know.”

Taehyung pushed Jungkook out the door before he could retaliate to Hoseok’s cooing.

“You’re meeting Yunho at the fighting ring?” he asked.

“Yeah.”

Jungkook walked with his hands stuffed in the open ended hoodie pockets, setting a steady pace that Taehyung tried to keep up with. He preferred slower walks.

“If you’re so tired,” spoke Jungkook, as Taehyung was staring at the pavement, “Why didn’t you stay home?”

“I told you I wanted to come. I’ll rest when I get back. I’m fine.”

Jungkook’s look said otherwise, but he shrugged it off. They crossed the road past the police station, with Jungkook looking at street signs and then to his phone. Taehyung stepped closer to take a peek.

It was a text message from Yunho with the address Jungkook was to meet him at.

“Why didn’t Yunho just send you his location?”

“He did,” said Jungkook.

“No I mean…” Taehyung broke off. There was a lot he didn’t know about Jungkook. He was excited to buy head phones and a music player and gloves. He had never tasted ice cream before. And each time he used his phone it was like it was the first time he was seeing it. Jungkook didn’t know how to use upgraded technology because he had never gotten a chance to.

That was his theory. And he trusted his theories. They were usually spot on.

“I’ll teach you later,” he said. Jungkook looked confused.

The fighting ring was underneath a Chinese restaurant, heat and oil coming from the kitchen as they passed through. They were stopped by a Chinese man, shorter than both of them, thick limbed and heavy chested. The vest he wore was bursting, and the gun lay heavily on his waist.

Jungkook tried to pass through the door, and he raised his arm to block him. Jungkook was annoyed. Taehyung bit his lip to stop himself from laughing.

“Yunho sent me,” he said, and the Chinese man looked them over before moving aside.

Yunho was already waiting, standing with his arms folded against a stone pillar, old from time and wear. The underground area was small. It was without chairs, brightly lit, and was nothing but an empty expanse filled with people and lights. There were the fighters lined up underneath the low ceiling, and crowding around in a circle were the participating betters, some casually dressed, others business men in work suits that were fancy and pressed. There was something funny about haute couture and fighting.

Kind of like Taehyung. Kind of like where a lot of his money went – buying good clothes and keeping up with his hair.

Jungkook walked over to meet Yunho. Taehyung stalled to observe the other fighters. He knew most of their faces. These were Syndicate men. They recognized him, surprised at first but then acknowledging him, some waving and the others shouting out his name. He waved back, smiling. His hand dropped. They were all watching Jungkook.

Yunho had brought Jungkook to a lion’s den – full of pent up jealousy and frustration. He went over to Jungkook and grabbed his arm.

“You better win,” he said.

“Are you scared that I wouldn’t?” Jungkook replied, remaining unfazed, some how amused at him holding his arm.

“I don’t fuck losers,” he said, not sure why his mouth liked to say things without thinking, without actually saying words that he wanted to profess. Yunho made a small noise beside them. Taehyung flushed.

“Okay,” said Jungkook, before Taehyung could properly acknowledge the older man. “I guess that’s why we’re already fucking.”

Taehyung didn’t know what to say to that. He watched Yunho smooth the organizer into starting the first match, rounding up the bets that were grossly against Jungkook. Taehyung didn’t put any money in. He stood with Jungkook’s bag and next to Yunho, anxious energy he couldn’t stop giving off because he was so excited to see Jungkook fight, and mildly terrified because he knew these men and he didn’t want to see Jungkook with his pretty face bashed in.

“He’ll win,” said Yunho.

Taehyung looked up at him, sound caught in his throat. Yunho was not a man of wasted words. He looked back at Jungkook, in the makeshift circle formed by spectating bodies and jeers.

Guess he was going to find out.






It was colder down by the docks. Jaejoong was kept in his trench coat, pulled tight over the long sleeved turtle neck sweater. Yoochun was in front of him with his Ipad, swiping through the list of shipments and workers.

Jaejoong shone light on the area Yoochun had discretely marked off. He swiped through his tablet until he came upon the picture of Kim Kibum’s body. The ground before him and the picture were nothing alike. They had wiped the crime scene clean, extra clean as per Yoochun’s regulations.

He went into the storage shed, pulling the chain to send the barred lift open. The warehouse was where the trucks were stored. The shipments were put into the trucks and then shipped off to the first meeting point, and then shuffled to the second meeting point to avoid tracking. The small room to the corner was where they printed the logos for the trucks on demand. This time, there were already printed ramen logos stuck on the side of the trucks.

There were three other such storage houses in this dock.

“Yoochun. Are there any trucks missing?”

Yoochun went through the log list, and then walked through the storage sheds. “One actually.” He leaned by the edge of the entrance, iron and galvanize pressing against his arm. “There aren’t any shipments missing. It’s all accounted for – from the order before it came from Japan, and from the amount counted in the trucks. All other workers are accounted for too. I couldn’t use the log from when the shipments arrived from the docks – Joss wrote it up.”

“We’re looking at this wrong,” said Jaejoong.

“Oh?”

“What does Japan and South Korea now have in common?”

Yoochun was sharp and Jaejoong loved him for it. “Am. Co.”

“Good. Yunho said they could have shot each other. But it’s probably the other way around.”

“They didn’t shoot each other?”

“Someone shot the both of them.”

“You think –” Yoochun smiled. “They were both traitors.”

“Yes. Kibum was there to deal with any interference to make everything go smoothly. His reasons for siding with AmCo. I don’t know them, but Joss loved money. He would have been bought off. What they were doing here, after they were done doing it, AmCo. sent someone in to clean them up. Since Junsu escaped we know there was a traitor. And Ken Joss would have talked with a little pressure.”

“They cleaned them up before we could get to them. Smart. Now we’re stuck wondering if there are any other spies, because they killed the obvious ones. Ones they already used.”

“Assuming they stole the truck,” said Jaejoong, handing Yoochun his Ipad for him to hold, walking closer to the edge of the paved concrete, looking out at the stretch of water, blackened by night. “They needed the truck to put something in it. The reason why the log’s perfect is because there’s nothing missing. They needed Joss because they wanted to ship something in. Something extra.”

“New York or the microchips.”

“The street value of New York–”

“Is much higher than heroin. It’s more potent too. The profit margin–” Yoochun made an exploding sound. “But it fucks up the users. The clientele would die down. There isn’t a long-term dream market with it. Our buyers would sooner die from cardiac arrest or end up in a coma.”

“And AmCo. knows that it’s coming from Japan. Even though we regulate it through in small amounts for the clubs, they’ve know all along that the main supplier of our drugs have been Japan.”

“There’s something bigger in Japan than the Osaka branch.”

Jaejoong nodded, pressing his forehead. He was beginning to feel quite like how Junsu was feeling earlier.

“Clean up Kim Kibum’s and Ken Joss’ mess. I don’t tolerate betrayals.”

He was going to have to harass Junsu. He needed to track that ramen truck.




*


So this chapter was mainly things I had to write. For the plot. And I finally got chance to write from Taehyung’s pov, which, needs more of because it’s kinda hard to capture him in one go. This wasn’t supposed to be so long but it is. I think I fried my brain writing this too heh.

I sort of toggled with whether or not to bring in Yoongi. But, I had to. He was Changmin's friend, his only friend, and a damn loyal one too. It's what he would have done.

 
 
 
thetaintedblade
03 October 2018 @ 08:54 pm

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. There's Yoochun wtih a background as shrouded as his words. And Junsu the civilian cousin working as a hacker. And the new kid, Jungkook, off the street and into Jaejoong's home, put to work under cafe owner Taehyung. The threat looming stems from foreign invasion, the American Company that threatens, and is already taking over Asian soil. But there's an unknown group after the Syndicate, more personal, and directed against Jaejoong.


*
PART FOURTEEN
~Possession~


Some twenty or less years ago
Jaejoong

Things were good, considering the misdirection his life had taken. He was still working in the café, working the cashier and fixing coffee for customers. He also upgraded to sitting in on small meetings, helping keep the books for the illegally run money lending, going with them on their visits to collect what was theirs plus interest.

It had been more than a year, since his new life had started. And Jaejoong was somehow getting accustomed to it.

The other thing he had become acclimatized to was Yunho’s presence. He more than often came to the café he worked at, buying nothing but Americanos and fresh brew, dumping in sugar and annoying Jaejoong because he didn’t let anyone else make his coffee or serve him but Jaejoong.

It was by luck that no one from the Syndicate had figured it out yet, who Yunho was, who his father was. But Jaejoong knew that they wouldn’t touch him. The Syndicate may have had deep connections, but the Jung Cooperation owned most of Korea. And his father was a powerful man.

Their friendship was unordinary. Jaejoong had stopped going to Sun’s mechanic shop on mornings, and he hadn’t seen the older man in two months. It was difficult to go back to the smell of gas and grease, after he had killed a man out of anger, out of his own thirst of revenge. It didn’t seem right, to taint the old man with his blood stained hands.

So Jaejoong ran on mornings. Drank his coffee and went to school, meeting up with Yunho with his string of injuries that became less each day. Some days Yunho skipped school, or showed up just to show him his bruises on his chest, and his abdomen. The Jung heir didn’t tell him how he got them, only that it was a necessary evil and that he liked it.

And Jaejoong believed him. Since the bruises came, since that day Yunho had kissed him, Yunho was brighter somehow. The inherent boredom that came about with Yunho’s outward persona was diminished. Whatever Yunho did after school was helping. And Jaejoong liked seeing him like this, alive, eyes brighter with an excitement to live. There was a dark edge in how he looked, and it suited him, with his growth spurt that left Jaejoong shorter, even though he was sixteen and Yunho was still a year younger.

It was after school hours. It was a rare day that Jaejoong had gotten off from the café, and Haesu had gone with his uncle again to some other part of Korea, so he was free of his training for the evening. He and Yunho walked out the school gates, watching the Bentley parked in front to take Yunho home. His driver was waiting next to it, almost, but not quite leaning against the polished car door.

“Come with me,” he said suddenly.

Jaejoong looked at him, confused. “Come with you where?”

Yunho barely glanced at him. “Just come with me,” he said, the driver opening the car door for him to enter the back seat. The picture of Yunho’s figure was gone as the door closed, and the driver went around to the next side, opening the door for Jaejoong.

Jaejoong gripped the handle of his school bag, sighing and giving in to the Jung’s whims. It wasn’t the first time that he had done it, gone along with what Yunho wanted because there was nothing better to do. And on days like these, when he could forget that he was part of a crime organization, and that he wasn’t a cold-blooded murderer, he realized that he only other person he had besides Younghwa was…well, Yunho.

He got in the car, let the driver close the door after him, shoving his bag next to Yunho’s. Yunho had his eyes closed, head leaned back, enjoying the silence of a car drive without music. Jaejoong preferred drives with the music on.

The Bentley stopped off in front of a mansion. Jaejoong was wide eyed as he came out of the convertible, looking up and up at the huge expanse of modern housing and the surrounding land, too clean, too perfect, looking too much like a picture in a glossy magazine print. He didn’t watch television. So he had never seen anything concerning the Jung family. Where they lived. What they did. Or even much about what Yunho’s parents looked like.

He followed Yunho into the house, the front doors opened for them by a tall man in a pressed suit.

“Young master,” he said in greeting. Yunho gave a short nod of acknowledgement, Jaejoong scuttling behind him, feeling awkward and small. Inside was larger than how the outside looked, so high up, the stairs spiraling and shiny, the delicately large chandelier hanging above them. Jaejoong had never seen such grandeur, and it came to him that Yunho lived in a completely different world from everyone else.

They went up the spiraling staircase and down a hallway, decorated with picture frames of paintings and family portraits, statues and ornaments adorning oak-wood furnishings. He was in Yunho’s bedroom, one that could fit three of his own bedroom back in his uncle’s house, and Youngwha was not a poorly man. It was surprisingly sparse, a bed, a counter, a separate door to the bathroom, and another to the cupboard. Yunho didn’t have picture frames or posters up on his wall. He had a bookcase that was brimming with spines, two laptops on the table next to an audio system. And there was a pair of leather gloves tossed onto his bed, one side on top of a pillow, the other in the mess of black sheets.

Yunho unzipped his school jacket, and threw off his undershirt. It landed near Jaejoong’s feet. Yunho’s skin was darker than his own, and his body, Jaejoong stared, was different. Firmer. More defined. Yunho grinned before going into his cupboard. He came back out in faded jeans and sleeveless shirt, and a bundle of clothes in his hand that he threw in his lap and face.

“Get dressed. They should fit you.”

Jaejoong picked up the thin looking shirt and skinny jeans. “What? Why?”

“Because where we’re going you can’t be seen in your school uniform. So get dressed.”







They were dropped off in front of café that Jaejoong worked for, Yunho’s driver disappearing into the busy city streets.

“Coffee,” was all Yunho said, and Jaejoong went with him into the Syndicate run shop, grimacing when Mino shouted his name, and King – whose name was really King – grinned as he leaned over the counter.

“Couldn’t resist coming in on your day off kiddo?”

“I’m missing you guys so much,” Jaejoong cooed sweetly, and King broke off into his raucous laughter, settling enough to take their order. They went elsewhere to eat with their sandwiches and coffee, iced Americanos frosty wet in their fingers, finding an old, rubbed off bench on the sidewalk to sit.

Jaejoong watched Yunho peel back the crinkly wrapper, not quite hungry yet, and content enough to drink his cold black coffee.

“After this is one more year of school,” said Yunho, biting into his sandwich. “What do you plan to do?”

Jaejoong pondered with his mouth around the plastic straw, looking down through the clear lid at the coffee sloshing. “I don’t know,” he answered truthfully. He didn’t. Even before the incident, he hadn’t known, thinking that he’d figure it out by now, or in his last year. But he hadn’t. He couldn’t. He didn’t know if he would even have a choice in his future, with the way his life was heading, the way Youngwha was so carefully constructing his choices to further him up the Syndicate ladder.

“What about you?” he asked. “Are you gonna work for your dad?”

“Don’t know.” Yunho stopped eating his sandwich. “I get bored.” He looked at Jaejoong. “I’m always bored.”

“Yeah, I know.”

Yunho had him walking again, finishing up his coffee as they left the proper part of the city, walking into the streets of gang territory. Jaejoong wanted to ask him why, to warn him that they could get injured, robbed, that he was the Jung heir and that made him so much more a target than Jaejoong could ever be, but he kept silent.

Somehow, Yunho was a person that the world couldn’t touch. He walked calmly along the empty sidewalk, the skies dipping from light blue to deepening grey. Jaejoong checked his phone. It was ten minutes after six. He still didn’t know where they were going.

Yunho finally stopped in front of an old building. Run down, in need of a fresh coat of paint and maybe Clorax wipes and Lysol. It appeared devoid of recent human inhabitants, and Yunho opened the creaky door, expecting Jaejoong to keep following him. He did.

The door creaked itself to a close. There were a few new light bulbs, swinging above them on stringy wires. The room was barren, and surprisingly clean. There was the muffled mixture of music and voices, and Jaejoong was led into another room, where the lights were suddenly bright, and the loudness slapped at him that he was stunned, standing there unable to take in his surroundings.

There were throngs and throngs of people, all loud and shouting and standing. Further down, past the barrier and down the steps was a ring, a large, single ring erected from the ground, with two men going at each other with bare hands and feet. There was a makeshift referee, a middle-aged man with new clothes and with his hands pressed up onto the arena edge, watching the match and guarding a mic underneath his fingers.

“Is this…a fighting ring?”

Yunho pushed past people, shoving them hard enough so that Jaejoong didn’t have to. They went into a shoddily lit corridor, into a small, poorly room that had a couple old lockers and two sturdy benches.

“I come here to fight,” he said, taking out the gloves Jaejoong had seen in his room, strapping them to his wrists.

“This is where you come all the time. This is why you always have bruises. Do they know you’re underage?”

“Do you think they care?”

No, Jaejoong didn’t think so. Underground fighting and betting were already illegal. What was one, underage kid compared to that.

“What about you?” said Yunho.

“What about me?”

“You work in that café. You’re not eighteen yet. It’s run by gang members.”

Jaejoong stiffened. Of course Yunho knew. He was always particularly astute about everything, even if he didn’t care or took interest.

“They don’t care either.”

Yunho took a seat on the bench, and Jaejoong joined him, rubbing his palms against the prickly wood, smelling the sweat that couldn’t be scrubbed from the small room.

“Why did you bring me here?” he asked.

“To see me fight.”

“Oh.” Jaejoong glanced at Yunho; the way he had said it, like it was the most obvious thing in the world.

A fat man came into the room, vest sweaty and grease stained, arm tattooed from his shoulder to wrist. His chain jangled as he walked. He grinned broadly as he saw Yunho.

“Ready to fight boy?”

He finally saw Jaejoong. “Who’s your friend?” His look was a putrid slime that had settled over his skin. He wasn’t so far away from them, and as they stood, Jaejoong could smell his breath.

“He’s mine,” said Yunho, brushing past him. Jaejoong glared at Yunho’s back, but he didn’t retort, not when the older man had bristled and then sneered, backing away from Jaejoong as he tried to keep up with Yunho.

He didn’t need Yunho trying to protect him. A place like this was nothing compared to the people he was beginning to surround himself with, men that killed others for money, for revenge, for fun.

He was one of them.

“You can stay here,” said Yunho, swallowing the noise and the smell and the sheer excitement of the atmosphere. He seemed to breathe it in, becoming more animated, becoming darker.

Jaejoong couldn’t answer because he was staring.

“Kid fighter versus Jaguar! Place your bets! They’ve both won more matches than they’ve lost. Come on up!”

Jaguar was a dark skinned man, clean shaven and bald, and with lean muscle that reminded Jaejoong of Mino. He had never seen Mino fight before. But Jaguar was not Mino. He was shirtless to Yunho’s thin threaded vest, fists up that bore no gloves.

Jaejoong had a feeling that the gloves were more for style than for practical use. It seemed like a Yunho thing to do.

The makeshift judge raised his right arm, tipping his fingers and slashing air as he brought it back down. “Go!”

Yunho remained where he was. Jaguar circled him, taking small steps, shuffling around to intimidate him. Yunho went from bored to absolutely elated. His grin was wide, a grin that Jaejoong hadn’t seen before, so wicked that Jaejoong knew he was going to win.

Yunho darted in with a fist aimed for his abdomen. Jaguar blocked it with his forearms, bringing his knee up for the extra coverage and slammed his knuckles into Yunho’s face. His head snapped back, and there was blood on the corner of his mouth where his knuckles had cut flesh.

Yunho licked it away. He went in again, ducking the next punch, turning his body and rocking into a kick with his hips, swinging his foot into Jaguar’s side. The momentum sent him stumbling, and Yunho kicked him again, using the top of his shoes to slam into the same spot, wringing out a loud groan and sending him to the streaked floor.

He was on top of him as soon as he fell, fist raised and then straight down into Jaguar’s face, punching him, and then again and again until Jaejoong saw blood. The judge ran up to rest a hand on Yunho’s shoulder, stepping back when Yunho turned around. There was too much blood lust in his gaze.

The judge grabbed his hand, lifting it high up into the throes of screaming and jeers, people shouting out his given name of ‘Kid Fighter’.

Jaejoong couldn’t stop staring. There was something about the way Yunho looked at this moment, alive, heavy, dangerous. Jaejoong felt like he was there but he wasn’t. The noise wasn’t so loud. His chest felt so hot and his breathing wasn’t working the way he wanted it to. And when Yunho looked at him, finally turning his gaze of fight and lust and that need to win, Jaejoong fled.

He ran back into the little dressing room, slamming his hand into the locker, breathing hard. He closed his eyes, trying to catch himself, trying to force away that feeling of want and need and he just didn’t understand what was happening to him.

He heard when Yunho came. Jaejoong turned around, staring at him again. Yunho looked–

He was kissing him. Jaejoong couldn’t think or breathe just that Yunho was kissing him. His mouth was soft, lips that opened and closed and Jaejoong opened up his mouth for him. There was that feeling in his stomach, that feeling, and he gripped his fingers into Yunho’s shirt, pushing himself closer, kissing back as much as he could without breaking for air.

Yunho left his mouth and went for his neck, the curve of his neck and his throat, scraping his teeth and then biting, kissing, torturing flesh that had Jaejoong keening and unsure. His fingers were tight into Yunho’s vest and skin, and Yunho’s hands came to rest on his waist, squeezing him pulling him with him as he went down onto the bench.

He was on Yunho’s lap, watching his face, his eyes, his mouth. He let his fingers run across his cheek, the indent of an old scar underneath his eye, the wet feel of blood left from Jaguar’s knuckles, swiped by the corner of his lips. Jaejoong bent down to lick it. His tongue ran across Yunho’s mouth, and he kissed him again, grabbing his face, held tight by Yunho’s grip on his waist.

He could feel Yunho, the hardness between his legs, rubbing against his own, constricted by the skinny jeans. He wanted to be closer, so much closer. Jaejoong groaned, head falling onto Yunho’s shoulder, rubbing himself against the hardness that felt so good.

Yunho was content to let him. His arm wrapped itself around his waist, and his other hand reached up to pull at his hair, yanking his head back, giving him the pleasure of his throat and chest, pale and exposed for Yunho to kiss.

Jaejoong just remembered how good it felt, the bites into his neck and chest, the feel of Yunho’s fingers on his nipples, his clothed prick rubbing into Yunho’s and kissing him again.

He came with a soft cry into Yunho’s neck, biting into the flesh there hard, feeling just a bit possessive in return to Yunho’s earlier statement. Jaejoong kept his forehead against the sticky cool skin and wet cloth, out of breath, panting. His palms were still tight into the flat of Yunho’s back.

“You liked that,” said Yunho.

“Of course I liked that, we both came,” Jaejoong scoffed, glad that his embarrassed face was hidden against Yunho’s shoulder.

“No. You liked seeing me fight. You got off on watching me beat Jaguar.”

Jaejoong lifted his head, pulling away. His balance was delicately held by Yunho’s arm supporting him.

His whole face was hot.

“I…”

“You interest me, Kim Jaejoong,” Yunho whispered, raising his head to kiss him again, biting his lower lip not so gently. The heat that Jaejoong felt never left him, enjoying the feel of Yunho’s mouth, wondering why he had never kissed before.

Everything was becoming so messed up. Everything. And he wondered if it was okay, to feel and think and act how he was, how everything was changing, and he was accepting that change.

“Of course I’m interesting,” he replied, resting his cool hand on Yunho’s face, where the bruise was settling in. He wanted to wish it away. He rubbed again at the blood beginning to cake. “We should…” Jaejoong grimaced, touching his own warm cheeks, “Probably clean up.”

*

Hi.
 
 
thetaintedblade
02 July 2018 @ 11:11 pm

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. There's Yoochun wtih a background as shrouded as his words. And Junsu the civilian cousin working as a hacker. And the new kid, Jungkook, off the street and into Jaejoong's home, put to work under cafe owner Taehyung. The threat looming stems from foreign invasion, the American Company that threatens, and is already taking over Asian soil. But there's an unknown group after the Syndicate, more personal, and directed against Jaejoong.



*
PART THIRTEEN
~ Only Human ~




Yunho brought the cigarette to his mouth as he lit the end, inhaling in to keep his chest and fingers warm, frigid from the cold that was Jaejoong’s air-conditioning. He was sleeping still, curled towards him, mouth slightly opened as he breathed. His bleached hair was a mess, and Yunho had felt his toes throughout the night, little ice blocks that poked at his ankles every time he moved.

Yunho had taken off Jaejoong’s phone when he woke, allowing him some reprieve. If it were an important call it would be redirected to him or Yoochun. He finished his cigarette while watching Jaejoong sleep, and reading the news on his smart phone. When his cigarette burned out, he left the bed to bring back two cups of black coffee from the kitchen – the coffee machine working by a timer – to catch up on business updates.

Jaejoong was turning on the bed, fingers rubbing into the corners of his eyes, and opening them to stare at him.

He stretched out his hands towards Yunho, inhaling deeply.

“Coffee,” he demanded, lips pouted, and Yunho wanted to bite his mouth until it ran red. He handed Jaejoong a cup when he managed to sit up further in the bed, leaning against two pillows, and took his own place under the covers, his mug in hand.

Jaejoong inhaled again before taking a sip, grasping around the hot cup to bring some warmth to his fingers. Yunho knew from unfortunate experience that Jaejoong would rather freeze than raise the air conditioning to a higher temperature setting.

“What time is it?” he asked, looking at Yunho with sleepy eyes. The anger that was there last night was gone.

“Half six.”

Jaejoong glanced around the bed, raising his hips to check.

“I put it on the table,” said Yunho, gesturing lazily to the table top on his side of the bed. “You needed the sleep.”

“You took off my phone.”

“I did.”

Jaejoong sipped at his coffee, and Yunho went back to reading the day’s stock market trends. Jaejoong’s head dropped on his shoulder, and he felt the breath of hot coffee hitting his bare arm, and Jaejoong’s cold toes sticking at his calf.








Junsu was exiting his bedroom when Yunho was leaving the kitchen with coffee, barely seeing him with his burning eyes, blinking to ease the pain and raising his hand in greeting.

“Morning Jung.”

“Junsu.”

They had the oddest relationship, and by oddest he meant fucking weird because he damn near disliked the other man, but it was half six in the morning and he was already exhausted. Still exhausted from yesterday and the day before that. So it was too early for any other thought but to get two cups of coffee and some breakfast.

He wondered when he was going to get proper sleep.

He poured himself a cup and curled onto the couch, bringing out his phone that had been shoved into the pocket of his sweat pants.

It was his university phone.

There were two unread messages. Both from the man called Kim Namjoon.


8:10pm
‘Kim Namjoon.’

The first message had been sent to give Junsu his number.


9:03pm
‘I have a job I’m interested in hiring you for. Meet me at the Low Hearts café near the city park at 8:30am, if you are interested.’



He hadn’t checked his phone since he came back to the Syndicate headquarters last night. He had been snatched up for another job, a small one, with too many complications – American secret services – and had research to do for his Masters course. Junsu had done nothing but hole up in front of his laptop in his room with a plate piled high with pancakes and too much whipped cream and a pot of coffee to keep him running throughout the night.

He had morning classes yet again.

He kept the second message open, looking down at the screen.

Kim Namjoon approached him for the first time yesterday, during his class that ran before lunch break. Kim Namjoon was a business major, twenty-seven years old, enrolled in part time classes. He was also, the current head of Kim Production and Finances, a company specializing in sourcing and outsourcing production machine parts and supporting third party companies legally (and illegally) with financial aid.

The original head, his father, Kim Hansul, died two years ago from a myocardial infarction due to severe coronary artery disease and stress. Since then, Namjoon took over as the sole heir, with no other siblings to share his fortune with, and without a mother to care for.

It was only the basic information that Junsu had searched during lunch yesterday, sifting through data that the public was meant to see, and yet to delve into everything that Kim Namjoon really was. Because business men and men with power always had plenty of something hiding.

He finished his coffee and got ready to meet Kim Namjoon, decidedly skipping breakfast at their kitchen. He could get a free meal from Taehyung.

Meeting Namjoon meant contacts. It was something new to the Syndicate, not a direct connection, but still there, and just as powerful as Jung Industries. Kim Production and Finances was known to deal in illegal contracts, and it was different from Yunho, who despite his position in the Syndicate, ran Jung Industries as a legally functioning business.

Namjoon was waiting when he arrived, sitting by himself in a middle table, already having ordered a sandwich and a cup with nothing but whipped cream and syrup. He was ready to defend his drink when Junsu sat.

“Hello. I didn’t take the liberty of ordering for you since…I prefer my drinks with more…not coffee than coffee.”

Namjoon’s smile was wide, and easily friendly. Junsu nodded, looking over at Jen. She came right away, leaving the customer she had been flirting with to stand next to him.

“What are you having today? Usual pot of coffee?”

“Maybe to go. I’ll have a cream cheese and salmon bagel, with spinach. And bag whatever Taehyung made fresh to take. I have a long day.”

“You always have long days,” she retorted, tapping him lightly with her notebook.

Namjoon observed him casually while eating his sandwich.

“We didn’t talk much yesterday, when I approached you. I apologize if I seemed too forward.”

“It’s fine. How did you find me?”

“A friend of a friend, who recommended that you’re mighty good with computers and accessing what usually cannot be accessed.” Namjoon’s cheeks dimpled.

“So what is it that you want me to do for you?”

“Two things, actually. I’ll pay you separately for each job. I want you to create an un-hackable website for my company, as un-hackable as an online website can be. I know, I know, nothing these days, especially with people like you, is impossible to break through, but I’d at least like to hire the best to attempt that. Secondly, I need you to find information on someone, a woman, named Kim Jisoo. She changed her first name somewhere along the line, and I am unsure if it was ever her real name, but it’s important to me. I’ll pay you well. Especially for the second job.”

There was a tone of desperation to his request, and it made Junsu wonder if the first request was only a cover for the other.

“I’ll do what I can. I like the challenge.”

Junsu saw dimples again. “Thank you. Thank you so much. I’ll deliver the half the money for both jobs later today. Unless you want me to make out a cheque to you.”

“I’ll take cash or cheque,” said Junsu.

“Cheque then,” said Namjoon, quieting as Junsu was served his bagel, immediately delving in.

“What made you decide on doing your Masters? You’re the head of a company at the age of twenty-seven, Cyber Security and Forensics is very…”

“Unconventional? Unnecessary?” he said. “I like learning. I’m good at it. Even if I inherited a company, I could still do with learning things outside of business. I was a pretty boring kid you know. I did well in school because I liked studying. Not because I wanted to make my parents proud. And when my father died, I took over because I had to, not because I wanted to do business. I boringly wanted to become a doctor in Internal Medicine.”

“That is very boringly cliché,” Junsu remarked and Namjoon laughed.

“Yes so my choice of Masters is because I want to. That’s the only reason there is.”

When they were both finished, and Junsu had gotten his fresh brew to go along with warm almond honey croissants, Namjoon pulled out his credit card to pay.

Junsu stared at him until he flushed. “I’m really happy that you came. I wasn’t sure if you would. Let me pay for you, please.”

Junsu didn’t have the heart to tell him that he never paid when he came to Low Hearts.







Changmin leaned back on the park bench, and watched as people walked past, midmorning runners with headphones on, parents with strollers or holding hands with their well dressed children. It was one of the few times that Changmin gazed without thinking.

It was hard to think when he didn’t know what to think about. Or how he should start thinking about the things he should.

He didn’t know how long he sat there. He was hungry from skipping breakfast, but he couldn’t eat. He couldn’t think about eating. He couldn’t think about anything at all.

What he could remember and feel, was the sight and smell of blood, and how it felt to see someone die.

And even then, he couldn’t quite grasp every aspect of those images and memory.

He slouched further on the park bench, and closed his eyes. The heat of early morning sun felt so good on his skin, warming his cheeks and closed eyelids. And in the midst of his enjoyment, someone slapped the back of his head, jerking him into awareness.

His eyes flew open, confused, and searched for the source. Changmin spotted the one person he had been trying not to avoid and avoiding all this time.

“Yoongi,” he said incredulously, “You’re here.”

“No shit dumbass.”

“No I mean, you’re here. In front of me.”

Yoongi pushed behind his head again, and Changmin yelped, still making room for Yoongi to sit down. He didn’t.

“When you didn’t call or answer any of my fucking calls, I figured something had to be wrong. And I know you well enough that something would have you come to the park to mope.”

“I’m not moping,” he said lowly. Yoongi’s harsh look made him wince. The street racer was wearing his trademark hoodie, the black fraying piece of cloth that had seen better days, with those better days being around five years ago. Yoongi however, had never lost a race when he wore it.

“You made me worry, Changmin. I’m still worried.” Yoongi finally sat down, skinny legs spread open, letting out a deep breath as he looked at him, really looked at him. “At least you don’t look injured.”

“I’m not,” he said. “I…” Changmin thought of Jaejoong and Yunho, of the leader’s cold face and the barrel of his gun, the smell of Yunho’s cigarette smoke that made him itch for his own. He didn’t know what to say. He had wanted to tell Yoongi since he had saved Junsu, and now, nothing came out. Words couldn’t come to him as well as they usually did when they spoke. He groaned, covering his face with his hands.

“I did something dumb,” he mumbled, “And in doing so, I’m now working for the Syndicate.”

Yoongi raised his head, the material of his hood crumpling. “The Syndicate,” he said, and Changmin was forced to explain, because he knew how it sounded, how he sounded.

When he was finished, telling him about Yunho and Jaejoong and how he was now living with them, with Junsu and the other stray Jungkook, Yoongi had nothing to say, only his overbearing look that Changmin hated about him sometimes.

Yoongi bent his head and laughed. Yoongi’s laughter was never loud – he wasn’t a loud person – but his laugh continued on until he had to grip at his chest, shaking his head at the incredulity of his story.

“Sad thing is, I believe you. I can’t believe that you did that, but…Changmin…the leader of the Syndicate? His right hand man? You’re safe for now since you saved the leader’s cousin, but what happens when it isn’t? You’re dispensable to them.”

Changmin had already thought about that. Multiple times since he was brought into Jaejoong’s floor. It was why he was ready to die yesterday when he thought Jaejoong was about to kill him. That maybe, there would be consequences for telling Yoongi about the things that he was specifically forbidden to speak of.

“What about your parents? Have you called them?”

“No. You know how my father is, Yoongi. He isn’t going to miss me.”

“He would miss you. He’s your father.”

“Then you don’t know my father as well as I thought you did.”

It was a shitty thing to say, when he had really missed Yoongi and hadn’t seen him in days, but it was also truth.

“How are they treating you though?” Yoongi asked. Changmin had told him just the skeleton of the story, leaving out the little parts, like Jaejoong and Yunho’s relationship, or the way Jaejoong looked making them breakfast. He didn’t know how to share something like that, because it didn’t seem real.

“Good, really good considering everything.”

Changmin could hear Yoongi’s car keys moving around as he shifted. It made him crave the smell of burning tires, of cold nights where the air was heavy with it, with gas and cigarette smoke and loud jeers overpowering the screeching of decked out cars racing past the Alleymore street.

It was Yoongi who had named it that, a privilege of winning races and dominating nights. It was far enough from the main city, from businesses and houses that the noise wouldn’t bring trouble. Changmin had found himself in the front seat clutching on to the top of the window edge as he and Yoongi ran from police cars, and those nights were the ones that he remembered the most, wind slicing his cheeks and the burst of cold in his chest.

“I was going crazy,” he admitted, slumping further so that their shoulders touched. “I didn’t know if you’d miss me, to tell the truth. I thought that if I died, it wouldn’t matter to you.” He made sure that their eyes clashed, holding Yoongi’s gaze so that his speech wouldn’t falter. “My parents may not matter much to me. My life too, I haven’t done much, you know. I never followed my dreams. I have a shitty job. But hell, since we’ve been friends, life has been good. I can tell you all my favourite memories, and all of them are with you. Except the time I played my first MMORPG.”

A runner had her music on loud, iphone attached to her arm, the sound trailing as she glimpsed by. Changmin was momentarily distracted.

“I’m your liability now, aren’t I?” Yoongi sighed, and pulled out his phone.

“What are you doing?” Changmin asked him.

“Making some calls since I’m not sure if I’ll be going back. Even if my friend is a dumbass, he’s still my friend.”







Jungkook had seen when Junsu had came and when he left, and noted the man’s face he’d met with, a face that was vaguely familiar on passing. He was on wares and stores duty today, fingers deep in soapy coffee scented water, and then flipping through pages to make sure they had enough of everything to keep the store going.

He opened the fridge and took note, and then the cupboards below the counter, stooping to count the packs of full cream milk, soy, coconut, almond, fat free. He didn’t think so many types of milk existed. Only that there was milk and that it tasted nice. And that it was more expensive than buying ramen or cheap rice cakes.

Checking the sweeteners came next. Sugar was no longer sugar, just as milk was no longer milk. Jungkook was engrossed in the boxes of different names, only straying from his job for the day when Hosoek came into the stock room, holding up a plate with two, pale orange macaroons.

“Taehyung’s newest creation – passion fruit macaroons. He said for everyone to try it.”

It was tangy-sweet, a flavor that Jungkook oddly liked. He finished off the two when Hoseok told him he’d tasted them already, and offered to take the plate back to the washing area since it was only a few steps from where he’d been checking stocks.

When he’d left, Jungkook went into the kitchen, slipping past Jen who was balancing a tray of drinks, spotting Taehyung’s small frame jammed against the counter top kneading dough with white stained hands.

“The macaroons were good,” he told him, leaning against a stool without sitting. Taehyung didn’t jump from his sudden words, and turned to him, smiling, tired, because his other baker wasn’t back yet, and he hadn’t complained since his work load had doubled.

“I thought you might like it. I’ve been meaning to try them since last month. And well, you know how things happen.” Taehyung’s fingers squeezed and pressed the lump of solid flour, and it was strangely calming, watching him knead, following his movements.

“What are you doing tonight?”

“Not sure yet. I think going to fight. Depends on what Yunho says when I get back.”

“Oh he’s back then. I didn’t see him yesterday.”

“I think he is,” answered Jungkook. He had heard his voice greeting Junsu when he was about to leave his room, and since he hadn’t seen Jaejoong for the morning, he assumed they were both tied up in Jaejoong’s quarters for an indefinite amount of time.

“Can I go with you?” Taehyung stopped kneading as he asked. “I want to see you fight.” His tongue swept across his lower lip.

Jungkook felt the familiar heat in his lower abdomen, the sort of flush that made him do things without thinking, and he was already prone to doing so. Taehyung was just the extra push.

He didn’t see a reason to say no. Especially when Yunho and Taehyung knew each other.

“Okay.”

“Great!”

Jungkook picked up his clipboard, pages flapping as it shook. Taehyung didn’t have broad shoulders like Jaejoong. He was all sharp angles, overdone hair and black painted nails, and even watching him from behind, Jungkook understood what lust felt like.

He always did things because he wanted to.

It was why he had gotten into so many fights. And it was why he had won more times than he had ever lost.

Jungkook pressed up behind Taehyung, chest against his back, chin fitting into the slot of his neck and shoulder, breathing into his cheek and soft hair. He didn’t particularly dislike Taehyung. And he didn’t like him either. He did, however, enjoy the sex, the way the older man was enraptured when he came, how he liked it rough and Jungkook didn’t know how to fuck in any other way.

Taehyung’s hands stopped moving when Jungkook’s fingers squeezed his biceps, moving down his forearm to grasp his wrists, forcing him to bend his waist as he pushed closer.

“Jungkook…”

The way to the kitchen was unhindered, no protection from glass or wood or steel. Jungkook rubbed his lips against his neck, opening his mouth, letting his teeth linger and scrape onto the skin there. Taehyung trembled. He felt it even in his wrists, the tremor beneath the flesh of his mouth and teeth. Jungkook bit down, hard. Taehyung keened loudly and arched backward, kept in place by Jungkook’s hands pressing on top of his own flour stained fingers.

He left a bruise there, angry, quickly turning purple-red, sucking on it to darken the stain. Jungkook was fascinated by it, how it looked, how Taehyung kept his neck crooked and how it seemed to fit as though it was always meant to be there. He let go of Taehyung’s hands, dusting the flour stains onto his shirt, and grabbed his clipboard from the counter.

“I’ll wait for you later, if you want to come watch me fight.”

Taehyung’s gaze was petulant.

“I will once I finish my batches on time,” he snapped, roughly squeezing the dough, and then decreasing the pressure to calm himself. His hands were still trembling.

Jungkook didn’t expect the retort. It was probably because Taehyung was already overworked and didn’t need distractions like Jungkook. Or it was how he reacted. Unable to negate the way his body had responded.

Taehyung wasn’t all smiles and soft words.

His stack of papers thumped as he walked back to the storeroom.






They were all seated in Jaejoong’s office – Yoochun and Yunho lounging on the couch, heavy with smoke, and Jaejoong in his padded work chair that cost almost as much as the laptop in front of him. He was content to listen to the sound of their breathing, puffing marijuana into the trapped air of the office area, still in the mellowness of the morning.

He had lain on Yunho’s shoulder for longer than he could remember, unable to count the minutes, or the hours. Jaejoong hadn’t fallen back asleep, only rested there, because it was comfortable, because it felt…it felt safe. And Jaejoong never felt safe anymore. Not since the day he had killed a man in his uncle’s kitchen. That feeling of always being ready to fight was what had kept him alive. Yet the little moments like this morning, the heavy sweetness of it made him complacent. Made him feel safe. And the harsh reality was, that Yunho had that ability. If there was ever a man that Jaejoong could trust to fight and win, it was Yunho.

Jaejoong didn’t have the luxury to feel safe. He switched his gaze to Yunho, his spread legs and polished boots, his closed eyes and un-gelled dark brown hair. Yunho was Yunho. Unpredictable. And the one man Jaejoong should never feel safe around.

Junsu’s voice was in his head. His constant reprimands. Yunho and Junsu had never gotten along, not since Junsu had found out the nature of their relationship. Of how Yunho and him had burned together and separated, only to be dragged to each other once more.

“New developments?” Jaejoong asked, when the roll in Yoochun’s hand was flickering away, and his hooded eyes finally settled on Jaejoong to pay attention.

“I didn’t have the chance to tell you earlier this morning. Two of our men are dead.”

“You didn’t find it necessary to inform me of this before smoking a blunt?”

“I needed to confirm that the information was true. And why they were killed. I needed the weed for the second part, obviously.”

“Who?”

“Kim Kibum, one of our infiltrators, and Ken Joss, the Japanese American who worked for the Japanese embassy last year before taking over overseas shipment.”

“Those are unrelated deaths,” said Jaejoong.

“Exactly,” Yoochun remarked. “Seemingly unrelated deaths. I don’t know who killed them. Our mystery attacker that attempted to kill you, and possibly killed the four other men that ended up on the local police radar, or AmCo.”

The unknown factor was bothering him. If Yoochun hadn’t figured it out yet, then it meant that they were dealing with someone worth dealing with. A group that could cause real trouble.

His laptop screen flickered on as he accidently tapped the touch pad. A spread sheet was up of their current businesses – their legal businesses. The illegal businesses were kept safe in Yoochun and his memory, undocumented. The profits and deficits were stored away in an unknown location by Yoochun, unnamed, coded. Jaejoong made sure that only he and Yoochun understood those codes.

Kim Kibum was the boy who had spoken to him that day. The day Jungkook had arrived. Joss was not Korean by birth but he had lived in Korea for more than half his years. He worked the docks and the warehouse, ensuring their drug shipments made it to and from Japan and Jeju. His flexibility in switching languages made him ideal for his position, and Jaejoong had given it to him because of it.

“Where were the bodies found?” he asked.

“I emailed the report to your phone. We managed to clean it up in time before the police even got a whiff. The pictures and the prelim reports should be there. The formal autopsies are underway.”

Jaejoong pulled it up. It was third in his list of emails, a delicate number balanced by incessant incoming ones and the quickness in which he deleted them. The bodies were found close to Warehouse D5. Within range of each other. Five metres apart. Joss was shot in the abdomen, right shoulder and thigh, and died from assumed cardiovascular shock from the excessive blood loss. His body was found inside the storage shed that kept the trucks running from Warehouse to Warehouse. Kim Kibum was found face down on the dirt outside Warehouse D5. There was a close up of fingerprints to his delicate neck, of the bloodstained back and shoulder and the surrounding ground. The back shot looked like an exit wound, which meant that it was a chest shot. The pictures showing his left hand confirmed it. It was blood stained, matching that of a man grasping at a gaping wound on his chest. Death, also by blood loss.

It didn’t add up.

From what he knew, there was no need for Kim Kibum and Ken Joss to have ever met before. And there was also no particular reason for either of them to be dead - with there being no other casualties.

“What if it’s neither?”

Yunho was no longer ignoring him, his rolled blunt long smoked out and gone from his fingers. There was a small flicker of acknowledgment from him that Jaejoong caught, and knew that he thought it too.

Yoochun waited for him to explain.

“Kim Kibum and Ken Joss shot each other.”





*


I know I promised a new chapter ages ago. Honestly I tried. But this last rotation had me so exhausted mentally and physically I couldn’t write. Not with that level of exhaustion. I should be fine now in this rotation.

New part. New things. The plot’s finally coming along. Truthfully my plots never flesh out before I start writing – they flesh themselves out and thankfully I think I’ve fifty-five percent gotten a hold of this one.

I hope you guys enjoy. J
 
 
thetaintedblade
20 May 2018 @ 04:53 pm
Hii  
Hi guys.

I'm really sorry for not posting in forever. Works been pretty rough, especially this rotation I'm currently in because I hate it. I've not given up or forgotten about Burner. It is my precious baby that I enjoy writing so I'm probably going to try to churn out a chapter this week.

Thank you for always reading. :)

 
 
thetaintedblade
26 January 2018 @ 11:05 pm

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. There's Yoochun wtih a background as shrouded as his words. And Junsu the civilian cousin working as a hacker. And the new kid, Jungkook, off the street and into Jaejoong's home, put to work under cafe owner Taehyung. The threat looming stems from foreign invasion, the American Company that threatens, and is already taking over Asian soil. But there's an unknown group after the Syndicate, more personal, and directed against Jaejoong.



*
PART TWELVE
~ Everything for You ~


Jungkook woke to his alarm. It was the basic preset tone that came with the phone – born of Jung Industries – and was annoyingly loud and persistent. He had set it when he learned of his new job at Taehyung’s café, for everyday at six am so he didn’t have to reset it at night.

Damn good thing too.

He groaned, sitting up, dragging the soft pillow with his elbow. He leaned back, and stared at his thrown off shirt, bunched up on the ground near the door.

He didn’t remember taking off his clothes last night.

He hadn’t, except for the slip of his jeans down his hip bones and freeing his cock in front of Taehyung, pushed up against the counter. Taehyung had been free of his pants and underwear, shirt shoved high up to his neck, and he had been a sight.

A sight Jungkook remembered, explicitly remembered, even on waking.

His empty stomach and the need for good coffee – an easy thing to become accustomed to – forced him out of his room. He kept his phone in the pocket of his jeans from yesterday, throwing on a long sleeved tee that he had worn the day previously.

He hadn’t yet opened the drawers to see the full lot of clothes that had been bought for him. The cupboards and drawers were heavy with that, new clothes that smelled crisp and like money.

The thought of clothes reminded him of yesterday. His music player. His pair of gloves. The matching head phones Taehyung coerced him into buying. The plastic bag had been placed somewhere on the stretch of tables and forgotten when Jungkook had left the café sometime after midnight.

Jaejoong was up and in the heart of the apartment floor, standing in front of the large glass wall beside the kitchen, looking out into the city. He held a mug with one hand, and the other tucked into an armpit. The look he gave was pensive. A look that Jungkook couldn’t place.

“Morning,” he said, quietly so as not to disturb Jaejoong’s peaceful brooding. He made himself a cup of coffee, taking it on one of the stools in the kitchen, ignoring the phone that laid less than an arms breadth away. He never had the habit of fiddling with mobile phones. Without data, friends, or the time to play games, it was more of a luxury that he was even able to get one, cheap and well used.

This one was brand new. And he had met the owner of it, of the company that was filthy rich off of Korea’s obsession with new mobile devices.

Jungkook sipped his coffee, glancing at Jaejoong.

“You okay?”

He was different this morning. Muted. Serious. He hadn’t known the man long so he couldn’t tell which were his normal emotions, his set personality traits.

“There is nothing concerning,” he replied, turning to him. “I’m waiting.”

“Yunho? I know he went off somewhere yesterday. Is he due back today?”

“He’s due back soon,” Jaejoong answered.

Jungkook stopped himself from asking anything else. He didn’t need to know anything else, about where Yunho went, or what the mission was. He wasn’t important enough. He was a stray dog lucky enough to be this close to the leader, stuck in his home because there was no where else to house him.

He made sure to remember that.

“Do you want breakfast?” Jaejoong asked suddenly. He was in a long robe that moved when he did, slacks and a thin tee, fuzzy bedroom slippers clacking on the tiles. The domesticity of it, his image, his words, made Jungkook freeze. “Jungkook.”

“Yeah. Sure. I could eat.”

Jaejoong’s wry smile made his face heat. He hadn’t babbled in years. Not since his first encounter with an older woman, unsure of the methods of pleasure.

“I didn’t expect you to know how to cook,” he said casually.

“Because crime lords don’t eat, right?” Jaejoong took out ingredients from the fridge, butter, eggs, a glass bottle of milk.

“Well, I don’t know much about crime lords,” Jungkook grinned.

In the middle of sifting flour, and Jungkook’s cup of coffee already empty, Jaejoong spoke.

“I like cooking. I’ve been cooking since I was younger. Before my elevation.”

“I can make simple stuff,” said Jungkook. “But most of my meals were ramen and ingredients aren’t cheap. It’s easier to buy cheap shit in the grocery that’s ready made than actual ingredients that’ll spoil because of a fridge I didn’t have.”

Jungkook never had anyone make him pancakes before. American pancakes, the type they sold in restaurants and what he’d seen people order in Taehyung’s café. He said yes to chocolate chips even though Jaejoong had already begun throwing them into the mixture, separated out into three bowls. One he watched him add blueberries, the other, with a fancy oatmeal mix he called muesli.

Changmin had impeccable timing as he came in, sniffing the air until he saw fresh pancakes laid out, reaching to it before he greeted them and speared three onto a plate.

“You looked like the type that’d cook,” he told Jaejoong, swinging his long legs and squeezed pure maple syrup onto his tower of pancakes. He was more accustomed to this, and Jungkook watched him and copied his actions, dusting powdered sugar, adding the fresh chopped fruit, and unsweetened cream.

He cut into it slowly, his layered two, covered with some syrup and bit into it with a small piece of fruit and cream. He had a few more bites, and then more, forgetting about his second cup of coffee until his plate was empty. Jaejoong was staring at him with such a soft expression that he looked away, embarrassed.

“There’s more,” he said, and Jungkook nodded, taking from the refilled stack on the table.

“Junsu’s not here?” Changmin asked.

“In an hour or two,” Jaejoong answered. “I have somewhere to be today,” he told him, the last of the pancake mixture on the stove, wiping his hands on a cream coloured towel. “Get ready for half eight.”






Junsu hated morning classes. He was not a morning person, but neither was he prone to having a preference for evening hours. He worked with his own schedule, which was based entirely on when he got chance to sleep.

When he wasn’t doing work for the Syndicate, he was doing other jobs. For companies, legit high order companies that paid damn good for hackers and someone with his particular skills. He always screened them through Yoochun, and took job orders without ever meeting face to face.

One such job had him up throughout the night, forgoing sleep and stuck in his childhood bedroom, writing a program for Calinton Works, a new company in the oil industry who hired him for a last minute job and Junsu stupidly accepting. He was the only programmer cum hacker that accepted.

Re: last minute job.


He could have skipped classes. But he didn’t like to.

It was something he regretted, today, unable to leave after his early morning class because his afternoon classes were rescheduled before twelve, and Jaejoong had messaged him concerning pancakes and he really, really liked Jaejoong’s pancakes.

He made dumb decisions. Like deciding to do his Masters and a Minor.

Junsu tapped his pen on the desk, ignoring the snide look from the girl sitting next to him. He wasn’t in the mood to be people friendly.

Jaejoong was rubbing off on him.

There was nothing urgent for him to do, concerning the Syndicate. It meant that after his classes he could hole up in his room in his and Jaejoong’s level and sleep until some asshole decided to wake him up.

Re: another last minute job.

Because Junsu always accepted them. Always.

The short time forced him to work harder. Better. Finding new ways to do things. Improved ways.

And it created contacts. Networking. Good standing with old companies and new. Just incase the Syndicate needed them.

Junsu never told it to Jaejoong. But he knew that Jaejoong had always known.

He groaned, pressing his head to the new cup of coffee he had the luxury of getting in between classes, and stabbed his pen into the desk.

“Fuck you,” he told his seat mate. “I’m tired.”

The professor’s voice droned on in the background, and Junsu halfway listened.

“Then you shouldn’t be doing the things that you do at night.”

It was a male voice, and Junsu stilled, head still pressing against the paper cup. He knew the female student was sitting next to him since the last lecture, but the seat to his right had been empty.

He got up, and turned his head.

He was greeted with a broad grin.




Driving was cathartic. He knew that some people found it anxiety inducing, uncertainty, death, injury from reckless drivers and drunk drivers. But there was a thrill to it, if you liked it. Peace, from loving it.

It was how, Changmin surmised, that he was able to find normalcy out his situation. It was easy to forget about his office job, falling into the lull of waking to a modern apartment suite and acting as the personal chauffeur for a drug lord. His mouth quirked, as he glanced at Jaejoong from the rearview mirror.

Not a drug lord. Crime Lord. Syndicate Master. He didn’t know much about the Syndicate to know if they dealt in drugs.

And he wasn’t naïve enough to think that they might not have been.

It was nice. As far off as it could be with loss of contact with everyone he had ever known. One person really. Just one. And he couldn’t chance calling him again. Even from a payphone.

Jaejoong made him stop off at a high-rise building, one he passed sometimes if he took the longer route to work. It was a corporate building, dealing in house refurbishing and furniture sourcing. Changmin waited in the car.

He slumped lower on the back rest, sending the seat low until he was near lying down. The new mobile phone in his pocket burned his thigh. Just the thought of it.

What would really happen if he called Yoongi again? Yoongi was a better driver than he was. A practiced one. Took more risks.

There would be only two possible outcomes if he gave in. They would kill him. Or they would force him to join.

As lonesome as Yoongi liked to pretend that he was, he had friends. A life. One that he was perfectly content with. Happy with. He couldn’t destroy that. Yoongi was never like him, who settled for a comfortable job with a decent pay and lived a boringly routine life.

Changmin was opening a fresh pack of cigarettes when Jaejoong got in. He smoked as he drove him to the next location, another corporate building, life insurance. He wondered if Jaejoong was doing it out of spite.

It continued like that, smoking and driving until nearing one in the afternoon. Jaejoong made them stop at a small time restaurant that specialized in beef bone soup. Changmin wouldn’t have stayed in the car even if Jaejoong had asked him to. Smoking only curbed his hunger minimally. Meaning not at all.

It was easy to be quiet around Jaejoong. The morning had passed without conversation, except Jaejoong’s commands on where to drive to and when to stop. The lack of conversation eased when they settled in at a wooden table, and Jaejoong gestured for him to order what he liked.

“You’re not having anything?” Changmin asked when he didn’t look at the menu.

“I eat the same meal every time I come here. They don’t need to come take my order.”

“How long’s that?” he asked, looking around the shop. It was homely, small. The tables were old, but they were all in use. The inside was nothing but steam and the smell of food.

“A long time,” Jaejoong answered, sly looking as he propped his elbow onto the table.

Changmin ordered the beef bone soup and a bowl of rice, and a serving of bulgogi.

“So is this your favourite restaurant or there are others?”

“One of my few favourites,” he admitted. “Ahjumma would cook anything I ask for. Even for things I can make myself.”

Changmin dipped his spoon into the earthen bowl when it came. “But wouldn’t someone target this place? No offense,” he stated hurriedly, “Just…if you frequent one shop enough, whatever enemies you have, they’d realize it, right? I don’t really know how crime shit works but it’s what I would have tracked.”

“It happened once.”

Jaejoong was staring right at him. Changmin shivered. He hadn’t expected Jaejoong’s anger from his statement.

“Get up.”

“Jaejoong–”

Jaejoong didn’t repeat his words. He didn’t have to. Changmin scrambled up, barely noticing the tossed bills on the table, only Jaejoong’s hard eyes and face.

“Sir is there a–”

Jaejoong stepped past the worker, and Changmin feebly followed. He stood in front of the door to the driver’s seat, staring stupidly and waiting until Jaejoong was in, and then opened.

He remained seated, turning on the ignition and waited.

“Drive to the side street.”

Changmin nodded, gripping the steering wheel tight enough that his fingers had gone numb. The numbness was in his chest too. He was shit scared. Fucking shit scared. He shouldn’t have opened his mouth. He knew what he was in. He knew. Dumb ass Shim Changmin who always kept on making the wrong decisions in life.

Like when he gave up pro gaming to become an office worker, all because he was too scared to oppose his parents.

He stopped when he turned, a metre and half from the corner. The partition between the driver’s and the passenger’s seat was still down. He was avoiding looking in the rear view mirror.

He heard a gun being loaded.

He still couldn’t look up or turn around. He was staring at how white his fingers had gotten, clenching around the steering wheel so tight. He thought about his father. His bitter words even when he had pursued an unconventional Korean day job. Yoongi. Would Yoongi miss him? Probably. Probably not. Changmin wasn’t that important to him.

“They put mushrooms in my soup.”

And his mother. The all consuming bastard of a woman. Evil in the form of a petite fourty year old and red hair.

And mushrooms.

Changmin lifted his head. “Huh? Mushrooms?”

“I’m allergic to mushrooms.”

“You are? That sucks. Mushrooms make everything taste better.” Changmin stopped. “I’d rather not know what you’re allergic to before you kill me. That’s sorta brutal you know, telling me that.”

“I’m not going to kill you. They’ve never put mushrooms in my soup before.”

Changmin heard the unsaid words. “You’re going to kill them?” he sounded out.

Jaejoong answered by opening the car door and stepping out. He didn’t tell Changmin to follow him. But he didn’t order him not to. He was out of the car with the keys digging into his palm, rubbing bruises into his skin as he rushed to follow Jaejoong.

There were things that were only images in a person’s head, credited by imagination, fiction, what one saw on television. Crime lords, he figured, would look like one. You’d look at one and just know.

When he first saw Jaejoong, the thinness and blonde hair and his face, the way he grabbed onto Junsu with care, he wasn’t the person from his drawn up preconceived thoughts.

The Jaejoong in front of him was.

It was the long trench coat that lifted as he walked. The gun that Changmin knew he had.  The bare promise of death uttered as though it was only normal.

Jaejoong went in through the back door. It was an old door, worn down with the years and lacking a fresh coat of paint and varnish. It hadn’t been locked. The area was full of small family businesses. A community of lower class to middle class folks that banded together because they were in the same deepening crevice.

Changmin wasn’t given time to react when Jaejoong shot the first man he saw. One shot to the head. A woman screamed, crouching to the ground with her palms slapped on top of her ears.

Jaejoong shot the next one before he could fire his own gun, and the young boy searing beef on the cast iron skillet. He slumped, hand knocking the handle and the skillet clattered to the ground, beef smoking on his thigh where it landed.

He didn’t see or hear the woman coming through the back door, natural blonde hair, American. The brightest red lips. She reached for Jaejoong, and he twisted his body, grappling for her arm and turning it as he moved. She cried out. Jaejoong hooked her throat with the curve of his arm, the inside of his elbow, forcing away voluntary airflow.

Changmin watched as she struggled to breathe. JAejoong didn’t appear to fancy torturous deaths. Changmin wanted to close his ears up as he snapped her neck. He couldn’t stop watching the way her body fell, limp, motionless rag doll with disfigured anatomy.

Jaejoong motioned for the girl to stand, the same girl crouched by the kitchen cupboards, shakily removing her hands from her ears.

“Did you put the mushrooms in my soup?”

“Kata ahjumma made me do it,” she whined, reaching for his hand. Jaejoong allowed the contact. “They made us…”

“I know.” He squeezed her trembling fingers briefly, and released them. “Where is she?”

“In the storeroom. They locked her inside when they saw you.”

Jaejoong searched the kitchen until he saw it, the lot of silver keys bunched together, on the ground near the edge of the sink. He picked it up, slipped his gun underneath his belt, and opened the door.

“How many men were here when we came?”

The woman’s breathing was raspy. “Four.”

Changmin looked at the bodies and counted four. The worker woman’s face was pasty white.

‘When we came.’.

Changmin looked again. The three men and the woman who–

He yanked his head as he turned to watch the door open. Jaejoong grabbed him by the shirt and shoved him out of the way. The air cut sharp a few centimetres from his arm, the bullet thudding into the wall and imprinting a deep-grey splotch.

The next bullet came, taking the same path just shy of the first. Jaejoong slipped into the room right after the impact, firing his own gun that had the fourth man screaming out. Changmin had to see. He kept flat to the wall and looked in.

The man was not purely South Korean, and held onto his bleeding arm, muttering curses in English as he eyed his fallen gun. Changmin jumped as he heard and saw the second gun shot. The right arm this time. His arms hung at his sides, darkening his shirt and the floor beneath him. His frame started to wobble.

Changmin finally saw past him. Saw past his fresh blood and onto the less fresh puddle stretching out on the floor-boards and soaking into the wood. He saw the matted ash-grey hair, the wrinkles on tanned skin, a feeble, lifeless hand and a new bright green apron.

Jaejoong’s arms moved. The gun was gone, and there was a flash of something else. The half Korean opened his hand and spread his arms as far as he could, laughing as winced.

“She’s dead. He knew that she was important to you. A fucking old woman. The leader of the Syndicate and you’re friends with a fucking granny. Fucking shot my arms man. Don’t look like a boss. Did your friend kill the other men for you?”

There was an undercurrent of nervousness in his voice, thickened with sheer bravado.

“Close the door,” said Jaejoong.

Both Changmin and the worker hurried to do so.

Changmin slumped against the door, and listened.

He had to learn.






There was a pattern now in how he and Hoseok worked. They both served until the crowd dimmed down, and then took turns between serving and cleaning down the tables and toting the dirty wares into the back to be washed. It was a leisurely routine that Jungkook liked.

He carefully settled the ceramic cup of Butterscotch Latte and another of Low Hearts Special Hot Chocolate in front of a couple, leaving a tiny stack of pink printed napkins next to the saucers. A custom he picked up on as the hours went by.

It was a busy day. From the morning crowd to mid morning late goers and into lunch. Jungkook didn’t know what time it was, having not yet checked his phone. Hoseok was taking orders from another table, his voice carrying over.

Jungkook glanced the counter, walking across to grab the tray of smoked salmon Panini and turkey bacon wrap. Most of the things he was serving he had never tasted or heard of.

The repetitive work made it easier to miss Taehyung. When he’d arrived, Taehyung was stuck in the kitchen, and hadn’t yet left it with the stream of customers flowing through. His parcel however, was tucked in his work cupboard, tacked with a sticky paper with his name and a heart on it.

Jungkook had tossed it away.

He had wiped the counter twice before he started waiting tables. The counter was no longer a counter, but a landmark. Of Taehyung’s shaking arms and curved back, the way his ass cheeks trembled as Jungkook fucked him. It had been so good and Taehyung had been so damn loud that Jungkook didn’t know he liked that, until it had happened. He hadn’t appreciated vocal partners before.

The three of them – he, Hoseok and the other girl he hadn’t learned the name of – rotated their lunch shift. When she came back, Hoseok held his abdomen and shouted that he’d be back in a half hour.

An hour after, when Hoseok returned seeming pleasantly full and chasing Jungkook away for food, the customer flow dwindled, and he was reminded of the emptiness in his stomach. He stopped by his work locker, taking out the headphones that he’d bought yesterday. He had tonight to download music and transfer it to his Ipod.

Right. He forgot. He needed a laptop. He could afford a laptop.

The kitchen was right next to the changing room, opening into the corridor. He stepped in, surprised to see Taehyung alone, scrambling eggs on the stove. Taehyung didn’t notice him standing there.

He watched him plate up an egg and mozzarella cheese sandwich, spiced mustard-mayo, spinach, thin sliced tomatoes and vinegary onion slices, stacked on top of warm toasted bread. It was the last lunch order he remembered taking, aside from the cakes and savoury items from out in the display case.

Jungkook knew when Taehyung saw him, the small smile and tired eyes, pushing the plate out for Hoseok to serve.

“Hey Kookie.”

He winced at the nickname. “Hey. How come it’s you alone in the kitchen today?”

“AJ’s sick. Suyeon’s on vacation leave. It’s a good thing I started early this morning. I knew it was gonna be a busy day.” He propped his elbows on the counter, body dipping. “My hips hurt. A lot. Do you know how hard it was to recover with three hours sleep?”

Jungkook was thinking how to answer. His empty stomach answered for him.

Taehyung’s wide smile was there again, a small flash of pain as he straightened. He had ingredients already separated, and it took him two minutes to put together another smoked salmon Panini, slipping it delicately onto a serving plate and dragging it across to where Jungkook stood.

“Your lunch. I do cook for my workers you know. They all know that. Hoseok usually feels guilty. Jen usually leaves to meet up with her man.”

Taehyung sat as he watched him eat, sleepy eyed, fingers playing with the line of seasoning bottles on the table. The worker that manned the cashier came in with a mug of coffee, handing it to Taehyung who grasped it gratefully.

“Thanks Shin-ah.”

He was allowed to eat in silence. He had been expecting Taehyung to ramble on, like he was accustomed to doing. But he was silent, soft looking. His eyes were heavy with fatigue.

“It was good,” said Jungkook, hip leaning against the edge of the table. “Thanks for the sandwich.”


“Of course it was good.” Taehyung was radiant. He put his coffee down. His fingers, long and thin, left his coffee mug to touch the material of Jungkook’s shirt, latching on and tugging him closer, downwards. Jungkook let him. Their faces were too close to each other.

“I really wanted to kiss you when came in this morning,” he told him, fingers rubbing into his shirt. His bottom lip brushed his mouth, touching, not yet a kiss. Jungkook watched his closed eyes, the thin eyelashes, and brought his hand to cup behind his head and neck, swallowing Taehyung’s mouth.

Taehyung allowed him control of the kiss before kissing back, pushing against him, teeth closing in to nip at his lips. Jungkook bit Taehyung’s lower lip out of spite.

“What are you doing tonight?” he asked, licking the cut that marked his mouth. The bruise suited him.

“I’m not sure yet,” Jungkook replied. “It depends on Yunho.”

“Oh? Are you working with Yunho too? He’s my second favourite, after leader.”

“You could say that.”

“I guess I’ll sleep tonight then.” He said it dismally. Jungkook pulled on the hair by his neck to snap him out of it. “Ow!”

“You’ll survive.”

“I doubt it.” Taehyung’s knee was dangerously close to his jeans crotch. “Give me your number.”

“I guess.” Jungkook pulled out his phone. Taehyung was staring expectantly at him. He didn’t actually know his own phone number. He pulled up the list of contacts, letting out a sigh when he saw that the person who inputted the few numbers for him had added his own.

He handed it to Taehyung.

“I’m putting my number in too,” he said. Even when he was sleep deprived he did everything exuberantly. Maybe it was because of their closeness in age. Maybe it was the fact that it was hard to dislike him. Or because Taehyung was good-looking in the ridiculous, symmetrical way, almost doll like.

Jungkook accepted his company. He shoved his phone back into his pocket, and came off the edge of the counter.

“I’m going back in front,” he told Taehyung.

“You haven’t taken your full lunch break. Lunch breaks are given for a reason.”

“Today’s a busy day. And I like working.” He kept his head phones in his pocket too, heading out to the tables that weren’t cleaned yet.

“Finished already?” Hoseok was taken aback. “That was like…ten minutes.”

Jungkook shrugged, and grabbed a cloth from the workstation.

“I ate.”

Hoseok didn’t pursue it anymore, shrugging it off too, humming as worked.





Yunho went straight up to Jaejoong’s level. Yoochun had been there to meet him in the Warehouse, coming off the plane with an empty stomach and riled up from too many cups of coffee. He was in need of a bath and food and something other than Japanese sweets.

The taste and smell of blood was still on him. Yoochun had slapped him on the back despite the state of clothes, gesture of congratulations because he had won, they had won.

There was never any doubt that Yunho would fail a mission.

Yamashita had thanked him at lengths, shocked that the Osaka facility was gone, shocked that he couldn’t contain himself because he was pleased. There was a suitcase of Japanese wine and sake, sweets and skincare products for him and Jaejoong, and clothes, a gift to the Syndicate leader, because Jaejoong loved Japanese fashion as much as he did Korean. The times were different now. Gang members were stylish. No matter the occupation, Yunho had always seen men and women dressed fashionably.

Even the poorer ones. It was how culture worked.

Jaejoong hated that he never messaged or called after missions, showing up to his office or bedroom when he felt like it. Jaejoong also knew that he would never change that.

His office was empty, the light on in the kitchen cum living room. The bedroom then. Even if Jaejoong was out he always waited in his bedroom. It was nicer.

The cold air hit him as the door opened, the darkness of the room, Jaejoong’s figure lying on the couch, curled into the back rest. His pants and dress shirt were black, blending in to the leather couch, a vague silhouette that didn’t move as he walked on the short stretch of carpet on the tiling.

Yunho brought his fingers to Jaejoong’s back, scratching lightly through the dark silk. He shifted on the couch, turning onto his back and heaving himself up onto the arm rest.

“How did it go?” he asked quietly.

Yunho took seat on the edge barely unoccupied by Jaejoong’s toes, gripping his ankles to push his legs further across. His skin was cold.

“It’s gone. Yamashita owes you multiple favours now.”

He avoided the added ‘because of me’. Jaejoong knew best about how the world worked. About life and death. Profit and loss. Trickery and survival.

Jaejoong only nodded. There was no joy to his expression, just quiet. He had heavy eyes, a forlorn atmosphere. As he lifted his head Yunho could see it too, amidst the sorrow – there was anger.

He trailed his fingers up his bony ankle, his right ankle, the one closest to the edge of the couch. They went up into the end of his pants, just to the lower calf.

“Remember the first time I carried you to eat beef bone soup?”

Yunho lifted his leg, grip around his calf, and kissed the top of Jaejoong’s foot. A shiver, like a marching tremble, passed through his skin.

“I do. I still go sometimes. The owner has never forgotten me.”

She still tried every time he frequented to get him to call her ahjumma. The only person he could spare familiar terminology for was his mother. And it had taken him years, for it to pass his lips and allow his mother some reprieve.

“It’s still the best beef soup I ever got to eat. Even the one I make doesn’t taste quite like how she made it.”

His lips left the skin of his foot. Jaejoong’s phrasing was odd, voice too light. He was leaning over the arm rest, looking up at the ceiling.

“How did she die?” He questioned.

“Blunt trauma. Repeated lashes to the head. She was an ahjumma. Kids these days are disgusting.”

“There is no code to live by,” Yunho reminded him, “Not a moral one.”

Jaejoong made a noise, that he knew too, that regardless of innocence death came to all. The difference was in contacts. She was important to Jaejoong. Something constant. She was something that could be destroyed to get to him.

“You’re sad.”

Yunho fixed himself to hover over Jaejoong, one leg in between his, the other trapped between Jaejoong’s left knee and the back rest.

Jaejoong looked at him instead of answering. He watched back, at the pale face, darkened under eyes, the little streaks of black from his scalp that blended into bleached blonde.

It was difficult to describe how he felt about Jaejoong. What he thought of him. He couldn’t put into words, or reasons, or whys. It was just that Jaejoong was Jaejoong. And he couldn’t really imagine life without him, except a boring one. Years ago, Jaejoong had asked him if he had loved him. It was a moment of weakness, of vulnerability. When they had sex more than they killed, and Jaejoong was so pliable to his looks and words and kisses. He was still so, but those years had been different. The early years of the new Syndicate.

Yunho had said no. He hadn’t lied. And Jaejooong had known that.

Yunho didn’t particularly understand the word love. He understood care, and want, and needs. There was little he cared for, and even less he needed. Wants were always there, changing by day, always attainable. Life was only that, a list of wants that humans struggled through.

Jaejoong was a want. He was the young boy in class with a fair face and ignored his father’s background. He was the first person he had wanted to kiss. He was the first person he needed to fuck. And he was the second person that he cared for. One of the only two.

“I’m going to kill them all,” Jaejoong murmured, a promise, a sweet promise from his lips that Yunho bent to kiss, open mouthed, firm into soft. His palms covered Jaejoong’s face, thumb shifting his chin upward, swallowing more of his noises, his breaths, his swelling anger.

He let him, this time. To keep kissing. Nothing but his mouth and Jaejoong’s urgency. His own need.

It was a fragility he kept sheltered. One that he needed to. It was because Yunho knew Jaejoong from before the birth of the New Syndicate, birth of a new leader, before his rise in the organization he was forced into. Softness hardened by blood. Death and survival was a poison that never left, but so did the before.

“Carry me to the bed,” said Jaejoong. His please was the light graze of his teeth, and the way he looked at Yunho like he was his everything.

It was the look Yunho found Jaejoong looked the best in.





*

This chapter’s longer than the norm. There were a lot of things that needed to be addressed (like finally writing a proper summary). I think the good thing about taking a break from this fic is learning that it’s easier now to make the characters more real. Jaejoong, despite being the leader of the Syndicate, is human. And he has never claimed to be anything but that. Emotions are human. And so is revenge.

On a better side note, I just needed to say that Jung Yunho is still the most gorgeous man in the world and he’s gotten better looking with age and I CAN’T.

 
 
thetaintedblade
17 January 2018 @ 10:40 pm
Title: With You
Pairing: Jungkook/Taehyung
Rating: PG

*


Jungkook liked when night time came around, liked the soft lull of late hours, dark out and everything gentle. The way the bed sheets, new, expensive, felt against his skin, fresh out of the shower and dimmed lights in his bedroom. He opened his window some nights, to smell the city air and glance at the speckle of lights glinting in the distance, ignoring the air conditioning remote.

And some nights, there was Taehyung, sleepy eyes, crooked, soft smile as he shuffled into his room, taking up space on his bed as if it were his own. He belonged there, on his bed, more so than his own. Those nights Jungkook watched Taehyung instead of the city buildings, smelled the soap he used and unique Taehyung scent.

When the digital clock flickered past midnight, and then one, maybe two, Jungkook was curled on the bed next to him, fingers underneath his shirt, tracing the honeyed flatness of his belly, the dip of softness just above his groin. Taehyung always let out little sighs of content, wriggling back into Jungkook, arching his neck like a preening cat that begged for more attention.

And Jungkook would give him that. He would give Taehyung everything.

It wasn’t always about sex. He fell asleep often to mouthing kisses on Taehyung’s neck, forgetting to close the window and Taehyung forgetting too because he was too busy warming his cold toes into Jungkook’s shin. They would both wake up in the morning with frosty noses and Jungkook groaning protests into Taehyung’s back, because he hated waking up, hated mornings, loved when Taehyung played with his hair and then dug his toes into his abdomen to torture him into wakefulness.

Some mornings, when it was five am and the sun just above their apartment, and the pattering of Jin and Namjoon could be heard outside his door, he would sit on his bed and stare glumly out, music player on, Taehyung’s long fingers controlling the stream, and then into his hair, soft, scratching, making him fall in love all over again.

And when Taehyung kissed him, mouthing along his lips to a Jay Park song from his track list, he laughs, because he can’t imagine himself any happier than this.




Of course my first BTS fic is a drabble.
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