Title: We are Bulletproof (2/?)
Summary: Namjoon doesn’t pretend, not even for a second, that he doesn’t know what Seokjin does to keep them all going. That Seokjin gave up everything so the rest of them could have a chance at something better.
Warning: Prostitution, mentions of consensual underage sex having happened in the past, eventual death.
Jungkook gets off with a week’s suspension. Seokjin is silent on the bus ride back home. “Hyung, you’re not thinking of doing stupid like leaving us, are you?” Jungkook whispers.
Namjoon is thankful that Seokjin looks genuinely surprised like the thought hadn’t occurred to him at all. “Don’t be idiotic,” Seokjin says, smiling lightly for the first time the entire day. “I brought you all out of the orphanage because I was confident I could steer you all in the best directions. That hasn’t changed. Sure, Jungkook’s being a little brattier than I originally expected-” Jungkook scowls at this- “but I’m not going anywhere. Don’t worry.”
Neither Seokjin nor Namjoon talk about what happened at Jungkook’s school, but Jungkook gets pissed drunk and he blabs it to Yoongi and Jimin.
"Don’t fucking kneel for anyone," Yoongi tells Seokjin, when they finally get Jungkook riled down enough to go to sleep. "I don’t give a fuck what the fuck people want. You don’t kneel for anyone."
It’s just him and Hoseok and Yoongi and Seokjin. Seokjin’s taking the rare indulgence in a beer. “The husband was one of my clients. His wife caught us last week. That’s probably where this came from. It was completely my fault. Jungkook can’t get expelled, Yoongi. Plus, I’m on my knees all the time anyway.”
Namjoon wants to throw up at that image, Seokjin on his knees taking whatever his customers feel like doing to him that day. He scowls and takes another shot of soju.
"I don’t give a fuck." Yoongi snaps, slamming his fists in the table. "Don’t kneel for anyone. What the fuck does that bitch think she is, calling you a whore? Maybe if she was prettier or better in bed she wouldn’t be having this fucking problem."
Seokjin lets out a week laugh. “Stop it. She’s right, I am a whore. She didn’t do anything wrong.” Hoseok scowls into the shot glass. Yoongi downs another shot, and Namjoon follows suit. Seokjin sighs again and traces the rim of the beer can. “I’m going on a trip.”
"Hyung if this is because of the Jungkook thing-"
"No, I… I’m getting paid to go. It’ll be four days. I wasn’t going to go but we have to pay for the other boy’s hospital fees and… we can always use the extra payment."
Seokjin looks sad and Namjoon has to force himself to look away.
When Seokjin comes back, he looks like he’s about to die. He collapses as soon as he walks in, making Taehyung dive and catch him. “Holy shit he’s burning up.”
Hoseok tugs their blankets and comforters out and Taehyung half-carries, half-drags Seokjin to the bedding. Namjoon starts punching a text to Yoongi, who’s still at work. Seokjin’s throat is bruised ugly again and he’s breathing in fevered gasps.
"What’s wrong with him?!" Jimin demands, pushing his sweat-damp hair out of his eyes. Hoseok is already pulling off his clothes, torn in places and soaked through with cold sweat, and Namjoon isn’t prepared for what he sees. "Oh my god," Jimin whispers.
Seokjin has bruises and cuts everywhere. Some are still bleeding sluggishly, and when Taehyung turns him over, there are deep, angry welts that look like they’re from a whip, spreading from his shoulders down to his thighs. Jungkook is frozen. Usually it’s Yoongi who takes care of Seokjin’s post-sex injuries. None of them have really seen Seokjin so bad.
"There’s antiseptic and bandages in Yoongi’s drawer." Seokjin whispers, voice soft. Namjoon didn’t even know he was awake. "Go bring them, Jungkook." Jungkook snaps out from his daze to burst up. He brings back the entire first aid kit and Seokjin struggles to sit up. "Antiseptic." He nods to Namjoon, who takes the bottle. His hands are shaking badly, and Seokjin smiles tiredly. “Just pour it. No point fussing with the gauze.”
Namjoon tries to get as much of it spread as possible and ends up using the entire bottle. Jimin and he work on wrapping Seokjin up, and then before long Yoongi is bursting in through the front door. “Hyung!” Yoongi cries, snatching the gauze out of Jimin’s hands. “Fuck, you guys are doing it wrong.” Yoongi unwraps half of what Jimin and Namjoon had blundered through, but by the time he’s done, the bandages are clean and neat, tight around Seokjin’s torso.
“Don’t you have work?” Seokjin asks, grabbing onto Jimin to pull himself up. “Taehyung, my bag, please.”
“Namjoon texted me and told me you walked through the door and collapsed and had injuries everywhere.” Yoongi snaps. “I told my manager I was going to quit if he stopped me. He can’t fire me. I do slave work for barely any wage.” He takes the bag Taehyung brings over, opens it, and rubs his face drily. “We’ll use some of it for your hospital. You need treatment.”
Seokjin shakes his head. “No. I can’t work until I heal up again, and that’s just wasting money, then. I’ll be fine at home.” His eyes are drooping shut, like he can’t quite manage staying awake. Yoongi scowls like he wants to protest, but Seokjin squeezes his hand and his breathing falls even.
Hoseok snatches the bag from Yoongi’s hands and upends it, and bills pour out of the bag. “What the-” Taehyung jumps, staring at the bills. “This is a lot of money.”
Yoongi stares at the pile. “It’s not that much if you consider the fact that Seokjin has to stay home to recover for a while.” He starts smoothing out the bills, separating the 1,000 won bills, the 5,000 won bills, and the 10,000 bills from each other. Jimin fishes out the few 50,000 bills that are in the mess.
It totals up to a lot of money. 10,000,000 won for a total of 4 nights. Yoongi puts the big bills into the drawer and carefully rubber bands the smaller bills. “I’m going to the bank and going to go grocery shopping. Taehyung, Jungkook, you two come with.”
Both of them get up without a word of complaint, glancing at where Seokjin is sleeping pressed up against Jimin. Jungkook runs a frustrated hand through his hair before getting up to leave with Yoongi. Namjoon buries his face in his hands. “I need a smoke,” he says into his hands.
Jimin looks up with wide eyes. “Don’t you dare. If Seokjin-hyung even heard you say that, he’d freak out.”
"I wouldn’t actually." Namjoon feels like total shit. He wonders if Seokjin comes home like this often, and wonders how many times Yoongi patched him up when everyone else was asleep. "But fuck, I need one so fucking bad."
Jimin doesn’t say anything. He just snuggles into the blanket, slowly so he doesn’t bother Seokjin’s sleep.
It kind of works out because Jungkook is going to be home anyway for three more days from his suspension, plus the weekend. Seokjin mostly sleeps - sometimes he gets up and lets Hoseok or Namjoon feed him, but that’s about it. He doesn’t even bother showering, which amuses Namjoon a little because Seokjin is usually so adamant about appearances.
But then it makes him sad, remembering Seokjin’s only putting it off because he’s too tired or sick to do otherwise.
The problem happens when Jungkook has to go back to school. “You aren’t skipping,” Seokjin says, tugging the blanket around him. He’s been feverish since he came back, and it hasn’t really broken. It makes Yoongi worried and Namjoon nervous, but every time Yoongi unwraps Seokjin’s bandages to redo at night, his back is healing nicely, so Yoongi just slathers ointment and redoes the bandages. “Remember you promised me that you wouldn’t cause any more problems?”
Jungkook scowls at the breakfasts table, but doesn’t say anything.
In the end, Namjoon and Hoseok stay home. They convince Seokjin that it really is nice to just laze around at home, and that they can do a lot of stuff at home, anyway, with a pen and a piece of paper. “I don’t think we could work anyway, worried like shit about you.” Hoseok says, gleefully watching Seokjin peel an apple for them.
Seokjin isn’t so weak that he’s completely bedbound now. He’s still slightly feverish, and coughs constantly, but he can get up. He helps Jimin and Jungkook with homework, packs lunch for Yoongi, stays up with Taehyung, and listens to all of Hoseok and Namjoon’s stuff.
"This is nice," Yoongi says, his head in Seokjin’s lap as Seokjin looks over Jimin’s homework.
Namjoon agrees. It’s so nice to have Seokjin home all day, adjusting to regular sleep schedule and just doing everyday things. He almost wishes Seokjin won’t heal so fast so he could just stay home for longer, but Seokjin’s back is more or less patched up. He’s waiting for the bruising to even out, so Namjoon knows it’s only a matter of time before Seokjin is out again.
Yoongi raises his hand and reaches up to hook his hands behind Seokjin’s neck. The angle is awkward and Seokjin has to bend forward a little for Yoongi to do it, and Namjoon stares. They’re just smiling at each other, Yoongi’s hands rubbing small circles into Seokjin’s neck as Seokjin plays with the black strands of Yoongi’s hair, but suddenly Namjoon feels like he’s interrupting something.
"How come you two aren’t coming in lately?" Namjoon looks up to see one of the others that uses the studio, just in a different booth. Hoseok and he are on a convenience store run because Seokjin was craving riceballs from the store across the street.
Hoseok shrugs. “Yo, Hyosang-hyung. Our brother is sick. No one else to take care of him, so we are.” He digs out the spicy tuna ones that Seokjin likes. He turns to Namjoon with one in each hand. “You think he wants, like, multiple?”
“Wait, our brother? Like you two share a brother?” Hyosang raises an eyebrow so high it disappears into his hairline. “You two are related? Like, brothers? You don’t look anything alike, though. Wait, and you’re the same age.”
On paper, all of them are listed as brothers, under the last name Kim. Only Seokjin, Namjoon, and Taehyung had originally been born with that surname. But Seokjin went around, bribing government officials and sleeping with everyone he could to get their paperwork filed quickly. They had much less requirements than necessary – for one, Seokjin was nowhere near the age to file as the legal guardian for any of them – but Namjoon knew Seokjin had gotten the papers pushed through with sex.
Seokjin had been so happy declaring all of them as a legal family. Now, he’d said, encasing the papers in plastic folders and pushing them carefully into the drawer under their single computer, no one can take you guys from me, not even by law.
“Weirder things have happened,” Namjoon shrugged, reaching past Hoseok to grab more. “Let’s just take all the spicy tuna. If he doesn’t eat them, we could.”
Seokjin had so little appetite lately that they were happy to just hear him want any kind of food. They ended up buying 10 rice balls and snuck in some chocolate and soda with the remaining money. Hyosang stuck around. “Can I come with?”
Namjoon shrugs. “Why not? Yoongi-hyung doesn’t like visitors, but it’s not like he doesn’t know you.”
Hyosang stares. “Yoongi? Like, Suga?”
It’s been a while since Namjoon or Hoseok’s heard Yoongi’s music-making name. Hoseok sighs. “Wow, been a while since I heard that.” He rubs his head, frowning a little as he takes the bag of rice balls. “Yeah, Suga-hyung.”
“Suga is related to you too? Is he the brother that’s sick?”
"No, uh, that’s another brother. Our oldest brother."
"How many brothers do you have?”
If Hyosang’s surprised by their run-down sorry excuse for a living space, he doesn’t show it. Namjoon’s aware Hyosang’s not really from the richest family either, so Hyosang probably isn’t judging anyway. “Hyung,” Hoseok calls, as they walk through the door. “We’ve got a friend with us.”
Seokjin’s on the couch, reading what Namjoon recognizes as the book Jungkook’s supposed to be doing a book report on. He looks up and Namjoon hears Hyosang take a sharp breath. “Hi,” Seokjin says, standing on slightly shaky legs. “I’m Seokjin.” A smile spreads across Seokjin’s lips and Namjoon rolls his eyes when Hyosang stutters out a reply. “I’ll go peel some fruit or something-“
"Hyung, don’t bother, it’s just Hyosang-hyung. You’re sick. Here, eat some spicy tuna riceballs."
Seokjin takes the bag and laughs at the contents. “Why’d you buy so many?”
Hoseok shrugs, grinning as he slings his arm across Seokjin’s shoulders. “Because you wanted to eat them! We’ll eat whatever you can’t.”
Seokjin laughs exasperatedly, shaking his head as Namjoon pushes him back down onto the couch. Namjoon peels the riceball for him, tugging the plastic wrap off and tucking the blanket around Seokjin a little more tightly. “You’re really pretty.” Hyosang blurts.
Seokjin smiles and says, “Thanks.”
"Don’t even think about it, Hyosang-hyung.” Namjoon warns. “Yoongi-hyung will murder you even if you just think about it.”
Two weeks pass and while Seokjin’s injuries have more or less healed, his fever gets worse. “I don’t like this.” Yoongi says, pressing a cool towel to his forehead. “You need to go to the hospital.”
"I’m fine," Seokjin mutters against Namjoon’s side, although it’s pretty obvious that he’s anything but. Namjoon and Hoseok’s been staying home, sub-leasing their studio (to be honest, they’re kind of surprised anyone wants to use that piece of trash). "I don’t need to go to the hospital."
"You need an STD check, too." Yoongi points out quietly, rubbing the towel down to pat away the cold sweat.
Seokjin shakes his head. “He was clean. I had him before. If I wasn’t confident about it I wouldn’t have come back here without getting a checkup first.” He winces as he shifts. Namjoon’s noticed his sides are tender, and any sort of movement makes him whimper in pain.
Yoongi scowls, brushing his hands through Seokjin’s hair. “Seokjin.”
Namjoon just holds Seokjin as tight as he can without hurting him.
It’s a week after that when he gets a call from Hyosang. [Yo, you and Hoseok gotta come to the studio, right now.]
Namjoon takes the phone off his ear and stares. “What?”
[Coolio. You know. Gangsta’s Paradise.]
"No, I know. But- what?”
[He’s here. Something - he’s gathering a bunch of talented kids to go on his new show for Mnet or something - you and Hoseok gotta get your ass here, is all I’m saying. Listen, I gotta go.]
Seokjin overhears the entire thing, squeezes Hoseok’s and Namjoon’s hand, and smiles. “Well, what are you waiting for? Go.”
The day passes by in a blur. Namjoon still can’t quite catch up - it really had been Coolio, and he - he’d liked Namjoon and Hoseok’s music. Namjoon had also put in some of Yoongi’s stuff from before, and then the songs the three of them worked on together, and Coolio had seemed to like it. Looked impressed, even.
"Shit, we have like 20 missed calls from Taehyung." Hoseok says, after all of it’s done and Coolio takes their numbers. "And like 20 more from Yoongi-hyung."
"Yoongi-hyung? Does he want us to buy something on the way home?"
Hoseok shrugs, already calling back. “Hyung? Namjoon and I-“
[Where the fuck are you two.] It’s not a question, and Yoongi’s tone makes Namjoon pause. It’s flat and cold, the type of voice Yoongi gets when he’s angry beyond anything else. Yoongi doesn’t give Hoseok time to answer. [Whatever the fuck you two went to do, I hope it was worth it, because Seokjin-hyung’s in the emergency room getting surgery right now.]
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